Release The Hounds!

Welcome to the Archives of Release the Hounds! Please visit the new site--and the radio show--at http://radiohounds.com. Don't forget to update your bookmarks!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Wildfires Pollute

Here is a very interesting study result concerning the production of carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases. The money quote is as follows: Wildfires that burned more than 11 million acres of Alaska and Canada last summer put about as much carbon monoxide into the atmosphere as did tailpipes and smokestacks in the United States during the same period, according to a new study. Granted 11 million acres of combustible natural materials don't burn every year. On the other hand, without intervention that 11 million acres would have been much more. The point is that over history greenhouse gases have been produced and pumped into the atmosphere in large quantities by sources other than the internal combustion engine or industry. That is why the claims that all significant sources sources of global warming are humankind-generated, or that any observable warming trend is a looming catastrophe, should be greeted skeptically.

And He Reports To The Assistant Dean Of The Ministry Of Silly Names

How I let this slip by I do not know...please accept my apologies. The University of Oregon has lost its "vice provost for institutional equity and diversity" when he decided to take the more glorious post of "vice provost for inclusion and cross-cultural effectiveness" at University of Texas-Austin. Again. Sorry for my lapse.

Religion Of Overreaction

Read about a poor illiterate Pakistani sweeper (who happened to be Christian) whose home was burned to the ground because he had inadvertently burned pages of a Koran. Oh... yeah...the Muslim mob also burned down another 200 or so homes believed owned by Christians. Oh... yeah...they also took down a home owned by a Hindu before learning that the infidel was actually Christian. [Hat tip: Dhimmi Watch] I know that the "majority" of Muslims don't react this way, but it certainly seems that a very significant minority certainly do. One of the greatest tragedies of modern Islam is that there seem to be no forces from within speaking out against this sort of violence and supposedly misguided interpretations of the Koran. I care little about what the Koran, or any other supposedly holy text, literally says as compared to how its adherents interpret and apply the text as a whole. There of course are passages in the Bible (especially the Old Testament) that can be read to call for action that many might consider criminal or immoral. However, that language is not being used by believers to justify such acts. That is not the case with the Koran and quoting verses that suggest otherwise is rather meaningless.

The "G" Word Prohibited At Southern California College

A SoCal community college professor's decision to give a student an "F" for using the "G" word in a paper is being challenged. It seems the professor, an atheist, had instructed his student to not mention the word "God" in her paper examining the role of religion in government lest it offend others in the class. When she nevertheless did so, he flunked her. The college sees this as a conflict between academic freedom and "the right to believe in what you believe in." Say what?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Nice Beat...And I Can Dance To It

This is another very funny, clever and certainly politically incorrect video commentary from Ebaums World about a recently acquitted pop star.

It's Over When It's Over

Overthrowing a regime in a country the size of Iraq and replacing it with a democratically elected one -- all inside of two years with less than 2,000 casualties? If you had asked the Pentagon before the war began if they would consider that a favorable outcome of the war, they surely would. This quote is from Neal Boortz's column. The important point here is that all perspective has been lost, at least by the opponents of the current administration which, unfortunately, includes most of the MSM. Despite the fact that every single gloom and doom prediction made by these same folks before the Iraq war (and Afghanistan as well) did not materialize...tens of thousands of body bags, the feared bogging down in the cruel "Afghan winter", the battle-hardened Republican Guard door-to-door fighting...they continue to spout pessimism like an out of control fire hose with absolutely no challenge by the media doing the reporting. Now, the mantra is "there is no end in sight" or "when will our troops leave Iraq?" The answer is when the job is completed. Were similar questions asked of the Allied commanders in WWII? I doubt it. Was the "end" of WWII in sight at any point in time before D-Day? It takes no courage or fortitude to support the war effort when the end is in sight. The war was over when it was over. Which was defined as when we were victorious. This is a real war we're in and there will be casualties. However, most Democrats seem to be astounded by the fact that American soldiers die when we go to war and call for a reexamination each time there are casualties. I can just hear the Boxers or Pelosis saying, "Hold on a second. No one said there would be any killing involved when this came up for a vote. Had I known, I would have put more thought into it." The Democrats are the party of infantilized adults.

And Then Deport Anyone Who Carries A Different Colored Drivers License

The California Legislature is just chomping at the bit to give illegal immigrants drivers licenses. The debate has become so surreal that the fact of their illegal residency status is no longer even a subject matter for discussion. I picture the late Sam Kinison screaming at the top of his lungs: "but they're f###ing here illegally!!!"

Sweet Irony

The recent 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Kelo allowing cities to take private property for the purpose of allowing private development has been rightfully attacked as an undue and inappropriate extension of the right of "eminent domain" (i.e. taking private property for beneficial public use). Traditionally, eminent domain was used to allow for projects such as public roads, etc. In the Kelo case, the Court approved the taking for the use in private, not public, land development (hotels, etc) that would theoretically indirectly provide public benefits such as increased tax revenue, etc. Anyway, a clever entrepreneur/developer is now seeking approval by the local city council to build a hotel on U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter's property in New Hampshire. Oops.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Some Mornings Are Just Depressing

Please read this story by Young Howard about a real gulag in North Korea. It is truly disturbing to me that there can be so much one-sided reporting and feckless criticism of the treatment of killers and would-be-killers at Guantanamo Bay (read here about what is truly happening and how these detainees are really being treated), but nary a word by these self-proclaimed human rights advocates about a truly hellish situation that has existed in North Korea for decades. I'd be interested to know when Ted Kennedy or Dick Durbin last spoke out on the floor of the Senate against the true atrocities taking place in North Korea.

But At Least He Won't Be Forced To Listen To Christina Aguilera While Sitting In A Too Warm Room

The religion of peace and understanding strikes again: In Iran, a man is sentenced to have his eyes surgically removed.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Twilight Zone Thinking

Periodically, I visit one of the sites distinguished by their inclusion in "...the Ugly." Please take a gander at what passes for reasoned analysis at PolySigh regarding the "obvious" similarities between the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII and the detaining of enemy combatants at Gitmo. It's not surprising that the author is a political science prof at an American University. You need an advanced degree to be able to think in such a muddled and incoherent fashion.

Twilight Zone Journalism

Please read this story about the Australian left's reaction to Douglas Wood's remarks calling his captors "assholes." Recall that Wood was the Australian kidnapped by insurgents in Iraq and then freed in an operation conducted primarily by U.S. trained Iraqi soldiers. To the left, the bad guy is Mr. Wood for using such "insensitive" language when describing the assholes that kidnapped him. (Whoops! Sorry about that.) [Hat tip: LGF]

Twilight Zone Politics

The City of Baldwin Park (which can be found in Los Angeles County, California, USA) has erected a monument with public funds and placed it on public property, a Metrolink train station. The monument is called "Danzas Indigenas" which, roughly translated, I believe means something similar to 'indigenous dances." Although the monument has been present for about a dozen years, issue is now being taken with what is inscribed upon it, specifically: "It was better before they came " and "This land was Mexican once, was Indian always and is and will be again." We have come a long way (in the wrong direction) when public funds are spent to erect on public property structures honoring such sentiments. Equally disturbing is that there are many people living in southern California, American citizens, that share the sentiments inscribed on this monument.

Just Checking

Has anyone been following the trial of the 13 Al Qaida terrorists in Jordan who had been planning a major chemical attack? Please read Powerline's post re the Iraq connection after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan and then ask yourself why it is that this story doesn't get more play.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Holy...book.

"It's in the heart of every Muslim. We respect and we love (the Koran) more than our families" Maybe that's the problem.

So Much Good Stuff...So Little Time

Wow! Today has a treasure trove (or, should I say "Rove") of good stuff to post about and, darn it, I only have a few minutes before I need to hook up with a conference call. So let's get started. This whole Dem head-bursting (remember the movie "Scanners"?) over Karl Rove's comments is truly instructive. Here is what he said: Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives, by contrast, saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war. Also, read his opinion piece here. Hillary calls for Rove to apologize for pointing out verifiable truths but not a peep about Dick Turban when he slanders our military and the country at large. Indeed, check out the poll results at the previous link to see how lathered up liberals get when the debate turns to unpleasant factoids about the Democratic party. More here about how Manhattanites are upset at their pseudo-conservative mayor for not condemning Rove's remarks. Not sure if Rove is accurate in his synopsis? Here's Ken Mehlman's release in support: [Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt] "It’s outrageous that the same Democrats who stood by Dick Durbin’s libeling of our military are now expressing faux outrage over Karl Rove’s statement of historical fact. George Soros, Michael Moore, MoveOn and the hard left were wrong after 9/11, just as it was wrong for Democrat leaders to stand by and remain silent after Dick Durbin made his deplorable comments.” - RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman Liberal Third Party Groups Urged Restraint, Blamed America: Immediately After 9/11, MoveOn.Org Petition Urged “Moderation And Restraint” And Use Of “International Judicial Institutions.” • “We, The Undersigned, Citizens And Residents Of The United States Of America … Appeal To The President Of The United States, George W. Bush … And To All Leaders Internationally To Use Moderation And Restraint In Responding To The Recent Terrorist Attacks Against The United States.” (MoveOn.Org Website) • “We Implore The Powers That Be To Use, Wherever Possible, International Judicial Institutions And International Human Rights Law To Bring To Justice Those Responsible For The Attacks, Rather Than The Instruments Of War, Violence Or Destruction.” (MoveOn.Org Website, “MoveOn Peace,” • “[W]e Demand That There Be No Recourse To Nuclear, Chemical Or Biological Weapons, Or Any Weapons Of Indiscriminate Destruction, And Feel That It Is Our Inalienable Human Right To Live In A World Free Of Such Arms.” (MoveOn.Org Website, “MoveOn Peace,” Just After 9/11, Liberal Filmmaker Michael Moore Derided “Terror And Bloodshed” Committed By Americans. (David Brooks, Op-Ed, “All Hail Moore,” The New York Times, 6/26/04) • Just After 9/11, Moore Blamed America’s “Taxpayer-Funded Terrorism” And Bush Administration For Terrorist Attacks. “We abhor terrorism – unless we’re the ones doing the terrorizing. We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me.…Let’s mourn, let’s grieve, and when it’s appropriate let’s examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.” (Michael Moore Website Archive, “Death, Downtown,” Posted 9/12/01, www.michaelmoore.com, Accessed 7/27/04) • Michael Moore Said U.S. Should Not Have Removed Taliban After 9/11. Moore: “Likewise, to bomb Afghanistan – I mean, I’ve never understood this, Tim.” (CNBC’s “Tim Russert,” 10/19/02) Liberal Donor George Soros Claimed America Should Have Treated 9/11 Attacks As Crime, Responded With Police Work. “War is a false and misleading metaphor in the context of combating terrorism. Treating the attacks of September 11 as crimes against humanity would have been more appropriate. Crimes require police work, not military action. To protect against terrorism, you need precautionary measures, awareness, and intelligence gathering – all of which ultimately depend on the support of the populations among which terrorists operate. Imagine for a moment that September 11 had been treated as a crime. We would have pursued Bin Laden in Afghanistan, but we would not have invaded Iraq. Nor would we have our military struggling to perform police work in full combat gear and getting killed in the process.” (George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy, 2004, p. 18) • Soros Said The Execution Of 9/11 Attacks “Could Not Have Been More Spectacular.” “Admittedly, the terrorist attack was a historic event in its own right. Hijacking fully loaded airplanes and using them as suicide bombs was an audacious idea, and the execution could not have been more spectacular.” (George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy, 2004, p. 2) • Soros Said War On Terror Had Claimed More Innocent Victims Than 9/11 Attack Itself. “This is a very tough thing to say, but the fact is, that the war on terror as conducted by this administration, has claimed more innocent victims that the original attack itself.” (George Soros, Remarks At Take Back America Conference, Washington, DC, 6/3/04) Liberal Democrats Urged Restraint, Blamed America: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH): “‘The Time For Peace Is Now,’ [Kucinich] Declared Optimistically July 11, Two Months To The Day Before Terrorists Hit The Pentagon And The World Trade Center. … Sitting In His Capitol Hill Office Last Week, Near A Window Where He Could See The Smoke Rising From The Pentagon On Sept. 11, Kucinich Insisted He Is More Optimistic Than Ever That People Worldwide Are Ready To Embrace The Cause Of Nonviolence.” (Elizabeth Auster, “Offer The Hand Of Peace,” [Cleveland, OH] Plain Dealer, 9/30/01) • Kucinich: “Afghanistan May Be An Incubator Of Terrorism But It Doesn’t Follow That We Bomb Afghanistan …” (Elizabeth Auster, “Offer The Hand Of Peace,” [Cleveland, OH] Plain Dealer, 9/30/01) Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI): “Only Now Are We Trying To Figure Out What Is Islam. Maybe If There Was A Department Of Peace, They Would Be Able To Say, ‘Uh-Oh, We’ve Got Some Problems With These People,’ … I Truly Believe That If We Had A Department Of Peace, We Would Have Seen [9/11] Coming.” (Ethan Wallison, “War A Challenge For Peace Caucus,” Roll Call, 10/1/01) Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA): “I Am Convinced That Military Action Will Not Prevent Further Acts Of International Terrorism Against The United States.” (Eddy Ramirez, “Calif. Congresswoman Alone In Vote Against War Powers Resolution,” [University Of California-Berkeley] Daily Californian, 9/17/01) Al Sharpton (D-NY) Said That The Attacks On The World Trade Center Are Evidence That “America Is Beginning To Reap What It Has Sown.” (Adam Nagourney, “Say It Loud,” The New York Times, 12/1/02) Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) Claimed Osama Bin Laden Could Be Compared To “Revolutionaries That Helped To Cast Off The British Crown.” “‘One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown,’ Kaptur told an Ohio newspaper, The (Toledo) Blade.” (Malie Rulon, “Lawmaker Compares Osama, U.S. Patriots,” The Associated Press, 3/6/03) Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) Said The United States Would “Pay Every Single Hour, Ever Single Day” That Bombs Were Dropped In Afghanistan. “‘How much longer does the bombing campaign continue?’ Biden asked during an Oct. 22 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘We’re going to pay every single hour, every single day it continues.’” (Miles A. Pomper, "Building Anti-Terrorism Coalition Vaults Ahead Of Other Priorities," Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 10/26/01) • “The Bombing Campaign, [Biden] Said, Reinforced Existing Stereotypes Of The United States As A ‘High-Tech Bully …’” (Miles A. Pomper, "Building Anti-Terrorism Coalition Vaults Ahead Of Other Priorities," Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 10/26/01) Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT) Said Osama Bin Laden Not Guilty. Dean: “I Still Have This Old-Fashioned Notion That Even With People Like Osama, Who Is Very Likely To Be Found Guilty, We Should Do Our Best Not To, In Positions Of Executive Power, Not To Prejudge Jury Trials.” (“Dean Not Ready To Pronounce Osama Bin Laden Guilty,” The Associated Press, 12/26/03) Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) To High School Students: “How Would [Muslims] Look At Us Today If We Had Been There Helping Them With Some Of That Rather Than Just Being The People Who Are Going To Bomb In Iraq And Go To Afghanistan? … War Is Expensive Too … Your Generation Ought To Be Thinking About Whether We Should Be Better Neighbors Out In Other Countries So That They Have A Different Vision Of Us.” (Gregg Herrington, “Senator Asks Students To Ponder,” The [Vancouver, WA] Columbian, 12/19/02) Sen. John Kerry (D-MA): “[W]ar On Terror Is Far Less Of A Military Operation And Far More Of An Intelligence-Gathering, Law-Enforcement Operation.” (The Iowa Brown & Black Coalition Presidential Forum, Des Moines, IA, 1/11/04) • Kerry: “[W]hat We’ve Learned Is That The War On Terror Is Much More Of An Intelligence Operation And A Law Enforcement Operation.” (NPR’s “All Things Considered,” 3/19/03) Like many have said...they just don't get it. And now for something completely different: Dutch TV program depicts Jesus Christ on a leash being walked like a dog. Stand by for world-wide rioting, indescriminate violence and calls for retribution by Christians. Not. Great link at LGF about a Saudi television programming and lessons that can be learned from monkeys. Sometimes you can't help think that you are watching Middle Ages cultures equipped with broadband technology. Interesting facts: "Average daily deaths in the U.S., 2004: Homicides, 52; preventable medical errors (estimate), 122-540; home accidents, 67; automobile accidents, 113; illegal drug overdoses, 11; bicycle accidents, 2.5. "Average daily military deaths (battle and nonbattle): Iraq, 2004, 2.1; Vietnam, 1964-1973, 18.8; Korea, 1950-1953, 33.7; World War II, 1941-1946, 222." [Hat tip: Mike Rosen] Great piece by Ollie North... OK...gotta go...later.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Beware Slippery Slopes

We need to wake up and begin to denounce the "religious hatred" laws that are springing up in many western European countries and Australia. Writer Oriana Fallaci is being prosecuted in her native Italy for her book "The Force of Reason" which supposedly "vilifies" Muslims and Islam. These laws are all of recent vintage or only recently enforced and, for the most part, are used exclusively to protect Muslims from negative commentary regarding radical Islam. They are a display of political power on the one hand conjoined with spinelessness on the other by the liberal equivalents in these countries. Like I pointed out in an earlier post, the worst thing one can do (from the liberal perspective) is to give offense. However, the free exchange of ideas is a ramshackle process that is destined to offend someone or group...but the trade off is so clearly worth it that our founding fathers decided to make it the touchstone of our free society and label it the First Amendment. Nevertheless, what we are seeing with these "anti-vilification" (i.e. thought crime) laws has indeed already reached our shores. Just spend some time on any university campus and become familiar with its speech codes.

Sports Update

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's first pick in the amateur draft (37th overall) was Trevor Bell, grandson of famous children's entertainer Bob Bell. Who was Bob Bell?...you older folks, and I, probably remember him better as Bozo the Clown.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

More Random Thoughts

I heard a caller on a talk radio program today offer an incitefully brilliant take on Sen. Dick Durbin's non-apology apology, or as Ann Coulter puts it, the standard leftist politician's "if/ then" apology...if I offended you, then I apologize...obviously suggesting that most clear thinking people would not be offended by the remarks. Anyway, this guy made the point that Durbin was in actuality being sincere when he apologized if he had offended anyone. In the world of today's liberals, the worst thing you can do is to cause offense. Countless hours are spent in sensitivity training or, if too late, courtrooms arguing over just how offended someone was by another's comments or actions. It doesn't matter if the words spoken are demonstrably true, or demonstrably false. That is largely irrelevant and subordinate to the fact that someone may have taken offense. That's why liberal administrators at our colleges will pull down Christmas trees in a heartbeat if they even get a whiff that someone may feel offended by a display of the dominant religion in this country. Indeed, to avoid potential or hypothetical offense, we go about changing the names of team mascots from something noble like "Braves" or "Warriors" to something supposedly inoffensive like "Birchtrees" before there is even a complaint made. There is absolutely no time spent pondering the logical question whether the offendee has a legitimate right to actually be offended. So I agree with the talk show caller who concluded that Durbin was in fact honest in his statement of apology to anyone who may have taken offense, because that is what liberals do...worry about who may be offended rather than whether the comments are defamatory, outrageous or just plain stupid. Unfortunately, he obviously still believes that our military is no better than the SS or the KGB. For that, he remains unrepentant.

The President's Funny Side

You gotta love a guy who can say this during a Yale commencement address. "To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say, well done. And to the C students -- I say, you, too, can be president of the United States."

A Glaring Double Standard

I had recently posted about the double standard the MSM and liberals apply when criticizing the effort in Iraq as compared to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Any time an "insurgent" self-detonates and takes others with him, it is used as evidence that our armed forces, much less the newly formed Iraqi government's police and military, will never be able to bring the violence and lawlessness under control. Hence the situation is hopeless, we should get out, etc. However, when there is similar violence in the West Bank, these same persons NEVER suggest that the Palestinian Authority will be unable to control these terrorists and therefore the hope for peace and stability among the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs is a pipe dream. Why do you think that is?

But Being A Liberal Is A Matter Of Conscience

Being a conservative is a genetic defect.

How Do People Like This Get Elected?

Read Nancy Pelosi's press release coming to the defense of Dick Turban. I'm not going to comment on the standard Democrat talking points to be found about "how high does this go?" "what did Rumsfeld know and when did he know it?" blah, blah, blah... However, for me here's the money quote: "Many of the detainees have been in U.S. custody since October 2001. Why have they been in custody for nearly four years without being charged? Why has so little been done to resolve the status of the detainees? What the hell is this stuff about "being charged"?! These guys were not arrested on an outstanding warrant issued for unpaid traffic tickets. They were not arrested for attempted burglary. In fact, they were not "arrested" at all. They were, for the most part, captured on the battlefield and, if released, would likely return to the battlefield in an effort to kill more Americans, as apparently at least ten have done. Although they are not true POW's, that is only because they are not connected to a sovereign nation that could enter into an armistice or sue for peace. But they are a damn sight closer to POW's than criminal defendants, so why on earth do most Democrats want to treat these people like they were simply picked up in an LAPD gang sweep? I heard Joe Biden say the other day that "even Adolph Eichmann had a trial." What a ridiculous and historically inaccurate analogy. Eichmann was near the top of the Nazi food chain, was an architect of war crimes (for which he was brought to trial, unlike the rank and file German POW) and...his trial did not take place until after WWII was over. I would like to hear a real journalist, if there are any left in the MSM, ask Pelosi or Biden whether we should have either "charged" and brought to trial, or alternatively released, the German and Japanese soldiers taken prisoner in WWII prior to the war coming to an end. UPDATE: Just came across Michelle Malkin's column on this very subject matter where she points out that every detainee has in fact had a hearing. This would make sense since there had to have been some determination made (obviously incorrect) that resulted in the release of the guys who were later recaptured or killed on the battlefield.

Unfortunately, This Is Not The Jerry Springer Show

In other news, lesbian Tina B. falls asleep at the wheel while driving home from an all-night party at a gay bar and drives headlong into oncoming traffic, killing her current lesbian partner, Christina S. So to whom does the court give custody of Christina S.'s child (who, by the way, was fathered by Tina's half-brother) as between the child's maternal grandparents (an intact heterosexual couple who had already raised five children) and Tina, the surviving lesbian lover? Take a guess. P.S. The underlying hoot here is that this all takes place in West Virginia therefore doing nothing to dispel certain stereotypes.

Tokyo Rose...Fast Forward: Dick Durbin

One of the most compelling reasons to conclude that Sen. Dick Turban is a contemptible political hack with no conscience and the built in liberal animosity towards the military is not one that is getting much airplay. Remember "Tokyo Rose" from WW II? She was the propagandist used by the Japanese to broadcast exaggerations and flat out lies about American and Allied troops. The purpose? To demoralize our fighting men and women and encourage the Japanese troops. The Islamofascists don't need to hire a Baghdad Bonnie, they have Dick Turban doing it for them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Senator Dick Turban

Here are the original FBI emails upon which Dick Durbin has based his grotesque moral equivalency. Nothing more, nothing less. [Hat tip: Froggy Ruminations] Let's deconstruct for a moment: 1) detainee chained hand and foot to floor...no chair, food or water Securing someone with handcuffs, manacles or leg irons is done every day by law enforcement. Same for denying an arrestee a chair thus requiring him to take a seat on the cold, hard floor. Torture? Certainly not yet. The email does not state or imply for how long the detainee was denied food or water. For a day? Two days? Wouldn't that be relevant before concluding that such a denial was tantamount to torture? Question: Was Terry Schiavo "tortured" then? How about a wrestler trying to make weight? 2) most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves First off, the "most times" reference relates to the "couple of occasions" that the agent had seen someone chained to the floor. So the only logical conclusion to be drawn is that on two occasions the agent saw someone who had urinated or defecated on himself. My grandfather, after his stroke, had become a bit incontinent. If he wasn't cleaned up right away was he being "tortured"? Messy? Yes. Torture? No. 3) air conditioning turned down...detainee shaking with cold Remind me, to begin with did Pol Pot, Stalin or Hitler keep his prisoners in air conditioned cells? Or provide fans for those sticky summer nights in southeast Asia or eastern Europe? Now I don't know about Gitmo's A/C system but I'm pretty sure it's not the kind they use in the freezer section of your local Costco, so how cold could it possibly have been? Sixty degrees? Fifty degrees? Uncomfortable? Yes. Torture? No. 4) air conditioning turned off...room temperature over 100 degrees Last time I was at Lake Havasu in Arizona it was 114 degrees Fahrenheit. How hot do you think it gets for our soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan this time of year while in full battle dress and inside an armored Humvee? Sweaty? Yes. Torture? No. 5) temperature hot...loud rap music playing Now if I was forced to listen to 50 Cent for any length of time I might see the concern. But seriously, since when did loud music rise to the level of torture? Didn't we blast rock music at Noriega's compound? I don't recall any indignation over that. Offensive? Yes. Torture? No. The entire purpose behind interrogation is to break the person down. Hardened enemy combatants picked up on the battlefield are not going to provide intelligence in fear of harsh language. This may all be somewhat unpleasant to many of us not involved in this messy but crucial business. However, there are many unpleasant things that must nevertheless be done that most of us could not do, or withstand, ourselves. Put aside that debate however since it is not the point. Sen. Dick Turban has equated the five scenarios noted above to the murder and mayhem carried out at the direction of Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler which resulted in the deaths of literally at least 10 million people and the incarceration of perhaps three times that number. Anyone who sees any semblance of a similarity between that and Gitmo is factually challenged and morally retarded. UPDATE: Get your copy of the Gitmo cookbook and learn how to make the dishes that are being served to our detainees such as Baked Tandouri Chicken Breast, Mustard-Dill Baked Fish, Lyonnaise Rice, and Fish Amandine .

Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happiness...?

As a result of a 1998 federal directive (so don't blame President Bush), Medicaid has been paying for the Viagra for convicted rapists and other sex offenders.

PETA Has A Problem

Sweet irony. It seems that PETA has been euthanizing and dumping the animals it picks up (at least in North Carolina) including healthy mom cats and their kittens. You would think PETA might have used some of the $29 million it raised last year to care for its beloved charges rather than kill about 85% of the animals it takes in.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Father's Day Post From A Daughter About Her Dad

In 2000, my father had a stroke...he was 70. My dad was my "best friend" my entire life. I live next door to him, so I can take care of him and my mom since the stroke. He was my best supporter...he made me think I was better than I was...basically he was "my compass" in my life for everything. If I didn't know what to do...I took it to dad. We could say anything to each other and could not be closer than we were. My mother was jealous of how close we were...although it was never intentional. I wanted to be just like my dad and copy everything he did. I even used to tuck my undershirts into my underpants when I was 6, just like my dad did, when getting dressed. My brothers still laugh about that one. I was with him when he had his stroke...I was 27...been married 6 months...and we were having our weekly breakfast at IHOP on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood just the two of us where we would talk politics, argue, discuss the frontpage of the LA Times, and my stresses of the week, which at the time was law school. I was borrowing 20 bucks from my dad [yes, even married at 27] when I turned to him and said, "Dad, you don't look good." I have not liked my life as much since that day. My father was the center our family revolved around...if anyone had a problem in the family...they also "took it to dad"...traditional Italian family...all boys except for me. When I mean "everyone," I mean even brother-in-laws, cousins, distant out of state relatives on my mom's side would call my dad day or night for advice, business help, money or whatever. If two members of my family were fighting, my dad talked to us individually, to "work it out" and was always the peacemaker to patch it up. All contracts or agreements in his own business were done with a handshake and took everyone "at their word." He would always say, "remember this George, my word is my bond." And when the other guy didn't follow through...he never held a grudge and would always say, "Hey, who cares?, as long as I know I did the right thing." If someone needed bailed out of a bad business, my dad did it. The thing is my dad was a middle, middle class guy, but somehow always found the money...but to look at him you would not know it. I would sometimes ask for things my rich friends had as a kid and his line after he said, "no" was always, "George, you see that guy over there in the fancy, new car...if his kid got kidnapped tomorrow and the ransom was $10,000 he would not be able to come with it unless the kidnapper took American Express...but me...don't you worry I would pay $20,000 to get you back...$17,000 in cash...and you could work off the rest ...now doesn't that make you feel better." My father and I talked about everything and did. I cannot relate with my dad anymore like that...and I miss him so much. That man I knew is gone now. I would pay any amount of money I had to have one more conversation with him like we used to again. Even though my dad is sick...my mother tells me... he cries about that too [not that I have ever seen my father cry]. I recently moved away to Orange County, CA leaving him in the care of my aunt to live next door instead. At the last Sunday dinner I made for the whole family before the move, my dad asked me to put him to bed...he is in a wheelchair now...we didn't speak really...but when I went to pass him the remote as I turned out the light...he turned to me as if he was his old self..the great 5 foot 5 inch man who looked like Dennis Franz before the stroke...and said in his regular voice I had not heard in years..."You did good George...you have been a wonderful daughter...no dad could ask for more than what you have done for me these last six years. Don't forget us and our talks." That was the only time in 5 years that I had him "back." He knew I needed that so I could move away and feel o.k. about it. For anyone who has had a dad become ill like mine through Alzheimer's or a stroke nobody prepares you for the role reversal or the loss even though he is "not gone," but this Father's Day I am grateful for one thing...most kids never get to "pay back" in any real way what their parents did for them...but my dad for 30 seconds made feel like he knew I had tried and that I did something good for a wonderful dad... All my "life lessons," my favorite lectures, my politics, my sense of humor, my ability to find humor in anything...even a stroke...were learned from him on my way home from school everyday when dad picked me up...took me through a drive-thru so we could "talk" and share one soda and fries. It was the most bonding experience of my life, that my brothers now do with their own kids, the same way. My dad could not say, "I love you. " It was not something someone of his generation did [born in 1929], although he was very affectionate and no child could feel more loved. Instead, He would always say as he kissed me good night..."how come I like you so much?...George" and that was his "I love you." He liked to call me "George" because that was his name. My brothers were not named after him...just me. And on a Day like Father's Day it reminds me, even at the age of 32, just how much I miss "my compass in life"...my dad. I could sure use his advice today.

Friday, June 17, 2005

And People Still Vote Democrat?

House Democrats spent their "valuable" time while on the taxpayers' dime to play-act an impeachment hearing against President Bush. This is the sort of thing that, had you not known it was true, would consider to0 silly to have been anything other than poor satire. Unbelievable.

The Dumbing Down Of The Gifted Student

I am so fortunate that my daughter plays club soccer and runs track. At least in this way I can be assured that she learns something about personal accomplishment, merit and competition. In competitive club soccer, no player finds her way to the field for any length of time without having earned the right. In track, you don't make it to the District finals in three events (I'm bragging a bit here) without having the best times. However, if you go to school in Davis, California, are not placed in the GATE ("Gifted and Talented Education") program, but happen to be neither white nor Asian, the board of education will lower the standards so you can feel better about yourself.

What's Wrong With (Some Of) Our People?

Mark Steyn interviewed by Hugh Hewitt on the latest Democratic crack-up over Gitmo courtesy of Dick Durbin: I think the politics of it is disastrous for the Democratic Party, because every time they stand up and they whine that some poor, little jihadist is having to have Christina Aguilera played to him really loudly, which, to be honest, I wouldn't want. But every time the Democrats stand up for the cause of that, they identify themselves, in crude political terms, as the weak party, the spineless party, the supine party, and that didn't work for them in 2002 and 2004. And there's no reason to expect that to change next year. Intelligence gathering is messy business and to believe that information can be extracted from hardened jihadists without it getting a bit messy is simply childish and ignorant. What is closer to treasonous (yes, I admit indulging in a bit of hyperbole here) is to liken our military to Stalin, Pol Pot and the Nazis...especially when it comes from the #2 Democrat in Congress and will be used as negative PR by our enemies.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

EU Opens Diplomatic Channels With Hamas

What does the EU expect to achieve by recognizing Hamas with diplomatic contact (low-level...for now)? Both the U.S. and the EU have designated Hamas a terrorist organization and Hamas itself has unabashedly proclaimed that its goal is the destruction of the state of Israel (and as many Jews as possible in the process). So what will be achieved by greater diplomatic contact other than the false sense of "progress" towards some unarticulable goal? I heard someone ask the other day why is it our MSM, perhaps half our citizens and pretty much all of western Europe, are consistently and constantly arguing that there is little hope that the new Iraqi government will be able to bring under control the "insurgents" and therefore that government will never be effective, but these same folks never suggest that the Palestinian Authority will be unable to control the terrorists from Hamas and Hezbollah and therefore will never be effective? Good question.

And The Passenger Jets Were 3D Holographic Images

Why is it that whenever you hear of someone with a "War of the Worlds" opinion like this, it almost always turns out to be a high ranking professor from one of our esteemed universities? To the credit of the President of Texas A&M, he has repudiated the comments. [Hat tip: LGF]

Now You Tell Me!

PBS is updating its editorial standards and hiring an ombudsman to counter perceptions of liberal bias. Here's the interesting quote: In addition to mandating neutrality, the new guidelines instruct journalists to enter into inquiries with open minds and to provide viewers with a sense of transparency about their news-gathering methods and sources. The new standards also require opinion pieces to be clearly identified. You mean journalists at PBS were not previously required or expected to enter into inquiries with "open minds"?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Arrest That Man! He Hurt My Feelings!

As much as I think Adel Smith is a moron and has been hoisted upon his own petard, as it were, there should be much concern over the criminalization of offensive talk (i.e. defamation) concerning religion. As best I can tell, the driving force behind these laws that are being either debated, passed or newly enforced in much of Europe and Australia, has been Muslim complaints about negative descriptions of Islam, etc. It is therefore ironic that Smith has been convicted for violating a law that his group was firmly behind. Nevertheless, we should be thankful that the concept of free speech and First Amendment rights are part of our societal norms (although quite endangered on college campuses and among the liberal intelligentsia) otherwise you could be hauled off to the pokey for referring to New York City as "Hymietown." (Special thanks to the Rev. Jackson for that one) UPDATE: A school in Vermont is going to change its teams' name from "Crusaders" to something less offensive.

Email From Iraq

I reproduce from Hugh Hewitt's site in its totality an email from one of our Marines in Iraq: Flying Angels Today started out like almost every other day for me since I have been in Iraq. I got up at 0400, took a cold shower, and used my headlamp to dress in the dark so as not to wake my roommates. I walked just over a mile to the squadron hangar to receive the day's flight brief. I did not have time to eat breakfast as the chow hall had not yet opened. I picked up a nutrition bar laying on my desk and a bottle of water so I could eat and drink something before I went flying as I didn?t know if I would be back before lunch or not. I grabbed my flight equipment, M-16, and my emergency assault pack and proceeded to my helicopter. We pre-flighted the aircraft, started up, and taxied for take off. I assumed that today flight would be like yesterdays, and similar to the day before. Moving people and supplies from one part of Iraq to the other. We call it Ground Hog day, after the movie staring Bill Murray. Every day starts to seem the same here. However, today was not like the others. Today was different. Today was real. Our mission today was to extract Army soldiers from the field. They had been conducting operations to quell insurgent activities in their area of operations. Our Operations department had briefed us that the soldiers had been out patrolling for over two weeks. I knew the soldiers would be tired, dirty, and more than likely a little ripe! I also knew the soldiers would be very appreciative on getting a helicopter ride back to their base camp as they could get a well deserved hot meal and a shower. As a Marine, I like to give the Army a hard time. The Army seems to enjoy giving it right back at me. This is just good-natured professional rivalry. Every service likes to think they are the toughest, smartest, and best-looking troops in the world. I was looking forward to making a few pointed remarks to my fellow warriors over the intercom system and listening to their replies. However, I never got the chance. Our mission was changed while in route. The extract was cancelled. Instead, we were to land at their base camp and pick up five Angels. An Angel is the brevity code we use to describe the deceased. Instead of picking up hungry and tired soldiers, we now were going to be flying out the same soldiers who were just recently sharing a laugh with their friends. The five Angels were carefully loaded on our aircraft one at a time. The Commanding Officer of the unit we were supporting helped load the Angels himself. He walked past the cockpit, and reached out his hand, as the senior pilot gave the Commanding Officer his hand in return. A quick squeeze of the hand, between two strangers, and two different services, over individuals we Marines never had the pleasure to meet. However, in that quick instant, the Army and the Marines Corps were one in the same. Fellow warriors had died! The simple squeeze of the hand between the two Officers let the Army know we understood their sorrow. After the Angels were loaded, we completed our Take Off Checklist and began our departure from the camp. The unit stood at attention, over fifty rigid soldiers, saluting their fallen comrades as we exited the landing zone. I would be lying if I told you I did not shed a tear as I transitioned to forward flight. The Army was paying its last respects to their friends and brothers in arms. I was honored to have been a witness to this magnificent display of devotion. It is this dedication, commitment, and brotherhood, which make me proud to serve in our Armed Forces. Though the five Angels on our aircraft will never know it, they were sent off with dignity and honor. However, something tells me they do know! LtCol Jacques "Jackal" Naviaux II Commanding Officer HMM-764 Al Asad, Iraq

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sort Of From The Department Of Redundancy Department

Massachusetts' eighth-graders science project designed to demonstrate how BB guns can be dangerous if used by children was banned from the science fair for being...too dangerous.

And David Duke Was Contacted For The Counterpoint

The New Orleans PD has decided that its sensitivity training is best carried out by a representative of the oh-so-understanding and inclusive Nation of Islam. Good call.

Definitely Outpoints Belching On Command

Student charged with intentionally vomiting on teacher.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Muslim Brotherhood, USA

Bridgeview Islamic School, Illinois, USA Posted by Hello Read what Big Pharaoh (who has earned a permanent link) has to say about these schools...and remember, he's a Muslim blogging from Egypt.

More Gitmo Follies

Mark Steyn hits the nail on the head in his latest on the ridiculously over the top reporting about Koran abuse at Gitmo. He eloquently sums up: And would caving in to those negative perceptions lead to any better press? Nobody got killed in Gitmo, so instead America's being flayed as the planet's No. 1 torturer for being insufficiently respectful to the holy book of its prisoners, even though the Americans themselves supplied their prisoners with the holy book, even though Americans who fall into the hands of the other side get their heads hacked off, even though the prisoners' co-religionists themselves blow up more mosques and Qurans than the Pentagon ever does, even though the preferred holy book of most Americans is banned in the home country of many of the prisoners, where respect for other faiths is summed up in the headline, "Seven Christians Released In Saudi Arabia On Condition They Renounce Private Religious Practice." That was in the British Catholic newspaper, the Universe, last week, by the way. Sadly, no U.S. newspaper found room for the story due to pressures of space caused by all the "Al-Qaida Press Secretary Denounces Insufficient Respect For Koran By Rumsfeld" front page splashes. But sure, go ahead, close Gitmo and wait for the rave reviews from the media -- right after the complaints that it's culturally insensitive to rebuild the World Trade Center when it's the burial site of 10 revered Muslim martyrs. It's worth a full read, as is James Lileks' send up of the recent Time piece on the "torture" of prisoners.

What About Harsh Language? Maybe A Strongly Worded Letter?

Expect more "outrage" by the MSM over this report of the interrogation techniques used on Mohammed al Qahtani, the alleged "20th hijacker." [Hat tip: Drudge Report] This is the kind of stuff that most of us assumed went on (but didn't know for sure) because it was necessary to break persons trained to resist...so placing yourself in that situation is not an appropriate equivalence. I would ask the critics one question: What would you have our interrogators do instead? Simply ask the questions and if the detainee refused to answer call it quits? Another slightly OT point. It these guys at Gitmo were POWs, they wouldn't be released until the hostilities were over anyway, so why all the clamoring for their release now?

Sean Penn's Camera Confiscated...Blames Rumsfeld

OK...just kidding about that last part, but be honest...how many of you thought for a moment that it was absolutely true...liberals are so predictably ridiculous that they now ruin good satire.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Searching For A New Search Engine

Can someone recommend another search engine that is comparable to Google? I'm getting sick of hearing stories like this.

When Mr. Bean Is The Most Sensible Person In The Debate...

The liberals in the UK are still pushing their anti-religious hate bill. Although the term "slippery slope" is much overused, it does fit quite well in this situation. It will open up a floodgates of politically inspired lawsuits that will only serve to stifle legitimate debate under the rubric of "offensiveness" or "incitement." Which is what I believe is a major motivation behind the bill.

Ho, Hum...Another Quran Has Been Desecrated...Let's Burn A Few Cars And Pose Menacingly For A Few Photos

I guess there is now an epidemic of Quran "mishandling" by the infidels and pigs. On the one hand you need to give these guys credit for sticking with what works. On the other, the only reason it works is because our MSM lends it credence. If the media would give these expressions of "outrage" a collective "whatever" we wouldn't be burdened with such stupidity.

Junk Food Obsession Taken To The Extreme?

Question to ponder over the weekend: What do you do when the urn holding your dear departed mom's ashes has been replaced with a tube of Pringles?

Why Not Just Let The Parents Bleed Her With Leeches

This is a tough issue, but only on the surface. Parents in Houston don't want to have their 12 year old daughter who is suffering from Hodgkins disease treated with radiation therapy. Why? Well it seems that they have religious beliefs that stand in the way and, for example, only would allow transfusions from mother to daughter even though their respective blood types don't match. It is difficult to watch the state take control of such a personal, family situation but sometimes it is the lesser of two evils.

But I'm Sure They Handled The Bibles Very Respectfully

Christians in Saudi Arabia were arrested for conducting prayer sessions in their homes.

The "Duke" And Foreign Policy

I have no doubt that this sentiment exists, but unfortunately I doubt very much that it will take root in today's bizarro world of political correctness..

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Sean Penn...Cub Reporter

What an idiot...do you get the sense that he has no idea what the hell he's watching? Posted by Hello

More On Canadian "Health Care"

Hugh Hewitt quotes from the Canadian Supreme Court opinion striking down Quebec's ban on private health insurance thusly: "In the case of certain surgical procedures, the delays that are the necessary result of waiting lists increase the patient's risk of mortality or the risk that his or her injuries will become irreparable," Justice Marie Deschamps wrote for the majority. "Many patients on non-urgent waiting lists are in pain and cannot fully enjoy any real quality of life. The right to life and to personal inviolability is therefore affected by the waiting times." This is precisely the point I made yesterday when writing about my knee surgery. Not only is mortality increased, but quality of life for those without life-threatening maladies decreases as well. Otherwise, not a bad system, that Canadian health care.

Friday, June 10, 2005

DEAR TIDE....

Dear Tide Company: I am writing to say what an excellent product youhave! I've used it all through my married life, as my Mom always told me it was the best. Now that I am in my fifties, I find it even better! In fact, about a month ago, I spilled some red wine on my new white blouse. My inconsiderate and uncaring husband started to berate me about how clumsy I was, and generally started becoming a pain in the neck. One thing led to another and somehow I ended up with a lot of his blood on my white blouse. I tried to get the stain out using a bargain detergent, but it just wouldn't come out. After a quick trip to the supermarket, I purchased a bottle of liquid Tide with bleach alternative, and to my surprise and satisfaction, all of the stains came out! In fact, the stains came out so well the detectives who came by yesterday told me that the DNA tests on my blouse were negative and then my attorney called and said that I would no longer be considered a suspect in the disappearance of my husband. What a relief! Going through menopause is bad enough without being a murder suspect! I thank you, once again, for havingsuch a great product. Well, gotta go. I have to write a letter to the Heftybag people too!!

"Marker of Egalitarianism"... And Early, Unnecessary Death

Canada has been rocked by a ruling by its Supreme Court striking down Quebec's ban on private health insurance. This is expected to spur the push for more private care. A few questions come to mind. Why, if the system of socialized medicine is so great in Canada, is there even such a push for private care? Why, if the system of socialized medicine is so great in Canada, are there so many Canadians coming to America for their medical care? Why, if the system of socialized medicine is so great in Canada, are Canadians plagued by long waiting lists, a lack of doctors, nurses, and state-of-the-art equipment such as MRI machines and must often wait months for surgery? Compare what goes on in Canada for (I hope only) people with non-life threatening medical conditions, and my very recent experience. I have a basic Blue Cross PPO health plan. Nothing fancy. On May 26, after hiking in Spain, I felt a bit of pain in my right knee. By the time I returned home on May 31, I could tell I had fluid accumulating in the joint, which was still quite painful and not getting any better. Hoping this condition would resolve on its own, I waited until 6/6 before calling my orthopedic surgeon who saw me the next morning. He suspected a menisicus tear but ordered up an MRI to be sure...which took place the next day. My arthroscopic surgery can take place next week if I so desire. If I lived in Ottawa instead of Orange County, it would be weeks before I could even get in to see an orthopedic specialist and then who knows how long before I could get the diagnostic MRI...and then the actual surgery. Of course no one with a torn meniscus is in mortal danger, but I would have had to spend months in varying degrees of pain and immobility until the system called my number and it was my turn for service. That's OK for the deli department but shouldn't be for medical care. The really sad thing is that proponents of socialized medicine wholeheartedly believe that it is much better for everyone to have the same poor health care (i.e. "egalitarianism") than for only a percentage to have better care available to them.

What's Next? No Questioning During Ramadan?

This is freakin' unbelievable!! Perhaps I'm well behind the news cycle and everyone else knows of this, but I just got the facts and I am truly, to use an oft overused term but duly appropriate here...OUTRAGED! Our people at Gitmo are under instructions to only handle the detainees' copies of the Koran if absolutely necessary and, get this, with two hands and only after donning clean, white gloves! Now, since the detainees themselves don't wear gloves or "convey" the book inside a clean, dry towel, what is one to think, as Diana West points out, other than we are going to absurd lengths to insure that that the hands of an "infidel" do not desecrate their holy book. Why? So these killers, or sympathizers at worst, are not offended. I try to keep my language under control, but this is absolute crap and I'm astonished that our military has such a harebrained policy that only serves to embolden these asswipes by giving them the impression that we buy into their beliefs. Write your Congressman!

So Many Architects Of Torture, So Little Time

I'm wondering whether Amnesty International had ever called for the arrest and prosecution by foreign governments of Saddam Hussein, Haffez Assad (or his son, for that matter), Kim Jong Il (or his father, for that matter), Idi Amin, Fidel Castro, etcetera...etcetera...as they have for President Bush and members of his administration?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Not That There's Anything Wrong With It

I've always wondered how much outcry and "outrage" there would be if there was such a thing as a "Hetero Rights" flag, and there was an effort to fly it from a public structure.

He's Not As Smart As Bush, And Its Beginning To Show

It remains quite interesting why John Kerry will no way, no how sign a Form 180 and have his Navy records released, in toto, to the public. I am presuming that the historian quoted in the article is correct that, absent a signed Form 180, there is no way that all the records have been released. If it walks like a cover up, talks like a cover up and smells like a cover up...? What exactly is in those records that he apparently so desperately wants to keep from the public eye?

I Guess I'm The Last Of A Dying Breed

The "macho man" is fast leaving us...

What's Wrong With These People: Part ?

This story about Muslims "mishandling" the American flag is so fraught with issues I don't know where to start. First, does anyone believe for a second that this act, by persons who have voluntarily come to this country to live and work, is truly a response to the now discredited reports of desecration of the Quran at Gitmo? These folks have done this before and will do it again because they are the ones that do not respect anything but whatever it is that they exalt. Second, and more troubling, is the constantly emphasized notion (clear to anyone who cares to critically listen) that a devout Muslim's allegiance is to the POLITICAL system that is Islam, thereby prohibiting allegiance to any other POLITICAL system or nationstate that is not of Islamic origin. Get it? It is a fundamental tenet of Islam that it is destined to spread and become the system of rule over a people, not simply a religion of choice. That's why there is no country (of which I am aware) where Islam is able to peacefully and equally coexist with any other religion or political system. There is always that drive to impose Islamic law and standards upon the balance of the population. Third, I was always amazed at the level of hatred that would spew forth at the drop of a Quran (bad joke), but it is no longer surprising inasmuch as such hatred is taught from early childhood. Why doesn't anyone make the obvious analogy to the racial bigotry against blacks in this country that once was accepted without question (yeah, yeah...I know, it still is because of the white dominated institutional structure that allows such oppression to continue unabated...blah, blah, blah...)? It was taught to each succeeding generation of southern whites, just as it is being taught to each new generation of Muslims.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A Voice Of Reason And Freedom

Take a moment and visit Free Thoughts, a blog maintained by Stefania (age 23) living in Sardinia. Big Nick Goomba turned me on to her site. She is a breath of fresh air and evidence that all hope is not necessarily lost for Western Europe.

Curiouser and Curiouser

We have obviously run out of laws to pass in California. The State Assembly has passed legislation prohibiting textbooks from exceeding 200 pages in length. [Hat tip: Nickie Goomba]

Nexus Proven Between College Photos And Electability

Did you vote for this man? Posted by Hello

Did you vote for this man? Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dean Leaves Biden In The Dust In The Partisan Hack Street Race

Howard Dean is an embarrassment. The fact that any number of people cheer when they hear such simplistic and wrong generalizations as... Republicans are "a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party." ...or... Republicans "never made an honest living in their lives," ...or... "Republicans don't represent ordinary Americans and they don't have any understanding of what it is to go out and try and make ends meet" ... places in very clear relief the absolute intellectual bankruptcy of his liberal followers and anyone else who accepts the crap he spouts. These are the red meat quotes that the choir wants sung to them. It is not, and has no intention of, being factual. People who think in terms of sound bites or bumper sticker phrases are obviously not analyzing anything of what is said. Instead, because they so want these idiotic phrases to be true because it allows them to maintain their childish misimpressions and not have to truly analyze anything, they give a hearty huzzah any time an intellectual oaf such as Dean or Terry McAuliffe makes such a remark. It is becoming quite obvious that the Democrats have nothing positive to propose or say to the electorate.

Had He Still Been PM, I Would Have Spent Even More Money While In Spain

Jose Maria Aznar, former PM of Spain, knows his continent well when he says Europeans prefer appeasement. I am only beginning to realize how courageous a man he was while PM.

But He Had Street Smarts

A former Yalie and Presidential candidate average a 76 over four years (a solid "C"), recovering from four "Ds" received during his freshman year. Nope, not Dubya, who actually averaged a 77 over his four years at Yale, but the intellectually superior John Kerry. Imagine that. That would explain why the MSM was only interested in mocking George Bush's academic history but made no effort to get Kerry's transcripts.

Another Reason Why Western Europe Is Doomed

Thomas Friedman explains the demise of the European welfare state. Remember a couple of things. Those who rely upon the state to do everything for them will do nothing for themselves, which makes it virtually impossible to undo the harm the European model social welfare state has caused. Perhaps when the situation reaches critical mass, the 35-hour-weekers will get it. Perhaps not. Whenever liberal politicians propose programs such as "HillaryCare" someone should point out that all these programs have been tried in Europe in one form or fashion...and failed. It should be evident that these generous cradle to grave entitlements may work for a generation or two, but not much longer.

Quick Tuesday Hits

Great piece by Ben Stein about the families of the fallen... Dennis Prager puts the finger on Amnesty International's moral idiocy...as does David Limbaugh...as does the Wall Street Journal... You MUST, MUST, MUST, MUST read this piece by John Hinderaker that actually describes the details of the alleged instances of "abuse" of the Koran by Gitmo personnel. It is absolutely remarkable (and unfortunately absolutely disgusting) to compare the sound bite headlines and the actual facts. I am speechless.

Why Not Just A Darth Vader Helmet?

This story reminds me...whatever happened in the situation in Florida (?) where a Muslim woman objected to uncovering her face for a drivers license photo?

Monday, June 06, 2005

To Judge Or Not To Judge...That Is The Question

A federal court in Maryland has issued a temporary restraining order preventing a local school district from implementing a sex ed curriculum. Parents objected when learning that the curriculum criticized certain Christian "sects" as "unenlightened and Biblically misguided" (e.g. Baptists) because they did not approve of homosexuality. Parents were also upset that the program presented only the perspective that homosexuality was a "natural and morally correct lifestyle." And I thought the liberal viewpoint was that making moral judgments was, well...too judgmental.

I'm Protesting The Lack Of Protests

So it appears it's OK if Muslims "mishandle" their own Korans. There is truly something wrong with the analytical abilities of anyone who even for a moment believes the Muslim response is in any way appropriate to this non-story. It is a sad commentary not only on the obvious political leanings of our MSM, but on our therapeutic culture that is loathe to ever criticize any disproportionately ridiculous act or sentiment.

What's Wrong With These People: Part IV

The Muslim feminist (now there's a contradiction in terms) who wants Muslim women to be able to pray among men has been receiving death threats from the "devout" describing how her throat will be slit while a prayer is said. Technically this is not "mishandling" the Koran, but I must assume that if the Muslim world believed this man's sentiment was an anathema to the teachings of their holy book, there would be SOME expression of dissent somewhere. Hello? Hello? Is there anybody out there?

What's Wrong With These People: Part III

The Organization of the Islamic Conference has issued a press release on the Koran controversy.

Amnesty USA Officials Are Demagogues...Joe Biden Is Simply An Idiot

Amnesty USA has officially retired its "Gitmo=Gulag" ad campaign noting, in subtle understatement, that it was not an "exact or literal" analogy. So why say it then in the first place? It's sad when an organization with noble goals becomes politicized and would rather try to slam President Bush than call, for example, a real gulag in North Korea by its proper name. As for Joe Biden, he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to sound sensible. UPDATE: Let me get this straight. The Executive Director of Amnesty really doesn't know what's going on in Gitmo or whether Rumsfeld approved "severe torture methods" but nevertheless called him an "apparent high-level architect of torture". Any more proof necessary that Amnesty International has become a purely political organization?

Racist, Elitist...Whatever...Just Don't Criticize Our Minorities

Sounds like this NY Times writer is calling Bill Cosby an "elitist" for pointing out the obvious, that inner city black parents do not put a premium on the education of their children. In a rather opaque style (i.e. I needed to re-read it twice to get a grasp on what the heck he was trying to say) Staples, obviously unable to Call Cosby a "racist," falls back on class warfare as the basis to avoid addressing the issue.

What's Wrong With These People-Part II

I had heard about this story a while back and have tracked it down (at least a report: scroll down to "Aussie Prisoner Vows Not To Scream"). Please note that the Saudi official administering the flogging was holding a copy of the Koran under his arm while doing so. That, apparently, is not "mishandling" of the Koran. Nice.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

What do MTV, the Cold War, and the Berlin Wall all have in common?

How does a communist country allow MTV, Universal Studios, Movie plexes, and Disneyland in Beijing and Hong Kong [opening this summer] AND stay communist? [when you click on the links just click "cancel" to the request for chinese characters and you will be linked to the story in English.] You never hear about North Korea and Vietnam, or Cuba, "opening" up to the western media. I always thought the idea of western entertainment and open media were to communism what water was to the wicked witch of the west in the "Wizard of Oz"...it just doesn't mix...one cannot survive the other. But after reading these stories of what is happening in China...I am just curious to know what Chinese communism will look like in 15 years when a generation of communist kids have been raised on Disneyland and MTV 'Cribs' [that show is not there yet, but it is coming soon]. How does Communism stay comunism when China seems to be breaking all the rules slowly in terms of control and western influence? I know it is going to be an issue...because my husband is leaving to live in Shanghai for a while to work on the Universal Studios park, and it is already an issue...the workers there are already "requesting" similar benefits of their western counterparts and they are told to "shut-up" by their superiors...and their pay and what they "see" is not to be discussed outside of work, but they won't listen forever. In a way, MTV may be the one to bring down communism in the biggest country in the world one music video at a time.

So Obvious...Yet So Ignored

Here's a story about how the kids of immigrants from India are kicking major butt in spelling bees around the nation. I have told this story before but it is worth retelling now: When my daughter was in fifth grade (two years ago) she won her school's spelling bee. That accomplishment entitled her to compete against the winners from the nine other elementary schools in that school district. The fact that competition in the form of a spelling bee was allowed is a story in and of itself, but not on point here. Anyway, of the ten finalists, seven were either first generation Korean kids or South Vietnamese kids whose parents had come over in the last 8-10 years. I checked the demographics and Korean + South Vietnamese families made up about 23% of the local population. Which brings me to my point. Shouldn't we be "studying" why it is that these kids are so disproportionately successful academically and then apply those lessons to our underachievers (and I'll be direct here...African-American and Latino kids, at least in SoCal), rather than blaming lack of opportunities, role models, funding, or institutional racism, or lack of bi-lingual education...or whatever other excuses our liberal educational establishment and their enablers want to come up with...so long as its not personal responsibility?

New Addition to the Triptych

Check out The Beak Speaks...
"This is going to hurt a little." Posted by Hello [click to enlarge]

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Another Installment of "What's Wrong With These People?"

Why is this still a story? Why was it ever a story? I can't believe that there are sentient human beings wringing their hands over the "mishandling" of the Koran. If it helps get information, soak the book in pig's blood for God's sake. It's certainly better than hanging them from their thumbs, and I don't believe it violates the Geneva Convention, so have at it. I'd like someone to explain to me why we should give a rat's pituii about the affront to these guys held in Gitmo that messing with their holy book causes especially since these guys, and their sympathizers, daily desecrate everything we hold dear without a peep from our sensitivity trainers posing as journalists. We are into at least the second week of the news cycle on this and it is being treated...like Watergate! This is a testament to the liberal "do no offense" mindset and a perfect example of the moral vacuum within which many on the left reside. There is more concern over the sensibilities of imprisoned terrorists/enemy combatants than over the lives of those they undoubtedly helped to snuff out. The real story ought to be why it is that Muslims world wide have rioted, destroyed property and murdered people over this issue. Now that would be an interesting analysis since I doubt very much that, had Al Jazeera released a video of Al Qaeda members desecrating a copy of the Bible, you would see any similar reaction in the "Bible Belt" or any other part of the Christian world for that matter.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Quick Friday Hits

Ben Stein offers a different take on "Deep Throat" and Richard Nixon's downfall... Those of us with a fully functional brain already know this, but here's another expose on the painful double-standard applied to critics of Islam by Muslims...just call it pandering to irrationality...[Hat tip: Dhimmi Watch] Allowing women to drive creates "sinful temptations" and therefore "outrages" devout Saudi Muslims (but stoning those same women to death apparently does not...oops, my editorial bias slipped through)...

The Right To Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed...or...My Home, My Armory

I can understand a large stamp or coin collection...even wine for that matter, but this one may be a bit over the top.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

It Doesn't Need To Be True...Just Evocative

John Podhoretz easily disembowels (figuratively, of course) the Amnesty International charge that "Gitmo" equals "Gulag." The examples are legion of the intentionally sloppy use of inflammatory adjectives, allegory and comparisons by the left, which is of course the substitute for logical and fact based analysis. This is also known as "demagoguery" (i.e. an impassioned appeal to passions and prejudices).

I Couldn't Make This Up If I Tried

Two professors from UMass-Amherst and University College-London, respectively, have called for contributions to a study of "The Gendered Construction of Public Toilets." I quote in part: We welcome papers which explore the cultural meanings, histories, and ideologies of the public toilet as a gendered space. Any subject is appropriate: toilet design and signage, toilet humour and euphemisms, personal narratives and legal cases, as well as art sited in public toilets. We invite submissions in the format of traditional academic papers of no more than 7000 words (including footnotes). And for this they get paid?

Two Bad Jokes

What Does a Kiss Taste Like? One day a teacher had a taste test with her students. She picked a little boy to do the first test. She blindfolded him, put a Hershey kiss in his mouth and asked, "Do you know what it is? "No, I don't," said the little boy. "Okay, I'll give you a clue. It's the thing your Daddy wants from your Mom when he gets home from work. Suddenly, a little girl at the back of the room yelled, "Spit it out Kenny, it's a piece of ass!!!" A senior gets caught speeding. A senior citizen in Florida bought a Big New Lincoln. He took off down the road, flooring it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left on his head. "This is great," he thought as he roared down I-75. He pushed the pedal to the metal even more. Then he looked in his rear view mirror and saw a highway patrol trooper behind him, blue lights flashing and siren blaring. "I can get away from him with no problem," thought the man and he tromped it some more and flew down the road at over 100 mph. Then 110, 120 mph. Then he thought, "What am I doing? I'm too old for this kind of thing." He pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the trooper to catch up with him. The trooper pulled in behind the Lincoln and walked up to the man. "Sir," he said, looking at his watch, "my shift ends in 30 minutes and today is Friday. If you can give me a reason why you were speeding that I've never heard before, I'll let you go." The man looked at the trooper and said, "years ago my wife ran off with a Florida State Trooper, and I thought you were bringing her back." "Have a good day, Sir," said the Trooper. [Hat tip: Mrs RTH!]

Something You Won't Read About In The MSM

Minutemen Are People, Too Arizona rednecks win a round against the ACLU. BY LEO W. BANKS Thursday, May 19, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT TUCSON, Ariz.--Anybody who appreciates a good yuck was sad to see the Minutemen pack up their pickups and go home. After all, it wasn't every day that we got to enjoy the spectacle of sunscreen-lathered ACLU observers chasing volunteer border-watchers through the desert. But in the media bonfire accompanying Arizona's Redneck Revolt, we saw the cultural divide separating media elites from ordinary people--those with BlackBerries and $150 hairdos versus folks with tobacco bulges in their cheeks. In the view of most of the reporters who parachuted into Arizona for this story and, disturbingly, local ones as well, you'd get the distinct impression that the Minutemen are the problem along the border. That's right. America needn't worry about the thousands who bust into the country every night. No, the real danger are those yahoos who think calling the cops when they see somebody breaking the law is a good idea. Never mind that it worked, more or less. In April, the number of illegals coming across along the Naco corridor, where the Minutemen were stationed, fell, even if the balloon effect pushed them to other places along Arizona's 350-mile-long border with Mexico. But that's not the story most editors and producers wanted. They wanted to stand up the angle that went something like--no, exactly like--this: Gun-toting vigilantes run amok in the desert, hunting harmless illegals who are only looking for work. So, you show up in gritty Tombstone, grab somebody wearing a straw hat and a sidearm and work him for the quotes you want. Then you shoot film of the guy wearing his gun, because that's what the producer said in the story meeting, and if you're lucky you get a big grin on the subject's face showing gaps where teeth should be. I've been a reporter in Arizona for 30 years. As the border story has heated up, I get calls from out-of-town reporters wanting me to hook them up with angry border residents. If I mentioned in a story that a particular rancher carries a gun, that's the rancher the reporters want to see. They're less interested in understanding his problems than getting film of him and his six-shooter. These border residents are routinely snickered at and called racist vigilantes. But most are decent folks caught up in the daily invasion of illegals who tramp across their land. Ranchers in hard-hit areas spend the first hours of every day repairing damage done the night before. They find fences knocked down and water spigots left on, draining thousands of precious gallons. And then there's the trash: pill bottles, syringes, used needles, and pile after pile of human feces. Sometimes illegals hammer on residents' windows in the middle of the night, demanding to use the phone. Some even walk right into the ranch house and refuse to leave until the rancher pulls a gun and forces the issue. One rancher told me about illegals who rustled one of her newborn calves. The intruders beat the 12-hour-old animal to death with a fence post, then barbecued it on the spot. How bad is it? In the Tucson Sector alone in January 2005, the Border Patrol arrested 35,704 people, seized 34,864 pounds of marijuana, and impounded 557 smuggling vehicles. In one month. High-speed chases and accidents on our back-roads are now common. Residents know to stay off certain roads at night because the smugglers--of people and drugs--own them, and if you're not careful they'll come around a bend at 100 mph and run you into a ditch or worse. In some hilltop spots near Douglas, you can unfold a lawn chair, crack open a Schlitz and watch the invasion happen. As dusk falls, they come, hundreds of headlights from Mexican cabs streaming north, each filled to the windows with soon-to-be illegals. Are they good folks? Are they carrying biological agents? We have no idea. They could be the worst terrorists and thugs. If that sounds alarmist, consider that some ranchers have found Muslim prayer rugs and Arabic dictionaries on their property. And the feds confirm that the ultraviolent Mara Salvatrucha street gang is using Arizona as a gateway into this country. But you haven't heard much about these problems nationally, because the media soft-pedal them. Why? It's politically incorrect. We've built a new third rail in American life. Leave the harmless illegals alone and go after their victims instead. I've interviewed a fellow named Bud Strom, a retired Marine and a pretty fair cowboy poet who has a ranch south of Sierra Vista. He tells about a reporter for the New York Times coming out to his place and doing a story on what it's like to live on the border. "The story made it sound like I was out there helping them, giving them water and such," says Bud laughing. In fact, when he sees a group, he wheels his horse and gets out of there fast, then calls the Border Patrol. Bud knows what he's dealing with. He has had a truck stolen, found bales of drugs on his land, and routinely has illegals approach him demanding beer. It used to be that one or two would ask a local resident for water and a sandwich, and, once fed, be on their way with a polite "Gracias, Señorita." The new breed now comes in groups of 50. They demand to be driven to their pickup spot, and if you refuse they flip you off. Sometimes they poison barking ranch dogs or cut their throats to quiet them. How long do you suppose such outrages would go on in Fairfield, Conn.? Or Greenwich? It'd be a day and a half before some kumbaya-liberal flipped sides and founded the Merritt Parkway Minutemen. Or the BlackBerry Brigade. The best part of this story is that while the elite media's agenda on the Minutemen played well on the coasts, Arizonans weren't buying it. A poll found that 57% of the state's residents supported the border-watch project, which sent the editorial page of Tucson's Arizona Daily Star into a stammering fit, calling the number alarming. Of course, this is a paper so politically correct it can't even bring itself to call illegals illegals. Its writers refer to them as migrants or, my favorite, border crossers. But as the Minutemen plan to expand operations to five more states--and a new citizen group, the Yuma Patriots, begins patrolling--that 57% heartens me. It looks to me like the rednecks won. Mr. Banks is a writer in Tucson. [Hat tip: Mrs RTH!]
"Honey! Our flight's ready to board!" Posted by Hello
Needs no caption. Posted by Hello

"I have no idea where your SUV is at." Posted by Hello

Good Thing They're Not NASCAR Fans

As I oh so slowly work my way back into the Pacific time zone, I bring to your attention a story about the Rangers futbol club from Scotland dropping the Carling beer logo from their replica shirts so as not to offend Muslims. I'm sure it's good marketing in the short term...more shirt sales...but it is further evidence that Europe's long term prospects don't look good. I suppose "tolerance" is only a one way street. Especially if you are a Christian in Saudi Arabia.