More background on the Chandler City Council election here from NewsZap (the dead tree edition is called the Chandler Independent).
February 27, 2006
Public officials in two corners of the Anglosphere are publicly stating the obvious: Western societies are nations of laws, and there is no room in a modern liberal democracy for Sharia law.
From the BBC:
Sir Trevor told ITV1’s Jonathan Dimbleby programme: “What some minorities have to accept is that there are certain central things we all agree about, which are about the way we treat each other.
“That we have an attachment to democracy, that we sort things out by voting not by violence and intimidation, that we tolerate things that we don’t like.”
And that commitment to freedom of expression should also allow Muslim preachers to make comments about homosexuality that are offensive to broad segments of the British population, he said.
There were several large protests held in London over the cartoons
“One point of Britishness is that people can say what they like about the way we should live, however absurd, however unpopular it is,” said Sir Trevor.
He also rejected the idea of Shariah law in Muslim communities in the UK.
“We have one set of laws. They are decided on by one group of people, members of Parliament, and that’s the end of the story.
“Anybody who lives here has to accept that’s the way we do it. If you want to have laws decided in another way, you have to live somewhere else,” he said.
ANYONE who believes Islamic sharia law can co-exist with Australian law should move to a country where they feel more comfortable, Treasurer Peter Costello said today.
All Australian citizens must adhere to the framework in society which maintains tolerance and protects the rights and liberties of all, he said. It is a pre-condition for citizenship of Australia.
Mr Costello was giving a speech on the meaning of Australian citizenship to the Sydney Institute.
“There is one law we are all expected to abide by,” Mr Costello said.
“It is the law enacted by the Parliament under the Australian Constitution.
“If you can’t accept that, then you don’t accept the fundamentals of what Australia is and what it stands for.”
Mr Costello, the son of a Methodist lay preacher and who was raised a Baptist, emphasised that Australia is a secular state under which the freedom of all religions is protected.
“But there is not a separate stream of law derived from religious sources that competes with or supplants Australian law in governing our civil society,” he said.
“The source of our law is the democratically elected legislature.
Mark Steyn wrote another great column yesterday in the Chicago Sun-Times. Powerline and Instapundit both commented on the murders of Jews in France, by Muslims, and the recent demonstrations there against violence.
Somthing different in Steyn’s column struck me:
Something very remarkable is happening around the globe and, if you want the short version, a Muslim demonstrator in Toronto the other day put it very well:
”We won’t stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law.”
Stated that baldly it sounds ridiculous. But, simply as a matter of fact, every year more and more of the world lives under Islamic law: Pakistan adopted Islamic law in 1977, Iran in 1979, Sudan in 1984. Four decades ago, Nigeria lived under English common law; now, half of it’s in the grip of sharia, and the other half’s feeling the squeeze, as the death toll from the cartoon jihad indicates. But just as telling is how swiftly the developed world has internalized an essentially Islamic perspective. In their pitiful coverage of the low-level intifada that’s been going on in France for five years, the European press has been barely any less loopy than the Middle Eastern media.
It’s a good thing that this is breaking into the news in France, and presumably Europe at large. But what they’re not doing is talking openly about the problem, which is what Mr. Costello in Australia and Sir Trevor of the UK are now doing. There has been a low level intifada going on in France for years now, and no one wants to admit the reason why: Muslim immigrants do not want to integrate with France or Europe, they want their own set of rules. And when there are conflicts involving Muslim immigrants and Western ways, no one wants to be politically incorrect and admit that the source of the problem is often because the Muslims have clashed with Western values. And there you have the cartoon intifada in all its glory.
February 26, 2006
Back before we had kids, the Amazing Mrs. Jake and I went the the Arizona Renaissance Festival, not every year, but almost. Once the mini-Jakes came along it became a little too much hassle to deal with. Sure, I know, other people do it: you see babies in strollers, families with a gaggle of kids, etc etc. We decided we just didn’t want to deal with it while the kids were young.
Until this year. My daughters are now six and (almost) five, and we decided we would take them this year. We went with another couple and their two kids, and we had a blast. Of course, we spent about a hundred bucks, it took forty minutes to get there (and back), we were in the sun and heat and dust all day, and the girls had way too much garbage to eat, but we had FUN. The weather was great, we had a great time, and the kids were just the right age to experience it for the first time. It was hard to see everything, so we didn’t even try. We saw one joust, and wouldn’t you know it, but we were in the section of the crowd that was supposed to cheer for the French knight. Needless to say, the Amazing Jake had nothing but contempt for that cheese eating surrender monkey, and was relieved when the English knight triumphed.
My favorite act is Don Juan and Miguel, who perform swordfighting comedy. They’ve appeared at this fair as long as I’ve been going (over 15 years), and they announced that this is their 18th season at the Arizona Fair. They also have a blog, where they’ve posted a few times since the season started here. If you have the opportunity to attend, make sure to see their show.
February 23, 2006
I’m a little under the weather today, and not much up for any serious posting. I’d like to write more about the ports controversy, but really, how much more is there to say right now that isn’t already being said by people more intelligent than me? I also plan on updating the City Council elections, specifically the mayoral candidate rundown, but I’m not up for it tonight.
So, I found this survey linked at Call Center Purgatory. It makes me happy to see I’m so in synch with my favorite superhero.
You are Spider-Man
|You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.
February 22, 2006
OK Chandler voters, the Amazing Jake has been busy running down information on the upcoming city council election (March 14th). If you aren’t interested in local politics, this will be a long post, so skip down to something else. I suggest the Feb 21st post on the President threatening to veto a congressional bill limiting the sale of US ports to a UAE company.
In any case, let’s start with the background.
Click here for campaign finance reports. Dry reading, but informative.
Click here for background on the southeast Chandler Wal-Mart fight, and here and here for responses from the candidates to a questionnaire sent to them by Riggs Residents for Retail Diversity, the local residents’ advocacy group. More questionnaire responses will be posted as the election approaches.
From the Arizona Republic, background information on each candidate.
Followup article in the Chandler edition of the Republic.
Finally, three candidates responded to a questionnaire from the Center for Arizona Policy on issues more related to social issues than local city policy.
All caught up? Well then here are my impressions for City Council. For each candidate, I will list their campaign cash on hand, as of January 31st (according to their filings on the City of Chandler website – link is above). I’ll also list campaign contributors of interest. I’m not peddling scandal here – just taking note of those who contribute whom I recognize for one reason or another, or political action committees that I find interesting. I’ll also list prominent endorsements, positions on issues, and any other notable items.
Here we go… (more…)
February 21, 2006
“After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward,” Bush told reporters who had traveled with him on Air Force One to Washington. “I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company. I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, `We’ll treat you fairly.'”
Bush took the rare step of calling reporters to his conference room on the plane after returning from a speech in Colorado, addressing a controversy that is becoming a major headache for the White House. He said the seaports arrangement had been extensively examined by the administration and was “a legitimate deal that will not jeopardize the security of the country.”
I find this development highly disturbing.
In five years, President Bush has not vetoed a single bill. Not a spending bill authorizing a several-hundred million dollar Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska. Not one. Not anything.
Now he threatens to protect a deal with a company OWNED BY the United Arab Emirates, a known haven of terrorists? This is not the time to play nice with our allies in Arab countries that support the War on Terror. I fully understand the political consequences of halting a sale to an ally that is providing active assistance in our terrorism fight. I don’t understand why the White House doesn’t understand the political consequences of appearing to give an opening to those who want to kill us.
I can imagine a scenario in which Al Qaeda operatives gain access to the country through this company. There may well be safeguards in place to prevent it, but the White House has not explained what they are. The White House has not explained why this is a good deal for national security. The White House has not explained why it will NOT be possible for a terrorist to use this company as a gateway to operating against us. And until they do, I think the President has a serious problem.
Really, the President’s going to go to the mattresses over protecting a company from the Mideast when he won’t secure our borders or veto outrageous spending bills? Is this a joke?
UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt interviewed Senator Frist today on Hugh’s radio show, and indicated an override of the promised veto is possible. This is a potentially embarrassing and damaging development for the President, and he needs to get on the right side of this issue in a hurry. Based on this story, it doesn’t seem likely. Duane has a transcript of Hugh’s interview here.
February 19, 2006
The most traffic I’ve gotten over the past couple weeks has been on my February 5th post on the Chandler City Council election. So, in the interest of serving the Amazing Jake’s loyal public, I will be updating the post soon, with some initial endorsements. Can’t do it now, weekend family activities await, but later today I’ll update on the questionnaire a local activist group sent to the candidates, campaign material I’ve received in the mail, articles in the local press, and finally, the Amazing Jake’s endorsements for city council. I haven’t made up my mind on the Mayor’s race, but I will post some info on that race too.
So, I haven’t posted anything in over a week, and it’s not from a lack of wanting, it’s been a lack of time as well as a lack of anything to say. The whole Cheney hunting accident issue has been blogged to death. My only real thoughts about that are that I would be a lot happier with David Gregory’s interrogation techniques in the White House press room if the questions he were asking were about, say for example, Iran’s restarting nuclear fuel enrichment.
But alas, he, and others, are more interested in manufacturing scandal than in real news.
In his new book about Mr. Bush, “Rebel in Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush,” Fred Barnes recalls a visit to the White House last year by Michael Crichton, whose 2004 best-selling novel, “State of Fear,” suggests that global warming is an unproven theory and an overstated threat.
Mr. Barnes, who describes Mr. Bush as “a dissenter on the theory of global warming,” writes that the president “avidly read” the novel and met the author after Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, arranged it. He says Mr. Bush and his guest “talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement.”
“The visit was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalists all the more,” he adds.
And so it has, fueling a common perception among environmental groups that Mr. Crichton’s dismissal of global warming, coupled with his popularity as a novelist and screenwriter, has undermined efforts to pass legislation intended to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas that leading scientists say causes climate change.
Mr. Crichton, whose views in “State of Fear” helped him win the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ annual journalism award this month, has been a leading doubter of global warming and last September appeared before a Senate committee to argue that the supporting science was mixed, at best.
“This shows the president is more interested in science fiction than science,” Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, said after learning of the White House meeting. Mr. O’Donnell’s group monitors environmental policy.
“This administration has put no limit on global warming pollution and has consistently rebuffed any suggestion to do so,” he said.
I haven’t read State of Fear, but I am a fan of Crichton’s in general, and his environmental views specifically. I read a transcript of a LOOOONG speech he made not too long ago where he cited lots of contradictory evidence on global warming. Admittedly, I’m easy to convince on this matter, but it was a compelling and persuasive argument that global warming is nothing more than hysteria.
For me, it comes down to this:
- We have only been measuring temperatures for a hundred years or so.
- The average temperature has only risen a degree or so over that time.
- No one has been living longer than that time period to give credence to the thought that, “Gee, it sure is hotter these days.”
- We know there have been ice ages in the past, and subsequent melting of those ice ages.
- There is no fossil evidence of automotive technology or widespread consumption of oil by ice age man that would account for the sudden and catastrophic melting of glaciers, and allowing (*gasp*) the transition to an agrarian, rather than nomadic, society.
It’s also worth noting that not too long ago scientists announced that Mars had gone through a period of global warming. Not too sure how they know that, and I don’t remember where I read it, but I do remember my reaction: obviously that failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocols is to blame for Martian global warming.
February 12, 2006
I posted on January 30th on Cindy Sheehan’s flirt with a Senate run, and apparently there were not enough people that clicked the link to support Cindy’s run.
So it turns out that Cindy decided not to run:
“I, as an American and as the mother of a hero, pledge to do what I can as a citizen to end the occupation of Iraq,” Sheehan told reporters. “I am not running against Senator Feinstein, but I will continue to be a thorn in her side and a thorn in the side of any representative who is not stridently working for peace.”
I’m deeply disappointed. On the other hand, if Cindy isn’t tied up campaigning in California, she can spend more time spreading her insanity all over the country. And beyond!
I was speaking with a friend on Friday about Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2008. I said that I couldn’t wait for the Democrats to nominate her, citing last week’s Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll. That poll gave a list of candidates and asked, among other things, which candidate would the respondent “definitely” vote for, and also asked which candidate would they “under no conditions” vote for. Hillary led the pack in both categories. It also helps that she loses in every head to head matchup against named Republicans.
When my friend asked why I was so against Hillary, I hesitated for a minute because it seemed so obvious. I talked about her avoidance of taking stands so she could appeal to the middle, while taking money from the hard left causes. I also talked about how polarizing she is, as evidenced by the aforementioned poll.
Now come this article in today’s Times Online:
HILLARY CLINTON would make an excellent president, according to Meg Hirschberg, whose husband runs a hugely successful organic yoghurt company in New Hampshire: “She’s amazing and brilliant and smart and lovely.”
So that’s a vote for Clinton in 2008, then? Not at all. Hirschberg is thinking of backing Mark Warner, the former governor of Virginia, a likable, low-key, moderate Democrat who won a traditionally Republican state and, by all accounts, ran it competently. At this stage, it is enough of a recommendation.
“I don’t know a thing about him and I don’t care,” Hirschberg said last week as Warner listened to her husband explaining the finer points of organic farming. “I just want somebody with decent values who can win. It’s nothing to do with Hillary personally. It’s irrational and unfair, but she is polarising.”
If Democrats recognize this fact, it will make a very interesting primary season. Ultimately, they won’t be able to help themselves from nominating Hillary, but the primaries will ensure that Hillary takes firm positions that put her squarely in the leftist camp, and will ensure that she turns off middle-of-the-road Democratic voters.