Wednesday, February 28, 2007


By Frank Viola

I was asked if I wanted to review this book but they gave me a short time frame to read it (which is a really good idea because I am not good at the self-motivation thing) but I knew with all the reading that I had to do for seminary, I wouldn't be able to read it in time (it's like over 300 pages :-). So, I can't endorse it but others have (including Brian McLaren) . Go check it out here.

Learn more about Frank and his book from the interview here.

Italy Judge Orders 13 Year-Old to Have Abortion

In Italy the parents decide whether their child can keep the baby or be forced to have an abortion:

An Italian judge has ordered a thirteen year-old girl to have an abortion because her parents are opposed to their daughter giving birth. The decision relies on laws in Italy that allow parents to make the pregnancy decisions for their teenage children.

The girl, from Torino, did not want to have an abortion but the ruling will compel her to do so.

The Italian newspaper La Stampa reports the decision has caused the teenager so much stress she has contemplated suicide and needed to receive psychological help as a result.

The unnamed girl became pregnant after have sexual relations with her 15 year-old boyfriend but she decided the best course of action was keeping the baby.
There have been cases in America where parents have forced their children to have an abortion.
In one case in Maine, Nicholas and Lola Kampf were charged with kidnapping on allegations that they bound their 19 year-old pregnant daughter Katelyn at gunpoint and put her in the car to take her to New York for an abortion.

Needing to go to the bathroom, Katelyn escaped at a local department store and used her parents' cell phone to call police.

The Kampfs face 30 years in prison if convicted, though prosecutors said they are not going to press for a full jail sentence.

In Georgia, police arrested Rozelletta Blackshire after she and her daughters' cousins tried to force the 16 year-old to drink turpentine to cause an abortion.

When my husband volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center, he told me that many of the girls he saw wanted to keep the baby but there was usually someone in their life who didn't want them to have it, either a mother or boyfriend. So much for choice.

Christians Arrested in Laos

Christians are being arrested in Laos and are not heard from again:

In Southern Laos, two Christian men have been taken from their farms and put in prison. No charges have been filed and no news is forthcoming about their current situation.

In North Central Laos, on January 18, five police officers showed up at a Christian brother's home and arrested him. VOM sources have known him and his family for 20 years. His wife and 12-year-old son did not get an opportunity to speak to him before he was taken away. All efforts to locate him or allow his wife to know where he is being detained have been unsuccessful. According to VOM contacts, in several similar incidents, the people taken by police were never found alive.
Join me in praying that these men will be returned to their family and that they will be treated fairly and pray that the government will cease treating Christians in this manner.

Here is some background information on the situation in Laos:

While the Laos constitution contains provision for the freedom of religion, Laotian Christians continue to suffer restrictions on their faith: proselytizing by foreigners is prohibited, any association with a foreign religious organization must receive government approval, and only three churches are officially recognized by the government.

Unfortunately, what at first seemed like mild restrictions have since developed into full-scale persecution. Government officials have labeled Christianity "the number one enemy of the state." Christians are being commanded to recant their faith or face losing their homes and land. Churches have been confiscated and pastors murdered. Persons in public service jobs such as teachers are threatened with losing their jobs if they don't renounce their faith. And in certain provinces, entire groups of believers are expelled from their regions and sometimes their country! Secret campaigns to close down all Christian churches have led to numerous arrests, with charges of "anti-government activities" being filed. These prisoners have been
known to receive no food or rations. Often their families must continue to bring them sustenance.

Democrats try again on anti-war plan

Man! I'm having a hard time keeping track of what the Democrats are doing about the war. Since America is looking to them for action, you would think they would do something decisive but we are still waiting for them to do something. Here is the latest attempt to appease their base and not look like they are abandoning the troops:

House Democratic leaders are developing an anti-war proposal that wouldn't cut off money for U.S. troops in Iraq while requiring President Bush to acknowledge problems with an overburdened military.

The plan could draw broad bipartisan support but was expected to be a tough sell to members who said they don't think it goes far enough to assuage voters angered by the four-year war.


Since then, Democrats have been trying to decide what to do next. Some worried that a plan by Rep. John Murtha to restrict funding for the war would go too far. Murtha, D-Pa., is extending his support to the revised proposal.

The tactic is more likely to embarrass Bush politically than force his hand on the war. He would have to sign repeated waivers for units and report to Congress those units with equipment shortfalls and other problems.
This is their plan, embarrass Bush? Is this how we wage war? Embarrass the commander in chief? And the America people think these people are the ones to wage war in Iraq and the war on terror?

I agree with Boehner's spokesmen:
"If this is the Democrats' last ditch effort to appease the ultraliberal wing of their party while appearing to support the troops at the same time, I don't think they are going to convince either one of any commitment whatsoever," Kennedy said. "This appears to be political posturing at its worst and yet another attempt to undermine the mission of our troops in harm's way. The American people are going to see right through it."
And then there's this:
Bush "hasn't to date done anything we've asked him to do, so why we would think he would do anything in the future is beyond me," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., one of a group of liberal Democrats pushing for an immediate end to the war.
I think this Representative needs to go back to school, Bush doesn't serve the Congress. He doesn't have to listen to them. If they want to have a say on troop levels, they have a legal recourse, stop funding the war. That will stop Bush but they can't do that because they don't have the votes.


Related posts:
Cheney is right about this
White House opposes war authority limits
Democrats backing down?
Congress' solution to the conflict

Congress' solution to the conflict

The "public" (based on opinion polls) believe that "Democrats in Congress would better handle Iraq than Bush is" (via). OK, so here is their solution, tie up funding so that new soldiers can't go to Iraq. You like that, America? But they can't even agree on that:

House Democratic leaders offered a full-throated defense last night of their plans to link Iraq war spending with rigorous standards for resting, training and equipping combat troops, saying that they would hold President Bush accountable for failing to meet those readiness tests.

But after a fractious meeting of the House Democratic caucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said Democratic members still have not united around the proposal.

More than a week after Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.) detailed plans that he said would curtail deployments to Iraq, Pelosi and other Democratic leaders said the coming debate on war funding would be about forcing the administration to live up to existing military requirements. War funds would be redirected toward equipment, such as night-vision goggles, that some troops lack. Democrats would insist on giving combat troops a year off between deployments, and they could impose restrictions on Pentagon policies that extend combat tours.

They would also condition some war funding on benchmarks for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.).

But some Democrats, especially those from conservative districts, remain wary. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (Va.), who supports the plan, said many Democrats "want to make sure this is still President Bush's war. It's his war to manage, and it's his war to end."
And that's just in the House, the Senate solution isn't faring much better:
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) had said that Iraq-related amendments may be considered on a homeland-security bill now before the Senate. But families of Sept. 11 victims fanned out across the Capitol yesterday, saying that a war debate could slow progress on the legislation, which would enact security recommendations by the bipartisan commission that studied the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"We're going to do our utmost to finish the 9/11 [bill] before we move to Iraq again," Reid said.

Meanwhile, Democrats who have opposed the war from the start are protesting the language of the new Senate Iraq measure, which would repeal the 2002 resolution granting Bush the authority to invade, while limiting future military action and setting a March 31, 2008, goal for withdrawing combat troops. Its cosponsors are Foreign Relations Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) and Armed Services Chairman Carl M. Levin (Mich.).

Sen. Russell Feingold (Wis.), a prominent war opponent, said he rejected a draft of the new resolution because it appeared to grant Bush too much leeway to continue the conflict. In effect, he said, Democrats would be reauthorizing a war while trying to end it. He was particularly bothered by a provision that suggested an open-ended U.S. commitment to providing border security.
America, given decisive leadership that appears to be working (and here), will take indecisive wobbling and poll driven actions. Fortunately, they have until November 2008 to change their mind (but it's a good thing Bush isn't running again, just in case they don't).

Update: This is actually old news. I have an update here.

This is how they treat women

These are all the stories that I read about the treatment of women by Muslims, just today. I wasn't looking for these, I didn't find them through Google. I was just reading different blogs and this is what I found.

Hindu girls forced to convert to Islam:

Extremist Muslims who force vulnerable teenage girls to convert to Islam are being targeted by police, Met chief Sir Ian Blair has revealed.

Police are working with universities to clamp down on "aggressive conversions" during which girls are beaten up and forced to abandon university courses.

The Hindu Forum of Britain claims hundreds of mostly Sikh and Hindu girls have been intimidated by Muslim men who take them out on dates before terrorising them until they convert.

In Pakistan, a husband sold his wife's kidney so that he could purchase a tractor.

In Pakistan, a young girl was lost in a poker game by her father when she was 2. The debt has been paid but the winner still wants to collect the girl.

Honor killings in Palestine:

Three Palestinian women have been murdered in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours, Palestinian Authority security officials and local residents said.

The bodies of the women were discovered early Tuesday in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The motive for the killings remained unclear.
One of the victims, a 35-year-old mother of four, was found near the beach. She had been shot at least 13 times in different parts of her body, said a PA security official.

The other two women were killed separately and their bullet-riddled bodies were discovered late Monday.

The security official said he did not rule out the possibility that the three women were killed by male relatives in the context of what is known as "honor killings." Such killings are not unusual among Palestinians and many Arab countries. At least 25 women are murdered every year in the West


"The Palestinian police aren't doing anything because they are afraid of the families and because they 'understand' the motives."


Clearly, there is a strong tendency in Islam to view women as chattel and since women are not respected, they can be treated anyway the men decide.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Al Qaeda Censored?

The moral equivalence of some (see? I'm trying) on the left is absolutely stunning. Charles noted that Egypt removed the al Qaeda propaganda channel from their satellite feed.

And here is the title that someone used when he/she posted the article to Digg:

LGF Is for The Censorship of everyone but themselves.

This is amazing. Al Qaeda is our enemy and taking down their satellite feed is considered "censorship?" Egypt is fighting the war on terror as well, why would they want propaganda broadcast in the country?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I know how low some on the left can go. You may have heard how low they went when they heard about the Talban's attempt on Cheney's life. If not, you can read it for yourself here.

Jesus, son of Joseph

Here's an interview with the Prof. Amos Kloner who oversaw the work at the Talpiot tomb. He has been quite vocal in his opposition to the assertion of Cameron since he believes that the names on the tombs are common and that there is no reason for a Nazarene to have a family tomb in Jerusalem. Here is an interesting tidbit:

The name "Jesus son of Joseph" has been found on three or four ossuaries. These are common names. There were huge headlines in the 1940s surrounding another Jesus ossuary, cited as the first evidence of Christianity. There was another Jesus tomb. Months later it was dismissed. Give me scientific evidence, and I'll grapple with it. But this is manufactured.

Related Posts:
Oh no! How will Christianity survive?
Update on the tomb of some guy named "Jesus"
The Tomb of "Jesus?"
Cameron's "evidence" that it's Jesus' tomb

A PSA from the Reformed Chicks: Hands on the wheel and off the laptop

Yes, it is tempting to work on the laptop while you drive, sometimes you just have to multitask but please refrain or this might happen:

The California Highway Patrol says a deadly head-on crash north of Sacramento was likely caused by a man at the wheel working on his laptop computer.


One driver told CHP investigators he swerved and avoided the Toyota, which then struck an oncoming Hummer. The couple in the Hummer was treated and released for minor injuries but the Toyota driver was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

"We have reason to believe he was operating his laptop because it was still on and plugged into the cigarette lighter," said CHP Cmdr. Scott Silsbee.

A Toyota doesn't stand a chance against a Hummer.

When you read something like this it really makes you think, was what he was doing on the computer worth his life? This is a good wake up call for me because I'm not the must careful driver when I'm messing with my palm TX looking for something to listen to.

Don't mess with our retired military

They aren't easy pushovers. I noticed two different stories about retired military thwarting robbery attempts. Here is the story of a Christian bookstore employee beating up a would be robber:

The night manager of a Christian bookstore foiled an armed robbery by slamming the man's hand in the cash register drawer, then wrestling with him before he fled, police said. "I didn't want to hurt him, but if I would've gotten a hold of him, I would've sent him straight to the Lord," said manager Daniel Stanton, a 58-year-old retired aerospace engineer who served two tours in Vietnam.

Scottsdale police said the incident happened Tuesday night at the Jesus Chapel Discount Bookstore in south Scottsdale. A scruffy-looking man wearing a black hooded sweat shirt and dark pants entered about 8 p.m., and minutes later approached Stanton with his hand in his pocket, saying he had a gun and demanding money, according to a police report.

"I just backed away and said, 'The drawer is open,' Stanton said. "Then, when he showed both of his hands, I just went off on him."


"The workers prayed for him," Stanton said. "We hope he turns his life around."

That was a smart way to make sure the guy didn't have a gun!

And a 70 year old on vacation in Costa Rica killed an armed robber with his bare hands:
An American tourist who watched as a U.S. military veteran in his 70s used his bare hands to kill an armed assailant in Costa Rica said she thought the attempted robbery was a joke -- until the masked attacker held a gun to her head.


Adams was with 12 American tourists who hired a driver to explore Costa Rica for a few hours. They were climbing out of the van to visit a Caribbean beach when three men wearing ski masks ran toward them, she said. One held a gun to her head, while the other two pulled out knives.

Suddenly, one of the tourists, a U.S. military veteran trained in self defense, jumped out of the van and put the gunman in a headlock, according to Limon police chief Luis Hernandez.

Hernandez said the American, whom he refused to identify, struggled with the robber, breaking his collarbone and eventually killing him. Police identified the dead man as Warner Segura, 20. The other two assailants fled.


"There were two shots and I heard him (Segura) try to fire more, but the gun didn't fire. Luckily, the tourists had forced his hand up and the shots hit the roof of the bus."

Democrats backing down?

Wouldn't you think that now, when the war is at it's lowest ebb of support that the Democrats would strike and do something decisive to put a stop to the surge? That's what they have been promising to do ever since Bush announced he would be sending additional troops months ago. But now they are taking about postponing legislation:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday he wanted to delay votes on a measure that would repeal the 2002 war authorization and narrow the mission in Iraq.

Senior Democrats who drafted the proposal, including Sens. Joseph Biden of Delaware and Carl Levin of Michigan, had sought swift action on it as early as this week, when the Senate takes up a measure to enact the recommendations of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission.
"Iraq is going to be there _ it's just a question of when we get back to it," Reid said, predicting it would be "days, not weeks" before the Senate returned to the issue. The war reauthorization legislation also appears to lack the 60 votes it would need to pass the Senate.
And Pelosi is distancing herself from Murtha's plan which she originally supported:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meanwhile, said she doesn't support tying war funding to strict training and readiness targets for U.S. troops.

The comments distanced her from Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who has said he wants to use Congress' spending power to force a change in policy in Iraq, by setting strict conditions on war funding.

Pelosi said she supports holding the administration to training and readiness targets, but added: "I don't see them as conditions to our funding. Let me be very clear: Congress will fund our troops."
BTW, if Pelosi is stating that she won't tie funding to troop readiness, why this:
House Democrats, who enjoy a 32-seat majority, will try this week to determine if there is enough support among themselves to pass the Murtha plan.
Now, if you thought that you had a mandate from the American people, and you controlled the House, wouldn't you just cut funding. That's what the people who wanted to arrest Patty Murray believe, these are the people who elected you and you represent, why not just give them what they want, especially if you believe that's what the American people want? Maybe because they know that the American people don't really want it. That they want to win this war and the polls reflect the fact that they are unhappy that we are losing and just want to pull out because they don't think we can win.

Obviously, this quandary has now left them bereft as to what to do:
The developments on both sides of the Capitol reflected a new level of disarray in Democratic ranks on Iraq. Swept into power by voters clamoring for an end to the war, Democrats have seen their efforts falter under a reality more complicated than they found on the campaign trail.

While the public is fed up with Iraq, there is little consensus over what to do.

Internal divisions, Republican opposition and a president who _ while weakened _ still appears to have the dominant voice on the war have all left Democrats flailing for a way to change the war's course.
That line is so funny! Of course he does! He's the commander in chief. I think that maybe this is starting to sink in, though the left may want to pull out and stop the war, they aren't the ones who get to decide.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sen. Patty Murray's constituents try to arrest her for war crimes

Wow! It must really stink to be a Senator sometimes and have to put up with your peeps trying to arrest you for war crimes and I really wouldn't want to be the one who has to try to make the constituents happy after they've been kicked out of a meeting. The aide really looks bored having to be lectured to by these people.

BTW, Murray (alone with Congressman Jay Inslee) is actually trying to diffuse impeachment talk in Washington state:
Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Jay Inslee are lobbying legislators to cancel this week's hearing on a resolution calling on Congress to investigate and consider impeaching President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
But they don't seem to be able to influence anyone:
He said it sent the wrong message and 'detracted from the good things we are doing with education and health care.' I agree with him, as I said, but there is a large group of people who want to have a say on these two things and this gives them a venue.
Congress isn't interested in impeaching the president but their base certainly is. Here is an interesting quote:
As much as I despise what this president has done to the country, my job is to find a way to end the war in Iraq, which I voted against. We should do nothing whatsoever to hinder our effort to end the war. Grandstanding that prevents us from growing a coalition against the war is a luxury we cannot afford. We don't have the votes to remove Bush from office. Bush is leaving office. We need to make sure our troops are leaving Iraq.
All this activity will lead to naught. The troops will remain until Bush leaves office, whether they remain after that depends on who we vote in.


Cameron's "evidence" that it's Jesus' tomb

This is his "evidence:"

The filmmaker rests his case on four main points. First, he says, recent Biblical scholarship argues that Mary Magdalene's real name was Mariamene, a common first-century derivative of Miriam. Second, DNA tests show that microscopic human remains scraped from the Jesus box and the Mariamene box are not related, at least not matrilineally, leaving open the possibility that the two humans whose bones were once in those boxes were married. Third, the patina on the Talpiot ossuaries—that is, the mineral crust accumulated over centuries—matches that of the James box. This "discovery," if provable, is complicated but critical to Jacobovici's argument: the match means, he says, that the James ossuary originally lay in the Talpiot cave, thus answering questions about the James box's provenance. It also increases the probability that the tomb belongs to the Holy Family. Jesus had four brothers, according to the Gospel of Mark; two of their names—Joseph (or Jose) and James—were found in the Talpiot tomb.

The technique Jacobovici uses to "prove" the match between the James ossuary and the Talpiot tomb is a technology he calls "patina fingerprinting," which he and his coauthor Charles Pellegrino (a scientist who helped Cameron write "Ghosts of the Titanic") essentially invented for the purposes of this project. By comparing the mineral content of shards from the Talpiot ossuaries with shards from James, and by looking at them under an electron microscope with the help of a CSI specialist, Jacobovici and Pellegrino say they have a match. But do they? It's impossible to know for sure. For John Dominic Crossan, leader of the liberal Jesus Seminar and author of "Excavating Jesus," the biggest questions relate to the early break-in: who vandalized the cave, when, what did they do there and why?

The fourth part of Jacobovici's argument is statistical. Individually, he concedes, all the names on the Talpiot ossuaries are common. Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminary says he has a first-century letter written by someone named Jesus, addressed to someone else named Jesus and witnessed by a third party named Jesus. But the occurrence of these names in one place, with these specific idiosyncrasies, how likely is that? Andrey Feuerverger, a statistician at the University of Toronto, came up with an estimate: 600-1 in favor of the tomb's belonging to the Holy Family.
As I demonstrated here, these names were very popular, in fact "25 percent of women in Jerusalem, for example, were called Miriam or a derivative."And according to Crossan, "after Simeon, the most popular name on ossuaries (19 of 147 names, male and female, on known ossuaries) with Jesus almost as common (10 of 147). And the most frequent name after Salome is the variously spelled Mary (20)." Evidence based on names really should be excluded but then what are you left with? Maybe a connection to a discredited tomb? And the evidence that a man named "Jesus" and a woman named "Mariamene" were not related and from this he gets that this is Jesus of Nazareth? Weak, very weak. I bet if he were in a court of law, it would have been thrown out. Especially, when it's weighed against the number of eyewitnesses in the Bible to the empty tomb.

Plus, there's this:
Pfann is even unsure that the name "Jesus" on the caskets was read correctly. He thinks it's more likely the name "Hanun." Ancient Semitic script is notoriously difficult to decipher. [Amen to that!]


Archaeologists also balk at the filmmaker's claim that the James Ossuary _ the center of a famous antiquities fraud in Israel _ might have originated from the same cave. In 2005, Israel charged five suspects with forgery in connection with the infamous bone box.

"I don't think the James Ossuary came from the same cave," said Dan Bahat, an archaeologist at Bar-Ilan University. "If it were found there, the man who made the forgery would have taken something better. He would have taken Jesus."
I'll probably watch the show and yell at the screen the whole time ("Do these people think we are that stupid?"). It airs on March 4 on the Discovery Channel.

You can view their Today show appearance here.

BTW, I found this statement rather odd:
“They are huge, but they are not necessarily the implications that people think they are,” Jacobovici said. “For example, some people are going to say, ‘This challenges the Resurrection.’ I don't know why. If Jesus rose from one tomb, he could have risen from the other tomb.”
He really doesn't have much knowledge of Christianity because we believe that Jesus' reurrection was a bodily resurrection and that his tomb should be empty. We also contend that he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. If he died and did not raise again, our hope is in vain because we are still in our sins. God did not accept the offer of Jesus in our place.

Christianity is entirely based on the resurrection of Jesus, if that is ever disproved, true Christianity, Christianity based on what the word of God says, would cease to exist. This claim by Cameron is not even close to disproving Christianity.

Update: I've been blogging a lot about this:

Oh no! How will Christianity survive?
Update on the tomb of some guy named "Jesus"
The Tomb of "Jesus?"
Cameron's "evidence" that it's Jesus' tomb
Jesus, son of Joseph
"Jesus" tomb links
Documentary does not challenge Christian beliefs

Bill Maher trashes Islam

It's not surprising that Maher would trash Islam, he is an atheist and opposed to any organized religion. What is great about this video is how Ayaan Hirsi Ali shoots down the idea that Christians and Muslims co-exist in peace in Arab countries and educates the panel on the dhimmi status of the Christians and Jews under Islam. People need to understand this because once Islam conquers through jihad, the conquered are subject to taxes and land confiscation.


National Shut Down Your Computer Day

Is March 24, 2007. I think I will try to remember to monitor my stats to see if there is a noticeable drop. And yeah, I'll probably be on my computer that day. I don't need to test to see if I can survive without my computer, I've done it before and lived (but I didn't like it).

Council on Foreign Relations to Admit Jolie

This is just stunning! I would say that we have reached the apex of celebrity worship but I'm sure we have a way to go:

The exclusive, Manhattan-based foreign-policy group has decided to admit actress Angelina Jolie, a U.N. goodwill ambassador who has taken more than 30 trips worldwide to advocate for refugees, AIDS orphans and disaster victims.

On Friday night, the council's membership accepted Jolie's nomination - meaning she will soon be rubbing elbows with other club members such as Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Alan Greenspan.

The group requires no academic credentials but looks for members who take part in world affairs.


"The idea of having Henry Kissinger and Angelina Jolie in the same organization is dazzling."

Member Carol Adelman, former head of U.S. foreign-aid programs, said, "It's not like Paris Hilton is being nominated."


You know this is going to make Madonna and other celebrities envious and they'll want to join some foreign relations group, too.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Update on the tomb of some guy named "Jesus"

I found some more articles on the James Cameron documentary of the tomb of a man whose name was Jesus. I blogged about it on Life Under the Sun. I also blog about why this won't destroy Christianity.

Religious Right/Conservative Cabal

According to the NYT there is some kind of cabal of religious and conservative leaders who are trying to find a presidential candidate they can support. They recently summoned the current crop of candidates and had them audition for them.

A group of influential Christian conservatives and their allies emerged from a private meeting at a Florida resort this month dissatisfied with the Republican presidential field and uncertain where to turn.

The event was a meeting of the Council for National Policy, a secretive club whose few hundred members include Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family, the Rev. Jerry Falwell of Liberty University and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Although little known outside the conservative movement, the council has become a pivotal stop for Republican presidential primary hopefuls, including George W. Bush on the eve of his 1999 primary campaign.

But in a stark shift from the group’s influence under President Bush, the group risks relegation to the margins. Many of the conservatives who attended the event, held at the beginning of the month at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Fla., said they were dismayed at the absence of a champion to carry their banner in the next election.
They had problems with each of the candidates. The front runners weren't solid conservatives. McCain has dissed them in the past and Giuliani is not conservative at all:
Many conservatives have already declared their hostility to Senator John McCain of Arizona, who once denounced Christian conservative leaders as “agents of intolerance,” and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, a liberal on abortion and gay rights issues who has been married three times.
And Romney, a moderate, has had a change of heart and has converted to conservatism just in time for the election. This is, of course, viewed with suspicion because you can't really change what you believe, can you?

Mike Huckabee is a Southern Baptist pastor who should have an in but who is looked at with distrust from the "limited-government, antitax wing" of the movement because he is not a fiscal conservative. (Maybe the tent is too big, all these waring factions in their cabal might make it hard to find someone who pleases both fiscal and social conservatives.)

Duncan Hunter and Sam Brownback were viewed as minor candidates, Hunter was not acceptable because of his stand on trade (making it harder for him to raise funds) and Brownback has immigration issues and he doesn't show enough concern about the war on terror.
And if they can't find someone they like, they kind of threaten to vote for a third-party candidate:
The conservative concern may also be an ominous sign for the Republican Party about the morale of a core element of its political base. Conservatives warn that the 2008 election could shape up like 1996, when conservatives faced a lesser-of-two evils choice between a Republican they distrusted, former Senator Bob Dole, and a Democrat they disdained, President Bill Clinton. Dr. Dobson of Focus on the Family later said in a speech to the council that he voted for a conservative third-party candidate that year rather than pull a lever for Mr. Dole.
But they are optimistic that they can make sure that even the unacceptable can be made acceptable with a little promise:

Mr. Norquist said he remained open to any of the three candidates who spoke to the council or to Mr. Romney. He argued that with the right promises, any of the four could redeem themselves in the eyes of the conservative movement despite their past records, just as some high school students take abstinence pledges even after having had sex.

“It’s called secondary virginity,” he said. “It is a big movement in high school and also available for politicians.”

But can we trust that they won't be seduced by Congress into raise taxes the way that Bush I was? Do they have the inner desire to remain chaste? That's the candidate I want, the one who knows why they shouldn't do it (it's bad for the economy).

My question is this: why are the Republicans dancing to their tune? Given that they can't even be trusted to vote for you, why bother with them? Yeah, I know that the Republicans think they are powerful but do the religious right really listen to them? Dobson can't even endorse a candidate because of his not for profit status. I certainly could care less who they support, I don't get my marching orders from them. I'm tired of the media and the politicians thinking that they speak for us. They don't and I would have a lot more respect for these candidates if they simply ignored them.

BTW, since this is the NYT, we may want to verify the facts somewhere else before we accept that there is some secret cabal of conservatives and religious right who pick our candidate for us (or at least endorse someone or raise money for them or work to get out the vote for them or whatever it is they are doing in their secret meetings that are protected by vows of secrecy).


Liberal bloggers slander Fox but are their claims checked

It doesn't appear to be the case. Here is a statement by Matt Stoller that was published in the San Fransisco Chronicle without any follow up or qualification by the author:

Bloggers like Matt Stoller of are more worried about what the network's post-debate spin could be. When Fox broadcast a Democratic candidate debate in September 2003, Stoller noted that the network's post-debate story was headlined, "Democratic Candidates Offer Grim View of America." It cut away early from the show, Stoller said, giving conservative pundit William Bennett first crack at post-debate analysis.
But according to this post, it never happened. Where is the journalistic integrity? Do you just believe whatever someone says, or do you check to make sure it's correct before you publish it? Even if he is just publishing why they say they're upset, there should at least be some setting the record straight and letting the reader know that what had just been stated was inaccurate.


Jews most strongly oppose war

Here's an interesting survey, Jews show the least support for the war in Iraq than any other religious group. Mormons show the most support:

Of these major religious groups, three show more opposition than support for the war:

  • Jewish people oppose the Iraq war by a better than 3-to-1 margin, 77% to 21%.
  • Americans without a religious preference are twice as likely to oppose (66%) as to support (33%) the war.
  • Catholics are somewhat more likely to oppose (53%) than to support the war (46%).

On the other hand, Mormons and Protestants show more support than opposition to the war. Mormons are strongly in favor, as just 27% term the war "a mistake." Overall, Protestants are divided, with 48% opposed and 49% in favor. But black Protestants and non-black Protestants diverge in their views. Black Protestants -- who are overwhelmingly Democratic -- show strong opposition to the war, while among non-black Protestants, support for the Iraq war surpasses the majority level (55% say the war was not a mistake).


The widespread Jewish opposition to the war in Iraq is not a recent development as the majority of all Americans have come to oppose the war in the past two years. Even in 2003 and 2004, when more Americans favored (52%) than opposed the war (46%), 6 in 10 Jews (61%) were opposed to it.

And during the run-up to the war in late 2002 and early 2003, U.S. Jews were divided in their views on whether to invade Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power (49% were in favor, 48% opposed). At that time, Americans overall favored an invasion by a 57% to 37% margin.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Oh no! How will Christianity survive?

How will it stand up against DNA evidence? I guess we'll all be atheists now and give up our faith because how can we be Christians after we see James Cameron's DNA evidence that the bodies found by Israeli archaeologists are Jesus and Mary Magdelene and their children:

Let's go back 27 years, when Israeli construction workers were gouging out the foundations for a new building in the industrial park in the Talpiyot, a Jerusalem suburb. of Jerusalem. The earth gave way, revealing a 2,000 year old cave with 10 stone caskets. Archologists were summoned, and the stone caskets carted away for examination. It took 20 years for experts to decipher the names on the ten tombs. They were: Jesua, son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Mathew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua.


But film-makers Cameron and Jacobovici claim to have amassed evidence through DNA tests, archeological evidence and Biblical studies, that the 10 coffins belong to Jesus and his family.

So, the names Mary, Joseph and Jesus were rare, right? Not quite:
Matthew 27:56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Matthew 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.

Acts 12:12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.

Colossians 4:11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.

Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Acts 4:36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,
But I think the most important question is, what the heck is the DNA evidence? Did he find the blood of Christ that was shed for the remission of the sins of his people? Did he test that against the remains that were found in the tomb? How else would DNA evidence prove that Jesus did not raise from the dead? I guess we'll have to wait until Monday to find out.

Update: I should have added the following when I wrote this post:

These names are common because they are names from the Old Testament. We name our kids after the people of the Bible (we named are daughters after Sarah and Samuel) and people in history (Calvin, George Washington, Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, etc.) and so did the Jews. Mary is a Greek version of Miriam and that was the sister of Moses (Numbers 26:59), Joseph was one of the twelve sons of Jacob and he saved Israel by bringing his family into Egypt to avoid the famine, and Jesus is the Greek version of Joshua who lead Israel into the promised land. Finding a tomb with these inscriptions isn't a shock, it's to be expected.

Congresswoman retracts her statement on Iran

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann whose statement that Iran has a plan to turn Iraq into a terrorist haven surprised everyone, has retracted her statement.


Edwards makes sure everyone knows he made a mistake voting for the war

Edwards isn't about to make Clinton's mistake by not bowing down to the altar of the left:

Health care was the topic of the day Saturday, but Democratic presidential candidate
John Edwards made sure New Hampshire voters gave him another chance to say he was wrong as a senator to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

Edwards' visit to New Hampshire was billed as a series of house meetings to promote his health care plan and his presidential bid. But less than five minutes after walking into the day's first house party, the 2004 vice presidential nominee turned to the subject that has consumed the Democratic contenders: Iraq.

"Honestly, if you don't bring up Iraq, I'll bring it up," the former North Carolina senator told about 150 people gathered in a state senator's living room and kitchen.

And when the first few questions dealt with other issues — homelessness, catastrophic health insurance, the federal budget — Edwards again suggested someone might want to ask him about Iraq. Edwards wanted to make sure everyone there knew he regretted his Senate vote that gave
President Bush the authority to begin the war in Iraq — an apology Sen.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has refused to offer.
And then there's this:
"He's a Jimmy Carter-kind of guy," said Harris, who housed 20 John Kerry volunteers in 2004 but hasn't decided who will get her support in 2008. "I'm very impressed. I had questions. But the questions I had, he answered."
If this guy is the Democrat nominee, this should be the tag line for the ads -- all of them.

Groupthink at Digg?

There is a group mindset at Digg that demonstrates why those on the right believe that the left don't like free speech unless it's their speech. At Digg they're deliberately burying articles they don't agree with politically. Recently, Charles of Little Green Footballs added a Digg feature to his blog but every time the post makes it to the popular page it gets buried (they even reported his post complaining about it as "inaccurate" and it now has a warning label). They even buried a post that suggests that those who bury posts should be listed (now, only those who Digg a post are listed).

The left may be able to bury the speech of others but they will not be able to persuade those who believe in fairness and the right to state dissenting opinions. In effect, shouting down others is never looked at favorably by the American public. One of the greatest gifts that we have is that our constitution recognizes that we have the right to say what we want and I don't think that we should allow it to be trampled on. If you believe in free speech, join Digg and digg the articles of those on the right whenever possible.

Here's an interesting article about the influence of the users of these types of sites.

BTW, take this presidential poll. It really demonstrates how this site is dominated by the left, Obama has a huge lead. Obama is the perfect candidate for the left, he's style over substance. Rhetoric over record. He brings no experience to the table and yet he has plenty of solutions to our domestic problems. Two years in the Senate and he's ready to be president? How can we trust our war on terror to him? What is his position on that? I bet it's negotiation.

The "Double Talk Express"

The "straight-talk" express has derailed:

What are his convictions? What are the principles that he will stand firm on and not waiver? I have no idea, do you?

It really put this into perspective:

When a member of the audience said to him, "You've been sucking up to the religious right" -- an allusion to McCain's ardent courtship of conservative Christian leaders, including a group he met privately with in Seattle Friday -- the presidential hopeful laughed and replied, "I'll probably get into trouble, but what's wrong with sucking up to everybody?"

McCain said he spoke to several thousand Starbucks employees in Redmond that morning, and "I didn't see much of the religious right in that group," most of whom he said were in their 20s and should be encouraged to take part in the political process.

Later, replying to a reporter's question, he noted that Focus on the Family founder James Dobson recently said he prays that McCain fails to win the presidential nomination. At the time, however, McCain said he hoped to patch things up with Dobson.
Can the religous right really trust this man?

BTW, how did he know there weren't that any religious right in the room? Do they wear "I heart Falwell" t-shirts? Have "religious right" tattooed across their forehead? Have blue-dyed helmet hair?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Yech! I just saw the rat video....

And it was gross! It's no wonder there are rats with on the crumbs on the floor and if they didn't take out the trash, what do they expect?

Tags: , ,

White House opposes war authority limits

Well, of course President Bush is against the Senate's attempt to micromanage the war. And will the Senate also revoke the 2001 Use of Force Resolution, as well? They would have to because the type of war that we are currently fighting in Iraq, is the type of force authorized by that resolution. But all of that is moot because this won't make it past cloture:

The White House said Friday it would oppose any attempt by Senate Democrats to revoke the 2002 congressional resolution authorizing the war in Iraq and to restrict U.S. troops to a limited mission as they prepared to withdraw.


Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), D-Nev., said of the White House, "They can spin all they want, but the fact is that
President Bush is ignoring a bipartisan majority of Congress, his own military commanders and the American public in escalating the war.

"The American people have demanded a change of course in Iraq and Democrats are committed to holding President Bush accountable," Manley said.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (news, bio, voting record), R-Ky., the minority leader, dismissed the Democrats' effort as a "Goldilocks solution, one that is hot enough for the radical left wing but cool enough for the party leaders who claim that they are for the troops." He said he would press for a Senate vote on a resolution committing to funding the troops.

The wording of the Democrats' measure remains unsettled. One version would restrict American troops in Iraq to fighting the al-Qaida terrorist network, training Iraqi army and police forces, maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity and otherwise proceeding with the withdrawal of combat forces.

Reid intends to present the proposal to fellow Democrats next week, and he is expected to try to add the measure to anti-terrorism legislation. Officials who described the strategy spoke only on condition of anonymity, noting that rank-and-file senators had not yet been briefed on the details.


Speaker Nancy Pelosi (has said she expects the next challenge to Bush's war policies to come in the form of legislation requiring the
Pentagon to adhere to strict training and readiness standards for troops ticketed for the war zone.

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the leading advocate of that approach, has said it would effectively deny Bush the ability to proceed with the troop buildup that has been partially implemented since he announced it in January.

Some Senate Democrats have been privately critical of that approach, saying it would have virtually no chance of passing and could easily backfire politically in the face of Republican arguments that it would deny reinforcements to troops already in the war zone.
That's not just a Republican argument it's what Murtha has in mind, it's the point of the resolution, isn't it? He wants to slow down the process so that there are no new troops going to Iraq. He's admitted this.

The Draft Fred Thompson Campaign is being dissed!

So, now that the Draft Fred Thompson Campaign has been noticed, the criticisms have started. There's this

Well, for one thing, Mr. Thompson's ABC News contract probably prohibits him from saying anything in public about ongoing political campaigns. Also, while Thompson is conservative and has a record to back it up, he's not and never has been a member of the conservative intellectual elite. He's about as right-leaning as the old Mitt Romney + Mike Huckabee divided by two.

Most importantly, Sen. John McCain is one of Thompson's best friends. They talk regularly. A source close to Thompson said that Thompson will not run for president, period.
And this:
Please. I realize I don't qualify as your run of the mill firebrand these days but since when is Fred Thomspon a conservative ideologue?

Sure, he played the game. He's got the deep booming voice, the country affectations and the pickup truck but that truck makes him about as conservative as that plaid shirt makes Lamar. Fred Thompson is a Howard Baker Republican.

Nothing wrong with this, nothing wrong at all. But let's not fool ourselves. Thompson may be more conservative than Guilani but he's about the same as McCain, probably Romney as well. Fred Thompson was not always a actor or senator. He was a high powered Washington lawyer, an insider.
I'm not naive enough to think that Thompson is another Reagan, there will never be another Reagan, he was unique and brilliant and understood the mind of the Democrat because he had been one. He can't be replicated and I know that. But why can't we have a candidate who is articulate and conservative? Someone that we don't have to hold our nose to vote for, like McCain (we rejected him in 2000 for a reason and he's confirmed that reason ever since) or someone who's position has evolved (like Romney). Someone whose articulate and has a good, solid conservative voting record. He's well known (unlike Duncan Hunter) and likable and he doesn't come with a lot of baggage (like Gingrich). And he supports the war in Iraq (unlike Brownback).

And then there's this:
For those wanting Fred Thompson, Condoleeza Rice, Newt Gingrich, or anyone else not yet running to be drafted, PLEASE get a grip. If they wanted to be in this race they would be. So rather than try to force those who seemingly aren’t that interested in running, why not focus on those who are actually in the race.

There are THREE top-tier Republicans right now: Rudy Guiliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. Sorry, but those are the three. By the way, Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo have ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE of winning the nomination let alone the presidency. Get over it.

Why not? Because it's still an open race! It's a year away from the primaries and despite what Hewitt and others have said, anyone with money and name recognition can still enter. If Romney, Guiliani and McCain are the three, then they'll be the three next year and if Thompson doesn't enter the race, I'll pick one of them (eenie meenie minie moe)but for now, I'm saying, "Run, Thompson, run!"

The Draft Fred Thompson Campaign has been noticed

Unfortunately, I don't see any mention of these guys, though I was shocked and happy to see that we were mentioned:

The White House Bulletin had this today. I'm trying to find a link.

Fred Thompson Feels Push To Enter Presidential Race.

Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee Republican senator who's now a Law & Order prosecutor and regular replacement for radio host Paul Harvey, is being urged by supporters to consider entering the presidential race, according to associates.

"The draft Fred movement is growing," says one ally. They say that Thompson is flattered by the suggestions, but it is unclear if he is turning away their appeals. The effort is growing among conservative blogs, where several boards are pushing the folksy straight-talker to get in.

One associate who has worked for the administration and on previous presidential campaigns said that while the GOP field is crowded, it is still dominated by candidates like Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who are viewed skeptically by conservatives, opening up a potential avenue for Thompson to join.

The associate also said that Thompson, long a Hollywood star who has played the White House chief of staff and military officers, has such large name recognition that he could stay out for a while and still make waves if he entered late -- or as a vice presidential candidate next year. In the blogs, he's huge., a blog for business leaders and conservatives, has noted Thompson's fill-in work for Harvey where he often makes conservative appeals. has called on readers to vote for Thompson in online polls to show the former senator "that he has support."

The message is getting out there, maybe he didn't know that he was considered presidential material and might think about it.

Related Posts
A Draft Fred Thompson Site
Go vote for Fred Thompson in the Pajamas Media straw poll

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lieberman playing "political footsie" with the Republicans

In the Friday's edition of 'Time' magazine:

"Independent" Sen. Joe Liebeman receives a mini-profile titled "What Joe Wants," a key question since he is "the Senate's one-man tipping point." Republicans, the magazine says, are "courting him" and Lieberman "has been indulging in some fairly immodest poltical footsie."

Lieberman calls jumping to the Republican side, and tilting the Senate, "a remote possibility," which means there's at least a chance of that. Time seems to push Lieberman in this direction, as the article concludes: "Lieberman's GOP flirtation has its risks--and a time limit....The longer he waits to capitalize on his moment, the greater the danger that he'll be tagged as one of those politicians for whom having power is more important than using it."

I don't believe it, I don't believe he'll side with the Republicans. Everyone thought that Lincoln Chafee would move to where his heart was but he never did. I suspect Lieberman will stay where he is.

Kos really helped Lieberman more than he hurt him, Lieberman knows that the Democrats need him more than he needs them. It frees you to vote the way that you want and to be in a position to call the shots.

Cheney is right about this

I finally got to hear Cheney's whole quote and I'm surprised that the Democrats would disagree with it:


There doing exactly what al Qaeda wants them to do, what's wrong with saying that?

And Pelosi has a lot of nerve complaining about Cheney's words when Bush has had to put up with so much worse over the years.

Life interfering with my blogging!

My 11-year old daughter is having a sleepover. We will be having 8 screaming girls in our house. It generally doesn't go well and last year I vowed never to do it again but here I am, doing it again. Mommy love is a sacrificial love Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And those of you who have been reading my blog for the last couple weeks know that I've had surgery recently, followed by a few days of stomach distress, followed by a week of a very bad cold, followed by a hacking cough and now it's a little bit of a wheezing cough, so I suspect that you guys might have some idea what my house looks like. All this to say, I'm sorry but I won't be responding to comments (sorry, obrien, I'll get to your questions about my Christianity this weekend). I'm sorry but as the title says, life is interfering with my blogging!

I will try to keeping posting but not too much of anything else.

This is why I don't publish too much information about myself

Too many insane people out there with nothing better to do than try to kick your rear because you aren't swayed by their persuasive arguments online. They want to try to intimidate you into shutting up because they don't like what you have to say:

A Fredericksburg man was arrested Saturday on charges he assaulted three strangers at their home during a dispute over politics, police said. According to a Fredericksburg police report, the suspect went to a home in the 900 block of Marye Street about 5:30 p.m. after finding one of the resident's name on a Republican Web site.


The suspect refused to leave the home after repeatedly being asked to do so, police
said. The three roommates were hit multiple times each as they attempted to get the suspect out of the door, authorities said. The suspect continued to be aggressive and disorderly even after a city police officer arrived, the report states. Andrew Stone, 23, was charged with three counts of assault and battery.
The college student emailed Michelle Malkin the rest of the story:
At this point, Stone politely stood up, shook my hand, and told me that he had found my address on facebook. He asked if I was a College Republican as it said on my account, I told him yes. He then asked me "Oh, so that means you support the war, right?" and I responded with a yes. He then said that since I was for the war, if I was interested in signing up for the army. At this point I was sure he was a recruiter, and I told him that I'd definitely look into it as soon as I graduate (I'm a junior political science/econ major right now at UMW). This is where something changed in his eyes and he started getting aggressive. He took a step towards me and said that I support the war, yet don't want to fight in it.

At this point my roommate, Matt, stepped into the room and told him he was being disrespectful, and that it was time to leave. I told Matt that I could handle the guy (I've gotten into debates like this before). Stone responded to Matt by saying that "I'm not done talking to your roommate, he's a p* [edited for profanity] and can't back up anything he believes in". At this point I, not politely, told him to leave our house. He refused, saying he was not done talking with us. He threw the military literature he had at me, which turned out to be United States Air Force literature. He said that I would never make it in the army and that was why he brought over USAF literature
They tried to get him to leave by pushing him out the door but he started to beat them up. They got him out the door and incredibly he waited there until the police showed up. Then they discovered they hadn't been his only target:
Later that day we found a list of names on the front porch, complete with addresses, boys and girls, all members of the college Republicans. I was 9th on the list. I contacted a few of the people on the list and only one had received a visit from this guy, and they hadn't even answered the door because they knew of his affiliation and what he was coming to say. For lack of better words, we were pretty unsuspecting. His arraignment is on March 1st, and our school newspaper is doing a large investigation of his ties to other organizations on campus, etc. For now, we're all pretty scared about what this guy'll do now that he's back on the streets.
There is so much of this type of rhetoric on the Internet that you would think even the left would be bored with it by now. The whole chickenhawk thing has been done to death and was always a childish and ridiculous argument to begin with. It has been the case, throughout the history of the nation, that men and women who did not serve in the military have declared war and have been commander in chief. Clinton, the darling of the left, was a draft dodger and yet he was the commander in chief.

Those on the right are not intimidated by this type of rhetoric, we find it amusing, when we aren't bored by it's repeated use. In fact, we have embraced the name and the emblem of our blogroll is a chickenhawk:

What's amazing to me is the left doesn't see the irony in their position. They say that it's patriotic to oppose the war and to speak out against it but we aren't allowed to speak about our support of the war unless we are willing to fight in it. Since when was it freedom of speech for dissent only?

I will continue to blog about my support of the war on my blog because this is my right granted to me by my Creator and recognized by this government.

Egyptian blogger Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman has been sentenced

This an amazing story, one that stands in stark contrast to our own situation here in America. If we jailed all those who spoke out against Bush, we wouldn't have room in the jails for real criminals.

An Egyptian blogger was convicted of insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak and sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday in Egypt's first prosecution of a blogger.

Abdel Kareem Nabil, a 22-year-old former student at Egypt's Al-Azhar University, an Islamic institution, had pleaded innocent to all charges, and human rights groups had called for his release.


Nabil, who used the blogger name Kareem Amer, had sharply criticized Al-Azhar on his Web log, calling it "the university of terrorism" and accusing it of suppressing free thought. He also often criticized Mubarak's regime on the blog.

In one post, he said Al-Azhar University "stuffs its students' brains and turns them into human beasts ... teaching them that there is not place for differences in this life."

He was a vocal critic of conservative Muslims and in other posts described Mubarak's regime as a "symbol of dictatorship."

The university threw him out last year and pressed prosecutors to put him on trial.
Read the rest here (via). Michelle Malkin has more information on this here, including this:
Egypt is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the "freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media." The exceptions allowed are narrowly drawn and require proof of "necessity" before restrictions can be imposed. The posting of opinions on a student's personal blog hardly qualifies as a threat to national security, to the reputation of the president or to public order.
He has also spoken out for equal rights for women and for freedom of speech in Egypt.

It's amazing to me that it was the university that instigated this, it's so important to have free speech in a learning environment. You want the students to engage in critical thinking and have the freedom to discuss their views.

Maybe the solution to this problem is that the citizens of Egypt take to their computers and all start speaking out against the government. Maybe when their jails start overflowing they will give freedom to their people.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Guess Who Endorsed Obama?

OK, so you've all heard the news that Clinton's Hollywood money men have abandoned his wife and moved into the Obama camp, that' old news! Everyone knows about that and all the brouhaha it generated (I'm just happy that the Clintons are getting dissed by the elites -- we finally are getting to hear what they really think of them) but did you know who endorsed Obama today..... Daschle!!! Can you believe it?! Obama wasn't even in the Senate with him and yet he picked him over Dodd, Clinton, Edwards and Biden. This tells me he doesn't think Dodd and Biden have a chance (but then, who does) and that he must really have something against Clinton because she definitely has a shot at getting the nomination. Why would he be taking this chance?

Sen. Barack Obama won the endorsement Wednesday of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who said the White House hopeful "personifies the future of Democratic leadership in our country."

Daschle said Obama has a "great capacity to unify our country and inspire a new generation of young Americans, just as I was inspired by the Kennedys and Martin Luther King when I was young."

I'll be interested to see who the other Senators endorse, it should be interesting.

Blair to pull back troops so that the Iraqis can take over

Blair is pulling the British troops back, so that the Iraqis can take over from the British army. This area is in southern Iraq with a largely Shiite population, so there hasn't been much conflict. He's leaving them in the area though, they aren't leaving Iraq, only 1600 are leaving.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced on Wednesday a plan to cut the number of British troops in Iraq to 5,500 from 7,100 in the next few months.

In a speech in the House of Commons, Blair said the situation in the Iraqi city of Basra where British troops are based is very different from the one in Baghdad, and Basra could now be secured by Iraqis themselves.

The operation of British troops in Iraq had been a success, including removing Saddam Hussein from power, he said. The next chapter in Basra's history would be written by Iraqis themselves, he added.
So much for rumor that Blair was pulling his troops from Iraq. The MSM got it wrong again.

Hugh Hewitt on my Palm TX

So, I've been really enjoying all the great features of my palm TX. I'm able to surf the web in bed, I can listen to Hugh Hewitt while I'm driving, I can read or play a video game while I'm waiting in line someplace and it even reminded me that it was my mom's birthday (something that I was sure to forget). I can even read my email in the bathroom at seminary during the break in class (it's the only place I can get a descent WI-FI connection at seminary).

On the way to seminary, I listened to the debate between Tony Campolo and Frank Gaffney on Hugh Hewitt's show. It was an excellent debate and if you haven't heard it, go listen to it. There was real dialogue between them and were even able to agree on some things. Both were given enough time to articulate their view on the war in a Iraq and the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Though Campolo's language was a little over the top in regards to Israel, he backed down from it by the Q and A time. He believes that Israel has done some evil things during this conflict with Palestine but when pressed, had only anecdotal evidence and agreed that there really wasn't any comparison between the evils committed by the Palestinians and whatever evil he thinks Israel has committed.

One of the areas of disagreement proved to be instructive. Campolo believes that Bush should humble himself and admit that it was mistake to go into Iraq because we were wrong about WMD's but Gaffney disagreed:

One of the things that was determined by the Iraq Survey Group, not to be confused with the Iraq Study Group, Jim Baker fame, but the Iraq Survey Group, the team that was dispatched to go look at the weapons of mass destruction issue on the ground after the country was liberated, came back, you saw the banner headlines, No WMD. But what they also found was that Saddam Hussein did indeed have weapons of mass destruction production lines that were up and running at low levels for chemical and biological agents, and worse, he had plans to ramp them up when the sanctions were lifted, which was thought to be imminent, and worse still, he had plans to put the products of those chemical and biological weapons lines into aerosol cans and perfume sprayers, for shipment to the United States and Europe. Now I daresay probably nobody in this room knew that, but it is nonetheless a fact, and it is the kind of thing that I believe justified the liberation of Iraq, and was what I was worried about happening, what the President was clearly worried about happening in the aftermath of 9/11. Terror with weapons of mass destruction, made possible by an enemy that made abundantly clear his desire to wreak revenge against the United States. If we have time after the break, I’d like to tell you what I do about it, but the short form of it is I think you have to deal with the Iranian regime that is doing everything it can to destroy the future we’re trying to help the Iraqis obtain.
This is a bone of contention between the left and right that will probably never be resolved. We don't believe it was a mistake to go to war but the left does. There can be no real dialogue on this issue, so I never address when the left brings it up in comments. I don't feel the need to beat a dead horse.

One of the things I love about the Hugh Hewitt show is he is an excellent interviewer and gives his guests enough time to answer questions, he doesn't talk over them, he wants his audience to hear their position. He also asks penetrating and leading questions, making the guests admit to the implications of their position. Hewitt zeroed in on a major flaw in Campolo's "pacifist tendencies" but Campolo was more open than most to admit to flaws:

HH: Tony, I said I wanted to ask you the toughest question of all. I was walking in the hallway here at Eastern, and I saw a standout for Darfur. And I thought that’s wonderful. And I know that you believe that, too. Well, how’s a Christian do that if they have force…if they have the ability to wield force, ought they not to be urging the United States to do that to save those people?

TC: You really put me on the spot, didn’t you? Because the reality is you know I have pacifist tendencies, and do not…

HH: I read the book.

TC: Yeah, I wish you hadn’t. Most people who criticize my book have not read it. So thank you for doing that, I guess. You bought it, too, didn’t you?

HH: No, no. It was sent to my by your publisher.

TC: Oh, geez. I didn’t even make a buck on you.

HH: I won’t resell it, though. Go on.

TC: Holy mackerel. In any event, I do think that there are other ways of handling Darfur. I don’t think that we have gotten the African League sufficiently involved in putting pressure on this situation. I think that the African League could do incredibly more, and I think we have the leverage to get them to do more, and I would like to see if we could do that before we did anything militaristically.

HH: And how many people would have to die, and how long would you have to wait to say that?

TC: Oh, I said you’ve got me in a very difficult place. I’m what we call a troubled pacifist for many reasons. Most of all is I live in a country where I wouldn’t have the right to say the stuff that I say save that brave people laid down their lives on the battlefield to make that possible. So here I am as somebody who’s a pacifist who is dependent upon militarists to maintain my freedom to be a pacifist. And that’s a paradoxical situation for any Christian.

This exchange demonstrates why this was such an interesting debate but what was even more astounding was that Gaffney actually offered Campolo a nonmilitary option for Darfur:

HH: And Frank, the reality is Darfur will continue to bleed unless and until the West decides to stop it.

FG: I think that there may be some good news for Tony. I think there may be options to do something about the government in Khartoum, which is actually the problem, of course, without using military force. And just very briefly, we have been championing for about two and a half years now a project which we called Divest Sudan, as part of a larger project of divesting the stocks of publicly traded companies that do business with terrorist-sponsoring regimes, and which of course, Sudan is one. It’s not only engaged in genocide, it’s not only engaged in slave trading, it’s also engaged in terrorism and the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Taking the money away from these guys was again, one of the tools that was in Ronald Reagan’s playbook against the Soviet Union, cutting off their cash flow. And there’s billions of dollars being put into Sudan now by people buying their oil, and helping them build their infrastructure. We ought to cut it off.

You can read the rest of the transcript here or listen online here. It's in two segments that combined last about an hour. Go listen because it's really fascinating to hear that on some of the issues we aren't too far apart and on other issues, we have reasons for our differences.