MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Archive for March 2006

First Anniversary of Terri Schaivo’s Death

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Today marks the first anniversary of the death of a woman murdered by the judicial system, the public, and most of all, her husband. The culture of death worked hard to claim her, but we should remember her as a victim of our society’s infatuation with abortion, euthanasia, and abhorrence of the notion that the least of us has a right to life. It is a moral abomination that Terri was starved to death for the simple crime of being unable to speak for herself.

More here.

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March 31, 2006 at 11:15 am

Posted in General

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Interpreting Scalia’s Gesture

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There has been much talk about the gesture Justice Scalia made in response to a reporter’s question here in Boston last weekend, but I haven’t seen a picture of it until now. There have been various descriptions, but the photo in this article makes it clear that the Justice is being disingenuous when he says the gesture means “I couldn’t care less.” Maybe it does mean that in Sicily where Scalia’s ancestors apparently are from. However, in neighboring Naples, where my ancestors are from, flicking the back of the fingers of the right hand off the bottom of the chin means something very different indeed. And it is obscene.

Which is not to say that some reporters don’t deserve it, but such a gesture in public, in church, is beneath the dignity of a Supreme Court Justice.

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March 30, 2006 at 9:22 am

Posted in General, Judiciary, Politics

Tagged with ,

Abdul Rahman Safe

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Michelle Malkin notes that Abdul Rahman is safe in Italy which has granted him asylum.

But the savages apparently aren’t satisfied yet – we need to keep vigilant.

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March 29, 2006 at 12:41 pm

Posted in GWOT

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Getting it Wrong on Abdul Rahman

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I don’t usually find much out and out wrong on the American Spectator, but there are exceptions. In a piece on Afghanistan, one G. Tracy Mehan III proves one:

Americans were justifiably outraged that judicial authorities in Afghanistan considered executing Rahman for his act of conscience and are genuinely relieved that he has been spared execution at the hands of an allied government. They believed that they did not go to war in that remote region for the purposes of enshrining a regime of retrograde religious persecution and disregard of human rights generally. This is not what democratization was supposed to be.

Unfortunately, most Americans have forgotten that they did not, in fact, go to war in Afghanistan to promote democracy, liberate women, promote religious freedom, or for any other humanitarian purpose. They sent their crack military forces there to destroy the terrorists responsible for destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11th and the regime that sheltered and sustained them. [emphasis mine]

This is precisely the myopic thinking that drove foreign policy during the Clinton years and earlier, and is exactly the wrong prescription for the post-9/11 world. Our enemy is Islamofascism and until it is destroyed root and branch the world is not safe. Planting democracy, making sure the rights of women and religious minorities are respected is poison to the Islamofascists and they should be made to drink it down everywhere American power can be extended. Executing Abdul Rahman would have been a victory for the savages and preventing it is a defeat. We went to war to inflict defeat on our enemy, and we must make sure we understand who the enemy truly is – forgetting that is the path to slavery and barbarism for all of us. With all due respect, Mr. Mehan doesn’t seem to understand that.

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March 29, 2006 at 11:32 am

Posted in GWOT

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If You haven’t Been …

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… following Day by Day lately, you’ve been missing out. Just when I thought the hilarious ‘guys watching girls play with firearms’ theme couldn’t get better, it goes off in a whole new direction. Go check it out here. (Click March 20, 2006 when you get there.)

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March 28, 2006 at 4:10 pm

Posted in General

Abdul Rahman Saved – For the Moment

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It looks like the Afghan ‘authorities’ have blinked:

A court on Sunday dismissed the case against an Afghan man facing possible execution for converting from Islam to Christianity, officials said, paving the way for his release.

The move eased pressure from the West but raised the dilemma of protecting Abdul Rahman after his release as Islamic clerics have called for him to be killed.

One official said freedom might come as soon as Monday for Rahman, who became a Christian in the 1990s while working for an aid group in neighboring Pakistan.

Now comes the tricky part of avoiding the Islamic lynch mobs which are already forming. But let’s celebrate that for now, it’s Civilization 1, Barbarism 0.

Update I heard on the news that Rahman is looking for asylum in Germany – sounds like a smart move.

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March 27, 2006 at 10:03 am

Posted in GWOT

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Question Answered Before it Was Asked

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It is a common meme on the Left that any questioning of their positions/views is ipso facto “questioning their patriotism.” One wonders why they’re so sensitive (inasmuch as no one ever does it), but it really isn’t that hard to understand. It’s simply their way of shutting down debate. When one’s position is unpopular, wrong, or just plain both, one accuses the other side of an ad hominem attack (making one in the process) and leaves it at that. I doubt many people are fooled by this tactic, but it’s already been trotted out in advance of the 2006 election, so I suspect we’ll be seeing it frequently in the coming months. So where’s this coming from?

Yesterday, I saw a car with a bumper sticker: “Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam.” Apart from the ignorance of history, military issues, politics, language, and geography such a statement implies, one must also interpret it as an expectation (even a wish) of defeat for our country. (Lest we forget, we won every battle we fought in Vietnam, but we lost the war because of this sort of defeatism at home. Walter Cronkite has been such a person for decades.) So what does one call a person who publicly expresses desire for her nation’s defeat in war? Yep – unpatriotic.

I have no doubt that the woman driving the car would be ‘outraged’ to be so portrayed. Yet, when one displays a patently unpatriotic bumper sticker, isn’t a reasonable person entitled to draw the appropriate conclusion? There’s no need to question the woman’s patriotism – that would suggest the issue was in some doubt. She answered the question before it was asked, clearing up all doubt in the process. Something to keep in mind when those of similar views run for office this year, and whine about their ‘patriotism.’

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March 27, 2006 at 9:32 am

If That Turtle Could Speak …

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A turtle has died in India. Ordinarily, this would be of little interest at all, except in this case, the turtle was two hundred and fifty-five years old. That’s not a bad run for a turtle.

Apparently, he was gifted to the British conqueror of India, Robert Clive who died in 1774. This must be a record for a pet surviving its owner. Read more here.

Update Soxblog has a picture. (Last item.)

Written by martinipundit

March 24, 2006 at 9:55 am

Posted in General, History

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Save Abdul Rahman III

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This is more like it.

Concerned about the fate of a Christian convert in Afghanistan on trial for his life, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday seeking a “favorable resolution” of the case.

But we need to be more than concerned – we need to be outraged. This travesty must not be allowed to stand.

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March 23, 2006 at 4:02 pm

Posted in GWOT

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Thoughts on a Cardinal-Designate

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Our Archbishop, Sean O’Malley, otherwise known as the man with the worst job in the Catholic Church – Archbishop of Boston – has been named a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI and will be elevated tomorrow. I wasn’t planning on writing about it, and now that Sissy Willis has done so, I don’t need to. It’s a lovely piece – go check it out.

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March 23, 2006 at 9:32 am

Posted in Boston, Church

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Save Abdul Rahman II

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Michelle Malkin remains on top of this story with a piece today in RealClearPolitics that doesn’t give an inch:

Despite the defeat of the totalitarian Taliban and the existence of a U.S.-backed “moderate” democratic government, it is a capital crime for Afghanis to openly embrace any religion other than Islam. Sharia law, embedded in the Afghan constitution, overrides its human rights provisions.

Rahman’s family has denounced him as mentally ill. Afghan officials are thirsting for his blood. “We will cut him into little pieces,” jail employee Hosnia Wafayosofi told the Chicago Tribune, as she “made a cutting motion with her hands.”

The Tribune reported that prosecutor Abdul Wasi demanded Rahman’s repentance and called him a traitor: “He is known as a microbe in society, and he should be cut off and removed from the rest of Muslim society and should be killed.” The country’s attorney general says Rahman should be hung. The judge handling the case, who has been photographed wielding Rahman’s Bible as evidence against him, threatens: “If he doesn’t regret his conversion, the punishment will be enforced on him. And the punishment is death.”

This is a watershed moment in the post-Sept. 11 world. The Taliban are out of power. And yet today, an innocent man sits in the jail of a “moderate” Muslim nation praying for his life because he owned a Bible and refuses to renounce his Christian faith.

President Bush needs to speak out and remind Afghanistan just what happened there five years ago. Murder in the name of Allah is still murder – and it must not be tolerated.

More here, and much more here.

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March 22, 2006 at 10:58 am

Posted in GWOT

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Moxie Speaks

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I stumbled across Moxie’s new Moxvox podcast site a week or so ago, but only just got the chance to listen to the first (of three, so far) podcasts. In this trial run (balloon?) the inimitable Moxie discusses things undone, how being pro-life means opposing the death penalty as well (and I thought I was the only one), Hollywood hypocrisy (or is that stupidity?), Toshibas (Sigh – no one’s perfect), dating (classic), and sprinkles Moxisms throughout.

Go check it out.

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March 21, 2006 at 4:38 pm

Posted in Blogging, General

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Save Abdul Rahman

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The latest out of Afghanistan is about a man on trial for his life because he converted to Chritianity from Islam. By all accounts, the verdict is preordained and he will likely be executed in some gruesome fashion.

This is an outrage and cannot be allowed to stand. We’re fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world to put an end to this barbaric medieval mentality that too many muslims it seems cling to like a security blanket. What is it? Why are they so insecure in their faith that they consistently resort to this type of savagery? A cartoon in Denmark has them rioting in the streets in protest – incidentally killing fellow muslims. This insane way of thinking must stop, and Abdul Rahman must be freed and allowed to go on with his life unmolested. Unless muslims can grasp this fundamental human right – the right to worship (or not worship) the Creator in freedom – they will be consigned to the barbarism they would visit on others. Time to grow up.

Michelle Malkin is all over this here and here.

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March 21, 2006 at 12:30 pm

Posted in GWOT

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An Rx for Musical Chairs

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Fred Barnes – with whom I often find myself in agreement – had an interesting opinion piece in the Wall Street journal yesterday suggesting that President Bush needs to shake up his cabinet, thus embarking on some sort of ersatz “third term.” It’s an unusual prescription for a way for out of the present doldrums, but I think it may be asking too much.

The first move I agree with and think is necessary no later than early next year:

The president’s most spectacular move would be to anoint a presidential successor. This would require Vice President Cheney to resign. His replacement? Condoleezza Rice, whom Mr. Bush regards highly. Her replacement? Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, whose Bush-like views on Iraq and the war on terror have made him a pariah in the Democratic caucus.

And while I hadn’t given much thought to Rice’s successor at State, I actually rather like the idea of Lieberman. If nothing else, it might dent some of the vituperative partisanship the Democrats display so often in confirmation hearings.

The next idea, however, strikes me as flat-out wrong:

Mr. Cheney would probably be happy to step down and return to Wyoming. But it would make more sense for him to move to the Pentagon to replace Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary, a job Mr. Cheney held during the elder Bush’s administration.

In fact, I see two things wrong with it. First, Rumsfeld has done a stellar job at defense, not the least in the transformation of the military from a force designed to fight big wars into a force that can fight little wars. Rumsfeld needs to finish that job. This is not to say that I don’t think Cheney isn’t up to the job – he manifestly is. However, apart from the fact that one does not go from being Vice President of the United States to cabinet secretary, the very thing Barnes wants – a shake up and a fresh start – would be impossible with Cheney the old warhorse in the picture.

I’m less interested in the other appointments – treasury et al., but there is merit in the suggestion that Karl Rove ought to become the head of the Republican National Committee. If only for the paroxysms of spleen that will erupt from the Kossacks and their ilk.

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March 21, 2006 at 10:32 am

Posted in 2008 Election, Politics

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LA Women

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It was an LA kind of day yesterday. A good friend flew in from LA to visit family (took the redeye so we didn’t connect), but the girlfriend and I had been planning to go out anyway. Our choice was one of our favorite local pubs which is typically not crowded on a Wednesday. That’s alright, as we like the bartender, and prefer to sit there so we can talk to her and the conversation is invariably good. However, last night, shortly after we sat down, two other women came in and sat down near us. I noted with approval that one of them ordered a Martini (it turned out to be vodka) and the other had a snifter of Irish Whiskey. The girlfriend had a Manhattan and I had my signature Martini (made with gin, now and ever). Slowly, the five of us were drawn into one conversation.

They were from LA. This was their first time in Boston, and it was an accident. They had been going to Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day, but apparently the JetBlue deal to Boston was too good to pass up. And so they had landed, checked into a hotel I’d never heard of but is apparently nearby, and wandered around. Once it began to snow, these two California girls ducked into the nearest place – the same pub. I must say, they were rather forward and inquisitive, and it wasn’t long before we all knew a bit more than expected about perfect strangers. They both worked in non-traditional occupations for women – Vodka Martini was a firefighter and Irish Whiskey a longshoreman (her term and as I later learned she had the muscles to back it up, who am I to contradict?). I might point out these were not Moxie’s libzillas – unwashed and hairy – but two lovely women, acquainted with hygeine, and nicely dressed. Eventually the conversation had to turn to politics.

It started out easily enough. Vodka Martini had been injured on a training exercise and had some pointed things to say about how Governor Schwarznegger had cut back on workmen’s comp programs. When dealing with people from California I always assume they’re liberals until proven otherwise, and having lived in Massachusetts for so long, I know how to handle these situations. First, one asks questions in a curious, but slightly clueless tone. Eventually, the liberal will say something that either contradicts something they said earlier or makes so little sense that even they notice if it’s pointed out. It is at that point that one drops ‘the question.’ No longer clueless, this is the question that exposes the complete illogic of liberal thinking. One of two things will typically happen at that point. The liberal will either start calling you names (sometimes subtle, sometimes not), or they will try to change the subject. In this case, however, Vodka Martini surprised me – much to my delight. I asked her: didn’t California need to change its fiscal approach if all her programs were to be funded in the face of bankruptcy and lack of eastern bond money? Her response – it was a liberal to be sure – was that we don’t want to change the system because we like it. True, the answer is a bit “pie-in-the-sky,” but it was honest, and suggests that Schwarznegger is fighting a losing battle. Certainly neither of these LA women thought he would be reelected.

There was some talk of illegal immigration – they’ve had enough of it, and then we turned to to the 2008 election. I proposed a scenario for them: sometime after the 2006 midterms, Vice President Cheney steps down, the President nominates Condi Rice to succeed him and she’s confirmed by the senate. Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination in 2008, and they face off. Vodka Martini tried to turn the scenario in a feminist direction, saying that “women would be blamed” for something, but I persisted. “That may be so,” I said, “but one of them will win.” (As you can tell, Irish Whiskey was the quiet one.) There was some hesitation about how “conservatives would never back a black woman” to which I replied that many conservative bloggers were already behind her, and they represent real grassroots support. The conversation continued in this vein for a bit longer and then, in a much smaller and quieter voice than she had been using, Vodka Martini suddenly said, “I guess if it came down to it, I’d vote for Condi.” Irish Whiskey nodded her agreement.

Ha! I thought to myself. Victory is sweet, but then I realized I had won nothing. All I had done was force two feminist LA women (a firefighter and a longshoreman) to fess up that they would vote for the Republican over the Democrat in this case. Admittedly unscientific, and indeed, basically random, but for such a poll, not good news for Hillary.

It was a lovely evening.

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March 16, 2006 at 11:52 am

Eyeing Impeachment

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I noted here that the only reason the Democrats hadn’t already made an attempt to impeach President Bush was because they were in the minority in Congress. Today, the Wall Street Journal has an Opinion piece basically echoing that view:

[E]verything that Mr. Bush has been accused of during the last five years, no matter how Orwelliaan or thoroughly refuted, will be trotted out again and used as impeachment fodder. And lest you think this could never happen, Judiciary is the House committee through which any formal impeachment resolution would be introduced and proceed. As the country heads toward 2008 and a Democratic nomination fight, John Kerry and Hillary Rodham Clinton would be hard-pressed to avoid going along with Mr. Feingold, Al Gore, and others feeding the bile of the censure/impeach brigades.

Which brings us back to Mr. Feingold’s public service in floating his “censure” gambit now. He’s doing voters a favor by telling them before November’s election just how Democrats intend to treat a wartime President if they take power.

Not only do they want to block his policies, they also plan to rebuke and embarrass him in front of the world and America’s enemies. And they want to do so not because there is a smidgen of evidence that he’s abused his office or lied under oath, but because they think he’s been too energetic in using his powers to defend America. By all means, let’s have this impeachment debate before the election, so voters can know what’s really at stake.

These are the stakes. The Democrats want to impeach Bush for a lot of reasons, perhaps even a few of them stemming from genuine belief that Bush has committed an impeachable offense. But let’s be clear, most of them want to impeach him because of the 2000 election, and because he has taken the bold step of defending the nation, made hard decisions, and stayed the course in spite of all the ‘experts.’ (Who, if they’re so smart, why have they been so consistently wrong?) If the Democrats win the House in 2006, it will be payback time. And to hell with the cost to the nation.

Update Jeff Goldstein has more:

But then, today’s liberal-Democrats are nothing but opportunistic and increasingly reprehensible tin-plated Macchiavellians; to many of these people, rhetoric trumps truth; spin is paramount, and power is all.

Never before in my lifetime did I find it even remotely possible that our country could fight another civil war. But I’m beginning to think that a (non-violent) civil war is coming — and that, frankly, it needs to happen. How it transpires, I have no idea — though I suspect migration patterns and a strong move to re-affirm federalist principles could provide the groundwork.

Philosophically, we have lost our way. And we’d better find our way back to our founding principles, or — as powerful as we are — we are doomed to slip into nannystate socialism, while a feckless foreign policy permits radical Islam to spread across the globe like the cancer it is.

 

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March 15, 2006 at 11:14 am

Gallic Pride

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Apparently the French have had enough of iTunes – the French government that is. The French parliament is considering legislation that would invalidate Apple’s digital rights management (DRM):

France is pushing through a law that would force Apple Computer Inc to open its iTunes online music store and enable consumers to download songs onto devices other than the computer maker’s popular iPod player.

Under a draft law expected to be voted in parliament on Thursday, consumers would be able to legally use software that converts digital content into any format.

It would no longer be illegal to crack digital rights management — the codes that protect music, films and other content — if it is to enable to the conversion from one format to another, said Christian Vanneste, Rapporteur, a senior parliamentarian who helps guide law in France.

Because, Lord knows the French are oh-so-concerned with making American content more available to the French public. I mean, it’s not like they fail to understand that the whole reason Apple can distribute digital content is because of the agreement on DRM with the content creators, without which, they cannot distribute said content. Ergo, if such a law is passed in France, Apple will have no choice but to shutter iTunes access in France. Who wins here? The French public? Apple? The content creators? As far as I can see, the only winners here are the xenophobic technocrats who run France. Look for the EU sequel soon after.

The Marselleise will probably still be available though.

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March 14, 2006 at 10:33 am

Hollywood Bails

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Long-term readers know I have little time for the shenanigans that occasionally erupt from Hollywood. With some notable exceptions, every time a so-called celebrity opens his or her own mouth to emit words not written by someone else but which germinated in the fevered recesses of their own ‘intellects,’ the result is typically inane liberal blather. If the occasional written piece is any indication, many of those words are also misspelled. If from this you gather I do not hold Hollywood types in high intellectual esteem, you would be correct.

However, they are a major constituency of the Democratic party, giving much in both time and money, and rarely being shrinking violets about it. So is it significant that recent oscar winner (for some movie most people missed) George Clooney is having problems with prominent Democrats? I’m not sure, but it doesn’t look good:

“Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the runup to the war. In 2003, a lot of us were saying, where is the link between Saddam and Bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with 9/11? We knew it was bulls —.

“Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, ‘We were misled.’ It makes me want to shout, ‘F— you, you weren’t misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic.'”

This echoes MoveOn.org, Michael Moore, Mother Sheehan, the Kossacks, and other assorted moonbats for whom the war (and not just Iraq) is THE one and only issue. These guys produce a lot of the money that will be needed for 2008. Stay tuned.

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March 13, 2006 at 3:11 pm

More Offensive Cartoons

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This is interesting. Apparently a student paper at the University of Saskatchewan has published a cartoon mocking a major world religion. Is this deja vu all over again? Will there be rioting in the streets, death threats, and actual fatalities?

Nope, not this time. For you see, the cartoon insults Christianity so the response has been relatively tepid. So what does the cartoon depict? Jesus performing oral sodomy on a capitalistic pig. Offensive? Sure. Tasteless? You bet. Puerile? Without question. Worth going out in the streets and killing a fellow Christian? I don’t think so.

Go read the piece if you like. But if you do, note the actual response – two dozen e-mail complaints, a record apparently. Imagine what the response in the Islamic world would have been. Oh wait, we don’t have to imagine. We know.

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March 8, 2006 at 2:01 pm

Posted in GWOT

Waiting for War

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Speaking of the Left, the MSM is, of course, shot through and through with it. These are the people who inhabit the newsrooms and studios of the big national newspapers like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, and their lesser brethren. Also, the big news broadcasters like CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and let’s not forget the likes of AP and Reuters. These are the bringers of relentless doom on Iraq. Every bombing is headlined. Every bit of good news is sidelined. It’s a quagmire. It’s based on a lie. It’s impossible to plant democracy there. The Sunnis and the Shiites are destined for civil war.

It’s that last one that they’ve been waiting for. These so-called peace-lovers, who oppose the GWOT in general and Iraq in particular, are obscenely salivating over the prospect of civil war in Iraq. True, the Iraqis have been awfully lazy about actually getting going with this civil war business, but the relentless stream of bad news does seem to be bearing fruit at home. Allowing for push-polling, oversampling, and the myriad of other polling shenanigans that pollsters routinely employ, the numbers in this WaPo poll are too high to be totally wrong.

The survey found that 80 percent believe that recent sectarian violence makes civil war in Iraq likely, and more than a third say such a conflict is “very likely” to occur.

Bing! Success! The MSM, after years of relentless bad news and waiting for war has succeeded not in creating the civil war they so ardently crave in Iraq, but they have convinced the American people that civil war is likely. This will result in increased calls for withdrawal of American troops which sure as God made little green apples would result in the civil war the MSM wants. Then they can say Bush was wrong and they were right.

Fortunately, President Bush is unlikely to indulge them. Nor do the Iraqi people seem inclined to go along to their credit. Want to hear some good news? Read this from Ralph Peters in the New York Post.

Written by martinipundit

March 7, 2006 at 12:35 pm

Posted in GWOT, MSM

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