Tuesday, November 29, 2005

OpinionJournal - Our Troops Must Stay

So says Senator Joseph Lieberman, Democrat (yes, Democrat) of Connecticut. He's actually been over there. I see that he has taken exactly the right lessons from his visit. That's never a guarantee, of course, but Joseph Lieberman has never been a typical Democrat. Or maybe he was typical, once, but he has remained constant while the party has changed into a prize collection of wingnuts.

Broadcasting & Cable: The Couric Countdown

At a time like this, I wish I had a technique to put musical-note characters into my text. I can't believe this!

Katie Couric--Katie Couric, that charming bit of fluff that attracts my silly bug-eyed fellow males to NBC every morning (and sorry, guys, but no pictures)--is the subject of a campaign to have her switch over to CBS this spring and take over The CBS Evening News.

That's all we need.

Katie Couric herself has been tossing fuel on the fire, if ever so subtly--because, like Guinevere of legend, she has provoked a bidding war for her services. I commend her for her shrewdness. (See Luke chapter 16.) Frankly, I couldn't care less which executive she manages to jilt with her multi-million-dollar coquetry. But the thought of her doing the news--that is such a recipe for disaster that I start to wonder whether Leslie Moonves has permanently taken leave of his reason.

Then again, I couldn't care less who does the news at CBS--because the mind-set that gave us the Killian Memoranda didn't start--or end--with Dan Rather.

WorldNetDaily: Abandoned oil wells uncapped

This might not constitute definitive proof of the "abiotic theory" (that alleges that oil does not come from crushed animals killed in the Noachic Flood, or wherever a secular humanist thinks the crushed animals came from). But it does illustrate a prime principle of business: that price is the necessary signal to the market of when to bother with a certain thing. The original drillers of those wells capped them because they could get oil from gushers someplace else, and a lot cheaper. Now, however, oil is not so cheap--so the uncapping of those wells becomes profitable. Not to mention that the oil industry is smarter today than it was then--smart enough to know how to take more oil from those wells, and for less money, than they could before.

Furthermore, the head of the California Independent Petroleum Association says that those oils couldn't be in a better place: California, right where they need it the most.

WorldNetDaily: High court hears key abortion case

If you ever doubted the importance of judicial nominations, the case of Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England ought to put those doubts to rest. At issue: parental notification when minor girls go to have abortions. I will sum up the medical arguments against such notification with one word: bogus. Those arguments carry zero weight when you consider the frankly unsanitary conditions that prevail at all too many abortion mills in this country--and also Planned Parenthood's obvious profit and ideological motives.

WorldNetDaily: Bush: 'We are going to protect the border'

Thank the Minuteman Project for this speech, folks. But if Bush doesn't ditch that temporary worker program, then he's not serious, and every illegal alien and aider and abettor of same will know it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Hannity igniting revolt against left-wing profs

I've been following this on Sean Hannity's radio program for some time. This is the first time that another news outlet of any kind has picked up on this story.

Sean Hannity has said for months, if not years, that students ought to start recording (or, if that is illegal in their State, taking notes on) some of the outrageous statements that their professors make in class, and then turn over the tapes or notes to Sean, who promised to play the tapes or read the notes on the air. Blame Ward Churchill for that. He's the Colorado University professor (and probable plagiarist) who has said that America should be wiped off the map, and that those who died in the World Trade Center collapse deserved what they got.

The latest outrage was when an adjunct professor at Warren County (NJ) Community College had the bad sense to write, in a piece of angry spam to a student event organizer, that "real freedom will only come when the soldiers turn their guns on their superiors," and other similar pleasantries. The student shared that e-mail with Sean, who hit the ceiling of his studio and brought upon the school just the kind of publicity that college trustees do not want. Ultimately that adjunct professor had to resign or face getting fired at an emergency meeting of the Board of Trustees.

So obviously Sean Hannity has three motives to act:

  1. He is outraged at the behavior of professors who are, in some cases, holding students' grades hostage to the professors' own beliefs, not to mention saying things in and out of class that are tantamount to treason. I share his outrage.
  2. He enhances the value of the Sean Hannity brand by doing what some might call perpetrating a counter-outrage--a common-enough publicity device.
  3. He now has a record of one complete success, and this has made him bold.
Publicity has always been the last resort of people who observe that institutions will not hold their own people accountable as they should. The Bible provides clear authority for this (Matthew 18:15-17). So I say: Go to it, Sean. In this stunt, we see tha latest revival of muckraking, which has either passed out of fashion or else become wrongfully selective in the mainstream media. This is why a Sean Hannity, and a Rush Limbaugh, are necessary.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Cindy book-signing a very 'lonely affair'

What if you gave a book signing and nobody came? How would you feel? About the way Cindy Sheehan must feel right now. The article linked above has two photographs of Cindy Sheehan, showing her sitting at a table in an empty tent, waiting for customers who clearly aren't showing up.

When someone gets a comeuppance like that, I actually feel sorry for the person. As someone trying to break into print, I certainly wouldn't want that kind of humiliation. Whoever hired her publicist ought to fire him for a foul-up like this.

Folks, it doesn't get any better than this--or worse, depending on your POV.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

OpinionJournal - Jean Marie Le Pen says, "I told you so!"

And, sadly, The Wall Street Journal isn't happy about it.

A bit of background: The worthies at The Wall Street Journal have always wanted a policy of open borders--completely open, with no identity checks or citizenship requirements. Their attitude is enough to make me wonder whether they look forward to a one-world government that treats all corporations the way Delaware does, and everyone can live everywhere that a job is available, whatever his neighbors think.

And for that reason, they completely miss the point about the French riots.

Now: Jean Marie Le Pen might not think things through the way a man ought to think them through if he really wants to run a country. I say might not because I don't think that The Wall Street Journal is judging him in the best of faith. But even if I grant their premise, I cannot so lightly dismiss Le Pen's premise that Muslim immigrants were never going to assimilate into France.

Sure, France has some problems, beginning with their arrogantly supercilious attitude toward anyone who is not French, and the way they stultified their economy and hardened its arteries. Nevertheless, to assume, as the WSJ does, that what happened in France cannot happen here, or need not happen here, is totally irresponsible. Because even if the French did not scorn all non-French, and deny them opportunities, Muslims would still represent Trouble with a capital T. Why? Because the Koran tells them to make trouble for any country that does not govern itself under Muslim law.

The French cannot go on the way they're going. But neither can we.

Friday, November 18, 2005

MEMRI: Saudi Iqra TV Series on Jews in the Time of Muhammad: Jews Plan to Eliminate and Destroy Islam

ROFL! I could wish that this were so. But it wasn't, and isn't, and is not likely to be.

One of two things is actually likely to happen:

  1. Islam will get its New Baghdad Caliphate, and that caliphate will bind the whole world to Islamic thought until the real Jesus comes back to smash it.
  2. A secularist dictator will smash the New Baghdad Caliphate before it ever gets off the ground--the only trouble being that he will promulgate an even worse dictatorship. Call it the Dictatorship of Sin.

MEMRI: Professor From Van University in Turkey Commits Suicide After Five Months in Jail Without Trial

The professor involved had been thrown in jail, along with the president of Van University in Turkey, as part of the new ruling government's push to turn their country into an Islamic state, instead of the secular state that Mustafa Kemal "Ataturk" built. As is the case in the West, the university community abominates religion of all kinds. The difference is that we Christians put up with that, and simply decide to send our children elsewhere. Over in Turkey they arrest university presidents and other ranking professors and hold them in jail without trial until they kill themselves in their cells.

Tell me again about how dangerous Christian fundamentalism is supposed to be, and how peaceful Islam is supposed to be.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Clinton: Americans 'reluctant to get to heaven'

And why does he say that? Because we display an inordinate fear of death when we oppose killings like that of Terri Schindler Schiavo.

Suddenly I find myself traveling back in time--or back along Memory Lane--to when I first saw the motion picture Soylent Green on TV.

I shall never forget its final sequence. Sol Roth, the best friend and roommate of Detective Robert Thorn, leaves a note saying, "I am going home." Except that "home" is actually a suicide parlor, where a man agrees to accept twenty minutes of ecstasy (consisting of pastoral scenes from an age now gone by, accompanied by music of his own selection) in return for being gassed to death. Thorn arrives in time to watch his friend die--and then tags along with those who dispose of his remains. To his monumental disgust, Thorn finds himself in a factory where his friend and a bunch of other bodies go in--and green wafers of New York City's favorite food, called Soylent Green, come out. An ambush follows as Soylent, Inc.'s chief of security tries to kill Thorn. Thorn's supervisor shows up, and this is where Thorn utters the most memorable lines of the film:

Det. Thorn: 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. You've gotta tell them. You've gotta tell them!

Hatcher: I promise, Tiger. I promise. I'll tell the exchange.

Det. Thorn: You tell everybody. Listen to me, Hatcher. You've gotta tell them! Soylent Green is people! We've gotta stop them somehow!

New Documents Reveal Saddam Hid WMD, Was Tied to Al Qaida

That, according to NewsMax.

And now who's lying? Well, for one thing, this piece says that David Kay, who headed the Iraq Survey Group, not only lied but deliberately destroyed evidence. This article has its basis in other evidence that survived David Kay's shredder.

And for another, we know who was not lying: George W. Bush. He knew all the time that Saddam Hussein had WMD. Add to it that Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) actually traveled to Syria and gave that government advance warning of the impending US invasion, and I think we know what happened to those WMD, and where they still lie.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Terrorists, guns, bombs and Monica Lewinsky

The article linked above is the transcript of an interview of several terrorists by Aaron Klein, the Jerusalem bureau chief of WorldNetDaily, and Rusty Humphries, a syndicated talk show host. Among other wild and wacky things those terrorists said was that Monica Lewinsky was an Israeli agent, and that Israel destroyed the World Trade Center. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Friday, November 11, 2005

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE - It’s Jihad, Not Joblessness Causing Rioting

Finally comes a piece from a commentator who gets the point! These Muslim youth on French soil (and lately on Danish and German soil, too) are re-fighting the European campaign that Charles the Hammer stopped in the Battle of Poitiers. Robert Spencer, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), brilliantly reminds us that the murderer of Theo van Gogh explicitly declared in court that he did not want anyone to remember him as a petulant youth repaying an insult, but rather as a warrior following the dictates of his original commanding general (and namesake), Muhammad.

That the French don't get the point is bad enough. That certain Americans don't get it either, is worse.

OpinionJournal - French Lessons

Again, the worthies at The Wall Street Journal miss the point. The lessons they draw from the now finally subsiding spectacle of cars burning in the streets of France are these:
  1. The French are so supercilious toward everybody else that they wouldn't know how to assimilate their immigrants, even if those immigrants wanted to assimilate.
  2. The French imported those people when labor was short. Then they destroyed their economy's capacity to create new wealth and jobs, don't know what to do with those imported people, and basically left them to their own devices.
Result: disaster. And with the same confidence that the Journal offers the above analysis, they brashly claim that that sort of thing would never happen here, because we do let people into the mainstream if they want to join it, and we don't wreck our economy as thoroughly as the French wrecked theirs.

That's all very well. True enough, disaster never results from one factor only, but rather from a cascade of factors. (Which is why post-disaster analysis rapidly breaks down to a great game of "If only.") Equally true, the French are guilty of both varieties of negligence whereof the Journal accuses them. But the Journal has never understood the human capacity for stone cold evil. Nor have any of their editors read the Koran, and translated the "fighting words" that a new generation of Muslims is increasingly taking very seriously.

What has happened in France is this: You have a generation born to immigrants who were never anything more than temporary workers, and never meant to be anything more than that. You have an economy that shuts people out--and has to do the shutting-out because it's a creaky old machine that, to paraphrase Will Durant, can help people cope with poverty (at least, those whom it does not shut out) but cannot get them out of that poverty. Thus you have a bunch of young toughs with no discipline and nothing better to do. Into that volatile community, such as it is, step Muslim fundamentalists who preach not discipline in one's daily life, but war--actual physical war against anyone who is not Muslim.

That explains why the riots are happening now, at a time and in a manner that can only bring disgrace to Muslims everywhere, just by letting the cat out of the bag. And it explains why this re-fight of Charles the Hammer's War has taken place in such an undisciplined fashion all around.

Not that I expect the French to be able to cope with it nearly as well as Charles the Hammer did. Jacques Chirac is no Charles Martel. But if he were, I would never expect him, nor advise him, to take advice from The Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Why the Wall Street Journal Doesn't Expect Immigrants to Riot Here

Joel Kotkin makes the typical Wall Street Journal case for their version of a free economy. He says that we don't have immigrant riots, like those taking place in France, because our immigrants have better economic opportunities, for all the complaining that you hear in this country.

As usual, the best way to spin a tale is to build it around a grain of truth. I agree that ours is the freest economy on earth. As annoying as government interference can be, that's nothing compared to the rigid government planning that goes on in France and elsewhere in Europe.

Sadly, however, The Wall Street Journal misses the point. Those immigrants aren't rioting because they're poor. They're rioting because they think Charles the Hammer was unfair to their ancestors at the Battle of Tours, and they want to redeem the land for Islam.

Over here, WorldNetDaily is afraid that we just might get riots here. Islam doesn't worry them in this connection. Their concern is for the movement called "Aztlan".; or "the new Aztec Empire" that Mexican immigrants want to build. Part of their plan is to "reconquer" the American Southwest for Mexico--and Presidente Vicente Fox (as in Crazy As) has never convinced me that he does not want the same thing.

WorldNetDaily is right and The Wall Street Journal is wrong. We deal here with a dangerous trans-national movement. We can count this blessing: it's a remarkably undisciplined movement. If I were the New Baghdad Caliph, I would never order riots in Europe now--and certainly not unless I had sappers and ground troops ready to occupy the capitals and raise green crescent-moon-and-star flags. Timing is everything in war. Yes, I said war. Those undisciplined pups burning cars in the streets of Paris and other French cities don't know how to fight a war effectively. My worry is that the French don't know how to defend themselves, and that "The Base" might indeed have those other assets in place waiting for just such an occasion to strike....

Friday, November 04, 2005

GOP mulls ending birthright citizenship - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times

I am surprised that neither Rush Limbaugh nor Sean Hannity saw fit to mention this. Sean Hannity did mention that House Republicans are debating the erection of a fence along the US-Mexican border to try to stop illegal crossings. Some people say that the fence will work, and point to demonstrations that have enjoyed some measure of success. Others point out--correctly--that a fence alone will not work, because it does nothing to deter people who overstay their welcome to this country. Furthermore, if you build a fence, you still have to watch it. Now I have an idea for a fence: you build a wall as high as an Interstate Highway sound barrier, or preferably higher, and build it out of the same material. Only instead of planting ordinary ivy, as people do today to make sound walls look more attractive, plant poison ivy (and oak, and sumac). Sorry to be blunt, but that's the way to deal with it. Better yet: settle several colonies of skunks (Mephitis mephitis) along the wall, on the Mexican side. Of course, we have to build the wall about a yard into US territory, so that we can do what we please, and if the Mexicans lay any poison for the skunks or spray any herbicide to kill the poison ivy/oak/sumac, we can recall our ambassador for consultation.

On a more serious side, the movement to end birthright citizenship is gaining a surprising body of support. The only remaining question is how to accomplish it.

The US Constitution (Amendment XIV, Section 1) begins:

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.
Unfortunately, the case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld appears to uphold the notion that a person is a citizen just because he was born on US soil. Because that case involves a Saudi terrorist claiming American citizenship by birth, the sheer folly of that case deserves comment (and gives us another reason to welcome Justice Samuel J. Alito to the Supreme Court as soon as the Republican caucus in the Senate can send him there).

The law of birthright citizenship is formally called jus soli--the Law of the Soil. Ours is one of the only two countries in the world that still grants citizenship according to jus soli. Guess who the other country is? Drum roll, please--Mexico! And what about the supercilious French, with their constant carping against all things American? They don't practice it.

What most of the world does, and what the USA also does, is follow jus sanguinis, the Law of the Blood. It states that if your parents are citizens, then so are you.

Representative Floyd Flake wants to nullify jus soli in the USA by statute. I wish him every blessing in his endeavor. But I fear that this will require a change in Supreme Court precedent, which is actually older than Hamdi. I recall a case--I don't recall its name--involving a Chinese railway laborer, or "coolie", whose wife gave birth to a son while he was working to lay the Transcontinental Railroad. He took his family back to China when the railroad was complete--but the son then grew up and came to this country claiming to be a citizen. And the Supreme Court said that he was.

So what will happen is that Congress will pass a law redefining citizenship and withdrawing recognition for jus soli. And then someone will sue, and the Supreme Court won't have to intervene if it can muster six votes to let things stand without comment--or to be more specific, to "deny certiorari." Judge Alito, we can't see you join the Supreme Court fast enough.

And we must change the policy, somehow, some way, even if it takes a CJR to emend the Constitution. Because in point of fact, jus soli has seen some practical application in various forms, which I could call jus maris (Law of the Territorial Seas) and jus navium (Law of the Ships). The one case I haven't seen is one involving a child born on an airplane while that plane is in American airspace (jus aeris) or under American registry (jus avium or jus navium aeris). I don't think we can afford to wait that long. Not that I necessarily agree that we're bursting at the seams. But citizenship ought to be more than a matter of convenience. Jus soli requires no ties of family, and no conscious effort, to claim. It is therefore repugnant to republican values, and we ought to abolish it.

Appeals Court Declares Parenthood Unconstitutional, Group Says -- 11/03/2005

If you think that's an exaggeration, I've got news for you: Investor's Business Daily doesn't. At issue was a lawsuit brought by parents of several lower schoolers in the Palmdale (CA) School District after that district administered a highly suggestive sex survey--in the lower schools. In my day, any pupil asking such questions of another pupil would have drawn a summons to the principal's office--because if the teacher hadn't overheard it, the pupil would have gone to the teacher to ask about it. (Especially if the pupil was a girl.)

Here is what the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals actually said:

There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children...Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students...[N]o such specific right can be found in the deep roots of the nation's history and tradition or implied in the concept of ordered liberty.
In other words, after you give life to a person, you just have to stay out, and let the teachers fill your kid's mind with whatever garbage they please.

The irony of the Court's reasoning is particularly rich in view of Griswold v. Connecticut and, of course, Roe v. Wade. Where are the "penumbras" and "emanations" suggesting a right to privacy here? Clearly everything depends on the purpose being served.

I'll tell you where I find such a right in the Constitution:

The enumeration in this Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
That's the Ninth Amendment. And where do you find other rights retained by the people? In English common law, of course. The statement that parents have no such rights in American legal tradition is worse than false: it is a bald-faced lie.

Now you know why judicial nominations are so important. Frankly, the authors of that disgusting opinion deserve removal from the bench on impeachment for, and conviction of, contempt for the Constitution and for the people's liberties thereunder.

Crosswalk.com - UMC Deals Multiple Blows to Homosexual Agenda in Church

Actually, the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church, which is like a Supreme Court, did more than that. The trouble is that the cumulative effects of its rulings is ironic in the extreme.

First, they permanently defrocked Beth Stroud, the Methodist minister who had admitted to having a homosexual orientation. Basically they said that no active, practicing homosexual can call himself (or herself) an ordained minister.

Next, they restored a minister to his flock and ordered full back pay and benefits, after his bishop had summarily suspended him for denying membership in the church to a practicing homosexual.

I am of two minds by this. First, I observe that none of this would be happening in the Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America, and certainly not in the Southern Baptist Convention. (I can't speak for the American Baptist Convention.) One of the most important "Baptist Distinctives" is the autonomy of the local church. We don't have bishops. A pastor can do exactly as he pleases, and the responsibility for seeking out a pastor who is true to God's Holy Writ rests with the laypeople, who have the choice either to go to his church, or not. As to defrocking, Baptists have largely obviated that measure by being more careful about whom they ordain to begin with. And among other things, they would never, never, ordain a woman! "I do not allow a woman either to teach or to exercise unappealable authority over a man." [I Timothy 2:12]

So let's look at the results of the Judicial Council's rulings. In one case, they corrected a serious error of judgment that someone made when they accepted Beth Stroud to be a minister. In another, they reversed and admonished a bishop for exceeding her lawful authority--and here you have another problem: women bishops! But if that church were really run according to Biblical precepts, none of this would be necessary!

Nor would it be such a Big Deal as the fishwrap press is making it out to be. Another Baptist Distinctive is separation of the believer from the customs of the world around them, especially when those customs lead people away from God.

WorldNetDaily: Hillary unhinged by 'Liberals Under My Bed'?

Some people, it would appear, can't keep their big fat mouths shut at a time when keeping one's mouth shut would be the best policy. Here is Senator Hillary Clinton's spokesman getting into a lather about--a children's book?

I don't care if it is Katherine DeBrecht's Help, Mom! There Are Liberals Under my Bed!. I don't care if that book did have a cartoon in it showing a slightly-off likeness of Hillary demanding that two little girls selling lemonade pay taxes and be subject to government regulation. It's a children's book!

So what happened? Last month, it seems, Hillary's spokesman, Philippe Reines, suggested that a worthy sequel would carry the title "Help, Mom! I Can't Read Because Republicans Have Cut Literacy Programs." Predictably, Ms. DeBrecht commented tartly that Monsieur Philippe just made a silly slam against parents everywhere while trying to discredit her. So what did Monsieur Philippe say next? That her sales were in the cellar. Wrong! Booksellers everywhere reported blockbuster sales--and the publisher is preparing a third printing, this after the book has been out for only six weeks!

As I said: some people should learn to keep their mouths shut.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Exploring a Parallel Universe - Christianity Today Magazine

At issue: the word evangelical is threatening to many people in our society today. C. S. Lewis (whom the author of the article quotes) probably has the answer: "A person must court a virgin differently than [sic] a divorcée." Our society, in short, has declared a divorce from God. Quite a profound statement, that. And a disappointing one. But, sadly, true.

Admissions: Rejected - Christianity Today Magazine

At issue: students who get a high-school education at a Christian school, then apply for admission to a secular college. Naturally--I say again, naturally, because a snake is a snake, and a secular institution is a secular institution--the college rejects them. In the case of the University of California system, it's because of courses that the Christian students take, that address history, English literature, and the like from a Christian perspective. Calvary Chapel Christian Schools has had this happen to several of their students trying to get into University of California system schools, so now they're suing.

I am of two minds about this. On one hand, Paul did plead his Roman citizenship when garrison commander Claudius Lysias ordered him examined under the scourge. But on the other, the Bible tells us to be separate. If I were one of the involved parents, I wouldn't bother with the UC system. I'd sooner send my children, if I had any, to Bob Jones University.

I wish the CCCS and their attorneys as much blessing as lies within God's will to grant. But I wouldn't be surprised to see them lose. Nor would I be so quick to lament the loss. When persecution broke out in Jerusalem [Acts 8-9], the Apostles scattered all over the Middle East and ultimately all over the Roman world. It was the best thing that could have happened to the Gospel. So sometimes what looks like defeat is actually victory. So it might be in this case.