Military Blogs February 24, 2007Posted by June in Around the World, Blog, Politics, War on Terror.
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Yes, I finally got this thing to load in properly. I downloaded the Opera browser; and, for some reason, that has fixed things. (It’s a little slower though…)
Anyway, I want to take the time to highlight some blogs that I think should be on everyone’s daily reading. These are a couple of military blogs by soldiers on the front lines.
For this one, I would suggest going here first as it gives some suggested posts to read on your first visit.
These guys have links to many other military blogs on their sites. So you can browse around and find your favorite soldier blogger. I tried to put up a feed to the Acute Politics site; but that Atom feed isn’t coming in right. My apologies…
Attacks at Gitmo August 1, 2006Posted by June in Around the World, News, Politics, War on Terror.
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We’ve all heard about the inhumane treatment of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay; but have you heard about the inhumane treatment of the guards? I’ve heard libs moaning over the supposed lack of furniture and other such things in prisoner’s cells. Too bad most of that isn’t true. If it were, our boys over there who are doing the job of watching these “innocents” would not be abused as much as they are.
By JOHN SOLOMON
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay during the war on terror have attacked their military guards hundreds of times, turning broken toilet parts, utensils, radios and even a bloody lizard tail into makeshift weapons.
Pentagon incident reports reviewed by The Associated Press show Military Police guards are routinely head-butted, spat upon and doused by “cocktails” of feces, urine, vomit and sperm collected in meal cups by the prisoners.
They’ve been repeatedly grabbed, punched or assaulted by prisoners who reach through the small “bean holes” used to deliver food and blankets through cell doors, the reports say. Serious assaults requiring medical attention, however, are rare, the reports indicate.
The detainee “reached under the face mask of an IRF (Initial Reaction Force) team member’s helmet and scratched his face, attempting to gouge his eyes,” states a May 27, 2005, report on an effort to remove a recalcitrant prisoner from his cell.
With many nearing five years in U.S. captivity, the prisoners “have a Ph.D. in being a detainee” and “know our procedures and they try to turn them against us and try to make us question what we are doing,” said Army Lt. Col. Michael J. Nicolucci, the prison’s executive officer.
“They’ll take the smallest things, be it a piece of rust,” he said. “They told us they are going to take that piece of rust and they are going for the jugular, they are going for the eye. They know what our vulnerabilities are, anatomically speaking.”
Meal plates, shower flip-flops, cleaning brushes and other items deemed harmless in civilian life also are commonly turned into weapons, the reports said. For instance:
-“Detainee in cell (redacted) grabbed the radio from an MP and then threw the radio at the MP. The detainee then threw rocks at the MP,” a Dec. 23, 2003, incident report stated.
-A detainee “reached out of his bean hole and attacked MP (name redacted) with a piece of metal foot pad from toilet striking him on the left hip area,” a July 15, 2005, report said.
-“Detainee broke off the top of his sink, subsequently broke out the window then began throwing the sink and pieces of pipes at the Block Guard,” a March 25, 2005, report said.
One of the most unusual incidents detailed in the four-inch stack of incident reports occurred when a detainee in the prison recreation yard assaulted a guard with a bloody tail torn from a lizard.
The detainee “caught the iguana by the tail at which time the tail detached,” the May 2005 report described. When the guard turned to talk to a commanding officer, “he felt something strike him in the lower right back” and then “saw the tail on the ground at his feet and blood was in the same area of his uniform.” The detainee said he was “just playing.”
Nicolucci said one of the most serious incidents occurred this May, too recent to be recorded in the Pentagon’s released reports. A prisoner staged an apparent suicide attempt while his inmates slicked the floors with human waste, seeking to overpower guards when they slipped, he said.
“We provide fans in order to keep them cool,” Nicolucci recalled. “And they were using the basket, or the grate of the fan as a shield, the blades as machetes, the pole as a battering ram.”
That disturbance was turned back in a few minutes with some guards and prisoners sustaining minor injuries, he said.
The Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group that fought to force the Pentagon to release the reports under the Freedom of Information Act, said it hopes the information brings balance to the Guantanamo debate.
One thing that caught my eye there…shower flip-flops?! Um…inhumane treatment of detainees…detainees with such things as shower flip-flops. Sheesh. Ask people who have seen prisons in places like Mexico and China as to whether or not they get such luxuries.
The Propaganda of Qana August 1, 2006Posted by June in Around the World, News, Politics, War on Terror.
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This is something that was mentioned on Rush’s show today that I thought was important to see for myself and to post here. It took me a while since this computer is having trouble with a majority of the photos on webpages; but I viewed this.
I must warn you that, while there is not a lot of blood in the photos, they are rather graphic. Proceed with caution, especially since you will be seeing them one after another and described with much detail.
1. Milking it?
Here you are taken through a series of photos that are supposed to be spontaneous, candid shots of rescue workers (or, rather, worker) removing children from the rubble at Qana. What becomes obvious by the time you reach the end of that post is that these “rescue” workers are not really rescuing these children but, rather, exploiting them in a most despicable fashion by parading their bodies and posing with them for the cameras.
Here is a look at “Green Helmet”, the star of the previous photographs and his history with the previous bombing of Qana in 1996.
Here is the truth about Qana that the majority of the media is not reporting. Hezbollah purposely planted and launched rockets at Israel and Israeli civilians from near this building that was filled with women and children, hiding like skulking cowards behind the skirts of women and the innocence of children and setting them up as sacrifices for the cause of Islamofascism.
Is it really coincidence that there are so few men who are victims when the rocket launchers were so close to this area? Are we to believe that women and children were operating these machines? Let’s not forget the fact that Hezbollah has occupied Lebanon but is actually funded by Iran and Syria. Whether or not the Lebonese government is supporting Hezbollah, as well, is up for debate. It is a little questionable as to why Lebanon did not ask for help in ridding itself of these terrorists, especially after the UN resolutions they signed saying that they would do so if Israel gave up Gaza, which Israel did.
In any case, these Hezbollah terrorists are the same kind of people who strap bombs onto their own kids and send them in to blow themselves up as long as they also take out Israelites with them. Why would they think twice before putting other Muslim people’s children at risk if it means winning the PR war. I am reminded of a Palestinian mother who is hailed as a hero for sending her sons in to bomb Israelites and of the money Saddam paid to people whose children have done so. Another reminder is the photo in this post on Brent Roos’s site.
Also, very interesting is the updates at the bottom which I will post here. I’d like people to take particular note of the Update at 8:10 pm:
Also, the Security Council is meeting today, with Kofi asking it to condemn the attack.
Update at 7 pm: Olmert has issued a statement claiming that Qana has been used as a base for launching missiles against Israel, backed up by IDF video footage showing missiles being launched (broadcast on BBC News 24 on the 7pm bulletin). Blair, speaking from California, says, “these atrocities must not be allowed to continue”.
Update at 8.10 pm: According to Israel National News, Senior IDF officers say there is a contradiction in the timing of the bombing of Qana and reports of the explosion. Air Force Commander Amir Eshel left open the possibility that Hizbullah terrorists blew up the building or that an unknown cause set off explosives which were stored in the structure.
He explained that recorded information shows that Israeli Air Force planes bombed the building between midnight and 1 am and that the next attack at 7:30 am was up to 500 yards away. He said reports of the killing of civilians came around 8 am. “It is not clear what happened” between 1 am and 8 am, he said.
Chemical Munitions in Iraq June 24, 2006Posted by June in Around the World, Executive Branch, Politics, War on Terror.
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Okay, before I go, I will post this link here. This is a developing story that will be interesting to see where it goes as more of this document is unclassified.
Now I shall bid my adieu's until July 17.
***scroll for updates…FoxNews.com coverage***
Emerging buzz seems to be focused on why it took so long to release info about 500 chemical-weapons shells found in Iraq. Allah's got video of Santorum and chock full of links.
Some will claim that the release is strictly for political purposes. They may have a point, but I doubt it will have anything to do with domestic politics. If Bush wanted to use it for that, he would have done so in October 2004 and not in June 2006. This information changes the picture about our pre-war intelligence in time for the Iranian confrontation — and I suspect that the White House wants to declassify it in order to convince European leaders that our intel actually paid off.
Glenn Reynolds has the press conference transcript with Santorum and Hoekstra.
Here's the declassified summary of the key points from the National Ground Intelligence Center report on the recovery of chem munitions in Iraq.
Allah will have video/analysis of anything interesting from Santorum's appearance tonight on Hannity and Colmes.
Power Line weighs in. John Hinderaker:
This is certainly significant, but what they're talking about is old munitions left over from, presumably, before the first Gulf War. This doesn't appear to constitute evidence that Saddam's regime had continued to manufacture chemical weapons in more recent years. What it does demonstrate is that the picture with respect to Iraq's WMDs is much more nuanced than the usual "he didn't have any" mantra. There is no doubt about the fact that Saddam had, and used, chemical and biological weapons. Nor is there any doubt about the fact that he eagerly pursued nuclear weapons. Further, the Iraq Survey Group report says that he had every intention of resuming his programs as soon as the coast was clear and the U.N. sanctions were behind him. Add to that the fact that hundreds of chemical weapons, at a minimum, were secreted in various locations around Iraq–as also shown by this document–and it is reasonable to conclude that, even though the CIA and nearly all other observers over-estimated Iraq's WMD capabilities, the fear that Saddam might use such weapons, or slip them to a terrorist group, was well-founded.
Scott Johnson adds an e-mail from Michael Ledeen:
Please point out to your readers that Negroponte only declassified a few fragments of a much bigger document. Read the press conference and you will see that Santorum and Hoekstra were furious at the meager declassification. They will push for more, and we all must do that. I am told that there is a lot more in the full document, which CIA is desperate to protect, since it shows the miserable job they did looking for WMDs in Iraq.
Update: Santorum and Hoekstra on H&C here.
Thank God for the American Soldier June 20, 2006Posted by June in Around the World, Conservatism, Executive Branch, Politics, War on Terror.
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I just want to take some time to reflect on the brave men and women in our military and to highlight a moving comment by one on another blog.
I wish I could go through all of history to thank each and everyone of them for risking their life or paying the ultimate price to ensure that I am able to write this and my other thoughts on this blog with complete freedom today. There are people in my father's home country who are arrested for writing things that criticize the government; but here I am, free to write what I please so long as it is not intentionally libelous.
(P.S. Since these are long paragraphs and since putting this in blockquotes makes it all the harder to read, I am going to divide some of the paragraphs at strategic places to make it a bit easier.)
“Remarkably, for many prowar Christians, the sight of suffering doesn’t help them to empathize with the sufferer–it just makes them angry (scroll down to see typical comments). They don’t want to know how others are hurting. They want to enjoy Father’s Day with their families with not a care in the world about all those fathers in this country, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan who’ve lost children and will continue to lose children to this sinful war. And Friend, that’s not Christian.”
I think your comments seem to by-pass a crucial question, and instead you focus on emotional questions which are just as strong in both directions. The emotional straw-man, “fathers who have lost children,” can be used to move people in any direction, right and wrong. But the question of whether War is ever justified must be answered first. I think that your article is heart felt and I would not imply that you used your father’s death as a tool to coerce people into thinking the way you do. However, I think that others reading this article must understand that if they believe War is ever justified, the fact that fathers and mothers lose sons and daughters and so on is not a determinative factor. It is a determinative factor when you are coming to your own conclusion about whether War is ever justified. But once you determine that War is sometimes a necessity, the fact that people will die ceases to hold weight in whether the War is just.
I myself am a Christian. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he became a man in flesh, was the only perfect person, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. In other words, I believe it is more than a good way to live and that Jesus was more than just a man who had some good things to say. I know many real Christians who are pacifists and I know many real Christians who believe that there is biblical support for War under certain circumstances. If you are a pacifist, and believe that killing in all contexts is wrong, and you are truly seeking God’s guidance in coming to your decision and keep seeking, I could not question that. I say the same for those who support war. There are good arguments in both directions. The debate between Just War theory and Pacifism within a Christian context is long and I am not attempting to have that here. But I am saying that there are true Christians, seeking to follow after Christ on both sides of the debate. And I am saying that once one concedes that Wars are sometimes justified, using the fact that people die and accusing those who support it as not empathizing with those who are affected most by the loss is intellectually dishonest. Unlike one of the comments, I believe that Jesus is the answer. Unfortunately, we are all not Christians and we that are Christians are not perfect. That’s Sin. And that’s exactly why we need Christ because we cannot do it on our own. You can see it in this war. Sin and our desire to do things our way is the root cause. Then we pass it on to the next generation and the next. And it gets to the point where almost all solutions imaginable have horrible flaws. The ONLY solution is Christ and what he did for us.
I have carried the bodies of the dead in this war. I have left my wife and child more than once to participate in both Iraqi freedom and Enduring freedom. I see the faces of those who were with them while they died … before the bloggers see a number or a picture on Yahoo news. I don’t say that to say that I am more qualified to speak on the matter. It would be entirely possible to care about it less than someone who doesn’t experience it first hand. I say it because for me, it’s not something occurring in a distant land. I do however hope that If I were to die, my death would not be used as a commodity or for people think I was ignorant in my decision. You (or your dad?) call them well meaning kids who had no idea what they signed up for. This is quite offensive to the majority of us who know exactly what we did when we signed up. I think some people thought it was a free handout for some education cash or just another job. But Most of us do it because we owe those who came before us for our freedoms and we want to preserve it for our children as well. For the majority of us who know why we are here, fighting side by side with Afghani’s and Iraqi’s who are willing to die because they know what it was like to live the way it was before and they would die so that their families and children don’t have to experience that again.
We don’t remember what that is like. We can contemplate the metaphysical universe; disagree with each other without facing death and the raping of our daughters or wives before our very eyes. Those who had the ability to do those things have lost that power, and they want it back. I am glad that those people are no longer dominating (I’m not saying you all aren’t glad). But I’m not surprised they are still fighting to get what they had back! The biggest problem with the current debate in the U.S. is the microwave mindset. Do we really think that the people who have had violent control over everyone else for so long would just hand it over in and instant? They know our society is not known for its patience. They will fight for generations while we think that success can only be measured by time.
You could argue that there was a better way to end the reign of violence and atrocity that existed before our arrival. I can think of a few. Doing nothing was not an option, and it was quite evident that Clinton’s approach of steady presence of troops and firing of missiles into Baghdad to show them he meant business did not work either but only served to make things work without any measurable success. There are other options of course. But Bush had to make a choice from the state of the world as is when it was handed to him, and we must do the same. The war exists. The people of Afghanistan and Iraq are fighting side by side with troops from all over the world to ensure they don’t have to live under the violence they experienced previously. How can we love our neighbors in the state of the world we are now in? With violent people trying to regain their power, it is to teach those who want to live and let live to protect themselves and to restrain those who would impose violent control over them.
You mentioned people:
“termed by newscasters as “terrorists” in the early years of the war, or as “insurgents”, the dehumanizing catch-all label used ever since to describe Iraqi and Afghan victims from 6 to 60.”
While language and rhetoric is powerful, and can be used to shape opinions and mask extra insight into situations, I really don’t see your point here in this context. Claiming the word insurgents is dehumanizing is kind of silly. Dehumanization is a horrible tactical tool used by lots of people throughout history and now. Rwanda used it against each other, Hitler used it, it occurs in African nations today on a large scale, it occurs in much of the world to the detriment of women, it occurred in the south in the United States for a long time, and it occurs right now by refusing to use the word baby to describe a living being with a completely separate from her parents and completely human DNA structure. Lets make it more clear. Those human beings, Those people who have a mother and father, who rape other people to get back at those who love them. Those humans who kill women for being raped. Those human beings who decide that everyone must follow the rules they set forth or face death. Those persons whom God created in his own image, who chose to saw a person’s head off rather than give up their power. Those people who teach children as soon as they can speak to hate, and who strap bombs to their six year old children to blow up random people. Those types of people need to be stopped. Why don’t you think of another word to describe them and get back to me. I know that there are people who do horrible things on both sides of this war. But you know what, we send the people to jail when they go outside of the narrow limits of attempting to stop only those who are violent against us. We criticize their action and rightly so. But we cannot take a position that because we are imperfect, that others who do evil things must be let alone to continue their atrocities. There is no conflict between the commands that we should not judge others lest we be judged and the command that we defend those who cannot defend themselves. They are in perfect harmony with loving our neighbors as Christ has loved us.
I think the comments regarding those who support the war being spoon fed from Fox or wherever contribute nothing to the debate. Media is the scapegoat of every side and of every issue. You said your dad “grew up in the era of newscasters like Walter Cronkhite. It’s understandable that he expected the news on TV to be actual news, not White House/Pentagon political manipulation.” I think I started to question your seriousness here for a second. But please don’t take that as an insult. I do believe you are serious when you wrote the rest of the article. In Russia you have state run news, in the US you have News influenced by yes the administrations, and also the academic ivory tower, the media and the newscasters own beliefs etc. Today we have blogs, internet, tons of news stations and papers from every persuasion. Back than we had 3. Russia had 1. It’s true that it certainly makes it harder to wade through information today. But the values of free speech and keeping people honest favors many outlets. I believe that the ability to obtain truth is increased the further our avenues of searching for it are opened. Those who want Fox off the air are not different than those who want the New York Times or CBS to go under. Same people, wanting to get rid of a source for the same reason: they disagree with the conclusions they draw and the methods they draw them. Both CBS, FOX, ABC, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal all have articles and programs that make me cringe every once in a while. They don’t hide their agenda’s very well. The more paternalistic side of all of us in these debates probably wants to limit the number of people who are persuaded by bad reasons to come down one way or another on a issue we’ve already made a decision on. But the best way to do that is intellectually honest dialogue rather than some of the tactics used in your article and the comments that followed.
I think what you did, like pointing out how all the images are of burning streets and that the middle eastern clothes we see seems to emphasize the otherness of the people in these countries, is a good thing to point out. Emphasizing that we are all human is essential. A picture of difference can be used to support or attack the war. A picture of a burning car can be used to gather support for hatred of an enemy or for hatred of the United States. It’s a messed up game. The important thing to continue to do is to point out the human interests involved. Looking different should not be used to increase hate for the “other”. We need to see each other as humans. The problem is that you didn’t mention the enemy’s failure to do the same. It didn’t mention the sawing off of heads and the atrocities conducted against the general population of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Or what about the events on 9/11? Somehow missing from your memory about your dad’s concerns. What is your purpose and agenda in mentioning one and not the other? Is it justified when they do it because they are an “other” to us? Is it justified because they couldn’t defeat us using conventional tactics? Should they fight as we do? Should they fight at all? Are we just more advanced than them? Or is freedom only for the westerners? You know the good thing about this war is that before it became in our interest to protect ourselves from these violent people, we didn’t really have to worry about what was going on to the general population of those countries because they were just the “other”. This war, despite the fact that it our own interest was a catalyst for it, caused us to confront the “other.” Before, the “other” was held in oppression and violence but it wasn’t on our mind. Today it is. We need to continually confront the other and come to them in the name of Love. Part of that is to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Not only that, but the people who hated us need confronted too. They don’t have a right because of their status as “other” to commit violence against other human beings. The person who made a comment about “How fashist is to impose your own way of democracy using state terrorism” is interesting. I have a question for her or him. Where did you get your definition of the word fascist? Does another language and another color or culture mean that a few people should be allowed to dictate violence upon all who disagree? How Eurocentric is it to think that westerners are the only ones who should have a choice in how to live and what to wear and what to believe? Why is state infringement of borders more offensive than one human infringing upon the life of a bunch of other humans? We need compassion and we need to do all we can to prevent the destruction of human life, innocent and non-innocent. But political opportunism and complacently allowing the people who want to regain their violent stronghold over the people in other nations is not helping humanity in any way. You know, our lives could be easier if we didn’t have to think about the evils that occur in the rest of the world. We could just focus on ourselves and try to increase the pleasure meter in the places that we can see. It’s a lot easier to apologize for failing to stop the Rwandan genocide than it would have been to try to do something about it. Are you tired of this war? Does it hurt that you have to think about people that lost loved ones? Good. I hope we can start using that pain to think of ideas to stop it in these two countries, in our own countries, and in the future.
Illegal Immigration: Our Weak Spot in Security June 16, 2006Posted by June in Bureaucracy, Conservatism, News, Politics.
An Amnesty by Any Other Name
Article obtained from here since NY Times put it under password after a little while of being up.
Two decades ago, while serving as attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, I was in the thick of things as Congress debated the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The situation today bears uncanny similarities to what we went through then.
In the mid-80's, many members of Congress — pushed by the Democratic majority in the House and the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy — advocated amnesty for long-settled illegal immigrants. President Reagan considered it reasonable to adjust the status of what was then a relatively small population, and I supported his decision.
In exchange for allowing aliens to stay, he decided, border security and enforcement of immigration laws would be greatly strengthened — in particular, through sanctions against employers who hired illegal immigrants. If jobs were the attraction for illegal immigrants, then cutting off that option was crucial.
Beyond this, most illegal immigrants who could establish that they had resided in America continuously for five years would be granted temporary resident status, which could be upgraded to permanent residency after 18 months and, after another five years, to citizenship.
Note that this path to citizenship was not automatic. Indeed, the legislation stipulated several conditions: immigrants had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible. Sound familiar? These are pretty much the same provisions included in the new Senate proposal and cited by its supporters as proof that they have eschewed amnesty in favor of earned citizenship.
The difference is that President Reagan called this what it was: amnesty. Indeed, look up the term "amnesty" in Black's Law Dictionary, and you'll find it says, "the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act provided amnesty for undocumented aliens already in the country."
Like the amnesty bill of 1986, the current Senate proposal would place those who have resided illegally in the United States on a path to citizenship, provided they meet a similar set of conditions and pay a fine and back taxes. The illegal immigrant does not go to the back of the line but gets immediate legalized status, while law-abiding applicants wait in their home countries for years to even get here. And that's the line that counts. In the end, slight differences in process do not change the overriding fact that the 1986 law and today's bill are both amnesties.
There is a practical problem as well: the 1986 act did not solve our illegal immigration problem. From the start, there was widespread document fraud by applicants. Unsurprisingly, the number of people applying for amnesty far exceeded projections. And there proved to be a failure of political will in enforcing new laws against employers.
After a six-month slowdown that followed passage of the legislation, illegal immigration returned to normal levels and continued unabated. Ultimately, some 2.7 million people were granted amnesty, and many who were not stayed anyway, forming the nucleus of today's unauthorized population.
So here we are, 20 years later, having much the same debate and being offered much the same deal in exchange for promises largely dependent on the will of future Congresses and presidents. Will history repeat itself? I hope not. In the post-9/11 world, secure borders are vital. We have new tools — like biometric technology for identification, and cameras, sensors and satellites to monitor the border — that make enforcement and verification less onerous. And we can learn from the failed policies of the past.
Reagan did this with all the good intentions; but it backfired. Why are we making the same mistake once again? Why are we allowing people who broke the law to jump in front of law-abiding immigrants who came into this country legally, going through all the jumps and hurdles to get there.
The government can only let in so many people each year to prevent Americans from being outnumbered and to give the immigrants already here time to integrate and assimilate into the country, like my father did who came here at 19 not knowing a word of English. He did learn English; and he eventually became a citizen through the naturalization process (not by marriage).
By allowing these individuals to flood into our borders then get on a path to citizenship, we are allowing them to prevent law-abiding people from immigrating here because the government must take into account the number of illegals here, as well, when determining how many to let in.
That means thousands of legal immigrants who are left out in the cold or waiting forever to get here.
Besides, most of the people coming here do not want to assimilate. They do not want to become American. They want to force America to become Mexico or Columbia or whatever other country they come from. That's why they run around waving the Mexican flag rather than the American flag. That's why they demand Spanish translations for everything.
But, then again, what can you expect from immigrants who thumb their nose at our government, at our system? People who work hard, who save up to get here, who wait patiently for their green card to be approved — those people are the ones who will value what they get and who will value this country because they had to work so hard toacheive it.
We don't need new legislation. Reagan already signed border security bills into law. They simply have not been put into action. One thing that I am all for, though, is this idea of a wall on the border. Opponents liken it to the Berlin Wall; but I know that it's more like the Great Wall. What's the difference? The difference is that the Berlin Wall was put into place by the Communists to prevent people from leaving the country. The Great Wall was put in place to prevent people from invading. This wall would not be put up to keep Americans in, but to keep invaders out.
This is more than just an immigration issue. This is a security issue. This is a sovereignty issue. If we do not secure our borders, then we will not be able to prevent an attack on this nation. Terrorists could use this vulnerability to slip in with weapons and do us harm. Let's not also forget just how many criminals come across that border, as well. A good number of inmates in American prisons are illegals. The M13 gang is a gang that came over from Mexico. People living in high traffic crossing zones where illegals favor passage have reported vandalism, theft, and even endangerment of their lives by these people.
And if we don't have borders, we don't have a nation. America is the only country in the world required to do this. If you tried to sneak into France or Germany or Mexico or Hong Kong, you would be immediately deported (if not shot when sneaking into a Communist country.).Rush has a great idea. Let's adopt the Mexican immigration laws. If they are good for Mexico, then why are they not good for us?
I can understand why Bush is pressing for a guest worker program. In the Republican Party, there are business lobbyists that want the cheap labor; but they are getting low wages at the cost of our security and at the cost of all Americans because these illegals use many of the government programs that we pay for. Yes, they do pay sales tax when they buy things; but they do not have to pay an income tax that hits us like a ton of bricks along with many other taxes. So we do not end up on top in the end.
The highest concentration of illegals is in agriculture, where they are 24 percent of the people employed. That means three-quarters of the people are not illegal aliens. But when will the glib phrase-mongers stop telling us that the illegals are simply taking "jobs that Americans won't do"?
Besides, even if illegals were doing 70% of the labor, we still have all these welfare recipients sitting around doing nothing because, by law, to get welfare you must be unemployed. So why not put these people to good use by requiring them to do these jobs to get their checks? At least, we'll get some of our tax money back.
Personally, I would prefer security to be the issue that we deal with first. After we secure our borders, we can then worry about what to do with the illegals who are already here. But security of our nation is the most important thing.
Teaching Johnny about Islam: The Hypocrisy June 2, 2006Posted by June in Christianity, Communism, Islam, Judicial Branch, Liberalism, News, Politics, Religion.
It seems that in my last posting, which was a news piece on the government requirement of a religion, that I was declared to be whining. I’ve thought about it and decided that that person was right; that so-called analysis was more of a whine than actual thought processes and beneath the standards which I have set out for myself to maintain. So I’m here now to amend that.
Please note that in the following that I speak of atheists who actively seek to ram their beliefs down other people’s throats, not peaceful atheists who don’t get offended at the least little thing.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? Where is Michael Newdow? One would think that a person who takes offense to his daughter or any other child saying TWO TINY WORDS that speak nothing of the doctrine of Christianity in an oath of affinity to the country that governs and protects them would be having a fit and a heart attack about something as extreme as the role-playing that the kids in California are forced into.
But what about the 9th Circuit courts, the same court that ruled in favor of the Newdow case? I would like to hear someone tell me how come a child cannot learn about Islam the same way he is learning about Christianity? I would like to know how atheists like Newdow and the court system would view such a course of curriculum for Christianity? For example, again, this is what the kids are being FORCED into as part of a curriculum that is mandatory:
Reciting aloud Muslim prayers that begin with “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . .”
Memorizing the Muslim profession of faith: “Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger.”
Chanting “Praise be to Allah” in response to teacher prompts.
Professing as “true” the Muslim belief that “The Holy Quran is God’s word.”
Giving up candy and TV to demonstrate Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
Designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially “becoming a Muslim” for two full weeks.
Instead we should have kids participating in the following:
Praying aloud Christian prayers that begin with “Dear God. . . .” and end with “…in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Memorizing John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Writing essays on how wonderful Jesus is.
Professing as “true” the Christian belief that “the Bible is God’s inerrant Word.”
Participating in Communion.
Designing Bible covers or drawing pictures of Jesus dying on the cross, taking a Christian name from someone in the Bible and essentially “becoming a Christian” for two full weeks.
How does that sound? If that is added onto this course, then sure, we should allow for this to continue; but this is, instead, what is happening:
In the California course on world religions, Christianity is not presented equally. It’s covered in just two days and doesn’t involve kids in any role-playing activities. But kids do get a good dose of skepticism about the Christian faith, including a biting history of its persecution of other peoples. In contrast, Islam gets a pass from critical review. Even jihad is presented as an “internal personal struggle to do one’s best to resist temptation,” and not holy war.
If the previous shouldn’t be allowed for Christianity, then why is it allowed for Islam? Why is it that atheists can have convulsions about a display of the Ten Commandments which can be passed up with not so much as a glance but be perfectly fine with this? Where is the ACLU in all of this who constantly has fits about such things?
We can debate on the Constitutionality of the words “under God” in the pledge another time when more space can be devoted to it. Right now I am addressing the Left’s interpretation of the First Amendment, which, for those who are not familiar with it, is the following:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of relgion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: or abridging the freedom of speech, of of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
To the Left, the parts on religion, obviously, actually mean to them that Congress shall make no law allowing for Christianity within 1,000 feet of anyone who might have a slight offense to it.
This interpretation, of course, is subject to change if or when the Left tries to outlaw Christianity.
Teaching Johnny About Islam May 30, 2006Posted by June in Christianity, Islam, News, Politics, Religion.
I got this from this site: My Thoughts and News
He makes some good points most of the time; but I caution on some of what he says.
Education: In our brave new schools, Johnny can't say the pledge, but he can recite the Quran. Yup, the same court that found the phrase "under God" unconstitutional now endorses Islamic catechism in public school.
In a recent federal decision that got surprisingly little press, even from conservative talk radio, California's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it's OK to put public-school kids through Muslim role-playing exercises, including:
Reciting aloud Muslim prayers that begin with "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . ."
Memorizing the Muslim profession of faith: "Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger."
Chanting "Praise be to Allah" in response to teacher prompts.
Professing as "true" the Muslim belief that "The Holy Quran is God's word."
Giving up candy and TV to demonstrate Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
Designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially "becoming a Muslim" for two full weeks.
Read the rest on the site. There's a difference between learning about a religion and forcing kids to participate in that religion. The Pledge of Allegiance was optional. Kids could participate or stay silent. Back when prayer was in school, it was optional and a small part of the day. This is a full on course of nothing but indoctrination.
Water: Widows of India May 11, 2006Posted by June in Blog, Other, Religion, Women's Issues.
I just watched a movie called Water. It’s a Hindi film with English subtitles by 20th Century Fox about the plight of widows in India. We had to go to an independent film theatre in the ritzy part of town to see it because they aren’t showing it at the Bollywood theater. This film has been banned in India.
You live in a country like the US; and you just never get to see how women are treated in other societies. You don’t realize how truly blessed you are to live in a country that has had the influence of Christianity on the culture and laws. I’ve been to India. It’s nothing like living there; but it was no happy little trip, especially since I spent most of the time sick in the bathroom or….um…throwing up in a corner of one of their monuments because we weren’t near a bathroom… *cough cough* Oops.
The movie was set in 1939 when Ghandi was around; but the end of the film confirmed that widows are still living in deplorable conditions in the 21st century because the Holy Texts of Manu declare it to be so.
According to the movie, widows have three choices:
1. Burn with their husbands when he is cremated.
2. Live the rest of her life unmarried and deprived.
3. If the family allows for it, marry her husband’s younger brother.
The movie begins with the death of a 9-year-old girl’s elderly husband (Ugh. *shudder*). The girl is then sent to an ashram for widows after her hair is shaved and she is dressed in widow’s clothes. Most, if not all, of these women were married off at extremely young ages. These women are not supported by anyone. They are not even given a place to live. They have to rent this barren shack that they live in. They get the money by begging and, in the case of, at least, one girl, by sending her off as a prostitute to some sick old men. These women are shunned and looked down on by everyone.
The story follows the little girl named Chuyia and the young woman who is has to be a prostitute to earn money named Alysha…(Don’t hold me to that spelling. I forgot how to spell it.). They meet a nice young man who falls in love with the young woman.
Things aren’t as bad as that in Chinese countries; but they aren’t extremely great either. Girls are still viewed as burdens that “take rice from the bowl.” And we all know how women are treated in Muslim countries, especially the ones that are strict adherents. Did you know that in the entire Koran that only one woman is actually named? The rest are referred to as so-and-so’s wife or the mother of so-and-so. Did you know that, if a girl is raped, she is viewed as a disgrace on the family and is often killed?
In fact, the only countries in the world that give women respect are the countries that have been greatly influenced by Christianity, the West. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
4 Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds– his name is the Lord– and rejoice before him. 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
5 “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.
1 Corinthians 7:8-9
8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
The New Racism May 3, 2006Posted by June in Artist Thinker Articles, Philosophy, Politics, Racism.
I was going to do a piece on illegal immigration; but in light of Mr. Steele's column that I have posted here and that was featured on Rush, I am going to focus on something that has bothered me for some time. Racism.
We all know about white racism. It's been portrayed a thousand times in so many ways from books to movies to political speeches; but do we really recognize the new racism that has built itself on the remnants of the old? Do we see the discrimination? Do we see the hate?
No, I'm not talking about Neo-Nazis. I'm talking about the modern racism of minorities against white people. I'm talking about the fact that a white cop is branded as racist if he stops one too many blacks, while a black cop can do what he wants with whites. I'm talking about Hispanics who are deemed the victims of whites when they are the ones breaking the law. I'm talking about hate crime legislation, which consistently applies exclusively to crimes committed by white people against minorities creating the assumption that the murder of a minority by a white is somehow more wrong than the murder of a white by a minority. I'm talking about affirmative action that discriminates against whites and even Chinese, who are in no way a majority. I'm talking about the fact that whites were blamed for what happened to New Orleans even though whites suffered as well and even though whites from all across the country pitched in to help.
It's there. That racism is there; but we are unwilling to see it. We need to recognize it and deal with it.
When are we going to stop blaming the sons for the sins of the father? A majority of blacks proclaim themselves to be Christians, and a majority of Hispanics claim to be Catholic.
So why do we ignore such verses as:
1. Ezekiel 18:10-20
". . . 20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him."
2. Matthew 6:14-15
"14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
3. Luke 17:3-4
"3 So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." "
It's annoying to be harrassed, sure. It seems that recently people have started branding us. This past winter my brother was ordered out of a movie theater by a police officer, who, by the way, was black, while he and I were saving seats for the rest of our party. The officer searched my brother's backpack and belt, which was a WWII pocket belt from an army surplus store, then confiscated the belt despite finding absolutely nothing of harm in it. What was my brother's crime? He was a slightly dark looking male with an army belt on. Boys walk around decked out in this stuff all the time; but my brother has been told that he cannot. Why? Well, likely because he looks a little Arab maybe? He's not; but he sort of looks like it to some people, I guess. To some he looks Hispanic, to others Arab, still others Chinese, and others even white… *shrug* It comes with the territory of mixed kids, I guess. People will see the pieces of you that they want to see.
By the way, I am certain that this white family sitting only a few seats away were the ones who alerted the officer and asked him to search my brother. I had noticed them staring at my brother and whispering when he walked in a little ahead of me. Plus, I noticed the same officer talking to them after he searched my brother. The worst part is that he was treated like a criminal with his belongings confiscated for no reason and did not even receive an apology. This wasn't the first time my brother has been searched; and I doubt it will be the last… The time before that a white manager had searched him.
This is all very annoying and embarrassing, as well as a violation of my brother's 4th Amendment rights; but does that mean we should blame all blacks and all whites for this? No! There are so many wonderful black and white people out there. Although there might be certain characteristics of a group of people, each person should be judged according to who that person is, not what he is.
Besides, in the end, minorities will be the ones who suffer the most. Affirmative action will get you into college; but it won't challenge you. It won't expand your abilities. It won't help you finish college.
This mindset of entitlements has done nothing to uplift the minority. You get your welfare check in the mail, sure; but you stay in your hole of poverty. You don't rise any higher. Your children don't rise any higher. Some even drop lower than you by committing crimes because the child believes he is entitled to the belongings of others who seem to be more fortunate than him.
In all of this, the minority remains bitter and hostile. It doesn't matter how much is given to him. It's never enough. So he loses out on one of the most important things in life: happiness. He barters it away for a welfare check, for moral indignation and superiority, for entitlements.
So I ask you how long we are going to ignore this? How long are we going to allow a race of people to be discriminated against?