Saturday, July 30, 2005

Aruba Must Solve the Natalee Holloway Case

It’s been nearly two months now, and some of you may be getting sick and tired of it all. The Fox News Network, and Greta Van Susteren on her show (10pm Eastern) in particular, just won’t let go of this story.

I mean, there’s the continuing War on Terror in Iraq, John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court, Boy Scouts going missing, NFL players getting shot, roller coasters colliding at Disneyland. There are even some intriguing courtroom stories out there, Greta’s forte’, as both Sadaam Hussein and the BTK killer prepare to possibly defend themselves in court.

What is so darned important about some little blonde teenage girl from suburbia going away on her class trip to Aruba, getting drunk on her last night on the island, hooking up with some Danish pretty boy, and then turning up missing in the morning when her classmates are returning to home?

Sure, it’s intriguing at first. Where is the girl? What happened to her? Was she murdered by this snotty little child of privilege who island-romanced her? Were any of his buddies involved? Did they drop her off at the beach, leave her down there on her own request or passed out, and she went for an early morning last swim in the waters of her idealic vacation spot and drowned?

What happened to Natalee Holloway?

Well, it’s my opinion that the Fox News Network has it exactly right in this instance, and I for one am glad that someone, even Van Susteren, won’t let the story slip from our collective consciousness.

Far too often in today’s high-tech world we want things here and now, we want them fast, and then we want to move on to the next hot thing. Or story. God knows, there is always another hot news story coming down the pike. The Holloway story was such at one time, about a month and a half ago, for a few weeks. But now, when was the last time that you heard more than a blurb or read more than a snippet on the case outside of the Fox/Van Susteren coverage?

There should be a quite obvious reason why this case is so important. It is the very reason that the case was important in the first place. It has nothing to do with the young lady, Natalee Holloway, who appears to be tragically missing being a pretty young girl. It has nothing to do with the daily updates from her “I won’t leave this island without my daughter” mom.

The Natalee Holloway case must continue to have a spotlight shined brightly upon it until resolution for one reason, because it could happen to any of our daughters, or any of us for that matter.

Americans spend a tremendous amount of money every year at vacation destinations such as Aruba. Heck, I am planning an island trip of my own for later this year. About five or six years ago, my wife and I sent one of my daughters away for a weeklong class trip of her own, all the way to Russia, where she visited both Moscow and St. Petersburg. I simply cannot imagine her not have returning from that trip, and our not knowing to this day where she was, or exactly what happened to her.

The government of Aruba needs to solve this case. And if they don’t, American consumers need to take their hard-earned vacation dollars to another of the many, many beautiful island vacation destinations.

As local Philadelphia politician and Abscamer Ozzie Myers has been famously quoted over the years, “Money talks and bullshit walks.” In the handling of the Natalee Holloway case thus far by Aruban authorities, there has been far too much BS. It is time for money to start talking. That is something the Aruban government and people will understand very well indeed.

So pay close attention to the Natalee Holloway case in the coming months, to the handling of the case by the Aruban authorities in particular. And then, if you are not pleased with the outcome, vote with your individual and family wallets and pocketbooks. Stay away from Aruba, because next time it could be our daughter that is missing and never found, your family that is holding a memorial service without a body, as the Holloway family may one day have to face.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Michael Scheuer Calls a Spade a Spade

This morning on his local radio broadcast, Philadelphia talk radio icon Michael Smerconish had on as his main guest Michael Scheuer, former head of the “bin Laden” desk for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Scheuer has just released a book titled “Imperial Hubris”, which he wrote under the pseudonym of “anonymous”.

One thing that I found refreshing about Scheuer’s opinion is that he was and is able and willing to look beyond the usual labels that all political and ideological sides of the terrorist issue like to hang on bin Laden, and to simply call a spade a spade.

What I mean by this is that far too often those on the far end of the political Right want to label bin Laden as a terrorist, a madman, a demon, a devil, a deranged killer, a murderer. Those on the far end of the political Left have called him an Islamic freedom fighter, a rebel, an insurgent leader. And of course, many have found far more colorful labels to hang on the man.

Scheuer points out that bin Laden is neither a demon nor a freedom fighter. He is a mainstream Muslim, a devout believer in Islam, a sincerely spiritual man.

Osama bin Laden says what he means, and he means what he says, and in this way he is a man of integrity. You don’t have to wonder what bin Laden thinks about any issue, he tells you how he feels, over and over.

In fact, more than we Americans, Osama bin Laden is willing to call a spade a spade.

For this reason, bin Laden is more dangerous to the United States and the future of our nation than most any other single man has ever been.

Radical Islam as an entity is a bigger threat to freedom, democracy and capitalism than any other ideology that has ever come down the pike. This includes everything from Nazism to Communism.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Who is John Roberts, and Why Should You Care?

Earlier this week, in a nationally televised announcement befitting the importance of the occasion, President Bush introduced his nominee to the United States Supreme Court. He named Washington, D.C. circuit court judge John Roberts to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

But just who is John Roberts, and why should you care? Why is this whole Supreme Court thing such a big deal?

Why are you going to be saturated with coverage of Roberts’ confirmation hearings, and why is the same thing going to happen as the President makes even more appointments in the future.

First, let’s get the biography out of the way. John Roberts is a 50-year old married father of two children, a native of Buffalo, New York who graduated magna cum laude from both Harvard College and Harvard Law School. While at Harvard he served as Managing Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Out of law school in 1980, Roberts clerked for current Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He moved on to become an associate counsel to the Reagan administration, and then took on the position of deputy solicitor general under the first George Bush, arguing cases for the government position in front of the Supreme Court.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Historic Opportunity for Parents of Philly Schoolchildren

Well, the ultra-liberal City of Philadelphia has done it again. Back in June, the school board voted to make African-American History a required course for all students in order to “further the understanding of black history.

I have just one question for the board. What about American History, period?

Ask many of the kids currently in Philly’s public school system about American history and you will get back a blank stare.

Our kids have heard of George Washington (he was a President, right?) and Abraham Lincoln (he freed the slaves, right?) They may even have heard of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

The vast majority of Philly’s public school children get a sampling of real American history. But that exposure is inside a program that has become watered down. It is wholly incomplete, and virtually of little or no use in instilling a feeling of the shared national pride with which we and our parents and grandparents were raised.

Forget about learning the basic foundational principles of our nation. Forget about teaching of the many great men and women, and the pivotal events establishing the same.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Hello, American Liberals? London Calling

What a difference a day makes. Twenty four little hours.

It was actually less than a day ago when the city of London was awarded the rights to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. The city exploded with joy, and all of England looked forward to their opportunity to shine under the spotlight as the world gathered in the British Isles for the greatest sporting event for the first time in over sixty years.

And then less than twenty four hours later, Londoners were dead and wounded on their buses and in their subway cars, and the Brits were in shock. At least seven different explosions spread over at least four different sites rocked the city as the public transportation system became the target of a coordinated terrorist attack by Muslim extremists during the morning rush hour.

A branch of al-Qaeda operating in Europe has taken responsibility for the blasts, and warns specifically that the Danish and Italian governments, and the governments of all “Crusaders”, must pull their troops out of both Iraq and Afghanistan, or those nations will be next on the terrorists hit list. The group specifically states that the attack is in direct response to, and as retaliation for, the military activity in the Middle East.

The attacks are fresh and new, and the rightful target of our wrath should be those radical Muslim terrorists. Our rightful targets should be al-Qaeda, bin Laden and his agents and supporters. Our rightful thoughts should now be with the British people as they mourn solemnly their many losses, the least of which, as we know well here in America from our own experiences on 9/11, will not be the psychological damage inflicted on a free and open society.

However, there is another group, a group right here at home, that needs to be pointed out and singled out right now, while this latest transgression against humanity is still fresh in our consciousness. That group would be those in the American liberal political movement in general, and the Democratic Party in particular.

For many, many months now, leading liberal Democrats have been berating President Bush over the War on Terror. They have stated that it was an unjustified war, and have called for American troop withdrawals loudly and publicly, the drumbeat of their insistence getting louder and louder, the negativity of their rhetoric getting stronger and stronger, as the weeks have passed.

The liberal mouthpiece, the New York Times, said on June 28th in response to the President’s speech to the nation on the Iraq chapter of the war that Iraq “had nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attacks” on 9/11/2001, and that it was wrong for the President to have used those references so strongly in his speech.

This is a theme that the liberals, from Ted Kennedy to Harry Reid, from Hillary Clinton to John Kerry, have been putting forth ad nauseam with speeches at the halls of government and on the airwaves and in the print media. These liberals have been using the fact of many mainstream Americans tiring of the war effort for political capital, trying to paint themselves as moderate, tolerant, and peaceful.

Well, you were wrong Teddy, Hillary, John, Harry, and friends. This is a war, and Iraq has as much to do with it as any other nation. Iraq is not alone. Afghanistan was the first chapter, Iraq the current, but it won’t be the last. The words of the European radical terrorists prove it once and for all, that the 9/11 attacks were a coordinated effort by a real enemy that is bent on destroying our way of life. And now they have struck our friends and allies.

Need still more, Teddy? How about the efforts of Saddam’s regime to recruit bombers to take out Radio Free Europe in the late 90’s?

Need more, Hillary? How about your own husband’s Justice Department in a ’98 indictment against bin Laden that stated “…..al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq” on projects including weapons development. Not the Bush Justice Department, your husband’s.

Need more, Msrs. Reid and Kerry? How about Saddam harboring ’93 Twin Towers bomber Abdul Rahman Yasin for a decade? Or his statement after the ’98 embassy bombing attacks by al-Qaeda calling bin Laden “an Arab and Islamic hero”? Or Abu Musab Zarqawi choosing Baghdad for surgery in 2002 after being wounded while fighting Americans?

There is so much more. The links between Iraq and al Qaeda, between Hussein and bin Laden, are so clear to anyone who looks with open eyes.

But the eyes of the American left, the liberal Democrats like Kennedy and Clinton and Kerry, remain blinded by an all-consuming hatred of George W. Bush, so much so that they endanger the lives of America’s service men and women by issuing anti-war and anti-administration proclamations on a daily basis that outlets like Al Jazeera use to fan the anti-American flames in the Middle East.

The actions and comments of the American liberal, leftist, Democratic party have been shameful as we try to fight and win a justified War on Terror, a war that they have made even more difficult. Shame on them, and all of their media mouthpieces like the New York Times, Al Franken, and Michael Moore.

The attacks this morning on our good friends and loyal allies over in England once again highlight for us that we are in a real war, one that will not be fought and won over weeks and months, but over years and perhaps even decades. In response to the attacks, President Bush stated with resolve; “We will not yield…we will spread a message of hope and compassion that will overcome their ideology of hate.”

God bless you, Mr. President. And God bless all of our fighting women and men in this most historic struggle. It is the age-old classic struggle of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, moral vs. immoral. It is really that clear a struggle, and it is long past time for the liberals to set aside their politics and stand up for democracy and freedom for once.

And finally, may God bless the British people as they struggle to come to grips with the war reaching their shores. Here is to hoping that they and all of Europe are prepared to do what needs to be done over the long haul to win this war. Because against this enemy, much as against the fascism of Nazi Germany over a half century ago, nothing short of complete and total victory is acceptable.

Friday, July 1, 2005

Courting a Texas Originalist

The announcement was not unexpected, it had been rumored at least for weeks. And yet when Sandra Day O’Connor announced her resignation from the U.S. Supreme Court last week it still seemed to take many of us by surprise.

It has been 11 long years since the last opening occurred on the nation’s highest court, and it was beginning to seem like this latest coterie of individuals would preside over our most intimate and important issues forever.

Of course, nothing lasts forever but God Himself, and so this opening for a new appointment to the court was inevitable.

Mrs. O’Connor was the first female to ever be appointed to the court, named by the man who was just recently voted the greatest American in history by a poll conducted by the Discovery Channel and AOL, beloved former President Ronald Reagan.

However, it was not just making history that Reagan was after. He had been out front in helping defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, which proved to be the death knell for the activist womens’ movement that had swept across liberal America during the 1970’s.

In defeating the ERA, Reagan had promised to appoint the first woman to the high court if elected in 1980. When he nominated O’Connor, who was obviously pro-abortion in her decisions, the most conservative Senators fell in line and approved her, not wanting to challenge their staunchly conservative leader as he appointed the first woman ever to the court.