Thursday, February 10, 2005

Drae Headed to Congo

Posts may be up and down or not at all.

Daily posting will resume March 1.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

United Nations Attempting Self-parody?

How else to explain the announcement that a panel has been elected to decide which complaints will be heard by the UN Human Rights Commission at its annual meeting in Geneva this spring -- and that three of the five members are Cuba, Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia?

Nuff said. This from
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Have you heard of letting the wolf guard the hen house?

Hat tip to

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Miscellaneous Middle East Facts

From Isralert

1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation-state in 1312 B.C., 2,000 years before the rise of Islam, and was a nation before that.

2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C., the Jews have had dominion over the land for 1,000 years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

Read more:


Monday, February 07, 2005

The Real Question: How many of these...

Are experiencing fighting and a Muslim contingent is involved?

Central African Republic
Côte d'Ivoire
Saudi Arabia

Name the ones you know...

Are there others?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Trackback - University Diversity

Brown University's president is concerned about "the lack of diversity of opinion on campus" quoted in Inside Higher Ed. Students have told her of a "chilling effect caused by the dominance of certain voices on the spectrum of moral and political thought," according to an account of the speech in The Brown Daily Herald.

David Horowitz cites the "near monopoly" of campus speakers from the left and the "one-sided nature of Brown's faculty," but applauded Simmons, saying: "Intellectual diversity is an endangered value on American campuses..."

Like, duh.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Signs of the Times - Banned Homeschooling

Apparently now we now must have humanistic and godless values to be responsible members of society, at least in Germany.

"'ll have to accept that your world view will be curtailed," stated Heinz Kohler, the county education director of a county in Germany that forced parents to enroll their children in the public school.

The parents had withdrawn their children from public schools "to protect their children from the humanistic and godless values being taught to their children in the public school," and claimed "their fundamental rights as parents would be violated if they were forced to return the children to public school."

All of the families apparently had satisfied the authorities that their children were receiving a good education using German correspondence school materials, but that didn't sway the county. There is no state recognition of homeschooling in Germany.

Dismissing the families' beliefs. Heinz Kohler continued, "children should not be encapsulated or kept apart from the outside world. In these cases, the parents' rights to personally educate their children would prevent the children from growing up to be responsible individuals within society…"

Read the full article, from the HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association), with info on how to influence this decision.

This compares with our previous alert:

Signs of the Times - Enforced Prostitution
Score in Germany: 1 for prostitution, 1 for godless education.

You were not planning to move there, were you?

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Voice of Prejudice


A 10 year old Palestinian girl in Gaza died from gunfire. Palestinians nearby blamed IDF tank fire shrapnel. Many quoted a U.N. official who said the shooting came from the direction of a nearby Israeli army post.

Agence France-Presse
Palestinian schoolgirl shot dead by Israeli troops in Gaza

Knight Ridder Newspapers
The Israeli military is investigating claims that its soldiers fatally shot a 10-year-old Palestinian in the face and wounded her 7-year-old schoolmate Monday in their schoolyard in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

Israeli gunfire killed a Palestinian girl at a U.N.-run school Monday, witnesses said, and militants shelled Jewish settlements in response.

BBC News
Witnesses blamed Israeli troops, but Israel said an initial investigation suggested they were not responsible.


The Palestinian Information Center
On Monday, an Israeli sniper murdered a ten-year-old Palestinian school girl as she was about to enter classroom. Palestinian sources described the cold-blooded killing as "killing for fun."

In almost every story, false "revenge motive" attributed, giving Palestinians "permission" to blast Israelis.

Associated Press
The killing of a 10-year-old Palestinian girl in a Gaza schoolyard Monday prompted Islamic militants to fire mortar shells at Jewish settlements and endangered an unofficial cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians.

Mortar fire from Palesinians had been going on for days and had not ceased.


Jerusalem Post
The Palestinians arrested a [Palestinian] suspect in Monday's murder of Nuran Dib, on Tuesday evening. The man reportedly fired shots into the air; one of those shots hit the girl.


On the afternoon of 31 January 2005, Israeli sniper fire ripped through her face as she stood in her school's courtyard, lining up for afternoon assembly.

So the damage goes on.

How many non-Israeli news outlets reported the correction...

Palestinian gunfire killed the girl?
I challenge you to try and find one.

In the world of false "news" reported as real, we all are the victims.

We have an entire generation raised on this kind of reporting.

Appetizer: What Do These Have in Common?

Central African Republic
Côte d'Ivoire
Bonus: What other 3 nations should be on the list?

Post your guess in the Comments section. Kudos to the first correct guesser.

More to come on this.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Once More with Iraqi Elections - in Pictures!

Many gracious thanks and heartfelt kudos to Adam Keiper for making and sharing freely. I've copy/pasted his text and what can we add?

This is the video slideshow I made with pictures of the Iraqi election on January 30, 2005. (The music is Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man.")

Please feel free to share it with others.

The video is in Windows Media format. It is three minutes long.






ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Special thanks to the people of TypePad, for their patience with the high traffic for these videos, and to Nine Systems, which has graciously offered to host them.

For an additional tidbit, click on over for his
Republicans versus Democrats (Windows Media Format), or, to learn more, his website: the AdamKeiperHomepage

Thanks so much, Adam Keiper. Well done.

Now, if you have a blog, go thou and do likewise. Seems all the generous Mr. Keiper wants is to spread the joy.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

First Interesting Review of President Bush's Second Inaugural Address

Truly ecumenical, the second inaugural address of George W. Bush did not give any ground. You gotta love a world leader who can be inclusive without back peddling.

In the understatement of Peggy Noonan, it was not pedestrian. Ms. Noonan is the one who wrote the Wall Street Journal opinion:
Way Too Much God.

Today I came across (finally) a review that had something to add:
What Bush understands about ‘tikkun olam’
By Lloyd M. Green
"tikkun olam" is described as the perfection of the world through the Almighty's sovereignty and the text and tone of the address is compared favorably with language from the High Holiday liturgy. We're talking Old Testament worship here, or Hebrew Bible.

In other words, tikkun olam is not about "Kumbayah," holding hands, taking a village, or even leaving no child behind.

Rather, liturgically and traditionally tikkun olam is about all of humanity calling G-d's name, and literally and metaphorically eradicating idolatry...
Idolatry referring not just to false gods (higher, divine beings) but also ideals or stuff we use to replace God, the Highest.

My non-liturgical, non-political take is that Bush is talking about doing right as a nation.

But relax. Mr. Green turns conventionally against the address by the end, and suggests we might be better off with a "right to party" and tax cut.

He points out man does not have a good track record with cleaning up the world for God, and we know most atrocities have been done in the name of one God or another, often the Judeo/Christian Creator.

So Mr. Green asks the question:

But is the pursuit of the eradication of tyranny, as opposed to the pursuit of happiness, a viable policy and goal for government?
There it is.

we have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without dealing with terrorism, despotism, and tyranny? Can we afford not to eradicate tyranny?

Can we afford tyranny? Is protecting life, liberty and happiness from tyranny in the job description of a nation?

Bush reached out ecumenically, as is his practice and belief, but also stood firm on the ground that more must be done and there is One who will help. Is he naive, dangerous, on the money?

While we also appreciate the "liturgical sweep" and "better grasp" of "tikkun olam" noted by Mr. Green, we are not yet ready to trade freedom from tyranny for a party, even with a tax cut.

Stay tuned, Mr. Green. Not all world leaders, not all followers of The Book, are bad and doomed to a bad end.

Here's to Mr. Bush and his ecumenical, faith-based, right-doing.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Elections - In the Words of Iraq

From Iraqi Humanity:

Today Iraqis did a very nice job & proved that whatever happens, they will stay standing against the evil force.

From neurotic iraqi wife:

Crowds and crowds of people started walking in at 730am on a Friday morning. It was simply beautiful. Families singing and clapping as they made their way through. I cant describe the feelings of jubilation. There were chocolates and sweets being distributed and one family brought in huge pots of rice and mutton and gave it to everyone in the center. Most of all, EYES were exhausted searching in the massive crowds for the marked fingers, frowning if they dont see that mark, The Mark of Freedom......

From An Iraqi's Thoughts:

...people wanted to prove a point that they will no longer be held at gunpoint by these people. My grandmother in her late 70's went out in Baghdad and walked to the polling station for a reason. Not because its the perfect elections, not because she is in love with any of the parties but because for the first time nobody forced her. They went to the polls optionally.

From iraqi4ever:

The history will record how Iraqis challenged even death today; with a turnout of 72% Iraqis showed the other civilized face of this country, showed the world that the culture of kidnapping, beheading and mass killing does not belong to them, they are like the rest of nations willing for democracy, peace and justice...and May the god bless our 36 brave martyrs who knew they might die today but came after all…

From The Mesopotamian:

I bow in respect and awe to the men and women of our people who, armed only with faith and hope are going to the polls under the very real threats of being blown to pieces. These are the real braves; not the miserable creatures of hate who are attacking one of the noblest things that has ever happened to us. Have you ever seen anything like this? Iraq will be O.K. with so many brave people, it will certainly O.K.; I can say no more just now; I am just filled with pride and moved beyond words. People are turning up not only under the present threat to polling stations but also under future threats to themselves and their families; yet they are coming, and keep coming. Behold the Iraqi people; now you know their true metal.

From Healing Iraq:

My mother was in tears watching the scenes from all over the country. Iraqis had voted for peace and for a better future, despite the surrounding madness.

Another surprise was to see some Iraqis who had fled the country in fear of reprisals, such as the families of ex-regime figures and ex-Ba'athists, actually voting and encouraging others to vote! I know some of those from school and college and I imagined they would be bitter about the whole process, but many were not.

From Kurdo's World:

All these fingers are up for you terrorist, anti-democracy, pro-beheading, suicide-bombers, Baathiest, Saddamist and anti-peace people.

In Kurdistan and Iraq now, people check each others index finger, "Oh you have a normal finger ?!! How come it is not blue ?! You are NOT democratic at all"

From Baghdad Dweller:

Say it loud and clear: I am a Sunni, I am an Iraqi and I voted

From Democracy in Iraq (Is Here!)

I have changed the header of my page to reflect the new, improved, democratic Iraq.

What a day it has been. I am very tired, but I am at peace, something I havn't felt in this regard before. I am happy to report that I found very few people during my post-voting trip through Baghdad who had not voted.

From Kurdistan Youngs:

Hi again! The election was successful in SULAIMANI the nicest city of Iraq now today. There wasn't any sense of terror even a bullet! I went for voting and I have voted for KURDISTAN and now I feel comfort...


“It's the first time for the Iraqis to express their opinions,” her father said. “It's the greatest national eid (holiday) for us.”

“It's the future, in one word,” said Abdel Karim Ahmed, 51, an agent for the Ministry of Trade...

From A star from Mosul:

I didn't vote, neither I will. Why? I'm 16, er. Not old enough to vote, I'm taking advantage of my age, always..

From Iraq the Model:

The first thing we saw this morning on our way to the voting center was a convoy of the Iraqi army vehicles patrolling the street, the soldiers were cheering the people marching towards their voting centers then one of the soldiers chanted "vote for Allawi" less than a hundred meters, the convoy stopped and the captain in charge yelled at the soldier who did that and said:"You're a member of the military institution and you have absolutely no right to support any political entity or interfere with the people's choice. This is Iraq's army, not Allawi's".This was a good sign indeed and the young officer's statement was met by applause from the people on the street.The streets were completely empty except for the Iraqi and the coalition forces ' patrols, and of course kids seizing the chance to play soccer!

We had all kinds of feelings in our minds while we were on our way to the ballot box except one feeling that never came to us, that was fear.We could smell pride in the atmosphere this morning; everyone we saw was holding up his blue tipped finger with broad smiles on the faces while walking out of the center. I couldn't think of a scene more beautiful than that.

And my absolute best, most favorite post on Iraqis and the Iraqi elections, from Life in Baghdad:

I did.

You certainly, did Iraqis. You certainly did. Nothing can take this day away from you. Congratulations.

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