Thursday, June 30, 2005

Super Swell

What a wild day. I spent the first half with some lovable, rowdy kids - henceforth known as "The Boisterous Bunch" - and the second half being out and about, so I was pretty tired. But then just this hour I went online for the first time today and what do I see??

I am now a Stonette!


The kind gentlemen at Stones Cry Out have graciously welcomed me onto their team. I'm so honored and excited because I know this will challenge me to be a better writer - and a more consistently blogging blogger - both here and at SCO.
A true blessing indeed. Thanks guys! :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Re-distributing Broadcast Minutes

How many people think that there are loads more stories worth at least 5 minutes of the ubiquitous Aruba coverage??

For example: Zimbabwe. I had heard rumblings about extreme bad guy Mugabe, but I had no idea what was really going on until I read this artice in the June 27th Weekly Standard.
For those who remain in Zimbabwe, a Cambodian experiment awaits. Thousands of people made homeless in the government's clean-up campaign are being herded into reeducation camps and told they can have a housing plot if they swear allegiance to the party of President Robert Mugabe. Those who refuse are loaded onto trucks and dumped in remote rural areas where food is scarce. Human rights workers say they are deliberately being left to die in an effort by the Mugabe regime to exterminate opponents.

I think stories like this deserve more news coverage and much prayer.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Super Secret Hero Club

Jonah Goldberg says:
I don't use the word "hero" lightly, but I am the greatest hero in American history. Except, maybe, for Al Gore.

On the basis of that quote alone I wanted to write about this article. You'll have to read it to learn the details of his heroism, but it's the events leading up to Al Gores feat of courage that really caught my attention:
Of course, I didn’t realize any of this until I read an essay in last week’s New York Times by one Fatina Abdrabboh, a student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. You see she is a Muslim woman too.
... [And] she was in pain. She was working out at a stylish upscale gym in that known hotbed of anti-Muslim bigotry Cambridge, Massachusetts. All she was trying to do was work out, to build her physical strength to match the psychological and spiritual stamina required to persevere, on a daily basis, in that infamous City of Hate. But she couldn’t escape the oppression, which flooded around her like the Charles River breaking its banks. She tried to ignore the dirty stares from upscale Islamophobes looking to feel-the-burn in their pecs and then rain that heat a thousand-fold upon the Saracen hordes of Cambridge and, yes — dare to dream — New Haven. The in-house TV sets spewed hatred upon her.

Uh...And she was watching which TV sets again? In my experience, American news programs in general don't seem all that anti-Muslim. If anything, they are doing yoga quality back bending to be so non-anti-Muslim as to be PRO Muslim. There's nothing wrong with being pro-Muslim - but to be so in this way seems to invalidate the work that our troops are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. (No, the war is not against all of Islam, I'm not saying that. Don't leave hateful comments.)

The point is, I haven't seen TVs spewing anti-Muslim hate here in Ohio...and so I can't imagine local Cambridge news spewing it either.

Seriously, what was she watching? I think we should start a campaign to secure the video tapes. We could call it:


Anyway, read the whole wouldn't want to miss Al Gores dramatic key rescue:
She “got on a treadmill and started running as hard as I could.” But she couldn’t sweat out the hate. When she reached for her towel to mop-up the oppression, she dropped her keys!

Her keys, man! Her…keys!

“It was a small thing, I know, but as they slid down the rolling belt and fell to the carpet, my faith in the United States seemed to fall with them. I did not care to pick them up. I wanted to keep running.”

But then: Hope.

"Ma'am, here are your keys," declared a smiling and friendly Al Gore, former vice president of the United States. “Mr. Gore had gotten off his machine behind me, picked up my keys, handed them to me and then resumed his workout.”

He got her keys! Al Gore saved her keys!

I can already hear them polishing his Nobel Prize.

And by the way, Jonah Goldberg is my hero.

[Thanks to the Ranger for sending me this article and suggesting a possible soundtrack: The Battle Hymn of the Republic]

Monday, June 27, 2005

News Alert: Supreme Court schedules the Ten Commandments

John Podhoretz:
Why didn't the Supremes just say you could display the 10 Cs on Monday, Wed, and alternate Fridays, but not on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Or that they could be viewed inside government buildings, but only on the walls of bathrooms and in janitors' closets? Has anybody ever advanced this radical opinion -- that the five justices in question may be intelligent and thoughtful people individually, but that together they form one blithering idiot?

Yeah. Pretty much.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Kelo and Tax-Exempt Status

On Friday afternoon I was listening to Albert Mohler on the radio. He was speaking with Derek Gaubatz of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. [Interview audio available here]

Before hearing that broadcast, my thoughts on the Kelo verdict centered around the seizure of individual property. But their discussing pointed out another effect: tax-exempt properties could be in danger.

If cities can seize private property for economic purposes, as implied in the New London situation, then an economically hurting community could make a case to seize a piece of land owned by a tax-exempt organization. Churches, Synagogues, Mosques. Any religious, tax-exempt property could be in jeopardy because the city could transfer ownership of this property to another private organization who would have to pay property taxes and thus increase city revenue.

I realize this sounds a little paranoid, but I'm not saying it will happen, I'm just saying that now, because of Kelo it's conceivable that it can happen.

Friday, June 24, 2005

What Rove Said

Today RealClearPolitics had a link to a NYPost article by Karl Rove called "Why the Left is Losing." However, this is not a Post article by Karl Rove, it's really an excerpt from his speech. Here is how the Post Editors introduce it:
June 24, 2005 -- Below are excerpts of a speech delivered by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove at the New York State Conservative Party dinner on Wednesday. Most of the talk focused on changes on the right that have led to the Republicans' recent national success. But it is these comments on the left that have generated controversy.

That's true, there has been a lot of controversy about what he said about the Left. The funny thing is, he said it all by beginning with a quote by one of the left's very own, Paul Starr, co-editor of The American Prospect. Here's what Rove quoted:
Liberalism is at greater risk now than at any time in recent American history. The risk is of political marginality, even irrelevance . . .
[L]iberalism risks getting defined, as conservatism once was, entirely in negative terms.

Rove is agreeing with this man that Liberalism is in trouble. And then he tells Liberals why that is.

They shouldn't be mad at Rove, they should be paying him a consulting fee for his wisdom.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Aruba may turn out to be dangerous...

...but at least their government won't take my house!

Anyway, turns out Jonah Goldberg is on the same page as I am with Aruba confusion and Supreme Court outrage:

I CARE....
this much [visualize mere atoms of daylight between my fingers] about this Aruba story, beyond the usual sympathies of course.

But this strikes me as a profoundly stupid media fixation.

Indeed. I agree with the sympathies as well...even as I struggle to visualize "mere atoms." I haven't actually figured that out yet.

Supreme Court:
[U]nless our legal eagles can explain otherwise, this Supreme Court decision sounds absolutely outrageous. I would hope there'd be a little principled outrage from the left about this. Kicking poor people off their property for a shopping mall is disgusting. I got no problem evicting crack dealers and hookers, but a hard-working guy who doesn't want to leave the house he broke his back to pay for? So a new Victoria's Secret can open up? That's just awful.

Yeah, even if said mall has an Orange Julius, a Mrs Field's AND a Ben&Jerry's, it's still awful.

Residents of the City

Wanna know what the Blogosphere thinks of the outrageous Supreme Court ruling that allows your own city to take your house? Well Michelle Malkin has a pretty full round up.

Here's my favorite snippet thus far:
While You Were Busy Protesting The Patriot Act...
the government took your house. I'm sure the residents of New London, Connecticut will be happy to know that while their houses are being demolished, their library records will be safely locked away.
At any rate let's look on the bright side: sure you're homeless, but Justice Ginsburg and the rest of the ACLU will defend your right to squat in the library, and anything you read while you're there will be strictly confidential.

Seriously. No one thinks this is an abuse of personal rights??? I one on the left things that? not enough of Connecticuts local goverment officials think that??

Also amusing, this reader comment that Malkin posted:
Mark K. writes: "I guess we should have been expecting a decision like this since the Supreme Court justices have been citing precedents from Zimbabawe. Why shouldn't they endorse the type of land expropriation that Robert Mugabe has been practicing there?"

Oh yeah, well I think it's time for *you* to resign!

I saw some of the Senate Armed Services Committee testimonies of Sec. Rumsfeld and Generals Abizaid and Myers on the Pentagon channel today. And now I am seeing more clips on Fox News...apparently Sen. Kennedy asked Rumsfeld if it wasn't about time for him to resign!! this really the point of these hearings?? I think Kennedy is posturing and wasting taxpayer money with these comments.

Also, The Ranger is looking for a transcript of these hearings if anyone has them.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Free Iran

Yesterday at StonesCryOut, Matt posted about the Iranians striving for democracy in their country. Today I saw (previously mentioned) SuperAnchor Brit Hume interviewing someone from the (I think) American Enterprise Institute who was discussing protests at soccer matches. This interviewee mentioned that he had a disagreement with President Bush because the President keeps saying that if the Iranians show a desire for democracy, America will support them. Now while I can't say that I've ever actually heard the President say this, it seems to me that this is indeed something the President would say.

Therefore, the AEI guy said that Iran has been showing a desire for democracy, but it may not be very organized because everything organized is from the government and they are the tyrants. Sounds like a valid point. Matt agrees:
When will someone - President Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard, Silvo Berlusconi - stand up and join in solidarity with the protestors? Where are our Christian leaders? Instead of hand-wringing over the nefarious Hollywood, how about a movement in support of democracy in Iran? The Southern Baptist Convention begins in two weeks: will someone propose a resolution in support of the students and the democracy activists, or will there be more culture war talk?

If not, how long will the oppression and terror continue?

Getting Gitmo...or...not

Did you see Special Report w/Brit Hume tonight? If not, I encourage you to watch the last half hour when it repeats at 12:00am eastern time.

First, you'll be assured that Brian Wilson has denied allegations that he is a "big moose".

Then you'll see the Fox All-stars discuss Gitmo and the possibility of shutting it down. As this discussion progressed I started working on this very blog post's what I don't understand about Gitmo: What is achieved by shutting it down? If there are delays in trying criminals, are they inherent to the location of the prison or the people running it? And what happens to the prisoners?

Then I heard some background question from Brit Hume. It went something like this:
"Are there criminals who've been arrested or POWs who've been rounded up on the battlefield in which case they get released when the war's over...if then."

To which Jeff Birnbaum replied,
"But it doesn't look like there is an end in sight for this war."

I don't know how much was settled in that response, because really, how often during a war do we see an end in sight? For those that didn't know the Atomic Bomb was going to land on Japan, do you think it seemed that the Japanese would surrender? They had no idea how long they would be fighting.

But then Brit asked the very question that was on my mind (that's cause he's Brit and he's the Super Anchor)
"Wouldn't all these same problems arise, wherever these prisoners are kept?"

The panel was split on this a bit, which I don't understand because how could they give a definitive "no" on this? Shutting down Gitmo because it is a symbol of some alleged mistakes is not reason enough to jump through all the necessary logistical hoops involved in moving the prisoners, the staff, etc.

Moreover, releasing prisoners simply because it's convenient to do so or because we can't try them all speedily enough doesn't seem like the safest plan around. What's Jimmy Carter thinking?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Online Nutrition Label

Not 5 minutes after I was done sending out an email on the healthy attributes of Dark Chocolate, I come across this website:

I found it via Tuplip Girl (and I suggest heeding her warning about not-looking up the Esikmo Bar)

The usefulness of this sight is really for those items that don't come with a black and white nutrition facts email on the side - like, you know, all of the produce department.

I suspect Beverly and SpiderChick will get the most use out of this website.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Strike Two: The Dutch

Last week Gerard Baker predicted in the Weekly Standard the Dutch vote following the French vote on the EU constitution was pivotal to stopping the...badness of a French "non" vote.

His conclusion at that time was this:
In short, if you think that what Europe needs is more regulation, more social protection, and less competition; if you think it needs to build up and strengthen the supranational state with political institutions accountable to almost no one; and if you think the world needs a united Europe led by a narrow group of politicians intent on challenging U.S. power, then you are definitely hoping the constitution beats the odds and clears all the popular hurdles that await it in the next year. If, on the other hand, you doubt the merits of that sort of Europe, you may be offering a silent prayer, perhaps for the first time in your life, that you are in solidarity with a majority of French opinion at least for one day this coming weekend.

I don't like admitting I agree with the French. Nor do I like admitting that now, I agree with the Dutch, who, as I saw live at 4am this morning, voted No or rather "Nee".

The Big story in that AP piece? A revelation by the Prime Minister of Holland:
Balkenende acknowledged the huge gap that has emerged between the politicians and the electorate.

Yeah...Shocking. Simply Shocking.