Saturday, September 30, 2006

Hastert Knew While Foley Flew

Captain Ed is mad at Hastert because he appeared to lie about knowing whether he knew about Foley. I can't blame him, this stinks. Why they tried to cover up this is more than wrong it is rotten. This just goes to show that politics tends to be a corrupt occupation (yes, there are good politicians). Hastert needs to resign his speakership, and this whole scandal needs to be dealt with quickly and harshly. This rot musn't be allowed to fester.

Well, well, well. It appears the Republicans actually can make the Foley controversy worse. As if it wasn't bad enough that John Boehner knew about Foley's track record of sexual harassment of his underage pages, now it turns out that Speaker Denny Hastert lied about what he knew and when he knew it. Roll Call reports that Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Hastert about Foley's predatory actions in late winter or early spring of this year: Read More.
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Episcopal School Dumps teacher for PLAYING A GAY CHARACTER IN A PLAY

This teacher wasn't fired, though his acting certainly was on the risque side for a christian school.

Giombetti's role called for nudity and sexually suggestive situations. But that's not the first thing you learn about the play when you search for "Dominick Giombetti" online. The first listing that comes up on is a theater review on a Web site called Express Gay News Online. No porn site, it is a serious gay news outlet that gave Trafficking in Broken Hearts a glowing review.

His performance, says Giombetti, was no different from that of any serious actor in an R-rated movie, one that should be reserved for mature audiences. His bosses didn't see it that way, he says.

And he taught at a christian school? This article is a classic in trying to redefine what is acceptable and not for a christian. Under any circumstance his behaviour is unacceptable, teaching in a christian school doubly so.

God Is Back!

It would be interesting to know exactly what they mean by "christian" still this is good news.

IS AMERICA GETTING MORE SECULAR? Not according to a new survey on Americans' religious beliefs, "American Piety in the 21st Century," published this month by Baylor University. According to the Baylor survey, 82 percent of Americans are Christians, 90 percent believe in God, 70 percent pray regularly, and half attend church at least once a

If Baylor is correct, Americans are demographically as religious, and as Christian, as they ever have been. But their denominational affiliations have become somewhat less structured. Less likely now to be Methodist or Lutheran, they are drifting towards more informal forms of evangelical Christianity. Read More.

Election Projection

The weekly update is in: Link

Cooling Down The Climate Scare

Just to be contrarian:

Environment: The country is drowning in wild alarums warning of impending doom due to global warming. Yet there has risen -- from the U.S. Senate, of all places -- a lone voice of rational dissent.

While Al Gore drifts into deeper darkness on the other side of the moon, propelled by such revelations as cigarette smoking is a "significant contributor to global warming," Sen. James Inhofe is becoming a one-man myth-wrecking crew. Read More.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Chinese laser tag

This could be quite serious, I am sure it has our military spooked. It will be good when Japan begins to re-arm, this will balance out the military forces in the region and put pressure on China.

China has secretly fired powerful laser weapons designed to disable American spy satellites by “blinding” their sensitive surveillance devices, it was reported yesterday.

The hitherto unreported attacks have been kept secret by the Bush administration for fear that it would damage attempts to co-opt China in diplomatic offensives against North Korea and Iran. Read More.

California Governor Vetoes Two More 'Gay Agenda' Bills

Everything is political. While the governator vetoed these bills I am under no illusion as to why. Because most people were against them. He does bring important points:

Schwarzenegger said he vetoed AB 606 because it was "irresponsible" to create a new state mandate on schools, and he noted that existing laws already deal with discrimination and harassment in the schools.

The governor said he vetoed AB 1056 because it duplicated current efforts to provide "more avenues to teach about tolerance and human rights."

This would have duplicated existing legislation. Which would have brought up another issue, Is sexual orientation a civil right? Discrimination should not be tolerated, but should the government be mandating what people should or should not believe concerning ethical issues? I don't think so. Read More.

Cross Posted: RedBlueChristian.Com

Christian Beaten by Muslims for "Polluting" a Public Drinking Glass

This is from the American Family Association:

Nasir Ashraf, a Christian stone mason, was brutally attacked by militant Muslims just outside Lahore.

While working on the construction of a room at a school near Manga Mandi in Pakistan, Nasir took a break after becoming thirsty. He drew water and drank from a glass chained to a cemented public water tank next to a mosque, which was reserved for "all" poor people. Returning to the construction site, a Muslim man asked him, "Why did you drink water from this glass since you are a Christian?" The man accused Nasir of polluting the glass. The Muslim man yanked the glass off the iron chain, broke it and threw it in a garbage can. The man summoned other militant Muslims to the scene, furiously saying, "This Christian polluted our glass." Hearing this, the incensed mob began beating Nasir, yelling that a Christian dog drank water from their glass.

The militant Muslims were encouraged bystanders to beat Nasir because it would be a "good" deed that would benefit them in heaven. The attackers pushed Nasir off a ledge onto the ground. The impact of the fall dislocated his shoulder and broke his collar bone in two places. This knocked Nasir unconscious and he did not regain his senses until he reached a clinic.

Nasir's father took him home and a VOM representative was alerted about the incident. VOMedical is helping with Nasir's medical treatment and is monitoring his recovery from the attack.

Please take this opportunity to receive your free subscription to The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. You will be inspired as you read stories from our Christian brothers and sisters who have been persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Clinton's Braggadocio Will Haunt U.S. in War on Terror

I hadn't thought of this but Clinton did admit to trying to break the law. That was quite a serious admission.

"I worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since."

—Former President Bill Clinton, Sept. 24, 2006

Now there's a passage for the next edition of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations." It the stunning, blatant confession made in the midst of a heated exchange on "FOX News Sunday" with Chris Wallace that as president, he sanctioned the assassination of Usama bin Laden.

To put this little piece of braggadocio in context it should be noted that no other American president has ever admitted to such a serious violation of law. Read More.

Brian McLaren: Does the Emerging Church Have an Ancient-Future?

Interesting, this is on the emergent church and liturgy.

What does Brian McLaren have to do with Bob Webber? I have often wondered just how much an overlap there could actually be between what Robert Webber does with liturgy, postmodernity and the Ancient church and what is going on in the emerging churches of N. America. I always thought Robert Webber’s Ancient-Future Faith from several years ago now was a great accessible look at the postmodern issues we face today and how the ancient church offers resources for this challenge. And we know there is an interest in liturgical forms both from emergent works like Tony Jones’ The Sacred Way and the general renewed interest in more historical church forms from younger evangelicals and younger folk in general. But yet there is still some general confusion among emerging church planters as to what liturgy/ancient church can possibly bring to emerging church sensibilities. It is hardly a good marketing tool right? Read More.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pope: Tolerance must be based on respect

He's still pushing the message that tolerance goes two ways. Good for him.

Pope Benedict XVI, who has been harshly criticized by Muslims for remarks about Islam, said Thursday that true tolerance must be based on respect and the Catholic Church is not trying to forcibly instill its message.

"The church doesn't impose. It doesn't force anyone to accept the message of the Gospel," Benedict said at a ceremony at his summer palace in Castel Gandolfo to receive the credentials from Germany's new ambassador to the Holy See.

"For this reason, the encounter with others must be marked by tolerance and cultural openness," the pope said. "True tolerance always presupposes respect for the other, for man, who was created by God, whose existence was wanted by God." Read More.

The Arrival of "The Millennials":

The term "millenials" has been around a while although I haven't really taken a strong look at them.  Basically they are the replacement for gen x and are those born between 1982 and 2002.  They are a huge demographic and will impact society and the church.  I believe I will need to get more clued up on this group.

The core personality traits are: special, sheltered, confident, conventional, team-oriented, achieving and pressured.

Special: have been told they are special all their lives.

Sheltered: kept from harm's way and have highly structured lives.

Confident: see special; they expect good news and believe in themselves.

Conventional: accept social rules.

Team-oriented: they like to work together and keep in contact with peers.

Achieving: see special, confident and team-oriented; they expect to accomplish a lot.

Pressured: much is expected from them. Read More.

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Infidel Documents

This is good:

The case against the Iraq war now has a new canonical document: a report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released on Sept. 8. Opponents of the war--to use their own language against the Bush administration--now "cherry pick" this report, and they find in it the damning evidence that had been their conviction all along. In their eyes, the case for this war was a willful hoax. And on the heels of this report, it was revealed that the National Intelligence Estimate now depicts Iraq as the breeding ground of a new generation of terrorists...

But this brutal drawn-out struggle between American power and the furies of the Arab-Islamic world was never a Western war. Our enemies were full of cunning and expert at dissimulation, hunkering down when needed. No one in the coffeehouses of the Arab world (let alone in the safe houses of the terrorists) would be led astray by that distinction between "secular" and "religious" movements emphasized by the Senate Intelligence Committee. They live in a world where the enemies of order move with remarkable ease from outward religious piety to the most secular of appearances. It is no mystery to them that Saddam, once the most secular of despots, fell back on religious symbols after the first Gulf War, added Allahu Akbar (God is great) to Iraq's flag, and launched a mosque-building campaign whose remnants--half-finished mosques all over Baghdad--now stand mute. Read More.


Dream world a strange, scary place for liberals

This is funny: Link.

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Suicide bombers follow Quran

I've known this for many years but you never hear it from the MSM or the government for that matter. If you read carefully you will notice who the Muslim fanatics tend to be, the religious elite. It is the imams and their students who fuel the martyrdom machine.

With suicide bombings spreading from Iraq to Afghanistan, the Pentagon has tasked intelligence analysts to pinpoint what's driving Muslim after Muslim to do the unthinkable. Their preliminary finding is politically explosive: it's their "holy book" the Quran after all, according to intelligence briefings obtained by WND.
Read More.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Good News:

Al Qaeda has desicively lost the Iraqi battlefield.

Overall 94 percent have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very).

Views of Osama bin Laden are only slightly less negative. Overall 93 percent have an unfavorable view, with 77 percent very unfavorable. Very unfavorable views are expressed by 87 percent of Kurds and 94 percent of Shias. Here again, the Sunnis are negative, but less unequivocally—71 percent have an unfavorable view (23% very), and 29 percent a favorable view (3% very). Read More.


Good News:

Al Qaeda has desicively lost the Iraqi battlefield.

Overall 94 percent have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very).

Views of Osama bin Laden are only slightly less negative. Overall 93 percent have an unfavorable view, with 77 percent very unfavorable. Very unfavorable views are expressed by 87 percent of Kurds and 94 percent of Shias. Here again, the Sunnis are negative, but less unequivocally—71 percent have an unfavorable view (23% very), and 29 percent a favorable view (3% very). Read More.

Civility in political discourse

Words of wisdom from the Anchoress. She explains why she does not want to listen to all the name calling in politics. This is a good article for all who blog, or have differences of opinion. Be civil! Link.

Watch This Video

This is good:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

CAIR Rep Reacts to Ohio Car Dealer "Jihad"

This is a must see video.

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Top Half of Taxpayers Pay Highest Tax Share in Decades

This is not what I have been hearing in the news.

HT: Tax Prof.

FBI joins hate-crime investigation

This is just sick. What in the world are people thinking of (their not). This is no better than what Islamic jihadis do. Sorry for my rant, but when I read something like this it just makes my blood boil.

FBI agents have joined a Gilbert police investigation into a possible hate crime in which a Black Barbie doll was found hanging by its neck in the car of an African-American woman. Read More.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Reality of Religion

This is about the Popes speech and it is excellent.

It’s notable, I think, that religion — not so long ago pronounced irrelevant by most everyone in proper society — now dominates the global debate. Read the whole thing.

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Line-Item Veto Presser To Pressure The Senate

The line item veto has been the holy grail for many conservatives. It is hoped it would be used to trim the excessive pork that manages to find it's way into every bill. Can this happen? Who knows, but this has never been pushed with the power of the blogosphere behind it.

Now that we have won major battles on the federal spending database and the new House rules on identifying earmarkers, we still have one more effort to shepherd to victory. Read More.

WWI Soldier Comes Home at Long Last

After all these years...

Missing in action, presumed dead.

And eventually he faded from living memory. His generation passed away, with everyone who loved him, everyone who mourned him. Time rendered him faceless. He was just a name, one of hundreds chiseled in limestone in a cemetery chapel 4,000 miles from home.


Treasures looted by Rome 'are back in the Holy Land'

Interesting. I am skeptical of finding the treasures but it is possible. What will be the ramifications? Hard to tell, but if some want to restore the temple with the lost pieces that could cause a few fireworks. Does this impact christianity? Not directly, the artificats are interesting but nothing more. If found and they are the impetus for a temple revival, it will impact more than just judaism and christianity. The middle east would erupt.

All of these fun conjectures and I am still skeptical they will be found.

A COLLECTION of sacred artefacts looted by the Romans from the Temple of Jerusalem and long suspected of being hidden in the vaults of the Vatican are actually in the Holy Land, according to a British archaeologist. Read More.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Avoiding mortgage crisis is a priority

Are we in for a home crisis? I really don't think so, but I do feel we are in for a correction. Home prices rose too quickly and have priced out a large segment of the population. This in turn spawned creative financing for people who otherwise could not qualify for a loan. If the market backs up even a little bit, it's foreclosure city. So while I do not believe there will be a crisis, I feel that many mortgage institutions will begin tightening there lending, and some, who never should have bought too begin with, will lose their homes.

When the real-estate industry made it easy to borrow a lot of money, it also made it easy for people to get into financial trouble. Which is exactly what's happening, as foreclosures are surging across the country. Read More.

Hurricane Chávez

Chavez: "You are a devil, you smell like sulfur, you are a drunk, you are the demon, you are genocidal Mr. Devil, you are a Dictator, you are an assasin Mr. Devil, you are..."
Bush:"Yeah!Yeah!, everything you say, filler up boy!"

I must say he is annoying:

HUGO CHAVEZ got the attention that he craves by comparing President Bush to Satan last week. But the Venezuelan leader's absurd talk may be less threatening than his equally absurd incompetence. Since Mr. Chávez took power seven years ago, Venezuela has mismanaged its oil so disastrously that production may have fallen by almost half, according to the estimates of outsiders, reducing global oil supply by a bit more than 1 percent. Along with natural disasters and Nigerian rebels, Mr. Chávez's ineptitude has contributed to high energy prices. Read More.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My dad and Lech Walesa

This is my dad visiting Lech Walesa (former President of Poland) in Gdansk.

Upcoming 2007 Democratic Convention agenda!

This is floating around in e-mail land.

6:00 p.m. - Opening flag burning ceremony.

6:05 p.m. - Opening secular prayers by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al

6:30 p.m. - Anti-war concert by Barbra Streisand.

6:40 p.m. - Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.

7:00 p.m. - Tribute theme to France.

7:10 p.m. - Collect offerings for al-Zawahri defense fund.

7:25 p.m. - Tribute theme to Germany.

7:45 p.m. - Anti-war rally (Moderated by Michael Moore)

8:25 p.m. - Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.

8:30 p.m. - Terrorist appeasement workshop.

9:00 p.m. - Gay marriage ceremony (both male and female couples)

9:30.p.m. - * Intermission *

10:00.p.m. - Posting the Iraqi Colors by Sean Penn and Tim Robbins

10:10 p.m. - Re-enactment of Kerry's fake medal toss.

10:20.p.m. - Cameo by Dean 'Yeeearrrrrrrg!'

10:30 p.m. - Abortion demonstration by N.A.R.A.L.

10:40 p.m. - Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.

10:50 p.m. - Pledge of allegiance to the UN.

11:00 p.m. - Multiple gay marriage ceremony (threesomes, mixed and
same sex). Rep. Barney Frank (D,Mass.), Sponsor

11:15 p.m. - Maximizing Welfare workshop.

11:30 p.m. - 'Free Saddam' pep rally.

11:59 p.m. - Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.

12:00 p.m. - Nomination of democratic candidate.

Any chance we could get Ted Kennedy to drive Hillary home from the
convention ?

Hat Tip: Glenn

Sept. 11 inscriptions spark outrage

It seems everything is political:

Inscriptions etched into Arizona’s Sept. 11 monument — meant to inspire and capture the horror of the terrorist attacks — sparked the beginnings of a political blog battle this week. Read More.

Newsflash: Bob the Tomato Censored!

Our intrepid Bob has been told by NBC to tone down the GOD talk! This is a slap in the face to vegetables everywhere. Apparently it is just not acceptable to have tomatoes speaking about God. No one knows if the same applies to broccoli. So no more signing off with Bob and Larry's tagline: 'Remember kids, God made you special' Link

What is this world coming to when even our vegetables want to talk about God, they should keep their place or be eaten.

Election Projection

Another good update:


Friday, September 22, 2006

The Democratic Party and the Jews

The rise of anti-semitism within the Democratic party is very troubling. I have noticed this trend over the last couple of years and it seems to be getting more shrill. It can be seen that the internet is both a blessing and a curse for the political parties. A blessing in that truth and strategy can be disseminated quickly. A curse in that the fringe can have a huge influence that is out of balance with their numbers.

The Democratic Party has been a congenial political home for many American Jews since the era of FDR. The party welcomed them into its ranks (along with many blacks and urban dwellers) and its programs comported well with many values Jews cherish. The Party was also seen as one that had offered help to the doomed Jews of Europe, opposed prejudice, and supported the fledgling state of Israel from enemies that boasted of its plans to destroy the state. Read More.

If you want to understand Markos Moulitsas

Dean Barnett discusses Markos and the Daily Kos, he shows what makes them tick. He also discusses why they are a real problem for the Democrats. Link.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Corruption, anguish, God

This is good:

Former Illinois governor George Ryan received this month a sentence of 6 1/2 years in prison for racketeering, lying to the FBI and mail fraud. But there's much more to that story, which begins with incredible anguish.

On a November day 12 years ago, Baptist pastor Scott Willis, his wife Janet and their six young children -- they also had three older ones -- rode in a minivan on Interstate 94. A scrap of metal fell off a truck just ahead of them. Their minivan ran over the steel piece. It punctured the gas tank, which exploded. All six of the children died. The parents survived. Read More.

A Disgraced, Corrupt Ex-Governor ...

Jonah Goldberg blasts the gay ex governor of New Jersey, James McGreevy. He doesn't blast him because he is gay, but because he was corrupt, and tries to relativise his own ethics. An example:

He tried to leap to safety by grabbing on to the guardrail of identity politics, declaring with focus-group clarity: "My truth is that I am a gay American." That formulation — "my truth" — was exquisitely postmodern, implying that truth isn't something we can all lay claim to any more. It must be personalized, relativized. It's all about me.

Goldberg captures the essence of what is so wrong with much of society, there is no truth but my truth, as I see it. Read More.

The secret rally for Israel

From Powerline:

Some 35,000 people rallied across from the United Nations to protest Ahmadinejad’s presence at the world body. The crowd also wanted to show solidarity for Israel and implore the United Nations to enforce Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended Israel’s war this summer with Hezbollah and calls for the release of three Israeli soldiers taken hostage by Hamas and Hezbollah. More.

This is the rally no one has heard about, wonder why?

The secret rally for Israel

From Powerline:

Some 35,000 people rallied across from the United Nations to protest Ahmadinejad’s presence at the world body. The crowd also wanted to show solidarity for Israel and implore the United Nations to enforce Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended Israel’s war this summer with Hezbollah and calls for the release of three Israeli soldiers taken hostage by Hamas and Hezbollah. More.

This is the rally no one has heard about, wonder why?

Appeals Court Overturns Ruling Allowing Prayer in Public Libraries

Interesting, of course it was the 9th court of appeals that turned them down. This of course means they will be overturned by the Supreme Court. (They have been overturned more than any other appeals court).

Government libraries can block religious groups from worshipping in public meeting rooms, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The decision came from a case involving the Faith Center Church Evangelistic Ministries, a Christian group which won a court order allowing them to hold a "prayer, praise and worship" service in meeting rooms open to other groups at a Contra Costa County library branch. A federal judge said it had a First Amendment right of religion to use the public's facilities.

But a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that ruling in a 2-1 decision.

"Prohibiting Faith Center's religious worship services from the Antioch meeting room is a permissible exclusion of a category of speech," Judge Richard Paez ruled.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which is defending the church group, called the decision "astounding." The group, he said, would consider appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court or asking the appeals court to reconsider. Read More.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Drawing the Line?

Victor David hanson on what will happen when the Europeans get fed up with Islam:

It has been a parlor game of sorts to guess when—but even more so if—the Europeans (Britain included) will sigh, “Enough is enough,” and so get tough with both their own unassimilated angry Muslim minorities and the radical Islamic world at large. There will never be liberal values in the Middle East, no change, no future—as there would not have been in Hitler’s Germany, as there is not today in Cuba or North Korea—without the defeat of Islamic fascism, in its latest Islamic incarnation, as an ideological force. Read More.

Carey backs Pope and issues warning on 'violent' Islam

I like the former Archbishop, he has always been strongly Evangelical.  He is apparentlay also fearless.

THE former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton has issued
his own challenge to “violent” Islam in a lecture in which he defends
the Pope’s “extraordinarily effective and lucid” speech.

Lord Carey said that Muslims must address “with great urgency” their
religion’s association with violence. He made it clear that he believed
the “clash of civilisations” endangering the world was not between
Islamist extremists and the West, but with Islam as a whole.

Powerful words indeed. Read the rest.

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Colorado State professor disputes global warming is human-caused

Global warming: An enigma on what to believe.

Global warming is happening, but humans are not
the cause, one of the nation’s top experts on hurricanes said Monday
morning. Read More.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

UC-Santa Cruz and the Loss of Public Trust

UC Santa Cruz has always been extremely liberal, this article points out that they are also intolerant:

But what happens when a university does not uphold its side of the bargain:
when its faculty does not adhere to standards of academic integrity;
when professors knowingly limit the flow of knowledge because of their
own ideological biases; when education becomes political indoctrination? In
these cases there is an abuse of public trust, which threatens to
diminish the social contract so critical to the university’s existence.

Such an abuse of public trust unfortunately has occurred at the University
of California and is illustrated in the following three examples from
the University of California, Santa Cruz. Read More.

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Clinton, Gingrich both defend the pope

These two have been working together of late, interesting that they can put aside their differences.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, longtime foes in American politics, forcefully defended Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday against a wave of Muslim criticism over a speech last week. Read More.

Can Gore save the planet – and politicians?

Enough already:

Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, David Cameron, Gordon Brown
and David Miliband are all obsessed. They have been queueing up to
watch a slide show given by a middle-aged failed politician, and
they can't stop talking about him. In America, his charts and
graphs have been turned into the third most successful documentary
in history. In Britain, tickets for An Inconvenient Truth have sold
out in a week. At both the Sundance and Venice film festivals, he
was treated as a movie star and his book has spent the summer at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Link.

It is amazing how he is trying to re-invent himself, can he do it? I sure hope not. It looks like hollywood has really been smitten, nuff said.

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Enough Apologies

More on the saga of the Pope's apology. He shouldn't bother, it will never be accepted by radical muslims.

Already, angry Palestinian militants have assaulted seven West Bank and Gaza churches, destroying two of them. In Somalia, gunmen shot dead an elderly Italian nun. Radical clerics from Qatar to Qom have called, variously, for a "day of anger" or for worshipers to "hunt down" the pope and his followers. From Turkey to Malaysia, Muslim politicians have condemned the pope and called his apology "insufficient." And all of this because Benedict XVI, speaking at the University of Regensburg, quoted a Byzantine emperor who, more than 600 years ago, called Islam a faith "spread by the sword." We've been here before, of course. Similar protests were sparked last winter by cartoon portrayals of Muhammad in
the Danish press. Read the rest.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Concerning Pope Benedict

Richard John Neuhaus writes:

Herewith a potpourri of reflections on the Regensburg lecture by Pope Benedict and reactions to it, intermixed with a bit of my own commentary. As many commentators, Muslim and other, do not know because they manifestly have not read the lecture, it was not chiefly about Islam. It was a considered reflection on the inseparable linkage of faith and reason in the Christian understanding, an incisive critique of Christian thinkers who press for separating faith and reason in the name of “de-Hellenizing” Christianity, and a stirring call for Christians to celebrate the achievements of modernity and secure those achievements by grounding them in theological and philosophical truth. Read the Rest.

Missouri State University and Gay Rights

Missouri State's board voted to include language that specifically bars bias based on sexual orientation.  I can agree that gay's should not be discriminated against, at the same time the colleges provisions already protected gays.  I don't know all of the details, but this seems to indicate an acceptance of the gay agenda as simply an "alternative" lifestyle. According to this logic any alternative lifestyle would need to be spelled out for protection. This is something I reject.  Read More.

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Japan's Abe, An Emphasis on Military and Pride

The next prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, looks to make significant changes. He plans to have the constitution revised so that Japan can have a military with offensive capabilites. Some analysts predict that he will strive for a version of Washington's relationship with Britain, which closely cooperates with the U.S. military but acts on its own as it sees fit.

This should help to aleviate the strain on the US's military in Asia. It will be interesting to see what transpires. Read More.

Islam Outrage

If you check out Michelle Malkin's site you will find pictures of the Islamic protests involving the Pope. The sheer hate they represent is astounding. Many people do not realise that in Islam the Koran is the actual letter by letter word of Allah. The original Koran is in heaven. Muhammed is the prophet that Allah used to bring forth his word (the Koran). Since this is the actual word of God and his prophet, anything or anyone that makes a derogatory statement about them must be killed. Unfortunately there is not much middle ground here.

The backlash on the Pope's statement then is not unexpected. What is surprising is that he has not actually apologised. I am afraid this will not end for a while.

The Pope and Spinach

From The People's Cube.

Dyslexic Muslim protesters burn effigy of Popeye

Muslim clerics urge to boycott spinach products, ban Popeye cartoons


The new documentary about children’s christian camps has been disowned by Ted Haggard. Haggard called the film yellow journalism, with “a strong agenda like any Michael Moore film with the cinematography of ‘The Blair Witch Project.” This has been a blow to New York-based directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, a lapsed Catholic and a Jew who hope big- city secular liberals and heartland evangelicals will find something to like. As if they can accurately represent something they don’t understand. Read the rest.

Election Projection

The blogging Caesar has the latest poll updates and stats on the election. So far it looks like the Repubs will maintain control of the House and Senate. Link.

Zimbabwe and Torture

Mugabe has ruined Zim. A country that was a food exporter, had one of the highest literacy rates in Africa. A country with a good economy. White farmers were forced to leave, now the country can no longer feed itself. Now this:

THE beating stopped as the sun began to go down. After two-and-a-half hours, the fourteen men and one woman held at Matapi police station in Mbare township, Harare, had suffered five fractured arms, seven hand fractures, two sets of ruptured eardrums, fifteen cases of severe buttock injuries, deep soft-tissue bruising all over, and open lacerations.

The 15 included Wellington Chibebe, the leader of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), and senior officials of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

“As a case of police brutality on a group, it is the worst I’ve ever seen,” a doctor who helped to attend to them said. Read More.

HT: Captains Quarters.

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International Religious Freedom Report 2006: Saudi Arabia

How much religious freedom is in Saudi Arabia? Not much. Interesting that aspects of folk Islam is still prevalent, this can be seen in the instances of reported witchcraft. The concept of the seperation of church and state is non-existent. This is a long article but worth the read. Link.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Pope, Jihad, and “Dialogue”

Excellent on Jihad and how dialogue will be difficult with Islam:

The most important address commemorating 9/11/01 was delivered on 9/12/06, a day after the fifth anniversary of this cataclysmic act of jihad terrorism. It was not delivered by President Bush, and was not even pronounced in the United States. On September 12, 2006 at the University of Regensburg, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a lecture (“adding some allusions of the moment) entitled, “Faith, Reason and the University.

Despite his critique of modern reason, Benedict argued that he did not intend to promote a retrogression,

…back to the time before the Enlightenment and reject[ing] the insights of the modern age. The positive aspects of modernity are to be acknowledged unreservedly: We are all grateful for the marvelous possibilities that it has opened up for mankind and for the progress in humanity that has
been granted to us. The scientific ethos, moreover, is the will to be obedient to the truth, and, as such, it embodies an attitude which reflects one of the basic tenets of Christianity.

Christianity, the Pope maintained, was indelibly linked to reason and he contrasted this view with those who believe in spreading their faith by the sword. Benedict developed this argument by recounting the late 14th century “Dialogue Held With A Certain Persian, the Worthy Mouterizes, in Anakara of Galatia” between the Byzantine ruler Manuel II Paleologus, and a well-educated Muslim interlocutor. The crux of this part of his presentation, was the following:

Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. ‘God’, he [the Byzantine ruler] says, ‘is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the
ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death’....

However, it is Benedict’s discussion of the Byzantine ruler’s allusions to “…the theme of the jihad (holy war)”—Koran 2:256, “There is no compulsion in religion”, notwithstanding—that has unleashed a firestorm of condemnation and violence from Muslims across the world. Here are the words deemed so incendiary by both Muslim leaders, and the masses:

Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the ‘Book’ and the ‘infidels’, he [Manuel II Paleologus] turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these
words: ‘Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’

The historical context for these words—which were likely written by Manuel II Paleologus between 1391 and 1394—turns out be much more banal, albeit unknown to fulminating Muslims (here; here),and Islamic apologists of all ilks, especially the disingenuous Muslim (here; here) and hand-wringing non-Muslim promoters of empty “civilizational dialogue”. Read More.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Church famous for firsts appoints gay minister


Sporting an earring, a tattoo of a cross on his arm and a rainbow garment, the Rev. John MacIver Gage does not look like the typical pastor. But that's OK at a church the FBI once bugged.

Gage, who is openly gay, will be installed Sunday as senior minister of the United Church on the Green in New Haven. While other Christian denominations have been torn apart over gay
rights, Gage's sexual orientation has generated little, if any, controversy.

"This church would love for me to find a nice man and settle down and host my wedding," Gage says. As long as he doesn't get too conventional.

The church has been in the vanguard of social issues since the days when the congregation hired the first attorney to help the Amistad slaves win freedom in the 19th century. The FBI wiretapped the church during the early 1970s when the congregation was protesting the Vietnam War and opening its doors to protesters upset over a Black Panthers trial,
members say.

The church is part of the United Church of Christ, which became the first major Christian church to ordain an openly gay minister in the early 1970s and 20 years ago declared itself
to be "open and affirming" of gays and lesbians.

"I didn't come and change this church," Gage said during an interview Thursday. "They came and they opened their doors and changed me. They provided an opportunity to come into ministry." Read More.

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The Pope's Real Threat

From the Captain's Quarters:

Many people have written about the controversy over Pope Benedict's recent remarks
at the University of Regensburg, where he quoted a medieval emperor
about the barbarity of forced religious conversions. In a replay of the
Prophet Cartoon madness, Muslims only escalated their rhetoric after
the Vatican apologized for any offense the quotation may have given
followers of Islam. Despite apologizing Wednesday for quoting Manuel
II's words from 1391 (but not for its argument against violence in
religion), Muslims burnt effigies of the Roman Catholic leader and staged demonstrations around the world:

Protesters took to the streets in a series of countries with large Muslim populations, including India and Iraq. The ruling party in Turkey likened Pope Benedict XVI to Hitler and Mussolini and accused him of reviving the mentality of the Crusades. In Kashmir, an effigy of the pontiff was burnt.

At Friday prayers in the Iranian capital, Teheran, a leading ayatollah described the Pope as "rude and weak-minded". Pakistan's parliament passed a motion condemning the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, criticised him hours after a grenade attack on a church in the Gaza Strip. ...

The head of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, said the remarks "aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world".

Similar comments were made in other Muslim capitals, raising fears of a repetition of the anger that followed the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper earlier this year.

All this has shown is that Muslims missed the point of the speech, and in fact have endeavored to fulfill Benedict's warnings rather than prove him wrong. If one reads the speech at Regensburg, the entire speech, one understands that the entire point was to reject violence in
pursuing religion in any form, be it Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or Bahai. The focal point of the speech was not the recounting of the debate between Manuel II and the unnamed Persian, but rather the rejection of reason and of God that violence brings (emphasis mine):

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practise idolatry.

This is really the crux of the argument, which is that argument, debate, and rhetoric are absolutely essential in forming any kind of philosophy, including religious doctrine. The words of sacred text do not cover all situations in the world, and therefore development of a
solid philosophical body of thought is critical to growth and wisdom. That requires the ability to challenge and to criticize without fear of retribution, a difficulty that most faiths struggle to overcome.

Islam, on the other hand, doesn't bother to try. Benedict never says this explicitly, but Islam's demands that all criticism be silenced turns doctrine into dictatorship, which rejects God on a very basic level. A central tenet of most religions is that humans lack the divine perfection to claim knowledge of the totality of the Divine wisdom. Islam practices a form of supremacy that insists on unquestioned obedience or at least silence of all criticism, especially from
outsiders, and creates a violent reaction against it when it occurs. Read the Rest.

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Friday, September 15, 2006


A Weapon of Mass Destruction

Consumer confidence skyrockets

This is not news the Democratic party wants to hear. Link.

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Oil demand weaker than expected in first half of 2006: OPEC

Further good news on the gasoline front. Link.

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Study: People Really Do Try to Wash Away Sins

Too many variables are not addressed in this study. It would be interesting to know how long the washing worked and what the differences are between chrsitians and non christians. Read More.

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9/11 Conspiracy Theories: The 9/11 Truth Movement in Perspective

Excellent article:

...the mistakes made by our government in the past are qualitatively different from a conscious decision to kill thousands of its own citizens in order to justify the oppression of others. Most importantly, there is the fact that most of what we know about the bad
decisions made by our government is only knowable due to the relative transparency with which our government operates, and the freedom to disseminate and discuss this information.

The full irony of this last point hit me while I was at the conference. Here was a group of about 400 people gathered to openly discuss the evil schemes of the U.S. government, whom they accuse of horrible atrocities in the service of establishing a police state. But if America really was a police state with such terrible secrets to protect, surely government thugs would have stormed the lecture halls and arrested many of those present, or would at the very least have conducted behind the scenes arrests and jailed the movement’s leaders. Yet even the most vocal leaders of the 9/11 Truth Movement are still going strong, and no one at the conference seemed very worried about government reprisals. This fact seemingly indicates that at some level, the conspiracy theorists themselves don’t really believe what they are
saying. Read More.

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The New Desecrator's

From: Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

WHO may allow more DDT to fight malaria

This is actually really important, malaria is a scourge in much of Africa and DDT is the best defense.

The World Health Organization is poised to promote broader use of the controversial pesticide DDT in the battle against malaria.

Long banned in the United States because of environmental damage, DDT is used legally in a few impoverished countries to kill
malaria-bearing mosquitoes. It's no longer sprayed outdoors, but indoors - to coat the inside walls of mud huts or other dwellings where mosquitoes lurk. The aim is to protect sleeping families from bites at night.

There has been little progress in recent years in preventing malaria, which sickens up to half a billion people annually and kills
more than 1 million, mostly young children and mostly in Africa.

Now the WHO is strengthening its malaria-fighting campaign, to push more strongly for indoor spraying with a number of insecticides_including DDT as a safe, effective and cheap option for countries to choose, say officials familiar with the announcement, to be made Friday in Washington. Read More.

Tags: , ,

Slavery in the Middle East

Camel racing is a big sport in the Emirates, and chilf slavery seems to go hand in hand with the sport. Arabs have been slavers for centuries and the practice is still alive and well. The Sudan seems to be one of the suppliers, and it is known that slavery exists there.

A legal case has been filed in a US district court alleging that the governor of Dubai and his brother enslaved about 30,000 children over the past 30 years for use as camel jockeys.

The claim, which is based on international laws banning slavery and child labour, names Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Governor of Dubai and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as others.

The brothers, who are among the world’s most famous racehorse owners, are accused of trafficking boys as young as 2 from Bangladesh, Sudan and southern Asia. Read More.

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Analyst predicts plunge in gas prices

A bit of good news:

The recent sharp drop in the global price of crude oil could mark the
start of a massive sell-off that returns gasoline prices to lows not
seen since the late 1990s — perhaps as low as $1.15 a gallon. Read More.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I have been trying to figure out why so many people have fallen for conspiracy theories about 9-11. There seems to be an inherent distrust in anything American and a deep antipathy towards Bush. Why? I am not sure, it is possible in our relativistic society, that conservatives are mistrusted because they actually do believe in a yes or no, especially the issues on abortion, homosexual rights, war etc. (not that consevatives have a lock on truth). It is easy to turn someone who believes there is an absolute standard for right and wrong into the "bad guy" who desires to ruin our fun or freedom or whatever someone wants to call it.

I realise that the extreme right can also be blinded by their own ideology, and are dangerous (remember Timothy McVeigh?). However, it is a stretch to believe that George W. Bush is anything remote to a Timothy McVeigh. The polarisation and hatred emanating from conspiracy theorists seems to be almost pathological. Notice I am speaking about conspiracy theorists here and not just the left. They mistrust a president and political party so much that what they want to believe is more important than truth. There is an ignorance about Islam that cannot be ignored. Anyone who is not a Muslim is the enemy. We (the United States) are the enemy simply because we do not practice Islam. Under Islam there can be no separation of church and state. This ignorance mixed with a paranoid fear of conservatism has bred something ridiculous.

Bush/Halliburton/Zionist/CIA/New World Order/Illuminati conspiracy for world domination. That day, Popular Mechanics, the magazine I edit, hit newsstands with a story debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories. Within hours, the online community of 9/11 conspiracy buffs - which calls itself the "9/11 Truth Movement" - was aflame with wild fantasies about me, my staff and the article we had published. Conspiracy Web sites labeled Popular Mechanics a "CIA front organization" and compared us to Nazis and war criminals.

For a 104-year-old magazine about science, technology, home improvement and car maintenance, this was pretty extreme stuff. What had we done to provoke such outrage?

Research. Read More.

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Monday, September 11, 2006


Stan Guthrie has an interesting article on christianity and political activism. He make a telling statment: Christians are to be salt and light in all spheres of human life—even at the risk of occasionally offending our neighbors.

True, the gospel is offensive, we can't get away from that. From my perspective to be active in politics, or social issues is not wrong, but it must be done out of an attitude of love.

As Guthrie says: As we seek concrete ways to love our neighbors, Christians are right to
fight sex trafficking, genocide, and aids. But doesn't Christ's love
also compel us to speak compassionately against the new eugenics, gay
marriage, and other attempts to redefine bedrock Judeo-Christian
understandings of human nature and family life? We must fight evil in
the public square—whether we are the political flavor of the month or
not. Read More.

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On 9/11, an inter-faith reality check

The more time I spend with
Muslims, the more I must conclude that, as a group, their worldview and
that of most Jews are in such profound conflict as to render real
dialogue virtually meaningless at this time. This is most true for
Muslims from Middle East nations. But it extends as well to Muslims
from south and east Asia, from elsewhere, and for African-American

Telling statement, the worldview of Muslims and Jews is great.  Probably greater than most realise.  Read the whole article.

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Religious Affiliation Underestimated in U.S., Study Shows

Christians cannot be as easily defined as what many would like.

But the Baylor survey, believed to be one of the most detailed ever
done about religion in America, found that a tenth of people who picked
"no religion" out of 40 possible religious groups did something
interesting when asked later where they worship: they wrote down a

Taking that into consideration, Baylor researchers say the
percentage of people who are truly unaffiliated is more like 10.8
percent. The difference between 10.8 percent and 14 percent is roughly
10 million Americans. Read More.

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2996 Honoring 9-11

In Tribute to Jacqueline Donovan
34 years old. From: New York, N.Y.
Died in World Trade Center

It's hard to believe that five years have passed, and already the memories are fading. These tributes are to help us re-focus so that we don't forget.

Please remember to visit other tributes

Quotes from memorials on the web:

What was to have been a fun golf outing at Kutsher's Country Club in upstate Monticello turned into a horrific memory for James Donovan of Lynbrook. It was Sept. 11, and his daughter Jacqueline Donovan, 34, was at her desk on the 89th-floor office of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods when the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into Tower Two.

"I was golfing upstate and only heard a plane crashed [into the first tower]," he said. "I thought it was a Piper Cub and she was all right." When he finally learned the second tower also was hit, he called his former wife, Marion Puiia of Long Beach, to learn if she heard anything about their daughter. He couldn't return home, since the bridges were closed.

"Jacqueline took away the myth that New Yorkers were cold," he said. A secretary at the brokerage firm for the past two years, she grew up in Malverne and graduated from Maria Regina High School in Uniondale, now known as Kellenberg High School.

Her two brothers-in-law, Charles Kelleher of Rockville Centre, a Suffolk County police officer, and Lincoln Wiese of Long Beach, a freelance TV cameraman, used their police badge and car with press plates to check hospitals and make phone calls to no avail.

A memorial Mass was held Sept. 29 at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, Malverne. More than 800 people attended. And, Donovan said, "the family received letters [praising her] you wouldn't believe. She was one of five children, but she sticks out because she was so outgoing and friendly."

She collected stuffed and porcelain pigs, treasured her 7- year-old Mercedes-Benz and enjoyed traveling with friends to Las Vegas, Florida, Puerto Rico and Nassau, the Bahamas.

"It was ironic," her father said. "She worked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but had a knack for going in a little late. But someone was on vacation, and she got there a little early. I believe she was cremated with the others. I hope they don't find anything. I don't want to go through this again."

In addition to her parents, Jacqueline Donovan is survived by her sisters, Patrice Kelleher and Jeanine Wiese, and brothers, James Donovan Jr. and Michael Donovan, both of Long Beach. Link.

Ms. Donovan made parties happen. She planned outings of six women, friends since Catholic grammar school, every two months and chauffeured them around Long Island clubs. A fearless clown, she once wore a Gumby costume so big she couldn't fit into her girlfriend's car and so just jogged next to it.

Jackie was a very close friend of my cousin Tommy. I liked her from the momentI met her. Her smile, her laugh, her of a kind. It may sound cliche, but she really did light up a room. Link.

If there is anyone who new Jacqueline and would like to submit more information please leave details in the comments.

For more tributes please see 2996

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Antiabortion Centers Offer Sonograms to Further Cause

This strategy has proven very effective and the Washington Post has taken notice. It's obvious the WaPo is concerned about this:

Some funding is also coming from taxpayers. About 20 states have designated funding for antiabortion counseling centers, according to the Chicago-based law firm Americans United for Life. Last year, Minnesota appropriated $5 million and Texas $2.5 million for centers
that encourage women to carry pregnancies to term. About a dozenstates, including Maryland, contribute revenue to such centers through the sale of license plates stamped "Choose Life."

This for the abortion crowd is galling, and they would love to be able to shut the money tap off. Interesting how sonograms have proven so effective, once people see that there is a child, moving, growing, they realise that a human is at stake in the abortion process. For many, when that have not seen something it does not exist, when seen the reality begins to take hold.

The Smiths stayed. After they saw a picture of the fetus at 21 weeks
with arms and legs and a face, their thoughts of termination were gone.

"As soon as I seen that, I was ready. It wasn't no joke. It was real,"
Makiba Smith, 16, said. "It was like, he's not born to the world yet,
but he is inside of me growing."

In spite of bias the WaPo article was surprisingly balanced. In the end I guess a picture is worth a thousand words.

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Friday, September 08, 2006


I wasn’t going to comment on this but it’s just getting too ludicrous. Whether one agrees with ABC’s miniseries or not you don’t threaten their license. The Democratic party has every right to protest, just like the Republicans did with that Reagan mini-series a few years ago. But thinly veiled threats? That’s too much. The polarisation in politics is way out of hand. What ever happened too free speech.

Sens. Reid, Durbin, Stabenow, Schumer, and Dorgan sent a letter to Disney today containing the following passages:

We write with serious concerns about the planned upcoming broadcast of The Path to 9/11 mini-series on September 10 and 11. Countless reports from experts on 9/11 who have viewed the program indicate numerous and serious inaccuracies that will undoubtedly serve to misinform the American people about the tragic events surrounding the terrible attacks of that day. Furthermore, the manner in which this program has been developed, funded, and advertised suggests a partisan bent unbecoming of a major company like Disney and a major and well respected news organization like ABC. We therefore urge you to cancel this broadcast to cease Disney’s plans to use it as a teaching tool in schools across America through Scholastic. Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation.

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events. […]

Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Who in the press will stick up for ABC’s right to air this miniseries without having its broadcast license threatened?

Update: Even liberal are appalled by this.

Hat Tip: National Review