Friday, November 17, 2006

Dems: Cleaning House!

Congressional Democrats have spent the last two years repeating the following mantra about the GOP: "Culture of Corruption." Nancy Pelosi insisted before the midterms that, should the Democrats regain a majority, they would "clean house." At long last, Americans were assured, those wicked, corrupt Republicans would be supplanted by honest, squeaky-clean Democrats.

Uh huh.

So how's the house cleaning going so far?

For starters, Speaker Pelosi (*shudder*) nominated Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha for House Majority Leader. Murtha, it should be recalled, got snared in the ABSCAM sting back in the 1970s, when an undercover FBI agent caught him on videotape agreeing to "do business" with a fake sheik who was promising cash for political favors. To be fair, the Democrats shot Murtha down the other day, selecting Steny Hoyer, who -- well, who HASN'T been caught on tape agreeing to accept bribes, for the post. But that doesn't mitigate the fact that Pelosi made Murtha her pick.

Now, guess who's in line to take over as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee? Alcee Hastings. Remember that name? A quick refresher (thanks to Byron York at NRO): Hastings was a federal judge in Florida (Carter appointee), who got caught up in a huge bribery scandal and was subsequently impeached by the House (413-3). Among the Articles of Impeachment leveled at Hastings was that he leaked confidential wiretap information to a buddy to help him evade a corruption investigation.

And now he's the Democrat who will likely preside over, and have access to, some of the most sensitive, secret information our government possesses and uses to protect us from our enemies. I wonder what price he'll charge in exchange for CIA work product. I wonder who he'll do business with.

After the national temper tantrum that was the midterm election . . . are we feeling safer yet? Are we now feeling good about our Congressional leaders? Is America "on the right track" again?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fake Racism

One of the most deeply held tenets of American "progressives" is that the U.S. remains a horribly bigoted society -- one in which minorities (particularly blacks) cannot hope to overcome the wicked forces that subjugate them, in the absence of laws and policies that give them preferential treatment, handouts, and the like. I oppose this point of view for two reasons: (1) it is insulting to those many black Americans who are fully capable of succeeding on a level playing field, and (2) its premise (that we remain a virtual slaveholding nation) is dishonest and wrong.

Perhaps it is the incredible weakness of the America-Is-Racist premise that leads some black Americans to do things like staging fake racism to evoke outrage. The latest example comes from Edinborough University in Pennsylvania, where a black student hacked into another student's email account and sent racist, threatening email to 20 other black students.

A 2003 news article from San Francisco's Golden Gate Xpress Online collects a number of similar incidents from the past several years, including one in which members of Duke's Black Student Alliance staged the fake symbolic lynching of a black baby doll on campus to inspire outrage. Then they lied about having done it. Then they admitted it.

Other examples include the famous Tawana Brawley, who (championed by Al Sharpton) falsely claimed to have been raped by six white men. And, as the Xpress article points, out, this phenomenon is by no means limited to blacks, but includes gays and other minorities.

If it is true that racism is so prevalent in our society, shouldn't there be enough authentic incidents for "progressives" to point to without having to resort to concocting fakes? Of course. Conversely, if there really aren't many examples of hate crimes for progressives to trot out as evidence of our evil ways, then . . . well, shouldn't folks be happy about that? Clearly not. The Left's "progressive" agenda runs on the fuel of hate and indignation. Where none exists, it must be manufactured. Like ethanol. Otherwise the major constituencies of the Democratic Party might stop believing that they are helpless to lead productive, happy lives without the intervention of the kindly, wise politicians and the generous gifts of other people's money.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I Pledge Allegiance To . . . My Socialist Leanings

Right on cue: A bunch of California college students have rejected the Pledge of Allegiance.

Okay. If it grates you a little bit that the phrase "under God" appears in the Pledge, I'm sympathetic. I'm of a mind that freedom of religion includes freedom to practice none at all. But if that's your beef, why not simply recite the Pledge without saying that particular phrase? Take it away, Jason Bell:
"That ('under God') part is sort of offensive to me," student trustee Jason Bell, who proposed the ban, told Reuters. "I am an atheist and a socialist, and if you know your history, you know that 'under God' was inserted during the McCarthy era and was directly designed to destroy my ideology."
Yes, Jason. And if you know your history, you know that socialism has destroyed millions and millions and millions of lives. But you're more comfortable swearing your allegiance to that defective ideology than to the principles of liberty and justice that are prominently featured in the Pledge. Nice.

But perhaps I'm being unfair. Perhaps these students are true American patriots, and not simply sterotypically infantile, Che Guevara-wannabe, self-styled "revolutionaries." Er . . .
The move was lead by three recently elected student trustees, who ran for office wearing revolutionary-style berets and said they do not believe in publicly swearing an oath to the American flag and government at their school.

Bell said the ban largely came about because the trustees didn't want to publicly vow loyalty to the American government before their meetings. "Loyalty ought to be something the government earns through performance, not through reciting a pledge," he said.
Exactly. These kids aren't anti-pledge. They're anti-American revolutionaries. They're also not terribly bright. Because the Pledge does not contain any language suggesting an oath of allegiance to the government. To the flag, yes, and also to the Republic itself -- not to the present administration. Observe:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands: One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Where's the reference to the government? It's not there. Perhaps it is this stellar reading-comprehension acumen that landed these children in "Orange Coast College" in the first place.

Aftermath

I don't have much to say about the election results. It'll be interesting to see how the Dems handle their newfound majority status. Frankly, with only a slim Democratic majority in the Senate, it's unlikely that anything wacky is going to happen from a legislative standpoint over the next two years. On the other hand, we can probably forget about getting any more decent judges confirmed during the balance of the Bush presidency.

The real question is what (if anything) this election portends for 2008. I would expect the Democrats to spend the next two years serving subpoenas and taking shots at the White House in order to build momentum for the next presidential election. The whole "culture of curruption" meme lives on.

But, what do I know?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More "Fair and Balanced" Times Coverage

A New York Times article by Adam Nagourney notes (correctly, I think) that Democrats' expectations for todays elections are so high that anything short of a massive sea change may prove disappointing to the party faithful.

What's striking to me about the article is Nagourney's inability to refrain from chalking the possibily inflated expectations up to a Rovian conspiracy:

"Republicans, of course, may have decided that they have a Machiavellian interest in setting up Democrats with inflated expectations."

Ah, the old Machiavellian set-up job. A nefarious plot. Sure. That was the plan all along. Nagourney fails to consider that the Times' own incessant Democrat cheerleading (and that of CNN, CBS, Gallup, Zogby, etc.) may in fact be a more likely cause of the present mental state of the Democratic party.

And still, my liberal friends see nothing slanted about the Times.

Election Day

I love Election Day. I just find it invigorating to cast a ballot and to watch our democratic process in action.

Of course, there's a downside to Election Day. It's called fraud. And it's all too easy to commit, since many states (including my home state of Pennsylvania) do not require voters to show photo ID to cast their ballots. This morning I walked into my polling station, announced my name, was handed a card, signed the card, and proceeded to the voting machine. I can only imagine what procedures like this lead to in North Philly.

"Name, please?"

"Johnson. Michael Johnson."

"Ah yes, here it is. Hmm, we actually have 36 Michael Johnsons registered. Are you a Democrat or a Republican, Sir?"

"Democrat."

"Well in that case, how many of these 36 ballots would you like to cast?"

The irony is that Democrats insist on accusing Republicans of voter fraud, "intimidation," and "stealing" elections, despite that the repeated investigations conducted by liberal partisans after the 2004 election turned up no evidence of such conduct by the GOP whatsoever.

On the other hand, Democrats' efforts to rig elections abound. Just this week, the uber-leftist "action" group ACORN got caught submitting false registration forms in several states. The group's tactics include registering dead people, giving crack cocaine to homeless people to obtain their signatures, and forgery. Oh, and there was that little election-fraud conspiracy in Missouri in 2004, in which Democratic party officials committed a range of offenses included bribery, extortion and attempted murder.

Is it surprising that ACORN has spearheaded the Left's efforts to PREVENT photo ID requirements from being implemented? Is there any reasonable basis for NOT requiring photo ID at the polling place? We require it at banks, in cars, at airports, even at many workplaces, including (especially) government jobs. But the mew from the Left is that it's intimidating to require photo ID from minorities.

It's only intimidating to be asked for photo ID if you have done -- or are doing -- something illegal. Like voting under a false name. I simply don't buy the argument that, in 2006, black voters are cowed in their own neighborhoods by the local volunteers who staff polling centers, simply by being asked to show identification. It doesn't pass the smell test.

Anyhow. This election's results likely won't be clear tonight. Expect the Dems to gain in both houses, but not by as much as they want. Which means we'll have another round of trumped-up challenges by the same people who traded crack for votes. [As in '04, I expect they'll file eleventh-hour injunctions to keep polling places open so that the unregistered college students they spent the afternoon rounding up in vans get a chance to cast their illegal ballots.] And it may takes days or weeks to sort out some of the most hotly contested races. Ain't democracy great?

Yes it is.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Disgusting

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutman held her annual Halloween party at her home this week.

And smilingly posed for a picture with Saad Saadi, who dressed as a suicide bomber. Click on the "Democracy Project" link below for details. The picture links aren't working.

(h/t The Democracy Project)

Who Are Terrorists Rooting For In Next Week's Elections?

Why, the Democrats, of course.

Aaron Klein of World Net Daily provides the scoop. Some excerpts:

"Of course Americans should vote Democrat," Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the infamous leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, told WND.

* * * *

Muhammad Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, said the Democrats' talk of withdrawal from Iraq makes him feel "proud."

"As Arabs and Muslims we feel proud of this talk," he told WND. "Very proud from the great successes of the Iraqi resistance. This success that brought the big superpower of the world to discuss a possible
withdrawal."

* * * *

Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas' military wing in the Gaza Strip, said the policy of withdrawal "proves the strategy of the resistance is the right strategy against the occupation."

* * * *

Abu Ayman, an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, said he is "emboldened" by those in America who compare the war in Iraq to Vietnam.

"[The mujahedeen fighters] brought the Americans to speak for the first time seriously and sincerely that Iraq is becoming a new Vietnam and that they should fix a schedule for their withdrawal from Iraq," boasted Abu Ayman.

* * * *

Jaara said vacating Iraq would also "reinforce Palestinian resistance organizations, especially from the moral point of view. But we also learn from these (insurgency) movements militarily. We look and learn
from them."

Hamas' Abu Abdullah argued a withdrawal from Iraq would "convince those among the Palestinians who still have doubts in the efficiency of the resistance."

"The victory of the resistance in Iraq would prove once more that when the will and the faith are applied victory is not only a slogan. We saw that in Lebanon (during Israel's confrontation against Hezbollah there
in July and August); we saw it in Gaza (after Israel withdrew from the territory last summer) and we will see it everywhere there is occupation," Abdullah said.

You heard em, folks. Vote Democrat on Tuesday.

(h/t Power Line)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism is the notion that we shouldn't judge other cultures and their different beliefs, and that we must accept and accommodate their ways of life when they decide to move into our society.

Why is it bad?

Here's why.