Saturday, March 31, 2007

My Week: Robert Mugabe

The life of a dictator is difficult. Often they are so misunderstood, who shall I arrest today? What shall I wear? These questions can cause all sorts of angst, and yes, even self doubt. So what sort of a week has our beloved comrade Robert Mugabe been having?

Monday We are out the back of the sprawling presidential compound, having a relaxed afternoon braai. With three US dollars’ worth of Zimbabwe currency on the fire, the flames have been burning for four hours. And the British say I have harmed this country? “Why do my people no longer love me?” I demand. “What more can I give to them?” I am attended by a team of recent graduates from the University of Zimbabwe. They were given the choice of working for me or going to jail. They are all extremely loyal.

My graduates all shrug, and continue gorging themselves on the barbecue. It is a surprise to see them eat this way. They seem to have adopted this European look that has become popular. Grace, my fashionable wife, calls it “size zero”.

“Maybe it’s an image thing,” suggests one. “Maybe it’s time to ditch the moustache.” I have a moustache?

Tuesday I cannot see this moustache, although my eyes are not what they were. I would ask my fashionable wife, but she has taken the jumbo jet to Paris to see how many shoes she can get for 20,000 hectares of Matabeleland.

The telephone rings. It is little Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. Although I am careful never to exploit this, I am told he is in awe of me, because I am the original hero of southern African independence. Last month he lent me series five of The West Wing on DVD. He keeps calling to ask for it back. “You can’t have it,” I say.

“I understand,” says Thabo, solemnly. “Might I be permitted to ask why?”
“No,” I say. “Go away.” Little Thabo rings off. Later he rings back to apologise.
Read More.

Victim wears Mohammad bomb cartoon to Madrid trial

Talk about a political statement:

A woman who lost her husband in the 2004 Madrid train bombings displayed an infamous cartoon mocking the Prophet Mohammad on her T-shirt in front of 29, mostly Muslim, suspects on trial for the attacks on Monday.

The woman's white T-shirt showed Mohammad wearing a bomb as a turban -- one of a series published by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten which unleashed violent protests by some Muslims last year.

Ten bombs ripped through four commuter trains on March 11, 2004, killing 191 people -- attacks which public prosecutors blame on a group of Islamist militants inspired by al-Qaeda.
The woman sat in the front row of the court wearing the T-shirt for around half-an-hour before getting up, walking up to the glass cage containing the defendants and finally walking out of the court, judicial sources said.
Read More.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Hunger: Where Is The Scorn?

After Castro's blast against the US concerning ethanol, what is the reality?

Food Security: There's never a shortage of dictators to hurl abuse at the U.S. for its food policies. But they have no right to do it. Marxism, not freedom, is the world's foremost creator of hunger.

The blame-America-first crowd often zeroes in on U.S. plenty, calling our lack of want 'excess' and our great food productivity an ecological evil.

There's been a malevolent new wave of this lately as more news of failed Marxist regimes and the hunger they create comes out. Cuba's communist dictator Fidel Castro on Thursday denounced the U.S.' production of grain ethanol as 'sinister' and a coming cause of ecological catastrophe and global starvation. Not only would it affect Cuba, which has rationed food since 1962, but 3 billion other people, he said. Not to be outdone, the United Nations denounced the West for North Korea's new famine, laughably claiming the nuclear-armed state was a victim of bad harvests and a lack of food aid from the stingy West.

Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, the West is regularly denounced as the culprit for conspiring to keep food off the African nation's shelves even as its offers of genetically modified food aid have been rejected. Dictator Robert Mugabe's enemy isn't hunger itself, but improved food production from the green revolution, developed in an atmosphere of freedom and capitalism.
By the way, all three Marxist states claim food is a right for all. But the hunger their people suffer is in fact just another monstrous instance of state failure. In all three, private property is outlawed and expropriated.
Read More.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ethiopian Evangelist Beaten to Death by Militant Muslims

This will be happening more often. If you notice they are wahabbi's. This is the strict version of Islam that Saudi Arabia exports. And with what the Saud's have been saying about the US lately, they won't be making any friends with our government. However, I'm sure they will be appreciated in the UN.

The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has just learned that an Ethiopian evangelist named Tedase was beaten to death by militant Muslims on Monday, March 26th, as he and two young women were on a street evangelism assignment in Jimma, Ethiopia. This marks the second time in six months that Christians residing in Southeast Ethiopia have been attacked and killed by extremist (Wahabbi) Muslims. Read More.

Feinstein Resigns

This is interesting. If true, this will cause some major problems (if it's picked up by the MSM):
via InstaPundit.

SEN. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein. Read the rest.

Dobson Offers Insight on 2008 Republican Hopefuls

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I do wish Dobson would stay out of this:

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson appeared to throw cold water on a possible presidential bid by former Sen. Fred Thompson while praising former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also weighing a presidential run, in a phone interview Tuesday.

"Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for," Dobson said of Thompson. "[But] I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression," Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party's conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Thompson, took issue with Dobson's characterization of the former Tennessee senator. "Thompson is indeed a Christian," he said. "He was baptized into the Church of Christ."

In a follow-up phone conversation, Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger stood by Dobson's claim. He said that, while Dobson didn't believe Thompson to be a member of a non-Christian faith, Dobson nevertheless "has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian—someone who talks openly about his faith."

"We use that word—Christian—to refer to people who are evangelical Christians," Schneeberger added. "Dr. Dobson wasn't expressing a personal opinion about his reaction to a Thompson candidacy; he was trying to 'read the tea leaves' about such a possibility."
Read More.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Philanthropic Donations Come From the Heart -- Where Do They End Up?

Surprisingly fair and balanced article on financial integrity in some of the big name ministries:

Anyone watching televangelists on television will hear plenty of pitches for money. Jan and Paul Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting say they need big bucks to keep their network on the air and to help the poor around the world. Read the whole thing.

HT: Ken

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Putin In Control

I'm afraid I saw this coming:

Russia's next parliament is likely to have no genuine opposition after a court in Moscow yesterday banned a leading liberal party from standing in elections.

Russia's supreme court announced that it had liquidated the small Republican party, claiming that it had violated electoral law by having too few members. The party is one of very few left in Russia that criticises President Vladimir Putin.

The move against Russia's opposition came as pro-democracy activists prepared for the latest in a series of anti-government rallies that have infuriated Russia's hardline authorities.
Read More.

Military Preparing for Democratic Cutbacks

Granny Airbag

Hat Tip: Ken

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sadr in Splinters?

From Iraqpundit:

How is Moktada's excellent Iranian adventure going? "Al Sadr has been in Iran since early February," wrote the AP on March 21, "apparently laying low during the U.S.-Iraqi offensive, according to the U.S. military." Yet poor Moktada's been homesick. "Al Sadr tried to return to Iraq last month," says the wire story, "but turned back before he reached the Iraqi border upon learning of U.S. checkpoints on the road to Najaf, the Shiite holy city south of Baghdad where he lives." Read More.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wallpapering With Red Tape

George Will gives a little lesson on economics, big government and bureaucracy all by looking at what makes an interior designer or decorator.

In the West, where the deer and the antelope used to play, the spirit of "leave us alone" government used to prevail. But governments of Western states are becoming more like those elsewhere, alas.

Consider the minor -- but symptomatic -- matter of the government-abetted aggression by "interior designers" against mere "decorators," or against interior designers whom other interior designers wish to demote to the status of decorators. Some designers think decorators should be a lesser breed without the law on its side. Read More.

Eco-Purity Pledge!

As a believer:

That human-caused global warming is a moral, ethical and spiritual issue that threatens our survival;
That Al Gore is a divinely-sent prophet here to save us from the scourge of human-caused global warming;
That there’s really nothing else in the world going on that’s particularly important;

I pledge to have a smaller carbon-footprint in my home than the divinely sent-prophet Al Gore does.

HT: Hugh Hewitt

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Iraq insurgents used children in car bombing

All in the name of Islamic jihad, sick:

Insurgents in Iraq detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle with two children in the back seat after US soldiers let it through a Baghdad checkpoint over the weekend, a senior US military official said Tuesday.

The vehicle was stopped at the checkpoint but was allowed through when soldiers saw the children in the back, said Major General Michael Barbero of the Pentagon's Joint Staff.
"Children in the back seat lowered suspicion. We let it move through. They parked the vehicle, and the adults ran out and detonated it with the children in the back," Barbero said.
The general said it was the first time he had seen a report of insurgents using children in suicide bombings. But he said Al-Qaeda in Iraq is changing tactics in response to the tighter controls around the city.

A US defense official said the incident occurred on Sunday in Baghdad's Adhamiyah district, a mixed neighborhood adjacent to Sadr City, which is predominantly Shiite.
After going through the checkpoint, the vehicle parked next to a market across the street from a school, said the official, who asked not to be identified.
"And the two adults were seen to get out of the vehicle, and run from the vehicle, and then followed by the detonation of the vehicle," the official said.
"It killed the two children inside as well as three other civilians in the vicinity. So, a total of five killed, seven injured," the official said.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Indoctrinate U

This is a new documentary that is coming out on the indoctrination of our students at our major Universities. To request a showing of this film please go here.

This looks like it will be worth a close look.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Unfairenheit 9/11

An oldie but a goodie from Hitchens:

To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery. Read the whole thing.

Victor Victorians. A lesson in real morality

Steyn on the legacy of Wilberforce:

'William Wilberforce,'' writes Eric Metaxas in Amazing Grace, "was the happy victim of his own success. He was like someone who against all odds finds the cure for a horrible disease that's ravaging the world, and the cure is so overwhelmingly successful that it vanquishes the disease completely. No one suffers from it again -- and within a generation or two no one remembers it ever existed.''

What did Wilberforce ''cure''? Two centuries ago, on March 25, 1807, one very persistent British backbencher secured the passage by parliament of an Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade throughout His Majesty's realms and territories. It's not that no one remembers the disease ever existed, but that we recall it as a kind of freak pandemic -- a SARS or bird flu that flares up and whirs round the world and is then eradicated. The American education system teaches it as such -- as a kind of wicked perversion the Atlantic settlers had conjured out of their own ambition. In reality, it was more like the common cold: a fact of life. The institution predates the word's etymology, from the Slavs brought from eastern Europe to the glittering metropolis of Rome. It predates by some millennia the earliest laws, such as the Code of Hammurabi in Mesopotamia. The first slave owners on the North American continent were hunter-gatherers. Read the whole thing.

Report: France urged Israel to hit Syria

Well this is interesting:

French President Jacques Chirac told Israel at the start of the war in Lebanon that France would support an Israeli assault on Syria, it was reported on Sunday.

Army Radio reported that in the message, which was delivered by Chirac to Israel via a secret channel, the French president suggested that Israel invade Damascus and topple the regime of Bashar Assad. In exchange, Chirac assured Israel full French support for the war.
According to the message delivered from Paris, Syria was responsible for the flare up in the North and encouraged Hizbullah to attack.

"Former prime minister Ariel Sharon had explained to the French in the past that Iran is the main one responsible for Hizbullah's armament in Lebanon, while Chirac saw Syria as the primary one responsible for the matter," former Israeli ambassador to France Nissim Zvilli told Army Radio in an interview.

"President Chirac saw Syria as directly responsible for the attempt to undermine the Lebanese regime," he said. "He saw them as directly responsible for the murder of [former Lebanese prime minister] Rafik Hariri and directly responsible for arming Hizbullah. Likewise, he saw Syria as the one giving Hizbullah orders on how to operate." Read More.

Friday, March 16, 2007

"Post-Normal" Science As Proof of Global Warming:

Very interesting and a bit frightening concept on the role of science in relation to desired outcomes concerning global warming. Basically people and countries need to combat global warming even if the science does not back it up.

From what I can gather this is the scientific equivelant of post-modernism:

Mike Hulme, the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, argues in the Guardian that while scientific evidence may cast doubt on Global Warming why believe science? When a larger truth must be expressed, then "post-normal" science must be employed. Read More.

China Backs Property Law, Buoying Middle Class

Now this is an interesting development. Is this the beginning of a case of "if you can't beat them join the?" Seems to be, especially in light of the open market reforms that have been going on for years.

This could also have implications for free speech, and hopefully religious freedom.

Will be interesting to watch:

After more than a quarter-century of market-oriented economic policies and record-setting growth, China on Friday enacted its first law to protect private property explicitly. Read More.

Andy Mckee - Rylynn

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Confrontation At Concordia - PART 1 of 5

The rise of anti-semitism in Canada:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Death of Captain Waskow

From Ernie Pyle:

AT THE FRONT LINES IN ITALY, January 10, 1944 - In this war I have known a lot of officers who were loved and respected by the soldiers under them. But never have I crossed the trail of any man as beloved as Capt. Henry T. Waskow of Belton, Texas.

Capt. Waskow was a company commander in the 36th Division. He had led his company since long before it left the States. He was very young, only in his middle twenties, but he carried in him a sincerity and gentleness that made people want to be guided by him.
"After my own father, he came next," a sergeant told me.
"He always looked after us," a soldier said. "He'd go to bat for us every time."
"I've never knowed him to do anything unfair," another one said.

I was at the foot of the mule trail the night they brought Capt. Waskow's body down. The moon was nearly full at the time, and you could see far up the trail, and even part way across the valley below. Soldiers made shadows in the moonlight as they walked. Read the rest.

A Mess Called Zimbabwe

This hits close to home for me, I have friends in Zim and they have told me it is getting really bad. When I first moved to South Africa, Zim was a food exporter. Today 3 million are starving, inflation is running at 1,700% the economy has tanked, people are desperate.

Pray for Zim.

His face swollen and with a deep head wound, this was Zimbabwe's opposition leader on Tuesday after daring to stand up to the country's despotic leader Robert Mugabe.

A limping Morgan Tsvangirai said he had suffered 'terrible' treatment in police custody after being arrested with scores of others during political protests at the weekend. His face swollen and with a deep head wound, this was Zimbabwe's opposition leader on Tuesday after daring to stand up to the country's despotic leader Robert Mugabe.

A limping Morgan Tsvangirai said he had suffered 'terrible' treatment in police custody after being arrested with scores of others during political protests at the weekend.

Morgan Tsvangirai outside court on Tuesday. He and his supporters were said to have been tortured in custody.

'It was sadistic to attack defenceless people,' he said outside court in the capital Harare.
Several other opposition detainees had to be carried into the court. One wore a blood-stained shirt and all appeared dirty, dishevelled and tired.

Rights groups say Mr Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, and others were tortured after a prayer meeting on Sunday organised by opposition, church and civic groups to protest at Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis.

Under Mugabe inflation is 1,700 per cent, unemployment is 80 per cent, there are chronic shortages of food and fuel and dissent is ruthlessly crushed.

Police had ordered organisers to scrap Sunday's meeting, apparently worried that mounting opposition to 83-year-old Mugabe's rule is leading to a popular move to oust him.
One man was shot dead when riot squads moved in to stop the rally, a move which has brought worldwide condemnation. It was the second time in a month police had battled opposition members in the capital.

Andrew Pocock, Britain's ambassador to Zimbabwe, who was in court yesterday, said: 'The right side of Morgan's face was swollen, his eyes were bloodshot, but he seemed coherent. It was damn barbaric.'

Mr Pocock added that Arthur Mutambara, the leader of a breakaway faction of Mr Tsvangirai's party, appeared to have a broken arm and head wounds.

State lawyer Florence Ziyambi ordered that the accused be taken to hospital. Mr Tsvangirai was bundled by riot police into a minibus, while around 50 other injured detainees were taken away in ambulances. Link.

The Apostle Paul's Warning Against Conciet

A Warning against Conceit.

You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. (Romans 11:19-21).

Paul anticipates another objection from the mouth of the Gentile believer. “It is true that I cannot be arrogant of any spiritual heritage because I have no spiritual heritage, but I can be arrogant because God broke off His relationship with the Jews so that He might make a new relationship with me!”

Paul points out that this fact does not push us to conceit but to fear. Rather than being arrogant, we should be humble. What happened to Israel can also happen to the Gentiles if we do not continue in faith.

The breaking off of the one branch and the grafting in of the other has nothing to do with the worth of the branch. There is really no difference between an unfruitful “natural” branch and a worthless “wild” branch. It is the case of the “pot calling the kettle black.”

The issue is not the Gentile branch’s works or its worth, as compared to the other Jewish branch. The issue is faith. The Jewish branch was removed because of unbelief. The Gentile branch was grafted in because of faith. The Gentile branch is in error by comparing itself to the Jewish branch when the Gentile branch should be looking to the trunk ‑‑ God.

Here is the principle. Salvation by grace gives no believer any basis for pride. Blessings bring greater responsibility, but they do not indicate superiority. Israel in the past was given great blessings. The church today has been given even greater blessings. These blessings are the result of God’s grace and not an evidence that we are better than others. Our response to these blessings is to be one of humility and thankfulness as we realize that grace is always unmerited and undeserved. Arrogance flies in the face of grace. It is a perversion of grace. Grace is given only to the undeserving, never to the self‑righteous who think they are better.

Call to Cool the Hype; Al Gore and Global Warming

Interesting. This is from the New York Times:

Hollywood has a thing for Al Gore and his three-alarm film on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won an Academy Award for best documentary. So do many environmentalists, who praise him as a visionary, and many scientists, who laud him for raising public awareness of climate change.
But part of his scientific audience is uneasy. In talks, articles and blog entries that have appeared since his film and accompanying book came out last year, these scientists argue that some of Mr. Gore’s central points are exaggerated and erroneous. They are alarmed, some say, at what they call his alarmism.
“I don’t want to pick on Al Gore,” Don J. Easterbrook, an emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, told hundreds of experts at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. “But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data.”
Mr. Gore, in an e-mail exchange about the critics, said his work made “the most important and salient points” about climate change, if not “some nuances and distinctions” scientists might want. “The degree of scientific consensus on global warming has never been stronger,” he said, adding, “I am trying to communicate the essence of it in the lay language that I understand.”
Although Mr. Gore is not a scientist, he does rely heavily on the authority of science in “An Inconvenient Truth,” which is why scientists are sensitive to its details and claims.
Criticisms of Mr. Gore have come not only from conservative groups and prominent skeptics of catastrophic warming, but also from rank-and-file scientists like Dr. Easterbook, who told his peers that he had no political ax to grind. A few see natural variation as more central to global warming than heat-trapping gases. Many appear to occupy a middle ground in the climate debate, seeing human activity as a serious threat but challenging what they call the extremism of both skeptics and zealots.
Read More.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Minister protests same-sex union ban with a halt to all weddings

Well this is certainly a switcharoo. The Episcopal church is well on its way to dying in the US. The main growth in the Anglican commune is in Africa. Alas issues like this will keep it from growing in the States. We are witnessing the disintegration of a denomination. Sad:

An Episcopal minister will stop performing all wedding ceremonies to protest the denomination's prohibition of same-sex unions.

"We are called to join the fast that our homosexual brothers and sisters in Christ have had to observe all their lives," said the Rev. Robert Hirschfeld, rector of Grace Episcopal Church.
Several members of the congregation say they support Hirschfeld's move, which he announced in his Sunday sermon. Others said they were concerned that that the move might add to the polarization of an issue that has already divided Episcopals.
Read More.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Former Sen. Fred Thompson on 'FOX News Sunday'

Sounds to me like he is going to run. This will shake up the Republican primaries.

The 'Surge' Is Succeeding


A front-page story in The Post last week suggested that the Bush administration has no backup plan in case the surge in Iraq doesn't work. I wonder if The Post and other newspapers have a backup plan in case it does.
Leading journalists have been reporting for some time that the war was hopeless, a fiasco that could not be salvaged by more troops and a new counterinsurgency strategy. The conventional wisdom in December held that sending more troops was politically impossible after the antiwar tenor of the midterm elections. It was practically impossible because the extra troops didn't exist. Even if the troops did exist, they could not make a difference.

Four months later, the once insurmountable political opposition has been surmounted. The nonexistent troops are flowing into Iraq. And though it is still early and horrible acts of violence continue, there is substantial evidence that the new counterinsurgency strategy, backed by the infusion of new forces, is having a significant effect. Read more.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali infuriates Muslims and discomfits liberals.

Very, very interesting article:

The Muslim faith has many variations, but Ms. Hirsi Ali contends that the unities are of greater significance. "Islam has a very consistent doctrine," she says, "and I define Islam as I was taught to define it: submission to the will of Allah. His will is written in the Quran, and in the hadith and Sunna. What we are all taught is that when you want to make a distinction between right and wrong, you follow the prophet. Muhammad is the model guide for every Muslim through time, throughout history." Read the whole thing.

Bugatti Veyron at top speed

Quite a car. HT: Mark.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist

This is old, but well worth another read:

While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.

Democrats Views on Iraq

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

As Pelosi is finding out leadership can stink. The base of the democratic party is causing her a nightmare, and threatens to blow up in her face:

The meltdown among House Democrats over Iraq is rightly being described as the first big test of Nancy Pelosi's leadership. It's also an early example of just how much political damage the antiwar left is capable of inflicting on their new speaker.
Ms. Pelosi has been backed into a tight corner over President Bush's $100 billion request for war funding. Hoping to quell a revolt from a liberal bloc that wants out of Iraq, pronto, the speaker unveiled a new, new plan yesterday that includes a timetable for withdrawal--to begin as early as July. Ms. Pelosi needs to win this vote, the first real showdown over Iraq. But it's becoming increasingly clear she can do that only by sacrificing her moderate wing, which opposes her plan and could pay heavily for it in next year's election.

And here is a telling paragraph. When in trouble, bribe.

The message to Ms. Pelosi is that she'll have to cobble together a victory from within her own party. Toward that end, she and appropriations chief David Obey have already turned to good-old-fashioned bribery. There is talk that the $100 billion "war" supplemental will include an extra $20 billion in goodies. At least $4 billion would be emergency agriculture spending aimed at Blue Dog southerners for their struggling farmers back home. A huge dollop would go to children's heath care, Katrina and homeland security. And to provide further coverage against accusations that Democrats don't support the troops, there's billions more for veterans and troop health care. So much for Ms. Pelosi's promise of fiscal discipline.

The joke is that even if Ms. Pelosi can buy the moderate wing to her side, her proposal still might go . . . poof. And why? Her liberal wing, of course. After all the speaker's concessions, antiwar critics were still griping yesterday that the withdrawal proposal left Mr. Bush too much flexibility over the timing. Reps. Lynn Woolsey and Ms. Lee introduced their own amendment to the legislation that would demand a complete withdrawal by year-end. Ms. Pelosi is loath to give them a vote, since the amendment would surely fail and allow Mr. Bush to note that even Congress is against withdrawal. The question is if her liberals will give her any choice. They certainly haven't up to now. Read More.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Gonzales Yields On Hiring Interim U.S. Attorneys

I'm sorry, but he was not particulary good on this one. Whether the attorney's would have been replaced or not is immaterial. It was not done well:

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales agreed yesterday to change the way U.S. attorneys can be replaced, a reversal in administration policy that came after he was browbeaten by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee still angry over the controversial firings of eight federal prosecutors. Read More.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Interesting. HT: Mark - Shift Happens

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Importance of Women in many Muslim Countries

Women are often second class citizens in islamic countries. This little paragraph explains the worth many men pace on their women.

Once, as we returned to Ramadi from Falluja, I saw an Iraqi man driving his truck through the rain. There were four women in traditional garb in the back of the truck, huddled together for warmth. On the front seat next to the man was his dog. Read More.


Some people just can't win for trying:

The Most ‘Inconvenient Truth’: According to U.N., Animals Raised for Food Generate More Greenhouse Gases Than All Cars and Trucks CombinedNorfolk, Va. — This morning, PETA sent a letter to former vice president Al Gore explaining to him that the best way to fight global warming is to go vegetarian and offering to cook him faux “fried chicken” as an introduction to meat-free meals. In its letter, PETA points out that Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth—which starkly outlines the potentially catastrophic effects of global warming and just won the Academy Award for “Best Documentary”—has failed to address the fact that the meat industry is the largest contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions. In the letter, PETA points out the following: · The effect that our meat addiction is having on the climate is truly staggering. In fact, in its recent report “Livestock’s Long Shadow—Environmental Issues and Options,” the United Nations determined that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. · Researchers at the University of Chicago have determined that switching to a vegan diet is more effective in countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a Toyota Prius. PETA also reminds Gore that his critics love to question whether he practices what he preaches and suggests that by going vegetarian, he could cut down on his contribution to global warming and silence his critics at the same time. “The single best thing that any of us can do to for our health, for animals, and for the environment is to go vegetarian,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “The best and easiest way for Mr. Gore to show his critics that he’s truly committed to fighting global warming is to kick his meat habit immediately.” Link.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Documentary on Michael Moore

The tables have been turned and Moore doesn't seem to care for it. It will be interesting seeing this film. They discuss material that he omitted (stuff):

In part the "stuff" amounts to a catalogue of alleged errors — both of omission and commission — in Moore's films, beginning with his 1989 debut, "Roger & Me." That film largely revolved around Moore's fruitless attempts to interview Roger Smith, then the chairman of General Motors, after his company closed plants in Moore's birthplace, Flint, Michigan: an interview that occurred, Melnyk and Caine said, although Moore left it on the cutting-room floor.

"I'm still a big proponent of 'Roger & Me,' especially for its importance in American documentary making," said John Pierson, the longtime producers' representative who helped sell the film to Warner Brothers and now teaches at the University of Texas in Austin. "But it was disheartening to see some of the material in Debbie and Rick's film. I wouldn't say I was crushed. I'm too old to be crushed. But my students were."
Read More.

Numbers Drop for the Married With Children


Punctuating a fundamental change in American family life, married couples with children now occupy fewer than one in every four households -- a share that has been slashed in half since 1960 and is the lowest ever recorded by the census.

As marriage with children becomes an exception rather than the norm, social scientists say it is also becoming the self-selected province of the college-educated and the affluent. The working class and the poor, meanwhile, increasingly steer away from marriage, while living together and bearing children out of wedlock. Read More.

Could 650,000 Iraqis really have died because of the invasion?

The numbers are horrible no matter what, but 650 thousand does seem too many:

The statistics made headlines all over the world when they were published in The Lancet in October last year. More than 650,000 Iraqis – one in 40 of the population – had died as a result of the American-led invasion in 2003. The vast majority of these “excess” deaths (deaths over and above what would have been expected in the absence of the occupation) were violent. The victims, both civilians and combatants, had fallen prey to airstrikes, car bombs and gunfire.
Body counts in conflict zones are assumed to be ballpark – hospitals, record offices and mortuaries rarely operate smoothly in war – but this was ten times any other estimate. Iraq Body Count, an antiwar web-based charity that monitors news sources, put the civilian death toll for the same period at just under 50,000, broadly similar to that estimated by the United Nations Development Agency.

The implication of the Lancet study, which involved Iraqi doctors knocking on doors and asking residents about recent deaths in the household, was that Iraqis were being killed on an horrific scale. The controversy has deepened rather than evaporated. Several academics have tried to find out how the Lancet study was conducted; none regards their queries as having been addressed satisfactorily. Researchers contacted by The Times talk of unreturned e-mails or phone calls, or of being sent information that raises fresh doubts.
Read More.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Nevada Church Conflicted Over Pedophile's Devotion

There are ways to protect the congregation. In other words it can be done:

A Lutheran congregation is grappling with how to deal with a convicted sex offender who says his church attendance is an important step toward rehabilitation.
Clergy and members at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd say they're in a quandary over how to protect their children while following in Christ's footsteps and welcoming a stranger.
"Clearly, we are called to love," said the Rev. Rebecca Schlatter, associate pastor. "But is it safe to love this particular person up close?"
Read More.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Magazine publisher accepts Christ, leaves homosexual lifestyle

Through God all things are possible:

The publisher of Venus Magazine, a 13 year old periodical for homosexuals of African-American descent, announced on the magazine's website that she has become a Christian and now rejects the lesbian lifestyle she has lived for her "entire adult life."

"Over the past 29 years of my life I have been an aggressive, creative and strategic supporter of gay and lesbian issues," Charlene E. Cothran, VENUS Magazine publisher wrote in the article. "I’ve organized and participated in countless marches and various lobbying efforts in the fight for equal treatment of gay men and lesbians.

Cothran goes on in the online edition's current "cover story" to describe her financial contributions to homosexual lobbying organizations, but says her life has now changed.
Read the rest.

The Translator

HT: Janet and Glenn

Thursday, March 01, 2007

McCain: U.S. Lives ‘Wasted’ in Iraq

This from Dan Riehl:

What a maverick, huh?

WASHINGTON Mar 1, 2007 (AP)— Republican presidential contender John McCain, a staunch backer of the Iraq war but critic of how President Bush has waged it, said U.S. lives had been “wasted” in the four-year-old conflict. Democrats demand the Arizona senator apologize for the comment as Sen. Barack Obama did when the Democratic White House hopeful recently made the same observation.

“Americans are very frustrated, and they have every right to be,” McCain said Wednesday on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman.” “We’ve wasted a lot of our most precious treasure, which is American lives.”

Update: McCain apologizes but damage done. If he were on the upswing it might not matter quite as much. But given his existing issues with the Republican base and the way things have been headed for him, bad timing makes this is a tougher knock.

“Last evening, I referred to American casualties in Iraq as ‘wasted’,” McCain said in a statement Thursday.

“I should have used the word ’sacrificed’ as I have in the past. No one appreciates and honors more than I do the selfless patriotism of American servicemen and women in the Iraq War,” said McCain, a decorated Vietnam war hero.

Well, well. This is not a good way to win a primary. This really doesn’t help when he also failed to attend the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and every other candidate was attending. Still early, but this is not a good time for McCain.

WARNING! This Video Contains Cat Spanking

‘That’s so gay’ prompts a lawsuit

Lnaguage has become a minefield, and it won't get any better:

When a few classmates razzed Rebekah Rice about her Mormon upbringing with questions such as, "Do you have 10 moms?" she shot back: "That's so gay." Read More.