The Travelling Shoes blog has compared Andy Rooney's five questions for American soldiers with a leaflet circulated by the Nazis, circa 1944, to American soldiers rescuing France.
Must reading. Check out the links he has within it, too.
NCPPR executive director David W. Almasi never thought there'd be a day when he would be complaining about the music kids are listening to:
It was the theme song for the 70s TV cop show "Baretta" that advised: "don't do the crime if you can't do the time." Modern rappers are showing this is no longer the case.
Island Def Jam Records is reportedly preparing to sign Jamal "Shyne" Barrow to a $3 million recording contract. It plans to use previously-recorded tracks for his first release, but the follow-up will be tricky since Shyne is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence and might not be released until 2009. He is in jail for his role in a 2001 shooting at a New York nightclub that also included rap mogul Sean Combs and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez (they weren't charged).
When someone does a poor job, they're often accused of "phoning it in." In Shyne's case, he might have to literally do so from the prison payphone. It will be that or, as many other prison rappers reportedly do, he will record
in the public visiting area.
The actor who played Baretta, Robert Blake, now stands accused of either killing his wife or having her killed.
Seems he didn't live up to his song, either.
A nice column Friday by Duane D. Freese, published by Tech Central Station, on the press conference Project 21 participated in on Earth Day. Here's how it starts:
Does Earth Day need a disparate impact statement? The thought may make many political conservatives cringe, but an accounting given at a forum on April 22 called "Eco-Imperialism: Reflections on Earth Day" at the National Press Club ought to give liberals pause as well about what extremist environmental positions mean for the world's poor and minorities. For those who don't recall what disparate impact is...
NCPPR executive director David W. Almasi points out the media has already shown its lack of respect for the dead:
The media's zeal to publish photos of war dead returning to Dover Air Force Base has blown up in their faces as it is now being reported the photos of flag-draped coffins distributed by many news services are actually old photos of the late crew of the space shuttle Columbia.
The first Bush Administration banned the media from taking photos like these back in 1991 with good reason. In 1989 after the liberation of Panama and in 1991 during the first Gulf War, networks spliced images of the returning dead with the President joking around or relaxing. Intentional or not -- and I believe it was intentional -- it made the President look disrespectful. Either way, it was wrong, and it showed the media was not up to the somber responsibility of reporting on these activities. This ban was honored by both Clinton and the current President.
One of the employees who was fired for taking photos of returning caskets did so for the families of the dead. She wanted the families to know their loved ones were being treated with honor and respect rather than as luggage (if you want to see my point, try to catch a rerun of the new A&E show "Family Plots" where a mortician is shown stuffing a corpse -- still in a body bag -- into a casket and run out to a closed-casket burial they'd forgotten about). Instead of sharing this reverence, the media seems to be shouting, "Look! Dead bodies!" And, if you want to find a pattern of morbid behavior in the media, you need only remember earlier this week when CBS was criticized for showing death photos of England's Princess Diana.
If the media wants to be reverent about our war dead, fine. But their current behavior proves the first Bush Administration was correct. They still haven't learned their lesson and cannot be counted on to act mature.
How Wonderful!Fortunately, this letter is an aberration. The vast majority of the letters and e-mails we are receiving and forwarding to Joe are wonderfully supportive of our soldiers and Marines.
What a wondeful way to reach the dopers with "no future" except rotting from D.U. in the desert! Are you a member of the same "Think Tank" that brought us Wolfawitz and Pearle, and "The Project For The New American Century"??? The same who brought us "The Uniform Military Service Act", and "Smart Borders" to prevent defectors from "Voting with their feet"?
So, it's all "Hail & Glory" over there in "New Texas", eh?
Now repeat after me; "Hail George Bush Jr., you recycled bar slime, I who am about to die admit you are driven by people more viciuos and intelligent than you ever could be."
Lottsa luck, Joe Think Tank.
Dyann & Glenn firstname.lastname@example.org
This has to be one of the most (unintentionally) humorous proposals that I have ever seen.
Any environmentalist who believes a parent can tell (a minute or so in advance, yet) when an infant is going to urinate is giving a whole new dimension to the term "looney left."
I got this amusing e-mail from a complete stranger today, and decided it was funny enough to share, although it is tremendously un-PC.
We all know that it is a sin for an Islamic male to see any woman other than his wife naked, and that he must commit suicide if he does. So this Sunday at 4:00 PM Eastern time all American women are asked to walk out of their house completely naked to help weed out any neighborhood terrorists. Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this Antiterrorist effort.
All men are to position themselves in lawn chairs in front of their house to prove they are not terrorists, and to demonstrate that they think it's okay to see nude women other than their wife and to show support for all American women. And since the Koran also does not approve of alcohol, a cold six-pack at your side is further proof of your anti-terrorist sentiment.
The American Government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds your participation in this anti-terrorist activity.
God bless America!
Project 21 will participate in an Earth Day press conference at the National Press Club today on the topic of environmental policies that harm minority advancement.
William La Jeunesse had a report on the Fox News Channel yesterday detailing how anti-nuclear environmental activists are trying once again to shut down America's most environmentally-friendly major energy source.
I provide my take on this here.
(Just for the record, the nuclear power industry is not a donor to The National Center.)
A new commentary by Project 21's Kevin Martin points out:
While outsourcing is a term that's on everyone's lips, there's little concern over something called "environmental justice." It's a policy advocated by elite environmentalists, and it is killing job prospects in minority communities. If outsourcing is considered bad, environmental justice is much, much worse...
In 1996, Shintech Inc. -- a Japanese chemical company -- wanted to build a $700 million facility in Convent, Louisiana to make the polyvinyl chloride that is used in building materials, upholstery and clothing. Shintech promised to hire hundreds of area residents for the construction of the plant and provide $500,000 in local job training. After the plant was built, it would employ 165 people with salaries beginning at $12 an hour - twice the average wage area residents made working in the region's sugar cane fields.
Shintech was never able to build the plant in this poor, job-starved community. Despite strong local support among residents, politicians and the NAACP, EPA officials in Washington, D.C. -- at the urging of environmentalists -- denied Shintech a permit based on concerns about environmental justice.
Environmental justice policies are supposed to keep businesses from inflicting a "disparate impact" on minority communities, but this vague definition does not weigh the costs against the benefits of introducing a job-producing industry to a poverty-stricken area. To the elitists in the environmental movement, it's a black and white issue where businesses are guilty until proven innocent. In reality, it's about black and white jobs. Those people who need jobs the most often find their prospects gloomier after environmental justice concerns are raised.
Former Detroit mayor Dennis Archer has complained that the EPA's environmental justice policies are "so vague and so broad that it nullifies everything that we have done to attract companies." It seems activists are willing to make an issue out of just about everything. When a formerly blighted neighborhood in Harlem was cleaned up and a Home Depot that created 400 area jobs moved in, it was criticized by environmentalists because it wasn't a "clean industry" like a school and increased area truck traffic...
In 2000, The National Center for Public Policy Research surveyed 69 community-level environmental groups about "environmental justice." When presented with the choice between jobs and justice, 72 percent didn't think jobs or wages should be sacrificed to achieve environmental goals. Likewise, 57 percent said environmental goals must be balanced with economic opportunity.
Environmental goals are important, but they cannot come at the expense of people and their livelihoods....
David Almasi sends over this note:
Elaine R. Jones, the outgoing director of the NAACP's legal arm, is being feted in New York City on April 22. Her resignation was announced shortly after a complaint was filed against her with the Virginia Bar Association. The complaint was related to information found in a leaked Senate Judiciary Committee memo in which Ted Kennedy staffer Olati Johnson informed the senator that Jones had called seeking a delay in the confirmation of a Bush appeals court nominee so that the NAACP's perceived upper hand in the University of Michigan affirmative action case would not be jeopardized (Johnson, who once worked for the NAACP, is now at the ACLU).By the way, can anyone doubt the Elaine Jones story would be page one if she had worked for Bill Frist?
The complaint against Jones was dismissed just prior to the Jones tribute. It's not certain if the dismissal was due to the brilliant work of her legal team (which included Bill Clinton's attorney and a former Virginia governor) or barrister collegiality, but the timing is certainly odd.
Here are Project 21 member Mychal Massie's thoughts upon the occasion of Jones' retirement:
"It is important to not forget the real reason for Elaine Jones' resignation. Her resigning has nothing to do with 'a job well done, it's time to move on to the next big thing.' Rather, it has everything to do with her clandestine influence over the liberals on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the subsequent call for her investigation by several groups — including Project 21 — before Virginia Bar Association. Elaine Jones is neither hero nor a champion of righteous causes; her reported actions are, in fact, representative of the quintessential ill befalling America and American government."
Comments from NCPPR research associate Eric Chapman:
Bruce Barcott's New York Times Magazine cover story on April 4, 2004, "Changing All the Rules," criticized the Bush Administration for its failure to pass the President's energy bill and said the President's Clear Skies initiative is collecting dust on a committee shelf.
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Bush energy bill. The problem lies in the Senate, where Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) refuses to let the bill come to the floor for a vote. Furthermore, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) vows to filibuster any bill that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Also, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), the ranking minority member on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, opposes letting the bill leave the committee.
As for the Clear Skies package, both chambers of Congress have taken action (H.R. 999 and S. 485), but subcommittee hearings and committee markups are not instantaneous, especially in an election year in which election politics and senatorial campaigns are taking precedent. Action, if and when taken, on the Clear Skies initiative will provide power plants with needed flexibility to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury in an inexpensive way.
For more, see a document just posted online by our Center for Environmental Justice, Our Leaders Speak... Sort Of.
At an Earth Day observance in 2003, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) pledged to make "environmental justice" a top priority of his administration should he be elected president in 2004...
Because there are diverse views on environmental justice that in practice can be both helpful and hurtful to minority communities as well as the economic prosperity of all Americans, the African-American leadership network Project 21 contacted Senator Kerry's presidential campaign and his Senate office to ask him to define his intentions with regard to environmental justice enforcement. He was also offered help in further developing his position on this important environmental and economic issue affecting minorities and the poor.
Here's what he told us:
After one year and several attempts, including formal letters to his office sent via FedEx, there has been no response of any kind from Senator Kerry or his staff.
In the interest of fairness, all the candidates for president were asked the same questions and offered the same assistance.
Here is what former senator Carol Moseley Braun (IL), retired General Wesley Clark, former governor Howard Dean (VT), Senator Bob Edwards (NC), Congressman Richard Gephardt (MO), Senator Bob Graham (FL), Congressman Dennis Kucinich (OH), Senator Joe Lieberman (CT) and the Reverend Al Sharpton had to say in response about their commitment to environmental justice:
Kerry's fellow candidates for the Democratic nomination were equally silent.
We also asked the President of the United States. White House staff members told us by telephone...
The Center for Environmental Justice, a joint project of The National Center's John P. McGovern MD Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs and Project 21, has unveiled a new web design. We invite you to visit.
Project 21 has issued a press release making the following points:
* Provisions to combat the unproven theory of global warming, as dictated by the United Nation's Kyoto Protocol, would force almost 1.4 million black and Hispanic Americans out of work and raise the price of food, energy, gasoline and other necessary goods.Says Project 21's Ak'Bar Shabazz:
* "Smart growth" land use plans restricting new home construction essentially create a new form of segregation by preventing upwardly-mobile black prospective homebuyers from being able to find preferred affordable housing.
* Elitist environmental groups prefer to focus on issues such as abortion and campaign finance reform rather than on legislation that will clean and give an economic jump-start to inner-city communities. These groups also lack diversity in their hiring.
"Most people in our country favor things such as clean air that are raised on Earth Day. However, I believe that Earth Day has changed into an opportunity for socialists and others with interests in slowing down our economy to suppress the resource development, exploration and production that our country needs to maintain our quality of life."Project 21's Michael King says:
"The notion of sacrificing economic empowerment for the sake of assuaging the feelings of a handful of environmentalists is offensive. These activists seem to think their notions of solving pseudo-scientific concepts like 'global warming' will save humanity, but at what cost? These increased costs create a new underclass unable to afford to buy homes, vehicles and household goods."
The Washington Post has a page one story on Joe Roche's battalion by Tom Ricks today.
Joe also was able to get in touch with us by e-mail. Turns out Joe was, in his words "the one who got to show him around. Very nice man, Tom Ricks."
The article discusses the soldiers' personal reactions to the unexpected extension of their deployments and describes their current home base, nicknamed "Baghdad Island."
Of the latter, Joe says:
We have only 4 days left on the Island. It is going to be hard to leave here for the last time. I'm very glad that though it was too short and didn't say much, Tom Ricks wrote about the Island in today's WashPost. This really is an amazing place. Emotions around here are at their highest. Yes, Baghdad Island is being shut down.The Post also described the unit's new mission...
....as part of a big, brigade-size quick reaction force that the U.S. Army is creating here to rush to hot spots.Of the new mission, Joe says:
The idea behind that force is to prevent the embarrassing recurrence of loss of control of cities, as occurred recently in Fallujah, Najaf and Kut in central Iraq. The new force also promises to give commanders an extra bit of combat flexibility as the planned turnover of sovereignty on June 30 nears -- an event that authorities here widely expect will be preceded by outbursts of violence.
[We have] been doing a lot of recon runs. Our mission tasking has been changed so that now we aren't going to be a stationary force here or elsewhere, but instead we are forming up as one massive QRF-like force (quick reaction force).
This is cool, and kind of scary too. Let me try to explain. On the cool side, we are going to be forming up at BIAP, w/ all the comforts BIAP has for us. This is like one massive huge US military base/city. Many of the guys are happy because there are girls there. We'll have PX, 'net and phone access. We should also have decent 3-to-6 man bays to live in.
HOWEVER!, and this is the kicker -- if anywhere anything goes down that is bad, our QRF force is the one that will immediately deploy out to deal w/ it. That includes Fallujah, Najaf, here in Baghdad, everything and everywhere. We will be going wherever the fight is. Further, if and when it happens, we could be gone doing that for days or weeks. Further!, we could go from one to another as long as it takes w/out returning to BIAP.
It is all kind of cool because now we're not going to have the constant street missions... none of the stress each hour and constantly 24/7, all night and all day, ...you get the idea. We're relieved of that. Two other units are taking over the missions and patrols we have done all year. We're off of Task Force Baghdad. Wow.
"The kids... It is like they are in denial. No one talks of our leaving, but they know. Instead, they play and play and play w/ us. But, the one thing, hugs and 'I love you' and stuff like that all the time. They are going to be so lost w/out us."
We've shared thoughts on this blog about how much our soldiers abroad miss their families, and how much their families miss them. There's another side, though. The above quote is something Joe Roche wrote about the Iraqi children his unit must leave behind.
Osama bin Laden thought Americans would crumble and cower when his nerdy bunch attacked our airplanes and cities. But as this letter sent to Army Spc. Joe Roche proves, we Americans are made of much sterner stuff.
I just wanted to thank you for the positive input, as a wife of a soldier in Sadr city, its nice to hear an encouraging word rather than the bombardment of negative information that the media is releasing. I'm proud of the work that you guys are doing, and thank God there are people like our soldiers in this world to protect us. I know that you guys are working hard and giving people a better life, and we here at home support you. We miss our husbands, our children miss their daddys, and while it would be easy to be selfish and say I want him out of Iraq regardless, that's not the right choice.. it's the selfish choice. One day my children will understand that their daddy helped bring freedom and a better way of life to the suffering children and people of an oppressed nation. I appreciate the sacrifices you guys make, and am proud of you, one and all of you.I find this message quite inspirational. That's why I wrote to the author and asked permission to post her letter in this blog. Let's keep her husband and entire family in our prayers, that he may return home soon and safe, mission accomplished.
[name deleted upon request]
If you haven't sent a care package or letter of support to our soldiers abroad, please consider doing so. In addition to our suggestions, there are many other websites and worthy organizations that can help Americans here at home support our soldiers abroad, and their (often worried) families here at home.