Friday, December 22, 2006

Ayman al Zawahri, Democrat Tar Baby

They're stuck with this guy and this image, whether they want it or not. And most of all, Democrats deserve friends like this.

Al Qaeda has sent a message to leaders of the Democratic party that credit for the defeat of congressional Republicans belongs to the terrorists.

In a portion of the tape from al Qaeda No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri, made available only today, Zawahri says he has two messages for American Democrats.

"The first is that you aren't the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen -- the Muslim Ummah's vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq -- are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost," Zawahri said, according to a full transcript obtained by ABC News.

Attack Us Here

The New York Times does intelligence gathering for terrorists, again.

An analysis done for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says that the PATH train tunnels under the Hudson River are more vulnerable to a bomb attack than previously thought, and that a relatively small amount of high explosives could cause significant flooding of the rail system within hours.

Please Santa, Give Me My Rights

I have a simple Christmas wish this year. All I want is the freedom that I was guaranteed in the United States Constitution. During my short lifetime, I have watched rights that I once took for granted gradually eroded for what our betters tell us are in the interests of the greater good. In just a few, short decades, the greater good has deprived me of my right to own property, my right to bear arms and even my right to speak my mind.
In a way, the Bill of Rights itself represented a white flag. What we now call rights were in fact limitations upon the power that government may exercise. Contemporaneous thinkers believed that specifically outlining the rights described in the Bill of Rights was superfluous, as the powers permitted to the government were clearly delineated and nowhere was the government empowered to restrict speech or seize private property. Additionally, it was feared that specific enumeration of rights would permit the interpretation that these rights were the only rights allowed to the American people. For that reason, it was considered necessary to include the Ninth Amendment which clearly stated that the rights detailed in the first eight amendments should not be considered a comprehensive list of the rights retained by the people.
The Ninth Amendment has to be the most forgotten and most thoroughly ignored of all amendments.
Those who feared that the Bill of Rights would someday be interpreted as the comprehensive list of all the rights that Americans would be allowed were vindicated. What no one could have imagined was that even those rights specifically set in stone by the Bill of Rights would melt away.
The authors and those who ratified the Fifth Amendment believed that they had protected for all time the right of man to keep his property from a pernicious government. But my right to own private property is no longer secure. For years now, environmental laws have superceded my right to my own property. If somebody discovers a giant Palouse earthworm in my backyard, I would for all intents and purposes lose my land as the requirements of the worm are considered more valuable to the greater good than my right to own my property.
People have lost their land, their livelihood and even their liberty when endangered species were discovered on their property.
That’s bad enough. But now my property may be taken by government if the city fathers decide that somebody with more money than me will enrich them for it. Here and there, state and local governments have added property protections to their codes, but a right is supposedly inviolable. If my right to own property is dependent upon the permission of a legislature, then it is not a right, but a privilege that can be taken away should that same legislature have a change of heart or simply a change in the majority party.
Liberals have even taken property to advance political agendas. Hercules, California decided that it did not want a Wal-Mart within it city limits and so it seized 17 acres belonging to Wal-Mart to obstruct the store’s construction.
My right to own a firearm is no longer assured. The Second Amendment seems to be the most definitive of all the amendments, stating that the right to bear arms could not be “infringed.” But, from the day that somebody decided that this right could be regulated we were on a slippery slope that threatened not just our right to bear arms, but any right.
I used to think that if liberals interpreted the Second Amendment as extravagantly as they did the First Amendment, then private ownership of nuclear weapons would be permissible, if not required. Unfortunately, the slippery slope faced the other direction. Not even my right to free speech is certain. Federal campaign finance reform limits how I may advocate for or against a political party. The Federal Election Commission has fined independent advocacy groups for speaking their mind. This is most shocking in that the media, which are entirely dependent upon the right of free speech for their own functions, have actually participated in the dismantling of this right. Perhaps they believe that denying the right to others makes their own freedom more precious.
And so, I fear that Santa Claus is my last chance to regain my rights.

Monday, December 18, 2006

What To Get An Animal Rights Activists For Christmas

Weapons! Lots of weapons! Ammo too.
Plus, a pair of "vegan hiking boots."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

France Surrenders

As the fighting starts to heat up in Afghanistan, the French flee. Although, it's not as though they were much help anyway.

France has balked at sending its 1,100-strong NATO contingent outside the relatively safe Afghan capital, Kabul.

"There is a general reorganization of our (troops)," Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said during a visit to Afghanistan. The minister's remarks were aired on France-Info radio.

Among planned changes is a "withdrawal of special forces from Jalalabad in the coming weeks," she said.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wal-Mart, A Clash Of Cultures

The genius of competing jurisdictions worked its magic again this week. After the city of Moscow marched in lockstep to the doctrine of elitism and banned Wal-Mart, Latah County exercised good sense and rejected a similar ordinance, thereby leaving the way open for economic growth and a more vital retail environment at the expense of its snobbish neighbor. And as a result, shoppers from Moscow and the surrounding environs will spend their dollars outside the city limits and fatten the county’s tax coffers instead of the city’s. An island of cultural protectionism, Moscow will find itself eroded by the waves of economic freedom lapping at its shores.
When Wal-Mart indicated its intention to build one of its big-box, supercenter stores in Moscow, the graying hippies who steer Moscow’s culture and politics grabbed their pitchforks and torches, and adorned in their finest Birkenstocks and tie-dyed tee shirts, marched to the castle in protest. That stupid smiley face of their youth was no longer welcome as it had now been enlisted as a soldier of the forces of darkness.
And let’s not delude ourselves. This is about culture. These label-conscious herbal tea sippers who lift their cup with an extended pinky and fill their refrigerator with organic tofu purchased at the Coop sniff indignantly at the coffee guzzling chili-cheese dog aficionados who comparison shop and are not ashamed to stand in line outside Wal-Mart’s doors before 5:00 AM on the Friday after Thanksgiving to get the best deal. The elitists are proud of their earthtone hand stitched organic cotton shirts and look down their noses at polyester versions sewed together in China.
Outside of these pecksniffian elitists cliques, parents would be mortified if their child teased a playmate because his parents purchased clothes that did not have the right designer labels. However, former Democratic vice presidential candidate and aspiring president John Edwards boasted recently that his six year old son had ridiculed a classmate for coming to school wearing shoes purchased at Wal-Mart. The more common among us would scold our children for exhibiting such snobbery. I come from rather humble roots and even so, there were families with even less. I shudder to think of what the consequences would have been had my parents learned that I had ridiculed a schoolmate for wearing cheaper clothes than I. Among the anti-Wal-Mart elite however, it is a matter of pride and a sign of good upbringing and probably superior genetics when their children behave so abominably.
In Pullman, the local anti-Wal Mart snobs call themselves the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development (PARD). PARD fears that the new Wal-Mart Supercenter planned for Pullman will attract “undesirable social elements” to Pullman. Undoubtedly, I am a part of that undesirable social element as I have been known to order Merlot with dinner as well as shop for low prices at Wal-Mart.
Fortunately, jurisdictional borders exact consequences for this sort of silliness. If a city, such as Moscow, embarks on this sort of exhibitionist snobbery by banning big box discount retailers, that store will probably erect its building just across the line where the snobs’ authority ends.
Chicago learned this recently. Chicago’s aldermen forbade Wal-Mart from doing business there, only to see a Wal-Mart go up literally within spitting distance the city limits, in Evergreen Park. When the store was ready to open and advertised for 325 jobs, it received over 25,000 applications. And 90% of those applicants listed addresses in Chicago, where the city’s maters and paters decreed that such a store was beneath them. That strikes me as an awfully large number of applicants from a union dominated worker’s paradise like Chicago.
Moscow will also see retailers on its western border too. Right on the Washington state line a new mall, seven times the size of the Palouse Mall, will be built and will draw customers and their money out of Moscow. Earlier, Moscow asked Whitman County to reconsider its approval of the development. The county did and considered it was Whitman County’s gain if Moscow wishes to hemorrhage more jobs and revenue across the border.
And so Moscow will realize that snobbery has a price. And in the not too distant future, Moscow’s electorate will grow weary of paying that price and will replace the current leadership with new blood who learned lessons from the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Update: Moscow's retail hostility has caught the attention of others too.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Jane Harman Could Have Answered These Questions

Nancy Pelosi had a cat fight with Jane Harman, so Ms. Harman was denied her rightful ascension to the chairmanship of the House Intelligence committee. Pelosi tried to install Alcee Hastings as a payoff to the Congressional Black Caucus, but he was too crooked even for a Democrat.
So, she appointed Silvestre Reyes of Texas. His own honesty is questionable, but his knowledge is not. Congressional Quarterly National Security Editor Jeff Stein reports that he's dumber than a bag of hammers.

In an interview with CNN, Stein said he was "amazed" by Reyes' lack of what he considers basic information about two of the major terrorists organizations.

"If you're the baseball commissioner and you don't know the difference between the Yankees and the Red Sox, you don't know baseball," Stein said. "You're not going to have the respect of the people you work with."

While Stein said Reyes is "not a stupid guy," his lack of knowledge said it could hamper Reyes' ability to provide effective oversight of the intelligence community, Stein believes.

"If you don't have the basics, how do you effectively question the administration?" he asked. "You don't know who is on first."

Stein said Reyes is not the only member of the House Intelligence Committee that he has interviewed that lacked what he considered basic knowledge about terrorist organizations.

"It kind of disgusts you, because these guys are supposed to be tending your knitting," Stein said. "Most people are rightfully appalled."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

First, We Kill All The Teachers

The religion of peace has redoubled its commitment to the dark ages. New rules, issued a couple of months ago by the Taliban require the death penalty for teachers.

"The new list of 30 rules, decided on during a high Taliban meeting in September or October and since circulated over the Internet, span from the organizational — no jihad equipment may be used for personal means — to the health conscious — militants are not supposed to smoke.

They also contain a grave warning for aid workers and educators.

Rule No. 24 forbids anyone to work as a teacher "under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels." One rule later, No. 25, says teachers who ignore Taliban warnings will be killed.

Taliban militants early Saturday broke into a house in the eastern province of Kunar, killing a family of five, including two sisters who were teachers.

The women had been warned in a letter to quit teaching, said Gulam Ullah Wekar, the provincial education director. Their mother, grandmother and a male relative were also slain in the attack.

The two sisters brought to 20 the number of teachers killed in Taliban attacks this year, said Education Ministry spokesman Zuhur Afghan. He said 198 schools have been burned down this year, up from about 150 last year."