August 31, 2006

CU Student Government Supports Churchill Firing, Professors Opposed Sign Petition

The University of Colorado Student Union voted 9-6 to support the committee recommendations calling for Churchill's firing. (h/t PirateBallerina)

Meanwhile some professors have signed a petition arguing that Churchill's situation represents a threat to academic freedom and would have a "chilling" effect on universities across the nation, and therefore conclude that he should not be fired.

Nice to see students demonstrating independent thought, remaining unswayed by professors in CYA mode.


Aztec Retaliation Against Spanish, Allies

The title says it all--Aztecs butchered, ate Spanish invaders:
CALPULALPAN, Mexico (Reuters) -- Skeletons found at an unearthed site in Mexico show Aztecs captured, ritually sacrificed and partially ate several hundred people traveling with invading Spanish forces in 1520.

Skulls and bones from the Tecuaque archeological site near Mexico City show about 550 victims had their hearts ripped out by Aztec priests in ritual offerings, and were dismembered or had their bones boiled or scraped clean, experts say.

The findings support accounts of Aztecs capturing and killing a caravan of Spanish conquistadors and local men, women and children traveling with them in revenge for the murder of Cacamatzin, king of the Aztec empire's No. 2 city of Texcoco.

Experts say the discovery proves some Aztecs did resist the conquistadors led by explorer Hernan Cortes, even though history books say most welcomed the white-skinned horsemen in the belief they were returning Aztec gods.

"This is the first place that has so much evidence there was resistance to the conquest," said archeologist Enrique Martinez, director of the dig at Calpulalpan in Tlaxcala state, near Texcoco.

"It shows it wasn't all submission. There was a fight."
The question of how a few hundred soldiers-for-hire, combined with indigenous allies, overthrew a mighty empire is avoided. Perhaps it was this method of fighting that turned so many Aztec tributaries into Spanish allies.


Another Immigrant March In Denver: September 30?

Details are in the works, and the "message" is being formulated:
Local activists are planning what is likely to be another massive march and rally to push for compassionate treatment of the country's immigrants.

The plan is to march Sept. 30, said Ricardo Martinez of the Denver activist group Padres Unidos, which was heavily involved in the large but peaceful May 1 and March 25 downtown Denver rallies.

But organizer Jennifer Herrera said the details are still being decided and could change.

"There are definitely people meeting to discuss a plan for a march," she said Tuesday.

The march is part of a wave of national events starting Labor Day intended to pressure Congress to pass immigration reform that gives illegal immigrants a path toward legalization, Martinez said.

Herrera said local organizers are still deciding on which message the local demonstration should take and which groups to align with.
Of course, the marches and rallies could backfire, and provide a sort of get-out-the-vote in reverse for the GOP. Especially if it involves illegal immigration activists engaged in behavior like this:



August 30, 2006

Transforming Civic Center Park

Daniel Libeskind's vision.

Architectural star Daniel Libeskind has offered his vision for a revitalized, multi-use Civic Center that would become a standalone draw in Denver:
A central water plaza shaped like a bowtie, an "iconic" light and water tower and a swooping bridge that sails over the intersection of Broadway and Colfax Avenue highlighted Daniel Libeskind's proposals to revive Civic Center.

The proposals, announced by the architect at a Wednesday press conference, were funded by the Civic Center Conservancy, which hired Libeskind last fall for about $75,000 to come up with ideas that could bring people into the park. He created a master plan for various structures and elements, based on a plan for Civic Center adopted by the city last year.

There is no price tag yet for the project, said Mayor John Hickenlooper during a press conference at the Colorado Convention Center. A series of public meetings will be held this fall, culminating in a report in January by parks and recreation manager Kim Bailey to the parks advisory committee.
Why is this such a pressing issue? Examine the caption below.

Marc Piscotty © News
A view of Civic Center Park Thursday, March, 17, 2005 looking northeast with Downtown Denver and the State Capitol in the background as shot from the seventh floor of the Denver Art Museum. Denver is working on a plan to turn Civic Center Park into a destination point in downtown Denver by possibly connecting it to the 16th Street Mall and perhaps even burying part of Colfax Avenue to make the whole area more pedestrian friendly. The ambitious plan calls for reviving the area around the park that has largely become a haven for drug dealers and users and the homeless.

So the problem is less one of beautification, and more a concern with weeding out undesirable guests. This, of course, is much more palatable when the city is dominated by Democrats, including a popular mayor. If this were a Republican plan, the critics would be outraged!

Let's just hope the plan doesn't include nude statues. What a furor that might cause!



August 29, 2006

The True Nature Of Peace

Infidel Rusty reminds us that St. Augustine of Hippo explains in The City of God, Book XIX, Ch. 12 how peace in its ideal form is not what humans desire, but rather a peace to their liking, according to their desires and beliefs, a peace that favors both the individual and the group, usually in opposition to other groups. Often, conflicting views of this precise nature of peace is what leads to the war that ends the old peace structure in favor of a potentially more beneficial peace. Of course, the other side, unhappy with the new situation, may oppose the new peace. Thus, conflict is both inevitable and permanent:
Whoever gives even moderate attention to human affairs and to our common nature, will recognize that if there is no man who does not wish to be joyful, neither is there any one who does not wish to have peace.

For even they who make war desire nothing but victory,--desire, that is to say, to attain to peace with glory. For what else is victory than the conquest of those who resist us? and when this is done there is peace. It is therefore with the desire for peace that wars are waged, even by those who take pleasure in exercising their warlike nature in command and battle.

And hence it is obvious that peace is the end sought for by war. For every man seeks peace by waging war, but no man seeks war by making peace. For even they who intentionally interrupt the peace in which they are living have no hatred of peace, but only wish it changed into a peace that suits them better.

They do not, therefore, wish to have no peace, but only one more to their mind.
Indeed, for Islam, a world of Muslims comprised in the dar al-Islam, the house of submission, represents peace against the dar al-Harb, the house of war. Only when those outside Islam are brought to submission, converted, and the house of war eliminated, can there be peace.

Similarly, two thousand years of Western culture has revealed that democracy, market economies, and inherent human freedoms comprise a package designed to bring peace to those throughout the world (extremely oversimplified to be sure). Communism or "scientific socialism" had its own version of what world peace meant. So did Nazism.

In several eras, peace was enforced by a hegemon, a nation/state with enough power to discourage opposition unilaterally or bring a coalition to bear against potential upstart rivals. The Pax Romana epitomizes this concept, and was succeeded in later times by powers such as Britain or America. Even eras dominated by two rival powers, with their own spheres of influence, recognized that for certain stretches neither side could gain a significant advantage against the opposition, and so a tense but tentative peace existed--think U.S. and the U.S.S.R. and mutually assured destruction.

When peaceniks, anti-American and anti-Israeli activists, and other countries target the West and accuse them of attacks on peace, it is either because the current situation gives them an advantage and the conflict's (Iraq, Israel in Lebanon) potential outcome would harm that arrangement; the setback could represent a serious blow to their envisioned peace scheme (wiping Israel off the map in the Middle East, eliminating the West); or some other such nonsense. Either way--and there are myriad other reasons--"peace" cannot exist in all places and at all times, until rival visions of peace are reconciled and become congruous, or are eliminated altogether.


You'll Never Guess

Who answered this question like this:
Would you describe the US as it is now as a fascist state?

Far from it. In many respects it is the most free country in the world.
Allah is outraged!

Other quotes:
--Why should the US exist, sitting on half of Mexico, including Florida, conquered in a violent racist war carried out in violation of the Constitution?

--In the case of Lebanon, there is little doubt [war crimes occurred]. Ample reasons have been given by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and that's a bare beginning. But guilt extends far beyond. The Bush-Blair invasion of Iraq, for example, is a clear example of what the Nuremberg Tribunal determined to be "the supreme international crime", which encompasses all the evil that follows. We would do well to recall the eloquent words of Nuremberg chief counsel Justice Robert Jackson: "We are handing the defendants a 'poisoned chalice', and if we sip from it, we must accept the same judgement." The conclusions seem clear enough.


Vote No-- The Government Says So

By Julian Dunraven

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has decided Colorado citizens need assistance from the federal government in deciding how to vote this November. Specifically, the DEA doesn’t want mere citizens getting confused about what’s good for them and voting to legalize something as terrible as possessing an ounce of marijuana. Thus, the federal government is condescending to inject itself into our state ballot process and campaign against this initiative. “DEA raises cash to fight pot issue.” Already, the DEA has $10,000 to spend on its campaigning efforts.

The agency tells us we shouldn’t worry about this, though, and that their efforts are completely legal. Given that the applicable law was designed to prevent the executive agencies from partisan campaigning, and did not contemplate non-partisan ballot initiatives, the DEA may in fact be correct that it is acting within the technical bounds of law, if not its spirit. Still, it is rather telling that the DEA’s campaign fund comes from private donations and not tax dollars, despite the DEA’s contention its actions are proper. Surely, if the agency directors are avoiding the use of tax money, it must occur to them on some level that their actions are wrong.

Whether one agrees with Amendment 44 or not, the actions of the DEA should worry us all. The executive branch of government is designed to enforce the laws. Yet, the executive branch has become so large, that Congress cannot possibly have time to deal with all the issues that arise as each executive department carries out its mandate. Thus, executive agencies have the power to create administrative policies and regulations in their spheres of influence that are every bit as binding as legislatively made law. Thus, they have taken on a good deal of legislative power as well as executive. Moreover, many federal agencies have their own administrative courts to oversee disputes arising from their actions, thus assuming judicial power. This is a huge collection of power in the executive branch. Now, the executive branch seeks even to assert itself into citizen law making processes by telling people how to vote. This is simply too much. We must restrain this behemoth, many headed monster that is the U.S. executive branch.

Now, to be fair, I do not doubt that the input of the DEA might be useful in debating Amendment 44. However, that input should be solicited by citizen opponents of the amendment. It is those independent citizens who should then be raising money to campaign against the amendment, and they who should decide how to use the DEA’s information in that campaign. The DEA and the executive branch of the federal government should not be intervening in our state elections to tell our people how it thinks we should vote. Last I checked, that sort of behavior was expected of Communist and Socialist regimes. In this country, the people are supposed to be telling the administration what to do—not the other way around.

We have grown used to a sort of nanny state in this country. We have decided that we want our government to provide certain programs as safeguards against our own stupidity. So be it. If, however, we now truly desire a state that eliminates even the need to think for ourselves, a state all to happy to tell us what our opinion should be, then we have no business calling ourselves a free country. We should simply shut up about those annoying things called civil liberties, take our state issued pacifiers, and let the government do whatever it thinks best. As I am not quite ready for permanent mental infancy, I think it would behoove Congress to amend the Hatch Act, and prevent the executive branch from campaigning period.

Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.


August 25, 2006

Iran's Holocaust Cartoons: A Daily Dose Of Anti-Semitism, Anti-Americanism and Israel=Nazis

IranCartoon has made available their daily dose of repugnant anti-semitism and anti-American cartoons--much discussed and seldom seen, and the themes can be easily discerned as they are repeated again and again--

Uncle Sam as Hitler, American oppression of Islam:

What a surprise, Hitler makes an early appearance, donning Uncle Sam's garb, complete with swastika top hat.

Islam fights back against U.S. imperialism!

American and Israeli conspiracy:

Employing stereotypical features that would make Goebbels and Streicher proud, the Statue of Liberty holds the Talmud while giving support to Israel's campaign.

Familiar as terrorists are with explosisves, it is not a surprise that projection might yield an image such as this, with America and Israel igniting a global conflagration.

Here, America spins Israel's true nature.

With America's help, Israel is able to stick it to the Lebanese citizens.

Occupation, blah blah blah. . .

Usually the guys in the back wear kaffiyehs and other facial coverings preparing to behead their latest victim. Here, the terrorists are the usual suspects, and the imagery straight from al-Jazeera.

Israeli atrocities:

Green-helmut guy takes a turn as a Red Cross aid worker, again staging victims for the world media.

Where Israel sees peace, war must be made.

Crucifixion art--and as Allah reminds us--the "Christkillers" meme.

Targeting the kiddies.

Worse than dogs, sharks, and bat. Israel in a class by itself.

More crucifixion allusions.

Hang 'em high.

Taking refuge behind the Holocaust.

Beware of fauxtographic shock.

Star of David picking on Islam.

More dead kiddies.

Israel really hates children.



The entrance to Auschwitz.

Recycling Nazism.

Tick . . . tick . . . tick.

Stealing Rosenthal's Iwo Jima image:

Award for inadvertent humor:

To tell the truth, this actually makes a lot of sense.

Beating AK-47s into rosebushes.



Global Warming Causes Glaciers TO GROW!?!?!?

According to the BBC, researchers believe that global warming may actually stimulate glacial growth:
Global warming could be causing some glaciers to grow, a new study claims.

Researchers at Newcastle University looked at temperature trends in the western Himalaya over the past century.

They found warmer winters and cooler summers, combined with more snow and rainfall, could be causing some mountain glaciers to increase in size.
Of course, due to the all-encompassing, conspiratorial nature of "global warming" advocates, things like this WILL happen, 'cause that's how bad and unpredictable "climate change" is. Nothing but self-fulfilling prophecy.


August 24, 2006

Politics In The Classroom, And Violating State Law

Jefferson County officials back off, claim flags fall under exception in law. Real agenda revealed once more by teacher:
Going back up in his classroom will be the flags of China, Mexico and the United Nation, which Hamlin is displaying during the first six weeks of the semester.

"The flags should be able to fly to celebrate diversity," Hamlin said.
The flags are not intended as teaching tools, except in the crusade for "diversity" and "multiculturalism". Why else would Hamlin question the law as making it appear that the U.S. flag, in flying alone, is more special than any other flag/country?

"We're not number 1!"

Darin McGregor © News
Seventh-grade teacher Eric Hamlin, 36, poses Wednesday at his home with flags from his classroom. Hamlin was suspended with pay from Carmody Middle School in Lakewood after refusing to remove the flags of Mexico, China and the United Nations, which were displayed in his classroom along with the American flag. Jefferson County school administrators said Hamlin’s principal believed the teacher was violating a state law that bars the display of foreign flags on public property.

What is it with world geography teachers in Colorado?

Taking on state law and disregarding a request from his superiors, Eric Hamlin has already been suspended for refusing to remove foreign flags from his classroom (video):
A seventh-grade geography teacher at Carmody Middle School in Lakewood was suspended with pay Wednesday after he refused to take down foreign flags displayed in his classroom.

Eric Hamlin, 36, said the flags of China, Mexico and the United Nations were relevant to the unit on the fundamentals of geography he teaches in the first six weeks of the semester.

He's used the same display for most of the nine years he's taught in Jefferson County, Hamlin said.

The 3-foot-by-5-foot nylon flags are in addition to the U.S. flag found in all classrooms.

"Since flags are symbols of a nation and the people who live in that nation, if a flag of a foreign nation in a geography class can't be displayed, and only the U.S. flag can be displayed, we're sending the message that America is number one, everything else is below that," Hamlin said.
We can't have students believing that the United States is number one, now, can we?

Maps are fundamental to the study of geography. Flags are not. One might convey the entire meaning of a flag in a lesson that last no more than one single class period. Having taught at the university level, items such as flags or other visual materials usually require no more than a few moments of comment, before moving on. You do not learn the geographic position, importance, or "global perspective" of a country by viewing their flag for weeks at a time. "Cultural awareness", Hamlin's term, comes not from constant viewing of flags, but readings and other materials more suited to the study of other countries and cultures. Hamlin is being naive at best, and disingenuous at worst.

His true agenda, however, goes a bit beyond the mere display of flags in the classroom for any didactic purpose. Like Jay Bennish before him, Hamlin has other issues of concern.

So why is he in trouble, other than showing a general disregard for the primacy that the nation he currently resides in should take over other countries, especially in regard to the display of those countries' flags?
Hamlin received a written reprimand Tuesday. Principal John Schalk escorted Hamlin from the building when the flags were still up on Wednesday morning.

Schalk referred questions to Jefferson County Schools spokeswoman Lynn Setzer.

Setzer said Schalk believed Hamlin was in violation of a state law barring display of foreign flags on public property.

Schalk interprets the law as allowing display of foreign flags as part of a specific lesson, but not for the duration of a six-week unit, Setzer said.

Superintendent Cindy Stevenson said Hamlin could have removed the flags, then appealed the principal's decision to higher administrators. By refusing to remove the flags, Hamlin was insubordinate, Stevenson said.

"He defied a direct, reasonable request from a principal. That's what's at issue here," Stevenson said.
Hamlin has already sought and appears to have gained the ACLU's support (not surprising, given their anti-American agenda):
The 2002 law bars the display of foreign flags on state buildings. Among the exceptions are foreign flags used as "part of a temporary display of any instructional or historical materials not permanently affixed or attached to any part of the buildings or grounds . . .."

Mark Silverstein, the legal director of the Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that exception would appear to cover Hamlin's display.
This law is the real target of Hamlin's refusal and insubordination. Flying the American flag could make students patriotic, or think that their country is worth fighting for, despite its faults.

And why just China and Mexico? Surely the flags of Israel and Lebanon could illustrate current events more precisely. Given that the current lesson plan is latitude and longitude and not China's rise in global power or Mexico's election/emigration problems, neither seems appropriate. Get a map, Mr. Hamlin, or several of them--like they had when I took geography.

At least the school district believes that its teachers, and they themselves, are not the appropriate arbiters of the law, and that refusing to comply with state law carries penalties, whether that teacher approves of the law or not. It is comforting to see administrators enforce the law, rather than reflexively backing the teacher, positioning themselves in neutrality, and therefore trying to remain aloof from the debate to follow.

The law:
Colorado Revised Statute 18-11-205. It says: "Any person who displays any flag other than the flag of the United States of America or the state of Colorado or any of its subdivisions, agencies or institutions upon any state, county, municipal or other public building or adjacent grounds within this state commits a class 1 petty offense."


Onward Rational Soldiers

After nearly a fortnight's absence, I have returned to battle liberals and jihadists, and navigate Colorado's political jungle.

I trust everyone enjoyed Slapstick's new resident curmudgeon legal expert, Julian Dunraven. As is the policy here, every author's opinion is theirs, but as is the case, more times than not, even differing opinions can illuminate the subject much better than one blogger's rant. These essays will be a recurring feature, as time dictates.

Back to blogging!


August 19, 2006

Judge Rules Against Bush for Wiretapping Without Warrants: Triumph or Tragedy?

By Julian Dunraven

All day long, I have listened to the shrieking of my conservative friends as they denounce the ‘terrible’ decision by a U.S. district court judge to end the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. ACLU v. NSA. It seems they think the honorable judge has put all of national security at risk with the naive notion that we can fight terrorism according to the same rules we use to fight common criminals. Knowing the miserable quality of reporting the major media sources continually exhibit on questions of law, I understand why they hold such a dismal opinion of this case. However, having read the honorable judge’s opinion myself, I am thoroughly convinced that she has actually strengthened national security, and that conservatives would be the last people to take issue with this decision if they only took the time to read it. It is based soundly in traditional conservative principles. Let me see if I can condense it here.

First, no state secrets were ever at risk. The court considered the legality of the wiretapping program based on statements the Bush administration has already made public: (1) The wiretapping program exists. (2) The Bush administration monitors communication between U.S. citizens and people overseas suspected of having some connection, to a terrorist organization. (3) The monitoring is conducted without warrants.

In considering these facts, the court looked to our history. It pointed out that searches and seizures without warrant were among the offenses committed by King George III against the American colonists prior to the Revolutionary War. These searches terrified the people and chilled any speech or publication that might criticize the King for fear of being labeled seditious. After the American Revolution, the Founders enshrined two amendments into the Constitution in order to prevent such abuses from ever occurring again. We now know these as the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of
the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
Government for a redress of grievances.
--U.S. CONST. Amend. I.

The right the of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and
no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized.
--U.S. CONST. Amend. IV.

These two amendments work together to protect some of the most basic liberties we hold so dear. However, Congress is mindful, too, that when it comes to national security, the obligations of these amendments might be too cumbersome to carry out in the ordinary course of business. Thus, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as, “the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance of foreign intelligence communications may be conducted.” 18 U.S.C. §2511(2)(f). This act sets up a special and secret court to grant surveillance warrants to the administration. Acknowledging the need to act quickly in matters of national security, it even gives the administration up to 72 hours after already beginning surveillance to seek a warrant. And so Congress has wisely provided for the administration to see to the needs of national security, while still permitting to judiciary to ensure the protection of civil liberties.

The Bush administration, however, has argued this is insufficient. It claims the President, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, should have the right to see to matters of national security as he sees fit, independent of the laws of Congress and the warrant reviews of the judiciary. As one of the great Founders, James Madison, wrote in the Federalist Papers, though, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” THE FEDERALIST NO. 47. The court refused to allow President Bush to usurp both the Legislative and Judicial branches of government, and reminded the President that he is sworn to uphold and abide by the entire Constitution, not just Article II.

“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil
power.He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our
constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of
pretended Legislation .”
-- The Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson wrote those words over 200 years ago describing a few of the offenses committed by King George III against the American colonists. Today, they could as easily apply to the warrantless wiretapping program of President George Bush II—or they would had the court not stuck it down. In this case, the court defended the U.S. Constitution and the liberties it enshrines, protected the separation of powers from dissolving into tyranny, and provided legitimate means for the defense of this country—all principles long cherished by conservatives. In the end, the court managed to strengthen our national security, both against the terrorists that seek to destroy us from outside our borders, and the possibility of tyranny that could destroy us from within.

As the court noted in its conclusion, “Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution. As Justice Warren wrote in U.S. v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967):
Implicit in the term ‘national defense’ is the notion of defending those values and ideas which set this Nation apart. . . . It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of . . . those liberties . . . which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile. Id. at 264.”
Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.


August 17, 2006

Justice, Privacy, and JonBenet Ramsey

By Julian Dunraven

What is your favorite freedom this year? That is the question one of my dear friends asks my salon every 4th of July. It is interesting to listen to the answers. In 2003, my favorite freedom was privacy, and the right given to all people, both heterosexual and homosexual, to develop their most intimate relationships free from government intrusion. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 US 558 (2003). This year, only a month removed from Independence Day, I again think privacy is one of my favorite freedoms—but I no longer see government as the only mortal threat to it.

Tonight, my salon again considered the importance of privacy as we learned of the latest developments in the JonBenet Ramsey Case. One honorable gentleman argued quite passionately that the entire media system owes the Ramsey family a very good apology. It is hard to argue with that. The news media overtly accused the entire Ramsey family of murder, and splashed their morbid theories across the front pages of nearly every paper in the country for weeks. Meanwhile, countless books flooded the presses, excoriating one Ramsey after another. Yet, there was never any trial of justice. No court of law or rules of evidence ever governed the accusations hurled at the Ramseys by the media. Now, it seems the Ramseys may finally be vindicated. My honorable friend is correct to say that the media has done this family a horrible injustice to add to their terrible loss.

Yet, if the media acted villainously, it did so only because such behavior was selling papers—and books and magazines, and all manner of tripe. Offering readers a window into the glamorous lives of the wealthy, all the intrigue and deception of a mystery novel, and the self satisfying illusion of moral superiority to the rich, the JonBenet story appealed to the basest voyeurism that has been one of this country’s most disgusting vices for more than a century.

Not so long ago, the media would publish intimate details and itineraries of celebrity figures. The population loved it—and so did assassins. They used the timelines to target Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Kennedy, F. Roosevelt and Reagan, as well as notables such as George Wallace, Robert Kennedy, and John Lennon. Most recently, their intrusive tactics have directly cased the death of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales. Though these tragedies have finally convinced at least the U.S. media to stop publishing celebrity itineraries, the media seems to have found new ways to ruin lives. I speak of the life dissecting trial by press, which indulges in the most gruesome and appalling speculations no court of law would ever allow, and Justice herself would recoil in horror. My honorable friend has called this most frightfully un-Christian, and yet this mostly Christian population cannot seem to get enough of it. “Love your neighbor’s misery as yourself,” seems to be the new Golden Rule.

The great political heroine, Alice Roosevelt, daughter of Teddy Roosevelt and icon of the Republican Party, dedicated much of her life to the cause of privacy and ending these invasive and life threatening practices. She set a marvelous example. It would be so nice to hear politicians trumpet that cause once again. And yet, when it comes to matters of privacy, it is Alice’s own party—the Republican Party-- that betrays the cause most terribly. It is the Republican Party--the devoutly Christian Republican Party—that stands most ready to comment on the private lives of others and to overtly condemn the constitutional right to privacy. For the sake of Justice, for the sake of decency, and for the sake of liberty, the Republican Party—my party—needs to honor the memory of its great mistress and make privacy one of its favorite freedoms too.

Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.


August 16, 2006

Strange News From The Democrats

By Julian Dunraven

Every once in a while, actually quite often, something will happen in life that makes practically no sense whatsoever. At such times, people will generally express a great deal of consternation, which runs the gamut from a puzzled frown to running naked and screaming into the night while ripping out great handfuls of hair. The former people generally rush off to the posh offices of therapists and spend hours trying to make sense of the nonsensical. The later are forcibly clothed in fetching, wrap-around, white jackets and taken to rather less posh offices of other therapists who forgo making sense out of nonsense and merely opt for drug induced serenity. After all, if life is not going to make any sense anyway, one should at least have the courtecy to be calm about it. As for me, I have found it saves a great deal of time and money to simply accept the oddities off life and carry on with it. Thus, whenever I see a goblin leap out and gnash its teeth at me as I pass in the street, I simply tip my hat and offer a chipper, “Good day to you.” More often then not, the goblin with puff out its chest and grumble, “And a very fine day, indeed, to you good Sir,” and I will think no more of it. Life is just easier that way.

Thus, rather than puzzle over why the Colorado Young Democrats have chosen to send me a press release for their get out the vote campaign, I have decided to simply pass it along. Let it never be said I refused bi-partisan courtesy. Who knows? Perhaps they really do want to get out youth votes—even if those youths might be Libertarian or Republican. And perhaps, in soliciting this site, they are looking for that rarest of all creatures, the practically mythical Conservative Democrat. Well, I wish them luck in finding one. If any of you readers fit the bill and plan on attending, I recommend you remain incognito at first. After seeing what happened to poor Mr. Lieberman, I shudder to think what might become of a true Conservative Democrat—and there are too few of you left to risk. As I said though, thinking such things will only bring a headache. Thus, here is the information. “Good day to you!”

Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.


What: The Colorado Young Democrats Kick-Off:
When: Friday August 18 – 5:00-7:00 P.M.
Where: 137 Dahlia St., Denver, CO 80220

The Colorado Young Democrats introduce their non-partisan"Step Up or Shut Up" campaign at the 2006 CYD Kick-Off Event.

The Colorado Young Democrats (CYD) will host the 2006 CYD Kick-Off Event Friday August 18, featuring honored guest, Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Mr. Andrew Romanoff.

For years, turnout among young voters has been declining, to the point that our voices are often not heard. The goal of this event and CYD more generally, is to unify the voices of young Democrats across Colorado so that we can take our rightful seat at the table of government.
As part of the kick-off events, CYD will unveil plans for the "Step Up or Shut Up" campaign, a non-partisan effort to get young voters to the polls. Through a three-pronged approach CYD will work to inform, impassion, and get out the vote among 18-34 year-olds in a revolutionary way.

House Speaker Romanoff will conclude the evening, talking about issues effecting young voters and the influence we can have shaping the future of Colorado politics.

Please note the suggested donation for this event is $20.00.

Contact:Paul Drey - CYD Press Director
Phone: (303) 919-8133

Joseph Thomas - CYD Media Director
Phone: (303) 709-6887


August 15, 2006

Discussing the Ceasefire in Lebanon—Alice Roosevelt Style

By Julian Dunraven

Perhaps one of my favorite political figures in American History is Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of Teddy Roosevelt, wife of Speaker of the House Nicholas Longworth, known as the Grande Dame of the Republican Party, the Other Washington Monument, and the Witch of Washington. It was said in her time that dinner at the White House was nice, but you were not anyone special until you had tea at Alice’s. When Alice hosted tea, she always tried to sit Democrats next to Republicans, Catholics next to Protestants, and Liberals next to Conservatives claiming that if there was not at least one good argument by the end of the night it was to be regarded as a great failure.

Recently, my own guests for afternoon tea have done their best to emulate Alice’s salon, and by her standards my teas have been marvelous successes. Say what you will of this iconic lady, she certainly knew how to have a good time. The brawl began yesterday after one gentleman guest proclaimed his deep satisfaction with the ceasefire agreement in Lebanon and the great victory it meant for Israel and the United States. Suddenly, I felt like I was in the Knesset, so fiercely did my other guests denounce him. Though President Bush seems to support his argument, boldly proclaiming a victory in this morning’s press, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran did the same thing. I am afraid I am more inclined to agree with the later—and the majority of my guests.

It is without doubt that Israel managed to successfully seize and occupy much of southern Lebanon. This much was never in doubt and, in absolute terms, I suppose it can be called a victory. That said, Hezbollah managed to launch its rockets into Israel right up to when the ceasefire agreement took effect. Its leadership is still in tact; its militia is still well armed. Worse, no one forced it to sue for peace; rather, it is choosing to accept the ceasefire agreement as if it were a state actor. Finally, though Israel remains in existence, Hezbollah never expected to wipe it out in this conflict. All it needed to do was survive with a few teeth in order to show the entire world that standing up to Israel and, by proxy, the United States and Great Britain, is quite possible. This it managed to do with smashing success.

Israel and its British and American allies, however, were trying to obliterate Hezbollah. This they failed miserably to achieve, and now must content themselves with a ceasefire and hope the international force somehow manages to disarm, or at least restrain, Hezbollah—both extremely doubtful prospects. From where I am sitting, that looks like a defeat. Simply striking an enemy and knocking him over is useless. He will only get up again, angrier than ever, and find a way to hit back. Rather, if you strike at all, it should be such a blow that your enemy will not rise again. If anyone really believes that Hezbollah has been struck with such a blow, I can recommend several talented psychiatrists that can help work out such delusions.

A young lady acquaintance was the next person to jump into the fray. She contended that, victory or defeat, she thought Israel was totally out of line to react so forcefully to a few kidnappings. A shocked silence fell over my guests at this statement and the only sound was a slight plop and splash as the remaining bit of my crumpet leapt from my hand to drown itself despairingly in my tea.

The silence was brief, though, and both Democrat and Republican guests began to pepper her with questions: What about the barrage of rockets sent daily into Israel? What about the avowed purpose of Hezbollah to destroy Israel? Doesn’t Israel have a right to defend itself?

To these questions she could only wish that the two sides could tolerate one another. Faced with the fact that Israel has never disputed any other state’s right to exist, she wished that Muhammad was back to remind the Arab world of the virtues of peace. When she learned that Muhammad himself led the conquest of Arabia, she gave up entirely. She did not however, give up her position. She maintained that she simply felt that war was terrible and that Israel should have maintained peace above all.

To borrow again from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," she, “is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”.”

Both of these positions display a fundamental misunderstanding. My gentleman friend mistakenly believes that a technical victory on the field is enough to defeat the ideological motivation of Hezbollah. My lady friend refuses to believe that her feelings are insufficient to shape reality and that sometimes justice demands conflict. To cling to peace solely for the sake of peace even in the absence of justice is to accommodate evil. It is the position of a moral midget. Perhaps that is not a very nice way to depict one of my guests, but as Alice Roosevelt Longworth was fond of reciting, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, come sit right here next to me.”

Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.


August 14, 2006

Gay Rights, the Clash of Civilizations, and the Danger of Moderates

By Julian Dunraven

After my last posting, I received a few comments telling me that I am underestimating the importance of the clash of civilization between the Islamic world and the West. I beg to differ. Though my last posting may have carried a whimsical flavor, I am well aware of how deep the differences go.

This November, the people of Colorado will vote on no less than three ballot issues dealing with gay rights. In this country, in this state, that means we will argue over the minutia of various legal rights possessed by married couples and whether to extend those legal rights to gay couples. Members of the GLBT community are, arguably, the most disenfranchised citizens of the United States, and yet the most important issue affecting that group at the moment is the bundle of property rights that go into making a legal marriage. If a country’s level of civilization can be judged by how it treats its underclass citizens, than I would say the United States is doing fairly well.

Now, let us compare U.S. civilization with that of Iraq. There, gay rights do not even begin to contemplate the nuances of various property claims and marriage contracts. In Iraq, those who support gay rights ask only that homosexual people be allowed the right to live at all. Jennifer Copestake reports in The Observer that Shia death squads now roam the land executing gay men. “Gays flee Iraq as Shia death squads find a new target.” Barbaric as that seems, it is made worse by the fact that these death squads also target and execute young boys who have been forced into prostitution.

One might think the new Iraqi government and law enforcement would be appalled by such behavior. But one would be wrong. You see, under Islamic law, or Sharia, homosexuality is so reviled that to kill a gay man is no crime at all. Rather, it is considered an honor killing and will actually increase the killer’s chances of getting into heaven. Anyone who doubts this has only to visit the Middle East Research Institute’s TV Monitoring Project and view its collection of clips from Arab networks on homosexuality. In one notable clip from MEMRI TV, Saudi cleric 'Abd Al-Qader Shiba Al-Hamad, a teacher at the Al-Nabawi Mosque in Al-Madina, elaborates on the proper means of killing homosexuals: by flogging, beheading, or rolling down a mountain until dead. Under Islamic law, the underclasses of society have no rights, and should count themselves lucky just to survive.

I am well aware that this barbaric view does not dissipate merely through interaction with our Western culture. Many terrorists, dedicated to the absolute destruction of the West, have received their educations here in the United States or in the United Kingdom. Yet, they do not see our successes and freedoms; they see only our ‘sinful’ opulence and the riches their own nations do not have. I stand by my previous statements that, in the end, our trade and cultural exports can succeed in willingly seducing the Islamic world to our way of life. However, I also reiterate that those demanding that all people either follow the strict dictates of Islam or face death must themselves learn the meaning of fear and terror. Those who would force this barbarism on others must be met with merciless opposition.

This is not a politically correct view at the moment, I know. In this past week, I have heard the media bleat endlessly about the dangers of offending moderate Muslims. This, however, seems utterly ridiculous to me. Moderate Muslims should be offended. They should be shocked and appalled by the behavior of their fellow Muslims and the barbarism of Islamic law. I am beginning to agree with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his low opinion of so called ‘moderates.’ In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” expressing his frustration with white moderates, he states that, “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” Similarly, in the current situation, it is far more difficult to understand the ‘moderate’ Muslims who see the evil and barbarism of their fellows and do nothing than it is to understand those terrorist Muslims acting under the delusion of righteousness. Those who see evil and do nothing are more terrifying to me than those too stupid or deluded to see the evil in the first place.

Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.


August 10, 2006

Breaking: Terrorist Plot Thwarted, UK To US Flights Targeted

--Heathrow closed to incoming flights
--Scotland Yard official tries to disconnect the link between "criminals" and the "communities" in which they masquerade. Trying to separate religionists from the religion, as this is the work of "extremists" and not just everyday members of the faithful. Riiiigggggghhhhhtttt!

Michelle Malkin is already on top of this story.
Hot Air has continuing reports.
Pajamas Media has more.

A terrorist plot to blow up planes in mid-flight from the UK to the US has been disrupted, Scotland Yard has said.

It is thought the plan was to detonate explosive devices smuggled on aircraft in hand luggage.

Police have arrested about 18 people in the London area after an anti-terrorist operation lasting several months.

Security at all airports in the UK has been tightened and delays are reported. MI5 has raised the UK threat level to critical - the highest possible.

According to MI5's website, critical threat level means "an attack is expected imminently and indicates an extremely high level of threat to the UK".
The Independent

Sky News:
"mainly young, British-born Asian men"
Wanna take a guess what religion? At this point, this is the only description of the suspected terrorists. Sky News is reporting on television that they are of Pakistani descent.

How long before some Kostard or DUmmy accuses Bush-Blair of making up the plot in order to divert attention from Iraq, Israel-Lebanon, or as a way for Republicans to retain power in November's elections? Or some other absurd conspiracy theory?



August 09, 2006

Celebrating a Simple Life and Middle East Peace

By Julian Dunraven

“But today, of all days, it is brought home to me: it is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.” So says Mr. Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s epic production of The Lord of the Rings. How very right he is. And how very valuable are all those little touches that go into keeping our lives simple. We almost never think about them and yet without them our simple lives become quite impossible. You see, two days ago, one of my most trusted and beloved servants quit my employment after many years without complaint. Neither notice nor explanation was given. There was no time to find any proper replacement. It happened quite suddenly. After a brief period of shocked disbelief, I found myself facing the horrible reality that my centralized air conditioning system was not going to work again. Panic provided the only chill to be found.

For those of you shaking your heads and clucking your tongues, I advise you to spend some time here in Colorado this summer. The weather might explain why many of our friends on the left are so desperate to grasp at any means, however far fetched, to combat Global Warming. For myself, I was just desperate to grasp for a fan as I suffered through the sweltering days and stifling nights, bemoaning how difficult it is to find good help these days.

Bemoaning, however, is somewhat taxing in such heat and it gets to be rather dull after a while. Eventually, my mind wandered to lighter subjects and began contemplating the Middle East peace process. After some reflection, I determined that the West should provide air conditioning to every home in the region and let it run for a year. After that, whenever trouble flairs up, power should be cut off for a while. That would do it.

No. I am not crazy. Well, not completely anyway.

I didn’t always have centralized air-conditioning. Back in England and the rest of the European continent, it is still quite rare. Now that I do have it though, I think of it as a basic necessity of life no civilized being should be without. More, because I am so accustomed to its presence in my life, its absence causes me intolerable discomfort and I am willing to do almost anything to restore it. I want that for the Middle East too. I want them to really know the benefits of Western Civilization—not just as seen on TV or preached to them by the Imams and Ayatollahs—but experienced first hand. ‘Piety’ of Islamic living is easy to maintain when that is all you have. ‘Blasphemy’ is easy to hate when it is someone else’s sin. Blasphemy doesn’t look so bad though when you come home from 110 degree weather to an air-conditioned home, chilled nicely to 70 degrees. Who cares if it is infidel work?

This has already worked with much of the region’s wealthy elite. Holding on to that wealth and the Western comforts it brings is perhaps the only real reason they cooperate with us at all. Now, it is the people who must learn to love our ways. The ancient Romans kept the same strategy when bringing their civilization to the outer reaches of the Empire—we call it Hellenization. It is a wonderful map to peace and stability—not to mention prosperity. Of course, it also requires that any refusal to engage in this civilized trade, and certainly any open hostility, must be met with such punishing and cruel reprisals as to make any the very thought of resistance painful. Both aspects of this strategy need to be reviewed closely by the Western powers. We are not doing nearly enough to Hellenize the people of the Middle East, nor do we seem willing to make resistance too painful even to contemplate.

In the meantime, I sit languidly in the heat and wait anxiously for the repairman to install the new unit. As I watch him work, I marvel at how much of a difference such a device has made in my life, and what such simple, thoughtless amenities might do for the world. “But today, of all days, it is brought home to me: it is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.”

Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.


Forecasters Revise Hurricane Predictions, "Global Warming" Cited

Not really, but it seems that every weather story that comes out now has at least some reference to "global warming" being the catalyst or at least a factor in producing bad weather:
MIAMI (AP) -- The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season should be slightly less active than originally predicted, federal forecasters said Tuesday.

Forecasters now expect there to be 12 to 15 named storms and seven to nine hurricanes, the National Hurricane Center and other National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agencies said.

. . .

The two forecasts still would make this season busier than long-term averages, but in line with an increase in the Atlantic that started in 1995. Federal forecasters say warmer waters, more moisture and other conditions have been responsible for that increase, which could last for another decade or longer.
At least the article here recognizes that weather trends follow short and long term patterns that are external from "global warming" which would only indicate a permanent increase in patterns--either by exacerbating frequency or intensity or both.

Had the news been more grim, and the number of expected storms increased, the MSM not only would have made the revised forecast top news, but would have accompanied it with much handwringing about "global warming", "climate change", and evil oil companies that pollute the environment.


Primary Roundup: Perlmutter Vs. O'Donnell In CD 7, Lamborn Upsets Crank For CD 5

What a night!

Ed Perlmutter's trouncing of Peggy Lamm is somewhat unexpected, given Lamm's big visibility push and name recognition. A win was not unforeseeable, but a nearly sixteen percent margin of victory is, even when factoring in Herb Rubenstein's spoiler role. Adding in his tally, Lamm still would have lost by six points.
Given the stakes of this district's outcome, the battle appears to have already begun:
Shortly after declaring victory, Perlmutter jumped on O'Donnell for representing more of the same when it comes to what he called President Bush's failed war in Iraq, his failures to develop alternatives to fossil fuels and the Republican- led Congress' deficit spending.

"I'm going to be about change and debate and checks and balances, and he's going to be about more of the same," Perlmutter said.

O'Donnell fired back, vowing not to cut and run from the war and promising to protect the president's tax cuts if elected.

And he insisted that he does not represent the Republican status quo.

"I represent a new generation of leadership," he said. "I represent new blood, honest answers and new solutions."
Here is the breakdown for the 7th CD by party affiliation:
County Republican Democrat Unaffiliated

• Adams 17,354--22,943--22,142

• Arapahoe 23,135--32,047--31,271

• Jefferson 72,390--65,613--69,334

Total 112,879--120,603--122,747
Given those numbers it is clear why the district is completely up-for-grabs though it has been a Republican seat, and could be the bellwether race for control of the House in 2006.

Another surprise is Doug Lamborn's late upset victory over Jeff Crank who had been leading all night and had been considered the frontrunner in a wide field. Absentee ballots finally put Lamborn past the post in the end as he leap-frogged a seemingly daunting lead by Crank.
As the seat has never been held by a Democrat, and is firmly ensconced in a reliably conservative/Republican stronghold, this seat is not in contention, but political missteps and upsets can never be ruled out. Barring such blunders, Lamborn will succeed Joel Hefley as the representative for Colorado's 5th Congressional District.

From RMN's election ticker:
Democrat primary Votes Percent
Ed Perlmutter 15,385 53.4%
Peggy Lamm 10,857 37.7%
Herb Rubenstein 2,569 8.9%
317 of 324 reporting Total: 28,811

Republican primary Votes Percentage
Doug Lamborn 14,997 27.0%
Jeff Crank 14,076 25.4%
Bentley Rayburn 9,591 17.3%
Lionel Rivera 7,150 12.9%
John Anderson 6,411 11.6%
Duncan Bremer 3,262 5.9%
Precincts: 423 of 424 reporting Total: 55,487


August 08, 2006

Gore Hypocrisy--Reducing Carbon Footprint By Selling Second Home

John Tierney, in an op-ed for the NY Times (subscribers only), takes those like Al Gore to task concerning second homes, carbon footprints, and the liberal salves used to assuage guilt from excessive energy use--like Catholic indulgences:
Fine advice, and it would be even better if he journeyed to his lectures exclusively on Greyhound. But he seems to prefer cars and planes. When you tally up his international travel to inspect melting glaciers and the domestic trips between his homes — one in Washington and another in Nashville, not to mention the family farm in rural Tennessee featured in the movie — you’re looking at a Godzilla-sized carbon footprint.

. . .

Granted, some environmentalists deal publicly with their carbon footprints. Gore and David say they offset their energy usage by sponsoring reductions in greenhouse gases through alternative forms of power and energy conservation (like building wind farms and paying farmers to turn methane into electricity). But are “carbon offsets” sufficient compensation? Not to activists like Charles Komanoff, an economic consultant to environmental groups.

He argues in Grist, an environmental magazine, that paying a penny or so per mile to offset the carbon from driving your car isn’t the moral equivalent of riding your bike instead. It’s more like the Catholic Church’s old system of selling indulgences so the rich could avoid something scarier than global warming: purgatory. Quoting Gandhi — “Be the change you want to see in the world” — Komanoff says his fellow environmentalists should stop offering “get out of purgatory free” cards to the rich and instead insist that everyone personally reduce energy use.

I’m not such a purist myself — I’d let the average person salve his conscience with a carbon indulgence. But I’d hold environmentalist preachers like Gore to higher standards, especially when they’re engaging in unnecessary energy use. And since I cannot afford a second home, I can objectively determine it to be unnecessary.
At least some environmentally concerned activists realize that others on their side are hypocrites.

Energy for me and my SUV, and private jet, and second home
but not for thee.

Oh, and feel guilty about it too!


Liveblogging The Colorado Primary--Updated

The importance of this race is easily overshadowed by the much more prominent races in Connecticut and Georgia. But as this election will show, a single congressional seat switch from Republican to Democrat represents a two vote swing.

Rick O'Donnell must wage a vigorous campaign in order to preserve the seat for Republicans. Perlmutter or Lamm can count on a roughly divided district and one that went for Kerry, as well as a pretty evenly split party registration with plenty of "independents". This is not a "safe seat" and has been clearly in the "toss-up" category since Bob Beauprez decided to run for governor.

The first numbers out are usually misleading, but given that nearly an hour has passed since the polls closed, here are the first significant numbers up tonight:

Voting feed here.

7:42 PM--Dem 7th--Perlmutter leads Lamm by 16%, but this margin is sure to close as results roll in (18000 votes in)

8:36 PM--Dem 7th--Perlmutter lead begins to shrink a bit, but there are still only 2 precincts reporting (doesn't give much hope to a swift result on election night in November)

9:11 PM--Dem 7th--With 52 of 324 precincts in, Perlmutter still retains a large but not insurmountable lead, 53-38.

Others liveblogging Colorado:
ToTheRight--Great overall Colorado coverage.



"Rovian" Tactics Blamed For Lieberman's Website Attack

The moonbats suspect Karl Rove is everywhere, and is now believed to have been behind the attacks on Lieberman's campaign site, if not literally then in spirit:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Officials with U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman's re-election campaign blamed "dirty politics" and "Rovian tactics" for what they said was an online attack on their Web site as Connecticut voters headed to the polls Tuesday.

The former Democratic vice presidential candidate is in a tight race for his party's nomination for a fourth term to the Senate.

"Rovian" is a reference to White House aide and presidential political adviser Karl Rove, whom Democrats frequently have accused of unethical campaign tactics.

The Web site,, has been unavailable since Monday afternoon. Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith suggested that the campaign of the senator's primary opponent, Ned Lamont, or his supporters were responsible for the disruption.

"This type of dirty politics has been a staple of the Lamont campaign from the beginning, from the nonstop personal attacks to the intimidation tactics and offensive displays to these coordinated efforts to disable our Web site," said Smith in a statement e-mailed to reporters Monday evening.

"There is no place for these Rovian tactics in Democratic politics, and we demand that our opponent call off his supporters and their online attack dogs."
And this is from the mainstream Democrat, not Lamont's loony left!



"Global Warming" Hype Nothing But "Climate Porn"

According to a British think tank:
Apocalyptic visions of climate change used by newspapers, environmental groups and the UK government amount to "climate porn", a think-tank says.

The report from the Labour-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says over-use of alarming images is a "counsel of despair".

It says they make people feel helpless and says the use of cataclysmic imagery is partly commercially motivated.

. . .

Coverage breaks down, they concluded, into several distinct areas, including:
--Alarmism, characterised by images and words of catastrophe
--Settlerdom, in which "common sense" is used to argue against the scientific consensus
--Rhetorical scepticism, which argues the science is bad and the dangers hyped
--Techno-optimism, the argument that technology can solve the problem
Not only commercially motivated, but ideologically as well. Climate change--if the globe was cooling as some had predicted back in the 1970s--would be taken to mean the same thing policy-wise for the same groups of people. They worry about "global warming" now, but if it was "global cooling" instead, the hype and hysteria would be the same.

An example of "climate porn":
No British newspaper has taken climate change to its core agenda quite like the Independent, which regularly publishes graphic-laden front pages threatening global meltdown, with articles inside continuing the theme.

A recent leader, commenting on the heatwave then affecting Britain, said: "Climate change is an 18-rated horror film. This is its PG-rated trailer.

"The awesome truth is that we are the last generation to enjoy the kind of climate that allowed civilisation to germinate, grow and flourish since the start of settled agriculture 11,000 years ago."
Hyperbole. Hysteria. Hype.

The true source of "global warming"? Alarmists' hot air.



August 07, 2006

Pro-Israel, Anti Terror Rally In Denver

Over a thousand people from the Denver/Boulder Jewish and Christian community gather on the west steps of the Capitol in support of Israel and America's fight against terrorism. The rally began shortly following a shofar (ram's horn) blowing. (Evan Semón © News)

The nearly three hour rally went off without a hitch, as speakers including Reps. Musgrave and Tancredo and representatives for Sens. Allard and Salazar reaffirmed Israel's right to self-defense:
American and Israeli flags flew side by side as hundreds of Coloradans gathered on the west steps of the Capitol Sunday evening for a rally in support of Israel and the war against terrorism.

"(Israel) is seriously fighting the terrorists," said Peter Wright, who had draped a blue-and-white Israeli flag over his shoulders and held a smaller one in his hand. "As far as I'm concerned, Hezbollah is one of the cowardly terrorist groups."

. . .

Throughout the crowd supporters held signs that read "JerUSAlem - United We Stand, Divided We Fall" and "No Concession, No Terrorists."

Supporter Mike Higgs wore a leather motorcycle vest and a blue ribbon pinned to his shirt.

"I think they (Israel) have the right to do what they need to do to protect their country, just the same as we do," said Higgs, a Vietnam veteran from Thornton. "If we were under attack, getting bombed day after day, wouldn't we want to stop it?"

Higgs motioned to the phrase on a man's white T-shirt: "Except for ending slavery, fascism, Nazism and communism, war has never solved anything."

"That," Higgs said, "basically sums it up."


Speculation On Beauprez's Lieutenant Governor Choice

ToTheRight has some insight and analysis into who's in and who's out as Beauprez's potential running-mate.


Gorebot Visits Denver, Flogs "An Inconvenient Truth"

Al Gore drones on about "global warming" while criss-crossing the country in an effort to stop pollution (video):
Gore spoke for a few minutes to the crowd about global warming and possible solutions which he says has become his passion.

"We are now putting 70 million tons of global warming pollution into the Earth's atmosphere everyday. That'll happen today and there'll be a little more than that tomorrow. Twenty-five million tons a day are going into the ocean making them more acidic," he said. "It truly is a planetary emergency. And we have to rise to the challenge and solve it. The good news is we can."

. . .

CSU Hurricane Forecaster Dr. William Gray says he doesn't dispute there has been global warming the last 20 to 30 years, he just doesn't agree with Gore about what brought it on.

"Al Gore believes it's totally due to humans putting greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. There's no doubt greenhouse gases they have gone up, but there are many ways in which the globe could warm without greenhouse gases," said Gray.

Dr. Gray says a variety of things have caused global warming in the present and will in the future: slight changes in ocean circulation, changes in cloud cover, differences in rainfall and slight changes in luminosity of the sun.

Gray is currently writing a critical review of Gore's book and movie.
If Gore was serious about reducing CO2 emissions, he would cut his promotional travel, not issue a book which consumes trees, chemicals, and dyes, and not encourage people to drive to their local theater to see his movie. Just distribute the film for free over the internet. No paper for books, no exhaust from cars.



August 06, 2006

Much Ado In Loveland: Censorship In Action

Judi Schwandt of Loveland takes a break from her bike ride Wednesday to study a sculpture of two nude women and one nude man. “Triangle” is near a busy Loveland roundabout, and critics say it's distracting and inappropriate. Its sculptor says “Triangle” symbolizes people's interdependence. (Post / Helen H. Richardson)

It appears that the anti-nudity zealots have succeeded in coercing the City Council of Loveland to examine whether or not it should be the ultimate arbiter of "appropriate" and "decent" art for the city:
Several critics are pushing to have "Triangle" moved from its location at a busy roundabout on the eastern edge of Loveland to a park where people can choose whether to look at it. Others want the 7-foot-tall depiction of a nude man and two nude women completely removed from public view.

"I don't think it should ever have been produced and I don't think it belongs here in Loveland," said Melissa Morgan, a mother of five.

Morgan and others opposing the sculpture won a victory of sorts this week. The Loveland City Council on Tuesday agreed to study changing an ordinance to allow the council to overrule the Visual Arts Commission, which oversees the city's public art program.
The "Triangle" does not meet Morgan's personal standard of decency, and so the City Council must now consider censoring not only the sculpture in question, but whether or not to assume full responsibility over the city's art program, in effect stifling the commission's role entirely.
"People may be thinking that this is a community full of prudes," said Kimberly Kreutzer, the wife of a local artist.
They already have.

But once again there is a strange hypersexualization of the sculpture by its opponents, revealing more about them, perhaps, than about the sculpture itself:
In any other context, the statue would be considered obscene under city ordinances, said Dan Danowski, who wants it moved to another location.

"If you look at it, it's pretty clear the intent of the statue is sexual," he said.
Nude? Yes. Sexual? Debatable, but certainly on a scale of 1 to 10, this would have to be on the rather innocuous side. Of course, there were people who nearly exploded at the sight of Janet Jackson's nipple. Out of curiosity, what other context could this sculpture be place in within the city limits of Loveland that would automatically make it obscene? This community has standards of decency, remember?
City Councilman Glenn Rousey agrees with the assessment of another artist who spoke to the council Tuesday. "He said he knows what a sex act is, and this is not a sex act," Rousey said.

He worries the city may be setting a dangerous precedent by allowing specific groups to dictate what art is appropriate for public display.
Once again, sexual? Maybe. Sex act? No. Unless you have absolutely no idea how sex actually occurs.

Much Ado In Loveland: The Recall
Much Ado II: More "Offensive" Nudes In Loveland
Much Ado In Loveland: Proposed Sculpture Arouses Community Ire



Sunday Funnies: Vaderpalooza

Darth Vader has run amok in these YouTube videos:

Darth Vader-The Symphony

Darth Vader-The Smartass (h/t Hot Air)

Darth Vader-The Videoconference

Darth Vader-The Musical




August 05, 2006

Herb Rubenstein Lashes Out At Heated Primary Rhetoric

Criticizes Ed Perlmutter and Peggy Lamm for attacking each other and making Rick O'Donnell's task in November that much easier in a tightly contested district:
One of three candidates in the 7th Congressional District primary all but bowed out of the race Friday while claiming that his fellow Democrats' negative campaigns hurt the chances of taking the seat back from Republicans in November.

"Whoever wins this race, and obviously it's not going to be me, is going to have to come to me to help try and mend fences," Herb Rubenstein said. "This race has broken the Democratic Party in the 7th district."

Ed Perlmutter, who was endorsed by labor unions and almost all of the big-name Democrats who chose to weigh in on the primary, said he appreciated Rubenstein for broadening the debate. But both he and Peggy Lamm, the other Democrat in the race, disagreed that the mudslinging primary had fractured the party.

"We're going to do everything we can to win in November, and I am completely confident we are going to win," Lamm said.
That will depend on how much damage was exacted in the primary race and how unified the Democratic party is after August 8.



Most Ballot Measures Since 1912 For Colorado

Voting could be tricky with up to 20 ballot measures potentially choking the voting process, and creating very long lines--bring a cheat sheet!:
The Secretary of State's deadline to submit signatures for a citizen initiative is Monday and conceivably, 13 of those could join the seven referenda already sent to the ballot by state lawmakers.

That would be two short of the record 22 measures decided 94 years ago in the first Colorado election including ballot measures.

. . .

The 1912 ballot included Coloradans voting down prohibition on alcohol, establishing an 8-hour work day for women and miners and rejecting a call to set up the Colorado State Fair.

Since then, the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California has calculated there have been 189 citizen-based initiatives introduced in Colorado. Voters have approved 67, rejected 122 for a passage rate of roughly 35 percent.

. . .

Dennis believes the length of the ballot may turn off voters to those initiatives which by virtue of getting signatures in late, show up at the bottom of the ballot.

"Voters get frustrated," she said. "When there's that much to look at and there's that many choices to make, they just start voting no."
This does not include local mill levies, city/county proposals, and judge confirmations that will make a quick vote nearly impossible.

Once a final list of the proposals is made by the Secretary of State, an examination of the more important issues will be discussed here.


Israeli Propaganda

Yalla Ya Nasrallah--catchy tune, great lyrics. Effective propaganda? Hard to judge from the outside, but watching it would certainly rankle the delicate sensibilities of the Hezbollah crowd. Judge for yourself (h/t Power Line):

Perhaps most telling is that the video has been "flagged" by the YouTube users, no doubt offended by Israel's uppity attitude in the video.

Defending yourself, geez! What warmongers!



August 04, 2006

Decrying Illegal Immigration

A Brilliant video found on YouTube, made by a fellow LEGAL Immigrant to the USA. Awesome song too.


Cheyenne Mountain To Close, NORAD Moving

Via the Washington Post

Of course, my unofficial, off-the-record USAF contacts tell me it's simply to make room for a bigger Stargate Command ;-)


August 03, 2006

Proof 1/3 Of US Is Nuts, 9/11 Conspiracy Belief Grows According To Poll

A new poll indicates that slightly more than one out of every three Americans believes that the Federal Government either took part in or did nothing to prevent the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon nearly five years ago:

More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East, according to a new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.

The national survey of 1,010 adults also found that anger against the federal government is at record levels, with 54 percent saying they "personally are more angry" at the government than they used to be.

Widespread resentment and alienation toward the national government appears to be fueling a growing acceptance of conspiracy theories about the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Suspicions that the 9/11 attacks were "an inside job" - the common phrase used by conspiracy theorists on the Internet - quickly have become nearly as popular as decades-old conspiracy theories that the federal government was responsible for President John F. Kennedy's assassination and that it has covered up proof of space aliens.
American also have more feelings of anger toward the government than before 9/11:

Seventy percent of people who give credence to these theories also say they've become angrier with the federal government than they used to be.

Thirty-six percent of respondents overall said it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them "because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East."

"One out of three sounds high, but that may very well be right," said Lee Hamilton, former vice chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also called the 9/11 commission.) His congressionally appointed investigation concluded that federal officials bungled their attempts to prevent, but did not participate in, the attacks by al Qaeda five years ago.

"A lot of people I've encountered believe the U.S. government was involved," Hamilton said. "Many say the government planned the whole thing. Of course, we don't think the evidence leads that way at all."
Here are some more of the poll's findings:

Sixteen percent of Americans speculate that secretly planted explosives, not burning passenger jets, were the real reason the massive twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed.

Twelve percent suspect the Pentagon was struck by a military cruise missile in 2001 rather than by an airliner captured by terrorists.

More proof of the "big lie" in action. 9/11 allowed those neo-con fascists to go to war. As is the case with propaganda and overheated rhetoric, it is no wonder that the belief of 9/11 conspiracy has grown in popularity relatively recently. Accusing everyone from the President to Americans in general of being responsible for the attacks directly or indirectly (Bush planned the attacks, the "little Eichmanns", according to Ward Churchill, brought it on themselves by being capitalist "technocrats") allows the moonbat tinfoil-hat crowd to avoid recognizing the true source of the 9/11 terrorist attack, Islamofascism.

But things take time, you know.

Why are Americans latching on to such nonsense? Instructor Kevin Barrett of UW-Madison will get the chance this fall to spread his wild conspiracy theories about government complicity. Some have created propaganda designed to show just how the government carried out the attack, even as others debunked their silly arguments.
Conspiracy-believing participants in the poll agree their suspicions are recent.

"I certainly didn't think of conspiracies when 9/11 first happened," said Elaine Tripp, 62, of Tabernacle, N.J. "I don't know if President Bush was aware of the exact time it was going to happen. But he certainly didn't do enough to stop it. Bush was so intent on having his own little war."

Garrett Johnson, 19, of Manassas, Va., said it was "well after the fact" before he started questioning the official explanation of the attacks. "But then people I know started talking about it. And the Internet had a lot to do with this. After reading all of the different articles there, I started to think we weren't being told the truth."
So should the conservative blogosphere, and decent Americans in general be worried about this trend? Surely having one out of every three people believing such absurdities should give one pause--or maybe that third is just prone to wacky theories and the conspiracy mentality:
The level of suspicion of U.S. official involvement in a 9/11 conspiracy was only slightly behind the 40 percent who suspect "officials in the federal government were directly responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy" and the 38 percent who believe "the federal government is withholding proof of the existence of intelligent life from other planets."

The poll found that a majority of young adults give at least some credence to a 9/11 conspiracy compared to less than a fourth of people 65 or older. Members of racial and ethnic minorities, people with only a high school education and Democrats were especially likely to suspect federal involvement in 9/11.