Month Archives: March 2009

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

March 12, 2009

Here’s a glimpse into what is coming up in today’s Washington Update.

Here is what else we are looking at today.

Jihad in the Classroom

by Robert Morrison

March 11, 2009

Islam is very much in the news these days. Even before 9/11, Americans had become aware of a powerful presence that had never really gone away. The 45-year Cold War between the U.S. and the USSR seemed to submerge Islamic identity in an East-West struggle. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, a resurgent Islam often intruded into the headlines of Western newspapers. Even before the terror attacks on New York and Washington, Americans had been targeted by Islamist radicals for murder -at the World Trade Center in 1993, Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, the U.S. Embassies in East Africa in 1998, and aboard the USS Cole in 2000. Then, however, we seemed to be in a decade-long “holiday from history.”

It’s normal to expect that American history and world history textbooks would take a few years to catch up with world events. Textbook production is not an overnight process. The headlines, however, don’t wait. And the headlines all have some lessons to teach us about those regions where Islam predominates.

Here’s lesson one: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met recently at Sharm-el-Sheikh, the Egyptian resort, with dozens of Arab leaders. She pledged U.S. monies to rebuild structures damaged in the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza. American taxpayers will be required to fork over $900 million to restore the homes and schools where local residents danced and handed out sweets to children to celebrate the attacks of 9/11. Mrs. Clinton assures us that the UN will carefully monitor where the funds go, to make sure that none of these monies get “into the wrong hands.” For many of us who remember the UN’s “Oil for Food” scandal, the UN’s hands are the wrong hands. In this case, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has already designated a Syrian-based bank as a receiver of funds. Problem: the U.S.government has identified that Syrian bank as a money launderer for Hamas, the Gaza terrorist organization.

Lesson two: In The Washington Post, we recently read of a seven-year-old Kurdish girl 100 miles north of Baghdad whimpering as village women approach her. They hold her legs apart as a midwife uses a razor blade to cut off part of the little child’s genitals. “I do this in the name of Allah,” the midwife cries. The screaming little girl is hustled away to her home. “We don’t know why we do it, but we will never stop because Islam and our elders require it,” says the girl’s mother. Tens of thousands of little girls are routinely so mutilated, The Post reports.

Lesson three: An Iranian freighter approaches the Chesapeake Bay, outside U.S. territorial waters. It launches a Shahab 3 missile with a nuclear warhead that explodes 300 miles above Des Moines, Iowa. The ship’s crew of jihadist “martyrs” blows the ship up, leaving no trace of attackers. But the Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) created by the single nuclear weapon “fries” all the electronic circuits in North America, blacking out our communications, neutralizing our emergency response units, shutting down power grids, and throwing 300 million Americans back to the dawn of the industrial era. This is not a headline-yet. But it’s what the Claremont Institute’s Brian Kennedy writes could happen. It may be what Iran’s Ahmadinejad means when he says he can foresee a world without the United States. It is to this man that our new President extends his open hand.

None of these lessons-continued U.S. subsidies to America-hating Palestinians, genital mutilation of tens of thousands of Muslim girls, or the threat of an attack from a nuclear Iran—are in our kids’ textbooks. But the issues they describe have been with us for decades.

In a recent report by the American Textbook Council, educator Gil Sewall notes that textbook publishers have caved in to noisy lobbies that howl whenever painful facts are taught. Sewall’s group says these Islamic organizations are succeeding in “adjusting the definitions of jihad and sharia or remove these words from lessons to avoid inconvenient truths that the editors fear activists will contest.” In a public school system increasingly hostile to teaching about Christianity, the Teacher’s Curriculum Institute of California includes this Muslim prayer from the Koran:

Recite-in the name of thy Lord!
Who created man from blood coagulated.
Recite! Thy Lord is wondrous kind,
Who by the pen has taught mankind things they knew not.

The Council’s report on textbooks currently in classroom use charges that “the editorial caution that marks coverage of Christian and Jewish beliefs vanishes in presenting Islam’s foundations.” A Holt textbook extols Islam in glowing terms: “Helping and caring for others is important in Islam.” Muhammed “taught equality,” the text goes on.

Islam in the 700s does not conquer with fire and sword, according to these texts. Instead, it simply “sweeps” out of Arabia. With brooms?

More than 20 years ago, I was the liaison officer at the U.S. Department of Education for Dr. Paul Vitz. Dr. Vitz was an NYU psychologist whose careful study of basal readers and elementary social studies books showed that references to God and religion were being systematically “swept” away by American textbook publishers.

At the press conference at which Dr. Vitz presented his findings, many educators and reporters were skeptical of this study. But the curriculum coordinator for Montgomery County, Maryland Public Schools stood to say he agreed with Dr. Vitz’ findings. And to counter that trend, his very liberal school district would make sure that all students had a chance to see the real impact of religion in our world: The youngsters would see the traveling exhibit of Suleiman the Magnificent. Suleiman was the Sultan, or emperor, of the Ottoman Turks! He was a Muslim ruler.

I thought of that day when I read about John Walker Lindh. He was captured in the opening days of the Afghanistan War in 2001. Lindh is serving a prison sentence as “the American Taliban.”

In the mid-80s, Lindh would likely have been one of those elementary school children introduced to Suleiman’s magnificence by his very politically correct Montgomery County educators. His family then lived in a trendy Washington suburb that local wags call “the People’s Republic of Takoma Park.”

We cannot prove that his public schooling made John Walker Lindh a jihadist, but fair questions should be asked: Based solely on what he learned in school, would this young man or any others learn why America should be loved? Why she deserves our loyalty? Why she deserves to be defended? Would they learn to question the truth claims of Islamists?

Once this was a particular problem for ultra-liberal enclaves like Montgomery County and California’s “Marvelous Marin,” but these textbooks show that the problem is nationwide. We are all indebted to Gil Sewall and the American Textbook Council for their courage and their commitment to the truth.

Blogosphere Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

March 11, 2009

Here’s some of the buzz from the blogosphere today.

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

March 11, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

The Pro-Obama Attack Machine Rolls On

by Chris Gacek

March 11, 2009

The New York Times jumped into the fray on Monday to help rescue President Obama’s economic policy-making reputation.  This was done in the guise of an analysis piece on the cable business channel, CNBC, that also served as a shot across the bow.  The story by Brian Stelter and Tim Arango entitled, “CNBC Thrives as Hosts Deliver News with Attitude,” lets the cat out of the bag when it intones: “CNBC is now a place for politics…. making the line between reporter and commentator almost indistinguishable at times.”

            What follows is a grab-bag of faux concern for CNBC’s brand and its reputation for journalistic integrity.  Some anonymous back-biting by three CNBC employees is added for good measure.  Blah, blah, blah.  But the rub comes down to this:  “In recent weeks some have perceived the network to be leading the campaign against President Obama’s economic agenda.”  BINGO.

            Well, the folks in the mainstream media (MSM) are clearly irritated because CNBC is now the most important news organization driving the political-economic debate.  The MSM is beginning to realize that it cannot control a news network populated by the brightest reporters on TV and accomplished guests who focus on the hard logic of the markets, interest rates, stock prices, currencies, etc.

            After Rick Santelli, a CNBC reporter from Chicago’s mercantile exchange, blasted the Obama Administration’s mortgage rescue plan he was attacked by NBC’s Matt Lauer on the Today Show.  Similarly, Jim Cramer was dragged to the Today Show for a hazing by Lauer who had to be assisted by CNBC’s Erin Burnett.  Even she couldn’t make it a fair fight.  Cramer just brushed them off.

            Unfortunately for the MSM the news broadcasts on CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CNN, and MSNBC are populated with reporters who know relatively little about economics and finance compared to their counter-parts at CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business Channel.  So, when someone like Lauer tries to slime Santelli or Cramer he is totally mismatched.

            This means that serious interviews on the economy now have to be conducted on CNBC.  Yesterday’s interview of Warren Buffet by CNBC’s Becky Quick is a case in point.  Aside from the two-hour length, that interview would not have been possible on the MSM networks.  There are no broadcast TV analogs to Ms. Quick, Joe Kernen, and Carl Quintanilla who are all very, very bright and industry savvy.

            This is not to say that CNBC is perfect.  It has its flaws.  Big Deal.  However, between the network’s excellent morning (“Squawk Box”) and evening shows (“The Kudlow Report” hosted by Larry Kudlow) one becomes engaged in an ongoing conversation about our nation’s political-economic-financial situation.  The point isn’t that CNBC hosts and guests don’t make mistakes or erroneous predictions.  Who hasn’t in this market?

            The point is that CNBC presents its viewers with a window into an ongoing high-level conversation between many of the best minds on “Wall Street” as they try to diagnose and solve the enormous problems we face.  It has been fascinating to watch many themes developed and analyzed over an extended period of time on CNBC.

            This is all to say, that the MSM is incapable of presenting the public with this type of sophisticated, repetitive “longitudinal” analysis that makes it possible to think through the various problems the markets face.  And, with all due respect to the snooty journalism professors who love the Times, this is great journalism.

            Finally, regarding the charges of being political, as Larry Kudlow said Tuesday night to Charlie Gasparino (another CNBC reporter under attack) - (paraphrasing) “I learned a long time ago that if the liberal pundits are coming after you, you must be doing something right.”  Amen, Brother Larry.  Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

March 10, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

Blogosphere Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

March 10, 2009

Here’s some of the buzz from the blogosphere today.

Holding our Heads High?

by Robert Morrison

March 9, 2009

President Barack Obama last January 23rd —in office just two and a half days—revoked the Mexico City policy. That policy was initiated by President Reagan and supported by both Bush administrations. Obama’s action was hailed by pro-abortion groups around the world. The little-known but very powerful outfit, Americans for UNFPA, issued an ecstatic statement: “[This action] allows all Americans to again hold our heads high. We can be proud to be part of a nation that is, once again, ready to lead the world in promoting the health and rights of women.”

What was the Mexico City policy? It was a prohibition on giving U.S. foreign aid monies to organizations-like Planned Parenthood-that perform or promote abortion in developing countries. Because the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) had been found complicit in communist China’s massive practice of coerced abortions, UNFPA was also de-funded. This was done under a provision of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment that has the force of law.

Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute (PRI), knows the China policy all too well. Steve was a young Ph.D. student from Stanford University when he first went to China in 1979-80. His researches in the rural villages of Guangdong province were the first studies done there since China re-opened to the West in the late 1970s. Steve was shocked to learn that pregnant Chinese women were being rounded up, hustled into open trucks, and carried off to population control centers where they were threatened and browbeaten, not allowed to return home, until they had abortions. At that time, Steve Mosher was not a Christian believer, nor even pro-life. He was simply a conscientious American grad student who was observing a massive abuse of fundamental human rights. Steve expected “pro-choice” groups in America to rally to the defense of Chinese mothers. They didn’t.

Steve Mosher was soon kicked out of the People’s Republic of China. Shortly afterward, he was expelled from Stanford University. Stanford’s president, David Kennedy, claimed Steve had violated academic regulations. Those were rules passed after Steve had left the U.S. His work was being done in very remote rural villages, many without electricity, where delivery of the Stanford Daily Cardinal is irregular. No matter. Congress can’t pass ex post facto laws, but Stanford can.

Steve Mosher’s book, Broken Earth, tells the full story of the rural Chinese with humor and compassion. It also documents the beginnings of China’s One-Child policy. That policy-still in effect-requires IUDs (intra-uterine devices) for women of childbearing age who already have one child. By the mid-1980s, China was engaged in coercive abortion, sterilization, and IUD insertion. Upwards of 30 million of these violations of human rights occur in China yearly. The only change has been a slight relaxation of the One-Child policy for couples whose first child was a girl. This was not so much done from mercy, or from respect for human rights, but because the Communist Party was beginning to be concerned about the growing disparity between male and female births. (For example, one village in Guanxi province recently reported 19 of 24 births were of males. Nationwide, of China’s 1.2 billion people, there are 41 million more men than women.) Girl babies are often killed at birth, left to die, or left at orphanages.

We need to put a human face on this inhuman policy. Some years back, a young Chinese woman was eight months pregnant, was being held in an immigration detention center in Australia. Zhu Qingping begged to be allowed to stay just one more month, until her “unauthorized” second child was born. Australian Minister of Immigration Philip Ruddock contacted China’s government. The Chinese assured Minister Ruddock that Mrs. Zhu would be allowed to bear her child if she were ordered back to her native land.

Australian pro-life hero, Sen. Brian Harradine, picked up on Mrs. Zhu’s story. He confronted Minister Ruddock with the results of his actions. Tearfully, on a videotape smuggled out of the People’s Republic, Mrs. Zhu said: “I thought the [Minister Ruddock] was telling me the truth. Actually, he tricked me by saying the government [of China] would give me a birth permit upon my return [that would let] me have my baby.” She was cruelly deceived.

Zhu Qingping was met at the airport by population cadres. They took her to an abortion center where her unborn child was killed-10 days before her due date. This is no isolated incident. As Steve Mosher and PRI have documented, such abuses are standard policy for China, with the UNFPA actively aiding in these crimes against humanity. Nor is China the only example. The UNFPA has also been implicated in massive human rights abuses in Peru, as well. There, Indian women were sterilized without their full knowledge or consent in a massive campaign waged by the government of Alberto Fujimori, since deposed.

Do President Obama’s revocation of the Mexico City policy and the Democratic Congresses restoration of UNFPA money make you proud? If you met Zhu Qingping today, would you “hold your head high”? Would you applaud your taxes now helping the UNFPA to back China’s coercive abortion policy?

President Obama has been in office barely six weeks. In that short time, he has revoked the Mexico City policy and also revoked the conscience regulations recently issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These regulations protected pro-life doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. They would have allowed these health professionals not to participate in abortions, or not to traffic in abortifacient drugs. We are told the President is a great admirer of Lincoln. It took President Lincoln almost three years to gain the title of the Great Emancipator, but President Obama is already the Great Revoker. And he’s only just begun.

A Primer on Conscience Protection

by Jared Bridges

March 9, 2009

Conscience protection is in the news again, and not just on this blog.  On our sister blog at FRC Action, FRCA’s newly-minted Senior Vice President Tom McClusky has posted a primer on what these regulations are, and whom they protect:

These conscience protections are important because powerful interests are inclined to force health care workers and others to participate, directly or indirectly, in morally controversial procedures. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others have been denied employment, dismissed, or penalized because of objections to abortion, contraception or the morning-after pill. The same pressure will almost certainly be applied to force conscientious objectors to participate in reproductive technology, eugenic screening, and in euthanasia and assisted suicide, particularly where such things are legal or are tolerated.

Read the rest here…

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