Saturday, April 4, 2009

Office of Legal Council nominee- "abortion restrictions “reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers.”

Not quite as bad as this story over at CMR about Cornell Law Professor Sherry Colb writing that abortion,

"protects....the woman's interest in not being physically, internally occupied by another creature against her will, the same interest that explains the right to use deadly force, if necessary, to stop a rapist. " (more)
But its pretty darn close.
From the CNA:

Washington D.C., Mar 31, 2009 / 03:41 am (CNA).- Dawn Johnsen, nominee to head the White House Office of Legal Counsel, faces criticism from a pro-life group for her opposition to the federal partial-birth abortion ban and her comments characterizing pregnant mothers as “inevitable losers in the contraceptive lottery” and comparing pregnancy to slavery or being hit by a drunk driver. ...

...The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group opposing her nomination, reports some of its 154,000 members have sent over 26,000 letters of opposition to their U.S. Senators.
“Johnsen's opposition to existing federal restrictions like the ban on partial-birth abortion casts doubt on her ability to perform her duties faithfully as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

The Susan B. Anthony list has voiced concerns about Johnsen’s pro-abortion rhetoric, especially as found in her amicus curiae brief in the case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services.
There, Johnsen said that abortion restrictions “reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers.”

Department of awful statistics

How to lie with statistics.

Next time the press starts throwing around statistics and graphs remember this:

Financial Industry Paid Millions to Obama Aide

WASHINGTON — Lawrence H. Summers, the top economic adviser to President Obama, earned more than $5 million last year from the hedge fund D. E. Shaw and collected $2.7 million in speaking fees from Wall Street companies that received government bailout money, the White House disclosed Friday in releasing financial information about top officials.

I believe a phrase from Shakespeare's Hamlet fits well here, "Something is rotten in the state," and I'm afraid it's just going to keep on stinking.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Obligatory Charity

From Townhall

Charity, giving and helping others are values that have made America great. Those who give more in terms of money and time tend to be happier than those who don’t, writes Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, in “Who Really Cares: America’s Charity Divide Who Gives, Who Doesn’t and Why it Matters.”

The importance of public service has provided the impetus that led to the passage this week of two bills: the Serve America Act in the Senate and the Generations Invigorating Volunteering and Education Act, or GIVE, in the House. Their stated goal: more public service. But their outcome will be - more government intrusion and more government jobs.

“Let us be clear,” writes Brooks, “Government spending is not charity. It is not voluntary sacrifice by individuals. No matter how beneficial or humane it might be, no matter how necessary it is for providing for public services, it is still the obligatory redistribution of tax revenues.” Those of us who pay taxes know all too well that our payments are required and that, while we have elected officials who are responsible for distributing our tax dollars, we often don’t know where the money goes or don’t agree with how our tax dollars are spent. (more)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sharia OK with Obama's Top Lawyer

Scary stuff...
From HumanEvents:

President Obama has tabbed the former dean of Yale Law School, Harold Koh, to become the legal adviser for the State Department. Among numerous questionable and controversial statements, Koh has said that the “war on terror” -- a term which the Obama Administration has already quietly abandoned, was “obsessive.” And in a 2007 speech, according to a lawyer who was in the audience, Koh opined that “in an appropriate case, he didn’t see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States.”...

...he concluded, the idea that “there’s one law for everybody...I think that's a bit of a danger.” ... (more)

Obama bows down to Saudi King

Maybe he was handing him an iPod...

Abstinence, Condoms and the Rise in Teen Pregnancy

Over at the Opine-Editorials there is an excellent post on the recent reporting of the increase in teen pregnancy in this country. Some good perspective on the study and well worth your time to visit there.

Reading the comments, I noticed the usual attempt to blame abstinence programs on the rise in pregnancy and the posting does address this to some degree.

I've never understood how abstinence programs could not work. Of course I've never thought it was government's place to teach my children (or anybody else's) about sexual matters. And in today's world of over sexualized youth, the idea that if kids don't learn about contraception and sex in school they'll somehow remain ignorant of the matter strikes me as unlikely.

The latest brouhaha over the Pope's statements about condoms in Africa have begun to shed some light on the matter for me.

For the all the ugly, tastless, vulgar remarks aimed at the Pope (and you don't have to be Catholic (I'm not) to feel that way) it seems that the Pope was right. You can go here for the original post about that.

The answer to lower HIV rates, lower pregnancy rates etc appears to be in simply teaching people (children included) that there is a better way:

Uganda provides the clearest example that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is preventable if populations are mobilized to avoid risk. Despite limited resources, Uganda has shown a 70% decline in HIV prevalence since the early 1990s, linked to a 60% reduction in casual sex. The response in Uganda appears to be distinctively associated with communication about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) through social networks. Despite substantial condom use and promotion of biomedical approaches, other African countries have shown neither similar behavioral responses nor HIV prevalence declines of the same scale. The Ugandan success is equivalent to a vaccine of 80% effectiveness. Its replication will require changes in global HIV/AIDS intervention policies and their evaluation. (more from Sciencemag)

Due to a phenomenom described by Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by ‘compensating’ or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology.” (NRO)

Risk compensation then would be a concern not only in matters of HIV infection but in matters of casual sex and teen pregnancy.

In its obsession with condoms, the Western public-health community has been every bit as dogmatic as the pope. And it has been even more blinkered to the realities of Africa, which is arguably in the grips of a huge religious and moral revival that has a huge potential to be wielded in the fight against AIDS. Church attendance is soaring, and Africans are willing to make sacrifices, of both their money and their pleasure, for moral causes. In this respect, it is not Benedict and the Catholic Church who are out of touch. It is the West and its condom myopia. (NRO)

Intelligent Design

From STR:

Stunning news from the scientific world:

One of life's greatest mysteries is how it began. Scientists have pinned it down to roughly this:Some chemical reactions occurred about 4 billion years ago — perhaps in a primordial tidal soup or maybe with help of volcanoes or possibly at the bottom of the sea or between the mica sheets — to create biology.Now scientists have created something in the lab that is tantalizingly close to what might have happened.It's not life, they stress, but it certainly gives the science community a whole new data set to chew on.

And all it took was a team of intelligent beings who knew the right conditions for this almost-life to thrive. Does that sound familiar?

Christian Hiring Practices

The American Philosophical Association, APA, is the professional organization of university philosophers, much as the AMA is the professional association for doctors and the American Philological Association is for Classicists. The following is the policy of the APA for colleges and universities to post job positions in its Jobs For Philosophers.

The American Philosophical Association rejects as unethical all forms of discrimination based on race, color, religion, political convictions, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identification or age, whether in graduate admissions, appointments, retention, promotion and tenure, manuscript evaluation, salary determination, or other professional activities in which APA members characteristically participate. At the same time, the APA recognizes the special commitments and roles of institutions with a religious affiliation; it is not inconsistent with the APA's position against discrimination to adopt religious affiliation as a criterion in graduate admissions or employment policies when this is directly related to the school's religious affiliation or purpose, so long as these policies are made known to members of the philosophical community and so long as the criteria for such religious affiliations do not discriminate against persons according to the other attributes listed in this statement. Advertisers in Jobs for Philosophers are expected to comply with this fundamental commitment of the APA, which is not to be taken to preclude explicitly stated affirmative action initiatives.

The APA Board of Officers expects that all those who use the APA Placement Service will comply with the letter and spirit of all applicable regulations concerning non-discrimination, equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.

Charles Hermes from the University of Texas at Arlington has started a petition, now over 1400 names strong, calling on the APA to enforce its policy or to mark in the Jobs For Philosophers listing those institutions that are deemed discriminatory. The petition states that any institutions that adhere to hiring standards that require those hired to commit to refraining from engaging in homosexual acts count as engaging in discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It goes on to list Azusa Pacific University, Belmont University, Bethel University, Biola University, Calvin College, Malone College, Pepperdine University, Westmont College, and Wheaton College as institutions guilty of such discrimination.

Already there is some reaction against this petition, but the point I want to make should be fairly clear. Major Christian institutions...Biola, Calvin, Wheaton...and others are coming under attack for following the teachings of the Christian faith in their daily operational structures. If this petition were to accomplish its stated intent, these institutions would suffer greatly from being unable to post, or able to post only under black list, for professorial jobs.

Let us stand in prayer for our besieged sister institutions. May they, and we, never yield when it comes to the truth revealed through the One Who is Truth, Jesus Christ.

A bill to let Big Government set your salary

Over at Self Evident Truths Euripides has a regular feature called The Snarky Files. Good stuff. This caught my eye:

Meanwhile, Congress is doing its part to follow the party line Obama's policies. Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, has approved in committee the "Pay for Performance Act of 2009." Not satisfied with the dangerous trend of the president of the US telling the CEO of a private business to resign, Frank wants to also control all of the money that companies pay their employees. Can you say redistribution of wealth? Can you say socialism? Can you say the end of capitalism? Sure I knew you could.

Here is a summary of the PPA of 2009 referenced above if you didn't already follow the link..
From the WashintonExaminer:
But now, in a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the "Pay for Performance Act of 2009," would impose government controls on the pay of all employees -- not just top executives -- of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.

The purpose of the legislation is to "prohibit unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards," according to the bill's language. That includes regular pay, bonuses -- everything -- paid to employees of companies in whom the government has a capital stake, including those that have received funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The measure is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.

The Oprah Winfrey Show – A Platform to Advocate the Use of Adult Stem Cells?

Nice to see the show being used for something good for a change...

From STR:
...Wouldn't it be great to use Oprah Winfrey's TV show to explain how adult stem cells are superior to embryonic stem cells for potentially treating Parkinson’s disease?
Ask and you shall receive.

Check out how Dr. Oz explains to Oprah, her audience, and Michael J. Fox (an ardent embryonic stem cell supporter) that "the stem cell debate is dead." The reason? He says embryonic stem cells aren't as desirable because they can become cancerous. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, can be induced to become as flexible as embryonic stem cells without the cancerous side effects. I think Dr. Oz even hints (although he doesn’t spell it out) that cloning won’t be necessary since adult stem cells have the same genes as the patient. (more)

Report: Chinese Develop Special "Kill Weapon" to Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers

Disturbing news from the USNI. Thanks, JD for the tip. I would agree that the real concern here is not so much a China-US direct confrontation but rather that, "any military capability utilized by a major power will eventually be utilized by a lesser power...," And with an Administration preparing to take a meat clever to the defense budget....

With tensions already rising due to the Chinese navy becoming more aggressive in asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy seems to have yet another reason to be deeply concerned.

After years of conjecture, details have begun to emerge of a "kill weapon" developed by the Chinese to target and destroy U.S. aircraft carriers.

First posted on a Chinese blog viewed as credible by military analysts and then translated by the naval affairs blog Information Dissemination, a recent report provides a description of an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) that can strike carriers and other U.S. vessels at a range of 2000km.

The range of the modified Dong Feng 21 missile is significant in that it covers the areas that are likely hot zones for future confrontations between U.S. and Chinese surface forces.

The size of the missile enables it to carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large vessel, providing the Chinese the capability of destroying a U.S. supercarrier in one strike.
Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes.

Supporting the missile is a network of satellites, radar and unmanned aerial vehicles that can locate U.S. ships and then guide the weapon, enabling it to hit moving targets.

While the ASBM has been a topic of discussion within national defense circles for quite some time, the fact that information is now coming from Chinese sources indicates that the weapon system is operational. (more)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Government can solve our problems–all of them–if only we have the good sense to get out of its way.

We've been going at this the wrong way. Government isn't the problem, its the EVERYTHING.
Commentary well done from Acton:

...We have posited that our current difficulties derive from a combination of moral turpitude and government bumbling.

We were mistaken.

Personal conviction of right and wrong is unnecessary, so long as really smart and well-meaning people think very hard, deliberate long enough, and erect the right kind of rules (and lots of them). People like our representatives in Washington, who can be counted on to act solely with the public interest in mind and without regard to the 35,000 registered congressional lobbyists whose offices line the streets of the capital.

The Madoff affair could never have happened if all stock trading and investment activity were controlled by a government board composed of the nation’s finest financial experts. A Bureau of Investing and Finance (BIF) would take all the risk out of the market, and there would be no danger of unscrupulous crooks taking advantage of others by fraudulent schemes. Valuable investment dollars would be directed only to the most promising and viable private enterprises, just as federal transportation dollars are now targeted only to the most sensible and critical road-building projects.

Or take Fannie and Freddie. The whole mess could have been avoided if we had simply done away with the real estate market long ago. A federal Department of Residence, Architecture, and Building (DRAB) could supply the housing needs for the nation’s populace, abolishing private home ownership and all the problems that go with it. No more oily realtors, annoying school levies, or marital discord over living room decor. Painful decisions about relocation would be eliminated because we would be told where to live. That government can handle this sphere of the economy with dexterity and competence has been repeatedly demonstrated by such signal achievements as the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, the Pruitt-Igoe projects in St. Louis, and the beauty queen of Europe, eastern Germany’s Halle-Neustadt.... (more of this excellent April 1 offering here)

an iPod, your Majesty

Sure glad we're past being an embarrassment...

From the Telegraph:

Barack Obama met the Queen at Buckingham Palace today and gave her a gift of an iPod loaded with video footage and photographs of her 2007 United States visit to Richmond, Jamestown and Williamsburg in Virginia. In return, the Queen gave the President a silver framed signed photograph of herself and the Duke of Edinburgh - apparently a standard present for visiting dignitaries.It is believed the Queen already has an iPod, a 6GB silver Mini version she is said to have bought in 2005 at the suggestion of Prince Andrew.

UPDATE: Pool reporter Richard Wolf of USA Today says that an Obama aide told him the President also gave the Queen a "rare songbook signed by Richard Rodgers". END

Earlier, Mr Obama had spoken of his admiration for Her Majesty but indicated that his wife was handling the details of their royal meeting. "There's one last thing that I should mention that I love about Great Britain, and that is the Queen," he said at the end of his joint press conference with Gordon Brown. (more)

Sleep Your Way To Health

Two articles on sleep. One a warning and the other a how to...

First, get to bed at a decent hour:
An article at WebMD says:
Late Bedtimes Linked to Heart Disease- Men who Turn In After Midnight Show Early Signs of Atherosclerosis

And the folks over at Dumblittleman (no relation) have some suggestions for getting and keeping the 'ole log sawing factory in shape:

Getting Better Sleep – The Google Method

Netanyahu to Obama: Stop Iran—Or I Will

When Israel thinks Iran is getting close to making a nuclear weapon, they will attack. And well they should as hesitation in doing so will result in a nuclear strike on Israel. The question is will the Obama administration do something substantial before it becomes neccesary for Israel to defend itself?

If it does not, what will be the course of action be for the US should Israel find it neccesary to act. I think I know what the previous administration would have done and so did everyone else. Like the M.A.D. philosophy of the Cold War, everyone knowing that the US would go to all out war prevented anyone from going to all out war.

Wars start when one side underestimates the other or thinks it incapable or unwilling to respond.

From the Atlantic:

In an interview conducted shortly before he was sworn in today as prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu laid down a challenge for Barack Obama. The American president, he said, must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and quickly—or an imperiled Israel may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities itself.

“The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu told me. He said the Iranian nuclear challenge represents a “hinge of history” and added that “Western civilization” will have failed if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

In unusually blunt language, Netanyahu said of the Iranian leadership, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.”

History teaches Jews that threats against their collective existence should be taken seriously, and, if possible, preempted, he suggested. In recent years, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has regularly called for Israel to be“wiped off the map,” and the supreme Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, this month called Israel a “cancerous tumor.” (more)

National Health Preview

Want to know what a national health plan will look like? Have a look at Massachusets. Just keep the lights on - its very scary.... the government deciding what a high/low priority/value is...

From WSJ:

...In Massachusetts's latest crisis, Governor Deval Patrick and his Democratic colleagues are starting to move down the path that government health plans always follow when spending collides with reality -- i.e., price controls. As costs continue to rise, the inevitable results are coverage restrictions and waiting periods. It was only a matter of time.

They're trying to manage the huge costs of the subsidized middle-class insurance program that is gradually swallowing the state budget. The program provides low- or no-cost coverage to about 165,000 residents, or three-fifths of the newly insured, and is budgeted at $880 million for 2010, a 7.3% single-year increase that is likely to be optimistic. The state's overall costs on health programs have increased by 42% (!) since 2006.

Like gamblers doubling down on their losses, Democrats have already hiked the fines for people who don't obtain insurance under the "individual mandate," already increased business penalties, taxed insurers and hospitals, raised premiums, and pumped up the state tobacco levy. That's still not enough money.

So earlier this year, Mr. Patrick appointed a state commission to figure out how to control costs and preserve "this grand experiment." One objective is to change the incentives for preventative care and treatments for chronic disease, but everyone says that. It sometimes results in better health but always more spending. So-called "pay for performance" financing models, on the other hand, would do away with fee for service -- but they also tend to reward process, not the better results implied.

What are the alternatives? If health planners won't accept the prices set by the marketplace -- thus putting themselves out of work -- the only other choice is limiting care via politics, much as Canada and most of Europe do today. The Patrick panel is considering one option to "exclude coverage of services of low priority/low value." Another would "limit coverage to services that produce the highest value when considering both clinical effectiveness and cost." (Guess who would determine what is high or low value? Not patients or doctors.)

Yet another is "a limitation on the total amount of money available for health care services," i.e., an overall spending cap.

The Institute for America's Future -- which is providing the intellectual horsepower (we use the term loosely) for reforms like those in Massachusetts -- argues that the cost overruns prove the state must cap how much insurers are allowed to charge consumers and regulate their profits. If Mr. Patrick doesn't get there first, that is. He reportedly told insurers and hospitals at a closed meeting this month that if they didn't take steps to hold down the rate of medical inflation, he would.

Even the single-payer cheerleaders at the New York Times have caught on to this rolling catastrophe. In a page-one story this month, the paper reported on the "expedient choice" that Mr. Romney and Democrats made to defer "until another day any serious effort to control the state's runaway health costs. . . . Those who led the 2006 effort said it would not have been feasible to enact universal coverage if the legislation had required heavy cost controls. The very stakeholders who were coaxed into the tent -- doctors, hospitals, insurers and consumer groups -- would probably have been driven into opposition by efforts to reduce their revenues and constrain their medical practices, they said."..(more)
Is this a bad time to bring up what some claim is the Canadian healthcare systems part in the death of actress Natasha Richardson?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rid your computer of the Conficker virus

Timely advice from the download blog. Here's hoping you don't need it:

Let's assume you're on the receiving end of the worst April Fool's Day joke of 2009: your computer's been infected with the Conficker virus. It's a frustrating, but not insurmountable, problem. This guide will walk you through how to cleanse your computer and inoculate against other Conficker variants.

First off, make sure that you are actually infected. There aren't many warning signs, but a few will stand out if you know what to look for. One fast way to check is to try to visit any major security software publisher's Web site. If you've cleared your browser cache beforehand, and you can load the sites of Symantec, Eset, Avira, or AVG, you're clean because Conficker blocks access to them. (more)

1 million red envelopes deluge White House

From yesterdays WND:

Over one million, empty, red envelopes have poured into the White House
mail room, symbolizing the empty promise of lives snuffed out in abortion; and with
Red Envelope Day planned for tomorrow, coordinators estimate that number could more than double.

The Red Envelope Project is an idea sparked in the mind and prayers of a Massachusetts man, Christ Otto, who envisioned in January thousands of red envelopes sent to the White House, a visual expression of moral outrage over the president's position on abortion.
On the backs of the envelopes, senders write a message Otto composed: "This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception."

"We are trying to change the president's heart," Otto writes on a website explaining the project. "This is a message to a man that God hears the cry of innocent blood. It is not a political stunt, although I hope it changes policy in Washington. If the capital is flooded with so many letters that no one can deny it, I am hoping the image will be burned into Barack Obama's mind that this is about human blood, and that he lies awake at night until he cannot resist doing something about it." (more)

Obama seeks Muslims for White House posts

From WND:

Barack Obama is conducting his own affirmative action program to get more Muslims in the White House.

The move began with Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn, who took his oath of office with a hand on the Quran, to solicit the resume of what he considered to be the nation's most qualified adherents of Islam.

According to the Denver Post, when White House officials heard about the program, it was put on overdrive.

So far, 45 Ivy League grads, Fortune 500 executives and government officials have been submitted for consideration.

J. Saleh Williams, program coordinator for the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association, sifted through more than 300 names as part of the search.
"It was mostly under the radar," Williams said. "We thought it would put (the president) in a precarious position. We didn't know how closely he wanted to appear to be working with the Muslim American community." "It was mostly under the radar," Williams said. "We thought it would put (the president) in a precarious position. We didn't know how closely he wanted to appear to be working with the Muslim American community."

Ellison is serious about his faith. He made the pilgrimage to Mecca with the sponsorship of the Muslim American Society, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In 1991, Mohamed Akram wrote a memo for the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood that explained its work in America as "a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

In Minnesota, it's still November

From Politico:

...Minnesota has been down a senator since the beginning of the year, and Democrats — who expect Franken to prevail eventually — view themselves as down a vote they’re entitled to have.

Without Franken in the Senate, the Democrats hold a 58-41 vote advantage over the GOP; getting to 59-41 sooner rather than later would make it easier to move President Barack Obama’s agenda through Congress. Franken currently leads in the counting by 225 votes.

In a radio interview this month, Friedberg — asked if he was “confident” that Coleman would lose before the three-judge panel — said: “I think that’s probably correct that Franken will still be ahead and probably by a little bit more.

But our whole argument was a constitutional argument, and it’s an argument suitable for the Minnesota Supreme Court, not for the trial court. So we’ll see whether we were right or not.” ...(more)

DNC chair infuriates abortion backers

Guess it would be OK if they didn't, " proslyetize against abortion and encourage women to keep unwanted children. " Wow

From Politico:

Tim Kaine, the Virginia governor and President Barack Obama's hand-picked choice as the head of the Democratic National Committee, infuriated abortion-rights groups Monday by signing legislation that gives abortion foes a long-sought victory.

Kaine brushed off intense lobbying by abortion rights supporters in Richmond to sign a bill that allows Virginia motorists to advertise their anti-abortion views by sporting "Choose Life" specialty license plates.

The revenue from the specialty plates would go to crisis-pregnancy centers, which many abortion-rights backers believe proslyetize against abortion and encourage women to keep unwanted children. (more)

Monday, March 30, 2009

"If I'm corrupt, it's because I take care of my district."

Well there ya go...Give the man a cigar (or the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award) at least he's honest..

From Politico:

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publishes Jack Murtha's not-illogical defense of his earmark gobbling on behalf of the Johnstown, Pa. -- home of the John P. Murtha Technology Center, "just a stone's throw" from the John P. Murtha Airport.

But it was this line that caught our eye:

"If I'm corrupt, it's because I take care of my district," Mr. Murtha said. "My job as a member of Congress is to make sure that we take care of what we see is necessary. Not the bureaucrats who are unelected over there in whatever White House, whether it's Republican or Democrat. Those bureaucrats would like to control everything. Every president would like to have all the power and not have Congress change anything. But we're closest to the people."

Islamic Law's Influence in America a Growing Concern

Already a major issue in Britain and Europe it appears that the problem has made its way over the pond...Will we be different?

From Fox: via EuropeNews:

As America's Muslim population grows, so too does the influence of Islamic law, or Shariah, in daily life in the U.S.

"Shariah Law is the totality of the Muslim's obligation," said Abdullahi An-Na'im, a professor of law at Emory University in Atlanta. According to An-Na'im, Shariah is similar to Jewish Talmudic Law or Catholic Canon Law in that it guides an adherent's moral conduct.
"As a citizen, I am a subject of the United States," An-Na'im said. "I owe allegiance to the United States, to the Constitution of the United States. That is not inconsistent with observing a religious code in terms of my own personal behavior."

While many view this as a testament to the "great American melting pot," others see Islamic law's growing influence as a threat. Shariah's critics point to cases such as the airport in Minneapolis, where some Shariah-adherent taxi drivers made headlines in 2006 for refusing to pick up passengers they suspected of carrying liquor. The drivers' aversion to alcohol stemmed from a verse in the Qur'an that describes "intoxicants and gambling" as "an abomination of Satan's handiwork."

Last year, a Tyson Foods plant in Shelbyville, Tenn. replaced its traditional Labor Day holiday with paid time off on Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim festival — marking the end of fasting during Ramadan. A labor union had requested the change on behalf of hundreds of Muslim employees— many of them were immigrants from Somalia.

But public outcry over the decision to dismiss Labor Day quickly prompted the company and union to negotiate a new contract that makes accommodations for both holidays.
In 2007, the University of Michigan installed ritual foot baths to accommodate Islamic tradition.

"These things are beginning to percolate up as Shariah-adherent Muslims insist that their preferences and practices be accommodated by the rest of the population," said Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy — a Washington think tank.

UK: 44% of Muslims against integration

From EuropeNews:

Muslims want to create their own communities and remain segregated from British society.
A shocking 44% think they should be free to develop along separate lines.
But critics claim Muslims will create their own ghettos if they are left to their own devices.
The poll found religion has replaced race as the biggest equality issue, with six in 10 Brits thinking it is more divisive. Mass tension has grown following terror attacks from Muslim fanatics, including the 7/7 Tube bombings in 2005
.... (more)

Wide Cyber Attack Is Linked to China

This is an ongoing situation. The military has already banned the use of the very popular "stick" drives in response to earlier attacks. Now that the evidence increasingly points to China as the culprit what will be our response? I'm sure Obama will want to have a good talk with them and that will solve everything....

From the WSJ:

Security researchers said they have discovered software capable of stealing information installed on computers in 103 countries from a network that targeted government agencies.

The software infected more than 1,200 computers, almost 30% of which were considered high-value targets, according to a report published Sunday by Information Warfare Monitor, a Toronto-based organization.Among the affected computers were those in embassies belonging to Germany, India, and Thailand, ministries of Iran and Latvia, and a computer network operated by the organization of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

The researchers, who initiated the study at the request of the Tibetan exiles, say they observed documents being stolen from the Tibetan computer network. They said they traced the attacks to computers located in China, but didn't say who they thought was behind it.

A report by researchers at Cambridge University, also published Sunday, alleged the Chinese government or a group working closely with it was responsible for the attack on the Tibetans.
Officials at China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and State Council Information Office declined requests for comment Sunday. The Chinese government has repeatedly denied past allegations that it sponsors cyber attacks.

The researchers said officials working with the Dalai Lama became suspicious that their computers had been compromised after a foreign diplomat the office had contacted by email received a call from the Chinese government discouraging a meeting with the Dalai Lama. They contacted security researchers, who started an investigation in June 2008. The researchers said they discovered the other affected computers by monitoring the systems that had attacked the office of the Dalai Lama. The reports were first reported by the New York Times.

The apparent attacks are the latest to suggest cyberespionage is on the rise. Last year, Kevin Chilton, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said military computer networks are increasingly coming under attack from hackers trying to steal information, many of whom he said appeared to have ties to China.

The number of targeted attacks suspected of being espionage attempts detected by researchers at MessageLabs, a division of Symantec Corp., jumped from one or two per week in 2005 to an average of 53 a day in 2008. (more)

Online activists on the right, unite!

A warning from the Op-Ed section of the Washington Times..:

A digital war has broken out, and the conservative movement is losing. Read the comment sections of right-leaning blogs, news sites and social forums, and the evidence is there in ugly abundance. Internet hooligans are spewing their talking points to thwart the dissent of the newly-out-of-power.

We must not let that go unanswered.

Uninvited Democratic activists are on a mission to demoralize the enemy - us. They want to ensure that President Obama is not subject to the same coordinated, facts-be-damned, multimedia takedown they employed over eight long years to destroy the presidency - and the humanity - of George W. Bush.

Political leftists play for keeps. They are willing to lie, perform deceptive acts in a coordinated fashion and do so in a wicked way - all in the pursuit of victory. Moral relativism is alive and well in the land of Hope and Change and its Web-savvy youth brigade expresses its "idealism" in a most cynical fashion.

The ends justify the means for them - now more than ever.

Much of Mr. Obama's vaunted online strategy involved utilizing "Internet trolls" to invade enemy lines under false names and trying to derail discussion. In the real world, that's called "vandalism." But in a political movement that embraces "graffiti" as avant-garde art , that's business as usual. It relishes the ability to destroy other people's property in pursuit of electoral victory. ...(more)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Silver Lining- Steelers to lose Super Bowl Trophies

It's been a busy week-end.

I took some boy scouts to the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi. It's a cool place to visit and humbling but its not too good for sleeping, especially with 400 hundred other people on board. Let's also not forget that funky smell the Lady Lex leaves with you to take home....

Before we did that we visited the State Aquarium next door. A good time even though "Maverick" the hawk decided to boycott his part and thus shorten the show. In fact he boycotted the stage entirely settling first in a nearby palm tree and then on the roof of the aquarium building. Last I saw two handlers were having no luck getting Maverick back on their arm.

I traveled back to Austin and then took my cub scout to a "Space Derby". Kind of like a Pinewood Derby with the rubber band powered propeller driven craft "flying" on fishing wire. This was our Packs first time to try such an event.

So I am tired. Sunburned from saving seats to the dolphin show and my eyes hurt. But before I hit the sack I wanted to leave you with this from Right Voices. Now, I 'm a Dallas Cowboys fan so this was enough to get my attention:

Pittsburgh, PA. The Super Bowl XLIII Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, the only team to win six titles, will soon be losing half of those trophies. After a meeting between NFL Commissioner Rodger Gadel and President BarackHussain Obama, Obama decided to redistribute half of their Steeler Super Bowl victories and trophies to less fortunate teams in the league.

“We live everyday in the country that invented the Super Bowl.” said Obama “We are not about to lose this Great American tradition in the wake of these difficult times.” Obama’s plan calls for the Steelers, who are a successful NFL team, to give half of their Super Bowl trophies to teams that are not successful or have not been as successful as the Steelers.“The Detroit Loins are just as much a part of the same fiber of the NFL as the Steelers and they should, no rather will, be entitled to a Super Bowl Trophy as well.” Obama explains in his plan that he has imposed on Godel and the NFL.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, who by virtue of hard work, excellent team play, stellar draft choices, responsible investingof free agents, careful hiring of coaches and excellent community service and commitment to their fans, has prospered greatly during the past 30 years and have won six Super Bowl Trophies. But President Barack Hussain Obama’s plan calls for the Pittsburgh Steelers to carry the larger burden of the NFL’s less successful teams. Obama went on to further proclaim, “In these difficult times we are all in this to work together. We must reclaim the NFL Championship Dream for every team, for every city and for every fan.”

“My plan will not affect 31 of the 32 teams in the league.” Obama assures. That’s over 95 percent of the teams in the NFL will not have to worry about loosing any Super Bowl Trophies. “The worst teams in the NFL and the teams that can’t seem to get a break and win a championship will no longer have to worry about going without a title.” Obama promises. “We are a country and league of hope. We all need to make a change. It does not matter the color of the teams uniforms, the personal decisions that the teams make or their performance but rather if they are a member of this great American league.” The Super Bowl XLIII trophy will be redistributed to the 0-16 Detroit Lions. (more of this fine spoof here)