soon and very soon

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Finally some good stuff coming out of the Vatican this week Drudge reports:

Vatican official downplays opposition to U.S.-led Iraq war, says differences were only over means, not ends...

'The Holy See is not pacifist. It is a peacemaker...'

FYI- I will be on Passover/Easter break from April 1-18, and I won't be able to check my email until the 14th of April so if you wish to contact me your best bet is through AOL Instant Messenger, screen name Luke4nd.

Also, I'll be taking a lot of pictures of Holy Week activities in Jerusalem throughout this upcoming week so get ready to see some inspiring pictures from the place of Christ's death and resurrection!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The morning of Jan. 29, upon hearing about the attack on a bus in Jerusalem, I did not experience the expected emotion. It seemed such a "normal" thing, and I have not enough tears to shed for people I do not know.

The next day, on Jan. 30, I read an article about one of the victims — Avraham Belhassen, 26 years old, a young father — and realized that I could tolerate no more. I can no longer tolerate terrorist folly, Islamist hatred, the passivity of Muslims, the blindness of the West.

Following the attacks in Madrid, this feeling struck me again. The reaction of the Spanish people, cringing in fear before the Islamist claim of responsibility, bothered me even more. I can no longer tolerate such cowardly Munich-like behavior that leads inevitably to dishonor and war.

Rush, correctly, makes the conclusions from the Bush Administration acting preemtively in Afghanistan before 9-11, the way they did in Iraq:

"Let's say that George W. Bush, in less than eight months' time, had done this: Armed and organized the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, moved our military in a position to launch a war against Afghanistan including negotiated forward bases with surrounding hostile regimes, had secured a resolution of war from a willing Congress, had secured approval from an unwilling UN Security Council, had actually launched the war, destroyed the Taliban regime and destroyed large parts of Al-Qaeda, and had never once held a meeting about Iraq. In fact, never once discussed Iraq.

Imagine George Bush assumes office in late January, and the next day says, "All right. We are going to go to Afghanistan and take out Al-Qaeda based on what I've been told from the Clinton administration. First thing we're going to do is going to arm and organize the Northern Alliance. Next we're going to move the U.S. military in a position to launch a war against Afghanistan. We're going to go negotiate for forward bases with surrounding hostile regimes, meaning countries, so let's put our troops in forward positions to conduct this. Then I'm going to go get resolution of war from an unwilling Congress to let me do this." Now, remember, 9/11 hasn't happened yet. "Then I'm going to secure approval from an unwilling UN Security Council to invade Afghanistan because I've just been told that Al-Qaeda is gearing up for an attack on this country and I'm going to take 'em out."

My friends, if all of that had happened, what do you think the mood of the American public would have been? You think he's a cowboy now? There would have been impeachment proceedings inside the first week. Can you imagine the Ted Kennedys of the world, and Gore? Gore would have gone berserk. He would have been trying to break in the White House at night to take over the Oval Office.

If Bush had done all those things before we were attacked, he would have ushered in the era of preemption, reversing containment, and the left and the international community would have howled to the point that they would still be howling."

Monday, March 29, 2004

An inspiring piece by President Reagan's secretary of state, George Shultz. Vindicating the US of launching the war in Iraq, not only for our own self-defense and for the self-defense of all free nations who don't want to see potential WMDs or information related to the development of WMDs end up in the hands of terrorists, as well as for the self-defense of the very group that tried to stop the US from enforcing their own "international agreements", the United Nations. A must read for everyone, here's a piece:

"... in the long run, the most important aspect of the Iraq war will be what it means for the integrity of the international system and for the effort to deal effectively with terrorism. The stakes are huge and the terrorists know that as well as we do. That is the reason for their tactic of violence in Iraq. And that is why, for us and for our allies, failure is not an option. The message is that the U.S. and others in the world who recognize the need to sustain our international system will no longer quietly acquiesce in the take-over of states by lawless dictators who then carry on their depredations--including the development of awesome weapons for threats, use, or sale--behind the shield of protection that statehood provides. If you are one of these criminals in charge of a state, you no longer should expect to be allowed to be inside the system at the same time that you are a deadly enemy of it."

Clinton's Legacy
Does nothing to fight Al-Qaeda during his eight years in office and today it was released that Clinton was also complicit in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.

The National Security Archive has released a report on the Rwanda genocide of 1994, demonstrating through declassified sources that the intelligence and diplomatic services had reached a consensus that genocide was taking place in the country as early as April 23; the Clinton administration would nonetheless resist calling the genocide for what it was until May 25.

Finally...Christians clerics chide Muslim leaders

Funny how you never see this stuff reported in the American press.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Victor Davis Hanson tells Americans to be steadfast in the War on Terrorism:

"While Ted Kennedy and John Kerry pontificate about losing the war on terror, al Qaeda is nearly finished. What we have been seeing lately are its tentacles flapping about in search of prey, after the head has been smashed — still for a time lethal, but without lasting strength. We should remember that perhaps the bloodiest month for Americans in the European theater of World War II was not during 1943 and 1944 amid the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy, or Normandy, but rather in January 1945, a mere five months before the close of the war, when GIs fought back the last bitter German offensive."

Friday, March 26, 2004

Good news for those of us who value all forms of life as the US Congress passes the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (search) on Thursday, following House passage last month of a bill that would make it a crime to harm a fetus during a violent federal crime.

See if your representative voted for the measure:

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Very good news out of Libya if Ghaddafi's son means what he says.

And some bad news for the Dems.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Hard Data
In case you wanted to know if former "Terrorism Czar" Richard A. Clarke was a liar or not, just check out the hard data from a 2002 background briefing to a handful of reporters in which he describes the handover of intelligence from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration and the latter's decision to revise the U.S. approach to Al Qaeda. Clarke was named special adviser to the president for cyberspace security in October 2001. He resigned from his post in January 2003.

Since it is clear from the above transcript that Clarke lied today under oath in front of a US Congressional hearing, I wonder if he'll be charged with perjury or not. Not to mention the fact that this whole 9-11 hearing is such partisan BS I can barely stand reading about it anymore. Republicans and Democrats finger pointing at each other isn't going to stop Al-Qaeda from launching another attack on America. But the fact that Clarke can seriously blame Bush for inaction against UBL and Al-Qaeda after Bush was in office for 9 months, when Clinton and his cronies were in office for 8 years during which time the first attack on the World Trade Center took place; and '98, when the embassies were hit in East Africa; and in 2000, when the USS Cole was hit. And what did Clinton do? Absolutely nothing! And we're going to sit and judge Bush on 9 months in office?

Not to mention the fact that CIA Director George Tenet said there was no way we could've stopped 9-11 even if we HAD killed UBL in the 9 months Bush was in office. And what's the deal with the Democrats and their on again off again stance on fighting a war against terrorism. First they criticize Bush for going to war against Iraq (by Bush Doctrine definition, a state which harbors and abets terrorists) too quickly and without all the "facts"; now they're going to criticize him for not acting fast enough in his first 9 months in office? Give me a break.

A Palestinian boy wears an explosive belt as he is caught at the checkpoint entrance to the West Bank city of Nablus, March 24, 2004. Israeli troops arrested the 14-year-old Palestinian would-be suicide bomber before he could detonate his explosive belt, the army said.

"Blowing myself up is the only chance I've got to have sex with 72 virgins in the Garden of Eden," a 14-and-a-half-year-old Palestinian boy told his Israeli investigators after being caught wearing an 8kg explosives belt. On March 16, Israeli troops stopped an 11-year-old boy allegedly trying to smuggle explosives through the Hawara checkpoint. This is the future Yasser Arafat, the Hamas, PLO, radical Islam have offered to the youth of Palestine.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


Kind of a crazy day today in Jerusalem. Of course after yesterday everyone is a bit more tense then usual, and the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Hebrew University didn't really help things at all. The security was unbelievable. Only one entrance to the university was open and you couldn't even park a car within a block of the security checkpoints onto campus. Sharon's security entrage was a small army, with some serious guns. Across the street when I went to school there was some Israelis protesting yesterday's killing of Shekih Yassin, as well as various protests within the school. Apparently some even shut down the street outside of the Hebrew University after I had left, but this sounds a bit overdramatic. When I left school there was a group of probably 30-40 Arabs, probably from East Jerusalem, peacefulling protesting yesterday's events. Something they surely wouldn't be able to do under Arafat's or Hamas's watch. Also, some Palestinian owned falafel shops and the like aren't open today because Arafat has called for 3 days of morning.

Also today I had to make my first trip to the supermarket since the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, the terrorist branch of Yasser Arafat's Fatah Party, shot and killed Arab Christian George Khori on this past Saturday night. Nothing happened of course, but I was definitely walking a little faster and scanning the area more then usual. Arafat won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

In the short term the killing of Yassin is likely to heighten the anarchic reality that is the Gaza Strip. Especially because he was particularly charasmatic, and there doesn't appear to be anyone waiting in the wings to replace him. There are also likely to be a significant increase in the number of suicide bombers coming from both the West Bank and Gaza, providing they could even get through to the Israeli side. This latest attack on the terrorist leadership within the territories, particularly in Gaza, shows that Sharon is quite serious about his plan for unilateral disengagement from the territories and the IDF will go in for one last devistaing blow to the terrorists in Gaza before they go ahead and begin to pull out, possibly as soon as this summer.

Long term the killing of Yassin is probably a good thing. More than anything, Israel is helping both itself and the Palestinians out by eliminating their biggest handicap, blood thirsty terrorist leaders who offer their people nothing but hate and the possibility to blow themselves up in the hope of killing civilian Jews. It also shows the Palestinian Leadership, especially Arafat, that Israel won't hesitate to take out leaders who condone and encourage the tactic of suicide bombing. The next few months should be interesting ones.

Also, for the record, The Middle East Media Research Institute quotes Yassin as saying in a 1998 interview: "The day in which I will die as a shahid [martyr] will be the happiest day of my life."

Articles on the latest developments in Israel:
Are Palestinians Weeds
Hamas Sheik Earned His Violent Death
Israel Acted Justly

Monday, March 22, 2004

Actor Jim Caviezel visits my Alma Mater
St. John Bosco Bosco and talks about life-changing
experiences while filming the movie "The Passion of the Christ"

"There is a profound contradiction at the heart of this 20-20 hindsight. On the one hand, the critics want to blame the Bush Administration for failing to prevent 9/11, but on the other they assail it for acting "pre-emptively" on a needless war in Iraq. Well, which do they really believe? We'd guess it is the latter because when these same critics held the reins of government they failed to do much against al Qaeda beyond fire cruise missiles from hundreds of miles away. Their boast that after 9/11 they would have toppled the Taliban, as well as increased pressure on Saddam Hussein, is impossible to credit. Their criticism now, in books and especially through the 9/11 Commission, is a case of blaming the Bush Administration in order to absolve themselves of any and all responsibility."
Wall Street Journal

Sunday, March 21, 2004


Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was killed in an apparent airstrike by Israeli forces Monday morning as he was being driven to a mosque. What are the implications for this targeted killing of Hamas' senior most leadership during this current Intifada? An escalation of terrorism from the territories? Israel seems to be preparing an all out attack in the West Bank to root out Islamic radicals, as well as one final push into Gaza before they go ahead with their unilateral disengagement plan.

Yassin vowed Hamas, founded in 1987, would fight Israel until its total destruction and replacement with Islamic republic. He ordered suicide operations against Israeli civilians. Thousands of Hamas followers out on streets swearing vengeance against Israel and blaming Palestinian Authority for his death. "Sharon has opened the gates of hell and nothing will stop us from cutting of his head," Hamas leaders threatened.

After confirming death of Hamas leader and founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Israel goes on peak terror alert across country, seals Gaza Strip and West Bank, partitions Strip into three parts.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Not looking good in Pakistan.
This whole thing had joke written on it from the get go. First they say they have UBL surrounded, then they say they have al-Zawahri surrounded, now it's just looking like it's only 100 al-Qaeda fighters who have seemed to successfully hold off 20,000 Pakistani troops for 3 days now. What kind of Mickey Mouse operation is Pakistan running? They fact that they stopped to negotitate with people who are mass murderers on more than a few continents says a lot about the Pakistani military.

Anyway, right now I am going to mass and then a potluck with my Catholic community here in Jerusalem. When I get back I'll update with info. on the terrorist attack that took place in my neighborhood last night as well as the Muslim-Christian fighting which has flared up again in Kosovo.

A great speech given by Vice-President Cheney at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Libarary yesterday.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Pakistani Choppers Pound Al Qaeda Holdouts

Usama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, may be cornered by Pakistani forces and possibly wounded, in a major battle near the Afghan border. An air strike was being launched Friday to flush out the resistance.

Musharref to CNN: Pakistani forces surrounding what may be “high value target” defended by al Qaeda forces engaged in bitter combat around Kaloosha village in Waziristan. US spokesman cannot confirm identity of target.

Mansoor Ijaz, Fox News' Foreign Affairs Analyst, reported that Pakistani intelligence sources said it is "highly probable that the high value target" that has been surrounded is either bin Laden or al-Zawahri.


Will Easter make The Passion of the Christ the greatest grossing movie of all time?
Plus, Poll by the Institute for Jewish and Community Research shows that "The Passion" lessens hostility towards Jews. How do you like that?

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I don't need to say anything, because it's way too obvious.
Terrorists attack. Spain withdraws. Terrorism wins.

Rewarding Terror in Spain
Kerry and Spain
Al Qaeda's Wish List
Spaniards ignore logic in caving to al-Qaida
Spanish voters elect violence
Rotten Europe
The Spanish dishonoured their dead
To Die in Madrid
Democracy and terrorism

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Very cool...West Point Opens Doors to Afghan Applicants


Swiss government approved draft legislation to end a ban on absinthe, the mythical herbal liqueur beloved of turn-of-the-century artists and blamed for driving some of them mad.

The alcoholic drink had been banned in the country since 1908 when a factory worker killed his wife and two children in a bout of madness blamed on the drink. Cheers!

I had a shot of this stuff in a pub in Israel and let me tell you, one shot and you're buzzed, guaranteed. 2 shots and your friends will be carrying you home. The worst drink ever, the thought of it makes me cringe. No wonder E.A. Poe died penniless, face-down in a gutter; or that Van Gogh cut off his own ear; or that Hemingway killed himself; they were all avid absinthe drinkers.

Friday, March 12, 2004

GOP Diehard and my new hero, Johnny Ramone.
I knew there was a reason I liked the Ramones.
Read the article here.

Analysis on yesterday's gruesome attacks in Spain from Israel's Ha'Aretz, who knows something when it comes to terrorism and the targeted mass-murdering of civilians. Also pointing out that the extreme level of coordination in detonating all 10 bombs at once points to a more Al-Qaeda style attack, which are very involved and elaborately staged, unlike past ETA attacks which have focused on government buildings and Spanish security personnel.

A nice impartial evaluation of the New Iraq, one year later.

"Back to Reality" and the "moral idiocy" of Liberals in Europe and America.
Yesterday's attack on the citizens of Spain, whether by the ETA or Al-Qaeda, only further vindiates the Bush Administration's Foreign Policy and their decision to launch a War on Terrorism. This is the common enemy of all freedom loving people throughout the world, so go ahead Mr.Kerry and explain to me that "George W. Bush has no business discussing or showing the 2001 attacks on America in his advertising". When will people wake up? After another 9-11? Sadly I believe many Americans, or at least the other half of the "Divided America", already have.

If you don't read the link from the New York Post above, at least read Post columnist John Podhoretz's opening remarks:

"GO ahead, you deluded or dishonest folks who claim George W. Bush has no business discussing or showing the 2001 attacks on America in his advertising.
Go right ahead with your coordinated, contemptuous complaining - paid for in part by foundations and organizations lubricated by Mrs. John Kerry's ketchup-drenched dollars.

It doesn't matter now, not after what happened yesterday in Madrid. Not after the worst terror strike on a Western country since 9/11.

You wish to keep the president from centering his presidential campaign on his stewardship of the War on Terror. The mainstream American media are all too happy to follow your lead.

Unfortunately, the world's terrorists just refuse to play along.

The horrifying images from Madrid yesterday - like the images that come out of Israel every time a terrorist strikes - speak more eloquently about what terrorism is and what it can do to a democracy than any Bush campaign commercial.

This is what they do. This is what they thirst for. This is their form of political argument, their way of making a point - charred bodies, bloodied faces, gnarled hunks of burning wreckage."

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Spanish interior minister says new line of Madrid blast investigation opened after police find van with detonators and Arabic-language tapes. Details soon.

Updated: A van with detonators and an Arabic-language tape of Koranic verses were found near Madrid, Interior Minister Angel Acebes said Thursday, opening new lines of investigation into the train bombings. So far, the probe has focused on the Basque separatist terror group ETA.

LATEST: Purported Qaeda Letter Claims Spain Bombings...

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The Future American Solider?

Scientists at University of California at Berkeley have developed a device called a mechanical exoskeleton that will hopefully allow for soldiers or firefighters carry heavy loads for long distances.

The exoskeleton consists of a pair of mechanical metal leg braces that include a power unit and a backpack-like frame. The braces are attached to a modified pair of Army boots and are also connected, although less rigidly, to the user's legs. More than 40 sensors and hydraulic mechanisms function like a human nervous system, constantly calculating how to distribute the weight being borne and create a minimal load for the wearer.

In lab experiments, says Kazerooni, testers have walked around in the 100-pound exoskeleton plus a 70-pound backpack and felt as if they were carrying just five pounds. After watching the video however, it looks like a strong wind could blow someone wearing the metal legs right on their ass. Oh well, cool technology that obviously isn't done yet. Nice to know Berkeley is good for something.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Thank God for the Blogworld, I haven't even heard this reported anywhere in the mainstream press, but Andrew Sullivan and Oxblog both write about yesterday's New York Times article about a brief protest in Syria. AS writes, "Another terrible consequence of the war to depose Saddam (that some liberals can't seem to grasp) is that some democrats in other Arab dictatorships are beginning to get some crazy ideas":

The New York Times reports that there was a human rights protest in a place where neither human rights nor protests are all that common -- Syria:

The security police quickly squelched an extremely rare public demonstration demanding political reform on Monday, the 41st anniversary of the Baath Party's seizure of power here.

Organizers and other reform advocates said the huge police presence in downtown Damascus, which far outnumbered the demonstrators, was a sign of how jittery the government and especially the overlapping security services remained just a year after the rapid fall of the Baath Party in neighboring Iraq.

"There was a band of about 20 to 30 nonviolent people, hardly a group that could threaten the government, yet it reacted in a way that is completely out of proportion," said a Syrian intellectual who declined to be quoted by name, fearing reprisals.

Rights advocates and others seeking reform planned to draw attention to their petition demanding the lifting of emergency laws, which have been in place throughout Baath Party rule, by staging a sit-in at the gates of Parliament. The reform advocates say they have gathered 7,000 signatures to support their demands.

But when the small band unfurled a few paper banners reflecting their demands, dozens of plainclothes security officers pounced. They shredded the banners and ripped up the notebooks of some reporters covering the protest, igniting numerous scuffles.

In addition to that, a U.S. diplomat was detained by Syrian security officials for an hour, prompting a vigorous protest from the United States.

Although security officials clamped down on the protest pretty much before it started, its organizer was released, because he gave an interview to the Associated Press after the protest. He sounds undaunted:

Aktham Naisse, who leads the Committees for the Defense of Democratic Liberties and Human Rights in Syria, said Monday's sit-in outside parliament was a success even though police quickly detained all the demonstrators.

"As activists, we were able to send a clear message to the Syrian street, and to international public opinion, that we are serious about our demands and program," Naisse told The Associated Press in an interview. "We embarrassed the Syrian authorities which, unfortunately, showed they are unable and unwilling to meet our demands."....

Naisse, who was told to appear for further questioning later Tuesday, told AP: "I think the authorities realized it was foolish of them to arrest us, and would have been even more foolish to keep us under arrest. There would have been an extremely high political price to pay if they did."


Palestinian terrorist mastermind Abu Abbas has died while in U.S. custody in Iraq.

On the move with UBL (sounds like a new sitcom on FOX) and some incredibile pictures from the Hubble Telescope.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Closer and Closer to UBL.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Was the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 really the result of commet fragments crashing to the Earth and NOT Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern? That's what some scientists now think.

UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer Says it all

I don't think I've heard anything more asinine from the Dems in my whole life then the their puerile wish that September 11th isn't a campaign issue. As the Wall Street Journal explains: "September 11, 2001, marked the worst foreign attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor--the bloodiest ever on the American mainland. It's certainly been the defining event of George W. Bush's Presidency. But according to Democrats and their media echo chamber, it now shouldn't be a campaign issue."

Of course we know why 9-11 shouldn't be a campaign issue for democrats, because we know where they have stood with regards to fighting this generation's greatest fight since a few months after the devastation in New York and DC. In fact if it were up to them the US wouldn't be fighting any kind of international terrorism, the US would be going through resolution after meaningless resolution as well as employing the strategy of paying off America's enemies illustrated best by Clinton (see North Korea deal of 1994). The Journal continues, "For most Americans, 9/11 was the defining event of a generation, and they'll want to hear a serious debate about which candidate has the best policies to keep them safer in the years ahead. The more Democrats complain about Mr. Bush running on national security, the more voters may suspect that Democrats don't have any serious anti-terror ideas of their own."

The fact of the matter is that almost every major policy initiative this president has introduced in the last 3 years are direct responses of 9-11:
1. Tax cuts designed to save the economy from the double-whammy of terrorism and recession
2. Patriot Act
3. Regime change in Afghanistan and Iraq
4. Bush's "forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East"

Are these not the issues of a presidential election? Talk about using 9-11 for political gain. Where, for example, was the lamenting about the former President "exploiting" the Oklahoma City bombing by giving an election-year speech there in April 1996? And where was Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt on Dec. 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked? Do people even understand how petty and partisan this Kerry BS is, I guess this isn't questioning the patriotism of the President, neither is saying he knew in advance of the 9-11 attacks (Howard Dean), or that he planned the Iraq War even before 9-11 (Edward Kennedy).

Bush hasn't even aired one add attacking Kerry yet and the Democrats already accuse him of expoiting 9-11. I guess the Democrats aren't expoiting 9-11 by leading the widows of firefighters out to exponge Terry McAuliffe's talking points. I guess FDR was taking advantage of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1944, with the U.S. deeply involved in World War II, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigned for a fourth term arguing that "his reelection was essential for an allied victory."

Oh wait I forgot, war is only wrong unless a DEMOCRAT is President (Wilson 1917, FDR 1941, Truman 1950, JFK/JBJ 1962 & 65, Clinton 1995)

Friday, March 05, 2004

Checkout what some kids found in a day nursery in Britain.

Yes, that is a 3 headed frog.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Ladies and Gentlemen, the next President of the United States

John Kerry, is almost a parody of the East Coast establishment. He's descended from John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and his mother is a member of the famously haughty Forbes clan. He spent part of his childhood at a boarding school in Switzerland before his aunt, whose estate included a bowling alley inside the barn, sent him to then-snooty St. Paul's.

In 1962, Kerry sailed with President John Kennedy while visiting the Auchincloss estate. Then it was off to Yale, Skull and Bones, and Vietnam.

When he returned, he testified before Congress, and his accent was still so plummy he sounded like an antiwar version of Thurston Howell III. He went on to marry Julia Thorne, a jet-setting heiress with a family fortune of about $300 million, whose grandfather kept the entire island of Hilton Head, S.C., as a hunting preserve.

Kerry's second wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is worth over $500 million. Between them they have a $4 million mansion in Georgetown, a $6 million townhouse on Louisburg Square in Boston, a $6 million summer home on Nantucket, a $3 million estate in Pittsburgh and a $5 million ski lodge in Idaho, which is a 15th-century English barn that was disassembled and imported to the U.S.

Most Democrats have trouble affording one home, so when they search for a leader who shares their values, of course they nominate a guy who is running for his sixth. Of course they nominate a guy whose 42-foot powerboat, the Scaramouche, sells for upward of $700,000. Of course they choose a guy famous for his Christophe haircuts and his Turnbull & Asser shirts. Of course they choose a couple who paid to have an unsightly fire hydrant moved from the front of their Boston house, and who sought to divert huge amounts of river water to supply their sprawling Idaho lawn.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

A pithy piece
from Reuters on new tactics in the search for UBL, Ayman Al-Zawahri and remaning Al-Qaeda types in Afghanistan. It seems as though the US is getting more cooperation from Pakistan, as well as from local tribal leaders, and also that the on the ground intell. we gathered in order to capture Saddam Hussein is being seen as a possible model for success in capturing bin Laden. More American and coalition forces have been dedicated to the area as of recent because we seem to have him isolated in the Northern Afganistan/Pakistan region, a tough area to search during the winter because of the rough terrain and horrible weather. At least coming out of winter we'll have a better shot.

Sorry Mr. Moody, but it's not looking good for Barry Bonds. This is a guy who hit more home runs at the age of 36 than he did when he was 26. Now I don't know anything about what the prime age for offensive productivity of most MLB players, but I highly doubt it starts at the age of 35. Here's a nice stat, from 1986 (Bond's rookie year) until 1999, Bonds had only hit over 40 home runs twice in his career, in 1996 and 1997. From 2000-2003 Bonds has hit at least 45+ homeruns in each year (including his MLB record 73 in 2001) , his 15th-18th seasons in the pros. That doesn't sound a bit odd to anyone?

For anyone following the horrible news out of Iraq today, there were at least 4 what appear to be suicide bombings in both Baghdad and the Shiite holy city of Karbala today. There are tens of thousands of Shiite pilgrims who have descended on Karbala to mark the 7th Century martyrdom of Husayn, the son of the Prophet Muhammad's companion, cousin, and brother in law 'Ali, considered by Shiites to be the rightful successor to the Prophet. The holiday, called Ashoura, is marked by a 10-day long passion play, much like that of Christ's and many men of all ages can be seen beating themselves with chains, whips or swords, lamenting the death of the Imam Husayn.

For Catholics this would be like suicide bombers blowing themselves up outside St. Peter's Square on Easter Sunday. This is really a gruesome attack on the Shiites and more specifically on the people of Iraq as a whole. These attacks are blatant attempts by al-Qaeda terrorists to disrupt the situation in Iraq anyway they can, even by killing fellow Muslims. There is a great rivalry between Sunni and Shi'i Muslims and this can definitely be considered a bold move to try and spark internal violence between the two groups of Muslims who live in Iraq.

There is a great fear among the Sunni nations (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, etc) in the Middle East that the new Iraq will follow in the footsteps of Iran and become a Shi'i theocracy or at least dominated by Shiites, since they are some 60% of the population. Who is to say who exactly was involved in this latest attack on the people of Iraq, but already they have started to point the finger at America.

"How is it possible that any man let alone a Muslim man does this on the day of al-Hussein," said Thaer al-Shimri, a member of the Shiite Al-Dawa party. "Today war has been launched on Islam." According to Mr.Shimri apparently war was only launched on Muslims once a Muslim has been killed. Forget the thousands of Americans or Israelis, Christians or Jews who have been victims of Muslim fundamentalist violence. No, war was really declared on Islam when murders like Hamas, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda (to name a few) decided to corrupt Muslim theology and ideology and turn it into a free ticket to killing. Now maybe real Muslims will defend what their religion really stands for; maybe now they won't turn a blind eye to the violence that Americans and Israelis know too well; maybe Muslims will finally come to the obvious fact that Islam is destroying itself just as much as it is attempting to destroy the American Infidels or Zionists; maybe they will, unless spilling the blood of the innocent is what their faith really stands for.