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I’ve posted so much on the sham that is catastrophic anthropogenic global warming that I feel I don’t really need do so anymore.  Thankfully, according to a new Pew Research Center poll, Americans are really starting to see that a theory is just that–a theory–and junk-science won’t be taken seriously when so much is on the line.

“There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. And fewer also see global warming as a very serious problem — 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008.”

I rather see this as a positive sign that people are beginning to question the charlatans who stand to gain so substantially from such shams as cap and trade–frauds like Al Gore and James Hansen–as opposed to the cynical view that is already believed by many liberals that Americans are simply too dumb to know what’s good for them.  I’m so looking forward to the day when those on the left (and some on the right) who support the idea that man is primarily responsible for changes in our climate are found… wrong.

Fewer Americans See Solid Evidence of Global Warming

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mul·ti·cul·tur·al·ismOf or relating to a social or educational theory that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only a mainstream culture.

The above is a definition that has transformed from mere idea to veritable philosophy to near religion for millions of people in this country and around the world. Those who espouse the multiculturalist viewpoint generally believe the cultural dominance of any particular nation or region should be discarded in favor of a social standing that is indistinguishable from any other. That is not to say there would exist only one cultural utopia where everyone lived in kinship with everyone else. Assimilation plays no part in this concept. All peoples would fully retain their culture of origin–language, customs, religion, beliefs–regardless of the country or region wherein one chooses to reside.

While this smacks of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” many of those who view multiculturalism as a beneficent outlook on societal improvement are more than likely those who would eagerly nudge aside socialism in favor of communism anyway. Additionally, acceptance of a unified cultural society is nascent recognition of the need for a political system that is, or is very much like communism, even if those who support multiculturalistic ideals do so only out of misguided politically correct dogma. In essence, everyone is equal; no one should excel.

Industrialized western society is no better than barbaric tribalism (or even vicious tyrannies) and if the annihilation of industrialization is necessary in order to meet the cultural needs of tribalists, then so be it. Does it matter that modern, industrialized society offers a better quality of life, with far less disease than any third world nation could hope to achieve? Of course not. The third world will become the first world and vice versa. Cultural values for one will mix equally with the other.

Yet the standard meaning of the word multiculturalism itself has been bogged down in histrionics, disguised as a concept too important and necessarily urgent to achieve global order and world harmony–opposition to the supposition of ecumenical multiculturalism is often perceived as bigoted, racist, and even remarkably, anarchistic (I say “remarkably” because those who sup from the cup of multiculturalism are more than likely those who would easily embrace a nihilistic approach to life regardless of the dominant political and/or social climate in which they reside.) This is what helps those who champion multiculturalism browbeat their adversaries in silenced submission–threat of being labeled a racist.

What most multiculturalists fail to take into account is their own latent racist dispositions through adoption of this philosophy, implying that ones’ character is primarily defined by ones’ ethnic background as opposed to ones’ individualistic achievements. Take for example affirmative action or quotas as they are often referred. In the unfortunate situations where affirmative action is instituted as a means to diversify the workplace or the college campus for instance, race, not competence, is rewarded. While this will always produce greater heterogeneity, it does not necessarily follow that increased and improved productivity (for the workplace) or boosts in academia amongst students (on campus) will inevitably occur. To believe so is inherently racist.

This is no longer an issue of discrimination. Instead, it is simply an aspect of the multiculturalist quagmire and slippery slope that will lead modern, industrialized society down a racist and degenerate mountain of ill-conceived politically correct agendas championed most vociferously by the far left who believe communism, or the destruction of individuality and achievement, is far better than advanced, democratic societies and the benefits that flow from them. Is it any wonder why they don’t address such divisive issues as to how religion and politics will fit into this monstrous melting pot. Simply, religion and politics don’t fit (unless sharia becomes the law of the land.)

Below are some fantastic pieces that explain in far greater detail and clarity what the concept of multiculturalism entails and the inadequacies and dangers bearing such a detrimental philosophy harbors.

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Via The Gates of Vienna
The Fjordman Report
The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.


The Greek blogger Phanari has expanded upon my essays about 21st century Communism. According to American writer John Fonte, “Transnationalism is the next stage of the multicultural ideology.” It is implemented at a snail’s pace as a long-term project, to minimize opposition to it.

Karita BekkemellemAs always, Norway and Sweden are at the forefront of enlightened Socialism. According to Karita Bekkemellem, government Minister from the Norwegian Labor Party, female directors must make up at least 40 percent of all new shareholder-owned companies’ boards of directors: “This is all about sharing power and influence and it is intervention in private ownership, but it was overdue.” Violation of the rules will be penalized with forced dissolution of the company. Magdalena Andersson, who chairs the women’s group in Sweden’s “conservative” Moderate Party, demands that female members should have 40 percent of the top positions in the party by 2010.

Quotas and employment based on sex, religion, race or any criteria other than meritocracy, the rule of merit, where individuals are chosen through competition on the basis of demonstrated ability and competence, interfere with private property rights. This violates basic human rights of the employer. Historical experience indicates that respect for private property, along with respect for freedom of speech, are the hallmarks of true liberty. Abandoning these principles inhibits the creation of wealth.

Perhaps the new frontier of liberty in the 21st century consists of battling for national sovereignty in legislation, for a nation’s right to decide how much immigration it wants to accept, if any, and the fight against the imposition of quotas, hate speech laws, hate crime legislation and other threats to the individual’s right to free speech and to defense of his own property, the yardstick against which liberty should always be measured.

I’ve heard Multiculturalists state specifically that our societies should be based on the principle of Multiculturalism and various ethnic groups only tied together by “human rights.” But human rights are a weak glue for a society, to say the least. What’s more: Once you decide that your society should be founded upon human rights and nothing but human rights, you give away power to those defining human rights to decide the future of your society and your country, for instance in managing your immigration policies. This is no doubt why so many hardened Leftists support “international law.” They hope to become the self-appointed and unelected vanguard to run this transnational, Multicultural Utopia, just as they wanted to become a part of the vanguard in the Communist Utopia.

In Denmark, observers Jacob Mchangama and Christopher Arzrouni warn against the excessive use and misuse of human rights. Originally envisioned as a core of rights ensuring political and individual liberty, today human rights are increasingly used for the opposite purpose: To claim other people’s resources, property etc. The very notion of human rights suffers from a kind of schizophrenia. The concept can be traced back to classical antiquity, at least to Solon in the 6th century B.C. The English charter the Magna Carta from 1215 asserted the rights of the individual vis-à-vis the state. This was later expanded by Enlightenment philosophers and inspired the creation of the United States.

The Universal Declaration of Human RightsThe Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, is a crucial document. The first 21 Articles of the Declaration all profess classical Western rights, also called liberty rights or “negative rights,” including the right to private property, freedom of speech and equality before the law. However, the Declaration also contains other concepts about rights. Articles 22-27 assert the right to a good standard of living, the right to a job, to limitations on work hours etc. These are “positive rights,” which can only be achieved if other people make an effort to achieve them for you.

Negative rights imply the right to freedom from tyranny and oppression. They imply limitations on state power, and will thus help prevent totalitarian regimes. Positive rights, however, imply that the state has to increase its power to transform society and direct the activities of its citizens in order to achieve the desired result. Sadly, according to Mchangama and Arzrouni, at the UN and at Human Rights Institutes, as well as in NGOs and among many academics, even governments, there is a consensus that economic and social positive rights should be considered equal to negative political rights.

The Norwegian medical doctor Ståle Fredriksen thinks that giving homework to school children violates their human rights. He refers to article 24 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, stating that: “Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours.” Dr. Fredriksen believes school children don’t have this right.

Alain FinkielkrautThe French philosopher and cultural critic Alain Finkielkraut thinks that Europe has made human rights its new gospel. Has human rights fundamentalism approached the status of quasi-religion? Have we acquired a new class of scribes, who claim the exclusive right to interpret their Holy Texts in order to reveal Absolute Truth, and scream “blasphemy” at the few heretics who dare question their authority? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a great document, but it is written by humans, and may thus contain human flaws. We shouldn’t treat as if it were a revelation from God, carved into stone. Far less should we deem as infallible the veritable maze of regulations and well-meaning human rights resolutions that have rendered democratic nations virtually unable to defend themselves.

Moreover, who decides which “human rights” should take precedence? If you say that free migration should be a universal human right, you trample on the right of the peoples at the receiving end of mass immigration to preserve their cultural heritage. More explicitly, should Muslim nations be allowed to dump their unsustainable population growth in the West? Since they tend not to respect human rights because they frequently conflict with sharia, allowing them to undermine countries that do respect individual rights means that human rights will become a tool for undermining democratic nations in favor or authoritarian ones, precisely the opposite of what was originally intended.

OxfamOxfam, an international of confederation non-governmental organizations, has stated that Western nations “must” pay tens of billions of dollars every year to combat global warming. First of all: Who died and made Oxfam God? Being a Westerner myself, I don’t recall electing Oxfam to speak for me nor granting them the right to administer my money on my behalf. Why should unaccountable NGOs be allowed to dictate what a sovereign state such as, say, Canada, should or shouldn’t do? And second of all: Even if we assume that global warming is real and man-made, the most intelligent way to combat it would be to institute a Manhattan Project for renewable energy. By freeing ourselves from the dependency of oil from Arab countries, we could fight both global warming and global Jihad at the same time.

When reading Oxfam’s website, I find that the organization is dedicated to “achieving lasting change” and an end to poverty by fighting injustice and addressing the structural causes of poverty. To me, that sounds suspiciously like a code word for global redistribution of wealth — in other words: Socialism.
– – – – – – – – – –
I suspect that for some NGOs, fighting global warming isn’t nearly as important as using it as an excuse for bleeding the West financially and implementing global taxes through the back door. Many NGO’s tend to be run by heavily left-leaning individuals who champion good causes, in fact so good that they should bypass the electoral process to implement them. It’s the blueprint for 21st century Communism. The same groups that wanted to abolish private property rights in the 20th century now want to abolish sovereign nation states in the 21st century, starting with the West, of course. There clearly is some kind of connection here. Maybe they’ve decided that the most efficient way to abolish private property, according to Karl Marx the stated goal of Socialism, is to destroy the instrument for enforcing and protecting property rights: The sovereign state.

These people always claim to be champions of some Great Cause. They claim to fight for women’s rights, but barbaric practices of forced marriages, honor killings and gang rapes are now spreading in the West because of the immigration policies they support. They claim to fight for homosexual rights while gays are being physically attacked by Muslims across Europe. They claim to fight for tolerance, yet frequently end up in bed with the most intolerant forces on earth. They claim to fight for diversity, yet cheer for Islam, which is destroying cultural diversity across the world, replacing it with universal sharia. They are also extremely intolerant of diversity of opinion, if these opinions happen to run contrary to their Cause. They claim to fight for “human rights,” but deprive their opponents of one of the most basic human rights of all: The right to free speech.

So why are they doing it? Maybe it’s due to hatred of the West, or maybe it’s just because of the intoxicating rush of feeling that your Cause is just and that you are therefore allowed to do whatever you want to with your political opponents.

Gunnar HeinsohnThe German professor of sociology Gunnar Heinsohn worries about what he calls the “demographic capitulation” of European nations. He fears that the imploding birth rates will lead to the collapse of the welfare state, and that immigration cannot solve this problem. He does not believe that material aid to countries with large youth populations will prevent wars and terror. On the contrary, it may in fact increase unrest and violence, since starving people do not fight, they just suffer. In order to create unrest, they have to be both physically and mentally fit, but lack the positions and the respect they think they deserve. This is consistent with the fact that Islamic terrorists tend to have above average education and at least average income.

This supports the view of Eric Hoffer in his classic book The True Believer: “The poor on the borderline of starvation live purposeful lives. To be engaged in a desperate struggle for food and shelter is to be wholly free from a sense of futility. The goals are concrete and immediate. Every meal is a fulfillment; to go to sleep on a full stomach is a triumph; and every windfall a miracle. What need could they have for ‘an inspiring super individual goal which could give meaning and dignity to their lives?’ They are immune to the appeal of a mass movement.”

A crowd in PeshawarOver the course of five generations (1900-2000), the population in predominantly Muslim countries has grown from 150 million to 1200 million — an increase of 800 per cent. Heinsohn notes that Western countries are funding the Palestinian population explosion, for instance, and thinks that we must cease this support, so that the Palestinians pay for the children they bring into the world. He also believes that the West should stay out of the affairs of Muslim countries with expanding populations as much as possible, and only interfere briefly if they threaten us directly:

“If you have to go in because you have been attacked, then you must do it, but as soon as the danger has been defeated, it is necessary to withdraw. It is up to the Iraqis and the Afghans themselves to ensure that there is a balance between the size of the population and the number of positions society can offer. And as far back in history we look, we can see that this balance has been maintained by young men killing each other. We have done it in Europe, and it has happened elsewhere. We cannot allow them to send their young men over the borders to kill others. (…) We should stay away. If we interfere, we cannot avoid siding with one party and help killing that party’s opponents. Then the population will see us as doing the dirty work for one side or another.”

In June 2007, British PM Tony Blair, along with Chancellor Gordon Brown and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, met Muslim leaders at a major conference organized by The Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme (CIP). In his final days as prime minister, Blair opened the conference by defending Islam as a religion of “moderation and modernity” as he announced a £1M government fund to aid teaching of the religion and train imams, and designated Islamic studies as “strategically important” to the British national interest.

The Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme
Timothy Winter, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge, said: “The question facing British society, and society as a whole, is not how we encourage minorities to engage with western countries, but how those countries define themselves as a collage of different religious cultures.” In other words: Britain, and Canada, Germany and other Western countries, are no longer to be nations with a distinct heritage, only random spaces on the map with a “collage of different cultures.”

According to Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch, Western nations should not be allowed “to take a special interest in, or have a special affection and tenderness for, their own countries and histories. They are not allowed to worry about cultural continuity, and cultural continuity as being connected, possibly, to other kinds of continuity, including that of ethnic makeup. These are impermissible for that ‘white, Western world’ — even if perfectly permissible for everyone else. (Compare, for example, the policies toward immigration and immigrants in Japan, Korea, China, or the same policies toward non-Arabs, directed especially at black Africans, in Egypt, Libya, Chad, and Morocco). The rest of the world is entitled to preserve itself. We, on the other hand, in North America and Western Europe and the outposts of the former British Empire, such as Australia and New Zealand, are required to give up whatever ‘local’ patriotism, interest and pride in our national histories and cultures, and open ourselves permanently to the world. Other countries can remain countries. (…) The United States is not to remain a country. The United States is, rather, to be transformed, in the determined if unstated view of so many of the ideologues at NGOs. It is to be turned, by slow degrees, into one great big… NGO.”

The Danish writer Carsten Ringsmose was a speaker at a conference at the University of Odense on the immigration-related topic of “Recognition and integration.” He outlined the projected population growth for the Islamic world, and stated that if recent prognoses are correct, the Islamic world will witness a population growth more than the equivalent of all EU member countries combined within just a few decades. One of the other speakers suggested that this population boom could be solved through migration to the West, which would mean that Denmark, with a present population of 5.4 million inhabitants, would have to accept perhaps 9.5 million predominantly Muslim immigrants within the coming two generations. The man who suggested this, accompanied by segments of the audience, laughed when Mr. Ringsmose suggested that this simply wasn’t doable.

Marie SimonsenFollowing the release of the UN population report discussed by Mr. Ringsmose, Marie Simonsen, political editor of the Norwegian left-wing newspaper Dagbladet, wrote that it should be considered a universal human right for people everywhere to migrate wherever they want to. She thus endorsed the eradication of her own people, no doubt congratulating herself for her own tolerance.

In 2000, the then president of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, was asked by the Los Angeles Times how the country was going to feed, clothe, house and employ the expected doubling of its population by 2050. She replied: “We’ll send them to America. Globalisation will take that problem away, as you free up all factors of production, also labour. There’ll be free movement, country to country. Globalisation in its purest form should not have any boundaries, so small countries with big populations should be able to send population to countries with big boundaries and small populations.”

Westerners are the suckers of the 21st century. We don’t have interests or cultures of our own. We exist solely as a vehicle for funding other nations, and as the obedient dumping ground for their excess population growth. If we assert the right to defend our borders, the representatives of NGOistan, frequently aided by our so-called leaders, will come down upon us like a ton of bricks. Westerners are fueling the unsustainable growth rates in the Islamic world through material aid and medical advances. Later we are told to let them into our countries, where we will continue feeding them and fund our own colonization through welfare payments. We are thus paying hostile nations to multiply and take over our nations. This is a betrayal of the legacy of our ancestors, and an even greater betrayal of our children and grandchildren. This policy is insane and evil, and it has to stop. Now!

We live in a world demographically — and perhaps soon economically — dominated by Asia. Russians look after Russian interests, Chinese after Chinese interests, Indians after Indian interests, etc. Only Westerners are still supposed to worry about global interests. We should stop trying to save others and start saving ourselves, while we still can. Only by letting go of illusions of hegemony can we regain our sanity. The sooner we realize that, the better are our chances. We should use this situation as an opportunity to regenerate and define a new civilizational mission dedicated to our own survival. If cultural confusion and a lack of hope for the future is a primary cause of our low birth rates, it is likely that a new sense of cultural confidence will lead to a significant rise in the same birth rates. The battle for Western hegemony is already over. The battle for Western survival is about to begin.

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Diversity and Multiculturalism: The New Racism

The “diversity” movement is not imparting knowledge to students, but promoting racism.

Is ethnic diversity an “absolute essential” of a college education? UCLA’s Chancellor Charles Young thinks so. Ethnic diversity is clearly the purpose of affirmative action, which Young is defending against a long-overdue assault. But far from being essential to a college education, such diversity is a sure road to its destruction. “Ethnic diversity” is merely racism in a politically correct disguise.

Many people have a very superficial view of racism. They see it as merely the belief that one race is superior to another. It is much more than that. It is a fundamental (and fundamentally wrong) view of human nature. Racism is the notion that one’s race determines one’s identity. It is the belief that one’s convictions, values and character are determined not by the judgment of one’s mind but by one’s anatomy or “blood.”

This view causes people to be condemned (or praised) based on their racial membership. In turn, it leads them to condemn or praise others on the same basis. In fact, one can gain an authentic sense of pride only from one’s own achievements, not from inherited characteristics.

The spread of racism requires the destruction of an individual’s confidence in his own mind. Such an individual then anxiously seeks a sense of identity by clinging to some group, abandoning his autonomy and his rights, allowing his ethnic group to tell him what to believe. Because he thinks of himself as a racial entity, he feels “himself” only among others of the same race. He becomes a separatist, choosing his friends–and enemies–based on ethnicity. This separatism has resulted in the spectacle of student-segregated dormitories and segregated graduations.

The diversity movement claims that its goal is to extinguish racism and build tolerance of differences. This is a complete sham. One cannot teach students that their identity is determined by skin color and expect them to become colorblind. One cannot espouse multiculturalism and expect students to see each other as individual human beings. One cannot preach the need for self-esteem while destroying the faculty which makes it possible: reason. One cannot teach collective identity and expect students to have self-esteem.

Advocates of “diversity” are true racists in the basic meaning of that term: they see the world through colored lenses, colored by race and gender. To the multiculturalist, race is what counts–for values, for thinking, for human identity in general. No wonder racism is increasing: colorblindness is now considered evil, if not impossible. No wonder people don’t treat each other as individuals: to the multiculturalist, they aren’t.

Advocates of “diversity” claim it will teach students to tolerate and celebrate their differences. But the “differences” they have in mind are racial differences, which means we’re being urged to glorify race, which means we’re being asked to institutionalize separatism. “Racial identity” erects an unbridgeable gulf between people, as though they were different species, with nothing fundamental in common. If that were true–if “racial identity” determined one’s values and thinking methods–there would be no possibility for understanding or cooperation among people of different races.

Advocates of “diversity” claim that because the real world is diverse, the campus should reflect that fact. But why should a campus population “reflect” the general population (particularly the ethnic population)? No answer. In fact, the purpose of a university is to impart knowledge and develop reasoning, not to be a demographic mirror of society.

Racism, not any meaningful sense of diversity, guides today’s intellectuals. The educationally significant diversity that exists in “the real world” is intellectual diversity, i.e., the diversity of ideas. But such diversity–far from being sought after–is virtually forbidden on campus. The existence of “political correctness” blasts the academics’ pretense at valuing real diversity. What they want is abject conformity.

The only way to eradicate racism on campus is to scrap racist programs and the philosophic ideas that feed racism. Racism will become an ugly memory only when universities teach a valid concept of human nature: one based on the tenets that the individual’s mind is competent, that the human intellect is efficacious, that we possess free will, that individuals are to be judged as individuals–and that deriving one’s identity from one’s race is a corruption–a corruption appropriate to Nazi Germany, not to a nation based on freedom and independence.

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And finally, this succinct but striking footnote to the excellent Fjordman piece above…

Freedom is Slavery

by Baron Bodissey

1984In his essay yesterday, “Resisting 21st Century Communism”, Fjordman examined the emergence of transnational politically correct Multiculturalism, and the parallels between this noxious ideology and Communism, and its origins in 20th-century socialism.

In the comments, Ypp left a series of thesis/antithesis pairs that highlight the fundamental contradictions inherent in Multiculturalism and political correctness.

I’ve reworded and reorganized them a bit, but the list below is still Ypp’s handiwork.

The Ten Antitheses of Political Correctness

1.   Materialism is not about matter, but about suppressing ideas.
2.   Communism is not about common wealth, but about depriving people of any personal possessions.
3.   Socialism is not about society, but about depriving people of the means of production.
4.   Human rights are not personal rights, but collective obligations.
5.   Tolerance is not about mutual respect, but about the prohibition of opinions.
6.   Multiculturalism is not about cultures, but about the repudiation of nationhood.
7.   Energy policy is not about the distribution of energy, but about cutting off energy supplies.
8.   Health care is not about health, but about control of our consumption.
9.   Family planning is not about families, but about abortions.
10.   Self-loathing is not about repentance, but about depriving others of their moral foundation.

Whenever they start by improving something, they finish by depriving people of it.

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Here’s a quick update that I felt was simply too interesting (it would be funny if so many lives weren’t at stake) to pass up.

Coming in after the debacle that was yesterday’s AP-Ipsos poll demonstrating America’s disapproval of President Bush is only exceeded by their displeasure in the obviously impotent job performance of the newly elected Democratic congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, frustrated with the Republican minority, is now going back to the drawing board. Way back in fact–all the way back to 1822.

Is this the progress Democrats and liberals have been promising? Do you think? Progress? Ahem.


PELOSI LOWERS THE BOOM
Wed May 16 2007 14:43:59 ET

After losing a string of embarrassing votes on the House floor because of procedural maneuvering, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has decided to change the current House Rules to completely shut down the floor to the minority.

The Democratic Leadership is threatening to change the current House Rules regarding the Republican right to the Motion to Recommit or the test of germaneness on the motion to recommit. This would be the first change to the germaneness rule since 1822.

In protest, the House Republicans are going to call procedural motions every half hour.

Developing...

Iraq Withdrawal Move Thwarted in Senate

 

May 16, 11:34 AM (ET)

By ANNE FLAHERTY

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate on Wednesday rejected legislation that would cut off money for combat operations in Iraq after March 31, 2008.

The vote was a loss for Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., and other Democrats who want to end the war. But the effort picked up support from members, including presidential hopefuls previously reluctant to limit war funding – an indication of the conflict’s unpopularity among voters.

The proposal lost 29-67 on a procedural vote, falling 31 votes short of the necessary votes to advance. Of the 67 senators who opposed Feingold’s proposal, there were 19 Democrats, 47 Republicans and Connecticut Independent Joseph Lieberman. Of the 29 supporting, 28 were Democrats and Vermont Independent Bernard Sanders.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Democratic presidential front-runner, previously opposed setting a deadline on the war. But she said she agreed to back the measure “because we, as a united party, must work together with clarity of purpose and mission to begin bringing our troops home and end this war.”

Sen. Barack Obama, another leading 2008 prospect, said he would prefer a plan that offers more flexibility but wanted “to send a strong statement to the Iraqi government, the president and my Republican colleagues that it’s long past time to change course.”

The proposal had been expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to advance under Senate rules, but was intended to gauge the tolerance of members on anti-war legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid staged a series of war votes Wednesday to inform negotiations with the House on a war spending bill.

“We stand united…. in our belief that troops are enmeshed in an intractable civil war,” said Reid, D-Nev.

Feingold’s measure, co-sponsored by Reid and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., proved divisive for Democrats.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he opposes any measure that cuts off money for the war.

“We don’t want to send the message to the troops” that Congress does not support them, said Levin, D-Mich. “We’re going to support those troops.”

But other Democrats said the move was necessary.

“I’m not crazy about the language in the Feingold amendment, but I am crazy about the idea that we have to keep the pressure on,” said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., who also wants the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Senate vote on Feingold’s legislation was one of several expected Wednesday, as the Democratic-controlled Congress struggles to clear legislation for Bush’s signature by the end of next week to continue U.S. military operations through Sept. 30.

The House last week passed legislation funding the war on two separate, 60-day installments.

The Senate must take the next step by passing its own measure. Given the political forces at work, that legislation will be a placeholder, its only purpose to trigger three-way negotiations involving the House, Senate and Bush administration on a final compromise.

As a result, officials said Tuesday that Reid and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell had discussed jointly advancing a bill so barebones that it would contain no funds and do little more than express congressional support for the troops.

Negotiations on the final compromise are expected to take days.

Wednesday’s votes on Feingold and other proposals “will provide strong guidance to our conferees and help shape the conference negotiations we have ahead of us,” said Reid.

In addition to Feingold’s measure, members were expected to vote on legislation by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., that would threaten billions of dollars in U.S. aid for Iraq if Baghdad does not make progress on certain military and political reforms.

Reid said he would oppose Warner’s measure because it doesn’t go far enough; the proposal would allow the president to waive the restriction on foreign aid.

“It is nothing,” said Reid.

Levin pulled from the floor his proposal to set an Oct. 1 date to begin troop withdrawals, but allow the president to waive that requirement. He had pitched the idea with the expectation that the president would accept it because of the waiver; but, Levin said Wednesday he had been advised by the White House that the president would veto the measure regardless.

Poll: Congress, Bush share low approval

By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer Fri May 11, 3:49 PM ET

WASHINGTON – People think the Democratic-led Congress is doing just as dreary a job as

President Bush

, following four months of bitter political standoffs and little progress on

Iraq

and a host of domestic issues.

An AP-Ipsos poll also found that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) is a more popular figure than the president and her colleagues on Capitol Hill, though she faces a gender gap in which significantly more women than men support her.

The survey found only 35 percent approve of how Congress is handling its job, down 5 percentage points in a month. That gives lawmakers the same bleak approval rating as Bush, who has been mired at about that level since last fall, including his dip to a record low for the AP-Ipsos poll of 32 percent last January.

“It’s mostly Iraq” plus a lack of progress in other areas, said Rep. Tom Cole (news, bio, voting record), R-Okla., who heads the House GOP’s campaign committee. “These are not good numbers for an incumbent, and it doesn’t matter if you have an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ next to your name.”

Democrats agree that the problem is largely Iraq, which has dominated this year’s session of Congress while producing little more than this month’s Bush veto of a bill requiring the withdrawal of U.S. troops. It has also overshadowed House-passed bills on stem cell research, student loans and other subjects that the White House opposes, they say.

“People are unhappy, there hasn’t been a lot of change in direction, for example in Iraq,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (news, bio, voting record), D-Md., chairman of House Democrats’ campaign effort.

Rising gasoline prices could also be a factor, lawmakers said.

In another measure of popular discontent, the survey found that 71 percent say the country is on the wrong track — about even with the 73 percent who said so last May, the worst level since the AP-Ipsos poll began in December 2003.

The survey was taken Monday through Wednesday, before Bush offered to seek compromise with congressional Democrats over a war spending bill setting benchmarks for progress in Iraq.

Bush told reporters Thursday that if pollsters had asked his opinion about Iraq last fall, “I’d have said I disapprove of what was going on in Iraq. They could have put me down as part of the disapproval process.”

That was before his decision to send nearly 30,000 additional troops to Iraq, which “would more likely cause me to approve of what’s going on in Iraq,” he added.

Overall approval of Bush was steady from last month, but fell to 69 percent among Republicans, about 7 percentage points below where it had been in April. Earlier this week, a group of GOP moderate House members warned Bush that the status quo in Iraq could mean Republican election losses next year.

“If the war doesn’t begin to turn around, Republicans will have problems,” said Rep. Peter King (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y., who said he supports Bush’s Iraq policy.

White House spokesman Tony Snow declined to comment on the poll.

Congress’ approval rating this week was 10 points higher than a year ago, when Republicans were in control.

But after bumping up in April, this month’s drop left lawmakers’ job approval where it was when the year began. April saw Congress defy Bush and send him a bill financing the war and requiring a troop withdrawal, which he vetoed May 1.

“People wanted change in Washington” on many issues, not just Iraq, said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill., a member of the House Democratic leadership. “I’m not surprised about where people are. They’re hearing only about Iraq.”

Congress’ reduced appeal was evident in several categories of people. Only 48 percent of Democrats said they approved of Congress, down from 55 percent last month. That included a 12 percentage point drop among Democratic women, though support from Democratic men remained steady.

Approval by minorities also fell a dozen points to 39 percent, with a similar reduction among people whose family incomes exceed $75,000.

By region, the steepest drop was in the Midwest, where approval fell by 10 percentage points to 28 percent. Congress’ highest approval was in the Northeast, where four in ten gave it a positive rating.

As for Pelosi, D-Calif., her overall approval of 45 percent stood 10 points higher than Bush’s and Congress’.

She was seen favorably by 52 percent of women, but only 39 percent of men. While whites are closely split about her, minorities approve of her job by a 15-point margin.

Pelosi’s numbers are about where she was last month but slightly lower than in January. In the last month, she has lost significant support from younger voters, college-educated women and Westerners.

“Voters are frustrated by the fact that the president refuses to change direction on Iraq,” said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly.

Bush’s approval ratings are lowest for his handling of Iraq and domestic issues including health care, with about one-third seeing him favorably. About four in 10 like the job he is doing on the economy and foreign policy.

Men give the president higher grades than women do, whites higher than minorities, and married people higher than singles.

The AP-Ipsos survey involved telephone interviews with 1,000 adults. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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After my praise of Keith Olbermann in this previous post, this armchair quarterback of leftism on MSNBC has interminably and axiomatically persisted in his diligent effort to annoy me by making a molehill out of a fairly sizable mountain.

Yesterday saw the announcement of criminal charges brought against six men–all Muslims, all foreign born, three of whom were illegal-aliens–accused of plotting attacks against U.S. military personnel at Fort Dix army base in New Jersey. Almost immediately, the politically correct commonwealth, including CAIR, MPAC, and other Muslim American propaganda automatons, rose up in unison to warn the ignorant and infantile public not to jump to conclusions about Islam as a violence-based faith, while at the same time talking out of the other side of their mouths in praise of the police action.

Additionally, many in public office and the press, including Bush mouthpiece Tony Snow, who encompasses both as Press Secretary, made certain to alleviate any resulting fears within the trembling masses of American citizenry by clearly stating that these six men were not affiliated with any international terror organizations up to and including Al Qaeda.

And this matters because…? To the general public: It matters not one infinitesimal grain of sand that these men had no connection to “international terror organizations” or Al Qaeda. It doesn’t matter if they failed to receive an authentic fatwa ruling from an Islamic religious leader justifying (really, in their minds they needed little justification) their jihadist ambitions by attacking Fort Dix. Does the fact the media felt the overwhelming need to quickly rush forward and explicitly point out such an inanity somehow diminished the threat of murder and destruction planned by the six Muslims? Of course not. In fact, this is actually more disturbing because of the home-grown nature of their undertaking. They had no backing or operational support from any other establishment.

While their lack of tact (and apparent intelligence) was evidenced in their need to get a duplicate copy of their home-made jihadist video thereby alerting an employee at the local photomart who, understandably alarmed by the weaponry used in the video and the cries of “Allahu Akbar” by the very dolts who took the video in for duplication, the fact remains these men would have attempted to commit the acts they set out to do regardless of the outcome.

Training, affiliation, and monetary means do nothing to promote a lack of will in those guided by an ideology, and the ideologues who accompany it, that teaches war against the infidels until subjugation and sharia law persist throughout the land and eventually the world. This is what genuinely needs routing and exposure and a lot of good was done yesterday.

Of course, as stated above, there was some bad. Notably from Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown program. In it, Olbermann shamefully minimized the danger the accused would have instigated were they not stopped by law enforcement officials. Interestingly, Olbermann referred to the situation as “credulous” as in the American public is far too gullible in their readiness to accept the hazards these six men represented. Instead, he chose to label them simply as morons (thankfully they were) in a footnote piece just before he broke for commercial.

Keith Olbermann, you sir are today’s WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD!

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This photo obtained from the Cherry Hill, N.J., West High School 2003 yearbook shows Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer. Shnewer is one of the six men who were arrested Monday, May 7, 2007, on charges they planned to kill soldiers at the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Cherry Hill West High School Yearbook)

Store Clerk Helps Feds Bust 6 in Alleged ‘Jihad’ Plot to Kill U.S. Soldiers at Fort Dix

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Ever since Sept. 11, U.S. authorities have asked the public to be vigilant, urging, “If you see something, say something.”

In January 2006, a store clerk in New Jersey saw something.

A group of men had brought him a video showing them firing assault weapons and chanting, “God is Great!” in Arabic. They wanted him to transfer the footage onto a DVD.

So he said something, calling the Mount Laurel Police Department, who in turn contacted the FBI.

And thus began the downfall of one of the most thoroughly infiltrated and documented group of terrorism suspects in recent history — six men from Yugoslavia and the Middle East who were charged Tuesday with plotting to slaughter scores of American soldiers at Fort Dix and perhaps other military installations in the Northeast.

FBI agent J.P. Weis saluted the unidentified Mount Laurel store clerk as the “unsung hero” of the case.

“That’s why we’re here today — because of the courage and heroism of that individual,” the FBI agent said.

The suspects’ images and words were captured on more than 50 audio and video recordings. Their comings and goings were recorded by law enforcement agents who monitored the alleged plot for 16 months, hoping more terror ties would become apparent.

The defendants, all men in their 20s, include a pizza deliveryman suspected of using his job to scout out Fort Dix. Their goal was “to kill as many American soldiers as possible” in attacks with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and guns, prosecutors said.

“Today we dodged a bullet. In fact, when you look at the type of weapons that this group was trying to purchase, we may have dodged a lot of bullets,” Weis said. “We had a group that was forming a platoon to take on an army. They identified their target, they did their reconnaissance. They had maps. And they were in the process of buying weapons. Luckily, we were able to stop that.”

Authorities said there was no direct evidence connecting the men to any international terror organizations such as Al Qaeda. But several of them said they were ready to kill and die “in the name of Allah,” according to court papers.

The six men — five of whom lived in Cherry Hill, a Philadelphia suburb about 20 miles from Fort Dix — were arrested Monday night while trying to buy AK-47 assault weapons, M-16s and other weapons from an FBI informant, authorities said.

“This is what law enforcement is supposed to do in the post-9/11 era — stay one step ahead of those who are attempting to cause harm to innocent American citizens,” U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said.

In addition to plotting the attack on Fort Dix, the defendants spoke of attacking a Navy installation in Philadelphia during the annual Army-Navy football game and conducted surveillance at other military installations in the region, prosecutors said.

One defendant, Eljvir Duka, was recorded as saying: “In the end, when it comes to defending your religion, when someone … attacks your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad.”

“It doesn’t matter to me whether I get locked up, arrested or get taken away,” another defendant, Serdar Tatar, was alleged to have said. “Or I die, it doesn’t matter. I’m doing it in the name of Allah.”

They appeared in federal court Tuesday in Camden and were ordered held without bail for a hearing Friday. Five were charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. military personnel; the sixth was charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigrants in obtaining weapons.

Four of the men were born in the former Yugoslavia, one was born in Jordan and one came from Turkey, authorities said. All had lived in the United States for years. Three were in the United States illegally; two had green cards allowing them to stay in this country permanently; and the sixth is a U.S. citizen.

One defendant, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, spoke of using rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons to kill at least 100 soldiers, according to court documents.

“My intent is to hit a heavy concentration of soldiers,” he was quoted as saying. “You hit four, five or six Humvees and light the whole place (up) and retreat completely without any losses.”

The men trained by playing paintball in the woods in New Jersey and taking target practice at a firing range in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, where they had rented a house, authorities said.

They often watched terror training videos, clips featuring Usama bin Laden, a tape containing the last will and testament of some of the Sept. 11 hijackers, and tapes of armed attacks on U.S. military personnel, erupting in laughter when one plotter noted that a Marine’s arm was blown off in an ambush, authorities said.

Asked if those arrested had any links to Al Qaeda, White House spokesman Tony Snow said it appears “there is no direct evidence of a foreign terrorist tie.”

The FBI’s Weis said the U.S. is seeing a “brand-new form of terrorism,” involving smaller, more loosely defined groups that may not be connected to Al Qaeda but are inspired by its ideology.

“These homegrown terrorists can prove to be as dangerous as any known group, if not more so. They operate under the radar,” Weis said.

According to court documents, the video that the store clerk found disturbing depicted 10 young men in their early 20s “shooting assault weapons at a firing range … while calling for jihad and shouting in Arabic ‘Allah Akbar’ (God is great).” The 10 included six of those arrested, authorities said.

Within months, the FBI had managed to infiltrate the group with two informants, according to court documents.

One of the suspects, Tatar, worked at his father’s pizzeria and made deliveries to Fort Dix, using the opportunity to scout out the base for an attack, authorities said.

“Clearly, one of the guys had an intimate knowledge of the base from having been there delivering pizzas,” Christie said.

The men also allegedly conducted surveillance at other area military installations, including Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, and a Philadelphia Coast Guard station.

Besides Shnewer, Tatar and Duka, the other three men were identified in court papers as Dritan Duka, Shain Duka and Agron Abdullahu.

Fort Dix is used to train soldiers, particularly reservists. It also housed refugees from Kosovo in 1999.

The arrests stirred renewed worry among New Jersey’s Muslim community. Hundreds of Muslim men from New Jersey were rounded up and detained in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, but none were connected to that plot.

“If these people did something, then they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Sohail Mohammed, a lawyer who represented scores of detainees after the 2001 attacks. “But when the government says `Islamic militants,’ it sends a message to the public that Islam and militancy are synonymous.”

“Don’t equate actions with religion,” he said.

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This photo obtained from the Cherry Hill, N.J., West High School 1998 yearbook shows Eljvir ‘Elvis’ Duka. Duka, 23,is one of the six men who were arrested Monday, May 7, 2007, on charges they planned to kill soldiers at the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Cherry Hill West High School Yearbook)

 

 

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Please read PART 1 first.

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As stated in part 1 of this report, after the panelists (Dr. Brook, Dr. Sultan, and Dr. Pipes) took the stage and began their opening dialogs, and as Dr. Daniel Pipes began discussing the jihadi threat around the world including the UCLA campus, the protests and disruptions began.

(Again, as stated in part 1, the pictures in the auditorium and outside after dark aren’t of high quality. I apologize.)

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Dr. Pipes continued to speak, despite the fact that was apparently distracted by something that was transpiring in the audience. I looked behind me and noticed that several audience members began rising from their seats, notably a few young women of Middle-Eastern descent wearing hijab (and it looks like that gentleman in the glasses is flipping me the bird. POWER TO THE PEOPLE, DUDE! Ahem.) No one shouted and no one created much of a ruckus initially. They simply made their way to the aisles and the exits.

Thus the protesting of Dr. Pipes and the panelists began–with a bit of a whimper.

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Dr. Pipes continued to speak, but he was slightly preoccupied with this initial tide of the protest. Still, he and the panelists conducted themselves professionally. They didn’t acknowledge the activists with anger or disdain, choosing rather to ignore them for as long as possible.

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More protestors rise and head for the exits. As you can see, it continued quietly and with a considerable amount of reserve from those in revolt, so much so that many in the audience barely took notice, as you can see in the above picture.

Unfortunately, this relative decorum would not last.

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Welcome to the Age of Aquarius. The above three women must be having one hell of a flashback because they can’t seem to remember that this is 2007 and not 1969. As they passed me up the aisle, making their way toward the exit, it became apparent to me that more had likely been planned by the protestors, and specifically these three elderly ladies, in order to create chaos and disorder within the nights proceedings. As one can see from this photograph, the three women all had black shirts with large white letters plastered on the front. It was obviously meant to spell out “LIAR” but the opportunity to stand united and actually spell the word for the panelists and/or the audience never came to pass. Alas, the will to fight seems to have been drained from these particular women. They didn’t even try, opting instead to simply walk out of the auditorium without executing their carefully laid plan–without even trying.

At least, the “R” and the “A” lady gave up. The “LI” lady wasn’t as easily deterred.

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This particular protestor, pictured above, was evidently the better third of the “LIAR” lady trilogy. While she didn’t have anything intelligent to say, she said it loudly and repeatedly.

“LIARS! LIARS! LIARS! LIARS! LIARS!” All the while she too made for the exits.

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Wagging her finger at the panelists, the “LI” lady resumed her retreating diatribe, “LIARS! LIARS! LIARS!”

By the time she started shouting, so too did the audience, admonishing her and the other protestors disruptive behavior. Many in auditorium at this point were adding their voices to the din, urging the “LI” lady to beat a hasty retreat so the panelists could forge ahead.

The protests from these three women didn’t quite make sense to me. If they were protesting Dr. Pipes and the other panelists, claiming they were liars, then it was apparent to me they (the three ladies in particular) had never even attempted a read of the Qur’an. Many of the statements by the panelists, even this early in the discussion, could be referenced directly from the words and actions of Muhammad within the pages of the Qur’an, or even better, the Hadith. So dubbing the panelists liars was inaccurate. They weren’t there to lie. They were there to provide truths and opinions on what actions might or must be taken to protect the west from radical Islam.

As Dr. Sultan stated during the event, no one has ever murdered someone because they were emulating Jesus. If one wishes to emulate the prophet Muhammad however (as every good Muslim is taught and required to do as Muhammad is the embodiment of the perfect man and all men and women should be like him), killing and murdering by his example is sanctioned within the pages of the Qur’an and the Hadith.

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Finally, one last protestor unfurls a large sign (too big for his wingspan to handle appropriately as you can tell from the above picture–it seems to read “s DON’T SUPPORT TE SPEECH.”) Needless to say, the sign was difficult to read.

Dr. Pipes in the upper left calmly waits until the protests subside.

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I think it said, “DON’T SUPPORT HATE SPEECH.” I heard quite a bit of hate speech from the “LI” lady. She spewed “LIARS!” forth with quite a bit of acerbically drenched venom, but I didn’t notice hate speech coming from any of the panelists. Some in the auditorium may have been slightly surprised by some of the verbiage coming from Dr. Brook for example, but hate speech appeared relegated to the protesters alone.

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As the disruptions subsided, Dr. Pipes resumed his initial comments. You can see he had to remove the lav mic attached to his lapel and bring it closer to his mouth because some in the back of the venue had difficulties hearing him speak.

After a couple of minutes, I became audibly aware that a commotion was taking place outside of the building. Predicting more protests, I quickly shot from my seat (no offense to panelists hopefully) and made my way outside to see what might be taking place.

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Yup. More protests. The individual on the far right of the above picture even sported a fashionable kaffiyeh and military fatigues while banging peacefully on his tabla.

I couldn’t quite make out what the sign read though.

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Ahh! Of course. The protesters had taken the opportunity to transform the panelist’s discussion, Totalitarian Islam’s Threat to the West, into a peace protest against the war in Iraq. That makes perfect sense, especially since the discussion rarely focused on Iraq or the American military adventure within. In fact, the only time the war in Iraq every really surfaced in the dialog was during the question and answer period at the end. This event was not about the Iraq war, but the protesters felt (in a somewhat bigoted manner) that speaking about radical Islam must logically relate directly to that conflict, despite the fact that the majority of the worlds Muslims do not live in the Middle East.

Within this group marched Muslims, hippies, students, young children and even babies (who obviously had no idea why everyone was shouting so angrily.) It was ragtag, and barely organized. The march itself was pathetically short, mostly regionalized to the west face of the building wherein the panelists were speaking, and the south side of the building.

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I honestly can’t remember what everyone was shouting. All I can say is how disappointed I was to see what appears a fellow metal-head, framed in the center of this photograph, participating in the peace march. Dude, metal is not peaceful.

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I was sad to see I had just missed Muslims participating in salah–their prayers, but at least I managed to snap a picture of their rolled up musallah.

There were some young Muslims minutes later praying, but my camera did not take any adequate photographs of their activities unfortunately.

Finally, I re-entered the auditorium and took my seat, taking in the rest of the discussion. Oddly, I had been wondering earlier in the day as to why this issue of radical Islam is such a polarizing one. In general, why does it divide so evenly down political lines? Why is it so partisan? If the left is the champion of women’s rights, equal rights, no war, etc. why would they so recklessly wish to support a religion as oppressive to its followers, particularly its women, as Islam? I mean, the left generally would rather abolish all religion anyway. Why fight for a religious faith that sanctions plural marriage, marriage to children and the subsequent pedophilia (as Muhammad did with Aisha when she was six), beating of women, killing of dissidents, etc.? These are some of the major tenets that the left purports they desire so strongly to prevent, yet they stand in solidarity with Islam. So why the blatant hypocrisy?

Dr. Pipes and Dr. Brook actually satisfactorily answered my question thanks to a question from the audience. The reason why leftists support Islam is because they all share a common enemy–George W. Bush specifically and western culture and society generally. Who cares if Muslims, under the auspices of Islam and Muhammad, commit abhorrent acts of terror, killing scores of innocent people throughout the world? They hate George Bush. They hate the West and the decent individualistic values we stand for.

It was an interesting and enlightening evening and I hope Dr. Pipes will make his way back soon, for myself and those who wanted to hear what he and the other panelists had to say, and for the panelists right to say it.

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Aside from Keith Olbermann‘s ridiculous anointing of Geraldo Rivera as “The Best Person in the World” (as opposed to his regular segment, “The Worst Person in the World” where in Bill O’Reilly regularly manages that honor) for his “noble” defense of illegal-alien Alfredo Ramos of Virginia Beach due to his successful extermination of two teenage girls in a drunk driving incident, the simple fact remains that Ramos would not have killed those young women had he not been in the country illegally in the first place.

Rivera’s deluded perception the accident had nothing to do with illegal-immigration goes beyond the pale. It at least has as much to do with illegal-immigration as it does with drunk driving. In fact, I would say it is about illegal-immigration first and driving while intoxicated second. Had our border been far more secure than it is now in its current revolving door state, Ramos might have never been allowed to enter this country illegally. He might never have made his way to Virginia Beach. He might never had decided to get drunk the night of the fatal crash. He might never have recklessly bumbled his way behind the wheel of a vehicle, and he might never have killed two innocent people as a result. Had Alfredo Ramos not been allowed to enter this country illegally, those two girls would still be alive today. It’s a simple fact that no one, not ever Geraldo Rivera can, or should deny. To do so, as he did on The O’reilly Factor last week, is shameful and deserving of scorn.

Instead, Keith Olbermann praises Rivera and such insipid statements as “illegal immigrants commit less crime than American citizens.” To Keith and Geraldo: well duh! When you have a country whose population sits at around 300 million individuals with 12 to 20 million more illegal-immigrants, it is not difficult to understand that fewer crimes are committed by illegal-aliens than infractions by legal residents. Geraldo’s case is a hasty generalization bordering tu quoque. The obvious reigns supreme–there would be less crime in this country were our borders secure, meaning there would be fewer rapists, pedophiles, murders, gang bangers, drug dealers, thieves, and drunk drivers. How difficult is that to comprehend? Obviously, for Olbermann and Rivera (and this preposterous article at Salon.com), it’s beyond comprehension.

Also last week here in Los Angeles, another ugly drunk driving incident made headlines across the country with yet another illegal-alien drunk driver, Hector Velazquez-Nava who happened to snuff out the lives of another two American citizens–this time renowned film director, Bob Clark and his 22 year-old son Ariel Hanrath-Clark. Even though Velazquez-Nava has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, he still wished to express his condolences and sorrow for their deaths. Didn’t I just mention he pleaded not guilty?

Because two high profile incidents such as these occured in a relatively short time frame, by no means should this indicate that all or most illegal-aliens are as ignorant and careless as were Ramos and Velazquez-Nava, but their cases acutely bring to light, in the most tragic of circumstances, only one reason as to why we must gain control of our southern border. Drunk drivers, regardless of citizenship status, are ticking time bombs. But if we were to competently disallow entry to a group of people who accept driving while under the influence as simply a degenerate yet acceptable aspect of their peasant culture–their “manliness” is defined by how much they can drink and not fall down, or not kill people with a car apparently–then that would rightly reduce the amount of unnecessary deaths. Is that too difficult to accept? Of course not.

There are far too many reasons as to why the illegal-alien population is detrimental to the United States, and I’ve covered those many times before throughout this site. The problem that arises from the opposition, including activists, is their lack of reasons as to why we should allow them free access, other than the fact that the wealthy, whether they’re liberals or conservatives, democrats or republicans simply want as much access to an easily exploitable labor base (i.e. modern slavery) as possible. Those who desire the unrestricted admittance of illegal-aliens only desire their exploitation without heeding the concrete consequences, even when those consequences end up killing American citizens.

If only Alfredo Ramos had been deported the first, or even the second time he’d been apprehended for DUI.

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Hispanic DWIs rooted in immigrants’ culture
Lifestyle, isolation figure in driving drunk

 

When Eliseo Hernandez came to the United States 30 years ago, he thought he drove better after a few beers. Driving drunk had been normal back in Mexico, he said. But Hernandez, 54, learned of its perils firsthand. He quit the practice after falling asleep at the wheel and hitting a tree 18 years ago.Then, last year, a young Hispanic man who authorities say was drunk nearly killed Hernandez’s only son, Diego, in a crash on a rural Johnston County road. Eliseo Hernandez’s daughter, who was nine months pregnant, lost her unborn child in the accident.

Hernandez has spent the past year following Diego through four hospitals and 14 brain surgeries. Diego only recently began to smile again and might never walk.

Hernandez said he hopes his painful journey will teach his friends and family a lesson. Car accidents are the top killer of Hispanics in North Carolina, and the disproportionate number of alcohol-related arrests and wrecks are an embarrassment to a minority already beleaguered by hard feelings over illegal immigration.

“It makes the Mexicans look bad, very bad,” Hernandez said. “The American people say ‘Oh, it’s just another Hispanic, the same as the others.’ ”

In 2005, there were 37 alcohol-related crashes caused by Hispanic drivers for every 10,000 Hispanics in the state, according to the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. That is more than three times the rate of alcohol-related crashes among non-Hispanics.

Hispanic leaders are struggling to stem a problem that they say is rooted in the waves of young men who leave the calming influences of church and family to labor alone in a new country.

“It’s difficult because you’re trying to compete with the loneliness,” said Tony Asion, public safety director for El Pueblo, an Hispanic advocacy group. “Then, as some learn, more come, and we start again.”

Carnage continues

Last month, a Johnston County father and son died in a fiery crash authorities say was caused by Luciano Tellez, 31, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Dwane Braswell, 35, and his son Jerry, 9, were riding in a tractor-trailer cab on N.C. 210 in the Cleveland community of Johnston County when Tellez struck the tractor and rolled it into a ditch, where it caught fire.

Empty beer cans were found in Tellez’ car, but authorities say it is impossible to know whether he was drunk.

It was the latest in a string of such accidents caused by Hispanic men. In February in Salisbury, a woman who was eight months pregnant and her unborn child were killed. In October, it was two college students and a high school boy. In January 2006, a man from El Salvador killed a Hillsborough woman in a head-on crash and fled, leaving an injured passenger in his own car.

Researchers say drunken driving among Hispanics is at least partially explained by demographics. As in many places where immigration is fairly recent, the Hispanic population in North Carolina is young and dominated by men — both factors that make them statistically more likely to drive drunk.

Men in their 20s and 30s made up more than half the people charged with DWI statewide in the year ending last July. Nearly 40 percent of North Carolina Hispanics were 21- to 39-year-old men in 2005, according to census estimates. This same age range accounted for only 18 percent of blacks and 16 percent of whites.

Bobby Dunn, who counsels Spanish-speaking DWI convicts in Johnston and Wilson counties, said his clients are often young men far from home with money in their pockets for the first time. Many were too poor to have cars in Mexico, so they have little experience behind the wheel.

They also see drinking as a way of showing their manhood.

“The magic number is 12,” Dunn said, or “un doce” in Spanish. “If you can drink 12 beers, you’re a man.”

Others say heavy drinking is part of a lifestyle dominated by long work days building homes, painting or picking crops.

Walking down Buck Jones Road to his apartment in West Raleigh, Alberto Gonzalez figured he would drink most of the 12-pack he had just bought that night, even though it was a weeknight.

Gonzalez, 29, said he hadn’t given much thought to spending a night without a beer in hand. “I just sit and drink,” he said. “Maybe a friend will come by. Other than work, this is what I do.”

Hernandez was part of an early wave of young men who came to North Carolina to pick tobacco. There were so few Hispanics in North Carolina then, he said, he couldn’t find a store that sold hot peppers or corn tortillas.

He had been a drinker in Mexico, he said, but it got worse in the United States. He didn’t have a family to tend to, and he felt very alone in a place where no one understood him.

“When you are young, you don’t think anything will happen to you,” he said. “When you have a family, you care more about your life.”

In fact, the increasing number of Hispanic women and children in North Carolina may explain why the prevalence of drunken-driving accidents and arrests among Hispanics has not grown with the population.

By some measures, DWI accidents and citations among Hispanics are actually diminishing.

Hispanics made up 18 percent of the 75,000 DWI arrests last year, while they accounted for 6 percent of the population. The portion of DWI citations going to Hispanics has crept up slightly since 2000, even as the growth in the state’s Hispanic population has outpaced overall population growth by more than 500 percent.

Since 2000, alcohol-related crashes among Hispanics have dropped from 9 percent of all crashes that involve Hispanics to 7 percent.

The pressure to reverse the trend is intense. Each fatality brings calls for deportations and tighter immigration controls.

Luke Steele, 49, adds up the deaths and sees a growing problem that stems from immigration. He said his daughter lost her college roommate to a Hispanic drunken driver in October.

Steele, a longtime fire rescue worker, also remembers a 1991 wreck in which a teenage girl was killed by an illegal immigrant who “skipped town before the case ever went to trial.”

“We’ve still got plenty of stupid white, black, pink and purple people that drive drunk. That’s plenty to go around,” he said. “The reality is if they weren’t here, they could not kill people [while] driving drunk.”

After the March wreck in Johnston County, U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, a Charlotte Republican, reintroduced a bill that would require the deportation of all immigrants convicted of drunken driving.

And anti-immigration groups have seized on the issue as an effective marketing strategy for their cause.

“The effect on the labor force is real, but it’s indirect,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which favors tighter controls on immigration. “Whereas, an illegal alien who drives drunk and kills some newlywed couple is tangible.”

Asion, who leads El Pueblo’s effort to curb drunken driving, works to separate the DWI problem from the immigration debate.

Many Hispanics have not grown up with anti-drunken-driving messages, and it will take time for the ideas to take hold.

“It’s not something that you can do easily,” Asion said. “If it was, then the U.S. population would have already done it.”

News

Hispanics wary of fallout from deadly crash in Virginia Beach

Manuel Ayala, at right, has been in the United States nearly 20 years. He said many people automatically assume he's an illegal immigrant. Now,
Manuel Ayala, at right, has been in the United States nearly 20 years. He said many people automatically assume he’s an illegal immigrant. Now, “the discrimination, it’s going to show more,” said Ayala, owner of San Jose Mexican Mini Mart. STEPHEN M. KATZ/THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

By GILLIAN GAYNAIR, The Virginian-Pilot
© April 7, 2007
VIRGINIA BEACH – Because one Hispanic person is accused of causing a tragic accident, Monica Restrepo said, she now frets that many will be judged and be the brunt of insults.

“We’re very worried about what’s going to happen to all of us in the community,” said Restrepo, who owns the decade-old La Tapatia, believed to be one of the first Latin American grocery stores in the city.

Restrepo and other local Hispanics this week expressed their sympathy for the families of two Virginia Beach girls killed in a car crash March 30. But they also couldn’t mask their concern over a possible backlash against both legal and illegal immigrants.

They fear that because of Alfredo Ramos, people will categorize all Hispanics as drunken drivers and unauthorized immigrants. Ramos, 22, is charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Alison Kunhardt, 17, and Tessa Tranchant, 16. He had a record of three alcohol-related convictions in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake and had entered the country from Mexico illegally.

Many Hispanics said the public response to the incident has been incorrectly centered on Ramos’ immigration status instead of on drunken-driving laws and penalties.

“When someone has committed a crime, it doesn’t matter what legal status they have, what ethnic group – you’ve committed a crime,” said Mavel Velasco Muñoz, chairwoman of the Hispanic Leadership Forum of Hampton Roads. “We are not condoning it,” but, she said, the public is wrongly lumping together immigration issues and DUI laws.

Beatriz Amberman, a Virginia Beach resident and vice chairwoman of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations, agreed.

“I wonder how many people are driving under the influence of alcohol and have been let go with a slap on the hand… and whether the system is actually working in that regard,” she said. “Rather than that… because of this one individual, we’re judging all undocumented workers.”

The tragedy gained national attention Wednesday through Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” when host Bill O’Reilly blamed the city of Virginia Beach and accused local officials of providing sanctuary to illegal immigrants. O’Reilly and TV personality Geraldo Rivera traded verbal punches on Thursday (video).

Locally, rumors swirled Friday among some Hispanics that federal immigration authorities were coming to Virginia Beach to raid establishments that employ illegal immigrants.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington said that such rumors are no t surprising, given the amount of attention the Ramos case has received.

“I can’t tell you that no investigation is going on, because that’s something we do on a daily basis,” Ernestine Fobbs said. “I can’t confirm or deny whether we have an active investigation going on at this time. It’s not something that we’d reveal.”

Ramos had worked briefly at Mi Casita restaurant on Bonney Road, according to Gary C. Byler, an attorney representing El Toro Loco Inc., the corporation that owns Mi Casita. Byler said Ramos was told not to come back to work when his documents appeared to be invalid. He was not working at the restaurant at the time of the car crash, Byler said.

It wasn’t unusual to see Ramos and other employees walking along Bonney Road and visiting establishments in Thalia Village Shoppes, business owners there said.

In the week after the car crash, there has been less foot traffic overall, said Junior Garcia, who owns La Tienda International Foods and Mi Tierra Restaurant.

Garcia said that since the incident, he has also noticed more police in the area and suspected that “we’ll probably have more police officers stopping Latinos on looks.”

Like others, Garcia was concerned about the response to the tragedy.

“I haven’t heard once that it was an accident,” he said. “White people also drink. I feel people have blown out of proportion his status and where he’s from. It could have been anybody.”

While he and his friends talked about the Ramos case at Mi Orgullo Latin Accessories in the same plaza, Jonathan Rodriguez wondered whether there would be such a public outcry had an intoxicated white citizen been accused in the girls’ deaths.

“Now they want to punish every Latin person out there,” he said. “Now it’s going to be harder for us…. You could be a citizen, but they’re still going to hate you.”

Local Hispanic leaders say they hope to turn the tragedy into an opportunity to educate more people about the dangers of drunken driving, push for tougher penalties for it and work for immigration laws that can be respected as fair.

Amberman, of the Coalition of Latino Organizations, said she is worried that “people want to look at only one side of the picture.”

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Much praise and accolades of judicious common sense goes out to Republican Representative Steve Pearce from New Mexico, ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee Representative Peter King, Republican from New York, and all those on the House floor who voted to include protections for diligent citizens who speak out against suspicious behaviors concerning matters of national security. Largely a Democrat sponsored bill, the Rail and Public Transportation Security Act of 2007 (pdf) was sent back to committee for further modification and justifiable improvements, despite some seriously shameful resistance from Mississippi Democrat, Bennie Thompson (who happens to be the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.)

Concerning CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and the flying imams… “Absolutely they should have the ability to seek redress in a court of law,” said Mr. Thompson, who suggested that protecting passengers from a lawsuit would encourage racial profiling.

Obviously Mr. Thompson doesn’t have any notion what-so-ever as to what the hell he’s talking about, and I would even posit the man is a bigot for making such a proposition as the one he made above. Islam is not a race. Muslims are not a race. Mr. Thompson, not everyone who is a Muslim is of Arab descent, and not everyone who is of Arab descent is a Muslim. To suggest otherwise, as you did here, is inherently racist.

Thompson may be a bit flummoxed as to what CAIR actually is, who they represent, and the motives behind their plainly dubious activities–motives that are perpetually glossed over and consistently ignored by the media out of an ongoing and misguided, politically correct obfuscating masquerade designed to push their “moderate” Muslim agenda of misinformation. This misinformation is presented in a way that advances CAIR as a civil rights organization designed to protect decent, honest Muslims from persecution at the hands of “ignorant” Americans who want to harm the good name of Islam in general, and Muslims specifically, despite the fact Muslims around the world tend to do a fairly admirable job of that themselves (you don’t hear much damage control from Christian organizations when one of their pastors or priests asserts women who don’t wear a hijab deserves to be raped.)

If CAIR is the mouthpiece for Muslims in the United States, why do they, in conjunction with the current liberal leaning media, misrepresent and apologize for abhorrent comments and/or actions committed by Muslims throughout the world (including here in America) in the name of Islam, rather than do the honorable thing and out rightly condemn those statements or acts? Perhaps because those acts we as a civilized society consider shocking and horrific are actually an accepted aspect of Islamic faith. Not only are they accepted as mandated by the Qur’an and the Hadith, they are encouraged even today as they have been since Muhammad returned to Mecca in the 6th century.

Sura (2:191)And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]

Sura (3:151)“Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority.” This speaks directly of killing Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be ‘joining companions to Allah’).

Sura (8:12)I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them

Sura (47:4)So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners (source)

These are only a few verses that speak of violent jihad against unbelievers (while the Christian Bible, specifically The Old Testament, is a descriptive work, the Qur’an is normative, applicable to today as it was centuries ago.) There are many more such verses, and all of them have abrogated any peaceful passages that arose originally due to Muhammed’s relative weak standing when he initially began the religion of Islam while exiled in Medina. Once he commenced attracting followers and subsequently his army, gaining the power necessary to crush those who once opposed him, Muhammed showed his true colors as a brutal warlord, evidenced by the sampling of verses above. Kill the unbelievers where ever you find them. It is not Christians or Buddhists or Jews who are intolerant of Muslims. It is Muslims who are intolerant of everyone else (not all Muslims are intolerant or violent by nature as most are simply individuals who want to lead peaceful lives, but this is generally in contrast to what the Qur’an teaches.)

This was most recently evidenced via the lawsuit filed a couple of weeks ago by CAIR and the flying imams stemming from the stunt on US Airways Flight 300 perpetrated by the Muslim clerics last November. As I previously pointed out, CAIR not only filed suit against US Airways and the Minnesota Metropolitan Airports Commission, they additionally implicated several “John Does” on that same flight–civilian passengers who’s diligence helped with the imams’ understandable removal from the airplane.

This was a bold and dangerous attempt to silence any dissent from any non-Muslim persons who might witness Muslims (or anyone for that matter, regardless of religious beliefs or ethnicity) eliciting suspicious behavior, such as the performance by the flying imams. Praying is one thing. Denouncing America and shouting Allahu Akbar while standing in line to get on a passenger plane, then ignoring your assigned seating, choosing to seat yourself in the positions of the 9/11 hijackers, and finally asking for seatbelt extenders despite the fact you obviously don’t need them, placing them next to you on the floor and within easy reach–this behavior is beyond suspicious, obviously deserving of scrutiny and subsequent ejection from the flight. Anyone who believes otherwise must take a serious step back and honestly examine the reality in which we live post 9/11.

Know this CAIR, and anyone who wishes to spread sharia throughout the United States: I will be watching you. I will be everywhere you are and I will be watching you. Islam is not the authority. If you do anything suspicious, I will be there to report you to the proper authority, and I will rest easy with the knowledge that you have no power to prevent it.

 

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House votes to protect ‘John Does’ on flights

By Audrey Hudson
Published March 27, 2007

House Republicans tonight surprised Democrats with a procedural vote to protect public-transportation passengers from being sued if they report suspicious activity — the first step by lawmakers to protect “John Doe” airline travelers already targeted in such a lawsuit.
After a heated debate and calls for order, the motion to recommit the Democrats’ Rail and Public Transportation Security Act of 2007 back to committee with instructions to add the protective language passed on a vote of 304-121.
Republicans said the lawsuit filed by six Muslim imams against US Airways and “John Does,” passengers who reported suspicious behavior, could have a “chilling effect” on passengers who may fear being sued for acting vigilant.
Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, offered the motion saying all Americans — airline passengers included — must be protected from lawsuits if they report suspicious behavior that may foreshadow a terrorist attack.
“All of our lives changed after September 11, and one of the most important things we have done is ask local citizens to do what they can to avoid another terrorist attack, if you see something, say something,” said Mr. King.
“We have to stand by our people and report suspicious activity,” he said. “I cannot imagine anyone would be opposed to this.”
Mr. King called it a “disgrace” that the suit seeks to identify “people who acted out of good faith and reported what they thought was suspicious activity.”
Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, opposed the motion over loud objections from colleagues on the House floor, forcing several calls to order from the chair.
“Absolutely they should have the ability to seek redress in a court of law,” said Mr. Thompson, who suggested that protecting passengers from a lawsuit would encourage racial profiling.
“This might be well-intended, but it has unintended consequences,” Mr. Thompson said, before he accepted the motion to recommit.
The motion to recommit was based on a bill introduced last week by Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, to protect “John Does” or passengers targeted in a lawsuit filed by six Muslim imams earlier this month in Minneapolis.
Mr. Pearce said the imams are “using courts to terrorize Americans.”
“If we allow this lawsuit to go forward it will have a chilling effect,” Mr. Pearce said.
A Republican memo issued prior to the vote cites the November incident when the men were removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix for suspicious behavior, the details of which were first reported by The Washington Times.
The men prayed loudly before boarding, did not take their assigned seats and formed patterns officials said mirrored the September 11 hijackers, asked for seat-belt extenders not needed, and criticized President Bush and the war in Iraq.
“Earlier this month, the six imams filed suit against the airlines. Shockingly, the imams also filed suit against the passengers who reported the suspicious behavior,” the memo said.
“The Republican motion to recommit will ensure that any person that voluntarily reports suspicious activity — anything that could be a threat to transportation security — will be granted immunity from civil liability for the disclosure,” the memo said.
The amendment is retroactive to activities that took place on or after Nov. 20, 2006 — the date of the Minneapolis incident, and authorizes courts to award attorneys’ fees to defendants with immunity.
“By passing a specific grant of immunity that covers passengers reporting suspicious activity in good faith, we will prevent special-interest lawyers from using ‘creative’ legal theories to attack the well-meaning passengers who make reports,” the memo said.
Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in an open letter yesterday to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty that “the only individuals against whom suit may be raised in this litigation are those who may have knowingly made false reports against the imams with the intent to discriminate against them.”
The Becket Fund criticized the lawsuit last week and in a letter to Mr. Awad asked that the “John Does” be removed from the lawsuit, however CAIR is standing by the decision.
“The imams will not sue any passengers who reported suspicious activity in good faith, even when the ‘suspicious’ behavior included the imams’ constitutionally protected right to practice their religion without fear or intimidation,” Mr. Awad said.
However, Mr. Awad said that “when a person makes a false report with the intent to discriminate, he or she is not acting in good faith.”

 

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