Saturday, September 30, 2006

Groundbreaking for Victims of Communism Memorial

The Washington Post reports:

In China's Tiananmen Square, the "Goddess of Democracy" created by student activists was demolished by communist tanks during the historic uprising in 1989. Now a 10-foot bronze copy of the statue is being erected in downtown Washington as a permanent tribute to the estimated 100 million people killed by various communist regimes.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Victims of Communism Memorial was held yesterday at the site, a wedge of federal land where G Street NW meets Massachusetts and New Jersey avenues, near Union Station. The event drew about 100 people, including ambassadors and other officials from Poland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Reading both the Washington Times and Post articles finds an intesting pair of dueling quotes:
"Today, we proclaim that communism is indeed dead, but we will never forget those who communism murdered during its brief life on this planet," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, who sponsored the legislation that authorized the memorial.
Yet in the Post:

David Lee, Taiwan's representative in Washington, said the memorial will also remind people that the fight against communism is not over.

"We are still in a confrontational situation with communist China," Lee said, as he waited his turn yesterday to help shovel a bit of the earth. "That's the reason we think we need to be here."

The Times adds:

An inscription on the front pedestal of the memorial will read: "To the more than one hundred million victims of communism and to those who love liberty."

On the back pedestal, it will read: "To the freedom and independence of all captive nations and peoples."

The project was initially conceived as a $100 million bricks-and-mortar structure, similar to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

But various issues, including fundraising and location problems, forced organizers in 2003 to scale back the project to a memorial near the Capitol.

Officials originally hoped to build the statue on a 6,900-square-foot tract behind the Supreme Court in Northeast before advisory neighborhood commissioners disapproved in February 2005...

The dedication of the memorial is scheduled for June to coincide with the 20th anniversary of President Reagan's famed "tear down this wall" speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Only in New Jersey

The Washington Times reports on a question on many minds - whether New Jersey Democrats will abandon their chosen candidate when polls look bad, and whether they'll pull a patently illegal stunt like in 2002:

Senate Democrats said they won't try to replace Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, despite new accusations of corruption that surfaced yesterday in the Democratic incumbent's already tough re-election race.


A Menendez fundraiser and confidant was heard on a newly released tape pressuring a government contractor to hire a person as "a favor" to Mr. Menendez, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday.


Earlier this month, the Newark Star-Ledger reported that federal investigators are looking into a rental deal between Mr. Menendez and a nonprofit agency that received millions in federal funding while he was a House member.


The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), meanwhile, has a legal team ready to fight any last-minute Democratic effort to replace Mr. Menendez on the ballot, as the party did in 2002, when it ousted embattled Democratic Sen. Robert G. Torricelli in favor of Frank R. Lautenberg, a Democrat who went on to win the Senate election.

"Democrats have a track record in New Jersey of pulling last-minute stunts," said William McGinley, NRSC's general counsel.

I can't think of another state where this question would even be asked.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Senator Takes On Global Warming Hype

Senator James Inhofe on the Senate floor Monday:

Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods. From 1895 until the 1930’s the media peddled a coming ice age.

From the late 1920’s until the 1960’s they warned of global warming. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes modern global warming the fourth estate’s fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years.

Much more here, with charts and everything. Then there's the media hysteria (and non-attention) that followed.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Senate Democrats Sit Out National Security Debate

The Washington Times reports:

As Republicans patch up their differences over how to handle the terrorism suspects held at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, they are turning their sights on Democrats in time for the November elections.

Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell on Friday took issue with Minority Leader Harry Reid over his comments earlier in the week that Democrats were "on the sidelines watching the catfights" among Republicans on terrorism legislation.

"The minority leader indicated that they were sitting on the sidelines during our internal discussion about how best to craft this proposal," the Kentucky Republican told reporters gathered in his office. "I don't think sitting on the sidelines in the war on terror is a good idea. We have to have as much bipartisan cooperation as possible."

Don't hold your breath.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Democrats Take Stand Against Legitimate Elections

Reuters reports:

In a move to crack down against illegal immigrants voting in U.S. elections, the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to require Americans to provide proof of U.S. citizenship to vote in federal elections.

Democratic opponents said the bill would discourage eligible voters. But it passed with overwhelming support of Republicans who argued that it would prevent fraud and stop illegal immigrants from casting ballots in U.S. elections.

"Those who are in this country illegally want the same rights as United States citizens without obeying the laws of our land," Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Florida Republican, said during the House debate. "We should not let these criminals defraud our election system by allowing them to vote."

The legislation passed on a largely party-line vote of 228-196 and although immigration issues are a hot topic in this year's congressional elections, it has little chance of winning Senate agreement before the November 7 vote.

The bill would require voters to present a photo identification to vote in federal elections in 2008. By 2010 the photo identification would also have to show the voter is a U.S. citizen.


John Trasvina of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund accused Republicans of bringing the measure up so they could use it in campaign ads against political foes.

"It would certainly make a nice 30 second ad. Somebody's opponent saying, 'He voted against a bill that requires only U.S. citizens to vote,"' said Trasvina.

That does make a nice ad, and an honest one.

But we wouldn't want to intimidate illegal voters, would we?

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Die Hard Comes to Baltimore

WTOP reports:

The production company for the fourth 'Die Hard' film, tentatively titled "Live Free or Die Hard," has set up shop in Baltimore for a weeklong shoot, starting Saturday.

Star Bruce Willis once again plays NYPD detective John McClane, who battled European terrorists in an L.A. high-rise in "Die Hard" (1988), drug-world terrorists at D.C.'s Dulles airport in "Die Hard 2" (1990) and the brother of the lead terrorist from the first film in "Die Hard With a Vengeance."

In his latest battle, Willis takes on techno-terrorists who are trying to shut down the nation's computer systems on the Fourth of July.

The movie is scheduled for release in June 2007.

If you count Hostage and 16 Blocks, this should at least be Die Hard 6.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

DC Speed-Cameras Working?

The Washington Times reports:

The District's automated speed-camera program caught an all-time low monthly percentage of speeding motorists last month, the third time this year a record percentage was reported.

Just 1.7 percent of the 2.3 million vehicles monitored in the District were caught speeding in August -- the lowest monthly percentage since the speed cameras were introduced in July 2001, according to police statistics. By comparison, 30.9 percent of monitored vehicles were caught speeding during the program's inaugural month.


The monthly percentage of motorists caught speeding has decreased steadily since the cameras were implemented. The previous low, 1.9 percent, was set in June, the first time the monthly percentage was less than 2 percent.

More here.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

No Cartoon Jihad for Virginia

The Washington Times reports on University of Virginia cartoons that with any non-Christian target would be labeled a hate crime. I will not describe them here, but it should be noted that despite the controversy/blasphemy/poor taste, embassies won't be burned. Jihads will not be launched. The University of Virginia's reputation will decline, but a billion screaming Christians won't target it for destruction.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Maryland Court Rules Against Democrats... Again

The Washington Post reports:

A Maryland appeals court ruled today that the [Democrat-dominated] General Assembly overstepped its constitutional powers in firing members of the state's embattled Public Service Commission this summer.

Legislators can lawfully have a say in the appointment of prospective members of the commission, which approves electricity rate increases, but they cannot fire existing members who are appointed by the governor, the court ruled.

The court said only the governor has that right to fire these members. "Such an attempt [to remove commission members] is an unconstitutional usurpation by the Legislature of an executive power," the court said in its opinion.

The judicial smackdown continues. Hopefully Maryland voters will take notice of their legislators' incompetence.

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Webb on Women

The Washington Post reports on James Webb, Virginia Democrats' nominee for Senate:

In the Washingtonian magazine article, "Women Can't Fight," the ex-Marine Webb wrote of the brutal conditions during the Vietnam War and argued against letting women into combat. Allen's campaign zeroed in on passages in which Webb described one of the academy's coed dorms as "a horny woman's dream" and said that he had never met a woman he "would trust to provide . . . combat leadership."

Linda G. Postenrieder, a 1982 Naval Academy graduate and a registered Democrat from California, said the article "infected the brigade with hate and divisive anger." Lisa Stolle, an academy graduate from Virginia Beach, said that for women, Webb's article "was like throwing gasoline" on a fire.


"This article was brandished repeatedly. [Men] quoted and used it as an excuse to mistreat us," said Kathleen Murray, a 1984 academy graduate who rose to commander in the Navy and retired to Norfolk.

Commonwealth Conservative has more.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Air America Bankrupt?

Air America, a favorite radio network of extreme leftists, is expected to declare bankruptcy.

I'm still not sure how they thought they could compete with government and corporate-funded NPR.

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The Democrats' Uphill Battle

Rich Galen figures Democrats have to bat .762 to take the House this year. His column looks at several recent developments and is well worth reading.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

White Democrats Protest Ethnic Rally

Democrat attempts at voter intimidation took a disturbing (yet somehow amusing) turn in Virginia this weekend. A "handful" of lily-white Democrats (likely Webb staffers) protested what they called a "monkey fest" - a diverse gathering of hundreds of northern Virginians "of Filipino, Indian, Iranian, Taiwanese and Vietnamese descent, among others".

More here.

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The President's Address

For anyone that missed it, the President's Address to the Nation last night is highly recommended. Here's a brief excerpt:
Since the horror of 9/11, we've learned a great deal about the enemy. We have learned that they are evil and kill without mercy -- but not without purpose. We have learned that they form a global network of extremists who are driven by a perverted vision of Islam -- a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. And we have learned that their goal is to build a radical Islamic empire where women are prisoners in their homes, men are beaten for missing prayer meetings, and terrorists have a safe haven to plan and launch attacks on America and other civilized nations. The war against this enemy is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century, and the calling of our generation.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Coke Returns to Afghanistan

In a very fitting story for today, Coca-Cola returns to Afghanistan:

After the Taliban's collapse in 2001 and the election of President Hamid Karzai the following year, the people of Afghanistan were able to welcome back many once-forbidden images – beautiful Islamic art, the sights of females with schoolbooks and children flying balloons.

Now Karzai is welcoming another once "heretical" symbol: The red-and-white calligraphy of the Coca-Cola logo.


International entities are currently weighing the benefits and dangers of returning to post-Taliban Afghanistan. For Coca-Cola, the opportunity comes with [text missing in original]. The beverage and its iconic logo have long epitomized the American way -- the bubbly refresher was even banned by Hitler and Stalin.

More here.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Sounds of September 11th

For those of us who weren't in New York on September 11, 2001, Peggy Noonan has an interesting piece on the sounds of 9/11. It goes beyond that, but the descriptions go beyond what could be comprehended through television reporting.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Democrats vs. Disney

Democrats were looking for a new target of their hatred. They seem to have picked... Disney.

In Virginia, Democrats are thinking a little differently. Instead of going after cartoons, they're attacking a gathering of local ethnic groups, or as the Webb campaign calls them, a "Monkey Fest".

Update, Sept. 9: Robert Novak writes:

The unusual Democratic outrage over ABC-TV's "The Path to 9/11" film to be shown Sunday and Monday reflects private concern in the party that the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack can reverse the political tide running against Republicans.

The highly partisan Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York composed a tough letter to Robert A. Iger, CEO of Walt Disney (ABC's parent company). The letter cites two scenes from the program casting doubt on the Clinton administration's legacy in fighting terrorism.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dumbest Poll Ever

CBS News via Drudge:
Do Americans feel safer now than before 9/11? For many, the answer is no, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll.
Americans shouldn't feel safer now than before 9/11 and it would be disturbing if they did. Before 9/11, most Americans simply weren't paying attention.

I can't think of a dumber poll.

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