Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Three Fine Men

They say celebreties and famous people pass on from this life to the next in groups of three. Yesterday we were saddened by the loss of three individuals who contributed much to our world and our modern culture.

Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish film director and icon to film buffs worldwide died at the age of 89. "It's an unbelievable loss for Sweden, but even more so internationally," Astrid Soderbergh Widding, president of The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, which administers the directors' archives, told The Associated Press.

Bergman's film career spanned nearly seven decades and was celebrated by movie lovers for his insightful and compelling treatment of difficult subjects.

The Associated Press notes that Bergman, approached difficult subjects such as plague and madness with inventive technique and carefully honed writing, became one of the towering figures of serious filmmaking.

According to the TT, the Swedish news agency a date for Bergman's funeral has not been set but will be attended by friends and family.

Broadcasting Pioneer Tom Snyder died in San Francisco yesterday of complications from lukemia reported KNBC TV in Los Angeles.

Tom Snyder's smoke filled interviews of notables became a staple of late night television. Over the years Snyder had interviewed luminaries from the worlds of entertainment and popular culture. John Lennon's final televised interview was conducted on Tom Snyder's "Tommorrow" show.

A overview of Mr. Snyder's career and accomplishments can be see here.

And former San Francisco 49rs head coach Bill Walsh died at the age of 75 following a long battle with lukemia according to Stanford University where he had also served as coach and athletic director. Coach Walsh developed what would be known as the West Coast offense that would lead the 49rs to Super Bowl glory. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a bio of Bill Walsh that can be viewed here.

The Niners have a picture of their beloved coach admired by athletes, fans and rivals up on their website.

God's rest and peace be upon these three fine men and God's comforting grace be upon their loved ones at this time.

Monday, July 30, 2007

New British PM Hails Bush Leadership

Britain's new Prime Minister Gordon Brown praised President George Bush for leading the fight in the global war against terror, adding that the world owed America a huge debt.

Hurrah for Great Britain!

Thank you Mr. Brown for making plain what liberals, most of the broadcast media and timid politicians will never say while enjoying the benefits of safety in our land thanks to the leadership of this President. While the war is brought to the terrorists via special delivery by the Armed Forces of the United States, Great Britain and Coalition Forces, critics of George Bush will never acknowledge that they live free of the fear of being attacked by the minions of crazed sociopaths inspired by their own twisted version of Islam.

In words sure to shock Bush-haters everywhere the Sun reports, GORDON Brown last night praised George Bush for leading the global war on terror — saying the world owed America a huge debt.

The Prime Minister vowed to take Winston Churchill’s lead and make Britain’s ties with America even stronger.Mr Brown stunned critics by THANKING President Bush for the fight against Islamic extremism, and insisted the UK-US relationship will be his No1 foreign policy priority.

I love the part in the article where the word thanking is capitalized. I'm sure it came as a shock to Bush-haters.

The Sun article continues:

He said on his first visit to the President’s US retreat at Camp David: “Winston Churchill spoke of the ‘joint inheritance’ of our two countries.”

The PM said that meant “a joint inheritance not just of shared history but shared values founded on a shared destiny”.

He added: “America has shown by the resilience and bravery of its people from September 11 that while buildings can be destroyed, values are indestructable.

“We acknowledge the debt the world owes to the US for its leadership in this fight against international terrorism.”

.....the PM stressed America and Britain will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder.

He said: “I have always been an Atlanticist and a great admirer of the American spirit of enterprise and national purpose and commitment to opportunity to all.

Well said Mr. Brown.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Scott Thomas" Unmasked

Earlier today TNR revealed the identity of its diarist "Scott Thomas" as Scott Thomas Beauchamp a private and member of Alpha Company, 1/18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division operating out of Forward Operating Base Falcon in Iraq.

Five days earlier JD Johannes in his post titled "Johannes to Thomas, Radio Check, Over" surmised the location of the phantom author who had thought he would be able to operate in secrecy while he penned his missives about a soldier's life in Iraq . Beauchamp was wrong in that assumption. Based on the hyperbolic stories he told and the clues he so casually dropped about their suppossed locations it was easy for milbloggers familiar with Iraq to triangulate on his most likely location.

The Editors of TNR write in their online statement officially revealing the identity of their anonymous writer state that, some have questioned details that appeared in the Diarist "Shock Troops," published under the pseudonym Scott Thomas.

(Yes, to say so would be an understatement.)

They go on to mention that a formal military investigation has been launched regarding the incidents described in the series. (I can tell you Scott's not going to like that.)

The Editors then take pains to excuse their bit of sloppy fact-checking before going to publication with these stories.

Although the article was rigorously edited and fact-checked before it was published, we have decided to go back and, to the extent possible, re-report every detail.

They continue in their excuse making by noting, this process takes considerable time, as the primary subjects are on another continent, with intermittent access to phones and email.

Well, how can we expect busy people like the Editors of The New Republic to bother with verifying stories that appear in their publication? It's probably something they could have taken care of before they went to print only now they'll have to occupy their time printing all those retractions for their readers.

Having dispensed with sufficient harumping the Editors take a parting shot at the integrity of our troops.

Thus far we've found nothing to disprove the facts in the article; we will release the full results of our search when it is completed.

Not to be outdone and proving that birds of a feather really do flock together Private Beauchamp claims only the purest of motives and intentions.

My pieces were always intended to provide my discrete view of the war; they were never intended as a reflection of the entire U.S. Military. I wanted Americans to have one soldier's view of events in Iraq.

Of course Private Scott, why how could we miss the discrete tenor of your peices? The story you told of that Bradley Fighting Vehicle driver running over those stray dogs while the rest of the guys in his unit laughed was so touching. And that one about the funny Private who paraded around a dig site with the remains of a child's skull perched on top of his head? Who could forget that? And let's not mention the one about how some of the guys in the unit humiliated that woman in the "chow hall".

Private Beauchamp then fells his critics with the famous chickenhawk defense.

It's been maddening, to say the least, to see the plausibility of events that I witnessed questioned by people who have never served in Iraq. I was initially reluctant to take the time out of my already insane schedule fighting an actual war in order to play some role in an ideological battle that I never wanted to join.

Yes, fighting wars can wreak havoc on one's social calendar that's for sure. Scott's own motivations however in fighting the war appear to be less clear.

Michelle Malkin found an entry in Scott's own Blog that reads, “My goal is to become an incompetent leader that gets fragged by 30 something NCO’s at a forward operating base in Sadr City. Heres to the memories and stardust kid. love, Scott.”

Dean Barnett has more information on Franklin Foer's Man in Baghdad. What emerges from reading Scott Thompson Beauchamp's writings is that feeling that this is someone who wants to be the Jack Kerouac or Hunter S. Thompson of the 9/11 generation. Was TNR trying to publish a "Fear and Loathing in Iraq" series for its readership when it got burned by its wannabe diarist?

Ace of Spades has uncovered more than a passing link between The New Republic and Scott Thomas Beauchamp. It's being reported that Scott Beauchamp is either married or engaged to TNR staffer Elspeth Reeve. Ace concludes, Scott Thomas Beauchamp was not chosen for this job because he had some terrific amount of experience or credentials or integrity. He was picked for Plame-type reasons: He's married or engaged to someone at TNR.

Ace continues in his summation noting his conversation with someone named "Gracie" as his source inside TNR.

As Gracie reported to me, this is openly discussed in the TNR offices. One representative quote: "Frank[lin Foer] doesn't want to call [woman's] husband a liar." That wasn't Gracie saying that, that was someone else in the office, explaining the inter-office politics of this.

Gracie wrote to me, of all the embeds and milbloggers and real journalists they could have picked for the job, they instead chose to go with a very partisan, very inexperienced blogger just out of "laziness." Just because they knew him. Just because it was easy.

I actually think part of the reason was that they knew Beauchamp's politics -- he having put them on display on his goofy blog -- and so, just like with Valerie Plame, they knew the report was going to come back the way they wanted it when they sent him. But Gracie says it's just Occam's razor: Laziness.

Read the whole thing.

Libberrocky has more about the relationship of Elspeth Reeve and Scott Beauchamp.

Jeff Emanuel notes that Beauchamp is far from being out of the woods now that his identity has been revealed. For one there's that not-so-little matter of the military investigation into the events that he alleges occured in his articles.

Jeff notes that, if what he says is true, then he not only witnessed some very unfortunate examples of human depravity (not to mention potential war crimes), but participated in them.Had he really witnessed such things, and had he really wanted to make a difference in preventing them, then, as Major Kirk Luedeke (Public Affairs Officer for the 4th IBCT on FOB Falcon) said, the right course of action would have been to report it immediately – thus sparking a military investigation into the events he recounted, rather than – as is now ongoing – into himself and his gross impropriety.

Jeff also offers his services as an investigator to The New Republic.

I will be at FOB Falcon this September, working with the 4th IBCT, under whom Beauchamp’s unit falls. While I am there, I'd be more than happy to do whatever investigative work is necessary to either corroborate or debunk the stories and provided to you by Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Given the Stephen Glass episode of years past – and the speed with which questions were raised about this episode – I would say that your credibility could definitely use the boost of an outside source working to verify this for you.

Hugh Hewitt delivers the coup de grace in this whole sordid affair by observing that The New Republic probably won't take Jeff Emmanuel up on his offer.

He sums it up this way.

1. He's qualified.

2. He can't be guaranteed to deliver the anti-military fictions Beauchamp did.

3. He's not going steady with anyone at TNR.

Tinsel Town set to produce Iraq anti-war films

Set against the backdrop of Hollywood's run-of-the-mill anti-war sentiment and in time for General Petraeu's September report on our progress in Iraq Warner Independent Pictures on September 14th plans to release “In the Valley of Elah", a story based on the murder of Army Specialist Richard R. Davis four years ago. Specialist Davis was murdered by two of his fellow servicemen back from Iraq after a night of drinking at a Hooter's restaurant and topless bar near Fort Benning, GA.

The New York Times reports on the latest round of filming for a slew of soon to be released anti-war movies as Hollywood's latest contribution to the war effort. Speaking with the New York times reporter via telephone Director Paul Hagis states, “This is not one of our brighter moments in America, We should not have gotten involved.” Mr. Hagis maintains that, his film is not intended to enforce his point of view. Rather, he said, it is meant to raise questions about “what it does to these kids” to be deployed in a situation where enemies are often indistinguishable from neutral civilians, and the rules of engagement may force decisions that are difficult to live with.

Gee, sounds like something we've encountered before in our history, something!

And the men in uniform are just haples children thrust into the jaws of adversity by the evil American empire headed by the Sith George Bush and Dick Cheney. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Now we get it!

Too bad Hollywood doesn't.

To its credit the article does give a nod to the realities of returning Iraq war verterans with this passage:

By contrast, Dennis Griffee, a wounded veteran who is national commander of the Iraq War Veterans Organization, said he turned down a request to become involved with the film after learning that Susan Sarandon, a vocal opponent of the war, had a prominent role.

“At the very least it is offensive,” Mr. Griffee said of what he sees as a widespread refusal to acknowledge the troops’ pride at achievements in Iraq. He added that virtually every member of his platoon wound up in college, not jail, on return.

The current crop of tinsel town misfits can always be relied upon to stand behind our troops.....and push!

Revealing "Scott Thomas'" identity

JD Johannes at Outside the Wire has the solution for resolving whether "Scott Thomas" the mystery diarist of The New Republic actually exists.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Doubts spread around New Republic's "diarist"

The Drudge Report links an article published this morning in the New York Times about the controversy surrounding The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist". Since the publication of the latest in a series of three articles written by "Scott Thomas" the anonymous author of the "diaries" the Times reports several readers including a spokesman for the base where the mystery "soldier" is purpoted to be based have raised questions about the authenticity of events recounted in these stories.

Now the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost for Franklin Foer, the editor of The New Republic who permitted these highly suspicious stories to be published without giving them more than a passing examination. Mr. Foer says of his interview with the author that, he had met the writer and that he knows with “near certainty” that he is, in fact, a soldier.

How's THAT for fact checking your unimpeachable sources! Mr. Foer is almost certain that the author really is a soldier! Sounds pretty solid to me. (Not)

Now that The Weekly Standard, the National Review, milbloggers and a spokesman for the base where these incidents supposedly occured are questioning the veracity of these outlandish tales now the editor of the The New Republic wants to test the author's truthfulness.

This is not the first time The New Republic has entered the realm of journalistic fantasyland. The New York Times reports in, the late 1990s, under different editors, the magazine fired an associate editor, Stephen Glass, for fabrications.

Good luck with that investigation Mr. Foer.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

New Republic runs "hit piece" on the troops.

This week The New Republic that bastion of Liberal open-mindedness and tolerance publishes a dispatch (subscription required) that clearly shows where their sentiments lie with regard to our troops. The article titled "Shock Troops" is authored by a reputed soldier serving in Iraq who writes under the pseudonym of "Scott Thomas".

Immediately my B.S. sensors were activated upon hearing about this piece since the dispatch is essentially written annonymously and anything that follows can readily be attibuted to an author and publisher who have an clear agenda and a very big axe to grind. And grind away they do in this delightful bit of anti-American propaganda that harkens back to the cold-war days of KGB authored "news articles" circulated around the newrooms of European publications recounting ficticious acts of outrage committed by U.S. troops in Vietnam. For liberals everything involving the deployment and operations of U.S. armed forces anywhere in the world can be redacted to Vietnam and the 60's.

A number of milbloggers have commented on the disturbing stories that are recounted for the benefit of New Republic readers in the dispatch.

Here are some examples of The New Republic's brand of narrative on the exploits of American service personnel serving in Iraq as quoted by The Weekly Standard and Mudville Gazette:

In their opening salvo aimed at American troops TNR’s diarist recounts a story of how a woman badly disfigured by an IED and wearing an unidentifiable tan uniform in the “chow hall” is insulted and made the butt of jokes by two U.S. servicemen. The woman is so upset that she runs out of the room with her tray of food and nearly falls to the ground in the process.

The Weekly Standard in response to this disturbing item from the dispatch asks, "Is it possible that American soldiers would be so sadistic when confronted by a badly burned woman, who may be a fellow soldier? Well, yes: Anything is possible when it comes to human depravity. But consider: these are enlisted men who, by the author's own account, don't know who this woman is or what rank she might hold. (Incidentally, wouldn't soldiers be able to distinguish a soldier from a contractor--especially if she is a regular at the chow hall?) Would they really ridicule her with raised voices in a public place, on "one especially crowded day"?

Mudville Gazette also smells a rat and adds in his genteele way, ...military people wear military uniforms - the service uniform or the Physical Training uniform, AKA PT gear. and ALWAYS HAVE THEIR WEAPONS. Contractors wear civilian clothes and are rarely armed. (This has something to do with something called the Geneva Conventions, and also common sense.) Anyhow, this makes readily apparent who is military and who is not. In fact, it is the very reason MILITARY PEOPLE IN IRAQ ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO WEAR THEIR UNIFORMS AND NOTHING BUT THEIR UNIFORMS. Again, this doesn't prove Scott Thomas is a liar, only that if he is who New Republic claims he is, his ignorance exceeds that of any soldier of any rank I've ever met.

In another incident recounted by “Scott Thomas” TNR’s man on the scene, American soldiers discover a mass grave in an area southwest of Baghdad. The soldiers find pieces of clothing and human bone fragments buried among household objects. The author writes that a private finds part of a human skull almost perfectly preserved and places it on his head like a crown. The private then playfully marches around with the skull on his head while the other soldiers in his patrol drop their shovels and double-up with laughter at the sight.

The Weekly Standard observes: Again, American troops might be capable of such behavior. But most incidents of soldiers taking such war "trophies," to be blunt, involve dead enemy fighters, not massacred children. The questions pile up. Would a child's skull fit on the head of fully-grown man? Would pieces of flesh and hair still remain so long after the fact? Would American soldiers fail to report the discovery of a mass grave? Are there really units corrupt enough for a private to dare do such a thing for a day and a night?

Dishing out more dirt for his readers enjoyment “Thomas” spins a yarn about another private who loves to drive Bradley Fighting Vehicles..…over stray dogs. According to TNR’s “embeded” scribbler, the private would slow his Bradley down to lure the dog in as as the engine grew quieter would then jerk the vehicle hard to the right and snag the dog’s leg under the vehicle’s tracks. The driver would then drag the dog on the ground until it broke free and lay twitching dying in the road. The roar of laughter would be heard over the radio from other soldiers in the patrol.

These are not the words of any sane person writing about our troops in Iraq. These are the words of the worst kind of propagandist scrawling vile lies for desemination by regimes like North Korea, Hugo Chavez's nationalized media or the mullacracy in Iran. The first draft of this article was probably written in crayon!

Mudville Gazette responds: If you believe leadership in his unit is perfectly willing to allow soldiers to run amok in this fashion then you are ignorant of the US military today. Case in point: a unit here in Iraq was using the radio call sign "Aggressive". They had to change it to something else. Reason: "Aggressive" presents the "wrong image". This isn't an Orwellian effort - it is much more exemplary of the mindset of military leadership today than the sort Thomas describes (or infers from his description of those they lead). If he's actually in the military and he's lying, then words aren't sufficient to describe the sort of low life scumbag he is. If he (or she) is not in the military and is simply demonizing U.S. Soldiers for fun and profit, then he (or she) is simply doing what so many reporters find irresistible these days - providing gullible Leftists with what they are eager to believe.

I go with the latter assessment. The New Repbulic is dishing out what they know their readers want to believe about the U.S. Military.

Sensing an impending Mary Mapes/Dan Rather moment of unimpeachable modern journalistic professionalism The New Republic posted this Note to Readers:

Several conservative blogs have raised questions about the Diarist "Shock Troops," written by a soldier in Iraq using the pseudonym Scott Thomas. Whenever anybody levels serious accusations against a piece published in our magazine, we take those charges seriously. Indeed, we're in the process of investigating them. I've spoken extensively with the author of the piece and have communicated with other soldiers who witnessed the events described in the diarist. Thus far, these conversations have done nothing to undermine--and much to corroborate--the author's descriptions. I will let you know more after we complete our investigation.
--Franklin Foer

It's nice to know The New Republic will use its annonymous sources to weigh in on the veracity of its equally annonymous author's stories. You would think someone in Foer's position with a modicum of walking-around sense would have vetted a story like this BEFORE and NOT AFTER he published an incendiary piece like this in his magazine. But I guess Foer's readily apparent belief that members of the armed forces of the United States are just a bunch of ignorant, half-crazy, sociopaths with no other possible outlet in life persuaded him otherwise. He probably couldn't resist the chance to publish something that to him must have seemed like finding the Rosetta stone, even if it was written in crayon.

The Weekly Standard has challenged The New Republic on the authenticity of its article calling on the publication to provide more data to shore up the validity of the claims made in the piece.

Michael Goldfarb of the Standard writes, We contacted the New Republic in order to get any information that might help us to verify the authenticity of "Thomas"'s disturbing account, and the magazine, while insisting that it had promised to protect the identity of the author to shield him from retribution by the military, did provide us with some additional details. "Scott Thomas" claims that the incident at the chow hall occurred at Forward Operating Base Falcon. And the mass grave, he says, was discovered a couple miles south of Baghdad International Airport in farmland. We have also contacted the Pentagon in the hopes of getting more information to either corroborate or disprove "Thomas"'s account.

The Standard issues this request to its readers and observant milbloggers, ...we believe that the best chance for getting at the truth is likely to come from the combined efforts of the blogosphere, which has, in the past, proven adept at determining the reliability of such claims. To that end we'd encourage the milblogging community to do some digging of their own, and individual soldiers and veterans to come forward with relevant information--either about the specific events or their plausibility in general.

I believe this story falls into the Dan Rather "fake-but-true" paradigm for journalistic integrity. Don't hold your breath for The New Republic to take the effort to investigate its "source's" truthfulness. And while Franklin Foer will no doubt pronounce himself satisfied, very satisfied or extremely satisfied with the article's veracity methinks this story will wilt under the glare of dedicated members of the milblogging community who will expose this scurrolous pack of lies as the piece of journalistic trash that it is.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hillary Rebuked by Pentagon

Saying that her comments regarding the need for the U.S. Military to plan for a withdrawal from Iraq "reinforces enemy propaganda" Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman responded to questions Mrs. Clinton made back in May of this year. Clinton spokesweasel Phillippe Reines shot back that Edelman's answer to Clinton's demagogary was, "at once outrageous and dangerous," and indicated that the Junior Senator from New York would respond his boss Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

MyWay carries the story here.

Undersecretary Edelman deserves a commendation for speaking the truth about the Democrats and their dispicable meme which in effect calls for the defeat of the United States Forces in Iraq and surrender of that country's people to the murderous ambitions of Al Qaeda.

Good for you Eric Edelman! I hope we have more people of your moral fiber in places of authority call it for what it is when it comes to the traitorous rhetoric of the Democrat Party.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Americans see liberal bias in media

Flying in the face of the mainstream media's self-proclaimed neutrality, Americans by a margin of 2 to 1 believe the major news outlets "deliver news with a bias in favor of liberals." Rasmussen Reports in a survey of 1000 adults conducted between July 11th through the 12th of this year found that thirty-nine percent of respondents perceived a bias favoring liberal points of view in the media versus twenty percent who believed that the media tilts toward a conservative bias in their news coverage. Twenty-five percent believed the media were neutural in their coverage while sixteen percent said they were not sure of any bias in the media.

When you add up those who believe the media have either a liberal or conservative bias you end up with a public who believe by a margin of sixty percent that the media is biased in some fashion or another. Hardly the kind of stuff that gives you confidence that the media will report the news in an impartial and unbiased manner.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Live Earth Ho-Hum-A-Thon

Planet Earth was underwhelmed by AlGore's (known as the Goracle to the rest of you carbon spewing mortals) EarthLive world wide concert. Reuters reports that, U.S. and British media were generally underwhelmed on Sunday by Live Earth, the mega-concert organized by former U.S. vice president and green campaigner Al Gore, which, though built on the model of Live Aid and Live 8, created a less positive buzz.

Further in the report Reuters notes that, The New York Times' online edition on Sunday featured a small picture of the event and a headline linking to "Artsbeat Blog," and in Britain only the Independent on Sunday made anything more than a fleeting reference on its front page.

This whole idea is so overdone, overbearing and formulaic as to reside in the permanent environs of the banal.

Hey guys let's have a concert featuring _____________, ___________, and ___________. To bring World attention to _______________ that way we can bring the whole world's attention to ______________ and help stop _______________________. At the end of ____________ we can all feel good and congratulate ourselves that we have taken a step to stop/end/slow-down/raise awareness about the problem of _________________.

These people have totally become a parody of themselves.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Man of the People" John Edwards $1250 Haircut

How could the subject of humor ever be covered without bringing up John Edwards? The Washington Post has a story up about Joseph Torrenueva, the $400 hair cut man. Mr. Torrenueva is a hair stylist who makes his living cutting the hair of various Hollywood celebrities.

From the article:

The Beverly Hills hairstylist, a Democrat, said he hit it off with then-Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina at a meeting in Los Angeles that brought several fashion experts together to advise the candidate on his appearance. Since then, Torrenueva has cut Edwards's hair at least 16 times.

At first, the haircuts were free. But because Torrenueva often had to fly somewhere on the campaign trail to meet his client, he began charging $300 to $500 for each cut, plus the cost of airfare and hotels when he had to travel outside California.
Torrenueva said one haircut during the 2004 presidential race cost $1,250 because he traveled to Atlanta and lost two days of work.

"He has nice hair," the stylist said of Edwards in an interview. "I try to make the man handsome, strong, more mature and these are the things, as an expert, that's what we do."

Now there's a great reason to consider the guy for President, "he has nice hair". The part about John Edwards being "handsome, strong, more mature" normally would induce peels of laughter from most listeners. I give high marks to the reporter for not laughing in print. I suppose after a meeting with a foppish wannabe President Edwards, the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the notorious Middle Eastern trouble maker would come away from the meeting saying "I think we can do business, he has nice hair".

Now keep in mind that Edwards is too scared of Fox News to appear on their network and has his wife go out and fight his battles for him on a low-rated cable news show. And we're supposed to believe that he'll be tough on terrorists. Right.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

E Pluribus Unum

Out of many one. Since the founding of the tiny settlement at Jamestown to the present day may God continue to guide America and her people.

Happy July 4th!

The Constitution of the United States of America

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

With the signing in 1787 of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights in 1791 the founders provided for future generations the rights, privileges and blessings we enjoy today. Their work inspired by their faith in a righteous and eternal God stands as a testament to the proposition declared on July 4th 1776 that "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. "

The Republic is two hundred thirty-one years old today. Go out and celebrate!

And God Bless the USA!

(Reprint of the US Constitution and its Articles available at Cornell University Law School)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Former Islamic radical comes to his senses

A former Islamic radical speaks out about his former comrades in arms in this edition of the Daily Mail.

Hassan Butt writes, When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network - a series of British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology - I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy. By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.

I left the British Jihadi Network in February 2006 because I realised that its members had simply become mindless killers.

The author goes on to offer his insight as to how the problem of radicalism within the Muslim community can be resolved.

I believe that the issue of terrorism can be easily demystified if Muslims and non-Muslims start openly to discuss the ideas that fuel terrorism. Crucially, the Muslim community in Britain must slap itself awake from its state of denial and realise there is no shame in admitting the extremism within our families, communities and worldwide co-religionists.

If our country is going to take on radicals and violent extremists, Muslim scholars must go back to the books and come forward with a refashioned set of rules and a revised understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Muslims whose homes and souls are firmly planted in what I'd like to term the Land of Co-existence. And when this new theological territory is opened up, Western Muslims will be able to liberate themselves from defunct models of the world, rewrite the rules of interaction and perhaps we will discover that the concept of killing in the name of Islam is no more than an anachronism.

Wise words from a former Islamic radical who came out of the world of shadows and into the light of day. May more people who are in the grip of radicalism follow this young man's example.

Liberals Howl about Libby Pardon, Ignore Legion of Clinton Pardons

Howls of protest from the usual suspect are populating the airwaves and blogoshpere today over the President's pardon of Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The President released a statement on his Executive Clemency for Lewis here. It outlines very well the reasoning behind the pardon. (Singular)

I'm looking forward to hearing former President Clinton's explainations for the slew of commutations he granted to drug dealers, money launderers and perjurors on his LAST DAY IN OFFICE.

Terrorists Planned Attacks in British Hospitals

The Independant reports that the terrorists who left two car bombs outside a disco in Picadilly Circus used their work in Hospitals as cover for their planned actions. Five of the eight persons arrested by British authorities are said to be Medical Doctors.

The Independant states that under arrest was Bilal Talal Abdul Samad Abdulla, an Iraqi from Baghdad who arrived in the UK in April 2006. He is said to have been one of the two men in the Cherokee Jeep in the Glasgow airport attack, and is suffering from third-degree burns.
His companion, under arrest, is also from Iraq, while two other men, aged 25 and 28, arrested in Paisley yesterday, were said to be doctors from Saudi Arabia.

For its part the New York Times is finding a way to blame this on the British public by saying that poor Dr. Asha one of the terrorists arrested in connection with the attempted bombings and attack on Glasgow's Airport Terminal was affected by racism. Sweetness and Light gleans an excerpt from a New York Times puff piece about the poor neurosurgeon who faced racism.

In this town in the English Midlands where Dr. Asha settled, Simon Plant, 34, recalled in an interview that when Dr. Asha and his wife were interested in renting a modest red brick three-bedroom house last year on a cul-de-sac named Sunningdale Grove, Dr. Asha had a pressing question on his mind. “He seemed very concerned about racism in the area,” Mr. Plant said.

Mr. Plant said that it soon became apparent to him that Dr. Asha’s wife, who was arrested with him on the nearby M6 highway late on Saturday, had experienced racism in the community where the family had lived in Shrewsbury in Shropshire. “It was weighing on him,” he said…

Oh the inhumanity! The racism of the British public was weighing on him. (sniff, sniff.)

How could they be so horrible?

The Jawa Report relates an article about the planned bombing in Picadilly Circus by Hitchens who states that the placement car bomb was designed to kill women since it was planted at the site on "ladies night" and designed for the maximum effect of carnage. Hitchens writes, Liberal reluctance to confront this sheer horror is the result, I think, of a deep reticence about some furtive concept of "race." It is subconsciously assumed that a critique of political Islam is an attack on people with brown skins. One notes in passing that any such concession implicitly denies or negates Islam's claim to be a universal religion. Indeed, some of its own exponents certainly do speak as if they think of it as a tribal property.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Two Doctors Held in Glasgow Airport Attack

Sweetness and Light relates that two Muslim Doctors are being held for Saturday's attack on Glasgow's Main Terminal. The article states that, two doctors were among five people being held as terror suspects last night after the bomb plots in London and Glasgow. One was one of two men who tried to drive a blazing Jeep packed with petrol, gas canisters and nails into Glasgow Airport on Saturday.

I guess these guys have their own take on the Hippocratic Oath.

The Doctor's (I prefer to think of them as a couple of slimeballs who got medical degrees answering an ad in the back of a tabloid.) were among five arrested so far in raids related to bomb plots in Glasgow and London. The article reports that a bomb factory was found at an address in Scotland.

One security souce described the suspects as, highly-educated, articulate and intelligent people. That blows the whole liberal meme that terrorism is due to poor, uneducated, unfortunates who are just expressing their dispair at injustice out of the water.