Saturday, October 29, 2005

"Others have died for my freedom,
now this is my mark."

Here is an excellent but sobering story on the blatant, hypocritcal liberal bias of the New York Times. True to form, once we lost our 2,000th soldier last week in Iraq, they had a huge story already to go. Based on the length of the piece, it's obvious it was prepared well in advance.

Although their bias is so blatant and so well-documented, it's almost too tedious to mention, some additional facts have come forward about their story which bear discussion. I'll let Michelle Malkin take it from here:

On Wednesday, the NYTimes published a 4,625-word opus on the "2,000 dead" milestone--a "grim mark," read the headline--on page A2. Among those profiled were Marines from the First Battalion of the Fifth Marine Regiment, including Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr. Here's an excerpt from the Times' passage about Cpl. Starr:

Another member of the 1/5, Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr, rejected a $24,000 bonus to re-enlist. Corporal Starr believed strongly in the war, his father said, but was tired of the harsh life and nearness of death in Iraq. So he enrolled at Everett Community College near his parents' home in Snohomish, Wash., planning to study psychology after his enlistment ended in August.

But he died in a firefight in Ramadi on April 30 during his third tour in Iraq. He was 22.

Sifting through Corporal Starr's laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the marine's girlfriend. ''I kind of predicted this,'' Corporal Starr wrote of his own death. ''A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances.''

Last night, I received a letter from Corporal Starr's uncle, Timothy Lickness. He wanted you to know the rest of the story--and the parts of Corporal Starr's letter that the Times failed to include:

Yesterday's New York Times on-line edition carried the story of the 2000 Iraq US military death[s]. It grabbed my attention as the picture they used with the headline was that of my nephew, Cpl Jeffrey B. Starr, USMC.

Unfortunately they did not tell Jeffrey's story. Jeffrey believed in what he was doing. He [was] willing put his life on the line for this cause. Just before he left for his third tour of duty in Iraq I asked him what he thought about going back the third time. He said: "If we (Americans) don't do this (free the Iraqi people from tyranny) who will? No one else can."

Several months after Jeffrey was killed his laptop computer was returned to his parents who found a letter in it that was addressed to his girlfriend and was intended to be found only if he did not return alive. It is a most poignant letter and filled with personal feelings he had for his girlfriend. But of importance to the rest of us was his expression of how he felt about putting his life at risk for this cause. He said it with grace and maturity.

He wrote: "Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."

What Jeffrey said is important. Americans need to understand that most of those who are or have been there understand what's going on. It would honor Jeffrey's memory if you would publish the rest of his story.

Mr. Lickness also told me: "Even more than a Marine, Jeff was a man of God. At a recent memorial service at Camp Pendleton for the 16 Marines from his unit killed in Iraq we got to meet the men who were with him when he died. They told us of his bravery under fire, his leadership, his humor and his humanity. America lost the best it has, but the family knows he's with his Heavenly Father and we will see him again."

Now you know what the Times left out. Now you know the rest of Corporal Starr's story.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Only Thing Missing Were the Clowns
(The Cubbies Were Out of Town :-)

Ticker-tape parade welcomes White Sox home

Posted Friday, October 28, 2005

CHICAGO - The party was in full swing.

Two days after the White Sox swept Houston for their first World Series title since 1917, the team hit Chicago's streets today for a ticker-tape parade and rally.

Double-decker buses filled with players, coaches and their families left U.S. Cellular Field as hundreds of fans cheered. And they kept cheering all the way to the Loop for a celebration and a parade. There, one after another, the players and team officials took turns thanking the fans.

"Chicago, second city no more," said Paul Konerko, the first baseman who brought team owner Jerry Reinsdorf to tears when he presented him the ball he caught for the last out of the World Series.

"Getting this ball from Paul Konerko is the most emotional moment of my life," Reinsdorf said.

One of the first to speak was Frank Thomas, for years the team's best player, but who missed much of the season and all of the playoffs with an injury.

"Chicago should really appreciate this and understand what this is all about," said Thomas, who was handed the World Series trophy by general manager Kenny Williams. "This is the pinnacle."

Mayor Richard Daley, a lifelong White Sox fan, clearly agreed.

"I am pleased to say 2005 world champs, the Chicago White Sox," he shouted to the crowd.

The fans, many of whom had waited for hours and were streaming into downtown even as the players were appearing on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," roared with every player introduction. Tens of thousands of fans, sporting black, white and silver White Sox hats, jerseys and jackets, packed the downtown area.

Many waved team flags, black and white balloons, white socks, their faces painted black and white. Others clamored onto light poles and utility boxes for a better view of the ceremony, while dozens stood perched on the oversized windowsills of City Hall along the parade route.

Children with faces painted black and white stood shoulder to shoulder with officer workers in suits and ties, straining for a glimpse of the players.

"We all woke up at 6 a.m. and we painted our faces and we came down here," said Jimmy Aguayo, 16, of Steamwood, who skipped school with four friends to attend the rally. "We got a spot against the rail, we saw our favorite players, we took pictures and it was just fantastic."

Across the Chicago River, hundreds of fans lined the top level of a parking garage for a view. Above the crowd, office workers looked on from high rises, some pressing White Sox signs to their windows. And above them, F-16s flew over as part of the tribute to the team.

Andy Wilson, like many of the tens of thousands who turned downtown into a giant block party, was playing hooky from work to take part in a celebration of a championship that he still doesn't quite believe really happened.

Exhausted from staying up late into the night to watch the games on television _ something that didn't even exist the last time the White Sox won the World Series _ Wilson said it may not be until this winter when the White Sox victory sinks in.

"When I'm at a bar enjoying a beer, saying 'our world champion Chicago White Sox,' that's when it's really going to hit me."

It hadn't quite sunk in for Williams, either.

"It's really kind of overwhelming," he said before the team left U.S. Cellular Field for the Loop.

Steve Perry, who co-wrote the song the White Sox took as their theme, "Don't Stop Believin," was also on hand and led the team in a rendition of the song.

"They've always believed," Perry said.

Konerko talked about how many didn't believe the team could do what it did. He thought about how the players might be able to win over doubters.

"The only thing I could come up with is maybe we'll have to do this one more time next year," he said.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Janice Rogers Brown is a Conservative in the Classical Sense

Check this out from the Ludwig von Mises Institute. It's kind of long -- but well worth it:

The supposed extremism of Janice Brown

Gary Galles

The nomination of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown to the D.C. District Court of Appeals has escaped from its Senate filibuster purgatory that illustrated much of the worst of politics. But the attacks that she is an “extremist” who is “out of the mainstream” continue.

However, what has been most striking about this episode is how, unlike many in the judiciary, much of Justice Brown’s assailed thought and approach reflects some other extremists Americans at least claim to hold in high regard—our founding fathers. Over and over, the statements her opponents tar as “extreme" echo those whose ideas shaped our country and our Constitution.

Consider Justice Brown’s statements that have been highlighted in the recent political mud wrestling, in the context of what our founders laid down as the principles of America:

Janice Rogers Brown: “Where government advances—and it advances relentlessly—freedom is imperiled...When did government cease to be a necessary evil and become a goody bag to solve our private problems?”
Thomas Paine: “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
George Mason: “Every society, all government, and every kind of civil compact therefore, is or ought to be, calculated for the general good and safety of the community. Every power, every authority vested in particular men is, or ought to be, ultimately directed at this sole end; and whenever any power or authority whatever extends further...than is in its nature necessary for these purposes, it may be called government, but it is in fact oppression.”
Thomas Jefferson: ‘What more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people?...a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government...”

Janice Rogers Brown: “Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies.”
Thomas Paine: “Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices...The first is a patron, the last a punisher.”
Thomas Jefferson: “The right of self-government does not comprehend the government of others.”
George Washington: “It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty on the supposition that he may abuse it.”

Janice Rogers Brown: “All perspectives are not equal...there are ideas worth defending to the death... Freedom is not free. And it will never be the lasting legacy of the lazy or the indifferent.”
James Wilson: “Government...should be formed to secure and enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of the legitimate kind.”
George Mason: “ free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by… frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”
Benjamin Franklin: “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”

Janice Rogers Brown: In his famous, all too famous, dissent in Lochner, Justice Holmes wrote that the ‘constitution is not intended to embody a particular economic theory, whether of paternalism and the organic relation of the citizen to the State or of laissez faire’...he was simply wrong.”
Thomas Jefferson: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.”
George Washington: “Liberty will find itself...where the Government... [will] maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.”
James Madison: “The real measure of the powers meant to be granted to Congress by the Constitution is to be sought in the specifications... not...with a latitude that, under the name or means for carrying into execution a limited Government, would transform it into a Government without limits.”

Janice Rogers Brown: “...collectivism was (and is) fundamentally incompatible with the vision that undergirded this country’s founding. The New Deal, however, inoculated the federal Constitution with a kind of underground collectivist mentality. The Constitution itself was transmuted into a significantly different document...”
Patrick Henry: “...liberty ought to be the direct end of your government.”
Thomas Jefferson: “The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.”
Samuel Adams: “ is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or any number of men, at the entering into society, to renounce their essential rights, or the means of preserving those rights. “

Janice Rogers Brown: “At its founding and throughout its early history, this regime revered private property ...The Founders viewed the right of property as ‘the guardian of every other right.’”
John Adams: “Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist.”
James Madison: “The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate...The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.”
George Mason: “Frequent interference with private property and contracts...must disgust the best and wisest part of the community, occasion a general depravity of manners, bring the legislature into contempt…”

Janice Rogers Brown: “Protection of private property was a major casualty of the Revolution of 1937...Rights were reordered and property acquired a second class status. If the right asserted was economic, the court held the Legislature could do anything it pleased...Something new, called economic rights, began to supplant the old property rights...With the advent of ‘economic rights,’ the original meaning of rights was effectively destroyed. These new ‘rights’ imposed obligations, not limits, on the state. It thus became government’s job not to protect property but, rather, to regulate and distribute it.”
James Madison: “In a just and free government...the rights both of property and of persons ought to be effectually guarded.”
John Adams: “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
Thomas Jefferson: “It [is]...ridiculous to suppose that a man had less rights in himself than one of his neighbors, or indeed all of them put together. This would be slavery, and not that liberty which the bill of rights has made inviolable, and for the preservation of which our government has been charged.”

Janice Rogers Brown: “Once again a majority of this court has proved that ‘if enough people get together and act in concert, they can take everything and not pay for it.’ But theft is theft. Theft is theft even when the government approves of the thievery...The right to express one’s individuality and essential human dignity through the free use of property is just as important as the right to do so through speech, the press, or the free exercise of religion.”
Thomas Jefferson: “To take from order to spare to to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association--the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
John Adams: “Each individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent...”
John Dickinson: “…we cannot be HAPPY, without being FREE...we cannot be free, without being secure in our property... we cannot be secure in our property, if, without our consent, others may, as by right, take it away...”

Janice Rogers Brown: “Government acts as a siphon, extracting wealth, creating privilege and power, and redistributing it.”
John Dickinson: “…the single question is whether [government] can legally take money out of our pockets, without our consent. If they can, our boasted liberty is but ‘sound and nothing else.’”
Thomas Paine: “We still feel the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping at the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches property as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute.”
George Washington: “[government] has no more right to put their hands into my pockets, without my consent, than I have to put my hands into yours...”

Janice Rogers Brown: “...the Constitution, once the fixed chart for our aspirations, has been demoted...”
Alexander Hamilton: “...the courts of justice are to be considered as the bulwarks of a limited Constitution against legislative encroachments.”
Thomas Jefferson: “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.”
James Madison: “...laws are unconstitutional which infringe on the rights of the community...government should be disarmed of powers which trench upon those particular rights...”

Janice Rogers Brown: “[T]he courts overcame these alleged limitations on their powers with ridiculous ease. How? By constitutionalizing everything possible, finding constitutional rights which are nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. By taking a few words which are in the Constitution like “due process” and “equal protection” and imbuing them with elaborate and highly implausible etymologies; and by enunciating standards of constitutional review which are not standards at all but rather policy vetoes, i.e., strict scrutiny and the compelling state interest standard.”
Alexander Hamilton: “The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited Constitution...which contains certain specified exceptions to the legislative authority...Limitations of this kind can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing...No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm...that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid...whenever a particular statute contravenes the Constitution, it will be the duty of the judicial tribunals to adhere to the guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals...”
James Madison: “...the powers of the federal government are has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”
Thomas Jefferson: Our legislators are not sufficiently apprised of the rightful limits of their power: that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties and to take none of them from us.”

Janice Rogers Brown: We are heirs to a mind-numbing bureaucracy; subject to a level of legalization that cannot avoid being arbitrary, capricious, and discriminatory. What other outcome is possible in a society in which no adult can wake up, go about their business, and return to their homes without breaking several laws?”
Benjamin Franklin: “In free governments, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns. “
Thomas Paine: “When I contemplate the natural dignity of man…I become irritated at the attempt to govern mankind by force and fraud, as if they were all knaves and fools…”
Thomas Jefferson: “...rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our own will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”

Janice Rogers Brown: “Curiously, in the current dialectic, the right to keep and bear arms—a right expressly guaranteed by the Bill of Rights—is deemed less fundamental than implicit protections the court purports to find in the penumbras of other express provisions. But surely, the right to preserve one’s life is at least as fundamental as the right to preserve one’s privacy.”
Samuel Adams: “Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.”
James Wilson: “The defense of one’s self, justly called the primary law of nature, is not, nor can it be, abrogated by any regulation...”
James Dickinson: “For WHO ARE A FREE PEOPLE? Not those, over whom government is reasonable and equitably exercised, but those, who live under a government so constitutionally checked and controlled, that proper provision is made against its being otherwise exercised.”

Janice Rogers Brown: “If we are committed to a rule of law that applies equally to ‘minorities as well as majorities, to the poor as well as the rich,’ we cannot countenance standards that permit and encourage discriminatory enforcement.”
Benjamin Franklin: “An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy...”
James Madison: “ would be the interest of the majority in every community to despoil and enslave the minority of, under another name and a more specious form, force as the measure of right...”
Thomas Jefferson: “...the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”

Janice Rogers Brown: “Liberty was sacrificed for the common good, and eventually calcified into the tyranny of the State above all.”
George Washington: “It has always been my creed that we should not be left as an awful monument to prove, ‘that Mankind, under the most favorable circumstances, are unequal to the task of Governing themselves, and therefore made for a Master.’”
James Madison: “If Congress can employ money indefinitely...the powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America.”
Thomas Jefferson: “A sound spirit of legislation...banishing all arbitrary and unnecessary restraint on individual action, shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another.”

Janice Rogers Brown’s “extremism” is the same extremism that led to the founding of America as the home of liberty. The only real differences are that they began “the land of the free” and she is trying to preserve it; that they were establishing precedents of individual rights and liberty never before seen and she is trying to maintain them, as enshrined in our founding documents. In particular, she has been dedicated to protecting citizens’ rights from government abuse, which was the primary purpose of the Constitution, as our founders also made clear.

Thomas Paine: “All power exercised over a nation…must be either delegated, or assumed…All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation.”
John Adams: “There is danger in all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”
Samuel Adams: “...without liberty and equality [under the law], there cannot exist that tranquility of mind, which results from the assurance of this to every citizen, that his own personal safety and rights are is the end and design of all free and lawful Governments.”

It is clear that those who have painted Janice Rogers Brown as an extremist are only correct insofar as those who first thought through, sought out and fought for Americans’ liberty are extremists. But that “extremism in defense of liberty” (in Karl Hess’ words) is no threat to modern Americans. It only threatens those who would sacrifice our liberty to lesser ends under the guise of a “living Constitution.”

Posted by Gary Galles at June 13, 2005 10:29 AM

Libs in Despair

Looked at Drudge and his banner is that the NYTimes is reporting that Karl Rove is not going to be indicted in the Plame affair -- the biggest non-story of the year. The only reason this story had any traction at all is it was fueled by the libs fear and loathing of Rove.

Maybe Bush could add to their wailing and gnashing this weekend by quickly nominated a true conservative to the Supreme Court.

How about a conservative, pro-life candidate?

How about a conservative, pro-life, Black woman?

How about a conservative, pro-life, Black woman whose nomination to the circuit court of appeals was recently approved by the Senate?

Pres. Bush should go for the brass ring and nominate Janice Rogers Brown.

Now, I know the Dems will claim "extraordinary circumstances" and say that she was o.k. for the appeals court but that the Supreme Court is another story, thereby justifying a filibuster attempt.

Let them try -- make my day! I'd love to see Chappaquidick Ted and Little Chuckie Schumer on national TV dissing an eminently qualified Black woman.
The Captain Says it's Time to Move Forward Too

Capt. Ed over at Captain's Quarters is for moving on and not engaging in gloating or recriminations over the Miers nomination. Here's an excerpt from the post:
[L]et's also not engage in sniping at each other further now that the Miers nomination has ended. We need to focus on the nomination ahead, and how best to engage the full Senate caucus to line up behind a candidate that reflects GOP control of the Senate. That requires not just a demonstrably originalist thinker who can help transform the Court from its activist impulses and return it to its traditional and balanced role, but also a unified base that can put as much energy into supporting such a candidate as we put into the debate over Miers.
Hewitt Gets Behind McConnell

Although Hugh Hewitt was one of the few conservatives backing Harriett Miers, he has quickly, with his trademark grace, moved on and is backing Judge Michael McConnell. Let's hope the White House is listening.

Here's Hugh:

The Next Nominee

October 27, 2005 08:03 AM EST

Because the assault from the left on the next nominee is going to be so intense, it makes sense to nominate a judge who has recently been vetted and FBI-checked. Fairly recent Senate hearings are also a plus, as they will demonstrate the necessary ability to handle the heat that is on the way.

Because cases coming before the SCOTUS in the near future include some crucial decisions --including an abortion rights blockbuster that will be argued in late November-- it is very important to get a nominee for whom hearings can be scheduled immediately.

The Gang of 14 must be denied an "extraordinary circumstances" argument, so a recent nominee that was given a hearing and a vote without a filibuster is to be preferred.

A nominee who has fairly recently filled out all the forms and who has some decisions on record but not too many is to be preferred.

And the nominee should be a "base uniter."

I think this gets us to Judge Michael McConnell in a hurry.

If, after conversations with Senators Specter and Kyl, there appears to be no way to rush a nomination in time for the crucial cases, then Judge Luttig or Judge Jones are the other obvious choices, but there will be a lot of vetting time necessary for such a detailed review as both have long records of decisions to review, and my guess is as well that each has given many speeches, which is where the left will be expected to look for their ammunition.

Let me be the first to say that whomever the president nominates, he or she deserves an up-or-down vote in the Senate.

Harriet Miers -- [S]he Gone!

The tounge-in-cheek report from Scrappleface:

Harriet Miers today withdrew her name from consideration as a Supreme Court Justice so she could “spend more time with family and friends, and just humans in general.”

“During the weeks since my nomination,” said Miss Miers, “as I made the rounds on Capitol Hill, I have missed the fellowship of human beings that I enjoyed on earth. So, I’m returning to the mother planet.”

Miss Miers said her withdrawal was also prompted by a desire “to pursue other interests…like picking at my cornea with a dental instrument.”

88 years of frustration swept away

Here's a great column by Chicago Sun-Times sports writer Rick Telander. An excerpt:

"It's not my fault my team is winning so quick,'' a grinning Ozzie Guillen said Wednesday night before Game 4.

No, it's not.

But it is his fault his 2005 team has made Chicago history.

Sox 1, Astros 0!

After the World Series-winning game, Ozzie's players were giddy with what their boss had led them to.

"Everyone was included,'' the usually taciturn Carl Everett said. "Not one guy was left out! We played the way a team should play.''

Now 1917 means nothing because of manager Guillen, the unlikely, fast-twitch, "I-never-lie-to-the-media/I-never-lie-to-the-fans'' White Sox manager.

Guillen, of course, is the former All-Star shortstop from Venezuela who couldn't stop talking if you borrowed cork from Sammy Sosa's stash and jammed it in Oz's mouth.

OK, cheap shot at the Cubs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


World champs! Sox sweep series

October 26, 2005


HOUSTON-- The Chicago White Sox are World Series champions again at last, and yet another epic streak of futility is not just wiped away but swept away.

After seven scoreless innings, Jermaine Dye singled home the only run in the eighth, and the White Sox beat the Houston Astros 1-0 Wednesday night to win their first title in 88 years.

Just a year ago, the same story line captivated baseball when the long-suffering Boston Red Sox swept St. Louis to capture their first title in 86 years.

Who's next, the Chicago Cubs, without a championship since 1908?

It was the third title for the White Sox, following wins in 1906 and 1917. And it was the first since "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and the "Black Sox" threw the 1919 Series against Cincinnati.

In the Windy City, where the Cubs have long been king, Chicago's South Side team for once trumped its North Side rival, no small feat for the Sox.

Owner Jerry Reinsdorf once said he'd trade all six of the Chicago Bulls' NBA titles for a single Series ring, a statement he now regrets. No swap is needed now: He's got the prize he dreamed of since he was a kid growing up in Brooklyn.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said during the regular season that he might retire if his team went on to win the Series, and now he'll have to reveal that decision.

Chicago's sweep, its eighth straight postseason win, made it only the second team to go through the postseason 11-1 since the extra round of playoffs was added in 1995, joining the 1999 Yankees. But the White Sox fans didn't get to enjoy a single celebration in person: the division title and all three rounds of the postseason were won on the road.

Houston, which finally won a pennant for the first time since it joined the National League in 1962, became the first team swept in its Series debut.

On a night when pitching dominated, winner Freddy Garcia and Houston's Brandon Backe pitched shutout ball for seven innings, with Backe allowing four hits and Garcia five. They each struck out seven.

Brad Lidge, Houston's closer, came in to start the eighth, and Chicago sent up Willie Harris to bat for Garcia.

Harris lined a single to left leading off, and that led to Houston's downfall. Scott Podsednik bunted a difficult high pitch in front of the plate, and the speedy Harris took second on the sacrifice. Carl Everett pinch hit for Tadahito Iguchi and grounded to second, moving Harris to third.

Dye, the Series MVP, swung and missed Lidge's next pitch, took a ball, then grounded a single up the middle, clapping his hands as he left the plate. Harris trotted home from third, and the White Sox celebrated in the third-base dugout.

But it wasn't quite over yet.

Cliff Politte relieved to start the bottom half and hit Willy Taveras on the hand with one out. Politte bounced a wild pitch on his first offering to Lance Berkman, moving Taveras to second, then intentionally walked Berkman, nearly throwing away the next pitch.

Morgan Ensberg flied to right-center, dropping him to 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position in the Series, and Chicago brought in left-hander Neal Cotts to face pinch-hitter Jose Vizcaino, who hit a broken-bat grounder to shortstop.

Juan Uribe charged in, backhanded the ball by the grass and threw hard to first, beating Vizcaino by half a step.

After Chicago wasted a leadoff double by A.J. Pierzynski in the ninth, Jason Lane lofted a 3-2 pitch off Bobby Jenks into short center for a single leading off the bottom half.

Brad Ausmus sacrificed and pinch-hitter Chris Burke fouled out to Uribe, who fell into the left-field seats as he leaned in to make the grab. Uribe ran to the mound with the ball and gave Jenks a slap.

Orlando Palmeiro then pinch hit, and grounded to short for the final out and the White Sox poured out of their dugout and jumped around the mound.

Houston was 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position on the night and 10-for-48 (.208) in the Series, and Lidge fell to 0-2 in the Series and 0-3 in the postseason.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.





The View from Houston
(Yes, They Have a Problem)

Astros lose heartbreaker at bitter end

Oswalt lets 4-run lead get away in 5th inning

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

Texans waited 44 seasons to have their first World Series game in the Lone Star State, and they must wait at least one more day for the Astros to win in the Fall Classic.

Former Astro Geoff Blum hit a solo home run in the 14th inning to lead the American League champion Chicago White Sox to a 7-5 victory on Tuesday night in Game 3 of the 101st World Series at Minute Maid Park.

With two outs in the 14th, Blum ripped Astros rookie Ezequiel Astacio's 2-0 pitch over the right-field wall, pushing the Astros to the brink of elimination.

"I just can't explain what it feels like to hit a home run in the World Series, let alone hit a game-winning home run, especially in a game that hard and that we played that hard," Blum said.

The White Sox added another run, but Blum's shot was the one that sent a pall through what was left of the sellout crowd of 42,848, which at one point included former first lady Barbara Bush, Attorney General and Houston native Alberto R. Gonzales and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

"You can talk about all the weird things that happened in this game, but the stars are aligned right," Blum said. "The roof was open, and they were looking down on us, and they took care of us tonight."

The Astros, who saw ace righthander Roy Oswalt give up five runs in the fifth to lose a 4-0 lead, trail the best-of-seven series 3-0.

"If we had a lead right now, I don't know if we'd know what to do with it," said Astros closer Brad Lidge, who threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. "So we might as well be down 3-0."

The Astros had only one hit after the fourth inning. They left 15 men on base.

Astros righthander Brandon Backe will try to stave off elimination tonight in Game 4 at Minute Maid Park against former Astros prospect Freddy Garcia.

"It's going to be tough," Oswalt said after giving up five runs on eight hits with five walks and three strikeouts in six-plus innings. "Hopefully, we'll get Backe going and get him some runs early. He always pitches well at home."

The 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox are the only team to win a postseason series after falling behind 3-0, accomplishing the feat against the New York Yankees last season in the American League Championship Series.

The National League champion Astros have overcome countless obstacles this year while becoming the first team since the 1914 Boston Braves to go from 15 games under .500 to the World Series.

The longest night

They say everything is bigger in Texas. Now they can officially say they play World Series games longer here, too, because Game 3 equaled the longest game in World Series history. The Red Sox beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in 14 innings in Game 2 of the 1916 World Series.

But in terms of time, Tuesday's was the longest in Series history at 5 hours, 41 minutes, surpassing the previous record of 4:51 set during Game 1 of the Subway Series between the New York Yankees and Mets on Oct. 21, 2000.

At the end, it came down to a fastball Astacio left up for Blum.

"They gave me a chance to pitch in a World Series game, so just imagine," Astacio said. "I couldn't do it."

Leading 4-0, Oswalt labored through the fifth inning as the White Sox scored five runs while sending 11 batters to the plate. He was saved from the decision when Jason Lane hit a two-out RBI double to left in the eighth.

White Sox righthander Jon Garland gave up seven hits and four runs (two earned) with two walks, four strikeouts and a home run. He got a no-decision when his bullpen failed to hold the 5-4 lead in the eighth.

The night started of well for the Astros. Craig Biggio led off the game with a double to left, collecting the first World Series hit in the state of Texas at 7:47 p.m. One out later, Lance Berkman gave the Astros a 1-0 lead at 7:51 p.m. with a single to left.

Shortly after Adam Everett led off the third with an infield single to short, he was almost caught stealing. He escaped when shortstop Juan Uribe hit him with his throw to first.

Second chance pays off

Given a reprieve, Everett advanced to second on Oswalt's sacrifice and scored on Biggio's RBI single through the right side at 8:25 p.m. One out later, Berkman singled to right. Morgan Ensberg's single through the left side made it 3-0.

Lane gave the Astros a 4-0 lead with a leadoff homer to left-center field in the fourth inning, delivering the first World Series home run in Texas exactly an hour after Biggio delivered the first hit.

Chicago countered with its five-run rally in the fifth when Oswalt needed a career-high 46 pitches for one inning. Joe Crede led off with a homer to right. Uribe followed with a single to center. After Garland struck out, Scott Podsednik singled through the right side. Tadahito Iguchi cut the Astros' lead to 4-2 with an RBI single up the middle. Jermaine Dye made it 4-3 with a blooper to center.

Oswalt retired Paul Konerko on a fly out to center for the second out, but A. J. Pierzynski gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead with a two-run double to right-center.

Aaron Rowand followed with a walk, bringing Crede back to the plate.

Oswalt hit Crede with a pitch, loading the bases. He escaped further damage on by inducing Uribe's fly out to right.

"We've been down all year," Oswalt said. "We'll come out tomorrow and be better tomorrow. That's one thing about this team. We never give up."

The Astros had a chance to win in the ninth but stranded the bases loaded. Righthander Orlando Hernandez walked three, but Ensberg struck out to end the inning. They also stranded two in the 10th, two in the 11th and two in the 14th.

That's Three, Get Ready to Party!!

White Sox win in 14, one win from World Series title

Posted: October 25, 2005
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Ten, 11, 12, 13 innings. No one could break through.

Not the White Sox, who waited 46 years to get back to the World Series. Not the Astros, who've never been here before.

Finally, in the 14th inning, Geoff Blum won the longest game in World Series history with a tie-breaking, two-out solo homer, and Chicago beat Houston 7-5 Wednesday morning to move within a win of a Series sweep and its first title since 1917.

Long after Chicago overcame a 4-0 deficit with five runs in the fifth inning against Roy Oswalt and Jason Lane hit a tying double for Houston in the eighth off Dustin Hermanson, Blum batted for the first time in a World Series with two outs in the 14th and faced Ezequiel Astacio, Houston's seventh pitcher.

With nearly all the seats still full in Minute Maid Park -- and with the roof still open -- Blum sent a 2-0 pitch from Astacio down the right-field line, and the ball sailed over the wall. As the former Astro circled the bases, Houston manager Phil Garner slammed a stool in the dugout.

The White Sox picked up Blum from San Diego on July 31, right before the trading deadline. A starter with Houston in 2002-03, he's been mostly a backup since then and entered the game in the 13th as part of a double-switch.

Astacio allowed Chicago to load the bases on two singles and a walk, then forced in a run by walking Chris Widger on a 3-2 pitch.

Houston put runners at the corners in the bottom half when Orlando Palmeiro walked with one out and Brad Ausmus reached when shortstop Juan Uribe misplayed his two-out grounder for an error.

Mark Buehrle, who pitched seven innings in Game 2 on Sunday night, came in, Chicago's ninth pitcher and the 17th of the game, both Series records.

Adam Everett then popped to shortstop for the final out at 1:20 a.m. local time. At 5 hours, 41 minutes, it was the longest game by time in Series history. It matched the longest by innings, a Babe Ruth complete game for the Boston Red Sox against Brooklyn in 1914.

Houston, which got only one hit after the fourth inning and stranded 15 runners, left the potential winning run at third base in the ninth and at second base in the 10th and 11th. The Astros escaped a two-on, two-outs jam in the 11th when Chad Qualls retired pinch-hitter Timo Perez on a groundout and eliminated possible trouble in the 13th when Scott Podsednik bunted into a double play with no outs. Paul Konerko grounded into a double play just before Blum's homer.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Miers to Withdraw Name from High Court Consideration

This is what I see happening shortly. In order to allow Pres. Bush to save face, Harriet Miers will ask that her name be withdrawn from consideration for the Sup. Court.

Obviously, Bush made a *big* mistake nominating her. Equally obvious, the White grossly miscalculated the conservative reaction to a stealth nominee who is a Bush crony. (and, for the third "obvious", the White House just as obviously botched the handling of the conservative uprising -- calling conservative opponents elitist and sexist was not only stupid, it was just plain wrong.)

I'm seeing rumors (see esp the Washington Times and National Review's blog
) about "contingency plans" for withdrawing the nomination, how it would be handled, etc. In politics, this type of "what if" speculation is sometimes the ground work being laid for the real thing.

As unfortunate as this is for Pres. Bush (it's a black eye he surely could have done without, but one that he surely needed to be given). He needed to be "taught a lesson" here. He has a majority in both houses of Congress and the support of a majority of Americans. He needs to choose a candidate worth fighting for.

If he does choose a solid conservative he will surely have a fight on his hands. But the corollary is that he will have all the conservatives willing to take up the fight.

As he has so painfully learned over the last couple of weeks, when he picked such an unqualified candidate, not only did he lose the support of his conservative base, he also got into a fight with the folks who would have and should have been in his corner!

Here's hoping that we soon learn that Miers has a previously unknown health issue, family consideration, philosophical difference -- spin it any way you like -- and has decided that it is in the president's best interests to withdraw her name for consideration to the Supreme Court.

Cub Fans and Poor Sports

Some might be wondering why Cub fans aren't out rooting for the White Sox. I mean, after all, you'd think they'd at least be happy that one Chicago baseball team was experiencing a World Series. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

I know there are some out there saying that Cub fans are poor sports. I've even heard that some think that Cub fans won't root for the White Sox because of some sort of childish spite -- you know, like the kid who can't get his way so he throws the ball in the weeds so no one can play.

I don't think this is the case though. I think Cub fans are so used to baseball being over for them in September that they just don't realize that the season actually continues into October! :-)


The View from Houston
(It's Not Pretty)

Here's an article on the game from the Houston Chronicle.

Despite rally in 9th inning, Astros fail to even Series

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

CHICAGO - Paul Konerko stepped out of the Chicago White Sox dugout at 9:45 p.m. Sunday for a grand-slam curtain call. Anybody who assumed that one mere mortal blow would prove to be curtains for the Houston Astros hasn't been paying attention.

Sunday night at U.S. Cellular Field, it took a ninth-inning sucker punch to bring down the Astros once and for all. Scott Podsednik, of all people, drilled a one-out, ninth-inning home run that gave the White Sox a frenetic 7-6 victory in Game 2 of the 101st World Series.

A crowd of 41,432 saw Podsednik prevail in a resistible-force-vs.-sudden- ly-movable-object confrontation with Astros reliever Brad Lidge. Podsednik didn't hit a home run in 507 regular-season at-bats. Lidge has served up game-losing home runs in his past two appearances, leaving the Astros in a blindfold-and-cigarette predicament in the Series.

''I don't think anyone in the ballpark," Podsednik said, ''was thinking about me hitting it out of the ballpark"

Then Lidge grooved a 2-1 fastball, and Podsednik was taking a victory lap around the bases, sending the Astros scurrying home with a 2-0 Series deficit. Of the past 49 teams to face a such a predicament, only 11 have recovered to win the title.

''We're certainly not in a good spot," Astros manager Phil Garner said. ''We had a chance to win this ballgame, as badly as we played. It's not the best situation, but it's the one we're in. We'll bounce back"

They bounced back Sunday from an early 2-1 deficit to build a 4-2 lead. Astros left-hander Andy Pettitte escaped a two-on, two-out jam by getting catcher A.J. Pierzynski to pop out to end the sixth inning. Pettitte had allowed eight hits and thrown 98 pitches on a rainy, 45-degrees-and-falling night, so Garner turned to his bullpen in the seventh inning.

Dan Wheeler took the mound with the lowest career postseason earned run average of any active reliever (0.60). Wheeler left two outs later with the bases loaded on a hit, a walk and a hit batsman. Seven outs from the first Series victory in Astros history, Chad Qualls came in to face Konerko.

Five nights after Konerko became a father for the first time, he blasted Qualls' first pitch over the left-field wall. The first postseason grand slam in White Sox history made the score 6-4, with Game 1 saving grace Bobby Jenks in waiting.

''It's the second-best feeling I've had all week," Konerko said. ''It's kind of an out-of-body thing"

Jenks, a 24-year-old rookie who got the save in Game 1, was one out away from closing the deal again when Garner sent pinch hitter José Vizcaino to the plate. Vizcaino drove in Jeff Bagwell and Chris Burke, who made a nifty slide around Pierzynski at the plate, with a single to left. Tie score.

Podsednik untied it with the 14th walkoff home run in Series history. This one came off an Astros closer who was taking the mound for the first time since having surrendered a mammoth, game-losing blow to St. Louis' Albert Pujols six days earlier in the National League Championship Series.

''This one came at a good time," said Podsednik, who has two home runs this postseason. ''I remember standing out in left field after Paul (Konerko) did what he did, thinking, 'Man, what does that guy feel like?' So to go out and hit one out of the ballpark for a game-winner is pretty much indescribable"

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, his team suddenly two victories from winning the Series for the first time since 1917, shook his head in amazement.

''This team made me mad for seven innings," Guillen said. ''All of a sudden, they made me smile in the ninth"

Garner wasn't exactly getting the warm fuzzies watching his team, either. In particular, a two-run second inning rally by the White Sox stuck in his craw. The rally started when Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg, who had hit his first homer of the playoffs in the top of the inning, did an olé wave at a bad-hop grounder by Aaron Rowand. Single.

Then Chris Burke took a circuitous route to a fly ball to left by Pierzynski. The ball fell safely, off the lower portion of the wall. Another single.

Yet another single by Joe Crede, this one a blooper to right, and a dropped pop-up by second baseman Craig Biggio, gave the White Sox a 2-1 lead.

''We had three balls that should be caught," Garner said. ''Those should have been outs"

Lance Berkman tied the score with a third-inning sacrifice fly and untied it with a two-run double in the fifth. Pettitte was on the mound, with a well-armed bullpen in waiting. After 44 years of waiting just to get to the Series, the Astros will have to wait at least a little longer to win a game.

''It's like playing ourselves out there," Konerko said. ''These guys have a lot of heart. They don't go away. They fight"

The Astros, after all, have picked themselves up from a 15-30 start. The last time a team dug itself out from 15 games under .500 to the postseason was in 1914. That Boston team came to be known as the Miracle Braves, winning the Series. Before the Astros dare to dream that big, they need to win a game.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It's Late in the Game and We're Down by 2 Runs.
A Grand Slam Would Be Nice Right About Now :-)

Two Down, Two to Go

White Sox 7, Astros 6

October 23, 2005


Scott Podsednik made it two electrifying home runs for the White Sox-- and two World Series wins.

Podsednik's home run off Brad Lidge in the ninth inning gave Chicago a thrilling 7-6 victory over the Houston Astros on Sunday night and put the White Sox halfway home to their first World Series title in 88 years.

"Incredible. What a ballgame," Podsednik said. "I was sitting on a fastball the entire at-bat."

After yet another disputed umpiring call, Paul Konerko capped a momentous week with a seventh-inning grand slam on reliever Chad Qualls' first pitch, giving the White Sox a 6-4 lead and sparking the crowd of 41,432 to life on a drizzly, dreary night.

But Game 1 hero Bobby Jenks couldn't work his magic two nights in a row.

Jose Vizcaino, pinch-hitting for Adam Everett with two outs in the ninth, hit an opposite-field single to left off the burly reliever that drove in two runs and tied the game at 6. Chris Burke just beat Podsednik's on-target throw to score the tying run, slapping the plate with his hand, but Podsednik made sure in the bottom half that the game didn't go to extra innings.

Podsednik didn't have any home runs in 507 regular-season at-bats. He hit his first of the season in the division series opener against Boston.

He came up with one out in the ninth against Lidge, who hadn't pitched since Game 5 of the NL championship series against St. Louis, when he gave up a mammoth three-run homer to Albert Pujols that teammates joked rose to airplane cruising altitude.

This one wasn't as long, but it was just as damaging.

Podsednik lofted the ball to right-center field, and players and fans craned to see whether it would clear the fence. When it did, Chicago players poured out of the dugout to greet Podsednik at the plate.

"Well, we're not in a good spot," Houston manager Phil Garner said. "We had a chance to win this ballgame. We have to go home and regroup. We'll make a series out of this."

Andy Pettitte had put his hometown team in position for its first World Series win, leaving after six innings with a 4-2 lead built largely by Lance Berkman, who had three RBIs.

Chicago pressured reliever Dan Wheeler on Juan Uribe's one-out double and Tadahito Iguchi's walk, and the White Sox loaded the bases when Jermaine Dye was awarded first base on a 3-2 pitch that umpires ruled hit his hand. Houston disputed the call and replays appeared to show the ball striking his bat.

If it had been ruled a foul ball, the count would have remained full on Dye. But he took first, Qualls relieved and he left his first pitch over the plate. Konerko turned on it, and it went deep into the left-field bleachers.

"I'm not going to tell him I fouled it off," Dye said. "Just go to first and, hopefully, we get a big hit and we did."

A week earlier, Konerko was selected MVP of the AL championship series win over the Los Angeles Angels. Two days later, his wife gave birth to their first child, Nicholas.

It was Konerko's fifth postseason homer and the first Series slam since the Yankees' Tino Martinez in 1998.

Rain started during batting practice, and it stopped and started throughout the game. The first pitch was delayed 7 minutes-- the first rain delay at the beginning of a Series game since 1993-- and Pettitte repeatedly kicked the pitching rubber to knock mud out of his spikes.

It was 45 degrees when the game began, weather more suited to football than baseball. While rain held off in the early going, it began again in the fifth, just before Berkman doubled down the left-field line to break a 2-2 tie. For the rest of the game, many fans wore slickers and held up umbrellas in an attempt to stay dry.

Making his record 34th postseason start, Pettitte needed 54 pitches to get through the first three innings and allowed two runs in the second, but those were the only runs he gave up.

Morgan Ensberg led off the second with his first homer since Sept. 20 at Pittsburgh, and gave Houston its first lead of the Series.

Chicago went ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the inning with the help of some odd bounces. Aaron Rowand hit a one-hopper that Ensberg couldn't come up with at third and bounced into left for a single.

A.J. Pierzynski hit a ball to left that sliced away from Burke, a relatively inexperienced outfielder who didn't start the opener. While the ball was catchable, it bounced off the wall at Burke's side, but Pierzynski was held to a single because Rowand went back to tag up and only reached second.

Joe Crede hit an opposite-field bloop single to right on the next pitch for his 10th postseason RBI, sending Pierzynski to third. Uribe popped to short right on the following pitch, and the ball bounced off the glove of second baseman Craig Biggio and dropped. Pierzynski scored on the fielder's choice as right fielder Jason Lane threw to second for a forceout.

Willy Taveras tripled into the right-field corner in the third and made it 2-2 on Berkman's sacrifice fly.

Ensberg saved a run in the bottom half when he dived to stop Carl Everett's two-out grounder with a runner on third. In the fourth, Pettitte pitched Houston's first 1-2-3 inning of the Series.

Notes: It was the first rain delay at the start of a Series game since Game 3 in 1993 at Philadelphia began 1:12 late. ... Commissioner Bud Selig didn't take his front-row seat until after the first inning.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

World Series MVP?

One Down, Three to Go!!

White Sox 5, Astros 3

October 22, 2005


Yes, the Chicago White Sox do indeed have a bullpen, and they have the lead in the World Series, too.

Neal Cotts and Bobby Jenks got out of an eighth-inning jam, Joe Crede hit a go-ahead homer and saved two runs with a pair of diving stops and the White Sox beat the Houston Astros 5-3 on Saturday night in Chicago's first World Series game since 1959.

On a night when 43-year-old Roger Clemens hoped to become the oldest pitcher to win a World Series game, the Rocket hobbled off after just two innings, done in by the hamstring injury that has hampered him since early September.

Jose Contreras of the White Sox allowed three runs in seven-plus innings and tied a Series record by hitting three batters.

Chicago had pitched four straight complete games in finishing off the Angels in the AL championship series, a feat not achieved in a postseason series since 1956. The White Sox used their bullpen for just two outs and seven pitches against Los Angeles. But Willy Taveras hit a leadoff double off Contreras in the eighth with Houston trailing 4-3, and manager Ozzie Guillen took him out after 81 pitches.

Left-hander Neal Cotts, the only reliever used by Chicago against the Angels, came in and allowed a sharp single to left by Lance Berkman, a ball hit so hard that Taveras had to hold at third.

Cotts then struck out Morgan Ensberg and Mike Lamb, and the right-handed rookie Jenks came in to face Jeff Bagwell, with Guillen making his usual signal of raising both arms high and wide to signal for the burly reliever.

Throwing fastballs that reached 100 mph, Jenks struck out Bagwell on a 2-2 pitch, raising his right hand and pumping a fist as he came off the mound.

Scott Podsednik added an RBI triple in the ninth against Russ Springer to boost the margin.

Crede had broken a 3-3 tie in the fourth inning with a solo homer off Clemens' replacement, 26-year-old rookie Wandy Rodriguez. As the ball went just over the glove of a leaping Taveras in left-center, Crede strolled around the bases, and Chicago was truly a toddlin' town.

Crede then sprawled to make a backhand grab on Ensberg's hard grounder with a runner at third and one out in the sixth. With runners at the corners and two outs in the seventh, he made another backhand play on Craig Biggio, in his 18th season with Houston and appearing in his first World Series game.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Intolerance of the Tolerance Crowd

Coach resigns after high school bans pregame prayer

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- A veteran central New Jersey high school football coach has resigned after being told by school officials he could no longer lead his team in pregame prayer.

East Brunswick coach Marcus Borden was told last Friday by Schools Superintendent Jo Ann Magistro that some parents had complained about prayers Borden initiated at pregame meals and before the games.

After being told he would have to stop leading or taking part in the prayers, Borden stepped down from his position, just hours before his team's 21-0 loss to Sayreville that evening.

"I'm very disappointed," Borden said in an interview with News 12 New Jersey Tuesday. "Do I feel we were violating someone's rights? I don't think so."

But East Brunswick school officials think differently. According to school officials, the prayers violated the separation between church and state in public schools.

A spokeswoman for the district, Trish LaDuca, said students have the right to pray on school property during school events, but the prayer must be initiated by the students; otherwise it violates the law.

"A representative of the school district cannot constitutionally initiate prayer, encourage it or lead it," LaDuca told the Home News Tribune of East Brunswick. "Representatives of the school cannot participate in the student-initiated prayer."

During the television interview, aired Tuesday, Borden said what he was doing was not uncommon, and coaches across the state lead similar prayers as part of sporting events.

"I'm not out preaching, I'm not a preacher," said Borden, who has led the football program for 23 years. He has a 116-100-1 career record, and his team won the Central Jersey Group IV championship in 2004.

He is the founder of the Snapple Bowl, a charity all-star football game that has raised more than $150,000 for physically and mentally impaired children.

His resignation has divided the school community, with many students and parents supporting the coach.

On Saturday, a group of more than 50 members of the football team and some of their parents traveled to Borden's home and asked the coach to return.

Nancy Halupka, president of the school's football booster club, said she sympathizes with Borden and said the prayer tradition started long before he arrived at the school.

But school officials, who emphasized that they did not force Borden to resign, said some students felt uncomfortable with the prayer and their concerns should be treated with respect.

Magistro, the district's superintendent, said Borden's resignation won't become official until the school board meets on Oct. 20. She said the former coach can rescind his resignation at any time before the meeting, something Borden said was not likely.

"I believe that I made the right decision," said Borden, a Catholic. "I believe I made a decision based on principle. I believe that's who I am."

Borden could not immediately be reached for comment by the Associated Press Tuesday evening.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Separated at Birth?
Good News for Radio

Dirtbag Howard Stern's ratings are dropping like a rock, and Air America's miniscule ratings aren't even that anymore.

According to an article in the WaPo:
The Howard Stern exodus has begun. Unfortunately for Stern, it's his audience that's leaving, not him.

The shock jock won't jump to satellite radio until January, but in the meantime, his listeners in the Washington area seem to be heading for the exits. Stern's nationally syndicated morning program, which is heard locally on WJFK-FM (106.7), suffered a dramatic fall in the summer audience ratings, which in turn helped drag down WJFK's overall popularity.

Stern's share of radio's most lucrative audience (adults age 25 to 54) fell by nearly one-third during the July-September period, bottoming out at 3.4 percent, according to Arbitron Inc., which measures radio audiences. That was the lowest total for Stern in years, and possibly decades, given his long and successful career.

All I can say is Good Riddance!

And as for Air America, this says it all:
Air America, the liberal talk network carried on WWRC-AM (1260), went from bad to nonexistent. After WWRC recorded a mere fraction of a rating point in the spring with syndicated shows from the likes of lefty talkers Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo and Stephanie Miller, Arbitron couldn't detect a measurable listenership for the station this time around.

What was that Al Franken was saying about taking it to Rush?? Haw-haw!
The NY Slimes "Being There"

The New York Times spins its revisionist history even in their advertising. I was checking a news site today and there was a banner ad for the Times with the theme "Being There".

"There" in this ad was the fall of the Berlin Wall back in 1989. The message being, if you were a Times reader, you could "be there" as the Wall fell. That's true as far as it goes.

However, "being there" with the Times back in 1989 would mean that you were on the side of the Communists as they tried to prop up their crumbling empire; "being there" with the Times would have meant opposing Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and John Paul II and supporting the Communists and the other useful idiots on the left.

Maybe the Times could do an ad about "being there" in the 1930's Soviet Union as their reporter, Walter Duranty, white washed Stalin's slaughter of millions of Russians during the forced collectivization of the country. Curiously, the Times now has an "oops" statement on their web site noting Duranty's discredited reporting.
2,000 Patriots and Heros

Here's an interesting article from today's NY Post via Real Clear Politics.

I'm going to post the whole article so you can dispense with the Post's site registation requirement to read their articles.



WE'LL soon reach a total of 2,000 dead American troops in Iraq. You won't miss the day it happens. The media will pound it into you.

But no one will tell you what that number really means — and what it doesn't.

Unable to convince the Bush administration or our troops to cut and run, the American left is waging its campaign of support for Islamist terror through our all-too-cooperative media. And you're the duck in the anti-war movement's shooting gallery.

Breathless anchors and voice-of-God columnists will suggest that 2,000 dead is an exorbitant price to pay in wartime, that reaching such a threshold means we've failed and that it's time to "support our troops and bring them home."

All lies. Certainly, the life of every American service member matters to us. But the left's attempt to exploit dead soldiers and Marines for partisan purposes is worse than grave-robbing: Ghouls only take gold rings and decaying flesh; the left wants to rob our war dead of their sacrifices and their achievements, their honor and their pride.

Those who died in Iraq have not died in vain. Even should Iraq fail itself in the end, our courageous effort to give one Middle-Eastern Muslim population a chance to create a rule-of-law democracy has been worth the cost — for their sake, but also for ours. Without a transformation of the Middle East, we shall see no end of terror.

As a former soldier whose friends still serve under our flag, I'm especially disgusted by the pretense on the part of those who never served and who wouldn't dream of letting their own children serve that they speak for the men and women in uniform.

Our troops speak for themselves. By re-enlisting. And returning to Iraq, to complete the mission for which their comrades gave their lives or suffered life-altering wounds.

Two generations of politicians and pundits suffer from their avoidance of military service. They speak of war in ignorance and view our troops — whom they quietly despise — as nothing more than tools of their own ambitions. After deploring body counts during their Vietnam-era protest years, today our leftists revel in the American body count in Iraq.

The left has been infuriated by its inability to incite an anti-war movement in our military — forgetting that this is an all-volunteer force whose members believe in service to our country. The best the Democrats can do is to trot out poor Wes Clark, an ethically challenged retired general who will say anything, anywhere, anytime in return for five more seconds in the spotlight.

As for that "unacceptable" number of casualties, let's put it in perspective:

Our current loss rate in Iraq from combat and non-combat deaths is 765 per year. That's painful for individual families, but we would have to remain in Iraq, taking casualties at the same rate, for 76 years to rival our loss of more than 58,000 Americans in Indochina.

And Vietnam wasn't remotely as important to our national security. The terrorists we face today are more implacable than any of the enemies from our past. Even the Germans didn't dream of eradicating our entire population. The Japanese hoped to master Asia, not to massacre every man, woman and child in America.

We would need to continue our efforts in Iraq and the greater War on Terror for 532 years to suffer the 407,000 dead we lost in less than four years in World War II.

And what about our greatest struggle, the American Civil War? We would have to maintain the status quo in Iraq for 470 years just to rival the number of Union dead and for 729 years to equal our total losses, North and South.

Even our Revolutionary War, in which fewer than 5,000 Americans died in combat (many more, unrecorded, fell to disease) has to be judged in terms of the population at the time — just over 2 million. Equivalent losses today would be over 500,000 dead Americans.

The point isn't to play hocus-pocus with statistics. That's what the pro-terrorist left is trying to do — betting that you know nothing of military history. Two thousand dead isn't a magic number. Our first loss was as important as the last. We must not make a mockery of our fallen by treating them as political rag-dolls to be tossed around the media playroom. Great causes incur great costs.

In historical terms, our losses in Iraq have been remarkably light, given the magnitude of what we seek to achieve. The low casualty rate is a tribute to the skill and professionalism of our troops and their battlefield leaders. None of us should breathe a word that undercuts them while they're fighting our war.

If the American left and its media sympathizers want someone to blame for our combat losses, they should begin with themselves. Their irresponsible demands for troop withdrawals provide powerful encouragement to Muslim fanatics to keep on killing as many American service members as possible. On the worst days the terrorists suffer in Iraq, our "anti-war" fellow citizens keep the cause of Islamist fascism alive. Their support is worth far more to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi than any amount of Saudi money.

It would be wonderful to live in a world in which war was never necessary. But we don't live in such a world. And there are no bloodless wars. We should honor every fallen American. But we also must recognize that, on this maddened earth, only the blood of patriots shed abroad allows us to live in safety here at home.

Ralph Peters' latest book is "New Glory, Expanding America's Global Supremacy."


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