Saturday, September 30, 2006

More Good News; Someone Is Listening

Just 6 days ago I posted an article about how the hate-America crowd had hijacked the Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania and the Arizona memorial to 9/11; they have tried, but not yet succeeded in undermining the Ground Zero memorial in New York City. Things are happening fast. Just yesterday, this news report was issued in Arizona:

PHOENIX — A state commission that authorized placement of the Arizona 9-11 Memorial in Wesley Bolin Plaza will review controversial laser-cut inscriptions “and see if some of them could be removed,” the panel’s chairman said Wednesday.

Former state Sen. Tom Smith, chairman of the Legislative Governmental Mall Commission, also said the commission hadn’t made it a practice to review the wording of any memorials. “We sure as heck will do it in the future”, he told The Associated Press in an interview.

Also Wednesday, Gov. Janet Napolitano said she didn’t pre-approve the wording criticized by Republican gubernatorial nominee Len Munsil and others as containing ”blame America“ messages and lacking enough sentiments related to faith, unity and patriotism.

The memorial includes quotations like: ”You don’t win battles of terrorism with more battles“ and highlights chronological events such as ”Congress questions why CIA and FBI didn’t prevent attacks“ and ”Erroneous US air strike kills 46 Uruzgan (Afghanistan) civilians.“ Among the other inscriptions: ”FBI agent issued July 2001 warning in `Phoenix Memo,’“ ”Steve of Scottsdale wrote songs for brother, Robby“ and ”Violent acts leading U.S. to war, 05-07-1915, 12-07-41, 08-04-64 and 09-11-01.“ ...

Smith said Wednesday it never occurred to him during the February meeting to check on details of the inscriptions’ wording. ”We never thought anything would be inappropriate,“ he said. ”It didn’t sound like there would be anything controversial.“

Smith also said he didn’t think his commission was misled. ”No, I think we could have been naive."

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Is The ACLU Starting A Crackup?

First, a personal note: the rewards of writing this blog are few and far between, but occasionally there comes a day like yesterday that seems to make it all worthwhile; the ACLU is cracking, sensible bills dealing with military tribunals and rough questioning of foreign terrorists were passed, and the prospects for shutting down illegal immigration this year just got much brighter, as the Senate overcame a Democrat filibuster against a fence. It also seems that the “Path to 9/11” has gone a long way in waking up America to the terrorist threat, and the letter by the head of al Qaeda in Iraq is helping America understand the linkage between Islamic terrorism and the war in Iraq – and that we are winning.

Is The ACLU Starting A Crackup?

Years ago I changed from being a supporter of the ACLU to opposing it on every front. It was their anti-Christian, anti-Boy Scout message and their support for NAMBLA (the North American Man Boy Love Association) after the horrendous Curley murder in Massachusetts that turned me into an opponent of the ACLU. With NAMBLA, the ACLU actually supported efforts by NAMBLA to show their member-perverts how to elude police identification and apprehension. I have repeatedly, on my weblog, called for the contributors to this evil organization to pull the plug on their donations. I have also called for legislation that would ban the payment of legal fees to attorneys who sue under the ‘separation’ clause of our Constitution. Perhaps many of you are unaware that YOU pay the ACLU’s fees when they sue a town or city for an action that they deem has violated the separation of church and state. This has proven to be an extremely profitable business for the ACLU.

Just as this is being written, the House of Representatives has just passed H.R. 2679, the “Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005”. The bill would bar the recovery of attorneys’ fees to citizens who file lawsuits asserting their civil rights in cases brought under the First Amendment. We need the Senate to follow through and also pass this act to end this abuse by the ACLU, who is fighting this bill.

Apparently also, the recent activities of the ACLU have gone too far even for many of their own members. Perhaps we are seeing the first crack in this organization because a group of ACLU members has gone public with their fight to change the direction of this organization:

September 26, 2006
New York Times
Supporters of A.C.L.U. Call for the Ouster of Its Leaders (Excerpt)

"More than 30 longtime supporters of the American Civil Liberties Union are calling for the ouster of the organization’s leadership, saying it has failed to adhere to the principles it demands of others and thus jeopardized the organization’s effectiveness.

The new group is made up of donors, former board and staff members, and the lawyer who won what was perhaps the A.C.L.U.’s most famous legal battle, its defense of the right of Nazis to march through a predominantly Jewish suburb of Chicago.

“We come together now, reluctantly but resolutely, not to injure the A.C.L.U. but to restore its integrity and its consistency of principle,’’ the group said in a mission statement to be posted on its Web site,, which is to go live today.

The statement does not name individual officials that the group wants to see removed, but in the past, criticism has been focused on Anthony D. Romero, the executive director, and Nadine Strossen, the board president, as well as members of the executive committee.

The Web site, which was first reported in The New York Sun in June, initially will feature letters from members and donors who have joined the effort, lists of articles about the A.C.L.U. and ways for readers to join the effort….. New York Times

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Are Extremist Environmentalists Mass Murderers?

An open-minded review of what extreme environmentalists have wrought on the USA and on the world inescapably leads to the conclusion that they have caused millions of deaths and trillions of dollars in damages and losses. If you think this is incorrect or an exaggeration, let us consider the record with respect to just three issues: the snail darter, nuclear power and DDT.

The Snail Darter

In 1976, with the Tellico Dam on the Tennessee River 99% complete, its construction was stopped and its destruction was ordered after a tiny fish called the snail darter was discovered in that river. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court which decided that the Endangered Species Act did cover this fish, and the dam had to go. Fortunately cooler heads eventually prevailed, the dam was completed, and the hydro-power came on stream. Subsequently the snail darter was found in other habitants and also was successfully relocated as well, and it came off the endangered list in 1984. In order to stop this insanity, the US Senate had to pass a special bill exempting the Tellico Dam from the act. In pushing for the passage of the exemption, Senator Baker of Tennessee had this to say on the Senate floor:

“Mr. President, the awful beast is back. The Tennessee snail darter, the bane of my existence, the nemesis of my golden years, the bold perverter of the Endangered Species Act is back.

He is still insisting that the Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee River—a dam that is now 99% complete—be destroyed.

In the midst of a national energy crisis, the snail darter demands that we scuttle a project that would produce 200 million kilowatt hours of hydroelectric power and save an estimated 15 million gallons of oil.

Although other residences have been found in which he can thrive serenely, the snail darter stubbornly insists on keeping this particular stretch of the Little Tennessee River as his principal domicile. . . .

Let me stress again, Mr. President, that this is fine with me. I have nothing personal against the snail darter. He seems to be quite a nice little fish, as fish go.

Now seriously Mr. President, the snail darter has become an unfortunate example of environmental extremism, and this kind of extremism, if rewarded and allowed to persist, will spell the doom to the environmental protection movement in this country more surely and more quickly than anything else. . . .

We who voted for the Endangered Species Act with the honest intentions of protecting such glories of nature as the wolf, the eagle, and other treasures have found that extremists with wholly different motives are using this noble act for meanly obstructive ends. . . .” Senator Howard Baker

Nuclear Power

Nuclear power generates about 20% of the electricity used in the United States today. In this we are far behind the rest of the world where nuclear power has been used extensively to reduce the need for middle east oil and reduce deaths from coal mining and coal-burning particulates. For example, France generates over 75% of its power from nuclear.

Nuclear power is clean, safe, cheap power. It is the lowest cost method available, and it generates power without putting particulates or greenhouse gases into the environment.

However, as I have previously pointed out, in 1979, Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon produced a shudder of fear with their starring roles in "The China Syndrome," a fictional evocation of nuclear disaster in which a reactor meltdown threatens a city's survival. Less than two weeks after the blockbuster film opened, a reactor core meltdown at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear power plant sent shivers of very real anguish throughout the country.

This combination of a nuclear accident and the sensational movie was pounced on by environmentalists to mount a campaign that overcame all reason and ended any efforts to develop nuclear power in this country.

What nobody noticed at the time, though, was that Three Mile Island was in fact a success story: The concrete containment structure did just what it was designed to do -- prevent radiation from escaping into the environment. And although the reactor itself was crippled, there was no injury or death among nuclear workers or nearby residents. Three Mile Island was the only serious accident in the history of nuclear energy generation in the United States, but it was enough to scare us away from further developing the technology: There hasn't been a nuclear plant ordered up since then.

In combination with their success in stopping domestic oil drilling and exploration, the environmentalists have therefore also been instrumental in tying our country to the oil-rich middle east. You might even say that the unintended consequences of environmentalists are one of the prime causes of the Islamic terrorism that has killed many thousands of innocents as well as the huge number of people who have succumbed to the health hazards of breathing the products of oil and coal burning.


Rachel Carson's Ecological Genocide

By Lisa Makson | July 31, 2003

A pandemic is slaughtering millions, mostly children and pregnant women -- one child every 15 seconds; 3 million people annually; and over 100 million people since 1972 --but there are no protestors clogging the streets or media stories about this tragedy. These deaths can be laid at the doorstep of author Rachel's Carson. Her 1962 best-selling book Silent Spring detailed the alleged "dangers" of the pesticide DDT, which had practically eliminated malaria. Within ten years, the environmentalist movement had convinced the powers that be to outlaw DDT. Denied the use of this cheap, safe and effective pesticide, millions of people -- mostly poor Africans -- have died due to the environmentalist dogma propounded by Carson's book. Her coterie of admirers at the U.N. and environmental groups such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund and the Environmental Defense Fund have managed to bring malaria and typhus back to sub-Saharan Africa with a vengeance.

"This is like loading up seven Boeing 747 airliners each day, then deliberately crashing them into Mt. Kilimanjaro," said Dr. Wenceslaus Kilama, Malaria Foundation International Chairman.

DDT makes a comeback to combat Malaria

New York, Sept 16 ( Nearly 30 years after safety concerns led to the phasing out of indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides to control malaria, the United Nations health agency said today it will start promoting this method again to fight the global scourge that kills more than one million people every year, including around 3,000 children everyday.

“The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment. Indoor residual spraying is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes,” said Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

“Indoor residual spraying has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures, and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.”

I do not say this of all liberals, but I would presume that since mankind began to form social groups, those who could apply reason and who knew some history have had to contend with ignorant multitudes who are basically emotion-driven. Emotion-driven extreme environmentalists have caused havoc in our society. These are the same kind of people who are prone to buy into conspiracy theories, and operate purely on an existential level. Those of us who can think have to fight against these people constantly; they obviously cause more harm than just forcing us to use water-saving toilets you have to flush three times. If we don't stop them on global warming, they will scuttle our economy and destroy our way of life.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Some Really Inconvenient Truths

California, first to introduce the hoola hoop craze, has now passed its own Kyoto law. This sent me digging for more facts on the subject of global warming. The argument among reasonable people is not whether there has been some global warming, but whether or not this is a natural and cyclical occurrence. I am in the camp of those who say it is a natural occurrence, and I have a lot of difficulty understanding how anyone can look at the data and conclude it is not. The last time I presented data it was challenged by someone saying that the source was funded by “oil and power interests”.

The two charts that follow have been obtained from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, a non-profit consortium of 100 of the nation’s colleges and universities. The first chart uses a series called GHCN-ERSST, which means that it represents merged land and sea data:

The second graph also shows the same circumstance that we have been saying all along: that the present global warming cycle started long before appreciable levels of manmade fossil fuel use started.
This next chart uses data referred to as HadCRUT2v, which means it is a record of land and sea temperature anomalies:

To those who don’t understand that Greenland was once green and that tropical fruits and vegetables were once grown in England (therefore we have been through at least one cooling cycle (which scientists call 'the little ice age') after the previous warming cycle ended), we ask them to consider the implications of these facts and these data on the famous “hockey stick” computer model on which the entire rationale of global warming has been based.

In addition, Patrick J. Michaels points out some other inconvenient truths in the American Spectator of 9/13/06 (Excerpts):

“Let's be really rosy, and say that California does lead the nation, and Congress passes a similar law. Further, let's say that California leads the world, and every nation that has to reduce emissions under the Kyoto Protocol -- quotas that virtually no one has met -- indeed adopts and meets the California mandates. According to scientists from the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, the amount of global warming the law would prevent by 2060 is .05 degrees Celsius. That's right, one-twentieth of a degree.

That's a reasonable estimate, because Kyoto is predicted to prevent .07 degrees of warming along this timeframe, and California's law doesn't reduce emissions quite as much as Kyoto. But in any case, there's no network of global thermometers or satellites that will ever be able to detect such a change, because global surface temperature fluctuates about .15 degrees Celsius from year to year….”

In addition, something else has been happening that might explain the very slow hurricane season so far – something our friend, Mason Wilson, pointed out recently: the oceans are cooling.

“Further, the oceans just haven't been cooperating recently. An upcoming paper by John Lyman in Geophysical Research Letters has the scientific cheerleaders for Gore's apocalypse worried. It shows, inexplicably, that in the last two years the world's oceans lost 20% of the heat they had gained in the last half century.”
American Spectator

And finally:
By Kate Martin
The Daily Reporter-Herald, 9/19/06

"Global warming is happening, but humans are not the cause, one of the nation’s top experts on hurricanes said Monday morning.

Bill Gray, who has studied tropical meteorology for more than 40 years, spoke at the Larimer County Republican Club Breakfast about global warming and whether humans are to blame. About 50 people were at the talk.

Gray, who is a professor at Colorado State University, said human-induced global warming is a fear perpetuated by the media and scientists who are trying to get federal grants." Kate Martin

Despite the threat to their professional lives from the global warming advocates, more than 16,000 recognized scientists have publicly dismissed the concept of man-made global warming. Even so, and against the evidence, I fear that junk science may win out, as it has in California. This is clearly a political issue now, and not one based on the facts as we know them.

Extreme environmentalists sentenced millions to death by banning DDT against all the evidence, they doomed us to dependence on oil-rich Arabs and Iranians by shutting down nuclear power and domestic drilling, lets not let them destroy our way of life with Kyoto-like idiocies. Fight back.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

A Glimpse of Narcissistic Rage (Truth or Consequences)

Isn't it interesting that the same people infesting our intelligence agencies who have been trying to undermine President Bush for 5 1/2 years would now leak a document claiming our policies have increased terrorism and made us less safe at the same time as this performance by former President Clinton? Isn't it interesting that Nancy Pelosi would simultaneously make this statement: "Five years after 9/11, and Osama bin Laden is still free and not a single terrorist who planned 9/11 has been caught and brought to justice. President Bush should read the intelligence carefully before giving another misleading speech about progress in the war on terrorism."?

Apparently she hasn't been paying much attention to the war on terror... If she was, she'd know that a number of people connected directly to 9/11 have been captured. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, who helped plan the attacks; Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, who managed funding for the attacks; and Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, the liason between the hijackers and the al Qaeda leadership, have all been captured

A great deal of what is being said and written about Bill Clinton’s raging performance on Fox Sunday night is as unpleasant as was his demeanor toward Chris Wallace. This column (excerpt) lays out the claims made and the facts known about as well as anyone can:

September 25, 2006

Bill Clinton: Play It as It Lies
By Ronald A. Cass, Real Clear Politics

“Former President Bill Clinton, never one to let truth stand in the way of a good line, has decided to reincarnate himself as our tough, anti-terror President. The man who ran away from military service and displayed striking contempt for our armed forces has now announced that he did more - and would do more - to combat Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda than anyone else. In his view, he should be recognized as the best man to fight that enemy.

Speaking to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Clinton made a bevy of startlingly anti-factual remarks. He announced, for instance, that conservatives had criticized him for obsessing about bin Laden during his presidency - rather than the truth that he was roundly condemned for doing next to nothing about this serious threat to American security. Clinton blamed the Bush Administration for failing to stop the al-Qaeda terrorists before 9/11, saying that the Administration had eight months to get bin Laden and didn't. That conveniently overlooks that Clinton's Administration had eight years to do that job, with al-Qaeda using the last two of those years to plan 9/11.

One of Clinton's bigger whoppers was this declaration about the fight against bin Laden: "I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president, we'd have 20,000 more troops [in Afghanistan] trying to kill him."

The man who was in the Soviet Union demonstrating against the American military during Vietnam, who as President left our armed forces short on so many fronts, now is - in his own 20/20 hindsight - The Defense President. Now he criticizes the Bush Administration for not doing enough, proclaims himself the champion of effective military action, and implies none too subtly that the fight against terrorism would go better if we had a Clinton in the White House instead of a Bush.

This isn't mere spin. It's full-scale invention

Before anyone starts taking our most recent ex-President too seriously, let's review the bidding. Clinton wasn't the President who ordered the armed forces to go after bin Laden without reservation, to get him "dead or alive." He wasn't the one who sent thousands of troops after al-Qaeda and nations that harbor and support terrorists.

Instead, President Clinton responded to attacks on our troops in Somalia by withdrawing, and responded to attacks by al-Qaeda on our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya by bombing the aspirin factory of an innocent pharmaceutical firm in Sudan. He reacted to al-Qaeda's bombing of the USS Cole by lobbing a few cruise missiles at empty tents in the desert. He turned down Sudanese offers to cooperate in tracking down and capturing bin Laden.

The bipartisan 9/11 Commission concluded that - far from doing more than anyone to kill the brutal murderer who now is the international face of terrorism - President Clinton had flatly refused to allow the military or CIA to kill Osama bin Laden. Clinton's instructions were that bin Laden should be taken, if at all, alive not dead. CIA officials reported that this instruction cut the chance of success in half.

That is not to say that the Clinton Administration wasn't in a better position to eliminate bin Laden. Evidence before the Commission showed that the Clinton Administration had live footage of Osama bin Laden at a camp in Afghanistan in the Fall of 2000, a year before the 9/11 attacks, but didn't act. NBC's Tom Brokaw, playing the tape on-air in 2004, noted rightly that this was an enormous opportunity lost. Having gotten bin Laden in your sights isn't something to brag about if you weren't willing to pull the trigger.

Clinton, like all presidents, had some top-notch advisers, including some thoughtful advisers on military and foreign affairs. But he is quintessentially a temporizer, one who always has had difficulty reaching a conclusion and sticking to it, and not someone who was terribly interested in either preserving our military power or using it effectively in world affairs. He'd much rather talk one on one with world leaders, persuaded he could convince them to do what he wanted by the concerted application of charm.

Talk and compromise - not clear moral principles and the will to do whatever is needed to support them - were the hallmarks of the Clinton Administration, reflecting the person at the top. Nothing Clinton says now can change that, though he still evinces conviction that he can talk us into anything - just as he thought he could when he denied point blank having had anything to do with Monica Lewinsky.

Clinton always has been the one who, caught in a compromising position, would disarmingly ask, as the parody has it, "what are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?" His instinct for lying, even under oath, earned him the second presidential impeachment in American history.

Contrast Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Consider, for example, their different approaches to Yasser Arafat.

The Clintons cozy relationship with the Arafats was symbolized by Mrs. Clinton's embrace of Mrs. Arafat - on stage immediately after a speech by Mrs. Arafat condemning Israel. President Clinton's relationship, though less picturesque, was no less close. Arafat was the world leader Clinton met with most often. Clinton was certain he could talk Arafat into making peace in the Middle East - and secure Clinton's legacy. Clinton invited Arafat and Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak to the now infamous Camp David summit meeting of 2000. He pressured Barak to offer heroic compromises, only to have Arafat at the last minute turn to Intifada to try to get more. In the end, Clinton's charm wasn't enough.

President Bush, in sharp distinction, saw Arafat as a terrorist and refused to meet with him unless he renounced the destruction of Israel as a goal and terror against civilians as a means. Bush, not Clinton, assured Israel of our full support against terrorism - and meant it….

Someone else should be trusted to do the scoring when it comes to Clinton's time in office. In the history books, he deserves to be counted as the President who did not protect us against al-Qaeda, who left the impression they could attack us without penalty, whose wasted opportunities contributed to the travesty of 9/11.

Tough talk now should not be allowed to obscure that fact. Lies now should not go unanswered.” Ronald A. Cass

Ronald A. Cass is Chairman of the Center for the Rule of Law, Dean Emeritus of Boston University School of Law, and author of “The Rule of Law in America” (Johns Hopkins University Press).

To see the entire article, click here.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

More Hijacking of 9/11 Memorials

My viewers are well aware that I have pointed out several times that hate-America leftists have been trying to hijack the 9/11 memorials planned and/or under construction across the USA. So far, the record seems to be that they have been unsuccessful in New York City, due to the intervention of Governor Pataki, but they have been successful in undermining the meaning of memorials planned for the location of the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania and of one just unveiled that is located in Arizona in memory of 9/11.

Like a cancer that keeps springing up, leftists tried to include In the New York City Ground Zero location – works of art that proclaimed that we were at fault for 9/11 because of so-called past misdeeds. Governor Pataki seems to have stopped this nonsense.

From The New York Daily News:

"The News is pleased that Gov. Pataki has dispelled appearances that he's all too amiably willing to let any Tom, Dick and Lefty post odiously anti-American artistic sentiments at Ground Zero. The governor told us yesterday he'll see to it that nothing that denigrates the nation or its heroes will ever appear at the site, period. We're happy to take him at his word.

Nobody suggests the only "fitting" 9/11-themed art should be Fourth of July fireworks. Neither, however, is a somber memorial for the 9/11 dead an appropriate showcase for the kind of political juvenilia that a SoHo gallery called The Drawing Center likes to mount. We published some of that sad-sack stuff yesterday: a jetliner dive-bombing a naked, spread-legged woman; a flow chart conspiratorially linking George W. Bush to Osama Bin Laden; that sort of thing. Pataki couldn't believe his eyes either. And he pulled the plug." New York Daily News

In Pennsylvania we are faced with a memorial design that employs a red crescent that has an opening that faces Mecca. Due to the volume of complaints (including mine), there was a redesign that was supposed to correct the situation, but it does not. This is what that design still looks like:

This is the original design; do you see any significant difference? Obviously, by extending the crescent to an incomplete circle, the designer hopes to deflate the criticism that it is a Muslim symbol.

Interestingly, the website for the design, "" has doctored this site so that viewers cannot capture and save this picture any longer. I can only guess that they hope to hinder protests with this technique. I had to do some finagling to capture and present this picture to you. Apparently the only real change that has been made in the design is in reducing the number of glass blocks (each block represents a person who died when the passengers crashed the plane that day) from 44, which included the four terrorists, to 40, the passengers and aircrew those four terrorists killed that day. At least they are no longer honoring the four murderers.

In Arizona we have another crescent with an opening. I won’t say that this design is intended to honor Muslims as it obviously is in Pennsylvania, because a circle is a circle, and the overall design could be coincidental and innocuous. However, they have placed within the memorial dates and historical references that have only one message: the USA is an evil monster that is responsible for all the evil in the world, and we deserve whatever we get. This is the memorial:

If we give the benefit of the doubt to the designer, that he had no anti-American purpose to his design, I regret to inform you that within the memorial there is no question about the anti-American messages seen there. For example, many date plaques have been erected including these three:


BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (CNN) — At least 20 people were killed and more than 60 injured in Afghanistan when a U.S. plane dropped a bomb on a wedding party as celebrants fired into the air, an Afghan defense spokesman said Monday.
This was after US aircraft came under anti-aircraft fire. Be that it may, its sad that innocent people died there, but by what logic do the designers of this memorial see fit to add this event date in a memorial to the victims of 9/11?

Check out this picture. The second to last date is the day of the Gulf of Tonkin incident…..not too subtle. It is the incident that many a leftist believes was faked to start the Vietnam War. Of course this is baloney; the first incident was actually Aug 2nd, 1964:
On August 2 the Maddox was attacked by three North Vietnamese patrol boats 28 miles away from the North Vietnamese coast and inside international waters, while heading deeper inside those waters. The Maddox evaded a torpedo attack and chased the ships away. The Maddox, suffering only very minor damage by a single machine gun bullet, retired to South Vietnamese waters where she was joined by the destroyer C. Turner Joy.

And this is a lesson plan suggested by memorial organizers for teachers bringing student groups:

"Ask students to think about how they would answer these questions: What does the word “tolerance” mean? What do you do and how do you react when a person is different from you? Share that today they will be learning more about tolerance and diversity.
Describe how key political, social, environmental, and economic events of the late 20th century and early 21st century (e.g., Watergate, OPEC/oil crisis, Central American wars/Iran-Contra, End of Cold War, first Gulf War, September 11) affected, and continue to affect, the United States.
Ask students what a world-wide memorial to victims of terrorism might look like. Have students design/draw their idea of a memorial. Have them write a paragraph or two explaining how their design shows a world affected by terrorism in the 21st century.
Inform students that today they will look at any effects 9-11 has had on our civil liberties. Enactment: Discussion: Ask students: What has our government done to prevent a terrorist attack from happening again? (i.e., enacted the Patriot Act, increased security at airports and other locations, monitored some overseas phone conversations, etc.) What are some of the negative and positive aspects of these changes? Do students feel the changes are helping to prevent terrorism? What else do students feel the government could or should do to prevent a similar event from happening?"

Arizona Memorial Photos and information courtesy of

Obviously in New York, Pennsylvania and in Arizona there is a concerted and never-ending attempt to hijack memorials meant to honor the victims and turn these memorials into despicable symbols which blame the victims. The Ward Churchills win if we let this happen.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Muslim Terrorism May Save America

Occasionally I will hear a friend say, as he contemplates the utter wasteland our urban public schools have become, and as he views the deterioration of American society, "what this country needs is another depression”. Having been a young child during the ‘Great Depression’, and having therefore an interest in learning all I could about it, I do not agree with the thought. I do not agree that we need to go through another era when millions lived in abject poverty. I do agree with the concerns for our country, as teachers, numbed by classroom experiences and handcuffed by politically correct views on discipline and curriculum, go through the motions until blessed retirement comes; and young American men eschew marriage while huge numbers of young women stagger from bars on their way to one-night stands – as they both celebrate their dedication to pleasure and have little concern for their survival needs or their morality as their depression-era grandparents did.

I will agree that our young people do need a life-threatening challenge to engage them and change their focus from themselves to a larger concern. As we sink deeper and deeper into prime-time pornography, fatherless children on Ritalin, and selfish, irresponsible adults who hate America in their guilt-ridden and aimless lives, we do need something to pull us out of this slime before our civilization goes the way of all others that went down this path.

That challenge may well come from the Islamofascists who have dedicated their lives to re-establishing the caliphate and the Sharia and to destroying the lives and the influence of all who get in their way. It has become clearer and clearer, even to the most liberal among us, that Jihad is a serious threat to our prosperity and even to our existence, and that the war on terror has just begun. We spent 30 years ignoring this war being waged against us, until 9/11 and subsequent events opened our eyes, and even the most cursory reading of Jihadist writings reveals that their time-frame is completely different from ours. They wish to restore the glory that existed for them 500 years ago; we do not remember what happened last month.

We are at war with an enemy that regards death as desirable in a cause they understand and for which they are willing to sacrifice everything, and if it takes 100 years to accomplish their goals, they are prepared. What I am suggesting is that those who are calling for our soldiers to leave Iraq in a year are not merely foolish, they belong on a different planet. What I am suggesting is that American and western culture may have to go to a total war footing for decades in order to defeat this menace and survive. What I am suggesting is that shortly we may need to establish a draft, raise an army of several million men and women and make the kinds of sacrifices that were common during World War II to win.

There has been a torrent of smug and cynical criticism of President Bush’s drive to plant democracy in the center of Jihadist territory, in Iraq. I am more and more convinced every day that this effort is the only way to turn aside this movement and bring a lasting peace to this area. I take comfort in these words from Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University:

(Excerpt from a lecture given on 7/16/06)

From Imprimis
“There are, as I've tried to point out, elements in Islamic society which could well be conducive to democracy. And there are encouraging signs at the present moment—what happened in Iraq, for example, with millions of Iraqis willing to stand in line to vote, knowing that they were risking their lives, is a quite extraordinary achievement. It shows great courage, great resolution. Don't be misled by what you read in the media about Iraq. The situation is certainly not good, but there are redeeming features in it. The battle isn't over. It's still very difficult. There are still many major problems to overcome. There is a bitter anti-Western feeling which derives partly and increasingly from our support for what they see as tyrannies ruling over them. It's interesting that pro-American feeling is strongest in countries with anti-American governments. I've been told repeatedly by Iranians that there is no country in the world where pro-American feeling is stronger, deeper and more widespread than Iran. I've heard this from so many different Iranians—including some still living in Iran—that I believe it. When the American planes were flying over Afghanistan, the story was that many Iranians put signs on their roofs in English reading, “This way, please.”

So there is a good deal of pro-Western and even specifically pro-American feeling. But the anti-American feeling is strongest in those countries that are ruled by what we are pleased to call “friendly governments.” And it is those, of course, that are the most tyrannical and the most resented by their own people. The outlook at the moment is, I would say, very mixed. I think that the cause of developing free institutions—along their lines, not ours—is possible. One can see signs of its beginning in some countries. At the same time, the forces working against it are very powerful and well entrenched. And one of the greatest dangers is that on their side, they are firm and convinced and resolute. Whereas on our side, we are weak and undecided and irresolute. And in such a combat, it is not difficult to see which side will prevail.

I think that the effort is difficult and the outcome uncertain, but I think the effort must be made. Either we bring them freedom, or they destroy us.” Bernard Lewis

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Euston Manifesto

The Euston Manifesto refers to a coming together of a group of British liberals who have come to understand the extent of the threat to civilized values represented by the Islamic fundamentalists. They proclaimed their public recognition of this threat and, while not all of them support the war in Iraq, they proclaim their support of the British government's anti-terrorism programs. A group of American liberals, seeing the Euston Manifesto, and coming to similar conclusions, have decided to issue an American version of the Euston Manifesto, and have created a website where American liberals can add their voices and their signatures. There are already more than 2500 signatures collected, and you can add yours by going here. This is such a hopeful sign of possible future unity on the most serious threat facing the western world, that I thought it important to bring it to you.

American Liberalism and the Euston Manifesto

Written by Jeffrey Herf et al.
Tuesday, 12 September 2006

We are signers or supporters in the United States of the Euston Manifesto and its reassertion of liberal values. Our views range from those of centrists and independents to liberals of varying hues on to the democratic left. We include supporters of the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 as well as people who opposed this war from the beginning. However, we all welcome and are heartened by the decision of the writers of the Euston Manifesto in Britain to reassert and reinvigorate liberal values in the present context. Now we confront the issue of how to respond to radical Islamism. Some of us view this ideology and its political results as the third major form of totalitarian ideology of the last century, after fascism and Nazism, on the one hand, and Communism, on the other. Others regard it as having a history in the Arab and Islamic world that eludes the label of totalitarianism. We all agree however that it fosters dictatorship, terror, anti-Semitism and sexism of a most retrograde kind. We reject its subordination of politics to the dictates of religious fundamentalists as well as its contempt for the role of individual autonomy and rationality in politics, a rejection not seen on this scale in world politics since the 1940s. We understand that the United States must continue to take the lead with our allies in confronting this danger.

Our views in foreign policy are rooted in the traditions of Franklin Roosevelt as well as Harry Truman, who battled dictatorships of the right as well as the left respectively. For their generation, the key questions of international politics concerned totalitarianism in Europe and Asia. They led the country in war to defeat fascism, Nazism, and Imperial Japan and then founded the institutions that led to the peaceful victory in the Cold War over Communism. The key moral and political challenge in foreign affairs in our time stems from radical Islamism and the jihadist terrorism it has unleashed. We favor a liberalism that is as passionate about the struggle against Islamic extremism as it has been about its political, social, economic and cultural agenda at home. We reject the now ossified and unproductive political polarization of American politics rooted as it is in the conflicts of the 1960s, not the first decade of this century. We are frustrated in the choice between conservative governance that thwarts much needed reforms at home, on the one hand, and a liberalism which has great difficulty accepting the projection of American power abroad, on the other. The long era of Republican ascendancy may very well be coming to an end. If and when it does, we seek a renewed and reinvigorated American liberalism, one that is up to the task of fighting and winning the struggle of free and democratic societies against Islamic extremism and the terror it produces.

We regard anti-Americanism as a low and debased prejudice, not the mark of political sophistication or wisdom. We reject all forms of racism, including antisemitism, and also invoke the leaders of the American civil rights movement who won great political victories because they understood that hatred and terror would produce only more of the same. In the face of the retrograde attitudes about women and homosexuals emerging from the Islamic fundamentalists, and as advocates of the universality of human rights, we support equality for women and gays. Though most of us oppose much of the Bush administration's domestic policies and have many criticisms of how it has conducted its foreign policy, we believe that some facts about international politics are not a matter of left and right. It is true that the knowledge about how to develop and deploy chemical, biological and most importantly nuclear weapons has [been], is and will be spreading around the globe and thus potentially into the hands of rogue states and terrorists deeply hostile to liberal democracy and respect for human rights. Indeed, the experience of fascism and Nazism showed us that it was possible for Germany, Italy and Japan to embrace modern technology yet at the same time reject liberal democracy and embrace policies of racism, chauvinism, aggression and mass murder. In our time, this paradoxical embrace of technological and scientific modernity that goes hand in hand with rejection of liberal democracy and human rights is taking place among radical Islamists, including those in the government of Iran, supported as well by non-Islamic states such as North Korea.

Even though we may differ on the proper response, we view the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran with alarm. Such a state with these weapons would be a grave danger for the Middle East, Europe and the United States. It would increase the danger that such weapons might wind up in the hands of radical Islamist terrorist groups immune to the calculations of nuclear deterrence. In contrast to the Communists during the Cold War, who wanted to change, not depart from this world, the cult of death and martyrdom of the terrorists inspired by Islamic fundamentalism raises deeply troubling questions about the prospects for peace and security in the future. We take very seriously and find utterly repugnant the threats of Iran's political leaders to "wipe out" the state of Israel. We will not remain silent in the face of these genocidal threats to implement what would amount to a second Holocaust. We note as well that the vast majority of victims of the jihadist fanaticism have been other Muslims. Yet the passions of too many liberals here and abroad, even in the aftermath of terrorist attacks all over the world, remain more focused on the misdeeds and errors of our own government in Iraq than on the terrorist outrages by Islamic extremists. Anger at the Bush administration, however justified, should not trump opposition to all aspects of jihadism.

We stress that the efforts of liberal and free societies to defeat the radical Islamists is not a clash of civilizations, just as the war against Nazism, Italian Fascism and Imperial Japan was not a war against the totality of the cultures and history of Germany, Italy and Japan. Each of these societies had multiple traditions other than those of dictatorship and aggression. Fundamentalist Islamists do not speak for Muslims as a whole. Yet we soberly observe that, as Arab liberals and Muslim moderates have pointed out, democratic values and critical reflection on religious belief that have long been part of Western modernity remain comparatively weak in the Arab and Muslim world. Moreover, some Arab states have used wealth from petrodollars to finance religious fundamentalism, rather than to fully enter into the modern world. We agree with and lend our support to those Arab and Muslim liberals and modernists who argue that the internal modernization and liberalization of the Arab and Islamic societies are essential. But we do them no favor by moderating our criticism of the extremists in their midst who threaten and attack them.

In both World War II and the Cold War, liberals, centrists and conservatives found moments of commonality. Indeed, if those efforts had been borne exclusively by the left or the right they very well might have failed. For us, part of the Euston Manifesto's importance lies precisely in bringing this insight to bear on our current dilemma and in recalling the traditions of American liberal anti-fascism and anti-totalitarianism that remain important today. In the United States, the struggle against Islamic extremists should not be the preoccupation for conservatives alone nor can it be waged successfully by liberals alone. The challenge we face from Islamic extremism is one to values and institutions that Americans across a broad political spectrum hold dear. Unfortunately, President Bush did not seize the moment after 9/11 to bridge the political divide. Rather than govern from the center, he has governed from the right in the realms of taxation, energy policy, global warming, social security, the role of religion and culture war issues.

In light of the tragedies of the war in Iraq and the ineptitude in the Bush administration that helped to produce them, the partisan divide has deepened even more. We know that in the preparation for the war in Iraq the Administration did not listen to many of its own diplomats and military officers who called for a larger invasion force and anticipated the problems and disasters that have enveloped Iraq after the initial phases of the war in 2003. We recognize that in the management of the war, the Bush administration has erred egregiously in ways---at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere---that undermine the very values for which this war must be fought and won. Tolerance for torture or ambiguity about the application of the Geneva conventions is both wrong and self-defeating. We agree with the implications of decisions by the United States Supreme Court, former high ranking military officials and many members of Congress that the Geneva conventions concerning treatment of prisoners of war should apply wherever the United States is holding prisoners captured in the effort to contain, thwart and defeat the terrorism inspired by Islamic extremism. We support higher mileage per gallon requirements for cars and a national gasoline tax (with relief for low income drivers) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of petrodollars now fueling Islamist radicalism and to contribute to slowing and reversing global warming.

The signers of this statement include supporters of the decision to go to war in Iraq and others who opposed this decision from the beginning. Despite our agreement about many things in this manifesto, our differences on this issue remain. Our group includes signatories who view the war as a failure and a diversion from the struggle against radical Islamists. They therefore advocate an American withdrawal at the earliest possible time, especially in light of Sunni-Shia sectarian violence enveloping that country. However others amongst us point to the fragile beginnings of democracy after dictatorship and think success there is still possible and essential. In their view an American exit before stability and security are established would be a disaster for international and national security and would be seen in many parts of the world as a victory for radical islamists and unreconstructed Baathists.

We realize that the path to a new and reinvigorated liberalism in foreign policy will be difficult. The political habits of the post-Vietnam era are hard to break. Yet we think that the terror unleashed by the radical Islamists has begun to refocus some liberal minds. We have authored this statement and urge other like-minded citizens to join us in the hopes that this rethinking will become clearer and more vigorous as a result of debate and discussion we hope to stimulate. We believe liberals have important contributions to make in the struggle against the Islamic extremists. Indeed, we believe that this struggle's successful outcome depends in part on our engagement on the basis of deeply held values and traditions.

Jeffrey Herf, History, University of Maryland, College Park
Russell Berman, Stanford University, Editor, Telos
Thomas Cushman, Wellesley College, Editor, Journal of Human Rights
Richard Just, Deputy Editor, The New Republic
Robert Lieber, Georgetown University
Andrei Markovits, Political Science and German Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Fred Siegel, Cooper Union College

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

From A Liberal: The Most Important Article a Liberal Could Read

Sam Harris is a well-known liberal thinker and writer who has become convinced that liberals need to get over their hatred for George Bush and wake up to the dangers facing liberalism and civilization. In this he is joined by other liberals like Christopher Hitchens, Alan Dershowitz and Ron Silber. The column presented below has sparked outrage among a few of his colleagues who feel that he has betrayed his liberal credentials. I can't get through to liberals, but maybe some of them will listen to one of their own.

(Slightly Excerpted)

Head-in-the-Sand Liberals
Western civilization really is at risk from Muslim extremists.
By Sam Harris
September 18, 2006, LA Times

On questions of national security, I am now as wary of my fellow liberals as I am of the religious demagogues on the Christian right.

This may seem like frank acquiescence to the charge that "liberals are soft on terrorism." It is, and they are.

A cult of death is forming in the Muslim world — for reasons that are perfectly explicable in terms of the Islamic doctrines of martyrdom and jihad. The truth is that we are not fighting a "war on terror." We are fighting a pestilential theology and a longing for paradise.

This is not to say that we are at war with all Muslims. But we are absolutely at war with those who believe that death in defense of the faith is the highest possible good, that cartoonists should be killed for caricaturing the prophet and that any Muslim who loses his faith should be butchered for apostasy.

Unfortunately, such religious extremism is not as fringe a phenomenon as we might hope. Numerous studies have found that the most radicalized Muslims tend to have better-than-average educations and economic opportunities.

Given the degree to which religious ideas are still sheltered from criticism in every society, it is actually possible for a person to have the economic and intellectual resources to build a nuclear bomb — and to believe that he will get 72 virgins in paradise. And yet, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, liberals continue to imagine that Muslim terrorism springs from economic despair, lack of education and American militarism.

At its most extreme, liberal denial has found expression in a growing subculture of conspiracy theorists who believe that the atrocities of 9/11 were orchestrated by our own government. A nationwide poll conducted by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University found that more than a third of Americans suspect that the federal government "assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East;" 16% believe that the twin towers collapsed not because fully-fueled passenger jets smashed into them but because agents of the Bush administration had secretly rigged them to explode.

Such an astonishing eruption of masochistic unreason could well mark the decline of liberalism, if not the decline of Western civilization. There are books, films and conferences organized around this phantasmagoria, and they offer an unusually clear view of the debilitating dogma that lurks at the heart of liberalism: Western power is utterly malevolent, while the powerless people of the Earth can be counted on to embrace reason and tolerance, if only given sufficient economic opportunities.

I don't know how many more engineers and architects need to blow themselves up, fly planes into buildings or saw the heads off of journalists before this fantasy will dissipate. The truth is that there is every reason to believe that a terrifying number of the world's Muslims now view all political and moral questions in terms of their affiliation with Islam. This leads them to rally to the cause of other Muslims no matter how sociopathic their behavior. This benighted religious solidarity may be the greatest problem facing civilization and yet it is regularly misconstrued, ignored or obfuscated by liberals.

Given the mendacity and shocking incompetence of the Bush administration — especially its mishandling of the war in Iraq — liberals can find much to lament in the conservative approach to fighting the war on terror. Unfortunately, liberals hate the current administration with such fury that they regularly fail to acknowledge just how dangerous and depraved our enemies in the Muslim world are.

Recent condemnations of the Bush administration's use of the phrase "Islamic fascism" are a case in point. There is no question that the phrase is imprecise — Islamists are not technically fascists, and the term ignores a variety of schisms that exist even among Islamists — but it is by no means an example of wartime propaganda, as has been repeatedly alleged by liberals.

In their analyses of U.S. and Israeli foreign policy, liberals can be relied on to overlook the most basic moral distinctions. For instance, they ignore the fact that Muslims intentionally murder noncombatants, while we and the Israelis (as a rule) seek to avoid doing so. Muslims routinely use human shields, and this accounts for much of the collateral damage we and the Israelis cause; the political discourse throughout much of the Muslim world, especially with respect to Jews, is explicitly and unabashedly genocidal.

Given these distinctions, there is no question that the Israelis now hold the moral high ground in their conflict with Hamas and Hezbollah. And yet liberals in the United States and Europe often speak as though the truth were otherwise.

We are entering an age of unchecked nuclear proliferation and, it seems likely, nuclear terrorism. There is, therefore, no future in which aspiring martyrs will make good neighbors for us. Unless liberals realize that there are tens of millions of people in the Muslim world who are far scarier than Dick Cheney, they will be unable to protect civilization from its genuine enemies.

Increasingly, Americans will come to believe that the only people hard-headed enough to fight the religious lunatics of the Muslim world are the religious lunatics of the West. Indeed, it is telling that the people who speak with the greatest moral clarity about the current wars in the Middle East are members of the Christian right, whose infatuation with biblical prophecy is nearly as troubling as the ideology of our enemies. Religious dogmatism is now playing both sides of the board in a very dangerous game.

While liberals should be the ones pointing the way beyond this Iron Age madness, they are rendering themselves increasingly irrelevant. Being generally reasonable and tolerant of diversity, liberals should be especially sensitive to the dangers of religious literalism. But they aren't.

The same failure of liberalism is evident in Western Europe, where the dogma of multiculturalism has left a secular Europe very slow to address the looming problem of religious extremism among its immigrants. The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists.

To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization.

SAM HARRIS is the author of "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason."

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Please Don’t Use Rough Interrogation Unless the Bomb Might Be Near Me

We’ve been over this scenario a thousand times. Your grandson has been kidnapped and is trapped in an unknown place underground with limited air to breathe. You have the kidnapper’s accomplice who knows where the boy is, but isn’t talking. Your grandson has hours and perhaps minutes to live if the guy doesn’t tell you where he is.

So far, Congress cannot seem to grasp that interrogators might occasionally face a situation like this. Yes, we respect the basic human rights of all persons, and yes, western and American values make us recoil from the thought, but when we face a monster, and in the case of Islamic fascists a great big group of monsters, we have to get down in the muck with them to defend ourselves and our values, because both our lives and our values will be gone if we don’t.

Somewhat influenced by what a small group of idiots did at Abu Ghraib, and what a large group of idiots who call themselves journalists think, almost all Democrats and a few RINO Republicans are holding up a reasonable definition of the techniques that our intelligence interrogators can pursue in the questioning of captured terrorists who might have information to shut down a ticking bomb. They, and Senators McCain and Graham need to get a grip. It’s not often that I have agreed with Alan Dershowitz, the renowned attorney and Harvard professor, but, unlike many of his liberal colleagues, he can think through certain issues:

Alan Dershowitz: Should we fight terror with torture?
London Independent | July 3 2006

The United States' Supreme Court has ruled that military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay breach the human rights of inmates. But in an age of suicide bombings and mass civilian casualties, do our laws themselves need to be rewritten? Are we just ignoring the unpalatable truth: that the survival of our society may depend on the legalized torture of terror suspects? Here, America's leading liberal lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, presents the case for radical reform:

"The great American justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr once remarked that "it is revolting to have no better reason for a rule of law than that it was laid down in the time of Henry IV. It is still more revolting if the grounds upon which it was laid down have vanished long since, and the rule simply persists from blind imitation of the past." The rules of law regulating how civilized societies protect their citizens from aggression were not laid down as far back as the time of Henry IV. They were enacted, in significant part, following the two awful wars of the 20th century in which massive numbers of civilians were targeted for death and murdered in cold blood. The human-rights revolution of the mid-20th century was largely a reaction to the human wrongs of the Holocaust.

The period between the end of the Second World War and now has seen more profound changes in the nature of warfare than occurred from the time of Henry IV to the beginning of the First World War. Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of suicide terrorists with no fear of death and no home address have rendered useless the deterrent threat of massive retaliation. This threat has been the staple of military policy since the days of the Bible. Because suicide terrorists cannot be deterred, they must be pre-empted and prevented from carrying out their threats against civilians before they occur. This change in tactics requires significant changes in the laws of war - laws that have long been premised on the deterrent model….

Consider, for example, the United Nations Charter, drafted in the aftermath of Germany's aggressive war between 1939 and 1945. Article 51 confirms "the inherent right of individual or collective [to] self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member." The use of the word "occurs" would seem to require a nation, seeking to act in compliance with the charter, to wait until it is actually attacked before it responds in self-defense. But what should a democratic nation do if it becomes aware of an imminent threat of attack by a group of suicide terrorists in a distant part of the world? Surely it should not simply wait until an "armed attack occurs" and then engage in retaliatory self-defense. First, there is often no known entity to attack, since the suicide terrorists have died and the leaders who sent them have gone into hiding among civilians and may well be preparing renewed terrorist attacks. Second, there is no good reason for a democracy to have to absorb a first blow against its civilian population, especially if that blow can be catastrophic. Third, there is little possibility that potentially catastrophic first blows can be deterred by the threat of retaliation against a phantom enemy who welcomes martyrdom….

Here Mr. Dershowitz spells out in unmistakable terms the problem faced by President Bush since 9/11:

The problem is that the current laws regulating the detention of combatants are near useless when it comes to this motley array of detainees. These detainees simply do not fit into the old, anachronistic categories. Most are not classic prisoners of war. They were not part of a uniformed army under the command of a nation. But neither do they fit in to the classic definition of "unlawful combatants". They are not spies or saboteurs, as those terms have been understood in the context of conventional warfare. Nor are many of them simple "criminals", subject to ordinary trials under the domestic law of crimes. They comprise a new category - or set of categories - unto themselves. They cannot be held as POWs until the end of the war, because this is a war that will never end. They cannot simply be released, because many of them would quickly volunteer to engage in suicide terrorist missions against their former captors, as some already have done. Most cannot be tried as criminals, because their actions took place outside the jurisdiction of the detaining nation. Those who have valuable, real-time information will be interrogated, and - short of the absolute law against "torture" - there are few, if any, rules governing the nature of permissible interrogation when the object is not to elicit "incrimination confessions" for purposes of criminal prosecution, but rather to obtain "preventive intelligence" for the purpose of pre-empting future terrorist attacks."

To read the entire article, click here.

On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume pointed out that President Bush has asked that the definitions created by Senator McCain’s bill last year, and signed into law, be the definitions used. Astonishingly, Senator McCain objects. Something is wrong with this man.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

We're Not Listening Any More But The Band Plays On

Of course, most conservatives are well aware of the mischief caused by Reuters, the Associated Press and by the BBC especially in their reporting of the recent Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. Doctored photographs, staged scenes, fake ambulance damage and outright lies were common fodder for these three outfits. On Sunday, two other examples were caught by sharp-eyed bloggers whose senses were heightened by the Dan Rather forged documents that bloggers were the first to spot.

September 17, 2006
Apologize for What?
By David Warren

The BBC appears to have been quickest off the mark, to send around the world in many languages, including Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Urdu, and Malay, word that the Pope had insulted the Prophet of Islam, during an address in Bavaria.

He had not, of course. Pope Benedict XVI had instead quoted, carefully and without approval, remarks by the learned 14th-century Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Palaeologus, in debate with a 14th-century learned Persian. He was trying to provide a little historical depth to present controversies about the meaning of "jihad", and his very point was that on their own respective theological terms, Muslims and Christians were bound to talk past each other today, in the same ways as they did seven centuries ago. But in the most conscientious media reports I have seen, even the Byzantine emperor is quoted out of context.

Here is the point Pope Benedict was making, also in the words of that learned Byzantine emperor, speaking on the eve of one of the many sieges of Constantinople:

"God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats. ... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death."…

This was not a crude anti-Islamic polemic; nor was it so at the end of the 14th century. It was a quest for peace and amity, then as now.

By turning the story back-to-front, so that what's promised in the lead -- a crude attack on Islam -- is quietly withdrawn much later in the text, the BBC journalists were having a little mischief. The kind of mischief that is likely to end with Catholic priests and faithful butchered around the Muslim world. Either the writers were so jaw-droppingly ignorant, they did not realize this is what they were abetting (always a possibility with the postmodern journalist), or the malice was intended. There is no third possibility.

From the start, the BBC's reports said the Pope would "face criticism from Muslim leaders" -- in the present tense. This is a form of dishonesty that has become common in journalism today. The flagrantly biased reporter, feigning objectivity, spices his story by just guessing what a man's enemies will say, even before they have spoken.

While I don't mean to pick especially on the BBC, when other mainstream media are often as culpable, they are worth singling out here to show the amount of sheer, murderous evil of which this taxpayer-funded network is capable. As I write, the BBC website has just posted an "interpretive" piece by their religious affairs correspondent, one Rahul Tandon. He does an unconscionably brief review of publicity the Pope had previously received, as Cardinal Ratzinger and since his elevation, touching upon Islam. By extracting the context from each item on his list, Mr Tandon creates the utterly false impression that the Pope is, as the media persistently dub him, "God's Rottweiler", with an especially vicious hate-on for Muslims.

Now watch Mr Tandon pose as the objective reporter:
"However, since his consecration, Pope Benedict has surprised many with his attempts to improve dialogue with the Muslim world. He is due to visit Turkey in November as part of that process.

"But there have been signs of his earlier views."

Note the dripping condescension in the trailing line, as if the Pope is barely able to contain himself. But more significantly, note the implicit assertion that the views of Cardinal Ratzinger changed when he became Pope. This is not true, but insinuated as if it were fact.

From now on, the reporting will be about the Muslim rage, and whether the Vatican has apologized yet. That is the "drama" the media will seek to capture -- the drama of the cockfight -- because they know no better kind. That the Pope said nothing intrinsically objectionable will be overlooked, in deference to the Muslim rage, just as the media hid the Danish cartoons from their viewers -- preventing them from discovering how mild they were. David Warren


On another front, the AP first used the following headline in reporting the results of a new poll:
"GOP Gains Ground In Battle For Congress"

In the body of their article the AP had this to say:

“Seven weeks before congressional elections, the poll of 1,501 adults conducted Monday through Wednesday showed that the GOP offensive has helped Republicans gain some ground.

Bush's public support has increased -- 40 percent of likely voters approve of his job performance -- and Republicans have erased an advantage Democrats had last month on the measure of which party would best protect the country. Voters now view Republicans and Democrats as equally capable.”

Perhaps someone pointed out to the AP that this did not fit current Democrat talking points, because they later changed the headline to read:

"Polls Shows GOP Not Making Its Case"

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

I Don’t Like Her, But I Have To Give Her Credit

Sen. Hillary Clinton blasts Bush assassination film
(Original Publication: September 16, 2006)

CHAPPAQUA — Sen. Hillary Clinton this morning blasted the producers of a new film depicting the assassination of Pres. George W. Bush.

"I think it's despicable," Clinton said of "Death of a President," a fictional film that features a staged assassination of the president in 2007. "I think it's absolutely outrageous. That anyone would even attempt to profit on such a horrible scenario makes me sick."

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Some Greens Are Seeing the Nuclear Light

Earlier this year I presented a series on energy that concluded that the USA made a major mistake in foregoing the building of more nuclear energy plants because worldwide experience has shown nuclear power to be the safest, cheapest and cleanest way to produce electricity. Recently, also, the development of the ‘PBR’ reactor even removes any threat of a potential ‘meltdown’ from the equation and produces free hydrogen for a vehicle fuel as a bonus. In 1979, Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon produced a frisson of fear with their starring roles in "The China Syndrome," a fictional evocation of nuclear disaster in which a reactor meltdown threatens a city's survival. Less than two weeks after the blockbuster film opened, a reactor core meltdown at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear power plant sent shivers of very real anguish throughout the country.

What nobody noticed at the time, though, was that Three Mile Island was in fact a success story: The concrete containment structure did just what it was designed to do -- prevent radiation from escaping into the environment. And although the reactor itself was crippled, there was no injury or death among nuclear workers or nearby residents. Three Mile Island was the only serious accident in the history of nuclear energy generation in the United States, but it was enough to scare us away from further developing the technology: There hasn't been a nuclear plant ordered up since then.

Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace and chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., has changed his mind about the desirability of building nuclear plants in the United States to produce our electric power and simultaneously generate free hydrogen. While our views on the causes of global warming differ, even the founder of Greenpeace now agrees with me on nuclear power. Uniting on this program satisfies the universal desire to reduce emissions significantly while also eliminating our dependence on Arab oil-producing states.


Going Nuclear
A Green Makes the Case
By Patrick Moore

“In the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. That's the conviction that inspired Greenpeace's first voyage up the spectacular rocky northwest coast to protest the testing of U.S. hydrogen bombs in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change.

Look at it this way: More than 600 coal-fired electric plants in the United States produce 36 percent of U.S. emissions -- or nearly 10 percent of global emissions -- of CO2, the primary greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. Nuclear energy is the only large-scale, cost-effective energy source that can reduce these emissions while continuing to satisfy a growing demand for power. And these days it can do so safely….

Here's why: Wind and solar power have their place, but because they are intermittent and unpredictable they simply can't replace big baseload plants such as coal, nuclear and hydroelectric. Natural gas, a fossil fuel, is too expensive already, and its price is too volatile to risk building big baseload plants. Given that hydroelectric resources are built pretty much to capacity, nuclear is, by elimination, the only viable substitute for coal. It's that simple….

The 600-plus coal-fired plants emit nearly 2 billion tons of CO2annually -- the equivalent of the exhaust from about 300 million automobiles. In addition, the Clean Air Council reports that coal plants are responsible for 64 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions, 26 percent of nitrous oxides and 33 percent of mercury emissions. These pollutants are eroding the health of our environment, producing acid rain, smog, respiratory illness and mercury contamination.

Meanwhile, the 103 nuclear plants operating in the United States effectively avoid the release of 700 million tons of CO2emissions annually -- the equivalent of the exhaust from more than 100 million automobiles. Imagine if the ratio of coal to nuclear were reversed so that only 20 percent of our electricity was generated from coal and 60 percent from nuclear. This would go a long way toward cleaning the air and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Every responsible environmentalist should support a move in that direction.” Patrick Moore

To see the entire article, click here.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Oriana and the Pope

In the past day or so an interesting confluence of events happened that occasionally occurs and makes one want to keep trying. First, we honor the life of Oriana Fallaci, that famous and courageous Italian writer, who devoted most of her last years to warning Europeans against the threat to European culture and freedom from the Islamic invasion that is taking place there. Many of her pleas were directed at Pope John Paul II, who was so instrumental in bringing down the Soviet empire, but who gave few outward signs that Islamic fascism greatly concerned him. Oriana died today of cancer in her home town of Florence, Italy.

At almost the same time as her death, the new pope, Pope Benedict XVI, has caused an uproar in the Muslim world by quoting from a book recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the pope said.
"He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,' " he quoted the emperor as saying. He did not explicitly agree with them nor repudiate them.

Oriana may yet have succeeded in her quest to wake up her fellow Europeans to the threat the free world faces. I present here a few lines from one of her last works, which was in response to the London bombings of 7/7:

"The Enemy We Treat Like A Friend"

“Now, I ask myself: “What do you say, what do you have to say, about what happened in London?” They ask me face-to-face, via fax and email; often scolding me because up until now I have remained silent. Almost as if my silence were a betrayal. And each time I shake my head and murmur to myself: what else should I say?!? I’ve been saying it for four years–that I fight against the Monster that has decided to eliminate us physically and, along with our bodies, to destroy our principles and values. Our civilization. For four years I’ve been talking about Islamic Nazism; about the war against the West; about the death cult; about European suicide. About a Europe that is no longer Europe, but Eurabia, and that with its feebleness, its inertia, its blindness, its servitude to the enemy is digging its own grave. For four years, like another Cassandra, I’ve been shouting until I’m hoarse “Troy is burning! Troy is burning!” and I despair of the Danaids for whom, like Virgil in the Aeneid I weep for a city entombed in its torpor. [A city] that, through its wide-open doors receives fresh troops and joins complicit parties [inside]. For four years I’ve been repeating to the wind the truth about the Monster and its accomplices; that is, the accomplices of the Monster who, in good or bad faith, open wide the doors–who, like [those] in the Apocalypse of John the Evangelist, throw themselves at his feet and allow themselves to be stamped with the mark of shame…”

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Exposing the 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts


New York Post By JAMES B. MEIGS

September 12, 2006 -- ON Feb. 7, 2005, I became a member of the Bush/Halliburton/Zionist/CIA/New World Order/Illuminati conspiracy for world domination. That day, Popular Mechanics, the magazine I edit, hit newsstands with a story debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories. Within hours, the online community of 9/11 conspiracy buffs - which calls itself the "9/11 Truth Movement" - was aflame with wild fantasies about me, my staff and the article we had published. Conspiracy Web sites labeled Popular Mechanics a "CIA front organization" and compared us to Nazis and war criminals.

For a 104-year-old magazine about science, technology, home improvement and car maintenance, this was pretty extreme stuff. What had we done to provoke such outrage?

Conspiracy theories alleging that 9/11 was a U.S. government operation are rapidly infiltrating the mainstream. These notions are advanced by hundreds of books, over a million Web pages and even in some college classrooms. The movie "Loose Change," a slick roundup of popular conspiracy claims, has become an Internet sensation.

Worse, these fantasies are gaining influence on the international stage. French author Thierry Meyssan's "The Big Lie," which argues that the U.S. military orchestrated the attacks, was a bestseller in France, and his claims have been widely repeated in European and Middle Eastern media. And recent surveys reveal that, even in moderate Muslim countries such as Turkey and Jordan, majorities of the public believe that no Arab terrorists were involved in the attacks.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion," Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was fond of saying. "He is not entitled to his own facts." Yet conspiracy theorists want to pick and choose which facts to believe.

Rather than grapple with the huge preponderance of evidence in support of the mainstream view of 9/11, they tend to focus on a handful of small anomalies that they believe cast doubt on the conventional account. These anomalies include the claim that the hole in the Pentagon was too small to have been made by a commercial jet (but just right for a cruise missile); that the Twin Towers were too robustly built to have been destroyed by the jet impacts and fires (so they must have been felled by explosives), and more. If true, these and similar assertions would cast serious doubt on the mainstream account of 9/11.

But they're not true. Popular Mechanics has been fact-checking such claims since late 2004, and recently published a book on the topic. We've pored over transcripts, flight logs and blueprints, and interviewed more than 300 sources - including engineers, aviation experts, military officials, eyewitnesses and members of investigative teams.

In every single case, we found that the very facts used by conspiracy theorists to support their fantasies are mistaken, misunderstood or deliberately falsified.

Here's one example: Meyssan and hundreds of Web sites cite an eyewitness who said the craft that hit the Pentagon looked "like a cruise missile with wings." Here's what that witness, a Washington, D.C., broadcaster named Mike Walter, actually told CNN: "I looked out my window and I saw this plane, this jet, an American Airlines jet, coming. And I thought, 'This doesn't add up. It's really low.' And I saw it. I mean, it was like a cruise missile with wings. It went right there and slammed right into the Pentagon."

We talked to Walter and, like so many of the experts and witnesses widely quoted by conspiracy theorists, he told us he is heartsick to see the way his words have been twisted: "I struggle with the fact that my comments will forever be taken out of context."

James B. Meigs is editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics. The magazine's new book, "Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand up to the Facts," is just out.

To see the entire article, go here.

Just as the Arab world blames everyone else but themselves for their own failures, conspiracy nuts need to blame someone in power for anything and everything that goes wrong. They may be nuts, but as their demonstration on 9/11 showed, there are far too many of them.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Will My Democrat Friends Really Watch and Cheer This?

I have many friends who are Democrats. I believe most of them are more moderate than those whose rantings are off the wall, but their silence has been deafening in the face of such episodes as the trashing of Justice Roberts and his family, calling the President a Hitler, equating Guantanamo to Soviet gulags and Nazi concentration camps, exposing secret programs that protect us, the Plame-Wilson cabal, etc., etc., etc. When you stand silently by when something is done in your name, you lend support to that something. Are you going to stand silently by as this film is shown and cheered or are you going to stand up and say, “wait a minute; this is beyond the pale – even for Bush haters”?

Toronto fest on 'Death' watch
Controversial pic inks distrib deals


Big buzz has turned into big bucks for controversial film "Death of a President," as Newmarket inked a deal Monday in Toronto to release in U.S. theaters the pic about the fictional assassination of President Bush.

Also inked Monday were deals to release the pic in Canada by Maple Pictures and in five European territories by consortium Indie Circle.

While purely coincidental -- negotiations started latenight after the pic preemed Sunday at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival -- deal was struck as the real Bush observed a moment of silence in Gotham to mourn the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.


A new low in Bush-hatred
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | September 10, 2006

SIX YEARS into the Bush administration, are there any new lows to which the Bush-haters can sink?

George W. Bush has been smeared by the left with every insult imaginable. He has been called a segregationist who yearns to revive Jim Crow and compared ad nauseam to Adolf Hitler. His detractors have accused him of being financially entwined with Osama bin Laden. Of presiding over an American gulag. Of being a latter-day Mussolini. Howard Dean has proffered the ``interesting theory" that the Saudis tipped off Bush in advance about 9/11. One US senator (Ted Kennedy) has called the war in Iraq a ``fraud" that Bush ``cooked up in Texas" for political gain; another ( Vermont independent James Jeffords) has charged him with planning a war in Iran as a strategy to put his brother in the White House. Cindy Sheehan has called him a ``lying bastard," a ``filth spewer," an ``evil maniac," a ``fuehrer," and a ``terrorist" guilty of ``blatant genocide" -- and been rewarded for her invective with oceans of media attention.

What else can they say about Bush? That they want him killed?
They already say it.

On Air America, talk show host Randi Rhodes recommended doing to Bush what Michael Corleone, in ``The Godfather, Part II," does to his brother. ``Like Fredo," she said, ``somebody ought to take him out fishing and phuw!" -- then imitated the sound of a gunshot. In the Guardian, a leading British daily, columnist Charlie Brooker issued a plea: ``John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. -- where are you now that we need you?"

For the more literary Bush-hater, there is ``Checkpoint," a novel by Nicholson Baker in which two characters discuss the wisdom of shooting the president. ``I'm going to kill that bastard," one character fumes. Some Bush-hatred masquerades as art: At Chicago's Columbia College, a curated exhibit included a sheet of mock postage stamps bearing the words ``Patriot Act" and depicting President Bush with a gun to his head. There are even Bush-assassination fashion statements, such as the ``KILL BUSH" T-shirts that were on offer last year at CafePress, an online retailer.

Lurid political libels have a long history in American life. The lies told about John Adams in the campaign of 1800 were vile enough, his wife Abigail lamented, ``to ruin and corrupt the minds and morals of the best people in the world." But has there ever been a president so hated by his enemies that they lusted openly for his death? Or tried to gratify that lust with such political pornography?

As with other kinds of porn, even the most graphic expressions of Bush-hatred tend to jade those who gorge on it, so that they crave ever more explicit material to achieve the same effect.

Which brings us to ``Death of a President," a new movie about the assassination of George W. Bush.

Written and directed by British filmmaker Gabriel Range, the movie premieres today at the Toronto Film Festival and will air next month on Britain's Channel 4. Shot in the style of a documentary, the movie opens with what looks like actual footage of Bush being gunned down by a sniper as he leaves a Chicago hotel in October 2007. Through the use of digital special effects, the film superimposes the president's face onto the body of the actor playing him, so that the mortally wounded man collapsing on the screen will seem, all too vividly, to be Bush himself.

This is Bush-hatred as a snuff film. The fantasies it feeds are grotesque and obscene; to pander to such fantasies is to rip at boundary-markers that are indispensable to civilized society. That such a movie could not only be made but lionized at an international film festival is a mark not of sophistication, but of a sickness in modern life that should alarm conservatives and liberals alike.

Naturally that's not how the film's promoters see it. Noah Cowan, one of the Toronto festival's codirectors, high-mindedly describes ``Death of a President" as ``a classic cautionary tale." Well, yes, Bush's assassination is ``harrowing," he says, but what the film is really about is ``how the Patriot Act, especially, and how Bush's divisive partisanship and race-baiting has forever altered America."

I can't help wondering, though, whether some of those who see this film will take away rather a different message. John Hinckley, in his derangement, had the idea that shooting the president was the way to impress a movie star. After seeing ``Death of a President," the next Hinckley may get a more grandiose idea: Shooting the president is the way to become a movie star.
Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is

My Democrat friends, don’t say that this has nothing to do with you. The liberal LA Times has already published a puff piece on this film.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Some Cartoons for September, 2006


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