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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Determining Liberal Bias

There are still a few people in this country who will argue - with a straight face - that newspapers like the New York Times do not allow their bias to flow from their editorial pages to the front page of their periodicals.

Really.

Well, we have the opportunity to put their argument to the test this morning. Here is a headline in today's New York Times:
Death Sentences in Texas Cases Try Supreme Court's Patience
Now that's rather innocuous. And could involve either of two story lines. One, the more conservative outlook, would involve a story that reveals the court system's glacial pace as it relates to the appeals process for those convicted and sentenced to death. The liberal viewpoint would be expressed in a story about the court system being too harsh in dealing with those convicted of crimes punishable by their being executed.

Now which storyline do you suppose this article is going to take? Hmm. Let's find out.
The actions of the two appeals courts that hear capital cases from Texas help explain why the state leads the nation in executions, with 336 since 1976, when the death penalty was reinstated, more than the next five states combined.
There you have it. The lengthy article goes on to describe the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit as being just this side of a Soviet tribunal operating out of Lubyanka. You can tell when a newspaper is driven by its editors' biases when you can predict, regardless of who the reporter is, what an article's point of view is going to be. The leadership at the New York Times is anti-death penalty. It should be no surprise to anyone that this front-page article is - ta da! - anti-death penalty.

So predictable. So wrong.

But How Much Is The Shipping?

From the Associated Press this morning:

Woman Auctions Father's Ghost on EBay

HOBART, Ind. (AP) -- A woman's effort to assuage her 6-year-old son's fears of his grandfather's ghost by selling it on eBay has drawn more than 34 bids with a top offer of $78.

Mary Anderson said she placed her father's "ghost" on the online auction site after her son, Collin, said he was afraid the ghost would return someday. Anderson said Collin has avoided going anywhere in the house alone since his grandfather died last year.

I wonder what Federal Express will have to say about this...

The Lutherans Know How To Do It

This is why I am a Lutheran:

Ministry Punished for Lesbian Pastor

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) -- An urban ministry that aids the poor and homeless had its official recognition removed by Lutheran church officials in a dispute over an associate pastor who is in a lesbian relationship.

The decision by the Pacifica Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which oversees congregations in parts of Southern California, marks the most severe punishment of a Lutheran congregation over the issue of homosexual clergy in more than a decade. (link)

Jus to confuse the issue a bit, the Evangelical Lutheran Church is actually the most liberal of groups among the several synods within the Lutheran church - believe it or not. Or, if you choose not to believe me, read on:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America allows gay clergy only if they are celibate.
In their world, this makes perfect sense. We obviously operate in two different worlds because the policy of terminating practicing homosexual clergy while permitting celibate homosexual clergy can only be described as being bizarre.

I encourage all of you out there who are seeking clarity from your church leadership, find a Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod or Wisconsin Synod. The church hierarchy in both actually have some common sense.

Our Friends The Saudis


From Al Riyadh

Courtesy of Middle East Media Research Institute
Click on image to enlarge. Posted by Hello

Lest We Forget Who We're Fighting

Sheik Abd Al-Jalil Al-Nazir Al-Karouri is a Muslim preacher of hate. Which means he's your average middle eastern imam. He had this to say the other day as he was preaching to his flock in Khatoum:

"All this talk about mosquitoes and microbes reminded me of a political parallel - the [relationship] between the Jews and their patrons in the U.S. The relationship between Israel and the U.S. is like the relationship between the mosquito and the malaria microbe. The mosquito's interest is to suck blood, while the microbe's is to corrupt. It rides on this mosquito and corrupts. We advise the U.S. from this pulpit, and it will do as it sees fit. The microbe settles in the mosquito's stomach and tears it up… The malaria microbe settles in the mosquito's stomach and eventually kills it.

"Our advice is like that of [Benjamin] Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers: The malaria microbe known as the Jews, which the U.S. carries in its stomach, will kill it sooner or later. (link)

For those of you who want to believe, as Michael Moore does, that if we just begged for forgiveness for being ... well, for being, understand what is really fuelling the hatred in the Islamic world. These people will not be happy until we're all slaughtered - starting with the Jews among us.

I know there are those out there - like Moore - who would throw the Jews to these lions if there was a chance that it would save their sorry asses. But they are delusional. The Islamists of the world will, if given the chance, carve Michael Moore up into (many, many, many) little pieces, and praise Allah for having the chance to do it.

Be vigilant. Stay focused.

Democrats Should Be Republicans

Peter Beinert, the editor of the New Republic, has decided that Democrats can become the majority party again only if they embrace anti-totalitarianism. Only if they too become anti-terror. He believes the Democrats are in the driver's seat when it comes to domestic issues but need to be tougher on the foreign policy front.
Islamist totalitarianism - like Soviet totalitarianism before it - threatens the United States and the aspirations of millions across the world. And, as long as that threat remains, defeating it must be liberalism's north star. Methods for defeating totalitarian Islam are a legitimate topic of internal liberal debate. But the centrality of the effort is not. The recognition that liberals face an external enemy more grave, and more illiberal, than George W. Bush should be the litmus test of a decent left.

Of all the things contemporary liberals can learn from their forbearers half a century ago, perhaps the most important is that national security can be a calling. If the struggles for gay marriage and universal health care lay rightful claim to liberal idealism, so does the struggle to protect the United States by spreading freedom in the Muslim world. It, too, can provide the moral purpose for which a new generation of liberals yearn. (
link)
I don't know if such a strategy would put the party back in the majority but it would sure make the Democrats look identical to the Republicans. George W Bush made the decision back when he first ran in 2000 to transform the Republican party. On domestic issues, the party has become very liberal. If you remove issues relating to abortion and gay marriage, about which Republicans will talk a lot but will do nothing, the Republican party has become the party of huge deficits and government spending on a scale the world has never known. Poor John Kerry had to dream up exorbitant domestic spending initiatives that were ridiculous on their face, but he was forced into advocating such positions by Bush, who is allocating more money on education and a myriad of welfare programs (including a prescrption drug benefit!) than the federal departments involved can spend.

So we have a situation developing where the Republicans have become very liberal and Beinert (and other Democrats) are exhorting their party leaders to become more conservative on global issues.

As you read this, I'm scratching my head, trying to understand why it was someone thought a two-party system was a good idea.

A Reason To Celebrate Bush's Victory

In the New York Post this morning:

December 5, 2004 -- Here's another reason to celebrate President Bush's re-election: Come Jan. 5, Mary Frances Berry will be out of a job. And that means that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights - which, during Berry's chairmanship, became a national joke - may be able to reclaim the moral authority it once had. (link)

Amen and amen. Although I may disagree with Bush on his liberal spending initiatives, he is the right man to both win the war on terror and to wrest control of America's governing and watchdog institutions from goofballs like Mary Frances Berry. And the government is full of them.

Praise For The Headline Writer

Here's a headline in the New York Post this morning:
A Jehovah Take-ovah
The story involves construction of a complex of buildings by the Jehovah's Witnesses in Brooklyn, and a bit of controversy that surrounds it.

I have no interest in the story but I love the headline.

The Times' Ox Has Been Gored

When Congress was debating McCain-Feingold anti-first amendment campaign finance legislation, the New York Times was orgasmic about the fact that finally "big money interests" were going to be removed from the political process. The fact that the legislation, now the law of the land, stifled speech in the most fundamental of ways - it prevented certain organizations from speaking out publicly against a particular candidate at election time - didn't bother them at all. In fact, because news organizations like the Times were exempt from being muted by the law, the people at the Times were quite gleeful that other organizations like the AARP, ACLU, NRA, Sierra Club, and NARAL were prevented from exercising their first amendment rights.

Well, suddenly the first amendment is important again over at the "old gray lady." The editors are squealing like that proverbial stuck pig.
The First Amendment suffered a blow in October when a federal trial judge sentenced two reporters to prison for up to 18 months each for refusing to comply with subpoenas to reveal their confidential sources before a federal grand jury.

This challenge to press freedoms comes courtesy of Patrick Fitzgerald, the United States attorney and special prosecutor charged with investigating accusations that the Bush administration illegally leaked the name of a covert Central Intelligence Agency operative, Valerie Plame, to the columnist Robert Novak in order to punish her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, for criticizing Iraq policy. Mr. Fitzgerald's inquiry has evolved into a major assault on the confidential relationship between journalists and their sources, which was of critical importance in exposing the very abuse of governmental power that prompted Mr. Fitzgerald's involvement in the first place.

We have special reason to be concerned. One of the journalists is a Times reporter, Judith Miller. The other is Matthew Cooper of Time magazine. But the possibility that journalists may be incarcerated merely for acting on principle to preserve press freedom ought to trouble everyone - including members of Congress, who should use this occasion to approve legislation explicitly extending safeguards against forced disclosure of sources to all federal proceedings.
Believe it or not, I support this view. My point here is that it needs to be expressed by someone other than anyone at the New York Times. You kind of forfeit your right to be taken seriously when the entire world recognizes that your support of the first amendment is shallow, arbitrary and, in the case of the advocacy groups mentioned above, malicious.

The New York Times Makes Lame Excuses

The editorial staff at the New York Times has done an exhaustive study of the United Nations oil-for-food scandal and decided that ... it couldn't have been prevented!
An analysis by Charles Duelfer, the chief American weapons inspector in Iraq, estimated that Iraq generated some $11 billion in illicit revenue and used the money to buy prohibited items, including military equipment. The main routes for these illicit transactions - $8 billion worth - were trade deals that Iraq negotiated with neighboring countries, notably Jordan, Syria and Turkey. By the Senate subcommittee's higher count, Iraq got almost two-thirds of some $21 billion through the trade deals or smuggling.

But these trade agreements had nothing to do with the oil-for-food program, and were hardly a secret. The United States actually condoned Iraq's trade deals with Jordan and Turkey, two allies whose economies suffered from the sanctions. This was a reasonable price to pay for maintaining their support on the main objective - denying weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein.

The United Nations bureaucracy had no power to prevent these illicit oil or arms deals outside the oil-for-food program.

But someone has to be responsible for this. But who?

Who else! The USA!
It was the responsibility of member nations to adhere to sanctions imposed by the Security Council. Those members with the most diplomatic, economic and military power were obliged to help enforce them. Thus the primary blame for allowing Iraq to accumulate illicit billions lies with the United States [my emphasis] and other Security Council members that winked at prohibited oil sales, mostly for sensible reasons.
Look, these people at the Times are not this stupid. They know that the U.N. was not only responsible for establishing the sanctions that were placed on Saddam Hussein's regime. They also took on the responsibility of enforcing them. If the lowlifes at the New York Times truly believe that we should have taken on that responsibility unilaterally, then one necessarily comes to the next obvious conclusion - we don't need a United Nations!

Get out now. Dissolve the U.N.