24 November 2009

News of the Week + Commentary

The Kennedy Family in the News -
WASHINGTON — Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has forbidden Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy to receive the Roman Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion because of his advocacy of abortion rights, the Rhode Island Democrat said Friday...

Kennedy said the bishop had explained the penalty by telling him “that I am not a good practicing Catholic because of the positions that I’ve taken as a public official,” particularly on abortion. He declined to say when or how Bishop Tobin told him not to take the sacrament. And he declined to say whether he has obeyed the bishop’s injunction.

These are the rules of the game. If you belong to the Church and you are a strong advocate of abortion - don't expect the two to mix well. Don't blame the Church for not changing their rules for you.

* * * * *

Global WarmingGate - Yes Dorothy, there are Scientists with Political Agendas.

What happened to the good ole days of Global Cooling? That's the disaster scenario that I grew up with.

* * * * *

Israel gives cold shoulder to Hamas' rocket-cessation statement
JERUSALEM, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Hamas announced on Saturday it reached an agreement with other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip to only fire rockets against Israeli targets in response to any future Israeli military incursion into the coastal enclave.

Just hours after the Hamas statement, Israel responded to a rocket attack fired from Gaza earlier on Saturday. Israeli aircraft targeted what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said were two weapons-making facilities in northern and central Gaza and one smuggling tunnel under the border between Gaza and Egypt.

What rockets officer? I didn't see no rockets! And for sure I didn't know about any weapon-making facilities!

* * * * *

President Obama the Stand-Up-Comedian
Obama did not mention the looming decision in his remarks to U.S. troops, referring to the Afghan conflict only by thanking South Korea for its efforts and expressing gratitude to the American soldiers who have served there.

But he did discuss the region in his meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, whose government has is sending 150 civilian aid workers to Afghanistan.

Obama arrived on the base 3:19 p.m. local time (1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time), and received a rousing welcome from 1,500 troops in camouflage uniforms, many holding cameras or pointing cell phones to snap pictures.

"You guys make a pretty good photo op," the president said.

Standing on a riser wearing a blue suit and red tie, with a cluster of troops and a large American flag behind him, Obama expressed "the gratitude of the American public" and said his meetings in four countries over eight days in Asia will help deliver a "safer more prosperous world for all of us."

He got a huge cheer when he told them he was increasing military pay. "That's what you call an applause line," he said, before boarding his jet and taking off at 4:11 p.m.

The military is one big joke - he's looking for the photo-op and the applause line. That's what you call a good Commander-in-Chief.

Hasan is NOT a PTSD Victim!

Along with President Obama "not jumping to conclusions", the media has been very careful to steer clear of Malik Nidal Hasan's Muslim religion when reporting on the Fort Hood massacre. Rather than focus on the obvious fact that the attack was perpetrated by a Islamic terrorist, the media decided to create a new and novel condition - Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder (rather than Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Amazing, since there was no such condition until the media had to find a direction away from the obvious.

While discussing the attack National Public Radio's reporter Tom Gjelten gives us background on the attacker.
GJELTEN: Nidal Hasan was born here in the Washington, D.C. area in Arlington. His parents were Palestinian immigrants, it seems. He went to local schools, graduating from Virginia Tech, joined the Army. He spent basically his whole adult life in the Army. That's where he received his medical education. He was trained as a psychiatrist by the Army and served for several years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, ironically specializing in the treatment of combat stress. He was then transferred to Fort Hood earlier this year. He was due to be deployed, apparently to Afghanistan. We've heard from various sources that that bothered him, for whatever reason. We know he was a devout Muslim, took his faith very seriously. We can't say, of course, that that was relevant, here.

Right, religion is never relevant.

The ability of the media (and the President) to ignore the obvious is mind boggling - especially when it effects the security even in our own military bases here at home.

I wanted to bring to our readers the reaction of a real hero - J.R. Salzman - a wounded Iraq War veteran who lost his arm while fighting for our freedoms overseas when he heard about the media's contortions. I recommend reading the entire post by clicking on the above link.
I’m more than a little angry right now. Yes, I’m irate that some sh-tbag Major (“sh-tbag” is often used as a technical term in the Army) opened fire on a group of his fellow Soldiers killing 12 and wounding 30. But that’s not even what is under my skin right now. What is bothering me is the general reaction of our media and those stupid enough to think this was not an act of terrorism, but was caused by supposed PTSD caused at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

You want to know what PTSD is like? I'll tell you. You have nightmares that go on for weeks. Mine would always be the same. Wherever the window was in the room in which I was sleeping I would see a bright white flash. I would wake up screaming to my wife “Get up! Get the f-ck up! An IED just went off!” Sometimes I would just wake up screaming in agony as I relived the moment where my right arm was ripped from my body by an Iranian shape charge....

If you can get PTSD from treating soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center then why the hell haven't more people snapped? Why haven't all the therapists in physical therapy and occupational therapy, and all the staff on Ward 57 ran around shooting up the place? They have seen far more wounded Soldiers than this POS ever did. My occupational and physical therapists, like many of the civilian personnel at Walter Reed, have been there since the beginning of OEF. They have taken care of countless (probably hundreds) Soldiers with a variety of different injuries.

Let us not dishonor those who serve by lumping Hasan with them by claiming he has a form of PTSD. It's dishonest to do so. Hasan is a terrorist - plain and simple.

16 November 2009

The Arab Occupied Territories

In honor of the recent threats of the "Palestinians" to unilaterally declare a state I am revisiting here an article I wrote back July 2003. This article gives us a very clear idea of who the "Palestinians" are.


It is only in Israel that I am lucky enough to travel in a bulletproof bus. This week I went to visit a good friend and her very cute children in the city of Beitar. This trip took me into the Arab occupied territory of Judea/Samaria (aka West Bank). I decided not to take my car into the occupied territories because I was afraid that my rental car would not be able to make the trip due to unforseen circumstances ie. molotov cocktails, snipers, and other "problems". Instead I took the bulletproof bus.

On my 15 minute trip out of Jerusalem to Beitar I thought about being under "occupation". Occupation is another word for being held hostage. Jews living here in Israel are being held hostage by the Arabs living in this country. We are afraid to ride the buses, afraid to go shopping, and afraid to drive the roads.

I have been doing a lot of traveling while here in Israel. When I first arrived, I was getting directions to a outlying suburb of Jerusalem when the woman giving me directions gave me a shocker. She said to make sure not to miss my exit because I would end up in the Arab city of Ramallah. This means sure death. As I was driving that evening I made sure to pay attention to all the signs pointing me to that particular suburb, I was scared to miss my exit. I was scared to be murdered because I am Jewish.

We saw the blood frenzy several years ago when two Jews made a wrong turn into Ramallah. The Arab police there picked them up and took them to the police station supposedly for their own safety. News traveled quickly and the entire city showed up at the station. The police did not bother doing their human duty - to protect innocent lives. They instead beat the two Jews to death, then threw their bodies out the window to the crowd outside. There was almost nothing left to identify the bodies with when the Arabs later returned the bodies to Israel. Instead we see the inhumanity of it all when one of the Jews cellphones rang while all this was happening. One of the murderers answered the phone and found that it was the wife of one of the Jews. He told her that he was busy murdering her husband. Occupation means that you cannot travel your own land for fear of making the wrong turn on the highway. I cannot assume anything different if I should G-d forbid make a wrong turn.

On the other hand, we need to keep in mind that Arabs can walk freely in any city in Israel without a worry of being murdered in the street. Every day I see Arabs going anywhere they want in any city going along their business. They are still allowed to ride the buses, still allowed to go shopping and drive the roads. There have been no instances of Jews lynching Arabs like was done to the Jews in Ramallah. Who is under "occupation" here?

How did we come to such a situation here in Israel? Israel won a defensive war against her Arabs neighbors in 1967, when they announced to the world that they were going to drive her into the sea. In the span of a week, Israel won the eastern half of Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria. There has been no other country that hands back the land that it wins in war. Especially not back to the enemies that tried to destroy her in the first place. Especially if doing such a thing would make your country an indefensible 9 miles wide.

As a result of winning this war, Israel has inherited the Arabs living in these areas. Of course none of these Arabs wanted their own state when they were occupied by Jordan before 1967. Only when under Jewish control does it become important. We can see Arab priorities clearly here. Arab statehood becomes a must when it comes to displacing the Jewish identity with the Land of Israel and not before.

I am glad that I have come to visit in the Land of Israel. It is only here that I can understand what it means to be a people under "occupation".

15 November 2009

Cultural Sensitivity Gone Mad

All of us have been taught to be culturally sensitive to others. The question is how far this sensitivity extends. To the clothing someone wears? To the food that someone eats? Or does it include other things?

Fellow students knew Major Malik Nidal Hasan as a strong and vocal defender of suicide bombings and being against U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. He even provoked arguments with other soldiers who supported the wars. Why wasn’t anything said?
"The system is not doing what it's supposed to do," said Dr. Val Finnell, who studied with Hasan from 2007-2008…"He at least should have been confronted about these beliefs, told to cease and desist, and to shape up or ship out...."

But Finnell said no one filed a formal, written complaint about Hasan's comments out of fear of appearing discriminatory.

"Out of fear of appearing discriminatory". Thirteen soldiers are now dead, 30 more are wounded because Hasan's classmates were scared of looking culturally insensitive to his Muslim beliefs. It wasn't worth it to make a fuss.

Some may point to this as an extreme example. It isn't. Cultural sensitivity has gone mad. We look to our educational system to learn how we should be viewing other cultures.
The goal of multicultural education is not only to teach children about other groups or countries. It is also to help children become accustomed to the idea that there are many lifestyles, languages, cultures, and points of view…[and] to attach positive feelings to multicultural experiences (Dimidjian, 1989).

Indeed. There are "many lifestyles, languages, cultures, and points of view" around the world. Shouldn’t these cultures be considered valid, even if different from our own?

Slavery in the United States had to be abolished. Why? The South had a "cultural tradition" of slavery going back two hundred years. Why couldn't the Southern states be left to have their way of doing things – live and let live - and chalk it up to cultural differences? The reason is because the United States stands for freedom and liberty for everyone - a person can not be property. To have slavery in a free country was antithetical to the founding.

What about countries without the traditions of freedom? Can we absolve them of their obligations because they have their own "cultural traditions"? What if their "traditions" include slavery? The subjugation of women? Honor killings? Polygamy? Should we respect their "traditions" as equal to our own? And in the words of multicultural education, should we "attach positive feelings" to these "traditions"?

Canada has recently been struggling with the polygamy issue. British Columbia has been attempting unsuccessfully to prosecute a break-off Mormon sect for polygamy. The issue has recently been sent to the Province's Supreme Court for their judicial opinion.

Isn't it the right of a man to have more than one wife? Why should it matter to us... it's their "tradition".

Another "tradition" Canadians are being forced to confront is child rape. Some in the Canadian military in Afghanistan haven't successfully reconciled their Western values with those of the native population. A former Canadian soldier, Travis Schouten, was so disturbed by what he witnessed, he began drinking and almost destroyed his own life.

Should we be "attaching positive feelings" to this "tradition" as well? Was Schouten not being sensitive enough to Afghani “culture”?

What about the "tradition" of female genital mutilation dating back 1,400 to 2,000 years. Does it matter how old a "tradition" is? Shouldn't we show more sensitivity toward that "tradition"? Why not?

A letter responding to a BBC News story about female genital mutilation says,
It is wrong for us to take the moral high ground and condemn the cultural practise of others as barbaric...We must first understand the role of circumcision in those African societies that practise it before we result in outright conclutions [sic] and condemnation.

Really? The writer is declaring it "wrong" to take the "moral high ground" as he puts it. If so - our values must be equal to those who value female genital mutilations. If we are not willing to condemn such acts, we must be giving our tacit approval of them.

This writer must also want us to give our approval to slavery as well. There are at least 27 million people enslaved around the world. Is slavery now acceptable?

We can bring example after example of monstrous "traditions" from around the world. Who are we to take the "moral high ground"? Perhaps these slave owners would like to immigrate to the United States or Canada with their "property" - are we going to stop them? Will we turn a blind eye to all these abhorrent "traditions" when they occur in Africa or the Middle East, but put up a roadblock to them when they approach our shores?

Where are the limits to cultural sensitivity? At what point can we say “enough”?

The Declaration of Independence makes it very clear what Western Civilization stands for: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. We must make it clear to all people around the world that we are not ashamed of our Western values. We believe that all people, wherever they may live, are given these rights by their Creator - that we have no interest in importing their "traditional" values - and are willing to take the "moral high ground" and condemn their "traditional" values as barbaric, and not welcome here or anywhere else in the world.

Cultural sensitivity is fine and wonderful when restricted to food and other inconsequential things, but not when it comes into conflict with basic Western values of human life and dignity. Calling these terrible acts what they are - barbaric - rather than pretending they are equal to our own Western values costs people their lives around the world. We saw at Fort Hood the results of cultural sensitivity. This ‘sensitivity’ has gone too far.

13 November 2009

Islamic Terrorism at Fort Hood

These are the 13 brave soldiers who were murdered by Malik Nidal Hasan, an Islamic terrorist, at Fort Hood on November 5th.

It is impossible to ignore the fact that Hasan is an Islamic terrorist. All who knew Hasan were aware of his extreme Muslim views.
His presentations for school were often laced with extremist Muslim views, one source said.

"Is your allegiance to Sharia [Islamic] law or the United States?" students once challenged Hasan, the source said.

"Sharia law," the source says Hasan responded.

It is truly a disgrace that Hasan was allowed to remain in the military. This was a terrorist act - plain and simple.

Amazingly enough - there are still some who are not aware that the attack on Fort Hood was conducted by an Islamic terrorist. Here are a few tips to help you out if you're "not sure" you know a terrorist.
1.) If your neighbor begins giving away his belongings, including multiple copies of the Koran, while suggesting that he is "going away," you might know a terrorist.

2.) If your health care professional suggests that the answer to your depression, marital ills, loneliness, or post-traumatic stress is to begin praying to Allah and attending the local mosque, you might know a terrorist.

3.) If a colleague from your department leading a seminar veers off topic and begins suggesting that infidels should be decapitated and have boiling oil poured down their throats, you might be working with a terrorist.

4.) If a guy dressed up like Osama bin Laden shows up at the local convenience store, or appears at the office wearing a shalwar-kameez, you might be in store for some live ammunition directed your way. And you are probably in the presence of a terrorist.

5.) If the subject of your electronic surveillance repeatedly attempts to contact an Imam who is also an Al-Qaeda recruiter known to be in contact with suppliers to Osama bin Laden and associates of the Blind Sheik al Rahman and whose phone number is found in Ramzi Binalshibh's apartment, you might be surveilling a terrorist.

6.) If someone in your office, shop, store, mall, street or stadium yells "Allahu Akbar!" you had better run or seek cover. At this point you definitely know a terrorist.

This would be funny if it weren't sad in the wake of the Fort Hood massacre. It's time to bury our honorable dead and identify this attack for what it was - an Islamic attack on American soil, no "ifs", "ands" or "buts" about it.

12 November 2009

Veterans Day

Yesterday was Veterans Day. I hope that everyone took a moment to thank the amazing people who put their lives on the line for the rest of us. If you didn't - go ahead and do that today.

The Things That Make A Soldier Great - Edgar Guest

The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die,
To face the flaming cannon's mouth nor ever question why,
Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red,
The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed,
The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall:
'Tis these that make a soldier great.
He's fighting for them all.

'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave;
'Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave;
For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam
As when behind the cause they see the little place called home.
Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run,
You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.
What is it through the battle smoke the valiant soldier sees?

The little garden far away, the budding apple trees,
The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play,
Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray.
The golden thread of courage isn't linked to castle dome
But to the spot, where'er it be — the humblest spot called home.
And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely there
And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air;
The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green,
And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been.

He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call,
And only death can stop him now — he's fighting for them all.

10 November 2009

Happy 234th Birthday Marines!

This is a must read article for all who recognize the sacrifices the Marines have made bringing freedom around the world and security at home.

Semper Fi!

The Marines' Hymn

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in ev'ry clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By the United States Marines.

05 November 2009

Fort Hood Martyrs

13 soldiers gave their lives for the country today when Major Malik Nadal Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood today. We honor their memories.

Illegals, Democrats and House Representation

Today's news reminded me of an article I wrote regarding this very problem back in 2003.

Senate Democrats have blocked a GOP attempt to require next year's census forms to ask people whether they are a U.S. citizen.

The proposal by Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter was aimed at excluding immigrants from the population totals that are used to figure the number of congressional representatives for each state. Critics said Vitter's plan would discourage immigrants from responding to the census and would be hugely expensive. They also said that it's long been settled law that the apportionment of congressional seats is determined by the number of people living in each state, regardless of whether they are citizens. A separate survey already collects the data.

The plan fell after a 60-39 procedural vote made it ineligible for attachment to a bill funding the census.

Take a look at my original article - unfortunately nothing has changed.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there are approximately 11.3 million illegal immigrants in the United States - and could be as high as 15 million. If these illegals are being counted into the census as being part of the population of the state - this has a direct impact on each state's representation in the House of Representatives and in turn effects the number of electoral votes each state is assigned when voting for the President of the United States. The fight for stronger border enforcement should not be ignored during this time as the mid-term elections of 2010 come closer.

03 November 2009

Need a Flu Shot? Go to Gitmo!

Yes, it's true. Despite the flu shot shortages across the United States, our Gitmo detainees are getting vaccinated against the "Swine Flu".
The Pentagon will offer the H1N1 vaccination to detainees at the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, officials there said Friday.

The Pentagon made the decision based on U.S. government assessments that people held in detention facilities are at high risk for the pandemic, said Maj. Diana R. Haynie, a spokeswoman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, which is in charge of holding the suspected terrorists.

"Detainees at JTF Guantanamo are considered to be at higher risk and therefore they will be offered the H1N1 vaccination," Haynie said.

"JTF Guantanamo conducts safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees. As such, we must provide detainees the medical care necessary to maintain their health," she said.

Wait, I'm confused. Why are the detainees (a.k.a. terrorists) getting the H1N1 shot again? Because they're at higher risk? How is that possible? Aren't they stuck on an island? Have any of them traveled to Mexico lately? Can someone explain this to me please.

It gets better.
The vaccinations will be voluntary for the detainees, who will be briefed on the virus and the vaccine prior to deciding whether to receive the latter.

This is great. I would love to see this. These terrorists will be "briefed on the virus and the vaccine". We're treating these people as reasonable, thoughtful individuals who don't have an interest in seeing all of us dead. Again, I'm confused. Didn't we pick these people up on the battlefield murdering our soldiers? Aren't they in Guantanamo because they are dangerous?

The article wraps up with the line,
Some of the detainees have already voluntarily taken the seasonal flu shot, Haynie said.

I feel better now. So while there are shortages all over the United States (and Canada) of the H1N1 vaccine and the regular old flu shot - our Gitmo guests are ahead of the game and already have gotten theirs. I'm glad to hear it.