Map Of The Middle East
Examine the map of the Middle East, and note just how long the "evil" infidels occupied the Muslim sandbox:
Covering Denver and the Rocky Mountains--History, Politics, and Culture--political propaganda for the Right!
Examine the map of the Middle East, and note just how long the "evil" infidels occupied the Muslim sandbox:
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.
Potentially NSFW, but hilarious examination of America's fixation with election polling:
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.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.This news is not surprising, however, my own teaching experience notwithstanding.
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.
Denver still has to beat out New York, which is no small feat.
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.
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.
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?
**Update (4:15MDT) via 9NEWS:
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.More:
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.
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.
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.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.
. . .
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.
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.MSM flip-flopping and fearmongering has garnered considerable following, but has also engendered backlash of a kind that AlGore types find confusing:
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.
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.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!
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.
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.""Science needs skeptics," said NCAR researcher Warren Washington. Hear, hear!
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.
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.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.
On this much there is some scientific consensus.
So good, it should be repeated:
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.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.
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.
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.
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:
Al-Jazeera remembers the "Man of the Poor"
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"Ancient prejudices"? "Incurably Islamophobic"? Has Karen Armstrong been getting into the communion wine?
The Pope's remarks were dangerous, and will convince many more Muslims that the west is incurably Islamophobic"
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!"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:
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.
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.
An Executive Summary:
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.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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Real anti-dhimmitude from today's UK Times.
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.Here's to hoping the Times won't pull this editorial, and that the paper is prepared for the inevitable criticisms and threats.
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.
A notorious Muslim extremist told a demonstration in London yesterday that the Pope should face execution.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):
Anjem Choudary said those who insulted Islam would be "subject to capital punishment".
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."
Exclusive: video of the Pope (in Italian) offering his explanation (to cheers)
**Update: video of Dalai Lama:
"Sometimes I describe myself as a half Buddhist, half Marxist."--[light applause and laughter]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.
"War is out of date."
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.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.
''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?''
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.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.
"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.
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.“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.
. . .
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."
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.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 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."
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.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.
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."
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.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.
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."
Beauprez campaign officials didn't return messages Friday, but a top Beauprez supporter and GOP heavyweight, Bruce Benson, called McInnis' criticism unfair.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.
"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.
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.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:
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.
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.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".
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?"
Yes, the title is a bit of a tease. 2006 was the second warmest:
U.S. Temperature HighlightsThis 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".
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.
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.
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.”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.
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.