Friday, June 30, 2006

Superman - Illegal Alien?

I have never been a big fan of Superman (Batman either for that matter) DC Comics are a bit hokey --Why bother with a geeky guy in tights or a grown man dressed as a bat when there are superheroes like Wolverine out there...?

I digress...

Anyway, it seems the screenwriters of the new Superman movie have decided he wasn't PC enough and changed his catch phrase "Truth, Justice and the American way" to... Ready for this...
"Truth, Justice...and all that stuff". Wow.

Here is an explanation from the writers, Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty:

Dan: "I don't think 'the American way' means what it meant in 1945."

Mike: "He's not just for Metropolis and not just for America."

Dan: "He's an alien, from Krypton; he has come to Earth to be kind of a savior for this world, not our country . . . And he has no papers."

Mike: "What would happen with the immigration laws we have now?"

Dan: "I'd like to see someone kick him out!" (source)

Does absolutely everything from Hollywood have to be PC and bursting with political innuendo? As if "The Family Stone" and "Rumor Has It" weren't bad enough...

So, go enjoy the new politically correct, International Superhero... I'll be at X3.

(Huge H/T to: Nanman)

More on the Ever-Changing Gore

Gore is "keeping his options open" for 2008 Presidential election--and seems to be overtaking Hillary as the Dem's favorite (This great OpEd rationalizes that Gore's growing popularity is due completely to the fact that he's not Hillary)...

Gore's metamorphosis over the past 10 years has been even more disturbing than Hillary's hawkish shuffle to the center...


Aside from his disturbing rhetoric ("He betrayed this country, he played on our fears!") and odd fashion choices (Fab 5, where are you!?), is the documented fact that he's as big of a flip-flopper as Kerry. Watch this video which shows him accusing Bush 41 of ignoring the growing threat of Saddam Hussein and his threat to America:



If I were a Democrat (shudder), I would be freaking out at the prospect of Gore being my candidate. All the left does is kvetch over the supposed censorship and death of free speech imposed by the evil religious right --but it was TIPPER GORE that headed up the PMRC. Tipper is the definition of censorship. It was Al Gore who fought to have Joe Camel eradicated (Did that phallic cartoon actually inspire kids to smoke?) and it was Mr. Gore that fought to have ratings on TV shows. The thought police? Brownshirts? That would be you and your wife Mr. Gore.

Now, this is something they should have censored...

Two Important SCOTUS Rulings...



Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, et al

I hate to be a cliché righty blogger here, but yes...I think the 5-3 decision to block GITMO terrorists from being tried under military commissions grants al Qaeda protections under an AMERICAN constitution.

The case: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, et al

The dissenters: Thomas, Scalia and Alito (Roberts couldn't vote)

"..."Indeed, Congress has denied the president the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here. Nothing prevents the president from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary," Breyer wrote.

But Scalia wrote in his dissent that the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 is specific in its language barring any domestic court from hearing Guantanamo Bay cases...." (source)

I didn't make it through all 182 pages of this case... but I am wondering if maybe this isn't the victory the left thinks and isn't the defeat the right feels. I feel this may have been a decision based purely on semantics. The accused is Salim Ahmed Hamdan (UBL's driver) and the charge was "conspiracy" --had the charge been murder I feel the outcome would have been different. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems the court had more of a problem with the weak charge than the idea of a military commission...

In the second decision SCOTUS trumped the International Court of Justice (a.k.a. The World Court) in the matter of foreigners convicted and jailed in America:

"...The court, based in The Hague, ruled that the treaty gave individuals a right to reopen their cases if they did not get the proper notification.

But the Supreme Court said Wednesday that it was not bound to follow that ruling.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. acknowledged that treaties ratified by the Senate were part of American law. Nonetheless, under the U.S. Constitution, the power to interpret the law and treaties "is vested in one Supreme Court," he said.

He might as well have added: It does not sit in The Hague..." (source)

To my layman's eyes, it seems like the decisions should have been reversed. The treaty seems pretty clear and the Geneva Convention offers no protection for lone militants that aren’t affiliated with the army of a sovereign state... But hey, I’m no lawyer so what do I know?

Caption It...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The United Nations and ACTUAL Torture

I thought for the benefit of those who believe the U.N. and their 'peacekeepers" could do a better job in Iraq than U.S. troops...we should take a walk down memory lane...

Remember the 150 allegations of sexual abuse and rape levied against U.N. Peacekeepers in the Congo?

"...The allegations include pedophilia, rape and soliciting prostitutes, said Jane Holl Lute (search), assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations. Similar claims have been made against peacekeepers working under the U.N. mandate in the past...." (source)

And the 1997 story behind the picture at the head of the story:

"...First published in the United States on the cover of the June 24th issue of the left-wing weekly Village Voice, the photograph depicts two Belgian paladins of the new world order giddily holding a Somali child over an open flame. Other series of photographs depict UN soldiers kicking and stabbing a Somali, and another soldier apparently urinating on the Somali’s dead body; yet another shows a Somali child being forced to drink salt water, vomit, and worms. A second group of photos published in the July 15th Village Voice shows the dead bodies of bound Somalis — what appears to be the work of a death squad.

One atrocity not caught on camera involved the "punishment" of a Somali child by placing him in a metal container and withholding water from him for two days; predictably, the relentless African heat killed the child. One Belgian UN soldier testified that it was a regular practice to use metal boxes as prison cells, and that other Somalis probably died similarly gruesome deaths.

One might expect the photographs and first-person accounts of such atrocities to arouse public indignation against the UN’s "planetary police," just as the endlessly replayed videotape of the Rodney King arrest turned public opinion against the Los Angeles Police Department. Perhaps this is why the photographs have been all but invisible in the United States, and precious little media attention has been devoted to an examination of UN atrocities.

Village Voice reporter Jennifer Gould came across the accounts of the Belgian atrocities while doing an earlier story about sexual harassment of female employees at UN headquarters. "When I spoke with people at the UN, time after time I was told, ‘If you think it’s bad here, you ought to see what happens in peacekeeping operations,’" Gould told The New American. "I started looking into that issue and found that the abuses I reported were well-known and easily documented. They were all over the media abroad, and I was really surprised it hadn’t been written about over here."... (Read the whole sordid tale)

No, I am not implying that because the U.N. did it FIRST and WORSE that actually torturing someone is OK (Unless, of course, they hold vital information that will stop imminent deaths)...
What I am trying to convey is that the United Nations has not an ounce of credibility to stand in judgment -and those that think that the U.N. Peacekeepers can handle anything with even a 1/4 of the skill and professionalism that our troops possess need to read about Somalia and speak with someone in Bosnia...

Really Can't Figure This One Out...

Yesterday I read an article that detailed the huge increase in Saudi Visas to the U.S.:

"...2005 saw the number of US visas issued to Saudis remain relatively stable, while this year the number has more than doubled.

In an e-mail to the Post, Amanda D. Rogers-Harper, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, confirmed that as of June 10, a total of 18,683 non-immigrant US visas had been issued to Saudi citizens since the start of the current fiscal year.

"This," she noted, "is twice as many as the 9,338 issuances to Saudis" in the corresponding period last year, marking an increase of over 100 percent in just the past 12 months...." (source)

I know, I know --the "Saudis are our friends" (excuse me while I throw up in my mouth a little). BUT, what made that article so surreal was following it by reading one detailing the revoking of security credentials for U.S. citizens that have ties to Israel...

"...Government sources and attorneys said the Pentagon has sought and succeeded in removing security clearance from dozens of Americans, mostly Jews, who either lived, worked or have relatives in Israel. Official documents report that American Jews, employed by major defense contractors and denied access to military projects, were asked by Pentagon examiners whether they would join a U.S. attack on Israel and abandon their relatives if the Jewish state was threatened.

"The policy didn't start yesterday," a Pentagon source said. "But those applying for security clearance are coming under greater scrutiny than ever for ties with foreign countries, and that especially includes Israel."... (source)

So, for the past 20+ years 99.8% of terrorist attacks against America have been committed by Muslim men from countries such as Saudi Arabia --and we strip people with ties to Israel of security clearance and open the gateways to more Muslim men?

Americans: The Most Patriotic In The World

It would seem that the 'Blame America First crowd' has a dirty little secret. Maybe it's due to a latent, liberal ideology induced virgin-whore complex...but whatever the reason a good portion of them love this country and would rather be living here than anywhere else in the world (well, the smart ones at least).

"... the U.S. leads the world in pride of country, according to a new University of Chicago study that surveyed people in 34 nations.

Three out of four Americans say they would rather be a U.S. citizen than any other, tops in the world..."

Of course this is the MSM (or the 'drive-by media' as Rush calls them), so they had to throw a negative spin on it:

"...There can be a negative side to it: "Other countries might see this as somewhat arrogant,'' said Smith, who is the director of the center's General Social Survey..." (source)

Eastern European countries scored the lowest.

"People rated how proud they were of their countries in 10 areas: political influence; social security; the way their democracy works; economic success; science and technology; sports; arts and literature; military; history; and fair treatment of all groups in society." (source)

I find this encouraging. Excuse the Rodney King Moment but --Better red, White and Blue than Red VS. Blue. ;)

(Photo Credit: TerrorismVictims.org)

Sheehan Blogging Just Keeps Getting Better...

Mother Sheehan is going on a "hunger strike" for two months. I would like the media following her 24 HOURS A DAY until the "fasting" ends to make sure there is no sneaking of tofu bars and Grapenuts when no one is looking. I expect her to be thinner, gaunt and uglier than usual when this is done or we'll know she lied.

Her announcement of the "Troops Home Fast" appears on Michael Moore's page:

"Dear Friends,

GSFP and Code Pink are sponsoring a hunger strike for peace which begins July 04, called Troops Home Fast Some of us like Dick Gregory and Diane Wilson will be fasting until the troops come home from Iraq, and some, like me, will be fasting for a specified time. My fast will begin on 7/04 and end on the last day of Camp Casey: 09/02.

We are announcing the fast from Washington, DC on 07/04 and having our last supper on 07/03 in Lafayette Park.

If you can join us in DC on the 3rd and 4th, or fast in solidarity with us on that day, or any other time, please let me know...

Love and peace soon,
Cindy"

--Yet I see no commitment from Moore to stop eating. Hmmmm....

I am seriously calling for FULL Sheehan surveillance for the next two months. I want the media to hold this spurious buffoon to her word.

(H/T: AB)

Thank You to the Democrats That Keep it Real

I just wanted to take a second to thank all the Democrats that come and comment here. Seriously.

I would have stopped blogging long ago without all of you and that's the truth.

I never want to fall into the dangerous comfort of 'group think' (as seen at the NYT and in Hollywood most glaringly). I enjoy being challenged, made to defend what I believe and to re-think things that don't add up.

I know I've said it before, but I don't understand the sites on the left and right that delete/block bloggers with dissenting views. How lame --Isn't blogging all about discourse?

So to Nimbus, Army Girl, Courtney, D-NC, Nate, Honest Partisan, Karl, Paul, Philly-bits, J. Marquis, Pax, RBP and the Dem lurkers... thank you. You keep it real here and make it much more interesting... (and I guess it doesn't hurt that I've met so many of you -you conservatives need to get to Philly, I think I have met more lefty bloggers now!!! LOL)

Sorry if I forgot anyone…

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Ground Zero 2006

Ground Zero is hardly the smoldering hole it was after the horrific events of September 11, 2001. Truthfully, aside from a small fenced off memorial to all the workers that lent a hand and a list of the victims on one fence, it looks like any other construction site in Manhattan.

Almost 5 years later the site still swarms with tourists. A plethora of languages can be heard in all directions. Some pointing and trying to orient themselves with the former layout, snapping pictures between the links of the fence and some just standing quietly taking it all in. Though the smoke has cleared and the area is being used in some capacity -there is still a strong somber feeling there...and almost tangible sadness that seems to hang in the air above you. It took me over four years to feel like I could go...

The site is charged with loss, fear, pride and a need to achieve the balance of moving on while still remembering.

All this emotion has been reflected in the "rebuilding plans" which have changed over and over. How do you appease an entire country? Do victims families have a greater say? Should money be a consideration? Do we build higher? Is the focus on replacing the buildings or creating a memorial? All of these questions still seem eons away from being answered --and answered to everyone's approval.

The design was recently revised again much to the dismay of many that feel budget considerations are stripping the plans of all emotional meaning. There are lawsuits brought by the builders against the insurance companies they claim are not paying what is owed. There are claims the mob has been involved with dealings at the site. And the cornerstone of the 'Freedom Tower', that had been ceremoniously placed at the site, was removed and taken away on June 23rd. I guess that officially puts us back to square one at Ground Zero.

As crazy as it sounds, Brad Pitt had the best idea I've heard to date. Rebuild the Towers exactly as they were --except construct the floors that were hit by the planes from glass and go above them with the rest. Build them even higher...I like that. A symbollic F-you to al Qaeda.

Here is a little of Ground Zero as it appears today:








(This 'Memorial Wall' is right across the street on the side of Engine 10's house. When they talked about this fire house being right across the street --I never realized until standing there it is literally about 10 yards away... Their website has a link to a webcam that is mounted on their roof - where you can look at the WTC site in real time.)

NYT & National Security Leaks



If you didn't already think the outrage over Valerie Plame was complete and utter feigned indignation...the fact that no one on the left cares that the NYT (among others) has once again leaked information (concerning National Security and the safety of Americans) should cement that fact.

Somehow there was mass moral outrage that a NON-covert employee of the CIA had her name in the paper, but it's OK to alert the enemy of every single way our government is tracking and monitoring them...

Michael Barone has an awesome OpEd that says all I would wish to say with much more eloquence... Here's a small excerpt:

"Why do they hate us? No, I'm not talking about Islamofascist terrorists. We know why they hate us: because we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, because we refuse to treat women as second-class citizens, because we do not kill homosexuals, because we are a free society.
No, the "they" I'm referring to are the editors of the New York Times. And do they hate us? Well, that may be stretching it. But at the least they have gotten into the habit of acting in reckless disregard of our safety...." (Read the rest)

Joining the chorus of outrage against the 'Grey Lady' (after the President himself and Sen. Jim Bunning who accused the NYT of 'treason') is a Lieutenant in Iraq who charges the Times with endangering his men:

"...You may think you have done a public service, but you have gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here. Next time I hear that familiar explosion -- or next time I feel it -- I will wonder whether we could have stopped that bomb had you not instructed terrorists how to evade our financial surveillance...." (Read the letter in its entirety at Powerline)

(Photo Credit: The always poignant Cox & Forkum)

Bad News for You Pot Heads...

The U.N.'s "drugs watchdog" (who knew there was such a thing?) has said that 'cannabis' is now "as harmful as heroin and cocaine due to a "major increase in the potency".

"Cannabis had become more potent in the past few decades and governments that maintained inadequate policies got the "drug problem they deserve", Mr. Costa said in the 2006 World Drug Report.

"Policy reversals leave young people confused as to just how dangerous cannabis is," he added." The cannabis pandemic, like other challenges to public health, requires consensus, a consistent commitment across the political spectrum and by society at large."

He warned governments against playing party politics with the classification of cannabis as its harmful effects were "no longer that different" to the damage caused by cocaine and heroin. His remarks were made on UN Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. " (source)

All I will add is this: If you've ever been to Amsterdam --there is no way you can disagree with the danger of the potency... Just sayin'.

(Great Video: Clinton's Dorm 1965)

Caption It...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Asinine Quotes #7,925



Can this supercilious attention hound just go back to the obscurity he emerged from already...?!

From the latest edition of 'The Most Asinine Statements':

"American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran", Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said to an audience of more than 200 in North Miami Saturday afternoon." (source)

(Aside: If it had been a Republican speaking the article would have said "...to an audience of JUST 200 in North Miami Saturday afternoon...")

Check out pictures of the Savage-Inspired Protests going on at Camp Pendleton in support of our troops --and in opposition to Murtha! Believe it or not, the L.A. Times covered the rally.

Participate in Savage's Poll:
"NOW THAT WE HAVE BROKEN THE CHAINS OFF THE MARINES SHOULD MURTHA BE CENSURED FOR CAUSING THEIR CONDEMNATION?"
Click Here to answer

*Photo Credit: Lucky Dawg News*

Bush Got Something Right...

OK, so all my ire at Bush for a myriad of recent missteps (IMO) aside --I said before the 2004 election that the MAIN focus should be SCOTUS...that these nominations were why Conservatives had to win. Harriet Miers aside, thank God Bushie came through with that...

Samuel Alito was the tie breaker in a vote to uphold the death penalty for a twisted murderer that killed a mom and her 19 month old baby. Enough said, right?

"A divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Kansas death-penalty statute, as new Justice Samuel Alito broke a deadlock by siding with advocates of capital punishment.

The court, voting 5-4, rejected arguments that the state's law unconstitutionally creates a presumption in favor of the death penalty for convicted murderers...

... Michael Lee Marsh II, convicted of murdering Marry Ane Pusch and her 19-month-old daughter, argued that the rule violated the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishments.

Dissenting Justice David Souter called the law ``morally absurd.'' He added, ``The court's holding that the Constitution tolerates this moral irrationality defies decades of precedent aimed at eliminating freakish capital sentencing in the United States.'' Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer joined his dissent. (source)

Why oh why are libs always erring on the side of the criminal?!

Thank you Justice Alito... You did good. I eagerly await more of your tie-breaking decisions.

Trouble in Lib Paradise...

I always say that when Conservatives are mad at Bush it's because he's not Conservative enough --I wonder if the same is true with the current turmoil at the ACLU. Are dissenters feeling the organization isn't far left/Communist enough or are there members with a semblance of reason...?

"Supporters of the American Civil Liberties Union who have become disillusioned with the group's governance are gathering the support of former officials, donors, and other ACLU members to challenge the organization's leadership, according to people involved in the discussions.

The target of the nascent campaign is the ACLU's executive director, Anthony Romero, 40, who took over day-to-day operation of the group in 2001." (source)

Is the fellowship beginning to crumble...?

West VS. Muslim Divide

"MEDIA mogul Rupert Murdoch says Muslims will always identify themselves by religion before nationality, warning that care needed to be taken to avoid a divided society.

“You have to be careful about Muslims who have a very strong, in many ways a fine, but very strong religion, which supersedes any sense of nationalism,” Mr. Murdoch said." (source)

I don't know why the Pew Center felt like they needed a poll to tell us that there is a huge riff between Muslims and those that have surpassed the 14th century...but apparently they did. IMO, Every self-respecting feminist in the world should loathe them...

"...The most salient findings include the extent to which Muslims have an aggrieved view of the West, and Westerners are skeptical and wary of Muslim values," said Andrew Kohut, the [Pew] center's president.

People polled in six predominantly Muslim countries -- Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Nigeria -- blame Westerners for the strain in ties and mostly see Americans and Europeans as selfish, arrogant, immoral and greedy, with opinions of the West and its people worsening over the last year, the survey found. In turn, majorities among non-Muslims polled in most Western countries see Muslims as fanatical and lacking in tolerance.

But non-Muslim Westerners interviewed were more divided in their attitudes toward Muslims than vice versa, poll results show. About 60 percent of non-Muslims questioned in France, Britain and Russia, as well as more than half of Americans interviewed, maintain favorable opinions of Muslims overall. On the other hand, 36 percent of non-Muslims surveyed in Germany and 29 percent in Spain view Muslims favorably.

About 27 percent of Pakistanis and 16 percent of Turks see Christians favorably; about 6 percent and 15 percent, respectively, have favorable views of Jews..." (source)

My Solution?
The low opinion of many in the West could easily be fixed by the "Moderate Muslims" if they joined loudly and wholeheartedly in the condemnation of all that has transpired in the name of their religion --and if they did it with no qualifiers...

Bi-Partisanship Effort to Nail Sex Offenders

This is the type of story I want to read about. Not all the political posturing, bloviating and illegal pay raising...but State legislators actually getting bills that benefit society as a whole passed into law.

Republican Gregory F. Lavelle (House) and Democrat Karen E. Peterson (Senate) have banned together and introduced a bill that would extend the statute of limitations of the time a sex offender/pedophile can be charged for his/her crime(s).

"The legislation would provide victims of childhood sexual abuse a longer amount of time in which to sue for civil damages. The bill would permit victims to file a civil suit against their accused abusers within six years of the actual act or within six years from the time the victim discovered that injuries were caused by that act. Under current Delaware Code, the statute of limitations for filing such a lawsuit is two years.

Rep. Lavelle stated, “This is an extremely complex and important issue. Caring for and having responsibility over children are trusts that should not to be taken lightly. The current statue of limitations is unacceptable and this bill will help further the public debate on how best to address and resolve these issues."

Senator Peterson said, “Sexual abuse of children has lifelong consequences for the victims and should have lifelong consequences for the abusers. This bill is a step in the right direction.” (source)

(H/T: Liz)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Iraqi "Civilian" Deaths

Over the past few weeks there has been talk of charges against American troops for 'civilian deaths' ad nauseam. But, as I brought up in a previous comment --how are these deaths counted? Who isn't a civilian in Iraq?

According to reports from Iraq, other Iraqi's don't mind civilian deaths. I say this because they are using each other as human shields.

When you hear the ACLU and Amnesty talk you would think hundreds of innocent bystanders are being killed each day...but then THIS STORY comes out:

"U.S. troops have reduced the number of Iraqi civilians they kill after orders to improve checkpoint procedures following the shootings of some 350 Iraqis in such incidents last year, the military said on Sunday.

Figures in a briefing document provided by a U.S. spokesman in Baghdad showed that seven Iraqi civilians a week on average were reported killed in "escalation of force" (EOF) incidents in 2005. That dropped to four a week in January to one a week now."

Seven? Four? Not hundreds? Seven people failing to stop at checkpoints and speeding toward our troops have been killed a week? Seven suspecting in planting IEDs or throwing mortars? Civilians? What constitutes a "civilian" in these surveys? Was this someone ignoring direct orders or just planting his garden?

How many people have been killed in Detroit or Philly since January (and there is no WAR here)?

Of course it sucks when innocent people die --but the key word there is innocent.

(An Israeli soldier was taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists...Let's see what Israel does when one of their own is in danger...)

Paranoid, Who Me?

So what if half of the reason I took the boys to the Empire State Building is I am not sure if it will always be there...?

With the Twin Towers gone and an active plot to take down the Sears Tower recently foiled, how many more landmarks are being targeted? The Man is obsessed with skyscrapers (architecture in general actually). He never went to the top of the WTC and neither did my boys --a major point of contention whenever 9/11 comes up...

I guess the underlying fact is that it isn't paranoia at all --it's just common sense. I am almost 100% sure there will be other attacks on American soil. This doesn't mean I'm "living in fear", "letting them win" or changing my day-to-day life, but I am thinking about things I wouldn't have 6 years ago...

Worse (in my mind) than another 9/11 style attack would be constant small attacks in banal places (like the pizza shop homicide bombers in Israel) --or, a "dirty bomb".

"Spy chiefs fear that it is a case of "when, not if" Islamist terrorists launch a "dirty bomb" attack against London or another western capital, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

Security sources have disclosed that the belief amongst most intelligence agencies is that a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attack, using a so-called dirty bomb, is now inevitable." (source)

If there wasn't enough to worry about...

On a lighter note than dirty bombs, loving the design for the 'Freedom Tower'.

"Undecided" People Suck

So, long car rides are dangerous for me. My brain goes into mosaic mode and 1,000 thoughts start swirling as I stare blankly out the window... As it's happening I am thinking "Wow, this is all so brilliant, I should blog this", but after I have vacated the car and upon further inspection --it's mostly a bunch of crap that no one but me would care about. It's virtually impossible to come up with an original idea --something that hasn't been said 200 different ways by much bigger intellects.

This time I am going to share something I was lamenting, even if it has been said more eloquently many times before...

If you have passed your 30th birthday and have no political ideology you are either lying so you don't offend anyone or have an IQ under 80. I hate when people 'have no opinion' or 'haven't really given it much thought' or are 'undecided'. Give me the biggest lib in the world over the apathetic or spineless.

By your 30th year on this earth you DO have an opinion -- and if you claim not to, you are obviously too concerned with what others will think to share it. You know if you agree with abortion or not. You know if the flag inspires pride or if it doesn't mean anything. You know if you think war is wrong no matter what, or if it is sometimes warranted. You know whether you agree with a welfare state in which all responsibility falls on the government's shoulders or the strength of each individual to chart their own success and failures. These are things you have to know...

So, undecided translates to scared or dumb...take your pick. Can I get an Amen? ;)

Drum Roll Please...

AB (my sister for those that don’t know) had the 3D ultrasound on Saturday morning -- we know the gender... I'll have to go back and look what everyone guessed before the last ultrasound.

Which would make a better baby shower gift? LOL



It's a...



Yeah!

(Oh, and feel free to list pretty (non-common) girl names that should come to mind...)

Caption It...

Might as well combine showing you all the pictures and having a bit of fun... Go ahead, I can handle it. ;)



(and no, I am no big fan of Kareem. I took this purely for your amusement...)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Fulfilling Fantasies With Wax...

Oh stop, get your minds out of the gutter! ;)

Of course we had a great time yesterday and I can't wait to share all the pics of Ground Zero with all of you, but Brooklyn's small Italian markets and bakeries await... I love Carroll Gardens. You walk around feeling like you're on the set of the Cosby Show or Sesame Street.

Anyway, until I can get everything uploaded, here is a small glimpse of the day:





P.S. No bed bugs! :)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Where's the Outrage?!

I hadn't heard all the brutal details... Oh God, their poor families. Please, I never want to hear that "too hot" or "too cold' is torture again... Sick –and heartbreaking.

You go E.D., I couldn't have said it better myself...



"I would like to know why the U.S. Media ignored this poll of all Iraqis saying that 77% of Iraqis still believe, with all the mistakes, the war still "is worth it"? 98% of Shiites and 91% of Kurds all say the war is still "worth it"."

(H/T: Andy)

Bon Voyage

After Mason's "board breaking" class this morning (that I pray doesn't turn into hand or arm breaking) we embark on our first mini-vacation of the summer.

Unfortunately, our destination is Manhattan & Brooklyn and not OBX. Our kids have never been and we wanted to do all the touristy things that one does on their first NYC trip...BUT it is supposed to pour rain and thunder storm for the entire duration of our stay. Lovely.

The Man was away all week and is always miserable upon his return from having to stay in Southern Jersey (sorry to the Jerseyites, but ya know--the smell...and the bugs...) So a soggy weekend hailing cabs should only make that worse. I, on the other hand, am completely paranoid about the bed bug epidemic taking place in NY. Ewww. (They say they are visible to the naked eye…) The hotel we are staying at is a bit iffy, but it was just built in 2005 so how bad could it be right...RIGHT?! ;)

Anyway, I'll make sure we have fun if it kills me... I'll see Ground Zero for the first time since 2000 when The Man and I last saw the Towers standing. I'll think of some creative things to do with Castro's likeness at the wax museum and the boys will be in heaven in the new Time's Square Toys 'R Us. AND, my brother can stop guilt tripping me for failing to visit his Brooklyn brownstone for the past year since he moved in... (quite frankly, we may be crashing there if there's bed bugs...)

We will have fun, We will have fun, We will have fun, We will have fun, We will have fun....

Vacation Horrors...

In anticipation of the forthcoming joys of this weekend, I am going to "borrow" an idea from Tammi: The weekend question.

The question will be "What is the biggest vacation disaster you've endured?"

This way, if I end up in a roach/bug bed infested 2 X 4 room with my entire family in thunder, lightning and torrential rain, and our car gets vandalized... I can read these and feel better... ;)

Friday, June 23, 2006

ACLU & Haditha

Okay, this is the mission statement of the ACLU:

"The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees:

* Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.
* Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
* Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
* Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.

We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor." (source)

Now, what I am wondering is (based on the mission statement) how is the Haditha incident any of their concern? Aren't all the donations given with the expectation they will be used for domestic concerns? For American "segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights"?

So, if they are suing the DoD for the Haditha files wouldn't that be on behalf of Iraqis against "our population"? Has the 'Blame America First' mentality evolved so far as to breed donation fraud and mission statement abandonment?

(Stop the ACLU has more information)

Profiling: Mathematical, Not Racial

Much like the Beating a Dead Horse post about my disdain over the misuse of the word torture and the virtual castration of our troops...I am also still mystified by the opposition to profiling.

Ad/marketing agencies profile everyday, because it only makes sense. The FBI profiles -and has celebrated adept profilers after the capture of some real monsters. Profiling is only describing the person who is most likely to have committed or will commit a crime to better find that person. Profiles are derived from statistics and mathematical models.

"A formal summary or analysis of data, often in the form of a graph or table, representing distinctive features or characteristics." (Dictionary.com)

I have said it before... If little blondes were bombing bridges and I crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge without being pulled over and searched, I would be disturbed. How many other little blondes were they letting pass. I would much rather the inconvenience than death -anyone's death caused by the leniency...

This becomes abundantly clear when we remember the outrage over the bag searches in the NYC subways --the claims that Muslims were being searched more often (duh!) and the ACLU's fight to stop it. Then we find out that there was indeed a Muslim-born plot to use poison gas in the NY subways.

This morning, we learn more about the 7 arrests in the plot to blow up the Sears Tower by Muslim men.

Profiling isn't a racial thing --it's a law enforcement tool. A factual model pulled from statistical data to reach the most probable end. No one has even complained about the "35 year old white Protestant male" profile to catch serial killers --why the outcry over the model to catch potential bombers and suicide bombers?

Restored Faith

The Atlanta Journal Constitution ran this cartoon by Mike Luckovich:



There was a poll under it asking "Do you like today's cartoon?"
Results: 1741 Yes, 14,863 NO

And there are currently 571 comments... The first one says it all:

"There you have it, the cartoon says it all. According to the liberals, the United States is no better than Al Qaeda. Can it be made more plain to see?

This is a red letter day for liberalism, it’s like coming out of the closet, so to speak. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for clarifying this for all to behold.

No matter how much cartoon boy warmed to this “idea,” even if it helped him to achieve an anti American erection, there are very few normal people that will consider this even remotely funny.

Unless they got there heads up the MoveOn’s a-ss like most of these pinkos do.

Pandering to the party lunatics at the expense of our security." (Commentor: I Report, They Whine)

I guess Mike Luckovich can go find Ted Rall and they can lick their wounds together...

Caption It...

What handler allowed this photo to be taken...?! Geez, this is almost worse than John Kerry eating a Philly cheesesteak with Swiss and a fork and Knife... (ID: Behave! LOL)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Our Tortured Soldiers - The Left's Reaction

...or should I say lack thereof.

"A leading US senator of the opposition Democratic Party, Richard Durbin, said the incident was further proof of the failure of the Republican-led strategy on Iraq.

"Unfortunately, this is a grim reminder of the price we're paying for a failed policy in Iraq," said the number-two Democrat in the US Senate." (source)

No outrage over the deaths or the brutal fashion which they were carried out ---just an opportunity to indict Bush?

Should you feel the urge to tell Dick to stop politicizing the deaths of our soldiers: (202) 224-2152, Senate website.

From Laura Ingraham's site:

"ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS' WEBSITES--NO MENTION OF TORTURED US SOLDIERS! We looked and looked, scoured and scoured, but none of the groups that purport to stand up for human rights--Amnesty Int'l, Human Rights Watch, Int'l A.N.S.W.E.R.--have condemned the torture of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. They have condemned, however, the U.S. treatment of prisoners at Gitmo, and the use of the death penalty against dictators like Saddam! These organizations have no credibility and obviously no shame."

I'm having a hard time reconciling the fact that there has been 1,000 times more vocal outrage over the Haditha Marines (presumed innocent?) than the very real death of our own guys... I thought they "supported the troops", just not the mission.

U.S. Scholarships for Potential Saudi Aviators?

When I was at university in England there were a lot of Russian students there on math and science scholarships from the Russian government. I thought that was a great idea from a country in economic disrepair --incentives for the up and coming generation to learn the skills to improve their country...

But, I don't feel quite as approving of an offer by the Saudi Arabian government to hand out U.S. aviation scholarships to their citizens. Why all flight related scholarships?

"The forms are available online at the ministry’s website until July 12 for both bachelor’s and post-graduate studies. Nominations will be announced on July 31. Interviews will take place in August and final scholarship winners will be announced on Sept. 2.

The scholarships are available in majors such as communications, electrical and computer engineering, computer science, systems analysis, air traffic control, flight safety, and other majors related to the airline transport industry." (source)

I am unsure why the United States would even agree to this --it may be profiling (and so be it) but how many of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals...? A bit disconcerting in my opinion. Couldn't they offer scholarships in say culinary arts or conflict resolution...or better yet, women's rights?

And I Quote: "Hundreds of WMDs Found in Iraq"

"The United States has found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered..."



"...Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."(source)

Read declassified portion of the NGIC report

CNN hasn't seemed to have picked up the story yet (their lead story of course is "Marines file murder charges"), but Kim Jong Il's "North Korea Times" took and interesting spin...

Fox News trumpets Iraq weapons discovery
"The powerful U.S.-based Fox News Channel is saturating its news coverage Wednesday with reports weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq.
Two Republican senators have obtained declassified documents which show 500 shells containing degraded sarin and mustard gas were found three years ago." (source)

The few left-leaning sites that have acknowledged this report are claiming "they aren't the WMDs we went to war for"... Is there a WMD distinction I am unaware of?

This doesn't "validate" or "justify" the war for me --I don't need a huge WMD cache to do that. The Clinton Administration, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, The U.N. and the French, German and British intelligence agencies all made the case before we went in (even if they've since had amnesia about that little fact).

Al Sharpton claims he will apologize for all his "Bush lied" accusations if the document is correct... I wonder how many others would follow? I’m guessing they could find nukes and a diagram of the White House in Iraq and no apologies would be forthcoming...

(For More, Go check out Alex C.'s comprehensive rundown of the story and the blogs posting about it. )

Blogging Goes Postal



Kali, I had to share this because I am just dying to know what my Mailman was thinking... ;)
And, you're welcome girl...any time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Yes, I'm Beating a Dead Horse...

I know this has been said 5,000 times and phrased in as many different ways... But I just can't shut up about it until it gets through to everyone that doesn't get it...

After reading yesterday that "Iraqi officials said the Americans were first tortured, then killed in a "barbaric" way...but said the retrieval of the remains was delayed because they were booby-trapped." (source) I was so angry all day. Truthfully I found myself much angrier at all the people making a big deal over Abu Gareab, Haditha and GITMO much more so than the terrorists. I guess because the 'human rights people' owe our troops everything and the terrorists owe them nothing.

If you are an Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian, etc. and you know that your loved one has been taken into American custody --you are pretty much guaranteed to see them again. Has EVEN ONE member of our military been returned?!

Where are the human rights groups now? When they say these soldiers were 'tortured' wouldn't it be nice to use Michael Berg's definition of torture? Wouldn't it ease their parent's pain to hope that maybe Amnesty International was right and torture means they were put in really cold air conditioning, or made to pose naked, or barked at by German Shepherds? I am NOT being facetious. Think about it --when they say these men were tortured you know exactly what that means. Actual, brutal, physically painful torture...as defined by Webster and not Cindy Sheehan and her ilk.

Why doesn't the 'Blame Bush crowd' see that? Even John McCain belittles his own actual torture by labeling 'humiliation' as torture... I have tried to see it from the other side, but I can't. I won't.

We are not fighting an army. We are fighting civilians who are using Guerilla warfare tactics and we are trying to play by some Gentleman's rule book and it's absolute bullshit. I have said it before and I'll say it again... If we are going to tie our troop’s hands in silk ribbon, pull them the hell out and let real hell descend.

First good OpEd I've read about all this.

What Happens in Vegas Doesn't Include God...

A city that advertises with "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" is pretty much saying that everything goes, right? Legalized gambling, prostitution and quicky drunken marriages in Elvis's chapel are all OK, but if you dare to mention God in Sin City your mic will be turned off.

"A local high school graduation ended with roars of protest after school officials turned the microphone off right in the middle of one of the valedictorian's speeches. The microphone cut out after the valedictorian at Foothill High made reference to God.

The family says the District's decision isn't fair. Brittney McComb says she's a straight A student, number one in her class, and is headed to Biola University in the fall.

Brittney attributes all of her success to God. Trouble is, she tried to explain that during her speech which the school district said they told her beforehand was a no-no.

"God's love is so great." This was part of the speech that Brittney McComb says she so wanted to give on graduation night. But because it did have numerous references to God and Jesus Christ, the school district cut off the mic, leaving her practically silent. That's when many people stood up and booed, showing their support.

Now, the day after, McComb says she got nothing but support from her fellow students. "All of my classmates came up to me and were so happy. They told me they loved me and I said God's awesome because I couldn't have done it without him." (source)

Once again, I have to ask when the ACLU is taking on Brittney's case...

Woman of the Year

"A Chinese woman has been charged with manslaughter after she killed her husband with a sword.

25-year-old Tang Xiaowan often forced her husband to carry out her demands at sword point.

Before his death, Li Weidong refused to make his wife's dinner." (source)

Pentagon Lists "Homosexuality" as a "Psychological Disorder"

Well, according to a group called "Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military" (CSSMM: a think tank at the University of California) who claims they have a Pentagon document that has homosexuality as a psychological disorder.

"According to the CSSMM the Department of Defense Instruction that so categorizes homosexuality was signed by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in 1996 and re-certified as "current" in 2003.

Although homosexuality has traditionally been considered a psychological disorder the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses over thirty years ago, claiming that it "implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social and vocational capabilities." The APA’s decision, however, has been the subject of criticism in recent years with some alleging that the 1973 move to remove homosexuality from the list of disorders was highly influenced by homosexual activism and not objective scientific data (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/feb/06020902.html).

The CSSMM responded to what it has called an outdated and offensive classification of homosexuality by issuing a “report card” on the military, giving it 'F's' in four out of five categories, including "Mental Health Classification," "Anti-gay Harassment and Command Climate," "Evidence-Based Assessment of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'" and "Family Support." (source)

Then again, when my mom was in nursing school one of her textbooks listed pregnancy as a disease...

Would a Cat Do This...?

Sorry, I don't know why I'm having so much fun with the "cat people" lately...;)

A beagle saved her owner's life by calling 911 on his cell phone when he fell into a diabetic coma. She was just awarded the Vita Wireless Samaritan Award (the first time an animal has won the award).

"The dog was trained to detect potential diabetic attacks by licking and sniffing Mr. Weaver's nose to check his blood sugar levels and pawing him. Belle resorted to dialing for help when Mr. Weaver fell unconscious.

The dog used her teeth to press the number nine key, which the phone was programmed to interpret as a "911" call to emergency services. Ambulance workers answered the phone and, hearing nothing but barking at the end of the line, rushed to the caller's house in the city of Ocoee in Florida state." (source)

Don’t feel too bad, I'm pretty sure my dog would just curl her fat self up next to me and fall asleep...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Two Soldiers Missing



Army Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker never returned from their overnight shift working a vehicle checkpoint south of Baghdad. The Pentagon is confirming that a third soldier working with them had been killed.

As their families anxiously await news, a posting appeared on an Islamic website claiming to have kidnapped the two soldiers. The shred of hope is that the website that posted the message is not one normally used by al Qaeda-linked groups. (source)

I can only imagine that this is the worst news a military family can receive. A POW in any other war meant there was a good chance you would see your loved one again --a POW in this war -especially at this time --probably means retribution for Zarqawi...and a video tape of it all... Or maybe worse. Maybe, like the Maupin family, you never know.

My thoughts and prayers are with both families.

UPDATE: USA Today is reporting that both soldiers have been killed. DoD has yet to confirm. The BBC is reporting that 'the bodies showed signs of torture' (and I can only assume that doesn't mean they were found with underpants on their heads...I assume they mean actual torture).

"I didn't leave the party - It left me!"

That, of course, is a famous Ronald Reagan quote about his switch from the Democratic to Republican party. I have met many ex-Dems that feel the same way (there are even a few here in the blogosphere like Kat, Donal and Kali)...

I am always fascinated at how the enlightenment evolved and progressed --and more importantly what was the final straw the caused them to stop being an ass and embraced the elephant.

Front Page Magazine has an article written by author Seth Swirsky that details exactly that and culminates in his 2004 decision to vote for President Bush.

Here is a small excerpt:

"...I approached the 2004 primaries with an open mind. I was still a Democrat, still hoping that leaders like Sam Nunn and Scoop Jackson would emerge, still fantasizing that Democrats could constitute a party of truly progressive social thinkers with tough backbones who would reappear after 9/11.

I was wrong. The Left got nuttier, more extreme, less contributory to the public debate, more obsessed with their nemesis Bush - and it drove me further away. What Democrat could support Al Gore's '04 choice for President, Howard Dean, when Dean didn't dismiss the suggestion that George W. Bush had something to do with the 9/11 attacks? Or when the second most powerful Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin, thought our behavior at the detention center in Guantanamo was equivalent to Bergen Belsen and the Soviet gulags? Or when Senator Kennedy equated the unfortunate but small incident at Abu Ghraib with Saddam's 40-year record of mass murder, rape rooms, and mass graves saying, "Saddam's torture chambers have reopened under new management, U.S. management"? What Democrat could not applaud the fact that President had, in fact, kept us safe for what's going on 5 years? What Democrat - even those who opposed the decision to go into Iraq - wouldn't applaud the fact that tens of millions of previously brutalized people had the hope of freedom before them?..." (Read the rest of the article)

Bye Bye Ward...

The majority of an ethics panel at the University of Colorado has voted that Ward Churchill should be fired. The recommended firing is not because of the essay comparing WTC victims to Nazi Adolf Eichmann or any of the subsequent bizarre statements made by Churchill, but an "investigation [that] concluded Churchill "committed serious, repeated and deliberate research misconduct," including plagiarism and fabrication of material."

The recommendation from the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct will now be sent to interim provost Susan Avery and Todd Gleeson, dean of the college of arts and sciences.

Avery and Gleeson then will make separate recommendations to interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano, who will have the final say on whether Churchill should be fired. An exact timeline for that decision has not been determined, but could come within weeks. (source

My only question is what took them so long...