Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's that time of the Year....

Until Monday. Because....

I am leaving for NYC today,

to learn how to fold this:

And hang out with other paperfolding nerds.

My friend, Won Park of Hawaii, recently designed the dollar bill koi.

I'll be officially teaching this model, as I do every year, designed by Herman Lau in Sacramento:
If there are any "must read" items you think I might be missing out on over the weekend, including a blogpost you wrote and are particularly proud of, just leave me a link in the comments section, and I'll be happy to catch up on my reading when I get back. In the meantime, I've made quite a few posts in the past few days. So, I hope that makes up for my absence.

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Color Me Amazed!

I'm shocked! Shocked that there is political gambling going on!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Candid Look at the Bumper Sticker Candidate

Two silky pony haircuts in Beverly Hills:

One military haircut at the local PX barbershop:


One bumper sticker-thumping candidate sloganeering on a presidential campaign of class warfare between the "haves" and "have nots" and two Americas:


Remember: He's just the humble, ordinary son of a mill worker, stands up for "the little guy", and is "one of us".

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Surrenator Reid


From Blackfive:
At Blackfive, we have been trying to improve our relationship with the
Public Affairs Officers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, the
Marines have begun a really intense exchange of ideas with us. One
Marine Combat Commander embraced our offer of support.

One of the requests that they had of *us* was to attempt to get 6,000
positive and supportive emails - one for each Marine, Sailor and Soldier
in the Marine Regimental Combat Team - 6. Grim, our resident thinker and
former Marine at Blackfive, has taken responsibility for this project.

From Grim's interview with Marine Colonel Simcock, Commander of RCT-6:
COL. SIMCOCK: (Chuckles.) I'll tell you what, the one thing that all
Marines want to know about -- and that includes me and everyone within
Regimental Combat Team 6 -- we want to know that the American public are behind us. We believe that the actions that we're taking over here are very, very important to America. We're fighting a group of people that, if they could, would take away the freedoms that America enjoys.

If anyone -- you know, just sit down, jot us -- *throw us an e- mail,
write us a letter, let us know that the American public are behind us. *Because*we watch the news just like everyone else. It's broadcast over here in our chow halls and the weight rooms, and we watch that stuff, and we're alittle bit concerned sometimes that America really doesn't know what's going on over here, and we get sometimes concerns that the American public isn't behind us and doesn't see the importance of what's going on.* So that's something *I think that all Marines, soldiers and sailors would like to hear from back home, that in fact, yes, they think what we're doing over here is important and they are in fact behind us*.
The Marines have set up a special email address to send a supportive
to the Marines is:

The emails are being scanned by the PAO before being printed and
distributed to individual Marines.

And, guess what?, the RCT-6 has a blog at




So far, they've received over 2,000 e-mails. More are needed. 6,000 being the goal. So spread the word.

Also blogging:
Bill's Bites
Confederate Yankee
Flopping Aces
Michelle Malkin
Old War Dogs

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Militant Fundamentalist Radicalized Dysfunctional Oversensitive Intolerant Fanatical PuriTyrannical Followers of the Religion of Pieces*

Just who exactly is it that is attempting to legislate ideology?

"This is just one example of how the president puts ideology before science, politics before the needs of our families, just one more example of how out of touch with reality he and his party have become,"
- Hillary Clinton before today's Take Back America conference.

If President Bush was putting ideology before the science, he'd call for a ban on all embryonic stem cell research. But despite his personal views that "all human life is sacred" and that embryonic stem cells is more than just so much "clump of cells", he has left the research open-ended, to be explored through state and private funding. Not federal.

To insist on federal funding when half the country is opposed, especially when thus far adult stem cells has yielded promising, fruitful research, whereas embryonic stem cell research has not, is to put ideology before the science.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Well-Balanced Blogger

Haha....guess who.


The Battle for Baquba

It has begun...

Thoughts flow on the eve of a great battle. By the time these words are released, we will be in combat. Few ears have heard even rumors of this battle, and fewer still are the eyes that will see its full scope. Even now—the battle has already begun for some—practically no news about it is flowing home. I’ve known of the secret plans for about a month, but have remained silent.

This campaign is actually a series of carefully orchestrated battalion and brigade sized battles. Collectively, it is probably the largest battle since “major hostilities” ended more than four years ago. Even the media here on the ground do not seem to have sensed its scale.

The metasticized cancer is surge-ically being removed and its influence upon Mesopotamia sent into remission.

On Baqubah:

Baquba has been an important city in this fight for several years, and for various reasons. It’s critical to keep in mind that AQM and others had the specific goal of starting a civil war, and this was plainly clear by early 2005. When the Golden Dome was obliterated in Samarra in 2006, and blood gushed into the streets, the politically inconvenient truth about the malignant potency of Al Qaeda was undeniable. In a perverse anniversary commemorated earlier this month, the two lone minarets left standing in Samarra after the 2006 bombing, were unceremoniously flattened in attacks that resulted in reprisals nearby in Babil Province and as far removed as Basra.

At least part of the reason we are not seeing even wider-spread open-necked reprisals for the recent bombings (though the reprisals have been serious) is because our current leadership under Petraeus is adroitly pushing political buttons behind the curtains. Based on things I saw, heard, and even videotaped while out among Iraqi tribal leaders in Anbar, unseen hands are reaching out and finding peace with tribes where others found war. Based on what I see all around Iraq, and not just in Anbar, I believe intuitively that most of this war can be ended through smart politics.

Smart politics is not transparent. The best politician leaves no traces of his handiwork in the resolution of complex issues, because if the resolution is to hold, the local parties must be able to claim responsibility with confidence, even to the extent of believing they did it themselves. Further, success in complex negotiations involves compromise, which (after open hostilities) can be perceived as caving and taken as indication of undue influence from outsiders. That kind of perception gets people killed over here.

Smart politics leaves more people standing with their heads, and so discretion has to be seen as vital to the war effort. Reports claiming that no political progress is happening here because the Iraqi parliament seems stalled are tantamount to claiming that when the US Senate bogs down the stop lights don’t work on Main Street USA. At the same time, no one is interested in going for the broomstick once they’ve seen the man behind the curtain, so smart politicians don’t let that happen, especially when the stakes are this high.

Hat tip for the Michael Yon dispatch: skye

Further reads:
Bill Roggio:
"Offensive Operations" underway
Battle of the Belts
The Battle of Baqubah II
Also blogging:
Flopping Aces
Midnight Blue

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An Inconvenient Youth

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fellow Blogger Takes Her Message to Talk Radio

Conservatism with Heart debuts Tuesday at 9am, central time. Check it out.

Another blogging friend could use your support (her father was recently buried- and this so close to Father's Day!), as she is trying to get her radio program back on the air. Please visit Lores Rizkalla.

Also blogging:
Midnight Blue

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Terrorist is, as Terrorist Does...

...Yet somehow it's all Bush's fault.

Well....certainly not all.

Those blogging and deploring U.S. tax dollars at work:
Bloviating Zeppelin
Malott's Blog
Skye Puppy

American Digest
California Conservative

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Caption This

A Hamas fighter takes position inside the customs hall of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on June 15. Hamas's military victory, after five days of fighting that left nearly 100 Palestinians dead, has deepened the political and cultural separation between the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip, many of whose 1.4 million residents are poor refugees, and the more populous West Bank, Fatah's power base. Photo by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa - Reuters

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Same story; different MO

Bookworm examines the issue.

Someone should go through each news report, and categorize which side of the spin fence each news agency is sitting on, with this "straight news" story.

Curt's post.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Disarming Story About Political Correctness Run Amok

Cornerstone students Cole McNamara, left, and Austin Nakata with their altered fifth-grade graduation mortarboards. School officials made them and other boys cut off parts of the soldier figures that had weapons because of a strict no-guns policy at the school.

Austin Nakata's altered mortarboard for his fifth grade promotion ceremony at Cornerstone at Pedregal School in RPV. He had to cut the weapons off the toy soldiers because of the school's strick no guns policy.

Close up of Austin Nakata's altered mortarboard for his fifth grade promotion ceremony at Cornerstone at Pedregal School in RPV. After Austin cut off the soldiers' hands to remove guns, he added gauze and blood.

All photos by Brad Graverson / Daily Breeze photographer
Disarmed in RPV
Cornerstone at Pedregal School students are told to cut weapons off toys on mortarboards before they could participate in promotion ceremony.

Staff Writer

Who knew a 2-inch toy army man could cause such a stir?

A fifth-grade promotion ceremony in Rancho Palos Verdes turned into a free-speech battleground Thursday, when students were asked to remove weapons from toys that had been placed on mortarboard caps because of the school's zero-tolerance policy for weapons on campus.

Each year, students decorate wide caps with princesses, football goal posts, zebras, guitars and other items to express their personalities and career goals. Cornerstone at Pedregal School is the only Palos Verdes Peninsula public school to practice the tradition.

On Thursday, before the ceremony, one boy was told he couldn't participate unless he agreed to clip off the tips of the plastic guns carried by the minuscule GIs on his cap. Ten others complied with the order before the event.

Parents reacted angrily, calling Principal Denise Leonard's decision censorship, but the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District defended her.

Cole McNamara and Austin Nakata, 11-year-old buddies who share an interest in all things military, said they put the toys on their hats to support American troops in Iraq.

"I was kind of mad because they just went over and clipped them off and didn't say anything about it," Austin said.

His father, Glen Nakata, said he was disappointed that parents were not approached or consulted on elimination of the "firearms."

"I felt they were keeping the boys from expressing their patriotism, their strong beliefs toward the military," he said.

Glen Nakata's father served in the U.S. Air Force. And Austin wants to attend a military academy when he's older. Cole wants to join the Marine Corps, said his father, Paul McNamara.

To treat the "injuries" caused by the order to remove the offending weaponry, Austin wrapped the plastic stumps in white gauze and painted on faux blood.

The principal pulled Cole aside Thursday morning, handed him a pair of scissors and said the guns had to go.

"We're supporting our troops," Cole said. "But I wanted to graduate, so I just cut the guns off."

A teacher at Cornerstone started the mortarboard tradition about a decade ago. At Thursday's ceremony, the 62 fifth-graders each gave a 30-second speech in the auditorium, as their pictures flashed on a large screen.

Leonard, a first-year principal, didn't respond to several requests for comment, deferring to district administrators, who said the toys with miniature rifles and grenades violated a zero-tolerance weapons policy.

Leonard "directed students not place images of weapons on student-created mortarboards to be used in the promotion ceremony," according to a district statement. "The district fully supports her decision to comply with school rules and practices. In addition, practically all fifth-grade parents understood and accepted this decision and, in some cases, modified the student mortarboards, sans the weapon images."

In enforcing the decision, the district cited its Safe Schools policy and the federal Gun Free Schools Act of 1994, a federal law designed to remove firearms from schools.

Susan Liberati, an assistant superintendent, said she believes "the principal has interpreted district policy accurately, and we support her in that."

A copy of the district's Safe Schools policy obtained by the Daily Breeze includes no mention of toy army men. Students found to be "possessing, selling or otherwise furnishing a firearm" are expelled for one year, the policy states.

Weapons are also mentioned in the board's "weapons and dangerous instruments" policy that allows only authorized law enforcement or security personnel to possess "weapons, imitation firearms or dangerous instruments of any kind" on school grounds.

Board President Barbara Lucky declined comment on the incident or the policy.

"Sounds like a good question for legal counsel," Lucky said.

Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

Also blogging:
Classical Values
Joanne Jacobs

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Screening of Islam vs. Islamists [and vs. PBS] at the Writers Guild Theater in Los Angeles

Where on Earth are the moderate Muslims? Thanks to PBS, they’re not on public television.
-Deroy Murdock,
National Review

Wednesday, I happened to catch Dennis Prager mention a free screening of Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, Thursday evening. I emailed in for tickets, and within moments, my name was added to a shrinking list.

I must say, my schedule has been packed (hence, the light blogging and blog-visits) and this opportunity coming up was throwing a monkey wrench into the tire of my already tired schedule. I almost talked myself out of going, being weary and being unsuccessful in finding a last minute friend (regardless of political affiliation, although I did check in with the conservative choir first) who would be free to attend.

My Thursday had one thing after another pretty much overlapping. I arrived at work late and left early. As it turned out, leaving work early wasn't necessary, as I arrived at theater in under 15 minutes (they even had free parking!).

The film focuses on the lives of four Muslim 'moderates': Naser Khader, a Danish lawmaker; Mohamed Sifaoui, a French journalist; Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, an American physician; and Tariq Fatah, a Toronto-based TV host [looks like a blogger as well- check it out!]. All four are portrayed as valiant protagonists working against the influence of extremist imams and terrorists who are trying to hijack Islam for their own purposes. Jasser explains, "I wouldn't be taking this time away from my family and my profession…unless I felt that I was trying to struggle for the soul of my faith."
Dr. Jasser, Frank Gaffney, and Martyn Burke gave a Q & A right after the airing, which I managed to record with my digital camera (at one point, I tried to get a picture with my phone camera in one hand, digital camera on movie mode still recording in the other). Their message and the message of their film is an important one. A message that, most of all, needs to be heard in the Arab world to counter the propaganda of the puritanical extremists who are making the loudest noise today, and defining Islam, in the eyes of the world. It is pathetically funny that the clerics in the film characterize themselves as the moderate majority, and Muslims such as Jasser as the radical, dangerous extremists.

Separation of Mosque and State

The power and influence of the wahhabist and sulafist fundamentalists who want to impose Sharia Law upon the entire world (of interest in the film is Saudi money funneled into the building of mosques in Chicago and elsewhere in the U.S. for the purposes of promoting wahhabism- basically indoctrinating our own citizens against our culture and way of life), who all but demand for a parallel court and society to be imposed upon Muslims in western societies, is quite shocking (and when those European societies allow it to occur- such as here, here, and here).

One of the problems that comes through in the film, is the marriage of politics and religion amongst the radical Islamists, who demand all should live by Sharia Law. It is the "perfect state"; after all,
“To make laws — only a god does that. And there is only one god in Islam, and that is Allah,” says Slimane Abderrahmane, an Algerian-Danish alumnus of al Qaeda’s terror camps and, later, Guantanamo. “So you’re saying, ‘I’m just like Allah.’ And you can’t do that.”
The moderates in the film, such as Dr. Jasser, deplore how Islamic clerics are dictating how Muslims should feel on issues of foreign policy, rather than confining themselves to matters of personal relationship with God and His Prophet; with simply being a good human being.

Waging Jihad on the "Jihad"

In one part of the film, Tarek Fatah interviews an Imam, who tells him "we should wage jihad on jihad".

I still believe that part of that entails taking the language of legitimacy out of the mouths of the terrorists and calling them for what they are: hirabahists. Not Jihadists, which is how terrorists want to perceive themselves as being; just as they wish to convince fellow Muslims and the world at large that we non-Muslims are in a war against Islam.

If we are to win against the hirabah Islamists, we need to nurture an alliance with Muslim moderates; not alienation. Rather than attacking the flaws we see inherent in their religion, we should focus more on attacking the interpretation of that religion by radical, militant, fundamentalist, extremists engaged in hirabah against the world, including against Muslims who are not them. Courageous Muslims such as Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, at risk to his own life and the lives of his family, are trying to speak out against the radicals (who, ironically label Muslims like Jasser as radicalized), for, as a good Muslim, he is engaged in the Jihad of fighting for the soul of his religion.

It is utterly baffling to me, that PBS refuses to air this film. If nothing else, it encourages the very notion from the politically correct, multiculturalist left who insist that Islam is a religion of peace. I guess the fact that there are Muslims who wish to join the rest of the world in modernity do not qualify as "Muslim moderates" who speak for Islam.

For those who couldn't be there and for those who wish to hear and to help spread the message...

The following is just a 2 minute introductory audio by Martyn Burke, before the screening of the film:

I know this is long, at just over an hour; but, friends, it's well-worth the listen to:

See the Trailer at What the Crap?
Hugh Hewitt transcript of interview with Frank Gaffney Audio
Review at Libertas
Review at Pajamas Media

Excellent link by Andrew Sullivan to Rod Dreher's review. It's a good "food for thought" read.

Other noteworthy past blogposts on the matter:
Ace of Spades
Blogmeister USA
Chatterbox Chronicles
Gates of Vienna
Little Green Footballs (elaborated and updated on by Frank Gaffney)
Pajamas Media
The Claremont Institute
The Hedgehog Blog

What you can do:
  1. Call Pat Harrison (president of CPB). 202-879-9600.
  2. Politely thank her for allowing this film to be made.
  3. Request that she clear the film for showing outside of PBS.
Go to Free the Film, for more.

Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

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Week in Photos

Militants from Hamas stand at the desk of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas inside his personal office after it was taken over by Hamas during the fighting in Gaza City.
Hatem Moussa - AP

Cole McNamara participates in his 5th grade promotion ceremony at Cornerstone School after officials made him cut off the guns held by plastic soldiers on his mortar board in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Lawmakers in several states say the strict policies in schools have resulted in many punishments that lack common sense, and are seeking to loosen the restrictions.

Honor guards from the 8th U.S. Army follow the hearse bearing the flag-draped coffin of Filipino-American U.S. Army Sgt. Richard Valiant Correa during his funeral in his hometown of Lingayen, Pangasinan province in northern Philippines. Sgt. Correa, 25, who served in Iraq with the U.S. Army's 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division based in Fort Drum, NY, was killed in action when he encountered an improvised explosive device May 29, 2007 near IIbu, Falris, Iraq. Photo by Vic Alhambra Jr., AP

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Out Paced

Also Bush's Fault

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oh, the Horror!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Who wants U.S. Troops Out of Iraq?

A boy seeks shelter behind a U.S. soldier as gunshots ring out following a car bomb explosion in Baghdad. Photo by Khalid Mohammed, AP

What is this Iraqi boy about to do? Pearl Harbor a U.S. soldier from the rear? Click the photo to find out.

Also check out Arab scholar Fouad Ajami, Professor of the Middle East Studies Program, John Hopkins University and author of The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq.

On the Dennis Prager Show, Ajami explained why Iraqis want the U.S. to stay; but fear saying so, publically in pollings.

"Please Occupy Us!"

Others blogging on President Bush's hero welcome in Albania:
Conservativism with Heart
Flopping Aces
Marie's Two Cents
Mike's America

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Caption This

(for the actual article by Dana Milbank, go here...and check out the video. Hillary-ious!)

Hat tip: The Michael Medved Show

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Kill Bill

No, not this one:

Nor this one:

This Bill:

Our Founders chose "gridlock" over "programmatic efficiency".

Although I think Heather MacDonald is wrong about her facts and stats on the illegal aliens "crime wave", I think she's spot on regarding the politics that argues new Hispanics citizens would vote conservative. One need only look at these photos to understand which side of the political fence this voting block would clamber and migrate toward:

Note the Che Guevara t-shirt.

Anyone really believe that the majority of these Chicano pride/multiculturalists- many who would undoubtedly push for generous welfare benefits- would vote Republican?

Play the short video on this lefty blog. Those kindergarten kids should be granted what they're chanting for: We don't need them with that brand of patriotism. Anyone that loves Mexico that much- or any nation- should not be here; they should go back over there.

And I say all of this as someone who was somewhat on the fence on the illegal immigration bill. Certainly, the status quo is unacceptable. My greatest fear is that we will get something much worse proposed, should Democrats take not only the majority in the House and Senate, but also the Presidency.

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The Vulgar Indecent Incivility of the Left

See anything ironic in the above photo? From Dennis Prager, who also penned "Buck Fush".

From Pajamas Media (with a hat tip to Brit Hume):
Joe Klein looooves blogging …. BUT…. “the smart stuff is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere. Anyone who doesn’t move in lockstep with the most extreme voices is savaged and ridiculed—especially people like me who often agree with the liberal position but sometimes disagree and are therefore considered traitorously unreliable.” (Time)

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pinning the Tale of the Democrats

Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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