Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: 7/6/08 - 7/13/08

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I see your tornados and floods and I raise you earthquakes and erupting volcanos...

(Picture courtesy of Alaska Volcano Observatory. Click to see a larger view)

From the Anchorage Daily News:
The Okmok Caldera erupted at 11:43 a.m., just hours after seismologists at the Alaska Volcano Center began detecting a series of small tremors.

The explosion flung an ash cloud at least 50,000 feet high, said geophysicist Steve McNutt.

Okmok is 60 miles west of the busy fishing port of Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island. Ash was reported falling in the region, McNutt said.

Ten people, including three children, were at Fort Glenn, a private cattle ranch six miles south of the volcano on Umnak Island, located in the western Aleutians. They were later picked up by a vessel responding to a Coast Guard request for emergency assistance.
(Satellite picture of ash cloud courtesy of Alaska Volcano Observatory.
Click to see a larger view)

As someone who has lived up here through 3 major ash falls, it's bad for everything/everyone. It sucks for normal people, it REALLY sucks for folks with heart or lung conditions and it's fatal for any car who doesn't have an owner astute enough to 1) not drive it while the ash is falling 2) continuously change the air/oil filters when there's ash on the ground. It can also be bad for any delicate instruments that suck air in to keep cool or running (i.e. anything electronic).

However, it's really, REALLY bad for any airplanes that might fly through it. We had a Korean jet whose pilot didn't speak English very well (contrary to the requirement to speak and understand English in order to fly over U.S. Airspace). He flew directly through an ash cloud. His fourth and final engine coughed and died as he had just finished his taxi on the Anchorage Airport runway during his emergency landing.

Talk about insanely lucky...

I'm as obsessive about volcanos and earthquakes as I am about tornados. I'll be posting more as I know, but you don't have to wait for me. Keep track on AVO's Okmok Volcano Page.

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Hear that? It's the sound of the worm turning! McCain doesn't pass the Constitutional "natural-born citizen" test for the Presidency.

No, I didn't get this mixed up.

This is not another one of those false stories about Sen. Barack Obama's "questionable" birth certificate. This is real...and it's about Sen. John McCain.

According to The New York Times:
In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain’s eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”
Let me repeat that again in case you spit your coffee across the room when you read it the first time:
...neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.
And yes, there was a respected researcher involved:
The analysis, by Prof. Gabriel J. Chin, focused on a 1937 law that has been largely overlooked in the debate over Mr. McCain’s eligibility to be president. The law conferred citizenship on children of American parents born in the Canal Zone after 1904, and it made John McCain a citizen just before his first birthday. But the law came too late, Professor Chin argued, to make Mr. McCain a natural-born citizen.
The Professor's analysis has a show-stopping (campaign-stopping?) title: Why Senator John McCain Cannot Be President: Eleven Months and a Hundred Yards Short of Citizenship.

However, interestingly enough, it sounds like the decision has already been made...or has it?
Several legal experts said that Professor Chin’s analysis was careful and plausible. But they added that nothing was very likely to follow from it.

“No court will get close to it, and everyone else is on board, so there’s a constitutional consensus, the merits of arguments such as this one aside,” said Peter J. Spiro, an authority on the law of citizenship at Temple University.

Mr. McCain has dismissed any suggestion that he does not meet the citizenship test.
In April, the Senate approved a nonbinding resolution declaring that Mr. McCain is eligible to be president. Its sponsors said the nation’s founders would have never intended to deny the presidency to the offspring of military personnel stationed out of the country.

A lawsuit challenging Mr. McCain’s qualifications is pending in the Federal District Court in Concord, N.H.
It seems that the accepted opinion is that nothing will come of this:
In the motion to dismiss the New Hampshire suit, Mr. McCain’s lawyers said an individual citizen like the plaintiff, a Nashua man named Fred Hollander, lacks proof of direct injury and cannot sue.

Daniel P. Tokaji, an election law expert at Ohio State University, agreed. “It is awfully unlikely that a federal court would say that an individual voter has standing,” he said. “It is questionable whether anyone would have standing to raise that claim. You’d have to think a federal court would look for every possible way to avoid deciding the issue.”
However, if they refuse to hear the case and (horrors) McCain wins the Presidency, wouldn't that set legal precedent for someone like AH-NOLD to challenge the "natural born citizen" qualification? After all, no matter what McCain's circumstances, wouldn't he be breaking the law? I also wonder how many other people in McCain's situation were never given a pass when it came to other things requiring "natural born citizenship"...whatever they may be.

It just bugs me that...once again...the man is getting a pass. This time, it's a doozy!

*********UPDATE/CLARIFICATION (from my comments below)***********

I don't deny that he's as American as it gets and that this is all the result of a bizaare combination of events.

However, John McCain has known about this issue for years and has chosen to just ignore it rather than do what the rest of us would have to do, get it squared away with the courts. It's just one more example to me of that "air of entitlement" these guys feel...that they are (quite literally) above the law.

I don't like setting a precedent like this without addressing the issue head-on and deciding if we want "natural born citizenship" to remain as part of the criteria.

(Pictures are of Sen. McCain, his father John S. McCain, Jr. and grandfather John S. McCain, Sr.)

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Exxon Valdez...it may never be done! This emphasizes the potentially disasterous results of offshore drilling.

(The Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council received the attached photo and following text from David Janka.)

"The photo was taken on July 1, 2008 at Smith Island in Prince William Sound. Residual 1989 Exxon Valdez oil in subsurface sediments.It doesn't look done to me."--DJanka

Thanks to Kodiak Konfidential:
Somebody suggested to me recently that anyone who finds any residual oil - and there is reportedly some still here on Kodiak - that they box it up and send it to Exxon Mobil World Domination Headquarters in Houston, Texas.

I really, really want to wear a t-shirt featuring an Alaskan artists interpretation of the spill's effect on wildlife on the front and really big letters on the back saying "Exxon Sucks...the life out of Alaska."

Those Fox News cameras at the Convention would eat it up.

In the aftermath of the SCOTUS Exxon decision and the mathematical proof (and admission by the McCain Campaign) that new drilling will NOT provide relief for high gas prices, this story floored me:

Top Democrat may back new offshore drilling

A top U.S. Democratic senator said in a newspaper interview published Wednesday that he would consider supporting opening up new areas for offshore oil and gas drilling.

"I'm open to drilling and responsible production," Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin told The Wall Street Journal, adding that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could also support the move.

I worked in Prudhoe Bay and have seen that safety and environmental regulations in Alaska do their job. I also know that a land-spill stays pretty contained and while not a desirable event, doesn't pose the danger to wildlife that some would claim. While I believe the scientists and mathematicians have proven that drilling in ANWR is a waste of time and resources, I am not against drilling in ANWR based on any environmental impact reasons.

However, the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill should be the "period...end of sentence" as to why offshore drilling in the Bering Sea (or anywhere else) should NEVER BE CONSIDERED. There is NO SUCH THING as "RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION" of offshore assets, especially in Alaska.

- They want to drill in the world's most productive, lucrative fishery in the Bering Sea.

- There has there been NO SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT in oil spill technology since 1989.

- It is well documented that the Bering Sea is "one of the most dangerous bodies of water in the world" with "rogue waves" common between 40-60 feet and as high as 100 feet.

From the series "Deadliest Catch":

Rogue waves are FAR FROM LIMITED to Alaska. A 91 ft wave was documented in the Gulf of Mexico.

- While they tried to downplay it, we know that the damage done by Hurricane Katrina was actually formidable:
...the U.S. Minerals Management Service published their offshore damage assessment: 113 platforms totally destroyed, and - more importantly - 457 pipelines damaged, 101 of those major lines with 10" or larger diameter. At least 741,000 gallons were spilled from 124 reported sources (the Coast Guard calls anything over 100,000 gallons a "major" spill).

Wells and platforms were shut down before the storm, so leakage from those facilities was minimal. Pipelines were shut down too. But what the officials failed to mention is they don't require industry to "purge" pipelines before a severe storm - so they were probably still loaded with oil, gas or liquid gas condensate. Any section of pipeline that was breached leaked all of that product into the Gulf within hours of the storm. That's what we think accounts for the widespread slicks seen on the imagery from September 1 and 2, covering hundreds of square miles and obviously emanating from many points of origin.

- There has so far been NO END to the damage done by the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.

- Most importantly, the SCOTUS decision ensures that oil companies can avoid punishment for negligence.

The Democratic Party must not make a decision that could destroy commercial fishing, sport fishing and most importantly, those communities who depend upon the subsistence fishing lifestyle. Per Alaska Real, hat tip to Yahoo:
"It also was about the end of Alaska Native traditions and a subsistence lifestyle for several villages in the region. Because of the spill, many Alaska Natives were forced to stop harvesting seal, salmon and herring roe and move to urban areas, never to return, said Lange, who is part Aleut and Tlingit.

'A cultural link was definitely broken,' she said."

Haven't we let the energy companies do enough damage in the name of progress?

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Former Bush Press Secretary, Tony Snow, Dead at 53

From the New York Times via AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tony Snow, a conservative writer and commentator who cheerfully sparred with reporters in the White House briefing room during a stint as President Bush's press secretary, died early Saturday of colon cancer. Snow was 53 years old.

''Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend, Tony Snow,'' Bush said in a statement. ''The Snow family has lost a beloved husband and father. And America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character.''

Snow, who served as the first host of the television news program ''Fox News Sunday'' from 1996 to 2003, would later say that in the Bush administration he was enjoying ''the most exciting, intellectually aerobic job I'm ever going to have.''

Snow was working for Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio when he replaced Scott McClellan as press secretary in May 2006 during a White House shake-up. Unlike McClellan, who came to define caution and bland delivery from the White House podium, Snow was never shy about playing to the cameras.

I didn't know what stage his cancer was in but since we hadn't heard much from him lately, this isn't terribly surprising.

Unlike Wingnutdaily, I saw no evidence that any "lefties" wished Tony Snow anymore harm than they've wished me on other boards and blogs. He did represent Fox's partisan bent on the news which was irritating but I believe most Progressives wished him well.

My condolences to his friends and family. 53 is much too young to lose anyone.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

TICKETS...get yer tickets...

Photo: Invesco Field

...to Barack Obama's acceptance speech at Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado!!

Hat tip to AAPP for directing us to The Colorado Independent who then sends us to the form on The Colorado Democratic Website.

It's only a request for info but they do ask how many tickets you want.

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Gear Junkies: In Memoriam, Alaska-to-Hawaii musician and friend, Mike Riopel

"Gear Junkies" is the free, premier weekly newsletter sent via email to the Alaska music community written and edited by the Goddess of the Alaska Music Scene, Patti Greene

Michael Riopel 1955-2008

Bluegrass guitarist and bass player Mike Riopel died July 7th in Hawaii, apparently of a stroke. He'd previously suffered small strokes and, with no health insurance, had only recently started seeing a doctor.

He was 53.

From California and, more recently, of Anchorage, Mike played with numerous groups, including Grass Plus, the McClain Family Band, the Fabulous SpamTones, Carol Lavrakas, and Gary Sloan.

He repaired instruments (dB Music, Music Works) and, in the mid-90s, with harmonica player Louisiana George, guitarist KC LeFevre, and drummer Eric Baldwin, as The Midtown Boys, hosted the first Sunday jam at the Chef's Inn in the mid-'90s. (The jam was hugely popular, which ultimately led to an expanded music calendar and "Blues Central".)

In Hawaii, he played with the
Voggy Mountain Ramblers.

His bio, self-penned for the band's website, reads:

Michael Riopel started playing music professionally in 1974 as a blues bass player in the Bay Area. He moved to Alaska in 1976 and played in bluegrass, rock and jazz bands until 1980 when he met and married Ruth McLain. He took up guitar and played with the McLain Family Band from 1980 - 1986. Upon returning to Alaska, he joined the popular Alaskan Bluegrass Band, Grass Plus, who made a couple trips outside of Alaska including the Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival and Telluride, where the band finished second to the Dixie Chicks in the band contest. Michael was also the long time guitarist for the "Grismanesque" band, Bernard Glansbeek Ensemble. In 2002, Michael moved to the Big Island for r & r and took up golf. He is very happy to have found a new home with Hawaii's own Voggy Mountain Ramblers.
Mike's life will be celebrated at Anderson Bluegrass Festival [July 25, 26, and 27] and, in accordance with his wishes, his ashes will be spread over Resurrection Bay later this summer. Condolences can be sent to his nephew, Greg Riopel, Box 1888, Kamuela, HI 96743.

Rest in peace, Michael.--Patti Greene

Patti included several remembrances from friends:

"Michael was my dear, dear friend and I miss him terribly. I just made a site in my garden called the “Happy Heart Garden”. Michael had a little spot on a rock where he worked on the morning’s crossword puzzle and he was so fond of the phrase “happy heart”. My garden is now dedicated to him and his happy heart.--With warm aloha, Jan Willis Kailua-Kona, Hawaii willis@hawaii.rr.com "

"Mike was hired to play bass behind jazz guitar legend Charlie Byrd, because Mike was such a great reader and bass player, he didn’t miss a lick. Charlie Byrd was knocked out by his playing."--Stu Schulman roomers@alaska.net

I have three of my own.

One---I was able to sing during a sanity-saving jam with the amazing "Grass Plus" in, of all places, the lobby of the BP facility up in Prudhoe Bay. I never did figure out how they got a paid gig up there but I remember how jam sessions with BP employee and Alaska musician Lou Nathansen helped keep me (coughVECOEMPLOYEEcough) alive in the dark Arctic winter. To be able to have one with Lou AND Grass Plus felt like Christmas!

Two--"the two Mikes"...Riopel and the late Mike McDonald...who were both in the first-ever blues jam band in the newly-revamped-from-a-piano-bar Chef's Inn back in 1995. It was my first sound gig where I wasn't just "a friend of the band."

Three--I'll never forget his smile.

It's a bittersweet thought that "the two Mikes" are getting the chance to play together again.

My heartfelt condolences to all friends and fans of Mike Riopel.


I hope this comment from Patti didn't slip anyone's notice:

He'd previously suffered small strokes and, with no health insurance, had only recently started seeing a doctor.

I don't wish to take away from this tribute to Mike but I realized this was something he shared with the late Mike McDonald as well as so many other musicians and Americans. We'll never know, but I can't help but wonder how earlier doctor's care may have extended his life.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Our Obama Alaska Campaign Opening post hits the front page of the Obama Campaign Blog!!!

Courtesy of Obama Campaign National Blogger Liaison, Laurin Manning!:
* Celtic Diva in Alaska posts pictures from the office opening at the Alaska state Obama campaign headquarters in Anchorage.
How cool is this?

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50 State Report on The Impact of the Obama Economic Plan for Working Women

I got this email from the Obama Campaign:
CHICAGO, IL – Today, the Obama for America campaign released a report on the impact of the Obama economic plan for America's working women nationwide and across the 50 states. Senator Barack Obama will host a Town Hall Meeting on Economic Security for America's Women today in Fairfax, Virginia.

Unlike the Obama plan, Senator John McCain’s record of opposition to issues that affect women and his economic plan will mean another four years of the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration that have hurt American families and made life harder for working women.

The full report is available HERE

In summary, Barack Obama's plan will:

· Provide a New “Making Work Pay” Tax Cut of Up to $500 per Person, or $1000 Per Family, to 71 Million Working Women.
Alaska--200,000 women would benefit
· Give 8.4 Million Working Women a Raise of up to $4,700 per year, by Increasing the Minimum Wage to $9.50 by 2011.
Alaska--176,100 women would benefit
· Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to Benefit at Least 5 Million Working Women and Help Ensure That Low-Wage Working Parents Are Not Forced to Raise Their Children in Poverty.
· Extend Child Care Tax Breaks to 7.5 Million Additional Working Women. A working mother with two kids earning $50,000 a year will receive a $2,100 child care tax cut under the Obama plan.
Alaska--13,000 women would benefit
· Provide High-Quality Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs to An Additional 2 Million Children. The Obama plan will expand afterschool programs to serve an additional 1 million students and summer learning programs for 1 million students.
Alaska--5,183 women would benefit
· Provide 7 Days of Paid Sick Leave to 22 Million Working Women.
· Fight to Close the Gender Wage Gap that Has Women Earning 77 Cents for Every Dollar Earned By Men. This gap is even more pronounced for African American and Latina women.
· Increase Retirement Savings Opportunities for the 45 Million Working Women Who Lack an Employer Retirement Account, by providing them with a new Automatic Workplace Pension and providing a $500 matching tax credit for their savings.
· Help 8.7 million women business owners grow their businesses and create jobs, by setting capital gains rates to zero for small business and entrepreneurial ventures.
· Offer quality affordable health care to the 21.5 million women who lack health insurance.

As you can see, I went through the report and pulled all the Alaska numbers out so we could see the impact...which was nothing less than a brilliant move on their part.

There isn't more "substance" than that!

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John Cowdery, the latest Act in the FBI Indictment Circus!!!!!

According to Kyle Hopkins at Alaska Politics:
Reporter Lisa Demer summarizes:

According to the 16-page indictment, Cowdery and others conspired to give another state senator $25,000, characterized as campaign contribution, to do the bidding of an oil field services company. While not named in the indictment, court papers filed in other cases identify the company as Veco. Veco chief executive Bill Allen and vice president Rick Smith have pleaded guilty to bribing legislators, including Cowdery, to push through a version of an oil tax favored by North Slope producers.

The link is HERE for the 16-page indictment:
...the defendant, JOHN COWDERY, an elected public official of the Alaska State Legislature, together with COMPANY CEO, COMPANY VP, STATE SENATOR B, and others both known and unknown to the grand jury, did knowingly and unlawfully conspire, confederate, and agree together and with each other:

a. to corruptly give, offer, and agree to give anything of value to any person with the intent to influence or reward State Senator A, an agent of an entity, the State of Alaska, that received more than $10,000 in federal funding during the calendar year 2006, in connection with any business, transaction or series of transactions of$5,000 or more of the State of Alaska, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(2); and

b. to obstruct, delay, and affect in any way and degree commerce and the movement of any article and commodity in commerce by extortion, that is, to unlawfully obtain or attempt to obtain under color of official right money or other property from COMPANY A,COMPANY CEO, and COMPANY VP with their consent for State Senator A not due State Senator A or his office in agreement for the performance of official acts, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a).

Who's next?

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Community Voices column on Ted Stevens is Out--Anchorage Press picks up the Stevens "America Alone" story with a twist

Here is the link on ADN.

Brendan Joel Kelley reported on the story, crediting Phil's and my blog:

When questioned about the Patriot Act and Real ID, Stevens defended his votes for them, and referenced the book America Alone by neocon author Mark Steyn. “Read that book… and decide if we want to become France,” Stevens said at the conference. Steyn’s book is a controversial look at the possibility of an Islamic Europe and has been embraced by many right-wingers and hawks. On the left, Steyn’s considered a bigot and Islamophobe, and the lefty blogs around Alaska like Progressive Alaska and Celtic Diva’s Blue Oasis pounced on Stevens’ endorsement of the book.

Steyn, a Canadian citizen who lives in New Hampshire and is a prolific conservative commentator published in several newspapers and magazines, has come under fire for using the words “Japs,” “Chinks,” “gooks,” and “wogs” (a British pejorative for Indians), as well as calling Muslims “sheep-shaggers,” in his “journalism.” He was one of the first to perpetuate the rumor—in the Chicago Sun-Times—that Barack Obama is a Muslim and “was raised in an Indonesian madrassah by radical imams.” (This is, of course, not true.)

Flashlight isn’t sure this is the best strategery for Uncle Ted (to borrow a term from Dubya); perhaps he’s unaware of Steyn’s looseness with racial slurs— Flashlight got an email from his office saying that the liberal bloggers’ bitching about Stevens referencing the book didn’t warrant a response; “consider the source,” it said.

Woot!!!! I've been dissed by Ted Stevens!!!!

Speaking of Phil Munger, he posted an excellent piece on "Ted Steven's Nuttery" for Daily Kos.

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Rev. Jesse Jackson should listen to "his" advice on this SNL Skit

Courtesy of Jack and Jill Politics:
Senator Obama. Rumor has it that Jesse Jackson wants to cut off your manhood and Bill Clinton wants you to kiss his a*s.

Wow! With “friends” like these . . .

And Rev. Jackson, I’m all for fair criticism . . . but cutting off the guy’s manhood? Could we remain professional, please? You can criticize the brotha, but you ain’t gotta go there. I mean, I don’t hear anyone talking about John McCain like that.

All of this talk has me thinking of a certain SNL skit.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Obama's Alaska Headquarter's Opening Night Who's Who!

Signing up for field volunteering by district (yes, that's Morrigan in the bottom right corner)

Former Anchorage Assembly Member Alan Tesche and wife Pam, sporting their Florida tans

Former Anchorage Assembly Member Jane Angvik, Alaska Constitutional Convention Delegate Vic Fischer, Democratic Party Executive Director Mike Coumbe

Alaska Democratic Party Leader Patti Higgins

Blogger Chicks: Celtic Diva (moi), Writing Raven ("Alaska Real") and Myster ("Own the Sidewalk")

Raven did a great post about the opening night, where she discussed the disparity in Alaska Native participation while Myster did a great overall post about the event musing on Alaska's past and future.

Progressive radio dudes Wolf Kurtz (KWMD) and Rishi Maharaj (KUDO)

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Tomorrow's "Community Voices" Column--going after Ted Stevens

Every 5 weeks or so for six months (I have at least one more column to go) I write a "Community Voices" column for the Anchorage Daily News. This is a summary of the other posts I've done on this issue.

A few years ago, I was applying for jobs in the lower-48 when I came upon a particularly promising one; it was a live-in assistant to a wealthy retired couple. When it looked like the job might be a “go,” I attached a picture that was taken of me holding my 18-month-old daughter.

That evening, I received a glacial phone call saying they were no longer interested in my services. I was bewildered and kept pushing for an explanation. I was finally told that they could not hire "a traitor to the white race" as I had given birth to a black child. I was helping to increase "the mud people" and therefore was "a mud person" myself…a term that white supremacists use to describe all people who are not white and Christian.

These folks were originally from the UK so it was my first introduction to European racism. After some research I discovered that there was a strong undercurrent of anti-immigration prejudice happening in the UK and the rest of Europe.

Enter UK-born Canadian Mark Steyn and his book “America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It. Steyn’s skilled writing and sarcastic humor distracts from the bigotry of his unscientifically-based assertions regarding a Muslim “breeding conspiracy.” He discusses the birthrate decline in the “white” European population and the “danger” that poses.

The book is reviewed by UK journalist, Johann Hari:

“An unassimilated, culturally confident Muslim mass will slowly become the majority, and demand the demoralised multicultural "natives" integrate with them. At times, Steyn implies this shift is the result of a conscious political conspiracy. Orianna Fallacci - whose "bravery" he praises - said that Muslims "have been told to come here and breed like rats."
He further compares a quote from Steyn's book...a warning:
"Today, a fearless Muslim advance has penetrated far deeper into Europe than Abd al-Rahman... There are three strategies Islam deploys against a dying West: first, demography; second, conversion; and third, the murky 'intertwining' of modern technology and ancient hatreds."
One would not expect such a book to be used as reference material.

However, Ted Stevens did so recently in a rant reminiscent of “Grandfather Abraham” from “The Simpsons" when asked about his supporting votes on Real ID and the Patriot Act. It was caught on ADN’s Alaska Politics Blog during the “Ted and Sarah” show:
"Read the book "America Alone." A lot of people complain about that book...look at the demographic concepts of that book and just think about what's going on in the world and decide whether we want to become Italy or we want to become France, in terms of our society and how it's impacted by those who are really against us."

It’s bad enough that a sitting U.S. Senator references a book that portrays fanatic jihad as the eventual goal of the religion of Islam rather than the distortion of a small percentage of Muslims.

It’s bad enough that a sitting U.S. Senator recommends a book where the author states on page 5:
"In a democratic age, you can’t buck demography—except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out—as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you can’t outbreed the enemy, cull ’em."

The worst, most horrendous point is that Senate leader Ted Stevens promotes this devoid-of-scientific-research-tripe as the influence behind his domestic security policy!

I’ve seen no story about this in the mainstream media.

U.S. Muslim leader Imam Zoubir Bouchikhi was in Anchorage this week meeting with the Alaska faithful and religious leaders. I had a chance to ask for his thoughts on Ted Stevens comments during an interview on Cary Carrigan’s morning show. Among them:
“There is a great deal of fear spread by politicians and we know why. I think that’s a great disservice to the American people. To spread peace is the right thing.”
Another disservice is when their elected leaders make incendiary statements and are not held accountable.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

OK, I give in. Dancing is the bomb!

Yup, it even made it to the New York Times!

Hat tip to Myster at Own the Sidewalk for introducing me!

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Follow-up on Ted Stevens reference to "America Alone"

David Neiwert of Firedoglake did an article on this. It was nice to see a large, national blog take notice.

He also quotes himself on a previous post about the book:
I don't see how it's possible to interpret this excerpt -- given that Steyn is also contending that these demographics are inevitable throughout Europe, and he offers no solution that would accommodate or assimilate Muslims -- as anything other than outright advocacy of genocide and the Bosnian model of "ethnic cleansing" for the rest of Europe. Hitchens, rather typically, softens it by noting that Steyn is saying "that Serbo-fascist ethnic cleansing can appear more rational in retrospect than it did at the time."
Phil Munger keeps posting on this also HERE--only he has some GREAT pictures! He also knows a bit more about Mr. Neiwert that he shares on this post. I didn't realize this guy was an expert!

Some of the folks in the Afrosphere have pointed out that "racism" is an inaccurate term (a point on which I'll agree, as we are all one race genetics-wise.)I have also been taking some criticism for calling it "racism" when folks are pointing out that it is actually a religion we are talking about, not a skin color.

Considering I believe this all stems from a "fear of brown people," on that point I disagree.

However, for the sake of accuracy, I will use the terms "bigotted" or "bigot."

When looking at my past experience in dealing with the "ethnic purity" people and subsequent research on the subject, it is clear that "genocide" of those "mud people" is a primary goal. This is justified in the Christian Identity movement because they believe that the "mud people" (which includes people of color, Jews, Muslims, etc...) are quite literally the "people of Satan." Demonizing people is always an effective way to justifiably kill them.

Turning back to Mark Steyn's book:
Why did Bosnia collapse into the worst slaughter in Europe since World War Two? In the thirty years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 percent to 31percent of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 percent to 44 percent. In a democratic age, you can’t buck demography—except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out—as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you can’t outbreed the enemy, cull ’em. The problem that Europe faces is that Bosnia’s demographic profile is now the model for the entire continent.

There has been much debate around this quote, with Steyn denouncing his critics and stating that he was against genocide as a solution and was merely "predicting" what would happen. However, as I've been reading the book, I haven't found anything in it truly renouncing the idea...just stating that it probably wouldn't work. That's not a renounciation to me.

So, my question with all of this...why is the MSM not screaming to the rooftops that a sitting U.S. Senator has openly admitted that this book has played a part in forming HIS DOMESTIC SECURITY POLICY?

I didn't post this until now because I finally finished writing this month's column for the ADN. It's on this topic and it asks that question so we'll see if they'll publish it.

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Unless they perform a miracle, liveblogging Obama's acceptance is out the window

Photo: Invesco Field, Denver

Per Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic:
The big announcement comes tomorrow, according to Democrats.

On Thursday, August 28, Barack Obama plans to accept his nomination at Invesco Field in Denver, rather than at the Pepsi Center.

It's going to cost the convention committee a lot of money to make the move, but Invesco Field can handle more than 75,000 spectators and will make a much better picture.

Interesting...that comes on the heels of a negative New York Times article and the DNCC response regarding planning and money issues. I don't think it's too hard to figure out that this was probably the Obama Campaign's idea and they are probably paying for it.

1) This is good news for many in the general public as well as other bloggers who don't have DNCC credentials.

2) This also means that it's good news for my team, especially my daughter. We can all be there for the highlight!

3) However, from a credentialed blogger perspective, this is kind of a drag. This is the highlight of the Convention and not only will it be unlikely that we can liveblog it, but I can't see how I'll be able to bring my laptop at all since it's completely out in the open with no rain protection.

So, good and bad news, depending on how you look at it. We'll find out more tomorrow.

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The perfect gift to say, "Happy Birthday, George W!"

Courtesy of mooncat at Left in Alabama

Laura's [Bush] letter said she needed my help to make George's birthday "truly meaningful," and I'd like to oblige. She asked me to sign and return a card for George, along with a $62 dollar donation to the RNC. The inscription on the card started with "Thank you for your service and dedication to our country" and, much as I hate to disappoint Laura, I can't tell a lie that big, so the card remains unsent.

Sending $62 (or even more) to the RNC is a non-starter too, but I've come up with a plan to make George's 62nd birthday truly meaningful. Here it is:

I'm sending a $62 contribution to the DNC to mark the occasion of W's last birthday in Our House. My personal message to George is "Now get out, and don't let the door hit you in the ass when you leave." The NSA guys will forward that to him if he doesn't read this blog on his birthday.

I thought it was absolutely a BRILLIANT idea! She also suggests giving to the local Democratic Party or a candidate...even if it's $6.20, $62.00 or $620.00!

Here are some suggested donation destinations:

- Alaska Democratic Party

Also, here is their candidates page. From there you can find how to donate to any candidate you wish, especially State House and State Senate.

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Ack...The New York Times is "bad pressing" the Democratic National Convention planning! Howard Dean reponds.

Per the Sunday morning story:
With the Denver convention less than two months away, problems range from the serious — upwardly spiraling costs on key contracts still being negotiated — to the mundane, like the reluctance of local caterers to participate because of stringent rules on what delegates will be eating, down to the color of the food. At last count, plans to renovate the inside of the Pepsi Center for the Democrats are $6 million over budget, which may force convention planners to scale back on their original design or increase their fund-raising goals.

The convention is being organized by the Democratic National Committee, which is run by Howard Dean, with his chief of staff, the Rev. Leah D. Daughtry, leading the effort. Only in the last month has the Obama campaign been able to take over management of the convention planning with the candidate claiming the nomination, and his aides are increasingly frustrated, as the event nears, at organizers who they believe spent too freely, planned too slowly and underestimated actual costs.

Did anyone bother to mention that...Oh, I don't know...maybe the shortage is due to t Hillary staying in too long and sucking-up Dem funds that should have gone to the party? Did anyone mention that folks are being asked to donate to her to cover her debt?

Did anyone mention that when you're doing the planning, for some things you must have the money up front?

Howard Dean responds for the Dems:
We are proud to stand at the helm of the finest Convention team we’ve known. As the arm of the national Party tasked with planning and organizing the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the Democratic National Convention Committee has been at this for more than a year. And we take great pride in our work. That's why we were astonished to read in Sunday’s New York Times such a gross misrepresentation of the groundwork that has been laid to date.

The New York Times asserts that this is a Democratic convention effort “marred by costly setbacks.” That is false. In fact we are ahead of the game. Anyone who has ever worked on a national political Convention would tell you as much. This is a well managed Convention.

The New York Times states that the Convention is facing “upwardly spiraling costs on key contracts still being negotiated.” That is false. All major contracts have been executed and we are on track to move in to the Pepsi Center to begin build out on Monday as planned.

The New York Times implies that the Convention has imposed eating restrictions on delegates to the Convention. That is false. Democrats at the Pepsi Center and other official Convention venues can have all the fried goodies they can stomach. Talk of anything to the contrary is just plain silly.

Read the rest at the website.

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