Saturday, March 11

La Shawn Barbers is looking for quotes

UPDATE: Just finished up my review on Army of Davids. You'll want to check it out here.
***

She is looking for help in writing a review of Army of Davids.
I'm soliciting quotes from "“ordinary people"” empowered by technology.
I just finished Army of Davids myself--its great.

A great example of a David fighting a Goliath is how a handful of bloggers have helped spread the story of a Cuban protestor at the World Baseball classic. Bloggers have been quoted in the media, and have given close-up coverage to the incident.

Castro is getting his first taste of the blogsphere, started by one man and some cardboard signs, and spread by hundreds! No dictator can stop it.

Also, in Venezuela, bloggers are getting pressure from the Chavez regime for exposing the truth about his propaganda machine.

These are regular Davids battling the great evil Goliath--communism. Would the USSR even have happened if there had been bloggers back then? Information cannot be controlled anymore!

I consider myself a perfect example of a David, though David was one amazing man. But, when could I have dreamed that I could write ideas and thoughts, and that hundreds would read it. Now, I know my traffic does not compare to Instapundit or Hugh Hewitt, but hey--when could a guy like me imagine having an average of 50-80 unique readers per day? That is the power of technology.

I have received speaking invitations, emails from congressional staffers, and by the looks of my stats (web log tracking), I have readers from all over the world. While I have yet to break some great story, or make money of this, I know that my words are being read. It's a big responsibility and I take that seriously.

Quote of the Day: In Cuba, Free Speech IS a crime!

UPDATE: Mary Katharine linked to the story over at Hugh Hewitt. It's good to see proper attention given to this. American's need to hear more of the truth about Castro's regime.

Real Cuba has been covering the story. He has some great pictures, and he was quoted in this Fox Sports article.

Via "La Ventanita," this quote is from Col. Adalberto Mercado who was explaining to a Cuban official how free speech works in America.
``We explained to him that here the constitutional right to free expression exists and that it is not a crime"
You have to read the whole story here.
...the publicity brought on the WBC and Cuba, by a lone Cuban exile at the Hiram Bithorn stadium has been a Godsend. Cuban official Angel Iglesias le salio el tiro por la culata. In what he hoped would be the thwaring of dissent Cuban style, has resulted in the greatest show of the lack of freedom of speech in Cuba. He got exactly the the reverse of what he was looking for, and in the end even got a lecture on free speech.
This is getting major attention out there. BabaluBlog has links and more details.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Homeland Security Reports Gang Arrests

Great news via Associated Press on fighting the increase of gang crime.
WASHINGTON - Some 375 gang members have been arrested in 24 states and the District of Columbia over the past two weeks as part of a yearlong operation targeting gangs with criminal immigrant members, the
Homeland Security Department said Friday.

The arrests bring to 2,388 the number of gang members apprehended through Operation Community Shield, which combines local law enforcement with federal immigration forces. Of those arrested, 922 were members of Mara Salvatrucha gangs, which have ties to Central America.
I'm glad to hear Homeland Security is getting involved, and treating this with the seriousness it deserves. Also good to see law enforcement working together and connecting the dots between immigration enforcement and criminal activity.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that previously local law enforcement might arrest gang members and not be aware they also had immigration violations that could be used "to incapacitate violent criminals." Meanwhile, immigration officials would arrest gang members and not know they were wanted for serious criminal offenses.

"In much the way we have connected the dots against the war on terror, we are now connecting the dots against gang violence," Chertoff said.

Chertoff said none of the gang members was identified as having ties to al-Qaeda, but more than 260 of those arrested in the last two weeks have committed crimes like rape, murder and assault and brought drugs and weapons into neighborhoods. Of those arrested during the past year, 533 were charged with crimes and 1,855 with immigration violations.

Those in the country illegally will be deported after serving any sentences, officials said.
Good work!

Friday, March 10

City moves to condemn SBC church using eminent domain

Filipino Baptist Fellowship is another Kelo victim in California. This comes via Baptist Press.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (BP)--City leaders in Long Beach, Calif., have classified the Filipino Baptist Fellowship’s building as a blighted area and are forcing the congregation out in order to make way for condominiums.
A church member was on Hanity & Colmes:
During a segment on Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” March 3, church member Sally Derro said when the church building was given to the congregation, it was an answer to many years of prayer.

“Every day, the young kids pray that this church would not fall,” church member Jovine Agustine added.

Roem Agustine, pastor of the Filipino Baptist Fellowship, said the city has made proposals for an alternative site, but none of them have been acceptable.

“Either they are small in area or they are in the redevelopment area of the city, and we don’t want to move to a place where later on we’ll be told to move out again,” the pastor said.

One of the proposed relocation sites was a bar.

Eastman, on Fox, said the church building is not in any shape to be condemned.

“It’s not blighted. We’re not talking about a rundown slum that’s boarded up with bars on the windows,” he said. “The church is a vibrant church. So we’ll challenge whether they’re allowed to take it at all.”
Kelos should have never happened, and it needs to be struck down.

Dr. Dobson's Broadcast Responds to False Allegations

You don't have to like the man, or even agree with his point of views, but this is to much. This is purely baseless ad-homonym attack. I do not understand how DefCon board and constituents allow this sort of thing to continue.

So, in the spirit of transparency, I am providing here links to Dr. Dobson's radio show. Listen to his response, and get the facts.
Dr. James Dobson, the founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, devotes his national broadcast today to defusing the outrageous claims of the liberal special-interest group Campaign to Defend the Constitution, known as DefCon.

DefCon has attempted to discredit Dr. Dobson by running newspaper and TV ads that try to link him with gambling lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- a connection that does not exist.

On the broadcast Dr. Dobson explains what the smear campaign targeted at him is really all about.

CitizenLink will have a full report in today's Daily Update, including details of a teleconference scheduled for today by DefCon.

To find a local station that carries his program, click
here:

http://www.family.org/fmedia/radiolog/index.cfm

Or you may listen online:

http://www.family.org/fmedia/broadcast/

To read Focus on the Family's point-by-point defense of the false allegations by DefCon, click here:

http://www.family.org/cforum/feature/a0039768.cfm
Tags: Christian, Gay, Politics, Religion, Politics, Republicans, Corruption, Congress, Democrats, GOP

Hispanics: The future of the Republican Party

Here is a great article on the Castano candidacy in Texas--a must read. This is the future of the Republican party--assimilated, succesfull, hard working Hispanics that are already community and business leaders. We cannot lose sight of this as we continue to address the challenges of illegal immigration.

The Castano candidacy is part of a second GOP attempt to win the votes of Hispanics. During the Reagan years, ABC's Cokie Roberts once observed Hispanics exiting a naturalization ceremony and heading straight to a Republican registration table. They were attracted to "the party's emphasis on family, work, and prayer," she said—and President Reagan won 47 percent of the Hispanic vote in 1984.

In 1994, though, former California Gov. Pete Wilson's Proposition 187, perceived as anti-Hispanic for its denial of government social services to illegal immigrants, hurt the Republican Party. Even though Hispanics are split ideologically—one survey showed 35 percent apiece for conservatives and liberals—Democrats have dominated the Hispanic vote in recent elections and have far more officeholders: Texas, for instance, has 16 Hispanic Republican elected officials and 574 elected Hispanic Democrats.

George W. Bush for a decade now has emphasized the need for Republicans to appeal to Hispanics willing to leave behind the Democratic Party's bartering system of a handout for a vote. In 2000 and 2004, enlisting a San Antonio ad agency that specializes in marketing to Hispanics, he assured Hispanics that he would fight for their cuerpo y alma—their "body and soul." President Bush in 2004 received between 40 percent and 44 percent of Hispanic votes nationwide, and surpassed the 50 percent mark in several overwhelmingly Hispanic Texas border counties.

The Right Exhibits far More Cultural Diversity than Does the Left

I read something about the Crunchy Cons book the other day (I can't find the column) and of course, doing a quick Google search, I found the Crunchy Con blog over at NRO, and plenty of mentions all around. It's interesting, because I think my mother is like this. She is big on natural things, organic foods, and living a healthy lifestyle, but she is pro-life (Thank GOD!), deeply committed to our faith, and most definitely not a liberal.

Gene Veith has an interesting piece on the various shades of conservatives, and the healthy diversity we have on the right. That's a lot more than you can say about the left. He commented on Crunchy Cons:
There are even "granola conservatives," or, in columnist Rod Dreher's memorable phrase, "crunchy conservatives." These folks resolutely oppose mass society, pop culture, cookie-cutter industrialism, big corporations, and the various travesties of both modernism and postmodernism. They can come across as environmentalists, valuing nature over commercial development, and they tend to prefer organic food. But unlike leftists, they oppose abortion, are skeptical of feminism, and tend to be religious. They are conservatives because they are pre-modernists.
Random House has the "Crunchy Con Manifesto" which I thought was very interesting. I'm including it here, with some comments.
A Crunchy Con Manifesto

1. We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly. [I hope and desire that this be the case for me, but I can't honestly say that is the case.]

2. Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character. [This is true, and a clear danger to the continued improvement of our society. Not that economic growth is bad! Far from it, economic prosperity has saved millions of lives, and improved the quality of life for millions more. I hope I can stay focused on what matters--people's and families' lives being changed and improved.]

3. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government. [I have failed on this one. This does NOT mean big government should regulate big business. It means there needs to be process for greater accountability from big business. This is a principle that goes way back to Adam Smith and Wealth of Nations.]

4. Culture is more important than politics and economics. [Not sure. Perhaps we need to define what is culture, and what is economics.]

5. A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship--especially of the natural world--—is not fundamentally conservative. [Good point. I agree. It's time that conservatives took back the issue of natural conservation, and made it a sensible thing. It should not be the issue of the extremist.]

6. Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract.

7. Beauty is more important than efficiency.

8. The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom. [I agree. Taking a step back, or taking a break, always helps. But, I do think there can be authentic beauty through media. It's not usually from the pop-culture though.]

9. We share Russell Kirk's conviction that "the institution most essential to conserve is the family." [Yes, yes, yes!]

QUOTE OF THE DAY:State Senator Tom McClintock

This via Get Liberty News email.
"Eminent domain is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. It's an American issue. Rich people should not be allowed to steal poor people’s homes. It’s that simple."

State Senator Tom McClintock

GOP VIDEO: Find the Leader

Got this in my email box this morning.
This morning, GOP.com released a new video, titled “Find the Leader.” The video asks who the leader of the Democrat Party really is. Is it Hillary Clinton, who compared the House of Representatives to a plantation? Or Howard Dean, who likened the United States to Iran? Or John Kerry, who worries about American troops terrorizing children in the dead of night?
Check out the “Find the Leader” video here. Don't even doubt that this is and will have an effect on the 2006 elections. They can't decide what direction they are going in, do you think any smart voter is going to follow? I would ad to that, though, that the Republican party needs to watch out for the independents.

Wednesday, March 8

To Much To Do, Not Enough Time: Link Round Up

I had about 3 posts I wanted to share, but it is now late, and I need some sleep. I have scholarship applications due, deadlines at work, and sleep to catch up.

But, here are the links to what I wanted to post about. Post your comments, and I will include them here tomorrow as an update (I'll even link to your blog).

First, stop the bleeding. Then, we can sit down and talk about what to do about the millions of illegal immigrants. Border Fence is legitimate self-defense

I thought this shows how ridiculous teacher unions can be. I am in favor of removing government involvement in Public education 100%. The teachers unions are mad at me

Here is a good update on the Catholic town controversy. Here is a link to the web site for that Hindu town he mentions. There goes those "controversial Catholics" again

Even today, other religions have started up communities founded on their beliefs. In southwestern Iowa, some New Age Hindus have created the town of Maharishi Vedic City, a religious center based on the principles and teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. There's been no dire civil-liberties alert from Couric yet, even though the city has banned the sale of non-organic food and the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Stop the presses! Get Couric on the line! Civil rights at risk! Intolerance and bigotry afoot! Oh, wait ... wait. You said Hindus? Oh, never mind
Of course, my favorite source of economic perspective: Sowell. Good article. Oily politics

Well, I'm off to bed. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 7

Democrats Struggle Fail To Seize Opportunity

The fail because they don't have a message, and what they manage to get out is negative. This is not what America wants. But the Washington Post would not grasp that.
News about GOP political corruption, inept hurricane response and chaos in Iraq has lifted Democrats' hopes of winning control of Congress this fall. But seizing the opportunity has not been easy, as they found when they tried to unveil an agenda of their own.

Democratic leaders had set a goal of issuing their legislative manifesto by November 2005 to give voters a full year to digest their proposals. But some Democrats protested that the release date was too early, so they put it off until January. The new date slipped twice again, and now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) says the document will be unveiled in "a matter of weeks."

On Line Freedom of Speech act

FYI:
House Administration Committee will be marking up theOnline Freedom of Speech Act this Thursday. Webcast of the mark up is available at cha.house.gov. Once a bill is marked up it can be brought to the floor for a full vote by the House. This could happen as early as next week, but more will be known after the mark up.

Monday, March 6

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL RADAR TRACKING TEST

Heard from a friend from last week's missile defense system test, but have not heard anything about it in the media. With the growing threat from Iran, this is a very timely and newsworthy and the country deserves to be kept up to date on the progress. It seems that military related achievements are just not newsworthy in today's PC, anti-military culture. Shame.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry A. "Trey" Obering, Missile Defense Agency director, announced the successful completion of a test today involving the tracking of a target missile with an upgraded early warning radar located at Beale Air Force Base in northern California that is being incorporated into the Ballistic Missile Defense System.

A long-range Strategic Targets System (STARS) rocket was launched at 7:09 a.m. Alaska Standard Time (11:09 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) from the Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The rocket was successfully tracked by the Beale AFB radar during the exercise, and target data, including a weapon task plan (firing solution), was successfully transmitted to the Joint National Integration Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. where it was inputted into the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication system. No interceptor missile was launched during the exercise, but the test did include the launch of a simulated interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. using performance data from previous interceptor launches.

The early warning radar at Beale AFB has been a part of the United States ballistic missile early warning system since 1980, and is operated by the Air Force Space Command. Upgrades to the early warning radar included the replacement of electronic hardware and computer software. The hardware modifications included replacing existing computers, graphic displays, communication equipment, and the radar receiver/exciter in order to better identify and provide more precise tracking of a ballistic missile launched against the United States. The radar is part of an extensive network of land and sea-based radars now being developed and deployed to detect and track ballistic missiles, and to provide targeting information to interceptor missiles through the command and control system. Over the next several years, existing early warning radars in the United Kingdom and Greenland will also be upgraded for the missile defense mission.
A friend who works on the project suggested I check these web sites out for more information. I'm no rocket scientist, but I love this stuff. Any engineers out there that want to comment, email me.
MDA Website - http://www.mda.mil
Overview - http://www.mda.mil/mdalink/pdf/bmdsbook.pdf
Recent Test - http://www.mda.mil/mdalink/pdf/05news0015.pdf
Also, here's a non-MDA website he suggested that has lots of good information and perspectives: http://www.missilethreat.com/.

Sunday, March 5

Absolute truth is a standard for morality

Check this out! My dear little sister has been doing some writing for her college paper, and I was doing a google, and found her article. She presents a short and to-the-point argument for absolute truth. Check it out. It's a good back-to-the-basics article and very well written, I think (I know, I'm biased...). Absolute truth is a standard for morality

RedState.com: Your Dramatic Overreaction Of The Day

Pejman Yousefzadeh reacted to Andrew Sullivan's post about the controversy regarding Dr. James Dobson, and the thank you note he received from Judge Alito.
I really have no brief for James Dobson, but this is absurd. Unless you are the kind of person who sees a wink-wink-nudge-nudge-say-no-more element in just about every bit of human interaction, it's hard to see what the big deal is regarding the fact that Alito was polite. It doesn't signify a desire to engage in any kind of quid pro quo, and if Sullivan actually does think that Alito's letter is enough to demonstrate his supposed lack of independence, well, let's all thank goodness this hanging judge of a blogger isn't a real judge in the court system. And I say this as someone who believes Sullivan to be quite intelligent and eloquent on a number of issues.

Noting, perhaps, that he is on thin ice with this kind of innuendo and anxious to shore up a weak position, Sullivan protests that his suspicions are somehow well-founded. Why? Because Dobson read Alito's letter on the radio! Because writing a thank-you letter constitutes "associating with overtly political entities"! (Query: Was Andrew Sullivan upset that Justice Alito attended the State of the Union, where "overtly political entities" were in abundance?) And finally because "there is more than just a hint of a constitutional quo for a political quid in the letter," and Sullivan "hoped [Alito's] jurisprudence would not amount to a carte blanche for whatever the Christianists demand. The letter suggests otherwise." How this is the case, we do not know and Sullivan does not tell us. I guess we are just supposed to take his word for it.
Adam C also commented on reactions from Taranto:
Now, Alito's defenders will doubtless point to Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution, which stipulates that federal judges "shall hold their offices during good behaviour." Surely, they will argue, sending a thank-you note qualifies as "good behaviour."...

Luckily, there is a way Alito can defuse the scandal. All he has to do is send a note to Sullivan thanking him for his endorsement. Then, when he casts a vote against same-sex marriage, Sullivan's pet issue, it will be clear that there is in fact no quo.