Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Poor Julian Assange, He's the Victim of ...a Leak!

You've gotta feel sorry for Julian Assange these days. He and his organization have been responsible for the leaking of about a quarter of a million documents, stolen from diplomatic and military sites, and they've subsequently incurred the wrath of the United States and other governments. His opponents have threatened to assassinate him, while his defenders have portrayed him as just another bold journalist and martyr. WikiLeaks, meanwhile, is not pretending to be just another journalistic organization, they are promoters of justice. Assange says of his organization, wikiwhatever, "We are an organisation that does not promote leaking." Surely, this is nobleness at its finest.

Unfortunately for Assange, his modus operandi has inspired someone in the Swedish justice system. There have been leaks from the Swedish prosecutor detailing his private behavior with a couple of Swedish women. If their allegations hold true, Assange will be charged with violent sexual assault. He has refused to take an AIDS test at the request of one of the women. The more we hear about the case, the less this seems like a trumped up case.
Of course, we should not be hearing any of this information if it weren't for an overenthusiastic person who had access to his case and saw it fit to leak the information to the press in the interests of promoting justice. Cruel irony.

Assange Interview with John Humphrys:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why the Ground Zero Mosque Will Fail to Accomplish Its Mission

Moderate Muslims are engaged in a battle with Conservative Americans over the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. Both sides will lose. Those who view the issue as purely one of legal significance have cleared every hurdle, except that of the court of public opinion, while those who associate the mosque with the 9/11 terrorists have no legal, or even logical recourse in the situation.

The supporters of the mosque construction have successfully defined the issue as being of rights and tolerance, while their opponents have wearily been trying to cast the issue as one of insensitivity to the families of victims of the 9/11 attacks.

It now seems likely, with the blessing of the overwhelming majority of the New York City Council and Mayor Bloomberg, that the Cordoba Center's construction will proceed. This does nobody any good, except a few liberals who will pat themselves on the back for achieving a fabulous victory for open-mindedness and tolerance. What actually transpires, unwittingly, is that America is being carved out into two parts, us and them. The mosque will serve as a perpetual reminder to the separateness of a population that is ostensibly trying to integrate into the western mainstream, even while assuring us that it is very distinct from the terrorists who claim the name of Islam. Walking past the Cordoba Center on the way to the Ground Zero subway station will be a frequent reminder that the most innocuous seeming mosques in the western world can be breeding places for terror. The irony is seemingly lost on its organizers.

So what's an honest-to-goodness, moderate, peace-loving, cash-endowed organization like the Cordoba Initiative to do in order to redeem the reputation of Muslims in America and heal the wounds of 9/11? For starters, it shouldn’t highlight the common ground it shares with Islamic terrorists around the globe: An Islamic house of worship blocks away from Ground Zero strengthens a mental association, or mis-perception, between Islam and terror, and generally fails as a public relations strategy. The alternative is to find common ground with the enemies of Islamic terrorists--Westerners, Christians and, yes, even Jews.

What better way to establish Islam as a religion of peace than to publicly oppose terror and support its victims? Opportunities abound. Last week, for instance, ten aid workers, including 8 westerners, were killed by the Taliban. Secretary Clinton was quick to point out that Muslims around the world “reject” the murder of these Christian aid workers and their two Afghan colleagues. Building a worship and cultural center is hardly likely to soothe the hurt of the families and friends of those killed. The Cordoba Initiative and like-minded organizations can and should rally together now to compensate the victims’ families and pay for burial services and transportation of the victims’ bodies back home. They may do so publicly, not as a publicity stunt, but rather to highlight the fact that terrorism hurts Islam and fair-minded Muslims will right every wrong committed in the name of Islam.

As a case in point, evangelical Christians (who differ from Jews on a couple of significant theological issues) have the respect of some of the most devout followers of Judaism. Evangelicals can be counted upon to defend Jews and Israeli statehood, at virtually any cost. This is no accident, nor is it the result of shared citizenship. It is the product of shared values, the protection of life and liberty among them.

Islamic charities such as the Cordoba Initiative should take up the challenge and develop an other-focused policy in order to heal the rift between the Islamic and non-Islamic world. Every victim of the Taliban, Hamas, Hizbollah and other terrorist organizations deserves to be compensated. Grandiose projects and loud condemnations of Islamic terror can’t replace the healing power of lending a helping hand to the many victims of terror around the world.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Reads the Bible

The Washington Post ran a story yesterday about September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in which they essentially admit that waterboarding worked:
But for defenders of waterboarding, the evidence is clear: Mohammed cooperated, and to an extraordinary extent, only when his spirit was broken in the month after his capture March 1, 2003, as the inspector general's report and other documents released this week indicate.

This is hardly a surprise, notwithstanding the protestations of liberals who have a monopoly on compassion.

One little tidbit at the end of the article is of note:
He requested a Bible for study in his cell, according to the source, in order to better understand his enemy.
His Bible reading habits might just be better than those who are his "enemy".

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Peggy Noonan: Reagan Conservative to Obama Liberal

Peggy Noonan has undergone a transformation from being a diehard conservative to a fan of candidate and now President Obama. At some point in the last six years she started to sour of President George Bush. She shocked her readers in the Wall Street Journal when she criticized his second inaugural speech in a column entitled Way Too Much God. Some of her most ardent readers were dismayed, this coming from a lady who'd been writing reverential books about the Pope, and had just published her reminiscences of 9/11 in a book called "A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag".

She then praised Sarah Palin one day, trashed her a few days later not knowing that MSNBC's hidden mics were recording her conversation, and then trashed Mr. Palin in writing in her column.

If you're seeing a pattern, you're right. Peggy Noonan is confused and unsure of her standing. One of these days she will write a most eloquent piece on why the Republican Party has left her. Before she does that let's examine her most recent column against one she wrote a few years ago.

The first column sings the praise of Ronald Reagan. She praises President Reagan for being tough with the Soviets and refusing to yield. He spoke strongly in favor of democracy and for oppressed peoples. In her words, "
Reagan’s actions toward the Soviets were matched by his constant rhetorical pounding of communism." The power of President Reagan's words was not lost on Noonan. She continues "He kept it up, for eight years, from 'the evil empire' to 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,' a constant attempt to use words to educate and inspire."

Fast forward to the 6th month of President Obama's first term. Hundreds of thousands of citizens in Iran have taken a risk of protesting in the streets against a sham election for that country's president. Circumstantial evidence seems to indicate that the Guardian Council decided the election in favor of President Ahmadinejad before the event took place. President Obama has remained largely silent on the subject and has not voiced support for these brave protesters. Definitely not something Reagan would do. Noonan's article on the subject (article #477 on her website) extols Obama's silence. In her words, "
Mr. Obama was restrained, balanced and helpful in the crucial first days, keeping the government out of it" and " It must be asked if a formal statement of support for the rebels would help them."

Can you imagine Reagan asking the "rebels" in the Soviet Union if they wanted a formal statement of support?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bernie Madoff - Democrat Donor Extraordinaire

Apparently "the rich" are not the exclusive domain of the Republicans. Bernard Madoff and his family were among the most generous donors to the Democrat Party. We would have heard all about it if his last name were Abramoff and he supported the Republicans. You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who has made such lavish donations to political campaigns of either party.

Bernard Madoff is one of the best friends the Democrats have ever had.

Here is the scoop. Source: The Huffington Post Campaign contribution database. There's gotta be a reason why President Obama talks more about Rush Limbaugh than Bernie Madoff. Now we know.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Media is Finally Playing Fair

Evidently some reporters are upset because President Obama's first press conference appeared to be scripted. Reporters were apparently pre-selected by the Obama White House. Here's a sampling of remarks from the President which might indicate that the event was fine-tuned:

Obama: "All right. Chuck Todd. Where's Chuck?".
Obama: "Ed Henry. Where's Ed? CNN. There he is."
Obama: "Helene Cooper. Where is Helene? Here you go."
Obama: "Major Garrett. Where is Major?"
Obama: "Sam Stein, Huffington Post. Where's Sam?"

The press was not kind in their reporting of an obviously scripted affair.

Here's what USA Today wrote:
Then, after opening remarks, Obama called on reporters from a predetermined list assembled by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

Veterans say they hadn't seen such a stifling atmosphere since the 1980s, when President Reagan called on reporters using a seating chart.
In a scathing critique in Salon, Eric Boehlert writes:
"reporters, either embarrassed for Obama or embarrassed for themselves, continued to play the part of eager participants at a spontaneous news conference, shooting their hands up in the air in hopes of getting Obama's attention. For TV viewers it certainly looked like an actual press event."

Okay, I confess. The truth is that USA Today and Salon (and the New York Times and virtually everybody else) did not criticize President Obama. Those quotes are (slightly) edited critiques of a press conference with President Bush. Substitute Obama for Bush and Ari Fleischer for Robert Gibbs for unedited versions of the above quotes.

There was one unselected questioner who got to ask the last question. Here is the transcript from the New York Times website:

QUESTION: One more, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you, guys.

There's change you can count on.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Burris: An Able Replacement for Barack Obama

Democrats have been busy tying themselves in a knot over the appointment of Roland Burris as the replacement for Barack Obama. At first they refused to seat him in the Senate on its opening day. Then they ran around explaining exactly why they would. This Thursday he will be sworn in as a Senator by Vice President Cheney. Nonetheless, his association with Chicago crook and Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich remains an embarrassment to Democrats. Meanwhile there have also been questions about his lack of qualifications for the post.

Lost in all the debate about this appointment has been one key question: Will he be able to adequately replace Barack Obama? Quite simply, the answer is yes. To do this all he needs to do is vote with the Democratic majority 100% of the time. This effectively guarantees that he will have voted like Obama 96% or 97% of the time. That would be the nearest one could get to cloning Senator Barack Obama.