Tuesday, December 30 2003
Phil Luciano writes in the Peoria Journal Star that his small town in central Illinois is part of a "terrorist circuit" that runs from coast-to-coast:

Peoria and Champaign are part of a seven-city "circuit" that moves and disperses terrorists to specific sites across the nation, says Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy.

McCoy got that information at a recent FBI conference in Springfield. He shares that snippet of intelligence not to panic central Illinois, but to stress what the FBI told police at the conference: America, including much of its law-enforcement community, has not taken seriously enough the threat of al-Qaida in this country...

The terrorists enter the United States in San Francisco and Los Angeles, then move to Phoenix, then Denver. From there, some head to Peoria and Champaign. Some terrorists remain in those communities, while others head on to New York City.

This seems to be pretty big news. So why are we learning about it from a columnist in Peoria and not one of the major media outlets? Don't they have contacts at the FBI? If the story is true, now that the "circuit" has become public you can bet the terrorists will stop using it and set up another route. So did the PJ Star scoop everybody in the country or did a county Sheriff just blow the cover on a piece of intel that was supposed to be kept quiet? (Hat tip: Illinois Leader)

RUMBLING ON THE RIGHT: I'm always a bit dismissive of the "Bush is losing his base" stories that pop up from time to time. So when I read this quote from today's Washington Times piece - with the requisite ominous title "Rumbling on the Right" - I had to chuckle:

"I'm hearing a lot of anger," says Richard Viguerie, the guru of conservative political direct mail. "I'm beginning, for the first time, [to hear] people talk about 'it would not be the worst thing in the world if Howard Dean were president,' because the size of government would stay still rather than increase 50 percent under a second Bush administration."

First of all, I'd be surprised if there were more than a handful of conservatives in the country so ideologically rigid and shortsighted that they'd be willing to let US national security suffer because non-discretionary spending went up a few percentage points under Bush.

Second, you'd have to be on some serious psychotropics to think "the size of government would stay still" under a Dean administration. That's absolute fantasy. Dr. Dean is on record repudiating the idea that "the era of big government is over." Dean's already on record with a host of new spending programs that he'll finance by reaching into Americans' pockets and repossessing the Bush tax cut.

The only thing that would prevent a Dean administration from increasing the size of government is a Republican Congress - and their inability to kick the pork habit this past year doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.

The article does go on to basically refute the idea that Bush is losing support among his base by citing recent polls showing him more popular at this point in his term among Republicans than any President except Ronald Reagan. Those numbers are not going to change between now and November.

In fact, with so much at stake I suspect that if an angry, combative Dean wins the nomination and decides to try and run a hard-left general election campaign, we'll see a more energized, united base behind a Republican president than there's been in a long time. - T. Bevan 10:15 am | Link | Email

Monday, December 29 2003
You'll have to forgive me if you've already seen this article by Matt Taibbi, because I hadn't. It appeared a couple of weeks ago in the New York Press, though I don't remember hearing anything about it at the time. It's the most vicious, arrogant attack on Christians I've seen in some time and another example of the yawning divide in America - not between the left and the right but between the far left and the rest of the country. I suggest you take time to read the whole thing.

Taibbi starts by claiming that "nonbelievers in America are far too polite, which will prove to be their undoing." To prove this point, he goes on to launch ad hominem attacks against Billy and Franklin Graham, calling them "fifth-rate shysters" who have "spent decades engaged on a relentless quest to turn the United States into the world’s revenge on smart people."

This is impressive stuff: a misused anti-Semitic slur and the classic liberal formulation that Christian belief equals stupidity. Ted Turner would be so proud.

But there's more here than the typical condescending remark to Christians by members of the intellectually superior limousine left. Taibbi and others like him actually believe Christianity has a negative effect on society and is something we'd be better off without.

"Christianity," Taibbi writes, "has opposed social and scientific progress virtually every step of the way for the last 2000 years."

Is that so? Check the scorecards of the world's major religions over the last two millennia and tell me which one has the best track record of producing modern, progressive, and peaceful nations. Here's a hint: it's not Islam.

Nevertheless, Taibbi wants a war against Christianity:

In any fight, you must meet force with force. Evangelism is naturally expansive. Atheism is defensive. That is why they are growing, and we’re sitting around like idiots watching as pious troglodytes occupy the White House and send us hurtling hundreds of years back in time, to the age of the Crusades...

The time has come to put a stop to this sort of thing. And the way to do it is not to shrug off the evangelical lunacy and simply oppose them on the political front. We must attack the religion directly. They are trying to convert us. I think it is high time we start trying to convert them.

So there it is. Taibbi doesn't have a beef with any other religions, of course, indeed he can't bring himself to utter a single word critical of any other faith or attack the IQ of those believing in anyone or anything other than Christ.

Taibbi's militancy and his blinding hatred of Christianity in particular is another example of how the far, far left wing of the Democratic party continues to move itself into ideological territory already occupied by Islamofascists. - T. Bevan 11:52 am | Link | Email


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