Pol·i·tics: the art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs. Posts in this category pertain to local and national politics.

Rice for VP?

Filed in PoliticsTags: Elections, Republicans

This news would have really excited me a while ago: Condi Rice is apparently making a play to be named as McCain's VP.

As it is, she had better re-think her views on some issues before I could even hope to support her on the ticket.

(H/T: LGF)

The 'sphere is already buzzing.

Barack Obama: Pregnancy a “Punishment”

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Democrats, Elections, Fatherhood, Sanctity of Life

On the campaign trail over the weekend, Barack Obama tried to assuage the socially conservative democrats of Western Pennsylvania regarding his pro-abortion stance. He starts with the typical, liberal, stance when confronted by an admonition to stop abortions:

"This is a very difficult issue, and I understand sort of the passions on both sides of the issue," he said. "I have two precious daughters — they are miracles."

But politicians must trust women to make the right decisions for themselves, he said.

"This is an example where good people can disagree," the Illinois senator said. "The question then is, are there areas that we can agree to that everybody can get behind? We can all agree that we want to reduce teen pregnancies. We can all agree that we want to make sure that adoption is a viable option."

This response is, of course, the typical liberal approach of ignoring the biological reality that an abortion impacts not just the woman carrying the unborn child, but also the separate, unique life that is that unborn child. Note also the canard about adoption (the viability of which is a non-issue, but ostensibly sounds good when making such deflection).

Unfortunately for Obama, he continued on with his comments in an attempt to persuade the audience regarding sex education - and in so doing revealed his true beliefs.

Somehow, I don't think his comments will have their intended affect (emphasis added):

"Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old," he said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at age 16, so it doesn't make sense to not give them information."

There you have it: babies are a "punishment" resulting from a mistake - the moral equivalent of contracting an STD.

Of course, what else would one expect, from such a radical proponent of abortion such as Barack Hussein Obama?

(H/T: RedState)

Network Solutions Dhimmitude

Filed in Politics, Religion, Social IssuesTags: Internet, War on Terror

Are you in need of web hosting services, but your web site may in some way violate the ever-so-fragile sensibilities of Muslims? If so, don't even think about using Network Solutions.

Dutch lawmaker and filmmaker Geert Wilders made this mistake when developing a website for his forthcoming Fitna movie, which he describes as a "last warning for the West." The movie is critical of the Koran - which means that the adherents to the "Religion of Peace", when not calling for his death and threatening worldwide retaliation, are actively pushing for the movie (and the website) to be censored.

Apparently, they have been successful in that censorship, since Dutch broadcasters have refused to air the movie, and Network Solutions, the company that provides Wilders' web hosting services, has suspended the website. The FitnaTheMovie web site currently has the following notice:

This site has been suspended while Network Solutions is investigating whether the site's content is in violation of the Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy. Network Solutions has received a number of complaints regarding this site that are under investigation. For more information about Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy visit the following URL: http://www.networksolutions.com/legal/aup.jsp

In case you're curious, the only potentially relevant section of that Acceptable Use Policy is the first clause under the "Prohibited Uses" section (emphasis added):

Transmission, distribution, uploading, posting or storage of any material in violation of any applicable law or regulation is prohibited. This includes, without limitation, material protected by copyright, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property right used without proper authorization, and material that is obscene, defamatory, libelous, unlawful, harassing, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, constitutes an illegal threat, violates export control laws, hate propaganda, fraudulent material or fraudulent activity, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable material of any kind or nature. You may not transmit, distribute, or store material that contains a virus, "Trojan Horse," corrupted data, or any software or information to promote or utilize software or any of Network Solutions services to deliver unsolicited e-mail. You further agree not to transmit any material that encourages conduct that could constitute a criminal offense, gives rise to civil liability or otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law or regulation.

One little catch, though: the web site, at the time of being suspended, had absolutely no content other than the words ""Geert Wilders presents Fitna, 23 March 2008."

Network Solutions, say hello to Dhimmitude, and say goodbye to business, because you're about to be mass-boycotted.

(H/T: LGF. More from Jihad Watch, Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, Kyros.)

P.S. Apparently, hoax sites and movie trailers are popping up, in an apparent signal-to-noise attack strategy to keep people from seeing the real thing. Don't be fooled. The real site is registered to Geert Wilder. This UK hoax site is registered to one Los Bol. These "trailer" videos on YouTube are also all either fakes or fanpics.

This just in, from Newsbleat: Network Solutions' actions are even more insidious. These coward Dhimmis are not merely doing the bidding of their Islamic overlords; they are also bought and paid for by terrorists. Network Solutions hosts the hizbollah.org website.

Saddam Hussein’s Ties to Al Qaeda: Proven

Filed in PoliticsTags: Media Bias, Military, War on Terror

You remember the Democrat talking point, about how Saddam Hussein had no ties to Al Qaeda prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq? Well, as with so many other Democrat talking points, this one has been proven to be dead wrong - in the recently released 59-page Pentagon report.

Now, you may have heard that the report did just the opposite, confirming no link between Hussein and Al Qaeda. After all, that is how the MSM have been reporting it (see NYTimes blog, ABC News blog, and McClatchy Newspapers). These reports seem to be seizing (out of context) on the report's executive summary and abstract, which say (in part):

This study found no "smoking gun" (i.e. direct connection) between Saddam's Iraq and Al Qaeda.

...these documents do not reveal direct coordination and assistance between the Saddam regime and the al Qaeda network...

That sounds like a pretty convincing refutation of any Iraq-Al Qaeda connection - except that it is taken out of context.

What these statements actually indicate is that "Al Qaeda" itself was not directly mentioned in such documents as Extract 10, found in Section II ("State Relationships with Terrorist Groups"). However, as Thomas Joscelyn (Weekly Standard) explains [italics in original, bold emphasis added]:

...the report ties Saddam’s regime to at least five different al Qaeda associated groups, including two groups that formed the core of al Qaeda.

The Iraqi Intelligence documents discussed in the report link Saddam’s regime to: the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (the “EIJ” is al Qaeda number-two Ayman al Zawahiri's group), the Islamic Group or “IG” (once headed by a key al Qaeda ideologue, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman), the Army of Mohammed (al Qaeda's affiliate in Bahrain), the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan (a forerunner to Ansar al-Islam, al Qaeda's affiliate in Iraq), and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (a long-time ally of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan), among other terrorist groups. Documents cited by the report, but not discussed at length in the publicly available version (they may be in a redacted portion of the report), also detail Saddam’s ties to a sixth al Qaeda affiliate: the Abu Sayyaf group, an al Qaeda affiliate in the Philippines.

Both the EIJ and the IG were early and important core allies for Osama bin Laden as he forged the al Qaeda terror network, which comprises a number of affiliates around the world.

Stephen Hayes (also of the Weekly Standard, and author of The Connection), managed actually to read the report (unlike the drive-by media). He reports:

How, then, to explain this sentence about Iraq and al Qaeda from the report's abstract: "At times, these organizations would work together in pursuit of shared goals but still maintain their autonomy and independence because of innate caution and mutual distrust"? And how to explain the "considerable overlap" between their activities which led not only to the appearances of ties but to a "de facto link between the organizations?"...

And what about this revelation from page 34? "Captured documents reveal that the regime was willing to co-opt or support organizations it knew to be part of al Qaeda -- as long as that organization's near-term goals supported Saddam's long-term vision." (The example given in the report is the Army of Muhammad in Bahrain, a group the Iraqi Intelligence Service describes as "under the wings of bin Laden.")

And there is this line from page 42: "Saddam supported groups that either associated directly with al Qaeda (such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, led at one time by bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri) or that generally shared al Qaeda's stated goals and objectives."

Really? Saddam Hussein "supported" a group that merged with al Qaeda in the late 1990s, run by al Qaeda's #2, and the New York Times thinks this is not a link between Iraq and al Qaeda? How does that work?

It's really quite simple: the Saddam Hussein-Al Qaeda links indicated in this report represent far more bona fide proof of their ties than the tenuous Cheney-Halliburton connection liberals keep trying to assert. The difference between the two is that the latter (baseless though it remains) supports the Democrats' (and the MSM's) political agenda, while the former refutes that agenda.

(Kudos to the NY Sun for giving an accurate assessment of the report.)

Just be sure to read the report for yourself, and make your own conclusions.

(H/T: Scott and Paul at Power Line)

From The CB.Net Email Bag

Filed in Personal, PoliticsTags: Mailbag

I woke up this morning and checked my email, only to discover that not only had someone named Robert Taber come across my web site, but had also taken the time to email:

while this political junkie was surfing all night, i happened on your "blog." wow. what a surprise a white straight, male, who's not only a conservative but in love with every aspect of their life and have the balls to think we give a s*** about the pictures of you or your house.......you are so far out of touch, thank you for giving us W; we'll return the favor with 8 years of O'Bama.....are there any conservative blogs that are actually updated and not all about "THE BLOGGER"?
the country -- deeply divided and now so regretful -- pushed us not only to the far right but to the crimial facist state that we have.......the swing back will hurt "chip" and perhaps you'll start paying attention to something other than all that is about "chip".
enjoy the next 8 years 😛
tons of love,

Well, my apologies to Robert. You see, I actually have to get up in the morning and go to work, and don't have time to be "surfing all night", and have only limited time to spend blogging. I do not apologize, however, that my family is the most important part of my life. And while you, Robert, might not care to see pictures of my daughter or of our house, our family all over the country does.

And Robert, rather than taking drive-by shots at bloggers, perhaps you should start blogging on your own blog. (You apparently have the time to do.)

Oh, and one final thought, Robert: for someone who is a self-proclaimed homosexual, with strongly held beliefs on the issue of bigotry, you appear to hold a rather prejudiced (dare I say "bigoted"?) opinion of me, without having ever met me and based solely upon my race, sexual orientation, gender, and political views.

Tolerant, indeed.

TSA Enters the ‘Sphere

Filed in Politics, Social IssuesTags: War on Terror

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) enters the blogosphere, with their Evolution of Security blog.

From the tagline ("Terrorists Evolve. Threats Evolve. Security Must Stay Ahead. You Play A Part.") it would appear that the TSA intends to have significant commenter interaction on the blog. From the response to the welcome post (some 700 comments), it would appear that air travelers (and TSA employees) have much to say.

Based on comments, the TSA appears to have reorganized the blog posts in order to emphasize responses to questions about various TSA policies (removing shoes, the much-vilified liquids restriction, searching grandma, etc.).

Personally, speaking as a fairly seasoned air traveler, I don't have a problem with most security measures (sure, it is a minor annoyance to have to remove my shoes to pass through security - but the annoyance is just that: minor), but I do have a problem with others (e.g. the liquids restriction - especially with respect to water bottles and beverages) and think that many TSA agents would be well-served to take some inter-personal relations training. My general rule is to arrive at the airport two hours before my flight, and to take my time getting through security. I rarely have to wait more than ten minutes to pass through security.

But, if you're interested in some of TSA's thoughts or explanations for their various policies or other security issues - or just want to join the chorus of comment complaints (they seem to be solicited by TSA, after all) - go have a look!

(H/T: Slashdot, Ars Technica)

Rubin’s Most Recent Libel of ESC Opponents

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Clone The Truth, Cloning, Media Bias, Missouri, Sanctity of Life, Stem Cells

There are lies, damn lies and anything uttered by Donn Rubin.

--Mark Twain, paraphrased

Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures (sic) chairman Donn Rubin has already proven himself to be a spin master, but his latest screed is downright slanderous.

In this op/ed piece (h/t Secondhand Smoke), Rubin lauds recent advancements in stem cell research, in which differentiated (adult) stem cells have been induced to revert to a pluripotent (i.e. "embryonic") state. He then goes on to claim that Missourians who oppose embryonic stem cell and cloning research (actually, he refers to such opponents as "stem cell research opponents" - as usual, intentionally obfuscating the difference between research with adult and embryonic stem cells) would have stood in the way of the research that led to these advances.

I think now is as good of a time as any for a good, old-fashioned, paragraph-by-paragraph fisking of Dehr Spinmeister.

Anti-stem cell groups would deter successes.

I defy Rubin to identify even one "anti-stem cell group." To my knowledge, no such group exists. If it does, it is by no means mainstream, and is certainly no credible threat to ESC proponents in Missouri.

Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures lauds the stem cell advances occurring around the world as tremendous steps in medical science's ongoing battle to cure disease, and we eagerly await further discoveries as scientists continue the ethical exploration of this new medical frontier.

An excellent example is last month's widely covered advances in Wisconsin and Japan where scientists were able to reprogram an ordinary skin cell to assume much of the versatility of embryonic stem cells. And, even more recently, this month scientists in London used embryonic stem cells to develop a stem cell "patch" to repair scar tissue from heart attacks and American scientists used embryonic stem cells as a novel way to test the safety of drugs.

As the Secondhand Smoke post points out, the development of the "stem cell 'patch' to repair scar tissue from heart attacks" was in a Petri dish only.

All of these advances demonstrate how important Missouri's constitutional protections are, ensuring that our patients and families have the same access as other Americans to whichever approaches prove most successful and lead to the best medical treatments and cures.

Amendment 2 provided no meaningful protection for either the research that led to these advances nor for any potential treatment derived from them. Neither the research nor derived treatments were or have been threatened. The debated has always concerned Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT, a.k.a. cloning) in order to create viable human embryos for the express purpose of being destroyed in order to harvest pluripotent, embryonic stem cells. The research Rubin cited did not involve anything in that debate.

Moving on - all that was just Rubin's wind-up; now we get to his screwball:

If stem cell research opponents had their way, none of this outstanding science would have been possible. Ironically, they would have blocked the very groundwork that led to the technique they now seem to embrace — the reprogramming of ordinary skin cells into embryonic-like stem cells.

Again, there are no such "stem cell research opponents" but rather opponents of human cloning and embryo-destructive research. In fact, many of us in that camp have very adamantly expressed that we must center our debate not on the ethical nature or efficacy of research involving embryonic stem cells themselves, but rather on the ethical nature and necessity of human cloning and the destruction of viable human embryos for the purpose of that research.

Further, "reprogramming of ordinary skin cells into embryonic-like stem cells" in no way involves either human cloning or the destruction of viable human embryos; rather, it involves induction of a normal, differentiated skin cell into a pluripotent state.

But Rubin doesn't stop there:

For years, anti-stem cell groups in Missouri have discounted the unique lifesaving potential of embryonic stem cells, dismissing evidence presented by the vast majority of leading medical and patient organizations. We're glad to see that they are beginning to accept this lifesaving potential.

(Still waiting for Rubin to identify one of these "anti-stem cell groups in Missouri"...) To the contrary, we have not "discounted the unique lifesaving potential of embryonic stem cells" - with the exception of the uniqueness of that potential. Again, we do not oppose research involving pluripotent (even embryonic) stem cells; rather, we oppose the cloning and/or destruction of human life in order to obtain those stem cells.

As for the "unique lifesaving potential" of ESCs, if that potential had been demonstrated sufficiently, the research would have support from the normal means of funding: the private sector; however, the private sector has indicated - by virtue of the direction of its funding - that it believes in the potential of adult stem cell research. Ironically, it is Rubin and his ilk that continue to ignore and discount the future potential and already proven efficacy of adult stem cells.

They may have joined the bandwagon in celebrating a single technique, but they fail to acknowledge that the advance with reprogrammed cells was merely an initial step that can only achieve its medical potential through additional embryonic stem cell research. The scientists who led these advances, James Thomson of Wisconsin and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan, have stated clearly and unequivocally that all stem cell research must continue. It would be a tragedy if their successes were misused to cut off other important avenues of medical research.

Rubin makes absolutely no sense here. Why would research that neither started nor ended with embryonic stem cells require "additional embryonic stem cell research"? And Rubin outright lies about Yamanaka's beliefs on the subject of continued embryonic stem cell research. This International Herald-Tribune article (h/t ProLifeBlogs) quotes Yamanaka (emphasis added):

Yamanaka was an assistant professor of pharmacology doing research involving embryonic stem cells when he made the social call to the clinic about eight years ago. At the friend's invitation, he looked down the microscope at one of the human embryos stored at the clinic.

The glimpse changed his scientific career.

"When I saw the embryo, I suddenly realized there was such a small difference between it and my daughters," said Yamanaka, 45, a father of two and now a professor at the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University. "I thought, we can't keep destroying embryos for our research. There must be another way."

And again (emphasis added):

He said he had never handled actual embryonic cells himself, and the American lab uses them only to verify that the reprogrammed adult cells are behaving as true stem cells. "There is no way now to get around some use of embryos," he said."But my goal is to avoid using them."

Far from having stated "stated clearly and unequivocally that all stem cell research must continue," Yamanaka clearly and unequivocally wants to eliminate the need for the use of embryos for stem cell research - in fact, by his very words, it is his goal. Rubin's misuse of Yamanaka's research advances and intent in order to bemoan the alleged misuse of those advances moves beyond irony into audacity. It is simply beyond the pale for Rubin - who repeatedly dismisses embryos as "cells in a Petri dish" - to mis-characterize the intent of Yamanaka - who has stated that he sees little difference between a research embryo and his own daughters.

Not only has Rubin no respect for the sanctity of all human life, but he also has no shame.

In the following statement, Rubin hoists his over-used canard, in this case, a tripartite reiteration:

If those seeking to repeal Missouri's constitutional stem cell protections get their way now, they would block the important research required to bring the new technique to its full lifesaving potential.

Those whose aim it is to ban all embryonic stem cell research in Missouri cannot have it both ways. They cannot continue to oppose the very research that is required to achieve the lifesaving goals that they now claim to embrace.

Those who threaten to repeal Missourians' access to stem cell research should step back and allow scientists to conduct the work necessary to achieve the goals that I hope we all share — to cure disease and improve the lives of patients and families.

There you have it: Rubin's imagined opponents desire to "repeal Missouri's constitutional stem cell protections," to "ban all embryonic stem cell research in Missouri," and to "repeal Missourians' access to stem cell research."

We've covered this one, but one more time, for the sake of thoroughness: we do not wish to repeal Missouri's constitutional stem cell protections (per se - I have no problems with protecting stem cell research, though I don't believe such an issue has any place in a state constitution; it is a constructionist matter, not a moral one). We do, however, wish to repeal Missouri's constitutional protection of human cloning. Further, the repeal of that protection would in no way whatsoever impact research such as Dr. Yamanaka's, since his research neither began with nor resulted in an embryonic cell of any kind - much less, one procured through the destruction of a cloned human embryo.

Neither do we wish to ban all embryonic stem cell research in Missouri. We do wish to ban all human cloning, and oppose the destruction of human embryos for such research. Further, we oppose public funding of such research - and therein lies the key issue, and the Stowers (and other ESC researchers) cannot get sufficient private-sector funding, and want the government to foot the bill.

Likewise, we in no way wish to repeal Missourians' access to stem cell research. We fully support research involving adult stem cells, and any other research not involving the destruction of human embryos. We also support their right to seek private funding for whatever legal research they wish to pursue.

Rubin shows his usual lack of honesty and forthrightness; however, in this piece Rubin displays outright slander of his "opponents" and an intentional misrepresentation of Dr. Yamanaka's intentions.

Donn Rubin is a liar. I only wish I could see what Mark Twain would actually have said about him.

Representative Julia Carson (D-IN) Dies

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Indiana, Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that Democrat Julia Carson, US Representative for the Indianapolis area, has died, mere weeks after announcing that she would not seek re-election due to her failing health, including apparently terminal lung cancer. Rep. Carson was 69.

While I believe that the people of Indianapolis would be better-served by a representative less staunchly liberal, I would never have wished ill will or ill health on Rep. Carson. May she rest in peace, and may God be with her family in this time of loss.

Fred Thompson at the Washington Briefing

Filed in PoliticsTags: Elections, Republicans

Fred Thompson apparently takes one to the house Manning-to-Harrison style at the Washington Briefing. (H/T RedState. More here.)

Some interesting quotes:

"Our people have shed more blood for the liberty of other people than another other group of people on earth."

As President of the United States, no legislation that supports [abortion] will pass my desk without my veto."

On fiscal responsibility: "Those who are yet to be born do not have a seat at the table as we kick the can down the road for someone else to deal with. We have to blow the whistle on this irresponsibility."

On not knowing what he would do during his first 100 days as President, but knowing what he would do in his first hour: "I would go in the Oval Office and close the door, and pray for the wisdom to know what was right."

(P.S. - Unlike the left's "Anyone But Bush" anti-enthusiasm in 2000 and especially in 2004 that led to Kerry's nomination, while we on the right detest the thought of a Hilary presidency, we have a few good choices for our presidential nominee. While my first choice is Fred, I would gladly vote for Giuliani - who also impressed at the Washington Briefing - should he ultimately win the nomination.)

Something I Should Have Done Long Ago…

Filed in Politics, ReligionTags: Republicans, War on Terror

Now is as good a time as any.

Given that, at least for now, I am throwing my support behind the yet-to-officially-announce Fred Thompson, and more importantly, given the following statement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice before the Senate Appropriations committee (5/12/2005):

Mr. Chairman, before I begin my actual testimony, I want to speak directly to Muslims in America and throughout the world. Disrespect for the Holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States. We honor the sacred books of all the world's great religions. Disrespect for the Holy Koran is abhorrent to us all.

I am officially renouncing any support for Ms. Rice, for any elected office. CondiBlogs (which appears to be defunct now, anyway) is no longer linked from this site.

With all due respect, the United States is governed by the Constitution, the First Amendment to which protects the most basic and fundamental rights of a free society: the right to free speech, political expression, and practice of religion. Therefore, this most fundamental freedom of our society demands that the United States tolerate disrespect for the Koran - or, any other statement of political, social, philosophical, or religious belief.

Besides, the ideas espoused by the "holy" Koran are themselves disrespectful (of Jews, Christians, polythiests, and all other "infidels" who do not submit to Islam), abhorrent (killing and enslaving innocent women and children, forcible marriage and rape of women, dismemberment, beheading and torture of infidels, etc.), and entirely unacceptable in a free society.

If Ms. Secretary cannot understand these truths, I cannot support her, in any capacity.