The Rocky Mountain News has been running a series on Ward Churchill’s foibles and addresses the alleged Indian heritage Churchill’s been claiming as his claim to authority for his career. You’ve read about this before here on these pages and I introduced many of you to Jack Ott of The Drum and Cannon. Jack has done some great work on the genealogical story behind Churchill’s claims. His work is featured prominently in the story and finally gives a wider audience to the irrefutable evidence that Churchill’s nowhere near the 1/16 (or 3/16) Indian he’s been claiming to be. Congrats on the newpaper mention, Jack!
I’m reading posts on Captain’s Quarters and Instapundit regarding the calls by Amnesty International for foreign governments to arrest US officials who they consider to be “architects of torture” should any of those folks come into their territories. Worthy readers of this blog already knew that, of course, as I wrote on the topic last week. (OK, so I’m a teensy bit smug that I posted on something ahead of those 2 blogging titans. Can’t help it.) However, the Captain is correct in his commentary that the part of AI’s report dealing with the call to nab the President and Rumsfeld hasn’t been really reported in the MSM until now.
|::::::::||That’s quite a stringent call coming from AI — a demand that foreign governments ignore diplomatic immunity and seize traveling officials from the United States, in order to put them on trial in a kangaroo court. I wonder, did Schulz make the same demand about Fidel Castro, Kim Jong-Il, the Iranian mullahs, or any of the other dictators around the world that really do practice torture on their own populations, or worse. Apparently not; Amnesty only unleashes its venom on freely elected leaders, a rather cowardly act masquerading as telling truth to power.
These revelations absolutely destroy any credibility for AI as a nonpartisan, independent organization dedicated to human rights. It has sold itself out as yet another tiresome, radical Leftist screaming machine with double standards so ridiculous that their very scope amounts to self-satire.
You said it, Ed.
Yesterday I was watching a quick segment on CNN on the tube in the break room. During the time it took to get a cup of coffee, I got to see a woman hailing from the Carter Center speaking on the human-right-du-jour topic of Guantanamo Bay. Her specifics weren’t what garnered my attention, it was the casual remark that the United States, being the great democracy we are today, should be fostering democracy elsewhere through non-violent means. It was the offhanded, totally trivial manner she made the comment with that really got me to realize: she honestly believes that democracy can be simply formed up from a dictatorship when a group of people stand up and sing “we shall overcome” in the right key. By what non-violent method would Saddam Hussein have been removed from power? UN Sanctions? Sure, if the UN was actually sanctioning anything rather than funneling money into their own pockets and into the coffers of the man they’re supposed to be sanctioning.
(Of course, to fix that you need reform at the UN and the Democrats are actively obstructing the confirmation of the man who would do that. I’m just saying.)
In fact, I’d like someone to point out, seriously, a democracy that was formed anywhere at any time without recourse to or threat of violent action. America? Nope – Revolutionary War. Any country in Europe? Hardly. Japan? World War II. Dictators do not simply release their hold on their rulership. They don’t simply decide to let the people have a voice that might say “Arrest that guy” while they’re pointing right at the dictator’s head.
The Carter Center’s attitude isn’t surprising in the least. But it is blind to the real facts of history. So long as that is true, their suggestions about using the “can’t we all just get along” method of grrowing a democracy from the soil of tyranny will continue to be regarded as near nonsense.
Via Power Line this morning, I’ve read a story that refers to a group of American muslims desecrating an American flag. Wouldn’t be the first time. The interesting part about this story is some of the audio you get with the video performance. As John Hinderaker at Power Line puts it:
|::::::::||Everyone should watch this video of an Islamist demonstration/recruiting session in which various indignities are inflicted on an American flag. Exhortations are shouted to the watching crowd in both English and Arabic. My favorite part is when the leader of the terrorists says something like, “Don’t be afraid…we have a legal permit…come and join us…don’t be afraid to speak out…This is not like the countries back at home where you raise your voice against the government and they take you in for torture. No…this is one of the loopholes of this government. We have the right to put this flag down and step on it.”
I guess they haven’t been fooled by all that “Gulag” talk. Their idea that the First Amendment is a “loophole” is one that seems to be shared by some on the American left.
Perhaps you’ll recall an incident in 1999 when golfer Payne Smith was killed in an unusual plane crash. The Learjet he was riding in suffered a cabin decompression rendering everyone aboard unconscious. The plane was on autopilot, however, and flew on. Attempts to contact the crew went unanswered and another aircraft was vectored to intercept for a look. In the end, the plane basically ran out of fuel and crashed. The NTSB determined that a cracked adapter pulled a valve in the pressurization system ot of position and this is what cause the decompression. It was a very sad tale and a tragic loss. After hearing about the NTSB findings I lost track of the story, so I didn’t know that Payne’s widow and children had sued Learjet.
I’ve said before that it seems there are no such things as accidents any more. If something happens, someone had to be at fault. Thus, this wasn’t a tragic mechanical failure, it was a negligent action on the part of the plane’s manufacturer. That was the contention of the lawsuit but the jury didn’t see it that way:
|::::::::|| ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Learjet should not be held responsible for the 1999 plane accident that killed golfer Payne Stewart, jurors said Wednesday.
The six-woman jury deliberated for more than six hours after listening to more than a month of testimony.
Stewart won the U.S. Open, his third major victory, just months before his death.
His widow, Tracey, and their two children sued Learjet, claiming a cracked adapter caused an outflow valve to pull away from the plane’s frame, resulting in a decompression and the escape of cabin air as the plane climbed to its flight altitude after leaving Orlando on Oct. 25, 1999. All communication with the plane was lost soon afterward and it flew on for hours, all aboard presumably unconscious, until it crashed in South Dakota.
Joining the lawsuit was the family of Robert Fraley, Stewart’s agent, who also was on the flight.
The lawsuit had asked for $200 million.
In their verdict, jurors found that the plane’s manufacture had no impact on the deaths of Stewart and Fraley, and that there was no negligence in the design or manufacture of the plane.
In spite of the NTSB’s finding that a physical crack in a part – something that could have happened as a result of a mechanic turning a nut too hard or any number of environmental reasons – a lawsuit was filed against Learjet. Why them and not the mechanic who maintained the plane? Because Learjet’s got millions and a mechanic likely does not. The lawyer for the family and agent says it was never about the money, only about responsibility. They wanted to make air travel safer. Then why ask for $200 million? It’s lawsuits like this that have driven the general aviation sector nearly underground and I’m glad that a jury saw it that way.