Archive for November, 2004

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

Barcepundit’s blogging on Aznar’s testimony at the 3/11 Commission

Don’t miss today‘s post. Aznar, who’s not the most amiable guy, was in rare form. Barcepundit quotes him:

“I can understand that the wish to mend relationships with someone you’ve demonized on the streets and other places is very intense, but hearing you praising Bush and portraying him as a real world leader is really admirable. If you say it louder, perhaps you’ll be luckier than you’ve been so far.”

He was referring to the unsuccessful atempts by Zapatero to get on the phone with Bush and the recent visit to Crawford by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. Heh.

Read the post, and read all the links.

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

LaShawn Barber finds out Top Cop Nominee Is Member Of Racialist Group

George Bush’s nominee for Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, the person who’d be in charge of enforcing federal law, is a card-carrying member of a group that wants to stop enforcement of United States immigration law.

La Raza touts itself as a “Hispanic think tank” concerned with poverty and discrimination. Among other things, they want to strip law enforcement of the ability to protect our country against terrorists so that “Latinos” here illegally won’t be deported. Arabs are crossing our borders along with Mexicans, but La Raza wants the border to remain “open.”

This makes me ill.

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

David Frum asks, (updated)

Is this the most important week in European history since 1989?

In days to come, and if this story has a happy ending, we may look back on the last week of November 2004, as the most important week in European history since 1989: the week that the nearly 50 million people of Ukraine cast aside post-Soviet authoritarianism and acted decisively to rejoin the world community of democratic nations. It is the week also in which Russian attempts to re-establish control over its former subject nations received their first rebuff since Putin’s entry into power.

Last evening France2 news had videos of the massive vote fraud during the Ukranian election: busloads of people taken from polling place to polling place voting as many as 40 times; propective Yuschenko voters savagely beaten up and brutally scared away from the polls, pre-filled boxes replacing the actual ballot boxes, ballots for Yuschenko set aside and not counted. Watch the French video here: Go to right sidebar, look for the Vidéos heading, and click under Ukraine: avant la décision de la Cour suprême.

May I ask, where’s the UN??? Not where needed. Again.

Small wonder John O’Sullivan (via Instapundit )has reached the conclussion that,

The final losers are the U.N. and Kofi Annan. The U.N. has been invisible. As Kofi Annan has been trying to keep his head above oil, he has issued his usual appeal for restraint. But this crisis has brought forth the heroes of the Cold War from retirement — Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa and Margaret Thatcher — to encourage the orange revolutionaries. And Annan cannot begin to compete with their moral authority or the legitimacy they can bestow.

That’s saying a lot, considering O’Sullivan includes Yanukovych, Putin, Chirac “and those European leaders who want the European Union to be an anti-American counterweight to America. International crises involving Russia tend to remind Europeans that the United States remains a very valuable ally in a dangerous and unpredictable world. Fantasies of a superpower Europe seem insubstantial delusions by comparison with this tested alliance.” Arthur has more on the Orange Versus Blue struggle.

Update Welcome Instapundit readers! Please continue to visit often.

Additional update: France2 News also showed that all the downtown Kiev shops were prominently displaying every garment imaginable in orange, Yuschenko’s color, and they can’t keep them in stock.

Monday, November 29th, 2004

Aznar testified before the 3/11 Commission

and Barcepundit live-blogged it. Don’t miss his post, and the links to the potential ETA – Islamic terrorists connection, including his prior post.

Monday, November 29th, 2004

Thank you, Kevin Dowd

Yesterday MoDo incorporated into her column her brother Kevin’s e-mail. Kevin said, among other things,

My wife and I picked our sons’ schools based on three criteria: 1) moral values 2) discipline 3) religious maintenance – in that order. We have spent an obscene amount of money doing this and never regretted a penny. Last week on the news, I heard that the Montgomery County school board voted to include a class with a 10th-grade girl demonstrating how to put a condom on a cucumber and a study of the homosexual lifestyle. The vote was 6-0. I feel better about the money all the time.

My feelings exactly. Many people like myself believe that sex education is a parenting issue, and as such, should be left to the parents, but that is only one of the many reasons that have driven people like me and my husband to abandon the local public schools and enroll our child(ren) in private schools.

Moral values and discipline are closely related. It comes as no surprise that religious schools do well in bad neighborhoods, since in those schools the person’s behavior is seen in the context of the moral person.

Here in Princeton we are blessed with a variety of private schools, even when the local schools are highly rated, and the choices range from Montessori to the Latin Academy. None of them come cheap. The average tuition for grade school runs to approx. $12,000-$15,000/yr.

To those parents who are contemplating sending their children to private school and the only thing keeping them is the financial aspect, my experience is, this is the best money you’ll ever spend. Do without a new car, don’t replace the furniture, buy your clothes at Target. Do your research and pick a good private school. You won’t regret it.

And I wish the NYT would replace Maureen with Kevin.

Monday, November 29th, 2004

Further kicking a dead Bucephalus

Alexander‘s a dud. As predicted in this blog, the conquest of the box office was left to Sponge Bob and others. Now the big guys are posting on it: Roger L. Simon starts by saying that A Lousy Movie Is a Lousy Movie. Arthur pounces on some Independent comments. Victor Davis Hanson calls it third-rate Cecil B. Demille in drag and says that the elephants were visually good, but (unlike in The Return Of The King) without context or significance. Belmont Club ponders the war strategies, the persian marriages and the contemporary war connotations while managing to compare Darius (who died “like a pursued animal”) to Jimmy Carter.

Better to read the blogs than to watch the movie, me thinks.

Note There was a lot of Blogger trouble in posting this entry. My apologies.

Monday, November 29th, 2004

Krauthammer’s A Fight for Shiites, a must-read

There has been much talk that if the Iraqi election is held and some Sunni Arab provinces (perhaps three of the 18) do not participate, the election will be illegitimate. Nonsense. The election should be held. It should be open to everyone. If Iraq’s Sunni Arabs — barely 20 percent of the population — decide they cannot abide giving up their 80 years of minority rule, ending with 30 years of Saddam Hussein’s atrocious tyranny, then tough luck. They forfeit their chance to shape and participate in the new Iraq.

. . .

Our taking on the Sunnis is a way of demonstrating good faith. As is our intention to hold the election no matter what. Everyone knows the outcome will be a historic transfer of power to the Shiites (and, to some extent, the Kurds). We must make it clear that we will be there to support that new government. But we also have to make it clear that we are not there to lead the fight indefinitely. It is their civil war.

Monday, November 29th, 2004

Babalu memories

Val titled his post Arbolito (little tree), which is the title of an old villancico, a traditional Spanish Christmas song. Spanish from Spain, as opposed to being from Puerto Rico, where the Christmas songs are called aguinaldos.

Val’s post reminded me of when I was six or seven years old, and my brother, who was four, got a hold of some old (and I mean old even then) 78s and would play them over and over and over. Little kids love repetition and, le me tell ya, he repeated that music. Even I started getting tired of the stuff. I don’t remember what my mother had to say about it, so she must have been very tolerant. The neighborhood houses were close enough together — and my brother played the records loudly enough — that the next door neighbor, a pleasant and sober man whose mother had recently moved in to live with, was driven batty. The neighbor ended up playing at least as loudly his records of the opera Aida, which probably means that we lived in a nice area. Either that, or salsa wasn’t in the hit parade yet. I can imagine that the resulting dueling music probably drove a neighbor or two to drink.

As you can deduce from all this, all this took place quite a while ago. Still, the song still remains, and here are the lyrics,

Esta noche es noche buena

Vamos al monte, hermanito

A cortar un arbolito

Porque la noche es serena

Los reyes y los pastores

Cantan siguiendo una estrella

Le cantan a Jesus niño

Hijo de la Virgin bella

Arbolito, arbolito

Campanitas te pondré

Quiero que seas bonito

Que al recién nacido te voy a ofrecer

Iremos por el camino

Caminito de Belén

Iremos porque esta noche

Ha nacido el niño rey

Glora Estefan recorded it, in case you want to hear the music. BTW, she didn’t write the lyrics. That song was around before she was even born.

Sunday, November 28th, 2004

Al-Manar TV, Hizbollah’s TV channel, to broadcast into France

Join the Simon Wiesenthal Center petition urging President Jacques Chirac to Al-Manar from the airwaves.

Sunday, November 28th, 2004

More on the Puerto Rican elections

Welcome Chrenkoff readers! Last Tuesday I blogged about the vote count in Puerto Rico. Currently, the chairman of the local election commission (called the Comisión Estatal de Elecciones — State Electoral Commission — even when Puerto Rico is not a state, but a US Commonwealth) has agreed to count the “mixed” votes, but not to tally them as part of any party’s total.

Sostuvo que en este momento la orden emitida por el Tribunal Federal anula la sentencia del Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico de que los votos mixtos tienen que adjudicarse.

He believes that presently the order from the Federal Court annuls the Puerto Rican Supreme Court asking that the mixed votes must be adjudicated (my translation)

Puertorican cases are argued in the http://www.uscourts.gov/courtsofappeals.html”>United States Courts of Appeals in the 1st Circuit, and the cases are heard in Boston, Mass. Last Friday evening a judge from the 1st Circuit Court asked that the mixed votes not be adjudicated to any party, until both sides have a chance to present their cases.

The Freepers comapare this election to “A Death of a Thousand Cuts”, for good reason. Leaders from the (now in power) Partido Popular Democratico (PPD) have called for a demonstration this upcoming Monday to assert the decisions of the Tribunal Supremo over the Federal Court — they call it “Marcha por la Dignidad” (March for Dignity), even when it was the PPD who first announced they’d appeal in Boston. The Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) will be holding a demonstration this evening, under the theme “Unidos por Puerto Rico” (United for Puerto Rico) in support of the Federal Court.

It looks to me that, constitutionally speaking, both under the USA and PR Constitutions, the Federal jurisdiction is clear, but the PPD wants the local ruling to supersede the federal since the results would favor the PPD. Other than that, as I said last Tuesday, if any of this makes any sense to you, I’d be most grateful for clarification.