Tuesday, March 28, 2006

So Leaking IS a Crime....

Not that one would notice from the behavior of the vast majority of the MSM- to them, leaks are only criminal when they embarrass or otherwise discomfit members of their favored breed (Democrats or other liberal icons). However, a federal judge ruled today that gaining material illegally and then turning it over to the media is NOT a Constitutionally protected action.

According to Breitbart, Representative Jim McDermott broke federal law when he illegally wiretapped a phone call between then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and current Majority Leader John Boehner. Despite the pleading of most of the MSM (apparently they are not satisfied with leaking inside dish- they want to be able to use illegal materials- though they would not allow police to use similar methods), the appeals court was unswayed and correctly ruled.

It seems that the MSM are wanting rights and privileges that they would be loath to allow any other group not utilize. Along with the federal shield law, reporters are always trying to become a favored group under law- as if they do not have enough power already. What this country needs is a lessening of the power wielded by the MSM- not a strengthening. I am glad that in this case at least, the MSM failed to get their way. And now that the decision did not go their way, I can almost guarantee that there will be snarky articles in most of the MSM regarding this decisions.

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Senate Does Not Understand Security

As was proven by their decision to ignore the dangerous aspects of illegal immigration and pass a sweeping amnesty bill. And what is worse, not only did the Senate pass the amnesty, they also removed the criminal penalties for being in the United States illegally.

I sometimes wonder about the short-sightedness of our so-called leadership here in this country. The illegal immigration lobby is anti-American (MEChA, etc) and is all about taking privileges that they have not earned. I do not buy the 'they do jobs no American would' argument- I think that if those jobs did not have illegal aliens doing them, the wages would rise so that Americans would actually do them. And I completely disagree with people like Teddy Kennedy, who only want illegal immigrants because they think (probably correctly) that the illegals will vote mostly Democrat.

However, the Democrats fail to realize that the illegal immigration lobby will only vote Democrat until they can get enough votes to realize their true dream- taking the southwestern United States and making it part of Mexico. The Democrats are too cowardly to stand up for their own countrymen, and they certainly lack the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the illegal immigration lobby- even though the protests are decidedly anti-American- nothing promoted by MEChA could be anything else.

I hope that the coming elections provide Senator Kyl of Arizona with some assistance to bring the Senate to its senses. And I hope and pray that the illegal immigration lobby has over-reached with these massive protests. I think most real Americans, like myself, are pretty tired of law-breakers lecturing us about what they 'deserve' and how they should be allowed to gain citizenship even though they clearly do not respect us.

For more information on MEChA, please click American Patrol's MEChA Page or the Official MEChA Sites.

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Quran- In Translation

For those useful idiots of the Left who insist that Islam does not want to displace, supplant and otherwise dominate all facets of the lives of its believers (and who also insists that Islam is kind to non-believers in its midst), I present two translations of the Muslim Holy Book. This holy book has a number of transliterations, but the most common are either 'Koran' or 'Quran'. In the course of this post, I shall use both interchangeably.

The first was done by Dr. TB Irving. Be aware that the Doctor is himself an Islamic apologist. However, this is one of the more readable and accessible translations. It also includes a lengthy explanation of the Doctors methodology and some of the aspects of Islam itself in the Forward. The Irving translation can be found at http://isgkc.org/translat.htm.

There is also another text, which like Irving's was done for a university, available from the University of Michigan. Translated by M.H. Shakir, it uses the name 'Allah' as opposed to the term 'God' used by Irving. The Shakir translation can be found at http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran/.

I strongly recommend that you take a thorough look at both of these translations. One of the most important dictums in war is to know thy enemy. Only by actually reading the Quran can we understand the root of the Muslim attack against the West, and then we can determine the best method to defeat it.

San Francisco & 'Tolerance'

This post is a day late. It should have gone up last night, but familial events intervened. So, here goes:

San Francisco, according to their Board of Supervisors, are "America's most tolerant and progressive city". However, that tolerance does not appear to include anyone with whom the San Franciscans disagree. According to SFist.com, a group of evangelical Christian youth has been holding gathering, which is part of the nationwide 'Battle Cry 2006' campaign to promote Christian values and protest the so-called degrading popular culture.

One would suppose that "the most tolerant and progressive city in America" would welcome a group whose mission is anathema to most of San Francisco's inhabitants. However, it appears that San Francisco's so-called tolerance is only for those groups with whom the Supervisors agree. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors condemned the rally, calling it (according to the SF Chronicle) an "act of provocation". The Board went on to call the Christian group "anti-gay" and "anti-choice", along with claiming that they "aim to negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city".

They may be trying to influence the politics of San Francisco, but what are the pro-gay groups doing? Exactly the same thing! And unlike the Christians, the pro-gay, anti-American groups like Code Pink ARE negatively influencing politics. I don't know how else to characterize their attempts to remove Christianity and the military while introducing pro-Sharia, pro-deviant lifestyles. Just because the Supervisors are themselves anti-Christian doe not give them the right to try to muzzle groups they oppose. That is called censorship- something that only the Left appears to practice.

According to an article in Saturday, March 25's San Francisco Chronicle by reporter Joe Garofali, the gathering included over 25000 young Christian activists from all over the United States. A counter-protest by the usual leftists suspects got only around 50 people. And what's more, according to one of the SF police officers assigned, the Christians invited the Navy SEALs to do a pro-American demonstration.

Now what is interesting, the same reporter wrote who wrote a sympathetic article about several SF organizations' attempts to remove the US Navy as one of SF radio station KMEL's sponsors for a concert. The organizations are the usual suspects- Code Pink, etc. These anti-American organizations are 'concerned' because apparently KMEL has more listeners than any other Bay Area station, and about 40 percent are 'people of color' (Leftist code for black/Hispanic- Asians, people from Africa itself do not count, apparently).

So let's recap. The City of San Francisco claims to be 'the most tolerant city in America' yet they do not tolerate Christians. The Christians also appear to be strong supporters of their country and welcome the US military at their functions- something the City of San Francisco CANNOT claim. And finally, the same groups which claim these Christians are 'negatively influencing the politics...' are themselves trying to force their own military- the same people who protect these anti-Americans- out of the Bay Area completely. And they STILL claim to be 'tolerant' and 'progressive'????

Apparently along with not understanding the meaning of the First Amendment, the Supervisors also do not understand the meaning of the terms 'tolerance' and progressive'. Their actions can be defined under neither of those two terms. Perhaps if they spent more time fixing the streets and less playing politics, they might eventually come to understand that. But wait- these are San Francisco leftists. Understanding? True tolerance? I fear that they will remain eternally in the dark. Perhaps if they attended a few sessions of Battle Cry, they might gain enlightenment- but I doubt it. These are, after all, San Francisco leftists.

03/26/2006: 2128 PST UPDATE: The original aritcle by Joe Garofoli is now online at SFGate.com. Hat tip for the link to Matt Drudge.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Iraqi' 'Civil War'

Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post weighed in today on whether the much-balleyhooed 'civil war' in Iraq that the MSM has been pushing so hard is really a civil war. Among other comments, he says:

This whole debate about civil war is surreal. What is the insurgency if not a war supported by one (minority) part of Iraqi society fighting to prevent the birth of the new Iraqi state supported by another (majority) part of Iraqi society?

By definition that is civil war, and there's nothing new about it. As I noted here in November 2004: "People keep warning about the danger of civil war. This is absurd. There already is a civil war. It is raging before our eyes. Problem is, only one side" -- the Sunni insurgency -- "is fighting it."

I confess that I have been one of the many who does not consider this a civil war, but Krauthammer's logic is convincing, as is his conclusion that:

But is it not our entire counterintuitive strategy to get Iraqis who believe in the new Iraq to fight Iraqis who want to restore Baathism or impose Taliban-like rule? Does not everyone who wishes us well support the strategy of standing up the Iraqis so we can stand down? And does that not mean getting the Iraqis to fight the civil war themselves?

I think that this all depends on what we categorize a 'civil war'. I would define it as a US-style civil war where there are two organized opponents. The MSM, who have little if any knowledge about war in general and their own Civil War in particular, would define anything a civil war- so long as it embarrasses the White House. However, I agree with Mr. Krauthammer in that a successful conclusion, where the Iraqis take charge of their own country and the Sunnis who are at the heart of the entire bloody mess slowly abandon their support for it, is definitely do-able, to use his terminology.

Further, I would argue that we have already made a strong start on that conclusion, in that we have successfully brought off three elections, and the Sunnis appear to have lost some of their fervor for the opposition. We are even receiving reports that the foreigners (al-Quaeda) are being attacked by the local Sunni 'insurgents' (I hate that word- it seems so inappropriate for the Sunni ex-Baathists and sundry thugs who are running the Sunni attacks). To mer, this seems to indicate that if we can only stay the course, we are going to win. But then, I actually have some military understanding and have studied war. Pity the MSM can't say the same. If they did, they might actually get something right once in a while regarding this war, instead of being the same old cowardly, anti-American herd that they were during the last American conflict.

More Dhimmis-In-Waiting

There is a long-standing unwritten rule of hospitality that says that when a guest visits one's home, that guest should abide by the rules set in place by one's host. This dictum is even more important when used in connection with foreign visitors to a nation-state. However, it appears that not only has the St. Paul city government lost comprehension of this rule, they are not even able to defend their own culture from those who would replace it.

According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star-Tribune, the St. Paul city government has removed an Easter bunny because the 'human rights director' (by the way, why does a city need a 'human rights director'?) is afraid of being 'offensive to non-Christians". Well, what about being offensive to Christians- who make up roughly 80 percent of the United States last time I checked? What gives the local government the right to disrespect that 80 percent? The United States has it's own traditions and some of them may be offensive to non-Christians, like the American tradition of giving women a voice- something that Muslims are definitely not in favor of. Or traditions like a Christmas tree, or celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of these things might be offensive to non-Christians. Too bad. If they are offended, they can go home. The other point is that no one is forcing these non-Christians to participate. But by removing them, you are definitely forcing your majority to be dictated to by a minority.

The United States is a Christian nation, like it or not. And if the human rights director of St. Paul doesn't understand that, then she has no business being in her exalted position. Maybe she ought to go live as a non-Muslim in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia for a while and see how non-Muslims are treated in those countries (hint- It is much more restrictive). However, those are not Christian countries and they do have the sovereign right to rule themselves as their people wish. But so do we- and that right includes being able to openly practice our own religions and traditions, whether they offend or not. I think my friend Mentok puts it best when he wrote his blog entry Why I-distrust- Muslims. This was in response to a Craigslist poster who complained that he/she was 'tired of people hating me". Mentok's response is very blunt, but it is refreshing that there are still people willing to lay down the law to these Pan-Islamists. Even the original Craigslist poster says in his/her diatribe "I worship Allah...the only real god. You are all going to die for not loving only him. Jesus is a fraud." Well, buddy,, if you really feel that way, what in the name of God are you doing in a mainly Christian country? We don't agree with your comments. And since it is OUR country, not yours, that is our right. Period.

It has been written by those more erudite than I that if we do not have the strength of will to defend our own culture, that culture will be overthrown. This is one more reminder that too many of American's Leftists do not have the strength or even desire to defend the culture that gives them their freedom. When they wake up in burkhas, I wonder if then they might gain a glimmer of understanding that appeasement is always wrong and that trying to 'respect' groups like the Muslims by hiding one's own symbols only leads to demands for more submission. Never forget- Islam means 'Submission', and Muslims are dreaming of a return to the days when Christians and Jews (and Hindus, Buddhists, etc) DID actually bend their heads in fear and submission before the worldwide Caliphate. This cowardly and unnecessary step by the city government in St. Paul is only one more step on the road to dhimmitude- and I for one have no intention of allowing it to go any further. If the Left wishes to submit, then go to Saudi Arabia and submit. But don't keep dragging those of us who are proud of our country, our culture and our religion into dhimmitude with you.

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Truth in the Exempt Media

...comes at last, via a private email sent from an ABC News executive' corporate email account. According to the Drudge Report, John Green, an executive producer on Good Morning, America wrote in an email sent from his private account:

"Bush makes me sick...If he uses the 'mixed messages' line one more time, I'm going to puke,"

Note that this email was sent from an ABC corporate account. The media like to proclaim that media bias is merely a conservative delusion, but when things like this pop up, it is harder and harder to discount. Since it is clear that many members of the so-called Mainstream Media such as Dan Rather & Mary Mapes, Eason Jordan and now John Green hold these strong, anti-Bush, anti-Republican views, I think the least we can do is to distrust anything they say until they can prove it. They no longer deserve to be help as trustworthy and they certainly are not discharging their responsibilities to report news honestly and accurately.

Accordingly, I believe that the MSM needs to be held as accountable as they are trying to hold this Administration. Why is it that Clintonian abuse went unreported, yet Bush is considered a criminal by the MSM? Why is it that Republicans can never get a sympathetic audience from Beltway reporters? Why are committed anti-Republicans like the socialist/Communist mouthpiece Helen Thomas still taking up space in the White House press corps, when able members of the media such as Michelle Malkin or Glenn Reynolds are considered 'unprofessional' because they post their entries on a weblog as opposed to a old-style newspaper?

I have some advice for the media. Your days of unquestioned power are gone. Your lies, deceptions and biased attempts at promoting the Democratic party line are now open to the light of day, and it is time for you to face your own medicine. Your days of abusing your power are gone. No one elected you to be the ultimate arbiters of information, and it is time that your wings were severely clipped, until and unless you can learn that bias is fine- as long as said bias is acknowledged up-front. One can hold biases and still discharge their jobs, but pretending to be unbiased while you perpetrate one hack job after another on our elected President and his Administration is both dishonest and cowardly.

I am grateful Mr. Green (like Ms. Thomas, Dan Rather and Mary Mapes before him) let his honest feelings show. There is nothing wrong with letting your personal feelings and biases show, so long as you honestly attempt to do your job with professional objectivity. However, the MSM is now infamous for pretending that they are above biases, yet they march lockstep considerably to the left of the vast majority of Americans. Then they savage an Administration that has committed no crimes and has the support of more Americans than does the MSM. So go ahead, members of the Exempt Media! Let your biases into the light of day! Let the people judge. But your current mode of behavior will only end in your losing even more audience, as more Americans become ever more disgusted with your lack of honesty, your lack of objectivity and your utter lack of any principles.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

About that new Microsoft OS...

It seems that Microsoft still can't get the new Windows right. Providing yet another stark contrast to Apple Computer, Microsoft announced today that their new operating system, code-named VIsta, will be delayed until at least 2007.

This news comes as no surprise to those of us who remember the much-hyped 'Longhorn' operating system that Microsoft waws planning to release some years ago, thus eclipsing Apple's OS X. Since then, Apple has released increasingly powerful and easy-to-use iterations of the Macintosh OS X while Microsoft is still fixing security holes and promising the Next Big Thing- while utterly failing to deliver. This latest failure to deliver the oft-delayed successor to Windows XP, coming as it does on the heels of the well-known security weaknesses of Windows, makes those of us who utilise alternative operating systems even more secure in our choices, risky thought they seemed at the time!

So in future, as you poor Windows-users curse your balky and buggy systems, remember, there is an easy cure for your travails- GET A MAC!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Symbols of the Left

The moonbats of the Left might need some additional education at their expensive universities, since they apparently can't distinguish between the international peace symbol and the international symbol of Mercedes-Benz! Must be because most of these so-called 'peace' activists are all wanna-be elitists at heart. In any case, this is hilarious.....

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

Oh- THOSE Jobs....

It appears that the MSM may have finally noticed that the economy, contrary to their badly-hidden hopes, is not tanking. Reuters today published an article stating that a survey conducted by an employment consulting firm showed the best market for new college graduates since 2001. The same survey, which was conducted by Challenger, Gray and Christmas, said that the United States "is approaching full employment".

This is not exactly a secret to anyone who has been following the actual state of the economy, instead of listening to Paul Krugman and like critics of the Bush Administration who wish that the economy was doing as badly as they would like, thus justifying their desire for Soviet-syle economics (and allowing them to realize their dreams of power). However, it shows once again that our nation's so-called 'mainstream media' are still refusing to face that their constant features on the 'bad economy' have been as false as their professed 'objectiivty'. Maybe this new survey, which even Resuters was unable to ignore, will make the media a little more responsible in publishing truth as opposed to waht they wish was truth!

Regarding the many folks on the Left who have a vested interest in seeing the US economy fail, I am constantly in wonderment over these leftist economists, who despite socialism's blatant failures wherever it has been tried, are still willing to try it yet again. Capitalism is not perfect, but no other economic system has shown the results, while simultaneously raising the style of living for those who are fortunate enough to live in cultures that do embrace it.

Leftisits seem to be interested in socialism only because it empowers the elites to use the ordinary folks as human guinea-pigs, on whom they may experiment. None of the Leftist elitists- not Paul (The Professor) Krugman, not Teddy (The Lush) Kennedy, nor Hillary (Care) Clinton, all of whom espouse some form of socialism, have ever been forced to live in a socialist economy. All of them have gained their wealth through capitalism. Maybe actually living as an ordinary worker in a socialist economy might open their eyes to the realities of life. In any event, I trust that this new survey might eliminate some of the false stories regarding the 'bad economy' and perhaps even the MSM will finally cease their false tales and publish the truth- that the Bush Administration has been largely successful,. despite some very serious natural (and non-natural) disasters, in steering the economy onto a solid path.

On Health Care

Democrats and leftists like to denigrate the health care offered in the United States. These same folks (none of whom have ever or will ever have to work for a living) like Senator Hillary Clinton of New York seem to think that somehow people who are earning an honest living ought to have to pay for the needs of those who are a) here illegally or b) less wealthy or c) less talented. I disagree with that idea. I also disagree with their assessment of US health care.

I recently was diagnosed with cancer. As a member of the Kasier Permanente healthcare organization, I was prepared for problems. However, I discovered that I was completely covered and my surgery and suibsequent stay in hospital was entirely free for me. I also discovered that the services rendered and the ease of access were beyond reproach as well. My family had no problems contacting me, and I have absolutely no complaints with the quality of care offered.

I was diagnosed on a Monday. Two weeks later, I have had the surgery completed and have already contacted my follow-up doctors regarding post-operative care. There have been no problems and I have no complaints. This has been my experience in general with US health care. I have never reallly had any complaints with the level of care, nor even with the accessibility of doctors.

Therefore, it seems to me that these liberals who cry for 'universal health care' have got it all wrong. I see no reason to place hardships on ordinary Americans to provide care for all. If people wish health care, they will pay for it, or their companies will pay for it. I personally have no problem paying fro my own and for my family's care. But I do not intend to pay for someone I do not know and who might even be here illegally. No where is it written that health care is a right. If one can afford it, one will pay for it. But there is no reason to force us to pay for those who will not pay for themselves.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

On Hiatus

I will be on hiatus as far as posting goes for at least a week due to personal issues arising. it seems I have a medical condition that will require surgery, thus the enforced leave of abesence. Until I return, I recommend the following blogs and sites for your daily reading consumption:

Michelle Malkin

Power Line

Captain's Quarters

Hugh Hewitt



Washington Times

National Review Online

Victor Davis Hanson

Weekly Standard

These are good places to start. Avoid the New York Times unless you really like deceiving and disingenuous 'reporting'. I shall return as soon as possible. Until then, be seeing you.....

Rules to Debate By

Courtesy of a friend at the office, here are some of the best debate guidelines I have seen in quite some time. Sincere thanks to Edward Houston for contributing these rules and also for permitting me to re-post them here:

Seven Rules to Follow if you want to have a Political Discussion with Me 
1. Do not say that I am implying anything. I directly state what I mean and I will not avoid direct questions. Please do the same.
2. A statement of fact that is verifiable is not a racist. bigoted, or mean spirited statement. Theories as to why, how, and what can be done about it are subject to scrutiny of motive. But, a statement of fact is just that, a statement of fact.
3. Do not answer a question with another question. That is always to dodge the question asked or to change the subject when loosing ground. You will have your turn to ask direct questions and get direct answers. Stay on subject.
4. Be civil and polite. If you can’t discuss a mater without profanity laced ranting or talking over me, it doesn’t matter how enlightening your viewpoint is. Just go away, I don’t want to talk to you.
5. If this is an issue that you are so emotional about that you can’t help violating rule #4, then go away too. I’m sorry. Even if you feel your emotions are justified, it just doesn’t work. You can’t have a productive and honest discussion that way.
6. When I say most of group X does Y, please do not waist my time trotting out the 2% or 3% that are the exception. There will always be exceptions to the rule and it is possible that you or I may become one someday. You do the best you can for the exceptions but society, as a whole has to come first.
7. There are some yes or no questions and you know what they are. Is it wrong to steal, is it wrong to murder, etc?  If you can’t answer a yes or no question without a “but”, then get your “but” away. 

It seems to me that if more folks on both sides of the ideological spectrum, especially the Left, could follow these dictums, we would perhaps have a more courteous arena for discussion and debate. Anger and outrageous accusations do not a good case for debate make.

Good for John Cornyn...

...since he appears to be one of the few GOP senators in Washington DC who takes his responsibility seriously For those of you who have been following the Taliban Man at Yale story (see HERE, HERE and HERE for more background information), Senator Cornyn wrote a strongly-worded letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff requesting more information about the circumstances that led to the former Taliban ambassador being admitted to Yale University. He also reminded Secretary Chertoff that there is a law on the books strictly forbidding people like Taliban Man from even being admitted to the United States. My question- which part of 'homeland security' does the Secretary's department not understand?

Now if only more members of Congress would take their responsibilities as seriously as Senator Cornyn, instead of posturing in front of inadvertently self-revealing signage, perhaps we would be able to move toward winning the PR part of this war against Islam as well as the military part, which is well under control.

Old Media 'Courage'

So I see the Salon's online magazine has posted 279 photographs from the Abu Ghraib prison. Naturally, these photographs focus only on the misdemeanors performed by a small group of US soldiers. There is no mention of the true atrocities that occurred in Abu Ghraib prior to the US invasion and subsequent freeing of the political prisoners and rape victims who had previously populated said prison. Nor is there any mention that the prisoners so subjected are specifically excepted from protection by the Geneva Convention and are themselves guilty of crimes far worse than posing naked in dog collars.

But of course, there is no place in Salon's breathless coverage of the 'human rights disaster' for any sort of context. So I shall attempt to provide some, since the 'professional journalists' of Salon either cannot or more likely, will not do so. Yes, what occurred at Abu Ghraib was out of line. However, let us remember that the US military was already investigating the crimes that occurred there, and that the NY Times' so-called scoop was in actuality a scoop from the very military that the Times reporters tried so hard in their story to criminalize and denigrate. Let us also remember that all persons who participated in said events have now been found guilty and will be spending significant amounts of time in military prisons. And just for fun, recall that until the US invasion of Iraq, Human Rights Watch had estimated that roughly 50,000 Iraqis per year were killed- first tortured then killed, by their own government. How many Iraqis have died in torture chambers under US governance? If there have been any, even the anti-American MSM have yet to discover it.

And while we are on the subject, let's talk a little about what constitutes a 'human rights disaster'. Salon claims that this is 'horrifying humiliation and abuse', but they don't seem to have a problem with Westerners being held in captivity with none of the amenities granted the Abu Ghraib captive, and ultimately being beheaded on TV for the amusement of al-Jazeera television. Salon has no problem apparently with that. Nor does Salon appear to have a problem with the world-wide mistreatment of non-Muslims by Muslims. Where have been the breathless declarations of human rights disasters regarding Darfur, or East Timor? Perhaps when Christians are abused by Muslims, the Salon-ites are pleased? Or maybe they simply don't consider this to be a human rights problem. After all, it's only those horrible Christians. They must be guilty, unlike these innocent little Muslims. After all, the Christians had it coming- they are not Muslim after all, and only Muslims are persecuted. I regret that that sounds suspiciously like Salon's thought process. And as for their so-called courage in publishing these disgusting pictures, they have refused to even print the 'Muhammad' cartoon- supposedly in sympathy with the feelings of the Muslim world. Nor will they show the equally horrifying images of the slaughter wreaked by Muslims on innocent Americans and others on September 11, 2001.

Where were those feelings when Hussein and his despicable offspring were comporting themselves in secret rape rooms? Where was the sympathy when Christians protested about their sacred images being profaned? Apparently Salon, like most of the MSM, have only a one-sided sympathy. I will believe the journalists' protestations of courage and even-handedness when I see an American media organ publish the 9/11 pictures and video, or even publish the Muhammad cartoons. Until then, they are merely poseurs who dare to publish only material that they know will bring no response. Abu Ghraib is over two years old. Precisely what value, other than re-inflaming our Muslim enemies, does re-publishing do? Or maybe that is their goal- they WANT the US to lose this war? Well, I have a message to the 'brave' folks at Salon, and one that they would do well to remember when they are living in dhimmitude and being executed for homosexuality- be careful what you wish for. If you keep on undermining your own culture, you might just get what you want. I hope you enjoy it. For myself, I would rather go down fighting than live in dhimmitude.

hat tip to Matt Drudge.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Modern Music and MC Hammer

Well, it appears that as Expat-Leo says, Expat Leo's Blogroll: APOCALYPSE: MC Hammer has a blog.. This is a relevant issue for me to post a rant about modern music.....not that Hammer was ever a true musician. His genius was strictly in appropriating other (real) musicians' beats and then putting on a good show with hot, scantily-clad women weaving across the stage while he executed his own choreographed 'dance' moves. Needless to say that he stole the beats without due credit from well-known songs by real musicians, who, though I cannot appreciate their music, at least did make their own. The problem with pop 'music' today is that it is derivative, and highly unmusical. not to mention that today's 'singers', unlike their forbears, ccan neither sing nor create anything of value....

If one listens to the caterwauling that passes for singing as voiced by Britney Spears or any of her many imitations, one cannot find any trace of the grace and beauty that once passed for singing as voiced by Sarah Vaughn, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, or the great Ella Fitzgerald. Even lesser singing talents such as Doris Day possessed more talent and style in their little fingers than do any of the current generation. These so-called 'artists' bring to mind the infamous 'talents' of Japan- young, attractive women who briefly enjoy a show-biz career before they are eclipsed by others identical to them in every respect save only age. Younger is better. These so-called 'talents' (so-named because they lack any vestige of talent) fade rapidly into oblivion, occasionally surfacing years later as late-night talk-show hostesses or on the gossip pages of housewife magazines.

As for the men, there is nothing even remotely resembling Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, or Bing Crosby. Who today among the male 'singers' has a modicum of talent? Whose name resounds among audiences? The closest would be a Paul McCartney or a Billy Joel- neither of whom are truly talented singers. Their gift of music is real, however, and at least they make real music, as opposed to the disgusting words and derivative rhythms found in rap.

My compadre Expat-Leo suggests that I throw something in about the evils of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), but as a former recording musician (yes, I have played a number of recording gigs), I have sympathy for the RIAA. Their tactics may be reprehensible and are undoubtedly needlessly heavy-handed, but they are ultimately in the right. The file-sharers or file-stealers, on the other hand, are in the wrong. If a band wants to release their work for free, that is of course their own choice. and for those who truly have talent, they might as well, since sooner or later, they will be noticed. However, for the vast majority of the current 'artists' the RIAA is a necessary evil. Musicians no longer have a powereful organization to fight their battles collectively, other than the RIAA. As musicians, we lost THAT battle back in the 1940s, unfortunately. The union won the battle and lost the war....

The Hubris of 'The Dan'

I have been somewhat remiss in not reporting on this story, but it puts the character of Dan Rather and most of the other members of the Imperial Media into sharp perspective. As it turns out, Dan Rather gave a speech in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on Monday the 13th. He spoke on the decline of the media, and repeatedly claimed that "What's gone out of fashion is the tough question and the follow up".

Fair enough. A local journalist who was present at Dan's speech, one Jim Walsh, of the local Courier, decided that Dan's complaints deserved a question of their own. So he asked about The Dan's own credibility, specifically referencing The Dan's infamous attempt to sabotage a Presidential election with faked documents. Although The Dan reluctantly answered the original question, he cut off Mr. Walsh's microphone when Walsh attempted to follow up. And the audience, I should add, booed Wlash, accusing him of 'having an agenda' when he approached the microphone.

So it seems that instead of reporters lacking the courage to ask the tough questions and follow up, reporters (at least among the national-press crowd) would prefer to sit in their own little unhinged echo chamber. As for The Dan's hypocritical comments about asking tough questions, I don't recall any member of the national media ever giving a Republican President a pass. Only Democrats receive easy questions from media personnel. And until reporters like The Dan can answer tough questions, I don't think they have any right to complain about the state of the media. After all, it is they who created the lack of trust they currently face.

Hat tip to Captain's Quarters.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hillary and the 'Police State'

Hillary Clinton is complaining. According to the Boston Globe, she says that the Bush Administration is creating a police state to round up illegal immigrants. And what exactly is wrong with that, Senator? To refresh- the reason these people are called illegal aliens is because they are here, well, illegally. And we should be rounding these people up and shipping them back to wherever they came from. They do not have a right to break our laws and expect us to welcome them with open arms- especially considering the devastation that they cause. Remember that the Governor of Arizona, like Hillary a Democrat, recently called out the National Guard to keep these folks out, and to protect her constituents from the damage and danger they bring with them.

I am not against immigration. I am in fact married to a legal immigrant. She had to pass through all kinds of legal hoops in order to gain her legal status (which were completely unrelated to our marriage). She is now a legal resident of this great country. She is also a working professional and a contributor to this country- she is a registered nurse. That is the kind of immigrant that we should be trying to attract. However, most illegal immigrants do not fit in that category. Most are people who can't make it in their own countries, and who are admittedly the very dregs of society. In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with enforcing some of the laws that are already on the books to keep these undesirables out. And if that upsets the Senator, maybe she ought to spend a little less time in Martha's Vineyard and more time in the border communities that are devastated by these illegal aliens- places like New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California.

But to complain that the Bush Administration is 'creating a police state'???? I can only wish that this were true. In fact, I regret to say that the Bush Administration has been reprehensibly lax in enforcing security at our porous borders. They are even proposing yet another thinly-disguised amnesty for these law-breakers. I was over at a nearby hardware store and I saw large numbers of these illegals lurking in the parking lot waiting for under-the-table work. This can and should be stopped as soon as possible. Why should we reward illegals for breaking the first law- illegal entry? Legal immigrants are always welcome. But illegals should be arested and deported wherever found.

In fact, I would propose that when an illegal is apprehended, he/she is immediately put to work for one dollar a day for one year at whatever job the arresting county/city needs done. That dollar a day will be cahrged to their keep. At the end of that year, they will be deported with no money back to wherever they came from. Should they be re-apprehended, that time in labor will double. The propsepct of hard work with no pay might keep some of these folks from breaking our laws, since it iss the money that attracts them. As a corrolary, we need to crack down on the illegal employers. Let'ss start with the farmers, then look at the ethnic restaurants. How many illegals are working in Mexican/Thai/Chinese restaurants? When I was in college, half of my Chinese friends were illegally employed in ethnic restaurants. That is a prime place to crack down. In conclusion, we have the right to police our own borders, and if the rest of the world (particularly Mexico and the rest of Latin America) can't put their own house in order, that is no reason to expect us to take in their undesirables simply so that their power elite can maintain their high positions.

When the Letter of the Law Trumps Common Sense...

...it is time to re-examine the law. Or maybe just replace narrow-minded officials who can't see beyond their own lack of common sense. According to the Tampa Tribune, the wife of an Army man who is currently in Iraq, faces fines of up to $100 per day for displaying a 'Support Our Troops' sign in front of her house. The reason for this? The homeowners' association where she lives prohibits all signs other than 'For Sale' or 'For Rent' in front of their homes in their association.

This strikes me as ridiculous. Event though the Homeowners' Association leader, himself an Army reservist, claims that if they allowed this, there would be nothing to stop people putting up negative signs, I disagree. Pro-American, patriotic signs should be above reproach. And if they insist on applying the law strictly, there is nothing stopping them from making a permanent exception to this type of banner.

The saddest part, to me, is that there has been no outcry from any of the supposedly pro-Free Speech organizations in this country. The ACLU and other groups that will fight to the death for pornography or anti-American speech are nowhere to be found. Nor is the so-caled Mainstream Media apparently interested in this apparent abuse of the First Amendment. Now, can anyone imagine if this had been an anti-American sign? The ACLU would have been on the scene, together with members of the Exempt Media in seconds. But because these organizations disagree with this message, they will not take up the fight for pro-American speech, thus displaying how morally bankrupt they truly are. For shame!

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Attention: Product Designers

it appears that product designers are not designing for average people, but for some mythical SuperConsumer. According to a thesis published by a Netherlands graduate student, fully half of all malfunctioning products returned by consumers are actually in perfect working order- their owners simply couldn't figure out how to use and/or set them up correctly! Acccording to the Reuters report, the graduate student found that the average consumer in the United States, for example, will only spend twenty minutes trying to get a gadget to work before giving up and returning it.

This should be a wake-up call to consumer product companies such as Sony, Philips, Logitech and others. Increasingly steep learning curves mean increasingly disgruntled customers if the companies do not provide adequate instructions. Coupled with the tendency to delete hard-copies of the manuals, this almost guarantees high numbers of returns. Perhaps these high-powered product designers might think about the reaction of the average consumer, instead of assuming a high degree of technical competency for their prospective customers?

An American Spaceplane?

The magazine Aviation Week & Space Technology is reporting that the United States may be mothballing a two-stage spaceplane system that may have been designed to replace the famed SR-71 Blackbird. According to the article, the spaceplane was probably designed during the 1980s and made operational during the 1990s. Why it is being retired, like its very existence, is shrouded in mystery, but the magaizine suggests that it is probably either for cost or performance reasons.

The article admits that there is no hard evidence that the system even exists, but offers some fairly strong circumstantial evidence. While it is very tempting to take this article with a large grain of salt, if the plane actually does exist, it would explain why the Pentagon was willing to kill the Blackbird, and also why they aparently are not too (publicly) worried over the impending end of the shuttle program as well. That being said, if this program exists, and if it is now being mothballed, the question is- do they already have a replacement? Captain Ed thinks so, and I agree with him. Despite the pathological leakinesess of the US government, we (hopefully) still have a FEW secrets. And this one would be a doozy.

Hat tip to Captain Ed Morissey.

CORRECTION: The magazine is called Aviation Week and Space Technology. My mistake on initally (and erroneously) identifying it as Aviation Weekly. Thanks to Expat Leo for the correction.

Air America Update

So it appears that Air America, after all their legal shenanigans, and their little attempts to hide the source (or lack thereof) of their finances, is about to lose their flagship New York station. All I have to say about THAT story is- it couldn't have happened to a more deserviing group of folks. And the MSM STILL have not deigned to cover this story. Now imagine this was a conservative radio network.....

Monday, March 06, 2006

Free Speech 1, Law Schools 0

The Supreme Court today finally ended the nation's law schools' attempt to muzzle free speech, ruling unanimously that colleges that accept federal funds must allow military recruiters on campus. This is a blow to leftists' attempts to silence speech with which they disagree, and also shows how dependent law schools (and most other universitites as well) have become on federal money. (It also shows that the law schools are far out of step with mainstream America on the issue of the military. And these are the people teaching young legal minds? No wonder the legal profession leans so far left- and is so reviled by most Americans.)

The particular point at issue was the Solomon Amendment, which dictates that any school that accepts federal funds must allow military recruiters on campus. Law schools had protested that this violates their freedom of speech, but the Supreme Court scotched that laughable attempt at defense, pointing out that nothing in the amendment restricts the law schools ability to say anything. It merely forces them to allow speech with which they disagree. The Court ruled unanimously, with even far-left Justices like the sleepy Justice Ginsburg agreeing that the law schools didn't have a leg to stand on.

My question is why this piece of legal pestilence was even allowed to get to the Supreme Court? Aren't there any judges who understand the law in the lower courts? And isn't it interesting that the Left, which fancies itself the protector of free speech, only fights for speech with which they agree? Who are the censors now?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hillary and Dubai

Hillary Clinton, who famously offered herself as a 'co-president' when her husband Bill occupied the White House, and who was responsible for one of Clinton's worst policy attempts, the Communist-inspired 'Hillarycare' initiative. apparently doesn't want her husband as a 'co-Senator'.

Over the weekend, according to MSNBC, she claimed that she was unaware of Bill's role in advising the Dubai company that is attempting to take over the management of six major US ports. Since she has been one of the most out-spoken opponents of the deal, this strikes me a cynical at best, and a flat-out lie at worst. She and Bill are still married (at least in name), and to try to convince us that she is totally unaware that Bill was the main advisor (for which he is being paid roughly 1.6 million dollars) is political hypocrisy at its most blatant.

In addition to her hypocrisy, her stand strikes me a political maneuvering and I suspect that she simply didn't believe that the Press, who have spent countless millions trying to promote and help her (as-yet unnanounced) campaign for the Presidency, wouold actually expose what she and Bill had cooked up. I am positive that she was to be the stern security-minded Senator while Bill was the bread-winner in the deal. Anyone who thinks that 1.6 million would not end up in the Hillary-for-President fund is simply naive, based on the Clintons' past behavior. After all, they were even willing to take money from Communist China!

No, I fear that I cannot believe Senator Clinton's protestations. And in an interesting twist, even MSNBC has misgivings, writing "But former President Bill Clinton's ties to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates should not have come as a surprise to his New York senator wife." Maybe is more media sources had had misgivings about the political operations of the Clintons earlier, we would have been spared the scandals of the Clinton Administration. But that would have required the Press to actually honestly report on the Clintons and the Democratic Party- something that they are seemingly unable to do.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Rivalry Time!

I am a University of North Carolina fan. No, I wasn't born in North Carolina, I have never lived there and never even set foot in the state. However, I have been a North Carolina Tar Heel basketball fan since I was old enough to watch the games and understand what was happening out there. As of tomorrow, Carolina will meet their arch-rival, Duke University, for what I believe is the 219th time. Despite Duke's recent dominance, North Carolina leads the all-time series 124-95, though Duke has finally taken the lead in games played in Durham, 47-42. Tomorrow's game will be played at Duke, in Durham, North Carolina. UNC resides at Chapel Hill, also in North Carolina.

Many writers, sportscasters and pundits consider this the greatest rivalry in college basketball. While I am not entirely sure, I would defintely agree that records are usually menaingless when these two teams meet. And it is usually a good game. If you can ignore the annoying and shameless histrionics of the blatant Duke-promoter Dick Vitale, most of the announcers and personnel involved in the game usually live up to expectations.

For a hilarious look at how we fans feel about the rivalry, Alston Ramsey has a wonderful article at National Review on the Carolina-Duke rivalry. Read the whole thing. And then watch the game tomorrow. Ah, I love the smell of rivalry in the morning.....

UPDATE: It appears that Duke senior guard JJ Redick, over whom the East Coast media have fawned all year, is actually mortal. Carolina forced him into a 5-21 shooting perfromance- on his senior day. On the same day, UNC freshman forward Tyler Hansbrough went off for 27 points, 10 rebounds and got Duke senior center Sheldon Williams into foul trouble. Final score: Duke 76, North Carolina 83. Hurrah!

More on Schools...

I posted yesterday on the evils of teachers who overstep their areas of expertise. But what about school districts, who, in their continuing search to make schools 'friendly environments' for everyone, have begun intruding into what students do off-campus and in their own time.

A report by the AP says that 20 student in Costa Mesa, California were suspended merely for viewing another student's MySpace in which he made threats against a fellow student. As for the student wwho created the posting, the local police are apparently trying to charge the kid with a hate crime, and the district wants to expel him.

This is all very amusing to me. Teachers can apparently accuse our nation and our elected President of war crimes and even conduct mock trials of the same President during school hours without the charge of 'hate crime' being hurled, but let a middle-schooler make disparaging or threatening comments against a fellow student, and it's a 'hate crime'?

According to the report, the student in question made comments like "Who here in the (group name) wants to take a shotgun and blast her in the head over a thousand times?" I remember in middle school that there were many of my fellow student whom I loathed (and who probably loathed me), and probably would cheerfully have beat the living daylights out of. Several of the girls were the worst offenders. Althought we couldn't hit girls, we certainly made many disparaging comments, and sometimes daydreamed about beating them up as well. I also recall that after-school fights among the guys were always arranged to take place in the park near our school so that the school could not stop them.

In this case, I am not defending the student in question. He made ssome stupid and completely irresponsible comments. However, I think that the district is over-reacting, and the police should butt out. This is a case of a kid, on his own time, focusing his aggression and relieving his stress. His parents should absolutely be ashamed for not taking action, but the school district and the police have no business being involved.

As for the remainder of the students, their only crime is viewing the offending comments. Whatever happend to the principle of free speech? This speech is definitely offiensive, but these students merely viewed it. On their own time and off campus. What gives the schools the authority to punish students for actions performed off-campus? I don't ever recall awards being given for acheivements that were executed off-campus. Those took place 'out of the school's jurisdiction'. So what give the district the right to punish students once they leave school?

School districts exist to teach students the basics- a job at which entirely too many off them are failing miserably. They have no business getting into their students' lives once they leave campus. If these activities occur on campus, then they have every right to become involved. But not off-campus. That is the job of a parent- not a school administrator. School adminstrators apparently have a lot of free time. Instead of pursuing these PC nany-state objectives, maybe they should use some of it to find out why so many of their students are 'graduating' with such abysmal skillsets as in the Florida aritcle linked. Maybe that would even justify their lofty salaries....

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Teaching Politics

It appears that the teaching profession has forgotten what they are being paid to do- and who they are being paid by. According to the Channel 9 News in Aurora Colorado, following President Bush's State of the Union speech a geography teacher made comments in a lecture that compared George Bush to Adolph Hitler. Leaving aside the complete inappropriateness of the comparison, what expertise does a geography teacher have to comment on a political occurrence? And how does the teacher's personal opinion relate to a lecture in any event? Fortunately, a student recorded the comments and the teacher is now on leave. Even the school district admits that it appears the teacher acted inappropriately.

However, that is not the only incident of late involving teachers speaking outside of their areas of competence. In another story, this one filed by the Morris County Daily Record newspaper, it appears that the teachers at Parsipanny High School in Morris County, New Jersey feel themselves qualified to hold a mock 'international war crimes trial' accusing President Buch of comitting 'crimes against civilian populations' and 'inhumane treatment of prisoners'. According to the Daily Record, the panel judging the case includes 'two English teachers, one history teacher, a guidance counselor and someone from the school's media department...'. So English teachers somehow have competence to decide this case? A 'person from the media department' has competency? and the inclusion of a 'guidance counselor' has me laughing. As if guidance counselors have any expertise in this area. The only member who possibly might have some expertise would be the history teacher.

Since one of the charges is 'crimes against civilian populations' I wonder when they will think to try Joseph Stalin? Or possibly Mao Tse-Tung? Or even 'gasp' Fidel Castro, all of whom have committed real crimes against (their own) civilian populations. They might even cast their glance at a more recent dictator, one Saddam Hussein, currently being tried for real by his former subjects. The US invasion of Iraq removed a dictator who killed and raped his own population. That no longer occurs, and there is a burgeoning democracy in the former dictatorship. The rape rooms are gone and most Iraqis feel that things are getting better. As for the charge of mistrating enemy prisoners, I wonder if these bleeding hearts have noted that while US detainees are housed in comfortable cells, regularly fed and even given their own prayer rugs, detainees of the Muslims we are fighting receive no such amenities and usually end by being beheaded. And there is one other small difference. US detainees were captured on the battlefield, without proper uniform and they are specifically exempt from the Geneva Code. They are in fact entitled to none of the amenities that US soldiers are giving them. However, the detainees of the Muslims are usually journalists, or other private citizens who really are non-combatants.

However, these incidents clearly point out two things- that teachers increasingly are injecting their own biases into subjects about which they know very little, and that the liberal establishment appears to be grasping desperately for any straw that will allow them to somehow promote their agenda, and indoctrinate the youth. If you are an English teacher, what training have you had in international relations? What expertise do you have in the diplomatic arena? And what knowledge, if any, do you posess that allows you to pontificate on the science of warfare? As for 'guidance counselors', what expertise do you have in any of these areas? Have you ever served in a position that would give you the insight or knowledge to accurately analyze political events? The answer is alsmot certainly not. So where do you get off setting yourself up as an expert? That appears to be false advertising to me.

These people seem to think that expertise in one area, makes them experts in others as well. However, speaking as one who holds graduate degrees in History, I can assure them that it does not. I would not presume to opine in the arena of science, physics, or other arcane disciplines in which I posess no special skills or knowledge. These people should show similar restraint. A degree in English or Education does not make one an expert in History, archaeology, politics, diplomacy or warfare. Journalists, who are similarly lacking in these skills also make this mistake. However, they at least are being paid to write thier mindless pap. Teachers have no such excuse for blathering on regarding subjects in which they posess no knowledge.

There is absolutely no excuse for either of these cases. Teachers, teach your subjects and stay out of the political arena. If you are a political science or social studies or history teacher, then you might have some excuse for discussing (in a strictly neutral manner) political events. However, there is never an excuse for attempting to force your own biases and prejudices onto impressionable children or young adults. These cases demonstrate why parents need more insight and control over what is being taught in the classroom. Teachers simply are not trustworthy- especially considering the liberals' stranglehold on the public educational system. If you do not support your President, that is one thing. But this is walking the line of treason and sedition, and it needs to be stopped. Now.

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.