Saturday, March 29, 2008
As is to be expected, the rage in the Muslim world over this short film has nothing to do with any insults to their religion that Wilders has set out in the film- instead he merely reports what the Koran actually says and intercuts that with violence committed by Muslims in the name of Islam. Some of it is very graphic indeed.
If they were being honest or rational, the people protesting Fitna would also be protesting against every newspaper article or TV news broadcast which reports on Islamic terrorism- because that's really all Fitna does. But of course there's no rationality, logic or even a sense of proportion in their response to the film.
"This film is a direct attempt to incite violence from Muslims and help fan the flames of Islamophobia," Arsalan Iftikhar, a contributor to Washington-based Islamica Magazine, told CNN on Thursday. "Any reasonable person can see this is meant to spit in the face of Muslims and insult our religion."
So, let me get this straight- Muslims commit horrendous acts of violence in the name of their religion, Dutch politician reports on these self-same acts and the result is that he is inciting Muslims to commit more violence? What? I really don't know which is more troubling- the predictable response to Fitna or the fact that no one in the media is asking these deeply offended people exactly how reporting Islamic violence is an insult to Islam- but they are not offended by the Islamic terrorists committing these acts.
The only offensive thing about Fitna is the shocking, gruesome and barbaric violence committed in the name of Islam that it shows.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
We don’t like being pushed outside of our comfort zones. You know it right here on this campus. You know people sitting at different tables- you all living in different dorms. I was there. You’re not talking to each other, taking advantage that you’re in this diverse community. Because sometimes it’s easier to hold on to your own stereotypes and misconceptions. It makes you feel justified in your own ignorance. That’s America. So the challenge for us is are we ready for change?
Makes you wonder what kind of opinion of America her kids have, doesn't it?
Another point - Michelle Obama is demanding that people move out of their comfort zone to meet a more diverse community, while she attends a racist, hate-filled church. Kind of like how she grows rich off the benefits of capitalism while demanding that others eschew financial rewards for careers in the "helping industry".
One rule for me and another for thee, is evidently a motto she takes quite seriously.
And unknown to the public, Depp spent four hours at the hospital telling bedtime stories to patients dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates Of The Caribbean.
I seem to recall hearing that he had the costume flown over from the States especially for the event and that he forced the multi-million dollar film he was making at the time shut down when he refused to leave his daughter's side Well, here's some more news that I wanted to mention-
Five months ago, 17 year old Sophie Wilkinson fell into a coma after being seriously injured in a car accident. Desperate for a miracle, Sophie’s father Andrew contacted Depp seeking help. He told the actor, “We are looking for the key to wake her up”, so he wrote to Depp requesting some kind of help from the actor. Depp is Sophie’s favorite actor and he agreed to do a recording in the voice of Jack Sparrow from the Disney film, “The Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Good for him for taking the time to help a fan.
First there was Samantha Power, then Rev. Wright and now it's his chief military advisor, Tony McPeak.
McPeak’s formulation uses a little more subtlety than most of the Jewish-cabal conspiracy theorists, but the thrust is the same. Jews and “Christian Zionists” operate from a concern for the interests of Israel over America. It’s not that protecting the region’s only democracy and our strongest ally somehow doesn’t fall within our own interests, but that this group of Americans act against our national interests to manipulate American policy at the expense of our country.
Basically, Jews and Christian Zionists are traitors, according to McPeak.Coincidental that these are the kinds of people Obama surrounds himself with?
Monday, March 24, 2008
Anyway, here's what I hope will be my last mention of his lame attempt to save his own hide.
To fully appreciate the venality of Obama's treatment of his grandmother, one needs to read the other stories he tells about her.
I'm glad that his equating the woman who essentially raised him with the man who dominated his adult years, Wright, has become such a prominent point of the commentary of the speech.
Does he have any reason to believe she was a "typical" prejudiced "white person?" No. The opposite is true. Unlike Barack himself, his grandparents were active anti-racist. So much so, that they had difficulty fitting into Texas' racist society of the early 1960s.
Using Obama's own recollection of his grandmother it seems that she's anything but racist in any way, shape or form. And for him to believe that she's some sort of sacrificial lamb he can use to excuse his own behaviour and associations is despicable. Why would anyone vote for a man who sees his elderly grandmother as nothing more than a political tool to further his own career- no matter how much it defames her character?
He's certainly not worthy to lead the United States of America.
ISLAMIC cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has returned to his hardline rhetoric with a call for followers to beat up Western tourists and for young Muslims to die as martyrs.
Where do these people get these crazy notions that fighting and dying is linked in some way to Islam? Nothing to do with this surely?
"The youth movement here must aspire to a martyrdom death," said the cleric, who was convicted of conspiracy over the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, but was later cleared and released from prison.
"The young must be first at the front line - don't hide at the back. You must be at the front, die as martyrs and all your sins will be forgiven. This is how to achieve forgiveness."
So, he's preaching that fighting for Islam is linked to going to Paradise? What is he, some kind of Islamophobe?
Bashir likened non-Muslims to crawling animals. "Worms, snakes, maggots - those are animals that crawl. Take a look at Bali ... those infidel tourists. They are naked."
He called for signs to be erected across Indonesia warning tourists they were entering a Muslim area, and directing they cover up appropriately. But in east Java, he urged the Islamist youth to "beat up" foreigners.
"God willing, there are none here," Bashir said. "If there were infidels here, just beat them up. Do not tolerate them."
It seems he's missed the memo that Islam teaches tolerance and respect for other beliefs too.
"Don't be scared if you are called a hardliner Muslim," Bashir said. "It must be like that. We can't follow human law that is in conflict with Allah's law."
And there you have it- an explicit statement that his beliefs are in accordance with Islamic law. Who, I wonder, is going to disabuse him of the notion- and exactly what evidence are they going to use to convince him that he is misunderstanding his own faith?
BTW, I wrote about the BBC's rather biased profile of this scumbag here.
A POLICE officer who admitted to drinking at least 18 beers before going on duty to carry out a breath test has not been disciplined.
Instead, Senior-Constable Adam Reedy has been promoted – despite telling a court last month about a wild night in Cunnamulla that ended with him knocked unconscious after trying to arrest a woman.
So being drunk wasn't enough, he also had to get himself knocked out to snag this promotion.
Reedy was at the Warrego Hotel about 10pm on May 14, 2005, when asked by colleagues to carry out a breath test.
After the test he drank two rums at the Club Hotel and about 12.45am declared himself on duty to arrest local woman Corrinne Mitchell, who he says spat on him, sparking a fight that ended in Reedy being flown to Toowoomba Hospital for treatment.
Talk about a consummate professional, eh?
In court, Crown witnesses backed the defendants' claim that Reedy had directed racial comments at Aborigines in a bar and then dragged Ms Mitchell by her hair, pulling clumps out.
A drunk and a racist? Certainly sounds like the type on individual deserving of a promotion.
Really, you couldn't make this stuff up.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Poor Michelle, how will she cope?
Friday, March 21, 2008
Her participation in the bank robbery in a Sacramento suburb that resulted in Opsahl’s shotgun death should have made her guilty of first-degree murder. She pled down to second-degree murder after her conviction on the domestic terrorism charges in Los Angeles, from which she had run 23 years earlier. She also entered into a plea bargain for those charges of bomb-planting, but then immediately claimed she was innocent.
The LA police are arguing that she does not deserve the time off her sentence for the work she did in prison.
“She needs to serve her full time in prison for these crimes and does not deserve time off for working in prison. Criminals who attempt to murder police officers should not be able to escape justice simply because they have good lawyers.”
The same, surely, applies to criminals found guilty of murdering or attempting to murder any innocent person, not merely police officers. Their lives are no more sacrosanct than any one else's. The fact is, this woman should be in prison for the rest of her life for the actual murder of a bank teller- but this doesn't figure in the police arguments, only that she was trying to kill some of their own.
Tell me again when cops became vaunted beings whose lives are more important than the mere citizens they serve?
Here's a page that compares Washington, Arlington, and Alexandria - three cities in very close geographical location, but with vastly different gun laws. In 2005, D.C. (with a handgun ban and a population of 550,000) had 195 homicides. Alexandria, VA (right next door with a population of 130,000 and "shall-issue" concealed-carry) had 3. That's a rate comparison of 35.4/100,000 for D.C. to (carry the one...) 2.3/100,000. But D.C. is supposedly safer because of its gun laws?
That's Fenty's talking point!
If you only read one pro-Second Amendment story this Easter, make sure it's this one. Then send it to everyone you know.
Not only are the DC authorities basing their arguments on fantasy rather than facts, they are outright lying to the public about the realities of the situation.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Anyway, Smallville, the show about Clark Kent's teenage years, is being repeated here in the UK and my wife and I are hooked. Totally and utterly. Seeing a show or two here and there doesn't really do it justice- but right now it's showing every weekday evening and it really does help to see the episodes close together.
The writing is great, the characters are great. the actors are great and it's a terrific addition to the legend. Clark and Lex Luthor as buddies? Brilliant- and Lex is wonderfully ambiguous. Good guy going bad or bad guy pretending to be good? Either way, Lex and warped father Lionel Luthor are done to perfection. If you look up family dysfunction in the encyclopaedia, there should be a picture of these two next to it.
As for Tom Welling as Clark? I've got to say that he's just about flawless. He plays the character brilliantly, whether it's as frustrated teen struggling with his secrets, bad-guy Red Kryptonite Clark, somewhat innocent farm boy or as the courageous man that Superman will be- he's got this role down to perfection. And the cast of supporting characters are all equally good in their respective roles. I particularly like John Schneider's Jonathan Kent- the guy who gave Superman his moral compass.
If you haven't seen the show I suggest you go buy Season One right now.
Here's the opening credits. At first ~I wasn't completely sold on the theme tune but I just can't get enough of it now.
A couple of days ago, though, now that was a spring day. Blue skies, the shining sun, a comfortable temperature. And it proved to me that my back pain is more affected by the weather than I had suspected until now.
This winter has been pretty hard on me and, especially since Christmas, I've been in a fair bit of pain. On the one nice day we've had I woke up and wasn't in my usual stiff-sore state. The day passed and I was able to do some housework, play a bit more with the kids and even drive a few miles without feeling like an elephant had trodden on my spine. Mundane stuff to be sure but I was a heck of a lot more active than the past few months have allowed.
To be honest, I didn't really notice it until the evening - like clockwork at around 7 p.m. I'm usually in a pretty bad way. But not that day- in fact, I was able to make it through an entire evening without taking my pain meds. The first time in I don't know how long.
I suspect that last year's lousy, wet summer followed by the autumn/winter months that I can't stand is what has contributed to me being so bad at the moment. This year I'd better get at least a couple of months of decent hot, dry weather to give me a bit of a respite. I wouldn't mind the dreary pain of winter if I were able to have one or two months of heat and a chance to feel like a regular person- and grab my kettlebell for a few work-outs while I'm at it.
Global warming? Bring it on.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
However, there is now a way to break OPEC, a surprisingly simple one. What is needed is for Congress to pass a law requiring that all new cars sold (not just made, but sold) in the U.S. be flex-fueled — that is, be able to run on any combination of gasoline or alcohol fuels. Such cars already exist — two dozen different models of flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) are being produced by Detroit’s Big Three this year — and they only cost about $100 more than identical models that can run on gasoline only. (The switch to FFV requires only two minor upgrades: in the materials used in the fuel line and in the software controlling the electronic fuel injector.)
He goes on to explain the effect he believes this will have. Beyond my realm of expertise to comment but he certainly sounds convincing- and to be free of the hold that OPEC states have on the world would be worth a hundred bucks a car, surely? The website for his book "Energy Victory - Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil" is here.
You've really got to see it to believe it- this really is awesome.
The Department of Homeland Security, continuing to enforce what it calls a "strict policy of arresting, prosecuting and jailing" illegal immigrants, deported a record number of those caught on the nation's borders last year — more than 280,000 in fiscal year 2007 compared to 186,000 a year earlier.
It was the largest number of illegals ever removed from the country in a single year.
I wonder how many of his critics would come on board with a simple tactic like this one? But, hey, this is John McCain we're talking about, so instead we get this-
On NPR’s “Morning Edition” today, John McCain suggested that strong anti-immigrant rhetoric contributed to two recent, high-profile GOP Congressional losses – of former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who badly lost to Sen. Bob Casey in 2006, and Jim Oberweis, who lost the heavily Republican seat of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert this month in a special election.
"I know that there have been some races, like here in Pennsylvania, where Senator Santorum emphasized that issue [immigration] and lost by a large number,” McCain said on NPR.
Genius, John, just genius- keep trying to antagonise the Republican base which is in favour of law and order (they're called illegal aliens for a reason). That'll really help come November.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I've featured his work here before- a wonderful portrait of Betty Page- and it seems fitting to pay tribute to him by showcasing a little more of his work. To get things going here's The Rocketeer himself.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Odd set of priorities, don't you think?
BTW, at the above link you'll discover that while the rest of the American press is eager to give Obama a free ride, the Chicago press is taking up the slack and actually doing their job. There's also a record of the Obama's charitable donations.
The average American household donates 2.2% of their income to charity, while the Obama's gave less than 1% between 1997 and 2002 (0.2% in 1998). In 2002, when their income was in the top 2% in the US, they donated a mere 0.4% to charity. They gave $1,050 to charity, compared with the average American household's gift of $1,872.
Speaks volumes about his deep and abiding commitment to helping those less fortunate than himself, doesn't it? I guess he'd rather forcibly tax your income to pay for his grand schemes than donate some of his own.
The Obama's donations to charity spiked after he went to Washington- and presumably realised that presidential candidates, particularly Democrats who seem to know better how to spend your money, need to demonstrate they they can give some of their own wealth too.
Public attention to charitable gifts has led to uncomfortable moments for prominent political figures. Then-Vice President Al Gore came in for withering ridicule in 1998 when his tax return showed he had contributed just $353 to charity. So did then-President Bill Clinton, after a review of old tax returns revealed that he had once claimed a $75 deduction for donating a suit with ripped pants to the Salvation Army, as well as $2 for a pair of used underwear and $9 for six pairs of used socks.
Stay classy, Bill.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Much should have changed in the minds of the powerful. It is absurd for Abbas to be allowed to feign indignation over Israel's attempts to stop rockets reigning down on its cities, and to call a halt to negotiations. It is even more absurd for the Israelis themselves to be seen urging him to continue, or at least acquiescing in Rice's attempts to urge him to do so.For god's sake, it is Israel that should cut off the negotiations, period, never to resume them -- and the "never" can be represented to the world not as a "never" but as something else: after there has been a complete halt, for one year, on ALL terrorist attacks on Israel, whether from rockets fired indiscriminately into cities, or attacks on civilians such as this one, by individual or groups of Arab attackers, then we will think about opening negotiations again.
Given that the Arab ceasefires generally mean a lessening rather than a stop in the number of attacks against Israel I think that this would be a tremendous idea. Israel announces that it will engage in substantive talks with the PA after a period of one year of peace. A time-out, if you will, because the current process that we're following isn't working, a chance for both sides to take a breath and re-evaluate their positions. Israel could even announce (loudly and to the whole world) that it will suspend all military operations against Gaza and Judea and Samaria (the latter comprising the West Bank) for as long as the peace lasts- only resorting to force to defend its citizens from attack.
Who could possibly object to that?
In both situations, the best Obama can ask us to believe is that he is a benighted idiot. He managed to attend a church with a race-baiting, America-hating pastor for twenty years without noticing it. During that time, he did business with a corrupt politico without ever noticing that, too, and he blithely went from election to election without being able to tell the difference between $50,000 and $250,000.
That’s the best case. And that is supposed to instil confidence in his ability to lead the nation?
That says it all really.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Fathi Hammad: [The enemies of Allah] do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: "We desire death like you desire life."
Remember this the next time they complain about people getting killed- Hamas deliberately puts civilians in harms way.
In other words, we can't defeat Israel through terrorism now, but we may perhaps be able to later. Self-evident to anyone but Rice it would seem-
"We have all had the experience of perhaps saying things that we wish we hadn't said, and I can just tell you that this is somebody who for many, many years now has rejected violence as a means to statehood," Rice said, noting that Abbas had later said the comments were taken out of context.
It's astonishing how many politician's words are "taken out of context", generally meaning that they said something they really meant and are now desperately backtracking to cover it up.
Perhaps Condi needs to pay a little closer attention to her "partner in peace" to discover if perhaps there's some clue as to what Abbas really thinks. You know, like finding out what Fatah is broadcasting on their official TV station- like advocating terrorist attacks against American troops. Or promoting terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.
Or stuff like this- promoting a terrorist who, amongst other things, was guilty of murdering 241 American Marines in Lebanon-
Senior Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh has been placed on a pedestal of glory in various articles in the official Palestinian Authority Fatah daily.
One article by a senior Fatah leader describes Mughniyeh as an “extraordinary hero... unequaled Hezbollah commander ... a beacon of light.”
The Palestinian Authority has glorified his years of murder as heroic. It describes him repeatedly as a “Shahid” (Islamic Martyr), the highest Islamic status, and has run his photo with that caption. He is crowned the “Knight of Lebanese Resistance.”
The PA newspaper, assuming it was Israel who killed him (Israel has denied involvement in the killing), refers to Israel as “the treacherous Zionist enemy,” reiterates the PA’s “rage and hatred” for Israel and promises more “resistance (the PA euphemism for terror) ... the blow which will hand over death.”
Any clues there Condi? Any hint that perhaps America shouldn't be handing over $100 million of taxpayers' money now, with another $50 million to come- you know, some tiny indication that perhaps the PA is in favour of killing American soldiers and destroying Israel?
This is Condi's idea of diplomacy- giving American money to an outfit encouraging people to kill American troops? Disgusting.
I bet you can see where this one is going already. The food in question was the dreaded ham sandwich and the prisoners were Muslim.
Rather than telling them to get on with repaying their debt to society and to simply say, "no, thank you, sir," to anything they don't want to eat, we've come to a point where the Minister ultimately in charge of prisons has written them a letter of apology. And staff are to be re-trained to better understand their cultural and religious needs. Such is life in the 21st Century.
One wonders why such devout religious men are serving time for breaking the law in the first place.
A Queensland police officer caught with more than 8000 child porn images on his home computer has avoided spending any time in jail.
How on Earth did he manage that you say? Well, despite being a highly trained law enforcement professional it seems that he's rather accident prone.
He was sentenced to 18 months' jail, but the term was wholly suspended after his lawyer successfully argued Wilson had downloaded the images by mistake.
A mistake he repeated more than eight thousand times no less. But these accidents happen, right?
Police traced his credit card to a child porn website titled “Sunshine Boys”, where Wilson had paid a $35 access fee.
You see, it all makes sense if you think really hard about it- he accidentally found his way online to a child pornography website and then accidentally entered his credit card details. I can only assume his fingers slipped on the keyboard. When police seized his computer what did they find?
In all, 8742 images were identified as depicting children aged between 10 and 18 posing nude, masturbating and engaging in sex acts.
So after accidentally signing up to this website, he accidentally began to browse its contents, and then accidentally began to download the images he found there. Over and over and over again. But it's not his fault you see?
Wilson's defence barrister Craig Eberhardt told the court his client had not purposefully sought out child abuse images when he downloaded pornography files from the internet.
Of course, just some terrible misunderstanding. He must have thought that looking at pictures of minors engaged in sexual acts was... well, something else because, by golly, this is all some awful accident.
"(He is) not a pedophile, he does not have pedophilic tendencies," Mr Eberhardt said, citing medical evidence.
Sure, of course not. There's no scientific link whatsoever between buying illegal images of children having sex and being a paedophile who likes to look at children having sex. None whatsoever. His real crime, you see, was in not getting rid of the evidence of his
"His culpability comes from his failure to get rid of it once he knew it was there."
Indeed. Perhaps he accidentally forgot to delete the images he himself had paid for and downloaded.
Judge Tony Rafter SC said a wholly suspended sentence was appropriate because Wilson posed no risk to children and was unlikely to reoffend.
Sure, there's no history at all of paedophiles committing their crimes again. Not if you close your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears while humming loudly anyway.
But he said the actions of the disgraced policeman had nonetheless helped to feed an "evil and exploitative industry".
Those dastardly websites, luring in unsuspecting police officers and making them hand over their credit card details and then forcing them to download illegal pornography that exploits the most vulnerable members of society.
"You should have been accutely aware of the seriousness of the offence because you were a serving police officer at the time," Judge Rafter chastised.
You would think so, wouldn't you? But apparently this is a minor concern of the judge because he did, after all, agree with the defence that the police officer's actions were somehow not his own fault. Perhaps he missed the class during police training where it was explained that child pornography breaks some kind of law?
"I accept that you did not actively seek child pornography and these images were accessed somewhat accidentally."
Yes, I think we've demonstrated quite clearly how easy it is to accidentally find, register with, browse, and download more than 8,000 highly illegal images to your computer. Funny that they don't mention the time period over which these accidents took place. Did he accidentally return to the same website over and over again too?
"I am also mindful that as a former police officer, a period of imprisonment would be harsher upon you."
And here we have it, the final piece of magic that being an Only One conjures up- the idea that somehow being a person who has taken an oath to uphold the law, who is bestowed with the power to wield the full force of the law on his fellow man- and who then decides to ignore the law himself- is somehow excused from being punished as his fellow men are. Why? And exactly where in the law books does it state that police officers are to receive special treatment at the hands of the court simply because of the job they do? I mean, if he hadn't been a police officer, a person trained to have knowledge of what was and wasn't illegal, you can bet that the court would have let him off with no punishment too.
If it wasn't such a heinous crime it would be funny to hear about apparently educated and reasonably intelligent people lie to themselves about what went on here. As it is, we're left with yet another example of how the Only Ones are being given tremendous leeway in the eyes of the law to commit any damn crime they want- and to get away with it.
One question remains regarding Iraq’s terrorism capability: Is there anything in the captured archives to indicate that Saddam had the will to use his terrorist capabilities directly against United States? Judging from examples of Saddam’s statements (Extract 34) before the 1991 Gulf War with the United States, the answer is yes.
In the years between the two Gulf Wars, UN sanctions reduced Saddam’s ability to shape regional and world events, steadily draining his military, economic, and military powers. The rise of Islamist fundamentalism in the region gave Saddam the opportunity to make terrorism, one of the few tools remaining in Saddam’s “coercion” toolbox, not only cost effective but a formal instrument of state power. Saddam nurtured this capability with an infrastructure supporting (1) his own particular brand of state terrorism against internal and external threats, (2) the state sponsorship of suicide operations, and (3) organizational relationships and “outreach programs” for terrorist groups. Evidence that was uncovered and analyzed attests to the existence of a terrorist capability and a willingness to use it until the day Saddam was forced to flee Baghdad by Coalition forces.
So, when will the media ask Obama if Hussein's support for terrorism aimed at killing Americans anywhere in the world was a good enough reason to topple the mass-murdering dictator?
If there was html code for tumbleweed, you'd see one going past right about now.
Dan Riehl notes, via Amanda Carpenter, that in the list of earmarks he requested, $1 Million was requested for the construction of a new hospital pavilion at the University Of Chicago. The request was put in in 2006.
You know who works for the University of Chicago Hospital?
Michelle Obama. She's vice president of community affairs.
As Byron noted, "In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office."
Tie it into this and Obama loses his squeaky clean credibility. So what else is there to him- hatred of America maybe?
Just for the record, this is one of the few times where I think AP has missed the mark- Obama's attendance at the church was not only purely voluntary and long lasting- and bear in mind this is also the kind of rhetoric he thought was appropriate for his kids- but this self-same church was the one that turned on his faith. It was Wright- who preaches "God damn America"- who so impressed Obama that he joined his church.
He had sampled various faiths but adopted none until he met Mr. Wright, a dynamic pastor who preached Afrocentric theology, dabbled in radical politics and delivered music-and-profanity-spiked sermons.
“Senator Obama is proud of his pastor and his church.”
BTW, it puts those anti-American Michelle Obama comments in a new light too, doesn't it?
I'm not even an American citizen but I wouldn't sit through some idiot spouting nonsense like "God damn America"- so why did Obama keep going to that church for nearly 20 years?
Unless he agreed with what he was hearing that is.
Law enforcement officials have alerted Wall Street firms of a new, non-specific terror threat centering on lower Manhattan. Officials point out that the threat is based on unverified intelligence from overseas but was time-specific. The non-specific threat information suggests an al Qaeda terror would like to strike the city sometime this month, a security official said on condition of anonymity.
Here's hoping nothing comes of this.
Ensign said about half of the Senate’s 49 GOP members are “not even close” to being on pace to raise the amount of money they are expected to for the committee and fellow candidates. The members are expected to raise between $750,000 and $3 million, depending on seniority and stature…
The filing deadline for two other targeted races, Iowa and Montana, is Friday and Thursday, respectively, and no major or well-funded candidate has yet signed up for either one.
Ensign could have to defend upwards of 12 Republican-held seats in November, as Democrats have landed solid candidates in even some long-shot races.
As AP says, "Are Reid and Pelosi actually going to turn a 19% approval rating into a net gain in seats?"The bottom-up plan to restore solid conservative ideals- a superb idea, by the way- just doesn't seem to be panning out right now. Four years in the wilderness may very well bring the GOP back to its senses about what needs doing but the problem is this; what havoc would a Democrat President, with a Democrat majority to play with, wreak on the country in the meantime? Especially if that President happens to be the most liberal member of Congress?
Frankly, it seems to me, it would be better to have McCain- who is a least conservative on some issues- than a solid liberal who will never take the conservative line. Right?
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Islamic states are bidding to use the United Nations to limit freedom of expression and belief around the world, the global humanist body IHEU told the U.N.'s Human Rights Council on Wednesday.
In a statement submitted to the 48-nation Council, the IHEU said the 57 members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) were also aiming to undermine the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"The Islamic states see human rights exclusively in Islamic terms, and by sheer weight of numbers this view is becoming dominant within the U.N. system. The implications for the universality of human rights are ominous," it said.
No kidding. Instead the OIC would like to see freedom of speech replaced by another "right".
But this argument is rejected by Islamic states, who say outright criticism -- and especially lampooning -- of religion violates the rights of believers to enjoy respect.
So now we're expected to respect every crackpot's ludicrous ideas? I'm waiting for the OIC to announce that they respect the Jewish and Christian faiths...but I won't hold my breath.
Dutch TV station 101tv had an actress wearing Western clothing drop some packages on a sidewalk, then filmed as lots of people rushed to her aid and helped her pick up the groceries.
Then they put the same actress in a burqa, and had her drop the groceries again. This time nobody helped her. Islamophobia! Bigotry!
Uh... except that, unfortunately for 101tv, another crew from a different TV station happened to be there at the same time—and they filmed as person after person did approach the burqa-clad woman to help, but were chased away by the 101tv crew, who shouted things like, “Keep walking! We’re filming!” and “Guys, stop that!”
I gather that ethics is not longer a required class for journalists.
LGF has the video.
U.S. authorities in Baghdad have received five severed fingers belonging to four Americans and an Austrian who were taken hostage more than a year ago in Iraq , U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Authorities confirmed that the fingers belonged to hostages Jonathon Cote , of Gainesville, Fla. ; Joshua Munns , of Redding, Calif. ; Paul Johnson Reuben , of Buffalo, Minn. ; Bert Nussbaumer of Vienna, Austria ; and Ronald J. Withrow , an American who was kidnapped separately from the others.
The enemy we face. And further proof, if any were needed, that this terrorist scum neither warrants, nor deserves, the protections afforded them by the Geneva Convention.
If Harry Reid didn’t exist, Republicans would have to invent him. His latest hilarity comes in response to the effort by DeMint to win a one-year moratorium on earkmarking. Reid objected this evening, claiming that the Founding Fathers would weep at the loss of the mechanism that allows legislators to sell Congress to the highest bidders.
Go read it all.
A couple of days ago I was going to suggest that a requirement of attaining public office in the United States- be it judge, cop or senator- be a class on American history and the Constitution. It seems that now, more than ever, it's needed.
The state Court of Criminal Appeals voted 4-1 in favor of Riccardo Gino Ferrante, who was arrested in 2006 for situating a camera underneath the girl’s skirt at a Target store and taking photographs.
Ferrante, now 34, was charged under a “Peeping Tom” statute that requires the victim to be “in a place where there is a right to a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Testimony indicated he followed the girl, knelt down behind her and placed the camera under her skirt.
In January 2007, Tulsa County District Judge Tom Gillert ordered Ferrante’s felony charge dismissed. That was based upon a determination that “the person photographed was not in a place where she had a reasonable expectation of privacy,” according to the appellate ruling issued last week.So up a 16 year old girl's skirt is considered not to be a private place? Women in Oklahoma beware.
I checked Autoblog today and caught this post on roof strength, particularly in SUVs, and its relation to surviving a crash.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has just released a study that proves that more roof strength can reduce injuries by some 39 to 57 percent when compared to the weaker models it tested.
I had a crash in a Land Rover Discovery a few years back- going down hill I hit a patch of black ice and the nose of the vehicle hit the grass back at the side of the road and the Discovery rolled over and then landed sideways across the road back on its wheels. Luckily I was able to walk away with my just my back strained and my wrist banged up from bracing against the roof as it rolled. The Discovery was a write off but the roof held up- partly, I think, because the front of the car was up on the bank, creating an angle with the road that saved the roof from taking too much damage.
One thing I did learn was never, ever to put anything heavy inside the car with me ever again- at the time I was working repairing computers and I carried my gear in a hard aluminium case. As the car rolled over I could hear the case thumping around the back of the car. Had it been in the front- I usually left it in the foot-well on the passenger side- I suspect it would have done a fair bit of damage to my head.
So there you have it- roof strength is definitely something to bear in mind if you drive an SUV, or are thinking of buying one.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
A BRITISH soldier who almost single-handedly took on 150 Taliban after he and his 50-man convoy were ambushed in Afghanistan has been awarded the Military Cross.
Fusilier Damien Hields used his grenade machinegun to destroy seven Taliban positions before his ambushers realised he was their main threat. After peppering his vehicle with bullets, they hit the 24-year-old soldier. He had to be dragged off for treatment by his driver after he tried to continue fighting.He went through six 32-round boxes of grenades during the fight- all the while stationed in a Land Rover and facing fire from AKs, RPGs and Dushka MGs and mortars. When he was hit, the bullet smashed a rib and passed through him- without hitting any internal organs.
He said "It was just a flesh wound really".
In denying the Royal High School student delayed entry into the Marine Corps, Children's Court Commissioner Marilyn Mackel reportedly told Sage and a recruiter that she didn't approve of the Iraq war, didn't trust recruiters and didn't support the military.
But don't question her patriotism, right?
His foster parents, as well as his social worker, supported his decision to enlist early. Despite being denied, he still shows up for USMC physical training.
"Did they ever kick my butt," he said proudly. "They still do."
When he turns 18 he will join up. Unlike the judge, this young man is a credit to his nation.
- Bangladesh's military-backed government has backed down from a policy to ensure equal property rights to women amid angry protests by Muslim clerics that the move would override Islamic law.
- She believes that we are confused about the meaning of human rights. “Rights are for individuals, not for religions or beliefs. ‘Every human is equal' does not mean that every belief is equal.” Islamists portray themselves as victims, she says, and policymakers have bought into this. Namazie says that the Muslim Council of Britain should not be seen as representative of British Muslims - but would nonetheless welcome any opportunities to debate with it. “Ex-Muslims are in a good position to challenge political Islam,” she says. “We must not let little girls or anyone else lose their human rights. We can't tolerate the intolerable for any reason - including religion.”
- The number of forced marriages involving young women from Britain being taken abroad to wed is likely far higher than first thought, an official report said Tuesday.
While a government unit investigating forced marriage deals with just 300 cases a year, the true figure could be up to 4,000, the Home Office-funded study into the issue said.
And the crazy thing about this last story is that the government isn't keen on acting to protect young vulnerable girls because they're afraid that this activity, the scale of which they don't really know, might be driven "further underground". So, just do nothing about young girls being married off against their will to complete strangers?
After the recent yeshiva attack the BBC reported that the family home of the murderer had been destroyed by bulldozers. The actual fact of the matter though is that while some politicians are calling for just that, it still hasn't happened.
The Beeb, never one to let a tiny thing like facts get in the way of some good propaganda.
So nice to actually have a calm and reasoned debate online! My thanks go to Ride Fast for the opportunity.
“We spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we’re spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements. And summer programs… Do you know what summer camp costs?”
If you are struggling to make ends meet on a half-million a year — a 1040 that puts you in the top 2% of Americans — then the problem is you, not the country.
This is the woman, remember, who complains about the cost of keeping fruit on her table for her kids. At least John Edwards had the good sense to complain that some other people in America weren't as rich as he was.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
When California narcotics agents armed with a search warrant recently arrived at the Carlsbad home of the Dagy family (Mom, Dad, three kids), they expected to find one of those indoor marijuana production facilities....As the below search warrant affidavit notes, a check of the Dagys utility records showed "excessive" electrical usage, consumption "very consistent with an indoor marijuana operation."
But electricity isn't all they had to go on-
In his affidavit, Detective Mark Reyes also noted the Dagy family's suspicious "trash dispensing pattern" and mentioned that a drug-sniffing dog, one Storm, "showed a positive alert" when he sniffed near the family's garage.
So what happened when they searched?
So imagine the surprise when about eight armed narcs raided the Dagy home on March 19 and found absolutely nothing. No evidence of pot anywhere, not even stashed in the children's toys. Seems that the coppers mistook the family's constant use of the dishwasher, washer/dryer, three computers, four ceiling fans, and other electronic devices as evidence of a felony drug operation.
Nothing drug related so one wonders how on earth the police came to want to search this house?
An unknown agent received a tip-off from an unknown source. So the police officer in question subpoenaed utility records for the address, he checked County and CPD records, Dept. of Motor Vehicles records, and carried out surveillance and consulted other police officers. All of of this established who lived there and what kind of car they drove. However, the electricity records were then apparently compared to those of the neighbouring homes.
Can the police obtain access to your utility bills because they think that someone else on your street might be a criminal? Apparently so- though there's no mention of him obtaining a court order to obtain those other records- and what basis he had to look at them. This expert on indoor marijuana production then had a 100% effective sniffer dog check the residence. And here I was thinking that only God was counted as being completely infallible! He also tried to get an aerial infra-red view of the home but weather stalled it. Next he conducted surveillance for two weeks and noted the family's highly suspicious practice of taking their trash out, not the night before collection, but on the morning it was due to be collected!
So there you have it- grounds for a warrant that boils down to an anonymous second hand tip off and above normal electricity use. Astonishingly they did not attempt a dynamic entry but actually phoned the resident to let her know they were there- and bear in mind this was a raid on a suspected drug dealer suspected of being armed.
The message was forwarded to Dina Dagy, who was in her son's second-grade class as a volunteer. She said she was told police were going to break the door down if she didn't open it for them.
She has received an apology from police but she is upset about the level of evidence gathered to obtain the warrant to search her home.
Professor Laurence Benner of the California Western School of Law in San Diego said that the court standard set for obtaining a search warrant is that an officer must have probable cause to believe something is at a certain location.
"The problem is that the Supreme Court has watered down what that standard means as a practical matter," Benner said.
Note this too-
In a 1959 case, Draper versus the United States, he said, the court held that probable cause existed where the facts and circumstances would lead a man "of reasonable caution" to believe that an offense had been committed.
"It would have to be more probable than not" that there was an offense, Benner said.
In 1983, he said, the court redefined probable cause in Illinois versus Gates so that less evidence is required to get a search warrant.
That decision says that a judge has to make a practical common sense decision to issue a warrant when, given all the circumstances, "there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place," Benner said.
How times have changed.
It's just been announced that the family of Peyton Strickland, the 18 year old killed, have reached a settlement with the police for $2.45 million. The Sheriff involved in the case has issued an apology-
“I am profoundly sorry,” Causey said against a backdrop of the United States and North Carolina flags. “I cannot begin to imagine the immense sorrow the Strickland family must continue to feel, but they will forever be in my thoughts and prayers. It is my hope that the Strickland family will accept this apology and know that it is offered with compassion and sincerity.”
A bit of a change from his statement on the incident at the time-
“If this boy would’ve come to the door, opened the door, we probably wouldn’t be talking,” the sheriff said Sunday.
The problem is, of course, that he was on the way to the door- but the use of SWAT meant that he had virtually no chance. The police suspected he might be armed, because they had seen a picture of him on the internet with a gun- however, he was not armed with a gun during the commission of the crime and his previous record involved an assault with his fists. Nevertheless the cop in question, his senses obscured by hood, helmet and earpiece, and no doubt primed to expect armed and determined resistance, misheard the battering ram for a gun shot and he fired without first positively identifying his target.
My concern with the action was, and remains, the unnecessary use of a tactical unit to serve the warrant. The use of aggressive tactics with highly armed officers primed for danger surely exacerbates many situations- especially when coupled with a dynamic entry designed to throw the occupants into confusion. Not only that, there's no justification for shooting through a closed door, regardless of how many shots one hears. The police knew that Strickland shared the house with other people and had no proof that there were no other visitors in the house at the time.
Had the police chosen a less aggressive approach a young man would still be alive today- and regardless of his crime or criminal background, let's not forget that the standard practice is to establish guilt in a court of law. The increasing use of tactical teams to deal with increasingly less serious crimes can only lead to more incidents like this one.
That night, 16 armed officers from the SWAT team and campus police came to Strickland's rental home in a residential neighborhood.
Seven SWAT members, including Long, crowded Strickland's front stoop, waiting to rush inside. After one deputy knocked, Strickland put down his video remote and headed to answer the door.
When Strickland was a few feet shy of the door, Long fired through it.All this for a few stolen Playstations and a couple of guys the police only thought might have been armed- and none of whom were proven to be guilty.
Monday, March 10, 2008
A leader of Mahmoud Abbas's US-backed Fatah party has come out in support of the terrorist war being fought against US and British forces in Iraq. PA text books for school children also push attacks on American and British forces.
Mahmoud Ismail, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, expressed his support for the war on the US during an interview on official Palestinian Authority (PA) TV, which is under the control of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Isn't America currently giving millions of dollars in aid, military training and arms to the moderates of Fatah? Essentially, you might say, arming, funding and training their enemy- an enemy currently indoctrinating their children to attack American troops.
Yet again today, we see that Fatah is involved in advocating terrorism- worse, terrorism directed at American servicemen and -women.
Is anyone in Washington going to stand up and say enough is enough?
Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation.
Mr. Spitzer gained national attention when he served as attorney general with his relentless pursuit of Wall Street wrongdoing. As attorney general, he also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.
In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.He had no problem putting other people behind bars for committing the same crime he has now be caught at- so will he do the honourable thing and demand that he be punished accordingly? Or will he try and weasel out of it, using all of his political clout to avoid the punishment he thought others deserved?
US Marshal Judicial Security Inspector David A. Meyer told Horsley to pass on a warning to David about the "Court Security Improvement Act 2007"-
"Inspector Meyer asked me to contact you in regards to posting any information with the intent to threaten, intimidate, or incite the commission of a crime of violence against that covered official... "
Obviously David has never engaged in any threatening, intimidation or in any incitement to violence against officials. Astonishing that a US Marshal thinks it's appropriate to pass on a
Anyone care to comment on the legality of Meyer's actions in regard to this- not to mention his attempt to chill David's free speech? It seems to me that the only threats and intimidation are coming from Meyer.
The UK’s Home Office has banned Likud central committee member Moshe Feiglin from entering Britain.
A letter sent to Feiglin from the office of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, and published in this week’s Jewish Chronicle, says the minister has excluded him from the country, even though he had no plans to visit.
She even had the gall to mention the 7/7 bombings.
“I am writing to advise you that following the London bombings in July 2005, the home secretary announced a list of particular activities that would normally lead to a person being excluded or deported from the UK on the grounds that their presence in the country is not conducive to the public good,” the letter reads.
So because Muslim jihadists attack the UK, the Home Office is banning a Jewish member of parliament from visiting Britain- because he criticises Islam? Unbelievable. And it gets worse-
Earlier this month, British authorities granted permission to Ibrahim Mousawi, chief foreign new editor for Hizbullah’s Al-Manar television station in Lebanon, to enter the UK to participate in a number of political events.
So, democratically elected member of an ally country's parliament are not welcome but they're okay with murderous terrorist propagandists? What's next- banning George Bush but granting Osama Bin Laden a visa?
Well, not quite.
Sunday's protest near the city of Jalalabad on the highway leading to Pakistan followed violent demonstrations a day earlier in the western city of Herat against the cartoon and a film on the Koran by a right wing Dutch politician.
Chanting anti-Western slogans, the marchers in Jalalabad burnt Danish and Dutch flags demanding the cartoonist and the politician, who plans to release his film this month, be put on trial.
"If our demands are not fulfilled, we will stage more protests and resort to suicide attacks against the foreigners," said Ibrahim, a university student.
So, behave like good dhimmis and destroy your freedom of expression or we'll resort to the random murder of foreigners who have nothing whatsoever to do with it. Perhaps CAIR needs to go visit Afghanistan and explain to these upset Muslims that their religion forbids this sort of thing.
In truth he lived a privileged life bereft of racism in Hawaii and was something of an outcast in Indonesia- he was bullied, struggled to learn the local tongue and was called "negro" by his classmates.
Astonishing that he misrepresents the truth in such a manner. Is he trying to make America look bad? Conscious decision or not, this twisting of reality is very telling I think.
The Palestinian group Hamas, blamed for last week’s massacre of eight students at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem, has revealed that hundreds of its fighters have been trained in Iran.
A senior commander interviewed by The Sunday Times said 300 of the group’s “best brains” had been secretly sent to Tehran.
Half are still being trained by Revolutionary Guards. They are learning how to make explosives from everyday items and produce deadlier rockets.
Barack Obama, by the way, didn't bother to vote for the amendment which designated the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organisation- not only that but he said that he opposed the amendment. Hillary, to her credit, voted for the measure.
The rest have already returned from a Revolutionary Guard base in Tehran. Some have been trained as snipers. Others have learnt to use tunnels in attacks on Israeli forces.
“Iran is our mother,” the commander said. “She gives us information, military supplies and financial support.”
And the world looks the other way.
Well, seems that Israel doesn't agree with it either-
Yesterday, Israel's Mossad and Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence chiefs presented an annual security report to the Knesset warning of Syria's armament program.
The chiefs also warned of a possible flare-up at Israel's northern border with the Hezbollah terror group and said in their assessment Iran could cross the technological threshold enabling it to assemble a nuclear bomb by the end of next year.
Kind of makes you wonder if John Bolton was right when he said that the NIE was "politics disguised as intelligence"?
Curious he set up an experiment with a mannequin on the range dressed in a uniform with a piece of paper representing the t-shirt. He selected a group of shooters he knew to be of average skill-
Explaining only that this was a "quick course in low-light shooting" so as not to tip off the true point of the test, Richards led each officer to a spot about 10 feet in front of the target. He told each to draw at the sound of a timer buzzer, step to the left or to the right, come up on target, fire 3 rounds as fast as possible, then scan the area. By incorporating movement, scanning and time pressure, "I wanted to distract them from thinking too much about the target."
These are officers trained to aim centre mass remember.
In his low-light experiment, by contrast, more than 80% of the shots across all the officers and all sets of fire hit in or immediately around the Triangle of Death simulated by the peek of white paper. In other words, Richards concluded, in low light they overrode their training and focused their shots on what was most vividly visible. All the officers confirmed in a post-shooting debrief that the patch of white had drawn their aim.
Amazing how under the minimal stress of a shooting test, training went out the window and instinct took over. Something to bear in mind if you own a gun for the defence of yourself, family or home. Think also of the targeting effect of what you're wearing.
Mahmoud Abbas’s official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper has honored the killer of the eight high school students gunned down this week with the status of Shahid - Holy Islamic Martyr. In so doing, the PA is sending its people a straightforward message of support for the terror murders and the murderer. According to the PA interpretation of Islam, there is no higher status that a human being can achieve today than that of Shahid.
Let me repeat that- the PA is praising a scumbag who murdered innocent people, most of them teenagers, in cold blood. As the linked article at LGF points out Congress has mandated that no US funds show go to any group which advocates terrorism- meaning that the PA shouldn't receive any more of the US taxpayer's money.
The chances of the PA not getting American cash are slim though, as the current administration and the State Dept. labours under the notion that they can "do business" with this particular brand of genocidal terrorist because they claim to be moderate.
Telling that there isn't a single Palestinian group that genuinely wants to make peace with their Jewish neighbours, isn't it?
Note too that the supposedly more secular PA praises this mass-murderer in purely religious language.
UPDATE- Once again Abbas dissembles for his Western money machine-
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Saturday for talks with Israel despite a surge of violence and said that a just peace was his people’s goal.
“We condemn all the attacks, we demand peace and we are determined to make peace, and there is no other path but the path of peace based on international justice,” Abbas told a rally at his headquarters.
"The failure of the Iraqi state would be a disaster," he said at a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, according to an audiotape of the session. "It would dishonor the 900-plus men and women who have already died. . . . It would be a betrayal of the promise that we made to the Iraqi people, and it would be hugely destabilizing from a national security perspective."
And yet now he doesn't seem to mind dishonouring the fallen American troops who gave so much, nor throwing the Iraqi people to the wolves. But, hey, it's not flip-flopping when Obama does it, it's "evolution". He went on to say,
"We have to manage our exit in a responsible way," he told the council, "at the very least taking care not to plunge the country into an even deeper and perhaps irreparable crisis."
And yet his position today is that he will withdraw US troops within one year. How he's going to pull off this magic trick he has yet to explain.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Among the thousands of drivers who have been issued $40 fines after being nabbed by Montgomery County's new speed cameras are scores of county police officers. The difference is, many of the officers are refusing to pay.
Their excuse is that the tickets are issued not to the driver but to the County-owned cars. Sure, the cars must have made them speed.
In recent weeks, officers have twice been photographed speeding past a camera and extending a middle finger, an act that police supervisors interpreted as a gesture of defiance. "There is no excuse for that kind of behavior," said Andrews, who was briefed on the incidents.
Ah, their noted professionalism and respect for the law!
During the last eight months of 2007, the department's cameras recorded 224 instances in which county police vehicles were nabbed traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit, the department disclosed this week in response to an inquiry from The Washington Post.
Now, 76 of these were legitimate as officers were responding to calls but two thirds of the remainder have refused to pay- despite the fact that fire-fighters, the Sheriff's Department and different municipal police departments are paying their own fines. It's only County cops who think they should be allowed to break the law with impunity.