Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Ridge Resigns Homeland Security Post

That's right: Ridge is out, according to the Associated Press, as quoted on ABC News and many other outlets. His ostensible reason is that he wants to spend more time with his family. The speculation as to the "real reason" seems to be endless; I found one site, for example, claiming that Ridge resigned because he was miffed that Bush didn't choose him as his Vice-Presidential running mate. (The site also rants that the terrorists are not a threat. "War on fear"? Puh-leeze.)

Just as I expect no shortage of "real reasons" offered for his stepping down, I also expect no shortage of rumored candidates to replace him. At the top of my list: Rudolph Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York. He certainly handled himself at least as well as, or better than, anyone else could have when he was effectively commanding in a war zone on September Eleventh itself. So why not have him as, in effect, the director of emergency prevention and response for the whole country?

One candidate I hope the President does not pick, is Asa Hutchinson, the current director of immigration enforcement. Under Hutchinson's non-leadership, border security has become a sick joke, and it's getting sicker. Don't just take my word for it; ask Roy Beck over at Numbers USA. Frankly, I think Tom Ridge ought to have been fired, and Asa Hutchinson along with him, on this ground alone. Security begins at the border, and we already know that the border is porous enough for someone to drive a truck through it--laden with a nuclear device. (You can't put a nuclear device in a suitcase--but you can certainly build one small enough to put into a truck trailer.) Worse yet, everywhere that someone could sneak into this country "looking for work that's too dirty for an American to do," a terrorist operative could also gain entry.

NumbersUSA understands this--and much more--and has directed its members to send FAX after FAX to Undersecretary Hutchinson, Secretary Ridge, and President Bush. Now that Secretary Ridge is gone, Bush has an opportunity to fix a very serious security problem.

Update on Kerry Election Reversal Attempts

Remember when I said that I'd received an e-mail from someone claiming to be an attorney in Washington, DC? The one whose mailing address turned out to be the same as that of a drug/alcohol abuse counselor?

Well, three days ago I heard from Cynthia L. Butler, who obviously reads my blog. (Should I feel flattered?) It turns out that a Cynthia L. Butler did graduate from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1987. She even left her telephone number: (202) 466-0998. And, to be fair, Cynthia L. Butler shows up on the Georgetown Law Center's alumni site if you search for alumni working in Washington, DC.

So why doesn't her "Butler Law Firm" show up on FindLaw?

And if she's been a litigator for eighteen years, how does that square with her having graduated from GLC only seventeen years ago? (Hey--if this is nitpicking, she ought to be used to that. Lawyers pick this kind of nit all the time.)

Actually, she's been quite active on certain other Web sites that have picked up her e-mail. And whether you believe in her or not, the news is full of the quiet--and not-so-quiet--attempts by John Kerry's sympathizers (and some fellow travelers) to have the Ohio vote reversed. The latest: the review of provisional ballots is almost complete, with 76% of them being accepted as valid so far--a typical rate. But 76% of 155,000 provisional ballots still wouldn't be nearly enough to overcome a 136,000-vote margin, even if they all broke for Kerry--and I've seen no evidence that they will come anywhere close to that.

Bottom line: I still have no idea who Cynthia L. Butler is, or whether she is, or is not, presently engaged in the active practice of law. Why an actively practicing attorney wouldn't show up on FindLaw, I don't know--and why the name of her law firm shows up, if it does at all, only on sites referencing her e-mail, I have even more trouble figuring out. The story she tells does have some grain of truth in it--but probably not enough to reverse a Presidential election.

The Baby Gap: Explaining Red and Blue, by Steve Sailer in The American Conservative

(Hat Tip: Right Mind.) Here it is, folks: conservatives are having more babies than are liberals. The implications are unmistakable and un-missable, and for the liberals, they are worse than the earlier stories about "missing voters," which I quoted here.

The thesis about the "missing voters" was, of course, that the Democrats aborted away six million more potential voters than Republicans did--and when you recognize that George W. Bush won the popular vote by less than that many votes, that alone ought to have Democrats kicking themselves. But Steve Sailer points out a worse problem: not only are the Democrats aborting their voters; they're not conceiving them, either. Sailer's linear-regression plot is clear and convincing (and I ought to know; this is Statistics 101 in medical school and in pre-med undergrad lab courses). It clearly shows that white women, not of Hispanic origin, who are more fertile tend to vote Republican in larger numbers than do white women who prefer not to have babies.

Folks, it's all a matter of values. If you value life, liberty, and family, you will vote for the party that has sworn to protect all three, and you will not vote for the party that threatens all three. Is this really rocket science? But worse than that, for the liberals, is that the conservatives are the ones making all the babies.

Well, now we know why the liberals make such a point of teaching "sensitivity" in our nation's schools! Here are some revealing figures. Besides: go into any public school in the country, and you will likely see a picture of two women posing in a manner suggesting that they have a homosexual relationship, and a caption that says that somehow they feel that their rights are threatened. Now for the record, I don't propose throwing people in jail just for being a little too sweet on their same-sex roommates. But I reserve the right to choose my roommates by any standard I wish--or I would, except that I'm happily married, and the roommate issue is moot for me. In any event, that's not the issue. The issue is that liberals know that their only hope of winning elections in the next generation is to fight--directly--against the value systems of the parents. Steve Sailer proves what they must surely have long suspected: that liberalism and parenthood don't mix! Are they alarmed? Of course they are--my confidence is 95% on that. And they'd be fools not to be. (Well, I think they're fools anyway, but they're not that foolish.)

So what does this mean for you and me? Simple: stay away from the government schools. Sure, it means paying twice for education--once for those of your own kids, and once again for your neighbor's kids who are still in that government school. But maybe your kids will have the chance to vote on a referendum to abolish that government school. More to the point, on the education of your own children, you cannot compromise. The liberals now in control of most government schools have motive, opportunity, and means to turn your children against you. Don't even give them that chance.

Schundler's New Jersey Rematch

Bret Schundler, who lost the governor's race in New Jersey three years ago (entirely because the state Republican machine sat on their collective hands), is going for a rematch in 2005.

I would now like to send an open message to Doug Forrester, his competition: Don't split the vote. Get out of the race. Bret Schundler can run circles around you in the primary race, and you know it--or you should. If you stay in the race, Republicans will split their votes.

Yes, yes, I've heard it already--New Jersey is not Louisiana, with its open primary and runoff system. But it might as well be, with all the damage that contested primaries always do to the eventual nominee.

Bret Schundler, moreover, has the experience that Doug Forrester lacks: actual experience in government. He once served as Mayor of Jersey City--no small achievement even to get elected to that job--and in his term he cleaned up Jersey City in more ways than one. Jim McGreevey got out of the governor's mansion because he knew he couldn't hold it in a rematch with Schundler.

If any Republican can knock off the acting Governor--or Senator Jon Moneybags Corzine--it's Schundler, not Forrester.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

View homosexual film, or school faces lawsuit

You read that right (Hat tip: WorldNetDaily). Here are the relevant details:
Ten months ago, the district settled a lawsuit with the ACLU over the right of a student group, the Gay-Straight Alliance, to meet on campus. The year-long litigation strained relations in the conservative northeast portion of the state. In addition to allowing the group to meet on campus after school, district officials agreed that all students, staff and teachers would be required to receive "tolerance training."
So what do you think the kids and their parents did? They opted out of this so-called training, and on the day that the "training film" was to screen, 324 students played truant. Result? The ACLU is now threatening to sue the school district for a second time if the district does not somehow force the students to watch the film.

Now what are they going to do? Tie students to their chairs, brace their heads, and tape their eyes open? This is worse than absurd.

The ACLU litigation chief, in response, says this:
The schools have great latitude in what they want to teach, including what's in training programs, and the training is now part of the school curriculum. Parents don't get to say I don't want you to teach evolution or this, that or whatever else. If parents don't like it they can homeschool, they can go to a private school, they can go to a religious school.
Well, counselor, I'll take your word for that and encourage every one of those families to homeschool their children. And when you and your allies in the teachers' unions threaten to haul those parents off to jail for encouraging truancy, I will remind you of your words as WorldNetDaily printed them this day.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Zarqawi: US 'Infidels' Have Us on the Ropes

You read it here first! And the reason you read it here first is that The New York Times and The Washington Post each buried this story on the back pages.

So what did you miss, if you are not a regular reader of NewsMax.com? Simply this: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has released another videotape. Ho hum, you say. But wait 'til you hear its contents!
Hundreds of thousands of the nation's sons are being slaughtered at the hands of the infidels because of your silence...

You have let us down in the darkest circumstances and handed us over to the enemy...You have stopped supporting the holy warriors...

Are your hearts not shaken by the scenes of your brothers being surrounded and hurt by your enemy?...How long will you continue to abandon the nation to the tyrants of the east and of the west, who are inflicting the worst suffering, cutting the throats of the holy warriors, the best children of the nation, and taking its riches?...You made peace with the tyranny and handed over the country and its people to the Jews and Crusaders, by resorting to silence on their crimes and preventing our youth from heading to the battlefields in order to defend our religion.

Let's have a pity party for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi! One! Two! Three! Awwwwwww...! It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!

Let me briefly address al-Zarqawi's crybaby message. We don't cut throats; wew leave that up to him. The riches of Iraq were never for Zarqawi or any of his bloodthirsty confederates to appropriate; they belong to the people of Iraq, and to the people of Iraq they are being returned. Moreover, the people of Iraq know this and have expressed their appreciation many times already.

But don't hold your breath for the MSM to take this up. They are still--still!--running interference for the Democratic Party. Will somebody bend their ears and tell them that the election is over? What do they hope to accomplish--mass defections of entire delegations of the Electoral College before it meets to ratify the result we already know in advance? Frankly, their behavior now would be the equivalent of their giving favorable interview time to Tokyo Rose and Lord Haw-haw during World War Two. (In fact, CBS' Sixty Minutes ran a segment on Tokyo Rose that probably had a hand in winning her a pardon from President Gerald R. Ford.)

Bush did exactly the right thing in issuing the execute order for the storming of Fallujah, as this article now makes abundantly clear. You will never read that in the MSM. So don't go to them for news. Come to people like us.

Was there a plot to kill Bush in Chile?

Dr. Jack Wheeler, in an article in his website To The Point, quoted here in WorldNetDaily, says that many angry voices in Washington would dearly like to know just that. Why, they ask, did Chilean security forces--in a complete violation of every understanding they had with the President's advance team--try to separate Bush from his chief bodyguard? Why did they balk at the installation of metal detectors, in violation of the standard procedure that every foreign dignitary who entertains a President of the United States clearly understands? Add to it that the current President of Chlle, Ricardo Lagos, has always been a socialist, and is chummy with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and you can't help wondering whether Chavez and Lagos actually plotted to assassinate Bush in a manner uncannily similar to the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar.

In fact, Gaius Trebonius, the actual instigator of the plot to kill Caesar, separated Mark Antony from Caesar at the critical moment when the latter was about to enter the Curia Pompeia to preside over a session of the Senate--ironically, one where he intended to lay down his dictatorship in return for an imperium and an assignment to attack the Kingdom of the Parthians--which nation we call "Iran" today. A leader separated from his bodyguard, at a moment when a troublesome Middle Eastern nation is the center of the attention of that leader's government, which happens to be the then-current superpower--the parallels are frankly chilling.

UPDATE: Colombian rebels definitely did try to kill President Bush while the President was on the Colombian island of Cartagena. Might Lagos of Chile have sought to collaborate with them? Birds of a feather flock together, after all.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

They're Kidding--They're Not Kidding?

They're out of their minds at CBS.

Does FoxNews.com have this right? Andrew Heyward of CBS wants Diane Sawyer to move to CBS and take over? Is that what we're likely to see? The CBS Evening News with Diane Sawyer?

You know that things have gone seriously wrong for the old tripoly of CBS/NBC/ABC, when the three networks are actively trying to steal each other's top, trademark talent.

But if Andrew Heyward or Leslie Moonves or Sumner Redstone or any of The Suits at CBS or Viacom really think that raiding Disney/ABC for Diane Sawyer is going to solve their credibility problems, then they are truly psychotic. I have watched Diane Sawyer for her entire career. She is Dan Rather with an X chromosome instead of a Y--nothing more, nothing less. I have zero trouble imagining her trying to defraud the American electorate just as insidiously as Dan Rather tried to do. If, therefore, CBS is serious about trying to unhook her from ABC, thinking thereby to restore CBS' shattered reputation, then they have clearly learned nothing from the fiasco with the Killian memoranda.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

CBS's Moonves Eyeing Fox News Success?

According to this article in NewsMax.com, the success of the Fox News Channel in trouncing all three broadcast networks (with CBS the worst loser) and also the other cable networks is not lost on Leslie Moonves, the president of CBS, Inc. Well, the stockholders of Viacom, the owner of CBS, should certainly hope not! Time alone will tell whether Leslie Moonves is a blind liberal fool, or a shrewd-enough businessman to realize that his business model is a business failure as well as a political disgrace.

John Gambling, on his radio program today (November 24), pointed out that CBS, alone among its fellows, never bothered to diversify into any cable channels. NBC has MSNBC and CNBC, while ABC has the ABC Family Channel. CBS has no counterpart to any of these channels, and now it has cost them dearly.

But more to the point: CBS, under Dan Rather's leadership (forget Andy Heyward; he's nothing but a figurehead, or was until recently), has, for twenty-four years, sought to promote the Democratic Party and what they laughably call their ideals. As a result, for ten years CBS has been in the ratings cellar. Dan Rather tried one desperate measure to swing an election and rescue his ratings. Not only did he fail, but his move was counterproductive. And then--the kicker--he blamed his boss for the embarrassment of the Killian memos. After that, he couldn't have stayed in that anchor chair past the expiration of his contract even if he'd wanted to.

Bottom line: He gambled. He lost.

Of course, Les Moonves is being penny-wise and pound-foolish still. Why doesn't he just buy out Dan Rather's contract and put someone else--anyone else--in that anchor chair right now? Why did he let Dan Rather cover the election and make an even bigger fool of himself and of CBS than he already had? Frankly I shudder to think of what will come next--perhaps some fresh outrage connected with the Inaugural, or the State of the Union Address.

Meanwhile, one of John Gambling's telephone callers speculated that Les Moonves' next move might be to try to unhook Shepard Smith from Fox News. Fat chance. Whoever sits in that anchor chair will inherit all of CBS' liberal baggage.

In fact, Les Moonves has more than just his sick news division to treat. He needs to look at his entertainment division. He owes Dick Van Dyke (Diagnosis: Murder) and Martha Williamson (Touched by an Angel) each an apology, to name but two. For these reasons I think Les Moonves is a blind liberal fool--but again, only time will tell.

Did the Democrats Forfeit the Election in a Generation of Abortions?

Larry L. Eastland, writing in The Wall Street Journal, gave this warning back in June of 2004. Note these statistics:
[That Republicans have fewer abortions than do Democrats] isn't particularly surprising given the core constituencies of both political parties. But translating percentages into numbers for the purpose of evaluating their impact on politics makes the importance of these numbers real. It's one thing to quote percentages and statistics, it's quite another to look at actual human beings. For example:
  • There are 19,748,000 Democrats who are not with us today. (49.37 percent of 40 million).
  • There are 13,900,000 Republican who are not with us today. (34.75 percent of 40 million).
  • By comparison, then, the Democrats have lost 5,848,000 more voters than the Republicans have.
These Missing Americans--and particularly the millions of Missing Voters--when compounded over time are of enormous political consequence.
I'll say they are! In fact, George W. Bush just won the popular vote this last time by less than four million votes. This can only mean one thing: that the Democrats have none to blame but themselves--themselves and their philosophy of abortion-on-demand-and-without-shame--for their electoral defeat this month.

In the 1970's, when Edmund O. Wilson published his findings on a new science that he called "sociobiology," some commentators made this reckoning from his positions: that feminism, with its anti-male, anti-marriage ideology, was doomed never to keep political prominence for more than a generation--because the next generation of voters, being the children of traditional--and likely larger--families, would vote the feminists and their sympathizers out of office. I suggest that Wilson's detractors of the period now owe him an apology.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

NC Baptists Take Bold Stand for Biblical Marriage

And about time. The biggest reason why our culture has declined so is that the mainstream church has said nothing about it. For any State Southern Baptist Convention to take such a bold stand is very good to see.

Furthermore, it is nothing less than their duty under the Baptist Faith and Message. Article 15 clearly states:
In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose...all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography.
Of course, a correspondent of mine points out that any definition of marriage must include clear definitions of the terms man and woman, lest some judge play around with those terms and declare a "queen" legally female, or a "butch" legally male, regardless of actual clinical gender. I would suggest that the proper thing to do is to clip the wings of the national judiciary, as Article III of the US Constitution clearly permits Congress to do. I quote Clause 2 of Section 2 of that Article:
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
The emphasis, of course, is mine. And to my certain knowledge, certain Members of Congress have already taken the hint.

Rather to Resign 'CBS Evening News' Post

We knew this was coming. Rush Limbaugh said it shortly after the scandal involving forged memos.

What really puzzles me is how ABC news announced it. "ABC News has learned that Dan Rather will step down as anchor of the CBS Evening News next spring." ABC News has learned? What planet have they been on, to miss the plans that were laid long before this for Dan Rather to leave the anchor desk? How can this possibly be such a big deal?

Sam Donaldson is crying a few crocodile tears, saying that rumor will always have him being forced to retire. Well, mark this well, all you future historians, because you read it here first: Dan Rather has done and is doing nothing that he didn't want to do. The Thornburgh Commission hasn't even returned a report on the affair of the Killian memos. He had always planned to retire this spring, even before that story broke. His departure now, frankly, gives me no satisfaction--because his leavetaking does not erase his deeds, nor have we any evidence that the leavetaking constitutes the just retribution for those same deeds.

More to the point, I still fail to see that Dan Rather's leavetaking will solve the basic problem with the MSM. They'll still be their same arrogant, biased selves, refusing to admit that any reasonable person could disagree with their ideas for a sound society or even with the basic facts of any given controversy, whether that controversy involve the War Against Terror or the culture war in this country.

And until certain network executives climb down from their high horses, Fox News Channel and other alternative outlets will claim an ever-increasing share of their viewership and audience.

Black Clergy Denounces 'Racially Motivated Attacks' on Condoleezza Rice

The deafening silence is now broken, and it took conservative black clergymen to break it. This statement from Oliver N. E. Kellman, Jr., executive director of the National Faith-based Initiative Coalition (mis-named in the article as "Faith-based Leadership Council"), says it all:
These cartoonists believe that the liberal views of the Washington Post and New York Times somehow provides cover for them to engage in racist attacks upon Dr. Rice and other minority in the Bush Administration...Mr. Danzinger's, Mr. Oliphant's and Mr. Trudeau's racist depictions of Dr. Rice are of the most twisted Ku Kluz Klan/Skinhead Mindset. I am astonished that the NAACP, Rainbow-Push and other traditional civil rights groups did not denounce this type of trash from the very first day it was reported.
I hate to tell you, Dr. Kellman, but I expected exactly this behavior from all these men. I know Garry Trudeau--well, not personally, but his reputation lingered at Yale University when I attended it. This kind of puerile nonsense is par for his course, and in fact something like that was running in a Doonesbury story line in my first year at Yale. As for the others, we now see that liberals never intended to "advance colored people." They intended all along to use them for their own political advancement.

But, to paraphrase Cate Blanchett in The Fellowship of the Ring, something happened that the white liberal establishment did not intend: blacks started to get lives and think independently. From Dr. Rice to Mr. Kellman, these signs of independent thinking are very good to see.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Friend or Foe: France's Relationship with America

Good question. The Franco-American relationship has always been rocky, says John J. Miller, who has written a new book on the subject. Among the things Miller points out, in the book and in his interview with Pat Robertson, is that France has never been a true friend to the United States, and has helped our country only when doing so suited their interests.

During the American Revolution, for example, France wanted to stick it to England, and they did. But they then tried to cut a secret deal with the British, at American expense. John Adams found out about it and, in violation of his own instructions, circumvented them. Maybe the French have never forgotten nor forgiven, even if this did happen prior to the French Revolution. Who can tell?

In every other case in which the French have done anything that could be construed as helpful to the USA, it has always been in the context of the wars they themselves were fighting, usually against England.

And then, of course, came the two World Wars. In each case, the Americans did far more than was necessary to repay any debt we owed the French for Lafayette's big favors. Furthermore, the French weren't exactly co-operative with the Americans, as the memoirs of Generals Eisenhower and Patton both make abundantly and nauseatingly clear. No, they weren't playing the Americans and British off against the Germans (well, Marshal Petain was, but he was an out-and-out traitor anyway). But they were showboating and repeatedly trying to claim credit where credit was not due.

And today--well, just have a look at their behavior. Bribery, acceptance of bribes--nothing they've done during this entire affair called the War Against Terror is at all respectable.

But don't just take my word for this. Read John Miller's book for yourselves.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Postcards From Iraq

Congratulations, Thomas L. Friedman. I didn't know you had it in you. This is one of the nicest tributes to our troops in Iraq, and to the mission they have undertaken there, that I have yet seen. To see it come from a habitual critic of all things conservative can only mean that some minds are changing (which is what the Greek word rendered "I repent" in the New Testament really means) even in the MSM. No one writes a piece like this for disinformation purposes. We can, therefore, accept this fine sentiment as genuine.

Negotiators Add Abortion Clause to Spending Bill

And it's about time! The law should never force a doctor or a hospital to practice medicine in a manner that violates their ethical precepts--especially when those precepts are as old as organized medicine itself. Hippocrates of Cos, the first person to promulgate a code of medical ethics, made his position quite clear:
I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion.
The Physician's Oath of the Christian Medical and Dental Association says this:
With God's blessing, I will respect the sanctity of human life. I will care for all my patients, rejecting those interventions which either intentionally destroy or actively end the lives of the unborn, the infirm, and the terminally ill.
To expect any doctor who swears such an oath to violate that oath in his medical practice constitutes interference with the free exercise of religion. That's unconstitutional, or doesn't Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) know that?

Here's a good time for me to share the Oath of Saint Luke that I myself proposed as a replacement for the original Oath of Hippocrates, to avoid having to swear by Greek gods:
I SWEAR by the memory of Luke the physician, and in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, of whom I remain a faithful witness, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath and this stipulation:
  1. To honor Him Who created me as the Author of life, to do all to His greater Glory, to grant to Him a tenth of my substance according to Holy Writ, and that by precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the Art of Medicine to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath according to the law of medicine, but to none others.
  2. I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous.
  3. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion.
  4. With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my Art, to the Glory of God.
  5. I will undertake no procedure in which I be not properly trained, but will leave this to be done by men who are practitioners of such work.
  6. Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and, further from the seduction of females or males, of lawful residents and inmates.
  7. Whatever, in connection with my professional practice or not, in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret.
While I continue to keep this Oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected by all men, in all times! But should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot!

Islamic concept of Al-Taqiyah to infiltrate and destroy kafir countries

Are "secular" Muslims actually involved in a conspiracy of disinformation? That might seem incredible--the Law of Averages suggests that no group as large and actually quite diverse as Muslims in America (or anywhere else) could possibly keep so many stories straight for so long as to be part of any organized and directed plan of political infiltration. And yet a top scholar of Islam was warning against that kind of possibility four years ago. His concern was for his native India, but I have seen the techniques he mentions in action here in the USA. Even if only a small portion of Muslims are actually practicing Al-Taqiyah, or the willful infiltration of non-Muslim societies for purposes of disinformation and political subversion, that's quite a number of people talking, quite frankly, treason.

The word Taquiyah in Arabic basically means "lying"--or to be more specific, dissembling. As I have previously stated, the Koran does state that a Muslim may lie, so long as he knows the truth and his lie will benefit the Muslim faith.

Thus far I have seen only one other independent reference to this Taqiyah doctrine. But that reference seems very well researched. So we do not deal here strictly with some bigoted man in India trying to stir up race hatred for no good reason. Deliberate dissemblance, either as to one's faith or the degree to which one practices it, is in fact a part of Islam and could represent as serious a security issue as our porous borders.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Pacers brawl with Detroit spectators in NBA nightmare melee

You read that right. This is the worst display of uncontrolled violence in the history of organized sport in America, according to Warner Wolf, who said as much to radio talk-show host Mark Simone. How it started, I won't recount here--I'm not sure anyone really knows for sure right now. The police, needless to say, are involved. Already four players are now suspended from play because of this, and some players and fans will likely face felony assault-and-battery charges. (Incredibly, you had players and fans joining battle at the game--a first in professional sport in America.)

Unfortunately, all the commentators are acting surprised. None of them really gets the point. The point is that organized sport, in America as also around the world, is rapidly becoming just another outlet for the discharge of violent impulses. (That never satisfies, by the way). It wasn't always like that--sport used to be a display of skill and prowess, originally a demonstration of what a warrior could do in battle. But sport today has less in common with the noble sporting matches of ancient Greece, where it all started, than it has with the Roman spectacles of gladiators (literally, "fighters with short swords") in combat-to-the-death for the amusement of the masses.

This is not to say that sport is ipso fact unedifying and irredeemable. But if we want to redeem organized sport in this country, we need to approach it with a proper Christian world view. That means, by the way, no gambling--not even on horse or dog racing. But it also means thinking very clearly of what sport is supposed to be about--a celebration of the excellence of man, and not a substitute for blood feuds between warring city-states.

This also means that every new inductee into the ranks of professional athletes needs to have his coach ask him some hard questions. When's the last time a coach ever said to a trainee,
You have great talent, and with great talent comes great opportunity--but to realize that opportunity, you have to make some sacrifices. You will have to give up your privacy, number one. You will no longer be an anonymous John Doe. You'll be a role model to every kid who ever dreams of doing the great things that you can do. That means you have to set an example for that kid, any kid, to follow. Are you up to it? If you are, then the whole world is ready to reward you. But if you aren't, then tell me right now, and we'll forget this whole thing.
That's what we need to see--or we will see more Pacers/Pistons melees.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Does It Take One To Know One?

I guess so, particularly after Hillary Clinton actually talked about the GOP's "absolute power." Follow the link, and remember that when Hillary goes in for the Extreme Political Makeover for 2008.

If You Don't Want to Do the Time, Don't Do the Crime!

That's my advice to Bill Clinton after he ranted and raved--and at Peter Jennings, of all people!--all but accusing Peter Jennings of collaboration with his political detractors. Now that's a laugh and a half. Frankly, if Peter Jennings finally found enough moxie to challenge Bill Clinton when he, Clinton, said that he didn't care what others thought of him, then he's taken a small step toward regaining my good opinion of him, which he threw away on Election Night. And if Bill Clinton is really all that hot under the collar about what people said about him, then he ought to have thought of that when he did things that caused people to say nasty things about him. NewsMax.com calls this exchange "amazing." Well, I am amazed--amazed that any MSM personality would dare do or say anything that might possibly get under Bill Clinton's skin. Dan Rather never did, for example. (Instead, he--never mind.)

Needless to say, I have no sympathy for Bill Clinton, and likely never will, unless some Light on the Damascus Road shines on him. (Stranger things have happened. I watched that Light shine on Norma McCorvey, don't forget.)

The California Revolution Begins by Russ Stein

Or rather, the silly season continues. Not a day goes by that I don't hear about yet another call for the Kerry States to secede from the United States--excuse me: "Jesus Land."

Now I repeat: Jesus loves you, and would like nothing better than that you join your lands to His.

That aside, I don't believe for one picosecond that this secession talk is anything more than that: just talk. In fact--and here I'm letting you in on a few more insights from my NJFPC meeting last night--while silly people like Russ Stein's distraught cell-phone caller are talking about secession, real political operatives--cold-hearted, deadly serious planners and movers and shakers--are already planning the Presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and even how to make her look like a conservative. (The only thing that will turn her conservative is for the Light on the Damascus Road--excuse me, the New York State Thruway--to shine on her limousine. But I digress.) Aside from Lawrence O'Donnell, who is famous for losing his marbles on television, no serious Democratic Party or allied politician or operative is seriously considering secession. Instead, they're talking rematch--or, as I said, Hillary, who is likely the one Democratic Party politician who wasn't sorry to see Kerry lose. (And frankly, I agree with Rush Limbaugh, who stoutly maintains that Hillary and her spies and moles and disinformation artists made Kerry lose.)

Sure, it's fun to see how crazy people will talk about secession, and how other people tell them, as Russ Stein did, "You don't need a lawyer; you need a guerrilla commander." (Actually, any latter-day William Clarke Quantrill who dares operate in New Jersey will answer to me and some of my fellow churchmen, but again I digress.) But a latter-day Quantrill isn't the problem. If you want a good laugh once in awhile, at least the "secessionists" will make better laughingstocks than the stock characters on modern sitcoms, none of which are at all wholesome or edifying. But they are not serious, and no conservative should take them seriously. Very likely, by the time next January 20 rolls around, the talk of secession will have long ceased, and the liberals will be back to saying that when a conservative wins any election, he either stole it or got incredibly lucky. (Well, we might say that God has blessed us with miracles, which is not quite the same thing.) And if we don't want to lose, then let's not prepare to fight the wrong war. Secession is the wrong war; the right war is the next election, and the next, and the next...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

New Jersey May Be Closer Than The MSM Thought

I just got back from a reception-and-joint-meeting of the New Jersey Family Policy Council and the Alliance Defense Fund. Among the many inspirational speeches my wife and I heard that night was this little item that you likely won't hear in the MSM, even in New Jersey. The Presidential election in New Jersey might have been even closer than everyone thought when they went to bed early Wednesday morning (November 3rd). New Jersey is still counting provisional and absentee ballots. The latest figures, according to my unofficial source, shows John Kerry carrying New Jersey 51% to 49%--not 53% to 46% as originally reported.

This does not mean that anything will change this time (though wouldn't it be a gas if George Bush carried New Jersey after all?). But it does mean that New Jersey is not so "blue" as the Democrats might like to think. If George W. Bush had actively campaigned here, he might have carried New Jersey. Moreover, the 2008 Republican candidate might be able to carry New Jersey with a little attention--including helping to flush out the RINO-dominated machine that dares call itself the Republican Party of New Jersey.

Will John Kerry Sue the Swiftees for Libel?

NewsMax.com has the details.

The central weakness in John Kerry's entire case vis-a-vis Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is that he never dared take legal action against the group. If, as Senator Kerry and his fellow travelers here and elsewhere continue to allege, John O'Neill and his fellow Swiftees were lying, then Senator Kerry would have a cause of action on the grounds of libel (when you write or print lies about someone) or slander (when all you do is talk about those lies). That he did not only lent credence to the Swiftees' story.

On the other hand, if John Kerry does decide to file a libel or slander action, then he opens himself up to pre-trial discovery. O'Neill's attorneys will move, and the court will probably grant, that John Kerry be compelled to release his medical and other personnel records to the trial court and jury, if not to the public. He has never once released those, and that was another weakness in his case.

Thus far all that Newsmax.com has about Kerry contemplating legal action is an anonymous tip. I would guess that, in the end, Kerry will decline to take any such action, and that for the same reason he declined to pursue any recount in Ohio--because the process of evidentiary discovery would embarrass him and vindicate his opponents, which is exactly what he would not want.

FCC chief slams ABC over raunchy television

Hat Tip: WorldNetDaily. Specifically, Michael Powell (Colin's son) asked rhetorically, "I wonder if [sic] Walt Disney would be proud."

Well, I wonder just what Walt Disney would have thought of all this. No, I don't imagine him being proud. I imagine him being horrified and mortified. But I'm not really sure why.

You see, Walt Disney was never a God-fearing man. He created magical God-substitutes and celebrated practices tantamount to sorcery--not to mention rebellion--in his films and cartoons. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is primarily a story of a truly wicked queen who daily practiced sorcery to maintain her control, of her much-oppressed victim, and of a team of miners, of all people, who resort to regicide with no thought whatsoever of the sort of precedent that might be setting. And that's typical. Because of this, Walt Disney never really gave himself or his company a proper moral compass. Those who remember him most fondly might think he did, but in fact he did not.

So why should we be surprised that the company that Walt Disney built now has turned to the advocacy of twisted ideas of what is proper and improper in our society?

If Walt Disney were alive today, and could feel anything, it ought to be the morification, embarrassment, and shame that Prof. Rupert Cadell (James Stewart) felt and expressed, in the motion picture Rope, upon discovering that two of his students had put his outrageous theories of the prerogatives of the superior intellect into practice. But he would not have the right to feel or express any moral outrage, given that he severely weakened the morals of his viewers in ways that few people, apparently, are willing to admit today--and that he, no doubt, would vociferously deny. At times like this I can understand why many highly respectable fundamentalist Christian scholars maintain that popular entertainments of any type, and particularly movies and television, are not suitable fare for any Christian and could never be made suitable. You have only to look at how far the most promising "wholesome studio" has now sunk--but if you look closely, you can recognize the critical design flaw that doomed the enterprise from the start.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Letter Threatens Violence Against Presbyterians' 'Anti-Jewish Attitudes'

Recently the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to stop investing in companies doing business with or in Israel--a thoroughly wrongheaded policy, and one that sets them up to suffer the curses that God promised to Abraham that anyone would suffer who cursed him [Genesis 12]. But as wrongheaded as this is, this latest anonymous threat is even more wrong.

Here is an apparent excerpt:
Their [sic] will be Arson attacks against Presbyterian Churches with people inside there will be bloodshed. I promise violence against Presbyterian Churches - They will go up in flames, bet you're [censored] that's a terrorist threat.

To which I say unequivocally: Knock it off! Leave the business of making terrorist threats to Osama bin Laden and his bunch. I have my own grounds for disagreeing with the PC-USA, but my solution is simply never to darken their doors--and besides, I'm an Independent Baptist. But threats like these are as inexcusable as they are cowardly.

Reverse Roe Effect?

Hat Tip: James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal. Taranto quotes Dan Harr of The Hartford Courant at length on his rationale for supporting an overturn of the case of Jane Roe v. Henry Wade, which basically is that States like Connecticut would attract social liberals with their more-liberal abortion policy. Social liberals, he seems to think, are smarter and better educated. Then Taranto says this:
We're not sure we agree. It's doubtless true that if Roe is overturned, some women seeking abortions would travel to states where it's legal, as they did in the olden days before 1973. But it's hard to imagine that people would vote with their fetus to such a degree that they'd decide where to live in the hope of aborting future pregnancies.

Still, what if they do? In the short term, it would increase the population of states like Connecticut, while making "red" states even redder. But in the long run it'd be hard to sustain a culture that defines itself by the refusal to reproduce. They may not be celibate, but after a few generations (or the lack thereof) Haar's movers would look a lot like Shakers.

Well, I disagree for another reason: I'll pit my intelligence, my fund of knowledge, my education, and my skills against those "social liberals" any day of the week. Just because I assert that evolution is a fraud, doesn't mean that I don't accept the basic principles of electronic information handling. After all, I'm a software developer by trade. If Mr. Haar wants to start a tug-of-war for brainpower, I'm tanned, fit, rested, and ready to haul against the best he has to offer.

Yet More Secession Madness!

My correspondents know that I have felt for some time that the craziest political ideas in American society in the last half-century have come from the higher-educational institutions that make up the "Ivy League," so-called because the buildings have stood long enough for ivy to cover their walls from ground to roof. From Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY, comes this most recent example.

Now Ithaca, NY, has always gone in for silly ideas. My favorite: the Ithaca HOUR, a currency totally local to the community. One HOUR equals $10 US, which was the average hourly wage in Thompkins County, NY at the time of its development. The silly part of the HOUR currency is not the idea of a local currency but its lack of backing. If you're going to create a local currency, I'd suggest backing it with precious-metal bullion or coin.

All that to say this: Ithaca, NY has always gone in for batty ideas, and no institution in Ithaca is more likely to come out with a batty idea than Cornell University. That's the Ivy League for you.

So what is Cornell's latest batty idea? A number of graduate students seriously propose secession of John Kerry's States from the United States and their joining to Canada. To that end, they have organized a contest to create a new flag for something called "The United States of Canada," and even propose to write a letter to Paul Martin, the current Prime Minister of Canada, formally petitioning him to admit John Kerry's States as Canadian provinces. What George Bush's States would call themselves, they don't care--but I remind everyone of the Der Spiegel graphic that gives the label of "Jesus Land" to George Bush's States.

The head of this effort insists that they are not serious. In other words, they lack the courage of their convictions, as I might have predicted. After all, Alec Baldwin demonstrated a similar lack of courage-of-conviction when he did not leave the country as he threatened to do in the last election. However, they boast that they are not the only ones to think along these lines, since they have heard from someone in Seattle, WA, who has similar ideas.

On this I have three comments. One, this kind of talk would indeed be seditious, if not treasonous--if these people were serious. Students at university are never serious about a thing like this. They might think they are, but they're not.

Two, if theirs were a viable political movement, they'd be talking about how to re-color some of the "red States" blue next time. Instead, they must face the stark reality that Wisconsin, Michigan, and New Hampshire remain very much "in play" from one election to the next. Bush did not lose any of those States by all that many votes--not even the number of votes by which he won in Ohio. (And I haven't given up on New Jersey yet, nor would I intend to tolerate any serious secessionist movement here.) The larger point is this: While the Democrats are so disconsolate that they wish they belonged to a separate country, the Republicans are talking boldly of winning over larger blocs of voters to their way of thinking. Which Party, then, is the viable one between the two?

And three: If George Bush's States are "Jesus Land," then I say: Jesus loves you, and would like nothing better than that you join your lands to His. And--He has more than one outpost here in the Blue Lands, including this one.

ABC apologizes for raunchy football opener

They better look like apologizing! (Warning: the article contains a picture of Nicollette Sheridan in her towel in the Philadelphia Eagles' locker room--and for that matter, the Eagles' site has a link to a bit of merchandise that they definitely would have done better not to commission. PJADAA.)

Let's have a closer look--or, as Janeann Garofalo likes to say, break it down.

Why should this episode surprise us? To begin with, that skit was a take-off on a TV series which, forty years ago, would never have been allowed on the air. And if you put this into a movie and tried to show that movie in the air, the network and the station would have felt the need to issue separate PJADAA warnings. (For those of you too young to remember, PJADAA is an acronym: "Parental Judgment And Discretion Are Advised.") But today, such TV shows as Desperate Housewives are available on just about any network, with the possible exception of PAX. You don't even need a CATV ("cable") subscription; we're talking about broadcast, must-carry channels.

And before you ask, "But how could the Philadelphia Eagles get involved in something like this?", you might want to ask yourselves why the Eagles would market a picture calendar of their cheerleaders posing in their underwear. Every team in the NFL, or most of them, fields a squad of cheerleaders--all of them scantily clad. From that it was but a small step for the Eagles to ask their star wide receiver to appear with a woman in her towel--which woman drops the towel before the skit is over. Will Baseball be next? The mind boggles.

Or maybe it doesn't. Athletics used to be a public demonstration of a warrior's prowess, the equivalent of those parades of missile trucks along Red Square during the days of the Soviet Union. But now, organized sport is taking on all the wretched excesses of Roman games. Even the Olympics is more sex show than physical contest these days.

On the other hand, ABC pulled this stunt to boost their sagging ratings. Well, this last election might have given ABC a clue that their ratings are sagging because sixty million people voted against their kind of programming. Sadly, fifty-seven million voted for it--but evidently, out of those fifty-seven million voters, ABC can't find enough regular viewers. On the other hand, PAX's Sunday evening line-up is doing quite well, thank you. (Hat Tip: Pebblehut Productions.)

Now we can argue endlessly as to whether television, cinema, or any visual medium could ever be appropriate for Christian viewing. ("Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image...") But few--other than hopeless addicts, inveterate apologists, and, of course, typical Hollywood producers and directors and actors--would disagree that the typical fare on movies and TV today is totally inappropriate, and has gotten less appropriate ever since the studios threw away the Motion Picture Production Code. Only one thing will stop the slide (other than the Second Coming of Christ), and that would be for enough people simply to stop watching, stop buying tickets, stop rending videos or DVD's, and in general stop patronizing the whole industry, until that industry cleans up its act. Now if you believe, as some for whom I have the greatest respect happen to do, that movies and TV, being fiction and akin to forbidden "graven images," are ipso facto unsuitable for a God-fearing person to view, fine. Junk the TV, cancel the season ticket passes, and never darken the door of a cinema house or play house or sports arena again. Of course, if no Christian ever patronizes such entertainments, then organized sports, movies and TV will eventually sink to the sewer, become the propaganda arms of the Beast and the False Prophet when they arise [Revelation 13], and then become "military targets" during the Second Coming.

But even if you believe that movies and TV could ever have a wholesome purpose, you can no longer afford to keep on patronizing most TV and movie fare and sporting events just because it's typical and hence "all there is." If what I suggest means giving up Monday Night Football, so be it--and both ABC and the NFL have brought this on themselves. For an excellent perspective on just what's wrong with popular entertainments today, and how to fight the "all the other kids get to go" battle, see here.

(Movies and TV will still sink to the sewer after one earth-shaking event: the Rapture, which will be God's Mass Recall of all of His followers before the onset of the Seven Years' Bad Luck [Daniel 9:24-27]. Until then, however, we have a choice to make: redeem those entertainment media, or let them slide now and simply refuse to play along.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Shooting Republicans, ethical? Discuss

Here at last is the Bill Maher thread that The Power Line and others mentioned last week--the one that wouldn't load because the server was overloaded. I see now that Bill Maher has not done the responsible thing by these messages. (Warning: PJADAA.) The messages that appear here (and on more than twenty subssequent pages) advocate murder and treason. Neither Bill Maher nor anyone else can allege anything in mitigation. I'm not even talking about the one who wanted to have Karen Hughes (a sitting congresswoman) run over by a tractor-traier rig, or the other one who wanted to subject her to a treatment straight out of a BDSM eroticum. I'm talking about the very initiator of this thread, who wanted a bomb to go off under the stage as Bush was delivering his victory speech, with Cheney by his side. And of course, that person didn't think it through at all--because it would leave a Republican in charge no matter what.

And I'll tell you what: if those people think that Colin L. Powell would have made a better President, assuming that the explosion would have done for Speaker Hastert and Senate Dean Ted Stevens, as well as Bush and Cheney, then they ought to disabuse themselves of such a notion. Colin L. Powell might not have gotten it to the day he handed in his resignation, but if somebody blew up the President on his watch, and he succeeded as a result, he would be the worst enemy the Muslims ever had.

Will-yummmmmmm, you've got some 'splainin' to do. You can't leave this kind of stuff up on a web site bearing your name and still expect anyone to believe you when you say that love your country. No one could.

Egyptian Columnists: We Do Not Regret the Death of Arafat, who Expressed his Joy at Sadat's Assassination

Hat Tip: MEMRI. So you see, not everyone misses Arafat--least of all these particular Egyptians who haven't forgotten--nor forgiven--Arafat for taking pleasure in the death of Anwar al-Sadat, the first Egyptian to do the sensible thing and negotiate a settlement with Israel.

Boston Mosque: the Rise of Radical Islam?

Good question. Here's another example of why we need a parallel news service. Where is the MSM, and why do they let themselves get scooped on the story of the biggest Fifth Column in the history of warfare? This article gives full information on the affiliations and associations of the leadership of the Islamic Society of Boston and the mega-mosque they are building.

As usual, however, Dale Hurd at CBN makes one major mistake. He distinguishes "radical" Islam from "moderate" Islam. That's like distinguishing R. A. Torrey's Fundamentals, from which we get the word "fundamentalist," not to mention the King James and New American Standard Versions of the Bible, from Today's New International Version. It's not quite a distinction without a difference, but rather a distinction between a faith true to its roots and a watered-down faith.

My advice to any Muslims claiming to be shut-out of a place like the mosque now rising in Boston remains the same: Jesus loves you. Allah doesn't know you exist, and doesn't care. He promises you seventy-two virgins for killing American citizens and lawful residents (and indeed anyone who isn't Muslim), whereas Jesus promises you eternal life and won't make you walk a tightrope over hell to get it, either. (And I'm just talking to the men here. No Muslim has ever explained what kind of deal Allah offers to women in the next life. If I'm missing something, I challenge any Muslim to fill me in on what I'm missing.)

Yet Another Dan Rather Update

Hat Tip: Rathergate.com. Rathergate wants some comments, so here are mine:

You can’t fix the problems at CBS. And frankly, I don’t care whether they get "fixed" or not. I’ve known for years that CBS had it in for Republicans. It started with Walter Cronkite spinning the Tet Offensive as an enemy victory (which it was not), continued with Dan Rather’s display of uncontrolled fury with Bush Senior ("How would you like it if I judged your entire journalistic career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York?"), and culminated, not with the forged documents, but with Dan Rather’s willigness–nay, eagerness–to do the Kerry campaign’s bidding and skew his coverage of the election returns.

That kind of behavior is inexcusable. But even less excusable is the way Leslie Moonves has run CBS since he took it over. He has canceled every show that promulgated anything close to moral values. And he let Dan Rather run the news division, with Andy Hayward as his figurehead, and grind whatever lefty axe he pleased, on-air and off-.

Therefore, to talk of reform at CBS is a waste of time. Nothing less than a Light on the Damascus Road [Acts 9] will “reform” them for any appreciable period. To paraphrase our Lord and Savior, it’s a little hard to back up against the tire-puncturing combs at the gated parking lot. Yet that is what Dan Rather did, and what he continues to do. Fine. He can ramble and rattle on to his heart’s content, but I’ll never tune him in again. He needs to "get his mind right," because "what we’ve got here, is failure to communicate."

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Senate vs. the U.N.

If that title sounds like a court case, that might be because the investigation by the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations into the UN's Oil-for-food (OFF) program might as well be, as Robert Novak seems to say. (Hat Tip: Power Line.) Hearings on the OFF program begin today at noon EST. (That's 17:00 UTC for the international readers out there.) First witness: Charles A. Duelfer, author of the famous report that bears his name, the one we heard so much about in the final weeks of the Presidential campaign. (Almost all we heard about this report was wrong, BTW. Read it for yourself and you'll see.)

Nor is Norm Coleman the only outraged Senator, and I'm not even talking about Senator Carl Levin, Coleman's Democratic ranker counterpart, signing off on Coleman's demand letter to the UN. Richard Lugar has this report from his Foreign Relations Committee. (You'll need the Adobe Reader to read this report.)

The bottom line: This is another one of those "no solace" moments, in which activists and commentators on both sides of the American political divide suddenly raise a united voice in outrage against someone. When Robert Novak says that "]t]he United Nations and its secretary-general are in a world of trouble," he's not kidding.

First prize, frankly, would be that the US withdraws from the UN (and, by so doing, buys a season of restraint against the coming of the one-world Beast of Revelation). The more likely prize will probably be forcing Kofi Annan and a bunch of other un-worthies at the UN to resign. The problem: I don't share the "lofty" ideals of the UN. Having a bunch of hand-in-the-till hypocrites presuming to wag their fingers at us is bad enough--but given the depths to which their credibility has sunk, we're frankly free to heed them or not, and if we don't, the fishwrap media has already predicted that we wouldn't. Result: we lose no esteem in the world by quietly asking them, as Josef Stalin asked the Pope, how many divisions they have. (Answer: none, because they're our divisions to begin with.) But if their replacements are squeaky-clean idealists, and if, furthermore, those replacements make a big show of sending Kofi Annan and his cronies to jail and expropriating their ill-gotten gains, they can then turn to the USA and say, "See? We got rid of the bad apples. Now we can start to build the kind of UN that Dag Hammarskjold wanted us to be." What shall we say to that? I'll admit it right now: it's a lot easier to make a case against an ideal you despise, if the practitioners of that ideal are conducting themselves in a non-ideal, or frankly cynical, manner.

Of course, the UN could act really stupidly and say to us, in effect, "It is not for you to question the make-up of an international institution." In which event the case for withdrawal from the UN remains as strong as ever.

UPDATE: The Hearings link above is still active, and now has links to the testimonies of yesterday's witnesses, including Duelfer and Assistant SecTreas Zarate, both of whom--among others--say that the graft that Saddam got from the OFF program was twice as bad as originally feared--$21 billion worth. But don't expect to read about it, except over at The Power Line and on Fox.

CIA plans to purge its agency

(Hat Tip: Power Line.)

It's about time! And glad I am that Porter Goss, the new DCI, can get it done. I had begun to believe that he'd be hoist on Hatch's petard--specifically the Hatch Civil Service Act. But evidently Porter Goss is an expert on the kind of psychological warfare that anyone who works long enough in any office comes to learn about, often expensively.

But Porter Goss has a mission that goes beyond purging the agency of mutineers and malcontents. The agency, he has always said, has relied too much on taking other agencies' intelligence take. I would have to agree. You don't build respect or reliability by saying, "I am absolutely sure because such-a-woman told me that such-a-man said positively...!" (Hat Tip: Ayn Rand, in a paraphrase from The Fountainhead.) You have to go out and see for yourself.

Porter Goss obviously comes to the job with a plan to reform the agency that he developed in his long years as Chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence. That is the real story here, that even John Hinderaker at Power Line missed. I agree with John: "cleaning up the CIA will be a lot harder than cleaning up Fallujah." But Bush couldn't have picked a better man than Goss to do the job--a man with ideas of his own, and good ideas, too.

Frist: Specter Must Prove Himself for Judiciary Post

They're not through with Arlen Specter yet. Senator Frist made that comment on Fox News Sunday only yesterday (November 14, 2004). Obviously Frist has been feeling the heat, not just from Tennessee but from all over the country, or he never would have appeared on any Sunday talk show. Typically (for a politician generally) he refused to say whether he would recommend for or against Specter as the next Chairman at Judiciary--only that Specter must make a good case to the Republican Senate caucus. (Actually, he must make it to his fellow members of the Judiciary Committee, and that means those who will serve on that Committee next term--and the Senate hasn't even decided yet how many Republicans and how many Democrats will sit on it.)

Neither has Frist forgotten his more important mission: to gain cloture on President Bush's judicial nominations.

WorldNetDaily: Meet NAFTA on steroids

This is actually an excerpt from (and a teaser for) WND's premium, subscription-only service, "Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin." But if this is halfway accurate, then this is further evidence that this country cannot have Tom Ridge as Secretary of Homeland Security. I've felt that for some time, since he and his Undersecretary for Immigration, Asa Hutchinson, have both neglected immigration enforcement. As such they have left a big gaping hole in our security, and they will be personally responsible if and when this country suffers another terrorist attack on our soil.

Fire them now, and hire officials who understand the stakes.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Dutch Muslims Dismayed by Anti-Islamic Backlash

They shouldn't have killed Theo van Gogh--and now their co-religionists are paying the price.

Actually, all of Holland is paying the price for too many years of deciding not to believe in anything, including themselves. This is what post-modernism brings. Post-modernism is the idea that truth is whatever any particular person believes. Even modernism, the idea that reason is the only god anyone need bow to, would be better than this. But another part of post-modernism is not being willing to criticize anything--except for Christianity. Well, the Bible predicted that such annoyances--and even outright persecution--will someday run rampant throughout all the inhabited world, and that Jesus Himself will handle it, not us.

Then a filmmaker named Theo van Gogh broke the rules. From a purely secularistic, we-know-no-God-but-reason viewpoint, he dared criticize Muslim treatment of women. A gang of Muslim men took exception to that, with the result we all know. And suddenly all that post-modernism stuff doesn't have the answers. Tired philosophy takes a back seat if you threaten someone with death. And make no mistake: the murder of Theo van Gogh was itself enough to constitute a threat to all Dutchmen who were not Muslim, even without the threatening note pinned to his body with the knife used to kill him.

The Dutch Muslims are now protesting, "But stuff like that movie doesn't happen in Holland!" Sorry, but that won't cut the ice. A strict reading of the Koran mandates that such shall be the lot of women everywhere.

While all this has been going on, the Dutch government has been facing head-on an issue they have too long neglected: the presence of terrorists in their territory. That, of course, is commendable as far as it goes. But what will Dutch society do next? All that the Muslims can now offer is a belated disavowal of militancy--which, to a Muslim, means a compromise of their faith. Somehow, I'm not sure that this will be trustworthy, or trusted for very long.

The Real Issue in This Election

Cox and Forkum are two of the most popular political cartoonists of our day. Here is a fresh example, with some commentary: Evasive Maneuvers

Look at that picture carefully: the voters have just driven a tank over the Democratic Party. That donkey still thinks he got run over because he plumped for gay marriage. Of course,
  1. The Democratic Party never said "Boo!" on one side or the other on that matter, and
  2. of the eleven states that voted on Constitutional amendments banning gay "marriage," all of them approved of their respective amendments easily, and Kerry carried about half those States.
The tank's label says it all: "War on Terror." Not only that, but the tank driver, representing the voters, isn't even bothering to look back. He is looking resolutely and determinedly forward. In sum, the Democrats tried to get in the way of the War Against Terror, and the voters rolled right over them and kept going.

That is a perfect metaphor for what George W. Bush, very correctly, did: as soon as he made his victory speech, he must have summoned his war planners--or, more likely, given them the "execute" order. Here we are, not even two weeks after the election, and we're about to finish cleaning the rats out of Fallujah and have also gathered a wealth of intelligence take--or "evidence" if you will.

Cox and Forkum's commentary does, however, fail to account totally for why the Democrats set themselves up to lose. Why did they get in the way of the War on Terror? Because the top people in that party are the same anti-Vietnam peaceniks who learned to loathe the military. So among the moral values that the Democrats trashed to their detriment are respect for military valor, honor, and above all, victory. That's a bad platform to stand on in a war against an enemy that has already scored a deadly hit on your neighbors.

Where is John Wayne when we need him? Ronald Reagan's own biography of Wayne has this choice excerpt:
I saw his loyalty in action many times. I remember that when Duke and Jimmy Stewart were on their way to my second inauguration as governor of California they encountered a crowd of demonstrators under the banner of the Vietcong flag. Jimmy had just lost a son in Vietnam. Duke excused himself for a moment and walked into the crowd. In a moment there was no Vietcong flag.
I'm just waiting for the first nitwit protester to fly a green crescent-moon-and-star flag at some anti-war protest today.

Shut Up, Hollywood

That's how Chuck Muth quoted Steven Vincent in today's News & Views. Specifically:
Celebrities gain stature through show-biz popularity. To take that popularity into the political realm is an act of bad faith with their audiences. We pay them to entertain us, not to shoot their mouths off about issues they know nothing about.
Well, not quite, Steve. John Wayne did his share of celebrity issue-stumping, too--and his projects were pretty much consistent with his ideology. My attitude is: Yes, we pay these people to entertain us. But shooting their mouths off, both in their projects and out of it, is part of the package, and always has been. This goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks, and we know this because a lot of the Greeks' theater projects lampooned their gods.

But, since I'm not so addicted to fiction-for-fiction's-sake as I once was, and have more self-discipline, I simply refuse to patronize any projects that have an anti-Christian worldview, and I also refuse to patronize most of the projects of those actors who spout nonsense--or worse, are so undisciplined that they are seemingly drunk or under the influence of drugs every other day.

Laura Ingraham says, "Shut Up and Sing!" I say, "Go ahead and shoot your mouth off, but I'll take my music someplace else." And if that means limiting myself to J. S. Bach, so be it.

We're Not Sorry

So says another group of shutterbugs, in counter-protest to the frankly silly Sorry Everybody site from the left. The opening picture says it all: the tin assault rifle embedded in multicolored fuzz embedded in the sole of someone's foot.

The photo gallery is far more impressive than anything that the Left has to offer. By the captions, a few of the submitters are sorry--that Kerry carried their State. (Maybe Osama bin Laden's advance promise of dhimmitude to the Kerry States had something to do with that, though along that line, this might give pause to the other side.) Others say that they are not sorry that they helped deliver their State to Bush.

The webmaster said that he wouldn't post anything that had "too much" foul language, and as to that--well, I personally wouldn't have posted some of the submissions without doing some light editing, but you will see nothing here with any of the foulness that the other site had. A few of the photos are of women dressed less than modestly. (My standards of acceptability in women's fashion are somewhat tighter than those of most of society, including my fellow conservatives, but that's a topic for another day.) But most of the pictures are perfectly acceptable even for children.

About one-fourth of the pictures are of people holding rifles or shotguns--not pointed at the camera (except for the one of the business end of a Taser), but usually carried in the "port arms" position or something close to it. (Some of the men are clearly at target practice.) People have also submitted photos of their pets, usually cats (the one of the cat saying that she is purr-fectly delighted is the best so far), but dogs, too.

And then you have the gallery of photos that are obviously doctored--like the one showing Dan Rather holding up a sign telling Osama to show courage, and blaming the bloggers for wrecking everything. My favorite is the Charlie Brown parody. (Now I'm sorry--that I can't link to any of the photos. But look it up and you'll see.) Several signs feature USA Today's excellent county-by-county map, which I hope will become a USA Today tradition. Several other signs feature one prominent Democratic politician who very probably isn't sorry--Hillary Clinton. (Actually, I'm not laughing.)

Finally, there's the companion blog. Only three posts on it so far, but a lot of commentary, not all of it flattering, but more proof that the Democrats and their sympathizers are certifiably insane.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Guilty, Murder One and Murder Two, One Count Each

So says the jury in the case of People of the State of California v. Scott Peterson, which jury just announced their verdict fifteen minutes ago.

Let me explain that:

Under California law, if you kill an unborn child in the course of killing or otherwise harming its mother, that's murder, and they can charge you for that as a separate count apart from the count on the mother's behalf. Accordingly, the prosecution in Peterson did charge Scott Peterson with two counts of murder, one in the death of his wife, and the other in the death of their unborn child.

So why the difference in degree? Simple: First-degree murder, in California and in most jurisdictions, is premeditated murder--that is, you wanted the other person dead and planned it for some time. Second-degree murder is a more spur-of-the-moment affair: you meant to kill that person, but you only just decided that as you struck the blow, or whatever. Either that, or you were going to commit another crime anyway, and if the victim involved died as a result, too bad.

The prosecutor concentrated on showing premeditation regarding Laci's death. Premeditation was easy to show--you had Amber Frey's testimony, and further to that, Scott's alibi fell apart completely. Worse yet, he did not conduct himself after the fashion of a grieving husband. In short, he acted guilty, and had established an incriminating paper trail with some of his purchases. What surprised me, frankly, was that the prosecution was able to show his doing of the deed--because after all, he did a bang-up job of removing physical evidence from his house and so on, and nobody saw him actually doing the deed. The real reason why the prosecutor nailed him is what Sean Hannity has just said: "No husband refers to his wife in the past tense"--at least not while anyone might reasonably expect her to be still alive and wanting to be found alive.

The prosecutor did not, however, spend enough effort in showing that Scott Peterson cold-bloodedly wanted his unborn son to die. All they showed was that he killed Laci, Connor died as a result of that, and therefore he's guilty of two murders, not just one. But the second murder was a mere side effect of the first--or rather, that's what this jury ultimately believed. Had the prosecutor made more effort to show that Scott had premeditated the baby's death as well as his wife's death, we might be looking at a verdict of "Guilty of Murder One on two counts" instead of one count each of Murder One and Two.

I have never served on a jury. (I flunked voir dire in traffic court once, when I had to admit that I'd gotten a ticket for speeding before I received the petit-jury summons.) But I did once serve on a "mock jury" in a case "tried" by two teams of law students participating in the Trial Advocacy Course designed by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. I also "appeared" as a fictitious medical-examiner witness in another NITA "case" tried before a sitting Federal District judge--who later told me that I carried off my role so well that he wondered whether I had actually had forensic training. (Sadly, no--my "forensic professors" all had names like Raymond Burr, Robert Foxworth, and Andy Griffith.)

All that to say this: I can guess what that jury did and why. If you don't make an adequate showing of a thing, don't expect the jury to apply the maximum penalty "just because." One memorable thing stood out from my mock-jury experience, for example. The "prosecutor" cut a deal with a man who actually had pulled the trigger and killed a convenience-store clerk, in order to prosecute the getaway driver, who, they alleged, had actually hatched a robbery plot that had gone tragically wrong. We found the getaway driver guilty in the robbery but not in the murder--because we weren't going to watch the triggerman get off scot-free and send the drive up the river for a murder that he didn't directly have a hand in! Besides: the prosecutor never showed that the defendant had ordered his accomplice to go into the store and kill someone. Absent such a showing, we couldn't find murder.

And similarly, the Peterson jury could hardly find premeditation in the death of an unborn baby if the prosecutor never bothered to show that specific state of mind. Prosecutors everywhere need to recognize this about the Unborn Victims of Violence Act: Prosecuting people for killing unborn children is an entirely new field of law, but the basic rules of evidence are unchanged: If you want the jury to find it, show it--and don't think you've shown it just because you showed something else that had a given lethal effect on someone.

And, of course, this general rule applies: Contrary to typical Hollywood courtroom drama, rarely, if ever, does a jury pronounce a defendant "guilty as charged." Rather, the jury names the specific crime of which they pronounce a defendant guilty, and it might be a little less than "as charged."

The penalty phase will begin on November 22--and significantly, the jury did find a set of "special circumstances" which clear the way for consideration of the penalty of death in this matter. So for all the practical effect that their verdict will have, they might as well have found Peterson "guilty as charged." Stay tuned...

Outreach, Anyone?

Kevin Drum had this to say about how liberals can reach out to those who voted for Bush but who are not "hard-core evangelicals." Specifically, he said:
Here's the thing: we're never going to win over the hard core evangelicals, the ones who want to ban abortion, teach creationism in biology classes, and recriminalize gay sex. What's more, we shouldn't try. Religious extremism conflicts with the core values of liberalism, and the only thing we can do is continue fighting these folks tooth and nail. No amount of "reaching out" is going to touch them.

But the fact is that we don't need to reach them anyway. We didn't lose the election by much, and there are plenty of red staters who aren't extremists. They're the ones who are uncomfortable with homosexuality, but understand that a steadily increasing acceptance of gay rights is probably inevitable. They don't want to ban abortion, but feel like it's common sense to require parental notification. And they're ready to agree that we need to do something about global warming, but that doesn't mean they take kindly to thinly veiled accusations that they're personally responsible for it just because they drive an SUV or eat a Big Mac.

In other words, they disagree with us, but not so much that they can't be brought around or persuaded to vote for us based on other issues. Too often, though, a visceral loathing of being lectured at by city folks wins out and they end up marking their ballots for people like George Bush.

(Hat Tip: World Mag Blog)

All right, Kevin, right back at you: we're never going to win over the hard-core secularists, those who say that a person isn't a person until the mother agrees to bring the baby home, who say that anyone who dares challenge evolution shouldn't bother asking them for a letter of recommendation for graduate-school admission, and want to force God-fearing people to accept inverted (or perverted) sex as natural and normal to the point of denying us our freedom of association. What's more, we shouldn't try. Secularistic extremism conflicts with the core values of conservatism (not to mention with the way God intended the world to run), and the only thing we can do is continue to oppose such people with every resource at our command. No amount of "reaching out" is going to touch them. And this is definitely true of people who speak openly of forming their own liberal federation, or who demonstrably attempt to murder those who disagree with them.

But we don't need to reach such people anyway. They represent a very narrow core who make a lot of noise and have a lot of (heretofore) powerful voices behind them. (After Dan Rather's career as a forger, followed by his Election Night blatherskite performance, the Old Media are not nearly as powerful as they once were.) Plenty of John Kerry's voters are not so extreme as that. (Remember that Constitutional amendments to clarify marriage passed even in States that Kerry carried.) These are they who are never comfortable with the idea of abortion, but still believe (incorrectly, but understandably) that a baby isn't a baby until some arbitrary time has passed. (How in the world do you sympathize with someone you can't even see with the naked eye?). Likewise, they recognize that human beings are a cut above the animals, but are unwilling to challenge the impressive-looking scientific dogma that evolution is "the right answer" to the question of how we got here (and also on how old the earth is). They are not prepared to attend a gay "wedding," but they somehow are convinced that present law forbids a patient in a hospital to grant visiting privileges to his (or her) roommate (of either gender) if he/she wants, or that wills bequeathing all one's worldly goods to one's roommate are unenforceable and always subject to contest. And they see how some of us are very inefficient in our use of natural resources, and you have to admit that this is very poor witness.

In short, they disagree with us, but with better witness, they might realize that
  1. They actually agree with us on more than they might think, and
  2. on other issues, Christian doctrine is not so radical as they might suppose.
All too often, however, they see what they perceive to be (and what very often really is) hypocrisy on our part, and how can you blame them when they loathe anything that sounds like "Do as we say and not as we do"? No wonder Kerry came within 136,000 votes of carrying Ohio.

I'll give you a real-world example: Recently I went to my (part-time) workplace and asked for a new version of a certain document that consisted of an inch-thick stack of papers, three-hole-punched for loose-leaf binders. My manager offered to get me a thick, heavy binder to put it in. I said, "Why bother with that? I already have a binder containing the obsolete version of this document--so I'm going to remove the old pages, toss them into the paper-recycling pile, and put the new document into the old binder, which I've barely used anyway."

And she said, "Wow! You're trying to save the planet!"

I wasn't thinking in such grand terms. I was just thinking about being efficient, about not having yet another loose-leaf binder lying around (that had my employer's name on it, BTW), and mostly about using what I already have. But that manager showed that she might be reachable if we would but demonstrate that we can be good neighbors. So on the issue of conservation of natural resources and especially on pollution, we can come to an agreement with more people than you might suppose.

No, I'm not interested in regulations that do nothing but distort the market (and harm the tax base to the point where they cost more money than they save). But neither do I approve of factories that spew out sulfuric-acid fumes with impunity--that's just downright un-neighborly. With a vast improvement on the science that we use for such decisions, we should ban outright the spewing of the worst pollutants--and as for the rest, let's put a price on them that is appropriate for the social costs that each pollutant actually incurs.

Similarly, the sun will probably never shine brightly enough, nor the wind blow hard enough, for a combination of solar and wind power to solve all of our energy needs. But that shouldn't stop us from using these sources wherever we can, even if all we can do is save a little money on our fuel bills. And while outright subsidies for such projects might not have an economic justification, they certainly have a military one--or at least one built on the concept of homeland defense, which goes directly to the God-given functions that government performs [see Romans 13:1-7].

So yes, I can "reach out" to anyone who has a reasonable misunderstanding either of my position or of the realities of our modern world. My job is to educate, and to bear witness. And part of witness is to live a life consistent with God's prescirption for man's relationship with man--individually and collectively (i.e., "society"). That's an argument that the hard-core liberals will find very hard to beat--and I think they know it.

Kevin Drum, BTW, caught a lot of grief for his remarks, as you can see by reading the comments to his post. I have nothing further to say about the comments than I've already said about the crazy talk of secession and even murder--not to mention specific felonies committed both before and after the election by Democrat voters against Republican voters, politicians, and volunteers.

Do the Wages of Sin Apply After Conversion?

Christianity Today Magazine's own blog asks this directly in light of a pending Supreme Court case. At issue: a convicted murderer now professes conversion to Christ. Should he be executed?

Yes, I say. When God says that He blots out one's sins, He is speaking strictly about His own set of eternal books. He never promised to blot out the consequences of sin in the world--and that would mean back-timing and rerunning the time stream to make it as if the sin--in this case, the crime of murder--never took place. And I take exception to this quote:
In the wake of 9/11, could it be that evangelical support of the death penalty is growing? If so, how do evangelicals' beliefs on justice fit with their hopes that all come to repentance?
That's not a hope; that's a wish. The two are very different. Sadly, not all will actually come to repentance. Paul says that we are all hard-wired either to come to Christ at some time in our lives--or not. (See Romans 8, and especially Romans 8:28: "And those whom He foreknew, He also decided ahead-of-time would be conformed to the image of His Son..."--Greek prooridzo I am deciding ahead of time, from pro before and horidzoI am deciding--whence "horizon.") And when you consider the lengths to which some people will go to support a theory--evolution--that has more problems all the time, you can't doubt that.

And if they do repent? That will square them in a Heavenly Court--and in the end, the verdicts of that Court are all that matters. But the government, as a ministry of God [Romans 13:1-7] for the provision and protection of law and order, cannot allow murder to have even the appearance of going unpunished, for to do so is to invite more murder.

Is John Kerry Being Unfairly Criticized?

Jonathan Last at The Weekly Standard seems to think so. (Hat Tip: The Power Line) But I must disagree.

Specifically, I disagree with this:
Granted, Kerry didn't help the party as much as he could have by jettisoning the Michael Moore wing. Had he done so, he would have done for Democrats what George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole did for Republicans in the '90s by throwing Pat Buchanan overboard.

But that shouldn't overshadow Kerry's very real accomplishment: He stood his ground as anti-Americanism and knee-jerk pacifism roiled the base of the Democratic party. He prevented the main body of his party from giving in to the Moores, Deans, and MoveOns of the world. And in doing so, he has given them the chance to fight again another day.

Oh, really? You could have fooled me. Because now that he's lost, the Moores, Deans, and MoveOns are back in the saddle--talking secession and even, frankly, treason. (If you can make Power Line's link to Bill Maher's list work, I congratulate you. I got tired of waiting and decided to link to John "Hindrocket" Hinderaker's excellent commentary instead.) Nor did John Kerry stop the deliberate campaign of lawn-sign theft, vandalism, and even assault-and-battery (and, in one memorable case, assault-with-intent-to-commit-murder) against Republican politicians and volunteers. (With regard to the assault-to-murder charge, may I remind all that the target was a United States congresswoman. May I also remind everyone that some of these physical attacks continue even today, along with the crazy talk of secession and worse.)

Add to it that John Kerry was a bad candidate for an even more fundamental reason: He was all over the place. (I mentioned this once to a Democratic canvasser who came to my door--and she admitted that what I said of Kerry was true.) Never once did he articulate a clear and consistent vision, moral or otherwise, about anything.

It will never be enough to "avoid the extreme left"--and as I've said before, "extremism" by itself isn't a vice--it's what you're extreme about that might be vicious. You need a clear and consistent position--or if you have changed your mind, you need to have the moxie to say, "I've changed my mind; I've learned new things since I said what I said before; this is what I believe today." You do not say one thing one time and another thing another time and still insist that you've never said anything different, as Kerry repeatedly did. (The Zucker TV spot, about the bridegroom chasing the maid-of-honor and then the elderly organist at his wedding, was a priceless illustration of Kerry's fundamental problem.)

The trouble is, of course, that your position needs to be the right position. As Sean Hannity repeatedly (and Rush Limbaugh less often) reminds people, liberals cannot run consistently on their real positions, because today voters will reject those positions all the time. Will somebody please tell the worthies at MoveOn.Org that Timothy Leary is dead?

I'll tell you all what might (unfortunately) be a winning formula for a Democrat. Let's say that a prominent Democratic family had its own Theo van Gogh moment. It need not even involve a murder--just the threat of a murder by ritual beheading, especially directed at, or committed in front of, a woman.

Just as an example--and note that I don't wish this on anyone, and indeed hope that this never happens--let's say that Chelsea Clinton and her latest flame fall into the hands of an Al-Qaeda cell, who then proceed to behead the man in front of Chelsea and inform her that she is to be shipped off to Tora Bora to be Osama bin Laden's sex camel, or however they care to express it. Now assume that she gets out of that encounter alive. How would you expect Hillary Clinton to react? I will predict her reaction right now, with ninety-percent confidence: She would spend the first five minutes shaking uncontrollably with totally understandable rage. (What mother wouldn't?) Then she would call a press conference and issue a statement to this effect: "I've changed my mind; what happened to my daughter has convinced me: Kill them all!" Then you would see her introducing a resolution for a Senate Select Committee on Religious Ideals and their Consequences--or maybe she'd call it Committee on Counterintelligence, Terrorism, and Religious Fanaticism. Out of the hearings and final report from this committee, she would build a new Democratic Party platform that combined a total dedication to the secularizing of society with total war against that "religious totalitarianism" that Andrew Sullivan complained about directly after September 11.

And--chillingly--she might win. In which case we Christians would have to brush up on our fieldcraft and prepare to take to the hills, because after she got through with the Muslims, we'd be next.

The reason why this will not happen is that Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants are not that stupid. I'm not saying that they are totally not stupid--after all, their G-3 got caught literally with his pants down and possessing a laptop with secret codes contained in files readily accessible by a user with perfectly ordinary user privileges. It was the worst tradecraft violation I'd ever heard of, and I'll tell you right now--I could never have written such a stupid mistake into any story premise involving terrorism.

But you'll notice that Osama bin Laden was very careful to distinguish between Republicans and Democrats. He offered dhimmitude to any State that Kerry carried. Of course, the people weren't having any of it, so in that sense, even this was a gross miscalculation. But I don't see Osama actually sending orders to have a Senator's daughter kidnapped and her "significant other" murdered in front of her. Look at the backlash in Holland following the Van Gogh Incident, and you can be ninety-nine-percent sure that Osama is looking at it, too. (Besides, George W. Bush isn't going to let a thing like that happen to anybody on American soil.)

So the Democrats are likely to continue to sink into their "blue" funk and talk crazier all the time, until, as Hindrocket says, somebody gets killed. And they'll never live that down in the eyes of this current generation of voters.