Aesthetics, morals, community.

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...includes political matter.

Kwanzaa: A Holiday From The FBI By Ann Coulter

KWANZAA: A HOLIDAY FROM THE FBI

By Ann Coulter
Thu Dec 29, 6:23 PM ET

President Bush's 2005 Kwanzaa message began with the patently absurd statement: "African-Americans and people around the world reflect on African heritage during Kwanzaa."

I believe more African-Americans spent this season reflecting on the birth of Christ than some phony non-Christian holiday invented a few decades ago by an FBI stooge. Kwanzaa is a holiday for white liberals, not blacks.

Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam by Abdurrahman Wahid

The Wall Street Journal

Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam
By ABDURRAHMAN WAHID

December 30, 2005; Page A16

JAKARTA -- News organizations report that Osama bin Laden has obtained a religious edict from a misguided Saudi cleric, justifying the use of nuclear weapons against America and the infliction of mass casualties. It requires great emotional strength to confront the potential ramifications of this fact. Yet can anyone doubt that those who joyfully incinerate the occupants of office buildings, commuter trains, hotels and nightclubs would leap at the chance to magnify their damage a thousandfold?

Imagine the impact of a single nuclear bomb detonated in New York, London, Paris, Sydney or L.A.! What about two or three? The entire edifice of modern civilization is built on economic and technological foundations that terrorists hope to collapse with nuclear attacks like so many fishing huts in the wake of a tsunami.

Disraeli and us. by David Gelernter

The Weekly Standard

The Inventor of Modern Conservatism

Disraeli and us.
by David Gelernter
02/07/2005, Volume 010, Issue 20

BENJAMIN DISRAELI--TWICE PRIME minister of Great Britain, romantic novelist, inventor of modern conservatism--was a neocon in the plain sense of the word, a "new conservative" who began his career on the left. Conservative thinking dates to the dawn of organized society, but modern conservatism--a mass movement, a philosophy not for aristocrats and the rich but for everybody--was Disraeli's creation. That modern conservatism should have been invented by a 19th-century neocon is thought provoking. More surprising:His redefinition of conservatism is still fresh, and his political philosophy has never been more apt.

FISA vs. the Constitution By Robert F. Turner

FISA vs. the Constitution
Congress can't usurp the president's power to spy on America's enemies.

BY ROBERT F. TURNER
Wednesday, December 28, 2005 12:01 a.m.

In the continuing saga of the surveillance "scandal," with some congressional Democrats denouncing President Bush as a lawbreaker and even suggesting that impeachment hearings may be in order, it is important to step back and put things in historical context. First of all, the Founding Fathers knew from experience that Congress could not keep secrets. In 1776, Benjamin Franklin and his four colleagues on the Committee of Secret Correspondence unanimously concluded that they could not tell the Continental Congress about covert assistance being provided by France to the American Revolution, because "we find by fatal experience that Congress consists of too many members to keep secrets."

The Gray Lady Toys With Treason ~ Editorial

New York Post

THE GRAY LADY TOYS WITH TREASON
December 27, 2005

Has The New York Times declared itself to be on the front line in the war against the War on Terror?

The self-styled paper of record seems to be trying to reclaim the loyalty of those radical lefties who ludicrously accused it of uncritically reporting on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

Yet the paper has done more than merely try to embarrass the Bush administration these last few months.

Munich mastermind spurns Spielberg's peace appeal By Nidal al-Mughrabi

Reuters

Munich mastermind spurns Spielberg's peace appeal
Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:47 AM ET

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA (Reuters) - The Palestinian mastermind of the Munich Olympics attack in which 11 Israeli athletes died said on Tuesday he had no regrets and that Steven Spielberg's new film about the incident would not deliver reconciliation.

Iraq Election Official Accuses Critics of Extortion By Eli Lake

Iraq Election Official Accuses Critics of Extortion

BY ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
December 23, 2005

CAIRO, Egypt - The head of Iraq's election committee yesterday told The New York Sun that a call for new elections from 35 largely Sunni political parties is "political extortion," and vowed not to bend to their demands.

In a telephone interview, Adel al-Lamy said he believed most of the disappointment of groups calling for the abolition of the panel he heads was more appropriately directed at their constituencies. He said that claims of fraud and abuse in the December 15 parliamentary elections were overblown and politically motivated. He also said that reports that more than 200,000 votes in Baghdad for Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress went missing or were disqualified were overblown and that he did not think there would be more than a couple thousand more votes for Mr. Chalabi's party in the final tallies.

Reviewing, Revising, Renewing - The Patriot Act by Senator Larry Craig

Editorial by Idaho Senator Larry E. Craig

Reviewing, Revising, Renewing - The Patriot Act
by Senator Larry Craig

December 16, 2005

Back in August, shortly after reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT
Act was approved by the Senate, I wrote a piece praising the role
of Idahoans in improving the Patriot Act and protecting Americans'
civil liberties. Now, as 2005 and the first session of the 109th
Congress draw to a close, it's time for an update on the progress
of the Patriot reauthorization.

Wiretap Dance By Ronald Kessler

The Wall Street Journal

Wiretap Dance

By RONALD KESSLER
December 21, 2005; Page A18

Ever since 9/11, the media and congressional critics have waged a relentless battle against President Bush for not doing enough to prevent the terrorist attacks. Now these same critics have begun a campaign against the Bush administration for doing too much to prevent the next attack.

The latest example is the New York Times revelation that after 9/11, Mr. Bush authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept communications with an overseas nexus to uncover information about possible al Qaeda attacks. The fact that Mr. Bush bypassed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which lays out procedures for intercepting communications in terrorist cases, raises legitimate concerns. But it should be of more concern that al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations are trying to obtain nuclear and biological weapons that could wipe out major cities, kill millions of people and devastate the American economy.

Against that kind of threat, the FISA procedures are simply too slow. Even under the law's emergency provisions, once the FBI learns about the need to intercept a phone conversation or email communication, it takes at least a day -- often longer -- to obtain all the necessary approvals, including the signature of the attorney general.

Can It Be? Democracy Working? By William F. Buckley Jr.

Can It Be? Democracy Working?

BY WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR.
Universal Press Syndicate
December 19, 2005

The national elections in Iraq are putatively good news. What happened that was of great importance was the decision by the Sunni insurgents to permit people to vote without threatening death and mayhem. That license increased the participation rate from a little more than 50 percent of eligible voters last January to about 70 percent on Thursday.

We will not have long to wait before seeing whether the insurgents' decision was an acknowledgment of political reality, or only a temporary maneuver calculated to reinforce their strength in showdowns to come. If a few weeks go by and there is a marked decrease in insurgent activity, then the events of Dec. 15 will reasonably be viewed as a true turning point in this protracted struggle.

It is wise to remember that democratic exercises are pointless except as they commit the participants to accepting the consequences of losing. If a political movement takes part in an election only in order to measure strength, intending no commitment to be instructed by the election's results, we have only illusory adjudications of power.

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