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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Feminist groups have lost focus

By Patrycja Romanowska -- Edmonton Sun Freelance

As the UN just informed us, the plight of the world's women is atrocious. The discrimination is "staggering." This hit home while I was driving my car and was hit with the realization that just because I was a woman, I would not be able to do that in Saudi Arabia. For that matter, I would not be able to wear the skirt I was wearing or my hair in a visible braid.

In Kuwait, I could not vote. In Pakistan, if I was raped without four male Muslim witnesses (who obviously were no friends of mine if they were watching me get raped), I could be charged with fornication, which is actually a criminal offense there.

If I was in Nigeria, my husband could beat me for "disciplinary" purposes, and in some other countries, the men in my family could kill me to avenge some distorted sense of "honour." Every single day, I am thankful that I do not live in those places.

Further on she points out:

Regardless of whether it is so, feminists and lesbians are considered one and the same, and the contemporary "feminist" agenda seems to fortify rather than counter this assumption. Rather than going global, the fight for equal rights has stayed home and simply shifted from gender to sexual orientation.

However, fighting for the right to marry is not the same as fighting for the right not to be legally beaten and raped, and while both can be considered legitimate battles for human rights, clumping them under the banner of feminism undermines the movement. And it is very alienating for people who feel strongly about one and not so much about the other.

A friend of mine volunteered her graphic design skills for a feminist organization, only to find it was dominated by homosexual women who were applying those skills for outright (heterosexual) male-bashing and other purposes wholly incompatible with her sense of feminism and equality.

This gal has many homosexual friends and supports the cause for their rights to marry, but could not stay on with the organization.

Full article.

Our world can be a sorry place

"A journey around the world insane. In Canada, a 41-year-old man has sex with a 14-year-old girl. Just for good measure the young woman is autistic, with a mental age somewhere between seven and 12.

In allowing this fellow to go free, the judge opined that, 'it is not the court's job to pass moral judgment.' The man's lawyer claimed that his client's behaviour may have been 'socially unacceptable but was not criminal.' Rather like spitting on the sidewalk or not picking up Fido's No. 2, I suppose."

Palestinian Terror Groups are Using Lull to Rearm

IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon said Friday that Israelis should not be be fooled by the lull in terror attacks, and that violence would not end until the Palestinian Authority disarmed terror groups.

Ya'alon, speaking to a business forum in Haifa, said the terror organization "want the period of calm, but see it as a time to regroup and rearm before the fighting is resumed, without waiving their strategic goals."

This wouldn't be too surprising and shouldn't be since this tactic had been used numerous times before under Arrafat. In addition to this concern, I am equally concerned about the giving up of West Bank and Gaza territory and the continual push for the removal of "the wall." This seems to me to be a very bad combination of events that could have serious and ultimately deadly consequences.

It would appear that Arab Affairs commentator Oded Granot is thinking along the same lines when he was quoted as saying,
"Calm until the Palestinians cannot get any more out of Israel via diplomatic means."


The unknown king of terror
Hezbollah military chief has longer resume than bin Laden

Hezbollah military chief has world's longest terror record, set to provoke civil war in Lebanon.
From WND

‘Palestinians’ Won't Renounce Terror Option

"Cairo summit ends with terror bosses promising to maintain current calm, but refusing to relinquish "right" to maim and murder Jews to attain political goals. The Palestinian Arab terrorist organizations announced Thursday they would not relinquish the option of murdering Jewish men, women and children to attain their political goals, and PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas still won’t disarm them."

Saudi Defense Minister: Bin Laden Sent by the Jews

"During a meeting to plan the recent Saudi conference on counter-terrorism the Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia claimed that arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden was 'sent by the Jews',” in a poem he read.

A clip of Prince Sultan Feted, the Defense Minister, reading the poem can be viewed on the MEMRI web-site.

Those d_mn Jooooooos! For such a miniscule percentage of the world population, they sure carry a big schtick stick.

Iran Claims Israel Kidnaps Babies

"An Israeli boat patrolling near Iran is holding kidnapped babies to be used later for their organs, according to a new Iranian television program.
'We are talking about children no one cares about [and who] have been kidnapped on the excuse of being concerned for them, and after they mature, the Zionists uses their hearts, kidneys and other organs,' the TV presentation charges on the Iranian Shahar channel."



By Oliver North
Dear John:

Congratulations on the new gig as the president's top dog (Rottweiler?) at the United Nations. Given the way the liberals have reacted to your appointment, your confirmation hearings are likely to generate more adrenalin than a gunfight in Fallujah. The thought of you representing us at the United Nations is driving the Bush-bashing, French-kissing, Blame-America-First crowd that savaged Condi Rice and Alberto Gonzales into a frenzy."

Don't be Fooled by the Waving of Those Lebanese Flags

The whole world is calling on Syria to leave Lebanon after 30 years, but Syrians are hardly the only threat to the peace and stability of a future free Lebanon.

In the long term, the Iranians may represent a bigger threat."


By Larry Elder

Available for reading here.

The American Labor Movement is in a Mess

By Linda Chavez
Not only are unions losing members, many of the big unions are nearly broke. Yet they insist on playing the role of bankers to the Democratic Party. Back when Bill Clinton was putting the squeeze on Democrat donors, the Teamsters gave away so much money they nearly went bankrupt and ended up borrowing $16 million to fund political activism, according to the Center for Public Integrity. If it weren't for their power to tax the workers they represent through forced dues, unions would long ago have had to change their ways."
Full story.


By Thomas Sowell
It is painfully ironic that we should be promoting the spread of democracy abroad when democracy is shrinking at home. Over the years, the outcomes of our elections have meant less and less, as judges have taken more and more decisions out of the hands of elected officials."
Full story.


By Mona Charen
There was a time when "fear of God" meant piety, or at least conscience. Today, it more accurately describes the worldview of secular liberals who get itchy and twitchy at any reminder of our religious roots as a nation."
Full article.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Light Blogging

I have been quite busy recently and posting has been lighter than usual. Now today, a younger brother was taken by ambulance from urgent care to the hospital and things are quite hectic right now and lots of unknowns at this point. This will most likely be my only post of the day.

Prayers accepted, thanks.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Hu Puts Army on War Footing

By Stephanie Hoo

China's President Hu Jintao has told the army to be prepared for war while putting national defence "above all else", in comments today on the eve of the expected passage of a law that would authorise military action against Taiwan if it declares formal independence.

"We shall step up preparations for possible military struggle and enhance our capabilities to cope with crises, safeguard peace, prevent wars and win the wars if any," the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Hu as saying.

Hu's comments to the 2.5 million-strong People's Liberation Army followed his appointment earlier in the day to the government's Central Military Commission, an appointment that capped a generational transfer of power.

Hu already heads the powerful Communist Party commission that runs the military. The figurehead national legislature approved his appointment to lead the government military panel by a vote of 2,886 to six, with five abstentions.

Hu, who took over the largely symbolic military commission post from former President Jiang Zemin, has shown no sign of diverging from Jiang's hardline stance toward Taiwan, a democratically ruled island that Beijing insists is part of the communist mainland.

Full article.

Assad committed to full Syrian troop pullout

By The Associated Press
UN official: Assad committed to full Syrian troop pullout

DAMASCUS - Syrian President Bashar Assad reiterated his commitment to withdrawing all Syrian troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon, a UN envoy said yesterday. It appeared that Terje Roed-Larsen was able to obtain a timetable from Assad, which he did not make public.

"I will present (UN) Secretary General Kofi Annan with further details of the timetable for a complete Syrian pullout from Lebanon upon my arrival in New York early next week," Roed-Larsen said in a statement, after meeting with Assad in the northern city of Aleppo.

Full story

Zarqawi's Plans to Attack US

From Charles at LGF:

In their March 14 issue, TIME Magazine reports new details of Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi’s plans to attack the United States, discovered through interrogations of a top aide to al-Zarqawi. According to TIME, a restricted bulletin circulated among U.S. security agencies last week in which the aide said al-Zarqawi has talked about hitting 'soft targets' in the US, including 'movie theaters, restaurants and schools.'

The bulletin also says al-Zarqawi believes that 'if an individual has enough money, he can bribe his way into the US' by obtaining a 'visa to Honduras' and then crossing the southern US border. The aide also revealed that al-Zarqawi blames the absence of attacks in the US on a lack of 'willing martyrs,' and says al-Zarqawi believes that 'if an individual is willing to die, there is nothing that could be done to stop him,' even in the US."

College Expels Student Who Advocated Corporal Punishment

Isn't it amazing that a college professor (Ward Churchill) writes despicable things about 9/11 and is looked upon as a hero and keeps his job under the "rights of free speech", but yet a college student gets expelled because he wrote a paper (in which he received an A-) about possible virtues of corporal punishment in the classroom?

This is kind of a conundrum wrapped up in a paradox.

by Patrick Healy
The New York Times

College Expels Student Who Advocated Corporal Punishment

SYRACUSE, March 8 - As a substitute teacher in the public schools here, Scott McConnell says students are often annoyed that he does not let them goof off in class. Yet he was not prepared for the sixth grader who walked up to his desk in November, handed in an assignment, and then swore at him.

The profanity transported him back to his own days at Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Oklahoma in the 1980's, when there was a swift solution for wiseacres: the paddle.

"It was a footlong piece of wood, and hung on every classroom wall like a symbol, a strong Christian symbol," said Mr. McConnell, who is 26. "Nobody wanted that paddle to come down."

He said he had been a disruptive student, and routinely mouthed off until his fourth-grade teacher finally gave him three whacks to the backside. Physically, it did not hurt. But he felt humiliated and humbled.

"I never wanted that again," Mr. McConnell recalled. "It was good for me."

Supporting corporal punishment is one thing; advocating it is another, as Mr. McConnell recently learned. Studying for a graduate teaching degree at Le Moyne College, he wrote in a paper last fall that "corporal punishment has a place in the classroom." His teacher gave the paper an A-minus and wrote, "Interesting ideas - I've shared these with Dr. Leogrande," referring to Cathy Leogrande, who oversaw the college's graduate program.

Unknown to Mr. McConnell, his view of discipline became a subject of discussion among Le Moyne officials. Five days before the spring semester began in January, Mr. McConnell learned that he had been dismissed from Le Moyne, a Jesuit college.

"I have grave concerns regarding the mismatch between your personal beliefs regarding teaching and learning and the Le Moyne College program goals," Dr. Leogrande wrote in a letter, according to a copy provided by Mr. McConnell. "Your registration for spring 2005 courses has been withdrawn."

Dr. Leogrande offered to meet with Mr. McConnell, and concluded, "Best wishes in your future endeavors."

If the letter stunned Mr. McConnell, the "best wishes" part turned him into a campaigner. A mild-mannered former private in the Army, Mr. McConnell has taken up a free-speech banner with a tireless intensity, casting himself as a transplant from a conservative state abused by political correctness in more liberal New York. He also said that because he is an evangelical Christian, his views about sparing the rod and spoiling the child flowed partly from the Bible, and that Le Moyne was "spitting on that."

He is working with First Amendment groups to try to pressure Le Moyne into apologizing and reinstating him, and is considering legal action as well as a formal appeal to the college. He says Le Moyne misconstrued his views: he believes children should not be paddled without their parents' permission. He said that even then, the principal, as the school's head disciplinarian, should deliver the punishment.

"Judges live in the real world, and I think they would see that Scott got an A-minus on his paper and was expressing views on a campus that supports academic freedom," said David French, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group based in Philadelphia that is supporting Mr. McConnell. "It's hard to see a court looking kindly on Scott's expulsion."

Dr. Leogrande did not respond to telephone messages. Le Moyne's provost, John Smarrelli, said the college had the right as a private institution to take action against Mr. McConnell because educators had grave concerns about his qualifications to teach under state law.

New York is one of 28 states that ban corporal punishment; most of those that allow it are in the South and West. Most states did not ban corporal punishment until the late 1980's, after parents, educators, and other advocates began pressing for the laws. More than 342,000 students received corporal punishment in the 1999-2000 school year, in the most recent figures from the federal Education Department.

Because it has an accredited school of education, moreover, Le Moyne officials said that the college was required to pledge that its graduates will be effective and law-abiding teachers who will foster a healthy classroom environment.

"We have a responsibility to certify people who will be in accordance with New York State law and the rules of our accrediting agencies," Mr. Smarrelli said. In Mr. McConnell's case, he said, "We had evidence that led us to the contrary."

Mr. McConnell said that he had been only conditionally admitted to the graduate program; typically, such students earn full admission by earning good grades and meeting other requirements. Mr. McConnell added that he had earned mostly A's and his fate rested largely on his November paper.

Mr. Smarrelli said that the paper itself was "legitimate" and "reasonable," because the assignment sought Mr. McConnell's plan for managing a classroom. Yet Mr. McConnell's views were clearly not in the mainstream of most teachers' colleges.

For example, many educators focus on nurturing students' self-esteem, but Mr. McConnell scoffed at that idea in his paper. He said he would not favor some students over others, regardless of any special needs some might have.

"I will help the child understand that respect of authority figures is more important than their self-esteem," he wrote.

Some professors and college officials were also concerned that Mr. McConnell wrote that he opposed multiculturalism, a teaching method that places emphasis on non-Western cultures.

In an interview, Mr. McConnell said he disliked "anti-American multiculturalism," and gave as an example a short story on the Sept. 11 attacks intended for classroom use. The story, published in a teachers' magazine in 2002 by the National Council for the Social Studies, was about young American boys teasing an Iraqi boy named Osama.

Mr. Smarrelli said Le Moyne had to ensure that its students had the judgment, aptitude, temperament and other skills to succeed in challenging their students.

But Dr. Smarrelli acknowledged that Le Moyne had not warned students like Mr. McConnell that they could be removed for expressing controversial beliefs, nor had the college said that education students must oppose corporal punishment or support multiculturalism.

Joseph P. Frey, the assistant commissioner for quality assurance in the New York State Education Department, who monitors colleges and graduate schools, said he could not offer an opinion on the McConnell case because he did not know the specifics.

Mr. Frey said: "One valid question is, 'Is the paper an academic exercise in terms of theories of education, or is it a belief that this is how Mr. McConnell will carry out corporal punishment in the classroom no matter what?' "

Mr. Frey added, however, that private colleges have broad latitude in accepting or rejecting students. And he said that graduate education schools might face a threat to their accreditation, or legal action by school districts, if they produce teachers who fall into trouble.

During an interview at the kitchen table in the comfortable suburban home he shares with his wife, Liz, a dentist, Mr. McConnell said he had wanted to instill civic virtues in students in the same way his teachers had in him.

As a child, he moved from Texas to Florida and then to Oklahoma as his mother pursued failed marriages to "bad men," he said. Teachers became a source of stability and life lessons. They taught him to read, to respect others, and to serve his country by inspiring him to join the Army.

"Because I didn't talk and think the same way that Le Moyne did, because I didn't drink their Kool-Aid, I received the ultimate punishment," Mr. McConnell said. "Corporal punishment is nothing compared to this."

Go figure.

The Radical Homosexual Agenda

The radical homosexual agenda and the destruction of standards
By Ben Shapiro

The Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters Alliance (BGLTSA) of Harvard University is fighting mad. Last week, actress Jada Pinkett Smith won an award from the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations. During her acceptance speech, she told women in the audience, "you can have it all -- a loving man, devoted husband, loving children, a fabulous career … To my men, open your mind, open your eyes to new ideas." Rather sweet, no? Not to the BGLTSA, which called for an apology from the organizers of the Cultural Rhythms show, explaining that Smith's statements were "extremely heteronormative." "Heteronormative," for those who don't speak the radical homosexual lingo, may be defined as the viewpoint that heterosexual relationships are normal, and others are not.

Complete article.

More Social Security Deceit

By Walter E. Williams

"A fortnight ago, I explained some of the congressional deceit that has become part and parcel of Social Security. One was the 1936 promise of maximum wages subject to Social Security tax of three percent -- $3,000 -- which, controlling for inflation, comes to roughly $22,000 in 2005. The promise would have meant that $700 would be today's maximum so-called employee Social Security tax.

Another lie was that there was a Social Security account with your money in it to which you had rights. There's no such account, plus, according to two U.S. Supreme Court cases -- Helvering v. Davis (1937) and Fleming v. Nestor (1960) -- you have no legal right, in the sense of a contract, to Social Security payments."

Full story