Monday, December 31, 2007

Uh-Oh! Trouble in Pakistan


The Washington Times has some choice words of commentary on the current crisis in Pakistan. We believe it was in President Pervez Musharraf's best interest to keep opposition candidate Benazir Bhutto alive at all costs, as he has problems enough maintaining the balancing act that has enabled him to survive this long. But the radical Islamists put her on their hit list after she turned against them, and there are highly placed Pakistanis ready to stir up trouble just to exploit the chaos that results. The situation for Musharraf looks grim, but there is still a little time to save himself. What we don't need are inflammatory statements that will only make things worse for nearly everyone, such as this one by Hillary Clinton:

In response to a reporter's question, the New York Democrat suggested that Mr. Musharraf could be toppled; called into question the legitimacy of Pakistan's elections scheduled for next week; demanded that Mr. Musharraf agree to an "independent" investigation of Mrs. Bhutto's death; and reminded everyone that she had known "Benazir" for 12 years — in other words, dating back to her second term as prime minister of Pakistan during the mid-1990s, when Mrs. Bhutto was facilitating the growth of al Qaeda and the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

PR News Channel provided a transcript of Sen. Clinton's interview with Wolf Blitzer.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Where's Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth When We Need It?


Don Feder in GrassTopsUSA.com and FrontPage Magazine has an amusing article, "Some Commercials I'd Like to See," which illustrates what kind of commercials we're likely to see and hear if the presidential candidates of both major parties practiced truth-in-advertising. Here's one free sample:
*
"Kucinich Ad: It isn't easy getting to the left of Clinton and Obama, but Dennis -- the Red Dwarf -- Kucinich has managed to occupy that narrow strip of terrain. If you want a man in the White House who believes in UFOs -- who might be an extra-terrestrial himself -- vote Dennis. Besides, if you get tired of looking at him for 4 to 8 years, you can always look at his wife. Dennis Kucinich -- ugly is as ugly does."
*
Another subject for satire steps into the picture after Don Feder published his article: The New York Times (which I rarely cite) has actually issued a credible report about Mayor Bloomberg of New York consulting with elder statesmen in both parties as a prelude to a possible run for the presidency as an independent. We covered that contingency in Vol. 3, No. 23 of "Cutting-Edge Conservatism," dated 24 June 2007. You may request a free copy on an MS Word file by writing to me at hammerz at hotmail-dot-com.
*
UPDATE: According to the New York Post, Bloomberg's predecessor as mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, says that this multi-billionaire would not run unless he had a chance of winning the election. At this time we believe that a Bloomberg candidacy would be regarded as a vanity campaign, and that he would be competing for many of the same liberal voters as whoever wins the Democratic nomination. As long as Giuliani and Hillary Clinton are major contenders, there is no assurance that he will even be able to claim the electoral votes of New York state.
*
Thompson speaks! The Right Wing Nut House blog has provided the text of former Sen. Fred Thompson's "Address to the People of Iowa" that clearly states where he stands on a variety of issues.
*
Gov. Romney, in his own words: Here's an interview of Mitt Romney by talk show host Glenn Beck: http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/196/2756/
*
Just so I'm not accused of ignoring major Democratic candidates, I will include this Houston Chronicle article, in which David Broder rhapsodizes about Sen. Barack Obama's stump speech.

Racist Comments from Democratic Leaders

Opinion Journal has a shocking compilation of racist statements, some of them uttered in our own time. The list would have been longer if you included the quotes that used the "N-word." One wonders whether Franklin D. Roosevelt felt any compunction over sending over 110,000 Americans and legal residents of Japanese ancestry into internment camps if he said something like this:

"Anyone who has traveled to the Far East knows that the mingling of Asiatic blood with European or American blood produces, in nine cases out of ten, the most unfortunate results. . . . The argument works both ways. I know a great many cultivated, highly educated and delightful Japanese. They have all told me that they would feel the same repugnance and objection to have thousands of Americans settle in Japan and intermarry with the Japanese as I would feel in having large numbers of Japanese coming over here and intermarry with the American population. In this question, then, of Japanese exclusion from the United States it is necessary only to advance the true reason--the undesirability of mixing the blood of the two peoples. . . . The Japanese people and the American people are both opposed to intermarriage of the two races--there can be no quarrel there."

--Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1925
President, 1933-45

This statement hits home because I have one nephew, and two nieces who are one-half Japanese (their children are all one-quarter Japanese), and each one of them I consider a Gift of God. They are not just beautiful on the outside, but have inherited the best features of both parents.


The poster above, from Amer Asian Films, illustrates some of the "unfortunate results" of racial mixing.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Keeping a Cool Head During the Long Presidential Campaign

Ten ridiculously obvious rules of thumb to remember:

(For Republicans) Ronald Reagan is dead, and there will never be another leader like him! Jonah Goldberg has a few choice words to say about that in National Review Online.

(For Democrats) Camelot was long ago and far away.

Presidential campaigns are the place to learn that politics is the art of the possible, and that there is no such thing as an ideal candidate.

Always be skeptical of polls taken prior to any primaries or caucuses.

If the differences between candidates in a single party are miniscule, so is the size of the obstacle required to derail any one of them.

Reality check: Politicians are judged by the size and organization of their campaigns, the sources of their funding, and the people they associate with.

Never trust a politician who makes promises he or she cannot keep.

Remember the following words of wisdom from President Harry S Truman:
“I don’t believe in anti-anything. A man has to have a program; you have to be for something, otherwise you will never get anywhere.”

People tend to reveal their leadership qualities (or lack thereof) early on. A good example is Gen. Colin Powell - discerning senior Army officers recognized his great potential while he was still a young man, and nurtured, guided, and mentored him into a distinguished career.

Diversify your sources of news, since no single source is reliable all the time, and some (such as the New York Times) can be wildly inaccurate, even on non-political subjects.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sending the Wrong Message

A Chicago Tribune article, "Colleges Take Hard Line on Psychological Problems," makes the following observation:

From large public institutions to small, private colleges, a growing number of schools are taking punitive action against students who display mental illness, ranging from bipolar disorder to eating disorders, experts say.

With better mental health services in younger grades, more youth with mental illness are arriving on college campuses than ever before. At the same time, courts have indicated that schools can be held legally responsible if students harm themselves or others.

Administrators, mindful of the safety of the larger community, say they need to be proactive.

But critics call it overreactive. They say schools are discriminating against those who have a medical condition, deterring students from seeking help and driving dangerous behavior underground.

"The message is that we only want people here who don't have physical or mental impairments," said Karen Bower, an attorney with the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. "And if you have one, you'd better have it under control at all times."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated!

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan died along with twenty others in Rawalpindi on Thursday from a suicide bombing. MSNBC reports the known details to date. One thing is certain: this is only the beginning of an era of turmoil for this troubled nation with nuclear capability.

In Opinion Journal's "Best of the Web Today," James Taranto discusses the possible ramifications of Benazir Bhutto's death, none of which are pleasant to consider. The most likely suspects are terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, but certain elements in the Musharraf government wanted her dead also. He also has a pointed comment regarding Sen. Obama's recent saber-rattling against Pakistan, which alarmed both the Bush Administration and Pakistanis: "Bhutto's assassination is a reminder that we live in a dangerous world. One hopes it is a reminder to Iowans (and New Hampshirites and Floridians, etc.) that this is no time for amateur hour at the White House."

These People Have No Shame

A Stars and Stripes article warns service members and their families about the following scam:

A 3rd Infantry Division soldier deploying to Iraq is warning other servicemembers of the latest scam to target troops and their families.
According to 1st Lt. David Cowan, in early December his 84-year-old grandmother received a phone call from a man calling himself J.D. Taylor. The man claimed that Cowan was on his way home on leave from Iraq for the holidays, but had gotten hung up and lost his wallet and military identification card.

Cowan’s grandmother, he said, was “asked by this person to wire $800, allegedly on my behalf so that I could get back home and surprise my family for Christmas.”

The claim was a scam. Luckily for Cowan and his family, his grandmother knew to be suspicious of strangers asking for money, even if they’d somehow managed to reach the relatives of a soldier whose name they knew.

“I told her to write down everything she could remember from the conversation and to immediately contact the authorities,” Cowan wrote in an e-mail to Stripes. “My grandmother is 84, and still a very sharp woman. Thankfully, she immediately saw through his scam and decided to contact me directly.”

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has tracked scams including ones sent from purported soldiers who have found or “stolen” millions of dollars in Iraq. Those scams are similar to the “Nigerian” e-mail scams.

“The scam e-mails vary in content; however, the general theme of each is to request personal information and/or funds from the individual receiving the e-mail,” according to an FBI primer on the subject.

Despite repeated warnings about these particular or general scams, FBI officials say, many people still fall for them.

If contacted by a suspicious-sounding person, one should record the details of the conversation and immediately contact local and federal authorities, they say.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Why Are We Skeptical About This?






They Got a Form for Everything!

The Curmudgeonly & Skeptical blog has come up with a handy, all-purpose form for the girlie-man in your life: the Hurt Feelings Report!

Remembering Mark Daily

Michelle Malkin, in her year-in-review article, pays tribute to an American hero, 2LT Mark Daily, who was killed in Iraq in January 2007. As a Distinguished Military Graduate of the ROTC program, he refuted the commonly-held stereotype of Soldiers as losers who couldn't possibly make it in the outside world. Here are his deathless words explaining why he joined the military:

Sunday, October 29, 2006
WHY I JOINED
Current mood: optimistic
Why I Joined:

This question has been asked of me so many times in so many different contexts that I thought it would be best if I wrote my reasons for joining the Army on my page for all to see. First, the more accurate question is why I volunteered to go to Iraq. After all, I joined the Army a week after we declared war on Saddam’s government with the intention of going to Iraq. Now, after years of training and preparation, I am finally here.

Much has changed in the last three years. The criminal Ba’ath regime has been replaced by an insurgency fueled by Iraq’s neighbors who hope to partition Iraq for their own ends. This is coupled with the ever present transnational militant Islamist movement which has seized upon Iraq as the greatest way to kill Americans, along with anyone else they happen to be standing near. What was once a paralyzed state of fear is now the staging ground for one of the largest transformations of power and ideology the Middle East has experienced since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Thanks to Iran, Syria, and other enlightened local actors, this transformation will be plagued by interregional hatred and genocide. And I am now in the center of this.

Is this why I joined?

Yes. Much has been said about America’s intentions in overthrowing Saddam Hussein and seeking to establish a new state based upon political representation and individual rights. Many have framed the paradigm through which they view the conflict around one-word explanations such as “oil” or “terrorism,” favoring the one which best serves their political persuasion. I did the same thing, and anyone who knew me before I joined knows that I am quite aware and at times sympathetic to the arguments against the war in Iraq. If you think the only way a person could bring themselves to volunteer for this war is through sheer desperation or blind obedience then consider me the exception (though there are countless like me).

I joined the fight because it occurred to me that many modern day “humanists” who claim to possess a genuine concern for human beings throughout the world are in fact quite content to allow their fellow “global citizens” to suffer under the most hideous state apparatuses and conditions. Their excuses used to be my excuses. When asked why we shouldn’t confront the Ba’ath party, the Taliban or the various other tyrannies throughout this world, my answers would allude to vague notions of cultural tolerance (forcing women to wear a veil and stay indoors is such a quaint cultural tradition), the sanctity of national sovereignty (how eager we internationalists are to throw up borders to defend dictatorships!) or even a creeping suspicion of America’s intentions. When all else failed, I would retreat to my fragile moral ecosystem that years of living in peace and liberty had provided me. I would write off war because civilian casualties were guaranteed, or temporary alliances with illiberal forces would be made, or tank fuel was toxic for the environment. My fellow “humanists” and I would relish contently in our self righteous declaration of opposition against all military campaigns against dictatorships, congratulating one another for refusing to taint that aforementioned fragile moral ecosystem that many still cradle with all the revolutionary tenacity of the members of Rage Against the Machine and Greenday. Others would point to America’s historical support of Saddam Hussein, sighting it as hypocritical that we would now vilify him as a thug and a tyrant. Upon explaining that we did so to ward off the fiercely Islamist Iran, which was correctly identified as the greater threat at the time, eyes are rolled and hypocrisy is declared. Forgetting that America sided with Stalin to defeat Hitler, who was promptly confronted once the Nazis were destroyed, America’s initial engagement with Saddam and other regional actors is identified as the ultimate argument against America’s moral crusade.

And maybe it is. Maybe the reality of politics makes all political action inherently crude and immoral. Or maybe it is these adventures in philosophical masturbation that prevent people from ever taking any kind of effective action against men like Saddam Hussein. One thing is for certain, as disagreeable or as confusing as my decision to enter the fray may be, consider what peace vigils against genocide have accomplished lately. Consider that there are 19 year old soldiers from the Midwest who have never touched a college campus or a protest who have done more to uphold the universal legitimacy of representative government and individual rights by placing themselves between Iraqi voting lines and homicidal religious fanatics. Often times it is less about how clean your actions are and more about how pure your intentions are.

So that is why I joined. In the time it took for you to read this explanation, innocent people your age have suffered under the crushing misery of tyranny. Every tool of philosophical advancement and communication that we use to develop our opinions about this war are denied to countless human beings on this planet, many of whom live under the regimes that have, in my opinion, been legitimately targeted for destruction. Some have allowed their resentment of the President to stir silent applause for setbacks in Iraq. Others have ironically decried the war because it has tied up our forces and prevented them from confronting criminal regimes in Sudan, Uganda, and elsewhere.

I simply decided that the time for candid discussions of the oppressed was over, and I joined.

In digesting this posting, please remember that America’s commitment to overthrow Saddam Hussein and his sons existed before the current administration and would exist into our future children’s lives had we not acted. Please remember that the problems that plague Iraq today were set in motion centuries ago and were up until now held back by the most cruel of cages. Don’t forget that human beings have a responsibility to one another and that Americans will always have a responsibility to the oppressed. Don’t overlook the obvious reasons to disagree with the war but don’t cheapen the moral aspects either. Assisting a formerly oppressed population in converting their torn society into a plural, democratic one is dangerous and difficult business, especially when being attacked and sabotaged from literally every direction. So if you have anything to say to me at the end of this reading, let it at least include “Good Luck”

Mark Daily

UPDATE: The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler blog has a heart-warming story about two brave warriors: Cpl. Dustin J. Lee, USMC, who sacrificed his life in Fallujah, Iraq, and his war dog, Lex.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Package

Opening Act: You must watch this YouTube video of Pastor Wintley Phipps giving a short history of the hymn "Amazing Grace," followed by a powerful performance of the song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfGytXRpfho

A Night of Miracles
by George Graham

This was not going to be a Merry Christmas for the sailor and his family.

For starters, his oldest son, age 5, was in the hospital clinging to life with a potentially fatal disease, and on this particularly bleak Christmas Eve, his youngest son, age 2, was sick. So, leaving the baby with a sitter, the sailor his wife came to the small, rural, northern California hospital to watch over and pray for the older son.

The doctor made his rounds and told the worried parents that if their boy made it through the night, he just might survive, “But don’t get your hopes up,” he admonished as he left the room.

Then the hospital workers wheeled a little girl into the room. Her little face was bruised and there were several small cuts – nothing fatal or even really dangerous. But the child was silent – even depressed.

The sailor quietly asked a nurse about the girl.

“She’s only here because we have no other place for her at this hour of the night,” the nurse said. “She was in a horrible car accident and luckily for her, she was thrown out of the car. Both her parents were killed - burned alive - in the accident.”

The child and her parents were en-route to spend Christmas with grandparents and all the presents for the child were burned when the car bust into flames as a result of the accident, the nurse told the sailor.

He thought to himself, “There is no way this little girl won’t have Christmas,”

A light dusting of snow had blanketed the small town of 3,800 souls as the sailor rushed downtown hoping that he would find at least one store open. But at this late hour, nearly 11 p.m., the sidewalks had been long vacant and the stores long closed.

His only hope was a drug store where a light was burning in what appeared to be an upstairs apartment. The sailor spotted a doll in the window, along with assorted perfumes and other trinkets and began to tap on the store window with a coin, hoping against hope that the pharmacist lived in the apartment.

His persistent tapping paid off as an elderly gentleman, the pharmacist, finally came downstairs and opened the front door. The sailor explained why he was so determined to have the doll and as he paid, the pharmacist’s wife gift-wrapped the present.

The sailor returned to the hospital with his present. Both the little girl and the sailor’s son were asleep so he decided to wait for Christmas morning to give the girl her doll. And an hour later, just about midnight, the miracle of Christmas happened.

“Ho, ho ho,” boomed out the voice in the hallway, “where are my little Christmas girl and boy?”

Santa Claus, a poorly disguised pharmacist, entered the room with a huge bag of gifts – some for one sick little boy, but most for one special little girl. Mrs. Claus, a much better disguised pharmacist’s wife, entered the room leading several elves, local children who had been roused from their beds after a telephone chain began to operate.

The children (elves) voluntarily gave at least one of their unopened presents to two children they had never met. Their parents stood silently around the hospital beds, beaming with pride.

But the night of miracles was just beginning. In a blur of activity, the little girl’s grandparents, who had been notified of the terrible accident by the California Highway Patrol, showed up at the hospital to take their little granddaughter to their home. The nurses and the duty doctor came to the room with hot chocolate and some cookies. A lab technician came into the room for a hurried consultation with the doctor and he whispered to the sailor that his son had turned the corner and would recover from his illness.

Someone started to sing the beautiful Christmas Carol known as Silent Night but there were so many sobs and choked up throats, the first verse never ended.

The little girl left the hospital with her grandparents, clutching the dolly the sailor bought her and hugging as many of the gifts the elves brought her as she could. The little boy had to stay a few more days, but he had a complete recovery.

There were too many tears to make that Christmas Eve a silent night, but it was a beautiful night – it was a Holy night. It was a night the Son of God showed his love of pure light.

Is this a made-up story? I don’t think so. I was the sailor.






The Story of Christmas, from the Second Chapter of Luke:

1 AND it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
(New Testament Luke 2:1 - 20)

Twas the Night Before Liberal Christmas v.2007
By J.J. Jackson
MichNews.com Dec 22, 2007

T’was the night before Christmas and all ‘bout The House
Agendas collapsed and all the liberals did grouse!
Good word from Iraq was the news of the day,
That we could just win, caused the leftists to bay.
Upset and dumbfounded their plans were for naught,
It did not matter or replace what they taught.
Those people all were backwards but to their chagrin
Still seemed quite capable despite having dark skin.
Hillary Clinton slept while Bill paced to and fro,
He thought of three women and called them – ho ho ho.
He stood and he wondered how odd it would be
-to be back in power but as first lady.
When out on lawn there arose a great screech
Something or other about a lesson to teach!
He heard the loud sounds of a crowd that did gather,
To the window Bill flew to see what was the matter.
Below him there stood on fresh and new fallen snow,
A gaggle of moonbats that did slowly grow.
From members of Congress to nags of Code Pink,
All had come forth to tell what they did oh so “think”.
The gathering grew, and Clinton squinted to look
As among them there landed a surplus Chinook.
From it emerged a fellow who was quite a bore,
it was his old running mate – Mr. Al Gore.
“My friends,” he shouted as the crowd roar did rise,
“I just got back from collecting my Nobel peace Prize!”
A member of Greenpeace had the gall to so ask,
What ever gave Gore the right to waste so much gas.
With a cold, angry look Gore clapped with a smack,
Lead away he was, by agents dressed all in black.
“Now how dare you begin,” Al Gore hollered with glee,
“to start up this shindig and not wait up for me!”
Approached an old hippie, with deep reverence and awe,
Offered up to his savior a pad with some scrawl.
Looking it over Al spoke, “Yes, now I see.”
Then rubbed his chin thoughtfully did the former Vee Pee.
“Our leftist agenda and much power to gain,
Global Warming and Health Care - it is all so plain.”
He did turn to Bill standing hunched on the porch.-
But just in time Hillary sat up with a lurch.
All was so quiet. It was just a bad dream?
The windows were shut and not a moonbat scream.
Most thankfully of all, and this caused her to beam
the adulterer Bill was no where to be seen.
But then out from the yard a loud engine did roar
And she rushed to the window to see Mr. Gore.
With black puffs of strong smoke he revved it with glee
Oh how he did love his big black SUV.
Her cold blood did freeze and her face was all dour,
She looked like she’d sucked something that was sour.
“My word!” she exclaimed at her visit this night
And she heard Al Gore proclaim as he drove out of sight –
“Now Media, now Michael, now Harry and Teddy!
On Dennis, on John, on Obama and Cindy!
Let this message be heard - a decree of Priest Al!
We run this party … sorry to tell you old gal!”

On the Web: http://www.libertyreborn.com/

The TRUTH About Religion?
During these serious times, people of all faiths should remember these four religious truths:

1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God's chosen people.
2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian world.
4. Baptists and Mormons do not recognize each other at Hooters.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Source: http://www.strangecosmos.com/content/item/133579.html


SAFETY ADVISORY: Before you go overboard on your Christmas cheer, consider what this Montana state trooper is capable of doing:




Closing song: "O Holy Night" by Il Divo, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFirYXLoP5Q

Monday, December 24, 2007

A High-Tech Tradition Since 1955: NORAD Tracks Santa

Link: www.noradsanta.org
Toll-free number: 1-877-446-6723

Starting at 2:00 a.m. today the North American Aerospace Defense Command started tracking Santa's progress from the North Pole as he makes his rounds delivering presents to good little boys and girls around the world.

It takes the finest equipment to track his sleigh, which has been calculated to travel at 2,280 miles per second! No taxpayers' money is being used to inform the public: volunteers man the phones and the Web site is paid for with private contributions.

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette, 24 December 2007

Shocking News from Massachusetts

Yes, this is a picture of Nurse Ratched from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
"A special education school which has been in the news for inappropriate use of electric shock treatment has been allowed to continue using shock treatment for the most dangerous and self-destructive behaviors. In such cases the shock treatment must lead to a diminution in the undesirable actions. The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) has to prove that these treatments really work. The one-year reauthorization contrasts with previous ones which lasted two years each time. Electric shock treatment at the center must never be used for petty infractions, such as leaving one's seat without getting permission or using offensive language. The school has been ordered to show that it is committed to phasing out this type of aversion therapy...."

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/92641.php
Free Republic quoted the WCVB/TV Boston account with reader comments at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1943706/posts

Here's a composite of what two readers had to say:

"There is evidence that ECT can be effective in reducing the most self-destructive behaviors. Were talking about severely-disturbed people who slam their heads into the wall until they knock themselves unconscious or bite themselves until they bleed profusely. It is an extreme measure, and should only be used when other methods have failed. Only under close medical supervision -- not carried out by school staffers because they received a phone call.

This wasn't ECT... as mentioned in other comments above, this was -- even if it had not been a 'prank' -- solely as retribution for misbehavior. There's no evidence this was intended to be therapeutic at all. And of course the actual result was FAR from helpful.

"BTW, I probably wouldn't have posted this article if I thought it was a legit use of electroshock. I'm not of the opinion it's bogus. But it has to be prescribed and applied with great care. We have very little idea of what it actually does to the patient, except symptomatically."

American Soldier with Heart of Gold Adopts Iraqi Boy


Maj. Scott Southworth, who served with a military police unit of the Wisconsin National Guard in Iraq, discovered and waded through miles of red tape to adopt an Iraqi boy with cerebral palsy, Ala'a Eddeen. It didn't help that he was single, lacked money, and had no experience in taking care of children with disabilities. But with persistence, faith, bonding with Ala'a, persistence, and a series of fortunate events (yes, I know I mentioned "persistence" twice), he was able to bring the child to the United States, provide him with better medical care than was available to him in Iraq, and legally adopt him. For more details of this amazing story, see http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071223/ap_on_re_us/saving_ala_a
Beliefnet.com nominated Southworth as the "Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2007" at http://www.beliefnet.com/story/225/story_22553_1.html

Sunday, December 23, 2007

We've Got Your Back!

The slogan "Never again!" has been used by Jews determined to avoid another Holocaust, and it applies as well to our efforts to prevent veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan from suffering the same fate as Vietnam veterans, i.e., being slimed by the Left. A new American Thinker article, "Swiftboating History" by Denis Keohane, is a must-read for those willing to support this noble cause.

"Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler have co-authored To Set The Record Straight with the apt subtitle How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry. The book all but begins with details of the Winter Soldier Investigation (WSI) of 1971, an event I wrote about here at American Thinker last October."

A Treaty Means Nothing Unless It's Enforceable

American Thinker has an article by Randall Hoven that points out how countries that have signed the Kyoto Treaty have increased their carbon dioxide emissions far more than those that have not (notably the United States).

The Kyoto treaty was agreed upon in late 1997 and countries started signing and ratifying it in 1998. A list of countries and their carbon dioxide emissions due to consumption of fossil fuels is available from the U.S. government. If we look at that data and compare 2004 (latest year for which data is available) to 1997 (last year before the Kyoto treaty was signed), we find the following.
Emissions worldwide increased 18.0%.
Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1%.
Emissions from non-signers increased 10.0%.
Emissions from the U.S. increased 6.6%.
In fact, emissions from the U.S. grew slower than those of over 75% of the countries that signed Kyoto. Below are the growth rates of carbon dioxide emissions, from 1997 to 2004, for a few selected countries, all Kyoto signers. (Remember, the comparative number for the U.S. is 6.6%.)
Maldives, 252%.
Sudan, 142%.
China, 55%.
Luxembourg, 43%
Iran, 39%.
Iceland, 29%.
Norway, 24%.
Russia, 16%.
Italy, 16%.
Finland, 15%.
Mexico, 11%.
Japan, 11%.
Canada, 8.8%.

A table showing increases in actual numbers can be found at: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/tables/08s1314.xls

Vietnamese Version of "Snakes on a Plane"


A FOX News story reports that Thai Airways flight TG 682 brought a shipment of 700 snakes to Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport. The snakes were destroyed when no one claimed them.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Real "Man of the Year"



Upholding its tradition of sucking up to dictators, TIME Magazine selected Russian President Vladimir Putin as "Person of the Year." Another magazine, the Weekly Standard, got it right and selected Gen. David Petraeus as "Man of the Year." William Krisol writes all about it at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/518ffvyn.asp

Huckabee Says He Can't Remember!

(illustration on left: Gomer Pyle and Mike Huckabee - separated at birth?)

Sorry for bothering you with another article about Huckabee, but it seems a pattern of erratic behavior is emerging that needs to be taken into consideration. In a FOX News/Free Republic article, the "Republican presidential candidate’s piece in the January-February edition of Foreign Affairs said that Bush’s foreign policy is 'counterproductive,' and urged a shift in diplomatic tone. GOP rival Mitt Romney afterward condemned the comments and [Condoleezza] Rice called them 'simply ludicrous' on Friday." The news about Bush's "bunker mentality" was first reported on this blog on Tuesday; three days later Huckabee said he did not remember if he wrote the line.

For the article and reader comments see http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1943140/posts#comment?q=1

Friday, December 21, 2007

Kudos to "Eternity Road"

Francis W. Porretto's "Eternity Road" has honored "Bloodthirsty Warmonger" with a link, so I'll be happy to reciprocate (see sidebar).

Oddee.com, a Guilty Pleasure

As a connoisseur of fine trivia, I like informative Web sites such as this: http://www.oddee.com/ Here's an example:

Under "7 Craziest Conspiracy Theories," there's the claim that alien reptiles are dominating the world.

"According to BBC Reporter David Icke, reptilian humanoids are the force behind a worldwide conspiracy directed at manipulation and control of humanity. He contends that most of the world's leaders, from William Jefferson Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush to members of the British royal family, are in fact related to the 7-foot (2.1 m) tall, blood-drinking reptilians from the star system Alpha Draconis."

Other categories include:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Incomprehensible

Marc Ambinder's blog on TheAtlantic.com has the following statement by a Huckabee insider, who has this to say about Rush Limbaugh:

"Honestly, because Rush doesn’t think for himself. That’s not necessarily a slap because he’s not paid to be a thinker—he’s an entertainer. I can’t remember the last time that he has veered from the talking points from the DC/Manhattan chattering class. If they were praising Huckabee, he would be too.

"Also, I have to think that he’s dying to have Hillary in the White House. Bill Clinton made Rush a megastar. Having another Clinton back in power would make him the Leading Voice of the Opposition once again."

Obviously this individual has heard little or nothing of Rush Limbaugh's talk show, since Rush does not always march in lockstep with the "conventional wisdom," and has slammed Hillary Clinton on numerous occasions.

UPDATE: Count on Limbaugh to rush to his own defense at http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_122107/content/01125107.guest.html

Click on picture below for Michelle Malkin's commentary on what's turning out to be one of the biggest blunders in the Huckabee presidential campaign.

Tancredo Bows Out

Five-term Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado announced today that he will be withdrawing from the race for the Republican presidential nomination. In a Newsmax.com article, the candidate most identified with taking a hard line on the illegal immigration problem announced that his continued presence could split the vote for other candidates whom he could count on to wave this banner. He endorsed Gov. Mitt Romney and said he was thinking about running for the Senate seat to be vacated by Wayne Allard, who is retiring.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Seeking Common Ground

Meryl Runion's "Speak Strong" message for this week resonated with me. Although "conservative Republican neocon" roughly describes my place in the political spectrum, the bottom line is that I am an American first, and one who's interested in good government dedicated to serving the people. Here's an excerpt:

UNITE AND CONCUR

...I’ve been writing intensely. I’m taking on the big one. My new book applies SpeakStrong techniques to our political conversations. It’s not a political book – it’s a communication book about how to have reasonable and productive political dialog. I’m very excited about it.

The title is: From divide and conquer to…Unite and Concur: How to Stop Arguing and Start Communicating with Your Political Opposite. At least, that’s the title today…

I will create a separate newsletter for Unite and Concur, but for now, I have a challenge for you. If you’re spending the holidays with someone you disagree with politically, notice your own resistance to what they say. For now, don’t correct them, contradict them or try to convince them of anything. Instead, consider the ways you stop listening. See if you can hear something you didn’t know, and try to find something you agree with them about.

This is a first step toward healthy political conversations. Actually, it’s a first step toward bridging any divide, so if some other topic divides you, put listening to work – and let me know how it worked for you.

I’ll be posting to my blog over the holidays and back to my usual newsletter format in the New Year.

This Week in the World comment

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Taking the Initiative for 9-11 Memorials

I tend to divide people into those who sit back and complain, and those who roll up their sleeves and do something. The Weekly Standard ran an uplifting story about how retired Marine Michael Emerson, using private contributions, built a Flight 93 memorial in Union City, California. On the other side of the country, Father Alphonse Mascherino almost singlehandedly restored a 106-year-old church building in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, transforming it into the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel. For more details about these two projects, see http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/485uwagg.asp?pg=2

While the official memorial is swirling in controversy, and suffering cost overruns even before construction has started, a monument to the 343 New York firemen who laid down their lives on that fateful day was completed last year. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/06/12/wny12.xml

Here are some 2006 photos from the Eagle Rock September 11th Memorial, West Orange, New Jersey: http://news.webshots.com/album/554052476JlClpz

I Don't Even Want to Go There



President Reagan was wise to proclaim the 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." This is a sound principle that people violate at their own peril. Sadly, David Limbaugh (brother of Rush) has brought up a faux pas that Gov. Mike Huckabee wrote for Foreign Affairs magazine:

"The United States, as the world's only superpower, is less vulnerable to military defeat. But it is more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised. American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. My administration will recognize that the United States' main fight does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists."

What was he thinking? For the full article, see http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DavidLimbaugh/2007/12/18/huck_playing_to_our_inner_jimmy_carter

Terence Jeffrey rushes to Gov. Huckabee's defense, asserting that President Bush himself used similar language while running for the office against Vice-Preisent Gore. http://www.townhall.com/columnists/TerenceJeffrey/2007/12/19/arrogance_--_then_and_now

Don't You Love Reading Lists Like This?

We can indulge in a smirk of superiority as we read Fortune magazine's "The 100 Dumbest Moments in Business, 2007." Here are a few choice examples from the first 30:

10. Election officials in Florida promptly order 5,000 units. Diebold tightens security after it is revealed that a simple virus can hack its electronic voting machines. Months later a hacker uses a picture of a key from the company website to make a real key that can open the company’s machines.

13. It’s a fat world, after all. Disneyland announces plans to close the “It’s a Small World” attraction to deepen its water channel after the ride’s boats start getting stuck under loads of heavy passengers. Employees ask larger passengers to disembark—and compensate them with coupons for free food.

17. Quite a blow. After receiving a warning from the FDA, Redux Beverages agrees to stop calling its energy drink Cocaine. It changes the name first to Censored, then to No Name.

22. That no-good Uncle Bertie is finally doing something useful. Co-op Funeralcare, a funeral home in Dunfermline, Scotland, says it is investigating reports that employees routinely used the cremains of the departed to keep passersby from slipping on icy sidewalks. “There’s every chance people living nearby will have walked through the remains,” an ex-employee says. “Some of them probably even inhaled them.”

30. Remarkably, he has yet to be weeded out. In July, as Bear Stearns executives futilely attempt to prop up two hedge funds that ultimately collapse amid the subprime meltdown, CEO James Cayne spends ten of 21 workdays out of the office, playing golf and competing in a bridge tournament in Tennessee. According to the Wall Street Journal, his fellow bridge enthusiasts claim that Cayne sometimes smokes marijuana at the end of tournament sessions.

But wait, there's more! Check out http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/104034/101-Dumbest

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hillary's "Nuclear Option"

A FOX News article describes the dark cloud hanging over Democratic presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama. Since his father and grandmother were Muslim, rumors have circulated from person to person and on the Internet that he is a closet Muslim. This article goes on to say, "The issue gained prominence earlier this month when Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign forced the resignation of two Iowa volunteer coordinators who had forwarded e-mails that falsely tried to tie him to Islamic jihadists."

If the charge were true, Sen. Obama would be at risk of attack by one or more Muslims obsessing on the idea (true or otherwise) that he may be a traitor to Islam. We at "Bloodthirsty Warmonger" have no proof that he is a Muslim in good standing (i.e., one who is sworn to support the Five Pillars of the faith and who would be welcomed as a brother if he were to make the pilgrimage to Mecca).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dan Fogelberg, 1951-2007


The following news bulletin was issued earlier today:

Sunday, December 16
Dear friends,Dan left us this morning at 6:00am . He fought a brave battle with [prostate] cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side. His strength, dignity and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him.

For more information about the life and career of this singer-songwriter, visit his personal Web site at:
http://www.danfogelberg.com/index.html
FOX News article: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317026,00.html

Al-Qaeda Operatives Working Overtime in Dinosaur Media!

The Gateway Pundit blog ran the following story, of how the MSM ran 6 bogus stories in 6 weeks out of Iraq and Afghanistan without issuing corrections. Here's one example:

On November 29, 2007... It happened again.The Western media including the Reporters Without Borders organization reported:

11 close family members of Jordanian-based Baathist reporter Dia al-Kawwaz, who runs the online anti-Iraq newspaper Shabeqat Akhbar al-Iraq, were slaughtered in Baghdad. The attack occurred in the Al-Shaab neighborhood shortly after 7 a.m. Shia militia men shot dead two of Kawwaz’s sisters, their husbands and their seven children, aged 5 to 10. They then exploded the house on their way out.This made headlines around the world.This was a lie, too.

Two days later, the "dead family members" of Dia Al-Kawwaz appeared on Iraqi television smiling and waving to the cameras.They managed to convince the Iraqi audience that they were in fact quite alive. ** Not one Western Media Organization showed this photo or film of the waving family members. Not one.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another Report from the Dept. of the Easily Offended


ABC’s Walters Disses White House Christmas Card



The "World's Smallest Violin" award goes to Barbara Walters for complaining that she received a Christmas card from the White House with a Christian theme! In a Culture and Media Institute article, she publicly aired her dismay over the use of a quote from the Bible by President and Mrs. Bush on "The View."

"Later in the show Walters did say, 'By the way, I don’t want to put down the President of the United States and his wife. I think it’s very nice that they sent me a Christmas card.'

"Christmas greetings can be sent to Barbara Walters at the following address. CMI asks that Christmas greetings be worded in the spirit of the season."

Barbara Walters
c/o The View320 West 66th Street

New York, NY 10023

Flashback from the Soviet Era!


Putin rival [photo on left] held in psychiatric ward 'to prevent him protesting against government'
Last updated at 01:05am on 15th December 2007
Source: Daily Mail [UK]

A Russian opposition activist has been sent to a psychiatric hospital by authorities a day before a planned demonstration.

Artem Basyrov's detention is the latest in a series of incidents suggesting a punitive Soviet-era practice is being revived under president Vladimir Putin.
Mr Basyrov, 20, was ordered to be held at a hospital in the central region of Mari El on November 23, a day before planned demonstrations, said Alexander Averin of the opposition National Bolshevik Party.

The party is part of the Other Russia coalition which organised the so-called Dissenters' Marches across the country this year.

Mr Basyrov ran for the local legislature as an Other Russia candidate. Police who originally detained him claimed he had assaulted a girl. A local psychiatric board agreed, deciding the activist suffered from a mental illness and he was committed to the psychiatric hospital three weeks ago. He was only transferred from an isolation ward and allowed to have visitors on Thursday, said Mikhail Klyuzhev, a National Bolshevik member from the city of Yoshkar-Ola.

The allegations against Mr Basyrov were "idiocy" and were "part of the hysteria" before Russia's parliamentary elections which were held on December 2, Mr Klyuzhev added.

Supporters said Mr Basyrov did not appear to have been mistreated. A psychiatric board is due to review his case at the end of the month.

His case is the latest example of journalists or opposition activists being involuntarily committed to psychiatric hospitals in Russia. During the Soviet era, dissidents were frequently committed for protesting against Soviet policies.

Last week, Reporters Without Borders said Andrei Novikov, a reporter for a news service connected with Chechen separatist government, was released after nine months in a psychiatric hospital. Earlier this year Larisa Arap, an Other Russia activist and journalist, spent six weeks in a psychiatric clinic. Supporters said this was punishment for her critical reporting.

The Global Initiative on Psychiatry, a Dutch watchdog, says psychiatry continues to be used for punitive, political purposes in Russia.

Prosecutors in Mari El were not available for comment last night.

Forget Algore - Men with Big Carbon Footprints Turn Women On!

Crass and materialistic as this may sound, a Wall Street Journal article brings up the obvious fact that there are men and women out there seeking wealthy spouses. Here's an excerpt from that article:

"Yet even among the workaday (or wannabe) wealthy, marrying for money has become a popular pursuit. In an infamous personal ad posted on Craigslist this summer, a twentysomething New Yorker who described herself as 'spectacularly beautiful' wrote that she was looking for a man who made at least $500,000 a year. She'd tried dating men earning $250,000, but that wasn't 'getting me to Central Park West,' she said. The ad inspired all manner of parodies and follow-ups, including one by an investment banker, who replied that since his money would grow over time but her beauty would fade, the offer didn't make good business sense. She was, he said, a 'depreciating asset.'"

For more comments (and a cartoon), see the following Web page from the TigerHawk blog: http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2007/12/carbon-is-hot.html

Is This Principal Being Demeaning, or Simply Bowing to Reality?

Principal Tells Teachers To Dumb-Down Standards
City Hall Angered; Central Park East High Students Miffed

By Andrew Kirtzman
Source: http://wcbstv.com/local/central.park.east.2.610529.html

HARLEM (CBS) ― Have teachers at an East Harlem school been ordered to lower their standards because many students there are poor?

That's the impression some got from their principal's memo.

And now City Hall has stepped in.

The weather was gloomy Thursday outside Central Park East High School, but the talk was about a controversial memo from the school's principal.

"I don't think he thinks we're dumb," 12th grader Crystal Scarlett said. "He just thinks we can do much better than we're doing."

But not everyone agreed.

Last month, Principal Bennett Lieberman sent off a stern memo to teachers. "If you are not passing more than 65 percent of your students in a class, then you are not designing your expectations to meet their abilities, and you are setting your students up for failure, which, in turn, limits your success as a professional."

Was he ordering teachers to dumb down their classes? The memo continued: "Most of our students come from the lowest third percentile in academic achievement, have difficult home lives, and struggle with life in general. They DO NOT have a similar upbringing nor a similar school experience to our experiences growing up."

Some students took offense. "That's not the way to pass," 12th grader Richard Palacios said. "That's not the way to get your education, so you're basically cheating yourself."

CBS 2 HD made several requests to speak with the principal and he refused. But he is standing by his comments.

Lieberman told a newspaper Thursday he "confidently stands by" his words.

But late Thursday, the Department of Education weighed in. It sent him a letter demanding he clarify his views and state that he is not ordering his teachers to lower their standards. No word back yet from the principal.

Teachers at the school stand to receive $3,000 bonuses if their school improves.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hell Freezes Over: Muslim Man Comes to the Rescue of Jewish Women!

Source: New York Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2007/12/12/2007-12-12_muslim_hero_breaks_up_train_beating-1.html

Muslim hero breaks up train beating
BY MELISSA GRACE DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Wednesday, December 12th 2007, 2:13 AM


The Good Samaritan who tried to stop the Christmas-versus-Chanukah subway beating has two black eyes and a sore nose - but no regrets.
"I did what I thought was right," said Hassan Askari, 20. "I did the best that I could to help."
Askari, a Bangladeshi Muslim studying at Berkeley College in Manhattan, was on a Q train headed to Brooklyn late Friday when he came to the aid of young women confronted by a group of 10 thugs.
Fearful for the women's safety, he pushed one of the men away - and was then pounced on by the group, he said.
"They grabbed me and punched and beat me up," Askari said.
"They punched me first. I didn't get a chance to punch him back."
Askari, all of 5-feet-7 and 140 pounds, said he was left with a swollen face.
He said he didn't go to the doctor because he's too busy working two waiter jobs and doesn't have the money for medical care.
He was mystified as to why the men became so outraged when the women and their male friends wished them a "Happy Chanukah" while they were yelling "Merry Christmas" on the train car.
"I don't understand," he said. "They were just being nice."
One of the Jewish victims, Walter Adler, expressed amazement that Askari took the risk to try to help.
"That a random Muslim kid helped some Jewish kids, that's what's positive about New York," said Adler, 23, who suffered a broken nose and required four stitches to close a lip wound.
Askari's interference allowed Adler to pull the emergency brake, which alerted police to trouble on the train.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Voluntarily Removing Themselves from the Gene Pool

According to Chuck Colson, members in good standing of the Church of Gaia are using sterilization, abortion, and other forms of birth control as an environmental statement.

One of these women [in the U.K.], Toni, works for an environmental group. She said that she “shudders with horror” at the thought of a “little hand slipping into hers—and a voice calling her Mummy.”

The “shudder” is caused by the thought of the child’s environmental impact. As Dave Barry likes to say, “I am not making this up.” I wish I were.

So, when Toni learned she was pregnant 10 years ago, she quickly had an abortion to “protect the planet.” Then, to make sure that such a “mistake” could not happen again, she had herself sterilized at age 27.

What did the child’s father think about all this? He sent her a “congratulations card” and later married her.

So far there has not been a mass outcry against this trend. For the full article, see: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ChuckColson/2007/12/11/voluntary_self-extinction

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"The People's Cube" Blog Identifies New Mental Disorder: Offended Muslim Syndrome (OMS)












For full article, see http://www.thepeoplescube.com/red/viewtopic.php?t=1621&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

Following the misery inflicted on Islam by a toy bear that ended up with calls for the execution of an English woman, more Muslims are stepping forward with stories of long-suppressed emotional trauma imposed on them by so-called reality. This has led to the creation of support groups and social networks that help followers of the Prophet Mohammed cope with the agony of learning about life outside of their immediate environment, offering assistance with technical resources, practical guidance, and strategies for early intervention and punishment of those who offend Islam....

"I have always been offended by rubber ducks," says Mahmud Said of Portland, Oregon. "For a long time I felt stigmatized and inadequate, until one day I decided to write about it on an Internet forum. I received hundreds of heart-felt emails - from Morocco to Indonesia. It turns out that thousands of Muslim men between the ages of 18 and 35 have had traumatic experiences with rubber ducks.

"We started a support group that has grown to 10,000 members. Not only do we share horrifying rubber duck stories, we also try to increase public awareness by sabotaging the world supply of rubber ducks, setting fire to factories, abducting rubber duck distributors, and intimidating retailers. These are building blocks for our healthy future. With Allah as my witness, our public awareness campaign will soon result in a completely rubber-duck-free world."

NOTE: There are a number of different manifestations of OMS in the original article, but we will skip to the listing of classic symptoms:

Symptoms of Offended Muslim Syndrome (OMS)
Irritability, agitation, anxiety at the sight of women who are not fully covered
Prolonged rage or unexplained killing sprees
Significant changes in immigration patterns
Brooding about the past glory of the Caliphate
Decreased effectiveness and minimal work productivity
Difficulty in understanding new information without a trial lawyer
Feelings of despair or hopelessness about the existence of Israel
Recurring thoughts of death to the infidels

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Superglue Invented by the Romans!

Roman repairs last the distance
Allan Hall December 6, 2007
Source: http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/roman-repairs-last-the-distance/2007/12/05/1196812825662.html

THEY came, they saw … and they used superglue.

Archaeologists in Germany say they have found a 2000-year-old glue that Roman warriors used to repair helmets, shields and other accessories of battle.
"Caesar's Superglue" — as it has been dubbed by the co-workers of the Rhine State Museum in Bonn — was found on a helmet at a site near Xanthen on the Rhine River where Romans settled before Christ.

"We found that the parade cavalry helmet had been repaired with an adhesive that was still doing its job," said restorer Frank Willer.

He said that since the find researchers had been going over collections of weapons and armour from the battle of the Teutoburger Wood in Germany.
There are traces of DIY repairs on them.

"This is rightly called some kind of superglue because air, water and time have not diminished its bonding properties," Mr Willer said.

His team discovered the adhesive accidentally when they examined the repair to the helmet.

Silver on the helmet separated from iron under heat — and the threads of the glue were discovered.

The remains have already been under the microscope: the Romans made their adhesive from a mixture of bitumen, cattle fat and bark pitch.

Researchers believe the Romans added soot, sand and quartz to the mixture for various jobs and to improve "stickability".

"We haven't mixed a batch ourselves but we can thoroughly recommend it lasts, 2000 years later," Mr Willer said.

Just When I Thought It Would Be a Slow-News Day...

Shooting at New Life Church

Greg Boyce

Colorado Springs Published 2 hour(s) ago

Four people were shot at around 1 p.m. at New Life Church on the north side of Colorado Springs. Initial reports indicate a gunman opened fire in the parking lot about thirty minutes after a church service had adjourned.

News First spoke with Penrose Hospital. Three victims were taken there. One is in critical condition, one is in fair condition and one is good condition.

At a news conference just before three o'clock a police spokesman said a suspect "was down" and that other suspects were being sought.

Witnesses will be released from police questioning and reunited with their families at Pikes Peak Community College (Rampart Range campus).

Source: KOAA-TV News

UPDATE: Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement this afternoon following shootings in two Colorado religious facilities earlier today:

“Today, Colorado mourns the tragic loss of those killed and injured in two senseless shootings. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of those who were taken from us, and we pray for the speedy recovery of those who were wounded.

“Violent crimes of any sort are tragic enough, but when innocent people are killed in a religious facility or a place of worship, we must voice a collective sense of outrage and demonstrate a renewed commitment to keeping our communities safe.

“We have activated the Colorado Information Analysis Center, and I have directed the Department of Public Safety, Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to provide immediate assistance to the local and federal agencies investigating the shootings.”

Church and law enforcement officials proceeded slowly and cautiously to save as many people as possible. Following a preset emergency plan, churchgoers were herded into a basement. The building was placed on lockdown, police swept the church one room at a time, and extra ambulances were placed on standby.

As of 5:50 p.m., police reported that one suspect and one member of the congregation were confirmed dead. A quick-thinking security guard on the scene was credited with saving many lives by shooting the suspect.

These two shooting incidents (in Arvada and Colorado Springs) have already gotten the attention of national news outlets: http://www.newsweek.com/id/74573

Monday, 10 December, 1:27 p.m.: Names of the two victims killed at New Life Church, Stephanie and her sister Rachel Works, and of the people who were wounded in the incident were released. A news conference was held at 4:00 p.m. MST. http://www.kktv.com/home/headlines/12297661.html

The gunman believed to have been involved in both incidents is Matthew Murray, age 24. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22174890/

Friday, December 7, 2007

Nostalgia for a Lost Cause




Dr. Horsefeathers has done it again! He has written an incisive and insightful explanation of why so many "intellectuals" in the west have this fatal fascination with discredited ideologies such as communism. Here's an excerpt:

"To return to my patient and that unasked question. I think I have the answer now. Utopians are nostalgic not for anything real, but for a fantasy, a garden of Eden in which painful differences of talent, looks, fortune, do not exist, an egalitarian paradise where sexual and aggressive conflicts don't exist and all problems are solvable with words. As long as human beings feel injured by their very condition, their own mortality, their own vulnerability, as long as reality includes blows to one’s sense of childhood grandiosity and entitlement, the fantasy of socialist paradise will persist."

Source: http://doctor-horsefeathers.com/archives2/000705.php#comments

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hero Stories

Yesterday's Westroads Mall massacre in Omaha has distressed a lot of folks, including myself, but we must not forget that there are decent and noble people out there who do extraordinary things. Here's one amazing story from the Detroit area:

Source: http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071205/METRO/712050396

Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Girl, 7, shot 6 times saving mom
Norman Sinclair, Santiago Esparza and Jennifer Mrozowski / The Detroit News


DETROIT -- A 7-year-old-girl is being hailed as an "angel from heaven" and a hero for jumping in front of an enraged gunman, who pumped six bullets into the child as she used her body as a shield to save her mother's life.

Alexis Goggins, a first-grader at Campbell Elementary School, is in stable condition at Children's Hospital in Detroit recovering from gunshot wounds to the eye, left temple, chin, cheek, chest and right arm.

"She is an angel from heaven," said Aisha Ford, a family friend for 15 years who also was caught up in the evening of terror.


The girl's mother, Selietha Parker, 30, was shot in the left side of her head and her bicep by a former boyfriend, who police said was trying to kill Parker. The gunman was disarmed by police and arrested at the scene of the shooting, a Detroit gas station. Police identified him as Calvin Tillie, 29, a four-time convicted felon whom Parker had dated for six months.

Parker, who was treated and released at Detroit Receiving Hospital, is now at her daughter's bedside. She declined to comment Tuesday....











Burglary suspect Joshua Burris

Westside News [Missouri]

Thursday, December 06, 2007
World War II veteran fends off home invader
K-9 unit tracks accused down

By Lake Sun Publications StaffPublished: Monday, December 3, 2007 1:15 PM CST
Source: http://westsidestar.net/articles/2007/12/04/westside_news/17.txt

MORGAN COUNTY — A suspect who allegedly stabbed and wrestled with a World War II veteran fled on foot only to be tracked down by a K-9 unit a short distance away.

Morgan County detective Todd Wright said 83-year-old Stanley Egerer was in his home sleeping early Monday, Nov. 26 when 20-year-old Joshua Burris allegedly broke in. Egerer awoke to find Burris in his bedroom, holding a knife and demanding money. Burris then reportedly stabbed Egerer in the upper left chest after he said he didn’t have any.

And, Egerer fought back.

During the skirmish, the WWII vet sustained several more cuts to his hands and arms from the knife, Wright said.

Burris then fled the residence on foot, taking with him several stolen prescription medications, according to the police report. Egerer called 911 about 3 a.m. to report the burglary.Investigators from the sheriff’s office, along with detective Tony Wheatley and his K-9 dog Joky, joined the search for the suspect.

Wright said Burris was tracked down about 1/2-mile away in a wooded area off Route TT. He was attempting to get his 1995 gold-colored Ford Ranger unstuck from the mud.

A search warrant executed on Burris and his residence found several pieces of evidence linking him to the crime.Burris was charged with Class B felony assault in the first degree, felony armed criminal action, Class B felony burglary in the first degree, Class C felony stealing and Class C felony possession of a controlled substance.

He is being held on a $15,000 cash-only bond. Wright said the investigation has not found a direct relationship between Burris and Egerer. He also said Egerer was in the hospital in good condition.

Mitt Romney Rises to the Occasion




Today was the day Gov. Romney delivered a statesmanlike speech on the subject of religious values in America. Here is an excerpt from the speech:

"There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation's founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator. And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of a free land and the protection of religious freedom. In John Adams’ words: 'We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion... Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people.'

"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.
"Given our grand tradition of religious tolerance and liberty, some wonder whether there are any questions regarding an aspiring candidate's religion that are appropriate. I believe there are. And I will answer them today.

"Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for president, not a Catholic running for president. Like him, I am an American running for president. I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith.

"Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin...."

For the entire transcript, see http://www.mittromney.com/News/Speeches/Faith_In_America

I am not in the habit of endorsing any candidates before or during the primary season, but like to give credit where credit is due. It took courage for Mitt Romney to speak out on this subject at a time when many of his friends were advising him to wait until he had won a few primaries and caucuses.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Reason to Be Skeptical about the NIE on Iran's Nuclear Program


U.S. Intel Possibly Duped by Iran

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 9:38 AM
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
President Ahmadinejad on left - can we trust this guy?
Source: http://www.newsmax.com/timmerman/iran_nukes/2007/12/04/54359.html

[NOTE: When I heard about this recent NIE that claims that Iran has suspended its nuclear research program, something did not compute. A leopard doesn't change its spots so easily - after all, they still have thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium, continue to call the USA the "Great Satan," send money and arms to Hezbollah, haven't renounced their intention of wiping Israel off the map, nor have they withdrawn the terrorists they sent into Iraq to kill our troops. To see the report for yourself, go to http://www.odni.gov/]

A highly controversial, 150 page National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear programs was coordinated and written by former State Department political and intelligence analysts — not by more seasoned members of the U.S. intelligence community, Newsmax has learned.

Its most dramatic conclusion — that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure — is based on a single, unvetted source who provided information to a foreign intelligence service and has not been interviewed directly by the United States.

Newsmax sources in Tehran believe that Washington has fallen for “a deliberate disinformation campaign” cooked up by the Revolutionary Guards, who laundered fake information and fed it to the United States through Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers posing as senior diplomats in Europe.

Dangerous Game

The National Intelligence Council, which produced the NIE, is chaired by Thomas Fingar, “a State Department intelligence analyst with no known overseas experience who briefly headed the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research,” I wrote in my book "Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender."

Fingar was a key partner of Senate Democrats in their successful effort to derail the confirmation of John Bolton in the spring of 2005 to become the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations.

As the head of the NIC, Fingar has gone out of his way to fire analysts “who asked the wrong questions,” and who challenged the politically-correct views held by Fingar and his former State Department colleagues, as revealed in "Shadow Warriors."

In March 2007, Fingar fired his top Cuba and Venezuela analyst, Norman Bailey, after he warned of the growing alliance between Castro and Chavez.
Bailey’s departure from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was applauded by the Cuban government news service Granma, who called Bailey “a patent relic of the Reagan regime.” And Fingar was just one of a coterie of State Department officials brought over to ODNI by the first director, career State Department official John Negroponte.

Collaborating with Fingar on the Iran estimate, released on Monday, were Kenneth Brill, the director of the National Counterproliferation Center, and Vann H. Van Diepen, the National Intelligence officer for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Proliferation.

“Van Diepen was an enormous problem,” a former colleague of his from the State Department told me when I was fact gathering for "Shadow Warriors."
“He was insubordinate, hated WMD sanctions, and strived not to implement them,” even though it was his specific responsibility at State to do so, the former colleague told me.

Kenneth Brill, also a career foreign service officer, had been the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna in 2003-2004 before he was forced into retirement.

"Shadow Warrior" reports, “While in Vienna, Brill consistently failed to confront Iran once its clandestine nuclear weapons program was exposed in February 2003, and had to be woken up with the bureaucratic equivalent of a cattle prod to deliver a single speech condemning Iran’s eighteen year history of nuclear cheating.”

Negroponte rehabilitated Brill and brought the man who single-handedly failed to object to Iran’s nuclear weapons program and put him in charge of counter-proliferation efforts for the entire intelligence community.

Christian Westermann, another favorite of Senate Democrats in the Bolton confirmation hearings, was among the career State Department analysts tapped by Fingar and Brill.

As a State Department intelligence analyst, Westermann had missed the signs of biological weapons development in Cuba, and played into the hands of Castro apologist Sen. Christopher Dodd, D, Conn., by continuing to use impeached intelligence reports on Cuba that had been written by self-avowed Cuban spy, Ana Belen Montes.

“After failing to recognize the signs of biological weapons development in Cuba and Cuba’s cooperation with Iran, Westermann was promoted to become national intelligence officer for biological weapons,” I wrote.

“Let’s hope a walk-in defector from Iranian intelligence doesn’t tell us that Iran has given biological weapons to terrorists to attack new York or Chicago,” I added, “because Westermann will certainly object that the source of that information was not reliable — at least, until Americans start dying.”

It now appears that this is very similar to what happened while the intelligence community was preparing the Iran NIE.
UPDATE: President Bush was quick to defend his position on Iran in the following Townhall.com article: http://www.townhall.com/news/us/2007/12/04/bush_iran_still_a_danger_despite_report
An Independent Media Review Analysis by Yaakove Katz of the Jerusalem Post describes the Israeli position on Iran's nuke program at
http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=37110
Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations continue to be suspicious of Iran, as evidenced by the following article in Opinion Journal: http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110010968
Former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton smells a rat and wrote the following article for the Washington Post:
Follow the money: Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the richest men in Iran (with a vested interest in the nuclear program) is identified as the source that influenced the authors of the NIE. http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/12/post_10.html

Monday, December 3, 2007

When You're a Journalist, You Have to Kiss the Feet of People You Don't Like

This Associated Press story about Hillary Clinton's reaction to the hostage situation at her campaign headquarters in New Hampshire lays it on thick, even though she was never exposed to danger that day!

Source: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8T8P3BG0&show_article=1

Oh, well. I heard that AP wants to play hardball in the following article:
http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/419-interview-tom-curley-ceo-associated-press/

Anxious to avoid a cease-and-desist order or a lawsuit, I removed the excerpt, and you'll have to go to the link to read about it - if you dare.

One Hundred American Cities, in Order of Drunkenness

There's an MSN/Men's Health article that came out recently, listing the drunkest cities in the United States, in descending order. Being a non-drinker, I don't understand how Denver and Colorado Springs sank so low.

Source: http://health.msn.com/health-topics/addiction/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100182332&Gt1=10710


Most Dangerously Drunk
100. Denver, CO F
99. Anchorage, AK F
98. Colorado Springs, CO F
97. Omaha, NE F
96. Fargo, ND F
95. San Antonio, TX F
94. Austin, TX F
93. Fresno, CA F
92. Lubbock, TX F
91. Milwaukee, WI F
90. El Paso, TX F
89. Spokane, WA F
88. Washington, DC F
87. Columbia, SC F
86. St. Louis, MO D-
85. Bakersfield, CA D-
84. San Diego, CA D
83. Cheyenne, WY D
82. Aurora, CO D
81. Houston, TX D
80. Portland, OR D
79. Seattle, WA D
78. Boise, ID D
77. Tucson, AZ D+
76. Dallas, TX D+
75. Jacksonville, FL D+
74. Toledo, OH D+
73. Madison, WI D+
72. Oakland, CA D+
71. Modesto, CA D+
70. Billings, MT D+
69. Fremont, CA D+
68. Oklahoma City, OK D+
67. San Francisco, CA D+
66. Sacramento, CA D+
65. Los Angeles, CA D+
64. Phoenix, AZ D+
63. Albuquerque, NM D+
62. Chicago, IL D+
61. Providence, RI D+
60. Fort Wayne, IN C-
59. Manchester, NH C-
58. Charleston, WV C-
57. Burlington, VT C-
56. Lincoln, NE C-
55. Corpus Christi, TX C-
54. Des Moines, IA C-
53. Indianapolis, IN C-
52. Pittsburgh, PA C-
51. Honolulu, HI C-
50. St. Paul, MN C
49. Tampa, FL C
48. Greensboro, NC C
47. Las Vegas, NV C
46. Baltimore, MD C
45. Riverside, CA C
44. Norfolk, VA C
43. Detroit, MI C+
42. Arlington, TX C+
41. Grand Rapids, MI C+
40. San Jose, CA C+
39. St. Petersburg, FL C+
38. Nashville, TN C+
37. Charlotte, NC C+
36. Wilmington, DE C+
35. Orlando, FL C+
34. Minneapolis, MN C+
33. Kansas City, MO C+
32. Fort Worth, TX C+
31. Tulsa, OK C+
30. Anaheim, CA B-
29. Wichita, KS B-
28. Lexington, KY B-
27. Philadelphia, PA B-
26. Montgomery, AL B-
25. Rochester, NY B-
24. Raleigh, NC B
23. Cincinnati, OH B
22. Louisville, KY B
21. Bangor, ME B
20. Memphis, TN B
19. Boston, MA B
18. Hartford, CT B+
17. Sioux Falls, SD B+
16. Birmingham, AL B+
15. Baton Rouge, LA B+
14. Columbus, OH B+
13. Cleveland, OH B+
12. Atlanta, GA B+
11. Newark, NJ B+
Least Dangerously Drunk
10. Jersey City, NJ B+
9. Richmond, VA B+
8. New York, NY B+
7. Little Rock, AK A-
6. Salt lake City, UT A-
5. Yonkers, NY A-
4. Jackson, MS A
3. Buffalo, NY A
2. Miami, FL A
1. Durham, NC A+