Posted by: theheartlander | April 21, 2011

The Congressman Is a Master and Commander

Wow. This video reminds me once again why so many of us have such high hopes for Allen West. The way his mind works, the way he holds himself, the way he expresses things — all are amazing to behold.

Via Weasel Zippers, a clip from the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the implementation of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:

Out of all the dignitaries in that room, which one exudes the most self-possession and strength? Which one inspires the most confidence?

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Posted by: theheartlander | April 20, 2011

Beware of Donald Trump: He’s no conservative!

I am very distressed by Allen West’s giving even the slightest bit of consideration to Donald Trump as a serious candidate, much less a serious Republican candidate. West recently said that he’d consider being Donald Trump’s running mate if it were offered, and Trump and West shared the stage at a South Florida Tax Day Tea Party rally. This is both puzzling and disturbing.

The Conservative Diva sums up my own feelings about Trump pretty well:

From my friend Stephen Maloney, just learned of Poll Insider’s little refresher on the man who, for reasons not  yet fully known (is he really running for president or is this just a publicity ploy?) has transformed himself from Obama lover to Tea Party advocate. While some conservatives rhapsodize over what feels like an endless media blitz over Obama’s birth certificate, others like Poll Insiderare actually pointing out some inconvenient truths about The Donald.

On Abortion: Donald Trump Then: “I support a woman’s right to choose, but I am uncomfortable with the procedures. When Tim Russert asked me on Meet the Press if I would ban partial-birth abortion, my pro-choice instincts led me to say no. After the show, I consulted two doctors I respect and, upon learning more about this procedure, I have concluded that I would support a ban.” From his 2000 book. “I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors” – When he last considered running for President in 2009. Donald Trump Now: “As you know, I’m pro-life…  I’m forming an opinion, I’m forming a very strong opinion but I’ll let you know in about three or four weeks if I decided to.” That’s comforting, he will let us know in 3 or 4 weeks what his reformed views on abortion are.

On Healthcare: “I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on health. It is an unacceptable but accurate fact that the number of uninsured Americans has risen to 42 million. Working out detailed plans will take time. But the goal should be clear: Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare. Our objective [should be] to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice. Possible? The good news is, yes. There is already a system in place-the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program-that can act as a guide for all healthcare reform. It operates through a centralized agency that offers considerable range of choice. While this is a government program, it is also very much market-based. It allows 620 private insurance companies to compete for this market. Once a year participants can choose from plans which vary in benefits and costs.”

On Taxation: Forget raising taxes, Trump wanted to tax, at 14.25% the net wealth of “the evil rich.” Money that was already taxed. Of course, he played the “I’m raising taxes on myself” card to prove his selflessness. (Ironic given his inability to settle his own debts…) His 1999 plan:

  • Raise $5.7 trillion to erase the nation’s debt and save $200 billion in annual interest payments
  • Use the savings to save Social Security and slash taxes for the middle class
  • Increase his personal tax bill by at least $725 million.

Political Donations (and no, I don’t accept the “he did it for business reasons” excuse. Has George Soros ever donated to a conservative politician in the interest of business and against his dearly held lefty ideology?):

Charlie Rangel (D-NY): 2006 – $10,000 Yes, he of corruption, tax evasion, and mass liberalism

Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) $12,000 Total, $2,000 in 2006

Re-election Harry Reid: Donated $4,800 in 2010 to Reid to defeat Sharon Angle. $10,400 to Reid overall

Chuck Schumer: Donated $4,000 during 2010 Election Cycle

Kirsten Gillibrand: $5,800 over past 2 cycles

Ted Kennedy: $7,000

John Kerry $5,500 ($2,000 in 2004 Pres race, which he also gave Bush $2,000. How bi-partisan!)

Democratic Senatorial Committee: $116,000 (versus $30K to GOP equivalent)

My question for conservatives — especially those who’ve declared Sarah Palin unelectable: Do we no longer care about a candidate’s past record, associations, donations to lefty candidates and stance on important issues? Or are you so thrilled by his constant drum-beating over Obama’s birth certificate you are willing to overlook everything else? By the way, here’s what he had to say about Obama in 2008:

Update 2: 2008 Trump Blasts Bush, Praises Obama, Says he Can Save the World: “I think he has a chance to go down as a great president. Now, if he’s not a great president, this country is in serious trouble,” said Trump. “I think [Obama’s] going to lead through consensus,” continued Trump. “It’s not going to be just a bull run like Bush did. He just did whatever the hell he wanted. He’d go into a country, attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with the World Trade Center and just do it because he wanted to do it.”

My own issues with President Bush aside, I’m not taking a gamble (so to speak) on Donald Trump. The more I learn, the more I want to recant my statement about voting for him if it comes down to Trump vs. a GOP Establishment type. Let the voter beware. UPDATE: Since one of the comments in the thread accuses me of being unfair in not stating that Trump has also donated to Republicans (he has), here’s an addendum from Open Secrets.org:

In all, Trump has contributed to 96 candidates running for federal political office since the 1990 election cycle, the Center finds. Only 48 of the recipients — exactly half — were Republicans at the time they received their contribution, including ex-Gov. Charlie Crist (I-Fla.) and ex-Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who both of whom received their Trump contributions as Republicans.

Since the 1990 election cycle, the top 10 recipients of Trump’s political contributions number six Democrats and four Republicans. Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was censured last year by his U.S. House colleagues, has received the most Trump money, totaling $24,750. The most recent contribution from Trump to Rangel was a $10,000 gift during the 2006 election cycle.

In the most recent election cycle, Trump doled out $22,500 to political candidates, of which $16,200 benefited Democrats.

The top Republican recipient of Trump’s money is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who has collected $13,600 from the billionaire magnate, the second most of any politician. Trump did not contribute to McCain during the 2010 election cycle, during which the former presidential candidate was facing re-election.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) is the recipient of $12,000 in Trump contributions, including $10,000 for his 2006 re-election campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has received the fourth-largest amount of Trump’s contributions, including $4,800 in the successful 2010 campaign against Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle. In total Trump has contributed $10,400 to Reid.

In 2010, Trump also contributed $4,000 to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who easily won re-election. Schumer has received $8,900 from Trump since the 1996 election cycle. Trump has also been generous to New York’s other Democratic U.S. senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s received $5,850 in Trump money.

After McCain, the Republican with the largest amount of Trump’s contributions is former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who left office in disgrace in 2006 when his online solicitation of male House pages became known. Trump contributed $9,500 to Foley between the 1996 and 2006 election cycles.

Trump has also supported other notable politicians, including:

• $7,000 to former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), the “liberal lion of the Senate”
• $7,500 to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R)
• $5,500 to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) including $2,000 during his 2004 presidential run
• $5,000 to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)
• $4,000 to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.)
• $2,000 to former President George W. Bush (R)
• $1,000 to then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.)

Like most conservatives who happen to be registered Republicans, I know all too well that “Republican” does not equal “Tea Party conservative”. Therefore, I take no comfort in his donations to RINOs like Charlie Crist, whom the NRSC rushed to endorse a year-and-a-half before the primary in their zeal to take out Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio. As for Trump’s support of Harry “This war is lost!” Reid, John “Reporting for Duty” Kerry, Teddy “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy and all of the other progressive Dems on the list…well, that’s just a little too much for this voter to ignore. So yes, I did my homework — and once again, the hyperlinks to my sources are embedded in the post. Everyone is free to support whomever they’d like; I am simply expressing my opinion backed up with facts as to why I will not support Donald Trump.

I would only add to Conservative Diva’s comments my own fears that Trump is doing and is likely to do three things:

1.  Expose Republicans to ridicule by pounding away on the birth certificate issue.

2.  Distract attention from serious, legitimate Republican candidates; and maybe fracture the party.

3.  Lose the GOP nomination, run as an Independent, and draw away enough GOP votes to hand the election to Obama. (Which may be the real agenda all along.)

Maybe Allen West knows something we don’t know — but at this point in time, it looks to me like poor judgment on West’s part. I think the number one quality a chief executive needs — other than the obvious ones such as integrity, intelligence and a good work ethic — is the ability to pick good people. No executive can do his or her job without advisers and department heads, so good judgment of character is absolutely crucial. Let’s just say I have my doubts.

Rather than President, I’m leaning toward West as VP, Secretary of Defense or National Security Adviser. I think he’d be magnificent in any of these positions — for someone other than Trump!

Posted by: theheartlander | April 19, 2011

Obama slaps Israel in the face — on Passover!

UPDATE:
ATTENTION, VISITORS:  This piece was NOT written by Allen West.
It was written by me, this blog’s proprietor, a private citizen who supports Allen West.
This blog is not authorized in any way by Allen West or anyone on his staff.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Barack Obama seems to think that attending a Passover seder once a year will fool Jews into thinking he likes them.

Forget that he gave massive financial support — not to mention weekly attendance — to a church whose pastor, Jeremiah Wright, delivers anti-Semitic jabs on a regular basis. Forget that his first phone call from the Oval Office after his inauguration was to Mahmoud Abbas, and that his first formal TV interview as President was with al-Arabiya. Forget that one of his top advisers is Samantha Power, an inveterate Israel-hater who recently said that the U.S. should be prepared to send in our military to subjugate the Jewish state and facilitate its takeover by the Arabs. Forget that whereas Obama bowed to the Saudi king, he treated Prime Minister Netanyahu like something the cat dragged in.

We’re supposed to forget Obama’s unrelenting disparagement and undermining of the Jewish state because… he attends a Passover seder. That, he supposes, will make everything okay. To quote the man himself, “Do you think we’re stupid?”

From Israel National News:

Passover recalls the bondage and suffering of Jews in Egypt and the miracle of the Exodus, but U.S. President Barack Obama says its message is reflected in Muslim uprisings.

In his annual message, prior to his third straight participation in the Passover Seder, President Obama stated, “The story of Passover…instructs each generation to remember its past, while appreciating the beauty of freedom and the responsibility it entails. This year that ancient instruction is reflected in the daily headlines as we see modern stories of social transformation and liberation unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Did you notice the conspicuous omission? No, Barry, the haggadah doesn’t “instruct each generation to remember its past.” It instructs each generation of Jews to remember its past. And it’s not just about “the beauty of freedom,” but rather, it’s about deliverance of the Jews by God so that He could make His covenant with them at Mt. Sinai, establishing them as the Chosen People.

Unfortunately for the Jews, for thousands of years, the idea that God would choose one particular people to be His instrument of blessing to the world has really bothered a lot of non-Jews — and it’s bothered them enough to attempt genocide time and time again.

All over the Middle East and North Africa right now, radical jihadists are on the move. The Muslim Brotherhood — which is calling for war against Israel — has largely shut down the secular freedom movement in Egypt. Al-Qaeda is gaining territory in Libya. Thanks to all the unrest, anti-terrorist efforts and cooperation with U.S. intelligence have been disrupted and/or shut down all over the Middle East and North Africa.

It’s bad enough for Barack Obama to be celebrating these developments. But to celebrate them on Passover — the central, defining event of Jewish history — is beyond despicable.

Hat tip: Atlas Shrugs

Posted by: theheartlander | April 18, 2011

Boehner’s deal will expose Obamacare

Many conservatives have been deeply disappointed by House Speaker John Boehner’s spending compromise late in the night of April 8 with Sen. Harry Reid and Pres. Obama. But, as Michael Barone points out in his piece for the Washington Examiner, the deal ain’t all bad:

Speaker John Boehner was criticized by some on the right for not pressing for deeper and more permanent cuts in spending than the $38 billion he claimed. But the deal nonetheless passed both houses by wide margins, and it contains some details that threaten to undermine the policies of the Obama Democrats in the future.

Most important, it requires the General Accountability Office to conduct an audit of the waivers from the Democrats’ health care bill that are being issued in large numbers by the secretary of Health and Human Services Department.

This will raise an uncomfortable question. If Obamacare is so great, why are so many trying to get out from under it? And, more specifically, why are so many Democratic groups trying to get out from under it?

The fact is that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has granted more than 1,000 waivers from Obamacare. Many have been granted to labor unions. Some have been granted to giant corporations like McDonald’s. One was granted to the entire state of Maine.

By what criteria is this relief being granted? That’s unclear, and the GAO audit should produce some answers. But what it looks like to an outsider is that waivers are being granted to constituencies that have coughed up money (or in the case of Maine, four electoral votes) to the Democrats.

Rep. Michele Bachmann was the first to call the Obama regime "gangster government" -- and has led the way in exposing and fighting against Obamacare.

If so, what we’re looking at is another example of gangster government in this administration. The law in its majesty applies to everyone except those who get special favors.

The GAO has also been ordered to produce audits on the effect of Obamacare on health insurance premiums. This is likely to reveal that the president did not keep his promise that you could keep your current health insurance if you want to.

And there will be an audit of the comparative effectiveness bureaucracy established in the 2009 stimulus package. Comparative effectiveness is supposedly an objective study of which medical techniques are most effective. But anyone who looks closely finds that the experts are constantly changing their minds, which suggests that this is more alchemy than science — and maybe political favoritism as well.

Not to mention that those “experts” — unelected Obama/Sebelius appointees unconfirmed by Congress and unaccountable to us citizens — will be tasked with cutting half a trillion dollars out of Medicare expenditures. Meaning: Bye-bye, grandma, take two Tylenols and shove off.

The audits that are mandated in the Boehner compromise could prove to be a very powerful weapon for us in the battle to take down Obamacare.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

Posted by: theheartlander | April 17, 2011

Black pastors in D.C. stand for life

We saw how quickly the forces of “political correctness” acted to remove a beautifully done advertisement that spoke the truth about the way abortion is decimating the African-American population. But, praise God, African-American pastors are standing up for truth.

From LifeSiteNews:

After the mayor of the District of Columbia was arrested for protesting a budget deal that banned taxpayer funds for local abortions, a group of local black pastors have expressed shock at the mayor’s pro-abortion “passion” and announced the planned opening of a new pregnancy center to help D.C. women avoid abortion. Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was arrested Monday on charges of trespassing after he led a group in front of Senate office buildings to protest the deal restoring the Dornan amendment banning abortion funding in D.C., which is estimated to save 1,000 lives from abortion in the city each year.

In response, a coalition of D.C. pastors are challenging the mayor to stand up for “the tiniest of constituents who truly cannot speak for themselves” – the unborn.

An open letter was signed by 10 African American pastors from the District of Columbia and surrounding areas, including Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr. and Rev. Dean Nelson of Care Net, a national network of 1,130 pregnancy centers.

“Who could have imagined during the height of the Civil Rights Movement a day when the mayor of Washington, D.C. would be arrested for protesting for the right to use tax dollars to abort babies, a disproportionate number of them black? As pastors and community leaders, we feel bewildered and betrayed,” states the letter.

At the 2011 Rally for Life in Washington, Pastor Luke Quinn, of Quinn Chapel A.M.E., Frederick, MD, asks: “Where is President Obama? Where is Jesse Jackson? Where is Al Sharpton?”

“Abortion is the leading cause of death in the black community nationwide,” the pastors write. “While African American women represent 13% of the female population, they undergo 37% of all abortions.

“As a leader charged with our protection and government, we are shocked at your passion to continue this trend with tax dollars.”

The letter also states that the coalition of pastors plan to open a new, privately-funded pregnancy center in Washington, D.C. this year in order to offer women life-affirming alternatives to abortion.

This center will be supported by their own congregations, non-profit organizations, and other private sources, to offer practical help, counseling, and resources to help women to carry their pregnancies to term.

In the pro-life movement, Protestants and Catholics have long spoken of their experience of “the ecumenism of the trenches.” When Catholics and Protestants are being carted off to jail together for blocking the doors of the abortion chambers, historical differences between their churches have a way of fading away into insignificance. Similarly, any traces of tension between different races melt away quickly in the crucible of pro-life activism.

The ultimate healing between the races will come not from government-imposed “politically correct” mandates, but from shared dedication to truth. And there are few truths more fundamental than that of the innate worth and dignity of every human being.

It’s getting hard to keep count of how many times Barack Obama has violated his oath to preserve, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

From Weasel Zippers: [emphasis added]

Let me get this straight, he strikes a deal, then turns around and issues a signing statement that he won’t abide by the section defunding his czars? Shame on you Boehner for trying to come to agreement with this thug.

President Obama signed into law on Friday the hard-fought legislation to fund government and keep it running through the end of September.

The president signed the legislation based on the deal he negotiated last week with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that cuts nearly $40 billion from the government through the end of this fiscal years and advances several policy goals.

But Obama took the key step of issuing a signing statement, a declaration of constitutional interpretation by a president of legislation he or she might sign into law. It essentially notified lawmakers that he would not abide by the section of the law defunding the establishment of so-called “czars.”

Obama has employed a good number of these informal policy advisers who aren’t subject to Senate confirmation, drawing the ire of congressional Republicans and prompting them to include in their spending bill a provision barring the use of federal funds for czars.

Once again, when something doesn’t go the way Obama likes, he simply does an end run around it. He’s above the law, don’t you see?

Posted by: theheartlander | April 15, 2011

The radical extremists running our Justice Department

You may remember J. Christian Adams, the brave man formerly in the Justice Department’s Voting Rights Section who blew the whistle on Attorney General Eric Holder’s policy that voting-rights violations by non-white minorities would not be prosecuted.

Since Adams resigned the Department in protest, he has continued to investigate and publicize dirty tricks in the Holder Justice Department, as well as advocate for election law reform and fair election law enforcement.

Adams’ latest story for the Washington Examiner gives a partial inventory of the radical left-wing activists hired by Holder who are now pushing their Marxist and/or Islamist agenda from within our government, funded by our tax dollars:

In December, the Justice Department filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the Berkeley School District in Illinois. The school district had refused to allow a new teacher to take three weeks off during final exams so she could go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, an unreasonable demand far beyond what federal law requires.

The lead Justice Department lawyer on the case says a great deal about why this case was filed. The senior career trial attorney who signed the complaint, and therefore was in charge of the investigation, is Varda Hussain.

Just a question: Why do so many Western "liberals," particularly women, think Islam is so great?

Hussain used to be a lawyer at the Venable law firm in Virginia. In 2006, she received the firm’s Benjamin R. Civiletti Pro Bono award for spending “over 500 hours in the past year fighting to bring due process to our clients.”

Who were the particular clients Hussain spent so much time helping? Three Egyptian terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay. Although when the Venable firm wrote its internal newsletter that reported on this award, it called them merely “Egyptian clients,” here’s what they are: terrorists.

That sort of euphemism for murderous thugs who want to destroy America is needed at a law firm that doesn’t want to upset its business clients about the work Hussain was doing to help America’s deadliest enemies get away with murder and mayhem. She received an award for the work no less!

…Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez hired Aaron Schuham from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, one of the most hostile organizations in the United States toward organized religion.

Founded as a rabidly anti-Catholic organization in 1947, the group has taken the lead in stopping public expressions of faith. Schuham’s new job in Holder’s Justice Department? Protecting religious liberty. Attorney hires like Schuham’s lead to reasonable questions about the administration’s motivation.

Who did Holder pick to head the unit inside civil rights to bring civil rights lawsuits against police departments and prisons? Why none other than Jonathan Smith, formerly of the Prisoners Legal Services Project and the D.C. Legal Aid Society, two anti-police and anti-prison guard antagonist groups. Hopefully America’s police unions will take note of Smith’s hiring when deciding presidential endorsements next year.

These attorneys are just the tip of the iceberg, but the DOJ is concealing the full scope of the problem. Pajamas Media submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the DOJ in the summer of 2010 seeking the resumes of all the new Obama hires inside the Civil Rights Division.

The Bush DOJ complied with an identical request from the Boston Globe after three weeks in 2007. Pajamas Media had to sue Holder in January, and the resumes still have not been provided. Phony transparency is worse than none at all.

Hat tip: Infidel Bloggers Alliance

Posted by: theheartlander | April 14, 2011

A death panel by any other name is still a death panel

…and death panels are ghoulish. I have always said Barack Obama is a monster. If you can think of a more charitable term, go ahead and post it in the comments. For me, “monster” is cutting him a lot of slack.

From Erick Erickson at RedState:

While everyone else was focused on Barack Obama bashing Paul Ryan, I noticed that he took full ownership of death panels yesterday [in his speech on the budget]. Naturally, Obama did not call them death panels. He called them “an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers.” But his description hits dead on with what his death panels will do.

According to Barack Obama yesterday, the death panels “will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need.”

We already know what they’ll recommend as “the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending”. Barack Obama’s own advisers have told us. They will prioritize giving health care to healthier people and let sicker people die. At end of life, they will deny people life sustaining treatment because, after all, they’re going to die anyway. Note his phrasing: “protecting access to the services seniors need.” Dying people, according to Obama’s advisers, need hospice not hope. They certainly do not need expensive treatments that may buy them time to see the birth of a new grandchild or other reasons.

“We will change the way we pay for health care – not by procedure or the number of days spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results. . . . If we’re wrong, and Medicare costs rise faster than we expect, this approach will give the independent commission the authority to make additional savings by further improving Medicare,” Obama said. At a time Democrats are saying Republicans want to starve old people to death, Democrats are intent on embracing a cost savings model for Medicare that incentivizes doctors to encourage people to die and, when all else fails, gives a death panel “the authority to make additional savings by” ensuring the dying elderly die quickly.

“Our approach lowers the government’s health care bills by reducing the cost of health care itself,” Obama said. Really? The only way that will happen is by rationing. You may not like the use of the phrase “death panel,” but make no mistake about it — at the end of your life, in Barack Obama’s America, his death panel will throw you under the bus in a way much closer to reality than metaphor.

Can anyone say they’re surprised? Obama is, after all, a man who eagerly throws newborn babies under the bus. The man is pitiless. But unbelievably — even for him — he had the damn gall to accuse Republicans of leaving Down syndrome children out in the cold! Barack Obama prefers to leave them in hospital dirty-linen closets to die of exposure, suffocation and dehydration. Obama’s “Science Czar,” John Holdren, would have every one of those babies killed, if he had his way, along with millions of other “surplus” babies who are cluttering up the planet — even if the government has to force women to have abortions against their will, as in China.

But again, who’s surprised? Obama and his closest buddies — Bill Ayers, Van Jones, Anita Dunn — are all admirers of Mao Tse-Tung, who killed 40,000,000 human beings. Life is cheap with this crowd.

Resist, resist, resist.

In the words of the Manhattan Declaration of Christian Conscience (which I have signed, and I hope you have, too), “Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good,… We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.”

Obamao, you’ve been put on notice.

Posted by: theheartlander | April 14, 2011

The Taliban LOVES our rules of engagement!

Allen West has constantly been beating the drum for the need for commonsense changes in the U.S. military’s rules of engagement (ROE). This shocking story shows how horrible the current situation is. Teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling horrible.

From the Washington Examiner, via Weasel Zippers:

Several Taliban detainees who had been captured in February after being observed placing bombs in the culverts of roads used by civilians and military convoys near Kandahar were fed, given medical treatment, then released by American troops frustrated by a policy they say is forcing them to kick loose enemies who are trying to kill them.Despite what American soldiers say was a mountain of evidence, which included a video of the men planting the bomb and chemical traces found on their hands, there was nothing the soldiers who had captured them could do but feed and care for them for 96 hours and then set them free.

In another incident, members of a unit attached to 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment survived an attack by a suicide bomber on their convoy when his device failed to detonate. Soldiers managed to capture the would-be martyr, but he too was released after being held for four days.

“We put our lives on the line to capture the enemy,” a soldier with the Stryker regiment told The Washington Examiner. “Since my deployment, every insurgent we’ve captured has been released.

International Security Assistance Forces officials contacted by The Examiner admitted that releases like these were common. The officials said ISAF forces can hold detainees for up to 96 hours, during which time detainees are “screened and a decision is made whether to release the individual, transfer them to appropriate Afghan authorities, or to the detention facility in Parwan [at Bagram Air Base].” . . .

American troops say the policy is a morale killer. They say the inability to hold suspected insurgents is one of the reasons why the U.S. has been unable to suppress the Taliban.

May God send His angels to protect our fighting men and women, because our government sure isn’t.

Those of us who fought for Terri Schindler Schiavo’s life, and mourned her death, have always hoped that God would manage to bring some pearl of good out of the tremendous evil and suffering. Thanks to the Schindler family’s faith, and their willingness to serve, God has indeed used them to do incalculable good. I’ve written here about the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network started and run by Terri’s family. In the six years since Terri died, the foundation that bears her name has been involved in some 300 cases in which a disabled or incapacitated person was threatened with forced starvation/dehydration against their own and/or their family’s wishes.

Altogether, the Schindlers’ foundation has assisted more than 1,000 families who have turned to them for help. The network of pro bono lawyers and doctors whom they’ve assembled nationwide has saved the lives of numerous people, and their legislative and educational efforts have brought real advances in building a culture of life and love.

I mentioned previously that one of the long-term goals of the Life and Hope Network is to establish quality, holistic rehabilitative centers for the profoundly disabled. Well, that’s not just long term anymore; the dream is already becoming reality!

From Secondhand Smoke, at First Things:

a new state of the art rehabilitation center is being dedicated to the memory of Terri Schiavo.  From the press release:

New Beginnings Community Center of Medford, NY, will be dedicating their center to the memory of Terri Schindler Schiavo. New Beginnings is a state of the art outpatient rehabilitative facility for Veterans, Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors and other cognitively and physically disabled persons. It is designed to provide rehabilitation, management and recovery services in an exceptional, stimulating and safe environment. “We are dedicating New Beginnings Community Center in Terri Schindler Schiavo’s memory,” said Allyson Scerri, New Beginnings Founder and President. “This is our way of honoring Terri’s memory, her battle for proper treatment as a cognitively disabled person, and all others who did not have the chance for rehabilitation,” she added.

“We are truly blessed by the vision of New Beginnings Community Center. We believe that this grand opening will set an example for health care facilities across the country to begin to fully understand that just because someone experiences a cognitive disability, and their physical appearance may change, their human dignity does not,” stated Bobby Schindler, Executive Director of Terri’s Life & Hope Network and brother of Terri Schiavo. One of the goals at the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network is to partner with care centers that provide assistance for brain injured individuals and support for their families.

Needless to say, the family is thrilled.

As indeed are all of us who pray and work for a culture of life and a civilization of love.

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