Thursday, March 30, 2006

Abdul Rahman granted asylum in Italy

As reported here, Abdul Rahman, the Afghani who converted from Islam to Christianity and was subsequently charged with a capital crime for that, has arrived safe and sound in Italy where he was granted asylum.

Mr. Rahman was released from prison earlier this week, when the court said that there was not enough evidence to obtain a conviction, and then it was reported later that they had also determined that he was "mentally incompetent" to stand trial, which I think was a way for the Afghan court to "save face".

I'll take it, and I'm thankful that the court found a way to get themselves out of the mess they found themselves in, sparing the life of an innocent man. As I wrote earlier, I hope this prompts the Afghans into looking at their laws, to make some needed changes.

State AG to appeal felon voting ruling

In an update of my previous post, as reported here and here, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna is doing the right thing by appealing the ludicrous ruling by KC Superior Court Judge Michael Spearman.

I will try to stay on top of this and post updates to this situation, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another judge "legislating from the bench"

In another case of a judge legislating from the bench at the instigation of the local state chapter of the ACLU, King County Superior Court Judge Michael Spearman ruled that, "[c]onvicted felons who have served their time but owe court-imposed fines cannot be denied the right to vote[.]"

Yes, they can be denied the right to vote, Judge. It is Washington State law.
The Washington State Constitution states:

SECTION 3 WHO DISQUALIFIED. All persons convicted of infamous crime unless restored to their civil rights and all persons while they are judicially declared mentally incompetent are excluded from the elective franchise. [AMENDMENT 83, 1988 House Joint Resolution No. 4231, p 1553. Approved November 8, 1988.] [Emphasis mine]

SECTION 7 REGISTRATION. The legislature shall enact a registration law, and shall require a compliance with such law before any elector shall be allowed to vote; Provided, that this provision is not compulsory upon the legislature except as to cities and towns having a population of over five hundred inhabitants. In all other cases the legislature may or may not require registration as a pre-requisite to the right to vote, and the same system of registration need not be adopted for both classes. [Emphasis mine]

So, the Washington State Constitution states that a convicted felon must first have their voting rights restored before they are eligible to vote, and that it is the State Legislature - not a county Superior Court judge - who will enact the laws regulating who can vote.

The law in question, that the judge summarily pre-empted by judicial fiat, is:

RCW 29A.08.520
Felony conviction — Restoration of voting rights. (Effective January 1, 2006.)
(1) Upon receiving official notice of a person's conviction of a felony in either state or federal court, if the convicted person is a registered voter in the county, the county auditor shall cancel the defendant's voter registration. Additionally, the secretary of state in conjunction with the department of corrections, the Washington state patrol, the office of the administrator for the courts, and other appropriate state agencies shall arrange for a quarterly comparison of a list of known felons with the statewide voter registration list. If a person is found on a felon list and the statewide voter registration list, the secretary of state or county auditor shall confirm the match through a date of birth comparison and suspend the voter registration from the official state voter registration list. The canceling authority shall send to the person at his or her last known voter registration address a notice of the proposed cancellation and an explanation of the requirements for restoring the right to vote once all terms of sentencing have been completed. If the person does not respond within thirty days, the registration must be canceled.

(2) The right to vote may be restored by, for each felony conviction, one of the following:
(a) A certificate of discharge issued by the sentencing court, as provided in RCW 9.94A.637;
(b) A court order restoring the right, as provided in RCW 9.92.066;
(c) A final order of discharge issued by the indeterminate sentence review board, as provided in RCW 9.96.050; or
(d) A certificate of restoration issued by the governor, as provided in RCW 9.96.020.
[2005 c 246 § 15; 2004 c 267 § 126; 2003 c 111 § 233. Prior: 1994 c 57 § 42. Formerly RCW

In the case in which Judge Spearman ruled, the local chapter of the ACLU sued on behalf of three people who had been convicted of crimes, but who had not had their voting rights restored due to outstanding debt, which they are making payments on - commendable on their part, since they are listed in the article as being indigent - the judge, as authorized by the above law, could simply have restored their individual voting rights by court order. But no, Judge Spearman in his "infinite judicial wisdom" decided that the above law is invalid, and therefore null and void.

Since when did Judge Spearman get elected to the State Legislature? I didn't see him listed anywhere as being either a State Representative, or a State Senator, so the obvious answer to this is never.

Since when have judges been allowed to "legislate from the bench"? Apparently for too long around here, since Judge Spearman thinks he can do just that.

State Attorney General Ron McKenna hasn't said whether or not he will appeal this decision, but he should! Judges have been, for too long now, allowed to "legislate from the bench", and this needs to stop now! McKenna must appeal this decision to the State Supreme Court, and they need to put Spearman in his place - which is a judge, not a legislator!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Abdul Rahman seeks asylum

As reported here, Abdul Rahman, the Afghan Christian has made a request for asylum to the UN.

"U.N. spokesman Adrian Edwards said the world body was working with the Afghan government to meet the request by Abdul Rahman, 41."

Hopefully, Mr. Rahman will be granted his request quickly by another country, so that the death penalty threat won't be looming in the future.

When I learn anything new in this, I will let you all know.

Hat tip: Hollie-is-right

Sunday, March 26, 2006

New document proves Saddam did have ties to OBL

As reported here, former 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey, Nebraska Dem, states that Saddam was a bona fide threat to the US, as a recently released Iraqi document from 1995 shows. In the document, Saddam authorized Iraqi Intelligence Service agents to conduct "joint operations" with OBL against the US.

While the document doesn't directly implicate Saddam with the 9/11 attacks on the US, Kerrey says that "It does tie him into a circle that meant to damage the United States."

As more and more documents are released to the American public, will this mean that the MSM will have to rethink it's current position on Iraq?
Chris Wallace of Fox News thinks that the facts will force them to. (That would be nice if they did rethink their position on Iraq, Chris, but since when did facts become relevant to the MSM?)

Fellow blogger Reality Hammer has some things to say about this as well.

Charges against Afghan Christian dropped

As reported here (and elsewhere), the charges against Abdul Rahman have been dropped for "a lack of evidence", and he may be released from jail as soon as tomorrow.

In case you haven't heard about Abdul Rahman, he is an Afghani who converted to Christianity from Islam several years ago after working for a Christian relief organization in Pakistan. In Afghanistan, it is a capitol offense for someone to renounce Islam to convert to any other religion (not just Christianity), and after being 'outed', Rahman was arrested. If he had gone to trial and been convicted, his only penalty would have been death by hanging.

There has been a huge international outcry against the jailing, and probable death sentence, and it appears that the Afghan court is bowing to the pressure being brought to bear in this case, although the clerics on the court deny this to be the case, that the main reason that the charges have been dropped is a "lack of evidence", along with allegations that Rahman may not be mentally competent to stand trial.

Whatever the reason(s), for the charges being dropped, this writer welcomes the outcome, with the hope that certain laws in Afghanistan are looked at for revision as a result of the international attention this case has received.

Who should Congress really censure?

If Congress really wants to censure someone, rather than censuring our currently sitting President - especially in a time of war - as Sen. Feingold (D-Wis) has advocated, Melanie Morgan of the conservative organization, Move America Forward, has a better suggestion - censure former President Jimmy Carter.

Former President Carter needs to be censured for his attempts to undermine American policy at nearly every turn, and for embracing and advocating for known terrorists such as Arafat, Hamas, Castro and Chavez, which you can read about
here. There is also a petition regarding this that you can sign here.

If you find the deeds and words of former President Jimmy Carter to be as offensive as I do, I encourage you to do what I did, and sign the petition.

Thousands Across America Rally for Immigrants' Rights

As reported here, an estimated 500,000 people in Los Angeles staged a peaceful protest against proposed legislation aimed at immigration reform. What was being protested are the provisions that would make it a felony if you are in the US illegally, impose new penalties on employers that hire illegals, and erect fences along 700 miles of the border between Mexico and the US.

One person quoted in the article said that they are not criminals. I beg to differ, in the sense that, if you enter this country illegally, then yes you are a criminal. Don't get me wrong, as I have no problems with immigrants who enter the US legally. The US was founded by immigrants who came to these shores to escape religious or political persecution, poverty, famine and disease. My paternal grandfather immigrated here from Germany.

What I do have a problem with, however, are those who seek to enter this country illegally. They are a drain on social services which we cannot afford, not to mention the possibility of terrorists slipping into the country to do harm. Am I saying that all illegals are coming here to do harm? Certainly not. The vast majority of the estimated 12 million illegals that are already here have come here to work, striving to make a better life for themselves, which in a certain way is commendable on their part, and I don't have a problem with that aspiration. But they need to do it right, and enter this country legally.

Do I have the answers to the problem of illegal immigration? No, but I wish that I did.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Power of Choice

In many aspects of life, we humans have a tendency to take things for granted. For example, the use of our hands, or to be more specific, our fingers.

Recently, at work, I was tasked to do a special project, and in the process of preparing what I needed for this project, I injured the tip of my right ring finger. I have a rather nasty blood blister, and a rather painful bruise. As I have gone about my daily activities since I injured myself, I have been reminded of this injury whenever I have bumped into the injured area of my finger. I have also come to realize that I have taken the use of my finger for granted, not really realizing, until now, just how much I use that particular finger.

Each time I have been made (painfully) aware of just how much I do use that particular finger, I have also been made aware that I have taken it’s use and utility for granted, which has caused me to begin to wonder what else have I been taking for granted.

One thing that has popped into my head, that I have been guilty of taking for granted, is the freedom, or power if you will, of choice. We all have the power of choice in everything that we do. We either choose to do something, or not.

William Shakespeare wrote his famous soliloquy for his character Hamlet, in which he asked the famous question, “To be, or not to be.”, which in essence was Hamlet asking himself whether he wanted to continue to live, or not. As we go about our daily lives, we each make choices as to what we will do in any given situation, whether any particular situation dwells in the realm of the sublime (such as listening to classical music, for example), or the ridiculous (such as watching Barney, for example).

We make the choice of whether to get up when the alarm goes off, or not. If we do choose to get up when the alarm goes off, we then choose whether to eat breakfast, or not. Next is the choice of bathing, or not, then what to wear, whether to leave for work, or school, or not, and at what time. Do we do this task first, or that task first? What is the priority of the moment? As our day goes by, we make choices, often times unconsciously, other times with the full realization of the choice we must make at any given time.

But, how many of the choices that we do make, do we take for granted? For example, when we go shopping for food, we (usually) have the choice of purchasing brand name foods, store label foods, or generic label foods. Whatever label we choose to purchase, we do so without much conscious thought, taking for granted that what we want will be there. Others are not so fortunate.

Another choice we make, is where we will live. Part of that equation is our economic standing. Can we afford to live where we want to live? Will we live on the “right side” or “wrong side” of the tracks? Another part of that equation is whether or not there is the opportunity of employment in the field of our choice, whether that field is ditch digging or astrophysics. Another part we must consider, if we have school aged children is, what is the quality of education that is available for our children? Choices we make in this area will have an effect on our “quality of life”. Are we taking the ability to choose where we will live for granted?

Here in America, in general, we have the freedom to choose how we will live, and yet many of us are guilty of taking that freedom to choose for granted. I must admit that for many years, I have been guilty of taking my freedom of choice for granted, and it has really only been recently that I have made the choice to savor my ability to freely choose, within reasonable bounds, what I will do with my life.

I have the choice to be happy, or not.
I have the choice to participate in the life of my community, or not.
I have the choice to voice my opinion on various topics, or not.
I have the choice to stand up for freedom, and to savor that freedom, or not.
I have the power of choice, and I choose to not take it for granted.

You, too, have the power of choice.
What will you choose to do with that power today?
Will you choose to savor that power, or take it for granted?
Your choice.

Judge invokes new law in dismissing lawsuit

In another gun related issue, a federal judge in California (of all places!) dismissed a "public nuisance" lawsuit against a gun manufacturer and a gun distributor on Monday, invoking a new federal law intended to protect the gun industry from politically motivated lawsuits.

The new federal law that was invoked in dismissing the frivolous "public nuisance" lawsuit is the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, signed into law by President Bush in October of 2005, designed to protect gun manufacturers and distributors from such frivolous lawsuits.

The NRA said that this is the first time the PLCA Act has been invoked to dismiss a case against a gun manufacturer and/or gun dealer, but you can be sure it won't be the last.

Chicago Mayor 'Delusional' for Seeking Gun Ban, Group Says

As reported here, after two girls were tragically slain in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley has called for all of the approximately 1.5 million registered gun owners to come before him, and explain and justify their gun ownership.

Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), nevertheless said [in the wake of the two tragic shooting deaths] that the mayor's outburst "suggests strongly that it's time to pad the walls" of his office with rubber.

"I have a message for you, Mr. Mayor," Pearson added. "The Revolutionary War was not fought so that we could unseat King George and install King Richard. The Bill of Rights is not a stick of salami that you can slice and dice at your whim.

"You may have succeeded in suspending the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th amendments" to the U.S. Constitution "in Chicago, but the people of Illinois are not going to let you extend your tyranny beyond the city limits," he stated.

"And no, we have no obligation to come to Chicago, kneel before your throne and beg to freely exercise the rights that so many before us have died for," Pearson said. "To be honest, Mr. Mayor, I think Chicago would be a much better place if you spent less time in front of the cameras and more time behind your desk."

I agree with Mr. Pearson. Who does Mayor Daley think he is, anyway?

Did Iran hold talks with Iraqi "Insurgents"?

According to this article in the Telegraph, both Moqtadr Al Sadr, a leading Iraqi cleric with a rather large "army", and Hassan Nasrallah, the chief of the armed Shia group Hizbollah in Lebanon, have held separate meetings with Iranian officials only days before Iranian nuclear officials promised "harm and pain" to the US.

Why would Al Sadr and Nasrallah be meeting with the Iranians? Could it be that they are trying to get funding for their part in the on-going sectarian strife in Iraq (something that Iran continues to deny that they are doing)?

The disingenuousness of the Iranians is almost breathtaking, in that, not only are they meeting with an Iraqi who is the leader of an armed militia group, but with a known terrorist, but they are also calling for talks between Iran and the US on the situation in Iraq at the same time!

Hat tip:
Little Green Footballs

Iraqi document's now available on line

Stephen F. Hayes of The Weekly Standard, among others, has been doggedly pursuing the release of captured Iraqi documents, and he reports that there is now a web site set up for viewing those documents that have been released to the public.

There are literally millions of documents that still need to be translated and verified for validity, and Mr. Hayes asks some probing questions as to what the documents will reveal, and the processes that are being, or will be used, to determine which documents are released.

The very fact that the documents are being released is encouraging, and it is hoped here that much will be revealed in the way of links between the former Iraqi regime and terrorism sponsorship.

Hat tip:
Captain's Quarters

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Iran raises oil as weapon in nukes standoff

As reported here, Iran is making more threats if they are referred to the UN Security Council for their nuclear activities, this time explicitly stating that they will use their vast resources of oil and natural gas, and their location on the Strait of Hormuz, to retaliate if they are referred.

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi raised the possibility of using Iran's oil and natural-gas supplies as a weapon in the international standoff and also noted Iran's strategic location at a choke point for a vital Persian Gulf oil route.

"If [they] politicize our nuclear case, we will use any means. We are rich in energy resources. We have control over the biggest and the most sensitive energy route of the world," Mr. Pourmohammadi was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Note that he said, "We are rich in energy resources". As I have stated before, if Iran is so rich in energy resources, then why do they need nuclear reactors to produce electricity? The answer of course, is that they do not need nuclear reactors to produce electricity, since they are so rich in energy resources. They do, however, need nuclear reactors to produce weapons grade nuclear material in order to produce their own nuclear WMD.

I think what the Iranian Interior Minister said makes the case against Iran's claim of "peaceful intentions" for the nuclear capability they so desperately crave, don't you?

I certainly do.

Dixon says he's no 'spoiler'

As reported here, Aaron Dixon - as expected - announced his candidacy for US Senate under the Green Party banner, saying that he isn't a 'spoiler' candidate as he runs against "Can't-do-well", but that he's the anti-war candidate, offering Washington voters a choice over both "Can't-do-well" and McGavik, both of whom Dixon characterized as being "pro-war". (That's a problem?)

Dixon is a popular figure in the left-leaning circles here in Seattle, having been an activist for many years, and the Dems here should be getting nervous that he will siphon off enough votes from "Can't-do-well" to hand McGavik the election. We can probably expect a two-pronged attack campaign from "Can't-do-well" against both McGavik and Dixon, as we head into this years election.

Will Dixon prove to be a 'spoiler'? Only time, and the mobilization of the radical anti-war left in favor of Dixon over "Can't-do-well", will tell.

Cantwell may have a problem

As reported here, local activist Aaron Dixon is reportedly going to announce his candidacy under the Green Party banner, running against Can't-do-well and McGavik for the US Senate.

Dixon founded the first chapter of the Black Panthers outside of California back in 1968, and is reportedly very popular with the Left here in Seattle, and could potentially siphon off enough votes from Can't-do-well to hand McGavik the election.

With Dixon throwing his hat in the ring, things could get very interesting here come November. Stay tuned.

South Dakota abortion ban law signed by Governor

As reported here, Gov. Mike Rounds has signed the legislation banning most forms of abortion in South Dakota, while Planned Parenthood vows to fight it. NARAL president Nancy Keenan also voiced her opinion on the law, which basically amounted to "the sky is falling!".

There will be many legal challenges to this law, which I hope fail. "Rounds said he agrees with legislative sponsors that the test of a civilization is how it treats its most vulnerable and helpless people, and that unborn children are the most vulnerable and helpless."

I agree.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Iranian says Tehran tricked EU on nukes

As reported here (and as I have posted about before), the Iranians want nuclear weapons, and have been deceiving the EU for at least two decades regarding their intentions. Former head of the Iranian negotiating team, Hassan Rowhani, boasted about it in a speech to leading Iranian clerics.

And the Iranians are still trying to deceive not only the EU, but the world as well. They say that their nuclear program is for "peaceful purposes", to generate electricity. As I posted before, why do they need nuclear energy, when they sit on top of vast reserves of both oil and natural gas, which can be used to efficiently and cleanly produce enough electricity, not only for Iran, but for neighboring countries in the region without diminishing their exports? The answer to that is quite simple - they don't need nuclear energy to produce electricity.

What they do need however, in their view, is nuclear weapons so they may fulfill their self-proclaimed mandate of dominating not only the Middle East - which would be bad enough - but the entire world - which would be even worse.

Once Iran has nuclear weapons, you can be sure that the next step they will take is to state that they are running out of room in Iran for their expanding population, and that they need a little "elbow room" (Sound familiar? Hitler said the same thing.). Which country would they look to first for that "elbow room"? Which neighboring country has a majority Shiite population, that now also has close ties to the US, which they decidedly do not like, and would dearly love to disrupt those close ties? Iraq.

After Iraq, where next, for surely you don't think Iran would be satisfied with just Iraq? Probably Jordan, which also has close ties to the US, and then possibly Lebanon who is at odds with Iran's close ally, Syria. Then, once they are in Jordan, guess who would be next? Yep, Israel.

But, what about the UN telling them "they can't do that"? Oh, please. The UN? The UN can't even control peace keepers from raping, looting, and pillaging the people they are supposed to be protecting from rape, looting and pillaging, or control their own staffers from looting funds, and you expect Iran to listen to them?

Okay, if not the UN, then what about the US stepping in? That's exactly what the lunatics in Iran want to have happen. Why? So that they can a) unleash whatever nuclear weapons they have, wherever they think will benefit them most, and b) unleash the "Great Jihad" against the West, with the ultimate goal of enslaving the world under the heel of Islam, with Iran as the ultimate theocratic government.

Of course, once Iran fired off whatever nuclear weapons it has, the US would then be forced to retaliate in kind, reducing Tehran to a molten poll of glass. This in turn would infuriate others, including possibly China who has it's own nukes, and definitely the vast Islamic population elsewhere in the world.

Am I insane, you ask? Iran wouldn't possibly want that to happen, could they? No, I'm not insane, and I'm not running around with my hair on fire, yelling that the sky is falling. I am, however, just stating my position on why I believe that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, for yes indeed, their current leadership would want to see the things that I have described above come to pass.

Otherwise, why would they deceive the EU about their nuclear intentions?

UN advocating for terrorist led "government"

In the convoluted view of the UN, Hamas - a known terrorist organization which has pledged the destruction of Israel - is "good", and therefore deserves money from the West to legitimize it as a "government", while the US and Israel are "bad", for threatening to cut of funds.

As reported here, UN Mid-East envoy Alvaro De Soto warned that bankrupting the Palestinian government could be seen as punishment for Hamas' election victory and could shake the already unstable peace process. The thinking (if you can call it that) is that by withholding funds, the PA will go bankrupt, and cause the Hamas-led "government" to collapse.

This is a bad thing?

Report: Iran Aims to Expand Nuke Program

As reported here, a new report from the IAEA indicates that Iran is pushing ahead it's domestic nuclear enrichment program, even as "talks" between Iran and Russia to move Iran's enrichment program to Russian soil have "started".

Adam Ereli, the deputy U.S. State Department spokesman, described news of agreement as "more chaff being thrown up by the Iranians ahead of the Board of Governors meeting" next week.

"There's no deal, frankly, that I'm aware of," Ereli said

Ereli is correct in his characterization of "talks" between Iran and Russia being "more chaff being thrown up by the Iranians ahead of the Board of Governors meeting" next week. The Iranians are merely giving lip service to these so-called "talks" with Russia, in a blatant attempt to blow smoke up the IAEA's rear end, to forestall referral to, and possible sanctions from, the UN Security Council.

As I've posted before, the only possible reason for that is that Iran wants to become a nuclear power. After all, their plainly stated objective is to dominate the world and create an Islamic world government. What better way to accomplish that, than by having nuclear weapons?

Hat tip:

Sen. Clinton says Rove obsesses about her

As reported here, Hillary says Karl Rove "spends a lot of time obsessing about me.", and that she thinks Rove, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman and other Republicans are using her to divert attention from Republican problems as the 2006 congressional elections approach.

She also said, "What they're hoping is that all of their missteps, which are now numbering in the hundreds, are going to somehow be overlooked because people, instead of focusing on the '06 election, will jump ahead and think about the next one."


Oh, you mean a liberated Afghanistan and Iraq, where free elections have been held for the first time in decades, where millions of people previously denied the opportunity participated in those free elections?

Or, do you mean the NSA program that has helped prevent another terrorist attack on US soil?

Or is it the tax cuts, that were supposedly going to deprive the government of $27 billion dollars, but which has instead generated $26 billion dollars in tax revenue, a whopping $53 million dollar difference?

Or how about unemployment, which is at it's lowest level since Ronald Reagan was President?

Or how about all the new jobs that have been created, that you and your cronies pooh-pooh as not being "good jobs" (simply because you and your cronies did nothing to help get the economy going again after 9/11, and therefore can't take any of the credit)?

Karl Rove "obsessing" about you? No, I don't think Karl Rove is obsessing about you (Note to Hillary - it really isn't all about you, ok?). I think that the people obsessing are you and your Dem cronies over the fact that you don't control the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, or the White House, and that the Republicans do. Speaking of the White House, it is you and your Dem cronies who are obsessing about President George W. Bush.

I've always known that Senators tend to have big egos, but in that regard Hillary, you take the cake!