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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israeli warplanes rained more than 100 tons of bombs on security installations in Hamas-ruled Gaza on Saturday, killing at least 230 people in one of the bloodiest days in decades of the mideast conflict. The government said the open-ended campaign was aimed at stopping rocket and mortar attacks that have traumatized southern Israel.

More than 400 people were also wounded. Most of the casualties were security forces, but Palestinian officials said at least 15 civilians were among the dead.

The unprecedented assault sparked protests and condemnations throughout the Arab world, and many of Israel’s Western allies urged restraint, though the U.S. blamed Hamas for the fighting.

But there was no end in sight. Israel warned it might go after Hamas’ leaders, and militants kept pelting Israel with rockets — killing at least one Israeli and wounding six.

Hundreds of Israeli infantry and armored corps troops headed for the Gaza border in preparation for a possible ground invasion, military officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity under army guidelines.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the goal was “to bring about a fundamental improvement in the security situation of the residents of the southern part of the country.” He added, “It could take some time.”

The Israeli airstrikes caused widespread panic and confusion, and black plumes of smoke billowed above the territory, ruled by the Islamic militant Hamas for the past 18 months. Some of the Israeli missiles struck in densely populated areas as students were leaving school, and women rushed into the streets frantically looking for their children.

“My son is gone, my son is gone,” wailed Said Masri, a 57-year-old shopkeeper, as he sat in the middle of a Gaza City street, slapping his face and covering his head with dust from a bombed-out security compound nearby.

He said he had sent his 9-year-old son out to purchase cigarettes minutes before the airstrikes began and could not find him. “May I burn like the cigarettes, may Israel burn,” Masri moaned.

Militants often operate against Israel from civilian areas. Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.

The offensive began eight days after a six-month truce between Israel and the militants expired. The Israeli army says Palestinian militants have fired some 300 rockets and mortars at Israeli targets over the past week, and 10 times that number over the past year.

“There is a time for calm and there is a time for fighting, and now is the time for fighting,” said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, vowing to expand the operation if necessary.

In Gaza City’s main security compound, bodies of more than a dozen uniformed Hamas police lay on the ground. Civilians rushed wounded people in cars and vans to hospitals because there weren’t enough ambulances to transport all the dead and wounded.

“There are heads without bodies …. There’s blood in the corridors. People are weeping, women are crying, doctors are shouting, ” said nurse Ahmed Abdel Salaam from Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s main treatment center.

Military officials said aircraft released more than 100 tons of bombs in the first nine hours of fighting, focusing initially on militant training camps, rocket-manufacturing facilities and weapons warehouses that had been identified in advance.

A second wave was directed at squads who fired about 180 rockets and mortars at Israeli border communities. In an attack early Sunday, Palestinians said Israeli aircraft bombed a mosque near Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, destroying it.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Hamas’ political leaders could soon be targeted. “”Hamas is a terrorist organization and nobody is immune,” she declared.

The campaign was launched six weeks before national elections. Livni and Barak hope to succeed Ehud Olmert as prime minister, and the outgoing government has faced pressure to take tough action.

Gaza’s political leaders, who have been targeted in the past, went into hiding earlier this week. In a speech broadcast on local Gaza television, Hamas’ prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, declared his movement would not be cowed.

“We are stronger, and more determined, and have more will, and we will hold onto our rights even more than before,” Haniyeh said. It was not clear where he spoke.

In Damascus, Syria, Hamas’ top leader, Khaled Mashaal, called on Palestinians to rekindle their fight against Israel. “This is the time for a third uprising,” he said.

Israel withdrew its troops and settlers in 2005 after crushing the second Palestinian uprising, but it has maintained control over the territory’s border crossings.

Despite the overwhelming show of force, it was not clear the offensive would halt the rocket fire. Past operations have never achieved that goal.

Late Saturday, Gaza health official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said 230 Palestinians were killed and more than 400 were wounded.

The lone fatality in Israel was in the town of Netivot, where a rocket killed an Israeli man. Six other people were wounded, rescue services said.

Netivot only recently become a target, and dozens of stunned residents, some weeping, gathered at the house that took the deadly rocket hit. A hole gaped in one of the walls, which was pocked with shrapnel marks.

“We need to finish this once and for all and strike back hard,” said next-door neighbor Avraham Chen-Chatam, 57.

Streets were nearly empty in Sderot, the Israeli border town pummeled hardest by rockets. But dozens of people congregated on a hilltop to watch the Israeli aerial attacks.

The TV images of dead and wounded Gazans inflamed Arab public opinion, and protests erupted in Arab Israeli villages, the West Bank and elsewhere in the Arab world.

The campaign embarrassed moderate Arab regimes that have encouraged Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and weakened Hamas’ rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has ruled only the West Bank since Hamas violently seized control of Gaza in June 2007.

Abbas condemned the attacks, but fearing violence could spiral out of control, his forces also broke up protests in the West Bank.

The offensive also risked opening new fronts, including unrest that could destabilize the West Bank and ignite possible rocket attacks by Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas on northern Israel.

Britain, the EU, the Vatican, the U.N. secretary-general and special Mideast envoy Tony Blair all called for an immediate restoration of calm. The Arab League scheduled an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss the situation.

But the U.S., Israel‘s closest ally, blamed Hamas. “These people are nothing but thugs, so Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas that indiscriminately kill their own people,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.


AP correspondent Aron Heller contributed to this report from Netivot, Israel. Amy Teibel reported from Jerusalem.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.


Rudyard Kipling

I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

Minorities Should Express Shame, Not

Only Pride
Dennis Prager TOWNHALL,COM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gay Pride. Jewish Pride. Black pride. Hispanic Pride.


Ethnic pride. Minority rights vs. tyranny of the majority.

For a generation, America has been awash in the celebration of minorities and minorities celebration of themselves. Just recall Black is Beautiful or I am a woman, I am invincible.

At the same time, the majority group in America — white Christians — has been allowed to celebrate very little. Rather, they have constantly been reminded of what they should be ashamed of — their racism, sexism, homophobia, patriarchy, and xenophobia — real and alleged.

But what about minority shame?

Why does one almost never hear expressions of group shame from members of any American group other than white Christians (specifically, white Christian male heterosexuals)? Are the only evildoers in America white male heterosexual Christians? Is there something inherently wrong about members of minorities expressing anything but group pride? Are there no minority sins worthy of shame? The latter is in fact the argument advanced by many intellectuals concerning black racism, for example. For a generation, college students have been taught that it is impossible for blacks to be racist because only the racial group in power, i.e. whites, can express racism.

Of course, that is nonsense. A black can be a racist just as a white can be one. A minority race might not have the power to implement racist national policies but that hardly means that no minority group, or any individual, can be a racist.

All this came to mind recently when, by coincidence, I read two things about the minority group of which I am a member — Jews. I just completed reading Anthony Beevors The Fall of Berlin 1945, in which the author writes that in the midst of the massive rape of German women (millions of girls and women of all ages) by Red Army troops, Jewish officers in the Red Army were known to be the one group that protected German girls and women. In Beevors words, Red Army officers who were Jewish went out of their way to protect German women and girls.

I fully admit to a sense of Jewish pride when I read that.

The next day I read a news report that because of the objections of one kindergartners mother, a public school in North Carolina had banned the singing of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer because the song contained the word Christmas. I blame the school officials first and foremost for this craven and foolish decision. But when the news report noted that the woman was Jewish, my heart sank. Just as I had read the Beevor report and felt a surge of Jewish pride, I read the North Carolina story and felt a surge of Jewish shame.

It was a surge of Jewish shame that years ago led to one of the largest demonstrations of Israeli Jews in Israel’s history. They were demonstrating against the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps in Lebanon. The killings were committed by Lebanese Christian militias, but they took place while Israel occupied that area of Lebanon.

It would seem, then, that group shame is a good thing.

There are at least three reasons:

1. It is maturing. Only children think only well of themselves. A group that only expresses pride is essentially a group of children.

2. If one expresses group pride, one is morally obligated to express group shame. Obviously, this does not apply to any person who does not identify with, let alone take pride in being a member of, a group.

3. If only the majority group is expected to express shame, then only the majority group is expected to be governed by rules of morality. It is, ironically, the highest moral compliment to Americas white Christians that they are the only American group of whom expressions of shame are expected. It means more is morally expected of them than of anyone else.

The relative absence of expressions of shame in the Muslim world over the atrocities committed in Islam’s name is an example of the above. The labeling of blacks who express shame over disproportionate rates of violent crime and out-of-wedlock births in the black community as Uncle Toms is another. The absence of any expression of shame in the gay community over the current blacklisting — and attempts to economically destroy — anyone who donated to the California proposition defining marriage as between a man and a woman is another example. When Sen. Joseph McCarthy blacklisted people in Hollywood for real or alleged support for the Communist Party, he was finally shut up with the words, Have you no shame, sir?

Expressing group shame when morally necessary is not airing dirty linen or giving solace to ones ideological enemies. It is, rather, one of the highest expressions of moral development. And it is therefore universally applicable. Being a minority doesn’t exempt its members from moral responsibility. It will be a great day for America and the world when minorities begin to express shame as well as pride. In fact, there is real pride in expressing shame. Minorities should give it a try.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

Posted 1 hour, 18 minutes ago in OpinionPolitics

(Newser) – Barack Obama’s cabinet picks have elicited howls from the political left, but he won’t sell out his progressive supporters, E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes in The New Republic. First off, Obama never was a true economic leftie—that was John Edwards’ role. But like John F. Kennedy 45 years ago, Obama will probably push a progressive agenda through a team that conservatives can accept.

Lefties in Congress still like him, too. Obama knows that “the country faces more problems than at anytime since 1933,” says liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders. Obama is also entering the White House as most of the country is leaning left; even conservatives want to partly socialize Wall Street these days. “Reality has moved left, particularly over the last six months,” Dionne writes.

Source New Republic

· Time, CNN Top College Faves

Dec 1, 08 6:34 AM CST
Time, CNN Top College FavesCollege students took a break from beer pong to take stock of the world, a study of their favorite brands suggests. Time unseated Cosmopolitan as top magazine among the 1,000 students surveyed, while bumped Perez Hilton off the list of top websites, Advertising Age reports. “World peace” became the fourth most desired wish for this election year—though, to be fair, the No. 6 most cherished was the ability to fly. More »

· Clinton at State Troubles Obamanauts

Nov 18, 08 9:55 AM CST
Clinton at State Troubles ObamanautsWhile a Hillary Clinton appointment as secretary of State has been greeted with enthusiasm worldwide, Barack Obama’s own team of believers is feeling some confusion and dissonance, reports Politico. “These guys didn’t put together a campaign in order to turn the government over to the Clintons,” says a Democrat close to Obama. “I can’t stand her,” said another—”but I think she’s a great choice.”
More »

· Has Obama Tipped Murdoch Left?

Nov 17, 08 9:35 AM CST
Has Obama Tipped Murdoch Left?Media watchers have been tracking the post-election New York Post with particular interest: Instead of being dyspeptic over the Democratic presidential win, Rupert Murdoch’s gleefully right-wing tabloid has treated Barack Obama to coverage ranging, as the New York Times puts it, “from warm and fuzzy to downright heroic.” Which fuels speculation, first raised by biographer Michael Wolff in a book excerpt in Vanity Fair, that the 77-year-old media magnate (and owner of Fox News) is veering leftward.
More »

· Gen X to Boomers: We Get It Now

Nov 9, 08 5:09 AM CST
We Get It NowSorry, boomers, for taking so long to drop the cynicism and eye-rolling, writes Heather Havrilesky in Salon. But to those who “became rational adults at the exact moment a reckless frat boy boomer became president,” your generation’s idealism and tales of ’60s radicalism fell flat, she spills. Barack Obama’s win changed that. Gen X’ers get it now, understanding “there’s no shame in throwing ourselves into this new future with full hearts, with tears in our eyes.” More »

· DC Anticipates 1.5M for Historic Inauguration

Nov 8, 08 6:35 AM CST
DC Anticipates 1.5M for Historic InaugurationHotel rooms will be as scarce as McCain-Palin T-shirts in Washington on Inauguration Day, the Wall Street Journal reports, as a record-breaking tide of Obama supporters—especially black Americans—makes a pilgrimage to witness the historic moment. More than 1.5 million people are expected to flood the city for the Jan. 20 event. Hotel rooms, even at rates above $1,000 a night, are booking three times faster than for the last inauguration.
More »

President-elect Barack Obama walks towards the podium during a news conference in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President-elect Barack Obama speaks at a news conference in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President-elect Barack Obama gestures during a news conference in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

In Defense of the


News & Analysis
014/08  December 10, 2008
CAIR’s Message of “Peace”

Following the recent Islamic-terrorist attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), called for an “interfaith exchange” between Indian Hindus and Muslims.

As usual, CAIR exploits another sensational terrorist event while they ignore daily acts of Islamic terrorism – over 100 Muslim terror attacks took place in November prior to the Mumbai rampage.

In a call to action straight out of the CAIR playbook, CAIR-New York (CAIR-NY) Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali stated:

“Inter-religious exchanges are needed to help promote peace and security in the region”

CAIR, with proven ties to Islamic terrorism which includes having Islamic terrorists on staff at different periods in its short turbulent history, is the last group that should be calling for “exchanges”, let alone “Inter-religious” exchanges.

How can any group that practices Islamic supremacy presume to lecture anyone on the merits of peaceful religious exchange?


– The Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) recently had a $156 million dollar judgment upheld against it for the murder of an American citizen by Hamas terrorists.  Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad, CAIR founders, were top officers of the IAP.

– The Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamist terrorist group, reportedly trained the Mumbai terrorists for their recent attacks.  It is recalled that Ismail Royer, the incarcerated communications officer for CAIR, is currently serving time on terrorism charges; one of the terrorist acts he admitted to was providing assistance to America-based recruits of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist organization.

There are many other examples of CAIR staffers and members supporting Islamic terrorism through fundraising, propagandizing, or aidding and abetting terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hamas.

Unlike the British Muslim group MPACUK, CAIR has yet to find the fortitude to just come out and honestly tell Americans they outright sympathize and support the many bloody efforts of Islamic terrorists.

CAIR’s proven support for the objectives of Islamic terrorists and terrorist groups renders CAIR’s opinion on “interfaith exchanges” a cruel joke.

Only nobody is laughing in Mumbai …
Andrew Whitehead

Dinesh D’Souza
Monday, September 29

, 2008

In his debate with John McCain, Barack Obama’s attempted to portray the Bush administration as a complete failure both in domestic and foreign policy. This argument, however, is running into one big problem: Bush’s Iraq policy appears to be succeeding.

How embarrassing! Well, at least the Democrats can try to make sure that no one finds out about this. Obama attempted to change the subject by saying that Afghanistan, not Iraq, is the central front of the war on terror. But Afghanistan was merely the launching pad for 9/11. The terrorists went to Afghanistan because they got rent-free terrorist training facilities. None of the hijackers or their planners actually came from Afghanistan. Every single one of them was from the Middle East, mostly Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Moreover, Afghanistan has only minor strategic significance compared to Iraq. Iraq’s neighbors include Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Islamic radicals, who have controlled Iran for a generation, fully understand the importance of winning a second major state in the Middle East. With Iran and Iraq in their control, they can then turn their sights to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. No wonder Bin Laden and his associates have declared Iraq the central front of the war on terror, the launching pad for a new world war. Obama, by contrast, still regards the Taliban as the vanguard of global jihad. This shows Obama as being both naïve and out of date.

During his foreign trip a few weeks ago, Obama tried to take advantage of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s statement that America should work out a withdrawal plan for Iraq. Obama triumphantly declared that now is the time for Iraqis to work out their own destiny. Obama failed to mention, however, that if he had been president, Iraq would still be ruled by Saddam Hussein. The only destiny that Obama would have consigned Iraq to is oppression, torture, and mass graves.

To understand what is going on in Iraq, we must distinguish between two approaches: the Bush doctrine and the Reagan doctrine. Unlike the Bush doctrine–which seemed to require invasion and occupation–the Reagan doctrine was one of assisted non-intervention. Reagan believed that people in foreign countries should fight for their own freedom. We do not fight for them. But if they are willing to fight, we are willing to help. And so in Afghanistan, in Nicaragua, in Angola and to some extent in Ethiopia, Reagan supported rebels who sought liberation from Marxist tyranny. For intance, Reagan supplied Stinger missiles to the Afghani mujaheedin who were fighting to repel the Soviet invasion of that country. Reagan did not, however, send large numbers of American troops to Afghanistan.

Now in Bush’s defense it should be said that the Reagan doctrine could not have worked in Iraq. Unlike in Afghanistan, which the mujaheedin turned into a Soviet “bleeding wound,” there was no Iraqi resistance that could substantially threaten Saddam Hussein. Bush’s choice was either for America to get rid of Hussein, or to leave Hussein in power. But from the beginning the administration understood that, even in Iraq, over time the Bush doctrine must metamorphose into the Reagan doctrine.

It has taken longer than expected. But that’s because Saddam’s Baathist minority–let’s call them the Saddamites–ran not only the government but the entire society. So it has been quite a process to train a Shia elected government to learn to govern a nation in which they were victimized for a quarter century. Slowly, however, the Iraqis have been rising to the task, assisted by able U.S. forces under the competent leadership of General Petraeus.

So now, finally, Iraqis are getting to the position where they can defend their own country and fight for their own freedom. This is what “success” means in Iraq: not the end of the insurgency, or the end of terrorism, but a situation in which Iraqis take the helm and America moves into a supporting role. Of course America is going to get out of Iraq. The only question is whether we will leave recklessly, precipitously, with the risk of escalating violence and chaos and perhaps even a return of the Saddamites. This seems to be the approach the Obama Democrats want. The other option is to leave cautiously, deliberately, in a way that leaves Iraq a self-governing society, the only pro-American Muslim democracy in the Middle East.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

Keith Lehman

Lighthouse Patriot Journal

Obama Watch: Issue #004

In Obama Watch, Politics & Political Science on November 14, 2008 at 11:19 am

There isn’t any real Obama doctrine as of yet, but what he has discussed during his campaign, which is mostly that the Bush doctrine concerning Iraq was a failure. That has proved to be just political rhetoric and not reality.

The Reagan doctrine, as Dinesh D’Souza wrote back in September 2008 consisted of assisted non-intervention. In other words, troops were to be sent as only the last resort. Of course, there wasn’t a 9/11 during the Reagan administration, but President Reagan

…believed that people in foreign countries should fight for their own freedom. We do not fight for them. … And so in Afghanistan, in Nicaragua, in Angola and to some extent in Ethiopia, Reagan supported rebels who sought liberation from Marxist tyranny. For instance, Reagan supplied Stinger missiles to the Afghani mujaheedin who were fighting to repel the Soviet invasion of that country. Reagan did not, however, send large numbers of American troops to Afghanistan. Now in Bush’s defense it should be said that the Reagan doctrine could not have worked in Iraq. … But from the beginning the administration understood that, even in Iraq, over time the Bush doctrine must metamorphose into the Reagan doctrine. …finally, Iraqis are getting to the position where they can defend their own country and fight for their own freedom. Of course America is going to get out of Iraq. The only question is whether we will leave recklessly, precipitously, with the risk of escalating violence and chaos and perhaps even a return of the Saddamites. This seems to be the approach the Obama Democrats want. The other option is to leave cautiously, deliberately, in a way that leaves Iraq a self-governing society, the only pro-American Muslim democracy in the Middle East.

* The next item is the agenda of the Obama administration in the judicial works of America. Ronald Kessler writes in his article entitled Obama Will Change Balance on Courts Quickly (November 12th, 2008) …

It’s a given that Barack Obama will change the balance on the courts to a liberal judicial outlook. What is surprising is how quickly he could do that. Because Democrats dragged their heels on President Bush’s judicial nominations, 14 seats are open on appeals courts or will be by the end of January. Democratic nominees now are a majority on only one of the 13 federal appeals courts, the ultra-liberal U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco. Within four years, Obama could name enough judges to give Democrats a majority on nine of the 13 appeals courts.

* President-elect was successful with the powerful Internet connection and during his transition period he has activated a website and using it as a tool which will help in achieving his goals and Newsvine reports in an article entitled: Obama to Pioneer Web

Democratic strategist. Joe Trippi was quoted saying:

He’s built the largest network anyone has ever seen in politics, and has ever seen in politics, and congressional Republicans are clueless … Republicans say they’ll be watching for White House Web outreach that appear overly political.
“Hopefully, Obama will be a president for all Americans, not just the political supporters on his e-mail list,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant. Obama’s people know they’ll have to extend their reach. …Obama clearly is poised to become the first truly “wired” president of the digital age.

* And President-elect planned to honor fallen troops on Veterans Day, and like presidents before him have confused Memorial Day with Veterans Day – the former for the fallen, the latter for those that serve and have served. The even occurred with Iraqi war veteran and Illinois State Director of Veteran Affairs, Tammy Duckworth, who placed a wreath at The Bronze Soldiers Memorial in honor of Veterans Day on the Lakefront in Chicago, Illinois. I think my first correspondence with the president-elect is to set his predecessors straight as the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. After all, he has claimed throughout his campaign as being the administrator of change. This would be a time to set this practice straight. He will be officiating these holidays as President for his entire term in office. MSNBC quoted Obama as saying:

Let us rededicate ourselves to keep a sacred trust with all who have worn the uniform of the United States of America: that America will serve you as well as you have served your country,” Obama said in a statement. “As your next commander in chief, I promise to work every single day to keep that sacred trust with all who have served.

* One of the items that Senator Obama campaigned against was the lobbyists and the way lobbying is conducted in Washington. Nedra Pickler, AP writer reports:

Lobbyists can work for Obama’s transition if they stop their advocacy efforts and avoid working in any field that they lobbied on in the last year. They also must pledge not to lobby the Obama administration on the same matters they focused on during the transition for a year after leaving Obama’s service. The ethics policy allows Obama to hire any of the some 22,000 federally registered lobbyists who could be valuable assets because of their government experience, even though Obama railed against their influence on the campaign trail. …
Under recommendations spelled out in Obama’s campaign Web site, no Obama political appointees would be allowed to work on regulations or contracts “directly or substantially related to their prior employer for two years.” And while people who work on the transition would be permitted to lobby the administration on their transition issues after one year, political appointees to administration jobs would be prohibited from lobbying the executive branch for the remainder of the administration, according to Obama’s proposed rules

And as far as the controversy over the Second Amendment and firearm control by the Obama administration, Robert Blevins, AB of Seattle writes:

There are recent claims that President-elect Barack Obama is planning to ban guns in America, or severely restrict their purchase and usage. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Obama is only following the proposals he made on his official platform during the campaign. Nothing more, nothing less.

His plan was posted at …

As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor common sense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn’t have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent; as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.’

* President-elect Obama is still considering the policy of closing Guantanamo. The information at MSNBC was pulled (“expired”) for the review of the new administration concerning classified files. Funny that it didn’t seem as important when President GW Bush was performing his job as Commander-in-Chief and media entities like the New York Times didn’t care anything about classified files. I couldn’t find the original information on the story at the Washington Post, as was directed by the website at MSNBC either. I can see “change” already.

* The expensive bailout, A Lemon of a Bailout, as Charles Krauthammer calls it, the Democrats are pushing to include the auto industry in the bailout. Let me see, the produce gas guzzlers and haven’t paid attention to the public or the facts concerning what folks really need, and now they are hurting and want help from the government, which really constitutes the taxpayers. It is already estimated that the bailout is going to cost far more than the $700 billion that was voted for in the emergency legislation that caused so much controversy. What also happened is that more of the banking and investing companies have come under the thumb of government, which provided a leap toward nationalization of private business entities. The Democrats are wired to include the auto industry because they want to protect the unions involved. The Democrats want to nationalize the auto industry, which means restructuring. But as Krauthammer writes:

Which will guarantee the continued failure of these companies, but now they will burn tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. It’s the ultimate in lemon socialism.

Now, can someone tell me why they got so upset when I warned them about having a Democrat president AND a Democrat controlled Congress and its consequences? They are doing the same thing, except on a grander scale, that the Bush administration did with banking institutions. At this rate government will soon own most of the private sector business industries. And Krauthammer nails it right on the head:

Liberals have always wanted the auto companies to produce the kind of cars they insist everyone should drive: small, light, green and cute. Now they will have the power to do it.

It is government in YOUR face. And …

If you think we have economic troubles today, consider the effects of nationalizing an industry of this size, but now run by bureaucrats issuing production quotas to fit five-year plans to meet politically mandated fuel-efficiency standards — to lift us to the sunny uplands of the coming green utopia.

DAMN DEMOCRATS ARE CONTINUALLY AT IT.  Not just again, but still.  Ever onward and downward.  I know that there must be some honest Democrats out there (we have 2 right here).

Vote Fraud in Nashville – UPDATED AND BUMPED

Friday, 10/17/08, 9:30 PM: A few hours ago, Nashville’s syndicated radio talk show host Phil Valentine took a phone call from Lynn Greer, one of the two Republican members of the five-member Davidson County Election Commission. Mr. Greer was so angry he could barely control himself. (For the benefit of readers who aren’t familiar with Middle Tennessee, Nashville/Davidson County is a Metro area, in which the city and county governments are combined.)

He informed Phil and his listeners that earlier today, someone was bringing in vanloads of non-English-speaking Mexicans with no identification to one of the Nashville early voting locations. Along with the non-English speaking individuals came a bilingual woman to act as their interpreter. She informed the election personnel that she would accompany the voters into the booth, read the ballot for them, and insure that their vote was cast for the candidates of their choice.

The Davidson County Election Commission, including its Democrat members, decided that the individuals would not be allowed to vote on the grounds that since they were unable to speak, understand, or read English, they could not possibly be citizens, and therefore were not qualified to vote. In addition, Mr. Greer mentioned that these people were unable even to request the assistance of a translator themselves. Accordingly, Ray Barrett, Davidson County Administrator of Elections, instructed his employees to refuse to allow any of these individuals to vote.

However, someone prevailed upon Mr. Barrett to call the state in order to verify the Commission’s decision. Brook Thompson, the Tennessee State Election Coordinator, then ordered Mr. Barrett and the Davidson County Election Commission to allow these non-English-speaking individuals to vote through their bilingual interpreter despite their lack of any sort of identification and total unfamiliarity with the English language.

Phil and Mr. Greer briefly discussed what could be done. They agreed that the only possible remedy would be for the Tennessee Republican Party to file suit in a Federal court. He told Phil that while he intended to urge the state GOP to make the effort, in view of the recent refusal of a Federal court to grant relief to State Sen. Rosalyn Kurita (whose legitimate Democrat primary win was overturned by the big shots of her party in revenge for her vote in favor of a Republican Lt. Governor), he held out little hope that it would be successful. He also noted that even if a court should decide that the votes of these people were illegal, there is no mechanism for withdrawing them. These are not provisional ballots. Once cast, they are inviolate.

There were several more phone calls in quick succession.

First, Brook Thompson himself called up. He told Phil that Federal law requires that these people be allowed to vote with the help of an interpreter if they wish. He pointed out that in some jurisdictions with a higher percentage of non-English-speaking individuals, the Feds require that ballots and registration materials be printed in four or five languages. Therefore, he insisted that he had no choice but to allow these people to vote.

Phil asked him about the requirement that prospective voters must be able to produce valid identification, and Thompson admitted that this is correct. However, he shifted the burden for enforcement back to the Davidson County Election Commission. When Phil asked him if he intended to send someone down to investigate why the ID requirement was not being enforced, Thompson began to stammer and splutter a bit, and finally gave a noncommittal answer to the effect that he’d look into it.

The next phone call was from a woman identified only as Barbara, who is apparently an officer in the Republican Women’s organization. She informed Phil that aside from the identification requirement, Brook Thompson is ignoring another legal mandate of which he is definitely aware. She insisted that the law requires that a prospective voter who desires the assistance of an interpreter must personally request such assistance. In other words, the interpreter is not permitted to go up to the election officials and inform them that she intends to go into the booth and help the voter. She explained that the law includes that provision as protection for the voter against coercion and other forms of voter fraud. Unquestionably, Barbara was accusing Brook Thompson of deliberately ignoring that provision of the law, and thus allowing illegals to vote.

Within a few minutes, a man called up who informed Phil that he had been involved in Tennessee elections for 20 years, and was intimately familiar with the applicable laws. He agreed with Barbara, and added that Brook Thompson is not an attorney, and is not an authority on election law, but is a political appointee – appointed by Democrats. This gentleman disputed Thompson’s assertion that Federal law mandates that voters be permitted to use an interpreter. According to him, elections are governed by state law, which plainly requires that any voter who wishes to use an interpreter must personally request permission to do so from the election personnel. He vehemently disagreed with Thompson’s decision allowing these non-English-speaking people with no valid identification to vote in a Tennessee election.

The caller also informed Phil and his listeners that any voter has the right to challenge any other voter’s qualifications. He advised all of us not to depend solely upon the election personnel, but to take the initiative and inform them of any questionable or suspicious activity which we observe at a polling place.

That’s where the matter ended for today. Since it’s now Friday evening, it is unlikely that there will be any new developments until Monday, 10/20.

Wednesday, 10/22/08, 5:00 AM: As of yesterday afternoon, there have been no further developments. Phil Valentine reported that he has spoken to various law enforcement authorities, and none have been willing to look into this egregious violation of election laws.

During yesterday’s program, Phil spoke by phone with Quin Hillyer, Associate Editorial Page Editor of the Washington Examiner. Quin’s paper just published his column Quin-essential cases: No Righting Voting Wrongs in Ohio covering similar voting irregularities in Ohio.

When Phil informed Quin of these recent occurrences in Nashville, his first reaction was a gasp of surprise. He then remarked, “This election is being stolen right from under our noses.”

Phil is now trying to formulate a plan for some sort of direct action designed to force the relevant authorities to do their jobs. He’s been successful in such efforts in the past. For instance, he was responsible for the famous 2001 horn-blowing mass demonstration at the Tennessee State Capitol which resulted in the defeat of then-Gov. Don Sundquist’s proposed income tax. Whether he’ll be able to devise a successful strategy this time remains to be seen, but if I were a betting man, I’d be putting my money on Phil.

Wednesday, 10/22/08, 2:10 PM: Welcome, Instapundit readers. I learned just a few minutes ago that Phil’s aware of this post, and has verified that it is entirely correct. I’ll update you whenever new information becomes available.

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Barlycorn , John said…

In 2000, I lived in Palm Beach County, FL. On that election day there were large air conditioned buses picking up “migrant” workers who normally are transported in old school buses without either shock absorbers or air, in South Florida. Which is why, when libs say that the R’s stole Florida, I can only laugh and shake my head in disbelief.

October 22, 2008 10:23 AM

Tiny Bunch said…

I’d be curious to see where the bus went next. Another polling place?

October 22, 2008 11:36 AM

Garey Wheatley said…

If these folks had no ID at all, why not call INS to check for identity. It may sound racist (as everything is called today), but if they are indeed Spanish speaking, they may be illegal. They should have their ID (Green Card) on their person.

October 22, 2008 11:50 AM

Donald Sensing said…

When nothing matter except gaining power, any means is justified by the end. Understand that on page 56 of the official DNC platform document, available online, it says explicitly that the Democrat party goal is to eliminate any identification requirements for either voting registration or voting itself.

October 22, 2008 11:53 AM

Not a sheep said…

Shocking, absolutely shocking. I have linked to your post and reproduced it on my blog.

If true, this needs spreading far and wide, as it does indeed look as though the US election is being stolen by the Democrats. To any Brits looking at this blog I would like to say – what the Democrats are doing in the US, the Labour party are likely to try to do in the UK at the next general election and our media is even more pro-Labour than the US media is pro-Obama.

October 22, 2008 2:03 PM

Links to this post

Obvious McCain supporters involved in voter fraud already

Oh wait, did I say McCain supporters? I don’t believe these people were being directed to vote for Republicans: Inoculated: Vote Fraud in Nashville.

Posted by SPION at October 22, 2008 11:47 AM

Voter Fraud Already Spotted

Via Instapundit: vanloads of illegal aliens driven to the polls in Nashville with the state’s blessing? Outrageous. If Obama wins several states like this, his legitimacy as President will be close to zero.

Posted by Jehuda at October 22, 2008 11:05 AM

Voter Fraud in Nashville

I heard just a snip of Phil Valentine’s radio program while in the car Friday where voter fraud in Davidson County was being outed. I didn’t catch it all but thankfully Inoculcated did and provides the details.

Posted by Kay Brooks at October 22, 2008 10:06 AM













Got this one from an Okie friend of mine–she is good people–and I thought it was good enough to pass on.

Barack Obama has put out an ad that simple minded John McCain cannot use a computer.

Well guess what?

Barack cannot land a jet plane on an aircraft carrier at night.

Detecting Real HeroesBy Barry Rubin

In Raymond Chandler’s essay, “The Simple Act of Murder,” he describes the character of the detective as he was to appear in the great stories that lent themselves to “film noir.” Implicitly he was also defining the American hero — and who your heroes are tells a great deal about you and your society.
There are more than a few parts of the world where the hero is the terrorist or the martyr, often the same person nowadays. The ability to kill lots of people and the willingness to die are deemed to equate with greatness. This is a concept that often goes with dictatorships and ideological societies. Softness and kindness are weaknesses in such places, after all.
Similar yet different are the socialist realist heroes beloved of Communist states, cardboard cut-outs, persons of perfection, a sort of tractor mechanism inside the form of man.
Americans like their heroes flawed but not shattered. It’s good for the hero to be reluctant. After all, the first hero of America, or at least of the United States as a country, was George Washington, who was modeled on Cincinnatus, the Roman paragon who left his plow, served its country in its time of need, and then went back to the plow.  He wasn’t thirsty for power, he wasn’t the servant of the state, he was a guy (or gal) who wanted to live normally but understood that to do so required some pretty tough fighting, bargaining, scheming, or whatever to get there.
That’s why Rick of Casablanca is a great American fictional hero, and why the sheriff in “High Noon” is not like the Sheriff of Nottingham. Neither born great nor seeking greatness or wealth or power, the opportunity to be heroic had to be thrust on him.
But these are not that creature so prevalent in recent years, the anti-hero. As a spice or for variety’s sake, anti-heroes are fine but when they displace the competition a society is in real trouble. The anti-hero is not heroic, merely the main character. Such a person can be a rat, a louse, a criminal, a drug dealer or a double-dealer. Being young and handsome (or beautiful) can be sufficient to redeem them. So is the fact that they are better than the rest.
A pirate fighting demons; a nicer gangster battling a less charming one, that’s enough to give you something to cheer for in this type of drama. After all, in our times we are told by the professional tellers that there are no heroes, everyone is dirty, corrupt and vile. After all, isn’t society that way?
Someone who appears moral is, of course, instantly identifiable as corrupt. In a television show, film, or whatever, if a sincere religious believer (except for a Muslim) or a clergyman appears, you know he is stealing from the poor box. That stereotype holds and you can tell from the start who the villains are. A property developer? Oh, no! A corporate executive? Obviously the murderer. A Republican or conservative? Oh, it must be a horror film.
But Rick or the sheriff aren’t too political. Self-mockingly, Rick declares his ideology to be that of the drunkard. We like self-deprecation. After all, a hero isn’t supposed to be someone better than you but rather someone you could be. That’s democracy. Equal opportunity for heroism, if one only has the moral fiber.
Thus Chandler writes, “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.” Unlike today’s anti-heroes he or she must be able to deal with the corrupt without being corrupt. Yet being a nice guy alone is insufficient. You can’t just reason with the villains. You have to intimidate them and even bop them sometimes.
Well, no one’s perfect and the whole point of the American hero is that ordinariness, that non-perfection. We are cynical and skeptical but not about doing right but only about being totally right.
And after all, what could be  more essentially hypocritical than putting the emphasis on people saying the right things — jumping through hoops of “approved” language, correctness, and never giving offense to anyone — rather than doing the right things.
If someone starts bragging, you know their coinage doesn’t ring true. That’s why it is hard to be a heroic politician, someone who constantly toots his own horn and yet is the genuine article. That’s why a good sense of humor, to show you don’t take yourself too seriously, is a prerequisite. Chandler calls it, “rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque.”
So Chandler says:
“He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it.”
“He is a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job,” says Chandler. Americans respect common sense. “Oh,” as a song in “Damn Yankees,” goes, “It’s fine to be a genius of course,” but you still have to put the horse in front of the cart. Anti-intellectualism is not one of Americans’ nicer traits. When you see what intellectuals act like and even think like, though, can you blame them?
Honor here does not take the form of a touchy self-regard but a deeply inbuilt sense of right and wrong. “He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge.” A “due and dispassionate” one because he doesn’t lose his head but keeps a sense of what makes sense, of the goal to be achieved. The frontier and pioneer character has been much demeaned in recent times as that of wild cowboys, vigilantes, a lust for violence. Nobody lasted very long on the frontier with that type of behavior.
The real basis of American character is less the cowboy but rather the homesteader, that steady person who better give first regard to family and stability. To survive required all those virtues that makes a society great but doesn’t necessarily make for a good action movie or a yuppie fantasy.
High society — whether of the opera-and-ballet with top hat variety skewered in Marx Brothers’ films or the snobbery of a self-styled intellectual-cultural elite — has no appeal for such a person. He or she isn’t trying to be a social climber. Never forget, there’s a difference between a celebrity and a hero.
Rather, says Chandler, the hallmark is “disgust for sham, and contempt for pettiness.” Yes, a lot of this does come in reaction against European airs. The idea of appealing to Europeans-a characteristic recommended in a couple of recent Democratic presidential nominees as proving them worthy of election-is not high in the priority list.
Yet if Mrs. Peabody or Mrs. Teasdale or Mr. Potter wants to look down on him or her, the hero — comic or charismatic — says all the better. The Teasdales of today aren’t so much debutantes and the Potters not so much capitalists, rather the credentials they flash are from, say — to pick something at random, Harvard Law School — and jobs whose descriptions are as empty as the payment is high — community outreach director for a hospital, perhaps.
Ironically, the left has forgotten about social class. Its old idea was to side with the salt of the earth, working stiffs, people who labored to support their families. It wasn’t important that they had good taste in clothes, drank gourmet coffee, were thin as possible, or had read big books. The people, yes, as Carl Sandburg put it in his milder populist progressive way.
When the peasantry and proletariat didn’t make the revolution and instead turned into rural folk and suburb-dwellers, however, the elements of the upper middle class that hated the bourgeoisie turned on those who were to be their foot soldiers (or less politely, cannon fodder). They saw them as grubby folk who clung to guns, religions, and bigotry. They didn’t understand that not everyone can — or, for goodness sakes — should be a professor or performance artist.
Society, especially democratic society, needs people who live by a clearly defined moral code, often atop a bedrock of a personal, not aggressive, religious faith. A minority can do drugs, mock the system, and engage in situational ethics and Hollywood-style morality. But if the majority doesn’t have family values, forget it.
These are the kind of people who serve in the military, risk their lives, endure torture as prisoners if that befalls them, and work the tough jobs. Or, to pick an example at random, such a person might be a mother who works her way up from the PTA to a governorship by raising five kids and choosing to have a baby with serious problems. Where one side sees a living being, the other sees a burden.
They are the store clerks who don’t get the big break and become rock stars. They are the insurance salespeople, the factory workers, the businesspeople on a big or small scale, the truck drivers, and all the rest. If they don’t get glamor they should at least get respect.
In the Communist bloc, they used to tell a joke about the uprisings against the “people’s dictatorships. When the spirit of Lenin is consulted about how to put down these “counterrevolutionary” revolts he considers the answer simple: “Arm the workers!” The joke is, of course that it is precisely the workers who are the ones already in the streets storming the barricades.
The situation is most apt for today’s “progressives” for whom the masses of actual Americans are the menace, often a bigger menace than foreign dictators or radical Islamist terrorists. At least the latter are exotic and have a sense of style. In the matter of choosing one’s downtrodden, it is best they be as far away as possible lest they use the wrong fork.
The irony is that if you are handed high-paying jobs, have offices given you on a silver platter, and get by on credentials and sneering at those who don’t have them, you are going to develop your ability to deal with the real world to a far lesser degree. Chandler knew better about what you learned outside the ivory tower and the golden cocoon. His detective, “has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in.”
Who do you want to have next to you in a foxhole, or the White House, or in a tough situation? The wise, explains the saying, solve the problems that the smart create. If you need a refresher course in that one, see, “The Caine Mutiny,” “Casablanca,” or “High Noon.” Equally good or even better, read a lot of history.
Or, in Chandler’s words: “If there were enough like him, I think the world would be a very safe place to live in, and yet not too dull to be worth living in.” And if there aren’t enough, if those virtues are no longer valued, if the most basic survival instincts and lessons of centuries are ridiculed, watch out!

10 Comments on “Detecting Real Heroes

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Christianity Challenges Kosovo, Muslims not Happy

Writer Michael Totten has repeatedly claimed that Kosovo was different from other Islamic countries. A point of view that I have never really believed in. Maybe in some ways it is, but those Kosovons who are so tolerant must of the been the “Christians in hiding” there. Because as more people are converting back to Christianity in Kosovo, the head of the Islamic community has come out against building any new Churches in Kosovo. Sound familiar? Sounds like Kosovo is heading in the direction of the rest of the Islamic world to me.

(It should be noted that my government foolishly approved of the independent Islamic state of Kosovo.)

Out of hiding, some Kosovars embrace Christianity

By Fatos Bytyci

KLINA, Kosovo (Reuters) – Hundreds of Kosovar Albanians gather on Sundays to attend religious services in a still unfinished red-brick church in the Kosovo town of Klina.

Turning away from the majority Muslim faith imposed by the Ottoman Turks centuries ago, these worshippers are part of a revival of Catholicism in the newly independent Balkan state.

“We have been living a dual life. In our homes we were Catholics but in public we were good Muslims,” said Ismet Sopi. “We don’t call this converting. It is the continuity of the family’s belief.”

Sopi has commuted 40 km (25 miles) every Sunday from central Kosovo to Klina to attend a morning mass since he formally became a Roman Catholic five months ago. This September was the first holy month of Ramadan during which no one in his 32-member family fasted.

The majority of ethnic Albanians were forcibly converted to Islam, mostly through the imposition of high taxes on Catholics, when the Ottoman Empire ruled the Balkans.

For centuries, many remembered their Christian roots and lived as what they call “Catholics in hiding”. Some, nearly a century after the Ottomans left the Balkans, now see the chance to reveal their true beliefs.

“Fifty or sixty percent of the population are linked emotionally with the Roman Catholic religion. This is because of feelings about what our ancestors believed,” said Muhamet Mala, a professor who teaches History of Religion at Pristina Public University.


Originally Christians, the Sopis’ ancestors converted to Islam centuries ago during the Ottoman Empire but the family cherished Christian customs for centuries. They colored eggs at Easter and celebrated Christmas along with Ramadan.

“Islam started spreading in big numbers across Albanian territories when the Ottomans came in the 15th century. The majority of the people embraced Islam for economic reasons,” said Jahja Drancolli, a religion professor who also teaches at Pristina Public University.

“At the time, if you were a Catholic you had to pay a lot of taxes to the Ottomans.”

Around 90 percent of Kosovo’s Albanian population is Muslim, with just four percent Roman Catholics. The country is also home to dozens of medieval Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches.

The area that is now Kosovo was conquered by Rome before the Christian era and later ruled for centuries by Christian Bulgarians and Serbs. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1455.

Under the Ottomans, many Catholics converted to escape the new taxes or qualify for jobs and advancement in the Muslim-ruled society.

In staunchly Catholic families, often in villages with a strong social network, men converted publicly but continued to practice Christianity at home. Women and daughters often kept the faith, meaning it was transmitted to children.

Catholic priests administered the sacraments to these “crypto-Catholics” during house visits to the women.

The Catholic Church officially opposed this ministry to the converts, but local clergy often ignored that and maintained ties to the families.

The fact that there were “Catholics in hiding” was known during the Ottoman Empire: Albanians even had a word for them, “laraman”, meaning piebald, or two-colored.

Some crypto-Catholic families began to re-emerge in public in the mid to late 19th century, when Ottoman power was waning.


Many mosques in Kosovo were destroyed during the 1998-99 war between Serb forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army. Since 1999, when the U.N. took control of Serbia’s breakaway province, ethnic Albanian mobs destroyed many Serb Orthodox churches.

Roman Catholic churches were not destroyed, however, and most of Kosovo’s towns have a square named after Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Theresa, an ethnic Albanian nun born in neighboring Macedonia. She spent her life helping the poor in the Indian city of Calcutta and died in 1997.

Beatified in 2003, Mother Theresa became a heroine to many Albanian worshippers. A new cathedral, still under construction at Pristina’s Mother Theresa Square, will be the tallest building in the capital and big enough to hold 2,000 churchgoers.

“We don’t make appeals to anyone to convert. People call us,” said Don Shan Zefi, chancellor of the Church’s Kosovo diocese. “We are not talking about individuals any more. There are inhabitants from dozens of villages who have contacted us.”

Zefi said the process started decades ago, but added that today there are thousands of people who “want to become Roman Catholics again”.

The Islamic community disapproves of such converts.

The head of the Kosovo Islamic community, Mufti Naim Ternava, has opposed building a cathedral at the heart of Pristina and scoffs at new churches built across Kosovo.

“No human brain can understand how a church should be build in the middle of 13 Muslim villages,” he said.


Inhabitants of Kravoserija in the south of the country have had their own church since 2005, with the help of the Kosovo Catholic Church. Beke Bytyci is one of five villagers who has the keys to it, since chancellor Zefi only comes to celebrate mass every few weeks.

Opening the wooden door, he crossed himself: “I will be baptized next week,” he said.

More than half the 120 village families attend the ceremonies, and the small church is always full.

“My dad made a mistake in not raising me as a Christian,” said Ferat Bytyci, a 35-year-old merchant in the village and a relative of Beke. “Now things have changed and I don’t make the same mistake.”

(Editing by Adam Tanner, Tom Heneghan and Keith Weir)

The Importance Of Age And Experience: A Clinton Catalog Of Missed Opportunity

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Another of our youngest presidents, Bill Clinton, was 46 when sworn in and became the first Democrat since FDR to serve two terms.

IBD Series: The Importance Of Age And Experience

Born in Arkansas, educated at Georgetown University and a graduate of Yale Law School, he was also a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He had weaknesses as well as strengths but was popular with the average man and woman, and especially with minorities.

He was a smart politician and a great salesman whose way with words earned him the nickname of Slick Willie when he was governor of Arkansas.

The economy was strong during Clinton’s term, benefiting in no small part from the collapse of the Soviet Union. It occurred during the Reagan-Bush years but paid a “peace dividend” in the ’90s in the form of huge defense cuts that helped achieve a balanced budget.

After Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994, Clinton wisely moved to the center and agreed over liberal objections to what turned out to be a successful restructuring of the welfare system. But an unrealistic attempt by Clinton and his wife Hillary to have the federal government take over and run the entire medical and health care system failed.

The late ’90s saw the dawning of the Internet, a bounty of biotech start-ups and the rise to leadership of young, entrepreneurial companies such as Microsoft, Amgen, Dell, Adobe, Oracle, Cisco, Qualcomm, America Online and EMC, plus innovators like Home Depot and Charles Schwab. All had come public since 1982 during the low-tax Reagan-Bush incentive period. Stocks of these companies rocketed 25,000% to 90,000% from their offering prices.

It was a wild, anything-goes era much like the late 1920s. From September 1998 to March 2000, the NASDAQ composite index advanced 203%, or two and a half times the climax run in the Dow industrials from 1928 to the 1929.

Both markets blew up due to excessive speculation. Under Clinton’s watch from March 2000 to January 2001, the NASDAQ market that had led the run-up plummeted ____%, the sharpest decline since 1929. But the boom was great while it lasted.

Arguments about who or what is best for the economy go on and on. But since World War II, the United States has done pretty well in every cycle regardless of the person or party in power. Our free-market economy, after all, is driven not so much by government as by entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors who start new businesses, create new products and generate new jobs for all who are willing and able to work.

But when it comes to national defense and foreign relations, the age, experience and judgment of the person occupying the Oval Office become absolutely critical.

History teaches that no matter how attractive younger, less-experienced presidents may be, they simply exercise more bad judgment and make the kinds of mistakes that take years to correct and sometimes put our country in danger.

Take, for example, the threat to our national security posed by Osama bin Laden and the terrorists of al-Qaida:

• It was only a month into his first term that President Clinton was tested by al-Qaida. On Feb. 26, 1993, terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in New York, killing six and injuring 1,000. Some of the terrorists were trained at the Khalden terrorist camp in Afghanistan. They had hoped to kill 250,000. But this was treated as a local police matter.

• In October of that year, Somali warlords with al-Qaida trainers and weapons shot down two Black Hawk helicopters. Seventy-three Americans were wounded and 18 were killed, some of them shown on TV as they were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. But Clinton retreated and withdrew all U.S. forces. Said bin Laden later: “They planned for a long struggle, but the U.S. rushed out in shame.”

• In January 1995, Philippine police discovered that Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the Trade Center bombing, had another plan to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners over the ocean and crash a plane into CIA headquarters. Clinton’s government was made aware of the plot.

• In November 1995, a car bomb exploded at a joint Saudi-U.S. facility, killing five Americans.

• In June 1996, 19 Americans were killed and 372 wounded in a bombing at a housing complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, where U.S. forces were stationed. The attack was carried out by Saudi Hezbollah, with help from Iran and al-Qaida.

• In July 1996, the U.S. received from senior-level al-Qaida defectors intelligence on the creation, character, direction and intentions of al-Qaida.

• In February 1998, bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri issue a fatwa declaring “war on America” and making the murder of any American on earth the “individual duty” of every Muslim.

• In May 29, 1998, after a series of deadly bombings stretching back six years, and with bin Laden urging attacks on the U.S., Clinton’s CIA created a plan to raid and capture bin Laden at his Tarnak Farms compound in Afghanistan.

After months of planning and full rehearsals that went well, the raid was called off by CIA Director George Tenet and others who were worried about possible collateral damage and second-guessing and recriminations if bin Laden didn’t survive.

• On Aug. 7, 1998, al-Qaida blew up U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 200 and injuring 5,000. Clinton’s team decided to fire Tomahawk missiles at bin Laden’s training camp and a Sudan aspirin factory.

But they gave a 48-hour heads-up to Pakistan’s army chief of staff so that India wouldn’t think missiles were aimed at them. Forewarned, bin Laden and other leaders left, no terrorists were killed, and U.S. incompetence and ineffectiveness were on full display.

• On Dec. 20, 1998, intelligence learned that bin Laden would be at the Haii house in Kandahar, Afghanistan. But the U.S. passed on this opportunity, too, again fearing collateral damage and risk of failure. Clinton approved a plan by his national security advisor, Sandy Berger, to use tribals to capture bin Laden. But nothing happened.

• Next, the Pentagon created a plan to use a more precise HC130 gunship against bin Laden’s headquarters, but the plan was later shelved. Lt. General William Boykin later told the 9/11 Commission that “opportunities were missed due to an unwillingness to take risks, and a lack of vision and understanding.”

• On Feb. 10, 1999, CIA found out that bin Laden would be at a desert hunting camp the next morning. The military failed to act, however, because a United Arab Emirates aircraft was there and it was feared an Emirate prince or official might be killed.

• In May 1999, the CIA learned from several sources that bin Laden would be in Kandahar for five days. All agreed this would be the best chance to get him, but word came to stand down. It was believed Tenet and Clinton were still concerned about civilian collateral damage. A key project chief angrily said three opportunities were missed in 36 hours.

• In October 2000, the USS Cole was bombed, killing 17 U.S. sailors. No action was taken due to concerns expressed by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

All told, the Clinton administration had at least 10 chances to get bin Laden but repeatedly could not make the decision to act. Too many departments were involved, creating too much confusion, and no leader was strong enough to make the tough call. All were timid and overly concerned about repercussions if they failed.

The Clinton administration also allowed the selling of vital defense technology and secrets to China. Now the Chinese have silent submarines we can’t track.

Contrast this unwillingness to confront an enemy to the willingness of a more experienced, 62-year-old Harry Truman to defend Greece, beat the Soviet Union’s Berlin blockade and stop North Korea from taking over South Korea. Or to the resolve of Ronald Reagan, who in his 70s defeated the Soviet Union and freed 20 countries and 240 million people.

Based on what these more seasoned presidents achieved, we rate Reagan as our fifth-best president, Harry Truman seventh-best and Dwight Eisenhower our ninth-best. Eisenhower entered office in 1953 when he was 62 and served two terms as a popular and productive chief executive until age 70.

Our three youngest post-war presidents — Kennedy, Carter and Clinton — were all intelligent and well-educated. But they were also inexperienced in matters of national defense and security and far from successful in dealing with America’s hardened enemies. In some cases, they also failed to place competent people in Cabinet or advisory positions.

So, who would you rather have deal with and stand up to Putin’s Russia, Iran’s nukes, China’s emerging power and al-Qaida’s radical Islamic terrorists — someone in his 40s with little understanding of the military or someone in his 60s or 70s with sounder experience and judgment?

This concludes a five-part series that is available in its entirety at

Remember Why You’re a Patriot

FORT DIX, N.J. – I stepped outside my home one recent August evening to catch some cool night air. The next thing I knew the melancholy notes of “Taps” filled the air.

I had forgotten that at 10 p.m. every night at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., as in most military installations at nondeployed locations, the lone bugler or trumpet signals lights out.

With no shoes on, I could feel the dew seeping into my socks as I stood at attention with my hand over my heart as the music hit its waning notes. As the last note faded, I heard the hum of jet engines from a KC-10 Extender as it flew over my home.

“Here’s to you and all you’ve done,” I thought as the stillness returned to the evening. I was saluting all the men and women, the consummate patriots of this great land of ours, who died for America’s freedom.

The emotionally textured “Taps” combined with the aircraft flyover provided that strong reminder. I forgot about my wet feet as I thought about patriots and why I’m one.

I made my way to the cement step leading to the back door of my home and sat down. Being a patriot isn’t easy. It takes commitment to believe so strongly in your country that you’re willing to lay down your life for it. That is what it takes to serve in the military — the definition is actually one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.

I was nearly in tears. How lucky am I to be in America enjoying this cool beautiful night while my comrades are off in some foreign land helping others gain their own freedom? What did I do to deserve to be born, grow up and live in what I consider the greatest country in the world? That’s my personal belief but that’s also why I’m a patriot.

A breeze whipped up all of the sudden and sent a chill down my back. The chill made me think of a childhood friend I’d almost lost to a heart attack weeks earlier and a friend who’s supported me all these years.

I’ve known him since I was 4 years old when, as neighbors, we’d swap tricycles while out playing some 35 years ago. We’d gone to school together in my hometown in Michigan. We went hunting, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing and played a few thousand games of basketball against each other.

I was there with him when he battled cancer, and won, nearly 20 years ago. When I joined the military and was heading off for basic training more than 16 years ago, he organized a going-away party in my honor. He was also the best man at my wedding. He’s the best friend I’ll ever have.

It’s because of people like him that I serve; that I’m a patriot. He’s always supported me, been there when I needed him, and whenever I see him and talk to him, it’s like we’ve never been away from each other.

A half hour has passed, and I’m getting colder. There’s another blast of wind yet now I’m not chilly any more as my thoughts shift from my friend to my family.

I’ve often taken for granted how well my family treats me. My wife, for example, has been through deployments, long work hours and a load of other things during our marriage and my military career, yet she stands beside me as we move forward in life. She gives me strength and provides that “reality check” whenever I need it. I love her more every day we’re together. She is my co-patriot.

There are also my children and grandchildren. Whenever I look into their eyes, I see the patriots of the future. I see people who also love their country, and what it means to be a patriot. I can add in my parents, brothers, sister and extended family. They are all reasons why I want to be in the Air Force and why I’m a patriot. They inspire my patriotism.

By this time I figured it was time to call it a night and head indoors. I felt better for some reason after hearing the music, seeing the plane flyover and thinking about family and friends.

“I’m so lucky.” That’s all I could say to myself. I’m so lucky to have the opportunities I do and lucky to have the life of being a patriot of this country affords me.

On Patriot Day Sept. 11, I will not only remember the people who became heroes on Sept. 11, 2001, I will also remember their friends and families who supported them because that is why we are all patriots.

I encourage everyone, on Patriot Day and every day, to remember what makes you a patriot.

© Copyright 2008 Air Force Print News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Morning Bell: Toward a More Resilient Nation

Posted By Conn Carroll On September 11, 2008 @ 9:11 am In Protect America | 1 Comment

This evening John McCain and Barack Obama will appear together (but speak separately) as part of a [1] nationally televised forum at Columbia University in Manhattan. The two presidential candidates have promised to set aside politics to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and will instead lay out their personal visions on civic engagement and service. The candidates’ call for unity on this day is admirable, but the chosen topic of the event is also yet another missed opportunity for the American people to hear about how each candidate plans to protect our country from future attacks and disasters.

Energy, taxes and federal spending are all important issues that deserve the candidates time, but [2] the candidates have devoted almost no time to discussing their vision for improving homeland security. Despite this lack of attention, Americans still face threats from abroad (where al Qaeda has reconstituted itself in the border regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan) and at home (another hurricane is bearing down on Texas and California).

Seven years after 9/11 and more than five years after its creation, [3] the Department of Homeland Security is afflicted with high turnover and low morale. It has turned into a political football that [4] answers to 86 different congressional committees and subcommittees (by contrast, the Department of Defense answers to only 36 committees, and six of those handle 80% of the oversight). Too much attention is focused on DHS, which ought to be only one part of a much larger homeland security system that includes not just federal agencies like the the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Justice, Energy and State, but also state and local governments.

Due to its sheer size and growing population, the United States has many vulnerabilities. Spending billions to protect infrastructure does not make the nation invulnerable. It is impossible to protect every target, and a strategy predicated on protection is bound to fall short. For too long the federal government has been designating more and more items as “critical” infrastructure. If everything is critical, nothing is critical. Instead, the next administration should pursue [5] a strategy of resiliency. Heritage senior research fellow James Carafano explains: “[R]esiliency promises something much more achievable and important: sustaining society amid known threats and unexpected disasters. Indeed, the more complex the society and the more robust the nature of its civil society, the more it should adopt a strategy of resilience.”

Toward this end, Carafano [6] recommends:

  • Establishing improved public-private models for risk management that define reasonable roles for government and industry.
  • Encouraging bilateral cooperation to address liability issues.
  • Developing national and international forums for increasing collaboration.
  • Innovating to pave the way for resilient public infrastructure in the 21st century.

As we remember those we lost seven years ago, it is also a good time to reflect on what we can do better to protect all Americans from tomorrow’s threats, both natural and man-made. Hopefully, we’ll hear both candidates address these issues soon.

Quick Hits:

Obama Biden Watch – Volume 1 Issue 1 – January 2009

In This Issue:

  • Obama’s Inaugural Address Falls Flat?
  • Change We Can Believe In? Looks Like the Usual Suspects!
  • Obama’s First Actions Not Making America Safer
  • Geithner’s Tax Problems
  • Obama-Blagojevich Report Contradicts Public Record
  • Political Panetta at CIA?
  • Pelosi’s Power Grab
  • Bill Richardson Out As Commerce Secretary
  • Citizens United Productions Presents: Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny Documentary
  • Final Thoughts from Citizens United President David N. Bossie

Stay tuned for more updates as we will be updating this site frequently.

Copyright 2009 by Citizens United


And those dammed Democrats think they know more than the rest of us.  That they are smarter than we are.  That they know and understand the Constitution better than we do.


The Constitution was written by the Founding Fathers for a new country and its CITIZENS.

CITIZENS, not for foreign terrorists or illegal aliens.  Those terrorists currently set to be brought to New York for trial in civil courts. These are enemy combatants, they have no civil rights as applied to citizens and legal, foreign, residents.

Rep. Kucinich Says Everyone, Including Osama Bin Laden, Should Get the Same ‘Basic Rights’
Monday, November 23, 2009
By Nick Ballasy

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)

( – When asked whether al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden should have the right to remain silent and be given a lawyer, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told that everyone who is accused of a crime should have the same “basic rights” afforded by the U.S. Constitution..

On Capitol Hill on Nov. 19, asked Kucinich, “If and when the U.S. captures Osama Bin Laden, should he have the right to remain silent and be given a lawyer–told he can get a lawyer?”

Kucinich said: “I think that America does best when the values that we want other nations to share that we profess and stand by, and I think that every one who is accused of a crime should have the basic rights that are afforded. I mean, that’s what America’s about.”

“We can’t have one set of rules there and another set of rules there,” said Kucinich. “America is one set of rules. We abide by the Constitution, and I think that Constitution is our protection now and in the future.”

When asked the same question by on Nov. 19, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “Well, let’s see, how many years has it been? Nine, eight years. Let’s worry about capturing Bin Laden and not worry about your, your question.”

During a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 18, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Attorney General Eric Holder several questions about how the capture and legal handling of Osama Bin Laden might be handled and warned that, in his opinion, the United States is “making bad history” by trying 9/11 suspect Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian court.

When Graham asked whether the U.S. would try Bin Laden in a civilian court or military commission, Holder said he “didn’t know” and that the U.S. would have to “go through our protocol” before deciding what to do with the Islamic terrorist.

“If we captured bin Laden tomorrow, would he be entitled to Miranda warnings at the moment of capture?” Graham asked Holder. Holder’s response was “that all depends,” and Graham warned that the Obama administration’s new legal policy would confuse the military and the justice system.

“Well, it does not ‘depend,’” the senator said. “The big problem I have is that you’re criminalizing the war, that if we caught bin Laden tomorrow, we’d have mixed theories and we couldn’t turn him over—to the CIA, the FBI or military intelligence—for an interrogation on the battlefield, because now we’re saying that he is the subject to criminal court in the United States.

“And you’re confusing the people fighting this war,” Graham charged. Later, the senator added, “The only point I’m making (is) that if we’re going to use federal court as a disposition for terrorists, you take everything that comes with being in federal court.”

Holder announced last Friday that he had chosen to try Mohammed in federal court in the Southern District of New York, which includes Manhattan, where the attacks on the World Trade Center occurred in 2001.

Rep. Kucinich Says Everyone, Including Osama Bin Laden, Should Get the Same ‘Basic Rights’
Monday, November 23, 2009
By Nick Ballasy

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)

( – When asked whether al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden should have the right to remain silent and be given a lawyer, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told that everyone who is accused of a crime should have the same “basic rights” afforded by the U.S. Constitution..

On Capitol Hill on Nov. 19, asked Kucinich, “If and when the U.S. captures Osama Bin Laden, should he have the right to remain silent and be given a lawyer–told he can get a lawyer?”

Kucinich said: “I think that America does best when the values that we want other nations to share that we profess and stand by, and I think that every one who is accused of a crime should have the basic rights that are afforded. I mean, that’s what America’s about.”

“We can’t have one set of rules there and another set of rules there,” said Kucinich. “America is one set of rules. We abide by the Constitution, and I think that Constitution is our protection now and in the future.”

When asked the same question by on Nov. 19, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “Well, let’s see, how many years has it been? Nine, eight years. Let’s worry about capturing Bin Laden and not worry about your, your question.”

During a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 18, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Attorney General Eric Holder several questions about how the capture and legal handling


The Great Global Warming Swindle, Part 1

By Bob Ellis on July 20th, 2009

The Global Warming Swindle is a devastating rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” propaganda.

It was produced in 2007 by WAG TV, one of Great Britain’s top production companies, and provides testimony from many respected scientists which reveals the lack of foundation for global warming hysteria.

As Part 1 points out, the religion of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) has become the “new morality” of a politically correct age. No dissent will be tolerated, and is even viewed as dangerous by its acolytes.

This video pulls no punches when it says that despite the fact that “experts” like Al Gore tell us AGW is “settled science,”

You are being told lies.

In this video, you’ll hear from Professor Tim Ball of the Department of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg, Professor Nir Shaviv of the Institute of Physics at the University of Jerusalem, Lord Nigel Lawson of Blaby, Professor Ian Clark of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottowa, climate forecaster Dr Piers Corbyn, Professor John Christy of the IPCC, Professor Philip Stott of the Department of Biogeography at the University of London, Professor Paul Reiter of the IPCC and the Pasteur Institute in France, Professor Richard Lindzen from the IPCC and MIT, Professor Patrick Michaels of the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, economist and author James Shikwati, former New Scientist editor Nigel Calder, NASA Weather Satellite Team Leader Dr. Roy Spencer and even Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore.

The video points out how we have been force-fed a diet of AGW pap for years, and it’s a wonder that a solid majority of the public doesn’t believe this farce. As one scene from the BBC shows, we see the area in London near Parliament flooded from the Thames River, along with Trafalgar Square, and as someone who once lived in England and walked these areas a number of times, I can testify that it can be a little disconcerting to see places you know appearing to be flooded, even though you know it’s just special effects.

As you see in this video, even members of the IPCC point out that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (a UN group) is a political organization, that the number of people in the group is inflated, and that a number of members do not agree with the hysterical findings published by the leaders of the group.

Professor Shaviv points out that evidence indicates the earth once had three times as much or more CO2 in the atmosphere as we see today, yet these could not be blamed on human activity. Indeed, as the film points out, the earth has been considerably warmer in the last 1,000 years or so, and has been coming out of a “Little Ice Age” a few hundred years ago–all of this prior to SUVs, power plants or any industrial human activity.

Why does NASA perpetuate this bunk, especially when a great deal of their own data points to natural causes of climate change? As Dr. Spencer points out, “Climate scientists need there to be a problem in order to get funding.”

True believers in AGW like to claim that those of us who realize the theory doesn’t pass the smell test are simply minions of a powerful profit-driven oil industry. But the inconvenient truth they ignore is that there is even more money–free, easy, taxpayer money–flowing to the green movement based on the perpetuation of this fantasy. Their motives aren’t nearly so squeaky-clean as they would have you think.

As the narrator summarizes so well of the film, “This is a story of how a theory about climate turned into a political ideology.”

Over the next several days, I will post a new part of this important film at Dakota Voice. I hope you will come back for all the parts, if you have the courage to face the truth about this massive swindle.

The Great Global Warming Swindle, Part 2

By Bob Ellis on July 21st, 2009


Yesterday I shared Part 1 of The Global Warming Swindle, a devastating rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” propaganda.

he Global Warming Swindle was produced in 2007 by WAG TV, a top production company in Great Britain.  It features a host of expert scientific testimony from many respected scientists which shows the theory of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is full of hot air.

Part 2 begins by examining the “Little Ice Age” felt in the northern hemisphere about 200 years ago. The Thames River in London froze up so hard that people held “ice fairs” and other activities right on the frozen river.

Prior to that, temperatures during the Middle Ages were even warmer than they are today. It was warm enough for the Vikings to colonize Greenland and grow vineyards there.

The film also indicates that vineyards had been common in England. Having lived in England for three years during the late 1980s, I have seen first hand that England is really neither very warm nor very cold, so both the freezing of the Thames and warmth to grow vineyards are extremely out of the ordinary for modern times. Apparently climate can vary widely…and has done so…without the aid of human industrial activity.

Scientists say the earth was even warmer still–and for a longer period–during the Holocene age.

With regard to Twentieth Century warming, we see that the latest warming trend began before cars and modern industrial contributions came along, and most of the warming occurred before the post-World War II industrial boom.

CO2 production just doesn’t line up well with global temperature change.  Inconvenient, huh?

Professor Tim Ball of the Department of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg points out that greenhouse gases only make a up a small portion of the atmosphere, and CO2 is only a small portion of those greenhouse gasses.  And natural sources contribute far more CO2 than do human sources.

According to Professor John Christy of the IPCC, temperature in the upper atmosphere doesn’t match the expectations of the theory of anthropogenic global warming, either.  According to the theory, it should be much higher than it actually is. Satellites and weather balloon data both tell us this.












The Great Global Warming Swindle, Part 3

By Bob Ellis on July 22nd, 2009

The past few days I have been sharing parts of The Global Warming Swindle at Dakota Voice.  The Global Warming Swindle presents a clear look at the hysteria surrounding the theory of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming and features testimony from many respected scientists.

In Part 3 we see a bit of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” propaganda film. Ice core data and the comparison of CO2 and temperature are a key component of Gore’s contention.

We didn’t really get the whole picture from Gore, though.

Dr. Ian Clark of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottowa is a leading arctic paleoclimatologist and he took a look at this ice core data and found that the link was the opposite of what Al Gore claimed.

In other words, the data shows that CO2 increases aren’t driving temperatures, but rather temperature increases are driving CO2 increases.

Several addition ice core studies have found the same thing: CO2 levels following–not driving–temperature changes.

How can this be?  After all, the “mainstream” media and pop culture have for years fed us a rich diet of pap which claims CO2 drives temperature.

Well, CO2 is a natural substance.  It is generated by you and me and animals and many other natural sources, including volcanoes which make human contributions pale in comparison.  Dying vegetation and the oceans release countless tons of it.  Even all life on earth is carbon-based.

Professor Carl Wunsch of the Department of Oceanography at MIT says the oceans both absorb large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere and release large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. He says if the ocean is heated, it tends to release carbon dioxide (which might explain why CO2 rises follow temperature increases, which also tend to follow solar activity).  The ocean covers the vast majority of the earth, and so not only has a large influence on global conditions, but because of that immense size, changes often lag for hundreds of years.

Solar physicist Dr. Piers Corbyn decided to try monitoring solar activity to predict global climate patterns and found it remarkably accurate.  Historical data going back hundreds of years indicates a correlation between sunspot/solar activity and global temperatures.




The Great Global Warming Swindle, Part 4

By Bob Ellis on July 23rd, 2009

Four centuries of solar activity (Credit: Robert A. Rohde)

In our continuing look at The Great Global Warming Swindle, we move from Part 3 into Part 4 today.

At the end of Part 3, we began looking at solar physicist Dr. Piers Corbyn’s successful efforts to predict climate change based on solar activity.  Part 4 picks up with a look at the “Maunder Minimum” in the 1600s and 1700s when sunspots became very rare…and temperatures also dropped very low.

Corbyn said he gambled on the weather through the William Hill gaming organization, and won again and again.

Over the course of the Twentieth Century, solar activity and temperature tracked remarkably close together.

But Professor Eigil Friis-Christensen of the Danish National Space Center wanted to look even farther back to see if there was a long-standing pattern, so they looked at 400 years worth of observations.  Again, temperatures and solar activity tracked with one another.

Professor Nir Shaviv of the Institute of Physics at the University of Jerusalem took a look at information concerning cosmic rays and cloud formation (cosmic rays play an important role in cloud formation) along with temperature records.

They found that when cosmic rays went down, temperatures went up, and vice versa.  Which makes perfect sense, since increased solar activity tends to push cosmic rays away from earth, and with the (a) increase in solar activity, and (b) increase in temperatures, and (c) decrease in cosmic rays, we saw (d) less cloud formation.

CO2 and temperature do not correlate well, but solar activity and temperature are remarkably similar.

So why the hysteria over the theory of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming the the religious belief that human industrial activity is causing the planet to warm dangerously?

The film turns to the origin of the theory to help answer this vexing question.  The examination begins in the 1970s with information like “The Weather Machine” which was shown on the BBC, predicting global cooling, a coming ice age, etc.

About the only person saying anything to the contrary was a Swedish scientist who predicted that industrial activity producing large amounts of carbon dioxide might warm the earth.  He was written off by most of the scientific community, since the “settled science” of that day was “global cooling”…until temperatures started to rise.

And a new religion of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) was born.



Saudi female journalist gets 60 lashes RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

– A Saudi court on Saturday sentenced a female journalist to 60 lashes who had been charged with involvement in a TV show in which a Saudi man publicly talked about sex. Rozanna al-Yami is believed to be the first Saudi woman journalist to be given such a punishment, but there were conflicting accounts about how the court issued its verdict. Al-Yami told The Associated Press it was her understanding that the judge at the court in the western city of Jiddah dropped the charges against her, which included involvement in the preparation of the program and advertising the segment on the Internet. But she said he still handed down the lashing sentence “as a deterrence.” “I am too frustrated and upset to appeal the sentence,” said al-Yami, 22. Al-Yami worked as a coordinator for the program, but she has said she did not work on the sex-show episode. Al-Yami refused to provide contact details for her lawyer to ask about the legal proceedings, including the basis in Islamic law for the punishment and whether the charges were really dropped. Sulaiman al-Jumeii, the lawyer for the man who appeared in the TV show, said such “physical punishment is not an indication of innocence or a drop of charges.” “If the judge had dropped the charges, then why did he give her the 60 lashes?” he added. Abdul-Rahman al-Hazza, the spokesman of the Ministry of Culture and Information, told the AP he had no details of the sentencing and could not comment on it. In the program, which aired in July on the Lebanese LBC satellite channel, the man, Mazen Abdul-Jawad appears to describe an active sex life and shows sex toys that were blurred by the station. The same court sentenced Abdul-Jawad earlier this month to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes. Al-Jumeii maintains his client was duped by the TV station and was unaware in many cases he was being recorded. On Saturday, he told the AP that not trying al-Yami before a court specialized in media matters at the Ministry of Culture and Information was a violation of Saudi law. “It is a precedent to try a journalist before a summary court for an issue that concerns the nature of his job,” he said. The case has scandalized this ultraconservative country where such public talk about sex is taboo and the sexes are strictly segregated. The government moved swiftly in the wake of the case, shutting down LBC’s two offices in the kingdom and arresting Abdul-Jawad, who works for the national airline. Three other men who appeared on the show, “Bold Red Line,” were also convicted of discussing sex publicly and sentenced to two years imprisonment and 300 lashes each. Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

Dick Morris: Secret Poll Data Shows Obama Care Can Be Stopped

The Patriot Update <>

Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 18:54


To: “” <>

Dear Reader:

Congressional Democrats and Barack Obama are on the verge of passing the most radical takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy ever undertaken.

The Obamacare “reform” plan not only imperils our economy, it will wreak havoc on your health and well-being. Imagine a government bureaucrat deciding whether you or a loved one getting a life-saving medical procedure!

Dick Morris, the chief strategist of the League of American Voters, has discovered that a key reason polls show some support for the Obama program is that young voters are ignorant of its dangers and costs.

Dick has a plan for us to reach young voters. We need to implement this plan soon and we need your financial support and membership.

Remember, Dick and the League was outfront on the importance of exposing Obamacare to elderly voters. We have won that battle — as most Seniors strongly oppose Obamacare.

Now we must fight to educate our young people.

Please help us do this and donate — Go Here Now.

And please read Dick’s important column about this effort below.

Bob Adams
Executive Director



As the healthcare fight reaches the Senate floor, we took a new national survey to figure out how best to battle against this proposal that would so deform our nation’s vital healthcare system. We found out how to do it: Reach young people.

Our work, and that of the League of American Voters – with whom we are affiliated but have no financial relationship – have been aimed at the elderly in the past few months. As a result of these and other efforts, the elderly now oppose Obamacare by more than twenty points (31-54 in our poll). The survey shows that we have about gotten all the support from them we are going to get. Some of those over 65 are just masochists who will sit by and watch their Medicare and Medicare Advantage get shredding to bits.

But voters under 30 are a different story. The polling showed that they start off supporting Obamacare more than any other age group:

But, it turns out their strong 2:1 support for the program is based on an almost total ignorance of what it calls for.

After we read them (in the poll) a fair and unbiased description of the program, their support faded.

Here’s what we read to them:

The healthcare bill, pushed by President Obama and the Democrats, would require everyone to buy health insurance or pay a fine for failing to do so.

People could keep their current insurance if their employer provided it and agreed to continue it. Insurance companies would be required to insure all applicants regardless of pre-existing conditions. People would be offered subsidies to buy insurance if their household incomes were below $70,000 a year and if their insurance cost more than 8% of their incomes ($5600 for a $70,000 a year family). The program will cost one trillion over ten years.

This plain vanilla rendition of what Obama proposes had a startling impact! Voters under 30, who had approved of the plan by 58-30 before they heard the description, now backed it by only 55-40, a loss of 13 points!

Then we read voters a list of all the arguments pro and con on the bill. We alternated the arguments to be sure that nobody could see any bias in the poll. After the arguments, the views of all other age groups were largely unchanged. But people under 30 now said they opposed the bill by 43-45 – a mega-shift of 30 points!

So…our strategy will be to replicate this process, only in reality.

We will run television and radio ads and Internet messages aimed at young voters to educate them about this bill.

Will the Congressional Democrats listen? Without the support of the young, polls will reflect the massive unpopularity of this bill. With each drop in its approval, you can hear the liberals groan. If the polling shows approval dropping into the 30s – and as young people switch it will – we can defeat this bill on the floor!

Based on the same polling techniques I use to win elections, we have discovered Obama’s vulnerable underbelly – his base of uninformed young voters. And we will hammer away — with your help.

This process won’t be inexpensive. It costs a lot to reach young people, but with your financial help, we can do it.

Please GO HERE NOW and give as generously as you can. The healthcare you save might very well be your own!

Note from the League: We need to prepare a new TV ad and internet campaign exposing the dangers of Obamacare to young Americans. Help Dick Morris complete this plan. Donate today — Go Here Now.

Paid for by the League of American Voters. Contributions to the League of American Voters are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Contributions from individuals and corporations are permitted by law and welcome.

League of American Voters    |    722 12th Street N.W.    |    Fourth Floor    |    Washington, D.C. 20005

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Pick a sex and stay with it.  Get your travel documents to match your chosen sex and stick with it or stay home.  Real simple….

U.N. Report Says Counterterrorism Measures ‘Risk Unduly Penalizing Transgender Persons’
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
By Adam Brickley

( – A report by U.N. Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinin that is awaiting approval by the United Nations General Assembly says that security measures taken to detect terrorists “risk unduly penalizing transgender persons whose personal appearance and data are subject to change.”

The report, which was issued August 3, places emphasis on “persons of diverse sexual orientation and gender identities” and recommends that counterterrorism operations be more sensitive to gender issues.

On page 19 the report says: “Enhanced immigration controls that focus attention on male bombers who may be dressing as females to avoid scrutiny make transgender persons susceptible to increased harassment and suspicion.”

Just a few sentences later, Scheinin writes that “counter-terrorism measures that involve increased travel document security, such as stricter procedures for issuing, changing and verifying identity documents, risk unduly penalizing transgender persons whose personal appearance and data are subject to change.”

“This,” he claims, “jeopardizes the right of persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities to recognition before the law”

Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, blasted the report in an interview with

“It strikes me as a parody of U.N. political correctness and sexual universality,” Gaffney said, “and it’s just hard for me to believe that anybody thinks that these notions actually should trump security concerns – as I think it’s only too clear that … the people who are trying to blow us up have absolutely no use for any of these sexual proclivities.”

Gaffney also pointed out that terrorists “would be only too delighted to take advantage – indeed we’ve seen them taking advantage – of burqas and other subterfuges to disguise their malign intents.”

The report also takes aim at perceived gender roles, suggesting that counter-terror practices involving both sexes be reevaluated due to their basis in traditional perceptions of gender.

One passage, beginning on page 13, says that “the United Kingdom anti-radicalization initiatives seeking to include Muslim women as counter-terrorism agents on the basis of their position ‘at the heart not only of their communities but also of their families,’ may reinforce stereotypical gender norms about roles of women within the family.”

“Instead,” Scheinin writes, “participation should be grounded on principles of gender equality, recognizing the unique gendered impacts of both terrorism and counter-terrorism measures.”

Scheinin also slams the use of women’s rights as a justification for counter-terror operations, writing on page 14 that “counter-terrorism measures that are characterized as being a fight for women’s rights (such as the United States portrayal of its “war on terror” in Afghanistan in 2001) should be closely scrutinized, to ensure that they are not misinformed by gender-cultural stereotypes and are actually responsive to the concerns of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals in local contexts.”

The use of masculine gender roles in counterterrorism draws Scheinin’s ire on page 18, where he writes that “techniques that seek to evoke feelings of emasculation in detainees or suspected terrorists may hinder the fight against terrorism by provoking hyper-masculine responses that include acceptance or advocacy of violence.”

Steven Groves, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, expressed a lack of surprise at the report, saying that it was comparable with Scheinin’s past work for the UN and typical of the UN Human Rights Council.

“Instead of the Human Rights Council focusing how the human rights of people who are blown apart by terrorists impact people’s human rights,” Groves said, “they created a new office for someone to go and make sure that the terrorists’ human rights, and the human rights of almost everyone else – except for the victims of terrorism – are being protected, and so that is (Scheinin’s) mission.”

“That he would stray into some wrong-headed report about gender stereotypes as part of his mandate on counterterrorism isn’t a surprise to me,” Groves continued, “this is the way that the United Nations and the Human Rights Council work.”

Still, Frank Gaffney was flabbergasted by Scheinin’s report, saying, “I find this truly absurd and appalling.”

The report is currently pending approval by the U.N. General Assembly, and has reported that social conservatives are mounting a campaign against it due to its redefinition of gender.

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The Bogus Death Statistic That Won’t Die
By Michelle Malkin
October 23, 2009

Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida has found his calling: death demagogue. First, he accused Republicans of wanting sick patients to “die quickly.” Next, he likened health insurance problems to a “holocaust in America.” Now, he’s unveiled a new website entitled “” in memory of the “more than 44,000 Americans [who] die simply because they have no health insurance.”

Just one problem: The statistic is a phantom number. Grayson’s memorial, like the Democrats’ government health care takeover plan itself, is full of vapor. It comes from a study published this year in the American Journal of Public Health. But the science is infused with left-wing politics.

Two of the co-authors, Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, are avowed government-run health care activists. Himmelstein co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program, which bills itself as “the only national physician organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to implementing a single-payer national health program.” Woolhandler is a co-founder and served as secretary of the group.

Sounding more like a organizer than a disinterested scientist, Woolhandler assailed the current health reform legislation in Congress for not going far enough: “Politicians are protecting insurance industry profits by sacrificing American lives.”

How did these political doctors come up with the 44,000 figure? They used data from a health survey conducted between 1988 and 1994. The questionnaires asked a sample of 9,000 participants whether they were insured and how they rated their own health. The federal Centers for Disease Control tracked the deaths of people in the sample group through the year 2000. Himmelstein, Woolhandler and company then crunched the numbers and attributed deaths to lack of health insurance for all the participants who initially self-reported that they had no insurance and then died for any reason over the 12-year tracking period.

At no time did the original researchers or the single-payer activists who piggy-backed off their data ever verify whether the supposed casualties of America’s callous health care system had insurance or not. In fact, here is what the report actually says:

“Our study has several limitations,” the authors concede. The survey data they used “assessed health insurance at a single point in time and did not validate self-reported insurance status. We were unable to measure the effect of gaining or losing coverage after the interview.” Himmelstein et al. simply assumed that point-in-time uninsurance translates into perpetual uninsurance — and that any health calamities that result can and must be blamed on being uninsured.

Another caveat you won’t see on Grayson’s memorial to the dubious dead: The single-payer advocate-authors also conceded in their study limitations section that “earlier population-based surveys that did validate insurance status found that between 7 percent and 11 percent of those initially recorded as being uninsured were misclassified. If present, such misclassification might dilute the true effect of uninsurance in our sample.”

To boil it all down in plain English: The single-payer scientists had no way of assessing whether the survey participants received insurance coverage between the time they answered the questionnaires and the time they died. They had no way of assessing whether the deaths could have been averted with health insurance coverage. A significant portion of those classified as “uninsured” may not have been uninsured, based on past studies that actually did verify insurance status. But the Himmelstein team just took the rate of uninsurance from the original study (3.3 percent), applied it to census data and voila: More than 44,000 Americans are dying from lack of insurance.

Next, the political doctors cooked up scary-specific death tolls for all 50 states (California — 5,302, Texas — 4,675). Newspapers dutifully cited the fear-mongering factoids. The single-payer lobbying group co-founded by Himmelstein and Woolhandler took it from there. Last month, the group set up its own memorial on the National Mall for the phantom 44,000 casualties of uninsurance.

Himmelstein (who was also the driving force behind another flawed study tying medical debt to personal bankruptcies) eschewed scientific nuance and caveats to take to the airwaves and declare starkly that an American “dies every 12 minutes” because of lack of insurance. And now Grayson has taken the monumentally dishonest concept online to solicit sob stories and put flesh on the weak bones of these dubious death numbers.

Where’s the White House health care “reality check” squad when you need it?

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2009).



Note — The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of GOPUSA.


Look who’s married to Obama’s media ‘controller’
Official attacking network, anti-‘birther’ lawyer a couple

Posted: October 20, 2009
9:01 pm Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Anita Dunn

Attacking Fox News and defending President Obama is a family affair for Anita Dunn, the White House communications director who has blasted Fox as an arm of the Republican Party and talked about “controlling” the news media.

She’s married to Robert Bauer, the chief of the political law group at Perkins Coie, the Seattle law firm hired by the White House to defend Obama in court cases challenging his “natural born” citizenship status and thus, his eligibility under the U.S. Constitution to be president.

Dunn is targeting Fox News with criticisms emanating from the administration that it isn’t even a news network, while Bauer has done his best to prevent the American public from seeing a wide range of Obama’s records that could prove, or disprove, his eligibility to occupy the Oval Office.

// // //

Documents concerning Obama that the White House has refused to release to the public include his long-form birth certificate and his passport records. Other records unreleased records that may be relevant include records regarding Obama’s possible adoption by his Indonesian stepfather and college application and tuition financial aid records that would reveal whether Obama was ever registered as a foreign student.

Read “The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama’s War on American Values”

WND previously has reported that Federal Election Commission records show $1,352,378.95 in payments were made by Obama for America to Perkins Coie while the law firm was representing him in various court cases which have sought to obtain  his long-form birth certificate.

Obama for America, Obama’s 2008 political campaign, merged with the Democratic National Committee in January and is now known as Organizing

for America. The grassroots army that some refer to as “Obama 2.0” continues to solicit financial contributions on the website.

Bauer, a Democratic Party partisan, has a long history of defending Democratic Party presidential hopefuls.

A biography for Bauer posted on the Perkins Coie website indicates he was general counsel to the Democratic National Committee during the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry and that he served as counsel to Sen. Tom Daschle, the Democratic leader in the impeachment trial proceedings of President Bill Clinton.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Bauer functioned as an “attack lawyer,” threatening with FEC complaints groups wanting to run anti-Obama television ads.

Also during the 2008 presidential campaign, Bauer as counsel for the Obama campaign wrote letters to television station managers and to Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General John Keeney arguing that airing an anti-Obama ad pointing to the known association between Obama and Weather Underground radical Bill Ayers would violate federal election rules.

Also during the 2008 campaign, Bauer intervened on behalf of Obama to block the California-based American Leadership Project from running a television ad campaign over support from unions, including the Service Employees International Union.

Again, Bauer filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that the union-funded television campaign the American Leadership Project planned to run in Indiana against Obama was illegal under federal election laws.

In addition to representing Obama on eligibility cases, Bauer also is hired as legal counsel to represent the president in the criminal probe going on into the activities of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Last year, Bauer was at the center of the controversy over Obama’s decision to reverse course on his promise to accept public financing for his presidential campaign after a meeting with Sen. John McCain’s attorney, Trevor Potter, when Bauer claimed McCain did not want to reach a compromise on the issue.

The McCain campaign sharply criticized Bauer’s characterization of the meeting.

In June 2007, Bauer authored a piece in Huffington Post regarding Vice President Dick Cheney’s aide, Scooter Libby, arguing that liberals should not oppose a White House pardon because a pardon would draw President George W. Bush directly into the case, with the potential the “presidential fingerprints” could become politically explosive.

WND previously reported Dunn’s statements that Obama’s presidential campaign focused on “making” the news media cover certain issues by controlling messages through videos produced and distributed by David Plouffe.

// // //

Read More »



YouTube Cooking the Books on Obama Worship Video?

By Bob Ellis on September 24th, 2009

If you’ve been around the internet for long, you know that Google is like most major media organizations today: liberal to the core.  They ignore patriotic holidays with their rotating search engine logos, conservative websites seem to have an unusually hard time getting good coverage in search rankings, and so on.

Maybe you also heard about the video of schoolchildren being led in a worshipful song about Barack Obama that was reminiscent of “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”  That video disappeared from YouTube earlier this morning…only to be replaced by someone who had the foresight to download a copy of it before it disappeared.

Now comes word from Selwyn Duke at RenewAmerica of some funny business with the viewership stats on this video at YouTube.

Duke said he checked the video himself and saw only 363 hits at 1:04 pm…while it had 2,279 comments.  What’s wrong with this picture?  Even touchy-feely liberal self-esteem-friendly math can’t seem to account for this.

So he tracked it further…

I tracked the video a bit myself. Now, remember that it had 363 hits at 1:04 p.m. Here’s what I found.

  • Approximately 1:25 p.m.: the video still supposedly had only 363 hits but had 2,500 comments.
  • 1:39 p.m.: still only 363 hits but 2,668 comments.
  • 2:16 p.m.: 363 hits but 3,018 comments.

You get the idea.

Yes, we do get the idea.

Is it just a glitch at YouTube? Or is it a clumsy but deliberate attempt by Leftist Google to keep the hit ranking of this video low so that it doesn’t make “Top Video” listings which would give it even more exposure?

Liberals feel a virtually irresistible compulsion to protect their Obamessiah from blasphemy or other negative comments, so it seems quite credible that Google doesn’t want the Obamessiah receiving any more negative exposure than he already is through this video.

It ain’t easy being a truth-teller in an age of liberal dominance…but it’s worth it all the same!

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WXRGina Today 05:58 PM

HA! Last night when I saw this video linked off of Drudge, I noticed the number of hits on it was very low, though I can’t remember the actual number, it was only a few hundred. I was thinking this video is on DRUDGE, and this hit-count can’t be right! I thought the same thing then that you and Selwyn are saying. I knew this would “hit the fan” today, and I’m not surprised You Tube tried to bury it. These evil maniacs on the left are unbridled in their fervor to protect Obamination’s image. But, it ain’t workin’! The horse is out of the barn!