Tuesday, May 31, 2005

NewsMax.com: Viagra Welfare Spurs New Sex Attacks

At issue: President Clinton, in 1998, issued a Presidential directive saying that State Medicaid programs would have to dispense the drug known as Viagra (sildenafil/Pfizer) to any male patient who required it for the treatment of impotency. Was this of a piece with Clinton's oversexed disposition? Perhaps. But more to the point: a number of men, under the influence of sildenafil, have assaulted a number of women and gone to prison for it. The DA of Westchester County, NY, reports that 86-year-old men have taken sildenafil so that they can continue to molest children.

Many things are wrong with this. First, the Constitution nowhere authorizes Congress to provide any sort of drug. Second, even if it did, impotency is not a life-threatening condition. The syndrome of men trying to keep up with Studly Jones is itself of a piece with the oversexed attitude of our entire society.

As any really happily married couple knows, sexual potency, attractiveness, and all the rest of it is neither necessary nor sufficient to happiness in a marriage. Marriage, properly understood, is the deepest, most abiding personal friendship that a man and a woman can enter into. Or at least, it should be. If sexual attractiveness is the only reason to get married--well, no wonder our society is full of divorcées and serially married men who jump from one trophy wife to another. And as for striking up a sexual liaison without getting married--well, the Bible mentions that only to condemn it, and rightly so.

So why is the government giving sildenafil to people, when sildenafil is essentially an elective treatment, like breast augmentation? (And a dangerous one, too--we now hear that sildenafil can make you blind. And that's no joke.) Add to it that it has resulted in a rise in sexual crime.

Behold your tax dollars at work. I know that Romans 13:1-7 tells us to pay taxes to them to whom taxes are due. But we also ought to follow Paul's example and ask whether certain policies of our government are truly expedient or even lawful.

Telegraph | News | Blair faces clash over move to kill EU treaty

Specifically, Tony Blair is acknowledging the obvious: the EU constitution cannot succeed. If the French vote wasn't enough, the Dutch vote that comes up tomorrow will certainly stop the EU constitution from ratification. (Note: you'll have to register at telegraph.co.uk in order to see it, but fortunately that shouldn't cost you anything.) So why, Blair asks quite reasonably, bother to bring it up for a vote in his country?

But who said that leftists had to be reasonable?

'If Christians Fail, America Will Fail' - Christianity Today Magazine

So says Don Feder, head of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, in an interview with Christianity Today. This is one of the most thoughtful interview transcripts I've ever read. It covers where Jews and Christians stand in their view of God and what God asks of each, and also covers where Israel stands today and will move as time moves forward. All this, and political discussion, too. A most enlightening and thought-provoking read.

Monday, May 30, 2005

FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Chirac Begins Shakeup After 'No' Vote

Well, I wondered what Chirac would do after the French just said, "No" to that vaunted Euro-constitution. Now we know: he's going to fire a bunch of people in his government. Some say that this might not be enough. The larger question is: what is the EU going to do, given that they needed yes votes from all member nations, and they're not going to get that?

Critics want probe of Alexandria Islamic school

From the Associated Press, as quoted in The Washington Times.

The institution at issue calls itself the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, Virginia. This is the school whose 1999 valedictorian was later charged with plotting the assassination of President Bush. Given that and two other arrests, one of an Academy alumnus and the other of its former treasurer, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has called for a federal investigation. Well, hello, Chuckie. I didn't think you had it in you. I wonder if you really do...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

WorldNetDaily: 'Prophet' summons UFO for camera

I've played the video. That object looks like the German Foo Fighters--the magnetically levitated low-altitude craft that the Luftwaffe tried to develop to shoot down our bombers--but could never get to work reliably. Officially, the military never really knew what to make of it--one officer called it "ball lightning." Unofficially--given that this so-called sighting is near Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NV--home of Area 51, no less--I am inclined to think that the Air Force is still messing with the concept.

But I do not believe that prophet's claims. Nor do I think that God will cut him any slack for violating His Third Commandment by calling himself "Prophet Yahweh" and thus taking His Name in vain.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Prof says he ghostwrote, didn't plagiarize, articles

Professor Churchill, I have a partnership stake in a bridge spanning the East River that I would like to offer for sale.

To recap, Ward Churchill is answering ethics charges at the University of Colorado, all alleging plagiarism of various kinds. He has reached a point in the proceedings where the investigating committee has turned up five essays with prose similar to that which Churchill has used on some of his screeds. So now he says that the original words on those other essays were his to begin with--because he ghostwrote them.

Nobody's name went on a piece I wrote that they didn't know about. They agreed with it or didn't care one way or another or just wanted a resume hit.
Now let me get this straight: Ward Churchill wrote those essays and then, as a personal favor, put other people's names on them? That sounds fishy in itself. Furthermore, an academic ethics expert says that the very idea of such ghostwriting violates several ethical precepts.

Well, I'm not an academician, so I'm not up on the ethics of ghostwriting in the halls of academe. But this much I know about commercial ghostwriting, from my own experiences registering an unpublished novel and a piece of software at the Copyright Office.

The key phrase here is work made for hire. Writing anything is like building a house. If you build the house you intend to live in, and pay your own expenses, then you own it. But if you build a house and then, whether for any consideration or no consideration, hand over the keys to another person, you may not live in that house.

And so it is with works made for hire. Copyright Office Circular No. 9 is explicit: works made for hire belong to the person who commissioned them and not to the person who actually penned them. So if Ward Churchill did copy any part of prose that he wrote under someone else's by-line into another work appearing under his by-line, that's the equivalent of a house builder retaining an extra key on the sly and letting himself in to raid the icebox any time he pleases! And just as illegal--that's right, illegal!

That university committee seems to be worried that he has broken faith by writing essays for other people who needed to "publish or perish." But what he's actually done, by telling that ridiculous story, is lay himself wide-open to a lawsuit and possibly to criminal prosecution. Add to it that one of his five so-called ghostwriting clients, who happens to be his ex-wife, flatly denies that Ward Churchill ever did her any such favor!

When you're in a hole, stop digging. And when every word you say makes your behavior sound worse, just shut up!

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Deal's Off!

As you all know by now, the Democratic Caucus in the Senate mustered forty-two votes last night and refused cloture on the nomination of John Bolton to be UN Ambassador. Here is the Associated Press account.

That so-called deal on President Bush's judges laid the groundwork for this set-up. The only surprise is that the betrayal would come so fast. But I'm not surprised. I have the direct experience with agreeing to a "compromise" with "moderates" in an organization to which I once belonged, only to have the other person betray my trust. I could have predicted the day that deal was struck that the Democrats would break their word and then hold that their betrayal fell legitimately under the heading of "extraordinary circumstances."

When that happened to me, I flat-out told the person involved, and the head of the organization, that they ought to "choose this day whom [they would] serve." [Joshua 24:15ff] They chose to serve the world, and I chose God, though it meant breaking some friendships. But I learned a hard lesson that day, and that is that sometimes you find out who your real friends are, and that those whom you called "friend" are not your friends at all.

So it is today in the United States Senate. I go further: I call upon the residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the States of Maine, Rhode Island, Ohio, Arizona, and South Carolina: Choose ye this day whom, or what, ye shall serve, whether that be the principles of a sound society or the venal anti-principles of pork-barrel politics or of "going along to get along."

And as for the Senators involved, I have no patience with or sympathy for any of them. I don't believe for one picosecond the facile "explanations" that the deal-makers are now offering. They say that the White House and Republican Floor Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) encouraged them to seek the best deal they could get. That's a lie. Bush would never sign on to such a deal, even were the other side trustworthy--and Senator Frist has said publicly that no one consulted him, nor did he authorize those deal-makers in any way, shape or form. They acted on their own. Maybe some of them thought they could out-lead Frist. Maybe John McCain wanted to pay the conservatives back for rejecting him--twice--for the Republican nomination for President. More likely, four of the Republicans involved in this deal just wanted to keep the judiciary safe for abortion on demand and without apology. (And once again I say: Invite such people out of the Party, along with anyone who would legalize any form of murder!) But after this day they have no excuse, and not a shred of honor left. Any of them who had any character at all would leave the Senate at once. (Don't tell me that would give the committee chairmanships to the Democrats! A chairman whose recommendations can't even get a vote on the floor isn't a chairman. Let Janet Napolitano send a real, nominal Democrat to the Senate in John McCain's place. What do, or should, I care? And that goes for the Missing Link from Rhose Island!)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Iraqi Officials Confirm Zarqawi Is Wounded

And not only that, but a Saudi militant has already asserted himself as acting leader in Zarquawi's stead.

I waited all day to blog this story, because rumors of his capture, injury, or death have always abounded and, heretofore, been exaggerated. But not this time. The Iraqi Defense Ministry has solid evidence that he is wounded--how badly, we don't know. As Drudge would say, developing...

News - theworldlink.com - Oregon House votes to end home-schooler tests

Different States have different rules for home schoolers. (See the Home School Legal Defense Association site for a complete one-stop quick legal reference and resource library.) Oregon used to require all home-schooled students to take State-approved tests at Grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 to continue home schooling. Not anymmore--unless they want to participate in any interscholastic activities, like playing in varsity or Jay-Vee athletic leagues. Yes, some public school districts do recruit home-schoolers into their JV and varsity teams. Every student on that team has to show minimum academic achievement, and home-schooolers will be, and should be, no exception. So in Oregon they'll take a nationally recognized achievement test to qualify for such teams.

My guess is that the Oregon legislature figured out that the home-schoolers were passing those tests anyway, and this was a good way to save money. One representative, who had been a teacher and superintendent before becoming a legislator, said that home-school students typically outperform public-school students on those tests.

Yet more evidence that home schooling is serious business--and when done right, can bring even better results than conventional schooling.

The Observer | International | Beauty salons fuel trade in aborted babies

Hat Tip: WorldNetDaily, although I also caught a reference to the Observer article in LifeSite of Canada.

What prompted the Observer article was a recent arrest at a railway checkpoint on the Russian-Ukraine border. Police confiscated the frozen remains of twenty-five aborted babies and arrested the man they caught trying to smuggle them into Russia. Why is he doing this? To prepare an injectable "youth serum" of some kind.

To be fair, law-enforcement authorities and hospital officials in Russia and the Ukraine are horrified and disgusted with the situation. And indeed it would almost make you laugh if it did not at the same time make you cry and shudder. Joseph Farah likens it to a horror movie, and I agree--a quite cheap horror movie, the sort of ketchup-spill and splatter drama that Hammer Films used to make. How anyone could believe that a woman could recapture her lost youth by taking an injection of processed tissue from a dead baby is beyond my comprehension. What kind of sick, perverted quackery is this?

But what troubles me the most is not that a bunch of women are paying up to about $20,000 US for a treatment that does no good and might even give them AIDS, or worse. What really makes me shudder is that anyone would actually go so far as to pay women (up to about $200 US) to have abortions and surrender their dead babies in the belief that one could turn those dead babies into a beauty treatment, or persuade others that such a treatment would be effective. What happens when someone discovers that he can derive a therapy from the use of aborted children? That will open the floodgates, sportsfans. We already see it with the debate on embryonic stem-cell research. Rush Limbaugh had people calling in to his program, insisting that the President was standing in their way of freeing themselves or their loved ones from Parkinsonism, diabetes mellitus, et cetera. (Never mind that all the ESC's have ever done so far is to give cancer to rats, while adult and umbilical cord blood stem cells are safe and effective in healing people of a wide variety of ills.) If you want to know what's the difference--it's only a difference of degree, and a matter of time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

ThisisLondon: Most boys at Christian schools say no to sex

Well, whaddya know? Did we really need a survey to tell us that? They also turn out to be less likely to be depressed or to consider suicide.

On second thought, I'm glad for that survey. After too many surveys showing that too many people in the Bible Belt are hypocrites on the subject of personal morals, another survey finding that Christian school teachings actually "take" with their students really gladdens the heart.

This finding ought to surprise no one. Christian schools do not try to tell people what to think. They do, however, address sensitive subjects in a way that maybe those boys (and girls) don't want to hear at first, but rather in a way they need to hear. It's not enough to tell boys that adultery is wrong, fornication is wrong, and pornography is wrong. You have to confront them with some cold, hard implications about how these three sins are all connected. Consider! Would any man reading this care to have some strange man looking his wife or his sister up and down? Well, look at it this way: that woman walking down the street in a too-short or too-tight skirt, or going swimming in her underwear (making it waterproof doesn't make it proper as outerwear), is somebody's sister and probably somebody's wife. That's the kind of thing that my church school routinely tells the boys. And the message does stick--especially when the school also asks the girls to think--hard--about what kind of "fashion statement" they're making. Result: boys and girls go out into the world in a lot better mental balance, not driving themselves crazy with mutual sexual over-stimulation. And as a result they don't appreciate certain--er--entertainments that the world has to offer. And they're not missing a thing.

The conductor of that survey said that he next plans to survey the same group to see whether they retained those attitudes when they got out of school. If they were to come to my church, the answer would be "Yes."

Senate Confirms Priscilla Owen -- 05/25/2005

Four years late, but better late than never, right? The vote was fifty-six to forty-three, with one Senator either abstaining or absent. Incredibly, Senators Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) were among the fifty-six who voted for her.

The article contains a lot of bloviation from the liberal side, including plenty from Harry Reid and from the NARAL gang. (They call themselves "NARAL Pro-choice America" these days, in the latest variation on the theme of selling the Brooklyn Bridge.) Blah, blah, blah. They pretend to be defeated, even though they won with that deal yesterday.

And while I'm on the subject, I don't agree with James Taranto over at OpinionJournal.com, who insists (as he said yesterday and again today) that the Republicans scored the big win on that deal. Taranto seems to think that the Democrats only wanted to save some face. I don't see that. I suggest that they still are in this game to make sure that the next Justice of the Supreme Court will be another Ruth Bader Ginsberg, they are blowing smoke when they say that they're sorry that Priscilla Owen got through today, and they're not through yet and won't be through until they suffer electoral defeat. Taranto is simply dreaming if he really thinks the Republicans won anything lasting from this. He totally ignores this key fact about that deal: that none of the Republicans who were party to that totally unauthorized negotiation are real Republicans. The ringleader is John McCain (R-AZ), about whose two failed attempts to get the Presidential nomination I really need say nothing more here. Another key player was Lincoln "Missing Link" Chafee (R-RI), who has always inspired fear that he'll jump like Jumping Jim Jeffords.

Some activists are already setting about recruiting a man to challenge Mike DeWine (R-OH) in his primary next year, and similar challenges are already pending against the Link and against Susan Collins (R-ME). Needless to say, I support all such efforts. No more should we field candidates for such offices because we think they are more winnable in a Blue State (and especially not in a Red State!). Appeasers do not win political debates or elections; genuine articles do.

WorldNetDaily: Disney boycott suspended

That's right: the American Family Association has called off the boycott of Walt Disney Company and its affiliates, which they announced back in 1996. Today, they state:
  • Disney has become "one of the less egregious perpetrators of the homosexual agenda." Translation: other companies have produced a lot more garbage of this nature than have Disney and their affiliates. The trouble is that Disney pretends to be a family-friendly company. If Twentieth-century/Fox or MGM or UA or Universal produces a bunch of trashy movies implying that gay is good and straight is crooked, so what? They never pretended to be anything other tha politically correct--or they haven't since 1996 (with the possible exception of Universal, with its theme parks in Florida and California). But when Disney does it, it's saying that gay is family-friendly. That's why we must hold an outfit like Disney to a higher standard.
  • Michael Eisner is at the end of his road as Chairman-of-the-board and CEO. The AFA might have something here, because Michael Eisner, more than any other single man, has trashed the Disney name. Walt's nephew Roy has said as much in his long-standing campaign to blast him out of the high-backed chair.
  • Disney is going to spin off Miramax, the movie unit responsible for some of Disney's trashiest titles of late.
  • Here's the biggest crowd-pleaser, according to the AFA: Disney has jumped, big-time, into a popular kid-friendly franchise with strong Christian overtones: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. Its first Narnia film, based on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (the first of the Narnia novels that Lewis actually wrote, though it's the second novel in the chronological sequence of Narnia events), is far enough along in production that the trailer is out. The movie is scheduled to release on December 9--just in time for Christmas, which is mighty good since it has a sort-of Christmas theme. (I've watched the trailer, and if this project is as impressive as this sample, then it could top even The Lord of the Rings.)
All right--maybe all these things are true. But does all that add up to a truly reformed company? I remain skeptical.

WorldNetDaily: Kerry signs release of Navy records

But according to Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi, even that isn't the end of the story--because she asked Kerry's communications director when the medical records would be forthcoming and did not get a single straight answer. Says she in reply:
The devil is usually in the details...With Kerry, it's also in the dodges and digressions...Kerry drifted over to join the conversation, immediately raising the confusion level. He did not answer the question of when he signed the form or when the entire record will be made public.
So did he sign the Form 180, or didn't he? I don't know enough about the procedures of the Navy Bureau of Personnel (or whatever it's called, or whatever office in the Navy you file Form 180 with) to know whether Kerry's blowing more smoke, or whether he's at all serious. Maybe some of you out there, who know the Navy better than I do, can give the rest of us a heads-up.

WorldNetDaily: Newsweek clams up on U.S. flag in trash

Worse than that, Newsweek will not explain why they published a gratuitously critical report in the Japanese and international editions but not in the USA edition.

To recap for you: in the week of February 2, 2005, Newsweek produced three different editions with three different covers. The Japanese cover featured an American flag stuffed in a trash can, its staff broken. The cover legend translates as:

The Day America Died: With Bush Remaining in Office, the Ideal of "Freedom" is Dashed to the Ground.
The international edition was not much kinder: with a picture of Bush on the cover, it asked, "America Leads...But Is Anyone Following?" Both those editions carried a report alleging that the rest of the world was rejecting America all around.

And in that same week, the USA edition featured three Oscar-nominated actors on the cover and bore the legend "Oscar Confidential." The critical report did not appear. I assume that what appeared instead was a lot of pap about the Academy Awards. (I have already said that the Academy Awards ceased to be worth having a long time ago, with very rare exceptions.)

Here is the article by one Andrew Moravcsik, which appeared in the Japanese and international editions and not in the USA edition. Moravcsik essentially says that America, ever guilty of swindling the world by selling a false vision of freedom, now has gone crazy and actually believes its own swindle. I won't bother excerpting from the article here. Read it for yourselves, if you want to see what could almost pass for a John Kerry full-page ad in The International Herald-Tribune. Indeed, the un-worthies at MoveOn.org could have written it, except that Moravcsik uses better English, no obscenities or other vulgarisms, and, most cagily, no outright threats or solicitations of murder. He does, however, employ lies, half-truths, and puerile name-calling of the type I used to read in The Yale Daily News.

So why didn't Newsweek dare publish this in the United States? What are they, chicken? Bwoooock, bwock bwock bwock bwock bwock bwock bwock bwock bwock bwock!

Come out, Newsweek, wherever you are! Put up your journalistic dukes and fight! Or shall the rest of us add cowards to your other accolades?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

National Review Online: Text of The Deal

Basically, all this deal says is that three--only three--of President Bush's long-delayed judicial nominees will get their votes. Nothing else is guaranteed at all.

For what it's worth, Patricia Own has already gotten cloture on her nomination. Perhaps Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor can expect to get cloture as well. But--no one else.

Thanks a lot, John McCain, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, John Warner (The Best US Senator Whom Elizabeth Taylor Ever Married), Lincoln "Missing Link" Chafee, Lindsay Graham, and Mike DeWine. You sold the electoral birthright of the Republican Caucus in the Senate for a mess of thin pottage. I hope you're satisfied.

The Digital Courier: Church sign sparks debate

Now this is what I call "moxie." The church sign in question says,
The Koran needs to be flushed! Tune in to Tuesday's Truths.
The rest of the message gives a radio station call sign, AM frequency, and broadcast time.

Says the pastor who put it up:

I believe that it is a statement supporting the word of God and that it (the Bible) is above all and that any other religious book that does not teach Christ as savior and lord as the 66 books of the Bible teaches it, is wrong. I knew that whenever we decided to put that sign up that there would be people who wouldn't agree with it, and there would be some that would, and so we just have to stand up for what's right.
Well, he's had some complaints, all right. The article discusses those complaints in detail. All I have to say is: Consider the source of all the complaints and nay-sayings, and then consider what Scripture has to say.

WorldNetDaily: Who are those dead Afghans?

Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin would very much like to know. According to Farah, he has searched diligently for any specific identification of any person as having died in those riots that followed the Koran-in-the-toilet story--riots that we later learned were planned in advance. So is that figure of 15 to 18 dead people from the riots another figment of someone's fevered imagination?

Note: G2 Bulletin is a premium, subscriber-based service of WorldNetDaily. It takes its name from the military abbreviation for "General Staff Officer in Charge of Intelligence, Counterintelligence, and Security."

Confessions of a Former Islamist

From FrontPageMag.com.

And quite an interesting read it is. Don't take my word for Islam not being a religion of peace. Read for yourselves. (Warning: His stories about his hand in converting eight women to Islam might not be entirely suitable for young readers. PJADAA!)

Monday, May 23, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Are illegals making U.S. a leper colony?

All right, all right, maybe that's an exaggeration. What they mean is that a lot of the illegal aliens coming into this country turn out to have some troublesome contagions. One of these is Mycobacterium leprae, known to any serious student of the Bible as "leprosy," and until recently known to the super-sensitivity crowd as Hansen's Disease, after the discoverer of the infectious agent involved.

Fortunately, Hansen's Disease, or leprosy, or whatever you want to call it, is easily treatable--much more easily treatable than when Jesus could turn a life around just by saying, "Such is My Will; be thou clean."

Unfortunately, Hansen's Disease isn't the only thing we have to worry about. The other disease that illegal aliens are spreading in this country is tuberculosis, caused by the close relative of the Hansen agent, called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. While Hansen's is easily treatable, TB is not--and it gets harder to treat every year.

Even apart from the terrorism or job-displacement angle, this is the most important reason why a country needs to secure its borders--and why sometimes a government, or an ad hoc alliance, needs to curtail people's freedom of movement.

WorldNetDaily: Newsweek put U.S. flag in trash on foreign cover

And not only that--its Japanese and International editions, for the week of February 2, 2005, both ran a story that didn't even run in the edition distributed in the USA. The gist of that story was that people outside the USA now rejected everything America stood for.

Now if Newsweek really felt that way, why weren't they willing to report that to their US readers? What were/are they trying to hide? What games are they playing?

Some have called this treason. But whether it is or it isn't, depends largely on whether anything they say is even remotely credible. When they pull a stunt like this, they really, if you'll pardon the expression, flush their credibility down the toilet.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

DenverPost.com - Tribe shifts stand, acknowledges Churchill's alleged Cherokee ancestry

The tribe involved is the United Keetowah Band of Cherokee. And to be fair, Ward Churchill has never consistently stood by any claim stronger than having an "associate membership" in that sub-tribe.

I don't pretend to know what's going on here. Perhaps the UKB officials are divided--some of them like Ward Churchill and some don't. But if they want to stand by that man, then they risk drawing down upon themselves the same odium that Churchill himself has earned with his gratuitous insults to the country--his country, whether he likes it or not, or even whether he acknowledges it or not.

WorldNetDaily: Christian doctors condemn stem-cell experiments

At issue: the South Korean announcement that a research team had created a human embryo using somatic-cell nuclear transfer--one of many cloning techniques--and then destroyed the embryo and harvested its stem cells. This is exactly what the medical profession should not be doing. It violates Points Two (never bring harm upon anyone) and Four (abstain from all wrongdoing and corruption) of the Oath of Hippocrates, and also violates the spirit of Point Three (no abortion).

Sorry, guys, but an embryo, no matter how "engineered," is still a person and entitled to the respect due a person.

And today we hear of another soul passing under the altar (Revelation 6:9-10). He (or she) will receive a white robe and be told to wait a little longer...

Friday, May 20, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Pepsi president likens U.S. to middle finger

Here are the sordid details: the President of PepsiCo said that if the continents of the civilized world were the hand, then Africa was the little finger, Asia the thumb, Europe (Europe!?) the pointing finger, Latin America the ring finger--and the USA the middle finger.

Well, PepsiCo never did have a reputation for patriotism--and now I know why Coca-Cola got the Olympic warrant in 1984 and not PepsiCo. I knew I had a reason to prefer Coke to Pepsi. Here it is. Thanks a lot, Pepsi!

UPDATE: The damage control, evidently, is not working! This is a classic you-should-have-thought-of-that moment--a teachable moment--on the subject of diarrhea of the mouth.

World Magazine - Weekly News: Labor and Delivery Abortions

"Labor and delivery abortions" are another type of very late-term abortion. They involve a baby about to be born, or maybe two weeks out. This article describes two variants of the procedure, as follows:
Last week, Ms. [Jill] Stanek[, RN, formerly an L&D nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL] told WORLD that hospitals and abortion clinics approach L&D abortion differently. "Hospitals don't kill the baby before they initiate the procedure. They have more of a mentality of a covert type of killing, of inducing prematurely and letting them die 'naturally,'" sometimes by allowing them to suffocate in the birth canal. Abortion clinics, however, try to kill the baby before inducing labor, often by injecting the baby's heart with digoxin.
Nurse Stanek also gave evidence in support of the Born-alive Infant Protection Act of 2000. Now, it would appear, some (and I emphasize some) hospitals, and a lot of abortion mills, are flouting this law. Nor is this new: in 1973, Kenneth Edelin, MD, was arrested and stood trial for manslaughter for initiating a premature delivery and then suffocating the baby in the birth canal while he watched the clock. A jury convicted him, but then the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reversed the conviction 5-1 in 1976. This is the same court, by the way, that has now Constitutionalized same-sex "marriage" in Massachusetts. The SJC held, in essence, that no one but Dr. Edelin was in any position to judge whether the unborn child, who was 24 weeks along, could have lived--but in fact such extremely premature infants have lived since then, and were being kept alive when I was in medical school in 1980-5.

And now hospitals are doing their own modified Edelin dilation and suffocation procedure on babies that they know are viable. Robert Mendelsohn was right: Hospitals are often dangerous places for the sick--and the well.

OpinionJournal - Hypocrisy Most Holy

Best of all, this comes to us from a Muslim who happens to be a lawful resident of the USA and director of the Saudi Institute in Washington. His major point: even if the Newsweek story had not been found false, it would have represented an isolated case. He, again being a lawful resident, knows the real situation. How does he describe it?
As a Muslim, I am able to purchase copies of the Quran in any bookstore in any American city, and study its contents in countless American universities. American museums spend millions to exhibit and celebrate Muslim arts and heritage. On the other hand, my Christian and other non-Muslim brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia--where I come from--are not even allowed to own a copy of their holy books. Indeed, the Saudi government desecrates and burns Bibles that its security forces confiscate at immigration points into the kingdom or during raids on Christian expatriates worshiping privately.
He directs his most withering fire at Saudi Arabia, the country most in the news today for confiscating and destroying Bibles and even telling American Embassy staff that they may not observe their own holidays. His conclusion, however, is more general: all Muslims ought to show to those of other faiths the same respect they demand that those of other faiths show them.

I appreciate the attempt at peace-making. Unfortunately, I doubt that many people will listen. If, as he seems to imply, the problem is limited to Saudi Arabia (and for the sake of argument, I'll admit that possibility), then the only thing those Saudis are going to understand is Americans telling them to drink their oil if they like. (Co-dependency, anyone?) But the real problem is that the Koran itself ends up saying that those of other faiths deserve no respect. By the time you apply the abrogation principle (that the passage most recently written takes precedence), and then sort the various surat of the Koran in the order of their writing, this becomes "very evident," as the French like to say.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Egyptian rapist blames his victim

(WorldNetDaily gives their hat tip to the Middle East Media Research Institute and especially to their TV project.)

The suspect, Ayman Mahmoud, was found guilty of kidnapping and rape--which rate death in Egypt. (Time was when rape rated death over here.) And in an interview that he gave to Dubai TV (taken by a woman clad from head to toe), he said that his victim, by wearing a dress so short that he wouldn't be able to use the material for a sleeve, has only herself to blame because the very act of dressing immodestly constituted an intractable seduction of him by her.

This is a case study in hypocrisy. If Mr. Mahmoud had one-tenth of the concern for moral behavior that he, as a "good Muslim," is supposed to have, then he would have averted his eyes from her. Right? I mean, isn't a Muslim generally judged on every little thing he did in life? Isn't he supposed to balance out his bad deeds with his good deeds, and then walk a tightrope over a sea of fire in order to get to paradise? (Unless he is KIA in a "holy war"--but that's another debate.) So how can he blame the victim? I haven't even seen anything in the Koran to justify that.

I'll tell you what the Bible says about all this. First, it tells every man to train in his roving eyes. In fact, it even tells you to gouge out your eyes and cut off your hands if that's what it takes not to sin in this area. No place for blaming the victim here.

Now: did that woman conform to a reasonable standard of modesty? No. Now the Bible doesn't tell women to cover their faces. The government even has an interest in people showing their faces so that others can know that they are whom they say they are, and the Bible exhorts us to obey the government in this area. But the Bible does tell women not to display, adorn, or flaunt themselves in public in a manner likely to attract male intimate attention. The reason is simple: if you're not selling, don't advertise. Think about it for a minute: What kind of fashion statement do you really want to make?

Nevertheless, even if a woman is sending a mixed signal, that doesn't excuse the man who follows up on it. And it certainly does not excuse the behavior whereof Mr. Mahmoud was convicted. He can say all he wants, as he actually did, that "she's not human," but that doesn't make her any less human.

Most people don't realize that Christianity puts as much a burden on the man as on the woman. Many other people judge Christianity as no better than Islam. But to be quite honest, I won't even judge Islam by the actions of this excuse-making criminal.

Saudis Shred Bibles, Rights Campaigners Claim -- 05/19/2005

From Cybercast News Service.

Specifically, if you try to bring a Bible into Saudi Arabia, and customs officials find it on you, they will confiscate it and probably put it into the shredder. If they find two, they'll arrest you--and if they find a certain ill-defined quantity of Bibles, you'll be lucky to get out alive with seventy stripes on your back.

We Christians, of course, do not routinely run riot like that when we hear of such things. For one thing, that would violate the Golden Rule. For another, God Himself told us to expect just this sort of disrespect, especially as the Last Days gallop toward us. (The difference between Christianity and Islam is that Christ told us that He would handle any physical warfare and retribution, while Islam tells its followers to exact vengeance from anyone and everyone who doesn't follow "Allah.") And for a third, God is a God of order, not a God of riot.

But here again--don't let anyone tell you that Islam is a religion of peace, or of any love for anything or anyone. Nor should you believe that the event alleged in Newsweek, even if it occurred (which it almost certainly did not), would ever be any more than an isolated incident. This while the abuse of Christians and of Holy Scriptures is a matter of routine--and in a country that says that it is allied with us.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Star Wars saga ends with jab at Bush's empire - Film - Entertainment

Specifically, according to Agence France-Presse (who else?), attendees at the Cannes sneak preview of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith all drew parallels between the fable in the movie and the current geopolitical situation, to wit: casting Bush as the Emperor and Anakin Skywalker/Lord Darth Vader all rolled into one. The trouble is that this means that the putative enemy of the Republic is the same as the Muslims--and the Muslims really are an enemy of the rest of mankind. If not for the USA, those Europeans would tremble. Some of them already are trembling--because their neighbors were recently murdered. Remember Theo van Gogh?

That said, I do see a parallel between Sith and the situation as it will shortly develop. Instead of an emperor and a fallen warrior, I see two world leaders who will arise shortly--how shortly I can't predict exactly--to do battle with the Muslims and lay it on the line, something that George W. Bush has so far failed to do. I don't know who those two leaders are--but the Bible predicts their rise, just the same. And they will meet their doom, not at the hands of a callow youth seeking to become something he doesn't quite understand, but by Jesus Christ Himself. That will be the ultimate clash of good and evil--something the foolish people at Cannes cannot hope to understand.

Tunisian Reformist Thinker: Secularism is Vital for the Future of the Arab and Muslim World

(Hat Tip: MEMRI)

To summarize, Mr. Al-'Afif Al-Akhdar insists that, one way or another, Muslim societies will inevitably secularize, as the harsh realities of Muslim theocratic rule sour people on a strict interpretation of Islam. He even says that women and minorities (minorities in an Arab-dominant context) will lead the way.

I am of two minds about this analysis. I'm not talking about whether Mr. Al-Akhdar is right or wrong, but rather whether his predicted secularizing process will be helpful--or harmful.

Obviously he rejects all the things that make Islam a threat to the rest of the world. If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times: Islam is not a religion of peace. Fighting and killing everyone who is not a Muslim is what Islam is all about--and I would like nothing better than to see people drop this false religion and embrace a religion that, contrary to popular belief, is founded on love, not on hate.

But secularism isn't the way. I'm sorry, Mr. Al-Akhdar, but secularism must inevitably lead to the pouring of contempt upon any idea that God--any God--really exists.

Then again, the Bible itself predicts that just this sort of movement will sweep the earth. Paul warned his apprentice, Timothy, that people would turn away from God and from everything decent. Maybe Osama bin Laden doesn't have a decent thought in his head--at least, it's hard to imagine--but I wonder what thoughts are chasing through Al-Akhdar's head. What sort of world does he look forward to? What has modernism--the belief that cold, hard science will solve all our problems--really brought to humanity? Much as I regard most of Islam as a lie, secularism is an even bigger lie.

Worse than that, the Bible tells us that before Christ comes back, the world will give itself over to a personality cult, all centering on two men--one Gentile and one Jewish--one political and military, the other pseudo-religious. Those two will bring such death, misery and destruction between then that the world will frankly wish for Osama bin Laden in comparison to them.

WorldNetDaily: It's not just Newsweek

So says Michelle Malkin. And she's right--this false story is only the latest in a long line of MSM outrages. Michelle catalogs them all, and reminds us that you just can't believe everything you read in the papers or the magazines anymore, if you ever could.

WorldNetDaily: Anti-Minuteman site promoting sabotage

Now tell me who are the violent ones. I will not give the name of the anti-Minuteman site; I won't give them the satisfaction of a link. In fact, the link might break soon, because the anti-Minuteman outfit's ISP has indicated that, when they actively encourage physical and cybernetic harassment of other people, they violate the ISP's Acceptable Use Policy and risk a shutdown if they don't stop. (The Minutemen themselves have complained to the FBI, but that's probably a pro-forma exercise. Mostly they're shrugging it all off and continuing their plans for setting up more patrols all along the border.)

WorldNetDaily: Muslim protests planned in advance?

Well! I had wondered why those demonstrations broke out so fast. An Israeli security official basically says that demonstrations like these do not spring up overnight. This might also explain why those Muslims are refusing to credit the retraction as anything other than an action taken under force majeure--in this case, a direct order from the White House. Here again, that's what would happen in any Arab country. It does not happen in this country. But no Muslim can understand that who has not actually lived in a free country.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Newsweek's explosive allegation was no "honest mistake."

That, according to OpinionJournal.com, the free Web auxiliary to The Wall Street Journal. And what is really going on? Vietnam, that's what. If unimaginative generals and admirals can fight yesterday's war, then so can reporters and editors.

Trouble is, they're losing readers and viewers. In this, they remind me of the fictitious Charles Foster Kane (as in Citizen), who continued to use his newspapers for his own unhinged ends while he also continued to lose readers, credibility, and ultimately the only friends he had. Like Kane, Michael Isikoff and company at Newsweek were and are trying to prove something--in this case that the American military is an instrument of totalitarian terror. Nor are they the only ones. And they haven't gotten through their thick, paranoiac heads that they are no longer alone, and hence risk exposure with every crazy story they make up.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Oh, yeah? We'll see about that!

From MEMRI comes excerpts from a sermon on Palestinian Authority television:
  1. Muslims will rule America itself.
  2. Israel is a cancer on the earth.
  3. Jews are like the AIDS virus.
  4. Muslims will finish us all off.
Oh, yeah? Well, some say that the predicted Gentile Beast (Revelation 13) will be a new Muslim Caliph, so I suppose that's possible. But even if that comes about, it won't last. More likely, the Muslims will push the West to finish them off.

Newsweek Apologizes for Quran Story Errors - Yahoo! News

And a fine time to do it--after fifteen people have died in rioting in Afghanistan and elsewhere, over something that didn't happen!

Of course, ill-natured people, like Muslim terrorists, can always find an excuse. But when a news organ provides such an excuse--that's giving aid and comfort to the enemy. That's treason.

Our society frankly needs to decide whether such a thing as treason is even prosecutable under subsequent amendments to the Constitution. Either that, or recognize what principles of natural law limit the freedoms of speech and of the press.

UPDATE: Muslims all over the world don't believe Newsweek now that it's admitting that it made a mistake. Maybe they don't want to believe, or admit, that the Koran-in-the-toilet story was false. Maybe they know that if the story is false, they have no excuse for their continued anti-American attitude. (But remember: ill-natured people don't need an excuse.) In any event, they're saying that Newsweek was right the first time and only caved in response to government pressure.

Of course, you'd expect one of their governments to interfere with the news. They do it all the time. Everything is propaganda in that part of the world anyway. But Newsweek should have thought about that before they ran with a story from one uncorroborated and anonymous source. Such negligence is unforgivable.

(I was about to say that it would never have happened during World War Two. Unfortunately, I think it did happen at least once: to Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., USA, while he commanded the Seventh Army in the Northern Africa and Mediterranean Theatre, on the occasion of his alleged slapping of a soldier he encountered in a field hospital in Sicily. Even that had an element of truth to it. This does not.

UPDATE: WorldNetDaily weighs in on this--as does Secretary Rice.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Cognizant Jacksonville Man in Life and Death Tug-of-War

Read it in The Empire Journal, the same Web paper that, along with WorldNetDaily, chronicled the case of Terri Schindler-Schiavo for so long. (And I tip my hat to WND for putting me on to this.)

What is going on in Florida? Whatever it is, it's nasty. Clearly, Florida legislators, many with financial ties to hospices, have made Florida a place where you can bump off a spouse you don't want around anymore and get away with it. The trick is to injure the other person not severely enough to cause immediate death, but definitely enough so that he or she will require gastric feeding. And in Florida, gastric feeding is now considered "medical treatment." So now, with yet another judge, in yet another county, and with a reversal of the gender roles involved, yet another spouse is systematically bumping off the other spouse while helpless parents look on and cry for justice.

A suspicious injury (he tripped and fell over his dog--and if you believe that, I have a partnership stake in a bridge spanning the East River that I would like to offer for sale), an unhappy home, disparate financial contributions (the guy's wife is an illegal alien, for cryin' out loud!), a history of suspicious illnesses even before the "accident"--all this case needs is a co-respondent in adultery to complete the similarity to Terri Schindler Schiavo's case. This is worse in a way. It's bad enough that someone comes into this country illegally and desperately seeks to "marry into" lawful residency or even citizenship. But when this same illegal alien, once normalized by matrimony, seeks to kill the citizen spouse--sportsfans, that's nothing less than a private little act of war.

And what makes it worse is that a Florida Senator--a Republican, at that!--was instrumental in making this ugly modus operandi of spousal murder feasible. Representative James King (R-Jacksonville) was the guy who changed the law to make a feeding tube a withholdable medical treatment while Michael Schiavo was seeking to bump off his wife. (The Journal also has the goods on King's connections, direct and indirect, not just to the hospice industry but also to that particular Svengali and his Sweet Patootie.) Today James King is a Senator in Florida. That man is a disgrace to the Republican Party--but that's the sort of disgrace a Party brings on itself when it refuses to define for itself any founding principles.

But the real disgrace is what the hospice movement has now become: a place that willingly disposes of the no-longer-wanted. Before, it was just old-fogey parents. Now it's inconvenient spouses. And if we don't stop them, they'll come for you, and by then you won't have anyone left to speak up.

Where is the Martin Niemoller of today? If he doesn't show up, then what is happening in Florida will spread. It's not a question of just one judge--they're all in on it, as this disgusting story shows. Do you want to wait until this is the kind of society you live in?

It's people. Soylent Green is made out of people. They're making our food out of people. Next thing they'll be breeding us like cattle for food...

Friday, May 13, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Drop murder charges, says Pantano prober

And to think that the prober involved, Lt. Col. Mark E. Winn USMC, doesn't even like Lt. Pantano or his defense counsel. Nevertheless, in a classic swallow-my-gorge report, he flatly admits that the government would never be able to adduce sufficient evidence to convict Lt. Pantano of anything beyond firing more rounds of ammunition than might have been "necessary" to deal with the threat he faced. The Marine Corps cannot charge Lt. Pantano with premeditated murder--their chief witness is totally unreliable (well, duh!) and if that's all the Corps has, then it has no case.

Let's hope the Corps sees reason here. Lt. Pantano acted in self-defense. That much is abundantly clear, and always was. Furthermore, his act saved countless lives that we probably won't hear about. (What was it that Frederic Bastiat said about the most salient facts being those you don't even see?)

Creationist: Darwinists Growing Desperate to Defend Faulty Theory

How desperate? Well, when you can't directly discredit the message, you try to disparage the messenger. Like this:
notify the national and local media about what's going on and portray [critics of evolution] in the harshest light possible as political opportunists, Evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules, unprincipled bullies, etc.
Let's look at these five accusations in order:
  1. If standing against the theory of evolution is now politically opportune, why then do the Democratic Party and its allies try to make political hay out of the favor they show to evolutionary theory? But in any case, we fundamentalists stood against evolution long before it became remotely politically opportune.
  2. I could wish that the evangelical movement as such did embrace young-earth creationism fully. The evidence clearly warrants that position. Instead I see Hugh Ross and company still trying to compromise between creation and evolution, while men like Russ Humphreys and Walt Brown continue to build a mountain of evidence that such compromise is absolutely unnecessary. I can say that emphasizing our "created" quality is a necessary component of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but even that would hardly be sufficient to that end.
  3. The real ignoramuses are on the evolution side, not the creation side. The evolutionists not only get the facts of the history of the earth wrong, but they also get creationism wrong and even their own allies' theories wrong, sometimes.
  4. If anyone is breaking rules, it's the evolutionists. The cardinal rules they have often broken are the rules of evidence. They routinely introduce evidence that fails with the most cursory fact-checking, and quite often they have committed outright fraud. Ernst Haeckel's famous fudged drawings, and the peppered moths glued to the trees, are two of the worst examples. Piltdown and Peking Man represent two more, as does Archaeopteryx, and a host of others.
  5. Just as evolutionists break the rules of evidence, so also they break all the rules of decent behavior. They wrongfully dismiss their critics from university appointments, try to deny them publication, and in many other ways comport themselves after the fashion of a bully. Their major problem is that, with the rise of alternative media, including alternative publication, and the growing nucleus of what could become an alternative academy, they will not get away with it anymore.
What this article hints at, just barely, is that the evolutionists ultimately refused to participate in the hearings that the Kansas State Board of Education recently granted them to present their evidence. If their evidence was so compelling, then we ought to see it.

But that's the trouble: such evidence as they have presented is flawed anyway, on a number of counts that space does not allow me to treat here. Follow the links to Walt Brown's book and Russ Humphreys' interview if you really want to know the Truth.

Conservatives: See Where Judicial Activism Leads?

(From Crosswalk.com, by way of CNSNews.com.)

You wouldn't think that the constitution of any State would fall within federal jurisdiction. Well, now it has. This isn't a full-faith-and-credit case, either, because two roommates getting a "marriage" certificate and moving to Nebraska wasn't at issue. At issue was two roommates wanting to get "married" in Nebraska. Now a federal judge has said that Nebraska can't stop them, not even by amending its own constitution--because to do so denies to persons within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

What this situation needs, at minimum, is a set of laws stripping the courts of any such jurisdiction. And it might indeed require a federal Constitutional amendment saying that nothing in the Constitution shall so construe as to lay on any State any "equal protection" or "full faith and credit" or other obligation to recognize same-sex roommates as "married couples", whether they try to do it in their States originally or move into their States carrying "marriage" certificates issues in other States.

I would prefer haling that federal judge before the Senate on impeachment for pouring contempt on the Constitution and violating the Article IV guarantee to every State of a republican form of government. Abrogating a State's own constitution on such specious grounds is not consistent with republicanism, Your Honor! Unfortunately, that takes two-thirds of the Senate. A simple court-stripping statute is probably all we can get out of this Congress--perhaps with a ruling from the chair that this will not be subject to endless debate.

Moving on President Bush's appellate court nominees is certainly necessary, but even that would not be sufficient in this matter.

Border Patrol told to stand down in Arizona - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - May 13, 2005

(Hat Tip: Steve Z., in a submission to End Times News.)

You read that right: the supervisors at the Naco, AZ office of the Border Patrol have evidently told their agents that they do not want to report any apprrehension statistics that would lend any credence to the claims by the MInuteman Project that the efforts of the 850 latter-day Minutemen to patrol that 23-mile stretch of border achieved any degree of success.

But Congressman Tom Tancredo already knows, and so do all the rest of us.

Nor are the Minutemen stopping there. What they did for Arizona, they want to do for Texas--along the entire length of the Rio Grande that separates Texas from Mexico. As one who got his medical degree in Houston, Texas, I say that it's about time. I can't tell you how many cases that my fellow interns and externs followed from time to time, in which the phrase "illegal alien" applied to the patients. But I can tell you about a newborn boy with hereditary spherocytosis, who turned out to be an "anchor boy." His mother came across that very river illegally in the company of a young man who later abandoned her, and she gave birth to the boy in this country. That made him a citizen, though she was not. Unfortunately, it's in the Constitution:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
Something wrong there--and something wrong with the President's policies. The job of Chris Simcox, the head Minuteman, and Tom Tancredo in Congress, is to save the President from his own inconsistency.

WorldNetDaily: Schiavo-like woman speaks after 2� years

All right, Michael Svengali Schiavo, you and your Sweet Patootie and the corrupt judge who helped you score your "freedom." Tell me again that Terri would never have recovered. I repeat what I said last month: she had nothing wrong with her that a few sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (in essence, a recompression chamber) couldn't fix. This case, and an earlier case of a fireman who began speaking after ten years, comes as close to proving it as it ever gets. Read what the doctor in this latest case says of his patient:
She is actually able to speak and to speak coherently. In light of all this stuff on Terri Schiavo ... it makes you pause and think. For three years or so, (Tracy) was fed through a tube, then she swallowed a little bit and now she speaks.
Exactly. So, shame on Jeb Bush for his lack of imagination as to the scope of his authority--and maybe for listening to too many doctors who told him it was hopeless. Shame, also, on all those commentators who were so shocked that anyone would think to intervene to put her in a recompression chamber and get her to talk. Thanks to all of you, Michael Schiavo has gotten away with murder. And on the day of the Great White Throne Trial (Revelation 20), you'll all stand in the dock right next to him.

Sights Unseen

From OpinionJournal.com comes a comment on what's going on--or rather, what isn't going on--at the site of the former World Trade Center. It's a pit, and likely to stay a pit.

What "sights unseen" refers to is Frederic Bastiat's observation that sometimes what you don't see is the most important thing. In this case, that would be all the economic activity that could be taking place at the site, and the revenues that would otherwise flow to the city and the Port Authority.

The author of this plece suggests that those who have a stake in the site are stuck with it and can't take their marbles elsewhere. These include Larry Silverstein, who had bought the primary leasehold on the World Trade Center right before those nineteen hashshasheen knocked it down. So now he has a leasehold on nothing, and would love to rebuild--but what? I wouldn't count on him waiting forever. He might just sell his leasehold right back--even if he has to sell at a loss--and move on to another project. If and when that happens, New York will have only itself to blame.

Friday, May 06, 2005

NewsMax.com: Arizona Wants English as Official Language

And not only that, they've passed a bill to make it so.

The head of US English has urged Governor Janet Napolitano to sign the bill into law. She's probably disinclined. But of even more important note is that the head of US English is not some stereotypical WASP. His name is Mauro Mujica--almost certainly Hispanic, not Anglo-Saxon (though I don't know about the Protestant angle). This ought to give the lie to the notion that the only people who want English spoken are--well, stuck-up Englishmen who want no one else to have any cultural identity.

But the biggest point here is that any nation-state needs to speak one language. The only superpower I ever heard of, that tried to speak multiple languages, was ancient Persia in the Archemenid era. Darius III, last of the Archemenids, led an empire that spoke more languages than I could count--and had military training and doctrinal manuals printed in all those languages. Now when your sergeants can't talk to one another, you're in trouble. That's why Alexander the Great, commanding an army having only seven men for every hundred that Darius had, trounced Darius and erased the Persian Empire from history. Alexander commanded an army whose sergeants, corporals, and privates spoke only one language.

Governor--and Mr. President, you ought to pay attention to this, too--whom do you want to emulate? Alexander--or Darius?

WorldNetDaily: Zogby poll: Americans fed up on illegal aliens

John Zogby's polls have always had the best predictive value--because Zogby always qualifies his sample by asking respondents how often they have voted in the last few elections, and a few other questions designed to classify a respondent as a likely voter. So when Zogby says that:
  1. Fifty-six percent of Americans hate the AgJOBS bill to provide amnesty--by whatever name--to unlawful workers on certain farms,
  2. Eighty-one percent say that local and state police agencies should assist federal authorities in immigration enforcement, including making immigration arrests, and
  3. Seventy-two percent firmly believe that securing the borders would make a positive difference to our nation's security--
well, the President should listen!

The Minuteman Project is driving this, sportsfans. They virtually sealed the twenty-three-mile stretch of border that they patrolled. And what they did for that stretch of border, they propose to do again for the whole border--and also in-country.

And incidentally, I know that securing the border is vital to protecting this country from another 9/11-style attack. That is one of many, many measures that we need to take.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Christopher Hitchens roots against the Religious Right

And what else is new? After all, as he freely admits, he is neither Republican nor Christian--and definitely does not accept Jesus for Who He is, nor even believe the historical record of Him--this although He is better attested than any other historical figure--bar none. More to the point, Hitchens speaks of "shallow, demagogic sectarians." I say: Save the Republic from shallow, demagogic, and frankly bigoted secularists.

Incredibly, Hitchens claims a kind of common cause with the late philosopher Ayn Rand. Well, I studied Ayn Rand's work, and her philosophy that she called Objectivism, very extensively. I read every word she ever wrote, and almost every word written about her. (This includes Nathaniel Branden and Barbara Branden's two letters written In Answer to Ayn Rand after the explosive break of relations between Miss Rand and the couple, and Branden's subsequent lecture on The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand.)

Christopher Hitchens, you're no Ayn Rand.

And worse than that, Ayn Rand would, if she had her way, have you arrested and tried for treason against the United States, on the grounds of "adhering to [its] enemies, giving them aid and comfort." This is the same Ayn Rand who testified willingly before the House Un-American Activities Committee--and lost patience with them only when they turned out to be interested in names of men rather than fighting their pernicious ideas, which were the real un-American activity. And this is the same Ayn Rand who, years before she even set foot in America, wanted to see America conquer the world, which she always thought would be possible because America had the better system for favoring the "men of the mind." Does Christopher Hitchens really want to support that vision of America? Not if his prior record is any indicator.

Hitchens flies direrctly in the face of Rand in other ways that, to be fair, one would only know by researching her more carefully than he has done. Hitchens criticizes us Christians for pointing out that evolution is only a theory (and an incorrect theory, to boot). But did he know that Ayn Rand herself once said to her colleague, lover, and one-time "intellectual heir" Nathaniel Branden that "after all, the theory of evolution is only an hypothesis"? Unhappily, Rand never did follow the evidence to where it actually led--but she knew in her heart that the notion that mankind shared an ancestor in common with the great apes denied the very specialness of mankind that was at the very center of her philosophical system.

Leo Strauss, another philosopher that Hitchens mentions, I know less well. But here is a point that Hitchens probably never caught, or maybe hoped that we would miss:

Careful attention paid to the dialogue throughout the development of Western culture between its two points of departure: Athens and Jerusalem. The recognition that Reason and Revelation, originating from these two points respectively, are the two distinct sources of knowledge in the Western tradition, and can be used neither to support nor refute the other, since neither claims to be based on the other's terms.
That doesn't sound to me like pouring complete contempt on religious revelation. I'm not even sure that you can really put Rand and Strauss in the same category. So what kind of scholar does Hitchens think he is, by mentioning both in the same sentence and suggesting that the Republican Party is somehow abandoning both, and for the same reason? If he's going to talk about intellectual foundations, he ought to examine them more carefully than he has.

To be fair, he also rounds on his fellow leftists, whom he accuses--correctly--of "making excuses for jihad and treating Osama bin Laden as if he were advocating liberation theology." That the left has in fact done just that ever since 9/11 never ceases to amaze me. So why does Hitchens say, in the very next sentence, that it's time for senior Republicans to disown people of faith? I give you one reason only: he is not a man of faith, unless that faith is in a Great Cosmic Wheel of Fortune that spins of its own accord without even a Vanna White stand-in to turn letters. More to the point, Hitchens should be telling his fellow Democrats to repudiate John Kerry, who threw his medals (or were they someone else's?) over the Capitol Hill fence, not to mention all those anti-war ne'er-do-wells who hang on around him and Howard Dean. Instead he suggests that we Christians "stab" our soldiers "in the back" by, among other things, removing homosexuals from the ranks. Get a clue, Chris: any homosexual in the ranks is risking a fragging as it is--as has been the case going clear back to the Roman Army under Gaius Marius--and furthermore, our soldiers are far angrier with those leftists making excuses for jihad than with any official who musters out a homosexual.

Why The Wall Street Journal gives space to such shallow men, I'll never know.

WorldNetDaily: Coulter's F-bomber a future journalist?

Maybe, or maybe not. The editors of The Daily Texan, the college newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin, say that Ajai Raj worked for the paper for a scant two weeks, and then simply stopped showing up for work. I would hope that no respectable paper in the real world would put up with that kind of behavior, particularly from an entry-level reporter. (Actually, considering what else the Mainstream Media puts up with, even when it gets them into trouble, I probably can't repose more than sixty-percent confidence in that. But I digress.)

The latest on this case is that he claims that he's been arrested just for the words he spoke. Don't try to kid us, Ajai! When you said the bad words and made a worse gesture, organizers asked you to leave, and when you wouldn't leave of your own accord, then you got arrested. (The charge: disorderly conduct, which is a Class C misdemeanor--something about as serious as a traffic ticket for careless driving.)

And one more thing: At Democratic Underground, he admits to having been a jackass. Funny--isn't that the mascot of the Democratic Party? Hmmm--I always thought that was more apt than the Democrats wanted to admit.

Ann Coulter herself expressed surprise at his arrest. She told Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes that his was the most articulate question that anyone asked all evening--which doesn't say much for the rest of the participants. In fact, she said that one other participant even more deserving of arrest was the Arab student who said that he "supported [his] fellow Arabs." In response, Ann asked him,

Which Arabs are you supporting, the ones who flew planes into the buildings, or the ones who just voted in Iraq?
That's a very good question--and I'd like an answer myself.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Alleged bin Laden aide arrested in Pakistan

See also here for the story at FoxNews. As I type this, the President is breaking off from his talk on Social Security to express his pleasure at this news. Briefly, the suspect, Abu Farraj al-Libbi, took over as the G-3 of Al-Qaeda after his predecessor, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, was caught with his pants down, in the company of two houris, and with an unsecured laptop. Mr. al-Libbi was taken in a big gun battle with Pakistani intelligence forces, along with several of his aides.

For those of you who might not remember, the term G-3 means "General Staff Officer in Charge of Operations, Training and Planning." It does not necessarily mean "third in command", though al-Libbi apparently was that, in addition to the staff function he performed.

Two observations:

  1. Al-Qaeda can't seem to get its act together. That's the second G-3 they've lost, and worse yet, both men have sung whole areas that would make the Three Tenors envious following their capture. Where is their G-2 (General Staff Officer in Charge of Intelligence, Counterintelligence, and Security)? Where does Al-Qaeda get top men who sing when captured? This is why so many conspiracy theorists think that Al-Qaeda is a George Orwell-style invention of the US government, and an excuse for repression at home and intolerance abroad. But no, I don't believe that. I can't explain why Al-Qaeda has such a blind spot in vetting their key leaders for dedication to the cause, but I can guess: these guys, who sell the concept of honorable suicide as a ticket to the Great Whorehouse in the Sky (that's right, whorehouse!), haven't bought the concept themselves. Well, maybe Osama bin Laden has, but he seems to surround himself with guys who haven't, and whose dedication shatters like glass at the slightest blow.
  2. The stories that this guy is now, apparently, telling ought to cut short all the arguments about the terror threat being an illusion--or about Islam being a religion of peace. He has by now admitted to plotting multiple attacks against the US on American soil. Will his capture put an end to the terror? No, but it will slow it down. And in the meantime, maybe we can use this event to take security seriously on our own part.