Precinct 333

Saturday, December 25, 2004

And So It Is Written...

Luke 2:1-20 (NKJV)

1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission.
All rights reserved.


Friday, December 24, 2004

Houston's White Christmas!

The Loyal Opposition and I saw a couple of stray flakes this afternoon while doing some last minute Christmas shopping. A couple of hours latter, when we walked out the front door for church, we saw snow -- honest-to-God snow -- which even blew across the road as we drove the couple of miles for the Christmas Eve service.

It seems to be area-wide!

While folks from New England would scoff, Houstonians were delighted this morning with light snow flurries falling from gray, cold skies on Christmas Eve. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm travel warning for much of Southeast Texas through 7 a.m. Saturday.

It has been 15 years since anything like this has happened in this part of Texas -- five years before this kid was born.

What's more, the local forecasters are predicting up to three inches, not the little amount the Chronicle is suggesting.


No-Choice Leftists Seek To Block Homeland Security Major At College

The Borough of Manhattan Community College is planning to create a program in 'security management," providing one more academic opportunity for students, and enhancing homeland security by providing trained professionals in the security field.

And the leftists are having none of it, demanding that the school drop the plan.

The president of the student government at BMCC, Jason Negron, said the proposal is "a very scary issue that students are very, very against."

He said if the program were to be instituted, students would be exposed to "a lot of right-wing views" and about "a lot of things that other countries have done to America without giving the other side of the story." He said it was the "progressive" faculty members who voiced opposition to the proposal at Wednesday's meeting

In other words, Jason and a bunch of leftist profs object to the possibility that their monopoly on the propagation of political views might be broken. They are concerned that some students might actually hear a viewpoint other than theirs. They would prefer that the country be more vulnerable to terrorism and that local residents lack skills to compete in the job market -- all so they can continue to spew anti-Americanism.

Ms. [Elinor] Garely (the program's designer) said the objective of the program is not to promote the Department of Homeland Security but to train students in skills that are in high demand in the workplace.

"The need for safety-and-security education is part of every industry," she said.

"Whether you look at cruise ships, shopping malls, corporate headquarters, every bank, they all have security," she said.

Ms. Garely said the program is geared toward students who want entry-level security positions and to security employees who are seeking promotion. She said the 30-credit program could be transferred to four year degree programs offered at such schools as the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, also part of the CUNY system.

According to her proposal, about half of the students at BMCC are employed, with an average income less than $15,000.

Ms. Garely said she was taken aback by the angry reaction to the proposal from faculty members, whom she encouraged to read the proposal.

"I think that the discussion and viewpoints are what an academic process is about," she said. "That's why we have colleges, so people can speak out."

Actually, that isn't why we have colleges, Ms. Garely. We have colleges so that people can learn, and acquire the skills and knowledge they need to be productive contributors to our society. Sounds to me like your school has lost sight of that mission.


Sadly, The School Board Is Right

I hate agreeing with the School Board in this case, but they made the right choice. Robert Ziegler may be a great guy with a heart of gold and a soul as pure as the new-fallen snow, but his actions cross several lines. His job was to teach, not to preach, and if he cannot conduct himself in an appropriate manner he dose not belong in a public school classroom.
The Papillion-La Vista school board voted 6-0 to terminate the math teacher's contract on grounds of insubordination and unprofessional conduct.

Board President Valerie Fisher said the evidence was clear.

Rick Black, an assistant superintendent for the Papillion-La Vista schools, and two other administrators said Ziegler repeatedly had talked about his personal religious beliefs in class, triggering complaints from students and a parent.

The administrators said Ziegler would not stop, even after his bosses told him it could cost him his job.

Ziegler said he would not challenge the decision in court. He did not have a lawyer, and he called no witnesses.

At the nearly three-hour hearing, he told board members that his case was their opportunity to "make a stand for God."

"You're either for Him or against Him," he said.

No, Bob, one may be adamantly for God and adamantly for the requirement that a math teacher teach math and not religion in his classroom. I know you are concerned about the issues and problems your kids face. I am as well, as I see and here things on my 2500 student campus each day. I laugh with kids and I weep with them. I even try to offer a little bit of spiritual comfort. But I don't turn my history class into a "Come To Jesus" meeting, though I hope and pray each of my students does "come to Jesus".

Like this, Bob -- this is an example of crossing the line.
Jerry Kalina, an assistant principal at the high school, testified that a co-teacher from Ziegler's classroom first reported Oct. 4 that Ziegler was talking to students in class about his religious beliefs.

Ziegler was told to stop, but the co-teacher reported on Nov. 1 that Ziegler was doing it again, Kalina said.

A few days later, a student came to Kalina's office and said that Ziegler was talking about his faith and that it upset her, Kalina said. The student said Ziegler had stopped her in the hall and asked if he could pray for her. She told him that she felt uncomfortable while he prayed.

The girl's mother complained on Nov. 8 that she expected her daughter to learn math, not religion, in the class, Kalina said.

Kalina said he again told Ziegler to stop.

He said Ziegler was encouraged to talk to his minister and to contact Ron Brown, former University of Nebraska football receivers coach, to get advice on how to juggle his beliefs and his teaching duties.

On Nov. 16, a student again raised the issue of Ziegler's speaking about religion in class, Kalina said. The student said Ziegler wrote on the board, "What inspires you to love people?" and another time, "If you were to die today, what would you put on your tombstone, and why?"

The next day, a teacher reported that a student was not doing well in algebra because she felt uncomfortable asking Ziegler for help, Kalina said.

You've clearly shown you cannot do the job you were hired to do, and you are driving people away. I would have suspended you and instituted termination proceedings at least two weeks before your principal did.


President To Reappoint Most Judicial Nominees Denied Vote

President George W. Bush has decided to reappoint most of his judicial nominees who were denied an up-or-down vote by Democrats engaging in an unconstitutional abuse of the filibuster process.
"The president nominated highly qualified individuals to the federal courts during his first term, but the Senate failed to vote on many nominations," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said in a written statement.

"The Senate has a constitutional obligation to vote up or down on a president's judicial nominees," McClellan added, "and the president looks forward to working with the new Senate to ensure a well-functioning and independent judiciary."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist welcomed the reappointments, and offered a pointed reminder to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter not to engage in or allow a minority of senators to obstruct the will of the majority.
"The president has decided to re-nominate many highly qualified and capable individuals to serve as federal judges," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). "I look forward to working with Sen. Specter, other Judiciary Committee members and my colleagues to ensure quick action and up-and-down votes on these judicial nominees."

Democrats protested the president's decision to carry out his campaign pledge to nominate highly-qualified candidates whose judicial philosophy includes fidelity to the Constitution and a recognition that they are not legislators. This has outraged Democrats, whose major policy victories over the last four decades have come when judges have ignored the Constitution and substituted their policy views for those of the people's elected representatives, or of the people themselves.
"I was extremely disappointed to learn today that the president intends to begin the new Congress by resubmitting extremist judicial nominees," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement.

"The Bush administration is ending the year as they began it, choosing confrontation over compromise, ideology over moderation, and defiance over cooperation," said Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

"On some of their controversial nominees, they may prevail because of their monopoly of power," Leahy added. "The big loser, however, will be the independence of our judicial branch of government."

Nominated to District Court seats will be James Dever III, Eastern District, North Carolina; Thomas Ludington, Eastern District, Michigan; Robert Conrad, Western District, North Carolina; Daniel Ryan, Eastern District, Michigan; Peter Sheridan, New Jersey; Paul Crotty, Southern District, New York; Sean Cox, Eastern District, Michigan; and J. Michael Seabright, Hawaii.

Nominated to Circuit Courts of Appeals will be Terrence Boyle, 4th Circuit; Priscilla Owen, 5th Circuit; David McKeague, 6th Circuit; Susan Neilson, 6th Circuit; Henry Saad, 6th Circuit; Richard Griffin, 6th Circuit; William Pryor; 11th Circuit; William Myers III, 9th Circuit; Janice Brown, District of Columbia Circuit; Brett Kavanaugh, District of Columbia Circuit; William Haynes II, 4th Circuit; and Thomas Griffith, District of Columbia Circuit.

Four Circuit Court nominees will not be reappointed. Miguel Estrada, who was opposed by Democrats for being conservative while Hispanic, withdrew from consideration in disgust and recently lost his wife. Judge Charles Pickering accepted a recess appointment, and recently announced his decision to retire. Also not renominated are Claude Allen, who was opposed by Maryland Senators because he was a Virginian being nominated to a seat traditionally held by Marylanders, and Carolyn Kuhl, a California judge. The reason for the president's failure to renominate Kuhl is unknown.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Santa Not Allowed, But Administrators Played Grinch

Hampton Academy Junior High School held a "Holiday Dance" on Friday night. That isn't unusual.

Bryan Lafond decided it would be neat to go dressed as Santa Claus. After all, it is a "Holiday Dance," and Santa is a well-recognized secular symbol of one of those holidays.

"I went to the dance with my friend," said Bryan Lafond, who is in seventh grade. "He had an elf hat on and we thought it was pretty cool. Everyone loved the suit, but when I went by the principal, he asked why I was dressed like that."

Principal Fred Muscara said he told the boy he couldn’t get into the dance because he was wearing the costume.

"It was a holiday party," said Muscara. "It was not a Christmas party. There is a separation of church and state. We have a lot of students that go to Hampton Academy Junior High that have different religions. We have to be sensitive to that."

Bryan said while Muscara didn’t say he had to leave, he told Bryan if he wanted to go the dance he would have to change out of the suit and put on proper attire for the dance.

Having nothing to change into, Bryan left the dance to try and find his mother.

"My wife was leaving the parking lot when she saw Bryan running out of the building," said (Bryan's father, Michael) Lafond. "He told her that the principal said it was politically incorrect to wear the Santa outfit."

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
(Bryan before the dance)

Please note the reasoning. "Separation of church and state." This despite the fact that the US Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled Santa Clause to be a secular symbol. Apparently the administrators were fearful that someone might think the dreaded "C-word" ("Christmas", not "c*nt" or "c*ck", either one of which would apparently have been perfectly acceptable) and be offended.

But the principal didn't stop there.

She said she also complained to several School Board members and Muscara.

On Monday, Bryan’s parents went before the School Board to voice their concerns.

"I don’t want this to happen again," said Leslie (Lafond, Bryan's mother). "It is unacceptable. When Bryan returned to the school, the principal said, ‘What are you doing, trying to get me fired.’ That is not a proper comment to make to a student."
I certainly hope they are trying to get this example of the Peter Principle in action fired. The same Constitution that applies in the rest of the United States also applies in New Hampshire.

Contact Principal Fred Muscara.

Contact Superintendent James Gaylord.

Contact School Board Members Ken Stiles,
Carol Hollingworth, Josh Bridle, Sandra Nickerson, and Nancy Serpis.

Hampton Academy Junior High
29 Academy Ave.
Hampton, NH 03842
ph - 603.926.2000
ph - 603.926-2009
fax - 603.926.1855

School Administrative Unit #21 Office
2 Alumni Drive
Hampton, NH 03842
ph - 603.926.8992
fax - 603.926.5157

Maybe they just need a little coal in their stockings.

UPDATE: Seems to me that Grinchitis afflicts not just Muscara, but Supt. Gaylord and Board members Serpis and Bridle as well. Not only that, but they want to turn this into an issue of Bryan Lafond leaving the school to catch a ride home with his mother rather than the rampant intolerance of Muscara's action.

I know this is a blue state, but my hope is that the locals have sense enough to send the whole bunch packing at the first opportunity.

Also there's this great editorial from the Manchester Union Leader.


Republicans To Fight Democrat Election Theft In Washington

Since the Supreme Court of the State Of Washington effectively ruled that there is no deadline for counting the votes,
"This count, this election, is not over," said Chris Vance, the chairman of the state Republican Party. The Supreme Court, he said, "basically threw the door open to start all over again. I think that's crazy."

Vance said Republicans planned to "show up at 9 a.m." today "on the doorstep of every county auditor with people whose votes weren't counted for Dino Rossi."

After all, that is the Democrat standard now.

Perhaps the first order of business of the state legislature needs to be to declare the office of governor vacant and re-run the election, since the Democrats have so polluted this one with questionable ballots and erroneous counts.


Hate-Monger Seeks Inclusion In Holiday Parade

Well, the anti-Christian minority has crawled out from under its rock to demand that it be included in a holiday parade instead of a float representing Christmas.
Now an atheist group wants to put a float in Denver's next Parade of Lights.

"We want to be included for once," said Robert Tiernan, spokesman for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He wrote a letter Dec. 16 to the president of the parade's producing arm, the Downtown Denver Partnership, in which he argues that in 2005 a "winter solstice" float should be chosen instead of a Christian one because "Christianity is already well represented in downtown Denver."

And I suppose that the KKK's values should be front and center at the MLK Day parade, since civil rights and racial equality are already well-represented downtown.

UPDATE: William Donahue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has a good response to Tiernan.
“Robert Tiernan, a spokesman for the Freedom from Religion Foundation, is demanding that atheists be represented in next year’s Parade of Lights in Denver. He wants a ‘winter solstice’ float instead of a Christian one. He deserves better.

“Atheists deserve to have their own holiday—Nothingday—the purpose of which would be to honor what they believe in, which is absolutely nothing. Nothingday would be held on the day of the winter solstice and would be celebrated by holding nationwide conferences explicitly designed to accomplish nothing.

“For example, there would be seminars and workshops on the virtue of standing for nothing. Participants would be invited to watch a video on the meaning of Nothingday and would then discover—to their utter delight—that there’s nothing on the tape. Tables outside conference rooms would be set up, though there would be nothing on them. Breakout sessions would allow participants to huddle in corners for the express purpose of doing nothing. When they reassemble, their team leader would be able to report that they have accomplished absolutely nothing. Naturally, no minutes would be kept.

“They would then repair to the cocktail lounge where they would all be given empty glasses. Dinner would follow, though nothing would be served. At the awards ceremony, those who best represent the spirit of nothing would, of course, be given nothing for their efforts. Best of all, the keynote speaker wouldn’t open his mouth, allowing everyone to just sit there, staring endlessly into space.

“Quite frankly, this sounds a heck of a lot better than the conferences I’ve been to.”


No Discrimination Against Religious In Jury Picks

I'm amazed this was even an issue.
NEWARK, N.J. -- The state's highest court ruled Wednesday that New Jersey prosecutors cannot bar overtly religious people from serving on juries.

The 6-0 ruling by the state Supreme Court overturned an appellate court decision and ordered a new trial for Lloyd Fuller, who was convicted in 2000 of armed robbery in Essex County and is serving a 14-year term.

Apparently a prosecutor decided to strike a former missionary and an individual he believed to be muslim from the jury because he believed that "demonstrably religious persons are all alike in sharing defense-minded sympathies".

And here is an example of someone finding the bright side of losing a case.
State Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, whose office had defended the exclusion, said the ruling would be "very helpful to prosecutors."

"We now have clarity on how peremptory challenges can be used when people are wearing overt religious symbols," Harvey said. "I'm really happy that the court shares our view that we shouldn't be asking prospective jurors detailed questions about their religious beliefs. At the same time, the court has given trial judges and lawyers flexibility to explore bias that may arise from a person's beliefs by permitting the court to conduct an inquiry about a juror's ability to be fair."

In other words, the court gave guidelines that any reasonably intelligent tenth grader could have formulated -- "You can't exclude people from juries because of their religion unless there is a reason to believe they cannot fairly judge the evidence." I wonder how much this fiasco cost the taxpayers of the state of New Jersey.


Medved Hits One Out Of The Park!

We conservatives are frequently attacked for crating a "culture war" using divisive "wedge issues. Michael Medved gives a response today that I can only wish I had written myself, for it encapsulates my feelings perfectly.
Author Thomas Frank feels frustrated by conservative success in using cultural issues to win elections.

In the New York Times he wrote: "The Democrats are today a party that has trouble rallying its historical working class constituency, losing more and more of its base every four years to some novel culture-war issue invented by the wily Republicans: blasphemous art, Ten Commandments monuments in courthouses, the dire threat of gay marriage."

In debating Mr. Frank on my radio show, I pointed out that it wasn't "wily Republicans" who placed the issue of gay marriage on the national agenda: it was homosexual activists, arrogant judges, and the arch-liberal Mayor of San Francisco.

As with federal funding for blasphemous art, conservatives would prefer to drop such debates, but liberals won't pull back from their relentless efforts to remake America.

Far from "inventing" such controversies, Republicans would love rebuilding cultural consensus and putting them to rest forever

After all, it wasn't conservatives who dipped a crucifix in urine and called it "Art" -- and demanded federal funding for it.

It wasn't conservatives who attempted to suppress the display of the Decalogue.

And it wasn't conservatives who sought to redefine marriage as it has existed in Western society 9and most others) for millenia.

If Democrats want those issues to go away, then they need to quit aising them and championing the losing side in each.


Muslims Offended -- What Else Is New?

The friendly terrorist-supporters at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (which has had at least three board members or employees convicted on terrorism-related charges) has sent a letter of complaint to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools after a Houston area school received a letter from the 238 member group's director, Edd Burleson, that asked questions it believed to be "alarmingly intolerant and hostile attitude toward Islam and Muslims." The group is joined in its concerns by the ACLU and the Anti-Defamation League.
In his correspondence, Burleson quoted a verse from the Quran as calling on Muslims to be violent toward Christians and Jews. He noted that most TAPPS member schools are Christian. "Why do you wish to join an organization whose membership is basically in total disagreement with your religious beliefs?" he asked in the two-page letter, which included 10 questions.

He asks about the school's attitude toward "the spread of Islam in America" and the goals of the school "in this regard."

Finally, he suggests that some TAPPS members may not be tolerant of Muslims: "Why do you think that the current member schools of TAPPS will not be biased against your school, based on the fundamental difference in your religion and Christianity, since about 90% of TAPPS schools embrace Christianity?"

I think the first point is legitimate. Given the incredible anti-Semitic and anti-Christian nature of much of Islam today, raising the question of how the school and its students will interact with other member schools is legitimate. The Quran does include calls for violence against non-Muslims which have been used in recent years to justify certain unpleasant incidents involving the World Trade Center, Pentagon, commercial aircraft, US diplomatic compounds in other countries and US military installations and personnel around the world. Does the admission of the school to TAPPS constitute a threat to the safety of students from other schools?

The second point is probably irrelevant. Most of the schools in TAPPS have an explicit mission about spreading the Christian religion and its influence. Unless the question is again related to the use of violence, it does not particularly make sense to focus on such a mission on the part of an Islamic school while not doing so with regard to Christian schools.

The third is an interesting question. Dar-Ul-Arqam would be putting its students in a potentially hostile environment, given the radically different ethos it strives to impart. Given current realities, is membership in TAPPS beneficial. And given that many of the schools are evangelical in nature, does it make sense that Muslim students should be participating in a league in which most of their fellow students view Islam as a Satanic counterfeit? Is Dar-Ul-Arqam prepared to deal with the difficulties of other students expressing religious beliefs that by Muslim standards are blasphemous (which Muslims are required to punish by killing the offender)? Or what about the issue of Christian students "witnessing" to students from Dar-Ul-Arqam, given that a Muslim who apostasizes is to be punished with death under Islamic law, as is one who seeks to convert a Muslim to another religion? Or are students from the other 238 schools to be muzzled on religious matters to avoid offending the beliefs and practices of Islam? For that matter, what about the obvious issues that come up when the Islamic school is scheduled to compete against a team called the Crusaders? Will schools be expected to change their team names to avoid giving offense to the Muslim school?

All-in-all, Burleson raised good points in a poor way. But I suppose it could be worse. He could have asked if the school would be traveling to events via jet, and if students would be bringing their "improvised explosive devices" to TAPPS events. Given the support that Dar-Ul-Arqam is receiving from CAIR, those might not be bad questions after all.


Common Sense In Arizona

Public employees are now required to ask applicants for public benefits about their citizenship and immigration status, and to report those illegally in the country to immigration authorities. Federal Judge David Bury upheld the law, which was adopted by the voters on November 2, 2004.

Supporters of border-jumping invaders are outraged, as are the damp-vertebraed criminals themselves.
Jesus Garcia, an undocumented immigrant from Sonora, said the proposition already has bred fear and uncertainty in immigrant communities. Garcia, a 47-year-old construction worker who has lived in Tucson since 1998 after spending nearly a decade in the Valley, said his wife is afraid to go to government offices, even though the couple's three children are U.S. citizens.

"I think it's racist," Garcia said. "They don't understand if (undocumented immigrants) receive help, it's not for them, it's for the kids who are U.S. citizens. They're trying to put pressure on immigrants, and it's very dangerous . . . because some won't seek help."

This does point out an obvious problem -- we need to change the Fourteenth Amendment to exclude from citizenship the offspring of those in the country in contravention of American law. In the mean time, I see no reason for not taking the citizen-children of immigration criminals like Garcia into the foster care system, where they can be placed with US citizen families and adopted following the termination of the parental rights of their law-breaking parents.

One issue is still being fought. Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard issued a narrow definition of "public benefits" covered by Proposition 200. Groups that sponsored and supported teh measure have a suit pending to expand the definition.


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I'm Conflicted -- What Do You Think?

Girl Sues School -- Banned From Prom Over Confederate Flag Dress

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"I wanted to show part of my Southern heritage," Shannon Duty said. She said she worked on the design for four years.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Public Official Seeks Censorship -- But Conservatives Are The Bad Guys?

You may remember Nelson Polite, the Demo-fascist from Lancaster, Pennsylvania who tried to shut down political speech -- at least conservative political speech -- in his town.
If you haven’t been following the Nelson Polite thing, this is basically what it amounts to: In the wake of President Bush’s re-election, 81-year-old Polite, a Democratic city councilman, was at Central Market and saw a standholder with a prominently placed photo of the president. It had been a long and divisive campaign, and Polite, an African-American, may have been bitter over the outcome.

So he asked the standholder to take the photo down; appropriately, the standholder refused. Then Polite said something to the effect that he’d like city council to pass an ordinance banning political “items” in public places. And then all hell broke loose.

Well, it is official. According to Gil Smart, a local columnist, the inapproriately named Mr. Polite is... the victim here. Seems that he has been exposed as a would-be suppressor of free speech, and has been roundly criticized for it. Unfortunately, a few folks have threatened him, and others have used some racial slurs his direction, both of which I condemn.

Why does the incorrectly named Mr. Smart think Polite is a victim (besides the fact that to a liberal like Smart, a black man like Polite must always be a victim)? It's because conservatives had the audacity to actually TALK ABOUT Polite's attempt to violate the Constitution. It's our fault because we believe that a government official threatening legislation to override the Constitution is an outrage and worthy of condemnation.

By the way, Smart makes a point of repeatedly bringing Polite's race into the matter. i didn't know his race. I never saw it referred to anywhere. The first person I saw bring it up was Gil Smart. It is irrelevant that Polite is a Stupid Negro rather than a Stupid Caucasian, and for Smart to make it the issue is clearly a sign of Smart's problem.


Anyone Disturbed By This Besides Me?

This news in from England.

LONDON - A theater on Monday abandoned further performances of a play that caused a riot by Sikhs who said it demeaned their religion. Executive director Stuart Rogers said the Birmingham Repertory Theatre had been left with no alternative but to end its run of "Behzti," a play by Sikh playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti that depicts sexual abuse and murder in a Sikh temple.

"It is now clear that we cannot guarantee the safety of our audiences," he told reporters at the theater in Birmingham, central England. "Very reluctantly, therefore, we have decided to end the current run of the play purely on safety grounds.

Three men were arrested Saturday when 400 Sikhs stormed the theater, forcing staff to cancel the Saturday evening performance. Theater staff said protesters caused thousands of pounds (dollars, euros) in damages.

Rogers said the decision to abandon the play had been taken after discussions with West Midlands Police and leaders of the Sikh community Monday.

"Sadly, community leaders have been unable to guarantee to us that there will be no repeat of the illegal and violent activities that we witnessed on Saturday," he said.

Now hold on. We Christians are attacked in art and literature all the time. We are expected to put up with it. Nobody cancels plays, cancels gallery exhibits, or alters their behavior because we are angry about insults to our faith. And if local Christian religious leaders said they couldn't guarantee their followers wouldn't attack a theater over a blasphemous play (like Corpus Christi), cops in riot gear would be out front and probably martyred believers dead in the streets.

So, why do the followers of non-Christian religions get better, preferential treatment?


More Hate Crimes Directed At Christian Symbols This Christmas

I recently noted the increasing acts of violence and vandalism directed against Christian symbols this year, and have wondered why there are no hate-crime charges or investigations. Well, here are some more, courtesy of the Catholic League.
“On December 10, we issued a news release documenting 16 instances of nativity scenes that were vandalized nation wide. Since then, there have been 24 more reported incidents that have come to our attention. Here is where they occurred: Grand Rapids, Michigan; Costa Mesa, California; Santa Cruz, California; Anchorage, Alaska; Hanover, Pennsylvania; Lansdale, Pennsylvania; Knoxville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; Epping, New Hampshire; Tiverton, Massachusetts; Neenah, Wisconsin; Morningside, Iowa; Diamondhead, Mississippi; Maplewood, Minnesota; Baxter County, Arkansas; Murrieta, California; Grand Traverse County, Michigan; Plainfield, New Jersey (2 crèches were vandalized); Volusia County, Florida; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Princeton, Indiana; Whitman, Massachusetts; Norwalk, Connecticut.

“So what’s going on? The vandals in Norwalk, Connecticut gave us an idea. Not only did they thrash a nativity scene, they wrote profanity and drew satanic symbols on one of the figures. This isn’t the act of some crazy drunks—it is the act of hate-filled persons.

Will these be treated as hate-crimes? I doubt it, despite teh fact that similar attacks on the symbols of other religions would be given such special treatment. But attacks on Christians are apparently fair game.

Not that such things are not acceptable to today's liberals. Consider these examples.
Better yet is Phil Goodstein, a Denver historian who recently labeled the nativity scene ‘utterly obnoxious.’ Julie Wells, also of Denver, confesses that ‘I wish they had kidnapped the Baby Jesus when they kidnapped Rudolph,’ adding that she fantasizes about ‘driving a Chevy Blazer’ over a crèche. And both atheist Christopher Hitchens (always the contrarian), and Dallas Cowboy fullback Darian Barnes, boasted over the weekend how much they ‘hate Christmas.’

I wonder what the NFL would do to a player who publicly stated such hatred regarding things Jewish or Muslim? Say he said he hates Ramadan or Haunnakah. The guy would get the John Rocker treatment. As a season ticketholder with my local NFL franchise, I think I'll contact Paul Tagliabue and ask.

Paul Tagliabue
280 Park Ave.
New York, NY 10017

If anyone has an email address for the commissioner, let me know and I'll post it.


Sunday, December 19, 2004

Maybe Zero Tolerance Should Be Applied

Given that kids are expelled an/or consigned to alternative schools for relatively trivial offenses like bringing butter knives to school or drinking at an off-campus party, what do you think LaMarque ISD should do with this situation?

Superintendent charged with DWI

La Marque School Superintendent Adrain Johnson was charged with driving while intoxicated Sunday after he was pulled over on the Gulf Freeway on Saturday night.

Houston police said Johnson, 49, was speeding and swerving in and out of lanes.

Well, it seems pretty clear he was drunk and endangering others. But what I find interesting is the response of school board members.

Trustee Merritt Lockwood, who said he stands by the district's leader because "people make mistakes," said the school board should stay out of Johnson's personal business.

"I don't think anything ought to be done," Lockwood said. "That's his personal life."

Another trustee, Joe Cantu, said he needs to know more about the case before he takes any position on the matter.

Gee, do you apply the "people make mistakes" criteria in enforcing your zero tolerance policies against students, or do you use a "one size fits all" approach to discipline? Do you "need more information," or do the details not matter when it is one of the students in your district?

Or do you hold your kids to a higher standard than you hold the head of your district?


Is A Hospital Chapel An Appropriate Place For A Cross?

Yeah, you read that question correctly. What frightens me is that some hospital administrator in St. Paul, Minnesota has answered the question with a resounding "NO!"
Let's try this again. The hospital decided to remove the cross from the chapel. Chapel. There was a fear, apparently acted on by hospital administrators that the cross could be offensive to those who use the chapel but are put off their game by a crucifix.

"Regions doesn't have a religious affiliation,'' said Vince Rivard, the hospital's spokesman.

Rivard is a cool, collected fellow. When I expressed astonishment that a cross would be removed from a chapel, he calmly explained that this is a growing trend in the hospital industry.

"It's a natural evolution,'' Rivard said. "We have a more diverse population in St. Paul, with people having more diverse religious beliefs.''

So what?

I guess I could understand a hospital removing a cross from the property if the cross was planted in the front yard, or illuminated up on the roof or was a focal point of the lobby. You could certainly make a reasonable argument that such a symbol would be out of place in a hospital that has no religious connection.

But this is a new one for me.


To think that someone could be offended by a cross in a chapel is like believing that someone could be offended by a safe in a bank.

But don't worry -- they do allow the cross to be taken out of hiding for daily Mass. At least until someone decides that it is offensive to allow daily Mass, and instead replaces that with a hand-holding Kumbayah circle.

Over 380 employees of the hospital have petitioned for the return of the cross to its proper place in the chapel, But Rivard, the administrator, says the decision is final, no matter how many folks sign the petition.

Let's test that one. Tell Vince Rivard that the Cross needs to go back in the Chapel. You can contact him here:,1639,contact,00.html
I'll refrain from posting the phone number, because I don't want to risk disrupting essential phone service to the hospital.


Bad Evidence/Incompetent Investigation -- The Gitmo Spy Cases

Now I am a little bit concerned about the reliability of this source. After all, the New York Times is not noted for being a reliable or objective news source, nor does it require either professionalism or accuracy of its employees. But the story has the ring of truth to it, so I will reluctantly link to it.

In 2003 there were a series of accusations of espionage against Muslims military personnel stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they worked with terrorist detainees. Spectacular charges were made, yet each and every one of the cases unraveled and left the government with minor issues that barely constituted wrongdoing on the part of the accused -- and had nothing to do with spying.
Even now, Defense Department officials refuse to explain in detail how the investigations originated and what drove them forward in the face of questions about much of the evidence. Military officials involved in the case have defended their actions, emphasizing that some of the inquiries continue.

But confidential government documents, court files and interviews show that the investigations drew significantly on questionable evidence and disparate bits of information that, like the car report, linked Captain Yee tenuously to people suspected of being Muslim militants in the United States and abroad.

Officials familiar with the inquiries said they also fed on petty personal conflicts: antipathy between some Muslim and non-Muslim troops at Guantánamo, rivalries between Christian and Muslim translators, even the complaint of an old boss who saw Airman Al Halabi as a shirker.

In one case an investigator even violated a directive to shut down an investigation, instead engaging in rank insubordination by rewriting his report and sending it over the head of his superior.

Each of the cases turned into a shoot first, investigate later operation. There were press conferences and weighty accusations. In the end the cases fell apart due to the discovery of reasonable explanations, erroneous translations of documents, and possible investigatorial misconduct.

Questions must be asked, and answers must be forthcoming.


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