Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm Still Thinking about These Carolers . . .

Some of the intended victims of Mohamed Mohamud's Portland, OR, bombing plot, sing a joyful Christmas carol as the Christmas tree is lit in Pioneer Courthouse Square. (AP Photo, The Oregonian, Torsten Kjellstrand)

. . . but, predictably, the Portland police, who have a "proud" history of refusing to work with the FBI to confront Islamic terrorism, "have increased patrols around mosques and other Islamic sites in Portland." (H/t Critical Narrative.) Now that Attorney General Eric Holder has assigned the FBI with the extra duty of investigating the cause of a small fire that broke out in Mohamed Mohamud's mosque on Sunday, I have no doubt that the Portland police will not refuse to cooperate with that investigation.

A young fellow leaving flowers at Mohamed Mohamud's mosque on Sunday. (AP Photo, Rick Bowmer)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wikileaks: You Can't Fix Stupid

Bradley Manning demanding equality "on the battlefield"
In his own words, 22-year-old Pvt. Bradley Manning, sitting in a base 40 miles east of Baghdad, had "unprecedented access" to classified U.S. networks "14 hours a day, seven days a week, for eight+  months." And he used it to get U.S. military and diplomatic secrets published around the world. Here's how Wikileaks got its start (h/t The Guardian via Ed Morrissey):
It was childishly easy, according to the published chatlog of a conversation Manning had with a fellow-hacker. “I would come in with music on a CD-RW labelled with something like ‘Lady Gaga’ … erase the music … then write a compressed split file. No one suspected a thing … [I] listened and lip-synched to Lady Gaga’s Telephone while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history.” He said that he “had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months”.

Manning told his correspondent Adrian Lamo, who subsequently denounced him to the authorities: “Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public … Everywhere there’s a US post, there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed. Worldwide anarchy in CSV format … It’s beautiful, and horrifying.”
These things will happen when you entrust U.S. secrets to nervous children, particularly those with bones to pick with the U.S. military and with "society at large." Bradley Manning's anger with his nation and his nation's military centered around his desire for "transgender equality."

Last August, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway was reported to have "expressed his fear" that the effort to repeal "Don't ask, Don't tell" would "distract from the military's mission of protecting the nation." It looks like Bradley Manning was among the distracted.

Worse, far worse, and more dangerous, in my opinion, are the "distracted" leaders in America's political and military structures, who are easily led by whatever politically correct demand marches down the pike, whether it be gay marriage, Muslim extra-sensitivities, new home mortgages for credit risks, citizenship for the "undocumented," or any other feel-good "cause."

In times of danger and economic stress, reasonable people focus first on the most basic matters of survival, and later work on improving those areas on which survival does not depend.

It's time our country's leaders did the same.

H/t AJ Strata.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Finding: Global Warming "Highly Beneficial to Human Health"

AccuWeather.com is predicting a storm system emerging from the Rockies that will coat Plains and Midwest roads with freezing drizzle and traffic-snarling snow. Message: Drive carefully, if at all.

I think this is a great moment to thank Elmer over at Minnesotans for Global Warming for pointing out a new peer-reviewed study that "Climate Change" alarmists will never tell you about: Global warming would actually save lives.

Anybody who has ever spent serious time freezing their buns off or digging their way out of a heavy snowstorm could'a told you that, but . . .

Three UK researchers (N. Christidis, G. C. Donaldson, and P. A. Stott) decided to make it official by scientifically testing a claim made "with very high confidence" by the UN's IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that "climate change contributes to the global burden of disease and to increased mortality". . . .

After studying UK death and cause-of-death statistics for the period between 1976 and 2005, the researchers found that a warmer summer would cause 1.6 more deaths per million people, but a warmer winter would result in 47 fewer deaths, for a lives-saved to life-lost ratio of 29.4, representing a huge net benefit of the warming.

However, if people made efforts to adapt to the warming trend, less than one (0.7) additional death per million would occur in the summer, but 85 fewer deaths would occur in the winter, for a phenomenal lives-saved to life-lost ratio of 121.4.

What the researchers concluded:
Clearly, the IPCC's "very-high-confidence" conclusion is woefully wrong. Warming is highly beneficial to human health, even without any overt adaptation to it. And when adaptations are made, warming is incredibly beneficial in terms of lengthening human life span.
Read more about it here.

Savior of the Nations, Come

The lyrics to this beloved Advent hymn were originally written in Latin by St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan in about 370, translated into German by Martin Luther in 1523 and set to music in 1524. The lyrics were eventually translated into English in 1851.

Lyrics of this version:
Savior of the nations, come;
Virgin’s Son,  make here Your home!
Marvel now, O heav'n and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Here a maid was found with child
Yet remains a virgin mild.
In her womb His truth was shown:
God was set upon His throne.

From the manger newborn light
Shines in glory through the night.
Darkness will no more reside;
In this light faith now abides.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Jihadist Planned Mass Destruction in Portland, OR (Updated)

Faces in the crowd at Pioneer Courthouse Square
Because of the cold weather, residents of Portland, Oregon were wearing boots, not Birkenstocks, yesterday evening as they stood in a crowd in Pioneer Courthouse Square to enjoy the city's annual tree-lighting ceremony, when a Somalian immigrant named Mohamed Mohamud dialed his cell phone to detonate a van loaded with a half-dozen 55-gallon drums of explosives. Mohamud had parked the van at the corner of Southwest Yamhill Street and Sixth Avenue.

Luckily for the crowd, the FBI was on top of the situation and had arranged for dummy explosives to be in the van.

As soon as Mohamud attempted to detonate the car bomb, at 5:42 p.m., FBI agents arrested him. As they took him away, kicking and screaming, he shouted the terrorist slogan, "Allahu akbar!" He is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

That sounds like light sentence to me. Look at the faces of the families in the crowd yesterday evening.

mohmad mohamud.jpg
Mohamed Osman Mohamud
Mohamed Mohamud, who is now 19 years old, first came to the FBI's attention last year when he carried on e-mail correspondence with an "unindicted" terrorist in Pakistan about the possibility of his going to Pakistan to practice jihad. Soon, an FBI operative had joined the e-mail discussion and face-to-face meetings in Portland were arranged.

During one of those meetings, Mohamud talked about articles he wrote for the online magazine, Jihad Recollections. He asked for help putting together a dream he had since he was 15 years old: committing a "spectacular," violent "fireworks show" of "personal jihad." The targets Mohamed Mohamud had selected were the families attending the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square on Nov. 26, 2010. 

From The Oregonian:
The FBI operatives cautioned Mohamud several times about the seriousness of his plan, noting that there would be many people, including children, at the event, and that Mohamud could abandon his plans at any time with no shame.
"You know there's going to be a lot of children there?" an FBI operative asked Mohamud. "You know there are gonna be a lot of children there?"

Mohamud allegedly responded he was looking for a "huge mass that will ... be attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays."

Mohamud dismissed concerns about law enforcement, explaining that, " ... It's in Oregon; and Oregon, like, you know, nobody ever thinks about [it]," according to the affidavit.
. . . FBI operatives quizzed Mohamud about whether he was capable of looking at the bodies of those who would be killed in his planned Portland attack.

"I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured," Mohamud reportedly told the FBI operatives. . . .
Mohamud spent months arranging the logistics of the bombing, which included a "trial run bomb in a secluded area of Oregon earlier in November." From the NY Daily News:
"This threat was very real," said Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI's Portland office. "Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale."
Mohamed Mohamud is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. 

Sources:The Oregonian, The First Post, NY Daily News.

Update:  Oh, yes, and then there's this reminder to the people of Portland of their previous efforts to stop terrorism, courtesy Michelle Malkin:
You may recall that loony Portland officials several years ago threatened to pull out of the Joint Terrorism Task Force under the Bush administration and refused to cooperate with federal efforts to conduct voluntary interviews of local Muslims in order to uncover terrorist plots.

Only in America: Muslim Terrorist Groups Get Tax Exemptions

Photo from the Gaza Suicide Bombers Parade, 2006
The IRS and your state and local tax collectors may be bleeding you dry, but then, you probably are not registered as a tax-exempt charity like three suicide bomber support groups in the U.S.

U.S. authorities have known about the activities of these groups since at least 2008, when a Dallas jury convicted the largest Muslim charity in the U.S. of raising money to support the suicide bombers of the Palestinan terror group, Hamas, an activity that has been illegal in the U.S. since 1995. That "charity" for terrorists raised money under the pious-sounding name, the Holy Land Foundation, but it was founded by the "international Muslim Brotherhood, the parent group of Hamas," to be used as a tool to "eventually undermine the American constitutional government."

During that public trial, FBI agents fingered some powerful U.S. Islamic groups as Hamas front groups. You are likely to recognise the name of at least one of these front groups from countless appearances of their members as advocates for Muslim "concerns" on television talk shows. That group is, of course, CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which poses as a Muslim "civil rights" group and is headquartered within three blocks of the U.S. Capitol.

You may not have heard of the two other groups in the terrorist trio, but they are very important:
  • ISNA, the Islamic Society of North America, which, posing as a Muslim "advocacy" group, controls most of the Islamic centers and Islamic schools in the country from its base in Indianapolis; and
  • NAIT, the North American Islamic Trust, a Saudi-funded subsidiary which holds the deeds to hundreds of American mosques, including the infamous 9/11 mosque in Washington, DC.
From Investors Business Daily:
Outrageously, these dangerous fronts, cloaked as they are in religious garb, still enjoy charitable tax status. The IRS exempts their funding, much of which comes from the Middle East.
And they are still free to lobby Congress, Homeland Security and the TSA against airport profiling and other anti-terror measures.
Yet none are even registered as lobbyists, let alone foreign agents.
After the trial, when it was clear that the three Hamas front groups had been placed on a government list of organizations and people who conspire with terrorists, the trio brazenly sued to have their names cleared. No such luck. U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis ruled that there is "ample evidence" that the three groups' supported Hamas suicide bombers and their families. The ISNA and NAIT paid suicide bombers and their families "hundreds of thousands of dollars." CAIR's founding chairman, Omar Ahmad, and acting executive director, Nihad Awad, plotted to disguise those payments as charity. Judge Solis pointed out the inconvenient truth that the designation of the three groups as terrorist co-conspirators is supported by bank records, wiretap evidence, and FBI agent testimony.
Although the FBI has severed ties with CAIR, other government agencies have not. For instance, CAIR continues to select Muslim guests to speak and pray in Congress. CAIR chief Awad even prayed alongside Anwar Awlaki, now a fugitive al-Qaida cleric.

The FBI, meanwhile, still does outreach with ISNA. And the White House has solicited the group for resumes. Many Muslims tied to ISNA have been hired for sensitive positions within the government.
Political correctness gone suicidal.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Pilgrims and the Shining City on the Hill

My recent research project has taken me into journals and correspondence of some of the early Pilgrim colonists of Massachusetts. The more I read about these people's values and activities, the more I respect them. They were intelligent and hard-working, and they valued education very highly. Their religious beliefs eventually evolved into the founding principles of the American Revolution.  

Happy Thanksgiving to All!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dreams of Obama's Father: Hot Dogs and Beans for Velma Hart

Velma Hart, hardworking middle-class American veteran, hitched her hopes to Obama's "change" wagon and was rewarded with the persistently sinking feeling that her outgrown "hot dogs and beans" era was again on the horizon. Now Velma's "new reality" under Obama includes unemployment: she lost her job as CFO of the veterans service organization, AMVETS.

From Fox News:
Am Vets executive director Jim King told The Washington Post that the nonprofit was looking for ways to survive financially.

"It's not anything she did," King told the Post Monday. "She got bit by the same snake that has bit a lot of people. It was a move to cut our bottom line."
Velma was considerably more patient with Obama's policies than most veterans, I suspect. Just a few weeks after taking office, Obama demanded that combat-injured veterans pay for their own medical care, even including prosthetic limbs to replace legs and arms lost in combat. When veterans' groups protested, Obama challenged them to come up with another way to pay the medical expenses of combat injured veterans. Because, apparently, even when you shed blood and suffer permanent disability for your country, you still haven't done enough "to spread the wealth around."

H/t: theblogprof.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sometimes the Burqa Babe is Really a Burqa Guy

As Nice Deb, quoting AJ Strata, pointed out, the Obama administration has traded protection of terrorist's "rights" for protection of ordinary American citizen's rights. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal summed it up on Meet the Press yesterday:
I think the American people are worried when they see an administration worried about reading Miranda rights to the underwear bomber. . . .[They're] so worried about rights of the terrorists, what about the rights of innocent American travelers?
Sharon Beshenivsky, mother of 5, murdered by Mustaf Jama's gang.
What's the point of protecting the sensibilities of Muslims at airports while trampling on the privacy of everyone else?

Back in 2005, 29-year-old Mustaf Jama, one of Britain's "most wanted" criminals and a immigrant from Somalia, eager to escape capture after the shooting of two British women, grabbed his sister's passport, threw on a burqa, covered his face with a veil, and hopped on a flight to his native Somalia.
Mustaf Jama, unveiled.
Turns out, security personnel at London's Heathrow Airport made no attempt to match his face with her passport picture, even though the airport was on a heightened state of alert after the 7/7 terrorist attack. Indeed, the Times (London) writes that "British immigration officers rarely carry out a visual check to match a passport photograph with a departing female passenger's veiled face."
Jama spent the next two years living in a remote region under the protection of  his powerful warlord family.

Back in the UK, Jama was still wanted for his part in the ruthless shooting of the two women, both of whom were police constables. One of the women, Police Constable Sharon Beshenivky, died almost instantly, on the fourth birthday of her youngest daughter. The other was seriously injured.

Paul Beshenivsky, Sharon's widower.
In 2007, the UK paid Somali authorities a "bounty" and then launched a secret military operation to capture Jama. When 15 armed soldiers caught up with him, he was armed and driving a Land Rover loaded with alcohol and 2 young women.

Two trials later, Jama was finally jailed for life. Almost. There's always a chance to appeal, and for Jama, that appeal began last week at the Court of Appeal in London.

There's no appeal for Sharon Beshenivsky's widower, Paul, her three natural children, and her two adopted children.

So why is it again that American and British authorities insist on protecting the privacy of anyone who traipses through an airport or a bank wearing a burqa and a veil?

The rest of us know that it's not for our protection.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Simple Gifts," Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma

"Simple Gifts" is a Shaker dance song composed by Elder Joseph Brackett in 1848, and a charming, joyful hymn of praise and thanksgiving.  Listen for the dance instructions to bend and turn.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Good News: Stuxnet Worm Eats Iran's Nuclear Centrifuges

Time for some good news. Grownups at work, from The NY Times via American Thinker:

Experts dissecting the computer worm suspected of being aimed at Iran’s nuclear program have determined that it was precisely calibrated in a way that could send nuclear centrifuges wildly out of control.

Their conclusion, while not definitive, begins to clear some of the fog around the Stuxnet worm, a malicious program detected earlier this year on computers, primarily in Iran but also India, Indonesia and other countries.

The paternity of the worm is still in dispute, but in recent weeks officials from Israel have broken into wide smiles when asked whether Israel was behind the attack, or knew who was. American officials have suggested it originated abroad.

The new forensic work narrows the range of targets and deciphers the worm’s plan of attack. Computer analysts say Stuxnet does its damage by making quick changes in the rotational speed of motors, shifting them rapidly up and down.

Changing the speed “sabotages the normal operation of the industrial control process,” Eric Chien, a researcher at the computer security company Symantec, wrote in a blog post.

Those fluctuations, nuclear analysts said in response to the report, are a recipe for disaster among the thousands of centrifuges spinning in Iran to enrich uranium, which can fuel reactors or bombs. Rapid changes can cause them to blow apart. Reports issued by international inspectors reveal that Iran has experienced many problems keeping its centrifuges running, with hundreds removed from active service since summer 2009. 
Heh, heh, heh.

Read the rest here. You'll enjoy it, I think.


New Courtroom Defense: "That Wasn't Me In The Burqa"

Carnita Matthews (or maybe not).
Via Jihad Watch from The Daily Telegraph.

The dispute started last June when somebody dressed like Carnita Matthews in a burqa complete with face veil got pulled over by a highway patrol officer in Woodbine, Australia for a random breath test and was asked to show her face so the officer could check her identity against her driver's license photo. As the officer stated, "I'm looking at you and all I can see is two eyes."

After being pulled over, Carnita drove straight to the Campbelltown police station and filed a complaint against the officer, claiming that the officer, (a racist like all cops, she said) had forcibly tried to peek behind her veil. Moreover, she said, the cop had pulled over her car only because she was wearing a burqa.

Oops. The entire encounter had been captured on in-car police video, showing that Carnita's allegations were all lies.

Carnita's next step? Claiming that it was not she who had signed the complaint, but some other burqa-wearing person, making Carnita innocent of the charge of making a false complaint to police.
Matthews' lawyer Stephen Hopper said there was no way for police to prove that his client was the one who signed the statutory declaration at Campbelltown police station on June 10.
In Campbelltown Local Court this morning, Magistrate Robert Rabbidge dismissed Carnita's allegations as "both deliberate and malicious," and sentenced her to 6 months in jail to send a clear message to the community. From The Sydney Morning Herald:
[M]agistrate Robert Rabbidge said the evidence was "overwhelming" that Matthews had submitted a false declaration to police.

"There is not a shadow of doubt in my mind beyond a reasonable doubt that she knew that the complaint she was making was false," he said.
Carnita's lawyers immediately filed an appeal, and Carnita has been released on bail, pending her appeal hearing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mass Murderer of 224 Found "Not Guilty"; No Word on the 4,000+ Maimed & Injured

One of the monsters whose face is shown on this wanted poster, Ahmed Ghailani, was yesterday found guilty by a Manhattan jury of conspiring to blow up U.S. government property, namely American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The jury found Ghailani, formerly detained at Guantanamo Bay, innocent of 224 counts of murder, namely, the murder of the 224 innocent human beings who happened to be blown to smithereens as a result of that "property damage."

The deaths of those 224 people, together with the maiming and injuring of more than 4,000 other innocent people going about their daily activities when the embassies were bombed, are, as predicted, no big deal to those who collaborated in finding Ghailani innocent of murder.

Injured Kenyan woman lifted over bloody embassy wall in 1998.

Obama's Department of Justice, "led" by Eric Holder, decided to bring the case against Ghailani to civilian court, which made it possible for the civilian judge, Kaplan, to bar the testimony of the man who sold Ghailani the TNT used in the attack on the U.S. embassy in Tanzania, which made it possible for a single juror to "hold out" on convicting Ghailani.

Of course, the Department of Justice could not have accomplished the guilty-only-of-property-damage verdict for one of the men responsible for torturing more than 4,224 people (and causing the acute suffering of their families and friends) without the direct support of giddy Obama voters, who couldn't wait to put into office a progressive who famously promised to "prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism . . . in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals."

Now we are living with Obama's version of "our values and ideals," which include the inability to call a mass murderer a murderer at the same time that American grandmothers with artificial knees are sexually humiliated in TSA searches for weapons of mass destruction.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TSA "Gate Rape" Quote of the Day

From TXPatriot, commenting at Gateway Pundit:
Wow. And all they wanted to do in Arizona was ask to see some ID!


Of Course TSA Is Profiling: They Are Looking for the Defenseless

Supposed you work for the TSA, and it's been a rough day. Which of these people would you pull aside for a pat-down?
Most Americans have been arguing that it's time Obama's TSA drop the PC nonsense and start profiling, but it seems to me that the TSA already profiles--they are just profiling the wrong people.

Three-year-olds, blue-eyed octegenarians, and American servicemen in uniform are not accidentally being pulled over for pat-downs. TSA employees are human, and, as such, naturally have their own internal profiling process for selecting people for whatever annoyance, humiliation, or violation of Constitutional rights the Obama administration has authorized them to perform that day.

How about this garden-variety type of profiling: Selecting people who are the least likely, statistically, to give the TSA employee trouble. Right away, you know that meticulous American law-abiders will be stopped for pat-downs while a troop of bearded and burqa-clad Shariah law adherents traipse by without interference.

The profiling processes used by those who select defenseless children or compliant nuns for pat-downs [description here] surely do not reflect mere desire to get the job done as easily as possible.

At the same time, another type of deeply unmentionable profiling is going on, the kind of profiling by which bearded and burqa'd Shariah law adherents are deliberately not stopped for pat-downs as part of the progressive left's ostentatious show of its obsession to prove that "we'd never suspect Muslims of any misbehavior," a progressive tool that is being used to drive Americans to the point of abandoning our heritage and Constitutional rights.

A case in point, of course, is Obama's insistence that, in addition to paying our airline fares, some of us strip naked in exchange for the privilege of flying from one place to another.

There's just nothing that this administration thinks we can't be made to do when crushed between the two millstones of political correctness and the government's desire to "regulate" interstate commerce.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Inspiring: Bike Flag Boy Escorted to School by Patriot Guard Riders

Your heart broke when you heard that 13-year-old Cody Alicea, a California boy from a military family, was required by Denair Middle School officials to remove his American flag from the bicycle he rides to school each morning.

Heart healing time: Public outrage caused the school principal to do a flip-flop and permit this American boy to display his American flag on the grounds of his American school, which is funded by American taxpayers and protected by American police and civil authorities in a country defended by American military.

Yesterday morning, Nov. 15, 2010, Cody rode his bike to school with his flag, followed by hundreds of community members bearing American flags:

You won't get through this video with a dry eye, promise:

Wonderful things happen when American patriots stick up for each other and stand up for their country.

Thanks to Gathering of Eagles: NY.

Monday, November 15, 2010

But No Airport Pat Downs for Burqa Babes

Drudge published this photo under the heading: "The terrorists have won." Americans, aren't you ashamed?
 Added 8:30 p.m.:

Feliz Gelowicz waits behind security glass at a court in Berlin on Nov. 5, 2010.
Pat downs for devout Christian women, not a single one of whom has been implicated in a terrorist bombing, but no pat downs for devout Muslim women like Feliz Gelowicz, an apprentice bombmaker and terrorist financier who was part of a plot to kill American soldiers and other citizens in Germany.

Our government wouldn't want to interfere with Feliz's delicate feminine sensibilities, or something.

More Shariah law, anyone?

Related: Pakistani Mom Gets Death Sentence for Defending Christianity

New Lead Warning: "Green" Reusable Grocery Bags Get Lead on Food

Environmentally friendly grocery bags are not food-safe like ordinary plastic grocery bags, the kind we've been told by environmentalists not to use.

Want another surprise?

The whistle is being blown by none other than NY Democrat Senator Chuckie (we-have-another-name-for-him-here-in-New-York) Schumer.

No kidding:
Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York asked federal agencies Sunday to investigate and ban reusable shopping bags with dangerous levels of lead following a Tampa Tribune investigation that found high levels in bags sold in the Bay area.

Schumer, the senior senator from New York, called on the federal Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate whether any of the reusable bags being sold at groceries and other stores across the country pose a danger.

Because the bags are being used to carry food, high lead levels pose a danger to the country's food supply, Schumer said in a letter addressed to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

Lead is linked to learning disabilities in children and fertility problems in adults. Health advocates say any level of lead is toxic.

The lead found in the grocery bags the Tribune tested would not easily rub off on food, and merely touching one of the bags is unlikely to prove harmful, according to Hugh Rodrigues, president of Thornton Laboratories in Tampa, which tested the bags. Over time, though, as the bags wear down, their paint can flake off and threads fray, releasing the lead. The more elaborate the illustrations on the bags, the more likely they are to contain toxic lead, the Tribune investigation found. Yellow and green paint on bags is a common carrier of lead.

A few bags had potentially dangerous levels of lead. A bag with cute baby pictures sold by Winn-Dixie was covered with enough lead that Hillsborough County would consider the bag hazardous if it were thrown out with household trash.


"Adding insult to injury, guess where most of these bags are made?" Schumer said in his press conference. "China, a country that has flaunted safety when it comes to American imports over and over again. Whether it's toys or food or now bags, China has no regard for American safety."
I wonder how much damage has to be done before environmentalists decide to do a little research on their "improvements" before insisting that we all march in lock step with their demands.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mahalia Jackson Sings "Hold Me, Lord"


Friday, November 12, 2010

LOL: Obama Redefines "Lying" as "Liberation"

Hey, Mr. President: That's not what Americans mean by liberty.

H/t: theblogprof

Pakistani Mom Gets Death Sentence for Defending Christianity

Asia Bibi - condemned to death for defending her faith.
In June of 2009, Asia Bibi, mother of five, was working in the fields on the farm of Muslim landowner Muhammad Idrees, near the village of Ittanwali, when her boss told her to fetch some water for the rest of the crew.

After Asia brought the water, some of the women--all Muslims--refused to drink it because it had been brought by a Christian, making it "unclean." The women called Asia an "infidel" and called Christianity a "religion of infidels."

Asia reportedly responded by telling the Muslim women that Christ died on the cross for our sins. She told them Jesus is alive. “Our Christ is the true prophet of God,” she reportedly told them.

Upon hearing this response, the Muslim women became angry and began to beat Asia.
When Muslim men in nearby fields gathered to attack Asia, she fled to her home, but angry Muslims followed her, took her out of her home, severely beat her, and tortured her children.
They announced from mosque loudspeakers that she would be punished by having her face blackened and being paraded through the village on a donkey
Asia Bibi and her two children
Asia Bibi with two of her children.
When local Christians informed the police, the police saved Asia's life by taking her into custody, holding her in Nankana city "for her own safety." Under pressure from local Muslim leaders, the police registered a blasphemy case against her.

Two courts in Nankana found Asia guilty of the "crime" of blasphemy and, on November 8, 2010, Asia was fined US$1,190 and sentenced to death by hanging.

Ashiq Masih, her husband, doesn't have the heart to break the news to their two youngest daughters.
"They asked me many times about their mother but I can't get the courage to tell them that the judge has sentenced their mother to capital punishment for a crime she never committed."
Asia's case is now under appeal, but she has been being held in isolation since June of 2009, essentially for the crime of sharing her Christian beliefs with her Muslim neighbors. Her family is one of only three Christian families in a village of more than 1,500 families. Asia's family has lived in the village of Ittanwali for many generations.

Between 1986 and August 2009, at least 974 people have been charged with blasphemy against Islam.

This week, an anti-blasphemy resolution, "On Combating Defamation of Religion," is coming to a vote at the U.N.

Pakistan has been actively pushing for passage of this resolution sine 1999.

One thing you can count on, passage of this resolution will not offer protection for Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, or any other non-Muslims.

More Shariah law, anyone?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Stand and deliver, the way a Progressive cannot"

Navy reservist Smitty at The Other McCain has received orders to activate in mid-November and report to Kabul, Afghanistan in time for Christmas. He's asked that readers make his "now you sunny beaches know how I feel" statement the single most linked post in the history of that blog. Here's my humble link, offered with gratitude and a prayer.  A taste of what you'll find there:
Liberty ain’t cheap, and rejecting Progressivism may resemble pain for a while. That’s not pain. That’s Socialist weakness leaving the country, and don’t let these liars sell you otherwise.  Stand and deliver, the way a Progressive cannot, for, at heart, modern Progressivism is a synonym for cowardice.
Another patriot and blogger par excellence who is shortly being sent to an area of combat operations is Trestin Meacham, whose blog you really must visit if you aren't already a fan. Trestin's thoughtful analysis always cuts right to the heart of the matter. Trestin, who has been serving in Korea, is going to Dijbouti on the horn of Africa, which is sandwiched between Somalia, Ethiopia, and Yemen. He goes with the gratitude and prayers of his readers.

Without military guardians like Smitty and Trestin protecting this nation with talent, strength, and common sense, our liberties wouldn't have a chance. Under their protection, we can sleep at night.

Hat tip to Wyblog for the head's-up.

Thank you, Veterans


Obama Looks Happier Than Michelle . . .

visiting the Istiqlal Mosque, wouldn't you say?

Now who's been sent to the back?


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tell Me Again Why We Don't Need Missile Defense . . .

and why the U.S. shouldn't maintain military superiority because we need to "level the playing field."

Via HotAir:

I'm not buying that firing of missile big enough to be an ICBM is just a stunt cooked up by show-off local hobbyists looking for a thrill, that some Navy guy accidentally leaned on the wrong button, or that Obama is trying to send a message to Asia from the coast of Los Angeles. Geesh.

Next question:

Who would fire a missile like this so close to a populated area like Los Angeles?

H/t: Nice Deb.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Canada's Prime Minister Vows to Stand Against Anti-Israeli Rhetoric

Considering the Canadian government's history of open-armed acceptance of Marxist multiculturalism at the expense of traditional Canadian culture, I don't know what to make of this statement by Canadian prime minister,  Stephen Harper.  It is impossible to ignore the obvious political benefits of Harper, a politician, making this statement while speaking at an anti-Semitism conference, and I have no clue how much of it he really means.

But I can't help liking the sound of it.
Whether it is at the United Nations or any other international forum, the easiest thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric, to pretend it is just about being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with label of honest broker.

There are, after all, a lot more votes--a lot more--in being anti-Israeli than in taking a stand.

But as long as I am prime minister, whether it is at the United Nations, the Francophonie,  or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost.
Is it possible that Harper is beginning to respond to what many--if not most--Canadians are thinking but are not permitted to express?

H/t: Gates of Vienna.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Al Gore's Chicago Climate Exchange Dead! (UPDATED)

Dance on its grave.

From National Review via theblogprof:
Global warming-inspired cap and trade has been one of the most stridently debated public policy controversies of the past 15 years. But it is dying a quiet death. In a little reported move, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) announced on Oct. 21 that it will be ending carbon trading – the only purpose for which it was founded – this year.

Although the trading in carbon emissions credits was voluntary, the CCX was intended to be the hub of the mandatory carbon trading established by a cap-and-trade law, like the Waxman-Markey scheme passed by the House in June 2009.

At its founding in November 2000, it was estimated that the size of CCX’s carbon trading market could reach $500 billion. That estimate ballooned over the years to $10 trillion.

Al Capone tried to use Prohibition to muscle in on a piece of all the action in Chicago. The CCX’s backers wanted to use a new prohibition on carbon emissions to muscle in on a piece of, quite literally, all the action in the world.

The CCX was the brainchild of Northwestern University business professor Richard Sandor, who used $1.1 million in grants from the Chicago-based left-wing Joyce Foundation to launch the CCX. For his efforts, Time named Sandor as one of its Heroes of the Planet in 2002 and one of its Heroes of the Environment in 2007.

The CCX seemed to have a lock on success. Not only was a young Barack Obama a board member of the Joyce Foundation that funded the fledgling CCX, but over the years it attracted such big name climate investors as Goldman Sachs and Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the CCX’s highly anticipated looting of taxpayers and consumers – cap-and-trade imploded following its high water mark of the House passage of the Waxman-Markey bill. With ongoing economic recession, Climategate, and the tea party movement, what once seemed like a certainty became anything but.

CCX’s panicked original investors bailed out this spring, unloading the dog and its across-the-pond cousin, the European Climate Exchange (ECX), for $600 million to the New York Stock Exchange-traded Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) – an electronic futures and derivatives platform based in Atlanta and London. (Luckier than the CCX, the ECX continues to exist thanks to the mandatory carbon caps of the Kyoto Protocol.)

The ECX may soon follow the CCX into oblivion, however – the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. No new international treaty is anywhere in sight.
Oh Happy Day!

Update: Dancing goes better with music, and here's the perfect tune brought to you by Elmer & the Deniers at Minnesotans for Global Warming:


A Morning Prayer in India: Athiravile Thiru Sannidhi

Christianity was brought to what is now the Indian state of Kerala by St. Thomas the Apostle in the year 52 AD, by way of the ancient port city of Cranganore. One custom of this Christian community is that, at break of day, family members sing this sweetly beautiful devotional morning song, a reminder of God's loving care for his people. Some believe this song dates back 1,000 years.

The language of this song is Malayalam, which is closely related to Tamil and is spoken by more than 36 million people, mainly in Kerala.



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Culture Clash: Dogs as Bombs vs. Dogs as Bomb Sniffers

Rediff News via Adrienne's Corner

Muslims in Mumbai are up in arms against a United States military sniffer dog allegedly with name tag of 'Khan' that has landed in the city as part of President Barack Obama security arrangements.
On Tuesday, the German Shepherd arrived in the Mumbai airport from a Hercules C130 transport plane. The German Shepherd allegedly had a tag around its neck which read 'MWD Khan.' MWD stands for Military Working Dog. Khan is alleged to be the name of the dog. 

Angry Muslims in the city and the state are threatening to protest this 'insult' to the community.

The issue became a rage when a tabloid had reported the incident and quoted veteran actor Raza Murad objecting to the dog being named 'Khan.'

Just for the record, Khan does not mean dirtbag or anything like it. In English, the name translates to Prince. In terms of insult value, I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone call a beloved pet Prince, King, or Queenie.

Prominent Muslim religious heads have expressed anger and dismay on the information of a US dog being named 'Khan.' Maulana Syed Athar Ali said that it is a known fact that Muslims detest pigs and dogs.

Detesting dogs--now that's something to be proud of, I think we are meant to understand. Are you paying attention, PETA?

"To name a dog a Muslim name by US security agencies is to deliberately incite the Muslim community. We would be meeting soon and devise a strategy to protest and seek apology from the US," said Maulana Athar Ali.

Too late, Ali. Iraqi terrorists are way ahead of you in the "strategy" department. They'd prefer to use dogs to destroy lives instead of save them. From the UK Daily Mail via Atlas Shrugs:

Sick Islamic terrorists tried to bring down a US cargo plane using two exploding DOGS, it was revealed today.

The Kamikaze canines - whose stomach had been stuffed with bombs and detonators - were discovered at Baghdad airport two years ago, French daily Le Figaro said.

They had been primed to explode in mid-flight, but were never loaded aboard the aircraft because freight handlers spotted both dogs had died in their cages.

A cargo plane was targeted by terrorist who loaded two dogs up with explosives on a flight from Baghdad International Airport, formerly named Saddam International Airport, to Los Angeles

Post mortem examinations on the animals uncovered explosives and detonators set to go off several hours into the flight from the Iraqi capital to Los Angeles, Le Figaro said.

I wonder what names those dogs had.

Friday, November 5, 2010

34 Warships Protect the President: It's the Hypocrisy that Bothers Me

Smoke rising from the Taj Mahal hotel in November, 2008.
It's not that I don't want the first citizen protected from Islamic terrorists with the full force of American strength and military power, I do; but I am bothered by this administration's incredibly casual denials of the seriousness of the threats from Islamic terrorists to the rest of this great nation's citizens.

We have been told to believe that a Nissan Pathfinder was loaded with explosives and parked in front of a theater in Times Square by an opponent of health care. We have been told to believe that Army officers would have been showing prejudice to question an email conversation between a Muslim Army psychiatrist and Anwar Al-Awlaki, the "US-born cleric known to foment violence against the US over the Internet." We have been told to believe that it would have been a criminal act for sentries aboard the USS Cole to fire on an approaching "suicide" fishing boat loaded with explosives.

And, of course, we have been famously told that Americans who oppose abortion, gun restrictions, and high taxation are potential threats to American security, and that Americans opposed to illegal immigration are the "enemies."

Under threat of violating American principles, we are expected to conform to the belief that failure to welcome the building of a mega-mosque on a site partially destroyed by Islamic terrorists on 9/11 is plain, out-and-out "bigotry."

But when it comes to defending the first citizen and his family and friends, protection from the "potentially mentally deranged" lone nut-job is taken very seriously indeed.

In fact, security for the first citizen's visit to India requires a fleet of 34 warships, including an aircraft carrier, to patrol the sea lanes off Mumbai [Bombay]; an emergency evacuation plan; an advance contingent of 13 heavy-lift aircraft, three helicopters, 500 U.S. security personnel, high-tech interception and obstruction devices; the installation of floodlight illumination; sniffer dogs; and assorted rescue "gadgets." Of course, there will be the usual precautions against air-borne attacks, including against plots by palm trees to attack the first citizen with ripe coconuts.

You'd never guess that this man's administration isn't partial to sending absentee ballots to members of the American military and that he started his administration by trying to force combat-wounded warriors to pay for their own prosthetic limbs--until veterans' groups read him the riot act.

It is appropriate for the U.S. president to have sufficient security to make sure that his entourage's 800 luxury hotel rooms in Mumbai don't end up looking like they did in November 2008, when teams of Islamic terrorists from Pakistan lone nut-jobs:
stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege ....
Smoke rising from Pentagon, September 2001.
. . . leaving 173 people dead (a number of hostages were first tortured) and more than 300 wounded.

It would also be appropriate for the U.S. president to acknowledge with gratitude the sacrifices made by the patriots who put their lives (and money) on the line to provide him, his family, and his entourage with that security, and to bear in mind that when America's other citizens clamor for security, their desire stems not from racism, but from realism.

Heads-up from Another Black Conservative.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

California Dems Elect Dead Woman for State Senate

Jenny Oropeza in life.
I've heard of dead people registering and casting ballots, but Californians have taken the practice to its logical conclusion by electing a dead woman to their state senate, by a substantial margin.

Via What Planet Am I On?

It’s been well established that the dead seem to rise up every other November to vote in Chicago.

But now the residents Long Beach have done Windy City one better.

California’s 28th State Senate District has re-elected Democrat Jenny Oropeza…

Who died last month ...

Democrats hold a 20 point voter registration advantage,

But the latest numbers showed that the Deceased Senator was leading by nearly 23 points.

Which means the Zombie politician received bi-partisan support!
Ahhh. There's nothing like an informed, unbiased electorate.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Belly Laugh Time: Conservatives, You Deserve It!

Found over at Ruby Slippers, Glenn Beck & Company's updated version of Happy Days are Here Again:
"The socialists can bite it again?"


Now That's Leadership: Col. Allen West's Victory Speech

Promises to keep:
  • Preserving this Constitutional government as the Founding Fathers wanted.
  • Bringing honor and integrity to Washington, DC. 
  • Re-establishing the investment and ingenuity that made this country great.
  • No Neville Chamberlain moments for the USA.
  • We will secure our borders.
  • We will take this absolutely abominable thing called ObamaCare and start over.
Listen up:
Via the most excellent Gates of Vienna, who added:
These were the sentences with the greatest resonance for me:
I know who the enemy is out there, and I am not afraid of confronting that enemy.

And I am not afraid to make sure that this enemy knows that the United States of America believes [in] peace through strength. Peace through might.

We will no longer have a policy of compromise, negotiation, and appeasement with the enemy.

Looking at Some Election Results in New York State

I had a great time yesterday evening watching the results come in at William Jacobson's Election Day Live Event. Many thanks to the good professor and the other patriots who helped him. There's nothing like a genuine patriot to make room for--dare I say it?--genuinely hopeful change.

Overall, it looks as though my state, New York, just gained between 5 and 7 new Republican reps, and, remarkably, the new state assembly might even be a dead-even tie between Dems and Repubs, with the Democrat lieutenant governor, Duffy, being the tie-breaker. Wow!

New York, like Massachusetts and California, was not as eager as most states to join the Tea Party, so we lost some good opportunities to inject some sanity where it has not seen the light of day for many years. Notably, we are stuck with a governor, Andrew Cuomo, who was one of the first to peddle policies that led to the sub-prime loan crisis. Imagine that. Carl Paladino came to the game with a baseball bat and some great ideas, but he didn't keep his eye on the ball. When faced with New York's entrenched Democrat machine and media, he blinked and let the discussion get personal when New Yorkers wanted to hear how he was going to cut taxes and restore jobs.

Chuck Schumer and his sock puppet, Gillibrand, remain in their seats, so, again, conservatives in this state have no senators to appeal to. To Schumer and Gillibrand, conservatives are only annoying obstacles, best ignored, and they don't even bother to leave room for us in the back of the bus.

Looking over the election results for my favorite local candidates, though, I am again somewhat heartened. Michael Arcuri (NY-24), the devoted Pelosi rubber stamp, will not be returning to his office, which boasted a staff that definitely made it clear that they didn't want to hear from any constituents who might have wandered off Pelosi's farm. Arcuri voted for ObamaCare the first time in the face of his constituents' strong opposition, and later got Pelosi's go-ahead to vote against it only after his no vote could not affect the outcome. We expect better from his replacement, Richard Hanna.

Tom O'Mara (NY-53) defeated progressive Pam Mackesey, and that's a very good thing. Two progressives that held onto their seats are Maurice Hinchey (NY-22) and Barbara Lifton (NY Assembly D-125), who were kept in office by fellow progressives who still think conservatives come equipped with fangs. No matter how much decline those voters experience in their quality of life, they seem always to interpret that decline as an "unavoidable national trend" that needs to be swept under the rug.

Curious about these or other election results in other areas of New York State?  Go here.