A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Exorcist Story Again

(From the Archives)

In honor of Holloween, I thought I`d reprint my post from last spring about the Exorcist:

Carol Iannone, writing in the National Review Online, discusses the actual story behind the exorcism of a young boy in St. Louis which Peter Blatty would adapt into the groundbreaking film The Exorcist. The case is the only documented example of demonic possession in America, and the exorcism was conducted at St. Louis University by Jesuit priests. I thought this would be an interesting piece to blog about since I knew Father Halloran, who was then a young noviciate assisting with the exorcism, and because I attended SLU and picked up a number of interesting stories (which may or may not be true) about what happened.

The exorcism was performed in 1949 by a team of 4 priests and two noviciates led by Fr. William Bowdern (who was something of a legend at SLU for other reasons) and performed at Firman Desloge Hospital (owned by Saint Louis University) on the South Campus, and later moved to Jesuit Hall next to Francis Xavier (College) Church. The exorcism lasted weeks (exorcisms have been known to last years!) and was terribly draining to the participants. Many of the scenes from the Exorcist movie were said to have occured; the boy`s body floating off the bed, projectile vomiting, supernatural physical power, etc. Fr. Halloran had his nose broken by the boy while trying to restrain him. Messages appeared on the boy`s chest and stomach. The most difficult aspect, however, was the psychological attack made by the demon on the exorcists. The demon knew everyone`s weakness and tailored his attacks to demoralize the team.

Father Walter Halloran was at St. Louis University High School when I attended, and I had him for a class in philosophy. (SLUH is a college-prep boys school loosely associated with Saint Louis University and my alma mater.) I didn`t know until much later that he had participated in the exorcism. He always struck me as grumpy and hard-headed, and I now understand why he was grumpy and hard-headed; fighting a physical and spiritual battle with the minions of Hell tends to do that to a man! Much like soldiers who witness horrible things in battle, he (nor any of the others involved in the case) never discussed the exorcism, and I suspect no one would care to bring those bad memories back. I`m sure he had nightmares for the rest of his life.

For those of you who don`t know, exorcism is a specific ritual which can only be performed on orders from high authority in the Catholic Church, and only those specifically authorized are allowed to perform the ritual. A lengthy investigation is conducted to determine if there are any grounds for an exorcism. Most investigations turn up naturalistic causes for the apparent demonic possession, and so the Church does not authorize the ritual. The Church requires documentation of miracles performed by the demon, documentable evidence of supernatural knowledge, etc. The ritual must be performed over and over, and usually requires a team of exorcists who may work months, or even years to drive the devil out. Often it kills the possessed individual, and often it injures or even kills the exorcists themselves. No one in their right mind wants to be part of an exorcism.

Like all exorcisms, this one was gruelling and almost killed the child. Because of the violent nature of the demon and the horrible, evil sounds coming out of the room, the exorcism was moved into Jesuit Hall from the Hospital. Witnesses remarked that the most horrifying noises were heard coming from the room where the boy was housed. A number of people witnessed a vision of the Archangel Michael in the sky at the final moment, and the bells at College Church began ringing of their own accord. The boy, having been freed of the devil, remembered nothing.

The room where the exorcism was held was on the top floor of Jesuit Hall, and the entire floor was supposedly closed after the ritual. It is said that an elderly priest became possessed at this time, and they were unable to drive the demon out so he was locked up by himself until he died. These stories may be urban legends, although I have heard them from some fairly credible sources. None of the Jesuits I know would confirm or deny them.

The passing of Fr. Halloran prompted Carol Iannone to write about the exorcism in National Review, and so I decided I would throw in my two cents worth. (I really wish this had appeared around Holloween.) The point to bear in mind about all of this is that the priests involved were sinners and were weak, but their faith made them fearless and with Christ they were victorious! As Carol points out, these men were true priests willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING to defend an innocent child. They stood firm against the gates of Hell literally, and they did not back down! The world definitely needs more like them!


Let`s Get Syrian About Terrorism

This from the U.K. Times:

Syria and Iran Accused Over Arms

America's United Nations ambassador has accused Syria and Iran of trying to destabilise Lebanon's democratically-elected government by breaking a UN arms embargo. John Bolton stressed that Syria's obligations to respect the arms embargo authorised by the UN Security Council resolution that ended the 34-day Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in August "are particularly important as it is the one country other than Israel that borders Lebanon". He called on Syrian president Bashar Assad to abide by the commitment he made to UN secretary general Kofi Annan to support the resolution and the arms embargo.

Did anyone outside of Moveon.ogr and the Democratic Party fail to see this coming? Furthermore, if Syria is violating the arms embargo here, what makes us think they aren`t aiding the ``insurgents`` in Iraq?

When are we going to realize we really are at war, and act accordingly?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Cannibal Cloners

I had written this with the intention of trying to get it published, but the piece didn`t gel at first, and most of my points were already made by others before I could get it off, so I decided to publish it right here at Birdblog. My regular readers will recognize many of the links which I have put in this:


[Cf. F. cannibalisme.]
The act or practice of eating human flesh by mankind. Hence; Murderous cruelty; barbarity. Berke.

The usually ritualistic eating of human flesh by humans. The term derives from the Spanish name (Caríbales or Caníbales) for the Carib people, first encountered by Christopher Columbus. Reliable firsthand accounts of the practice are comparatively rare, causing some to question whether full-blown cannibalism has ever existed. Most agree that the consumption of particular portions or organs was a ritual means by which certain qualities of the person eaten might be obtained or by which powers of witchcraft and sorcery might be exercised. In some cases, a small portion of the dead person was ritually eaten by relatives. Headhunters (see headhunting) sometimes consumed bits of the bodies or heads of deceased enemies. The Aztecs apparently practiced cannibalism on a large scale as part of the ritual of human sacrifice.

Once there was a horrifying illness, one which struck only a single tribe on the island of New Guinea, a disease which caused shaking or spasms and twisted the faces of the victims into masks of mirth. This dreaded disease, called Kuru or ``trembling`` in the language of the Fore tribe became known to the Western world by its alternate name ``laughing sickness``-so named because the victims appeared to be convulsed in laughter, and were often subject to inappropriate outbursts during bouts of madness. It struck women and children of the tribe, but seemed not to touch the adult males. It caused hallucinations and insanity, and did terrible damage to the brains of the infected individuals, who suffered slow paralysis and a horrible, lingering death.

Researchers tried to find the cause of this terrible disease and came to an awful conclusion; Kuru was transmitted through mortuary cannibalism! It seems that the women of the tribe, upon preparing the bodies of their dearly departed, dismembered the corpses and ate them, feeding some of the dead relatives to their children. Brains in particular were considered a great delicacy, and the women delighted in steaming them with herbs and feeding their children the neurological organs of their grandparents. Men, it turned out, avoided cannibalism because they believed human meat made them vulnerable in war.

As it turns out, Kuru is a disease caused by an infectious agent called a Prion which is a fatal, protein based agent that causes degenerative neurological disorders. It is related to Mad Cow Disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy ), Scrapies (a disorder which strikes sheep), bovine spongiform, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), among others. It is transmitted by consuming the brain tissue of infected people, and it can lay dormant for years or even decades. The Kuru plague ended when the Papuan government banned cannibalism in the 1960`s.

The point about cannibalism as practiced by primitive tribes is that it is intended for purposes of magic; to transfer a warrior`s strength, or to bring some sort of mystical power to the cannibalizer, or simply to absorb the soul of the a lost relative so they remain among the living. Most cannibals, unlike the Fore, consume their enemies to steal their power, while not eating their relatives. Still, all cannibalism involves magic to grant the cannibal certain gifts inherent in the person to be eaten.

This coming November, Missourians will be voting on an amendment to our Constitution called the Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative ,which ostensibly bans human cloning and guarantees that state government will not be able to interfere with Missourians having access to any cures produced by embryonic stem-cell research, as well as protecting the ability to conduct such research here. I say ostensibly, because the proposed amendment would do none of the aforementioned, and in fact guarantees human therapeutic cloning.

The claim that the Amendment bans human cloning is a black lie; the authors of the initiative have changed the definition of cloning to mean reproductive cloning i.e. implanting a clone into a woman`s uterus and bringing the clone to term. But what is a clone? A clone is a delayed genetic. You can fertilize an egg in the old fashioned way then encourage it to split (you`re cloning the embryo) and thus you have formed a twin-or more. That, however, was not the way Dolly was made in Scotland; in that particular instance an unfertilized egg had the genetic material removed, then the nucleus from the cell of another animal was inserted into the egg, which produced an embryo which was genetically complete and identical to the donor sheep. This is known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (scnt). Amendment 2 does not consider this method for producing embryos for ``harvest`` cloning, so they claim they have banned human cloning. The fact that these embryos could be brought to term if desired should logical operational definition, but the amendment makes it illegal to implant these embryos, so the proponents of amendment 2 say they have banned human cloning. Until Row v.Wade and the pro-abortionists twisted the definition, human life was generally considered present after conception.

For example, the Hyppocratic Oath taken by the ancient Greeks says the following:

4. i. And I will not give a drug that is deadly to anyone if asked [for it],

ii. nor will I suggest the way to such a counsel. And likewise I will not give a woman a destructive pessary.

Thus the ancient Greeks illustrate their understanding that both abortion and euthanasia were wrong, and this further illustrates that the Greeks understood the unborn to be human.

It also suggests that many medical doctors are on the wrong side of this issue; this is their oath, after all.

The proponents of embryonic stem-cell research would have us believe that these embryos are not human life because they were not created in the usual way, and are not intended to be brought to term. They try to confuse the issue, claiming that this is no different than transplanting, say, skin cells or other organs. Wrong! A skin cell will never become anything but a skin cell while an embryo will, if implanted in a uterus, become a fetus, then a baby, then a toddler, then a teenager, etc. That is why there is nothing morally wrong with stem-cell research which focuses on adult or placental stem-cells; it does not require taking a human life. You have to kill many babies to conduct embryonic research.

Another lie they have been propagating is that the amendment bans the sale of human eggs. It does nothing of the sort; it allows numerous exceptions for compensation for ``lost wages``, medical ``compensation``, etc. We have been seeing numerous adds on college campuses advertising for young women to donate their eggs for profit. In fact, fetal farming is rapidly becoming a serious issue, and the advances being made are guaranteed to make the language of Amendment 2 obsolete in a short time.

They lie to us about the need for a constitutional amendment, pretending that Missouri has somehow ``banned`` stem-cell research. The fact is, the state has done nothing of the sort but is merely not using state revenue to fund it. That is, of course, the ultimate purpose of the proposal. Private foundations have never been banned from financing embryonic stem-cell research-they just don`t like throwing money down a rat-hole. ESC has never been a wise investment, so the proponents of this want to force the taxpayers to shell out for what is clearly dubious research.

In fact, the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures entire website is a farce, with a large number of ``cures`` from stem-cells presented as the reason to push for more research. The site conveniently neglects to tell the reader that these have all come from research conducted with adult or placental stem-cells, which have not required the cloning and murder of innocent human beings. There has never been any viable therapy developed from embryonic stem-cells. They have also omitted the preamble to Amendment 2, which tells the reader what laws, and portions of the Missouri constitution will be overturned by this amendment.

Furthermore, while a number of (largely wealthy) moderate Republicans support the effort (including retired former Senator John Danforth), the principle financiers are Jim and Virginia Stowers who, through the Stowers Institute, have financed the initiative to the tune of $25.75 million dollars. Why? Because their biotech firm stands to make gargantuan profits from government-financed research.

Robert Novak verifies the untruthfulness of this campaign. Also, you can visit Missourians Against Human Cloning for more on this.

So, as the writer asks in this op-ed in the Springfield News-Leader, why do they have to lie? Because the truth is so frightening and disturbing that, if understood by the public, the measure would never see the light of day; I suspect that the public, if told the truth, would see this as a form of ghoulish medical cannibalism. However, their untruthfulness seems to be paying off with the public largely supporting the measure in these final days.

The cannibal consumes the butchered bodies of a fallen foe or a loved kin to absorb magical powers into himself, while the embryonic researcher butchers the powerless embryonic child to steal her stem-cells, thereby absorbing the magical powers of healing. Much like Viktor Frankenstein (another apt analogy), these cold-blooded pursuers of knowledge dig around in fetal graveyards seeking the bits and pieces of dead bodies to use for their own purposes. In some ways, the Fore women have purer motives; they seek to keep a portion of their dead relatives alive by feeding on them, while the researcher, like the true monster in Shelley`s Frankenstein, lusts after knowledge to the point of sacrificing others for that sake.

In both cases a dead human being is consumed for the welfare of the recipient, in both cases a physical attribute is being transferred from one person to another-and there is a price to be paid. The Fore suffered from a horrendous disease that twisted their faces into a mocking rictus of faux laughter, while the embryonic stem-cell therapy, instead of healing, tends to twist into cancer.

In fact, the situation with embryonic stem-cells and abortion is rapidly becoming truly cannibalistic; in England women are actually being injected with the tissue of aborted babies for cosmetic reasons, while an abortion doctor in the Kansas City area (interesting location, no? He`s from the same town as the Stowers) was accused of physically eating fetuses and the man could not be charged with a crime because there is no law against eating a preborn child.

What is going on here? We have waltzed merrily down the slippery slope, and our view has become that of a Karl Marx or Joseph Mengele; we are increasingly apt to view people as merely the sum total of their physical parts. Materialism, the triumphant worldview of the socialist and atheist, has infected our culture as surely as those prions infected the Fore, with these, the first fruits of our Brave New World.

A civilization which sees human life in terms of utility, rather than believing there is an intrinsic value in our humanity and that human life is a sacred gift, will ultimately have no problem with the liquidation of the elderly, the handicapped, the sick and feeble of mind. We start now with the cloning of human being to be destroyed for the convenience of others, then, if this comes to be accepted, we will advance by degrees until our civilization becomes a walking graveyard. Is this really the kind of world we want to bequeath to our children? A world in which our utility determines our value, where the strong and the useful are given the lives of our weak and unnecessary? A world where the useful and powerful strip the bodies of the weak and powerless for spare parts, much like a wrecker strips a junk automobile?

The stem-cell initiative offers the perfect means to break the moral noose around the Deathheads necks. If people can accept the idea of killing the unborn for medical purposes, the argument against any abortion is finished. That is why so many in the Left are such ardent supporters of this ghoulish and completely unnecessary practice. As I have argued previously, the advocates of easy, society sponsored death-Deathheads-exalt the power of mortality in impotent imitation of the creative power of God. These are the Humanists, the Materialists, those who seek to displace the Throne of the Almighty with the lawnchair of Man. To those minions of the divinity of the most low, this issue is perfect because it retains the Sacrament of Exterminating of the Sick with a black-mass type Eucharist of human flesh. They can knock the supports out from under those who argue for the sanctity of life, because they can now claim that in taking this life they may be able to give life in return. It can no longer be said to be purely a destructive act; the killing has a purpose! With the power of Death in Man`s hands, we now have a promise of Life-at least for some.

But, again, there is a price to be paid for traveling the wrong way down the street of morality, and the cancer problem is, I am certain, simply a warning for us not to do this terrible thing. We have so many alternatives, which have born fruit, yet we have too many insisting on creating children for this black Eucharist of cannibalism. Call it Karma, call it Divine Punishment, or Natural Law, or evolution in action, call it whatever you like, but there is a tendency in this Universe to suffer for willful moral failings, and if we in Missouri open the gates of biological hell, we should not be surprised at what rough beasts slouch forth.

Crime Capital of America

Ah, the sweet smell of success continues to pour forth bountiful fragrance on the Gateway City; first we beat New York and Detroit in baseball to finish as champions, now St. Louis has managed to ace them out in violent crimes! WE`RE NUMBER ONE!

Some victories are just not so sweet.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Day ofVictory

Unfortunately, I have to work this morning. It`s unfortunate because I was up late celebrating the Cardinals victory over the Detroit Tigers in our spiffy new stadium, and I consumed far too many things I shouldn`t have; nachos with cheese, hotwings, pistachios, and a mini keg of Warsteiner beer (I know-it should have been Budweiser, but I just couldn`t make myself drink that, er, swill.) This morning my stomach feels like I need the roto-rooter man to open it. Oh, well, that is the price of victory!

The Redbirds are the losingest team to ever win the Series, and everyone had written them off as serious contenders. Fortunately, a champion`s heart beat within them, and they got some lucky breaks; several injured players came back for the playoffs and the team just got hot at the end. It is illustrative of a flaw in the system; the best team does not necessarily win-just the hottest team to make it. Not that I`m complaining, mind you!

Even though David Eckstein was awarded MVP for his overall performance, last night the star was (former Tiger) pitcher Jeff Weaver who shut down the Detroit offense for 8 innings and who also made a couple of great defensive plays-one at first base where he tagged out the runner to end the inning and stop a Detroit rally. I thought LaRussa made a mistake in not letting Weaver finish the game, since he was still throwing well and had the Tigers stymied. Still, his relief managed to end the game in victory here in St. Louis, and the city went wild in celebration!

The last St. Louis championship was 24 years ago (1982) and we were sorely overdue. I`ve never had a lot of confidence in LaRussa, who is good at playing winning ball but not so good at bringing home the trophy. I suspect the fact that many of these guys were in the Series 2 years ago may have helped secure the title; the Lions didn`t know what to expect.

We were treated to a couple of controversial commercials between innings here; a collection of disparate Pro-Life people such as actress Patricia Heaton, former Rams QB Kurt Warner, actor Jim Kaviezel, and Cardinal hurler Jeff Supan ran an add at the start of the game trying to set the record straight on Missouri Amendment 2, the stem-cells initiative. This was followed by two adds featuring former Senator and Episcopal priest (and heir to the Ralston Purina fortune) John Danforth, who claimed what opponents of the amendment are saying are lies (if that isn`t the pot calling the kettle black! Lying is a sin, REVEREND!) The Michael Fox commercial was pulled due to the controversy.

The comback of the Cards late in the season brings to mind the political fortunes of a certain obituaried (to coin a phrase) political party; the Press had long since done their post mortem on the Republicans, yet they, like the Cardinals, are surging back for the Series. The Redbirds prove that you should never give up, that victory comes to the determined. I think many Republicans could benefit from the example set here.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Leggo My Eggo

As the election draws nigh the weasles in the Media are going into CYA mode. They have been telling us for months that it is all over except for the office repainting, but now we are being treated to more waffles than can be found at an IHOP.

Here is a case in point from America`s greatest prevaricators-the New York Times. They are crowing the dire warning that, indeed, black Americans may not project their righteous indignation at the evil Rovian Republicans after all-because they believe Rove will once again steal the election and prevent them from voting!

How dare they! How can Republicans make minority voters show up at the polls during voting hours, or demand they prove they are registered to vote, or that they are who they claim to be? Why, they are even so low as to use intimidation tactics like sending police cars (and you KNOW what that means) to crime scenes on election day! The BASTARDS!!!

Oh the Humanity! It looks like Rove, Chaney, and Halliburton are going to steal the election again, and the poor Democrats-like those disenfranchised voters who registered through ACORN in Missouri-will get the shaft!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

No Friends

Is it possible to have Moslem allies? Not likely, according to Christopher Orlet.

He sites numerous examples of how our ``allies`` in the War on Terror routinely double cross us, and statistics proving that few, if any, Moslems have a good view of the United States.

For example:

EGYPT IS ANOTHER so-called friend who is an ally in name only. An impressive 98 percent of Egyptians surveyed have an "unfavorable attitude" toward the U.S., according to a Zogby poll. Perhaps Egyptians hate the U.S. so much because their military is the second largest recipient of American foreign aid, which tends to be used to prop up a double-dealing dictatorship that encourages the spread of anti-American propaganda ("vicious and loony lies," according to James Glassman of the American Enterprise) which tends to feed Muslim extremism.

This is an astounding figure, and comes near to approaching unfavorable views of the United States held by registered Democrats. Still, it is part of a pattern, one which is repeated over and over in the Islamic world, but not in many other places. Certainly we are loved in Sub-Saharan Africa by the non-Moslem populace. Ditto in the former Soviet orb. The question should not be ``why do they hate us?`` but ``why do Moslems hate us?``

They hate us because we represent the force which restrains the rise of World Islam. They see us as the last bastion of Christendom, the thief who stole their rightful heritage of world domination. Moslems have always believed their destiny is to rule in the Kingdom of Allah, and we have kept them from this with our fighter jets and GPS systems. That their own ways of doing things gave them a backward, powerless life never occurs to them; their glory must have been stolen by those evil Christians and Jews. America has kept them down! She is the Great Satan!

THAT is why I fear the idea of Democracy will be lost on this part of the world, and why Bush`s plans are destined to fail; this isn`t a top-down problem, but a grass-roots one. These people may want more from their governments, but they don`t understand the value of Democracy, and they DO understand the old maxim that ``power flows from the barrel of a gun`` as Chairman Mao put it. There is no willingness to submit to consensus, no willingness to compromise in the world ruled by Islam, and the populace itself is where the problem lies. They either have to be completely beaten militarily, beaten to where they understand they can no longer live by their 7th century warrior virtues, or some sort of dramatic spiritual awakening must occur among the people themselves. I fear we don`t have the stomach for the former; the latter is out of our hands.

We must get our heads out of the sand, and quickly, if we are to avoid walking the broad and easy path to doom.

Christopher Orlet is right.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Wisdom of C.S. Lewis

In his classic, ‘The Abolition of Man,’ C.S. Lewis observed three generations ago that we are engaged in a type of tragic-comedy: ‘...we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible... In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.’ Scandal? Disgrace? I think not. [Mark] Foley and others could only be so labeled if popular culture condemned, rather than promoted, immorality. Oh, sorry, there I go again, appealing to a discarded standard. We do laugh at honor and as a result we do find traitors in our midst. We also mock conventions and then are surprised when some take us seriously and respond as if there are none. Congressman Foley can look forward to talk show fame and a lucrative book deal. Welcome to America, 2006!

Cal Thomas

On Judicial Restraint

(Also from The Federalist Patriot)

You gotta love him:

You talk about independence [of the judiciary] as though it is unquestionably and unqualifiably a good thing. It may not be. It depends on what your courts are doing. The more your courts become policy-makers, the less sense it makes to have them entirely independent... Take the abortion issue: Whichever side wins, in the courts, the other side feels cheated. I mean, you know, there’s something to be said for both sides. The court could have said, ‘No, thank you.’ The court have said, ‘You know, there is nothing in the Constitution on the abortion issue for either side.’ It could have said the same thing about suicide, it could have said the same thing about... all the social issues the courts are now taking... It is part of the new philosophy of the Constitution, and when you push the courts into that, and when they leap into it, they make themselves politically controversial. And that’s what places their independence at risk.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Football Pass Game Reaches 100

The forward pass in Football recently marked it`s 100th birthday, and I thought it should be remarked upon (belatedly; I had forgotten the September 5 anniversary and was reminded by my copy of Universitas Magazine I receive for being a St. Louis University Alumnus).

In 1906 Football was very different than it is today; it more resembled Rugby with it`s grinding ground plays. St. Louis University Eddie Cochems was the first person to realize that there was nothing against tossing the ball in the rules, and he secretly developed a trick play to use in SLU`s upcoming game with Carroll College of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

In a scoreless game, Coach Cochems was having little luck running the ball, so he unveiled his ``projectile pass``, having Bradbury Robinson throw the ball to Jack Schneider. This surprise play so confused the Carroll team that SLU marched down for a touchdown, and repeated the play several times through the game. (It must have been tough throwing that fat, slippery pigskin they used in those days!)

By the next season, all of the major Football programs had latched onto this novel idea, and the forward pass quickly moved from novelty play to a bedrock of modern football.

So, happy 100th birthday to the air attack!

Faith and Failure In Christendom

Tom Bethell is one of my favorite writers, and he has a terrific piece in the American Spectator on the decline of Christianity in modern times. He argues that, among other causes, the enormous prosperity we have enjoyed has lead to an increasingly carnal Church, with the here being more the concern than the hereafter. I couldn`t agree more.

Sunday I attended Mass at my local parish, and the Bishop had ordered a screening of a film opposing the stem-cell amendment here in Missouri. After the film, the Monsignior (who I had always suspected was a big liberal) threw in his two cents. His first point was good; he pointed out that the United States had laws against killing or tampering with eagles as part of the Endangered Species Act, and that the law also covered the tampering with eagle eggs. Obviously, it was understood that eggs would turn into eagles, but the same attitude is not being afforded to human embryos. Great point!

But then it all fell apart; the Monsignior couldn`t refrain from taking a jab at the U.S. healthcare system, saying any benefits from stem-cell research would be denied to the poor. Now, this country has the best health-care system in the world, and the poor generally receive whatever treatment that is necessary. They may not have access to the first fruits of new services, but they will have them when prices fall. In the government run systems that the good reverend obviously advocates NOBODY except the politically connected will benefit from new treatments, and there won`t be any new treatments anyway because there is no incentive to develop them. But try to explain this to a liberal! They don`t like to be confused by the facts.

Then he lowered the boom; he thundered against Congress ``legalizing torture`` and proudly proclaimed that he marched in a protest with 40 other anti-torture hippies.

How do you argue against such overwhelming stupidity? I started to rise, with words forming in my mouth I would rather not have said. Fortunately, I managed to stop myself from doing something I would have later regretted.

The point is that the Monsignior is not in the business of saving souls. His Christianity is not of a spiritual nature but of a carnal one, and his Gospel revolves around the material. He subordinates eternal salvation for material comfort in this world-as do all of those on the Religious Left, and I guarantee you he will pull that Democratic lever in the polling booth because they promise to help the poor (by stealing from the rest) and care for their material needs. The spiritual needs of the people are not just neglected by the Democrats, but are actively assaulted, but it doesn`t matter to someone like this priest.

There is no bigger fool than a religious liberal. They will excuse anything, permit any act, ignore any atrocity in the hopes of ``fixing the problem`` later. They believe that Man is inherently good, and that by extending the hand of friendship they can solve all problems. History is soundly against their views. Quakers and other liberals used to raid plantations prior to the Civil War, freeing the slaves and putting them on trips out of the country-trips which ended back at the slave auction block. But they cared, they meant well! During the administration of Ulysses Grant, the Religious Left was put in charge of Indian Reservations in Oklahoma as a gesture of goodwill. The Comanche would swoop down into Texas, steal children, rape women, and torture men to death, then would run to their local clergymen claiming the army fell on them for no reason. Washington was bombarded with numerous complaints about this ``mistreatment`` while the Comanche snickered at the stupidity of their holier-than-thou friends. Religious liberals sided repeatedly with the Communists over America during the 20th Century, and fools such as Jimmy Carter still hobknob with the worst thugs on Earth. Oh, and Hillary Clinton became a liberal at the knee of a leftist church youth pastor.

The problem is, liberal Christianity-the Christianity of the flesh-fails to draw people, and the pews of lefty churches are generally pretty empty. This has always been true; Jesus spoke boldly and passionately, and he had a huge following as a result. The churches which speak boldly and passionately are the churches which are full today; where has all the growth been in Christian circles? In the Conservative churches! People seek eternal truths, which is something the Religious Left cannot deliver; theirs is strictly a social Gospel for a material world.

That is why European Churches are emptying. That is why, no matter how much music, or dancing, or ``fun`` things that are introduced into the Liturgy, the pews continue to empty. Faith is about eternal things, and there is ultimately no point in believing in a carnal Church; you may as well dispense with God entirely if He is only about the physical.

Islam will triumph if the West fails to renew her faith.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Truth or Terrible Consequences

(Hat tip: Steve from Free Citizen)

The Family Research Council has issueda warning to Missouri voters that the Stem-Cell Initiative (a proposed change to the Missouri constitution enshrining the right to clone human beings for stem-cell research) is not what it appears:

Dr. David Prentiss is the FRC's senior fellow for life sciences and a former adjunct professor of medical and molecular genetics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is cautioning Missouri voters not to be deceived by Amendment 2 and believes many, including even some pro-lifers, may be unaware of what is included in the 2,100-word ballot initiative.

This supposed stem-cell research amendment, if passed, "would enshrine in the Missouri Constitution the right for scientists to do human cloning," Prentiss says. That is, he explains, it would allow researchers "to create human embryos by the cloning process, which is somatic cell nuclear transfer -- and then require them to destroy those human embryos by the time they're about 14 days old."

He`s absolutely right, and the fact that proponents of the amendment have to lie about the matter should be cause for great concern. Why do they have to lie? Because what they are proposing is monstrous, and were the public to truly understand what this amendment means this thing would sink like a lead balloon. The only way for this to pass-and bring the mountains of government money to the biotech firms owned by the principle financiers (the Stowers Foundation and the holy reverend John Danforth, heir to the Ralston-Purina fortune which is poised to make out quite well from government largesse pumped into ESC research) is for the public to be kept in the dark about what it actually does-which is enshrines human cloning into the state constituion, making any kind of regulation by the state legislature impossible. It really is a scam.

Here is the text of the amendment in it`s entirety; here is the abridged version available (in pdf just to aggravate) on the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures website. You will notice that the MCLC version omits the preamble, which shows what parts of the Missouri constitution this enormous amendment will overrule.

The MCLC site is very instructive; they tout the many blessings of stem-cell magic, but fail to inform the readers that these all resulted from adult or chordate stem-cells, not from embryonic cells. Embryonic stem-cells tend to turn cancerous. (That`s why private firms won`t fund ESC research.)

If this were such a good thing, the proponents would have no reason to obfuscate. The fact that they feel compelled to lie about the matter makes this dubious proposal even more doubtful.

An Offer They Can`t Refuse

Becoming a Moslem is similar to joining the Mafia; once in you can`t get out. Moslems deny this to the World, but the proof is in the pudding.

Just as mafia stoolpidgeons are placed in the witness protection program, so too apostates from the religion of peace should be sheltered from the gentle ministrations of their former spiritual advisors; the United States should have an apostate protection program to help people exit from this cult religion.

But, I forgot; there is no compulsion in Islam-they told us so!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Beware the Ides of November

Barron`s Magazine is predicting a GOP victory in November.

The Democrats have been curtain shopping in the absolute confidence that they will take Congress, and a loss will almost certainly lead to charges of Rovian dirty tricks, but it may lead to more, if this is any indication of the fury of the Left.

I hope the Secret Service is on their toes for the next couple of years; one of these insane lefties may try something beyond protest.

Hat Tip: The American Thinker

U.N. Recommends Urgent Action Against Itself

According to a new United Nations report, urgent action is needed to counter violence against women.

Well, perhaps the U.N. should refrain from sending peacekeepers to the Congo, for starters. That would prevent the rape and abuse of a considerable number of poor women and juvenile girls at the mercy of these kindly protectors of the peace immediately!

It seems the U.N. is recommending urgent action against itself!

Don`t Tread on my Conqueror

First, we had rioting over unflattering portrayals of Muhammad, now we have the criminalization of insults to Ghengis Khan. What next? Will the French ban bad words against Napoleon? Will the Huns arrest Atilla bashers? Will they gate those who mock Alexander the Great?

We live in interesting times.

Losing Vietnam

The American Thinker links to this essay about the role of the media in losing the Vietnam War. This sounds awfully familiar, doesn`t it?

If something isn`t done about the lies and willful manipulation of the news media, we are going to lose in Iraq. Unlike Vietnam, a loss in Iraq will open the floodgates of war, and America will be attacked repeatedly here on our own soil. The stupid, stupid people in the MSM willfully misunderstand this situation, and are trying to relive their ``glory days`` when they defeated the evil U.S. military and brought down a president. Of course, now they could bring down our country, the country which gives them their right of freedom of the press. How do these arrogant blowhards think they will fare if it comes to total war, or if the Jihadists WIN?

We have a decent start with the bloggers, talk radio, and Fox News acting as an antithesis to their Marxian thesis. It`s not enough; Conservatives need control of one of the big 3 networks, and at least one of the major news services. The news services are vitally important, because lesser media outlets use them to set the agenda, and a liberal bias at a news service means the left sets the agenda for what is discussed. Why was the Foley affair so large? Because the news services ran continuous stories about it, and the smaller media had little choice but to run these feeds.

What we need is to establish a conservative foundation whose purpose is to buy control of one of the major networks and major news service. This foundation needs to be prepared to put the right people in charge, people who will clean out the leftists running the show and replace them with actual conservatives. (Fox News is not a conservative outlet, by the way libs.) Until we break the liberal stranglehold on the dissemination of information, we will forever be at the mercy of the MSM with their biased and inaccurate staging of the news. We cannot win the war-either on Islamofascism or the culture war, while the shapers of opinion continue to lie and obfuscate. Bloggers and talk radio can do nothing more than point out the most egregious examples of media bias; we need a more positivist agenda.

Attempts have been moving forward to change the landscape in academia; a number of new, conservative universities have been founded in recent years, and their success could break the leftist stranglehold on college campuses. Even so, those who make it to the top in government, academia, and many businesses (law, for instance) must come from an Ivy League institution-and these are solidly leftist(not liberal, leftist) institutions. Also, some of these new Universities have backed off of their original commitments because of left-wing pressure on them-and their donor base. Ave Maria University was going to have a clean university town which was not going to allow pornography to be sold, or allow the more egregious social corruptions so near and dear to the liberal heart. They have since backed off on this commitment due to pressure, and have even backed off from hiring only professors with staunch Catholic views. I fear they may become just another secular university before it is all over.

Liberals saw that Protestantism was so successful because of the printing press, and the left has never forgotten that lesson. THEY started most of the newspapers early on, pushed for universal government run education to teach children their views and educate them to read so they could read their propaganda news, they infiltrated the universities, and immediately jumped on board when the early electronic media appeared. By the `70`s they had pretty much sewn up the dissemination of information-with the exception of a few paltry print magazines, which they left in place to act as a safety valve to alleviate conservative pressure (much like the ``one minute hate`` in 1984, or the numerous pressure relieving techniques such as ``half a gram of somma`` in Brave New World). AM radio was so dead they didn`t care about it, and so it slipped away from them. They were never able to get a lock on the internet either, so these two media have broken their monopoly.

But a broken monopoly is a long way from broken power, and we bloggers are too often busy congratulating ourselves while ignoring the elephant in the room. That elephant is the MSM which is still far more powerful than we are, and they could still crush us if we don`t do something about it.

Conservatives should hold a conference-perhaps in conjunction with CPAC, to develop a media foundation similar to the one I have described. This foundation should raise money and investigate the possibilities of purchasing some major news outlets.

I don`t think we can win the long war if we fail to do such a thing. There is far more at stake than a loss in Indochina.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Wimping of America

Can America win the War, or any war, with this type of pacification of our children by the moonbat Left? What type of sissies Nation will this create?

(Thanks, Jack!)

Tagged out

Monday, October 16, 2006 11:29 PM CDT

Domenic Garafano kicks a ball during recess at the Willett Elementary School in Attleboro. The school doesn't allow tag and other unsupervised "chasing" games. (Staff photo by Mike George)
Tag is now out during recess at Willett Elementary School in Attleboro.

So is touch football and any other unsupervised "chasing" games that are deemed to pose the risk of injury as well as liability to the school.

"It's a time when accidents can happen," said Principal Gaylene Heppe, in her second year at the helm of Willett.

Heppe included the new rule as part of a standardized set of playground rules that were not in play upon her arrival.

In doing so, she joined in a growing movement against traditional games played by young children in school gymnasiums and playgrounds. A few years ago, school administrators in the area, as well as around the country, took aim at dodgeball, saying it was an exclusionary and dangerous game. Modified versions now include softer balls and ways for children to re-enter the action.

While no district-wide policies banning contact sports at recess appear to have been put in place locally, many principals are making up new rules in an atmosphere reflecting society's increasingly cautious and litigious nature.

Elementary schools in Cheyenne, Wyo. and Spokane, Wash. banned tag at recess this year. So, too, did a suburban Charleston, S.C. school, outlawing all unsupervised contact sports.

Reasons cited by school administrators largely focused on safety; kids would get too rough or run into each other, giving rise to parent complaints and threats of lawsuits. Another reason cited was that in a free-for-all activity at recess, such as tag, some children would become unsuspecting, and unwilling, participants in the game.

A number of those same schools, however, allowed those activities with supervision during gym classes.

Some Willett School parents interviewed for this story said the new recess rules are misguided, especially with the serious issue of childhood obesity. Others said they work against children developing skills to negotiate rules and resolve disputes.

"I think that it's unfortunate that kids' lives are micromanaged and there are social skills they'll never develop on their own," said Debbie Laferriere, who has two children at Willett.

"Playing tag is just part of being a kid," she said. "Now, for children not to be able to make those decisions by themselves without interference from adults doesn't give them the opportunity to make their own choices."

Games like tag give children "social skills that transfer to later in life," she said.

Parent Christine McAndrews agreed.

"I think it's a little bit silly," she said, adding that she was not aware the rule was in place. "The kids love to play pick-up football games that they organize themselves. It's great for their social skills and they resolve things on their own. It's good for them."

"It's part of being a kid," she said.

Willett parent Celeste D'Elia, on the other hand, backed Heppe's decision. Her son, she said, feels safer and enjoys the alternatives to throwing a football around.

"I've witnessed enough near collisions" in the playground area, D'Elia said. "I support anything that makes the playground safer and helps teacher to keep track of them."

Calls to a handful of elementary schools in this area revealed that principals are dictating the rules of play at recess, but the rules differ.

David Barner, principal of Thacher Elementary School in Attleboro, said there is no outright ban on tag, touch football or other such games during recess at the school.

"We do have discussions at the beginning and throughout the school year about rules so that students play appropriately," he said.

The physical education teacher plays a large role in instructing children on how to play games, he said.

Matthew Joseph, new principal of Hyman Fine Elementary School, also said there's no prohibition of contact sports at recess. Teachers and others, however, are trying to redirect children from physical games to those that involve teamwork. There is also an effort to get children using the new playground the PTO installed and a new field. Team games, like kickball, are encouraged, he said.

Mary Brown, principal of the Solmonese Elementary School in Norton, on the other hand, doesn't consider tag a contact sport.

"We play two-hand tag on the shoulder" which is supervised, she said. "No pushing is allowed."

Tag football is also allowed for third-graders, if supervised, Brown said.

Of course, she noted, "you have to have someone out there young enough to run around with them."

George Gagnon, principal of Falls Elementary School in North Attleboro, said playground rules have swung a different direction since he started there four years ago.

Tag, touch football, soccer, "they can play all that," he said. That wasn't the case before he arrived.

Gagnon's philosophy is, "I'd rather see them running around, getting fresh air and coming back in refreshed."

He feels children are "trapped" in organized sports like football, hockey and baseball. Running around outside at recess, kids make up their own games with their own rules and resolutions, Gagnon said.

Accidents occur "every couple of days," he said. "But kids run and fall --- that's kids."

Staff writer Rick Foster contributed to this report.

SUSAN LaHOUD can be reached at 508-236-0398 or at

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Moderate Money Manipulations


There had to be a sizable amount of money manipulating the Republicans in Congress; nothing else explains the successful return of the country club wing, and nothing else explains the paralysis of the conservatives once they get to Washington.

Thanks to Steve Rankin for sending this to me!

`Rockefeller Republicans' Open Wallets to Back Party Moderates

By Michael Forsythe

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- A roster of donors that reads like a Wall Street Who's Who from 40 years ago is spearheading a fund- raising drive to elect Republicans they regard as moderates on Nov. 7.

David Rockefeller, 91, former chief executive officer of Chase Manhattan Corp.; John Whitehead, 84, a former senior partner at Goldman Sachs & Co.; and Sidney Weinberg Jr., 78, son of a legendary Goldman senior partner, are among the top donors to a new group called Republicans Who Care. It is airing ads for such candidates as Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, who supports gay rights and didn't vote for George W. Bush in 2004.

Whitehead said the group, which raised at least $385,000 through Sept. 30, is helping Republicans who favor balanced federal budgets and believe government should take a hands-off approach on such issues as abortion. On Oct. 3, Whitehead sent out 84 letters asking for donations for a final round of ads and phone calls before the election.

``I made sure all of the rich, moderate Republicans I knew were sent a letter,'' he said.

With three weeks to the election, the group may help Republican Representatives Chris Shays, Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons in Connecticut, Martha Rainville in Vermont and Deborah Pryce in Ohio.

Countering a Club

Republicans Who Care was formed to counter the Club for Growth, which seeks to defeat moderate Republicans such as Chafee and Representative Joe Schwarz of Michigan in party primaries. Republicans Who Care supported Schwarz in his unsuccessful bid to win renomination earlier this year against Tim Walberg, a challenger backed by the Club for Growth.

The Club for Growth raised at least $6.1 million in contributions through August, according to Internal Revenue Service records, far outdistancing Republicans Who Care.

Moderate Republicans used to be called ``Rockefeller Republicans'' -- after New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, David's brother -- and were a major force in the party and U.S. politics. In 1952 and 1956, they helped elect President Dwight Eisenhower, who once described himself as a ``militant liberal.''

That began to change in 1964 when conservative Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater defeated Nelson Rockefeller for the Republican presidential nomination.

`Practical,' Not `Ideological'

``I have been a lifelong Republican and have always supported efforts by moderate members of the party who seek practical rather than ideological solutions to the critical issues we face in the United States and the world,'' David Rockefeller said in a statement.

Donors to Republicans Who Care also include such latter-day billionaires as hedge-fund manager Robert Ziff, 40, listed among the richest Americans by Forbes Magazine. There is no limit on contributions to the group because it is a so-called 527, named for the section of the tax code under which such independent- expenditure organizations operate.

Groups that back Republicans control 79 percent of the $3.74 million that the 527s have spent since the beginning of September on radio and television ads, according to the Federal Election Commission. During the 2004 campaign, four of the five biggest 527 groups supported Democrats.

Among the most prominent 527 groups active in 2004 was Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which disparaged Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's war record.

``Every member of Congress lives in fear that someone is going to drop $500,000 or $1 million in ads against him or her,'' said Jan Baran, a campaign finance lawyer in Washington.

Helping in a Primary

Republicans Who Care, operating out of a post office box in downtown Washington, helped Chafee, 53, win the Republican primary last month over an anti-tax candidate through television ads and phone banks.

According to recent polls, Chafee trails Democratic challenger Sheldon Whitehouse, 50, a former state attorney general. Democrats need to gain six Senate seats to win a majority.

Whitehead said Republicans Who Care is an outgrowth of the Republican Main Street Partnership, whose founders included former Representative Amo Houghton of New York and that numbers Senator John McCain of Arizona and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger among members who hold elective office.

McCain is often mentioned as a possible Republican nominee for president in 2008, giving hope to Republicans Who Care.

``Many of the top administration people as well as the president have departed'' from the principles that once characterized the party, said Whitehead, who has donated at least $75,000 to the group for this election. ``We're spending money to makes sure good Repubicans get elected.''

Monday, October 16, 2006

Cloning Around in Missouri

My Father-in-Law has an op-ed in the Springfield News-Leader about the lies being propogated by the advocates of embryonic stem-cell research here in Missouri.

Proposition 2 is a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution authorizing funding for Fetal stem-cell research, and we are being treated to a blitzkreig campaign (financed by former pro-life Senator John Danforth and his rich cronies) claiming that the blind shall see and the lame shall be cured, and that no human cloning will occur in the process if we only allow more government money (i.e. our taxes, taken unwillingly from our pockets by force of arms) to flow into the coffers of Big Research.

Of course, the tear-jerker adds (including a wheel-chair bound young man who tells us he will walk if only we can kill a few million pre-born babies) do not tell us that no cure has ever come from embryonic stem-cells, but that many have come from adult and cordate cells-which do not require the creation of life so that it can be harvested, and they flat-out lie when they claim there is no cloning involved. Actually, in Clitnonian parsing, they say that there is no human cloning by which they mean no reproductive cloning-they are not making new people because they are cloning embryos then killing them before they come to term. If you believe human life rests solely on awareness, that one must be sentient to be human, then their definition is correct. This is therapeutic cloning, cloning a human being but killing him/her at the earliest stages for harvest. This is antithetical to Danforth`s professed beliefs over the years, and his turn-around illustrates the truth (which I have always suspected) that Danforth used the pro-life movement for his political fortune. What a hypocrite!

A civilization which sees human life in terms of utility, rather than believing there is an intrinsic value in our humanity and that human life is a sacred gift, will ultimately have no problem with Kevorkianing the elderly, the handicapped, the sick. Consider how easy it would have been to put Stephen Hawking out of his misery, since he suffers from Lou Gherig`s disease. Why should he be kept alive, when all he can do is sit in a chair and think?

I am mindful of science fiction writer Larry Niven`s ``Organ Bank Problem``; in his Known Space stories society is horribly disfigured by the ability to transplant organs. The demand for transplants (which had become very easy to do successfully) grows to the point that the public is willing to tolerate ANY trampling of civil rights and has lost all respect for the sanctity of human life. People convicted of a crime (and eventually even traffic offenses) are disassembled to be used as spare parts. A black market in body parts forms because the demand outstrips the supply, and unlucky people are kidnapped and dismantled for profit.

The use of embryos is a first step in this direction. Do we really want to be a society which preys on the helpless for the benefit of their betters? Cloning and harvesting fetal cells will lead to that horrible future. Once we accept the moral decision involved-that human life is expendable for our conventience-then we have started down the road to perdition. We cannot allow this to go any further.

Remember, if you let them come for others, you cannot complain when they come for you.

Here is the website of the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures (notice their name is a lie) and you will find their opponents at

Another Dirty Trick

I subscribe to AOL, which is about as liberally biased as they come. This morning was the first time I had been on the internet in several days, and I was treated to this pile of guano from ABC news on my homepage.

So, now we are supposed to believe that President Bush, whom the MSM has tried to cast as a wacko fundamentalist Christian nut, allows his Administration to use the Christian right while mocking and degrading them behind closed doors. This is low by any standard.

Here are some excerpted bits from this dirty-trick article:

The accusations are coming from an unlikely source: David Kuo, former deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, which channels federal dollars to religious charities.

Kuo says the office was misused to rally evangelical Christians, the Republican base voters, to get GOP politicians elected. Not only that, Kuo claims Bush officials mocked evangelical leaders behind their backs, alleging that in the office of political guru Karl Rove they were called "the nuts."

"National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as 'ridiculous', 'out of control,' and just plain 'goofy,' " Kuo writes.

"You name the important Christian leader, and I have heard them mocked by serious people in serious places," Kuo told "60 Minutes" Sunday night.

"And Christians need to understand that there's a difference between George W. Bush who is a great man, a good, compassionate man, and President Bush, a politician."

Kuo says it should come as no surprise that any administration plays politics.

"But my point is even in this White House, you are loved for your votes, not anything else. That's what you need to know," Kuo said. "I say it within this broader argument, Christians have put way too much emphasis on politics."

It was "spiritually wrong," Kuo told "60 Minutes." "You're taking the sacred and you're making it profane. You're taking Jesus and reducing him to some precinct captain, to some get-out-the-vote guy."

Kuo left the White House in late 2003 after a brain tumor and subsequent seizure caused him to have a serious car accident. He writes that his brush with death caused him to re-evaluate his priorities and realize that core Christian values have been severely compromised by allying with the GOP. The reason for this? Kuo writes: "Every politician needs evangelicals. And like a teenage boy on a date with a beautiful girl, they will say anything and everything to get what they want."

He proposes a two-year fast from politics not including voting and urges Christians to instead direct their energies toward practicing compassion and their money towards charity.

"We need to spend more time studying Jesus, and less time trying to get people elected," Kuo writes.

"We need to spend more time studying Jesus, and less time trying to get people elected," Kuo writes.

Kuo told "60 Minutes" that the "message that has been sent out to Christians for a long time now that Jesus came primarily for a political agenda, and recently primarily a right-wing political agenda as if this culture war is a war for God. And it's not a war for God, it's a war for politics. And that's a huge difference."

"We need to spend more time studying Jesus, and less time trying to get people elected," Kuo writes.

Kuo told "60 Minutes" that the "message that has been sent out to Christians for a long time now that Jesus came primarily for a political agenda, and recently primarily a right-wing political agenda as if this culture war is a war for God. And it's not a war for God, it's a war for politics. And that's a huge difference."

He said he wrote the book because he had "this burden on my heart that the name of God is being destroyed in the name of politics."

Notice that every angle has been covered to split Evangelicals from the Republicans, and this immediately before the election. We are told the Republicans secretly hold the Evangelicals in contempt, that they are misusing funds and breaking the law, that Christ would not approve of Christian political activism and that Christians exercising their duty as Americans to protect and defend the moral dignity of this nation is a dishonor to God. Why, one would gather from this that it is our Christian duty to shut our mouths and allow the forces of darkness to overrun us.

I suspect Mr. Kuo`s burden is a bit more financial than spiritual-why come out with this immediately before an election?

We were told ad nauseum after the `04 elections that ``value voters`` swung the vote in favor of the GOP. So, recently we were treated to the Foley Surprise, which was obviously intended to anger the Evangelical base and now this piece of False Witness. Uh, Mr. Kuo, bearing false witness is against one of the Commandments.

It never ceases to amaze me the depths to which the left will sink. What nauseates me to the core is the way Big Media puts this kind of thing out to erode the election chances for Republicans. Where are the stories about Harry Reid`s mafia land deal? Nothing on AOL when my homepage comes up. THAT is a real story! This is pure propoganda, yet the press will run with it because they will do ANYTHING to increase the chances of their dear Democrats.

Isn`t it time McCain-Feingold be applied to these news outlets? If they are going to keep carrying the Left`s water, they should be treated as any other lobby or campaign group.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hiatus in the Hills

Birdblog will be taking a short hiatus, as I am going out of town. My wife`s sister and brother and their families have rented a cabin at Big Springs, and we are all going to spend a couple of days enjoying the cool October weather.

Big Springs is about 15 minutes from ``the Ozark Hilton`` (my humble tarpaper shack in the woods) and is a beautiful spot in the Missouri mountains. Named for an enormous freshwater spring which feeds into the Current River, this park is part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and is one of the prettiest spots in the state. To get there, you have to take Skyline Drive from Van Buren, which is a harrowing mountain road with a spectacular view of the town of Van Buren and the valley below.

The cabins are nice rustic log structures with enormous stone fireplaces and electricity and kitchen facilities. Two years ago they decided to keep them open after Labor Day, and we went in November. Unfortunately, they have no heat and the fireplaces are for ambience only. It was cold, cold, cold! I was inches from leaving for my own smoking abode (smokey but warm!) This year I am bringing a couple of electric space-heaters.

I`ll be gone until Sunday, so I won`t be posting until then. I`m probably going to head down to my own cabin later in the week (after my birthday) and so blogging will be light this week. Please be patient.

Uh, you might want to send condolences to my wife; she has to spend two days doing this dreadful stuff!

Feedback on All is Not Lost

I received this e-mail after posting this response to my brother`s glum assessment of the upcoming elections based on an Evans-Novak Report. The e-mailer was a curteous Democrat named Scoobie Davis, and I decided to post his e-mail with my response here:

"Nope-more like an interception with a 5 yard return; it hurts but isn`t fatal-if the stupid Republicans get their act together (which I`m not so sure they will; Hastert is out talking about Foley immediately after the faux atomic test by the Ill one.)"

You just keep telling yourself this.

"I will LOVE to see the fallout from the Democrats outing gay Republican staffers; it makes them look vicious and petty."

What Democrats are doing this? I've heard a lot of talk on talk radio but, as usual, no proof. It doesn't make sense; even if the Dems were that ruthless, it would make no political sense.

His websites are:

Scoobie Davis Online
The Google Bomb Project
Horowitz Watch
Ann Coulter/slander blog

I responded:

``You just keep telling yourself this.``

I most certainly will. Recent history supports my case. Of course, you Democrats will howl that the Evil Karl Rove stole the election in districts YOU GUYS CONTROL but, heck, why split hairs!

``What Democrats are doing this? I've heard a lot of talk on talk radio but, as usual, no proof. It doesn't make sense; even if the Dems were that ruthless, it would make no political sense.``

These Democrats for starters. The Foley incident was itself an example of outing, wouldn`t you agree? Furthermore, it was clearly timed to influence the election. (You will notice that none of these are from talk radio, and only the third link can be construed as from a conservative source.)

I agree. Personally, I think it a foolish move to make (and a mean one) but there is a logic to it; you damage the campaign machinery of your Republican opponent by taking out key personnel at a critical moment, you rev up the Movon.Ogr crowd, and you anger an already angry Christian Conservative base (who, we were told ad-nauseum, swung the elections in `04) by exposing these closeted gay staffers. That it could backfire and turn the public against the tricksters is something they apparently are willing to risk. I suspect that this kind of thing could seriously backfire on them, because there are too many skeletons in too many closets which both sides could unearth.

Thanks for writing, and making a thoughtful and curteous point! I`d like to post this on my site-along with any response you may have-if you don`t object too strenuously (I`m always scratching for material.)



Scoobie was only too happy to have me post this exchange, and it was pleasurable to have a civil disagreement with a liberal. Check out his websites!

Let me offer a final point; the Democrats have pushed heavily on the concept of pedophilia because 1.they couldn`t push sexual harassment because of their defense of the Harasser-in-Chief (Bill Clinton), nor could they use homosexuality as the club since homosexuals are an integral part of their coalition. Pedophilia is sexual attraction to a prepubescent child-not a teenager. (The clinical term for sexual desires for teenagers is Ephebophilia.) So, where could they go with this? They had to make the accusations of pedophilia, or let the matter drop.

There is a critical distinction; pedophiles are rightly viewed as extreme perverts, while ephobophiles maybe are and maybe aren`t. Consider that Patrick Henry`s wife was 16 when he married her, and Daniel Boone`s wife had just turned 17. Andrew Jackson married a divorced woman who was 16 when she married her first husband (who was a wealthy older man.) The old custom was ephobophilia; marry a girl when she is young so she can survive childbearing. The concept of delayed marriage arose with advances in medical science. To make a Federal case out of Foley (literally) over the age of the boys he was interested in-not the fact that they ARE boys, or that he is abusing his position of authority-shows this for the cynical hypocrisy that it is.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Dying Mother Russia

Mike at The Return of Scipio mourns the dying of Mother Russia in a piece reminiscent of my own Empty Womb.

Russian Screwage

Ethyl Feinig linked this piece from the Jerusalem Post at the American Thinker.

What really caught my eye was this business of Russia wanting dominion over the region at the expense Israel. I found this especially intriguing:

On Tuesday, Russian military engineers landed in Beirut. Their arrival signaled the first time that Russian forces have openly deployed in the Middle East. In the past Soviet forces in Syria and Egypt operated under the official cover of "military advisers." Today those "advisers" are "engineers." The Russian forces, which will officially number some 550 troops, are tasked with rebuilding a number of bridges that the IDF destroyed during the recent war. They will operate outside the command of UNIFIL.

Mosnews news service reported on Wednesday that the engineers will be protected by commando platoons from Russia's 42nd motorized rifle division permanently deployed in Chechnya. According to the report, these commando platoons are part of the Vostok and Zapad Battalions, both of which are commanded by Muslim officers who report directly to the main intelligence department of the Russian Army's General Staff in Moscow. The Vostok Battalion is commanded by Maj. Sulim Yamadayev, who Mosnews refers to as a "former rebel commander."

With the deployment of former Chechen rebels as Russian military commandos in Lebanon, the report this week exposing Russia's intelligence support for Hizbullah during the recent war takes on disturbing strategic significance. According to Jane's Defense Weekly, the Russian listening post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights provided Hizbullah with a continuous supply of intelligence throughout the conflict.

You know, this whole business of Russian ``engineers`` backed by commandos (spetsnaz, too, perhaps?) makes me think there is something rotten in Denmark (besides cartoon jihadists); the French were quick to volunteer to lead the U.N. in Lebanon, then the Russians go in by themselves. Hmmm.....

Could they be trying to hide Saddam`s WMD`s? Why else send Russian engineers outside of the U.N. framework?

I think the French were so quick to jump because they knew they had to lead any coalition group away from those weapons, and are now letting the Russians do the dirty work of moving them. I think our ``friends`` are once again in the process of knifing us in the back.

If nothing else, the Russians are providing material aid to Hezbollah, which places them in violation of the Bush Doctrine. Are state supporters of terrorists with us or against us? The Russian duplicity illustrates that they are not our friends.

The Russians need us more than we need them, and we can squeeze them economically if we must. We send a large amount of foreign aid to Russia, and they owe us a considerable amount of money we have leant to them for economic development. (There is no greater disdain than that of the debtor to the lender-and that is especially true when the lender is willing to forgive the debt.) We should use this to enforce at least a grudging acquiescence to our policies.

But, you may argue, we NEED Russian oil-even more now than ever! Perhaps, but this is a double-edged sword, and the Russians need our patronage more than we need their oil. Unlike Saudi Arabia or Venezuela, the Russians CANNOT stop pumping oil because their wells will freeze. They simply have no choice; it`s either pump or perish (this has caused a lot of trouble between the Russkies and the other oil producing nations). An interruption in U.S. consumption would be disasterous for the Russians-and they know that. Bush was an oil man, and he should understand how this works. If the Russians want to run that bluff let them; I guarantee they`ll be the first to blink in a staring contest.

Since President Bush has such a loving relationship with Comrad Putin and His Dancing Teeth, he should call the putting prince on the carpet, explain that the United States will not allow our positions to be undercut in the war zones of the Middle East.

The fact that our erstwhile allies are screwing us openly destroys American credibility, which is the way to lose a war. Can you imagine what would have happened had Stalin openly knifed us in the back during the Great Patriotic War? Roosevelt may have been soft on commies, but he would NOT have put up with that-and he would have stopped sending aid to Uncle Joe. In these perilous times we cannot afford to have faithless friends.

National Prestige is a vital component in foreign affairs, and our playing the fool while our allies undermine everything we are trying to do cannot be tolerated. Something must be done about this Russian Screwage.

Stealing My Franchise

The City of St. Louis (where I have the honor of residing) is run by a corrupt Democratic political machine where vote fraud is refined to a high art. Election after election we are treated to voting irregularities on a monumental scale, with the deceased turning out in greater numbers than the living (we`ve even had our dead mayors turn out to pull the Democrat lever). Because the same people control the city government, we have vociferous protests after every election, yet the same thing happens on the next go-round, and nobody EVER seems to lose their job, much less go to jail.

Well, they`ve gotten an early start this year, with 1492 fraudulent registration cards (in honor of Columbus Day, I suppose) turning up.

You know, people DIE in other parts of the world for the right to vote, and our armed servicemen fight, and if need be, die for our enjoyment of the privilege of the franchise. That the Democrats will do everything they can to steal elections makes them, in my humble opinion, unfit to govern. But the infuriating thing is that the Justice Department allows these political machines to cancel my vote so cavalierly-and everyone thinks it is just good sport! This is MY VOTE, damnit, and I want it to count for one vote, not 1/1492! The soldiers who are guaranteeing my right to vote are not sacrificing their comfort, wealth, and blood for some political hack to steal. This should be very serious business, and those responsible should be punished severely.

Of course, Secretary of State Robin Carney-hand will make a circus of this, and in the end nobody will be punished, because she, like her father before her, is as crooked as the rest of her party and will not pursue wrongdoing which benefits the Missouri Jackass Party.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and we will see a great many more fraudulent votes to water down our right to the franchise. It makes me sick.

All is Not Lost

My brother e-mailed me the Evans-Novak Report, in which Robert Novak saw the Foley Affair as being akin to Waterloo for the Republicans (from the Napoleonic side, of course). I responded thusly:

Don`t panic, Brian; the pseudo-test of an atomic bomb has taken this crap off the radar screen. Novak has always been overly pessimistic, and I seem to remember that the polls have been weighted too heavily for the Democrats in the last few elections, anyway. Why do Moron.ogr accuse Republicans of vote fraud all the time? Because the polls are tilted in favor of Democrats (who are at home to take surveys) and when election time nears the media begins covering their asses, claiming a ``sudden surge`` by Republicans.

Foley was such a huge exercise in hypocrisy on the part of the Left, who can neither condemn sexual harassment (with the harasser in Chief) nor can condemn homosexuality that they are in the bizarre position of having to claim to be ``protecting the children`` despite Gerry Studds. Furthermore, they have to claim this is pedophilia-when the ``child`` was 18 at the time of the non-sex (21 when they did have sex) and well over the legal age of consent for D.C. I think too many people see through this cynical charade.

Novak says;

``The Foley Affair is like an interception returned for a touchdown on the second drive of that comeback.``

Nope-more like an interception with a 5 yard return; it hurts but isn`t fatal-if the stupid Republicans get their act together (which I`m not so sure they will; Hastert is out talking about Foley immediately after the faux atomic test by the Ill one.)

Novak further states;

``Although his resignation probably would have made matters worse, it would have helped had he simply stated he will not run for speaker in the next Congress.``

That is equally a stupid thing, and it suggests that some sort of guilt on the part of the Republicans. Hastert was right to fight this, and the Republicans should be soundly on his side. The Washington Times has their head in a place where a head does not belong. Action was taken and voter confidence restored, and that should be the Republican action line; we did what was needed when it was needed. Anything more lays their heads on chopping blocks.

I will LOVE to see the fallout from the Democrats outing gay Republican staffers; it makes them look vicious and petty.

Limbaugh was in high spirits today, and he doesn`t believe we are going to witness a turnover of Congress. I agree with him.

Even if we do, I don`t think a temporary loss of the House of Representatives will necessarily be a disaster; it will entrench the San Francisco Treat, Nancy ``the facelift`` Pelosi and ``Howlin`` Howie in their positions, in spite of their extreme incompetence. This could win the war for us, as Speaker Nan and her vitriolic hunt to get Bush may damage Hillary`s chances of winning in `08 by disgusting the voters with her bareknuckle partisanship (the first woman in such a position of power screwing up could scare people from voting for Hillary, who, I`m sure, doesn`t want any other position-even if she is on top.) If the Democrats take BOTH houses of Congress we are screwed, plain and simple. Taking the House could be very damaging for the Dems in the long run.

Keep your chin up! All is not lost!


Here is the report in it`s entirety:

October 11, 2006
Washington, DC
Vol. 41, No. 21a
To: Our Readers

Foley Affair turns the tide against the GOP, throwing close races into the Democratic column

Democratic takeover of House now very likely, Senate control in doubt

Hastert like a captain who convinces his crew to join him in going down with the ship

Dems looking to make gains in governorships

Earmark reform takes a hit from GOP's King of Pork just before pre-election recess.


The major topic of conversation in Washington political circles is the collapse of the candidacy of Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), a member of the leadership as campaign committee chairman, in what had been thought to be a safe Republican district (see below). The question is whether this is a special case stemming from Reynolds's role in the Foley affair or part of a nationwide Republican collapse.

The fear of Republicans and hope of Democrats is that the Foley scandal is generating a landslide that will win gerrymandered House districts and marginal Senate seats. Foley is merely the unexpected factor that follows widespread voter unhappiness over the Iraq war and conservative discontent. The worst Republican nightmare may be the election's turning into a referendum on the Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress rather than a choice between individual candidates and between party leadership.

Almost from the beginning, it was decided in Republican ranks that throwing House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) overboard would hurt more than it would help. But Hastert's political career is over if Democrats win control of the House because he has no interest in serving as minority leader. While Hastert's campaign appearances around the country are being cancelled, Washington lobbyists have been summoned for a suddenly scheduled D.C. fund-raiser hosted by Hastert Thursday night -- ostensibly for a congressional candidate in Colorado, but actually to show solidarity with the speaker.

Oddly, the Republican collapse comes during a favorable reversal of gasoline prices, whose rise this past summer precipitated the sharp decline in President George W. Bush's approval ratings. The Republican hope is that a comeback with voters in the last month before the election will be powered by lower gas prices.

Democratic fund-raisers have embarked on a frantic, 11th-hour campaign. Washington lobbyists are being told that if they want any access to Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, they had better open their wallets.

An overlooked factor is a continuing Republican loss in governors' races and what it means for the 2008 presidential contest. Republicans figure to retain governorships in California (with a Republican in name only), Texas and Florida, while Democrats pick up governorships in New York and Ohio and retain them in Illinois, Pennsylvania and, perhaps, Michigan.

House 2006

It must be emphasized that a buildup of Republican momentum last month was not just a positive sign for the GOP, but a necessary trend for them to maintain control of the House -- and even the Senate. Republicans were counting on a huge fourth quarter comeback that included three unanswered touchdowns, in order to narrowly win the game in the final seconds.

The Foley Affair is like an interception returned for a touchdown on the second drive of that comeback. Team GOP now finds itself three scores behind all over again, this time with only 12 minutes to go. The fans are demoralized. Victory (which this year would simply be to keep both houses of Congress) seems like an almost impossible feat at this point, even if the most loyal fans refuse to give up.

Foley Fallout: Republicans continue to suffer because of the scandal of Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), which involves sexually explicit communication with underage boys in the page program. We see a gain of 21 Democratic seats, if the election were held today -- six more than are needed to take congressional control from the GOP.

One important note: The press has covered this issue so poorly and so sloppily that more than 60 percent of Americans polled believe that House Republican leaders knew about Foley's sexually explicit instant messages for months but did nothing. This is the equivalent of the 40-something percent who consistently tell pollsters that they believe Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 terror attacks.

But one cannot simply blame the media when Republican leaders have handled the matter so poorly. House Speaker Hastert has responded by blaming Democrats and touting the 109th Congress's accomplishments, particularly passing tax cuts. His public appearance is extremely defensive and characterized by petulance, not contrition. This is a very dangerous way to approach accusations of covering up for an alleged child predator. Although his resignation probably would have made matters worse, it would have helped had he simply stated he will not run for speaker in the next Congress.

Instead, Hastert stubbornly refuses to budge. He appears to have completely consolidated his support among House Republican leaders -- who early on showed signs of turning against him -- and among House Republicans generally, and then among conservative leaders such as Paul Weyrich, who rescinded his call for Hastert's resignation. Hastert is like a captain who has convinced the crew to join him in going down with the ship. Is the GOP House leadership truly to blame for Foley's alleged predation? Not in a full sense, but they are to blame at least in that they talked the reluctant Foley into running for re-election even after learning of non-explicit but possibly inappropriate communications he had with pages.

This situation has ramifications for homosexuals in the Republican Party, especially the staff on Capitol Hill. As many as four high-level gay GOP staffers may have worked to soften the response to the Foley situation -- especially former House Clerk Jeff Trandahl, who may have known about sexually explicit Foley communications in 2001, when they were discovered by Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.). Kolbe's office has stated that he was aware of electronic exchanges between Foley and a page as early as 2001 and reported it to the clerk (who ran the page program), in addition to confronting Foley.
Election Outlook: For Republicans, the worst-case scenario we have described over the last few weeks seems to be shaping up. Democratic challengers in several districts once believed to be safe -- such as those of Chris Chocola (R-Ind.) and Charles Taylor (R-N.C.) -- were already holding on to solid leads even as the Foley situation took all the comeback momentum away from Republicans. Now things are even worse.

The upshot is that Democrats are holding their early leads and now reaching across the chart and putting more Republican races into play. The Foley Affair has started a current that runs against the GOP all over the country. In fact, given the current situation, we are re-examining all of the close races now, and assuming that in the current environment Democrats should be given the benefit of the doubt over Republicans. The game is now the Democrats' to lose.

In Minnesota's 6th District, conservative state Sen. Michele Bachmann (R) holds on to the slimmest of leads over child safety advocate Patty Wetterling (D) in what is normally solid Republican territory. Districts such as that of Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.), always closely divided, cannot be counted on to perform as in the past, given that the tide running away from the GOP right now.

Some districts now merit Democrats' efforts and resources in a way they never could have just two weeks ago. Republicans are on the defensive all across the map, and the map keeps getting bigger. The one race where Republicans have any serious chance of a pickup -- against Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) -- could prove a disappointment in today's political climate, particularly given the decades of neglect shown by former Rep. Phil Crane (R-Ill.) toward the local party and the tools and organization it needs -- and lacks -- to win tough, close elections there.

If there is any lesson to be learned from the Foley Affair, it is that campaigns and elections can take very unpredictable turns and that trends often fail to play out as expected due to big news events. If it weren't for the Democrats' lack of funds, a tsunami-like gain would be a certainty. As matters stand, there may be time to avert the disaster that we currently see rolling toward the GOP Congress. Democrats +21, Republicans -21.

Republican-Held House Seats In Play

Likely Republican Retention
Likely Democratic Takeover

Leans GOP
Leans Dem

AZ-1 (Renzi)
CO-4 (Musgrave)
CT-2 (Simmons)
AZ-8 (Open)

AZ-5 (Hayworth)
CT-5 (Johnson)
CT-4 (Shays)
CO-7 (Open)

CA-11 (Pombo)
IL-6 (Open)
FL-22 (Shaw)
IN-2 (Chocola)

CO-5 (Open)
KY-3 (Northup)
IA-1 (Open)
IN-8 (Hostettler)

FL-8 (Keller)
MN-6 (Open)
IN-9 (Sodrel)
FL-16 (Open)

FL-13 (Open)
NV-2 (Open)
KY-4 (Davis)
NC-11 (Taylor)

NV-3 (Porter)
NY-24 (Open)
NM-1 (Wilson)
NY-26 (Reynolds)

NY-20 (Sweeney)
OH-1 (Chabot)
OH-18 (Open)
TX-22 (Open)

TX-23 (Bonilla)
OH-2 (Schmidt)
PA-6 (Gerlach)

WY-AL (Cubin)
OH-15 (Pryce)
PA-7 (Weldon)

PA-8 (Fitzpatrick)
PA-10 (Sherwood)

WA-8 (Reichert)
VA-2 (Drake)

WI-8 (Open)

Democrat-Held House Seats In Play

Likely Democratic Retention
Likely Republican Takeover

Leans Dem
Leans GOP

IL-17 (Open)
GA-8 (Marshall)

LA-3 (Melancon)
GA-12 (Barrow)

OH-13 (Open)
IA-3 (Boswell)

OH-6 (Open)
IL-8 (Bean)

PA-12 (Murtha)
SC-5 (Spratt)

TX-17 (Edwards)

VT-AL (Open)

WV-1 (Mollohan)

Colorado-5: This race does not belong on the chart, and it should be a cause for alarm among Republicans that it is even considered competitive. This district is the stereotypical solid GOP district, home of the Air Force Academy and the social-conservative group Focus on the Family. State Sen. Doug Lamborn (R) suffers somewhat from the enmity of the man he would succeed, Rep. Joel Hefley (R). His opponent, Jay Fawcett (D), is a military veteran.

It must be noted, however, that the recent Mason-Dixon poll showing this race in a tie is one in a series of worthless polls this company has conducted of 400 registered (not likely) voters in some of the state's congressional districts. Likely Republican Retention.

Indiana-9: A rare case of rising Republican strength right now is the apparent resurgence of Rep. Mike Sodrel (R), whom we have long held to be a goner. A Sodrel staffer has dedicated a 527 group to his continued survival in office, and Sodrel is wealthy enough to keep his campaign in the hunt no matter what.

Polling in the district suggests that the Foley scandal is not reaching this corner of Indiana -- likely because freshman Sodrel has no real connection to it, and his opponent, former Rep. Baron Hill (D), is basically as much of a Washington incumbent as he is, having been defeated just in 2004.

Of all things, Sodrel is suddenly in the best shape of the three endangered Indiana incumbent Republicans. But that isn't saying much. Hill is still favored to win. Leaning Democratic Takeover.

New York-26: Just how bad is it looking for National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Reynolds? He now trails his opponent, millionaire businessman Jack Davis (D), by double digits. Given his (albeit minor) involvement in the page scandal, Reynolds's need to save himself also takes away from Republican efforts elsewhere. His staff remains hopeful that he can turn things around. Likely Democratic Takeover.

Ohio-18: The massive and very recent bankruptcy of her 30-year-old family business has seriously damaged the candidacy of State Sen. Joy Padgett (R), the last-minute replacement for Rep. Bob Ney (R). One damaging fact for voters to consider: If Padgett is elected, her congressional salary will actually be garnished in order to pay her business creditors. This does not look good at all.

Lawyer Zack Space (D), once considered a long-shot left-wing candidate, is now playing the role of the incumbent, refusing to debate Padgett. Leaning Democratic Takeover.

Senate 2006

Republican strategists are now openly discussing a "prevent" defense that involves heavy investment in Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. The lesson to be gained is that they do not expect to save Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), whose numbers hover around 40 percent, or Sen. Conrad Burns (Mont.), who is in roughly the same position. Democrats are far enough ahead in Montana, and have a strong enough statewide organization, that they have pulled out their money. Democrats +4, Republicans -4.

Democrat-Held Senate Seats In Play

Likely Democratic Retention
Likely Republican Takeover

Leans Dem
Leans GOP

Nebraska (Nelson)
Maryland (Open)
New Jersey (Menendez)

Michigan (Stabenow)
Washington (Cantwell)

Minnesota (Open)

West Virginia (Byrd)

Vermont (Open)

Republican-Held Senate Seats In Play

Likely Republican Retention
Likely Democratic Takeover

Leans GOP
Leans Dem

Arizona (Kyl)
Tennessee (Open)
Ohio (DeWine)
Montana (Burns)

Virginia (Allen)
Missouri (Talent)
Pennsylvania (Santorum)

Rhode Island (Chafee)

Virginia: Prior to the Foley scandal, Sen. George Allen (R) almost seemed to be drawing on a sympathy vote. A college buddy (now a Democratic activist) accused him of incessantly using racial slurs in his youth and even putting a doe's head in a black family's mailbox. The charges, coming on top of a month of Allen race-related blunders, may just have been too over the top. Allen, a former governor who took out Sen. Chuck Robb (D) in 2000, is too much of a known quantity in Virginia to be taken down by a racial smear campaign, even if Allen's initial blunders helped former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) close the gap and make this a race.

As the Foley scandal broke, Allen's lead was actually widening. His recent attack ad, slamming Webb for a very old article he wrote on women in the Naval Academy, was effective. Webb's paid airtime is now being spent refuting Allen's charges instead of capitalizing on Allen's failure to report more than $1 million in stock options.
The options issue could become a problem for Allen, although it is something of a beltway issue that probably won't sway many people outside Northern Virginia. Leaning Republican Retention.

Governor 2006

Democrats +5, Republicans -5.

Republican-Held Governorships In Play

Likely Republican Retention
Likely Democratic Takeover

Leans GOP
Leans Dem

CA (Schwarzenegger)
AK (Open)
AR (Open)
MA (Open)

CT (Rell)
GA (Perdue)
CO (Open)
NY (Open)

FL (Open)
MN (Pawlenty)
MD (Ehrlich)
OH (Open)

SC (Sanford)
NV (Open)

HI (Lingle)
RI (Carcieri)

TX (Perry)

Democrat-Held Governorships In Play

Likely Democratic Retention
Likely Republican Takeover

Leans Dem
Leans GOP

PA (Rendell)
ME (Baldacci)
IA (Open)

AZ (Napolitano)
OK (Henry)

KS (Sebelius)
OR (Kulongoski)

WI (Doyle)

MI (Granholm)

Massachusetts: Former Clinton Administration Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick (D) may have his campaign shaken by revelations that he was less than truthful about the aid he gave to a convicted rapist. Still, he remains a double-digit favorite over Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R) and businessman Christy Mihos (I). Mihos could draw seven percent or more away from Healey. Likely Democratic Takeover.

Wisconsin: This race may now hinge on a court decision over whether Rep. Mark Green (R) is allowed to keep any of the money he transferred from a federal account to his state account to run for governor. Gov. Jim Doyle (D), after lobbying the state elections board to strip Green of his cash, wants to prevent the state Supreme Court from taking up the case. He is aggressively running ads that criticize Green for breaking the law and using money from his Washington cronies to run for governor. It is a very effective attack. Leaning Democratic Retention.


Earmarks: As they stared down the barrel of minority status in Congress, Republicans signaled their dedication to pork-barrel spending before recessing for mid-term election campaigning. Behind closed doors, the GOP's King of Pork dressed down the party's leading foe of earmarks. The last bill passed before the pre-election break was filled with carefully hidden pork.

Freshman Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) continues to upset the Senate's old bulls with his crusade against appropriations earmarks. Coburn successfully added to the Defense Appropriations bill a provision requiring the Pentagon to grade the unauthorized spending attached to appropriations bills by congressmen. But once the bill had passed both houses of Congress, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) stripped Coburn's provision out of the conference report, contending that it would hurt the Republican Party. Stevens, the Senate's president pro tempore and its senior Republican, reflects a majority in both parties defending pork.

The House then passed the final version by a wide margin, but without the Coburn provision and with about 2,800 earmarks worth approximately $11 billion. That made a mockery of a House-passed "transparency" rule, supposedly intended to discourage earmarks. The rule's biggest loophole restricts earmarks to "non-federal" spending, which would absolve larcenous former Congressman Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) of earmarking. By definition, all Defense expenditures are "federal," even though many end up in the hands of a private beneficiary. This is why, on page 336 of the bill's conference report, it states that it contains no earmarks whatsoever.

The earmark process enables the Congressional-Industrial Complex to fund projects not desired by the military, and which often come at the expense of genuine military needs. The $5.5 million for an unrequested telescope at the Air Force Academy may come out of money for night-vision combat goggles. President Bush signed the Defense bill on September 29 because its overall spending is within his budget, but it requires transferring funds from needed military programs to politicians' pet projects.

Also among the unrequested earmarks: 10 C-17 Globemaster cargo planes produced by Boeing, 60 F-22A Raptor stealth fighters -- not supported by the Pentagon and opposed by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and John Warner (R-Va.) -- and $4.6 million for the Army Center for Excellence in Acoustics at the Jamie Whitten Center at the University of Mississippi.

When it comes to earmarks generally, Republican cluelessness is typified by Sen. Conrad Burns, who trails for re-election in Montana. Burns said that opposition to all earmarks by his Democratic opponent, State Sen. Jon Tester, "showed us how reckless and out of touch he is." Burns then issued a press release listing his earmarks, totaling more than $775 million, including $60 million for the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery.

Coburn plans to press his Defense report card as a freestanding bill in the lame-duck session. Perhaps more importantly, irrespective of which party controls the Senate next year, he plans to deny unanimous consent on spending measures and require 60 votes to end debate. The question is whether Republican leaders, perhaps chastened by election returns, will join him.


Robert D. Novak

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