September 08, 2005

Hitchens on Katrina

Christopher Hitchens pretty much says it all about politics and Hurricane Katrina. His piece cannot be excerpted and I can't think of much else to add, so go read it.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at September 8, 2005 12:03 PM
Comments

You have got to be kidding. Hitch is wasting his breath attacking the "Iraq caused the problems" crowd. Most of the serious people criticizing Bush never believed, at least after the emotions died down, that having the National Guard stationed in Iraq was the real issue. The issue is three fold - Bush's inability to take the situation seriously until it was too late, the fact that he appointed unqualified cronies to important positions, and the ridiculous amount of energy his administration dedicates to spin rather than working the problem. Hitchens finds it more convenient to attack a strawman rather than deal with the real implications of Katrina - if Bush is this incompetent, how we can have any faith that he will provide any better help to the suffering people in Iraq? I admire Hitch's motives, but he's hitched his wagon to a jackass, not a horse.

Posted by: at September 8, 2005 12:25 PM

Well, I don't know if I agree with this:

They have a two- or three-word caption to spread this ready-made piece of populism,

I have been thinking about where my core political attitudes come from, and I think they are basically populist. This is by family inheritance, so to speak, and used to mean I was a Democrat. It is basically anti-rich, anti-privelege, anti-bureaucrat, anti-overeducated snot. Oddly enough, this is how I now see the Democrats ;)

Anyway, I know Hitchens didn't use the word in that way, I just took the occasion to get in my $0.02.

Posted by: chuck at September 8, 2005 12:29 PM

Yes, George Bush, the Texas Cowboy Cheerleader, is a populist leader.

Just like Nero!

Posted by: NeoDude at September 8, 2005 01:20 PM

NeoDude responds as expected. Yes, Bush comes from a rich family, as did FDR, but I think he knows what a hammer is. I have my doubts about Katrina vanden Heuvel: too much money, too much education, too little digging of ditches.

But I am just providing information. What you do with it is up to you. You can, for instance, ignore all such hints and continue losing elections in the populist countryside where the Democrats are losing their grip.

Posted by: chuck at September 8, 2005 01:39 PM

NeoDude,

And that also reminds me of talking with an old Texas Democrat before the 2000 election. His big complaint: both Gore and Bush were spoiled rich kids, he hated the choice. So to some extent, it is a choice of the lesser evil. I am no longer a Democrat, but I am not a Republican, though I suspect I will vote that way until the Democratic party recovers its sanity and populist roots. I am not holding my breath waiting for this to happen.

Posted by: chuck at September 8, 2005 02:11 PM

Previously I had thought about noting the hypocrisy of those who bash Bush & the Feds on Terri Schiavo (Bush too active) while bashing him now on NO (not active enough).

As Hitch implies strongly, it is more Dem mayor and Dem Governor problems.

I think the aftermath will hurt Dems more -- though I'm certain Bush will NOT be re-elected.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at September 8, 2005 02:42 PM

But I am just providing information. What you do with it is up to you. You can, for instance, ignore all such hints and continue losing elections in the populist countryside where the Democrats are losing their grip.--Chuck

It's hopeless,Chuck. HOPELESS. You should adopt the only strategy left open--- instead of trying to prevent the stampede over the cliff, the object now should be to make as much racket as possible to encourage the stragglers to run even faster into the void.

The sooner the pile-up happens the sooner something better may arise so that people have real political choices once again.

Posted by: dougf at September 8, 2005 02:48 PM

You girls are too cute.

But I smell a desperate and unhealthy crush when I see one. Bush has you girls by your naive ovaries...and God help you, you just won't let him let you go.

Expanding the Government like FDR but using Hoover’s tax policy is straight-up spoiled-rich-kids economics.

Claiming to despise bureaucracies while robbing them is real ethical.
Then using them as awards to donors is as elitist as you are going to get.

But I’m sure he doesn’t force you to swallow, so he must love you.

At this point, it seems the UN is more serious about protecting Americans, after 9-11, than The Cult of Wealthy Individuals (aka, Republican Party)

Posted by: NeoDude at September 8, 2005 03:06 PM

Actually, NeoDude,

I class you among the useless and spoiled. So rant on. You will have the house to yourself.

Posted by: chuck at September 8, 2005 03:11 PM

At least FDR knew there was a time to be a spoiled-rich-kid and a time to be a responsible bureaucrat…you right-wingers like your politicians to play the “born-again wealthy cowboy-role” more than you like them to be responsible bureaucrats. Its killing the country.

What kind of amoral churches do you attend?

Posted by: NeoDude at September 8, 2005 03:24 PM
Errrmm, okeedokee guys, to get back to the topic at hand, I have to take issue with the end of Hitchen's article:
Am I expected to tell a homeless woman in Biloxi that she has just been ripped off by an Ay-rab? A scuttle from Iraq or from Afghanistan (where the Kabul-Kandahar highway also took a lot of time and equipment and manpower to build) would add to the number of stricken and broken cities in the world, and not reduce it. If liberalism and humanitarianism do not mean internationalism, they mean precisely nothing. Shame on those who try to turn the needy and the victims against each other.
If there is a scuttle out of Iraq, leaving quite a few broken cities in its wake, this will be because it is a failed foreign policy exercise, and a failed military mission. It will not be because leftists and liberals are turning the needy and the victims against each other. For example, this news is of interest:
U.S. marine jets attacked two bridges across the Euphrates River near the Syrian border on Tuesday to prevent insurgents from moving foreign fighters and munitions toward Baghdad and other cities, the U.S. command said.
As tacitus (who knows something of military operations) points out -
The airstrikes are noteworthy, but the destruction of the Karabilah bridges is especially so: they are strategic targets moreso than tactical ones. In the typical insurgency, destruction of strategic targets is a rare event. Destruction of key pieces of local infrastructure in a nation one is supposedly occupying or assisting is even more rare. This is not to question the wisdom nor even the morality of these events. It is, though, to point out the nature of the war underway now: undermanned, savage, and fought against an enemy that can and does take and hold territory.
The mission is failing because it is being lead by incompetents, a worry from the start from those of us who were undazzled by the Bush administration. Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 8, 2005 03:30 PM

Are we suffering a Canadian invasion here? As if there weren't enough problems. Doesn't Paul Martin provide sufficient local entertainment?

Posted by: chuck at September 8, 2005 03:44 PM

Double,
Apparently you did not read the entire article; if you had, you would have noted that the bridges were NOT destroyed, they were cratered, as in temporarily unusable. That is a tactical move, as opposed to a strategic one.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at September 8, 2005 03:44 PM

Are we suffering a Canadian invasion here? As if there weren't enough problems. Doesn't Paul Martin provide sufficient local entertainment?

Maybe not an invasion at MJT's, as dougf is the only other canucklehead I see around here, but we do have my home town's search and rescue team in New Orleans right now, and several navy ships about to arrive.

Kudos on knowing who Paul Martin is.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 8, 2005 03:59 PM

Apparently you did not read the entire article; if you had, you would have noted that the bridges were NOT destroyed, they were cratered, as in temporarily unusable.

You're right, I missed that, and apparently tacitus did too.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 8, 2005 04:00 PM

You're right, I missed that--DPU

You have to forgive my fellow infiltrator here. It's been so long since Canada paid any attention to its military, that these little 'tactical' details tend to slip on by.

ps --Say DPU, maybe with the 'invasion' and all we might be able to attempt a putsch before anyone other than Chuck notices. We can fight about the spoils later.

Posted by: dougf at September 8, 2005 04:30 PM

You have to forgive my fellow infiltrator here. It's been so long since Canada paid any attention to its military, that these little 'tactical' details tend to slip on by.

You obviously haven't heard the news that PM Martin has made some pretty nice improvements to Canada's defense budget. About time too.

Say DPU, maybe with the 'invasion' and all we might be able to attempt a putsch before anyone other than Chuck notices.

We're peacekeepers, doug, remember?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 8, 2005 04:53 PM

We're peacekeepers, doug, remember?--DPU

Oh Yeah. Well could we make an exception just this once? You can blame me.

Posted by: dougf at September 8, 2005 04:55 PM

What's the deal with NeoDude constantly making homophobic slurs the last two days?

Posted by: Todd Grimson at September 8, 2005 05:03 PM

I thought they were "homo-erotic" but I guess, to each his own.

Posted by: NeoDude at September 8, 2005 05:18 PM

NeoDude, why don't you just come out and yell "Faggot!"

Posted by: Todd Grimson at September 8, 2005 05:27 PM

What's the deal with NeoDude constantly making homophobic slurs the last two days?

He thinks conservatives will be unusually upset by such insults. Snicker. Poor babe. 'Course, he sounds like a low grade homophobe in the process, but that's all right. He's allowed because of the elevated purity of his politics.

Posted by: chuck at September 8, 2005 05:28 PM

You obviously haven't heard the news that PM Martin has made some pretty nice improvements to Canada's defense budget. About time too.

Unh-Oh. It's worse than I thought ;)

Posted by: chuck at September 8, 2005 05:36 PM

Looks like Brown has been moved aside.

Posted by: chuck at September 8, 2005 06:47 PM

Hitchens finds it more convenient to attack a strawman rather than deal with the real implications of Katrina.

I think that's what Michael found appealing about the article.

As I've noted before, he's very fond of moralistic attacks on the easiest of targets. When does he get around to asking the hard questions? Not ever, as far as I can tell.

Posted by: Swopa at September 8, 2005 08:10 PM

When does he get around to asking the hard questions? Not ever, as far as I can tell.

What are those "hard questions"? I've yet to hear any from the Bush Derangement Syndrome crowd. You're like spoiled little brats, now even blaming Bush for hurricanes and incompetent Democrat mayors and governors. Only 13% of people polled agree, as it was obvious even before the hurricane made landfall that the bushitler haters has pre-positioned their resources to begin the blame game as soon as Katrina made landfall. The dike hadn't even burst and Robert Kennedy had already fired the first salvo. But we can be almost certain that these 13% consist entirely of the Kos, DU, Michael Moore misfits, further sign that as usual virtually the entire country is ignoring you shrill BDSers. Better yet, it'll probably end up biting you in the ass and costing you the next election as well. People don't like your brand of hateful toxic politics. Michael Moore cost you the last election, Katrina may yet cost you the next one.

Posted by: Carlos at September 8, 2005 08:41 PM

What are those "hard questions"? I've yet to hear any from the Bush Derangement Syndrome crowd.

Maybe you should've read the first comment in this thread.

1. How could Bush be personally briefed on the potential impact of Katrina the weekend before it hit, yet carry on with business as usual until late Tuesday, after New Orleans had been flooded?

2. How did a president who campaigned on his 100% devotion to protecting Americans name someone to be in charge of disaster response whose ONLY qualification was being the college of Bush's campaign manager?

3. Why has the president responded to the growing crisis primarily as a PR problem (with staged photo ops, and attempts to shift the blame) than a humanitarian one?

I suppose you could take a swing at answering those questions yourself, or you could continue with your bitter name-calling. It must be sad to be as angry and ideologically blinded as you are, Carlos.

Posted by: Swopa at September 8, 2005 09:08 PM

Swopa,

People like Carlos are hopeless. He's consumed with hatred towards "Bush haters." He would never stop for a moment to think that some of us have come to our dissatifaction with Bush over time through observation and reflection, and Carlos cannot afford to contemplate that possibility as it threatens his own ridiculous self-regard.

Posted by: Vanya at September 8, 2005 09:36 PM

Carlos,

Why do you hate youself so much?

Or

Why does Bush love his vacations more than Americans?

Posted by: NeoDude at September 8, 2005 09:48 PM

"How could Bush be personally briefed on the potential impact of Katrina the weekend before it hit, yet carry on with business as usual until late Tuesday, after New Orleans had been flooded?"

http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2005/09/04/katrina-response-timeline/

Aug 26th Bush asked Blanco to authorize a federal takeover of the evacuation, Blanco refused.
Aug 27, Blanco requested and Bush declared federal state of emergency.
Aug 27th Bush pleaded with Gov Blanco (by her own admission) to order a mandatory evacuation, which she refused.
Aug 28, Bush promises aid to storm victims, and conferences with Hurricane Center director.
Aug 29, National Guard mobilizing, FEMA has relief efforts poised to enter as soon as the storm has passed, Bush declares Louisiana and Mississippi “Major Disaster Areas.”
Aug 30, military moves to the area.

Posted by: Yehudit at September 8, 2005 09:51 PM

"Why does Bush love his vacations more than Americans?"

I always know I am dealing with people who have no real arguments when they bring up this vacation canard. Anyone who thinks a President doesn't work every day, wherever he is, needs to get a clue.

(Strident enough for you, MW?)
(Sorry, it's an in joke.... Mary will get it .....)

Posted by: Yehudit at September 8, 2005 09:54 PM

1. How could Bush be personally briefed on the potential impact of Katrina the weekend before it hit, yet carry on with business as usual until late Tuesday, after New Orleans had been flooded?

What was his "business as usual"? Do they not have phones in Crawford? Is this one of your "hard" questions? Name me ONE thing he can get done in D.C. that he can't get done in Crawford. Name it. That's my hard question for you.

2. How did a president who campaigned on his 100% devotion to protecting Americans name someone to be in charge of disaster response whose ONLY qualification was being the college of Bush's campaign manager?

His "only" qualification? Is that another "hard" question? And you wonder why nobody takes you bushitler haters seriously. Michael Brown served as FEMA's chief General Counsel, then as Deputy Director, and shortly after the September 11th he served as Bush's Consequence Management Principal's Committee, which acted as the White House's policy coordination group for the federal domestic response to the attacks. Later, the President asked him to head the Consequence Management Working Group to identify and resolve key issues regarding the federal response plan. In August 2002, President Bush appointed him to the Transition Planning Office for the new Department of Homeland Security, serving as the transition leader for the EP&R Division.
originally chief counsel for FEMA, then served as deputy Chief of FEMA during which he served well, and then he was promoted to chief of FEMA. Oh, but he's just a "horse rancher" whose "only" qualification is being Bush's roommate. You people are clowns and a joke. Next question.

3. Why has the president responded to the growing crisis primarily as a PR problem (with staged photo ops, and attempts to shift the blame) than a humanitarian one?

You have no clue what a president's duties should be during a natural disaster. Stop posing as some sort of an expert by repeating bushitler talking points.

Any more "hard" questions?

Posted by: Carlos at September 8, 2005 09:56 PM

Yehudit:

"Aug 26th Bush asked Blanco to authorize a federal takeover of the evacuation, Blanco refused.
Aug 27, Blanco requested and Bush declared federal state of emergency.
Aug 27th Bush pleaded with Gov Blanco (by her own admission) to order a mandatory evacuation, which she refused.

[etc]..."

Don't confuse me with the facts! :^)

- Gary Rosen

Posted by: Gary Rosen at September 8, 2005 11:42 PM

Do they not have phones in Crawford? Is this one of your "hard" questions? Name me ONE thing he can get done in D.C. that he can't get done in Crawford. Name it. That's my hard question for you.

So, then...why did he act like someone who was on another planet?

Raising money is way more important than doing his job.

He was more intent on filling his party's coffers than protecting Americans.

Posted by: NeoDude at September 9, 2005 06:25 AM

Carlos,
Stop making yourself look like a fool. When even Malkin and Novak are calling for Brown's head maybe it is time for you to put away the partisan axe and actually pay attention. Brown was not qualified to even serve as counsel to FEMA. He has hardly any experience as an actual lawyer. He has a law degree from an unaccredited school, he lied on his resume, and he was fired for incompetence from his last real job before Bush gave him a cushy sinecure. He's qualified at best for a low level clerk position in some back office. In Florida people were calling for Brown's resignation a year ago because of his incompetence distributing federal relief funds. Just stop the nonsense.

Posted by: Vanya at September 9, 2005 06:59 AM

...meanwhile, after all the caterwauling that sharia law meant Iraq was going to the a theocracy, sharia is now quietly being adopoted in... Canada.

No, really.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2005 07:08 AM

I always know I am dealing with people who have no real arguments when they bring up this vacation canard. Anyone who thinks a President doesn't work every day, wherever he is, needs to get a clue.

Judith - You're not as "strident" as the Crack Emcee, who says:

The rescue was hampered because Bush was on vacation.

The rescue was hampered because Bush doesn't like blacks.

The rescue was hampered because the Republicans don't like blacks.

The rescue was hampered to give the National Guard a chance to kill blacks.

The rescue was hampered to give the New Orleans Police a chance to kill blacks.

The rescue was hampered because Bush was trying to 'cull the herd' of New Orleans' blacks, old, and sick...

Of course, this is a parody. Like CE, NeoDude sounds like a perfect parody of the hysterical Bush-hater. Neo, you're just joking, right?

Posted by: mary at September 9, 2005 07:44 AM

When even Malkin and Novak are calling for Brown's head maybe it is time for you to put away the partisan axe and actually pay attention.

Vanya,

We were talking about Michael Brown's "only" qualification, not whether he should be fired or not. I'm not defending Brown's performance. Heck, even I would support firing Michael Brown, but that doesn't mean his "only" qualification was being Bush's horse rancher roommate.

I'm more than willing to put away the partisan axe when I see some facts. There are precious few of those going around. Can you provide me a source for all those allegations please. Thank you.

Posted by: Carlos at September 9, 2005 07:48 AM

"Dereliction of Human Decency"

A Play in One Act

Bush Shill: What a lovely evening to take a stroll through the neighborhood!

Casually strolls through neighborhood.

BS: What's this? A neighbor being raped? How awful!

Neighbor Being Raped: Help me! Please, help me!

BS: Hey, lady, my heart goes out to you, it really does. But seriously, what can I do to help?

NBR: Just push him off me! Hit him with a rock! Anything! For fuck's sake, do anything!

BS: Whoa! Slow down there. This is clearly the responsibility of local authorities. That means the police, the mayor, and so on. Where are they? Why aren't they doing anything?

NBR: Who the fuck cares where they are? You can do something now

BS: Hey! I am not going to stand here and play the blame-game. Good day, madame.

Rapist: Sweet!

Posted by: Welcome to Thunderdome at September 9, 2005 07:51 AM

FEMA under Michael Brown deserves a B on its report card. The job this federal agency is currently doing is equal to those efforts of the past. FEMA was never designed to be the whole ball of wax. The primary responsibility is always that of the local authorities. Can anyone precisely point out what FEMA did not do---that it was suppose to do? I’m a fair man. Are there any specific examples whatsoever?

Michael Totten was screaming about Brown’s statement to the media concerning the disaster at the Silverdome. However, our host conveniently forgets that the FEMA director is not allowed to bluntly tell the truth! On the contrary, he is obligated to be a mealy mouther. A high federal official is not suppose to insult the performance of the state’s governor. We now know that it was Governor Blanco’s fault for this catastrophe. She would not allow the Red Cross and the Salvation Army to supply the victims in the Silverdome with food and other emergency supplies.

Posted by: David Thomson at September 9, 2005 09:28 AM

I think that responsibility for surviving disasters, rests solely with the individual. I think that the responsibility for protecting a city must fall to the elected officials of that city (and it's local inhabitants). I think that the State should be responsible for understanding the Risks in their State and having plans in place (including mandatory evaucation plans etc.). The individuals, local and state authorities all failed in this incident.

However, the President of the United States, more than any other job, must be the simulacra, the embodiment, of the Nation. More than anything, he must look like he's in control, like he's concerned and like he has some kind of clue. When Katrina hit 5 and was aimed squarely at NOLA, Mr. Bush should have been on television, packing his suitcases and calling a cab to the airport while talking with FEMA, the Governor of LA and on speaker phone with the Mayor of NOLA.

Instead he was accepting guitars and hanging out with cowboys. It doesn't matter what one "can" do from Crawford, what matters is the confidence and courage you can inspire to all citizens, esp those faced with a life threatening disaster.

In Corporate America, there appears a very real aspect of one's job called "face time". This is especialy true of people who can telecommute. The kind of work I do, could be done from the comfort of my robe, slippers and couch, but executives want to see their Risk Management, Data Security, Loss Prevention etc guys onsite. They want to see them "looking busy". Mr. Bush looked far more 'busy' when involved in the Schaivo case than in a terrible disaster. Why was the possible loss of a single citizen enough to cut short a vacation, while the potential loss of thousands didn't affect his travel plans?

That's my problem with Bush, not missing National Guardsmen, not "He should have saved lives", not even "He appointed a dumbass to FEMA". My problem with Bush is that he provided Americans with an attitude that was easily interperted as nonchalant, unconcerned and lazy.

Not to mention the fact that his "vacations" are getting to be a bit more common than I think appropriate for the leader of a country.

Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord
Chatter of the Words of Eris
Muncher of The ChaoAcorn
POEE of The Great Googlie Mooglie Cabal

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at September 9, 2005 09:34 AM
...meanwhile, after all the caterwauling that sharia law meant Iraq was going to the a theocracy, sharia is now quietly being adopoted in... Canada.

No, really.

Oh for pete's sake, TallDave, do you really think we're implementing Sharia? How will that dovetail in with the gay marriages?

Sometimes I just have to shake my head. I mean, really. Quietly? There have been panicked shrieks from the fearmongers over this for at least the last two years, and I'm getting so tired of debunking this nonsense that I'm not even going to try anymore. Yeah, Canada's implementing Sharia. The beheadings begin tomorrow.

Sheesh.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 09:52 AM

There have been panicked shrieks from the fearmongers over this for at least the last two years, and I'm getting so tired of debunking this nonsense that I'm not even going to try anymore.

If you want to debunk this "nonsense", you'll have to talk to the human rights groups and the women's rights groups that are currently protesting this planned violation of civil rights.

Canada isn't implementing the more extreme Wahhabist form of Sharia yet, including the shariah criminal (hudud) codes that bin Laden supports (these laws legislate and encourage slavery, genocidal jihad, stoning, hand-chopping, etc.)

Canada IS planning to implement the sharia civil codes that are a violation of human and civil rights.

All shariah laws are directly opposed to equality and human rights. That's why so many supporters of human rights are currently mobilizing and marching against it.

Women's rights activists are to march in 11 cities in Canada and Europe against plans to allow Sharia law tribunals in the province of Ontario.

Posted by: mary at September 9, 2005 10:57 AM

Canada IS planning to implement the sharia civil codes that are a violation of human and civil rights.

No, it is not. You guys are so completely wrong on this that it's staggering. But go ahead, believe what you will.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 11:03 AM

Canada IS planning to implement the sharia civil codes that are a violation of human and civil rights.--Mary

It's actually just Ontario which is a Province(State) here.

But as to your primary observation, Sharia IMO is clearly a NEGATIVE influence on the objective rights of women in society. DPU is caught between a rock(multiculturalism), and a hard place (women's rights) on thsi annoying little problem.

DPU---- Do you DEFEND the possible introduction of Sharia into the Ontario civil system? Or like Mary do you feel it has no place anywhere, but certainly has no place in a WESTERN culture and country?

Posted by: dougf at September 9, 2005 11:04 AM

The Bush Administration's levees finally gave way

Michel Brown has been fired

Posted by: Everyman at September 9, 2005 11:10 AM

DPU---- Do you DEFEND the possible introduction of Sharia into the Ontario civil system? Or like Mary do you feel it has no place anywhere, but certainly has no place in a WESTERN culture and country?

Personally, I feel that any civil mediation that is based on religious nonsense is stupid, which is why I would never use it. But there are already voluntary civil mediations in Ontario that are based both on Christian and Jewish law. Are you suggesting that these, which are also both male-dominated religious faiths, should also be forbidden?

Why was there no hue and outcry about Canada implementing laws based on Hassidic religious practice? Answer: because it wasn't, it was a single province implementing a purely voluntary civil mediation service as part of its court system.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 11:12 AM

It's actually just Ontario which is a Province(State) here.

Province(State)? Do you have a Premier(Governor) in Manitoba, Doug?

I think that our American friends are smart enough to figure it out without the subtitles.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 11:15 AM

It's at least as believable to argue that Mayor Nagin is responsible for the disaster as it is to argue Bush is responsible:

On the Levees of New Orleans (Update 5)

Posted by: Solomon2 at September 9, 2005 11:21 AM
From Islamic Injustice
On the establishment of an Islamic court in Canada

Maryam Namazie

The 'Islamic Institute of Civil Justice' or what has become known as the Sharia Court has been heralded by proponents as a multi-cultural way of determining personal and family disputes for those who 'choose' to abide by Sharia law in Ontario, Canada. We are told it will promote 'minority rights' and that it is equitable, tolerant, and fair. We are told that if it is not established, the 'Muslim minority' will be marginalised and discriminated against. That anything less is racism pure and simple.

This is not the case.

Deceptively sugar-coating an Islamic Court in civil rights terms cannot and will not conceal the stark realities of Sharia law and its regressive implications for human beings and Canadian society.

To begin with, Sharia law is inherently unjust and unfair even if it's only being implemented in the area of what some call mundane civil disputes. In fact, discriminatory family and personal status codes are important pillars in the oppression of women in Islamist societies. Much of the struggle for women's rights has taken shape in countries like Iran vis-à-vis these very aspects of Sharia law. Discrimination and gender-based persecution in areas of marriage, divorce, child custody and so on are in fact reasons why many women flee Islamist societies and seek refuge in Canada and the west. These so called 'mundane' disputes have cost many a woman and girl her rights and life in the Middle East and North Africa. Now, it aims to do the same in Canada...

We protest this because it's a violation of human rights, and because it follows a political pattern:
Saudi Arabia soon started flexing its economic and theological muscle – vastly expanding the number of mosques and madrases in its mainland, and exporting its perverted brand of puritanism abroad. It did this by funding mosques, madrases and "payments for conversion" throughout the region and beyond, to North Africa, Central Asia and South East Asia, notably Indonesia. Many of these countries were poor and welcomed the "grants" and status projects afforded by the Saudis. The great "Islamic revival" had started.
Back in the '50's and the '60's, many Muslim women didn't wear the veil. Sharia codes, like Catholics eating fish on friday, were tradition, not law.

This push for the legalization of Sharia isn't a Muslim thing - it's Wahhabi.

Posted by: mary at September 9, 2005 11:31 AM

Michael Brown has not been fired. He has been recalled to Washington to do his job there instead of on location in N.O.

Posted by: Carlos at September 9, 2005 11:43 AM

That's right, Mary. We legalize same-gender marriage to make us look all-liberul-like, then we slip in the thin end of the wedge to start down the slippery slope to an Islamic theocracy. Tricksy fundamentalists, they really pulled the tuque over our eyes.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 11:48 AM

He has been recalled to Washington to do his job there instead of on location in N.O.

Riiight.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 11:49 AM

Tricksy fundamentalists, they really pulled the tuque over our eyes.

If you support any form of Sharia in Canada, then yes, they did..

Posted by: mary at September 9, 2005 11:59 AM

Riiight.

You wanna put money down on that?

Posted by: Carlos at September 9, 2005 11:59 AM

Discrimination and gender-based persecution in areas of marriage, divorce, child custody and so on are in fact reasons why many women flee Islamist societies and seek refuge in Canada and the west. These so called 'mundane' disputes have cost many a woman and girl her rights and life in the Middle East and North Africa. Now, it aims to do the same in Canada...

Please explain to me why a woman that moved to Canada to flee things like Sharia would then choose a mediation service that uses Sharia as a bases for judgement? Wouldn't that be really stupid?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 12:01 PM

You wanna put money down on that?

On what?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 12:11 PM

"on what?"

that Michael Brown was fired.

Posted by: Carlos at September 9, 2005 12:13 PM

that Michael Brown was fired.

No, he wasn't fired, he was removed from hurricane-related duties. And indicates that he'll quit after the hurricane season. Wait. What?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 12:17 PM

Well "technically" he wasn't fired :-)

Posted by: Carlos at September 9, 2005 12:31 PM

I'm beginning to suspect that Brown could hold Bush's head in the toilet while he flushed, and still wouldn't be fired if it would look like Bush made a mistake in appointing him.

And, as someone said yesterday, that there are about 30% of the population who would support Bush even if he ate their children.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 12:34 PM

It's actually just Ontario which is a Provinc(State) here.
Province(State)? Do you have a Premier(Governor) in Manitoba, Doug?
I think that our American friends are smart enough to figure it out without the subtitles.
--DPU

Well first of all I live in ONTARIO so what they have in Manitoba is a matter of little import to me.

And secondly, I am sure that there will be some of my US friends who are not intimately aware of the picky little details of Canadian life, as well as perhaps some vistors from further afield. Not that I can understand that, being as Canada is on the tip of everyone's tongue on a more or less daily basis.

This implication that I was condescending to my American friends is somewhat offensive, and I am not easily offended. I unlike most of my fellow citizens actually LIKE Americans(and not the blue-state Americans either).
=============================================

Please explain to me why a woman that moved to Canada to flee things like Sharia would then choose a mediation service that uses Sharia as a bases for judgement? Wouldn't that be really stupid?--DPU

Ummm-- Social Pressure perhaps .As in I'll beat you senseless if you don't,and since all our closest friends are just like me, you will have no-one to go complaining too either. Or the 'kinder gentler' variety wherein all the 'friends' you have are sure not to be friends anymore if you defy the community pressure to conform to Islamic standards .

Posted by: dougf at September 9, 2005 12:38 PM

Carlos,

The facts about Brown's lack of qualifications are staggeringly evident.

For example here:
http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtmli=20050919&s=campos091905

In brief, Brown
* got his law degree in 1981 from Oklahoma City University School of Law, a bottom of the pool school which was not even accredited at the time
* Practiced law for a total of 6 years with an undistinguished law firm, during which time he did absolutely nothing to distinguish himself professionally
* became a city councilman and an "assistant city manager" for the metropolis of Edmond, OK for 2 years
* Spent the next 10 years from 1991 to 2001 as commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association (iaha) a job which has nothing to do with the practice of the law, managing a large organization, and certainly not emergency management.

Summary quote:
"When Brown left the IAHA four years ago, he was, among other things, a failed former lawyer--a man with a 20-year-old degree from a semi-accredited law school who hadn't attempted to practice law in a serious way in nearly 15 years and who had just been forced out of his job in the wake of charges of impropriety. At this point in his life, returning to his long-abandoned legal career would have been very difficult in the competitive Colorado legal market. Yet, within months of leaving the IAHA, he was handed one of the top legal positions in the entire federal government: general counsel for a major federal agency. A year later, he was made its number-two official, and, a year after that, Bush appointed him director of FEMA."

On the basis of that resume can you honestly say that this is type of person you would hire for any sort of responsible managerial position? To be fair the Democrats who said nothing when Bush appointed this pathetic man are also to blame. The cynicism and corruption in Washington are getting worse all the time, at this rate the Jihadists may just as well sit back and wait.

Posted by: Vanya at September 9, 2005 12:42 PM

Please explain to me why a woman that moved to Canada to flee things like Sharia would then choose a mediation service that uses Sharia as a bases for judgement? Wouldn't that be really stupid?

People do stupid things all the time. I can't explain why Marxism, the Bee Gees or ABBA were ever popular. But I doubt that Muslim women are the ones who are paying for this pro-Sharia initiative.

From the same source:

The very sham concept of its voluntary nature becomes clearer when you hear Mumtaz Ali who spearheaded the initiative say: 'Once the parties have agreed …they will be committed to it by their prior consent. As a consequence, on religious grounds, a Muslim who would choose to opt out at this stage, for reasons of convenience would be guilty of a far greater crime than a mere breach of contract--and this could be tantamount to blasphemy-apostasy.' The penalty of which by the way is execution under Islamic law in places like Iran. Clearly, then, even a limited Sharia Court in Canada will increase intimidation and threats against innumerable women. It will open the way for further conquests by this reactionary movement.

Posted by: mary at September 9, 2005 12:44 PM

Ummm-- Social Pressure perhaps .As in I'll beat you senseless if you don't,and since all our closest friends are just like me, you will have no-one to go complaining too either. Or the 'kinder gentler' variety wherein all the 'friends' you have are sure not to be friends anymore if you defy the community pressure to conform to Islamic standards .

Except that all cases before the arbitration court go through a vetting process to avoid exactly those scenarios. Because, believe it or not, those circumstances also occur in Christain and Jewish households.

Besides, any decision made in the arbitration court can be appealed through the regular court process.

No one has answered the question about whether all religious-based arbitration in the Ontario legal system should be abolished.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 12:46 PM

..and what dougf said. Social pressure is important.

Posted by: mary at September 9, 2005 12:46 PM

People do stupid things all the time.

Then clearly we need to abolish everything voluntary to prevent stupid people making stupid choices.

C'mon, this is getting ridiculuous.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 12:48 PM

No one has answered the question about whether all religious-based arbitration in the Ontario legal system should be abolished

If those systems are, like Sharia, opposed to basic human and civil rights, they should.

Posted by: mary at September 9, 2005 12:48 PM

Social pressure is important.

So should the arbitration system that follows Hassic law be banned? I understand there's social pressure in that community as well.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 12:50 PM

If those systems are, like Sharia, opposed to basic human and civil rights, they should.

Once again, a false implication. The arbitration system cannot trump basic Canadian human rights, nor civil rights.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 12:51 PM

The arbitration system cannot trump basic Canadian human rights, nor civil rights

That's not what Muslim women and womens' rights activists say.

Posted by: mary at September 9, 2005 12:55 PM

"If liberalism and humanitarianism do not mean internationalism, they mean precisely nothing. "

This sums it up admirably.

As for whether Hitchens is wasting his breath taking on the "Blame Bush for the weather" crowd, yes and no. Certainly many of Bush's critics (perhaps 20% of the population) can be understood as being devotees of a secular religion with Bush as the Devil (though they can't agree on the Pantheon of the forces of light). But it is the duty of every responsible commentator to expose their views to the light of day, though it may be a stretch to call the loose cannon Hitchens a responsible commentator. So it is worthwhile in the end to ensure that the fanatics on the far left brainwash few of the credulous. At least it may bolster the responsible left and center, whose responsible opposition to the right is sorely needed.

Posted by: David at September 9, 2005 12:57 PM

That's not what Muslim women and womens' rights activists say.

From the Wikipedia article on Sharia:
The court would handle disputes between Muslim complainants. Its critics fear that the misogyny inherent in Sharia could end up influencing the Canadian justice system, but its proponents say those who do not wish to go by the court's rulings are not forced to attend it. Moreover, these sharia courts in Canada are only orthodox in a limited way as they respect the priority of Canadian civil law. Anybody not satisfied with a ruling from the sharia court can appeal to a civil court. As such, this sharia court is only a very pale version of Sharia.
As I've said, I could quite happily do away with all these arbitration systems based on religion. But posting falsehoods about it isn't the way to go, IMO. Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 01:08 PM

As I've said, I could quite happily do away with all these arbitration systems based on religion. But posting falsehoods about it isn't the way to go, IMO.

Why don't you go and complain about "falsehoods" to the many human rights and womens groups who are planning to protest these laws in 11 cities.

You've offered your opinion and the opinions of other men who support the establisment of these laws. I've offered the opinions of women who know about these laws and believe that their rights are being threatened. Pardon me if I trust their opinion more than yours.

Posted by: mary at September 9, 2005 01:26 PM

You've offered your opinion and the opinions of other men who support the establisment of these laws.

The fact that you think that these are "laws" being "established" are indicitive that you don't know what you're talking about. No laws are being implemented or passed. None. Not one.

As for protesters, are you telling me that because people protest something that it gives their viewpoint credibility? Are you sure that's the right approach? Because I remember millions upon millions protesting the Iraq invasion, and I'm pretty sure you didn't think that gave them much credibility. At any rate, it's fine and good that there are protesters, and their concerns should be listened to and discussed. But if there are out-and-out lies being presented by them, I think that lowers their credibility in many eyes.

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Posted by: votze ficken at September 9, 2005 02:28 PM

Eew, gross spam.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 9, 2005 02:33 PM

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Posted by: exhelodrvr at September 9, 2005 04:27 PM

DPU: "Oh for pete's sake, TallDave, do you really think we're implementing Sharia? How will that dovetail in with the gay marriages?"

Quite nicely I think. Now that you've got gay marriage, watch the pro-polygamy debate gather steam. That should dovetail nicely with Sharia in the end, especially as your Muslim birthrate explodes.

Posted by: Caroline at September 9, 2005 06:31 PM

It must be horrible to live in your world, Caroline. Because here, in my world, I'm not too worried about the fags colluding with the sand niggers so that the former can get married and recruit more to their insidious cause, while the latter continue to fuck and spawn as part of a plot to outbreed us wholesome white folks.

Posted by: Someone at September 9, 2005 08:33 PM

I don't know what is more off-putting: the ridiculous spam, or the last comment that purports to paraphrase Caroline's demographic extrapolation. Because anyone who considers the social consequences of lowering birthrates combining with questionably assimilable immigrants, or merely that such a situation might be occurring anywhere just must be some kind of inbred hick, or a straw man, anyway.

Posted by: David at September 9, 2005 09:59 PM

"Someone" is obviously the same as "Observer" and "Commenter" - someone too gutless to sign their own name.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at September 9, 2005 10:27 PM

No one has answered the question about whether all religious-based arbitration in the Ontario legal system should be abolished

YES.

Why on earth would a liberal state like Canada want to give ANY official sanction to a system of religous law, no matter how voluntary or subsumed under civil law it may be.
If free people want to voluntarily submit themselves to the rules of their religion, they can do so in the privacy of their own relgious community. What the hell is the need for the state to have any involvement?

Posted by: at September 9, 2005 11:47 PM

The important question in all this is of course this-
Michael, how was the Serenity screening? Does the movie live up to the hype?

Posted by: Vanya at September 10, 2005 12:57 PM

I know.. I am looking forward to seeing Serenity more than any other film this year.......

Posted by: David at September 10, 2005 03:03 PM

There needs to be a serious discussion of what to do when local government is simply incompetent or disabled. As currently structured, the only way the President can take over is through declaring "Insurrection" which is pretty thin legally.

While Mike Brown did not deal well with New Orleans, no one raised an alarm last year in Florida. Competent local government makes all the difference.

FEMA (which has grown under Bush in manpower) has ALWAYS consisted of people who sit at desks and make phone calls to arrange or co-ordinate help and resources from other states, the feds, private companies, and NGOs. That was FEMA under Clinton and headed by Witt, when it was a Cabinet level agency, and remains today. FEMA just can't take over. Legally it can't and it's not DESIGNED to either.

Here's a NYT article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/11/national/nationalspecial/11response.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5090&en=fb3db5ce85bd72f4&ex=1284091200&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

"As New Orleans descended into near-anarchy, the White House considered sending active-duty troops to impose order. The Pentagon was not eager to have combat troops take on a domestic lawkeeping role. "The way it's arranged under our Constitution," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld noted at a news briefing last week, "state and local officials are the first responders."

Pentagon, White House and Justice officials debated for two days whether the president should seize control of the relief mission from Governor Blanco. But they worried about the political fallout of stepping on the state's authority, according to the officials involved in the discussions. They ultimately rejected the idea and instead decided to try to speed the arrival of National Guard forces, including many trained as military police.

Paul McHale, the assistant secretary of defense for homeland security, explained that decision in an interview this week. "Could we have physically moved combat forces into an American city, without the governor's consent, for purposes of using those forces - untrained at that point in law enforcement - for law enforcement duties? Yes."

But, he asked, "Would you have wanted that on your conscience?"

If local government fails for WHATEVER reason, including the Louisiana recipe of incomptence, inability to communicate/lead, and politicking, there currently IS no other alternative. Federal resources are trained for combat or Search and Rescue, NOT law enforcement or disaster relief. Under the NRP the GOVERNOR is supposed to lead.

We need a mechanism whereby the President can seize control, quickly, and bypass the Governor and other local leaders, but not abuse the power.

David -- Serenity is JUST like the last season of Buffy. Seriously. Yes it's that bad. Or so I'm told. Personally I'd rather catch a double bill of Steel and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Severs.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at September 10, 2005 08:13 PM

"Could we have physically moved combat forces into an American city, without the governor's consent, for purposes of using those forces - untrained at that point in law enforcement - for law enforcement duties? Yes."

Nope, this is totally false. The insurrection clause in the US Constitution would not allow President Bush to interfere with Governor Blanco’s authority. She’s incompetent---but not a law breaker.

I am not a deconstructionist. Words have meaning. We were not experiencing an insurrection in Louisiana!

Posted by: David Thomson at September 10, 2005 10:42 PM

Tosk, good note on Bush as figurehead, like a King or Queen, as "embodiment" of the nation. Though US traditions reject having such a royal personage, most Leftists seem anxious for one. Bush-haters act like he's got all the absolute powers of a king, and therefore is wrong when he doesn't use them.

Where was Nagin; where was Blanco; where was the LA head of Homeland Security (WHO was that? Terry Ebber?) that Blanco's state of emergency decree specified (with no name) as the head?

Why didn't the press follow the chain of command, and specify what it was? (Wait, that's my Jay Rosen PressThink rant.)

Bush should NOT be there unless he IS in charge. He was not in charge, Blanco was.

Brown's resume doesn't matter much -- unless his appearance/ performance on TV is questionable. I didn't see him -- I've read he was terrible.

He HAD to go: "loss of confidence." And Bush should focus on who else should be fired -- Dem Mayor and Dem Governor. And prolly Dem-covering press.

Posted by: at September 11, 2005 09:10 AM

We need a mechanism whereby the President can seize control, quickly, and bypass the Governor and other local leaders, but not abuse the power.--Jim Rickford

I argued the exact same position at Roger Simon's blog yesterday. Essentially, me,myself, and I against the 'formalists' who either denied that the system was inherently problematic and believed that the current concept of 'federalism' was the final word, or else that 'perfection' was impossible and that the individual was essentially on his own as 'government' failures were the nature of the beast.

This disaster will force changes; unhappily my belief is that it will not force the changes both Jim and I believe are required. It will be more 're-arranging of the deck chairs' as the ship gradually takes on more and more water. It was precisely the lack of a mechanism(well that and political spinelessness on the part of the Feds), that allowed the scenes we saw on TV.

And I mean the scenes of people without the proper protection of the STATE and essentially left to fend for themselves. Not the fact that people died in a disaster of that property was destroyed. The failure of the Feds to override Blanco and Nagin even when they KNEW these two were unable to perform adequately, exposed the glaring flaw of the whole response system.

I have no hope at all that the self-serving time servers in Congress will have the will or the ability to correct the fundamental flaws.

Posted by: dougf at September 11, 2005 12:38 PM

There's a silver lining to every tragedy:

Katrina Exodus Could Change Political Mix

Overall, said Maginnis, Republicans have made gains in Louisiana in recent years and "the effects of the storm aftermath probably will help them."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050911/ap_on_re_us/katrina_politics

bwahahaha!

Posted by: Carlos at September 11, 2005 01:42 PM

“...and believed that the current concept of 'federalism' was the final word”

It is the “final word” for the moment. That’s just the way it is. Do you wish to make changes in the current law? Well, there is nothing stopping you. We have amended our Constitution a number of times in the past---and can do so again. Make a point to contact your congressperson. This is the first step in the process.

It is, however, not wise to place the emphasis on Washington, DC. The local authorities should know the needs of their citizens far better than the distant federal entity. Voters must learn to take their responsibilities more seriously in the future. The selection of one’s mayor and/or governor can be a life or death decision.

Posted by: David Thomson at September 11, 2005 03:30 PM

OK, everyone. You can stop talking about Ontario and Sharia law:

Ontario Premier rejects use of Shariah law

Premier Dalton McGinty said today Ontario will reject the use of Shariah law and will move to prohibit all religious-based tribunals to settle family disputes such as divorce....

Ontario has allowed Catholic and Jewish faith-based tribunals to settle family law matters on a voluntary basis since 1991, but the practice got little attention until Muslim leaders demanded the same rights.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/09/09/sharia-protests-20050909.html

Really folks, this Sharia thing was a mote in your neighbour's eye. Get back to discussing the beam shoved up your nation's ass in New Orleans.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at September 11, 2005 06:10 PM

Really folks, this Sharia thing was a mote in your neighbour's eye.

Tell that to the Sudanese. Sharia inspired a civil war in which more than one million people died. Sharia currently inspiring the genocide in Darfur, and it's inspiring al Qaeda/Islamist terrorism around the world

But thanks for the good news.

Get back to discussing the beam shoved up your nation's ass in New Orleans.

The empathy, humanity and wisdom that you're expressing here are so touching. Vino, your words, as always, are an inspiration. You really care about America, don't you?

Posted by: mary at September 11, 2005 08:16 PM

Really folks, this Sharia thing was a mote in your neighbour's eye. Get back to discussing the beam shoved up your nation's ass in New Orleans.

And what beam is that? The massive body count? There is none (sorry, bushitler haters). Or perhaps some hungry and thirsty people in the Superdome? Is that the "scandal"? Seriously, why all the drama. America didn't summon a hurricane and neither did Bush. Was the tsunami a "beam" in the eye of Indonesia? In the weeks and months to come this will all be exposed for what it is-- yet another fake Lefty scandal conjured from nothing.

Posted by: Carlos at September 11, 2005 08:40 PM

Mary: "The empathy, humanity and wisdom that you're expressing here are so touching. Vino, your words, as always, are an inspiration. You really care about America, don't you?"

Mary, I'll tell you how I feel about America right now. I knew a guy once whose father had a heart attack. Then while he was convalescing, he went out and shoveled snow from the driveway. He had a second heart attack, collapsed and died. My friend said that he mourned his father, but he was also incredibly angry with him for being so stupid.

That's how I feel about America. I care about America, Mary. I've donated to the Red Cross and I fully support all the help the Canadian government and people are giving America. But I'm also incredibly angry that you allowed this to happen to yourself. I'm angry that you neglected levee upgrades for decades. I'm angry that you elected such a buffoon as president. I'm angry that the buffoon gutted FEMA and put it under control of fellow buffoons. I'm angry that state and local leaders seem equally inept. I'm angry that distrust in your country runs so deep that Bush and Blanco couldn't work together. I'm angry at the racism in America. I'm angry that the white cops of Gretna prevented black American citizens from fleeing a drowning city.

And I'm scared. Because the world needs your leadership, and you've revealed yourself as a country lacking leadership and foresight. Indeed, lacking common sense.

As you may have noticed I haven't posted for the last couple months. After a great vacation that reconnected me to reality I realized that arguing with disembodied stubborn voices on a distant blog was a really dumb way to spend my time. So I stopped reading and posting. I started reading again after Katrina hit to see what folks were saying. And it was pretty sad. On this site and elsewhere. I don't expect to be posting or reading much more, because it really is a useless endevour.

But for America's sake and the world's, I really do hope you folks get your shit together.

And Carlos?

"And what beam is that? The massive body count? There is none (sorry, bushitler haters). Or perhaps some hungry and thirsty people in the Superdome? Is that the "scandal"?"

The scandal, Carlos, is that you lost a city. A city that gave birth to jazz. A city that was known around the world.

And if America is smart, it won't try to rebuild that city. Because America isn't Holland. The Dutch are pragmatic people. They understand that if you are going to have areas of your country below sea level, it requires massive public expenditures to build and maintain dykes or levees. Americans, when they are faced with such large public projects, start muttering about the durn gubmint and its tax-and-spend ways. So don't rebuild New Orleans, at least not in its old location. Because you haven't demonstrated the maturity required for such a project.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at September 11, 2005 10:26 PM

>>>The scandal, Carlos, is that you lost a city. A city that gave birth to jazz. A city that was known around the world.

LMAO!

So hurricanes are a "scandal" because of "jazz" and because N.O. was "known around the world". Talk about grasping for straws.

Natural disaster, low body count. The jig is up my Lefty friend. The only scandal I see here is the manufactured one you're clinging to by your fingernails. So milk it for all it's worth because this "scandal" will have the shelf life of a Louisiana oyster in late summer.

Posted by: Carlos at September 11, 2005 10:43 PM

dcb,

once again the Left finds itself in the oh so familiar position of hoping for the worst so that their political dreams can come true. That can't be too good for the soul.

Posted by: Carlos at September 11, 2005 10:54 PM

I care about America, Mary...Get back to discussing the beam shoved up your nation's ass in New Orleans.

Now that's what I call caring. And stop being such a bossypants, we'll discuss whatever we want to discuss.

My friend said that he mourned his father, but he was also incredibly angry with him for being so stupid

Why do callous leftists love to blame the victim? Most deaths could be prevented with perfect 20/20 hindsight - that doesn't mean that victims and the dead are always to blame.

But I'm also incredibly angry that you allowed this to happen to yourself.

The damage from Hurricane Katrina covered an area that is the size of Great Britain. If a comparable disaster had hit your motherland, there would be no Britain. Little countries with small landmass or small populations have absolutely no idea how to deal with a disaster like this. Your advice is pointless.

And I'm scared. Because the world needs your leadership

America is not your mommy. If you want leadership, lead your own selves. Stop whining, pay attention to your own problems and please - grow up.

Posted by: mary at September 12, 2005 06:52 AM

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Posted by: Vino at September 12, 2005 08:16 AM

"Why do callous leftists love to blame the victim?"

Yeah that is a horrible leftist trait isn't it? Like the way the leftists were blaming the people in New Orleans who weren't leaving the city.

"America is not your mommy. If you want leadership, lead your own selves."

As I recall there was great resentment in America when the world didn't follow America's "leadership" in its ill-fated Iraqi adventure. But when I acknowledge that the world needs real, visionary leadership from America, that's a different story.

I was and am angry. But please let me say again what I also feel. I've been deeply troubled and moved by the suffering that America has been subjected to by Katrina. I am glad that Canada and many other countries are offering money, material assistance and manpower to help America in its time of need. My prayers are with all the victims in the hope that they can rebuild their lives and their communities.

Posted by: Vinoveritas at September 12, 2005 09:15 AM

OFFICIAL LOUISIANA TOLL AT 197

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050912/D8CIM1K80.html

Wow, that's a major beam up our ass. More than ten times that died in France from a little heatwave.

Posted by: Carlos at September 12, 2005 09:18 AM

Carlos, why do you feel the need to minimize and trivialize the horror of the situation?

See, this is the problem with conservatives. If a tragedy doesn't fit their agenda, then "only" a few hundred people died, instead of saying "it's a tragedy that anyone died needlessly, but more so that hundreds have died".

Seriously, why do you hate these people, Carlos? Why do conservatives hate America?

Posted by: Whatever at September 12, 2005 10:07 AM

Next you'll be telling me that 9/11 wasn't so bad because "only" a few thousand people died, but way more died in France. Why do you conservatives constantly feel the need to downplay tragedies that don't fit your agenda? Why don't conservatives care about people?

Posted by: Whatever at September 12, 2005 10:10 AM

“Whatever”, don’t tar all conservatives with the same brush. Carlos is a buffoon like his idol Bush, but I have great respect for real, principled conservatives. I just hope there are enough of them left in America to retake the Republican party from the mendacious kleptocrats in control now.

Posted by: Vinoveritas at September 12, 2005 10:37 AM

VV, great to see you back. Sounds like your vacation was a blast.

And since when was your "motherland" Great Britain? Or was mary just making an error?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 12, 2005 10:51 AM

"And since when was your "motherland" Great Britain? Or was mary just making an error?"

DPU, why do you hate Britain so much? Why do Canadians and liberals hate Britain so much? WHHHHYYYYYYYY??????

Posted by: Whatever at September 12, 2005 10:55 AM

Greetings DPU.

Actually Great Britain is as much the mother country to the USA as it is to Canada. It's just that leavng the nest was much more traumatic for our older sister and for Mom than it was when we got around to doing it.

But it's great that they are back on good terms with each other, isn't it?

Posted by: Vinoveritas at September 12, 2005 11:44 AM

Whatever, Vino,

you don't approve of me? I'm all broken up inside. There is no scandal here. Less than 200 dead so far is great news for most of us, but terrible news for you, that's why it sounds like I'm "minimizing" it. Calling this tragedy a "beam" up our ass only exposes you as the pathetic and disgusting political vulture you really are.

But those insults against my country, my president, and now myself, ring hollow given I know for a fact that you couldn't give a rat's ass about "the victims". Your political opportunism (which I am only responding to) as you seek to capitalize on this tragedy is the only proof I need.

Posted by: Carlos at September 12, 2005 11:49 AM

Less than 200 dead so far is great news for most of us, but terrible news for you, that's why it sounds like I'm "minimizing" it.

Wow, the straw is flying thick and furious over at Casa Nutbar as Carlos furiously beats the crap out of an imaginary leftist, who twiddles his waxed handlebar mustache and dances gleefully on the bodies of the New Orleans dead.

Attaboy, Carlos. Go gettim.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 12, 2005 12:04 PM

DPU,

no strawman at all. The Left has treated this tragedy as purely a political event. It's clear for everybody to see. Now watch as they continue to hype the body count instead of receiving the good news with sighs of relief as the rest of us are. Vino and Whatever are pretty good examples. Far from being good news, the low body count infuriates them, especially when compared to the 3,000 dead that they conveniently ignored in the socialist paradise France. No "beams" there even when all that those poor people needed was some window units and some families that actually cared instead of abandoning them in the city while they vacationed in the south of France for the summer.

Posted by: Vino at September 12, 2005 12:14 PM

Posted by: Carlos at September 12, 2005 12:15 PM

Posting under the name "Vino" now as well, Carlos? Just asking FMI.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 12, 2005 12:18 PM

The Left has treated this tragedy as purely a political event. It's clear for everybody to see.

You go, Carlos. Punch that strawman in the head for me, willya?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 12, 2005 12:19 PM

This is getting too stupid.

I think I remember why I gave up blog-cruising for Sudoku.

Bye folks.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at September 12, 2005 12:20 PM

This is getting too stupid.

I agree, and sorry for my contribution to it.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 12, 2005 12:30 PM

Vino,

You insult my country and my president and then you act surprised that I've taken your "beam" and shoved it up your own ass. You're a vulture.

The only buffoons here are the Leftwing political hacks who cry about "strawmen" even as they manufacture a fake scandal on the rotting corpses of the victims. The pattern is familiar, the Left hypes the body count hoping for the worst, and the Right minimizes it hoping for the best. You Lefties are like the bankers and profiteers you accuse of getting rich off war and tragedy, but for you it's political. How do you vultures live with yourselves?

Posted by: Carlos at September 12, 2005 12:30 PM

More corpses! More! I demand more corpses to fill my belly!

Also, aborted fetuses! I demand aborted fetuses!

Posted by: THE LEFT at September 12, 2005 12:31 PM

DPU, now you'e posting under a different name? What's wrong with you. I know for a fact "DPU" is your "real" name.

Posted by: Carlos at September 12, 2005 12:35 PM

Drat! The Right is on to me! How did he figure out that while he is minimizing the body count, hoping for the best (and not, in any way, as political cover for the Dear Leader), that I am maximizing it, hoping to feast well on the corpses of New Orleans?

Take no notice of the fact that four years ago, it was The Right who kept inflating the numbers of the dead, so as to make it seem even worse than it was. Take no notice, or I will eat your babies and steal your money to give it to welfare crackwhores! Tax and spend! Tax and spend! Appeasement! Media bias! National security weakness! No new ideas! MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Posted by: THE LEFT at September 12, 2005 12:38 PM

DPU, now you'e posting under a different name? What's wrong with you. I know for a fact "DPU" is your "real" name.

Actually, I've posted under that single name for about two years now. Before that, I used my real name, and MJT (and VinoVeritas, for that matter) both know my real name and have my personal email address.

The issue isn't that you post under a pseudonym, we all mostly all do that as a precaution against internet-fixated loonies. It's that you frequently change your nom de blog without informing anyone about the change, and only admit so when you screw up like you did above, and are caught in the act.

I can only speculate about your rationale for doing so, and the simplest rationale that I can see is that you like to give the impression that you're different people at different times.

If that's the reason, then it's sneaky, it's dishonest, it's creepy, it's cowardly, and IMO it degenerates the level of discussion around here to something that you're more likely find on a bathroom wall than on a civil blog.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 12, 2005 12:44 PM

DPU,

It was received as good news that only 3,000 perished on 9/11 instead of the original estimate, unlike Katrina where the Lefty guy I'm arguing with on another blog is citing a Bulgarian source! because it's body count is higher than my AP source. How sad. So when I cite the lower number Vino then accuses me of being "insensitive" and "minimizing" the casualties, as if your complete phoniness weren't completely transparent.

Posted by: Carlos at September 12, 2005 12:45 PM

DPU,

you have no idea why I started out as 'David' and then switched to 'Carlos', but MJT does because I've explained it to him, and it had to do with professional reasons. And then he banned my name 'Carlos' so I switched it to 'Spaniard', again with his permission. Then, again with his permission, I switched it back to 'Carlos' because I prefer it to 'Spaniard'. Wow, that's nefarious! And you know what, I think it's creepy that you would actually give a shit what nic I use. Get a life.

Posted by: Carlos at September 12, 2005 12:51 PM

Don't you love how nutty Carlos is? Carlos, I'm not DPU or Vino. You assume because you're messed up in the head.

Why are all conservatives so crazy? It's like, crazy people naturally become conservatives, because you'd have to be crazy to be a conservative. Q.E.D.

Once, I read a study that said that conservatives were 89% more likely than liberals to eat a man alive. Disturbing, if true. Heh, indeed!

Posted by: THE LEFT at September 12, 2005 12:52 PM

You forgot "Vinos"

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 12, 2005 12:53 PM

Careful! Don't anger him. He might eat you!

Posted by: THE LEFT at September 12, 2005 12:54 PM

You're a fool and a moron and should be banned as a troll.

Posted by: Carlos at September 12, 2005 12:56 PM

Look, it's not like I'm just making stuff up. 89%. Seriously. Eat a man alive. Like I said - disturbing, but only if true. What do you think? Why don't you think conservatives are cannibals?

Posted by: THE LEFT at September 12, 2005 12:58 PM

I take your lack of immediate rebuttle as a sign of tacit agreement. Carlos, pro-cannibal conservative!

Posted by: THE LEFT at September 12, 2005 01:03 PM

More political vulturism from the Left:

Chuck Schumer raising money off the backs of Katrina's victims — for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/editorial/27913.htm

Posted by: Carlos at September 12, 2005 01:08 PM

It seems that part of the contention here is Carols' seeing the left as a monolithic bloc. Is 'the Left' attempting to make political hay over the bodies of the hurricane victims? That's overly broad.. but certainly some of its leading vultures are doing so. Its also pretty celar that many on the right are attempting to throw the blame on the local authorities' ineptitude (witness the cover of the current National Review: the infamous underwater bus fleet photo). I think that if more on the left were willing to denounce the racial shakedown artists, and more on the right to lambast Bush's political appointment of an unqualified fatcat fundraiser as head of FEMA, there might be less of the above flaming.

Posted by: David at September 12, 2005 01:51 PM

Pointing out the (knock on wood) so-far-low-deaths in the Coast is valid, provided it be given the proper context. I believe the last number I saw stands at 279 in La., up about 90 from the previous day. So let's say it goes up a few more hundred; it would be comparable to the Chicago heatwave deaths of '95, around 800. (I don't remember anyone calling for Clinton's head.) Considering how many people stuck around out of desperation and (let's be honest) idiocy, and the initial response (or lack thereof) - that this number would be so low would have to indicate that someone's doing something correctly.

Also, New Orleans is our most European big city, and like Euro cities it is given to wasteful and counterproductive government programs which guarantee a perpetual state of impoverishment for many of its citizens. That the deaths still remain low would have to do with with the fact that in spite of it all, it is still an AMERICAN city where the public still has basic amenities that enable them to get through this. The heat wave deaths in Europe didn't claim a few thousand lives, they claimed 40,000 - mainly between France and Italy. Pointing out the difference in our standards of living is appropriate here.

Posted by: tsmonk at September 12, 2005 03:38 PM

I can't resist going out on a limb and guessing that 'THE LEFT' is Commenter. Am I right? (I mean - correct?) Come on Commenter come clean...:-)

Posted by: Caroline at September 12, 2005 05:40 PM

Caroline,

I'm with you, It's Commenter. He's funny.

This isn't funny:

"The federal response here [Katrina] was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05254/568876.stm

This phony Liberal scandal is on its last legs. Milk it for all it's worth you vultures.

Posted by: Carlos at September 12, 2005 05:56 PM

Carlos - yeah - Commenter is funny. It's him alright. And I agree with you about Katrina. I suspected days ago that once all the dramatic TV images were a distant memory, it would probably go down in history not just for being the greatest natural catastophe to hit the US (in terms of the magnitude of the population affected) but also for the overall success of the response in terms of lives saved. That's why its important to wait and see the actual statistics and not get emotionally siderailed by the novelty of this 24/7 dramatic news coverage which is dominated by divas like Geraldo. It reminds me of the early days of the Iraq war and how we were supposedly hopelessly bogged down in the desert within the first few days of the invasion. I am seriously worried about how this 24/7 news coverage has the capacity to replace sober judgement with hysterical emotion and how it can potentially influence the kind of collective judgements we make as a democratic populace.

Posted by: Caroline at September 12, 2005 06:50 PM

And I thought I was being devious...

I'm gonna go sadly tweak my waxed Kaiser Wilhelm moustache and plot more evil....

Posted by: The Commenter at September 12, 2005 07:16 PM

Commenter - I know you've been accused of being everyone under the sun but that's the first time I actually DID think it was you. Thanks for coming clean.:-)

Posted by: Caroline at September 12, 2005 07:28 PM

I just heard an urban planning specialist on NPR say that federal subsidized housing policies over the last 40 years (i.e., the "war on poverty") was the reason the poor in New Orleans were concentrated in all the low-lying areas of the city.

In the meantime the bushitler haters are blaming Bush for poverty and now natural disasters even though New Orleans has been a Democrat city for generations. How typical.

Both at the federal and local level New Orleans exposes the failed social policies of the Left. Their greatest victims are the poor themselves.

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Posted by: usr at November 22, 2007 06:56 PM
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