Friday, June 30, 2006

Katherine Harris Made My Grandchildren Safer

Regardless of what the Republican Party does about Katherine Harris in Florida this year, I will support her and give her my vote. If it were not for her courageous and rightful actions in 2000, we would undoubtedly be awash in Islamofascist terrorist acts all across the United States. Thousands more Americans would be dead. 9/11 would have seemed to be a picnic. Why do I say this? Because Al Gore would have been President during 9/11, and the sorry record on terrorism compiled by the Clinton-Gore administration would have been continued.

Excerpts from a recent article by Louis Freeh, former FBI Director:

“Ten years ago today, acting under direct orders from senior Iranian government leaders, the Saudi Hezbollah detonated a 25,000-pound TNT bomb that killed 19 U.S. airmen in their dormitory at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The blast wave destroyed Building 131 and grievously wounded hundreds of additional Air Force personnel. It also killed an unknown number of Saudi civilians in a nearby park…..

It soon became clear that Mr. Clinton and his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, had no interest in confronting the fact that Iran had blown up the towers. This is astounding, considering that the Saudi Security Service had arrested six of the bombers after the attack. As FBI agents sifted through the remains of Building 131 in 115-degree heat, the bombers admitted they had been trained by the Iranian external security service (IRGC) in Lebanon's Beka Valley and received their passports at the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria, along with $250,000 cash for the operation from IRGC Gen. Ahmad Sharifi.

We later learned that senior members of the Iranian government, including Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Intelligence and Security and the Spiritual Leader's office had selected Khobar as their target and commissioned the Saudi Hezbollah to carry out the operation. The Saudi police told us that FBI agents had to interview the bombers in custody in order to make our case. To make this happen, however, the U.S. president would need to make a personal request to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.

So for 30 months, I wrote and rewrote the same set of simple talking points for the president, Mr. Berger, and others to press the FBI's request to go inside a Saudi prison and interview the Khobar bombers. And for 30 months nothing happened. The Saudis reported back to us that the president and Mr. Berger would either fail to raise the matter with the crown prince or raise it without making any request. On one such occasion, our commander in chief instead hit up Prince Abdullah for a contribution to his library. Mr. Berger never once, in the course of the five-year investigation which coincided with his tenure, even asked how the investigation was going.” Opinion Journal

Many other major terrorist acts were committed against Americans and American interests on the Clinton-Gore watch and were essentially ignored. Among them include the attempted destruction of the World Trade Towers on 2/26/1993, the bombing of American servicemen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 11/13/1995, the above mentioned Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia on 6/25/1996, the simultaneous bombings of our embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 8/7/1998 and the attack on the USS Cole on 10/12/2000.

Forgive me if I thank God each day that George Bush was President during 9/11, and on his watch, we have taken the fight to the enemy – with the result, so far, of no further terrorist acts on American soil or against American interests. What the treachery of the New York Times will do to this record I do not know.

Forgive me also if I laugh again when former President Clinton repeats for the nth time that he would really have accepted the offer to capture or kill Osama bin Laden if he had just been “sure”.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Gulf Oil, Hypocrisy and Military Bases

Hypocrisy is the name of the game for most politicians of both parties. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the discussions about removing all American troops from Iraq at some time in the near future. Every Congressman knows two things: 1. until oil is replaced by some other fuel as the prime source of heat and of motive power, American forces must remain in strength in the Middle East to protect the oil fields and the oil routes from the crazies, and 2. in Iraq, the United States is well along in building the largest (fortified) embassy it has any where in the world, along with several huge and permanent military bases.

This has been well reported in the press, so no Democratic House member or Senator can claim ignorance about this as he or she screams about ‘bringing home all the troops’. For example:

Chicago Tribune March 23, 2004

14 `enduring bases' set in Iraq
Long-term military presence planned

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Building permanent U.S. bases in Iraq sends wrong signal
Sunday, May 15, 2005

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Washington Monthly
February 19, 2006

"PERMANENT" "BASES" IN "IRAQ"....The United States is building at least four "super-bases" in Iraq, military compounds that are almost certainly designed to be huge permanent presences there.

Not only do the calls to ‘cut and run’ demoralize our soldiers and the Iraqis and encourage our enemies to hang in there, these calls have no possible objective except to energize or placate the extreme, left-wing kook base of the Democratic Party. American troops will and should be rotated in and out of Iraq as conditions on the ground and the status of the fledgling Iraqi army warrant, but not many adults will live to see the day when all American forces will be able to withdraw completely from the area in and around the Persian Gulf. That is an unpleasant fact that grown-ups have to deal with.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Kelo Decision and President Bush

Although the American people are overwhelming outraged by the recent eminent domain decision of the Supreme Court (Kelo vs. New London), and while many government entities have passed legislation and regulations to minimize its impact, the rapacious takeovers by private developers in New London and Riviera Beach are proceeding at full speed. It appears that nothing can be done to save the citizens of these communities from the legal theft of their property, and probably only a revisiting of this decision by the Supreme Court can save the rest of us from this trashing of a basic American right to the enjoyment of one’s own home or place of business.

I want to repeat a comment I made in a column earlier this year after Judge Alito was confirmed:

“The problem is that the elevation of Justice Alito to the Supreme Court is not, in itself, enough of a change to rectify the situation. Remember that the justices who voted in favor of New London were: Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg, Kennedy and Souter – all liberal judges. Those voting against were O’Connor, a swing judge, and justices Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas – all conservative judges. Chief Justice Roberts has replaced Rehnquist, and Justice Alito has replaced O’Connor. This means that the balance on the Kelo case probably has not changed; we need another conservative justice to overturn.

What this really means is that conservatives across the country must keep working and keep contributing money so that the Senate remains in Republican hands this year, and to avoid another filibuster, elect even more Republicans than we now have. Then we have to hope that President Bush gets an opportunity to appoint another justice who is a strict constructionist.” From Sea to Shining Sea

I want also to point out that we learned this week just where President Bush stands on the Kelo decision. He issued an executive order that forbids the federal government from participating in schemes of this nature that transfer private property to other private ownership using the power of eminent domain.

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 23, 2006

Executive Order: Protecting the Property Rights of the American People
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to strengthen the rights of the American people against the taking of their private property, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect the rights of Americans to their private property, including by limiting the taking of private property by the Federal Government to situations in which the taking is for public use, with just compensation, and for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken.

Sec. 2. Implementation. (a) The Attorney General shall:
(i) issue instructions to the heads of departments and agencies to implement the policy set forth in section 1 of this order; and
(ii) monitor takings by departments and agencies for compliance with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.
(b) Heads of departments and agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law:
(i) comply with instructions issued under subsection (a)(i); and
(ii) provide to the Attorney General such information as the Attorney General determines necessary to carry out subsection (a)(ii).

Sec. 3. Specific Exclusions. Nothing in this order shall be construed to prohibit a taking of private property by the Federal Government, that otherwise complies with applicable law, for the purpose of:
(a) public ownership or exclusive use of the property by the public, such as for a public medical facility, roadway, park, forest, governmental office building, or military reservation;
(b) projects designated for public, common carrier, public transportation, or public utility use, including those for which a fee is assessed, that serve the general public and are subject to regulation by a governmental entity;
c) conveying the property to a nongovernmental entity, such as a telecommunications or transportation common carrier, that makes the property available for use by the general public as of right;
(d) preventing or mitigating a harmful use of land that constitutes a threat to public health, safety, or the environment;
(e) acquiring abandoned property;
(f) quieting title to real property;
(g) acquiring ownership or use by a public utility;
(h) facilitating the disposal or exchange of Federal property; or
(i) meeting military, law enforcement, public safety, public transportation, or public health emergencies.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) authority granted by law to a department or agency or the head thereof; or
(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(c) This order shall be implemented in a manner consistent with Executive Order 12630 of March 15, 1988.
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

June 23, 2006.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Good! I Thought We Were Only Detaining Swedish Grandmothers

Two recent news items provide a certain insight:
First Item:

“A group of Muslim and Arab-Americans, frustrated by what they say is the climate of suspicion and fear that dogs their re-entry into the United States from trips abroad, sued the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. yesterday, demanding that the courts protect their civil rights.

The seven main plaintiffs in the class action suit assert that both the United States Congress and the federal government are ignoring the plight of innocent Americans harassed repeatedly because of problems with the terrorist watch list.
The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Chicago by the American Civil Liberties Union, contends that the courts alone can ensure that antiterrorism policies do not repeatedly subject ordinary Americans to detention, questioning, fingerprinting and the like.

"These are law-abiding citizens, and it is too extreme, too offensive," said Harvey Grossman, the legal director for the A.C.L.U.'s Illinois branch, saying that repeated complaints to Homeland Security as well as senators or congressmen barely get a response. "The court is the only forum where these people have a chance to get a hearing."

The lawsuit asserts that repeated border detentions and improper actions of border guards violate the plaintiffs' constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure and their right to travel.

Civil rights lawyers and government officials note that the courts have often struck down efforts to limit the scope of searches or questioning by border agents. But at least one other suit, a New York case involving five Muslim Americans who were detained without explanation after returning from a religious conference in Toronto, is proceeding.” New York Times

Profiling is one of those words that has entered the lore of political correctness. Horrors! Not profiling! Let’s not look more closely at those who have traits in common with most criminals or with terrorists. Let’s waste our precious police and anti-terrorism resources examining Swedish grandmothers or my Aunt Irene with the same intensity as we examine young, Muslim men, who just happen to be the ones who are killing us. If there is a problem, let the here-to-fore silent majority of ‘peaceful’ Muslims correct the problem by shutting down the violent jihads going on around the world. Notice also that these complaining men suffered some inconveniences; they are not languishing forever in Saddam-type jails and torture chambers.

Second news item:

“The government has released the indictment for the seven men (all Muslims) arrested in Miami last night, and the charges levied do not mince words. The government will charge the men with "levying war against the government of the United States":
A federal indictment against seven men revealed Friday details of what the government said was a plan intended to "kill all the devils we can."

The mission was intended to be "as good or greater than 9/11," beginning with the destruction of Chicago's Sears Tower, according to court documents obtained Friday by CNN.

Named in the grand jury indictment is Narseal Batiste, who allegedly told a federal undercover agent, who he thought was a member of al Qaeda, that he was organizing a mission to build an Islamic army to wage a jihad in the United States.
The document says that Batiste "recruited and supervised individuals in order to organize and train for a mission to wage war against the United States government, which included a plot to destroy by explosives the Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois," the nation's tallest building.”

Mohammed Atta was found to have made 10 trips, mostly from the USA to Prague just before 9/11. Although these Miami jerks are home-grown and appear to be the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, if they were not caught, they would undoubtedly have linked up with foreign jihadists – traveling, like Mohammed Atta did, back and forth overseas, to formulate plans and carry out murderous programs of Al-Queda. We are all safer tonight.

Norman Mineta, Sec. of Transportation, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
God, I hate the ACLU.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, June 23, 2006

Tell Me Why the NY Times Should Open Tomorrow

I grew up during World War II, and remember not only that it consumed our thoughts and our energies, but that it was them or us. Today we are again at war with an enemy more widespread and barbarous than even Hitler's SS or Tojo's Bataan-march officers could ever have imagined, and we have faced before the terrors of suicide bombers (we called them Kamikazes). One big difference I see is the continual exposing of our nation's secrets by the New York Times - fed by liberal holdover leakers in the administration who think they know better than the President we elected and who is the only one we entrust with our destiny and our safety. I do not understand why we do not arrest the Times' decision-makers, close down the operation, and sell the assets like we do with drug traffickers. I understand that a free nation needs a free press, but in time of war, a free press must exercise some responsibility. Can one of my liberal friends tell me why we should allow such behavior? I am very sure that if a US newspaper had thought revealing the German Enigma or the Japanese JN25 code to be a smart-alecky thing to do, they would have been under FBI arrest within hours.

From The National Review:

"The effort, which the government calls the “Terrorist Finance Tracking Program” (TFTP), is entirely legal. There are no conceivable constitutional violations involved. The Supreme Court held in United States v. Miller (1976) that there is no right to privacy in financial-transaction information maintained by third parties. Here, moreover, the focus is narrowed to suspected international terrorists, not Americans, and the financial transactions implicated are international, not domestic. This is not data mining, and it does not involve fishing expeditions into the financial affairs of American citizens. Indeed, few Americans even have information that is captured by the program — though there would be nothing legally offensive even if they did.

And unlike the last vital program the New York Times compromised — the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, which the same reporters, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, exposed last December — there is not even a facially plausible concern that the TFTP violates statutory law. The provisions germane here (mainly, the Right to Financial Privacy Act that Congress enacted in 1978 in reaction to Miller) do not even apply to the nerve center at issue, the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

That’s because SWIFT, as it is better known, is not a financial institution at all. It is a consortium, centered not in the U.S. but in Belgium, which simply — albeit importantly — oversees how funds are routed globally. It is a messenger, not a bank. Nevertheless, in an abundance of caution, the government uses administrative subpoenas — which were expressly provided for by Congress in the aforementioned Financial Privacy Act and the Patriot Act — when it seeks SWIFT information. That’s not just legal; it’s hyper-legal." National Review Online

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Now the Clintonistas Want War

It is most appalling that former Clinton officials, having given away the store to the North Koreans, and having led the protests against the continuation and full development of our ‘Starwars’ anti-missile defense system, should now be calling for the USA to “shoot down” any attempt by them to launch a long range missile. What do they have in mind; for us to bomb their missile launch facilities if we detect a final fueling? Do they not realize that this is an act of war that could lead to disastrous consequences at a time when we are fully committed to a War on Terror that stretches military resources - also cut back during the Clinton years?

The mindset of the typical Democrat has had me scratching my head over and over again through the years. If we had continued the Reagan inspired missile defense system, we might well now have the capability to intercept it in flight, which is not an act of war but an act of defense. We may well actually have this capability; I hope so, but I do not think it possible given the defunding of the program, again, during the Clinton years.

Two things are for sure: 1. if the North Koreans do fire their missile, we’d better not shoot at it unless we are virtually certain that we can bring it down, and 2. we should take some of the money being wasted on the slugs in New Orleans and redirect it to Starwars. We’ll cut down on corruption, and our children will be safer.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, June 22, 2006

This Guy Just Makes Me Ill; Thanks Again Swiftees

A column by David Mittell in today’s Providence Journal caught my eye. It was devoted to enumerating John Kerry’s many deceits over the years -designed to advance his personal interest. As one who protested the Vietnam War long before it was fashionable (I wrote a scathing, open letter to President Johnson about the Haiphong bombings), I feel some authority to talk about the copperhead from Massachusetts and to gloat a little when I read a column like Mittell’s.

Of course, I first must go on to say that I was wrong. Conventional wisdom from those who are essentially ignorant of history may be that Vietnam was a mistake, but it really turned out to be a useful battle in the war against the expansion of Soviet domination that helped to turn the strategic situation our way. It can be compared to the Battle of the Coral Sea against the Japanese in 1942. That battle was considered to be a costly draw, in that we could not afford at that time to trade losses with the enemy, but when the Japanese invasion fleet destined for the conquest of Australia turned back, a major turning point had been reached in our favor. Today’s Iraq War protestors should learn a little WWII history.

Getting back to Kerry, I can’t tell you how ashamed I was in 1971 when I watched him change sides and attack the sacrifice and character of his former comrades, when he realized that he wasn’t going to be able to ride his medals to political victory as had his prototype, President Kennedy. I was ashamed to have ever been a war protestor, and somewhat in the same company as this charlatan, with his fake Kennedy accent.

As Mittell further points out, Kerry’s recent speech demanding an immediate pullout from Iraq while the President is in Baghdad, and the Iraqi cabinet has just been formed makes for a familiar pattern of role reversals over the years – designed to advance personal ambition at whatever the cost. Thank you, again, Swift Boat Veterans.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Way to Inject Decency and Lower Campaign Costs

Here in Rhode Island, over the last several weeks, we have been subjected to an unending slinging of negative political ads by Senator Chafee and his opponent in the Republican primary, Steve Laffey, both on TV and on the radio.

These ads are disgusting, often untruthful, irritating, and most likely, effective in driving up the negatives of each man. A side issue is the obvious decision of the Republican Party to support Senator Chafee, buffoon that he is, because of his family name and the support that he has in this most liberal state for his decidedly erratic views – one of which was to write in the name of Bush 41 during the last presidential election. Republicans would rather have a RINO, than no Republican at all, seems to be the calculation, because Laffey, although a popular and attractive conservative voice, is not popular with the union bosses who really run this state.

Pondering this, and continuing to chafe at the horrendous results of the last attempt to reform the electoral process, the despicable McCain-Finegold Act, I was reminded of a reform idea I had several years ago:

It seems to me that any commercial that is clearly political and presented on television or radio and which mentions a political opponent, should only feature the politician running the ad.
If Senator Chafee wishes to call Stephen Laffey a blackguard and a liar, he, Senator Chafee, should be the one to say it, not some unknown actor. If Mr. Laffey wishes to point out the imperfections of Senator Chafee, he, Mr. Laffey, should be the one to do it.

No more silky, vaguely familiar and professional voices placed against the background of multi-million dollar video graphics; no more slick television productions (like the original of the species – the daisy ad run against Barry Goldwater). The only image we would see and hear would be a man or a woman looking into the camera at you and telling you that his or her opponent is a dirty liar and a near-criminal.

Why will this help? First, I believe that no politician running for office has the same stomach for throwing political dirt when he is the one actually doing it rather than some unknown actor. Second, I believe that politicians will soon discover that some of the dirt thrown blows right back on the thrower. Third, I’m sure that this type of ad production will be far less costly, probably by an order of magnitude, than the costs associated with present ads – thus reducing greatly the cost of political campaigns.

Why haven’t we tried this already? Clearly there are constitutional issues with this new political broadcasting rule. There will be groups that will certainly sue that they are losing the right to discuss issues – including that of a particular race. It’s the reason I never pursued this idea before. However, since we lost basic constitutional rights with the passage and approval, so far, of McCain-Finegold, I am confident that the lawyer-politicians will find a way to incorporate this rule and not violate our Constitution. It will certainly improve all our lives.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, June 19, 2006

In Hockey, As In Basketball, Sharp Teamwork Can Be Elusive

My piece on Saturday that praised the Carolina Hurricanes for their sharp teamwork, and described the ragged play of the Edmonton Oilers, must have inspired the Oilers, because on Saturday the two teams seemed to exchange places. In game 6 Edmonton, playing at home, by a score of 4 to 0, routed the Hurricanes, who looked confused and slow. Last night, in Raleigh, both teams played great team hockey, and as I had thought, the Hurricanes won the cup with a 3 to 1 victory (including an empty net goal). The difference was the play of the Hurricanes’ goaltender, Cam Ward. It was great hockey, and I love the new rules. I can hardly wait until next fall.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Hopefully Nifong Has Shot Himself in the Foot

All too often news events that occur here are so over-reported by network and cable TV that they drive these stories into the ground, and you soon get to the point where you change channels as soon as you detect another mention of the ongoing episode. Who are these people, I wonder, who want to hear more about Natalee Holloway in Aruba? Remember also Laci Peterson, former Congressman Condit, and now the Duke lacrosse rape case.

But those of us driven to dismay and even queasiness over the antics of the Durham County,NC District Attorney Mike Nifong have some new news and some new hope that a form of justice will eventually be handed out. Durham Republican County Chairman Steve Monks told ABC News that he will announce his intention to challenge Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong in a press conference at 4 p.m. ET today.

The obvious actions of the existing DA in using this case to advance his political ambitions and win the primary last month, despite the damage done to the young men involved and to the university, may finally be avenged by his defeat in the general election. I don’t know anything about Durham County politics, but I do believe there are enough decent people everywhere to do the right thing, given the opportunity.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Will The Game of Hockey Make It? Tune In Tonight

Tonight, on NBC, teams from the unlikely cities of Edmonton, Alberta and Raleigh, North Carolina, are playing game 6 of the Stanley Cup hockey championship – largely unnoticed except by rabid fans in those cities. The game of hockey, which requires the greatest skill set and personal courage of the players and is easily the fastest and most demanding of all team sports, has fallen on bad times despite the influx of Russian, Scandinavian and Eastern European hockey players with amazing skills that challenge the dominance once held exclusively by our Canadian neighbors to the north. The all-important television ratings have fallen so low that only the largely unknown and inaccessible OLN network has carried the quarter and semi-final games.

Some of this lack of interest is undoubtedly due to the incredibly stupid strike and lockout that took professional hockey off our radar for an entire year in 2004-2005, but hockey had been suffering long before that. The Bobby Orr inspired days when every New England town supported hockey leagues are long gone. The diminishing of traditional rivalries and the addition of so many new teams in unlikely places has taken its toll.

This is especially unfortunate this year because the two teams playing for the Cup are so different in character and style of play. The Carolina Hurricanes play superb team hockey, their penalty playing, both short-handed and with the man advantage, is a thing of beauty, and their tactics and discipline on shot selection and placement are outstanding. They have one of the best, young goalies in the league, and by all rights, should have won four straight.
The Edmonton Oilers have some great players, but most of the time the cohesiveness of their teamwork falls short, their passing is shoddy and their shots on goal could be rejected by my grandmother. They may have the worst power play seen on ice this year. Despite that, due to some exceptional individual performances and lucky puck bounces, they are down only 3 to 2 as the series moves back to Edmonton.

Because of the many rules changes, designed to speed up the game and enhance scoring abilities, you may want to give hockey another chance, although some of the changes may confuse you, and others are somewhat subtle. The day of the huge and stolid center, who could hold his position in front of the goal until someone got him the puck despite all attempts to move him out, are gone – he’s too slow for today’s game, and the rules don’t permit moving him out any more. One of the outstanding Carolina players is a small center named Rod Brind’Amour, who looks like your Aunt Irene as he skates, but is always in the center of the action and wins most of the face-offs. I’ll be rooting for the underdog, Oilers, but I know that in a seven game series, the lucky puck bounces and the bad calls even out, and Carolina will probably win out. I just hope the game of hockey that I love will survive whatever has put it down.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Not Interested or Sick of Darwinism Debates?

I come back now and then to the subject of Darwinism not so much to get at an answer, but because of the incredible significance of Darwin’s underpinning of the collapse of a God-inspired life of moral absolutes and of the growth of the liberal religion of collectivism and doing whatever feels right.

A few additional and significant steps in the long battle to show our children that they are part of something larger than their own immediate pleasure occurred this week when South Carolina also decided that its children should learn all about evolution (the evidence for and the evidence against) and not just the party line; also our premier scientist in DNA research just published a book explaining that his work now points to the mind of God as the only possible source of the immense information contained in the human genome.

Some excerpts:

South Carolina Praised for Requiring Students to Critically Analyze Evolutionary Theory

Columbia, SC, Evolution –- After months of debate, today the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee unanimously ratified high school biology standards requiring students to understand why "scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory." The South Carolina State Board of Education adopted the standards unanimously last month, and submitted them to the EOC for approval. South Carolina’s new evolution standard does not require teaching the theory of intelligent design.

The biology standard approved requires students to be able to, “Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.” This falls under the overall biology standard which says that “The student will demonstrate an understanding of biological evolution and the diversity of life.”

“This victory is an important milestone towards improving the quality of science education, by ensuring that students learn the full range of relevant scientific evidence, including the scientific criticisms of evolution,” said Casey Luskin an attorney and public policy analyst with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. “South Carolina is the fifth current state to require students to learn about scientific criticisms of evolution and this policy helps remedy the problem that most biology textbooks today largely ignore scientific challenges to Darwinism.”
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Sunday Times June 11, 2006

I’ve found God, says man who cracked the genome
Steven Swinford

THE scientist who led the team that cracked the human genome is to publish a book explaining why he now believes in the existence of God and is convinced that miracles are real.

Francis Collins, the director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute, claims there is a rational basis for a creator and that scientific discoveries bring man “closer to God”.

His book, The Language of God, to be published in September, will reopen the age-old debate about the relationship between science and faith. “One of the great tragedies of our time is this impression that has been created that science and religion have to be at war,” said Collins, 56.

“I don’t see that as necessary at all and I think it is deeply disappointing that the shrill voices that occupy the extremes of this spectrum have dominated the stage for the past 20 years.”

For Collins, unravelling the human genome did not create a conflict in his mind. Instead, it allowed him to “glimpse at the workings of God”.

“When you make a breakthrough it is a moment of scientific exhilaration because you have been on this search and seem to have found it,” he said. “But it is also a moment where I at least feel closeness to the creator in the sense of having now perceived something that no human knew before but God knew all along.

“When you have for the first time in front of you this 3.1 billion-letter instruction book that conveys all kinds of information and all kinds of mystery about humankind, you can’t survey that going through page after page without a sense of awe. I can’t help but look at those pages and have a vague sense that this is giving me a glimpse of God’s mind.”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Few More Conservative Points

Isn’t it interesting that some of the Canadian Muslim terrorists are complaining of being tortured by Canadian police. Sound familiar?

The primary role and responsibility of a conservative is to preserve this wonderful republic left to us by our forebears from the evils of the world and the natural inclinations of a democracy to self-destruct by raids on the treasury.

If the primary motivation of the Democrats is to win a majority in the House so they can impeach Bush for protecting this country, I will increase my contributions to the Republican Party 10-fold, even though I’m outraged about immigration.

I won’t even discuss same-sex marriage. Some things are just too ridiculous on their face.

The concern over treatment and suicides at Guantanamo and of the rights of convicted child sex offenders is lost on me.

I wish Ann Coulter could find a less unpleasant way of speaking unpleasant truths.

Apparently Haditha is going the same way as the flushing of the Koran and the outing of Valerie Plame. Honestly, the tactics of the left are actually getting amusing, instead of infuriating. I guess the California voters felt the same way last week.

Senator Reid just announced that Tropical Storm Alfredo just convinced him of global warming. The storm’s name is Alberto; his science is about as good as his short-term memory.

“The UN spends a lot of money - and a huge chunk of it American money - in efforts which mostly insult the United States and its allies. Sometimes, just to pass the time, the UN will send some peacekeepers to watch a genocide or two - and rape a few girls into the bargain, as its rather boring to just watch inhuman slaughter.
The UN is morally bankrupt and as long as Russia, China and France have veto power in it, it is an organization which can't be reformed. Get us out of it - start again from scratch; this time, not allowing tyrants to have a seat at the table.”
From Blogs for Bush

“Here's another propaganda element. Average automobile fuel-efficiency hit a 19-year low under Clinton-Gore -- it was worse than under Ronald Reagan. President Bush has raised fuel standards more than Clinton-Gore. But Gore wants to lampoon the man who defeated him in 2000. So he shows his audience one of his trademark charts, this one comparing U.S. automobile fuel efficiency with other countries. The chart begins in the year 2002 -- it has to, because Bush performed better than Clinton-Gore.” Real Clear Politics

“A judge has told Alex Baldwin that he needs to get a psycholobical evaluation, something which many of us have believed necessary since he went on television and said ”...if we were in another country… We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families”” The American Thinker

"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." (George Orwell)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Some Random Thoughts While On Percocet

A reviewer in today’s paper said that “Deadwood”, HBO’s series, would soon be cancelled (HBO is the ‘F’ word network. They have a rule there that every sentence uttered must contain the ‘F’ word). While laid up, I watched every “Deadwood” program from several DVD’s. Although it is fiction, I think “Deadwood” gives a pretty revealing picture of the brutality and hopelessness of the lives led by the common man before the rule of law and the incredible prosperity of the American Dream came to fruition.

The rule of law means that a person’s fate when facing authority is to be determined by pre-existing rules and procedures – and not by the whim of some dictator or Imam. It is what our forefathers risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for 230 years ago, and it is what our soldiers and most Iraqis are fighting for now. That this moral underpinning coincides with our need to defeat the Islamic terrorists and our need to keep the oil flowing helps when the barbarities of all wars occasionally seep through. To those who just can’t stand war, please just get the hell out of the way.

Our American children of today, the entitlement generation, have no conception that even the poorest of them have a higher standard of living than did most people who walked this planet for thousands of years. If anyone can be said to be at fault, this is the fault of my own generation, because we have stopped teaching our children our history; we have turned our schools into vehicles for questionable social change; and we have robbed them of the discipline they so desperately need.

Unfortunately we have gotten ourselves into a position where the only real hope for positive change is to compete with public schools by voucher-supported private schools. This will accomplish two things: 1. it will force public schools to change for the better in order to survive, and 2. it will provide a decent education to some disadvantaged children who are not getting one now.

The only problem is, just as the Democrats keep stopping us from developing domestic energy as they complain about energy costs and shortages, the alliance of public school unions with Democrat politicians is sabotaging attempts to institute voucher programs. Here is an excerpt from a recent article on the subject:

The Education Borg

”In Florida and Wisconsin, teachers unions crush educational opportunities.

Teachers unions keep telling us they care deeply, profoundly, about poor children. But what they do, as opposed to what they say, is behave like the Borg, those destructive aliens in the "Star Trek" TV series who keep coming and coming until everyone is "assimilated."

We saw it in Florida this month when the state supreme court struck down a six-year-old voucher program after a union-led lawsuit. And now we're witnessing it in Milwaukee, where the nation's largest school choice program is under assault because Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle refuses to lift the cap on the number of students who can participate.

Milwaukee's Parental Choice Program, enacted with bipartisan support in 1990, provides private school vouchers to students from families at or below 175% of the poverty line. Its constitutionality has been supported by rulings from both the Wisconsin and U.S. Supreme Courts.

Yet Mr. Doyle, a union-financed Democrat, has vetoed three attempts to loosen the state law that limits enrollment in the program to 15% of Milwaukee's public school enrollment. This cap, put in place in 1995 as part of a compromise with anti-choice lawmakers backed by the unions, wasn't an issue when only a handful of schools were participating. But the program has grown steadily to include 127 schools and more than 14,000 students today. Wisconsin officials expect the voucher program to exceed the 15% threshold next year, which means Mr. Doyle's schoolhouse-door act is about to have real consequences.

"Had the cap been in effect this year," says Susan Mitchell of School Choice Wisconsin, "as many as 4,000 students already in the program would have lost seats. No new students could come in, and there would be dozens of schools that have been built because of school choice in Milwaukee that would close. They're in poor neighborhoods and would never have enough support from tuition-paying parents or donors to keep going."” Wall Street Journal Editorial

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, June 09, 2006

Self-Loathing and the Denial of Terrorism

I was going to wait awhile before rejoining the battle again (the battle against tyranny and collectivism waged by our forefathers and by every patriot since our great country fought its way into existence), but this piece of truthful satire published today was so powerful, I had to bring it to you.

"Self-Loathing and the Denial of Terrorism"
c.2006 Newhouse News Service

You're an enlightened world citizen. Your T-shirt says "9/11 was an inside job." You're pretty sure we're living in a fascist state, that President Bush taps the Dixie Chicks' phones, Christian abortion clinic bombers outnumber jihadis, and the war on "terror" is a distraction from the real threats: carbon emissions and Pat Robertson. Then you learn that 17 people were arrested in a terrorist bomb plot. How do you process the information? Let's take it step by step.

Gosh, that's horrible, you think. But no -- that's what they WANT you to feel. Recall the prime directive: Question Authority (unless he's a college professor). The plotters must have been impoverished olive farmers radicalized by the removal of Saddam Hussein. Why, if someone came in and toppled your president, you'd go to their country and ... well, you'd thank them. Unless they did it for the wrong reasons! Then you'd blow something up. Like an SUV dealership. At night. Anyway, you understand; you care a lot about Iraqis these days. You think about Iraq more than China, to be honest, but it's not as if you'll scrape off your "Free Tibet" bumper sticker -- unless it's to make room for "Free Darfur." Or "Hands Off Darfur," depending.

Wait a minute: The "terrorists" were Canadian? You can understand someone blowing up trains in Spain and London. They sent troops to an illegal war cooked up by neocons who want to kill brown people for Exxon and Jesus, or something. You can understand, reluctantly, blowing up teens in an Israeli pizza parlor, because the Jews took the West Bank from the sovereign, ancient nation of Palestine. (How can a liberal socialist country behave so poorly? The world is full of mysteries.) But Canada? Isn't Michael Moore from Canada? You can get medical marijuana from married gay doctors in Canada, and no one has guns. You console yourself: Maybe they were really planning to attack the U.S.

You realize the suspects were all Muslim, and you dread the inevitable pogroms. Haven't been any yet, but any day now. You read that a mosque was vandalized in Toronto after the arrest, and you feel a certain grim relief. Finally, racism! Banners. If you're going to have a march, you'll need banners.

But wait. You read that the suspects were not connected to al-Qaida, and you're confused for a moment. Maybe it won't be over if they get Osama bin Laden (provided he isn't really in an supersecret Idaho prison). What if the "terrorists" hate you for their own reasons? The evildoer-in-chief said "they hate our freedoms" -- as if we have freedoms, really, just try and get a bike-messenger job that has full health benefits. But what if rights and mixed-sex education and an economy based on sustainable hemp-based art installations mean nothing to them?

Maybe you could convince them to hold off while you fix Amerikkka. At least you can get it down to one k. Maybe if the Democrats take the House back. A 10-seat swing won't make the imams cool down, but 20 seats, in red states? Would that be a good-faith effort?

You worry this will push Haditha off the front page. It's very important that everyone concentrate on the atrocities committed by U.S. troops every day. (It's such a relief not to have to pretend to support the troops anymore.) Anyway, nothing happened. Nothing blew up. If the suspects were planning something, they didn't do it, and this proves we can handle this as a law enforcement matter. Even though the police are racists.

Your head hurts.

You have a friend in Toronto. She's cool. It would kill her if these arrests were made possible by NSA eavesdropping.

You find yourself almost wishing there was another real attack, so people could see the logical consequences of "fighting back" after 9/11. Yes, it would be bad, but sometimes you have to break an egg to show people the health impact of omelettes. Is it wrong to wish the Canadian terrorists might have succeeded?

Shouldn't you know the answer to that question?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button