Friday, March 31, 2006

Dark Anniversary

It's almost impossible to believe, but it was already one year ago today that the judicially-ordered execution of an innocent woman, Terri Schiavo, reached its completion.

Everybody has written/is writing their books on it, including her scumbag ex-husband, but there is only one I'm planning to read: David Gibbs III's forthcoming Fighting for Dear Life

Nobody worked harder to keep Terri alive than David did as the lawyer for Terri's parents, and he saw some pretty amazing things along the way, including bad behavior on both sides of the issue. I have no idea how much of what he saw will be included in the book, but nobody was in a better position to know what happened in those final months. He's truly one of the good guys.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Story On Islamic Crackdown Spreading

WorldNetDaily has picked up the story of the Algerian crackdown on Christianity today. They write:
As attention focused on an Afghan Christian convert who faced the death penalty for his conversion, Algeria quietly passed a law that punishes anyone who persuades a Muslim to leave his faith, with up to five years in prison, and banishes house churches.

The government said the law's purpose is to prohibit "clandestine organizations" it claims are secretly trying to convert Muslims, according to London-based Alarab Online.
Hopefully there will be a bit of a snowball effect, as the word on the Islamic crackdown begins to spread.

(And thanks to John, Yorkie Lady, Will, Paulo, and others who've picked up the story.)

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Oily Little Weasels

I told you the other day about these weaselly little radio management types who fired Dave Lenihan for his slip of the tongue while talking about Condoleezza Rice (when he accidentally used the word "coon" instead of "coup").

Just a recap of what I was saying the other day:
These [KTRS management weasel] guys aren't principled; they're afraid. They were willing to throw their guy under the bus without even talking to him, without even considering whether it could have been a silly mistake, because they're gutless weenies. KTRS' CEO is running to every media outlet in the country talking about how evil this host supposedly is, how he's a hatemonger, and how KTRS doesn't support that kind of thing. Of course, they liked him enough to hire him, but now after one misstatement they evidently know the true darkness that lurks in his heart.

...Mark this: These weaselly radio guys would let somebody call himself "Big Lips McJive" and sing "Mammy" on the air in blackface if A). It would draw ratings, and B). They thought they could get away with it. So don't let them fool you. Dave Lenihan wasn't fired because the management of KTRS is so high-mindedly diversity-friendly. He was fired solely because he failed test B).
Well, today comes the news that the NAACP itself says KTRS management overreacted:
After previously coming out against Lenihan, leaders with the civil rights organization said they support him and believe his comment was just a mistake, and, that the NAACP and KTRS radio both jumped the gun and overreacted.

Leaders say they will write a letter to Lenihan's former employer KTRS and ask that the station reconsider firing Lenihan.
Of course, KTRS will rehire they guy. And they ought to rehire him. But unfortunately they will rehire the guy for the same reason that they fired him--not because of principle, but because they're afraid of public reaction. They take orders from interest groups. Did he really go from great guy to dark, evil-hearted racist back to great guy in one week's time? Or are his radio managers grimy little suck-up worms who drift whichever way the wind blows?

I've worked for some of these people, and I can tell you which is far more likely.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Crackdown On Christianity In Algeria

I received a call from a friend of mine yesterday who does missions work overseas. He had some bad news, though certainly timely in light of the Rahman case in Afghanistan.

Though it hasn’t gotten any press attention (with the lone exception, as far as I know, being a story in the London-based Alarab Online), a new law was passed last Tuesday (March 21st) in Algeria that levies possible stiff criminal penalties against Christians. It’s a result of the increasing influence of radical Islamists there.

Up until this point, the Algerian government had been relatively tolerant of Christianity on a legal basis (though it’s still dangerous among the people to be a Christian there--you know, “Religion of Peace” and all…). According to my friend, this law will have a massive effect on Christian work and worship being done in Algeria.

The new law levies stiff fines and prison sentences against Christians who share their faith or distribute any literature or videos that promote Christianity.

According to the law:
Art. 11. — Without prejudice of more serious penalties, the punishment is imprisonment from two (2) years to five (5) years and a fine from 500.000 DA to 1.000.000 DA for whomever:
1 - incites, constrains or utilizes means of seduction tending to convert a Muslim to another religion, or by using to this end establishments for teaching, for education, for health, of a social or cultural nature, or training institutions, or any other establishment, or any financial means,
2 – makes, stores, or distributes printed documents or audiovisual productions or by any other aid or means, which has as its goal to shake the faith of a Muslim.
Furthermore, the Algerian government will now regulate all the places where Christians can worship, with the officially-Muslim government having to explicitly approve any new Christian church (which means, in other words, “good luck”). The law also provides for the possible imprisonment and expulsion of Christian missionaries and other religious workers for the same “offenses.”

I know Christian workers in the area want to get the word out about this in hopes that the U.S. government can pressure the Algerian government into relenting on this and putting up some resistance against the radical Muslims who are in the process of overtaking their country. Algeria’s slipping quickly, and it’s right off the coast of Europe. I know the Christians there would be grateful for anything you'd like to do to get the story out.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

With Friends Like This...

While it's good news that Christian convert Abdul Rahman is being released and is not (currently) facing execution at the hands of the Afghan government, we still must not lose sight of the fact that he was released only as a result of tremendous pressure, and only on a technicality.

According to the AP:
An official closely involved with the case told The Associated Press that it had been returned to the prosecutors for more investigation, but that in the meantime, Rahman would be released.

"The court dismissed today the case against Abdul Rahman for a lack of information and a lot of legal gaps in the case," the official said Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
In other words, if a solid case can be made that Rahman is fit for trial and that he did convert to Christianity, the death penalty would still apply.

And this points to the fundamental problem with the War on Terror, and why I believe it is unwinnable in its current form. President Bush either fails to understand or refuses to understand who the enemy actually is. For 4 1/2 years, he's been peddling the nonsensical line that "Islam is a religion of peace." But, of course, it isn't. He contends that "a great religion has been hijacked." But, of course, as we see here, it hasn't.

This is Islam. It's common, man-on-the-street Islam. It's not a faction. It's not a minority. It's not a "fundamentalist fringe." It's everyday, "moderate," popular Islam. This is Islam doing what it does--what it's always done. For those, including the president, who wish to claim that Islam is a religion of peace, my question would be, "Really? Where?" History tells us the exact opposite is the case.

Islam is an ideology that is directly contrary to Jesus Christ. It's contrary to freedom. And it really makes no bones about that. It's fairly frank in its goals and objectives. It wants to kill or destroy anything that isn't Islam. Which is what makes the ignorance of President Bush and others who propagate the "religion of peace" blather inexcusable.

This is the anti-Taliban, "moderate" Islamic government the U.S. installed. It was one of the "moderate" clerics, well known for opposing the Taliban, who recently said ""Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die."

The fact that worldwide pressure has caused them to stick a sock in it in this one case does nothing to change what they're about. Even today Afghan Muslims are protesting their government's release of Rahman. If America thinks it can band together with Islam to fight some sort of "War on Terror," it's sadly deluded.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Audio Killed The Radio Star

You've probably heard by now of the saga of the St. Louis talk radio host who was fired Wednesday for using the word "coon" in an on-air discussion about Condoleezza Rice and the possibility she'd become the NFL commissioner.

As the AP report recaps it:
"She's been chancellor of Stanford," [Dave] Lenihan [of KTRS radio] said on the air. "She's got the patent resume of somebody that has serious skill. She loves football. She's African-American, which would kind of be a big coon. A big coon. Oh my God. I am totally, totally, totally, totally, totally sorry for that."

He said he had meant to say "coup" instead of the racial slur.
You can hear the audio of the incident here.

While it sounds like a stupid slip of the tongue to me (the guy wasn't doing "shtick" at the time of the incident--he was in the process of talking about how much he admired her), perhaps the radio station would have, after some thought and investigation, felt the need to fire him. That's their prerogative. But the thing it's important for you to understand is that his management didn't fire him because they feel so strongly about the dignity of African-Americans in general and Condoleezza Rice in particular. They fired him because they're weasels.

I've worked in the radio business on and off and in various capacities for over 20 years (including 11 years in St. Louis). I've also worked in other industries, like television, .coms, customer service, newspapers, bars, and who knows what else. And nowhere--nowhere--will you find a bigger pack of weasels than in radio management. They're the bottom of the barrel. The program director of KTRS, the station that fired this guy, was once my boss for a short time. [He left, not I.] Trust me, you're dealing with oily weasels here.

Here's what it's really all about:
Twenty minutes after the utterance, Dorsey went on the air to apologize to Rice and KTRS listeners.

"There can be no excuse for what was said," [KTRS CEO Tim] Dorsey said. "Dave Lenihan has been let go. ... There is enough hate. We certainly are not going to fan those flames."

NAACP chapter president Harold Crumpton commended Dorsey for his swift action.
These guys aren't principled; they're afraid. They were willing to throw their guy under the bus without even talking to him, without even considering whether it could have been a silly mistake, because they're gutless weenies. KTRS' CEO is running to every media outlet in the country talking about how evil this host supposedly is, how he's a hatemonger, and how KTRS doesn't support that kind of thing. Of course, they liked him enough to hire him, but now after one misstatement they evidently know the true darkness that lurks in his heart. Without talking to him or giving him a chance to explain himself. Without even entertaining the bare possibility that it really could have been the embarrassing slip of the tongue it so clearly sounds like.

Mark this: These weaselly radio guys would let somebody call himself "Big Lips McJive" and sing "Mammy" on the air in blackface if A). it would draw ratings, and B). they thought they could get away with it. So don't let them fool you. Dave Lenihan wasn't fired because the management of KTRS is so high-mindedly diversity-friendly. He was fired solely because he failed test B).

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

You Should Read Some Of His Letters

It has truly become impossible to parody the politically-correct Left. They continually outdo themselves.

I just saw another perfect example in the news today:
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Easter Bunny has been sent packing at St. Paul City Hall.

A toy rabbit, pastel-colored eggs and a sign with the words "Happy Easter" were removed from the lobby of the City Council offices, because of concerns they might offend non-Christians.
We're afraid that the Easter Bunny might offend the sensibilities of non-Christians. In St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mr. Mike

The comments following my last post reminded me of an old favorite by the wonderfully demented dead comedy writer, Michael O'Donoghue: "How to Write Good."

O'Donoghue, incidentally, was one of the founding writers on "Saturday Night Live," and had the distinction of appearing on the show's first-ever sketch in 1975, a cold-opening where he plays a language teacher. An unknown (though about to be very known) John Belushi is his foreign student. O'Donoghue offers such phrases as "I would like to feed your fingertips to the wolverines," which Belushi carefully repeats in a thick foreign accent. Suddenly, the teacher grips his chest, gasps, and keels over dead of a heart attack. The student watches him for a moment, and then dutifully grabs his own chest, gasps, and keels over.

Anyway, here's a snippet of "How to Write Good." Read the rest of it here.
Lesson 1 - The Grabber

The "grabber" is the initial sentence of a novel or short story designed to jolt the reader out of his complacency and arouse his curiosity, forcing him to press onward. For example:
"It's no good, Alex," she rejoined, "Even if I did love you, my father would never let me marry an alligator."
The reader is immediately bombarded with questions, questions such as "Why won't her father let her marry an alligator?" "How come she doesn't love him?" and "Can she learn to love him in time?" The reader's interest has been "grabbed"!

Just so there'll be no misunderstanding about grabbers, I've listed a few more below:
"I'm afraid you're too late," sneered Zoltan. "The fireplace has already flown south for the winter!"

Sylvia lay sick among the silverware...

Chinese vegetables mean more to me than you do, my dear," Charles remarked to his wife, adding injury to insult by lodging a grapefruit knife in her neck.

"I have in my hands," Professor Willobee exclaimed, clutching a sheaf of papers in his trembling fingers and pacing in circles about the carpet while I stood at the window, barely able to make out the Capitol dome through the thick, churning fog that rolled in off the Potomac, wondering to myself what matter could possibly be so urgent as to bring the distinguished historian bursting into my State Department office at the unseemly hour, "definitive proof that Abraham Lincoln was a homo!"
These are just a handful of the possible grabbers. Needless to say, there are thousands of others, but if you fail to think of them, feel free to use any or all of these.
Now, I grant that it might not be to everyone's taste...

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Honing In On A Peeve

I was talking with someone the other day about what reoccurring annoyances drive us batty, when I realized that one of mine is people who use the word "reoccurring."

They mean "recurring," and there's no "o" in it. "Reoccurring," though widely used, is only a bastardization of the proper word. But at this late date, the point is probably mute irregardless of what's correct.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

But At Least She's Getting Really Old

The always-excellent Mark Levin has the goods on Ruth Bader Ginsburg's asinine speech in South Africa from last month. (Incidentally, as a side note: am I the only one who finds it strange that these Supreme Court Justices can flit around the globe giving these speeches, and sometimes we don't find out what they said for months afterward? It shows me two things: 1). Somebody needs to be keeping a far closer eye on these clowns, and 2). the Supreme Court is allowed to operate under a veil of way too much secrecy and anonymity. They should install television cameras in the Court yesterday.)

Referring to congressional legislation that would explicitly bar the Court from citing foreign law in it's rulings, Ginsburg said:
These measures recycle similar resolutions and bills proposed before the 2004 elections in the United States, but never put to a vote. Although I doubt the current measures will garner sufficient votes to pass, it is disquieting that they have attracted sizable support. And one not-so-small concern - they fuel the irrational fringe.
Ah yes, that irrational fringe that thinks that U.S. courts ought to be applying U.S. laws and the U.S. Constitution. Crazy people, those.

Ginsburg goes on to ridiculously compare judicial originalists to the perpetrators of the Dred Scott decision (when precisely the opposite was actually the case--the justices responsible Dred Scott were judicial activists). As Levin points out:
To the best of my knowledge, Ginsburg has never spoken publicly about the attacks on the judiciary or nominees to the bench by leftwing groups, bloggers and members of Congress — whose rhetoric and tactics are typically poisonous. Perhaps the reason is that she’s sympathetic to their goal, which is the perpetuation of judicial supremacy.
With the merciful retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor, Ginsburg is the most dangerous woman in America. If we had a populous that was familiar with the Constitution and American history, she'd already have been impeached.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Public Non-Commitment

This wasn't me. Honest. In case you were wondering.

I happen to think that such a thing probably wouldn't be an altogether terrific idea, for the most part, and should be generally disavowed, all things considered. To some degree.

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Roe, Roe, Roe Your Boat

Doug Wilson offers an interesting perspective on the abortion ban that was recently passed by the South Dakota legislature, for pro-lifers who fear it was an over-reach:
...[I]ncrementalism does not work unless there is a significant group of people who want it all now. Pro-lifers should take a look at the leftist playbook. The incrementalists are the ones who make it happen. The hard-liners are the reason it happens. And one thing you will almost never see -- because leftists have incrementalism figured out -- is an incrementalist green (to take one example) apologizing for a hard-liner green. They don't do that, because they understand how it works.

For all the incrementalists who want to nibble Roe to death, God bless you. Get back to your nibbling. It is your work that will ultimatley prevail. And if South Dakota (and about fifteen other states) show that they don't want anything to do with abortion, and they don't want anything to do with it now, don't start wringing your hands. The hardliners are the only reason you have any traction at all, and the more vocal and influential they are, the better it is for you. If you don't apologize.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Speak On, O Lips That Can Do No More Harm

I've been buried under a project for the last week, so I haven't been able to stop in much. I did notice while I've been missing, however, that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor gave a speech where she implied that conservative attempts to reform the judiciary will lead us to a dictatorship.

I'm sure whatever else she said was also, much as her jurisprudence, monumentally stupid. But I don't really know, because I pretty much zoned out at the words "former Supreme Court Justice," which filled me with an ineffable joy and sent me into ecstatic waves of euphoria. Just seeing those words appended to the beginning of a sentence makes her addled, moronic legal opinions now harmless and bearable, which is as it ought to be.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hammerin' Hank Remains The King

It's over for Barry Bonds.

Two San Francisco Chronicle reporters have the definitive goods on him and his rampant steroid use. He may continue to play (though I won't be a bit surprised if he now hangs it up before spring training ends), but now even if he surpasses Babe Ruth's or Hank Aaron's home run marks, it will always be tainted with an asterisk, just as Mark McGwire's 70 home run season in 1998 is.

And if you were among the eight people in North America who still doubted that Barry Bonds is a complete turd, this excerpt from the forthcoming book will disabuse you of your fantasies.

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Oh yeah, and today is my three-year blogoversary. Blah, blah, blah...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Those Little Town Blues

Got back from N.Y. late last night. Had an outstanding time as always. New York is an interesting place, to say the least.

Before going to see "Spamalot," (which I enjoyed greatly; my wife not as much), we went to eat at the legendary 21 Club restaurant. Andy Rooney was eating a couple of tables over from us. If such a thing is even possible, he actually looks even older and crankier in person. At first, I thought he was sitting behind a small shrub of some kind. Then I realized that was his eyebrows.

I also met this guy from Saturday Night Live who played John Kerry for them during the last election:

And as if that weren't enough, we also met the guy on the right of this picture, which comes from the now-famous "Chronic-What?-cles of Narnia" video ("Mr. Pibb plus Red Vines equals crazy delicious") which Slate says "...[made] Saturday Night Live a cultural touchstone for the first time since Christopher Walken pleaded for 'more cowbell.'":

He was a very, very nice kid who seemed genuinely grateful for the bit of success he's currently enjoying.

Oh, and, we were frightened on the street at 12:45am by a guy who insisted we watch a balloon trick. And I mean he insisted. After I politely declined his invitation to observe his little trick by saying "we have to be somewhere," the guy planted himself in front of us and pleaded with us to watch the trick. My wife was nearly insensate with fear, but I was more calm, figuring that a guy with a small balloon inflater could only do so much damage to us if he decided to rob us with it. Fortunately, he didn't, and let us merrily on our way after we watched him make a deer (I think) jumping through a heart.

So where else in the world can you get all that in one weekend?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

New York State of Mind

I'm traveling back to New York later this afternoon, only this time for fun. My wife's and my wedding anniversary was earlier this week, and I scored major points with her the last time we celebrated this way. Carried me for months. So I'm taking her back for a long weekend.

While we're there, I'm taking her to eat at this restaurant, to see this play on Broadway, and to visit this church.

In the meantime, I leave you with an Oscar weekend thought from Ann Coulter:
Is the idea of gay cowboys really that new? Didn't the Village People do that a couple of decades ago? Am I the only person who saw John Travolta in "Urban Cowboy"?
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