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July 31, 2006

Don't Waste Time With UN

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is pushing for a cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon through the UN.

Condi, don't waste your breath.

The UN is good at prolonging armed conflicts, not solving them. (That and wasting the money of its member states, but that's another issue for another post.) For our administration to try to utilize the UN for something this important is a major waste of time and energy. After all, what has the UN done up until now to enforce its Resolution 1559, which called for ridding Lebanon of non-Lebanese militias (read: Hezbollah) nearly two years ago? Why has it taken Israel's defense of itself from Hezbollah's airborne missiles for us to suddenly remember the UN's lame resolution?

Instead, we should be looking into other options: such as beating Hezbollah into the dust.

Today, the rest of the world is shocked in the wake of an Israeli bomb killing an estimated 50 Lebanese civilians, mostly women and children. This is indeed tragic, and the Israelis have promised a 48-hour reprieve on its airstrikes.

However, the bigger tragedy here is that Hezbollah is hiding behind civilians to wage its war against Israel. Of course Israel is going to aim at the area that the rockets came from. Hezbollah arrives at a location, shoots its rockets and leaves -- leaving innocent people to pay the price for their tactics.

Don't believe me? Check this out. And even worse, Hezbollah is using the victims it creates as fodder for ire against Israel. Absolutely revolting.

The world should be helping Israel to eradicate the menace that is Hezbollah, which is likely being bankrolled by Iran. And while our eyes are focused on the Israel-Lebanon conflict, Iran continues to plot, plan, and work on its nuclear capabilities.

The rest of the world (a world not being rained upon by airborne rockets, I might add) is clamoring for a cease-fire. Remember, though, that a cease-fire isn't peace. Peace in the Middle East won't happen until the radical Islamists are eradicated. Until the rest of the world figures this out and hops on board with Israel, we can look forward to much more of the same for a long time to come.

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July 30, 2006

Posting Week of July 24 (Sticky Post)

I'm on vacation this week. While my family and I aren't traveling, we will be doing things like going to the beach, the movies, some tourist attractions in Connecticut that we've never seen, and the like. Posting will be spotty (any new posts this week will be below this one), but I will try to check in a few times this week. In the meantime, please be sure to check out the blogs in my sidebar...there are many insightful folks out there with their own take on today's news. I definitely will be back to regular posting next week. Enjoy, and as always, I thank you for your support!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Blogging

July 29, 2006

The Religion Of Peace Strikes in Seattle

What would you say about someone barging into Jewish center shouting, "I am a Muslim American angry at Israel" and then begins shooting?

It happened in Seattle yesterday. One woman is dead and five others are injured.

Here's what the authorities in Seattle are saying:

Police would not confirm the account. When asked if the suspect was Muslim, Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said at a news conference, "you could infer that that was his background."


"This was a purposeful, hateful act, as far as we know by an individual acting on his own," Mayor Greg Nickels said at the news conference.

There is a problem with this analysis. While all religions require followers to believe its tenets, Islam is about total submission. Radical Islamists believe that it is their duty to either convert or destroy nonbelievers. The term "peaceful coexistence" does not seem to be a part of their vocabulary. So while Naveed Haq (the alleged shooter) may have acted on his own, he was really acting in accordance with Islam, which is dedicated to the takeover of the world -- beginning, of course, with the Jews and Israel.

Then there's the "I'm a Muslim American" angle. Why is he a Muslim American? Because in today's "culture sensitive" society, being American isn't enough. We all have to be (insert ethnicity or religion here) Americans. This is what multiculturalism has wrought. Putting one's ethnicity or religion ahead of one's nationality has become the norm. It is in this way that our society, as a society, is beginning to unravel. Haq didn't think of the people at the Jewish center as fellow Americans. He put his own Muslim identity before his American identity.

As Americans we believe in "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Islam is the antithesis of this belief: for example, consider its Shar'ia law and suppression of women.

The warning signs are all around us. It won't end with this incident. When will we face the facts?

Michelle Malkin has his photo and a complete roundup.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Dhimi Watch

July 23, 2006

In The Right Place Contest Winners

Mr. Right over at In The Right Place has posted the names of those who have placed in his first year's worth of weekly caption contests. Results are here.

May I humbly point out that I made the top twenty-five? (That's something that surprised me!) Mr. Right has put a lot of time and effort into awarding point values to the entries and tallying up for the year, and I am thrilled that I managed to place. My Top 25 Captions Hall of Glory logo is in the upper left hand corner of this blog.

The new season continues with this picture. Head on over and try your luck!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Blogging

July 21, 2006

On Peace Movements

Thomas Sowell's latest column is entitled Pacifists vs. Peace, and discusses the ineffectiveness of "peace movements."

Was World War II ended by cease-fires or by annihilating much of Germany and Japan? Make no mistake about it, innocent civilians died in the process. Indeed, American prisoners of war died when we bombed Germany.

There is a reason why General Sherman said "war is hell" more than a century ago. But he helped end the Civil War with his devastating march through Georgia -- not by cease fires or bowing to "world opinion" and there were no corrupt busybodies like the United Nations to demand replacing military force with diplomacy.

Read the whole thing.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Commentary

Ode to Entitlement

(sung to the tune of America the Beautiful)

Jack Kennedy was wrong to say
"What can you do for us?"
Self-reliance is for suckers
Clearly not for us!

America, America,
Can't do enough for me!
The government is here to serve
And do it all for free!

I want it all, I want it now
Let taxpayers foot the bill.
Responsibility is only
For those on The Hill!

America, America,
Don't inconvenience me!
Solve all my private problems now
And do it immediately!

This ditty is dedicated to all those who feel the evacuation of vacationers in Lebanon this past week by our government didn't meet their lofty standards, and anyone else who believes in government doing for them what they should be doing for themselves.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 07:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Humor

July 20, 2006

Putting It Into Perspective

Listening to Rush Limbaugh today, he gave us a quote by former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir about peace in the Middle East (as it pertains to Israel):

There will be no peace until they love their children more than they hate us.

I couldn't agree more.

She knew what she was talking about.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | World Affairs

File These Under "Duh"

Due to the non-surprising nature of the stories below, they hardly qualify as news:

Top Stars Donated to Hillary Clinton

What, you thought they would donate to a GOP candidate?

Media Group Says Chavez Silencing Critics

A U.S.-based press freedom group said Wednesday that President Hugo Chavez is using the courts and legal reforms to weaken journalists critical of his leftist government.

Wrapping up a three-day visit to Venezuela, delegates from the Inter American Press Association expressed concern that threats to press freedom under Chavez could increase as Venezuela prepares for presidential elections in December.

Closet commie Chavez silencing his critics in the media? Shocking. Next we'll hear that he denounces President Bush and the United States in general. (Moonbattery weighs in on this one.)

Israel: Spain relations hurt by PM's accusation IDF uses 'abuses force'

Israel's envoy to Spain said on Thursday the two countries' relations had been damaged after the Spanish prime minister accused Israel of using "abusive force" during an event at which he also wore a Palestinian scarf.

What else does one expect from a leftwing socialist? Slamming Israel is a full-contact sport in much of Europe anyway.

Finally, from the NY Times (hat tip Blue Crab Boulevard):

Lieberman Finds Favor Among Donors That Usually Support G.O.P.

Is any explanation necessary?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Just Plain Stupid

July 19, 2006

Celebrity Look-Alike

Who does Syrian President Bashar al-Assad resemble?


Click here to find out!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 06:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Humor

Dems Call Lebanon Evac a "Mini-Katrina"

Leave it to the Democrats to compare our efforts to get Americans out of Lebanon to evacuation efforts after Hurricane Katrina:

"I think it is too bad that this is being treated like a mini-Katrina," said Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader. "These people are just being stranded in Lebanon and that is not a good reaction by this government."


"This is not anything that the State Department foresaw a day before it happened, much less Congress foreseeing a year or so in advance," said Ms. Pelosi. "The number of people involved here, the nature of the hostilities, are such that the urgency demands that these people be evacuated and they not have to pay their fare out."

Unbelievable. Trying to score points by using an unfortunate situation that exploded unexpectedly is beneath contempt. Question: why is it our government's responsibility to get them out when they went there of their own free will? They're doing the best they can.

Brought to you by the Democrats, who can't seem to give you anything else.

Hat tip: Rush Limbaugh

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:22 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Democrats

On Israel

I have not commented fully on the situation regarding Israel, Hezbollah and Lebanon before due to an overly-busy schedule, but I have been doing plenty of reading, listening and thinking on the subject. I would like to state here and now why I support Israel's current efforts, and why I support Israel overall.

Since its inception in 1948, Israel has been the butt of derision and scorn of not only the Arab world, but many so-called allies in the rest of the free world. The Jewish people have been persecuted for thousands of years, and giving them a country to call their own has not slowed that down one whit.

Until just a few years ago, with the advent of democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, Israel was the only democratic country in the Middle East. And you don't have to be Jewish to be a citizen with voting rights! Plenty of Arabs are living peacefully in Israel, supporting themselves and their families and enjoying the rights accorded all citizens.

This is, I think, what irks Israel's enemies the most.

Despite having had official statehood for less than 100 years, Israel is a successful and dominant force in the Middle East. Other Arab countries, under the thumbs of mullahs and kings, continue to wallow in medieval attitudes an mores, despite the oil wealth of some of these countries. Those countries that don't have oil wealth are also saddled with the burden of struggling economies.

Combine the above with deeply-rooted hatred of the Jewish people and you have a stewpot ready to boil over.

Israel has been blamed as an oppressor of the Palestinian people, but it is the Palestians themselves who have dug their own proverbial graves. Yasser Arafat, for example, signed peace accords and promptly violated them. He was a terrorist, first and foremost, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, certainly as grotesque an idea as someone like Kim Jon-Il winning it. (Who knows, maybe North Korea's "Dear Leader" is on the short list as I write this?)

In spite of all this, Israel decided to once again make peaceful overtures. They pulled out of Gaza and the West Bank, forcing settlers to leave their homes and businesses. Palestine has also had elections. Unfortunately, Hamas has now made inroads in the Palestinian government, proof that Palestinians have no interest in peace. If they wanted peace, why would they elect a slate of leaders from a terrorist group?

Now we have the situation with Hezbollah and Lebanon. The issue isn't Lebanon, but the terrorist organization Hezbollah, which has been ensconced in southern Lebanon. The Lebanese government, still recovering from its own civil war, has been unable to dislodge them. And so they have had a place to arm, plan, and bide their time. The time is now.

Hezbollah makes no secret that it wishes to drive Israel out of existence. It kidnapped Israeli soldiers and sent explosives into Israel. These are hardly friendly overtures, and so Israel jumped into the driver's seat and began bombing Lebanon with the hope of squashing Hezbollah.

And the world looks on, calling Israeli reaction "disproportionate force." Countries such as France and Russia are calling for an immediate cease fire. As usual, Israel is the one being criticized when they are the ones who were attacked first. The UN now wants to bring in peacekeepers. But the UN, which has called for the disarming of Hezbollah in the so-far uninforced Resolution 1559, hardly has a great track record with its peacekeeping forces (consider the sex scandal involving peacekeepers and children in the Congo).

We constantly hear gripers here in the US calling for our government to withdraw all support from Israel. Not only does this mirror isolationist tendencies, but it reflects a hatred of Jews that continues to flourish in our so-called tolerant society. By withdrawing support from Israel, we may well be condemning it to its doom. And by doing so, a beacon of freedom in the Middle East is also extinguished.

Do the naysayers think that if we give Israel the cold shoulder we won't be in danger of terrorist attacks? Just like they think if we pull out of Iraq (and Afghanistan) today we will be on good terms with the terrorists? If so, they are more naiive than a newborn baby. Islamofascists want to establish radical Islamic rule across the globe. We will be the Great Satan no matter what we do because we, as well as Israel, represent everything that Islamofascists hate: freedom and democracy.

Hezbollah and its sponsors (Iran, etc.) want Israel demolished. Palestine wants Israel demolished. And if they succeed, they will be one step closer to installing radical Islamic rule over that corner of the world and, if they have their way, the rest of the world.

This is why Israel must succeed, and why we must continue with our support.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Commentary

McKinnon Faces Possible Runoff

This is certainly welcome news:

Democratic firebrand Rep. Cynthia McKinney was in high spirits Tuesday night, dancing and playing a tambourine as election results showed her with a tight lead over a former DeKalb County Commissioner with roots in the heart of her core constitency.

With 80 percent of the precincts reporting, McKinney was leading with 47 percent of the vote to lawyer Hank Johnson's 45 percent. One of the candidates will need to get more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff Aug. 8.

Tuesday's primary was the first time that McKinney faced voters since her scuffle with a Capitol Hill police officer in March.

I'd love to see her sweat it out. I'd like it even more if she ultimately loses either the primary or the actual election!

One less moonbat in the House? We can only hope!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:39 AM | Comments (49) | TrackBack (0) | Politics

July 18, 2006

NYT Cutting Costs

From Reuters:

The New York Times Co. (NYT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to narrow the size of its flagship newspaper and close a printing plant, resulting in the loss of 250 jobs, the company said in a story posted on its Web site late on Monday.

The changes, set to take place in April 2008, include the closure of a printing plant in Edison, New Jersey. The company will sublet the plant and consolidate its regional printing facilities at a plant in Queens, the paper said.

The newspaper will be narrower by 1 1/2 inches. The redesign will result in the loss of 250 production jobs, the company said.

The New York Times said it expected the changes to result in savings of $42 million.

They should consider firing reporters and editors, not the grunts who get the paper printed...

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:15 AM | Comments (48) | TrackBack (0) | MSM

July 16, 2006

Israel's Tactics vs. US Tactics

This letter, printed in the NY Post, says it all:

Two Israeli solders are kidnapped, and Israel launches a major attack.

American soldiers are kidnapped and publicly decapitated, and Congress orders that terrorist prisoners receive the same rights as American citizens and that the air conditioning be made colder at Gitmo.

Boy, are we in for it.
John Comparetto

More on the situation in Israel soon...

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:19 PM | Comments (57) | TrackBack (0) | Commentary

July 13, 2006

Busy Day Today!

I am extremely busy today, and won't have much time for posting. Please be sure to check out what my friends at Lucky Dawg News, Moonbattery, Reverse_Vampyr, Mein Blogovault, Kitty Litter and Brainster have on tap!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Blogging

July 12, 2006

Recruiting Terrorists in Prison

The Smoking Gun today highlights a CIA report, written in 2002, regarding terrorist recruiting that goes on in Guantanamo Bay.

A secret Central Intelligence Agency report details the recruiting and organizing tactics of imprisoned al-Qaeda detainees and the difficulties faced by jailers in combating these efforts by disciples of Osama bin Laden. The report, prepared in August 2002 by the CIA Counterterrorist Center's Office of Terrorism Analysis, concluded that while detainees at Guantanamo Bay facilities were organizing and communicating in accordance with al-Qaeda training methods, U.S. officials were hamstrung to counter these moves without the aid of "inside sources."


Guantanamo detainees enforced a code of conduct and sought to shield the identity of leaders through the use of surrogates. Additionally, inmates reportedly sought to "put their training into practice by establishing cellblock leaders and dividing responsibility among deputies for greeting new arrivals, assessing interrogations, monitoring the guard force, and providing moral support to fellow detainees, among other tasks." The report notes that seized al-Qaeda training manuals offered guidance on how members could organize and recruit while imprisoned, with one manual even including a diagram titled "Organization of Barracks Net."

Yes, those poor Guantanamo prisoners, deprived of Geneva Convention rights that they aren't even entitled to, continue to recruit al Qaeda members right under the noses of their jailers.

What utter rubbish. While those on the left continue to fight for these men's human rights, they continue to sign up those who would gladly trade their own lives if it means lives of Americans and other Westerners are lost, and wish to impose Islam and its Shar'ia law upon nations worldwide. What about the rights of those these men seek to kill?

I wonder what the New York Times thinks?

Hat tip: Jeanette

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Health/Science

Crackdown on Leaks?

Peter Heokstra (R-MI) says the government is planning a crackdown on leakers of confidential information:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is preparing a crackdown on intelligence leaks to the media and will try to pursue prosecutions in some recent cases, the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Michigan Republican Rep. Peter Hoekstra also suggested some unauthorized leaks could have been deliberate attempts to help al Qaeda.

"More frequently than what we would like, we find out that the intelligence community has been penetrated, not necessarily by al Qaeda, but by other nations or organizations," he said.

"I don't have any evidence. But from my perspective, when you have information that is leaked that is clearly helpful to our enemy, you cannot discount that possibility," he added.

In recent months, two major intelligence operations were leaked to the media: the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program and the Treasury Department's tracking of international banking transactions.

The entire article is available here.

If this is true, then I say it's about time. The left shouldn't have a problem with such an investigation, since they were so upset about the "outing" of Valerie Plame. All leaks should be treated equally, no?

In fact, they will love the opportunity for reporters Eric Lichtblau and James Risen to go to jail rather than reveal their sources a la Judith Miller.

(And martyrdom is an excellent recommendation for a Pulitzer.)

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Government

July 11, 2006

Bush Administration: Guantanamo Detainees Have Geneva Rights

From the Toronto Star:

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration said Tuesday that all detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in U.S. military custody everywhere are entitled to protections under the Geneva Convention.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said the policy, outlined in a new Defence Department memo, reflects the recent 5-3 U.S. Supreme Court decision blocking military tribunals set up by President George W. Bush.

That decision struck down the tribunals because they did not obey international law and had not been authorized by Congress.

The new policy, described in a memo by Deputy Defence Secretary Gordon England, appears to reverse the administration’s earlier insistence that the detainees are not prisoners of war and thus not entitled to the Geneva protections.

Word of the Bush administration’s new stance came as the Senate judiciary committee opened hearings Tuesday on the politically charged issue of how detainees should be tried.

“We’re not going to give the Department of Defence a blank cheque,” Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the committee chairman, told the hearing.

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the committee’s top Democrat, said “kangaroo court procedures” must be changed and any military commissions “should not be set up as a sham.”

“They should be consistent with a high standard of American justice, worth protecting,” Leahy said.

Snow insisted that all U.S. detainees have been treated humanely. Still, he said, “We want to get it right.”

“It’s not really a reversal of policy,” Snow asserted, calling the Supreme Court decision “complex.”

Nice cave-in. What happened to the famous Bush backbone?

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President Bloomberg?

Dick Morris thinks it's a distinct possiblity:

Obviously, he has his bank account in his favor. Like Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996, he wouldn't have to convince skeptical donors that a third-party candidate could succeed for the first time in American history. He can cut short the conversation by just writing a mega check.

But he can succeed where Perot failed, because he knows how to handle himself in the public spotlight.

Bloomberg's years as mayor have fully equipped him to handle the national press corps. He's been on stage 24/7 for his entire term in office and through two campaigns. That education makes it unlikely that he will implode with paranoia or be rattled by the antics of the party national committees, as Perot was.

The mayor has played in the biggest of leagues in front of the toughest of press and media - not to mention the most wary of electorates - and has come out in great shape. It is no mean feat to survive as a Republican mayor in a liberal, Democratic city. And Rudy was no easy act to follow.

Morris says Bloomberg would draw equally from both main parties:

The mayor's strong anti-terror credentials and practical experience at keeping New York City safe from attack would be vastly reassuring to "security mom" voters. He has kept New York safe and even improved on Guiliani's extraordinarily low crime statistics. He has shown himself able to resist pressures for spending and taxes while keeping his budget balanced - and he's a strong advocate of charter schools and educational standards. All good Republican positions.

Democrats, meanwhile, would find his pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights, pro-affirmative action positions very attractive. His pro-city focus could attract large Democratic support, and he'd probably bring into his column the bluest of blue states - New York.

Of course it's too early to tell...he hasn't even said he's running (where have we heard that one before?). I don't know how I feel about Bloomberg in the White House, as I don't like some of his social policies.

What do you think?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 2008

July 10, 2006

Memo to the NYT: We're Not Buying It

I went to this evening's rally protesting the New York Times and its publishing of a legal secret government program designed to track the movements of terrorists in order to capture them. It happened across the street from the Times' office at 229 West 43rd Street. As soon as I left work, I walked the ten blocks from my office to the rally location. The following are my observations and photos I took. Believe me, it's not easy to take notes and photos while clutching your own protest sign!

NYT Rally 001.jpg

NYT Rally 002.jpg
I arrived around 5:00, and saw a decent-sized crowd had already gathered. I got a great spot right up front.

NYT Rally 003.jpg
A few counter-protesters were across the street, directly in front of the Times' office.

NYT Rally 004.jpg

NYT Rally 021.jpg
Check out some of the creative signs made by anti-NYT folks!

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NYT Rally 024.jpg
A few NYT employees peered out of the windows to see what the excitement was all about. One even took video footage!

NYT Rally 006.jpg
This young girl held out her sign and kept shouting, "Whose side are you on?" Good for her!

NYT Rally 007.jpg

NYT Rally 008.jpg
CaucusForAmerica.com got the rally moving with the Pledge of Allegiance.

NYT Rally 009.jpg
As you can see, the counter-protester side began to fill up, but mostly with curious bystanders. Some of those folks were actually anti-NYT people who dared to mingle with those on the Dark side...

NYT Rally 010.jpg
Some people were handing out these t-shirts free of charge (I don't know which group sponsored them). I didn't grab one, as my photos suffice as a souvenier. Aren't they great?

nyt rally 011.jpg
These guys didn't have much company...nor did they have a microphone or megaphone at their disposal; something which must have frustrated them to no end. It didn't stop them from shouting, though! Here are some of the things they kept repeating: "Why aren't you fighting?" "Get a job, hippies! Get a haircut, hippies!" (My guess: the rally was likely set for 5 so that working stiffs like me could attend. Hippies my Aunt Fanny!) "You're against freedom of the press!" "God doesn't like you. Jesus hates you!" (Ah, such tolerance!)

Unfortunately, there were some obnoxious things being said on our side of the street. Some of the less-than-stellar quotes I managed to jot down include, "You're fascists!" "Nazis!" "Hey you in the white shirt...you're ugly!" Not exactly awe-inspiring, thoughtful debate.

nyt rally 012.jpg
The guy in orange thought he could drown out the anti-NYT crowd by constantly blowing a whistle. Obnoxious as it was, it was a pitiful attempt against our greater numbers and microphone and megaphones.

NYT Rally 014.jpg
Rabbi Aryeh Spero of CaucusForAmerica.com spoke several times while I was there. Here are a few quotes: "All the treason that's fit to print!" "This is not Bush's war, it's America's war!" "They [NYT staffers] identify more with Parisians than with people in Peoria [Illinois]." "We're not afraid of the power of the New York Times!"

NYT Rally 015.jpg
New York's finest keep the peace. Across the way, the woman with the bike is getting ready to join the whistler in orange with her own whistle in an attempt to drown us out.

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Osama bin Ladin shills for the Times.

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I met up with Pamela of Atlas Shrugs.

NYT Rally 020.jpg
Richard Poe of Newsmax.com went over the history of the name of Times Square (just down the street), and how 100 years ago its name was changed from Longacre Square to Times Square in "honor" of the paper. He then said, "May I humbly suggest Giuliani Square?" A chant then went up.

NYT Rally 023.jpg
Rafique Iscandar of the American Coptic Union said, "We all condemn the New York Times for leaking confidential information...This will only help the terrorists." For those who don't know, Copts are an Egyptian Christian sect often persecuted by Muslims.

NYT Rally 025.jpg
Deborah Burlingame, sister of 9/11 American Airlines Flight 77 pilot Charles Burlingame, was one of the speakers. I had difficulty in hearing her, but managed to jot down the following: "Free speech is a precious thing...given to the people." "This is not about journalism...this is about taking a stand." She also endorsed a boycott of Verizon and other New York Times advertisers.

NYT Rally 027.jpg

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I decided to leave around 6:15 in order to make my train without having to run for it (the rally was scheduled to go until 8). Here are two photos of the crowd as I left: the anti-NYT folks and the counter protesters. Hmmm, guess whose cause was more popular?

All in all, it was a great experience. My mother worried that I'd get arrested, and my husband said he wouldn't bail me out if I did! But it was orderly and relatively calm. The NYPD did a great job, and while I was there, no one seemed inclined to breach the peace (other than engaging in permit-sanctioned shouting). Some women behind me questioned why the counter-protesters wouldn't stay quiet while scheduled speeches went on. Answer: to drown out a point of view they didn't want heard.

Those who believe the New York Times committed treason were part of a diverse crowd...with varied ages, ethnicities, and a pretty fair balance of men and women. The counter-protesters all looked fairly similar...mostly white men, likely representing white liberals with an overactive guilt complex.

The claim that we are against freedom of the press couldn't have been more wrong. Freedom of the press carries with it an inherent responsibility to use common sense in reporting -- something the New York Times failed to uphold. We, the public, have every right to call them on it, especially when stories published in our "interest" actually do more to threaten our safety than keep us informed. When a newspaper uses its considerable power and influence in order to defame a sitting president and endanger a society's safety in the name of the public's "right to know," it deserves both our contempt and censure.

Take that and print it.

Others blogging: Atlas Shrugs, Fighting the Left

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:05 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0) | MSM

Reminder: Protest Against the NYT Today

For those of you in New York, there is a protest today across the street from the New York Times building at 5 pm. The NYT is located at 229 West 43rd Street.

Free Republic is among the organizers. There is a sound permit and there may be some speakers.

Make a sign and head on over if you can. I will be there, and plan to take pictures that I can post tonight when I get home.

See you there!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | MSM

Skewing the News...One Headline at a Time

What do you think of when you see this headline?

Officer Hurt, Several Arrested During Anti-Immigration Rally

Violent, xenophobic right-wingers disturbing the peace during a racially motivated event, right? Here's the actual story (any and all emphasis mine):

HOLLYWOOD, July 9, 2006 - An officer was injured and six people were arrested during an anti-illegal immigration march involving the Minuteman Project and other groups Saturday evening in Hollywood, police said.

One female officer suffered a minor injury, apparently to her ankle, after clashing with protesters, said Officer Sandra Escalante, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Counter-protesters stood along the sidewalks shouting as anti-immigration demonstrators, including members of the Minuteman civilian border patrol group, marched along Hollywood Boulevard. The Minutemen, many of them carrying American flags, had a permit to march.

Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist was among the marchers.

Angry counter protesters, some wearing bandannas to cover their faces, yelled at the Minutemen and called them racists.

They also tried to join the march, but since they did not have a permit, police stopped them, sometimes forcefully.

Escalante said several people were arrested, though it wasn't immediately clear if they were part of the anti-immigration march or the counter-protest.

Police estimated the number of marchers at 200 shortly after 7 p.m. The march began at Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue, Escalante said.

Quick summary: The march was against illegal immigration, not immigration in general. The Minutemen, who organized the march, had a permit. People who were against the message of the Minutemen were shouting from the street and trying to join the march without a permit. Police had to use force against those who tried to join the march (some wearing bandannas to hide their identities). The injury suffered by an officer involved was minor. From the information in the story, the anti-illegal immigration marchers didn't bring up race; their opponents did.

It's a good thing reporters write stories to go along with the headlines the editors come up with. Otherwise, we may not get the full story.

What's that, you say? Lots of people just scan the headlines? That certainly explains a lot.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | MSM

July 07, 2006

Friday Joke

Here's something to brighten your Friday:

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.

The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.

The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah."

The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him."

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Humor

July 06, 2006

On Ken Lay

When I heard of the death of Ken Lay yesterday, I wasn't sure what to think. He'd been found guilty in one of the biggest corporate scandals in recent history, and was awaiting sentencing to the tune of at least 20 years. At his age, that was akin to a death sentence.

Then he died of a heart attack.

He wasn't an evil man. (We save...or should save...that designation for cold blooded murderers and their ilk.) He rose from having nothing to having more than anyone could dream of. He got greedy. A lot of people lost money because of the decisions he made. He got caught, and was preparing to receive his punishment.

Someone I ride the train with made a derisive comment that Lay had found a way to "get out of" going to prison. I am sure he is not alone in his lack of sympathy. Yet I can't help but feel sorry for him and his family. While I don't think he should have gotten away with what he did, he ultimately paid the price with his untimely death. This ordeal obviously took a great toll on him. And no matter what the rest of us may say about him, he had a family who loved him.

Peggy Noonan's take:

Putting aside all judgments and conclusions, all umbrage, outrage and indignation, and all debates on who was most responsible for the Enron scandal--putting all those weighty and legitimate concerns aside--isn't it obvious that Ken Lay died of a broken heart? We forget that people do, or at least I forget, but they do.

His life was broken and would never be healed. Or if it was to be healed it would happen while he was imprisoned, for the rest of his life, with four walls to look at. All was wreckage around him. He died, of a massive coronary. But that can be another way of saying broken heart.

Is this Shakespearian in the sense of being towering and tragic? I don't know. I think it's primal and human. And I think if we were more regularly conscious of the fact that death through sadness happens we'd be better to each other. I'm thinking here of a friend who reflected one day years ago, I cannot recall why, on how hard people are on each other, how we're all complicated little pirates and more sensitive, more breakable, than we know.

He said--I paraphrase--"It's a dangerous thing to deliberately try to hurt someone because it's not possible to calibrate exactly how much hurt you're doing. You can't know in advance the extent of the damage. A snub can leave a wound that lasts a lifetime, a bop on the head with a two-by-four will be laughed off. One must be careful. We'll always hurt others by accident or in a passion but we mustn't do it with deliberation."

We are human beings, and to each other we are not fully knowable. There's a lot of mystery in life. The life force can leave before we even know it's withdrawing.

Beautifully said.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:36 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Commentary

World Cup Final

France vs. Italy. Of course, I want France to bite it...

Go Italy!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Sports

July 05, 2006

Barbra Streisand: Ticket Sales Not Hopping

Poor Barbra...it seems her upcoming concert tour isn't garnering the ticket sales she was hoping for. (Will she have to start shopping at Costco?) From the NY Post's Page Six:

BARBRA Streisand may be starting to wish her last "farewell tour" six years ago truly was her swan song.

Sales for her upcoming gigs, which begin in October, have been disappointing, according to a top music industry source, who says fans are resisting ticket prices as high as $800, not including service fees. "Some cities [like] Detroit, where they wanted to do two days, are less than 3,000 sold," the source tells Page Six.

The slow ticket sales are said to be a concern for Michael Cohl and Live Nation, the promoters who paid nearly $80 million for Streisand's 20 shows with opening act Il Divo. The tour kicks off Oct. 4 in Philadelphia, continues in New York on Oct. 9, then rolls into Washington, Detroit, Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Atlantic City, Chicago, San Jose, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. But with promoters facing the possibility of losing $15 million or more on the deal, they're now said to be mulling offers to book Streisand in Indian casinos.

Tour spokesman Ken Sunshine said of our source's claims, "That is bull[bleep]. Tickets are going through the moon."

Another issue is that Streisand has said she plans to "donate millions of dollars in proceeds to environmental, education and women's health organizations through her own Streisand Foundation." But she won't say exactly how much - which means ticket buyers can't write off part of the whopping ticket costs as tax deductions.

Babs also faces the wrath of fans who saw her on her last tour, which ended in September 2000 with two Madison Square Garden sellouts that grossed $14.4 million.

Since then, she sang live at a campaign fundraiser for John Kerry that took in $5 million, and made a surprise appearance last October at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children benefit in Vegas.

Some fans who bought tickets to Streisand's 2000 tour are threatening to sue, claiming they believed those were her last live performances. And some are apparently hesitating to buy tickets for the new tour because they suspect it won't be her last either.

Streisand's p.r. machine points out she is the music industry's best-selling female artist with 50 gold, 30 platinum and 13 multi-platinum albums, and has outsold The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. But the Stones have never misled fans by telling them this will be their last time.

It would be nice if the Stones would retire...seeing those geriatrics hop about onstage like they did in their 20s is somewhat frightening. But it's true that they have never said anything about retirement, only to shake off the mothballs and ask fans to shell out mega bucks for yet another "farewell" tour.

Streisand, said to be a hypocrite on topics such as fair pay and environmentalism, seems to think that the chance to hear her golden pipes are enough justification for people to open their wallets and give generously.

It seems her fans are finally getting wise.

What? Me retire?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Celebrity

The Grass Is Greener for Leftwing Bloggers

Check out this post by Riehl World View on the copious amounts of money floating around on the left side of the blogosphere. It seems as though some bloggers are motiviated not just by their convictions, but by their bank accounts.

I have no problem with bloggers accepting funds from political parties or candidates as long as they disclose this information.

It's when they don't disclose that things become sticky, even when alleged wrongdoing is not clear. (Remember the Armstrong Williams flap?)

For the record, I do not accept money from anyone with regard to this blog. My posts reflect my opinion and no one else's. This is done on my time with no monetary recompense whatsoever.

The moment I begin making money from my rantings, the readers will be the first to know about it. But don't hold your breath!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Blogging

New Jersey Budget Impasse Closes Atlantic City

Many who voted for John Kerry continue to display his campaign bumper stickers on their cars, as do many who voted for George W. Bush in the 2004 election.

I wonder how many New Jersey voters who said "yes" to John Corzine for governor are keeping their bumper stickers visible?

ATLANTIC CITY - The casinos here did the unimaginable this morning and ceased all gambling operations amid a state budget impasse that idled New Jersey's gambling inspectors.


Gov. Corzine, in a speech this morning on the budget crisis that has gripped the state, defended his budget proposal and said he had no choice in closing state services.

"It is deplorable that the people of this state are left in such a painful position," he said. "The people of New Jersey have every right to be angry."

Corzine and the Legislature remain about $1 billion apart on a balanced budget. Corzine has proposed increasing the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to close the gap, while Democratic lawmakers remain steadfastly opposed to it.

Corzine's action brought a quick halt to lottery sales and road construction on Saturday. State parks, campgounds and race tracks were also to close this morning as the historic government shutdown enters a fifth day. Atlantic City's casinos, which cannot operate without state inspectors, will remain shut until the state adopts a budget.

I wonder if Corzine thinks the voters should be angry at the legislature or at him?

While one may or may not condone gambling, to close down an industry that brings millions to the state's coffers because legislators cannot agree on a budget is considered foolhardy by many, as the state stands to lose $1.3 million in tax revenue each day the casinos are closed.

Not only that, but the people who work at the casinos who depend on that paycheck are now getting the shaft.

My friend Jeanette, who lives in New Jersey with her husband, said in an e-mail, "Don and I can only take comfort in that we did not vote for him!!!!!!!"

Corzine didn't take a salary because he's a millionaire in his own right. It's too bad that didn't make up the budget shortfall.

UPDATE (2:45 pm): Here is a sampling of what folks in New Jersey think of the shutdown.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Democrats

Flag Epidemic: A New Disease?

From the headline, that's what one might think:

US 'flag epidemic' reaches peak on Fourth of July

It's a true epidemic: the red, white and blue, stars-and-stripes banners are everywhere in the United States - on house facades, front lawns, cars and clothes.

Hitting an high point on the July 4 US Independence Day holiday, it is a genuine phenomenon of American national pride that, inevitably, gets a good but also sometimes unwanted boost from commercial exploitation.

"It's a little strange, this obsession of the flag," French author Bernard-Henri Levy wrote after traveling across the country.

"Everywhere, in every form, flapping in the wind or on stickers, an epidemic of flags that has spread throughout the city," Levy wrote in "American Vertigo" of the riot of banners he saw.

As usual, people from other countries simply don't "get it" when it comes to Americans and their pride in their flag, a symbol of their country. And that's their problem.

To some, America might be just another place to put your feet under the table. But most of us realize how fortunate we are to live in a country in which we have the ability to make the most of our opportunities and try not to take our grace and freedoms for granted.

Flying our flag proudly is just a small part of that.

So don't worry about the opinions of snooty Europeans and a few American elitists who turn their noses up at patriotism. Fly the flag proudly...not just on July 4th, but throughout the year.

UPDATE (6:47 pm): Michelle Malkin shows some instances of French patriotism. But since these photos look like they might have been taken at sporting events, I guess that makes them OK in the eyes of Le French...

A source of pride, not embarrassment

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Commentary

July 03, 2006

Vacation Day Today...

My company is closed today as well as tomorrow for the 4th of July. I'm spending the time with my family, and so won't really be blogging until the 5th. Be sure to check out my blogroll for news and commentary, and I will be back on Wednesday.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Blogging

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