Saturday, May 28, 2005

Fingerprints of Freedom

School taught me Memorial Day was a day off. Life taught me what it really means and the significance in the last couple years has multiplied. There are faces and stories and dreams - some dashed, some fulfilled - by the ultimate sacrifice.

That the United States of America appreciates freedom on an unmatched scale should be no mystery, as our freedom wasn't won by proxy and the victory is still fresh in our memory. The youth of our freedom has kept arrogance from calcifying in our subconscious the fleeting memory of our fight and the necessary sacrifice that paved the path. When not defending our own freedom, we've been helping someone else fight for theirs, even when jealous resentment provided no lack of critics. Sometimes nobility repels company.

The will of our military is unbreakable, their commitment unshakable. The men and women of our armed forces all live in a place where personal interest succumbs to duty, where comfort is overcome by courage and valor resides in humility. Each dynamic soul and individual personality who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country have touched it with their Fingerprints of Freedom.

That spirit thrives as the Fingerprints of Freedom show themselves in our efforts around the globe, inspiring countries and peoples once moored to misery to stand firm and re-claim the heavenly gift no earthly force can take away. Fresh seeds of freedom around the world have been fertilized by the blood of American soldiers and the roots sustained by their spirit.

While we dedicate the 24 hours of Memorial Day to the memory of our fallen, our soldiers know no such casual commitment. Theirs is a daily way of life that unselfishly transcends jobs, relationships, safety and calendar as a means for the constant pursuit of liberty and those who wish to destroy it. While some suspend their lives for service to this country, many feel that when their boots hit the battlefield, they really begin living.

There is a special level of appreciation reserved only for soldiers who have given their lives for this country, and it can't be satisfied with a "thank you." Our best chance at adequately honoring their memory is to recognize that even the mundane moments in our lives were made possible by American soldiers willing to leave their Fingerprints of Freedom.

Friday, May 27, 2005

This Koran abuse story is true.

From Powerline:
Haider Ajina has, I think, a fascinating perspective on the hypocrisy surrounding the current demonstrations, etc., protesting the mishandling of the Koran by American soldiers. Haider discusses the conference in Baghdad that reportedly was attended by terrorists, including al Qaeda's number two leader, which we wrote about here:
During this same conference you refer to in your piece (Saddam and His Terrorist Friends), Saddam boasted and showed off a Koran that he wrote in blood and was given praise and admiration (by that same congress) for doing so. He also handed out large amounts of money to the attendees at this congress (oil for food money I suppose). Most of whom were terrorist or terror enticing or terror sponsoring Islamofascists, highjackers of Islam.
Here is the hypocrisy. In Islam exposed blood is considered dirty or defiled. For Saddam to write the Koran in blood is the ultimate insult, sacrilege and heresy. He has defiled the word of God by writing it in blood.

All who attended this congress know this but they did not call for demonstrations, riots. They took their money, kissed Saddam's feet and went on with their crimson sermons enticing Muslims to hate other Muslims who do not agree with them, hate Jews and Christians and any one who does not subscribe to their version of Islam.

It was an Arab Muslim (Saddam) who defiled the Koran and was praised and admired for it. When Newsweek runs a bogus story and retracts it, the same people who praised Saddam for defiling the Koran called for demonstrations, revenge, caused the killing of over a dozen Muslims. When will we Muslims realize that our own worst enemy are most of our leaders, not Christians, not Jews, not democracy not freedom.
A great point, eloquently expressed.

Knives banned in the UK?

When it was determined that guns were picking themselves up and killing people, the UK required all guns surrendered to the government. Criminals, by nature, take advantage of laws, and only the liberals are surprised by increases in gun crimes by expecting criminals to turn theirs in. Creating a society where only cops and criminals have guns, gun rights advocates were rightfully concerned about the "slippery slope" relating to the assumption that the guns were the problem, not the people using them. Now that knives are beginning to kill people, action has to be taken:
A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase - and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.

They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.

The research is published in the British Medical Journal.

The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.

They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen.

None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed.

The researchers said a short pointed knife may cause a substantial superficial wound if used in an assault - but is unlikely to penetrate to inner organs.
How very progressive of the UK to inform public policy by interviewing culinary artists. In another 20 years, residents will have to picck up their food with fingers, cut steaks with their teeth and butter their bread with a plastic plate.

I have some additional suggestions for researchers concerned about murders perpetrated by other dangerous objects.

I'd interview mechanics about the necessary use of hammers and screwdrivers, as recent murders involving these irresponsible items may evolve into a national epidemic. All hammers and screwdrivers that can reasonably be replaced with less violent tools should be turned in.

With the recent London axe murder in broad daylight, lumberjacks and ranchers should be consulted on the realistic size of hatchets required to chop down trees. Axes weighing over 1 Kilogram should be confiscated, along with chainsaws, too, in case any more Schizophrenic sons are moved to decapitate their mothers.

Solicit advice from Cricket players, as the size and ergomic shape of cricket bats may be the reason bludgeoning people to death is on the rise. Any bat not owned by sanctioned Cricket clubs will be forfeited to the government.

Serious consideration should be given to the necessary rigidity of car frames, as hit and runs are a danger to pedestrians. If your car isn't fitted with a Nerf front end, bobbies shall confiscate and recycle it.

And finally, researchers should consider the increase in strangualtion and drowning deaths and set a timetable for all citizens turn in their arms. Not only can hands and arms get wrapped around necks, but fingers and thumbs have also proven effective killing tools when jammed into eye sockets.

Please also consider prohibition of tape, rope, plastic bags and shovels.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Islam sham.

Head of al-Qaeda's Iraq franchise, Abu Blabbity Blah Zarqawi may be having trouble breathing:
BAGHDAD, May 25 -- Insurgents said Wednesday in interviews and statements on the Internet that the leader of the group al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi, was struggling with a gunshot wound to the lung. One of Zarqawi's commanders said the Jordanian guerrilla was receiving oxygen, heightening suspicion that the groundwork was being laid for an announcement of his replacement or death.
This brings up a stunningly obvious question about how committed he really is to radical Islam. Frankly, I'm a little disappointed with his casual approach to terrorism.

Let's say you're an Allah freak. You go to mosque to pick up on the latest Great Satan gossip and you're a member of the al-Qaeda Toastmasters. You've memorized every word of the Quran by the time your voice started to crack and you prone yourself at the handful of required daily prayer times. You deny the Holocaust and believe the Jews were spawned by monkeys and pigs and don't deserve the privilege of breathing, to say nothing about their own independent state. You think women's ankles are considered "racy" and if you ever saw one behind the wheel of a car, you and your 'threatened' pals would crush her skull with the nearest boulders - very similar to treating her with an 'honor killing' if she desecrated your family's name by having the tenacity to get herself raped by another Muslim.

You define the Quaran's jihad not as the "inner struggle" apologists would have us believe, but as the "holy war" it really means. Your have "Death to America" tattooed on your ass, next to your mother's name. You believe Allah instructs you to kill infidels and dying while trying to convert the world will a martyr make you. Allah's reward for being a good little jihadi are couches adorned with jewels, the purest wine, your choice of fruit baskets and any of your desired fowl. Oh, and 72 dark-eyed virgins, too. Sounds pretty good, huh?

So why in the world would a committed jihadist run from death? Is there something alluring about dust and grime and a dirty left hand? Is there something I don't understand about darting from cave to cave, house to house trying not to die that is somehow more rewarding than the apparent "perfection" that awaits if you'd just walk yourself into a Marine's cross-hairs? Especially if we're to believe what the left tells us, that radical Muslims are a product of poverty, wouldn't rolling the eternal dice by strapping on a bomb vest and walking into a McDonald's be better than watching Jerry Springer all day while you wait for the unemployment check that will never come?

It's a sham. If you really believed that walking yourself off the edge of a cliff would immediately bring your individual idea of "heaven," would you waste away in a dusty village and rely on the American flag burning al-Jazeera protest for the day's excitement? No, you'd run not walk to the nearest cliff and fling yourself off that sucker. Granted, you'd be really really surprised where you found yourself when you woke up, but that's not the point. The point is, none of these fanatics are unselfish enough not to skip right to the reward. Why not paint a big red bulls-eye on yourself and yell "Allu Akbar" while you run towards a US military checkpoint?

You'll tell me that this generation of fanatics has to teach the next generation of
. I don't buy it. If the dying a martyr is the greatest thing a Muslim can do and the rewards are clear undeniable, wouldn't we have volumes more terrorist attacks from fanatic wing of the 1 billion world Muslims than the relatively small amount we have now?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

8 year old raped and killed by illegal immigrant.

If I lit up a cigarette in a Minneapolis bar, I'd get fined and kicked out. When an illegal immigrant is arrested multiple times, this time for rape and murder, he might get kicked out after we cage and feed him for 25 years.

Fortunately, the other 849,999 illegal immigrants in Florida are harmless.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Soft on criminals.

Viagra, the little blue pill prescribed to overcome Erectile Dysfunction and Hillary Clinton, is no longer dispensed to convicted New York sex offenders on the state's dime:
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Scores of convicted rapists and other high-risk sex offenders in New York have been getting Viagra paid by Medicaid for the last five years, the state's comptroller said Sunday.

Audits by Comptroller Alan Hevesi's office showed that between January 2000 and March 2005, 198 sex offenders in New York received Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra after their convictions. Those included crimes against children as young as 2 years old, he said.

New York's two senators said Sunday the problem should be corrected.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement that it was "deeply disturbing and runs contrary to the purpose of Medicaid, which is to provide health care coverage for uninsured, low-income individuals."
As a consolation for stiffing registered low-lifes, Hillary hopes to win their favor by restoring their voting privilege:
Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are pushing a Count Every Vote Act that would, among other things, force states to allow voters to register at the polls and declaring Election Day a federal holiday. And then they want to force every state to let felons vote--even though the 14th Amendment specifically permits states to disfranchise citizens convicted of "participation in rebellion, or other crime."
More about their effort here.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Triumph over Star Wars enthusiasts.

Philomathean has video of what happens when a witty Rottweiler with a microphone meets Star Wars die-hards. Watch it.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Michelle's Friday round-up

Wanting to provide some reading material today but flooded with stuff that that are sure to enhance my character building, read Michelle Malkin's FRIDAY ROUND-UP on the week's big events.

The next time you hear from me I'll have more time, be in a much better mood and prove the silly cliche of "that which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." If you have time for a general prayer for me, I'd appreciate it.

Talk to you in a couple days. Have a great weekend and thanks for sticking with me.

- chachi

Weapon of Mass Destruction uncovered in Iraq.

And he's having trouble with his pants.

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Shapton takes 30 years to realize Democrats aren't helping blacks.

The minority party has been called out by Al Sharpton for keeping minorities down:

The Rev. Al Sharpton blasted Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean on Tuesday, saying that under his leadership, African-Americans have been excluded from top Democratic Party positions.

"I'm taking Dean to task right now for the lack of black inclusion at the highest levels of the Democratic Party," Sharpton told WWRL radio hosts Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter. "It's the lowest in thirty years."

The Harlem firebrand and one-time presidential candidate said that as things stand now, the Republican Party is making more progress including blacks than Dean's team.

"We ought to have more to show [for our support]," he complained. "And we should ask why, as the Republicans, ironically, are running blacks [for office], that [Dean] has left blacks out of the top echelon of the Democratic Party."

Sharpton also said that Dean needed to apologize for racially charged remarks last February, where the top Democrat suggested that Republicans could attract blacks to their party if they summoned the "hotel staff."

Sharpton is getting terribly close to rational thought on the subject by recognizing that Republicans treat blacks with the respect and dignity they deserve by appointing talented minorites to merited positions while the Democrats patronize minorities by selectively lowering standards and showing remarkable hostility to Republican appointments of minorities to Attorney General, Secretary of State and the judiciary.

The Democrats only like blacks who vote for them.

Al-Jazeera acquires another American affiliate.

Depot for the latest human sacrifice snuff videos and terrorist propaganda, Al-Jazeera has acquired another American affiliate:
NBC's "Today" show aired unsubstantiated claims on Tuesday that U.S. troops had desecrated the Quran on at least two occasions, in a report that echoed a now retracted Newsweek story that has inflamed the Muslim world and led to deadly riots.

The "Today" broadcast also covered an allegation that U.S. troops had gang-raped an Iraqi woman.

Commenting on the impact of Newsweek's blunder, NBC Middle East correspondent Richard Engel said the magazine's Quran desecration story was just one of several circulating throughout Iraq.
"There's one rumor spreading today in local newspapers," Engel said. "It's been on the local television and it was also broadcast on the Al-Jazeera television network. It's that U.S. Marines, while raiding a mosque in Ramadi, kicked a Quran and then took it and spray painted in black paint a cross right on top of the Quran."

Engel said another rumor "came out a couple of weeks ago [and] was in a local newspaper.

"It said that during a search of a woman's bag, U.S. soldiers with a team of dogs were sniffing through her bag. She had a Quran in her bag. The dog pulled the Muslim holy book out of the bag with its mouth and the soldiers started laughing."

The NBC newsman then sourced an allegation by a female terrorist suspect who had been detained at Abu Ghraib, who aired her claim in an Iraqi newspaper.

"[She said] she was raped every night by six American soldiers," Engel reported, before adding that U.S. officials deny the claim.
I've heard that Al-Jazeera correspondents bought dinner for NBC reporters to discuss how the two organizations could effectively run domestic interference in the US using the perceived trustworthiness of NBC to merit rumor reporting. I've also been told that an NBC executive was coaxed down from a suicidal perch high-atop their headquarters, after having been seen urinating on the latest Neilson report on the momentum of FOX. These are just rumors.

Translating the Star Tribune

Star Tribune editorials are generally written in a sophisticated youthful tone, unbound to prudential protocol. Translation: Written by 5 year-olds with a thesaurus and no relationship to common sense.

The entire editorial is here. A few paragraphs before wash their words off my eyeballs. For a graph by graph rebut, check out Captain's Quarters or Michelle Malkin for the virus in the media.

Some thoughts before I wash the Strib's editorial off my eyeballs.

The Strib contends that the White House went "ballistic" over Newsweek's retracted statement. The Strib doesn't mention any adjective to describe mass rioting and murder of Islamists, for Islamists and by Islamists. They cite major newspapers "reporting" on testimony from Gitmo detainees captured on the battlefield as evidence for the Muslim world's justification to believe the flushing allegations. The Strib remains voluntarily oblivious to the terrorist training manual that instructs students to claim torture in order to score PR victories with the limp-wristed lollipops in the media. Pencils and laptops are no match for a non-story from an "anonymous source."

Newsweek's "anonymous source", I believe, clearly doesn't exist. The liberal media would crown a military whistle-blower their new queen, so if a "senior official" was willing to damage the military and risk exposure, why wouldn't they go on record and enjoy the media protection that would inevitably result from giving the scoop? Because the source doesn't exist or who's memory is more reliable for sabotage and not for remembering "where they actually saw" the internal report.

Editorial boards across the country are coming to the aid of their wounded comrades at Newsweek, as next year's Peabody Awards being the internally precious component to showing each other the unconditional love they aren't getting somewhere else, the focus has been on the Pentagon officials who knew nothing about such charges and therefore couldn't comment on their accuracy. In the world of agenda j, this is confirmation of the flimsy charges.

The Pentagon is thus getting the blame for not censuring the Newsweek's Periscope column, which may need to be re-named for not seeing what was above the water line from their wet, dark existence below the surface. The story didn't mention the Pentagon's very public policy on respecting the Koran.

Blaming the Pentagon for Newsweek's big mistake is like a 5 year-old getting caught stealing from the cookie jar and blaming the parents for not putting it up high enough. The only difference is that a 5 year-old will learn from the spanking.

The Strib and others make the obligatory reference to Abu Ghraib and prisoner-alleged abuse at Gitmo as the real cause of Muslim distrust of Americans and the resulting violence. I seem to remember the twin tower bombing, USS Cole bombing, embassy bombing, and 9/11 all happened before Abu Ghraib and Gitmo.

With no fear of bringing up their past mistakes, editorial boards across the nation use Newsweek to revive questions of President Bush's ANG service and apply the same "we believe it, it must be true" standard, implicitly admitting that both come from the same inbred, irresponsible, military-hating blood that thinly flows through their liberal veins.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Lane Warfare.

A toll lane opened yesterday on highway 394 in Minneapolis. The "carpool" lane, reserved for buses and drivers with passengers, was a failure as most freeway users prefer to commute without a navigator. As a result of having a clear, open lane for miles while the non-HOV lanes are out-paced by unicycle pilots, Minnesota has allowed solo drivers to obtain an RFID tag from the state and use the HOV lane for a toll based on traffic conditions, listed on electronic boards. Bike, bus, couple or credit card. Simple. After a morning and afternoon commute, it appears to be a success. Who could find something to complain about lighter traffic and increased state revenue? The Left.

Leave it to the Left to turn pavement, paint and electronics into a issue of class-warfare. Opponents of the HOV/toll lane argue that giving every vehicle the same opportunity to use the toll lane is really a special privilege of the wealthy, the "Lexus lane."

There were a handful of people on overpasses with signs that read "SCAM" and a couple of them even spelled it right. I'm not sure how drivers (consumers) who are willing to make a buying decision (paying the toll) based on traffic levels and the current toll price translates to "SCAM", but such is the mind of people who believe 12 feet of pavement separated by a double-white line can discriminate based on income. I don't get it.

No Minnesota road would be complete without an idiot. Fortunately for everyone on 394 yesterday, one of them was advertising. In addition to his/her/its "Kerry for President" bumper sticker, they had a sign on the back of their dilapidated van that read, "No lane for rich people." Fighting the urge to call the State Patrol and report the "operation of an unsafe vehicle on a public roadway," I screamed past them with everyone else in the non-HOV lanes at about 70 mph until things got clogged as I neared my exit. Counting on drivers not to risk a $300 ticket by crossing the double white to pass him, he had it parked in the HOV lane to clog it. Carpoolers or busses be damned, along with those "rich" people with a quarter to burn.

I haven't seen these people outside Ruth's Chris with "No food for rich people" signs. I haven't seen them brandishing "No cars for rich people" at the BMW dealership. Why now over concrete?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Thoughts on judicial nominations.

In a few days, we'll be talking about judicial filibusters in the past tense. The battle started by a minority of Democrats will have appropriately been won by the Republicans. In the meantime, some thoughts on the Democrat talking points.

The Democrats' obsession with "minority rights." The minority does have rights. They have the right to pull themselves out of the minority by winning elections. They have the right to take politics more seriously than nominating this model of moderation and sensibility. They have right to allow themselves a more serious Minority Leader than one who calls a loser. They have the right to save themselves from eternal minority by easing hostility for people of faith while at the same time professing their own. Robert Byrd's recent 'admission' on the floor of the Senate that he's born-again isn't getting "separation" charges from the ACLU because nobody believes him.

Senate traditions. Nobody knows the tradition of the filibuster better than Robert Byrd. He's changed the filibuster rules more often than he's changed his sheets. You can almost forgive his memory because he's the only member of the senate who knows what life in the 13 colonies was like. Democrats are artificially concerned with senate traditions and Republicans about future cooperation if they pull the constitutional trigger, as if the Democrats have been cooperative and helpful anytime since prohibition.

The nominations are out of the mainstream. So out of the mainstream are Bush's nominations that Janice Rogers Brown, the first black woman on the California Supreme Court - labeled a "Neanderthal" by Ted Kennedy - was re-elected by 76% of the people from the right-wing juggernaut of California. The success of black women on their own merits is tangible proof that minorities don't need the Democrats in order to excel. In fact, if you are too talented, the Democrats will threaten shut down of the government in order to stand in your way under the guise of your 'extremism' while they get a free pass for what is clearly racism. If a judicial nomination is truly out of the mainstream, they won't be elected by a majority of Senators who were elected by a majority of Americans, a majority built because Americans have grown tired of obstruction. Ask Tom Daschle. It's not that the nominations are out of the mainstream, it's that they are firmly planted in the mainstream, but women and minorities advancing without the benefit of affirmative action are seen as busting the curve of the Democrat's lowered minority expectations.

If the filibuster rule is changed, it will end democracy as we know it. The kind of democracy that ignored the will of 60% Californians to ban gay marriage? The Democrats have successfully run PR interference to imply that the filibuster shows up somewhere in the Constitution. The one I'm reading doesn't have it, but it does say something about the Senate's responsibility to "advise and consent" on judicial nominations. Breaking the filibuster would allow a return to the Senate's duty.

The Left's ideas don't win votes. Losing seats in the last 3 elections, the Democrats are relying more and more on judicial activism, the Legislature of the Left, to move their agenda. They understand that their survival depends on liberal judges. They've quietly conceded that they may never win another election by acutely focusing their energy on blocking the constitutional responsibility of the senate to allow judicial nominations an up or down vote.

This recruitment tool sponsored by Newsweek.

The MSM wonders what effect humiliating Abu Ghraib prisoners would have on terror recruiting. I don't think there were many 'moderate' Muslims who said to themselves, "Hey, my life is way too easy right now. I'd like sign up to fight a country who if they don't kill me, will show the world all my shortcomings and dress me in the clothes I only wear in private."

Now ask yourself how many of the 1 billion Muslims on the planet are at least a little angry about the thought of a flushed holy book? With Newsweek's non-retraction, how many of the earth's 1 billion Muslims' misplaced suspicions of Americans have now been artificially validated? How many who had adopted a "wait and see" to approach to Iraq now believe that the US is willing to talk about domestic religious freedom while desecrating Islam?

Newsweek's attempt to make the military look bad may have had the effect of moving Muslims up one rung on the ladder toward extremism. Now that's reporting.

flag burn Posted by Hello
Heated emotions: University students in Kabul burned an American flag last week
May 23 issue - By the end of the week, the rioting had spread from Afghanistan throughout much of the Muslim world, from Gaza to Indonesia. Mobs shouting "Protect our Holy Book!" burned down government buildings and ransacked the offices of relief organizations in several Afghan provinces. The violence cost at least 15 lives, injured scores of people and sent a shudder through Washington, where officials worried about the stability of moderate regimes in the region.

The spark was apparently lit at a press conference held on Friday, May 6, by Imran Khan, a Pakistani cricket legend and strident critic of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. Brandishing a copy of that week's NEWSWEEK (dated May 9), Khan read a report that U.S. interrogators at Guantánamo prison had placed the Qur'an on toilet seats and even flushed one. "This is what the U.S. is doing," exclaimed Khan, "desecrating the Qur'an." His remarks, as well as the outraged comments of Muslim clerics and Pakistani government officials, were picked up on local radio and played throughout neighboring Afghanistan. Radical Islamic foes of the U.S.-friendly regime of Hamid Karzai quickly exploited local discontent with a poor economy and the continued presence of U.S. forces, and riots began breaking out last week.

Sash bash.

If you went to church wearing something that made it clear you were supporting a lifestyle that church teaches is sin, would you expect your defiance to be rewarded when the priest had declared it inappropriate? They do:
More than 150 members of the Rainbow Sash Alliance were sent away from communion empty-handed at the Cathedral of St. Paul on Pentecost Sunday.

Wearing rainbow-colored sashes, members of the group sought to take part in the eucharist to celebrate what they called the God-given sexuality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics.

But instead of a communion wafer, each sash-wearing worshiper received a blessing from the priests conducting the mass. The worshipers returned to their seats and stood, cupped hands outstretched, for the remainder of the service.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Harry Flynn advised all parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to deny communion to anyone wearing a rainbow-colored sash.

"Pentecost is traditionally a celebration of the gifts of the spirit," McNeill said. "On this day when we celebrate the gifts of the spirit, it is appropriate to celebrate our sexuality. God made us this way."

Archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath said the church's denial of communion had nothing to do with sexuality. Had they removed their sashes, he said, the Rainbow Alliance worshipers would have been given communion along with the rest of the congregation.

"It's about using the most sacred and profound part of our faith as a protest," McGrath said. "The eucharist is not the Washington Monument, where you can stage a demonstration.

"We have no litmus test for communion," McGrath said. "It's very painful for the archbishop and very painful for the church to deny the sacraments, but they [the protesters] are setting the ground rules."
Imagine a PETA convention where they hand out little fuzzy buttons for being a good little PETAfile. If you strolled up to get your button while eating a corn dog, do you seriously think you'd get that week's fuzzy button?

If you're going to visually mock the clearly stated guidelines of any organization, church or not, don't expect to have your protest rewarded.

You get what you pay for.

Public defender for cop-killer is going shopping:
As a grand jury prepares to meet this week to review charges against a man accused of killing St. Paul police Sgt. Gerald Vick, the defendant's attorney Sunday expressed serious doubts about whether his client can get a fair trial.

Ramsey County public defender David Gill, who is representing Harry J. Evans, said that police and the county attorney's office shouldn't have waited a week to publicly disclose that Vick had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 percent -- twice the legal limit to drive -- when he was killed May 6. Before the information was released, "we were getting beat up with nothing to fight back with," Gill said.

Vick was repeatedly eulogized as a hero, and "we don't believe Sgt. Vick was acting heroic at all on this particular evening at 2 a.m. with a .20 reading," Gill said. "That says nothing about the other merits of his life. But it raises questions about what happened."
I've never quite understood the concept of "venue shopping," where lawyer for the defense wants to have the case tried in another jurisdiction, ostensibly because potential jurors in that county may be more likely to acquit. In this case, does the public defender know a nasty little enclave of Minnesota where residents (potential jurors) don't see a problem with shooting a drunk man five times and then evading police?

"Timing" is the least of this lawyer's worries. He should be more concerned about the gun found that fired the slugs that were fished out of a dead, hard-working cop. I don't care that the cop was drunk. If you had to deal and blend in with life's crustiest slime on a daily basis, asking for a Shirley Temple instead of a Bud may be enough to blow your cover and east St. Paul isn't full of people who see 'moderation' as a virtue.

Newsweek lied, people died, Part II

Newsweek "reported" last week that a US interrogator had flushed a Koran down a detainee's toilet in an apparent attempt to rattle the little head-chopper. The story wasn't true. As a result of the quality reporting perfected by Jason Blair and Dan Rather, Newsweek's attempted US military smear angered some of the world's billion Muslims:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Newsweek magazine said on Sunday it erred in a May 9 report that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, and apologized to the victims of deadly Muslim protests sparked by the article.

Editor Mark Whitaker said the magazine inaccurately reported that U.S. military investigators had confirmed that personnel at the detention facility in Cuba had flushed the Muslim holy book down the toilet.

The report sparked angry and violent protests across the Muslim world from Afghanistan, where 16 were killed and more than 100 injured, to Pakistan to Indonesia to Gaza. In the past week it was condemned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and by the Arab League.
And comment from the White House:
"It's puzzling that while Newsweek now acknowledges that they got the facts wrong, they refused to retract the story," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "I think there's a certain journalistic standard that should be met and in this instance it was not."
The Liberal national passtime is asking, "Why do they hate us?". The answer is within yourself my little lefy friends. The answer is within yourself.

CQ has more.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Newsweek lied, people died.

Newsweek printed an untrue story about American interrogators at Guantanamo who sent a little book back to its home:
Among the previously unreported cases, sources tell NEWSWEEK: interrogators, in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an down a toilet and led a detainee around with a collar and dog leash.
Whoever this "sources" person is, has a credibility problem, because it looks like it was actually a frustrated naughty jihadi trying to clog a toilet in protest:
”They have looked through the logs, the interrogation logs, and they cannot confirm yet that there was ever the case of the toilet incident,“ the General said. ”He did note a log entry, which they still have to confirm, where a detainee was reported by a guard to be ripping pages out of a Quran and putting them in a toilet to stop it up as a protest. But not where the US did it."
"News"week runs with a story and the Muslim world reacts with violence:
KABUL, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Angry protests raged across the Muslim world from Gaza to Indonesia on Friday over a report U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had desecrated the Koran, with calls for retaliation and a rising death toll.

Governments demanded investigations and thousands took to the streets in outrage over a Newsweek magazine report that interrogators at a U.S. military prison in Cuba had put the Muslim holy book on toilets, in at least one case flushing it down.

In Afghanistan, at least nine people were killed in protests over the report on Friday, bringing the country’s death toll to 16 this week in its worst anti-American demonstrations since the fall of the Taliban. ...

In Gaza, several thousand Palestinians marched through a refugee camp in a protest organized by the Islamic militant group Hamas. Several hundred Palestinians also marched in the West Bank city of Hebron. “The Holy Koran was defiled by the dirtiest of hands, by American hands,” a protester shouted at the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, where U.S. and Israeli flags were also burned.

The escalating violence prompted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to urge Muslims on Thursday to resist calls for violence, saying U.S. military authorities were investigating the Koran allegations.
Condi Rice is one of the world's brightest women. Why did she waste her breath urging restraint when everyone knows that Islam is a peaceful religion?

Border Patrol tells agents to stop arresting illegals.

The bureaucratic pile of dung otherwise known as the Border Patrol as told their agents to stop arresting illegals:
U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned.

More than a dozen agents, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said orders relayed by Border Patrol supervisors at the Naco, Ariz., station made it clear that arrests were "not to go up" along the 23-mile section of border that the volunteers monitored to protest illegal immigration.

"It was clear to everyone here what was being said and why," said one veteran agent. "The apprehensions were not to increase after the Minuteman volunteers left. It was as simple as that."

Another agent said the Naco supervisors "were clear in their intention" to keep new arrests to an "absolute minimum" to offset the effect of the Minuteman vigil, adding that patrols along the border have been severely limited.

Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, yesterday said "credible sources" within the Border Patrol also had told him of the decision by Naco supervisors to keep new arrests to a minimum, saying he was angry but not surprised.

"It's like telling a cop to stand by and watch burglars loot a store but don't arrest any of them," he said. "This is another example of decisions being made at the highest levels of the Border Patrol that are hurting morale and helping to rot the agency from within.
Someday after a nuclear suitcase goes off in Los Angeles, someone stronger than Bush will require the Border Patrol to begin doing its job instead of standing in the way of controlled borders by trying to publicly minimize the ultra-successful effort by the Minutemen with 'no-arrest' orders. Why are we counting on a slippery and unreliable government agency to do what a permanent fence can do?

Dem leader cites classified report to smear judicial nominee.

Desperation makes people do strange things. Today, it made Dem Minority Leader Reid an even bigger fool. First, consider...
Standing Rule of the Senate 29, Section 5: "Any Senator, officer, or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees, and offices of the Senate, shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt."
And here's what Reid did...
Minority Leader Harry Reid strayed from his prepared remarks on the Senate floor yesterday and promised to continue opposing one of President Bush's judicial nominees based on "a problem" he said is in the nominee's "confidential report from the FBI."

Those highly confidential reports are filed on all judicial nominees, and severe sanctions apply to anyone who discloses their contents. Less clear is whether a senator could face sanctions for characterizing the content of such files.

"Henry Saad would have been filibustered anyway," Mr. Reid said on the floor yesterday, about the Michigan Appeals Court judge who is nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

"All you need to do is have a member go upstairs and look at his confidential report from the FBI, and I think we would all agree that there is a problem there," Mr. Reid continued.
Captain's Quarters has much more on the severity of Reid lying about a classified report.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Lost and found.

The third time I was arrested, a state that I didn't live in had neglected to mark a minor traffic ticket as being paid. My paid receipts were no match for the magical powers of the all-knowing "computer" mounted in the cruiser, connected to some diabolically slow mother computer somewhere in the middle of Wherever Things are Really, Really Slow. 3 months had not been enough time for my $50 to make it to all the dark, "never wrong" computer recesses across the country.

If miscreant databases had a tough time forgetting my disobedience, you'd think serious criminals would set off alarms, right? Nope.
MIAMI (AP) - A homeless man who did odd jobs for a local restaurateur was stabbed to death as he defended her against a knife-wielding intruder, authorities said.

Kelcy Ruiz, 32, was mourned as a hero for coming to the aid of Melida Murillo during an attack Monday at her Colombian restaurant, Mama Leonor.

Ruiz, described by relatives as a crack cocaine addict who lived mainly on Miami's downtown streets, did occasional work for Murillo in exchange for food.

"Even though he was a forgotten member of society, he acted better than most people who are not homeless," said Detective Delrish Moss, spokesman for the Miami Police Department.

Ruiz's uncle described his nephew as "a lost soul" who had emigrated from Honduras four years ago in hopes of kicking his drug habit and finding work.

Another homeless man, Tyrone Daniel Clark, 43, was being held without bond on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and armed robbery.

Clark was arrested in Miami on drug charges in March but was released, apparently because officials did not realize he had skipped out from monitoring required as a registered sex offender.

That 'credibility' thing again.

Without citing examples, many journalists remain united in denouncing bloggers as dubious news/opinion depots for not having timelines, editors or an ombudsman. Instead, they keep giving us multiple unintentional examples of their own sloppy deceit:

I've posted the entire column, as the link requires subscription. Read the whole story below. Or don't.
The Public Editor: Latest lapses find newspapers on defensive again
By Armando Acuña -- The Public Editor
Published 2:15 am PDT Sunday, April 17, 2005

Here we go again. Another round of journalistic lapses at leading American newspapers. Reporters suspended. Internal investigations launched. Embarrassing public corrections. Institutional credibility called into question. If it sounds distressingly familiar, it is.

In the last month, a rash of ethical blunders has once again focused uncomfortable attention on whether readers should believe what they read in the newspaper.

The frustrating and sad thing from a journalist's perspective is that all the wounds were self-inflicted. The saving grace - if, indeed, there is one - is that the newspapers involved quickly and forthrightly owned up to their mistakes, instead of arrogantly ignoring them or letting them fester.

The journalistic offenses occurred at the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press.

Let's begin:

Mitch Albom is a sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press. He has been called America's most decorated sportswriter and is the embodiment of a newspaper star. Not only does he write a syndicated column, but he is the author of best-selling books such as "Tuesdays With Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," hosts a Detroit radio program and is a regular guest on ESPN.

In a column published Sunday, April 3, Albom wrote about Michigan State playing the previous day in the semi-finals of college basketball's Final Four. He described how two former Michigan State stars and current NBA players, Mateen Cleaves and Jason Richardson, traveled to the game, sat in the stands "in their MSU clothing, and rooted on their alma mater."

Problem is, it never happened. Cleaves and Richardson weren't at the game.

Turns out Albom wrote his column on Friday, the day before the game, to meet a printing deadline for Sunday's paper. Cleaves and Richardson had told Albom they planned on being at the game and the columnist wrote his piece as though the event had already happened. Big mistake.

As of The Bee's press time, Albom was suspended while the paper investigates the matter; its publisher-editor wrote a front-page "Dear Readers" explanation, and Albom penned an apology to his readers.

"Albom was wrong to report that athletes were there when the game had not yet been played. And the Free Press was wrong to publish it," said the paper's publisher and editor, Carole Leigh Hutton.

At worst, what Albom did is a fabrication. At minimum, it's dishonest, stupid and disrespects readers.

Over at the New York Times, the paper decided to play footsie with Columbia University, home of the Pulitzers, journalism's top prize, and in so doing got burned by ignoring its own ethics policy, while serving its self interest above those of its readers.

The university wanted to release a report about the results of a faculty investigation into allegations by pro-Israel Jewish students that they were harassed by pro-Palestinian professors.

The school offered the paper a scoop. It would release the report a day early to the Times but on one condition. The paper had to agree not to seek comment from any "interested parties," namely the protesting students. In essence, the school asked for an incomplete and unbalanced story. Astonishingly, the Times agreed.

The ensuing March 31 front-page story was without student comment, leaving that for a follow-up story the next day.

In a long editor's note April 6 explaining the lapse in judgment, the paper said the writer and her editors did not recall the paper's policy forbidding writers to "forgo follow-up reporting in exchange for information."

"Without a response from the complainants (the students), the article was incomplete; it should not have appeared in that form." No kidding.

For a paper still haunted by the turmoil unleashed by the Jayson Blair plagiarism-fabrication scandal, the decision to voluntarily put on a reporting straitjacket is confounding.

"If you're looking for an example of irresponsible journalism, this is about as cut and dried as it gets," said CJR Daily, the Columbia Journalism Review's Web site.

At the Los Angeles Times, editors are dealing with a problematic feature story about hazing at Chico State University.

The March 29 story by reporter Eric Slater was riddled with errors, including citing the death of a college student from alcohol poisoning who actually lived and using quotes from the university's president without attributing them as coming from the local newspaper.

The Times printed a lengthy correction, but the university's president remains unmollified and wants a more substantial correction. The editor of the Chico paper, the Enterprise Record, says the two local people quoted by name in the story (five others are quoted anonymously) may not exist.

After the correction and following an April 3 column by the Enterprise Record's editor, David Little, that cast doubts on the veracity of Slater's story, the Times dispatched an editor to Chico on a fact-finding mission. That alone is extraordinary and an indication of how seriously the paper is taking the matter.

Slater, who reportedly has been suspended, wrote an e-mail to his friends and colleagues saying, "I wrote the worst story in my 19-year journalism career the other day. I wanted to apologize to you directly."

He and his editor called the university president to apologize, confirmed Joe Wills, the university's director of public affairs and publications.

As for what happens next, here's what Martha Goldstein, the paper's vice president for communication, said in an e-mail to me:

"Editors at the Los Angeles Times have been made aware that there may be flaws in the March 29 Chico State story that were not addressed in the correction that ran on March 31. Needless to say, this is an issue of concern as well to everyone here, and editors are in the process of reviewing the matter. Please be assured that if there are additional problems with the story, The Times will report its findings when the review is completed."

Again, newspapers find themselves on the defensive. Again, they must explain sloppy work and lapses in judgment and ask for forgiveness and trust. Let's hope readers are still listening.

Dude looks like a lady.

A $249 Humor Ticket was issued to a Wisconsin senior for expressing himself at the prom:
A high school senior who thought it would be funny to wear a dress to his prom was ticketed $249 for disorderly conduct, suspended for three days and banned from his last track meet.

School district administrator Jim Gottinger said the discipline was for more than just the dress, noting Kerry Lofy, 18, was dancing in a sexually provocative manner at the prom, according to a police report.

Lofy doubts that was the real reason he was disciplined Monday.

"The whole night was that kind of dancing. They can't single me out and say, 'Oh it was you, it was only you,'" he said. "I think it's over the dress."

Lofy said Lake Geneva Badger High had no problem letting him go to Saturday's prom with another male, but that school officials drew the line at his dress.

"I thought it would be more appropriate for there to be one person dressed like a girl and a person dressed like a guy, than for there to be two guys to go," said Lofy, a member of the school's track, ski, powerlifting and soccer teams.

Also, he thought people would find it funny to see a 6-foot, 185-pound male in a black, stretchy, spaghetti-strap dress.

When Lofy showed up in the dress, a blond wig, open-toed platform sandals, blue earrings and a necklace, teachers turned him away. He said he showed up later with a tan-and-black plaid leisure suit over the dress, went inside and whipped off the suit during a dance-off. A security guard escorted him out, he said.

Lofy said when he went to school Monday, the school liaison police officer issued the disorderly conduct ticket.

"They thought I was mocking the school," he said.
If Lofy were a effete, stringy mascara wearer who had a tendency to dig in his mother's underwear drawer and re-enact the famous Silence of the Lambs tuck & run while listening to Barry Manilow, the school would have allowed him to express his gender confusion in a comfortable atmosphere that promotes tolerance.

Because he's a masculine (presumably) straight male making an obvious joke and trying to be funny, his mockery of political correctness was interpreted as being at the expense of students & staff who have a tough time choosing between Hanes and Victoria's Secret.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

And there were 3

Introducing James Edward Studeny III

pebble 2 Posted by Hello

My great friends Rocky (James II) and Joanie continued the Studeny Legacy with the addition of a 7lb 14oz miracle. Descendant of the great Rockzilla and the ever-gorgeous Joanie, James III is appropriately nick-named Pebble.

I stopped by their house to introduce myself to the little fella, despite some well-placed concerns about how impressionable a 7 day-old baby might be. The first time he lights the coffee table on fire, I'll get blamed, but that's at least two years away.

Someone very clever bought little Pebble a couple jumpers that are sure to please the grandparents. One read, "Party at my crib, 3am" and the other, "I like boobs." I swear it wasn't me.

I had the pleasure of meeting the complete Studeny family at the baby shower months ago and I can say without a doubt that James III will surrounded by many impressive people of character. He's blessed to have been born into such a sensational family.

Rock, Joanie, I'm flattered to be regarded as an unofficial uncle. I'm pretty sure you won't regret it.

Friday, May 06, 2005

This nuclear test brought to you by Clinton & Co.

Taking a break from gassing their gulag prisoners, North Korea will be spending the weekend preparing a nuclear test.
TOKYO -- Japan has information that North Korea may be preparing for a nuclear test, a Defense Agency official said Friday, less than a week after Pyongyang is believed to have tested a short-range missile off its eastern coast.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, refused to specify the information or its source.

The New York Times on Friday reported that the White House and Pentagon officials were examining satellite photographs that suggest North Korea is making rapid preparations for a nuclear test.
Clinton & Co.'s disgraceful legacy of appeasement conveniently dropped 9/11 in George Bush's lap and now North Korea may soon highlight another consequence of Carter and Clinton's forceless liberal foreign policy:
It was not George W. Bush's foreign policy -- which has liberated one nation from the tyranny of a madman craving WMDs -- that allowed North Korea to build nuclear weapons. The DPRK may have already possessed more than one such missile by the time he got into office in 2001. It was Bill Clinton's nonfeasance that bought Pyongyang almost ten years to pursue nuclear weapons development. Shortly after North Korea first announced its nuclear program, former president Jimmy Carter rushed to the workers paradise to conduct personal, unauthorized peace talks. As Bill Clinton attempted to play it tough in public, Carter promised North Korea's leaders that no military response would be forthcoming, a promise Clinton later felt duty-bound to keep. Thus did Clinton allow the weak-kneed former president to conduct a private foreign policy in his stead. Carter and Clinton drew up a massive transfer of wealth -- a bribe -- in return for North Korea's unverifiable promise to end its nuclear program. As part of the deal, the United States provided North Korea with light-water nuclear reactors, food, and fuel oil (some 10,000 metric tons of which was diverted to the Red Chinese Army).

Viewed from the present, Clinton's actions and rhetoric seem tragi-comic. Upon completing the "Agreed Framework" in 1994, Clinton stated, "This agreement will help achieve a vital and long-standing American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula." Bill Gertz described the terms of the Agreed Framework well: "The agreement gave the North Koreans ten years to dismantle their weapons program and five years to turn over the existing stockpile of plutonium." Instead, ten years later North Korea affirms what most world observers have long suspected: they have produced nuclear weapons. The only mystery is how many they have produced and how long they have had them in reserve.

Google applying for patent to rank news by 'quality' of source

Google has applied for a patent for a program that will rank news searches by the quality of the source.

This is a little more than concerning for a couple reasons. First is Google's political $463,000 in political contributions to Democratic candidates versus $5,000 for Republicans.

While this isn't that big a deal, LGF has examples here, here and here of Google's efforts to block conservative ads and searches for popular conservative blogs who were crucial depots of collective information that ultimately brought down CBS and Dan Rather's fake Bush ANG story/docs.

Another matter of consequence is Google's relationship with inventor the of the internet, Al Gore, and their cooperative effort to launch a new liberal TV channel.

Blogs have been instrumental in creating accountability for the journalistic sins of the MSM they would have otherwise gotten away with. In retaliation, the Left is making a run at labeling blogs unaccountable, fact-challenged and not 'quasi journalism' for not having the LA Times' 4 or 5 layers of editors who prove so effective in mucking up an original story and two correction columns, resulting in termination of the original journalist.

It isn't unreasonable to be concerned with how Google define 'quality of source' when Google is comprised of and has verifiable relationships with many people and organizations who see blogs as a form of free speech that needs to be muzzled. Liberal Senators are already considering legislation that to limit blog speech.

Powerline and LGF broke the CBS fake document story. While Google continualy refuses to consider them 'news sources', they had timely, accurate and crucial information that proved highly damaging to the Left. It isn't a stretch that a curious reader wouldn't have been able to find ongoing information on the ANG story had Google's new software been in use at the time. The communal information efforts that uncovered layer after layer may not have been able to search the internet. And that's Google's point. If the world's biggest search engine begins to run software that can effectively block specific search results, they'd have their hands on a very powerful device to stifle liberal-dissenting news.

3 hot squares for life for man who tried to blow up airliner.

Richard Reid, officially setting a new but not unbeatable standard as the World's Ugliest Terrorist, was sentenced to life in prison for his attempt to light the fuse on his bomb-laced shoes during a flight from Paris to Miami. Fortunately for the passengers, matches proved too complicated for the naughty jihadi.

The judge who sentenced Reid to life in prison had some parting words for the wife-to-be:
January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid. Judge Young: Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General.

On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other. That's 80 years.

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million.

The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment.

The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence. Let me explain this to you.

We are not afraid of any of your terrorist coconspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.

Here in this court, where we deal with individuals as individuals, and care for individuals as individuals, as human beings we reach out for justice, you are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be your view, you are a terrorist.

And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not treat with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You are no warrior. I know warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders.

In a very real sense Trooper Santigo had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were and he said you're no big deal. You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today? I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose.

Here, in this society, the very winds carry freedom. They carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely.

It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their, their representation of you before other judges. We are about it. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden, pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.

Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow it will be forgotten. But this, however, will long endure. Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done.

The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged, and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. You know it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.
At which point bailiffs dragged a kicking and screaming Reid from the courtroom.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

5:05, 05.05.05

It'll never happen again in my lifetime.

Not only will it not be 05.05.05 for another 1000 years, it'll be 7000 years before it happens on the 5th day of the week.

Botox logic.

Drudge has an update on the unintended consequences of starting an investigation before you've wiped your own fingerprints off the evidence.
14 Lawmakers Now Under Scrutiny In Travel Scandal
Thu May 05 200 510:47:10 ET

The scandal over Congressional travel continues to grow, with at least 14 Members, as well as numerous Capitol Hill staffers, are now under scrutiny because of the sources of funding for domestic and overseas trips they took.

ROLL CALL reports: Although House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is by far the most high-profile lawmaker caught up in the scandal so far, to this point, more Democrats than Republicans have found themselves the subject of news reports outlining potential violations of House ethics rules for taking trips funded by registered lobbyists or lobbying firms.

The number is sure to rise as researchers for both parties, as well as reporters and political activists, continue to dig through tens of thousands of pages of travel documents on file with Congress.

Democrats were privately taken aback that two of their more prominent members, Reps. James Clyburn and Bennie Thompson, had become embroiled in the political furor surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Democratic sources said they expect Clyburn and Thompson to face an ethics inquiry given all attention surrounding DeLay and his overseas trips.

But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that Democrats cannot be considered in the same category as Republicans when it comes to ethics problems. Rep. Pelosi said, "It is not an issue of members of our Caucus having the same sort of a problem. Make no mistake - there is a drastic difference between the timing of reporting things and ethical behavior."
Pelosi's Botox Logic: Republicans not filing the proper travel reports before the investigation = Unethical. Democats frantically filing their own reports before being force-fed the truth-telling syrum of the inquiry = Timing. More guilty Democrats than Republicans = the vast white-out conspiracy.

They should have listened to me.

Rotten to the top?

Just in time to ruin Kofi Annan's weekend, FOX news is in receipt of boxes of evidence from a member of the Independent Inquiry Committee, the team tasked with investigating the UN's responsibility in the Oil For Food scandal. Two of the committee's investigators resigned in frustration in recent weeks feeling that Kofi Annan was "getting off the hook" for his sins in the biggest swindle in world history. UN hath no fury like an investigator scorned:
U.N. investigators have turned over to Congress boxes of evidence on the Oil for Food program, including "proof" that U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan lied to the Independent Inquiry Committee probing the scandal, Fox News Channel reporter Jonathan Hunt said Thursday.

"One source close to the case told me that in those boxes is the ammunition to prove that Kofi Annan lied to investigators," Hunt told Fox News Radio host Tony Snow. "So this is a very dramatic development indeed."

Hunt said the documents had been in the possession of U.N. investigator Robert Parton, who resigned from the probe two weeks ago charging that Annan was being let off the hook.
"The boxes contain the almost complete records of Parton's investigation," Hunt told Snow, explaining, "It looks very embarrassing for Kofi Annan right now - it's a very bad thing."

The magnetism of the US armed forces.

Let's say you had an ant problem. Because your brain is bigger than your heart, you ignore the Compassionate Action Institute's request to relocate the colony of pests instead of killing it. With the world's health in the balance, you forgo an eviction notice because ants can't read and instead strategically place a insecticide-laced pan of honey across the street from your house, confident that you can count on the little ant's noses to lure them to their sweet demise.

The next day, passersby notice the honey pan's infestation and quip, "My goodness, what a mess of ants! They weren't here yesterday, not only must they be reproducing at an alarming rate, this pan is like a magnet. How irresponsible for someone to put this pan here!"

Upon your inspection of the pan, you proudly declare, "Wow. This really works. While all these ants are busy with this big diversion, my house hasn't had a single ant. With ants marching to their death from all over the neighborhood, I'm quite sure I'm killing ants I never knew existed. I knew I'd kill a bunch, but didn't know there were this many so willing to acquaint themselves with death."

Even the ants would agree that your strategy is effective, some may even send a letter to the Queen, highlighting how poor leadership has left their morale low and frustration high.

What works with ants works on a lower member on the food chain, terrorists. While the Left sees a problem with world terrorists looking for work in Iraq, the US Army has found capturing 84 terrorists in 2 days is much easier when you have honey:
BAGHDAD (Army News Service, May 3, 2005) – The Iraqi Army, police and U.S. Soldiers apprehended 84 suspected terrorists in 19 different combat operations conducted in and around Baghdad May 1 and 2.

The largest operation netted 40 terror suspects during raids carried out early in the morning May 2. Thirteen more suspected terrorists were captured in four other missions conducted Monday morning.

On May 1, Iraqi Security Forces and U.S. Soldiers conducted seven different missions and took 31 terror suspects into custody. The largest operation occurred after a terrorist fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a Task Force Baghdad patrol.

The Soldiers saw the gunner run down an alley and into a nearby mosque. U.S. Forces secured the area and Iraqi citizens on the scene identified the attacker. Iraqi police arrived at the site, entered the mosque and detained 18 suspects, including the attacker.

New wine makes men's lives more difficult

Even women are sick of hangovers:
NAPA, Calif. - A winery took up the age-old question, What do women want, and came up with this answer: A lower-alcohol wine.

The new product, White Lie Early Season chardonnay, bucks the trend of “fruit bomb” wines that carry a hefty alcoholic punch. It clocks in at 9.8 percent alcohol compared to the 13 and 14 percent found in some vintages.

An all-woman research and development team worked on the wine, which is scheduled to start selling in major national markets in May for less than $10 a bottle.

The reason behind White Lie’s lower alcohol is that it’s made from grapes picked earlier, when sugar levels are lower.

“There were a bunch of us sitting around saying, You know what? We don’t need all that alcohol,” said Tracey Mason, director of global innovation for Beringer Blass.
Men across the country are mobilizing to boycott the lower-alcohol wine. They base their protests on years of informal studies which prove that higher female blood-alcohol levels make men taller, richer and more attractive. As a consolation, "I have a headache" will have less foundation in truth.

The story behind the picture.

Michael Yon, a journalist/photographer who took this picture, reports the story behind how it happened.

Michael's site is rich with what's happening in Iraq. I'd suggest visiting often.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Now that's teaching.

From Mudville Gazette:
Students at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School at Gallaudet University had used e-mail and a school Web log to get first-hand accounts of the insurgency in Iraq and the daily survival of a U.S. Marine stationed there.

Yesterday, the 42 students met their personal link for the first time.

Sgt. Earl "Jay" Beatty, 31, joined the school's sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at a homecoming ceremony on Gallaudet's campus in Northeast. He returned home to Mitchellville March 18.

The students, who are deaf or have partial hearing loss, used sign-language interpreters to thank a tearful Sgt. Beatty and his wife, Donna, 30, for their contributions to their country and for their correspondence with the students.
The site is here.

Not too late for love.

Posted by Hello
Picture released by the U.S. Army Tuesday, May 3, 2005 shows a U.S. Army soldier comforting a child fatally wounded in a car bomb blast in Mosul, 360 km (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, May 2, 2005. 15 Iraqis were wounded in the combined suicide bomb attack. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Patiently waiting for a fact.

Power Line highlights this story from the New York Times on civilian turned Army reservist turned consciencious objector turned liberal posterboy.

Powerline has some sharp questions for the article's author, Bob Herbert, which I encourage you to read. I have a few additional questions which appear in italics.
Bob Herbert

I spent some time recently with Aidan Delgado, a 23-year-old religion major at New College of Florida, a small, highly selective school in Sarasota.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, before hearing anything about the terror attacks that would change the direction of American history, Mr. Delgado enlisted as a private in the Army Reserve. Suddenly, in ways he had never anticipated, the military took over his life. He wasu trained as a mechanic and assigned to the 320th Military Police Company in St. Petersburg. By the spring of 2003, he was in Iraq. Eventually he would be stationed at the prison compound in Abu Ghraib.

Sarasota, Florida and New York City are in the same time zone. If Mr. Delgado's patriotism really pre-empted the complete media satuaration that came with 3 planes crashing into US landmarks - two of them by the time the recruiting office opened at 9.00 am - we have to believe Delgado had his nose parked on the NG office glass, made it through and estimated hour-plus interview, Q & A and form-filling and didn't find out we were under attack? The NG office didn't have a radio, TV or a phone that frantically rang off the "Are you watching this!" hook?

Mr. Delgado's background is unusual. He is an American citizen, but because his father was in the diplomatic corps, he grew up overseas. He spent eight years in Egypt, speaks Arabic and knows a great deal about the various cultures of the Middle East. He wasn't happy when, even before his unit left the states, a top officer made wisecracks about the soldiers heading off to Iraq to kill some ragheads and burn some turbans.

"He laughed," Mr. Delgado said, "and everybody in the unit laughed with him."

Does Delgado prefer his machismo in softer tones? Would he rather a soldier declare, "We're going to an area formerly known as Babylon to extinguish some gentlemen of Arab descent and incinerate their traditional head-dress."

The officer's comment was a harbinger of the gratuitous violence that, according to Mr. Delgado, is routinely inflicted by American soldiers on ordinary Iraqis. He said: "Guys in my unit, particularly the younger guys, would drive by in their Humvee and shatter bottles over the heads of Iraqi civilians passing by. They'd keep a bunch of empty Coke bottles in the Humvee to break over people's heads."

He said he had confronted guys who were his friends about this practice. "I said to them: 'What the hell are you doing? Like, what does this accomplish?' And they responded just completely openly. They said: 'Look, I hate being in Iraq. I hate being stuck here. And I hate being surrounded by hajis.' "

"Haji" is the troops' term of choice for an Iraqi. It's used the way "gook" or "Charlie" was used in Vietnam.

Like, who did that, and stuff? Name names. Are we to believe that even innocent Iraqi's aren't safe from the long tentacles of American commercialism? So determined are we to spread capitalism that American soldiers perpetrate bottled drive-by's and for good measure snap, "Here's your Coke, now smile, haji!" If this happened "routinely", why have the surplus of America-hating jounalists never reported or no photographer recorded? Delgado had a duty to report unnecessary violence. He didn't. Is he a liar or a patsy? I'll give you odds if you pick liar.

Mr. Delgado said he had witnessed incidents in which an Army sergeant lashed a group of children with a steel Humvee antenna, and a Marine corporal planted a vicious kick in the chest of a kid about 6 years old. There were many occasions, he said, when soldiers or marines would yell and curse and point their guns at Iraqis who had done nothing wrong.

Herbert neglects what students learn in the first 10 minutes of J School: The 5 W's. Who, what, where, when, why. Who was the sergeant who risked future communication abilities by removing his Humvee antenna to "lash a group of children"? Was this before or after the soldiers gave them candy?

He said he believes that the absence of any real understanding of Arab or Muslim culture by most G.I.'s, combined with a lack of proper training and the unrelieved tension of life in a war zone, contributes to levels of fear and rage that lead to frequent instances of unnecessary violence.

Mr. Delgado, an extremely thoughtful and serious young man, balked at the entire scene. "It drove me into a moral quagmire," he said. "I walked up to my commander and gave him my weapon. I said: 'I'm not going to fight. I'm not going to kill anyone. This war is wrong. I'll stay. I'll finish my job as a mechanic. But I'm not going to hurt anyone. And I want to be processed as a conscientious objector.' "

So "extremely thoughtful and serious" is Delgado that before his spontaneous pre-opening visit the the NG office on 9/11/01, he didn't consider that he might be called pull a trigger with a muzzle pointed at an enemy of his ethnicity? Did he actually use the term "quagmire" at the time, before Ted Kennedy made it a liberal anthem?

He stayed with his unit and endured a fair amount of ostracism. "People would say I was a traitor or a coward," he said. "The stuff you would expect."

In November 2003, after several months in Nasiriya in southern Iraq, the 320th was redeployed to Abu Ghraib. The violence there was sickening, Mr. Delgado said. Some inmates were beaten nearly to death. The G.I.'s at Abu Ghraib lived in cells while most of the detainees were housed in large overcrowded tents set up in outdoor compounds that were vulnerable to mortars fired by insurgents. The Army acknowledges that at least 32 Abu Ghraib detainees were killed by mortar fire.

Stop! Call Guiness, it took a record 626 words for Herbert's story to get to a fact. Herbert must have channeled Jason Blair or hopped on the phone and buzzed the Army. Unfortunately his NYT-issued calling card didn't leave 3 extra minutes to corroborate any of Delgado's other imaginations. Detainees in tents? The way Delgado tells it, the detainees should have had the hardened roofs over their sleeping heads.

Mr. Delgado, who eventually got conscientious objector status and was honorably discharged last January, recalled a disturbance that occurred while he was working in the Abu Ghraib motor pool. Detainees who had been demonstrating over a variety of grievances began throwing rocks at the guards. As the disturbance grew, the Army authorized lethal force. Four detainees were shot to death.

Mr. Delgado confronted a sergeant who, he said, had fired on the detainees. "I asked him," said Mr. Delgado, "if he was proud that he had shot unarmed men behind barbed wire for throwing stones. He didn't get mad at all. He was, like, 'Well, I saw them bloody my buddy's nose, so I knelt down. I said a prayer. I stood up, and I shot them down.' "

Like, we're to accept that a man who would line up and kill prisoners for bloodying a comrade's nose wouldn't be "mad at all" for questioning his actions?
Safe from any unofficial retribution for naming names, Delgado still has the responsibility to identify the individuals he says committed these crimes. Why doesn't he? Because they didn't happen.

The Army National Guard is blessed to be rid of Delgado. Soldiers that sympathize with head-choppers are a danger to their the US armed forces. Example here. Delgado's is a story of a tall tale and a willing journalist to report it.

Send an e-mail, save a life?

The cander of a terrorist.

LGF has the text of an interview with a terrorist in Iraq. Recall the following exchange any time one of our friends on the Left condemns effective interrogation techniques such as uncomfortable positions, temperature variations and loud music as "stooping to the terrorist's level":
’Adnan Elias: They told us to take him to the house of Habib ‘Izzat Hamu. We took him out there. We said to him: “Why did you do this and that… Why are you after us?” He answered: “It’s out of our hands. We get orders.” Then we were told to bring a knife.

Interviewer: You slaughtered him?

‘Adnan Elias: Yes, sir. Habib ‘Izzat Hamu got the knife. He slaughtered him, and when he was dead, he opened his shirt buttons and cut open his stomach.

Interviewer: Who opened him up?

‘Adnan Elias: Muhsin, sir.

Interviewer: When a doctor performs an operation he wears a surgeon’s mask over his nose and mouth.

‘Adnan Elias: No sir, he didn’t wear one.

Interviewer: He didn’t wear one?

‘Adnan Elias: No sir, he didn’t wear one. He cut open his stomach and took stuff out.

Interviewer: What did he take out?

‘Adnan Elias: I don’t know, his guts.

Interviewer: Weren’t you nauseous? Didn’t you vomit?

‘Adnan Elias: You mean Muhsin?

Interviewer: No, you.

‘Adnan Elias: I was standing a little bit aside.

Interviewer: And he didn’t vomit or get nauseous?

‘Adnan Elias: No, sir.

Interviewer: What is he, Dracula?

‘Adnan Elias: Huh?

Interviewer: Go on.

‘Adnan Elias: Yes, sir. He opened him up, took stuff out, and put TNT and explosives inside. Then he sewed up his stomach with thick thread.

Interviewer: With thread?

‘Adnan Elias: Yes. And a needle. He put the buttons back in place...

Interviewer: He buttoned him up.

‘Adnan Elias: Yes, he buttoned him up. We were told to take him in the car near the square in Tel A’far. We threw him there and placed his head back on his shoulders.

Interviewer: My God!

‘Adnan Elias: 15 to 30 minutes later they told his family to come and get their son. His father came with two policemen. They picked up the body and made no more than two steps – we were standing far away – Ahmad Sinjar pressed the button.

Interviewer: By remote control.

‘Adnan Elias: The body exploded on them, and they died.

Interviewer: So his father and the two policemen died.

‘Adnan Elias: Yes sir, and we took off.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The next level.

Massive amounts of traffic is a good thing, if you're a retail store or a blog. In an effort to lure evermore eyeballs to my site, I've added a couple new features that will be sure to resemble a train wreck as I learn how to use them.

I've installed Haloscan's 'comments' and trackback option. If I understand it correctly, you'll be able to click on "trackback" at the end of my posts and travel to another blog's original post on a subject along with other blogger's 2 cents.

I'm using more experienced blogger's knowledge as curriculum for my distant-learning in advanced blogging. There isn't an official degree to acquire, so it'll look perfect next to the other degrees I don't have.

Thanks Mudville Gazette for the help. I know exactly enough at this point to be dangerous.

Should you decide you'd like to start your own blog or get suggestions to make your even more successful, I'd suggest you visit Mudville Gazette take his suggestions.

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Blame Game

While Hillary Clinton blames Bush for a nuclear North Korea:
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is blaming President Bush for the fact that North Korea can now hit the U.S. with nuclear missiles - after a top intelligence official told her Thursday that Kim Jong Il's ICBMs can now reach the Northwestern U.S.

"They couldn't do that when George Bush became president, and now they can," Mrs. Clinton complained to the New York Times.
That's right, Senator Clinton, North Korea has nukes because your husband gave them a nuclear reactor and plenty of room to use it.

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