Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Alliance Defense Fund: Fighting the Good Fight


I often post about STOP the ACLU, and repost alot of their stuff. This week, I want to focus on an organization that I learned about from the fine folks at STACLU. The Alliance Defense Fund is kind of an ACLU for people of faith, who choose to express it openly. Apparently, the ACLU is often an opponent of religious civil liberties; the ADF is there to oppose them, as well as some like-minded activists in the bureaucracy and judiciary. Here's a roundup of some of their latest cases, so you can get an idea of where they stand:





5th Circuit upholds parental rights victory for Texas teacher



Teacher represented by ADF ally denied promotion after declining to move her children from private religious school to public school



ADF attorney available to the media following hearing on Ga. man jailed for handing out religious literature



Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman will be available to answer questions from the media following a hearing Wednesday in the case Baumann v. City of Cumming. The case involves a Christian man, Fredric Baumann, whom Cumming police arrested in April for handing out religious literature on a public sidewalk, using the city’s "parade ordinance" as justification for the arrest.



6th Circuit rules in favor of Boyd County student, reinstates free speech case



Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have succeeded in their appeal of a federal judge’s decision against a Boyd County, Ky., student. A former school district policy prohibited the student from saying to other students that homosexual behavior is wrong. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit Friday reversed a ruling in favor of the school district and sent the case back to trial.





ADF attorney sends invocation policies to help Penn. Senate and Akron officials who want to pray





The Alliance Defense Fund has sent letters to the Pennsylvania Senate and city officials in Akron, Ohio, offering legal information to both on the constitutionality of opening public meetings with an invocation. In recent weeks, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has threatened both of those governmental bodies and countless others nationwide with legal action because the officials begin their meetings in the traditional manner.



Earlier this month, after receiving similar information and offers of support from ADF, the Ohio House of Representatives reversed its previous decision to censor legislative prayers. A growing number of public bodies across the country are now adopting tailored versions of ADF’s model prayer policy for their own local use.




These are not cases the ACLU has "found the time for," to be polite. In fact, my buddy Glib Fortuna over at STACLU skewers their amazing claim that a "Federal Court Agrees with ACLU: Schools Can Protect Both Gay Students and Religious Speech." Here's the relevant part of the ACLU press release:




The case decided today was brought in 2005 by an anti-gay legal organization, which claimed that the training and policy violated the religious freedom and free speech rights of students who are opposed to it. The ACLU, representing former student plaintiffs in its original case, joined the lawsuit to help defend the school's ability to conduct the training and to support all students' free speech rights.




To this, Glib says:




Sounds like the ACLU was in the right on this one…that is until you know how the school came to institute a tyrannical program in the first place. No, this isn’t what the ACLU "was saying all along."





The ACLU filed suit against this school several years ago on behalf of students who wanted to form a "Gay-Straight Alliance" club. The ACLU argument for this type of sodomy-promotion club are constitutionally sound on Equal Access grounds (though, natch, the ACLU has argued against a Christian club being permitted using the opposite argument in a case currently at the 9th Circuit), but that isn’t the problem. The ACLU claimed that because "anti-gay harrassment" was "widespread" at the school (charges that were completely inflated, but this rural school district was being attacked by the ACLU, so of course it did what it was told), part of letting the scared-shirtless district off the hook would be the implementation of the very policies and program the ACLU is claiming the federal court "agreed" with it about!




He continues:




In 2005, the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit against the school for enforcing the policies the ACLU demanded. No doubt the ACLU would agree with the manner and course of the implementation of these policies had ADF not filed suit to protect the rights of students constitutionally-vicitmized by the ACLU-inspired speech suppression, but the ACLU had to cover its 6 once ADF smoked this thing out. Not only was this "tolerance training" mandatory (students would be penalized academically for refusing to attend, even if their parents excused them), students were not even permitted to voice an opposing viewpoint! The ACLU is claiming that the school went too far, but who really believes the ACLU would have jumped in had it not been for the ADF which exposed the program the ACLU demanded and surely had to know how it was being run.



Of course the infantile ACLU can’t resist name-calling in its press release. Instead of acknowledging ADF’s stand for the First Amendment in a case the ACLU surely would not have brought itself, it instead refers to an "anti-gay legal organization." Hey ACLU, do you mean that same group that is cleaning your clock in courts all across the country over and over again.




Here's an excerpt from the WND story linked in Glib's post, though I recommend reading the entire article:





The ACLU's support of a legal precedent used to gain recognition of a student homosexual group has reversed now that the ruling is being used to back the rights of a Christian club on campus, claims a public-interest law firm.





The "public interest law firm" is the ADF, and consider me an admirer. All it takes is "secular" people of all faiths to look away, and those who profess their beliefs in their lives become open to discrimination, in many ways. Christians may be a majority, but Christian beliefs are being excised from the "public square" in clearly unconstitutional ways. The ADF is fighting this trend, with amazing success.



Full disclosure: They linked to my blog, the last time I did an ADF roundup. It was quite some time ago, and I'm not expecting one now. I just like them.


Friday, October 26, 2007

EVERYBODY'S SCARED OF BUSH, ALL OF A SUDDEN?

"Bush wants to take us into a war with Iran." HULABAZOO! This is a "scare tactic" from the left. I love it that they aren't terrorized by the thought of a nuclear weapon in Iran's possesion, than the thought that Bush might authorize a war with them over it. It's not going to happen.

This has become a political football for the Dem primary candidates. Obama accuses Hillary of giving Bush "cover" for an invasion with her vote declaring Iran's Republican Guard and Al Quds Force terrorist organizations, but he wasn't there for the vote.

I have to side with Hillary on this one. The truth is that these organizations are responsible for the Shiite terrorists in Iraq, as well as linking with both Sunnis and Christians in Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, especially the Gaza. They fund Hezbollah, Hamas, among other terrorists.

Let's look at the "sabre-rattling" done by other world leaders recently. Ahmedinejad just called the nuclear issue "closed." Putin resumes "cold war" military flights, meets with Ahmedinejad. Bush is just rattling a bigger sabre. Anyone who thinks we will invade Iran before Bush's term ends is a bigger fool than they assume George Bush is.

GIULIANI AND D'AMATO BUYING CRACK: 1986

Seeing the recent news (link) about the Mafia's "vote" on whether to whack Giuliani back in the '80's, I was reminded of an old publicity stunt he pulled with then-Sen. Al D'Amato, in '86. Picture D'Amato and Giuliani dressed as bikers. buying crack on a NYC streetcorner. Here's an excerpt from The New Yorker, August 4, 1986, p. 66: (link)

D'Amato & Giuliani, dressed in disreputable clothing, went to what
amounts to an open-air drug market in Washington Heights. They were accompanied by 30 armed federal agents & undercover police plus photographers. Within a few seconds each had bought 2 vials of crack. No arrests were made. The purpose of the excursion was to demonstrate that it's easy to buy crack in that neighborhood.


I remember the photos. They were hilarious! Expect them to resurface soon, probably with a story of how improved that corner is today. Google the title of this post for more links, but I didn't find any that show the photos yet. It's just a matter of time, I'm sure.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

SPITZER'S "GOVERNMENT BY VENGEANCE" MAY CLOSE MEDICAL CLINIC (Young and Poor Hit Hardest)

In my last column, I noted that the NYCLU thanked NY Gov. Spitzer for his "illegal alien drivers license" plan. I wonder if they'll thank him for this week's stunt.

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R) has pledged to sue Spitzer, to block the drivers license plan. Now, Spitzer has blocked $300,000 of "member item" spending in Tedisco's district.

"Member items" usually mean pork, but in Tedisco's struggling Assembly district, the money was designated for, among other things, the following: Upgrading one school district's elementary school playgrounds; video surveillance upgrades for another; finally, $100,000 for Schenectady's health clinic, which provides free health care for poor and uninsured people. Tedisco predicts that this will shut the clinic down, harming the most needy people in his district.

It's not hard to see why the Gov's poll numbers are in a freefall, and not likely to come back up anytime soon. Still, it's five years until he stands for re-election, which is a long time for the electorate's collective memory. He is still getting more deeply caught up in the "dirty tricks" travel scandal, having to admit his aides tried to forward Sen. Joe Bruno's travel records to the IRS, in the last few weeks.

Let's hope he's no longer governor by the time the next scheduled election comes around.

UPDATE: "Smoking gun" emails have been exposed by Tedisco, "showing Gov. Spitzer's administration had OK'd funding for a local health-care clinic last month - before suddenly canceling the grant on Monday ," according to the NY POST (NYC's real "paper of record"). You won't read about this in the NY Liberal Times, folks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

NYCLU THANKS SPITZER FOR ILLEGAL LICENSE PLAN: "RABID RIGHT" OPPOSE IT?

There they go again. The NYCLU sent out an email containing the following excerpt:




Then, on September 21, Governor Spitzer announced his plan to expand access to New York State driver’s licenses to hundreds of thousands of immigrants living in New York. This was a tremendous step for public safety, for immigrants’ rights and for the civil rights of all New Yorkers. The policy will enable some 500,000 New Yorkers to emerge from the shadows and become full contributing members of society and the economy, building trust between undocumented communities and law enforcement.



Take a moment to thank the governor for taking action to promote public safety, safe roadways, and civil liberties for all New Yorkers by clicking here.




Now, this is not surprising, but it brings up several questions. First, won't this make it harder for employers to screen out people who are here illegaly, opening them up to legal sanctions? I hear my friends on the left saying that the feds should "go after" the greedy corporations who take advantage of the cheap labor that illegals provide. Isn't Spitzer making this exploitation easier? Does anyone think that an employer who doesn't intend to hire illegal workers will get any less penalty because the person has a valid NYS license?



Gov. Spitzer calls opponents of his plan "the rabid right." This excerpt from the NY POST puts that theory to rest:








Meanwhile, in Albany yesterday, Spitzer dismissed much of the opposition to his plan as being fueled by the "rabid right" - despite the fact that a number of Democrats, including Koch and Suffolk County Executive Steven Levy, oppose the measure.



Freshman state Sen. Craig Johnson, who owes his current seat to Spitzer, also came out against the plan.



"We set a policy that is good for public security," Spitzer said. "The rabid right that wants to pile on and use this to demagogue the issue will not carry the day in New York state."



Spitzer also said he will not bow to pressure to back off his plan.



"Those who view this as a political issue once again are taking the state in the wrong direction," he said.




I'd like to turn Spitzer's statement on it's head. It appears that the people that support his license plan are actually "the rabid left," as evidenced by the "thank you" form letter sent in the NYCLU email. They are a political interest group, masquerading as a civil rights' organization. Spitzer has unmitigated gall to say this is not "a political issue." He, and his cronys are taking this state in the wrong direction!



Spitzer, and the NYCLU are out of touch with regular liberals on this one, as well. Every liberal I know thinks this is a bad idea, and I know quite a few liberals, here in NY. What is going on here is Spitzer taking a radical left turn, because of heat from the right over his "troopergate" scandal. Unfortunately, he's stepped into a larger controversy, over the illegal issue. This will not divert attention from "troopergate," but bring more media attention.



The NYCLU is the main chapter of the ACLU, which purports to stand for the American Civil Liberties Union. Am I the only one that sees Spitzer's license plan as violating the rights of every legal immigrant, visitor, and citizen? Are special, extra-legal rights to be conferred to people from other nations who reside here in violation of civil law? This is basic stuff, without even touching the security arguments. Will a US citizen be able to get a NYS driver's license without a SSN, as well?



This point may be moot, however, once the final parameters for the REAL ID act are announced. Spitzer is sucking up to the NYCLU on this now, because he knows that NYS is already not in compliance with the first draft of the DHS rule enforcing it. See this link to understand how the REAL ID act is being applied through the DHS bureaucracy. The ACLU, of course, will oppose it in any form, with constant legal challenges.



This is another reason the ACLU, and the NYCLU are widely known to be "rabid left" institutions, that ought to be opposed. They, and Gov. "steamrolled" Spitzer, are WRONG on this license scheme, whatever their motivation. NY's Chicken Gov. has gone "home" to roost, and crow from his left-wing nest that he's "fighting the good fight." BLARNEY! (or BALONEY, as most NYers say it)


This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email Jay at Jay@stoptheaclu.com or Gribbit at Over 200 blogs already onboard.

UPDATE: See my next post, SPITZER'S "GOVERNMENT BY VENGEANCE" MAY CLOSE MEDICAL CLINIC (Young and Poor Hit Hardest). This governor symbolizes the cesspool of NY politics, and I intend to continue exposing him.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

NO NEWS? No, Just Good News Not Being Reported From Iraq


No one can dispute the lack of reporting on improvements in the Iraqi front of the war. Here are three (make that four) stories that haven't seen much exposure, but they are far from the only ones. Let's start with the number of US casualties dropping greatly in the last months. This excerpt is from Special Report, with Britt Hume:




Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz spoke Sunday with Post reporter Robin Wright and CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr about why the media paid so little attention to the shrinking casualty numbers coming out of Iraq. Kurtz asked Wright if the story should have received more play.



She responded - "Not necessarily. The fact is we're at the beginning of a trend - and it's not even sure that it is a trend yet... The numbers themselves are tricky."



Starr said she needed more than one month's numbers before she "gets too excited" about the subject. But when Kurtz asked if an increase in casualty figures would have received more coverage, she replied - "I think inevitably it would have. I mean, that's certainly - that, by any definition, is news."




This is an excellent example of a journalist whose bias is so overwhelming, she doesn't even see any need to hide it. She covers it with the "trend" suggestion; that increasing violence would be following a "trend," and therefore more newsworthy. This is laughable, on it's face. "Trend" is a thinly disguised codeword for "the story we want to sell." They don't report on stories, or death counts, that don't support their storyline in Iraq.



Next, let's revisit Haditha. You may know Haditha as the massacre by Marines, comparable to Mai Lai in Vietnam. I wrote about this back in June of '06, twice. The second post, on Gather, cited the American Thinker, asking if it was a hoax. Well, as time goes by, it seems more likely that it was Al Queda who staged this massacre, as Rob Port points out in a recent post:




Buried in the mountain of exhibits attached to the once secret Haditha, Iraq murder inquiry prepared by US Army Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell is an obscure Marine Corps intelligence summary (see the pdf link in Rob's post) that says the deadly encounter was an intentional propaganda ploy planned and paid for by Al Qaeda foreign fighters.




...he continues:




Funny how mainstream media reporters are capable of combing through mountains of government documents to find incriminating evidence against politicians and government officials, unless said evidence doesn’t quite fit in with the liberal-agenda-driven story they want to tell. Like this bit of information indicating that Haditha could have been an al Qaeda propaganda operation.




Again, this doesn't support the storyline that the media is selling about Iraq. I hope that you read my first post on this, to see my initial reaction to the story. I think that correcting the record is due, if these Marines were falsely charged. My Gather friend Lera (non-politically correct) M. says they're suing Rep, Murtha for slander, which is a start. He was one of the loudest voices of condemnation, and obviously eager to buy into the Al Queda hoax, along with the MSM.



Finally, a news item from Amir Taheri's latest column, "Queda On The Run." It's sad to get news from columnists, but that is the sad state of the liberal US media. This story was from Syria, where Muhammad Gul Aghasi, aka Abu Qaaqaa, was killed by "unknown gunmen." Taheri suggests the possible parties responsible for the assassination, but his description of the man tells us all we need to know:




Born in 1973, Aghasi, who was of mixed Kurdish-Turkmen ethnic stock, studied Islamic theology in Damascus in the 1990s before traveling to Pakistan, where he established contact with the Taliban and al Qaeda. In 2004, having returned to his Syrian hometown, he created the Ghuraba al-Shaam (Aliens of the Levant), with the declared aim of recruiting, training and arming jihadists to fight against the new Iraqi government and the U.S.-led Coalition forces.



By 2006, Aghasi - using the nom de guerre Abu Qaaqaa (Father of the Hissing Sound of Swords) - claimed that his group had dispatched more than 2,000 jihadists from half-a-dozen Arab countries to Iraq. The group also boasted of providing jihadists in Iraq with safe havens inside Syria where they could rest, get medical care (even dental work!), retrain and even get married before returning to the battlefield.



Wearing Afghan-style clothes and the mandatory flowing beard, Aghasi was especially proud of the role his jihadists had played in fighting the Americans in Fallujah for more than a year. He claimed that his bulletproof, German-made limousine had been a gift from an Arab businessman for his role in the Fallujah battle. He had created an outfit called Office of Services for the Mujahedin in Iraq, handling millions of dollars collected from unknown benefactors.




I suggest reading Taheri's whole column (at the above link), to get a sense of another victory against Al Queda. You will not hear about this on any MSM outlet. Apparently, the decrease in supply of jihadists into Iraq doesn't fit the media's preferred storyline either. It's too bad that today's journalists think they have to claim impartiality, while being so biased against their own country.



This is war, and it is terrible. War is bad news, but it should be reported fairly, and truthfully. Stories that are positive about the war effort ought to get more time in the MSM, even if it destroys the MSM's (and Democrats) "unwinnable failure" storyline.

PS: Dale Coparanis' Gather article, "Another Example of America Winning in Iraq" inspired this post, and deserves to be excerpted here, as the fourth example. It cites the UK Guardian reporting on positive news in Iraq:

"A transformation has swept western Iraq that allows Marines to walk
through areas that a year ago were judged lost to radical Islam control and hear
nothing more aggressive than a late-night game of pool."

This sets the tone for the many excerpts he publishes. More important is his commentary:

Most Senate Dems (and a few spineless Republicans) feel that we
cannot win this Battle of Iraq (part of the larger War on Terror). They,
sometimes, grudgingly say that the surge may be working but that any success is superficial and not long lasting. It is not long lasting, these
wonderfully optimistic critics say, because we are not winning the "political" battle.


Well, the facts beg to differ. We have learned, over time, what it takes to win not only the immediate battle, but the longer term peace.

Well said, sir.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"I'm Innocent, I'm VERY Innocent"...Mutha, Puh-(S)LEAZE!

"I'm innocent, I'm VERY innocent"... So said Isaiah Thomas, after he, James Dolan, and MSG were found guilty of sexual harassment of Anucha Browne Sanders in the workplace. The trial featured depositions of Mr. Thomas saying that a Black man calling a Black woman "bitch" was not as offensive as a White man doing the same thing, and another MSG executive saying that the "N" word is okay for executives to use to co-workers. You won't find any record of that in a Google search, but I saw it myself, in the early part of the trial.

Why is race relevant to a sexual harassment trial? Good question, but maybe Mr. Thomas answered it. If he sees a difference in the meaning of the word "bitch," directed at a Black woman, from White and Black men, it seems to support the case that he is insensitive to women's perceptions, which is a prerequisite of this kind of harassment.

As a man, I can say that I've seen this type of man before, and they have one defining trait. They see women as "less than" men; as something needed only for sexual gratification. They can't handle a woman being in a position of authority, and certainly will not work with one who challenges theirs.

This is where Dolan becomes liable. Did he hire her as a "token" woman, who was supposed to "sit down and shut up?" Did she have any real job at MSG, or was she hired as a "pretty face" to put on their marketing machine? The verdict on that is not going to be decided in any court, but the verdict on her treatment as an MSG executive gives a good indication.

Tough crap for the hapless Knicks, and MSG. They've made their bed, and now they have to lie in it. As for the Dolan family, they are second only to the Sulzbergers at running great New York institutions into the ground.

BTW, I wonder how the NY Times reported this story? I wouldn't know, having quit reading that rag long before I stopped watching the Knicks, and started boycotting MSG, which I did long before Ms. Browne Sanders' lawsuit was filed. I'm just ahead of the curve, I guess.

PS: There is no excuse for this behavior, and no comparison to Anita Hill, which ABC News seems to be trying to make, in a bizarre report I saw while writing this. If anything, it's closer to Bill Clinton saying "I never had sex with that woman," when everyone knew he did.

Sen. Harkin, Have You No Shame?

In response to the Media Matters-inspired "dustup" over Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldier" comment, Sen. Tom Harkin took to the Senate floor, and said "Maybe he was just high on his drugs again. I don’t know whether he was or not. If so, he ought to let us know. But that shouldn’t be an excuse." As a person who has been addicted to drugs, I am outraged. To use a federally-sanctioned (and subsidized) "handicap" as a slur demeans the office he holds, and the floor he spoke on.

Would he be able to get away with saying that "Rush is back on crutches again?" Or how about "that disease must be getting to his brain, again?" Would the "honorable" Senator Harkin deign to use that phrase against a political pundit? The Senate needs to censure Harkin, for citing Mr. Limbaugh's addiction in the lowest, most offensive type of personal attack.

Harkin's comments, and the whole ginned-up controversy are covered over at Michelle Malkin.com. I don't even want to explore how off-base the whole campaign over this is here. I just want everyone to know that for Sen. Harkin, partisanship comes before any "liberal" sympathy for drug addicted people.

At least Sen. Kerry had the brains to keep his mouth shut on this one, though it's difficult to see even him sinking as low as Harkin did on the Senate floor. I say again, Harkin needs to be censured, especially by Senators that profess to be "progressive." If they want "progress," this kind of slur must be eradicated from their vocabulary, especially on the floor of the Senate.