Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Welcome to BonnieBlueFlag

By Aussiegirl

You all know BonnieBlueFlag from her frequent fine contributions to UT on subjects ranging from politics to history to animals and nature. I'm happy to report that she has agreed to join UT as a regular team member and now has full posting privileges, so we look forward to hearing from her regularly, and hopefully seeing more pics and hearing more about all the critters in and around her home, both domestic and wild.

Terrorists way too cozy in United Kingdom

By Aussiegirl

As usual, Mark Steyn lays it on the line. Read it and leap -- with joy that someone finally put in words what you've been thinking.

Terrorists way too cozy in United Kingdom

On Tuesday, the Times of London contained this intriguing tidbit about one of the thwarted suicide bombers of the July 21 tube attacks -- Yasin Hassan Omar, a Somali ''asylum seeker'':

''Omar, who was last seen vaulting a barrier at Warren Street station, has been the registered occupant of the flat since 1999. Ibrahim, who was last seen in Hackney Road, East London, after his failed attempt to blow up a No. 26 bus, shared it with him for the past two years. Omar, received £88 a week in housing benefit to pay for the council property and also received income support, immigration officials say.''

''Council property'' is Britspeak for public housing. So here's how things stand four years after 9/11: United Kingdom taxpayers are subsidizing the jihad.

There's a cheery thought for any Englishman the next time he's on a bus when some Islamakazi self-detonates: It's on his tax bill; pay as you blow.

Create A Critter Buffet

by: BonnieBlueFlag

A hummingbird slows to a hover as it approaches a feeder in Lufkin, Texas. The small, speedy bird made several visits to the site over the course of the afternoon. (AP Photo/Joel Andrews)

Just a reminder, that everyone should look out for our feathered and furry friends during the heats spells that we have been having.

A hummingbird feeder is an inexpensive way to have hours of entertainment.

If you don't have a bird bath, put out a large shallow pan of fresh water on a table or a bench. Try not to put it next to a bush, where the neighborhood kitty cat can hide and wait for lunch.

Butterflies love overly ripe bananas, so be creative in finding a place for it outdoors. You've always wondered what to do with that banana anyway.

No matter where you live, there is a variety of wildlife that could benefit from your thoughtfulness.

Aussiegirl and I would love to hear about the critters in your neck of the woods.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Approaching Chinese Cyber Storm

By Aussiegirl

The Approaching Chinese Cyber Storm by Frederick W. Stakelbeck

Finding any funny characters on your PC lately? Might be the Chicoms messing with your computer. Makes bombs look like child's play. Something else to worry about.

On numerous occasions in the past, China’s authoritarian regime has publicly stated that the U.S. is its ideological enemy. Comments made by Chinese defector Chen Yonglin to Australian authorities in June support the theory that China’s leaders view the U.S. as their main adversary. “The U.S. is considered by the Chinese Communist Party as the largest enemy, the major strategic rival. The U.S. occupies a unique place in China’s diplomacy,” noted Yonglin.

With inflammatory statements like those noted by Chen Yonglin, it is easy to understand why national security questions still resonate in Washington from the December purchase of IBM’s PC division by China’s largest computer company Lenovo. Although eventually approved by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), critical questions concerning the ultimate use of the company’s state-of-the-art computers as they relate to state-sponsored cyber crime and hacking attacks, still remain largely unanswered.

Specifically, could Lenovo computers or other domestic computers be used by Beijing to initiate a coordinated cyber attack against the U.S. to fracture the stability of global financial markets, interrupt international communications, damage interconnected security networks and harm the overall effectiveness and rapid response capabilities of the U.S. military?

If history is any indication, the possibility of such an attack is authentic and should be given serious attention.

Washington should be deeply concerned about the growing possibility of a massive, state-sponsored cyber attack against U.S. interests originating from mainland China – however, the opposite seems to be true. Surprisingly, there seems to be a dangerous lack of leadership, information sharing, structural flexibility and vision in the area of cyber security. “They are ignoring cyber security and it poses an enormous vulnerability,” said Edward Lazowska, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington.

Plots alleged to assassinate PM Yulia Tymoshenko

Ukraine is checking reported murder attempt on PM:

ockKIEV, July 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) said late Thursday it was checking reports from several Ukrainian embassies about an alleged attempt to murder Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

"The SBU is checking these reports and necessary measures are being taken," SBU spokeswoman Marina Ostapenko said in a statement without elaborating.

Kiev's private NTN TV cited Ukrainian diplomatic sources in Sweden as saying that "criminals and business circles" were plotting to kill Tymoshenko.

Mobsters allied with Ukrainian oligarchs whose interests are threatened by Tymoshenko's vigorous anti-corruption campaign were the suspected potential assailants, according to the NTN.

Tymoshenko, ally of President Viktor Yushchenko, was appointed prime minister in early February and won overwhelming parliamentary support.

During her six-month term as premier, Tymoshenko has spearheaded a government fight against corruption and smuggling. She has also initiated a review of privatization deals made in "dubious circumstances" under the previous authorities.

The investigation came only days after President Yushchenkou cancelled a trip to Georgia because of worries of a possible terrorist attack against him there, according to local media reports.

"March of the Penguins"

"Penguins in Tuxedos for the Oscars"

By BonnieBlueFlag

Dear Hollywood Moguls and Elites:

For months we have heard the weeping, and wailing, and the gnashing of teeth emanating from the enclaves of Hollywood movie makers, and theater owners all across America. Box office receipts have "mysteriously" plummeted to record depths, and they don't know why.

Convinced that the audiences were only interested in big special effects movies, believing that the masses would not be able to understand a complex story plot, and constantly reassuring each other that XXX rated movies were the way to go; they were baffled when their personal fortunes no longer seemed guaranteed by the dreck they were producing.

And now here comes a little "French" documentary about Penguins, French for heaven's sake, that looks like it is going to be this year's proverbial "Cash Cow."

"The March of the Penguins" is expected to surpass the $21.6 million in earnings of the number 2 documentary, Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine," which should have been classified as a work of fiction.

Whatever the ultimate earnings are, including the home video versions, and other product revenues, there will be no enormous outlay for the salaries and demands of the "stars." There was no Scientology tent set up on location while filming.

What will be the reaction of those in the world of entertainment? Will they huddle together and decide this film is a fluke? That it is not be taken seriously as an indication, that the American audiences are no longer willing to be taken to the depths of pornographic voyeurism?

They were wrong about Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," forcing him to earn all those millions of dollars, all by himself. It is my understanding, that he already has distribution offers and contracts for his next movie, which is still on the drawing board. Mel had the character to take an unpopular stand in Hollywood, and he has been richly rewarded.

"The March of the Penguins," follows the life cycle and the family life of the Emperor Penguins who live in Antarctica, the South Pole. In other words, this is a film about "Family Values." Incidentally, there are no penguins at the North Pole with Santa and the reindeer.

For those of you who may be reluctant to see a French documentary, perhaps unwilling to be perceived as being like the French in any way, I give you the following loophole.

The original French version had the penguins speaking their own parts, similar to a live animation, which did not do well in the U.S.

So with a snip of the scissors, and the addition of a voice over by Morgan Freeman, voila, an American hit! March of the Penguins

Written by: BonnieBlueFlag

Shall we call it Bluto? -- New world may be double Pluto's size

By Aussiegirl

A lot of exciting discoveries in the heavens are made by amateur astronomers. There's nothing like gazing into the night sky to give you a sense of awe. I remember reading recently that the Pioneer spacecraft's path was a bit unpredictable and was probably caused by some unknown source of gravity. I thought at the time that perhaps there were still undiscovered planets beyond Pluto. Now we just have to name the thing. I suggest Bluto since it's bigger than Pluto.

New Scientist SPACE - Breaking News - New world may be double Pluto's size: "

An object possibly twice the size of Pluto has been found - hiding in plain sight. The discovery could be the biggest world in the Kuiper belt of rocky objects that orbit the outer reaches of the solar system.
The find suggests more such objects are waiting to be discovered and is likely to reignite the fierce debate about what constitutes a planet.
On Thursday, an email with the subject, 'Big TNO discovery, urgent' was sent to a popular astronomy mailing list. The message described the discovery of a 'very bright' object that was creeping along slowly beyond the orbit of Neptune - making it a Trans-Neptunian Object, or TNO.
Its exact size cannot be determined because the reflectivity of its surface is not known. But if the reflectivity is as dim as most other distant, rocky objects that have been studied, it could be twice as wide as Pluto, which is about 2300 kilometres across."

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Hurry up and die -- terminally ill denied food and water in Britain

By Aussiegirl

Once you have government single-payer health care this will be the inevitable result. The bottom line will always win out over individual rights. You become nothing more than a burden to the state, and the quicker they can dispose of you once you are no longer productive, the better and more economically efficient. As we saw recently in the Schiavo case here, food and water are no longer considered basic sustenance but become medical treatment, as such, they can be denied, even against your own wishes. Just recently, New York and the CDC said they wanted to begin track diabetics who were not controlling their blood sugars by means of surveying the blood sugar measurements of everyone receiving a blood test. Those whose blood sugar is not being controlled properly will be called and reminded to get treatment, etc. - ostensibly because they cost the state a lot of money to treat. How long before food ration cards will be issued to diabetics to ensure that they do not eat cakes or sugary products and for government food police to monitor the contents of their refrigerators. Government health care is the opening to the biggest intrusion in your private life that there can be, even unto causing your death through dehydration and starvation against your will. It's for the good of the state, you know. Nothing personal. Get used to it. This death may be awaiting you.

The Sun Online - News: Dying can be denied food

THE high court ruled today doctors do have the power to withdraw food and drink from terminally ill patients - even if it is against their wishes.

The General Medical Council (GMC) was appealing against a previous ruling that gave Lesley Burke - who suffers from a degenerative brain condition - the right to insist on nuterition during the final stages of his illness.

Mr Burke, 45, won the original ruling last year and it was hailed as a landmark by groups representing the terminally ill.

But today a panel of three judges headed by Master of the Rolls Lord Phillips set aside the decision.

The appeal judges were told at a hearing in May that the High Court ruling could put doctors in "an impossibly difficult position".

Philip Havers QC, representing the GMC, said the ruling would force doctors to provide the treatment a patient demanded even if the doctor’s view was the treatment would not provide any benefit.

He said a patient did not have the right to demand any particular form of treatment.

Mr Burke, of Lancaster, suffers from cerebellar ataxia and sought the original ruling because he feared he would be in no condition to insist on food and water when his disease reached its final stages.

He said: "Obviously I am disappointed that I have not got all that
I wished for.

"I have every wish to take it to the House of Lords."

He was refused permission to take the case to the Law Lords but can petition the House for a hearing.

Joyce Robins, co-director of human rights campaign group Patient Concern, said the decision was a disappointment.

She said: "Doctors again have extraordinary power over us, making decisions on how and when we die.

"This is a huge step backwards for patients.

"The right to food and water is a right to simple basic sustenance but
because they are considered treatment, they can now be taken away.

"We feel the judges are completely out of touch with the feelings of people in Leslie’s position.

"Patients are entirely at the mercy of doctors making the decision over
whether they live or die, which is obviously an intensely personal decision.

"This is only round one. We will take this all the way to Strasbourg if we have to."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Anti-American Sentiment in South Korea

By BonnieBlueFlag

The Korean War cost 54,000 American lives.

On June 25, 1950, North Korean troops suddenly invaded South Korea, and they reached Seoul in the first weeks of July.

The United States had not maintained a contingent of troops in South Korea after World War II; so the North Koreans supported and outfitted by the Soviet Union, had very little difficulty in advancing on Seoul.

The Chairman/Leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, had convinced Josef Stalin that an invasion of South Korea would be welcomed, and that the South Koreans would overthrow their own government, which they did not.

On September 15, 1950, General Douglas MacArthur leading American and UN troops landed at Inchon, a seaport in the city of Seoul, and they were eventually able to force the withdrawal of the North Koreans.

It would not be until July of 1953 that an armistice was signed, however, no peace treaty was ever signed.

In 1957 only four years after the signing of the armistice, grateful South Koreans erected a 15 foot tall bronze statue of General Douglas MacArthur.

Today, a little over 50 years later, this is the scene near the statue of Gen. MacArthur.

South Korean riot police officers stand guard near a statue of U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur during a demonstration at a war memorial housing a statue of U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Inchon, west of Seoul, Sunday, July 17, 2005. Anti-MacArthur demonstrators marching at Freedom Park were met by thousands of his supporters who pelted them with objects and shouted invective. Half a century after MacArthur landed behind North Korean lines and led U.N. forces in a counterattack that turned the tide of the Korean War, South Koreans still argue over whether his memory should be revered or banished from the peninsula. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

In 2004, prior to the November presidential election, the Pentagon announced that 3,700 American troops would be withdrawn from South Korea and deployed in Iraq, and that remaining troops would be repositioned in a more southerly location, with 12,500 of those to be stationed elsewhere.

Presidential candidate, John Kerry felt that this was a display of cowardice by the Bush administration. The South Koreans were concerned that our troops were leaving the DMZ, and alarmed that they could be potentially leaving all together. While Chairman Kim Jong Il (son of Kim Il Sung), and the North Koreans, believed that the repositioning of troops was to put them out of missile range, and saw this as a first step in our preparation to attack North Korea.

So military actions taken by the Bush administration, were anything but a show of cowardice, as proclaimed by John Kerry.

Today the students and young people of South Korea, have no memory of the violence visited upon their parents and grandparents by Kim Jong Il's father. Nor do they realize that the unification of Korea under Kim Jong Il's terms would destroy their way of life. They have elected an anti-American government in President Roh Moo Hyun, and are eager to see the Americans leave South Korea.

Kim Jong Il's own people have been reduced to eating grass and acorns, but the young South Koreans do not see how he might covet the economic wealth of the agricultural South.

South Korean students carry an effigy of U.S. President George W. Bush and the Statue of Liberty during an anti-war rally in downtown Seoul. About 500 students demanded withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) (July 23, 2005)

Will this be a case of, "Those who do not remember history, will be condemned to repeat it?" Unfortunately, those of us who do remember, will be forced to relive it as well.

Written by: BonnieBlueFlag

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Prince Volodymyr's remains returned to Kyiv

By Aussiegirl

Ukrainian prince's remains brought home

The remains of the 11th Century Kievan prince Vladimir were scheduled to be returned Sunday to the Monastery of the Caves in the Ukrainian capital.

The Ukrainian Orthodox church prelate, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine, is taking the remnants from the Rostov-on-Don diocese in Russia, where they have been since the 1980s, the Russian news agency Novosti reported.

Prince Vladimir introduced the kingdom of Kievan Rus to Christianity in the 10th century. His remains were lost until an archaeological find in 1635.

Before World War II, they were leant to Moscow to be studied.

Left at the dance -- conservatives labeled prurient and intolerant by Bush

By Aussiegirl

Looks like the Bush administration has finally decided to play hardball politics -- only they aren't going to get tough on the Democrats who vilify and obstruct -- no -- they are going after conservatives on the subject of illegal immigration. That's right. We are now the enemy folks, we are a rabid band of "prurient" elements within the party. Time for the purges to begin. Talk radio is merely an "echo chamber" of this intolerance which is alienating millions of potential Hispanic voters. Karl Rove and George Bush have evidently decided that they have more to gain in votes from the Hispanic vote than they will lose from their conservative base. This sounds like a plot hatched with the sage advice of that sly old political silver fox, The Bubba Himself. I guess that's what they discussed as they held their slumber parties on the presidential planes as they flew to rescue the millions of Tsunami victims. Isn't it nice to know that the President intends to leave the one that brung him, and dance with a new senorita. We shall see how this goes down. Bush has unmasked himself with this stunt once and for all. With him, it seems, that corporate and business interests, plus making deals with whatever political bedfellows need to be made is all that counts. There is no more Republican party as far as I'm concerned. We have been officially purged. It's time to form a new party, folks. We've been stood up at the prom. And not only that -- the nation's security has been stood up -- for a bunch of corporate interests.

Immigration Rising on Bush's To-Do List: "The White House wants to build a coalition to court Latinos and marginalize hard-liners.

Worried that the tone of the immigration debate is pushing Latinos away from the Republican Party, the White House is working with political strategists to create a broad coalition of business groups and immigrant advocates to back a plan President Bush could promote in Congress and to minority voters in the 2006 elections.

The strategists say Bush is planning to make immigration a top priority as soon as this fall, once the focus on a Supreme Court vacancy has passed. The push is being planned to coincide with next year's campaigns for the House and Senate, in which Latino voters could be crucial in several states. It is part of a broader White House strategy to forge a long-lasting majority by drawing more minority voters.

Aiming for an air of bipartisanship, the White House-backed coalition, to be called Americans for Border and Economic Security, will be led by former U.S. Reps. Cal Dooley (D-Hanford) and Dick Armey (R-Texas). The chief organizer is one of the capital's most important White House allies: former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, who has hosted preliminary meetings at his Washington lobbying firm just blocks from the White House and has been advising the RNC on minority outreach.

. . . Some Republican strategists worry that the more extreme voices in this camp are alienating Latino voters with anti-immigrant language, and one goal of the new coalition is to marginalize those voices. Organizers said the coalition could help the GOP avoid the kind of political damage caused in the early 1990s by the anti-immigration campaign in California backed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson.

The issue has presented a quandary for Bush, who backed off his earlier calls for immigration changes after conservatives rebelled. Now, the White House hopes to reinvigorate the drive for new immigration laws — but this time it wants to work in advance to ensure that the president is backed by a broad alliance of business and advocacy groups.

There are signs, however, that the administration effort is running into problems even as it begins: Several key business groups are hesitant to join the new coalition, questioning whether the administration can separate itself from the anti-immigration wing of the GOP that is promoting restrictive policies. And the party's leading voices favoring stricter limits on immigration, such as Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), remain undaunted — pledging to intensify their efforts.

"The politics of the Republican Party isn't going to change by itself. It needs help," said Terry Holt, a spokesman for Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, who works with Gillespie and is recruiting members for the new coalition. "Immigration needs advocates. And if those advocates engage, they can have a profound impact on the issue."

Referring to the Latino vote, which turned out in larger numbers last year for Bush than in his 2000 campaign, Holt added: "There are great opportunities for Republicans, and also dangers if we don't handle this properly."

Holt and Armey, who as House majority leader from 1995 to 2002 unsuccessfully challenged some of his fellow conservatives to soften their opposition to immigration, said the new group's message would seek to isolate players such as Tancredo, who leads a House caucus that backs stiff border restrictions.

Tancredo succeeded in dominating the debate, Holt and Armey said, because of an echo chamber of conservative talk radio and other advocates for limiting the influx of Mexicans across the border.

"There's two voices right now, and the noisy one is what I call the slam-the-borders crowd," Armey said. "The voice we want to speak with — and the one that will be in unison with President Bush — is the voice that echoes those marvelous words on the Statue of Liberty."

"To me, the Tancredo wing appeals to the more prurient character of our nature," Armey added. "We want to talk to the better angels of our nature."

Organizers say the new coalition is patterned after groups formed to press for Bush's overhaul of Social Security and his successful 2003 push for a Medicare prescription drug program — a new aspect of Republican strategy in which corporations and other interest groups are tapped to help move public opinion in favor of a policy initiative.

Corporations and advocacy groups with a direct interest in immigration — including those who need skilled high-tech workers, farm laborers and university teaching assistants — are being aggressively targeted for membership. Those being courted include Microsoft Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and groups representing academic institutions, restaurants, hotels, landscaping firms, hospitals and nurses.

Organizers say this is the first time an effort has been made to bring these disparate groups together to focus on immigration issues.

Admission into the new coalition costs between $50,000 and $250,000. The proceeds are expected to pay for a political-style campaign for an approach to immigration that combines heightened border security with a guest-worker program of some sort, creating an environment that the White House believes will be more favorable for Bush to step back into the fray.

Tancredo accused the administration of forging an alliance with business executives who view migrants as a path to greater profits.

"They know this has nothing to do with Hispanic votes," he said. "They're trying to cover what their real motive is, which is to supply [business] with cheap labor, to not close the spigot of cheap labor…. But they've lost in Congress. They've lost the public. And now they're in damage control."

Tancredo asserted that Bush was in a bad spot politically, caught between public opinion favoring restrictive immigration policies and corporate interests that want looser policies. He said the apparent plans being laid by the new coalition seem to contrast with the message Bush gave to House leaders during a recent White House meeting: that the borders must be secured.

"I think he is trying to figure out a way to triangulate here," Tancredo said.

Further complicating matters for the White House is a business community that has shown some resistance to entreaties from Holt and Gillespie, wary both of the price tag for joining the coalition and of aligning itself with a White House that tends to accede to the demands of its base.
. . . Craig Regelbrugge, a lobbyist for the American Nursery & Landscape Assn., one of the groups being courted by the new coalition, said Bush would succeed in forging partnerships with business only once he felt comfortable angering some parts of his base.

"You're never going to please them all," Regelbrugge said, who like Gay has attended preliminary meetings of the coalition. "That's the difficult thing for the White House on this. They don't want to anger anyone. But the party's going to have to choose between the closed-minded restrictionists and the business base…. Who's really the base of the base? Farmers and businesspeople, or the others?"

He said that if he sensed the coalition was moving toward the anti-immigrant forces, he would not go along. "If it got to the point that there's not a balanced approach to this, I can guarantee you I won't be a part of this coalition and I will resign," he said. "I'm approaching this as a political pragmatist."

Monday, July 25, 2005

Deport hate spitters -- a Major breakthrough!

By Aussiegirl

Finally, someone is saying the previously unsayable -- deport all those who spit hate. John Major comes out of the past to give some timely advice in the war on terror. How long will we tolerate vipers in our midst?
How long will we tolerate intolerance?

And as for the "shoot to kill" policy which resulted in the regrettable
death of a Brazilian immigrant the other day, Major prefers to call it
"shoot to protect". It is inexplicable why this man jumped a turnstile
and ran away from cops who shouted at him to halt, running aboard a
train wearing a heavy, padded winter coat. What were the cops supposed
to think? What was he thinking? Perhaps in his country people are
afraid of authorities, but he had obviously not stepped off the banana
boat yesterday, and knew what was going on in England. Let this be a
lesson to all those who are used to British Bobbies who don't even pack
heat -- it's a new world, baby, and when the authorities shout "stop" --
you darn well better stop if you value your life.

People who "spit hate" at the British way of life should be
deported, Tory former Prime Minister John Major said.
Mr Major spoke of the "uncomfortable reality" that many terrorists were
born or lived in the UK but had been taught to hate its culture.

"There seem to be many people who, for reasons that are irrational,
dislike the Anglo-Saxon way of life," he said.
He called for heavier penalties for those who incited violence at this
"particularly sensitive time".

"Always difficult to balance this against freedom of speech but I think,
at the moment, it is justifiable to protect the public," he argued.
Mr Major added: "As far as those who literally spit hate at our country
and there are some of them - they spit hate at our country and they
incite - I personally would be prepared to deport those where it is
clear that what they are doing is causing civil unrest and may cost
other people, as a result of that, their lives."

He also called for more CCTV cameras to deter the threat and the use of
intercept evidence in courts. Interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today
programme, Mr Major urged the Government to consult widely over new
anti-terror legislation.

"They are going to have to carry people with them at this moment," he

He also defended the controversial shoot-to kill policy that led to the
death of Jean Charles de Menezes.

"I rather prefer the expression shoot to protect rather than shoot to
kill - I think that is a more accurate description of what

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Can Islam be reformed?

By Aussiegirl

American Thinker has a very long, but worthwhile article
on the
differences between Judaism, Christianity and Islam regarding
retaliation and punishment -- the old "eye for and eye, tooth for a
tooth". Judaism interpreted this passage as just and equal punishment
of offense, not to exceed the crime itself. In other words, let the
punishment fit the crime and do not impose a harsh punishment for a
minor crime.

Christianity took this one step further when Christ admonished us to
turn the other cheek and to love one's enemy.

The author addresses the fundamental problem facing Islam, and the
impossibility of reforming it. The problem is that for a Muslim, the
Koran is the literal word of God dictated to Mohammed, therefore it
cannot be subject to interpretation, mistranslation or not being taken
literally. Unlike Christianity, which reformed itself by returning to
the original teaching of Christ compassion, love and forgiveness, Islam
can only reform itself by ignoring its own foundational text.
that is basically impossible. Islam has no central authoritative body
such as the Papacy, or in the case of the earliest church, the councils
which decided and interpreted many of these matters of faith.

Even if some Imam somewhere reinterpreted these barbaric texts in a
nonliteral sense, he would either be ignored, or more than likely
by others who disagree. We disregard these fundamentally primitive and
unjust elements of Islam at our peril when we entertain, as Canada as
done, the implementation of Sharia family law in our own countries. It
furthermore points to the fact that even under democratic rule,
countries which institute Sharia Law will not truly be able to join the
modern world and the western concept of human rights. And in that
sense, can they be truly democratic?

True Islam, the one taught by Muhammad, revives the law of
retaliation or lex talionis. The Biblical "eye for an eye."

Traditional Muslims who understand the Quran and the hadith (reports of
Muhammad's words and actions outside of the Quran) believe that Islamic
law or sharia expresses the highest and best goals for all societies.
is the will of Allah.
In 2000, the law of retaliation (Arabic word is qisas) required an eye
to be removed (scroll down to 2.5):

A Qisas [law of retaliation] punishment means causing injury to the
offender similar to the injury caused to the victim. For example, in
August 2000, the Saudi Arabian media reported that Abdel Moti Abdel
Rahman Mohammad, a 37-year-old-Egyptian national was subjected to
forcible surgical removal of his left eye at King Fahd Hospital in
Medina. The operation was carried out as a judicial punishment of Qisas
after he was found guilty of disfiguring Shahata Ajami Mahmoud, a
53-year-old Egyptian, by throwing acid at his face and damaging his

In 2003, in Saudi Arabia a man had two teeth extracted under the law of
In May Awda al-Zahrani, a Saudi Arabian national, reportedly had two of
his teeth extracted as a judicial punishment for having caused similar
injury to someone during a fight. One press report suggested that the
teeth were extracted by a dentist.

In 2003, a court in Pakistan sentenced a man to be blinded by acid
he carried out a similar attack on his fiancйe.
The court in the town of Bahawalpur, Punjab province, sentenced
Sajid under the Islamic Qisas law that matches crime and punishment.

. . . Etemaad says the accused, identified only as Vahid, was 16 when
threw a bottle of acid at another man during a fight in a vegetable
market in 1993. The top opened - Vahid insists accidentally - and
blinded his victim in both eyes. A court said the crime should be
as qisas, a category for which the Koran stipulates specific
punishments, in this case an eye for an eye. The paper said the
was to pour acid on Vahid's eyes, but an appeals court ruled it should
be done surgically so as not to harm other parts of his face.
The following articles in the law covering retaliation in Iran say that
the instruments for carrying out the law must be sharp and sterile, and
that a one-eyed man is still liable to have his good eye removed.

Article 69
The instruments for carrying out the retaliation must be sharp and
sterile, in accordance with the manner of retaliation, and be suited
such purpose. It is not allowed to inflict greater injuries on the
wrongdoer than he caused.

Article 70
If someone gauges [sic, gouges] out the eye of another, he can be
condemned in accordance with the law of retaliation, even if he himself
has only one eye and will be blind as a consequence. No reason exists
for him not to pay compensation.

Eye and teeth removal come directly from the Quran, the eternal word of
Allah, which must be imposed on humankind for its own good. Therefore,
how can traditional and Quran-believing Muslims reform unless they
behind their sacred book?

This following hadith shows Muhammad taking revenge on his household
forcing him to take medicine during a sickness. He told them not to
him the medicine (one tradition says he pointed this out without
speaking). The members of his household misinterpreted his comment as a
refusal for not liking the taste of the medicine. So they gave him more
medicine, anyway. When he improved, he scolded them and laid down the
law of retaliation: "There is none of you but will be forced to drink
medicine, and I will watch you" . . . (Ad-Diyat or Blood-wit, no. 6897;
cf. no. 6886). That is, everyone will be forced to drink the bitter
medicine, and Muhammad will watch them squirm as they taste the
bitterness. This tradition shows Muhammad's law can be imposed for
reasons. To be blunt, it also reveals a mean streak in him. One would
expect more self-restraint and forgiveness from an Allah-inspired
prophet. He should set the example and rise above such a petty thirst
for revenge.

The same manual expands on the list of body parts that are liable for
"Retaliation is also obligatory . . . for every wound that cuts to the
bone, such as a cut on the head or face that reaches the skull, or a
to the bone on the upper arm, lower leg, or thigh. To the bone means
that it is known that a knife or a needle, for example, has reached the
bone, not that the wound actually exposes the bone to view" (pp.

It is breathtaking to watch Islam in action. Does a judge or his
representative take a knife or a needle and actually inflict the same
wound by slicing and puncturing an arm or a leg? How is like-for-like
punishment literally and physically applied to the sex organs? The
answer is found in the hadith and in the modern examples in the
introduction to this article. A judge or his representative actually
applies the same wound on the offender as it the victim's wound.

. . . This website gives a useful mid-sized summary of Islamic law.
Its theme is human rights and Islamic law. They link the two in all
seriousness, but the article drips with irony. Sharia and human rights
are opposites and antithetical. It blithely assumes that the law of
retaliation (spelled "Qesas" on this page) is the best for humankind.
Most Muslims are convinced that the Quran came down directly from God,
so they never challenge it.


We on the outside of Islam are allowed to ask whether the Quran's
punishments are better than the New Testament's policy of forgiving and
restoring sexual sinners. Does the Quran guide society better than the
New Testament does? Would the true God send Gabriel down to Muhammad
with a violent and bloody message that comes six hundred years after
Jesus? Should this message supercede the one proclaimed by Jesus?

Given the hard evidence, Bible-educated Christians answer no. The true
God would not send down such extreme policies in the new era of
salvation which Jesus ushered in. They realize that the Quran is
empirically and factually worse than the New Testament.
Jesus Christ came with good news and the love of God. Muhammad came
poking and gouging. Christianity advances society forward. Islam drags
society backwards.
Jesus saves. Muhammad retaliated.

Friday, July 22, 2005

BonnieBlueFlag -- Wind Talkers

By BonnieBlueFlag

I noticed that a Mr. Charles Chibitty passed away this past week, and
the local Oklahoma news headline mentioned that he had been the last
of the World War II Code Talkers.

Upon further reading, I realized that he was the last of the "Comanche"
Code Talkers.

Now I have known about the code talkers for as long as I can remember.
Even as a child, I tended to pick up odd bits of history concerning
American Indians, because I was proud of the small amount of Cherokee
history that I called my own.

What I had not known, was that the Navajo were not the only code
talkers, just the most numerous and the most famous. And that World War
II was not the first time that the American Indians, had provided such
an important service to the United States Armed Forces in winning a

First of all, there were two types of Native American language codes:

1)A special coded vocabulary using the vocabulary of the Native American
2)A non-coded use of one of the everyday Native American
In World War I, the following Tribes participated as code talkers,
one of the above types of codes.
Cheyenne 2
Choctaw 1
Comanche 2
Cherokee 2
Osage 2
Sioux (Yankton) 2
The Tribes who contributed code talkers in World War II.
Comanche 1
Navajo 1
Chippewa 2
Choctaw 2
Creek 2
Hopi 2
Kiowa 2
Menominee 2
Muscogee-Seminole 2
Oneida 2
Pawnee 2
Sac and Fox 2
Sioux (Lakota and Dakota) 2

The Choctaws were recognized as the first to use their language as a
code in World War I. The US Army used at least 14 Choctaws as radio
operators during that war.

During the second World War, the Navajo tribe offered the largest
number of code talker candidates for the US Marines. It was also known that no
Japanese or German nationals had studied on their reservation, so there
was an even greater likelihood, that neither of those groups of people
had a knowledge of the Navajo language.

The first Navajo code talkers landed with the Marines on Guadalcanal in
August of 1942.

During World War II, 420 Navajo code talkers served with the Marines,
50 Choctaw and about 17 Comanche code talkers served with the Army in the
European invasion. Other tribes were represented by smaller numbers of
code talkers, but all used their own languages.

It has only been in the last few years, that the United States
government has begun to officially recognize the contribution of these
brave Americans, to the Allied Armies' success in winning the second
World War. For many years it was kept secret, in the event that they
might be called upon to serve once more. Modern technological advances
have made that unlikely, so at long last their story has been told.

Charles Chibitty/By Rudi Williams/American Forces Press Service
Mr. Chibitty was born near Medicine Park, Oklahoma on November 20,

He attended Haskell Indian School at Lawrence, Kansas, where he was
forbidden to speak his native language. He enlisted in the US Army in
January of 1942.

Years later he would say that they tried to make us quit talking Indian
in school, now they want us to talk Indian.
Corporal Chibitty earned the W.W. II Victory Medal, the European
Theater of Operations (5th Bronze Star) Victory Medal, the Europe African

East Campaign Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.
In 1989, the French government honored the Comanche code talkers, by
presenting them with the Chevalier of the National Order of Merit.

In 1992, former Secretary of Defense, now Vice-president Dick Cheney,
presented Mr. Chibitty a certificate of appreciation for his service to
the country.

In 2001, the US Congress passed legislation authorizing the
presentation of gold medals to Native Americans who served as code talkers during
foreign wars.

In a 1998 story for "The Oklahoman," Mr. Chibitty recalled being at
Normandy on D-Day, and said someone once asked him what he was afraid
of most and if he feared dying.

"No. That was something we had already accepted," he said.

"But we landed in deeper water than anticipated. A lot of boys drowned.
That's what I was afraid of."

"I wonder what the hell Hitler thought when he heard those strange
voices," he once told a gathering.

In November of 2002 Mr. Chibitty met with Pentagon officials in
Washington, and when asked about code talking, he gave them a few
examples in the Comanche language, and then translated the messages for

"A turtle is coming down the hedgerow. Get that stovepipe and shoot

"A turtle was a tank and a stovepipe was a bazooka," he explained. "We
couldn't say tank or bazooka in Comanche, so we had to substitute
something else. A turtle has a hard shell, so it was a tank."
Since there was no Comanche word for machine gun it became "sewing
machine," Chibitty noted, "because of the noise the sewing machine made
when my mother was sewing."

"Hitler," he said, was "posah-tai-vo," or "crazy white man."
After his visit in Washington that year, and before returning home to
Tulsa, Okla., Mr. Chibitty spent some time with researchers at the US
Army Center for Military History for oral history sessions. The Army
wanted to preserve the history of the Comanche code talkers and
Chibitty was the last one to tell the story from first-hand experience.

When we repeatedly talk about the men who have gone before us, the men
who have fought and died for this country's freedom, we are talking
about men like Charles Chibitty. What did he owe the US Army? The same
army that had driven his people from the freedom of the Great Plains to
life on a reservation?

And yet he enlisted in that same army for the good of all Americans. He
landed on Utah Beach on D-Day, somewhere near my own father, and fought
to defeat "Posah-tai-vo," for all of us.

Charles Chibitty, we will be forever grateful, and it is our fondest
wish that may you be welcomed home, by the great Comanche war chief,
Quanah Parker himself.

Written by: BonnieBlueFlag

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Roll over rock 'n roll -- Beethoven rocks!!

By Aussiegirl

Beethoven beats Beatles in BBC downloads. Now how's that for good news? I wish more people who haven't listened to classical music take a chance and give it a try. It's not highbrow -- it's just high beauty. Try it -- you'll like it -- what can it cost you?

Beethoven (1.4m) beats Bono (20,000) in battle of the internet downloads

Music industry forced to take note as composer's complete symphonies outshine rock acts in online chart

Forget Coldplay and James Blunt. Forget even Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which, in the version performed at Live8 by Sir Paul McCartney and U2, has become the fastest online-selling song ever. Beethoven has routed the lot of them.

Final figures from the BBC show that the complete Beethoven symphonies on its website were downloaded 1.4m times, with individual works downloaded between 89,000 and 220,000 times. The works were each available for a week, in two tranches, in June.

Sgt Pepper could well end up as the best-selling online track of all time. But its sales figure of just 20,000 online in the two weeks since it has been available contrasts poorly with the admittedly free Beethoven symphonies. (Sgt Pepper cost 79p on the iTunes website.)

To put another perspective on the success of the Beethoven downloads, according to Matthew Cosgrove, director of Warner Classics, it would take a commercial CD recording of the complete Beethoven symphonies "upwards of five years" to sell as many downloads as were shifted from the BBC website in two weeks. The BBC has been stunned by the response - so much so that its director general, Mark Thompson, opened his annual report with Beethoven's inscription on the score of the Missa Solemnis: "From the heart ... May it go again to the heart!"

The classical music industry has also been shocked since the demand for the symphonies seems to defy gloomy predictions about the shrinking appetite for classical music.
Roger Wright, the controller of Radio 3, said it was "clear that people had been coming to Beethoven for the first time" through the Beethoven downloads. This was discernible from the fact that the symphonies nos 1 and 2 had a high take-up compared with no 3, the Eroica, a much more famous work.

Chinese cyberthreat

By Aussiegirl
I know I've been posting a lot on China lately, but that's because this is more important than the idiocy being peddled by the media about whether or not Karl Rove whispered sweet nothings in the ear of some reporter about a woman who wasn't even a clandestine agent.

While the American media fiddles and raves on about Abu Graib, the shortage of white gloves available to handle the Koran at GITMO and other matters of earth-shattering import, dangers gather around the world and our government and media seem blissfully unaware or willfully ignorant while they fight over meaningless inanities. Wake up America -- who will remember Karl Rove or Valerie Plame ten years from now?
The American Thinker is emerging as one of the best sites on the internet to get insightful analysis on emerging threats to the U.S.. Read today's article on the Chinese threat to cyberspace.

On numerous occasions in the past, China's authoritarian regime has publicly stated that the U.S. is its ideological enemy. Comments made by Chinese defector Chen Yonglin to Australian authorities in June support the theory that China's leaders view the U.S. as their main adversary.

"The U.S. is considered by the Chinese Communist Party as the largest enemy, the major strategic rival. The U.S. occupies a unique place in China's diplomacy...."

With inflammatory statements like those noted by Chen Yonglin, it is easy to understand why national security questions still resonate in Washington from the December purchase of IBM's PC division by China's largest computer company Lenovo. Although eventually approved by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), critical questions concerning the ultimate use of the company's state-of-the-art computers as they relate to state-sponsored cyber crime and hacking attacks, still remain largely unanswered.

Specifically, could Lenovo computers or other domestic computers be used by Beijing to initiate a coordinated cyber attack against the U.S. to fracture the stability of global financial markets, interrupt international communications, damage interconnected security networks and harm the overall effectiveness and rapid response capabilities of the U.S. military?

If history is any indication, the possibility of such an attack is authentic and should be given serious attention.

Washington should be deeply concerned about the growing possibility of a massive, state-sponsored cyber attack against U.S. interests originating from mainland China. However, the opposite seems to be true. Surprisingly, there seems to be a dangerous lack of leadership, information sharing, structural flexibility and vision in the area of cyber security. "They are ignoring cyber security and it poses an enormous vulnerability," said Edward Lazowska, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Birdnow does Sun Tzu -- and Roberts

By Aussiegirl

Check out Tim Birdnow's Birdblog for some fascinating thoughts on the possible implications of the nomination of John Roberts. Tim's thinking dovetails with a lot of my own thoughts, and not for the first time. Tim's writing and analysis is incisive and first-rate as always.

Before I start, let me say that as far as I know John Roberts is an excellent choice, but no one really knows much about him. That is precisely the point -- he was chosen because he can get Senate confirmation without a bruising battle over filibusters and other shenanigans. However, Bush may only be postponing the inevitable knock-down drag-out fight to such a time when he may be in a weaker position to put forth a stellar candidate.

What galls me is that even though the democrats are not in power -- they are still in charge -- in that the Republicans feel forced to name these stealth candidates about whom nothing is known just to ensure that they get confirmed without a bloodbath. That virtually ensures that we will have no first-class conservative minds on the court with a proven record -- brilliant minds such as Bork, for instance. As wonderful as this John Roberts sounds, and I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt (because that's all we have to go on), I'm somewhat curious about someone who has lived for 50 years and never been moved by his conscience or his intellect to utter one controversial or unpopular or strong opinion on anything.

He is a blank slate, which seems to be his greatest asset. One thing's for sure -- the democrats have imbued the Supreme Court and the courts in general with such power because it is their last best hope of instituting their agenda. Having lost everywhere at the ballot box they now now put all their hopes on the courts and consequently squeal and scream bloody murder whenever a conservative gets within striking distance of being nominated. In a way -- they are in danger of being hoist with their own petard (which is being blown up by your own bomb, you know -- I always think of those round black bombs with fuses that the terrorists in Mad Magazine used to cart around).

"One who knows when he can fight, and when he cannot fight, will be victorious"~~Sun Tzu, The Art of War

. . .I think the time has come for a showdown over judicial nominations, and I believe that the President has put off for tomorrow what he should have done today. I suspect we will all pay dearly for that. To my first point regarding the coronation of a doctrinally unclear Justice, I merely need point to Sandra Day O`Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter. These Three Kings of Disorient are usually unable to find the map, much less locate where on said map they reside. We never can be sure which way these Justices will rule on any given case, and we have been treated to a treasure-trove of personal views and myopic thinking masquerading as Judicial Opinion. Bear in mind that these three Justices were supposed to be conservatives (or at least, not liberal), and they were appointed by Republican Presidents.

. . .If Roberts confirmation hearing fails to erupt into a war, the Democrats will be in a decent position to attack Bush`s next nominee with all vigor; the war will have been postponed from 2005 to `06 or even `07, and the President may not be able to win at that point. The Democrats will be able to fire all of their guns, and they will be able to defend this action by claiming to have given Roberts a pass. Time is not on the President`s side. When Rehnquist retires (or passes away) the President will have a vacancy on the Court, as well as the nomination of a new Chief Justice. The stakes will be much higher.

. . .The time to fight is now, not two years from now. President Bush has pushed this battle off into the future, and he can ill-afford it. As Sun Tzu pointed out, "One who knows when he can fight, and when he cannot fight, will be victorious".

Touchy, touchy!!

By Aussiegirl

AP has the story -- China has its knickers in a knot over the U.S. assessment of its military plans. Tsk, tsk -- touch a little nerve there, did we?

China denounced a U.S. government report that Beijing wants to expand its regional military power, insisting Wednesday it is no threat to its neighbors and accusing Washington of looking for excuses to sell weapons to rival Taiwan.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it filed a protest with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing over the Pentagon report.

"The report has baselessly attacked China's modernization of its national defense," Deputy Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in a statement, accusing Washington of looking for "an excuse to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan."

The Pentagon report said Chinese military planners are looking at expanding beyond their immediate goal of dominating Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing as its own territory. It said that in the long term, an increasingly modern Chinese military could pose a threat to U.S. and other forces.

"Some of China's military planners are surveying the strategic landscape beyond Taiwan," said the 45-page annual assessment of China's military strength.

Earlier Thursday, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said China is intent on "developing in a peaceful way" when asked about the U.S. report.

"Not only is China not a threat to anyone, but we would also like to make friends with people in every country, work together and develop mutually beneficial cooperation in order to facilitate everyone's progress," Li said.
Asian governments from Japan to Southeast Asia to India worry about Beijing's growing military power, driven by a booming economy and double-digit annual spending increases.
China's military spending already is the world's third-highest at $50 billion to $70 billion a year, behind only the United States and Russia, the Pentagon report said.

Yang criticized that comparison, noting that spending on China's 2.5 million-member People's Liberation Army is far below the Pentagon's $400 billion-a-year budget.

"The United States is not qualified to criticize China's defensive national defense policy," Yang's statement said.

He said the report was "meticulously planned" by the Pentagon to spread fear of China and warned Washington not to encourage activists on Taiwan who want formal independence.

Beijing is modernizing its arsenal with fighter jets, submarines, missiles and other high-tech weapons -- many of them bought from Russia -- to back up its frequent threats to attack Taiwan.

But a senior Pentagon official said although China's military might is growing, he sees no reason to think that Beijing is interested in starting a war.

"You judge military threat in two ways: one, capacity and two, intent. There's lots of countries in the world that have the capacity to wage war," said Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"Very few have the intent to do so. Clearly, we have a complex, but good relationship with China, so there's absolutely no reason for us to believe there's any intent on their part."

China's short-term goal remains deterring Taiwan from pursuing formal independence and eventually uniting the island with the mainland, the Pentagon report said. Taiwan and China split in 1949, but Beijing claims the self-ruled island as its own territory.

The United States has cautioned both governments not to force a change in the status quo.

Washington has no official ties with Taiwan but is the democratic island's main arms supplier and could be drawn into any fighting with the communist mainland.

Yang's statement affirmed that Beijing wants to unite peacefully with Taiwan. But he also repeated its warning that Beijing "will never tolerate Taiwan independence and will never allow anyone in any way to split Taiwan from China.

Appeasement through the ages

By Aussiegirl

Max Boot, who wrote the article below on China's rising threat, is fast becoming my favorite analyst. Here's another column he wrote for the LA Times on July 14, 2005.

What may surprise some is the extent of anti-war and opinion favoring appeasement in pre-war England. We tend to think of those times as being such a clear choice -- Nazis were the bad guys, right? But even then, there was nothing a starry-eyed intellectual couldn't talk himself into for one reason or another.

The London bombings have occasioned many comparisons with the 1940 Blitz. This is usually cited as evidence of British fortitude -- the attitude exemplified by cockneys in the heavily bombed East End who told Winston Churchill, "We can take it, but give it 'em back." That is indeed the dominant British (and American) attitude, then and now, but it is important not to ignore a streak of timidity there (and here) that may get stronger in the years ahead and that was present even when civilization faced an existential threat from Nazism.

Appeasement did not end with the German invasion of Poland in 1939. Even afterward, many in Britain (and even more in the U.S.) opposed active resistance. Conservative worthies like Lord Halifax sought a negotiated settlement. Fascists like Sir Oswald Mosley sought to bring Nazism to Britain. And communists and their fellow travelers opposed fighting Stalin's ally until Hitler invaded Russia.

Even in January 1942, when German armies were at the gates of Moscow, George Orwell wrote in Partisan Review that "the greater part of the very young intelligentsia are anti-war � don't believe in any 'defense of democracy,' are inclined to prefer Germany to Britain, and don't feel the horror of Fascism that we who
are somewhat older feel."

As if to illustrate Orwell's point, a pacifist poet named D.S. Savage wrote a reply in which he explained why he "would never fight and kill for such a phantasm" as "Britain's 'democracy.' " Savage saw no difference between Britain and its enemies because under the demands of war both were imposing totalitarianism: "Germans call it National Socialism. We call it democracy. The result is the same."

Savage naively wondered, "Who is to say that a British victory will be less disastrous than a German one?" Savage thought the real problem was that Britain had lost "her meaning, her soul," but "the unloading of a billion tons of bombs on Germany won't help this forward an inch." "Personally," he added, with hilarious understatement, "I do not care for Hitler." But he thought the way to resist Hitler was by not resisting him: "Whereas the rest of the nation is content with calling down obloquy on Hitler's head, we regard this as superficial. Hitler requires, not condemnation, but understanding."

When applied to the embodiment of pure evil, the usual liberal tropes about "understanding" not "condemnation" have an air of Monty Python about them. Yet there are uncomfortable echoes of Savage's sermonizing in the attitude of many modern-day intellectuals toward the Islamo-fascist threat.

The BBC now refuses to refer to the London terrorists as "terrorists." They are to be known by the more neutral term "bombers," lest the public be deceived by "the careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments." Value judgments about blowing up innocent commuters? How gauche!

Enlightened opinion ranging from Amnesty International to Dick Durbin joins in this moral relativism by suggesting that the United States has become no better than its enemies through the actions it has taken to prevent terrorism. Just as 1940s pacifists could see no difference between Nazi concentration camps and British wartime curtailments of civil liberties, so today's doppelgangers equate the abuses of renegade guards at Abu Ghraib with the mass murder carried out by Stalin or Pol Pot.

There is also an enduring tendency to blame the victim. George Galloway, Saddam Hussein's favorite member of Britain's Parliament, suggests that Londoners "paid the price" for their government's "attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq." The implication is that Al Qaeda has reasonable grievances and if only we could satisfy them ? by, for instance, exiting Iraq ? we would have peace. The same thing was said about Hitler, who complained that Germany had been wronged by the Treaty of Versailles.

The problem was that Hitler's stated demands were a pretext for his maniacal ambitions. He was unappeasable. So is Osama bin Laden, who wants to avenge centuries of humiliation supposedly suffered by Muslims at Christian hands and who dreams of establishing a Taliban-style caliphate over all the lands once dominated by Muslims, from western China to southern Spain. Pulling out of Iraq would only whet his insatiable appetite for destruction, just as giving up the Sudetenland encouraged Hitler to seek more.

Orwell's words, written in October 1941, ring true today: "The notion that you can somehow defeat violence by submitting to it is simply a flight from fact. As I have said, it is only possible to people who have money and guns between themselves and reality."

China's growing threat

By Aussiegirl

The LA Times has a great article on the growing threat from China. No way do I believe that the recent threats by a Chinese General to rain nuclear weapons on the mainland of the US merely the rogue opinion of a Dr. Strangelovian character who got a little carried away. Nobody gets to be a Chinese General in the People's Army without being completely politically trustworthy and someone who is idologically vetted. This guy was doing exactly what he was ordered to do. What's going on here is a good cop/bad cop scenario, where Beijing threatens us openly, but then says, hey -- don't take it serious -- just kidding -- pay no attention to that general waving the nuclear tipped missiles about his head. But the message has been delivered -- and understood. Couple that with all the various moves that China has been making strategically, many of them noted here on UT, and you have a comprehensive plan to become a multifaceted threat to the U.S. in the future.

Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu of the Chinese People's Liberation Army caused quite a stir last week when he threatened to nuke "hundreds" of American cities if the U.S. dared to interfere with a Chinese attempt to conquer Taiwan.

This saber-rattling comes while China is building a lot of sabers. Although its defense budget, estimated to be as much as $90 billion, remains a fraction of the United States', it is enough to make China the world's third-biggest weapons buyer (behind Russia) and the biggest in Asia. Moreover, China's spending has been increasing rapidly, and it is investing in the kind of systems -- especially missiles and submarines-- needed to challenge U.S. naval power in the Pacific.

The Pentagon on Tuesday released a study of Chinese military capabilities. In a preview, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a Singapore audience last month that China's arms buildup was an "area of concern." It should be. But we shouldn't get overly fixated on such traditional indices of military power as ships and bombs -- not even atomic bombs. Chinese strategists, in the best tradition of Sun Tzu, are working on craftier schemes to topple the American hegemon.

In 1998, an official People's Liberation Army
publishing house brought out a treatise called "Unrestricted Warfare," written by two senior army colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui. This book, which is available in English translation, is well known to the U.S. national security establishment but remains practically unheard of among the general public.

"Unrestricted Warfare" recognizes that it is practically impossible to challenge the U.S. on its own terms. No one else can afford to build mega-expensive weapons systems like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which will cost more than $200 billion to develop. "The way to extricate oneself from this predicament," the authors write, "is to develop a different approach."

Their different approaches include financial
warfare (subverting banking systems and stock markets), drug warfare (attacking the fabric of society by flooding it with illicit drugs), psychological and media warfare (manipulating perceptions to break down enemy will), international law warfare (blocking enemy actions using multinational organizations), resource warfare (seizing control of vital natural resources), even ecological warfare (creating man-made earthquakes or other natural disasters).

Cols. Qiao and Wang write approvingly of Al Qaeda, Colombian drug lords and computer hackers who operate outside the "bandwidths understood by the American military." They envision a scenario in which a "network attack against the enemy" -- clearly a red, white and blue enemy-- would be carried out "so that the civilian electricity network, traffic dispatching network, financial transaction network, telephone communications network and mass media network are completely paralyzed," leading to "social panic, street riots and a political crisis." Only then would conventional military force be deployed "until the enemy is forced to sign a dishonorable peace treaty."
This isn't just loose talk. There are signs of this strategy being implemented. The anti-Japanese riots that swept China in April? That would be psychological warfare against a major Asian rival. The stage-managed protests in 1999, after the U.S. accidentally bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, fall into the same category.

The bid by the state-owned China National
Offshore Oil Co., to acquire Unocal? Resource warfare. Attempts by China's spy apparatus to infiltrate U.S. high-tech firms and defense contractors? Technological warfare. China siding against the U.S. in the U.N. Security Council over the invasion of Iraq? International law warfare. Gen. Zhu's threat to nuke the U.S.? Media warfare.

And so on. Once you know what to look for, the pieces fall into place with disturbing ease. Of course, most of these events have alternative, more benign explanations: Maybe Gen. Zhu is an eccentric old coot who's seen "Dr. Strangelove" a few too many times.

The deliberate ambiguity makes it hard to craft a response to "unrestricted warfare." If Beijing sticks to building nuclear weapons, we know how to deal with that -- use the deterrence doctrine that worked against the Soviets. But how do we respond to what may or may not be indirect aggression by a major trading partner? Battling terrorist groups like Al Qaeda seems like a cinch by comparison.

This is not a challenge the Pentagon is set up to address, but it's an urgent issue for the years ahead.

Orange revolution -- six months later the blush is off the orange

By Aussiegirl

Ukrainians uneasy six months after the Orange Revolution.

Six months after the Orange Revolution ushered in a new government in Ukraine, progress on the goals of greater political and economic stability has been slow, as has the forging of closer ties with the EU.

On Tuesday, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana met with Ukrainian leaders in Kiev to discuss economic and security issues. Solana also had the task of explaining the consequences of the French and Dutch "no" votes on the EU constitution to President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Following the peaceful Orange Revolution, Ukraine's new pro-Western government made EU membership a major policy goal. But now, the mood in Kiev is anything but euphoric as the realization dawns that, six months ago, the EU promised more than it is ready to deliver.

Instead of a quick association with eventual membership, Ukraine is now likely to get just closer cooperation. President Yushchenko can only hope that Ukrainians are prepared to be patient.

Fighting over reforms

The country's relationship with the EU is not the only problem dogging the fledgling new democracy. On the domestic front, the governing alliance, Nasha Ukraina, is at loggerheads over the right way to introduce reforms. Tymoshenko wants a radical break with the old regime and has proposed reversing the privatization of industries undertaken by ex-communist president Leonid Kutschma, arguing that Kutschma's cronies used the opportunity to line their pockets.

However, the pro-business wing of Yushchenko's party and the current chief of the country's National Security Council, Petro Poroshenko, want to limit the revisions to just a few key industries. Ralf Wachsmuth has been following developments for the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Germany:

"It is characteristic for this government that they fight like cats and dogs," said Ralf Wachsmuth, who follows developments in Ukraine for Germany's Konrad Adenauer Foundation. "The alliance itself is divided and some sort of unifying force is nowhere in sight. Even the opposition isn't doing its job."

Business leaders uneasy

Economic growth in Ukraine has dropped from 12 percent a year ago to just over one percent this year. Exports have declined and the business community is nervous about the direction the government is going. To combat rampant corruption, the government has scrapped the special economic zones set up by the old regime for the Kutschma clan. But, as Ferdinand Pavel of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin points out, there has been such a terrible outcry from investors, both domestic and foreign, who were depending on the promised tax breaks, that Yushchenko has dropped the plan

"Businesses are having trouble seeing a perspective and understanding how the government plans to proceed. The government has failed to give them the support they need to invest," Pavel said.

So far, the disappointment has been limited to the business community. The public still supports Yushchenko, but that could change in the months to come. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for next spring and a winter filled with rising energy prices, tense relations with Russia and economic stagnation could prove to be more than Ukraine can bear.

Mister Stealth Congeniality wins the day

By Aussiegirl

John Podhoretz has some interesting thoughts in today's NY Post:

BY making a spectacularly boring choice for the Supreme Court, President Bush has done something unexpectedly interesting.

John Roberts is (obviously) not a woman, not an African-American, not an African-American woman, not a Latino, not a Latina.

Roberts is a white guy, 50 years old, and you might say he's spent his life trying to get exactly where he is now. He's a conservative Republican version of a Stephen Breyer � the guy with the golden resume, who seems to have decided he wanted a seat on the high court when he was seven years old and methodically sought to make his way there.

A Harvard and Harvard Law grad who clerked for the chief justice of the Supreme Court right out of law school, Roberts then worked in the Reagan White House as a legal counsel before serving a few years as a key deputy to the Solicitor General of the United States during the administration of the first President Bush � which means he spent time arguing before the Supreme Court as a lawyer.

He would have become a federal judge in the 1990s had Bill Clinton not beaten the first President Bush, and instead went off to a law firm to make some money and practice his trade before finally making it to the bench in 2003.

He is really better known as a lawyer and not as a legal intellectual, because he has litigated cases rather than written extensively on the theoretical underpinnings of American jurisprudence. And that may have been the fact that tipped the scales in Roberts' favor.

Intellectuals, especially legal intellectuals, tend to be a bit prickly, in part because there's so much sophistry in legal argumentation that sarcasm and disbelief often become the stock in trade when thinkers have at it. The greatest example of this in our time, of course, is Justice Nino Scalia, whose outraged opinions are almost like Mort Sahl monologues.

That sort of temperament, which enlivens debate, can simply no longer make it through the grueling confirmation process. Because when you quote someone speaking sarcastically without indicating he's being sarcastic, he will tend to sound angry or unreasonable or even batso crazy.

Roberts has, by all accounts, an astonishingly mild demeanor. He's a churchgoing father of adopted children, personally well-liked on all sides of the political spectrum � evidently because he hasn't given anybody a reason to dislike him personally.

And here's some additional info from the Free Congress Foundation. One thing's for sure -- being an unknown quantity and having no paper trail seems to be the best qualification from the standpoint of getting Senate confirmation in these contentious times, but as we saw in the cases of Souter, O'Connor and Breyer, were not always the best predictors of incisive legal thinking a la Scalia, judicial restraint or Constitutional outlook. The most that can be said at this time is that this is a highly qualified and skilled lawyer who is like by everyone and has never said an offensive word.
He wins the Mister Congeniality award for sure and by all accounts is a fine and conservative fellow, a brilliant lawyer and upstanding citizen. As to his judicial philosophy -- we might as well consult the oracles and attempt to examine the entrails to divine the future. As Ann Coulter has said, as a lawyer, John Roberts was litigating cases before the Supreme Court as an advocate for his client, and even his own footnotes make note of the fact that the views expressed in his arguments do not necessarily reflect his own. While he argued in one case that Roe vs. Wade was decided incorrectly, he has stated in his previous confirmation hearing that he was reluctant to overturn "settled law".

John G. Roberts, Jr.: U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Date: June 8, 2001 � From the Free Congress Foundation's Judicial Selection Monitoring Project

President George W. Bush renominated John G. Roberts, Jr. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on May 9, 2001. Roberts was initially nominated to the D.C. Circuit by President George H. W. Bush but his nomination was returned without a vote by a Democratic Senate when the President's term expired.

Roberts graduated magna cum laude in 1979 from the Harvard Law School. He served as Managing Editor of Harvard Law Review from 1978-79. After graduation, Roberts clerked for Judge Henry J. Friendly, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, from 1979-80 and for then-Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist, U.S. Supreme Court, from 1980-81. From 1981-82 he was a Special Assistant to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith. He served in the Reagan Administration as Associate Counsel to the President from 1982-86 and was the Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States under President George H. W. Bush from 1989-93. Roberts is currently a partner with Hogan & Hartson L.L.P, where he specializes in U.S. Supreme Court Litigation, appellate practice and federal litigation.

Supreme Court Advocacy
Roberts has argued 32 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is viewed by many as one of the best Supreme Court advocates in private law firm practice.1� Roberts is known for his "uncommonly well-written" briefs and his systematic and thorough preparation for oral argument.2

Contrary to claims that Roberts is in the pocket of "big business,"3� in his capacity as a partner with Hogan & Hartson, he represented the 19 states that joined the federal government in suing Microsoft.4

Employment Cases
Roberts represented a coal company before the Supreme Court in a case where the coal company sought to discharge an employee truck driver for repeated drug abuse.5� The case was litigated because an arbitrator twice found that the employee's repeated drug use was not "just cause" to terminate his employment.6� Such arbitration was part of the company's contract with the union but the company wanted the arbitrator's decision overturned as a clear violation of "public policy."7 Justice Souter stated that in order for the Court to break a contractual agreement using "[t]he force of public policy" the public policy "has to be very very clear."8� Roberts argued that public policy of keeping drug-impaired drivers off of the nation's highways was crystal clear.9� However, the Court reluctantly found for the employee with Justice Breyer conceding that "[w]e recognize that reasonable people can differ as to whether reinstatement or discharge is the more appropriate remedy here."10

In a case concerning the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Roberts will represent Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. before the Supreme Court in its appeal of a Sixth Circuit decision.11� At issue in the case is whether a Toyota employee's carpal tunnel syndrome that limits her ability to perform certain manual tasks qualifies her as "disabled" under the ADA.12� Toyota argues that the 6th Circuit ruling that such dimunition in performance qualifies as "disabled" conflicts with the Supreme Court's 1999 rulings on the ADA.13� In that ruling the Court held that in order to be disabled the plaintiff must show that her manual disability involves a "class" of manual activities affecting the ability to perform tasks at work.14� Toyota argues that "an isolated injury precluding an individual from one particular job" does not meet that threshold.15

Native Peoples
In a case concerning the Fifteenth Amendment, Roberts unsuccessfully argued that Hawaii could limit voters to only "Native Hawaiians" in the election of nine trustees that administer programs specifically for "Native Hawaiians."16� Robert's argument was twofold.
First, the provision was no different than any other attempts by Congress and the states to honor the special obligation to America's other native peoples.17� Second, the provision "does not violate the Fifteenth Amendment--and is not subject to strict scrutiny under the Fourteenth [Amendment]--because it does not draw any distinction 'on account of race.'"18� The Court found otherwise and held that limiting the vote to only "Native Hawaiians" violated the Fifteenth Amendment.19

In a case that dealt with whether land was "Indian Land," Roberts correctly interpreted a Federal Statute and argued it was not.20� The statute at issue, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), was enacted to free up lands formerly designated by Congress as reservations from the heavy regulations such designations entail.21� ANSCA permitted business corporations made up of Alaskan Natives to take the lands in fee simple and to use the lands for any purpose.22� The specific issue in the case was whether once the land had been transferred could the corporate owner impose a tax upon non-Alaskan Natives conducting business on the land. Such taxes are permitted when the land in question is considered "Indian Land."23� Roberts argued, and the Court concurred, that since ANSCA transfers the land without any restraints on alienation or significant use restrictions, the transferred land can no longer be deemed "Indian Land" and therefore taxes may not be imposed.24

Mr. Roberts is one of the most highly qualified and well-credentialed attorneys in America today. His breadth and depth of experience unquestionably qualify him for his appointment to the D.C. Circuit. His view that the Constitution should be interpreted narrowly and generally not used as a tool for righting social wrongs indicates a sound philosophy of judicial restraint.25
Legal Times, Oct. 30, 2000, 18

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

India to counterbalance China

By Aussiegirl

India is being groomed as a counterbalance to China. Good move -- also an important nuclear ally in the event that Pakistan falls into unfriendly hands.

US plans to broaden India's access to nuclear technology, announced this week during an enthusiastic visit to Washington by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, have their roots in designs from the earliest days of the Bush administration to build India's stature as a counterbalance to a rising and problematic China.

The proposed extension of nuclear access to what the White House likes to call "the world's largest democracy" raises questions about potential impact on other countries with nuclear ambitions and designs for international status. That is especially true as the announcement comes just days before the European Union is to return to negotiations with Iran to end its nuclear-weapons programs and six-party talks are to take up again in Beijing on North Korea's nuclear program.

But perhaps the greatest significance of the plan is what it says about 21st- century geopolitics and in particular about a Bush administration vision for dealing with China, some analysts say.

"The crux of this announcement is what it tells us about the US grand strategy, and that behind whatever else is going on here the US is preparing for a grand conflict with China and constructing an anti-China coalition," says Joseph Cirincione, head of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "In that scenario, India is even more valuable as a nuclear power, rather than as a nonnuclear country."

The White House plan, which would allow India broader access to international technology for its nuclear power industry in exchange for India granting some access to international inspections, still faces high hurdles: Opposition is expected to be strong both in the US Congress and among other nuclear powers who along with the US would have some say.

In the view of some specialists, the plan would certainly erode and perhaps mean the scrapping of decades of international nonproliferation effort in favor of an ad hoc, case-by-case approach that rewards certain countries while punishing others. "This is a plan that chooses good guys and bad guys, and says that what matters is power politics and not nonproliferation. . .

More on John Roberts

By BonnieBlueFlag

Judge John RobertsConfirmed 5/8/2003 to the Court of Appeals, District of Columbia CircuitThe Senate Judiciary voted Roberts out 16-3Born 1955, Buffalo, NYB.A., 1976, summa cum laude & J.D., 1979, magna cum laude, Harvard University1979-80, Clerk for Judge Friendly, Second Circuit1980-81, Clerk, Associate Justice Rehnquist, Supreme Court U.S. Department of Justice • 1981-81, Special Assistant to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith • 1989-93, Principal Deputy Solicitor General 1982-86, White House Counsel's Office, Associate Counsel to the President Hogan & Hartson, LLP, Washington, DC -- 1986-89, Associate -- 1993-2003, PartnerPresident George H.W. Bush nominated Mr. Roberts to the D.C. Circuit, but he was considered by some on the Senate Judiciary Committee to be too extreme in his views, and his nomination lapsed. He was nominated by President George W. Bush to the same seat in May 2001.As Deputy Solicitor General, Mr. Roberts co-wrote a Supreme Court brief in Rust v. Sullivan,1 for the first Bush administration, which argued that the government could prohibit doctors in federally-funded family planning programs from discussing abortions with their patients. The brief not only argued that the regulations were constitutional, notwithstanding the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, but it also made the broader argument that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided - an argument unnecessary to defend the regulation. The Supreme Court sided with the government on the narrower grounds that the regulation was constitutional.As a student, Mr. Roberts wrote two law review articles arguing for an expansive reading of the Contracts and Takings clauses of the Constitution, taking positions that would restrict Congress' ability to protect the environment. As a member of the Solicitor General's office, Mr. Roberts was the lead counsel for the United States in the Supreme Court case Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, in which the government argued that private citizens could not sue the federal government for violations of environmental regulations.The above information was taken from Independent Judiciary. Additional background and information is also available at this site.

Personally, I think it is a great nomination. Dear God, thank you for hearing our prayers.

Posted by BonnieBlueFlag to Ultima Thule at 7/19/2005

It's a boy!!

By Aussiegirl

Well -- a white male, actually. The White House must read NRO and UT -- gimme five Charmaine!

Here's a biography of John Roberts.

Mr. Roberts is the head of Hogan & Hartson's Appellate Practice Group. He graduated from Harvard College, summa cum laude, in 1976, and received his law degree, magna cum laude, in 1979 from the Harvard Law School, where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following graduation he clerked for Judge Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the following year for then-Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist.

Following his clerkship experience, Mr. Roberts served as Special Assistant to United States Attorney General William French Smith. In 1982 President Reagan appointed Mr. Roberts to the White House Staff as Associate Counsel to the President, a position in which he served until joining Hogan & Hartson in 1986. Mr. Roberts' responsibilities as Associate Counsel to the President included counseling on the President's constitutional powers and responsibilities, as well as other legal issues affecting the executive branch.

At Hogan & Hartson, Mr. Roberts developed a civil litigation practice, with an emphasis on appellate matters. He personally argued before the United States Supreme Court and the lower federal courts, participating in a wide variety of matters on behalf of corporate clients, trade associations, governments, and individuals.

Mr. Roberts left the firm in 1989 to accept appointment as Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States, a position in which he served until returning to the firm in 1993. In that capacity he personally argued before the Supreme Court and the federal courts of appeals on behalf of the United States, and participated in formulating the litigation position of the government and determining when the government would appeal adverse decisions. Mr. Roberts had general substantive responsibility within the Office of the Solicitor General for cases arising from the Civil and Civil Rights Divisions of the Justice Department, as well as from a variety of independent agencies.

Mr. Roberts has presented oral arguments before the Supreme Court in more than thirty cases, covering the full range of the Court's jurisdiction, including admiralty, antitrust, arbitration, environmental law, First Amendment, health care law, Indian law, bankruptcy, tax, regulation of financial institutions, administrative law, labor law, federal jurisdiction and procedure, interstate commerce, civil rights, and criminal law.

Mr. Roberts is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and has also received the Edmund J. Randolph Award for outstanding service to the Department of Justice. He is a member of the Bars of the District of Columbia, the United States Supreme Court, and various federal Courts of Appeals.

Affirmative Action Supremes

By Aussiegirl

Charmaine Yoest gets it right. Amen, sister -- I'm with you. I'm shocked how otherwise sensible conservatives have fallen into the affirmative action mindset when it comes to this Supreme Court nomination and all the speculation it has engendered (no pun intended).

Since when did conservatives start figuring out which candidate would be more likely to get through vs. another based not on qualifications, but on sex (not gender -- sorry Charmaine), or ethnicity or race, etc. etc. Whatever happened to nominating the best qualified person -- even if -- gasp -- it turned out to be a white male. Personally, I'm quite fond of white males -- for a variety of reasons.

The president will be announcing his nomination to Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court Tuesday evening. Court watchers have been discussing the female jurists who might replace her, and waiting for the President to announce someone with the right chromosome mix for the newly minted "women's chair" on the Supreme Court. This discussion gained momentum when the First Lady commented that she wanted her husband to nominate a woman for the vacancy. Conservatives Hadley Arkes and Bill Kristol have jumped on the woman bandwagon � both before and after Mrs. Bush's comments, respectively.

But as a woman, with a vested interest in the advancement of women writ large, my counsel for the President is somewhat different: Mr. President, please nominate a man for the seat Justice O'Connor is vacating."

I understand the political realities behind the make-it-a-qualified-woman recommendations. The theory is that a woman would be easier to get through the coming confirmation-cum-political Armageddon we now face. That might be true. Or, it might not.

But that way lies an underappreciated constitutional danger and a hidden hypocrisy: While the Right justly decries the Court's recent transformation into a quasi-legislative body, they have conceded too easily as identity politics turns the Court into another vehicle for "representation" instead of constitutional interpretation.

How much further do we want to solidify the idea in the popular consciousness that the Supreme Court is some sort of super legislature? Once while appearing as a panelist on Politically Incorrect, we got into a debate about a legal issue, and one of the Hollywood guests blurted out angrily: "But the Supreme Court is supposed to represent us!"
Well, no, actually, that would be Congress. This is the problem; we seem to have a fundamental confusion about what it is the various branches of government are supposed to do.

Time out

By Aussiegirl

While the Plame blame game gets settled, and until there is a Supreme Court nominee and we can all get into a good tizzy about that, I am going to have to take a few days off to take care of some personal business. I'll try to check in with any big news -- and BonnieBlueFlag may keep us entertained with her usual selection of interesting topics. Meanwhile, thanks for dropping by and check back -- you never know.

Monday, July 18, 2005

BonnieBlueFlag -- The Liberal Terrorist Next Door

By BonnieBlueFlag

I have not read Bernie Goldberg's book, "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America: (and Al Franken Is #37)," nor do I plan to in the near future. Even a book that puts people I genuinely dislike up for scrutiny, would push me over the edge if I were to read it today. Perhaps in 10 years it will be a nice historical read for me. So this is not a review of Mr. Goldberg's book.

However, Mr. Goldberg has done a sufficient number of radio and TV interviews, to have given me a very good idea of the purpose and the content of his book.

At long last someone has recognized and put into print, my own thoughts and feelings about the Left/Liberals in this country. They are a collection of individuals and groups, that have no regard for the true meaning of America, or of being an American.

Each group has its own personal agenda and goals, and those groups are willing to go to any lengths (be they illegal, corrupt, or depraved), to regain the power that they feel entitled to, in order to impose their will upon the rest of us.

Ideologically speaking, the only thing they have in common, is their obsession to trample the voice of the Right/Conservatives.
Politics in this country has evolved into a thinly veiled all out war. The Democrats are more than willing to envelop any splinter rag tag group, including jailed felons, to increase the size of their voter base. While the rest of us rush to become Republicans (who are less than perfect), out of self defense. Meanwhile, there are those who recognize the inadequacies of both parties, and turn to the Libertarian party.

What has become predominant within the Democratic party in its quest for power, is their own brand of "Terrorism."
They are the party of the ecological terrorists, who have no qualms about burning down homes that have been built on privately owned property. Land that this group insists should remain wild and untouched, even at someone else's expense.
This is in direct odds with the "new eminent domain" terrorist group, that feels all land should be developed for the economic benefit of private companies, and an increased tax base for the local government.

Then we have the terrorist group that goes onto private property owned by automobile dealerships, for the sole purpose of defacing and destroying vehicles, that they personally deem unsuitable for the American public. They feel empowered to make that decision for us, while their actions increase the cost of vehicles and insurance for us as well.
Members of this group overlap with the group that believes it is their right, to decide whether or not we will have oil for next winter, and at what price. They prevent us from becoming energy independent by drilling in oil fields that belong to us such as ANWAR, but they are the first ones on the street with their ill manners and their banners, to protest the war in Iraq as a war for oil.

We desperately need a new oil refinery, which would help decrease the price of fuel at the gas pump, but it cannot be built over the objections of the ecological terrorists. These people insist on alternate means of energy that are not readily available to the rest of us.
Meanwhile, Walter Cronkite refuses to allow a Wind Farm within eyesight of his home; Barbra Striesand tells us to conserve energy, even as her air conditioner in several homes is set at 65 degrees; and Robert Redford sits on his Utah mountain top in plush wilderness surroundings, dictating a cramped and crowded lifestyle for the rest of us. Terrorists each and every one of them, because they wish to curtail our individual rights. Freedoms that our fathers and grandfathers have fought and died for, so that their children could have a better life.
The pro-choice terrorists have helped to create a society where men walk away from their dalliances, telling the women to get an abortion. Women in an effort to be equal to men in every aspect, demand to have abortion available to them, so that they like the men, don't have to take any responsibility for their actions.

How many recent cases have there been, of men killing their pregnant wives and girlfriends, because they have refused to have an abortion? How many women have lived to regret having had those abortions, including Norma McCorvey, the woman known as Jane Roe, in Roe vs. Wade?
Also welcomed under the big Democratic tent, is the terrorist group that believes animals should not be owned by people. Their solution to a problem seen only by them, has included murdering someone else's beloved pets, especially dogs. They feel that the animals are better off dead, than being owned by one of us.
These home grown terrorists are becoming more and more bold in their actions. During the 2004 presidential election season, how many Republican campaign offices were vandalized? On election day last November, vans and other vehicles to be used by the Republicans, were sabotaged.

Personally owned vehicles with "Vote for Bush & Cheney" bumper stickers were vandalized, thus ending the free speech of many, with the fear of a personal attack by an unseen political terrorist.

And just in the past few days, Karl Rove who has yet to be proven guilty of wrong doing, was targeted by these same liberal terrorists. Directions to his house where made public, along with the order to their minions, to befoul his home and lawn with excrement of any type.

Every one who participated in this prescribed activity, either by directive or deed, is a "terrorist." And, it is these terrorists who know no bounds, that are dragging all of America, into a crude and morally bankrupt society that has never before existed.
It would be my wish that we could send every one in Washington, DC, packing, that we could start over with our political parties; but, since that is not an option, we will have to make do with what we have.

Anyone who does not want to be a member of the "Terrorist Party," and live in the world that they wish to create, must join together to defeat them and reclaim America. We cannot sit back and judge the less than perfect Republicans, who seem to have no "True Grit" when we need it most. We must continue to improve on the character, and the quality of the Republicans, that we send to represent us in the US Congress.

Throwing up our hands in disgust and not voting at all is tempting, voting a third party to make a statement sounds good; but, those were the very circumstances that gave us eight long years of Bill Clinton. And if the Democrats can arrange for that to happen again, we will have eight long years of Hillary Clinton in our future, along with a Democratic Congress beginning in 2006.

We will eventually win the war in Iraq, and in time we should win the war against Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda; but, most importantly we absolutely must win the war against the terrorists living among us disguised as Liberals/Democrats!

Written by: BonnieBlueFlag