Sunday, April 30, 2006

Who Said That?

Mark Steyn in the Chicago Sun-Times:

John Kerry announced this week's John Kerry Iraq Policy of the Week the other day: "Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to deal with these intransigent issues and at last put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military."

With a sulky pout perhaps? With hands on hips and a full flip of the hair?

Did he get that from Churchill? "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, at least until May 15, when I have a windsurfing engagement off Nantucket."

Actually, no. He got it from Thomas Jefferson. "This is not the first time in American history when patriotism has been distorted to deflect criticism and mislead the nation," warned Sen. Kerry, placing his courage in the broader historical context. "No wonder Thomas Jefferson himself said: 'Dissent is the greatest form of patriotism.' "

Close enough. According to the Jefferson Library: "There are a number of quotes that we do not find in Thomas Jefferson's correspondence or other writings; in such cases, Jefferson should not be cited as the source. Among the most common of these spurious Jefferson quotes are: 'Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.' "

So, Mr. “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”, misquoted Thomas Jefferson? I, for one, am not a bit surprised. After all, he misquotes himself all the time.

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Rush Makes A Deal

(Via Palm Beach Post)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Rush Limbaugh was arrested Friday on a prescription fraud charge after reaching a deal with prosecutors that will see the single count dismissed if he continues treatment and doesn't violate the law, Limbaugh's attorney said.

The subject of a three-year investigation, Limbaugh surrendered to authorities on a warrant charging him with fraud to conceal information to obtain prescriptions, said Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office.

The 55-year-old conservative radio commentator came into the jail at about 4 p.m. with his attorney Roy Black and left an hour later after being photographed and fingerprinted. He posted $3,000 bail, Barbera said.

"He just kind of came in and he left," Barbera said.

Black said his client and prosecutors reached a settlement on a charge of doctor shopping that will be filed Monday by the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office. According to the warrant, sometime between February and August 2003, Limbaugh withheld information from a medical practitioner from whom he sought to obtain a controlled substance or a prescription that he also had received medications from another physician.

Under the terms of the deal, called a pretrial diversion, Limbaugh will be cleared of the charge and a trial won't take place if he continues drug treatment with the same doctor he has seen for the past 2 1/2 years and refrains from violating any laws, Black said.

As a formality, Limbaugh entered a plea of not guilty on the charge, said the commentator's spokesman Tony Knight.

Limbaugh has maintained his innocence throughout the investigation.

Of course, Brian Skoloff of the Associated Press and the author of this piece, can't stop with just the facts of the case, he dredges the bottom of the pond and makes the hypocrite argument:

But before his own problems became public, Limbaugh had decried drug use and abuse and mocked President Clinton for saying he had not inhaled when he tried marijuana. He often made the case that drug crimes deserve punishment.

"Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. ... And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up," Limbaugh said on his short-lived television show on Oct. 5, 1995.

During the same show, he commented that the statistics that show blacks go to prison more often than whites for the same drug offenses only illustrate that "too many whites are getting away with drug use."

I'll concede the point that drug abuse is in fact drug abuse whether or not the drug is prescription or illegal. But whether it be Rush Limbaugh or Harry Reid, I would tend to have more sympathy for someone acquiring prescription painkillers to treat pain than I would a drug addict acquiring drugs solely for the purpose of getting high. I'm not condoning either, I'm just saying that I can make that distinction.

As far as the deal goes, he continues to receive the same treatment with the same doctor who has been treating him for the last couple of years, he still pleads not guilty, pays a $30,000 fine to offset court costs, and in 18 months the slate is wiped clean. Or as commenter Scott at Outside the Beltway noted:

If the prosecutor had any case at all, he would not be cutting a deal. This is clearly a face-saving measure for the benefit of the prosecutor, whose prosecution was politically motivated to begin with.

Rush won.

In short, he gets his life back and puts an unfortunate episode in his life behind him.

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A Friday Funny!

Basil has posted a transcript of the latest Glenn and Helen show, their exclusive interview with Osama bin Laden. You may want to keep and eye on those puppies, although I'm not quite sure whether Evil Glenn or Osama bin Laden is the bigger threat. If they conspire it could get very ugly. Indeed.

BREAKING!: I checked just before posting and the professor knows. In the professor's own words:


Looks like someone needs to contain the leaks coming out of Knoxville as well as Washington. HEH!

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A New Cartoon Debacle, A Totally Opposite Response

(HT Hot Air)

WorldNetDaily broke this story yesterday:

A Catholic activist organization has written to Oregon's governor and state lawmakers to protest a University of Oregon student newspaper for having published cartoons showing Jesus Christ naked and with an erection.

In its March edition, the Insurgent, an "alternative" student paper on the Eugene, Ore., campus printed 12 hand-drawn cartoons of Jesus as a response to rival paper the Commentator having published the controversial cartoons of Muhammad originally published in Europe that sparked Muslim riots worldwide. The Insurgent claimed it published the drawings to "provoke dialogue."

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said the university's president, Dave Frohnmayer, had been unresponsive to complaints about the drawings, so he had written to the governor, every state legislators and the chancellor of the Oregon University System, among others.

"The March edition of the Insurgent ... was one of the most obscene assaults on Christianity I have ever seen," Donohue said in a statement. "To make sure that the persons I wrote to understand how vile this attack was, I sent a photocopy of the two most offensive graphics: one was a depiction of a naked Jesus on the cross with an erection; the other, titled 'Resurrection,' showed a naked Jesus kissing another naked man, both sporting erections."

Notice the Catholic League didn't say they "We're going to start a holy war, burn everything that can possibly be set on fire, and threaten to behead those who depict our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in such a vulgar and offensive fashion."

Nope. They wrote to Oregon's governor and state lawmakers to express their displeasure in hopes that they would take action on the matter. I wonder if the publishers of "The Insurgent" have the intellectual capacity to note the difference in the two responses.

Am I outraged? Am I offended? Absolutely and unequivocally YES!!!

What would Jesus have his followers do in retaliation? He would have us pray for them!

These misguided college students may have thought that by publishing these cartoons they were "provoking dialogue", but actually all they have done is offend scores of people, Christians and non-Christians alike. You don't have to be particularly religious to be offended by a drawing of any religious figure depicted with an erect penis. There is a vast difference between making a political statement and simply being vile and offensive.

Maybe they thought Christians would react in the same way that Muslim extremists reacted during the Jyllands-Posten cartoon debacle, but they won't. By failing to accurately predict the reaction, and by printing opposing cartoons much more offensive than the ones they are being compared to, the only thing they have really done is shine a spotlight on their own stupidity.

They have exercised their freedom of speech by posting these images. I hope they also understand that freedom of speech means they will not be protected from the onslaught of opposition they will most assuredly face as a result. There won't be any beheadings or burning buildings, but if I were them I might prepare for a significant round of tongue lashing.

For the record, I don't find the Mohammed cartoons and the Jesus cartoons to be even remotely comparable in the dialogue they would provoke, so I'm going to exercise my freedom of speech by not reposting them here.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Something You Should Worry About

(HT- Assorted Babble)

A couple of days ago, I wrote this post referencing Mark Steyn’s column “Nothing to Fear but the Climate Change Alarmists” in Sunday’s Chicago Sun-Times. In that post I remarked that I had better things to worry about than melting icebergs, such as nukes in the hands of a madman, terrorists with dirty bombs, etc.

Suzie at Assorted Babble has compiled a well-researched post regarding the capabilities and intentions of the Iranian nuclear program, and I think it’s safe to say it has nothing to do with producing electricity. If you truly want something productive and likely imminent to worry about, it gets no more imminent than this.

As Mark Steyn noted in the above referenced column, the trailer of the new Al Gore move “An Inconvenient Truth” states- “If you love your planet—If you love your children—you have to see this movie”. I would contend “If you love your planet—If you love your children—don’t turn a blind eye to the threat posed by madmen who either posses or are developing nuclear weapons. If you think a melting iceberg is the worlds biggest problem, think again!

We no longer live in a world where someone can climb to the top of the steeple in the Old North Church with a couple of lanterns and look out over the ocean to spot approaching threats. In today’s world, that threat can walk into a business meeting or a shopping mall with a briefcase and kill large numbers of people in the blink of an eye.
This is not fear mongering, it is the new reality and it is a reality we need to wake up to rapidly.

There is also much more to worry about regarding nuclear weapons than the conventional uses most people normally associated with them. For example, how many of you know what the acronym EMP stands for? I know I didn’t until a short time ago.

EMP is shorthand for “electromagnetic pulse”, and Suzie points out that Iran is either developing it or already has it based on her research. According to Suzie, this is how it would work:

This electromagnetic blanket does not kill people—it kills electrons. In short, it stops every form of electricity instantly and for months, maybe years. Here’s how it could be used against America in warfare.

A fake satellite crossing over America at the height of 280 miles suddenly explodes over the Great Plains of the U.S., releasing several pounds of enriched plutonium, blanketing the U.S. with gamma rays. Instantly, in one-billionth of a second, all electrical power is cut off instantly.

No lights, no refrigeration will work in our home. Every ounce of food you have will rot in your freezer. Your car won’t work b/c it starts with electricity. Trucks won’t work, meaning transportation bringing you everything you use will stop. All machinery stops. The radio and the television stations will go off the air. Planes that are in flight will crash b/c their electronic systems will fail. The missile systems will fail to function. We will cease to be a superpower in one billionth of a second.] I can relate to a part of this with hurricanes taking away our power for 10 days and other times without power for longer than a day. It was total chaos.

[The President cannot communicate w/his military people in the field b/c the phones will not work. America’s refineries will shut down. There will be no gas and no oil. The gas at the service stations can’t be used b/c those pumps get the gas out of the ground w/ electricity. Computers won’t work, meaning city, state, and government offices will be shut down. There will be a nationwide food and gas shortage within a few days.

This is not new, it has been talked about for 20 years. Only now, rogue states have the ability to put this weapon to use, and it will happen unless Iran and the “axis of evil” are stopped.] I will have to continue this with more very important and interesting information in another post. Note: Our government says Iran can do this and North Korea an ally of Iran has this ability too.

One more thing - [The Congressional Reports read: "Even primitive Scud missiles could be used for this purpose (electronic blankets). Top U.S. Intel officials reminded members of Congress that there is a glut of these missiles on the world market. They are currently being bought and sold for about $100,000 apiece."] One other note: [In one second, we would be living in the nineteenth century.]

While commenter ABF points out that the “military has figured out a way to somewhat defend against it”, how can we be absolutely sure that we are 100 percent protected? After all, few people really thought about the possibility of terrorists crashing civilian airliners into buildings prior to 9/11, yet it happened and we were stunned.

It is time for the environmental extremists, isolationists, and anti-war crowd to answer a tough question:

Can we afford to sit back and do nothing in the midst of a gathering threat and if these threats materialize will you be able to live with the consequences of your stated positions?

I believe we all want clean air and water, want to do what we can to reduce pollution to the extent possible, and want live in peace and harmony with one another, but can anyone actually make a persuasive argument that turning back the clock on 200+ years of progress and pretending the rest of the world doesn’t have a profound effect on us will accomplish those goals?

I’m not saying that I know whether or not the threats will ever fully materialize. What I am saying is, Are you prepared to deal with the consequences if they do?

One thing everyone should agree on is that our oceans no longer offer us protection from outside forces that wish us harm. Regardless of who is in power in Washington, these threats aren’t going away and must be dealt with and sometimes, like it or not, dealing with threats requires the use of force. We can defend ourselves or we can capitulate, but we can’t do both.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tony Snow To Be Introduced As Press Secretary Tommorrow

Fox News is reporting that according to its sources, Tony Snow will be named as President Bush's new Press Secretary tommorrow morning:

WASHINGTON — Tony Snow will be named new White House press secretary on Wednesday morning, FOX News has learned. Snow is expected to be at the White House for the announcement. He has been mulling the offer for the last several days.

Long before the announcement, oddsmakers were banking on Snow, host of FOX News Talk's "The Tony Snow Show," to be tapped for the highly visible White House post.

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you! Not shocked that he would be President Bush's top choice for the job- heck, he would have been my choice if the decision were mine- but shocked that Snow is willing to accept the job.

I don't know what Fox News and his radio show are paying him, but even if it were peanuts I would think it would be a heap more rewarding than having to put up with the whiny Washington press corps on a daily basis.

That said, I believe Tony Snow is the right man for the job. He has the presence and the courage to chew up talking points with as much ease as most of us chew our mashed potatoes. He knows the facts and will not be rattled by the likes of Helen Thomas and David Gregory. If the administration gives Snow enough leeway, I think we'll see him hitting a lot of hanging curveballs into the cheapseats.

The press corps knows they will be dealing with someone who will respond to questions with class and dignity, but they also know that he is someone who can make them look extremely foolish without being harsh and while remaining in complete control. He will control the press corps, they won't control him. They know this, and my bet is they don't like it one little bit. These daily press briefings may finally become required daily viewing.

Personally, I wouldn't have the job and I wouldn't have to give up nearly as much to take it as Snow apparently has. If Snow is accepting this job out of a sense of duty, and a desire to serve his country, then my already huge admiration for him has increased ten fold.

In other news, I believe the third paragraph of this post has officially satisfied my "worn out cliche" quota for the week. I'm sure glad I got that behind me- and it's only Tuesday!

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Feeling Bad Never Felt So Good

Mark Steyn has a column today in the Chicago Sun-Times in which he discusses the misplaced fears of the climate change crowd in a way that only he can:

Do you worry? You look like you do. Worrying is the way the responsible citizen of an advanced society demonstrates his virtue: He feels good by feeling bad.

But what to worry about? Iranian nukes? Nah, that's just some racket cooked up by the Christian fundamentalist Bush and his Zionist buddies to give Halliburton a pretext to take over the Persian carpet industry. Worrying about nukes is so '80s. "They make me want to throw up. . . . They make me feel sick to my stomach," wrote the British novelist Martin Amis, who couldn't stop thinking about them 20 years ago...

So what should we worry about? How about -- stop me if you've heard this one before -- "climate change"? That's the subject of Al Gore's new movie, ''An Inconvenient Truth.'' Like the trailer says: "If you love your planet -- if you love your children -- you have to see this movie." Even if you were planning to kill your children because you don't want them to live in a nuclear wasteland, see this movie. The mullahs won't get a chance to nuke us because, thanks to rising sea levels, Tehran will be under water...

Here's an inconvenient truth for "An Inconvenient Truth": Remember what they used to call "climate change"? "Global warming." And what did they call it before that? "Global cooling." That was the big worry in the '70s: the forthcoming ice age. Back then, Lowell Ponte had a huge best seller called The Cooling: Has the new ice age already begun? Can we survive?

So what do these eternally pessimistic environmentalists do when they can't make up their minds exactly what to worry about? They use the generic term "climate change" to cover all the bases and convince people to worry about everything under the sun instead of living their lives and dealing with more urgent issues that are likely to affect them long before the "global winter" or "global summer", or whatever the heck they're calling it now.

I suppose one is entitled to worry about penguins suddenly being forced to wear sunscreen on their long march across the desert that just yesterday was Antarctica, but I have better things to do with my time and much more urgent problems to worry about. My gut tells me that a mad man with a nuke or a terrorist with a death wish and a dirty bomb is a much more urgent threat than a melting iceberg. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

The Time to Worry is Now, Mr. Negroponte!

(Via Breitbart)

US intelligence chief John Negroponte said Iran's resumption of uranium enrichment is
"troublesome" but the country is still years away from having enough fissile material to make a nuclear weapon.

Negroponte expressed concern both about Iran's claim to have resumed uranium enrichment with a cascade of 164 centrifuges in Natanz and extreme statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"The developments in Iran -- clearly they're troublesome," he said in response to questions after a speech to the National Press Club.

"By the same token, our assessment at the moment is that even though we believe that
Iran is determined to acquire or obtain a nuclear weapon, that we believe that it is still a number of years off before they are likely to have enough fissile material to assemble into, or to put into a nuclear weapon; perhaps into the next decade," he said.

"So I think it's important that this issue be kept in perspective," he said.

Well, I feel sooo much better now! I guess we can all relax until they get one put together.

Here's a little perspective, Mr. Negroponte: There's a maniac in Iran who wants to wipe Israel off the map and kill all infidel through any means available. He's not thinking perspective; he's thinking, "How quickly?

The time to be worried about this started around 1980. Now is not the time to keep this in perspective, now is the time to figure out what to do about it. We need to be losing sleep over this right now!! The one who gets to the finish line first, wins!

How's that for a little perspective?

I realize I may be overreacting or taking his words out of context, but I don't like hearing the words "perspective" and "nuclear" in the same quote by someone who's job title has the word "intelligence" in it.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Some Notes and Advice on Objectionable Blog Content

UPDATE 4/25/06: Some links and information have been removed from this post for reasons that I am not at liberty to discuss. Full disclosure, while regretable, is not possible at this time. Thank you in advance for understanding.

Suzie at Assorted Babble and many other bloggers have been working on an effort with Stacy Harp of Active Christian Media, to track down child porn websites and get them shut down.

One site in particular is (site information removed by author) which promotes homosexual activity between adults and underage children. Suzie pointed out that what she saw there left her speechless and sick to her stomach. The blog has been flagged for objectionable content by many bloggers(including myself), but Blogger apparently is not particularly concerned about it. Complaints seem to have fallen on deaf ears and that is shameful, to say the least.

The effort to get the blog removed appeared to have worked initially, but it reappeared later with graphic photos after everyone trying to get it shut down had put up links on their blogs so that others could easily flag it. It is suggested that you do not link this blog and if you have already linked it, delink it immediately.

Whoever the scumbag is that is running this blog is in my estimation either trying to create links to his blog in an underhanded way so that it will attract more viewers or knows that he is in trouble and is wanting to try to bring down as many people as he can along with him, regardless of whether the links were intended to shut the blog down or not.

Links and browser cache tracks are potential poison, even to those who are doing it for good, because they don't reflect the intent of the viewer they just record a visit.
If I can offer one piece of advice to anyone involved in this type of effort, it is this:

Clear your cache and delink any objectionable site immediately! Make sure you are on record as to what your intentions are when you report the site. The authorities to whom you report need to know that you saw this against your will or that you are a part of an effort to get it shut down, and that is why you are reporting it. Unless you are known without a doubt by the proper authorities to be in an effort to get the site shut down, do not under any circumstances point your browser back to that site!!! Do not allow them to suck you in to their crime!! You do not want to have a visit history to an illegal site anywhere on your hard drive. Once can be considered accidental; a history of visits can land you in court with little more than your word as your defense. If you use Blogger, you need to look no further than Betsy's Page to realize how quickly your blog, and all the evidence of your good intentions can disappear.

As far as Blogger is concerned, they have responded to requests to remove this blog in about the same way as they did Betsy Newmark when her blog disappeared: They've done absolutely nothing!

Google and Blogger have created a less than stellar track record for themselves lately, but ignoring this problem, for me crosses the line.

Check out Assorted Babble for all of the information on how to file complaints and what you can do to help in this effort. She has done a fantastic job, along with many others, in keeping the heat on these predators and those that are giving them a voice. Start at the top and scroll down the page for the complete history. Add a link to her in your blogroll , thank her for her efforts, and tell others about the effort to eliminate blogs that promote illegal activity.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Are You a Christian or a Liberal?

Doug Giles answers the question in his April 16 (republished) column in Townhall:

Can a Christian be a liberal? Short answer: no. There is no way a Christian can buy into neo-liberal ideology and be faithful to the bigger-than-Dallas teachings of the scripture and expect to continue enjoying his hard-won religious liberties.

For the "Christian" to lean politically to the left means that he must blow off huge chunks of the Bible and replace the scripture with the make-believe notions of postmodernism's malleable "Christ." Only after torturing the scripture can the Christian then fit liberalism into his supposed relationship with God...

Giles goes on to point out 5 examples of how a vote for the liberal ticket equates to a vote to end the very religious liberties you claim to espouse. Take the first point, for example:

...Thanks to the aggressive and ludicrous liberal lug nuts' anti-Christian agenda, your vote for a liberal Christian is a vote for:

1. Christianity to be scrubbed from government and whatever turf the government owns. Thanks to the liberals, the Ten Commandments have about as much acceptance in our government and their properties as Rush Limbaugh would at Al Franken's family reunion. The Judeo-Christian principles that formed the rock-solid foundation of this great American Experiment are now aggressively and consistently attacked by the lascivious left.

If . . . if . . . the secularists continue to stay behind the wheel of this American bus, you can kiss all semblance of Christianity good-bye in this heretofore God-graced government. Saint, you might as well say farewell to our government's recognizing Christmas and adios to Good Friday if you're going to vote the liberal ticket. If the secularists have it their way, Easter will be behind your keister, and you can kiss the Cross good-night as an acceptable public symbol that represents your faith and our nation's recognition of Christ's atoning work.

It would be extremely difficult for a true Christian to make a compelling argument that would prove any of these points to be in error. A true Christian would not cast a vote that would lead to his inability to practice Christianity without having to hide it under a bushel.

I'm sick and tired of Christians getting the shaft and politicians using the name of God only as a political bargaining chip and vote getting tactic. Christians aren't merely a bloc of voters, they are Americans whose freedom to practice their religion is just as important as an atheist's freedom not to.

It's refreshing for this Christian to read someone with the guts to tell it like it is without mincing words or being politically correct. Good on ya, Mr. Giles!

UPDATE: California Conservative also agrees with Mr. Giles, but says it much better. It's the post I wish I'd written.

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