Friday Digest

Digest

Nov. 9, 2001

Quote of the week…

“We are planning for all parts of the world where international terrorism hangs its hat. We don’t know where this is going to lead us.” –Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Richard Myers

On cross-examination…

“There is something inherently ridiculous about a man standing in a cave wearing fatigues and holding a hand-mike and shaking his fist at the entire civilized world. Osama bin Laden called on his viewers to choose between ‘the side of believers and the side of infidels.’ But who made his microphone? Who made the camera? I doubt it was Afghan, given that under the Taliban you’re not allowed to watch TV, never mind host your own jihad-inciting special. …If it weren’t for Western technology, he’d be just a loser in a cave shouting to himself. But … just for a few minutes, he was the only 11th century guy with his own CNN gig….” –Mark Steyn

Open Query…

“How many Americans care what is happening to their liberties? Does the Constitution matter? The new anti-terrorism law, signed by the president, is the worst attack on the Bill of Rights since World War I.” –Nat Hentoff

The BIG lie…

“Here in the United States, we were founded as a nation that practiced slavery, and slaves quite frequently were killed even though they were innocent. This country once looked the other way when a significant number of native Americans were dispossessed and killed to get their land or their mineral rights or because they were thought of as less than fully human.” –Bill Clinton, in typical form, showed up 45 minutes late to lecture students at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service about how the 9-11 massacre of our countrymen was an example of how “we are still paying a price today” for sins of the past. Guess America’s first “black” president thinks there is a reparations paycheck in the mail.

News from the Swamp…

In the Executive Branch, negotiators are scrambling for position, as they struggle to come up with an economic stimulus package that will pass both “bipartisan” and “executive branch” muster. Mr. Bush led off another testy meeting with congressional leaders this week, promising to veto any spending bill totaling “one dime” more than the $40 billion that Congress appropriated last month in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. However, the congressional big spenders are still contemplating as much as $15 billion more (ostensibly for homeland security).

On the Hill, just as their plans to federalize (read “unionize”) 30,000 airport security workers went up in smoke, the Labour Party at the helm of the House of Lords also failed to deliver a bill, that would have permitted state and local government emergency and law enforcement personnel to unionize in 18 states where Marxist dogma is still subject to some constraints. Demo Leader Daschle tried unsuccessfully to attach the provision as an amendment to a Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education committees spending bill, but it was defeated, 56-44. “This amendment is profoundly wrong and wrongheaded,” intoned Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas). “I understand that this is a time when we appreciate our firemen and we appreciate our policemen, but forcing people to pay union dues is not a way to show appreciation to people.”

And partisan wrangling is heated in the joint House-Senate conference committee seeking to hammer out an education bill agreeable to both chambers. One major sticking point: Sociocrat Teddy Kennedy (D-Stalingrad), chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, refuses to allow one amendment, giving parents the right to inspect their children’s educational materials and protect their children from invasive questions and medical examinations at school.

The Commissars…

Following up on a major bureaucratic snafu, Tuesday out in Sacramento, California, a special committee called by the National Academy of Sciences held a daylong meeting to seek testimony and input on the issue of Klamath Basin water and how to properly allocate it. Describing her request for the NAS review, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said, “I believe we should base our decisions on the best available science. We hope that by seeking this independent review we can assure the many constituencies affected by the Klamath Basin Project that our decisions meet that standard.” You will recall that farmers who had been promised this source of water for their crops were devastated after the water was reserved for wildlife. Also weighing in was Bob Gasser, spokesman for the Klamath Water Users Association, who noted, “None of the biological opinions were subjected to peer review. We’re convinced that we will win if the NAS committee reviews all the science. They will find out that what was done this year has hurt the fish more than it helped them.” The panel decision is expected in 17 months.

From the department of military readiness…

Thomas Jefferson exclaimed, “Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.”

This Sunday is Veterans Day.

On November 11th, 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, in recognition of WWI veterans and in conjunction with the timing of cessation of hostilities at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day became known as “Armistice Day.” In 1954, Congress, wanting to recognize the sacrifice of veterans since WWI, proposed to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day in their honor. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, former Supreme Commander in WWII, signed the legislation.

To honor those veterans who sacrificed all, an Army honor guard from the 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil at Arlington. At 11 a.m. tomorrow, a combined color guard representing all military service branches executes “Present Arms” at the tomb for the laying of a wreath by the president. This is followed by “Taps.”

This Sunday, we encourage all Patriots to offer a prayer of thanks to our Heavenly Father for the courage and sacrifice of our veterans, and a petition for blessings on all their families. And, seek out at least one veteran Sunday, and say “Thanks”!

From the states…

The New York-based “September 11th Fund,” to support victims and families of those murdered in and around the twin towers, has offered a grant of $171,000 to the Legal Aid Society, which is, in turn, aiding in the legal defense of eight individuals being detained in Brooklyn in connection with the September 11th terrorist attacks. (Can’t Saudi Prince Alwaleed take care of those expenses?)

Elsewhere, Tuesday’s election results were kind of a mixed bag, with some especially deep disappointments for conservatives. Republicans in Virginia lost the governorship, although they picked up 12 seats in the 100-member House of Delegates, which they already controlled. Republicans in New Jersey also lost a fine, promising candidate who could strengthen the future of honest, principled conservatism in the Republican Party. Bret Schundler refused to back away from his pro-life and pro-Second Amendment views, even when such turncoat RINO’s as former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman contemptuously criticized him and failed to provide any support. (Now, what exactly is meant by “big tent” if all the elephants are booted out to make room for RINOs?)

Out on the Left Coast, the FBI rebuked Gov. Gray Davis for issuing an alert purporting to be based on strong evidence of planned attacks on Western states’ suspension bridges. An FBI memo noted, “Recipients should be advised that FBI investigation has determined that the threat to suspension bridges is not deemed credible.” Suspicions linger that media-hound Davis was overly eager for some “heroic” photo ops linking himself to homeland defense against terrorism. (Anything to get California voters to forget that so-called “electricity deregulation” mess over which he presided!)

And a follow-up report: Wednesday, we noted the refusal of Ms. Marcellee Gralapp, Boulder, Colorado, Public Library’s art director, to allow library employees to drape our nation’s flag over the front entrance. Gralapp said, “It could compromise our objectivity. We have people of every faith and culture walking into this building, and we want everybody to feel welcome.” We now learn Ms. Gralapp approved a current exhibit in the library called “Hung Out to Dry,” featuring severed ceramic penises hanging from a clothesline strung between a wall and a column in one section of the library – part of an art exhibit on domestic violence. Apparently, this conforms to Gralapp’s idea of helping “people of every faith and culture walking into this building…feel welcome” – especially children! (Boulder City Council )

In economic news…

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan dropped the federal funds rate yet another half point this week, though as we noted back when he initiated his first series of reductions – too little too late.

In business news…

New York-based national toy maker Blitzkrieg Toys this week admitted that the company has distributed 3,000 “El Commandante Fidel Castro” dolls – just in time for Christmas. What’s next, the “Der Führer Janet Reno” doll just in time for Florida gubernatorial election?

From the “Dumb and Dumber” Department…

The U.S. Postal Service purchased 4.8 million face masks to protect postal workers, but now OSHA has prevented their use – until USPS employees undertake hours of training and “fit tests” of the masks … which are no different from those used off the shelf by construction workers and home repair “weekend warriors.”

Speaking of problem mail, in an irony to beat all, ten days before the 9-11 al Qaeda terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the USPS issued a new stamp celebrating Islam, entitled “Eid Greetings,” with a run of 76 million. USPS officials explained the stamp is part of the agency’s efforts to “reach out to all of our diverse populations” by recognizing 7 million Muslims in America. According to the USPS, “Eid Greetings commemorates the two most important festivals in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.” The stamp bears the phrase in Islamic calligraphy, “Eid mubarak,” which means “May your religious holiday be blessed.”

Court Jesters…

Two of The Federalist’s favorite pieces of courtroom nonsense may cancel each other out – but in application to an unfortunate case. This week, a new defense was offered for “hate crimes” – plead “insanity”! In Pittsburgh, prosecutors trying a case against Ronald Taylor gave jurors copies of a “hit list” and written rants against whites, Jews and homosexuals found in his apartment. You may recall, Taylor is a black man accused of killing three white folks during a racially motivated shooting rampage last year. “Jesus Christ made a very big, costly mistake by putting white trash people on the face of this earth,” Taylor wrote. Taylor’s attorney, John Elash, did not object to prosecutors’ introduction of the profanity-laced writings in court, saying they would help convince jurors that Mr. Taylor is not guilty by reason of insanity – including claims Taylor suffers from paranoia and delusions.

Faith Matters…

Kowtowing to Leftist pressure in San Francisco, the traditionally Christian-based Salvation Army’s Western states division reversed its sound policy on homosexuality and extramarital sexuality, announcing the organization will offer domestic partner benefits to employees. Col. Philip Needham stated: “This decision … is made on the basis of strong ethical and moral reasoning that reflects the dramatic changes in family structure in recent years.” (Ah, once again “reason” trumps Scripture….) Why? San Francisco will not award “pieces of silver” to organizations in its community that fail to support homosexuals.

Around the world…

The United Nations will gather major world leaders in New York this weekend for meetings originally postponed in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. Mr. Bush will address the assembly and meet with anti-terror allies. He will not take a meeting with Yasser Arafat. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice explained: “There are responsibilities that come with being the representative of the Palestinian people and that means to make certain that you do everything you can to lower the level of violence, everything that you can to root out terrorists. These are responsibilities that we have asked Chairman Arafat to take and to take seriously. We still don’t think there has been enough in that regard.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin will stay on for a long set of visits with Mr. Bush, the high point of which will be a stay out at the President’s Crawford, Texas, ranch. The biggest item on the agenda, besides developing better relations with our new ally of sorts – negotiations over the outdated Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and moving forward with missile defenses to add a layer of protection against nuclear attack. The visit promises to be interesting, as signaled by Putin’s recent comment: “It might seem a little bit strange, but I had a feeling of guilt for this tragedy. I don’t know whether it would have been possible to prevent these strikes on the United States by the terrorists, but it was a pity that our special services didn’t get information on time and warn the American people and the American political leadership about the tragedy that came to pass.”

In other news around the world, some of our allies of sorts have short memories. Half of Kuwait’s 50-member elected parliament voted to urge the United States to end its military campaign against terrorists in Afghanistan. Somebody beam them some news from Fox to offset the dezinformatsia campaign being waged by the “alCoran News Network”!

And last, maybe they were taken in by that “Army of One” slogan or something! Maybe they only have one good soldier left? A Taliban militia spokesman Monday proposed a duel among President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and its leader Mullah Mohammad Omar. Taliban Foreign Minister Maulvi Wakil Ahmed Mutawakil said in issuing this strange challenge, “The Americans have launched propaganda that Mullah Omar has gone in hiding, so I will propose that Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush should take Kalashnikovs and come to a specified place where Mullah Omar will appear with the Kalashnikovs to determine as to who will run.”

Memo to Maulvi Wakil Ahmed Mutawakil: We have it on good authority that at least one of the aforementioned leaders of the free world is an excellent marksman. (Hint: He does not take tea and crumpets!) And, weapon of choice is something made a little closer to home!

It's Right. It's Free.