Carol Platt Liebau: December 2004

Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Eve Day

With the New Year fast approaching, we will "lighten up" a bit and have some fun on KABC. During the 11:00 am hour, we'll be joined by Rob Long, a Hollywood writer and producer who also writes for National Review. He's a very sharp, funny guy.

Tonight, we'll be talking about the Best and Worst of 2004 -- who were the winners and losers in politics and the media? And we'll even venture over into the worlds of pop culture and sports . . .

If you'd like to nominate someone or something -- or perhaps even suggest a category -- well, email me! If I use your suggestion, I'll give you credit on the air.

We'll also have predictions for 2005 and much, much more.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Many thanks to the Rev. Canon Marvin Gardner, PhD. for taking the time to join us on KABC to discuss this Reuters piece: "Faiths Ask of Quake: Why Did You Do This, God?" Although the discussion is almost impossible to encapsulate briefly, speaking from the Christian tradition, Dr. Gardner emphasized the conviction that God does not "cause" bad things to happen (and indeed, Christians believe that He often works miracles to avert, prevent or cure them), nor is He indifferent to human suffering (otherwise, as Christians would reason, He would not have demonstrated His love by sending Jesus).

Among other comments, Dr. Gardner noted that there is a strong element of "free will" in our decision about matters like how to interpret the "meaning" of the tsunami, and that it can be viewed not just as an occasion of human suffering, but rather as an opportunity for the demonstration of compassion and caring, as we've seen through the outpouring of worldwide generosity -- and even an occasion of international harmony and cooperation. Certainly, tragedies like the tsunami raise terribly difficult theological questions, and it was good of Dr. Gardner to offer some basic analysis on how they can be reconciled with a robust and consistent faith in the love of God.

One more story to watch? Washington State's gubernatorial election. Democrat Christine Gregoire -- having lost the original tally and the machine recount -- somehow managed to find victory, thanks to some late-discovered votes in a heavily Democratic county, and a statewide recount by hand, subsidized by the state Democratic Party. Read about it here.

Her opponent, Dino Rossi, is understandably disappointed. Something definitely smells rotten -- and the Democratic shenanigans are completely consistent with that party's history of funny business when it comes to close elections. Think of JFK in 1960; Lyndon Johnson's Senate election in 1948 -- there, "new" ballots also were found; Al Gore's reluctance to count military ballots; Bill Clinton's "Chinese connection" in 1996; etc., etc. (For more on that topic, read Hugh Hewitt's excellent "If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It").

But Rossi has called for an entirely new election -- which isn't the answer, either. Redo's would create a dangerous precedent, allowing for the stoking of intense partisan passions, and providing the "near occasion" for cheating, given that all parties would know of the high stakes. In addition, there must come a time when a close election is over -- and it might as well be on the first ballot as the second. If there is clear evidence of election fraud, Rossi should prosecute it vigorously. Otherwise, he shouldn't undermine the fragile trust in the electoral process that allows a democracy to function -- and should start raising money with which to take out Senator Maria Cantwell in 2006.

This web log is blessed with the most wonderful readers! Thank you -- I appreciate you all. And special thanks to Bruce and William, who kindly pointed out a mistake with the link to the Saunders article in the post below, and then -- perhaps sensing that I can use all the help I can get! -- sent me the correct link. The mistake has been been rectified now.
The New York Times once again displays its despicable anti-Bush, anti-American bias in this repugnant editorial titled "Are We Stingy? Yes." Of course, to the Times, government aid is the only aid that counts, but even by that measure, the United States is incredibly generous, as the invaluable Debra Saunders points out here.

The Prowler reports on Bill Clinton's pathetic rush to the cameras -- perhaps he's still trying to prove that he's relevant (for something other than his sexual exploits).

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Sitting in for Al Rantel tonight on KABC, I enjoyed an interesting conversation with polemicist and provocateur David Horowitz, author of the new book Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left, wherein Mr. Horowitz discusses the unsettling congruence of views between the America-hating left and America-hating Islamofascists.

There was also a lively conversation about an article in "Broadcasting and Cable" (by subscription only) about the Council on American-Islamic Relations' protest over the January 9th premiere of the Fox drama "24' and its depiction of a Muslim family as terrorists. Here was the question: Is this political correctness run amuck, or a well-justified concern on the part of CAIR?

My own views are as follows: There is never any place in America or among people of good will for bigotry of any kind, whether based on race, religion, ethnicity or anything else. But "24" is a drama, and to be compelling, it needs some element of reality. The sad truth is that, for the American public, Islamic terrorism is perceived as our #1 threat. For that reason, it will constitute the most gripping drama and is "fair game" for the creative community, so long as all Muslims (many of whom are patriotic, law-abiding Americans) aren't recklessly stained with the stigma of terrorism.

CAIR, which does little more than try to stir up hysteria about alleged anti-Muslim hatred, would do much more for those it purports to represent by directing its focus to more productive areas. And while this debate may seem unimportant, if deceptive bullies like CAIR are allowed to foist their politically correct agendas on American society at large, pretty soon the TSA will be afraid to challenge young Arab men in the airport, and will instead concentrate on searching 2 year olds and 80 year old Norwegian grandmothers. Oh, wait, that's already happening . . .

Finally, an article definitely worth reading is Victor Davis Hanson's defense of Donald Rumsfeld -- explaining why all of us are so lucky to have him exactly where he is.
I'm here at KABC and looking forward to the 11:00 am show (tune into 790 AM or click here to listen online).

What's on tap? This morning, we're going to talk about some of the good news coming from Iraq. According to a report on the Fox News Channel this morning, 6,000 contracts have been awarded for Iraq reconstruction; 100,000 Iraqis have been employed in reconstruction projects; more than 1800 megawatts of power have been added to the Iraqi nationa power grid; 1,167 Iraqi construction projects have been initiated; one million Iraqis have access to new sewage treatment; more than 360 Iraqi schools are being renovated and rehabilitated; 83 Iraqi rail stations and 42 fire stations are being rehabbed, as well. Not bad, not bad at all!

And as this piece in Businessweek today points out, there's reason for hope on the political side, as well.

One other issue: In this piece, Washington Post reporters harrumph disapprovingly about the President's perceived "absence" on the issue of the Asian tsunami disaster. Give me a break. I'm hoping some listener will be able to call in and explain to me why or how it helps the situation at all for the President to rush to the television cameras -- Bill Clinton style -- to shed tears, emote and generally feel everyone's pain.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The brilliant Maggie Gallagher asks a key question: Is Hollywood Next? By that, she mentions the very real -- and long overdue -- possibility that the movie market for sexual titillation has been saturated (how's Kinsey doing, by the way?) and there's a place for more wholesome fare. She could be right -- but here's hoping they don't remake one of my favorites. It's just right the way it is.
I had a ball filling in this morning for Al Rantel on KABC. Tonight, I'll be back on from 6-9 pm Pacific -- and in the 7 pm hour, there's going to be a great guest, Professor Thomas Woods, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Should be fun, so don't miss it!
The devastation from the earthquake and tsunami almost defies imagination. If you want to help, World Vision is a good place to start. Many choose to give to the Red Cross, but its international arm is clearly anti-American (for one example, back in June, its members were arguing that Saddam must be either charged or released by June 30). World Vision is a Christian organization, and close to 100% of your donation will get to the people who need it most. (HT:Hugh Hewitt).

Monday, December 27, 2004

Shameless Self Promotion Moment

I will be filling in for Al Rantel from tomorrow 'til the end of the week on KABC. The show is from 11:00 a.m. to noon Pacific, and then from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm Pacific. Tune in 790 AM or else click here to listen live.
Good for Tennessee journalist Tim Chavez for providing Americans with a more rounded portrait of Donald Rumsfeld.

The Defense Secretary probably gets too much credit when things go well in war, and too much blame when they don't. And he's a tough guy, who has stood down better critics than the media flirts (see, e.g., John McCain) who are currently attacking him. But fair's fair -- and it seems unjust for the press to continue to portray him as someone who's actively indifferent to the welfare of our soldiers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here's a little more about the new First Lady of the Ukraine -- whose redo election was the second best of 2004.

Many American children haven't been taught about the terrible oppression and starvation that Communist Russia inflicted on the Ukraine. With patriots like the Yuschenkos, however, it seems that a brighter day may lie ahead.

And don't forget all the naysayers who thought apathetic Ukrainians didn't care about freedom. They do -- and they're not alone.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Predictably, this article in The Los Angeles Times is designed to make the members of Concerned Women for America sound like wackos. They're not -- but of course the Times, absorbed in its agenda journalism, does its best.

Where, may I ask, is any quote from fellow conservative activists to put CWA's activities in context? Can't find it . . . but there are the de rigeur allusions to sexual issues that are always prominently featured in liberals' discussions about conservative women, in particular. It's not really that relevant that CWA's founder co-authored a book on sex with her husband, or that the group is outspokenly opposed to the movie "Kinsey" (and good for them -- he was willing to befriend and work with pedophiles). No, here's the real agenda: Mentioning sex-related issues or controversies in an article about conservative women is a subtle way of reinforcing the bias that chastity=repression and feeding the inaccurate stereotype that conservatives are prudes.

It's a sad commentary on "journalism" at the Times when the most complimentary quote about the organization has to come from its longtime adversary, Kim Gandy of National Abortion Rights Action League. I quite agree with her -- the group is "very conservative" . . . but note to all the "enlightened" editors downtime: That's not a bad thing.
Back home in California, there's much to be grateful for tonight. A dear friend, married on December 11, is honeymooning in Thailand -- and had it not been for a fortuitous travel delay, she would have been in the epicenter of the area hit by the tsunami. An email from her notes that the hotel near Phuket where she and her new husband were to have stayed no longer exists -- and they were to have sailed by boat to the Phi Phi Islands, which have been devasted. Thoughts and prayers go out tonight for all those not similarly blessed.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas, dear readers. May the peace, joy and love of Christmas be yours today and throughout the coming year.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Luke 2:8-14

Today, posting will be even lighter than it's been . . .

As we celebrate this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, let's remember the brave American soldiers who are spending the holiday far from home and loved ones. (If you care to become a Soldier's Angel in the New Year, or just learn more about a great organization, click here.)

Here, we're giving thanks for the birth of Jesus and all that this momentous event meant for all of us, for eternity. As always, we're thankful also for family, friends, heroes, freedom and, of course, the United States of America.

And here is the President's Christmas message.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

So Kofi Annan's close aide, who's been characterized as "part of the problem," suddenly announced his retirement today. And Kofi Annan has been trying to "mend fences" with the Bush Administration.

It's all starting to unravel . . . let's enjoy. This story's just like a big, ribbon wrapped package pulled out of Santa's bag.
Good for President Bush. He is going to renominate most of the judges whose nominations were filibustered to death in the last Congress.

Remember: A filibuster is just a procedural device to prevent nominees from reciving an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate. For example, Miguel Estrada, who withdrew after unbelievably unfair treatment by the Democrats, had at least 51 votes in the last Senate -- enough to win his judgeship. But he was never given the courtesy of that vote, because he was filibustered until he finally decided to "move on."

This story suggests -- as does much else -- that President Bush intends to be active in his second term. And that seems right. There's a lot that he didn't get to get done in his first term because of (1) 9/11 and (2) Democrats continued to raise the "legitimacy" issue, given the closeness of the election in 2000.

Now, everybody had better fasten their seatbelts. Bush II is a fighter jet, and it's taking off fast.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

And a heartfelt thank you to some of America's greatest patriots. Please note that Attorney General John Ashcroft, U.S. Senator Kit Bond and -- on the radio side -- Dr. Laura Schlessinger all have children in the armed forces.
So now it appears that Christine Gregoire has taken the lead in the race for the Washington Governorship, thanks to a bunch of fortuitously "discovered" ballots that just "happened" to turn up in heavily Democratic King County.

Why is it that Democrats always seem to be the beneficiaries of these lucky breaks? And that they keep demanding (and paying for) recounts until a favorable result is obtained?

Whether the challenger were Democrat or Republican, though, one thing is clear: These recontested, recounted, rechallenged elections are bad for a democracy. There is a reason that we should have election procedures and that they should be strictly adhered to: Otherwise, standoffs like the one in Washington occur -- a result that is bad for any democratic republic, and which creates precedents that could come back to trouble ALL Americans later on.
Be afraid, be very afraid. Here is what happens when political correctness runs amuck. Prosecutions are occuring now under Australia's new "religious vilification" statute . . . apparently, criticizing the Koran is now off-limits -- and reading from the holy book is not allowed in court, even in one's own defense. As the article puts it cogently, "Criticizing is not inciting."

It's another reminder why people of faith and of conservative values have to fight tooth and nail against any similar infringements on the First Amendment. Not only are such codes wrong -- they will always be selectively enforced against those who disagree with whatever is the politically correct shibboleth of the time.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Jeff Jarvis argues that the "debate" over Christmas has been overblown -- that's there's no "religious war" in America, and that the religious and the secularists should just "get over it" in effect.

He couldn't be more wrong. NO, there's not a "war" in America. But there is a struggle over what will be the character of America's shared civic life . . . whether Americans will forget our Christian roots, heritage and shared experience, and give in to the ever-greater demands of the secularists that all traces of faith be erased not only from even the most tenuous connection with government, but from the public square, as well. For years and years, the religious have allowed secularism, bit by bit, to creep into American culture, to the point where it's easy for the MSM to caricature believers as some kind of backwoods living, knuckle dragging nutjobs.

And it's time that believers called them on it. Of course, toleration is key; but that toleration should run both ways. And to my mind, a lot more of it has been coming from the people of faith over the last 40 years than from the secularists.

Jarvis' advice to "get over it" sounds like the jaded admonition of a laid-back baby boomer or Gen-Xer. "What's the big deal? Just get over it." It may feel cool to get to hand out that kind of advice, but it's lazy thinking, and ultimately misses the crucial values that are at stake in the struggle over whether any kind of faith will be tolerated in the public square in the years to come.

If the people of faith stop having their say, well, things like this become more and more likely.
Finally, someone's telling it like it is. What's the problem in our schools? Declining moral values. Teachers can't be expected to work miracles, it's true -- but they should be held to account, just like professionals in every other field are.
Target's loss is Wal-Mart's gain. This story from The Wall Street Journal shows how Wal-Mart is taking lemons -- Target's sour attitude toward the Salvation Army -- and making lemonade!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Hm. Here, it appears that Governor Schwarzenegger has suggested that the Republican Party move leftward in order to attract new voters.

With all due respect to the Governator, that would be a mistake. As noted here, Arnold didn't win because he was a social moderate -- he won because he was a fiscal conservative. In addition, with the charisma and widespread popularity he's enjoyed from his film career, he could have beaten Gray Davis just as easily, had he been a social conservative.

But most significantly, take a look at what happens when a country's conservative party abandons the field on social issues -- like in England. There, the Tories have seemingly become the permanent minority party, because they have deprived themselves of the social issues; the social issues are what provides a reason for blue collar traditionalists to ignore the class warfare and redistributionist come-ons of the liberal party in any country.

Clearly, Arnold would like to be president. For him to become President (aside from a constitutional amendment allowing a naturalized US citizen to run), the Republican party would have to come to a consensus that it should move left. So Arnold's idea would be good for him -- just not for the rest of us.

Posting will be light

Accompanied by Winston the Wonder Westie, I am off to St. Louis for Christmas! (My husband is coming later). For that reason, posting may be lighter than normal. Even so, I'll be preparing to sit in for Al Rantel on KABC -- for certain on Tuesday 12/28, Wednesday 12/29, Thursday 12/30 and Friday 12/31. Al's show runs from 11:00 am to noon, and then from 6:00 to 9:00 Pacific time. Any topics you want to have covered -- or any guests you'd like to hear from? Email me and let me know!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Here is a truly amazing story from the New York Post.

Note the first paragraph:

December 18, 2004 -- The little girl, prematurely ripped from her mother's womb, survived because of "divine intervention," a leading obstetrician said yesterday, calling the survival of the 8-month-old fetus a "miracle."

First things first. Let's all give thanks for the miracle that this baby girl survived.

But then, note something else -- what survived? An "8-month-old FETUS"? Pardon me, but the "fetus" had sadly been ripped from her mother's womb. She had been kidnapped, living independently of her now-dead mother. She's NOT a fetus -- she's a baby.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Charles Krauthammer is a national treasure. Here is this week's piece, which protests the idea of Christmas being stripped of meaning in order to avoid "threatening" any non-Christian's religious identity. As usual, he says it all.

I've been fascinated by the wideranging discussion this year of the de-Christification of Christmas. Some believe that the discussion is taking place just because conservatives are "emboldened" by their election day victory.

I disagree. My view is that many, many people have been increasingly dismayed, over a period of years, by the "forcible secularization" of Christmas -- the sanitized "holiday greetings" and all the rest. But there was never any central "clearinghouse" where people could realize that many other shared their views . . . until the blogosphere came along.

Yes, the blogosphere was around last year, but it really only came into its own as a conservative resource over the past year -- Rathergate being the most prominent example. And now, people who before might have felt isolated in their opposition to "forcible secularization" understand that there are lots of compatriots out there for whom Christmas means more than "jingle bells" and "holiday parties." And that there is resentment at the small minority of devout secularists who are trying to strip every shred of religiosity from America's common social and civic life.
Here is a story you won't find many places -- "Greens Concede Kyoto Will Not Impact Global Warming." If that's the case, what's the point?

If Jon Meacham really wanted to do an anthropological study on the conflict of faith and reason, he should take a look at radical environmentalists. Their scaremongering represents the triumph of hope [of bearing out their belief that human beings are "the problem"] over experience. As this piece points out, back in the seventies, we were hearing the same hysteria about the coming ice age. Now, it's global warming.

These environmentalists would be pitiful if they weren't so frighteningly authoritarian.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Thank you, Hugh!

Having visited the allergist this morning for a variety of tests, I was unprepared but absolutely thrilled to receive a phone message asking if I could co-host the Hugh Hewitt radio show today with none other than Hugh Hewitt himself (the "Voice of Reason in the West" has been afflicted with allergy-related laryngitis). As you can imagine, I almost passed out -- and immediately called back to say that I'd be there!

I love radio, and Hugh's show is the best of the best. In fact, I regard Hugh himself so much admiration that working with and for him was actually a bit intimidating . . . it was a real honor to be entrusted with his show and his wonderful audience (of which I'm also an enthusiastic member!), and I certainly didn't want to let him down!

Of course, Hugh immediately put me at ease, and I enjoyed a wonderful three hours -- in no small part thanks to his producer Duane (a/k/a Radioblogger) who kindly and capably guided me through all technical and other aspects of the show, along with help of Adam and Austin. All in all, a wonderful team -- and an absolute pleasure to get to work with them.

Over the past several years, it's been great to get to know Hugh. I am just one of the many, many people that he helps and encourages on a regular basis. Watching his approach to all his endeavors -- particularly his "talk radio that builds you up, that doesn't tear you down" -- has been an enormous influence on me, and I know on many others, as well.

Thank you for the wonderful opportunity, Hugh.

Read Hugh Hewitt's Weekly Standard piece here. It centers around the Newsweek cover story by Jon Meacham on the birth of Jesus.

Although Meacham has always seemed to be a straight shooter when I've seen him on political talk shows, his Newsweek piece is an ill-begotten one. Over at Hugh Hewitt's site, you will find much excellent commentary on the topic (sickness and a variety of pressing commitments prevented me from participating).

In the end, perhaps what I find most offensive about the MSM's approach to covering religion is its "exploratory," almost anthropological tone -- there would be less condescension were cannibalism in some remote corner of the world being discussed. Despite his protestation to the contrary, it's clear that Jon Meacham does not believe that orthodox faith and reason can be reconciled -- at least not in any significant way. This piece represents an effort to forge some sort of compromise, so that people who have little in the way of orthodox faith and background can still "deal" with the Nativity. As Hugh points out, the piece is being dissected by experts, bloggers, and expert bloggers. It's about time the MSM's approach to religion was discredited, as it surely deserves to be, both in terms of tone and substance.
Film buffs everywhere have been eagerly awaiting Barney Bush's latest offering. Go here and then click on the "Barneycam."

Raves are coming in from everywhere. Author and critic, West Highland White terrier Winston Liebau notes, "The acting and writing are superb. Barney Bush has done it again. Two paws up."

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Isn't there something ironic about David Broder, of all people, complaining about anyone giving priority to "familiarity and loyalty over fresh ideas and novel perspectives"? After all, the same complaint could be directed to the people at The Washington Post who dole out column space.
Here's a Democrat who gets it. Yes, President Reagan belongs on Mount Rushmore.
Democrats, please elect Howard Dean to be Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Please, please, pleeeeeeze!!!
There are few more intelligent or influential men in Washington and among conservatives than Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard. He has authored a piece one might suspect makes Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld very nervous, as it's highly critical of him.

But as you read the piece, keep the following in mind. As this Washington Post story makes clear, Bill Kristol is viewed with some suspicion by the Bush team. More than that, as the piece also notes, Kristol was a big, big booster of John McCain's candidacy in 2000. Remember all this? And just two days ago, as noted here, John McCain expressed "no confidence" in Don Rumsfeld.

Coincidence? You decide.

What's going on? Despite his protestations to the contrary, could McCain want Rumsfeld's job? What are he and Kristol up to?
This is so obvious that it's amazing anyone had to take the time to write it. The message to Democrats? Stay away from Hollywood. The problem is that Democratic luminaries don't understand why they must shun their Tinseltown friends. It's like telling Republicans to stay away from people of faith. The big problem for the Dems, in the end, is that there's no room in Hollywood for the religious faith so important to most Americans.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Here is an interesting take on the whole armored vehicle controversy in Iraq -- from someone who knows. Its point is apt: Many of the people who are the most exercised about the deficiencies in military procurement are those who have been attacking Secretary Rumsfeld's efforts to streamline the Pentagon bureaucracy.
Richard Cohen today has an interesting piece about abortion and the Democrats. All of a sudden, dissident rumblings are emerging about the unfair treatment that pro-life Democrats have received over the years. Question: Would these rumblings ever have surfaced if the Democrats had not lost the presidential election? I wonder . . . too bad we can't ask Governor Richard Casey what he thinks (that's the pro-life Democratic governor who was barred from speaking at the oh-so-inclusive Dem convention years ago because of his views).

But Cohen is clearly on to something when he notes that the country's zeitgeist on the life issue has clearly shifted. It's interesting -- once upon a time, politicians including Jesse Jackson and Richard Gephardt were pro-life. Then they became pro-choice by perceived necessity, in order to further their national ambitions (look where that sacrifice of principle got them, one might note . . .). We'll know the Democrat Party is shifting when "old time"-type Democratic politicians in the Gephardt mode judge that they are "able" to remain pro-life and hold presidential aspirations at the same time.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The National Clergy Council has called for a boycott of Target, because of Target's unconscionable decision to evict the Salvation Army. Good for them.
It is amazing to me that garbage like this can pass muster, even at the San Francisco Chronicle. In this piece, one Harley Sorenson argues that "Deserters are heroes," as the piece is titled.

Not only is his point absurd, a lot of the column is actually factually inaccurate. In fact, he declares:

"[T]he Iraqis are evil, Mr. Bush asserted. Well, at least their leader was, so, by extension, they all were."

Where has this bozo been? One of the primary reasons for liberating Iraq was that Saddam Hussein was oppressing the people of Iraq. President Bush never claimed that Iraqi people were evil -- in fact, he argued just the opposite.

If this is the best the left can do these days, no wonder Michael Moore is a celebrity. The piece is ripe with the moral equivalence that characterizes leftist "thought" these days -- Soresnson equates Iraq possession of WMD's with the United States'. And he implicitly compares the Bush Administration to Hitler, equating the thinking of the deserters he praises with those who learned the lessons of Nuremberg; namely, that it's no defense just to claim that one was "following orders."

It's shocking to see such silly, picayune reasoning being honored with a column in a major newspaper. No wonder a person of intellectual depth like Christopher Hitchens is having such severe second thoughts about his erstwhile compatriots.
It looks like Bill Clinton's good friend Marc Rich was a major player in the UN Oil For Food scandal. Wonder if the media will play up that connection the same way they emphasized whatever ties existed between President Bush and Ken Lay?

Shameless Self Promotion Moment

My weekly column for theOneRepublic is here. Titled "The 'Crimson' Letter: Harvard Law School's Badge of Shame," it's about the law school's unconscionable decision to reinstate a ban on on-campus military recruitment.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Here is another example, like the Groningen Protocols, of Western civilization's increasing interest in legalized death. And again, we see the true cost of a socialized medical system:

[Baroness Warnock, M.P.] suggests that parents of premature babies should be charged to keep them on life support machines if doctors write off their chances of leading a healthy life.

"Maybe it has come down to saying 'Okay, they can stay alive but the family will have to pay for it.' Otherwise it will be an awful drain on public resources," she said."

That's quite a cost that socialized medicine is imposing. Wasn't the supposed virtue of a socialized approach that it made one's economic status irrelevant in terms of obtaining quality healthcare? Looks like that didn't happen. Instead, the rich will live, the poor will die, and government will make all the decisions. Sounds a lot like the way socialism always works out in practice -- if not in theory -- to me . . . Is there anyone out there who really wants the government decreeing "Okay, they can stay alive" so long as certain conditions are met? Absolutely chilling.

The "Right" Defense of Justice Thomas

An excellent piece, this explains why Justice Thomas represents a unique threat to liberals -- and why he should be a hero to conservatives.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

A dear friend's wedding has been (and will) occupy much of the day (and night) . . . but here's a reminder that our deployed troops need phone cards so that they can "phone home" this Christmas and Hannukah. If you want to help, there are so many ways: Soldier's Angels ("may no soldier go unloved"), Any Soldier and so many, many more. Please consider making it part of your Christmas season!

And speaking of the Christmas season, we should note that there are secularists who nonetheless object to its overt "secularization." Gifted journalist Jill Stewart is one of them.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Many thanks to reader Dennis in Bozeman, MT for pointing out that I had the wrong link in a blog entry from yesterday.

Here the entry is, now corrected (thanks to Dennis!):

One of my favorite childhood Christmas carols. As a little girl, I was the dove in a school pageant.
Many thanks to the wonderful scholars at The Claremont Institute for allowing me to come and give a lunch talk today. It is a fine organization; I used to read the Institute's precepts before I was even living in California. Now, of course, all its writings are absolute must-reads.
Here's a little reality check from The Washington Post: "U.S. Combat Fatality Rate Lowest Ever." And it's good news.

What's amazing is to read the second paragraph of the story: "But the remarkable lifesaving rate has come at the enormous cost of creating a generation of severely wounded young veterans and a severe shortage of military surgeons, wrote Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston."

What exactly does that mean? After all, one would presume that most -- if not all -- of these "severely wounded young veterans" want to live and that their families would want them to live, too. This paragraph, begun with "but," seems to suggest however that all of us would be better off without this "enormous cost." As long as war is war, there will always be people who are desperately injured. But if we are saving their lives, that's a good thing, isn't it? And even if the number of injured is at 10,000 -- well, 10,000 brave men do not a "generation" make.

While we're on the subject of the war, let's talk about the brouhaha that's built up around this story -- about an embedded reporter coaching a soldier to ask Secretary Rumsfeld a question about armor. The question, not incidentally, was cheered by the rest of the troops.

I have no problem with the substance of the question -- to my mind, vehicles in Iraq should certainly have the proper armor to protect the people in harm's way. And I have no problem with the question being asked of the Secretary, so long as it's done in a way that doesn't hint at insubordination.

In fact, if this were a Clinton or Kerry administration that wasn't getting our men the supplies they need, I'd be running down the street screaming like my hair was on fire. There is no excuse for our not doing EVERYTHING to protect our troops. And I certainly hope the Administration is addressing these problems NOW -- not to do so would be indefensible.

That being said, there is something underhanded about the way the reporter went to work. I can understand him mentioning to some of the men, "You ought to ask about thus and such" -- and then seeing if they did so. But the subterfuge and the coaching does look bad -- it seems to cross the ethical line between a reporter covering a story, and a reporter creating a story to cover. After all, it's one thing to cover a barroom brawl. It's quite another to incite one.

So the reporter doesn't have much to be proud of here. But if they don't get going to take care of these problems, neither will members of the Bush Administration.

Too little has been said about the miracle of Afghan democracy. Luckily, Charles Krauthammer puts it all together, and makes some salient points about the contrasts between Iraq and Afghanistan.
Democrats: A foreign party? Interesting . . .

Thursday, December 09, 2004

A very moving piece. The problem to which the author refers -- the dearth of girls in China -- may mean more than that Chinese dads are missing out on what is (hopefully!) a wonderful experience. One only hopes that in years to come, our children are not going to have to deal with a China that is bellicose because there are excessive numbers of men who are frustrated and aggressive because they've been unable to find women to marry.
No, Target, the fury has not abated -- the Salvation Army is as beloved in Washington state as it is elsewhere. The story linked above mentions a website I hadn't heard of: It's a proud companion to www.Don'

The decision to evict the Salvation Army has been a crazy one for Target. Is there anyone who has some concrete evidence as to what motivated this incredibly misguided business move? I've heard two very credible theories, but have not yet been able to substantiate them at a level that would allow me to discuss them here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Democrats have been busily engaging in a lot of soul searching about why they lost the election.

But judging from their recent behavior, it seems like they are trying to lose the black vote in years to come, as well. What are the Dems thinking to let behavior like this and this pass unchallenged?

They shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that black Americans don't notice. Trust me, they do. As do the rest of us.
One of my favorite childhood Christmas carols. As a little girl, I was the dove in a school pageant.
Day after day, this series in The Los Angeles Times has outlined the absolutely appalling conditions at King-Drew Hospital. Here's today's offering -- it will break your heart.

THe people who have let this go on, and the politicians who have made excuses for it, should be hauled off to prison in complete ignominious shame. Yes, the hospital may be underfunded, and the staff suboptimal. But there is never any excuse for what's been going on at King-Drew.
Interesting story. If the teacher in question is proselytizing in school, that's wrong. But it would be equally wrong for him to be attacked only because he is handing out supplementary historical documents that show the central role of Christianity in America's founding.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

A return to the concept of "muscular Christianity"? Works for me . . .
Can anyone believe it's taken this long for the left to start talking about how Al Sharptom is nothing but trouble for the Democrats? And what an outrage -- the DNC paid Sharpton $35,000 in "consulting" fees over the last election cycle. If I were a Dem donor, I wouldn't be happy about that . . . .
With thanks to the incomparable Hamilton's Pamphlets for the tip, here's a new site that's worth checking out this time of year: Choose the Blue. As you might have guessed from the site's title, it's intended to let Democrats see where a variety of retailers donate their political dollars. So let's thank our friends on the left for their hard work, check out the site, and then "choose the red." Who knew that Circuit City was such a reliable Republican contributor???

Monday, December 06, 2004

Atheist Austin Cline continues to insist that a misguided appeal to "tradition" is the only justification for the opposition to Target's decision to kick the Salvation Army off its premises.

And once again, he's wrong. Austin charges that no one has "directly addressed the question of fairness and explained how it is that unfairness and favoritism are compatible with the Christmas season." So here it is, one more time, for the record:

Christmas -- like it or not, Austin -- is a Christian holiday. It doesn't celebrate the winter solstice, or the wedding of an ice queen, or anything but the birth of Jesus Christ, whom Christians believe to be the Son of God and the Saviour.

The Salvation Army is a Christian charity, whose mission -- of caring for the lost and the least, over and over again -- is uniquely associated with the meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is associated with gift giving.

Gift giving is the reason that Target makes a huge percentage of its yearly profit during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

It is therefore remarkably ungrateful, tone deaf, greedy, classless and WRONG for Target to evict the charity that best symbolizes the holiday is responsible for a large part of its profits.

That, Austin, is "how the religious nature of Christmas can be used to justify treating the Salvation Army in a favored manner, granting it privileges unavailable to anyone else in any other circumstances . . .."

Austin wants to give Target the benefit of the doubt -- that Target only wants its soliciting opportunities to be "fair and consistent." That may or may not be true, but he conveniently omits Target's other, less disinterested stated justification -- its desire to protect its customers from the potential discomfort of being asked for donations, so as to promote a "distraction free shopping experience."

Finally, there's one paragraph that just begs for a little reality check:

One of the major complaints of conservative evangelicals is that so many "traditional" expressions of favoritism and privilege for Christians have been removed from public and private institutions. There was a time when conservative Protestantism constituted a major background assumption of much of the public activity in America — everyone else has to accept that their perspectives were accorded a lesser status. Today, however, that is changing. In more and more situations conservative, evangelical Christianity is not treated as any more the "default" or "background" than Hinduism, Islam, or atheism. Christians are in the same position that everyone else used to be . . .."

Yes, well, that's what many would like Americans to believe. And don't get me wrong -- people of every faith, or of none, are entitled to our respect and consideration, not just in a formal, governmental sense, but in a social and interpersonal one.

But to argue that religion in general -- or Christianity in particular -- is now just one "choice" among many other equally popular ones, and that this fact justifies its complete excision from our common civic life, is simply at odds with the facts.

The salient facts are contained in this article by Harvard professor Samuel Huntington, which appeared in The Wall Street Journal on June 16, 2004:

* When asked in 2003 simply whether they believed in God or not, 92% [of Americans] said yes. In a series of 2002-03 polls, 57% to 65% of Americans said religion was very important in their lives, 23% to 27% said fairly important, and 12% to 18% said not very important.

* While the balance between Protestants and Catholics shifted over the years, the proportion of Americans identifying themselves as Christian has remained relatively constant. In three surveys between 1989 and 1996, 84% to 88% of Americans said they were Christians.

* Only about 10% of Americans, however, espouse atheism. Even fewer are of the Jewish, Muslim or Hindu faiths.

* According to [the International Social Survey Program questionnaire in 1991], Americans are more deeply religious than even the people of countries like Ireland and Poland, where religion has been the core of national identity differentiating them from their traditional British, German and Russian antagonists.

As Professor Huntington concludes, atheists -- and rightly so -- are not required to "engage in any religiously tainted practice of which they disapprove. They also, however, do not have the right to impose their atheism on all those Americans whose beliefs now and historically have defined America as a religious nation."

That's it exactly. And it goes for those who "flooded" Target with solicitation requests specifically in order to drive out the Salvation Army -- along with those who insist that every aspect of Christmas must be divorced from its religious roots in order to achieve an "inclusive" society.
There has been a lot of discussion about the fact that hero Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Witness, as one example, this piece, featuring the overwrought headline "Pat Tillman's Last Moments of Horror."

It's heartwrenching and horrible that any American soldier must die in battle -- especially by friendly fire. And if any of those responsible acted improperly, they should be called to account.

But there's one thing that bears remembering: Whether Pat Tillman was killed by a Taliban, Al Qaeda or mistakenly by an American, it makes the cause for which he died no less heroic. And it makes him no less heroic, and it makes our mission no less heroic. Yes, the MSM will attempt to undermine respect and support for our military efforts by playing up every misstep and every error; but the fact that there is sometimes incompetence or worse -- inevitable in almost any undertaking that involves vast collections of human beings -- should not dull the luster of the heroics that just as inevitably manifest themselves, as well.
We owe it to those putting their lives on the line to make sure that human error is minimized, and that those who are careless or worse are held accountable. But we also owe it to the men who die in the line of duty to remember why they died, not just how they died.
Everyone -- even its employees -- knows there's something rotten at CBS News. And the "sense of impending doom" is quite appropriate, as the network awaits the independent report on Rathergate.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Pathetic. The New York Times -- of course -- attempts to minimize the importance and the scope of UN iniquity in the oil for food scandal. Now these are the facts. Thank you, New York Post.
It was hard to listen to Peter Beinart's steady descent into hysteria over the course of his weekly appearances on Hugh Hewitt's radio show last fall. But with the defeat of John Kerry, his senses have been miraculously restored, and he has penned a remarkably insightful piece on "whither liberalism." Key quote:

Methods for defeating totalitarian Islam are a legitimate topic of internal liberal debate. But the centrality of the effort is not. The recognition that liberals face an external enemy more grave, and more illiberal, than George W. Bush should be the litmus test of a decent left.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

It was a pleasure to have the chance to sit in for Mr. KABC on KABC 790 AM last night. There were a couple of hours of spirited discussion about the new political correctness that transformed into a faux pas any display of religiosity in connection with Christmas, Hannukah or Ramadan -- it was interesting to see how many people are upset with the ongoing divorce of religion and Christmas.

Lo and behold, today, there was this. There is apparently a Committee to Save Merry Christmas and its members are angry at Macy's.

If they are correct, Macy's is to be condemned -- but no more so than Target/ Scrooge #1/evicter of the Salvation Army.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Belated Self Promotion Moment

I forgot to mention that I'm sitting in for Mr. KABC tonight from 9 to midnight Pacific time. Tune in to AM 790 or go to and click "listen live" to hear!

Good for Arnold!

Apparently, a Christmas tree once again stands in the State Capitol. Gone are the days of the Gray Davis "Holiday Tree."

Target is Repugnant

From this piece about the backlash brewing against Target for its unconscionable ban on the Salvation Army comes this unbelievable excerpt:

Also figuring in the decision, [Target spokesman Carolyn Brookter] said, was Target's desire to protect its customers from the potential discomfort of being asked for donations. "Part of what we offer … is a distraction-free shopping experience, and I think that's one reason people like to come here," Brookter said.

What a disgusting company. As everyone well knows, the Salvation Army never asks anyone for donations . . . the soldiers in the "army of compassion" simply stand or sit in freezing weather, patiently ringing a bell, hour after hour, on behalf of the destitute, needy and most bereft among us -- so that those who are moved to donate have the opportunity to do so. Often the bell ringers are people who desperately need to make a little extra money during the Christmas season.

And how pathetic that Target is willing to obtain a "distraction-free shopping experience" for its customers at the cost of doing what's right -- Heaven forbid that anyone be "distracted" by the knowledge that there are those in need during the Christmas season; how much better for all of us simply to concentrate on ourselves (and on filling Target's coffers).

There will be snowball fights in hell before I darken the door of a Target store again.

Way to go, Mervyn's!

Happy day! Mervyn's has kindly reversed its misguided decision to ban the Salvation Army. Happily, the bell ringers and the red kettles will be there!

It's a busy time of year, but I believe that gratitude is very powerfl and important. So if you have a minute, contact Mervyn's by clicking here -- or else call them toll free at


Positive reinforcement is the name of the game!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Ho, ho, ho!. And thanks to Dennis Miller for allowing Target's eviction of the Salvation Army to be one of the topics when I appeared on his show earlier today. Dennis is a great American, and a very funny guy. Everyone at the show is nice, in fact.
Good choice. I have confidence in Bernard Kerik.
From the wonderful writers at The American Thinker, here is a comprehensive brief against Dr. Alfred Kinsey -- who was a scoundrel and, yes, a pervert of the first order.

The new film with Liam Neeson seeks to glorify Kinsey as an intellectual giant who was instrumental in helping Americans shake off their sexual "repression." In fact, as I've talked about a couple of times now on KABC, his research was motivated by an agenda -- one which was not healthy, to put it mildly.

Given that anyone who condemns any variety of "sexual liberation" is liable to be characterized as "prudish" and "uptight," it's perhaps understandable that few -- with the honorable exception of Dr. Judith Reisman -- have taken on the Kinsey myth. But it's time the truth was known.
The corruption at the UN continues to shock and amaze. Does Kofi Annan feel the warm breath of imminent dismissal on the back of his neck yet?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Thanks, Hugh!

It was an honor to have the chance to appear on Hugh Hewitt's radio show this afternoon. Hugh is the greatest -- a man who is as good as he is brilliant.

Apologies to Vons

Earlier this morning, I posted about how Safeway, Mervyn's and McKim Realty were also evicting the Salvation Army. Safeway owns Vons and Vons Pavilions here in Southern California, but I'm delighted to report that the red kettles are outside the Vons stores here!

Sorry for the misinformation!
Interesting. I'd be curious to know which "charities" inundated Target with solicitation requests this year.

Welcome to the Brave New World

Sorry to be such a downer this morning -- but here's a story that simply cannot be ignored.

It's about a horror taking place in the Netherlands called The Groningen Protocols," which authorizes the euthanizing of babies deemed by an independent board to be "incurable."

According to this piece, the protocol can be applied to children UP UNTIL THE AGE OF 12, and:

"A parent's role is limited under the protocol. While experts and critics familiar with the policy said a parent's wishes to let a child live or die naturally most likely would be considered, they note that the decision must be professional, so rests with doctors."

What does this mean? Theoretically, at least, a child deemed by an independent board to be "incurable" (read: too much of a burden on a socialized health care system) could be executed against his or her own wishes -- and against the wishes of his or her own patients.

No mortal can presume to know the mind of the Almighty, but surely things like this make Him weep.

Et tu, Safeway and Mervyns?

Sadly, Target does not stand alone as the Scrooge retailer who has evicted the Salvation Army from its property. Safeway -- which operates Vons and Vons Pavilions in Southern California -- and Mervyns have done the same thing, along with Kimco Realty, which operates shopping centers primarily on the east coast. Read the shameful details here.

As the headline in the linked article notes, the Salvation Army is likely to be hit hard by these unconscionable bans.

Please, please let your voice be heard. Safeway has no email address where comments can be sent, but they do have a toll free number:


Ironically, on their "contact" page, there's a little ad that announces "Safeway Cares". Right.

To contact the Scrooges at Mervyn's, click here -- or else call them toll free at


Don't forget to be polite -- remember, they (not we) are the bad guys here.

And I will not shop at Vons -- How's or Ralph's will do just fine, thank you. Same goes for Mervyn's. Through their incomprehensible selfishness, they are depriving the poorest and most lost of the comfort provided by the Salvation Army.

Please help take up the slack. Donate to the wonderful "Army of Compassion" here.