In the news today, we discover that Iran has decided to ignore the stern warning from the United Nations to stop enriching uranium or face another stern warning:

Iran has ignored the latest UN deadline to suspend uranium enrichment and is actually extending it, a report by nuclear watchdog the IAEA has said.

The refusal to observe the Wednesday deadline could lead to further UN sanctions against Iran.

I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that Iran would fail to heed the U.N. deadline. But it’s more than just continuing with enrichment; Iran is willing to stop enriching uranium only if others do so, too:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday said his country was ready to stop its enrichment program and return to talks provided Western nations also stopped their own. Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands in northern Iran one day ahead of a U.N. Security Council deadline that it was no problem for his country to stop, but that “fair talks” demanded a similar gesture from the West.

This absurd “you first” attitude is about the level of diplomatic seriousness I’ve come to expect from Ahmadinejad, and the talented Cox and Forkum do a great job of skewering it, too.

Throw Down

Thanks to a link on Coyote Blog, I found the Maps of War site. Below are my two favorite maps. The first shows the rise of different empires in the Old World.

Imperial History

This next map shows the rise of the five best known religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism.

History of Religion

Be sure to check out the other maps at Maps of War.

Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX) spoke to the House on Friday, Feb. 16th, 2007, about the House resolution recently passed that disagrees with President Bush’s plan to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq. Rep. Johnson’s remarks reached my attention thanks to a Power Line post. Below is a YouTube video of the Representative’s full comments.

If you don’t want to spend the almost seven minutes watching his speech, here is a hard-hitting part near the end of Rep. Johnson’s address to the House.

We POWs were still in Vietnam when Washington cut the funding for Vietnam . I know what it does to morale and mission success. Words cannot fully describe the horrendous damage of the anti-American efforts against the war back home to the guys on the ground. Our captors would blare nasty recordings over the loudspeaker of Americans protesting back home, tales of Americans spitting on Vietnam veterans when they came home, and worse. I don’t think we should ever, ever let that happen again. The pain inflicted by your country’s indifference is tenfold that inflicted by your ruthless captors.

Our troops and their families want, need, and deserve the full support of this country and the Congress. Moms and dads watching the news need to know that the Congress will not leave their sons and daughters in harm’s way without support.

Since the President announced his new plan for Iraq last month, there has been steady progress. He changed the rules of engagement, removed political protection. There are reports we wounded the number two of al Qaeda and killed his deputy. And, yes, al Qaeda operates in Iraq. It is alleged that top radical jihadist, al-Sadr, has fled Iraq maybe to Iran, and Iraq has closed its borders with Iran and Syria.

The President has changed course, has offered a new plan. We are making progress. We must seize the opportunity to move forward, not stifle future success. Debating nonbinding resolutions aimed at earning political points only destroys morale, stymies success, and emboldens the enemy.

The grim reality is that this House measure is the first step to cutting funding of the troops. Just ask JOHN MURTHA about his slow-bleed plan that hamstrings our troops in harm’s way.

I salute this brave American veteran. Would that we had more like him.

It’s no surprise to read reports that Iran has been involved with the fighting in Iraq. If you have been following the reports of Iraq,
this news shouldn’t be a surprise at all.

So knowing that Iran has been involved in the fighting in Iraq, I was glad to read that Iraq has closed its border with Syria and Iran, but that’s not an easy thing to do when you have over 2,000 miles of border to secure. But it is a good start.

But it’s only a start. If we were really concerned about getting rid of the terrorists and militants in Iraq and turning that country around, we’d let the military do what it does best. For far too long they have had their hands tied. The surge of 20,000 new troops into Iraq is a good plan, and it has already yielded good results with Moqtada al-Sadr fleeing to Iran.

But our Democrat “leadership” is fighting the surge, but they have already shown that they have no victory plans for Iraq.

That’s about what I expect from Democrats, but what really troubles me is the comments President Bush has made that we can negotiate diplomatically with Iran to solve the conflict there. If Neville Chamberlain were alive today, I believe he could offer some advice to President Bush about achieving “peace for our time” when negotiating with madmen. Cox and Forkum have sadly nailed our President’s idea of limited engagement with those who are fighting us.

Limited Engagement

I don’t think I could come up with something more ironic than the cancellation of a Global Warming meeting due to cold weather. Drudge reports that this is exactly what happened:

The Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 14, 2007, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 Rayburn House Office Building has been postponed due to inclement weather. The hearing is entitled “Climate Change: Are Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Human Activities Contributing to a Warming of the Planet?”

The hearing will be rescheduled to a date and time to be announced later.

That’s right, a global warming hearing cancelled by an ice storm. If the environmental Chicken Littles were still harping on global cooling as they were in the ’70s and ’80s, this weather would be seen as proof.

Tragedy struck Salt Lake City when a lone gunman opened fire in a crowded mall.

The winding hallways of Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square became a shooting gallery for an 18-year-old gunman in a trench coat who fired a shotgun randomly at customers, killing five and wounding four before being killed by police, authorities and witnesses said.

The shooter also was armed with a handgun and had several rounds of ammunition, Salt Lake City police Detective Robin Snyder said early Tuesday. It was not clear if he fired the handgun, nor had a motive been determined, she said.

When I heard the news last night, I commented to my wife that a rampage like this is solved by the use of firearms in the hands of responsible citizens. Normally the responsible hands belong to police officers, but killing sprees have been stopped by regular citizens with a firearm. I found out today that it was an off-duty police officer who killed the gunman.

Earlier today, Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner confirmed that an off-duty police officer from Ogden killed Talovic. The Ogden off-duty officer has been identified as Ken Hammond, a six-year veteran of the department.

Yes, the end result of a dead gunman would have been the same if Officer Hammond hadn’t been there, but his presence stopped the gunman sooner. At this point we could play games of “what if” and wonder what would have happened if more of the bystanders at Trolley Square had been armed. There is the real possibility that the death count would have been lower, but five deaths is pretty low — though I’m certain that’s no consolation for the families of the victims. Now consider what might have happened if Hammond hadn’t been there, and Trolley Square had declared itself a “gun-free zone.” How long could the gunman have run around unopposed in that situation?

And now that the name of the gunman has been released, I have to wonder about something else. With the name of Sulejman Talovic, what are the odds that he is Muslim? The name Sulejman, as well as variant spellings like Suleiman, Sulayman, Sulaiman, Süleyman, or Solyman, are all derived from an Arabic name meaning “Man of Peace.”

Ironic, no?

UPDATE (2/14/2007 3:12:18 PM): The Deseret News confirms that Sulejman Talovic was indeed a Muslim. But there is nothing yet that shows religion was the motivation of the killing.

Ajka Omerovic, who said she was Talovic’s aunt, visited the home Tuesday afternoon. She told the Deseret Morning News that Talovic had been “a good boy.” She said the family are Muslims from Bosnia who had lived in the vicinity of Sarajevo.

Here is part three of the American History test given to “elite” college seniors at the University of Connecticut. See how well you do with these twelve questions. Click and drag your mouse over the gray to see the answer.

 

23) What was the source of the following phrase: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”?

  1. The speech: “I have a Dream”
  2. Declaration of Independence
  3. U.S. Constitution
  4. Gettysburg Address

Answer: - d -

24) Who was the second president of the United States?

  1. Thomas Jefferson
  2. James Madison
  3. John Adams
  4. Benjamin Franklin

Answer: - c -

25) Who was president when the U.S. purchased the Panama Canal?

  1. Theodore Roosevelt
  2. Jimmy Carter
  3. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  4. Woodrow Wilson

Answer: - a -

26) Who was the leading advocate for the U.S. entry into the League of Nations?

  1. George C. Marshall
  2. Woodrow Wilson
  3. Henry Cabot Lodge
  4. Eleanor Roosevelt

Answer: - b -

27) Who said, “Speak softly but carry a big stick”?

  1. William T. Sherman
  2. Sitting Bull
  3. John D. Rockefeller
  4. Theodore Roosevelt

Answer: - d -

28) The Battle of the Bulge occurred during:

  1. The Vietnam War
  2. World War I
  3. World War II
  4. The Civil War

Answer: - c -

29) Which of the following was a prominent leader of the Abolitionist Movement?

  1. Malcolm X
  2. Martin Luther King Jr.
  3. W.E.B. Du Bois
  4. Frederick Douglas

Answer: - d -

30) Who was the president of the United States at the beginning of the Korean War?

  1. John F. Kennedy
  2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  3. Dwight Eisenhower
  4. Harry Truman

Answer: - d -

31) When the United States entered World War II, which two major nations were allied with Germany?

  1. Italy and Japan
  2. Italy and Portugal
  3. Italy and Russia
  4. Russia and Japan

Answer: - a -

32) Social legislation passed under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society Program included:

  1. The Sherman Antitrust Act
  2. The Voting Rights Act
  3. The Tennessee Valley Authority
  4. The Civilian Conservation Corps

Answer: - b -

33) Who was “First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen”?

  1. George Washington
  2. Woodrow Wilson
  3. Dwight Eisenhower
  4. Abraham Lincoln

Answer: - a -

34) Who as the leader of the Soviet Union when the United States entered the Second World War?

  1. Peter Ustinov (You-stin-off)
  2. Nikita Krushchev (CRUZ-chev)
  3. Marshal Tito
  4. Joseph Stalin

Answer: - d -

So how did you do? Here is the breakdown of grades:

  1. 31-34
  2. 28-30
  3. 24-27
  4. 21-23
  5. 0-20

If you didn’t do too well on this test, don’t feel too bad. The “elite” college seniors at the University of Connecticut did a really poor job. Of the seniors quizzed, 81% got either a D or an F. So what does that tell us about the state of our public education system?

Here is part two of the American History test given to “elite” college seniors at the University of Connecticut. See how well you do with these eleven questions. Click and drag your mouse over the gray to see the answer.

 

12) When was Thomas Jefferson president?

  1. 1780-1800
  2. 1800-1820
  3. 1820-1840
  4. 1840-1860
  5. 1860-1880

Answer: - b -

13) What was the lowest point in American fortunes in the Revolutionary War?

  1. Saratoga
  2. Bunker Hill
  3. Valley Forge
  4. Fort Ticonderoga

Answer: - c -

14) In his Farewell Address, President George Washington warned against the dangers of:

  1. Expanding into territories beyond the Appalachian Mountains
  2. Having war with Spain over Mexico
  3. Entering into permanent alliances with foreign governments
  4. Building a standing army and strong navy

Answer: - c -

15) The Monroe Doctrine declared that:

  1. The American blockade of Cuba was in accord with international law
  2. Europe should not acquire new territories in the Western Hemisphere
  3. Trade with China should be open to all Western nations
  4. The annexation of the Philippines was legitimate

Answer: - b -

16) Who was the European who traveled in the United States and wrote down perceptive comments about what he saw in Democracy in America?

  1. Lafayette
  2. Tocqueville (TOKE-ville)
  3. Crevecoeur (cre-VA-see-aire)
  4. Napoleon

Answer: - b -

17) Identify Snoop Doggy Dog.

  1. A rap singer
  2. Cartoon by Charles Schultz
  3. A mystery series
  4. A jazz pianist

Answer: - a -

18) Abraham Lincoln was president between:

  1. 1780-1800
  2. 1800-1820
  3. 1820-1840
  4. 1840-1860
  5. 1860-1880

Answer: - e -

19) Who was the American general at Yorktown?

  1. William T. Sherman
  2. Ulysses S. Grant
  3. Douglas MacArthur
  4. George Washington

Answer: - d -

20) John Marshall was the author of:

  1. Roe vs. Wade
  2. Dred Scott vs. Kansas
  3. Marbury vs. Madison
  4. Brown vs. Board of Education

Answer: - c -

21) Who was the “Father of the Constitution”?

  1. George Washington
  2. Thomas Jefferson
  3.  Benjamin Franklin
  4. James Madison

Answer: - d -

22) Who said, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country”?

  1. John F. Kennedy
  2. Benedict Arnold
  3. John Brown
  4. Nathan Hale

Answer: - d -