Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tolerance Claims Another Victim

This one’s fighting back, though.

An Eastern Michigan University student was expelled from the graduate counseling program because she would not accommodate her Christian beliefs about homosexuality to university dogma. This from the Alliance Defense Fund:

E. Mich. Univ. ousts student for not affirming
homosexual behavior

ADF attorneys file suit on behalf of student expelled from graduate counseling programFriday, April 03, 2009, 9:09 AM (MST)
ADF Media Relations 480-444-0020

DETROIT — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed a lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University Thursday after school officials dismissed a student from the school’s counseling program for not affirming homosexual behavior as morally acceptable.
The school dismissed Julea Ward from the program because she would not agree prior to a counseling session to affirm a client’s homosexual behavior and would not retract her stance in subsequent disciplinary proceedings."

Christian students shouldn’t be penalized for holding to their beliefs," said ADF Senior Counsel David French. "When a public university has a prerequisite of affirming homosexual behavior as morally good in order to obtain a degree, the school is stepping over the legal line. Julea did the responsible thing and followed her supervising professor’s advice to have the client referred to a counselor who did not have a conscience issue with the very matter to be discussed in counseling. She would have gladly counseled the client if the subject had been nearly any other matter."

EMU requires students in its program to affirm or validate homosexual behavior within the context of a counseling relationship and prohibits students from advising clients that they can change their homosexual behavior. Ward has never addressed homosexual behavior in any form during counseling sessions with clients.

EMU initiated its disciplinary process against Ward and informed her that the only way she could stay in the graduate school counseling program would be if she agreed to undergo a "remediation" program. Its purpose would be to help Ward "see the error of her ways" and change her "belief system" as it relates to counseling about homosexual relationships, conforming her beliefs to be consistent with the university’s views. When Ward did not agree with the conditions, she was given the options of either voluntarily leaving the program or asking for a formal review hearing.

Ward chose the hearing, during which EMU faculty denigrated her Christian views and asked several inappropriate and intrusive questions about her religious beliefs. The hearing committee dismissed her from the counseling program on March 12. Ward appealed the decision to the dean of the College of Education, who upheld the dismissal on March 26."

ulea has a constitutional right not to be compelled to speak a message she disagrees with. She acted as a professional counselor should--with great concern both for her beliefs and the client," ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco explained. "The two are not incompatible, but EMU’s policies are incompatible with the Constitution."


I encourage everyone to go to the link for the complaint and read the attached transcript of the formal review hearing (starts at page 59). It’s evident there that Ms. Ward never did what she was accused of doing (imposing her religious beliefs on the homosexual client), and in fact followed the department policy of referring a client when a clash of values may occur. What she was really guilty of, as the transcript and complaint makes clear, was holding a strict religious view that her professors couldn’t tolerate.

It’s also obvious from the nature of the “theological bout” that this gaggle of social workers subjected Ms. Ward to that these people haven’t the slightest reluctance imposing their own views on others.

The formal infraction for which Ms. Ward was expelled was “failure to tolerate other points of view.”

Anti-Torture Picture Lacks Definition

Cliff May has a post at NRO Online that addresses the dishonest element that runs through all of the recent whip-up about "torture." There's also some details about how Islamists respond to harsh interrogation:

Re: Not Pro-Torture, Just Pro-Facts [Cliff May]

Andrew Sullivan has a post up on his Daily Dish taking a shot at me as well. He begins by saying generously: “Cliff May has done great work over the years advancing democracy and defending human rights.” He goes on to link to one of my Corner posts and to say that my “defense of torture when and only when America does it deeply undermines his credibility and makes a mockery of his previous work.”

In fact, in just about everything I’ve written and said, I’ve taken pains to emphasize that I oppose torture. However, I do think (1) it’s important to define torture so we know what we are talking about, and (2) all forms of “stress and duress” utilized to elicit cooperation from a terrorist in possession of life-saving information are not torture.

Every opponent I’ve debated on has taken this tactic — labeling me as “pro-torture,” refusing to grapple with definitions, and refusing to consider whether there may be methods of interrogation that are unpleasant but fall short of torture.

This is especially important because we now know that Islamists believe their religion forbids them to cooperate with infidels — until they have reached the limit of their ability to endure the hardships the infidel is inflicting on them.* In other words: Imagine an al-Qaeda member who would like to give his interrogators information, who does not want continue fighting, who would prefer not to see more innocent people slaughtered. He would need his interrogators to press him hard so he can feel that he has met his religious obligations — only then could he cooperate.

But just try to get anyone in the “anti-torture” camp to seriously debate any of this.

* “Brothers who are captured and interrogated are permitted by Allah to provide information when they believe they have reached the limit of their ability to withhold it in the face of psychological and physical hardships.” — Abu Zubaydah, quoted in released CIA memos

Heroes in Unexpected Places

And here you thought all that talk about how homosexuality wasn’t a choice, meant it wasn’t a choice for the homosexuals!

Brent Bozell nicely captures the moral dimension, the heroism, of what Ms. California did in giving a straight answer to Perez Hilton’s demand she endorse “gay marriages” for all fifty states:

Miss California was a little surprised to be thrown this curveball. Did any other contestant get a question like this? No. She stumbled into an answer: "I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage." But then, still thinking aloud, she made a decision. She decided to take a stand for traditional values. More to the point, she decided to stay true to her principles: "You know what, in my country and in my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman -- no offense to anyone out there -- but that's how I was raised, and that's how I think it should be, between a man and a woman."

Boom! The dream was dead. Carrie Prejean had proclaimed she would rather be "biblically correct" than politically correct. There is now a religion test for Miss USA: Christians need not apply.

Hilton, who laid this trap for Ms. Prejean, then "marched over to a camera to record a rant for the Internet. "She lost, not because she doesn't believe in gay marriage, Miss California lost because she's a dumb [B-word], OK?" The next day on MSNBC, Hilton issued a fake apology: "I was thinking the c-word, and I didn't say it," he said, laughing."

Obviously, Hilton is the dumb bitch, not Ms. California. But if Hilton weren’t queer, but a normal (that’s right—a normal) male, there isn’t a chance in hell he’d be allowed to get away with saying this about any woman, not even Sarah Palin. That is the advantage of homo-immunity, and he knows it.

The only advantage Prejean had was her faith.

There is only one reason why America is standing by and watching this happen to people instead of being up in arms about it: fear. Americans haven’t really changed their minds about whether the homosexual lifestyle is wrong. They’ve changed their minds about what will happen if they voice that opinion out loud.

This isn’t about persuasion, but force. Grandmothers aren’t attending their grandson’s queer weddings because they’ve learned in old age to appreciate the true beauty of fisting and the pipe. They’re doing it because it’s either that or be driven out of the family into the woods—because gays have rights that grandmas don’t—starting with the right to hold the whole family up for blackmail. You can bet any queer bold enough to demand his family attend his gay wedding has been threatening for years to out them as “homophobes.” (“We have a gay son and we’re just as proud of him as all our children!”).

People don’t act like Perez Hilton because they want power. They act that way because they already have it, and they know they have it--a cowed society is giving it to them. Giving them the power of knowing that, whatever they may say or do, or demand, or how they misbehave, society will rip to shreds anyone who dares to criticize them. Freedom to act without consequences is the ultimate power.

I actually don’t get that emotional about the whole gay-rights thing. My main interest is the role it's played degrading free speech rights, which has been profound.

The bullying and intimidation tactics developed by gay-rights activists and their hey-boys in the media were already honed and perfected and easily adapted by the Islamists who grabbed them up and started wielding them after 9/11. All that Queer Nation/Act Up yelling and blackmail in the eighties and nineties had trained Americans to duck and cover reflexively at the sound of the suffix "phobe," as in, "homophobes." But the now strictly-enforced cultural taboo forbidding criticism that it took years for homosexual activists to achieve was won by Islamists within only a few months after the World Trade Center attacks. Once the first charges of "Islamophobia" were flung, we Americans were already trained in what to do: go along and keep your mouth shut, except maybe you might volunteer something harmless like, "Terrorism no more represents Islam than the KKK represents Christianity."

Thought control ends up controlling thoughts but it starts by controlling words, which is much easier. And it doesn’t start out telling you what you must say, but what you cannot say. That's 90% of it. Control the words, and even if people think what you don't want them to, it stays bottled up where it isn't going to hurt anything. Once everybody has stopped saying something the controllers don't want said, that leaves the forum quiet for the sort of one-sided arguments that are the only kind the bullies and activists and blackmailers can ever win. That's how come Al Gore has to spend so much time repeating that the scientific inquiries about global warming are closed, and those who dissent are equivalent to moon-landing deniers.

The alternatives are stark. It’s either, agree with us, or you’re stupid; agree with us, or you’re an evil bigot.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Prepare for Some Serious Liberal Busting of Your Moral Ball Bearings

As someone who’s been opposed to legalized abortion for so long, I’m pretty resistant to liberals posturing that they’re more compassionate than the rest of us, or care more about preventing suffering in others. They aren’t. They don’t. Their sermons to me about how much they care about the poorest of the poor are wasted, when their most heartfelt battle-cry is for the unrestricted right of a strong, healthy mother to slaughter her far poorer and weaker child simply for being unwanted.

The current outrage about the way Khalid Sheikh Mohamed and Abu Zubaydah were interrogated has nothing to do with liberals’ profound compassion for these terrorists as fellow human beings. Nor does it prove they walk a higher moral road than the rest of us, in spite of President Obama’s breathtaking charge that before he came along the country had lost its “moral bearings.”

Saddam Hussein ran one of the world’s cruelest torture regimes right up until the end, and the closest the Left ever came to taking that seriously was when they sponsored American youths to go there as human shields to protect Saddam, Uday, and Qsay from being stopped. When fellow human beings are in the way of what they want, the Left can be as icy, cold, and heartless as their worst feverish fantasies about poor Dick Cheney. Whether it’s the murder of Terri Schiavo, or the rape of South Vietnam in 1975, or the present-day abuse of women (and girls) in Muslim countries, or the slaughter in Rwanda, or the stealing away of the educations of a few poor kids in Washington, D.C., or the forced abortions in China, or the heinous infanticides of George Tiller in present-day Kansas, or the celebration of the murdering police state of Fidel Castro, there isn’t a moral bearing left in the liberals’ tool kit.

Like all participants in political struggles, the Left makes its decisions based on a balancing of interests, always wanting the scales heaviest on the side they’re most committed to protect. That’s why the President, when an Illinois senator, could justify keeping legal the practice of denying a newborn survivor of a botched abortion “health care” and letting it be discarded to die in a trash bin. It’s not that Obama hated babies. It’s just that in his political calculus, he valued so much more the love and political support of pro-abortion radicals, who do happen to hate babies, (or anyone else who might stand between them and their rights under Roe v. Wade).

You may just happen to agree with Obama on that calculus. But if you do, don’t try telling me it’s because you love humanity more than I do.

It’s going to be more of the same with what the leftist media is already referring to as the “torture memos.” (For a short history of media accuracy in naming things, see the “Duke rape case.”)

Opposition to the Bush administration “torture policy,” just like opposition to “domestic spying,” “Bush’s war in Iraq,” “outing Valerie Plame”, “the so-called war on terror,” “tax cuts for the rich,” and on and on, wasn’t really being driven by the exquisitely sensitive conscience of liberals, even though they’ve sickened half the country with their smugness. Those decisions were made by the cold political calculation that a weakened, or better yet, failed, Bush presidency would better guarantee them a return of the White House, in 2004 or 2008.

Okay, so I guess that’s politics. As one of those quotable sorts said once, politics ain’t beanbag. But at the same time, it ain’t Sunday School, either, and I wish the Left would stop acting as if they were Elijah and John the Baptist, Now With Religion.

When history handed to George W. Bush America’s first chance to make a proportional response against jihadist provocation in 200 years, America was united for about six weeks. That ‘s all the time it took before Democrats figured out that Bush and the Republicans would be unstoppable if America saw them actually roll back global Islamic jihadism.

That made the number one mission of the Democrats to do everything in their power to keep that from happening—from marshaling the media to undermine morale at home, to hamstringing our efforts abroad, to criminalizing military and intelligence advisers doing their best to stay within the rules while protecting the country.

It isn’t exactly that the liberals wanted the terrorists to win. It’s that they wanted the party most identified with fighting the terrorists to lose. If success in that resulted in terrorists winning, that’s not their fault. They’re only doing God’s work. Similarly, it’s not that Obama is trying to destroy the free market system in America and wreck the economy. It’s that he feels empowered to fix things so that highly successful Wall Street-CEO-Industry types aren’t making too much money. If that mission results in capitalism being crippled, don't blame him--blame his magnificently lofty principles.

It ought to be apparent by now that when liberals demand “action,” and “change,” they don’t sweat too much about the consequences of those actions or that change.

Witness that tea party exchange with CNN Susan Roesgen, where she acts so dismayed that a citizen could scorn the tax rebate Obama was giving him for the sake of some gun-nut fantasy that his liberty was at stake. (You’d give up $400 for liberty?!) And when Obama was asked if he still planned to raise the capital gains tax even knowing it would reduce government revenues, he said yes, because it would be fair.

There's a reason fairness is the appropriate scale of morality in the schoolyard: children haven't had enough experience to deal with the heavy work of right and wrong in a grown-up world. Fairness was the criteria Solomon pretended to apply when he offered to cut that baby in half. You’ll recall the false mother was enthusiastically in favor of it. Better a dead baby than tolerate a disparity between the maternal haves and the have-nots.

Now Obama’s running a foreign policy apparently no more “nuanced” than just to do the opposite of whatever his evil predecessor did. If that results in America becoming weaker and our enemies stronger, that’s not his fault. Bin Ladin only attacked us anyway because we were “arrogant”--and now we’re not. Besides, people like us better this way.

Surveys by both Gallup and Rasmussen surveys show that bestowing Geneva Convention protections on captured Al Qaeda killers polls particularly well among women who support late-term abortions and life-long college students driving 1989 Subarus with “Mean People Suck” bumper stickers.

We can all expect a hurricane of Democratic self-righteousness now of Katrina proportions. They will try to get as much mileage as they can out of this issue, mugging for all they're worth on each other’s programs about how incomprehensible it is that America could have sunk to this low level.

Meanwhile, the next most heinous crime the Left will go after is that of a Miss USA contestant for not thinking gay marriage is such a great idea.

Only Simon Cowell Can Save Us Now

If you’re searching for a single metaphor that can capture the presidency of Barack Obama so far, think of the uplifting experience so many of us had when we first watched the Susan Boyle video, and then take all those factors, the homely looks, the scorn, the absysmal expectations, the smug certainty of a ridiculous outcome, all followed by the shock of that gifted voice--then imagine all those factors exactly reversed.

Obama proved to me once and for all today that he is the anti-Boyle.

Speaking of Susan Boyle, get a load of her singing “Cry Me a River” if you haven’t already. Maybe it will make you feel better.

Get today's bad taste out of your mouth.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bless Us, Comrades, for They Have Sinned

Clinton Scores Points by Admitting Past U.S. Errors

“It has become a recurring theme of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s early travels as the chief diplomat of the United States: she says that American policy on a given issue has failed, and her foreign listeners fall all over themselves in

“On Friday, Mrs. Clinton said here that the uncompromising policy of the Bush administration toward Cuba had not worked.”

The NYT refers to this, without intending any sarcasm, as Hillary’s “contrition tour,” part of the larger Obama administration project of “paving a new road. It is recognition of the fact that previous policies have failed. Fifty years of a policy that has not generated the originally sought purposes can be called a failure.”

There’s nothing easier than showing contrition for someone else’s sins, perceived or actual. Obama showed how this works over the weekend when he expressed gratitude that Marxist Daniel Ortega’s diatribe against America didn’t include Obama personally, as he was only three months old during the Bay of Pigs.

Of course, Obama wasn’t traveling to Trinidad-Tobago as a private citizen, but as President of the United States--successor, hard as it still is to believe, of all former American presidents for the past half-century, including Kennedy, who believed a tough stance against Castro was in order.

There’s certainly room for debate as to whether or not the fifty-year embargo against Cuba accomplished its original purpose, as Hillary claims it did not. But is the point really what will or won't work wth Cuba? Isn't all this really about buying the world's affections with promises that gruff old Uncle Sam is gone now and replaced with President O'Barney's I-love-you, you-love-me foreign policy?

Asked whether the United States would build bridges to hostile Latin American leaders, like Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Mrs. Clinton said, “Let’s put ideology aside; that is so yesterday.”

Janeane Garofolo Explains America

Actress and liberal political activist Janeane Garofalo said, in all seriousness, that the hundreds of thousands of people across the nation who attended the Wednesday "tea party" protests are racists with dysfunctional brains.

"Let's be very honest about what this is about. This is not about bashing Democrats. It's not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about. They don't know their history at all. It's about hating a black man in the White House," she said on MSNBC's "The Countdown" with Keith Olbermann on Thursday evening.

"This is racism straight up and is nothing but a bunch
of teabagging rednecks. There is no way around that,"

On the radio this morning I heard some people saying they were going to quit watching 24, where Garofolo plays a minor role, because of her offensive comments.

I don’t feel that way myself on general principles. For one thing, I’m not going to start vetting every show I watch for the political outlook of the actors. If I did I'd have nothing left to watch but Walker, Texas Ranger, and old Law & Order episodes with Angie Harmon.

As to Garofolo being on 24, I’ve wondered how she ended up there, as her part could have been played by many other actresses equally suitable. My guess is that Joel Sarnow was trying to make a point that he’ll hire actors regardless of their politics, in contrast to the kind of Hollywood purging that, some believe, keeps outspoken conservatives from getting work on liberal sets. He also may have had an evangelistic motive, thinking Garafolo might benefit from working outside her Air America bubble for a while.

Based on her Olbermann apperance, it hasn’t worked so far.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

'Don't Shoot! We're Unarmed!'

There has to be a limit to how far President Obama can go in reversing and undoing past foreign policy and national security decisions just to prove to the rest of the world that he's better than all that.

From The American Thinker:

Obama Flunks the 3 A.M. Test

By Joel J. Sprayregen

While President Obama was speaking in Prague about nuclear disarmament, North Korea delivered the most tellingly timed comment on The Trip. The Pyongyang rogue regime -- proprietor of a nuclear arsenal -- defiantly launched an intercontinental multi-stage rocket in violation of an explicit U.N. Security Council resolution. The President used strong words about the rocket launch:

"Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something."

Obama flunked his first 3 A.M. test.

Tragically, there were no actions to match Obama's words. This President prefers to use the United Nations, rather than U.S. power, to protect world peace. Ludicrously, the Security Council immediately convened in emergency session. Guess what? After hours of futile discussion, it adjourned without taking action.

A week later, the Council issued a toothless statement "condemning" the launch. Several Council members pointedly pre-empted Obama from bragging about this charade by noting that only a "resolution" -- in contrast to a mere "statement" -- is legally binding. The Russian/Chinese vetoes protect the rogues, and all of Obama's "engagement" and concessions have not moved these countries to do anything about the North Korean threat.

Pyongyang immediately showed its brazen contempt for the U.N. and Obama's diplomacy by announcing it is quitting the "Six-Party talks," expelling IAEA inspectors and restoring nuclear facilities it had agreed to disable . This will allow reprocessing fuel rods to make plutonium. The end product is likely to be delivered to Iran and Syria, or possibly, G-d forbid, to Hezbollah and Hamas for desperately needed cash.

To be fair, the policy of appeasing fanatic Pyongyang -- which starves its own civilians to death -- through food deliveries for its army and the "Six-Party talks" originated under Clinton and continued under Bush, who unwisely removed North Korea from the list of terrorist states.

North Korea has gotten away with breaking every promise it made, including restarting a closed nuclear reactor. When I visited Seoul and U.S. military bases near the North Korean border last year, I noted that the world's ninth largest economy was menaced by the world's fourth largest army. North Korea now threatens much of the world. The real Obama response to the unlawful launch can be found in this declaration quietly made in Seoul by Stephen Bosworth, chief U.S. envoy to North Korea:

"Regardless of the short-term problem, everyone has a long-term interest in getting back to the negotiations in the 6-party process as expeditiously as possible."

In my non-objective view, this characterizes the Obama approach to defending our national security. The aim is to continue blathering in multilateral forums, no matter how dysfunctional, rather than taking effective action. As the Wall Street Journal (but not liberal media) headlined, "North Korea crisis tests Obama's reliance on U.N." The deafening non-response to North Korea's "serious act of provocation" (Obama's words) is linked lethally to the other disaster of The Trip, i.e., Obama's failure in meetings with many heads of state to advance forward even one inch in thwarting Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Iran, which recently tested its own long-range missile, had observers present at the North Korean launch. The two terrorist states (both are on my list) collaborate on nuclear development.

No Progress on Iranian Threat

Since there can be no doubt that the gravest contemporary threat to international security is Tehran's nuclear quest, it therefore seems clear that the world is a far more dangerous place than it was when Obama embarked on his journey. The rogue states are flexing their muscles while our government opts for fruitless "negotiations." To confirm this, let's look closely at Iran's responses to Obama's publicized attempts at "engagement." Secretary Clinton announced proudly that at the end of a conference on Afghanistan,

"Our special representative, Richard Holbrooke had a brief and cordial exchange with the head of the Iranian delegation."

Iran announced the next day:

"There was no official or unofficial meeting or conversation between the representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the America on the sidelines of the conference. We do not play hide and seek with anyone. Our policies are clear."

Those policies include Iranian demands that, prior to negotiations the U.S. must renounce support of Israel, cancel sanctions and unfreeze Iranian assets.

Tehran Ridicules Obama

Analysis of Obama's speeches in Turkey reveals he has not stopped at dropping Bush's demands that Iran cease uranium enrichment before we negotiate directly; our demand to cease enrichment is being watered down to "no nuclear weapons" under amorphous international inspection. Thus, a Tehran newspaper headlined on April 4:

"The U.S. capitulates to the nuclear goals of Iran."

The Obama Administration announced on April 8 that it will join in six-party nuclear negotiations with Iran. Those are the same negotiations in which Iran has endlessly stalled the European powers as if they were negotiating the price of a carpet. Iran's contemptuous response (reported in overseas media, not by the New York Times):

"We will review it and then decide about it."

State Department spokesman Robert Wood obsequiously replied:

"We hope that the government of Iran chooses to reciprocate."

Iran declared the day after the U.S. announcement that it had installed 7,000 centrifuges in its uranium enrichment facility. In further appreciation of Obama's "engagement," Iran charged an American journalist with spying and announced, through its president, that it has mastered the final stage of nuclear fuel production.

Can any sane person contend that the result is other than an inexorable Iranian march toward assembling a nuclear arsenal while American deterrence is fast receding toward invisibility? I exclude from the company of sane observers the New York Times' fatuous Roger Cohen who -- replicating Times predecessors who assured that Stalin and Castro were democratic reformers -- has made himself for Iran what Lindberg was for Hitler in 1936. Keep in mind that Iran's apocalyptic Shi'a Islam believes that nuclear retaliation against it would hasten universal redemption and that Iran supplies weapons to terrorist proxies. Also that Iranian nuclear capability would spark nuclear proliferation in the combustible Middle East, as well as possible Israeli pre-emption.

Obama sycophants will argue that I am caviling when I should be kvelling over the theatrics of Obama's parleying with world leaders and students and addressing Turkey's Islamist Parliament. If I wanted to amplify, I could elaborate on additional Obama overtures which further endangered our country:

(1) offering to scrap U.S. development of modernized nuclear weapons while Russia scraps obsolete warheads;

(2) informing the Russians, without reciprocation, that we will abandon anti-missile defenses in central and eastern Europe;

(3) letting the Europeans get away with not making any meaningful troop contributions in Afghanistan (oh yes, the French are sending a few gendarmes, but their police can not even keep the streets of Paris safe, as evidenced by the French chief rabbi's advice that observant Jews not wear yarmulkes in public lest they be mauled by Muslim hoodlums;

(4) announcing drastic cuts in U.S. defense, especially the F-22 fighter and missile defense; and

(5) courting a Turkish prime minister who aspires not to build a democratic secular society but rather to lead the Islamic world as the ally of Iran and Syria and the protector of Hamas and the Sudan (imagine what Ataturk would have thought about Turkey's chairing the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which seeks to make criticism of Islam a universal crime?) Obama's negotiations in Turkey make it likely that never again will NATO choose as its top official a European politician who champions freedom of the press against those who seek to muzzle criticism of Islam.

Pray That I Am Wrong

Obama refused French suggestions that he visit D-Day beaches and cemeteries. Why did he fear to recall American heroism which saved Europe from Hitler? Times diplomacy pundit emeritus Leslie Gelb understands in Power Rules, his new book on foreign policy, that power is

"what is what it always was -- essentially the capacity to get people to do what they don't want to do by pressure and coercion, using one's resources and position...and that only the U.S. is a true global power with global reach."

Even Gelb's pro-Obama successor, Tom Friedman, asserts in his April 15 column that to change the conduct of Iran and North Korea,

"... we would have to generate much more effective leverage from the outside ...through a a bigger and longer U.S. investment of money and power, not to mention allies."

In contrast Obama believes that unilateral a priori concessions and "engagement" through multilateral parleying, which further dilutes American power, can move malign actors like North Korea and Iran to do things they don't want to do, like refraining from assembling nuclear arsenals with extensive intercontinental delivery systems.

President Obama missed his opportunity on The Trip to use his charisma to persuade our allies to stand fast against the rogue states. North Korea's flinging the gauntlet at Obama proves that our President has flunked his first 3 A.M. test.

Free Press Cartoonist Tortures the Truth

Detroit Free Press editorial cartoonist Mike Thompson gives us a two-fer this Sunday by both blogging and illustrating his feelings about what he terms “CIA torture.”

Maybe we can call this treatment of readers, "inkboarding." I know I often have the feeling I'm drowning in deliberately misleading journalism.

On his Freep blog he writes:

This country thought it important enough to investigate and prosecute a president for leaving his DNA all over some intern's dress, but will take a pass when it comes to investigating and prosecuting illegal acts of torture and potential war crimes?

What is wrong with us?

I don't know about "us," but as for Thompson, what is wrong with him--if his cartoon is any indicator--is he lacks a serious enough grasp of the most basic facts to be trusted with "investigating and prosecuting" anybody.

Sure, artistic license is okay when you draw political cartoons. Sometimes you have to exaggerate the truth to make it easier for some people not to miss it. But when you track back that exaggeration, it has to go back to an actual truth. Especially when the cartoon is intended not so much to poke fun or ridicule, but to accuse actual persons of "war crimes."

Spattered blood, burning coals, tongs, chains, rotting skeletons? (OK, maybe Conyers does dress up that way, but I wouldn't know).

Now you may happen to hold the high moral view that waterboarding is the pinnacle of human cruelty, the descent to which, regardless of the urgency of circumstances, earns the United States automatic excommunication from that greater community of decent nations that includes Cuba, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, France, and China. But your high moral view doesn't give you the right to simply make up facts because they match the emotional shock you claim to feel.

That Thompson believes he can simply insert any image he wants to illustrate the term "torture"--no matter how barbaric an image and outside the wildest charges ever concocted by critics of the war against jihad--is exactly why the Left can never be trusted to fairly go at "investigating and prosecuting." They aren't interested in investigating, only prosecuting.

The truth is that the Left has been shouting, and reporting, and especially misreporting, about U.S. "torture" of terrorist detainees since 2003. The Democratic Congress has been threatening war-crimes trials since 2006. Almost every pertinent detail about the handling of these few al-Qaeda terrorists has been disclosed, reported, decribed, analyzed, and digested. I know because I've been following it every step of the way. As have some exceptionally smart people like Andrew McCarthy. There is really nothing left to investigate.

But when the Democrats don't get the result they want, they just keep repeating demands for more investigations. Believe me, if Ford hadn't pardoned Nixon, there'd still be a sitting Watergate Committee.

And it isn't only the "CIA torture" that Thompson's misnformed about. He still thinks repeating that "Clinton was impeached for having sex" is a going argument. (What am I saying? It is still a going argument! A poll of C-SPAN callers found this the second most likely thing to be said by Democratics, closely following "Bush lied us into this war.")

As should be obvious by now, the release of no amount of information will actually change the minds of any of the stooges, like Mike Thompson, who actually believe there is evidence of medieval-era torture dungeons with bloody walls, racks, and breaking wheels. To minds so willing to believe only the worst, and so incapable of processing what actually happened, investigations are a waste of time, and an invitation to criminalizing political opinions that vary from those on the Left.

CAIR-FBI Breakup Leading to Some Hard Feelings

From the looks of it, the FBI’s breakup with CAIR is leading to some sour grapes.

Last month, 10 U.S. Muslim organizations in California, including CAIR and the Muslim Students Association, “threatened . . . to cease working with the FBI, citing ‘McCarthy-era tactics’ by the agency, including efforts to covertly infiltrate California mosques.”

The issue was the arrest and indictment of Afghan native, Ahmadullah Niazi, who was arrested during a raid in February, and supposedly offered a chance by an FBI agent to become an informant. Niazi refused, and now says his arrest was retaliation for his refusal to cooperate.

According to the CNN report, “FBI planting spies in U.S. mosques, Muslim groups say”:

Niazi, 34, was indicted last month on charges of perjury, procuring naturalization unlawfully, using a passport procured by fraud and making false statements. A search warrant for Niazi's Tustin, California, home said Niazi became a naturalized citizen in 2004 and made false statements about his past aliases and international travel.

He also made false statements about contact with his brother-in-law Amin ul-Haq, the indictment said. Ul-Haq is said to be Osama bin Laden's security coordinator and has been labeled a "specially designated global terrorist" by the U.S. government, the indictment said.

An FBI agent said in open court that Niazi also had discussed terrorist plots with an undercover informant, according to media reports. Niazi has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

CAIR's problems with the FBI began before Niazi's arrest. Last year, the FBI discontinued its "formal contact" with CAIR.

By the way, these are the ten signatories:

• American Muslim Alliance
• American Muslims for Palestine
• Council on American-Islamic Relations
• Islamic Educational Center of Orange County
• Islamic Circle of North America
• Muslim Alliance in North America
• MAS Freedom
• Muslim Student Association-National
• Muslim Ummah of North America
• United Muslims of America

Then more recently, some Michigan Muslim groups have been singing from the same hymnbook. According to an AP story from last week, (“Mich. Muslim group says FBI asking people to spy”):

A Michigan Muslim organization said . . . it has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate complaints that the FBI is asking followers of the faith to spy on Islamic leaders and worshippers.

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan sent a letter last week to Holder after mosques and other groups reported members of the community have been approached to monitor people coming to mosques and donations they make.

. . . .Former FBI agents and federal prosecutors have said spying on mosques is one of the government's best weapons to thwart terrorists, but agents need to have credible and specific information before sending in a plant.

And a local spokesman for the FBI has denied that the agency is involved in any “fishing expeditions.” In this case, I'm inclined to believe the FBI.

For comments the AP turned to Dawud Walid, executive director of Michigan CAIR. Walid thinks there's no basis for suspicion by the FBI. And he assures all of us that "Community members would be the first people to report to federal law enforcement if such things were being said."

Then CAIR in Minnesota has been giving the FBI flak for talking to Somali students in their investigation of the missing Somali men--suspected of being recruited and sent off to do jihad in the Middle East. (“Somalis, FBI in other U.S. cities on alert for terrorist recruiting”).

Two of the missing Somalis were students at the University of Minnesota, so, not surprising, agents have been talking to local high school and university students who may have some knowledge about the missing men. No one involved suggests that these interviews are anything but voluntary.

But, in response, “[t]he Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on colleges to provide more legal help for students and also says students have been approached by the FBI while walking to class and in the library. Students have also received calls from investigators.” (“FBI continues questioning U students”).

As is apparent from this, none of these stories describe anything unlawful by the FBI. What the stories reflect are attempts by CAIR and their compatriots to scare the FBI into backing off on investigations from fear of negative publicity.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Iran Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary by Taking Another American Hostage

President Obama is "deeply disappointed" that Iran has imprisoned an American journalist on phony charges of spying after a secret kangaroo trial.

So he's disappointed, but is he ever going to learn anything?

From the TimesOnline:

April 19, 2009
Talks setback as Iran jails US ‘spy’

Sara Hashash and Sarah Baxter, Washington
AN Iranian court sentenced an American journalist to eight years in prison yesterday, accusing her of spying for the US. President Obama was said to be “deeply disappointed” by the ruling, which is seen as a blow to Washington’s efforts to engage Tehran in talks.

Roxana Saberi, 31, who holds joint American-Iranian citizenship, a freelance who has worked for the BBC and National Public Radio, was arrested in January and went on trial behind closed doors last week.

A former beauty queen who has degrees from Cambridge and Northwestern universities, Saberi is the first American journalist to be found guilty of espionage in Iran. Her lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, said he would “definitely appeal”.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said: “We will continue to vigorously raise our concerns to the Iranian government.”

Saberi’s conviction comes as Washington presses ahead with overtures to Iran, which US analysts believe is close to developing nuclear weapons. Clinton is to send Dennis Ross, her special adviser on Iran, to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to discuss holding one-to-one talks with Tehran.

Last week Clinton met European diplomats including Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, to discuss inviting Iran to participate in talks with the United Nations security council. “We’re willing to have a direct dialogue with Iran,” said a state department spokesman.

Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said he had chatted briefly with Iran’s foreign minister at a conference in Tokyo last week.

Observers at the annual Army Day parade in Tehran yesterday noted that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a relatively low-key speech and there was little sign of the antiwestern banners and slogans usually seen at the event.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Devil to Devil

April 17, 2009
Is any comment necessary?

Domestic Spying: 'Our Way'

Andrew McCarthy puts things as well as anyone out there.

Here he is on that disgraceful Homeland Security report:

DHS Wants to Know What You’re Thinking
The Obama administration defines extremism down.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

For eight years, we’ve been treated to hysterical rhetoric from Democrats, including Barack Obama, about the scourge of “domestic spying.” Now that the Obama administration is openly calling for domestic spying — the real thing, not the smear used against President Bush — they’re suddenly silent.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in coordination with the FBI, has issued an intelligence assessment on what it calls “Rightwing Extremism.” It is appalling. The nakedly political document announces itself as a “federal effort to influence domestic public opinion.” It proceeds, in what it acknowledges is the absence of any “specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence,” to speculate that “rightwing” political views might “drive” such violence — violence, it further surmises, that might be abetted by military veterans returning home after putting their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan. And for good measure, in violation of both FBI guidelines and congressional statutes, the Obama administration promises scrutiny of ordinary Americans’ political views, speech, and assembly.

Pirates Tied to al Qaeda

Somali Extremists Have al Qaeda Ties
Another failed state has become a training ground for terrorists.

The mortars fired at the plane carrying New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne out of Mogadishu Airport on Monday were a sharp reminder that although the recent focus on Somalia has been on piracy, the bigger threat comes from terrorists operating onshore. On land, radical jihadists now have one of the largest territories from which to operate since the Taliban hosted al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The terrorist group that fired on Mr. Payne is al Shabab ("the Youths"), a one-time military wing of the Islamist Courts Union that ruled Somalia for six months before Ethiopia invaded and deposed them in December 2006. Designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department, al Shabab's aim is to create a Taliban-style Islamic state in Somalia. In pursuit of this goal it uses the most ruthless of methods: executions, beatings, torture and suicide bombing.

Thomas More Law Center, Michael Savage, and 'Disgruntled Veteran' File Suit in Detroit Against Napolitano, Homeland Security

April 17, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced that yesterday evening it filed a federal lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The lawsuit claims that her Department’s “Rightwing Extremism Policy,” as reflected in the recently publicized Intelligence Assessment, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” violates the civil liberties of combat veterans as well as American citizens by targeting them for disfavored treatment on account of their political beliefs.
Click here to read the complaint filed by the Thomas More
Law Center.

Napolitano tried to blunt the public furor over the Report by a half-hearted apology to veterans, but she left out of her apology all of the other Americans her Department has targeted because of their political beliefs. In fact, officials in DHS now admit that their internal office of civil liberties objected to the language in the extremism report, but the Department issued it anyway. (“Napolitano is Lying to Americans About Her Department’s Rightwing Extremism Report; TMLC Files Suit”).

We Do Profiling Right

On the subject of the Department of Homeland Security alert to law enforcement on “rightwing extremism,” Jonah Goldberg has a nice summary of its premise: (“(Right) Winging It at the DHS”):
[I]t’s very sloppy about what qualifies someone as “extremist” in the first place. Basically, it’s fancy bureaucratese for: We’re guessing bad people will do bad things because the economy is bad and the president is black. But we have no real evidence.
Please. Everybody needs to read this report.


Extremist Alert

Bad media week for right-wing extremists.

If you took a look through Thursday’s Detroit News, you would have gotten a stiff booster shot of what Janet Napolitano and company tried to immunize us with when they released their now well-known report on “rightwing extremism.”

We already know, (because the media explained it to us), that some "desperate veterans" turn to terrorism and violence in insane reaction to the ideals of the Obama administration. Now we find out that the rest of the desperate veterans turn to suicide. (Suicide, murder, whatever, as long as it's a violent image). (“Desperate veterans turn to suicide”):
Several branches of the military are reporting significant spikes in the number of suicides committed by both active-duty troops and veterans returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Experts are calling the number of military-related suicides sweeping the country an "epidemic."
The article offers no empirical evidence that these veterans took their own lives because they'd served in combat. The rate of depression in the general population is already significant. It only follows that persons suffering depression, or prone to it, end up in the military as much as in civilian life. Do they think combat is going to cure depression, when modern science hasn't? Yes, some people kill themselves after living through the horrors of combat. Some people kill themselves after living through the horrors of high school, or the horror of divorce, or the horrors of life in the 21st century.

The emotional hook of the article is the myth that mental health professionals can forecast when a patient is going to commit suicide, so it's their fault for not stopping it. The article focuses on families of suicidal vets who are suing the VA for not "committing" their sons to VA psych wards against their wills. One physician called a suicide victims's mother afterwards to apologize for his role in releasing him. (I find it hard to believe this happened, frankly.) "He said he would not make the same decision again. She screamed at him: 'Why didn't you lock my son up? He might be alive if you had.'"

Committing a patient with mental-health issues involuntarily is one of the most difficult legal obstacles known to American health professionals (thanks to liberals who loved Jack Nicholson in Cuckoo's Nest).

I have no doubt that the News had the following lead on ice if any VA doctor ever dared to "commit" a suicidal vet: “After risking their lives in combat for everyone else’s freedom, America’s returning vets are finding themselves deprived of liberty by VA doctors, who are slamming them away into psych wards, with fewer rights than Gitmo detainees, forgotten in the 'black holes' of government pysch wards."

Understand, the object of stories like these is not to highlight an epidemic of suicide among veterans, but to reiterate the Left’s premises that all war is intrinsically evil, and that military service is to be avoided at all costs as unhealthy, especially to soldiers who serve valiantly.

The article's writer, Marney Rich Keenan, is so irresponsible she repeats, unexamined, slanderous trial-lawyer accusations of the VA “manipulating suicide statistics to downplay the problem and systematically misdiagnosing returning combat soldiers who suffer mental illness because their resources are tapped.”

Then there’s the article by Charlie LeDuff. (“Masculine meltdown: When men brush aside old ideals, they become nearly irrelevant”).

LeDuff has a Pullitzer and used to work for the New York Times. Aside from that he strikes me as a having a load of talent, a quirky point of view, but a writing style that follows a meandering path that—for me—never manages to make any actual point. Yesterday he was writing about average, working U.S. males, who are getting hit hard buy the failing economy, which, as he sees it, makes thempotentially violent.”
“The cheerleaders of globalization (remember them?) said the American man is profligate, lazy, a relic in the new economic order. And that may be true. But sweeping a living generation into the ashbin of history is a dangerous proposition. To ignore these men is to be unaware of what lies on the horizon. Violence is one possibility. We shall see.”
Meaning what, exactly, Charlie? Whaddya mean, "we shall see"? Isn’t violence one possibility for just about any group you want to mention, the homeless, the gay, illegal immigrants, draft-dodgers, burnouts? Or for that matter, nurses, cops, clergy, pizza delivery drivers, community organizers? Just about anybody walking is capable of violence. Or capable of heroic virtue. Or steady, stick-with-it competence. The point is, what business have you got drawing a line between the word “violence” and the U.S. males you’re maligning, when you never actually illustrate them being resorting to violence?

Trying to get a fix on LeDuff’s model U.S. male isn’t easy, but we know who he doesn’t like:

“Men crave dignity and fulfillment. And when they cannot attain those, they become unhappy, quarrelsome, small-minded, cowards, dopers, racists, talk show know-it-alls and bloggers.”

I don’t know who he has in mind for unhappy bloggers, but I do know no “talk show know-it-all” is more hated by one side than Rush Limbaugh, whom I admire, and Sean Hannity, whom I admire much less. Then there are Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, Dennis Miller, and Bill Bennett. But one thing you can’t call any of them is unhappy. On the other hand, ever listen to Randi Rhodes? Keith Olbermann? ("Quarrelsome, small-minded, cowards.")

And then, somehow, Thursday's News had nothing to report about Wednesday's national anti-tax tea parties, except in one swiping story, also written by Charlie LeDuff, about a Michigan Militia gathering on Wednesday:

"Am I angry?" asked the unemployed commander, with a semi-automatic rifle strapped across his pectorals. "Yeah, it sets you off a little bit."

Come to a Michigan Militia picnic and you realize the commander is not alone. The farm where they rallied was chockfull of people like him, people boiling on the back burner, struggling to make ends meet, carrying around a knapsack of resentment for a government that they claim has taken almost everything from them and given nothing in return. (“Anger boils among Michigan militia members”).

Get the "boiling" image? Gun nuts on holiday, right? ready to go wild in a spray of bullets? According to LeDuff, "The militia is not alone in placing their faith in the gun and bullet."

Except LeDuff never quotes any militia members appealing to the gun and the bullet as the place they put their faith. LeDuff himself says they love the Bill of Rights. Omigod! Talk about a recipe for "potentially violent"!

He never describes one threat of violence, one example of these poor, "boiling" rightwing extremists actually "boiling over."

And then Thursday's News somehow managed to fail to report on the Department of Homeland Security report on rightwing extremists. Which speaks volumes, in my view.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

From Tehran with Love

Iranian expert Michael Ledeen has a current article, ("Caving to Iran"), about how the British government has been giving in to Iranian blackmail lately. In it Ledeen paints a picture of a high-level doomsday summit of global bad guys in Tehran that could have come out of an old James Bond movie:

After the humiliation of Hamas by Israel earlier this year, the Iranian leaders summoned more than a dozen terrorist groups to Tehran for meetings with Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad. The meetings went on for several weeks, from mid-February to mid-March. According to usually reliable sources, the terrorists were informed that Iran had committed a billion dollars for the “liberation of Palestine,” and that actions would be coordinated by an umbrella organization to be called “Hezbollah of Palestine.” Participants included Egyptian and Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood leaders and top officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Reportedly, representatives of the Turkish government were also present. The Iranian regime was represented by officers from the Revolutionary Guards and the Quds Forces, and by Khamenei himself, a clear demonstration of the urgency with which the Iranians viewed the matter.

Check out the complete article.

Credit Shortage in D.C.

The question of how much credit President Obama deserves in the dramatic rescue of Captain Phillips has been batted around in the media for the past couple of days. Most of the comments I’ve heard have given Obama credit, though admittedly it’s in the negative form of credit for not preventing the Navy from rescuing Captain Phillips. (I don’t believe anyone has said he deserves credit for being the driving force behind the rescue).

I think the reason for the stinginess to Obama is that, right up until the moment when news of the successful rescue was broadcast on Easter Sunday, no American aware of the situation—and that includes Obama’s suporters—was entirely sure that Obama himself wouldn’t be the cause of a worse outcome, such as allowing the pirates to spirit Phillips successfully away into Somalia, or paying ransom to pirates to get him back.

Of the expert commentary I was hearing before the crisis was resolved, from retired military guys and merchant marines, none of them had the slightest doubt that the U.S. Navy would be able to rescue the Captain if allowed to do so; instead, what had them worried was that a decision might be made in the White House to appease the pirates, or otherwise tie the hands of the Navy—basically, they were terrified that Obama would order the Navy to stand by, or stand down and do nothing.

As it is now turning out, these anxieties were unfounded. Whether or not they were completely unfounded, we don’t know yet, because we’re not yet privy to the inner workings of Obama’s inner circle. (O, God, I can only imagine).

But why did America have so much doubt about whether or not Obama would do the right thing?

Because, no matter how successfully Obama seems to have stepped up to seeming “presidential” as a stylist or as an excellent speaker, what he hasn’t done is convince a lot of his countrymen that he’s going to do the right thing when it comes to protecting the country from our enemies. He’s only been in office eighty-some days, and just behold Caroline Glick’s terrifying summary of Obama’s single-minded mission to lower the flag.

I have no doubt that if Bush had still been in office, he was would have forcefully denounced this attack on American interests without diluting our national options with a lot of empty talk about “partnership” and “cooperation.” (This turned out as an American operation from first-to-last: partnership with other countries played no role in the rescue of Capt. Phillips.) Afterwards, Bush would have called to congratulate the commander and Capt. Phillips for their heroism, specifically commending captain and crew them for their exemplary “American” response to the pirate attack. There may even have been some good-natured bravado with the guys who went from being victims to victors in taking there ship back from these punks.

On some level even Bush’s enemies, and that vast swath of Americans who’ve allowed themselves to be persuaded that they always hated him, too, never would have had any doubt that Bush would come out swinging in the same circumstances. Most likely, as soon as the ship was taken, the New York Times and Phil Donohue would have been publicly begging for Congressional intervention to stop the Commander in Chief from reacting in a cowboy-like, "arrogant" fashion. But what never would have occurred to anyone would be that Commander-in-Chief Bush would ever call the Navy up and tell them to back off.

President Obama had millions of us convinced he just might be capable of that.

That element of doubt about this current president's judgment will not be cured just because the media tries this to call this a successful foreign crisis test.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

American Muslims Congratulate FBI for Ditching CAIR

We’re gratified to see reported at the Investigative Project on Terrorism that a coalition of American Muslims has shown support, by means of an ad in the Weekly Standard, for the FBI’s recent decision to discontinue CAIR’s favored status with the government’s leading domestic counter-terrorism agency . (“Muslim Coalition Supports FBI Freeze of CAIR”).

After stating that they “have long known the true character of CAIR and its allies,” the Center for Islamic Pluralism’s ad makes the following points about CAIR:
• We observe that they denounce “terrorism” in general terms but not the specific actions of Islamist groups like Hamas or Hezbollah. They denounce violence but not the ideologies behind it.

• We observe their commitment to radical aims, their attempts to chill free speech by calling critics of radical Islam “Islamophobes,” and their false, ugly accusations against moderate American Muslims who disagree with their agenda.

• We reject any claim that CAIR and its supporters are legitimate civil liberties advocates or appropriate partners between the U.S. government and American Muslims.

• We congratulate the FBI for adopting a firmer attitude toward CAIR, as a defense of Americans of all faiths from the menace of radical Islam, including Muslims of all backgrounds—Sunni, Shia, Sufi, secular, etc.

• We call on the U.S. Department of Justice to affirm and continue this decision.

• We call on the entire United States government to follow suit in rejecting relations with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Read the rest, and find a link to the ad, here.

Caroline Still Out of Work

According to the Washington Times, the Vatican has rejected the last three individuals put forward by the Obama administration to serve as U.S ambassador to the Holy See because of their pro-abortion positions.

Now we're learning that Caroline Kennedy, recently blocked from succeeding Hillary Clinton as Senator from New York, has also been passed over for the same reason.

Vatican sources told Il Giornale that their support for abortion disqualified Ms Kennedy and other Roman Catholics President Barack Obama had been seeking to appoint.

Mr Obama was reportedly seeking to reward John F Kennedy's daughter, who publicly gave her support to his election bid. She had been poised to replace Hillary Clinton as New York senator, but dropped out amid criticism that she lacked enough experience for the job.

The Italian paper said that the Vatican strongly disapproved of Mr Obama's support for abortion and stem cell research. The impasse over the ambassadorial appointment threatens to cloud his meeting with the Pope during a G8 summit in Itay in July.

Ms Kennedy, 53, has said that she supports abortion. Raymond Flynn, a former US ambassador to the Vatican, said earlier this week that Ms Kennedy would be a poor choice.

"It's imperative, it's essential that the person who represents us to the Holy See be a person who has pro-life values. I hope the President doesn't make that mistake," he told the Boston Herald. "She said she was pro-choice. I don't assume she's going to change that, which is problematic."

The White House refused to comment.
("Vatican blocks Caroline Kennedy appointment as US ambassador").

I don't enjoy seeing Caroline put in these positions. I like her, in spite of her political views. She and her late brother being kids in the White House is a memory from my own childhood. Now grown up, she clearly lacks her mother's elegance, having instead the gangly, overly-athleticized quality I've observed in daughters of wealth. But she still she seems like a decent sort, for all that.

Obama's problem seems to be that out of the majority of American Catholic voters who supported him, (53%), he just can't find one of them who actually holds to the Church's position on this most fundamental of issues. It's probably unfair, but I'm not the least shocked that Caroline, Ted's niece, and a longtime hostage of the Eastern Establishment, is on the wrong side of the abortion issue.

But Obama lacking a single suitable pro-life Catholic amongst all his other minions says loads about the price Catholics have had to to pay to buy into Obama and his vision.

Hey brothers, never mind for now the commandment about "thou shalt not kill." How about that other one about "thou shalt have no other gods before Me"?

Distraction on the High Seas

It occurred to me today that Carter’s hostage crisis, the enduring symbol of failure that marked his administration for the failure that it was, came near the end of his four years. Obama’s hostage crisis is coming early.

James Lewis at American Thinker discusses how the rest of the world sees this as a test for Obama: “And so, far Obama is flunking.”

For helping to bring to light the predicament of the free world having this badly outmatched man as leader, Lewis thinks gratitude toward the Somali pirates is in order.

Read what he has to say here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

No-risk Nevada Gamble Pays Jackpot

At least when you play the slots it costs you a quarter. A Nevada school district just shelled out $400,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a Muslim student who claimed other students threatened to kill her because she wore a headscarf. Here's free money:

The Washoe County School District in the Reno area will give Egyptian former student Jana Elhifny $350,000 and her non-Muslim friend and supporter Stephanie Hart $50,000 as part of the civil settlement.

Elhifny and her family came to Reno from Egypt in 2003, and the girl enrolled as a freshman at North Valleys High School.

She didn't finish the year after she told teachers and administrators that someone had threatened to kill her in the stairwell because of her Muslim hijab or head scarf, the district's independent attorney in the case, Robert Cox, told

Shortly afterwards, Cox said, Elhifny filed the lawsuit and returned to Egypt, Stephanie Hart, who had nothing to do with any of this and has since dropped out of high school to have a baby. (“Muslim Girl Gets $400G From Nevada School District in Head Scarf Bully Case”).

$350,000 isn’t a bad dowry in Egypt. (The other $50K went to Elhifny’s BFF, who had nothing to do with any of this, except for being friends with the Muslim girl, and allegedly being ostracized. (Hey kids, the joke's on us for getting bullied, being ostracized, and befriending weirdos for free!) Hart was so upset she dropped out, moved to California, and had a baby).

This one doesn’t pass the smell test. Sure there are bullies in high school. And I’ll bet anybody who ever got hassled by one--or ganged up on by multiple bullies--can give you very particular details about the SOBs--even decades later. (If you don't remember any bullies, you were one of them). Yet according to the school district’s attorney, the Muslim victim “was unable to give any description of her tormenter — including his or her gender, size and tone of voice.”

Really? Not even the gender? (Or, as we used to say in English, "not even the sex"?) Must make her flashbacks kind of bland.

This stinks for about fifty reasons. Maybe if she’d dropped out and gone into therapy or transferred schools. But move back to Egypt and marry her fiancé? That almost makes it sound as if coming to America was a quick way to accumulate the downpayment on an Egyptian bungalow that doesn’t have a tunnel to Gaza under it . (DU has been unable to confirm that Elhifny was unable to identify her fiancé by gender, size and tone of voice.)

And filing a lawsuit and moving back to Egypt? Okay, so she’s disappointed in America because a short-tall-medium boy-girl high-low-voice threatened to kill her for wearing hijab. But going back to Egypt also protects her from ever being cross-examined, or otherwise haled into court to answer for any of her allegations, even if they turn out to be phony.

Nothing to do but sit and wait for the check to come. And enjoy your marital bliss Egyptian-style.

Just like the Somali meat processing case, the defendants caved in only “to end lengthy and ‘expensive litigation.’” Elhifny's alleged death threat was in 2003, six years ago, when she was a freshman.

This is a case of bullying for the textbooks. The only question is: which party here is the bully?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

'No Hard Feelings'

"And we will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over centuries to shape the world -- including in my own country."

--President Barack Obama's apology to the Islamic world,
Turkey, April 6, 2009

President Obama Pulls Out a Plum

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said 'What a good boy am I!'

President Barack Obama, during his surprise visit to Iraq today, had this to say to American troops at Camp Victory:
"You've kept your eyes focused on just doing your job and because of that, every mission that's been assigned, from getting rid of Saddam to reducing violence to stabilizing the country to facilitating elections, you have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement and for that you have the thanks of the American people."
Do you really believe this, Mr. President, even if Iraq was a “dumb war,” and a “dangerous distraction” ?

Are you so small that you still refuse to mention the name of the Man who gave those troops every mission they were assigned, "from getting rid of Saddam to reducing violence to stabilizing the country to facilitating elections"?

Don’t get me wrong. The troops who fought in Iraq, and who are still fighting there, deserve every bit of this praise from their Commander in Chief, and from all of us, and more.

But am I the only disgusted by the way Obama gets away with the pretense that he’s the one initiating plans to get our troops out of Iraq and letting the Iraqis take over their own defense?

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2005 "As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down," President Bush told reporters following a meeting today with his national security team in Crawford, Texas.

The president met with Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers. He said the Iraqi push to write a constitution is on track for release Aug. 15.

Bush said the constitution is a critical step for Iraq. "Iraqis are taking control of their country," he said. "They are building a free nation that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself."

. . . .Bush said the mission is a tough one because the enemy understands the stakes. "A free Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will deliver a serious blow to their hateful ideology," he said. (“Bush: As Iraqis Stand Up, U.S. Will Stand Down”).

Two years later, Obama's biggest supporters were still saying the war in Iraq was lost.

I just want to see credit where it's due.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Sharia's Plump Target in Minnesota

A Minnesota food-processing plant and an employment agency just knuckled under in a religious-discrimination lawsuit brought by 156 Somali Muslims.
Bias suits settled with Gold'n Plump, job agency
Muslim workers receive $1.35 million under a religious discrimination settlement.

Last update: March 31, 2009 - 11:00 PM
A federal judge gave approval for Gold'n Plump Inc. and an employment agency to pay $1.35 million to settle lawsuits alleging religious discrimination against Muslims at a chicken processing plant in Cold Spring, Minn.

The money will go to 128 Somali Muslims who claim that St. Cloud-based Gold'n Plump violated their religious rights by refusing to allow them prayer breaks during work hours, and to another 28 workers who said a St. Paul employment agency, the Work Connection Inc., required them to sign forms acknowledging they would be required to handle pork.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated the allegations and said it found cause to believe discrimination occurred, according to lawsuits filed last year.

In a settlement approved Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeanne Graham, Gold'n Plump will add a paid break during the second half of each shift to accommodate Muslim employees who wish to pray. The break is in addition to one early in the shift and lunch breaks required by law.

The Work Connection has agreed to provide offers of employment to the 28 job seekers who were turned away for not signing the "pork form."

The $1.35 million settlement includes $985,000 for legal costs and $365,000 in cash payments to the 156 workers.

It’s important to keep in mind that this was a settlement, not the result of a trial on the merits. The court’s opinion approving the settlement found that Gold’n Plump and the employment agency were forced to settle because the expenses of proceeding with the case would have risked financial disaster.

A major factor motivating TWC and Gold’n Plump to settle was the adverse effect of litigation costs on their insurance policy limits. Both Gold’n Plump and TWC had liability insurance for the types of claims asserted in this case, but the
policies contained provisions that reduced the amount of money available to pay a judgment as litigation expenses increased. Thus, as litigation proceeded, the assets of TWC and Gold’n Plump were increasingly exposed. Furthermore, TWC’s and Gold’n Plump’s attorneys’ fees were being paid from the same pool of insurance money that was potentially available to pay a judgment, and further litigation would have continually eroded this fund.

Trial lawyers strategize for just these kinds of advantages. They trawl for cases where the costs of litigation force defendants to settle even where there’s no likelihood a jury is going to find any wrongdoing.

Not only do the trial lawyers get an easy near -million in attorney fees, but the Muslim employees win an easy victory imposing Sharia rules in the American workplace.

Henry Payne

I'm just beginning to realize that editorial cartoonist Henry Payne at the Detroit News is about the best thing going from either of the Detroit dailies, although I still enjoy reading The Lockhorns.

Or should we now be calling the News and Free Press sub-dailies?

Payne's got a good one about Barney Frank today. Check him out here:

Friday, April 03, 2009

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

With apologies to—Torquemada?

First poor Alberto Gonzalez had to be suffocated repeatedly with the intolerable smugness of Leahy and Schumer. Now he faces the comfy chair.

Apparently some Spanish jurists have decided that criminalizing politics, which has been such a blast for American Democrats like John Conyers, Chuck Schumer, and Pat Leahy, can be useful for bringing the USA into conformity with Europe’s debased worldview.

LONDON — A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official close to the case said.

The case, against former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and others, was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review by Baltasar Garzón, the crusading investigative judge who ordered the arrest of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The official said that it was “highly probable” that the case would go forward and that it could
lead to arrest warrants.

Douglas Feith, one of the targeted advisors, writes that the whole thing was cooked up by, "A lawyer in Spain -- who did his legal studies while serving over seven years in prison for kidnapping and terrorism -- [who] engineered a complaint accusing the U.S. government of systematically torturing war-on-terrorism detainees."

By daring to give their studied legal opinions to the President on the legality of detainee interrogations under the Geneva Conventions--opinions the Spanish liberals didn't like--the American officials are now being summoned to answer for crimes before a Spanish court. The whole thing is utter bullshit.

And the President of the United States needs to say so.

Andrew McCarthy comments this way:

Had our diplomats had any inkling, when the conventions were adopted in 1949,that they were surrendering national-security decisions to politically unaccountable federal judges, let alone to foreign tribunals whose strings are pulled by perfervid anti-Americans, the conventions would never have been signed.

But they were. Now, in the hands of the Left’s bottomless ranks of barristers, they have evolved into a cudgel, more effective than any armed force, for beating down our defenses. That cudgel is wielded under the auspices of an abstraction portentously called “the rule of law,” which in fact is simply the whim of a post-sovereign professoriate in the service of savages.

'It's Not Racist to Oppose Obama'

It's the exceptions that prove the rule, and I've always held the rule that the opinions of celebrities should be avoided at all costs--unless they need ridiculing. Now and then there's an example of guts that just needs to be held up. (And since gutsy opinions in Hollywood and liberals are mutually exclusive, it's only natural the exemplary opinions tend to be opinions I sympathize with).

From the FoxNews blog site:

Angie Harmon: It's not Racist to Oppose Obama

Posted by: Dwayne Horner at 5:00 PM

Increasingly, as Barack Obama's policies continue to be a failure and sends the stock market plunging downward while moving America more and more towards socialism, there is a underlying motive on some to say any criticism is akin to racism. Actress Angie Harmon rightfully disagrees with this growing sentiment.

From FOX News:

"Here's my problem with this, I'm just going to come out and say it. If I have anything to say against Obama it's not because I'm a racist, it's because I don't like what he's doing as President and anybody should be able to feel that way, but what I find now is that if you say anything against him you're called a racist," said Harmon.

"But it has nothing to do with it, I don’t care what color he is. I’m just not crazy about what he's doing and I heard all about this, and he’s gonna do that and change and change, so okay … I'm still dressing for a recession over here buddy and we've got unemployment at an all-time high and that was his number one thing and that's the thing I really don't appreciate. If I'm going to disagree with my President, that doesn't make me a racist. If I was to disagree with W, that doesn't make me racist. It has nothing to do with it, it is ridiculous."

Harmon is also tired of the double-standard that exists in the media today, speaking out on the recent trip by Barack Obama to the west coast that cost the tax payer over $54,000 a mile to make an appearance on the Jay Leno show:

"I do think McCain would have done a better job, only because I think he has more experience. I also think if W or John McCain or Reagan would have gone and done a talk show, the backlash would have been so huge and in his face, and ‘What is our president doing? How unclassy!’ But Obama does it and no one says anything," Harmon said.

Harmon is also a fan of former VP candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

"I admire any kind of woman like her. My whole motto is to know what I stand for and know what I don't stand for and have the courage to live my life accordingly and she does exactly that. The fact that this woman has made the decisions she's made and literally lived her life according to that and takes heat for it is absolutely disgusting to me," she added. "People cannot look at this woman. I really think they're afraid of her and her morals, ethics and values and the fact that she hangs on them. Is she the most experienced person in the world? But she was running to be the Vice President, so we then put the most inexperienced person as the President. That didn't make any sense to me."

It's interesting to note that a Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, a female politician and someone who was mentioned as a potential VP herself, has allowed a criticism of Palin on her campaign website as Matt Lewis mentioned today.

Harmon joines fellow conservatives in Hollywood like Gary Sinese and John Voight in their support of Republicans and opposition to Barack Obama.