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Friday Digest

Digest

Nov. 30, 2001

Quote of the week…

“I don’t believe [Islam] is a wonderful, peaceful religion. It wasn’t Methodists flying into those buildings, it wasn’t Lutherans. It was an attack on this country by people of the Islamic faith.” –Franklin Graham

On cross-examination…

“We should remember that the image of the United Nations as a benevolent peacemaker is a myth, as evidenced by the sad history of its military actions over the past 30 years. In almost every instance its so-called ‘peacekeeping missions’ have done nothing but intensify regional conflicts. Kosovo and Somalia are poignant examples of UN policy gone bad, creating lasting resentment and instability rather than peace.” –Rep. Ron Paul on the Nobel Peace Prize award to the UN and Secretary General Kofi Annan. **Could this possibly be why the Afghans are resisting UN peacekeepers in their land?

Open Query…

“What is Saddam thinking right now as he sits in Baghdad, perhaps a marked man? The mullahs of Iran, as they sit above a powder keg of domestic unrest? Yasser Arafat, as he watches what a dollop of American power has wrought in Afghanistan?” –Rich Lowry **We hope they are mulling over retirement spots or burial plots!

The BIG lie…

“A Thanksgiving Message from the Democratic Party…. During this holiday season, we Democrats have plenty to be thankful for. … This week, we are thankful that we live in a society where the rule of law prevails.” –DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe **With the possible exception of eight years of Bill Clinton’s lies, including that “perjury” thing and those extraconstitutional abuses of executive power…!

News from the Swamp…

In the Executive Branch, during a confab with Mr. Bush, visiting Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain said his country intends to negotiate extradition of eight al Qaeda suspects in Spanish custody, for U.S. guarantees they won’t face the death penalty or trial in a military court.

Friend of The Federalist Rich Galen suggests, “Just close the consular offices in Madrid and Barcelona. Hang out a sign: Apesadumbrados, somos cerrados. No estamos publicando visas. Va la visita Yemen o Iraq.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division, in 2000 we imported about $6 billion worth of goods and services from Spain. Let it pile up on the docks until the unconditional surrender of these terrorists.

And Mr. Bush and conservative leaders called for a quick ban on human cloning, accusing the company claiming to have cloned a human embryo of “crossing the line.” “The use of embryos to clone is wrong,” Mr. Bush said. “We should not as a society grow life to destroy it. And that’s exactly what’s taking place. It’s morally wrong….” The president called upon the Senate to pass H.R. 2505, the cloning ban that the House approved in July. “In nine months,” warned Jean-Francois Matteihe, a French bioethics expert, “we will be in a position to have a cloned baby.” In Rome, Vatican authorities rejected assertions that the cloned human embryo is not human life: “If what they call in their article…an early embryo…isn’t human life, then what is it?”

Mr. Bush also received Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, the American Christian aid workers freed two weeks ago from Taliban imprisonment, saying, “It’s a wonderful story about prayer, about a faith that can sustain people in good times and in bad times.”

In the House of Commons, National Review editors alerted us of the recent House resolution recognizing “Native American Month.” (Hey, all of us born on American soil are “native” Americans. American Indians, like the rest of us, migrated from elsewhere.) As resolutions go, it largely falls into the “accolades for contributions made by the group” category, but includes two notable misconceptions.

The first states that “Native American governments developed the fundamental principles of freedom of speech and separation of powers in government, and these principles form the foundation of the United States Government today.” This assertion, based on the notion that the Iroquois Confederation was the template for the post-revolutionary Confederation of States, has been thoroughly debunked. The Statistical Assessment Service’s David Murray, notes that this proposition “has been pretty convincingly demolished [but] keeps bouncing back.”

The second false assertion is that “Native American societies exhibited a deep respect for the Earth and its resources, and such values are widely held today.” This popularized myth is based on the fact that most American Indian tribes were limited in numbers by a lack of innovation regarding the cultivation of natural resources. As for the “widely held values today,” it is true that some tribal traditions of earth-worship have been adopted by 20th century eco-theologists, but as Louis Warren wrote, “to claim that Indians lived without affecting nature is akin to saying that they lived without touching anything, that they were a people without history.”

During discussion of the measure, House members waxed about how Americans should learn more about “Native American” history. Since we recognize all Americans born here as “native,” perhaps those doing the waxing should take half that advice themselves!

In better news, Congress must be taking a page from The Federalist, which, immediately after 9-11, issued the following recommendations – arming pilots (many are former military officers and well-trained in firearms use) as well as “allowing” suitably disposed aircrew and passengers, such as military and law enforcement travelers, to fly armed or at least occupy the most forward seats in the aircraft – providing a gauntlet between harm and the flight deck. Now, several congressmen are advancing legislation to allow commissioned law enforcement officers to serve as “sky marshals” when in transit – a step in the right direction.

In the House of Lords, Senate Democrats Wednesday agreed to halve their demand for $15 billion in new spending, but the White House insisted they would have to forgo the other half before President Bush signs an economic stimulus bill. “Seven weeks ago, I asked Congress to send me an economic stimulus package,” Mr. Bush stated. “This country is waiting for action, and in the time that we’ve been waiting, more than 415,000 workers have lost their jobs. Further delay could put more Americans and more families at risk. So let’s move. Let’s get the job done.”

Senate Demo Leader Tom Daschle and House Demo-Minority Leader Richard Gephardt took a Thanksgiving junket south of the border to plan forging ahead with “immigration reform” early next year, despite alarming links between lax immigration and terrorist “easy pass” into our country. “I think that it ought to be our goal that we have a free pass border at some point in the future,” Daschle said.

Judicial Benchmarks…

In the halls of justice on the right, a New York federal appeals court ruled that a lower court erred in permitting expansion of protest-free “bubble zones” around abortion clinics. “The First Amendment clearly protects the pro-life message and it is encouraging that the appeals court determined that the district court went too far in limiting the free speech of those articulating a pro-life message,” said American Center for Law and Justice senior counsel Vincent McCarthy.

In the halls of injustice on the left, New Jersey served up a double helping of bad news. The Supremes turned away from consideration a challenge to New Jersey’s 1990 ban on semiautomatic firearms. Great timing, when our country is in a war of self-defense to evade an opportunity to reaffirm citizens’ Second Amendment rights to excellent self-defensive weapons!

Melissa Drexler (AKA “the Prom Mom”), convicted of manslaughter in 1998 after giving birth to and strangling to death her 6.5-pound son, is out of jail after serving only three years of her 15-year sentence. But then, if lives aren’t worth defending with adequate firearms, lives aren’t worth defending in court either….

On the Left…

America’s first black president closed the deal to remove an African-American landmark in downtown Little Rock to make room for his presidential library. Demolition began on the 103-year-old freight depot while historical preservationists were still seeking to save it. Commenting on the controversy, Bill Clinton remarked, “No one can see it now, no one can use it now, it’s of no use to anybody.”

The Commissars…

The FBI unveiled efforts to develop and employ “Magic Lantern” software allowing secret surveillance of personal computers via the Internet. The FBI also detailed efforts to encourage telecom companies to ease wiretapping capabilities.

Regarding your IRS overpayment…

AIDS research spending mushroomed after the Clinton administration granted the sexually transmitted disease “protected” status, while AIDS deaths were falling after 1995 and were always lower than deaths related to heart disease and breast and prostate cancer. “Since Sept. 11, we’ve had a new concern in this country called bioterrorism. And looking at the [Health and Human Services Department] budget, the AIDS and sexually transmitted disease [part] has over a billion dollars in it,” noted Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan). “But in bioterrorism, we have only about 18, 17 percent of that budget, like $180 million.” Stupak proposed giving HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson the authority to “reprogram” AIDS funds for bioterror diseases. “Thank you so very much,” Thompson said. “I think especially now, the department certainly needs more flexibility. We have to scrimp and scrape from every place we can” to fund bioterrorism defenses. The National Institutes of Health spends some $200 million a year for AIDS vaccine research alone, while the U.S. is hard-pressed for vaccines to protect more than 280 million adults and children against deadly anthrax and smallpox outbreaks from potential terrorist attacks. “Since I’ve become president, we’re spending 10 times as much per fatality on people with AIDS as people with breast cancer or prostate cancer,” boasted President Clinton in 1997.

From the department of military readiness…

Outgoing New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani asked that Congress and the Defense Department rethink Clinton era military base closures near the 9-11 terrorist targets – and reopen the U.S. Coast Guard station on Governors Island closed in 1998 and the Homeport naval base on Staten Island shut down in 1994. Giuliani noted: “I think it creates just more proximity if, in the future, you’re ever going to need that kind of help.” Sounds like lots of other base locations.

From the department of military correctness…

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) recently introduced legislation moving Veterans Day to Election Day in presidential election years beginning with 2004, which prompted Nebraska Republican Rep. Lee Terry to counter with H. Res. 293, to keep Veterans Day commemorating the “11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month in 1918 when the Armistice ended World War I.” American Legion National Commander Richard Santos said, “The best way to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed for freedom is with an undiluted holiday on November 11. Veterans Day has a unique and transcendent tradition that must remain intact.”

From the states…

In the People’s Republic of Maryland, on the heels of Montgomery County’s reluctant revocation of an attempted ban on smoking in private homes, the Montgomery County community of Kensington has banned Santa Claus from its annual tree lighting ceremony…. “Because two families in our town felt that they would be uncomfortable with Santa Claus being a part of our event,” explained Mayor Lynn Raufaste. (You may recall that a previous attempt by another Montgomery County mayor to ban “outside” smoking was unsuccessful, and the mayor in question, who also “served” as an usher at the Episcopal National Cathedral, was later convicted of sexual assaulting a 14-year-old boy in a Cathedral restroom.)

And smokin’ down in North Carolina, Kids Gym Schoolhouse owner Laura Johnson received rating demerits from the Early Childhood Environmental Rating System after an evaluator found nine “violent” toys – little plastic, green soldiers. “If stereotyping or violence is shown with regard to any group, then credit cannot be given,” wrote evaluator Katie Haselden. Her supervisor, Anna Carter, supervisor of North Carolina’s Division of Child Development’s Policy and Program, agreed: “…[Toy soldiers] don’t enrich the environment and can be potentially dangerous if children use them to act out violent themes. They’d be more likely to use the toy soldiers to hurt the other army men or to shoot the stuffed animals.”

In economic news…

It’s official; the economy is in recession – although economists assert it will be a mild one, as spending is not as low as feared.

The “Dumb and Dumber” Department…

From a counterterrorism pamphlet cosponsored by the FBI in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office: “If you encounter any of the following, call the Joint Terrorism Task Force – Right-Wing Extremists, ‘defenders’ of the U.S. Constitution against federal government and the UN and groups who make numerous references to the U.S. Constitution.” Printed during Clinton’s tenure, the pamphlet was not distributed due to objections from local FBI agents and sheriff deputies offended by references linking advocates of our Constitution to terrorism. Lest you become complacent over recent anti-terror moves, consider “just who” Department of Justice Clintonistas singled out as “terrorists” while Islamic terrorists were busy settling into American suburbs – even in Phoenix. Perhaps readers of The Federalist?

Culture comment…

Planned Parenthood of Virginia is selling “red, white and blue” condoms, ostensibly to raise money for victims of the 9-11 attack on our nation. A spokesman for the organization said, “Offering patriotic condoms will…let Americans display their colors proudly.” (Definitely an idea that ought not to have been run up the flagpole.)

Faith Matters…

Cockpit voice recorder tapes from 9-11 United Flight 93 confirmed that the first combat-related casualties from the war on terror were patriot-passengers led by Todd Beamer, who fought their hijackers once they learned the Islamics were going to crash their plane into a Washington, D.C., target – most likely the U.S. Capitol. After reciting the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm, Beamer said, “Let’s roll.” The Federalist has advocated that the current “war on terrorism” should be code named “Let’s Roll” in Beamer’s honor.

On the frontiers of science…

As The Federalist has reported previously, science is finally catching on that prayer works! A study at North Carolina’s Duke University Medical Center found that patients with heart problems who received alternative therapy after angioplasty were 25 to 30 percent less likely to suffer complications, while those who were subjects of “intercessory prayer” on their behalf had the greatest successful recovery rate. The study of 150 patients, conducted between April 1997 and April 1998, involved random assignment of patients to study groups, and neither the patients nor the physician researchers were aware of the group assignments. Prayer had the greatest health benefits, surpassing such alternatives added to standard heart care as guided imagery, stress relaxation, and healing touch therapies.

Around the world…

Our remaining unrepentant Communist adversaries are being let off the hook for consequences of their central planning tyrannies. Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill, among other suppliers, will sell Cuba grain and soybeans, the first such sales in 40 years. And Vietnam on Wednesday approved “normalized” trade relations with the U.S., despite grousing about monitoring of the Red’s egregious citizens’ rights violations. Vietnamese Trade Minister Vu Khoan said, “We demand that this act must be buried along with the dark past so together we can look forward to a better future.”

And last…

Some remarkable banners are flying in our battle against Jihadistan. One, new battle colors for the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis, was discovered on September 15th buried in the World Trade Center’s rubble, and has already covered the earthly remains of our massacred countrymen. This is the flag that “was still there.” Others, emblazoned with messages from victims’ families, will be carried into battle by Marine units. A sampler from the 26th MEU’s new flag: “For my sons Joe and John Vigiano. They gave their lives doing what they loved – helping others.” “United we stand, united we fight.” “These colors don’t run.” “Unleash hell boys.” “Be safe and do us proud.” (And to Osama) “May the last breath you take be spent looking at this flag.” …Reminding us this is still “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Defend Liberty!