Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Hatred That is Now Acceptable in the Mainstream Press

The Detroit Free Press ran a great piece by Mitch Albom. I'm linking to the reprint at Jewish World Review because the Free Press lets its links lapse. They're only temporary, unless you want to pay for the privilege of going through their archives.
It seemed such a ghastly trade, flesh and blood for two boxes of bones. Many criticized it. Some could not bear to watch it. But if anything showed the difference between Israel and Hezbollah in last week's exchange of two dead Israeli soldiers for five live prisoners and 199 corpses, it was not the trade itself.

It was the reaction.
. . . last week, after almost 30 years behind bars, Kuntar was allowed to go by the Israeli authorities. And on Wednesday, he walked down a red carpet in Beirut and was kissed by the Hezbollah leader and cheered like a rock star.

"Samir! Samir!" the crowd reportedly yelled. This for a man convicted of smashing a child's head into pieces.

You can take whatever side you like in the Israeli-Palestinian debate. You can argue who is entitled to land and statehood and borders.

But you cannot defend the frenzied lovefest that took place for Kuntar in Lebanon, as if he were some long-lost statesmen, instead of a common murderer who did the worst thing you can do: take the life of a child. What religion condones that? What holy book says that is a good thing? A banner in Beirut, according to the New York Times, read "G-d's Achievement Through Our Hands."

What G-d would have a child's murder on anyone's hands? How do people celebrate such a killer?
Read the whole thing. It's very thoughtful, intelligent, and to anyone whose moral compass is intact, impossible to refute.

We know though, that some are horribly broken, pointing south instead of north. And not all of them live in the terror state of Gaza, or Hezbollah's haven, Lebanon. Some are right here in the United States.

The Free Press printed letters in response to Albom's column. I suppose it was a stupidly misguided attempt to present both sides, but besides printing letters in support of Albom, they printed letters from moral retards who were angry at Albom. They couldn't claim what Albom said was wrong, so they took the only angle of attack they could: Israel does it too.

But Israel doesn't do it. Israel works damn hard to try and protect its citizens from the Islamic death worshipers who surround them in the most non-lethal way possible. That didn't stop the Free Press from printing letters filled with anti-Israel blood libels, any one of which could have been disproven had an editor taken a few minutes to do some research.

There was a time, when these ludicrous claims against Israel would have been recognized as regular old Jew-hatred, and discarded without a second thought. Now, both sides must be given a forum, the good and the evil, the true and the false.

This is good journalism?

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Moral Equivalence I Can Live With

As always, Ramirez hits the nail right on the head.

For those who are humor impaired (Obama supporters) I'm not claiming and neither is this cartoon claiming that Obama is a Muslim. Ramirez just drew a bunch of Muslims in the comic to help make his point. If you need an explanation as to why there are Muslims in the cartoon with Obama, I can explain it in the comments section.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

9/11 date to be placed as star on crescent and star flag

Blogburst logo, August 2nd

Not all of us can make it to Pennsylvania next week to help Tom Burnett Sr. stop the re-hijacking of Flight 93, but if anyone needs another reason to try…

The crescent memorial to Flight 93 will have the 9/11 date inscribed on a separate section of Memorial Wall that is centered on the bisector of the giant crescent, in the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag.

Check it out. As can be seen on our blogburst logo, there will be a copse of trees that sits roughly between the tips of the giant crescent (roughly in the position of the star on a crescent and star flag). That is the Sacred Ground Plaza, which sits just above the crash site. Inside the Sacred Ground Plaza is a two part Memorial Wall that follows the flight path down to the point of impact:


Elevation view of Memorial Wall. (Click picture for larger image. Source document here.)

The lower section of Memorial Wall (on the left) contains forty “translucent marble” blocks, inscribed with the names of the 40 murdered heroes (including Tom Burnett Jr.)

Next there is a gap marked “trail,” then the separate upper section of Memorial Wall has three more translucent blocks, inscribed with the 9/11 date. (There is one more translucent block on the flight path: the huge glass block that dedicates the entire site. It sits at the upper crescent tip, at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway. That bring the glass block count to 44, equaling the number of passengers, crew, AND terrorists.)

The path that divides the wall into two parts can be seen on the Crescent of Embrace site plan:


Purple: the path that divides the Memorial Wall into separate upper and lower sections. Aqua: the separate upper section of Memorial Wall, inscribed with the 9/11 date. Red arrow: the centerline of the giant crescent (points to Mecca).

Just by looking, you can see that the upper section of section of Memorial Wall is centered on the bisector of the giant crescent, placing it in the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag. (Click picture for larger image.)

The date goes to the star on the Islamic flag. The date goes to the terrorists.

Just one of many Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in the planned memorial, and all of it remains completely intact in the Circle of Embrace redesign, which only disguises the giant crescent with a few irrelevant trees.

August 2nd

At about 1PM (when the Memorial Project meeting lets out) Mr. Burnett and Alec Rawls will host a press conference and a rally outside the Somerset County Courthouse (where the meeting will be held).

Saturday evening we will have dinner someplace that can be flexible about our numbers (probably a big buffet style restaurant). Sunday morning we will visit the crash site. (Alec is making arrangements with the Park Service now, in case we get a large turn out.)

The only reason to try to make it to the meeting itself (10AM-1PM) is if you want to sign up to speak during the public comment period at the end. Otherwise the meetings are pretty dreary.

The larger purpose is to make a statement to the national news outfits that Mr. Burnett's presence will likely bring. (Fox news gave Mr. Burnett some nice coverage a couple of months ago.) A substantial rally would help that cause, hard as that will be to achieve out in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania.

Somerset is a long way to go to make a statement, but the crash site is well worth visiting in its own right. If you've been thinking of making the trip, the weekend of August 2nd would be the time. It is a chance not just to pay a visit, but to in some small way honor the heroes of Flight 93 by following their footsteps and tackling our own hijacker.

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Still Racist After All These Years

According to, Susan Estrich,
How come, even in the polls where Obama is leading, his lead is in single digits? Is it that people still don’t know enough about him? No candidate in my lifetime has ever gotten better press coverage, more adoration from the media. Being attacked by Jesse Jackson is a gift of major proportions. Maybe it just hasn’t showed up yet in the numbers. Maybe race is a bigger factor than people want to admit. Maybe people just need to be convinced on the experience front
This quote comes at the end of a lengthy analysis of the current polls. The question is, as it is with all political analysts, can we trust Susan Estrich's judgement? The answer is that she was Michael Dukakis' campaign manager during his bid for the presidency.

The reason I point that out is, yes, to make fun of Susan Estrich, and thereby show that I do question her competance to be in the position she's in. But she deserves it. It's getting stupid already that I'm being told that I'm a racist because I haven't fallen under the spell of the Obamessiah. Race is not a factor, Obama and his shortcomings are. Not only is he a foreign policy dunce, but the truth is silly putty in his hands. It's malleable to the point where the truth is anything Obama decides that it is. On his current pilgrimage through the Middle East, Obama, in front of an audience in Israel, falsely claimed to be a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee so he could take credit for a bill to call for divestment from Iran. And according to this post at The Powerline Blog, the truth from Obama (as Obama clearly demonstrates by the words coming out of his mouth) can be two contradictory statements as long as he, the Obamessiah made both of them and is free to deny that either - he made them - or that they are contradictory.

This is in addition to his wanting to raise my taxes in order to share my wealth (such that it is) with others, his refusal to make our country energy independent in the most reliable way - drilling for domestic oil, and increasing reliance on nuclear power, his known connections to dubious characters, and his total ineptitude to explain himself without a script. That must be why he has allowed no press to accompany him on this jaunt. Obama without a teleprompter makes George Bush sound downright eloquent. Obama, as was said of Richard Nixon, talks out of two sides of his mouth and lies out of both of them.

Susan Estrich can blame Obama's failings on white racism, as personal responsibility is a forbidden concept on the Left, but I have to wonder at the mentality of anyone who can still worship at the Church of Obama after the continuing parade of gaffes, lies, and general stupidity coming from the Obama campaign. If the MSM was doing its job instead of fawning over HIM, he'd be toast. If McCain had made a fraction of the gaffes that have been commited by Obama, they'd be on him like the tingling in Chris Mathew's leg.

The fact that Obama has outspent McCain the way that he has, shows that even with a huge warchest and hagiography rather than reporting from the main stream press, some voters are paying attention and they're not buying into Obama's manufactured mystique. Thank God - the real God.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Embarrassment of Not Getting the Joke

Poor Desiree Cooper of the Detroit Free Press didn't get the joke. Cooper is quite upset that the normally erudite New Yorker magazine didn't fall for Mr. and Mrs. Obama's sanitizing of their image, even though they went through all that trouble of dragging their children into the public eye, using them as campaign fodder, in order to make them seem like the all-American middle class family. For as she says,
Only two weeks ago, the Obamas gave an interview with their two young daughters to help America see them as a typical family.
His wife -- who was a recent hit on "The View" wearing a chic summertime frock.
Those are the official party-approved images of the Obamas that we're supposed to keep in our heads, at the risk of being called "racist". They look like regular folks, so they must be just like the rest of us. What woman in the world could possibly be objectionable who is wearing a "chic summertime frock"? We're supposed to forget that Obama has surrounded himself with domestic terrorists, racists, criminals, and various America haters. Not only are they his friends, but they are his advisers, both political and spiritual. Don't we all have people like that among our associates?

But this anti-Obama sentiment is wrong and hateful. And we're not supposed to be disturbed by the fact that a man who wants to become President of the United States doesn't seem to like the United States very much. We have to ignore that though because,
Our country has not yet come to grips with the aftermath of 9/11, our shameful backlash against Muslims, the violation of human and constitutional rights of many probable innocents at Guantanamo Bay, the death of thousands of American troops in an ill-conceived war, and, of course, our long-term dysfunction about race. To heap all of those fears and stereotypes upon the Obamas and call it satire misses a critical step.
Actually, Cooper misses a critical step; removing herself from her fantasy world where Americans are the bad guys and Muslims who are murdering people all over the world are victims of American imperialism, colonialism, etc. Cooper doesn't seem to care much for the U.S. either. She needs to open her eyes to what's really happening in the world and open her mind to the vicious immorality inherent in the jihadist mindset of Islam. They are the ones refusing to live in peace with the rest of the world, and that's been their position for the past 1300 years. But according to Cooper,
The added insult here is the collateral damage done to Muslims. People are upset over how the Obamas have been depicted, but not about how Muslims are once again shown as extremists and terrorists. Instead of shedding light on the religiously biased, xenophobic, racist thinking that persists in America, the New Yorker has served only to reinforce the worst of our irrational thoughts about who the Obamas are, what it means to be Muslim and what will happen if Barack Obama wins the White House.
In light of the over 11,000 terror attacks that have taken place since 9/11, the determination of Muslims all over the world to destroy Israel - because it is a Jewish country, and the changes happening in Europe due to growing Muslims minorities, it's quite rational to be wary of Muslims and Muslim organizations.

And then there's Leonard Pitts. He recognizes the New Yorker cover as satire, but it's those others who don't.
So, as absurd, as over the top, as utterly outlandish as the New Yorker image strikes the more sophisticated among us, there is a large fringe out there for whom it will represent nothing more or less than the sum of their fears.

Indeed, as I sat down to write these words, there beeped into my mailbox an e-mail with this subject line: "WOW, the New Yorker got it exactly right, for once." Said without a trace of irony.

But increasingly, that's who we are in this country: ignorant, irony-impaired and petrified. So maybe we should just cancel the campaign and ask that the last intelligent person turn off the lights when he or she leaves. And bring the last book with you. Nobody here will need it.
See, even though the Left has been foaming at the mouth over this cartoon, Pitts knows that it's really conservatives who are so humor impaired that they don't get the joke. Thanks for the clarification.

Michelle Malkin has reprinted some cartoons that probably didn't offend Desiree Cooper or anybody else on the left for that matter.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008


I've been angry over the past few days, much like many other people around the world, who can only wonder in despair why Israel would hand over the child killer Samir Kantar and other terrorists in exchange for the mutilated bodies of two soldiers. My local papers didn't mention Kantar's crime in their reports, nor did they mention that the soldiers' bodies were mutilated beyond recognition. At times like this I don't know what to write. But thanks to Carl in Jerusalem, I was able to find this piece by Naomi Ragen. She's a real writer and she's expressed exactly how I feel.
I was a new oleh when the PFLP and two Germans hijacked a plane full of Israelis to Entebbe. I remember well those nail-biting days, the moral dilemma of freeing dangerous terrorists for live hostages; the idea that negotiations would just lead to more hijackings. But what other choice did we have? After all, they were in Uganda, so far away .

We found a way.

I will never forget the morning of July 4, 1976, waking up to the news. Our soldiers had gone in, at great personal risk. They had saved almost everyone, and killed the terrorists. We were not helpless victims anymore, the Jews. No, we were clever, and resourceful and courageous. We showed the world how to behave.

We led the way.

I wake up this morning of July 16, 2008 with quite another feeling. Our soldiers, kidnapped on our own land, not across any international border, are brought back to us in caskets after two years of sadistic playfulness with the hearts of their families by Hezbollah terrorists, who led us to believe they were alive.

And in exchange for dead bodies, we turn over a despicable baby-killer, Sami Kuntar.

Oh, you will hear the boosters of the Israeli government sigh.

What can we do? We are civilized and they are not. We care about our soldiers and their families.

No, I'm afraid you do not. If you cared, then you would have a death penalty for people like Kuntar, so that they too can be released in caskets. And if you cared, you would be intelligent enough, seeing our soldiers brought back to us dead, to have put a bullet through Kuntar and then turned him over to his friends.
You must read the whole thing. After I read it, I wondered, and I still wonder what it's going to take for Israel, the United States, and the other beneficiaries of Western Civilization to rediscover the will and the confidence that our ancestors possessed in order to build what we have now. Have we really become so weak and unsure of ourselves that we're willing to deny to our children what we were freely given?

I hope not, because we've seen who will take over and it will be much worse than any of the pampered armchair anarchists, wealthy Marxists, and spoiled hypocritical environmentalists would ever allow themselves to imagine.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why are Oil Prices Falling?

I couldn't help but notice that as soon as President Bush ended the presidential moratorium on drilling in the sacred, forbidden, offshore areas, oil prices went down. That was yesterday. They've gone down further today. I thought there could be a connection. The Detroit Free Press, wedded to a certain way of thinking, had other explanations for the fall of oil prices. But if there's one thing I've learned about the "progressive" mindset, it is that - for every true statement from the non-progressive side, they've got a barrel full of contrary explanations, very few of which can stand up to scrutiny, which is probably why they need so many arguments to convince us nonprogressives that we need to believe them over our own lying eyes.

Anyway, over at NRO Online, Larry Kudlow, who I assume knows a lot more about this than I do, says,
In a dramatic move yesterday President Bush removed the executive-branch moratorium on offshore drilling. Today, at a news conference, Bush repeated his new position, and slammed the Democratic Congress for not removing the congressional moratorium on the Outer Continental Shelf and elsewhere. Crude-oil futures for August delivery plunged $9.26, or 6.3 percent, almost immediately as Bush was speaking, bringing the barrel price down to $136.

Now isn’t this interesting?

Democrats keep saying that it will take 10 years or longer to produce oil from the offshore areas. And they say that oil prices won’t decline for at least that long. And they, along with Obama and McCain, bash so-called oil speculators. And today we had a real-world example as to why they are wrong. All of them. Reid, Pelosi, Obama, McCain — all of them.

Traders took a look at a feisty and aggressive George Bush and started selling the market well before a single new drop of oil has been lifted. What does this tell us? Well, if Congress moves to seal the deal, oil prices will probably keep on falling. That’s the way traders work. They discount the future. Psychology and expectations can turn on a dime.

The congressional ban on offshore drilling expires September 30, so that becomes a key date. A new report from Wall Street research house Sanford C. Bernstein says that California actually could start producing new oil within one year if the moratorium were lifted. The California oil is under shallow water and already has been explored. Drilling platforms have been in place since before the moratorium. They’re talking about 10 billion barrels worth off the coast of California.

There’s also a “gang of 10” in the Senate, five Republicans and five Democrats, that is trying to work a compromise deal on lifting the moratorium. So it’s possible a lot of action on this front could occur much sooner than people seem to think.

So I repeat: Drill, drill, drill. Deregulate, decontrol, and unleash the American energy industry. Those hated traders will then keep selling oil as the laws of supply and demand and free markets keep working.

Bravo for Bush. Bravo for the traders.
Democrats, though, will, according to Michelle Malkin, continue, along with environmentalists, to hold our economy hostage. How long will the American people allow this? I don't know, but I'm going to fire off another letter to my elected representatives. The other ones don't seem to have done much good, but if they turn out to be part of an avalanche of letters and phone calls, maybe we can see some change from these so-called servants of the people.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Government Spending - Then and Now

I read a lot of history. I usually mark pages with a tiny bookmark if there's something I want to remember. Sometimes I go back and look through some of the things I marked. Sometimes after reading the marked pages, I forget what I marked. Sometimes I don't. A few months back, I read Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose. It's about the Lewis and Clark expedition, and I highly recommend it. It's a great adventure story, and a great lesson about what Americans can do when we put our minds to it. It was only a brief time ago when we lived in a "can do" culture. Somehow over the past 40 or so years, we've slowly convinced ourselves that we can't and that even if we could, we're not worthy of doing it. That's a mode of thought that must change if we're going to survive as a nation, and if our nation is going to be worthy of survival.

But that's not what I wanted to write about. As we get closer to November's presidential election, both candidates are making big promises. If elected, they are going to be generous with government largesse. Except for Obama. He's going to be really, really generous. But then, if I had access to billions and billions of dollars of other people's money, and if I could get elected president of the United States by promising some of this money to - let's say "encourage" people to vote for me, I might be just as bighearted, giving money to my friends in this country, and maybe a few spare dollars to friends in other countries, and if the government hasn't actually collected that money yet, what's a few billion dollars more added to our national debt? Who's going to notice? And outside of a few party poopers, who's going to care?

Things weren't always this way. On page 62 of Undaunted Courage, Ambrose talks about the White House and how it was run under John Adams and then Thomas Jefferson.
. . . His salary was $25,000 per year - a princely sum, but the expenses were also great. In 1801, Jefferson spent $6500 for provisions and groceries, $2700 for servants (some of whom were liveried) $500 for Lewis' salary, $3000 for wine. And it turned out he had to buy his own horses; Congress, thinking it an outrage the government should pay for the president's horses, ordered that the ones Adams had turned over to Jefferson be sold. Adams was so mortified over this action, that he left town before the inauguration.
How do we go back to that? Or at least something resembling fiscal responsibility? Maybe we can't.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.
Alexander Tytler
That depressing quote however, should not keep you from voting. Like Abraham Lincoln said,
Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Tony Snow

Since Tony Snow died, many have written about him. On the Right, the obituaries are sympathetic. On the left they are pathetic and despicable. I've only read some of them. I think the best pieces written about Snow, were written by the man himself. When it's my time, I hope I display the same fortitude, the same class, the same wit. I hope I can come close to the picture Tony Snow gives of his own battle with cancer.

How to be Sick, by Tony Snow
We live in an anaesthetized society. People have developed an almost hysterical aversion to pain, leading the Kevorkians among us to persuade frightened fools to prefer a numb death to a life buffeted by aches and pains.

Peter has discovered that diseases can humble us, hobble us, wear us down — but that only we can surrender our dignity and open the door to despair. The secret of learning to be sick is this: Illness doesn't make you less of what you were. You are still you. In many cases, a bout with sickness stretches your soul, opens your eyes, and introduces you to a world of unimagined grandeur, possibility and joy.

Counting our blessings and passing them on, by Tony Snow
Winston Churchill once noted that there is nothing quite so thrilling as being shot at without effect. One can say much the same thing of grappling with cancer, with one difference: When a bullet passes, you know it. When cancer passes, you have to wait at least five years to mop your brow in relief.

Still, the last few months — my time of surgery and chemo — have been the happiest and most thrilling of my life. They have confirmed lessons that seem at once too good to be true, and too important and vital not to be.
Tony Snow's critics are mental, moral, and emotional pygmies. They should be ashamed of the stupidity that they've demonstrated since Snow died. If they were a tiny bit smarter, they would realize how truly lame they are.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yeah, Boycott This!

Check out this website, Ads4Israel. Then ask yourself, what have we gotten from the Muslim world during the time when Israelis were creating these products?

Israel haters are, of course, free to boycott all of these products created in the "Zionist Entity".

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

On Teaching and Tutoring

They tell you that all children are different. And they're right. I'm spending mornings this summer as I do every summer, tutoring children in reading. I teach reading phonetically. As it should be taught. There are objective standards that have to be met by each student. Unlike the crap that we are supposed to teach in school, I can explain to a parent exactly where a student is, what they've learned, what they need to learn, and what kind of difficulties they are having if they are having difficulties. And the kids are privy to this knowledge too. They know what they need to do. There is no deciphering of nebulous subjective semi-standards. Nobody in the public school system in this country wants to hear that. That's OK. They will continue to create my clientele.

Dealing with children one on one, it becomes apparent early on, how well each student will be able to pick up on what I'm teaching. It has to do with different factors. How good is their recall? Some students start off having a tough time remembering all four sounds of the first phonogram. I've spent upwards of fifteen minutes with some students repeating those four sounds with them until they can repeat them on their own. Then they can begin writing and repeating. The good news is, even with these slow starters, once they've had enough practice, their memory improves. It gets - not necessarily easy, but it does get easier.

How hard are the students willing to work? Some will do everything I ask without complaint. Others begin whining and moaning as soon as they walk in the door and don't stop until they walk out. Some work for a while and then want to give up. Almost all students complain that their hand hurts the first few sessions. We do a lot of writing.

Are the parents willing to bring their child to my house on time for every session? No explanation needed.

Can the parents afford to bring their child until they've learned what they need to learn? I don't live in what you would call a wealthy area. My school is in an area that's even less wealthy, and that's where most of my tutoring students come from. Depending on how quickly their child learns though, it could end up costing a lot of money. On the other hand, some who cry poverty drive some pretty expensive cars. Some smoke. Almost all have cable TV or satellite TV, video game systems, and other things that I would consider nonessential when your child needs to learn how to read. I do occasionally offer discounts and on a few rare occasions, I have taught for free. But that is strictly at my discretion.

Some students have problems with reversals. Because I was trained how to do it (when I learned to teach Riggs ) I can fix those reversals. Sometimes that takes a few minutes. Sometimes it takes weeks or months of monitoring and frustration, but it does get fixed. In the public schools teachers are trained to refer that problem to the special education department, thereby insuring that it remains a lifelong disability.

Some students show such remarkable improvement just from learning the phonograms, they don't stick around very long.

One of the students I'm teaching now, breezed through the phonograms, learning the first 55 of them in a week and a half. He's got phenomenal recall. He's going into sixth grade, and he's reading on about a second grade level. As bright as he is, I've had to let him know that the third grade animal book he was reading was below him and he needs to stick his nose into some chapter books. Like so many kids today, he's bright but lazy. And he's past the age where he wants desperately to read. I think his father will give him the kick in the pants that he needs to move him along.

Another student is a foster child going into third grade. Think of him as being rescued. He's got difficulty speaking clearly. He doesn't use all of the sounds because he has difficulty pronouncing all of them. This caused him to have a really tough time with some of the phonograms. Sometimes he got angry at me, but he kept on working. He wants to read. We are now learning spelling and I think there may be some hearing issues too. He sounds out his words like he's supposed to, but then can't put the sounds together. For me, this is something new. I've been having to figure out how to make this work for him. Since in tutoring it's much easier to tailor each lesson to the individual, I was able to slow him down and we are taking extra time to address problem areas. He's going on vacation next week and that worries me. I don't know how much catching up we'll have to do when he returns.

I can do some individualizing in the classroom, but it takes a lot more effort. I also use my bright students to reteach slower students. It's always a tremendous amount of work. And sometimes my patience does wear thin. Over the years I've had to learn to be really patient. After all, that student who isn't getting it is as frustrated as I am. He wants to do well and is operating to the best of his abilities. I have to remember that and save the ranting for after the lesson is over and I am someplace alone.

All in all, I've learned more about teaching and how to teach since I've started teaching the Riggs method than I ever could have learned otherwise. The currently accepted reading and phonics "experts" like Patricia Cunningham and Lucy Calkins don't even know as much as some of the second and third graders that I've taught about the English language.

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Knock on the Door

By George Will. Sit down and read the whole thing.


The Most Fuel Efficient Car on the Market

Yes, you too can sock it to those nasty capitalist oil companies and those evil speculators when you buy the greenest car on the market. It's the only Al Gore approved auto there is. John Travolta, Sting, John Edwards, and Arianna Huffington all have one parked in their garage between their SUVs and their private jets. So, just like you did when you attended the Live Earth Concert, help save the Earth and buy one today! In fact this car is so fuel efficient, so green, so unique, it had to be given a name that sets it apart from other mere automobiles.

It's called the Yabadabadomobile, and if you are as serious about the environment as you claim to be, you will buy one as soon as you return from the Rothbury Festival. You will be the greenest person on your block, and all of your friends will be green with envy.

The standard Yabadabadomobile is shown above. Check out the option packages at your local dealer.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Media Bias in Detroit?

I wasn't sure if this was worth mentioning, but it's been annoying me for the past couple of days, so I'd better write about it. The Detroit Free Press, our more liberal paper (not to be confused with the more conservative Detroit News that carries a regular column by Hezbollah-delegate-in-Dearborn Imam Ehahi) ran an article with the following headline:
Construction worker goes on a spree.
What construction worker? Where? What kind of spree? Gambling? Spending? Drinking? The subheading only added to the obfuscation:
3 killed, dozens wounded in Jerusalem.
These two lines seem to have nothing in common unless you had already read the story on the Internet. Or unless you wonder what the writer is talking about and you read the article following the headlines. And then you know - the "construction worker" was a Palestinian on a murder spree. My, how unusual. Who could have possibly guessed?
JERUSALEM -- A Palestinian construction worker commandeered a construction vehicle and rampaged through central Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing three people in what police later called the act of a lone attacker.

Dozens were injured as the front loader flattened cars and flipped a crowded bus before its driver was shot dead by an Israeli soldier on leave who scrambled onto the vehicle.

The attack evoked memories of the politically motivated suicide bombings during the second Palestinian uprising, but police said the man appeared to have no ties to militant groups.

Three Palestinian groups claimed responsibility for Wednesday's rampage, but police officials dismissed them.

Police identified the driver as Hosam Dwayyat, a married, 30-year-old father of two who lived in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.
Near the end, we read,
Moshe Plesser, an 18-year-old Israeli soldier who just finished basic training, said the man yelled "God is great" in Arabic before trying to continue with his rampage. The officer then fired a final shot in the back of the driver's head.

"To our regret, the attackers do not cease coming up with new ways to strike at the heart of the Jewish people here in Jerusalem," Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski said.
So you really have to dig to get all of the facts. But sometimes, even if you read the whole article, all of the facts just aren't there. For example, The Free Press also ran a glowing piece called:
Palestinian Christian leader calls for American support
OK, he wants American support for what?
Archbishop Theodosius Attallah Hanna, of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, visited an Arab-American church in Livonia on Wednesday and an Islamic center in Dearborn, where he met and spoke with a range of religious and community leaders.

“As a religious man, I ask for justice for the Palestinians,” Hanna told the Free Press in an interview at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn. “Defending human rights is a duty for Christians and religious people.”

The archbishop, who heads the Palestinian Orthodox church in Jerusalem, said through a translator that:

“My wish is that the American people understand what the Palestinians go through,” he said. “Their struggle is a just struggle”
Oh, now I understand. He wants American support to help with the dismantling of Israel and the destruction of the Jewish people. Typical Muslim demand, but this is from an alleged Christian. Talking to a friend about it, he suggested that Hanna may be under pressure from Hamas. Since Israel abandoned Gaza and parts of the West Bank to Muslim control, the Christian minority has been getting forced out, and clergy have been murdered by gunmen. So that is a possibility. But according to Debbie Schlussel,
Hanna was fired by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate because of his open support for terrorism. But Hanna continues to claim he speaks on behalf of the Church, anyway.

He has repeatedly expressed his support for homicide bombers and "all forms and methods" of "resistance," not only against Israel, but also U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Hanna proudly paraded his views to HAMAS' news agency:

These martyrdom freedom fighters are the heroes of the people, and we are proud of them. We categorically reject suspicious attempts to cast suspicion on their deeds. They are not suicidal, as some are claiming. Nor are they terrorists, as others are claiming. They are resisting the occupation.

Hanna also said,

We support the martyrdom [suicide] operations without any reservations, regardless of what skeptics and opponents of this form of resistance are saying.

In a January 2003 sermon marking the Epiphany and the baptism of Jesus, Hanna said,

We do not believe in so-called "peace with Israel" because peace cannot be made with Satan. Israel is the greatest Satan. No concession and no truce must be made [with Israel]. Any type of peace with this entity is concession, submission, and retreat from pan-Arab and national principles . . . . We encourage our youth to participate in the resistance, to carry out martyrdom attacks.

Hanna has repeatedly traveled to Syria and Lebanon to meet with Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, Secretary-General of Hezbollah, the terrorist group that murdered over 300 U.S. Marines and civilians in Beirut.
So there you have it, the Free Press, when it comes to Israel, is engaged in a campaign of omission of facts, hiding facts, and writing half truths. But as the saying goes, "A half truth is a whole lie." That's why I get more of my news from the Internet than I do from my daily newspaper. If it weren't for the comics, I would have no use for a newspaper at all.

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Israelis Contributed to Daring Colombian Hostage Rescue

According to Smooth Stone:
Contrary to what you've been spoonfed by the Jew-hating Arab-loving left, every single time something good is done, whether it is a doctor saving a child's life, or a ravaged town needing its citizens rescued from a disaster, you can pretty much count on the fact that Israel was involved in the attempts to save a life.

Smooth then quotes from: the Israeli newspaper, Ha'artz:

Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, who was released after six years in captivity on Wednesday, compared her "impeccable" rescue operation to Israeli commando operations and Israel indeed contributed to the daring rescue mission. The Israelis involved in the operation feel it is important to accord the credit to Colombia.

"It's a Colombian Entebbe operation," former IDF General Staff operations chief Brig.-Gen. (res.) Israel Ziv said Thursday. A year and a half ago, Colombia asked Israel for help in its struggle against FARC, which had become a militia specializing in kidnapping civilians and military figures for ransom.

The Israeli activity, involving dozens of security experts, was coordinated by Global CST, owned by Ziv and Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yosef Kuperwasser, former head of IDF Military Intelligence's research division.

A company source said, "We helped them prepare themselves to fight terror. We helped them to plan operations and strategies and develop intelligence sources."

Israelis also provided equipment and intelligence technology.
This aspect of the amazing rescue story will most likely not appear in either of Detroit's daily newspapers or in any other newspaper in the United States. It doesn't fit the current morally inverted paradigm being shoved down the throat of the American public by the MSM. Thanks to Smoothstone for picking up on it and helping to spread the word.

For more of what the MSM won't report about Israel because it will invalidate the picture they are trying to paint of the Jewish state, visit Israel 21c.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Alternative History of The United States

Forget Howard Zinn and the other revisionist historians. He and they are absolute and total morons, complete dopes, utter fools, ultramaroons. The real secret (shhhhh) history of The United States is over at The People's Cube, the site I swiped this picture from, and the funniest satirical site on the Web.

Happy Independence Day! And yes, I have to go for a laugh today.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

The World vs Israel

Jeff Jacoby has written a painfully correct assessment of the Israel - Hezbollah War of 2006.
Never before had Israel's deterrent capability and its reputation for military indomitability suffered such a blow. For the first time in its history, Israel had faced an Arab army in battle and failed to defeat it. When the hostilities ended with the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, Hezbollah was still on its feet, bloodied but decidedly unbowed.

Two years on, Israel is still paying for its defeat.

In a humiliating capitulation last week, the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to free five Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists, plus a still-undetermined number of other security prisoners, in exchange for the corpses of Regev and Goldwasser. Among those to be turned loose is the notorious Palestinian murderer Samir Kuntar, who in 1979 savagely killed 4-year-old Einat Haran by smashing her skull against a rock with his rifle butt, having first shot her father in the back and then drowned him in the sea. Kuntar, who also killed two policemen and was responsible for the death of Einat's 2-year-old sister, is today being hailed as a hero by Israel's enemies. The Palestinian Authority calls him a "brave warrior," and Beirut is festooned with his picture.
At the time it was obvious and it is still obvious that part of the reason for Israel's poor performance was its unfortunate leadership. Ehud Olmert is not, and as far as I can see, has never been a leader. Every day this insane loser is in office, the knife goes a little deeper into Israel's back. If he were a real leader, he would have resigned the day after his disgraceful performance during that war.

The other problem is that Israel was not only battling Hezbollah. Among the allies of Hezbollah and who were also lined up against the tiny Jewish state were: the entire Muslim world, almost all of the Mainstream Media who bought all of the Hezbollah propaganda as truth, the UN, including UNIFIL, who, as reported by The Weekly Standard and other publications,
DURING THE RECENT month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel, U.N. "peacekeeping" forces made a startling contribution: They openly published daily real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon.

UNIFIL--the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a nearly 2,000-man blue-helmet contingent that has been present on the Lebanon-Israel border since 1978--is officially neutral. Yet, throughout the recent war, it posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.

Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces. Statements on the order of Hezbollah "fired rockets in large numbers from various locations" and Hezbollah's rockets "were fired in significantly larger numbers from various locations" are as precise as its coverage of the other side ever got.
And to this day,
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is intentionally concealing information about Hezbollah activities south of the Litani River in Lebanon to avoid conflict with the group, senior sources in Jerusalem have said. In the last six months there have been at least four cases in which UNIFIL soldiers identified armed Hezbollah operatives, but did nothing and did not submit full reports on the incidents to the UN Security Council.
This is in addition to the normal anti-Semitism expressed regularly by the so-called UN Commission on Human Rights and in the Security Council.

Then there are the various NGOs and alleged human rights organizations, some of the more liberal church groups, and the peace groups, including some headed by Jews and some inside of Israel itself. The Jewish groups are the worst. For some reason, they buy into the same anti-Israel propaganda that the rest of the enemies of Israel believe, including the most pernicious one going around today, the myth of the omnipotent Jewish lobby that controls US foreign policy at the behest of Israel, a paranoid fantasy straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

All of these allies of Hezbollah are still around today and still waiting for the next war. They will pounce on Israel again. Israel will have very few dependable allies. The United States will be one, unless Obama is elected president. Then, I have my doubts. Then our country may be divided. Evangelical Christians will always be in Israel's corner, but as I've chronicled before, most Jews are too deluded to realize how dependable evangelicals are, because evangelicals are, alas, not ideologically pure. Then there is the small cadre of independent bloggers and conservative websites and organizations. We try to alert the world, but the world doesn't want to listen. The world needs its scapegoat.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Population or Overpopulation?

Environmental doomsayers have been predicting . . . uh . . . doom . . . for the past 40 years. I remember in elementary and junior high school, way back in the 1960s, reading and hearing all of the rabid, fear inducing pronouncements on the end of civilization, the end of the human race, the end of all life on Earth, the end of the Earth. And yet, here in the future, in the 21st century, for heaven's sake, the human population of the Earth has doubled. That can only mean that the Earth, civilization, and humanity are still here.

The doomsayers are still crying out with their message of death, doom, and destruction. This time, THIS TIME, they insist, as they've been warning us all along, we really are doomed. Or are we?

Back in the 1968, Paul Ehrlich's predictions of doom and gloom in his book, The Population Bomb never came to pass. Did he recant his obviously mistaken thesis? No, that mode of thought where you admit your mistakes when they are proven wrong, is passe in some circles. Instead, he restated the same thing in a later book, The Population Explosion, which may have come out in 1991. He also had an article in The Atlantic back in 1997, saying much of the same stuff that he claimed in his books. Michael Fumento fisks that article and Mr. Ehrlich here.
Ehrlich, a butterfly specialist, began his spectacular doomsaying career back in 1968 with his best-selling book "The Population Bomb." Among his predictions then and since:

* "The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines . . . hundreds of millions of people (including Americans) are going to starve to death." (1968)
* "Smog disasters" in 1973 might kill 200,000 people in New York and Los Angeles. (1969)
* "I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." (1969)
* "Before 1985, mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity . . . in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion." (1976)
It's not only Paul Ehrlich though. There are websites devoted to predicting the same unfounded Malthusian garbage that Ehrlich has made a career out of. At Culture Change, we are warned that,
The ecosystem's capacity for humans has been exceeded by a factor of ten, according to the logic of Overshoot by William Catton: the amount of stored energy from the sun (including fossil fuels) humans use is the equivalent of ten earths' intake of usable solar energy for photosynthesis.

If one tenth of today's population is what thereby could survive sustainably, that would have to be in a healthy ecosystem. But when the ecosystem has been poisoned, trashed and depleted—e.g., millions of tons of topsoil are lost daily due to modern agricultural practices—then the survival rate would only be perhaps one tenth of the one tenth! Intrinsic is the role of petroleum, which is going to "be history" early this century.

World population growth has slowed down a little in recent years, like a runaway train dropping down to 90 miles per hour from 100 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the world's biggest polluter, the U.S., has a hidden policy for population growth through massive and mostly legal immigration. The U.S. is headed for over 300,000,000 people before 2010. No other industrial nation is growing in population, besides the UK. Perhaps the estimate of 1/3 the world's present waste being generated by the U.S. is too low by now.
And wouldn't you know it, they're fans of Paul Ehrlich. They recommend his latest book on the dangers of overpopulation, written with Anne Ehrlich, One With Nineveh. This guy never gives up. But why should he, when he's got an audience that will lap up every incorrect claim with the same view that even though the reality is the exact opposite of his Ehrlich's predictions, if we just wait long enough-.

On the other hand, along with the afore mentioned Michael Fumento, we have Walter Williams. And Williams says,
For most of mankind's existence, he has been self-sufficient and spent most of his time simply eking out a living. In pre-industrial societies, and in some places today, the most optimistic scenario for the ordinary person was to be able to eke out enough to meet his physical needs for another day. With the rise of industrialization and development of markets, and the concomitant rise in human productivity that yielded seemingly ceaseless economic progress, it was no longer necessary for mankind to spend his entire day to meet his physical needs. People became able to satisfy these needs with less and less time. This made it possible for more people to have the time to read, become educated in the sciences and liberal arts, gain more knowledge and become more productive. The resulting wealth also enabled them the opportunity to develop spiritually and culturally through attending the arts and participate in other life activities that were formerly within the purview of the rich.

Contrary to the myths we hear about how overpopulation causes poverty, poor health, unemployment, malnutrition and overcrowding, human beings are the most valuable resource and the more of them the better. There is absolutely no relationship between high populations and economic despair.
His message is the exact opposite of Ehrlich, Gore, and the other environmental snake oil salesmen. So which one is right?

Look around you. Compare what humanity has now to what it had 40, or 100, or 1000 years ago, and you can only conclude (if you're being honest and apolitical) that Williams is correct. So why do so many people still accept what Ehrlich says? I don't know, but I have to assume that it has a lot to do with the kind of thinking that still accepts Communism as a viable economic system even though it has a perfect 100% record of failure, the same people that still believe that children don't need explicit phonics instruction in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

So I will keep hounding my elected representatives to let oil companies drill in ANWR and on the continental shelf, keep taxes low, and stay out of people's business, because, as Walter Williams says,
The greatest threat to mankind's prosperity is government. A recent example is Zimbabwe's increasing misery. Like our country, Zimbabwe had a flourishing agriculture sector, so much so it was called the breadbasket of southern Africa. Today, its people are on the brink of starvation as a result of its government. It's the same story in many countries — government interference with mankind's natural tendency to engage in wealth-producing activities. Blaming poverty on overpopulation not only lets governments off the hook; it encourages the enactment of harmful policies.
UPDATE: I forgot to include this George Carlin video. While I don't agree with all of what he says (But I do agree with a lot on this one), I completely respect his delight in getting as many people angry with him as he can. I found it at American Digest. This is George Carlin, so there is a LANGUAGE WARNING.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

For the Love of Despots

A friend of mine is trying to talk her son out of applying to Harvard. They gave a platform to former Iranian President Khatami. Of course, David Ellwood, the dean of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, had the noblest of motives for inviting an Islamic tyrant to Harvard:
``Do we listen to those that we disagree with, and vigorously challenge them, or do we close our ears completely?" said David Ellwood, the Kennedy School's dean, in an interview with the Globe.
My, how inspirational. I wonder if Ellwood's challenge to Khatami did any good. I doubt it. But this isn't the first questionable guest to speak at Harvard. Back in the 1930s, Harvard was quite a welcoming campus to Nazis.
The Harvard University administration during the 1930s, led by President James Conant, ignored numerous opportunities to take a principled stand against the Hitler regime and the antisemitic outrages it perpetrated, and contributed to Nazi Germany's efforts to improve its image in the West. The administration's lack of concern about Nazi antisemitism was shared by many influential Harvard alumni and students. A faculty panel that supervised a mock trial of Hitler in 1934 ruled that Hitler's anti-Jewish actions were "irrelevant" to the debate. Nazi leaders were warmly welcomed to the Harvard campus and invited to prestigious social events, as the Harvard administration strove to build friendly relations with thoroughly Nazified universities in Germany. By doing so, Harvard's administration and many of its student leaders offered important encouragement to the Hitler regime as it intensified its persecution of the Jews and strengthened its armed forces.
And that was only the beginning. Read the rest of the article and see how far Harvard actually sunk. And we must not forget another anti-Semitic episode at Harvard.
In 1922, Harvard's president, A. Lawrence Lowell, proposed a quota on the number of Jews gaining admission to the university. Lowell was convinced that Harvard could only survive if the majority of its students came from old American stock. Lowell argued that cutting the number of Jews at Harvard to a maximum of 15% would be good for the Jews, because limits would prevent further anti-Semitism. Lowell reasoned, “The anti-Semitic feeling among the students is increasing, and it grows in proportion to the increase in the number of Jews. If their number should become 40% of the student body, the race feeling would become intense.”
Oops! It was for our own good. My apologies to Harvard for questioning its motives. I'm sure Iran wants to nuke Israel "for its own good" too. Their biggest fault is that they care too much for Jews. Just like Stephen Walt. To Harvard's credit, they've distanced themselves from Walt.

And then there's Columbia University, who invited the current president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak. There was quite a debate going at the time, but in the end, he spoke at Columbia. And hey, guess what, back in the 1930s, Columbia (in the interests of free speech, I'm sure) also had ties to the Nazis.
* Columbia invited Nazi ambassador Hans Luther to speak on campus in 1933 (about Hitler's "peaceful intentions") and university president Nicholas Murray Butler hosted a reception for him;

* Columbia continued student exchanges with Nazi-controlled German universities in the 1930s, even after a Nazi official characterized German exchange students as "political soldiers of the Reich";

* Columbia sent a delegate to a celebration at the University of Heidelberg in 1936, even after it had been purged of Jewish faculty members, instituted a Nazi curriculum, and hosted a burning of books by Jewish authors; and

* Columbia permanently expelled student Robert Burke after he led an anti-Nazi rally outside President Butler's mansion.
But we shouldn't make a big deal out of it because,
Columbia Provost Alan Brinkley told the online journal Inside Higher Ed (Nov. 27): "If the events that Professor Norwood describes are examples of ‘collaboration,’ then the collaborators include many thousands of leaders and citizens of the United States, Britain, and many other nations."

In other words, "Everyone-was-doing-it, so don't blame us."
This is not a condemnation of American higher education. I'm just questioning the morality of those in charge of two prestigious American universities. They do seem to love their dictators. And don't forget Larry Summers was purgedfrom Harvard for not toeing the official party line. Why do they have to make excuses to give platforms to thugs and murderers? I think I would try to talk my children out of going to either of those universities too.

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