Since the mid-1990s, the number of children who have died inside hot vehicles has risen dramatically, totaling about 340. One reason was a change parent-drivers made to protect their kids after juvenile air-bag deaths peaked in 1995 -- they put them in the back seat, where they are more easily forgotten.
That wasn't the point of the article, but it made me think. Weren't passenger side airbags mandated by the government? Of course they were, in order to save lives. But do they? Not according to this report.
Government airbag policy looks more and more like the emperor with no clothes. Increasingly bizarre pronouncements are offered to conceal its nakedness, including: Don’t place infants in front seats. Don’t allow children under twelve to sit in front seats. If you are short, move your seat back and add blocks to the pedals so you can still reach them. Such actions are not merely inconvenient, they can reduce safety. Infants and children in rear seats divert driver attention from the road ahead. By moving seats back, short drivers reduce their already compromised forward view, and make braking more difficult.
The mandate requiring airbags was supported by government claims, documented in the 1977 Federal Register, that they would save over 90,000 lives per decade -- an absurd claim relative to technical data then available. The current (far too optimistic) claim is that they have saved 1700 lives from 1986 to 1996, less than two percent of the original claim, and an even smaller percent of the over 400,000 traffic deaths that occurred in this period.
The three best technical studies consistently find that airbags reduce the risk of death in a crash by 9% for belted drivers. To interpret a 9% effectiveness, think of 100 belted drivers killed in cars without airbags. If the cars had airbags (everything else being equal), then 91 would still die and 9 would survive, usually with severe injuries. I am unaware of any intervention approved by the FDA with an effectiveness as low as 9%. Even for those driving without safety belts, which is illegal in all states except New Hampshire, airbags reduce fatality risk by only 13%.
So not only aren't airbags not saving very many lives, they are actually causing the deaths of small children due to the fact that the airbags are forcing parents to change their driving habits . . . in order to protect their children from the airbags that may kill them if they're in the front seat . . . where parents can see them.
The busybodies who inflicted this bit of madness on the American driving public and don't have to live with the consequences of their actions have obviously never read Thomas Sowell. Thomas Sowell is an economist, college professor, columnist, and one of the most level headed intelligent thinkers this country has, which is probably why he is roundly ignored by the elite and the decision makers in this country. One point he's made repeatedly over the years is that politicians, and other busy-body, do-gooders never examine the results of the policies they force on the rest of us. They never ask for results after a policy has been implemented. So when some high sounding, progressive law is passed "for the good of the people," no one ever asks beforehand, "Is this really good for the people?" And no one examines the results afterward to ask, "Was this effective in the way we wanted it to be effective?"
340 children died, trapped inside hot vehicles. Don't forget the Progressive mantra, "if it saves even one life . . ." But this is a case of a policy taking lives of the youngest and most vulnerable. And none of the fools responsible for passing the laws that killed these children is held accountable. No one has even bothered to examine the evidence that airbags maybe are not worth the cost in money or in lives. That's a crime.
My wife and I got up bright and early this morning to take my daughter to the airport. She's visiting her uncle for the weekend in New York. We got there two hours early as is suggested. I always do that and I usually end up with plenty of time to read in the airport as I wait to board. My daughter was traveling as an unaccompanied minor so there were a few more hoops to jump through. This was also a busy travel day, so, while we made it with time to spare, it still took longer than normal.
As I was taking my shoes off to go through the metal detector though, I was guilty of an "Islamophobic" thought. Back in the olden days of airline travel, the airport was open to everyone. I remember taking my grandmother to the airport, walking her to the gate without being challenged, and then watching the plane take off from the terminal deck. This was in the days before Nobel Peace Prize winner Yassir Arafat began his career as a psychopathic terrorist, and long before he inspired other Islamic terrorists (oops! there I go again! good thing I don't work for the British government) to outdo him and his minions in the murder and mayhem game.
The latest Newsweek has a special report. It's called, Islam in America: A Special Report. The headline to the article reads,
American Dreamers Muslim Americans are one of this country's greatest strengths. But they're vulnerable as never before.
Right off, one has to ask, how are they a strength? The article begins,
Fareed Siddiq is a successful businessman and a father of two. He lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio—a 19th-century mill town built on a river and known for its scenic waterfalls and dams—in a five-bedroom house he recently paid for, in cash, with his savings. Prominent in local civic and religious organizations, including the Red Cross and the chamber of commerce, Siddiq was invited to the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Cleveland earlier this month along with about 400 other business leaders to hear President George W. Bush speak.
He was moved to ask his president a question: "What," he asked, hauling his 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame to the microphone, "are we doing with public diplomacy to change the hearts and minds of a billion and a half Muslims around the world?" What should he tell his friends and relatives in Pakistan about why he continues to live in the United States?
"Great question," answered the president. "I'm confident your answer is, 'I love living in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, the country where you can come and ask the president a question and a country where—' Are you a Muslim?"
"Yes," answered Siddiq.
"Where you can worship your religion freely. It's a great country where you can do that."
It was a good answer, says Siddiq, but not enough for him—not when he, a financial adviser at a major investment bank, is afraid to use the bathroom on flights because he doesn't want to frighten his fellow passengers as he walks down the aisle. He thinks anti-Muslim sentiment in the country is getting worse, not better. "I'm not so much worried about myself," he adds. "It's the young people I'm concerned with. Those are the people we need to try—not only as Muslims but as Americans—to make them feel part of America. If you alienate the Muslim young people from America, that is dangerous."
So right off the bat, without wasting time, Lisa Miller, Newsweek's current apologist for Islam attacks us with the standard charge that Americans are alienating young Muslims. It comes with the standard warning and disclaimer that Muslim violence against us is our own fault for not reaching out and accepting every Muslim demand for special rights, thereby causing the alienation of young Muslims, thereby creating a danger to ourselves. (Don't try this at home. It only works for Muslims.) But fortunately,
America, the officials said, has so far provided relatively infertile ground for the growing and grooming of Muslim extremists. "Most Muslims in America think of themselves as Americans," says Charlie Allen, intelligence chief at the Homeland Security Department.
And yet, if we look at recent news we have the Fort Dix Six a few cases of "Sudden Jihad Syndrome" and Islamic charities still being busted (when it's politically advantageous) for funneling funds to terrorists. Again, (as if you didn't know already) none of that is the fault of any Muslims either individually or collectively,
The alleged terror plots uncovered since 9/11 are a sign that this success cannot be taken for granted. Ire among Muslim Americans at U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories is at a peak, and thanks to satellite news channels like Al-Jazeera and the Internet, that dissatisfaction can spread like fire.
The relative peace that came with invisibility disappeared after 9/11. When Muslims became objects of fear, "people who had never recognized and seen themselves as Muslims had no choice but to see themselves as Muslim," says Muzaffar Chisti, director of the Migration Policy Institute at the New York University School of Law.
Again, it's our fault for wondering which ones are part of that large minority that approve of violent attacks against innocent civilians in the interest of jihad.
To combat the discrimination many were feeling, many Muslim Americans turned, in classic American fashion, to the courts. The Council on American Islamic Relations, an advocacy group, counted nearly 2,500 civil-rights complaints by Muslim Americans in 2006, a dramatic increase over the previous year. These are the kinds of stories that make news—women who sue for the right to wear the hijab in their driver's license photo—and Muslim Americans say they show how invested they are in the American system.
Somehow we are supposed to think it's a good thing that Muslims are reporting every sideways glance as a hate crime, not to mention all of the alleged attacks against Muslims that have been found to be fraudulent. The right to cover one's face on a driver's license photo, wouldn't that be classified as a special right? Like the Somali cab drivers in Minnesota who are demanding to be able to discriminate on the basis of religion? At the University of Michigan's Dearborn campus, Muslims have the right to having their footbaths paid for by student funds with the full support of the ACLU and state senator, Gilda Jacobs, who as I found out minutes ago,
“Interestingly, Jacobs was only one of two senators to vote against a bill in 2004 allowing religious and divinity students to win publicly funded scholarships. Jacobs said she was opposed to ‘funding of seminaries.’
Isn't that special? I thought equal rights were the order of the day in this country. Yet Lisa Miller (along with Gilda Jacobs) wants us to applaud the fact that Muslims want to replace equal rights for all with special rights that favor Muslims. That doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy. But wait, it gets worse,
The six imams who were pulled off a US Airways flight last fall after praying openly at a Minneapolis airport gate have sued the airline and the airport commission for civil-rights violations. "I believe in justice in the United States, and that's why we've taken this case to court," says Didmar Faja, one of the imams.
Yes, and Muslims are suing for a special right to disrupt airline flights. For those of us who need to be reminded, they were doing quite a bit more than merely "praying." Even causes for concern are minimized.
In Muslim intellectual circles, imagining ways to accommodate these young people is topic A, but the reality is somewhat grimmer. There are so few homegrown Muslim clerics in America today—and almost no institutions for training them—that prayer in most mosques is led by a scholar fresh off the plane from Lebanon, say, or Saudi Arabia, someone with no connection to America and no affinity for its culture.
[ . . . ]
More unsettling is the question of what these foreign-born imams preach. According to unofficial estimates by government investigators, at least 50 percent of American mosques may receive some funding from foreign governments or institutions, mostly Saudi Arabia. The danger is obvious: if Saudi Arabia is exporting its Wahhabi Islam to this country via imams, pamphlets, Qur'ans and buildings, how long before a warped version of this extremist ideology intersects with a vulnerable group of teenagers? So far, connections between Saudi influence and the handful of suspected terror plots hatched here since 9/11 have been tenuous, according to the public record.
Remember the Freedom House report on Saudi influence in American mosques? It was chilling, but it may be unavailable. Daniel Pipes analysis of it is here. There is a bit of bad news, but there's not much, so we shouldn't be concerned. It's tucked into the very end of the article.
The bad news, however, bears repeating: 26 percent of Muslims age 18 to 29 believe that suicide bombing can be justified. Thirty-eight percent of that group believe that Arabs did not carry out the 9/11 attacks. These data, combined with the rising religious conservatism of young Muslim Americans, have led some experts to argue that differences between Europe and America have been overblown, that affluence and education do not inoculate a society against radicalization. "This idea that all those who are middle class are exempted from extremism has always been false," says Geneive Abdo, author of "Mecca and Main Street." "The leadership of the extremist movements have always been highly educated Muslims."
Isn't that what we're told to ignore under the threat of being called an "Islamophobe?" But there's more.
It's impossible to underestimate the emotional nature of anti-Israel sentiment among Arab-American youth, argues Ismael Ahmed, executive director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services in Detroit. "I think the poll miscaptures what's being said," he says. "There is such a thing as legitimate resistance to oppression, and there is terrorism on both sides. It's wrong, but there's also the right to resist." The poll numbers, in his view, don't point to a threat of homegrown suicide bombers, but to a passionate defense of a resistance movement—the way, 30 years ago, an Irish-American teenager would have supported the IRA.
You gotta love that; moral relativism, combined with blame the victim, combined with a totally inverted version of the truth. Nowhere is personal responsibility accepted. I still don't understand how that contributes to American strength, do you?
But that's NOT all folks! There is also this piece of idiotic tripe. It's called, The Ideas We Share. It begins,
It's strange that the United States and the Muslim world so often seem to be in conflict. The more you know about America's basic ideals and those of classical Islam, the more similarities you see. For one thing, both the country and the religion were founded on the principle that individual freedom is a God-given, inalienable right. For another, they share a central belief in the strength that comes from embracing diversity.
Huh? The last time I checked, diversity, especially of the religious sort, was being changed into a theocratic, dictatorial, Islamic homogeneity that is actively destroying age old communities of non-Muslims, or as we are referred to; infidels.
The resemblance dates back to their beginnings. The Muslim world grew in much the same way America would, a thousand years later. As Islam spread from its birthplace in Western Arabia, its community of followers—the umma—expanded into an increasingly diverse collection of cultures, peoples and nations. Muslim rulers made a practice of welcoming and protecting people of all faiths—a tradition begun earlier but set in stone less than 10 years after the Prophet Muhammad's death, when Caliph Umar captured Jerusalem in 638 and invited 70 Jewish families to come and live there, after centuries of repeated expulsions by non-Muslims.
Of course, the Jews of Arabia were wiped out. Protection of non-Muslims involves paying a special tax, living as second class citizens, and being subjected to daily humiliations that are codified in Sharia law. There is more of the same kind of drivel you've read over the years since 9/11 all about how benign Islam is, at least according to the cherry picked quotes. Ignore the reality of 1400 years of Islamic history. Only "Islamophobes" pay attention to that.
Update: I fixed all of the links . . . if anyone is interested.
For years atheists and other haters of Christianity have been battling to have every last vestige of Christianity removed from the public square. All in all, in spite of their insane warnings of the rise of a Christian theocracy if we continue to acknowledge Santa Claus, they've been entirely too successful. They claim to want religion removed, but they're lying. According to an article in the Detroit Free Press,
The U.S. Department of Justice has waded into a legal brawl between a national atheist group and the Detroit Downtown Development Authority, which pledged $734,570 in grants to three historic churches in a major downtown face-lift in time for the 2006 Super Bowl.
A federal judge in Detroit is expected to rule soon in the case, which could have national implications as to what role the government has in helping to preserve historic churches.
American Atheists Inc. sued Detroit's DDA in U.S. District Court last year, saying the grants violated the constitutional separation between church and state. The DDA pledged the money to the churches as partial reimbursement for improvements the churches made to their properties.
"The churches should be paying for those projects, not taxpayers," American Atheists President Ellen Johnson told the Free Press last week. She said the projects amount to public support of religion.
The churches in question, as the article tells us later are hundreds of years old and are legitimate historical sites in Detroit.
If you go to the website of American Atheists Inc, you'll notice that all of their proudly displayed lawsuits are against Christian targets. There is not a word about installing footbaths for Muslims in American public universities. Even the Christophobic ACLU didn't want to get involved in that one, even though they could have easily shut down the project, or at least saved students at U. of M. Dearborn some money by forcing Muslims to used some of their Saudi - for jihad only - cash to pay for them.
"If the ACLU had decided to take legal action against the UM-Dearborn, we probably would have called for the university to raise the funds privately, just so that the UM-Dearborn wouldn't have to go through the trouble of having to defend its position against the ACLU," Walid said.
Kary Moss, director of the Detroit branch of the ACLU, said its review concluded the plan is a "reasonable accommodation" to resolve "safety and cleanliness issues" that arose when Muslims used public sinks for foot cleaning before prayers, which often spilled water on bathroom floors.
"We view it as an attempt to deal with a problem, not an attempt to make it easier for Muslims to pray," said Moss, who likened the plan to paying for added police during religious events with huge turnouts.
Neither the American Atheists nor the ACLU have raised their voices against any of the attempts by Muslims to sneak sharia law into this country, except to side with Islamic supremecists against the United States. If you recall, the ACLU defended a Florida woman who demanded the special right to wear a veil on her driver's license photo. Then the ACLU was concerned with religious freedom. They've never expressed any interest in the cab drivers who demand the special right to refuse service to passengers who carry alcohol or depend on seeing eye dogs. It's not that they are protecting us from religion, they have chosen their religion, and the one they have chosen is the most intolerant and violent one on the planet, the one that is still firmly rooted in a seventh century desert mentality, the one whose stated goal is the subjugation of all others under their blood-soaked banner.
I first found this reported on Townhall.com. I listened to Dennis Prager's analysis of this interview and it was interesting, but not as interesting and powerful as actually watching it. I've admired Ayaan Hirsi Ali for years. She is a heroic figure in today's world of cowardice and appeasement to evil. Compared to Hirsi Ali, Avi Lewis is a mental lightweight. She responds to every challenge he throws at her and quietly devastates each of his arguments. He never offers any counters, preferring to change the subject each time, as if thinking, "Oh, this time I'll get her. She can't have a comeback to this." Finally at the end, showing a class and dignity sadly lacking in political debate, and in Avi Lewis, she easily puts him in his place. If the guy has half a brain he will take the time to examine the lessons provided by Hirsi Ali and examine his stands on these issues, especially as she was able to almost effortlessly reveal each of his arguments as simply wrong.
Milton and Rose Friedman, in their book, Free to Choose (highly recommended) devote a chapter to labor unions. It's chapter 8 and it's called, Who Protects the Worker? The main idea of the chapter is that labor unions, rather than protect all workers, actually shut out some workers in order to keep wages high for those workers who are fortunate enough to be let into the union. They give some compelling examples. One involves the American Medical Association.
In his book, Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain gives an example of how labor unions work to reduce the supply of workers. It's in chapter fifteen, The Pilot's Monopoly. As Twain tells it, with the increase in the number of steam boats on the Mississippi, the need for pilots increased. However, so many pilots were being trained that there was a glut on the market, and pilots' wages actually dropped. The solution, thought of by some of the top river boat pilots, was to create The Pilot's Benevolent Association. What starts out as a way to keep new pilots off the river, ends up forcing older, experienced pilots to submit to the rules of the association. As my simple explanation is inferior to Twain's you should read the entire escapade here. Then if you have the desire, read what the Friedmans have to say about unions. Twain's experience could have been used by the Friedmans.
In the interest of appeasement (at least in my opinion) the Detroit News gives runs an occasional column by local imam, and Hezbollah supporter, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi No matter what the subject of his columns are, he almost always throws in at least one gratuitous slap at Israel, and the occasional anti Bush jab. A few years ago, he made the idiotic statement:
"There are Jewish extremists who believe those do not confess the Torah must be killed".
It made no sense except to insult Jews so I googled the statement and ended up at a Nazi website on their fake Talmudic Quote page. They also had fake Zohar (kabbalah) quotes, but nothing from the Tanakh (bible) because those would be too easy to refute. As unknown as the Talmud is even among most Jews, the Zohar is very obscure. Neither the Imam or the Nazis he admires know that Jews do not "confess the Torah", whatever that means. Not only did I write to local Jewish leaders about it, getting zero response, but I did a post on it. I always wondered, did the Nazis make up these quotes?
Nope, they stole them from the original source. I found that source at Melanie Phillips who linked to Harry's Place. Why the sudden interest in these anti-Jewish defamations? Because now they're showing up on the BBC message board and the BBC doesn't object. According to the post at Harry's Place,
BBC Radio 5 Live message board moderators have refused to remove a posting from the 5 Live website, which states that
“Zionism is a racist ideology where jews are given supremacy over all other races and faiths. This is found in the Talmud. There is a law called Baba Mezia which allows jews to lie as long as its to non-jews. many pro jewish supporters will cringe at this being exposed because they know it exists, yet they keep quiet about it, hey frip, jla and co The Law of Baba Mezia!! Tsk tsk tsk! Its in the Talmud.”
When I brought the mailing to the attention of the moderator, “The BBC Communities Team” emailed back, stating
“we have decided that it does not contravene the House Rules and are going to leave it on site”.
Apparently, at least three others have also complained to the BBC.
The message was posted by “Iron Naz”. A brief Google search on this name suggests that he is unlikely to be a (bottom of the class) Jewish theological student.
Only “Iron Naz” himself knows how he came to hear of the supposed Law of Baba Mezia. The bastardisation of Talmud quotes, however, is normally rooted within “The Talmud Unmasked”, a classic core antisemitic text written at the end of the 19th Century by a Jew hating Russian Catholic Priest, Rev. Father Justin Praniatis, who gave evidence at the infamous Beilis blood libel trial in Kiev, 1913.
Praniatis argued that the Talmud advocated ritual murder, but was shown by Jewish and Christian scholars to be a charlatan with no knowledge of the Talmud. The all Christian jury found Beilis innocent. The influence, however, of Rev. Praniatis’ work has of course spread well beyond the confines of Imperial Russia.
Today, the core text, “The Talmud Unmasked” is distributed by neo-Nazi booksellers via the internet. It gained a brief surge of publicity in the UK in the early 1990s as part of a series of mass antisemitic mailshots by a coterie of veteran Jew haters led by the notorious Dowager Lady Jane Birdwood. She was eventually convicted in 1994 of distributing “threatening, abusive and insulting material” on account of an antisemitic compendium, “The Longest Hatred”, the contents of which included the Talmud material.
Attacks on the Talmud are also an increasingly routine component of Arab and Islamist antisemitism, anti-Zionism and Israel hatred. Until now, however, the BBC was not known to have joined this particular part of the club.
It is bad enough that it is up to readers to police what the BBC publish on their own websites, but it is far sadder that this public body should actively refuse to remove the filth, and give no explanation for their actions - or perhaps its just that “The BBC Communities Team” agree with the essential element of the posting:
“Zionism is a racist ideology where jews are given supremacy over all other races and faiths.”
Even though they deny it, the MSM, especially in Britain where the BBC and other news sources are especially blatant in their Jew hatred, have allowed some nasty antisemitism to filter up from the deranged, paranoid hate mongers to the mainstream. In the U.S., the claim is that both sides have to be represented, but if you look at what they choose to publish, with the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, and the NY Times all giving their oped pages over to Hamas, you know that's a lie.
Of course, "The Talmud Unmasked" can be found in its entirety on the Internet. It's also available from Amazon. Reading some of the reviews there from reviewers who accept its veracity, you can feel the insanity. Cruising the Internet, there is a lot of hatred and insanity. It does not have to be fed by the BBC. If I were a British Jew, I'd be looking to emigrate.
The Detroit News is the more conservative of Detroit's two dailies. When it comes to whitewashing our terror supporting Muslim neighbors, however, they are as willing and able as the more liberal Detroit Free Press to do the job. Both papers seem to have their staff apologists. Here is a recent whitewash - uh - I mean article concerning young local Muslims speaking up.
When Sofia Latif sees news reports portraying Muslims as terrorists, she sometimes sends e-mails to journalists deploring coverage she views as one-sided and urges them to publicize good works done in the name of Islam.
Most of the Muslims interviewed said they deplore suicide bombing, that it defies the teachings of Islam and that terrorists cloak themselves in religion to excuse their evil acts. But they also stress that they understand the enormous frustration over conditions in the world that give rise to extremism.
Do all Muslims talk out of both sides of their mouths? And why does this "frustration leads to extremism" equation only apply to Muslims?
As part of their assertiveness, younger Muslims sought to explain some of the findings in the Pew poll, which found that 25 percent of Muslims ages 18-29 view themselves as Muslims first, before identifying themselves as Americans. It is not unusual, Muslims said, for many people to identify themselves by their faith. They cited a finding in a previous Pew poll that 42 percent of all Christians and 62 percent of evangelical Protestants say they are Christian first.
As for the finding about suicide bombing, many asserted that the Prophet Muhammad expressly prohibited even collateral damage in war, let alone intentional assaults on civilians. They also point to a poll published in February by the Christian Science Monitor revealing that 24 percent of Americans say that "bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians are often or sometimes justified."
As always, rather than taking responsibility and admitting there is a problem within Islam, they trot out the well-worn "moral equivalence" argument. When was the last terror attack by a Christian or any nonMuslim again? I can't remember either. Muslims must become familiar with the concept of "personal responsibility."I'm getting tired of every Islamic depravity anywhere in the world being somebody else's fault.
"I constantly feel that we are on the defensive," said Shahad Atiya, 19, of Bloomfield Hills. "Personally, I am sick and tired of that. I want to ask people, 'Why do you single me out?' "
Actually, ever since 9/11, Islam in this country has been on the offensive. It is the rest of us who are expected to be on the defensive and act like good dhimmi to avoid the dreaded accusation of "Islamophobia."
It's a good thing that Michael Chertoff and the Department of Homeland Security is on the job and protecting us from Islamic terror; right? Wrong! According to another Detroit News article,
While the NAACP has been fighting for the rights of African-Americans for nearly a century, it's important to fight for Muslim Americans in a post-9/11 world, the nation's Homeland Security chief told guests at the 98th NAACP national convention Tuesday evening.
"(We've) fought too long and too hard for the rights of African-Americans to turn our backs on the rights of Muslim Americans," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a crowd of more than 600 at the Armed Services and Veteran Affairs awards dinner at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel.
Huh? Who is this idiot working for again? It certainly isn't the American public.
Not only haven't we not turned our back on the rights of Muslim Americans, but their rights are so well protected that they are busy demanding more rights: The right to wear a veil in court, the right of Muslim cabbies to refuse service to people carrying liquor or using a Seeing Eye dog, the right of Muslims to have footbaths built at the expense of the rest of us on university campuses, the right to disrupt airline flights, and once they gain these extra and special rights, they will, of course, demand more.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Doug Marlette, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist who recently turned his incisive wit toward a budding career as a novelist, died Tuesday in an auto accident in Mississippi. He was 57.
Marlette, who split his time between Hillsborough and Tulsa, Okla., and was visiting Mississippi to help a group of high school students with the musical version of his syndicated comic strip, "Kudzu." He had just delivered the eulogy at his father's funeral Friday in Charlotte, N.C.
As a political cartoonist, he was an equal opportunity offender, but lately he'd been facing up to the Islamic threat in his cartoons. As a reminder of how powerful a cartoon can be, I swiped my favorite, one that earned him the ire of the "Religion of Peace," and reprinted it below.
In all of the excitement over the Live Earth concerts, many people may have missed this recent report from The Detroit Free Press in their Science News section,
Ice-covered Greenland really was green a half-million or so years ago, covered with forests in a climate much like that of eastern Canada today.
An international team of researchers recovered ancient DNA from the bottom of an ice core and found the presence of pine, yew and alder trees as well as insects.
The researchers, led by Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, say the findings are the first direct proof that there was forest in southern Greenland.
Included were genetic traces of butterflies, moths, flies and beetles, they report in today's edition of the journal Science.
The material was recovered from cores drilled through ice 1.2 miles thick in south central Greenland.
So who was driving the SUVs that caused that kind of global warming a half million years ago?
And speaking of "saving the Earth" read Michelle Malkin's report on this series of Earth-saving concerts. She's got some great links, the best being this one.
The Live Earth event is, in the words of one commentator: "a massive, hypocritical fraud".
For while the organisers' commitment to save the planet is genuine, the very process of putting on such a vast event, with more than 150 performers jetting around the world to appear in concerts from Tokyo to Hamburg, is surely an exercise in hypocrisy on a grand scale.
Matt Bellamy, front man of the rock band Muse, has dubbed it 'private jets for climate change'.
A Daily Mail investigation has revealed that far from saving the planet, the extravaganza will generate a huge fuel bill, acres of garbage, thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions, and a mileage total equal to the movement of an army.
The most conservative assessment of the flights being taken by its superstars is that they are flying an extraordinary 222,623.63 miles between them to get to the various concerts - nearly nine times the circumference of the world. The true environmental cost, as they transport their technicians, dancers and support staff, is likely to be far higher.
The total carbon footprint of the event, taking into account the artists' and spectators' travel to the concert, and the energy consumption on the day, is likely to be at least 31,500 tonnes of carbon emissions, according to John Buckley of Carbonfootprint.com, who specialises in such calculations.
Throw in the television audience and it comes to a staggering 74,500 tonnes. In comparison, the average Briton produces ten tonnes in a year.
The concert will also generate some 1,025 tonnes of waste at the concert stadiums - much of which will go directly into landfill sites.
Moreover, the pop stars headlining the concerts are the absolute antithesis of the message they promote - with Madonna leading the pack of the worst individual rock star polluters in the world.
Sepermodel Kate Moss, another profligate polluter through her use of private jets, is producing a T-shirt for the event. Yet, Gore is touting the concerts as 'carbon neutral'. So how can that be?
Let us start with some facts. Worldwide, an audience of around 1,268,500 is expected to attend the concerts - making it one of the largest global events in history.
Dr Andrea Collins, an expert in sustainability from Cardiff University, has researched the impact of such mass gatherings on the environment.
"An event of this size at Wembley - which holds 65,000 at a rock concert, will generate around 59 tonnes of waste," she says. "That is largely composed of the rubbish from food and drink consumption."
She found that a Wembley-sized football match generated an 'ecological footprint' of 3,000 global hectares - an area the size of 4,166 football pitches. This is the amount of bioproductive land required to absorb the C02 emissions produced by such an event.
Oops! It's so good, I swiped it. You should read the whole article, though.
This is a short post. It's very hot today and I have to water my lawn. Could it be global warming? Probably, the global warming we get every year in Michigan in July and August. We also get global cooling in December and January, all man-made I'm sure. Climate change, you know.
Israel called in aircraft, tanks and bulldozers Thursday to press its campaign against Gaza rocket squads, killing 11 militants as they laid mines and fired mortars at soldiers at the main passage between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Fighting escalated after an Israeli patrol inside Gaza saw armed militants approaching and called in an air strike. A Hamas spokesman said fighting began when Hamas gunmen fired at an Israeli unit.
Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, who was fired as prime minister by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after Hamas defeated Fatah in Gaza, condemned the Israeli operation Thursday and urged Palestinians to fight back.
Fatah official Hazem Abu Shanab echoed the sentiment.
And Israel is giving Fatah millions of dollars because Fatah is the "good" terrorist organization, locked in struggle with Hamas, the "bad" terrorist organization. Hamas are the bad guys because they openly call for the destruction of Israel. Fatah are the good guys because they lie about it and claim they want peace. They only call for the destruction of Israel in Arabic when they think we aren't listening.
Neither Hamas or Fatah are crazy. They are sick, twisted, barbaric, hateful, violent, gratuitously cruel, debased, and a threat to the health of civilization, but they are not crazy. They have a goal and they consistently strive for it. The leadership in the United States and Israel however are crazy for supporting either side in this debacle. They are clearly delusional and perhaps suicidal. I don't like what I see on the horizon.
The Detroit Free Press takes some pretty stupid stands on the issues thise days. Here is one of those stands.
"And Justice For All," a campaign launched with the support of the Michigan ACLU and the state Department of Civil Rights, will target specific improvements in the way Michigan ensures fairness and justice.
Now there are two organizations that have caused enough damage on their own, working together to bring more "enlightenment" to Michigan.
Among the ideas: Creating state standards for the defense of indigents, adding racial diversity to the Judicial Tenure Commission, and encouraging all counties to have courthouse and courtroom access plans that meet federal disability laws, something that seems so basic it should not even be an issue. What building has more reason to be accessible than a courthouse?
The NAACP also seeks to expand jury pools to include ex-felons and people on public assistance and work with churches to encourage jury participation. A package of bills just introduced by Rep. LaMar Lemmons Jr., D-Detroit, would help by expanding the lists used for selecting jury pools.
Do we really want ex-felons on a jury? I'm not sure I do. This may make me sound bad, but I'm not sure I want people on public assisstance on a jury either. I would hope that anyone sitting on a jury would have enough education to be able to hold a job, and enough of a moral compsss to stay out of jail. I realize I'm not as progressive or enlightened as some, but, to me, this looks like another example of dumbing deviancy down.
My suggestion; improve our children's education. Stop blaming every different outcome between racial or ethnic groups on racism. Stop pandering.
My family and I were away on vacation for the past week, (yes, we had a wonderful time, thanks for asking.) and I thought I would do a thoughtful blog post on some of the events that took place while we were away. Those Unitarians (it couldn't be members of the "religion of peace") have been acting up again in the UK. Something seems to have happened to my computer though, and I can't turn it on. My son is being generous enough to share his computer with the rest of us, but I don't want to hog it. So I'd like to recommend a couple of recent pieces over at Jewish World Review. Read one called, Still, the Silence.
A JWR reader — a member of the United Church of Christ — takes to task "leaders and peace activists of mainline Protestant churches in the U.S. who have been ardent supporters of the cause of Palestinian nationalism and vocal critics of Israeli policy, [but] have said little if anything about the violence that resulted in Hamas' brutal takeover of the Gaza Strip"
Balak is brutal, direct and minces no words. The existence of the Jewish people itself is somehow seen as a lethal threat to him and Moab. Bilaam, on the other hand, is suave, cunning, full of sweet words and blessings, but no less inimical to the existence of the Jewish people.
It is the combination of greed and hatred of the Jews that makes Bilaam such a dangerous foe. Whereas Balak seems to be safely ignored by Heaven, not so Bilaam. The Lord "turns" Bilaam so that his curses become blessings. Without G-d's interference, so to speak, Bilaam's true wishes could have been fulfilled.
I hope to get my computer fixed soon. I've got stuff to do on it.
"No one can find a safe way out for himself if socety is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result." -- Ludwig von Mises