Democrats Worried About Obama's Religion

From the Associated Baptist Press comes this message from the Democrats:
WASHINGTON (ABP) -- More than 70 Christian leaders signed a letter Aug. 25 calling on "public officials, faith leaders, and the media to offer no further support or airtime to those who misrepresent and call into question" whether or not President Obama is a Christian.

Signers ... said they were "deeply troubled by the recent questioning of President Obama's faith."

"We understand that these are contentious times, but the personal faith of our leaders should not be up for public debate," they said.

Several of the signers said they have personally prayed and worshiped with the president.

"President Obama has been unwavering in confessing Christ as Lord and has spoken often about the importance of his Christian faith," they said. "We believe that questioning, and especially misrepresenting, the faith of a confessing believer goes too far."

The letter was released through the Eleison Group, a consulting firm started by Burns Strider, a former adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and faith outreach director during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign when she was still a senator from New York.

The signers, however, said the question was "not a political issue." They said they represent a variety of political views, but: "As Christian pastors and leaders, we believe that fellow Christians need to be an encouragement to those who call Christ their savior, not question the veracity of their faith."

A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that nearly one American in five believed Obama is a Muslim and more than 40 percent said they didn't know what faith the president practiced.
Outrageous! The Dems want to step all over the First Amendment with this little ploy. Worse they seek to implore their allies in the media to do the same. Where is the ACLU when you need them? Don't answer that!

Click on the client list in the picture above. Diversity is not one of their major traits.

I do wonder whose fault it is that Americans believe Obama to be Muslim. Could it be that he personally brought up his background?

Failed State

The Summer 2010 edition of City Journal contains a Joel Kotkin article on the economic decline of California entitled, "The Golden State's War on Itself."  According to the piece, California liberals of the 20th century generally respected and approved of private enterprise.  As a result of its splendid economy and climate, California was a destination.  Everything changed during the 2nd half of the 20th century and has gotten "progressively" [pun intended] worse ever since and now the tipping point has been reached.

Between 2003 and 2007, California state and local government spending grew 31 percent, even as the state’s population grew just 5 percent. The overall tax burden as a percentage of state income, once middling among the states, has risen to the sixth-highest in the nation, says the Tax Foundation. Since 1990, according to an analysis by California Lutheran University, the state’s share of overall U.S. employment has dropped a remarkable 10 percent.

Since the financial crisis began in 2008, the state has fared even worse. Last year, California personal income fell 2.5 percent, the first such fall since the Great Depression and well below the 1.7 percent drop for the rest of the country. Unemployment may be starting to ebb nationwide, but not in California, where it approaches 13 percent, among the highest rates in the nation.
So why did the economy change? Liberals have always dominated the states' politics.
The answer lies in a change in the nature of progressive politics in California. During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city—as something to be sacked and plundered. The result is two separate California realities: a lucrative one for the wealthy and for government workers, who are largely insulated from economic decline; and a grim one for the private-sector middle and working classes, who are fleeing the state.
Well now, that all sounds very familiar.  Barack Hussein Obama is running his regime with the same outlook toward the private sector.  Corporations and whole industries are being taken over by government fiat.  Obama's New World Order has taken control of mortgage markets, the banks and the financial markets.  How can we forget the takeover of GM and Chrysler and the inexplicable closing of independent car dealerships? We have also seen Obama at work illegally taking $20 billion from BP and closing down Gulf oil wells. Next we might expect to see the shut down of the coal and oil industries. Finally the liberals have lassoed the health care industry.

Note that California was heavily invested in big government infrastructures replete with union-supported and highly-compensated government employees.  Obama's support of the UAW, SEIU and of course, ACORN follow this same pattern ... and California is heavily invested in a "green" economy.
The second engine that could supposedly keep California humming was the so-called green economy. Michael Grunwald recently wrote in Time, for example, that venture capital, high tech, and, above all, "green" technology were already laying the foundation of a miraculous economic turnaround in California. Though there are certainly opportunities in new energy-saving technologies, this is an enthusiasm that requires some serious curbing. One recent study hailing the new industry found that California was creating some 10,000 green jobs annually before the recession. But that won’t heal a state that has lost 700,000 jobs since then.

At the same time, green promoters underestimate the impact of California’s draconian environmental rules on the economy as a whole. Take the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which will force any new development to meet standards for being "carbon-neutral”" It requires the state to reduce its carbon-emissions levels by 30 percent between 1990 and 2020, virtually assuring that California’s energy costs, already among the nation’s highest, will climb still higher. Aided by the nominally Republican governor, the legislation seems certain to slow any future recovery in the suffering housing, industrial, and warehousing sectors and to make California less competitive with other states. Costs of the act to small businesses alone, according to a report by California State University professors Sanjay Varshney and Dennis Tootelian, will likely cut gross state product by $182 billion over the next decade and cost some 1.1 million jobs.
Meanwhile, on a national scale, Obama and company have invested heavily from the $787 billion stimulus package in new jobs related to a "greener" economy.  Boondoggle seems to be the best word to describe abject failures in efforts to turn the economy "green" in the areas of home weatheriztion jobs, solar power, wind power and ethanol production.  It is heartwarming to know that a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday [8/19/10] shows that the Department of Energy has spent more than $1.9 billion in stimulus funds to create 10,018 jobs through May, an average of $194,213 spent per full-time job created. 

It now appears that Californians and the American people are headed deep into an economic quagmire. California is furthest into the muck and has less rope to pull itself out because, unlike the federal government, it does not have the authority to print money ... but has been known to issue I.O.U.s.

City-Journal author Joel Kotkin believes that California can save itself:
Blessed with resources of topography, climate, and human skill, California does not need to continue its trajectory from global paragon to planetary laughingstock. A coalition of inland Latinos and Anglos, along with independent suburban middle-class voters in the coastal areas, could begin a shift in policy, reining in both public-sector costs and harsh climate-change legislation. Above all, Californians need to recognize the importance of the economic base, particularly such linchpins as agriculture, manufacturing, and trade—in reenergizing the state’s economy.

The changes needed are clear. For one thing, California must shift its public priorities away from lavish pensions for bureaucrats and toward the infrastructure critical to reinvigorating the private sector. ... Lower electrical costs would help preserve industrial facilities—from semiconductor and aerospace plants to textile mills. Reinvestment in trade infrastructure, such as ports, bridges, and freeways, would be a huge boon to working-class aspirations, since ports in Southern California account for as much as 20 percent of the area’s total employment, much of it in highly paid, blue-collar sectors.

Another potential opportunity lies in energy, particularly oil. California has enormous reserves not just along its coast but also in its interior. The Democrats in the legislature, which seems determined to block expanded production, have recently announced plans to increase taxes on oil producers. A better solution would be a reasonable program of more drilling, particularly inland, which would create jobs and also bring a consistent, long-term stream of much-needed tax revenue.

Still, it isn’t certain that California’s inept and often clueless Republicans will mount a strong challenge. For them to do so, business leaders need to get back in the game and remind voters and politicians alike of the truth that they have forgotten: only sustained, broadly based economic growth can restore the state’s promise.
On a broader scale, California-like solutions would also benefit America as a whole.  Unfortunately, an economic plan from Republicans in Washington near the mid-term elections is not going to be published.  Paul Ryan has issued a Roadmap Plan worthy of consideration that tackles:
However, as in California, action is required to stop government spending and make government smaller and less costly.  Public unions with exorbitant pay-scales and benefits have to be whittled down or disbanded and government must get out of private business areas such as healthcare, education, mortgage banking, and the automobile business.  Excessive regulation of banking, securities and environmental issues, have be slowed considerably.  In these economic times everything should be on the table, including the 400.000 troops stationed oversees and the massive foreign aid payment going to our enemies.

If California does not turn its economy around, we can expect the state to become the ward of the federal government.  If the U.S. does not stop its economic slide, we can expect it to slip to the level of third-world countries.  The revolution must start now.

"I Have A Dream" Controversy

Today is the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. King spoke to an audience of over 200,000 people about a future in which members of all races could live in harmony, judged only by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. It is now the most famous speech in American history, surpassing President Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address."

Little has been said or written in recent years about the negative aspects of Rev. Dr. King's life. That may be because both the majority and the minority prefer to look upon King's efforts to achieve racial equality for black people in a favorable light. However, throughout his adult life, Martin Luther King plagiarized the good works of others in his own writings. In the essay, "Canonizing Martin Luther King," Mark Royden Winchell wrote:

In 1984, Coretta Scott King authorized the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project to gather the writings of her late husband. A team of researchers directed by the Stanford University historian Clayborne Carson and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities later began editorial work on this project. At the same time, Keith D. Miller, a young English professor at Arizona State University, was preparing a study of King's rhetoric and its various sources. Miller and the Carson team were all ardent admirers of King and his many undeniable accomplishments. As a result, they were loath to think ill of the good doctor. Nevertheless, their research made it unmistakably clear that, beginning in graduate school, an alarming number of King's speeches and published writings were plagiarized. The pattern was too obvious and too persistent to be blamed on careless scholarship. King willfully took the ideas and words of others and claimed them as his own.
To illustrate King's perspective that perhaps blunted his concept toward the legality of using the works of others, a short conversation between Martin and Georgia Davis Powers, quoted  from her book, "I Shared the Dream" just might suffice:
I didn't hear all the conversation, but I heard Martin repeat something [advisor Stanley] Levison said to him. After he hung up, he was still repeating this phrase. "Cowardice asks, is it safe? Expediency asks, is it political? Vanity asks, is it popular? But conscience asks, is it right?"

I asked, "Will you use that in your speeches?"

He smiled, "I will use it when it is appropriate."

I said, "M. L., is anything we do and say original?"

He replied, "Originality comes only from God. Everything else has, is, and will be used by someone else before you."
In the compilation, "The concise Oxford companion to African American literature", an essay by Keith D. Miller and Emily M Lewis, appropriately entitled, "I Have a Dream," describes the M.L. King speech:
King dedicated the second half of "I Have a Dream" to a vision of what America could become; a land of equality and peace. In his climatic "Let Freedom Ring" litany, he projected a future a future in which Isaiah's vision of exalted valleys ... is realized in a radically harmonious America. He concluded by reciting the lyrics of "America" ('My country 'tis of thee') that Marian Anderson had sung at the [Lincoln] memorial during her celebrated Easter concert in 1939. He borrowed and refined the entire "Let Freedom Ring" peroration from a speech by Archibald Carey, an African American pastor from Chicago.
In the judgment of Mark Royden Winchell, MLK's actions were far more serious:
Building to a crescendo, King quotes the memorable first verse of Samuel Smith's patriotic song "America," beginning with "My country 'tis of thee" and ending with "Let freedom ring." There is nothing wrong with that, since just about everyone knows the song and would not take King to be its author. What very few people know is that King's fellow black minister, Archibald Carey, had quoted this same song in a speech he gave to the Republican National Convention in 1952.

After citing the lines "From every mountainside / Let freedom ring," Carey concluded his address with these stirring words:
"That's exactly what we mean -- from every mountain side, let freedom ring. Not only from the Green Mountains and White Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire; not only from the Catskills of New York; but from the Ozarks in Arkansas, from the Stone Mountain in Georgia, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia -- let it ring not only for the minorities of the United States but for . . . the disinherited of all the earth -- may the Republican Party, under God, from every mountainside, LET FREEDOM RING!"
If this sounds vaguely familiar to millions of Americans, it is not because of repressed memories of the 1952 Republican Convention but because King shamelessly "borrowed" his friend's rhetoric while standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This is how the words sounded coming from King:
So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. . . .
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill in Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
As Keith Miller points out, the incremental repetition of the words "let freedom ring" makes King's delivery more memorable than Carey's. But the speech is still derivative. Miller justifies this fact by arguing that black preachers frequently borrowed sermons from each other and generally regarded their language as a common resource from which all could freely draw in a practice Miller calls "voice merging."

In any event, King's avaricious family certainly doesn't believe in sharing the rhetorical wealth. As Theodore Pappas points out, "the King estate now enforces copyrights and demands royalties on work which King often stole in the first place. In a just world, the royalties would go to the estates of Jack Boozer, Archibald Carey, Paul Tillich, and the scores of other writers, ministers, scholars, and social activists who work fell prey to King's 'voice merging.'"
Theodore Pappas, also disagreed with Keith Miller about "voice merging."
MLK believed in intellectual property rights; he had taken a course at BU devoted to plagiarism and scholarly standards; he copyrighted his plagiarized speeches; and Miller provides no evidence that King saw himself as part of the "tradition" that Miller has posited. There is no "voice merging" tradition; Keith Miller made it up, with its attendant revision of black American (and thus American) history, with the sole and explicit purpose of rescuing King's scholarly reputation.

The Great Chinese Jam

First, we heard that the oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon well had disappeared from the Gulf of Mexico.  Now there has been another mysterious disappearance:
XINGHE COUNTY, China (AFP) – Can a monster traffic jam spanning dozens of miles and leaving drivers stuck for days really disappear overnight?

For days, Chinese and foreign media have issued reports explaining how thousands of vehicles were trapped in an epic traffic jam stretching for more than 100 kilometres (60 miles) on a highway leading to China's capital Beijing.

The bottleneck on the Beijing-Tibet expressway, which began on August 14 due to a spike in traffic by cargo-bearing heavy trucks and was compounded by road maintenance works ... seems to have vanished.
With the same pessimism in reporting that prevailed during the Gulf oil spill, AP had earlier reported that the traffic jam could last until mid-September.
BEIJING – China has just been declared the world's second biggest economy, and now it has a monster traffic jam to match.

Triggered by road construction, the snarl-up began 10 days ago and was 100 kilometers (60 miles) long at one point. Reaching almost to the outskirts of Beijing, traffic still creeps along in fits and starts, and the crisis could last for another three weeks, authorities say.

In the worst-hit stretches of the road in northern China, drivers pass the time sitting in the shade of their immobilized trucks, playing cards, sleeping on the asphalt or bargaining with price-gouging food vendors. Many of the trucks that carry fruit and vegetables are unrefrigerated, and the cargoes are assumed to be rotting.

The immediate cause of the traffic jam that began Aug. 14 is construction on one of three southbound highways feeding into Beijing.

Authorities are trying to ease the snarl-up by letting more trucks into the capital, especially at night, said Zhang, the traffic director. They also asked trucking companies to suspend operations and advised drivers to take the few alternate routes available.

"Things are getting better and better," he said, but he added that the construction would go on until Sept. 17.
Since no reason has been given for the miraculous ending to the traffic jam, we must depend upon the great imagination of the blogsphere, from whence comes Cedar Posts and Barbwire Fences blog's association of The Great Chinese Traffic Jam to "The Great Moveway Jam," a short scifi story published in the March 1979 issue of Omni Magazine . For your reading pleasure the complete short story of a fictional traffic jam is here.

Ominously, the government that brought us the Tienanmen Square Massacre is involved with this jam, so we cannot totally discount the possibility of a violent end to the Chinese embarrassment.   But as Consumer Unit 5012 noted in Slactivist , "... although I doubt the Chinese government is going to airdrop in suicide pills and pave over the victims."

Memories of the Sterling Hall Bombing

If you lived for a time in Madison, Wisconsin, as I did, you will have heard many re-tellings of the 1970 bombing at Sterling Hall on the UW Madison campus.  Student protests against the Viet Nam War, by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) fueled the flames of violence in Madison.  The bombers were Karleton Armstrong, Dwight Armstrong, David Fine, and Leo Burt.

Madison - Exactly four decades ago, a stolen van filled with 2,000 pounds of explosives blew up in the heart of the University of Wisconsin campus, killing a researcher, shattering lives and, some argue, taking the energy out of the anti-war movement here and elsewhere.

For the next 25 years, until the Oklahoma City bombing, Sterling Hall would rank as the worst domestic terrorism act in the United States. For many who heard the explosion at Sterling Hall that warm morning of Aug. 24, 1970, it was much more.
Michael Haz was a student at the university 40 years ago, and he writes to Ann Althouse:
The blast threw me out of bed. I scrambled into the dark hallway and ran into others; we all thought that a bomb had been detonated in the basement of our building. We ran apartment-to-apartment making certain everyone was awake and okay. Then we helped the grad students get their notes, manuscript drafts, computer data cards, etc. out of their apartments in into cars for safe keeping.

We heard the approaching sirens of emergency vehicles, and were astonished when they went past rather than stopping. It slowly dawned that the explosion hadn't been in our building, but was somewhere on campus.

More and more emergency vehicles raced past. They were heading in the direction of the (old) University Hospital. A neighbor said "My God, did a boiler at the hospital explode?" We got dressed and ran toward the hospital, partly from curiosity, and partly to offer help evacuating patients from the hospital.

The street was filled with glass three blocks away. We got to Sterling Hall, which was across a narrow street from the hospital, and saw that it's front had been blown off. One side of the hospital had been severely damaged; its windows were gone. Nearby buildings were heavily damaged and buildings several blocks away lost their windows. There was a crater where the explosion had occurred.

My roommate asked a fireman "What happened?" He answered "It was a bomb." That answer was shocking. How could it have been a bomb? You mean someone did this on purpose? How can that be? The peace movement isn't about bombs, it's about peace?!

A cordon was set up and we were pushed back. Standing near a fire truck so I could hear its radio I heard a fireman report finding one body in Sterling Hall. Stunned, I stood for a few more minutes than walked back to my apartment.

Two days later I cut my shoulder length hair and notified my landlord that I wouldn't remain as a tenant for the fall term.

I was done with UW and Madison, except for completing my studies. I rented and apartment west of Middleton and commuted, spending as little time on campus as possible. I didn't attend my graduation.

The anti-war movement was a sham; a cover for violent anarchists. It wasn't actually anti-war; it was mostly anti-draft, and nothing more. It was over-indulged white males who didn't want to be conscripted. It would never have happened if there hadn't been a draft.

I don't have a romantic version of the late 60s in my head. I lived through it, it was horrible. Sure, the music was good, the weed was abundant, "liberated" coeds eschewed underwear, and contraceptive sex had no risk. It was still an awful time.

Karleton Armstrong was lucky. He should still be rotting in prison.

Newly Discovered Oil Plume Not From BP Well

Despite a report issued by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which attempted to account for oil no longer visible in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon well was plugged, scientists were skeptical.

Then the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announced that just prior to Hurricane Alex, their researchers, using autonomous submersibles, had discovered an oil plume that began just three  miles from the BP well.
Oceanographers announced today the discovery of a wispy oil plume at least 22 miles long and 1.2 miles wide floating beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, a sign that plenty of the oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon leak remains in the environment. It’s the first conclusive proof that a deep-sea plume from the leak exists, which at least partially explains what happened to the oil in the three months since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. It also casts doubt on the federal government’s statement earlier this month that most of the oil has dispersed or disappeared.
Gnosty at The World Vision Portal posted evidence that precedes the Woods Hole scientists study that makes it clear that NOAA had some pertinent information that would have been helpful to the Woods Hole researchers.  The oil plume that was discovered by the WHOI submersibles comes from an ancient seabed  volcanic crater in the Gulf of Mexico commonly called the Biloxi Dome.  Five NOAA research vessels, the Brooks McCall, Ocean Veritas, Walton Smith , Thomas Jefferson and Gorden Gunter examined the subsurface oil in and around the Deepwater Horizon well.
Conclusions made from their report stated that their Fluorometry measurements showed the presence of oil at a depth between 1000 and 1300 meters. They also concluded that active oil seeps were mapped at about 12 kilometers southwest of the BP Deepwater Horizon wellhead. ...[T]he Biloxi Dome is located approximately 12 kilometers southwest of the BP Deepwater Horizon well. This means that NOAA and the Joint Analysis Group positively identified the Biloxi Dome to be the source of the active oil leaks.
Here is the Woods Hole diagram of the oil plume location with longitudes and latitudes marked.

And here are the plotted Biloxi Dome oil leaks (via Alexander Higgins).

Gnosty's comment on the timing of the research efforts of NOAA and WHOI is important.
The recent July capping and pressure testing of BP Deepwater Horizon well #1 did NOT cause the Biloxi Dome leaks as they were verified between May 19 and June 19 while the Deepwater Horizon well was still leaking oil.

Raised Right in Indiana

Are you paying attention, Murphy Brown?

H/T: Curmudgeonly & Skeptical

Job Search Scam in Fort Wayne

Residents of Fort Wayne , Indiana  learned from Mayor Tom Henry on Tuesday afternoon that Navistar will be pulling up stakes in the city in 24 to 36 months.  Job losses to the city is expected to number about 1,100 engineering and technical positions.

Today the Mayor announced a hastily-formulated strategy to "keep Navistar engineers from fleeing town with the company." The "rationale" contained in this defined goal is unbelievable and I am sure that the cost to taxpayers will be substantial.  Read some expanded bullsh*t that illustrates that governmental bodies in Fort Wayne and surrounds have freakin' lost their collective minds.
Local economic development officials have put into place a strategy to find jobs for Navistar International Corp. employees with other northeast Indiana companies in light of increasing evidence that the company will, in some fashion, reduce its work force in Fort Wayne.

WorkOne Northeast, working in concert with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and the city of Fort Wayne, has launched a customized recruitment and training website that initially will target Navistar engineers and other technical workers. It likely will be expanded to all of Navistar’s more than 1,000 employees in Fort Wayne, and similar virtual tools may be offered to other selected work forces throughout the region.

"Regardless of what happens with Navistar, whether they decide to stay in Fort Wayne or move elsewhere, this is about valuing that high-skilled talent currently employed there," said Kathleen Randolph, president and CEO of WorkOne Northeast. "We’re going to pull out all the stops to retain that pool of talent."

"It is a war. This gesture is a kind of, 'In your face, Navistar.' If you think you’re going to rob this region of this high-skilled talent, you’re wrong."
The nuts and bolts of the "plan" is to spend lots of money with the Workforce Northeast corporation to retool and operate its very own Partners of website (already dedicated to Navistar employees by the way) for the exclusive benefit of some 300 engineers, presently employed by Navistar, to find jobs that they do not now need in and around Fort Wayne.  Why is this necessary, you ask? CEO Kathleen Randolph tells this tale.
“(Navistar employees) want to know what career opportunities exist, short of going to Monster or CareerBuilder or Indiana Career Connect," she said, referring to job websites. "And they understand that some of those engineering jobs that they’d like to be considered for, they might not have the critical skill sets. If they’re a mechanical engineer and the job is for a software engineer, for instance, is there a way they can re-skill in order to be competitive for that job?”
First of all, engineers are highly-intelligent, well-educated professionals, who need no additional or alternative skills to secure a job. Engineering work is project-oriented, so engineers are also used to having their jobs suddenly end. They are experts at writing resumes and well-trained in interviewing with potential employers. Packing up for a new job in a new location in order to secure employment is a way-of-life.

Secondly, why would any well-paid employee with long service with a company sacrifice the job security and retirement benefits already earned? That will not happen even in a good economy. Giving consideration to foregoing job security in this economic downturn is simply not going to happen. So Mr. Mayor, those engineers offered a job in other Navistar facilities will take the offer. Get used to the idea.

Finally, a quick search of Google job sites indicates that WorkOne's help is not needed. lists 81 "Engineer" jobs within 50 miles of Fort Wayne, has 85, 54, 64, 26, 11, 11, and WorkOne's own job search site, lists 50 engineer jobs. Interestingly, CareerBuilder has 16 Navistar job openings in engineering. Yes, many of these jobs may be multi-listed, but this search was done for a single day for a small region.

Besides getting paid big bucks for doing the unneeded, WorkOne gets free advertising and the ever-loving gratitude of the Fort Wayne faithful that lean to the left on social issues. Remember the liberal creed: "It's the thought that counts."

Religious Genocide And The Ground Zero Mosque

Civilized peoples of the world cannot and must never reward mass genocide perpetrated by hoards of fanatical  zealots, often sadly, in  in the name of their god or their demigod.  Recent history has been well sprinkled with both types of fanatics with genocides ordered by powerful dictators such as Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zadong and more recently Slobodan Milosevic. Interestingly, in recent times, genocides in the name of god  can be attributed almost entirely to Islam, in the name of Mohammed.

September 11, 2001 will live in infamy as the beginning of a religious war when Arab-Muslims attacked a symbol of 'Great Satan" America's prosperity by knocking down the World Trade Center Towers in New York, killing almost 3,000 innocents. Nine years and two wars later, Muslim religious leaders are sponsoring the building of a Mosque and cultural center on the site of a building which suffered damage during the attack on the Towers. The mosque is to be named the Cordoba Mosque in honor of  the "Mezquita". a mosque in Cordoba, Spain that was built on the site of the torn-down St Vicente church after the Moorish conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in 786.  When Cordoba fell to Ferdinand of Castile some 500 years later, the building again became a church.

Muslims conquerers throughout history have displayed this single-minded habit of converting sacred shrines of the conquered into mosques or more likely, destroying the shrines to rebuild them in the name of Islam. Some examples from historian Steve Carol:

  • Islam’s holiest shrine–the Kaaba, a cube-like building in Mecca–is an older pre-Islamic pagan Arab shrine. According to Islamic tradition the first building was constructed by Adam and rebuilt by Abraham (Ibrahim). The Black Stone, possibly a meteorite fragment, is a significant feature of the Kaaba. The Masjid al-Haram mosque was built around the Kaaba.
  • The Ibrahimi Mosque was constructed in Hebron, in 637 CE, over the second-most venerated Jewish holy site, the Cave of Machpelah–the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  • The Dome of the Rock was built on the ruins of Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem, by the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik, 687-691 CE. Al-Walid, son of al-Malik, erected the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the southern end of the Temple Mount and also over the Basilica of St. Mary of Justinian, in 712 CE.
  • The Grand Mosque of Damascus was put up over the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in 715 CE.
  • On October 18, 1009, the Muslim Fatimid caliph Abu ‘Ali Mansur Tariqu’l-Hakim destroyed, down to the bedrock, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a Christian church venerated by most Christians as Golgotha, the Hill of Calvary, where tradition says that Jesus was crucified. Gravestones were also destroyed. Muslim forces tried to dig up all the graves and wipe out all traces of their existence. The site is now within the walled, Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Late in the 20th century, in Libya, on November 26, 1970, the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Tripoli was converted into the Gamal Abdel Nasser Mosque. 
  • Two 1,400 year-old  statues of Buddha in the Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan were blown up in March 2001. This came after a fatwa (a religious edict), ordered by the Taliban directed all Afghan “idols” be destroyed as being anti-Muslim. In the Central Asian republics no Buddhist temples remain. 
  • The World Trade Center was destroyed in the name of Islam. The perpetrators stated the people that were murdered were not innocent, which is blatantly false. The planned mosque will be just 600 feet from ground zero, at the site of the greatest Islamofascist achievement over infidels in hundreds of years. Thus, three questions can be raised. Are these mosques to honor the perpetrators of 9-11 rather than its victims? Is the mosque to indicate Islam’s triumph and supremacy? Finally, how will the establishment of these mosques be viewed in the Arab-Muslim world?
As for stories where Muslim innocents were attacked in non-war time circumstances by infidels (non-Muslims), there is but one modern story. On July 11, 1995, Slobodan Milosevic's Serbian soldiers attacked Bosniak Muslims in Srebrenica, murdering as many as 8,000 on that day.
The attempts to misuse Christian religious symbols as “territorial markers” of xenophobic Serb nationalist domination in Srebrenica began  in the immediate aftermath of the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide. Following the conquest of Srebrenica by the Bosnian Serb army and the wholesale slaughter of its Bosniak Muslim residents, a large Serb Orthodox cross ;was erected atop the old Ottoman fortress (Stari grad), on the top of a high hill that overlooks the center of Srebrenica.
The Tribunal that tried the the Bosnian Serbs for the genocide ruled as follows.
“By seeking to eliminate a part of the Bosnian Muslims, the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide. They targeted for extinction the forty thousand Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica, a group which was emblematic of the Bosnian Muslims in general. They stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity. The Bosnian Serb forces were aware, when they embarked on this genocidal venture, that the harm they caused would continue to plague the Bosnian Muslims. The Appeals Chamber states unequivocally that the law condemns, in appropriate terms, the deep and lasting injury inflicted, and calls the massacre at Srebrenica by its proper name: genocide. Those responsible will bear this stigma, and it will serve as a warning to those who may in future contemplate the commission of such a heinous act.”
Unfortunately local Serbs do not have much respect for authority;  In 1999, Serbs began to construct a Serbian Orthodox Church on illegally-obtained Muslim-owned land in the village of Potocan, Bosnia. On the 15th anniversary of the Massacre Serbs erected a large cross in the Muslim settlement of Budnak overlooking the Genocide memorial.

Unrelenting and unreasoning hatred drives the actions of those involved in genocidal killings. Such provocation is unacceptable among reasoning humans.  May God help us all if the Ground Zero Mosque is built.  All societies, you see, have some uncivilized members unaffected by the Rule of Law. Obama needs to stop it now.

Suffering Fools Lightly

McQ at QandO happened upon a Free Republic reader's comment that adds a counter-perspective to the the Obama debacle. The comment has been around for some time and has gone viral on the internet, but it certainly worthy of our full attention. 

The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president. ~ O2BNTEXAS
Does America's real problems reside with the voting public?  McQ thinks so.
An educated, informed and engaged electorate is vital to any democratic form of government – at any level. Without it you get – well, what we’ve gotten and have gotten for quite a few years.

How do you reverse that? How do you engage people who show no real interest in the effects of politics – something that increasingly touches every aspect of their everyday life? How do you educate and inform a public that seems less inclined to involving themselves in the substance of debate about the importance of issues and more inclined toward the theater that is modern political campaigns?

Barack Obama won on the Unicorn and Moon Pony ticket. His promises were whatever you wanted them to be. You want change? You define it then. Hope? Same process – take the blank slate and write what you want. Whatever you want it to be is what it will be. Count on it.
I couldn't find a Unicorn and Moon Pony reference so those seeking a visual might try this close approximation.  On a more serious note, I am unsure, first of all, just how simple and easy the dismantling of the Obama's Marxist political terrorism and economic reform programs will be.

America's version of Soviet Central Planning has been growing since the beginning of the 20th century, so Big Government is now fully in charge of our lives. As Angelo Codevilla has so eloquently pointed out, everything about government is intended to separate the country class from its wealth in order to enrich the anointed ruling class.

The sheer size of government, helped along by agency heads protecting their turf, makes it almost impossible to act, let alone consider something as crazy as reducing the size of the monster.  Even with the complete cooperation among politicians and bureaucrats, the enormity of it all is mind-boggling ... and every new administration makes it worse.

I am not sure that I have any workable answers, but we have to change some really dumb government commitments such as world-wide bases for American military forces that have no effect in this age of guerrilla warfare, and withdrawal from the United Nations, where our money is being used against us.  Note that these are not Obama's doings.  Neither is getting the government out of the education business, and the healthcare business ...both of which were part of government long before Barack Hussein Obama arrived.  Admittedly he has added banking, automobiles, and the financial markets (although government did regulate these industries).

Those of us who are often swept up by the latest conspiracy theory do wonder just how we can ever get out from under the government's worthless  environmental  and climate change programs that are sapping our economy.  The influence of these and other large interest groups have, with the help of the media, already  bamboozled the citizenry.  They believe! ... despite solid evidence to the contrary.  The existence of large insidious and unceasing  propaganda mills spreading untruths worldwide may be unstoppable.

Hmmm.... was that a black helicopter with "Bildeberg" painted on the side that just flew by?  ... or did it say "Obama-Ayers-Soros?"

Spillionaires in "The Bayou"

"...I done made a decision I am gonna thow mysef into the srimp bidness an work my ass off. It is all I can do. Well, the quarter of a million become haf a million an the year follin that, a million, an so on, till after four more years we done become a five million dollar a year bidness...." ~Forrest Gump

Bayou la Batre (pronounced Balla Batree), Alabama, the fictional home of Forrest Gump's shrimping business, is one of the most productive commercial fishing ports in the US. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina mauled the little town, only to have it rebuild as a tourist center.
The downtown area, ... almost completely destroyed, would be replaced by a flower-filled park shaded by live oaks. One street would become a cobblestone, gaslight-shopping district. The industrial areas, Shipyard District and City Docks District, would become "self-contained tourist destinations with condominium resorts, restaurants, spas and marinas."
Having rebounded magnificently with a little help from $122 billion thrown into the Katrina recovery by Congress, the little town was clobbered again ... this time by the oil from the Deepwater Horizon gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.
Now Bayou La Batre, nestled in protected waters adjacent to the mighty Gulf of Mexico and the tranquil Mobile Bay, is threatened by oil that is gushing into the Gulf, polluting thousands of square miles of habitat, and threatening fragile estuaries.

... Federal authorities announced a ... fishing ban in federal waters most affected by the BP spill between the mouth of the Mississippi River and the waters of Florida's Pensacola Bay. This is coming right before the peak shrimp season in June, which has Bayou La Batre's residents gravely concerned.
However, as was the case after the Katrina misfortune, the luck of Bubba Gump showed up yet again in the town the locals call "The Bayou," ... this time with a twist.
The Gulf oil spill has replaced most of the shrimp, oysters and crabs flowing into this sleepy coastal hamlet with cash -- gobs of it. But if this is a boomtown, it's a bitter one.

Bayou La Batre, population 2,313, has received $8.5 million in BP grant money, more than any other place on the Gulf Coast, but boat operators idled by the spill complain that some of the cash intended to keep them working has gone instead to recreational fishermen and the mayor's brother.
The UK Daily Mail Online takes up the story:
Spencer Collier, the town’s state representative, said: "There are people here who have done very well out of the spill. We call them Spillionaires and in a short space of time they have earned more money than they would in a very long time."

"That has led to a lot of jealousy and people have got very greedy. BP threw so much money at the problem that everyone wanted a slice of it."

Before the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April, the shrimping business in Bayou La Batre was in sharp decline.

The average salary for its 2,300 residents, a third of whom are Vietnamese and Cambodian immigrants, was just over $27,580 a year - and the average house price just $46,000.

Under a system worked out by BP, those with vessels over 22 feet long were paid $1,600 a day, while bigger boats were paid $3,200. Crew would get up to $320 a day.

Boat owner Captain Jack Gaines had eight vessels working for BP and is understood to have raked in more than $1,175,000 in three months. At least five others have earned a similar amount.

According to Mr Collier, 75 per cent of the town’s fishermen were employed by BP in the clean-up operation. Many people have gone on spending sprees, snapping up new cars or boat accessories.

"300 [fishing] licenses were issued in just two weeks. Usually, one or two people apply for a license but these were people who just wanted to get in their claim for money"

Even drug dealers have attempted to capitalize on the new wealth. Captain Darryl Wilson, from Bayou La Batre police, said: "Before the spill a rock of crack cocaine was being sold on the street for $20. Now that same rock is going for $40. So much money has come into the town that they want to charge more."
We can only hope that a Bubba-Gump happy ending occurs ...
Forrest: Now, because I had been a football star, and a war hero, and a national celebrity, and a shrimpin' boat captain, and a college graduate, the city of fathers of Greenbow, Alabama, decided to get together and offered me a fine job. So, I never went back to work for Lieutenant Dan. Though he did take care of my Bubba-Gump money. He got me invested in some kind of fruit company. And so then I got a call from him saying we don't have to worry about money no more. And I said, "That's good. One less thing."

Rosty "Stamps" Rostenkowski Has Died

From The Hill ...
Former Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) reportedly died Wednesday morning from natural causes at the age of 82.

Known as "Rosty," Rostenkowski, who served in Congress for 36 years and became a powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, lost reelection in 1994 during the Republican wave.

Indicted on corruption charges earlier that year, Rostenkowski allegedly used federal funds for personal gifts and used the House post office to trade stamps for cash.

Rostenkowski would later plead ignorance, claiming he hadn't paid attention to numerous rule changes during his years in Congress.

He eventually pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and was sentenced to 17 months in a federal prison. Rostenkowski was pardoned for his crimes by President Clinton in 2000.

The son of a Chicago alderman, Rostenkowski started his political career in the Illinois legislature, to which he was elected in 1952. A close ally of Mayor Richard Daley, Rostenkowski was elected to Congress in 1958.

Years of seniority eventually allowed Rostenkowski to bring home millions of dollars in federal funding for his distrct, cementing his popularity in Chicago.
Reason hit & run reminds us that Rosty was not only found guilty of mail fraud for laundering stamps for cash in the House Post Office scandal but also points us to an amusing real-life tale of how Rosty became famous for "stamps' issued with his likeness.

 Rostenkowski joined the long list of presidential pardons issued by Bill Clinton which also included fugitive financier Marc Rich, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, half-brother Roger Clinton, Whitewater's Susan McDougal and heiress-turned-terrorist Patty Hearst.

What and Who Caused the Gulf Oil Spew?

The Deepwater Horizon well lists into the Gulf of Mexico in April. Photo courtesy ABC26.

Continuing its biased and often over-the-top emotional coverage of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Associated Press put this story on the newswire on Friday:
Spill investigators want to find undersea evidence
By ...Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press Writer Fri Aug 6, 5:07 pm ET

NEW ORLEANS – Now that BP appears to have vanquished its ruptured well, authorities are turning their attention to gathering evidence from what could amount to a crime scene at the bottom of the sea.

The wreckage including the failed blowout preventer and the blackened, twisted remnants of the drilling platform that exploded, burned and sank in mile-deep water in the Gulf in April may be Exhibit A in the effort to establish who is responsible for the biggest peacetime oil spill in history. [. . . ]

BP will almost certainly want a look at the items, particularly if it tries to shift responsibility for the disaster onto other companies, such as Transocean, which owned the oil platform, Haliburton, which supplied the crew that was cementing the well, and Cameron International, maker of the blowout preventer.

BP and Transocean — which could face heavy penalties if found to be at fault have said they will raise some of the wreckage if it can be done without doing more damage to the oil well. That would give the two companies responsibility for gathering up the very evidence that could be used against them.

But the federal government has said it simply doesn't have the know-how and the deep-sea equipment available to the drilling industry. And it said the operation will be closely supervised by the Coast Guard.
Let me rephrase what AP wrote: The motive behind British Petroleum's plan to raise the BOP is to shift the blame for "the biggest peacetime oil spill in history."

Obviously the sunken wreckage of the platform ship is too large to raise ... but the most damning evidence for "placing blame" most probably resides on the Deepwater Horizon.

AP assures us that we need not be worried about possible BP "hanky-panky" because "the operation will be closely supervised by the Coast Guard."  To shamelessly borrow from Hamlet's "to be or not to be" soliloquy . . . "ah, that's the rub."

The Associated Press left some very important information out of their story. As Erick Erickson reports at RedState:
Step back for a minute. It is a “known fact” that BP’s actions and handling of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon caused the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

It is an actual fact that the oil spill did not start until after the oil platform sunk [sic].

There is a growing body of evidence that the Coast Guard and fire team handling the blaze on the platform made a series of mistakes that contributed to the oil spill. In fact, in one of the first lawsuits filed, the plaintiffs aren’t even going after British Petroleum, but are instead going after the fire crew alleging the crews should have ignored orders from the Coast Guard.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported:
Commercial fishermen, waterfront property owners and oil industry workers who have lost jobs because of the oil spill yesterday sued 17 companies whose fireboats responded to the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon on April 20. The rig was still attached to the subsea well when it sank two days later.

“It was the flooding of the Deepwater Horizon and the resulting sinking of the rig that directly caused the piping to break and begin spewing millions of gallons of oil into the ocean,” Lloyd Frischhertz and Gerald Maples, lawyers for the spill victims, said in a complaint filed in federal court in New Orleans.
Finally, the most important piece of the puzzle is provided by The Center for Public Integrity:
The Coast Guard has gathered evidence it failed to follow its own firefighting policy during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and is investigating whether the chaotic spraying of tons of salt water by private boats contributed to sinking the ill-fated oil rig, according to interviews and documents.

Coast Guard officials told the Center for Public Integrity that the service does not have the expertise to fight an oil rig fire and that its response to the April 20 explosion may have broken the service’s own rules by failing to ensure a firefighting expert supervised the half-dozen private boats that answered the Deepwater Horizon’s distress call to fight the blaze.

An official maritime investigation led by Coast Guard Capt. Hung M. Nguyen in New Orleans is examining whether the salt water that was sprayed across the burning platform overran the ballast system that kept the rig upright, changing its weight distribution, and causing it to list.

Reporters vs Black Tea Party Express

Americans all! We can be very proud of Black Conservatives.

H/T: Curmudgeonly & Skeptical

Education Spending Madness

On top of the $48.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) that was passed and essentially spent last year for education, 2010 brings another jab at the fiscal wellbeing of our country.  Lindsey Burke at NRO reports that:

The taxpayer-funded, $10 billion public-education bailout moved one step closer to reality today when the Senate voted 61–38 on a cloture measure, clearing the path for bill consideration toward the end of the week. Since the House has already left for recess, Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have to call members back for a vote, which she has promised to do.

Mike Antonucci of the Education Intelligence Agency reports that schools have begun rehiring teachers despite the pink slips doled out earlier this year (and despite cries from the teachers’ unions and the Obama administration of catastrophic teacher layoffs if the bailout fails). According to Antonucci:
# In Indiana, 148 of the 284 teachers laid off by the Fort Wayne Community School District have been rehired.

# The Hesperia Unified School District in California decided to rescind the pink slips of 77 teachers that had been laid off earlier this year.

# The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina conceded that the state’s budget woes were overblown, and has decided to hire back 141 teachers that were previously laid off. The district also noted that 120 more teachers could also be rehired after budget talks conclude.

# In Ohio, a budget deal reached with the Cleveland Teachers Union will likely mean that a majority of the 545 teachers laid off in the spring will get their jobs back.

# The Broward County School District in Florida will be rehiring 465 teachers who were laid off earlier this year.
These pink-slip rescissions likely represent a larger trend nationwide. It’s common practice for school districts to overestimate the number of teachers that will be laid off in advance of budgets being set, and in advance of the school year. What is less common is the federal government stepping in to bail out state budgets to “save” public-education jobs.
The real puzzle here is why $10 billion is needed for "saving" 100,000 jobs, considering that the average teacher makes $51,000. More from Mike Antonucci:
According to the most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureay, the entire United States public school system enrolled only 60,966 more students in 2006-07, yet it hired 20,564 more teachers. Twenty-six states showed a decline in student enrollment, but only 14 had fewer teachers than the year before.

With more payroll chasing a flattening number of students, it's no surprise to discover that per-pupil spending rose a healthy 5.8% in 2006-07, and the amount spent on employee salaries and benefits increased 5.9%. The nation's public school employee compensation bill came to $382.5 billion.

If this is to be the focus of jobs stimulus bills, why not continue to hire teachers until we have one for each and every student?