Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sports Guy Links

The Sports Guy checks in with his Links of the Week:

I find the still-developing Mike Gundy story fantastic on a number of levels, including ...

1. Even if Gundy overreacted to a fairly written column that just happened to be a little mean spirited, who wouldn't want to play for a coach who stuck up for his players like that? That may have been the greatest recruiting video of all-time. "MY NAME IS MIKE GUNDY AND I HAVE YOUR BACK! COME TO OKLAHOMA STATE!"

2. As Jesse in San Jose, Calif., pointed out, "Gundy's classic rant (particularly the "COME AFTER ME! I'M A MAN! I'M 40!" portion) reminded me of this also-classic Will Ferrell sketch. I was waiting for Gundy to shout "I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS! PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF ME!"


I loved this ongoing story about Matt Geiger battling with his neighbors because he wants to build a helipad on his mansion. When Matt Geiger has a $20 million mansion and a helipad, it's the best argument for capitalism maybe ever.


From Cam in Toronto: "WNBA humour rarely disappoints." I liked that he threw the "u" in "humour." Canadians are fun that way.


Casey in San Antonio: "The Helmet Project was a good link, but I think this guy's site is MUCH, MUCH better. Post this one as well!"

Transracial Adoption

Here's a good Q&A on transracial adoption with Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman:

4. Some people, for any number of reasons, are uncomfortable with the idea of transracial adoption. Other people, because of their views on race, are outright opposed to the idea of transracial adoption; they believe that adoption across ethnic lines should not be practiced. How might the Bible speak to these concerns?

Well, I think it depends on the nature of the discomfort or opposition. If the discomfort or opposition is grounded in some assumption that “races” are unequal or that “races” should remain segregated in family and social relationships, I think the Bible rebukes and corrects that kind of thinking in several ways. First, it’s clear that there is only one “race” of man, all descended from our original parents Adam and Eve (Gen. 2; Acts 17:26). There is no biblical basis for discomfort or opposition based on racial attitudes. Second, the alienation that sometimes stirs opposition to transracial adoption is really a spiritual problem. It’s a product of the Fall of man into sin. The cure for that problem is saving faith in Jesus Christ, wherein man is first reconciled to God and then reconciled to other men. So, for Christians in particular, those who are adopted into the family of God through faith in Christ, opposition to transracial adoption is tantamount to denying the work of Christ on the cross.

But there may also be discomfort or opposition not based on racial attitudes but some prudential concerns. Some may wonder if they are sufficiently equipped to parent across culture and ethnicity. Others may worry about the tension or conflict they may experience. There we have to remember that we are not called to love only in the convenient places and situations. We’re called to a radical love, one that mirrors the love of God for broken sinners. And the end of such love is unspeakable joy. For the joy set before Him, Jesus Christ endured the inconvenient and uncomfortable agony of the cross to redeem a people who were hostile toward Him. Adoption across ethnic lines may be one of the best pictures of that radical Christ-like love we have available to us today. So, “prudential” concerns that awaken discomfort aren’t finally sufficient reason to refuse or oppose such adoptions.

5. More and more couples are considering adopting transracially. How would you counsel a couple that desires to adopt a child from another race (i.e. ethnicity)? How would you seek to educate them theologically? How should the gospel help shape their view of transracial adoption?

The first thing I would want to do is simply commend and encourage them. I’d want to commend this act of selflessness and love. And I’d want to encourage them to remember that God’s grace is sufficient for their every need. That’s true of parenting in general, and it’s true of the specific case of transracial adoption and parenting. So, first, be encouraged.

Second, I’d want to encourage them to jettison the idea of “race” as it has historically been defined. Drop it like the bad habit it is. Learn to read the Scripture for its accent on our common humanity. Hayes’ Biblical Theology of Race is very valuable in this regard. Think of the children, indeed all people, as essentially “same” rather than “other.”

But third, having acknowledged our common humanity, think and teach your children to think in terms of “the nations.” In other words, there’s a tremendous opportunity in multi-ethnic families to cultivate a deeper concern for missions and getting the gospel to all nations. Try to prevent conversations and cross-cultural education from terminating on man or your family; try to think of those conversations as opportunities for thinking great thoughts about God who wants to be known among all people. The Lord has purposed that His glory will be shown in the bowing of the nations to His name. Our reflection on ethnicity and culture is incomplete if it doesn’t have that goal in mind.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Defense Appropriations

I can't think of a better way to enhance a National Defense Authorization Act than to give amnesty to illegal immigrants. Wait. Let me read that again. What? What in the world does immigration have to do with a defense spending bill? The geniuses are at it again in our nation's capital.

From Liberty Pundit:

I don’t know how many of you have heard of NumbersUSA but they are a group that is leading the fight against Amnesty and trying to stop illegal immigration. Below is a copy of their latest email bulletin. It is important that we all act because something very sinister is happening. There are some measures being voted on in the Senate that would basically take all of the bad things about the amnesty bill that they couldn’t get passed in a “comprehensive” plan and instead they are now trying to sneak them by one by one. What’s worse is they are attaching them to a Defense Spending Bill. Here are the details and the email bulletin from NumbersUSA…


Friends, this is not a do-it-if-you-have-time request.

This is the most urgent kind of request for your action Friday – and again Monday.

Please send free faxes to your Members of Congress. You’ll see some faxes on your Action Buffet corkboard immediately. We’ll be sending you links to other new faxes during the day Friday.

In the middle of actions on Defense next week, the open-borders Senators are going to attempt to attach three proposals that would give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and dramatically increase the importation of additional foreign labor for American jobs.

Many of the Senators who helped us kill the Comprehensive Amnesty in June are indicating they are in favor of these preferences for illegal foreign workers and new foreign workers over American workers.

We must keep them from attaching the Dream Act Amnesty to the Department of Defense authorization bill.

And we also must keep them from taking hundreds of thousands of our high tech jobs from American students and middle-age American workers and giving them to foreign workers.

Our NumbersUSA legislative department outlines these three threats in sections below.


1. Call the Senate switchboard at:

2. Ask for your Senator. (You can find the names of your Senators and all their contact info at: numbersusa.com/myMembers [or contact your Senators through the Senate's website.])

3. Tell the person who answers that you are calling to ask the Senator to vote NO next week on three measures that are being considered for the Defense Authorization bill.

a. Vote NO on Amendment 2237 that would attach the Dream Act Amnesty.

b. Vote NO on any measure to increase H-1B visas and permanent greencards for foreign workers to take jobs from skilled American workers and students.

c. Vote NO on any attempt to increase H-2B visas for seasonal foreign workers to take jobs from America’s most vulnerable workers.

* The DREAM Act (Amendment 2237 to the Defense Authorization bill) is a nightmare. It is a massive amnesty that extends to the millions of illegal aliens who entered the United States before the age of 16.

* There is no upper age limit. Any illegal alien can walk into a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office and declare that he is eligible. For example, a 45 year old can claim that he illegally entered the United States 30 years ago at the age of 15. There is no requirement that the alien prove that he entered the United States at the claimed time by providing particular documents. The DREAM Act’s Section 4(a) merely requires him to “demonstrate” that he is eligible-which in practice could mean simply making a sworn statement to that effect. Thus, it is an invitation for just about every illegal alien to fraudulently claim the amnesty.

* The alien then has six years to adjust his status from a conditional green card holder to a non-conditional one. To do so, he need only complete two years of study at an institution of higher education, including any vocational school. If the alien has already completed two years of study, he can convert to non-conditional status immediately (and use his green card as a platform to sponsor parents and other family members). As an alternative to two years of study, he can enlist in the U.S. military for two years. This provision allows Senator Durbin to claim that the DREAM Act is somehow germane to the defense authorization bill.

* An illegal alien who applies for the DREAM Act amnesty gets to count his years under “conditional” green card status toward the five years needed for citizenship. On top of that, the illegal alien could claim “retroactive benefits” and start the clock running the day that the DREAM Act is enacted. In combination, these two provisions put illegal aliens on a high-speed track to U.S. citizenship-moving from illegal alien to U.S. citizen in as little as five years. Lawfully present aliens, meanwhile, must follow a slower path to citizenship.

* It would be absurdly easy for just about any illegal alien-even one who does not qualify for the amnesty-to evade the law. According to Section 4(f) of the DREAM Act, once an alien files an application-any application, no matter how ridiculous-the federal government is prohibited from deporting him. Moreover, with few exceptions, federal officers are prohibited from either using information from the application to deport the alien or sharing that information with another federal agency, under threat of up to $10,000 fine. Thus, an alien’s admission that he has violated federal immigration law cannot be used against him-even if he never had any chance of qualifying for the DREAM Act amnesty in the first place.

* The DREAM Act also allows illegal aliens to receive in-state tuition rates at public universities, discriminating against U.S. citizens from out of state and law-abiding foreign students.

* The DREAM Act also makes the illegal aliens eligible for federal student loans and federal work-study programs-another benefit that law-abiding foreign students cannot receive-all at taxpayer expense.

* A consistent theme emerges: Illegal aliens are treated much more favorably than aliens who follow the law. There is no penalty for illegal behavior.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"Perfect Day" Part 4

From the show:

From the email:
A Note from Glenn:
If this is the first special report you're reading, please take a minute to review the ones from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday first so that you have a better understanding of exactly what "The Perfect Day" is.

Today's report is all about preparation, not panic. Our report, from Kenneth Trump, one of the country's foremost school security experts, has many great tips-but there is a lot more you need to know (especially when it comes to terror scenarios) so please be sure to also take a look at his website, which is included at the end of the article.

Also, as I've been telling you all week, we've obtained a video that allegedly shows terrorists in Afghanistan training for a school takeover scenario and barking out commands in English. Although there were at least eight hours of footage captured by our military, we were asked by our source to only release a very short clip for security reasons and we are honoring that request. Click here to see the video.

By Kenneth Trump

Fear is reduced by education, communication, and preparation-not by sticking our heads in the sand.

Before we can talk about specific steps to prepare kids, families, and educators, we first have to prepare ourselves mentally by acknowledging (in a non-alarmist, pragmatic manner) that a terror attack on an American school is not an unrealistic possibility.

We cannot change the climate if we do not change the conversation. Most public officials inside the D.C. Beltway have publicly taken a "downplay, deny, and deflect" position about this threat for fear of creating panic, but how can we prepare for something if no one will talk about it?

Below is some practical advice, directed to three distinct groups: parents, children, and school officials. Following these steps will put your family and your school way ahead of the pack when it comes to preparedness.

Tips for Parents
1. Create a family plan. Simple steps can make a difference: Identify a long distance family member for everyone to call if the family is separated. Identify neighborhood and distant family reunification locations and create a "code word" known only to your family members.

2. Have age and developmentally-appropriate communications with your kids. Be honest and open. Focus on facts and context. Reassure them of measures that adults have taken to keep them safe. Reduce fear of the unknown by teaching kids what to do.

3. Ask your kids where they see weaknesses and how they would improve security at their schools.

4. Talk with school leaders to make sure they have active crisis plans, not just plans sitting on shelves collecting dust. Ask probing questions to make sure they are implementing best practices in school emergency planning, including those listed below.

5. Support school administrators in their safety efforts. Follow security procedures set by schools-the rules apply to everyone. Volunteer for safety and crisis committees. Help put together parent awareness presentations on school security and emergency preparedness. Support principals and boards that do the right thing.

Tips for Children
1. Know your family plan.

2. Know what school officials need you to do in a crisis to keep you safe.

3. Take your school's drills, such as lockdowns and evacuations, and your family's crisis plans seriously.

4. If you have questions, ask them. If you have ideas and suggestions, share them!

Tips for Schools
1. Have an active, updated emergency plan. Most schools have crisis plans and crisis teams on paper, but fewer schools involve first responders in developing the plan contents, updating their plans at least annually, and requiring crisis teams to meet regularly. Make school emergency planning and safety a part of your school's culture.

2. Practice drills such as lockdowns and evacuations. Participate in tabletop exercises with hypothetical scenarios with first responders and other community partners to make sure school crisis plans written on paper may work in a real emergency.

3. Train teachers and support staff on crime prevention, security, and emergency preparedness best practices, and on their school's specific crisis guidelines.

4. Improve physical security measures and crime prevention policies. Have security assessments conducted by specialists knowledgeable in professional security best practices.

5. Conduct thorough background checks for all school employees. Most schools do the minimal criminal history checks of select employees required by their state laws. Fewer do comprehensive background investigations that include criminal history checks along with examinations of work histories and validation of educational credentials.

6. Work closely with public safety officials. Meet at least annually to review and update school plans. Make sure police and fire officials have updated floor plans of the school. Invite police to use school facilities after-hours or on weekends to train for active shooter and other tactical operations.

Our public officials need to know that we, as Americans, recognize how serious the potential threat of terrorism in our schools really is. Take just 10 minutes today or tomorrow to call your Congressman and Senators' offices to let them know that you want federal homeland security policy and funding to better include our nation's schools. Our elected officials need to know that they will be held accountable if something happens while they continue to deny the threat and fail to include our schools on the list of potential terror targets.

Kenneth S. Trump, M.P.A. is President of the National School Safety and Security Services. For additional information and resources, visit www.schoolsecurity.org.

"Perfect Day" Part 3

From the show:

From the email:
A Note from Glenn:
If this is the first special report you're reading, please take a minute to review the ones from earlier in the week (Tuesday, Wednesday) so that you have a better understanding of exactly what "The Perfect Day" is.

Tonight's reports focus on both the practical and emotional impact an attack like this would have on America. Bernard Kerik, former New York City Police Commissioner writes about Al Qaeda's new definition of "spectacular" and focuses on what life in America might look like in the aftermath of something so horrific. Meanwhile, Dr. Zhudi Jasser looks at "The Perfect Day" from the radical's perspective and tells us why a backlash against Muslims and Islam is exactly what they want from us. And why we must not give that to them.

And don't forget, tomorrow's newsletter will feature practical tips for parents and will also include a link to a video clip of terrorists in Afghanistan practicing a school takeover. Their commands, not surprisingly, are in English.

Can We Win?
By Bernard Kerik

In a recent video message, Osama bin Laden, is heard calling for a caravan of martyrs to follow in the footsteps of the 9/11 suicide hijackers-which proves that he still dreams of spectacular attacks against the west and the American people.

Fortunately, many of the lessons we learned from 9/11 have helped prevent similar attacks on U.S. soil so far, but the bad news is that I strongly believe that Bin Laden's definition of "spectacular" has changed; it doesn't have to mean jumbo jets into skyscrapers, a nuclear device at a port of entry or multiple oil refinery explosions anymore. The attacks we've seen in London, Madrid, Glasgow and Denmark, along with the foiled attacks against western targets around the world demonstrate that. They've all focused on easier, softer targets and that's lead many Americans to believe that "spectacular" attacks are no longer what they crave.

But that is wrong...dead wrong.

Imagine this: it's the morning of September 11, 2001. The 19 hijackers split up into four groups just as they did, except this time they don't board four jetliners bound for California. Instead, each group travels to a different part of the country-perhaps small towns in Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado and California. They each enter an elementary school or junior high school and they simultaneously begin a murderous rampage just as Islamic fundamentalists did in Beslan on September 1, 2004 (a massacre that ended with 330 dead, including at least 170 children).

Or, imagine that instead of schools the groups strap themselves with explosives and take over four movie theaters, as they did in Moscow in October, 2002 (a siege that ended with 129 civilians murdered). Or what if it were four tourist locations around the country?

Although far from the enormity of the 9/11 attacks, these attacks would certainly be "spectacular" in their own right. Tourism would come to a stand still, the airline industry would suffer, the stock markets would tank and the economical and emotional damage could be far greater than we suffered in 2001.

Would parents really send their children to school in the days and weeks following an attack (whether or not it even occurred in their town), not knowing where and when the next one might occur? What would happen to employment as at least one parent stays home with the children for weeks or months?

Thanks largely to the Bush administration, we are much better off today than we were on September 10, 2001—but until our political leadership unites, we will never defeat the enemy we face. Unfortunately, as our politicians battle and bicker in Washington, Al Qaeda and radical Islam continues its mission.

It's only a matter of time until victory is achieved. The real question is, by whom?

Bernard Kerik is Chairman of the Kerik Group and was the Police Commissioner of New York City during the 9/11 attacks.

The Ends Islamist Terrorists Seek
By M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD

The entire goal of Al Qaeda-type monsters is to provoke a reaction from mainstream America by pursuing evil against those who stand in the way of imposing theocracy. These fascists have no value for life other than that it's simply a means to their end of a totalitarian theocratic state. It is their ideology. In their warped view of religion they are God.

These are not the actions of psychopaths. Instead, they are the calculated actions of those seeking power and those afraid of freedom. They know that liberty's greatest weakness is its wide exposure to attacks against noncombatants (i.e., you and me) and the way in which protections against those attacks alter the very liberties we all seek to protect.

The biggest threat to the Islamists gaining power is the free world, especially the Muslims who believe in, practice, and advocate universal religious freedom and secular democracies. In fact, a Muslim manifestation of liberty is the greatest antidote to global jihad and political Islam.

What better way for radical Islamists to destroy their most potent enemy (moderate pro-freedom Muslims) than to sow chaos in the belly of America and stimulate a visceral reaction like no other? The Islamists know that their ideas are oppressive and far less appealing to Muslims and non-Muslims alike than things like freedom and liberty. Thus, their strategy is to put moderates on the defensive so that their rational ideas are lost in the din of terror.

An attack on our schools would do just that. The more barbaric and grizzly the attack, and the more they can get Americans to associate it with Muslims and Islam, the more possible it is that they fuel a hateful response from some Americans. That would leave moderate Muslims' quest to defeat political Islam lost in the chaos of a divided America.

We witnessed just such a visceral hate crime here in Phoenix after 9/11 when a Sikh man, Balbir Singh, was murdered for appearing to be Muslim. And that's why this very discussion is so vital; if we know that the primary goal of our enemy is to enrage our citizenry against Muslims and Islam then we can inoculate ourselves against it. Al Qaeda's aim is to enrage and get non-Muslims to do their dirty work of targeting moderate Muslims for them-and we must not give that to them.

If American Muslims declare open war against Al Qaeda, Americans will rush to defend our mosques rather than allow them to be burned. Otherwise, with rage and vengeance, the freedoms so protected by our Constitution will quickly dissipate into a nation gripped by fear and hate of the "other." And that is the ultimate goal of such horrific acts: to create a reaction which ultimately destroys the very fabric of our nation-the trust of one another, under God, under our Constitution. The children they would kill in schools on this "Perfect Day" would be a utilitarian mechanism (ends justifying the means) to achieve the destruction of the "American" way of life.

It is vitally important for Americans to see that, for most Muslims, being Muslim is not about preserving our mosques and our own rights; it is first about preserving the rights and freedoms of all Americans against the jihadists. But the longer Muslims stay silent against jihadism the greater chance the next incident like this Perfect Day scenario will have the impact the militants actually seek.

M. Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix Arizona. He is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, a physician in private practice, and a community activist.

"Perfect Day" Part 2

From the show:

From the email:
A Note from Glenn:

It's the day that Americans are killed on an unprecedented scale. It's the day that no one, not even our children sitting in their classrooms at school, are safe. It's the day that seemingly isolated incidents all converge into the greatest threat this country has ever experienced or imagined. It's the day that the Islamist jihad against the West begins in earnest. It's "The Perfect Day" - and it's only perfect if you're a terrorist.

All this week on Headline News we are focusing on one part of The Perfect Day theory: the threat of massive, coordinated attacks against our schools and school buses. On last night's show, John Giduck, author of Terror at Beslan told us the real story about what actually happened in that middle school over a three day period in 2004. It was a horrible, gruesome, unimaginable account of human depravity - but it was also exactly what some experts believe could happen here. Brad Thor, author of The First Commandment and a former war-gamer for the Dept. of Homeland Security was also on hand to talk about how terrorists might use the lessons they learned at Beslan to pull off an attack here.

I asked John Giduck to write an article summarizing his thoughts and including anything that we didn't get a chance to cover on television. It appears below, along with some video footage from the aftermath in Beslan that, to our knowledge, has not been shown in the media before.

Day 2: The Beslan Massacre - Lessons for America

WARNING: This video contains raw images of violence and suffering that may [probably] be disturbing to [most] people. It was shot outside the middle school in Beslan, Russia while terrorists staged a three day siege of a middle school. 330 people were killed in the attack, including 172 children. To our knowledge, these clips have never been shown on American television.

Lessons from Beslan
By John Giduck

America is a nation at war, and some of the battles in that war will be fought on American soil. Thus, it is incumbent upon every American to not only educate themselves, but prepare for the types of attacks we are likely to see. But it's difficult to prepare when one of the most likely targets is hardly ever talked about publicly.

There are two basic categories of terror attacks: the first, called "Decimation Assaults," is where terrorists plant bombs or use suicide-homicide bombers. Because these are so easy to execute, they are the more frequently used type of attack - but their impact is minimal because the body counts and are usually pretty low.

The more preferred, but more difficult to accomplish, attack is the "Mass Hostage Siege." Terrorists know that when they take hundreds of innocent people hostage and hold them for days they are really holding an entire nation hostage. By doing that they attract the attention of the news media, which helps them to accomplish their real goal, which is to spread terror as far and as wide as possible. It's the psychological impact that's most important, and nothing is better at promoting that than a Mass Hostage Siege, especially one that involves innocent children.

To understand how credible the threat is, we need only to look at the achievements of so many terror groups. In the first six months of 2006, 204 schools were attacked in Afghanistan. Three of them were attacked in two days in the first week of July 2007. Between 1984 and 1994 more than 300 schools were attacked in Turkey.

The number of school attacks are rising in places like Pakistan, Iraq, Indonesia and Thailand as well. A new girls' school in Iraq was found to have dozens of bombs hidden in the floor and walls and, just two weeks ago, a school was targeted in Great Britain. I also bet you never heard that the backup plan for the Madrid train bombers was a school attack.

But, despite all of these incidents, Beslan was the terrorists' best case scenario - which means that it is our worst case scenario. So what is the likelihood of it happening here? Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders have publicly stated that before this jihad is over they will see to the deaths of 4 million Americans, including 2 million American children. After several attacks involving children in Russia he said that what he was doing in Russia he would do to America. The head of the Chechen terrorists, Shamil Basayev, made a similar pledge before his death at the hands of Russian Special Forces. Afghan terror camp training tapes depict jihadists attacking students in a school, issuing instructions in English.

In addition, emergency response plans of numerous schools have been found in the hands of people who should not have them and intelligence gathering of schools and school facilities has been occurring in places like Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Texas, Florida, Virginia and California for some time now. People with no affiliation to any school have been crossing the border from Canada attempting to buy school buses, and buses in other locations, like Houston, have been stolen.

These are but a very few of the incidents occurring in America today, yet the schools, parents and citizens of our country refuse to acknowledge the threat, or to allow those we turn to for protection - our police - to be properly equipped, armed, informed, and trained for such an event.

There is a Kliebold and Harris in every single school who has at least planned to outdo Columbine. There is a Cho at every college who would love to get the same kind of publicity. There are even the Morrisons and Robertses from the Bailey, CO and Nickel Mines, PA attacks who are just waiting to exact their own revenge. And in every state across this country there are al Qaeda related groups that are, at a minimum, putting together information and plans to attack a school. No matter what the threat, the defenders of those schools are all the same: American police departments.

If Beslan is the worst thing that could possibly happen to our children, then it is incumbent upon our nation to be prepared for it. If we're fortunate enough that Beslan does not ever come to pass, our preparation will not have been in vein as we will be so much better prepared to respond to any other threat to our children and the supposedly safe places they happily trundle off to every day.

John Giduck is the author of Terror at Beslan: A Russian Tragedy with Lessons for America's Schools.

"Perfect Day" Part 1

Here's the video from the first part of the "Exposed: The Perfect Day" series that Glenn Beck did on his CNN Headline News show this week:

The following is from Glenn's free email newsletter (sign up at GlennBeck.com if interested):
A Note from Glenn:

It's the day that Americans are killed on an unprecedented scale. It's the day that no one, not even our children sitting in their classrooms at school, are safe. It's the day that seemingly isolated incidents all converge into the greatest threat this country has ever experienced or imagined. It's the day that the Islamist jihad against the West begins in earnest. It's "The Perfect Day" - and it's only perfect if you're a terrorist.

All this week on Headline News we are focusing on one part of The Perfect Day theory: the threat of massive, coordinated attacks against our schools and school buses. Last night on television, Lt. Col. Joe Ruffini, a counterterrorism expert, told us about some of the evidence and suspicious incidents that have occurred recently - both overseas and right here in America. Former FBI Special Agent Don Clark lent his credibility and experience to the threat and helped explain the fine line that government officials must walk between panic and preparation.

I've asked both Lt. Colonel Ruffini and Agent Clark to write about any thoughts on this threat that we didn't get to cover on television, and their reports are included in this newsletter. In tonight's episode, we'll reveal what really happened during the Beslan school siege and tomorrow's newsletter report, from John Giduck, author of Terror at Beslan, is an absolute must-read.

Americans Can Handle the Truth
By Lieutenant Colonel Joe Ruffini, U.S. Army (Ret)

Glenn Beck is right on the money: America must acknowledge, prepare for, and, most importantly, work together to prevent Al Qaeda attacks against our schools.

Knowledge is power - power to be a more informed citizen, power to be a more enlightened voter, and power to protect our communities and our schools. Sometimes the information is hard to swallow, and sometimes it's downright frightening -but how can we be prepared without it?

We can't. That's why it's so important that federal and state officials start figuring out a way to keep this nation adequately informed. In their (often times noble) efforts to keep us from becoming alarmed, they are encouraging complacency. But we cannot allow that to happen; we must remain vigilant.

Based on my years of experience in conducting terror awareness seminars for communities, law enforcement agencies, and school officials, I can assure you that everyday Americans CAN handle the truth. I give it to my audiences straight, and they keep asking for more. In fact, the two comments I hear back the most are, "Why aren't we hearing this information from our officials?" and "Where can I learn more?"

Remember, denial has never and will never be a strategy for victory.

Lt. Col. Ruffini is a counterterrorism expert and the author of When Terror Comes to Main Street: A Citizens' Guide to Terror Awareness, Preparedness, and Prevention. He's also the President and Founder of JPR & Associates, LLC.

Our Schools: The Ultimate Soft Target
By Fmr. FBI Special Agent Don Clark

Terrorist don't just target big buildings, airports, refineries or ship channels. They also target something very near and dear to our hearts and souls: our children.

Most of us understand that terrorists' primary objective is to instill fear in each and every one of us. Fear makes everything else possible. What better way to achieve that goal than to attack our schools and murder our children?

A plot that shocking would, without question, strike fear into all of our hearts. No one, from the farmer in Wisconsin to the banker in Manhattan would feel safe anymore.

Remember Columbine? That was kids killing kids, yet the entire nation was truly stunned and saddened. Can you imagine how we would feel if that attack had been carried out by a terrorist organization? The rage and bloodlust would be palpable.

No one, including me, wants to think about that, but to help minimize the chance of it ever happening we need to ensure that we treat schools with the same level of caution that we treat more obvious targets, like airports and cargo ports. We also need to start employing top priority screening of employees at all levels, from professors to grounds keepers.

There are also other practical things we can do to make terrorists think twice about choosing our community. All school facilities should be secured with cameras and other technical equipment to alert authorities immediately in case of an attack. School districts should also institute TIP LINES to seek leads and information.

Finally, one of the most important things that local school districts can do is ensure that their police departments are connected with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security so that they continuously receive the latest information relating to any school threats.

Don't leave it up to others to make sure that your town is ready; the burden for preparing lies with each and every one of us. And remember: simply refusing to believe that schools are a terrorist target does not make it so.

Former FBI Special Agent Don Clark led the investigation after the first World Trade Center attack. He recommends the website www.counterterrorismblog.org as a great resource for staying up to date with the threats that veteran intelligence officials are most concerned about.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sports Guy Links

Just a few of the recent links passed on by the Sports Guy:

See if this doesn't pull at your heart strings, even if you're a Yankees fan. The Red Sox were hosting a Disability Awareness day, and this autistic guy sang the national anthem:

Here's a pretty cool site where you can check out football helmets for just about any college/professional team you can think of, including my favorites:

They've also got a lot of historical helmets, like these:

You can see video from near where Barry Bonds' home run #756 landed.

Go to about the 5:45 mark to watch the greatest American Gladiators Eliminator ever. This was evidently in 1992, and I still remember watching this live.

Read about the attendance (around 5000, including 4000 free tickets) at Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.

Sports Guy's NBA Classics

As one of the dozen or so NBA fans remaining in this country, this actually has me excited - the Sports Guy is picking games for ESPN Classic to air. I hope I can catch some of these games:
Good news for NBA junkies: Leading up to the 2007-08 season, ESPN Classic asked me to pick games for a limited seven-week run on Wednesday nights. So, I steered away from staples like the Bird-Dominique shootout and the MJ Flu Game and picked seven games that slipped through the cracks over the past two decades. If you love the NBA, watch these games so the ratings are good, and they'll keep letting me pick more of them. No, seriously. Do it for me.

Here's the schedule:

Sept. 12: Cleveland at Boston, Game 3, 1992
... this was a great series and none of the games ever get shown -- you had the Garden on its last legs, Mark Price and Reggie Lewis at their peaks, and a number of entertaining guys on both teams. ...

Sept. 19: Seattle at Phoenix, Game 5, 1993
... anyone who thinks the NBA hasn't been diluted by expansion needs to check out the talent in this game: Barkley, KJ, Kemp, Payton, Majerle, Danny Ainge, Tom Chambers, Sam Perkins, Eddie Johnson, Ricky Pierce, Derrick McKey, Ced Ceballos, Nate McMillan, Dana Barros, Oliver Miller during his one skinny year, Richard Dumas during one of his drugs-free years ...

Sept. 26: Golden State at L.A. Lakers, Game 2, 1991
... check out a pre-ACL injury Tim Hardaway when he literally couldn't be guarded ... and especially, how unstoppable Magic was in this game. Remember, this was his 13th NBA season and nobody could guard him. How long could he have been great if not for the HIV diagnosis?

Oct. 3: Chicago at New York, Game 3, 1996
Charles Oakley acts like a crazed bar bouncer in this game -- it's like his goal was to make Scottie Pippen cry. Meanwhile, MJ plays out of his mind and singlehandedly drags the Bulls into OT ... this was one of their three playoff defeats that year, but anyone who thinks LeBron James (or anyone else) compares to MJ in his prime needs to sit down and watch this game. ...

Oct. 10: Chicago at Detroit, Game 3, 1991
The Bulls break the Pistons to take a commanding 3-0 lead and control of the Eastern Conference for the rest of the decade. I haven't seen this game since it happened but remember it being inhumanly intense. These teams hated each other. Don't you miss the days when teams hated each other?

Oct. 17: Boston at Milwaukee, Game 4, 1986
... I haven't seen this game since it happened but specifically remember Bird ripping Milwaukee's hearts out with four 3s in the final quarter, including one last 3-pointer after the game had been decided just to make sure they were dead. ...

Oct. 24: Orlando at Chicago, Game 6, 1995
this was the only time from 1991 to 1998 that MJ walked off the floor as a loser in a deciding playoff game ... although it happened with an asterisk because he was still in baseball shape, but still. ...

For My Sister

So my sister "tagged" me the other day. I guess this is the blog equivalent of those email forwards in which you fill out various trivia about yourself and send them on. So while I normally try to avoid making this blog about me (if that's possible, since this is "my" blog), I thought I'd go ahead and do it for my sister. Here are the rules, according to her blog:

1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose five people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog .
I'm too lazy to come up with eight random facts about myself, so I'll take 8 of the 12 (?) my sister used. And instead of "tagging" anybody at the end, I'll let any reader tag themselves if they so choose - just leave a comment with a link to your blog if you want to participate. (I don't want to make anyone think I'm chasing them and trying to cause conflicts, yet I don't think I need to follow the precedent of the Colorado Springs elementary school that banned tag recently.)

1. How's your weather today?

Currently 70 degrees, with fairly clear, calm skies.

2. What steals your joy?

Pride, anger, and lust. Yeah, I think that about sums it up.

3. What is your favorite Scripture passage?

It's kind of a long one - Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. If I had to choose one, right now it would probably be:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
- Galatians 4:4-5 (ESV)
4. Who in the Bible do you think you are most like?

Probably sometimes like some of the Pharisees that Jesus spoke against. I often identify with Paul in Romans 7.

5. The passage of Scripture you read last was:

Deuteronomy 19 - speaks mostly of cities of refuge. I don't understand why these were instituted. All I can think of is as a picture of sinners running to Christ for refuge from the just condemnation for their sins.

6. If you were making a greeting card for God, what would you say?

I think the angels in Isaiah's vision of the Lord said it well: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." - Isaiah 6:3b (NIV)

7. What is the best miracle God has performed in your life, or what is your favorite answered prayer?

You mean besides God making me alive with Christ when I was dead in my sins? How about the birth and adoption of my son, who was scheduled to be aborted on three separate occasions?

8. What is the most fun thing you've done lately?

Hearing my son say "dada" today. Sure it's just baby gibberish and he doesn't mean anything by it, but it's still fun.

Huckabee vs. Paul

I didn't watch the Republican debate the other night, but I heard this exchange on the radio and thought it was quite interesting. I think that both of these guys make a decent case, but I have to side with Huckabee here. You can't just "undo" Iraq.