Monday, February 28, 2005

And the Oscar Goes To...

Best Picture of the Year: Million Dollar Baby
Best Director: Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby
Best Actor: Jamie Foxx as the late Ray Charles in Ray
Best Actress: Hilary Swank as the female Rocky who ultimately kills herself in Million Dollar Baby
Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman as Hilary's (see above) "counselor" in Million Dollar Baby
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett as Howard Hughes' squeeze in The Aviator

And so it goes, in one of the most disturbing Academy Award years in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. While I am very much pleased that the Best Actor Award went to Jamie Foxx for his portrayal of Ray Charles, the fact remains that the movie that almost swept the major Oscars (Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress/Supporting Actor/Actress, and Best Director), the movie that for this year will stand in comparison to movies like Lawrence of Arabia, Ben-Hur, and The Bridge on the River Kwai, is basically about a woman who suffers a paralyzing injury and demands--and gets--assistance in killing herself.

Does anyone reading this now want to give me any confidence figures on whether Attorney George Felos will cite these awards in the court of public opinion, if not in a court of law, as evidence that euthanasia is a valid concept which society ought to promote? I already know what Joni Eareckson Tada thinks of that movie, and I can readily guess what she'll think of AMPAS falling all over themselves to reward it.

I have long felt that the Academy Awards ceased to be worth having a long time ago--probably in 1971. Since then, few movies that have won the Academy's trademark statuette of a crusader knight holding his broadsword (it may or may not have been named after a real person named "Oscar" by that worthy's niece, the librarian and then executive director of the Academy) have been worthy of the distinction. Patton was the last, and not until Amadeus would any more be made that were not frankly juvenile in their story lines, production values, and everything else.

Furthermore, before 1970, a movie that won one of the major awards (see above) would win most of them, if not all--a phenomenon I call a "major Oscar sweep." Indeed, you might have thought that the Best Picture Award was an overall honor for the director and cast as a group. (It's not--the Best Picture Award honor's the film's producer, the one who made all the hiring, firing, and spending decisions in the making of the film.) Such "sweeps" occurred for a reason, that reason being that the "studio system" had the effect of nurturing not just talented individuals but talented communities, too--"think tanks" for filmmaking if you will. Today, such sweeps are rare. Even a film like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will be lucky to capture four out of six majors. And if the Academy were really honest in tallying winners, they would score a film twice for every major Oscar and once for every minor Oscar (any Oscar other than Best Picture/(Supporting) Actor/Actress/Director). By that score, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King would get an adjusted win tally of 13 (because in addition to nine minor Oscars it won as Best Picture, with Peter Jackson winning as Best Director), while Ben-Hur would garner a tally of 15 (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and seven minors). A separate tally of the majors might also be worth issuing.

All of which makes last night's results an all the more devastating critique and indictment of our society. The Academy might as well have signed Terri Schindler-Schiavo's death warrant, and I hope they're satisfied.

And one more thing: if the Crusaders as a group still had their own advocacy organization, I would encourage them to sue the Academy to take back their trademark. A movie celebrating suicide is not worthy of an honor that even appears to come from the Crusaders. The Academy should change their Award of Merit from the Oscar to the Jack--perhaps a replica of Jack Kevorkian's rusty van, or maybe a skulking Victorian-era "gentleman" carrying a surgical kit. And may I also suggest the Hugh (Hefner), the Alfred (Kinsey), the Marquis (de Sade), the Karl (Marx), the Franklin (Delano Roosevelt), the Dan (Rather), the Teddy (Kennedy, not the Bear), or--how could I miss this!--the Howard (Dean) or maybe the Bill (Clinton).

Saturday, February 26, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Terri Schiavo backers hopeful

This article is a summary of the current standing in the case. While Judge Greer did extend the deadline for the removal of the feeding tube, he framed it as an order to remove that tube by a date certain. (Adobe Reader users and others who have PDF viewers installed may read the order here.) Nevertheless, this gives Bob and Mary Schindler, the host of activists allied with them, and Florida's Department of Children and Families twenty days to pursue their separate legal and investigative strategies to save Terri's life. To summarize:
  1. Bob and Mary Schindler want to schedule a new kind of neurological exam with a very high predictive value in determining which patients, who have lost their ability to speak, can regain it. Remember that this is all that Terri Schindler-Schiavo has lost. Rare video footage clearly shows that she is in full possession of her other faculties.
  2. The Schindlers are also seeking to show that Michael Schiavo has not and ought not have any authority to act for Terri, because he has an inherent conflict of interest, in that he has moved in with, and sired children on, another woman in the interim.
  3. The Department of Children and Families are very much concerned that Michael Schiavo might in fact be guilty of spousal abuse, spousal neglect, and just possibly attempted murder.
  4. Finally, Florida's legislature, at the urging of the Governor, are determined to rewrite "Terri's Law" and force another hearing before the Florida Supreme Court. Some activists even talk hopefully of making it a Federal offense to remove hydration or feeding without the written consent of the patient involved. Remember that all that Michael Schiavo has is verbal consent--and he just might be lying about that.
I still am disappointed that, in fifteen years, the Schindlers never thought to hire a private detective to investigate Michael Schiavo, seeing that the Pinellas County Sheriff would not investigate him properly. But clearly this case has a new lease on life.

Friday, February 25, 2005

WorldNetDaily: The movie ratings game

And what is that game? Simply this: Joseph L. Farah--who once covered Hollywood before he founded an Internet news service--states that finally, after twenty years of men like Ted Baehr and Michael Medved making the case, Hollywood now acknowledges the obvious. And the obvious is that movies rated G or PG are bigger box-office draws than are movies rated PG-13, R, or NC-17 (formerly X). The problem: American Movie Classics and Turner Classic Movies are apparently issuing "mature-audience" ratings to movies that couldn't possibly be for mature audiences only--because they were made back in Hays Code days!

Farah makes one blanket statement with which I must raise at least one exception. He says that any movie made prior to 1968 is safe to take your kids to view, while anything made later, you should be careful about. Well, I must offer this exception: Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, which, in its re-release after the MPAA Ratings system went into effect, drew the rating of M. A bit of background: the original MPAA Ratings were three in number: G (Suggested for General Audiences), GP (Parental Guidance Suggested), and M (Suggested for Mature Audiences). A few years later (during which Psycho got its M rating), the MPAA broke out the M category into two others, labeled R (Restricted, in that no one under 17 should be admitted without a responsible adult) and X (absolutely no one under 17 should be admitted at all). In recent years, the MPAA had to replace X with NC-17, reverse the letters in GP to PG, and add another intermediate rating--PG-13--to describe those movies that didn't rise to the level of a full-blown restriction but which were still a little too intense for twelve-year-olds.

Farah's point is, in general, valid: 1968 was the year in which the Hays Office disbanded and the MPAA was on its own. Frankly, how Alfred Hitchcock got away with making a movie like Psycho when he did is beyond me. Nudity, a crime against the law committed by a sympathetic character, the most disgusting murder that anyone had yet seen (and depicted in graphic and bloody detail), sexual themes that would make Ruth Westheimer blush--Psycho has them all. But Psycho was the exception that presaged all the blood and gore we see in movies post-1968. (In fact, shortly after that, Alfred Hitcock made his movie titled Frenzy, about a serial murderer of women and a man wrongfully accused of those murders, which two men happened to be roommates.)

Psycho aside, Farah suspects that Hollywood wants to desensitize people to the R rating by showing that it often applies to perfectly acceptable fare. This column, then, serves as an attempt to disclaim that, and to advise people that applying "ratings" to movies made in Hays Office days is totally inappropriate. (The pre-code movies are another matter--while none are as bad as Psycho, many are at least as bad as, say, Fatal Attraction or The War of the Roses.) The one best remedy to the situation might be one thing that Farah did not mention: reinstatement of the Hays Office. The problem is that many churches have gone so far as to denounce the movies completely, and too many in Hollywood have grown enamored of their "artistic freedom" to indulge their goriest and/or most salacious fantasies in their work. Hence, a rapprochement might not be possible.

WorldNetDaily: Judge extends stay keeping Schiavo alive

Yes! Judge George Greer extended the stay until March 18, 2005 on the basis of a number of motions that Terri's parents made, and also a motion that the Florida Department of Children and Families made.

The various motions that the Schindlers and the DCF have filed, are these:

  1. The Schindlers want to test Terri with a new neurological method that is now said to be a very accurate predictor of who will, and who will not, snap out of a long-term coma. It's not perfect--nothing short of God ever is--but it's the best medical test anyone has.
  2. The Schindlers also have on the table what is known as a writ of quo warranto. That Latin phrase literally translates as "on what authority." At issue: Michael Schiavo has abrogated his authority to act on Terri's behalf, because he has withheld care and therapy whenever he could, and has been living with another woman for ten years and sired two children on her.
  3. The DCF is playing very close to the vest their reasons for intervening. But tellingly, they reminded the judge that they had a job to do to investigate allegations of abuse of the disabled and other classes of "vulnerable adults." They wanted sixty days to investigate what someone alleges to be abuse--probably abuse of Terri by Michael, on the basis of those bone scans that I have mentioned previously.
The WorldNetDaily article lists several instances of questionable conduct by Michael Schiavo and also has a public-policy statement by Joni Eareckson Tada, "Contemporary Christian Music" artist--and quadriplegic. Her warning on the bad public policy of removing a feeding tube under these circumstances is alone worth the time to follow the link.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Peter Jennings goes bats, too.

No, Peter Jennings has not proffered his own set of Killian Memoranda--though it would have been less damaging to his reputation if he had. Instead, he has wasted two hours of prime time talking to people who claim to have seen that class of spectacle that the United States Air Force has traditionally called "Unidentified Flying Objects," or UFO's.

He spent the first hour cataloging a sampling of UFO reports, and also discussing the very first such reports and, of course, Project Blue Book, which, Jennings maintains, was always intended to knock interest in UFO's in the head. According to Jennings, the Air Force might have succeeded, had it not been for the famous UFO movies: The Day the Earth Stood Still, The War of the Worlds, and my personal un-favorite, This Island Earth. The second hour appears to concern itself mainly with NASA's Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project. (Leave it to a bunch of goofy scientists to name a project after a Pharaoh of Egypt, and quite possibly the same one who lost the Egyptian Army in the Red Sea!) In all the loose talk about UFO's, I have not heard one single person talk about the full implications of such a phenomenon. Instead, I have heard a lot of confused reports, some of which could be hoaxes, some of which could be delusions, and others of which could be glints of reflected light, either from the ground or from flaws in an airplane window. Occasionally I hear a report describing a craft that reminds me very much of the B-2 Bomber--the world's first operational blended-wing-body aircraft. A "triangle" moving relatively slowly--that's exactly what an unfettered flying wing would look like. And such an aircraft, being the most efficient user of fuel known to aviation science, would have a range quite compatible with having been seen in Arizona after taking off from Edwards AFB in California, or Holliman AFB near White Sands, NM. Yes, we hear the story of the crash at Roswell, NM--a story that has inspired a television show all its own, episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Promised Land, and The X Files, investigative segments on Robert Stack's Unsolved Mysteries show and others like it, and a reference in a breathtaking science-fiction movie called Independence Day.

But, as I said--I have heard nothing about the implications about such a find--and the implications are very dire indeed. Let's cut to the chase here. UFO's are one of a limited number of things:

  1. A hoax.
  2. A misinterpretation of a natural event.
  3. A secret Air Force or Navy prototype.
  4. An actual extraterrestrial visit.
  5. A demonic manifestation.
Now we all know that neither hoax nor misinterpreted observation need concern us at all. Demonic manifestations suggest to me that history as men know it is about to draw to a dramatic close, but until God reveals more of His plans, I won't speculate any further, other than to recommend a lot of prayer. But then I am always recommending prayer. (With one exception: some people claim abduction by ET's. That sounds exactly like something that demons would do. I would recommend that every one of those people tell their stories, not to any UFO bug or even to a psychiatrist, but to a discerning minister of the Gospel.)

That leaves secret Air Force prototypes and actual ET visits. Well, of course the Air Force would never stop experimenting with new aircraft! I wouldn't expect them to. Where, after all, do inventions come from? Could anyone have predicted that we could build something like the B-2 before we actually rolled it out? Could anyone have predicted the Manhattan Project before we put it together? Now go back to the B-2: remember that big triangle? Maybe what they saw was the forerunner of the B-2. And they are continuing to see a lot of other aircraft, most of which will never go into mass production. Now if someone sees a thing like that and starts talking about it, what do you expect the Air Force to say? "Excuse us, citizens; that's our next generation of fighter or interceptor or bomber." Sure--and they then have just put up a big neon sign saying, "Spies, look here!"

So is the Air Force covering that up? Of course they are--and for them to do any less would be irresponsible.

But let's face the ET possibility, and look hard at it. If ET's are visiting this planet--and especially if they are abducting our fellow citizens and subjecting them to the sort of medical experiment that we normally perform on rats and mice--then these are acts of war. These ET's, we are supposed to believe, are violating our airspace and doing as they please. What is wrong with this picture? Do you not suppose that if the Air Force thought any of this was real, they would be screaming to Congress for funding of a Space Command with the budget to seek out these intruders and bring them to some kind of understanding? And I haven't even mentioned that any such ET's would have command of a science that defies our understanding of the natural world. Albert Einstein would laugh at the thought--because after all, the nearest star of any brightness to our sun is far-enough away that its light takes four and a half years to reach us!

Now wouldn't you think that anyone investigating whether UFO's are more than hoaxes, and are not simply top-secret Air Force prototypes that we had best forget, would demand an interview with the Secretary of the Air Force, or even with the Secretary of State? Funny--I don't recall Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice ever getting a hypothetical about a magnetically levitated craft landing at Foggy Bottom, and its pilots walking up to the guards at the offices of the State Department and demanding, "Take us to your leader." What's even funnier is that people expect us to believe that a civilization that could mount an interstellar or even intergalactic expedition could not find the seat of government of the most militarily powerful nation on the planet! Frankly, I have more respect for the author of that famous short story, To Serve Man, which became one of the most chilling episodes on Rod Serling's TV show, The Twilight Zone. (The other real chiller was The Shelter, the story that pretty much killed the old Fallout Shelter program of the Sixties.) At least, in that story, the ET's, called "Kanamits," easily found Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York and landed a ship close enough to send a diplomat to walk straight into the UN Building and demand to see the Secretary-General. (Kenneth Johnson had the same idea in his famous mini-series concept, V.) Man alive--those ET's must be pretty stupid if their intelligence isn't good enough to accomplish that!

But at least they're willing to talk about the difficulties of interstellar travel, and to admit forcefully that TV and the movies have vastly underestimated the requirements in fuel, payload protection, and everything else. But they still find the goofiest "theoretical physicists" who postulate all manner of theories about "folding space"--just as people were supposed to figure out how to do in Frank Herbert's Dune cycle. (And are those pilots stoned on that peculiar hallucinogenic cocktail called "melange"? And wait a minute--did we ever develop a theory about folding the surface of the earth, as a means by which to project power throughout our world? Of course not!)

What we have here, in summary, is a God-substitute. Peter Jennings is looking for God in the cockpit of an otherworldly spacecraft capable of folding space itself and tunnelling from one fold to another. Now what are we supposed to do if such beings exist? Kneel down and accept whatever fetters they care to place upon our arms and legs, that's what--because any civilization powerful enough to accomplish such a feat would be far too powerful militarily for us to defend against. This, of course, begs the question of why they haven't yet attacked the earth, or even intervened in any of what must seem to them to be rather stupid wars. But I have given up expecting logic from the MSM--for "logic" means "reckoning," and some of these people act as though they wouldn't be able to balance a checkbook sometimes. But the larger point remains: we have a large number of fellow travelers of this earth who are looking for God in the wrong place. It's high time everyone look for God in the right place. If you want the answer to the UFO mystery, don't pick up the Air Force's Blue Book. Instead, pick up your Bible.

UPDATE: A Navy friend of mine sent me this link, and this, describing prototypes that all by themselves could explain many of the reported sightings, including some that Peter Jennings spotlighted. Now what was the matter with him, that he didn't research this? But then again, it wouldn't have been a good story to say, "Sorry, but these were Air Force or Luftwaffe prototypes, now long since declassified and released."

Maurice Hinchey: Certifiable Crazy Congressman

You read that right: Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY-22) is certifiably insane.

Why do I state that? Well, who but a crazy man would:
  1. Accuse a senior adviser to the President of the United States of entrapping a reporting team with false evidence of dereliction of duty on the part of the President before he became President, while adducing not one scintilla of evidence to support his allegation,
  2. when given an opportunity to give evidence in support of his statement, adduce nothing except a tenuous connection of associations and try to infer guilt by those associations, and then
  3. the kicker--threaten to defame his interviewer's character if the interviewer will not accept his allegations at face value?
That is what Maurice Hinchey has done. First, he told a community forum on "The Future of Social Security" that Karl Rove "planted" the Killian Memoranda on Dan Rather and his team. (Hat Tip: Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs, who has an audio link and a full transcript of the Congressman's remarks.) When that came out, Sean Hannity challenged Hinchey to repeat that statement on his radio program and either to give evidence in support of it, or else give his reason for making that statement, or if he had no reason, to apologize. (That is exactly what a student at my former high school would be asked to do if he were heard to complain that cheating was rife in the school--because that school had an Honor System similar to that at the United States Military Academy. Believe me, we learned that lying about another student's alleged honor violations was as serious a violation of our honor as would be cheating on one of our own tests. But I suppose that honor doesn't mean anything in Congress today, this although you have to go to your Congressman to apply for admission to West Point! But I digress.)

In any event, Congressman Hinchey launched into a monolog and a diatribe that lasted, almost without interruption, for fifty minutes, from 4:30 to 5:20 p.m. on Sean Hannity's daily radio program. The essence of his charges seemed to be:

  1. The man calling himself Jeff Gannon, who turns out never to have been a reporter at all, is a Republican operative from Texas. (I don't know whether that's true or not.)
  2. The White House caused this man to get a press pass though he shouldn't have gotten it.
  3. Karl Rove controls that whole operation, like the master strategist that everyone acknowledges him to be, whether they like him or not.
  4. Therefore, it stands to reason that Karl Rove would plant phony memos on Dan Rather, because Karl Rove controls an operation a good part of which is accrediting someone as a reporter who is not a reporter.
  5. And furthermore, Sean Hannity himself is involved, because "Jeff Gannon" (not his real name) e-mailed Sean and told him about a breaking story--though that tip was not about the Killian Memoranda and in fact came to Hannity well after Little Green Footballs had published the definitive analysis proving that the Killian Memoranda were a huge and frankly stupid fraud.
Thus, now that the Democratic Party can no longer insist that the Killian Memoranda are genuine, this Congressman (how fast can you say "loose cannon on the gundeck?") now says that they came from the White House in an effort calculated to embarrass the media and make people forget that the President had been derelict in his Texas Air National Guard service, whether Jerry Killian committed his misgivings to paper or not.

Understand that I am only trying to make sense of Congressman Hinchey's remarks. Hearing is believing. He was abrasive, he accused Sean Hannity of a lack of integrity (and I haven't even discussed the threat he made), and he lapsed into incoherence several times. Whether you will ever see a transcript of his remarks is up to Sean Hannity.

Before I discuss the threat, I want to take time right now to discuss the implications of the Congressman's remarks thus far. First, as I said, he has no evidence to support his statement. What he has is some rather loose associations. Thus he is trying to imply guilt by association--in this case an alleged association of "Jeff Gannon" and Karl Rove. He has no evidence even that "Jeff Gannon" is connected to the White House in any way, shape or form.

Now Sean Hannity did admit one thing: "Jeff Gannon" should never have gotten a press pass. In this post-22-Jumada-II ("9/11") world, you do not tolerate someone getting that close to the President under false pretenses! However, Congressman Hinchey did not and does not seem to care about the security issue at all. To him, the fault lay not in lax security at the White House, but rather in "fixing up" someone who could undermine the primary mission of the press--which, to Hinchey, can only be maintaining an adversarial relationship with this White House. Funny--he never objected when the White House Press Corps fawned all over the Clintons--and lapped up the off-color movie offerings in the press cabin of the Presidential air transport, while giving the President a pass when he couldn't keep his hands off the help, on the ground or in the air! But again I digress.

And now we come to the threat. I do not know the precise nature of that threat. Congressman Hinchey made the threat during a commercial break (and furthermore, when he wouldn't stop talking, Hannity had his engineers record all his remarks on the "Newsmaker Line" without bothering to hold converse with him on the air). Apparently Hinchey said that if Sean did not give his story the dignified treatment he felt it deserved, he (Hinchey) would publicly attack Sean in other media organs--essentially telling anyone who would listen that Sean Hannity was a moral coward and a charlatan. Now I fail to see, first of all, what substantive thing that Maurice Hinchey or anyone else could possibly threaten Sean Hannity with. Someone needs to remind the Congressman that the Constitution--which he is sworn to "support and defend...against all enemies, foreign and domestic"--specifically says, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...." Add to it that the Sedition Act, the only Act ever used to throw someone in jail for criticizing the government (one of John Adams' more embarrassing lapses as President), expired with the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson and has never been renewed. Besides which, Sean Hannity is not committing sedition. He is, if anything, holding the Congressman's seditious comments up to ridicule.

Thus the Congressman can do little to Sean Hannity other than to continue to rant and rave. But perhaps he is planning to introduce legislation, along with Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), to reinstate the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," which allegedly was about giving equal time to any controversial subject. In fact, Rush Limbaugh used to say, "I don't need equal time; I am equal time!" That is demonstrably true of all alternative media, including bloggers.

Now why can't I simply write him off and move on? Because he is a United States Congressman, a man charged with the making of our laws. And the residents of the Twenty-second Congressional District of the State of New York need to choose this day what sort of Republic they will serve.

CBS Hired Detective, Muzzled Rather

From Get this: in the middle of seating that "independent panel," CBS hired a private investigator, ostensibly to find out where the Killian Memoranda came from. Of course, the investigator traced them to Bill Burkett, but went no further. But worse than that, all the investigator did was to send in a two-page memo that was a smear of Mary Mapes--on totally irrelevant grounds, and all of them under the heading of "private business."

Now I don't sympathize with Mary Mapes or Dan Rather. After all, they didn't have to run with that story, and they should have known that they had forged documents from the start. But I abominate "fixers"--and that's what this private eye is: a "fixer."

Anyone out there looking for a job in broadcast news, I wouldn't advise you to go to CBS.

Governor Jeb Bush May Have Found a Way to Help Terri Schiavo

From (Hat Tip: Tim Thornton over at C-POL.) Those bone scans might have done it, we now hear from both attorneys--George Felos for Michael Schiavo and David Gibbs for Bob Schindler. Now the Florida Department of Children and Families has gotten involved, probably because those bone scans reveal evidence that Michael Schiavo had been an abusive husband before Terri's collapse. This might be one of the many, many things that Judge Greer had on his desk--too much to review in just a few hours, which is why he granted an extra two days' stay. But he did not allow a DCF representative to speak at the hearing.

What is going through Judge Greer's mind? Has he a conflict of interest? Frankly, I can't imagine that Michael Schiavo or George Felos or anybody else could possibly pay the judge enough to skew justice deliberately. More likely, Judge Greer has made up his mind far too early and won't listen to evidence that he might have been wrong for lo, these many years. "I was wrong" is one of the three hardest things for a man to admit (the others being "I don't know" and "I need help" the hat tip for this one goes to Mark McCormack (What They Don't/Still Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School)). These are far more substantive grounds than Governor Bush has had yet to intervene in this case. The showdown will come at or before five o'clock tomorrow (Friday). As Matt Drudge likes to say, Developing...

Questions raised about Terri's collapse as far back as October 2003

And in addition to this article in WorldNetDaily, consider this, and this. That last article, from, summarizes all the damning evidence against Michael Schiavo--including a bone scan showing multiple fractures in various stages of healing, all consistent with a woman getting beaten up again and again. And why does Michael Schiavo intend to have her cremated?

With regard to that last: In some jurisdictions (but evidently not in Pinellas County, FL), any body which is to be cremated must have some sign-off from the county coroner or medical examiner. I trained in a major teaching hospital, and while serving on its autopsy service, I must have done a dozen or so autopsies on bodies that were to be cremated. The regional Medical Examiner didn't have time to do those cases himself--he had his hands full with cases with clear evidence of homicide. But at least someone would do a full autopsy in any such case. I never found any evidence of foul play in any of those "Medical Examiner autopsies" I performed, but that was not for lack of searching.

Let me tell you what would have happened if a woman like Terri Schindler-Schiavo had died, with that cremation plan on record, and I had been "first up" that night. I would have begun with a review of the chart, since a complete post-mortem examination is, by definition, a comprehensive pathological consultation--that is to say, one where you review the whole chart and not just your own department's prior history with that patient. I would have read those bone scans, and said, "Whoaa! How did this happen?" And then I would have put in a request to see those bone scans--and in a major teaching hospital, I would have gotten no argument. And by the time I was through reviewing that case, the Medical Examiner might have sent for the body himself--or if he was really pressed for time, he would have coached me and the Attending-of-the-day for Autopsies--and that worthy might have punted the case to someone on our faculty whom we all knew had an interest in cases in which the courts might have an interest. In fact, I am positively shocked that Terri Schindler-Schiavo has not already been designated as a case that will positively come to autopsy after this is over, just because her case has been in and out of court for fifteen years!

One way or another, if the husband had in fact been guilty of attempted murder, or of assaulting his wife earlier in his life, we'd have found out about it, and he would have been arrested and faced a preliminary hearing or an indictment at least. Which is why The Empire Journal is calling for a special grand jury to examine what evidence we already have against Michael Schiavo.

Mike Connors! Jack Klugman! Call your agents!

Another resourse on the matter of Terri Schindler-Schiavo

This is The Empire Journal, which has investigated all the angles in the tragic case of Terri Schindler-Schiavo even longer than WorldNetDaily has. Among their most electrifying findings is that Terri had had a fight with Michael on the night before her "collapse" and told her brother that she wanted a divorce. If verbal declarations are enough to go buy in Judge Greer's court, why doesn't this count as an automatic conflict-of-interest? The Empire Journal also calls into question Judge Greer's advertising in last year's re-election campaign, showing several instances that appear to violate State law--and also involved the man who was the Sheriff of Pinellas County, and the one who should have investigated Michael Schiavo on suspicion of attempted murder, but didn't. The Empire Journal's main page devoted to Schiavo coverage lists several numbers and e-mail addresses for people to call, asking why justice has not been done.

Aside from The Empire Journal is this retrospective that in the very first paragraph points out that Terri had "evidence of trauma to her neck"--which sounds to me like finger bruise marks. That same commentary also shows that his whole attitude from the beginning has been that he anticipated a big inheritance and was going to blow it on "a car, a boat, and traveling to Europe." (The commentary also rags on George Felos, but what can I say about any man, once he declares that a person ought to have "a right" to die? As other correspondents of mine have said, George Felos' motive is ideological, and Michael Schiavo's, personal.)

If those aren't enough, consider this, and this.

Obviously I am not the only person who has suggested that Michael Schiavo tried to murder his wife and has wanted her gone ever since. If, therefore, she dies, this will have been a travesty of justice in addition to a family travesty. But Michael Schiavo doesn't care. He's got his sweet patootie (who might even have been what the fight was about!), has sired two children on her, and wants to marry her. (A word of advice, Sweetie: what he did to Terri, he could do to you someday. Think about it, Sweet Patootie! Think about it...! This is why "right-to-die laws" are bad public policy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Florida Judge Extends Stay in Terri Schiavo Feeding Tube Case

From Sean Hannity mentioned it on his radio program, as well. Judge George Greer granted the stay after the Schindlers indicated that they intend to appeal further the rulings against them. Among other things, their new lawyer intends to file another cert petition to the Supreme Court, alleging that Florida's procedures violate Terri's religious liberties. Stay tuned....

Doug Wead has regrets and will surrender his secret tapes to Bush

That's right, and you heard it here first: the man who surreptitiously taped private conversations with then-candidate George W. Bush will now surrender all of his material to the President. If Bush is smart, these tapes will become part of the collection of his eventual Presidential Library--because from what I've heard of them so far, they reveal nothing that we didn't already know, and say nothing embarrassing. They show that Bush has, throughout his public career and the recent campaign and term of office, been scrupulously honest about what he really feels about various issues.

Doug Wead has taken a lot of criticism lately, both for making the tapes surreptitiously and for releasing them to, of all media, The New York Times. Turning them over to the other party to the conversation is the only proper thing he could have done--and I give the man credit for having thought to do this himself. He also canceled scheduled appearances with Chris Matthews on Hardball and on Sean Hannity's radio program.

SCOTUS Refuses Roe v. Wade Review Petition

Norma McCorvey herself, the "Roe" of the original case of Roe v. Wade, filed for a reconsideration of her own case, on the basis that circumstances--and her own wishes and desires--have changed. But once again, the Court was not willing to re-hear that case.

The exhaustion of remedies would seem to be complete, except that the Jane Doe of Doe v. Bolton has filed a similar petition for reconsideration. But the only thing likely to avail is enough replacements of Supreme Court Justices.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Well, Congressman, what are we supposed to call it?

From we have this from Representative Charles "Charlie" Rangel (D-NY): that the expression "Islamic terrorism" is a bigoted misnomer. He even went so far as to suggest that no such thing as an Islamic terror movement even existed.

Well all right, Congressman, what do you call it when a bunch of foreigners just flood into Iraq to cause trouble? They're not all home-grown, and you know it.

And your other examples are classic red herrings:

When we had the Ku Klux Klan we didn't call them Baptist terrorists. When Hitler was killing Jews, we didn't call it Christian terrorists.
Nothing in Scripture or in the Baptist Faith and Message gives the slightest warrant to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. And Hitler was not a Christian. He removed crosses from the altars of Lutheran churches in his country and replaced them with swastikas, and he ordered that every married couple receive, as a "present," a copy of his magnum opus, Mein Kampf ("My Struggle"). In neither case, therefore, can you find a warrant for associating the terror that they caused with any larger religious tradition.

In contrast, the Koran specifically orders its readers to commit acts of terror against non-believers.

Here's another Rangelian red herring:

[We need to realize] that a lot of countries may be poor, but they still have pride. And that is one thing that we completely ignore
Sorry, Charlie, but I'm not buying that, either. The nineteen Assassins of September 11 were anything but poor. Fifteen of them came from Saudi Arabia, one of the richest countries on earth.

To the people of the 15th New York district: This is your champion, the defender of your "rights" against the latter-day Machiavellis for whom I, for example, voted? Whoopee.

BreakPoint | Radical Solutions

And what "radical solution" is Chuck Colson recommending? Actually, he's quoting The New York Times, who themselves quote some of their sources as proposing that the government track down those who, for one reason or another, are knowingly spreading the AIDS virus, and stopping them. Want a sample? Here's Larry Kramer, who already has the virus himself, speaking to a gay audience:
You are still murdering each other. Please stop with all the generalizations and avoidance excuses gays have used since the beginning to ditch this responsibility for this fact.
Murdering, yet! And check this out, from Richard Cohen:
When they’re victims of discrimination, [homosexuals] need to be defended. When they’re victims of their own behavior, they need to be condemned.
And why are they doing this? Two reasons:
  1. Repeated warnings about "unsafe sex" have availed nothing, in that more gay men infect themselves every day.
  2. A new strain of AIDS might now be circulating that does not respond to the anti-retroviral agents now approvied for AIDS therapy.
Sportsfans, haven't we been down this road before? Sure, we have. To begin with, as Chuck Colson reminds us, the only "safe sex" is no sex at all, except between a man and a woman who are married and faithful to one another. But what was the name of the so-called "Patient Zero" who is blamed for bringing AIDS to this continent? No, don't tell me--Gay-Tan, no, Guy-Tan--oh, yes! Gaetan Dugas! He was a flight attendant working for Air Canada--a senior flight attendant. And you airline people know what I'm talking about: a senior flight attendant can basically take his or her pick of flights. Often, flight attendants and pilots plan flights together so that they can screw around on layover--or they did before deregulation. But sometimes they place a passenger in a compromising situation and then demand money to keep quiet--a "jet job." More broadly, a jet job is any use of sex as a weapon against someone else, or several someones. And so Gaetan Dugas pulled the ultimate jet job of all time on an entire continent--and when the CDC traced him down, he smugly challenged them to arrest him if they wanted to stop him.

After that episode, no one, whether at Air Canada, or connected in any way with commercial aviation, or within that which laughably calls itself "the homosexual community" wanted to admit that any one patient had created this situation. You still have conspiracy theories suggesting that the American "bug marshals"--meaning some mad virologists working for the CIA or some such thing--invented AIDS in order to attack gays, blacks, or whomever. But Gaetan Dugas did exist, and even "Fifty-nine-and-a-half Minutes Too Late" ran the definitive segment admitting to his existence and role.

And now here we are again, talking about quarantine. Isn't that nice? Too bad we weren't hearing this twenty years ago. But actually we were--but too many people refused to listen.

WorldNetDaily: Jeb Bush could save Terri's life ... if he wanted to

Commentator Doc Washburn pointed out a new angle, one I had obviously missed. All that Governor Jeb Bush need do is cite the preamble to the Florida Constitution, which states:
All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness ... No person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability.
What about that, Governor? Why wouldn't that be sufficient in and of itself to allow you to intervene?

Doc Washburn assumes that Jeb Bush simply does not want to raise a stink with print editorialists in Florida--and apparently most of them sympathize with Attorney George Felos and agree that fates worse than death exist, and the law ought to recognize when someone "wants" to die. But I have another theory.

Suppose Jeb Bush were to decide that Judge Greer stands in violation of the Constitution of Florida. Who, then, has the ultimate enforcement power? Can a governor over-ride his own supreme court? What's he going to do--call out the Florida Army National Guard to remove Terri from that hospice and transport her to a military hospital, or if no such establishment exists, to a regular hospital under permanent military guard? I can just see what Counselor Felos would do next: he would go straight to the Supreme Court of Florida to get a cease-and-desist order. Now suppose that Jeb says, "They have made their decision; now let them enforce it!" Now what? An armed face-off between FANG forces and the bailiffs' corps, or the Pinellas County Sheriff? Or worse yet--would SCOTUS issue a writ of mandamus and give it to the 101st Airborne Division to serve? That's what happened at Central High School in Arkansas. I can see it now--anguished conversations between Jeb and his brother the President--and every Democrat of consequence in the House and Senate weighing in. That ought to be quite a show.

Ordinarily, I'd buy a ticket in a cold New Jersey minute--but here's where I have to punt. After all, I am not a lawyer. I know nothing of how this would play out even were it confined to the State of Florida--and once you brought the US Army into it, now we deal with Article VI of the US Constitution, which states that the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States are the supreme law of the land. What a mess!

Right now, before we even contemplate so drastic a step as Doc Washburn wants his State Governor to take, let's do what the lawyers call "exhausting all legal remedies." Judge Greer actually granted another hearing on the matter. Let's see how he rules.

WorldNetDaily: Judge delays Terri Schiavo's starvation

Incredibly, that's Judge George Greer. Those Schindlers have a crack legal team, and no mistake. They filed yet another motion for a rehearing, and they must have had something new to offer to support their motion, because the judge granted it--this although he has given no hint of sympathy with the Schindlers.

I know why the case seems to whipsaw like this. Judge Greer, whatever else he is, is not a fool. He does not want his work reversed yet again on appeal. Something in that motion raised precisely that specter, and that's why the judge granted it.

The real flaw here is in a legal system that dares presume that fates worse than death exist--and that allows an estranged husband to continue as the "legal guardian" of his wife while he is making out with another woman and even siring children on her.

No less a figure than Randall Terry has now joined forces with the Schindlers' legal team. In the article in WorldNetDaily, he asks this:

Why is Michael determined to starve this woman? Why won't he just give Terri back to her parents?
Ah, come on, Mr. Terry, you know why! Maybe you can't say it out loud, but I can, as I have: because Michael Schiavo tried to kill Terri to begin with, and it has taken him fifteen years to finish the job. If I'm right, and if she could talk, he would be facing prison. And if she ever recovers her ability to talk...!

What else makes sense? Why wouldn't he simply get a divorce? The family have offered him that, and even offered him a sizeable remittance--all of which he has refused. And I'm not buying his excuse that she simply told him that she'd "never want to live like that." You'd think that some other witness would step forward, after fifteen years, to confirm his description of her prior attitude. None has.

All of which begs that the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office investigate Michael Schiavo on suspicion of murder.

But in all fairness, it also begs that the Schindlers' legal team and their allies hire a private investigator to investigate a probable murder for themselves. One might legitimately ask why the Schindlers have never done that. Three possibilities:

  1. I'm wrong, there was no attempted murder, and the Schindlers know it.
  2. The Schindlers despair of gathering anything remotely resembling sufficient evidence to charge Michael Schiavo with a crime--the trail is too cold.
  3. The Schindlers did hire a private investigator, and he's still on the case, but is withholding his findings until he finds the smoking gun.
But if MIchael Schiavo is not guilty of initially putting his wife into her present state, then his behavior in refusing a divorce, and insisting that nothing short of her eventual death will serve, is still a monumental puzzle that only he can solve--and he's not talking. Well, I wouldn't expect him to talk, since after all, he has an attorney to talk for him. (No one, having retained a legal representative, ever talks to the public about the matter at hand out of his own mouth.) His choice of attorney pretty much says it all: George Felos wants to make new common law, in the form of legal precedent, that recognizes fates worse than death. (You missed your calling, Counselor--you ought to be the Minister of Justice, or however they call their equivalent of an Attorney General, in the Netherlands.) Still, even if he is merely taking advantage of a situation that "dropped into his lap," the Schindlers have offered him a settlement that would allow him every material advantage that he would gain from her death, and he has still refused. That can only mean that he is afraid that she will eventually learn to talk, and will then reveal something that will cause him some kind of criminal embarrassment. And that something might not even have to be that he tried to kill her--just something he has subsequently decided that he must make sure of her death in order to keep secret.

Mary Higgins Clark, call your agent!

UPDATE: The link above is actually to an article that appeared later in the day. A court spokesman initially made a mistake, saying that Judge Greer had already issued an emergency stay on Monday. He hadn't--because he knew that the Appeals Court was set to rule. He waited until that appeal ruling came down, and then he issued the stay, effective until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, and he already has a hearing scheduled for 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.

George Felos is still maintaining that Terri herself said she didn't want to "be kept alive artificially"--again, with no evidence except Michael Schiavo's word. But again, this wouldn't be an issue if the law did not err on the side of "mercy killing." (And just how merciful is it to starve someone to death?) The law ought to say, "When in doubt, don't."

Well, Clint Eastwood, of Million Dollar Baby fame--are you satisfied?

Monday, February 21, 2005

FOXnews Discusses Armanious Murders

No article link today, since this is a "live blog" entry--I caught this on the Fox News Channel. Of course, you have to give Fox News credit for talking about the murders of Hossam Armanious on the air at all--no other network will touch the story with a proverbial seven-cubit pole. Nor is this the first time Fox News talked about it. The trouble is that their main analyist on the case still wants to support the robbery theory.

To recap: Hossam Armanious, his wife, and two teen-aged daughters were found bound, gagged, and their throats slit or punctured in their home. Three thousand dollars' worth of jewelry was found inside the house--the first time any major media outlet has admitted that. (Even Fox News at first said that all the jewelry in the house had been cleaned out, something they no longer say.) And yet we still hear that the house had been tossed and the victims' pockets turned out. If you've followed this blog, you know that I got on this story when it first broke, and then again, and again, again, again, again, and again.

The analyst said one thing that doesn't make sense at all. He suggested that the reason why $3000 worth of jewels remained in the house is that the perps couldn't grab it all, because they didn't have time--a new angle, which no one else has mentioned. Now that would make sense only if Hossam and his family lived high. They didn't. Their lifestyle was very modest--Hossam's wife worked at a post-office station, for cryin' out loud! And no one has come forward to suggest that she was featherbedding. (I've heard tales of featherbedding Post Office employees, but this would have exceeded even the most cynical limits. But, as I said--not a peep.)

So we are left to believe that a modest-living family had enough jewelry lying around to attract a gang of brutal thieves. And the torture marks on the bodies? Torturing them to give up the location of the safe, the hidden stashes, and whatnot.

Well, let me blow that one right out of the water right now. A family with that much jewelry to their name doesn't keep it in the house. They let the bank keep it. The bank came up with this marvelous invention, decades ago, called "safe deposit boxes." And these days, who keeps cash in the house, in this credit-card world? Who even needs to buy anything with cash? And if they do, they withdraw money at the street-corner ATM before they show up at the hardware store.

Sorry, Jersey City's finest. I'm not buying the robbery theory. Nor am I buying the theory that the robbers wanted to make it look like a Muslim-style assassination. More likely, Muslim assassins wanted to make it look like a robbery. And the spectacle of the Jersey City Police Department going along with the scam makes me sick. This is the same city where a bunch of wackos were dancing on the rooftops of their apartment building when the World Trade Center fell down--and also the city that saw a number of arsons that same year.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

WorldNetDaily: 'Mouthy' traveler gets luggage blown up

Specifically, the traveler sarcastically observed to the ticket agent, "If I had a bomb, you wouldn't find it."

It was the wrong place, the wrong time, the wrong person, and the wrong mode of expression. The FBI came in, and detained the traveler long enough to make her miss her flight--but her bag had been loaded aboard. So when the plane landed (uneventfully) in San Diego, it had to taxi to a remote area of the field, where the local bomb squad searched the plane, then took her suitcase off the plane and blew it up.

So now, for running off at the mouth and making a comment she shouldn't have made, she's out of however many changes of clothing she had in the bag.

When I was in high school, and flying out of DFW and DAL (Love Field) to interview at colleges, I saw signs posted at both airports:

Comments about Guns and Bombs are Taken Seriously. Please No Jokes.
And I thought everyone understood that. Well, I guess not--but maybe now everyone will understand that. My only criticism of the Transportation Security Agency ("Thousands Standing Around!") is that they let that woman's bag get loaded aboard the aircraft. They should have taken her bag off the plane and detonated it at origin, not at destination--or better yet, made her demonstrate to everyone's satisfaction that the suitcase had no bomb in it, by having her go through it far enough away from everyone so that if it did blow, it wouldn't hurt anybody. But I see no cause of legal action by her against the government, the airline, or either airport--because comments about guns and bombs are simply not a laughing matter in this post-9/11 world.

WorldNetDaily: Group demands apology from judge

Remember when I said that Judge Pamela Dembe of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas threw out the charges of the adult members of the Philadelphia Five? And remember my problem with what the judge said, that this country protects unpopular speech? At first glance, her opinion looked like a rebuke of the prosecution--who, after all, had come into court practically screaming that the Bible constituted "fighting words" and that the defendants represented a "hateful" movement. But then the judge said,
We are one of the very few countries that protects unpopular speech...And that means that Nazis can March in Skokie, Ill. ... That means that the Ku Klux Klan can march where they wish to. We cannot stifle speech because we don't want to hear it, or we don't want to hear it now.
That implied that the prosecutor was essentially correct in his characterization of the BIble and its believers, and that the only reason she was dismissing the case is that saying something hateful was not, legally, enough to throw someone in jail.

And for that reason the American Family Association wants the judge to apologize.

Now I think I know what was on Judge Dembe's mind. In mentioning the Nazi/Skokie and KKK cases, she was citing actual legal precedents. The trouble was that one could construe her words as a signal to the American left that if they want the bad ol' Christians put away, then they needed to amend the Constitution.

Instead, she should have said,

This Court fails to see any foundation for the overwrought characterization by the prosecution of the defendants as "hateful" or of the Bible as "fighting words." Indeed, if the rules of civil procedure so allowed, this Court could easily sanction the prosecution for using gratuitous "fighting words" of its own. But even if this Court could find a foundation for every characterization that the prosecution has made, it would be totally, completely, and utterly irrelevant. The Constitution of the United States, as also the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, makes explicit that it is not a permissible exercise of public authority or police power to prohibit the free exercise of religion, nor to abridge the freedom of speech. This court also cites two precedents involving groups whose words would be legitimately regarded as hateful and fighting words, but whose rights are still protected under the Federal and relevant State Constitutions.

Knowing this fully well, the prosecution has brought these defendants before this Court and charged them with various violent acts and conspiracy to commit the same--and yet has adduced no evidence whatsoever to lay anything approaching a sufficient foundation for those charges.

Instead, the Court ducked the issue of whether the prosecution had made an overwrought and unfounded characterization in open court. Again, the Court silently dismissed the prosecution's concerns as irrelevant, saying in effect, "Look, pals, there's no law against being a jerk, or a collection of jerks." Unfortunately, in so doing, Judge Dembe let the prosecution's name-calling stand as acceptable behavior in court and as an undisputed assertion--and as I said earlier, implied that she herself would not care to hear the Gospel preached to her, either personally or officially. Even King Herod Agrippa II did not so opine from his tribunal when he held a hearing in Saint Paul's case--the most he said was, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." (True enough, the then-sitting Roman Governor Porcius Festus blurted out that Paul the Bookworm was talking crazy, but he was not speaking as a judge, since Paul wasn't in his court at that juncture.) And that's why the AFA wants her to apologize.

WorldNetDaily: Anthropologist resigns in 'dating disaster'

The disaster involved has nothing to do with inappropriate inter-office romances. Rather, this goes to the heart of the inherent problem with anthropology and its sister discipline, archaeology. To paraphrase Larry Pearce, the latest man to edit James Ussher's Annals of the World, scientific law in anthropology or archaeology is good perhaps for thirty years, until more evidence comes in to force its repeal. Usually that evidence is another dig, or another find in an existing dig, that the prevailing theory or "law" cannot adequately explain. But sometimes that evidence is evidence that the writer of the earlier scientific law is guilty of worse than mere "reversible error," and is in fact guilty of fraud.

Such is the case now with Reiner Protsch von Zieten, who once had "established" that Neanderthal man lived in Northern Europe. If you thought that Piltdown and Peking Man were celebrated frauds, now imagine a man making an academic career of such fraud for thirty years! The evidence? Skulls supposed to be more than twenty thousand years old are now found to be just a little over thirty-three hundred years old (which would make them contemporary with Ruth and Boaz), or else only two hundred fifty years old (dating back to the French-Indian War)!

"We are having to rewrite prehistory," moans one former colleague. "Anthropology now has to revise its picture of modern man between 40,000 and 10,000 B.C.," sighs another. Ah, when will those anti-religious skeptics ever learn? Do those people propose to shake the foundations of the Bible with a siege tower built on this sort of shifting sand? This would be uproariously funny were it not so sad.

WorldNetDaily: Condi to replace Cheney next year?

And how would this happen, you ask? The better question is "why." And the answer? The same reason why Dick Cheney was and is never expected to run for President to succeed Bush: his heart can't take it. Mr. Jack Wheeler passes on the already-flying rumors that Cheney will not last a year--and that Condoleeza Rice is the obvious choice to replace him as Vice-President.

Is the United States ready for a woman President? Yes, I know--no one is talking about Dr. Rice becoming President soon. But Dick Morris has made it abundantly clear in article after article that he wants Dr. Rice to stand for President in the next election--and that her likely opponent will be Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). I fully agree with those who suggest that Dick Morris would like nothing better than to manage Dr. Rice's Presidential campaign--and pour contempt upon Hillary Clinton by defeating her after letting her and her husband use him for so many years during the Clinton Administration.

So the question remains: Are we ready to elect a woman President? If Dick Morris is at all correct, we might not have a choice, because the two major parties will each nominate a woman. And Condi Rice is not only female, but black, too. Except for one thing: to a liberal, she might as well not be black (again quoting Jack Wheeler) because she didn't get where she is today by playing the race or gender cards. Those two jokers aren't even in her deck, as far as I can see.

So let's face the issue squarely. This country has been talking about whether a woman could be President practically since women won the vote in 1920. In the middle of the last century, not even all prominent women wanted to see a woman attain that office. I quote Nathaniel Branden on Ayn Rand's opinion on the subject:

This may sound like a trivial example of what I mean, but it's an example that has always annoyed me personally. I would love to hear some loyal follower of Ayn Rand try to argue logically and rationally for her belief that no woman should aspire to be president of the United States. This was one of Rand's more embarrassing lapses.
Rand's reason for that position was that for her all politics was sexual because all anything was sexual--and her notion of male/female relations precluded having a woman in what would be the Most Powerful Job in the World. What she would think, furthermore, of a candidate who has never been married--and one who, therefore, would instantly become the Top Catch of the World--I can scarcely imagine.

On the other hand, if you ask any prominent liberal feminist today, who spoke so eloquently of their desire to elect a woman President, not one of them would have Condi Rice in mind. Because not only did she rise to her positions strictly on the merits of her mind--something Ayn Rand might have appreciated if not for her obsession with the politics of sex, or the sexualization of politics--but worse than that, Rice has a reputation as a social conservative and a deep religious believer--a reputation that appears to be rock-solid. (Interestingly, she says that the destruction of the World Trade Center reminded her of a church bombing in Birmingham, AL, that killed one of her classmates--a blast that shook the ground whereon she was standing at the time. And that she identified the Muslims as no better than those who planted that church bomb, and did not identify them as any friends of hers. That's probably--I say that with eighty-percent confidence--what liberal black leaders resent most of all.)

If, therefore, Dick Cheney resigns his office and lets Condi Rice replace him, that would be the first step toward getting her the nomination in 2008. And then, perhaps, we shall see whether Dick Morris is really serious.

Friday, February 18, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Bill Maher: Christians have neurological disorder

And so it begins: the secularists are firing their first blows against the Christians and the Muslims in the three-cornered War of Civilization. They at least know who their enemies are--and see how cleverly they conflate Christians and Muslims. "Flying planes into buildings was a faith-based initiative," he sarcastically observes.

He then goes on to predict that the influence of evangelicals will subside--and adduces absolutely no evidence to support his prediction. But then again, when was the last time a liberal adduced any evidence to speak of?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Judge drops all charges against Philly Christians

Specifically, Judge Pamela Dembe, sitting in County Common Pleas Court, has summarily dismissed all the charges against the adult members of the Philadelphia Five, who had been (wrongfully) arrested and charged with riot and other things that would have been very difficult to prove, after a confrontation with some homosexuals who, let it be known, themselves started the fight. The judge now says that the prosecution has adduced no evidence that could possibly sustain the charges, and that neither Federal nor State law allows their prosecution for nothing other than the words they uttered.

This is why, in America, a criminal case goes through more than one judge between arrest and conviction. Earlier, Judge William Austin Meehan had bound the four adults over for trial, saying that he had no grounds to throw the case out. But when it came before the would-be trial judge, she said, quite simply, that the prosecution had no case. (The other member of the Five is a teen-ager who is in the toils of the Juvenile Court system--but WorldNetDaily says that her case will likely be dismissed tomorrow.)

I do want to pick a minor quarrel with this one excerpt from Judge Dembe's opinion:

We are one of the very few countries that protects unpopular speech...And that means that Nazis can March in Skokie, Ill. ... That means that the Ku Klux Klan can march where they wish to. We cannot stifle speech because we don't want to hear it, or we don't want to hear it now.
True enough, Your Honor, but not, if it please the Court, entirely relevant. The Five never said anything other than the simple Truth--which Truth, by all reliable accounts, they offered in love, not in anger. It was the militant homosexuals who did all of the violence that took place. The adult members of the Five were in your Court, Your Honor, charged with starting a fight they didn't start. To say now that the laws of our country protects "unpopular" speech implies that the Court itself would rather not hear it--and that, I submit to the Court, is a crying shame.

Nor is this all. The prosecutors and the law-enforcement officers acted in the worst possible faith. They stood before Judge Meehan and actually said that the Bible was "fighting words" and that Christians were inherently "hateful." To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, those whose actions befit the security services of a totalitarian regime are manifestly unfit to serve as officers-of-the-peace in any city inhabited by free people. For that reason, this case is not over yet, in that the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy is suing the city in federal court for this disgraceful episode. As well they should. But don't just take my word for it; see for yourself. (Warning: you'll need Microsoft Windows Media Player, or, if you're using Linux, you'll need Movie Player and the appropriate plug-ins and codecs.)

Cheated by the Affirming Church - Christianity Today Magazine

Along the same vein as my immediately previous post, here is an article from a male former homosexual who basically tells the church what homosexuals--or, for that matter, anyone else trapped in any form of sin--do not need. They do not need someone to make excuses for them to stay in sin, but rather they need someone to help them get out of it.

But don't infer from this link that homosexuality is the only sin into which one might fall, only to have his church do little or nothing to get him out of it. Adultery, fornication, and pornography are three obvious examples. To them I would add simple anger, overweening pride of place, a grasping for material possessions (which can make you a captive either of the possessions themselves or of the credit-card debt you run up to acquire them), and a host of others that I could name.

"Homosexuality is bad for me," says the unnamed author. Actually, he could leave the subject blank, and we could fill it with any of a number of sins that are basically losers' propositions. That's all the more reason to find a church that offers what you really need, not one that tells you what you think you want to hear.

My Path to Lesbianism - Christianity Today Magazine

This is the first article by someone who was, and is no longer, a homosexual--and one of the best. It discusses everything--including the root cause of most or all of the homoseuxality we see today. This article does not seek primarily to fix blame or to make excuses--and for that reason its description of dysfunctional family dynamics is all the more valuable.

It also describes how you can get out of that so-called life. Yes, it has links to ministries that are there for any homosexual who seeks help. But it also describes the Best and Most Effective Counsellor of all--Jesus Christ. Not for nothing is He called Wonderful, Counsellor, and all the rest of it by the prophet Isaiah! Top House Dem Says Dean Should Apologize

At issue: Howard Dean, the new Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was speaking to a Democratic black activist audience. There he said,
Do you really think that Republicans could get this many blacks together in the same room? [Laughter] Only if they had the hotel staff in here!
The first inference that most people drew from that remark is that Howard Dean seems to think that hotel staffs are predominantly black. That is not strictly true, as any frequent traveler can check out. But more to the point, people thought the offensive thing that Dean was saying was that blacks are good for little else other than being hotel bellhops and chambermaids and so on, unless they join the Democratic Party.

Unfortunately, that's not what Dean said or meant to say. What he was actually saying is that Republicans don't have any blacks of any consequence in their ranks. That also is false. And to those who ask why blacks don't seem to be run as Republicans very often, that might be because few blacks, until now, have been willing to espouse conservative ideas. That is now changing, which is something that the Democrats don't want to admit.

I also must chide for taking the remarks of Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) out of context. Yes, he said that if Howard Dean has offended anyone, he should apologize, and that this would not be the first time that Howard Dean has expressed himself in a less-than-artful way. But this was actually Rangel's tortured way to finesse a relentless line of questioning from Sean Hannity, delivered in that inimitable Hannity style. I listened to that interview yesterday, and I heard no willingness by Charles Rangel to condemn Gov. Dean in a forthright manner.

Indeed, Charles Rangel has problems of his own with expression. When Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) snubbed him by refusing to intervene in the deportation of Amadou DiMallo's mother, Rangel said of Hillary that she married a "redneck" in order to advance politically, and when the chips were down, was not willing to help out in a way that Rangel thought she should. That word &quor;redneck," by the way, is not a racist statement, and nor did I take it as such. Rather, I took it for the typical throw-away insult against the residents of "flyover country" who delivered all their States' electoral votes to Bush. (And as for Hillary's action or inaction: I have never found her to be a sincere person, but I sighed with relief when I heard that she did not exert her Senatorial prestige in order to halt those deportation proceedings. Amadou DiMallo's mother is better gone from the country. But that's another topic.)

More to the point--in the same interview in which Charles Rangel made that tortured non-condemnation condemnation just to get Sean Hannity off his back, he made matters worse: he said that when he crashed the gate, as it were, at the Republican National Convention in New York, he was the only black present, and people would come up to him mistaking him for Al Sharpton, Don King (as if anyone could possibly mistake either man for the other!), and so on. That would be funny were it not so sad--as Sean Hannity took pains to point out. In fact, the Republican Party has had the best results in years in black recruitment--as blacks, at least individually, now begin to realize that their Democratic "patrons" have been taking them to the cleaners for decades, and binding them in an even worse condition of servitude than slavery ever was.

Howard Dean's atrocious comment is in fact a case in point: "Don't listen to those nasty Republicans! They never talk to a black man unless he's the bell captain at the hotel! Keep voting for us, and we'll take care of you [cackle, cackle]." The insult, then, is to the intelligence of blacks everywhere.

Which brings me to my own messages to blacks of every stripe: You're smarter than this. The Democratic Party offers you soup-line tickets; we offer you a good shot at being able to stock your own kitchen. The Democratic Party builds a prison, calls it a "housing project," and--adding insult to injury--expects you to pay rent on your cell. The Republicans offer you a shot at owning your own house.

What kind of society do we want to be? A society of rent-payers? Or a society of owners? That will continue to be your choice in elections to come.

WorldNetDaily: Revived Sanhedrin discusses Temple

This according to Hal Lindsey, who has been steadily rebuilding his reputation since The Late Great Planet Earth and similar works arguably damaged it, because of his ill-advised date-setting.

Since that debacle, Lindsey has been sensibly confining his remarks to watching current signs. And now he is commenting on two particular signs that have occurred recently.

The first of these is the re-establishment, after about 1580 years, of the grand Jewish council known as the Sanhedrin, of which the world has heard nothing since 425 AD. Right now, according to Arutz-7, all they started out with is a committee of the whole--but they now seem to have seventy-one members, which constitutes the legal membership of the Sanhedrin: one High Priest and seventy advisers.

More recently, we saw members of this new Sanhedrin climbing the Temple Mount. And more recently, according to Lindsey, the Sanhedrin are now seeking to determine the exact location of the ancient Temple, with a view to rebuilding it.

But what about the Dome of the Rock, you ask? If Lindsey's own research and observation are correct, then the inner court of the Temple can sit right next to the Dome of the Rock without disturbing it in any way, or even touching it. And only the inner court need be built. Revelation 11:1-2 specifically says that the outer court is "given to the nations."

Don't expect two men dressed in burlap to appear any time soon, however--not until many more events take place. But those events might not be so far in coming as we might think!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Protesters, Supporters Gather for Vigil at Home with Anti-War Displays

This we have from the local TV station.

Mercifully, nobody got hurt, nor did anyone's property suffer any further damage. Police on the scene did their job--keeping the two hostile groups apart--and no one has gotten arrested beyond one of two counter-protesters who, last week, tore down the first of the anti-war displays that the homeowners had erected.

Naturally, I must reply to Steve Pearcy and his wife, who repeated the unoriginal line that "Bush is responsible for the deaths of American troops in a foreign country." No, Mr. Pearcy. Nineteen hashshasheen are responsible for three thousand deaths right here in this country, and Bush is responsible for seeing that no other teams of hashshasheen can claim responsibility for any more. And if attitudes like yours had prevailed during World War Two, we might not have won it.

Your problem, Mr. Pearcy, is failure of proper enemy identification. George W. Bush is not our enemy. Osama bin Laden is. (I would further state that Islam has been our enemy at least since the assassination--there's that word again--of Robert F. Kennedy, if not since the Barbary Pirates. But that's another topic.) And no matter what you say, your displays have demonstrated disrespect for the soldiers themselves, as many, many actual servicemen will attest and have attested.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 Soros Says Russia No Longer a Democracy

Well, Russia never was a democracy. Only one nation on earth qualifies as a pure democracy, and that's Switzerland. What Russia had been, and is no longer, is a republic.

Subject to differing semantics, for once I agree with George Soros. I even agree with him on the remedy he proposed: that the Group of Eight (G-8) go back to being Seven and dismiss Russia from their number. Soros laments that, of course, that won't happen, because too many European nations depend heavily on Russian oil. That's easily fixed, of course--but only if Europeans get over their fear of all things nuclear, and specifically of nuclear power. And the same thing goes for our dependence on a backward monarchy that pays remittances to terrorists and then--the kicker--blames the Jews for sending forth those same terrorists. But I doubt that George Soros and I would ever see eye to eye on that one.

WorldNetDaily: Sacramento showdown: Dueling protests planned

At issue: a couple maintaining a primary home in Berkeley, CA, and a second home in Sacramento, prepared a really sick-making display: a US soldier hanged in effigy, with a sign around the neck reading "Your Tax Dollars At Work." Later they changed the sign to read "Bush Lied; I Died." What's more, they've hung Palestinian and Iraqi flags in the windows--as you can see in the image in the linked article--although most actual Iraqis probably would not appreciate the association, no matter what anybody says over here, or over there.

So now some people are planning a candlelight vigil to show support for the troops--and the couple that prepared the display are going to come back to erect another (I shudder to think of what that will look like), and worse yet, the event organizers are expecting some gate-crashers.

It is now five minutes to 10:00 Eastern Time as I write this, which is five minutes to 7:00 in California. Stay tuned....

UPDATE: Full disclosure requires me to reveal that the "Bush lied" effigy has already been torn down--I don't know who did it. Technically, that's trespassing, and as such that's a chance I wouldn't have advised anyone to take. So if the homeowners are coming back, that can only mean that they intend to replace the effigy--and walk through a hostile crowd in order to do it. I respect courage--even foolhardiness--but it's a crying shame to see such fortitude displayed in such an unworthy cause as those homeowners have now chosen to espouse.

Monday, February 14, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Is 9-11 prof a plagiarist?

If he is, then he could lose his job, tenure or no, and the tenure system need not be touched. And a number of people are stepping forward saying that they have solid evidence that besides being a nut-case, Ward Churchill is not merely a copycat but is also given to making stuff up out of the whole cloth. Either thing would be an academic crime--and if he is guilty of both, then his dismissal would be only logical.

Very often, an arch-offender will take a big fall, not for the specific offense he has given to any one person, but for following a pattern of offensive behavior which, sooner or later, will catch up with him. So it just might be for Ward Churchill. For that reason, getting angry with the Ward Churchills of this world is simply not worth it. Indeed, Jesus Himself said it best: "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay." Translation: let God take care of things, as He always will.

Weblog: �ke Green's Hate Speech Conviction Overturned - Christianity Today Magazine

That's right: that Swedish pastor who preached against homosexuality and found himself convicted of "hate speech" just had his conviction thrown out--on the basis that he has a perfect right to say what he said, where he said it, and in the manner wherein he said it.

The appellate court's grounds for reversing the conviction are rather interesting. The intent of the law was to stop people from inciting others to beat up on homosexuals, but not to stifle all discussion about homosexuality. Well, we shall see whether this is the last of that case. In any event, this is the first time that I have ever seen a court throw out a conviction on the basis of "that's not what the law intended." If every law with unintended consequences could have some appellate court find in favor of certain defendants who were unintentionally caught in its toils, we wouldn't worry about unintended consequences, would we? But that would still put us all too dependent on a human judge for what the law meant. This still has the law meaning exactly what the court says it means, any time it says it.

Personally I prefer the American solution: declare such a law unconstitutional! Then again, what I'm really looking forward to is the Millennial Kingdom, where Jesus will be the Supreme Judge.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Dr. Dobson enters Schiavo fray

And he did more than merely raise yet another voice for the sanctity of life--he cited an actual case of a woman who woke up after being comatose for twenty years. The article in WorldNetDaily lays out all the particulars of this other woman's case.

This must surely make Michael Schiavo squirm. The reason? If Terri could talk, she could then tell us what happened to her fifteen years ago. And just maybe she would point to her husband and cry out one word which would by itself explain everything that man has done or said these last fifteen years. That word is: "Murder!"

The twenty-year-coma example clearly shows that we haven't waited long enough for Terri to snap out of it. Those are grounds for appeal. We can only hope that enough judges and Justices have enough integrity to hear such an appeal.

WorldNetDaily: Abuse case prompts rethink of homeschool laws

At issue: in Arizona, all a homeschooling parent has to do is to file an affidavit of his intent. An unidentified man filed such an affidavit and then kept a 14-year-old girl confined while he repeatedly raped her.

And of course, the Democratic (who else?) governor of Arizona wants to use that as an excuse to destroy homeschooling in her State. Even Kim Fields, the superintendent of schools in the county involved (the one seated at Tucson, AZ), doesn't agree with that. Says she, "You can't stop abuse by changing an education setting."

Now I would never condone the sexual abuse of a child by her caregiver. But as Superintendent Fields would surely agree, you don't force children to school outside of home just because you want to have the child out where "outside authorities" can see her.

The real issues here are twofold:

  1. State Child Protective Services had received five complaints against that nut-case before June of 2001, but could or did not find enough evidence to substantiate them.
  2. Liberals don't want anyone homeschooling, and would prefer that no one go to any school except a government school. That's because they have to mess with your kids' heads, because they're not having any kids of their own--or at least, not enough, anymore, to outvote your kids in the elections of the next generation.
Kudos to WorldNetDaily for asking all the right questions, such as "would stricter laws have changed anything?" (Answer: no.) McAuliffe Blasts Catholic Church

Terry McAuliffe did this "blasting" in a speech he gave to his fellow Democrats in Washington, DC on Thursday, February 10. Specifically, he said:
I was very dismayed at the Catholic Church in last year's election...The way they went into their pulpits and told people it was a sin to vote for John Kerry was nothing short of just outrageous.
Hold the phone, sir(rah)! First of all, if you have any evidence that any Catholic priest climbed into his pulpit and delivered a specific anathema against any who voted for John Kerry, you know where you can take that evidence: to the IRS. Of course, I would very much like that 501(c)(3) business done away with, since it goes back to Lyndon Johnson not wanting the clergy to tell his fellow Texans what a coarse, crude adulterer and thief he really was when he was busy stealing a Senate seat. But that law remains, and so does this provision of that law. I quote it:
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise tax.
While it remains, if you have evidence that any Catholic priest broke the law, show them.

In addition to that, Mr. McAuliffe, you're just sore because the body of Roman Catholic voters, which once was your swing core constituency and one of many things that by itself could have made the difference between electing Kennedy or Nixon in 1960, has swung Republican. And they have done so, not because any priest has said, "It is not lawful unto God for you to vote for a Democrat any longer," but rather because the Church has done a thorough job of educating its laity on its own teachings (and has also cleaned up those teachings of the neo-Marxism of, for example, Pope Paul VI's encyclical Populorum Progressio while strengthening the precepts of that pope's other encyclical, Humanae Vitae). Furthermore, the Church has encouraged its laity to educate themselves as to the positions of the candidates. That they have done, and they, not being utter fools, now vote Republican. It's like this, Terry, as Abe Lincoln said:

You can fool some of the people all the time, and you can fool all the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.

So chill out, Mr. McAuliffe--and tell your friend Howard Dean that he's not going to do the Democratic Party any favors, either, if he insists on the course he has announced.

Friday, February 11, 2005

WorldNetDaily: 9-11 professor trained terrorists

Uh--isn't that illegal? And doesn't that make him a traitor ipso facto?

The domestic terror group that WorldNetDaily is talking about called themselves the Weathermen, saying "you don't need a weatherman to tell you where the wind blows." The Weathermen were an offshoot of the old Students for a Democratic Society. Unlike the rest of the SDS, they explicitly embraced violence and directly attacked policemen and other authority figures. Eventually the Weathermen went underground.

The point is this: Several long-time fugitives have recently surfaced, and we all have had to debate whether they ought to get some kind of credit for time-on-the-run, however illogical that may sound. But now we find that Ward Churchill was one of their training officers! And the training he offered them was in small arms and explosives.

This is the man whom the Chancellor of CU says must be allowed to speak out of respect for the First Amendment?

Sorry, Chancellor. This man is manifestly guilty of treason, and ought to be in prison. That any university would even consider hiring him, much less granting him tenure, speaks volumes about why a college education is now far less valuable than it once was.

Fighting for What's Important

From Chuck Colson's BreakPoint, a service of Prison Fellowship Ministries.

Yes, I'm going to do it--I am going to reveal, as Chuck Colson did, the ending of the motion picture Million Dollar Baby. You thought it was just about a woman boxer, didn't you? Then why, you asked, did all the disability-rights groups start protesting the film?

Well, I can't always vouch for the integrity or the honor of every group that protests something I find offensive as well. Nor do I know all the reasons why these groups have acted as they have. But I can tell you this: I protest this film, and I say that if this film wins as Best Picture of the Year, it will be further evidence that Hollywood has gone down the wrong road.

You all know about the woman-boxer training plot. What you don't know is that in the last half hour of the film, someone lands an illegal blow in the ring, causing the woman boxer to fly backwards and strike her head against the corner stool. That leaves her paralyzed from the neck down. The trainer determines to help her adjust to the new life she must lead--but she refuses that kind of training. Instead, she says to him, "Just kill me." And he does.

That, my friends, is murder--and I don't care that she asked for it, or why she asked for it. I quote the original Physician's Oath:

I will give no deadly preparation to anyone, even if asked, nor suggest such a course.
Those disability-rights groups have a right to be concerned--indeed, a positive duty to be concerned. Because in Holland they're getting ready to kill people who don't ask for it, on the pretext that their continued existence is an insuperable financial or other burden either on their relatives (yeah, right, we know, they just want to get the will read, or maybe settle the tontine) or on a government that has pledged cradle-to-grave health care, without telling people that they'll hasten them to the grave if they don't just go ahead and die. That some of those same disability groups support socialized medicine throughout the Western world is a gross inconsistency, and one that ought to give them the greatest pause.

Colson, of course, gives this movie two thumbs down. I say that it is worse than just another bad movie. It is dangerous to any person having greedy relatives, and it is dangerously seductive of our whole society. Under the old Hays Code, this movie would never have been made--and indeed ought never have been made.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Citizenship check for licenses OK'd

And it's about time.

The REAL-ID Act, a project of Representative (and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee) James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) will accomplish four things:

  1. It will set a minimum standard of acceptability for State driver's licenses. Under this Act, any State could still be as lax as it pleased when issuing a driver's license--but a license not meeting the Federal standard would automatically be invalid for such Federal purposes as getting aboard an aircraft. (As I have said before, New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission now has built the toughest obstacle course yet to getting a driver's license. So if you can get licensed to drive in New Jersey, people can know that you are whom you say you are. Other States could learn from the New Jersey example.)
  2. It makes clear that "political asylum" is no longer a civil right, and grants to judges greater discretionary power to deport an asylum seeker suspected of being a terrorist.
  3. It provides specifically for the construction of fences along our borders with Mexico and Canada. And--most important--
  4. It lets the Secretary of Homeland Security waive any laws, be they federal, State, or local, that get in the way of erecting border fences. It even strips the courts of jurisdiction over any environmental-impact lawsuits against a security-fence route.
Now some have already stated that the waiver provision would allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any law that he pleased. Not so. I quote:

Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended to read as follows:

(c) Waiver-

    IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.
  1. NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court shall have jurisdiction--
      to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or
    1. to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.
In other words, the waivers apply strictly to the question of erecting border fences and building roads near the border for the border patrol to use. This stops all those silly environmental-impact lawsuits that have left gaping holes in our borders, at the aptly-named "smuggler's gulch" near San Diego, CA.

Call your Senators, people. We need this law!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Some in U.S. voting with their feet

From the International Herald-Tribune.

Some of you, no doubt, did not take me or my sources seriously when I first reported on all those Democrat voters now deciding to emigrate from this country. This was so even though LittleGreenFootballs and the Wonkette reported on the same day on the same phenomenon--and even when I saw more news within days that people were really serious about this. And then, a month later, we heard from Charles Key, Francis Scott's great-to-the-nth grandson, and how he didn't think we were the "land of the free" anymore.

And now, as the Herald-Trib tells us, Charles Key is still planning to leave for Canada--just as soon as he can find a job up there.

Uh...excuse me? I thought Canada would gladly take care of anyone within its borders. But it turns out that if you want to get into Canada, you need to have a means of support. We could take a lesson from them in that regard.

In any event, it would appear that Kerry's original voters won't be around in four years when he demand a rematch. The only problem is that a bunch of other people, looking for an LBJ-like Great Society, are swarming in from the south. (Or are they really looking for Old Corn-pone Johnson to take care of them? Some surveys cast some doubt on that proposition.)

However, I said it before, and I'll say it again: Good riddance, and don't let the door swat you on the seat on your way out.