Friday, December 29, 2006

The world’s greatest villain

Roughly two million people died in the Vietnam War, about half of them civilians. Many of them died on the watch of Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson and, in my opinion, as a direct result of his war policies. Yet as much as I disliked LBJ, as unpopular as the Vietnam War was, and as many Americans as were sent to their deaths in that war (58,000), I can’t imagine putting LBJ on list of the world’s greatest villains!

In a recent AP/AOL poll, 25% of all Americans polled (43% of all Democrats) said that George Bush was a greater villain than Osama bin Laden (8%), Saddam Hussein (6%), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (5%), and Kim Jong Il (2%)!

I understand why many Americans would not like President Bush—as a conservative, I am even frustrated with some of his policies. But it seems to me that for 43% of Democrats to rate him as a worse villain than bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong Il, is evidence either of profound ignorance, or truly scary hatred by Left wing Americans against their own government.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Declassified document: the Arafat murders

A report in yesterday’s WorldNetDaily (hat tip: LGF) cites the release of a de-classified document demonstrating that Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat was responsible for the murders of U.S. diplomats. Excerpts of the WND article appear below:

"After 33 years of secrecy, the U.S. State Department has finally declassified a document admitting it knew the late Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, plotted and supervised the murders of two U.S. diplomats in Sudan in 1973, a cover-up first exposed by WND in January 2001."

"The document, released earlier this year, with no fanfare, makes it clear the Khartoum operation 'was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval' of Arafat, a frequent visitor to the White House throughout the 1990s who died in 2004."

"A primary goal of the attack, it says, 'was to strike at the United States because of its efforts to achieve a Middle East peace settlement which many Arabs believe would be inimical to Palestinian interests."

This report raises numerous questions: For example, why was the report kept secret for all these years? Why did the U.S. continue to push Arafat as if he were some kind of great peacemaker when we knew the truth all along? Why has America continued to pressure Israel to give up more and more concessions to terrorist entities like Arafat’s Fatah or Hamas or Hezbollah that have absolutely no interest in peace whatsoever?

Our government’s endless appeasement Palestinian terrorists—apparently based on a naïve faith in the goodwill of its radical Muslim leaders—has not brought about peace but has only perpetuated the bloodshed.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

President Gerald Ford passes away

At 9:45pm (EST) last night, former President Gerald Ford passed away at his home at Rancho Mirage, California. Mr. Ford was 93, our longest living president (CNSNews.Com, New York Times, MSNBC, Christian Today)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Muslim terrorists and the Left

I’m really trying to understand this: It seems like every time I—or anyone else, for that matter—sound the alarm against Jihadists, someone from the Left will inevitably protest that there are many peaceful Muslims. Even when those of us sounding the alarm specifically qualify our warnings by saying that not all Muslims are terrorists and that there are many peaceful Muslims, someone from the left will often accuse us of being racists or bigots!

Why is this? Why does every attack against Muslim terrorists have to be qualified by saying that not all Muslims are terrorists, and why are those of us who sound the alarm called racists or bigots even when we qualify our warnings?

I would understand why this would be if the protesters were anti-American Muslim terrorists, but most of the protests come from American liberals who claim to love America! Assuming for the sake of argument, that not all liberals are stupid, and further assuming that they are not suffering from mental illness (as often asserted by one radio show talk show host) I wonder if the answer could be that liberals (in general) are afraid that when people attack Jihadists we will also antagonize “peaceful” Muslims.

Do liberals really think that if we would just stop antagonizing Muslim terrorists, and if we would just pull out of Iraq, and if we would just stop supporting Israel, and if we were just nice to all Muslims—then maybe Muslim extremists would stop killing us? If that is really what some liberals believe, then maybe the talk show host is right after all.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sandy Berger and National Archives

Everyone knows that former President Clinton's National Security advisor, Sandy Berger, stole highly classified documents from the National Archives and later destroyed some of them (apparently to cover up details about the Clinton administrations war on terror, or lack thereof). A new report, just released by the National Archives Inspector General, provides details not previously released (New York Times).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The erosion of freedom

OK, I admit it. I’m prejudiced. No, not against blacks, or Asians, or Hispanics. A person’s nationality or skin color really doesn’t matter to me. I still believe the children’s song I was taught as a child, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in God’s sight.” My prejudice is against smokers.

I know there are many good, decent, loving people who smoke but when I see someone smoking my first impression is not good. This is probably in large part because I am extremely sensitive to cigarette smoke and, when I was younger, there were many, many times when I was trapped in thickly smoke-filled rooms being forced to breathe the toxic, choking, gasses from insensitive smokers.

So I appreciate the fact that government is now protecting us from insensitive smokers in places where we have little choice about being (like offices or airplanes), but as much as I despise smoking, I think some local governments are going way too far by seemingly trying to make some cities virtually smoke-free. If a restaurant or bar chooses to allow smoking, and I have a choice not to go there, I want government to butt out.

In “What will they ban next?” John Stossel speaks my mind perfectly. His short article is worth reading.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Duke rape case

Read Thomas Sowell's outstanding and insightful article on the Duke rape case at

Another aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf?

Fox News is reporting that:

"The Pentagon is considering a buildup of Navy forces in the Persian Gulf as a show of force against Iran, a senior defense official said Tuesday. Speaking on condition of anonymity because the idea has not been approved, the official said one proposal is to send a second aircraft carrier to the region amid increasing tensions with Iran, blamed for encouraging sectarian violence in neighboring Iraq as well as allegedly pursuing a nuclear weapons program."

I'd second the motion.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Holocaust documents released

Recently Recliner Commentaries posted The "Logic" of Iran's Holocaust Denial. New information about the Holocaust has just been released:

"For the first time, secrets of the Nazi Holocaust that have been hidden away for more than 60 years are finally being made available to the public. We’re not talking about a missing filing cabinet - we’re talking about thousands of filing cabinets, holding 50 million pages. It's Hitler’s secret archive."

Read the entire article at CBS news. Sounds like 50 million more reasons to call Ahmadinejad and his Holocaust deniers evil idiots!

National Geographic and lost gospels

Last night, National Geographic aired a program called the “Secret Lives of Jesus.” To their credit, they included a couple voices of sanity—Ben Witherington and Craig Evans—but the overall spin of the program was incredibly misleading.

The impression left on the viewer was that everything written about Jesus in the first three centuries should be considered equally in reconstructing our view of Jesus. This would be similar to forming one’s view of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by treating modern Creationist critiques, satires, and cartoons as if they had equal historical value as the writings of the earliest followers of Darwin himself (all analogies break down including this one but I’m assuming that most intelligent readers will get the point).

For quotes from some of these early “lost” gospels and documents see my previous posts “On Writings Suppressed by Bishops” and “Women and Christian Bishops.” Also see my discussion of The Gospel of Judas.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Nuclear attack on Israel

According to the BBC, "Iran's moderate former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has won election to Iran's powerful clerical body, the Assembly of Experts."

In 2002 the "moderate" Rafsanjani called for nuclear attack against Israel! According to a 2002 MEMRI special dispatch, Rafsanjani said:

"If one day...the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel's possession [meaning nuclear weapons] - on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam."

If the BBC thinks this is moderate, I wonder what constitues a "radical."

Mount Hood

Sad breaking news from Fox News: The body of one of the climbers on Mount Hood has been discovered. The next of kin have been notified but the name has not been released.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dershowitz v. Carter

Former president Jimmy Carter says he wrote his book, Palestine; Peace, not Apartheid, in order to promote dialogue and action. He says, "There is no debate in America about anything that would be critical of Israel."

Yet the former President turned down a request to debate Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. President Carter says he will not debate beause Dershowitz "knows nothing about the situation." (AP)

If President Carter had really wanted to spur debate this would seem to be an ideal arrangement. Mr. Carter gets the debate he wanted and--if Dershowitz really knows nothing about the situation--the debate should be an easy victory for the former president. So why not accept, unless, of course, Mr. Carter is afraid his whole approach to Middle-East peace will be exposed as faulty.

Selective concern about racism

Are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson very selective in their concern about racism? A black pastor, Jesse Peterson thinks so:

"The Nov. 25 deadly police shooting of 23-year-old Sean Bell, a black man, who was shot while trying to run over an officer outside a Queens New York strip club, has outraged Rev. Al Sharpton and other black leaders. But, prominent black minister and author Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is questioning the silence over a Halloween beating of three white women by a black mob of youths aged 12 to 17 in Long Beach, Calif. The white women were ambushed and struck in the face and chest with skateboards. Police said the youths shouted "I hate whites" during the attack. Ten youths have been charged with felony assault; eight have been charged with hate crime enhancements."

"Rev. Peterson said, 'Jesse Jackson and Al ('the Riot King') Sharpton claim to seek justice for all, yet they refuse to condemn this brutal racially motivated crime against three white women. These so-called 'black leaders' and the mainstream media have ignored this black-on-white crime, just as they ignore black-on-black crime."

The rest of the article can be seen at ChristianNewsWire.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Teachers molesting kids

Back in June Recliner Commentaries summarized a report on female teachers having sex with boys--its a bigger problem than most people realize. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is now reporting another case in Chaska High School and WorldNetDaily is reporting a case of a husband and wife molesting children in a Houston grade school.

My question is this: Why are we not hearing the kind of outrage over public school molestations that we heard over the molestations by Catholic priests?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A victory for free speech

In Australia, two pastors, Daniel Scott and Daniel Nalliah, were convicted of hate speech simply for teaching about Islam (See Recliner Commentaries, October 19). In a victory for freedom of speech in Australia, their conviction has just been overturned! Read about it at Dhimmi Watch.

The “logic” of Iran’s Holocaust denial

The following are excerpts from an excellent speech (December 14) by Yigal Carmon, founder and president of the Middle East Media Research Institute. If you have time, please read the entire speech at the MEMRI website. Otherwise, read the excerpts below:

"When we, at The Middle East Media Research Institute, collect and analyze the statements made by Ahmadinejad and others in the Iranian regime, we can distinguish two major goals, both of which lead to the same conclusion: the Iranian regime's Holocaust denial is not a manifestation of irrational hatred, but a premeditated and cold-blooded instrument to achieve its goals."

"The first of these goals is the attempt to deny any legitimacy to the creation and continued existence of the State of Israel as a safe haven for the Jews after the Holocaust. In order to achieve this goal, he proclaims that no Holocaust occurred, and that if Jews were indeed harmed in World War II - a claim that requires thorough and "objective" research - this was no different than the experience of others in World War II. At any rate, Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian officials claim that this "myth" cannot justify the establishment of Israel in Palestine."

"The second goal is - as often proclaimed by Ahmadinejad - to "wipe Israel off the map." His Holocaust denial is therefore planned, intentional, and premeditated. He is aware that as long as the world remembers the Holocaust, it will resist any new attempt to perpetrate another genocide against the Jews."

"In order for Ahmadinejad to bring his plans to fruition, however, he has to demonize the Jews and the State of Israel. Demonization is a necessary precondition for genocide. As we well know, Hitler first engaged in a major campaign of demonization of the Jews before actually murdering them en masse. Ahmadinejad and the Iranian regime are taking the same path, and are conducting a similar virulent, antisemitic campaign of demonization."

"To this end, Iranian state-controlled television produces various TV series dedicated to the demonization of Jews. These include classic blood libels, depicting Jews as using the blood of non-Jewish children to bake their Passover matzos, and as kidnapping non-Jewish children to steal their body parts. Jews are reduced to sub-human levels, depicted as pigs and apes. They are accused of persecuting the Prophet Muhammad in voodoo ritualistic scenes, and as tormenting a historic figure reminiscent of Jesus on the Cross. All these TV series exist alongside others that deny the Holocaust."

"However, it is not possible to demonize a people as long as it is viewed as a victim of the Holocaust. Therefore, as long as the Jews are perceived as victims of the Holocaust, this demonization cannot take root. Holocaust denial is thus vital, in order to wipe out the image of the Jews as victims."

"In essence, the speech made by Ahmadinejad at the Holocaust denial conference best illustrates the role of Holocaust denial in the ideology and strategy of the Iranian regime. He begins his speech by addressing the Holocaust deniers participating in the conference: 'Iran is your home, and here you can express your opinions freely, in a friendly manner and in a free atmosphere.' Then, without batting an eyelid, he adds: 'The life-curve of the Zionist regime has begun its descent, and it is now on a downward slope towards its fall… I tell you now… the Zionist regime will be wiped out, and humanity will be liberated."

Senator Tim Johnson: surgery

Breaking news this morning reported that Senator Tim Johnson (D. SD) is in critical condition after emergency surgery for possible stroke. If Senator Johnson had to step down, it would tip the balance of power in the Senate towards the Republicans (his replacement would be appointed by a Republican governor). As much as I would like to see the Republicans back in power, our prayers are with Senator Johnson for a quick and complete recovery.

Renewable energy and homeland security

Finally, one of our Senators "gets it"! Senator Norm Coleman recently called for "a commitment to renewable energy on scale of the U.S. effort that put a man on the moon in the 1960s."

I'd say it should be more like the Manhattan Project, but I won't quibble with that. We need to do whatever it takes to get off foreign oil as soon as humanly possible--includling Alaska drilling, off-shore drilling, increased use of coal, nuclear power plants, and development of renewable energy sources. Cutting our addiction to foreign oil--and cutting our funding to countries hostile to America--is a matter of national security.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Kitzmiller v. Dover: a miscarriage of justice?

Last year Recliner Commentaries posted a series of articles on the Kitzmiller v. Dover case on Intelligent Design (see "Intelligent Design" in the subject index for previous posts). Now, a new revelation has come to light. Excerpts of a WorldNetDaily report appear below:

"One year ago, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones' 139-page ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover declared unconstitutional a school board policy that required students of a ninth-grade biology class in the Dover Area School District to hear a one-minute statement that said evolution is a theory and intelligent design "is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view."

"But an analysis by the Discovery Institute, the leading promoter of intelligent design, concludes about 90.9 percent – 5,458 words of his 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science – was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU's proposed "Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" submitted to Jones nearly a month before his ruling."

John "West is vice president for public policy and legal affairs for the group's
Center for Science and Culture, which issued a statement saying, 'The finding that most of Judge Jones' analysis of intelligent design was apparently not the product of his own original deliberative activity seriously undercuts the credibility of Judge Jones' examination of the scientific validity of intelligent design."

"We were stunned," said West, who pointed out Jones even copied several clearly erroneous factual claims made by the ACLU."

"The revelation that Judge Jones in effect 'dragged and dropped' large sections of the ACLU's 'Findings of Fact' into his opinion, errors and all, calls into serious question whether Jones exercised the kind of independent analysis that would make his 'broad, stinging rebuke' of intelligent design appropriate."

This discovery raises serious questions. For example, since the ACLU was supporting the winning side, how can it possibly be ethical for the judge to have essentially cut-and-pasted his conclusion from arguments previously prepared by that side? Was the judge just a biased tool for one side of the dispute? Was this really a fair trial at all, or was this just a kangaroo court in which the judge had already made up his mind from the very beginning?

Given the fact that I read the decision and often found the judge’s reasoning to be ludicrous, my conclusion is that this case has moved beyond the issue of Intelligent Design to an issue of judicial ethics and the miscarriage of justice! If there is a mechanism in place for the investigation if judges, it needs to be applied in this case.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holocaust denial: the face of Evil

Today was the end of Iran’s conference on the Holocaust. I agree completely with a TimesOnline article in which the author writes:

"There can be little as nauseating as the hypocrisy coming from Iran over the conference it has organised on the Holocaust. With spurious objectivity and mendacious intent, Manouchehr Mottaki, the Foreign Minister, said that the aim was not to deny or confirm the Nazi killing of six million Jews, but to create an opportunity for thinkers “who cannot express their views freely in Europe about the Holocaust."

As a CBC article reports, "Ahmadinejad has repeatedly expressed anti-Semitic opinions, said he didn't believe in the well-documented genocide of millions of Jews during the Second World War and has called for the state of Israel to be 'wiped off the map.' He has also claimed the Holocaust was used to justify the creation of Israel at the cost of Palestinian lands, a view popular among hard-line Iranians."

Similar male-bovine-excrement poured forth from the Iranian president’s mouth at the end of the conference today.

Some excerpts from Jerusalem Post article by Robert Rozett provide a more personal perspective on the whole issue. Mr. Rozett writes:

"I am a scholar of the history of the Holocaust, and I am also a child and grandchild of Holocaust survivors. My father suffered cold, hunger, disease, despair and gratuitous cruelty as a Jewish slave laborer attached to the Hungarian army during World War II. Some 80 percent of the men who served in units similar to his did not return home from the Eastern Front, to which they were sent simply because they were Jews."

"My grandmother miraculously survived Auschwitz, a labor camp in Trautenau, and the horrible last weeks of the war in Bergen-Belsen, where tens of thousands of camp inmates were dumped by the Nazis and unceremoniously left to die of starvation and typhus."

"WORDS ARE inadequate to express the feeling of insult, sacrilege and anger that I feel when Ahmadinejad and his ilk call this history into question. It is my family's history, the history of my people, and the shared history of much of the world. It is also the history that my colleagues and I at Yad Vashem can verify and recount in great detail, based on the 110,000 published titles and the 70 million pages of documentation in our collection, and the personal records of a sizable percentage of the individual Jews who were murdered."

"DENYING and ridiculing the Holocaust and refusing to comply with international conventions regarding developing nuclear capabilities are merely expressions of the same arrogance, born of ignorance. Ahmadinejad and his crew have amply demonstrated that they will not be swayed by reasonable argument, but will do whatever they want, regardless of the price for mankind."

"The leaders of the world have yet to find a way to deal with the threat Ahmadinejad poses. The question is: Since words have proven futile, will the world take concerted action before it is too late?"

Make no mistake about it, when we look into the face of Holocaust denial we are looking in to the face of remarkable stupidity or pure Evil, the likes of which we have not seen since the days of Adolf Hitler. And unless the world acts decisively, the Iranian incarnation of Evil may end up with nuclear weapons.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The airport that stole Christmas

A Jewish Rabbi recently insisted that Seattle-Tacoma airport put up a menorah for the Christmas / Hanukkah season. In response, the Sea-Tac commissioners chose to remove the airport's Christmas trees (

As a Christian, I support the Rabbi. I think Sea-Tac should immediately put up the menorah along with the Christmas trees. That would be the multicultural, tolerant thing to do.

Any Christians who object should remember that the menorah is a symbol of Hanukkah (aka Feast of Dedication) which, according to the Gospel of John (10:22-23), Jesus celebrated.

Racist Rosie

Rosie O'Donnell has been quick to attack those she thinks are racist or homophobic but she recently offended Asians and refuses to apologize. Check out Michelle Malkin's response--especially her video clip on

Human smuggling and slavery

Many Americans were recently shocked by reports that a baby kidnapped in Florida may have been taken because the new parents did not finish paying off the smugglers (NBC-2.Com). Most Americans have no idea of the magnitude of the atrocity of human smuggling and slavery. According to a recent report in BPNews:

"Annually, 600,000 to 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are used as modern-day slaves and trafficked across national borders. These numbers do not include the millions trafficked within countries, according to the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. It is estimated as many as 20,000 people are trafficked into the United States each year. The State Department’s 2006 Trafficking in Persons report analyzed the work of 149 countries on an issue that involves prostitution, child sex tourism and forced labor. The report showed an increase in convictions worldwide for trafficking-related offenses to more than 4,700 from 3,000 the previous year."

St. Paul's sarcophagus

More on the possible discovery of St. Paul's sarcophagus from Associated Press.

The leading cause of global warming

According to an article in The Independent, the leading cause of global warming has been discovered: (hat tip: J. Wheaton)

"Meet the world's top destroyer of the environment. It is not the car, or the plane,or even George Bush: it is the cow."

"A United Nations report has identified the world's rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs."

Please do your part to end global warming--grab a quarter-pounder at McDonalds today!

Persecution in Sri Lanka

Christians often face attacks by atheist Communists in China, by Hindus in certain areas of India and by Muslims all over the world. Now there is a report from Sri Lanka that Christians are coming under violent attack by Buddhists who are normally peaceful. You can read the entire article in Assist News Service but excerpts appear below:

"SRI LANKA (ANS) -- Amid growing violence in Sri Lanka that Church leaders have likened to the “killing fields” of Cambodia, Christians in the island are facing increased persecution from Buddhist extremists, Release International has reported."

"According to a story carried by TamilNet (, Christians in Sri Lanka are appealing to the international community for help, RI which monitors persecution of churches around the world, said."

"Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) also says Christians in Sri Lankan are facing more intense persecution as mob violence becomes an increasingly visible trend in the country."

"Violence and militancy are not normally associated with Buddhism, which is usually seen as peaceful,” says RI’s Chief Executive, Andy Dipper."

"But in Sri Lanka religion has become mixed with politics and nationalism - creating a toxic brew of hatred and fear. And Christians are often caught right in the middle - as so often happens when a nation slides towards civil war."

"Extremists believe this country belongs to the Sinhala Buddhists, and if you are a true Sri Lankan you must be a Buddhist,” Godfrey Yogarajah, the General Secretary of the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), Christian Today reported."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Jihad, coming to a mall near you?

The following are excerpts from a Chicogo Sun Times article (See also Jihad Watch):

"A Rockford man allegedly planned to set off hand grenades in garbage cans at a shopping mall near Rockford as part of his plot to let the world know “the time for jihad is now."

"Should he die before the attack, Shareef made a videotape statement to explain his actions."

"I am from America, and this tape is to let you guys know, who disbelieve in Allah, to let the enemies of Islam know, and to let the Muslims alike know that the time for jihad is strong, oh Mujahideen...May Allah protect me on this mission we do not cry, do not mourn for me,” he said, according to the FBI affidavit."

"He at one point told the informant he wanted to target government facilities."

"I want some type of city hall-type stuff now, federal court houses,' Shareef was caught on tape saying, according to an FBI affidavit. 'I just want to smoke a judge.”

Kudos to the FBI and the Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force for catching this evil idiot!

Radical Islam and poverty

Many people often assume that terrorism is caused in large part by factors like poverty. Michael Medved cites a new study that strongly challenges that belief. Medved writes:

"Dalia Mogahed, executive director of Muslim studies for the Gallup organization and John Esposito, a professor of religion at Georgetown University, recently collaborated on an analysis based on 9,000 interviews in nine Muslim countries. They classified their respondents into “moderates” (those who hope to co-exist with the West and Western values) and “radicals” (those who hope to spread uncompromising Islamic values throughout the world). They published their conclusions in “What Makes a Muslim Radical?” which appeared in the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine."

"Among their conclusions: “It’s no secret that many in the Muslim world suffer from crippling poverty and lack of education. But are radicals any poorer than their fellow Muslims? We found the opposite. There is indeed a key difference between radicals and moderates when it comes to income and education, but it is the radicals who earn more and who stay longer in school…."

"Whenever a suicide bomber completes a deadly mission, the act is often attributed to hopelessness – the inability to find a job, earn a living, or support a family. But the politically radical [are no] more 'hopeless' than the mainstream. More radicals expressed satisfaction with their financial situation and quality of life than their moderate counterparts, and a majority of them expected to be better off in the years to come."

"Perhaps those positive expectations related to their anticipation of getting up close and personal with 72 virgins, but even without considering obscene delusions of rewards in paradise, it’s obvious that the old paradigm of 'hopelessness and poverty breed violent fanaticism' doesn’t apply to the Muslim world."

This finding is crucial because some of our politicians insist on dealing with terrorists as if they are basically good people with a legitimate gripe and if we could just find out what that gripe is and negotiate with them to solve it, everything would be OK. This kind of thinking is not only naive, it may be deadly. Radical Islam is not fueled by poverty. It is fueled by those who take the Qur'an and example of Muhammad very seriously.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

St. Paul's sarcophagus discovered?

There is news this morning that archaeologists believe they have discovered the sarcophagus of the Apostle Paul (AP, Corpus Paul, EWTN, Christianity Today, CNS).

Report on flying Imams

An article by Audrey Hudson yesterday reported that three separate “investigations into the removal of six imams from a US Airways flight last month have so far concluded that the airline acted properly, that the imams' claims they were merely praying and their eviction was racially inspired are without foundation.”

I copied excerpts of the article below but if you have the time, the entire article can be found at The Washington Times.

"An internal investigation by the airline found that air and ground crews 'acted correctly' when they requested that the Muslim men be removed from a Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight on Nov. 20."

"We talked with crew members and passengers and those on the ground. We've done what we typically do in a situation where there is a removal or some kind of customer service at issue,' Miss Rader said. 'We found out the facts are substantially the same, and the imams were detained because of the concerns crew members had based on the behavior they observed, and from reports by the customers."

"The Minneapolis airport police department's report on the incident said the imams' behavior warranted their removal. The imams were not accused of breaking any laws."

"The Air Carrier Security Committee of the Air Line Pilots Association investigated the incident and said, 'The crew's actions were strictly in compliance with procedures and demonstrated overall good judgment in the care and concern for their passengers, fellow crew members, and the company."

"The decisions made by all the parties were made as a result of the behavior of the passengers and not as a result of their ethnicity,' the report concluded. Mr. Shahin told television reporters that he needed the seat-belt extension because he weighs 280 pounds. However, the police report lists his weight as 201 pounds. Weights listed for the other imams ranged from 170 pounds to 250 pounds."

Check out the timeline of events at Jihad Watch and tell me this whole thing wasn’t a set up. The scary thing is that these flying Imams are receiving legal support from CAIR, the face of “moderate” Islam in America!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Off with their heads

The following are excerpts from a fascinating interview with a Saudi Arabian executioner. The interview was originally aired on Lebanese TV, November 4, 2006 and posted on the MEMRI website. You can read the entire interview there. I post excerpts here not because I am opposed to the death penalty (regular readers of Recliner Commentaries know that I support the death penalty) but because the interview provides a fascinating insight into another culture—can you imagine an interview like this on Oprah?

Reporter: "This is the most renowned executioner in Saudi Arabia, Abdallah Bin Sa'id Al-Bishi, who carries out the executions. His sword delineates the border between seriousness and play. There is no negotiating with him once the heads have ripened. When it's harvesting time, he is the most suited for the job."

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "I started to work in this field after the death of my father – about a week or 10 days after his death, in 1412 [1991-92]. I was surprised that the people who supervise this field summoned me, saying I had a mission. Allah be praised. Of course, I did not have swords or anything back then, but I used the swords of my father, may he rest in peace, and carried out the execution. My first mission was to execute three people."

Reporter: "Abu Bader's swords have cut off a hundred heads and more. His eldest son, Badr, is training in the same profession. He inherited this profession from his father, Sa'id Al-Bishi. He remembers how, when still a small boy, he accompanied him to the beheading of a criminal in Mecca. That sight, Abu Badr says, was the turning point in his life."

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "I was at school, and an execution was set for my father in Mecca. It was to take place in front of the King Abd Al-'Aziz Gate. Before all that happened at the Al-Haram Mosque, the executions were held there. We showed up. I was a little boy. The first thing that came to my mind when people talked about executions was the digestive system. I wanted to see it. At that time, we had an exam at school on the digestive system, and we had to explain about the digestive system and whatever... So I came along, and the moment my father executed the man, I ran to see the digestive system, but all I could see was the man's head flying, and where the neck used to be, there was a kind of well. It went down. That's it. I couldn't take it anymore. I woke up in the car on the way home. At night, I tried to go to sleep, but couldn't. I had nightmares, but only once. Then I got used to it, Allah be praised. "

First TV host: "Do you cut off hands, or do you just do beheadings?"

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "Yes, yes. I carry out the punishment of cutting off thieves' hands, as well as the cutting off of a hand and a leg on alternate sides, as is written in the Koran."

Second TV host: "Abdallah, when you carry out the punishment of cutting off limbs, do you anesthetize the condemned person, or is it done without anesthesia, like beheadings?"

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "With regard to the cutting off of a hand, or of both a hand and a leg, it is done with local anesthesia only."

Second TV host: "But the person who is being beheaded is definitely not anesthetized, right?"

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "No, he is not anesthetized at all."

First TV host: "Abu Badr, do you remember the first time you carried out an execution? Do you remember that day?"

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "I remember it to this day. I was surprised when the officials in charge asked me to carry out one of Allah's punishments. When I came, I was told it would be an execution, and I said: 'No problem.' I took the sword that used to belong to my father, may he rest in peace... "

First TV host: "How old were you then?"

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "At that point I was... I was a man."

First TV host: "You are a man at any age, there's no doubt about that, but how old were you?"

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "I don't remember exactly – 32 or 35 years old. I began in 1412."

First TV host: "How was the experience, especially since it was your first time? How did you feel?"

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "Every person is a bit worried when he starts a new job, and is afraid he will fail."

"I Have Beheaded Many People Who Were My Friends, But Whoever Commits an Offense Brings it on Himself"; "If The Heart is Compassionate, The Hand Fails"

Second TV host: "Abdallah, what was your most difficult beheading? Have you ever beheaded someone you knew?"

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "Yes, I have beheaded many people who were my friends, but whoever commits an offense brings it on himself."

First TV host: "When you behead more than three or four people at once, does it affect you? My second question is: Do you need a break between executions? Does it affect you or not?"

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "Allah be praised, there is nothing to it. Three, four, five, or six – there is nothing to it. It's entirely normal. An execution is an execution, and as long as the person stands straight... As long as the person stands straight, it makes our job much easier."

First TV host: "Abu Badr, what time do you get up? Do you eat a special breakfast? All these details are very important to us."

Abdallah Al-Bishi: "I cannot elaborate on the work itself. On the personal level, I am very normal. I get up in the morning, pray the Al-Fajr prayer. My breakfast is prepared, and I eat it. Allah be praised. I wait for the police car to pick me up, and I go to work. It's all very normal. I finish the job, and go home. It's all very normal."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

U.N. renovation and Donald Trump

In an interview on Fox and Friends this morning, Donald Trump said that he has great respect for the United Nations but that their new renovation project is estimated to cost 1.9 billion dollars. Trump said that this is the next “food for oil” scandal. He met with Kofi Annan and offered to do the job for 700 million. The response was essentially, don’t call us, we’ll call you. So as you make out your income tax in a couple months, just remember that some of your hard earned tax money is going for this.

I agree that the United Nations needs to be renovated—let’s ask Donald Trump to turn it in to an apartment complex for New Yorkers.

Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote tomorrow on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2006 (H.R. 6099). Until we can end the atrocity of abortion in America, we should at least make it less painful for the innocent victim. Please contact your congressperson.

Excerpts of the bill appear below:

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) At least by 20 weeks after fertilization, an unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain.

(2) There is substantial evidence that by 20 weeks after fertilization, unborn children draw away from certain stimuli in a manner which in an infant or an adult would be interpreted as a response to pain.

(3) Anesthesia is routinely administered to unborn children who have developed 20 weeks or more after fertilization who undergo prenatal surgery.

(4) There is substantial evidence that the abortion methods most commonly used 20 weeks or more after fertilization cause substantial pain to an unborn child , whether by dismemberment, poisoning, penetrating or crushing the skull, or other methods.

(5) Expert testimony confirms that by 20 weeks after fertilization an unborn child may experience substantial pain even if the woman herself has received local analgesic or general anesthesia.

(6) Medical science is capable of reducing such pain through the administration of anesthesia or other pain-reducing drugs directly to the unborn child .

(7) There is a valid Federal Government interest in preventing or reducing the infliction of pain on sentient creatures. Examples of this are laws governing the use of laboratory animals and requiring pain-free methods of slaughtering livestock...

(8) There is a valid Federal Government interest in preventing harm to developing human life at all stages. Examples of this include regulations protecting fetal human subjects from risks of `harm or discomfort' in federally funded biomedical research, 45 C.F.R. 102(i) and 45 C.F.R. 46.201 et seq

Monday, December 04, 2006

Fight club: The flying Imams

Check out the Sout al Kuffar "You Tube" at Michelle Malkin.Com.

Weapons flowing into Gaza

Not only are weapons flowing into southern Lebanon, they are also flowing into Gaza via Egypt. Why isn't the U.N. reacting?

The United Nations: worse than you think

The following are excerpts from a book called, “The Beast on the East River” by Nathan Tabor.

"Reports of brutal sexual misconduct by UN peacekeepers have surfaced periodically for more than a decade. But these charges have rarely been investigated thoroughly and exposed to the light of public scrutiny. That veil of secrecy and denial began to lift in May 2004, when major media sources first began to publish reports of alleged UN corruption and sexual scandal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

"Those charges included the rape and sexual abuse of Congolese women in certain UN refugee camps staffed by UN soldiers and civilian employees. The UN Mission in Congo (MONUC) employs a large civilian staff, as well as about 10,800 peacekeeper soldiers from fifty countries. Fighting continues in war-torn Central Africa, despite a peace treaty signed in 2002, and the International Rescue Committee has estimated that the combination of war, famine, and disease kills thirty-one thousand civilians each month."

"The specific allegations, as reported by the Independent (London), initially centered around the sexual abuse of teenage girls who lived at the Internally Displaced People camp in Bunia, in the northeastern Congo, home to about sixteen thousand refugees. Many of these girls, some as young as thirteen, had already been the victims of multiple rapes by the various roving militia groups that had terrorized the region during the preceding six-year conflict commonly known as “Africa’s world war.” These militias regularly used rape and sexual violence as weapons of warfare."

"Desperate for food, both for themselves and in some cases for the babies they had birthed after being raped, each night these young girls would crawl under the wire fences that separated their compound from the UN soldiers’ barracks, where they would sell their shrunken juvenile bodies for as little as two eggs, a banana, or a cake. Their willing but often brutal customers were usually the UN peacekeepers from Morocco or Uruguay."

"By November 2004, the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services had issued a confidential report that said its own “investigation into allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of local Congolese women and girls found that the problem was serious and ongoing.” Eventually more than fifty UN civilian staffers and peacekeeper soldiers in the Congo were charged with 150 separate crimes, the most serious being pedophilia, prostitution, and rape at gunpoint."

"At the remote Kisangani outpost on the Congo River, UN staffers from Morocco were found to have impregnated eighty-two local women and girls, and Uruguayan staffers fifty-nine more. Women there had given birth to hundreds of illegitimate children fathered by the UN peacekeepers. One soldier charged with rape was hidden in the barracks for more than a year. Major-General Jean Pierre Ondekane, a rebel commander who later became Minister of Defense in the postwar Congolese government, told a top UN official in July 2002 that the only thing the UN peacekeepers at Kisangani would be remembered for was “running after little girls."

"Kathryn Bolkovac was a former Lincoln, Nebraska, policewoman who worked for UN security in Bosnia as an employee of the American security company DynCorp. As part of her job, Bolkovac uncovered massive sex corruption, human trafficking, and prostitution rings in which UN officials and policemen were active participants. Girls as young as fifteen were sold into sex slavery to bar owners, where they were forced to dance naked and perform sex acts for their owners and bar customers. If they refused, they were locked up, starved, beaten, and raped."

"In 1990, Boutros Boutros-Ghali was Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs. Part of his job was to sell weapons, and in that capacity he approved an initial $5.8 million arms deal with Rwanda. That sale opened the door to others, so that between 1990 and 1992, Cairo shipped $26 million worth of ammunition, grenades, rocket launchers, and mortar bombs to Rwanda. It was those arms that the Hutus later used to crush the Tutsis.18 When the wholesale slaughter began in 1994, Boutros-Ghali had moved up in the world—he was now the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The head of the UN’s peacekeeping operations at that time was none other than Kofi Annan."

"The UN Force Commander in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire, sent an urgent fax to Annan requesting permission to defend the helpless Tutsi refugees who were flooding into UN compounds seeking safety and protection. Annan’s fax back to Dallaire ordered him to defend only the UN’s image of impartiality and forbade him to protect the desperate Tutsis. Boutros-Ghali refused to intervene. Later the UN troops were withdrawn completely from the scene of the carnage, leaving behind up to 800,000 hapless Tutsis, many of them bludgeoned to death with clubs or hacked into pieces with machetes by the bloodthirsty rampaging Hutus. The world watched for weeks as the bloodbath continued unchecked."

Please read the rest at “The Beast on the East River.”

Hezbollah re-arms in Lebanon

Remember last summer how the United Nations was going to reinforce its presence in Lebanon to keep the peace? What the United Nations actually did was, in effect, to stop Israel's pounding of Hezbollah so Hezbollah could re-arm for another day. Terrorism expert Daniel Pipes posted this to his website:

"Today comes a report by Uzi Mahnaimi in the Sunday Times (London), 'Hezbollah's missiles back in Lebanon,' that Hizbullah's forces are back in south Lebanon and stronger than ever. He quotes an Israeli intelligence officer. 'Since the ceasefire, additional rockets, weapons and military equipment have reached Hezbollah. We assume they now have about 20,000 rockets of all ranges — a bit more than they had before July 12." In a recent interview with Al-Manar, Hizbullah's television station, Hassan Nasrallah confirmed the Israeli estimate, claiming Hizbullah now possesses at least 30,000 rockets."

"Israeli military intelligence has warned the government that renewed fighting with Hezbollah, which it regards as a terrorist organisation, should be expected as early as next spring. In response, Israeli forces have taken emergency action. They have postponed a plan to reduce the length of national service — currently 36 months for men and about 24 months for women — and are stepping up production of better armoured tanks. They are also grouping all special forces into a single new division and are developing laser technology, jointly with the United States, to shoot down Hezbollah's rockets."

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Dennis Miller on flying Imams

Dennis Miller certainly has a way of putting things in perspective. See Pajamas Media.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Another eyewitness

For yet another eyewitness report on the U.S. Airways incident see Debbie

Imams and eyewitness reports

Police department eyewitness statements have now been released regarding the six Imam’s removed from a U.S. Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix. The statements are all handwritten and sometimes difficult to read. I’ve transcribed some of them below, sometimes in whole, sometimes in part. To read the actual reports from the officers and eyewitnesses you can find the link at Michelle Malkin which is where I found it.

In the transcripts below parentheses are always part of the actual documents but brackets [ ] include my own explanation or words I was unable to make out.

Eyewitness report:
Witnessed 6 suspicious Arabic men speaking Arabic behind ticket counter next to ticket counter for gate C9. They seemed angry, heated discussion. Mentioned “U.S.” and “killing Sadam.”—two men swore slightly under their breath/mumbled. They spoke Arabic again. The gate called boarding for the flight. The men then chanted, “Allah, Allah, “Allah!” They walked in line for the flight, composed and calm, very different than they had been behind the wall/screen of the desk. On the plane, I noticed that they were spaced out throughout the plane, from front to back, covering seats (approx): Front row first class ~ seat 9, 21D & 25EF. I passed note to stewardess telling her of suspicious activity.

The note read:
6 suspicious Arabic men on plane, spread out in their seats. All were together saying, “Allah…Allah..” cursing U.S. involvement w/ Saddam before flight—1 in front exit row, another in first row first class, another in 8D, another in 22D, two in 25E&F.

Eyewitness report:
I noticed couple of guys praying in Arabic at gate 9C while I was the gate agent at the podium working flt 300. They were standing to my left between gate C9 and C10. I thought that I was suspicious by the way they were praying very loud. After that one of the guys approach me and asked if he can have two first class seats, of which I told him that we have no more seats in first class.

Eyewitness report:
PAX seated in 1D requested a seat belt extension prior to closing door. Thought it odd as he was not overly heavy, yet accommodated PAX. Shortly after PAX’s seated in 9C&D requested a seat belt extension—PAX in 9C was heavier. Found this unsettling as crew knew about the (6) PAX on board and where they were sitting. After police escorted PAX off I went to remove extensions from seats to put them away and noticed that the extension was actually not on the seat belt but rather on the floor where his feet would have been. This was my only actual contact with PAX. PAX’s on boarding did seem a little odd. PAX 1D went to AFT cabin twice during the boarding and again during the “delay” which was even more suspicious. First time talking to 9C&D second time going all the way back in 25 EF.

From an off duty flight attendant “deadheading” home:
“As everyone boarded around me two of the muslim came on. One stood @ 4C and pretended to be blind. One went to row 9D. He talked another passenger into trading seats so that blind man, yellow shirt can sit in 9C. I was in 8C. They both then asked for seat belt extensions. I did not see they actually needed them—they were not overweight.”

Eyewitness report:
“I travel to Turkey frequently and knew many Muslims personally. The behavior of the group in the gate area was atypical for my experience w/Muslims [ ] among other things aggressive eye contact in response to mine. On board the flight I sat next to someone whose boarding pass said Ibraham Mohammad. I purposely engaged him in [ ] conversation. Over the course of the conversation the following was revealed.

He is an Imam from Egypt who has attended school from kindergarten to Ph.D at one of the two [ ] existing Islamic universities.

He first told me he was doing Ph.D work in Bakersfield [handwriting uncertain] as things didn’t add up I continued to question. He eventually said he was only using the library in Bakersfield [handwriting uncertain but same word as Bakersfield above], [ ] that he was [ ] advocating / [ ] [ ] have in the U.S. and not doing the work he said related to his Ph.D. He expressed views I consider to be extreme Muslim fundamentalist views. He expressed the problems on non-sharia (Islamic law) governments and the extensive problems of [ ] [ ] in the Middle East. (i.e. Turkey repressing Muslims, should be operating Sharia, etc.) Egypt as well, etc. He indicated that it was necessary to go to whatever measures necessary to obey all that’s set out in the Qur’an.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hezbollah rally

Today, the Washington Times reported that an estimated 800,000 protesters (Hezbollah says one million) turned out for a Hezbollah-organized rally in Beruit. The rally was intended by Hezbollah to topple Lebanon's democratic government, and replace it with Syria's terrorist puppet, Hezbollah.

800,000 protestors is 17.7% of that country's total population of 4,509,678. To give some idea of the magnitude of this rally: If the same percentage of Americans turned out to support the replacing of America's democracy with a terrorist government, 53 million people would descend on Washington!

To drive the point home further: Only 60% of Lebanon's population is Muslim. This means that nearly one out of every three Muslims in Lebanon turned out to support terrorists (And Lebanon is probably one of the more moderate Muslim countries in the Middle East)!

Tell me again about how terrorist-supporting Muslims are just a tiny minority.

Disembowelled and torn apart

"GHAZNI - The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy. The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over. He was partly disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes."

What did Mohammed Halim do that was so terrible that he was treated this way?

His crime was that he was (gasp!) educating girls! Who were his killers? You guessed it. They were fellow Muslims. Muslims themselves are often the victims of Jihadist atrocities. Read the rest in Dhimmi Watch or the New Zealand Herald.