Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Joseph Biden and John Edwards

I don't find myself agreeing with Joseph Biden (D. DE) very often but I have to agree with him when he said recently, "I don’t think John Edwards knows what the heck he’s talking about." :-)

It’s time for a woman president?

“Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton drew big crowds and loud cheers on Saturday during her first visit to Iowa as a presidential contender, defending her votes on Iraq and saying it was ‘about time’ for a woman president” (Reuters)

Ms. Clinton’s statement is as misguided as it is sexist. It is not time for a “woman” president. It is time for a president who will take more seriously (much more seriously) our homeland and border security, our dependence on foreign oil, defense of traditional marriage, the senseless killing of pre-born babies and the war against jihadists. That candidate's sex or race is entirely irrelevant.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Media bias and Capitol vandalism

Everyone knows by now--because it was covered so well by the media--that there was a huge anti-war rally in Washington last weekend. What most probably didn't know—because it received almost no coverage--was that only about a week or so before there was a much, much larger "March for Life" rally in Washington:
What a difference an ideology makes. Last Monday, 200,000 pro-lifers descended
on the nation's capital to peacefully protest 34 years of abortion-on-demand.
Despite record crowds and a line-up of speakers that included President Bush by
phone, the March for Life earned little more than a footnote in the nation's
news. Days later, radical anti-war protestors staged a march in Washington that
mustered only 10,000, and the event made the front page of nearly every
newspaper in America. Yet for all the media the small demonstration received,
few news outlets reported the true headline of the day. According to reports,
hundreds of demonstrators were allowed to take the steps of the U.S. Capitol
during the march and desecrate the property with "anarchist symbols." When
police formed a security line to stop them, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Phillip
Morse ordered his men to fall back and allow the protestors to "exercise their
First Amendment rights" by spray-painting the Capitol grounds with graffiti (FRC, see also NBC on the
graffiti)

Another report focused on specifically on Washington Post coverage:
Within one week, the liberal bias of the Washington Post has been made perfectly
obvious. On Monday, tens of thousands of protesters emerged on Washington for
the March for Life, but the hometown paper put the story on the bottom of page
A-10 Tuesday morning. On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters emerged on
Washington for a rally against President Bush and the war in Iraq. The Post
blasted that story across the front page on Sunday, complete with a large color
picture taking a wide shot of hundreds of marchers and their signs and banners.
Tuesday's story on abortion protests matched carried no wide shot of hundreds.
It showed four pro-life marchers, and matched them with another picture of five
feminists counter-protesting. There were no photos of conservative
counter-protesters in the Sunday paper. NewsBusters

There are two issues here. One is the continued glaring Left-wing media bias. The other is the question of why anarchist thugs were allowed to deface our Capitol. Certainly this must have been caught on tape and if so the perpetrators need to be sought out and punished. Then someone should investigate why the U.S. Capitol Police Chief would fail to protect our Capitol.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Lieberman and the war

You’ve got to admire Senator Joseph Lieberman’s integrity. While I disagree with many of his liberal political views, he stands for what he believes and doesn’t change his views just to get in front of ever-changing popular opinion.

For example, while so many Democratic senators voted for the war, they now play the blame game, make excuses, or repudiate their votes because the war is no longer popular. Senator Lieberman, on the other hand, not only stands by his vote, he recently argued that we should give President Bush’s plan to increase troops in Iraq a fair chance to work. In the Democratic Party, that’s equivalent of political suicide!

Senator Lieberman’s position stood in stark contrast to some war protesters in Washington this weekend who were carrying signs that read “augmentation is for boobs”—which may say something about the intelligence level of that crowd.

Regardless of whether you agree with Senator Lieberman’s positions, you have to admit that he is one Democrat who has some backbone!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Palestinians and persecution

The United Nations, European governments, and Leftists are so concerned about the treatment of terrorists at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, why don't they say anything about Muslim persecution of innocent Christians in Palestine?

A number of Christian families have finally decided to break their silence and
talk openly about what they describe as Muslim persecution of the Christian
minority in this city.

The move comes as a result of increased attacks on Christians by Muslims over the past few months. The families said they wrote letters to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the Vatican, Church leaders and European governments complaining about the attacks, but their appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

According to the families, many Christians have long been afraid to complain in public about the campaign of "intimidation" for fear of retaliation by their Muslim neighbors and being branded "collaborators" with Israel.

But following an increase in attacks on Christian-owned property in the city over the past few months, some Christians are no longer afraid to talk about the ultra-sensitive issue. And they are talking openly about leaving the city.

Read the rest in the Jeruslaem Post.

Nuclear Iran

Iran takes the next step toward nuclear power by installing 3,000 nuclear centrifuges. (YnetNews).

"Iran ultimately plans to expand its enrichment program to 54,000 centrifuges, which spin uranium gas into enriched material to produce nuclear fuel. That would give it the capacity to produce dozens of nuclear warheads a year, if it chose to develop weapons" (Fox).

Friday, January 26, 2007

Honor killing in Jordan

"Another 'honor killing' reported today in Jordan, the showcase 'moderate' Arab Islamic state, where Islamist legislators have consistently blocked tougher laws to deal with the barbaric practice:" Read the rest at LGF.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Breaking: Duke rape case prosecutor charged

Breaking news from CBS:

"The state bar in North Carolina has filed new ethics charges accusing the
prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case of withholding evidence
and misleading the court."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pornography and Muslims

Dinesh D’Souza published a thought provoking article on pornography. Excerpts appear below but if time permits, please read the entire article at Townhall.Com:

On a recent trip to Istanbul I encountered a group of Muslim students who
insisted that American culture was morally perverse. They called it
“pornographic.” And they charged that this culture is now being imposed on the
rest of the world. I protested that pornography is a universal vice. “Yes,” one
of the students replied, “but nowhere else is pornography in the mainstream of
the culture. Nowhere else is porn considered so cool and fashionable.
Pornography in America represents an inversion of values.”

As I returned home to the United States, I wondered: are these students right? I don’t think American culture as a whole is guilty of the charge of moral
depravity…When they protest what they see as the glamorization of pornography
and vice, however, it’s hard to deny that they have a point.

In a manner that the older generation of Americans finds scandalous, porn
has become socially acceptable and lost its moral stigma.

The liberal defense of obscenity and pornography began many decades ago
as a defense of great works of literature and of free speech…But now some
liberal advocates insist that all forms of sexual explicitness are equally
deserving of legal protection and that no restriction of obscenity or
pornography should be allowed.

The pornographer generally knows that he is a sleazy operator. I have read
interviews with men like Larry Flynt and Al Goldstein, the publisher of Screw
magazine. Typically such men do not even try and defend the social value of what
they do, other than to point out that there is a demand for it. It is only the
ACLU and its supporters who celebrate the pornographer as a paragon of the First
Amendment and a contemporary social hero….If we confine ourselves to liberal
culture and its apologists, my Muslim interlocutors would seem to have a
justified complaint.

The author is right. This is one area in which Muslims have a legitimate complaint.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Jefferson’s Qur’an and the Barbary Wars

Democrat Keith Ellison recently posed with his hand on Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an during the photo-op for his ceremonial swearing in as U.S. Congressman. Ted Sampley provides intersting background on the Qur’an and the Jefferson administration. Excerpts appear below but if time permits, please read the entire article at U.S. Veteran Dispatch.

Ellison's use of Jefferson's Quran as a prop illuminates a subject once
well-known in the history of the United States, but, which today, is mostly
forgotten - the Muslim pirate slavers who over many centuries enslaved millions
of Africans and tens of thousands of Christian Europeans and Americans in the
Islamic "Barbary" states.

It was typical of Muslim raiders to kill off as many of the "non-Muslim"
older men and women as possible so the preferred "booty" of only young women and children could be collected.

In 1786, Jefferson, then the American ambassador to France, and Adams, then
the American ambassador to Britain, met in London with…the "Dey of Algiers"
ambassador to Britain.

The Americans wanted to negotiate a peace treaty based on Congress' vote to
appease.

For the following 15 years, the American government paid the Muslims
millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return of
American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percent of
United States government annual revenues in 1800.

Not long after Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, he dispatched
a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and
informed Congress.

In 1805, American Marines marched across the dessert from Egypt into
Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American
slaves.

During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling
as a result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines,
finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.

Jefferson's victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn,
with the line, "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we will
fight our country's battles on the land as on the sea."

Jefferson had been right. The "medium of war" was the only way to put and
end to the Muslim problem. Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a
"visionary" wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim
book of jihad.

For more background on the Barbary Wars see Answers.Com, or Columbia Encyclopedia.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Life of Muhammad

A man named Ibn Ishaq was a devout Muslim who lived from AD 704-767 and wrote the first biography of Muhammad. His biography is respected and studied in Muslim universities around the world. The English translation is 690 pages long, not counting introduction, endnotes and indices. Muhammad Biography has a short summary of Ibn Ishaq’s Life of Muhammad. Excerpts appear below. When time permits, please read the entire summary (only about 13 pages long) at Muhammad Biography.

Here is the life of the man a billion people revere as the greatest prophet of God and whom many love more than life itself:

"One day, Muhammad said that while he was sleeping, Gabriel came to him with something that had writing on it, and said “Read!” According to Muhammad,

“I said, ‘What shall I read?’ He pressed me with it so tightly that I thought it was death; then he let me go and said, ‘Read!’ I said, ‘What shall I read?’ He pressed me with it again so that I thought it was death; then he let me go and said ‘Read!’ I said, ‘What shall I read?” He pressed me with it the third time so that I thought it was death and said, “Read!’ I said, ‘What then shall I read?—and this I said only to deliver myself from him, lest he would do the same to me again. He said, “Read…So I read it and he departed from me" (106).

Muhammad woke up and began to wonder if he was demon possessed. Afraid that the local Quraysh tribes would think he was indeed demon possessed he considered throwing himself down a mountain to kill himself but on the way up the mountain he heard a voice saying he was the apostle of God (105-106). Instead of committing suicide, Muhammad decided to tell his wife, Khadija, of his dream and of his fear of demon possession (106). Khadija sought advice from her cousin who was a Christian. When he heard the story he assured her that Muhammad must be a prophet (107).

After that, Muhammad began receiving revelations. Khadija accepted his revelations as true, became his first convert, and helped him in his work (111). Soon…men and women began to accept Islam in large numbers “until the fame of it was spread throughout Mecca” (117).

Most Meccans did not turn against the Muslims until Muhammad “spoke disparagingly of their gods.” Then “they took great offense and resolved unanimously to treat him as an enemy.”

Many of the Quraysh “called him a liar, insulted him, and accused him of being a poet, a sorcerer, a diviner and of being possessed.” Muhammad, however, continued to proclaim his message and condemn their religion (130).

One day Abu Bakr, one of Muhammad’s most faithful followers who would eventually be Muhammad’s successor, saw this slave being tortured. Abu Bakr said, “Have you no fear of God that you treat this poor fellow like this? Umayya responded saying, “You are the one who corrupted him, you save him from his plight…” (144). Abu Bakr said he had a black slave who was not Muslim and was stronger than the slave being persecuted. He offered to trade slaves and the deal was accepted (144).

Although Muhammad escaped much of the persecution through the protection of his powerful uncle, Muhammad could not protect his followers so he suggested that they go to Abyssinia in Africa whose Christian king, Muhammad told them, “will not tolerate injustice.” Many Muslims followed Muhammad’s advice (146).

When the Quraysh heard this, they sent men to Abyssinia to force the Muslims to return. The case came before the king who said he would not surrender the Muslims to them. He then summoned the Muslims and asked them about their religion.

They said that Muhammad has summoned them to acknowledge God’s unity, to worship God “and to renounce the stones and images” which they had formerly worshiped. Muhammad had forbidden them from committing abominations, speaking lies, devouring property of orphans, or vilifying chaste women. On the other hand, they were commanded to worship God alone and not to associate anything with Him,” and to observe “orders about prayer, almsgiving, and fasting” (150-152).

Meanwhile, Muhammad became very pained about his estrangement from his people and “longed that there should come to him from God a message that would reconcile his people to him.” It wasn’t long before Muhammad got a revelation saying that the three goddesses of Mecca, al-Lat, al-‘Uzza and Manat were exalted and that their intercession was approved by Allah. The Quraysh “were delighted and greatly pleased at the way in which he spoke of their gods” (167).

Muslims, however, thought there must be some mistake since this seemed to contradict the essence of Muhammad’s monotheism. The issue was soon resolved when Muhammad got another revelation saying that Satan, not God, had told him the goddesses’ intercession was approved. Muhammad repented and “God annulled what Satan had suggested” (179).

One day Muhammad reported that he and Gabriel had been carried away from the “mosque at Mecca” to “the Masjid al-Aqsa” in Jerusalem where “he found Abraham, Moses and Jesus among a company of the prophets.” Muhammad “acted as their imam in prayer.”…Muhammad then returned to Mecca in the morning and told the Quraysh people of his trip. “Most of them said…this is plain absurdity!” In fact, many Muslims even gave up their faith because of the story (181-183).

When asked what he thought of Muhammad now, Abu Bakr said if he says it, its true. Muhammad’s wife Aisha used to say that Muhammad’s body “remained where it was but God removed his spirit by night.” A woman named “Hind” said,

“The apostle went on no night journey except while he was in my house. He slept that night in my house. He prayed the final night prayer, then he slept and we slept. A little before dawn the apostle woke us, and when we prayed the dawn prayer he said…I prayed with you last evening prayer in the valley as you saw. Then I went to Jerusalem and prayed there” (183-184).

Muhammad’s wife Khadija and his uncle Abu Talib died in the same year. Khadija had been a faithful supporter who listened to his troubles while Abu Talib had been his protector. The Quraysh began to treat Muhammad “in an offensive way which they would not have dared to follow in his uncle’s lifetime”. Someone even threw dust on Muhammad’s head (191).

In the following year—“before the duty of making war was laid upon them”—twelve of Muhammad’s helpers met at al-Aqaba and pledged themselves to Muhammad, promising not to steal, not to commit fornication, not to kill their offspring, not to slander their neighbors, and not to disobey Muhammad in what was right. They understood that if they fulfilled these, paradise would be theirs but if they “committed any of those sins it was for God to punish or forgive as He pleased” (199).

“When God gave permission” for Muhammad to fight, “the second [meeting at] Aqaba contained conditions involving war” which were not part of the first pledge. The men “Now they bound themselves to war against all” for Muhammad and God (208). Muhammad received a revelation saying, “Fight them so that there be no more seduction” away from Islam and “Until God alone is worshiped” (213).

Once Muhammad emigrated to Medina he made a “friendly agreement” with the Jewish tribes of Yathrib (Medina). Any disputes were to be resolved by Muhammad (232). Once Muhammad was established in Medina he instituted prayers, fasting, alms tax, legal punishments and spelled out that which was forbidden and prescribed (235).

“Some Muslims remained friends with the Jews because of the tie of mutual protection and alliance which had subsisted between them.” Muhammad, however, received a revelation forbidding Muslims to take Jews as intimate friends. He explained that…“you have more right to hate them than they to hate you” (262-263).

One day Abu Bakr went to a Jewish school and called on one of their Rabbis to become a Muslim. The Rabbi’s response enraged Abu Bakr who hit the Rabbi in the face saying “Were it not for the treaty between us I would cut off your head.” The Rabbi complained to Muhammad and Muhammad asked Abu Bakr about it. Abu Bakr said the Rabbi had blasphemed but the Rabbi denied it. Muhammad then received a revelation supporting Abu Bakr (263).

One day Muhammad sent Abdullah b. Jahsh and eight other Muslims with orders to “Lie in wait for Quraysh and find out for us what they are doing….” A Quraysh caravan came by and the Muslim raiders “decided to kill as many as they could of them and take what they had.” When they returned to Muhammad he rebuked them for fighting during the sacred month. Muhammad, however, later received a revelation relieving them “of their anxiety” in the matter. Muhammad took one-fifth of the booty and rewarded the raiders out of what was left over (288).

Muhammad then heard that a large caravan of Quraysh loaded with money and merchandise was coming from Syria led by Abu Sufyan b. Harb. Muhammad ordered the Muslims to attack the caravan…Muhammad’s men routed their foe, killed many of their chiefs, and captured many of their nobles in this battle of Badr (289-294).

Muhammad then divided the booty including the captives equally among the Muslims (307). As Muhammad ordered one of the captives to be killed the captive pleaded, “Who will look after my children?” “Hell,” replied Muhammad, and the man was executed (308). Muhammad then divided the prisoners among his companions, telling them to treat them well (309).

One day Muhammad received a revelation saying, “I am with you so strengthen those that believe…I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, so strike off their heads and cut off their fingers, because they oppose God and His apostle.” The revelation went on to say that Muslims on the march who turn back in the face of the unbelievers are destined for hell (322).

Muhammad heard that Ka’B b. Al-Ashraf had composed poetic verses insulting Muslim women so Muhammad asked who would rid him of Ka’B. The response came from Muhammad b. Maslama who said he would kill the man but would have to tell lies. Muhammad told him to kill Ka’B if he could and to say whatever he needed. When the Muslims came to Ka’B’s castle he suspected nothing. After some time Muhammad b. Maslama cried, “Smite the enemy of God!” He thrust his dagger into Ka’B’s body and “bore down upon it until I reached his genitals, and the enemy of God fell to the ground.” This attack “cast terror among the Jews, and there was no Jew in Medina who did not fear for his life” (367).

On another occasion Muhammad said, “Kill any Jew that falls into your power”. Muhayyish b. Mas’ud obeyed Muhammad’s command and killed a Jewish merchant… (369).

In one of the battles, the “Muslims were put to flight and the enemy slew many of them.” An enemy got to Muhammad, hitting him in the face with a stone, breaking one of his teeth and injuring his lip so that blood was running down his face. Muslims came to Muhammad’s aid and Muhammad ordered them to bring the attacker to him. The attacker “died with his face on” Muhammad’s foot (380).

After the battle, Utba and some women began to mutilate the bodies of the dead Muslims. “They cut off the ears and noses” and a woman named Hind made these body parts into “anklets and collars.” “She cut out Hamza’s liver and chewed it, but she was not able to swallow it and threw it away.” “Then she mounted a high rock and shrieked at the top of her voice: We have paid you back for Badr…” (385).

When Muhammad found Hamza “with his belly ripped up and his liver missing and his nose and ears cut off” he said, “If God gives me victory over Quraysh in the future I will mutilate 30 of their men.” Muhammad later pardoned some enemies and forbid mutilation (387). When he got home Muhammad handed his sword to his daughter Fatima, saying, “Wash the blood from this daughter for by God it has served me well today” (389).

One day Muhammad received a revelation saying, “God commands you, Muhammad, to go to B. Qurayza” because God was about “to shake their stronghold.” Calling the Jews of Qurayza “brothers of monkeys,” Muhammad laid siege to their forts for twenty-five nights. The people Qurayza finally surrendered to Muhammad who confined the captives in Medina while he had trenches dug in the market place. Muhammad then ordered the execution of every adult man of Qurayza. The captive Jews were brought out to the trenches in batches and the Muslims cut off their heads—estimates ranged from 600 to 900 men in all. Muhammad then divided their property, wives and children among his Muslim followers after selling some of them for horses and weapons and taking one-fifth for himself. Muhammad also chose “one of their women for himself.” He had proposed marriage to her but she “clung to Judaism.” She remained under his power until her death (461-466).

After “the fight at the trench and the affair of the B. Qurayza were over, the matter of Sallam b. Abu’l-Haqayq…came up…. Khazraj asked for Muhammad’s permission to kill Sallam who was in Khaybar and Muhammad granted it. Accompanied by Abdullah, Khazraj came to Sallam’s house and Sallam’s wife answered the door. They told her they were Arabs in search of supplies. Once inside they bolted the door behind them and killed Sallam with the sword. When they came back to Muhammad, Khazraj and Abdullah both claimed to have killed Salam. Demanding to see their swords, Muhammad said, “It is the sword of Abdullah b. Unays that killed him; I can see traces of food on it” (483).

…Muhammad received word that his milch-camels had been raided. The man guarding them had been killed and the man’s wife had been captured. Muhammad ordered his men to pursue. The perpetrators were captured and their heads were removed (486-489).

In A.H. 6, Muhammad “received news that B. al-Mustaliq were gathering together against him.” In the ensuing battle, Muhammad put them to flight, killing some of them and taking “their wives, children and property as booty.” Muhammad distributed them among the Muslims but kept a most beautiful captive, Juwayriya d. al-Harith, for himself. She agreed to marry him in return for his agreement to release a hundred families of her tribe (490-493).

One day Muhammad marched against Khaybar. When Khaybar workers came out in the morning and saw Muhammad’s army they turned and ran. Muhammad cried, “Allah akbar! Khaybar is destroyed!” Muhammad “seized the property piece by piece and conquered the forts one by one.” He also took captives including a woman named Safiya b. Huyayy. Although Kihya b. Kahalifa had asked Muhammad for this woman, Muhammad took her for himself. Muhammad, however, gave Kihya her two cousins. The rest of the women were distributed among the Muslims (510-511).

Kinana b. al-Rabi had custody of the treasure from B. al-Nadir. He was brought to Muhammad who asked him about it and said, “Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?” Kinana said, yes. Muhammad excavated the place and found some of the treasure but Kinana refused to produce the rest so Muhammad gave orders to have him tortured “until you exact what he has.” They “kindled a fire with flint and steal on his chest until he was nearly dead.” Then Muhammad turned him over to Muhammad b. Masalama who cut off his head in revenge for killing his brother (515).

After Kaybar had been conquered, al-Hajjaj b.‘Ilat al-Sulami asked permission of Muhammad to retrieve money owed him by some merchants of Mecca. Muhammad gave permission but al-Hajjaj said, “I must tell lies, O apostle.” Muhammad said, “Tell them” (519).

One day Muhammad said to Abu Sufyan, “isn’t it time that you recognize that I am God’s apostle?” Abu Sufyan said that he still had some doubts. Umm Salama told Abu Sufyan to “Submit and testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the apostle of God before you lose your head.” Abu Sufyan converted (547).

When Muhammad and his armies finally attacked Mecca he instructed his commanders that they were “only to fight those who resisted them,” but that a few were to be killed no matter what. One of those doomed to execution was Abdullah b. Sa’d because he was once a Muslim who even wrote down Muhammad’s revelations, but he left the Muslim faith and returned to the Quraysh. Another was Abdullah b. Khatal who had also left the Muslim faith. Abdullah had two singing girls who “used to sing satirical songs” about Muhammad so Muhammad ordered them killed as well (Muhammad later granted one of them immunity). Another was al-Huwayrith b. Nuqaydh who used to insult Muhammad in Mecca (550-551).

Muhammad then conquered Mecca and ordered that their 360 idols be broken up and burned. He also ordered that the pictures in the Ka’ba (their temple) be erased, except the pictures of Jesus and Mary (552).

Muhammad “stood at the door of the Ka’ba and said…O Quraysh, God has taken from you the haughtiness of paganism and its veneration of ancestors.” Then he told them to go their way, they were free. The people of Mecca then gathered together to “do homage to the apostle in Islam” (552-553).

After the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad went out with 2,000 Meccans and 10,000 of his companions to Hunayn. “When the polytheists were routed” the Muslims continued on to al-Ta’if (569, 574).

In A.H. 9, Muhammad sent Abu Bakr in command of the pilgrimage to Mecca “to enable the Muslims to perform their hajj while polytheists were at their pilgrimage stations.” Muhammad then received a revelation “permitting the breaking of the agreement” between him and the polytheists. When the sacred months passed, the Muslims were to “kill the polytheists wherever you find them, and seize them and lie in wait for them in every ambush.” However, “if they repent and perform prayer and pay the poor-tax, then let them go their way” because “God is forgiving and merciful” (614-618).

After Muhammad conquered Mecca, Tabuk, and Thaquif, Arabs knew they could not fight Muhammad or even “display enmity towards him” so they came to him from all directions and converted to Islam “in batches” (628).

Then Muhammad sent Khalid b. al-Walid to the people of b. al-Harith and gave them three days to accept Islam. If they refused, Khalid was to attack. They decided to accept Islam so Khalid wrote to Muhammad informing him of their decision. When the people of al-Harith were brought to Muhammad he asked them if they were the people “who when they were driven away, they pushed forward.” They remained silent so Muhammad said, “if Khalid had not written to me that you had accepted Islam and had not fought I would throw your heads beneath your feet” (645-646).

Muhammad “took part personally in twenty-seven” raids and “actually fought in nine engagements” (659-660). Muhammad had said, “fight everyone in the way of God and kill those who disbelieve in God. Do not be deceitful with the spoil; do not be treacherous, nor mutilate, nor kill children” (672).

“After the killing of Khubayb and his companions” Muhammad sent Amr b. Umayya and an “Ansari” out telling them to kill Abu Sufyan.” The Meccans recognized these men so they fled to a mountain cave. While they were there ‘Uthman b. Malik came by the entrance of the cave cutting grass for his horse. Amr told his friend that Uthman would reveal their location so they “stabbed him under the breast with the dagger” (673-674).

Amr then hid in another cave and someone from his own clan came by. They stayed together in the cave until the passerby started singing “I won’t be a Muslim as long as I live…” As soon as the singer was asleep Amr put the end of his bow in the other man’s eye and “bore down on it until” it came out the back of his neck. Amr then came across two men who were sent to spy on Muhammad. He ordered them to surrender and when they refused he shot one (with an arrow) and killed him. When the other surrendered, Amr bound his thumbs with bowstring and brought him to Muhammad. Muhammad laughed when he saw the prisoner and, after hearing all that happened, blessed Amr (674-675).

On another occasion, Abu ‘Afak “showed his disaffection” when Muhammad killed al-Harith b. Suwayd. Muhammad asked, “Who will deal with this rascal for me?” Salim b. ‘Umayr went right out and killed Abu ‘Afak for Muhammad (675).

On yet another occasion the daughter of Marwan was criticizing Islam and asking, “Is there no man of pride who would attack” Muhammad? When Muhammad heard it he said, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter? Umayr b. ‘Adiy al-Khatmi went to her house that night and killed her. In the morning he reported what he had done and Muhammad told him, “You have helped God and His apostle, O ‘Umayr!” (675-676).

In the raid of Muharib, Muhammad “had captured a slave named Yasir, and put the slave in charge of his milch-camels.” Some men came to Muhammad saying they were “suffering from an epidemic and enlarged spleens.” Muhammad told them to drink the milk and urine of his milch-camels and they would recover. They drank it and recovered. Then they killed Muhammad’s shepherd-slave Yasar “and stuck thorns in his eyes and drove away his camels.” Muhammad sent Kurz B. Jabir who captured them and brought them to Muhammad who cut off their hands and feet and gouged out their eyes (677-678).

Muhammad “sent Usama to Syria and commanded him to take the cavalry into the borders of the Balqa and al-Darum in the land of Palestine.” Meanwhile, Muhammad began to suffer from the illness which eventually took his life. The pain overcame him as he was making the rounds to his wives. He asked their permission to be nursed in Aisha’s house and they agreed. His illness and pain worsened and after some time he “died with the heat of noon” (678-682).

(Ibn Ishaq. The Life of Muhammad. New York : Oxford University Press, 1955, 2006.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Victory for free speech

On January 7 Recliner Commentaries asked readers to urge their senators to oppose section 220 of S.B. 1 which would place serious restrictions on free speech. Fox News is reporting that an ammendment removing this section passed 55-43. With that section removed, the rest of the ethics bill passed 98-2.

America, a secular country?

Dennis Prager recently published an excellent article on religion and America. Excerpts appear below:
Contrary to what you learned at college, America from its inception has been a religious country, and was designed to be one.

As the greatest foreign observer of America, the Frenchman Alexis de
Tocqueville, noted in his "Democracy in America," "Not until I went into the
churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I
understand the secret of her genius and power." Or, as the great British
historian Paul Johnson has just written: "In [George] Washington's eyes, at
least, America was in no sense a secular state," and "the American Revolution
was in essence the political and military expression of a religious movement."

In fact, the Founders regarded America as a Second Israel, in Abraham
Lincoln's words, the "Almost Chosen" People. This self-identification was so
deep that Thomas Jefferson, today often described as not even a Christian,
wanted the seal of the United States to depict the Jews leaving Egypt at the
splitting of the sea. Just as the Jews left Egypt, Americans left Europe.

There has been a concerted, and successful, attempt over the last
generations to depict America as always having been a secular country and many
of its Founders as deists, a term misleadingly defined as irreligious people who
believed in an impersonal god.

This new version of American history reminds me of the old Soviet dissident
joke: "In the Soviet Union, the future is known; it's the past that is always
changing."

If America abandons its Judeo-Christian values basis and the central role
of the Jewish and Christian Bibles, its founders' guiding text, we are all in
big trouble, including, most especially, America's non-Christians. Just ask the
Jews of secular Europe.
Read Dennis Prager’s entire article at Townhall.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Border patrol agents going to jail

Although hundreds-of-thousands of Americans asked the President to pardon U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, the White House announced today that the President would not do so.

I am so thoroughly disgusted with the Bush administration over this I wish failing to protect our borders was an impeachable offence!

UPDATE: Please read the response by "bode miller jokes" which provides another perspective on this post. See: U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton.

Playing by the rules

In a recent newsletter, Senator Norm Coleman made the following observation:

“The brutality being perpetrated by Shia and Sunni death squads is almost
incomprehensible. While I was in the Green Zone U.S. officials showed me photos
from the Baghdad morgue. The sadistic acts of torture and cruelty the sectarians
carry out against each other are hard to describe, much less understand.”

When America decided to remove Saddam Hussein and set up democracy in Iraq, I suspect that few if any in our Congress and Administration would have imagined the depth and extent of almost satanic barbarism that some Iraqi’s were capable of inflicting on their fellow Muslim countrymen. Americans are appalled when they hear of other Americans waterboarding or humiliating violent terrorists, but Iraqis do much, much worse to innocent fellow Muslim Iraqis. How do you fight a war against such monsters when you’re confined to “playing-by-the-rules”?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Child slavery in India

The following are excerpts from a news report published yesterday in England’s Sky News:

The Government [of India] thought it had sent a signal round the world last
October when it officially banned under-age domestic servants, but it seems it
is doing little to enforce a law which few see as a pressing issue.

"A trafficker identifies families who are poor and who basically have no
choice," Rishi Kant, from the Shakti Vahini charity, explains.

"Money is offered to them to give up a child on the promise of a good job
in a household.
"The family is told they will get a lot of money and the
child will come back within a year but they never see the money or the child
again."

In Santoshi and Sujata's case they ended up in the worse sort of household.
One where they were treated no better than animals.

The little girls spoke of being kept naked and barefoot in the bathroom
which was continually wet.

They were forced to sleep on the floor and eat out of the toilet
pan.

They were made to clean clothes continuously, the cleaning fluids leaving
their skins gnarled and cracked, and beaten if they did not do it quickly or
well enough.

They were tied up, they had chillies rubbed in their eyes, they were hit
with sticks, with rods, whipped with belts, kicked.

They had been held captive for two long years with no-one to turn to,
no-one who was prepared to hear their shouts, no-one who cared.

The man they worked for is an architect, one of the comfortable
middle-classes, the winners in

India's booming economy. His wife is educated and speaks perfect English
and they have influence.

When they were arrested, they were bailed straight away and charged with
only the minor offence of keeping child labour.

The children, on the other hand, spent nearly a week in the jail waiting
for a room to be freed up in the over-crowded childrens hostel provided by the
State for destitute youngsters.

There is little chance of them finding their parents again.

There is little evidence the police are motivated to do anything about it
either.

And even at the police station when the trafficker was being charged, a
senior officer accosted the Sky News producer Neville Lazarus accusing us
of 'making her life worse'.

On the other hand, India just has a different culture from ours so I guess in our age of multiculturalism we should just be tolerant of their abuse of children, right?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Muslim "tolerance" in Nigeria

From a news report today by Compass Direct:

LAFIA, Nigeria, January 15 (Compass Direct News) – As soon as Christians in
this capital city of Nasarawa state tried to rebuild a Reformed Church building
that Muslims burned down two years ago, more than 200 Islamists attacked the
workers.

The rebuilding came to a halt, and the Nasarawa state government
subsequently banned reconstruction of the facility. The church had been planted
more than a century ago by missionaries of the Dutch Reformed Church of South
Africa under the auspices of the then-Sudan United Mission, headed by German
missionary Dr. Karl Kunn.

“I personally witnessed the attack on the workers at the reconstruction
site of the church,” said the Rev. Jerry Modibo, chairman of the Christian
Association of Nigeria (CAN), Nasarawa state chapter. “The Muslims were
chanting, ‘Death to Christians, death to infidels. This town is for Muslims, we
don’t want Christians here."

Read the rest at Compass Direct.

86 million of your tax dollars!

The Bush administration "has asked Congress to authorize 86 million dollars in military aid to boost security forces loyal to moderate Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas".

Moderate? A man who tells his supporters to use their guns against Israel is moderate?! (See CNSNews). Take a look at the picture in this LGF post. Isn't sending money to Abbas a little like financially supporting one street gang in an effort to marginalize another street gang?

Have we really learned nothing from our past efforts to support one evil regime over against another? Is our government really unable to think of a better use for 86 million of our tax dollars? My advice to the Democratic Congress: Just say NO!

Breaking News: Refinery explosion

ABC and Fox News is reporting that there is a major fire in a refinery in Richmond California. The fire was caused by an explosion and the nearby communities are being evacuated.

Update from KNTV--San Francisco
Uptate from Mercury News

Kudos to a Muslim Imam

Kudos to Imam Shaheed Satardien who is taking a stand against "those Muslims in Ireland whom he claims are too sympathetic to Osama bin Laden and the cult of the suicide bomber." Unfortunately, he has been cut off by the Majority of Muslims in Dublin and has even received death threats (See Jihad Watch).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

In the womb

Tonight National Geographic will air "In the Womb; Multiples" which includes images of twins and triplets in the womb. It is hard to understand how anyone could view these images and deny that late term abortion is baby killing: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The end of free speech

Yesterday Recliner Commentaries posted about the new Congresses' attack on freedom of speech. Today an article by lawyer Jay Sekulow indicates that it may be worse than I previously imagined. He writes:

Nancy Pelosi hasn’t been Speaker of the House for two weeks yet and there
is already proposed legislation which would be the most significant encroachment
ever into the affairs and ability of churches and other organizations to
communicate. Under the guise of lobbying reform, Speaker Pelosi and others have
proposed legislation greatly expanding the scope of lobbying regulation which
would have a significant impact on churches, pastors, religious denominations,
public interest organizations, civic organizations and other nonprofit groups.
Even private individuals who voluntarily pay for media to distribute important
messages to the general public on political matters would be impacted.

So draconian is the proposed Lobbying Reform Bill that it would actually
impose registration and reporting requirements on churches and other nonprofit
organizations. This is because the definition of “lobbyist” and “lobbying firms”
includes specifically grassroots-organizing efforts. Under this broad-based
regulatory scheme that Nancy Pelosi is advocating, many churches, especially
larger churches with TV and radio ministries, would be subject to registration
as a lobbying organization. Failure to comply with these lobbying requirements
could result in fines and even criminal sanctions. Churches and their pastors
who address the social issues of the day and encourage members and non-members
alike to mobilize for action, including communications with Congress, would be
required to make certain initial and quarterly disclosures to the United States
Congress about their activities


Read the rest at Townhall.Com. Isn't it ironic that Democrats who were so concerned about terrorists rights being violated by the Patriot Act and the NSA are now attacking the Constitutional rights of ordinary Americans! It is almost hard to imagine that this could be happening in America!

Please contact your Senator today and ask him or her to strongly oppose section 220 of Senate Bill 1. Please do it today!

Corruption in the new Congress?

According to a story in the Washington Times,

On Wednesday, the House voted to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25
per hour. The bill also extends for the first time the federal minimum wage to the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, it exempts American Samoa, another Pacific island territory that would become the only U.S. territory not subject to federal minimum-wage laws.

Why make an exemption for this one territory? It turns out that StarKist Tuna employs over 75% of the island's work force and is one of the biggest opponents of minimum wage. It also turns out that the headquarters of StarKist Tuna's parent company, Del Monte, is in Nancy Pelosi's district!

I'm sure this must be a coincidence because if this exemption was deliberately arranged by Ms. Pelosi it would be an example of corruption and incredible hypocrisy, but Ms. Pelosi vowed that this would be the most uncorrupt Congress in history.

"This is an act of terrorism"

An Associated Press writer is reporting that the explosion in the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece was the result of an anti-tank sheel fired at the Embassy from street level. Attica Police Chief Asimakis Golfis said, "This is an act of terrorism. We don't know where from."

Update: Fox News is now reporting that a home-grown Greek terrorist group known as the Revolutionary Struggle is claiming responsibility.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Breaking News: Explosion at U.S. embassy

There has just been an explosion at the U.S. embassy in Athens Greece (Reuters, Daily Telegraph)

Attack on free speech

Our new Congress is launching a frontal attack on freedom of speech. U.S. Senate Bill 1 (Section 220) contains excessively burdensome regulations and severe penalties for grassroots lobbying organizations.

"Under Senate Bill 1, AFA would have to report the issues, employees,
contractors and dollars spent in what is called "paid efforts to stimulate
grassroots lobbying" (that phrase is not defined). This reporting requirement is
triggered by two actions: (1) a lobbying "contact" – a personal or written
communication with an individual in the executive or legislative branch of the
federal government concerning public policy issues, from legislation to
nominations; and (2) communications with grassroots (that’s you) that
"influence" them to contact the executive or legislative branches ("influence"
is not defined, but it apparently doesn't even have to include a specific "call
to action.") There is no minimum dollar spending requirement that triggers the
reporting requirement by AFA for our efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying."
(AFA e-mail)

These grassroots lobbying orgainzations inform the public and encourage them to write their congresspeople, but they don't force anyone. If people contact their congresspeople it is because the people care about the issues. Please keep government laws and regulations out of your right to be informed and to contact your representatives. Write, call or e-mail your U.S. Senators today.

Stem cell research breakthrough

It goes without saying that embryonic stem cell research is extremely controversial. Supporters point out all the benefits for the cure of disease. Opponents are concerned about the destruction of human life (embryos) for medical research.

Now there is word that researches from Harvard and Wake Forest Medical Schools have discovered a new source of stem cells which would pretty much do what embryonic stem cells do, but without the ethical controversy and without some of the medical risk of embryonic stem cells (Wake Forest Medical Center)

If the research holds up, this may be a perfect compromise solution to a difficult ethical problem.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Freedom of the Press: Islamic style

A magazine editor and reporter in Morocco face large fines and up to five years in jail for printing material deemed to be offensive to Islam. Although they denied that they were making fun of Islam, they still received death threats (ChristanToday).

Isn't Morocco one of the more moderate Muslim countries?

Then next hundred years

In a recent article, Hugh Hewitt quoted from Niall Ferguson’s The War of the World which points out that the 20th century was “without question the bloodiest century in modern history”—World Wars I and II, “The Mexican Revolutionary War (1910-20), The Russian civil war (1917-21), the civil war in China (1926-37), the Korean War (1950-53), the intermittent civil wars in Rwanda and Burundi (1963-95), the post-colonial wars in Indo-China (1960-75), the Ethiopian civil war (1962-92), the Nigerian civil war (1966-70), the Bangladeshi war of independence (1971), the civil war in Mozambique (1975-93), the war in Afghanistan (1979-2001), the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) and the on-going civil wars in Sudan (since 1983) and Congo (since 1998).” Then there were the tens-of-millions who died under genocidal regimes like the Nazi’s, the Soviets, Pol Pot, or “the Young Turk regime during the First world War.”
Hewitt argues that “There is no persuasive reason to believe the world will be a better place over the next 100 years than it was in the past 100” and that we have reason to believe that “the violence of the 21rst century” will “far outstrip that of the 20th.”

Hewitt concludes that “history compels the United States to deny WMD to those most likely to use them.” He says, “Saddam was one such tyrant, and Iraq even in its chaos and its toll in American lives is much less dangerous to the world and the U.S. than Saddam's Iraq or the Iraq of his sons when they succeeded him. Iran is another such country, its leaders tyrants with intentions of piece with the worst of the last century's murderers.”

Hewitt believes that there are millions of “appeasement-oriented” people who, though opposed to a nuclear Iran, are unwilling to use force to prevent it, and that this should be a primary issue in the 2008 election: “The objective of the campaign ahead must be to achieve clarity on this subject first, for it will tell us all we need to know about the candidates' capacity for the years ahead.”

Hewitt suggests that candidates be asked,

“If President Bush concludes, based upon the best available intelligence he can collect, that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons unless America uses military force to prevent it from so doing, would you support his use of force under those circumstances?”

So much for my summary. Once again I think Hugh Hewitt hits the nail on the head. The future of our children, our grandchildren, and, in fact, the entire world is at stake. When you have time please read Hewitt’s entire article at TownHall.

Jihadists are liars

“When will we Americans get it through our heads that Islamic Terrorists
are liars? The Islamic God, Allah, is described by the Koran as “the best
of deceivers.”

According to Mr. Walid Shoebat, the teachings of the radical Islamic
Religion state that it is acceptable to lie if you are lying to a
non-believer. Lying is also acceptable to gain an advantage for the
Islamic Religion, to get concessions and allow Islamic terrorists to rebuild
their strength.

Shoebat, is a former Islamic terrorist who was thoroughly trained in the
Islamic Religion before he moved the U.S. and converted to Christianity in 1993."


Read the rest of the article at ChristianNewWire.com.

On the other hand, Atheists, Jews and Christians also lie so what’s the difference? The difference is that when Christians and Jews lie, they violate the teachings of their own religions. Atheists don’t think they are accountable to a god so it shouldn’t surprise anyone when they lie. When Jihadists lie, however, they often do so in direct obedience to their religion.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hezbollah rearming

According to an article in today Jerusalem Post, "Military Intelligence head Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin announced Tuesday that Hizbullah was rebuilding itself and rearming, and that UNIFIL forces were making no effort to disarm the terror group."

Of course it is no surprise that the United Nations sits on its hands and does nothing, but where are all the peace advocates and anti-war protesters now? Why isn't the news media covering this? Surely people must realize that if the international community continues to allow Hezbollah military buildup it is only a matter of time before another war breaks out.

Monday, January 08, 2007

New domain name

Recliner Commentaries now has a new domain name: www.reclinercommentaries.com

The old address should still work but the new one may be easier to remember.

National Guard on the run

There was an incident recently in which armed men illegally entered America from Mexico and came within 100 years of our National Guard. The National Guard had to retreat because they are apparently under orders not to defend themselves! (AZStarNet, WND, KVOA).

To put our men and women in harm’s way and not allow them to defend themselves against armed smugglers, gang members or drug runners is truly outrageous! Although I’ve been a strong supporter of President Bush I have to say that this is one issue in which he has completely failed America. In fact, if his negligence in defending America’s borders was an impeachable offense, I would be likely to support impeachment for this offence.

In my view, we need about 100,000 more National Guard on the border who are "authorized to use deadly force" against any armed intruders who, when confronted, do not immediately lay down their arms and surrender.

On the other hand, why would any of the National Guard or Border Patrol want to confront any illegal aliens given the way our [in]justice system has treated Ramos and Compean (see last post).

Border Patrol agents going to jail

The following are excerpts of an e-mail alert I received yesterday from the Center for Individual Freedom via NewsMax:

Two brave U.S. Border Patrol agents -- Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean --
are headed to prison for a combined 23 YEARS! Their sentences begin on
January 17 -- less than two weeks from today!

Their crime? Defending our nation's southern border against illegal alien
drug smugglers.Here are the facts:

Border Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean spotted a suspicious van on
U.S. soil near the U.S.-Mexico border. The van was being driven by an
illegal alien -- Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila -- who was smuggling 743 pounds of
marijuana into the United States.

When the illegal alien and drug smuggler saw Agents Ramos and Compean, he
ran for the border. The agents heard gun shots while pursuing Davila on
foot. According to media reports, Davila at one point turned toward the pursuing
agents and pointed what appeared to be a gun.

The border agents fired their weapons at the fleeing illegal alien drug
smuggler.Davila was hit in his buttocks -- although Compean and Ramos apparently
did not know it at the time -- and Davila didn't even slow down. He jumped
into a waiting van and sped off in the night.

Apparently outraged that a foreign illegal drug smuggler was shot in the
buttocks, Johnny Sutton -- U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas --
ordered a full-scale, no stone un-turned, investigation of COMPEAN AND RAMOS!The
illegal alien drug smuggler Davila received full immunity for his testimony
against Agents Ramos and Compean. Not only that, he was given full medical
care at an Army medical center in El Paso courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.

What about the illegal alien drug smuggler you ask? Davila was again caught
smuggling drugs into the United States! And Sutton gave him immunity from
prosecution from those crimes as well.

At the trial, the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Kanov,
dismissed Agent Ramos's testimony that he saw "something shiny" in Davila's
hand. She said Ramos "couldn't be sure it was a gun he had seen."

In other words, if it's dark and you can't be absolutely certain that the
shiny thing you see pointed at you and your fellow agent is a pistol, don't fire
until you get a bullet between your eyes. Then you'll know for certain it's a
gun.

Also, the prosecutor said it was a violation of Border Patrol policy for
agents to pursue dope dealers on the run. As she explained it: "Agents are not
allowed to pursue. In order to exceed the speed limit, you have to get
supervisor approval, and they did not."

Ramos, who had a stellar 10-year record and who had been nominated for the
Agent of the Year award, said in reply: "How are we supposed to follow the
Border patrol strategy of apprehending terrorists or drug smugglers if we aren't
supposed to pursue fleeing people? Everybody who's breaking the law flees from
us. What are we supposed to do? Do they want us to catch them or not?"

The answer to Officer Ramos's question is: OBVIOUSLY NOT!

55 Members of Congress are demanding that President Bush pardon these brave
border agents and 12 of these Members sent a letter to President Bush, which
reads in part: "We ask that a full investigation of this case be ordered
immediately. We are confident that during such an investigation you will find
that these Border Patrol agents were acting within the scope of their duty and
were unjustly prosecuted. Also, we ask that you use your power of presidential
pardon, as granted by the United States Constitution in Article II, Section 2,
to pardon these two Border Patrol agents."

This miscarriage of justice is so flagrant... so egregious... that many
people have written us and asked if we are telling the whole story.Actually, for
the sake of full disclosure, Ramos and Compean did disregard two departmental
procedures, which we will point out just to illustrate the absurdity of this
entire prosecution.

First, Compean and Ramos should have NEVER pursued Davila in the first
place. Departmental procedures require that agents obtain the approval of
a supervisor before pursuing a suspect.In other words -- per departmental
procedures -- when Davila started to run for the Mexican border, Compean and
Ramos should have STOPPED... radioed a superior and asked for permission to
pursue him.

Secondly, Compean and Ramos neglected to mention in their report that shots
had been fired. There is no dispute of that fact. Compean and Ramos
were wrong...But... Is it fair and just to send two law enforcement officers to
prison for a combined 23 years for pursuing a dangerous drug smuggler and
neglecting to report that shots were fired?Hardly... in most cases, such actions
warrant a few days of suspension without pay!

Retired Border Patrol Supervisor David Stoddard -- a Border Patrol
veteran of 27 years -- said of Ramos and Compean's situation, "This is
outrageous. This whole incident tells the Border Patrol agents all over
the country it's better to go out to their areas of responsibility and bring a
portable DVD player and watch a movie, because that way you won't get into
trouble."


If you’d like to join the 55 members of congress in asking the President for a pardon for Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, the White House e-mail is comments@whitehouse.gov

UPDATE: Please read the response by "bode miller jokes" to my January 17, 2007 post on this issue. It provides an entirely different perspective

Hemorrhagic fever in Kenya

According to the Associated Press: "About 75 people have died in Kenya of Rift Valley fever during the past three weeks and another 183 are infected with it, according to a senior health official. The death toll from the hemorrhagic fever - a virus which spreads from animals to humans by mosquitoes and through contact with raw blood, milk and other bodily fluids - could be higher because the figures are only of adult victims." Read the entire article at Associated Press.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Israeli plans attack on Iran?

The TimesOnline (London) reported today that Israel has secret plans to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities and that the Israeli airforce has been actively practicing for such an attack.

Israeli officials, of course, deny such plans but, in my view, they would be out of their minds if they did NOT have such plans in place. Their country's existence may depend on these plans.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Muslim imam deported

In the mid-1980’s Fawaz Damra was the imam of a mosque in Brooklyn, NY. He later became the imam for the largest mosque in Cleveland, Ohio (he was replaced by the terrorist Abdel-Rahman who was involved in the first World Trade Center bombing).

As long ago as 1991 Damra made a speech in Chicago saying that Muslims should be “directing all the rifles at the first and last enemy of the Islamic nation and that is the sons of monkeys and pigs, the Jews." He later apologized pointing out that he said it before he actually knew any Christians and Jews, but in 2004 he was convicted for concealing his ties to Islamic Jihad for which he had been raising money. He was just recently deported (Washington Times).

I don’t know whether the members of Damra’s mosques knew that he was raising money for terrorists but if the pastor of any large Evangelical or mainline church had called Jews “monkeys and pigs” I’m quite sure he or she would quickly be out of a job. This makes me wonder how Damra managed to maintain a leadership position in New York and Ohio mosques for so long. Are the members of these mosques really as “moderate” as we assume them to be?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Government regulations and the homeless

When you have a chance, please read John Stossel’s excellent article entitled, “Is this any way to help the homeless.” Excerpts appear below:

"Mary Baker and Ruth Neikirk love to cook. What's more, they love to cook for poor people. They do it frequently, preparing meals at home and bringing them to their church in Virginia."

"The people they cook for love it too. But there's a problem. It was "criminal activity." The Fairfax County health department points out that -- horrors -- Mary and Ruth are actually preparing food and serving it to people! Without a license!"

"That's not safe, said the health department. What if there's food poisoning? Hundreds of pages of regulation say that if you want to serve food to the public, you need a food-manager certificate, a ware-washing machine (with internal baffles), drain-boards, ventilation-hood systems, a sink with at least three compartments, as well as a hand-washing sink, can openers with removable parts, and much more, for page after page."

"The health department said it was just looking out for the homeless. But did the officials ever think about where street people eat when they don't eat at these churches?"

"They've never stopped me from eating out of a dumpster or a trash can," says James, an astute homeless man who understands Henry Hazlitt's "economics in one lesson," namely, look for the secondary results of government policy. The government can close down the church kitchens, but that'll only send the poor to the garbage cans. Is that better?"

We certainly need government to protect us from the criminals among us, and we may even want government to protect us from ourselves to some degree, but it seems to me that our government has gone WAY overboard when it comes to regulations. One of the best things our new Congress could do is to work toward de-regulating our lives. Sure. Like that's going to happen!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Nancy Pelosi: Speaker of the House

History was just made as moments ago the election of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House was announced. She is the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history. Congratulations, Ms. Pelosi.

Questions for the anti-war crowd

I recently heard on the radio that there were anti-war protests in dozens of U.S. cities on New Years Day. The American Left endlessly attacks our government for everything from Abu Ghraib, to Guantanamo Bay to the very war many of their Democratic congresspeople voted for, and yet their protests seem to be very one-sided. Dr.Nazad Hawramany has some questions for the "peace-mongers" who are so vocal in their protests against the war in Iraq:

"1- Saddam Hussein and his Ba`ath regime has murdered over 2 millions of Iraqis in the last 35 years. Why they never protested?

2- Four million Iraqis so far have escaped from Iraq because of Saddam Hussein into exile to save their lives. Why they didn't ask about the reason?

3- Saddam Hussein deported tens of thousands of Iraqi Faily Kurds, confiscated their property and abducted over 20,000 young Faily Kurds to unknown destinations. Leaving their families in a limbo. Why they never demonstrated against such a Barbaric Act?

4- Saddam Hussein committed genocide in Iraqi Kurdistan and abducted 180,000 Kurdish women, children and men in the notorious Anfal campaigns of 1986-1988, and buried them alive in mass graves. Why they never demonstrated against this Barbaric Act?

5- Saddam Hussein gassed the City of Halabja killing 5000 women children and men in a few minutes in 1988,and tens of thousands with permanent disabilities and diseases. Why they never demonstrated against this Barbaric Act?

6- Saddam Hussein waged an eight-year unwarranted war against Iranian People 1980-1988. Well, no one demonstrated against it. He was hailed as a hero and a champion of secularism by western countries.

7- Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait und swallowed an independent and sovereign state but no one demonstrated against it. But after International Forces assembled to liberate Kuwait, anti war Peace Mongers appeared on the scene protesting against the War.

8- Why these Peace Mongers don't [didn't] go to Saddam Hussein to reason with him to give up his power to avoid war and save Iraqi people?

9- Saddam Hussein beheaded thousands of innocent Iraqi women opposed to his regime in front of their children and families with impunity and labeled them as prostitutes. Why they never protested against this barbaric act?

10- Saddam Hussein killed thousands of political prisoners to death with gas and firing squads in the campaign of cleansing prisons because of complaints that prisons are overcrowded, only recently in 2001. Why they didn't come out to demonstrate against this barbaric act?

11- Now Saddam Hussein holds hundreds of thousands of political prisoners. Why they don't protest to free them?

12- Saddam Hussein assassinated hundreds of Shiite scholars of Holly Cities of Kerbala and Nejaf. But no one protested against it.

13- During the Uprising of 1991, Saddam Hussein buried hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shiites alive. But no one protested against it.

14- Saddam Hussein has made a law to give excuse to any man to rape a woman relative and then murder her in the name of saving the honour of the family according to Saddam Hussein's Tribal Tradition. Why these Peace Mongers don't demonstrate against that?

15- Why these Peace Mongers [didn't] go to reason with Saddam Hussein to call on a general election supervised by International Community to avoid war.

16- Why these Peace Mongers [didn't] go to Saddam Hussein to reason with him to implement UN Security Resolution 688 to end repression in Iraq establish the rule of the law and respect basic human rights?

17- Why these Peace Mongers never protested against German Government for training Saddam Hussein's Security Apparatus on the art of torture and the use of electrical torture instruments against Political Prisoners, and for providing laboratories for chemical and biological weapons.

18- Why these Peace Mongers never protested against French Government for helping Saddam Hussein and doing business with him, against Iraqi people for the last 30 years? Why they [didn't] protest against Mr.Chirac, the (friend) of Saddam Hussein, as he called himself once.

19- Why these Peace Mongers never protested against Russians for sucking Iraqi peoples' blood for the last thirty years and supplying Saddam Hussein with deadly instruments of war from Russian Military Scrape Yards?

20- Why these Peace Mongers never protested against Ethnic Cleansing Policy of Saddam Hussein. He has forced thousands of Kurdish, Turkman and Assyrians families to leave their homes and properties in Kirkuk, Khanaquin, Mandaly, Sinjar for Arab Tribes of Saddam Hussein.

21- Why these Peace Mongers never protested against Turkey for collaborating with Saddam Hussein against Iraqi Kurdish people.

22- Why these Peace Mongers never protest against Turkey for threatening Iraqi Kurdistan's Democratic Experiment. Iraqi Kurdistan's Democratic Experiment in ten years has overtaken 80 years of Turks in the field of Democracy and Civil Society. It can become a driving force to bring democracy, stability, peace and civil society to post-Saddam Iraq.

23.Why they didn't protest the demolition and burning of 4000 Kurdish villages in Iraqi Kurdistan .

24.Why are they not demonstrating to bring Saddam and his Thugs before an International Tribunal to be tried for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide?

25.Why is it feasible for Iraqi people to live under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein and for iraqi Children to die because Saddam Hussein does not want to by medications and insist on using iraqi people als hostages to save his regime, and why is democracy impossible for Iraq from your( humanitarian) point of view?

26. Why are western journalist ask helpless Iraqi people about their opinion about war when these are surrounded by a dozen of Iraqi security agents and portray this in Europe as the true opinion of Iraqi peoples. Why are you not protesting for free speech in Iraq?

27.Saddam Hussein diverted Tigris and Euphrates and drained out the Marshes in south Iraq, a unique ecological system of more than 5 thousand years, just to suppress the Shiite opposition in south Iraq. Why they didn't demonstrate to prevent this ecological and human catastrophe?"

Dr. Hawramany's article is now a little dated (published in the Kurdistan Observer in 2003) but his questions are still just as relevant today as when he wrote them. Why does the Left seem so intent on focusing on the speck in America's eye while ignoring the putrefying rot in other nations around the world? I'm not saying that America's evils should be ignored--just that we keep some perspective.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

More child rape and sexual abuse

The Associated Press reports that more allegations of child rape and sexual abuse perpetrated by United Nations “peacekeepers” have surfaced. The United Nations says it will investigate

Isn’t that a little like sending a fox to investigate the hen house. See Recliner Commentaries December 4, 2006 post).

Breaking News: Student shot

CBS is reporting that a student has been shot and killed in a high school in Tacoma Washington.

I have now entered the Twilight Zone

I feel like I’ve entered the Twilight Zone when—on the same day—I not only agree with Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy and John Kerry over against the former Republican Congress, but on another issue I find myself in agreement with Barbara Boxer and absolutely disgusted with the Bush administration! See LGF’s Outrage of the Day.

Pat Robertson predicts terrorist attack

According to CNN: “Evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson said Tuesday that God has told him that a terrorist attack on the United States would cause a "mass killing" late in 2007.” Robertson said, “The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

As a Christian, quite frankly, I am getting very weary of hearing other Christians say, “God told me” this or “God told me” that. I think entirely too many Christians mistake every little mental impression, feeling, inclination (or indigestion) as God’s voice. Frankly, I don’t think God has a sense of humor about it, especially when someone as prominent as Pat Robertson makes such public statements about what God supposedly told him (and they don’t come true).

Robertson probably has a better than average chance that his latest prophecy will come true, but if it does not, I would suggest that he submit himself to the decree of Deuteronomy 18:20: “The prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak…that same prophet shall die.”

OK, I’m not really serious, but I am serious about this: If Robertson’s prediction does not come true I suggest that he immediately resign from all ministry responsibilities and retire (he should have done this the last time one of his predictions didn’t come true). If he does not resign, I suggest that his board of directors fire him.

Christians who say “God said” when God has not said, make other Christians look like idiots and, infinitely worse, bring shame to the name of Christ. It is long past time that the Christian community take such things seriously and ostracize these false prophets.

Wesley Autrey: A true hero

We have a genuine hero in the news this morning. According to NY1.Com, Wesley Autrey "jumped onto the tracks at a Manhattanville subway station at 137th Street and Broadway Tuesday afternoon to save the life of a stranger who had fallen after having an apparent seizure."

Autrey "grabbed the man and pinned him down in the gutter between the running rails while a downtown Number 1 train passed overhead, miraculously leaving both men without a scratch."

Autrey said, "I had to have the guy pinned down, because like I said, he was in a seizure...He was incoherent. He was fighting, pushing and pushing against me. So I had to lock myself down, so he wouldn't push me back, and possibly my head get hit."

Hats off to Wesley Autry, a true American hero! Read the entire article at NY1.Com.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cities prepared for disaster

Now that it’s been more than five years after 9/11 Americans have a right to expect that our city governments would be prepared to respond to major emergencies. We also have a right to think that Hurricane Katrina would have been a wake-up call to unprepared city officials.

A report by the Department of Homeland Security scheduled to be released Wednesday provides a list of the major U.S. cities which now "have emergency communications allowing police, fire and medical officials to coordinate fully during a crisis" (Reuters). Those cities are:

Washington DC
San Diego, CA
Columbus, OH
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

That's it! I guess those of you who live in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Boston, Miami, etc. etc. are just out of luck. I think the elected officials in those cities should find themselves out of luck in the next elections.

Pay raises for judges

In 2006 Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy and John Kerry introduced a bill that would have provided a 16% increase in salary for federal judges. I rarely agree with these senators but when they're right, they're right. The new Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts also recently made the case for increasing judicial salaries (CNN).

The the bill introduced by Feinstein, Leahy and Kerry didn't get anywhere in a Republican Congress. Maybe the Democrats will do better.

More on declassified Arafat document

A few days ago Recliner Commentaries commented on the recently de-classified document on Yasir Arafat. Today, Caroline Glick asks some very insightful questions about the U.S. government, our State Department, and the media. Please take time to read the entire article in the Jerusalem Post but if time doesn’t permit, an excerpt is copied below:

"On the face of it, the released cable, which calls into question the very foundation of US Middle East policy for the past generation is simply stunning. The cable concludes...The emergence of the United States as a primary fedayeen target indicates a serious threat of further incidents similar to that which occurred in Khartoum."

"The media's silence on the issue does not merely raise red flags abut their objectivity. By not availing the American public to the knowledge that Fatah and the PLO have been specifically targeting Americans for 33 years, the media has denied the American people basic knowledge of the world in which they live."

"The media's abject refusal to cover the story raises an even more egregious aspect of the episode. Specifically, what does the fact that under seven consecutive administrations, the US government has covered up Arafat's direct responsibility for the murder of American diplomats while placing both Arafat and Fatah at the center of its Middle East policy, say about the basic rationale of US policy towards Israel and the Palestinians? What would US Middle East policy looked like, and what would have been the results for US, and international security as a whole, if rather than advancing a policy that made Arafat the most frequent foreign visitor to the White House during the Clinton administration, the US had demanded his extradition and tried him for murder?"

"How many lives would have been saved if the US had not been intent on upholding Arafat's big lie? How would such a US policy have impacted the subsequent development of sister terror organizations like Hizbullah, al-Qaida and Hamas, all of which were founded by members of Arafat's terror industry?"

"Sadly, the release of the cable did not in any way signal a change in the US policy of whitewashing Fatah. In contravention of US law, for the past 13 years, the State Department has been denying that Fatah, the PLO and the Palestinian Authority are terrorist organizations, and has been actively funding them with US taxpayer dollars"

"This policy went on, unchanged even after Fatah gunmen murdered three US embassy employees in Gaza in October 2003. This policy continues, unchanged still today, as Fatah's current leader, Arafat's deputy of 40 years Mahmoud Abbas works to form a unity government with Hamas. Indeed, the central component of the US's policy towards the Palestinians today is the goal of strengthening Fatah by arming, training and funding its Force 17 terror militia."

"In a November 14, 2006 interview on Palestinian television, Ahmed Hales Abu Maher who serves as Secretary of Fatah in Gaza, bragged of Fatah's role in the development of international terrorism."

"Imagine what the world would have looked like if, rather than clinging to Arafat's big lie that he and his Fatah terror organization were central components of Middle East peace, the US had captured and tried Arafat for murdering its diplomats and worked steadily to destroy Fatah."

"Imagine how our future would look if rather than stealthily admitting the truth, while trusting the media not to take notice, the US government were to base its current policies on the truth, and the media were to reveal this truth to the world."

Monday, January 01, 2007

Racism and the Left

For a white southerner's perspective on racism and the Left see Mary Katharine Ham's excellent article in Townhall.

Kassams over Israel

In an excellent article in the Jerusalem Post Benjamin Netanyahu wrote:

"Hizbullah and Hamas are rapidly arming themselves thanks to the Israeli government's decision to refrain from taking action against them. Since the cease-fire was declared, dozens of Kassam rockets have been fired at the western Negev. The government continues not to react."

Then he asked, "If the Israeli government accepts the ongoing firing of Kassams at its cities, why shouldn't the world?"

I have an entirely differnt question:

Where are all the journalists, the media pundits, and anti-war protesters who opposed Israel's response in the Lebanon War? Why are they not venting their rage over the continued unprovoked shelling of Israel? Do they really want peace in the Middle East or deep down inside are they just as anti-Jewish as those firing the Kassams?

Fleeing Iraq

Christians fleeing persecution in Iraq run to Syria—out of the fire but into the frying pan? See DhimmiWatch

The danger of intolerant "Christianists"

Dr. Elizabeth Kantor has a brief, but outstanding article on recent warnings about intolerant Christians in Townhall.

Breaking News: Darrent Williams killed

Reuters is reporting that Denver Broncos cornerback, Darrent Williams was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting early this morning at 2:00 am local time. Two other people riding in Mr. Williams limousine were also hit. Our hearts go out to their families.

Breaking news: Indonesian plane missing

An Indonesian Boeing 737 is now missing after sending out a distress signal in bad weather. The plane had 102 people on board (AP, CBS).

UPDATE January 2, 2006: Rescue teams discovered the wreckage of the plane. 90 people are dead. 12 have survived.

UPDATE #2: Once they were found, now they're not: Reuters is reporting that an Indonesian official is now saying that earlier reports about the plane being found were in error. [Did they make up the 90 dead/12 survived figure out of thin air?]