Friday, June 29, 2007

Fred Thompson: Pro-Abortion?

Video here. First, one thing must be pointed out in Thompson’s defense. Though factually accurate in saying Thompson’s 2001-2002 National Right to Life voting record is a weak 33%, the number leaves viewers with the dishonest perception that Thompson voted for killing babies 66% of the time. In reality, there were only three pieces of legislation on the record for that year, and the two he differed with NRTL on were his votes supporting campaign finance reform. Fred certainly deserves heat for that, but being wrong on that issue is not related to one's stance on whether or not unborn babies deserve legal protection.
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(For those who don’t know, NRTL opposes McCain-Feingold because of its limitations on the free-speech rights of organizations such as themselves. I think this whole affair suggests that advocacy groups should reconsider their grading systems—for instance, Fred should have one score on principle-related votes, like parental notification, embryonic stem-cells, etc.; and a separate score for peripheral issues like this one.)
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The year before, several more life issues came before the Senate, and on all of them, Thompson voted pro-life. This, combined with the fact that he openly opposes embryo-destructive medical research and Roe v. Wade (plus he's more conservative on other issues) means he’s definitely a better candidate than Rudy Giuliani…but…
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…the video does highlight a very real flaw in the blogosphere’s dream candidate (
here’s the full thing uninterrupted). The best he offers is that states should have “some leeway” in how they legislate abortion, but he also mumbles (by the way, this is what passes for a great communicator?) that, as a state legislator, he would not vote to “criminalize a young woman” who made the choice to abort. Satisfied that the issue boiled down to states’ rights for Thompson, interviewer Sean Hannity moved on to other topics.
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In other words, Thompson is employing the exact same dodge Rudy Giuliani uses about “throwing women in jail.” If it’s dishonest when Rudy does it, why is it OK for Fred? The Senator from Tennessee needs to be forced to answer this question: “If a bill criminalizing most abortions only prosecuted abortionists and abortion providers, leaving women seeking the abortions alone, would you vote for or sign it?"
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I don’t see much here that signals a serious comprehension for the sanctity of life or a willingness to stand against abortion, and frankly, I’m getting a little fed up with the fairytale hero Fred is imagined to be. Sorry to break it to you folks, but he’s no “southern fried Reagan,” and you most certainly will “have to settle,” as I’ve
pointed out in the past.
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I know I’m going against the blogosphere tide on this, and I’m not trying to cause trouble for trouble’s sake. But especially after eight years of George W. Bush, choosing a Republican standard-bearer is too serious a decision to be made on the basis of personality hype. Nobody’s asking for perfect, but in 2008, America needs to unite behind
a strong conservative with a genuine record of leadership and accomplishment. And the sooner we stop looking at Fred Thompson through rose-colored glasses, the better.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Coulter Strikes Back

Ann unloads some righteous fury on her richly-deserving detractors. I do disagree with Ms. Coulter in one area, though—I would make one change to this sentence (in red): “I'm a little tired of losers trying to raise campaign cash, Web traffic, or TV ratings off of my coattails.”
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Meanwhile, it’s noteworthy that Fox News’ Shepard Smith
embraced the Left’s smear. Is FNC still a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy ™?

Senate: No to Amnesty!

Aww, what a shame:
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The US Senate voted Thursday to kill off a landmark immigration bill which would have granted a path to citizenship to 12 million illegal immigrants, in a severe blow to President George W. Bush.
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In a stunning defeat for the bill, which would have also established a merit-based immigration system, Senators voted by 53 to 46 votes against moving ahead with a final vote on the measure.
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The 46 votes mustered by the supporters of the bill were well short of the super-majority of 60 votes needed to keep alive the measure, branded an "amnesty" by opponents.
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Before the vote, Senators from both sides said a vote to derail the bill would likely doom efforts to tackle immigration reform before the 2008 presidential election.
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The bill had represented one of President George W. Bush's last, best hopes for a signature second-term domestic achievement, and its failure will come as another painful blow to a White House besieged with political woes.
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The measure had staggered in the Senate for weeks, collapsing earlier this month under fierce opposition, mainly from conservatives who branded it an "amnesty" for those who broke the law to enter the United States.
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Democrats from conservative districts also found it difficult to support the bill, and some of them also fretted at the terms of a guest worker program included in the bill.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Target: Ann Coulter

Another day, another liberal lie about Ann Coulter:
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Elizabeth Edwards pleaded Tuesday with Ann Coulter to "stop the personal attacks," a day after the conservative commentator said she wished Edwards' husband, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, had been killed by terrorists.
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This is an utter mischaracterization of what Ann actually said (video at the sidebar
here). In no way did she express a desire to see John Edwards murdered. No honest observer could even think she even found the prospect of Edward’s death amusing. Her actual point was that, since around the same time of Ann’s CPAC snafu Bill Maher got away with seriously expressing a desire to see Dick Cheney dead, the apparent lesson was: death threats against politicians fine, crude words against politicians intolerable.
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Be sure to check out the video of
Elizabeth Edwards’ ambush on “Hardball. Methinks Mrs. Ambulance-Chaser's plan backfired?
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Then came the
obligatory anti-Coulter whining from Sean Hackbarth (it’s a shame when conservatives act like liberals, isn’t it?).
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A note to the hacks on both sides: get over it. Ann doesn’t have a single word she should retract or be embarrassed about.
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(Oh, and Ann’s full ABC interview—not the dishonest video snippet Hackbarth got from a
left-wing blog—is actually quite good.)
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UPDATE: Thanks to Mark Levin’s good memory for exposing Elizabeth Edwards’ phoniness and hypocrisy:
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Elizabeth Edwards is blasting second lady Lynne Cheney for objecting to John Kerry calling her daughter "a lesbian" during Wednesday night's presidential debate.
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In the ugliest outburst yet in the Kerry-lesbian contretemps, the woman who wants to replace Mrs. Cheney told ABC Radio network news Thursday morning, "I think that [Mrs. Cheney's complaint] indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences."
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These people are despicable.
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UPDATE 2: By the way, here’s the column Mrs. Ambulance-Chaser was referring to.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Latest Iowa Poll

I’m glad to see Mitt keeping a healthy lead in Iowa, but I do have to wonder what’s in the water over there—Tommy’s beating Duncan Hunter by 5 points!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Disaster Averted

Rosie O’Donnell won’t be the successor to Bob Barker after all. We won’t be hearing any “You could win this brand new stove, whose fire incidentally can’t melt steel…”
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Actually, I don’t really care that much if they want to wreck The Price is Right. The occasional fix of old & new game shows on
GSN is enough that if they want to experiment with Rosie the Unhinged, I say go for it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Scientists Skeptical of Man-Made Global Warming

How often have we heard that mankind’s contribution to global warming has been proven to be significant and dangerous, the debate’s over, and the dissent is a minority comprised of Flat-Earthers, oil-company stooges and clueless twits? Well, as is so often the case when dealing with liberals, the truth happens to be another story.
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Enter the
Oregon Institute of Science & Medicine’s Petition Project. (Big thanks to Matt, who called attention to the petition in this debate.) Their position is as follows:
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We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
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There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

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So how many signatures do they have? Any lefties in the audience
may wanna sit down (all emphasis mine):
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During the past several years, more than 17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees, have signed the Global Warming Petition.
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Signers of this petition so far include
2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists (
select this link for a listing of these individuals) who are especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth's atmosphere and climate.
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Signers of this petition also include
5,017 scientists whose fields of specialization in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and other life sciences (
select this link for a listing of these individuals) make them especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide upon the Earth's plant and animal life.
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Nearly all of the initial 17,100 scientist signers have technical training suitable for the evaluation of the relevant research data, and many are trained in related fields. In addition to these 17,100, approximately 2,400 individuals have signed the petition who are trained in fields other than science or whose field of specialization was not specified on their returned petition.
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Of the 19,700 signatures that the project has received in total so far, 17,800 have been independently verified and the other 1,900 have not yet been independently verified. Of those signers holding the degree of PhD, 95% have now been independently verified. One name that was sent in by enviro pranksters, Geri Halliwell, PhD, has been eliminated. Several names, such as Perry Mason and Robert Byrd are still on the list even though enviro press reports have ridiculed their identity with the names of famous personalities. They are actual signers. Perry Mason, for example, is a PhD Chemist.
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The costs of this petition project have been paid entirely by private donations. No industrial funding or money from sources within the coal, oil, natural gas or related industries has been utilized. The petition's organizers, who include some faculty members and staff of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, do not otherwise receive funds from such sources. The Institute itself has no such funding. Also, no funds of tax-exempt organizations have been used for this project.

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Also,
here is another partial list of scientific dissenters and their comments (I know I’ve blasted reliance on Wikipedia in the past, but in this case the reliability of what you see on the website is not an issue, because each entry is an external link to the actual story or article).
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So what does this prove? “All these people reject man-made global warming; therefore, it’s false?” That’s not what I’m trying to say at all. The point is that the dissent is substantial enough that simply adding up the players on each side and throwing in with the supposedly-bigger team isn’t a reliable or conclusive enough method to reach a conclusion. You'd think liberals, what with their high-minded talk about logical thought and questioning authority, could appreciate such an idea. But you'd apparently be wrong.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Responding to Iraq Lies

The Reporter has published my latest letter, a brief rundown of lie vs. truth in Iraq.
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The truth about Iraq:

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Lie: "Bush lied about WMDs."
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Truth: 2002's National Intelligence Estimate concluded "Iraq is continuing … its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs." British, German, French, Russian, Chinese and Israeli intelligence all agreed. The Robb-Silberman Commission found "no evidence of political pressure to influence the intelligence community's pre-war assessments." We found 1.77 metric tons of uranium. Polish forces found chemical warheads. Charles Duelfer testified that Hussein intended to restart his programs, and there's reason to believe WMDs were smuggled to Syria.
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Lie: "Iraq's unrelated to terrorism."
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Truth: A few examples to the contrary: We've found rolls of jihadists trained in Iraq at places like Salman Pak. We know of repeated meetings between Iraqi and al-Qaeda operatives, including the planning meeting for the
USS Cole bombing. Jihadists have found safe haven in Iraq.
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Lie: "U.S. forces terrorize innocent Iraqis."
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Truth: Almost all troops have fought heroically and humanely. Incidentally, antiwar hero Jesse MacBeth, a supposed Iraq vet who "confessed" to partaking in American atrocities against Iraqi civilians, was recently exposed as a fraud who never once set foot in Iraq.
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Lie: "Iraq's a civil war."
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Truth: Writing for
Middle East Quarterly, Sgt. David Patten explains: "While the government is weak, there is no political force presenting it with a serious challenge. Iraq is, indeed, an unstable nation, but there is little danger of regime change, the ultimate purpose of a civil war. The armed groups most likely to participate in an eventual civil war lack both the capacity and the will to enter into such a conflict in earnest at the present time…[but] Premature withdrawal could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, creating the conditions for a civil war that do not currently exist."
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"Without victory, there is no survival." - Winston Churchill

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hacks4Rudy

Check some background on Rudy Giuliani’s immigration history, then ask yourself: can you really get more misleading than this?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Odds & Ends

Here’s a global-warming debate on Boots & Sabers. If the issue is settled and the enviros have won, then why do they expend so much effort (well, mostly blood pressure) in trying to re-fight it?
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Nun Wars: HUH?! (Kinda reminds me of Spy Hard…)
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Cindy Sheehan
lashes out at her own side again. Say, I though Cindy had retired from the antiwar movement a while back. Shouldn’t she…I dunno…shut up?
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Herman Munster: accept no
substitutes!
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Rudy Giuliani’s commitment to the War on Terror—pretty much the only legit conservative reason to vote for him—
faces new scrutiny, and it ain’t pretty.
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(Hat tip to the
Corner for the above two.)
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And now for something completely different: a
wild new ride for the next Batman film (because this blog hasn’t been quite nerdy enough lately).

Friday, June 15, 2007

Another God Debate

Sam Harris vs. Rick Warren. I’ve never exactly been wowed by, or paid much attention to, Rick Warren, but it is fascinating to see how Harris’ numerous logical fallacies still stick out like a sore thumb, even against one of Christianity’s less powerful defenders. For example:
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“There is so much about us that is not in the Bible. Every specific science from cosmology to psychology to economics has surpassed and superseded what the Bible tells us is true about our world.”
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Who ever said the Bible was supposed to be a science textbook? Its concerns lie primarily with what God did and why he did it, not how he did it. And I have a hard time believing anyone
truly familiar with the Bible would be so quick to dismiss the truths “about us” and “our world” within its pages.
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“We know that human beings have a terrible sense of probability. There are many things we believe that confirm our prejudices about the world, and we believe this only by noticing the confirmations, and not keeping track of the disconfirmations. You could prove to the satisfaction of every scientist that intercessory prayer works if you set up a simple experiment. Get a billion Christians to pray for a single amputee. Get them to pray that God regrow that missing limb. This happens to salamanders every day, presumably without prayer; this is within the capacity of God. I find it interesting that people of faith only tend to pray for conditions that are self-limiting.”
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Two points here: First, it’s hard not to laugh at Harris’ “simple experiment.” It’s a bit like moving the goalpost to maximize your odds. While I believe prayer is powerful, I don’t think it’s a simple matter of placing an order, then God handing you your Big Mac at the drive-thru. Moreover, it’s not “self-limiting” conditions we pray for; it’s conditions that are scientifically possible (God working through the laws of science He authored). Just think of how different Judaism or Christianity would be if prayer was as simple as “ask God to give you things/do things for you, and He will.” What kind of message would that send?
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Second, I do think Harris has touched upon one mistake believers tend to make: just as unanswered prayers don’t disprove God, answered prayers are not sufficient to prove His existence. We don’t have a way of knowing whether or not the turnout of any event is due to divine intervention. The Lord is weighing a myriad of earthly conditions and factors that would make the most brilliant mortal manager’s head spin, not the least of which is what we truly need in life, rather than what we want. While I wasn’t fully satisfied with his response, Warren offered an important point: “God sometimes says yes, God sometimes says no and God sometimes says wait. I've had to learn the difference between no and not yet.”
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That’s a powerful difference. Indeed, I’ve experienced it. I’ve pleaded with God for dreams to come true, and I’ve been angry & confused when they didn’t—until I realized those dreams were based on incomplete facts and serious misconceptions. Had my dream come true, I later found, it would not have been the blessing I envisioned. The “mysterious ways” in which God works only seem mysterious to us because, again, we cannot possibly fathom all the factors in play, not the least of which is the fact that God knows us and our neighbors better than we know ourselves. To Him, there’s nothing mysterious about it.
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“This really is one of the great canards of religious discourse, the idea that the greatest crimes of the 20th century were perpetrated because of atheism… The killing fields and the gulag were not the product of people being too reluctant to believe things on insufficient evidence. They were not the product of people requiring too much evidence and too much argument in favor of their beliefs. We have people flying planes in our buildings because they have theological grievances against the West. I'm noticing Christians doing terrible things explicitly for religious reasons—for instance, not fund-ing [embryonic] stem-cell research. The motive is always paramount for me. No society in human history has ever suffered because it has become too reasonable.”
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First, notice how, in distancing atheism from historic horrors, he posits “atheism = reason & careful skepticism” as a given. Here Harris displays a classic trait of bias: the inability to compartmentalize separate elements of an overall issue—in this case, “Is God real?” and “Is God good for society?” Try to focus on the second one right here, Sam. Second, the crux of the question (and Sam “I’m-doing-my-PhD-in-neuroscience” Harris is smart enough to know this) is not skepticism, naiveté, reverence for the Sabbath, or any of the benign differences between belief and unbelief. It’s all about the belief that human rights are non-negotiable because they come from an authority higher than man. The danger atheism poses to society is not an automatic leap to death camps (indeed, every believer I’ve ever heard or read concedes that atheists are fully capable of morality, and applaud the moral clarity Harris and Christopher Hitchens display on some issues, most notably Islamofascism); it’s that national atheism is a vacuum in which all manner of “divisive dogmatism[s],” as Harris puts it, can thrive. And how can anybody possibly bemoan
opposition to embryo-killing stem-cell experimentation in the same breath as 9/11? I guess it’s easy…if you’re inclined toward dishonesty.
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“The idea that somehow we are getting our morality out of the Judeo-Christian tradition is bad history and bad science.”
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Uh, no.
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“[Y]ou see a variety of claims there that aren't backed up by sufficient evidence. If the evidence were sufficient, you would be compelled to be Muslim.”
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Sam likes to deploy varieties of the idea that the large number of incompatible claims about God’s nature somehow suggests we should dismiss all of them in favor of atheism. In fact, here’s another example of failing to compartmentalize an issue. “Is there a higher power?” is a separate question from “What form does that higher power take?” Answering “yes” to the first question still leaves us with many possibilities: one God, many gods, a good God, an evil God, an indifferent God, God of Abraham, Allah, a God who’s real yet different from known religious descriptions…all possibilities that deserve consideration, but disproving one certainly doesn’t lead to disproving all.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Open Letter to Michael Medved

Dear Michael Medved,
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Thank you for the fine work in your recent Townhall column, “
Capturing the Language to Assure Liberal Dominance.” The piece eloquently and effectively tackles one of the chief pollutants in the national discourse. However, I cannot help but notice a little irony here—in the wake of the latest immigration bill’s announcement, you have employed the very same pollutant in the Republican establishment’s defense.
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You asked, “Why did [Senator John Kyl] oppose immigration reform, but this time he’s in favor of it?” Just as “pro-choice” is a technically-accurate-yet-biased term for abortion advocacy, labeling the new legislation “reform” suggests it to be inherently good, and even worse, calling Kyl a one-time opponent of “immigration reform” dishonestly suggests he opposed doing anything to change the system, suggests that we oppose reform itself, rather than a particular type of so-called “reform.”
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This is a deception you’ve put forth repeatedly.
You claim we “want so desperately to preserve the status quo of the current broken system, with all its obscene costs, hypocrisy, and security threats to our country.” You cannot possibly believe that we somehow approve of the status quo, so why write it?
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Most troubling, however, is the stunning ease with which you dismiss the serious, substantive criticism of this bill as “the hysterical (and increasingly dishonest) denunciations of ‘amnesty’ on talk radio.”
On your show you said “That’s political posturing, that’s sloganeering by people who, it seems to me for their own political interests, are telling people what they want to hear. I don’t know why people wanna be upset about this.” It’s clear that you’ve made an active, concerted effort to demonize & trivialize bill opposition as fanatic, sinister, and dangerous, culminating with the obscene, demagogic characterization of Tom Tancredo as “racist” (yet Lanny Davis is OK? What a disgrace.). It’s stunning to juxtapose the Medved spin with the American reality (although I do have to thank you for one thing—your tactics provided the inspiration for a book I'd like to write someday: When the Right Goes Left).
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The following is an exhaustive (but rest assured, not definitive) list of people who, according to you and
Linda Chavez, are apparently a bunch of racists, liars and/or fools. Click on each name and you’ll see or hear their stance on the latest immigration developments. Most are strong “comprehensive-reform” opponents, while some are open to the general concepts of guest worker programs & amnesty (by the way, they’re at least honest enough to call what they support by its real name), but all are united on one point: the flaws in this bill are far more severe than you are willing to admit.
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Glenn Beck
Bill Bennett
Tony Blankley
Robert Bluey
William F. Buckley
Tammy Bruce
Amanda Carpenter
Ann Coulter
Jim DeMint
John Fonte
David Frum
Newt Gingrich
Sean Hannity
Hugh Hewitt
Duncan Hunter
Laura Ingraham
Terrence Jeffrey
Mickey Kaus
Charles Krauthammer
Mark Krikorian
Bill Kristol
Mark Levin
David Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh
Kathryn Jean Lopez
Rich Lowry
Heather MacDonald
Michelle Malkin
Andy McCarthy
Edwin Meese
National Review Editors
Peggy Noonan
Kate O’Beirne
John O’Sullivan
Ramesh Ponnuru
Dennis Prager
Robert Rector
Mitt Romney
Phyllis Schlafly
Jeff Sessions
Thomas Sowell
Mark Steyn
Andrew Stuttaford
Cal Thomas
Fred Thompson
George Will
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Read that list again. You’ll see a great many of your colleagues in writing, blogging & talk radio, including some enormously distinguished & admirable Americans, and conservatives whose work you personally have extolled in the past. Just like you, they’ve spent years passionately fighting for conservative values in the court of public opinion. Just like you, they’ve gone to tremendous lengths to defend President George W. Bush from liberal demagoguery. But unlike you, they’ve reached their breaking point as far as how much bull they’re willing to tolerate from this ineffectual White House and Republican Party. After just a few of their detailed, thoughtful commentaries, you ought to see that there’s no “racism” or “hysteria” in their sincere concern. Our devotion to America’s future is sincere, and it deserves better than the cheap demonization which seems to be your stock in trade.
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Calvin Freiburger

CFO Giuliani Archive

The following is a list of links to all of my commentary on Rudy Giuliani, for easy access on CFO’s “Just say NO” sidebar to your right (listed in chronological order):
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An Apologist for Giuliani”—dissecting Deroy Murdock’s “pro-life case for Rudy”
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2008 Presidential Lineup
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Ann Coulter, Rudy Giuliani & the Republican Crossroads
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The Party of Values”—observation on Giuliani’s dubious marital history
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2 Headlines: “Rudy Judges Leaned Left” & “Many Unaware of Rudy’s Social Liberalism”
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This Is Your Brain on Drugs”—dissecting another “socially-conservative case for Rudy”
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Terror Warrior?”—Rudy’s chief strength may not be all it’s advertised as
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America’s Mayor Aborting Own Candidacy?”—Rudy all-but-giving social conservatives the finger
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Tidbits from the Republican Primary
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First Republican Primary Debate
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The Latest on Rudy
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Second GOP Debate
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Liberal Leanings as Conservative Credentials?”—the difference between Giuliani-support and Romney-support
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Bishop Thomas Tobin’s RSVP to Mayor Giuliani
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GOP Round 3: Full Impressions

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Great God Debate

Hugh Hewitt’s show was recently host to a fascinating & lengthy debate between Christian Mark Roberts and atheist Christopher Hitchens. When you’ve got a minute, take a listen (also, on his blog Roberts has been tearing apart Hitchens’ latest book in greater detail).

Thursday, June 7, 2007

GOP Round 3: Full Impressions

Now that I’ve had the chance to give the full Republican debate a listen, I’ve got some impressions (I’ll start with the lower tiers just for fun):
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Ron Paul: He only seemed sane because he wasn’t asked about the war as much. But I hear
Mike Gravel is looking for a running mate…
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Tommy Thompson: Pi-ti-ful.
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Mike Huckabee: I’ve been surprised at how well he’s carried himself, and Round 3 was no exception. Not amazing (especially when mixing up Reagan’s birthday & anniversary of death), but a good performance. Too bad it’s all for naught.
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Sam Brownback: “Three-state political solution,” “comprehensive reform,” blah blah blah. No thanks.
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Tom Tancredo: Blunt talk, but pretty unpolished. His biggest flaw, though, is that he doesn’t get it on Iraq. Congressman, this war is about preventing the jihadists from becoming Iraq’s dominant force, which would have disastrous ramifications beyond her borders—not merely what the Iraqis will make of our sacrifice. But he definitely had the ‘whoa’ moment of the night when he said, as President, he’d have no choice but to ask George W. Bush not to “darken the door” of his White House. No arguments here.
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Jim Gilmore: I’m sorry, but who are you again?
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Duncan Hunter: Another job well done. If we were to totally throw away the “who can win” factor, Hunter would be my man, hands down (if only Hunter had been the guy to trade DC for Hollywood for a few years!). But he’s gotta be in the running for VP. At 58 years old, he’d be in a pretty darn good position after 8 years of a good conservative White House. (I was disappointed that he didn’t give Scooter Libby’s plight its proper consideration, though.)
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John McCain: I liked his answer about the disastrous alternatives to the troop surge, plus his line about making pork spenders “infamous.” Overall, McCain has managed to lock down the tone issue of his past performances—instead of angry & unhinged, he came across as passionate, confident & in control. Too bad this development comes on the heels of Amnestygate.
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Rudy Giuliani: An interesting show. Once again his abortion answer was indefensible (I’d think long & hard about that lightning, pal), and while his immigration answer was carefully worded to sound harsh, his only beef is with identification—no concern whatsoever for the fence, for the effects of amnesty, etc. But I have to admit I was surprised at how much his answers about the war impressed me. In none of Rudy’s past speeches, TV appearances, etc., have I seen the fiery leader others are smitten with. Last night was the first time I saw a hint of man who takes this fight seriously. He also gets points for his Libby defense. So can you count me among the smitten? Not by a long shot. I still can’t respect Rudy Giuliani the man, and I still believe Rudy Giuliani the nominee will have devastating effects on the party, movement & nation. Hear me, conservatives: THIS MAN MUST BE STOPPED (by the way, did you notice my Stop Rudy sidebar?). But if worse comes to worse, what about Rudy in a general election? He’ll have to do a lot more than this to show me that his terrorism and free-market answers aren't just a repeat of his immigration answer: all style, no substance.
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Mitt Romney: Well done, but not without a few bumps in the road. What I liked: terror remarks, Libby answer, “I’m not going to apologize for becoming pro-life,” the
perfect answer to the Mormon question, immigration sentiments, the “three-pillared stool” analogy for the Republican coalition (free markets, strong defense, & family values), and lip service to ANWR drilling. Not so hot: I bet some viewers will still be understandably-unsure how his healthcare plan differs from Hillarycare, his answer about oil company profits was unclear (I won’t contest his grasp of where they’d be best spent, but you’re not talking about government forcing them to spend their own money a certain way, are you?), and any 6-year-old could’ve told Team Romney that running Spanish ads would come back to bite ‘em before long.
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BONUS CANDIDATE—Fred Thompson: He’s got an appealing demeanor, and I applaud his answer about Libby (even better than Rudy's & Mitt’s). But did anyone else in the “conservative alternative” crowd notice how weak his abortion answer was? But Fred’s biggest flaw was that his sparring partner was Sean Hannity—not the ten men who, whatever else may be said of them, have dived into the fray and put their reputations on the line in three debates so far. Besides Fred’s other conservative deficiencies (McCain-Feingold, impeachment, etc.), doesn’t anyone else find his lateness in declaring just a bit smarmy? (
Apparently not.)

Mitt Romney Answers the Mormon Question

'Nuff said.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Coulter: A Word to the Wise on 2008

It seems Ann is less-than impressed with the allure of Fredmania.

Liberal Theory of Relativity

Here’s a rather striking example from the lefty blogosphere of Bush Derangement Syndrome and general resentment of America. The post itself is actually an important message about Islamic honor killings, and I agree 100%. But just when I think the Left might be getting a dose of reality, the Comments section brings the nuts out of the woodwork. The highlights:
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[A]lthough honor killings are rare in the good old U.S. of A., there are nevertheless plenty of Americans who still place the “family honor” above the welfare of their kin. I point to my parents-in-law, who have now placed their phony-baloney reputations above three generations of sexually abused family members by intimidating anybody who dared suggest that the perpetrators should be exposed.
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You’ve got my total sympathy for the suffering those creeps put your loved ones through, but two nuts do not a national trend make. And if the perps were to be exposed, they’d go down for the count (that is, unless they got a left-wing judge to hear their case. Ironic, no?). A pretty defining difference between America & the Middle East, I think.
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It’s important to note that the increase in the number of so-called “honor” killings in Kirkuk goes along with the occupation. The dissolution of the established social structure under the occupation is leading to devastating things.
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Boy, I’d like to see some solid numbers on that one! But just for fun, let’s temporarily assume it’s true: 1.) “My life is crappy right now, therefore I’m entitled to kill my daughter”? Uh-uh. 2.) It’s entirely proper to condemn Bush’s handling of the war, but that’s a separate issue from whether or not it should be waged at all. Liberals could also use some perspective: y’think those devastating things are likely to get better with the fundamentalists as the country’s dominant force? Dream on.
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That [viciously anti-woman] attitude exists, sadly, in this country too - it’s just that usually the consequences aren’t death.
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Out of 300 million people, some consider women inferior?! Unheard of! If somebody wants to argue that it’s a national trend extending far beyond the scope of Bill Clinton, then show me what constitutes that attitude here.
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Right on about the attitude towards women, an attitude that is deteriorating fast here in this country with all this crazy legislaton being sanctioned by the Supreme Court, with a man being given the legal right to tell a woman what she can do or can’t do with her body.
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I get it. Bemoan the killing of girls and your (partial) inability to kill children in the same breath. If not for abortion’s human consequences, this would be hilarious.
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Amidst all this we had the usual assurances that Islam is not to blame for honor killings (a courtesy that the far Left seems to forget when discussing, say, Fred Phelps or abortion-clinic bombers), but the interesting thing was how few could resist the knee-jerk reaction to opine, “Yeah, but America does [insert-crime-here]!” Is it really that hard to make a simple condemnation of evil?
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The Liberal Theory of Relativity: "Every woe and/or wrongdoing in this world can be related back to the evils of the United States in some way.” Just don’t question their patriotism, whatever you do.

Memo to Governor Doyle

More stem-cell advances, and they’re not embryonic:
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Research reported this week by three different groups shows that normal skin cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic state in mice. The race is now on to apply the surprisingly straightforward procedure to human cells.-If researchers succeed, it will make it relatively easy to produce cells that seem indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells, and that are genetically matched to individual patients. There are limits to how useful and safe these would be for therapeutic use in the near term, but they should quickly prove a boon in the lab.
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[…]
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But the iPS cells aren't perfect, and could not be used safely to make genetically matched cells for transplant in, for example, spinal-cord injuries. Yamanaka found that one of the factors seems to contribute to cancer in 20% of his chimaeric mice. He thinks this can be fixed, but the retroviruses used may themselves also cause mutations and cancer. "This is really dangerous. We would never transplant these into a patient," says Jaenisch. In his view, research into embryonic stem cells made by cloning remains "absolutely essential".

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Do we still have a way to go? Of course. I’m not going to take the Doyle route and pretend my favored research is a bed of roses completely devoid of thorns, but the potential of not just this development, but past advances such as umbilical cord blood, is undeniable. Given that we know the embryo to be a living human, and that embryonic-stem-cell research would be years off anyway, what possible rationale is there to justify killing in science’s name?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

GOP Round 3 - A Bad Night for the Country?

I missed the debate tonight, and I haven’t looked at anything from it in detail yet, but I know a lot of people over at the Corner are saying Giuliani had quite a good night. I pray they’re wrong, and I pray the party is capable of seeing through and ultimately rejecting this creep.
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UPDATE: Bishop Thomas Tobin stands up to the Woman’s-Right-to-Execute candidate. (Thanks EFM).

Do You Hate Cell-Phone Drivers?

It could be worse…

Crime & Punishment (or Lack Thereof) on Capitol Hill

For future reference, “the most ethical [presidency/Congress/fill-in-the-blank] in history” seems to be Democrat code for “you’ll have to hose Washington down after we leave.” First we have the good news that the Freezer is one step closer to being put on ice:
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Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was indicted Monday on federal charges of racketeering, soliciting bribes and money-laundering in a long-running bribery investigation into business deals he tried to broker in Africa.
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The indictment handed up in federal court in Alexandria., Va., Monday is 94 pages long and lists 16 alleged violations of federal law that could keep Jefferson in prison for up to 235 years, according to a Justice Department official who has seen the document.
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Among the charges listed in the indictment, said the official, are racketeering, soliciting bribes, wire fraud, money-laundering, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.
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Jefferson is accused of soliciting bribes for himself and his family, and also for bribing a Nigerian official.
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Almost two years ago, in August 2005, investigators raided Jefferson's home in Louisiana and found $90,000 in cash stuffed into a box in his freezer.
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Next,
a new scandal brews for Nancy Pelosi:
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A database company that has showered money on Bill and Hillary Clinton – and is alleged to have aided scam artists – now appears to have close links to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's family as well.
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The firm InfoUSA, headed by major Clinton backer Vinod Gupta, has placed Pelosi's son, Paul Pelosi Jr., on its payroll – even though he has no experience in the company's main business activities, NewsMax has learned.
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As NewsMax previously reported, InfoUSA repeatedly rented marketing databases to unscrupulous persons who used the information to defraud the unsuspecting elderly, investigators found.
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Unfortunately, it’s doubtful whether Madam Speaker will ever have to face the music—especially in a political climate where Sandy Berger can get away with treason, and the Left can successfully bring down Scooter Libby on
trumped-up charges, now resulting in prison time. How ‘bout a pardon, Mr. President? (And shall we bring up the plight of Border Agents Ramos & Compean, while we’re at it?)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Disaster Averted at JFK

Au contraire, John Edwards - this war thing is real, and still going on:
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NEW YORK — Federal authorities announced Saturday they had broken up a suspected Muslim terrorist cell planning a "chilling" attack to destroy John F. Kennedy International Airport, kill thousands of people and trigger an economic catastrophe by blowing up a jet fuel artery that runs through populous residential neighborhoods.
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Three men, one of them a former member of Guyana's parliament, were arrested and one was being sought in Trinidad as part of a plot that authorities said they had been tracked for more than a year and was foiled in the planning stages.
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"The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable," U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf said at a news conference, calling it "one of the most chilling plots imaginable."
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In an indictment charging the four men, one of them is quoted as saying the foiled plot would "cause greater destruction than in the Sept. 11 attacks," destroying the airport, killing several thousand people and destroying parts of New York's borough of Queens, where the line runs underground.
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