Archive for February 13th, 2009

9/11 Widow Killed in Continental Airlines Commuter Plane Crash in Buffalo

Friday, February 13th, 2009

For those who haven’t heard, there was a terrible plane crash in Buffalo, New York. You may read about the plane crash here.

This tragedy has a very bizarre twist; one of the people killed on the flight was a widow of a 9/11 victim.

A Sept. 11 widow who lost her husband in the World Trade Center was among those who perished aboard a commuter flight that crashed into a house in Buffalo, N.Y.

Beverly Eckert of Stamford, Conn., whose husband Sean Rooney died in the 2001 attacks, was one of the 50 victims of the Continental Flight 3407 accident.

Her sister Sue Bourque was at the airport awaiting official confirmation that Eckert had been on board. Officials investigating the crash have not yet confirmed Eckert was among the 44 passengers killed Thursday night.

“We know she was on that plane,” Bourque told the Buffalo News, “and now she’s with him.”

Eckert and Rooney were high school sweethearts. She had continued to live in the couple’s home in Stamford after he died more than seven years ago.

She was flying to her hometown Thursday night when the plane crashed on approach to the Buffalo airport. She had planned to celebrate Rooney’s 58th birthday.

Original Link.

Three Kassams Strike Southern Israel

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Despite Hamas insisting that a Gaza truce announcement was imminent, terrorists in the territory controlled by the group fired three Kassam rockets at southern Israeli civilian areas early Friday morning.

One of the Kassams struck the Sderot area, while the other landed in the Eshkol region. The rockets hit open areas, causing no physical casualties or damage.

On Wednesday, Gaza terrorists fired three mortar shells at the Eshkol region, and the IAF responded by bombing a Hamas outpost in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza.

The army said Wednesday that over 40 rockets, mortar shells and Grad missiles had been fired at the South since both Israel and Hamas declared short-term cease-fires at the end of Operation Cast Lead in mid-January.

The IDF emphasized that it would continue to hold Hamas responsible for all projectiles fired from Gaza, regardless of which Palestinian terror group is launching them.

Original Link.

“Been There, Done That – Policy in the Middle East” by Victor Davis Hanson

Friday, February 13th, 2009

With much fanfare, President Barack Obama announced a new effort to end the endless Israeli-Palestinian struggle — by naming a brand-new Middle East envoy, former Sen. George Mitchell.

The announcement was underwhelming, to say the least. For 40 years, we’ve seen such serial envoys, communiqués and peace conferences — and the little that followed from them.

Can anyone distinguish Annapolis, Beirut, Camp David, Geneva, Madrid, Oslo, Taba or Wye River — and all the other places that hosted much-heralded but failed meetings that we can no longer even recall?

Then there are the billions of dollars (well over $100 billion) and euros for peace given by the United States and Europe to Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians over the last half-century. Not to mention all those ballyhooed United Nations decrees — Resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1515 and others — likewise lost to our collective memory.

The Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai nearly 30 years ago was supposed to have led to a general peace.

So was the withdrawal from Lebanon. So was the withdrawal from Gaza.

We also used to hear that the Israeli-Palestinian struggle was “really” about Egypt’s ruler Gamal Nasser (1956-1970) and his pan-Arabic movement. Then it was really about the Cold War and the Soviet Union. Then it was really about Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Now it is really about Iran.

Well before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised to destroy Israel, Saddam said the same thing. And well before Saddam, Nasser promised destruction of the “Zionist entity.” And so on with almost every Middle East strongman dating back to Israel’s creation.

The current “benchmarks” and “roadmap” toward peace in the region simply follow earlier failed formulas with similarly catchy names.

Remember all those brilliant American statesmen, like the current George Mitchell, who were sent over to find the “missing peace” but came home empty-handed — James Baker, Philip Habib, Gen. James Jones, Henry Kissinger, Sol Linowitz, Condoleezza Rice, Dennis Ross and Gen. Anthony Zinni?

And then there’s former President Jimmy Carter, who always seems to be loudly advising everyone to read his latest book to learn how they can solve the crisis.

In the early 2000s, we were told that peace would come when the old calcified rivals — Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat — vacated the scene. Their passing would allow a new generation of leaders on both sides to negotiate without the ghosts of the 1967 or 1973 wars. Instead, new leaders gave us new wars in Lebanon and Gaza.

While the names of Palestinian terrorist organizations multiply over the years, the agenda of destroying Israel remains mostly unchanged.

Read the rest of the article here.

“President Obama Believes He Can Charm the Barbarians” by Phyllis Chesler

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Western liberals — and in the past I have been a very good one — still refuse to describe any culture other than their own as “barbaric” lest they be maligned as “racists.” Now, America’s first (half) African-American president, whose first order of business was to reach out to the Muslim world on Al-Arabiya, has said he will actively negotiate with the Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, and Saudis.

I wish him well. But I also fear for him and hope he reads what I have to say.

He must understand that he will be dealing with barbarians. Like all good liberals, he may not understand what that means. But what word other than “barbaric” describes the systematic incitement to violence that takes place in mosques and on television and which has led to mob rampages and episodes of “wilding” against Muslim girls and women who are group-groped, gang raped, kidnapped into sexual slavery, set on fire, buried alive, blinded by acid for daring to go to school, work as a newscaster, a hairdresser, or for a foreign company, refuse to wear a shroud, or choose to marry someone of their own choice. Few Muslim clerics and even fewer fabled Muslim “moderates” have loudly and perilously condemned such behavior towards their sisters–or towards Christians, Jews, and other infidels who routinely fall prey to such mobs.

President Obama is in favor of women’s rights as is his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. How in God’s name do they think they can persuade barbarians who behave in such ways to change their behaviors? If I were Obama and Clinton, I’d hold these diplomatic meetings with lots of American security guards and in neutral countries.

What word other than “barbaric” can even begin to characterize the 2002 kidnapping and video-ed beheading of Jewish-American Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, in Pakistan and the 2006 three week-long torture of French citizen, Ilan Halimi, in Paris by African Muslims, ostensibly for ransom money? Many North African Muslim neighbors dropped in to watch or even to take a hand in Halimi’s torture and murder.

The presumably civilized and non-”barbaric” western media was reluctant to describe either Pearl’s or Halimi’s murder-torture as an act of Muslim “racism.” How can it be “racist” when both the perpetrator and the victim are Semites? Or Africans?

The western liberal media is not so much reluctant as it is terrified to further offend the rampaging Muslims whose religion is, presumably, one of peace. But not telling the truth, keeping one’s head deep in the sand, does not abolish the barbarism. It only makes it more difficult for us to name it and to defend ourselves against it. For example, despite all the liberal media cautiousness, in 2009, a Polish engineer, Piotr Stanczak, was kidnapped, then beheaded on video in Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

And, the “barbarism” is hardly confined to Muslim countries. In Scotland there is an alarming pattern of Muslim or “Asian” murderous attacks upon young white boys. In the infamous 2004 case of 15 year-old Kriss Donald:

“The court had heard that Kriss was jumped on as he walked down a street near his home with a friend. As he was bundled into a car, he screamed: “Why me? I’m only 15.” His mutilated body was found the next day on a walkway in the east end of the city. The slightly built boy had been beaten, held down and stabbed 13 times, then set on fire while he was still alive. Bleeding to death and burning, he tried to crawl towards the river Clyde but died in a ditch. A passerby who found his body the following day thought he had stumbled across the carcass of a dead animal.”

Original Link.

“The Worst of All Worlds” by David Limbaugh

Friday, February 13th, 2009

At the risk of beating a very live horse, the worst of all the horrible things about President Barack Obama’s “stimulus” bill is that even if it worked to stimulate the economy beyond the president’s wildest expectations, it would cause a further explosion of the national debt, which would become a worse “catastrophe” than the one this bill promises to alleviate.

Yet the president is so eager to start spending the people’s money he can barely be trifled to acknowledge the growing debt as a concern. When backed into a corner, all he can do is attack the credibility of his critics on the issue, as if pointing fingers at the other kid in the schoolyard either exculpates him or addresses the problem.

Twice during his tightly controlled prime-time marketing infomercial, billed as his first presidential news conference, he aimed partisan fire at Republicans for daring to raise the issue.

He said: “When it comes to how we approach the issue of fiscal responsibility … it’s a little hard for me to take criticism from folks about this recovery package after they’ve presided over a doubling of the national debt. I’m not sure they have a lot of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility.”

He used the same specious argument to deflect another objection to the bill: that it’s long on pork and short on stimulus. He said, “First of all, when I hear that from folks who presided over a doubling of the national debt … I just want them to not engage in some revisionist history. I inherited the deficit … and the economic crisis that we have right now.”

The Bush administration is certainly vulnerable to the charge that it spent way too much. Unfortunately for the always-campaigning President Obama, however, this is not a valid response to the question of whether he should spend more now.

The relevant question is not which party is guiltier but what is the right thing to do. Even if the Republicans were the worst hypocrites in the history of the universe, would that make it any more prudent for President Obama to embark on a mission to trump them? Indeed, that he is citing GOP fiscal profligacy as an excuse and license for more just confirms that debt is not on his mind; government debt is never on a liberal’s mind except as a tactic to win arguments or elections.

Another argument Obama often invokes to divert attention from the debt elephant in the room is that he has a mandate to proceed.

But did 53 percent of the electorate sign on to the expenditure of trillions of more dollars we truly don’t have and probably can’t get in our lifetimes just so he and his fellow social planners could finally get a crack at cranking out their mad-scientist experiments to perfect society through confiscation and redistribution of the people’s private property and income? Looking at recent polls and market trends, it would appear not.

Folks, the proponents of this boondoggle can’t even point to an obscure theory to suggest this bill might pay for itself, even if it miraculously catapulted the economy into robust growth mode. We couldn’t have afforded the readily visible costs of this bill, not to mention the hidden ones experts have identified, even before the separate trillion-dollar bailout fiascos. How much less can we tolerate them now?!

And that’s without factoring in the looming entitlement quagmire that one party, for purely political reasons, has refused to address. It’s also without considering the other horrors in Obama’s grab bag that could reduce America to Third World financial straits all by themselves, such as global warming mandates, socialized medicine, open-borders-driven entitlements, doubling our foreign aid commitments, and reversing welfare reform.

Adding insult to injury, contrary to the falsely claimed economic consensus, this legislation, with its emphasis on non-stimulative spending and non-stimulative demand-side tax cuts, has not been optimally crafted to stimulate the economy. Even if Obama’s neo-Keynesians were correct that government spending is the answer, this bill wouldn’t come close to fitting the bill and, in the long run, probably would have a counter-stimulative effect.

So this plan is the worst of all worlds — unless you are a once-closet socialist trained in the grand academic tradition of Chicago street organizing who finally sees an opportunity to “come out” and work your wonders on the poster nation for greedy and decadent capitalism, the United States of America. It involves incomprehensible spending in aggravation of an already dangerous national debt load; a possible net retardant effect on economic recovery; greater government control over the economy, with a consequent diminution of our liberties; and a necessary reduction of essential government services.

Frankly, I think it’s just about time to panic here — and the market apparently shares that sentiment.

Original Link.

Saudi Judge Sentences Pregnant Gang-Rape Victim to 100 Lashes for Adultery

Friday, February 13th, 2009

The joys of Sharia (Islamic) law.

The testimony of four male witnesses is the standard for establishing guilt in sexual offenses under Sharia law, per Qur’an 4:15, 24:4, 24:6, and 24:13. Four male Muslim witnesses who saw the act. The testimony of the woman involved is inadmissible. Therefore if those four male witnesses do not come forward and the victim becomes pregnant, her pregnancy becomes evidence that she has committed adultery.

This sentence is not something extreme. It’s standard Islamic Sharia.

“Saudi judge sentences pregnant gang-rape victim to 100 lashes for committing adultery,” by Liz Hazelton for the Daily Mail, February 11 (thanks to Pamela):

A Saudi judge has ordered a woman should be jailed for a year and receive 100 lashes after she was gang-raped, it was claimed last night.The 23-year-old woman, who became pregnant after her ordeal, was reportedly assaulted after accepting a lift from a man.

He took her to a house to the east of the city of Jeddah where she was attacked by him and four of his friends throughout the night.

She later discovered she was pregnant and made a desperate attempt to get an abortion at the King Fahd Hospital for Armed Forces.

According to the Saudi Gazette, she eventually ‘confessed’ to having ‘forced intercourse’ with her attackers and was brought before a judge at the District Court in Jeddah.

He ruled she had committed adultery – despite not even being married – and handed down a year’s prison sentence, which she will serve in a prison just outside the city.

She is still pregnant and will be flogged once she has had the child.

Note the Daily Mail’s dhimmitude:

The Saudi Arabian legal system practices a strict form of medieval law. Women have very few rights and are not even allowed to drive.They are also banned from going out in public in the company of men other than male relatives.

This isn’t “a strict form of medieval law.” It isn’t as if the Saudis plucked some twelfth century legal system out of the dustbin of history on a whim. This is Sharia. But the Daily Mail is apparently afraid to call it what it is.

Original Link.