Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Painting By Marc Chagall

Sorry, I don't know the title. Maybe someone will write in and tell me. No special meaning here. I just love Chagall's paintings. This one, obviously, is one of his love paintings. With the man in his formal religious robes and headress, and the nakedness of the women, what I see in this one is a mixture of the sacred and the sexual.

That's one of my favorite themes.

In the Bible, the Church is depicted as the Bride of Christ. When we all go to heaven we will sit down and celebrate the Wedding Feast of the Lamb with God Himself. Now, I'm not going to pretend to know exactly what this metaphor means, but I do believe that we know that we are meant to have a deeply intimate relationship with our Creator. One that I'm imagining will far surpass the oneness and ecstasy we feel with our mates.

I get a glimpse of this kind of spiritual joy when I look at the paintings of Chagall.

Posted by Hello

Speaking Truth To Power In Taiwan
Appeasement Won't Work

Posted by Hello

A Million Pro-Democracy Taiwanese
Demonstrate Against China

In light of recent events in Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, the Ukraine, and Kyrgzystan, Roger Simon says Democracy is viral, and links to TAIPEI (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of people chanting "Oppose war, Love Taiwan" joined President Chen Shui-bian Saturday to protest against China's anti-secession law that sanctions the use of force against the island. to prove his point:

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of people chanting "Oppose war, Love Taiwan" joined President Chen Shui-bian Saturday to protest against China's anti-secession law that sanctions the use of force against the island.

Chen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party hopes the protest will draw international attention to the new law and put pressure on China to scrap it.

Organizers said 1 million people joined the show of people power against Beijing's military threat, but Taipei police estimated the crowd at just over 240,000.

"I am here to protest against a barbaric China which looks down upon the Taiwanese people," said 70-year-old businessman Fan Wen-yi, adding he was not affiliated to any political party and had never participated in a protest before. "The anti-secession law, simply put, is a law that authorizes war."

The protestors chanted slogans and waved green flags that read "democracy, peace, protect Taiwan" as they marched toward the presidential office from 10 locations around the capital, symbolizing the 10 clauses of the anti-secession law.

Many brought their children and pets to the "democratic carnival." Scores of children bared bottoms plastered with anti-missile stickers, while a handful of angry protesters set fire to red Chinese flags.

And I note that the Babe Factor is at play here as well.

Posted by Hello

Wells Fargo Is Unethical and UnAmerican
In Their Business Practices

From Associated Press:

WASHINGTON - When Army reservist Steve Welter was called up for active duty in Iraq (news - web sites) last August, his wife never thought she would face her own fight to save the family's home from foreclosure.

A 65-year-old federal law, which Congress expanded last year, provides a range of protections for activated reservists and for Guard members called up by the Pentagon (news - web sites).

Those protections include a 6 percent cap, under certain circumstances, on consumer and mortgage interest rate debt incurred before activation; protection from eviction or foreclosure; payment deferral for federal taxes; and a stay on civil proceedings, including divorce and bankruptcy.

Keira Welter knew the law was supposed to protect a soldier's property from creditors during active military service. But for months, she said, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Co. did not seem to care about the law, no matter how many times she explained her case.

"We had worked so hard to own our own home, and while my husband was over there serving our country it was going to be taken away," said Welter, 31, of Osawatomie, Kan.

After Wells Fargo started foreclosure proceedings in February, Keira Welter contacted the state attorney general's office and members of Congress. It was not until a local television station aired her story and Sen. Pat Roberts (news, bio, voting record), R-Kan., intervened that the company finally backed off.

You know, really, apparently shame also ought to be heaped on those members of Congress to whom this situation was brought. If any member of Congress ever hears of such a situation he must do something about it. Members of Congress, and all of us, should treat our soldiers as our heroes.

We Are All Jews

Thanks to the Astute Blogger, for leaving this article, by James Woolsey (former head of CIA under Clinton) in my comments section the other day:

I sometimes get asked these days if I'm Jewish — it's my neoconish views on defense and foreign affairs, I suppose. For a while I would just say, "No, Presbyterian,' but I've started saying instead, 'Well, I anchor the Presbyterian wing of JINSA (the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs )."

What with anti-Semitism growing in Europe and a hideous variety thereof metastasizing in the Middle East - not to speak of the American Left's (and a small part of the Right's) hostility to Israel, which sometimes veers off into anti-Semitism - it seems to me our Jewish friends could use a bit of solidarity these days. Today, the first day of Rosh Hashana, celebration of the Jewish New Year, is as good a time as any to explain why.

It's not only the other two great Abrahamic religions, Christianity and Islam, that owe a substantial debt to Judaism, it's the world as a whole. The reason is that between three and four millennia ago something happened in the Sinai among a tribe of refugees from Egyptian oppression that introduced the world to the concept of the rule of law - the idea that the law is not the whim of, but rather has its source above, those who rule.

This concept is at the heart of what makes decently-governed societies possible, whether you sign on to Jefferson's formulation that we are "endowed by our Creator" with basic rights or prefer the more secular notion of natural law.

In the absence of one or the other of these bases for the notion that the rule of law somehow derives from a source above the rulers, electoral democracy can degenerate into mob rule and capitalism into theft. This supremacy of the law is what most Americans mean when they say that we have a "government of laws, not men."

Some aspects of this have gotten a bit muddled recently in the largely academic debate about whether the United States is or is not an "empire.' If the US is an empire it's a very odd one: Countries where it has troops such as Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Germany suggest they are unhappy about that and the response is, 'OK," and an offer to leave.

Nero and Napoleon would have been appalled. They would also have had a hard time understanding the travails of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. One was driven from office by the people's elected representatives for permitting a cover-up of a clumsy political burglary. The other was impeached by the House, then acquitted in a Senate trial, for lying under oath in a deposition taken in what was essentially a sexual harassment case brought by a private citizen.

What, you may well ask, are the most powerful individuals in the world doing, if they are emperors, getting held to account by members of Congress for burglary cover-ups and by private citizens, no less, for sexual behavior?

The answer is, of course, that neither Nixon nor Clinton, indeed no American president, is even close to being an emperor. People (and smaller nations wherein an empire maintains troops) obey emperors, if they know what's good for them, without much discussion. These two recent presidents were, instead, held to account in a distinctly non-imperial way - in pretty much the same way Elijah humbled Ahab for allowing his queen, Jezebel, to frame and execute Naboth and steal his vineyard, and in the way the prophet Nathan confronted David over his taking Bathsheba and ordering her husband, Uriah, to the front lines and certain death.

The US does not look back to Rome or France at the height of their power in determining the way to deal with those who today govern the most powerful nation in history. Thankfully, in regard to the powerful being subjected to the rule of law we are, instead, all Jews.

I'VE MAINLY been in synagogues for the bar mitzvas and bat mitzvas of friends' children. The next time you are, notice what the object of veneration is - it is the Torah, the law itself. At a point in the service it is carried, lovingly, around the congregation, greeted as an old friend. I am convinced that it is this veneration of the law - with its status above the ruler — that is at the heart of anti-Semitism.

Jews have almost always been the first target of tyrants, because their beliefs and religious practices, honed by nearly two millennia in Diaspora, clearly declare that in their view the law is above the ruler: dietary laws, the dress of the Orthodox, a propensity to contend about what is a fair interpretation of rules, all stamp Jews with this belief's being the heart of their history and religion. As a consequence they are often the first group that dictators, secular or theocratic, feel they must suppress.

We should all reflect upon the historic reality that when anti-Semitism raises its head, the rest of us, unless we are willing to live with a foot on our neck, will be the next targets.

Jewish humor, a distinctive barrier against any propensity to self-righteousness, permeates American culture. A number of times during the Cold War, I was involved in arms control negotiations with the Soviets. No matter how bad the tension across the negotiating table during the day, Russian and American negotiators would often end up going out for dinner together. Somehow, even in the most difficult periods, the conversation frequently turned to trading jokes.

I always thought it remarkable how much Russian humor was suffused with a wry, self-deprecating, ironic tone both quite funny and somehow quite familiar to Americans. Later, finding versions of a number of these jokes and stories in Leo Rosten's wonderful The Joys of Yiddish, I realized the source of the familiarity.

Six years ago the Immigration and Naturalization Service imprisoned eight Muslims, Iraqi freedom fighters who were refugees from Saddam, for allegedly being security threats to the US. The government's case was worse than flimsy but it was protected by rules regarding secret evidence. After a long struggle all eight were freed, and several are now working to establish democracy in Iraq.

I was one of their lawyers. The majority of my co-counsel, all acting pro bono, were Jewish. The law is, after all, above the ruler.

The Rats In The Cage

From the London Telegraph, excerpt from an article by Mark Steyn:

Almost every issue facing the EU - from immigration rates to crippling state pension liabilities - has at its heart the same glaringly plain root cause: a huge lack of babies. I could understand a disinclination by sunny politicians to peddle doom and gloom were it not for the fact that, in all other areas of public policy, our rulers embrace doomsday scenarios at the drop of a hat. Most 20-year projections - on global warming, fuel resources, etc - are almost laughably speculative. They fail to take into account the most important factor of all - human inventiveness: "We can't feed the world!" they shriek. But we develop more efficient farming methods with nary a thought. "The oil will run out by the year 2000!" But we develop new extraction methods and find we've got enough oil for as long as we'll need it.

But human inventiveness depends on humans - and that's the one thing we really are running out of. When it comes to forecasting the future, the birth rate is the nearest thing to hard numbers. If only a million babies are born in 2005, it's hard to have two million adults enter the workforce in 2025 (or 2033, or 2041, or whenever they get around to finishing their Anger Management, Systemic Racism and Gay Studies degrees). If that's not a political issue, what is? To cite only the most obviously affected corner of the realm, what's the long-term future of the Scottish National Party if there are no Scottish nationals?

When I've mentioned the birth dearth on previous occasions, pro-abortion correspondents have insisted it's due to other factors - the generally declining fertility rates that affect all materially prosperous societies, or the high taxes that make large families prohibitively expensive in materially prosperous societies. But this is a bit like arguing over which came first, the chicken or the egg - or, in this case, which came first, the lack of eggs or the scraggy old chicken-necked women desperate for one designer baby at the age of 48. How much of Europe's fertility woes derive from abortion is debatable. But what should be obvious is that the way the abortion issue is framed - as a Blairite issue of personal choice - is itself symptomatic of the broader crisis of the dying West.

Since 1945, a multiplicity of government interventions - state pensions, subsidised higher education, higher taxes to pay for everything - has so ruptured traditional patterns of inter-generational solidarity that in Europe a child is now an optional lifestyle accessory. By 2050, Estonia's population will have fallen by 52 per cent, Bulgaria's by 36 per cent, Italy's by 22 per cent.

The hyper-rationalism of post-Christian Europe turns out to be wholly irrational: what's the point of creating a secular utopia if it's only for one generation?

Shortly after 9/11, I wrote in these pages about one of the most curious aspects of the new war - the assurance given to Islamist "martyrs" that 72 virgins were standing by to pleasure them for eternity. The notion that the after-life is a well-appointed brothel is a perplexing one to the Judaeo-Christian world, and I suggested that Americans would be sceptical if heaven were framed purely in terms of boundless earthly pleasures.

But, on reflection, if the Islamists are banal in portraying the next world purely in terms of sensual self-gratification, we're just as reductive in measuring this one the same way. America this Holy Week is following the frenzied efforts to halt the court-enforced starvation of a brain-damaged woman for no reason other than that her continued existence is an inconvenience to her husband. In Britain, two doctors escape prosecution for aborting an otherwise healthy baby with a treatable cleft palate because the authorities are satisfied they acted "in good faith". You can read similar stories in almost any corner of the developed world, except perhaps the Netherlands, where discretionary euthanasia is so advanced it's news if the kid makes it out of the maternity ward. As the New York Times reported the other day: "Babies born into what is certain to be a brief life of grievous suffering should have their lives ended by physicians under strict guidelines, according to two doctors in the Netherlands.

"The doctors, Eduard Verhagen and Pieter J. J. Sauer of the University Medical Center in Groningen, in an essay in today's New England Journal of Medicine, said they had developed guidelines, known as the Groningen protocol."

Ah, the protocols of the elders of science. Odd the way scientists have such little regard for scientific progress. It's highly likely that many birth defects - not just the bilateral cleft lips - will be treatable and correctible in the next decade or two. But once you start weighing the relative values of individual lives, there's no end to it. Much of that derives from the way abortion has redefined life - as a "choice", an option.

In practice, a culture that thinks Terri Schiavo's life in Florida or the cleft-lipped baby's in Herefordshire has no value winds up ascribing no value to life in general. Hence, the shrivelled fertility rates in Europe and in blue-state America: John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest birth rates; George W Bush took 25 of the 26 states with the highest.

The 19th-century Shaker communities were forbidden from breeding and could increase their number only by conversion. The Euro-Canadian-Democratic Party welfare secularists seem to have chosen the same predicament voluntarily, and are likely to meet the same fate. The martyrdom culture of radical Islam is a literal dead end. But so is the slyer death culture of post-Christian radical narcissism. This is the political issue that will determine all the others: it's the demography, stupid.

Everything he says here seems to be true. You know what struck me while reading this article? If this is true of the West, what about China where couples are allowed only one child? How can a Communist system sustain such a population decline? The answer is, they can't. In a Communist country where almost all services are provided by the government and, thus, supported by taxes, a birth rate which assures that a population will decline by half over the course of one generation is a death certificate already being filled out.

Do you think China will start allowing mass immigration into their country, the way Europe and the U.S. have? That also would be the death of their system, because immigration would bring an element of cultural chaos, which the strict order of the Communist system could not control.

As Mark Steyn notes, politicians never speak of this issue. And yet it is obvious that what he says is true. The disinclination of our politicians to deal with this reality is based on either profound ignorance, or fear, or more probably, a combination of both.

It is important to note that this decline in the birth rate of the West was precipitated by a massive disinformation campaign put forth by environmentalists, in the late 60's and early 70's, about the "Population Explosion" and the ecological disaster it was creating. When I was a kid this was a huge topic not only in the media, but in my school as well. We were quite literally indoctrinated with the idea that, if we continued to have more than two babies per couple we were, in effect, destroying the Earth.

That's quite a lot of guilt and fear for a child to shoulder. But, obviously we have all taken our lesson to heart. Of course, our responsible adherence to this idiotic dictum is empowered by the profound selfishness of our consumer society. Let's face it, part of the reason we don't want to have a lot of kids is because we won't be able to afford as nice a car, or take as many vacations.

I remember the image that environmentalists used to explain to us just how the "Population Explosion" would destroy the Earth. This image is seared, seared into my memory. It was that we were like rats in a cage, with only a certain amount of food. At some point the population and, thus, the appetites, and waste matter, of the rats would exceed the size of the cage. At that point the rats would begin to drown in their own waste, and to kill each other to get the food.

It would seem that the rats in a cage scenario is an accurate description after all. However, the rats are in our minds; they are the ideologies, products, lifestyle choices, and "good times," which we put in front of the more natural human desire to be surrounded by family.

Friday, March 25, 2005


By Rabbi David Eliezrie

Purim has been celebrated with pizzazz and energy since its beginning some 2,300 years ago when the miracle happened. But Purim is about more than just fun. The celebration marks a watershed event in Jewish history, and, if we dig a bit, we find that in many ways it is analogous with the challenges of modern Jewish life.

Purim occurred almost 70 years after the First Temple’s destruction, during the Jews’ first Diaspora experience. We know they were integrated into the general society and had political influence. The Megillah relates that Mordechai, the head of the Sanhedrin, sat in the King’s Palace; the Midrash adds that he was a general of the royal army. When the king marked the three-year anniversary of his reign with a major feast, the Jews participated.

Even as Jews began to slip into Persian culture, they remained unique. Haman was troubled by a nation that was distinct, that worshipped a G-d who could not be seen. His decrees against the Jews were more ominous than those of other tyrants throughout the ages: There was no place to run.

At that time, all Jews lived within the Persian Empire. Even during the darkest days of the Holocaust or the Spanish Inquisition, Jews could escape to other countries. This time there was no other Jewish community to help out. The threat of annihilation was against the entire Jewish people. How did Mordechai respond to this threat?

As the Megillah states, he “sat in the gate of Palace of the King,” and he urged Esther to intervene with the king, but he recognized that Jewish destiny transcends the will of mortal monarchs. Cognizant of the Jewish teaching that the purity of children can tip a decree, he gathered 24,000 Jewish children in prayer and charity.

I witnessed a modern enactment of this teaching in the quiet months leading up to the Yom Kippur War, when the Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged his Chassidim to gather Jewish children in prayer and charity. Rallies were organized in every community in the globe, thousands of children gathered at the Wall in Jerusalem. We could not understand the reason for this, as there was no sign of imminent danger -- and then the war broke out. The Rebbe had perceived a threat, and had prepared for it through this spiritual response.

Our responses to challenges cannot just involve the realm of nature. Of course we must lobby the government aggressively on behalf of Israel, but we must also recognize that there is something more spiritual that must be attended to. At times, the mystery is overwhelming. For instance, when my son was battling cancer, my wife asked me, “Why?” and I had no answer. Still, we knew that our response to this dire threat must be multilevel. Aggressive medical care, prayer, charity, and introspection were all necessary. (Thank G-d he is well, married and has a child.)

The uniqueness of Jews is characterized by such actions. Mordechai fought Haman using diplomacy and courage, but knew that the spiritual component was crucial to his success. We need to emulate Mordechai by reaching inward to fortify our spiritual dimension as we face external crises. Though the name of G-d is not mentioned in the Megillah, if we dig deeper we can find the Divine Destiny in the actions of Mordechai and Esther and in our lives today.

Rabbi David Eliezrie, a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet, is a Chabad Shaliach in Yorba Linda, California.

Posted by Hello

Prayer Posted by Hello

Dehydration Nation

Thanks to Graham Lester for leaving this in my comments section last night:

For more than ten years, conscious and unconscious cognitively disabled people who use feeding tubes have been legally dehydrated to death in the United States. This intentional life-ending act—clamping feeding tubes and denying all sustenance—has become so ubiquitous that, generally, little attention is paid.

This public indifference was shattered by the Terri Schiavo litigation, an epic legal, political, and media struggle that pitted Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, against her quasi-estranged husband, Michael Schiavo. At stake was whether Terri would live, as fervently desired by her parents, or die by dehydration as demanded by her husband. (I shall explain below why I consider Michael to be estranged from Terri.)

The Schiavo case is not the first “food and fluids” case, but it is certainly the most notorious. Widespread revulsion over Terri’s court-ordered dehydration sparked a grass-roots political campaign that culminated in the Florida legislature’s rushed passage of “Terri’s Law,” which empowered the governor to intervene and prevent some categories of cognitively disabled people from being dehydrated. As soon as the bill became law, Governor Jeb Bush dramatically halted Terri’s dehydration in its sixth day, setting off an international uproar. (As this is written the constitutionality of Terri’s law—and hence the fate of Terri Schiavo—is being litigated.)

At this point we must distinguish between two different circumstances in which nourishment is withheld from incapacitated patients:

First, not forcing food and water upon dying patients who reject nourishment. This often occurs in the end stages of cancer. Indeed, it is recognized as medically inappropriate to force-feed patients whose bodies are shutting down during the natural dying process. In these cases, the patients die from their disease, not dehydration. This is not the situation that this article addresses.

Second, withholding tube-supplied food and water from cognitively disabled persons like Terri who are not otherwise dying. In such cases, nourishment is withheld not for medical reasons but because someone believes that the patient’s life is not worth living in such an impaired state, or that he or she would rather be dead than live with a profound cognitive disability. Death in these situations is caused by dehydration.

If the owner of a horse or cow caused the animal to die by withholding food and water, he or she would probably go to jail, and rightly so. If a condemned murderer were executed by being shut in a room without food and water until he died, the American Civil Liberties Union would never stop suing, and rightly so. (Ironically, the ACLU has jumped into the Schiavo case—on Michael’s side, to have Terri’s Law declared unconstitutional.) But dehydrate a person with significant brain injury who requires a feeding tube, and it is considered medically ethical, the right to refuse unwanted medical treatment and an adjunct of the legally non-existent “right to die.”

In fact, a Florida rancher was just arrested the other day, on 120 counts of animal cruelty for starving his cows.

Kill a cow, go to jail. Kill a human being, and collect insurance money.

I believe the one good thing that will come out of the Terri Schiavo case is that the eyes of the nation have been turned on this practice. Many of us, myself included, have watched as relatives have been in states like this. I watched my father suffer in a state like this for several days. Eventually, he was able to eat again, then sit up, and then I helped him to learn how to walk again. He went on to live another seven years filled with smiles and tears of joy.

I'm not saying that Terri could have made such advances, but I am saying that from the videotape, it was apparent that Terri was happy to see her mother. She's not a vegetable and we all know it.

Hail Rashid Nasim
The Correct Muslim Repsonse to Islamofascism

From the Ottawa Sun, via Little Green Footballs:

Rashid Nasim arrives at Abraar Islamic elementary school to pick up his young daughter, and he’s upset, he wants answers.

“I want to speak to the principal, I want to speak to teachers. This is not what I want from this school. We didn’t have our daughter go here for this. I want to know how this could happen.”

Rashid Nasim wants to know why a Muslim pupil at the private school was allowed to get away with a project in which he wrote a stridently anti-Semitic story about Palestinians revengefully killing Jews in the Middle East. He wants to know why two teachers were approving of the completed work. He wants to know why it was put on display in the school as if to be proud of.

Rashid Nasim, 31, owns three of the Curves For Women fitness centres in Ottawa. His wife, Shaista Zareef, is a family physician. Their four-year old daughter Mariya is in junior kindergarten at Abraar. The family is Muslim.
Nasim was born in Pakistan and grew up in Montreal where he attended a Catholic high school. “I’m glad I did. Where does it say I can’t learn about other religions? The ignorance about other religions and cultures, that’s what breeds fear and hatred.

“We are practising Muslims and wanted her to go here for the cultural education and strong moral foundation it provides. We spoke to the principal, and were convinced it was the right choice.” The principal is Dr. Aisha Sherazi, who has suspended the two teachers.

“The view of the child who wrote the story is not a view accepted by the overall teachers, the administration, or the other students. It was one individual opinion. It was the culture he was brought up in over there. Any child coming from that environment would have that feeling.

“To be allowed to express it in a school setting that might influence other students at that impressionable age, that’s the issue. But why did the teachers seem to encourage it, why did one of them write the favourable comments on it? I want to know — was it assigned or was it original?

“I don’t want my daughter’s school tarnished by this. This is not what the school stands for. We don’t want the community to feel threatened. I am not anti-Semitic. I have Jewish employees. Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew — all people deserve respect, there is no room for hatred.”

Doesn't Rashid sound like someone you would be proud to call a friend?

Behold, I Make All Things New

My favorite scene from the movie The Passion of the Christ, was the scene where Mary watches as her son struggles to carry the cross, and stumbles. She recalls watching him stumble and fall as her dear little child. He looks at her, out from underneath his agony, his face blood-streaked and grimy, and says,

"Behold Mother, I make all things new."

God came to Earth and took upon Himself all our sin (our evil, our anger, our pain, our shame, and our fear) and took it through death to be eliminated forever.

While He was going through the suffering He did not know for sure if He would make it through. That's why He cried out to His Father, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me."

Christ did not get on the cross thinking to Himself, "In 15 minutes this will all be over. Instead, He had to face His death, just as all of us have to face ours; alone and afraid.

Imagine that God would put Himself through that for us.

Good Friday

My friend Jaymarie, over at Pond Ripple wrote what I think is the definitive statement on the Terri Schiavo situation. Her comment was part of a larger discussion, so go read it, but here's the passage which I thought was definitive:

... what bothers me the most is the idea that I keep hearing from Christians and religious people - that death is ok, that this too is a part of God's plan, that maybe it is her time to go...peacefully.

Ah, what a load of bullshit. We fight for life because it is a holy, God ordained act. Because our brothers and sisters are the "inside" we have to God in this lifetime. Because it is the greatest beauty which is known to man and it is horrifying to see it come to an end.

Everything Christ ever did, or was, hinges on His overcoming the grave. The apostle Paul admitted it when he said that without the ressurection our faith would be in vain. If we believe this then we admit that death "had" to be can we also say that death is fine and dignified.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ralph Nader and George Bush Are In Agreement
On Terri Schiavo

Because I don't think my posting an article by Ralph Nader would constitute a temper tantrum on my part, here is Mr. Nader weighing in on the Terri Schiavo murder:

To: National Desk

Contact: Ralph Nader, 202-387-8034; Wesley Smith, 510-886-8609

WASHINGTON, March 24 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith, author of the award winning book "Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America" call upon the Florida Courts, Governor Jeb Bush and concerned citizens to take any legal action available to let Terri Schiavo live.

"A profound injustice is being inflicted on Terri Schiavo," Nader and Smith asserted today.

"Worse, this slow death by dehydration is being imposed upon her under the color of law, in proceedings in which every benefit of the doubt-and there are many doubts in this case-has been given to her death, rather than her continued life."

Among the many injustices in this case, Nader and Smith point to the following:

The courts not only are refusing her tube feeding, but have ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment.
"This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, it has ordered her to be made dead," Nader and Smith assert.

The medical and rehabilitation experts are split on whether Terri is in a persistent vegetative state or whether Terri can be improved with therapy. There is only one way to know for sure- permit the therapy. That is the only way to resolve all doubts.

The court is imposing process over justice. After the first trial in this case, much evidence has been produced that should allow for a new trial-which was the point of the hasty federal legislation. If this were a death penalty case, this evidence would demand reconsideration. Yet, an innocent disabled woman is receiving less justice.

The federal and state governments are spending billions on what we are told will become miracle medical cures for people with all sorts of degenerative conditions, including brain damage. If this is so, why not permit Terri's parents and siblings who want to care for her do so in the hope that such cures are discovered?

Benefits of doubts should be given to life, not hastened death. This case is rife with doubt. Justice demands that Terri be permitted to live.


Err on the side of life.

Benefits of doubts should be given to life, not hastened death.

George Bush and Ralph Nader agree.

Meanwhile, Moloch eats his children.

British Parliament Whip
Invites Anti-Semite To Speak to Lawmakers

From Melanie Phillips:

Stephen Pollard reports a remarkable speech delivered in the House of Lords last month by a Swedish antisemite, Joran Jeremas, at the invitation of Labour peer Lord Ahmed. According to Pollard, these are some highlights of this speech:'“your newspapers belong to Zionists”

“in Iraq, the US and its British dependency continue the same old fight for ensuring Jewish supremacy in the Middle East…in the Middle East we have just one reason for wars, terror and trouble - and that is Jewish supremacy drive”

“…the Jewish media-lords in the US and elsewhere. Jews indeed own, control and edit a big share of mass media, this mainstay of Imperial thinking; just last month a Rothschild bought the French daily Liberacion…”

“The Jews like an Empire…This love of Empire explains the easiness Jews change their allegiance…Simple minds call it ‘treacherous behaviour’, but it is actually love of Empire per se…”

“Now, there is a large and thriving Muslim community in England…they are now on the side of freedom, against the Empire, and they are not afraid of enforcers of Judaic values, Jewish or Gentile. This community is very important in order to turn the tide.”

“all the [political] parties are Zionist-infiltrated.”

'It is, I suppose, possible that Lord Ahmed made a terrible mistake and had no idea that the man he invited was a rabid anti-semite - despite the fact that his views are freely available on his website. But the absence of an apology for such a mistake, or a condemnation of the views expressed by Jeremas, seems to indicate that Lord Ahmed sees nothing wrong with the views expressed in Jeremas' speech, and might even support the views outlined on his site, since he chose to invite him to speak. In which case, does the Labour Chief Whip in the Lords feel it appropriate that Lord Ahmed should still hold the Labour whip? And if so, why?'

The answer is that the Labour party is riddled with rabid prejudice against the Jews. Sheltering behind the convenient pretence that hatred of Israel is not the same as hatred of the Jews, they have pretended to themselves that they occupy the moral high ground by sanctimoniously railing against 'racism' and 'prejudice'. Well, that pretence is now well and truly over. The line between their Nazification of Israel and their Nazification of British Jews is unbroken. Whether consciously or unconsciously, in incident after incident they have been giving themselves away. They are bigots, mired in the moral squalour of the contemporary left.

Europe is returning to it's roots, like a dog to it's vomit.

On Terri Schiavo

I believe it would take a miracle, a real intervention by God, to save Terri at this time.

I am so unhappy with our courts, and their Oligarchical behavior, that I can not formulate any thoughts that would be anything other than verbal gobs of spit. I really feel like lashing out at all those who would see Terri die.

Therefore, I'm going to refrain from writing anything about the failure of the Terri Schiavo case. The only reason I'm writing this post is so that people will know that I didn't merely watch the loss and think, "Oh well, on to the next thing."

Palestinian Nazi Salute

The AP Photo Caption reads:

Militants of the Palestinian ruling Fatah party salute during a pre-election rally for the students council at the Al-Quds university in the West Bank town of Hebron Monday March 21, 2005. Tensions are increasing between Fatah and the Hamas Islamic group, which scored a decisive victory in student elections at Hebron University last week, and Hamas is expected to fare well in the Palestinian parliamentary elections set for July.(AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Note that Fatah is the ruling party. Fatah is the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Fatah was also the party of Yasser Arafat. Fatah is Israel's partner in the Roadmap to Peace.

Where exactly will this Roadmap take them?

Hat tip: Little Green Footballs

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Google Removes Nazi Hate Site From It's News Page

This is good to know.

Why Are The Jews Hated?
Because They Are Jews

Gates of Vienna discusses the neo-Nazi website Vanguard News (which Google features on the Google News Page), which I previously discussed here. He notes that on their site the Nazi's mock the accomplisments of various Jewish professors:

A quick look at their site -- and a brief exposure is the most that a person can tolerate -- reveals juicy tidbits such as this one, concerning a professor at UVA (professor's name and offensive terms are redacted):

...Before entering academia, [the professor] served as a legal counselor with the Washington Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.(I WONDER IF SHE CHARTERED AIRCRAFT TO FLY WHITE GIRL RAPING SOMALI N***ERS INTO THE DAKOTAS AND MINNESOTA?) She spent 1997-99 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she was director of the International Human Rights Law Group's Bosnia program for 14 months. The program's work included a report on women's human rights and development of a training program on employment discrimination. Before joining the Law Group, [the professor] served as an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) liaison officer to the Human Rights Coordination Centre of the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina....Between 1981 and 1993, she led regular delegations of U.S. citizens on study tours of the Middle East, and spent a sabbatical year (1989-1990) in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

With dismaying irony, the contributor cites activities which should endear the professor to his Jew-hating heart -- she has been involved in the UN and travelled to Israel in order to provide aid and comfort to the enemies of Jews! Surely this would endear her to his Aryan heart...? But race trumps everything.

Another entry is straightforward and traditional, with its frisson of implied miscegenation:

LMFAO- JEWESS GETS DOWN WITH URBAN N***ER TALK AS HER TITLE!So the lesser mongrel races are colluding against the purity of their white betters.

It is difficult to do anything other than gape slack-jawed at this hackneyed hate, in all its banality. Does nothing ever change?An ominous novelty is a headline appended to many of the entries on the VNN site:

White Racists Seek To Ally With Middle Eastern Wahabists Against The Jew.

So, following in the footsteps of the führer, the neo-Nazis are assembling the Arab auxiliaries...

I don't know why they bother with their "analysis" of the accomplisments of the professors. Short of killing themselves and other Jews, the Nazi's wouldn't be happy with anything they might do. They simply hate the Jews because they are Jewish.

That's it.

The question addressed by Dennis Prager's book on anti-Semitism is "Why The Jews?" That is also the title. Dennis Prager's answer to that question? It's because they are Jewish. It's because they are the carriers of God's Law. It's because they are God's Chosen People. It's because they have stood for God's Law through the ages. For this reason the dragon of anti-Semitism chases them through the millenia.

Kofi Annan's Clanking Monstrosity

Wretchard, at the Belmont Club, on Kofi Annan's proposal to fix the UN:

In my own opinion Kofi Annan's proposals are a recipe for disaster for two reasons. His entire security model is philosophically founded on a kind of blackmail which recognizes that the only thing dysfunctional states have to export is trouble. He then sets up the United Nations as a gendarmarie with 'a human face' delivering payoffs to quell disturbances. This is the "bargain whereby rich countries help the poor to develop, by promoting the Millennium Development Goals, while poor countries help alleviate rich countries' security concerns." Second, his model flies in the face of the recent experience in Afghanistan, Iraq and the entire democratizing upheaval in the Middle East. It is by making countries functional that terrorism is quelled and not by any regime of international aid, inspections, nonproliferation treaties, declarations, protocols, conferences; nor by appointing special rapptorteurs, plenipotentiary envoys; nor constituting councils, consultative bodies or anything else in Annan's threadbare cupboard.

Nor is this clanking monstrosity particularly efficient, even in contemplation. Neither new Security Council model solves the basic question: how can it compel nations with the muscle to act against their interests? Alliances, like political parties, are the building blocks of global politics. Forcing alliances to work within the artificial structure of the United Nations Security Council (A or B) adds nothing to the process. The sole value of the Security Council should be to rubber-stamp what global politics has already decided upon, as constitutional monarchs do in countries with Parliaments.

It was a dictum in Field Marshal Zhukov's Army that a good commander never reinforced failure only success. It is a maxim of the United Nations that progress is achieved by doing everything that never worked all over again. Probably nowhere is the bankruptcy of Annan's vision (and I use that word consciously) more evident than in Paragraph 29, where he lays out the UN vision for a better world. It is a laundry list of all the special interest 'development' goals the UN has acquired over the years where problems of different orders of magnitude and positions in the chain of causality are jumbled together; a bureaucrat's dream and a human being's nightmare.

So, in other words, Kofi Annan's idea on how to fix the UN is "Give me more money to do the same crap."

What a swindler.

The Arab World Is Abu Ghraib

From Reform Syria:

No doubt the abuse of the prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison is a crime that must be investigated and its perpetrators brought to justice. The civilized world spoke in one voice when it claimed that this transgression was morally unacceptable. But then again, this is war, and most events during wartime could hardly be deemed as “morally acceptable”; nonetheless the US administration ought to be commended for its public admission and regret for the actions of a very small minority of its armed forces.

Sadly, a similar commitment to introspection and compassion for justice is absent when it comes to most Arab leaders today. While legions of talking heads and pundits in the American and European media fret about the “public rage” that the abuses will ostensibly engender in the Arab world, they fail to take notice that the abuses of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of American servicemen in Abu Ghraib were but a small reflection of what happens every day in almost every Arab country—the only difference is that in the rest of the Arab world, the abuses are worse… much, much worse.

The crocodile tears of Arab dictators and the corrupt Arab league are a public spectacle, geared not towards the Arab people that they oppress, but towards a naïve Western media.

Where were the public trials for those who slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent Syrians in Hamma in 1982, or more recently the indiscriminate jailing and murder of anti-government demonstrators and human rights leaders in Allepo and Damascus? Where were the calls for the prosecution of the war criminals that committed these despicable acts of genocide? Where were the calls for prosecution of those who killed Nicholas Berg, an innocent American, who was beheaded savagely for the world to see? Why have the Arab dictators that are calling for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld themselves not under scrutiny for the tens of thousands of political prisoners that have been hideously tortured, executed, or are still currently rotting in sub-human conditions for years in places like Baschar Assad’s Sednaya and Tadmur prisons?

Too many people in the Arab world still bear the scars of having loved ones “disappeared” or having personally suffered sadistic torture at the hands of organs of Ba’ath state security like the Syrian Ba’ath. And when I speak of torture, I mean real torture, where one begs to be killed to end the pain—not the pain of humiliation, but the pain of going through another day of having one’s genitals electrocuted or one’s daughter gang-raped in front of his eyes. That is true torture; it is a torture ubiquitous to the Arab world, yet no one cries for those victims.

It seems, that the addiction to anti-Americanism is such that it blinds even the most well-meaning progressive from the real horror that is occurring on a daily basis in the middle east; a horror that is not being perpetrated in Baghdad, but in Damascus; a horror that is not being committed at the hands of Americans, but by reactionary Ba’ath thugs who are totally oblivious to the value of human life and dignity.

The Arab dictators are not condemning America for any real wrong that it might have committed; Abu Ghraib is child’s play by their standards. Rather, the condemnations and kabuki theatre of faux-indignation are part of a calculated effort by Arab dictators to attempt to discredit and stem the Arab Democratic revolution that threatens their ability to cling to power.

The United States has done more for the advancement of Arab dignity than any of the nations in the Arab League; Iraqis now have the dignity to choose their own destiny, to live a life void of Ba’athist terror. The Arab dictators are loathe to admit this fact, and instead of emulating the progressive reform that Iraq is undergoing, they have instead opted to push their respective societies even further back in time and oppose calls of liberalization emanating from all corners of Arab civic life.

In the end, while our Arab leaders still hide behind their empty rhetoric, the US opens up to the world, admits its mistake, and seeks forgiveness. The most powerful men on earth are humbled by the experience and try, under a full vibrant democracy, to correct the wrong their people perpetrated upon other people.

If Arab leaders have any modicum of courage, any sense of compassion for the real suffering of the Arab people under their tools of oppression, if they have any urge to help the Arab people reclaim their dignity, they would do well to condemn not the Americans for what happened at Abu Ghraib, but themselves for having enslaved the entire Arab world in something that would make Abu Ghraib seem like Disneyland.

Schindler's List

Schindler's List

Posted by Hello

Matt Davidson, a calendar clerk with the U.S. 11th Circuit Court, delivers copies of the ruling to media at the Elbert Tuttle United States Court of Appeals Building, early Wednesday morning, March 23, 2005, in Atlanta. A federal appeals court refused early Wednesday to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, denying an emergency request by the brain-damaged woman's parents. (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

This "calendar clerk" looks pretty happy. He is handing out the list of Schindler's to be killed. Why is he so happy? Is he excited that he's having his picture taken?

The look on his face is sadly reprentative of our entire society today. We're going on with our beautiful American lives while Terri Schindler-Schiavo is being starved to death by the will of the people.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Google's Official Nazi News Source
Publishes List Of Jewish Professors

The other day Little Green Footballs reported that Google has included the neo-Nazi site National Vanguard on it's News Page. Now it seems the Vanguard News Network is compiling and publishing the names and addresses of Jewish professors. From Little Green Footballs:

A few weeks ago, participants on an anti-Semitic Web site became angry when a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles refused to participate in an exchange of e-mail messages.

The professor was Jewish, and the Web site responded by placing photographs of and biographic material about UCLA professors and anti-Semitic diatribes online. In recent days, the Web site — Vanguard News Network — has expanded its campaign, which it says is designed to draw attention to the high percentage of Jewish professors on law schools’ faculties.

The Web site is now publishing a variety of information — photographs, results of Google searches, phone numbers — of faculty members who are Jewish (or have Jewish-sounding names) at leading law schools all over the United States.

Among the institutions who have faculty members discussed by name on the Web site are Georgetown, Harvard, New York, Stanford and Yale Universities; and the Universities of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Most of the comments attack Jewish faculty members at law schools, with a theme being that they make up a larger share of law school faculties than do Jews in the U.S. population, and that this over-representation signifies Jewish control of American society.

But some of the professors attacked are not Jewish or law professors. A black female professor is described as “Mammy Stormtrooper for Jooz.”

And a few professors who are listed teach in other disciplines. Harry Jaffa, a professor emeritus of government at Claremont McKenna College, is described by one of the Web site’s authors (verbatim) as “a troll jew at CMC, next to my school, Pomona, in Claremont. He’s the major Lincoln liar — the leader of the school that refurbishes reality to fit current jewish political needs, ie claiming lincoln was a liberator rather than dictator.”

Full disclosure: CUANAS is hosted by Blogger, which is owned by Google. Yeah, I feel good about that.

Do you think Google doesn't understand what they have done? That's a little hard to believe. Someone has got to be overseeing the content on the Google News page.

Spoke Too Soon

This post basically deletes the post below. Pamela, over at Atlas Shrugged, has posted an article from Agence French Presse, which says quotes leaders of Palestinian terrorist organizations saying that they see the truce as an opportunity to regroup and rearm before they continue their fight against the Israeli entity:

by Sakher Abu El Oun
GAZA CITY, March 22 (AFP) - Palestinian militant groups, weakened by more than four years of fighting against Israel, are capitalising on the relative calm of an informal truce to strengthen their political and military clout.

Representatives of the 13 main Palestinian factions agreed last Thursday to observe a period of calm until the end of the year at talks in Cairo, provided Israel ends all forms of aggression and releases prisoners.

Their declaration followed nearly two months of calm on the ground, during which Palestinian militants have mostly heeded a de facto truce and Israel has refrained from waging largescale operations in the territories.

But if the main outcome has been a halt in anti-Israeli attacks, the cooling off period also gives breathing space to militants and groups targeted by countless Israeli offensives since the uprising began in 2000.

What Palestinian representatives in Cairo did not sanction was an end to armed resistance nor the dismantling of armed factions as demanded by Israel.

"This calm is not a gift to the occupation. We will work on and prepare ourselves. Disbanding the armed wing of Hamas is absolutely out of the question," said Abu Ubada, spokesman for the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades.

The faction agreed to extend the informal truce, not out of love for Israel but "to put Palestinian affairs in order and to ensure a period of calm conducive to holding elections", he said.

Palestinian parliamentary elections are scheduled for July and Hamas has declared its intention to contest the legislative ballot for the first time.

Abu Ubada refused to countenance any idea of Palestinian disarmament.
"Our rifles are aimed at the occupiers. Weapons that have to be collected up will be used to unleash chaos," he added.

A spokesman for Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, loosely affiliated to the mainstream Fatah party, said its militants would integrate into Palestinian Authority security forces without sacrificing the "resistance".

"A large number of our fighters already belong to the security services. Joining the security services does not at all signify the end of resistance against the occupation," said the spokesman, calling himself Abu Qussay.

He cautioned Israel against violating the period of calm.

Well, that blew my brief respite of optimism all to hell.

Good News From The Middle East
Palestinian Authority Security Forces Twart Attack on Israel
Israel Hands Over Control Of Second City This Week

This bit of rather extraordinary news from Haaretz, via Roger Simon:

The Palestinian Authority security forces are foiling just as many terror attacks as Israel, the head of the research division of Israel Defense Forces intelligence, Brigadier General Yossi Kuperwasser, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.

and this from a later version of the Haaretz article:

IDF and Palestinian commanders formalized the Tul Karm handover Tuesday morning, ceremonially unlocking a gate that had blocked traffic between the town and other locations in the West Bank. The gate is to be removed at a later point.
Under the terms of the agreement reached between Israel and the PA, the IDF will avoid entering the town; on Tuesday morning the IDF removed its roadblock on the road between the city and the nearby village of Anabta.
Israel handed over security responsibility for Tul Karm to the PA on Monday night. At around 8 P.M., armed Palestinian policemen began patrolling the streets of the city, the second in the West Bank to be handed over to the PA.
Last week, the Palestinian Authority assumed security control in Jericho. Talks on the handover of a third West Bank city, presumably Qalqilyah, are expected to begin in the coming days.Israeli officials decided on the handover Monday after resolving a dispute with the PA over the control of villages near the town.
During talks Sunday, the Palestinians demanded responsibility for villages north of Tul Karm, including Tseida and Ilar, from which an Islamic Jihad cell mounted its February attack at the Stage club in Tel Aviv. Israel rejected the demand. The sides agreed Monday that the villages would remain under Israeli control and that the issue would be revisited in a month's time.

This is very good news indeed. I have been worried about Abbas, seeing as how he is a Holocaust Denier, but it seems that he may have had a conversion after seeing the blazing light of practicality along the road to Damascus.

For years I have heard people say the Middle East conflict is a Cycle of Violence. That Israel is as complicit as the PA. That Israel wants the Palestinian territories for themselves. In all those years, Arafat never was never able to stop the violence. Clearly, Abbas is making a sincere effort to put an end to terrorist attacks. And what happens? Israel hands control of the territories back to the Palestinians.

What do you know?

It would seem that all those who have accused Israel of imperialism now owe Israel an apology. Though, I'm sure Israel would settle for peace.

On The Necessity Of Pacifism

Last night I had a phone conversation with the guy who was best man in my wedding, and my life-long best friend. He and I wrote and performed music together for years. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley, and currently works as a Social Worker and Youth Pastor. He is also a Pacifist, and he is the person to whom I addressed a portion of a previous post on an article from the Pacifist magazine, Sojourners.

I was concerned that he might have been upset by the post (I also sent a portion of it to him in email form), because I had never received a reply.

It turns out, he was not upset but, instead, was giving the questions I raised some thought, before he formulated an answer. I told him that I didn't actually expect answers, because those are tough questions. I also told him that I don't think we need to agree, just that we need to be clear where each of us are coming from, so that we don't fall into stereotyping each other, which would lead to disrespect.

My friend said something about the message of Jesus Christ which I consider to be true, and which I have often thought about in the past. That is that Jesus' message was to forgive, it was to turn the other cheek, and it was to put helping those in need before other considerations, practicality be damned.

Christian Philosopher Dallas Willard, in his book The Divine Conspiracy (which is very popular among conservative Christians) said,

"Once we have grasped our situation in God's full world, the startling disregard Jesus and the New Testament writers had for "physical death" makes sense. Paul bluntly states that Jesus abolished death - simply did away with it. Nothing like what is usually understood as death will happen to those who have entered this life."

In such a reality, Pacifism makes a lot of sense. It makes sense to think that we may throw all caution to the wind and seek to give love, and spread peace, without regard to whether our death will be handed to us in response.

But, we also know, and I say know meaning deep in our hearts know it to be true, that we were blessed by God with not only our own lives, but the lives of our children. None of us would deny that there would be something lacking in a person who would not sacrifice himself for the life of his child.

In fact, that's exactly what Christ did for us, and what Christ calls us to do for the world. The people of Iraq, who lived under the murderous Saddam Hussein regime, are the children of God. And, to me, it makes sense that we would sacrifice our lives to remove Saddam from power, and to help the Iraqi people establish a Democracy.

The same thing goes for Sudan. The people of Sudan are the children of God, and I believe we are called to help them as well.

Could it be that this, also, is the startling disregard for death which Christ exhibited?

In my previous post, I raised the question. If you were walking down a city street holding your child in your arms, and a madman came and snatched her from your clutches, and began to twist her neck, would you not use violence to save her?

I will add to that the question, would such violence, and the danger you would put yourself in by enacting it, not be an expression of Christian sacrifice? And do not the people of Sudan deserve the same love as your children?

In the end, I believe that both points of view have their merit, and their place in our world. I am happy that there are Pacifists demonstrating in the street against war, because I believe they stand for a principle which needs to be taken into consideration. I am not happy when those Pacifists turn their Pacifism into an excuse to call Geore Bush the equivalent of Hitler. Not only is this kind of hatred counter to their mission, but it is out of whack with reality.

We must remember that the Kingdom of God may have been born in our hearts, but it has yet to be established on Earth. We do not live in a perfect world. Therefore, we must live with paradoxes.

We are called to turn the other cheek. But we are not called to turn our cheeks from the suffering of others. By Christ, we are called to work for peace, but we need also remember that of Love, Joy and Peace, the greatest is Love. And, I believe, sometimes Love means our soldiers laying down the lives for our Friends.

Colonialist Habits Die Hard

From New Sisyphus:

We noted, as did many in the Blogosphere, the awarding of the Victoria Cross to Private Johnson Beharry of the British Army for bravery in handling his Warrior APC while under heavy machine gun and RPG fire, saving the lives of numerous comrades and demonstrating to the enemy, yet again, that they are no longer facing unarmed stewardresses or Russian school children.
The Guardian has a good account of the award, the reasons behind it and the reaction to the Grenada native’s heroism.
One thing, however, caught our eye and, so far as we know, has gone unremarked upon. In the Guardian story, the following exchange appears:
The Grenada-born private was paraded by the top brass yesterday among his comrades in the 1st Battalion, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, and other recipients of high military honours.
"I was just doing my job. I was just thinking of the guys in the vehicle and the guys behind me," he said.
He was asked what was going through his mind at the time. "An RPG", Pte Beharry promptly replied. He was not afraid at the time, only afterwards.
Asked why he had left Grenada, he said he wanted "a change of life".
Asked if he would be Britain's first black general, he quickly replied:
The British have never had a black general?
Keep that in mind folks next time you’re talking to a member of the Liberal Democrats about “racist” America, are putting up with a lecture from a European about our troubled racial past or enduring BBC World screening “Mississippi Burning” for the 206th time.

You've got to hand it to England for beating America to female leadership by hundreds of years, but I'm not surprised that they lag on racial issues. Colonialism was a tradition, and traditions die hard in Europe.

If a culture is steeped in a Colonialist mindset, it will be hard to treat the formerly colonized as equals. I suspect that European racism is more nuanced than American racism, which has always been rather baldfaced and unsophisticated.

England always did give positions of authority to pro-British "natives," in countries like India and Sri Lanka, as Governors in order to triangulate out those who would rise up and rebel against the United Kingdom. In other words, Brits have been used to having their "subjects" in positions of power, but not in positions of ultimate power.

Contrast this with the United States, where the rise of black people into positions of power has been slow by the standards of justice, but fast in comparison to England. The truth is, the people of the United States fought a war to free the slaves. The side with the larger population won.

In other words, there was always a consensus that slavery was wrong. There may not have been a consensus that black people were equal to whites in ability, but there was a consensus that they were human beings created in the Image of God and, therefore, ought not be enslaved.

America is more of a meritocracy than England. Therefore, it was easier for black people to rise on the content of their character. In England, where lineage is still an important consideration, black people are the formerly colonized.

England did not fight a war to rid itself of it's empire. England lost it's it's empire. There are probably people in the upper echelons of English society who lament that fact to this day.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Approaching Storm

Posted by Hello

Jack Of Clubs Weighs In
On The Fight Against
The Terri Schiavo Death Penalty

Jack of Clubs on the Terri Schiavo case (written March 18, 2005):

This is in some sense an inevitable outcome of the death with dignity argument. Once we acceded to the notion that not life itself but quality of life is the ultimate value, it became impossible to avoid the loss of innocent life in the interest of mercy or dignity.

We could have delayed this by legislating that only in the case of a living will could an unconscious patient's life be terminated -- and, indeed, there are such laws -- but any such legislation survives at the sufferance of the interpreting judiciary. If we allow the issue to be framed as a matter of denying a patient's right to die, the judiciary will inevitably feel itself duty-bound to nullify any merely statutory legislation. In fact that is the sense of these comments by Michael Schiavo's lawyer:

"What we experienced today in the subpoena issued by the United States House of Representatives is nothing short of thuggery [...] It is absolutely shocking that according to the House of Representatives, any committee member or subcommittee member can issue a subpoena directed to any American forcing them to have medical treatment to have medical treatment against their will."

Thus evil becomes good and good becomes evil. Losing the moral high-ground is not merely an academic exercise. It is a matter of life and death, as we see here.

We talk about euthanasia and abortion as being part of a culture war, but we are not fighting it as if it were a war. From my perspective it seems more like a playground brawl where the stakes are not very high and we can afford to take a shot whenever we see an opening. But this is not the way to win a war. If the latter is our goal we must take a longer-term, strategic view. This entails controlling the institutions of cultural creation, the churches and the schools, and restraining the power of the courts. Nothing else matters. It is true that journalism and the arts/entertainment industry have a significant impact on culture but they are ultimately secondary. They transmit culture but they do not create it.

Looking around I see little concerted effort in these areas. To be sure there are several groups that focus on these three strategic institutions, but they are generally perceived as having less urgency than saving a particular life or protesting a particular law or judicial decision. But if I am right, many more bad laws will be passed due to our lack of strategy and that will ultimately result in many more lives lost (to say nothing of lost souls).

I don't want to disparage the efforts of those who have worked on behalf of Mrs. Schiavo since every life is precious. But in the big picture, if it hadn't been Terri, it would have been someone else. Focusing on such activities may be necessary in emergencies, but we must view it in military terms as akin to charging up San Juan Hill. It may serve as a rallying point, but it also invites counter-attacks and if we are not careful we can end up losing more ground than we gained.

I agree with Jack that the "War" is fought in churches. The "War" that needs to be fought is for people to understand that we need to live by the Word of God, not merely rest comfortably in the surety of our Salvation.

But, on the other hand, since we are a secular society, the legal war will be won with law.

We need to pass a law that says only the brain dead can be "allowed to die." If we do not work with such an explicit definition, then, as Jack says in different words, our judiciary will constantly redefine "Persistant Vegetative State."

A Cross For Terri

Click here.

We Even Produce Better Anti-Americans
Than They Do

From No Pasaran:

It pains me to say it, it really does. But the fact is that in so many areas and walks and ways of life, the United States is now a better country than Canada

writes Michael Coren in the Toronto Sun. Replace Canada/Canadien throughout with Germany/Germans, France/French, Great Britain/Britons, suggests FR Hoffmann, and see if Coren's comment doesn't fit equally for these countries.

There, I've said it. Because I'm so very tired of the way, particularly in the last two years, that we Canadians have come to define ourselves not by who we are but by who we are not.

…With a malodorous stew of ignorance and malice, [publicly funded mediocrities screaming abuse at a great and noble nation] pump Canada at the expense of deflating the United States.

They say that we are about peace and they are about war. Nonsense. We haven't been able to keep the peace for years even if we'd wanted to do so. We haven't the aircraft or the equipment. It's the Americans who send most of the aid and keep most of the peace.

They say we are informed and intelligent, they are insular and foolish. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and a plethora of world-class universities. Nobel Prize winners by the dozen, internationally renowned scientists, scholars and sages. Goodness me, they even produce better anti-Americans than we do.

They say we are sophisticated, they are dumb. Yet they have more symphony orchestras, more theatres, more libraries, more museums per head than we do in Canada.

They say we are free, they are not. Really? Take the example of Fox News. For years this right-of-centre network was barred from Canadian airwaves, while we publicly funded left-of-centre equivalents such as the CBC. …

They say we have diversity and wit in our press, while they have conformity and lack of style. Yet every American city has a number of impressive daily newspapers and most small towns have weekly publications. They have liberal and conservative, religious and secular, black and white.

They have wide and different ownership, a multitude of different and contrary expression, the right to say almost anything, the liberty to question authority, the expectation of argument and debate, the protection of the basic right to speak one's mind.

Bashers of the U.S. say we have the separation of church and state while they have too much religion. The truth is that they have a constitutional requirement to separate church and state but allow religion to have its place in the public square, thus giving voice to so many brilliant and ethical people.

We effectively silence people of faith, lie to and about them and insult the very ideas that founded Canada itself. We stifle talk of moral behaviour in the name of morality. We deny the difference between right and wrong and then condemn people as being wrong if they disagree.
We say we are mature and they are childish. Which shows just how immature we are and how much growing up we need to do.

Time to put away the toys of smugness and conceit and make our own way in the world. With or without a government grant.

I Really Don't Hope
Denmark Turns Out To Be As Bad As I Fear
But I Am Prepared

A message from CUANAS reader DS, who is a Danish college student living in Denmark:

I just hate the ignorant attitude towards understanding Israel that most people (here) have. Also, I fear the day when/if Europe get's too dangerous to live in.

My surname is listed in Nazi archives, as descendants of jews, and the Danish website that contains the list (I'm pretty sure there is a lot more not online places where this list are) hasn't been closed down, and doesn't seams like to be.

Hizb ut-Tahrir hasn't been banned though it has directly stated in Denmark: "Death to all Jews". I really don't hope Denmark turns out to be as bad as I fear (but I am prepared)...

DS writes in quite often, but not often enough. His comments are always informative. English is not his first language, but he expresses himself very well.

Think about what DS is saying here. He is of Jewish ancestry. I think one of his grandparents was Jewish, if I recall correctly. He knows the history. He is wondering if it could happen again. Can you blame him?

As I have recounted a few times on CUANAS, before I was married I had 3 long term girlfriends who were Jewish. All three families had experienced the Holocaust directly. One of the families had lost half it's members.

Most of us comfy Americans can not imagine what it's like to know that such a thing has happened to one's family. I was very callous about it, until I heard the stories repeated a few times. "Why does your father have a German accent when he grew up in Mexico? You mean your grandmother, and all your aunts and uncles, they all died?"

It is understandable that a Jew living in Europe would be worried. Most of us would be, if we had the history of the Jews.

I think it is more than likely that DS has nothing to fear. I don't think the Euros have enough strength left in them for another round of direct Jew-killing. That's why they have hired the Islamists to do it for them.