Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Able Danger Case Hobbled by Classification Concerns

The Able Danger controversy is still bubbling, quietly, with meetings this week between Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, representatives of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Department of Defense's Office of the Inspector General.

Shaffer's attorney, Mark S. Zaid, has filed a Supplemental Declaration outlining his concerns about both shaffer's wrongful termination suit against the Defense Intelligence Agency and the potential legal pitfalls Shaffer faces in giving testimony to the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General investigating both the conduct of the Able Danger program and whether the DIA improperly retaliated against Shaffer.

The difficulties arise from the fact that Zaid does not have a security clearance, and thus cannot sit in and advise his client during discussions touching on classified aspects of the Able Danger program. Zaid correctly complains that Shaffer should not be compelled to give testimony in the absence of his attorney.

The filing, provided to me by Zaid, reads in part:
5. First, I, as Shaffer’s counsel, cannot adequately or effectively provide him sound legal advice since I do not know all the facts of the operation, nor the full scope of Shaffer’s role within the operation...The conversation became so alarming to me that I was forced to specifically note on the record that I was concerned for Shaffer’s legal well-being and could not provide either adequate or effective representation, and I advised that both this line of questioning and his answers cease.
Few politicians seem to want to get to the bottom of Able Danger, the data-mining project that allegedly identified Mohammed Atta and several of his accomplices before the 9/11 attacks, and also generated a warning to the USS Cole, which was not passed on.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

ACLU Disappointed Pedophiles Can't Get Conjugal Visits

Crossposted from Stop The ACLU

If you are a pedophile, the ACLU is looking out for you. The argument is old hat for the ACLU, who believe not only that pedophiles and sex offenders should have the right to live next to playgrounds and elementary schools, but that they even have the right to instruct their perverted buddies on how to rape little boys. These positions are quite disturbing to most Americans, especially those of us with children. It is even scarier when there are loony judges out there that actually rule in favor of these twisted views. Luckily, the Supreme Court shot the ACLU down this time.

The American Civil Liberties Union-Indiana, suing initially on behalf of a female inmate, had filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the policy.

The Indiana Department of Correction imposed the policy in 2001, stating that inmates with a record of sex offenses involving children "shall not be permitted to receive visits from minors." The agency amended the rule a year later to allow some visits under certain conditions, including one that the intended visitor had not been a victim of the offender.

The DOC justified the restrictions by arguing that sex offenders are at high risk of repeating the crime and often know their victims.

According to court records, visitations occur in areas with 25 to 30 tables and as many as 100 people often supervised by a single guard. The agency knew of past incidents when children were sexually abused in visiting areas.

DOC Commissioner J. David Donahue said the policy was aimed at protecting the public, and it will remain in effect.

"The Supreme Court's review supports the policy," Donahue said.

The ICLU argued the policy violated prisoners' constitutional right to maintain family relationships and that it was cruel and unusual punishment.

"We're very disappointed," Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU-Indiana, said Tuesday.

Before long, they will be supporting things like this in America.

Cut the age of consent to 12, and eventually get rid of it altogether, on the grounds that restricting sexual relations with kids "just makes children curious."
Allow private possession of child pornography.
Allow daytime pornography broadcasts.
Provide sex education for toddlers.
Make adolescents aged 16 and up eligible to be prostitutes and appear in porno films.
Legalize sex with animals.
Legalize going naked in public.
Legalize all drugs.
Provide taxpayer-financed "free" train rides.

Don't doubt it, they already support the legalization of child porn distribution, and possession. The also already support legalizing all drugs. Dan Rhiel thinks Peta may be on board with it too.

Nominal Americans

American journalists are not on our side. This is no secret; in a hypothetical raised by an interviewer, Mike Wallace infamously stated that he would not warn American troops of an impending ambush.

If the UN decided to offer "international citizenship", how many American journalists would jump at the chance to renounce their US ties?

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A CBS News correspondent injured by a car bomb that killed two colleagues in Iraq was in critical but stable condition and “doing as well as can be expected,” a doctor at a U.S. military hospital said Tuesday.
In the eighth paragraph it is finally mentioned that Dozier's crew, both Brits, were killed in the blast, and oh, by the way, an unidentified American soldier and an Iraqi translator died as well.

Here is Kimberley Dozier explaining to Howard Kurtz why only half of the news, the bad half, is reported from Iraq:
DOZIER: Well, the other thing is, if say I spent the day covering a hospital opening, an American civil affairs project that they had been working on for some time, and then on that very same day there is a massive car bombing somewhere in the country, what do I report? The hospital opening, or the fact that many Americans and many Iraqis just lost their lives? There is that factor going on.

Also, when you look at it from the Iraqis' perspective, you can have, as has happened, 100 different hospitals and schools opened in this city alone. A lot of American money being put to good use, but 10 suicide car bombs that affect their neighborhoods or kill someone they know, that almost erases in their minds a lot of the good that the American coalition is doing. And that's what the American military is up against here.
Unfortunately, Dozier never found the time to report on things like hospital openings and such, even on days when massive bombings didn't occur. Hospital openings and such just don't fit the memes established by the mainstream media. Correspondents just don't file such stories.

That's why CENTCOM is a more reliable news source than any of the major American outlets. Their press releases cover the entire story, good and bad. Ironically, the military reports much more of the real news than does the mainstream media.

This one-sided reporting has its consequences, among them, the encouragement of the terrorist insurgency and the lowering of our own troops' morale. Islamist terrorists are avid followers of Western journalism, and know how to make reporters dance like puppets at a Punch and Judy show. Thus, in some measure, Dozier was hoist by her own petard.

It will be nice if Dozier recovers fully from her injuries, but, to be honest about it, my true sympathies lie with the unnamed soldier and the unidentified Iraqi translator who died. These men were on my side. Dozier and her crew, reporting half the story in pursuit of glory and six figure salaries, were not.

Monday, May 29, 2006

A Book of Remembrance

On Memorial Day I open an old valise that contains those things my father considered his personal treasures. Old newspaper clippings, copies of his orders and discharge papers, his stock car license and dues books from the Carpenters and Joiners Union. On Memorial Day I always take out the perfect-bound soft cover book that the Mothers' and Wives' Club of three generations ago entitled, A Book of Remembrance. The book was probably published in 1946, though the wives and mothers didn't consider the publication date important enough to include. Likewise, the wives and mothers posed for a group photo, but didn't bother captioning it with their own names. The important thing, you see, was to memorialize those who spent their youth in defense of their families.

A Book of Remembrance contains the photos and names of the men and women who left the towns and hamlets and farms of this part of rural Madison County, New York in order to confront and vanquish the great threat and evil of their day. The book is dedicated to the fallen. Their number is shocking, coming as they did from this bucolic and sparsely populated region. Each tiny hamlet sacrificed one or more of her children, every drop of blood remembered by the Mothers' and Wives' Club, and the names and photos preserved for their posterity.

This generation of Americans, sometimes called "the greatest generation" is also often excoriated for being uninformed, naive, and jingoistic. An odd charge considering that the media of their day reported both defeats and victories. But the newsmen were unabashedly on the side of the Allies, not having acquired that sophistication that leads today's journalists to crow openly about American defeats, while minimizing her victories and the sacrifices of her sons and daughters (save when it serves a greater political purpose to emphasize those sacrifices). Today's reporters seem to have forgotten that the document that guarantees their right to inform the public is the Constitution of the United States of America. Most seem to pledge allegiance to some supra-national ideal, and hold the rankest propaganda morally equivalent to what little honest reporting still goes on.

Three generations ago they did not question their mission or their unity of purpose.

Today our sons and daughters once again confront the great evil of our day, though it is unfashionable to say so. Can anyone imagine the chic soccer moms and dads of today creating such a A Book of Remembrance?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunday Funny

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend Caption Contest

What good is the Internet if it can't be used to humiliate one's children? The boy on the diving board in this 12 year-old photo is my son. The others have visited our house over the years and will be just as mortified to see this pic on the Web.

You can enter here and/or at The Jawa Report. Winners from each site will be announced Monday.

Shocking final note: all of the boys in this photo grew up to be straight!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Bloggers Get Death Threat From Reuters Email Account

"I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut..."
This is an excerpt from the email received by Little Green Footballs after an LGF reader posted a link to one of their posts on the Guardian's website. The Guardian article is by Inayat Bunglawala, a member of the Muslim Council of Britain and concerns the movie The DaVinci Code, specifically, the question of Christ's divinity.

The staff at LGF were surprised when the threatening email traced to a Reuters account. They were further shocked when subsequent comments by Bungalawa offered circumstantial evidence that Bungalawa himself was the author.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report and Vince Aut Morire.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Dan Rather Moment for ABC's Brian Ross?

Last night, Brian Ross led ABC's broadcast with "an ABC News exclusive" report claiming that Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was now a prime target of the Justice Department probe into the dealings of lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Citing unidentified sources within the investigation, Brian Ross breathlessly reported that Hastert "is in the mix". ABC news analyst and Clintonista George Stephanopoulos declared that the story, if true, would be "seismic".

But today, ABC reports that the Justice Department has flatly denied Ross' story, and Hastert has angrily called for a retraction. The situation is eerily similar to the early stages of the Dan Rather "fake-but-accurate" scandal involving forged Texas Air National Guard documents.

Some are speculating that ABC concocted the story in an effort to draw attention away from Democratic Representative William Jefferson, who was allegedly videotaped accepting a $100,000 bribe from an undercover FBI operative.

This is not the first time that ABC News has been accused of gross political bias. A 2004 memo by ABC News Political Director Mark Halperin exhorted reporters to slant stories to John Kerry's advantage.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report and Vince Aut Morire.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Secure the Blow!

My buddy Cookie tells this tale of when life on a submarine goes horribly wrong. Don't read it during the dinner hour.

The DaVinci Code (Yawn)

Dan Brown's wildly popular conspiracy theory comes to the big screen via Ron Howard (Opie, to those of us old enough to remember the Andy Griffith show). I overrode my natural instinct to wait for the movie to come out on DVD and went to a local theater yesterday. This was partly because the book was a pleasant surprise to me. I'd read Brown's earlier novel, Digital Fortress, and found it awful. I read The DaVinci Code figuring that its popularity meant that the author had learned something about plotting and research since the earlier book. And he had. The DaVinci Code turned out to be entertaining and suspenseful, with a nice blend of historical fact and speculation.

Alas, The DaVinci Code is one of those works whose best venue is literature. My instinct to await the DVD was the correct one. What made the book so entertaining was the suspenseful discovery of hidden messages and anagrams, all leading to a world-shaking revelation about the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ. Director Howard, apparently attracted more by the controversial aspects of the book than by its suitability to cinematic treatment, was unable to translate the intellectual satisfaction of the novel to his movie. This would be less annoying if the film didn't drag on for a tedious two and a half hours.

And Howard left out the most controversial of Brown's assertions, that Christ survived the Crucifixion and escaped to France (unless I dozed off). To Christians, offended by Brown's treatment of Christ's divinity and the real organization Opus Dei: dinna fash yoursel', laddies...only the sort of idiots who embrace conspiracy theories will be convinced; intelligent folks are capable of accepting a novel as a novel.

To those who want to see the movie: do yourself a favor, wait for the DVD.

ACLU May Gag Its Own Members

From the New York Times:
The American Civil Liberties Union is weighing new standards that would discourage its board members from publicly criticizing the organization's policies and internal administration.
Former board members are said to be shocked by the proposals, which may be why they're former board members.

Why would an organization purportedly dedicated to protecting civil liberties seek to deny freedom of speech and expression to its own members? The money:
"Directors should remember that there is always a material prospect that public airing of the disagreement will affect the A.C.L.U. adversely in terms of public support and fund-raising," the proposals state.
So the ACLU recognizes the need to present a unified face to the public in order to maintain their cash flow, and acknowledges that the restriction of some individual liberty is necessary to achieve that goal.

Why then does the ACLU not recognize the need for the US government to do similar things in order to preserve the lives of American citizens? Is it because the ACLU is more about maintaining the flow of dollars into its members' pockets than it is about any real concern for individual liberties?

For those who came in late, the US Constitution was doing a magnificent job of protecting individual liberty long before the lawyers of the ACLU came on the scene.

Via Stop the ACLU.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report and Vince Aut Morire.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bentsen Obits Point Out Shallowness of MSM

The death of Lloyd Bentsen emphasized the lowbrow mentality of mainstream journalists, with virtually every media outlet referring to a contrived soundbite Bentsen delivered during the 1988 Vice Presidential debate:
In the Oct. 5, 1988, vice presidential debate, Quayle said: “I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency.”

Bentsen’s retort in the televised event caused a sensation. “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy,” he said. “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
By all accounts, Bentsen was an honorable man, who completed over 50 bombing missions during WWII and served three decades in public life. Unfortunately, today's media have boiled his life down to a thirty second cheapshot that Bentsen was probably ashamed of as soon as it was uttered. A pathetic epitaph indeed.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report.

'Pen and Sword' Jihadi Captured

The Washington Post reports on the terror career of Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, also known as Abu Musab al-Suri, the Spanish/Syrian al Qaeda strategist who authored a 1600 page operational manual for dispersed global jihad:
MADRID -- From secret hideouts in South Asia, the Spanish-Syrian al-Qaeda strategist published thousands of pages of Internet tracts on how small teams of Islamic extremists could wage a decentralized global war against the United States and its allies.

With the Afghanistan base lost, he argued, radicals would need to shift their approach and work primarily on their own, though sometimes with guidance from roving operatives acting on behalf of the broader movement.
Interestingly, one of the countries Nasar sheltered in following the overthrow of the Taliban was Iraq, though the Post saves that nugget for the last page of their article.

Nasar should serve as a warning for those who believe that the death or capture of bin Laden somehow will magically destroy the al Qaeda movement. He should also be instructive to those who believe that freedom of speech extends to the point of allowing people to advocate terrorism.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Another Kingfish Bites the Dust

Lousiana politics has had an unsavory reputation at least since the days of Huey Long, who was the inspiration for the Robert Penn Warren classic, All the Kings' Men. Long, known as "the Kingfish", was assassinated in 1935 and his career has become as synonymous with political corruption as that of former Chicago mayor Richard Daley.

A new Kingfish has emerged in the person of William Jefferson, who represents New Orleans in the House of Representatives.

From Breitbart:
A congressman under investigation for bribery was caught on videotape accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from an FBI informant whose conversations with the lawmaker also were recorded, according to a court document released Sunday. Agents later found the cash hidden in his freezer.

At one audiotaped meeting, Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., chuckles about writing in code to keep secret what the government contends was his corrupt role in getting his children a cut of a communications company's deal for work in Africa.
This is the same man who was criticized for commandeering National Guard vehicles following Katrina for a mysterious mission to his flood-damaged house. No one ever found out just what documents were so important to Jefferson that he would use his authority as a Congressman to usurp scarce emergency vehicles and personnel to assure that they didn't fall into the wrong hands.

Via Stop the ACLU.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Students Stand Up To ACLU

One thing is for sure, the liberals can't say this was government endorsed. I applaud these young men and women for standing up for their rights, and setting the example for others. The ACLU filed suit on behalf of one student who felt offended that a prayer would be included in their graduation ceremony. U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley granted a temporary restraining order sought by a student. Here is how the students responded to the attempts to censor them.

The senior class at a southern Kentucky high school gave their response Friday night to a federal judge's order banning prayer at commencement.

About 200 seniors stood during the principal's opening remarks and began reciting the Lord's Prayer, prompting a standing ovation from a standing-room only crowd at the Russell County High School gymnasium.

The thunderous applause drowned out the last part of the prayer.

The revival like atmosphere continued when senior Megan Chapman said in her opening remarks that God had guided her since childhood. Chapman was interrupted repeatedly by the cheering crowd as she urged her classmates to trust in God as they go through life.

The challenge made the graduation even better because it unified the senior class, Chapman said.

"It made the whole senior class come together as one and I think that's the best way to go out," said Chapman, who plans to attend the University of the Cumberlands with her twin sister Megan.

The graduation took place about 12 hours after a federal judge blocked the inclusion of prayer as part of Russell County High School's graduation ceremonies.


Crossposted from: Stop The ACLU

Iraq: The 'What if' Game

I've been reading an alternate history trilogy by Harry Harrison that explores what might have happened during the American Civil War if Britain's Prince Albert had died a few months sooner than he did. Without Queen Victoria's consort to moderate, a minor incident precipitates Great Britain's entry into the war against the Union, which causes the South to unite with the North against the "common enemy"...and Harrison weaves an entertaining tale from this scenario.

What if we didn't invade Iraq in 2003?

Well, we know now that French and Russian treasuries would be greatly enriched by a continued oil-for-food program, Uday and Qusay would still be getting laid regularly, and the families of Palestinian suicide bombers would still be getting a nice nest egg from Uncle Saddam.

But we'd be free to concentrate our forces in Afghanistan - where they could provide a target-rich environment for the tens of thousands of foreign fighters who would go there instead of Iraq. Syria, Iraq, and Iran would be free to do everything in their power to aid the mujahideen, hoping to provide us with the same experience that the Soviets suffered in Afghanistan.

The American Press would provide daily reports of the Afghan "quagmire", reporting every American death and setback in loving detail, while ignoring as much as possible our successes. In other words, they'd do just as they do in Iraq; same stories, different venue.

Democrats would be excoriating the President for irresponsible cowardice and dereliction of duty. How dare Bush let the safety of the American people depend upon the actions of a madman who ignores UN resolutions and butchers his own people with poison gas? How dare this President allow our enemies the safe sanctuary of Iraq, where their schemes against the United States are facilitated by a dictator who should have been taken out by the President's father (never mind that the UN mandate called for kicking Saddam out of Kuwait, not going to Baghdad)? Surely, the American people can see that the Republicans are weak on national security, and their foolish dependence on diplomacy with a tyrant is proof. Our troops are dying in Afghanistan because the inept Bush is too stupid to see the value of a second front in the War on Terror. John Kerry's campaign would seize on this theme, offering their man as a leader who understands military principles and will immediately open a second front to relieve the pressure on American troops in Afghanistan. Jack Murtha would declare the US military "broken" by the failed Afghan adventure, and advocate a hasty withdrawal. Retired American generals would be sought out by the Press to criticize the lack of strategic vision shown by putting all our eggs in one basket.

Even the death of Osama bin Laden wouldn't quell the criticism, as new al Qaeda leaders would come forward, just as they have with Osama isolated. With only one battlefield to worry about, al Qaeda would have more resources to devote to their first love, murdering infidels in spectacular terrorist attacks.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report.

Sunday Funny

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Permanent Iraqi Cabinet Approved

The Iraqi Parliament has approved a new permanent Iraqi Cabinet, setting the stage for what most people hope will be the final transition to Iraqi self-rule. Only the Iraqi terrorist insurgency and the American Left are hoping for further violence.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq’s parliament approved a national unity government on Saturday, achieving a goal the U.S. hopes will reduce widespread violence so that U.S. forces can eventually go home. But as the legislators met, at least 27 people were killed and dozens wounded in a series of attacks.
The Defense Minister and Interior Minister, both vital positions, are still temporary appointees.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Gitmo Prisoners Attack Guards

Prisoners wielding fans, light fixtures and other improvised weapons clashed with guards trying to stop a detainee from committing suicide at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, the military said Friday.

The clash occurred Thursday in a medium-security section of the camp as guards were responding to the fourth attempted suicide that day at the detention center on a U.S. Navy base in Cuba, said Cmdr. Robert Durand.

Detainees struck guards as they entered a communal living area to stop a prisoner who was trying to hang himself, Durand said. Earlier in the day, three detainees in another part of the prison attempted suicide by swallowing prescription medicine they had been hoarding.
So long as they're not high-value intelligence assets the guards should let them die with dignity.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Censure Jack Murtha

The Left's favorite ex-Marine, Pennsylvania representative Jack Murtha, has decided that he is judge, jury, and executioner in the case of Marines accused of killing civilians in Iraq:
Rep. John Murtha, an influential Pennsylvania lawmaker and outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, said today Marines had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” after allegedly responding to a roadside bomb ambush that killed a Marine during a patrol in Haditha, Iraq, Nov. 19.

“It’s much worse than was reported in Time magazine,” Murtha, a Democrat, former Marine colonel and Vietnam war veteran, told reporters on Capitol Hill.

“There was no firefight. There was no [bomb] that killed those innocent people,” Murtha explained, adding there were “about twice as many” Iraqis killed than Time had reported.
Ignoring centuries of American jurisprudence, Murtha has hopelessly prejudiced this case with his presumption of guilt. And Murtha has done this for one reason only, political gain. Murtha's reason for prejudging this case is his claim that the alleged crime was committed due to over-extension of the military.

Regardless of the outcome of Courts Martial investigating these Marines, Jack Murtha has exposed himself as a festering puswart on the buttocks of the House of Representatives.

Jack Murtha has abused his position as a US Representative and deserves censure by the House, at the very least. Murtha's past military service does not in any way excuse this gross misconduct.

Via Stop the ACLU.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report and Vince Aut Morire.

Yeah, Right. Pull the Other One.

The LA Times is really reaching today:
Cyndi Smallwood is looking for a few strong men for her landscaping company. Guys with no fear of a hot sun, who can shovel dirt all day long. She'll pay as much as $34 an hour.

She can't find them.

Maybe potential employees don't know about her tiny Riverside firm. Maybe the problem is Southern California's solid economy and low unemployment rate. Or maybe manual labor is something that many Americans couldn't dream of doing.
$34 an hour is nearly three times the starting base rate for a Transportation Security Administration airport sceener, yet somehow, the government managed to fill all of the screener positions - with US citizens - even in southern California. Somehow Cyndi can't find gardeners for three times the pay?

It seems that writer David Streitfeld hasn't considered one explanation for this anomaly. It's called lying.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report, Stop the ACLU, and Vince Aut Morire.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Unasked Question About Immigration 'Reform'

If we build it, will they come?
Everyone assumes that the millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States will jump at the chance to accept whatever amnesty program is offered to them. No one is asking what happens if they choose to remain in the shadow economy. But why shouldn't they?

Why should an illegal alien who has for years successfully flaunted immigration, employment, and tax laws be eager to join the new Peculiar Institution of the "Guest Worker" program? Will they be enticed by the opportunity to pay a $2000 fine and back taxes? Maybe the chance of being registered and tracked by the US government will seem attractive to them after all those years off the grid. Certainly being ordered to learn a foreign language, English, must have illegals all excited and eager to begin night classes.

Why would people who have fled the corrupt Mexican system, where la mordida rules every encounter with government officials, suddenly decide that ICE is their friend and savior? Especially since virtually the entire US government has declared that they are beyond the reach of law enforcement?

And what will we do when they, in their millions, don't come?

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report, Stop the ACLU, and Vince Aut Morire.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Charge Nurse: My Struggle, Part One

As many of you know, I recently underwent total knee replacement surgery for my right knee, destroyed while working for the Transportation Security Administration. For various reasons, not the least of which is the haste with which it was formed, the TSA has the highest injury rate of any federal organization, outside of the armed forces. This is one of the factors responsible for the extraordinarily high attrition rate among TSA employees. At my home airport, only 19 of the original 150 screeners hired remain on the job after less than four years. But that's another post. This post is about my historic struggle with the medical establishment following the completion of the surgical procedure.

The first indication that my treatment would result in a war of wills came at the pre-surgery consultation with my surgeon. Not only was I informed that the procedure would require a three day hospital stay, but it was to be performed at St. Joseph's, that most militant of hysterical anti-tobacco hospitals.

"You expect me to go three days without smoking?"

"Ideally, yes."

"I'll be honest. That's not going to happen."

"I understand, but you'll have to work it out with the nursing staff. I'm not a big anti-smoker, myself...sometimes, when I have a drink on the weekend...but if I sign a smoking order and you get an infection, it would leave me open to a malpractice suit."

"I'm shocked, shocked, that you would admit to a dalliance with the demon weed, but I won't report you to the tobacco enforcers at the AMA. And I've never sued anybody in my life."

So the battle was on. I had been in St. Joe's a few years earlier for an overnight stay to remove part of my cancerous thyroid. At that time, I managed to get outside to smoke only by threatening to check myself out AMA - Against Medical Advice. It was a titanic struggle. Foiled in their authoritarian machinations, the nurses were glad to see my back.

But this would be a longer, more complex campaign. I would be encumbered by an unholy trinity of diabolical medical devices, all designed to bar my ultimate escape: the on-demand morphine drip, the hideous powered knee exerciser - surely a device that would have warmed the cockles of a torturer's heart during the Dark Ages, had he had the electricity to power this engine of the Devil. And last, most intimate and insidious...the catheter.

To Be Continued, Next Time: The Plan Unfolds - Misdirection and Bluster

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report and Vince Aut Morire.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Los Actuadores (The Cheaters)

The President made it clear in his address tonight that he will not support the deportation of the millions of illegal aliens who are already in the country. Sure, the proposal to tighten up the border is welcome, if long overdue.

I disagree with Bush's characterization of these folks as "decent people". Besides the initial criminal act of sneaking into the country, they have been evading taxes since they got here, while consuming social services in numbers that have strained the resources of many states. Al Capone went to prison for income tax evasion. Was he a decent guy, too? Maybe the Capone comparison is a bit extreme; what about the guy who cuts ahead of you in line? Is he a decent guy...or an asshole?

So, they pay a fine, and their back taxes, and promise to learn English; then supposedly go to the back of the line for citizenship.

But what if they don't take the deal? We're talking, after all, about ignorant, unskilled people with faulty moral compasses who just may decide that it's better to stay in the shadows, especially since it's doubtful that many of them have the financial resources to come up with a few thousand dollars in back taxes.

What do we do if 8 or 10 million of los actuadores decide not to take the deal?

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report.

SCOTUS Refuses to Hear Indian Land Claim Case

From ABC News:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a ruling that two Indian tribes are not entitled to $248 million as compensation for New York state's unlawful acquisition of their land 200 years ago.

The justices refused to review a ruling by an appeals court that overturned the monetary damages awarded to the Cayuga Indian Nation of New York and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma.
The refusal is based on a 2005 Supreme Court ruling against the Oneida Indian Nation that said that too much time had passed before the Indians filed suit.

This action brings sighs of relief to New York State homeowners (including yours truly) who have had titles to their property threatened by recent Indian land claims. While the Cayuga claim affected a relatively small area, the 2005 ruling should also apply to the massive Onondaga land claim (below, illustration from CNY ecoBlog), which includes the cities of Syracuse and Binghamton.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

An Open Letter To Bluto's Mom On Mother's Day

What were you thinking? Yeesh.

UPDATE: Thank you, Mrs. Bluto, for setting the lad right.

And I do mean right.

UPDATE II: Bluto's mom, could you please explain where he inherited his eyepatch?

UPDATE III: Never mind that, Bluto's mom, historical records indicate you married into a family that are direct descendants of Elisabeth Bathory.

UPDATE IV: Let this be a lesson, don't drink and blog until the wee hours of the morning.

And now a sincere, all kidding aside thanks to Ma Bluto for sending us such a fine young man to lead this vast Armada into the uncharted oceans of Looneyland.

Yaarrrrrr indeed.

Sunday Funny

Saturday, May 13, 2006

WaPo Editorial in Favor of NSA Datamining

It's not often that I find myself in agreement with a Washington Post editorial:
On Thursday, USA Today reported that three U.S. telecommunications companies have been voluntarily providing the National Security Agency with anonymized domestic telephone records -- that is, records stripped of individually identifiable data, such as names and place of residence. If true, the architect of this program deserves our thanks and probably a medal. That architect was presumably Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and President Bush's nominee to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
This "betrayal" by the WaPo will no doubt infuriate the Democratic lunatic fringe.

Another curious little facet of what CBS chooses to describe as a "scandal" is the lack of information in the mainstream media about the Qwest chief executive who chose to thumb his nose at the NSA's request for anonymous calling data, Joseph Nacchio. While accounts describe Nacchio as the "former" CEO of Qwest, they tend not to mention why he left. This is why:
Washington, D.C., March 15, 2005 - The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Joseph P. Nacchio, former co-chairman and chief executive officer of Qwest Communications International Inc., and eight other former Qwest officers and employees with fraud and other violations of the federal securities laws. In three separate but related civil actions, the Commission alleges that, between 1999 and 2002, the Qwest defendants engaged in a multi-faceted fraudulent scheme designed to mislead the investing public about the company's revenue and growth.
Interesting, the only communications executive who obstructed the NSA effort is under criminal indictment.

I still think there's a good chance, as I wrote earlier, that the "leak" of the NSA program was deliberate, and designed to force Democrats into the open with their unpopular opposition to lawful surveillance programs.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report, Stop the ACLU, and Vince Aut Morire.

Friday, May 12, 2006

United 93 (UPDATED)

I'm not allowed to drive for another few weeks following my total knee replacement surgery, so my daughter is going to take me to see United 93 this afternoon. I expect a physically painful experience, as the leg is closest to comfortable when propped up on a couch or elevated. Somehow, being in pain seems an appropriate condition in which to view this film.

Some critics and pundits have been saying that it's "too soon" for a movie like United 93. Absurd. Americans are fighting and dying to protect us and a frigging movie depicting events of the day that set it all in motion is supposed to be too painful for the general public's delicate sensibilities?

How have we managed to create so many whining pussies?

Update: Very powerful and harrowing; after all, we know how it ends. The passengers of United 93 went out fighting for control of the plane. The Muslims went out as murderers. "Allah" on their lips is a synonym for Satan.

The Da'wa Report

Via LGF, Jihad Watch is reporting that the letter Mahmoud Ahmagonnameetallah sent President Bush was more than just an invitation to sit down and settle our differences over tea and yellow cake.

Spencer says:

Both bolded statements suggest that the letter was indeed the call to Islam that must precede any attack, in accord with Muhammad's words (in Sahih Muslim 4294) about inviting the unbelievers to accept Islam or dhimmitude and fighting him only if he refuses both. We shall see.

The blog grandfather says:

Only a few blogs (and almost no mainstream media) have realized the truth about Iranian madman Ahmadinejad’s letter to President Bush. It was not an offer to negotiate, and it was not simply a lunatic’s rant. It was a calculated invitation to convert to Islam, a da’wa—an Islamic requirement (commanded by Mohammed) before waging war against unbelievers.

My brother-in-anxiety Jeff G:

But whether or not Ahmadinejad (and the mullahs) are pragmatists playing chess, or else crazed religious fanatics poised to unleash some sort of devestating [sic] weapon on the world, what is unquestionable is that Ahmadinejad has positioned his pieces so as to appear ready to go to war.

So what to make of this?

I have questions, many questions.

I'm just too tired to answer them myself.

All I can think to do right now is to alert as many people as I can to the possibility that we are on the brink of a full-scale, all out war with Iran. In contrast with the small-scale, low-intensity war we've been in with Iran since 1979.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Send Your Prayers

Fellow Munuvian and Jawa co-blogger Demosophist has lost his brother-in-law. Throw him a nice thought, please.

What Do The ACLU And NSA Have In Common?

I knew it was only a matter of time before the ACLU would chime in on USA Today's leaking of classified information about the NSA program. And here it is....

Via ACLU Website:

In a story released today in USA Today it was revealed that the NSA has been collecting call information about millions of American residents and businesses served by Verizon, AT&T and BellSouth. One industry insider referred to it as the “largest database ever assembled in the world.” The American Civil Liberties Union strongly condemned the Bush administration’s most egregious abuse of power to date.

In April, ACLU leaders met with White House officials, asking for a review of whether federal agencies working to combat terrorism are targeting innocent citizens or other lawful residents. Today’s USA Today report confirms that this is the case, despite White House assurances that innocent Americans are not the target of electronic surveillance.

“Once again, it is clear that the president and the attorney general have lied to the American people,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “The NSA spying program is not only focused on terrorists or international calls. The government is clearly tracking the calls and communications of millions of ordinary Americans and that's just plain wrong. This news serves only as further proof of how far we have slid into an abuse of power that undercuts the values Americans hold dear.

“Congress needs to analyze what intelligence is gathered, who is responsible for gathering it, and what actions will truly keep us safe,” Romero added. “We can no longer accept hollow, government assurances while they stubbornly refuse to answer questions about the NSA operations. These latest revelations should serve as further proof that this administration does not have satisfactory answers to these vital questions.”

The ACLU noted that there has never been a more urgent need to preserve fundamental privacy protections and our system of checks and balances than the need we face today. This latest transgression transcends the bounds of law and our most treasured values in the name of national security.

“Today's revelation about the NSA's data-mining program only further proves our point that Congress must fully investigate the Bush administration’s illegal NSA wire-tapping program,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “This warrantless database violates the constitutionally protected privacy rights of all Americans. This latest revelation serves as a clear signal that the administration’s no-holds-barred approach to ignoring the law governing electronic surveillance has reached new levels. The ACLU has urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate NSA spying before attempting to legislate blindly on the issue.

While Congress is investigating that, maybe they should also take some time to investigate the hypocritical practices of the ACLU delving into its own members' private financial information. After all, that is much more intrusive, and has nothing to do with national security.

The American Civil Liberties Union is using sophisticated technology to collect a wide variety of information about its members and donors in a fund-raising effort that has ignited a bitter debate over its leaders' commitment to privacy rights.

Some board members say the extensive data collection makes a mockery of the organization's frequent criticism of banks, corporations and government agencies for their practice of accumulating data on people for marketing and other purposes.

Yes, a mockery indeed.

The group's new data collection practices were implemented without the board's approval or knowledge and were in violation of the ACLU's privacy policy at the time, according to Michael Meyers, vice president of the organization and a frequent internal critic. He said he had learned about the new research by accident Nov. 7 during a meeting of the committee that is organizing the group's Biennial Conference in July.

He objected to the practices, and the next day, the privacy policy on the group's Web site was changed. "They took out all the language that would show that they were violating their own policy," Meyers said. "In doing so, they sanctified their procedure while still keeping it secret."

After spending 23 years on the ACLU board, the "defenders of free speech" issued gag orders to him, not to speak about the issue.

The people who are trying to gag my speech and Wendy Cabman's (ph) speech, they are the enemies of freedom. They are the enemies of free speech. And we're not going to concede the control of the ACLU to these renegades who are trying to hijack the ACLU.

Talk about compromising your values. This is the most hypocritical organization out there! Can someone please gag their whining? I'm tired of hearing about it. The ACLU have absolutely no room to talk on this issue. Perhaps they should practice their right to remain silent.

Crossposted from Stop The ACLU

Make the Lie Big Enough

Based on his appearance on Fox News' Dayside, Eric Boehlert is not an idiot. That means that he is a liar. Only an idiot or a liar could put forward the outrageous premise that Boehlert was pushing, that the mainstream media have treated the Bush Administration with kid gloves.

Boehlert, a writer, has written a book featuring his ridiculous hypothesis called Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush.

Of course Boehlert refused to cite any individual reporters or examples of pro-Bush bias in his Fox News appearance, but he did complain about the media attacking Clinton during his term in office. What Boehlert failed to mention is that the MSM only investigated and reported on Clinton after tabloids forced their hand by scooping the big names.

Boehlert is in the vanguard of a group of fringe leftists who are making the Orwellian claim that the American mainstream press is conservatively biased. That's probably why the MSM declared Florida for Gore in 2000 before the polls in heavily Republican western Florida were closed, and why they all but declared Kerry the winner in 2004 based on faulty exit polls. And why Dan Rather ran those forged memos just before the election. And why Mark Halperin distributed that memo to ABC employees urging them to frame stories from the Democratic side. And why all three networks steadfastly refuse to run stories of Coalition victories and progress in the Iraq war. And why NBC has run a nightly Katrina story for the past eight months...

Eric Boehlert is identified as a "journalist". God help us all.

NSA Datamining: A Political Trap for Dems is Sprung

Finally, a little hardball from the Bush administration, which has, to my mind, been overdoing the rope-a-dope of late. Citing anonymous sources, USA Today revealed today that the National Security Agency has been conducting a massive program to track phone call patterns within the United States with the aim of identifying terrorist communications:
The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.
There have already been rumors of this program; the confirmation by the USA Today story merely confirms and brings to the fore an open secret.

Just in time for the confirmation hearings of General Michael Hayden for CIA Director.

Democratic leaders know that the NSA issue is a loser for them, that's why President Bush was said to be looking forward to them making an issue of General Hayden's involvement with the NSA's domestic eavesdropping program. But the Dems were not snapping the bait with much enthusiasm.

Now, thanks to this USA Today story, the shithouse rat mentality of the Democratic base will force their hand.

I sense the hand of the Architect behind this one. Brilliant.

Al Qaeda In Iraq Is Losing And They Know It

At the same time, the Americans and the Government were able to absorb our painful blows, sustain them, compensate their losses with new replacements, and follow strategic plans which allowed them in the past few years to take control of Baghdad as well as other areas one after the other. That is why every year is worse than the previous year as far as the Mujahidin’s control and influence over Baghdad.

5. The role that the Islamic party and the Islamic Scholars Committee play in numbing the Sunni people through the media is a dangerous role. It has been proven from the course of the events that the American investment in the Party and the Committee were not in vain. In spite of the gravity of the events, they were able to calm down the Sunni people, justify the enemy deeds, and give the enemy the opportunity to do more work without any recourse and supervision.

Read the whole damn thing.

Quote above is taken from the link titled "full translation, read more."

CP @ Jawa, MVWRC, and VAM

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Shocking Charge Against Chicago Teacher

A teacher at a Chicago charter school has been accused of making outrageous racial slurs following an incident at the school:
As CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports, the incident began when a seventh-grade art teacher at Aspira Haugen Charter Middle School, at 3729 W. Leland Ave., thought students had gotten paint on her jacket. That is when the teacher allegedly said “all Mexicans are criminals” and that they were “only born to clean floors.”
One parent is reserving judgment:
“A lot of kids are out of control in this school,” Linda Moran said. “It doesn't mean you have to target race; I don't condone doing that. But I'd like to hear the whole story.”
If it is established that the teacher actually said the words reported, there just isn't any conceivable way that the "whole story" could justify it.

ACLU Challenges US Sovereignty

Brandishing a list of 51,000 signatures as backup for their campaign of innuendo and half-truths against American interrogation of captured terrorists, the American Civil Liberties Union is demanding that the US State Department subordinate itself to the UN Committee Against Torture:
"Instead of denying the systemic abuse of detainees confirmed by its own documents, the U.S. government must own up to the truth and take full responsibility," said Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project who is currently observing the committee's examination of the U.S. report in Geneva. "We hope that the Committee Against Torture will hold the government accountable for the torture and abuse of detainees both within the United States and abroad."
It's odd that an organization that stuffs money into its members' pockets by defending the indefensible should tell a United States government department that it has no right to defend itself from the ACLU's own trumped up charges. Of course, the ACLU is still smarting from the knowledge that its own communications with international terrorist organizations may have been monitored by the NSA.

Via Stop the ACLU.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report.

Mass Re-Enlistment Counters MSM/DNC Memes

In a story so far unreported outside of Colorado, soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, a unit that has borne the brunt of fighting and suffered heavy casualties in Iraq, participated in a mass re-enlistment ceremony last Friday.

From the Denver Post:
Fort Carson - A year ago, as Iraqi fighters detonated a bomb that shattered his convoy, Army Sgt. Gene Braxton led survivors scrambling out of their Humvees in the hot dusty haze to hunt for the triggermen.

Five months later, a bigger roadside bomb rocked the armored vehicle Braxton was in. Reeling from a concussion, he dragged a wounded buddy to safety.

Back in Colorado, Braxton has re-enlisted and will undergo parachute jump training in preparation for a possible third stint of combat duty in Iraq.

The 26-year-old is among 640 Colorado-based 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment soldiers who, in an unusually large mass re-enlistment, have extended their military service. Hundreds participated in a re-enlistment ceremony Friday, standing bolt straight on the shiny wood floor in a Fort Carson gym, raising their right hands and swearing they'd do anything to support and defend the United States.
Of course, this story can't be "real" because Brian Williams hasn't reported it on the Nightly News.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report, Stop the ACLU, and Vince Aut Morire.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Two Middle Easterners Held Without Bail

Two men with Arabic surnames were being held without bail following their arrest on Interstate 90, the New York State Thruway. The men were pulled over in the town of Salina (near Syracuse) due to excessive tint on the windows of their Mercedes. Troopers reportedly discovered marijuana in the car and "high-tech" forged Michigan licenses. The men are being held on "immigration charges" as well as the drugs, while FBI and Border Patrol agents investigate.

Terrorist Cruise Missiles

There is a growing concern among security experts that relatively cheap unmanned aircraft, which are virtually undetectable on radar, could be used by international terrorists to launch attacks against "soft targets" in the West. Commercially available, programmable GPS devices would serve as guidance systems, and unmanned vehicles have already been captured from militant groups in South America. :
Remote-control planes are not hard to get hold of, according to Jean-Christian Delessert, who runs a specialist model airplane shop near Geneva.

"Putting together a large-scale model is not difficult -- all you need is a few materials and a decent electronics technician," says Delessert.

In his view, "if terrorists get hold of that, it will be impossible to do anything about it. We did some tests with a friend who works at a military radar base: they never detected us... if the radar picks anything up, it thinks it is a flock of birds and automatically wipes it."
Yet another reason to attack terrorism at its sources, rather than trying to play defense, regardless of how unpopular this may be with the ACLU and the DNC.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Brit Paper Hoaxed With Old Beheading Video

The Jawa Report has discovered that a videotape delivered to the London Times purporting to show the gruesome beheading of murdered journalist Atwar Bahjat is actually footage of a previous murder.

The beheading described by Times writer Hala Jaber is a re-edited version of the murder of a Nepalese man, released by the terrorist group Army of Ansar al-Sunna.

The Jawa Report's post contains gory screen captures comparing scenes from the newly released version and the original.

The Kennedy Name

Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz says the the Kennedy name is a source of most of Rhode Island representative Patrick Kennedy's woes, or at least the attention being payed to them in the press:
It's equally hard to imagine that the media would be going wild about his late-night car crash and prescription drug addiction if he weren't a Kennedy.
Going wild? The media have swallowed Kennedy's Ambien story whole, with nary a mention of the evidence pointing to alcohol, not prescription drugs, as the prime mover. The "name" driving the treatment of this story is not "Kennedy", it is "Democrat". A Repubican congressman in the same pickle would already have had his story torn to shreds and been forced to resign.

Mahmoud Wants a Pen Pal

From the Washington Post:
ISTANBUL, May 8 --- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to President Bush, a spokesman for Iran's hard-line government said Monday. The letter proposed "new solutions for getting out of international problems and the current fragile situation in the world," government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham told a news conference in Tehran, but he declined to elaborate on the contents.
What could the contents be, other than a reiteration of Ahmanidejad's public insanity?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Fanmail: 'i will cut ur neck' sent all of the Jawa Report co-bloggers this pleasant message:
why u insult the holy qouran ? why why
did u know any thing about the holy qouran ?
he is the speaking of allah ( the good )allah give u
ur head , hand , leg , face , eye ... etc and he can
take this things all of this things so why u insult
his speaking why why ? where ur mind go ?
ur without mnid . allah Venge of u .
i ask u somthing .

give me ur country & address and give somtimes
to ............ cut ur neck
yes i willl cut ur neck beazn allah i will do that
if ur brave give ur address and somtimes to
killing u cut ur hand whiche Sacrilege the holy qouran

in shaa allah i will cut ur neck
The Jawa Report Co-Blogger Vinnie posts his copy here.

Sunday Funny

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Where Patrick Lost Me

The embarrassing case of US Representative from Rhode Island Patrick Kennedy seems to be heading for obscurity with Kennedy's false mea culpa admission to the Mayo Clinic. Asked if he would resign, Kennedy said that he needed to "stay in the fight".

Despite the growing evidence that Kennedy is still lying about the circumstances of his early morning rampage with Capitol Police, I was inclined to let Kennedy slide; after all, it's good be able to name total assclowns as your enemies, and Kennedy, like his father Teddy, is nothing if not an assclown - an archetype of the spoiled and privileged scions of old money liberals who seek personal validation through the acquisition of political power.

But then I saw a video clip of one of Patrick's previous tantrums, this one at LAX in 2000, where Kennedy flew into a snit and assaulted an airport security agent.

In a rambling semi-apologia for the trials this poor little rich boy has faced, the Washington Post describes the incident:
Kennedy had a particularly bad year in 2000. In March, the same month he admitted he was being treated for depression, he had a run-in with a security guard at Los Angeles International Airport who informed Kennedy he would have to check a large carry-on bag. The security guard filed a battery suit, and Kennedy paid an undisclosed sum to settle the case.
The "run-in" involved Kennedy violently grabbing the guard and shoving her into the metal detector, which moved several inches when the guard's body was forced against it. But that wasn't enough for the Congressman from Rhode Island. Kennedy arranged to have the security agent fired, just to show her that the Kennedy's don't tolerate uppitty African-Americans who get too big for their britches. Later, he gave her twenty-five thousand dollars to settle her lawsuit for assault and battery.

Thursday's incident shows that Kennedy still considers himself a higher being than the people he represents. But the real question isn't about what's wrong with Patrick Kennedy.

The real question is about what's wrong with the people of Rhode Island who have elected this jackass six times.

My Experience With United 93


That's the best I can describe how it felt watching this movie.

Helpless watching the passengers board, the door shut and the plane taking off with 4 terrorists bent on flying it into the Capitol.

Helpless watching the FAA, ATC's, and military trying to make sense out of what was going on.

Helpless watching the ground get closer and closer before the screen went black.

You want to yell "Don't get on that plane!" You want to yell "No, dammit, American Flight 11 is NOT still in the air!" You want to yell "They're not POSSIBLE hijackings, goddammit!"

But all you can do is sit there, helpless, knowing what the end is going to be.

This movie will weigh heavily on my mind when we get ready to board our flights for our upcoming vacation. While watching United 93 left me feeling helpless, I know that in the post 9/11 world, no American plane will be ever be hijacked in that fashion again and used as a guided missile.

We have the heroes and heroines of United Flight 93 to thank for that.

Friday, May 05, 2006

When Squids Kill

"Squid" is a slang term used by experienced motorcyclists to refer to reckless youngsters who take foolish chances, usually on high-powered sport bikes. While the squid typically has no committment to motorcycling as a sport and scares himself away from two-wheeled transport after a few close calls, longtime bikers are left to deal with impressions left on the general public by the squids' legacy of burnouts, wheelies, stoppies, and high speed operation.

Sometimes squids cause deaths other than their own. On April 23, New York State Trooper Craig Todeschini crashed into a tree while chasing a squid doing in excess of one hundred miles per hour on backroads near Pompey, New York. Todeschini, 25, was killed instantly. A Jamesville motorcyclist, James Carncross, turned himself in and faces charges of aggravated negligent homicide and aggravated manslaughter.

Todeschini's death has sparked a movement for a New York State law making it a felony to run from police. Currently, it's just a traffic violation, albeit a serious one. While more severe penalties may not convince squids not to run (they are, by definition, young and foolish) it might give some of them pause, and a few examples of serious jail time for running from police can't hurt.

But there are other questions raised by Todeschini's death that aren't being addressed. First, State Troopers do not require approval for pursuits by their officers; to chase or not to chase is left up to the individual officer's discretion. It's possible that the trooper killed was jsut trying to get close enough to identify the license number of Carncross' bike. If not, it's hard to see how Todeschini had any real expectation of catching a sport bike on a twisty country road, especially since the officer was driving a Police Sport Utility Vehicle. It's doubtful that Todeschini could have kept up with Carncross' sport bike even if he'd been driving a Police Interceptor. He had virtually no chance with an SUV.

The New York State Troopers might want to revisit the wisdom of equipping officers, who may be called into a high-speed pursuit, with top heavy, ill-handling vehicles. Unfortunately, it often takes a tragedy to get policies re-examined.

Rumsfeld Turns Tables on Heckler

Former CIA analyst and radical anti-war activist Ray McGovern's plot to disrupt a Rumsfeld presentation yesterday in Atlanta fell apart when the Secretary of Defense not only engaged McGovern during a question and answer period, but stopped security personnel from removing him.

Two shrieking protestors had already been removed during the presentation, but Rumsfeld allowed McGovern his questions, delivered in the petulant and personally insulting tones an angry child, then countered the former bureaucrat point-by-point. It was obvious that McGovern had expected to be ejected and was unprepared for a debate; he had neither his facts nor his quotes straight.

Sometimes the best way to show a leftist up as an ass is to just let the leftist act like an ass.

The Kennedy Crash and the McKinney Punch

In his second official statement, Representative Patrick Kennedy says that he smashed his car into a security barrier in the wee hours yesterday morning because of prescription drugs.

From the Washington Post:
Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy crashed his car into a security barrier near the Capitol early yesterday, and officers at the scene suspected that he might have been intoxicated, a police union official said.

Kennedy (D-R.I.) issued a statement late last night -- his second in several hours -- saying he had been disoriented after taking prescription drugs: Phenergan for gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and Ambien, a sleeping medication.
Kennedy now claims that the combination of medications disoriented him and apparently made him sort of sleepwalk out to the car, thinking that he had to get to a vote.

Embarrassing as this floundering may be, it raises a more serious question. Capital Police officers have said that they were prevented by their superiors from conducting field sobriety tests on Kennedy, who was reportedly driven home by a Capital Police sergeant.

Was Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney onto something when she said that the incident that culminated in her punching a Capital Police officer was precipitated because she is black?

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report, Stop the ACLU, and Vince Aut Morire.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

NBC Throws the Blogs a Bone

It was one of those newsbits that make you wonder in what decade the mainstream media are living. NBC ran a condescending little piece about blogs as if it were a discovery they had just made (maybe it was). Now we're "real", we've been on the nightly news.

But in their montage of screenshots and happy patter (including a brief view of The Jawa Report's main - another blog I write for) NBC anchor Brian Williams didn't mention the names of Dan Rather or Eason Jordan.

Zarqawi's Keystone Jihadis

US Special Forces in Iraq have captured cutting room floor video that al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would have preferred didn't get out. Portions of the videotape released show Zarqawi handing weapons clumsily and his associates burning themselves on hot automatic weapons barrels.

From CNN:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is seen as a less-than-accomplished gunman on a "complete" version of last week's Web video, according to a U.S. military commander.

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch on Thursday showed excerpts of the full video, found in a raid in Yusufiya south of Baghdad, that depict al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, and his aides appearing all-thumbs with firearms.
Not surprising, considering that Zarqawi's most effective tactic is to convince gullible Islamists to sacrifice themselves, rather than putting himself in any avoidable immediate danger.

The Bin Laden Trial: Penalty Phase

Following his capture in the Sudan in August, 2006, Osama bin Laden is convicted for his part in masterminding the attacks of September 11, 2001. Lead Defense Attorney Ramsey Clark presents mitigating factors in arguing against the death penalty for the al Qaeda leader.

Day One: Clark describes bin Laden's strict Sunni upbringing and notes many instances of corporal punishment for Osama's childish transgressions against shari'a. The cruel spankings have left his client unable to distinguish appropriate levels of response to provocation, he argues, and the spectacle of Saudi royals being forced to submit to the will of Western powers damages the child Osama's psyche and self esteem. Clark suggests that the partnership worked out with the Sauds following World War II was based on racist ideas held by President Harry S. Truman, ideas that led to the immolation of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One juror is observed openly weeping when Clark describes how Osama's father was called a "sand nigger" by an oil company roustabout. The beheading of the roustabout was little solace to young Osama.

Day Two: Clark calls University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill as an expert witness to explain the racist socio-political-economic tactics used by Western states to keep Arab peoples "down on the oil plantation". Churchill notes that the "little Eichmanns" in the Twin Towers on 9/11 were no different from Nazi bureaucrats consigning Jews to death during the Second World War, though he feels that the Jews may have brought their fate upon themselves. Another juror begins to weep as Churchill explains how unfair and sharp business practices by American oilmen resulted in bin Laden being forced to accept a Jaguar rather than a Ferrari for his twenty-first birthday.

Day Three: Clark describes the shame and horror of Osama's existence following his indictment in 1998 by a Federal court in absentia for his part in terrorist acts against American interests. Jurors are asked how they would feel at being persecuted for their own religious beliefs. Clark closes with the undeniable statement that Osama bin Laden "did not personally harm the hair on a single head of any person during the 9/11 military operation against American hegemony and imperialism."

Day Ten: The jury returns with a verdict of life in prison for Osama. At the conclusion of reading the verdict, the jury foreman states that, if it were within their power, they would "free the persecuted freedom fighter Osama bin Laden and convict the American people for their greed and arrogance."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Another OJ-style Verdict: Moussaoui Gets Life

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A federal jury rejected the death penalty for al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui on Wednesday and decided he must spend life in prison for his role in the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history.
The AP story above is somewhat misleading. In order for Moussaoui to be put to death, the jury had to be unanimous in that decision. Therefore, Moussaoui could have been given life as the result of a single holdout on the jury.

See The Jawa Report for more reaction.

My Version of The Mexican National Anthem

As you know, an uproar was created when illegal alien activists distributed a version of the American national anthem in Spanish with changed verses. Americans have been criticized for objecting to this sincere attempt at "inclusion".

In that spirit, I offer my own English version of the Mexican national anthem. It uses the tune of the Frito Bandito jingle to capture the spirit of the illegal movement, and Mexico's official insistence that we have no right to police our own borders.

We have too many poor people!
We must get them healthcare and welfare and food,
To get these things for them we will send them to you!

You gringoes have it too easy!
You must take our peasants and give them some work,
And if you complain we will call you all jerks!

We want your anthem in Spanish!
Your fat gringo faces are getting too snotty,
Shut your holes now or we'll send you more bodies!


From the Washington Post:
Herndon voters yesterday unseated the mayor and two Town Council members who supported a bitterly debated day-labor center for immigrant workers in a contest that emerged as a mini-referendum on the turbulent national issue of illegal immigration.

Residents replaced the incumbents with challengers who immediately called for significant changes at the center. Some want to bar public funds from being spent on the facility or restrict it to workers living in the country legally. Others want it moved to an industrial site away from the residential neighborhood where it is located.
This will be the first of many nasty surprises for politicians who fail accurately to judge the mood of the electorate concerning illegal aliens. While this was a local election, and certainly some of the issues that resulted in unseating the incumbents are not relevant on a national scale, the outrage felt by many Americans has been grossly underreported.

Americans, though a generous people, don't like to have that generosity taken for granted, or extorted by mass in-your-face protests. And the issue has daily irritating reminders; pressing "1" for English being perhaps the most common example.

Illegal aliens and their supporters have chosen a confrontational path, including a re-written, Spanish version of The Star Spangled Banner. When you come to the American people with your hand out, don't be slapping them with the other hand.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report, Stop the ACLU, and Vince Aut Morire.

Dear Congresscritter

Just wanted to let you know that ±280,000,000 legal American citizens did not march in the streets demanding open borders and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Just about the same number didn't march in the streets claiming that Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Colorado still belong to Mexico.

Thanks for not listening,

- Vinnie

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Euthanasia Delayed For Now

On April 25, I wrote about a woman who was about to be euthanized by a Houston hospital's ethics committee, over the objections of the woman herself and her family. Good news, at least temporarily.

From the Washington Times:
A Texas hospital has agreed to delay taking a severely ill woman off life support, following a failed plan to transfer her to an Illinois nursing home.

St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital had invoked the state's futile-care law, which allows hospitals to take some patients off life support with 10 days notice to the families, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Cross-posted at The Jawa Report and Vince Aut Morire.

MSM Openly Sides With Illegals

Hundreds of thousands march for immigrant rights

Most employers support rallies
Immigrant-rights boycotts concentrated in industries with mainly Latino workforces

Thousands join rally for immigrant rights

Note what all of these headlines have in common: the conflation of legal and illegal immigrants, as indicated by the phrase "immigrant rights". That phrase, as it applies to legal immigrants, is meaningless in the context of yesterday's protest activities.

Legal immigrants have specific legal rights and obligations, which are clearly spelled out in immigration regulations. Once a person becomes a US citizen, he or she is no longer an "immigrant", but a citizen of the United States of America on an equal footing with the bluest Mayflower bloodline.

By choosing to propagate this deliberate and obvious lie, the mainstream media have picked a side, and it isn't America's side.

Cross-posted at The Jawa Report, Stop the ACLU, and Vince Aut Morire.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sami al-Arian Gets Maximum

College professor and terrorist accomplice Sami al-Arian has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for his role in supporting Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He was given credit for his 39 months in jail since his arrest, but must serve an additional 18 months before being deported:
CBS4 News TAMPA A federal judge has sentenced former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian to another year and a half in prison before he will be deported in his terrorism conspiracy case.

Al-Arian, 48, was sentenced to four years and nine months, but he will get credit for the three years and three months he has already served while being held before and after his trial. His lawyer, Linda Moreno, asked the judge to release her client now, but the judge refused and called Al-Arian "a master manipulator."

Frontpage: How al Qaeda Lost in Iraq

Read about the brutal, bumbling strategy and tactics that resulted in the Islamist terrorist organization's defeat in Iraq at the hands of the United States in a new Frontpage article:
Despite the many brickbats of the media, al Qaeda has been defeated in Iraq, and is now retreating to lick its wounds where it can. If it can. Just over four and a half years, al Qaeda has gone from being the dominant terrorist group in the world to a defeated shell of its former self. In trying to defeat the United States, al Qaeda made three big mistakes: They fought the last information war, they underestimated the American leadership, and they also managed to anger the Iraqi people.
The main points here are so logical and self-evident as to be virtually inarguable, but that probably won't deter al Qaeda's allies in the US media and the DNC.

It's National Immigration Extortion Day

NEW YORK - Now that immigrants have grabbed the nation’s attention, what next?

Monday has been set aside for immigrants to boycott work, school and shopping to show how much they matter to their communities. But with some growing tired of street protests, and others afraid they’ll be deported or fired for walking out, people are planning to support the effort in myriad ways.
Why is the Associated Press, the source for this MSNBC story, deliberately conflating legal immigration with the swelling armies of illegal aliens invading the US?

Stay tuned...later, The Dread Pundit Bluto's new English version of the Mexican national anthem.