Tuesday, February 28, 2006
A friend of mine pointed out how having any foreign country own pieces of American ports whether it be the equipment or not is, in all liklihood, a bad idea. I think the delay in the deal was intended to quiet the storm and at some point in the future the deal will sail through when no one is really looking.
Drudge was reporting on statements Karl Rove and George Bush made about the viability of Hilary Clinton as a general election candidate. They make an excellent point that Clinton has way too many unfavorable qualities and very muddled history to actually win a general election. Her recent moved to the center can be neatly exposed much in the same way they were with John Kerry. Of course, much like the NCAA Tournament, it is very much a matter of what kind of draw you get. If the Republicans screw up and nominate someone equally as bad as Clinton, it could create enough of a fickled nature in the electorate to put her in the White House. And no, Condi Rice is not the answer.
Protesters Want to Storm the White House
United for Peace and Justice is calling on all people, soldiers, CIA agents, and Wal Mart employees to gather at the White House on March 15th so they can attempt to overthrow the U.S. government. I really wish I was kidding about this. They are calling an end to the reign of terror by the Republican dictators. Apparently Bush is guilty of a bevy of international crimes, crimes against humanity, and it is also possible he may have accidentally kicked his dog in the Oval Office. And they are doing this all for Nat Turner, Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King(sorry no white heroes will be considered in this overthrow of the government). Of course the real laugher was the plan to set up a temporary government run by Amnest International and the Human Rights Watch-BAWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA--Sorry.
You know the last I checked advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government was a federal crime and since it is this little gathering is not protected by the 1st Amendment so I would ask that federal agents to please go and arrest these schmucks. And if an arrest is not possible just scare them, really badly. The other humorous part of this is they accuse Bush of being a dictator and that we need to return democracy to America. Let's see, Bush cannot even turn the operations of six U.S. ports over the a foreign company without Congress and influential citizen everywhere complaning about it to the point they put the thing on hold. Yeah, Bush is wielding some unchecked power there for sure.
And speaking of moonbat protest groups, someone came up with the brillant anti-PETA celebration. It is called: International Eat an Animal for PETA Day and it also occurs on March 15. What a great idea.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Finding a Blog...
For the past month or so I have taken an interest in blogging a lot of conservative political stuff and that has worked pretty well. Yet, I find it is also infinitely complex and fast paced. If you want to write heady stuff you have to do a ton of research, link sources, etc. Not to say I have not enjoyed it, I have and it has been a good exercise for my writing and analytical skills. At the end of the day(figuratively not literally) I seem to be rehashing other blogs. So at this point I am going to try my hand at an area I have a great depth of knowledge and that is sports. Debuting today is my third blog: Tar Heel Fan. My first blog called Justified by Faith is also out there and I plan to write on this blog as matters I that pique my interest hit the scene. My level of knowledge and the information I can process in sports, especially North Carolina basketball should make my work on that blog much better than what I am putting out here.
Carter backs Bush's stand on seaport-operations deal (Miami Herald)
Jimmy Carter thinks it's a good idea? If Jimmy Carter is supporting it that should be enough incentive to call the whole thing off.
Of course Jimmy Carter is also a complete hypocrite. Check out this quote from the article:
So the Carter trusts President Bush and his subordinates when it comes to vetting the new company and ensuring this will not compromise U.S. security at key ports but when it comes to issues like the NSA wiretaps he complains that Bush cannot be trusted to protect the civil liberties of U.S. citizens. Nice logic there Jimmy.''The overall threat to the United States and security, I don't
think it exists,'' Carter said on CNN's The Situation Room. ``I'm sure the
president's done a good job with his subordinates to make sure this is not a
No wonder Reagan took 44 states against this guy in 1980.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Israel's New Secret Weapon: The Llama
This kind of puts a whole new spin the children's book, "Is Your Mama a Llama?"
Did the Secret Service Cover for a Drunk Cheney?
Daily Telegraph Visits Gitmo
It is during incidents such as this that the guards have responded in controversial ways, such as abusing the Koran (the famous incident of a Koran being flushed down a prison lavatory is alleged to occurred during one such confrontation.) But fearful of a repetition of the prisoner abuse that occurred at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, the guards are under instructions not to retaliate.
Was that the Koran flushing incident of Newsweek fame I see passing before my eyes? The very incident which was proven to have been false at best or at worst not even perpetrated by a U.S. soldier? Yet the Telegraph article just tosses the allegation out there in the context of discussing how guards deal with prisoners who continue to resist. They do use the word "allege" but if on hand you raise the possibility that guard are abusing the Koran, then parentheitically point to a known incident as having allegedly occured right after than your are essentially tying the two together and giving validation to the latter. The incident which was reported by Newsweek and led to riots in the Muslim world(surprise!) was based on one unnamed source and later proven to have been a lie. Apparently the Telegraph did not get the memo or they actually believe the story to be true as originally told. Whatever the case may be, it is obvious this was an attempt to smear U.S. soldiers with an incident that they never committed in the first place.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
The Media is Whining
Everyone wants to talk about conspiracy? How about trumping up phony outrage and incredible hysterics over information delays or the VP's choice of an interviewer as a means to distract from the substance of the interview which showed a somber and shaken Cheney reliving the accident. How about the media actually reporting on what Cheney said instead of screaming bloody murder because he chose not to release the information in a manner the MSM deemed acceptable. Did anyone cry that Bill Clinton chose to make a 10 minute statement from the White House to admit he had been having a sexual affair instead of having a press conference and fielding questions? Of course not because the MSM thinks Clinton is the best think since FDR or JFK. I have listened to enough press conferences during this Administration to know that the last think Cheney would want to do is stand at a podium and field a bunch of idiotic questions from self absorbed, spotlight seeking reporters like David Gregory or be badgered incessantly by the likes of Helen Thomas who is as much a reporter as I am the Queen of England.
What's more in all of this is that the American public largely have little interest in the story. It was a hunting accident. The man is alive and although he has had complications, it appears he will be able to resume a normal life. Cheney has taken responsibility for the accident and though he did not make any apology for how the information was released, I am not real sure what the predilection the media have for attacking this aspect of the story. This is making news just for the sake of news. You cannot just let a story go away on its own, that would be too easy.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
I'll be back if anything happens.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Burger King Joins the Jihad
First embassies, now KFC?
The British and German embassies was also attacked, Reuters reported the following:
Stones and firecrackers were thrown at the nearby German embassy by a smaller crowd of protesters earlier on Tuesday.
"Europe, Europe this is the last warning. Mohammad is the Prophet of compassion, America is the cause of all misery," the crowd of about 50 chanted outside the German embassy.
Prophet of compassion indeed....
Monday, February 13, 2006
Cheney Hunting Accident
I happen to believe it was an accident and thankfully it was only bird shot which does considerably less damage than other times of ammunition. Accidents like this happen every day in American society affecting normal people in far worse ways that this poor guy. Of course my minds drifts back to another accident which occured to a fairly prominent New England politician who was driving late one night with a young female companion. The car ended up in the water and the valiant politician freed himself, and then swam to safety and then back to his hotel leaving the passenger to drown in the car. It was only the next morning did this individual seek any help from anyone. The matter was quietly disposed of with a minor charge against the driver and the poor girl is now six feet under. Based on the fatality rate of being with either Dick Cheney or Ted Kennedy, I think I would choose Dick Cheney. Or put another way:
Blasphemy as a Human Rights Violation
What a great idea! In fact as a Christian I would love it if we could get in on some of that action and include the following phrases as ones we consider blasphemous:
"Oh my God"
"For God's sake"
"For Christ's sake"
"For the love of God"
*Based on Context
This facist, oppression of speech is pretty fun! It could go a long way towards cleaning up a lot of the sewage that routinely flows from people's mouths.
Obviously I am joking, we all know that Christians will never be included in any such prohibition. In fact they may include any Christian language as something they would consider to be blasphemous.
Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin
Cartoon Jihad at UNC?
The Muslim Students Association at the University of North Carolina is demanding an apology from The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper at UNC, over an original cartoon of Mohammed drawn and published last week. From the News and Observer:
Philip McFee, a senior English major at UNC-CH who draws editorial cartoons for The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper, wanted to contrast peaceful tenets of the Koran with the violence and ransacking that erupted over the depiction of the prophet.
With only a small space to make his point in Thursday's Daily Tar Heel, the cartoonist depicted a turban-topped Muhammad between two mosque windows -- one with a Danish flag flying among fluffy, white clouds and another with a machete-armed man in front of a burning embassy.
On campus Muslims immediately responded asking for an apology and citing the prohibition against depicting the prophet Mohammed. So far the editor of the paper, Ryan Tuck, is standing firm by apologizing if people were offended but not for exercising free press and speech:
Ryan Tuck, student editor, posted a statement on a blog. He knew the cartoon would be controversial, he said in an interview Friday, but decided to publish it for a number of reasons, including his desire to spark discussion.
"I do apologize to any Muslim personally offended by the cartoon," Tuck said. "Sometimes that happens in the point of trying to make a larger point. But I do not apologize for publishing it."
Here is the cartoon in question:
The message of the cartoon is that while publishing the cartoons may have been offensive, the actions of Muslim extremists are even more damaging to Islam. McFee indicated that the cartoon was a positive one and should not be treated as an attempt to offend. Tuck was also correct to apologize for any offense but defend the right to publish this. At this point it is full-on McCarthyism where any depiction of Mohammed is objected to without first considering that, in this case, the artist was actually making a valid point in favor of Islam. The cartoon is a criticism of the Muslim extremists and should have been applauded by moderate Muslims. I also think McFee should be commended for his willingness to draw a new cartoon on this particular topic.
The statement by the UNC Muslim Students Association can be found here. They basically say that if the point had been made in a written article they would not object nor do they take issue with the right to free speech. While Tuck did tell the N&O he published the cartoon to spark discussion, the MSA alleges he did so as a blasphemous act and that any depiction of Mohammed is forbidden even a positive one such as this one. As of this morning two administration figures had also complained about the publishing of the cartoon and its "insensitivity"
Since the sharks are already circling I suspect a full apology and retraction is in the offing. Whether Tuck keeps his position is probably at issue to knowing how these things usually play out. Here is the email address for the editor of The Daily Tar Heel: Ryan Tuck. The feedback page for the Daily Tarheel can be reached here. Ryan Tuck should be commended for his stance on his right to publish this cartoon under the auspices of free speech.
The Editorial Board at The Daily Tar Heel has called Vice Chancellor Margaret Jablonski to task for co-authoring the aformentioned letter condemning the cartoon. The board says that Jablonski "holds a great deal of authority and comes off as condemning the actions of an autonomous organization." The board goes on to criticize the letter as "hyprocrisy" considering the UNC administrations long history of coming down on the side of journalistic freedom. They also call Jablonski's involvement a "slippery slope" in terms of the administration's interference with the editorial decisions of the campus paper. The article points lauds Chancellor James Moeser for his past defense "unfettered freedom of the press, even from our campus administration" and calls on him to continue that trend.
I hope Moeser and others at UNC continue to show the same fortitude in the face of blatant censorship gone awry.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
CNN is not showing the negative caricatures of the likeness of the Prophet Mohammed because the network believes its role is to cover the events surrounding the publication of the cartoons while not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy itself.
(1) How can you say your are covering events if you refuse to show the very thing which caused it. You had no trouble showing the U.S. miliary torturing prisoners in Iraq but suddenly a few cartoons make you squeamish?
(2) Not wanting to add fuel to the controversey is basically telling the world that if you create enough of a stir, CNN can be coerced into censorship by extreme acts of violence.
(3) Will CNN show the same kind of restraint when it comes to controversies surrounding Christianity? Can we expect the same kind of treatment or do Christians need to burn a few buildings first to ensure pictures of Kanye West as Jesus or "Piss Christ" do not get shown repeatedly?
This statement is a shift from the original company line which was "respect for Islam" Someone over in Atlanta must have realized how hyporcitical they must look trotting out respect for Islam with one hand and using the other hand to slap Christians by plugging the Kanye West Rolling Stone cover. This statement gives CNN a lot of leeway to dodge any restrictions on Christian insults since Christians do not tend to raise the same level of controversey as Muslim extremists.
As I have said previously, I think free speech should govern such decisions with deference given to people on showing things which might be offensive. In this case, if CNN showed the cartoons they would not be doing in a capacity to offend like Ted Rall does but rather in a presentation of the facts of a story. I also want consistency. There should not be double standards for one religion over another. You must either censor all, censor none or at the very least qualify such presentations which some sort of warning and aplogy to anyone who might be offended.
-I find predicting the major party candidates for 2008 to be interesting and almost impossible. Generally speaking the Democrats need a moderate who can engage the center and even court some moderate Republicans to win the national race. The problem is such a candidate will have a tough time surviving the primary since much of the far left controls the money and party apparatus. On the Republican side, I do not have a clue. Playing to the Christian conservatives is important while at the same time moderation on social issues is a key play to keep from appearing that the candidate is too far right. In both cases key blocs of voters could either bolt for a third party(i.e. liberals voting Green) or they simply could stay home(Christian conservatives tend to abstain from voting if neither candidate fits the bill).
As this point I do not have a clue who will come out for either party.
-Another Alabama church burned making it the 10th fire in a week. I was in Charlotte on Wednesday and was watching the local news when they broadcast the story of the second round of fires which occurred on Tuesday. The newscaster said(and I am not making this up): "authorities believe the fires may have been deliberately set" Gee, ya think! Nine churches burn; five on the first night, four more later on and the thinking is they might have been deliberately set?!?! My feeling is that this was the copy writing and not so much what the authorities may have said. If that is the case, they need to hire a new copywriter.
Friday, February 10, 2006
If Christians Were Like Muslim Extremists
Announcements in the Weekly Bulletin
The Men's Fellowship will be rioting this Saturday, Feb 11th beginning at 10 AM to protest the portrayal of rapper Kanye West as Jesus on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Men are reminded to dress in black and wear ski masks if possible. Anyone interested in helping make signs for the riot should meet at the church Friday, Feb 10th at 7 PM. Please bring large magic markers, signs will be provided.
Tired of appeasing the insults from pagans in our culture? Are you ready to stand up and be counted as a young follower of Christ? Sign up now for Youth Riot 2006. Join hundreds of area youth as they come together for a time of worshipping God and striking fear in the heart of unbelievers who dare blaspheme the name of God. Registration fee for the event is $100.00 and includes all meals, a free torch, a protest sign, ski mask, and commerative Youth Riot bandana. Check-in begins at 7 PM Friday evening followed by a time of worship. Rioting will begin promptly on Saturday morning and run through Sunday afternoon. Registration forms and permission slips available in the church office.
The Church Evangelism team will be going door to door Saturday morning in an effort to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are looking for some strong individuals who will serve as "enforcers" in the event those people we meet do not accept our message. All enforcers must be prepared to severely beat any person who rejects the Gospel. We also looking for a few volunteers to provide donuts and coffee. Please contact the church office if you are interested.
Riot Committee-Coordinates all rioting activity and makes the ultimate decision on which issues require a full scale riot and which ones merely require token threats and violence directed at the perpetrator of the offense.
Protest Logistics Committee-This commitee handles all logistical details of any protest activities such as making signs, preparing torches, mapping our march routes, purchasing clothing, and creating police diversions to enable rioters to achieve the maximum level of destruction.
Propaganda Committee-Addresses all media questions and issues statements and pictures intended to foment current riot operations. Committee members should have only a partial understanding of theology and Biblical text.
Sermon and Bible Study Topics
Love One Another, Hate Everyone Else
Freedom in Christ, Pagans in Fear
Striking the Fear of God into Others
Evangelism by Submission
God's Word is the Only Free Speech
The Wages of Sin are Death, Especially for the Pagans
The Rioter's Prayer
Of course this is an attempt at humor on my part. The truth of the Christian walk is one of obedience to God and while we defend the truth of Christ to the very last breath of our physical body, we will not take anyone elses life in the process.
More Kanye West
(Sigh) Is it Friday yet? Is it just me or has this kind of thing been going on all week?
I hate to inform Mr. West but the Canon is closed, has been for around 1900 years now. We will not be making any further additions to the current Bible. However, if Mr. West is really interested in having himself added to some kind of Biblical account perhaps he should contact the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses since they are constantly making their own additions or alterations. As for the rest of us well kindly take a pass. Thanks for stopping by. Have a nice day.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
"All we ask is that we not turn into a country like Iran where the President can do anything he wants."
Now seriously. I have one small request and that is for people like Howard Dean, Harry Belafonte, Cindy Sheehan, and anyone else on the left to go spend one week in Iran, North Korea, Venezuala, or if time travel were possible Nazi Germany. I would like them to go and spend one week and while they were there I want them to engage in the same criticism of the respective leaders of those countries as they do here in the U.S. and see how long they remain free or alive for that matter. I am not complaning that they criticize the President, I am not saying they do not have free speech. All I am saying is that they should choose their words more carefully and actually offer greater intellectual honesty in their analogies not to mention a dose of realism. These people have no clue what it means to live in a facist state or any place that actually engages in suppressing free spech and dissent. They have never experienced the terror of being thrown in prison for speaking out or lived under a leader who exercises absolute authority over every aspect of economy and the culture. If they were actually living in such a place or the U.S. had actually become such a place then they would not be free to go around and say the things they do because they would be imprisoned.
All I am asking is for these people to keep the debate on a realistic level with relevant comparisons and criticism intended for progress not cheap shots for the purposes of raising money.
Author's Note: Yes, I know Cindy Sheehan was arrested at the SOTU for wearing a T-shirt, she was released and received an apology. A Congressman's wife who was pro-war was also removed from the SOTU. The point: The Bush Administration was not suppressing free speech but rather some overzealous Capitol Police officers overstepped their bounds by removing them. If Bush wanted to suppress Sheehan, I would think that her plane to Venezuela would have suffered an unforunate mechanical problem, don't you?
Media Matters is Losing It
Media Matters, a left wing website focused on exposing "Republican spin and propaganda in the media" has taken to timing how much applause CNN shows during speeches by liberals in front of a predominantly liberal audience. According to Media Matters, Wolf Blitzer showed footage of the Rev. Joseph Lowery as he politicized/eulogized Coretta Scott King and her legacy during services honoring her on Tuesday. The segment in question on CNN's The Situation Room was being shown to two panelists one a Republican, the other a Democrat. During the segment, Blitzer showed Lowery referring to the failure to find WMD's in Iraq followed by 5 seconds of applause. The clip then cut to Lowery finishing his statement(after the applause had ended). Media Matters' complaint in this is that CNN chose to cut 18 of the 23 seconds of a standing ovation with occurred in between the two statements they showed. In their minds this constituted "doctoring" the video since people, who may not have seen the footage, would not have known that Lowery's statment drew such a positive response from the audience.
Now I get what Media Matters is all about. I think they are disingenious in their presentation because they act as though they are "truth detectors" for the media when in fact they only point media reporting which benefits the right while ignoring numerous cases where the media does the same for the left. I also understand the need to point out when a journalist or politician is wrong in reference to certain half truths or omissions, especially as it hurts your side or benefits the other, the right has their websites that do the same thing. That being said, Media Matters is really dropping to a new level with this one. If you follow the logic used here they are basically accusing CNN of cutting out the applause in an effort to minimize the popularity of Lowery's remarks and quell any thoughts by the viewer that what Lowery said was accepted or right in any fashion.
I would like to think there is a more plausible explanation. The editors at CNN cut out the 18 seconds of applause because it did not fit within the segment. According to Media Matters account this was not a news story review of the event or the actual broadcast. Wolf Blitzer was showing the remarks in order to elicit a response from a panel. It is more plausible that it was decided that rather than wasting air time by showing 18 seconds of applause from the audience, they should simply show the remarks only and the ask the panelists what they thought. Media Matters, of course assumed it to be part of the VRWC to quell dissent and CNN should have informed the viewer that the video had been edited. This is poppycock. If anyone has watched any speeches by any President, and the State of the Union is a great example, CNN and others will show portions of the speech(which are often interrupted by mainly partisan applause) and they refrain from showing the full length of the applause. It is asanine to believe that CNN or anyone else is going to waste 18 seconds of airtime, given the tight schedules shows are put under, to show partisan applause. This is the reality of what occurred here. Voting records show that 90% of blacks vote Democratic so it is a fairly safe assumption that the audience was (1) predominantly black and (2) that 90% of them were Democrats opposed to the President. Cropping 18 seconds of these people giving Lowery a standing ovation is the same as the networks cropping 18 seconds of people giving Bush a standing ovation during the SOTU or any other speech given in front of a politically friendly crowd. The point is that it added very little to the segment which was being shown. Media Matters, who is too busy looking for a propaganda snake under every rock, cries foul when CNN does what any news channel does, edit the video to fit the time alotted or the purpose of the segment. The other aspect that makes this so incredible is Media Matters assumption that the American viewer is inherently stupid. If this logic is to be believed then American news watchers are so dumb they have to be shown the entire footage. In the minds of Media Matters people if the viewers do not see the entire footage they may come to the conclusion that the audience, who was shown clapping for 5 seconds before the cut, might not have been wild supporters of sentiment expressed by Lowery. It also should be noted that most people will form an opinion on Lowery's remarks based on what he said, not on the reaction of the crowd.
Has the hatred of Bush and conservatives really reached a point where left wing media critics are really complaining about how much of the crowd reaction get shown? The only way this criticism makes any sense is if Blitzer had characterized the crowd reaction as being ambivalent or if CNN had a history of playing up crowd reactions in Bush speeches but cropped them from left leaning speeches they show. Short of those two conditions, it would appear to me that all CNN did was edit the video as a normal part of preparing the segment to air in a certain time frame and to serve a certain purpose.
Of course if Bush had stood up and said something which caused the crowd to cheer for 23 seconds and CNN chose to only show 5 seconds of it, would Media Matters complain then? I think not.
Charles Schumer is Not Completely Insane
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Political Rally Breaks Out at Funeral
Is this really the same idealogical group who agrees with not showing the Mohammed cartoons out of respect for Islam, but in the middle of funeral honoring King's wife they take to political grandstanding? I cannot speak for Corretta Scott King's political views. It is a safe bet she was probably a Democrat and may have even espoused some of these views. However, I do know she did a great deal of good in the world and fought nobley for the vision her husband had for racial equality(a vision every black leader since King has done a poor job of articulating or realizing in any meaningful way). So, based on her accomplishments why would Lowery and Carter cheapen her work in this world by using her funeral as an opportunity to score cheap political points. Also, regardless of what you may think of the man, Bush is still the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and the office alone should be afforded more respect than taking a politcal shot at him where he has no choice but to sit there. I thought Clinton was a repulsive and immoral human being who sullied the office of the Presidency with a sexual affair and lying under oath. However, he was still the President and by no means who I stand up in his presence and refer to those incidents. It was clear Lowery was playing to the crowd and no doubt thought his rhyming was clever as well.
This display showed an utter lack of respect for Bush and illustrated one stark principle the left seems vary familiar with: Why let a funeral get in the way of a good political rally.
College Basketball Armegeddon 2006: Part I
Best. Rivalry. Ever.
Tonight at 9 PM, Duke takes the little trek down 15-501 to Chapel Hill to renew what is widely held as the best and most intense rivalry in all of sports. Sure Yankees-Red Sox is intense and Ohio State-Michigan is big time college football but Duke-North Carolina in college basketball trumps them all. Consider these facts:
-Over the last 20 years Duke and North Carolina have won 5 National Championships(Duke-3, -UNC-2) Only Connecitcut and Kentucky have one multiple titles in that stretch with 2 apiece.
-Since 1986 only four Final Fours have taken place without Duke or North Carolina in attendance(1987,1996,2002,2003). Duke has been to the Final Four 10 times and UNC has been 7 times(they were both at the 1991 Final Four but did not play each other) in that span.
-Both teams are perennial top 25 programs.
-The school are only eight miles apart. Eight. Miles. Apart.
This is tatmount to having two nuclear superpowers sharing the same border with a vitrolic hatred for one another. They are also members of the same conference, the ACC, which means they play at least twice each year, sometimes three if they meet in the ACC Tournament, but so far they have never played in the NCAA Tournament(although they came close in 1991 and 1998).
Some of my favorite games include UNC's 75-73 comeback win last March. The 1995 classic in Durham with UNC winning 102-100 in 2OT following a 30 foot game tying shot by Duke's Jeff Capel to force overtime and a sick Jerry Stackhouse dunk on Duke's Cherokee Parks. The 1991 ACC Championship game was fun with UNC blowing Duke out a week after Duke had beaten UNC in Chapel Hill. I also have fond memories of two games in 1989. The ACC Championship game which UNC won 77-74 was the first time since 1982 the Heels had won the ACC Championship. The end of that game included a three-quarters court heave from Danny Ferry that bounced off the rim and would have tied the game. The first meeting in 1989 was paritcularly memorable because UNC came to Durham ranked #13 to Duke's #1. Starting senior point guard Jeff Lebo was injured and sophomore King Rice had to pick up the reins. UNC blew Duke out(I am unsure of the score) in one of the more exciting games in the series. Of course one game which my father always talked about but occurred before I was born was in 1974 when UNC trailed Duke by 8 points with 17 seconds left. Benefitting from some turnovers and missed Duke free throws, UNC guard Walter Davis tied the game at the buzzer with a 30 foot jumper(no three point line at this point) UNC went on for the win in OT.
It does not seem to matter what the records are or who the players are, this game is intense. Having watched UNC basketball for over 25 years I can tell you that Duke-UNC feels exactly the same as watching UNC in a NCAA Tournament game and almost reaches the same level as a National Championship game. If these two would ever end up in the NCAA Final together, I am not sure I would make it through.
GO HEELS! BEAT DUKE!
Ray Nagin and Foreign Aid
Now I have really had enough of Nagin. Let us consider a few things:
1. According to The Washington Post, a new relief package of $18 billion is forthcoming and it would bring the total of federal relief money for hurricanes Katrina and Rita to over $100 billion. According to Wikipedia, the federal government had previously offered two relief packages: $10 billion and $51 billion all within 10 days of the storm. New Orleans was obviously devasted, but so were other regions of the Gulf, including Mississippi. It also should be noted that while blaming the President is fashionable, Congress actually handles appropriations of money so why not call on Senators Mary Landrieu or David Vitter to get off the dime and push for some more money.
2. While I do not have the numbers, there has been a massive private relief effort in full force since the disaster. President Bush tapped his father, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to lead a private campaign to raise money for relief. There have also been countless churches and other charities on the ground helping people rebuild. The point is that is should not all come from the Federal coffers.
3. Nagin needs to go ask his governor Kathleen Blanco why she spent over half a million dollars on remodeling the executive offices. Nagin is quick to call Bush on the carpet but offers no criticism of his own governor who thought her office remodel was a higher priority than rebuilding her state.
4. If Nagin wants to ask for foreign aid, that's fine considering the countless billions of dollars we have spent bailing other countries. In the case of France, how many American soldiers are buried in Normady in our effort to save them from a facist regime? It would seem that every time there is an earthquake or tsunami countries come to the U.S. with one hand out for money and another hand to slap us with after they get it. It would be nice if they would return the favor.
5. As for asking for Bush's undivided attention, Nagin needs to realize that Bush is busy running the entire country so it may be a little difficult to offer his undivided attention. As I mentioned above, a new $18 billion package is coming soon. That same article from The Washington Post also points out no new relief for Katrina in the new federal budget but then again that budget does not kick in until October so it would not be of much value anyway at this point. I also happen to think that the previous $61 billion that has been authorized probably has not been fully expended yet.
6. Nagin, being a good Democrat, thinks government money is the solution to everything. He probably thinks the more money they throw at New Orleans the better things will be. Of course I have a problem with Federal money being used to build a "Chocolate City" that seems a little discriminatory but "the dessert cart must roll on"
Finally, if the French are so interested in helping New Orleans, is there any chance they could take Ray Nagin back to France with them?
Monday, February 06, 2006
Personally, I have no problem with the program. I think it only makes sense for the Administration to engage in this kind of surveillance considering the type of enemy we are pursuing. I simply do not buy into the rhetoric from the far left that Bush is tapping every phone and the comparison to Nixon, who wiretapped anyone he did not like, is a little short sighted since there is no evidence purely domestic calls have been tapped nor has anyone not connected to terrorism making an international phone call been tapped. General Michael Hayden from the NSA clearly stated on Fox News Sunday yesterday that the idea the NSA was casting a drift net and flagging every keyword on every was not true. Why do I believe him? Because Americans in 2003 alone made around 200 billion minutes of international phone calls(I can only imagine what the domestic total is). It would require huge resources, very large computers with endless storage to comb that many phone calls for keywords. Based on the sheer volume alone one must conclude that such surveillance would be targeted very specifically in order for it to be efficient.
Rant Mode: ON
Of course the issue here is whether the law has been broken. I think it is murky at best, but in any event I think the President made a decision based on a motivation to keep the nation safe at a time after we had been brutally attacked and 3000 Americans were dead as a result. This and the war on terror seems to be lost in this whole saga. Do we not all agree that the program is a valuable tool in fighting the war on terror? Are we not all concerned with using the best available methods to win this war? Then the best thing both parties can do is stop wasting our time with the dog and pony show hearings, introduce specific legislation to establish the program, set up proper accountability, and fully engage this specific tool in the fight against Islamic facists. Those in Congress, particularly Democrats, need to put up or shut up on this issue. They need to either step up, offer a way to address their concerns, and set the program up in a way which will put everyone at ease or they can can continue to play politics with national security all for some half crazed, half baked vendetta of hatred against the current President. While some are saying FISA already covers this the Administration seems to disagree. So why don't both sides hammer out something which addresses everyone's fears and laments so we can continue to use the incredible technological advantage we have on these terrorist and keep America safe. After all that is what the founding fathers had in mind when they set this government up: civil debate leading to working compromises for the good of the Republic.
Rant mode: OFF
The Cartoon Wars Continue
When Jesus was arrested, one of His disciples drew his sword and lopped off the ear of a servant accompanying the arresting party. Jesus healed the servant and offered this rebuke:
"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?"
And when Christ was questioned by Pilate he was asked, point blank, if He was indeed a king:
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."
The contrast is stark. Here was Jesus, who amid being taken into custody, refused to take up arms in physical conflict. Much of this has to do with the mission He was to fulfill, which was the sacrifice of His life for the sins of man. However the greater element of this is the soverignty of God and the eternal nature of His kingdom. Christ immediately pointed out that God was in complete control and He did not need any man to defend him because with one word he could bring more than 60,000 angels to His side. Christ also pointed out that if He were an earthly king seeking an earthly kingdom then bloodshed would have been the order of the day. Christ however was taking up a different battle, the battle against sin. And He clung fervently to the will of the Father that when it was all said and done God would prevail and all His enemies would be brought to submission.
These reasons hold true for Christians today because as Paul stated in Ephesians we do not fight physical wars but rather spiritual ones using the word of God and our faith. Christians are not seeking an earthly kingdom, but are sojourners in this world awaiting the kingdom of God, which is to come. When someone offends my faith my reaction is hurt and offense, but never retaliation because it is not a physical war but an spiritual one. In such a war our chief weapon is prayer, our primary hope is that God's salvation would reach the person who attacks us, and our confidence is that no matter what, God is in control and also that God will ultimately judge us all.
Of course this begs the question be asked of those rioting Muslims: Is it an earthly kingdom you are fighting for or an eternal one?
Saturday, February 04, 2006
The Real Facists
To anyone who claims the "religious fundamentalists" are destroying the country.
To anyone who claims conservatives are bigots and narrow minded.
To anyone who claims the Bush Administration is taking away liberties.
To anyone who has claimed that Republicans, Conservatives, and the Right are all Nazis bent on destroying the Constitution, imposing a theocratic state, oppressing dissent, quelling free spech, and converting this country into utterly facist dictatorship similar to George Orwell's 1984.
To all of these people I present the real anti-freedom, "religious fundamentalist" bigoted facists:
We are in a real war against an enemy who seeks to destroy all manner of opposition to their ideals and beliefs. Free expression is unknown to these people, dissent is met with violence, and there is one goal and one goal only: the supremacy of their beliefs over any other both in the way people think and in the way the world map is drawn. If that sounds familiar to anyone, it should, it was the same thing we heard out of Germany in 1939.
This is the war we are fighting and anyone who wants to continue to waste their time accusing their fellow Americans and the current Administration of being facists and fanatics needs to take a step back and see who the real facists are.
Photos: The Drudge Report
Friday, February 03, 2006
The Difference Between Us and Them
The difference between Us and Them: No one's proclaiming an International Day of Anger and issuing fatwahs over this odious piece of "art." No one's taking up arms, raiding the art museum, or kidnapping the artist. No one's going to blow himself up in protest.
And it is not like the first time we have seen this behavior from Muslims. When Newsweek ran the erroneous story that U.S. Solders at Gitmo were flushing copies of the Koran down the toilet, it resulted in widespread rioting in Afghanistan. The point is that for Christians, we may get offended by stuff like this, we may get angry, and we might even protest it in some way, but we do not go around exacting physical judgement on people for insulting our faith. Why? Because Christians operate with a worldview of eternal life of which this is life is just a passing moment. We also operate on the point of view that God is sovereign and in control of all things. I would not go as far as to say "Vengance is mine says the Lord" but for the most part we leave the ajudication of such sins in the hands of God. God is big enough to deal with people who blaspheme His Name without any help from me and my fellow believers. If Muslims think it is necessary to rise up in violence against those who would ridicule their religion what does that ultimately say about Allah and his alleged dominion of the world. God made it clear that judgement will come and each person will be held accountable for their actions with the righteous in Christ entering into Glory and the sinners into damnation. If you want to insult me and my God, go ahead. I will pray for you that you might receive salvation before the day of judgement comes. Otherwise it is not my responsiblity, outside of a passionate defense of the Gospel for the purpose of evangelisim, to render death sentences on other people for the things they do wrong.
As for the spinnster's line that Islam is the "religion of peace" I offer these lines from the Bible to illustrate what being a "religion of peace" really means:
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse" Romans 12:14
"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:44-45
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you" Matthew 5:38-43
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Muslims are apparently enraged concerning cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in European newspapers this week. As is always the case here death threats are being issued and bounties posted in an effort to bludgeon Europe into stifling free expression just because it ruffles a few Islamic feathers.
As a Christian in America, I am a little marveled at how upset Muslims are over simple cartoon caricartures when Hollywood and the American media deliver far more offensive material in Christianity's direction on a regular basis. Michelle Malkin references some of those including the cover Rolling Stone which depcits Kayne West with a crown of thorns with the title "The Passion of Kayne West"
Malkin also points out that both NBC and CNN declined to show the cartoons in their on-air stories "out of respect for Muslims" This of course coming from NBC who recently cancelled an extremely offensive depiction of a clergyman's life in a series called "The Book of Daniel" and according to the American Family Association plans to mock the Crucifixion in an episode of "Will and Grace" featuring none other than Britney Spears as a conservative Christian.
Not that I am suprised by any of this, but it is amazing the double standard used for Christianity in comparison to other religions. If you insult a Jew, the Anti-Defamation League is all over you, if you insult Muslims, a group like CAIR is breathing down your employer's neck asking for your job. However if you insult Christians and the AFA or any other reputable Christian group complains they are largely dismissed as fundamentalist wackos. I have failed to understand that even after Mel Gibson made close $400 million dollars with The Passion of the Christ proving that if you provide accurate treatments of Christian topics they will respond in droves, the media still thinks knocking Christians around on TV and the movies is a great idea.
Then I am reminded of the words of Christ in John 15 when he said:
If the people of this world hate you, just remember that they hated me first. If you belonged to the world, its people would love you. But you don't belong to the world. I have chosen you to leave the world behind, and that is why its people hate you.
For a community that takes pride in progressive values, it’s shameful that Hollywood’s homophobia may be on a par with Pat Robertson’s.
So just so we understand the point. Anyone who refuses to see Brokeback mountain is essentailly a "homophobe" and therefore in the same company as Pat Robertson. First, let me say that I think Pat Robertson is out of touch with reality and grounded theology for that matter so to paint people with the brush that they are just like him strains credulity. Secondly, Ms. Finke needs to understand there for some of us there is the little thing called morality. In my case and for many others I know, think homosexuality is a sin. Yes, we do draw this from the Bible which also informs practically every part of our lives. However, it should be noted that not only do we think homosexaulity is a sin and we do not wish to watch gratuitous homosexual acts on the big screen. We also think leaving your wife and children to pursue a sexual relationship with anyone else whether they be man, woman, or Martian is also immoral. If you had case a man and woman having sex on the range prior to marriage, we would think that was wrong. If you have them part ways and each marry someone else only to engage in weekend flings over the course of the intervening years we would also think that was wrong. We also find excessive and unnecessary violence immoral, though we do allow for violence as it is portrayed in historical events such as Saving Private Ryan. We also think profanity is wrong, especially the ones that employ the name of God and His Son in a meaningless diatribe of cursing.
What is the point? It is that some of us do not watch movies with overtly immoral activities, themes, and characters because it is contrary to our world view nor we enjoy having such things shoved in our face as though it is completely normal. Finke may be right about Hollywood types who do not see a problem with homosexuality but shun the film as being hypocrites. Of course I believe sex inside of marriage is beautiful and as God intended it to be, but it does not mean I want to see a movie where it is graphically portrayed. And if that was not enought Finke also goes out her way to make this a full on Republican/Right Wing/Religious Nutjob issue by saying:
Sure, even without seeing the movie, they could feel guilt-tripped or succumb to a herd mentality to vote for the gay-cowboy movie and strike a blow against Republican wedge politics and religious hatemongering.
So, people who think homosexuality is immoral are engaging in "religious hatemongering?" The only hatemongering I see here is Finke's persistent hatred of people who hold different idealogies on morality and behavior than her own. But I digress.
But don’t be surprised when gossip columns soon start outing category rival and current front-runner Reese Witherspoon as a Ku Klux Klan member or, worse, a Republican donor
The last line was classic liberal garbage as she had the audacity to say that a person who is an active member of the Republican party is worse than the KKK. You know the last time I checked, there is one person among the two major parties who was a card carrying member of the KKK and that is Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. In fact if Finke wants to get into the racial issue, she should provide numbers as to how many black people are members of the Academy just as an illustration of how progessive Hollywood is on the race issue. She can also tell us why it was not until the last few years we saw a black person win Best Actor awards at the Oscar ceremony. In fact in the Bush Administration, black people have held prominent roles such as Secratary of State(twice), Secratary of Education, and National Security Advisor. It should be noted that they have been flogged as traitors of their race for doing it in a clear illustration of true hatemongering.
As far as I am concerned, Ms. Finke can do us all a favor and kindly go away because besides the various immoral acts listed above, I also find intellectually dishonest, race card playing, profane, hack writers to be a travesty as well.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Cindy Sheehan and Federal Law
Cindy Sheehan, as soon as she posted bail, issued a letter to Michael Moore's website in which she decried her treatment at the hands of the Capitol Police. Here is an excerpt:
Wow, I get hauled out of the People's House because I was, "Protesting."
I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."
After I had my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt. came in and looked at my shirt and said, "2,245, huh? I just got back from there."
I told him that my son died there. That's when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain.
What did Casey die for? What did the 2,244 other brave young Americans die for? What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm's way for still? For this? I can't even wear a shirt that has the number of troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies are responsible for killing.
Yes, Cindy it is true that you cannot do what you did inside the Capitol and not because Bush or the neocons say so, but because Federal law says so. US Code Title 40, Subtitle II, Part B, Chapter 51, 5104, section e-2 says:
(2) Violent entry and disorderly conduct.— An individual or group of individuals may not willfully and knowingly—
(A) enter or remain on the floor of either House of Congress or in any cloakroom or lobby adjacent to that floor, in the Rayburn Room of the House of Representatives, or in the Marble Room of the Senate, unless authorized to do so pursuant to rules adopted, or an authorization given, by that House;
(B) enter or remain in the gallery of either House of Congress in violation of rules governing admission to the gallery adopted by that House or pursuant to an authorization given by that House;
(C) with the intent to disrupt the orderly conduct of official business, enter or remain in a room in any of the Capitol Buildings set aside or designated for the use of either House of Congress or a Member, committee, officer, or employee of Congress or either House of Congress;
(D) utter loud, threatening, or abusive language, or engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct, at any place in the Grounds or in any of the Capitol Buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session of Congress or either House of Congress, or the orderly conduct in that building of a hearing before, or any deliberations of, a committee of Congress or either House of Congress;
(E) obstruct, or impede passage through or within, the Grounds or any of the Capitol Buildings;
(F) engage in an act of physical violence in the Grounds or any of the Capitol Buildings; or
(G) parade, demonstrate, or picket in any of the Capitol Buildings.
I will allow that perhaps she could have been told to cover the shirt or she would have been removed. However even though she says she would have, I am betting she would have refused just to illicit the arrest so she could launch into another tirade over lost liberties, etc. Also, even if she covers it up then, what's to say she would not unzip the jacket later in the speech or even attempt to disrupt it by standing up and drawing attention to herself. Based on the account she gave, it sounds like the Capitol Police are on the lookout for any protesters and restrictions are pretty tight in respect to that. The statute is clear that disruptions and protests inside that Capitol are prohibited. This would appear to be the case whether it is wearing a shirt which carries a protest message or raising the possibility of an even greater potential disruption at some point during the speech. For all the whining we hear about following the law, Cindy seems to want to ignore relavant Federal law when it applies to her attempt to grandstand on national television during a Constitutionally mandated event.
Cindy picks up on a common theme from the left and that is the suppression of civil liberties. She also goes for the sympathy line over how much she has lost, not just her son mind you, but her rights and her country as well. Speaking only for myself, I can tell you losing my child would rank well above losing anything else I might have and I would never go as far as to equate it with losing my 1st Amendment rights or my country, none of which, in reality, are actually happening. Perhaps I am being harsh, but I have zero respect for a person who would use their child's death as a vehicle for some kind of misguided politcal agenda. I have no problem with her protesting the war and even doing so because she lost her son in it. The problem is she is not engaging in the debate on any level of reality. Cozying up the Hugo Chavez, saying that New Orleans is occupied by Federal troops, screaming that the war is about Israel and oil, and saying America is not worthy dying for clearly puts her outside of the much talked about "mainstream" of average American thought. There are ways to carry out effective protests which actually move the debate and honor your fallen loved one. Cindy Sheehan has yet to figure that out.
Update #1: The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that, Beverly Young, wife of Republican Represenative, C.W. Bill Young, was also removed from the gallery for "protesting" Mrs. Young was wearing a T-shirt which said "Support the Troops-Defending our Freedom" According to the article she was told by Capitol Police officers that wearing the T-shirt was tatamount to a protest.
Basically the Capitol Police will remove anyone wearing a T-shirt with a message on it regardless of party, allegiance, or stance on the war. This is further evidence that the Capitol Police were operating within the normal scope of their procedures for asking Sheehan to leave. There is in an inconsistency in the fact Young was not arrested but Sheehan was, however, I think this quells any notion that 1st Amendment rights are being suppressed and the President is taking out his critics using security forces.
Update #2: Via Redstate.com, a picture of Cindy Sheehan being "roughly" removed from the gallery:
Seems to be one hand on her upper arm as she is holding her jacket in her other hand, not both hands behind the back. Do we really believe that he would roughly force her up the steps in full view of all those people?