September 29, 2006

Map Of The Middle East

Examine the map of the Middle East, and note just how long the "evil" infidels occupied the Muslim sandbox:


Victor David Hanson: The Benevolence Of The West

Food for thought this weekend:
The Benevolence of the West

Throughout these last crazy weeks, I have been struck by Western tolerance and benevolence. Can you imagine, as Pakistan’s Musharref does, a President Bush publishing his book in Pakistan and then touring the Hindu Kush, hawking its message of criticism of his host to local tribes?

Or can you imagine, thousands in the street in the US or Europe, chanting ‘Death to Islam’ over the latest theocratic rant from Iran or Saudi Arabia?

Or better yet, imagine how 15,000 American Christian students would be treated in Saudi Arabia, had 15 Americans blown up 3,000 Saudis.

Or contemplate enormous Christian Churches being built by expatriate Americans in Riyadh?

Or what if the Pope thought the Islamic exclusion of infidels from Mecca was a good idea worth emulating, and thus no non-Christians could enter either Rome or the Vatican?

The West really is the world’s life raft, and that is why immigration—civilization’s precious barometer of men’s innermost thoughts—always flows from East to West, never vice versa.


Palate Cleansing--"Poll Smoking"

Potentially NSFW, but hilarious examination of America's fixation with election polling:


Rocky Mountain News Endorses Bill Ritter

The Rocky Mountain News endorsed Bob Beauprez in each of his congressional races, but chooses Bill Ritter for governor of Colorado, for some pretty unsurprising reasons:
Our choice was not an easy one, since we also admire Ritter's Republican opponent, Bob Beauprez. Indeed, we have to believe the 7th District congressman - whom we've endorsed both times he's run - would certainly make a better governor than he has let on during this campaign. For that matter, the most powerful argument for electing Beauprez may be to preserve a divided government in a state where the legislature is likely to remain dominated by Democrats.

This is a legislature that in the past two years, despite real accomplishments, has churned out a remarkable array of cockamamie measures that would have curtailed economic freedom and enhanced the power of such Democratic stalwarts as trial lawyers and unions. (One especially ignorant bill that passed allowed the state to "opt out" of international trade agreements.) Owens vetoed most of those bills and Beauprez undoubtedly would veto similar ones in the future. Fortunately, Ritter insists he'd spike the bulk of such legislation, too.

For us, the tipping point between the two men has to do with their campaigns. To be blunt, Beauprez's performance during the past 15 months has not been reassuring. It began with his taking an unconvincing stand against Referendum C, one seemed designed to secure his right flank rather than satisfy personal conviction. It continued with his mysterious embrace and then repudiation of Amendment 38, and a couple of verbal gaffes. And for a long time it wasn't clear why Beauprez even wanted to be governor. Only recently - too late in our view - have his positions begun to gel into a focused, coherent message.

This newspaper has watched Ritter under fire and seen him take on new challenges. In everything he does there's a certain steadiness that we believe Coloradans will find reassuring.

Eighteen months ago Ritter was an improbable candidate whom few gave a chance of grabbing the Democratic Party's nomination, given his anti-abortion views. Now he's poised to defy the odds and become the next governor. Fortunately for Coloradans, he's shown he deserves it.
In other words, Beauprez snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The RMN endorsement basically restates many of the points this blog highlighted two weeks ago: Beauprez doing too little, too late.

Campaigning is not just about wonky policy points, negative attack ads, shaking hands and fundraising. The campaign itself creates perceptions that resonate beyond the candidates themselves. In 2002 Tom Strickland's often angry and defensive demeanor helped Wayne Allard's low-key approach. Allard's campaign made the voters think about Strickland-the-candidate and less about reelection. Strickland proved he could not escape the "lawyer-lobbyist" appellation.

Beauprez has proved unable to assert his own presence in the campaign, let alone do anything substantive to overcome the "Both Ways Bob" moniker that his then-primary opponent Marc Holtzman dubbed him. Ritter's campaign and supporters merely folded this catchy phrase into their own campaign framework. Ritter has made the campaign about Beauprez, and reduced the focus on himself. Beauprez's campaign has faltered repeatedly, failing to even get out of the gate. With the polls that have come out the past few weeks seeming to confirm Beauprez's deficit, it appears that the Republican candidate--barring any last minute revelation or miracle push--will be DOA on November 7.


Woman Dubbed "Tokyo Rose" Dies

Without a doubt very few CU students would know this woman's suspected role in WWII:
Iva Toguri D'Aquino, who was convicted and later pardoned of being World War II propagandist "Tokyo Rose," died Tuesday of natural causes, said her nephew, William Toguri. She was 90.

Tokyo Rose was the name given by soldiers to a female radio broadcaster responsible for anti-American transmissions intended to demoralize soldiers fighting in the Pacific theater. D'Aquino was the only U.S. citizen identified among the potential suspects.

In 1949, she became the seventh person to be convicted of treason in American history and served six years in prison. But doubts about her possible role as Tokyo Rose later surfaced and she was pardoned by President Gerald Ford in 1977.


Inhofe Blasts Biases, Scaremongering MSM On "Global Warming"

Following Sen. Inhofe's comments on "global warming"misinformation and alarmism earlier this week, CNN issued a hit-piece claiming Inhofe "stood alone" in his views in Washington. The rest of the MSM was predictable in its response, which you can guess meant a complete lack of coverage. Squelching opposition through silence, the MSM's tool of choice.


Vail Arsonists/Eco-Terrorists Enter Plea

Time to face the music, enviro-wackos.


CU Seniors Behind Nat'l Avg. In History Knowledge

No wonder being a teaching assistant in introductory level history classes was so hard in terms of grading, testing my patience on a daily basis.

CU students are morons when it comes to history:
University of Colorado seniors who were asked introductory-level questions about U.S. history, government and the economy answered correctly less than half the time, according to a new study.

Nationwide, college seniors got just 53.2 percent of the 60 multiple-choice answers correct, according to Tuesday's report from the University of Connecticut's Department of Public Policy. At Colorado, the school's freshmen scored only 39.7 percent and seniors just 48.6 percent.

"I wouldn't want to suggest that a 48.6 is something we ought to be excited about," CU Regent Tom Lucero said. "We all ought to be concerned. I think it's not only an indictment of the university for its teaching of American history, government and economics but it's also an indictment of K-12. You're talking about freshmen who are coming to us illiterate in these areas."

Campus administrators need to review the study before commenting, spokesman Barrie Hartman said.

More than 14,000 students took the test, which included questions about the formation of the U.S. government, the Civil War, Reconstruction, women's suffrage, World War II, the Bill of Rights, Saddam Hussein and free enterprise.
This news is not surprising, however, my own teaching experience notwithstanding.

Why? Because high school and college history courses now indoctrinate victimhood, sensitivity, diversity, and contempt for the evil and dreaded dead-white-males. Instead of learning some historical facts along with their context, students are subjected to historical revisionism from the likes of Howard Zinn, lies and misinformation from Ward Churchill, and pedagogical techniques that prioritize diversity, multiculturalism, and "concepts" or "themes" over facts and historical frameworks that help student's understand the cause and effect of history. As a result, even mastering simple chronology is beyond most students.

This revelation now explains why two years ago, in an introductory U.S. survey course (Civil War-present), one student answered a question explaining a point about WWII by citing the German invasion of the Japanese-held Philippines as a reason for the United States entering the war. My head nearly exploded with disbelief when I read that sentence. Of course, if entering freshman are entering with less than 40% in historical knowledge that only marginally improves to near 50% by the time they graduate, then perhaps a stronger history requirement is necessary. What astounds is that at CU (from personal knowledge) history is actually a pretty large major in the School of Arts and Sciences, with several hundred students.

Perhaps a return to education, away from the indoctrination that now pervades historical discourse, would elevate students' historical aptitude. A lack of foundational education could probably be cited for the increase in conspiracy theories, especially those that abound on the well-educated (in diversity and sensitivity, that is) but ill-informed left side of the political spectrum. They point to history to accuse their opponents, but fall short when their citations fail and their "theories" come apart upon closer scrutiny.


Denver Inches Closer To Hosting '08 Democratic National Convention

Denver still has to beat out New York, which is no small feat.

But with Minneapolis selected by the GOP for its own '08 convention, the possibility of hosting the Dems is closer to becoming reality, which for conservative/GOP bloggers is a great thing.

A good showing by Dems in Colorado this year could also give Denver a boost:
Denver City Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth, a member of the Denver 2008 host committee, thinks Colorado's location will give Denver the edge.

"I think in order for the Democratic Party to win the presidency you have to stretch the map, and the West, Midwest and Southwest brings a lot to the table politically," said Wedgeworth.

. . .

Colorado's Democrats hope their edge in the polls for the state's Governor's race and Congressional campaigns will attract the national party to build momentum for a presidential run.


Beauprez Resurrection Short-Lived

It appears that the Zogby poll, released yesterday, is in fact another outlier. A new 9NEWS-SurveyUSA poll has Ritter in the lead by 17 points, 55-38. Zogby had Beauprez within the margin of error for its poll, down approximately 3 points to Ritter.

The hole, while not getting any deeper, doesn't seem to be getting any shallower either.

Again, not insurmountable, but the window to close in on Ritter's lead is vanishing, quickly.

ToTheRight agrees.

Another blogger illustrates the flaws in Zogby.


September 28, 2006

Beauprez Resurrection?

Could two polls (RMN-CBS4 and Rasmussen) be so far off--17 and 16 points, respectively? Could one new ad bump up Beauprez's numbers?

The new Zogby poll has Beauprez within the margin of error(+/- 4%), trailing Ritter 45.5%-42.8%, a difference of just 2.7%.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. ToTheRight and ColoradoPols agree.

A Beauprez recovery is definitely a good sign, although previous criticisms still stand. Instead of such large deficit to overcome, Beauprez could be campaigning on par or even with a lead. This being the real world, Beauprez simply needs to maintain and even build on the momentum he seems to have garnered in the past week, proving it more than a temporary surge. Beauprez appears to be digging himself out of the deep hole he has found himself in, but does he and his staffers have enough to climb out by November?

Of course, it comes as no surprise that the League of Conservation Voters find Beauprez unappealing, naming him as one of their "Dirty Dozen" on environmental issues.


September 27, 2006

Gunman Takes Hostages At Colorado High School, Claims To Have Bomb

**Update (4:15MDT) via 9NEWS:
--hostage situation over
--gunman dead, shot by SWAT
--began with 6 hostages
--one female student wounded

One female student in critical condition

**Update (3:53MDT) via 9NEWS:
--2 female hostages, 1 ok, 1 critical condition (shot?, on flight for life)
--gunman in custody, fired shot, explosive device detonated

**Update (2:04MDT):
--down to two hostages?
--gunman is adult, not student
--hostages appear to be students, evacuated students proceeding calmly

BAILEY - The Department of Public Safety confirmed to 9NEWS that a gunman, claiming to have an explosive device, has taken at least four hostages in Platte Canyon High School.

Around noon, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department sent its bomb squad and its SWAT unit to the school after reports of possible gun fire inside the school. Park County requested assistance from Jefferson County assistance.

Park County Sheriff's Department has confirmed there is one man, with a gun, inside the school. He has claimed to have a bomb. They have also confirmed he has a female hostage. They are also reporting that there are no known injuries at this point.

Reportedly the Park County Sheriff says they received a 911 call from the man inside the school telling them he had the hostage. Law enforcement officers are moving through the evacuated buildings searching for any people left inside and trying to assess the situation.

Platte Canyon High School has been evacuated and both sides of highway 285 have been closed to facilitate the evacuations between mile markers 218 and 222.
Denver Post
Rocky Mountain News



September 26, 2006

Colorado Republican Demise--Another One Bites The Dust?

If Bob Beauprez and Rick O'Donnell can't turn around their ailing campaigns before the absentee ballots go out in a couple weeks--in other words making their campaigns competitive--then Colorado Democrats and Dems nationwide will be celebrating more Colorado surprises, building on their one 2004 success, electing Ken Salazar to the Senate. Even Marilyn Musgrave and Doug Lamborn face tough challengers in once "safe" Republican seats.


O'Donnell Joins Beauprez In Double-Digit Deficit

Ed Perlmutter now has a commanding lead over Rick O'Donnell to succeed Beauprez in CD-7:
Democrat Ed Perlmutter has surged to a 17-point lead over Republican Rick O'Donnell in a new 9NEWS poll conducted by Survey USA in the race to represent Colorado's 7th Congressional District.

. . .

Perlmutter's advantage comes from a 40-percentage point lead he holds among self-described moderates who make up nearly half of the likely voters polled (65%-25%) and a 25-point edge among independent voters (54%-29%). Perlmutter also leads among women voters by a significant margin (59%-31%).

O'Donnell is receiving the support of 76% of Republicans, but 14% of the Republicans surveyed said they would support Perlmutter. That's in contrast to the four percent of Democrats who favor O'Donnell while Perlmutter keeps 93% of his own party's support.

The survey's participants were 38% Republican, 37% Democratic and 24% Independent.
ColoradoPols notes the effect that two feeble Republican candidates--Beauprez and O'Donnell--will have on potential Republican turnout for local house and senate races.

Although one should also note that even though President Bush carried Colorado in 2004, Pete Coors lost to Ken Salazar, evidencing little carry-over/coattails effect. A lack of a motivated base in that election for Coors, and similarly for Beauprez and O'Donnell does not bode well for Republicans on the state level.


September 25, 2006

Sen. Inhofe--“Hot & Cold Media Spin: A Challenge To Journalists Who Cover Global Warming”

Sen. Inhofe reminds Americans that the MSM has flip-flopped on the "climate change" issue FOUR TIMES since the late 19th century, each time preaching alarmism and fearmongering devolving into "climate porn":
Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods. From 1895 until the 1930’s the media pedaled a coming ice age.

From the late 1920’s until the 1960’s they warned of global warming. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes modern global warming the fourth estate’s fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years. Recently, advocates of alarmism have grown increasingly desperate to try to convince the public that global warming is the greatest moral issue of our generation. Just last week, the vice president of London’s Royal Society sent a chilling letter to the media encouraging them to stifle the voices of scientists skeptical of climate alarmism.

During the past year, the American people have been served up an unprecedented parade of environmental alarmism by the media and entertainment industry, which link every possible weather event to global warming. The year 2006 saw many major organs of the media dismiss any pretense of balance and objectivity on climate change coverage and instead crossed squarely into global warming advocacy.
MSM flip-flopping and fearmongering has garnered considerable following, but has also engendered backlash of a kind that AlGore types find confusing:
The media endlessly hypes studies that purportedly show that global warming could increase mosquito populations, malaria, West Nile Virus, heat waves and hurricanes, threaten the oceans, damage coral reefs, boost poison ivy growth, damage vineyards, and global food crops, to name just a few of the global warming linked calamities. Oddly, according to the media reports, warmer temperatures almost never seem to have any positive effects on plant or animal life or food production. Fortunately, the media’s addiction to so-called ‘climate porn’ has failed to seduce many Americans.

According to a July Pew Research Center Poll, the American public is split about evenly between those who say global warming is due to human activity versus those who believe it’s from natural factors or not happening at all.

In addition, an August Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll found that most Americans do not attribute the cause of recent severe weather events to global warming, and the portion of Americans who believe global warming is naturally occurring is on the rise.

Yes -- it appears that alarmism has led to skepticism.

The American people know when their intelligence is being insulted. They know when they are being used and when they are being duped by the hysterical left.

The American people deserve better -- much better -- from our fourth estate. We have a right to expect accuracy and objectivity on climate change coverage. We have a right to expect balance in sourcing and fair analysis from reporters who cover the issue.

Above all, the media must roll back this mantra that there is scientific “consensus” of impending climatic doom as an excuse to ignore recent science. After all, there was a so-called scientific “consensus” that there were nine planets in our solar system until Pluto was recently demoted.

Breaking the cycles of media hysteria will not be easy since hysteria sells -- it’s very profitable. But I want to challenge the news media to reverse course and report on the objective science of climate change, to stop ignoring legitimate voices this scientific debate and to stop acting as a vehicle for unsubstantiated hype.
Must be all that conservative, "right-wing" Fox News media peddling the "skepticism" that shatters "global warming" conformity, and questions "consensus". Either that or its all Bush's fault. Yeah, Bush, Halliburton and "Big Oil". No need for science here, folks. It's all a neo-con conspiracy!

"Oil Company Shill" Inhofe also takes on "global warming" shibboleths like the "hockey stick", "consensus", and the beleaguered polar bears.



Monday Morning Humor

Make your own.

Ace and The Jawa Report have a head start, and a carnival already going.


September 24, 2006

Global Warming--Uncertainty Should Breed Skepticism

At least that should be the lesson when scientists' conclusions are disputed:
The words "global warming" provoke a sharp retort from Colorado State University meteorology professor emeritus William Gray: "It's a big scam."

And the name of climate researcher Kevin Trenberth elicits a sputtered "opportunist."

At the National Center for Atmospheric Research, where Trenberth works, Gray's name prompts dismay. "Bill Gray is completely unreasonable," Trenberth says. "He has a mind block on this."

Only 55 miles separate NCAR's headquarters, nestled in the Front Range foothills, from CSU in Fort Collins. But when it comes to climate change, the gap is as big as any in the scientific community.

At Boulder-based NCAR, researchers project a world with warmer temperatures, fiercer storms and higher seas.

From CSU, Gray and Roger Pielke Sr., another climate professor emeritus, question the data used to make those projections and their application to regional climate change.
"Science needs skeptics," said NCAR researcher Warren Washington. Hear, hear!

More from the article:
Most scientists also agree extreme weather events like Hurricane Katrina or Los Angeles' July record 119-degree Fahrenheit temperature cannot be directly attributed to global warming.

On this much there is some scientific consensus.
The whole article details some of the main contentions from both "global warming"/"climate change" adherents, and the counter-arguments made by skeptics like Gray and Pielke. What is clear is that the science underpinning the understanding of a complex system like Earth's atmosphere does not lend itself to simplistic explanations, and therefore consensus should not easily be achieved. Even if observed global temperatures have risen since the 19th century, as scientists argue, the reason for the warming is much less clear. There lies the dispute, and the need for a healthy dose of skepticism.

Enviro hacks and "global warming" scaremongers misapprehend and misrepresent what motivates skeptics to draw alternative conclusions to their rather dire forecasts. Skeptics do not wish to pollute more, increase profits for some oil company, or advance "George W. Chimpy McHitlerburton"'s evil global scheme for empire. Skeptics do, however, wish to base public policy on sound science. Conclusions made without meaningful backing (scientific proof instead of "consensus") lead to meaningless gestures that ruin economies and could trigger worse environmental worries than those caused by stable, growing economies.

Just think what an economically depressed world would be to environmental standards, as states compete for dwindling and increasingly expensive fuel and raw material resources. Healthier and wealthier economies, like the United States, have the economic ability to pursue expensive alternative fuel methods, and improve environmental standards through invention, free-market reform, and capitalism. To the hard-left/enviros this represents "evil" exploitation. To level-headed rational people, this represents a much better alternative to toothless Kyoto-style treaties filled more with hope and wishful thinking and based on shoddy or agenda-driven science.



Former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar: "Muslims Should Apologize For Occupying Spain For 800 Years"

So good, it should be repeated:
"Muslims should apologize for occupying Spain for 800 years"

Anti-dhimmitude from the former Spanish PM Aznar; too bad the leftists and dhimmis in Spain turned the government over to the appeaser Zapatero (via Dhimmi Watch):
Muslims should apologize for occupying Spain for 800 years and a U.N.-backed program to encourage dialogue between them and West is stupid, former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar has said. Aznar made his comments Friday night in a speech at the Hudson Institute, a thinktank in Washington, D.C., as he discussed Pope Benedict XVI's recent remarks on Islam and violence.

Aznar, a firm ally of U.S. President George W. Bush and his war on terror, said the West is under attack from radical Islam and must defend itself. “It is them or it is us,” Aznar said. “There is no middle ground.” He did not elaborate. Aznar said he found it surprising that Muslims have demanded an apology from the pope over his Sept. 12 remarks.

Aznar noted the nearly 800-year Moorish occupation of Spain that began in the year 711 with an invasion from North Africa. He said Muslims had never apologized for this but still demand apologies whenever they feel offended by remarks by non-Muslims. “It's absurd,” Aznar said.

He also criticized an initiative launched last year by his Socialist successor, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, to encourage dialogue between the West and Muslim countries.
Whining Muslims, seething and overwrought from comments made in an academic speech by the Pope, demand apologies--all the while playing the "victim" card and boo-hooing about the Crusades. More Europeans displaying the intestinal fortitude of Aznar are required to turn the tide against appeasers, leftist collusionists, and general cultural paralysis.


Zapatero-Las Fallas puppet



September 23, 2006

Ritter Retains Double-Digit Lead Over Beauprez

From Rasmussen (via RealClearPolitics), this time 50%-34% with 10% undecided. The poll seems to validate the RMN-CBS4 poll of a week earlier that found a 17% gap between the candidates. Many dismissed that poll as an outlier.

At this time, the Rasmussen poll remains subscriber-only, but if the methodology proves unbiased, the concurrence of the two polls paints a rather bleak picture for Beauprez's chance of recovery over the next few weeks.


Pope VS Islam--The Cartoons

A round-up of cartoonists' take on the Muslim Pope Rage--the redundancy captures the essence of the conflict, with Muslims reacting violently to a quote from the Pope that referred to violence inherent to Islam:



September 22, 2006

Mao And Then--China's Communist Dictator Remembered

Al-Jazeera remembers the "Man of the Poor"

A generation ago, the West withstood the onslaught of totalitarian Communism and its fellow travelers (including state socialism). Communist terrorists, in contrast to Islamic terrorists of today, were usually the heads of state, like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Fidel, etc. Given Al-Jazeera's leanings, it is not surprising that a reflective and odious ode to Mao pops up to commemorate thirty years of his passing, and perhaps in reminding us of the beginning of the very long end of Communist Party rule, that Islamic terror may be a passing (in decades) manifestation of evil.

Let us hope and pray.



September 19, 2006

Karen Armstrong--Former Nun Shills For Islam

An editorial by former nun Karen Armstrong in al-Guardian, the UK's Islam apologetics spin machine, begins with the following headline:
We cannot afford to maintain these ancient prejudices against Islam

The Pope's remarks were dangerous, and will convince many more Muslims that the west is incurably Islamophobic"
"Ancient prejudices"? "Incurably Islamophobic"? Has Karen Armstrong been getting into the communion wine?

Moral equivalency, historical disingenuousness, and self-loathing continue apace:
In the 12th century, Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Cluny, initiated a dialogue with the Islamic world. "I approach you not with arms, but with words," he wrote to the Muslims whom he imagined reading his book, "not with force, but with reason, not with hatred, but with love." Yet his treatise was entitled Summary of the Whole Heresy of the Diabolical Sect of the Saracens and segued repeatedly into spluttering intransigence. Words failed Peter when he contemplated the "bestial cruelty" of Islam, which, he claimed, had established itself by the sword. Was Muhammad a true prophet? "I shall be worse than a donkey if I agree," he expostulated, "worse than cattle if I assent!"

Peter was writing at the time of the Crusades. Even when Christians were trying to be fair, their entrenched loathing of Islam made it impossible for them to approach it objectively. For Peter, Islam was so self-evidently evil that it did not seem to occur to him that the Muslims he approached with such "love" might be offended by his remarks. This medieval cast of mind is still alive and well.

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI quoted, without qualification and with apparent approval, the words of the 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." The Vatican seemed bemused by the Muslim outrage occasioned by the Pope's words, claiming that the Holy Father had simply intended "to cultivate an attitude of respect and dialogue toward the other religions and cultures, and obviously also towards Islam".

But the Pope's good intentions seem far from obvious. Hatred of Islam is so ubiquitous and so deeply rooted in western culture that it brings together people who are usually at daggers drawn. Neither the Danish cartoonists, who published the offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad last February, nor the Christian fundamentalists who have called him a paedophile and a terrorist, would ordinarily make common cause with the Pope; yet on the subject of Islam they are in full agreement.
Armstrong's apologetics for Islam, historical confusion/misinformation/falsehood, and willingness to heap the blame for Muslim Pope Rage on Catholics and the West in general, might be indicative of an inner desire to appease those she sees as the future--a sort of "get-out-of-jail" card for the former nun. An example:
The early conquests in Persia and Byzantium after the Prophet's death were inspired by political rather than religious aspirations. Until the middle of the eighth century, Jews and Christians in the Muslim empire were actively discouraged from conversion to Islam, as, according to Qur'anic teaching, they had received authentic revelations of their own. The extremism and intolerance that have surfaced in the Muslim world in our own day are a response to intractable political problems - oil, Palestine, the occupation of Muslim lands, the prevelance of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, and the west's perceived "double standards" - and not to an ingrained religious imperative.
Separating the religious from the political in Islam is impossible. Sharia law, the ultimate law in Islam, recognizes no distinction. This stands in contrast to Christianity, who from the earliest writers recognized that however much Christianity had taken hold, the spiritual and temporal held sway in different spheres. Armstrong asserts that expansion by Islam after Muhammad's death was merely political and that conversion was not compulsory. She fails to mention that for Islam, the necessity for expansion was as much motivated by religious convictions to bring the world under Islam as it was by political desires to peel off wealthy Byzantine possessions and destroy the Persian Sassanid dynasty. She also neglects to explain that the primary reason, indeed the most compelling argument for not forcing conversions on the native populations--the jizya tax. Unconverted subject people provided more tax revenue for the wealthy Caliphate than converted Muslims. Perhaps Armstrong forgot, or chose to exclude anything that might weaken her position. She even toes the appeasement line by mentioning "Palestine" instead of Israel, and claiming that Iraq and Afghanistan are "occupied" Muslim lands.

What size burqa will that be, Ms. Armstrong?

Cross-posted at Freedom's Zone



Enemies in our midst and the War on Terror

An Executive Summary:

It can no longer be denied that there are enemies within the Western World, who are, for example, British or American born and raised, yet revert to their radical Islamofascist ideas and carry out terrorist attacks. The extreme danger of this requires serious actions, and if the community feels "persecuted" by the arrests, raids etc, then they should be doing more to stop and prevent such acts, rather that the Law Enforcement Officers, Politicians etc feeling that they have to tiptoe around the issues to avoid offending anyone.

It's all very well saying that the "Muslim Community" or whoever are angry at things such as Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, but the impetus should be on THEM to understand that this is a democracy, where the majority of people elect the government, who make these decisions (or at least, that's the simplified version ). As a minority, they have no right to resort to violence to further their ideas, simply because they can't convince enough people to vote the politicians out of power who they disagree with. One could say that their behvaiour is akin to that of a disruptive, immature schoolchild, who spoils the fun for everyone else because they don't get everything they demand, no matter how hard they stamp their feet and wail.

When groups such as Al-Qaida say that their war only stops when America et al become Islamic states, we have to be proactive and premptive. It's not enough for the occasional airstrike or sniper assassination, we need to bring about a culture change similar to what happened after World War 2 in Japan, Germany etc. Even children are being indoctrinated into hating the Western World and all it stands for, and simply trying to stop threats as they appear only works for so long.


Poland Plans Reagan Statue

After all, Ronald Reagan had nothing to do with the fall of Communism, as the leftists/academics like to claim--he just endangered the world, with all those "Star Wars" programs and escalating rhetoric like "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"-- but I digress:
Polish admirers of Ronald Reagan plan to raise a statue of the former U.S president in Warsaw, where he is revered for his role in the downfall of communism in Europe.

The 3.5-metre (3.8-yard) stone-and-bronze statue will stand across from the U.S. Embassy, the head of the group raising money for the memorial said on Monday. The group includes Poles living in Poland, Canada and the United States.

"Reagan was the person who defeated the communists and opened the way for freedom in Poland," Janusz Dorosiewicz said. "The statue is a way for his legacy to live on."

Many Poles credit staunch anti-communist Reagan with helping the anti-communist movement in eastern Europe. In 1989, Poland became the first country in the region to shake off communism.

The group plans to unveil the Reagan statue on in 2007 on July 4 - the U.S. Independence Day.
Ah, the Poles, a member of the "Coalition of the Willing" and one of the few countries actually supportive of the United States. Reagan can be thanked for some of that sentiment.



Vatican Opens Pope Pius XI Archives

Documents to be opened to research are from Pope Pius XI's reign, from 1922-1939:
The Vatican has opened to scholars and historians part of its vast collection of archives.

The section being opened covers the rise of Mussolini and Hitler and the run-up to the World War II.

It dates from the reign of Pope Pius XI, who was pope from 1922 until just before the outbreak of war in 1939.

Details of the Vatican's relations with Germany's Adolf Hitler and Italy's Benito Mussolini are expected to be of great interest to scholars.
The documents should provide some insight into the Vatican's relationship with both regimes, and could offer more definitive historical reasoning that will either exonerate Pope Pius XII's troubled legacy, or implicate him further. Or, as is the state of historical discourse these days, the documents may do both.



September 18, 2006

Why The Pope Was Right About Islam

Real anti-dhimmitude from today's UK Times.

"Benedict did give offence — but no great religion should be immune from difficult questions":
It is impossible to reconcile the consistent Koranic teaching that God is most merciful with suicide bombing, which is indiscriminate and murders faithfuls and infidels alike.

It is a mistake to think that all the major religions are identical: they have real differences of doctrine that have real impacts on human society. What is true, however, is that no religion shall survive for more than a generation or two unless it has a substantial element of truth in it. The diabolical cult of Nazism lasted for only one generation. It is natural for Christians of different denominations to love what they have in common without ceasing to be aware of their differences.

A Christian should also rejoice in the positive spiritual values of the other major religions. It is natural for a Christian to feel enriched by Judaism, which was the religion of Jesus; or by Platonism, the philosophy of the opening chapter of St John’s Gospel and of St Augustine. Yet Christians also find spiritual truths in Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam itself. There is a significant link between aspects of Islamic Sufi mysticism and the Christian mystical tradition.

When one lists these religions it becomes obvious that there are two problems: violence and the influence of reason, both of which Pope Benedict identified in his lecture. Violence is a fault from which no major religion has historically been free. St Patrick’s conversion of Ireland is sometimes given as a unique example of the conversion of a nation without the loss of a single life. It is one of the great scandals that so many persecutions have taken place in the name of Jesus.

This has been more or less true of all the great religions: human beings are the most savage of beasts, and they will kill each other in any cause, however noble.

Yet nowadays Islam is the only major religion in which violence is a serious doctrinal issue.
It is true that tribalised Roman Catholics and Protestants in Ireland have only recently stopped killing each other and vengeful Sikhs assassinated Indira Gandhi in India, but neither the Catholic nor the Protestant churches believe in terror; nor do the Sikhs.

A significant proportion of the Islamic community does believe that suicide bombers are martyrs carrying out a religious duty. Suicide bombing causes Islamophobia. There are varying degrees of authority and uniformity in different religions; rather low in most cases. This pluralism has its own virtues, but in Islam they are outweighed by the disadvantages. Those imams who preach al-Qaeda’s view of the duty of jihad are not required to answer to any authority, even the authority of reason.

Islam has only partially experienced the modern process of enlightenment and reform, which was, after all, resisted by a number of pre-Vatican II Popes. Pope Benedict will have done Islam a service if he has started a debate within Islam and between Islam and the critics.
Here's to hoping the Times won't pull this editorial, and that the paper is prepared for the inevitable criticisms and threats.

Cross-posted at Freedom's Zone, where co-blogger Richard has been all over "anti-Pope jihad"



"Pope Must Die" Says UK Muslim, Organizer Of February's "Behead" Rally In London

Anjem Choudary, the organizer of Sunday's protests, was apparently backed by exiled British Muslim cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed (via The Jawa Report)

Muslims protest at Westminster Cathedral, London (via Joee)

For the organizer of the rally at Westminster Cathedral yesterday, as well as the UK protests in February made infamous by the "Behead those who insult Islam" poster, capital punishment is a peaceful solution in the Islamic world--no head, know peace--or something like that:
A notorious Muslim extremist told a demonstration in London yesterday that the Pope should face execution.

Anjem Choudary said those who insulted Islam would be "subject to capital punishment".

Anjem Choudary

His remarks came during a protest outside Westminster Cathedral on a day that worldwide anger among Muslim hardliners towards Pope Benedict XVI appeared to deepen.

. . .

Choudary's appeal for the death of Pope Benedict was the second time he has been linked with apparent incitement to murder within a year.

The 39-year-old lawyer organised demonstrations against the publication of cartoons of Mohammed in February in Denmark. Protesters carried placards declaring "Behead Those Who Insult Islam".

Yesterday he said: "The Muslims take their religion very seriously and non-Muslims must appreciate that and that must also understand that there may be serious consequences if you insult Islam and the prophet.

"Whoever insults the message of Mohammed is going to be subject to capital punishment."
As the Daily Mail points out, Choudary's previous "peaceful" demonstrations included protest signs which also highlighted the rationality and openness of Islam to debate (via Michelle Malkin):

The message has not changed since February, though the protest signs (more like incitements to murder) have taken a more professional, i.e. printed, look.

"Slay, behead, and butcher" have been toned down as Muslims become more media savvy. "Curse" or "conquer", though harsh, don't have quite the indendiary or visceral immediateness that words like "behead" conjure in the imagination. But this is a question of degree in semantics--the intention is quite the same and quite clear. Do not insult Islam/Mohammad/Allah/the Koran--and we shall determine just what constitutes an insult--or face protests, riots, arson, and murder. Political correctness as cultural and historical blackmail.

Westerners take their religions seriously too, and though they live in secular societies, take their freedoms to practice their religions, and their freedom to speak and express themselves even more seriously. That Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Scientologists, atheists, etc. coexist in relative peace in places like the United States bears witness to the efficacy of both freedoms. Worship as you like. Criticize freely. To each his own. Live and let live.

Claiming that Islam is a religion of peace while threatening with their lives those who wish to say otherwise indicates dissemblance of the highest order.

Cross-posted at Freedom's Zone, where co-blogger Richard has been all over "anti-Pope jihad"

More at Stop The Aclu--Islamic Extremist Calls For Pope's Death



September 17, 2006

Pope Benedict On Islam: Sunday Roundup

Exclusive: video of the Pope (in Italian) offering his explanation (to cheers)

The face of the Religion of Peace™.

Muslim "outrage" in London, at a demonstration at Westminster Cathedral (Joee via Michelle Malkin):

Sister Leonella Sgorbati

Sister Leonella meets Pope John Paul II

More from Michelle on the Catholic nun shot in the back by angry jihadis--and who is now a martyr--and firebombed churches.

UK's Daily Mail asks IS THIS WHAT THEY MEAN BY 'MUSLIM TOLERANCE? and has subsequently pulled the editorial from its website

BBC says Pope's apology fails to end anger

Hot Air and the Pope's "non-apology apology"

Meanwhile in Denver, 10 Nobel Peace Prize winners attack Bush, equate U.S. foreign policy to terrorism, invite dialogue with Hamas and Al-Qaeda, and lament the "materialism" of capitalism and globalization at a youth conference tackling "world peace".

Gateway Pundit--Greek Archbishop joins Pope, attacks "fanatic Islamists" and firebombed churches

relapsed catholic--Catholic priest missing in Iraq

The Anchoress--excellent Pope roundup as well

TigerHawk--an excellent piece Infantilizing Muslim "rage"

Gates of Vienna--examining the de-Christianizing campaign by Turkey in the 20th century and declares that the Pope didn't "blunder"



More Anti-US Bashing From Nobel Laureates At PeaceJam

**Update: video of Dalai Lama:
"Sometimes I describe myself as a half Buddhist, half Marxist."--[light applause and laughter]

"War is out of date."
Tell that to the jihadists. Funny how these comments made it past the intelligence filters at the Rocky Mountain News who provided the written piece below.

Only the Dalai Lama refrained from heaping attacks upon the United States:
Ten Nobel Peace Prize laureates called for world peace Saturday and took direct aim at the United States, asking an enthusiastic crowd of 7,000 youth to demand the U.S. pull back its military, spread its wealth and offer aid to developing countries.

''After the painful events of September 11, I wish that America would have built a school in Afghanistan in the name of every victim,'' said Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian judge and 2003 Peace Prize recipient. ''When someone claims he has a vision from God to bring war to Iraq, this is a kind of terrorism.''

Only the Dalai Lama, whose speech during the first public event of a three-day event at the University of Denver was interrupted when a fire alarm went off, didn't take a direct jab at the U.S.

Instead the Dalai Lama called on the world to open itself to religious tolerance.

. . .

One after the other Saturday night, the laureates thanked the crowd that rose to its feet before and after each speech, and then called on Americans to do something about their government's foreign policy. From efforts to close the border with Mexico, to Iraq, to arms exports, the Nobel laureates had words for the U.S. government.

''Stand up. Take action,'' said Jody Williams, the 1997 recipient for her work opposing land mines, and the only American to take the stage. ''Don't try to bring democracy to people you don't understand through the barrel of a gun and leave them with civil war.''

Even the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who praised the United States for its fight against South Africa's apartheid and its history of justice and democracy, had stern words for the Bush administration.

''You taught us about the rule of law,'' he said. ''You taught us no government worth its salt can subvert the rule of law. We believed you. That's part of what you have as a gift for the world. Then how can you commit Guantanamo Bay? Take back your country.... How about exporting some of your generosity instead of your bombs?''
With all the threats directed at the Pope this weekend over comments he made in a speech, to the similar uproar unleashed earlier this year over cartoons, to the various bombings that have been carried out by Muslim extremists throughout the world over the past decade and a half following the fall of Communism, one might think that an appropriate topic would be their terrorism. Or perhaps the failure of dictators like those gathered in Cuba to feed, educate, and generally help their people, instead of preying upon them. Or the complete disaster that is the United Nations, with its inadequacies and corruption and inability to protect the innocent in the Balkans, Rwanda, and now Darfur.

More Nobel opprobrium for the United States, Bush, and the West in general:
The largest gathering of Nobel peace laureates ever on U.S. soil took a sharp political turn Saturday when several prize winners denounced U.S. foreign policy and President Bush while urging U.S. and Israeli leaders to open lines of communication with terrorist groups.

"You are some of the most incredibly generous people," Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa told an audience of 7,000 at the University of Denver's Magness Arena. "Your philanthropy is fantastic. How about exporting your generosity instead of your bombs?"

The man who helped abolish apartheid in his native country echoed advice offered earlier in the evening by fellow laureate Betty Williams, who sought to end the violence in Northern Ireland: "Take your country back!"

As part of this weekend's PeaceJam youth conference, the Nobel winners unveiled a United Nations-style "global call" to fight what they identified as the core evils of the world - poverty, racism, a lack of clean water, the degradation of the environment and the obsession with nuclear weapons.

The failure to address those evils, they said, are the root causes of suicide bombers and hijackers of airplanes.
Nope, that would be the Islamofasciscts, Muslim extremists, or whatever the nom de jour for jihadis is these days—they exploit those conditions to recruit, demonize the other (the West, Christianity, the United States, take your pick), and foment violence.
Many of the laureates criticized the American government for spending so much on "instruments of destruction" instead of building schools or feeding the poor in other countries - ignoring more serious threats to humanity as it focuses on the war against terrorism.

. . .

Williams, the Northern Ireland peace activist, paused during her talk to single out a PeaceJam participant sitting near the arena's rafters: a Peruvian girl working to eradicate hunger at an orphanage.

"A child of 11 has more intelligence than the president of the United States," she said, drawing cheers.

Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian judge who was the first Muslim to win the Nobel Peace Prize, said she was "very sorry about the sad events of Sept. 11" but wished that the United States had built a school in Afghanistan for each victim instead of going to war.

Ebadi also took issue with the idea that the world is in the midst of a clash of civilizations based on religion. She said political disputes are to blame, "the result of the wrong policies of politicians."

"Fundamentalism does not only belong to Islam, it exists in all religions," she said through an Farsi interpreter. "When someone claims that he has a mission from God to bring war to Iraq and kill the people of Iraq, this is a kind of terrorism and a kind of fundamentalism."
“Bush the terrorist” again. Like Rosie O’Donnell, the “extremists” lurking in other religions are waiting for their chance to explode (yes, that word is intentional) onto the world stage. They just haven’t yet. Just you wait. Sometime soon. Or not.
The sole American among the group, Jody Williams, recognized for her work to ban and clear land mines, said in an interview that Americans were told it was treasonous to ask "why" after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The U.S. government has created a "no-win situation" in Iraq, Williams said. If troops withdraw, terrorists can claim victory, yet continued occupation is pointless, she said.

"They're both bad, but withdrawing the troops is probably the better of two horrible options," Williams said. "We never should have been there in the first place."
Perhaps she joined the 9/11 “truth activists” in seeking out government duplicity about the attacks and positing complicity in the events of September 11th.
The last Nobel laureate to arrive in Denver, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, said at a news conference Saturday that it was time for U.S. and Israeli officials to open up a dialogue with terrorism groups.
Mr. Arias, dialogue is difficult with katyusha rockets, homicide bombers, and rioting/arson/beheadings as the political currency of terrorists. It is hard to do more than either resist or submit when one side of the table is pointing guns at you.
"I regret that there is not the courage or the political will to sit down and negotiate," said Arias, who won the prize for promoting peace in Latin America.

Arias criticized the U.S. and Israeli governments for saying security precludes peace when it is "just the opposite." Their logic gives power to fanatics such as suicide bombers, he said.

"The United States has declared war on terrorism ... but that is not the only threat," he said. "We are not dealing with the basic threats of humanity."
Peace precludes security, Mr. Arias--not quite sure of the reasoning. If the United States are expected to take no action in safeguarding their liberty and their security, then I'm quite sure we are not interested in your brand of freedom.

As Nobel laureates they are obligated to lob insults, insinuate that the U.S. government's actions are tantamount to terrorism, that it is America who is the real cause of disempowerment, cultural malaise, and hatred in the developing world.

With the exception of the Dalai Lama (for tact), why on Earth were these idiots given a Peace Prize?



September 16, 2006

McInnis: Beauprez Let Down By Staff

More fallout from Beauprez's fading numbers, and what happens when a campaign staff puts on the blinders and begins to dwell in denial of the present situation:
A former Republican congressman from Colorado criticized Bob Beauprez's gubernatorial campaign Friday, complaining that its top staffers don't have the skills or experience to run a successful statewide race.

Scott McInnis, who represented Colorado's 3rd congressional district for 12 years until leaving office in 2004, said that Beauprez's sliding poll numbers are a reflection of a campaign staff that's not up to the task, and singled out two officials for failing to get the job done right.

"Running for governor is big league, and big time, and it requires a lot of sophistication," McInnis said. But handing the race over to the people running Beauprez's campaign "is like putting a high school quarterback on the Denver Broncos and having him start the game."

McInnis let loose with his frustrations Friday, the same day a Rocky Mountain News/CBS 4 poll of likely voters showed Democratic candidate Bill Ritter leading U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, a Republican from Arvada, by a surprising 17 points in the governor's contest.

"I guess I wouldn't be so discouraged if we didn't have a great candidate and the odds were stacked against us, but in my opinion this was Beauprez's (race) to lose," McInnis said. "As you can tell by (Friday) morning's newspaper . . . we're losing it. That's tough to take when you have a good candidate."

McInnis said he likes Beauprez's campaign manager John Marshall, and another top advisor, Shari Williams, but said they aren't experienced enough for their roles. "You need a varsity squad for a campaign team, and that team doesn't have it," McInnis said.

Asked if he had any advice for the campaign, McInnis said: "That campaign is not inclined to take any advice from me, they think things are going just cheerily."
Down by 17 points in a race that should be his to lose is not cheery. Nor is confirmation of the double-digit deficit with a poll average from Real Clear Politics. Beauprez hasn't been within a poll margin of error since April, and has been hovering between -7 and -12 points since late July.

The Beauprez campaign should stop offering excuses, misinformation, and relying on big names to give them cover, as Bruce Benson did later in the story:
Beauprez campaign officials didn't return messages Friday, but a top Beauprez supporter and GOP heavyweight, Bruce Benson, called McInnis' criticism unfair.

"Like every campaign (Beauprez's) had growing pains and stumbles. Show me one that hasn't," Benson said. "Scott or anyone else can make all the criticisms they want. I'd ask people to think of their own campaigns" and the mistakes they made.
Continuing to blame Holtzman's primary run over two months after he dropped out of the race is contemptible at this point. By not seizing upon the opening provided by a loss of a primary opponent, he simply made it easier for Bill Ritter and his proponents to take over the "Both Ways Bob" mantra. Instead of reasserting his own identity and downplaying the Holtzman moniker, the Beauprez team allowed it to fester all summer, and made the race about Beauprez and his record, completely removing attention from Ritter.


PeaceJam 2006: Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Gather For Peace; Bash Bush, United States

Nobel Peace Prize laureates, the Dalai Lama, third from left, and Adolfo Perez Esquivel, bow to each other at the end of a press conference, featuring nine of the ten Nobel winners attending this weekend's PeaceJam at the Newman Center on the campus of the University of Denver. Darin McGregor, News

In Denver this weekend, the 10th anniversary of the PeaceJam organization, attended by 10 Nobel laureates--including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu--has started off with a rather familiar theme:
The largest gathering of Nobel Peace Prize winners ever assembled launched a call for peace Friday from Denver that morphed into a lengthy diatribe of America as a rich country that was muscling out poor nations and misusing its military might.

The laureates are in town this weekend to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Colorado-based PeaceJam.

"Did all these weapons keep us safe from attack on Sept. 11? No. Or (will they) from the next attack? No. There's no justifying spending on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan when people live on less than $2 a day," said Jody Williams, who received the 1997 Nobel Prize for working to ban land mines.
That a peace planning conference for young people has already devolved into attacks on the United States and "rich countries" should be no surprise to anyone but journalists and moonbats. The attacks continued on capitalism, Bush, and U.S. foreign policy continued apace:
A few of the speakers, including the Dalai Lama and Tutu, stayed clear of politics, while the majority used their forum to blast the U.S. and its policies.

Speaking with a Spanish translator, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, who won the 1980 prize for starting a human rights movement in Latin America, got gasps and some laughter from the crowd when he excoriated President Bush, saying, "Bush says he prays. But I think God covers up his ears when George Bush prays."

Esquivel said the U.S. didn't appreciate that although nearly 3,000 people died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, on that same day 35,000 children died of hunger around the world.

"I call that economic terrorism," he said.

Mairead Corrigan Maguire, who won the prize in 1976 for founding a peace organization in Northern Ireland, criticized "the alleged civilized world leader," the U.S., for its anti-terrorism tactics. She said the United Nations offered a better model of peace.

"Uphold the United Nations!" she said. "Its the best we have as a human family."

Shirin Abadi, who won the 2003 Nobel Prize for human rights work in the Middle East, said the real roots of terrorism - prejudice, ignorance and illiteracy - haven't yet been addressed. Translated from Farsi, the former Iranian judge said, "When 80 percent of the world's wealth belongs to 1 percent of the people, how can we expect peace?"
So rather than setting a constructive tone for this weekend's peacefest, the opening press conference consisted of little more than boilerplate platitudes and potshots against the host country's leader, its economic system, and America's ability to defend itself. Instead, cover is given to jihadists currently calling for the Pope's apology/submission, and dictators like those attending the Non-Aligned Movement in Cuba the same weekend (who use similar comments to attack the United States). The useless United Nations is given a free pass on all its many shortcomings, and is in fact lionized as the only route to "peace".

Given the drivel that emerged on the first day alone, one can only expect further lowlights as the conference moves on. Eclipsing the potential positive outcome of such a gathering, even from a particularly cynical point of view, are the shameful words and ideas expressed by the Nobel Peace Prize winners themselves. Hoping to score political points with their moonbat followers, they defraud the young people gathered in Denver of the importance of critical thinking and analysis of the current world situation. Rather than engaging the "roots" of the problems in the world, and there are indeed many, they are given nothing more than knee-jerk emotionalism and leftist fantasy masked as effective problem solving. The 3,000 young people, and the world in general, deserve more from the likes of Nobel laureates.

PeaceJam founder Ivan Suvanjieff comments (video) on the role of young people, and the purpose of the PeaceJam conference.

The obligatory press conference (video) has, surprise surprise, no mention of the controversial remarks.

List Of Nobel Laureates Attending Peace Jam

Mairead Corrigan Maguire. Awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1977 along with Betty Williams for their efforts to create a grassroots movement to end the violence in Northern Ireland.

Betty Williams. 1977. Honored along with Mairead Corrigan Maguire.

Adolfo Perez Esquivel. 1980. Honored for his leadership for human rights and democracy in Latin America.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
. 1984. Honored for his efforts to find a nonviolent solution to the conflicts over apartheid in South Africa.

The Dalai Lama. 1989. Honored for his nonviolent efforts to resolve the Tibetan conflict and for his worldwide role as a man of peace and advocate for the environment.

Rigoberta Menchu Tum. 1992. Honored for her advocacy of native Indian rights in Central America and leadership among indigenous peoples worldwide.

Jose Ramos-Horta. 1996. Honored for his efforts to end the oppression of the East Timorese people.

Jody Williams. 1997. Honored for her work through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in establishing an international treaty to outlaw landmines and for clearing landmine fields.

Shirin Ebadi. 2003. Honored for her efforts for women's rights in the Middle East.

Scheduled to attend:

President Oscar Arias. 1987. The president of Costa Rica was honored for his efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the years of conflict and war in Central America.

Also scheduled to participate:

Aung San Suu Kyi. 1991. Honored for her nonviolent leadership of the democratic opposition in Burma, where Kyi has been under house arrest since 1989. She was scheduled to participate by way of video.



"Global Warming" Failure: 2006 Summer Not Hottest On Record

Yes, the title is a bit of a tease. 2006 was the second warmest:
U.S. Temperature Highlights
The average June-August 2006 temperature for the contiguous United States (based on preliminary data) was 2.4 degrees F (1.3 degrees C) above the 20th century average of 72.1 degrees F (22.3 degrees C). This was the second warmest summer on record, slightly cooler than the record of 74.7 degrees F set in 1936 during the Dust Bowl era. This summer's average was 74.5 degrees F. Eight of the past ten summers have been warmer than the U.S. average for the same period.
This illustrates once again that in order to have new record temperatures, old records must fall (weather is cyclical, both short-term (decades) and long-term (Ice Age). This would also indicate that at some time in the past, like the 1930s, there was a similar spike in summer sizzling. This is before the inexorable drive toward "global warming" and "climate change".

Of course for the GW/CC people, any evidence of any weather statistic is, in fact, proof of their existence. Flood? Drought? Abnormal heat/cold? Hurricane seasons like 2005, and one like 2006? All brought to you by "global warming" and "climate change".



September 15, 2006

Pope Benedict On Islam: A Roundup

Pakistani Muslims hold rally after evening prayers at a local mosque to condemn Pope’s remarks, Friday, Sept. 15, 2006 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan’s Parliament unanimously adopts a resolution condemning Pope Benedict XVI for making what it called ‘derogatory’ comments about Islam and seeking apology from him for hurting the sentiments of Muslims. (AP Photo / B.K.Bangash)

LGF has more background and pictures here, here and here.

Vatican security has been ramped up:
The Vatican is seriously concerned at the possibility of acts of violence being staged against the tiny city state situated in the heart of Rome, after a barrage of criticism from Muslims in many countries against Pope Benedict XVI.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel defends the Pope.

Hot Air catches the NYTimes in hypocrisy and dhimmitude. Shocked, shocked!:
There is more than enough religious anger in the world. So it is particularly disturbing that Pope Benedict XVI has insulted Muslims, quoting a 14th-century description of Islam as “evil and inhuman.”

In the most provocative part of a speech this week on “faith and reason,” the pontiff recounted a conversation between an “erudite” Byzantine Christian emperor and a “learned” Muslim Persian circa 1391. The pope quoted the emperor saying, “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Muslim leaders the world over have demanded apologies and threatened to recall their ambassadors from the Vatican, warning that the pope’s words dangerously reinforce a false and biased view of Islam. For many Muslims, holy war — jihad — is a spiritual struggle, and not a call to violence. And they denounce its perversion by extremists, who use jihad to justify murder and terrorism.

The Vatican issued a statement saying that Benedict meant no offense and in fact desired dialogue. But this is not the first time the pope has fomented discord between Christians and Muslims.

. . .

The world listens carefully to the words of any pope. And it is tragic and dangerous when one sows pain, either deliberately or carelessly. He needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology, demonstrating that words can also heal.
The Pope is to blame for beheadings, riots, and burning embassies forthwith--just like he was earlier this year when Europeans published cartoons and all hell broke loose.

That was the Muslims?

Does the NYTimes honestly believe that appeasement will soothe Muslim anger? Will everyone calm down following a Clintonesque apology in the manner of "I feel your pain"?

Take a look at this animation of the decline of that "Byzantine Christian emperor's" territories and notice the extent to which successive caliphates succeeded in poaching first Byzantium's African territories, and despite a brief interlude of recapture of Anatolia (Turkey) and part of the Holy Lands after the Crusades, the rapid decline of the state, surrounded by Ottoman Turks at the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Michelle Malkin--I support the Pope
Gateway Pundit--Muslims Turn On Each Other at Anti-Pope Rally in India
The Anchoress--Benedict’s “blunder” was partly media-enhanced-UPDATED
FreedomsZone--From Cartoon Jihad To Pope Jihad: Religion Of Perpetual Outrage Is Again - Outraged
Captain's Quarters--The Pope's Real Threat
Gates of Vienna--The Other September 11th (how Europeans averted dhimmitude in 1683)

Muslims burn an effigy of whatever plausibility is left in the notion that Islam is a "Religion of Peace".