Friday, December 30, 2005

Coalition of the Willing

Update: They locked up his mother when she complained.

"Human Rights Watch has learned that the body of Muzafar Avazov, a 35-year old father of four, showed signs of burns on the legs, buttocks, lower back and arms. Sixty to seventy percent of the body was burnt, according to official sources. Doctors who saw the body reported that such burns could only have been caused by immersing Avazov in boiling water. Those who saw the body also reported that there was a large, bloody wound on the back of the head, heavy bruising on the forehead and side of the neck, and that his hands had no fingernails."




Bush and Blair's involvement.

The General's take.

The Documents (mirrored)

Telegrams

Legal Advice to the British Foreign Office.

Photos from Muslim Uzbekistan

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Fellow Mormons

Although I left the Mormon Church decades ago, I'm still a member. Quitting seemed like a bigger hassle than what it was worth--the requirement to appear before a "Bishop's Court" felt too much like a violation of my personal sovereignty.

I feel differently now that the Church has essentially endorsed torture. I can't allow my name to be associated with them any longer, not even nominally. I'm sending my resignation letter today. I urge you to do the same. Instructions for doing so can be found here. Please be sure to cite their endorsement of torture as your reason for leaving.

From what I understand, Bishop's courts or interviews are not always required anymore, but I'm going to demand one in my letter. I want to hear them explain why they oppose a bill to ban torture while supporting efforts to persecute gays. I want my local Church apparatchiks to consider what's being done in their name.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Why is Perkins afraid

Tony Perkins seems to be afraid that Dobson will be called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, afraid enough to issue a veiled threat.

I received the following email on Monday. It was also posted on the Family Research Council website until about an hour ago, but for some reason, they removed it.

Dr. Dobson as a Witness?
To: Friends of Family Research Council
From: Tony Perkins, President
Date: October 24, 2005 - Monday
==============================
Please forward this to your Friends and Family!
==============================

In This Edition:
--------------------------------------------
1) Dr. Dobson as a Witness?
2) We're Not in Kansas Anymore--Or Maybe We Are
3) Beam and Mote Time
--------------------------------------------

Dr. Dobson as a Witness?

Dr. James Dobson has been witnessing for decades, but now
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Penn.)
says he is likely to summon Dr. Dobson to testify before
his panel as it considers the nomination of Harriet Miers
for the Supreme Court. "My instinct is that they'll be
called. And the American people are entitled to
clarification," Specter told CBS's "Face the Nation"
yesterday. Specter was referring not only to the President
of Focus on the Family, but also to other Evangelical
leaders. The Senator may not be a regular listener to Dr.
Dobson's nationally broadcast Focus on the Family program,
but his staff should at least inform him that Dr. Dobson
has already clarified his remarks before a radio audience
of millions. Any effort to haul Dr. Dobson before the
Committee should be seen for what it is--political
grandstanding.

But if the Committee is intent on getting the whole story
of judicial confirmations on record, they might start by
examining the relationship between some Judiciary Committee
members and staff and liberal outside groups. These groups
sought to block Miguel Estrada's confirmation. Committee
files showed that Estrada was opposed for a seat on a U.S.
Appeals Court because liberals did not want an Hispanic
conservative "on deck" to be named to the U.S. Supreme
Court. Now, that would be a clarification that Americans
genuinely need.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

6+1 degrees of separation

Apparently, Rep. Stacey Campfield (R-Illiterate) believes that everyone is as gullible as his supporters. Responding to charges that one of the blogs on his blogroll, Staghounds, is racist, he writes:

It was because I had a link to a sight [sic] that had a link to a site that quoted a black man who wrote for a black owned paper in a black run country about a thought he had that some call racist.

Well, it's not quite that simple. Let's take a look at the post in question. It appeared at the top of the Staghounds blog on the day Rep. Stacey X updated his blogroll.

No black American would DARE
say this publicly, and no American medium would air it. Even though millions of Americans, white and black, are thinking it.

"Desperation? Yeah, right. I am beginning to believe that black people, no matter where in the world they are, are cursed with a genetic predisposition to steal, murder, and create mayhem."

# Shocking truth and expecting more- how dare he!

Is, as Campfield claims, this a case of racism--three-links-removed? Hardly. Staghound's thesis is obvious--"no one in the politically-correct United States would dare speak the truths uttered by this Jamaican journalist." There's no other reasonable interpretation. Campfield's readers should be insulted that he holds them in such contempt that he'd offer up such a weak excuse.

A better move would have been to say that the Staghounds link was not added on that day. As noted in my previous post, I could not definitely put a date on the link's first appearance. The fact that he didn't employ this stronger argument suggests that the assumption I made below was correct. Staghounds was added on the day when that horrendously racist post appeared at the the top of the page. One could therefore assume that it's what prompted Rep. Campfield to add it to his blogroll.

In any event, racist diatribes seem to be a staple at Staghounds. Campfield surely knew what he was linking to.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Southern Strategy

Tennessee state representative Stacey Campfield added links to his blogroll on September 14. One of those links was to a blog called Staghounds.



This was the post at the top of the Staghounds page on Sept.14, the day Rep. Campfield updated his blogroll:
No black American would DARE

say this publicly, and no American medium would air it. Even though millions of Americans, white and black, are thinking it.

"Desperation? Yeah, right. I am beginning to believe that black people, no matter where in the world they are, are cursed with a genetic predisposition to steal, murder, and create mayhem."




To be fair, I can't say for sure that Campfield added Staghounds to his blogroll on the 14th--Google cached it a few days later--but inasmuch the links are not in alphabetical order, one could assume that staghounds is last on the list because it was added after the rest. Even if that is not the case, the "No black American would DARE" post on Staghounds was not an unusual one for that blog. See Jesus' General for other examples.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Torture Gonzales

Gun Owners of America is unhappy with Bush's pick of Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General and is asking its members to write Bush and complain. Obviously, by organizing a letter writing campaign directed at Bush instead of the Senate, they are attempting to gain leverage in future debates rather than to kill the nomination.

I say we use their anger to our advantage. If your Senators are willing to back a torture supporter, call them up and tell them to oppose Gonzales on the basis that he's a "gun-grabber." Be sure to mention that GOA is unhappy with him. If we can raise concerns in the Republican caucus, Gonzales might suddenly have a nanny problem.

Contact your Senators, not Bush. They can kill the nomination.

The GOA email:

AG-nominee Backs Semi-auto Ban
-- Gonzales tells Senate he supports gun control

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
http://www.gunowners.org

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Testifying before the U.S. Senate last week, Alberto Gonzales announced he supports President Bush's position on the semi-auto ban.

"The president has made it clear that he stands ready to sign a reauthorization of the federal assault weapons ban if it is sent to him by Congress," Gonzales said. "I, of course, support the president on this issue."

While some might be tempted to give Gonzales a "pass" since he was parroting his boss' position, Gonzales went even further, indicating that gun control was a heart-felt position of his own.

He spoke of his brother, who is a Houston SWAT officer, and said, "I worry about his safety and the types of weapons he will confront on the street." Hence, he supports a prohibition on semi-automatics that, in truth, only amounts to a ban on ugly guns.

GOA activists are certainly aware of the fact that President Bush has repeatedly trumpeted his support for the Clinton semi-auto ban which expired last September. But every time Bush has opened his mouth on this issue, GOA activists have led the way in bombarding the White House.

And that is why it is VERY important that gun rights supporters take the President to the "political woodshed" once again. No, we probably won't change his mind on this issue. But if we barrage his office with phone calls, faxes and e-mails, it is very possible that we will increase his reluctance to push the ban.

Most likely, our stiff opposition in the past has already accomplished this. A frequent complaint during the campaign last year was that Bush was doing very little to press Congressional Republicans to send him gun ban legislation.

Remember the third presidential debate last year? Bush was asked, "You said if Congress would vote to extend the ban on assault weapons, that you'd sign the legislation, but you did nothing to encourage Congress to extend it."

Yes, maybe Bush was trying to have it both ways. But your outspoken opposition to the ban has certainly not hurt our efforts to restrain the President from pushing it.

So please make sure you contact President Bush. While some might think that an anti-gun Attorney General is limited in the amount of damage he can inflict upon the Second Amendment, we can be sure that his position on critical court cases could affect our gun rights for generations to come.

Remember that it was former Attorney General, John Ashcroft, who opposed us on the important Emerson case that came before the Supreme Court not too long ago. A Fifth Circuit District Court had initially ruled in favor of Second Amendment rights, arguing that a federal gun statute was unconstitutional -- the law disarmed citizens who were not guilty of any crime or had not been convicted by any jury. After the Appeals Court reversed the decision, Dr. Emerson appealed to the Supreme Court.

While the Supremes refused to hear the case, gun owners did not fail notice that General Ashcroft was in full support of how the Emerson case was ultimately decided -- thus, putting him in total support of the federal gun restrictions.

Not only that, but the Ashcroft-led Justice Department also opposed gun owners in the Silveira semi-auto ban case and the Lamar Bean case.

All of this to say, it is imperative that we speak out once again -- if for no other reason than to remind President Bush there are millions of gun owners that he, and his party, cannot afford to take for granted.

ACTION: Please contact President Bush and express your outrage that he would nominate an Attorney General who supports a federal ban on semi-automatic firearms.

You can visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send a pre-written e-mail message to President Bush. To call or snail mail the President regarding the semi-auto ban, you can use the following contact info:

President George Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Fax: 202-456-2461 or 202-456-1907
Phone: 202-456-1414

----- Pre-written letter -----

Dear President Bush:

I am very disappointed that you would nominate an anti-gun Attorney General such as Alberto Gonzales. He supports the Clinton ban on semi-automatic firearms, and I think that's a travesty.

Please realize that you were reelected President, in large part, because gun owners opposed the cockeyed positions of your opponent. I would expect to see a bigger difference between the two of you when it comes to Second Amendment issues.

In the future, I hope you will use the Second Amendment as a litmus test in nominating candidates who oppose gun control when filling important administrative and judicial positions.

Thank you.

Sincerely,