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The Washington Times, August 11, 2010

Page One

Lessons Learned From Baby Mice

The gathering of college students was moving from the patio to the basement when the first scream pierced the air and echoed in the stairwell. You'd have thought there was a dead body slumped in the landing. It was a mouse. More accurately, it turned out to be a litter of baby mice - five, to be exact - that apparently made its way undetected into the storage room when my husband brought in a bag that had been out in our garage.

Shariah Is Incompatible with Liberty ; Many Americans Still Don't See the Threat of Islamic Law

Suddenly, it seems, everyone is talking about Shariah. In particular, growing controversies over proposed mosques at ground zero and other sites are becoming powerful "teaching moments" - raising awareness about the repressive theo-political-military- legal doctrine that animates the builders and that their fellow adherents seek to impose on the entire world. Unfortunately, too many Americans remain unaware of the magnitude of the danger we face from Shariah. Worse yet, their ability to compr...

Explaining the Achievement Gap

Generations of black Americans have viewed education as the best way to get ahead economically and to overcome racial discrimination. It is a "weapon of advancement and shield of self-esteem," writes University of Arkansas scholar Stuart Buck. But for some black Americans beginning in the 1960s, educational achievement began to look like an act of cultural and racial betrayal. Doing well in school was considered "white." This remarkable shift in black mores is the subject of Mr. Buck's new bo...

Disrupting a Deadly Disease ; Hepatitis Defense Can Save Thousands of Lives a Year

A silent killer is loose in America. It contributes to the death of 15,000 Americans a year and threatens the health of 5.3 million more. It is more common than HIV/AIDS. It is the leading cause of liver cancer - a cancer that is on the rise and continues to be a fatal and costly disease. Yet it remains unrecognized as a serious threat to public health.

Confusing the Cost of Free Speech ; Message Obscured by Money in Florida

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum claims he favors free speech. Apparently, he means scot-free. Mr. McCollum invoked the Florida Election Campaign Financing Act (FECFA) so that his run for governor would be funded by the taxpayers. But on July 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit sided with Rick Scott, his opponent in the upcoming Republican primary - reversing a lower court decision and issuing a preliminary injunction barring Mr. McCollum from collecting any money under t...

'Quiet Revolution' Deserves Loud Opposition ; Obama Approach for Schools Is More Government Control

A "quiet revolution" is under way in the United States. Little by little, without much argument or dissent - indeed, with the cheerful complicity of a large, bipartisan group of legislators and policymakers - the American way of education is shifting from towns, cities and states toward the federal government and centralization. "Quiet revolution" isn't some conspiratorial conservative's description for the remorseless shift of power to federal bureaucrats. The metaphor comes courtesy of U.S....

Weak Obama Relying Unfairly On Israel

That Western democracies and even many Arab states apparently are waiting for an Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities is a measure of just how myopic and weak President Obama's Iran policy has been ("Israel versus Iran," Commentary, Monday). But it is not just Mr. Obama who has miscalculated the persuasive properties of megawatt smiles and proffered glad-hands. The entire civilized world has assumed a craven posture before the uranium- enriching centrifuges whirring away ...

Too Little Cash to Remove Costly Illegals?

The excuse that new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidelines are driven by the agency's limited resources is a bogus one ("Lack of resources lets ICE nab only riskiest of illegals," Page 1, Monday). It seems like just another ploy to boost President Obama's plan for amnesty for 20 million illegals. I can see him now before his teleprompter bemoaning the fact that because we can only deport 400,000 illegals per year, we might as well let them stay.

Tax Dollars to Build Mosques ; U.S. Underwrites Fundraising Tour for Islamic Shrine at Ground Zero

The State Department is sending Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf - the mastermind of the Ground Zero Mosque - on a trip through the Middle East to foster "greater understanding" about Islam and Muslim communities in the United States. However, important questions are being raised about whether this is simply a taxpayer-funded fundraising jaunt to underwrite his reviled project, which is moving ahead in Lower Manhattan. Mr. Rauf is scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar, th...

Obamacare Evokes Sarbanes-Oxley

The Sarbanes-Oxley legislation of 2002 was a knee-jerk reaction to the Enron scandal. The bill called for most regulations to be written by the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Government Accountability Office; little detail was included. The resulting regulations were in many respects poorly written, with little thought given to the fallout. Unintended consequences resulted, the most expensive having to do with internal controls and the significant cost to large public companies tha...

Engineered by Obama Motors ; Automakers Run On Race-Based Political Calculations

A report by the Troubled Asset Relief Program's inspector general, Neil M. Barofsky, underscores the dan- ger of handing control of private enterprise to government bureaucrats. In running General Motors and Chrysler, the Obama administration's Auto Team made decisions based on what its members know best: race and politics.

Democratic Decline ; Bush-League Blame Game Can't Hide the Truth

Polls show the public knows Democratic policies have hurt the country. Having no defense, Democrats have ramped up efforts to blame George W. Bush for today's troubles, going so far as to distribute "Blame Bush" pocket cards with talking points attacking the former president. American voters are too smart to fall for the blame game. Voter focus this year should be on Congress. This is because the economy started to go haywire once Democrats took over Capitol Hill. The rule has held for 20 yea...

Cordoba House a Triumph for Islamism

Jeffrey T. Kuhner has again hit the nail on the head ("Radical Islam's conquest of America," Commentary, Friday). If the 13-story Islamic center is built two blocks from sacred ground zero, Muslims will flock to New York and take up residence there. Islamic extremists will be elected to office by the Islamic enclave and eventually, Shariah law will find its way insidiously into our system of government. A Muslim sympathizer for a president and a politically correct New York City mayor will op...

The Hidden Cost of Auto Bailouts ; Government Takeovers Make Private Investment Too Risky Now

As what looks to be a bleak election for Democrats approaches, the administration and its allies are understandably eager to hail any silver lining. Recently, they have been touting the $85 billion bailout of GM and Chrysler as a success. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has enthused, "The auto rescue is a great example of how the administration's policies helped lead to a turnaround in the industrial base of our country," and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post has declared, "Big gover...

Mainstreaming Abortion On-Base ; Bill Would Use Military to Force Radical Social Change

The U.S. military operates dozens of hospitals and hundreds of clinics here and abroad. If Planned Parenthood and Senate Democrats have their way, those taxpayer-funded facilities will become America's newest abortion centers. In late May, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an 11th- hour amendment by Democratic Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois to overturn the long-standing restrictions on abortion in military hospitals during the committee's work on the 2011 National Defense Authoriza...

Venezuela and Colombia Re-Establish Diplomatic Ties

Caracas and Bogota ended their short-lived diplomatic crisis Tuesday, with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and new Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announcing a resumption of diplomatic relations after hours of closed-door talks in the Colombian port town of Santa Marta. "I came here to turn the page," Mr. Chavez said to his counterpart during a joint press conference. "And I think that the conversation we had was fraternal."

Optimism for Direct Israeli-Palestinian Talks ; Mitchell Paving Way with Meetings

The Obama administration is optimistic that the Palestinian Authority will return to direct talks with Israel after nearly two years of shunning face-to-face negotiations. The president's special envoy for the Middle East - former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, Maine Democrat - emerged Tuesday from talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a wide smile, according to wire reports.

Facial-Recognition Technology Helps Nab Fugitive

Minutes after an armored car made its delivery of cash to the EAB bank in Lake Success, N.Y., the masked robbers struck. Claude Bird and his accomplice, a man known only as "Angel," escaped with $240,000 on that day in March 1993, and none of the money was ever recovered.

Let There Be Lightroom

On my better days, I do like to imagine myself as a creative person, even in terms of my photography, which, in reality, is amateurish at best. Now I've stumbled on to something that threatens to take me to another level: The latest release of Adobe Corp.'s Lightroom photo management and manipulation software. It's called Lightroom 3 (and version 3.2 is waiting in the wings) and it's well worth the $299 retail price if you're at all serious about doing neat stuff with your pictures.

House Oks, Obama Signs Aid Bill for States

The House passed and President Obama immediately signed into law Tuesday a $26 billion federal lifeline designed to help states pay salaries for teachers and meet rising Medicaid bills, intensifying an election-year debate over continued government spending aimed at saving jobs. Although the vote was a victory for Mr. Obama, his top spokesman was sparring with liberal critics who said the president has been a disappointment on addressing the economy and a range of other issues since taking of...

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