September 05, 2003


Leave aside the irony of that headline. Check out this quote:

"I personally know that there is a tradition among presidents when they succeed one another," Sen. Clinton told AmeriCorps supporters Wednesday, in quotes reported late Thursday by the Associated Press.

"When my husband spoke with the present President Bush as they were changing the leadership of our country, the only thing my husband asked President Bush was to take care of AmeriCorps and national service," she claimed. (my emphasis)

Nothing about terrorism, or the bin Laden threat? AmeriCorps was the Big He's sole bullet point?

Says alot about that administration, doesn't it.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:37 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack


Mel Gibson finances and directs a film about the crucifixion of Christ, and finds himself defending it from charges of anti-Semitism. Activist groups demand that he edit the film to their satisfaction, or they’ll boycott it.

Senate Democrats find Alabama’s William Pryor unfit for the federal bench because of his “deeply held” beliefs—beliefs which square perfectly with traditional Catholic and Christian doctrine.

While running for president, George W. Bush claimed Jesus Christ as the philosopher who has most influenced him, earning a round of jeers from the punditocracy.

Christians are regularly portrayed as knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing cultural Cretins in the media, when we’re portrayed at all. We’re blamed for the rise of Nazism in Germany, though the Nazis persecuted Christians with a zeal that almost equaled their mass murder of the Jews. Pro-life groups were until recently targeted by Planned Parenthood for destruction using the RICO laws, which were designed to take on the mob, and church involvement in the pro-life cause exposed religious bodies to RICO action.

For the past several decades, the ACLU and like-minded individuals have campaigned to erase all sign of Christianity from public view. The ACLU allied with the effort to scrub “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, and has attacked nativity scenes on public property and the right of individuals to pray in public places. Activists such as Andrew Sullivan claim to be Christians while seeking to drive traditional Christian beliefs concerning homosexuality into the outer political darkness.

One could be forgiven for thinking that Christianity is under a sustained, widespread assault.

Into this climate strode Rev. Paul Hill. In 1994 he stepped up to Dr. John Britton and his volunteer bodyguard and gunned them down as they went to work. Their work happened to be killing—Britton was an abortionist. Hill claimed he was killing Britton to protect the unborn, and objectively he is right on one point. Dr. Britton will never kill again.

This week, Rev. Hill was executed for his actions. He remained unrepentant to the end, threatening to kill other abortionists if he were ever freed. He died convinced that he had done the right thing, and would be rewarded in heaven for it. In that, one could be forgiven for confusing Paul Hill with Mohammed Atta, a zealot who also believed that he was securing eternal rewards for himself by slaying others.

But what of Hill’s logic? He believed, as most pro-lifers believe, that the fetus (Latin for “baby”) is a life; that deliberately ending such a life amounts to murder; therefore doctors who perform abortions are mass murderers; anyone who sits idly by while abortionists snuff out millions of babies are accessories to mass murder. He shares these beliefs with millions of pro-lifers, myself included. But Hill’s conscience demanded action, so he singled out a local abortionist and killed him in cold blood. In that, he is practically alone. The vast majority of pro-lifers were horrified by his crime.

Is this the way to end abortion? Is Hill right, that his faith demanded an eye for an eye? Are those of us who merely advocate, who seek to persuade rather than force the nation away from its culture of disposable life, collaborators because we don’t kill in the name of life? Are we accessories to mass murder because we don’t take direct action against abortionists?

No. Rev. Hill’s choice does not follow the Christian prescription for dealing with justice, nor does it follow our call to submit to government. For justice, we are supposed to pray, to seek God’s guidance as we seek to minister to those whom we touch. Toward government, we are to cede the authority to mete out justice to the lawbreaker. In America, the people are the government, and we have the power to change the laws and the culture through persuasion, prayer and politics. Hill ministered with bullets, and took the authority of judge, jury and executioner upon himself.

He also dealt a blow to the cause for which he killed. In a nation where the majority of people think earth’s seasons are caused by our planet’s distance from the Sun, the distinction between the tiny number of violent pro-life terrorists such as Paul Hill and David Rudolph and the vast majority of peaceful pro-life advocates is often utterly lost. Pro-lifers must live down the legacy of Hill even as we try to persuade America that it is better than the abortion industry it allows.

The murder of Dr. Britton may indeed have saved a precious few babies from slaughter, but it has left many, many more in danger, and for a longer period of time. To the extent that Hill was known as a Christian and a Reverend, his actions have damaged the cause of Christ. Paul Hill was no hero, and no martyr. He was a murderer, gleeful that he had killed and promising to kill again. He deserved to die.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Disturbing story from Down Under:

On the night of Wednesday, August 27, two men dressed as computer technicians and carrying tool bags entered the cargo processing and intelligence centre at Sydney International Airport.

The men, described as being of Pakistani-Indian-Arabic appearance, took a lift to the third floor of the Charles Ulm building in Link Road, next to the customs handling depot and the Qantas Jet Base.

They presented themselves to the security desk as technicians sent by Electronic Data Systems, the outsourced customs computer services provider which regularly sends people to work on computers after normal office hours.

After supplying false names and signatures, they were given access to the top-security mainframe room. They knew the room's location and no directions were needed.

Inside, they spent two hours disconnecting two computers, which they put on trolleys and wheeled out of the room, past the security desk, into the lift and out of the building.

It has all the earmarks of an inside job, or a job with inside assistance. The thieve made off with a server containing sensitive information:

The union expressed fears thatthe lives of undercover agents could be jeopardised after officers claimed that customs officials were covering up the true extent of the damage. Also at risk, they said, are operations against terrorists and international drug cartels in which customs officers watch the movements of suspects and suspicious cargo in and out of the country.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


"If the Republicans were as bad as the Democrats paint them, I'd feel better."
--Kim Du Toit

Posted by B. Preston at 08:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 04, 2003


According to this story, actor Johnny Depp says German magazine Stern took his anti-American quotes "wildly out of context."

Honestly, I hope he isn't as anti-American as his "dumb puppy" and "broken toy" stuff made him sound. Because he's a great actor, and he makes interesting movies. He doesn't just play pretty-boy fluff roles--he takes on weird, quirky parts in offbeat films and makes them memorable. He made Pirates of the Caribbean worth watching. He and Christina Ricci made Sleepy Hollow worth watching (ok, Christina Ricci had a little more to do with making it watchable than he did, and Keira Knightley did the same for Pirates, but Depp's Capt. Jack Sparrow is surely one of the oddest yet best screen pirates ever). Depp's even good in lousy movies. Ever seen Dead Man? Bizarre, often horrible Western flick, but Depp manages some good work and comes off not quite as dead as his surrounding cast. And since Harrison Ford has obviously jumped the anti-American shark without apology, it would be nice to think there's at least one decent actor left who isn't, well, hard left. Other than James Woods, who's a hoss.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:17 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Larry Elders:

Walter Cronkite, once called America's most trusted man, once disagreed with me when I called most journalists "liberal." "If by liberal," he told me, "you mean open-minded, then, yes. This is true."

Cronkite, no longer constrained by the journalistic creed of non-partisanship, now writes a weekly column. About liberal reporters, he now pleads guilty: "I believe that most of us reporters are liberal, but not because we consciously have chosen that particular color in the political spectrum. More likely it is because most of us served our journalistic apprenticeships as reporters covering the seamier sides of our cities -- the crimes, the tenement fires, the homeless and the hungry, the underclothed and undereducated."

Last week, I interviewed Mr. Cronkite and questioned him about his rationale behind journalists' liberalism. If, I asked, journalists become liberal because they see the underbelly, the downtrodden, the miscast, how do you explain the conservatism of police officers, who, after all, see exactly the same things?

That is a very good question, and Cronkite dodged it.

My father, who has worked in law enforcement for decades and has certainly seen his share of society's underbelly, is no liberal by any stretch of the imagination. In Cronkite's worldview, his experience should have made him a liberal.

Must be one of those nature/nurture things.

Posted by B. Preston at 03:51 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack


Ann Coulter nails it. Seriously.

The War on Poverty took a crisis-level illegitimacy rate among blacks in the mid-1960s (22 percent) and tripled it to 69 percent. It transformed a negligible illegitimacy rate among whites (2 percent) to emergency proportions (22.5 percent) – higher than the black illegitimacy rate when Daniel Patrick Moynihan heralded the War on Poverty with his alarmist report on black families, "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action." (Demonstrating the sort of on-the job-training that has so impressed Hollywood elites, the state with the second highest rate of white illegitimacy is Howard Dean's Vermont.) Overall, the illegitimacy rate has skyrocketed from about 8 percent to 33.8 percent.

If George Bush's war on terrorism were to go as well as the Democrats' war on poverty, in a few decades we could have four times as many angry Muslims worldwide plotting terrorist violence against Americans.

Four decades of abject failure into the Dems' War on Poverty, there are no signs of surrender. But six months into Iraq and they're already itching to pull out.

Patience, people. And a little perspective.

Posted by B. Preston at 03:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


If you're a Democrat, anyway. The Senate Judiciary Democrats have succeeded in keeping Miguel Estrada off the federal bench. His crime?

He's Hispanic.

MORE: Robert Alt writes:

First, the Democrats treated Estrada differently than non-minority nominees. In the D.C. Circuit, for example, John Roberts, a white applicant, was confirmed without fanfare, while Estrada was filibustered. But aside from ethnicity, there are few substantive differences between the candidates: Both were voted unanimously well-qualified by the American Bar Association; both went to prestigious law schools; both clerked for the Supreme Court; both worked at the Justice Department; and both went on to prestigious law firms where they argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court. And yet John Roberts was asked relatively few questions during his confirmation hearing, while Estrada was pummeled with over 200. Roberts, nominated the same day as Estrada, was confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote, while Estrada was denied the opportunity to even have a vote.

Anyone care to keep arguing that race played no role in Estrada's shameful treatment?

I reiterate: race played a huge role. The Dems cannot afford to lose the Hispanic vote, and the Estrada nomination was in their minds a threat to their hold on it. The reality is, Estrada was one among several nominees, well qualified to serve but denied in part because of his race. The Democrats and their apologists are playing identity politics, not me or others who call them out.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:22 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack


From an MSNBC story on Osama bin Laden's Afghan lair:

Will he ever be caught? For more than a year, Afghanistan has been sinking deeper into poverty, chaos and despair while the White House focuses on Iraq.

From the Asian Development Bank's Afghanistan outlook:

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (28 APRIL 2003) - The economy of Afghanistan is likely to surge ahead in 2003 and 2004, provided the security situation improves and international support to reconstruction is maintained, according to a major Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released today.


Among the positive factors supporting strong growth, the ADO cites:

An expected sharp economic rebound supported by new inward investment
An influx of skills and entrepreneurship as large numbers of Afghans return to the country
A substantial boost to demand and increase in business opportunities as a result of reconstruction activities

Reporters or economists? You make the call.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Did the Times really fire Jayson Blair? Is he not really ghost-writing stories to this day? Or is the paper riddled with writers who make up facts to suit their whims? Does it even employ fact-checkers anymore?

On Wednesday, the Times ran a lengthy piece on the tragic mass murder of a Baltimore family. The Dawson family lived in inner city Baltimore, and were outspoken opponents of the drug culture that surrounded them. On Oct 16, 2002 Darrell Brooks, a local drug dealer, set fire to their home. He killed the entire family--mother, father and five children.

Advocates of drug legalization, think about that. Gun control advocates might want to think about it too. Brooks didn't use a gun, and killed seven defenseless people. But a gun might have stopped him.

But back to the Times' version of events. After the fire, the Times says Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley went to a local radio station and had a few words with its on-air staff:

A few hours after the fire, two Baltimore talk radio hosts implied that the disaster was the fault of "nitwit" politicians. Mr. O'Malley sped to the radio station, where he bawled out the hosts. For five minutes. On the air. And then said, "Gentlemen, if you enjoyed that, come outside after the show."

It makes a fine story, and one that shows the swaggering side of Baltimore's Boy Mayor. But according to one of the unnamed talk show hosts, it didn't happen. WBAL's Rob Dougals is one of those two talk show hosts. He says the Times' Jeffrey Gettleman got it all wrong (scroll down a ways; he doesn't have permalinks to individual posts):

Not only is the above paragraph [from the Times] incorrect - (the broadcast in question was not even on the same day as the fire, much less a "few hours after the fire"; and, O'Malley was in studio with us for more than 30 minutes of give and take, not five minutes where he "bawled" us out) - Gettleman's assistant spoke with me at length and was informed otherwise about the assertions made. So there was plenty of opportunity for the Times to get it right.

If they can't get this right when they had every opportunity, what else in that story may be false? What else in that paper, day in and day out, may be false?

Posted by B. Preston at 08:44 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

September 03, 2003



A man believed to be an Al Qaeda operative, found with 11 surface-to-air missiles, has been arrested in Iraq by U.S. troops and has acknowledged that he had been training with Ansar al Islam fighters to use the weapons against American forces, a senior U.S. official said Friday.

The arrest marks the first time the U.S.-led coalition has apprehended someone believed to be a member of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network who is operating in Iraq.

Surface to air missiles are useful, and not just for airborne targets:

"Everyone thinks terrorists would use those [missiles] to fire at planes, which are hard to hit," the official said. "But there are any number of targets they could fire on that are stationary and much easier to hit, and they would cause mass casualties too."

But don't worry about those missiles, or the terrorists toting them around, or the fact that it's all taking place in Iraq. The UN is on the case:

A United Nations committee report last week found no evidence of links between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

And a final word...the JYB (channeling Michael Ledeen) warned shortly after the end of major hostilities in Iraq that confronting Syria would be necessary to keep a lid on the post-war terror threat. No one listened, but we were right:

U.S. officials acknowledge that Iraq has become a magnet for terrorists. Of the 9,000 people detained in Iraq, about 240 are non-Iraqis, analyst Cordesman said. Administration officials say most of the foreign suspects have come through Syria.

Paving Syria would help secure Iraq and likely take all of 48 hours, and would have the side benefit of letting us get at Hamas/Islamic Jihad camps in the Bekaa Valley (not to mention another possible side benefit). What are we waiting for?

MORE: Here's more on Syria's "Minaret Network" that recruits Iraqifada fighters.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack