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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Ann Coulter: Thou Shalt Not Commit Religion



— A performance of large, sexually explicit props covered with Bibles performing a wide variety of sex acts and concluding with a mass Bible-burning. — NEA-funded performance (canceled by the venue in response to citizen protests)

— A show titled "DEGENERATE WITH A CAPITAL D" featuring a display of the remains of the artist's own aborted baby. — NEA-funded exhibit

— A play titled "Sincerity Forever," depicting Christ using obscenities and endorsing any and all types of sexual activities as consistent with Biblical teaching. — NEA-funded exhibit

— Essay describing then-New York Cardinal John O'Connor as a "fat cannibal from that house of walking swastikas up on Fifth Avenue." Also photographs of men performing oral sex, anal sex, oral-anal sex and masturbation. — NEA-funded exhibit

That's the America you live in! A country founded on a compact with God, forged from the idea that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights is now a country where taxpayers can be forced to subsidize "artistic" exhibits of aborted fetuses. But don't start thinking about putting up a Ten Commandments display. That's offensive!

I don't want to hear any jabberwocky from the Court TV amateurs about "the establishment of religion." (1) A Ten Commandments monument does not establish a religion. (2) The First Amendment prohibits Congress from making any law "respecting" an establishment of religion — meaning Congress cannot make a law establishing a religion, nor can it make a law prohibiting the states from establishing a religion. We've been through this a million times.

Now the Supreme Court is itching to ban the Pledge of Allegiance because of its offensive reference to one nation "under God." (Perhaps that "God" stuff could be replaced with a vulgar sexual reference.) But with the court looking like a geriatric ward these days, they don't want to alarm Americans right before a battle over the next Supreme Court nominee. Be alarmed. This is what it's about.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tony Macrini: Saddam Was Justified In Invading Kuwait.

Tony Macrini is the morning talk show host on WNIS, 790, in Norfolk, Virginia. One of the radio stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting.

This morning Tony Macrini made the case that Saddam was justified in his attack and invasion of Kuwait. According to Tony the justifications included: Kuwait had been an Iraqi province. The Kuwaitis were stealing Iraqi oil. Saddam was on the US “payroll.”

Tony claims to be a Libertarian. He is violently opposed to the American campaign against Saddam. He sees no connection between 9/11 and our invasion of Iraq.

As a matter of logic, we must conclude that Tony believes either that:

• George Bush is stupid, or
• George Bush is evil

If Bush is stupid, who is misleading his and why?

If Bush is evil, what are his motives in attacking Iraq?

We will try to find out from Tony Macrini the answers to these questions.

Stay tuned.

COMMENT: In a related post via The Belmont Club, one commentator responded this way to America's actions during the 1940s. Our involvement would not have passed the Libertarian test:

Perhaps it was "missionary zeal" or perhaps not, but using the same logic as that which casts doubt on the “Zeal Factor" it certainly is not clear why we fought WWII as we did. The prudent, realistic thing to do would have been to negotiate with Japan after the Pearl Harbor attack; after all we planned to give up the Philippines in a few years in any case, and nothing else out there was ours anyway. Ask the Japanese and they would tell you it was "all about China" and Asians being able to exploit their own resources. Negotiations with Germany and Italy certainly could have assured England's safety and probably even limited the Axis intrusion into Africa. As for the Soviets, everyone except the American Communists could see it would be better for the Nazis and the Commies to kill each other off, so let them go at it without our involvement.
So it much have been Missionary Zeal that led us to go after our enemies with unbelievable ferocity and eventually awe-inspiring skill, covering the sea with ships, filling the sky with airplanes (over 100,000 fighter planes alone) and passing the nuclear threshold without as much as a pause.
Yeah, that must have been it. It certainly was not logical.
But boy, oh boy, was it right.

Conceit of Government

Peggy Noonan in the conceit that the people in Washington no longer bother to hide:


What's wrong with them? That's what I'm thinking more and more as I watch the news from Washington.

A few weeks ago it was the senators who announced the judicial compromise. There is nothing wrong with compromise and nothing wrong with announcements, but the senators who spoke referred to themselves with such flights of vanity and conceit--we're so brave, so farsighted, so high-minded--that it was embarrassing. They patted themselves on the back so hard they looked like a bevy of big breasted pigeons in a mass wing-flap. Little grey feathers and bits of corn came through my TV screen, and I had to sweep up when they were done.

This week comes the previously careful Sen. Barack Obama, flapping his wings in Time magazine and explaining that he's a lot like Abraham Lincoln, only sort of better. "In Lincoln's rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat--in all this he reminded me not just of my own struggles."

Oh. So that's what Lincoln's for. Actually Lincoln's life is a lot like Mr. Obama's. Lincoln came from a lean-to in the backwoods. His mother died when he was 9. The Lincolns had no money, no standing. Lincoln educated himself, reading law on his own, working as a field hand, a store clerk and a raft hand on the Mississippi. He also split some rails. He entered politics, knew more defeat than victory, and went on to lead the nation through its greatest trauma, the Civil War, and past its greatest sin, slavery.

Barack Obama, the son of two University of Hawaii students, went to Columbia and Harvard Law after attending a private academy that taught the children of the Hawaiian royal family. He made his name in politics as an aggressive Chicago vote hustler in Bill Clinton's first campaign for the presidency.

You see the similarities.


I Am a Hero, The Courage of Al Gore and Jonah Goldberg

This may be the funniest thing Jonah Goldberg has ever written. Excerpt. Head the whole thing from NRO Online:

About a month ago, I helped a Muslim woman with her groceries in a supermarket parking lot. She was dealing with her kids and her shopping cart started to roll away from her car with the groceries still inside. As it rolled, I saw a decent society of tolerance and kindness rolling away. The cart’s one wobbly wheel — going chapocketa, chapocketa, chapocketa — was onomatopoetically tapping out a small drumbeat for the forced march to oblivion of all we hold dear.

Thank goodness I was there.

Thank goodness this country produces heroes like me.

I sprang into action. Walking more than a dozen yards without concern about the parking-lot traffic, heedless of the SUVs barreling along at 5 perhaps even 10 MPH — not even caring about what my fellow Americans might make of me giving aid and comfort to a Muslim woman. I knew that this woman’s faith in the American way of life was on the line! And I was going to do what was necessary! I grabbed that shopping cart and I pushed it through all the fear and bigotry this country has smothered that poor woman with. I pushed that shopping cart back to that woman’s minivan not so much so she could more easily unload her Cocoa Puffs, but because I have a dream. I have a dream that one day little Muslim boys and little Jewish boys, little Arab girls and little Scots-Irish girls will be able to join hands as sisters and brothers and push that great shopping cart we call “America” together — with their one free hand.

I don't use the word "hero" lightly, but I am the greatest hero in American history. Except, maybe, for Al Gore.

Of course, I didn’t realize any of this until I read an essay in last week’s New York Times by one Fatina Abdrabboh, a student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. You see she is a Muslim woman too. And like that lady in the parking lot, she was in pain. She was working out at a stylish upscale gym in that known hotbed of anti-Muslim bigotry Cambridge, Massachusetts. All she was trying to do was work out, to build her physical strength to match the psychological and spiritual stamina required to persevere, on a daily basis, in that infamous City of Hate.


Read More

Monday, June 27, 2005

God, Politics and News

A long, but important story about the religious issue in public life. Read the whole thing

The authors also cite a poll showing that a majority of TV news directors and newspaper editors felt that Evangelical and fundamentalist Christians "have too much power," and fully one-third of those surveyed considered these believers to be "a threat to democracy." The same survey found that only four percent thought secularists and nonbelievers had too much influence over public life, and the number of media professionals who perceived secularists as a threat was . . . zero. You see in these numbers why my former New York Post editor concluded that our city was thoroughly secular and that covering religion was unimportant: The media elite think that marginalizing religion in one’s life is normal, and that those who are serious about faith are mad, bad, and dangerous to know.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Unreal for 30 Days

Oh dear, another fantasy is in the works disguised as a documentary. From the Wall Street Journal:

Morgan Spurlock got famous from his Oscar-nominated documentary "Super Size Me." He ingested big McDonald's meals three times a day for 30 days, then blamed McDonald's for his bloated body and dodgy health. Now he's using his 30-day premise to get Americans to ingest his version of radical Islam on cable's FX Network.

Last year, I received a request to appear on Mr. Spurlock's new reality show, "30 Days." The episode for which I was being recruited, "Inside an American Muslim Family," airs next Wednesday. It features Mr. Spurlock's childhood friend from West Virginia, David Stacy, spending 30 days "living as a Muslim" in the Detroit area.

While Mr. Spurlock is often referred to as a journalist, and touts "30 Days" as a "documentary," the outcome of the show was decided before production began. A show summary sent to me before taping said: "This process aims to deconstruct common misconceptions and stereotypes. . . . Our character will learn firsthand about Islam and the daily issues that . . . Muslims in America face today. The viewers will witness our character emerge from the immersion situation with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Muslim-American experience. . . . The potential is great for this program to enlighten a national television audience about the Muslim American experience and increase their compassion, understanding and support."

And indeed, The Wall Street Journal's own Dorothy Rabinowitz, writing about the show last week from a preview tape, noted that Mr. Stacy, by the end of his 30 days, "has become so enlightened that he is pronouncing, if incomprehensibly, on the meaning of Islam, his knowledge of the Quran, the real definition of jihad."

Read the whole thing!

Day by Day

Congresscritters visit Gitmo

Via Captain's Quarters:

After blathering on for weeks about the supposed gulag-like conditions at Guantanamo Bay, members of Congress finally visited the facility for themselves this week. To no one's great surprise, they left with a considerably change in their attitude after having done some actual research:

Read the whole thing.

Mark Steyn: Don't worry, Old Glory can take the heat

Excerpt from Mark's article; a MUST READ:

One of the big lessons of these last four years is that many, many beneficiaries of Western civilization loathe that civilization -- and the media are generally inclined to blur the extent of that loathing. At last year's Democratic Convention, when the Oscar-winning crockumentarian Michael Moore was given the seat of honor in the presidential box next to Jimmy Carter, I wonder how many TV viewers knew that the terrorist ''insurgents'' -- the guys who kidnap and murder aid workers, hack the heads off foreigners, load Down's syndrome youths up with explosives and send them off to detonate in shopping markets -- are regarded by Moore as Iraq's Minutemen. I wonder how many viewers knew that on Sept. 11 itself Moore's only gripe was that the terrorists had targeted New York and Washington instead of Texas or Mississippi: ''They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, D.C. and the plane's destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!"

Read the whole thing!

Liberal Hate Speech

From Power Line:

My show-business friend writes this evening:

This irrational and virulent hatred radiates from elected officials to all those who elected them. I saw a T-shirt in a Palm Springs shop that said, "So many right-wing Christians, so few lions." Hilarious, n'est-ce pas? Nothing funnier than religious believers being ripped to shreds by wild animals in front of cheering pagans.

I'm intrigued by the liberal furor over Karl Rove's remark about the difference in reactions to 9/11. As my old grandfather used to say, "You throw a stone into a pack of dogs and the one that barks the loudest is the one you hit."

Everything Rove said is absolutely true. I entertained at a 50th anniversary party for a well-known feminist leader about 10 days after 9/11. Much of the liberal elite of the Twin Cities was present. I was wearing a little flag pin that elicited considerable mockery. In a post-performance conversation with 3 prominent DFL activists, they all agreed that 1) America had it coming 2) much of the rest of the world cheered the attacks and that was not a bad thing; 3) the attack was purely a "criminal" matter that required the issuing of indictments, but surely not a war, and finally and most horrifically, a direct quote, "At least we got rid of Barbara Olson."

Like racists who feel free to use the "N" word among themselves, these people felt free to be so frank and unguarded because they absolutely assumed that I shared their worldview. I was so upset I couldn't even EAT, and anyone who knows me knows how serious THAT was. I told them I disagreed completely and left. That was the final straw launching me from my lifelong stint as a Democrat to the Republican party

Tsunami Relief Update

Excerpt; read the whole thing:

The Perth Sunday Times editorializes:

Six months after billions of dollars of aid was pledged to aid tsunami-lashed Asia, most of it has yet to reach survivors because of corruption, politics and reneging by donor countries.

Wood Heard Two Executions (Terrorists Murder Hostages)

From the HeraldSun:

A BLINDFOLDED Douglas Wood heard two Iraqi hostages being executed - one at his feet - during his 47 day ordeal at the hands of his captors in Iraq.

The freed Australian hostage has told how he heard the two executions at the second house in which he was held.

UPDATE: Stockholm Syndrome by Proxy. Via Tim Blair:
“We strive to exceed the expectations our readers, advertisers and viewers have of us,” claim the publishers of the Melbourne Age. And they have! Here’s Age editor Andrew Jaspan mourning freed hostage Douglas Wood’s insensitivity:

"I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood’s use of the a---hole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through and I think demeans the man and is one of the reasons why people are slightly sceptical of his motives and everything else.

"The issue really is largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive."

Politenessman Jaspan believes hostages should be sensitive to murderers. He thinks someone held captive and beaten by extortionists and killers ought show some respect. And how, precisely, does Wood’s use of the term call into question “his motives”, whatever Jaspan imagines those to be?
Andrew Jaspan is a moral vacuum who should be fired. Or, alternatively, kidnapped and kicked in the head; if the little bastard complained about it afterwards, well, that would merely make us sceptical. Send letters-to-the-editor here. Cancel subscriptions here (if you haven’t already). Find Jaspan a new job back in England here. Meanwhile, yet more awful insensitivity is on display:

Rove Riles Dems

From the NY POst via FreeRepublic

THE ISSUE: Karl Rove's recent comments on how liberals responded to 9/11.

Sen. Dick Durbin calls the U.S. military no better than Nazis, Stalinists and the Cambodian mass murderer Pol Pot. Response from the Democratic leadership: near silence. Rove says the Democratic response to the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. was wimpy. Democratic leadership response: apoplexy. I think Rove understated the case. Gerard Browne Jersey City, N.J.


Rove spoke the truth at the Conservative's annual dinner the other night. Thank God for people like Rove, who tell it like it is. Stewart Lara Manhattan


To the differences between conservatives and liberals outlined by Rove, I would add the following: Conservatives are unafraid to confront reality, while liberals are fearful and unable to recognize what is real. Paul Bloustein Cincinnati, Ohio


Rove makes a truthful statement about liberals and 9/11 to a group of conservatives, and Democrats in the Senate are "outraged." That in itself tells you all you really need to know about today's Democrats. James Ahlfeld Larchmont

(Excerpt) Read more by clicking on headline

Ex-Hostage Hires Bounty Hunters

From The Australian via FreeRepublic:

A HOSTAGE held alongside Australian Douglas Wood in Iraq has hired bounty hunters to track down his former captors, promising to eliminate them one by one.

Swede Ulf Hjertstrom, who was held for several weeks with Mr Wood in Baghdad, was released by his kidnappers on May 30.

Mr Hjertstrom has since claimed he shared information with US and Iraqi troops about Mr Wood which led to the release of the 63-year-old Australian engineers two weeks ago, after 47 days in captivity.

Now, he wants to find those responsible.

"I have now put some people to work to find these bastards," he told the Ten Network today.

"I invested about $50,000 so far and we will get them one by one."

UPDATE: More nuttery from the infantile Left (but I repeat myself):

By Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun (excerpt):

FIRST they backed Saddam against his victims. Now our cultural elite backs terrorists against Douglas Wood, the Australian they kidnapped.

You say I exaggerate?
I reply: Andrew Jaspan.

Jaspan is editor-in-chief of The Age, Australia's most Left-wing daily newspaper, and on ABC radio on Wednesday said how "boorish" and "coarse" Wood was at his press conference this week when he called his captors "a---holes".

You might wonder whether Jaspan, the Englishman whose paper on that same day published a big picture on page one of naked girls from Big Brother, has the right to call anyone else "coarse".

But far more shocking was his apparent demand that Wood be more grateful to the men who'd snatched him, kicked him in the head, kept him blindfolded and bound for 47 days, shaved him bald, killed two of his colleagues, made him beg for his life, and -- says a fellow hostage from Sweden -- shot several other prisoners in front of him.

Let's run the tape.

Said Jaspan: "I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the a---hole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through and I think demeans the man and is one of the reasons why people are slightly sceptical of his motives and everything else.

"The issue really is largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive." The ingrate.

I haven't heard much lately more perverse. If what Wood went through is Jaspan's idea of being "treated well", I finally understand why The Age seems so dismayed by the fall of nice Saddam Hussein, who similarly treated his victims so well that more than 300,000 have been found in mass graves. They must have been simply tickled to death to be there.

Click on the link to read the rest.

PETAs Killers

From the Austin Review we have the following story:

With no apparent sense of irony, they chose the dumpster of a Piggly Wiggly supermarket to drop off the carcasses, wrapped in black plastic bags. Among them were a mother cat with her two very healthy kittens, and seven little puppies – dead by injection. Nor did either of them appear to evince the slightest cognitive dissonance in acting as agents, and employees, of the very inaptly named “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” (PETA). For at least two months they had been slaughtering and dumping animals that they obtained under false pretenses from shelters: they assured the attendants they would find the adoptable animals ‘good homes.’

Andrew Benjamin Cook and Adria Joy Hinkle are charged in a North Carolina court with only 31 felony counts of animal cruelty, eight misdemeanor counts of the illegal disposal of dead animals, and a charge of criminal trespassing. Yet they are apparently responsible for the death of more than a hundred animals. This is ethical? We must not allow ourselves to be so distracted by the sordid details of this case that we view it as an aberration. Instead, it is all too emblematic of the core “values” of the PETA cash and terror machine. In “Better Dead Than Fed”, Debra Saunders observes that “this is not the first report that PETA killed animals it claimed to protect. In 1991, PETA killed 18 rabbits and 14 roosters it had previously ‘rescued’ from a research facility. ‘We just don’t have the money to care for them,’ then PETA-Chairman Alex Pacheco told the Washington Times.”

The Center for Consumer Freedom Documents on its website that “from July 1998 through the end of 2003, PETA killed over 10,000 dogs, cats, and other ‘companion animals’ – at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. That’s more than five defenseless animals every day. Not counting the dogs and cats PETA spayed and neutered, the group put to death over 85 percent of the animals it took in during 2003 alone.” In fact, the CCF reports “on its 2002 federal income-tax return, PETA claimed a $9,370 write-off for a giant walk-in freezer, the kind most people use as a meat locker or for ice-cream storage. But animal-rights activists don’t eat meat or dairy foods. So far, the group hasn’t confirmed the obvious – that it’s using the appliance to store the bodies of its victims.”

Why does PETA kill? “In 2000, when the Associated Press first noted PETA’s Kervorkian-esque tendencies, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk complained that actually taking care of animals costs more than killing them. ‘We could become a no-kill shelter immediately,’ she admitted.” “Besides,” relates Saunders, “PETA always has been about killing animals. A 2003 New Yorker profile included PETA top dog Ingrid Newkirk’s story of how she became involved in animal rights after a shelter put down stray kittens she brought there. So she went to work for an animal shelter in the 1970s, where, she explained: ‘I would go to work early, before anyone got there, and I would just kill the animals myself. Because I couldn’t stand to let them go through (other workers abusing the animals). I must have killed a thousand of them, sometimes dozens every day.’

“That’s right. PETA assails other parties for killing animals for food or research. Then it kills animals – but for really important reasons, like because it has run out of room.”

As the CFC’s David Martosko told Saunders, "For years, we thought that PETA just cared for animals more than they cared for humans. But now it seems they don’t care much for either.” Consider, for example that “Newkirk also told The New Yorker the world would be a better place without people. She explained why she had herself sterilized: ‘I am opposed to having children. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog – it’s nothing but vanity, human vanity.”

Those aren’t the limits of her misanthropic sentiments. In September 1989 she told Vogue magazine that “animal liberationists do not separate out the human animal, so there is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy, they’re all mammals.” She added, for good measure, “even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it.”
So, as the CFC reports, “PETA kills animals. Because it has other financial priorities.

“PETA raked in nearly $29 million last year in income, much of it raised from pet owners who think their donations actually help animals. Instead, the group spends huge sums on programs equating people who eat chicken with Nazis, scaring young children away from drinking milk, recruiting children into the radical animal-rights lifestyle, and intimidating businessmen and their families in their own neighborhoods. PETA has also spent tens of thousands of dollars defending arsonists and other violent extremists.” And contributing funds to the Earth Liberation Front, which the FBI’s Deputy Assistant Director John Lewis considers “one of today’s most serious domestic terrorism threats.” Carson Carroll, Deputy Assistant Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives adds that “since 1987, ATF has initiated over 100 investigations related to ELF and ALF incidents. Some of the investigations involved explosives incidents, as well as, acts of arson. While the number of ELF and ALF incidents has fluctuated from year to year, the magnitude of the incidents appears to be on the rise with a number of high-damage arsons occurring since 1999. Between 1999 and 2005, ATF opened 58 investigations related to ELF and ALF acts of violence.” The Hudson Institute’s Michael Fumento relates that “last month the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told a Senate panel that animal rights extremists, along with eco-terrorists, pose one of the most serious national terrorist threats – one growing by leaps and bounds. Unlike such groups as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), PETA takes no credit for such actions as torching laboratories. But it does support these groups both vocally and financially.

“‘I find it small wonder that the laboratories aren’t all burning to the ground. If I had more guts, I’d light a match,’ Newkirk has said. Other gems: ‘I wish we would all get up and go into the labs and take the animals out or burn them down,’ and ‘Would I rather the research lab that tests animals is reduced to a bunch of cinders? Yes.’ She also insisted, ‘I will be the last person to condemn ALF.'
“PETA vegetarian campaign coordinator Bruce Friedrich has declared that ‘blowing stuff up and smashing windows’ is something PETA doesn’t do ‘but I do advocate it.’
“PETA has donated to the Earth Liberation Front, a certified terrorist group that, according to the FBI, along with the ALF has committed more than 600 criminal acts causing more than $43 million in damages. During the 1990s, PETA paid $70,200 to an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) activist convicted of burning down a Michigan State University research laboratory. During sentencing, the federal judge implicated Newkirk in the crime.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: they are not ethical. They kill animals. And it is only a matter of time before the allies that they fund and support kill people.

Friday, June 24, 2005

JohnHuang2 on Gitmo

Durbin says 'Sorry if I hurt your feelings, but...'

If you're on a diet plan -- let's say you want to drop 30 pounds, slim your legs, hips and thighs, or firm up that flabby tush, then stay away from Bush's gulags. At Guantanamo -- despite being the most scrutinized, probed, investigated and re-investigated gulag in history -- the typical gulagee puts on about 13 pounds. Armed with this knowledge, Democrat honchette Donna Brazile describes Gitmo as a place Bush and his neocon fiends "set up and designed" to "torture" people and barbarically "get information out of them." The only choice the detainee gets is the method of torture: Which will it be, honey-glazed chicken or lemon-baked fish? If that doesn't break them, side orders of steamed vegetables or rice pilaf will do the trick. (With a coupon, inmates get an extra Lunch Special or Dinner Combo.)

Last week, one nutcase compared American soldiers at Gitmo to "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings." Now, if I didn't tell you this nutcase is the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate describing what Americans had "done to" prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been said by IslamoNazis, Zarqawi in Iraq, or some madman -- Howard Dean or others -- who had no concern for U.S. soldiers. Sadly, that is not the case. Sen. Dick Durbin read an e-mail from an FBI agent complaining to higher-ups that Americans were 'abusing' the 20th hijacker, and several others. The 'abuse' included being forced to hear Christina Aguilera's music while chained to the floor (which is torture when you want to dance) and being held in an air-conditioned cell with the thermostat set way down during bitter, subzero weather the tropics are known for.

It's no way to treat a hijacker.

The FBI memo described in graphic detail how one suspected suicide bomber kept "pulling his hair out." The whole thing was enough to make him want to kill himself.

So, according to Durbin's insightful analysis (pre-"apology"), being forced to hear loud rap music in a chilly cell is as deadly as Hitler's death camps and Stalin's gulags (though probably not as deadly as riding around with Teddy Kennedy). Who could forget the Soviets' brutal network of rap music gulags, how funky vocals and drum loops blaring from boomboxes wiped out 30 million people? In Cambodia, 1.7 million perished from Pol Pot's hip-hop solo album. Even today, millions are haunted by memories of Stalin's fierce gangsta rappers.

Facing a growing firestorm, Durbin, his eyes tearing up and voice choking with emotion at a new Gallup poll showing 58% support keeping Gitmo open, now says he didn't really mean it. Or that he did, but he apologizes to "some who may believe" his "remarks crossed the line." He doesn't. Senators immediately rose in Durbin's defense, saying, in effect, who among us hasn't, from time to time, said something one ends up regretting. No biggie. Yes, who among hasn't leapt to compare Guantanamo to Auschwitz, crematoriums, gas chambers, genocide and the Holocaust. Bush. Hitler. Stalin. Thirty million people killed in gulags, 30 million chicken wings served at Gitmo -- the "historical parallels" are chilling!

No one has died at Guantanamo, but! Try to put yourself in the shoes of the 20th hijacker. On Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams, overcome with emotion, said that if you're laying on your back, "and someone has you chained hand and foot, and someone is putting so much pressure on you, hot and cold, jumping up and down" -- but that was probably some sick porno flick he saw.

Guantanamo inmates get free health care, free meals, free shelter -- so liberals have found the first socialist system they don't like. And the only one that works. It has the trappings of theocracy, though, as gulagees get prayer beads, oil and their very own personally delivered copy of the Koran, free of infidel germs, as infidel guards must do everything short of donning full-body space suits before handling the Koran. Five times a day, prayer calls are broadcast over the gulag's loudspeakers. Some of the inmates, eager to show their gratitude, toss urine and feces at the guards and head-butt them, according to former Gitmo military Chaplain, Kent Svendsen, interviewed on The O'Reilly Factor Monday.

Over at the liberals' Fair and Balanced alternative to Fox News, Al Jazeera, Durbin's original Gitmo=Nazi death camps remarks were picked up instantly, though that was easy because the boys at Al Jazeera got a copy of Zarqawi's speech before Durbin reached the Senate floor to deliver it. Libbies insist it's things like Gitmo which really ticks al-Qaeda off -- they would be working as nurses, teachers and policemen if not for Gitmo -- so it's nice to know libbies go out of their way to craft their words so carefully. Wouldn't wanna give the enemy fodder.

Liberals say Gitmo has tarnished America's image. Al Jazeera airs liberals saying Gitmo has tarnished America's image. The Arab press then cites liberals as proof Gitmo has tarnished America's image; liberals then quote the Arab press as evidence they were right all along -- Gitmo has tarnished America's image. So, if America has an 'image problem' in the Arab world, clearly it's all Bush's fault.

CNN, showing it's on top of things, was all over the Durbin story for about . . . 3 seconds. Then it was back to playing the 450,000th re-run of the Downing Street Memo bombshell(!!!), which is a story, based on a media story, about memos, based on hearsay memos, which don't exist because the "reporter" says he destroyed the original memos in order to "protect" his "source" (AP version), or the originals still exist but he returned them to the source after making copies (other version of story). Boy, this'll seal Bush's fate! Impeachment here we come!

And just when you thought the liberal media was out of control, the New York Times paused long enough from its coverage of Tom DeLay's golfing habits to delve into . . . the Downing Street Memo, and how much trouble Bush's in because their "poll" shows Bush's approval rate about where it was last November. And we know how that turned out.

MSNBC, trying to set itself apart from the competition, seized on the issue of the . . . Downing Street Memo. As did USA Today. And the L.A. Times. And the Chicago Tribune.

Libbies still complain the media are ignoring the Downing Street Memo and covering up for Bush. Now, if Karl Rove can 'fix' every Diebold, then he can hack every media computer, which explains all the fawning media coverage Bush is getting.

Gore compares Republicans to Nazis. Sen. Byrd likens Republicans to Nazis. Janeane Garofalo says Republicans are Nazis. Julian Bond calls Republicans the Taliban. I was so glad to hear them say that, 'cause it all blew up in their faces. Cornered, frustrated, beaten at the polls, it was only a matter of time when toiletscum like Durbin would start comparing Americans in uniform to the Gestapo. Calling a Republican a Nazi can be hilarious, given the background of many Democrats. But calling our servicemen and women Nazis isn't. If it isn't treason, it should be. Durbin stood on the Senate floor and slandered every man and woman in uniform. And his country. I say throw the bum out of the Senate. And if Democrats are so worried about inmates at Gitmo, I say let these inmates go for a ride with Teddy Kennedy. They'll be safe with him.

Steyn on Aid - A Must Read

...A couple of days later I read that Oxfam had paid the best part of a million bucks to Sri Lankan customs officials for the privilege of having 25 four-wheel-drive vehicles allowed into the country to get aid out to remote villages on washed-out roads hit by the Boxing Day tsunami. The Indian-made Mahindras stood idle on the dock in Colombo for a month as Oxfam’s representatives were buried under a tsunami of paperwork. Aside from the ‘tax’, they were charged £2,750 ‘demurrage’ for every day the vehicles sat in port.

This was merely the latest instalment in what’s becoming a vast ongoing Tsunami Tshakedown Of The Day retrospective — you can usually find it at the foot of page 37 in your daily paper, if at all. Fourteen Unicef ambulances sent to Indonesia spent two months sitting on the dock of the bay wasting time, as the late Otis Redding so shrewdly anticipated. Eight 20ft containers of Diageo drinking water shipped via the Red Cross arrived at the Indonesian port of Medan in January and are still there, because the Indonesian Red Cross lost the paperwork. Five hundred containers, representing one quarter of all aid sent to Sri Lanka since the tsunami hit on 26 December, are still sitting in port in Colombo, unclaimed or unprocessed. At Medan 1,500 containers of aid are still sitting on the dock.


...The passionate hostility of Miss Short and co to action — to getting things done — is remarkable, but understandable. Getting things done requires ships and transport planes and the like, and most Western countries lack the will to maintain armed forces capable of long-range projection. So, when disaster strikes, they can mail a cheque and hold a press conference and form a post-modern ‘Task Force’ which doesn’t have any forces and doesn’t perform any tasks. In extreme circumstances, they can stage an all-star pop concert. And, because this is all most of the Western world is now capable of, ‘taking action’ means little more than taking the approved forms of inaction.

For example, I’d be far more amenable to criticism of American policy in Iraq if it weren’t being levelled by the same folks — notably Do-Nothin’ Doug Hurd — who fiddled transnationally while Yugoslavia burned. Bosnia is, in fact, everything the anti-war crowd predicted Iraq would be: 250,000 people were killed, which is what the more modest doom-mongers estimated would happen in Iraq, and that’s 250,000 out of a population a fifth the size of Iraq’s. We were told that toppling Saddam would do nothing but create thousands more radical Islamists across the Middle East. In fact, it’s Bosnia where, under the nose of its EU viceroy, Wahabist infiltration is recruiting tomorrow’s jihadi. Week after week, we’ve seen sob stories on the TV news in which some hapless Baathist clerk from the Department of Genital Severing reveals that he’s been out of work now for two years, but when was the last time you read a piece on unemployment rates in Paddy Ashdown’s Bosnia? It’s officially 45 per cent, and it’s only the drug-dealing, child sex and white slave trade that boom around every UN mission that’s holding it down that low. However Iraq turns out, it’s already a hundred times healthier than Bosnia, and its effects are rolling on through Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. But because Bosnia is the quintessential expression of international lack of will, it will always get a better press than Bush’s ‘war for oil’.

Read the whole thing.

Lileks on Gitmo


Gitmo is the gulag equivalent of a Ben Affleck movie: no one's seen it, but everyone has an opinion about it. Given all the rhetoric that's been spilled about this sorta-kinda-not-really Death Camp, it's time we re-examine the facts, and remind ourselves what's really at stake. Herewith a summation.

Q: What is Gitmo?

A: Contrary to what some suggest, it does not stand for "Git mo' Peking chicken for Muhammad, he wants a second portion." It stands for "Guantanamo," a facility the United States built to see if the left would ever care about human rights abuses in Cuba. The experiment has apparently been successful.

Q: Who's in Gitmo?

A: Operation Scoop Up The Little Lost Lambs plucked men from distant countries and brought them to Gitmo to beat them deaf for no apparent reason. There are between 400 and 30 million people at Gitmo, and somewhere between zero and 15 million people have died there.

Q: That's quite the range. Do we have precise figures?

A: Well, technically, no one has died at Gitmo. Metaphorically, millions have perished, since Gitmo is the spiritual heir to assorted thug regimes -- except Saddam's, of course. Think Nazi death camps. Did you know one of the Nazis' Middle East allies was the grand mufti of Jerusalem, a Hitler admirer who was a mentor to Yasser Arafat? Funny how history works. Not ha-ha funny, but Seinfeld-ironic funny.

Read the rest....

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Nixon, Watergate and the Whole Enchilada

I have a confession. I am not horrified by Watergate. I was not at the time, and am not now. Every time I hear some wretch kvetch about Nixon’s desire to destroy the constitution, I want to throw up.

Some things enter the history books and, like the air we breathe, are accepted without thought or further discussion. Right now the Left is trying desperately, and with some success, to portray the treatment of terrorist prisoners as torturous and evil. That is how legends are created.

So when “Watergate” is invoked, people who were not even alive during the 1960s imagine that the Republic was saved from overthrow by Woodward and Bernstein. And it’s all a crock of shit.

Forgive the vulgarity, but I was there and lived through that crime. What happened was a coup all right, but a Left wing coup that overthrew a duly elected President by people in powerful positions who hated Richard Nixon ever since he entered public life with a hatred not seen until the frenzy of hatred found on the Left today for George Bush.

What beings on this rather dismal bit of reminiscence? I visited a new (for me) blog today adamyoshida and found someone who put some thoughts in perspective.

Read the whole thing, but here are some excerpts:

It took me a few days to get together my thoughts about the revelation of Deep Throat. My first reaction was anger – but then it struck me that it was rather uncharitable (and probably unnecessary) to wish a swift death upon a senile 91 year-old man. My second reaction was indifference – it’s all so long ago, well before I was even born. My third reaction was to return to my first – whatever this man is today does not change what he was and what he did. Whoever W. Mark Felt is today, I hate him for what he did and I wish him, and his family which hails him as a hero for what he did, nothing but the worst.

Of course, I’m sure to be taken to task for that by that certain percentage of the population who believes that hatred is an unnatural emotion and that, somehow, God demands we forgive those who not only fail to repent their sins – but who seek to profit from them. Decent people have every reason to hate W. Mark Felt and what he did. They have every reason to hate a man who can probably be held directly responsible for many of the ills which befell this country in the last three decades.


Without Watergate, there’d have been no defeat in Vietnam. Absent what happened to Nixon, the Congress wouldn’t have been able to cut off aid to the South Vietnamese. A free South Vietnam would endure to the present day. Absent the fall of South Vietnam, Pol Pot would probably have never been able to take over Cambodia and murder millions there.

Without Watergate there’d have been no Jimmy Carter and, hence, no Iranian Revolution (or at least none like we’ve known). It took a leader of special incompetence to lose Iran as Carter did. Without Carter in the White House, there’d probably have been no Soviet invasion of Afghanistan either. It’s questionable if, without those events, there’d ever have been a rise of Islamism like we have seen. Almost certainly, there’d have been no 9-11.

Without Watergate, there probably wouldn’t have been an Iran-Contra: because, at heart, Iran-Contra was simply a Democratic effort to recapture glory days of Watergate. And without Watergate and Iran-Contra there’d probably have been no Clinton Impeachment which was, at least in part, vengeance for those earlier events. The whole of the nation’s political culture would be different (and probably better) as a result.

And what was it all for? Was Watergate so bad?

Not really. It wasn’t much different than anything that past national leaders had done and it was motivated by a sincere impulse – to defend the nation against war opponents who were behaving traitorously and basically fighting upon the side of the enemy.

Anyone who can get some distance from the subject (and examine an unbiased account or two of the situation) can easily get to the place where Watergate does not bother them. It was really a minor affair – stupid to be sure – not something to bring down a President and send him off in disgrace.

The ironic thing is that, ultimately, it seems that Nixon wasn’t paranoid after all: they were really out to get him. The media, the establishment, the liberals, and the bureaucrats – they all engaged in a vast conspiracy with a single purpose: to get Richard Milhous Nixon.

Step back and look at Watergate. It’s a textbook example of a Witch Hunt. Forget McCarthy – if you want to see a Witch Hunt, look at Watergate.

McCarthy went after actual enemies of the United States and of the Constitution. And he did so by legal means. He did so against vast opposition from the establishment. He didn’t seek to deprive anyone of their political rights, he merely opposed subversives in the government.

Compare that with the actions of Nixon’s opponents. They illegally leaked information in order to create a frenzy. They used distorted information, and at that time nearly unlimited influence of the mainstream media, in an effort to turn the public against a President that they had just overwhelmingly supported. They used the threat of draconian jail sentences to turn people against the President in their efforts to get Nixon. They used every means within their power, both legal and otherwise, in their effort to get President Nixon.

Whenever I think of Richard Nixon, I become tremendously sad. Here’s a perfect example of a good man – a moral man – literally destroyed by the evil and insidious power of the left. A leader who always sought to do the best for his country brought low, and nearly hounded into his grave, by the treason-loving left. What a terrible fate to befall such a great man.

What a tragedy it is that a drug-abusing adulterer like John F. Kennedy is remembered as a sainted martyr while Richard Nixon, a man whose struggle for his country’s good lasted his whole life, will be reviled by generations of schoolchildren who will be indoctrinated with lies about an evil President and crusading reporters.

So it is that I cannot find it in my heart to forgive W. Mark Felt for his crimes or to wish him well. So far as I’m concerned, he can go straight to hell and, with any luck he’ll be getting there sooner rather than later.

Lileks on Durbin's "Apology"

"Of the Strib's defense of Sen. Durbin I have nothing to say. Any editorial that describes Gitmo as a “hellhole” has no words left for any other actual holes o’hell, unless we’re going to layer hell like Dante, with different tiers for different states. I will note that more elderly people died of the Paris heat than appear to have perished from Gitmo conditions, but of course that doesn’t reflect on Paris, Parisiens, or the ability of the French to make air conditioners cheap and readily available..."


"Anyway, Durbin has boo-hooed and clutched the uncomplaining corpse of Lincoln to his breast, and that’s that. I do wonder if staffers showed him how the remarks were played on Al-Jazeera, and informed him that those Christer nutjobs in the heartland – you know, that vast swath south of Chicago known as Most of Illinois – did not regard Al-Jazeera as a voice that held America’s best interests in heart, and Durbin was suddenly struck by the thought that DC and the WaPo edit page is not, perhaps, the entirety of the world after all."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Day by Day

If You Think Dick Durbin is Alone ...

Brought to you by Chris Britt, employed by the State Journal Register of Springfield, IL, part of the Copley chain.

Monday, June 20, 2005

What Was He Thinking?

What are we to make of Mr. Durbin? Just about everything about his comments comparing American troops to Nazis, Gulag guards and Pol Pot has been said.

What I find interesting is the Dick Durbin is running for President. To become President you must first get your party’s nomination and then win the election. Along the way you must raise prodigious amounts of money.

Durbin may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he is a Senator and therefore can be assumed to have a certain level of political cunning. From this we can assume that (1) he believes that his stance will help him get the Democratic nomination, (2) it will help him raise money and (3) it will help in the general election.

It is certainly possible that an anti-military stance will help him get the Democratic nomination. After all, it helped John Kerry who is famous for his anti-war and virulently anti-military positions during Viet Nam. Most recently, the core of the Democrats has become ever most stridently anti-military. Howard Dean almost captured the nomination based on his anti-military views. It was only a serendipitous outburst that broke his spell on the party faithful and allowed a soporific Kerry capture the prize. It is telling that as of today, no Democratic politician has condemned Durbin for his smear.

The Democrats have become the financial captives of a relatively small band of ultra-wealthy financiers and activists like George Soros, Hollywood mega-millionaires and the internet fund raising machine of This contingent could not get further left if resurrected Lenin and appointed his doppelganger as their leader. The resources of this contingent are vast and are enough to fund a national election campaign.

The question remains whether a more mean-spirited re-run of the McGovern campaign can win a national election. I believe that an increasingly radical Democrat party is losing touch with the mainstream. Part of it is due to the echo chamber effect. The MSM is still firmly in their camp and willing to cover up the Democrats’ mistakes. The problem is that the MSM is no longer the primary communication medium in the country. At this point the U.S. military has one of the highest approval ratings of any American institution. While Washington’s Democrat pols are busy reading the Washington Post and NY Times, the people are listening to talk radio and getting their information from the Internet. The pols and the people are literally on different wavelengths, and the pols don’t realize it.

Dick Durbin – or a Durbin clone – could get the Democrats’ nomination and get the same results as George McGovern. A rerun, brought to you by campaign finance reform and the last gasps of a dying media. It could not happen to a nicer bunch.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Trying the Gitmo Prisoners

Let’s see what a trial of the terrorists held at Gitmo would entail.

Have these prisoners been read their Miranda rights before being questioned?
Case dismissed.

Trials involved evidence. Has the evidence of their involvement in jihad against the US military remained clear, pristine and pure? Was the evidence gathered on the battlefield by special criminal police units and stored in little plastic bags?
Case dismissed.

Trials involve witnesses. How many troops shall we bring back to hang around the courthouses until they are called to testify? Shall we stop the war until the trials are over?

Johnny Jihad has dropped his AK47 and surrenders. He’s taken to Gitmo. He now claims he is really an innocent sheep farmer rounded up by the Fascist troops of Bushhitler in Operation Gather Innocent Lambs. If we can’t convince the O.J. or Michael Jackson juries, what are the chances here?

Trials involve an accusation of wrongdoing. Is there a federal law against shooting at American troops on foreign soil? Is waging jihad against Americans on foreign soil a crime?

If crimes were committed on foreign soil isn’t it the responsibility of those sovereign governments to prosecute those crimes? Aren’t we acting as imperialist bullies if we prosecute foreign nationals for crimes committed outside of the U.S?

Just asking.


Memory Hold the Door

Wretchard at the Belmont Club has a story that will infuriate you. I will not spoil it by excerpting. You MUST read it ... to the very end.

Hint: it reveals information on how the "peace movement" actively betrayed individual POWs in Viet Nam.

Jeff Goldstein on Dean, Durbin, Conyers and Anti-Semitism

"It's not 'anti-semitic,' Howard. Don't confuse a hatred for the country with a hatred of the people. Besides, we clearly love the troops and their Stalinesque treatment of blameless Islamic freedom fighters held illegally in Guantanamo Bay by our arrogant, imperialist government (which, of course, we also love), so what's to apologize for"?

Click on the headline and read the whole thing.

Gingrich Asks Senate to Condemn Durbin

Via Powerline.


"By his statements equating American treatment of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay with the behavior of the evil regimes of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Senator Richard Durbin has dishonored the United States and the entire U.S. Senate. Only by a vote to censure Senator Durbin for his conduct can the U.S. Senate restore its dignity and defend American honor."

Mark Steyn on Durbin

"Throughout the last campaign season, senior Democrats had a standard line in their speeches, usually delivered with righteous anger, about how "nobody has a right to question my patriotism!" Given that nobody was questioning their patriotism, it seemed an odd thing to harp on about. But, aware of their touchiness on the subject, I hasten to add that in what follows I am not questioning Dick Durbin's patriotism, at least not for the first couple of paragraphs. Instead, I'll begin by questioning his sanity."

Read the whole thing.

When Good People Go Bad

Amnesty International had a reputation for fairness because it practiced fairness. It has now been taken over by ideologues who are busy destroying its reputation in return for money.

AI has now admitted that it used the “gulag” label as a publicity stunt. Here’s an article written by Soviet dissident Pavel Litvinov in the Washington Post.

He concludes:

"Words are important. When Amnesty spokesmen use the word "gulag" to describe U.S. human rights violations, they allow the Bush administration to dismiss justified criticism and undermine Amnesty's credibility. Amnesty International is too valuable to let it be hijacked by politically biased leaders."

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Lileks Solves Terrorism Problem

James Lileks is a national treasure. Funny, wise and smart. And he’s a dad.

He also has some funny, wise and smart things to say about Gitmo and the War on Terror.

Read the whole thing.


I can believe that a good-hearted person is truly, deeply, madly worried about Gitmo; I have a liberal friend who’s been worried about Gitmo since the British tabs ran the photos that Shocked the World. You know, the one with the guys in hoods and shackles, portrayed somehow as if they’d been scooped up in Operation Gather Innocent Lambs.
Never mind that they get their Korans, their arrows on the cell floor pointing to Mecca – and does anyone doubt that the arrows actually point the right way? Never mind that the food must be prepared by cooks who have to incorporate the prisoners’ convictions that the infidel is unclean, and must don gloves to prevent kafir infestation. Never mind any of that. Hoods. Shackles. Poor dears.
[re the Left’s desires] “I want the interrogators to get the information, but not if it makes prisoners crap in their pants or pull out their hair.” Agreed. I would like them to get the information without any sort of effort whatsoever. It’s a fair cop, guv. Here’s where we’ve stored the fertilizer and here are the names of my associates. Now if you’ll show me to my cell, I’d like to get started whiling away the time until most of the networks are compromised and the Iranian government has fallen, after which we can talk about letting me return home. Jolly good!” But I don’t think that’s going to happen. Conversely, I don’t want them to beat the hell out of these people until they spit names and teeth, in no particular order. But I don’t care if they make them stay awake most of the day for a month or two. I really don’t. I’m sorry. We’re talking about people who will not be satisfied until Israel is gone and the United States crippled. I’d like to know what they know, and if they wet themselves in the process, I do not regard this is as the equivalent of uprooting several million people to Alaska to build a canal dressed only in long johns.


PETA is a national spectacle with its HQ in our fair city, Norfolk, Virginia. It is widely known for terrifying children who go to KFC or McDonalds. It is continually in court harassing the circus. Its primary methods of operation are to commit outrages against the American people for the purpose of collecting donations for its executive staff.

One of it’s lesser-know tasks is collecting pets from animal shelters and killing them. Why shelters allow PETA to do this is the subject for another day. However, they recently expanded their “services” to North Carolina. And here, according the Virginian Pilot, is what happened.

At least one county in North Carolina has cut its relationship with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals after two PETA workers were arrested Wednesday for allegedly dumping animal carcasses into a trash container behind a grocery in Ahoskie , N.C.

“As of today, we have temporarily suspended our agreement with PETA until the issues are resolved,” Sue Gay, health director for Northampton County, said Friday evening.
In a news conference at PETA’s Norfolk headquarters Friday, President Ingrid Newkirk said the dumping was “hideous, it’s wrong, and it never should have happened.”
Police suspected that PETA workers were killing the dogs and cats they were picking up from shelters and clinics because carcasses wrapped in plastic bags were found in the bins every Wednesday for four straight weeks, according to Ahoskie police Detective Jeremy Roberts. A total of 80 dead animals were dumped, he said.

Officers staked out the garbage bins, which were at a Piggly Wiggly supermarket.
They found 18 dead dogs in the container and 13 other animal carcasses in the van, which was registered to PETA, and arrested the two workers.

The animals were alive when they were picked up earlier in the day, Roberts said, adding, “We don’t know exactly how they were killed.”

Newkirk said they were likely given a lethal injection of a barbiturate that the organization is licensed to use.

PETA usually takes the animals back to Norfolk to be euthanized, Newkirk said, in a process that involves a single hypodermic shot and a gentle caress.
Very few are ever put up for adoption, she said.

“We won’t shy away from doing society’s dirty work as long as the alternative is a life of misery and a bad or slow death,” Newkirk said.

Last year, she said, 2,278 animals were euthanized in Virginia, 7,641 sterilized and 361 put up for adoption. She said she was not sure if the North Carolina animals were part of those statistics.

Animals were not supposed to be killed in North Carolina, except by veterinarians hired by the organization or if they were in too much pain to travel, PETA said.
After they are killed, Newkirk said, the carcasses are supposed to be sent to a crematorium, not dumped in bins.

“That conduct disgusts us,” Newkirk said of the dumping. “It shames us. It violates our own protocols, it happened without our knowledge and can never be allowed to happen again. But our work is important and our work must go on.”

The two PETA employees: Adria J. Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk , and Andrew B. Cook , 24, of Virginia Beach, appeared Friday in Hertford County District Court . Each faces 31 felony charges of animal cruelty and eight counts of illegal disposal of dead animals and one of trespassing.

A probable cause hearing was set for July 19 . PETA will pay for their attorneys, Newkirk said.

Hinkle has been suspended for 90 days, but Cook, who was hired only weeks ago as her assistant, has not been suspended, Newkirk said.

Newkirk said she had not yet spoken to the two workers.

Outside the courthouse, Larry Overton , an Ahoskie lawyer who represented Hinkle until she could retain an attorney, said, “She is devastated about the way this situation was handled. I believe there are some explanations that will mitigate some of the facts.”

Newkirk said her organization got involved in North Carolina after learning about conditions at shelters there. She said PETA investigators found that animals were dying in the shelters or being put to death inhumanely.

She said the organization let all those involved in North Carolina know that what PETA was offering was a better way to put the animals down, not an adoption service.
“PETA has never made a secret of the fact that most of the animals from North Carolina are euthanized,”
Newkirk said.

But Gay said that was not the understanding she had with the organization.
“What I understood,” she said, “was that they would pick up the animals from us and they would be assessed as to whether they could be adopted or not.”

Many of the animals were strays and sick, she said, and probably not good candidates for adoption. But there was supposed to be an examination by PETA’s medical team.
PETA has veterinarians on staff to make sure the animals are healthy enough to be adopted, Gay said, “and if they are healthy enough, there would be an attempt to adopt it out.”

Tonya Northcott , a veterinary technician at the Ahoskie Animal Hospital, said that among the dead found Wednesday were a mother cat and her two kittens picked up that day by PETA.

“There was nothing wrong with them,” she said of the animals, noting that they had been dewormed and that she had been told there would be no problem finding homes for the cats.
“They’ll never get another one of them from us,” she said

I have often been bemused by the things that people will support. I have been angered by the fact that PETA appears to get millions of dollars from people who either approve of their actions or are totally oblivious of what this odious group does.

This cannot be allowed to die as simply a local story. Spread the word!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Dick Durbin: The Ring Of Familiarity

Captain's Quarters recalls that the Left's smear of American soldiers is not new.

John Kerry:

"They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."

This formed a pattern that was widely repeated by the Left until the US abandoned it allies in South Viet Nam and left the people to the tender mercies of Communist "re-education camps," the killing fields of Cambodia and the thousands of "Boat People" who subsequently died trying to escape via the south China Sea.

Read the whole thing

News Media Morality

What is the MSM’s responsibility to the American people regarding terrorism?

That may be the wrong question. The “MSM” – while remarkably uniform in many respects – is actually a collection of individuals. There is no “thing” known as the MSM with a single body, mind and soul. There are only individuals. So let me rephrase the question.

What should the people who produce the news consider to be their responsibility regarding terrorism? My overarching answer is to act ethically. To act ethically in the information business is to present facts in such a way that those who receive those facts understand what happened.

To do that you need context. Lack of context is what you get from the much derided “used car salesman” or from Dick Durbin. One will tell you what a creampuff “this little beauty” is, guaranteed to run … neglecting to add: "until it leaves the lot." The other will tell you that the Gulag, Nazi death camps or the Cambodian killing fields were just like Gitmo with the air conditioning dialed to the wrong temperature.

What is it about the ethics of the people who bring us the news? Why do those who shout most loudly about their superior “journalistic ethics” are widely perceived as having the most base morals? Of operating in an ethical vacuum?

Which brings me to Daniel Henninger’s column in the Wall Street Journal of June 17, 2005: Terrorism for Everyman.

As far as I can tell, this is the recent news out of Iraq:

Yesterday: "Six U.S. Servicemen Die in Iraq Violence."

Wednesday: "Surge of Violence Leaves 52 Dead in Iraq."

Monday: "Iraq-Bombing Update: Additional Bombings, Death Toll 10."

It is possible to extend this headline exercise of Iraq news to the horizon. As a physical principle no less established than the second law of thermodynamics, U.S. opinion polls in June outputted these headlines and stories:

June 12: "A Growing Public Restlessness: The June [Post-ABC News] survey found that 58% of its 1,002 respondents now disapprove of the way Bush is handling both the economy and the situation in Iraq.

June 11, AP: "Only 41% said they support Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, also a low-water mark." The "war," of course, extends no further than these bombing reports.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the maestro of the Iraqi civilian slaughterhouse, has produced a steady shower of human blood, and as often happens, blood has been a public-opinion downer. Perhaps in his next life al-Zarqawi can come back as an American marketing consultant. Having established there is a U.S. market for American-associated death in Iraq, such as the front page of the Yahoo! news portal, al-Zarqawi is supplying it with daily product. The up-or-down polls he reads are his profit-and-loss statement.

He concludes:

Little wonder, then, that our own news coverage of these repeated slaughters of civilians in Iraq also lacks any normative or moral context unfavorable to the perpetrators. And little wonder that in such a world the only "side" many people in the U.S. feel comfortable with is heading for the exits.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Martin Kaplan is a Fascist!

James Lileks is an unusually astute, talented and funny observer of modern life.

He has this to say about one of the recurring themes of avant garde liberalism : Christophobia. Here he comments on remarks made by Martin Kaplan regarding Christian fundamentalists.

Martin Kaplan has a distinguished resume. I would like to thank Marty for adapting “Noises Off” for the screen, which contained about 27 uninterrupted minutes of Nicole Sheridan in lingerie. He also wrote speeches for Mondale, a man who could sent charging elephants into an instant narcoleptic fit, and he has the sort of scientific, journalistic and creative resume that would make him a fascinating dinner companion, right up until the moment when he said something stupid:

"Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at the Annenberg School of Communication at USC, calls the new Christer offensive a drive toward 'theocratic oligopoly. The drumbeat of religious fascism has never been as troubling as it is now in this country,' adding that 'e-mails to the FCC are more worrisome to me than boycotts' in terms of their chilling effect ."

…“Religious fascism.”

One of the mantras you hear invoked from time to time is “words mean something.” But they obviously don’t. When intelligent men can make such a specious observation you realize that “fascism” has ceased to mean anything at all, and exists now as an all-purpose slur, a tar-soaked brush to slap on anything you don’t like. Whether the Soup Nazi actually believes in exterminating the Jews and bending the nation towards race-based collectivism and militarism is irrelevant; what matters is that he doesn’t want to give you some of that yummy chowder.

If one means “religious fascism” as the use of the power of the state to achieve a particular moral objective, you could argue that progressive taxation is “fascism,” inasmuch as it assumes that the rich should pay more for the good of all, and this moral imperative should be enforced by law. I would not make that argument, because it would be vile. Progressive taxation is many things, but it’s not fascism. On the other hand, I’m at a disadvantage here; if gentlemen like Mr. Kaplan feel free to drop the f-bomb in order to claim the moral high ground, why should I stand down here in the moat complaining? So I put it to you that Mr. Kaplan is a fascist himself. Period. There you go! That's easy. If pressed, I will only note that there are some of his ideas which bear a resemblance to policies one occasionally finds in fascist states - inasmuch as he wrote comedy movies, and they had funny films in Hitler's Germany, too. I mean, draw your own conclusions, people.

It’s curious that this word should re-enter domestic politics at the same time we are not only fighting actual religious fascists, but are embroiled in a controversy over the mistreatment of the tome they regard as their instruction manual. …

Read the whole thing…


Schiavo Autopsy

Patterico links to and comments on the Schiavo autopsy. Mark Furman has a book coming out on this case by the end of the month. It should be fascinating reading.

The ONE thing to remember is that the MSM and advocates on both sides with lie (I think I'll stop using the euphemism "spin") about this case. It is too emotionally and politically charged.

When Did Terrri Schiavo Die?

Vanderleun writing in The American Digest nails it:

Weasel Lead of the Year, But the Year Is Young

Schiavo Autopsy Shows Severe Brain Damage the lead to the story by staff writers David Brown and William Branigin reads: "Terri Schiavo died of the effects of a profound and prolonged lack of oxygen to her brain on a day in 1990, but what caused that event isn't known and may never be, the physician who performed her autopsy said today."

It is hard to conceive of a more tone-deaf lead. Indeed, it is impossible to conceive that such a lead was put into the newspaper without a full awareness on the part of all concerned of its meaning and its less than subtle editorial message.

An editor with a normal sense of ethics and balance would, at the very least, sent this construction back for a rewrite, or have cut it out right. As it stands, in tone and intent, it poisons all that comes after.

First of all note that it is a statement attributed to the "physician who performed her autopsy." At the same time, it is not contained within quotation marks so it cannot strictly been seen as a statement by the physician in question. If that is the case, is it then a paraphrase of his remarks -- some sort of "condensation" of a longer statement? We can't know. We can't be sure. On the one hand we are presented with a controversial assertion (Death by lack of oxygen to the brain) which, as the writers and editors must surely know, will be seen by others as death by starvation following the removal to a feeding tube. This latter view is essentially dismissed by the lead assertion in what is supposed to be a news story.
Following this set up the story does relate the "facts" as revealed in the autopsy, but it has already, thanks to the very first sentence, sacrificed its credibility on the altar of "the world as the WAPO staff thinks it should be." In this world, even the reporters of the the news get to slip in a veiled assertion on the point when life ends ('Why, shucks, its the time when your brain doesn't get enough oxygen.... Everybody agrees with that, don't they?')

Well, actually, if you'd been paying attention to the entire Schiavo controversy you might have noticed that a lot of people don't agree with that. It is just that it would seem that none of those people hold writing or editorial positions at the Washington Post, where it would seem experts on where life ends are as numerous as experts at when life begins -- as long as it doesn't begin at conception.

Indeed, if you read the rest of the report, there's nothing to support the attributed statement of the physician on the death of Terry Schiavo. The only direct quote we are given is "Removal of her feeding tube would have resulted in her death whether she was fed or hydrated by mouth or not." This, of course, contradicts the lead since Schiavo could have been killed by a lack of oxygen to her brain in 1990 or starvation in 2005, but not both.

Day by Day

By Chris Muir

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Christopher Hitchens is a Lefty who supports the War on Terror. He is not only possessed of a razor sharp wit, but the ability to write well. There are many subjects on which I disagree with Hitchens (he is a militant atheist, wrote an “exposé” of Mother Teresa, and is a socialist) but he is relentless in his support of freedom for the Iraqis and Kurds. Read the whole thing on Slate.

A favorite slice of reality TV in today's Iraq is the melodramatically named program Terrorism in the Grip of Justice. Aired on state-run Al Iraqiya, which doesn't require a satellite dish, it shows the confessions of captured "insurgents," mainly foreign fighters. When possible, it also shows the videos that these people have made, so that, for example, a man can be viewed as he slices a victim's throat and then viewed, looking much less brave, as he explains where he comes from, how he was taught to rehearse beheadings and throat-slittings on animals, and other insights into the trade. On occasion, these characters are confronted with the families of their victims. At other times, they have been able to tell the families of the missing what happened to their loved ones. The aim is to demystify the holy warriors and also to encourage civilians to call in with further tips.


The forces of al-Qaida and its surrogate organizations are not signatory to the conventions and naturally express contempt for them. They have no battle order or uniform and are represented by no authority with which terms can be negotiated. Nor can they claim, as actual guerrilla movements like the Algerian FLN have done in the past, to be the future representatives of their countries or peoples. In Afghanistan and Iraq, they sought to destroy the electoral process that alone can confer true legitimacy, and they are in many, if not most, cases not even citizens of the countries concerned. Their announced aim is the destruction of all nonbelievers, and their avowed method is indiscriminate and random murder. They are more like pirates, hijackers, or torturers—three categories of people who have in the past been declared outside the protection of any law.

Scientist Discover New Planet

From Scrappleface:

Earth-Like Planet Found Near Our Sun
by Scott Ott
(2005-06-14) -- Researchers announced today that they have discovered evidence of an earth-like planet approximately 93 million miles away from the sun in our own solar system.

While astrophysicists have not seen the rocky orb through a telescope, it has many of the characteristics of our own home planet and yet is "clearly an alien world."

The team picked up electronic transmissions from an apparent civilization on the earth-like planet in a language similar to English. They have tentatively named the planet MSCNNYT-13.

"News transmissions received from MSCNNYT-13 during the past week paint a picture of a bizarre civilization," said one unnamed scientist. "It's tempting to draw parallels between our own rational world and the people on this new planet, but if we had become as obsessed as they are with trivia, gossip and perversion I don't think we would have lasted this long."

A spokesman for NASA said no missions are planned to explore MSCNNYT-13 because "we couldn't learn enough from them to justify the expense."

Day By Day

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Unlikely to Make Newsweek

Indian Muslims ask a boy to urinate on a U.S. flag during a protest against the alleged desecration of the Koran during a demonstration in Calcutta May 20, 2005.

Dr. Sanity and MSM

Dr. Sanity's blog has a great article on hysteria, both the clinical type and the type practiced by the MSM. It's worth reading in full.

Here is a partial listing (in no particular order) of what the media is Obsessed by (on the LEFT) , compared to what they appear Indifferent to (on the Right):

Gitmo Torture

Michael Jackson ... Once

OK. I have not written about Michael Jackson because I don’t really care about celebrities and their trials. I am not into pop culture. But now that the verdict is in, I will make some comments about Jackson, the trial, justice and the media circus.

To understand this case, and the jury verdict, it’s important to separate two issues: (1) is Jackson a pedophile and (2) did he molest the 13-year-old Gavin Arviso?

The widespread assumption is that Jackson is a pedophile and therefore molested Arviso. If Jackson were not a pedophile, why would he invite little boys to share his bed? Unfortunately for the prosecution, the jury was not asked to determine if he was a pedophile, they were asked to find specifically if he molested Gavin Arviso. The jury found that the direct testimony of the accuser and his mother was not sufficiently credible and acquitted Jackson.

I believe the jury did a credible job. In Jackson they had a defendant who raised conflicting emotions. To his fans, Jackson is one of the most famous personalities in the world and a great artist, the object of adoration. To most other people, Jackson is grotesque; a surgical freak who dresses bizarrely and who invites little boys into his bed. He deserves to be put away on general priciples.

Here is my own theory about Jackson, a person who I have never met and whose life I care little about. Michael Jackson is a little boy inhabiting the body of a 46 year-old man. He never had a childhood, as we understand that phase. Brought onto the stage by a demanding family, he has been a pop super star since he was a pre-teen. Jackson is not normal now and he has never been normal.

But he did become incredibly rich.

Think about Neverland. It’s not the creation of a middle-aged man. Jackson used his wealth to create a personal children’s park for himself with all of the things that a little boy would want: his own personal Disneyland with amusement park rides, animals … and little friends. Little friends his own emotional age in a desperate, bizarre attempt to create a childhood he never had, complete with milk, cookies and sleepovers.

To normal people, inviting young boys to sleep in an adult male’s bed is not just bizarre, it’s perverted. But if you are a 12 year-old inhabiting a 46 year-old body, hard as it may be to understand, it’s just possible that, as Michael Jackson said: “it’s not sexual.”

Call me naive, call me blind to the obvious, but to send someone to jail to 20 years should take more than a well-deserved reputation for being a rich freak with strange tastes.

I think justice was served.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Steyn Alert - on China

An excerpt:

The internal contradictions of Commie-capitalism will, in the end, scupper the present arrangements in Beijing. China manufactures the products for some of the biggest brands in the world, but it's also the biggest thief of copyrights and patents of those same brands. It makes almost all Disney's official merchandising, yet it's also the country that defrauds Disney and pirates its movies. The new China's contempt for the concept of intellectual property arises from the old China's contempt for the concept of all private property: because most big Chinese businesses are (in one form or another) government-controlled, they've failed to understand the link between property rights and economic development.

China hasn't invented or discovered anything of significance in half a millennium, but the careless assumption that intellectual property is something to be stolen rather than protected shows why. If you're a resource-poor nation (as China is), long-term prosperity comes from liberating the creative energies of your people - and Beijing still has no interest in that. If a blogger attempts to use the words "freedom" or "democracy" or "Taiwan independence" on Microsoft's new Chinese internet portal, he gets the message: "This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech." How pathetic is that? Not just for the Microsoft-spined Corporation, which should be ashamed of itself, but for the Chinese government, which pretends to be a world power but is terrified of words.

Jane Fonda's Treason

Jane Fonda is so OVER!

Who cares? Is she still alive?

Well, yes, she is, and has written an autobiography, "My Life So Far." And more importantly, she is emblematic of a type that is active today: the actor/activist siding with a brutal enemy. We can learn something from “Hanoi Jane” and perhaps handle her modern, younger incarnations better than we did her.

Front Page magazine has an article that compares and contrasts Fonda’s autobiography with "Aid and Comfort": Jane Fonda In North Vietnam."

It’s fairly long, but worth reading. Some excerpts:

For three decades Jane Fonda obfuscated, distorted and lied about virtually everything connected with her wartime trip to North Vietnam: her motive, her acts, her intent, and her contribution to the Communists’ war effort. With the aid of clever handlers, she so successfully suppressed and spun her conduct in Hanoi that many Americans didn’t know what she had done there, and, more important, the legal significance.

By herself, Jane Fonda is unimportant—confused, defensive, narcissistic, empty—a woman who admits in her autobiography that "Maybe I simply become whatever the man I am with wants me to be: ‘sex kitten’ [Roger Vadim], ‘controversial activist’ [Tom Hayden], ‘ladylike wife on the arm of corporate mogul’ [Ted Turner]." But Fonda-ism is important because Americans who give aid and comfort to our enemies – Communists then, jihadists now -- put at risk, not only our cherished institutions, but—in today’s world—our very existence.

Fred on American Education

“WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bursting into tears, eighth-grader Anurag Kashyap of California became the U.S. spelling champ Thursday… Tied for second place were 11-year-old Samir Patel, who is home-schooled in Colleyville, Texas, and Aliya Deri, 13, a Pleasanton, California, student.” Indian kids have won first place in five of the last seven years.

Might be there’s a pattern here? Nah.

A friend in California has an Asia wife (which both he and I recommend), and so is among the few whites plugged into the state’s Asian community. He reports that the Asians are contemptuous of whites. (“Lazy, not very smart.”) The evidence supports them. They also believe that the chief aim of schooling in America is to coddle blacks and Latinos, which baffles them. Me too, but it isn’t my problem.

Top twelve students on the USA Math Olympiad 2003: Boris Alexeev, Jae Bae, Daniel Kane, Anders Kaseorg (home-schooled), Mark Lipson, Tiankai Liu, Po-Ru Loh, Po-Ling Loh, Aaron Pixton, Kwokfung Tang, Tony Zhang, Yan Zhang.

Take out Asians and Jews out of measures of high intellectual performance in America, and you aren’t left with much. The foregoing doesn’t look much different from staffing lists I have encountered for such things as research teams at Bell Labs. A friend, writing a book on Harvard, calculates that Asians and Jews make up about forty-five percent of the school. The Asians know this, of course. They figure the future is theirs. So do I.

"HOUSTON CHRONICLE, May 19, 2005: HISD [Houston Independent School District] sees its passing rates [on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills] fall in every grade and a racial gap grow even wider."

The contempt of the Asians for witless round-eyes is understandable. They, in my considerable experience, are intensely competitive and look toward results. Whites just don’t care. I remember staying with a friend in Canada who had rooming with her a Chinese woman who was working on a degree at a local university. She only barely spoke English, but among other things was also studying French, a required course I suppose, and passing it by brute force. She needed that degree to bring her family over. She was going to get it, and that was that. She seldom came out of her room, because that was where her books were. Might be hard to compete with.

Winners of the 2004 William Lowell Putnam mathematics competition, a very high-end test: Reid W. Barton, Daniel M. Kane, Emanuel Stoica, Ana Caraiani, Suehyun Kwon, Mihai Manea, Nikifor C. Bliznashki, Oaz Nir, Lingren Zhang, Olena Bormashenko, Ralph Furmaniak, Michael A. Lipnowski, Po-Ru Loh, Mehmet B. Yenmez, and Rumen I. Zarev.

American schools lurch after “diversity” like drunks who have discovered a bottle of Night Train on the sidewalk, and collect what educationists call “minorities.”

By “minority” they mean of course non-performing minorities: Anglo-Saxons, Chinese, Jews, and Greeks are all minorities, but they are not failures, and so aren't really minorities. The Asians, all that I know, all that anyone I know knows, do not give a wan, etiolated damn about non-performers. Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans are very racially conscious. They quietly regard whites as inferior, blacks as barbarians.
Ah, and the Asians are smart, and do not come out of their rooms until they have finished.

New York Daily News, May 10, 2005: A stunning 81% of the city's eighth-graders flunked the state's basic social studies exam last year - and the scores have gone down annually since the test debuted in 2001.

The comedy of the thing is that the United States has deliberately chosen to convert itself into a continent of half-literate iPod-carrying dolts. To me it is entertaining; to the rising Asian nations it is an inexplicable gift: The US, their competition, has put its children into the hands of simian gurglers mewling about diversity, which, while positively weird as seen through slanted eyes, it bodes well for Asia. It is a bit like watching an opposing running back set off in the wrong direction.

The slave coders of Mumbai don’t worry about diversity. They are busy writing computer code. Our code.

Even better:
“CLOVIS, N.M. (April 29) - A call about a possible weapon at a middle school prompted police to put armed officers on rooftops, close nearby streets and lock down the school. All over a giant burrito.”

A kid brings his lunch wrapped in a newspaper so the school goes crazy and puts snipers on the roofs. I love this stuff. It’s better than The Simpsons. Do you suppose they do that in Tokyo? The Mad Burrito Assassin isn’t unusual. Little boys often get suspended or led out in handcuffs by cops for things like pointing and saying “Bang,” because heavily womanized schools can’t maintain order.

The Weekly Standard, 05/09/05, writing of the politicization of textbooks in American schools: “Thus, a chapter on climate in a fifth-grade science textbook in the Discovery Works series, published by Houghton Mifflin (2000), opens with a Native American explanation for the changing seasons: "Crow moon is the name given to spring because that is when the crows return. April is the month of Sprouting Grass Moon." Students meander through three pages of Algonquin lore before they learn that climate is affected by the rotation and tilt of Earth--not by the return of the crows.”

Oh, baby. I love it when you talk like that. Crow Moon, yet. All that neat stuff about crows will definitely impress Japanese guys designing supercomputers.
I imagine:

Teacher to classroom full of Asian kids: “Wun Lung, given two functions u(x) and v(x), the first derivative of uv with respect to x is u(dv/dx) + v(du/dx). True or false?”To gringo kids: “Billy, if during Grub Moon, one heart-warming aboriginal finds seven repellent grubs to eat, and another heart-warming aboriginal finds nine, how many will they have together?” (Answer: They won’t have a clue because their number system doesn’t go that high.)

From Gene Expression (
“Mean GRE Verbal Score for Education PhDs:449

Mean GRE Verbal Score for Engineers:471

Mean GRE Quantitative Score for Education PhDs:527

Mean GRE Quantitative Score for Engineers:722

Number of other disciplines, out of 5, with mean scores higher than Education PhDs: 5Source:”

Gosh, do you reckon the Singaporeans give phony doctorates to the dimmest dregs of their already bus-station schools?

Detroit News, Tuesday, January 18, 2005: Forty-seven percent of Detroit’s adult population is functionally illiterate.

Come on, we can do better than that. Let’s try for eighty percent within five years. Meanwhile I’m going to get my eyes done and break out my old Mandarin books. Hey, the Chinese are smart, the food’s good and the women are splendid. “Ni hau? Jende, wo mei-you kan-gwo numma hau-kan-de syau-jyeh.” Used to work. Might still.

One Thing Must Never Change

Bob Lonsberry writes a column that is worth pondering, especially on this Sunday.

A lady wrote me the other day, about her granddaughter, a young woman of 24.

A young woman who had been gravely ill.

Who had lingered long at the door of death and cried mightily for the help of God. They were of a conservative faith, of commandments and promises, and the family and its circle of friends had put the matter in the Lord’s hands.

And he had heard their prayers.

She strengthened and rallied and recovered and lived. And is now altogether better.

And she is leaving her family.

To move in with her boyfriend.

To live with him, without benefit of marriage, as if she was his wife.

And the grandmother wondered what to do. She was disappointed that her granddaughter had clung to God in her hour of need, but seemed to be turning from him now that her need was passed. She was heartbroken that the young woman would be doing what the family considered immoral.

And she asked me what she should do.

Not that she thought I was any great font of wisdom, or even because she was thinking I would answer. She was merely asking rhetorically.

But I answered anyway.

I told her she should love the girl. Period. That she should love her as she always had and that neither this mistake nor any mistake should come between them.

Maybe it’s simplistic, but I think that is the answer to virtually every question. Especially questions within the family.

And I don’t claim any keen insight in saying that. I have learned it by observation. By observation of people I admire and a God I worship.

We are all sinners, and have keenly disappointed, I suspect, the father of us all. And yet I do not believe that his love for us is diminished in the least. And as I have seen people whose lives have strayed and darkened come back and work to better themselves and their conduct, I have seen God move quickly and lovingly to embrace them and accept them.

The parable of the Prodigal Son was about him and us. We are squandering our birthright and he is making ready to slaughter the fatted calf.

Which can all sound like mumbo jumbo.

So remember this: As parents, relatives and friends, our job is simple. We must merely love.

Not that it will always be easy, or even natural, but our responsibility will constantly be clear. We are to love.

And we are to remember that the most when it is the hardest, or when we are the most disappointed. When it seems like the object of our love least wants it, that is when it must be the most sure.

When we feel that we have been spit upon, when we feel that our loved one has turned his back upon us. When we feel that she is rejecting everything we stand for and believe in.

That is when the commandment to love is most clear.

And it is a commandment to fathers as well as mothers, to cousins as well as siblings. There can be no disowning, no distancing, no shunning or rejection. They are our kin, they are us. We are theirs and they are ours.

Whether they go to jail or turn to drugs or abandon our faith or stop returning calls. There must be something certain in their lives, something which, should they choose, they can always rely on.

And that is our love.

And our acceptance, if not always our approval. They will do things that sadden us and with which we disagree, things which we believe will endanger their very souls. We are not expected to ratify those things, or facilitate them, or quietly accept their existence. But neither are we to harp and nag.

Our position is known, it can be lovingly repeated. Advice can be offered and a hand up from difficulty should always be extended. But chastising may not work and neither may condemnation.

Rather, we must stand for who we are and what we believe, and we must be a beacon back should our loved one choose to come. And until then we should love, through the pain and the consequence and the confused wanderings.

We should stand by them.

Just as God has stood by us.

Because if we don’t, it may not be them who has strayed. It may be us.

And it may not be their fault they founder and sink.

It may be ours.

12,000 Heros

Quick, How many American troops have been killed in Iraq? Ted Koppel can tell you their names, and does on Nightline.

Next question: how many Iraqis have been killed by terrorists since the fall of Saddam? No idea? Not reported in the MSM? Ted Koppel not reading their names? Must not fit in with the melody of the song the MSM's playing.

The Wall street Jouranl now gives us the number, via the Iraqi government:

Ever since the beginning of major combat operations in Iraq in March 2003, the media have kept a precise count of U.S. casualty figures, which now stand at nearly 1,700 killed and more than 6,400 wounded. There's also been plenty of tendentious speculation about the number of Iraqis killed by coalition action, the purpose of which is to cast Iraq's liberation as an unmitigated horror for Iraqis.

What has not been so carefully tracked, however, is the number of Iraqis killed by insurgent violence: the worshippers murdered as they pray in their mosques, the ranks of unemployed mowed down as they stand in line at government recruitment offices, and so on. We read about such incidents nearly every day but never see the cumulative death toll, perhaps because the cause of ordinary Iraqis finds few champions among trendy Western human-rights organizations.

Now the government of Iraq has gone and done that favor for itself. Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr released statistics last week showing that some 12,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed by insurgents in the last 18 months. Of these victims, the overwhelming majority have been Iraqi Shiites, indicating that what al Jazeera and friends call the "resistance against U.S. occupation" is in fact a jihadist and Baathist attack against the country's democratic government. "I have not seen any 'resistance,'" Mr. Jabr told the Washington Post. "There is terror, and all sides have agreed that anyone raising guns and killing Iraqis is a terrorist."

Too bad some of our own politicians can't show as much moral clarity. Too bad, too, that every time we magnify every U.S. misdeed in Iraq, real or fabricated, we turn our gaze from the real source of the country's misery.