Marlowe's Shade

Sunday, October 31, 2004

"Arafat said to have lost mental capacity "

Senior Palestinian Authority sources say Chairman Yasser Arafat has lost some of his mental capacities and cannot function. Some doubt that he will be capable of resuming his position as PA leader, even if his health recovers to some extent.

papijoe 9:39 PM |

The Enemies of Bush

Zombie from LGF did a great job matching up the talking points from bin Ladin's latest tape with those of Kerry and the democrats, which were posted at LGFWW.

A lot of people have pointed out the similarities, such as the My Little Goat reference.

Imagine now if during World War II the loyal opposition had made statements that were indistinguishable from the broadcasts of Lord Haw Haw and Tokyo Rose, and you'll get an idea of how bad the situation has become
papijoe 1:18 PM |

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Temple Mount Officials Change Their Minds About Arafat Burial

Fairly recently the Waqf said they were opposed to Arafat's being buried on the Temple Mount.

Now it appears that they have changed their minds.

Wakf officials in charge of the Temple Mount insist the Temple Mount will be the burial grounds for the ailing Palestinian Authority leader.

The Israelis continue to oppose this and old fears of a structural collapse of the Temple Mount make the situation more explosive.

My solution is not to let him back into the country, dead or alive.
papijoe 12:37 PM |

Friday, October 29, 2004

I'm Having One of Those Days

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Posting will be light.
papijoe 9:55 AM |

Thursday, October 28, 2004


This comment to a recent post seems to be consistent with the desperate maniacal hostility from Kerry supporters that has been steadily cropping up as the election draws near.

Christian conservatives are idiots. They're so dumb. Some of them think abortion, gay marriage, and stem cells are the most critical issues facing us today.
Bush has harmed our country. He's bad for the environment, he's bad for science (I'm speaking as a soon-to-be MIT PhD candidate), and he's a liar. Whether he lies consciously or unconsciously doesn't matter. Both possibilities are scary.
Bush will go down in future historical analyses as one of the most incompetent presidents in American history.
I want him to get booted out of office and I want his supporters to suffer the attendant anguish.
To paraphrase from something I saw on your blog, "It doesn't matter which conservative you attack, so long as you start by attacking at least one of them." So I'm attacking you.
You guys don't even know the Bible. Your ignorance in that regard is risible. As if anyone can get salvation simply by "believing on" the name of someone else. You can't win salvation by proxy--it's not so easy.
Ok friend, take care. I didn't mean the attack personally. (I like Christians, and I don't even know if you're one of them--only skimmed through your blog).
But I do think you're ignorant and stupid and short-sighted. Luckily people change.

Titus at Baby Seal Club has done a terrific job of documenting election violence, the overwhelming majority of which (28 incidents to 3) is committed by anti-Bush thugs. Here's a couple of examples from Florida:

“The brown shirts have arrived and they’re all Democrats,” said Sid Dinerstein, county GOP chairman.
Also on Sunday night, a student leading a Republican protest at Florida Atlantic University saw her Ford Explorer vandalized by Democrats attending a John Kerry rally. University police responded to the incident and eventually broke it up.
“Some people surrounded us and started yelling obscenities and racist comments at me,” said Dana Roberts, FAU College Republican chairwoman. “I’m African-American and they were yelling that I’ve sided with the Ku Klux Klan. There were people telling them to stop, but they poured beer on the car and vandalized it with Kerry bumper stickers.”
Between 5 and 7 p.m. Friday, an unknown Kerry supporter drove by a GOP rally near a K-Mart on Palmetto Park Road and threw rocks and sand at rally-goers. Several car windows were broken.
“I was singled out as the leader and had rocks thrown in my face,” said Jack Furnari, president of the Boca Raton Republicans.

It gets worse:

A Florida man has been charged with attempting to run over controversial Republican congresswoman Katherine Harris with his Cadillac. According to the below Sarasota Police Department report, Barry Seltzer, 46, told cops that he was simply exercising his "political expression" when he drove his car at Harris and several supporters, who were campaigning last night at a Sarasota intersection.

LGF poster Yishai personally experienced a similar incident

10 minutes ago, a kerry freak in a red sports car drove over my lawn, ran over my Bush/Cheney sign, and almost smashed into my neighbor who was outside watching the lunar eclipse. She dove out of the way!

And the list goes on and on.

It would be useful to me to try to understand what has happened to bring this insanity on. I had two recent encounters with family members that have motivated me to (once again) attempt to establish a sane dialog about the issues at stake in this election.

Thinking about what was said in the comment mentioned above, I came to some conclusions that I found useful. The person is obviously academically intelligent. As someone who deals with angry customers on a regular basis, I know a vent when I see one. People vent like that when they feel frustrated and helpless, and as the commenter states, he or she is looking for a target, and even regrets it to some degree once some of the pressure has been released. All "facts" and blanket statements are based on suppositions that are never questioned. It's a portrait of someone whose worldview is failing, and rather than taking responsibility for the failure, my commenter seeks to find someone to blame. I think this is exactly the psychological motivation for the widespread Bush Derangement Syndrome that has begun to manifest in these recent physical attacks.

To my commenter I would say, as a Christian I try to turn the other cheek to personal attacks. Like some of my customers, once you've vented your frustration you show signs of a conscience. I welcome any rational debate of the topics you raise in your comment. I think a discussion of some of the theological points you raise would be particularly entertaining. I've left my comments open as a courtesy so casual readers don't have to register. I ask that you show a little moderation and restraint in the future so that I can keep them open.

papijoe 6:55 AM |

A Day I Thought I'd Never See

After the stunning win over the Yankees, this series against the Cardinals was anti-climactic. I'd compare it to a couple that after agonizing years of trying to have a child, has a mercifully easy pregnancy and delivery. I can't add much more to my previous post on this incredible season.

Maybe I'll have more to say when the reality sinks in.

papijoe 6:41 AM |

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Is Arafat Dead?

And what if the PA decides to honor his wish to be buried on the Temple Mount. During Ramadan.

papijoe 8:23 PM |

"The End of the Jewish Vote"

Another interesting perspective on my earlier post.

No matter who wins on Tuesday, commentators will likely sift through the exit polling and declare that, in at least one respect, President Bush failed. Early this year some Republicans boasted that Bush would realign Jewish American politics -- ending the community's 80-year love affair with the Democratic Party. In recent weeks, however, with polls showing most Jews planning to vote for John Kerry, the brash predictions have stopped. Jewish Democrats are poised to declare victory, to announce that Bush's overtures have come to naught.

But that won't be true. Because while President Bush hasn't realigned the Jewish vote, he has done something even more intriguing: He has ended it.
papijoe 12:56 PM |

Terrorists in Iraq Think Kerry is Just Super

Kerry just received another ringing endorsement.

"If the U.S. Army suffered numerous humiliating losses, [Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John] Kerry would emerge as the superman of the American people," said Mohammad Amin Bashar, a leader of the Muslim Scholars Association, a hard-line clerical group that vocally supports the resistance.

I guess they missed the debate where Kerry said that he would hunt them down and kill them, just like he did to those geese.

papijoe 12:52 PM |

A Promising Trend?

There are some signs that President Bush as made inroads into the critical Jewish vote this year. The Democrats can typically count on 70-80% of the Jewish vote. Even Hillary Clinton received 54% of the Jewish vote in her Senate race despite reports of anti-semitic remarks in the White House.

Here is some ammunition for your liberal friends and family who argue that John Kerry is the best choice for this country and a friend to Israel.

Smooth Stone has a series of excellent posts on the subject. Be warned that the most recent one is gut-wrenching.

Cliff Alsberg makes a thoughtful and eloquent case for Bush's re-election at A Jewish Perspective.

Our Talmud teaches us that we should consider each and every Mitzvah we perform as though the fate of the world hung in the balance. And as we’ve indelibly learned from the presidential election of 2000, every individual vote indeed turned out to be pivotal and decisive. Yet once again, the Almighty has placed us on the fulcrum of history — a moment in time of such powerful and historical consequence that the way we consider voting on November 2nd could well determine the future course of Western Civilization. As Jews living in so-called “battleground states”, your votes might very well be the deciding factor.

Max at Nice Jewish Boy has one of the best posts I've seen to illustrate the choice facing Jewish voters, base on his experience of a debate at a local synagogue.

Zev Yaroslavsky, one of the LA County officials who had the cross removed from their seal, represented the Kerry camp.

In a John Skerryesque fashion he said something to the like of: Jews be afraid of the Christian Right. As Jews we are their first victims of conversion. Send your kids to the university to fight against Judeo/Christian values. Do not trust the right wing Bush agenda. Forget about being Jewish, that will get us nowhere. We need to get secular, liberal, leftist, and remove that little cross from he seal, now. The Republican Jews in the room gasped.

Larry Greenfield, President of the So Cal Republican Jewish Coalition spoke for Bush.

Larry Greenfield was outnumbered 2 to 1 and he still hit the secular socialists out of the park. He came back at every argument with passion. He talked about how the Christian left is the real thing to be scared of. Larry knows that the good Christian folks on the right are our best friends these days. He realizes that America's Christians are different then Europe's, how there is an alliance between Jew and Gentile to keep the values this country was founded on strong. Larry represents the party that embraces our Christian friends and allies when nobody else does. Everyone knows that the University is a liberal factory. Why should we as Jews go there to get our values. The University is a breeding ground for anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli debate. God bless Larry Greenfield for venturing into the vipers nest tonight and saying what is right and righteous about being a Jewish Republican.

And don't forget the comment by Richard Holbrooke about Kerry's plans to "put pressure" on Israel, confirming what Charles Krauthammer said just days before about Kerry "Sacrificing Israel"

Please, if you think it will do any good, send some of these links to your circle of influence. There's a world to save.
papijoe 6:20 AM |

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

In Memoriam

Today is my brother's birthday. He would have been 38 years old. The 15th of this December will mark the 3rd anniversary of the day he died.

The past two years I haven't been sure what to do on either of these dates. The first year, some of the family members called each other. Now that seems awkward.

My brother had a heart attack on the day his doctor was to tell him he was cancer free after almost a year of chemo and radiation. He died soon after. In my last conversation with him about a week before, he called me about a dream he had. He said he saw the whole family standing around him, holding hands and praying. He was weeping with joy and felt the overpowering presence of God.

This turned out to be an exact description of the scene that played out in the ICU as he lay in a coma while a machine kept him breathing. His heart had stopped for more that 15 minutes before he was revived, and the next day the doctors told us he had no conscious brain activity and couldn't survive without life support. This only confirmed what I felt when I first saw him in the hospital bed. Still, until the next morning we took turns by his bedside, holding his hand, reading Scripture, and praying for a miracle. I read every verse I could find about the sick being healed and the dead being raised. Since then I've accepted that God decided that my brother had had enough, mission accomplished, and it was time for him to come home.
The other day I was reading about Nachshon Wachsman, and how his parents responded to the outpouring of prayers and support for their son before he was cruelly murdered by terrorists. Hi mother spoke of how her husband's greatest concern was that those who had prayed would lose faith in God because Nachshon wasn't spared. Reading her account I recognized the tenuous but supernatural peace that God gives us when He provides us with a small glimpse of his plan to take what was meant for evil and turn it into something good.

My brother had a personal, unique and very tangible relationship with Jesus. I'm trying to avoid all the religious cliches because my brother was not religious. He loved you or he didn't. I can't recall a single thing that he ever did because he thought he "ought to". He was never a meritorious "good do-bee" like me. Jesus was his best bud, they talked, they worked things out.
Those of us who remain can't avoid the question. Why did he have to leave us? By the time we buried him, I had part of the answer, and I don't think I can explain it all. But I'll use what my sister-in-law experienced to try to illustrate. We were so worried about her. She had just lost her father 3 months before, had been through the harrowing chemo treatments with my brother, and now this.
But at some point after he slipped away, she felt him with her for the last time, and he wasn't alone. When she told us, her face was transfigured, all the weariness and pain had been replaced with peace and joy. It's no use trying to describe how she looked anymore than it was for her to describe what she experienced. But she absolutely knew that my brother had lovingly said farewell and gave her a intimation of Heaven that would sustain her for as long as she needed.

I posted this for myself. I've learned that grief is selfish. Yet not to let it run it's course is dangerous. And while we tarry here it never ends. I wish I could convey what I saw in my sister-in-law's face to everyone, but I can't. It's a gift that's not mine to give. What she went through didn't entitle her to it, but it did prepare her to receive it. But I can testify to what I saw. There was much more to it than what I've related. But when God brought my brother into Heaven, He left the gate open just a crack for us, and exchanged our loss for a greater Hope.
papijoe 6:00 AM |

Monday, October 25, 2004

"In Praise of Premature War"

Another dark masterpiece from Spengler.

Whether or not Saddam Hussein actually intended or had the capacity to build nuclear weapons is of trifling weight in the strategic balance. Everyone is planning to build nuclear weapons. They involve 60-year-old technology no longer difficult to replicate. It hardly matters where one begins. "Kill the chicken, and let the monkey watch," as the Chinese say. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, the theocrats of Iran, the North Koreans and soon many other incalculable reprobates have or will have such plans. It hardly matters which one you attack first, so long as you attack one of them.
papijoe 5:56 AM |

For Kerry Supporters Who Claim to be Zionists

Arutz Sheva has a great column to send to friends who claim to support Israel but plan on voting for Kerry. If this doesn't change their mind, nothing will.

Thank you, George W. Bush, for getting Saddam Hussein off Israel's back so my children and my in-laws can put away their gas masks for good. Thank you, George W. Bush, for passing the Patriot Act, which outlaws terrorist funding, and for going after the bankers who fund the murder of our children.

Thank you, George W. Bush, for understanding there is an Axis of Evil, and for putting Syria and Iran on it.

Thank you, George W. Bush, for saving millions of women and girls from a fate worse than death, by getting rid of the Taliban, so they can go to a doctor, go to school, and not be stoned publicly for not walking around like little tents.

Pass it on.
papijoe 5:50 AM |

Sunday, October 24, 2004

A Jewish Statement

This was originally posted on Israpundit from a statement from the National Jewish Scholars Project.

At times like this when evil is increasing in the world, God gives us grace and encouragement in event's like this.

In recent years, there has been a dramatic and unprecedented shift in Jewish and Christian relations. Throughout the nearly two millennia of Jewish exile, Christians have tended to characterize Judaism as a failed religion or, at best, a religion that prepared the way for, and is completed in, Christianity. In the decades since the Holocaust, however, Christianity has changed dramatically. An increasing number of official Church bodies, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, have made public statements of their remorse about Christian mistreatment of Jews and Judaism. These statements have declared, furthermore, that Christian teaching and preaching can and must be reformed so that they acknowledge God’s enduring covenant with the Jewish people and celebrate the contribution of Judaism to world civilization and to Christian faith itself.

We believe these changes merit a thoughtful Jewish response. Speaking only for ourselves -- an interdenominational group of Jewish scholars -- we believe it is time for Jews to learn about the efforts of Christians to honor Judaism. We believe it is time for Jews to reflect on what Judaism may now say about Christianity. As a first step, we offer eight brief statements about how Jews and Christians may relate to one another.

It's encouraging that even the recent positions taken against Israel by the Presbyterians and Episcopalians haven't destroyed the progress being made between Jews and Christians

papijoe 7:01 PM |

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Hearing on Land Deal to Mosque

On Oct. 5, the Boston City Council called for an investigation into why an Islamic group that is planning to build a $22 million mosque in Roxbury, not far from Roxbury Community College, was allowed to buy almost two acres of city-owned parcels of land for a bargain price of $175,000.

The City Council Post Audit and Oversight Committee plans to hold a hearing on the sale of the land on Malcolm X Boulevard to the Islamic Society of Boston.

Asked City Councilor Jerry McDermott, "Why was the property sold for below what it could have fetched on the open marked? If they can build a mosque for $22 million, why do they need to buy the property at a discount?"

Two good questions from the district councilor representing Allston and Brighton. The BRA reportedly valued the land at $401,000, but with the mayor's apparent backing allowed the Cambridge-based Muslim group to get the land at a great discount. The group was asked to provide benefits, including a college lecture series and the sprucing up of two nearby parks.

Meanwhile, the Boston Globe, which seems to have been ignoring the story finally had this piece:

The Boston Globe's Adrian Walker, meanwhile, in an Oct. 7 column titled "Probe is fishing trip," wrote that Kelly and McDermott were members of a body "that obviously has too little to do."
papijoe 1:34 PM |

Friday, October 22, 2004

Supreme Potentate Clinton

I didn't get to this story yesterday. It's not the first time the possibility has been raised. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review ran a story on Clinton's UN ambitions more than a year ago. Leaving my emotions aside for the moments, I've been trying to develop a dispassionate analysis how much actual power this would put in Clinton's hands.
From one point of view, the UN is incredibly ineffectual, and there is a temptation to dismiss write this off as a harmless figurehead position. But it's important not to dismiss the capabilities of the UN just because it has a poor track record of doing good. While it has failed at preventing the tragedies of Rwanda, Bosnia, and now the Sudan, it has been amazingly effective in other areas, such as the international isolation of Taiwan and Israel, and being a rallying point for anti-American sentiment and policy. Thanks to gifts from Ted Turner, the United Nations Population Fund has been spreading programs for population control, including manual vacuum pump devices for early term abortions, to the third world. And recently the Duelfer Report showed the UN to be the perfect means for Saddam to nullify the sanctions against him while extending his control to the corrupt officials he controlled thanks to the UN Food for Oil Program.
One could argue that based on his history, Bill Clinton would use this post as he did the Presidency to fuel his narcissistic agenda and little else. One of my main concerns is that the the effect of having a former American president in that position would give it a legitimacy and influence, especially in this country, that it never had under Kofi Annan or any of his predecessors. And Clinton has a proven record of disregard for our country's security and well-being. If he is actually elected to the post in 2006, it will in effect be like having 2 presidents in power. And the loyalty of those who opposed Bush will go to the UN. Now imagine Hilary Clinton as a candidate in 2008, and you have a scenario for the end of our sovereignty as a nation.
We need to dismantle the UN now, and remove it from our soil before any of this can transpire. In this election we have already seen foreign interests attempting to influence the outcome. Just the other day, a foreign delegation called for giving the vote to 4.7 million ex-felons We need to stop participating in the destruction of our own sovereignty.
papijoe 5:50 AM |

Thursday, October 21, 2004

He has a plan

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From Sacred Cow Burgers via John Schneider
papijoe 2:14 PM |

Curt Schilling on the "Curse"

It's silly, but it's something you hear all the time in Boston. As a Christian, I know for a fact that the Curse doesn't exist. Boston hasn't won a World Series not because of a curse but because the teams they played have been better than them and have done the things they had to do when it mattered most.

He also attributes his win in Game 6 to divine intervention. To Boston fans, this is self-evident.
papijoe 9:58 AM |

October Surprise

This was the first year that I really gave up on the Red Sox. Last year I was pretty ambivalent but I still got my hopes up in the playoffs. In 2004 my hope died.
Along with the political aboutface I've done in the past few years, there has been a cultural one too. I've had to renounce scores of actors and musicians who's views have become repugnant to me. The eyes of an unbeliever look suspiciously at these Red Sox. Derek Lowe looks like a younger moonbat version of Richard Gere. Who ever saw such a hirsute team despite a few that actually looked like the baseball card portraits of my youth?
I turned on the TV in the 3rd inning and got a shock. I was sure the Sox would lose this game. I started to feel a strange panic, what if they actually win? Would Kerry be able to make some political capital out of this? I opened a bottle of bargain Amontillado to soothe my inner conflict.
And these aren't the sinister Yankees of the 70s that I hated with such a passion, Thurmond Munson, Billy Martin, Lou Pinella, and the sucker-punching Mickey Rivers. I like Jeter and Joe Torre seems like a real mensch. These are the guys who won the world series after 9-11. Tyrone looks like a staff sargeant, in fact the whole Yankee lineup could have been cast in "Band of Brothers".
Despite her current residence, NY Nana is a faithful Sox fan since she was a maideleh in Brighton. I can't get to the computer without waking my wife (not something you want to do to a women in the 8th month of pregnancy), but Nana's been sending me mind-beams the whole game. She joins some other apparitions the dim cathode light of my living room. Jheka is phasing in and out like a bad hologram transmission. He is understandably grim. Why does he have to look so much like my brother? Eugenio who loves both los Yanquis and Las Medias Rojas the way only a foriegner can, is bouncing in his seat on the couch next to me, refusing to respect my personal space. Over on the loveseat by himself is my Dad, looking like he did when he still drank Carling Black Label out of quart bottles. The Sox used to send him into apoplectic rages, like the time Eddie Kasko put that pitcher in without warming him up. Right now he's grinning.
The bald Irish tenor just finished singing "God Bless America" When did they start singing during the 7th inning stretch? This is embarassing.
That's when my dilemma became clear. This is the worst thing that could happen to a backslidden Red Sox fan. I'm like a guy who runs off with his secretary the day before Judgement Day.
Jheka, who I actually though I heard praying in the 6th, perked up as soon as they brought Pedro in. What are they thinking? Yankee fans are taunting Pedro, "Who's your daddy?" That familiar voice in my head is already screeching, "See! They are going to blow it again! Just like last year!" Heaven help me, I'm almost relieved. Dad pours Black Label into a frosted mug and doesn't look perturbed. Nana is wisely silent, but her eyes are shining. What do they know that I don't know?
I relax a little when they put Timlin in. Eugenio says, "Papi, estas feliz?"
"No estoy seguro" He laughs at my gringo angst.
This is the team that snagged my tender young heart with a grappling hook and chained it to the back of a pickup truck, dragging me through '73, '78, '86 ...
9-3. Unbelievable.
Dad is chuckling and grinning at me. "Hey Joe!" He's about to get sentimental/philosophical. "Did you ever think you'd see this?" Then he grunts. "Look at those *ssholes with their cell phones! Why don't they just shut up and watch the game!"
Eugenio wants to hug me. He's not even drinking. In that big head of his he has already composed the finest work of sports writing his adopted country of Mexico will ever know.
Could the Red Sox blow a 7 run lead? Sure they could.
And this isn't the World Series. They could still lose to Houston or St. Louis.
That Matsui has got heart.
The Red Sox winning the World Series would be a sign and a wonder. The Rapture wouldn't be far behind.
After the first out of the inning, I'm starting to feel like I can forgive my own unbelief. I can't gloat or rejoice like the faithful, but I can quietly have hope for The Red Sox again.
When Sierra grounds out, everyone starts to shimmer and fade.
The communal celebration has begun on the field, in the bars and livingrooms of New England.

Alone and past his bedtime, an 11 year-old boy is crying in the flickering twilight.
papijoe 5:29 AM |

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

U.S. Presbyterian Delegation Meets With Hizbollah

Originally posted at Israpundit

The head of a visiting U.S. Presbyterian Church delegation called on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories and said Monday that his church is studying the possibility of withholding investments to increase pressure on Israel.

"The occupation by Israel in the West Bank and Gaza must end because it is oppressive and destructive for the Palestinian people," the Rev. Nile Harper said in an interview with The Associated Press.

He criticized as "unhelpful" the barrier Israel is building in the West Bank to prevent Palestinian suicide bombings.

Harper, of Ann Arbor, Mich., warned that the General Assembly of his church, whose investments in U.S. firms total $8 billion, had instructed its investment agency to study the possibility of withdrawing its money from U.S. corporations whose products "are being destructively used against the Palestinians" by Israel.

The 24-member delegation traveled to Lebanon on Sunday and met with the south Lebanon commander of Hezbollah, a group Washington calls terrorist but Lebanon sees as a legitimate resistance movement against Israeli occupation of Arab lands.

On Monday, they traveled to Syria, where they met with the minister of expatriates. They were scheduled to meet with President Bashar Assad on Tuesday and to travel to Jordan on Wednesday.

The Presbyterians have not only joined the Episcopalians by threating to divest from Israel, but have upped the ante by actually meeting with terrorists. That they would actually meet with sworn enemies of Israel is shocking to me, and is further proof that both of these mainline churches have strayed far from their core values. It is evident that they are following a secular political agenda, especially compared to the support that Israel receives from Bible believing denominations such as Baptists, evangelicals and Pentecostals.

The Barna Group reports that a relatively low percentage (28%) of the mainline churches such as the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches have pastors with a Biblical worldview, which basically entails a belief in absolute moral truth based on the Bible. The alternative is a secular worldview which involves a liberal theology based on moral relativism and equivalency. Without an absolute moral compass, the message from the pulpit is a more sanctimonious version of leftist ideology. So the mainline churches find themselves comfortably in the same camp as secular Europeans and our own radical left.
It's also significant to note that attendance has been steadily dropping in these mainline churches while Bible believing congregations have been growing.
But from the point of view of Israel, the growing hostility of this minority of American Christians must look ominous and open up old wounds that the majority of our nation's faithful have been trying to heal.
papijoe 6:12 AM |

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Kerry to be Excommunicated?

evariste at LGFWW has created the mother of all posts on this Powerline piece concerning a heresy charge being levied against Kerry. Residents of Tokyo are already fleeing from it screaming. But you shouldn't, it's brilliant.

I don't know what inspired it, but I suddenly have a craving for chocolate covered Doritos.
papijoe 10:16 AM |

Orson Scott Card on Kerry

Originally posted on American Realpolitik

Card paints a clear picture of how Kerry's campaign feeds off the hypocrisy, dishonesty and ethical bankruptcy of those who have aligned themselves against Bush.

Kerry has no principles. It's as simple as that. He is simply attacking Bush in every way he can think of, and hoping the American people buy the idea that Bush has been incompetent, even though Kerry knows that the war is going as well as any war can be expected to go, both in the Iraq campaign specifically and in the overall War against Terror.

Kerry instantly exploits any setback or loss in the war for his own political advantage; but if Bush should try to point out any success, he is either "deceiving" the American people by looking at things through rose-colored glasses, or he is "exploiting" the sacrifices of our brave soldiers for his own political gain.

Read the whole thing. It is a very elegantly constructed argument. It details the involvement of the media, the treasonous use of the war in Iraq and on terrorism to cynically undermine Bush with the backing of the self-absorbed factions of our society who choose to ignore the dangers we face.
And he warns of a greater danger. The blueprint was the bombngs in Madrid. Card convincingly argues that Kerry's current strategy against Bush demonstrates that he wouldn't hesitant to use such an attack on the US to his political advantage. And this is precisely why terrorists like Arafat support him:

Yet, in Al Qaeda's effort to install Osama Bin Laden (or, if he dies, some like-minded successor) as Caliph of all Islam, they find it useful to promote extreme Leftist governments in Western nations.

Why? Because they know Leftist governments won't fight them.

They know John Kerry will hand them the victory they can't win against a determined America.

Ultimately, they believe that Leftist governments will behave in such a way that the Leftist agenda can be swept away and replaced by Shari'a.

Such might be the result of hypocrisy and cynicism in America.
papijoe 6:40 AM |

When the Man Comes Around

This is an awesome tribute to Bush.

And yes, Johnny Cash originally wrote it about Someone Else...
papijoe 5:58 AM |

Monday, October 18, 2004

Kerry Campaign Scores Another Key Endorsement

Palestinian Authority comes out officially in support of Democratic John Kerry’s candidacy for US president, maintains future of peace process uncertain if Bush reelected.

from Debka, so consider the source...
papijoe 4:26 PM |

Israel: Military Solution to Terrorism Works

This enormously important article is the response to all those who still still believe that a hard line against terrorists creates more terrorists.

[For] most Israelis, and for many Palestinians too, the violence of the intifada--which entered its fifth year this month--seems to be in recession...
How did things improve so dramatically, and so quickly, for Palestinians and Israelis alike? Begin by recalling Israel's assassination, in late March, of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. At the time, the action was all but universally condemned as reckless and counterproductive. "By granting Yassin the martyrdom he craved, the Israelis have provided a motive for new suicide attacks," went an editorial in the normally pro-Israel Daily Telegraph of London. "More young Palestinians will fall in love with death, and more Israeli civilians will die with them."
Yet what followed for Israel were nearly six consecutive terror-free months. This wasn't because the Palestinian terror groups lacked for motivation to carry out attacks. It was because they lacked for means. The leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Yasser Arafat's own al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades had to spend their time figuring out how to survive, not on planning fresh attacks. The Israeli army incarcerated terror suspects in record numbers--some 6,000 now sit in Israeli prisons--which in turn helped yield information for future arrests. Most importantly, the security fence has begun to make the Israeli heartland nearly impenetrable to Palestinian infiltrators.

The value of keeping terrorists on the run and intiative as a force multiplier can't seem to be stressed enough:

Last summer, domestic discontent with Arafat nearly turned to outright revolt. This, too, was a direct and positive result of Israel's military policy: By locking up Arafat in his compound and making him look weak, he became weak. By weakening Arafat, while simultaneously decimating Hamas, it gave rise to a cohort of comparatively more pragmatic leaders ready to give up on this intifada the moment they can. Above all, by showing Palestinians that the suffering they inflicted was the suffering they incurred, it forced a quiet rethink about the utility of violence as a political tool.

The lessons for the US should be obvious:

Taken together, these measures prove what a legion of diplomats, pundits and reporters have striven to deny: that there is a military solution to the conflict. This is true in two senses. First, a sufficiently strong military response to terrorism does not simply feed a cycle of violence (although a weak military response does); rather, it speeds the killing to a conclusion. That makes it possible for Israelis and Palestinians to resume a semblance of normal life. Second, a military solution creates new practical realities, and new strategic understandings, from which previously elusive political opportunities may emerge.

The situation in Iraq is on a bigger scale, but not, in my opinion, enough to be qualitatively different.

Tactically, Israeli security forces learned, after a shaky start, how to suppress a massive terrorist-guerrilla insurgency, a remarkable accomplishment U.S. military planners would do well to study. Strategically, a majority of Israelis concluded that while peace with this generation of Palestinian leaders is impossible, separation from them is essential. And morally, Israel learned that even the most fractious democracy can stand up to a prolonged terrorist assault, and choose not to yield.
papijoe 1:31 PM |

A Thousand Words

Image Hosted by

From V the K,
originally from the Daily Bleat
papijoe 6:18 AM |

Once an enemy, now a supporter of Israel

Brigitte Grabriel's story, as posted by Smooth Stone speaks volumes about the difference between the Israelis and those who oppose them.

I was raised in Lebanon where I was taught that the Jews were evil, Israel was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.

When the Muslims and Palestinians declared Jihad on the Christians in 1975, they started massacring the Christians city after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17 without electricity eating grass to live and crawling under sniper bullets to a spring to get water.

It was Israel that came to help the Christians in Lebanon. My mother was wounded by a Muslim’s shell and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room I was shocked at what I saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Muslims, Palestinians, Christian Lebanese and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injury. They treated my mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn’t see religion. They didn’t see political affiliation. They saw people in need and they helped.

For the first time in my life, I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would never have shown to its enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis -- who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments. I spent 22 days at that hospital. Those days changed my life and the way I listen to the media. I realized that I had been sold a fabricated lie by my government about the Jews and Israel that was so far from reality. I knew for a fact that if I was a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown over to the grounds as shouts of joy of “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) would echo through the hospital and the surrounding streets.

I became friends with the families of the Israeli wounded soldiers, one in particular Rina, her only child was wounded in his eyes.

One day I was visiting with her and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded Rina’s son’s bed playing a song about Jerusalem, Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started waking out of the room, and this mother holds my hand and pulls me back in without even looking at me. She holds me crying and says: “It is not your fault”. We just stood there crying holding each other’s hands.
papijoe 6:09 AM |

Sunday, October 17, 2004

French MEP questions existence of gas chambers

Nanette from LGF posted this.

Bruno Gollnisch, a member of European Parliament (MEP) and deputy leader of the French extreme right-wing party the National Front, led by Jean-Marie Le Pen, has caused an outrage in Europe by questioning the use of gas chambers by the Nazis.

Gollnisch, 54, is also a member of the Greater Lyons Regional Council and a professor of Japanese and former dean of the faculty of literature at Lyons III University.

He made the comments during an interview on the conclusions of a commission into racism and Holocaust denial at Lyons III University on the French TV channel LCI last Monday.

To his credit the President of the European Parliment condemned Gollnisch's statements:

"Let me tell you that I am ashamed of having heard an MEP outrageously questioning the existence of the gas chambers. One cannot deny history. One cannot question the Holocaust," he said.

papijoe 7:33 PM |

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Did Saddam meet bin Ladin in 1998?

According to the latest news crawl at MEMRI, as posted by kelley b at LGF:


The 48 hour rule should apply, but this would make a nice October surprise.
papijoe 7:47 PM |

Saddam bankrolled Palestinian terrorists

Smooth Stone has a great post on this story.

The PFLP, whose history of terrorism dates back to the "black September" hijackings of 1970, was personally vetted by Saddam to receive oil vouchers worth £40 million.

The deal has been uncovered by US investigators, trawling millions of pages of documents showing a network of diplomats bribed by Saddam’s regimes, and political parties who qualified for backhanded payments from Baghdad.

The Iraq Survey Group (ISG), which is still working its way through 20,000 boxes of documents from Saddam’s Baath party discovered only recently, found a list of pressure groups bankrolled by Saddam.

Using the United Nations’ own oil-for-food scheme - ironically intended as a sanction to control the behaviour of his dictatorship - Saddam gave Awad Ammora & Partners, a Syrian company, two million barrels of oil.

Documents handed over to US authorities by a former Iraqi oil minister only four months ago show that this was a front for the PFLP - which was then embarked on a spate of car bombings aimed at Israeli officials.
papijoe 7:40 PM |

Friday, October 15, 2004

13-year-old Iranian girl faces death by stoning


Stop stoning of the 13 years old child in IRAN Join the campaign to save Jila 13 from prison and stoning!
The Islamic regime of Iran is going to stone a 13 year old girl in Marivan to death.

Jila has been condemned to stoning to death. She is pregnant due to a sexual relationship with her 15 year old brother. The Islamic regime of Iran wants to stone this girl. I ask all people in Iran and all NGO organizations which are active for children's rights or other human rights in Iran and outside Iran to put pressure on the Iranian regime for immediate release of this child

Here is the petition. The site was down, but keep trying. And spread the word
papijoe 3:51 PM |

US Allies to come under scrutiny for treatment of Jews

In another test of America's frayed relations with France, Russia and other allies, the US Congress has ordered the State Department to start rating governments throughout the world on their treatment of Jewish citizens.

The resulting report cards on anti-Semitism would be published in annual US surveys of human rights abuses around the world.

The proposed law was passed by the House of Representatives on Monday, in response to what its sponsors called an alarming surge in anti-Semitism, especially in Europe. It has already been passed by the Senate.

I'm proud of our Congress for passing this. With the overwhelming support of the entire country and legislature, one would expect our foriegn policy makers in Washington to be foursquare behind this, right?

Congress overruled strong opposition from diplomats at the State Department who complained in an internal memo that a special focus on Judaism, "opens us to charges of favouritism and challenges the credibility of our reporting".

Those of us who have long perceived a pro-Arab bias in the State Dept. will read this part with no little pleasure:

The law, the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, also ordered the establishment of an office at the State Department dedicated to monitoring anti-Semitism, again over the department's protests.

The State Dept seething has already begun in a leaked report:

In a sign of the diplomatic anxieties, the State Department argued for anti-Semitism monitoring to remain a task conducted behind closed doors, by the department's existing "special envoy for holocaust issues".

At the moment, US diplomats discreetly gather data on anti-Semitism from other governments, in multilateral conferences held in Europe and an annual international religious freedom round table sponsored by Washington.

"There is no need for the special envoy to hold public hearings, take testimony or receive evidence to effectively monitor and combat anti-Semitism," said the memo, which was sent to congressional sponsors of the new law.

If more Democrats were like Tom Lantos...

Tom Lantos, a California Democrat and Holocaust survivor who was one of the sponsors, denounced State Department talk of "favouritism" as an alarming nod to "the worst stereotypes of Jews perpetrated in anti-Semitic tracts throughout modern history".

This comment from Lantos' staffer Lynne Weil would seem to indicate that the Congressman has Europe's number:

"If a government takes offence at this, that government should be offended by the acts of its own citizens, if they are hateful."
papijoe 10:41 AM |

Documents link Saddam to bin Laden and al Qaeda

When this story came out on Oct 4 in CNS I decided to apply the 48 hour rule, which stretched into more than a week, but it looks like the story is legit and is starting to get the attention it deserves, although there is no hint of it in the mainstream media.

Walid Phares and three other authorities on the Middle East have vouched for their authenticity.

"[The documents] establish irreversible evidence that there were strategic relations between the Baathist regime and Islamist groups that became al-Qaeda," Mr. Phares said after reviewing them at WORLD's request on Oct. 6. In addition, the documents link al-Zarqawi-associated groups throughout the Middle East, including al-Qaeda, on Saddam's payroll and acting under his direct authority.

The documents directly refute Democratic candidates Kerry and Edward's claims that there was no link between Saddam and terrorists:

They include an 11-page memo, dated Jan. 25, 1993, listing "parties related to our system . . . expert in executing the required missions." The memo cites Palestinian, Sudanese, and Asian terror groups, and shows a developing relationship with groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, including Mr. al-Zarqawi, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar—figures who are now on the U.S. most-wanted list for ongoing assaults in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Jan. 25, 1993, memo also describes an intelligence service meeting with a splinter group led by Mohammed Omar Abdel-Rahman. Mr. Abdel-Rahman is a son of the blind Egyptian, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, accused of inspiring the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and arrested in 1994 for targeting New York landmarks. Pakistani officials caught the younger Abdel-Rahman last year, and say he helped lead authorities to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, one of the 9/11 attack planners.

A separate memo, dated March 18, 1993, asks intelligence officers to provide "details of Arab martyrs who got trained" in conjunction with post–Gulf War "committees of martyrs act." In reply another office supplied 92 names with nationalities, all "trained inside the ‘martyr act camp' that belonged to our directorate." In all, 40 are linked to Palestinian groups, 21 are Sudanese, and others range from Eritrea, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, and Egypt. Most of the trainees completed a government-sponsored course on Nov. 24, 1990, and were sent on missions throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

Accompanying the memos are separate notations signed by Saddam Hussein's secretary, suggesting the president himself had reviewed and endorsed each action.

"Saddam was personally overseeing the details" of training terrorists and assigning their missions, Mr. Phares said. "From 1993 on, Saddam Hussein connected with Sunni fundamentalists in the Arab world. He was in touch with the founding members of al-Qaeda."

But don't hold your breath waiting for a response from the Kerry campaign.
papijoe 8:35 AM |

More Scrutiny of Islamic Society of Boston

I've been asleep at the switch on the recent developments in this ongoing story in the city of my birth. NY Nana, another former Boston resident alerted me to the post on LGF

It's interesting to note that while distancing themselves from one of the board member's anti-semitic statements, the ISB left this recent entry up on their guestbook:

Post Date: Monday, October 11, 2004
Name: Nadir Ahmed
Rating: Very Good
Comments: Salamalekum,

let me know if you need help in refuting these Zionist fanatics like Daniel Pipes and his goons in Boston. The undue negative attention which the mosque is receiving may be a blessing because now Muslims may have a voice in the "Terrorism debate", and this is important for two reasons. The first reason is because America must realize their is no difference between supporting Israeli apartheid and supporting Bin Laden. Both are evil. This is a cold fact which the Israeli supporters run from. The second reason is because, the Muslim view point(not counting Muslim "Uncle Toms") on the war on Terrorism has been completely suppressed from almost all forms of mass media. The vast majority of Americans are completely in the dark as to what exactly is the Muslim view point on this matter!

Meanwhile the Boston Globe, which has ignored this story, alerts us to the plight of pious Muslims who can't make their required zakat donations because they might be suspected of supporting terrorism:

This is the time of the year when Abdulrahman Odeh counts his blessings, takes out his checkbook and pen, and makes a donation to an Islamic charity.

During the holy month of Ramadan, many Muslims meet their religious obligation to give to the needy. But Odeh is agonizing over who should get his money this year with good reason.

For 10 years, the bagel shop owner helped run an Islamic charity that collected and distributed money in the Middle East. The Holy Land Foundation, he said, was helping orphans and needy children.

But federal prosecutors say the group was funneling money to the Hamas terrorist group. In 2001, its offices across the country were raided and stripped of equipment, its assets frozen.

The AP writer adds this almost as an afterthought:

Odeh, who is awaiting a trial that could send him to prison for the rest of his life

The rest of Odeh's story gets buried at the bottom of the piece:

Odeh, one of seven Holy Land officials charged with providing material assistance to terrorists, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, has pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Dallas. No trial date has been set.

His lawyer, Hamdi Rifai, said Odeh was just an employee at the foundation, and like its donors was not responsible for knowing where the money was going. Many of the acts alleged by the government occurred before Odeh was hired by the charity in 1994, he added.

papijoe 6:08 AM |

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Happy Anniversary

Joe Carter's the evangelical outpost had it's first birthday yesterday. Joe is an active duty Marine, and he has one of the finest Christian/political blogs out there.

Go check it out and congratulate Joe!
papijoe 2:20 PM |

Sharon reverses decision to limit Temple Mount worshipers

With only hours to spare, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, following consultations with police chief Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi, decided Thursday not to limit the number of Muslim worshippers scheduled to pray at the Temple Mount during the holy month of Ramadan, set to kick off on Friday.

Accepting Karadi's recommendation, Sharon backed down from threats voiced by officials over the past few days, according to which Israel would limit the number of worshippers from 250,000 to 60,000 unless the Wakf agreed to ban worshippers from the southeastern corner of the Mount over the area known as Solomon's Stables, said to be in danger of collapsing.

Apparently the decision was based on 11th hour reinforcements to the structure and an agreement to close part of the site.

Following a tour of the mount with Jerusalem police chief Cmdr. Ilan Franco, Karadi said that in the past 48 hours work was done in Solomon's Stables in order to reinforce the unstable ceiling and that the area on top of the mount was in the process of being sealed off. He added that Jordanian engineer experts were also on the Mount and were participating in the construction work.

"Over the past few weeks several operations have been initiated in order to allow for an unrestricted prayer service," Karadi said. "We received an engineer opinion that part of the mount is not safe and there is a danger that the ceiling over Solomon's Stables will cave in. The Wakf has also reached the decision that work needs to be done in the compound in order to prevent people from praying in that area."

Officials said that Sharon arrived at his decision after the Wakf accepted Israel's demands to close off the part of the mount over Solomon's Stables.

Hopefully reason has won out over shame/honor posturing and this will be an end to the matter.
papijoe 12:35 PM |

Round Three to Bush

From the moment he jiu-jitsu'ed a silly question on flu vaccines into a slap at litigation, the President was 100% on the ball last night. Nice job!
papijoe 6:08 AM |

Israelis to Limit Ramadan Worshipers on Temple Mount

Both Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post are reporting that the Israelis have decided to limit the number of Muslim worshipers from about 250,000 to 60,000 if the Waqf doesn't agree to keep the crowds away from the eastern part of the wall that Israelis fear is in danger of collapse. This has already started a seething response from Waqf official Adnan Hussieni (related to Arafat?), and they are already hinted at violent repercussions. This story still hasn't been picked up outside of the Israeli press, and the MSM will be free to spin it anyway they want.

Israel is doing the right thing, and there will no doubt be a violent reaction. They evidently see this as more manageable than risking a catastrophic collapse:

Security forces have begun preparations for the first day of the prayers, scheduled to begin over the weekend, with the exact date determined by the sighting of the new moon. Under the mission name "Solomon's Spring," several thousand policemen and IDF troops will seal off Jerusalem and will man roadblocks surrounding the capital to prevent Palestinians from entering the city and traveling to the Temple Mount.

Large forces will also be posted in the Old City to ensure that the number of worshipers is limited to the allowed amount and that prayers are not held on top of Solomon's Stables.

Edri explained that the government is not willing to take any chances due to the potential for a large-scale disaster.

"If the Wakf does not take responsibility to stop the worshiper's entrance to that part of the Mount then the government will have no choice but to fulfill it obligation to safeguard the worshipers," he said. "We will not take any chances since if a disaster occurs and we did not stop it, we will ultimately be blamed."

papijoe 5:37 AM |

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Spengler on "Judeophilia" in the US

Not a permalink, you need to scroll down to the letter by "Bliss"

Spengler isn't as well known, but he is in the same league as Wretchard.

He doesn't really lend himself to pulling out a paragraph or two. But he does perform variations on this theme from John Adams (who humanists tell us was a Deist who rejected traditional Judeo-Christian values):

I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men then any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. If I were an atheist ... I should believe that chance had ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise almighty sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization.

papijoe 1:17 PM |

Spengler on "Judeophilia" in the US

Not a permalink, you need to scroll down to the letter by "Bliss"

Spengler isn't as well known, but he is in the same league as Wretchard.

He doesn't really lend himself to pulling out a paragraph or two. But he does perform variations on this theme from John Adams (who humanists tell us was a Deist who rejected traditional Judeo-Christian values):

I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men then any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. If I were an atheist ... I should believe that chance had ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise almighty sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization.

papijoe 1:17 PM |

Salonica: Holocaust in Greece

This is the first in a series on the history of Jews in Salonica posted at LFGWW.

Rightwatch also has a like to this site with some soul-stirring music from Salonica
papijoe 7:23 AM |

Mass graves in Mosul

I realize this is old news to some, but this story came out today about excavations that are still ongoing at these sites.

I can't even bear to post an excerpt today. Suffice to say one of the mass graves was exclusively women (some pregnant) and children. Please read it yourself if you want to be reminded what we are fighting for. I have to send an email to a certain individual who was telling me the other day that we should have left Saddam in power.
papijoe 6:54 AM |

High Court rejects bid to block new Temple Mount mosque

The High Court of Justice on Tuesday rejected a petition by the Temple Mount Faithful group demanding a ban on the government and Jerusalem municipality from authorizing the construction of another mosque on the Temple Mount...
The petitioners said that in recent weeks there have been public announcements stating that initial steps have been taken in the building of a fourth mosque in the eastern section of the Mount, which today is an open space.

papijoe 5:36 AM |

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Who will the novelists vote for?

I hate to link to Slate, but I found this survey fascinating.

Out of 31 writers surveyed, only 4 (Orson Scott Card, Roger Simon, Robert Ferrigno, and Thomas Mallon) said that they would vote for Bush. I liked Ferrigno's response the best:

Mark me on the Bush side of the ledger, a lonely side for this survey, I'm certain. Most novelists live in their imagination, which is a fine place to be until the bad guys come knock knock knocking. I don't agree with Bush on shoveling free meds to granny and grandpa, or his antipathy to fuel conservation along with opening up the arctic reserve, but this is small stuff. I'll be voting for Bush because his approach to stopping the people who want to kill my children is the right one, i.e., kill them first. Kerry will dance the Albright two-step with Kim Jong-il, consult with Sandy Berger's socks, and kowtow to the U.N. apparatchiks who have done such a fine job of protecting the Cambodians, Rwandans, and the Sudanese. No thanks. No contest.

There were so many wacky comments by the Kerry supporters, here's a sample from Nicole Krauss:

I'm voting for Kerry. I've just discovered that, through some unsurprising accident of the Board of Elections, I'm actually registered to vote in two different counties. So I'm considering voting for him twice. I really think it's not alarmist to say that if Bush is reelected to another four years, it may be the end of life as we know it. Certainly it will be the end of life for many species, including huge numbers of the species Homo sapiens. Nothing has ever caused me such sustained anger, fear, and sadness as the current administration, and the future they're driving us all toward.
papijoe 4:29 PM |

Enough with the Temple Mount?

Not yet.

This story from Jerusalem Newswire appeared today as a Google alert I set up on the Temple Mount although it's dated 9/26. But I thought it was worth posting because it states the dilemma so plainly:

Israel’s leaders have found themselves in a tricky situation, knowing that a deadly collapse of the Temple Mount could potentially spark a regional war.

They also know, however, that taking unilateral action to prevent such a catastrophe by limiting access to the Temple Mount during Ramadan would lead to widespread Muslim riots.

Despite the risks, the Jewish state appeared determined to protect the lives of its declared Islamic enemies.

Why have the European and US media been so silent? At this juncture, one conclusion seems to be inescapable:

Many believe the Waqf in fact wants a collapse to occur in order to use it as a catalyst for a unified Muslim front against the Jewish state.

Ramadan starts in three days.
papijoe 5:55 AM |

Monday, October 11, 2004

Plain old American Water

Wretchard found this quote in Matt Bai recent article about Kerry's plan for dealing with terrorism. It's a total digression from the subject of the article. Technically it would seem to violate my recent "no ridicule" rule for posting about Kerry. But it made me laugh, and doesn't feel mean spirited. Judge for yourself and let me know if I've backslidden.

"Can we get any of my water?" he asked Stephanie Cutter, his communications director, who dutifully scurried from the room. I asked Kerry, out of sheer curiosity, what he didn't like about Evian.

"I hate that stuff," Kerry explained to me. "They pack it full of minerals."

"What kind of water do you drink?" I asked, trying to make conversation.

"Plain old American water," he said.

"You mean tap water?"

"No ... There are all kinds of waters," he said finally. Pause. "Saratoga Spring. ... Sometimes I drink tap water," he added.
papijoe 10:28 AM |

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Light of Men

I'm reading Splintered Light by Verlyn Flieger, a study on Tolkien's use of language. I was advised by a local sage to read Silmarillion first and I'm glad I did. As a philologist, he understood the words he wrote very intimately, but these comments from two of his colleagues give us an idea of how deep his studies went:

"C.S. Lewis's comment that Tolkien `had been inside language' was thus no figure of speech, but the literal truth. He had been inside the word, had experienced its power and seen with its perception. Others who knew Tolkien came to much the same conclusion. Simonne d'Ardenne, one of Tolkien's Oxford students and herself a philologist, found another way to put it...Mlle. d'Ardenne recalled saying to him once, apropos his work: `You broke the veil, didn't you, and passed through?' and she adds that he `readily admitted' having done so."
papijoe 8:55 PM |

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Procreation is a mitzvah

...we know that life is not easy. Life in this world is full of pain and suffering. The sages even concluded that it would better for the soul not to have been born (Eiruvin 13b). How can we bring children into such a world?

Just as this mitzvah reinforces our natural aspirations for goodness, so too it elevates the mind and expands our horizons to recognize the unity of reality within the dimension of time. The past, present and future are all bound together. It is not for the faulty world of the present, nor for the cruel world of the past, that we bear and raise children. Rather, we bring these souls into the world in order to advance the universe towards the infinitely bountiful world of the future.
papijoe 8:03 PM |

Blogged out

Posting on weekends is tough this time of year. And it was an emotionally draining week, although it ended on an upbeat note with the President's performance last night, John Howard's victory in Australian and news of the Afgani elections.
The overzealous use of a string trimmer has given me some kind of weird palsy in my left arm. I'm going to curl up with a book for an hour or so, and if I manage to recharge I might pull out a post or two.
papijoe 3:51 PM |

Friday, October 08, 2004

Saddam's Uranium Stockpile

Is it really true that Saddam Hussein had no "stockpiles" of weapons of mass destruction before the U.S. invaded in March 2003?

Not exactly - at least not if one counts the 500 tons of uranium that the Iraqi dictator kept stored at his al Tuwaitha nuclear weapons development plant.

It gets better:

"You have a warehouse containing 500 tons of natural uranium; you need 25 kilograms of U235 to build one weapon. How many nuclear weapons can you build? The answer is 142."

Fortunately for the world, Saddam didn't have the nuclear enrichment technology to convert his 500-ton uranium stockpile into weapons-grade bombmaking material.

Or did he?

After he was captured by U.S. forces in Baghdad last year, Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, who ran Saddam's nuclear centrifuge program until 1997, had some disturbing news for coalition debriefers.

He kept blueprints for a nuclear centrifuge, along with some actual centrifuge components, stored at his home - buried in the front yard - awaiting orders from Baghdad to proceed.

"I had to maintain the program to the bitter end," Obeidi said recently. His only other choice was death.

In his new book, "The Bomb in My Garden," the Iraqi physicist explains that his nuclear stash was the key that could have unlocked and restarted Saddam's bombmaking program.

"The centrifuge is the single most dangerous piece of nuclear technology," he writes. "With advances in centrifuge technology, it is now possible to conceal a uranium enrichment program inside a single warehouse."

Last week Dr. Obeidi warned in a New York Times op-ed piece that Saddam could have restarted his nuclear program "with a snap of his fingers."

Perhaps the 500-ton stockpile of nuclear fuel that Saddam kept at al Tuwaitha wasn't quite as benign as our media like to pretend.
papijoe 2:47 PM |

Temple Mount Update

This past week Pat Robertson from Christian Broadcast Network interviewed archeology professor Gabriel Barkay from Bar Ilan University who gives this detailed description of the current situation on the Temple Mount:

[T]he Temple Mount is a huge enclosure that is larger even than the City of David. That huge enclosure was created by King Herod the Great who, instead of a mountain, created a flat platform. He surrounded the mountain with a large shoebox-shaped arrangement of tall and heavy walls. These walls are retaining walls, behind which there is artificial fill, between the retaining wall and the natural slope of the mountain. So, instead of the mountain, we have now a flat platform. With the activities of the religious authorities of the Muslims upon the Temple Mount since the 1990s, with the construction of the al-Marwani mosque within the subterranean structure, including also paving of much of the area next to the al-Aqsa mosque, the very delicate equilibrium that existed there for many centuries was disturbed. Today the runoff of rain water does not penetrate the ground, but it penetrates the walls. The eastern wall of the Temple Mount got cracked. The south wall of the Temple Mount has a huge bulge developing on it, and the matter is, that the last earthquake, which took place in February of 2004, did not help too much. And with large crowds gathering upon the paved areas of the Temple Mount, we see a very, very dangerous situation.

He also sheds some light on what motivated the Waqf construction:

In the Camp David talks in 2000, President Clinton and others brought up the idea that in the future, there will be a division of sovereignty on the Temple Mount. Whatever is above ground will be for the Palestinians. That will include the mosques. And whatever is underground, which includes the remnants of the temples of the Jews and anything else, that would be Israeli sovereignty. And so the Muslims got the message and began to dig down and they began to fill in every subterranean hollow and every space which was there, to occupy it, in order to avoid any possible presence of Israelis later on, if and when a future solution is reached. Actually what we see is that the Temple Mount is regarded as a political matter, rather than a place to be cherished by all nations.

Robertson adds at the end that what is happening on the Temple Mount is part of what he calls a "cultural intafada" that involves the desecration of all of the sites in Israel that are sacred to the Jews and Christians such as the tombs of Joseph, Abraham and Sarah, Bethlehem and Jericho in "an attempt to erase all knowledge that the Jews were in the holy land, and to try to make believe that they had no right to be here at all."

papijoe 9:41 AM |

Luskin & Hewitt on Pundit Review Radio

From Kevin and Gregg:

Pundit Review Radio highlights the work of bloggers and other leaders of the
new media and discusses the impact they are having on politics and the

The show can be heard every Saturday between noon-1pm EST on

This Saturday we have a great show lined up for you. Our first guest will be
Don Luskin of Smart Money, National Review and

We will also be speaking to Hugh Hewitt, blogger, nationally syndicated talk
show host, columnist and best selling author of If It's Not Close, They
Can't Cheat

If you want to ask a question to Don or Hugh, the number is 877-711-1060.

The show is archived on Our interviews from last week with
Dean Esmay of Dean's World and Scott Johnson of Powerline are now available
as is our interview with Mattt Margolis of BlogsforBush.
papijoe 6:50 AM |

What if Kerry Wins?

I'm not panicking yet, but after reading the the Duelfer Report and seeing how deeply the Europeans and UN were in Saddam's pockets, I'm not taking any chances.

The scene opens on a command post in Iraq. It's almost dawn and some of the men have just gotten back from a patrol. Instead of showering and hitting the rack, they are huddled around a tv pulling in a cable news station. The announcer is telling them them that despite reports of international observers interfering with poll workers in Florida and over 100% turnout in some precincts in Chicago and parts of Pennsylvania, John Kerry is already claiming victory. The announcer was temporarily drowned out by a chorus of groans and curses until they are silenced by a lieutenant. They exchange grim looks, as they all realize they are about to come under siege in a rear guard action that could drag on for months. On the other side of the city, celebratory gunfire can be heard and a few blocks away an Iraq man implores his wife to keep her voice down, but she's beside herself with fear and won't be quiet. The whole neighborhood knows, she said, you were the one who warned the soldiers about the ambush. What are we going to do?
It only an hour earlier in Israel but most of the country is awake. Military vehicles are roaring through the streets, phones are ringing in bedrooms of reservists, as patrols and checkpoints are being strengthen. In Gaza and the West Bank candy is being passed out and women are ululating.
In Europe, their offices are closed but government officials are gathered in their private clubs. The atmosphere is festive, drinks are being poured. Ministers who haven't smiled in months are visibly relieved, bantering and laughing with their colleagues. There is already discussion of new business opportunities that are ready to come off the backburner.
Not far away in a city in France a Jewish man is lying awake next to his wife. She is sleeping fitfully, muttering in her sleep like she always does when she is worried. He is thinking about how they had hurried home that day from the government office at dusk. He had the foresight to start the arrangements months ago and the visas and passports would be ready in a matter of weeks. But there was still the question of a job and an apartment. They were holding hands with their daughter between them. He was muttering about the streetlights, it seems like every day more of them are broken, and they never fix them. Let's cross the street, I don't like the look of those men on the corner. He was sure he felt their eyes on the skin of his neck, it wasn't his imagination this time. If only they could leave tomorrow.
And in the US a family turns off their tv. There is a picture on the mantle of a barely smiling young Marine in dress blues. Without a word to each other, they join hands in a circle and begin to pray.

Melodramatic? Perhaps.

Unrealistic? No.

The election is getting close and there will be cheating and intimidation like this country has never seen.

Make sure you get out and vote. Make sure all your friends do. Call the local election commission to make sure you haven't disappeard off the rolls and know where you are supposed to vote. Don't forget your ID and scream bloody murder if they try to tell you your name isn't on the list. And bring a video camera to the polls just in case. You never know what you might see.
papijoe 5:46 AM |

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Christians: Zionist and "Anti-Zionist"

I've been meaning to comment for some time on the story of how the Anglican/Episcopal and Presbyterian churches are planning on divesting from Israel. I could spend a lot of time analysing this trend in mainline Protestant churches, but the quick and dirty explanation is that the old doctrinal error of replacement theology has converged with more liberal doctrines that dismiss the literal meaning of the Bible. It matters little that these two doctrines conflict with each other. Either might be used to condemn Israel. And I should mention in fairness that I know of many in both denominations that disagree strongly with their own anti-Zionist factions. The article cited above quotes a petition that was sent to the Presbyterian leadership:

"Only the moral blindness of Jew-hatred could lead the church to compare Israel’s multi-racial democracy to apartheid South Africa," the petition says. "Only anti-Semitism could lead the church to condemn democratic Israel, while not voting divestment from Saudi Arabia, where women have virtually no rights and non-Muslims are not even permitted to enter the country without special permission, from Sudan, where race-based genocide is occurring even as we speak, from Iran, where Bahai are murdered for their faith, or from the many other countries where human rights are violated as a matter of routine." The petition concludes: "We condemn the Presbyterian divestment resolution as an act of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people and call for its immediate revocation."

So why do some Christians support Israel? Since Christian Zionists outnumber not only Jewish Zionists, but Jews themselves, it is important to understand the motivation. It is certainly not political loyalty, as most Christian Zionist are Republicans and conservatives and most Jews are Democrats and liberals. I've heard that many believe the only reason for Christian support for Israel is that Christians feel it is their duty to convert Jews, or that they are required to play a role in various end-times (Apocalypse, Armegeddeon) scenarios. While this may be true for some Christians, I've never met a single Christian who gave this as a reason for supporting Israel. In a study by the Florida International University, the #1 reason for support of Israel in a combined study of Protestants and Catholics is terrorism, followed closely by a belief that Israel has a Biblical claim on the Holy Land. Broken out, more Protestants supported the religious reason than Catholics. Catholic sympathy was due more to practical concerns, terrorism as previously mentioned and sympathy for the historic plight of the Jew, whereas the Protestant motivations were more faith based. A similar faith related catagory that Protestants gave as their motivation (9% vs. 5% for Catholics) was "belief in Israeli/Jewish cause" This seems to me more embracing than the "Biblical birthright" catagory, and is likely the one I would have chosen. Speaking for myself and many other Christians I know, God has given me a heart for Israel and the Jewish people. This relationship started long before I became a committed Christian, and I don't really understand it myself, but there is a strong emotional connection with Israel and the Jewish people which I have to conclude at this point is supernatural in origin.
He's not always my first choice as a spokesman for Christendom, but their is no doubt that Jerry Falwell loves and suppors Israel. His interview on Tovia Singer is very interesting for anyone who would like to hear another perspective.
There is a lot more I could say about this if I had the time. I haven't even touched on the doctrinal reasons why replacement theology is wrong, although the article I linked is a good start. If anyone finds this short position statement unsatisfactory, it wouldn't take to much encouragement for me to expand on it when time permits.

Update - Two more points on this before I turn in. Jerry Falwell mentions Genesis 12:3 in his interview, where God is blessing Abraham:

I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

This critical scripture is referred in the verses I was reading tonight from Romans 11:13-21. I don't know how replacement theologians miss this or gloss it over, but it is particularly relevent to them:

For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either

According to Paul's analogy, if replacement theologians don't honor the root of their spiritual sustainance which is Judaism, they are nothing more than parasites.
papijoe 9:28 AM |

Israeli Developing Airborne Car

An Israeli pilot, who is also an aeronautics engineer, has developed an aircraft called the X-Hawk that is able to land in places currently impossible for both helicopters and airplanes.

papijoe 7:32 AM |

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The Anti-Semitic Left

Last night, the only thing John Edwards said that I could nod my head to was when he stated that Israel has a right to defend itself. Whether he and Kerry would honor that under pressure is another matter, but if anyone ever tries to deny that the far Left in this country is anti-semitic, send them to Zombies' Hall of Shame

papijoe 4:11 PM |

More on the UNWRA

The IDF has admitted that the videos of UN ambulances mentioned in this previous post probably weren't carrying rockets. But in addition to UNWRA's Director Hansen's admission that Hamas members have been and are on his payroll, lets not forget that the Israels have many other reasons for being suspicious:

Armed Palestinians were filmed in May of this year using UNRWA ambulances to transport terrorists. Other documented UNRWA violations of its neutrality:

* Sept. 2003: After the Israeli military court convicted three UNRWA employees for terrorist activities, Israel detained at least 16 other UNRWA staff members for various security-related matters.

* Dec. 2002: An Israeli intelligence report indicated that numerous UNRWA facilities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza had been used by Palestinian terrorists as meeting grounds and for weapons storage.

* Sept. 2002: Nahd Attala, a senior official of UNRWA in Gaza, revealed that in June-July 2002, he used his UNRWA car for the transportation of armed Fatah members on their way to carry out a missile attack against Jewish communities. In addition, Nahd said he used an UNRWA car to transport a 12-kg. explosive charge for his brother-in-law, a Fatah member.

* August 2002: Nidal Nazzal, a Hamas member and ambulance driver employed by UNRWA, confessed to transporting weapons and explosives in an UNRWA ambulance. He said he had taken advantage of the freedom of movement he enjoyed as part of his UNRWA job to transmit messages among Hamas members in various PA-controlled towns.

* February 2002: Ala Muhammad Ali Hassan, a Tanzim member, confessed to having carried out a sniper shooting from the school run by UNRWA in the al-Ayn refugee camp near Nablus. He also told his interrogators that bombs intended for terrorist attacks were being manufactured inside the UNRWA school's facilities.

As reported yesterday, the salaries of UNRWA workers are paid through contributions that UNRWA receives from 38 contributing countries. The U.S. provides 30% of that budget, Canada contributes 4%, and the European countries contribute well over 55%. "This," concludes HonestReporting.Com, "[is] despite the fact that the use of US taxpayer funds for foreign refugees who have engaged in acts of terrorism is illegal under the amended Section 301(c) of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act."

Of course, as Arutz Sheva points out, this story and similar ones have been buried by the Western press.
papijoe 12:29 PM |

Edward's Lapel Pin

Can any sharp-eyed reader who saw the debate tell me what it was? All I could see is that is was round and I couldn't make out any details.

Cheney clearly had an American flag pin.
papijoe 12:22 PM |

Defeating Internet Jihad

I found this through Israpundit.

Aaron at Internet Haganah has great post on lessons he's learned in his crusade against jihadis online.

Many things can be done, have been done, have been proven effective, and will continue to be done to fight Islamist terrorists online. Those 545 Little Blue AKs™ I've posted over the last two years represent sites that have ceased operation at least temporarily, and in dozens of cases, permanently. Get a website removed from a server at a time when the webmaster has been lazy and doesn't have a backup, and the effect on that site can be lethal. Force them to keep a good current backup and you have that much more evidence that can be seized, and if they keep that backup offline, you have more locations where that evidence can be seized, and if they try harder to be anonymous, or to operate more sites, or to be better prepared for the next time a site gets taken down, all those things translate into more activity online that can be intercepted and analyzed to the purpose of finding, capturing and/or killing the Islamist terrorist in question. To the extent to which we have done this, the result is that there are now fewer high-quality sites online, meaning that there are fewer sites to monitor, allowing us to more effectively monitor those sites which we choose to monitor.

The whole article is worth reading. Go git 'em, Aaron!
papijoe 6:43 AM |

Thoughts on the blogosphere and the election

First I'll get my impressions of the debate out of the way. John Edwards lied so outrageously it is impossible to approach him as a politician, let alone a statesman. He is a lawyer plain and simple and that's all he'll ever be. The highpoint of the debate was when Edward's tried to trot out the long since refuted Haliburton claims, Cheney went upside Edward's exquisitely coiffured head with his attendance record. I thought Cheney did a great job of pointing out the absolute lack of accomplishment of either Kerry or Edwards. Kerry is already regretting picking an ambulance chaser for a VP.
What I realized after the debate was that the blogosphere has raised the standard of of accountability in such a way that it has become something of a double edged sword. If you are going to wield it against your enemy, you have to be squeaking clean yourself. Suffice to say that Republicans and our government in general have skeletons as well, and if they are going to take advantage of the blogosphere they have to clean those up. I'm encouraged that the party I now support is demonstrably headed in this direction. The alternative seems to be the option that the Democrats are taking. Edwards kept imploring the public to look, pay attention, and invoked the lawyerly tactic of mental visualization. The anti-Bush camp wants to stick with television as it's medium. They have the resources in place, they know how to use it effectively and it will say what they want it to say with no accountability. Like hordes of teletubbies, an entire generation of Boomers and their heirs apparent are still under the sway of television. But now the blogosphere is here and we've even fired what Wretchard called "the shot heard round the world". But it's going to be a long war between appearance and substance. TV has been giving us exactly what we've wanted for almost three generations. I think the outcome of this war for the heart of American hinges on whether we are finally ready to trade instant gratification for responsibility.
papijoe 5:41 AM |

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Israel arrests 13 UN workers

Israel has arrested 13 United Nations employees over "suspected links to terrorism", an Israeli army officer has said.

The names and job titles of the UN staff members were not revealed and it was not clear when they were arrested.

This is very good news!

Correction - The Telegraph story cited above seems to be misleading. According to Jheka, the 13 workers have been arrested over the last four years.
papijoe 4:12 PM |

Response to Principal email

It's long, but I want to give the school district equal time:

Thank you for your comments. Below I am including and attaching a statement
from the District that was released to the press Sunday, October 3, 2004
with the facts surrounding the incident. Hopefully these facts will help
clarify the situation.

October 3, 2004

District Statement Regarding Bulletin Board at Crossroads Middle School

In an incident that has recently been reported to several media sources, a
claim has been made by South Brunswick Middle School teacher Shiba
Pillai-Diaz, that she was fired for not removing a picture of President
George W. Bush from a classroom bulletin board. The claim is false. While
I am normally reluctant to discuss personnel matters in public, Ms.
Pillai-Diaz¹ distortions of the facts, along with her aggressive efforts to
get herself national media attention, leaves the district no choice but to
set the record straight.

The facts are as follows:

Ms. Pillai-Diaz is a new Language Arts teacher in the South Brunswick
Schools. Recently, the school administration began receiving complaints
from students and parents that Ms. Pillai-Diaz was using her position,
classroom and teaching time to engage in partisan politics. Students
reported that she had made statements which denigrated one party over the
other. The conversations included Ms. Pillai-Diaz telling some students who
offered opinions contrary to her statements, that she was ³glad they were
not old enough to vote.² Other comments to students, including such
statements as, ³you should be ashamed to be a Democrat² have been verified
through student interviews.

A classroom bulletin board, normally intended for curriculum-related
matters, was set up as what she herself described as a ³personal bulletin
board.² On the bulletin board she placed a picture of the President, the
President's dog, the Oval Office and several other Presidential artifacts.
In addition, she placed a stuffed elephant on a classroom cabinet, which
generated student reaction and discussion about partisan politics.

Following receipt of complaints from parents, the Assistant Principal met
with Ms. Pillai-Diaz and cautioned her not to engage in partisan political
discussions in her Language Arts classes. He did not initially ask her to
remove the picture of the President. As the issue grew in intensity, the
teacher herself chose to remove the stuffed elephant because of student
comments. In the ensuing days, parents expressed increasing concern about
the teacher's classroom behavior, the misuse of classroom instructional time
and the personal bulletin board. The level of concern resulted in a
classroom confrontation between some parents and Ms. Pillai-Diaz at the
Back-to-School night program. It was at this point that the school
administration decided to intervene again.

On Friday morning, October 1, Ms. Pillai-Diaz was directed by the Assistant
Principal to remove bulletin board materials because they were being viewed
as contributing to an ongoing disruption of the teaching-learning
environment. She refused. She then met with the Principal who repeated
the directive. At this point, Ms. Pillai-Diaz abruptly left the building,
abandoning her post of duty and her classroom responsibilities.

At no time was she told to leave, asked to leave or given authorization to
leave. School was still in session. At no time was she told she was
suspended or fired. With professional responsibilities of a classroom
teacher waiting, Ms. Pillai-Diaz chose, of her own volition, to walk out of
the school, contact various media sources and claim she had been fired.

I had occasion to meet with Ms. Pillai-Diaz, along with a union
representative and a police escort that she had requested, for approximately
two hours when she returned to the building later that same afternoon. After
listening to her story, I asked if any member of the administration had used
the phrase "you're fired" or anything that remotely sounded like it. She
admitted that no one had used any such language. When I further pursued why
she reported to media sources that she had been fired, she said that she
"thought" that she had been. I explained that principals cannot fire
employees, that only Boards of Education can do so. With her union
representative present, she said that she now understood. I asked that when
she next spoke with the media, that she clarify her new understanding.

I fully support the actions of the Principal and Assistant Principal. It is
never acceptable for a teacher to utilize the classroom to advocate for
political purposes or advance personal beliefs. The courts have always
admonished teachers for proselytizing in public school classrooms. This
issue is not about a picture of the President, but rather a zealous misuse
of seventh and eighth grade student instructional time.

The South Brunswick School community is enormously respectful of the Office
of the President of the United States, President Bush and the democratic
process for choosing our President. Anyone trying to suggest the contrary
has the worst of intentions. Under other circumstances, the display of a
picture of the President would have been viewed as completely appropriate
and uncontroversial. It is important to note that pictures of President Bush
are openly displayed in all of the South Brunswick Schools. The teacher¹s
own actions here, however, took it out of the realm of education and made
the presentation appear partisan to many of our students and parents. Under
these circumstances, our actions in directing the removal of the display
were singularly appropriate.

Gary P. McCartney Ed D.

Superintendent of Schools

South Brunswick School District

The whole story here may or may not come out. Ms Pillai-Diaz may or may not have contributed to this situation. If it turns out that the situation was not as it was portrayed in the previous article posted, I'll do the right thing and apologize to all involved. But even the school district's account said that Ms Pillai-Diaz was asked to remove the President's picture, so as not to "appear partisan to many of our students and parents". Regardless of what she might have done previous to that, it is absolutely wrong and I still maintain that caving into this kind of political pressure is a terrible example to the kids.
I'll post any updates I receive.
papijoe 10:31 AM |

Letter to the Principal

There's so much going on these days that I didn't give the story of the New Jersey teacher the attention it deserves. Many of you have heard of how Shiba Pillai-Diaz was forced to remove a picture of President Bush from her classroom. Nick (soon to be a United States Marine) from Twenty-first Century Republican reminded me to send a message in support of Ms Pillai-Diaz to her principal, James Warfel. Here's what I wrote:

Dear Mr Warfel,

I find it somewhat unbelievable that I am writing to support one of your teachers, Shiba Pillai-Diaz, because she had a picture of our President in her classroom. As an American, a parent, and one who has been considering the teaching profession as a career change, I find it incredible that Ms Pillai-Diaz has been put into this position. How can you justify a ban on a picture of a current president? Would this even have been an issue if President Clinton was still in office? You are quoted in the Home News Tribune as leveling this accusation against Ms Pillai-Diaz: "You've caused more disruption, hatred and anger than anyone I've ever known." I think the message that this injustice and intimidation sends to her students is devastating.
I respectfully request you rectify this shocking lapse of judgment. Ms. Pillai-Diaz did nothing wrong, and as one of your employees you have done her a great disservice. Similarly your Assistant Principal Mr Daniels should be dismissed for threatening her livelihood over this matter. The children of your school deserve better examples of how adults conduct themselves.
Thank you for hearing me out.

I had a line in there out how the students needed a principal with principles, but decided it was too corny.
Here is Mr Warfel's email as posted on the school's website.
papijoe 5:55 AM |