Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year


Deck the Halls


Have fun at the Zoo

But doesn't it sound a bit strange that the Baghdad Zoo is safer than the San Francisco Zoo, and a bear from the Berlin Zoo is going to become a Hollywood Star?


Al-Azhar says women pregnant by rape must abort baby

Straits Times reported AL-Azhar, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning, on Sunday declared that any woman pregnant by rape must abort the baby immediately in order to maintain 'social stability'.
Not MAY abort it, but MUST.
'A raped woman must terminate the pregnancy immediately upon learning of the pregnancy if a trusted doctor gives her clearance for the abortion,' the Islamic Research Council of the Cairo-based institution said in a statement.
So I guess "the life of the mother" exception works in reverse in Egypt. If the life of the mother is in jeopardy by having the abortion she does not have to. At least she is lucky she does not live in Nigeria. There she would be required to have the baby, and then when it was weaned she would be stoned to death, unless she could find four male witnesses willing to testify it was rape.
This would ensure 'social stability,' it said.
Well that area certainly needs social stabilit.
According to the independent Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights (ECWR), two women are raped every hour in this country of 76 million. Many factors contribute to the increase in sexual harassment including rising unemployment, the huge cost of marriage and the fact that sex outside marriage is forbidden, experts say.
Not sure why the first to lead to increased numbers of rape, and the latter one may mean rape is charged when it is not really rape. I really think the blaim lies in the cultural and religious devaluation of the rights of women, and the fact that rape is allowed in the Qur'an.
Egyptian law bans abortion except on the grounds of 'necessity", which includes instances when a woman's life or health is in danger or in cases of fetal abnormality.
or now 'social stability'


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rudy official resigns after Muslim comment reported The New Hampshire co-chair of Veterans for Rudy resigned Saturday amid video remarks in which he suggested Giuliani would deal with the “rise of the Muslims” and that the United States should “defeat or chase them back to their caves”.
He is right.
John Deady made the comments in a video interview to The Guardian newspaper last weekend, while attending a Giuliani house party at the home of Manchester, N.H., Mayor Frank Guinta. “He has got, I believe, the knowledge and the judgment to attack one of the most difficult problems in current history, and that is the rise of the Muslims,” Deady said in the video interview, posted Dec. 27. “Make no mistake about it, this hasn’t happened for a thousand years. These people are very, very dedicated. They’re also very smart in their own way, and we need to keep the feet to the fire and keep pressing these people until we defeat them or chase them back to their caves, or, in other words, get rid of them.” Deady later confirmed he made those comments in an interview to Talking Points Memo, adding that he did not believe there were good and bad Muslims.
He is wrong in that there are good Muslims, but they are to afraid to stand up to the bad ones, so all you hear about is the bad ones.
“They’re all Muslims,” he said.


Netscape Is Dead

InformationWeek AOL on Friday stopped development of the Netscape browser, saying the respected brand that launched the commercial Internet in 1994 had little chance of ever regaining market share against its archrival Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Now that AoL killed Netscape, who will kill AoL? Surely its time has passed as well.


Star Tribune distorts poll

Star Tribune distorts poll, saying More people say there should be less of a Christian emphasis placed on the holidays Star Tribune reported While a majority of American adults still believe that Jesus should be the focus of the holiday season, a growing segment of the population disagrees.
But the headline implies the majority want the focus to be less, while really 64% want more focus on Jesus.
A recent poll conducted by the Rasmussen Reports found that 27 percent of respondents said that there should be less of a Christian emphasis on the holidays. That's up 10 percentage points from a year ago when just 17 percent of adults felt that way.

Still, 64 percent of respondents said that the holiday season should focus more on the birth of Jesus. That's down one percentage point from 2006, when 65 percent felt that way, and eight percentage points from two years ago when 72 percent said Jesus should be the reason for the season.
64, 65, or 72%, it is still a significant majority, The "War on Christmas" has not won yet.


Fox News Drops Ron Paul

Yahoo! Finance reported According to the New Hampshire State Republican Party and an Associated Press report, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul will be excluded from an upcoming forum of Republican candidates to be broadcast by Fox News on January 6, 2008.

It is about time. Why not cut some of the other deadwood that does not stand a chance of becoming the nominee?

Update: It appears the story is wrong, and there will not even be a debate that day. I still think it is time to start narrowing the slate of debaters.


Pizza ad gives Kucinich backers indigestion

A new Pizza Hut ad uses slices of presidential debate commentary to tout a cut-rate pizza deal,

and as Sabrina Eaton indicates it has upset backers of Cleveland Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich. "Are people seeing lower prices now?" the announcer in the ad asks before cutting to a debate segment where Kucinich says: "More people in this country have seen UFOs." When the vegan congressman disappears from the screen, his image is replaced by meat-covered pizzas. Operators of several websites that admire the Cleveland congressmen are urging readers to complain to Pizza Hut. They're not mad about Kucinich being linked to pepperoni despite his meat aversion, or being linked to chain pizza despite his anti-corporate rhetoric. It's the UFO reference that's given them indigestion.

Is this the only thing that makes you think he is from another planet?


Pocket Veto

White House reported The adjournment of the Congress has prevented my return of H.R. 1585 within the meaning of Article I, section 7, clause 2 of the Constitution. Accordingly, my withholding of approval from the bill precludes its becoming law. The Pocket Veto Case, 279 U.S. 655 (1929). In addition to withholding my signature and thereby invoking my constitutional power to "pocket veto" bills during an adjournment of the Congress, I am also sending H.R. 1585 to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, along with this memorandum setting forth my objections, to avoid unnecessary litigation about the non-enactment of the bill that results from my withholding approval and to leave no doubt that the bill is being vetoed.

Thus Bush is saying he is using the pocket veto to veto H.R. 1585, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008," with it pay raises for the military, because of what it might do to Iraqi funds. But the Pocket Veto will not work, because the Senate has been holding Pro Forma sessions
Daily Kos
so the law will go into effect, and the military will get its raises, and it will appear his has lost, but it will be easy for him to make sure the Iraqi funds are just not in American banks, which will make European bankers happier with the US. Pelosi and Reid will think they won, but Bush will have played them all for suckers.


Friday, December 28, 2007

If You Want Democracy, Kill the Jihadists First

Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in National Review Online Jihadists are not going to be wished away, rule-of-lawed into submission, or democratized out of existence. If you really want democracy and the rule of law in places like Pakistan, you need to kill the jihadists first. Or they’ll kill you, just like, today, they killed Benazir Bhutto.
That is absolutely right.


Time to Choose

Scott Ott wrote on Townhall The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has put on notice the leaders of every European nation. Your secularism, your democracy will not stand. The growing Muslim populations in your own lands that you have done so much to tolerate, protect and celebrate, will soon rise up against you. Sharia law shall become your law. The Caliph shall rule you.
That is certainly their objective
It remains only for you to choose submission or assassination.
A third option is available. Reject secularism, and re-embrace Christianity. It is hard for nothing to replace something, but show the Muslims in your country that Christ offers the things that drew them to the West from the oppressive environment that was in the countries they left
This bullet to the neck of democracy in Pakistan should cause a twinge in the carotid artery of each leader in France, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, them all.
I wonder if they realise it.
The assassin, strapped with bombs and carrying a firearm, stood amidst a cheering throng and took aim at the only major symbol of liberalism and democratic reform in the Islamic world. As the mortally-wounded woman slumped through the sunroof, the happy hunter detonated himself to send a clear message that no security cordon can protect those who rise to oppose jihad.

Cling, if you will, to your professors who drone on about the legitimate grievances of oppressed peoples who wish only to be left alone. Your cartridge clicks into the chamber.

Sing yourself to sleep each night with an ode to peaceful co-existence. The crosshairs find your throat.

Cup your hands over your ears to muffle the unthinkable warnings. The finger squeezes the trigger.

As you mount the rostrum to decry the slaying and call for calm in Pakistan, do you wonder whether your security detail could stop him?

As you send your condolences to the grieving widower, the shattered supporters and the tottering Pakistani president, himself a target of previous assassination attempts, do you have a strategy for negotiating with those who embrace murderous martyrdom?

Which will you choose -- submission or assassination?

Take your time deciding, but know this: The bullet hurtles onward.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

The American Soldier

The average age of the military man or woman is 19 years old.

They are a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half adult, half child. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for their country.

They never really cared much for work and they would rather wax their own car than wash their father's; but they have never collected unemployment either.

They are recent High School graduates; they were probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities; drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife, that either broke up with them when they left, or swears to be waiting when they return from half a world away.

They listen to rock and roll, hip-hop, rap, jazz, or swing, and 155mm Howitzers.

They are 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when they were at home because they are working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

They have trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for them but they can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark.

They can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if they must.

They dig foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

They can march until they are told to stop or stop until they are told to march.

They obey orders instantly and without hesitation, but they are not without spirit or individual dignity.

They are self-sufficient. They have two sets of fatigues: they wash one and wear the other. They keep their canteens full and their feet dry.

They sometimes forget to brush their teeth, but never to clean their rifle.

They can cook their own meals, mend their own clothes, and fix their own hurts.

If you're thirsty, They will share their water with you; if you're hungry, their food.

They will even split their ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

They have learned to use their hands like weapons and weapons like they were their hands. They can save your life - or take it, because that is their job.

They will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. They have seen more suffering and death then they should have in their short lifetime.

They have stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them.

They have wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and are unashamed.

They feel every note of the National Anthem vibrate through their body while standing at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around them who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, they defend their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did their Father, Mother, Grandfather, Grandmother, Great-grandfather, and Great-grandmother, they are paying the price for our freedom.

They are, THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, that have kept this country free for over 200 years.

They have asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.

Remember them, always, for they have earned our respect and admiration with their blood.


Treat them with utmost respect at all times whether during war times or just in everyday life.



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Blair, the Muslim?

Ajmal Masroor wrote on Guardian Tony Blair's conversion to Catholicism does not come as a surprise to anyone but I would have liked him to turn to Islam instead.
He converted to Catholicism because his wife is Catholic. He is not stupid.
Blair has claimed on many occasions that he has read the Quran and has said he found its teachings "progressive".
He did not read it very well.
He is right that the Quran is progressive and as a revealed book of God, it is the latest testament. Why would Blair turn to the older versions of God's testament when there is the Quran? His conversion sounds rather regressive to me.

Different denominational churches within Christianity are part of the same house. If the Church of England was not providing our former prime minister with spiritual fulfilment changing to another denomination within the same house surely will not make substantial difference. If he is looking for reform and spirituality, he should come to Islam. Blair has said the Quran strikes him as a reforming book "trying to return Judaism and Christianity to their origins, much as reformers attempted to do with the Christian church centuries later".
Actually Muhammad tried to pretend it was a part of Judaism and Christianity, but when the Jews and Christians saw through him, he just invented verses that said he was to kill everyone.
If he so admires the Quran for its reformist outlook, why turn to Christianity
Because he felt he could reach Christ more easily in the Catholic Church.
and particularly Catholic Church, which has been plagued with centuries of baggage?

In an article published by Foreign Affairs early this year, Blair spoke of the Quran as being inclusive. His new Church has been the most exclusive and in the name of its own version of Christianity has murdered and destroyed the lives and properties of many fellow Christians over the years.
While Islam has killed more Jews, Christians, AND Muslims.
In his role as a Middle East envoy he would have won the hearts and minds of the Muslim world if he had come to Islam. He might have found redemption for his crimes against Iraq and its innocent people. His conversion to Catholicism would no doubt remind the Muslim world, especially the Arab world of the history of the Crusades. The blood of millions of people still stain the cobblestones of the Holy Land from the cold-blooded murders committed in the name of Christianity and was blessed by the then Papacy in Rome.

According to Blair, Islam "extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition".
Blair is an idiot if he said that.
I agree, but why has he embraced Catholicism with its history of hostility towards science and is embedded with superstition?
Islam is just as anti-science, if not more so.
If Jesus (may peace be on him) was to descend today and walk into a church he would not recognise anything that Christians are practicing in his name. So why then convert to Catholicism?

Blair was very clear in his words when he said Islam "is practical and far ahead of its time in attitudes toward marriage, women, and governance". If Islam is a religion that values family and respects women
They respect a woman as needing to be completely covered when they leave the house, and who cannot go out unless accompanied by a father, brother, ho husband, whose word in court is worth half of a man's word, whose inheritance is worth half of her brothers, and who cannot choose who she wants to marry.
why has he converted to a church that prohibits its priests from getting married, whose holy man are dogged by accusations of homosexuality and pedophilia?
Muhammad married a six year old girl, and had sex with her at age 8 or 9. Article 1041 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that girls can be engaged before the age of nine, and married at nine: “Marriage before puberty (nine full lunar years for girls) is prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid provided that the interests of the ward are duly observed.” The Ayatollah Khomeini himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight. Khomeini called marriage to a prepubescent girl “a divine blessing,” and advised the faithful: “Do your best to ensure that your daughters do not see their first blood in your house.”
Blair certainly admires Islam. He said "under its guidance, the spread of Islam and its dominance over previously Christian or pagan lands were breathtaking. Over centuries, Islam founded an empire and led the world in discovery, art, and culture." If I admired a faith so much I would convert to it.
And if you found it was misrepresented, you could not leave it.
So I am baffled to know why he has converted to Catholicism and not embraced Islam.

Islam certainly stands for tolerance and demonstrates this by giving a special status to the Christians and Jews calling them people of the Book - Ahl al-Kitab.
Where they live as second class citizens, submissive to the Muslims.
Christianity does not do the same.
It treats all men as equals.
Blair reminded us that "the standard-bearers of tolerance in the early Middle Ages were far more likely to be found in Muslim lands than in Christian ones".
But this is not the Middle Ages, even though some Muslims might want to go back to those days.
Yes, but why has Mr Blair converted to Catholicism? Surely he stands for tolerance, progress and good governance.

And finally I have one last question for Blair. Did you not say "the faith of Islam is very peaceful and a very beautiful faith"? Why have you not tried Islam? I do not want to dismiss your journey to spirituality, but it is not too late to try Islam - you may like it.
But if you don't, don't try to change back, because the will kill you.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Can you imagine

Can you imagine the amount of work this would have taken


Old and stupid

NYT reported Eight years ago, when Robert J. Pyle was 73 years old, he had about $500,000 in the bank and owned a house in Northern California worth about $650,000. He was looking forward to a comfortable retirement. Today, at 81, he has lost everything. Mr. Pyle, a retired aerospace engineer, now lives in his stepdaughter’s tiny, mountainside home in a room not much larger than his bed. By his own admission, Mr. Pyle willingly made every decision that led to his financial problems. He gave away large sums to people he thought were friends, and then, in need of money, sold his house at a deep discount to the first person who offered to buy it. Even so, he claims in a lawsuit that he should be compensated for some of his losses for a simple reason: he is old, and should not bear the full responsibility for his choices.
Does he want to give up the right to make stupid choices, or just have someone else pay for them?
“I still make pretty good decisions about most things,” said Mr. Pyle, who shows no signs of dementia. “But for others, I guess I’m not as sharp as I was before, and people take advantage of that.”
One is never too old to learn, but education costs money.
In the last few years, thousands of older Americans like Mr. Pyle have filed suits against companies and salespeople who have promoted dubious offers and schemes. These suits are unusual because the victims typically do not say they were intimidated or lied to, and they concede they freely made what turned out to be unwise decisions. But because the plaintiffs are older, they argue, they should be less accountable for their mistakes.
They can always choose to turn the management of their funds over to a trust department in a bank, but these people don't want to do that. They want to go on making their own decisions, but have someone, either the courts or the government, bail them out when they make stupid decisions.
These lawsuits raise controversial questions: In the eyes of the law, should the elderly be treated like adolescents, who are not entirely responsible for their poor decisions, but are also barred from making certain choices on their own? Or should they have autonomy, and therefore be accountable for their blunders?
They want to be able to make the stupid decisions, but not have to live with the impact of those decisions.
Minors, for instance, can typically cancel a contract without penalty, unless it is co-signed by a parent. But the law also prohibits most teenagers from making major financial decisions. “Figuring out how to protect senior citizens from victimization, even when it’s caused by their own mistakes, is one of the most important issues facing us right now,” said Sharon Merriman-Nai of the National Center on Elder Abuse. “If we don’t solve this, millions of older people will suddenly be reliant on their families or the government.”
That is the role of Family, not Government.
.... For instance, Mr. Pyle’s suit contends that mortgage brokers and banks defrauded him by helping him take out loans they knew he could not afford,
He was stupid for taking out any loan if he did not have an income bringing in money to pay for it.
and that the person who bought his house deceived him by paying far less than its market value.
He sold it to the first person that offered to buy it. That was his decision.


Monday, December 24, 2007

The Gas Station

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. He had no decorations, no tree, no lights. It was just another day to him. He didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. There were no children in his life. His wife had gone. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through. Instead of throwing the man out, George, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the space heater and warm up.

"Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy. I'll just go."

"Not without something hot in your belly," George turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. "It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew. Made it myself. When you're done there's coffee and it's fresh."

Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me be right back," George said.

There in the driveway was an old 53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. "Mister, can you help me!" said the driver with a deep Spanish accent. "My wife is with child and my car is broken."

George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold; the car was dead. "You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away.

"But mister. please help...." The door of the office closed behind George as he went in. George went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building and opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. "Here, take my truck," he said. "She ain't the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good." George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. George turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I gave 'em the truck. Their tires were shot too. That ol' truck has brand new........" George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The thermos was on the desk, empty with a used coffee cup beside it. "Well, at least he got something in his belly," George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn't cracked; it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. "Well, shoot, I can fix this," he said to himself. So he put a new one on. "Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took the snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn't going to drive the car.

As he was working he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, "Help me." George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. "Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels.

He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin'," he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease. "Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. "You hang in there. I'm going to get you an ambulance." The phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car." He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two-way radio. He went back in to find the policeman sitting up.

"Thanks," said the officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area." George sat down beside him. "I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time yer gonna be right as rain." George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked.

"None for me," said the officer. "Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain't got no donuts."

The officer laughed and winced at the same time. The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. "Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

"That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer.

"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George. "You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt."

The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!" The cop was reaching for his gun. "Put that thing away," George said to the cop. "We got one too many in here now."

He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve If you need the money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now put that pee shooter away." George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time.

The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he went on. "I've lost my job. My rent is due. My car got repossessed last week..."

George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can." He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup of coffee. "Being stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin' in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort this thing out."

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer."

"Shut up and drink your coffee." the cop said. George could hear the sounds of sirens outside.

A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. "Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer. "Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?" "GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?" the other cop asked as he approached the young man. Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran."

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other. "That guy work here?," the wounded cop continued. "Yep," George said. "Just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job." The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?"

Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas boy. And you too, George, and thanks for everything." "Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems." George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. "Here you go. Something for the little woman. I don't think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day." The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. "I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to you."

"And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my memories. That's all I need."

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. "Here's something for that little man of yours." The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier. "And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too," George said. "Now git home to your family."

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good."

"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after."

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd you come from? I thought you left?" "I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?"

"Well, after my wife passed away I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and besides I was getting a little chubby."

The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor. The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man." George was taken aback by all this stranger had said.

"And how do you know all this?" asked the old man. "Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again." The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned."

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room. "You see, George... it's my birthday. Merry Christmas." George fell to his knees and replied, "Happy Birthday, Lord."


A Green Light for Stupidity

WaPo reported Like countless other communities, this west German town lived for years with a miserable traffic problem. Each day, thousands of cars and big trucks barreled along the two-lane main street, forcing pedestrians and cyclists to scamper for their lives. The usual remedies -- from safety crossings to speed traps -- did no good. So the citizens of Bohmte decided to take a big risk. Since September, they've been tearing up the sidewalks, removing curbs and erasing street markers as part of a radical plan to abandon nearly all traffic regulations and force people to rely on common sense and courtesy instead.... The assumption is that drivers are accustomed to owning the road and rarely pay attention to speed limits or caution signs anyway. Removing traffic lights and erasing lane markers, the thinking goes, will cause drivers to get nervous and slow down. "Generally speaking, what we want is for people to be confused," said Willi Ladner, a deputy mayor in Bohmte. "When they're confused, they'll be more alert and drive more carefully."
You are insane.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Department of sartorial intimidation

Roger Kimball writes on PjamasMedia The Italian footoball team Inter Milan has a stylish uniform, white jerseys with a bold red cross. Well, I think it is stylish. Baris Kaska, a Turkish lawyer, doesn’t like it. Indeed, according to the London Times, Mr. Kaska has initiated legal action against the team, alleging that the “Crusader-style” uniforms are “offensive to Muslim sensibilities.” Yes, really.
Baris Kaska, a lawyer in Izmir who specialises in European law, said that he had lodged a complaint in a local court against Inter Milan, which last month played the Istanbul team Fenerbahce in a Champions League match at the San Siro stadium in Milan. The Inter players wore a new strip - a white shirt with a giant red cross on it - marking the club’s centenary.

Mr Kaska said he was not only seeking damages but was also appealing to Uefa to annul the match, which Inter won 3-0. “That cross only brings one thing to mind - the symbol of the Templar Knights,” he said. “It made me think immediately of the bloody days of the past. While I was watching the game I felt profound grief in my soul.” Mr Kaska told the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia that the cross symbolised “Western racist superiority over Islam”.
I used to think these “offensive-to-Muslim-sensibilities” stories were half comical—I saw that they had an edge, but really, I thought, they were local eruptions of politically correct nonsense: a nuisance, no more. I have corrected that opinion.
When you have a faith as weak as Islam you can't stand to see it compared with anything else.
A English school teacher in Sudan allows her students to name a Teddy bear “Muhammad” and she is jailed for “insulting the prophet.” Maclean’s magazine publishes a chapter from Mark Steyn’s best-selling book America Alone and a London lawyer files a “human rights” complaint in Canada against Mr. Steyn and the magazine for fostering “contempt and hatred” of Canadian Muslims. Everyone knows what happened when a Danish newspaper published some satirical cartoons of Muhammad. A very long list of such incidents could be compiled. Now a Turkish lawyer arrogates to himself the power to tell an Italian football team what they can wear. And Turkey wants to join the EU? Think about that.
As quickly as the rest of Europe is being Islamized, Turkey may soon be the most secular part.
Muslims have mastered the Western system of litigation and forged a powerful weapon out of it. When will they manage to adopt the Western system of free speech and respect for individual freedom?
When Hell freezes.
When will they learn that the luxury being offensive and offended is part of what it means to be a grown up?
When pigs fly.
While we wait for an answer, I suggest that every Western sports team adopt a uniform that features a large cross as a sign of solidarity.
I second the motion.


Elect me and oil prices instantly drop, says Hillary

NY Daily News reported Hillary Clinton predicted Saturday that just electing her President will cut the price of oil.
Just electing her will not completely destroy the economy, just start it on its slide.
When the world hears her commitment at her inauguration about ending American dependence on foreign fuel, Clinton says, oil-pumping countries will lower prices to stifle America's incentive to develop alternative energy.
They will just laugh, and send more jihadis.
"I predict to you, the oil-producing countries will drop the price of oil," Clinton said, speaking at the Manchester YWCA. "They will once again assume, once the cost pressure is off, Americans and our political process will recede."
They will charge whatever the market will bear.
Clinton argued that former President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s actually started moving in the right direction toward energy independence, but his successor, Ronald Reagan, "dismantled" that work.
So that was the purpose of stag-flation and the "misery indes". And Hilary wants to take us back to those days, and long gas lines.


U.S. illegal immigrants 'self deport' as woes mount

Reuters reported Mexican illegal immigrant Lindi sat down with her husband Marco Antonio in the weeks before Christmas to decide when to go back to Mexico. She has spent three years working as a hairdresser in and around Phoenix, but now she figures it is time to go back to her hometown of Aguascalientes in central Mexico. "The situation has got so tough that there don't seem to be many options left for us," Lindi, who asked for her last name not to be used, told Reuters.
Wonderfl. It works. To those who said you can't deport all of these illegal workers, you don't have to. Just enforce existing law and they will deport themselves. Then you can set up a secure system of documentation and readmit them in a controlled fashion.
The couple are among a growing number of illegal immigrants across the United States who are starting to pack their bags and move on as a crackdown on undocumented immigrants widens and the U.S. economy slows, turning a traditional Christmas trek home into a one-way trip.
Have a safe trip.


Santa Claus


Deck the Halls


Fred Thompson Christmas Ad

Fred Thompson had the best Christmas Ad of all of the candidates

Hat Tip CQ


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Fred Thompson Video

It is not an official video from his campaign, and I wish he was this energetic, but this is a bit humorous.

Hat tip Kim Priestap


12 Days of Christmas you’ve never seen

Hat Tip Anchoress


Top cleric says women without veils must die

AKI - Adnkronos international reported A top Muslim cleric in Iran, Hojatolislam Gholam Reza Hassani said on Wednesday that women in Iran who do not wear the hijab or Muslim headscarf, should die.
The death prnalty for not wearing a head scarf?????
"Women who do not respect the hijab and their husbands deserve to die," said Hassani, who leads Friday prayers in the city of Urumieh, in Iranian Azerbaijan.
Maybe they respect it and want to keep it safe, so they leave it at home.
"I do not understand how these women who do not respect the hijab, 28 years after the birth of the Islamic Republic, are still alive," he said.
I don't understand why the people have put up with this sort of abuse for 28 years.
"These women and their husbands and their fathers must die," said Hassani, who is the representative of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in eastern Azerbaijan.
So now they are not only going to kill the women who don't wear a head scarf, but also their husbands and their fathers?????


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cheat Neutral is an satirical bid to highlight its view of carbon offsetting as an "inadequate" and "misguided" response to climate change by offering people the chance to offset their infidelity by paying random strangers to remain faithful. Users can freely sign up to become a Cheatneutral "project", meaning they agree to remain single or monogamous in order to neutralize the cheating of somebody else. Or they can offset their own cheating by sponsoring a "project" with a one-time $2.21 payment.

Hat tip PC World


Islamic Rage Boy Christmas Caroling!

This is funny

Hat tip to Pamela Geller


Huckabee’s Christmas ad

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, thinks Huckabee’s Christmas ad was too religious

Get a life, Bill


Monday, December 17, 2007

Look inside Hillary's mouth

Yahoo! News reported Standing atop a stage in a livestock auction barn, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton likened the experience to her quest to woo undecided voters in the closing days before Iowa's pivotal caucuses. "I've been to cattle barns before and sales before, in Arkansas, but I've never felt like I was the one that was being bid on," Clinton told a crowd in western Iowa. "I know you're going to inspect me. You can look inside my mouth if you want.
Eeeww!!! Would it obvious you are lying if we did?
I hope by the end of my time with you I can make the case for my candidacy and to ask you to consider caucusing for me."


Al-Qaeda's No. 2 wants to hear from you

The Australian reported Al-Qaeda sympathisers have been asked to send in their questions for the terror network's second in command, which he will then answer in an online interview next month.
Can we monitor the Q&A and trace both ends?
The plan was announced in a new video posted on the internet in which al-Qaeda's No.2, Ayman al-Zawahri, mocked today's British handover of security in southern Iraq to local forces as a sign that insurgents are gaining the upper hand.
Despite the fact that Al Qaeda is not within 100 miles, and the militias there are fighting each other, and both hate Al Qaeda
The video, carried by Islamic websites, was issued as Britain handed over security to Iraqi forces in the last of four provinces it once patrolled, effectively marking the end of nearly five years of British control of southern Iraq. The websites invited readers to send in questions during the next month for Zawahri to answer in an "open interview".

Weasel Zippers wants to ask I'll start things off, "do you think of Osama when making love to a goat?"....

My question is where are you and Osama hiding. We have a present to send you. A nice new cruise missle.


Impeach Pelosi

OpEdNews reported Peace activist,
And general nutcase, seaking another 15 minutes of fame
Cindy Sheehan says that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi collaborated with the Bush administration in condoning torture because Pelosi knew about water boarding torture since 2002.
Was Pelosi even one of the ones informed that said interrogation should even be harsher?
“Even before becoming Speaker of the House of Representative, she said that impeachment of Bush is out of question.” She should be impeached for knowing about torture which dehumanize us all, she added.
These nut cases want to use impeachment for anything they disagree with, even for something someone said many years ago.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

I have returned

I was without electricity from Sunday through Thursday because of the ice storm that hit Tulsa, and then I was briefly in the hospital. I am home now, and the power is back on.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

3 down but 50,000,000 saved

Michelle Malkin blogs These are what true religious martyrs look like telling the story of three Bible Publishers in Turkey who were murdered earlier this year

The same day I read in the British TimesOnline Demand for the Bible is soaring in China, at a time when meteoric economic growth is testing the country’s allegiance to Communist doctrine. Today the 50 millionth Bible will roll off the presses of China’s only authorized publisher, Amity Printing, amid public fanfare and celebration.
I pray for these three Turkish souls, but I rejoice at what is happening in China.


No More Mail For Any Wounded Soldier

Strategy Page reported The U.S. Army no longer accepts mail sent to "Any Wounded Soldier." In the United States, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where most wounded soldiers are cared for, has long accepted letters or parcels addressed to "Any Wounded Soldier." No longer, mainly because of the huge amount of it.
What the heck??? They would accept it if there was not enough for everyone, but because they are getting too much, they won't accept it?????
Over a million pieces a year, most of it during the holiday season, are sent just to the Walter Reed hospital.
I am happy that people are sending that much, but why stop because of the volume. If the other hospitals are not getting that much, send some to them, otherwise give the wounded soldiers whatever comes in. So what if they get hundreds of letters. Don't they have time to read them? Won't it make them feel good to know people care?
Instead, the American Red Cross, and the Pitney Bowes Corporation, will accept such mail for the Christmas season, assign a name to it, and get it delivered. Such mail should be sent (and arrive no later than December 27th) to:
We Support You During Your Recovery!
c/o American Red Cross
P.O. Box 419
Savage, MD 20763-0419
No packages, just cards and letters. But something can be arranged via,, or
I am happy there is someone willing to handle packages.


No Father's Day card for him

Daily Mail reported Hannah was born in Lancashire to Pakistani parents who raised her and her siblings as strict Sunni Muslims. She prayed and read the Koran, wore traditional Muslim clothes and was sent to a madrassa, a religious Muslim school. She ran away from home at 16 after overhearing her father organizing her arranged marriage.
This is not in Pakistan, but in Britain.
Hannah was taken in by a religious education teacher and decided to convert to the Christian faith. Although unhappy, her parents tolerated their daughter's dismissal-of Islam as a "teenage phase".
All teenagers go through phases, but you don't kill them for them.
But when she opted to get baptised, while studying at Manchester University, her family were incensed and the death threats began. Her father arrived at her home with 40 men and threatened to kill her for betraying Islam.
No Father's Day card for you.
"I saw my uncle and around 40 men storming up the street clutching axes, hammers, knives and bits of wood," she said. "My dad was shouting through the letter box, "I'm going to kill you", while the others smashed on the window and beat the door.... No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the death threats, but officers have put her on an "at risk" register and have given her a panic number to call if she fears for her own safety.
That is nice. And what will you do when she calls? And they succeed, will you speak harshly to them?
Yesterday Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, told delegates at the launch of a religious charity that Muslims in Britain who wished to change faiths were living in fear of their lives because of Islamic hostility to conversion. A study this year found that 36 per cent of British Muslims between 16 and 24 believe those who convert to another religion should be punished by death.
36%. Not exactly a "small minority"
In July an Iranian immigrant to Britain, who converted to Christianity, was saved from deportation after it emerged she would be stoned to death in her own country.
It is bad enough that it happens in those countries, but in Britain???


Is that camera on?

Did the left know the cameras were recording what they said?

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds


Discard Kyoto

Yahoo! News reported China insisted Friday the U.S. and other wealthy nations should bear the burden of curbing global warming, saying the problem was created by their lavish way of life. It rejected mandatory emission cuts for its own developing industries.
Discard Kyoto, and anything like it. There is absolutely no way the west can stop global warming, even if it is a problem, if China and India and other third world countries are developing industries, and generating more carbon that we can possibly cut back, even if we destroy our economies.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

A free market for housing and religion

Mark Steyn wrote in So now the government has stepped in and said that, if you fall into a particular category of adjustable-rate mortgage (ARMs, in the biz) and you're worried that it's getting way too adjustable, don't worry: The Nanny State is about to readjust it well inside your comfort zone. By fiat of the Treasury secretary, your adjustable-rate mortgage is henceforth an unadjustable adjustable-rate mortgage. These new UNARMs will spread their healing balm across the land until it's safe enough for the housing "market" to once again be exposed to market forces.
And what happens in five years? Will there be pressure to keep the cap on for another five years? And whether that happens or not, will money still flow as rapidly to the mortgage business, or will it go overseas where it can grow faster?
... As America demonstrates, faith thrives in a free market. In Europe, the established church, whether formal (the Church of England) or informal (as in Catholic Italy and Spain), killed religion as surely as state ownership killed the British car industry. When the Episcopal Church degenerates into wimpsville relativist milquetoast mush, Americans go elsewhere. When the Church of England undergoes similar institutional decline, Britons give up on religion entirely.
And Secular Europe is about to find itself Islamized from within, and when it is no longer available to them, just think how many will pray for the churches they lost.
Instead of a state church, Europe believes in the state as church – the all-powerful beneficent provider of cradle-to-grave welfare.
The funding of which is not created in Heaven, or freely donated in the collection plate, but taken unwillingly in the form of high taxes.
... in Europe big government has led naturally to small religion.... I would rather we talked less about religion in America (which can take care of itself) and more about government, which seems to be trending in an alarmingly European direction, Democrats and Republicans disagreeing merely on the speed at which we'll get there.
Yet the two are explicitly connected. Europe's religious decline derives in part from the state's usurpation and annexation of so many of the other supporting structures of society, including the church. I am in favor of a free market in religion and a free market in housing, but right now I'd like a conservative candidate with a clear-headed commitment to both.
I agree completely.


Thanking Our Troops

NBC has apparently declined to run ads thanking our troops because the ads mention Freedom Watch's Web site. I have certainly seen other ads on NBC that mention a web site, so I don't know why they object to Freedom Watch but here vis the ad they refused:

and the other ad is

Hat tip to PowerLine and Glenn Reynolds


Friday, December 07, 2007

Nuclear Power

Wired reported Former 'No Nukes' Protester: saidThe only way to rescue our plug-hungry planet from catastrophic global warming is to embrace nuclear power, and fast.

Hat tip to Bryan who said As the joke goes, more Americans have died in Ted Kennedy’s car than from nuclear accidents. Read the rest of the article. It’s interesting stuff.


Decorated Trucks

Oomsa has 7 pictures of (European) semi-trucks whose trailers are decorated to look like the sides are missing and the products they are hauling are painted on the sides and back. You have got to see this.


Islam’s Silent Moderates

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a very good article in NYT. I urge you to read the entire article, and then ask yourself, are Islam's moderates just silent, or is it possible to believe in Islam and be modern and moderate.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Freedom of Speech

Mark Steyn wrote in The Corner One of the critical differences between America and the rest of the west is that America has a First Amendment and the rest don't. And a lot of them are far too comfortable with the notion that in free societies it is right and proper for the state to regulate speech. The response of the EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security to the Danish cartoons was to propose a press charter that would oblige newspapers to exercise "prudence" on, ah, certain controversial subjects. The response of Tony Blair's ministry to the problems of "Londonistan" was to propose a sweeping law dramatically constraining free discussion of religion. At the end of her life, Oriana Fallaci was being sued in France, Italy, Switzerland and sundry other jurisdictions by groups who believed her opinions were not merely disagreeable but criminal. In France, Michel Houellebecq was sued by Muslim and other "anti-racist" groups who believed opinions held by a fictional character in one of his novels were not merely disagreeable but criminal.
If you can't even talk about it, you better figure out some other way to address the problem, or all of Europe will find themselves wearing burkas and having women stoned for extramarital sex.


Lobbyist to nowhere

Remember the "Bridge to Nowhere" that kept coming up? They have not given up. Now they want to pay a lobbyist $25,000 to $50,000 to get it slipped in as an earmark.
Don Surber blogged The bridge-to-nowhere people have a job opening. My Washington bureau chief is fit to be tied. He found a government job opening and he filed this report:
Alaska’s Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (KABATA) is soliciting “professional services” that include lobbying the federal government to support funding for Alaska ’s still remaining “bridge to nowhere” project, also know as the Knick Arm Bridge or Don Young’s Way. This controversial bridge would connect Anchorage with a nearly deserted port.


Obama’s wife supports gun rights — sometimes

Baltimore Sun reported Here was Obama's discussion of gun ownership and his wife's thoughts during a campaign stop at a middle school: "We should be able to combine respect for those traditions with our concern for kids who are being shot down. This is a classic example of us just applying some common sense, just being reasonable, right? And reasonable would say that lawful gun owners – I respect the Second Amendment. I think lawful gun owners should be able to hunt, be sportsmen, protect their families.
If they live in the country,
"And by the way, Michelle, my wife, she was traveling up, I think, in eastern Iowa, she was driving through this nice, beautiful area, going through all this farmland and hills and rivers and she said 'Boy, it's really pretty up here,' but she said, 'But you know, I can see why if I was living out here, I'd want a gun. Because, you know, 911 is going to take some time before somebody responds. You know what I mean? You know, it's like five miles between every house.'
And you think that in the city the police respond immediately, even in the rough neighborhoods?
"So the point is, though, we should be able to do that, and we should be able to enforce laws that keep guns off the streets in inner cities because some unscrupulous gun dealer is, you know, letting somebody load up a van with a bunch of cheap handguns or sawed-off shotguns and dumping them and selling them for a profit in the streets."
Do you object to them selling them on the street, or the fact that they make a profit doing it. If it is selling on the street, then crack down on that, not legal gun owners.


What has Congress done?

Republican Congressman Eric Cantor's team has put out this video to look back on the first year of the Democratic Congress.

Hat tip to Betsy Newmark


It's a big universe reported For years scientists have wrestled with a puzzling fact: The universe appears to be remarkably suited for life. Its physical properties are finely tuned to permit our existence. Stars, planets and the kind of sticky chemistry that produces fish, ferns and folks wouldn't be possible if some of the cosmic constants were only slightly different.
The "Intelligent Designer", a.k.a. God, does good work.
Well, there's another property of the universe that's equally noteworthy: It's set up in a way that keeps everyone isolated.
Obviously He wanted it that way. I can't wait to "Go Home" and learn why, and learn what He will be having us do for eternity.
We learned this relatively recently. The big discovery took place in 1838, when Friedrich Bessel beat out his telescope-wielding buddies to first measure the distance to a star other than the sun. 61 Cygni, a binary star in our own back yard, turned out to be about 11 light-years away. For those who, like Billy Joel, are fond of models, think of it this way: If you shrank the sun to a ping-pong ball and set it down in New York's Central Park, 61 Cygni would be a slightly smaller ball near Denver.


British imam's daughter under police protection after converting to Christianity

Times Online reported A British imam's daughter is living in fear of her life under police protection after she received death threats from her family for converting to Christianity.
And this is not in a Muslim country, it is in Britian
The young woman, aged 32, whose father is a Muslim imam in the north of England, has moved house 45 times to escape detection by her family since she became a Christian 15 years ago. Hannah, who uses a pseudonym to hide her identity, told The Times how she became a Christian after she ran away from home at 16 to escape an arranged marriage.... The latest threat was a text message from one of her brothers, warning he could not be responsible for his actions if she did not return to Islam.
Isn't it wonderful to have a brother like that?
Hannah said she was looking forward to getting married so she could change her name and escape detection by her family. Not all Muslims in Britain are this extreme, she believes.
Or hopes
"It is representative of some Muslims. I know the Koran says that anyone who goes away from Islam should be killed as an apostate so in some ways my family are following the Koran.
You are right Surah 16:106 says Any one who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief,- except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty. and "Whoever changes his religion, kill him" is called for in Bukhari, Abu Dawud, and many other Haddith that are not online, including Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, An-Nasai, the Muwatta of Imam Malik, Tayalisi, Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Hibban, the Sunan al-Kubraa, Bayhaqi, Abu Ya'laa, Humaidi, Abd al-Razzaq, and Ibn Abi Shaybah but is that the way Britain wants its residents to behave?
They are following Islam to the word. But I do not think every Muslim would actually act on that." Earlier this year, a Policy Exchange study found that 36 per cent of British Muslims aged between 16 and 24 believed those who converted to another religion should be punished by death.


You must be kidding

CNET News reported The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill saying that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including "obscene" cartoons and drawings--or face fines of up to $300,000.
I am glad they are doing something, but this is over broad. A library, coffee shop, etc providing free wifi can't monitor all of the images served up by the service, and call the cops when obscene cartoons or drawings are served up.
That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi. It also sweeps in social-networking sites, domain name registrars, Internet service providers, and e-mail service providers such as Hotmail and Gmail, and it may require that the complete contents of the user's account be retained for subsequent police inspection.

Redstate blogged The House just overwhelmingly passed the "Securing adolescents from online exploitation act," a stupid and obnoxious piece of lunacy.... This bill would require people with a wireless site to catalog all the people who use their site, and report anything anyone might call a lascivious site using photos of young people.

First off, it's an unfunded mandate, second, no hard drives exist big enough to do this, third, it is illegal for private citizens to spy on one another, and if the images are kept then the person with the wireless service is violating the law.
forth, you cannot get landlords to search the rooms of their renters as a roundabout way to violate the constitution, this is the same thing.

But only two members of congress voted against it. Ron Paul of course (he votes against everything), and Paul Broun, whom I assume is the only one who actually read the bill.

What a cheap way to pretend you care about children: Pass a blatantly unconstitutional piece of crap, force some poor businessmen to defend themselves in court, watch the bill get thrown out, and the public picks up the tab.

Is it any wonder the public is cynical and holds the government in utter contempt?


High income taxes in Denmark worsen a labor shortage

International Herald Tribune As a self-employed software engineer, Thomas Sorensen broadcasts his qualifications to potential employers across Europe and the Middle East. But to the ones in his native Denmark, he is simply unavailable. Settled in Frankfurt, where he handles computer security for a major Swiss corporation, Sorensen, 34, has no plans to return to the days of paying sky-high Danish taxes. Still, an unknowing headhunter does occasionally pass his name to Danish companies. "When I get an e-mail from them, I either respond negatively but politely," Sorensen said. "Or I don't respond at all." Born and trained at Denmark's expense, but working - and paying lower taxes - elsewhere in Europe, Sorensen is the stuff of nightmares for Danish companies and politicians searching for solutions to an increasingly desperate labor shortage.
I hope the Democrats, who are so interested in raising taxes, will take note of this.
People like Sorensen, and there are many, epitomize the challenges facing the small Nordic country, long viewed across Europe as an example of how to keep an economy thriving and a society equal.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Spiegel Online reported Former Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali is worshipped by foreign intellectuals, but not always welcome at home. Her opinions provoke Muslims as well as the European left, and she's been living in very public exile from the Netherlands for over a year. Even her clothing is provocative, though not at first glance. Ayaan Hirsi Ali wears a soft brown designer jacket with an embroidered floral pattern. When she takes off the jacket, though, there's a black T-shirt. A black T-shirt underneath reads, in several languages (including Arabic): "Neither Whore Nor Submissive." She smoothes the T-shirt, stretches and says: "It's a fantastic slogan, isn't it?"
Fantastic and provocative.
Who can be surprised that this woman polarizes people? That some consider her a kind of Joan of Arc, while others see her as an incorrigible radical? As someone who says that she wants to help oppressed Muslim women, and yet may do more damage to them than good?
In what way can bringing out what happens to a woman under Islam can it do them damage. It might result in her death, but she seems prepared for that.
The daughter of a Somali opposition politician who fled to the Netherlands to escape an arranged marriage, Hirsi Ali is an expert at offending others. A rebellious spirit lurks beneath her graceful exterior and designer clothing.... She's discovered, she now says, that even those who claim to be fighting outdated dogmas are quick to impose their restrictions on thought. From public life she's learned that minorities should not be rebuked; that there are also racists among non-whites; and that "tolerance of the intolerant is nothing but cowardice."


Dirty Trick???

Crooks and Liars says It is not every day that something from a blog post ends up in the CBS Evening News, but then again using children with cancer to try and steal the White House is pretty egregious. A diarist at Daily Kos noticed that the dirty tricksters, who are advancing an initiative that would switch 20 of California’s electoral college votes to the Republicans were using children’s cancer as a bait-and-switch to get people to sign the initiative and place it on the ballot.

It sounds to me that the signature gathers are just trying to get several petitions signed at the same time. Why is that a dirty trick? And if 20/55's of the state really support the Republicans, why is it not a dirty trick for the Dems to get their electorial votes? And all that would happen, if the Republicans get enough signatures, is that the subject would then be put on the ballot. The Dems must be pretty worried that the voters would pass it. Maybe the name of the blog, Crooks and Liars, says it all.


Death Tax

NewsBusters reported Opponents of the Death Tax may have found a very unlikely celebrity spokesperson, "View" moderator Whoopi Goldberg.
The only ones that support it are rich people that have put most of their fortune where the Death Tax will not hit them, or who don't like their children. Anyone on good terms with their heirs should hate it, whether they have millions to leave to them, or just thousands.
On the December 4 edition, guest co-host Kate Walsh noted all of the programs Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul wishes to abolish. Goldberg then stepped in proclaiming "I’d like somebody to get rid of the death tax...If I have to give something to my kid I already paid the tax, why do I have to pay it again because I died?"
A very good question.
Video (0:55): Real Player (1.48 MB) and Windows Media Player (1.70 MB), plus MP3 audio (424 kB)

After a strong applause from the audience, Joy Behar retorted "only people with a lot of money say that." Whoopi strongly disagreed and added this comment against the death tax.
"It’s horrible. It doesn’t matter if you have or you don’t have money. Once you paid your taxes, it should be a done deal. You shouldn’t have to pay twice. No taxation without representation! Sorry."


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Candidate Calculator

Find Your Candidate for the 2008 Election
Which 2008 Presidential Candidate Agrees With You?

Answer the questions below to find the 2008 presidential candidate that best aligns with your beliefs. More than 1.5 million people have already filled it out. Give it a try!

Not sure about this. It says I am a 100% match with Romney, but I am 95% match with Huckabee and Thompson, 85% with Rudy, 70% with McCain, 40% with Richardson, 45% with Obama, 40% with Edwards, and 35% with Hillary. For the nut cases in the two parties, I m 60% with Ron Paul and 15% with Dennis Kucinich.


Hold the ice

Chicago Sun Times reported In a test of ice cubes from 49 fast-food and casual-dining restaurants and hotel bars in the city and suburbs, the Chicago Sun-Times found that more than one of every five samples contained high levels of bacteria. Samples taken at three of the restaurants contained an undetermined amount of fecal coliform, according to the findings of a government-certified laboratory that performed tests on the samples for the newspaper. By comparison, a water sample taken from a toilet in a men's room at the Sun-Times tested cleaner than the ice obtained at 21 of the restaurants and bars.
I would not want to drink that, but if I ever end up in Chicago I want my Coke in a can, no ice.


Teddy Bear named Jesus

Hot Air reported The View wonders, wouldn’t Christians be freaking out if a teddy bear was named Jesus? The burning question on Barbara’s mind is whether the outrage of the Sudanese lynch mob is really all that different in principle from that of religious people in the U.S.

If a teacher in the US allowed a child to name a teddy bear Jesus, there might be an out cry, but it would not be from Christians, but from the Secular Humanists that would object to the use of Jesus's name in public school. They would scream Separation of Church and State.


The CAIR Bears are here!

This is very funny. The Rude News has posted a number of CAIR Bears. Check them all out

Hat tip to Robert Spencer. And check out Robert's article in Human Events about implications of the Muhammad Teddy Bear Madness.


International Islamophobia Conference

Jihad Watch reported Some of the world's leading lights on Islam, both Muslim and non-Muslim, are gathering at the Grand Cevahir Hotel in Istanbul December 8-9 for the International Islamophobia Conference.... But if one wants to understand why it is happening, and what can be done to end it, no two-day star-studded conference is needed -- unless, of course, that conference is meant to highlight the victim status of Muslims and divert attention from jihad terror activity. if Muslims want to end "Islamophobia" instantaneously, here's how they can do it:

  1. Focus their indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.
    There have been 10, 128 since 9/11, according to the box in my side bar.
  2. Renounce definitively not just "terrorism," but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Sharia even by peaceful means.
  3. Teach Muslims the imperative of coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis.
    This will be a hard lesson for them to learn.
  4. Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.
  5. Actively work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.
If Muslims do those five things, voila! "Islamophobia" will vanish.

Tariq, Karen, John, Louay, Recep: don't thank me. If you want me to come to Constantinople and explain this in more depth, just contact me at
I would not book any air fare just yet, or hold my breath.



Richard Cohen wrote in WaPo What could be called "The Huckabee Moment" occurred Sunday morning when ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked the former Arkansas governor, suddenly and ominously the front-runner in Iowa's GOP contest, whether Mitt Romney is a Christian. Mike Huckabee knew precisely what was being asked of him,
He was challenged by a Secular Humanist to say someone is not a Christian.
and he also knew, because he is a preacher, what the right -- not the clever, mind you -- answer should be. But Huckabee merely smiled that wonderful smile of his and punted.
In other words he was smart enough not to fall in Stephanopolis's trap.
This, with apologies to George W. Bush, is the soft demagoguery of low expectations. Until just recently, the expectations have indeed been low for Huckabee. He is more famous for losing more than 100 pounds than for any towering political accomplishment. But he is an ordained Baptist minister, and Romney is a Mormon -- a member of a church that some conservative Christians consider heretical.
And if some think that way, Richard thinks all must.
Huckabee has presented himself as the un-Mormon. Pardon me for saying so, but that is the chief difference between the two. On about all the social issues you can name -- abortion, stem cells, gun control -- Huckabee and Romney are in sync. So their religious differences are not about morality.
Does Richard Cohen think that a man's belief should control how he would govern?
They are about belief -- religious belief, precisely the issue that is not supposed to matter in this country. Huckabee, though, clearly thinks it ought to.
But he did not fall in Stephanopolis's trap.


Monday, December 03, 2007

We are good friends!

Click here to see some cute "animal friend" pictures like this one


Hague museum pulls offensive Muslim art

TheAge reported The city museum of The Hague has decided not to include in an exhibition a work of art that may offend Muslims, it was reported on Monday.
Will the museum be equally considerate of offending the sensibilities of Christians, or Jews, or Buddists, or Hindus, or .....
The picture, made by Iranian artist Sooreh Hera, is entitled Adam and Ewald and shows two gay men wearing masks of the Muslim prophet Mohammed and his son-in-law Ali.... However, he added he will not exhibit Adam and Ewald in the next few years because "certain people in our society might perceive it as offensive".

Hera responded she was "disappointed" and added "apparently a Muslim minority decides what will be on display in the museum".
It is a stupid picture, and one obviously done to offend, but "art work" drawn to offend Christians has been exhibited.
Liberal-rightist Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders, condemned the museum's decision, adding it was "based on fear".


Finally a little sanity in Sudan

WaPo reported A British school teacher jailed in Sudan for two weeks after allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad was freed Monday following a pardon by the Sudanese president.
This whole thing was stupid. I just hope they get her out of the country safely before the mob gets her.
President Omar al-Bashir's pardon of Gillian Gibbons allowed her to leave prison before the end of her 15-day sentence, and ended a diplomatic tangle, resulting in what British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called a victory for common sense.


Iowa and New Hampshire are no longer first

Los Angeles Times reported Thanks to quiet changes in how busy Americans choose to vote -- namely the explosion of early absentee voting as a convenience, not a necessity caused by travel -- Florida's absentee voters will actually be the first Americans to start voting in the primary process for the 2008 election. They can start casting their ballots on Christmas Day, 23 days from now and a full nine days before Iowa's caucus-goers thought they'd be first in the nation.
And at least for the Dems it won't count, because of what their party did to penalize Florida for moving their primary up.
This means that voting in the 2008 presidential election process actually begins in 2007.
For a president that will not take office until 2009.
... Additionally, Gronke's documents show that a strong trend toward early absentee voting all over the West is also quietly undercutting the “first in the nation” primacy of the Hawkeye and Granite states. By this measure, for instance, Iowa is merely tied for second in voting order. On Jan. 3, the night of the Iowa caucuses (and the Fiesta Bowl that might tempt some to stay home by the TV), Arizona voters can begin voting absentee.
I wish Arizona could have started a day earlier and made Iowa third.
Californians may begin voting -- either absentee or in person at select locations -- as early as Jan. 7, a day before the once-inviolate primary primary in New Hampshire now set for Jan. 8. New Mexico voters also start voting absentee before the N.H. primary, starting on Jan. 5.

Oh, and for that matter, here's an even earlier note: overseas and military voters from California have a right to get a ballot starting in five days, on this coming Friday, Dec. 7.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Iowa could be interesting on Jan 3

The Des Moines Register has a poll out which says Huckabee new GOP leader in Iowa Poll

Mike Huckabee has leaped ahead of Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney in Iowa, seizing first place in a new Des Moines Register poll of likely Republican caucus participants. Huckabee wins the support of 29 percent of Iowans who say they definitely or probably will attend the Republican Party's caucuses on Jan. 3. That's a gain of 17 percentage points since the last Iowa Poll was taken in early October, when Huckabee trailed both Romney and Fred Thompson.
and Obama pulls ahead for Democrats in Iowa Poll
Barack Obama has pulled ahead in the race for Iowa's Democratic presidential caucuses, while the party's national frontrunner Hillary Clinton has slipped to second in the leadoff nominating state, according to The Des Moines Register's new Iowa Poll. Despite the movement, the race for 2008's opening nominating contest remains very competitive about a month before the Jan. 3 caucuses, just over half of likely caucusgoers who favor a candidate saying they could change their minds.