Foolish to put temptation in their way
Two Hartford men have admitted to producing child pornography, federal authorities said. Kurt Alfred Amundson, 42, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids to a charge of producing images of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Amundson's co-defendant, 43-year-old Robert George Shafer, pleaded guilty to the same felony count July 25.
Investigators found several images of child pornography, including images of a child befriended by the two men, on computers, cameras, CDs and floppy disks seized from the Hartford men's residence in June 2006, according to a news release.
Authorities said the two were licensed as foster-care providers and were in the process of adopting a child for whom they were serving as foster parents. The foster child and the child befriended by the two men alleged that Shafer and Amundson sexually assaulted them, according to the news release.
The two men were indicted by a federal grand jury on June 6 and arrested on June 8, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Both face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and maximum of 30 years in prison, followed by a maximum term of life supervision after their releases, and a fine of up to $250,000.
Interested Participant comments:
Interestingly, Amundson was heralded as a homosexual foster parent in a 2003 article, "The Changing Face of the American Family."
When asked about his role as a same-sex foster parent he said mentoring children was not satisfying enough for him.According to the indictment, there was carrying on and then some.
"It was helpful, but I wanted to carry the relationship beyond that," he said in the article.
Why 'Islamophobia' is a brilliant term
What do anti-Semitism, racism and Islamophobia have in common? In fact, nothing. But according to Islamist groups, Western media and the United Nations, they have everything in common. Anti-Semites hate all Jews, racists hate all members of another race, and Islamophobes hate all Muslims.
Whoever coined the term "Islamophobia" was quite shrewd. Notice the intellectual sleight of hand here. The term is not "Muslim-phobia" or "anti-Muslimist," it is Islam-ophobia - fear of Islam - yet fear of Islam is in no way the same as hatred of all Muslims. One can rightly or wrongly fear Islam, or more usually, aspects of Islam, and have absolutely no bias against all Muslims, let alone be a racist.
The equation of Islamophobia with racism is particularly dishonest. Muslims come in every racial group, and Islam has nothing to do with race. Nevertheless, mainstream Western media, Islamist groups calling themselves Muslim civil liberties groups and various Western organizations repeatedly declare that Islamophobia is racism.
To cite three of innumerable examples: The Guardian published an opinion piece titled, "Islamophobia should be as unacceptable as racism"; the European Union has established the European Monitoring Center for Racism and Xenophobia; and the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission of Australia notes that "Muslims have also been the target of racism in Australia, often referred to as Islamophobia." Even granting that there are people who fear Islam, how does that in any way correlate with racism? If fear of an ideology rendered one racist, all those who fear conservatism or liberalism should be considered racist.
Of course, some may argue that whereas conservatism and liberalism are ideas, Islam is a religion, and while one can attack ideas, one must not attack religions. It is, however, quite insulting to religions to deny that they are ideas. Religions are certainly more than ideas - they are theological belief systems - but they are also ideas about how society should be run just as much as liberalism and conservatism are. Therefore, Islam, or Christianity, or Judaism, or Buddhism should be just as subject to criticism as conservatism or liberalism.
However, the only religion the West permits criticism of is Christianity. People write books, give lectures and conduct seminars on the falsity of Christian claims, or on the immoral record of Christianity, and no one attacks them for racism or bigotry, let alone attacks them physically. The head of the Anti-Defamation League announces that conservative Christians are the greatest threat to America today, and no one charges him with racism or Christianophobia.
The statement may be an expression of hysteria and of ignorance, but not of racism. But if one says that Islam does not appear compatible with democracy or that the Islamic treatment of women is inferior to the West's, he or she is labeled a racist Islamophobe.
One might counter that maligning people for criticism is not only true of those who criticize Islam, it is also true of critics of Israel and of America - the former, it is said, are immediately labeled "anti-Semitic" and the latter are immediately labeled "unpatriotic." Neither is true at all. Both are, and I use this word rarely, lies.
No one is labeled anti-Semitic for merely criticizing Israel. People are labeled anti-Semitic for denying Israel's right to exist, for siding with those who wish to exterminate it or for singling out the Jewish state alone among all the nations of the world for attacks that most other countries deserve far more.
And no one in any responsible capacity has called anyone "unpatriotic" just for criticizing America. Sen. Hillary Clinton claimed during the last Democratic presidential debate that the Defense Department called her "unpatriotic" for asking whether the Defense Department has a plan to withdraw American troops from Iraq. Yet the term "unpatriotic" was not only not used in the response to the senator, it was not even hinted at.
The fact remains that the term "Islamophobia" has one purpose - to suppress any criticism, legitimate or not, of Islam. And given the cowardice of the Western media, and the collusion of the left in banning any such criticism (while piling it on Christianity and Christians), it is working.
Latest proof: This past week a man in New York was charged with two felonies for what is being labeled the hate crime of putting a Quran in a toilet at Pace College. Not misdemeanors, mind you, felonies. Meanwhile, the man who put a crucifix in a jar of urine continues to have his artwork - "Pi-- Christ" - displayed at galleries and museums. A Quran in a toilet is a hate crime; a crucifix in pee is a work of art. Thanks in part to that brilliant term "Islamophobia."
POLITICALLY INCORRECT HISTORY
In noting the comments below about TR, one should bear in mind that although TR started out in the Republican Party, he went on to found the "Progressive" Party -- sometimes known as the Bull Moose Party
Dr. Woods's latest book is titled: 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask. "This book...poses 33 questions about American history," Woods tells us in his introduction,
"for which the typical answers are either misleading, grossly unsatisfactory, or clearly and demonstrably wrong. Worse than the standard answers to these questions is that many of them are simply never raised in the first place, since they may give rise to forbidden thoughts that run counter to established opinion."I will guarantee you that Woods's book will give the reader a whole lot of "forbidden thoughts" about our shared history. Now, the previous sentence is a "lead in," and I'm duty-bound to present the reader with some examples of Woods's politically incorrect violations. The problem is I really have to save the juicy ones for the book. You see it wouldn't be fair to Dr. Woods to detail certain "chapters;" for example, What Was the Biggest Unknown Scandal of the Clinton Years (hint: it wasn't body fluids on any dress)? Or, How Does Social Security Really Work (warning: if you're over 55 please have a box of Kleenex available for this one)? Or, a really, really, good one for those of you who refer to the "civil war" as the War Between the States, or The War for Southern Independence, or the War of Northern Aggression is Was the Civil War All About Slavery, or Was Something Else At Stake?
But we can take a quick peak at a really, really good example titled: Who is Most Responsible for The "Imperial Presidency?" Now, I know that there are Republican Party stalwarts reading this who are salivating over the prospects that Woods names Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman or Lyndon Johnson. And, if you did, you'd be wrong. No siree, Tom Woods says it was good old Teddy Roosevelt, he of the beloved Rough Riders, who Woods implies should have been the first recipient of a Ritalin prescription.
Now before you get excited about Woods picking on the Republicans lets take a quick look at Teddy. First of all that handsome, cigar smoking, teller-of-tales, Mark Twain met with Teddy twice and "declared him `clearly insane,'" which, coming from a man who consistently exhibited a certain discernment in his literary efforts, cannot be construed to be approbation.
Dr. Woods also informs his readers that (1) at the age of twenty Teddy had a fight with his girlfriend, came home and shot and killed the neighbor's dog. (2) Upon shooting and killing his first buffalo - PETA members please don't read any further - he "abandoned himself to complete hysteria...." And "as historian Edmund Morris put it, `whooping and shrieking while his guide watched in stolid amazement.'" And, (3) for the proverbial kicker Woods adds, "His reaction was similar in 1898 when he killed his first Spaniard." Oh, and by the way Dr. Woods cites the Spaniard killing incident in Edmund Morris's The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1979). Dr. Woods's book is full of citations.
To give you an indication of Teddy's state of mind, during the United Mine Workers strike of 1902, when questioned by House Republican Whip James E. Watson regarding the constitutionality of sending federal troops in to operate the mines, Teddy responded, "The Constitution was made for the people and not the people for the Constitution," a comment that would surely warm the heart of Howard Zinn.
And, as Woods informs his readers, it was the beloved Teddy "who pioneered rule by executive order as a governing style among American chief executives." And, it was Teddy, who in his dealings with the Dominican Republic in 1905 over possible debt collection by various European nations, that "converted the executive agreement into a major instrument of American foreign policy."
In concluding this chapter on the founding of the imperial presidency Woods tells us that conservatives groused about Teddy's unconstitutional usurpation "during the Progressive Era." He tells us that "William Howard Taft, a man of sober disposition who was much more at home on the Supreme Court than he ever was as president, vainly warned of this growth in presidential power and of the great difficulty in keeping that power restrained once unleashed. Nobody was listening." Woods is right, of course, nobody was listening, or cared enough to do anything. Heck, they even carved his head on a mountain in the Dakota badlands. Hello!
Tom Woods's book has a sad irony to it. In his conclusion he writes,
"You almost have to give the architects of this system credit for the cleverness of the racket they have going: the same group of people who hold a monopoly on the power to tax and the power to initiate force also wield an effective monopoly on the power to educate future generations of Americans."It is, of course, our children and grandchildren who are unwitting subjects of the apologias for the state elite.
"For this reason alone, the state's official version of history, which is always and everywhere another such apologia on behalf of itself, deserves not the benefit of the doubt but an abiding and informed skepticism. No free people ever survived on a consistent diet of official propaganda. Hayek was right: how we understand the past dramatically influences how we view the present. That is why, for the sake of American freedom, there should be no questions about American history you're not supposed to ask."Tom Woods's book will disabuse those Americans who are na‹ve enough to think that they live under the protections guaranteed in the old Constitution. Those protections are long gone, replaced by a pernicious democratic socialism that more closely reflects the dystopian horror of George Orwell rather then the federated republic of George Washington.
Tom Woods is a gifted scholar determined to bring a true and accurate rendering of American history before the public. Buy his book, read it, then join him in his efforts to restore the old republic.
Multiculturalism, infectious globalism now pandemic!
Far more deadly than a speeding train or even conventional weapons, the mantra of "multiculturalism" has become the chant to stop discussion of issues that effect and alter the cohesion of a nation's people beyond repair; a mantra couched as "diversity" and how that is really good for a nation. Multiculturalism is designed to weaken all strong nations and destroy completely the weaker ones. Problem - the CDC has no antidote but then how could they?
And of course in America, if one even wants to discuss "multiculturalism" and adverse effects it may be having due to cultures not "assimilating" into our "American" culture, one is called a racist. In America that is absurd in that we are so diverse. However, true, racist hate-groups that call themselves "The Race" are immune to a scrutiny of their agenda. Because, whoops, that scrutiny would be "racist".
There is just one tad of perspective that seems to have been left out of the equation in this multicultural panacea of "globalism": Islam. [music to Darth Vader in the background.]
We are told, or at least I have read, that Muslims belong to Islam and have no loyalties to any physical, bordered nation, but rather are only loyal to Islam - as dictated and interpreted by which mullah or ayatollah is in charge.
If that is true, then it follows that once the "globalists" finish destroying Western Civilization and weakening smaller nations totally, the only "nation" that will remain standing is Islam - a political, societal ideology that encompasses and rigidly controls an individual's life from cradle to grave, stripping away any chance at the freedoms we in the West hold dear.
An ideology that controls through beheadings, honour killings, severing of hands for infractions, and even letting young school girls burn to death in a school fire; an ideology that has no mercy or compassion for its own followers and exhorts them to kill - certainly not assimilate with - infidels. Infidels are not restricted just to non-Muslims. Some Muslims have been targeted as well for not being "muslim" enough.
That notion strikes me as "funny" because I listened to an interview with a baseball star who is black saying that another player was not "black enough" because the other player is 1/2 black and 1/2 white. Can't continue to have this "race card" thing both ways.
It seems that, like it or not, we are not only fighting Islamofascism but our own "home-grown" globalists as well. Not good.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.