Wednesday, February 29, 2012

NATO Promises "Open Trial" for "Perpetrators of the Crime," Karzai Says

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai

Hamid Karzai has announced that NATO has promised that those "responsible" for the accidental burning of four of the korans used by prisoners to send secret communications will be "brought to justice" in open court. 
NATO officials promised to meet Afghan nation’s demand of bringing to justice, through an open trial, those responsible for the incident and it was agreed that the perpetrators of the crime be brought to justice as soon as possible. (courtesy Jihad Watch)
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch has a question or two about such a promise, including "Has the conquest of a great nation ever been this easy?"

Why, Spencer wonders, has the United States Government "eagerly embraced Islamic law (Sharia) regarding the treatment of the Qur’an, and assured the Afghans that it will be enforced"? How far is Obama willing to go in his embrace of Sharia law? For example, "Will Obama behead the Qur’an-Burners?"
In his apology letter to Karzai, Obama said that the Qur’an-burning was “inadvertent,” but that nevertheless “we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, including holding accountable those responsible.”
If it was “inadvertent,” why does Obama intend to hold them accountable? Accidents will happen. If he is going to adopt Sharia to the extent that he thinks that anyone should be held accountable for this at all, is he going to adopt Sharia punishments for this “crime” as well? Will he have the U.S. soldiers whom he finds to be responsible for the Qur’an-burning beheaded?  (Read the rest.)
Or will they and their families merely be thrown to the jihadist wolves, to be hunted down at leisure?

Where will this great nation's kow-towing end?

As Spencer points out:
Every day this past week has brought fresh reports of more people murdered in Afghanistan over the burning of some copies of the Qur’an at Bagram Airfield. In response, every day new apologies come from American officials. Barack Obama, Leon Panetta, the commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, and others have all issued abject apologies to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the “noble people of Afghanistan,” and everyone else in sight.
Even the most minor of officials are getting into the act: Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asia and Pacific security affairs, scraping the bottom of the barrel for a suitable object for his abject submission, apologized to Muslims in the Washington, D.C. area.

Doesn't it make you wonder how many American jurists eager to allow foreign law to influence U.S. court decisions are would be more than happy to adopt Sharia law?

By the way, there is no word yet on any justice being sought in the case of the many Muslims responsible for the presence of thousands of pages of korans found in an open sewer in Lahore, Pakistan. (See video at Maggie's Notebook)


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hear us, O Lord -- Doina Buzut & Lucia Starinskii

The season of Lent, which began a few days ago on Ash Wednesday, commemorates the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness.

Today's hymn at Bread upon the Waters is a Roman Catholic hymn of penitence, Attende Domini, beautifully presented in Gregorian chant:
English translation

Chorus: Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against You.

To You, highest King, Redeemer of all,
do we lift up our eyes in weeping:
Hear, O Christ, the prayers of your servants.


Right hand of the Father, Corner-Stone,
Way of Salvation, Gate of Heaven,
Wash away our stains of sin.


We beseech You, God, in Your Great Majesty:
Hear our groans with Your Holy Ears:
Calmly forgive our crimes.


To You we confess our sins, admitted with a contrite heart
We reveal the sins we have kept hidden.
With Your kindness, O Redeemer, overlook them.


You were led away captive, guiltless, unresisting,
Condemned by false witnesses to save sinners. 
O Christ, keep safe those whom You have redeemed. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Green Wind Farm Applies for Permit to Kill Bald Eagles

I'd call that a metaphor.

But it's true:

Texas billionnaire T. W. Pickens is applying for a federal "license to kill" nesting bald eagles in Minnesota. His weapons of choice: the 48 wind turbines he wants to erect near Red Wing, a city on the  Mississippi River known for its  "enviable natural environment.”

Last Thursday, Minnesota residents who have been fighting this wind "farm" for years won a delay on its groundbreaking to give Pickens's company, AWA Goodhue Wind, a chance to finally produce an "an adequate plan to protect America's national symbol and other flying creatures." 
"I don't think that the American people are ready to watch Minnesota's nesting bald eagles be destroyed on behalf of a Texas millionaire," said Mary Hartman, a local resident.
However, if Pickens gets his kill permit, he won't have to worry about protecting eagles and other flying creatures. And why wouldn't he? There seems to be an exemption waiting in the Obama administration for just about anyone willing to fly the green flag. In this case, the exemption from laws protecting endangered species would come from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which reportedly originated the idea:
Goodhue Wind has recently conceded that the project would probably harm an unknown number of eagles, and has started an application for a federal permit that would legally allow it to kill the birds. The permit is a new strategy by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage the often-lethal conflict between birds and turbine blades. Only one other wind project has applied -- West Butte Power Project in Oregon -- but no permits have been granted.

The decision to develop such permits is controversial among environmental and bird conservation groups. "The public cares deeply about bald eagles," Fuller said. "I've never met anyone who thinks it's a good idea to kill bald eagles. They are special birds."

Even the utilities commissioners expressed some discomfort with the idea at Thursday's hearing. Commissioner J. Dennis O'Brien called it "a license to kill."

"Every fall I apply for a duck hunting license," O'Brien said. "You will have a license to kill up to a specified number of eagles."
That "specified number" could get really high

According to a 2004 California Energy Commission report, spinning "windmill" blades at the Altamont Wind Resource Area in California kill several thousand (up to around 5,000) wild birds per year, especially golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, and burrowing owls, but also waterfowl and songbirds with formerly glorious voices. Any critter flying by. 
There's nothing like getting sucked up by a wind turbine and then being chopped to bits with a dull blade to help reduce CO2. Greenies call these incidents "avian collisions."
Also in danger are the local bat population. Wind "farms" are B-A-D for eagles, but even worse for bats,
useful little mammals that dine on mosquitoes and other bugs at night while you sleep and live otherwise peaceful, non-invasive lives for about 30 years, producing a couple of offspring a year, unless they wander into the turbulence of a wind turbine, where the changed air pressure does truly horrible and wicked things to their bodies that are definitely not in Nature's scheme. At two wind "farms" in Virginia, researchers estimated that about 3,000 bats suffered a terrible fate in a mere six weeks, the length of the study.
Who would be keeping track of the number of eagles, bats, and other winged critters destroyed by the (let's face it) least efficient of renewable energy sources? That's a little problem right there.

Bald eagles for accurate nest counts
Minnesota observers have testified that Goodhue Wind has been doing a pretty poor job of it up to this point. For one thing, the Goodhue Wind eagle surveys counted fewer eagle nests in the killer turbine radius than citizens did, and the technology Goodhue Wind used to monitor bat calls during their bat population survey worked only about half the time--hardly a track record that instills confidence in the company's devotion to environmental concerns.

From Climate Gate to Capn' Tax to Solindra and beyond, every day that goes by produces more evidence that the race for green energy is really a push for the old dough-re-me.

Addendum: Interested? Watch this video about the fast tracking of wind energy in Minnesota, and coming to a neighborhood near you (via blog commenter Rick Conrad @ Goodhue County Wind Energy).

Hat tip: Minnesotans for Global Warming

Friday, February 24, 2012

America's Real Apology to Hamid Karzai

More intelligence in one young woman than in the entire White House:


Progress Report on the Terrorist Literacy Front

What Afghans think of Obama's apology. H/t: Atlas Shrugs
In the last few days, texts for terrorists has borne the expected fruit.

Twenty Twenty-eight* Thirty** people dead and who knows how many injured because Afghani workers found a few Korans being burned in a Bagram Air Base trash pit--together with a truckload of Islamic texts removed from a U.S.-run prison library.

Insurgents incarcerated in the Parwan Detention Facility Library had been using the texts to send contraband messages to each other, an eventuality unforeseen (or so they'd like us to believe) by the International Red Cross (or is it the International Red Crescent?).

Obama promised (in writing) to "hold accountable" those responsible.

How about the Afghans who killed two four* six**American soldiers in retaliation and wounded others ? Who is holding them accountable?

NATO crickets.

How about the "protesters" who set fire to an ammunition truck, killing three people? Who is holding them accountable?

Afghan crickets.

However, in the State of Washington, Newt Gingrich stated, in no uncertain terms, that "Afghan President Hamid Karzi owes the U.S. an apology for the shootings."

"The president apologized for the burning, Gingrich observed, but I haven't seen the president demand that the government of Afghanistan apologize for the killing of two young Americans."
"There seems to be nothing that radical Islamists can do to get Barack Obama's attention in a negative way and he is consistently apologizing to people who do not deserve the apology of the president of the United States period," Gingrich said.
"And, candidly, if Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, doesn't feel like apologizing then we should say good bye and good luck, we don't need to be here risking our lives and wasting our money on somebody who doesn't care."
Which would be the end of Hamid Karzai. I think Afghanistan could scrape together enough resources to construct an effigy of him. Oh, wait. That's been done already  . . .

Afghans burn an effigy representing Hamid Karsai.
*Update 2/25/12: Eight more people dead since yesterday, including two more American soldiers shot inside Hamid Karsai's Interior Ministry. (Via This Ain't Hell, via Marooned in Marin)
**Update 3/1/12. Two U.S. troops killed by the security forces they were training. (H/T Right Scoop)



Just returned from Progressive Paradise Central, where Obama is a Great Guy, Republicans Are a Bunch of Mindless Criticizers Who Attack Obama for No Reason at All, Nobody is Catholic, and the Price of Gas has Nothing (that is to say, Nothing) to do with Drilling and Everything to Do with U.S. Oil Company Greed (and Only U.S. Oil Company Greed). Where is Kucinich when we Need Him? Save the Environment.

I am so tired of being the enemy in the room.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Podcast: Rick Santorum's 2008 "Father of Lies" Speech

Santorum titled this speech, "Faith in Public Life: A Personal Journal." He was addressing an audience at Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida. 

A podcast of this speech can be downloaded from the University Website.

Or, listen here. Please.

You won't be sorry.

Note to US Music Teachers: All Cultures Are Not Equal

I am forwarding this note to music teachers and choir directors promoting performances of Zikr, a chant praising Allah, that has been making the rounds of classrooms and even Christmas concerts throughout the U.S.

Newsflash: 6- to 11-year-old Muslim children are being used as bomb carriers, taught to be suicide bombers in Islamic seminaries.

For example, on February 15, the Afghan government released 41 such boys who had been captured as they embarked on a mountain trek into Pakistan to "be educated" as suicide bombers. The government returned the young ones to their families.

Returning the boys to their families, however, doesn't always work out as well as hoped.

Six months ago, 20 other Afghani child suicide-bombers-in-training were similarly released after having been pardoned by Hamid Karzai but, just a couple of weeks ago, 2 ten-year-olds from this group were rearrested as they planned a mass murder in Kandahar.

Islamic terrorists using children as bombs has been an ongoing problem for years. From The Guardian:
Children as young as six are being used by the Taliban in increasingly desperate suicide missions, coalition forces in Afghanistan claimed yesterday.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to which Britain contributes 5,000 troops in southern Afghanistan, revealed that soldiers defused an explosive vest which had been placed on a six-year-old who had been told to attack Afghan army forces in the east of the country.
The boy was spotted after appearing confused at a checkpoint. The vest was defused and no one was hurt.

"They placed explosives on a six-year-old boy and told him to walk up to the Afghan police or army and push the button," said Captain Michael Cormier, the company commander who intercepted the child, in a statement. "Fortunately, the boy did not understand and asked patrolling officers why he had this vest on."
The inquisitive innocence of that little boy turned out to be a lucky break. Unusually lucky. Terrorists have succeeded in killing hundreds of people using little kids as explosive devices.

Who knows how many people would have died if his impatient-to-kill Taliban handlers had waited a year or two before sending this little boy to a checkpoint to "push the button"?
As reported by Bare Naked Islam, "the going price for child bombers" in Pakistan was US $7,000 to $14,000, depending "on how quickly the bomber is needed and how close the child is expected to get to the target."

I do not argue that all innocent little children are not equally beautiful. But I do question: Do we really need American teachers telling their young charges that, despite all evidence to the contrary, all cultures are equal representations of American ideals?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Congressional Budget Office: US Economy Will Shut Down in 15 Short Years

But Obama supporters think that the U.S. economy (people with jobs) will be able to provide them with a palette of free, high-quality contraceptive choices?

Yeah, right.

The Congressional Budget Office is a little less optimistic. If Obama keeps getting his way, the U.S. economy will shut down soon, in a mere 15 years, strangled by debt rising to 900% of GDP. And it's not going to be a fun journey, count on that.

Through the lens of Mark Steyn, as usual, focused to incinerate: 
America's Treasury Secretary, Timmy Geithner the TurboTax Kid, thought the chart would have been even more hilarious if they'd run the numbers into the next millennium: "You [addressing House Budget Committee Chairman, Paul Ryan] could have taken it out to 3,000 or to 4,000" he chortled, to supportive titters from his aides. . . .

"Yeah, right." replied Ryan. "We cut it off at the end of the century because the economy, according to the CBO, shuts down in 2027 on this path."

Total collapse of the economy in 15 years under Obama's budget.

What a guy!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Black History Month: How Times Have Changed


A Favorite Hymn of Abe Lincoln -- When I Can Read My Title Clear

Tomorrow is President's Day, commemorating the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Abe Lincoln was born 203 years ago on February 12, 1809. This hymn, which was popular in his childhood, is said to have been one of his favorites:

When I can read my title clear
To mansions in the skies,
I'll bid farewell to ev'ry fear
And wipe my weeping eyes.

Should earth against my soul engage,
And fiery darts be hurled,
Then I can smile at Satan's rage
And face a frowning world.

Let cares, like a wild deluge come,
And storms of sorrow fall!
May I but safely reach my home,
My God, my heav'n, my all.

There shall I bathe my weary soul
In seas of heav'nly rest,
And not a wave of trouble roll
Across my peaceful breast.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Illegal Alien Moroccan Straps on Suicide Vest in DC [UPDATED]

Amine El Khalifi, an Alexandria, VA, resident, left a mosque today and headed over to the U.S. Capitol strapped into a suicide vest. His target, according to ABC News, was the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center.

[Update, 2/19/12: The mosque visited by El Khalafi for his Friday prayers was the same one at which Anwar al-Awlaki was imam in 2001 and 2002. Al-Awlaki was the al-Qaeda recruiter linked to the terror attacks of 9/11, the Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, and the 2009 Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, among others. Al-Awaki and his son were reportedly killed in separate American drone strikes in Yemen in 2001.]

Law enforcement officials, who had been tracking El Khalifi for more than a year, said that "the explosives were inert" and that the public and Congressional community were "never in danger." By that definition, the "public" apparently does not include El Khalifi's landlord, whom the mass-murderer-wannabe threatened to beat up after the landlord suspected him and his buddies of making bombs in his apartment and then asked him to leave.

El Khalifi has been charged with knowingly and unlawfully attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against property owned and used by the United States.

You will no doubt be shocked to learn that El Khalifi is a 29-year-old unemployed illegal alien who came to the U.S. from Morocco when he was 16 years old and overstayed his visa. He was arrested wearing a green shirt and black pants.

Officials are calling this a "lone wolf" attack.

My, my, my. There seem to be a lot of lone wolves out there.

The Green and The Black

Allen West: Gov't Handouts the Most Insidious Form of Slavery in the World Today . . .

West tells the House:
The Republican value of minimizing government dependence is particularly beneficial to the poorest among us.

Conversely, the Democratic appetite for ever increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Miniature Miracle

Meet one little chameleon, a member of the newly discovered Brookesia micra species:

This teensy-tiny guy (or gal, not sure which) is a juvenile member of a species discovered in 2007. They live on the ground among limestone pebbles and dry deciduous forest leaf litter near a small stream on Nosy Hara in the Antsiranana Province of northern Madagascar. At night, they climb 2 to 4 inches up the stems of very small plants to hide in their leaves.

He's got a baby brother, even smaller:

Baby B. Micra

Adult B. micras, which are only 1/5th of an inch long, have orange-colored tails:
Daddy B. micra, actual size = 1/5th of an inch
These little creatures are among the smallest amniotes in the world, an amniote being a reptile, bird, or mammal. It is hard to believe that highly complex animal like this, complete with a set of organs similar to those of much bigger animals, is packed into such a tiny package.

Life is a miracle all around though, isn't it?

Read more about these new discoveries in a recently published paper, Rivaling the World's Smallest Reptiles: "Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar," by Frank Glaw, Jorn Kohler, Ted M. Townsend, and Miguel Vences.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

That Spoon Just Wasn't Long Enough

There was a time when Roman Catholicism was the great defender not only of its own liberty but of that of others. There was a time when the prelates recognized that the liberty of the church to govern itself in light of its guiding principles was inseparable from the liberty of other corporate bodies and institutions to do the same.
No longer. Catholic leaders became so interested in "social justice" that they forgot to consult the history of their own Church's contributions to human liberty and neglected to consider the likely consequences of their pact with government: so argues conservative historian Paul A. Rahe.
Rahe isn't 100% correct in his analysis, I think, but he certainly sheds much light on how the American Church managed to lose the respect of government, a process that must be reversed. Recommended by Rush today, American Catholicism's Pact With the Devil is a thoughtful article, followed by a conversation between Rahe and his commenters that answers many questions.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Obama: Money Should Not Drive Politics


I Shall Not Be Moved -- Mississippi John Hurt

After 0bama's HHS assault on our precious First Amendment, many people are thinking what John Hurt was singing:


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fait Accompli: Obama Makes the HHS Regulation Federal Law

Remember when you first noticed that Obama always promised exactly the opposite of what he actually delivered?

The following is reprinted from Pundit & Pundette. You need to know this, but watch your blood pressure:
It's from Nothing But Squid Ink, Ed Haislmaier and Jennifer A. Marshall's analysis of Obama's bogus "accommodation." I'm no lawyer, but the part about putting the mandate "into federal law" yesterday afternoon seems pretty clear:
Despite what President Obama said at his White House press conference, the actual regulations make permanent the “interim final regulations” issued August 3, 2011 — the ones that sparked the furor in the first place.

Prefaced by 17 pages of the kind of rhetorical squid ink that President Obama defensively deployed at his press conference, the words that have the force of law appear on pages 18 to 20. That’s where the actual amendments to the Code of Federal Regulations are made by three departments — Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services — that Congress previously granted joint oversight of employer health plans.

The bottom line is this: “Accordingly, the amendment to the interim final rule with comment period amending 45 CFR 147.130(a)(1)(iv) which was published in the Federal Register at 76 FR 46621-46626 on August 3, 2011, is adopted as a final rule without change.” [Emphasis added.]

Translation: The Obama administration Friday afternoon put into federal law the very regulation that drew objections from almost 200 Catholic bishops, some 50 religiously affiliated colleges and universities, 65 North American bishops of Orthodox churches, numerous other Jewish, Evangelical and Lutheran leaders, and even some liberals — and without changing so much as a comma.

From this point forward, any changes to this regulation have to go through the formal regulatory process all over again. [. . .]

Thus, instead of delaying final regulations until they could be revised to reflect the prospective changes President Obama outlined Friday, the administration went ahead and locked into regulation its original position, accompanied by a (non-binding) promise to revisit the issue.
Bold emphasis is mine.

Kinda makes Obama's protestations of "accommodation" look even more like a fraud and a lie than they already did. Pass it on.

Friday, February 10, 2012

NJ City Charges Handicapped for Handicapped Parking

From CBS New York:
The city of Passaic sent letters last week to almost 240 disabled resident saying their free handicapped parking spots will now cost $50 a year.

“That’s terrible,” reacted 80-year-old Wanda Walis, who is disabled with leg and lung problems.

She doesn’t know how she’ll afford it.

“I get $18,000 a year.”

. . .

The city council blames budget strains.

Too bad for Wanda that she doesn't want free abortion-inducing drugs and free "contraception services."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Come on, Mr. President

Posting on my blog is my little way of casting a vote for what stays in public discussion. Search engines can count, and journalists have a way of writing about topics of interest to readers.

I strongly believe that freedom of religion (i.e., freedom of thought) should remain front-and-center in public discourse until everybody in the U.S. has a good, long, chance to think it through. While it's still legal to think.

To that end, reposted from Weasel Zippers, comes this little video of Barack Obama showing his annoyance at the "audacity" of anyone to wonder what the president of the United States thinks about freedom of religion.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Q. What's more fun than having someone else pay for your contraception or abortion?

A. Making sure the person doing the paying believes that by doing so, he sins against humanity and God.

That's the New Revised American Way.

I must confess that even a conservative blogger like myself, hardened by long residence in a teeming hive of progressive orthodoxy, can still be sadly surprised by the intensity of the display of vitriol toward Catholics, their Church, and their religious beliefs that has been unleashed by the Obama administration's insistence that religious institutions--most particularly those based on respect for human life--pay for abortion-inducing and contraception drugs.

Contraception and abortion are available everywhere in the U.S.*

What is becoming scarce, it seems, are people who strongly believe in the sanctity of human life.

One must admit that people who believe in the sanctity of life are mighty handy to have around when it is your life--or the life of someone you love--that could use some saving. Hence, the existence of thousands of Catholic healthcare institutions in the U.S., ranging from the highest-ranked teaching hospitals to lowly local providers of home health assistance for the elderly and disabled.

On the other hand, people who respect the sanctity of life are a major pain in the butt when you are trying to, ahem, "reduce the surplus population," through such expediencies as, say, refusal of medical or health-care services and/or life-saving drugs, euthanasia, abortions, abortion-inducing drugs, etc., etc. (see socialized medicine, aka ObamaCare).

Choose your medicine, America, while you've still got the chance.

*As Mark Levin, among others, has pointed out.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why Your Religious Beliefs Mean Nothing . . .

Big Brother knows best.


From George Orwell's 1984:
’Does Big Brother exist?’
’Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of
the Party.’
’Does he exist in the same way as I exist?
’You do not exist . . . .’

Wonderful -- Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Downtwinkle: Rat Families Evicted from Occupy DC

McPherson Park in happier days.
Minus their four-legged companions, stored-up bottles of urine, and other paraphernalia, two-legged occupods are being allowed to remain in McPherson Square, a downtown DC park, after a brief, albeit police enforced, cleaning operation.

Cleaning up after occupods, the unsavory new item on the job description of U.S. Park Police officers, requires a new "uniform": a full "sanitation" suit, complete with respirator mask. New police equipment includes a cherry picker, which today was used to remove a Guy Fawkes mask from the face of the statue of the Civil War hero, Maj. General James McPherson, for whom the park was named after he sacrificed his life in battle to preserve the Union and end slavery.


Something to Celebrate

Whew! Two weeks of intense work and family responsibilities have kept me away from my computer until this evening, and right off the bat I notice two blogger milestones to celebrate:
          and . . . 

Thank you, Bunni and Zilla, for outstanding guardianship of blog readers' sanity!