Archive for December 3rd, 2009

Decorated Veteran, 90, Fights to Raise Flag in His Yard

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Home owners associations and their rules have their place, but flag poles should not one of them.

A veteran of three wars who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor is now facing an unlikely enemy — his neighbors.

Col. Van T. Barfoot, 90, has raised the Stars and Stripes every day at sunrise and lowered them every day at sunset since he served in the U.S. Army. But on Tuesday he received a letter from the law firm that represents his homeowners’ association, ordering him to remove the flagpole from his Richmond, Va. yard by 5 p.m. on Friday or face “legal action.”

The homoeowners’ association at Sussex Square community told Barfoot that the freestanding, 21-foot flagpole that he put up in September violates the neighborhood’s aesthetic guidelines.

Barfoot had sought permission to install the pole shortly after he moved into the community — a complex of townhouses where the grounds are community property — last June. The board denied his request in July.

But Barfoot and his family say there is no provision in Sussex Square’s rules that forbids erecting flagpoles. And for Barfoot, that’s a cause worth fighting for.

“There’s never been a day in my life or a place I’ve lived in my life that you couldn’t fly the American flag,” Barfoot said in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

In a statement released last night, the association sought to defend its position against a growing chorus of outrage.

“This is not about the American flag. This is about a flagpole,” reads the statement from the association, which insists that Barfoot directly violated its board’s July ruling.

“Col. Barfoot is free to display the American flag in conformity with the neighborhood rules and restrictions. We are hopeful that Col. Barfoot will comply.”

The statement reminded the public that many American flags hang from homes in the Sussex Square community, and that the board members object only to Barfoot’s freestanding flagpole.

But Barfoot says he has always flown the flag from a height: “Where I’ve been, fighting wars … military installations, parades, everything else, the flag is vertical. And I’ve done it that way since I was in the Army,” Barfoot told the paper.

Barfoot is one of the country’s last living World War II veterans who received the Medal of Honor. He also served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War and earned a Purple Heart. In WWII, Barfoot showed his mettle in Carano, Italy, where he single-handedly destroyed a set of German machine gun nests, killed eight enemy soldiers, took 17 prisoners and stared down a tank before destroying it and killing its crew — all in a single day. Exhausted by his herculean efforts, he still managed to move two of his wounded men 1,700 yards to safety.

“Sgt. Barfoot’s extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers,” reads the official citation for his Medal of Honor.

Barfoot’s resolve is now once again being tested.

“I’ve flown the flag at my home as long as I can remember,” said Barfoot, who lived in rural Amelia County before moving to suburban Richmond. “This is the first time in the last 36 years that I’ve been unable to put my flag up on the same pole, the same staff and take it down when it’s time to come down.

“I don’t have any qualms with [the board’s] authority, but the thing about it is that I cannot get enough conversation out of them where we can try to work out a solution,” Barfoot said.

Neighbors largely have expressed their support, but he realizes that ultimately it’s up to the nine-member association board whether to grant an exception to the rules.

“Emotional torture is what they’ve done to my father,” said his daughter, Margaret Nicholls. “He has lost sleep, he worries about it constantly. He just doesn’t understand. He thinks that if it’s on his property they can’t tell him what to do.”

Original Link.

“The 9/11 of 1859: Is Al-Qaeda An Abolitionist Movement?” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

The New York Times Thinks So

The daily propaganda which masquerades as news and as learned opinion has just gotten my goat.

Yesterday, the New York Times published an editorial condemning Switzerland as “intolerant” for having voted to ban minarets—minarets, not mosques.

God, I cannot recall an editorial in their pages condemning Arab and Muslim countries for not allowing any Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, or Hindu and Bahai temples to be built. Nor has the Paper of Record really focused on the real refugee story in the Middle East: that of Arab Jews who were forced to flee the Islamic world and came as refugees to Israel between 1948-1956 and constituted a “silent” exodus, one which is still ongoing. My friend Pierre Rehov directed and distributed the most haunting and powerful film with this exact title.

Further, in today’s New York Times, a typically biased piece titled “Jewish Nationalists Clash with Palestinians” also appeared. Note: The headline does not say “Israeli citizens,” nor does it describe the Palestinians as “nationalists” as well. But the main omission is this: The Times’ Isabel Kershner fails to note that the confrontation turned ugly when Americans and Europeans (Swedes) physically assaulted Jewish “nationalists” with clubs and stones. What are they doing here? Where are they when Sderot is being shelled? And, by the way, the fact that the Israeli High Court, which has rendered many pro-Palestinian decisions, ruled that these particular Palestinian nationalist settlers were there illegally is not given the proper weight in this article.

The fact that Jordan is already a “Palestinian” state never seems to register in this newspaper. True, the Jordanians did not want the mainly Palestinian terrorists and massacred and expelled them in 1970; Israel alone is expected to live with them.

But the most troubling article today is one that the distinguished Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author, Tony Hurwitz, wrote. Horwitz compares John Brown the “abolitionist” and “terrorist” to—you guessed it—Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the 9/11 hijackers. The title of his piece is “The 9/11 of 1859.”

What are they drinking or smoking over there?

Read the rest of the article here.

Democrats Shut Down Debate on “ClimateGate”; Refuse to Allow Republican Witnesses to Testify

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

It looks like the Democrats either took lessons from the “global warming” “scientist”, or perhaps it’s just the liberal ilk showing through on both parties. Anyway, it’s the same song, second verse: if one does not agree with facts, just make up your own and quash any distention. I mean, who wants to deal with pesky facts anyway. They just get in the way of “global warming” agenda.

“More ‘Scientific Fascism’ than ‘Scientific Progress'” by Jeff Schreiber

In the wake of the ClimateGate revelations, and because the Democrats in charge refused GOP attempts to bring forth witnesses in this morning’s hearings, minority House republicans on Rep. Ed Markey’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming have asked for their own dedicated day of hearings to examine the evidence serving as the foundation of the assertion that mankind is responsible for climate change.

Following today’s hearing, Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner made the following statement:

Sound science policy depends on sound science. When the science itself is politicized, it becomes impossible to make objective political decisions. Scientific policy depends on absolute transparency. As policymakers, we should all be concerned when key climate scientists write in private correspondence that they found a “trick” to “hide the decline” in temperature data documented in climate studies.

Less than two weeks ago, some 160 megabits of data containing over 1,000 e-mail—including one from today’s witness, Dr. John Holdren—and 2,000 other documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. were posted on the Internet. While the emails don’t undermine everything we know about climate change, their contents are shocking, and, in the words of Clive Crook, senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly, a columnist for National Journal and a commentator for the Financial Times, “The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering.”

The temperature records from the Climate Research Unit are 1 of only 3 major datasets, which considerably overlap and which have been used as the bedrock for the assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United States Global Change Research Program. The dataset in question is the basis for virtually all peer-reviewed literature.

The documents show systemic suppression of dissenting opinion among scientists in the climate change community, intimidation of journal editors and journals that would deign to publish articles questioning the so-called “consensus,” manipulation of data and models, possible criminal activity to evade legitimate requests for data and underlying computer codes filed under Freedom of Information Acts—both U.S. and United Kingdom, and demonstrate that many climate scientists and proponents of climate legislation have vested interests.

Those with the most to gain from climate change have tried to dismiss these emails as out of context. It’s worth reading a few examples:

From Kevin Trenberth: The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data . . . shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

From Phil Jones: I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

From Andrew Manning: I’m in the process of trying to persuade Siemens Corp. . . .to donate me a little cash to do some CO2 measurments here in the UK – looking promising, so the last thing I need is news articles calling into question (again) observed temperature increases – I thought we’d moved the debate beyond this, but seems that these sceptics are real die-hards!!).

From Keith Briffa: I tried hard to balance the needs of the science and the IPCC, which were not always the same. I worried that you might think I gave the impression of not supporting you well enough while trying to report on the issues and uncertainties.

From Phil Jones: I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !

From Michael Mann: This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…

From Phil Jones: If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.

The e-mails show a pattern of suppression, manipulation and secrecy that was inspired by ideology, condescension and profit. They read more like scientific fascism than the scientific process. They betray economic and ideological agendas that are deaf to disconfirming evidence. Hopefully this scandal is the end of declarations that the “science is settled” and a beginning of a transparent scientific debate.

The seriousness of this issue justifies additional consideration. The majority did not permit the minority to invite a witness this morning. We are therefore requesting a minority day of hearings.

Original Link.