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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

New Presidential Limo

Made in Crawford, Texas...

School Choice: Learning from Other Countries

From David Salisbury, the director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute:
Debates about how to reform American education seldom consider the experiences of other nations. In the United States, the federal government is trying to force reform on schools through the No Child Left Behind Act. States and teachers unions are in open revolt against the act's requirements. Utah recently passed a law that would place state law above federal guidelines. Meanwhile, many countries have moved ahead of the United States by rejecting the top-down approach to education. Quite a few of these nations are producing promising results.

'Deep Throat' Reportedly Comes Forward

From the Associated Press:

A former FBI official claims he was "Deep Throat," the long-anonymous source who leaked secrets about President Nixon's Watergate coverup to The Washington Post, Vanity Fair reported Tuesday.

Missing the Point: Federal Funding of Stem Cell Research

Good article by the only remaining conservative in Congress. It just has to get pretty lonely up there.

Frist's Lousy Week

From Washington Prowler:

"It hasn't been the best week," says a Republican leadership aide. "But Senator Frist isn't the one conservatives ought to be attacking."

Maverick John McCain

A five-year-old parody from the Rush Limbaugh archives...

The McCain Myth

From Brendan Miniter, the assistant editor of OpinionJournal.com:

Having helped broker the Great Senate Compromise last week, Sen. John McCain is back in the media limelight, winning the usual accolades for bucking his party. But the deal by 14 "moderates" doesn't just preserve the judicial filibuster and allow confirmation of a few of President Bush's "extremist" nominees. It also reveals that the myth the McCainiacs hoped would propel their man into the Oval Office in 2000 still endures, despite evidence of successive elections to the contrary.

The myth is simply that the only way to win elections is to draw voters from the other party by bucking a few of your own party's principles. Call it "maverick moderatism," but this belief has been the foundation for Mr. McCain's strategy for achieving national office and has given us great ideas like the recent iteration of campaign finance reform, opposition to some tax cuts and dogged attacks by Mr. McCain on some military expenditures. It's also the foundation of many pundits' advice to the president that he pick more "moderate" judges, give up on using payroll taxes to create private Social Security accounts, and trim his sails on fighting terrorism by spreading freedom.

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Gipper

"Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery with its row on row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.... Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach and Salerno and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam. Under one such marker lies a young man -- Martin Treptow -- who left his job in a small-town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire. We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading 'My Pledge,' he had written these words: 'America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone'."

Ronald Reagan

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Instituting a flat tax benefits you

From Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey:

President Bush is calling for a complete overhaul of the broken U.S. tax code, and his Advisory Panel is holding hearings to make recommendations for reform. As I testified to the Panel earlier this month, instituting the flat tax is the right answer.

McCain Urging Accord on Bolton and Secret Documents

From the New York Times:

One of John R. Bolton's leading Republican backers, Senator John McCain of Arizona, signaled his support on Friday for a compromise in which the White House might allow Senate leaders access to highly classified documents in return for a final vote early next month on Mr. Bolton's nomination as United Nations ambassador.

Hillary's bucks

From Robert Novak:

Sen. Hillary Clinton has cornered Eastern and Midwestern Democratic contributors, helping to make her the prohibitive early favorite for the 2008 presidential nomination.

Right wing sets sights on McCain, 'betrayers'

From the Winston-Salem Journal:

Richard Land, James Dobson and Paul Weyrich are angry - angry at "activist" judges who they say are legislating from the bench, angry at Democrats who try to derail judicial nominations and angry at Republicans who allowed the filibuster to survive.

Transmission line powers debate on scenic views

From the Winston-Salem Journal:

When it is complete, Duke Power Co.'s new 100,000-volt transmission line will run six miles through King and the southwestern corner of Stokes County, and will impair some property-owners' views of Pilot Mountain.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Clinton Finance Director Acquitted of Fundraising Charges

From Fox News:

The former national finance director for Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign was acquitted Friday of lying to the government about a lavish 2000 Hollywood fundraising gala.

Steep Price for Tax Conformity

From John Hood's syndicated weekly column:

When the North Carolina Senate passed its 2005-07 state budget, its revenue provisions proved to be broadly unpopular.

The McCain mutiny

From Thomas Sowell:

After all the glowing words surrounding the Senate "compromise" in which the Republicans folded their hand despite holding all the high cards, it is worth taking a look at who won what and why.

Weepy Voinovich Begs for 'No' Vote on Bolton

From CNSNews.com:

The thought that John Bolton might be confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations brought one Republican senator to the brink of tears on Wednesday.

RE: Thune says he will oppose Bolton nomination

Steve Brenneis opines:

Apparently South Dakota decided to replace a Democrat moron with a Republican moron. How nice for the rest of us.

Of course since there is no leadership in the GOP right now, Thune will be allowed to get away with this.

And people wonder why I left the party.

Thune says he will oppose Bolton nomination

From AberdeenNews.com:

Sen. John Thune of South Dakoka said Thursday that he would vote against the nomination of John Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations, hinting his vote is a protest against the Pentagon's recommendation to close Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City.

Mr. Narcissus Goes to Washington

From Peggy Noonan, a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal:

You've heard the mindless braying and fruitless arguments, but I'm here to tell you the facts, no matter what brickbats and catcalls may come my way. Lindsey Graham defied the biases of his constituency to do what was right, not what was easy. Robert Byrd put aside personal gain to save our Republic. David Pryor ignored the counsels of hate to stand firm for our hopes and dreams. Mike DeWine protected our way of life. These men are uniters, not dividers.

On the Stupid Restaurant Industry

From John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation:

The restaurant industry is being incredibly stupid by opposing a smoking ban that would actually increase restaurant patronage — or so says the would-be banners. The argument is faulty.

The flinch heard 'round the world

Charles is uncharacteristically wry in this piece. I like it!

Here's a Tax We Can All Agree On

Most excellent article from one of my heroes, the Republican Reptile himself, P.J. O'Rourke.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Legislative Lowdown -- Week of May 23

From the Heritage Foundation:

During a recent interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” former President Bill Clinton offered his fellow Democrats some presumably unwelcome tactical advice on Social Security reform. Challenging the “just say no” strategy that Democrats have followed thus far, Clinton said: “I think the Democrats should say what they are for on Social Security in the next couple weeks.” Most significantly, Clinton suggested that the Democratic plan “should include an opportunity for people to participate in savings and ownership.”

It's Not Caged, Pre-Chewed Grass on Display

From Dr. Karen Palasek of the John Locke Foundation:

It's almost too much fun to write about kudzu. The care and feeding of kudzu has taken on a mythology that rivals that of Audrey, the horticultural star of the sci-fi, romantic-comedy, horror/thriller Little Shop of Horrors. There are some eerie parallels between kudzu and the alien plant in Little Shop, especially the original 1960 B&W version.

What left-wing PBS bias?

From Ann Coulter:

Bill Moyers, the lamented, demented former host of the PBS program "Now With Bill Moyers," referred to the American-led war in Iraq as doing "to the people of Baghdad what bin Laden did to us."

The Great Senate Con Job of 2005

From Roy Lofquist of The American Thinker:

The denouement of the filibuster kerfuffle has caused an epidemic of twisted britches, purple faces and befuddled expressions. Observers are perplexed and divided for a very good reason. It is a quite deliberate outcome, reflecting a long established if seldom-admitted political strategy.

America betrayed: the judicial filibuster “compromise”

From Christopher G. Adamo of The American Thinker:

It will be some time before the full impact of this week’s sellout by seven so-called “moderate” Republicans in the U.S. Senate becomes completely apparent. The plan to break Democrat filibusters of judicial nominees was, in reality, no less than a Republican fight to restore the integrity of the Constitution. But in the face of the Republican defections, Democrats will now credibly claim to have protected it, and the nation as a whole, from the ravages of Republican “extremism.”

The Activist Fallacy

From R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator, a contributing editor to the New York Sun, and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute:

Drat. The battle royal I predicted last week is off in the U. S. Senate. The battle was to be fought between the Democrats and the Republicans over what conservatives call "the Constitutional option" and the liberals call "the nuclear option." That it was reported throughout the media as the "nuclear option" is still more evidence that the media are liberal. Obviously the argument over whether the media are liberal or not is another of America's unnecessary debates.

Tyranny of the Moderates

From George Neumayr, the executive editor of The American Spectator:

Politicians who believe the least should determine the most in Washington, D.C. That's the chattering class's mindless conceit, apparent in its explosion of gaudy tributes to "moderates" this week. No sooner had the Senate's college of cardinals struck their deal on judges than the David Broders were breathlessly expressing their fervent hope that moderates would form the new dominant "shaping force" in American politics. These are men and women of "national stature," "elders," sage guardians of "national consensus," went the tributes.

Get Down to Budget Specifics

From John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation:

I’ve said it several times this week, in several different forums: fiscal conservatives are credible only to the extent that they are specific. One of the worst spectacles in politics is to see a politician thunder against tax increases and promise to protect or raise government spending, resorting to the old stand-by of "waste, fraud, and abuse" when asked how their numbers can add up.

Jay Leno

Funny stuff from Jay Leno... Roll


Steve Brenneis opines:

I have a question.

During the campaign last year, John Kerry and his daughter took a beating in the ring of public opinion over her appearance at some function wearing a see-through dress and no bra. I thought it pretty inappropriate at the time, but I also thought a whole lot was being made of very little (no pun intended).

I'm not sure where Andy got this picture, but the Bush twin on the right (I can never keep them straight) is wearing something no less revealing and I haven't heard anything about it.

What's the deal? Granted, young Miss Bush is far more attractive than young Miss Kerry (was that her name?), but is that all it takes? Or is it that the Bush machine is far better at spinning away offspring nipple faux pas than the Kerry machine was?

Inquiring minds want to know.


From The Borowitz Report:

Just days after First Lady Laura Bush was heckled during her diplomatic mission to the Middle East, Bush twins Barbara and Jenna Bush cut short a Middle Eastern trip of their own as the White House acknowledged that sending the fun-loving twins to the volatile region was "a really bad idea."

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Professor disputes Holocaust

Jihad Jane is at it again. This woman is a fascist. NC Wesleyan is doing serious damage to their reputation by allowing her to remain. The regents should dump her and the chancellor/president as well.

America's Self-Imposed Energy Shortage

From Ben Lieberman, a senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation:

Many think America is suffering from an unavoidable energy shortage. In truth, we’re failing to harness the energy we have.

RE: A compromised party

Steve Brenneis opines:

If everyone keeps saying this, maybe someone will get the message:

The solution to this whole problem is to repeal the seventeenth amendment. States regain their rights, US Senators stop acting like rock stars, the political dialog gets elevated back to the business of the people.

I hope I live to see it, but I'm not holding my breath.

Replacing Reality

From Alan Reynolds, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and a nationally syndicated columnist:

When President Bush tackled Social Security reform, he surely expected the usual denial and deceit from AARP and do-nothing Democrats. What he probably did not anticipate was an even more vehement defense of the status quo from conservative attorney Peter Ferrara, a longtime advocate of personal accounts.

A compromised party

From Dr. Thomas Sowell:

The Senate Democrats hung tough and the Republicans wimped out. The Republicans had the votes but they didn't have the guts.

G.O.P. Senator Sends Letter to Colleagues Opposing Bolton

From The New York Times:

The Ohio Republican whose opposition to John R. Bolton as United Nations ambassador nearly stalled his nomination in committee took a new swipe at him today, circulating a letter urging colleagues to vote against Mr. Bolton when his name reaches the Senate floor, possibly this week.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Preventing a Nightmare Scenario: Terrorist Attacks Using Russian Nuclear Weapons and Materials

From The Heritage Foundation:

Radical Islamist organizations are seeking nuclear weapons. That they might obtain or build one is the nightmare scenario.

Thus we have a "Russian problem," writes Ariel Cohen. Soviet-era "nuclear, chemical, and biological material stor­age facilities often were--and still are--protected by nothing more than a padlock, an impoverished conscript, or a retirement-age guard."

Cohen lays out the framework of a seven-point plan to contain the threat of loose nukes by building on the Proliferation Security Initiative, expanding funding for the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, and stepping up intelligence and public diplomacy.

Fighting this threat may be more challenging than any Cold War task, concludes Cohen, but "The United States and its allies have no alternative."

State Should Stop Targeting Wal-Mart

From Tim Kane, a research fellow in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation:
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. surely will catch flak for vetoing the "Wal-Mart bill."

Federal Stem Cell Research: What Taxpayers Should Know

From The Heritage Foundation:

We are in the midst of a major national debate on stem cell research. There are a variety of ethical and religious views on this issue, and these perspectives are important. But there are also practical and scientific issues. The Heritage Foundation recently hosted a panel discussion to raise and discuss these issues. This paper presents excerpts from the remarks of three speakers at that event. All three have expertise in the subject and regularly address the public policy questions involved in stem cell research. Kelly Hollowell, Ph.D., is a molecular and cellular pharmacologist and a patent attorney. Phil Coelho is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Thermogenesis Corp., which provides cord blood stem cell processing and cryopreservation systems used by major cord blood stem cell banks. And Representative Dave Weldon is a physician and represents the 15th Congressional District of Florida.

She's the Right Radical

From Roger Pilon, vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute and director of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies:

How much longer can we go on playing constitutional pretend — pretending that there's a serious connection between the Constitution and so much of what passes today for "constitutional law"?

NC Church sign sparks debate

From The Daily Courier in Forest City, NC:

A sign in front of a Baptist church on one of the most traveled highways in the county stirred controversy over religious tolerance and first-amendment rights this weekend.

The spirit of Bob Dole

From The American Thinker:

The spirit of Bob Dole lives. The Great Compromiser from Kansas has found seven pairs of shoulders for his mantle. In the Senate filibuster deal, seven Republicans broke ranks and signed a deal with the devil. At least Bob Dole, to his defense, spent the majority of his Senate time in the minority where he was forced to broker deals. The “seven,” as most everyone knows (perhaps they don’t) are in the majority!

Dear Senate Democrats

From Tom Joseph:

I am a rank and file Democrat. My parents and grandparents were Democrats. As a Democrat, I am extremely concerned with the filibusters that you have used against many of the President's nominations to the federal bench. The back-room deal you have just fashioned only temporarily suspends the use of this pernicious tactic. It will no doubt be back. You have already repeatedly smashed precedent and flaunted your duty in your efforts to prevent the Senate majority from confirming judicial appointments.

Steals and deals

From Thomas Lifson, the editor and publisher of The American Thinker:

There is a surprising amount of ambivalence among the pundits about the last-minute deal fashioned by 14 Senators yesterday to avoid a decisive end to the conflict over the filibustering of judicial appointees. Almost all are certain that their side didn’t win, though some on both the left and the right take comfort in the fact that their antagonists on the other side are unhappy. Cold comfort, but better than abject loss. Still, there is an undeniable sense among conservative enthusiasts that an impending triumph has been stolen, defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

The wrath of McCain

From The American Thinker:

In a scene from Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan Ricardo Montalban, playing the title role, steals a line from Moby Dick when he vows, from even the depths of hell, to seek eternal vengeance against William Shatner’s Captain Kirk by howling, “With my last breath, I spit at thee; For hate's sake, I stab at thee!”

Here's the Deal

From the Washington Prowler:

"There is no way this agreement that breaks Democratic obstruction can be spun any way other than as a victory for Republicans and the Bush Administration," said a Republican Senate leadership aide late Monday night, regarding the agreement reached by 14 senators to avert a showdown vote on the so-called nuclear option that would have ended Democratic filibustering of Bush judicial nominees.

Lies? Only When Republicans Tell them, Right?

From Evan Sayet:

Sandy Berger is caught cramming top-secret intelligence documents down the front of his pants. Dan Rather is caught using forged documents to try to influence a presidential election.

Leaving the left

Ken Thompson writes, "I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity."

7 Republicans abandon GOP on filibuster

From The Washington Times:

Seven Senate Republicans bolted from their leaders last night and dropped their support for the "nuclear option" in exchange for seven Democrats' abandoning filibusters against three of President Bush's judicial nominees.

Death by 'Due Process'

From The Wall Street Journal:

The battles in Congress over the appointment of even lower court federal judges reveal a recognition that federal judges are now, to a large extent, our real lawmakers. Proposals to amend the Constitution to remove lifetime tenure for Supreme Court justices, or to require that rulings of unconstitutionality be by more than a majority (5-4) vote, do not address the source of the problem. The Constitution is very difficult to amend--probably the most difficult of any supposedly democratic government. If opponents of rule by judges secure the political power to obtain an amendment, it should be one that addresses the problem at its source, which is that contemporary constitutional law has very little to do with the Constitution.

On Taxes, NC Position Worsens

From John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation:

The last few weeks of the 2004-05 fiscal year here in North Carolina promise to be frustrating ones for taxpayers.

Senate Announces Landmark Deal to Save Filibuster

I don't usually cross-link to Free Republic, but this will save some space. Satire is the most biting form of political commentary.

NCSteve and I are the same person, by the way.

Deal Reached to Avert Judicial Showdown

From Fox News:

Averting a showdown, moderates on both sides of the aisle in the Senate reached a compromise late Monday clearing the way for the confirmation of many of President Bush's stalled judicial nominees, leaving others in limbo and preserving filibuster rules.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Scientists Say Sunshine May Prevent Cancer

From Fox News:

Scientists are excited about a vitamin again. But unlike fads that sizzled and fizzled, the evidence this time is strong and keeps growing.

If it bears out, it will challenge one of medicine's most fundamental beliefs: that people need to coat themselves with sunscreen (search) whenever they're in the sun. Doing that may actually contribute to far more cancer deaths than it prevents, some researchers think.

The Gipper

"Today is Armed Forces Day, a day we set aside to remember and thank those Americans who wear our country's uniform and who serve our nation in so many places around the globe. Many are far from home, and things you and I take for granted -- family, friends, all the good things that go with life in our hometowns -- they've given all these things up for the sake of a challenge and to answer a call. The challenge is the task of defending freedom, and the call they've answered is summarized in three words: duty, honor, country. So, on Armed Forces Day, let's remember the debt we owe those in uniform. ... I know I speak for all Americans when I say to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen: We thank you for the job you're doing and the sacrifices you're making for all of us at home. And we're grateful and proud of you for your devotion to country and to the cause of freedom."

Ronald Reagan

How Tyranny Came to America

This is one of the most brilliant exposures of the effect of the liberal agenda on American government and American life I have ever read. This article should be required reading in every classroom in America.

Senate's sham debate

From Robert Novak:

Senators droned on last week, supposedly debating two female nominees for the U.S. appellate bench, but it was a sham. The real issue was the future makeup of the Supreme Court, which explains the audacious Democratic strategy of blocking President Bush's choices for lower courts. The focus on the high court also has resulted in failure so far in seeking a negotiated settlement.

Where Have You Gone, Jimmy Stewart?

From The American Spectator:

When Senate Republicans moved ahead with their plans to change the filibuster rule, liberals and other critics turned to an old sentimental favorite to bolster their case: Frank Capra's 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Doofus Dean

From Patrick Hynes:

Howard Dean ought to have been happy with his fifteen minutes of fame.

During the diminutive former Governor of Vermont's mercurial rise to the top of the news cycle throughout the 2004 Democratic presidential primary -- and his equally sudden fall into buffoonery -- Dean easily affixed his immortality on the back of a Trivial Pursuit card. Unsatisfied though, Dean ran for chairman of a defeated, demoralized and directionless Democratic National Committee. And won. Today marks the completion of his first 100 days in office. It's a natural integer at which to take stock of his performance.

Harry Moments

From the Washington Prowler:

Senate minority leader Sen. Harry Reid has had at least three opportunities in the last 72 hours to allow moderate Democrats to cut a deal with liberal Republicans and protect his precious obstruction strategy. Each time he's conveyed through intermediaries that the deal wasn't satisfactory.

Dean defends imitation of Rush

From The Washington Times:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean yesterday defended his public mocking of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh's battle against addiction to painkillers, saying, "It is galling to be lectured to about moral values by folks who have their own problems.

Waxing Philosophical: Alexis De Tocqueville

This insight on political parties, written about 200 years ago, is amazingly fresh and amazingly apt.

"The political parties that I style great are those which cling to principles rather than to their consequences; to general and not to special cases; to ideas and not to men. These parties are usually distinguished by nobler features, more generous passions, more genuine convictions, and a more bold and open conduct than the others. In them private interest, which always plays the chief part in political passions, is more studiously veiled under the pretext of the public good; and it may even be sometimes concealed from the eyes of the very persons whom it excites and impels.

Minor parties, on the other hand, are generally deficient in political good faith. As they are not sustained or dignified by lofty purposes, they ostensibly display the selfishness of their character in their actions. They glow with a factitious zeal; their language is vehement, but their conduct is timid and irresolute. The means which they employ are as wretched as the end at which they aim. Hence it happens that when a calm state succeeds a violent revolution, great men seem suddenly to disappear and the powers of the human mind to lie concealed. Society is convulsed by great parties, it is only agitated by minor ones; it is torn by the former, by the latter it is degraded; and if the first sometimes save it by a salutary perturbation, the last invariably disturb it to no good end.

America has had great parties, but has them no longer; and if her happiness is thereby considerably increased, her morality has suffered. When the War of Independence was terminated and the foundations of the new government were to be laid down, the nation was divided between two opinions--two opinions which are as old as the world and which are perpetually to be met with, under different forms and various names, in all free communities, the one tending to limit, the other to extend indefinitely, the power of the people. The conflict between these two opinions never assumed that degree of violence in America which it has frequently displayed elsewhere. Both parties of the Americans were agreed upon the most essential points; and neither of them had to destroy an old constitution or to overthrow the structure of society in order to triumph. In neither of them, consequently, were a great number of private interests affected by success or defeat: but moral principles of a high order, such as the love of equality and of independence, were concerned in the struggle, and these sufficed to kindle violent passions."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

RE: Vernon Robinson tastes own medicine, as bid to unseat GOP chairman is a bust

Steve Brenneis opines:

I plan to mail in my change of registration form tomorrow.

On the bright side, The Bully Pulpit will be evenly represented: one Republican, one Democrat, and one unaffiliated.

Vernon Robinson tastes own medicine, as bid to unseat GOP chairman is a bust

From the Winston-Salem Journal:

Vernon Robinson's tactics came back to bite him yesterday.

The lightning-rod conservative from Winston-Salem was soundly defeated in his effort to unseat Ferrell Blount as chairman of the N.C. Republican Party.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Latest Star Wars: Not Horrible, But If You Have Anything Better To Do...

I saw the latest installment of George Lucas' life's work today.

I'm not going to go demand two and a half hours of my life back, but I could have missed it and my life would be no less for it.

The film has a marginal plot line, Lucas' absolutely awful dialog, overwhelming special effects, and a surprisingly awful performance by Natalie Portman. Whoever told Hayden Christensen he could act needs to be publicly pilloried. Ewan McGregor stepped through the entire movie like he was expecting a pie in the face, but did a pretty decent acting job despite what he was given to work with. Samuel L. Jackson couldn't overcome the abysmal script. Fortunately for his career, his parts were short. He must have a smart agent. When the best performance in a movie is turned in by a CGI (Yoda), you know the film is in deep trouble.

On the bright side, hopefully Lucas will give up writing and directing and stick to producing.

Restoring the Proper Role of the Courts

From The Heritage Foundation:

America is edging towards a crisis in the role and operation of the federal courts—a crisis that threatens our constitutional democracy. Increasingly, we see judges ruling more on the basis of their personal opinions or their own particular view of the good society. In the process, courts regularly are ruling in ways that expand federal power and diminish the authority of the states and the freedom of citizens. As the courts have become more politicized, so has the judicial confirmation process. The political views of judges—or their perceived views—rather than their proven adherence to the rule of law is fast becoming the criterion for Senate confirmation. If we are to restore proper limits on government and protect our cherished freedoms, we must reverse this dangerous erosion of the proper role of the courts. To do this, the Administration must demand fidelity to the rule of law as the test of confirmation, the Senate must be pressed to change its rules to prevent obstructionists from holding up nominees, and the courts must be urged to enforce the federalism and limited government provisions of the Constitution.

Big-time bigotry

From Dr. Thomas Sowell:

Maybe the non-stop denunciations of judicial nominees by Senate Democrats will seem relevant to some people but it is in fact wholly beside the point. Senators who don't like any particular judicial nominee -- or any nominee for any other federal appointment -- have a right to vote against that nominee for any reason or for no reason.

The new status quo

From The American Thinker:

One of the only good things about a long morning commute is that it affords one the time to listen at length to morning talk radio. The longest-running national morning political/current events talk show may be Imus in the Morning. It’s an entertaining mix of news updates, entertainment, song parodies, and interviews with newspaper/magazine columnists, network analysts, authors, and politicians. Imus himself can be infuriatingly wishy-washy at times and he unabashedly runs with the front-runner, but there is no denying that he routinely gets outstanding guests to appear on his show. It can make for informative listening at times.

Military-haters in the press

From The American Thinker:

The last few years have seen a heightened awareness of the mainstream media's anti-military bias. Plenty of people are noticing it, and even some media brand name correspondents are admitting it. There is plenty of evidence.

Does Bush Care?

From George Neumayr, executive editor of The American Spectator:

Over the objections of George Bush's military, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Cal.) passed an amendment to a defense authorization bill on Wednesday that would prevent the Army from placing female soldiers in "direct ground combat" units. Bush's military has been forming the beginnings of a coed front line, placing women in these forward support units, which is a violation of the law. Unable in private to persuade Pentagon officials to observe their own stated prohibition (which they cannot change without congressional approval), Hunter had to resort to legislation to codify it, reports the Washington Times.

Debate and Delay

From the Washington Prowler:

It was inevitable that John Bolton's nomination would get caught up in the Democrats' desperate attempts not to become superfluous to the legislative and advise-and-consent process.

Love on Sale in Aisle 5

From Fox News:

Forget singles bars — Wal-Mart, Home Depot new hot spots for people on prowl

Liberal Pessimists Out of Step with Optimistic Nation

From Rush Limbaugh:

Let me give you the headline to this story: "American Optimism Stuns Pollsters." That's the headline to the story. "A landmark study released yesterday from a New Jersey medical [skrool] finds that the majority of us are overwhelmingly optimistic about our future, even if catastrophe looms on the horizon. A sample: Eighty-two percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 feel optimistic about their futures. Eighty-two percent of those 25 to 44 do so well. Seventy-five percent of those aged 45 to 64 and 64% of those 65 or older agree. Only 15% to 22% of the respondents say that they've grown more pessimistic over the past five years. The public's response flabbergasted the pollsters." (Italics added)


From The Borowitz Report:

Amid reports that the new "Star Wars" film contains not-so-subtle anti-Bush messages, President George W. Bush today took to the national airwaves to vow revenge against the Sith.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Are liberals begging for it?

From The American Thinker:

The rules of engagement governing the Tower of Babel that passes for political discourse nowadays trace their intellectual roots to World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., although some of the original sophistication has been stripped away. Designed to minimize brainwork, they encourage competing ideologues to smash folding chairs over one another’s heads. The dramatis personae usually include a hero and a villain. The guy wearing the striped shirt is the referee. He’s lying on the mat pretending to be unconscious so that he won’t be able to notice any of the flagrant fouls. He is, of course, in on the fix.

Janice Rogers Brown Speech to Federalist Society

Justice Brown needs to run for President in '08... I like her.

Store Wars

I believe this movie is coming out Memorial Day weekend...

RE: Why Islam is disrespected

Steve Brenneis opines:

Good article, but I think Jacoby lets Newsweek off the hook too easily. Yes, if you throw a match into gasoline, it will explode. That's its nature. However, that doesn't make the act of throwing the match any less stupid or criminal. Newsweek is still culpable, whether through negligence or premeditation.

Why Islam is disrespected

By Jeff Jacoby, a Boston Globe columnist:

It was front-page news this week when Newsweek retracted a report claiming that a US interrogator in Guantanamo had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet. Everywhere it was noted that Newsweek's story had sparked widespread Muslim rioting, in which at least 17 people were killed. But there was no mention of deadly protests triggered in recent years by comparable acts of desecration against other religions.

POMP AND POLITICS IN GRAND RAPIDS: Bush visit brings controversy

From the Detroit Free Press:

Calvin College may be predominantly Republican, but a visit from President George W. Bush on Saturday is stirring up some discontent among students, faculty and alumni.

Newsweek Dissembled, Muslims Dismembered!

Another zinger from St. Ann.

Fast Facts: 'Star Wars' Trivia

From FOXNews.com:

Here is fun Star Wars trivia for those obsessed with Star Wars or their skeptical friends.

The Nanny State Is At It Again

In recent weeks we have seen several nanny state measures passing through our legislature. Another sure sign that the Democrats are in control. A while back, they upped the aged of children who must be in a car seat to something preposterous like 8 years old. I can show you more than a couple of 8-year-olds who would do pretty well playing middle linebacker on any high school football team. Democrat legislators seem to be preternaturally stupid. But I digress...

A bill to restrict use of ATVs to certain age limits and engine sizes has passed the senate. ATVs can be dangerous when operated improperly. I don't think anyone will argue that point. However, the real problem is parents who let their children ride these things without supervision, or worse yet, under the supervision of potential Darwin Award winners. Of course, being Democrats and liberals, these legislators are too dim to understand the ATV is an inanimate object and cannot be at fault for anything. They are also too dim to understand that the faults of several double-digit IQ types are not sufficient reason for the government to intrude on the recreational time of everyone else.

Additionally, the deaths and injuries of small children on ATVs are salaciously sensational and sell lots of toothpaste and soap, so the media waste no opportunity to report on each and every one in intimate detail, throwing in various hints and pointers along the way. Our local media has managed to include in every report the fact that North Carolina is one of the few states without ATV regulations like this. No one seems to have offered up the obvious solution: hold parents accountable when they kill their children on an ATV. Throw them in jail forever and take away their remaining children. I would advocate involuntary sterilization to prevent further contamination of the gene pool, but that would bring all sorts of howls of protest, so I won't. If the child's death can be proved to be the result of a long-term pattern of behavior, invoke first degree homicide charges with their attendant penalties, including capital penalties.

Then we have the cell phone bill...

I have mixed feelings about this bill. Driving is a privilege, not a right. You have the right to go anywhere you want, as long as you honor the principles of private property. You have the right to get there in pretty much any way you please, as long as you honor the principles of private property and every other person's right not to get run over by you.

The issue is not whether the government should protect us from ourselves, but how does it go about protecting us from idiots who can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Once again, and typical of our slacker society, our so-called leaders want to blame an inanimate object and release the real problem, stupid people, from responsibility for their actions.

If you prove that you can't function within the norms of the driving population as a whole, then you should be removed from that population, simple as that. It's a basic concept of civilized behavior that goes back millennia. If you can't play nice, you have to go away. If you have three at-fault wrecks, then you are obviously unable to grasp the basic concepts of driving and its rules. We don't need you operating a two ton, death-dealing hunk of iron. You should lose your license permanently after your third at-fault wreck. I also think people should lose their license permanently on their first DWI and their first at-fault traffic fatality. And I favor capital punishment for vehicular homicide.

It would be one thing if stupid driving merely resulted in a pruning of the gene pool. Unfortunately, the people who most often get hurt by stupid driving are not the stupid drivers themselves.

If you want to fix a problem, don't address the symptom, address the problem, and that is stupid people doing stupid things. Hold them accountable in consistent and public ways and the problem will solve itself.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The University of Nude Caucasians at Wilmington

Another dandy article from Mike Adams.

CBS Cancels Wednesday '60 Minutes'

From Yahoo! News:

CBS said Wednesday it is cancelling the Wednesday edition of "60 Minutes," insisting the decision was made because of poor ratings and not last fall's ill-fated story about President Bush's military service.

OK. OK. One More Since You Asked So Nice

Oops! I Did It Again

I Just Couldn't Help Myself

Jay Leno...

Well, more facts coming out [now] about the evacuation of Washington [Wednesday]. White House reporters said they were immediately escorted to a more secure location in the basement. Except for CBS reporters, who were moved to the White House roof. .... You know the saddest thing about this whole evacuation? While the White House was being evacuated, John Kerry ran in and sat behind the desk. .... In an unlikely pairing, Hillary Clinton made an appearance this week with Newt Gingrich to push a health care measure. The press is making a big deal out of this thing with Newt, but hey, if anyone knows how to appear in public with a man she can't stand it's Hillary Clinton. .... Police investigating the Wendy's chili finger case are now seeking help from Mexican law enforcement officials. So it looks like not only was there a finger in the Wendy's chili, it was there illegally. They think the finger might have snuck over the border and worked at Wal-Mart for a few weeks before it ended up in the chili. .... The Rolling Stones announced yet another tour. [They're] calling this tour "The Onstage Tour" because at each show a group of fans will be sitting up on stage with the band. Isn't that also called assisted living?

What does Darth Vader have to do with the Washington Cathedral?

There is a real connection between Vader & the Cathedral... Cigar

Nowhere Else to Go

From Roger Pilon, vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute and director of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies:

This should be the week that Senate Republicans begin closing off the judicial filibuster, and not a moment too soon. Majority Leader Bill Frist has let the matter fester long enough for the nation to see what's going on. The desperation of the Democrats who continue to block the president's appellate court nominees is palpable.

Extraordinary Circumstances

From the Washington Prowler:

Democratic Senators Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) have discussed with their leader, Sen. Harry Reid, just how he would define "extraordinary circumstances" in the context of a deal with moderate Republicans to end the Democrats' filibuster-lite. (Yes, lite: not a single Democrat has extended his stay on the floor of the Senate beyond normal legislative working hours since the election last November -- at least those Princeton students carried on 'round the clock.)

The Newsweek Source is Revealed!!!

Missing Chapters of Clinton's "My Life" Exposed in New Book

From emediawire.com:

Book chronicling threats, abuse of power against women to hit stores same day as Clinton’s paperback. Endorsed by the women Clinton abused - "The true nightmare Bill and Hillary put me through."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Courageous Folly: The Democrats’ First Plan To Fix Social Security

From The Heritage Foundation:

Rep. Wexler deserves credit for stepping forward with a plan...even a misguided one.

The Senate's 'Dirty Harry'

From Dr. Thomas Sowell:

Clint Eastwood's movie character "Dirty Harry" Callahan was clean compared to Dirty Harry Reid, the Senate Democrats' minority leader. Callahan may have roughed up the bad guys but Senator Dirty Harry Reid smears anybody for any reason.

Please don't run, Newt

From The American Thinker:

Even his enemies concede that Newt Gingrich is a visionary. Listening to him give a speech or engage in a colloquy with Brian Lamb of C-SPAN, one is astonished at the sheer volume of ideas that spring forth from his inquisitive and overactive mind. The concepts and strategies that he espouses run the gamut from “wise use” stewardship of the environment to pondering the future of democracy in Russia, and everything in between, in the margins, and outside the lines.

“Very, very bleak”

From Thomas Lifson, the editor and publisher of The American Thinker:

Democrats, sustained by a mainstream media in friendly hands, can handle election losses, at least when facing the cameras. Deprived of a Senate majority, they are capable of unprecedented filibuster threats to block judicial appointments, while simultaneously blustering about supposed Republican abuse of Senate traditions. Even when in the minority, publicly at any rate, they seem to assume that they have a right to be running things.

Newsweek Blows Smoke

From George Neumayr, executive editor of The American Spectator:

The mainstream media often denounce conservative criticism of Islam as "inflammatory." Then they make sure it is inflammatory by broadcasting the criticism in tabloid form to the ends of the earth so that Muslims will be properly inflamed. A few years ago, for example, Jerry Falwell's critique of Islam as a violent religion was beamed to the Muslim world by media outlets very deeply concerned about Muslim-Christian concord, and bloody riots followed. Falwell had provoked the riots, the media piously reported even as they happily stoked them.

Constitutional Ignorance

From The American Spectator:

The Discovery Channel has conducted a survey and with some significant tinkering (I hope and assume) by the executives at the Discovery Channel has come up with the American public's choice of the 100 greatest Americans of all time. James Madison didn't make the cut, losing out to such luminaries as Madonna, Dr. Phil, and Ellen DeGeneres. That's good news for Senate Democrats whose "constitutional" arguments against getting rid of the filibuster as a tool to block judicial nominees would be laughed at by a more constitutionally literate public.

Journalists and the Military

From the Wall Street Journal:

Newsweek deserves credit for coming clean about its dubious Koran desecration story in an attempt to head off further bloodshed. Already its "Periscope" report last week that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay flushed a copy of the holy book down a toilet has touched off riots throughout the Islamic world, resulting in at least 17 deaths, and added yet another weapon to al Qaeda's recruiting arsenal since many Muslims won't believe the retraction.

Less reassuring, however, is the magazine's contention that the story is a routine error. "There was absolutely no lapse in journalistic standards here," said Michael Isikoff, who was one of two reporters behind the story. Certainly we all make mistakes. But if printing such an explosive allegation based on the memory of what a single, anonymous source claims he read is standard Newsweek procedure--no documents were even produced--its readers must wonder about the rest of its content too.

The more consequential question here, it seems to us, is why Newsweek was so ready to believe the story was true. The allegation after all repudiated explicit U.S. and Army policy to treat Muslim detainees with religious respect, including time to pray, honoring dietary preferences and access to the Koran. Yet the magazine readily printed a story suggesting that what our enemies claim about Guantanamo is essentially true. Why?

Lie Of The Day

From LauraIngraham.com:

"When the Democratic party cow-towed to extremists on the left, we paid the price...it's a lesson I think we have learned," claimed Chuck Schumer.

The entire Democratic party is now funded and supported by the hard left--i.e., George Soros and the MoveOn.org types. So how could the Democrats and Chuck Schumer have learned the lesson?

RE: Buchanan sees 'war' within conservatism

Steve Brenneis opines:

I don't find myself agreeing with Pat Buchanan all that often, but he is spot-on in this interview. Conservatism as an organized political force is dead. Surprisingly, it wasn't killed by liberals, it was killed by the neo-cons. One point I disagree with Buchanan on would be his contention that the Bush Presidency was hijacked by the neo-cons. I would submit that Bush is a neo-con, making it difficult to envision him hijacking his own Presidency.

A Pungent Layer of Onion

From John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation:

Health care reform is one of the most complicated and poorly understood issues facing policymakers at all levels of government. An apt metaphor would be an onion. For every layer you peel back, it seems, another is revealed.

It's Almost Showtime

From Cal Thomas:

It's almost showtime. Next week, Republicans will show what they are made of. A vote is expected on changing Senate rules to allow for a majority vote to determine judicial confirmations. A rules change would eliminate a 60-vote super majority to end debate.

Buchanan sees 'war' within conservatism

From The Washington Times:

Pat Buchanan speaks of American conservatism in the past tense. "The conservative movement has passed into history," says the one-time White House aide, three-time presidential candidate, commentator and magazine publisher.

"It doesn't exist anymore as a unifying force," he says in an interview with The Washington Times. "There are still a lot of people who are conservative, but the movement is now broken up, crumbled, dismantled."


From The Borowitz Report:

Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks ignited a security scare in Washington today when a small Cessna 152 she piloted strayed into White House air space, forcing the evacuation of the White House, the Capitol, and twenty other government buildings.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Sharpton calls on Mexican president to apologize for racial comment

Uh oh. Vicente Fox has stepped in it now! He got Uncle Al Sharpton stirred up.

They sure make a cute couple, though, don't you think?

Bedouin Girl Murdered for Befriending Jews

In what warped universe is it acceptable to stab one's sister to death for befriending someone of another faith?

Health Before Liberty

From the John Locke Foundation:

Should smoking be banned from all restaurants in North Carolina? That's the question that HB 76 will answer with a "Yes" if it is passed by the North Carolina Legislature. Advocates of a statewide restaurant smoking ban pose the issue as a way to improve health and control health care costs. The health effects of direct smoking are not controversial—pulmonary, respiratory, and other body functions are compromised as a result of smoking cigarettes, the effects are cumulative with prolonged use, and the damage can be irreversible. The effects of second-hand smoke, on the other hand, are very controversial.

How We Got Here

From The Wall Street Journal:

Barring a surprise last-minute deal, this week Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will ask for a ruling from the chair--Vice President Dick Cheney presiding--that ending debate on a judicial nominee requires a vote of a simple majority of 51 Senators, not a super-majority of 60. The nuclear option--aka the "constitutional option"--will have been detonated. Judicial filibusters, R.I.P.

This will not be the world's greatest deliberative body's greatest moment, and the only thing we know for sure about what will happen next is that the reputation of the Senate will suffer. It's a shame it has come to this. But at this point it would be worse if Republicans let a willful minority deny the President's nominees a vote on the Senate floor.

Dean rips DeLay at convention

From The Boston Globe:

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Party, said yesterday that the US House majority leader, Tom DeLay, ''ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence," referring to allegations of unethical conduct against the Republican leader.

The Gipper

"But bearing what we cannot change and going on with what God has given us, confident there is a destiny, somehow seems to bring a reward we wouldn't exchange for any other. It takes a lot of fire and heat to make a piece of steel."

Ronald Reagan

Reparations Bills Could Hurt Dems Most

From Karen Welsh, a contributing editor of Carolina Journal:

The eyes of the nation are watching North Carolina, where state Reps. Larry Womble, D-Forsyth, and Earl Jones, D-Guilford, are sponsoring the first bill in any state that would require companies seeking government contracts to examine their records for evidence of participation in or profiting from slavery. The bill, H1006, has already gone through the House Government Committee with a unanimous vote. If passed into law, it will force corporations to file affidavits of any past investments in or profits derived from slavery. The companies will be required to comply or face termination of their state contracts.

Probing the judges

From Robert Novak:

On May 5, the U.S. Judicial Conference in Washington received a request from a man named Mike Rice from Oakland, Calif., for the financial disclosure records of U.S. Appeals Court Judge Edith Jones (5th Circuit) of Houston. A 20-year veteran on the bench, Jones is a perennial possibility for the U.S. Supreme Court. The demand for her personal records is part of a major intelligence raid preceding momentous confirmation fights in the Senate.

Newsweek Apologizes for Report of Koran Insult

A not-very-apologetic apology from Newsweek. What do you get when you mix yellow journalism with the "religion of peace?" Answer: dead people. I wonder how many protests we'll see with signs saying, "Newsweek lied, people died?" Does anyone think moveon.org will decry Newsweek editorial policy with shouts of "Not in our name?"

I'm not holding my breath.

Beautiful Day, Lousy Ceremony

We just got back from Raleigh where we attended commencement ceremonies at Meredith College (two down, one to go!). It was a beautiful day and Meredith has a beautiful campus. Typical of most liberal arts colleges, though, the ceremony was about as organized as a fire drill in a kindergarden.

The commencement address was given by Renee Montagne of Morning Edition and All Things Considered on NPR. She rambled on about nothing but herself for forty-five minutes. She has to be one of the most self-absorbed, egotistical people I've ever encountered up close. She could have simply said, "It's me, me, me. It's all about me!" and then sat down and saved all of us a lot of sweat (it was very hot). About the last three sentences of her monument to herself were this message to the graduates: Live in the moment, never make plans, and regardless of how stupid and useless your job might be, never let anyone tell you about it. I'm beginning to think that whoever said liberalism is a mental disorder might be right.

By the time she sat down, I was giving strong consideration to walking up to the President of the college and demanding my $100,000 back.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Woodward Calls Cheney a 'Serious' Dark Horse for 2008 Run for White House

From editorandpublisher.com:

A trial balloon for a Cheney for President run in 2008 is being launched by a surprising source, Washington Post star reporter (and White House insider) Bob Woodward.

Revealed: how an abortion puts the next baby at risk

From the UK Telegraph:

Having an abortion almost doubles a woman's risk of giving birth dangerously early in a later pregnancy, according to research that will provoke fresh debate over the most controversial of all medical procedures.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Hillary vs. Allen

From Robert Novak:

The Clinton-vs.-Allen forecast by the leading House members duplicates the National Journal's poll of insiders from both parties.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Legacy lost: Ronald Reagan's tax simplification

From The American Thinker:

To put it simply, our tax system is unfair, inequitable, counterproductive, and all but incomprehensible. I've mentioned before, and this is absolutely a fact, that even Albert Einstein had to write to the IRS for help with his Form 1040.
- Ronald Reagan

Only with the passage of time do we begin to fully appreciate the full vision of President Ronald Reagan and the achievements that resulted from that vision. The most commonly cited achievements of the Reagan dministration are ending the Cold War, rescuing the American economy from the doldrums of high inflation and high employment, and restoring America’s image both at home and abroad. Another remarkable, but rarely mentioned, contribution is the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The tax reform legislation which became law contained many key concepts from Reagan’s vision, even after going through the process of legislative compromise with an opposition majority in the House necessary to secure its passage. Presidential leadership can overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles which are encountered when undertaking any major reform efforts.

Senate Democrats: plenty of trees, but no forest in sight

From The American Thinker:

The nomination of John Bolton to be United States Ambassador to the United Nations once again demonstrates the tactical brilliance of the national Democrats. Until the campaign against him was in full bloom, I had never suspected that personal abruptness, a demanding nature as a boss, a bit of a temper, and the willingness to push back against recalcitrant subordinates were disqualifiers for high public office. In fact, I had suspected the opposite: that in a universe of civil service-protected bureaucrats a degree of vehemence might be a considerable plus.

RE: Forsyth's GOP leaders favor Robinson opponent

Steve Brenneis opines:

This article is a waste of time. The Winston-Salem Journal hates Vernon and the leadership of the Forsyth GOP is an even bigger pack of RINOs than that of the Stokes GOP.

Nothing to see here. Move along...

Bring It On

From George Neumayr, the executive editor of The American Spectator:

Unable to leave well enough alone, Democrats are ganging up on Kenneth Tomlinson, the Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. According to the Washington Post, ranking Democratic Congressmen on the Energy and Commerce and Appropriation committees are calling for a probe of Tomlinson's modest effort to bring philosophical balance to PBS.

Smokeless Kennedy-DeWine

From Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute:

One of America's most persecuted minorities is smokers. Even as many people have tired of the expensive and futile Drug War against use of illicit substances, cities and states have imposed ever more draconian restrictions on lighting up a cigarette. Now a bipartisan coalition of paternalistic legislators on Capitol Hill is pushing for FDA regulation of tobacco.

Forsyth's GOP leaders favor Robinson opponent

From the Winston-Salem Journal:

Vernon Robinson, a Winston-Salem City Council member, is running for chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, but GOP leaders in his own county didn't back him in a vote this week.

Just Because This Blog Needs Another Ann Coulter Picture

Ann on The Tonight Show this past Tuesday.

More thoughts on Wal-Mart...

This post is from my friend & co-worker Richard Penley. He used to work at Wal-Mart before he got to be a big shot lawyer... :-)

Let's look at Wal-Mart from a "Nuanced" perspective:

One could argue that Wal-Mart is increasing the standard of living of all Chinese workers by buying products produced in partnership with Chinese companies. Liberals tend to embrace communist values, so why not embrace the emerging Chinese capitalistic/communist model, or are we xenophobic when it comes to where we buy our products? As a true liberal would say, Chinese people are people too. They need shelter, food and clothes just like the rest of us. So why should they not partake in a little free enterprise? Taking into consideration the salary and standard of living there, Chinese workers are better off working in those industries that produce consumable goods now than in any time prior to the Twentieth Century. Let's not forget, if you were a rural Chinese man or woman prior to capitalism trickling into the free trade zones of China, your daily activities included pulling oxen in swamp ridden rice patties in order to feed a billion of your neighbors. I'm sure that is an in-humane way to live.

So I ask, why would the typical rural Chinese resident pull up their roots in mass numbers and move into the economic free trade zones in the coastal regions of Southern China? Is it because they desire to be exploited by Western Corporations through some quasi-form of slavery or are they just trying to improve themselves and earn a respectful living wage like the rest of the developed world?

No matter how much we detest it, we now live in a competitive world where economies are dependent upon each other. Truer communist words were never spoken.

RE: Mitchell shares his thoughts on Wal-Mart...

Steve responds to Robert:

"Granted, Wal-Mart is not the only corporate bad neighbor. They are just the worst."
So we hear, but no one ever offers any evidence to back that claim. It might surprise you to learn that the components that go into making products made by one of liberals' most beloved corporations, Apple Computer, Inc., are mass-produced in Pacific rim sweatshops equal to or worse than any of the knitting factories around Beijing and Hong Kong. Are you ready to give up your iPod?

Truth be told, American labor unions own most of the blame for the existence of Asian and Latin American sweat shops, but that's another argument.

"And what about figures that suggest 45% of Wal Mart workers receive some form of public assistance. Should the taxpayers bail out Wal-Mart because it will not pay a living wage?"

How is it that you automatically assume that means Wal-Mart engages in substandard social behavior? To me, that indicates that the standards for public assistance are too lenient. That's the trouble with bombastic statements like that: they evoke an emotional response that is not necessarily based on the reality of the situation.

Besides, as Thomas Sowell asks, what's a "living wage?" To me, that seems to be a content-free phrase.

I would love to "buy American." I am a nationalist at heart. However, I don't plan to pay more and get less in order to simply satisfy an abstraction. Heigh-ho! Heigh-ho! It's off to Wal-Mart I go!

Democratic Demagoguery

A long article, but worth the read. It is time to either reform the filibuster in the Senate or end it altogether. Parliamentary gimmicks should not be allowed to circumvent the will of the people.

Mitchell shares his thoughts on Wal-Mart...

Robert W. Mitchell, Jr. opines:

The argument for and against Wal-Mart has been one that has grown tired.
The case for and against is quite clear and I'm afraid my commentary
would simply be a reprinting of old arguments. Yet, perhaps to me the most
compelling case against Wal-Mart is that it represents a great
inconsistency of American values. Why good Christians, conservatives,
liberals, left-wing, and right wing want to shop with a company that has
helped prop up a Godless communist, anti-freedom, inhumane Chinese regime is beyond me. Where are those values we so embrace? Or do we lose sight
of them when we see a cheap product?

We have always known that cheap products mean cheap labor. Yet does
capitalist theory support slave labor (or child labor)? Was it still
capitalism and free-enterprise when we used African slaves to harvest our cotton and tobacco? Are the conditions in Asian sweat shops any
different? Is it a fair and legitimate argument to defend Wal-Mart
through the steady and rehearsed mantra of "free enterprise, free enterprise?"
I don't know. Granted, Wal-Mart is not the only corporate bad neighbor.
They are just the worst. And they are the standard bearers. Yet we have to
decide how far we want to take Christian ethics.

And what about figures that suggest 45% of Wal Mart workers receive some
form of public assistance. Should the taxpayers bail out Wal-Mat because
it will not pay a living wage? I don't know. I just do what I can and not shop there. I do not buy its stock and I grow suspicious of its campaigns to reinvent their image.
But when its too hard to find American products, what else can we do but "buy Asia."


From John Podhoretz:

All eyes are now on the United States Senate, which has unexpectedly become the epicenter of American politics. The question of the year is whether a change in a specific Senate rule — the one that creates the condition for the never-ending debate called a "filibuster" — would represent a shocking breach of American tradition.

Senate Democrats move to block Bolton UN nomination

From Yahoo! News:

Democrats in the US Senate have made a fresh bid to derail the appointment of John Bolton, the embattled White House pick for UN ambassador, after a Senate panel declined to back him ahead of a floor vote.

Reid cites FBI file on judicial pick

From The Washington Times:

Minority Leader Harry Reid strayed from his prepared remarks on the Senate floor yesterday and promised to continue opposing one of President Bush's judicial nominees based on "a problem" he said is in the nominee's "confidential report from the FBI."

Nuclear? No, Restoration

From Charles Krauthammer:

Four years ago this week, President Bush nominated Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen to the federal bench. Four years later, she and six other appeals court nominees remain unconfirmed and unvoted upon because of Democratic filibusters.

Adult DDD

Great article by Mike Adams. Sometimes I wonder if our society will survive the effects of the baby boom.

Pope Nixes Sainthood Waiting Period for John Paul

From Fox News:

Pope Benedict XVI said Friday he had begun the process for the sainthood of Pope John Paul II, overriding the usual five-year waiting period following the death of a possible candidate.

RE: The latest liberal crusade

Steve Brenneis opines:

Once again, the left has co-opted a phrase in the English language and perverted it to mean almost the opposite of its original intent.

The term social contract was used in early libertarian and natural law debates among such folks as Locke, Hobbes, and Strauss. The phrase meant an explicit agreement by people in a society allowing themselves to be governed by others. It was meant as a limiting principle on what a government could and could not do. It was one of the foundational principles of the US Constitution.

Liberals have perverted the term to mean an implicit obligation of collectivism. Liberals use the essential positive meaning of the term to browbeat the masses into accepting something evil, redistributionism, as a positive. It is pure Orwellian double-speak.

Border Patrol told to stand down in Arizona

From The Washington Times:

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Senate Panel Clears Bolton's Nomination

From Fox News:

John Bolton's nomination for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was sent out of committee Thursday, albeit with a glaring asterisk.

The latest liberal crusade

From Dr. Thomas Sowell:

The latest liberal crusade is against the Wal-Mart stores.

RE: Ever have one of those millennia?

Steve opines:

I still don't like the way we went about doing things with regard to Iraq, but you can't argue with results. This is one of those sublime moments where all the right things happened for all the wrong reasons. I'll be the first to admit I was wrong about what the state of affairs would be in Iraq right now. I don't expect liberals will admit that as well, so we need people like Ann to help them come to grips with it. We wouldn't want them to be in denial for over long, would we?

Times Square Billboard Declares: “PETA Kills Animals”

From The Center for Consumer Freedom states that, "Hypocritical Animal Rights Organization Put 10,000 Animals To Death."

Pajama Game

From The American Spectator:

Last September, when bloggers deconstructed Dan Rather and Company over the bogus documents they used to question George W. Bush's National Guard service, one CNN executive said that a typical blogger is "a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas." He dismissed the blog phenomenon as having "no checks and balances."

Now, with a dose of irony pointed CNN's way, three much-visited blogs (web logs) are banding together to form a global news network and to sell advertising. It's name? Pajamas Media.

Ever have one of those millennia?

From Ann Coulter:

It's always important to get liberals to stop complaining long enough to make a hard prediction. This week we will review liberal predictions on bringing democracy to Iraq.

Southern Baptists and government schools

From The American Thinker:

Far too few among the Christian community are willing to remain steadfast in their beliefs, in the face of the enormous pressures of liberal social change. Fortunately, Bruce N. Shortt exemplifies the meaning of such worthy resolve.

Filibuster Busters

From R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator:

Students of American politics are about to witness a real battle royal in the Senate. The use of the filibuster is the issue. We are not talking about the filibuster as used by Southern Democrats to preserve segregation. That filibuster was the parliamentary standby resorted to by Democratic reactionaries for much of the 20th century. This filibuster is the parliamentary standby resorted to by liberal Democrats. They use it to preserve not segregation but rather judge-made law. They are the reactionaries of the 21st century.

Uncle John's Cabin

From The American Spectator:

Former Democratic vice-presidential candidate and class warfare enthusiast John "Two Americas" Edwards and his wife might spend their anniversaries at Wendy's (at least when there are newspaper photographers and cable news anchors in the parking lot), but the other 364 days of their year are played out in much swanker quarters.

RE: No Federalism on the Right

Steve Brenneis opines:

Boaz is making a mistake when he assumes that Bush and the rest of his insipid neo-cons are actual conservatives. Real conservatives (and real Republicans for that matter) are still just as committed to federalism as ever.

The Appalachians

Did anyone happen to see the PBS special, "The Appalachians" last night? Absolutely wonderful! I can't stop thinking about it.

No Federalism on the Right

From Fox News Opinion:

If conservatives don't want federalism any more, will liberals pick up the banner?

Was World War II worth it?

This article was sent to me by my friend & co-worker Chris Exline...

From Pat Buchanan:

In the Bush vs. Putin debate on World War II, Putin had far the more difficult assignment. Defending Russia's record in the "Great Patriotic War," the Russian president declared, "Our people not only defended their homeland, they liberated 11 European countries."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Reid doesn't back down from Friday remark about Bush

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

If Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada still feels remorse for calling President Bush a loser, he didn't show it on Tuesday.

How not to be poor

From Dr. Walter E. Williams:

Ministers Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Washington, D.C.'s Mayor Anthony Williams and others recently met to discuss plans to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the October 1995 Million Man March. Whilst reading about the plans, I thought of an excellent topic for the event: how not to be poor.

Things could get much worse across our southern border

From The American Thinker:

Leftist Mexico City mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a potential Hugo Chavez who may be ruling Mexico by 2007, is now accused by a Mexican newspaper of allowing city funds to bankroll weapons purchases for Mexican Marxist guerrillas. If that's true, it's a worrisome portent of the kind of president AMLO may be.

Washington to Salute Nancy Reagan

From Fox News:

Nancy Reagan, preparing for her first big public event since her husband's state funeral, says staying at the White House has left her awash in emotions and memories of the years they spent here.

RE: Clerical Losers

Steve Brenneis opines:

I expect these apostate priests should count themselves lucky that they are simply being retired and not moved to Zimbabwe or Lebanon. Pope Benedict seems to be just as good as we expected he would be.

Clerical Losers

From the Washington Prowler:

If there were any "losers" in the election of Pope Benedict XVI, they certainly will not be found among the faithful, or the Latin American or African Catholic churches. No, the biggest losers are here in the United States, where influential, liberal Catholic priests who have actively and publicly defied the Vatican, along with several Cardinals selected late in the reign of Pope John Paul II, find themselves in a bit of a political pickle.

The Disappearing Case Against John Bolton

From the editors at National Review:

Senator George Voinovich has told people that he did John Bolton a favor by agreeing to a Democratic demand to delay the committee vote on his nomination to be United Nations ambassador a few weeks ago. This is chutzpah, since Voinovich waltzed into the committee unprepared and rolled out after an hour of Democratic table-thumping. His buckling gave the Democrats additional time to dump every possible accusation on Bolton's head. But Voinovich is right in this sense: With the passage of time, the case against Bolton is looking ever weaker.

Edwards agrees to help in statewide Democratic races

From the Herald Sun:

Former vice presidential nominee John Edwards agreed Tuesday to help strengthen the Democratic presence in state legislatures by recruiting candidates and raising money.

Ours Are Better than Yours

Sorry, we have belly girl:

You lose!

RE: Democratic Women vs. Republican Women

Behethland B. Clark adds:

They forgot to mention ...
Natalie Portman
Cindy Crawford
Sandra Bullock
Gwyneth Paltrow
Jennifer Anniston
Jackie Kennedy
Audrey Hepburn

All Dems! ;)

Democratic Women vs. Republican Women

Photo courtesy of friend & co-worker Bob Webber:

RE: More on the Roadless Rule

Steve Brenneis opines:

I can't really tell from this whether it was written by John Gates or by Lloyd Brinson's wife (I can't remember her fist name). It sounds more like Mrs. Brinson except that it doesn't have that hard, "I hate everybody who ever thought about being a Republican" edge to it that her writing usually carries.

If we listen to this we will think that we are in imminent need of getting under cover so chunks of the sky don't hit us. Yes, once again the sky is falling. The Bush administration finally made good on a campaign promise they made during the 2000 election campaign and the predictable liberals at the Journal are having a hissy fit.

A few choice points:

"There is no reasonable justification for the Bush administration's decision last week..."
Of course there is. He promised he would do it five years ago. Then he got elected. In our system of government, that's all the justification he needs. The only thing unreasonable about it is that it took this long to accomplish.

"President Clinton instituted the so-called roadless rule that Bush has now scrapped after a painstaking three-year process."

What a pant-load. Slick Willy vacillated on this for three years and then signed the order eight days before he left office. His efforts were just another in a huge series of political triangulations.

"There might also be ill will among some governors, who will have to wade through a new layer of red tape and petition the Forest Service to protect national forests."
Awww. The poor babies. Like they have no other bureaucratic red tape to wade through. Some of it they even created themselves. Spare me! This is such a pitifully weak argument, I would have been embarrassed to make it.

"Scrapping it amounts to taking a giant step backward into the time before Americans understood the importance of the dwindling wild places."
Wrong. Scrapping it means the people closest to the issue get to make the decision. Brinson/Gates wants to make the reader believe that because Bush negated Clinton's (unconstitutional) order, that the bulldozers and paving machines are headed in right now. Typical environmentalist hyperbole. I couldn't be happier about this since it represents one of the few times George W. Bush has actually acted like a Republican in the last five years. My only question is, what took him so long?

More on the Roadless Rule

From the editorial page of the Winston-Salem Journal:

There is no reasonable justification for the Bush administration's decision last week to open up 58.5 million acres of remote national forest land to road building, logging and other disruptive commercial activities.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

RE: Suggested Sura from the Koran

Steve Brenneis opines:

You're kidding, right?

That's like saying because cetaceans aren't mentioned in the first paragraph of Moby Dick that it has nothing to do with a whale. Even more apropos, because the first fifteen chapters of the gospel of John don't mention Jesus by name, that John has nothing to do with Jesus.

As for the content of the sura, I have to ask, was Muhammad serious? You believe what you want and I'll believe what I want and fair thee well? Kind of schizophrenic, don't you think? And more than a little hard to reconcile with this:

Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."
And this:

O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them.

If any do turn his back to them on such a day - unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)!
It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah: when thou threwest (a handful of dust), it was not thy act, but Allah's: in order that He might test the Believers by a gracious trial from Himself: for Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things).

and this:

Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them).
And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.
If they refuse, be sure that Allah is your Protector - the best to protect and the best to help.
And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to Allah,- and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer,- if ye do believe in Allah and in the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Testing,- the Day of the meeting of the two forces. For Allah hath power over all things.
And this:

O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.

Whenever there cometh down a sura, some of them say: "Which of you has had His faith increased by it?" Yea, those who believe,- their faith is increased and they do rejoice.

But those in whose hearts is a disease,- it will add doubt to their doubt, and they will die in a state of Unbelief.
See they not that they are tried every year once or twice? Yet they turn not in repentance, and they take no heed.

I'm not interested in getting into the business of attacking anyone's beliefs with regard to spirituality. However, I cannot let stand attempts to portray Christians who closely adhere to the word of God as fanatics and extremists while at the same time trying to redact Islam in its fundamental state into a religion of peace and tolerance. If Muslims want to follow a spirituality which teaches peace, understanding, and love of our fellow men then let them accept the whole Word of God made flesh, Jesus, the risen Christ and his teachings. It's certainly a more honest road than selectively picking the parts of a widely varying doctrine that suit them. And it is certainly better than waging a war of either PR or terror on the entire Judeo-Christian world.

RE: Kingdom of This World

Steve Brenneis opines:

To take Mr. Neumayr's excellent point a little further:

Much of the left also seems to want to create some homogeneous religion in which everything is true and nothing is hard. Thus we suddenly sprout a dozen new-age variants on the world's major and minor faiths in which everything and nothing is doctrine.

There are people who want to resurrect the more interesting points of several ancient pagan belief systems such as Druidism and others. Unfortunately for them, Druidism has an ugly side involving self-mutilation and human sacrifices, so these urban liberals manufacture something easier to live with and rationalize away the nasty bits with more or less incoherent arguments.

Similarly, people who find traditional Christianity too difficult to bear have resurrected any number of early Christian era gnostic cults and sects. In some cases they have morphed several of these into some unrecognizable hodge-podge, in other cases they have fine tuned their synthesis with the more marketable aspects of Eastern mysticism. Unfortunately for them also, most of these second and third century gnostic sects tended to be even more strongly ascetic than the early Christians and would have found most of what modern liberal religion-mixers have created to be abomination.

Finally, and more insipidly from the point of view of pure faith, there are groups of people who simply ignore the more difficult teachings of their chosen faith and when confronted with their apostasy resort to calling their accusers hyperbolic names like "extremist" and "fundamentalist." These folks come in Jewish, Muslim, and Christian flavors. In the Jewish and Christian forms, activities like abortion and homosexuality, absolute abominations by any reasonable reading of Judeo-Christian scripture, are rationalized away using out-of-context and quasi-scriptural arguments. Failing those, liberals resort to "opinion" and "my interpretation" arguments.

In the Muslim form, ugliness like jihad, sharia, and the infidel poll tax are swept under the carpet to produce a sanitized version of Islam that is really nothing more than Arabic Christianity with a different "prophet" at the helm. In fact, in the process of sanitizing Islam to the point it becomes some civilized belief system acceptable to most Westerners, nothing much is left but ritual.

The unfortunate end result of all this is a gulf between religion and faith. Many liberals want to have a religion that fits them comfortably like a new sports car or a wide-screen TV, but without the inconvenience of faith, understanding, or more importantly, behavior modification. As always with liberals, this comes down to a lack of understanding of the difference between what we do and what we are, or as the pundits put it: a triumph of style over substance.

Suggested Sura from the Koran

Ben suggested I read Sura 109 in response to the posted article. I see no reference to war or killing my enemies here... Maybe he's hiding the really evil verses?

Say : O ye that reject Faith!
109:2 I worship not that which ye worship,
109:3 Nor will ye worship that which I worship.

109:4 And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship,
109:5 Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
109:6 To you be your Way, and to me mine.

The British Election: Implications for the U.S.-UK Alliance

From Dr. Nile Gardiner of The Heritage Foundation:

Last week’s UK election marked the beginning of the end of the Blair era in British politics, writes Heritage’s Nile Gardiner. Blair’s majority in the House of Commons was cut by almost 100 seats, and his ruling Labour Party received just 36 percent of the popular vote. It is likely that Blair will step down mid-way through his final term of office to be replaced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown.

Blair should be given huge credit for his central role in the war on terror and for the courage of his convictions in going to war in Iraq. However, his willingness to surrender British sovereignty in Europe through his support for the European Constitution is a strategic error of judgment, which fundamentally undermines the Anglo-U.S. special relationship.

Give Us the Real Thing on Social Security

From Will Wilkinson, a policy analyst for the Cato Institute:

If you think that paying the Social Security tax legally entitles you to benefits, you're wrong. Social Security is a payroll tax on the one hand and a set of transfers from the government on the other. The two are connected in the way David Blaine levitates: He doesn't; they aren't; it's illusion.

Dem Chairman Dean Endorses Socialist For Senate In VT...

From the Bennington Banner:

Breaking party lines, former Gov. Howard Dean said Monday he supports Rep. Bernard Sanders' bid for the U.S. Senate, saying the Independent makes a "strong candidate."

The New Strategery: Why America needs new allies

From The American Thinker:

The year is 2007. Iran explodes its first nuclear device. Its missiles can now reach Paris and London. In response, Europe does nothing; in its customary fashion, it tries to buy peace. Now that Iran is invulnerable to attack, it begins to push more aggressively against Israel and its Muslim enemies. Iran's Shiites hate Sunni Muslims even more than Christians, Jews and Western atheists. The Muslim world is therefore divided.

Ted K’s big fat tax loophole: Millionaire blames windfall on ‘error’

From the Boston Herald:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy got hefty tax breaks on his $4.5 million Washington, D.C., mansion for at least two years - even though he never met the basic residency requirement for the deductions.

Kingdom of This World

From George Neumayr, the executive editor of The American Spectator:

The gravitation of liberals to illiberal ideologies is uncanny. The more illiberal the ideology, the more likely liberals will endeavor to understand and defend it. Militant Islam enjoys the benefits of this phenomenon in this century, just as the totalitarians of the Soviet Union benefited from it in the last. Militant Islam's most powerful propagandists are not Muslims but self-hating Westerners who interpret militant Islam's history and doctrines with a sympathy they never extend to Western religion.

The Counsel of Trent

From the Washington Prowler:

Senator Trent Lott expects to be majority leader of the Senate in January 2007, if not sooner, according to a Rules Committee staffer. Lott, who chairs that committee, has been using his chairmanship as the launching pad for the political comeback, most recently in his back door attempt to broker a non-nuclear-option-proliferation agreement with Democrats.

RE: RE: RE: Fundamentalists Forget

Steve responds to Behethland:

We can start with his "I'm better than you because I know what Jesus meant and you don't" attitude and go from there.

His sole scriptural reference is completely out of context with his argument and that smacks of heresy.

I can go on, but that should be enough for now.

RE: RE: RE: RE: Jihad begot the Crusades

Steve responds to Behethland:

"I have never read the actual Q'uran..."
I have read large parts of it. I am comfortable with what I said.

"I would like to hear the viewpoint of someone who practices that religion."

If that viewpoint differs from what is written in the Quran and what the imams have dictated, I would probably find it interesting as well. I would also wonder how anyone who varies from those teachings manages to call themselves Muslim. I would say the same thing about the New Testament and Christians as well.

"...fundamentalists preaching their narrow-minded doctrine and think that is what Jesus taught!"

You really do have that fundamentalist bogeyman thing going, don't you? Do you even know what a fundamentalist is? If you did, I daresay you would be surprised to find a lot of people you know (and respect) fall into that category.

"You are treading on dangerous ground when you begin to call another's religion false."

Me and Jesus. I'm comfortable with that.

RE: RE: Fundamentalists Forget

Behethland responds to Steve:

How is anything this man said un-Christian?

RE: RE: RE: Jihad begot the Crusades

Behethland responds to Steve:

Of course he didn't!

My point is that I don't know enough about someone else's religion to decipher what is fundamentalist doctrine and what is the intended message. I have never read the actual Q'uran, just exerpts in textbooks and literature, and through lectures in World Religion. I would like to hear the viewpoint of someone who practices that religion.

I'm sure there are many who aren't familiar with Christianity but see fundamentalists preaching their narrow-minded doctrine and think that is what Jesus taught!

You are treading on dangerous ground when you begin to call another's religion false.