Saturday, February 28, 2004

Scott, I have been in contact with this Rabbi Daniel Lapin long before the film came out. He is head of a Jewish outreach group towards Catholics and Christians to bond their Judeo-Christian heritage, morals, and values for the betterment of society's "culture war".

This guy gets it. Read his take here.

We loved The Passion of The Christ for what it is worth, but everyone will make their own judgements, and take home their own lessons from it. Which is fine, as long as they see it before they judge it.
Ok, here's a fresh one: As a follow up to a conversation last night with Tom and Kerry, I'd like to weigh in on all they hype surrounding Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. First of all, I haven't seen the film, and was originally going to wait until I saw it to blog on it. However, I've realized the principles regarding the charges or anti-Semitism and the corresponding actions of some Hollywood moguls are actually independent of the content of the film, so I'm jumping in.

Let's assume, just for the sake of argument, that the film portrays the Jews as being responsible for the murder of Christ (I'll leave the debate as to whether or not the film does this to those who have seen it.) I do not understand why there is such an outcry from some in the Jewish community regarding this. Is there a law that say all Jews must be portrayed in a positive light in films? Are we to believe for the sake of political correctness that the Jews had no part in the death or Christ, despite what is written in the bible and in historical reports by the Jewish historian Josephus? I am disappointed that a people that have in the past been so graciously self deprecating in their depiction of themselves are so outraged by the depiction of an event in which some Jews are seen doing wrong. I understand the fears of anti-semitism, and the fact that Jewish people might be a bit more sensitive to how they are portrayed because of their troubled past. But really, in this case, they need to get a grip. It reminds me of the fracas surrounding the movie The Color Purple, which enraged some members of the black community because it negatively depicted black males. Let's forget the heroic black characters in the film, and that fact that this happened a long time ago. All that matters is our own modern political agenda! Of course, this is to say nothing of artistic integrity or free speech.

Yeah, yeah, I'm a white male and I've never been oppressed. Deal with it. (Anyone can look back far enough into their ancestry and find descendants who were oppressed.) In case you haven't noticed, we're the only ones left you're allowed to make fun of in the media, and you don't see us crying about it. I haven't heard a single report of Jews being harassed by people who saw the Passion film and left with anti-Semitic hatred coursing through their veins. And as Kerry mentioned last night, now that the numbers are in and the film is a huge success, many of these Hollywood moguls are now retracting their statements. So much for the strength of their convictions. It's sadly ironic that they played right into one of the biggest Jewish stereotypes by putting financial interests before their supposed morality.

Friday, February 27, 2004

I suppose we'll have this sort of thing to look foward to if John Kerry wins the next election.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

My comments on the last post regarding the article on Clinton are too long for the comments section, so I'm posting them here:

Never in my life did I think that I would be doing this, but I am going to put my head on the chopping block here.

Regarding that particular article, I would defend SOME of Clinton's comments. Tom's brother, for example, is doing by all accounts a fantastic job as a FAO in Africa, but was denied longterm FAO status, as are most other FAO's that entered the program post 9/11. It's going to be a long term problem. The work that he originally would have continued doing in Africa will be cut off because he was Military Intelligence before the FAO program, and they are seriously short on MI guys, so they will be pulling him back to MI. He appealed and lost, despite written pleas and recommendations from the Amabassador's office, African military leaders, and a 4 star General serving there that have experienced his level of committment and ability in this assignment. Now, I believe that the Army is doing what it should and needs to by pulling him back to MI, but it is symptomatic of a larger problem. Both jobs are essential to our long term security, and we don't have enough people to fill them in the armed forces.

Preliminary reports from the Army on OIF report that there was an extremely serious problem moving supplies in Iraq, particularly during the "rush to Bagdhad". Not enough people to drive the convoys, etc. was cited in the report (I'll google for it and link it if I can find it again).

I also agree with her comments blaming NATO for not pulling their weight in Afghanistan, as well as the idea that transferring power in Iraq too soon could lead to disaster.
There are plenty of stupid things that she says in the article, but that the military in general is undermanned I would agree with. How to solve this problem with an all volunteer force (which I believe to be necessary), I don't know.
Hillary Clinton weighs in on the future of the US military. This is good for some laughs now, but is pretty scary when you consider that this woman could be president. Here's one of my favorite lines:

Clinton said U.S. officers in Iraq had specifically told her that they did not have enough troops to accomplish their mission.

"Off the record, they'll tell you they don't have enough and have never had enough," she said.

These must have been the officers that didn't get up and walk out every time she entered a room. Or maybe it was that guy with his fingers crossed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Citizenship Laws of the United States
CITIZENSHIP: Citizenship is based upon Title 8 of U.S. Code 1401 - 1409, dated 1986.

BY BIRTH: Child born within the territory of the United States, regardless of the nationality of the parents.


- Child born abroad, both of whose parents are citizens, and one of whom resided in the United States before the birth of the child.

- Child born abroad, one of whose parents is a citizen of the United States, who had resided in the United States for at least five years before the birth of the child.

BY NATURALIZATION: United States citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following conditions:

- Person has resided in the United States for at least five years as a lawful permanent resident, is able to speak, read and write English, is of good moral character, is familiar with the history and culture of the country and has renounced former citizenship. Foreign nationals who marry citizens of the United States need only reside for three years, but must still fulfill the other conditions.

OTHER: Certain provisions for the granting of citizenship have been extended to persons who have performed specific military service to this country. For more information, call U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.


Exception: U.S. Immigration policy is best described as "Don't recognize, don't encourage, BUT DON'T PURSUE." Exceptions to this policy include:

Person who is not able to renounce former citizenship will not be required to officially renounce it.

Foreign child born in the U.S., who also obtains the citizenship of the parent's country is still allowed to hold U.S. citizenship.
Here's what Dick Morris has to say about Bush's reelection chances.

His most interesting observation is that Bush's success in the war on terror is making Americans believe this is no longer an important issue, which therefore makes it more likely they will vote for Kerry. Score another one for the American short attention span. As if we'd have jobs or an economy if Al Qaeda was allowed to have their way. There should be a 5 minute video of the World Trade Center attack that every American must watch before entering the voting booth. If you vote for Kerry after that, you're hopelessly lost anyway.

Here's to hoping that GWB isn't a repeat of his father; doing the nation's dirty work only to have someone else swoop in to enjoy the rewards.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Hey you Mainers, hey hooooooo!!!!! Slow down, I can't read as fast as you write!!!

Not gonna comment further, it all has to sink in.
The following excerpts from a National Review article by Mark Krikorian pretty much sum up my feelings on the President's "non-amnesty".

There is now a backlog of more than 5.5 million applications for immigration benefits, up 26 percent from the year before, and the Department of Homeland Security is developing and implementing huge new systems to track foreign students and visitors. Do immigration workers in the midst of all this have so much time on their hands that they can take on the additional task of ensuring that millions of illegal aliens comply with the terms of their "phased-in access to earned regularization" — not to mention doing their background checks?

Of course, the corollary of administrative overload is massive fraud, as overworked bureaucrats start hurrying people through the system, usually with political encouragement. We saw this in the 1986 amnesty, when applicants who claimed to have picked watermelons from trees were legalized as farm workers, because the INS was prohibited from devoting too much attention to suspicious applications, lest the process bog down. This can become a national-security problem, when ineligible people get legal status — people like, say, Mahmud Abouhalima, a cabbie in New York, who got amnesty as a farm worker under the 1986 law and went on to help lead the first World Trade Center attack. Having an illegal-alien terrorist in your country is bad; having one with legal status is worse, since he can work and travel freely, as Abouhalima did, going to Afghanistan to receive terrorist training only after he got amnesty. And don't fall for the claim that illegal aliens who have sneaked across the Mexican border yearn only to wash our dishes; an Iraqi-born smuggler pled guilty in 2001 to sneaking 1,000 Middle Easterners through Mexico into the U.S., and the former Mexican consul in Beirut was recently arrested for her involvement in a similar enterprise. Another amnesty is guaranteed — guaranteed — to give legal residence to a future terrorist.

Amnesties don't solve the problem of illegal immigration — they exacerbate it. An INS report released about three years ago showed that after the 1986 amnesty, illegal immigration increased markedly as family and friends of the newly legalized aliens sneaked into the country. And the new illegals weren't just Mexicans, emboldened to hop across the border; illegal immigration from other countries surged even more dramatically, suggesting that amnesty's role in encouraging further illegal immigration is a general phenomenon.

Illegal aliens can't receive welfare; legal immigrants can. The fear of a fiscal earthquake is why Congress in 1986 barred amnesty recipients from some welfare programs for five years and reimbursed states a small portion of their aid costs for the former illegals. But no amount of fancy footwork could avoid the fact that permanently settling millions of unskilled laborers into a modern economy costs the public treasury billions. A study ten years after the last amnesty estimated that the newly legalized aliens had already generated a net fiscal deficit of $24 billion. Is this really the time to saddle states and localities — which would bear most of the costs — with an additional unfunded mandate?

Here is the archive of Stanley Kurtz, who much more eloquently than I am able, makes the arguments against "non-traditionalist" forms of marriage. Here's his bio as well.
Read a few of these and you'll understand where this side is coming from. It is clear that they are not all homophobes, religious radicals, etc.

Though I disagree on an FMA, in just about every other way I am in line with Kurtz's thinking.

I'm done for today. Tom and I are going to a pre screening of Gibson's "The Passion" tonight. That should be interesting fodder for tomorrow.
Here's the post that I promised to Mark, that Tom alluded to a few weeks ago by Kate O'Beirne, a well respected Washington Editor for NR amongst others.
I know that it won't convince you Mark, you are as firmly entrenched as I am on this one, but I can see the other side's argument, I just haven't had anyone be able to answer all of my concerns about it yet. Hopefully you can see this side as well.

January 15, 2004, 8:25 a.m.
Kate’s Take: Who’s@Work?

The case for President Bush's guest-worker amnesty program warns me that frigid weather won't be the only unpleasantness I will be dealing with when I head to Iowa and New Hampshire over the next week. There obviously aren't enough illegal immigrants in either state to "take the jobs that Americans refuse." I expect that the local custom is to bus one's own dishes at restaurants and change the sheets when you check into the hotel. These states must face alarming shortages in childcare, abandoned construction sites, and empty shelves at their Wal-Marts. A summer visit would apparently reveal neglected lawns.

The concentration of unskilled illegal workers in a minority of states refutes the argument that large numbers of them are crucial if certain jobs are going to get done. Who makes up the unskilled labor pool in the majority of our states?

According to the 2000 census, 87 percent of illegal immigrants are in 15 states, with about 80 percent in only 10 states. California ranks number one. About 6.5 percent of its total population of 33.9 million is estimated to be illegal aliens. Texas, New York, Illinois, and Florida rank in the top five states. But, 40 states have relatively insignificant illegal-immigrant populations.

Californians (with over 30 percent of all illegal aliens), Texans, (with 15 percent) and New Yorkers (with 7 percent) might understandably wonder who will take undesirable jobs if a willing pool of illegal aliens weren't available. They should check with Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or any one of the majority of states to see how they cope.

Employers in states that don't have a significant illegal-immigrant population to exploit pay fair wages and provide the best possible work conditions in order to attract willing legal workers. The situation in a large majority of our states indicates that there are very few jobs that Americans won't do.

I hear you Scott, you know me I'll argue all day just for the heck of it! (To me it is fun, maybe I'm comments Tom!)

On to other things.

Here's this. Hate to bring it up but it's a big news story.
For the record, I'm still against the FMA, though I'd have no problem with a general amendment protecting the legislature from the courts ordering them what to write in any case, not just marriage. The courts have been out of hand for a long time now. But that's another argument.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush Tuesday will endorse a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, the White House said. "The president will announce his support for a constitutional amendment to protect the sanctity of marriage," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. Bush was to make the announcement in the White House Roosevelt Room at 10:45 a.m. EST.

Here is an interesting post from a PBS show after the President announced his "new immigration" plan. It gives more air time to the proponents of course (it is PBS), but Mark Krikorian gets in some valid points. There are, of course, valid points on each side, but I think that the one fact that is overlooked is that there are proper channels that you can go through to come here as a LEGAL DOCUMENTED worker. Why do these people choose not to do that? Because it costs money, because they might have records, and most of all because they might get turned down and then the system will "know" that they wanted in and be "watching" for them in their minds.

Here is one comment that I take exception with:
"REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ: Yes. I just think that, look, our immigration policy has to show some consistency. Just like Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart with a find it unacceptable for all Cuban Americans to return to Cuba after Fidel Castro is no longer there, we should find it unacceptable that Mexicans that have come to this country that have worked hard, paid their taxes, want to be Americans, fight in our wars, should have to return to their country -- have their children here and then return to their country, work here, then return to their country. "

How in God's name are Mexicans that come here ILLEGALLY paying taxes? I hear this over and over, but I don't see how it happens. And we don't know that they "want to be Americans" as much as they want to take advantage of what our country has to offer. ILLEGAL immigrants now fight in our wars? That's reassuring!
This on the other hand is our experience as far as I see:

Lehrer questioning on the President's Proposal:
"Now, Mark Kirkorian (executive director for the center of immigration studies), you heard the president. He said that this new set of measures would be better for the workers who are currently illegal, better for the American economy, and make it easier to protect the country. Do you think that these measures have the potential for doing that? "

MARK KIRKORIAN: No. It would be nice if that were true, but unfortunately this whole program is based on a series of unrealistic assumptions. It assumes that amnesty, and this is in fact an amnesty doesn't create more illegal immigration, when in fact it does.

It assumes that temporary workers will actually go home, when in fact all of human experience shows that there's nothing more permanent than a temporary worker. It assumes that we have the administrative capacity to manage a system like this and do the background checks and everything that are necessary in this new post 9/11 era. And we in fact don't have such administrative capacity within the bureaucracy, and the result will be extremely widespread fraud and bad guys ending up getting into our country because of this system.

So I'd have to say that from the beginning to the end, this entire proposal is based on incorrect assumptions, and the result, if it were ever enacted by Congress, would be unfortunate and not in the country's interest.

And one last post: HERE are the actual words of the President on the matter.

Looks as if the President's amnesty plan is actually less popular than "genital herpes". I think I'd rather crush my left testicle in a garlic press than see that abomination become law.

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Monday, February 23, 2004

Scott, Michael,

Maybe these immigration laws aren't such a bad idea, maybe President Bush is on to something. Wait, hear me out. I'm sure many of these immigrants are willing to commit crimes that Americans just don't want to commit. This will be great for the economy, think of all the new police jobs and new prisons being built.

Oh, yeah but they'll probably be consuming more in welfare, SSI, etc. and getting college degrees from prison (gratis, naturally) than this great, new crime economy will generate.....

Never mind.
This piece highlights the insanity of Bush's immigration proposal. I just didn't want Michael to think that he was alone in being screwed by proponents of this madness.

Thanks to Mark for pointing me to this article by John Podhoretz. The more I read about Kerry's past the more I agree with this quote from the article: "Thus was John Kerry a key midwife in the birthing of one of of the worst myths ever fostered in this country: The myth of the crazed, violent, dangerous Vietnam vet who had come back to America to wreak the same kind of devastation here he had wreaked in Southeast Asia. "
RE: Hounds for Bush 2004
I'm fairly confident that Bush will retain the "Barney" vote as well...
I'd go ahead and add him to the list.
Alas, poor Spot will not be able to vote this year...but then again, if dead people can vote for Dems, why wouldn't dead dogs be able to vote? (No insensitivity intended Mr. President.)
Hounds for Bush 2004




Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has sent a letter to President George W. Bush, accusing him of using the painful topic of Vietnam for his "personal political gain". Alrighty then, what does one say to that? The word ass-clown leaps to mind...

Sunday, February 22, 2004

That post was truly fantastic, not just full of feeling, but of facts as well. My personal favorite lines are these:

"No racist speak Ladies and gentlemen. From over the Atlantic a reasonable citizen talks to you, a citizen who would like to shake hands with and help any red, yellow, brown or green immigrant – provided they don’t see our country as a playground where they think they can impose their backward society model after having just fled such an environment, like dwellers who flee an apartment to spoil another one because they are too lazy to clean up their mess."

Feeling the same on this side of the Atlantic as well. Exactly the same.

I am F-U-R-I-O-U-S ! ! ! !

Friday February 20, Belgium Parliament’s Lower House passed a bill granting non-EU immigrants the right to vote in local elections! Can you understand that? It means Moroccans, Algerians, Tunisians et al who reside here but show no willingness to assimilate whatsoever HAVE-THE-FUCKING-RIGHT-TO-VOTE for the town and city councils where they reside WITHOUT bEING A BELGIAN!!! I-AM-MAD-AS-HELL! ! ! ! ! ! !

Oh yes, smooth-talking socialists and greens from both Flanders and Wallonia were quick to point out that there are some conditions:

*the immigrants have to reside here at least 5 years
*they have to register as voters
*they have to sign a document that they will respect Belgian law

Respect Belgian law, my ass. Now already they are trodding Belgian law wherever they can find it. Hell, they trod on law-enforcers. Belgian law forbids ritual slaughtering of sheep at home at the time of the Ramadan or the Hajj. Oh, but this year it was found out that actually only some 10-15% of Muslims abide by that law and slice those nice little fourfooters’ throats in one of the designated official slaughterhouses? The rest still happily do the butcher’s job in their backyard? Oops, so much for the respect for Belgian law. And I could give you example upon example of more such things.

People, it’s a Sunday afternoon here and I want to cut a long story short. The point is: over here in Europe we face a day-by-day increasing problem of especially Muslim immigrants who, instead of assimilating and integrating in our society, and thus contributing to our welfare, MAKE A NUISANCE OF THEMSELVES. You know what the net effect of the passing of this law will be? It means that in the very near future Muslim parties will spring up in, say, Brussels suburbs, that Muslim mayors will become a real possibility and that when funding is needed for, say, an opera house and a mosque, the money will go to the mosque. Now already there are large parts in Brussels where you better not venture as a Belgian. Don’t park your car there, you tires will be cut up. In Schaarbeek there’s ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS POLICE harassing Muslim women if they don’t appear pious enough or don't wear the veil!!!!

No racist speak Ladies and gentlemen. From over the Atlantic a reasonable citizen talks to you, a citizen who would like to shake hands with and help any red, yellow, brown or green immigrant – provided they don’t see our country as a playground where they think they can impose their backward society model after having just fled such an environment, like dwellers who flee an apartment to spoil another one because they are too lazy to clean up their mess.

You will ask how this is possible, how such a law could ever pass whatever claims to be our House of Representatives. I told you: the Socialists (SP – Socialistische Partij – in Flanders and the PS – Parti Socialiste – in Wallonia) along with the greens forced it down our throats. Scott, this WAS a Deliverance moment and the Cavalry did NOT come!

Flemish Socialists were in favour because… because, you know, they have this weird mindset that the West is guilty of every sorry issue on God’s Green Earth and that we should be compassionate and that if the Muslim community shows no fucking sign to integrate it’s because we are not welcoming enough. The Wallonian Socialists are in favour because they think the Muslims, who are largely ignorant of the Dutch language but generally do speak French, will bolster their ranks. The Greens are just as mad as my backdoor.

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, in the Netherlands they DID authorize, a couple of years ago, immigrants to vote for municipal councils. Twelve years ago already, the respected Dutch politican and former Minister of Defense Frits Bolkestein warned that the Netherlands' Integrating Policy, (in)famous for its coddling of foreigners, granting them everything without asking something in return, had failed TOTALLY. He was nearly crucified for it by the well-meaning Politically Right. And where have the Netherlands come today? Oh, for example some nice facility in Eindhoven as well as desperate measures to turn back time.

Well, I guess I’m through with my party Membership of the VLD, Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten, literally translated “Flemish Lberals and Democrats”. Put that grin off your face Scott. You, Kerry, that air of amazement and horror. Tom, what are you gonna do with that baseball bat? Put it away!

We got us this naming thingy on both sides of the Atlantic people. For instance, what you call “High School”, which is translated as “Hogeschool” in Dutch, are two different things. In the US it means education between, say, ages 12 and 18 if I’m not mistaken. Well, over here we call something like that “secondary school”, whereas “Hogeschool” means any education/formation after age 18 that is not related to University.

So when I confess now that since I was 19 I have been a member of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats, this BY NO MEANS is indicative of my political inclination to, well, US Liberals and Democrats. The VLD was what you would call soft-spoken Republicans – promoting free entrepreneurship, free markets, the well-being and personal development of the individual, tax cuts etc…

Over the years the party absorbed an influx of left-leaning or malcontent s*ckers from other or dissolved parties. The net effect of this was a gradual shifting of the VLD to the center-left, to my utter horror and dismay.

Well, Friday came the drop that made the bucket flood over. I’m through with the VLD. They betrayed me and many others. I just sent my application for membership to the Vlaams Blok (Flemish Bloc), a right-wing party which the others, VLD included, love to hate and cast pretty names on, such as “extreme right”, fascists etc… Never mind it was the Vlaams Blok that last year came up for the defence of Jews in Antwerp, who like Jews all over Europe are experiencing a frightening increase in Antisemitism at the hands of – oooooooooooooooooohh, this is soooooooooo politically incorrect – Muslim youths.

Tom. Maybe you should make sure these Green Cards don’t get lost you know. Oh, and when the first turbans show up in Maine, BEWARE. Let’s just cut the crap and call a spade a spade, ok? Also, keep an eye on that Nader guy. He's more dangerous than you'd think.