Sunday, June 26, 2005

A Conservative’s View on a Few Things by Ichabod Crane

A Conservative’s View on a Few Things:

Homosexual Marriage.

Right to Life/Pro Choice.

Separation of Church and State.

Pornography v Free Speech.

Gun Control.

Homosexual Marriage

(Can’t find it in the Constitution)

That is, I don’t see a denial of rights. I can marry a person of opposite sex and so can a homosexual; I can’t marry a same-sex person, neither can a homosexual. The Civil Rights issue, insofar as being like blacks is nonsense. Homosexuality may be something that is, at least and in part, genetic, but practicing it is behavior. A black person is a black person whatever they do. There is a large difference between a behavioral and a racial difference.

Nevertheless, although I am opposed to homosexual marriage, I have no personal problem with homosexuals. Having said that I would like to qualify it by saying that I am more ‘Pro Traditional Marriage’ than I am ‘Anti Homosexual Marriage,’ if there is a difference and I think the difference is huge.

I believe that, in a secular sense, any two people who love each other and wish to share their lives and their fortunes should be allowed to do so. As the number of same-sex couples in this category have increased, society has to make allowances for and an accounting to them; however, not at the expense of tradition and the foundation of civilization. A new category needs to be implemented, something like Domestic Partnership or Civil Union.

A Civil Union needs to be defined as a subset of marriage, not because the people involved are inferior, but because their needs are a subset of what marriage is in the first place. All those benefits gained in marriage that have nothing to do with the making and raising families should be granted in a Civil Union, that is where the subset is really defined.

Marriage, as it is employed around the world, and since before recorded history, is not about ‘love’ as such, but about making and raising children. Consider that many cultures arrange marriages; marriages of ‘love’ are a recent development in the history of civilization and have no real base in what marriage is. Even in Western society marriages are still arranged; it is only the ‘common’ folk that let nature take its course insofar as marriage is concerned (and there are still the machinations of mothers everywhere. Jack and Jackie Kennedy’s marriage was arranged, for example.)

Royal marriages are another great example of arranged pairings. Many countries still arrange marriages, even for more common folk, and even while the people, being ‘brokered,’ are still children. There are many reasons for this; ‘breeding’ and ‘fortunes’ are among them. The ultimate purpose is so that the children of the marriage benefit the brokers and perhaps themselves where fortunes are concerned. Inbreeding is avoided; and the best mixing of the gene-pool is a desirable outcome. The point is, in this and all other traditional marriage scenarios, is breeding, something totally missing with same-sex marriage.

Although some of these marriages are fruitless, that is not the common result. Marriage, as far as history and tradition go, is the product of the fruitful mating of the people involved; and that has always been the point. Other benefits granted to those couples have been secondary to the fruitful nature of the matings. How do homosexuals fit this mold?

Homosexual pairings only allow for the secondary benefits due to the sterile nature of their pairings. Of course, in today’s society, adoption is a possibility and a very good thing at that. (Well, maybe; it is to be seen how a child reared by two men or two women will adjust to modern life. There are many hurdles for them, not just the obvious ones of peer-pressure and bullying until [if] gay parenting become common enough to not be an area of differentiation in the school-yard.) I think that homosexual couples, joined in a Civil Union, who adopt should be granted full marriage benefits up to and including being accepted as being married. That needs to be addressed.

The differences between a Civil Union and Traditional Marriage need to be defined and unified between the various states in order to have an orderly society. Civil Unions should also be available, and perhaps mandatory, for heterosexual people who have no plan or are unable to produce children. (A marriage with a woman past menopause should be automatically relegated to a Civil Union, for example; or one with a man/woman who has had a vasectomy/tubal ligation.) That is to say that sterile pairing should be a Civil Union whereas a fertile couple gets married.

The only real differences between the two ‘joinings’ would be the name and certain tax categories. For example, why would a sterile couple be allowed those tax breaks designed to assist a fertile couple in the raising of a family unless there was an adoption? A sterile couple’s status should be ‘upgraded’ to ‘married’ as part of the adoption process.

Obviously this entire concept needs to be debated and settled. The point here is that this Conservative, and many that I’ve heard, is not being homophobic over the issue of marriage, just in support of the traditional or child-rearing definition of marriage. I am in full agreement that homosexuals need certain (secular) protections and rights insofar as insurance, inheritance, and other common rights accorded to other members of society and not denied due to their sexual predilection.

Right to Life/Pro Choice

(Can’t find it in the Constitution)

There are three rights defined (and prioritized, IMHO) in the Declaration of Independence and they are “The right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Without Life there can be neither Liberty nor Happiness; without Liberty there cannot be a Pursuit of anything, much less Happiness.

Abortion denies the baby life but avails the mother of her Pursuit of Happiness; this is a ‘no-brainer’ – the Right to life simply trumps the Pursuit of Happiness. The mother has other options including giving the baby up for adoption. (With the advent of Civil Unions, there will be a much greater need for babies to adopt.) Why this abomination has been allowed in a civilized country, unchecked by any decent restriction is a moral outrage; but things get even worse.

To allow abortions for narrowly defined reasons might be a reasonable, even enlightened in a modern society; but for simple birth control is an outrage against life itself. Some people even want to use the aborted fetus’s for food and or medicine; how is either category not cannibalism?

The very worse usage of this practice is in the procedure commonly called ‘partial birth abortion.’ This abortion is when a full-term baby is delivered to the point of the head ‘crowning’ then stopped and the head punctured with a large hypodermic type pipe and the brain sucked out of the baby’s skull. The dead baby is then delivered as usual and tossed in the garbage.

A judge voided a law disallowing this procedure because it disallows for the health of the mother. How does delivering a baby without a brain differ to any woman’s health from delivering a baby with a brain? Does hearing it cry make the woman sick? How about, instead, killing the mother then delivering the baby by caesarian section? That would account much better for the health of the baby and the mental health of the woman! Everybody wins!

As to how we deal with first-trimester abortions, how about some nice, tight restriction on that as well. Oh, we need to give the woman more choices? It would seem like the woman on an abortion table already made a lot of bad choices already; why should we think she’s making a good one now? OK, what circumstances should be allowed? Children under eighteen-years-old (pick an age, 15?); victims of rape, incest (redundant?), the father/mother has a disease that is threatening to the baby or mother; what else? Simple birth control is hideous!

Separation of Church and State

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…

First of all there is no such statement or definition as ‘Separation of Church and State’ in the Constitution. The First Amendment is very, very simple in stating that Congress (which the Constitution just defined) cannot establish a religion (as with England’s Church of England) nor could it prohibit anyone’s free exercise of any religion. It doesn’t say that Congress or the Federal Government can’t recognize that religion exists, nor prohibit it from sponsoring religions, just not any one over the others.

For example, there is nothing in the Constitution that says that school vouchers can’t be given for parents to use for religious schools, it would just not have any say in which religious school it could or couldn’t be used in. That would be the sole choice of the parents.

Another example would be that the Federal Government would have no say in any religious involvement that any State might get involved in. The Constitution says Congress is prohibited, not the States, and (in the Tenth Amendment) the States (or the People) have jurisdiction of all things not in the domain of Congress. That is, if Rhode Island decided to establish Wicca as the Church of RI, then the Federal Government would have no say over it and RI would have its state religion insofar as the people of RI let their State Government get away with it.

As far as that goes, the Federal Appellate Court had no jurisdiction whatsoever insofar as the case of Judge Moore [and his sculpture of the Ten Commandments in the State Supreme Court of Alabama] was concerned. That was a clear violation of the State of Alabama’s rights as stated in the Tenth Amendment (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.)

How could this issue be any simpler? Organizations like the ACLU obfuscate the First Amendment so that their lawyers can get experience (and, later, big-buck clients) by twisting this issue in order to promote either atheism or, at least, anti-Christianity. They do seem to leave Judaism and Islam alone, even where public displays are concerned. (It is noteworthy to remember that the Ten Commandment sculpture of Judge Moore and others were described as symbols of Christianity! They got away with that in spite of the real fact the Ten Commandments (and Moses, the law-giver) predates Christianity by several millennia!)

This issue is the very heart and soul of our country, how we survive as a nation will depend on how this issue, more than any other, is resolved. It is time for the social pendulum to start swinging to the right; we are way too far left in this, as well as the other, issues.

Pornography v Free Speech

Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press

No right is absolute. You can’t scream “fire” in a theater, nor print slander against another citizen, for example. The problem lies in where to draw the line. Civilization and culture depends on where that line is. Too broad and there is anarchy; too fine and there is tyranny.

Just because ‘pornography’ is indefinable, legally, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We all have an understanding of what it is, but we all differ on where to draw the line. So what? Some of the original definitions by the Supreme Court made great sense; let the individual communities define it for themselves. Then the ACLU argued against various community standards and the Supreme Court tripped on its own feet. They started to second guess the communities, that they originally empowered, and said that they, the Supreme Court, was the Supreme arbiter of community standards.

Once the Supreme Court abdicated its decision to the ACLU then there were no standards allowed. How long will child pornography restrictions go on? With no standards or definition of what pornography is, how long can modifying it with ‘Child’ get by? If sticking a horse penis up a woman’s nose isn’t pornography, than how can sticking a horse penis up a six-years-old girl’s nose be ‘child pornography?

Not to worry, liberal people, soon there will be no child pornography laws on the books either. With no definitions of pornography how long, after all, can there be a definition of Child Pornography?

Let’s get some common sense back into the country and let town council’s and city’ board of directors (or whatever) decide what level of open, written and pictured sexuality that can be displayed in store shelves, theaters and video rental places. The community should say where this material is distributed. Let them define, as best they can, what constitutes pornography and what age can either view and/or participate in it.

I believe that adults should be able to have access to explicit sexual material, but I do not believe that it is in the best interest of growing children to have that same access. There needs to be some regulation and the community level is where it should be. Everybody’s interests should be assuaged by demanding that there be some outlet for adults to have access, but allow communities to restrict what is and isn’t available elsewhere.

Note, again, that only Congress is prohibited here, not the States, nor the people! The Supreme Court is, once again, out of its jurisdiction! The ACLU needs a muzzle!

Gun Control

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Alexander Hamilton, who wrote this amendment, summed up the meaning and purpose of it in the Federalist Papers by telling us that it was to insure that the people always had the final control over the new government that they (the founding fathers) were proposing in the event that it (the Government) got out of control!

It would seem, to project his thesis to the present, that the government shouldn’t have any armament that the people were restricted from! No weapon in the military arsenal should be prohibited, just regulated. All weapons should be available to, at least, organized militias.

The way that firearms are relegated in the Military is a good example of how they should be regulated to the people; all soldiers have rifles and assault weapons, squads have heavier weapons (machine guns), platoons have more (anti-tank weapons, mortars), etc. Local, State and Multi-State Militias should have the same organization and access to armaments. Individuals can have pistols, shotguns, and assault weapons, community militias (gun clubs, etc.) should have access to automatic weapons and light machine guns; County Militias should have mortars, anti-tank and ant-aircraft weapons; etc. to where a multi-state militia might have bombers and any weapons that the military has.

The only regulation should be taxes levied by the BATF and the size of the militia that different classes of weapons can be distributed to. Atom bombs should have a large tax stamp from the BATF and only be allowed in very large, multi-state militias! (The number of states involved would also need to be regulated, but no more than a super majority for the top weapons should be needed.)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Limits of Dissent - By: Bill O'Reilly for

Bill says it so succinctly, how could I improve on it? By showing it to everybody I know, that's how!

-- Ichabod Crane


The Limits of Dissent

By: Bill O'Reilly for

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005

No country can win a conflict the way the USA is fighting the war on terror. Every move the Bush administration makes is scrutinized, criticized and roundly chastised by dissenters who firmly believe the President, himself, is responsible for much of the anti-American hatred around the world. The chorus is deafening. Bush "lied" about Iraq. Bush is violating civil liberties by supporting the Patriot Act. The President sanctions torture and is a major human rights violator. Every day there is another page one story telling Americans we are the bad guys.

The dissenters claim that what they're doing is patriotic, that they love America and just want to improve it. They claim that loyal dissent is one of the finest traditions of democracy.

But there is a difference between dissenting from a war and trying to undermine a war, which is clearly what some Americans are doing. Senator Richard Durbin's recent comments comparing a few rough interrogations at Guantanamo Bay to what the Soviets and Nazis did was number one with a bullet on Al Jazeera. That anti-American network couldn't get enough of Dick Durbin. For days his opinion echoed through the Arab world, inflaming even more hatred toward the USA.

Like Jane Fonda, Durbin claimed he was just trying to stop an immoral policy. But that argument is hollow in the face of the facts. More than 68,000 interrogations have taken place since 9/11 and the alleged abuses number in the hundreds. The Pentagon says it is actively prosecuting valid cases of abuse and, in a time of war, it might be wise to give the U.S. military the benefit of the doubt.

During World War II, widely considered the last "good" war, there was tight government control of information. No pictures of dead American soldiers were released to the public until 1943, two years after the conflict began. The Office of War Information made it quite clear to the press that any intentional undermining of the conflict would be punished. Even Hollywood scripts and newsreels were vetted. The U.S. government strictly censored what Americans saw and heard about the war, even where atrocities were concerned.

After German SS troops massacred 86 American soldiers at Malmedy in Belgium on December 17th, 1944, some units like the US 11th Armored Division took revenge on captured German soldiers. In the Pacific, relatively few Japanese prisoners were taken in the brutal island fights. But the folks back home never heard about those things or what techniques were used to interrogate prisoners who might know where the next ambush would be. The American military did what they had to do in order to win. As General Patton once said to his army: "I do not advocate standing Germans up against the wall and shooting them ... so shoot the sons of bitches before you get them to the wall."

George Patton would not be allowed to serve in combat today. The New York Times would make sure of that. The International Red Cross would be all over Patton and his aggressive Third Army. Dick Durbin would be appalled. But it is Patton that we need right now to defeat the barbarians who would kill all of us in the name of Allah. The "human rights" people really have no clue. The war on terror is the ultimate war. If Al Qaeda gets nuclear weapons, those people will use them.

It is true that the United States must stand above the Huns. We must not stoop to torturing detainees or committing battlefield atrocities. But mistakes happen in all wars and we are now fighting an invisible enemy. They wear no uniforms, they obey no rules of engagement.

It is time for Americans to decide exactly who is looking out for them. The government and military, which is trying to defeat vicious killers, or those who are on a jihad to undermine the war on terror in the name of patriotism? The battle lines are clearly drawn. Which side are you on?


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Thursday, June 23, 2005

The brink of extinction, us or them. - by Ichabod Crane

“Men of energy of character must have enemies; because there are two sides to every question, and taking one with decision, and acting on it with effect, those who take the other will of course be hostile in proportion as they feel that effect.” --Thomas Jefferson

This, of course, explains why the left is so rabid these days, things are really going too well on the war front and they don’t want you to know about it. Naturally, these seditious sons of bitches would be even more rabid were the war going badly, but it isn’t so they are just foaming-at-the-mouth mad about that.

What do you think is more important; or troops, allied troops and Iraqi citizens getting killed, or getting a Democrat back into the White House (to further pillage it)? Of course getting back into the White House is more important! So what if a few ‘working class’ shmucks get killed for it, that’s what they’re there for!

The war is all but lost now, regardless of what’s going on in Iraq or Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world. All the terrorists have to do is ‘stay the course’ for a while and the left - the media and the demo-lition derby in Congress - will hand the world to them like they did for the Vietnamese. The trouble here, though,, is that the terrorists, unlike the Vietnamese, will come here and kill us all! They said they will, they have to some degree, and there is no reason to doubt them. They will come and come and come until we are all dead, dead, dead (or on our knees, on a prayer rug, in a very convincing and contrite manner, praying to Allah for forgiveness).

Perhaps at some point they offer a cease-fire or a treaty, should we take it? Absolutely not! There are many papers written by terrorist organizations that specifically condone making, then breaking any treaty with infidels without dishonor.

There is no way to win except to utterly defeat such a monstrous philosophy. Israel knows this but we continually make them commit slow suicide, and the Palestinians relentlessly kill them. The Palestinians make treaties then send in the suicide bombers; they make cease-fires and send in the suicide bombers; the sun rises and they send in the suicide bombers; the sun sets and the bombs go off. For what reason do they do this?

The Gaza Strip was never a Palestinian territory, it was Egyptian! The West Bank was never Palestinian Territory, it was Syrian. What claim do the Palestinians have on these territories and why do we continue to make Israel relinquish them? When are we going to learn how to deal with terrorism? They need to be utterly and totally crushed, beyond any possibility or reprisal. The only way they will stop is to bring them to the brink of extinction.

It will take a long time to learn that, but if we are to survive then learn it we must. It is the only way; the terrorists insist!

Flag Amendment - by Ichabod Crane

An Open letter to the President and members of Congress (and yes, I sent it to them directly!).
Dear Sir(s):

It seems that the Congress is again trying to make an amendment to protect the symbol of our liberty. It seems oxymoronic to me that they would deprive someone of their liberty for their having done nothing more than ‘desecrating’ a piece of cloth, regardless of the design on that cloth.

Please do not misunderstand me, I am a Marine Corps Veteran of the Vietnam War and love my country and its flag dearly; however, I love the freedoms and liberties that it represents even more. Of course I would rather that a person who would burn a flag in protest first wrap it around themselves; but, better a piece of cloth burnt than to punish a person for an act that harms absolutely no one.

This amendment would lead to a plethora of unenforceable laws that conceivably would criminalize a huge segment of the population for such things as having a pen with a flag motif; disposing of a used envelope improperly if it had a flag stamp on it; proudly wearing clothing that had designs based on the flag1; displaying and disposing of bunting and other decorations; etc.

I spent four years in the USMC and had the sad duty on many occasions to be part of a color-guard detail at military funerals for fallen comrades, casualties of the war in Vietnam. I always felt that we were fighting for what the flag represented, not for the object itself.

Then I have to ask just how big of a problem all this flag burning really is anyway? When and where, in this country, was this dastardly deed done recently? How often does it happen that Congress feels the need to modify that wonderful document that is our Constitution?

Our country is defined by our constitution and as such, in order for us to be the Land of the Free, there should never be a “Thou Shall Not…” in it directed towards the people; but rather, all the “Thou Shall Nots” should be exclusively directed towards the government, in order to protect the people.

The Bill of Rights is full of “Congress Shall Nots” and that is the direction that the founders wanted it to go. Note that there is nothing in the Bill of Rights proscribing the people from any action; that is what it means to be free.

This proposed amendment to protect the flag from desecration is, in reality, a desecration of the freedoms and liberties that the flag symbolizes. It is folly. Please do not go down that road, sir.

I would hold you in the highest regard were you to openly oppose this amendment. Explain it to the people how it would negate the very Constitution that the flag represents. Explain that it would hold the symbol in higher regard than that which it symbolizes.

I realize that many of my fellow veterans do not share my point of view, but I believe they are reacting with their emotions rather than with reason. I fear that some Congressmen are using this emotional issue for personal gain.

Reason is what sets men2 apart from animals. Let’s go forth with reason, and hold our heads high: high enough to look down our noses at those who would taunt us by their misuse of the flag. Better that than charging at them like a bull at a cape.

Let us be men2.

Very sincerely yours,

Aimé F. Watts, Jr


1 [At one time Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were wearing costumes that were made to look as though they were made from a flag and they were cheered as patriots; Abby Hoffman, some years later, wore exactly the same outfit during a war protest and he was persecuted and prosecuted for it. That is the type of abuses and unenforceability to which I refer.]

2 [I use the word ‘men’ in its generic, non-gender specific usage. All this holds equally true for women.]

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

God’s Prayer to His Creation - a new poem by yours truely.

God’s Prayer to His Creation

By Aime Watts

June 21, 2005


Arise, cast off your load and soar

Into the clear blue sky.

Fly hither and yon

Or’ the open fields of dreams

And let your mind wander free.

See the hills and know

They are there to be climbed;

View the sea and know it is to be crossed.

Fly, fly far away and let your dreams guide you.

Fear to trespass nowhere,

All is yours to explore.

Follow a stream to the ocean,

See where a woodland path goes.

Let the road lead you where it will,

To what adventures await you

If only you let them come.

Be what you can,

Let not others hold you back.

You are the master of your destiny;

Only seek it out;

It will not lead,

Though it is there to be followed.

Fly on gossamer wings,

Chase the rainbow and let it blind you

With its brilliance and glory.

See the stars?

Go to them as they beckon you

To expand and be one with them;

To be one of them.

Shine as a beacon for others to follow

As they fly and find their way

To undiscovered lands

And dreams

And life

Without end.


Marches - a poem by yours truely


by Aime Watts

Written May 28, 2004

1st Revision June 8, 2004

Revised June 21, 2005

We’ve walked though life but who are you?

“No man’s an island” but that’s a lie.

All of us, islands – isles of seclusion

Wandering through life, filling a void.

Associates only, forever strangers.

Companions wandering, crossing paths

for so many years; yet striding alone.

Finding comrades and friends,

Remaining alone in our lives;

Who knows me as I do?

Who understands us as we do?

Our children draw close, but wander as years go by…

Responsible for none in the eyes of Eternity.

Elusive, never attainable, never knowable, ever alone.

Our comfort in others to cloak our seclusion.

Desperate for companions to tread life’s path

Only to find all paths unique.

We walk our path only, and only alone

All others illusions, distractions, deceptions.

Who walks in ones shoes?

Who looks through ones eyes?

Who speaks through ones lips?

Do we hear the same?

Do we perceive the same?

A glimpse and a moment’s notice,

Is all we see of each other, all else is mist.

Some paths so close they seem the same;

Some cross with nary a nod,

All start separate, some cross, all digress.

Where next do we tread on eternity’s road?

What paths there to find?

Whose hand there to hold?

Will paths wander still?

Is life but a stage, a place to commence?

Where off to next; will we merge ere we go?

Where off to next?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Finally, a Court that got it exactly right! (From CNSNews)

Note that NJ has a Domestic Partnership Act which gives many of the rights that the GAY[sic] community have been asking for, without trashing tradition or the values of the vast majority. We need more judges like these two. (The majority opinion couldn't be more clear or correct!) -IC


NJ Appellate Court Upholds Ruling Against Same-Sex Marriage
By Alexa Moutevelis Correspondent
June 15, 2005

( -- A New Jersey appellate court Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that same-sex marriage is not protected by the state's constitution.

The Superior Court of New Jersey's Appellate Division ruled two to one, with Judge Stephen Skillman writing that the "plaintiffs' claim of a constitutional right to State recognition of marriage between members of the same sex has no foundation in the text of the Constitution, this Nation's history and traditions or contemporary standards of liberty and justice."

Skillman found that homosexuals already have the right to marry, as long as the marriage is not to a member of the same sex. "Plaintiffs, like anyone else in the state, may receive a marriage license, provided that they meet the statutory criteria for marriage, including an intended spouse of the opposite gender." Therefore, the judge stated, the rights of homosexuals are not being abridged.

Judge Anthony J. Parrillo, concurring with Skillman, explored the difference between "the right to marry and the rights of marriage". The DPA gives same-sex couples the rights of marriage, Parillo wrote, but the qualifications for the right to marry are decided by the state, qualifications that include the presence of one man and one woman in the marriage.

In his dissent, Judge Donald G. Collester argued that "the right to marry is effectively meaningless unless it includes the freedom to marry a person of one's choice."

Last year, New Jersey passed the Domestic Partnership Act (DPA), which gave many benefits previously only available to married heterosexual couples to same-sex couples.

However, "absent legislative action, there is no basis for construing the New Jersey Constitution to compel the State to authorize marriages between members of the same sex," Skillman concluded in his opinion, which upheld the Superior Court of New Jersey's Law Division of Mercer County.

Parrillo added that any constitutional right for homosexual marriage should "come from democratic persuasion, not judicial fiat."

Copyright © 1998-2005 - Cybercast News Service

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Courage To Make History - By Oliver North

There is little I can add to this, so let’s just get to it!

-- Ichabod Crane


The Courage To Make History

By Oliver North

June 3, 2005

The first week of June has been remarkable in our nation’s history. It was this week in 1776 that a congressional committee was formed to start drafting a Bill of Particulars for King George to consider. Just a month later, it was ratified as the Declaration of Independence.

It was during this week in 1942 that the battle of Midway -- the turning point in World War II in the Pacific -- was fought. Within days, Congress was deliberating appropriations for more carriers. In 1944, this was the week during which hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers were hurled ashore at Normandy, beginning the liberation of Europe. Shortly thereafter, both the House and Senate began to examine how Europe would be rebuilt after the war. Now, ponder the history that Congress has made this week in 2005. It’s pathetic.

Thanks to a Senate more concerned about its own petty “perks,” personal privileges and arcane procedures, we still don’t have an ambassador in Baghdad. Though we have been without one for three months now -- a constant hindrance to coordination between American and Iraqi forces in the midst of a war -- the Senate is in no rush to act. Apparently the solons, secure in their sinecures, aren’t bothered by the casualty figures.

Few Americans see the United Nations as anything but hopelessly corrupt, woefully incompetent and unabashedly ambitious. Yet, the U.S. Senate, proud of its shiny new “filibuster deal” and operating in its own alternate universe, can find no reason to expedite the confirmation of the hard-nosed John Bolton as head of our U.N. mission. Sen. George Voinovich, an erstwhile Republican from Ohio, was so anxious about sending a steel-spined ambassador into the U.N. kleptocracy that he got as teary-eyed as an unwed mother getting a new car from Oprah. Barbara Boxer couldn’t have done it any better.

Even John McCain, not exactly known as a “team player” in GOP circles, tried to goad his colleagues into action: “The U.N. needs the presence of a tough, hard, dedicated individual. I think we realize it’s time to move ahead with the people’s business.”

Nice try, John, but it didn’t work. We ought to have someone there to look after our interests and the billions of our tax dollars being squandered by Kofi & Co. But our senators aren’t concerned enough to hasten Mr. Bolton’s arrival in Turtle Bay.

Nor do these people who seem to do so little appear to care much about how the rest of us get to work. Have any of them noticed that while they dither, we’re paying near-record prices for gasoline, electricity and diesel fuel, as the Senate sits on the energy bill?

The “upper chamber” isn’t alone in its nonfeasance. The House has done little of import this spring either, unless, of course, one considers members of the House Government Reform Committee lining up to get autographs from steroid-pumped baseball players to be noteworthy. Could they have forgotten that the C-SPAN cameras were on?

Instead of doing the “people’s business,” House Democrats have decided it’s more fun to hold a witch hunt for “dirt” on Tom DeLay. In the process, they realized they needed to clean up their own dirt and correct reports of their own lobbyist-funded junkets. In fairness, it must be recorded that the House did pass a bill (sure to be vetoed) to spend the people’s money on embryonic stem cell research.

Have they all -- in both parties and both houses -- forgotten that young Americans are dying in Iraqi killing fields? As the American taxpayers pony up billions to help rebuild Iraq, how many, if any, in Congress realize that the electrical generating equipment being purchased from our European “allies” won’t work? Do any of our congressmen or senators know or care that Afghanistan is now producing more opium today than it did under the Taliban?

Do they think we haven’t noticed that Social Security is on the ropes? Up on the Hill, they say they don’t like the president’s proposals for dealing with the problem. Where are the congressional ideas for how to fix it or keep Medicare from going broke? Immigration reform and new trade agreements languish in Congress without the promise of near-term action. In his Rose Garden press conference this week, President Bush said it right: “My attitude toward Congress will be reflected on whether or not they’re capable of getting anything done.”

Unfortunately, there isn’t much time to get things done. Now that they are back from their five-day “Memorial Day Weekend,” they have just 30 days left on their legislative calendar (meaning, “work”) before they “recess” until after Labor Day! Hopefully, the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry don’t get wind of this “grueling” schedule. They are on a 13-month tour in Iraq, having reported to the war from a 13-month tour of duty in Korea. Unlike members of Congress, these soldiers don’t have the option of shirking their duties, arguing over procedural technicalities, throwing tantrums when things don’t go their way, blaming others for failures then proclaiming it all “successful,” while collecting their paychecks.

For members of the House and Senate unmoved by the cries of their countrymen to “get something done!” and those lacking the courage to confront their self-centered colleagues, there is another model from history that they can consider. It was this week in 1989 that a brave young man stood before a column of tanks in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. He made history. Will this Congress?



Friday, June 03, 2005

The Truth About Guantánamo Bay -- By Michelle Malkin

I know there is a liberal element that is willing, nay eager, to believe anything reported as anti-establishment (only for a republican establishment, of course); but, what do my readers think about all this? Should we believe our enemies’ complaints about their treatment at ‘Gitmo’ and other places? Is humiliation really abuse? Is it better then to behead them as they seem to prefer doing to us and our allies?

Which of the abuses from Abu Grab are truly abuses? Certainly, if people were physically abused the perpetrators should be held accountable, but what about mental anguish? (Are we divorcing them?) How about humiliation, does that qualify?

Very few prisoners that are being detained in either facility fall under the protection of the Geneva Convention. Members of the Afghanistan Army (under the Taliban) would, as would Saddam’s soldiers; but the rest of the scum there would only qualify as spies, and the Convention says we can shoot them! [Maybe the problem is that we are not, indeed, using the Geneva Convention to deal with them?]

What is the press’ responsibility in reporting stories about these prisoners? Anti-establishment stories give aid and comfort to the enemy; how much of that should be tolerated? Shouldn’t there be, at the very least, a test for accuracy met and penalties imposed for falsehoods? (It is difficult to prove a negative, nevertheless, should there be limits or not? It was this type of black journalism that last the Vietnam War, where over 58000 lives were lost in vain. Is that the fate of the War on Terror?

-- Ichabod Crane

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The Truth About Guantánamo Bay

By Michelle Malkin

June 1, 2005

The mainstream media and international human rights organizations have relentlessly portrayed the Guantánamo Bay detention facility as a depraved torture chamber operated by sadistic American military officials defiling Islam at every turn. It’s the “gulag of our time,” wails Amnesty International. It’s the “anti-Statue of Liberty,” bemoans New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.

Have there been abuses? Yes. But here is the rest of the story -- the story that the Islamists and their sympathizers don’t want you to hear.

According to recently released FBI documents, which are inaccurately heralded by civil liberties activists and military-bashers as irrefutable evidence of widespread “atrocities” at Gitmo:

A significant number of detainees’ complaints were either exaggerated or fabricated (no surprise given al Qaeda’s explicit instructions to trainees to lie). One detainee who claimed to have been “beaten, spit upon and treated worse than a dog” could not provide a single detail pertaining to mistreatment by U.S. military personnel. Another detainee claimed that guards were physically abusive, but admitted he hadn’t seen it.

Another detainee disputed one of the now-globally infamous claims that American guards had mistreated the Koran. The detainee said that riots resulted from claims that a guard dropped the Koran. In actuality, the detainee said, a detainee dropped the Koran then blamed a guard. Other detainees who complained about abuse of the Koran admitted they had never personally witnessed any such abuse, but one said he had heard that non-Muslim soldiers touched the Koran when searching it for contraband.

In one case, Gitmo interrogators apologized to a detainee for interviewing him prior to the end of Ramadan.

Several detainees indicated they had not experienced any mistreatment. Others complained about lack of privacy, lack of bed sheets, being unwillingly photographed, the guards’ use of profanity, and bad food.

If this is unacceptable, “gulag”-style “torture,” then every inmate in America is a victim of human rights violations. (Oh, never mind, there are civil liberties chicken littles who actually believe that.)

Erik Saar, who served as an army sergeant at Gitmo for six months and co-authored a negative, tell-all book about his experience titled “Inside the Wire,” inadvertently provides us more firsthand details showing just how restrained, and sensitive to Islam -- to a fault, I believe -- the officials at the detention facility have been.

Each detainee’s cell has a sink installed low to the ground, “to make it easier for the detainees to wash their feet” before Muslim prayer, Saar reports. Detainees get “two hot halal, or religiously correct, meals” a day in addition to an MRE (meal ready to eat). Loudspeakers broadcast the Muslims’ call to prayer five times a day.

Every detainee gets a prayer mat, cap and Koran. Every cell has a stenciled arrow pointing toward Mecca. Moreover, Gitmo’s library -- yes, library -- is stocked with Jihadi books. “I was surprised that we’d be making that concession to the religious zealotry of the terrorists,” Saar admits. “[I]t seemed to me that the camp command was helping to facilitate the terrorists’ religious devotion.” Saar notes that one FBI special agent involved in interrogations even grew a beard like the detainees “as a sort of show of respect for their faith.”

Unreality-based liberals would have us believe that America is systematically torturing innocent Muslims out of spite at Guantánamo Bay. Meanwhile, our own MPs have endured little-publicized abuse at the hands of manipulative, hate-mongering enemy combatants. Detainees have spit on and hurled water, urine and feces on the MPs. Causing disturbances is a source of entertainment for detainees who, as Gen. Richard Myers points out, “would turn right around and try to slit our throats, slit our children’s throats” if released.

The same unreality-based liberals whine about the Bush administration’s failure to gather intelligence and prevent terrorism. Yet, these hysterical critics have no viable alternative to detention and interrogation -- and there is no doubt they would be the first to lambaste the White House and Pentagon if a released detainee went on to commit an act of mass terrorism on American soil.

Guantánamo Bay will not be the death of this country. The unseriousness and hypocrisy of the terrorist-abetting Left is a far greater threat.


Michelle Malkin is author of “Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores” (Regnery). Michelle Malkin’s e-mail address is