Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happpy New Year

As were in the last 45 minutes of 2005, I'd like to wish a Happy New Year to all my friends and readers.

May 2006 be a better year than 2005.

All the best to all of you for the year to come.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Yet more signs of the Democrats sliding towards irrelevance

Foxnews: Disgruntled Dems Consider Challenge to Lieberman
On top of that, Democrats attending the regular State Central Committee meeting last Wednesday criticized Lieberman [due to his failure to toe the anti-war party line] and called for support for a primary challenge against him at the party's convention in May.

"I speak to Democratic state senators all the time. They always said, 'Joe is a rat, but he's our rat.' Now they are saying, 'Joe's a rat and we can't afford to have him at the top of our ticket,'" said Democrat Keith Crane of Branford, Conn. "I think Joe is going to get a rude awakening in May."

There's even more in the article so read it in full.

So much for the Democrats' famous tolerance for dissent. If the Democrats kep this trend to push further leftwards with this anti-war, September 10th mindset they'll continue down the path to irrelevance, right when we could use a strong and principled opposition party that actually takes national security seriously.

FBI Confirms radiation monitoring of Muslim sites

The FBI has confirmed that they Monitored Muslim Sites for Radiation(via Foxnews).
WASHINGTON — A classified radiation monitoring program, conducted without warrants, has targeted private U.S. property in an effort to prevent an Al Qaeda attack, federal law enforcement officials confirmed Friday.

While declining to provide details including the number of cities and sites monitored, the officials said the air monitoring took place since the Sept. 11 attacks and from publicly accessible areas — which they said made warrants and court orders unnecessary.
Since monitoring the air in a public place is permissible there is nothing illegal with this process.

Especially considering that this was monitoring for the purpose of finding harmful substances ie radioactive materials, there should be no surprise that this is necessary in this day and age of Islamist terrorists.

Now, of course, there should be an investigation as to who leaked the existence of this classified program to the US News and World Report. I daresay the revelation of this program is certainly more damaging than the outing of the non-covert Plame.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Possible vote sale during Detroit City Election

Detroit Free Press: Election director suspects vote sale
Detroit's top elections official said Wednesday she is concerned that people may have sold votes on the eve of the city's Nov. 8 election, and said she may ask the Wayne County prosecutor to investigate
Sexton, 55, said he noticed that members of a political group -- the Eastside Community Slate -- had brought voters to the election headquarters with what he later heard was an arrangement to hire them as poll workers the next day. Sexton said it looked like they were being paid to cast ballots for the slate's candidates.

Sexton told police and the Free Press he overheard two voters discussing what he believed were plans to collect money for their votes.

"It's a hundred, right?" Sexton described one man as saying to another in line. Sexton said the other man replied, "No, it's $75, and I will be the first one here at 5:30 to collect."

Sexton said the Eastside Slate worker made "a beeline" to voters as they left the elections building and asked them: "Now you voted my ballot, right? You voted my slate?"

They answered yes, Sexton said, and the slate worker collected slips of paper indicating that each person had voted.

It will be interesting to see if this is investigated or not, as the police report of the incident currently says "Disposition: Not a crime"

Perhaps next time the Eastside Slate, like Caesar's wife, should act in a way above suspicion, as this set of events IS suspicious.

BAMN's intimidation tactics succeed in delaying placing the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative on ballot

In an impressive display of thugery and the circumventing of the democratic process, the pro-affirmative action group The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigrant Rights
And Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary successfully intimidated the Board of Canvassers from certifying the Michigan Civil Rights initiative Proposal from being placed on the ballot:
The meeting was disrupted by an opposition group, By Any Means Necessary, which recruited students from Cody, Cass Tech, Crockett and Mumford high schools in Detroit and Oak Park High School to swarm the meeting and keep the board from voting.

Students chanted "no voter fraud" and "they say Jim Crow, we say hell no," danced on chair seats and made obscene gestures at the board.

At one point, many of the protesters rushed toward the board members, overturning a testimony table. Lansing police officers were called to restore order.

The board recessed for lunch, returned to a different room at the Lansing Center 90 minutes later and managed to vote on the issue over shouts from a smaller group of protesters.

Interestingly, for a group dedicated to keeping affirmative action by any means necessary (off the ballot) and racial equality, they certainly didn't mind playing the race card:
Republican board members DeGrow and Lyn Bankes voted in favor. Democrat Paul Mitchell voted no and Democrat Doyle O'Connor did not vote.

Mitchell, an African-American, earlier had said he was prepared to vote to certify, and tried to explain that to the angry crowd above shouts such as "be a black man about it."

So a bunch of thugs managed to disrupt the electoral process and according to the Detroit News only one 17 year old was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Impressive job BAMN, using mob action and intimidation to prevent people from even having the opportunity to vote on the issue of affirmative action and the chance that the people might vote for something you don't like. Hmm, I do believe a bunch of people in white sheets used similar despicable tactics back in the recent past to stop others from voting.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Detroit Illegal Alien Smuggling Ring Busted

From the Detroit Free Press
A 35-year-old Jordanian man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C., to helping a Detroit-based ring smuggle more than 200 illegal immigrants from the Middle East into the United States. Thaer Omran Ismail Asaifi, also known as Abu Harp, pleaded guilty Monday to participating in a conspiracy prosecutors say they believe was headed by his wife, Neeran Hakim Zaia, 51, of Sterling Heights from early 2001 through September 2004. Asaifi said he helped smuggle scores of illegal immigrants to the United States.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which conducted a three-year undercover investigation code-named Operation Tortuga, said Asaifi, his wife and others illegally smuggled Iraqi and Jordanian nationals into the country through Equador and Peru.
Good job ICE.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Michigan Sec State Clerks Plead Guilty to providing false Licenses and IDs

As reported in the Detroit Free Press:
Three former Michigan Secretary of State clerks plan to plead guilty to charges that they sold fraudulent driver's licenses and identification cards to illegal immigrants and people with bad driving records
And who were the buyers?
Wilkey said she sold the documents to Daher Al-Mayahi, 37, of Dearborn Heights and Ali Hawil, 34 of Dearborn, who also have pleaded guilty in the case and are scheduled for sentencing Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow.

Al-Mayahi is an Iraqi national and permanent U.S. resident. Hawil is a citizen of Guinea and is facing deportation.
This was apparently an ongoing scheeme for Al-Mayahi and Hawil to get identification for a number of illegals:
The men admitted bringing illegal immigrants from the East Coast to Michigan to obtain driver's licenses or identification documents as a first step toward receiving immigrant visas and other documents so they could stay in the United States.
Not to mention vote, travel with an identity off of any watch list and do various other activities.
Federal authorities, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, have been cracking down on driver's license fraud because the licenses can be used for immigration, bank and mortgage fraud; identity theft and terrorism.

You don't say. One hopes the authorities have extensivley questioned the men and checked for terrorist ties and the whereabout sof asll those provided with the falke drivers licenses and ID cards.

Liberal Party in Canada Proposes handgun ban

Source: The Vancouver Sun MONTREAL -- Prime Minister Paul Martin will propose a ban on most handguns in Canada, CanWest News Service has learned.

Sources say Martin, who will make the election campaign announcement this morning, wants to choke off the supply of handguns in this country, particularly guns brought into the country illegally and those sold on the black market.

There will be some exemptions, including maintaining the right for police to carry handguns. The prime minister is also expected to announce a significant increase in resources for police to deal with the ban.

Nice of the Canadian government to continue to allow police to carry handguns I suppose. Then again former Liberal Justice minister Allan Rock, who introduced the new registration scheme back in 1994 was
"I came to Ottawa with the firm belief that the only people in this country who should have guns are police officers and soldiers."

-- Allan Rock, Canada's Minister of Justice
Maclean's "Taking Aim on Guns", April 25, 1994, page 12.
Nice to see the Liberals are carrying out his beliefs.

This is of course an election campaign ploy on the part of the Liberals, whose prior firearm registration boondogle will likely cost over a billion dollars before it is functioning - far more than the $2 million price tag they stated it would cost. With rising crime, a corruption scandal in government, what else would the Liberals do to earn cheap political points with their base?

So much for the Liberal Party's previous promises that Registration would not lead to confiscation and their portraying those who said it would lead to confiscation as being alarmist.

Hat tips: Instapundit, The Volokh Conspiracy

Saturday, December 03, 2005

King David's Palace possibly found

A potential find of vast historical significance.

As reported in The Washington Post: A Dig Into Jerusalem's Past Fuels Present-Day Debates:
Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar believes the evidence she has uncovered during months of excavation and biblical comparison points to an extraordinary discovery.

She believes she has found the palace of King David, the poet-warrior who the Bible says consolidated the ancient Jewish kingdom around the 10th century B.C. and expanded its borders to encompass the Land of Israel.

If corroborative evidence is found confirming that this is King David's Palace, this could literally be the find of the century.

Hat Tip: Transterrestial Musings

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Department of Election Result Irony

In a true Detroit moment, as reported in the Detroit Free Press ousted Detroit City Clerk ultimately responsible for the conduct of the recent Detroit City election, is demanding a recount as she believes that
the process was so riddled with mistakes that she wants a recount of her own.

The reaction to this request is unsurprising:
"It's sort of funny that she's hoping to get back into office on the basis that she made so many mistakes that you can't count on the results she released," said Mark Grebner of East Lansing-based Practical Political Consulting, a leading voter list company in the state. "This is a woman who is reluctant to eat her own cooking and probably for good reason."

In other words Currie is alleging she was so incompetent in running the elcetion process that the mistakes she made cost Currie her reelection to the City Clerk's Office, where she would have an opportunity to preside over even more mistakes.

Or in other words, her potential argument is she made so many mistakes she even mis-rigged her own election?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

in her statement, the Secretary of State makes an important historical error

In announcing the deal that she brokered between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Secretary of State Rice makes an error that mischaracterizes the actual history of the region. The deal gives the PA control of the border crossings into Gaza and a sea port. Of the deal, Secretary Rice states:

SECRETARY RICE: Good morning. Two months ago, Israel and the Palestinian Authority took an unprecedented step on the road to peace with the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, returning control of that territory to the Palestinian people. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have been hammering out practical arrangements to gain the benefits of that withdrawal and improve conditions in the rest of the Palestinian territories.

. . .

First, for the first time since 1967, Palestinians will gain control over entry and exit from their territory. This will be through an international crossing at Rafah, whose target opening date is November 25th.

This mischaracterizes the history of the region. The Palestinians did not have "control over entry and exit from their territory" before 1967. In fact, in 1948 Egypt annexed the Gaza Strip and controlled its ingress and egress, not the "Palestinians".

Indeed, Palestinian Arabs never had control over the territory. Before 1948 the area was under the control of the British through their mandate, before that it was under the control of the Ottoman Empire, and before the Ottomans it was under the control of various foreign rulers.

Now it is likely this was simply a mistake by the State Department Speechwriter. At worst it is a continuation of the Arabist point of view that Israel is the source of all problems in the area and nothing bad happened until 1967 when Israel occupied the Gaza Strip after the Six Day War and its defeat of the Egyptian forces controlling the strip. The statement distorts history by asserting that the Palestinians had a state or even control over the area before the 1967 war. They did not.

How successful the deal will be is also hard to determine. Giving the PA border control with European monitor supervision will likely increase the flow of heavy weaponry into the region. The opening of the Gaza port will provide an easy location for ships loaded with weapons from Iran and other terrorist supporters to land. As we saw in the Karin-A incident, a freighter can carry massive quantities of heavy weapons such as missiles, mortars, anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons and tons of small arms, explosives and ammunition.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Deaborn Imam praises Iranian wipe out Israel comments, states need for "context"

The worm-tongued Imam Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, in his column in the Detroit News "explains" that the Iranian President's recent "wipe Israel off the map" comment was just a reference to Israel's political system, not antisemitic, and In fact he then states,
the Iranian president's quip can best be understood in the American context of the Declaration of Independence.

Ah, so a Muslim theocracy's calling for the destruction of the Jewish state is just like the Declaration of Independence. Impressivle moral equivalency and indeed moral blindness from a spiritual leader.

Hmm, isn't the Declaration of Independence comparison particularly inept as Iran is constantly accusing America of being the Great Satan?

Taqiya, shabbily done, and so much for your guise of being the "moderate" Muslim Imam, Imam Elahi.

Canadians On Strike for the Right to Bear Arms in Canada?

Not exactly.

The Canadian Border Guard personnel walked off the job yesterday protesting the fact that they are not allowed to be armed at the border checkpoints. I can find no written articles on this, my source was solely a radio report.

Yes, the Border Guards you interact wiuth at the Canadian Border are not allowed to carry guns, they have to call for police backup if threatened. However, the border guard personnel is allowed to refuse "dangerous work" so they walked off the job yesterday for at least some time.

The Border guards have likewise walked off on 5 other occaisions this year, typically when warned that a dangerous and armed fugitive was heading their way.

Oh, Canada, you're not taking border security, or the security of your border guard personnel seriously, are you?

Note: The only printed reference I can find relating to this issue is this older Canada Press Report:
Major delays at border
By JONATHAN MONTPETIT November 7, 2005

MONTREAL (CP) - American tourists and Canadian residents had a tough time entering Canada through Quebec on Saturday after a New York state trooper was shot and the suspect was believed to be headed for Canada. Following word of Friday night's shooting near Plattsburgh, N.Y., Canadian customs agents working along the Quebec-U.S. border left their positions, said a spokesperson for the Canada Customs Excise Union, which represents border guards across Canada.

Managers took over from the guards at 15 border stations but travellers faced delays of two to three hours Saturday. At certain stations, traffic cones were put in place to block access, according to all-news channel RDI. New York State Police, who described the shooting suspect as armed and dangerous, captured Vladimir Kulakov, 48, early Saturday afternoon.

Border guards returned to work soon after. Kulakov was allegedly driving a stolen pickup truck when he was stopped by New York state Trooper Sean Finn, 34. Police allege Kulakov ran into a wooden area fired at Finn, hitting the officer's hands and the side of his head. Finn is in stable condition in a New York hospital. Kulakov, who has been living in the U.S. for more than 10 years, is said to have been is a highly trained weapons expert with the Russian army.

The union says its workers were exercising their right to refuse dangerous work when they walked off the job. The union is an ongoing dispute with the Canadian Border Services Agency. Unlike their American counterparts, Canadian border guards do not carry guns but they have been pressing the agency for the right to arm themselves.

The agency maintains that border guards don't need to be armed. "In light of the fact that this individual... shot at a law enforcement officer, once again border agents are saying we're not putting our lives at risk in these kinds of situations," said Ron Moran, national president of the border guards union.

Late last month, union members at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, Ont., walked off the job after being asked to watch out for an armed and dangerous criminal police thought might attempt to enter Canada. Under the Canadian Labour Code, workers are allowed to refuse to work if they believe it's too dangerous. Moran said despite Kulakov's capture, the union will still seek a ruling from Labour Canada on whether border guards faced a risk.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Border Services Agency said they are not considering Saturday's walkout a pressure tactic. "The employees refused to work because they felt it was dangerous. That's their right," said Dominique McNeely. "It was a decision taken by the employees." However, Moran is using the walkout to raise the issue of unarmed border guards. Moran called the guards' inability to carry a gun a "tragedy waiting to happen."

"They get issued bullet-proof vests, so obviously there's a danger," said Moran. "They're dealing with individuals with nothing to lose." Moran cites a recent report by the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence that recognizes the union's safety concerns and the need for an armed presence at the border.

This is the fifth time since last year that border guards have walked off the job over the firearms issue.

Oh Canada indeed.

Update: Just found a mention of the walkout in the Detroit Free Press:
Following a disastrous evening commute Thursday, drivers should find crossing the Canadian border much smoother this morning after Canada Border Services Agency officers who walked off the job Thursday morning were ordered back to work late that night.....the result of a bid to pressure the government to allow armed border officers.
Late Thursday, Canadian labor affairs officials settled the dispute, improving traffic flow around 10 p.m. The labor officers ordered the border officers back to work, ruling that there was no danger....The officers said they should be armed because of dangers at the border , but Danny Yen, spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency's Windsor office, said the Canadian government believed the workers are adequately trained and equipped. They are armed with batons and pepper spray.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Separation of Church and State? Political endorsements from Detroits Churches

An Interesting post at Assymetrical Information entitled Political prosecution concerns the IRS investigation of a Church's pre-election speech that was in support of the Kerry Campaign in the last Presidential election.
That Churchman's speech has nothing on the clear political endoirsements and campaigning that occur in at least some of Detroit's Black Churches.

From the Detroit Free Press Article After nasty race, mayor seeks city, regional unity:

During a get-out-the-vote rally Sunday night at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ, Kilpatrick told hundreds of supporters: "This is our town, and our town is coming back. And the question is: Will Detroiters be involved in the comeback?"


"If you're going to go after one candidate, be fair; we're not going to stand by and let you knock one candidate and let the other off scot-free," Bishop Andrew Merritt of Straight Gate International Church said in his Sunday sermon. "We're not dumb and ignorant."

Merritt also said most reporters live outside Detroit and urged his congregation to ignore them.

"We cannot be intimidated by other folk who tell us how to run our community," he said. "I personally believe there's a major plan to discredit leadership."

And even more on point with clear unequivocal endorsements:
At Great Faith Ministries International on Sunday, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson told his congregation the mayor needed a second term.

"I believe that God put this man upon us, not just to start, but to finish," he said.

The Rev. Wendell Anthony of Fellowship Chapel used Parks' death to rally support for Kilpatrick last Sunday.

"If you stood in line for Rosa Parks, you can stand in line for Kwame Kilpatrick," he said. "The two go together."

So much for the Democrat's mantra of Separation of Church and State.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

MSU Student paper - Our Riot was not as bad as France's Riot.

So that must mean the East Lansing mini-riot was excusable, as it had not spread to multiple cities. In the Article Paris burning: April 2-3 disturbances nothing like massive riots in France, E.L. crowd wouldn't have grown close, the editorial opines that because the samll East lansing riot was nothing like the riots currently engulfing France, it was a no-big-deal spontaneous outburst where
those who participate aren't filled with anarchy but just want to rattle cages. We can attribute their actions to one too many drinks or a wish to celebrate.
So that apparently excuses rioting in the streets.

The writer than compares this "rattle cages" exuberance to the Paris riots:
Rioters in France, however, are full of tension and unrest.
The French working class, fed up with unemployment, racial tension and other societal issues, finally exploded.

The MSU student paper, in its student marxist-chic mode, as most University Student papers are wont to do, injects some leftist-speak into the rationale for the riots -- erroneously of course. The Statenews reports that
The French working class, fed up with unemployment, racial tension and other societal issues, finally exploded.
glossing over the fact that the rioters are Muslim and in between merily burning cars belonging to non-Muslims are shouting Allah Akbar, not singing the Internationale.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Michigan July 2005 Bar Results are Out!

The list of certified passers for the July 2005 Bar Exam in michigan has been released today. The results can be found At the State of Michigan Bar Website.

Congrats to all who passed!

All 4 members of the firm where I work who took the Bar in July passed. They're all very relieved and leaving the office early to celebrate and imbibe some adult beverages in excitement and relief.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Judge rules Detroit City Clerk violated elections laws

Detroit News: Judge says Currie violated election laws
City Clerk Jackie Currie is violating state law in the way she handles absentee ballots and supervises a team of election assistants who aid seniors and the infirm in voting, Wayne County Circuit Chief Judge Mary Beth Kelly ruled Thursday.

Kelly made those findings and others before barring Currie from using her election "ambassador" program in preparation for Tuesday's citywide vote for mayor, city council and clerk.

"Insufficient oversight presently exists," Kelly said, and "irregularities can and have occurred."
Currie's answer to this ruling?
Currie's attorney said her legal team will "up the ante" in federal court. "We feel all this is a violation of civil rights and the ability of black people to vote," said attorney Steve Reifman.
Predictable yet extremely sad. Stopping fraud and illegal voting proceedures is not "a violation of civil rights and the ability of black people to vote". Instead, it is safeguarding the right to vote and the value of those votes cast by blacks in Detroit, otherwise their right to vote is meaningless if their votes can be negated by fraud, ineptness or other wrongdoing at the Clerk's office.

One Question: Is anyone looking back to see if these same shannnigans and electoral fraud were going on during the last Presidential election? Were there enough votes fraudulently cast in Detroit against Bush that caused Michigan to "go" for Kerry? The difference in the election was 165,437 votes statewide. Note that
More than 300,000 names and addresses on Currie's qualified voter list are incorrect and include the deceased, people who no longer live in Detroit and abandoned and vacant properties...[and] Currie mails out 130,000 to 150,000 absentee ballot applications before every election.
The margin of deciding votes between Kerry and Bush in 2004 in Michigan is LESS than the number of ineligible voters on the list and slighlty above the number of absentee ballots Currie alone mailed out.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Blog causes Sony to issue patch to reveal its hidden files

Mark Russinovich's Blog Sysinternals posted a discovery that certain Sony CD's with copy protection schemes install a rootkit that hides its existence on your computer, and pointed out that the copy protection scheme was thus hidden from the user, continued to use system resources even while not in use, and could not be (essentially) uninstalled without disabling the CD drive and a lot of tweaking.

Sony, after this was posted has now announced that they offer a patch to reveal hidden copy-protection software. How aware users will be as to the existence of this patch is questionable, ad at least users will be able to see that the process exists.

Oh, and to uninstall the software, you still have to contact Sony's customer service (or if you're advanced enough, follow the process created by Mr. Russinovich).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

UN Security Council Punts on Syria

Instead of imposing sanctions if Syria fails to comply with the investigation into the assasination of Lebanon's former prime minister Hariri, accoring to the report Syria seeks summit to build support in the Detroit Free Press.

Unsurprisingly, the two members of the security council to refuse the imposition of sanctions were Russia and China. Given Syria is an old client of the former USSR and that China is interested in oil in the region, their refusal to impose sanctions was not surprising.
The resolution's prime sponsors [were] the United States, France and Britain.

To win unanimous approval, the three sponsors dropped a reference to sanctions should Syria not cooperate. China and Russia had refused to accept that language. . ..
The Security Council vote requires Syria to detain anyone the UN investigators consider a suspect and allow investigators to determine the location and conditions for questioning. It would freeze assets and impose a travel ban on suspects named by the investigative commission.

Syria is now trying to convene a meeting of the Arab League to provide it cover from the storm of its own making.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Poll on Bush's nomination of Alito

Hugh Hewitt has a Poll regarding Bush's nomination of 3rd Circuit Judge Alito to the Supreme Court.

My take: Judge Alito is a superior candidate. Definetly better than Miers and he will make a superb Supreme Court Justice.

More Election Antics at the Detroit Clerks Office

The Detroit News has a special report regarding some questionable activites by the Detroit's Clerk's office and the head of that Office, Betty Currie.

Included among the irregularities found are:
• At the Passion Caring Home for the Elderly, three people who voted absentee in the August primary could not name the mayor of Detroit or recall having voted when interviewed Thursday. Each was helped by Currie's election assistant in a private room. Of eight recent absentee ballots mailed to the home for the general election next month, seven of the ballot recipients have been declared legally incapacitated by Wayne County Probate Court judges and suffer from dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

• People who were mailed absentee voter applications by Currie's office and later voted by absentee ballot have voter registration addresses of two long-abandoned nursing homes, the LaSalle Nursing Home on West Grand Boulevard and the Woodward Nursing Center.

• In one case, Joseph Koziara voted by absentee ballot. His application for the ballot was addressed to his registered voting address, 3456 Martin, a building that was demolished in 2002 and remains a vacant lot, according to city records. Currie's office has addressed ballot applications to demolished and vacant buildings. In one case, 34 applications were sent to a juvenile detention center for teenagers that need to be hospitalized.

• Two people in unrelated civil cases filed against Currie have given sworn statements that they witnessed Currie's workers filling out empty absentee ballots after the polls had closed. One of the cases is pending. In the other, a judge ruled that there wasn't enough evidence to invalidate the election in question.

• In a 2003 race between Cheryl Cushingberry and Keith Williams for the Wayne County Commission, a fire broke out in the Detroit clerk's counting room for absentee ballots. When people were allowed back in, a recount was impossible because ballot boxes and results had been tampered with, according to court records. Cushingberry later challenged the results, alleging absentee votes had been manipulated.

In addition, Detroit's absentee voting rate is over 30%, the national average for absentees is 14%. The obvious potential for fraud, if not actual fraud is clear.

Currie's response to the allegations of impropriety, not to mention outright fraud:
""Prove it," Currie said. "P-R-O-V-E.""

Hardly reassuring.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Coin of the Month - A Bronze of Diadumenian

This bronze coin of the later Roman Emperor Diadumenian (Emperor only for a short period in AD 218), struck in the city of Nicopolis in Moesia Inferior in AD 218 is of interest not only to coin collectors but also to those interested in the history of medicine.

The Coin, on its reverse features Aesculapius, the patron deity of medicine. That would make this coin a nice gift not only for a collector of coins but also for the doctor in the family (when else can you give someone an ancient artifact that relates to their profession?)

The coin is selling for $200 at Amphora Coins.

Diadumenian only lasted less than one year as Emperor before he both he and his father, the Emperor Macrinus were killed by the supporters of Elagabalus. Diadumenian suffered a wound even Aescalapius could not cure - his head was cut off and presented to Elagabalus.

Michigan Friends of the IDF - Dinner Meeting with Maj. Gen A.Z.

I attended the Michigan Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces Gala Dinner last night. The dinner honored the great contributions of Asa and Sara Shapiro to Israel and also to the Detroit area. The meeting opened with the Anthems of both the USA and Israel and a prayer for the safety of the soldiers of the United States and Israel now in harm's way in the current conflict.

The Michigan Friends of the IDF raises money to provide recreational facilities for soldiers, care kits, University Scholarships, and items for health care for wounded IDF members.

The Intelligence Briefing

Attending the meeting was Major General A.Z., head of Israel's military intelligence (I will identify active Israeli soldiers attending MIDF events only by their initials on this blog.).

Maj. Gen. A.Z. provided us with an informative briefing on the current state of the conflict in the middle East with the following highlights:

1. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are attempting to acquire what they consider to be balance-breaking weapons: Surface to Air missiles, Anti-Tank Missiles, Katyusha rockets, and other rockets with a greater range than their indigenously produced Kassam rockets in order to tip the current balance of power between Israel and the PA.

2. The PA and Hamas are using the truce/ceasefire as a Hudna and are using the relative operational pause to acquire more weapons and plan more attacks on Israel.

3. Iran is providing nearly 100% of the 100 million dollar budget for Hizb'allah terrorist group.

4. Iran is providing Palestinian Islamic Jihad with $12 million dollars per year for their terrorist activities.

Maj Gen A.Z. also showed the audience footage from the taking of the Karine-A, the ship that was attempting to bring a huge load of weapons, including anti-tank missiles to the Port of Gaza from Iran. The footage shows Israeli Naval Commandos stealthily boarding the freighter and their discovery of the huge cache of weapons on board. The General pointed out that such activities require good Intelligence- divining the enemy's intentions, finding when and where the enemy will act, and arranging to disrupt the enemy's plans.

Maj Gen A.Z. pointed out that over 175 attacks last year were prevented by solid intelligence work and the close cooperation between the intelligence units and the operational units that successfully intercepted the terrorists' plans.

Briefing from the Operational Side

In addition to the General, we also had a presentation by Lt. E.G of the Paratroop Brigade. The presentation included video footage of a raid by the Lt's company that successfully captured a terrorist in Balata, along with a cache of explosives and weapons. Ominously, included amongst the items captured was a family photo album that depicted even the youngest children of the family dressed in military fatigues and holding automatic weapons.

The evening was a great success and helped raise money for America's greatest ally in the Middle East and for the soldiers involved in the War on Terror.

To Contribute to the Friends of the IDF go to the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces Webpage

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers Withdraws

Its Confirmed, Miers is withdrawing her nomination as a Supreme Court Justice.
from Foxnews:Harriet Miers (search) withdrew her nomination to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of strong criticism from President Bush's most conservative supporters who say she doesn't have the qualifications or experience necessary to serve on the nation's highest court.

Miers, who President Bush had nominated in the beginning of the month to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, notified Bush on Wednesday night about her decision and delivered a letter to him dated Thursday. In her letter, she blamed her withdrawal on Senate demands for release of internal White House documents in advance of her confirmation hearings.
Now to see if her original nomination was a jellyfish decision or a brilliant Rope-A-Dope. Stay tuned, the next nominee will be telling.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Detroit City Clerk's Election Woes - Now with Absentee "helpers"

As if Detroit City Clerk's refusal to comply with a Court order requiring her to cease the unsolicited sending of absentee ballots was not enough, a new issue regarding absentee voter "helpers" has emerged:

In the Detroit Free Press ANOTHER CURRIE CASE: Judge limits helpers for absentee voters
the Freep reports:
A judge ordered Tuesday that Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie halt the sending of so-called ambassadors to group homes -- unless requested -- to help people with absentee voter ballots.

The ruling by Wayne County Chief Circuit Judge Mary Beth Kelly came after allegations that 30 to 40 ambassadors from the clerk's office have for years showed up unsolicited at senior centers, nursing homes and similar places to help people complete absentee ballots.

Lawyer Steven Wasinger even alleged that the ambassadors fill out ballots for senior citizens, which is illegal, and collect ballots from people who are not registered to vote.
Hmm, can anyone else see the potential for massive voter fraud with "helpers" completing ballots for aged people in senior and nursing homes?

It should be noted this is not a new issue:
he judge has also appointed two monitors to investigate why Currie mailed out the applications and whether her office tampered with absentee ballots during the Aug. 2 primary election.

One wonders, indeed fears, how long this has been going on, and indeed, why the court is not doing a even farther-reaching review of the Detroit City Clerk's election practices.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Meanwhile in Detroit Racial Bias in Hiring and Promotion Continues

At the same time as Rosa Parks, the heroine who fough segregation and racial discriimination, whose death is being mourned today, in Detroit, hiring and promotion in the police Department is the subject of a lawsuit alleging the promotion decisions are based upon race:
Police sued; race bias alleged.Detroit commander says he was passed over for promotions and was demoted because he is white.
Cmdr. Craig W. Schwartz, a well-known officer who headed investigations of homicides and other serious crimes, sued the city, department and the chief in U.S. District Court in Detroit Monday, claiming he was repeatedly passed over for promotion to deputy chief and other executive positions "and, in fact, was demoted to a non-executive position of lieutenant solely on the basis of race."
Interestingly, in a related case, Judge
Edmunds quoted a sworn deposition by former Detroit Deputy Police Chief Pam Evans that Bully-Cummings, then an assistant chief, initially refused to approve a promotion because there were "too many white people in (the) bureau."

Edmunds ruling added: "In addition (Cliff) asserts that assistant chiefs (Walter) Shoulders and Bully-Cummings stated that the city of Detroit 'is all black.'"

Bully-Cummings is now the Chief of Police in Detroit.

RIP Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks, civil rights pioneer, dead at 92. Rosa Parks died in Detroit. the famous bus where she stood up for her rights is on display at the Henry Ford Greenfield Museum and is being draped in black to mourn her passing.

Certainly a true American Hero, Rosa Parks courageously fought against segregation, at no little risk to herself.

Amazing to think how far this country has moved in such a short time. From when a black woman had to "go to the back of the bus" to one being appointed Secretary of State..all within one lifetime.

Thank you Rosa Parks, for the courage to help end a great injustice.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

On Miers: Incredible Bush Rope-A-Dope or the best the Spineless can offer?

Patterico, based on nominee Harriet Miers less-than-stellar answers to her questionnaire is about to be stepping out on the window ledge, bemoaning that it seems that Miers doesn't even know some basic facts of Constitutional Law.

This nomination is either a brilliant Bush/Rovian Rope a dope or an example of more Republican spineless surrendering to the Democrats and the left. miers seems to have been put forward, with much fanfare, as the ultimate stealth candidate. However the more we learn of her, and little there is indeed to know so far, the less appealing she becomes. So how could this be a brilliant move?

If the Miers nomination is defeated or withdrawn, Bush can then put forward a known entity and a definite conservative such as Janice Rogers brown, or Priscilla Owen or many, many others (my personal faint hope is for either Kozinski,or Volokh or Reynolds, the Instapundit (Glenn would be the most productive member of the Court, given how he's the most prolific and productive pundit out there).

After all his moderate choice was defeated, now he can put forward someone worth fighting for.

Sadly this seems not to be the case. It seems that with the White House, Senate and House in Republican hands, they still cannot gather the spine to fight for their ideals. Can anyone imaginge the Democrats in a similar situation and not pushing firtheir first choices? The Republicans, it seems, still have no idea about the uses of political power for advancing their goals and seem to be using power now simply to stay in power.

Please let this be a rope-a-dope rather than a jellyfish.

For what its worth:
I oppose the Miers nomination.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Unbelievable - El Baradei and IAEA to share Nobel Prize

Talk about ironic awards:
IAEA, ElBaradei share Nobel Peace Prize.
Mohamed ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency that he heads won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

At least someone posed some opposition to this:
ElBaradei, who was reappointed last month to a third term, has had to contend with U.S. opposition to his tenure. Much of the opposition stemmed from Washington's perception he was being too soft on Iran for not declaring it in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. That stance blocked a U.S. bid to haul Tehran before the U.N. Security Council, where it could face possible sanctions, for more than two years.

And of course the award has been praised by other effective internationalists:
"I see it as an endorsement of the professional and independent role of the IAEA and of international verification in the field of nuclear power and nonproliferation," Blix said.

So this award was most likely a calculated slap-in-the-face by the prize committee to the USA.

Considering ElBaradei and the IAEA's stalling on taking any action against Iran, instead of their being given a Nobel Peace Prize for their "work" for nuclear disarmament, they should have be given an Enabler's Prize for Iran's Nuclear Program.

I hear the Enabler's Prize will be issued by Iran shortly.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Archaeological Team Discovers Underground Railway Site

In Vandalia, Michigan, archaeologists have uncovered artifacts that show that area is most likely location of the settlement known as Ramptown, where fugitive slave lived before the abolition of slavery.

WMU team verifies fugitive slave site: Researchers submit final report offering evidence unearthed of legendary community near Vandalia.
For years, street banners and a state historical marker have touted Vandalia's history as a stop along the Underground Railroad.

It's estimated that 1,500 fugitive slaves arrived in Cass County seeking freedom. They were aided mostly by sympathetic Quakers and free blacks who risked imprisonment. It was illegal, even in free states, to help fugitive slaves.

Some left the county for Detroit or Canada. For the approximately 200 who stayed, the Quakers provided small plots of land in exchange for harvesting crops or clearing trees for farmland. Blacks lived in sharecropper-style cabins on the land, sometimes for years.

Within a few decades of the abolition of slavery, the structural remains of Ramptown no longer could be found. The location of the community, originally known as Young's Prairie, never appeared on any historical maps, and people with firsthand knowledge started dying out.

"Because this was a clandestine activity, it's been difficult to try to identify evidence of this," said Nassaney, an anthropology professor at Western Michigan . . . .Without doing any digging, the archaeologists found skeletons of farm animals, nails, horseshoes, and pieces of pottery, glass and brick. Because the sites didn't coincide with the locations of residences on maps from the mid-1800s, and using written and oral accounts of the area's history, the team concluded that Ramptown residents had occupied the sites.

Nassaney said he's glad the artifacts were found when they were because it's hard to say how much longer they might have survived above ground, exposed to the elements.
Note that the artifacts the researchers have recovered were all above ground for all this time, and yet no one had known for certain that this was a former area of settlement for escaped slaves. Amazing the new discoveries one can make for even very recent historical events. Who knows how many other lost settlements in North America alone await discovery?

Scientists Manufacture the 1918 Flu Virus

From the Detroit News:
Scientists have made from scratch the Spanish flu virus that killed as many as 50 million people in 1918, the first time an infectious agent behind a historic pandemic has ever been reconstructed.

Why did they do it? Researchers say it may help them better understand -- and develop defenses against -- the threat of a future worldwide epidemic from bird flu.

"The effort to understand what happened in 1918 has taken on a new urgency," said Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger of the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, who led the team.

The public health risk of resurrecting the virus is minimal, U.S. health officials said. People around the world developed immunity to the deadly 1918 virus after the pandemic, and a certain degree of immunity is believed to persist today.

The viral recreation, announced Wednesday, is detailed in the journal Science.

About 10 vials of virus were created, each containing about 10 million infectious virus particles, Tumpey said.
I believe the statement "People around the world developed immunity to the deadly 1918 virus after the pandemic, and a certain degree of immunity is believed to persist today" is far less reasuring than it sounds. How many people are alive today who survived the 1918 pandemic? Further it is highly unlikely that these survivors passed their acquired immunity on to their progeny.

The real protection from this recreated virus will not be this supposed immunity but the security that is surrounding these 10 vials. Hopefully these samples are kept well-secured in secure laboratories and not shipped around the county or left where people can be exposed to them or where unauthorized persons can access them.

It's certainly a great and impressive step for science and it will hopefully lead to better protection from the various influenza virii.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Serenity makes $10 in First Weekend

Via Instapundit:
SERENITY was number two in the box-office rankings this weekend.

The site Instapundit links to, Cinematical states that
Second place went to Joss Whedon's Serenity, which earned a $10.1 million on about 2,200 screens.
Not a bad start.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Army would give Detroit an APC for Free

As I mentioned in In The Midst of Layoffs, Detroit Police Consider Buying A $743K APC , Detroit should look for a surplus armored vehiucle rather than spending almost three quarters of a million dollars for a shiny new one with all the bells and whistles.

Indeed they could get a surplus armored vehicle for - FREE.
From the Detroit News:
Warren-based TACOM, the U.S. Army's Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, in June 2004 doled out, free, three armored personnel carriers to the Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County sheriff departments. The departments are required to periodically report back to TACOM on the reliability of the technology used in the vehicle, which can carry up to 13 officers, and perform any needed maintenance.

The Detroit Police Department has not requested a free Army tank (emphasis added), but would likely be a good candidate to receive one, said Don Jarosz, deputy public affairs officer for TACOM. The Army tanks can cost as much as $475,000.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pretty Funny Fish Story

Literal Barrage links to a very humorous posting over at Slashdot regarding the claimed escaper of Navy Dolphins from New Orleans.
Sound a little fishy to me.

What could be the porpoise of arming these creatures?

Before we starting carping on the ineptitude of our navy, I think we should more carefully exsalmon the situation - they may not be solely at fault. Perhaps Katrina is just a red herring here, and these killer dolphins have been floundering around for months. Maybe some deranged fool let them loose just for the halibut. Whoever is responsible should have their head on a pike.
To which I could only reply: Frankly my dear scallop, I don't give a clam who is responsible. Its a crappie situation and the story just smelts fishy to me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Dueling Charge in Michigan Today

From the Macomb Daily Cousins accused of 'dueling'.

Two Mount Clemens male cousins will be charged with the rarely implemented charge -- "dueling -- engaging in/issuing challenge" under state law -- for a fight Monday afternoon outside their home in which one of them suffered a stab wound to the stomach.

The offense, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, was penned in 1846.

"The 1800s are alive and well in Mount Clemens," quipped Dean Alan, chief of the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office warrants division, which approved the warrant Tuesday. "All we need are the mineral baths."

Alan said he believes it's the first time the charge has been rendered in Macomb, although Sheriff Mark Hackel said he vaguely recalls a possible dueling charge many years ago.

. . .

Hackel said he wholeheartedly supports the unusual charge. In the incident, the two men who reside in the same home on Walnut Street with other relatives disagreed over a $30 debt. Wielding a knife, the older cousin confronted the younger cousin, who retrieved a knife and accepted the challenge, the sheriff said.

Methinks alcohol or some other substance, in addition to stupidity was possibly involved

Feature Coin - A Solidus of Theodosius II

This coin is a gold Solidus weighing 4.37 grams of the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II.

on the Obverse of the coin, a Helmeted and cuirassed bust of the Emperor is facing front, holding spear and shield.

On the Reverse: VIRTEXERCRO, Emperor stands facing, head left, holding Barbarian. Struck in Constantinople in 441 AD. The reverse alludes to the Emperor's military virtues, an important propaganda device for retaining the loyalty of the army and to keep the citizens assured that the Emperor would keep the barbarian hordes in check.

The coin is in Extremely Fine condition.

Theodosius II is mostly known today as being the issuer of the Theodosian Code -- the Codex Theodosianus in 438 CE. After being issued in the East it was adopted by the Emperor of the West, Valentinian III. The Codex codified the Roman Law from Constantine forward and is still a strong influence on modern Civil Law that is practiced in much of Europe, Quebec and Louisiana (as opposed to common law) even today. A copy of the Theodosian Code can be found in the original Latin online. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find an available a full English translation on the web. The code provides a wealth of information for the social and legal historian for the development of laws and the society in which the code was formed. The code was later superceded by the Justinian Code.

This impressive solidus is for sale at Amphora Coins for $750.00.

A Shekel Trifecta - Coins, Law and Commentary all in one post!

In The Midst of Layoffs, Detroit Police Consider Buying A $743K APC

While in the process of laying off 150 Police officers due to budget constraints in a city that is precariously getting closer to falling into a receivership, the Detroit Police is planning to use $743,000 in drug forfeiture money to buy an Urban Assault Vehicle.

Wrongly identified by the Detroit News in the article caption as a "Tank", this
urban assault vehicle ... can traverse rivers, is resistant to landmines and is equipped with periscopes.

There are not any known minefields in Detroit - at least not literally, and really not that many water obstacles either, especially on an urban drug raid, unless the druggies are doing new home makeovers with moats.

The Detroit City Council is expected today to approve purchasing "The Commander" general-purpose vehicle for use in executing drug raids. It also could be used in case of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.

Does the City really need to spend almost 3/4 of a million dollars on a new assault vehicle when there are plenty of surplus armored personnel carriers that can be purchased for much, much less?

In light of laying off officers in a high-crime city, The Detroit Police would be better off not buying the Rolls Royce of assault vehicles and instead buying some surplus armor and keeping more Police on the Street.

Serenity- It's Gorram Good

First, Many Thanks to Universal Pictures and Grace Hill Media for arranging for Bloggers to attend the preview of Serenity.

In fact, Grace Hill Media even had a reserved section of good seats in the theater for the reviewers. I saw the 7:00 pm preview screening at the Uptown Palladium in Birmingham, Michigan (the Detroit location). In addition to a few Bloggers, the theater was almost full with people who had been given some preview passes.

First, if you’re a Firefly fan, Serenity will not disappoint. All the panache, humor, action and rich characters that made Firefly such a great series are present in the movie. The audience laughed and got the jokes and there was even some cheering in the theater when the Serenity crew did something particularly amazing (Sorry, I won’t spoil it for you – go see the movie for yourself to find out why).

If you’ve never seen Firefly, fear not. My wife, who had never seen Firefly, and is not a sci-fi fan did enjoy the movie. She did not expect some of the violence, especially the startling flashback action during the Reaver scenes. Other than that, she did enjoy it and had no trouble understanding the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where and Why) of the movie, and the movie flawlessly works in elements from the series and immerses the viewer in the Firefly universe. My wife did comment that the movie could have used a bit more romance and a little less of the the quick-flash scens but otherwise she enjoyed the movie.

There were only two downsides to the movie were these:

One, the sound seemed to be ill-mixed and overly loud. At times the music or action sounds were very very loud, often making the voices hard to hear. This may have been due to the theaters sound settings however.

The only other downside to the film is that, as a Firefly fan, a certain character(s) (I’ll not spoil it by saying who) is going to die in the film, which may make transitioning the movie back to a television series difficult. Now the movie may be used as an “end” and the series may take up where Firefly left off, or it could potentially progress from this point in a new direction as not all threads were tidily cleaned up, leaving room for many great adventures to come. This does not detract from the quality of the movie in any way, but certainly may shock some of the Firefly fans out there.

Serenity has it all – strong characters, drama, suspense, an excellent plot, moral dilemmas and moral answers, humor and action. Oh yes, If you’ve seen Firefly and remember River saying “No power in the ‘verse can stop me” – You’ll see in this film that she was right. River rocks.

Go see Serenity, it will not disappoint either the Firefly die hard or those who have yet to enjoy the experience.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tomb of Odysseus Possibly Found

Intersetng if the identification is correct, the tomb is near a "small village of Poros on the southeast coast of Kefalonia".

Basing the identification on finding a broach in the tomb match a description in Homer's Odyseey is tempting, but I'd like to see more proof, including some further archeological date comnfirmation and further analysis of the find.

Still, this would be an amazing find if it checks out. Regardless of whether it is Odysseus or not, finding an ancient burial complex is a significant discovery.

Full article reporting the find here: Archeologists make historic discovery

Monday, September 26, 2005

Serenity The Movie Post 1

I've been confirmed as a blogger/reviewer to blog on the new Movie Serenity and will be seeing it on Tuesday.

Serenity is set in the Firefly universe with the same cast and characters. As Firefly was fantastic, I expect Serenity to be at least as good. The trailer for the movie if its any indication, makes me beleive the movie will more than live up to the series and hopefully spur the continutation of the series onto Television.

Synopsis of Serenity:
Joss Whedon, the OscarR - and Emmy - nominated writer/director
responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE,
ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a
small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature
film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain
Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic
civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and
transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic
crew who are the closest thing he has left to family -squabbling,
insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

For more info on the film see the Serenity The Movie Site, which has artwork, trailers and more.

You can also purchase the Firefly DVD set, which has the entire first season of Firefly, including episodes that sadly never aired, on or rent the series from Netflix

I'll have my review of the film up shortly after I've seen it.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Call the Police and be Sued by Them

In a strange decision nullifying much of the protection of the "firemen's rule" (which prevents Firemen and Police from suing the person seeking help for injuries they receive while responding to assist that person.

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a bar calling for police to help eject a drunk patron can be sued under the Dram Shop rule for injuries to the officers that are casued when they try to eject the person.

As the Detroit News in its article "Unwise ruling invites cops to sue citizens" correctly points out:
There are several practical problems with the ruling and the weakening of the firefighters rule. It creates an incentive for bar owners not to call the police to deal with dangerous patrons, which puts everyone else in the bar at risk. By limiting the firefighters rule, it invites more lawsuits that may make homeowners and other property owners liable to suit for calling the police or fire departments, which would make them hesitate to do so.
Even worse the Detroit news points out that this ruling
creates an unhealthy, uneven relationship between the people and their government. Under the governmental immunity rule, citizens are not allowed to sue the government for its mistakes, but now government employees can sue citizens for injuries the employees suffer in the course of their official duties. There's something wrong with this picture.

Exactly so. As the Detroit News recommends, the Michigan Supreme Court should reverse this flawed decision.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Moores Calumnious Letter on Katrina

I received this from someone who is an otherwise reasonable and smart individual who sadly seems to be suffering from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome). While I do not find the Federal Government's response to this disaster to be perfect (Its the Federal Government people, who really expects it to respond perfectly to anything?), the calumnies and falsehoods in Mr. Moore's letter, so keeping in his typical style need to be addressed.

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush:

That's President Bush to you, regardless of how you may feel about the man, at least respect the office. And yes, While President, Clinton should have likewise been addressed as President Clinton.

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

How about over 300 buses, property of new Orleans and under the control of the Mayor that instead of being used in the evacuation and could have evacuated approximately 14,000 people in one trip, certainly more than helicopters could. Instead these buses were left in the New orleans Motor pool to become flooded and ruined. The mayor did not even follow New orleans disaster plan and use the buses, instead he left them there to rot. (Hat tip Junkyard Blog)

Of course, you don't want to mention the buses because it could be hard to blame that on the President now wouldn't it. Sorry you can return to your regularly scheduled Bush-bashing now.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?

Obviously Moore knows little of how the Constitution and our Federal system of Government works...did he go to public school in Flint or something? The Louisana National Gurad are under the command of -- yes you guessed it --..the Louisiana Governor!

Only about 350 of Louisiana’s National Guardsmen are in Iraq and those that are are part of an actual combat brigade. That left Govenor Blanco 8,000 people . Where is your citicism of her? Maybe you would like to ask Ms. Blanco why she hesitiated for two days?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to
ignore and smear. You sure showed her!

Nevermind that the feds responded in force within 3 days. It took 9 days to respond to Hurricane Andrew, so Bush has sped up the federal response by 300%. Nermind that Bush had already declared a state of emergency before the sotrm hit. heck, nevermind that it was the mayor's delay in declaring an evacuation and the Governor's delay in calling for aid and federal asssitance that compounded the problem. nevermind that the governor has still ot ceeded fuill authority over to the Federal government to manage the crisis.

I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?

Mind you, if he rushed in you would have criticised himm for grandstanding. oh wait, you did...

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!

Really a lack of money - Not according to the Washington Post In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.

Much of that Louisiana money was spent to try to keep low-lying New Orleans dry. But hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Despite a series of independent investigations criticizing Army Corps construction projects as wasteful pork-barrel spending, Louisiana's representatives have kept bringing home the bacon. . . .

Pam Dashiell, president of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, remembers holding a protest against the lock four years ago -- right where the levee broke Aug. 30. Now she's holed up with her family in a St. Louis hotel, and her neighborhood is underwater. "Our politicians never cared half as much about protecting us as they cared about pork," Dashiell said.

Sorry you can return to your regularly scheduled Bush-bashing now.

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.
Yes, and if he landed there you would have castigated him for Grandstanding, just as you are now castigating him for visitng New York after 9/11. You really can't have it both ways.

There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.

Never mind that the Director of the US National Hurricane CenterDirector of the US National Hurricane Center "uunder questioning by members of a US Senate subcommittee, he shrugged off suggestions that global warming played a role.

Mr Mayfield said the increased activity was a natural cycle in the Atlantic Ocean that fluctuated every 25 to 40 years. warned the nation yesterday.

Never mind, keep to your Kyoto and global warming chicken little fantasies and return to your Bush bashing.

No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING
-- to do with this!

Lets of course not mention the fact that it was the Lousiana Government (hat tip wuzzademthat prevented the Red Cross from entering New Orleans and providing relief supplies and food and water to the Superdome. Should we say the Democrat Governor of Louisiana prevented supllies from getting there because of race?

Let's also not forget to mention that the Federal Response had the same dealys as that under the Clinton Administration in dealing with Hurricane Andrew...and Katrina was a much worse storm affecting a much greater area. The Response is flawed, but to blame it on racism is missing the simple answer of everyday bureaucratic incompetence and the impossibility of a centralized response to a disaster stretching over a land area the size of the United Kingdom.

You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.


Michael Moore

Saturday, July 16, 2005

New discovery of ancient Jewish scroll fragments

Detroit news: Bedouin leads archaeologist to fragments of biblical scroll.

The two thousand year old fragments were found by a bedouin in
Nachal Arugot, a canyon near the Dead Sea where Jews hid from the Romans in the second century

The find is interesting not for its content but for the fact that it indicates that more material may yet be found in the area:
"No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert" in decades, Eshel said. "The common belief has been that there is nothing left to find there."

Now, he said, scholars may be spurred on to further excavations.

Archaeologist and Bible scholar Steven Pfann said he had not seen the fragments. If authenticated, they would "in general not be doing more than confirming the character of the material that we have from the southern part of the Judean wilderness up until today."

But "what's interesting and exciting is that this is a new discovery," Pfann added. "This is the first time we've seen anything from the south since the 1960s."
It is truly amazing how much has in fact survived, and how much has remained still hidden and awaiting discovery.

Talk about the Fox guarding the Chicken Coop

As reported at , a baggage security screener of arabic descent (sub gens palestinianus) was terminated from his position at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Now, before you jumpt to a conclusdion that he was fired due to racial profiling, look at what he was doing in his spare time:

When Bassam Khalaf raps, he's the Arabic Assassin. His unreleased CD, "Terror Alert," includes rhymes about flying a plane into a building and descriptions of himself as a "crazy, suicidal Arabic ... equipped with bombs". . . .An Internet search of Khalaf's name brings up Web sites that feature his obscene, violent and misogynistic raps that threaten to fly a plane into a building on Sept. 11, 2005."

Hat Tip: Clayton Cramer

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Israeli Doctor Aided Victims of London Blast

The Jerusalem Post Reports that an Emergency Surgeon from the Tel Aviv Medical Center was vacationing in London at the time of the blasts.

Dr. Benny Meilik immediately entered the subway station to help and treated multiple victims from the Piccadilly Line eastbound train.

Nice juxtaposition: Visiting Israeli immediately moves in to save lives and treat the injured, while visiting or resident Islamists cause the deaths and injuries.

Terrorist attacks in Israel

In Israel today there were two seperate terrorist attacks.

1. A Suicide Bomber attacked a group of teenagers outside the Netanya Mall, killing at least two.

2. An attempted car bombing of a town near Netanya, Shavei Shomron, that apparently exploded near the gates of the town.

The IDF suspects that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the attacks.

Hat tip Little Green Footballs

Monday, July 11, 2005

67 animals test negative for mad cow... but the 68th

67 animals test negative for mad cow

WASHINGTON -- Sixty-seven cows culled from the herd of an animal infected with mad cow disease have tested negative for the disease, the Agriculture Department said Sunday. Testing was conducted on two groups removed from the herd at an undisclosed ranch in Texas; 29 cows were tested Wednesday, 38 Friday. Results released Sunday on the second group were negative, the same finding the department had announced Saturday for the initial test group.
From The Detroit News

However, it is unconfirmed and wholly unreported that when the 68th cow was tested it said "I'm not a cow, I'm a Duck!"

London and Dearborn

As reported in The Detorit News Story London's inability to halt terrorists worries allies

Radical members of London's large Muslim population have been linked to a series of plots, including the Sept. 11 attacks, the attempted shoe-bombing of a transatlantic flight to Miami in December 2001 and last year's deadly train bombings in Madrid, Spain.

The article also reports on the folly of paying the danegeld:
Abu Hamza al Masri, who openly celebrated the destruction of the World Trade Center and preached hatred of the West from the Finsbury Park mosque -- all while living on social welfare payments.
Interestingly, this tolerance seems to have been official British policy:
Before last week, Britain's accommodation of radical Muslims had been seen by some as a source of protection -- a belief that radical imams would not encourage violence against a country that allowed them to live in peace.
This tolerance of the islamists in their midst, and even the generous dole payments given to them certainly did not provide the British with any security from this threat.
Britain's approximately 2 million Muslims represent 4 percent of the country's population. The vast majority live in its capital city, earning it the derisive nickname Londonistan. Only a small fraction of the nation's Muslims are considered radical, but even so, British counter-terrorism officials say the number of al-Qaida sympathizers exceeds 10,000.
This does not bode well for Britain, and the similarly large concentration of Islamists in the Detroit area should certainly raise an alarm as we contend with our very own "Dearbornistan", especially with Detroit hosting both the All-Star game and the Superbowl.

Detroit Hosts Baseball's All-Star game

The City of Detroit is hosting the 2005 All Star Game.

As the Detroit news reports in Spotlight now shines on Detroit: All-Star Game gives city a chance to impress visitors, pave a smooth road to the Super Bowl.

So far events have gone smoothly, and the residents of Detroit have benefittted as the game has been a prod on the City to get street lighting repaired and to get the immediate area around the game cleaned up to make it look good for the tourists.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A good resource on the London Attacks

Check out the blog: London news and things of muse for excellent coverage and links to further coverage on the attack.

London Blasts - The work of the ROP

As suspected,Islamic Terorrists have claimed responsibility for the blast.
A group calling itself "The Secret Organization of Al Qaeda in Europe" has posted a claim of responsibility for the series of blasts in London,
Current reports have the death toll at 33 dead, 350 injured.

Canada as a terrorist haven

An interesting report that at least 50 terror groups have a presence established in Canada...including Al Qaeda, The PLO's Force 17, Hamas and Hizballah.

This shouldn't be too much of a surprise, because after being a haven for the Nazis, for so long and as Canada has continued to be one for the Nazis, becoming a haven for Islamists can't be too much of a reach.

Terrorist attack on London Transportation System

Reports of a simultaneous attack on London Subway stations and buses have been reported by various sources.

AP Story here

So far at least two are reported dead and hundreds wounded, according to a London Times reporter I overheard on the news today driving in to work. Interestingly, NPR was actually saying the "T word" as in terrorist to describe the perpetrators behind these attacks rather than using "militant" as the typical way to describe the attackers.

My guess is we'll find its a jihad-related group that is responsible.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Italian Judge Orders Arrest of 13 CIA Agents

As reported by the Associated press in Italy Judge (sic) orders Arrest of 13 CIA agents
An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 CIA agents for allegedly helping deport an imam to Egypt as part of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts, an Italian official familiar with the investigation said Friday.

Of course, this is not your everyday ROP imam walking the streets of Italy:
Omar was believed to have fought with jihadists in Afghanistan and Bosnia, and prosecutors were seeking evidence against him before his disappearance, according to a report last year in La Repubblica newspaper, which cited intelligence officials.

Nice to see even the Associated Press is no longer operating under the pretense that "jihad" is merely a peaceful internal struggle and "jihadists" are merely the peaceful internal strugglers. Alternatively this was a slip in a desperate manuever to avoid labelling Omar with the dreaded appellation of "terrorist".

Friday, May 06, 2005

Benton Harbor School bans the Band from Playing Louie Louie

Alleging that the lyrics to the song Louie Louie are rauncy, the Superintendent of Benton Harbor Schools in Michigan has banned the School Band from playing it during the benton harbor Blossom time Festival.

As reported in the Detroit Free Press article School band song now a banned song
Benton Harbor Superintendent Paula Dawning cited the song's allegedly raunchy lyrics in ordering the McCord Middle School band not to perform it in Saturday's Grand Floral Parade, held as part of the Blossomtime Festival.

In a letter sent home with McCord students, Dawning said "Louie Louie" was not appropriate for Benton Harbor students to play while representing the district -- even though the marching band wasn't going to sing it. (bold added)
In fact the article points out the song was even investigated by the FBI:
the FBI spent two years investigating the lyrics before declaring they not only were not obscene but also were "unintelligible at any speed."
Yes, TWO YEARS spent investigating a song.

The Detroit Free Press has reproduced the commonly accepted version of the lyrics to the song.

Methinks the Superintendent is whistling the wrong tune on this one.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Proposal to Reform Michigan's Alcohol Sales Law

Michigan Senator Gilda Jacobs (D) has introduced legislation to end Michigan's antiquted and riddiculous bans on the sale of alcohol on Sunday mornings and on Christmas Day.

As reported in the Detroit Free Press article Senator proposes altering alcohol sales law,
Democratic Sen. Gilda Jacobs of Huntington Woods introduced legislation Tuesday that would allow alcohol sales between 7 a.m. and noon on Sundays, and also remove the Christmas Day ban.

"Individuals can make their own decisions," Jacobs said. "It's OK to drink Saturday morning and go to the store but not OK on Sunday morning? Sunday should really be no different than Saturday."

Jacobs said the main reason for the bill is convenience -- both for consumers and retailers -- but she noted that not everyone has the Sabbath on Sunday. She said society now is more diverse.
Coming from Sen. Jacobs, the assertion that "Individuals can make their own decisions," is most refreshing, given her clear anti-choice voting record regarding permitting the citizens of Michigan to make their own decisions regarding gun possession and ownership, but, it is a nice start to hear such language from a typically leftward leaning Democrat.

To show that idiocy is not restricted to the Democrat side of the aisle alone, some Republicans are in favor of keeping this ban for such specious reasons as:
"Our predecessors in the Legislature going back to 1933 believed it was important enough to pass this ban," Sanborn said. "The good senator would have a challenge to convince senators it's something we should do."
Ah, the old, "if it was good enough in 1933 its good enough for now". Well Senator Sandborn, prior to 1933 it was not felt to be needed, so shouldn't we respect our even earlier predecessors and not follow the elders of 1933?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Breakfast with the Governor

The Oakland County Bar Association's First Tuesday Breakfast had Michigan's Governor Jennifer Granholm as its keynote speaker.

Gov. Granholm gave a very dynamic speech and spoke about her plans to deal with Michigan's current economic woes.

These plans include:
a) Reductions in the Simple Business Tax (SBT) to encourage job development. The change would result in different tax rates depending on the kind of business was paying the tax.

b) Issuance of $2 Billion (with a B) in bonds for infrastructure improvement, including $400 million in road repair funds, and incentives to companies to lcate in Michigan.

c) Changing the MEAP scholarships from a Merit based scholarship, as it leaves out too many students, to a scholarship to any student who lasts through two years of college (including community college) in the amoun of $4000.

Gov. Granholm is a very smart, dynamic speaker, and she has both a strong personality and a great deal of charisma. I can certainly see her running for a seat in the US Senate for the Democrats when her governorship ends.

Personally, I think her plans have quite a few flaws.

For SBT reform, if one wants to make it more attractive for business to locate here, simply scrap the entire antiquated SBT rather then reducing it incrementally and let the resulting economic growth result in greater revenue genration from other already existing taxes.

For the Bond plan, $400 million in road repair is a good start. But, the Governor's fix-it-first-before-building-new-roads plan is flawed in that it does not improve congrestion, cause more congestion due to the closure of lanes during repairs and then increases the wear and tear on existing roads while others are being fixed. In addition this increase in debt now may make borrowing harder later, and lead to increased taxes in the future...but on the other hand Michigan is in pretty bad shapenow and the bond revenue, if spent wisely, may prove to be both a shot-in-the-arm to the economy and hopefully improve Michigan's decaying infrastructure.

The problem with the "$4000 for everyone education" plan is that undoubtedly college tuition prices will rise in response to this new source of money being promised to the students. Additionally, this "free" money may cause many who are neither capable nor ready to handle college to go, thereby reducing spots and resources for those who are ready.

These issues aside, Gov. Granholm is a very effective politician and I'm quite sure that she will be a force to be reckoned with in Michigan politics for some time to come.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Saving Detroit with a Sin Tax on Fast Food

As part of Mayor Kilpatrick's budget slashing attempts to reduce Detroit's mammoth $300 million deficit, the Mayor is proposing a 2% tax on Fast Food sales.

This proposal will likely earn him kudos from such sources as the Center for Science in the Public Interest and other groups that feel that Big Macs and the like are the roots of all evil, or at least obesity.

But for most people, the move is just one more transparant attempt to further tax the residents and visitors to the City of Detroit to support a bloated and expensive City Government that provides services so poorly that Detroit continues to loose population as people gather the werewithal to get out.

As reported in the Detroit News article, Terry Marshell a resident of Detroit wryly observed
How many cheeseburgers will it take to pay for the mayor's Navigator?" Marshell said.

Kilpatrick was recently embroiled in a controversy surrounding a Lincoln Navigator leased to the city for more than $24,000, allegedly for use by the mayor's wife.

"He's the hip-hop mayor, and he wants a 2 percent tax on cheeseburgers? It's not going to happen.

"People will remember this when it's time to vote," Marshell said.
How long it will take other cities to jump on this scheme as a way for raising revenue raising and pushing an agenda is unknown.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Detroit Free Press Doesn't Mind Voter Fraud

The Detroit Free Press Editorial is up in arms that the proposed Michigan legislation permitting early vpoting requires that those voting must show some form of government issued picture identification.

In Absentee Voting Drop ID requirement from bill expanding rights, the Freep bemonas such a requirment for the reasons that
While it's true that a huge majority of people have photo ID these days, there will always be some people who don't -- and they don't deserve to be disenfranchised no matter when or how they vote. For elderly people who no longer maintain a driver's license but still might choose this option over filling out an absentee ballot at home, it would be particularly insulting. For others, the $10 fee for a state personal identification card may be a burden and can amount to the equivalent of an illegal poll tax.

Wow, what a specious argument! The Elderly might be insulted by having to show ID, and being made to purchase such id could be an illegal poll tax. Nonesense.

Apparenlty the Freep concern for people without ID "don't deserve to be disenfranchised no matter when or how they vote" must extend to felons, ilegals and people voting multiple times in terms of when or how theyt might vote.

The right to vote is a precious right, a safeguard and basis for our system of govvernment and reserved for citizens and non-felons to use -- ONCE PER ELECTION. Surely the Detroit Free press ought to be in favor of this minimal requirement of picture identification, which helps protect this cherished right.

Detroit Police Car used to Rob Drivers

The City of Detroit has had an umarked Police Car either misplaced or stolen.

It has likely turned up being used by criminals to impersonate police.

As reported in the Detroit Free Press Article - Fake cops stop driver, leave with his wallet:

Detroit police officials are searching for a 2001 black Crown Victoria that may have been used in a Friday robbery.

Cops are paying special attention to this case: The missing vehicle is an unmarked police car.

Police spokesman James Tate said the vehicle, with the license plate 580X24, disappeared between March 16 and March 21 from its parking spot at . . . outside of Police Department headquarters.
Since then it has apparently been used by criminals to pull people over and steal their wallets. Not good. The public was finally informed about the theft of the car on Monday April 4, after the robbery on Friday.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Another Good Reason for private ownership of Antiquities

The article in Reason online titled Artifact: Idol Hour by Charles Paul Freund shows a picture of wooden statutes that have been restored after being damaged by the Taliban in 2001.
Part of a collection housed in the Kabul Museum, the wooden statues were badly damaged in 2001 on the orders of the Taliban regime. At the same time that the giant Bamiyan Buddhas were destroyed, the contents of the museum were reduced to rubble. A weeklong orgy of destruction in the museum involved thousands of ancient artifacts. Some of these objects had long been in private collections but were returned to Afghanistan in the 1970s.[emphasis added]

The items had been safe in private collections, but in the museum they became easy targets for destruction by the fundamentalist regime of the Taliban. Many have likely been destroyed beyond repair.

Yet another reason why all antiquities should certainly not be housed in government museums where they can be easily targeted for destruction, not to mention theft or defacement.

Unlike the Japanese-Americans, The Islamists in the US do pose a real threat to the US

Appropos the obituary of Mr. Korematsu, a Japanese American subject to exclusion during wartime for personally doing nothing wrong comes this story:
Jihad in America's Public Schools From Little Green Footballs:
Kifah Wael Jayyousi, arrested Sunday at an airport in Detroit, Michigan, was chief facilities director for public schools in Washington from 1999 to 2001. But in the years running up to that high-profile position, he supported “violent jihad” in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya and Somalia, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday....Jayyousi, a U.S. citizen originally from Jordan...

Unlike the Japanese, we have Arabs in the US, including citizens clearly supporting terrorism and jihad against the United States. Mr. Jayyousi is merely the latest in a great number of such. Considering that Korematsu is still on the books activitiesd such as those conducted by him and his ilk are not exactly the brightest course of action.

While exclusion and internment were reprehensbile when applied against the loyal Japanese Americans, at some point the American public may become less tolerant and demand such action against those who clearly are harmful and disloyal and represent a clear and present danger today.

Fred Korematsu dies

As reported in the Lansing State Journal, Fred Korematsu Dies at Age 86.

Korematsu was the titular appellant in Korematsu v. United States, the case which upheld the exclusion of Japanese and Japanese-Americans from the West Coast during World War II.

The Korematsu decision is still good law today.