Friday, February 10, 2006

Open thread!!!

Behave though.

What bored rich white kids....

do for fun.

God save us from teenagers.

Reason #682 of why I HATE the dark side of the web.

Ugh. (it's a link to Boing Boing discussing the site I am disgusted with, but the top banner is NSFW)

To the commentary about privacy rights, I say boo freaking hoo. If you are an adult playing this game you're an idiot and a pervert, which of course, is your right, but it doesn't mean you have a right to a game online that might entice kids. Boing Boing makes the point that she got in (as a child might) anyway without too much trouble. So that is suppose to make the fact that they are trying to make it strictly for adults only not worth it????? To me it just means there needs to be even more of a security system involved.

You all know how I feel about this. It just DRIVES ME CRAZY that we care more about our own perverted desires than the accessibility of filth like this to our kids.

Don't try and defend it. It will just make me not like you.

Cartoons and Craziness.

I was reading at the Captain's about a cartoon depicting Anne Frank in bed with Adolf Hitler circulated by European Muslims as a tit-for-tat response to their outrage over the Jyllands-Posten editorial cartoons.

I just had to shake my head at the absurdity of it all. People have actually been killed at some of the "protests" over the Muslim cartoons and now we have those trying their best to come up with something that will insult Jews as much as possible.

As you might imagine, the "Jews" aren't taking the bait. Thank Goodness. Imagine WWIII be started by CARTOONS!!!!

It's sort of like the siblings who yell "he touched me!!!!!" As parents we know that someone lightly touching their brother/sister with the tip of their finger is hardly a reason for them to get into a full blown knock down drag out fight, but we also know that if we don't intervene, it will become just that.

So, as absurd as it is for these cartoons to be making the impact that they are, I think it best if we stop it in it's tracks and not let it get to the point of a knock down drag out fight. Which is why the Bush administration and news outlets ect.. are trying to calm things down by either recognizing the insult or refusing to air the cartoons.

This is not, imo, a surrender of free speech or hypocrisy on the side of CNN and the like who would think nothing of airing cartoons depicting Christians in a negative light. It is simply recognizing the fact that this isn't worth the grief that it is causing and that trying to simmer it down is not a bad thing.

In America it's always about proving our point. Maybe sometimes it should be about not letting ridiculous things get out of hand, whether our point is made or not.

This has got to hurt....

The Democrats just can't get a break.

More on Harry Reid's Ties to Jack Abramoff.

More on the unseemly conduct of the Democrats at Coretta Scott King's funeral.

Surveillance Wins Some More Backers.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Check it out...

My buddy Charmaine Yost at Reasoned Audacity . She has the clip where she was on CNBC on "On Your Money" discussing this month's Vanity Fair cover.

Michael Yon

The LA Times has a great story on Michael Yon and his blogging from Iraq. If you loved his blogging as much as I did and wanted to know more about Michael and where he came from, this article is a good place to start.


Powerline points to polls that says Hillary is VERY unpopular. I still say she gets the '08 nomination no matter what the polls say. (And the polls say she will get the nod too)

Cindy Sheehan says she is not running for the Senate. Darn.

Reid Aided Abramoff Clients. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for Howard Dean.

This morning Bush gave some details on a 2002 terror attack that was thwarted.

Out of the kindness of my heart...

I am giving you lefties a tip. Someone out there get in touch with the Democratic side of the House of Representatives and let them know that Stephen Colbert is not a real reporter.

Colbert has been having this segment where he goes to Representatives of different districts and "interviews" them and makes a complete fool of them. Very funny stuff and so far it seems to be only Democrats. Now, I don't know if that is because Republicans are on to him or what, but even if you knew who Stephen Colbert was and you were ready for him, you have to know that they edit the interview to make you look foolish anyway, no matter how prepared you are.

I think Stephen Colbert is hilarious. I love his show, but I do feel sorry for the politicians that get caught in his "interviews." So, someone...Please. Tell your Representative to BEWARE.

Crossing the line.

Ever since I mentioned how wrong I thought it was to report on politician's children, the left has brought up Rush making some reference to President Clinton's daughter and a dog. I have never really heard that reference or even know how he said it. If someone has that, let me know.

As I have said before, I checked out of politics during the Clinton administration. I simply couldn't bear it and I was busy busy with small babies. I obviously missed TV at the time too because just in the last week I have seen two references to Chelsea in old SNL skits. One had Hillary and Barbara Bush during the 92 campaigns debating and Barbara refers to Chelsea looking like a dog. The one I saw today was with Paulie Shore saying "Did you hear that Clinton has been renting out the Lincoln bedroom for $50,000? For another $100 he will throw in Chelsea."

Awful. Just awful. It seems that Chelsea was beat up pretty bad with comedians during the Clinton years. Yet the only thing the left seems to remember is Rush saying something which I have yet to hear exactly what he said. If we are going to be outraged over someone crossing the line then I think we need to be consistent. Don't forget to be outraged just because the person making the joke is someone you like or a TV star.

The backlash regarding the Mohammad cartoons, whether the protests were organized or not, doesn't mean that people should not be allowed to make fun of what they wish. Freedom is freedom after all. But it also doesn't mean they have to either.

Here's an idea.

From John Kerry's letter regarding CPAC

"While they plot strategy, here’s what we’re going to do: raise the money we need to break their grip on power and drive them from office."

Sounds like a plan. Sounds like their only plan.

A reality show I really like.

Mary Katherine Ham at Hugh Hewitt talks about the Reality show "Beauty and the Geek." I've only been able to catch it twice, but I really liked it too. Here is what Mary Katherine had to say:
An actual piece of dating advice from "Beauty and the Geek" tonight:

"Whatever you do, don't talk about the monkeys with lasers."

I don't know if y'all are into the whole reality TV thing or not. I know a lot of the reality competition shows can get pretty catty and negative. "Beauty and the Geek" is actually pretty uplifting.

It's uplifting because everyone is actually NICE to one another. Even when the not so brilliant pretty girls get an obvious question wrong and lose the challenge for her and her brainy geek teammate, he doesn't get mad. He says, "that's ok" and gives her a hug.

The guys are totally adorable and endearing. They seem so happy to be around beautiful women they seem to melt in their presence. Maybe this show can show women that there are guys out there who would treat you as you really would like to be treated. Sure, they aren't be best looking guys, but looks fade any way, but kindness lasts.

I have always said that young women should be required to read Dr. Laura Schlessinger's "10 Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives." Because among the most stupid things they do is date and marry goodlooking, but horrible men. If you watch any dating show or even those challenge shows on MTV you know exactly what I mean.

Watch it next time and tell me what you think.

Orchestrated Protest?

NRO has this:

NTERESTING! [Jonah Goldberg]
An Egyptian newspaper ran the cartoons last October. Meanwhile, Amir Taheri sheds some light on the orchestration behind the cartoon protests.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

John Bolton nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.

This should pretty much finally cause Howard Dean's head to explode.

Since President Carter brought it up....

It wasn't a terrorist that our Government wiretapped when it wiretapped Dr. King, and it wasn't a Republican administration doing it. As Hugh Hewitt points out: (emphasis mine)

But for the record, here's the opening of The Atlantic Monthly's 2002 article on the FBI and Dr. King:

On October 10, 1963, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy committed what is widely viewed as one of the most ignominious acts in modern American history: he authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin wiretapping the telephones of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Kennedy believed that one of King's closest advisers was a top-level member of the American Communist Party, and that King had repeatedly misled Administration officials about his ongoing close ties with the man. Kennedy acted reluctantly, and his order remained secret until May of 1968, just a few weeks after King's assassination and a few days before Kennedy's own. But the FBI onslaught against King that followed Kennedy's authorization remains notorious, and the stains on the reputations of everyone involved are indelible.
The left has been hijacked by its angriest elements, and whenever those elements are on display, the country gets another lesson on why the Democratic Party, controlled by this angry edge, simply cannot be allowed to govern unless and until it reforms itself.

Laura Ingraham blogging from Iraq.

She is no Michael Yon yet, but pretty good stuff.

A lesson learned?

This New York Time's piece may explain a bit of the desperation of the Democrats shown at Coretta Scott King's funeral, but I found this quote regarding the Abramoff scandal from Howard Dean interesting:

"We're going to keep hammering this," said Mr. Dean, the party chairman, referring to the scandals. "One thing the Republicans have taught us is that values and character matter."

Glad we could teach you something there Dean. Heh.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New political lows.

After the last post I didn't think I could get more disgusted, but this did it.

We cannot accept smearing candidate's or political pundit's children IN ANY WAY. I don't care if it's Democrat or Republican. I don't care what pictures he/she has up. NO!

The only way to stop this is for all of us, on the left and right, to make it clear that we will not vote or support any campaign that involves itself in this.


No, no, no, no.

I can't tell you how WRONG it was for President Carter and Rev. Joseph Lowery to use the occasion of Coretta Scott King's funeral to score political points. It is beyond the pale. Incredibly rude and frankly, unforgivable. Here is what Carter said of the Kings:

"It was difficult for them then personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the target of secret government wiretaps." Later, he said that Hurricane Katrina showed that all are not yet equal in America.

Then Lowery said this:

"We know there were no weapons of mass destruction over there, but Coretta knew and we knew there are weapons of misdirection right down here," Lowery said, complaining that were far too many in the U.S. are living in poverty and without health care insurance.
"For war, billions more, but no more for the poor," Lowery continued, a take-off of a lyric from the song "A Time to Love."

The Bush family, of course, handled it with their usual class and dignity. Bush senior simply joking about it:

"Bush's father tried to defuse any political tension by joking that Lowery used to challenge him when he was president, too.

"I kept score in the Oval Office desk — Lowery 21, Bush 3," former President George H.W. Bush said. "It wasn't a fair fight."

There is a time and place for political jabs and smears, but a funeral IS NOT ONE OF THEM. Especially a funeral for a woman who epitomized grace and class and never used her stature or fame for political points or gains when it would have been easy to do so. I am sure they both felt smugly that they were really "giving it to Bush," but perhaps they should have considered the King family first.

Carter and Lowery should be ASHAMED of themselves and should apologize for such a rude and unacceptable display at a time that should have been reserved for honoring a great lady.

A Caption Contest!

Long overdue. Caption This! provided the pic and these captions:

"These books got a lot easier after Waldo converted to Satanism."

"Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light, parties down on Spring Break."

"Only known photograph of the 'Black Devil' that haunts Senator Byrd's dreams."

Back to the basics.

If there is one thing that ties all Republicans (libertarian, gay, moderate, conservative, atheist, religious) together other than the war on terror, it's the belief that the government is too big. If we could point to one thing that Bush has disappointed us the most with, it would be the budget. The Captain breaks it down referring to Federal Spending - By The Numbers:

......Federal spending has kept the pace of the expansion in revenues. Last year's budget came in at $2.472T, and this year we expect to spend $2.77T, according to estimates released this week. Of that money, $969B comes in so-called discretionary spending, up $300B since 2001. But by far and away the worst of the bill comes in entitlement spending, which went to $1.32T last year, up from $1.009 in 2001. As a measure of the rate of increase in both areas, discretionary spending has increased 93% since 1990, but entitlements have gone up 132%, while revenues have increased by 109%.

Where has the increase come? Some of it has gone to national defense, but not all of it. In fact, the federal budget has grown across the board since 2001, outstripping inflation (12% overall) in several categories, such as Education (137%), Community and Regional Development (342%), Medicare (58%), Housing and Commerce (58%), Medicaid (49%), and Water Transportation (46%). Do you like the idea of nationalized health care? We may be heading there by default, as the federal budget for Health Research and Regulation has grown by 78% since 2001 and now consumes $76B of our budget.

And here is the money quote:

Federal programs have become an addiction, not just to politicians looking to pork up home districts to guarantee re-election, but to all of us. What started as noble programs to assist the truly disadvantaged have now become bloated socialist nanny-care programs, floating everyone and relying on a decreasing work force to prop up the Ponzi scheme for just one more generation before the collapse comes.

I think we conservatives have given Bush and congress a pass because of our support on the war on terror, but it is time to put our foot down. Being a compassionate conservative does not mean throwing out money to every program in the government. The above increases are unacceptable. It's time to make the hard choices. People have got to be more responsible for themselves and their own lives.

Let me give you a small example. A few years ago I had a family member (on my husband's side) tell me how she got free cheese and milk and shots for her kids from government programs. This was a married working middle class college educated family. When I expressed my dismay that these programs were meant for the very poor and it was things like this that made them not work, she justified it by saying that they paid so much in taxes that they deserved to get some of it back that way.

When I was volunteering for Health and Human Services many years back I saw this over and over. People who actually went agency to agency to get as much as possible while they spent their own money on booze and cigarettes. I remember once talking to a woman that was having surgery (on us the taxpayer) and because I was taking care of her kids during the surgery she told me I could reach her on her cell phone. This was even before everyone and their dog had a cell phone. I asked her how much she paid for the cell phone a month. She said about $50. I thought well, if she paid for her surgery at $50 a month for a few years then the taxpayer wouldn't have to. But that thought probably never crossed her mind.

This is why programs don't' work. People who shouldn't be getting the benefits do. Period. We have got to cut these people out of the picture and make them fly on their own. We all believe in a safety net for the poor, but that net is being weighed down by people taking advantage of the system. If we don't do something, that net will break and no one will benefit.

A McCain smackdown.

My friend BigDog showed me this letter yesterday from McCain to Obama, but I wasn't sure it was real. Now that everyone is publishing it, I guess it is. I know McCain makes people mad, but if he keeps doing stuff like this I think he could win you guys over.

Well this is mature.

"IRAN'S largest selling newspaper announced today it was holding a contest on cartoons of the Holocaust in response to the publishing in European papers of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed."

via NRO

Monday, February 06, 2006

This is priceless!

Baldilocks has this:

Pajamas Media is covering the hearings on the legality of the NSA's Terrorist Surveillance Program. Be sure to check out the 'NSA Files.' meanwhile it appears that Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has been introduced to us.

Durbin: What outfit are you with?

[Paul] Mirengoff [of Power Line]: Power Line and Pajamas Media.

Durbin: 'Jamas Media?

Mirengoff: No. Pajamas Media.

Durbin: Oh, Pajamas Media. I'm not familiar with that publication.

[More exchange about Mirengoff's question. Apparently Durbin didn't want to answer]

Durbin: I don't know who you are.

Mirengoff: Well, Dan Rather knows who we are.

[LAUGHTER from the crowd.](Thanks to Roger L. Simon)

UPDATE: Watch the video.

Moderate Muslims say they are sorry.


Alberto Gonzales on the NSA's terrorist surveillance program.

Here. Here is an excerpt:

The president, as commander in chief, has asserted his authority to use sophisticated military drones to search for Osama bin Laden, to deploy our armed forces in combat zones, and to kill or capture al Qaeda operatives around the world. No one would dispute that the AUMF supports the president in each of these actions.

It is, therefore, inconceivable that the AUMF does not also support the president's efforts to intercept the communications of our enemies. Any future al Qaeda attacks on the homeland are likely to be carried out, like Sept. 11, by operatives hiding among us. The NSA terrorist surveillance program is a military operation designed to detect them quickly. Efforts to identify the terrorists and their plans expeditiously while ensuring faithful adherence to the Constitution and our existing laws is precisely what America expects from the president.

You can access the committee's webcast from the hearing page here, and you can obtain hearing documents from that site during and after the hearing. You can also watch C-SPAN's webcast from its site, and here is the latest Associated Press story on the hearing (updated 3:10 pm ET.).

via The Counterterrorism Blog

"I Am Al Qaeda"


As Alberto Gonzales tries to explain to the Senate Judiciary Committee why it might be necessary to take extraordinary measures to subdue Al Qaeda, the "20th hijacker," Zacarias Moussaoui, appeared in court for jury selection in his trial. He stood up, said, "I am Al Qaeda," announced he didn't want his lawyers to represent him because they were Americans, and had to be escorted from the courtroom. Draw your own conclusions.


I was checking my recent keyword activity, where you can see what someone has typed in the search engine to have landed on your webpage. We all know that some crazy stuff comes up and you have to wonder what the person was looking for, but in this search, I don't think there is any doubt about the information he wanted. Here is what he typed:

"ru286 spike food drink kill baby"

You know, it never occurred to me that a man could maybe spike a drink or food to a pregnant woman to try and have her abort the baby (with her believing it was a miscarriage, I suppose) But then I got to thinking how easy that would be.

Then I thought, well, a man could not get ru286 anyway. But I was wrong.

I hope the guy who typed that didn't find that webpage. But it only took me about 2 minutes.

Hypocrisy of the Left.

Just as I finished writing in the comments in the post below about the irony of the left insisting on tolerance for the Muslim religion when they have none for the Christian one here, I hop over to Protein Wisdom and Jeff says it much better than I could.

"I’m not the most religious person in the world, but even I recognize that, to many devout Christians, abortion, say, is an unpardonable sin—a social / physical act that though sanctioned by the laws of the state and therefore legal, is nevertheless irreconciliable with the basic foundational tenets of their fundamental Christian faith.

And yet somehow I can’t for a second imagine that Steve Gilliard would spend as much time explaining to “intolerant” feminists and “extremist” womens’ reproductive rights advocates why the deeply-held beliefs of fundamentalist Christians must be respected (read: obeyed)—even by those who don’t hold with them—as he does this morning
explaining to intolerant westerners how the deeply-held religious beliefs of Muslims must be respected (read: obeyed), even by those who don’t hold with them—and even if doing so means that free speech is sacrificed is sacrificed in the process to the theocratic dictates of a minority tribalist religion whose demands require a rewriting of the social contract that gives them de facto control of the host country. Sorry, Gilliard seems to say, but the west started all this by letting Muslims in—so they’re just going to have to learn to deal with all this Otherness. Or else, y’know, rocks will be thrown, flags burned, embassies firebombed, etc., etc.

Now sure, in one example, the offense in question is cartooning(the critique of policy, ideology, or action via pointed satire)—while in the other instance, the offense is the termination of a life. But that’s really just nitpicking, isn’t it—because what remains constant is the call for a social “tolerance” that respects the doctrinal dictates of a particular religious group.

Or maybe Gilliard has decided that being intellectually consistent is secondary to the fact that he believes he’d look better in sandals and a flowing silken headscarf than he would in Amish highwaters and one of those big, buckle-heavy hats."

Sunday, February 05, 2006


If you read the comment thread in the post below you read a Muslim from the Middle East comment there. I asked if I could e-mail her some questions and she agreed. I realize that this is but one Muslim, but she absolutely reaffirms to me what I believe to be the feelings of most Muslims. Hind is a devout Muslim from Muscat - Oman (but she is from the kingdom of Bahrain). She has never lived in the United States.

My commentary about the answers are in red.

RWsparkle-How do you feel about the clerics who preach so much hate for America?

Hind-I think they are damaging the way Islam looks.. & we Muslims dislike those people's actions more than any other person from any other Religion!

RWsparkle-Do you think most Muslims are afraid to speak out against the radical ones?

Hind-I don't think people are afraid simply not bothered or don't have enough knowledge to argue and that's why they stay quiet.

This has been what I thought as well. I don't think most Americans realize how most in the Middle East live. There is simply not the education and knowledge that is available here to understand what is going on in the world. They are busy living day to day. They wake up thinking about how to provide food for their family that day, not wondering how the world is judging Islam or even knowing how the world judges it. Most of us in the U.S. have the luxury to contemplate and argue about the world, they do not. (Hind, feel free to correct me if I am wrong) I would still imagine that in places like Iran, there is great fear in speaking out.

RWsparkle-Do you feel that the U.S. is a threat to the Muslim religion?

Hind-Why would it be a threat? Would the U.S. stop us from believing what we believe in?

RWsparkle- How do you see the West and the Middle East coming to terms with each other's differences?

Hind-I think they have to learn to tolerate eachother..why do they change us? And why do we have to convert them to Muslims?To each his own! But I personally don't know how it is over there, but what I know is that I bump into ALOT of Christians & to be more specific I bump into Americans everyday & they don't look away or even look at us as terrorists, & WE don't pull out our weapons or think of ways to kill them .. They live among us and I don't think they're facing any problems from us .. & neither do we!

RWsparkle-Would you rather live under Democracy or under Muslim Law? In other words, would you rather religion be a private thing instead of a governmental thing?

Hind-I think they should be balanced out & that we should be able to combine them for the good of the people.

RWsparkle- What do you see as the biggest misconceptions about Muslims?

Hind-Some people believe that all we Muslims do is think of ways to destroy non-Muslims, & that's really not close to being true!We live our lives just like any other person from any other religion.. We respect others and HATE the acts of those terrorists who speak by our name! And also one thing.. The fact that Islam is shown as a vulgar, and a disrespectful religion I think is the greatest misconception of all .. This image those Muslim terrorists have created DOESN'T & SHOULDN'T represent Islam in any way! And I do agree with the non-Muslims when they say that they're ignorant & shouldn't be given a chance, but I say it again "THEY" not "US" !

You see? I don't see this kind of person as someone we can't possible live with in this world. I have to believe that Hind is more the face of Islam than the hate preaching clerics and the violent crowds they show on TV. Think about the things that Muslims could see on TV about Americans. "The Jerry Springer Show" or "College Girls Gone Wild" or "Cops." They would see a sick drunken slutty ignorant redneck kind of America. And, sad to say, that is a part of America, but it isn't the majority of us (Thank God) So impressions from TV, even news, can be SO wrong. I think this is what has happened with our impressions of Muslims.

RWsparkle-What was your first thoughts on 9-11? Did you worry that Islam would be equated with the highjackers?

Hind-What happened in America that day was certainly a tragedy..Not only for Americans but for me too & for many Muslims that I know. Innocent people were killed there, so any person with a heart would've felt upset and angry that day. Especially us, because the moment we heard about it we knew that Muslims would be to blame..And it happened that the highjackers WERE Muslims .. So I have nothing to say to defend them but again I defend Islam .. Islam is being used in a horrible way by the people who call themselves "faithful" to Allah and Islam.. And as I heared someone once say "instead of using Islam as a tool to gain people's trust and friendship... They're using it as a weapon".

RWsparkle-How do you think most Muslims see America and it's people? (in general)

Hind-Well in general (as in what I see in my daily life) is that we get along so well, where I am at at least. And those who put that barrier between us are only those closed minded ones, which I personally haven't met any in my life yet! It may differ from a country to another... But I assure you that here it's not like most of the people over there think! ....

RWsparkle-How do you feel about the U.S in Iraq?

Hind-I think the US started something they cant finish.Because at the beginning I thought that their mission was to get rid of Saddam & let the Iraqis live at peace ....Well Saddam is gone but I still hear about people dying in Iraq.

I have to point out to Hind that if we had just left when Saddam was gone the insurgents/terrorists would have taken over and Iraq would be even worse off. We had to and have to stay long enough to train forces and make sure the Democratic process moved forward. This was not something Iraqis could have done on their own. It was also critical to the future. Remember who is doing the killing there. It is not us. It is the insurgents and terrorists. They have no regard for the life of even their own people. Would you really wanted the U.S. to leave the Iraqis at their hands????

RWsparkle-Can you understand how the Muslim religion might look oppressive to the U.S.?

Hind-Yes I do .. Because I KNOW that all America know about Muslims is what they see on news.. And news never talks about Islam.. But talks about racist religious Muslims & their attacks on innocent people..And about that, I want to mention a little story of my own that happened few years back. I was watching TV one morning,& as I was flipping through the channels, a crying man caught my attention on TV. I didn't know what it was about at the beginning, but later I realized it was about the terrorists in Iraq who threatened to behead their innocent hostages. This time their hostage was an American man, & that man crying was his son & his wife also was on, they were both pleading & begging to have the father and husband back home!! I was watching both of them crying & at the same time I watch the terrorists holding him hostage.. I NEVER in my life shed as much tears as I did that day!!! & after few days I heared that the terrorists have killed the man.. that father,that husband! That has hurt me so much.. I dunno if I cried out of sadness or out of anger!!!! But my whole point is that I felt angry and enraged, and I'm sure that for the Americans to see that they absolutely had a reason to hate Muslims and have the wrong idea about Islam..BUT I don't just say that those people don't deserve to be called "Muslims"..They don't deserve to be called "human beings"!!!! And I'm sorry they use our religion in that way..

I think one point Hind missed here was that the question was about the repressiveness of the Muslim religion in the eyes of the United States. The burkas, the role of women, the role of the government in regards to religion. It is our belief that it is never for the good of society for religion to govern us because of the simple fact that we are of all different religions or no religion. Religion can and should have a say, just as the non-religious voice does. But it should be the voices together that decide. This is what we do here in America. Sometimes it is messy, loud, and angry. But it is wonderful because it is free. Theocracy doesn't work, in our opinion, because faith should never be forced on anyone. It has to be freely chosen.

Regarding Hind's reaction to the killing of the hostage. It is my belief that good people are all the same under the skin they are in. We all feel compassion for those hurting, no matter how different they are from us.

This is the commonality that we need to work with and hold on to.