In an off-the-cuff comment, I heard someone say that President Bush should be “nicer to his neighbors” this upcoming year. I guess it all depends on what you mean by “nice.” If liberating over 25 million people from the control of an evil dictator is being “nice,” then President Bush has been a resounding success. And I would be all for him being “nicer to his neighbors” in 2004. But I do not think this is what was meant by this comment.

“There has been no proof that Iraq was ever involved with the September 11th attacks!”
I hear this comment often, but what do people mean by “no proof”? The UK’s Telegraph published this story about how Mohammed Atta, the mastermind behind al-Qaeda’s attacks on September 11th, was trained in Iraq by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. I’m sure you heard all about this on the nightly news. What? You mean to say that Jennings, Brokaw and Rather did not broadcast this information? For shame! Allow me to fill you in.

A handwritten memo was discovered in Iraq showing that Mohammed Atta was deeply involved with Iraq in carrying off the September 11th attacks. In the memo, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, stated that Mohammed Atta “displayed extraordinary effort.” Any guesses as to what this effort was going towards? This Iraq visit took place in the summer of 2001, and Atta showed that he had the leadership skills needed to be “responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy.” A few weeks later, Mohammed Atta’s leadership succeeded in striking three targets that tragic autumn day. “We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam’s involvement with al-Qaeda,” Dr. Ayad Allawi, a member of Iraq’s ruling seven-man Presidential Committee, said. “But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks.”

Does this information make you any happier that President Bush invaded Iraq and shut down these training camps? The terrorist training camp of Salman Pak has been shut down, thanks to this war. It is a shame that Democrats hate the President so much that they are willing to ignore the proof of Iraqi involvement in terrorism.

“Bush said Iraq was an imminent threat.”
On September 18, 2003, liberal Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy said of Iraq, “There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership, that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.” This is not a new position from Kennedy. Earlier in January he claimed that President Bush “did not make a persuasive case that the threat is imminent and that war is the only alternative.” There is a problem with these statements by Kennedy (and many others) about Iraq not being an imminent threat — President Bush never claimed that Iraq was an imminent threat. In January, only minutes before Kennedy’s silly statement, President Bush stated: “Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.”

Do you wait for the tiny lump in your breast to grow into an imminent threat to your life? Or do you have the doctor X-ray and remove it quickly? In this day of small but very deadly weapons, we cannot afford to wait until just before terrorists and evil dictators take the initiative to attack us. Giving terrorists this time is the same as giving that lump in your breast time to just go away on its own.

“Bush said the war in Iraq was over!”
I heard this comment from the same person who started off this article. I quickly pointed out that President Bush never said that the war in Iraq was over. His exact words were, “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” This does not translate precisely into “the war is over,” but it does not stop people from thinking and saying so. It is not uncommon to hear someone pontificate on the nightly news about how many people have died since “war ended” in Iraq. ABC News is guilty of this in a report by Dean Reynolds. Reynolds quotes the line above delivered by President Bush, and then completely misses the point by following up with, “That was May 1. But as any GI in Iraq can attest, the fighting goes on.” Earth to Reynolds! The key word in President Bush’s statement was “major.” In his article, Reynolds further illustrates that the American people think that the war in Iraq is over. Why would Americans think this, Dean? Could it be the poor reporting work by ABC News?

The echoes of “peace on earth, good will to men” still ring in my ears from the Christmas season. This is a noble goal, but we do not have peace today. The war on terrorism is far from over, and Iraq is just one stop of many on the road to lasting peace. America was content to ignore al-Qaeda and other terrorists before September 11th, regardless of how much they threatened us. But once they brought their fight to our soil, we could ignore them no longer. These terrorists will not wake up one day saying, “Gee, I guess America really isn’t that bad after all.” Since they will not stop, our war against them will continue. As we close out 2003, two years after al-Qaeda terrorists declared war on America in actions we could no longer ignore, I think we need to read again President Bush’s statement about the nature of this conflict: “We will be patient, we will be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination. This battle will take time and resolve. But make no mistake about it: we will win.”

Just posting a short rant this week because of the Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas, everyone!

America’s Christmas present arived early this year. With the capture of the mass-murdering Saddam Hussein, the United States struck a formidable blow in the war against terrorism. Secretary Donald Rumsfeld summed it up this way:

Here was a man who was photographed hundreds of times shooting off rifles and showing how tough he was, and in fact, he wasn’t very tough, he was cowering in a hole in the ground, and had a pistol and didn’t use it and certainly did not put up any fight at all.

In the last analysis, he seemed not terribly brave.

While some of the Democrats have praised this capture, most notably Senator Lieberman, the response from the liberal Left has been, uh, interesting, to say the least. Peter Jennings, the news anchor for ABC, claimed “There’s not a good deal for Iraqis to be happy about at the moment” because life for the Iraqis today is “not as stable for them as it was when Saddam Hussein was in power.” Well, Benito Mussolini was a murderous thug, too, but at least he made sure the trains ran on time. Life sure was terrible for the Italians after Il Duce toppled from power.

One evening as I was driving around, I heard Peter Weissbach guest-hosting for the Michael Savage radio show. He was asking to hear from people who felt sorry for Saddam, and the calls started coming in. One caller’s comments really stood out for me. This caller said that we could not blame Saddam since the man might have suffered a bad childhood. His comments were full of wishy-washy words like “might,” “possibly,” “could,” “maybe,” and “I don’t know.” Notwithstanding his uncertainty, he was steadfast in his desire not to blame Saddam. In this caller’s eyes, Saddam was an innocent victim. Precisely what he was a victim of, the caller wasn’t sure, but he certainly could not blame Saddam for the mass graves!

This idea of refusing to blame people because of possible childhood trauma does not make sense to me. Did Saddam’s hypothetical abuse as a child force him to abuse others? Either Saddam has free will and chose to abuse young children, or he is nothing but a rabid dog, snapping at others. If he is a free agent, then Saddam chose his fate; if he is merely a dog foaming at the mouth, then he deserves to be put down. We do not discuss the formative puppy years of dangerous animals.

The radio-show caller is not alone. There are plenty of other people who feel sorry for Saddam, or pity him. An interesting site to observe Saddamites of many different stripes is Democratic Underground. These folk are vitriolic in their hatred for President Bush, Republicans and their ilk. As much as I dislike Bill Clinton, it is mostly an intellectual dislike for his ideas and actions, but from what I’ve heard and read, the Bush-hating leftists have an almost visceral hatred for our current president. His mere continued existence is sufficient to drive them livid. This hate extends to others in the Bush administration. After the news of Secretary Colin Powell’s prostate surgury, one Democratic Underground regular posted, “I will dance on Powell’s grave as I would on all of the regime’s henchmen.” I find it interesting that this poster’s avatar icon is a picture of Karl Marx.

My favorite quote comes from Democrat Rep. “Baghdad” Jim McDermott of Washington State. On a radio interview, he claimed that our forces could have snagged Saddam earlier if they had wanted. When the radio host asked if this capture was timed to help President Bush, Baghdad Jim said, “Yeah. Oh, yeah. There’s too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing.” He also said, “It’s funny, when they’re having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something.” Trouble? Before Saddam was captured, the economy was roaring back, Iraq was steadily improving (despite what certain members of the press would have you believe), and President Bush’s approval ratings were going up. So what was the trouble?

In case you have forgotten, this is the same Jim McDermott who visited Saddam shortly before the invasion of Iraq and told the now-captured dictator that President Bush would lie to the United States to support the war in Iraq. The U.S. Constitution defines treason, in part, as giving “aid and comfort” to America’s enemies. If bad-mouthing the President in the home of the enemy on the very eve of armed hostilities is not treason, then it is treason’s blood brother. Feel free to argue against the Administration’s policies, you liberal Leftists, but don’t do so while overseas or visiting our nation’s enemies. This common-sense lesson seems to have gone unlearned by so many people, the Dixie Chicks included.

Have you ever heard a child complain, “That’s not fair”? I have, and I have a simple response. I usually have the child repeat two or three times after me, “Life is not fair.” I have done this enough times that my nieces start to object as soon as I say, “Now repeat after me…”

Is life fair? I guess that depends on what you mean by “fair.” Is it fair that my hair started falling out when I was 17? Is it fair that I am not taller than my older brother? Is it fair that I don’t have Orlando Bloom’s good looks and hefty bank account? Is it fair that both my parents are alive, while my wife’s father died while she was a child? Is it fair that I was born an American and not an Armenian? Is it fair that I have wants far exceeding my ability to supply them? In each and every one of these cases, it is quite clear that life is not fair. But who promised you that life would, should, or even could be fair?

We begin this life with a mixed bag of blessings and drawbacks, and life itself has a decided randomness about it. Why did the rock chip my car’s windshield today and not another one? Why did I catch a cold when my wife did not? Is God punishing me with this cold because of my sins? This last is not a new question. While it is possible to blame God for every misfortune that comes our way as a punishment for our sins, is this right? The ninth chapter of John describes a miracle where Jesus healed a man blind from birth. His disciples asked whether the blind man or his parents had sinned to cause this curse. Jesus replied that the blindness was not due to anyone’s sin; it had happened so that Jesus could heal him and thus manifest the works of God.

Since I am talking about religion, let me share what I once learned about why bad things happen to good people. To shrink a few hours of discussion down to a few words, there are four causes of our misfortunes in life:

  • God — In the example above, God placed the blindness on the man so the cure could manifest His works.
  • Satan — The Biblical book of Job recounts how Satan heaped misfortunes on Job to prove the man’s goodness was only due to his blessings and that once they were taken away, Job would curse God.
  • Other people — Since people are free to choose to do good or evil, one person’s evil actions may result in the suffering of others.
  • Basic randomness of life — The rock may chip my windshield just because I happened to be in the right place at the wrong time.

So why do we even care about fairness? One of my nieces is greatly offended whenever she considers life to be unfair. Normally this happens when she is told to clean up her mess, and like a typical seven-year-old, she responds as if this request were some outrageous affront to her dignity. It is understandable that she thinks fairness means getting what she wants when she wants it, because she is only seven. But an adult displaying this kind of childish attitude is no longer cute.

Liberals today are overly fixated on fairness. They use the strong arm of government policies, laws and courts to force the round peg of fairness into the square hole of life. People cry that it is not fair for seniors to pay so much for their prescriptions, so laws are passed making you and me pay for their drugs. Environmentalists cry that it is not fair for us to pay so much less for gas than Europe does, so they try to get our gas prices raised to Europe’s level. Why not fight for Europe to drop their prices? People are dismayed that some people earn more money than others and demand a fair living wage, so the minimum wage is increased, with the result that the very people who most needed help often end up losing their jobs.

One of the difficulties of achieving fairness is defining when fairness should occur. Should we have equality of opportunity or equality of outcome? Consider it this way: making sure everyone starts off a race at the same time and at the same mark is equality of opportunity, while making sure everyone reaches the finish line at the same time is equality of outcome. Our society has agreed to take some basic steps to promote equality of opportunity. We have fought to end institutionalized racism, we fund public schools to make sure everyone has a basic education, and we have welfare to make sure that people have basic shelter and food. But there is a problem with obsessing over bringing everyone up to a common beginning point: we are not all the same. We believe in equality of opportunity in a race, so we give each runner the same distance to run and make sure each one starts at the same time. But regardless of these steps, it is still unlikely that the outcome will be the same for all runners unless we are all clones. No matter how well you line me up equally and start me off simultaneously with Olympian long-distance runner Kip Lagat from Kenya, I will never beat him. I will not even come close. He has abilities that I do not possess, and these inequally-distributed natural abilities prevent us from ever truly having equality of opportunity.

Since it is very difficult to make sure that everyone starts out equally in life, some people advocate equality of outcome. This is why some schools are starting not to keep score in competitive games. That way they can call everyone winners, conveniently ignoring the very meaning of the word. Kurt Vonnegut wrote about equality of outcome taken to extremes in the short story “Harrison Bergeron.” In this future society, Handicapper General was a Federal position with the responsibility to make sure people with superior abilities were handicapped in some way to make life more “fair.” A very talented ballet dancer might need shackles and weights to keep her from jumping higher than anyone else. Intelligent people were given headsets to distract them from thinking too clearly.

A world that strives for equality of outcome is ultimately a world that strives for mediocrity. I would rather encourage people to excel to the best of their abilities. When we allow people to achieve and succeed as best they can, everyone stands to benefit. Getting out of the way and letting people do their best is what’s important, not attempting to force the round peg of fairness into the square hole of life.

Life is not fair. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

At 8:30pm on Saturday, Dec. 13th, a tyrant was captured. About 600 coalition forces launched Operation Red Dawn, which resulted in the capture of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. A haggard Saddam with a salt-and-pepper beard was found in the cellar of Adwar, a town 10 miles from Tikrit, Saddam’s hometown.

President Bush announced Saddam’s capture to the nation shortly after noon on Sunday. “The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq. It marks the end of the road for him, and for all who bullied and killed in his name,” announced the President.

I did not hear the good news about Saddam’s capture from President Bush’s announcement. I read it on the front page of FoxNews.com as I was getting ready to go to church. I told my family about Saddam’s capture, and my wife suggested that this would be a good time to pray. So we knelt by our bed and offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to God and asked that this capture might pave the way for a free and peaceful Iraq.

Now that Saddam is in custody, what will happen with him? The U.S. military could convene a military tribunal, but doing so would show that the military is in control of Iraq. Saddam could be handed over to the international community for a trial, but since countries like France, Germany and Russia did nothing to bring Saddam down or capture him, I do not see why they should spend any time in a tribunal judging him. The best option is to have the Iraqis judge and punish Saddam. A member of Iraq’s Governing Council, Ahmad Chalabi, said that Saddam will stand before an Iraqi trial. It is only fitting that Saddam be tried by the people he has repressed and killed for so many years.

And when Saddam is convicted, what will his sentence be? What should it be? I am not a bloodthirsty man, but I believe that Saddam should be put to death for his crimes. Ask yourself, are mass graves a sufficiently horrendous crime to warrant death? Is the murder of thousands of Iraqi Kurds with poisonous gasses and nerve agents a sufficiently horrendous crime to warrant death? The crimes committed by this man are serious enough that capital punishment is completely justified.

But I want to see Saddam die for his crimes because of another reason. While Saddam was still free, there was always the lingering concern that he would again seize power. The Iraqis who were afraid of Saddam’s return would not be too active in working for a new Iraq. They knew from sad experience what happened to Iraqis who had fought against Saddam before and lost. If Saddam is given a life sentence for his crime, there will always remain a chance that his few loyal followers would free him and reestablish him as the despotic leader of Iraq. With Saddam’s death, this painful chapter of Iraq’s history would be closed, and the repressed people could finally put this time of horror behind them.

For the people of Iraq to put Saddam and his horrors behind them, this captured tyrant needs to die. And may God have mercy on his soul.

Scumbag

Here are some random thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for a while now. Some are current events, and others are just pulled out of the aether.


Bakersfield, California is yet another site of people misunderstanding the First Amendment and succumbing to the current–and very wrong–idea of the separation of Church and State. The local YMCA, which stands for Young Men’s CHRISTIAN Association, had the audacity to print up some fliers for an upcoming basketball camp with the terror-inducing phrase: “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build spirit, mind and body for all.” Oh, the horror! The Bakersfield school district banned this flier from its campuses because, as so wrong-headedly stated by a district lawyer, it violated the separation of Church and State. What part of “Congress shall make no law” applies to the school district of Bakersfield?


I love to read books. I love to reread books. Some people have asked me why I often read a book over again because they cannot understand why I do it. Even my wife will tease me and ask if the book is different this time. But I understand. Some of the best times I have with good friends come from just sitting around and recalling shared memories. Rereading a good book is like visiting a good friend.


The Supreme Court upheld as constitutional most of the ‘soft-money’ ban passed by Congress last year and signed by President Bush. They did strike down the law that prohibited people under 18 from contributing to political campaigns, calling it an unconstitutional restriction on free speech. But at the same time the schizophrenic Supreme Court upheld the banning of special interest groups from advertising 60 days before a Presidential election. Did you catch that? Kids may contribute money to their favorite politicians and this is called “speech,” but try to spend your money to speak out for or against someone, and this genuine speech is not allowed.

Dear Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, who voted this way, what part of “Congress shall make no law. . .abridging the freedom of speech” are you just too stupid to understand?


Shauna Rohbock, I do not care that you have Olympic gold medal potential. You are a member of the Utah National Guard, and your unit, 115th Engineer Group, has been called up for active service. Shut up and soldier, soldier.


Working and pulling down a paycheck is much better than not. Working for a company that actively supports me and gives me the tools I need to perform my job would be a welcome change.


Politically, I am pretty conservative with a heavy streak of libertarianism. I believe that the Constitution is more than the law of the land, it is the Law of the Land, with plenty of emphasis needed. Hearing people who have not a clue (Hello, Supreme Court!) rendering wrongheaded judgments about what the Constitution means just makes me pull out my hair. And I do not have enough hair left to waste.


Tom Ridge, Homeland Security Secretary, said in a town hall meeting in Florida, “The bottom line is, as a country we have to come to grips with the presence of 8 to 12 million illegals, afford them some kind of legal status some way, but also as a country decide what our immigration policy is and then enforce it.” Now I understand that illegal immigration is a very serious issue. I do not care what country these law-breakers come from; I do not welcome them here. If they are willing to break the laws of our country to enter, how conscientious will they be in keeping any of our other laws? Granting amnesty every few years is not the solution. This only encourages people to sneak over our borders and hide out until the next amnesty program is announced. Why do things legally when you know the government will just holler “Ollie Ollie oxen free!” and let all the hidden people reap the rewards of their sneakiness?

Secretary Ridge is right when he said our country needs to decide on an immigration policy and enforce it. There are times when I become so angry at the flood of illegals pouring through every border that I would support a policy of branding illegals on the forehead for the first offense and never letting them into the country ever again.


“Quinn’s First Law — Liberalism generates the exact opposite of its stated intent.”

Ever since I first heard Jim Quinn declare this law, I have recognized it in action more and more. One of these days I will sit down and write up a full-sized comment on this principle.


Terrorists are bullies, so how do you best handle a bully? Sure, you could buy him off and hope that the cost of this Danegeld is less painful than the beatings, but how long will it last? Ask Saudi Arabia about the bombings in Riyadh and how well their payoff of al-Qaeda has worked. You could suck up to the bully and become a hanger-on or sycophant in the hope that you can avoid a beating by being a yes-man, but I have no desire to join the “religion of peace” and blow people up.

Or you can confront the bully and beat on him until he cries for mercy and leaves you alone. President Bush understands that this is the right way to handle a bully.


The countries who called America baby-killers for invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein are now raging again. Since the Little Red Hen has baked the Iraqi bread, all the lazy countries who did not lift a finger to free Iraq are now incensed because President Bush has denied them access to the primary contracts for rebuilding Iraq. France, Germany and Russia all sat on their collective thumbs while the U.S. prepared and then invaded Iraq, so why should these countries benefit from the lucrative contracts to rebuild? I hope the Bush administration stands firm and tells them to sit and spin.

41-year-old Nathaniel Jones is dead, and people are blaming the police of Cincinnati, Ohio. But unlike an earlier death in that city, Jones’ death did not lead to widespread rioting and looting. Nathaniel Jones’ death made the news because he was caught on police video, lunging and swinging at the cops. The police retaliated with nightsticks as Jones continued to resist. The coroner for Hamilton County, Carl Parrott, said that Jones died from a combination of factors including an enlarged heart, obesity, and “intoxicating levels” of cocaine, PCP and methanol in his blood.

Did the cops single out Jones to kill him? No. Jones attacked the cops. But this latest death has not improved the Cincinnatians’ opinions of their police force. In 2001, Cincinnati erupted in riots and looting after the death of another man at the hands of police. Timothy Thomas was the fifteenth man since 1995 to die in Cincinnati at the hands of the cops.

Let’s examine each of these 15 deaths, working our way backward, and see if we can spot some common threads in each of these deaths.

Timothy Thomas

Thomas was only 19 on April 7, 2001, but he was wanted by the police for over a dozen misdemeanor warrants. When he realized the police had spotted him, he took off. Eventually twelve officers were involved in chasing Thomas. Officer Steve Roach testified that he saw Thomas appear from behind a building, and that he further saw Thomas reaching for something in his waistband. Fearing for his safety, Officer Roach fired once, killing Thomas. In this case, Thomas did not directly threaten the cops, but he did resist arrest as he fled. Thomas’ death sparked the worst riots and looting in the U.S. since 1968, when the Avondale riots occurred in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Adam Wheeler

Wanted on three felony warrants, Adam Wheeler was not too interested in letting the police enter his home to investigate a drug complaint on January 31, 2001. He slammed the door in the cops’ face and shouted, “You want a war? You got a war.” He emptied his gun at the police and was shot and killed during the fight. He died while resisting arrest and attacking police officers.

Jeffrey Irons

On November 8, 2000, Jeffrey Irons entered a supermarket, and the employees claimed he stole some deodorant and shaving cream. When the police were called and Irons was confronted, he refused to surrender and struggled with the cops. He snatched one officer’s gun and shot Officer Tim Pappas in the hand. Officer Frederick Gilmer then shot and killed Irons. Irons died while resisting arrest and attacking police officers.

Roger Owensby Jr.

Wanted for outstanding warrants, Roger Owensby Jr. initically cooperated with the police officers as they tried to arrest him on November 7, 2000. But once he saw the handcuffs, he panicked and ran. He was quickly brought down with pepper spray, handcuffed, and placed in a police cruiser. Later he was found unconscious and died shortly of suffocation. He died after resisting arrest.

Courtney Mathis

Courtney Mathis was only 12 years old on September 1, 2000, but he stole a relative’s car and drove it to a convenience store. Officer Kevin Crayon, noticing Mathis, asked to see his driver’s license. Mathis started to drive away, and Officer Crayon reached into the car to stop him. The officer became tangled in the steering wheel and was dragged by Mathis for 800 feet until Officer Crayon drew his gun and shot Mathis point-blank in the chest. The force of the shot dislodged the officer from the car, and he struck another vehicle and was killed. Mathis managed to make it home, where he died four hours later. Both Officer Crayon and Courtney Mathis died because the boy resisted arrest.

Alfred Pope

Alfred Pope was a known criminal with five convictions and 18 felony charges. Pope died on March 14, 2000 after he and another man robbed and pistol-whipped three people in an apartment building. The police chased Pope until he pulled out a 9mm handgun and threatened the officers. Of the 26 bullets subsequently fired by the police, 10 struck and killed Pope. He died after resisting arrest and threatening the police.

Carey Tompkins

Officer Craig Ball responded to a domestic violence call early in the morning of October 16, 1999. As Officer Ball opened the door to the apartment stairway, he came face to face with Carey Tompkins who shoved a 9mm handgun in the officer’s waist. Tompkins was shot in the ensuing struggle for the gun. He died while resisting arrest and threatening the police.

James King

On August 20, 1999, James King robbed the Fifth Third Bank at gunpoint. No one was hurt during the robbery, and King made off with a bag of cash. King led the police in a car chase until he trapped himself in a dead end. King exited his car, gun in hand, and was ordered by the police to drop his gun. He refused and was shot and killed. He died while resisting arrest and threatening the police.

Michael Carpenter

In the early morning hours of March 19, 1999, Officers Brent McCurley and Michael Miller ran a check of the license plates of the car Michael Carpenter was driving. The car belonged to a friend, and the registration had expired. When confronted by the officers, Carpenter refused to leave the car and reached for the glove box. Officer Miller tried to pull Carpenter out through the driver’s side window, and was dragged about 15 feet until the car hit a parked van. When Officer McCurley saw Carpenter attempt to back up his car, he fired nine times. Carpenter died while resisting arrest and threatening the police.

Randy Black

On the morning of July 17, 1998, Randy Black robbed the Cinco Credit Union at gunpoint. The police gave chase. Black threw a brick at one officer and lunged at Officer Joseph Eichhorn with a two-by-four board studded with rusty nails. Black was shot twice and died. He died while resisting arrest and threatening the police.

Jermaine Lowe

After an eight-minute car chase, Jermaine Lowe crashed his fleeing car into another on June 3, 1998. Lowe reached out the driver’s window and emptied his handgun at the three pursuing officers, who returned fire and killed Lowe. Lowe’s passenger was unharmed and was not charged with a crime. Jermaine Lowe died while resisting arrest and attacking the police.

Daniel Williams

On February 2, 1998, Daniel Williams flagged down Officer Kathleen Conway’s car. He struck her in the face and shot her four times in the legs and abdomen before pushing her aside and seizing the steering wheel. Officer Conway responded by shooting Williams twice in the head. Williams died while attacking the police.

Lorenzo Collins

Lorenze Collins had a history of mental illness, and on February 23, 1997, he found himself surrounded by 15 officers armed with guns. Collins threatened them with a brick he was carrying and refused to drop it. He was shot and died five days later. Collins died resisting arrest and threatening the police.

Darryll C. Price

On April 4, 1996, the police found Darryll C. Price jumping on the hood of a car and shouting that he was going to “shoot someone.” The police sprayed him with a chemical irritant, tackled and shackled him. Because of the cocaine he had previously used, Price suffered from “agitated delirium with restraint,” a syndrome that begins when a disturbed person cannot get enough oxygen. Price died because he resisted arrest.

Harvey Price

Harvey Price killed his girlfriend’s 15-year-old daughter, Tesha Beasley, with an axe and kept police at bay for four hours on February 1, 1995. He advanced on officers with a raised knife and was shot by the SWAT team. He died while resisting arrest and attacking officers.

Of the 16 people on this list who were killed by the Cincinnati police, 15 were resisting arrest, and 12 were attacking or threatening the officers. Does this sound like cops out of control to you? Does it sound like the police had itchy trigger fingers and were cruising around just looking for an excuse to plug someone? When I look at the individual cases, I have to answer “no” to both questions.

The death of Timothy Thomas and the subsequent riots in 2001 did have a result. To reduce the community’s anger, the police reduced their presence in the area. In the next two months, 73 people were murdered — a 700% increase over the previous year. The people’s demand for the police to back off led directly to more deaths. So which is worse, 16 people dead over the course of 9 years, or 73 deaths in two months? You can do the math.

Let me finish with a quick lesson that everyone reading this article should learn: if you wish to live through an encounter with police, do not attack them and do not resist arrest.

It really is that simple.

Did you know that Prohibition is 70 years old? Actually, the repeal of Prohibition is 70 years old today. On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, thus ending the federal government’s policy of alcohol prohibition as established by the 18th Amendment.

H. L. Mencken was a fierce critic of Prohibition, and The American Mercury published the following quote of his in 1925:

Five years of Prohibition have had, at least, this one benign effect: they have completely disposed of all the favorite arguments of the Prohibitionists. None of the great boons and usufructs that were to follow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has come to pass. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic, but more. There is not less crime, but more. There is not less insanity, but more. The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminished.

Has history shown that Mencken was accurate in this statement? History responds with a resounding “YES!” People spent much of their time and efforts during Prohibition to skirt around the law or to break it outright. Organized crime took over the production and distribution of liquor in the United States, because Prohibition had raised the cost of booze so high that it was well worth the time and effort for criminals to peddle drinks. But it wasn’t just organized crime that skirted the law; the money that could be reaped from rum-running caused normally law-abiding people to join in. Outlawing booze caused a black market for alcohol to sprout up, and led to all the shadowy people who both bought and sold there. Does anyone in the 21st Century now believe that Prohibition succeeded in creating a “dry” nation? I think we would be hard-pressed today to find more than a few people who still see it as a success.

I am a teetotaler — I completely abstain from drinking liquor for religious reasons. But although I do not drink, I understand that the choice to drink is one of the privileges of freedom. People should be allowed to drink, if they choose. But this privilege also comes with the responsibility to know your drinking limit and not to cross it. Driving while intoxicated, getting smashed and beating the wife, standing before Senators and calling judicial nominees “Neanderthals,” or any other alcohol-impaired action that affects others for the worse is not responsible drinking.

Tobacco smoking is this century’s particular Prohibition. The federal government is sending decidedly mixed signals when it subsidizes tobacco farmers with one hand, and increasingly restricts the use of tobacco in public and increases taxes on tobacco products with the other. Several states have now forbidden smoking in public places, and the outright ban or prohibition of smoking cannot be too far off. In the last decade, Canada hiked up the tax on cigarettes. This produced what any artificially-increased price produces: a black market. The Canadian cigarette black market was so monumentally successful that Canada repealed the tax a few years later. And this idea of high taxes is not limited to just the U.S. and Canada. England has a higher cigarette tax than Europe, so naturally, England has a large black market for cigarettes. This attempt to prohibit smoking through higher taxes has created the same situation everywhere it has been tried, just as occurred during the American alcohol prohibition of the 1920s and ’30s.

I am also a tobacco teetotaler — I completely abstain from using tobacco in any form. But although I do not smoke, I understand that the choice to smoke is one of the privileges of freedom. People should be allowed to smoke, if they choose. But this privilege also comes with the responsibility to recognize how smoking affects you and those around you. Smoking in a home with children, tossing your used butts out the window while driving, puffing smoke in the face of non-smokers, or any other cigarette-related action that affects others for the worse is not responsible smoking.

Yet smoking is not the best example of our nation’s current Prohibition. I am speaking of the prohibition against drugs. For many decades now, our nation has passed stronger and harsher laws against the use and sale of certain recreational drugs. This has increased the cost of drugs and created a thriving black market, as prohibition always does. Organized crime is heavily involved with the production, transportation, and distribution of drugs in our nation, and the high profit potential entices many normally law-abiding people to dabble in drug sales to make a quick buck. Increased jail time for drug users and pushers has not curbed the use of drugs, any more than the jailing of bartenders and moonshiners did last century, but we now have a situation where people who are convicted for drug-related crimes are sometimes punished harsher than those who commit acts of violence. Possession of over 50 grams of crack means a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, while a first-degree rape in the state of New York carries a mandatory minimum sentence of six years. Are we truly safer as a nation with all these drug laws that have created war zones in our inner cities and fund the actions of organized crime?

I am a drug teetotaler — I completely abstain from illegal drugs in any form. But although I do not use drugs, I understand that the choice to use drugs is one of the privileges of freedom. People should be allowed to shoot up heroin, if they choose. But this privilege also comes with the responsibility of curbing your actions while under the influence. Mugging someone for drug money, attacking police while hopped up on angel dust, frying your brains and forcing others to take care of you, or any other drug-related action that affects others for the worse is not responsible drug use.

I do have a problem with the idea of repealing all drug, tobacco and alcohol laws. While I am a firm supporter of personal freedom, I understand that in each of these three cases, there are plenty of people who have abused and will continue to abuse the freedoms of others through the mishandling of drugs, tobacco and alcohol. I believe you should have the right to puff away on a crack pipe, but if you steal to feed your habit, the response from society should be severe. Because the result of mishandled responsibility is so great, society has the right to protect the suffering innocents and punish the offender. Drinking a few beers with the guys while watching the Super Bowl is a responsible use of alcohol, but driving while drunk is not. Doing so proves that you are a menace to society, and a societal menace does not deserve freedoms.

While 70 years separate us from the repeal of Prohibition, I do not see much difference between last century’s attempt to prohibit alcohol use and our current attempts to stop tobacco and drug use. The comment H. L. Mencken made in 1925 is just as valid today. It is still a question of personal freedom and responsible use of that freedom.

Let’s spend a little time talking about some real-life happenings on American college campuses. All of the following stories happened this year, and are documented at www.tonguetied.us. Let me take a moment to plug Tongue Tied as a great site for, in its own words, “carping about the excesses of clueless crybabies since the turn of the century.”

Christians Need not Apply

A Christian student group at Rutgers University in New Jersey has been banned from campus and stripped of its funding because it selected leaders based on their adherence to the Christian faith, reports the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The Rutgers chapter of the InterVarsity Multi-Ethnic Christian Fellowship was informed by Director of Student Involvement Lawanda D. Irving that it was being “derecognized” for its impermissible discrimination.

The group, as part of its leadership selection process, uses its ‘Basis of Faith’ as one of the criterion for selecting leaders. “Only those persons committed to the Basis of Faith and the Purpose of this organization are eligible for leadership positions,” the group’s bylaws say. [1]

Liberals are very tolerant of any religion, as long as it is not some form of Christianity. The ACLU will spend huge sums of money and time to fight to keep Christianity out of schools based on the misinterpretation of “separation of Church and State,” but liberals have no objections to California schools spending several weeks studying the Muslim faith.

My Free Speech is More Important than Your Free Speech

The same officials at the University of Houston who quashed an anti-abortion rally on campus last year welcomed a gay rights rally because it was a ‘university sponsored’ event while the former was a “student-sponsored” event, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Administrators likened the gay rights rally to a cheerleading or band practice and therefore permissible outside designated free speech zones, while the anti-abortion rally was student-sponsored and allowed only within the confines of the zones.

Benjamin Bull, a lawyer who represented the UH student organization that fought the university over the anti-abortion rally, called the latest decision a classic example of political correctness on campus.

“The university is almost Stalinistic in permitting government-favored speech, while banning government disfavored and politically incorrect speech,” he said. [2]

This is a great example of how school administrators use their power to promote their favorite expressions of speech, while doing whatever they can to repress others. And here is another example of liberals wanting to restrict the right of free speech against those with whom they disagree.

A Latino group at Glendale Community College in Arizona wants the administration to forbid a professor there from ever expressing his opinions on university web pages because he sent out an email saying the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or MEChA, is racist, reports the Arizona Republic.

MEChA also wants Walter Kehowski to apologize publicly for stating in an email that the group fosters racism by praising racial separatism. He was alluding to a recent Dia de la Raza event on campus.

“We believe in the First Amendment . . . in this case, the e-mails and Web page are clearly against the district mission of diversity and has disrupted our campus with the hostility that it promotes,” the group said in a letter to the Maricopa County Community College District. [3]

“And if thy right eye offend thee…”

Liberals are so very concerned about offending others. This can be taken to ludicrous extremes. Diane Ravitch’s book The Language Police shows this desire not to offend reflected in the way schoolbooks and tests have been rewritten. Here are six examples taken just from the first chapter.

An inspirational story of a blind man who climbed Mt. Everest was rejected by a bias review committee because it implies that blind people have a disability and are somehow limited by that disability.

A story from an anthology edited by William Bennett was rejected simply because the politics of the editor might distress fourth-graders.

A biography of the man who designed Mt. Rushmore was rejected because mention of the monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota might offend Native Americans.

An essay about the plethora of life in a rotting stump in a forest was rejected because it compared the stump to an apartment building and that might make people who live in apartments or public housing feel bad.

A story about a dolphin that guides ships through a treacherous channel was rejected because it shows bias toward people who live by the sea. Those who don’t live by the sea might be at a disadvantage, you see.

A passage about owls was rejected because owls are considered taboo by Navajos. A publisher decreed that owls should disappear from all texts and tests, so American schoolkids are now unlikely to ever read about them. [4]

But schoolbook contents are not the only place where people may be offended. An ad (http://campustruth.org/content/left_main.html) produced by a pro-Israel group shows the difference between the reactions of Israelis and Palestinians on the news of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th.

Mohammed Esam, president of the Islamic Society of Stanford University, said the ads were offensive and racist. “They’re trying to demonize a whole population,” he said. [5]

Never mind that the Palestinian people demonized themselves by publicly rejoicing at the news of the terrorists’ actions.

Yet another “offensive” action is the growing number of “Affirmative Action Bake Sales” taking place on many college campuses. During these sales, white males are charged more than white females, and blacks and other minorities benefit from even lower prices. These sales are being staged as a demonstration (and an effective one, I might add) of how affirmative action policies are blatantly unfair. Schools like Southern Methodist University, Northwestern University, Indiana University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Texas, Texas A&M University, and the University of Washington-Seattle, among others, have hosted these bake sales. Almost universally, they are quickly shut down by college administrators. Damon Sims of Indiana University has the right idea.

“It is a freedom-of-speech issue. I know some schools have approached these events differently, but prior restraint is not something we would normally engage in,” said Damon Sims, associate dean of students. “This is one of the more significant social and political issues of our time. . . . It is exactly the kind of dialogue that should be encouraged on college campuses.” [6]

Diversity Uber Alles

A survey of political diversity at Ithaca College in New York found that of 125 professors who registered to vote at the college 93.6 percent did so as Democrats or Greens, reports the Ithacan.

According to the study, sponsored by student Republicans and the local Republican Party, only eight of the 125 professors on campus who registered with a political affiliation in the county describe themselves as Republican or Conservative.

Asma Barlas, an associate professor of politics, says she is a firm believer in diversity, but not the sort of diversity the Republicans have in mind.

“I do believe Ithaca College can do a better job of diversifying its faculty, most of whom are white males,” she said. “Not having a Republican on our faculty is not the only yardstick by which we can measure diversity.” [7]

No, Ms. Barlas, but it certainly is not the yardstick you care to use. But Ithaca College is not alone in its leftist leanings, so it is unsurprising that college campuses across the United States tend to be heavily liberal and Democrat.

Next time you get ready to write the check for your child’s college tuition, ask yourself if the money is going to a school that teaches your beliefs, or is stuck in the liberal rut of political correctness.