Little Green Footballs pointed to a survey filled out by 307 American Muslims at the Islamic Society of North America’s convention held in Chicago at the beginning of September. In their own words, here is the purpose and the scope of this survey:

The purpose of the survey was to better understand the views of American Muslims on issues relating to Islam, Muslims, and American national security. It is important to let Muslims articulate their varied opinions on these issues in order to encourage dialogue within the Muslim community and with the rest of American society.

However, this was NOT a scientific survey, because ISNA Convention attendees who visited the Muslims For A Safe America booth are not necessarily representative of the American Muslim community as a whole.

So we can’t take the results of this survey as being true for every Muslim in the United States, whether a citizen or not, nor can we apply these results to non-U.S. citizens, whether here or abroad. But even with all those caveats, there is some interesting data from the survey. You can read the entire survey response at their website, but here are some that piqued my interest.

3. Is the American government at war with the religion of Islam?
YES 208
NO 79
UNDECIDED 20

Which is why there are are no mosques left standing in the United States now, and all Muslims have been rounded up and shipped out of the country. Wait, I guess we haven’t done that, have we. If the U.S. government is at war with the religion of Islam, we sure haven’t done much to fight that war. But this survey is not about reality; it is a look at the mind-set of the 307 participants of the survey.

5. Did Muslims hijack planes and fly them into buildings on 9/11?
YES 117
NO 139
UNDECIDED 51

6. Did the U.S. government have advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, and allow the attacks to occur?
YES 200

NO 70
UNDECIDED 37

7. Did the U.S. government organize the 9/11 attacks?
YES 106
NO 151
UNDECIDED 50

Thank you, moonbat left and crazy professors, for making many of these American Muslims believe that the U.S. knew and/or caused the 9/11 attacks.

12. Is Al Qaeda a real organization, operated by Muslims who are trying to attack America?
YES 149

NO 109
UNDECIDED 49

13. Is Al Qaeda attacking America because Al Qaeda hates American freedoms?
YES 17
NO 269
UNDECIDED 21

14. Is Al Qaeda attacking America because Al Qaeda hates American involvement in the Muslim world?
YES 228

NO 54
UNDECIDED 25

If only 149 of the participants answered #12 as Yes, Al Qaeda exists and is run by Muslims who are trying to attack America, then how did 228 answer Yes to #14, that Al Qaeda is attacking the U.S. because they hate our involvement in the Muslim world? The two answers can’t both be accurate because they contradict each other.

24. Should American troops leave Iraq immediately, or stay there until the Iraqi government and Iraqi military are stronger?
LEAVE NOW 199
LEAVE LATER 86

UNDECIDED 22

If the U.S. and allied forces were to pull out of Iraq immediately, the way the majority of these participants want, the result would be a horrific blood-bath among the Iraqi people as different factions there and in neighboring countries would compete to fill the power vacuum. How compassionate are these people if they are willing to see fellow Muslims die in the thousands and possible hundreds of thousands just so they can have the pleasure of seeing American soldiers run away from the fighting in Iraq?

26. Is violence by Muslims against American civilians acceptable, in retaliation for the American government’s actions in the Muslim world?
YES 23
NO 274

UNDECIDED 10

Those 23 people scare me, but they should scare the other 284 Muslims more. Do they really want to see an American war against the religion of Islam? If so, they need to do nothing while their co-religionists kill fellow Americans.

30. If you learned about a plot by Muslims to attack targets inside America, would you tell law enforcement authorities?
YES 234
NO 39

UNDECIDED 34

And this is another scary number. 39 of the people who answered the survey would not tell the police if they learned of a plot to kill people and break things. And if the 23 people who answered No to the earlier question were among the 39 who answered Yes to this one, I can see why they might not want to say anything.

2. Do you consider yourself to be a Muslim first, an American first, or both equally?
MUSLIM FIRST 214
AMERICAN FIRST 4

BOTH EQUALLY 86
UNDECIDED 3

Initially, I was shocked by the answers to this question, but after I thought about it, I had to agree with the 214 people who said they were Muslims first. If my country and my religion were in conflict, I would also choose my faith first. I just don’t see much of a conflict now between my faith and my country, but that hasn’t always been the case. After being driven out of Missouri and Illinois, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints moved westward out of the United States into the territory that is now Utah and the surrounding states. Shortly after the Mormons moved west, the U.S. annexed the land they were living in from Mexico. So I can see how my country and my faith could be at odds, but historically when it has happened, the opposition from my faith has been peaceful.

That’s probably why you don’t often hear of Mormon suicide bombers screaming “BYU rocks!” before exploding in crowded surroundings.

So when you read the title, did you think of someone making fun of former Vice-President Al Gore, or did you think of him mocking someone else? In this case it is both — because Al Gore is mocking someone else, specifically Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), and succeeding in making a mockery of himself.

Al Gore gathered with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Reichert’s Democratic challenger, Darcy Burner, at a Seattle University conference room on October 24th, 2006. At one point, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels said that Rep. Reichert doesn’t believe people are causing global warming. Here is what the Seattle Times reports that Al Gore responded:

“Did he say that?” interrupted Gore, whose film about global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” grossed $23.7 million. “He’s not sure it’s caused by humans?”

“He’s not convinced that it’s caused by human beings,” responded Nickels.

“C’mon! And this man is a United States congressman?” asked Gore. “You know, 15 percent of people believe the moon landing was staged on some movie lot and a somewhat smaller number still believe the Earth is flat. They get together on Saturday night and party with the global-warming deniers.”

That’s a nice little ad hominem attack and appeal to ridicule that Gore launched. I can’t take his argument that seriously if he has to resort to logical fallacies in a debate.

I wish I could have been there, because I’d like to ask Al Gore two questions. Here they are:

1) Mr. Gore, are you aware that the Martian polar ice caps have been melting at an accelerated rate?

2) What percentage of the current global warming of Mars is attributable to human action?

I’d love to hear Al Gore try to explain how human activities on Earth could explain planetary warming on Mars. But there is a very clear answer that has nothing to do with human beings: increased solar activity.

But the inconvenient truth — that the sun is the real force behind global warming — doesn’t sell as many movie tickets, I guess.

There is good and bad news about the upcoming election. The good news is that there are only a few more days until the election, which means the campaign ads will go away soon. The bad news is that we only have a few days before the election, and we’ll have to live with the results for the next two years. I’m more than ready for the constant polling calls to stop:

Annoying pollster: “If the election were held today, would you vote for the Democrat or Republican candidate for governor?”
Annoyed me: “Neither, because I’d be unaware that the election had been changed from Nov. 7th.” *click*

[As the person fielding most of these calls, I'm getting reeeeeeally tired of 'em. My response to a recent call:
Clueless shill: "Hi, I'm (name) from (annoying organization) and I know you've been getting a lot of political calls, but--"
Me: "You're right, I have. Goodbye." *click* --TPK]

Speaking of things annoying, Oregonians mail in their ballots. There is no going to your local precinct to vote for the people you want to represent you. Instead, we vote by mail for our candidates of choice, hoping that our votes are not overshadowed by those of illegal voters. And it’s trivially simple for someone to register illegally here in Oregon. Here are the options you can use to identify yourself as an Oregon voter if you don’t have a valid Oregon driver’s license, ID, or Social Security number:

If you do not have a current, valid Oregon DMV Driver’s License/ID or a Social Security number, you must affirm this on the voter registration card, and if you are registering by mail, you must provide a copy of one of the following:

  • valid photo identification
  • a paycheck stub
  • a utility bill
  • a bank statement
  • a government document
  • proof of eligibility under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) or the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (VAEH)

And all these documents prove U.S. citizenship and Oregon residence? Hardly! But these are the “new laws” that require people to identify themselves with one of the above by mail. Previous laws were even less stringent, if I can use that word to describe this lax law. Saying there is voter fraud in Oregon is like saying there are hemp products at Burning Man. It’s not a question of “if,” but a question of “how much.”

But not all the voting news is bad. The Supreme Court has allowed an Arizona law requiring photo ID at the voting booth to take effect for the 2006 election day. Proposition 200 was passed in Arizona in 2004, but the 9th Circus Circuit Court of Appeals put the kibosh on voter ID for two years. Requiring a photo ID is too much of a hardship for the poor and/or elderly, don’t you know. But is it really? Here’s the final paragraph from the news article summing up the Supreme Court’s action:

In order to cast a ballot at the polls, voters must show a photo ID with current street address or two forms of identification, such as a utility bill or car registration, with name and street address.

So if you don’t have a photo ID with current street address, such as a driver’s license, then two forms of identification are good enough. Pray tell, where is the hardship in providing a utility bill? I guess it’s a difficult thing if you are an illegal alien, but it’s not that much of a hardship for a legal resident.

And legal voting should be something we encourage.

Sometimes I have to wonder why I actually listen to Air America Radio while driving in the car. Based on what I hear, I can see just why they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the typically lousy job they collectively do in talk radio. As I drove home yesterday, I heard a little blurb by Randi Rhodes about President Clinton.

Rhodes started off by claiming that there were plenty of issues where she disagreed with President Clinton, but I honestly wouldn’t know. I have a very low tolerance for the Randi Rhodes show. But here’s what she said that really made me shake my head: she said that, whether you like President Clinton or not, you have to admit that while he was President he kept America safe, standing like a bulwark at the shore.

Gag.

Reality check for Ms. Rhodes — radical Islamofascists have been at war with the United States for a long time, and that includes during President Clinton’s watch. Her less-than-artful invention of history doesn’t really stand up to the events that really occurred during President Clinton’s time in the White House. Here’s a short list to refresh your memory:

In retaliation to some of these attacks, President Clinton knocked down some tents and blew up an aspirin factory. You can tell how effective his limp-wristed response was in diverting future attacks. And if you want to suggest President Clinton was more effective than President Bush in keeping terrorists off American shores, first remember the World Trade Center bombings of 1993.

I find it interesting that Ms. Rhodes spent some time pumping up President Clinton’s flaccid legacy during the same week Lynne Stewart was sentenced to 28 months in prison for her part in smuggling messages from Omar Abdel-Rahman to his terrorist followers. Rahman is the same guy who helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

But if you listen only to talk show hosts on the financially and factually bankrupt Air America Radio, you might possibly accept Randi Rhodes’ invention of history.

OK, boys and girls, it’s time to test your Constitution knowledge! Go to ConstitutionFacts.com and take the quiz.

I got a score of 9 out of 10, making me a “Constitution Whiz Kid.” If you have taken the quiz, drag your mouse over the next bit of text to see what question I missed:

[I missed question #6 about George Washington's Vice President. I'd call this more of a history question, not a Constitution question.]

So, what was your score? Be honest.

Back in 2005, Lynne Stewart, a civil rights lawyer, was convicted of providing material support to terrorists. She is in the news now because she has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for her part in aiding convicted terrorist Omar Abdel-Rahman. If you haven’t heard of Omar Abdel-Rahman, you were probably paying attention only to items covered by the mainstream media, so let me fill you in a bit. In 1995, Rahman was convicted of masterminding the World Trade Center bombing two years earlier. So he is obviously a really nice guy. Stewart was convicted for providing material support to him and his terrorist organization. But she claims her innocence:

In a letter to the judge, Stewart proclaimed: “I am not a traitor.” She said she did not intentionally enter into any conspiracy to help a terrorist organization.

But being a lawyer, she should know that the charge of treason isn’t based on intent. The Constitution defines treason in Article III, Section 3: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” And what Stewart did was most certainly giving aid and comfort to our nation’s enemies. Again, as Stewart’s 2005 conviction states, she was found guilty of “providing material support to terrorists.” Sure sounds like giving “aid and comfort” to our enemies to me. But rather than giving her a 30-year sentence as federal guidelines state, District Judge John G. Koeltl gave her 28 months because of her decades of “dedication to poor, disadvantaged and unpopular clients.”

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs points out an interesting aspect of this case: one of the people indicted along with Stewart, Ahmed Abdel Sattar, was sentenced to 24 years for his part in smuggling messages from Omar Abdel-Rahman to his followers. Isn’t it interesting that Stewart got 28 months for her part while Sattar gets 24 years for his?

And speaking of interesting, here’s an interesting quote from Stewart at her sentencing:

“The end of my career truly is like a sword in my side,” Stewart said at her sentencing. “Permit me to live out the rest of my life productively, lovingly, righteously.”

What she’s really saying here is “Please don’t send me to prison! Please, please, oh please!” I think she should spend her final days living life “productively, lovingly, righteously” in prison, perhaps making aid packages for the members of our military putting themselves in harm’s way to fight the same people to whom she gave aid and comfort. I see it as being a fitting end to her career, but not everyone sees her as equally guilty:

Earlier, about 150 Stewart supporters who could not get inside the filled-to-capacity courtroom stood outside the courthouse, chanting “Free Lynne, Free Lynne.”

“It’s not just Lynne Stewart who is a victim; it’s the Bill of Rights that’s the victim,” said Al Dorfman, 72, a retired lawyer.

The phrase which applies to these Stewart supporters, and especially to Al Dorfman, is “useful idiots.” This century’s version of the “useful idiot” is “dhimmi.”

Here’s a bit of interesting news out of Texas:

An award-winning Texas art teacher who was reprimanded after one of her fifth-grade students saw a nude sculpture during a trip to a museum has lost her job.

The school board in Frisco has voted not to renew Sydney McGee’s contract after 28 years. She has been on administrative leave.

The teacher took her students on an approved field trip to a Dallas museum, and now some parents are upset.

The Fisher Elementary School art teacher came under fire last April when she took 89 fifth-graders on a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art. Parents raised concerns over the field trip after their children reported seeing a nude sculpture at the art museum.

It’s interesting that in the first paragraph it says that “one” student saw the sculpture, while the fourth refers to “children.” Sounds like sloppy reporting to me. But that aside, is it really a firing offense to expose fifth-graders to nude sculpture? Notice that there is no discussion of what the precise offending sculpture is, or whether it depicts a male or female form. Are we talking about Michelangelo’s David, or the Venus De Milo? Or did the kid(s) see something that is less “art” and more “porn?” The lack of information identifying the objectionable piece is curious in its absence. I can’t see a teacher with 28 years of experience being fired just because one parent complained. There has to be more to the story that we are not being told.

Setting aside the fired teacher to focus on the subject of children being exposed to nudity, what can we do? Are we to accept the fact that kids may occasionally see nudity in art, or do we have to cover up our sculptures to make art “Kid Safe?”

“Kid Safe” Art
Michelangelo’s David Venus de Milo
Kid Safe David Kid Safe Venus

I’m conflicted here. On the one hand, I cannot support in any way the idea of minors viewing pornography (or participating in it for that matter), but on the other hand, I’m pretty blasé about the existence of nudity in classical art pieces. I guess I’ve seen enough Renaissance and classic Greek and Roman sculpture that I understand why artists used nudes in so many of their works. Wikipedia has a good article about the use of nudity in art. (NSFW)

For generations, the use of nudity in art has inspired the question: is it art, or is it pornography? A simple definition of pornography is any material created with the intent to titillate or arouse. But what about materials created without the intent to titillate or arouse? Artists claim they should not be held responsible if members of their audience find sexual stimulation in their art where none was intended. As Tom Lehrer once sang, “When correctly viewed, everything is lewd.” And I can’t help but believe that people have been viewing things in a lewd way for as long as people have been people.

Don’t believe me? You probably think the 20,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf represents some Earth Mother goddess, but I’m guessing that its almost five-inch-tall size made it a perfect object to be held in the left hand of some paleolithic pervert. Take a look, and tell me I’m not right.

Venus of Willendorf

More often than not, the difference between nudity and nakedness in art is in the mind — or sometimes in the hand — of the beholder.

There’s been much written about the angry responses of President Clinton during his interview with Chris Wallace, but here’s one article I recently read (thanks, TPK!) that is well worth reading in full. Cliff Kincaid posted this article on Sept. 27, 2006, at the Accuracy in Media site.

Of all the whoppers told by former President Clinton in his Chris Wallace interview, perhaps the most outrageous was his claim that he was involved in “trying to stop a genocide in Kosovo…” In fact, Clinton’s bombing of the former Yugoslavia killed more people than died in this “genocide.” And his policy benefited Osama bin Laden and the global Jihad.

In the year before the bombing, some 2,000 people had been killed in a civil war in Kosovo. A conservative estimate is that 6,000 were killed by U.S. and NATO bombs.

Interestingly, Al-Jazeera celebrated the fifth anniversary of 9/11 by airing several al-Qaeda videos, one of which showed two of the 9/11 hijackers saying their actions were designed to avenge the suffering of Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya. Nothing demonstrates the bankruptcy of the Clinton policy more than that. Not only did Clinton order the CIA to help the KLA in Kosovo, he approved Iranian arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims, in order to help them establish a Muslim state in Bosnia. Still, that wasn’t good enough for the Jihadists. Nothing appeases them.

That’s precisely it. Nothing appeases them. These Islamist nutjobs are not in it for the money. Their goal is a world ruled by sharia law, in which you are one of three things: a Muslim, a dhimmi, or dead.

Take your pick.

Just before the 2004 election, a Johns Hopkins research study was released stating that about 100,000 Iraqi civilians had died in the year and a half after the invasion of Iraq. The “research” announced in 2004 was conducted by talking to about 900 Iraqi families. Based on what they said about births and deaths, the “research” estimated the death rate for Iraq to be between 8,000 and 194,000 deaths. How did they come up with the announced 98,000 deaths? Well, if you divide 194,000 by 2 and round up, you arrive at the magical number. Not surprisingly, this figure was accepted as gospel truth by people who hate President Bush and our actions in Iraq.

Roll the clock forward to another election year, and — surprise, surprise — there is another Johns Hopkins research study released, this time claiming that 655,000 Iraqis have died because of the U.S. invasion and aftermath. Here is the way Gilbert Burnham, a researcher for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland, explains the methodology behind the new numbers:

Our total estimate is much higher than other mortality estimates because we used a population-based, active method for collecting mortality information rather than passive methods that depend on counting bodies or tabulated media reports of violent deaths.

So Johns Hopkins researchers do a better job because they have an “active” method of research of talking to a few people and then applying a WAG, while others use a clearly inferior and “passive” method of actually counting dead bodies and listening to news reports of dead bodies. How passé!

What do we have here? It is clear that the number this time is just as made up as the earlier number, and both announcements beg the question: where are all the bodies? If 1 out of 20 Iraqis have died violently in the last three years, why aren’t there dead bodies lying all over the place? How about this question — where’s the proof?

Since Johns Hopkins researchers feel it is fine to invent their “research” numbers, why are they releasing their guestimation now? Here’s a clue about the timing from the news report that announced the research:

The work updates an earlier Johns Hopkins study — that one was released just before the November 2005 presidential election. At the time, the lead researcher, Les Roberts of Hopkins, said the timing was deliberate. Many of the same researchers were involved in the latest estimate.

Note the part I bolded — this “research” was released just before elections in a blatant attempt to affect the vote. Because Johns Hopkins is willing to invent these numbers to influence the elections, how much are you willing to believe any other research that originates from Johns Hopkins in the future?

In closing, here is the cartoon created by Chris Muir of “Day by Day,” mocking the “research” by Johns Hopkins.

Day by Day

There’s only one problem with the cartoon — judging by the way the “research” from Johns Hopkins arrives just before an election, we can expect to see another report from them a month or two before the 2008 election, not in 2007.

UPDATE (10/13/2006 8:24:54 AM): And again Cox and Forkum do a wonderful job of showing the silliness of the “research.” They have some great links on their page.

Survey Says

I believe that a good strong fence between both the U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico borders would be a good thing. I see this as being the same, but on a grander scale, as putting a fence around your own yard. I don’t hate my neighbors, but I do like my privacy, and I don’t want people wandering around my yard just for the fun of it. I recently noticed that wasps had created some paper nests under the eaves of my roof, so I picked up a can of Wasp-Be-Dead and sprayed them. And since there was plenty left in the can, I wandered over to my neighbor, an elderly lady, and asked if I could check for wasp nests around her home. Yes, I’m just that nice. Besides, I like doing whatever I can to help her, and she has no problem with asking me for help when she needs heavy or tall things moved. But even though I have a good relationship with my neighbor, I would not consider wandering through her yard without asking permission first. That’s just being polite.

But illegal immigrants who cross over our borders are being worse than impolite, and they know it. That is why there are problems on the southern border. As part of a plan to stem the flood of illegal aliens crossing our southern border, Congress has passed a bill calling for 700 miles of fence to be built. This bill is waiting for President Bush to sign it, and I hope he does. But not everyone wants President Bush to sign the bill and start the building of the wall. Specifically, Mexico doesn’t want the wall to be built:

Mexico’s foreign secretary said Monday the country may take a dispute over U.S. plans to build a fence on the Mexican border to the United Nations.

Luis Ernesto Derbez told reporters in Paris, his first stop on a European tour, that a legal investigation was under way to determine whether Mexico has a case.

The Mexican government last week sent a diplomatic note to Washington criticizing the plan for 700 miles of new fencing along the border. President-elect Felipe Calderon also denounced the plan, but said it was a bilateral issue that should not be put before the international community.

A legal investigation to see whether Mexico has a case to stop our fence? The hell?!? This isn’t a matter of someone violating a mutually-signed community homeowners’ covenant banning fences, this is a matter of the United States limiting the illegal entrance of lawbreakers into its own country, and the United Nations be damned.

While I like much of what Warren Meyer of Coyote Blog writes, I have to disagree with his view that there is no difference between the Berlin Wall and a fence on our southern border. There is a difference — the one is designed to keep people in, while the other is to keep people out. The Berlin Wall kept people in East Germany against their will, much as a prison fence does to the inmates inside. But the proposed border fence is designed to keep people out, much like the fence around your property. And other than a difference of scale, is there any other difference between the border fence and the fence around your own home? I can’t think of one.