Category Archives: News and politics

Engagement and discussion of politics

Risen, the movie

I just saw the movie Risen. Wonderful!

Probably the first movie about Christ I’d give a 10.

Especially the last line of the movie. Roman Tribune Clavius was asked if he believed in Jesus Christ, and he answers by stating, “I believe…that I can never be the same.” 

Having been touched by Christ and the Holy Ghost, I too will never be the same.

Jesus is the Risen Lord. I know it to be true. He lives!

Jesus and God the Father appeared to Joseph Smith. I know it to be true! They live!

We will be resurrected. I know it to be true. We live!


Repost: Mitt Romney Will Not Win GOP

First posted on March 8, 2006:

Have you ever seen Mitt Romney in an interview? He is sharp, very well spoken, and confident, dare I say Presidential. But he cannot win the GOP nomination.

Why do I say that? Too many Right-Wing-”Christians” to be exact. These “Christians” who put Bush into office will not tolerate a Mormon to be President. The anti-Mormon campaign…”LDS are not Christians”…has proven a very effective marketing campaign of the so called “Christian” community. Non-LDS Christians will not put their faith, money, and vote behind a member of a “cult”.

They have been fully brainwashed to distrust all-things-LDS. The bias of all-things-LDS runs too deep for them to overcome. This is true because of the nature of their shallow evangelical mindset, theological errors, and especially their anti-intellectual blinded-by-the-faith-of-bigotry perceptions.

Given that sad reality, Romney will not win the GOP nomination.

We will not have a Mormon President until God brings forth the Political Kingdom of God, which can only happen after America fully implodes from within, meaning, the end of the federal and state government. Only then will the America, and the rest of the world, ready for a Mormon to lead them politically.

2008, Election, GOP, LDS, Mitt, Mitt Romney, Mormon, President, Romney

Free Agency

New page added: Free Agency

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Focus for 2007

New categories for 2007

Election 2008 – The candidates and their positions on the issues

Jihadism – Jihadist ideology and the War on Terror

Qur’anic Studies – Posts from the Qur’an with official Muslim meanings and commentary + compare and contrast with Latter-day Saint doctrines and scripture

Continuing categories for 2007

9/11 Conspiracy Theories – Debunking the 9/11 denial movement

Islamism – An Islamic revivalist movement, often characterized by moral conservatism, literalism, and the attempt to implement Islamic values in all spheres of life. a set of political ideologies that hold that Islam is not only a religion, but also a political system that governs the legal, economic and social imperatives of the state according to its interpretation of Islamic Law. Islamists thus demand the return of the society to Islamic values, and the return of the state to sharia law. A society governed by Islamic principles and law is seen as the true and sole answer to problems caused by the realities of modern life, including social and cultural alienation through urbanisation and migration, and political and economic exploitation. Also known as Militant Islam or Radical Islam.

Mormonism/LDS Church
– Defending the doctrines, practices and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) + news and comments relating to Mormonism and the LDS Church

Book of Mormon – Book of Mormon studies

News and politics
– Engagement and discussion of politics

Mitt Romney files paperwork for 2008 bid

Romney moves closer as an official candidate in the United States presidential election, 2008, by filing exploratory committee papers. Per wiki, “Exploratory, draft or “testing the waters” committees are formed solely for the purpose of determining the feasibility of an individual’s candidacy for office. The activities of exploratory committees may include polling, travel, and telephone calls to determine whether the individual should become a candidate.”

And says that filling papers to form the exploratory committee “allows him to raise and spend money for a presidential run.”

Related articles: A Romney Candidacy: What to Watch for In the Press

Update – more articles:
Romney for President Exploratory Committee, Inc.
The Hotline: Romney Files; Ben Ginsberg Is His Lawyer

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Bush: We Need More Troops

Bush says more troop strength needed to deal with Iraq, Afghanistan, ‘long struggle against radicals, extremists’.

Video Headline: Bush Looks Ahead 04:43

FoxNews: President Bush: Increase Needed in Size of Army, Marines

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Introducing Robert Cronk

I’m proud to announce Robert Cronk as a new author on LDS Patriot. Welcome, Robert! 

Robert is a software engineer from Utah who loves programming computers (for the last 28 years), playing volleyball and practicing martial arts (both for the last 8 years), creating techno music (, raising his family, and researching random events such as 9/11.

He uses the basic logic skills he has learned throughout his years of programming to search through sets of information and sift out the truth and error in an objective and unbiased way.  He feels strongly that people need to walk in each other’s shoes and find common ground in order for a constructive discussion to occur. 

His motivation in publishing the information he has found is to put an objective, unbiased point of view out there that is not tied to a theory but to the evidence itself regardless of the theory it supports and regardless of the consequences of a particular theory being true or false. 

In his research, he has found very few voices out there that are not heavily vested in a theory being true and he thinks people deserve to hear an objective voice.  When people adhere strongly to a theory, they end up twisting and filtering evidence to match that theory and that path rarely leads to the truth.  He is open to all current theories about 9/11 and is also open to all current theories being false.

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James Baker’s Terrible Iraq Report

Posted by permission from Dr. Daniel Pipes. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
December 12, 2006

[NY Sun title: “Baker Report Would Turn Failed Ideas Into Policy”]

The Iraq Study Group Report, cobbled together by ten individuals lacking specialized knowledge of Iraq, dredges up past failed U.S. policies in the Middle East and would enshrine them as current policy.

Most profoundly, regarding the American role in Iraq, the report moronically splits the difference of troops staying or leaving, without ever examining the basic premise of the U.S. government taking responsibility for the country’s minutiae, such as its setting up public works projects. Instead, the report unthinkingly accepts that strategic assumption and only tweaks tactics at the margins.

A preposterously lengthy list of 79 recommendations lies at the heart of the report. These include such gems as bringing in the (Saudi-sponsored) Organization of the Islamic Conference or the Arab League (no. 3) to decide Iraq’s future. Another creates an “Iraq International Support Group” that includes Iran, Syria (no. 5), and the United Nations secretary-general (no. 7).

Other brilliant recommendations call for the UN Security Council to handle the Iranian nuclear problem (no. 10) and for the support group to persuade Tehran to “take specific steps to improve the situation in Iraq” (no. 11). Right. The Iranian regime, whose president envisions a “world without America,” will save Washington’s bacon. Such counsel smacks at best of what the Jerusalem Post calls “staggering naïveté” and at worst of ghastly foolishness.

Of course, small minds assert that problems in Iraq are “inextricably linked” to the Arab-Israeli conflict – thereby repeating the precise mistake that lead co-chairman James A. Baker, III, made in 1991. He then led the effort to abandon the Persian Gulf and turn to the Palestinians, leaving Saddam Hussein in power for another dozen years and contributing directly to the present mess. In the new report, Mr. Baker and his colleagues call for a Palestinian state (no. 12) and even demand that a final settlement address the Palestinian “right of return” (no. 17) – code for dismantling the Jewish state. They peremptorily declare that “the Israelis should return the Golan Heights,” in return for a U.S. security guarantee (no. 16).

Besides the astonishing conceit of these Olympian declarations, one wonders how exactly the Iraqi civil war would be ended by pleasing the Palestinian Arabs. Or why the unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict is any more relevant to Iraq than the unresolved Azeri-Armenian conflict, which is closer to Iraq.

James A. Baker, III, instructs the president how to use the “Iraq Study Group Report.”

To make matters worse, Mr. Baker had the nerve to admonish the Bush administration not to treat the report’s 79 recommendations “like a fruit salad,” choosing one idea while rejecting another, but to accept it as a whole. Even in Washington, a town famous for arrogance, this statement made heads turn. That Mr. Baker and his co-chairman, Lee Hamilton, sat for a picture spread with famed photographer Annie Liebovitz for Men’s Vogue, a fashion magazine, only confirms the vacuity of their effort, as does their hiring the giant public relations firm, Edelman.

In all, the Iraq Study Group Report offers a unique combination of bureaucratic caution, false bi-partisanship, trite analysis, and conventional bromides.

Although the press reacted to this drivel, in the words of Daniel Henninger writing in the Wall Street Journal, with “neurotic glee,” Robert Kagan and William Kristol deemed it “dead on arrival,” and Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani, called it “dead in the water.” One hopes they are right, that President George W. Bush ignores its recommendations, and that this “new lipstick on a very old pig” (Spencer Ackerman) quickly disappears from sight.

That’s not to say that Mr. Bush should “stay the course,” for that course has not worked. A host of creative ideas have been floated by individuals knowledgeable about Iraq, sympathetic to the administration’s goal of building a free, democratic, and prosperous Iraq, and not tempted to see their role as an exercise in preening. The White House should call on these talented individuals to brainstorm, argue, and emerge with some useful ideas about the future American role in Iraq.

Doing so means breaking with a presidential tradition, going back at least to 1919, of what I call a “know-nothing” Middle East diplomacy. Woodrow Wilson appointed two completely unqualified Americans to head a commission of inquiry to the Levant on the grounds, an aide explained, that Wilson “felt these two men were particularly qualified to go to Syria because they knew nothing about it.” This know-nothing approach failed America 87 years ago and it failed again now.

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“Violent jihad” to detonate grenades in Illinois shopping mall foiled

Lone wolf? Muslim or non-Muslim? Just last week I mentioned to two colleagues it seems only a matter of time when someone targets shopping malls. – Feds Arrest Man Who Planned to Detonate Grenades in Illinois Shopping Mall

CHICAGO – A man was arrested Friday by federal agents on charges of planning to set off hand grenades in garbage cans at a shopping mall.

Derrick Shareef, 22, of Rockford, was arrested when he met with an undercover agent in a parking lot to trade a set of stereo speakers for four hand grenades and a handgun.

Federal officials said he planned to set off four hand grenades in garbage cans at the CherryVale shopping mall in Rockford, about 90 miles northwest of Chicago.

He was charged with one count of attempting to damage or destroy a building by fire or explosion and one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Officials say he was acting alone. …[Read more]

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The 2006 Weblog Awards: The 2006 Weblog Awards Finalists Announced

The 2006 Weblog Awards Finalists Announced

The Weblog Awards are the world’s largest blog competition, with over 1 million votes cast in the last three years for nearly 1,000 blogs. This year’s edition is the biggest ever with 45 categories to choose from. Nominations ended November 24, and voting is scheduled to begin December 7. …[Read more]

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Bush: Administration Will Take Iraq Study Group Report Seriously, Act Quickly

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2006 – The report issued today by the Iraq Study Group offers an opportunity for government leaders to come together and work toward a solution in Iraq, and the administration will take the report’s recommendations very seriously, President Bush said here today.

“This report gives a very tough assessment of the situation in Iraq,” Bush said after receiving a copy of the report this morning at the White House. “It is a report that brings some really very interesting proposals, and we will take every proposal seriously, and we will act in a timely fashion.”

Members of the administration and Congress won’t agree on every proposal put forth in the report, Bush acknowledged, but added that this is an important opportunity for leaders to work together for the good of the country. He thanked the members of the commission for their work, noting that they have made a vital contribution to the U.S. and the future of Iraq and the Middle East.

“We can achieve long-lasting peace for this country, and it requires tough work,” Bush said. “It also requires a strategy that will be effective, and we’ve got men and women of both political parties around this table who spent a lot of time thinking about the way forward in Iraq and the way forward in the Middle East.”

The 10-member bipartisan Iraq Study Group is co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. The group’s report will now move to Congress for consideration.

Iraq Study Group Home Page

Related articles:

BBC: Report ‘urges Iraq policy shift’

Updates: News results for iraq study group

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NBC poll: Mitt Romney for Pres? Vote NOW

Poll question: Would you vote for a Mormon for president?

Vote now:

Let your voice be heard.

Vote now:

Video: Mormon in the White House? Nov. 27: While Barack Obama may have to overcome his race to become president, intriguing potential Republican candidate Mitt Romney may have to overcome his religion. MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson discusses with Michael Graham, host of “The Natural Truth” radio show in Boston.

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Congressional oath of office: Bible v. Koran

Prager wrote an article denouncing Ellison’s use of the Koran to take his oath of office.

I disagree with Prager, and believe Ellison has every right to use which holy book he wants. While I am no fan of multiculturalism and political correctness, I am adamant about the principle of Freedom of Religion.

The 11th article of faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reads: We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

Dennis Prager: America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on:

Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran.

He should not be allowed to do so — not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization. …

Nor has one Mormon official demanded to put his hand on the Book of Mormon. …[Read more]

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Gaza cease-fire

Posted by permission from Dr. Daniel Pipes. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website

by Daniel Pipes
Jerusalem Post
November 28, 2006

Question asked of Jerusalem Post columnists: “While many argue that the cease-fire in Gaza has no chance of holding, some believe it can, arguing that it is in the best interests of all sides involved (Israel, Abbas, Hamas) to reach a more comprehensive deal that would include the release of Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. What’s your position?” For all replies, see “Burning Issues #14: Gaza cease-fire

Until Arabs give up their effort to eliminate Israel, a cease-fire is all that Israelis can hope for. From the Rhodes Armistice to the Egypt-Israel treaty to the Oslo accords to the 2003 hudna, each respite in warfare has been temporary.

Cease-fires benefit Israel in two main ways. They end the killing and they offer the time for Israel to improve its war-making abilities.

But these cease-fires invariably come to an end, warfare resumes, and Israel must again fight and win before a new cessation of hostilities begins. Each cease-fire, in other words, contains the seeds of its own demise, each war contains the premise for the next lull.

All that said, the instant and multiple violations of the most recent cease-fire makes it unlikely to have much staying power.

Related articles:

Haaretz: Palestinians can’t be war criminals Making the Gaza Cease-Fire Stick — Page 1

Guardian: Rogue rockets fail to shatter Gaza ceasefire deal

BBC: Press doubts over Gaza ceasefire

Haaretz: Qassam lands near Sderot in violation of cease-fire

Haaretz: Rice will tell Abbas ‘Don’t miss opportunity’

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Right war, botched occupation


by Michael Rubin
USA Today
November 27, 2006

As U.S. troops entered Iraq, President Bush promised freedom and democracy. But rather than establish a stable democracy, today terrorists and militias tear the country apart. After billions spent and the sacrifice of almost 3,000 U.S. troops, it is right to ask whether democracy in Iraq was not a fool’s dream.

It was not.

President Truman faced similar questions about Korea. Critics accused him of embroiling America in open-ended war, ignoring his generals and losing touch with reality. They said democracy was alien to Korean culture. Time proved them wrong. Any juxtaposition of nuclear North Korea with democratic South Korea shows the value of Truman’s policy.

Bush was right to liberate Iraq. Saddam Hussein had started two wars, used chemical weapons and subsidized suicide bombers. He claimed to have weapons of mass destruction. Sanctions had collapsed; containment failed.

With military action inevitable, the White House was right to pursue democracy. Cynical realism created Saddam. Iraqis who fled their country, meanwhile, had no problem accepting democracy; Iraq’s problem was both its rule of law and its dictator’s unaccountability.

What went wrong? Iraq’s transformation was undercut by naive faith, not in democracy but rather in diplomacy. Instead of securing Iraq’s borders, the Bush administration accepted Syrian and Iranian pledges of non-interference. They believed the canard that Iraq’s neighbors sought a stable, secure Iraq. Both countries exploited U.S. trust.

Then, to win United Nations support, the White House defined itself as an occupying power. Overnight, liberation became occupation, and Iraqi democrats became collaborators. To appease Paris and Berlin, the Bush administration justified insurgent rhetoric.

Iraqis embraced democracy, but the wrong kind. U.N. experts sold the White House an election system based on party slates rather than on districts. Any system in which politicians are more accountable to party leaders than constituents, though, encourages ethnic nationalism and sectarian populism. Add militias to the mix, and the result is explosive.

Iraqis greeted U.S. troops as liberators, but the Bush administration fumbled the occupation. Blaming democracy does not address the cause of strife; rather, it absolves policymakers for poor decisions and implementation. Too much is at stake, not only for Iraq but also for U.S. national security, if policymakers learn the wrong lessons.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Related Items

Global Incident Map

This is labeled as the internet’s best global terrorism incident map. This map provides a global display of terrorism and other suspicious events updated every 300 seconds…more

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Speed Talking

Check out this cool speed talking video. In under 2 minutes, he names the books of the Bible (Old and New Testaments) the Book of Mormon, the 50 US States, the alphabet backwards, the U. S. Presidents and the Academy Award winners for Best Picture.

Here is a list of everything he says (in under 2 minutes!):

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Samuel, Kings, Kings, Chronicles, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, First, Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Phillipians, Colossians, First, Second Thessalonians, Timothy, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, Peter, Peter, John, John, John, Jude, Revelation, First, Second Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon, Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, Third, Fourth Nephi, Mormon, Ether, Moroni, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Z, Y, X, W, V, U, T, S, R, Q, P, O, N, M, L, K, J, I, H, G, F, E, D, C, B, A, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert C. Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, “Wings,” “The Broadway Melody,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Cimarron,” “Grand Hotel,” “Cavalcade,” “It Happened One Night,” “Mutiny on the Bounty,” “The Great Ziegfeld,” “The Life of Emile Zola,” “You Can’t Take it With You,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Rebecca,” “How Green Was My Valley,” “Mrs. Miniver,” “Casablanca,” “Going My Way,” “The Lost Weekend,” “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “Gentleman’s Agreement,” “Hamlet,” “All the King’s Men,” “All About Eve,” “An American in Paris,” “The Greatest Show on Earth,” “From Here to Eternity,” “On the Waterfront,” “Marty,” “Around the World in Eighty Days,” “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” “Gigi,” “Ben-Hur,” “The Apartment,” “West Side Story,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Tom Jones,” “My Fair Lady,” “The Sound of Music,” “A Man for All Seasons,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “Oliver,” “Midnight Cowboy,” “Patton,” “The French Connection,” “The Godfather,” “The Sting,” “The Godfather Part II,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Rocky,” “Annie Hall,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Ordinary People,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Gandhi,” “Terms of Endearment,” “Amadeus,” “Out of Africa,” “Platoon,” “The Last Emperor,” “Rain Man,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Dances with Wolves,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Unforgiven,” “Schindler’s List,” “Forrest Gump,” “Braveheart,” “The English Patient,” “Titanic,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “American Beauty,” “Gladiator,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Chicago,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Crash.”

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Alain’s article: The Mitt Romney Deception

Ultra-conservative (OK, Christian Right) website published a report claiming Mitt Romney is not pro-life, pro-family, or a “committed conservative.”

Click here to read the article The Mitt Romney Deception

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A Time Of Thanks To God

Thanksgiving Day, 2006

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Thanksgiving 2006

As Americans gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks for the many ways that our Nation and our people have been blessed.

The Thanksgiving tradition dates back to the earliest days of our society, celebrated in decisive moments in our history and in quiet times around family tables. Nearly four centuries have passed since early settlers gave thanks for their safe arrival and pilgrims enjoyed a harvest feast to thank God for allowing them to survive a harsh winter in the New World. General George Washington observed Thanksgiving during the Revolutionary War, and in his first proclamation after becoming President, he declared November 26, 1789, a national day of “thanksgiving and prayer.” During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition of proclaiming a day of thanksgiving, reminding a divided Nation of its founding ideals.

At this time of great promise for America, we are grateful for the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and defended by our Armed Forces throughout the generations. Today, many of these courageous men and women are securing our peace in places far from home, and we pay tribute to them and to their families for their service, sacrifice, and strength. We also honor the families of the fallen and lift them up in our prayers.

Our citizens are privileged to live in the world’s freest country, where the hope of the American dream is within the reach of every person. Americans share a desire to answer the universal call to serve something greater than ourselves, and we see this spirit every day in the millions of volunteers throughout our country who bring hope and healing to those in need. On this Thanksgiving Day, and throughout the year, let us show our gratitude for the blessings of freedom, family, and faith, and may God continue to bless America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 2006, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.


Related Thanksgiving Day links:

President George Washington On Thanksgiving Day on October 3, 1789
Smithsonian Institution: Thanksgiving in North America
Pilgrim Hall Museum
LDS General Authorities on the topic of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving World

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When and Where to Pray, Muslim Opinions Differ

The following story appeared today on local news, Channel 12, KPNX, Phoenix, Arizona in reference to the imams from Phoenix removed November 20th from a U.S. Airways flight en route back to Phoenix from Minneapolis.

When and Where to Pray, Muslim Opinions Differ- by Kevin Kennedy.

Other related coverage:

Channel 12 11/21
Muslim passengers removed from plane bound for Phoenix (video)

Channel 12 11/21
Airline defends its actions to take Muslims off the plane (video)

Channel 5 11/21
Imams arrive in Phoenix

Channel 15 11/21
Six Muslims removed from Phoenix bound flight

Channel 15 11/21
CAIR Press conference (video)

Arizona Republic 11/22/06
Valley Musilms say prayer got them kicked off a flight

Robert Spencer
Putting Homeland Security First:

Why nobody should apologize for removing six imams from an airplane.

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Zune today, U.N. tomorrow?

I just discovered that Microsoft makes a Media Player called Zune, obviously going after Apple’s iPod/iTune market.

It just never ceases to amaze me that Microsoft is compelled to get into everything market…News networks like MSNBC…search engines like MSN Search…game consoles like Xbox…Media Players like Zune…what’s next…Tomorrow’s headline: “Microsoft takes over the U.N.!”

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Redesigned Gospel Library, Improved Search

Improved navigation, organization and search features are some of the enhancements to this redesigned gospel library. Check out the Search > Advanced Search Options.


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Hoyer Wins Majority Leader Post, Beating Murtha

Pelosi’s first setback with many more to follow to be sure.

By Josephine Hearn

In a stunning rebuke to incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Democrats selected Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to be their majority leader Thursday morning in a vote of 149 to 86 even though Pelosi had thrown her weight behind Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.).

Hoyer drew on a coalition of soon-to-be committee chairmen, centrists and freshman members to overcome Pelosi’s clout with colleagues. Pelosi lobbied both freshmen and returning members this week in an effort to oust her old rival from the leadership. Hoyer and Pelosi waged a bitter battle for minority whip in 2001.

Murtha, a noted Iraq war critic and senior appropriator, suffered from a perceived weakness on ethics. At a recent meeting of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, he called the Democrats’ ethics package “total crap,” a comment that reverberated across the cable news networks only a day before the election.

With the election now settled, Democrats will turn to the hefty task of taking control of the House and pushing their agenda through Congress, but they will carry the baggage of this rancorous campaign. Pelosi’s entry into the race effectively drove a wedge into the caucus, weakened their ability to remain unified and infuriated Hoyer’s supporters, which include many in the moderate New Democrat Coalition and conservative Blue Dog Coalition.

Earlier this morning the House Democratic caucus unanimously elected Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) as Speaker, Jim Clyburn (S.C.) as majority whip, Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) as caucus chairman and John Larson (Conn.) to caucus vice chairman.

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Tempering Ambitions

Posted by permission from Dr. Daniel Pipes. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

by Daniel Pipes
National Interest
November/December 2006

Whether the Iraqi expedition is judged a success or failure depends almost exclusively on the views of Americans-not those of Iraqis, other coalition partners, or anyone else. So, fellow Americans, let’s debate the topic. My take:

It was right to pre-empt Saddam Hussein before he could oppress his Iraqi subjects further, invade another country, deploy more chemical weapons or build nuclear weapons. The world is a better place with this abominable thug in jail, not lording it in his “presidential palaces.”

Alongside the easy and fast victory over Saddam Hussein, the Bush Administration made a critical conceptual mistake-raising short-term expectations too high. Nomenclature alone required Operation Iraqi Freedom to quickly produce a vibrant, healthy, open, calm Iraq, with anything less constituting failure. Talk of a “free and prosperous” Iraq serving as a regional model foisted ambitions on Iraqis that they-just emerging from a thirty-year totalitarian nightmare, saddled with extremist ideologies, deep ethnic divisions and predatory neighbors-could not fulfill.

As Iraqis failed to play their appointed role, frustration grew in Washington. Deepening the trap of its own making, the administration forwarded these ambitions by bogging itself down in such domestic Iraqi minutiae as resolving inter-tribal conflict, getting electricity and water grids to work and involving itself in constitution writing.

Had the U.S.-led coalition pitched its ambitions lower, aspiring only to a decent government and economy while working much more slowly toward democracy, Iraq’s progress over the past four years would be more apparent. The occupying forces should have sponsored a democratically-minded strongman to secure the country and eventually move it toward an open political process; and this approach would have the benefit of keeping Islamists out of power at a moment of their maximal popular and electoral appeal.

The basic coalition message to Iraqis should have been: You are adults, here is your country back, good luck. Transfer some seed money and station coalition forces in the deserts with a clearly defined mandate-defend Iraq’s international borders, ensure the security of oil and gas exports, search for Saddam Hussein and his henchmen, prevent large-scale atrocities.

These should-have-beens remain relevant as 2007 approaches. The administration can still frame the debate in terms of U.S. interests, not Iraqi ones. It can contrast Iraq today with yesteryear’s totalitarian model rather than a potential ideal. It can distance itself from Iraq’s fate by reminding the world that Iraqis are responsible for shaping their destiny.

But the administration shows no signs of gearing down its ambitions in Iraq along these proposed lines. Should it stick with its unrealistically high goals, I fear failure then looms. The implications of that failure, as in Vietnam, will primarily be domestic, with conservatives and liberals returning to their pre-Reagan battle stations and the United States reverting back to what Richard Nixon in 1970 dubbed its “pitiful, helpless giant” status.

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Impact of US elections in Mideast

Posted by permission from Dr. Daniel Pipes. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

Question asked of Jerusalem Post columnists: “What impact, if any, will the results of the US midterm elections have on US policy towards Israel and the Middle East?” For all replies, see “Burning Issues #11: Impact of US elections in Mideast

In every full democracy, the legislative branch mostly enjoys power in domestic affairs, while the executive branch predominates in foreign policy. The United States is no exception; especially with the virtual disappearance over the right to declare wars, Congress has a distinctly secondary role in formulating America’s role in the world. Its main domain is that of taxation, pensions, welfare, and the judiciary. One vivid example of this: Congress has long tried to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but has never come close to succeeding.

Therefore, I expect the changes from this week’s mid-term elections to have only minor impact on U.S. policy in the Middle East, including Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is especially the case given:

  • The stagnant quality of Arab-Israeli relations;
  • The war on terror having only a minor Congressional dimension;
  • The debate over Iraq having more sting and anger concerning events of 2003 than events of 2007; and
  • The almost complete presidential prerogative when it comes to responding to the Iranian drive to build nuclear weapons.

By extension, I expect that the internal conservative debate over George W. Bush’s profligate spending will have more of a long-term impact than the parallel debate over his decision to go and uproot the Saddam Hussein regime.

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Today’s Elections and the War on Terror

Another superb essay by Orson Scott Card.

Today’s Elections and the War on Terror

There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that’s the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case – if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to Americas role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hell-bent on losing it – and in the most damaging possible way – I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan – the party I joined back in the 1970s – is dead. Of suicide. … [Read more]

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Justice for all!

Many Iraqis were jubilant when they heard that Saddam Hussein had been found guilty for crimes against humanity and sentenced to death.


baghdad – Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity today, bringing to an end the first trial examining the alleged crimes of the former regime ? a theatrical, yearlong televised odyssey dogged by questions of legitimacy.

Hussein, 69, was sentenced to death by hanging, but capital and life sentences in Iraq are automatically appealed. The nine-judge appellate court begins hearing arguments within a month of the sentence, and could deliberate for an unlimited time – months or even years. Sentences must be carried out within a month after the final appeal is exhausted. …[Read more]

Related articles:
LA Times: Baghdad, provinces on shutdown for Hussein verdict
LA Times: First trial of Hussein is ending amid doubts Saddam Hussein sentenced to death US, UK welcome Saddam death sentence Mideast torn over Saddam verdict Judgement day arrives for Saddam Baghdad curfew as verdict nears
BBC: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death
BBC: Saddam dominates courtroom drama
BBC: In pictures: Iraq’s reaction
BBC: Saddam verdict: Voices from Iraq
BBC: Media broadcast scenes of jubilation
BBC: Saddam sentence: Reaction in quotes
BBC: UK Government hails Saddam verdict
BBC: Verdict Impact Analysis – International resonance of Iraq verdict
Fox News: Saddam Hussein Sentenced to Die for Crimes Against Humanity
CNN: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging

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A Message to John Kerry from Iraq

Novak summaries well Kerry’s foot-in mouth disease in the Evans-Novak Political Report for 11/1

The Kerry Effect: It’s not the biggest October Surprise, but Sen. Kerry’s political self-destruct yesterday is the latest unexpected event. The entire incident reflects a man who missed the presidency by an inch, and who feels at the core of his being that he miscalculated in his 2004 campaign and doesn’t want to make the same mistake again.

  1. Kerry, addressing a crowd of Democrats in California on the topic of education, tied in the Iraq War by bringing up the long-standing complaint by some on the left that the military preys upon poor and uneducated youths in their recruitment. “You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.” That is a slightly meaner version of what several Democratic members of Congress have been saying for years.
  2. Republicans were delighted when the remarks came to light and drew somber rebukes from the White House and from several Republican politicians, especially Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). It was shaping up as a motivator for a disillusioned Republican base, when Kerry issued an angrily written statement, apparently hastily written, aimed at “right-wing nut jobs” who were criticizing him.
  3. In sum, Kerry said something he shouldn’t have (nothing an apology could not have mended), but then gave his strident response to the criticism, which may have dealt a blow to Democrats and a death-blow to Kerry’s political future. Kerry’s extremely angry, aggressive follow-up presentation was so lacking in contrition that he made matters worse. As House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) put it in a television interview, “He’d better apologize, or we’re gonna beat him to death over this one.”
  4. Kerry still believes that his failure to respond quickly and aggressively to the attacks on his military record in 2004 cost him the presidency. He has taken so much grief from Democrats over his failure to stand up for himself and for liberal ideas that he felt the need to act decisively yesterday. That is what brought on his extremely ill-considered behavior.
  5. Kerry’s explanation — that his original comment was meant as a jab at President Bush — was lost in a sea of angry anti-Bush rhetoric. The explanation also falls flat because his remarks are so clearly in line with accepted left-wing positions. If Kerry’s fear was that Republicans would divert attention away from a failed Iraq policy, he managed only to give extra life to the news story that will indeed divert it. Whatever the truth at the heart of it all, the story going into the final week of the election is about John Kerry, who insulted the troops, refused to apologize, and erupted in a defiant televised speech.
  6. How much damage will this cause Democrats? It unquestionably knocks them off their message, and it may even poison the well with respect to remarks critical of the Iraq War. Kerry’s angry denial that he would ever speak ill of the troops brings back memories from 2004 — specifically his 35-year-old testimony that his comrades in Vietnam were murderers and rapists. More immediately, Democratic candidates all over the country will now be asked whether Kerry owes an apology, which is a no-win proposition no matter how it is answered.
  7. But the real damage will come in the form of increased Republican base turnout. Their old boogeyman has returned from the dead. What could be more effective in motivating disillusioned conservatives to vote next week than the sight of a defiant John Kerry insulting the troops and angrily refusing to apologize? We are told that the ads are already being cut and the mailers printed as we write. The effect will remain unknown until next week.

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Muslim American Journalist: Millions of Proud American Muslims Oppose Al-Qaeda

The online version of the Las Vegas Review Journal ( ) recently posted an article by Muslim American journalist Aslam Abdullah, who is the director of the Islamic Society of Nevada and of the Muslim Electorates Council of America, and is also editor of two Muslim American papers: the Muslim Observer weekly and the Minaret monthly. In his article, titled “Kill Us Too, We Are Also Americans,” he harshly denounces the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir, saying that Al-Mujahir and his supporters rejoice in killing innocent people and that they bring nothing but disaster upon Islam. Abdullah adds that, if Al-Muhajir wishes to harm Americans, he might as well target Muslim-Americans, since they, no less than their fellow citizens, regard the U.S. as their home and uphold its values.

FROM OUR READERS: Kill us, too: We are also Americans

Radical Muslims not worthy of the religion


Special to the Review-Journal

The leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, recently issued a decree to its supporters: Kill at least one American in the next two weeks “using a sniper rifle, explosive or whatever the battle may require.”

Well, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, I am an American too. Count me as the one of those you have asked your supporters to kill. …[Read more]

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Anti-American hatred in official PA daily’s cartoons

More anti-American hatred
in official PA daily’s cartoons

by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

The official (PA) daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, has for years promoted anti-American hatred, often through the publication of hateful political cartoons. This tactic has continued in recent weeks with a new spate of anti-American cartoons.

In the first cartoon below, the US is portrayed as a menacing threat to the Arab world. America and Al Qaeda have sent the Grim Reaper, who is shown surrounded by piles of skulls in Iraq yet already searching for his next Arab victims. The second shows the US’s attempt to dominate the entire world, as Uncle Sam sits happily on top of the globe. The third cartoon continues the PA’s active support of Saddam Hussein and the insurgency in Iraq. It focuses on America’s high losses in the past month by replacing the stars of the American flag with skulls, while Uncle Sam stares at the flag and cries.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, which published these hate cartoons, is under the complete control of the office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised Abbas last month: “We have great admiration for you and your leadership…You have the strong support of the US and a personal commitment from President George Bush” (AP and The Jerusalem Post, October 5, 2006).








Sign on pile of skulls on TV: “Iraq.”

Grim Reaper says: “This series is brought to you by America and Al Qaeda.”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 20, 2006]








[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 20, 2006]









Note the skulls that replace the stars in the flag.

Text on top: “More than 100 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq this past month!”

Text under flag: “Iraq”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 30, 2006]

Please feel free to forward this bulletin, crediting Palestinian Media Watch.


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