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« March 2006 | Main | May 2006 »

April 28, 2006

Nancy Pelosi Teaches the Children

This just in from The Hill newspaper:

"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hosted a press conference with reporters’ children Thursday in honor of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

Gathering on the carpet in Pelosi’s office, the two dozen children asked questions ranging from the benign to the tricky to the simply curious.

“What kind of car do you drive?” proffered one youngster. Pelosi doesn’t drive much herself, she said; The Capitol Police ferry her around in an SUV.

“Why are gas prices so high, and what can we do about it?” one child asked.
The skyrocketing prices are a result of a lack of “forward thinking,” Pelosi explained.

“What do you think about the war in Iraq?” another queried.
“I feel very sad. ... I think that when our country has to go to war, we have to be very sure of what we are doing before we go in,” Pelosi answered.

“Can I have your autograph?” another asked, to which Pelosi agreed.

“Do you think the 2004 election was rigged?”
“It could have been, but we must make sure that that never happens again if that did happen.”

Pelosi ably navigated a few architectural trivia items:

“What color was the White House before it was burnt down?”
“White,” Pelosi correctly responded.

“When was the Capitol built?”
“Early 1800s,” she said. Right again. (George Washington laid the cornerstone in 1793, but the House of Representatives did not move in until 1807.)

Joseph Viqueira, son of an NBC producer, asked when the minority leader was going to be president, a question Pelosi identified as a “set-up.”
“As for me,” she replied, “I’ll be content to be Speaker of the House.”

Answers by someone childish, for children. Shesh...

April 26, 2006

On Illegal Immigration

The following is a letter to the editor that I just sent to the Providence Journal. I sent it after I saw this article on the front page of this morning's ProJo, with the headline and caption above the picture with the story (and over the picture on ProJo.com) "Strike for Immigrants' Rights". The letter pretty much sums up how I feel about illegal immigration and the debate that is going on today, and how the media is trying to portray it:

"Be Honest With Your Captions and Headlines

I noticed your headline and caption on the front page of the Providence Journal of April 26th "Strike for Immigrants' Rights". While I appreciate the media and the Providence Journal's attempt to surreptitiously effect the debate on our borders, the headline is not true. The rallies and marches that we have seen recently, and the strike that is planned for Monday, is for illegal immigrants' rights, the operative and most important word being illegal. The people we are talking about have broken the law.

By intentionally leaving out the word "illegal", the Journal and the media is doing a great disservice to those immigrants who have come here and stayed legally, not overstayed their visas, and who have gone through the legal process to become American citizens. You and the protesters are calling the individuals who have gone through the legal process, sometimes at great expense and cost to themselves, fools for obeying the law.

What does it say about the protesters when many times the people on whose behalf they are protesting shamelessly break the first law they encounter when entering the country? Why should those people respect and obey any of our other laws? The answer for everyone is to enter the United States legally, if you want to stay apply for citizenship, and assimilate into our melting pot culture. Immigrants will find that if they do that they will be most welcome and appreciated in our communities.

As for the people who are already here illegally, show the non-criminals the way to citizenship. Those who do not want to be citizens and be a part of legal America should leave, preferably voluntarily.  But those illegals who want to become legal should not do it at the expense of those who are already in the process of doing it legally. What about their rights? What about their respect?"

The Right Way to Debate Politics

There's a great letter from David R. Carlin, a professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, in this morning's Providence Journal. It concerns a letter that Dr. Michelle Cretella wrote to the Journal on homosexuality being a developed trait. I think that much of today's experimentation with homosexuality is developed by social pressures, much of it coming from the gay community, but I have friends who are gay who were gay from the time they became aware of their sexuality - I and they believe they were born gay. So you could say I disagree with Dr. Cretella. But after Dr. Cretella's letter the ProJo published the usual histrionic replies from the gay community that caused me to question if I even wanted to be associated with their views, even as I agreed with what their premise was - that real homosexuality (not experimentation) is genetic.

Enter Carlin's letter, which we all should listen to. It concerns debating in a way that actually helps your case, rather than hurts it. And it is relevant in every issue we are discussing today, from sexuality to gas prices:

"It is not my habit to offer advice on political strategy to the gay movement, but if it were, I would recommend that they abstain from personal attacks, like the ones recently made in these pages on Dr. Michelle Cretella. Instead of vicious personal attacks, they should engage, if they can, in courteous and reasoned refutation.

For her arguments, present counter-arguments; for her evidence, present counter-evidence. Mere personal abuse might be very gratifying for the abuser and his friends, but it does little to persuade neutral observers. If anything, it tends to convince neutrals that the abusers have no rational defense to offer for their views.

DAVID R. CARLIN

Newport"

April 25, 2006

America's Muslim Crisis

We have a growing crisis among the Muslims in the United States. Again, it concerns not the normal moderate Muslims but the extremists.

During the 80s, Saudi Arabia agreed to fund the largest outreach of the fundamentalist Wahhabi philosophy ever undertaken. Specifically, the Saudis undertook the establishment of special Islamic schools, called Madrasas, that would teach only the Wahhabi sect's fundamentalist theology. Again, the extremists take advantage of a centuries old tradition (Islamic schooling) and corrupt it. What these particular schools are doing is instilling in its students Islamofacism - the hatred of everything Western, and the need for the Islamists to rage jihad against the unbelievers until all that is left is an Islamic world.

This means teaching hatred and bigotry to students starting at a very young age. The result is similar to what you see in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Generations of individuals who have been taught not moderation and respect, but the desire to kill everyone that is not like themselves. If peace is ever to be had in the Palestinian territories, a full transformation of the educational process must occur. The same is true for the Islamofacists. We have to essentially re-educate then from an early age. This will take a generation or two before the moderates come of age, become the majority, and take control - many of today's adults are too far corrupted by the propaganda that they have been taught to change their worldview much.

I compare it to racism in America. The older I get, the less racism I see. We all know racists - I've argued with them until I was blue in the face. A few years ago I realized that the younger generation, specifically the children of friends of mine, didn't have any racist bones in their body. They had friends of all colors, and all were treated equally. They would have to be taught racism to become racist. Conversely, the racists I knew were all older people, who have had that view for most of their lives. And slowly but surely, they're all dying off. As long as we don't let them teach our young, I think we'll be alright. But it has taken several generations to get this far. So it will be with re-educating Muslims. If we start now, the younger ones will learn peace. The older ones, the ones who cannot be changed or helped, will eventually die off. It will never be a perfect world - there will still be evil - but it will be a better world with one less murderous philosophy.

I bring this up because of a post I just read at NRO's Phi Beta Cons Blog by Carol Iannone on home-grown Islamic terrorism. It's a must read, and shows on how many different levels the War on Terrorism must be fought:

"Walid Phares, senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and recent winner of a Bradley Prize, said on Oprah some time ago that our chief problem with Islamic terror in the future will come from American-born Muslims who become radicalized at mosques. He might have added Islamic schools as a source of radicalization, where students are taught that Islamic theocracy is the highest form of government. Although we say we are a nation built on an idea, no one really checks to see if the idea is being taught and transmitted. And he might have added as yet another source of Islamic radicalization our college campuses, where students may imbibe any amount of anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic propaganda, and may grow to hate the society they grew up in. We already have one example in Mohammed Taheri-Azar, the Chapel Hill student who has been living in the U.S. since age two and was educated here, who tried to kill fellow students by running them down with an SUV. The note he left clearly lays out his fury at America. An excerpt follows. The whole thing was published online on March 24, 2006, at heraldsun.com, but the link no longer seems to be working. (The number 19 has some special cryptic significance in the Koran.)

Due to the killing of believing men and women under the direction of the United States government, I have decided to take advantage of my presence on United States soil ... to take the lives of as many Americans and American sympathizers as I can in order to punish the United States for their immoral actions around the world. In the Qur'an, Allah states that the believing men and women have permission to murder anyone responsible for the killing of other believing men and women. I know that the Qur'an is a legitimate and authoritative holy scripture since it is completely validated by modern science and also mathematically encoded with the number 19."


Mom's Home From the Hospital

Mom got back from Kent Hospital late yesterday. The care was fantastic, as always. Nursing service is coming today to schedule routine testing of blood pressure, levels, etc. until the doctors clear her. Sister is coming up with new puppy to help as well.

Difficult going back to the same hospital where Daddy died three months ago. Mom's hospital room was two doors down from Dad's old one. Very eerie. Many of the same doctors and nurses took care of Mom as well. They did a great job. Mom's very, very lucky. I hadn't planned on doing this kind of care-giving so quickly after Dad died, but so be it. If this latest episode is any indication, Mom has alot of life left in her. She's much stronger than Dad was heath-wise as well.

April 24, 2006

New Media Channel Launched - hotair.com

One of the things that I love about the younger conservatives, and conservatives in general, is that the activists use humor more than vitriol, with few exceptions. This is proven once again with the launch of Michelle Malkin's new venture, hotair.com. Full multi-media content - the world's first full-service conservative Internet broadcast network. Sounds interesting - go visit and support.

April 23, 2006

About Those Immigration Raids Last Week...

Mark Krikorian reports over at NRO's The Corner that most of illegal immigrants that were rounded up in the federal raids last week were released on their own recognizance. Does the government think they're really going to show up for their court dates? Enforcement means that when you catch them, you deport them. How are we going to support any amnesty program if the violators of the existing laws aren't deported. You're telling us that you'll deport the violators after the new law?!

Away Because Mom's in the Hospital Now

I've been away from here since last week because Mom's in the hospital. As you recall, Dad died after a very tough hospitalization in January. Last week was a particularly tough week for my Mom. Easter was the first holiday without Daddy, Tuesday was the three month anniversary of his death, and Wednesday would have been Mom and Dad's 48th Wedding Anniversary. Mom's got through most of it well, but she's been feeling a bit peaked the last few months. She's attributed it to stress after Daddy's death, but my sisters and I thought that there was a problem with her medications.

Thursday morning about 4:00AM I heard a huge crash from upstairs. I raced up, and found my Mom in the middle of an epileptic seizure. She fell flat on her face and smashed her glasses. I thought she had broken everything. I called 911, and tended to her. She came out of her episode about 30 seconds before the rescue arrived. She had no idea how she ended up on the floor.

The fire department personnel thought she had broken her hip and her shoulder. Miraculously, all she had done was cut an area around her left eye. I attribute this to my father and God cushioning her fall. She fell flat, like a tree - the doctors and nurses all are marveling about the fact that there wasn't any more serious damage.

As we thought, her meds and blood levels were off, causing the seizure. Potassium and sodium were very low. But my Mom tried to be a trooper and get to her regular doctors appointments without complaining.

We got lucky. Daddy did save Mother from really hurting herself. Mom's coming home after her levels are stabilized, probably Tuesday. And I can't wait to get back to blogging.

April 19, 2006

Know the Left...

Here's a post by Kathryn Lopez over at NRO's The Corner on Nina Burleigh. It's worth printing in its entirety, with a link to Burleigh's piece in Salon:

"NINA BURLEIGH IS BACK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Last time we paid attention, she had announced that she "would be happy to give [Bill Clinton] a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs."

Now she's cringing as her son recites the Pledge of Allegiance. Her five-year-old tells her: "But Mommy, I love America! I want to hug America!" A mother's nightmare!

But considering what we know her for, this Salon piece could have been a lot worse."

Here's the piece Kathryn is referring to: Country boy: I cringed as my young son recited the Pledge of Allegiance. But who was I to question his innocent trust in a nation I long ago lost faith in?

Ah, the patriotic Left...


Chris Hitchens Slays Joe Wilson (Again)

Last week Christopher Hitchens posted an extraordinary article at Slate.com on the fact that Iraq did indeed seek uranium from Niger. Tellingly, no-one has come out and denied the story. The article is comprised of many previously published facts, but compiles it in such a way (chronologically) that Joe Wilson and his claims come out looking worse than before.

"In the late 1980s, the Iraqi representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency—Iraq's senior public envoy for nuclear matters, in effect—was a man named Wissam al-Zahawie. After the Kuwait war in 1991, when Rolf Ekeus arrived in Baghdad to begin the inspection and disarmament work of UNSCOM, he was greeted by Zahawie, who told him in a bitter manner that "now that you have come to take away our assets," the two men could no longer be friends. (They had known each other in earlier incarnations at the United Nations in New York.)

At a later 1995 U.N. special session on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Zahawie was the Iraqi delegate and spoke heatedly about the urgent need to counterbalance Israel's nuclear capacity. At the time, most democratic countries did not have full diplomatic relations with Saddam's regime, and there were few fully accredited Iraqi ambassadors overseas, Iraq's interests often being represented by the genocidal Islamist government of Sudan (incidentally, yet another example of collusion between "secular" Baathists and the fundamentalists who were sheltering Osama Bin Laden). There was one exception—an Iraqi "window" into the world of open diplomacy—namely the mutual recognition between the Baathist regime and the Vatican. To this very important and sensitive post in Rome, Zahawie was appointed in 1997, holding the job of Saddam's ambassador to the Holy See until 2000. Those who knew him at that time remember a man much given to anti-Jewish tirades, with a standing ticket for Wagner performances at Bayreuth. (Actually, as a fan of Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung in particular, I find I can live with this. Hitler secretly preferred sickly kitsch like Franz Lehar.)

In February 1999, Zahawie left his Vatican office for a few days and paid an official visit to Niger, a country known for absolutely nothing except its vast deposits of uranium ore. It was from Niger that Iraq had originally acquired uranium in 1981, as confirmed in the Duelfer Report. In order to take the Joseph Wilson view of this Baathist ambassadorial initiative, you have to be able to believe that Saddam Hussein's long-term main man on nuclear issues was in Niger to talk about something other than the obvious. Italian intelligence (which first noticed the Zahawie trip from Rome) found it difficult to take this view and alerted French intelligence (which has better contacts in West Africa and a stronger interest in nuclear questions). In due time, the French tipped off the British, who in their cousinly way conveyed the suggestive information to Washington. As everyone now knows, the disclosure appeared in watered-down and secondhand form in the president's State of the Union address in January 2003.

If the above was all that was known, it would surely be universally agreed that no responsible American administration could have overlooked such an amazingly sinister pattern. Given the past Iraqi record of surreptitious dealing, cheating of inspectors, concealment of sites and caches, and declared ambition to equip the technicians referred to openly in the Baathist press as "nuclear mujahideen," one could scarcely operate on the presumption of innocence."

It gets better after that. Today, Hitchens continues his attack on Wilson at Frontpagemag.com. From the article:

"Take that permanent smirk off your face, Ambassador (and the look of martyrdom as well, while you are at it). It seems that your contacts in the Niger Ministry of Mines—the ones that your wife told the CIA made you such a good choice for the trip—didn't rate you highly enough to tell you about the Zahawie visit. It would, interestingly, have been a name you already knew. But you didn't even get as far as having to explain it away—or not until last week—because you were that far in the dark. It was left to Italian, French, and British intelligence to discover the suggestive fact and transmit it to Washington. And it's been left to someone else, most probably in the Niger embassy in Rome, to produce a much later fabrication, either for gain or in order to discredit a true story. The forged account has no bearing at all on the authentic one: It bears the same relationship as a fake $100 bill does to a genuine bill. The rip-off remake movie, "Mr. Wilson Goes to Niger," now playing to packed houses of the credulous everywhere, has precisely the same relationship to its own original."

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