'Because of threat to our staff, we're working off-site pending investigation'
Staff members for a prominent pro-family organization that has been key to the battle against California's mandated homosexual indoctrination programs for public schools are working off-site while an investigation is conducted into threats that someone would arrive at the office and "punish" them, officials confirmed today. The investigation into the threats follows several days of aggressive attacks on the website for Capitol Resource Family Impact, which has restored the site multiple times, only to see another hacker attack disable the location.
Karen England, chief of the organization that has played a prominent role in a challenge to the implementation of SB777, a legislative plan to mandate only positive messages about homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality in public schools, confirmed the web attacks, and the subsequent threat. "Last night CRI's website was hacked again by the same vandals that have been attacking our website and e-mail servers for the last several days," she said in a notification to supporters. "One of our internet savvy supporters has been investigating the source of the hacks and discovered that several hacker websites are taking credit for the attack on our organization.
"These hacker websites encourage other hackers to not only deface our web site (and gives them instructions on how to do so), but they threaten to send someone to our office to 'punish' us," she said. "Because of the physical threat to our staff safety, we will be working off-site until authorities have investigated the threats," she said. "The hackers intend to stop our work and intimidate our staff. This proves that we are being effective!" she said. "Although this attack has caused us some headaches, we are moving forward, undeterred." "History has shown that the fiercest persecution comes when you're having the greatest impact on culture. While we will take precautions for our safety, we will also boldly continue our fight for families!" she said.
The website attacks apparently were launched late last week. At that time, a reporter was visiting the site, and his standard virus protection program was triggered, with more than a dozen warnings and alerts. Capitol Resource, however, could not prevent the attack that was developing, and staff members spent the weekend rebuilding and restoring the site, officials said. "Out website technician worked all weekend to fix the problems and as soon as he had fixed the site, another hack would occur almost immediately. As a result, we had to make significant changes to our website and e-mail services," England said. "Our website was literally wiped bare by the hackers. It's going to take us many days to replace the content that was destroyed."
WND has reported on Capitol Resource's work notifying Californians when the legislature wanted to criminalize parents who spank their children, as well as when a lawmaker proposed allowing communism to be taught in schools. But the organization's highest profile recently has come as part of its Save Our Kids campaign to assemble enough petition signatures in the state to put SB777 on the state election ballot. That plan was adopted by the Legislature last year and signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "SB777 is a mandate for every school district, ending local control on sensitive issues," the organization says on the SOK website. "SB777 normalizes homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality across the state, without room for local discretion on addressing these issues."
England told WND that the law is not a list of banned words, including "mom" and "dad." But she said the requirement is that the law bans discriminatory bias and the effect will be to ban such terminology. "Having 'mom' and 'dad' promotes a discriminatory bias. You have to either get rid of 'mom' and 'dad' or include everything when talking about [parental issues]," she said. "They [promoters of sexual alternative lifestyles] do consider that discriminatory." The California plan still is facing a court challenge on its constitutionality in addition to the possible vote of the people.
The organization notes earlier state law already "establishes equal protection for every California public school student," so that SB777 was unnecessary. It specifically requires: "No teacher shall give instruction nor shall a school district sponsor any activity that promotes a discriminatory bias" against homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality."
While there's no indicate of any connection to the current situation Capitol Resource is facing, WND has reported in the past on a public threat from a homosexual activist to the organization. "If you continue your efforts, we will BURY you," said an e-mail from Ben Patrick Johnson of Equality California, to his "colleagues" at the CRI, according to a statement from the Christian organization.
"For a group that purports to expand tolerance and civil rights, Equality California is not practicing what it preaches," CRI said at the time. "This type of language evokes images of Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the podium of the United Nations when he declared that Communism would bury America," said CRI. "The irony is not lost on us - Communists squelch all opposing speech, just as the modern 'intolerance' movement seeks to silence all opposing viewpoints. "Johnson then threatens 'we have every intention of yours [group] going down, as have others who oppose decency and human rights.' It is shameful that a group that represents itself as promoting tolerance and civil rights would stoop to the very tactics it accuses CRI of using. Not once has CRI personally attacked opponents in such a degrading and vicious manner," said the organization.
"In a video diatribe against CRI posted on his website, Johnson declares that CRI and its supporters are 'hate peddlers' and 'conservative, religious prejudice peddlers.' He further declares that we are 'smirky, self-righteous folks' who have 'launched an aggressive campaign against legislation to protect gay youth in California's and ultimately America's schools.' This statement reveals not only the vitriolic language this supposed 'tolerance' group uses, but also the true agenda behind such legislation as SB 777. The radical homosexual agenda intends on sweeping the nation. California is merely the first step in the campaign to stifle free speech and stamp out opposition to 'alternative lifestyles,'" CRI said.
The e-mail from Johnson, according to CRI, said: "Dear colleagues at the Capitol Resource Institute, "I am a firm supporter of freedom of speech, and therefore I support yours, even if it in direct contrast with my own. However, we all use the media and the internet to spread our message: and with no hubris intended, I advise you -- if you continue your efforts, we will BURY you ... with public opinion, with media, and ultimately with legislation. EQCA passed NINE bills last year to protect basic dignities and we have every intention of yours going down, as have others who oppose decency and human rights. "Today, over 150,000 Californians will receive the following message via email blast, MySpace, YouTube, and iTunes -- in other words, we're everywhere. I invite you to subscribe to my daily webcast, not because you agree with what I/we have to say, but for your own information ... so you can see what thousands of Californians are hearing and seeing about you."
American optimism underestimated
Margaret Carlson, die hard founding member of the liberal SurrenderMedia, is starting to wake up and see how the race for President will unfold, and why the dems have no chance of winning. She realizes that the race depends on your view of America, and your view of where you want to see it go:
As I was watching General David Petraeus being questioned in congressional hearings, I finally got why Senator John McCain has an even chance of being president in spite of supporting a war that most Americans are against. As he'd done so many times before, McCain said we can win if we just pull up our socks and banish our defeatism. "We can now look ahead to the genuine prospect of success,'' he said, ensuring "that the terrible price we have paid in the war, a price that has made all of us sick at heart, has not been paid in vain.'' Don't I wish? Don't we all? I don't buy his take on the war but, like half of America, I want to.The signs of success have been building for a year now. If we remain diligent the chances are very high we will win. Last year at this time the fact was if we remained diligent we had a chance to turn things around - nothing more. But a year later al-Qaeda is all but vanquished. And no amount of misinformation about Sadr and his failed Iranian backed revolution can change the fact Sadr's forces are being decimated and he is being political neutered (in fact, it may have already happened).
McCain can base his optimism on months and months of progress in security and political reconciliation. The Dems have to pretend none of that happened to make their case. They have to create fictional outcomes that have little likelihood of coming to fruition to say `get out now before all hell breaks loose'. Sadly, it is clear after this week if we get out now all hell will break lose. McCain is winning over America and it is easy to see why:
Internal polling data, presented privately last week at the Republican National Committee's state chair meeting and provided to Politico, shows John McCain with a solid lead over both his potential general election rivals. Powered by the same appeal to Democrats and independents that fueled his primary election success, McCain is leading Barack Obama 48 percent to 42 percent and Hillary Clinton 51 percent to 40 percent according to RNC polling done late last month.And if this is beginning momentum, which I think it is, going into the summer Americans will ponder two options: dark and dismal defeatism sprinkled with payback investigations into Bush's presidency; a tough fight to succeed and show al-Qaeda democratic freedom is still the winner of all time in mankind's history. I am pretty sure American are not ready to roll over and quit, not yet. It is even harder to quit when the Iraqis are still fighting the war we started, and Americans know that as well. It was all of us who gave the green light, we need to finish what we started.
The Irish Model
Dean Godson reviews the memoirs of Jonathan Powell, the Tony Blair aide who helped negotiate the Irish power-sharing agreement.
One of the most striking things about the world according to Jonathan Powell is his approach to the role of the security forces in Northern Ireland. He treats the Army, in particular, as though it was another paramilitary faction to be squared - rather than as the legitimate arm of the state operating in support of civil power. Having spent thousands of hours with the Sinn Fein/IRA leadership, he starts talking like them. Thus, his vocabulary is littered with republican terminology such as `demilitarisation', `securocrats', `collusion' and `Volunteers'. As Powell observes of Blair and himself, `we were of a younger generation and the war against Irish terrorism was not our war'.It's important to appreciate that many in the British government see this experience as a model for future dealings with radical Muslim groups in the Middle East and inside Europe. And they will be pushing that model on a President Obama - very hard and probably very successfully.
Indeed, one could say that in many ways the debate over Obama's proposals to talk to Iran is a proxy debate for this coming debate over applying the Irish model to Islamic extremism and terrorism. Talking to Iran after all is not really so radical a departure: The US is talking to Iran now, and has wanted to talk to Iran for years. The big issues are: Should the US be talking to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban, and ultimately al Qaeda?
In today's Financial Times, columnist Philip Stephens channels the emerging British official view.
Democratic governments, for example, should always be willing to talk, albeit sometimes in secret, to their enemies, even when such contacts seem to offend common decency. Were Mr Powell still in 10 Downing Street, he would be advocating a dialogue with Hamas.I think a President Obama will find this point of view very appealing. In many ways, that is the true ballot question this November: Is it time for the US to stop fighting Islamic terrorists - and start negotiating with them? Time to quit dismissing their vision of the future as unacceptable - and to start treating it as debatable?
Rightly so. Talking is not the same as surrendering - nor, indeed, as negotiating. If terrorist groups do put their weapons to one side, Mr Powell continues, the imperative is to keep everyone in the room. This requires constant attention and engagement. Eventual success in Northern Ireland flowed from a strategy of "never letting the talking stop". There is a moral to be drawn here for the US administration's stop-go efforts to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. ...
Mr Blair [and Mr. Bush] sometimes spoke in ... Manichean terms [about Islamic terrorism] , evoking a global ideological struggle that could be with us for generations. The effect has been to impose a homogeneity on armed groups in the Islamic world that defies the realities of their very different aims and methods. ... In real life, there is a lot more light and shade. Not all Muslims - even among those prepared to use violence in pursuit of their cause - think alike. ...
To make such points is not to argue that the Islamist fundamentalism espoused by al-Qaeda and its associates is anything less than a serious threat. There are plenty of dangerous Islamists for whom the only response will be military force. Nor should western policy be held prisoner to its impact on Muslim opinion. Driving al-Qaeda from Afghanistan was the right thing to do.
Yet a mindset that lumps together Hizbollah with al-Qaeda, Hamas with Iraq's Shia militia or Kurdish separatists with the Taliban under the rubric of a single struggle is one that does al-Qaeda's bidding. It excludes recognition of genuine grievances, ignores the impact of western policy and rules out any prospect of some extremists being won over to politics.
The change of administration in Washington will give the US and its friends a chance to reflect and recalibrate. The starting point is to stop talking about a war.
For Obama, Not All Hateful Rhetoric Is Equal
The Illinois senator's campaign persuaded a delegate to step down after she called her neighbor's African-American children "monkeys." Was the remark just a poor choice of words - or was it more insensitive than Reverend Jeremiah Wright's controversial sermons?
If you are homicidally-minded, (not too famously) anti-Semitic, white-bashing, and prone to attacking the United States, Barack Obama can forgive you. There are some lines, however, that it seems even the Obama campaign doesn't want crossed.
This past weekend, Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski - a Carpentersville, Illinois village trustee elected as an Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention - was encouraged by the Obama campaign to resign for inflammatory speech. Ramirez-Sliwinski did not assert that America was run by hate groups. She did not state that the country deserved terrorist attacks; nor did she indict our government with conspiracy theories of racial genocide. And she didn't try to goad followers into snuffing out a man's life for running a legal business she does not like.
What Ramirez-Sliwinski did do was tell children to stop playing in a small magnolia tree "like monkeys." The two children are African-American. The mother of one of the two children called the police over the slight, which Ramirez-Sliwinski insists was not racial in nature. Ramirez-Sliwinski was issued a citation for disorderly conduct, even though she claimed to have acted on behalf of the safety of the boys.
For the weekend slight, the Obama campaign convinced Ramirez-Sliwinski to resign on Monday. She has since reversed her decision, and decided to fight the disorderly conduct charge and remain a delegate. The mother of one of the children has stated that if Ramirez-Sliwinski fights the disorderly conduct change she will "involve" the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, though it's unclear what purpose would be served by having the civil rights group take sides in a case pitting one minority it serves against another.
Barack Obama's presidential campaign been pounded for weeks for revelations that his pastor of 20 years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, used inflammatory language in sermons that have been characterized as being anti-American, anti-Semitic, and racist. Wright has retired, but Obama's current pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, Rev. Otis Moss, wasted no time in using race to defend Wright by equating criticism of Wright's language with a public lynching. Obama has publicly refused to sever ties with Wright or Trinity United Church of Christ.
Another Chicago minister strongly supportive of Obama is James Meeks, who is also an Illinois state senator. Meeks has come under fire for his own choice language and positions. The minister has drawn the ire of gay rights advocates for his strident stands against homosexuality, which some critics categorize as homophobic. Meeks has refused to denounce the bashing of whites, even referring to white American mayors as "slave masters." He has also called African-American ministers he sees as working for the current system "house n*ggers." Despite these points of friction and intolerance, the Obama campaign has not severed ties from Meeks. Instead, it has sought to merely downplay his statements.
Then there's the Rev. Michael Pfleger, who has helped set Barack Obama's "moral compass" for 22 years - which is longer than Obama has known Wright. Pfleger also happens to be a radical apologist for the Nation of Islam, and he has asked followers to murder (his exact word was "snuff") a firearms retailer because he's against the ownership of firearms. Despite calling for the death of John Riggio for engaging in lawful commerce and his own history of anti-Semitic diatribes, Pfleger is still featured on the campaign's People of Faith for Obama page.
Infamous anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan is one of the few radical Obama supporters who has been rejected by the presidential candidate. Although this only happened after Obama was badgered about that support in a debate with Hillary Clinton.
Considering Obama's historical support from radicals and his record of hesitatingly distancing himself from them (if at all), it was curious that Ramirez-Sliwinski found herself in discussion with Obama staffers Monday about her status as a delegate for the campaign. Especially since it was over a statement that most are willing to write off as an unfortunate word choice.
Or perhaps it isn't surprising at all. Although the controversy over Jeremiah Wright's sermons still resonates across American society, Obama will not risk damaging his long-established relationships with local Chicago firebrands. This is because they assure his future after this one long-shot presidential election bid. Wright, Meeks, Pfleger, and other Obama supporters like them in Chicago are part of the local power base that assured his assent from local politics to the U.S. Senate. No matter how venomous their rhetoric, these acidic relationships also protect his reelection. Obama is wise enough to plan for the long term.
People on the edges of Obama's campaign like Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski may make mistakes and be guilty of nothing worse that a poor vocabulary choice. But with the candidate's judgment and relationships already in question, "just words" may now be enough for his campaign to throw supporters to the wolves.
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.
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