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Wednesday February 11, 2004

Never thought I'd see the day, but I actually agree with Jesse Jackson on this one:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said California's capital punishment system is flawed, and executions should be halted at the state and national levels so reforms can be devised.

It seems, from this statement, that The Rev. isn't opposed to capital punishment per se, but is simply opposed to the way it is currently administered. This is actually surprising to me. I agree. I've heard many cases of individuals who have been on death row for years, only to have their convictions overturned based on newer forensic evidence--mainly DNA testing. Wealthy individuals can afford the best lawyers and the most exhaustive testing. This is not available to poor individuals who are much more likely to land on death row. I've long been a proponent of capital punishment, but I've lately had an epiphany. I don't oppose it on any grounds other than it's not instituted fairly. Mistakes are made all too often and innocent people (most probably) have been put to death. If DNA evidence is available, DNA tests should be done before any individual is put to death. Currently, this is not being done.


To me, this seems like an exercise in rational thought. But, apparently this was not politically correct. Excerpt,

A 10th-grade social studies teacher caused a storm of criticism from parents after she conducted a lesson in which students were asked to debate the positive and negative effects of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin.

When students asked Anne Lyons, who has taught at the Clayton A. Bouton junior and senior high school for seven months, how they could possibly defend Hitler, she used the example that medical experiments conducted on concentration camp prisoners during the Holocaust led to advancements in the medical field, said school principal Mark Diefendorf.

"I believe it was inappropriate and insensitive to the Jewish students," he said. "She has been asked to apologize to the class. If that will save her job, I don't know."

This could have been a very meaningful exercise which would probably have led the students to important conclusions. Conclusions that they come to themselves. Not conclusions fed to them. Those are the most important conclusions of all.

That's one of the biggest problems with political correctness. It stifles critical thought and leads many to believe that they have this inalienable right to never be offended. Meanwhile, the threshold at which people are offended continues to lower.


Read Michael "faster please" Ledeen's article in today's NRO:

Unless you depend on CNN for information CNN totally and stunningly transformed the story, as Instapundit informed us yesterday by now you have heard of the New York Times story about the discovery of a 17-page letter from Abu Musab al Zarkawi, written from Iraq in the middle of last month to the leaders of al Qaeda. It's an extremely explosive story.

According to the Times whose correspondent, Dexter Filkins, saw both the Arabic original and a military translation, and "wrote down large parts of the translation" the letter is a sort of jihadist primal scream. It says that the jihad against the Americans in Iraq is going badly. The Iraqis are not signing up for martyrdom or jihad, they do not even permit the jihadis to organize their terrorist attacks from local houses, and, worst of all, the Americans are not afraid of the terrorists. With that charming neglect of logic that seems to define much of the radical terrorist "mind," Zarkawi says both that the Americans "are the biggest cowards that God has created," and that "America...has no intention of leaving, no matter how many wounded nor how bloody it becomes."


I actually read this on the ABC News website. Really. No, really. Excerpt,

Well I swear it was there earlier. I couldn't believe it. It went on about reporters biases on issues such as abortion, gun control, taxation and spending, etc. It said that reporters were on the liberal side of these issues (i.e. pro, con, pro, pro, respectively) and that was the "default" position. The conservative position was, well the "conservative position". Sorry I didn't do a screen capture.

UPDATE: The Good Professor at Instapundit has it here.


How evil is North Korea? It's worse than you can possibly imagine. Excerpt,

"I witnessed a whole family being tested on suffocating gas and dying in the gas chamber. The parents, a son, and a daughter." The speaker is Kwon Hyuk, a former North Korean intelligence agent and a one-time administrator at Camp 22, the country's largest concentration camp. His testimony was heard on a television documentary that aired last week on the BBC. "The parents were vomiting and dying, but till the very last moment they tried to save the kids by doing mouth-to-mouth breathing."

Then, there's this:

"An officer ordered me to select 50 healthy female prisoners," she testified. "One of the guards handed me a basket full of soaked cabbage, told me not to eat it, but to give it to the 50 women. I gave them out and heard a scream. . . . They were all screaming and vomiting blood. All who ate the cabbage leaves started violently vomiting blood and screaming with pain. It was hell. In less than 20 minutes, they were dead."

Truly hell on Earth. Pray for these poor people. Pray that this terribly evil, despotic, ugly, brutal regime comes to a quick end.


Check out Rich Galen's exploits in Iraq at mullings.com. Complete with pictures.