Month Archives: October 2009

Obama Adviser, Dalia Mogahed, Hearts Sharia

by Chris Gacek

October 16, 2009

Well, President Obama sure knows how to pick em. His latest appointee miscue if you exclude recent news of White House communications director, Anita Dunn, explaining why she admires Chairman Mao came from his adviser on Muslim affairs, Dalia Mogahed.

As reported in an article by Andrew Gilligan and Alex Spillius of the Daily Telegraph (U.K.), Mogahed appeared on a British TV program hosted by a member of an extremist group to talk about Sharia Law. For more details, go to the article itself, but here are some key paragraphs:

Miss Mogahed, appointed to the Presidents Council on Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships, said the Western view of Sharia was oversimplified and the majority of women around the world associate it with gender justice.

The White House adviser made the remarks on a London-based TV discussion programme hosted by Ibtihal Bsis, a member of the extremist Hizb ut Tahrir party.

The group believes in the non-violent destruction of Western democracy and the creation of an Islamic state under Sharia Law across the world.

* * *

She said: I think the reason so many women support Sharia is because they have a very different understanding of sharia than the common perception in Western media.

The majority of women around the world associate gender justice, or justice for women, with sharia compliance.

* * *

The video of the broadcast has now been prominently posted on the front page of Hizb ut Tahrirs website. [See the interview from the groups Australian website.]

For a liberal Yemeni womans critique of Mogaheds assessment of worldwide Muslim opinion, go to this link. Dr. Elham Manea wrote this piece on July 1, 2009.

Bill Gates Takes on Radical Environmentalism

by Rob Schwarzwalder

October 15, 2009

In a speech today at the World Food Prize forum, Microsoft founder Bill Gates took the extreme environmental movement to task for putting rigid ideology ahead of basic human need.

Here’s an excerpt of his comments: “Some people insist on an ideal vision of the environment. They have tried to restrict the spread of biotechnology into sub-Saharan Africa without regard to how much hunger and poverty might be reduced by it, or what the farmers themselves might want.”

Gates noted that the international initiative “to help small farmers” in the developing world “is endangered by an ideological wedge” that pits higher productivity through the use of new agri-technologies and those who speak only of “sustainability,” often a code word for policies that would allow people to die for the sake of perceived environmental “purity.”

The Microsoft chief applauded some things that are anathema to the environmental purists, such as genetically-modified seeds that can increase crop yields and possibly even the nutritional content of such developing world staples as maize and sorghum. Drought-resistant seeds can be used by small farmers throughout Africa to help them feed their families and strengthen their nations’ economies.

One of the world’s wealthiest people, Gates and his foundation have poured an estimated $1.4 billion into combating hunger, malnutrition and disease in places like sub-Saharan Africa. Sadly, Gates is also a supporter of abortion-related “family planning” services in these regions. But he deserves credit both for his commitment to providing sustainable agriculture to the world’s neediest populations and for taking on the radical environmental movement, which would rather see people die than advance dynamic new agriculture technologies that could save millions of lives.

Embryo Fate on the Docket

by David Prentice

October 15, 2009

It was barely reported in the media, but a lawsuit was filed in federal court (Sherley et al. v. Sebelius et al.) on August 19 to reverse the guidelines put out by NIH that open federal funding to more human embryo destruction.

In further developments, a hearing was held Wednesday, October 14 in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on a preliminary injunction to block implementation and federal funding under the NIH guidelines. Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth listened to oral arguments, and will likely issue a decision by November 1 (in the meantime, NIH has indicated that it will not permit the expenditure of any funds for human embryonic stem cell research before that date.)

D.C. Woman Leaves Baby to Die in Plastic Bag, Gets 13 years

by Cathy Ruse

October 15, 2009

How can anyone ignore the irony in this awful story reported in the Washington Post yesterday?

A young woman walks out into a field with a pink towel, scissors, and a plastic bag, gives birth to a daughter, cuts the umbilical cord and leaves the baby to die.

Of course she could have had an abortionist legally kill the child.

The Supreme Court case of Doe v. Bolton mandates that an abortion be legal even after viability if an abortion doctor cites emotional or familial reasons for the abortion. During a post-arrest interview the woman said she had been raped, and the prosecutor said the woman got rid of the baby because she was afraid the man she was living with, whom she considered her husband, would break up with her for having another mans child. Plenty of legal grounds for a late-term abortion.

Assistant State’s Attorney Renee Battle-Brooks argued that whether she was impregnated because she was raped was irrelevant. That doesn’t make [the baby’s] life any less valuable,” Battle-Brooks said. “That baby struggled for breath in that plastic bag. She was alone, she was cold and she was hungry.”

Last month a 33-year old Rhode Island woman was sentenced to 25 years for killing her newborn daughter.

The baby was found in a plastic garbage bag under a laundry appliance in the womans parents home. Judge Robert Krause of Providence County said, Not to impose a substantial jail sentence … would simply devalue the life of a child. Krause added: No civilized society is prepared to do that and neither am I.

My point in raising these cases is not to argue for criminal penalties for women who have abortions no one in the pro-life movement seeks that but to show the irony in our law, and the striking quotes from those in the legal system as they recognize and defend the humanity of the youngest of babies. They sound so much like pro-lifers. One day, God willing, everyone will speak this way about children, even before birth.

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

October 14, 2009

Here’s some interesting articles for your reading enjoyment this morning.

Fighting for EqualityOr Obsessed with Sex?

by Peter Sprigg

October 14, 2009

It seems that homosexual activist groups cant even raise money without using sexual innuendo.

I happen to be on the email list for Equality Maryland, the state homosexual activist organization (its always good to know what the opposition is doing). They are planning to raise money with a Jazz Brunch and Silent Auction on Sunday, October 18 in Baltimore.

But I was startled by the poor taste (and the poor proofreading) of the subject line for an email invitation to this event that I received on September 28. It read: Care to engage is [sic] some Four Play? (The gimmick was that you would get a discount when purchasing four tickets.)

I wondered if they would be embarrassed or get any negative reactionbut apparently not. On October 7, I received a follow-up email with this subject line: Forget Four Play … how about a Threesome? Offering a discount for the purchase of only three tickets this time, the message came complete with a publicity photo from the old Threes Company TV show.

When homosexuals promote their political agenda in the public square, they argue that its not about sex. Its about love, families, equality, justice, etc., etc. They dont want people thinking about two men or two women having sex. (This is why they prefer the term gay rather than homosexual.)

But when talking to each other, the agenda becomes more clear.

Its about sex.

Merrill Peterson: Forging the Links in Libertys Legacy

by Robert Morrison

October 13, 2009

I had the great privilege of studying under Merrill Peterson at the University of Virginia in the 1960s. He was even then regarded as a great national scholar. His first book on Thomas JeffersonThe Jefferson Image in the American Mind— won the prestigious Bancroft Prize in 1960. It was especially important to have a professor of Mr. Petersons stature to speak up for civil rights during that turbulent era. He challenged Mr. Jeffersons University to live out the full meaning of Jeffersons creed. No university in America, or in the world, has a clearer title to speak for that heritage in the present crisis than the University of Virginia, he said in a 1965 speech in Jeffersons Rotunda. But for great men like that, I would never have left my New York home for college in the still-segregated South.

The Washington Post carried a fine tribute to Mr. Peterson. But they appear to swallow whole the story of Jeffersons alleged liaison with his slave, Sally Hemings. He did not believe in any sexual connection between Jefferson and Sally Hemings, said Petersons colleague, Paul Gaston. Gaston described Peterson as distancing himself from that controversy. The Post goes on to repeat the politically correct charge that the evidence became more persuasive in recent years.

What evidence is there and how persuasive is it? DNA testing has revealed that Sally Hemings descendants are related to a male Jefferson. The Jefferson-Hemings family ties are hardly new news. They were first broadcast by James Callender in 1802. Callender was a disappointed office seeker who had once maligned Adams and Hamilton while serving as a clerk in Jeffersons State Department. When President Jefferson would not reward the alcoholic Callender with a higher federal job, he turned his poison pen on his erstwhile sponsor. Soon afterward, he was found dead in a shallow river in Richmond. Apparently, he had fallen into the water in a drunken stupor. Jefferson was clearly wrong to employ such a man. And Abigail Adams was right to rebuke Jefferson. The adder he had cosseted had turned on him and bitten him. Fair enough.

That doesnt make Callenders scurrilous charges against Jefferson true. When DNA evidence combined with the calendar charge, the case was said to be proved. In this instance, investigators claimed the fact that Sally Hemings bore children slightly more than nine months after Thomas Jeffersons returning from service abroad or in New York or Philadelphia.

New England, which Jefferson visited only once, may provide the answer. Sea captains in those days also would enjoy great homecomings. Theyd be closeted away with family for several weeks upon their return to re-establish intimacy. Then, theyd set a pineapple outside above the front door. That pineapple was a signal to all in town to come for a social visit. Even today, we use the pineapple as a symbol of hospitality.

Monticello was probably no different. We can well imagine a grand homecoming for Thomas Jefferson to his mountain top retreat. And we can envision as well his younger brother, Randolph, joining in the welcoming festivities. If, after a few hours, Randolph made his way to the slave cabins to play his fiddleas he was well-known to do, it would hardly have invited undue attention. There would have been ample opportunities for the younger Mr. Jefferson to establish a liaison with Sally Hemings, or others along Mulberry Row.

When in latter years I have visited Monticello with my students, I have heard the docents there reciting the formulaic charge: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation has concluded, based on scientific evidence, that Jefferson fathered one or all of Sally Hemings children. Every time one says that in my presence, I have politely but firmly raised my voice: Where did these liaisons occur? The guide will invariably answer: Here, at Monticello. I pursue: Where at Monticello? And she answers: We dont know.

Its not an idle question. I learned from my days in the Coast Guard that it is the duty of all officers to know where the Captainthe Old Manis at all times. We had to know his physical whereabouts.

A plantation is not that different. If the alleged liaison occurred in Jeffersons private quarters, we have to imagine him doing this in a large house occupied by his daughter and her young children. Those entering or leaving his quarters would be visible to family, overseers, and other slaves at early and late hours. Is this likely?

Or might Jefferson have gone down to the slave cabins for his assignations? This is even less likely.

Jefferson was an older man when he returned to Monticello. Might the alleged liaison have occurred when Sally Hemings accompanied Jeffersons teenage daughter to Paris in the mid-1780s? If so, its curious that French intelligence serviceswho made spying on foreign diplomats a fine artcontain no reference to such a liaison.

Jeffersons defenders and biographers are not so emphatic in denying a possible French connection between the widowed Jefferson, in his vigorous forties, and Maria Cosway, the unhappy wife of an effeminate English portraitist.

A Jefferson-Cosway liaison, if it occurred, however, does not provide quite the frisson for the chattering classes as does a Master-Slave relationship. That would fit neatly into one of their favorite narratives. Questioned on camera about Jefferson and Sally Hemings, noted black historian John Hope Franklin answered: They all did it. Wasnt that the kind of blanket indictment that let lynching live in this country for a dishonorable century and more?

Wheres Arlen Specter when you need him? Specter, it will be recalled, famously voted a Scotch Verdict in the Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton in 1999. A Scotch Verdict, according to Arlen, the famous Philadelphia lawyer, means simply: Not proven.

I would argue that Thomas Jefferson should get at least a Scotch Verdict. I further argue that the real reason that Science Magazine and some historians, notably Joseph Ellis, chose November 1998 to reveal their new evidence to inculpate Thomas Jefferson was their passion to exculpate William Jefferson Clinton. That was the month Bill Clinton was facing impeachment.

Tragically, too many liberals were willing to trash the name and the legacy of liberalisms earliest hero in order to get Bill Clinton out of one of the jams in which he periodically found himself.

Merrill Peterson was a noted liberal. Respected by all, he could not see spending his last years in the midst of this bitter controversy. Instead, he gave us memorable books on Clay, Webster, and Calhounthe Senates truly great triumvirateand on Abraham Lincoln.

Im indebted to Mr. Petersons scholarship in many ways. When I read in Lincoln in the American Mind that Gov. Nelson Rockefeller had been invited to shake Henry Herndons hand because the 104-year old Hoosier had once shaken Lincolns hand, I put the book back on the shelf thinking it must have been nice for the man who had everything to be so excited about such a thing. Then, it dawned on me: I shook Gov. Rockefellers hand in 1971. And he shook hands with a man who shook hands in 1968 with Abraham Lincoln.

Now that hes gone to his reward, I can confess one thing about Mr. Petersons lecture style. His class memorably met early on Saturday morning. In those long-ago days, students at U.Va. occasionally stayed up late Friday nights meeting their social obligations. My place, right in the front row, was under Mr. Petersons placid gaze.

His voice was sweet, sonorous, and almost Swedish in its sing-song in-to-NA-tion. There were times, Ill admit, when my eyelids drooped and I slid down in my seat.

But ever after, I could say with pride: I studied under Merrill Peterson.

Eleven Days that Shook the World

by Robert Morrison

October 12, 2009

President Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for 2009. His nomination had to have been entered by February 1st of this year. At that point, as many incredulous pundits have noted, he had been President for just eleven days. Fast work.

Many commentators have ridiculed the choice. Gobsmacked, wrote the Washington Posts serious liberal foreign policy columnist, Jim Hoagland. He employed a British slang term for slack-jawed in utter amazement. Liberal writer Ruth Marcus likened the award to Pee-Wee Soccer, where every child gets a trophy just for playing. The New York Times house conservative, David Brooks, jeered that Obama should have won all of this years prizes, including those for economics and literature. Even for chemistry. After all, Obamas personal chemistry may be his greatest contribution to the world.

Newsweeks Howard Fineman called Obama President of the Earth and said he would accept in Oslo in December. Even long-time Obama promoters were hard-pressed to see the award as anything but miraculous—an effort, perhaps, by the Nobel Prize selection committee—Norwegian Leftists all—to create their own version of the Burning Bush. Saturday Night Live had fun. Their Obama lookalike noted that he had only nine months of experience not being George Bush.

The idea behind all the jokes seems to be that the award was premature. Most Obama supporters think hes headed in the right direction. Their Left-wing predecessors used to describe communists as liberals in a hurry. Behind the guffaws and the gasps—the press claque in Oslo audibly gasped when the name was announced—is the shared view that Obamas new emphasis on the UN, on multi-lateralism, on disarmament, on an open hand instead of a clenched fist, on bowing before Saudi despots and on accepting mash notes from Latin American dictators, that Obama is taking the world where it truly wants to go. That road, that well-trod path, is being paved with their good intentions.

But eleven days is enough to shake the world. Ten days was once enough. In 1919, an American book appeared. Ten Days that Shook the World was the breathless chronicle of the Bolshevik Revolution written by John Reed. Young Jack Reed was a Leftist journalist, a 1910 graduate of Harvard, and a passionate supporter of the communists in Petrograd. Reed was on scene in Russias capital for some of the most important events of that bloody century. When John Reed died, Lenin ordered that his body be buried inside the Kremlin, the only American so honored.

Reed did not live to see what became of his Ten Days that Shook the World. The Bolshevik Revolution resulted in the greatest tyranny the world has ever known. The Heritage Foundation is currently showing a series of fifty paintings by Nikolai Getman. Getman was a Ukrainian prisoner who served eight years in the Gulag. Gulag is not a word that President Barack Obama has ever used in public. It is a Russian acronym for state administration for camps.

These camps, however, were not just summer camps. They were summer-fall-winter-spring camps. Some of them, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn explained in his majesterial Gulag Archipelago, were like islands within Lenins and Stalins Soviet Union, islands as big as France. Others were as small as a telephone booth. All of them had one thing in common: In the Gulag, a person was swallowed up whole. Tens of millions of people disappeared into the Gulag during the life of the Soviet Union.

Barack Obama is not the only one who has never mentioned the Gulag. The UN has never mentioned it. Nor has Hollywood.

The Heritage Foundations exhibit is stunning. Visitors can see the luminous painting of the artists brother, Alexander Getman, being led down the last mile by two NKVD officers. Young Alexander was shot on 1 December 1934. In his brothers depiction, young Alexanders eyes stare at the viewer, accusingly. He is barefooted, his white prison clothes glow as if Alexander is headed for his own Transfiguration. He is.

Some paintings depict diamond miners and gold miners. They are zeks, slaving away in sub-zero cold. Uranium mining, one of the captions tells us, is a death sentence. Those zeks will be killed by radiation. Zek is short for zaklucheniye—the locked up ones.

Waiting to be shot is another jarring painting. The zeks huddled in the prison yard are emaciated but show no panic. It is dark. We see only the back of the NKVD officer with the gun. The only spot of color in the painting is the incongruous sky-blue cap the killer wears.

It is not all horror. A young Chukchi prisoner must just have been sentenced. He is cheerful, smoking a cigarette, and warming himself by a camp fire. Chukchis are Asian tribesmen. This smiling lad has gotten ten years for saying Yankee is good. They may be the only Russian words this Siberian native knows. Were still waiting for Barack Obama to say Yankee is good.

The Nobel Committee has occasionally recognized men and women who stood up against Soviet tyranny. They gave Solzhenitsyn the 1970 Nobel Prize for Literature—and may have thereby saved the dissident writers life. They awarded the Peace Prize to Andrei Sakharov, the Russian human rights advocate and to Lech Walesa, the leader of Polands first free labor union, Solidarity.

Too often, however, the Nobel Committee has dishonored itself by giving Peace Prizes to politically correct figures. Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam got it for a peace agreement that was being massively violated before the ink was dry. Tens of thousands of boat people were forced to leave Vietnam, willing to face death on the high seas rather than live under Le Duc Thos brutal communist masters. They would doubtless have filed a minority report on that Nobel vote.

The Nobel Committee also gave a Peace Prize to Yassir Arafat. Arafats citation fails to mention that he invented airline hijacking for terrorism, or that he personally ordered the murder of U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel. Ambassador Noel was not finished off with a quick shot to the head, either. Arafats henchman shot him in the legs, the groin, the gut, the chest, all the way up his body. There is some justice in the world. though. When Hamas terrorists overran Arafats home in Gaza, several years after his death, they stole his Nobel Peace Prize. They probably melted down the gold medal for guns.

Against all this terror and tyranny, murder and oppression, the UN has had little to say. The Nobel Prize Committee, at a loss, gave a Peace Prize to the UN and to Kofi Annan, who did nothing to stop genocide in Rwanda, who presided over the biggest money scandal in history, the infamous oil for food ripoff. At least they were not George Bush.

Barack Obamas first eleven days in January were not uneventful. He ordered U.S. taxpayers to subsidize International Planned Parenthood Federation, the worlds largest trafficker in abortion. Obama also ordered U.S. taxpayers to back the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). This outfit helps Chinas rulers to enforce their one-child policy. Throughout the world each year, fifty million abortions take place, with Planned Parenthood beating the drums. And in China since the 1970s, fifty million abortions have been done forcibly.

When you read what the UN has done, what the Soviet Union did, what the Nobel Prize Committee has honored, Barack Obamas Nobel Peace Prize does not seem so out of place. His eleven days were not so unproductive. It remains to be seen who will chronicle the rest of his rule.

Id like to take President Obama on a tour of the Gulag Collection at the Heritage Foundation.

Its just down the street from the White House and it might be the best thing he could do for peace.

President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize for…funding abortions overseas?

by Cathy Ruse

October 9, 2009

It was announced this morning that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Reuters reports that The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for his

extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation

between peoples.

But this prize was apparently awarded *prospectively*, since the nomination

deadline for the prize came less than two weeks after Obama took office.

So what actions did Obama as President take before the February 1st deadline

that gave the committee such assurance of his future worthiness of the

prize?

On January 20 he called for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and

declared his intention to give multiple rights and privileges to homosexual

couples.

On January 22 he issued an order announcing his intention to close

Guantanamo Bay.

On January 23 he issued an order authorizing tax dollars for abortions

abroad.

As Michael Novak wrote in National Review Online at the time: These first

steps were unworthy of a great nation and unworthy of a serious leader.

Mother Teresa called abortion the greatest destroyer of peace. But

according to the Nobel committee, forcing taxpayers to fund it gets you a

peace prize.

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