To prevent American Muslim charities from providing financial support for Islamic terrorism — as occurred in the recent case of the Virginia-based Holy Land Fund, which was funneling contributions to Hamas — the federal government now requires organizations accepting money from the Combined Federal Campaign charity drive to pledge that they won’t knowingly employ any person on international terrorist “watch lists.” The requirement makes perfect sense since the CFC drive takes contributions from government workers and military personnel … two frequent target-groups for terrorist attacks.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which has taken CFC funds in the past, initially signed the pledge in January — even though, according to ACLU executive director Anthony Romero, it hadn’t the slightest intention of consulting the watch lists. He printed out the watch lists — which are compiled by the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union — but never even glanced at them. The pledge, recall, forbids organizations from knowingly employing workers on the lists. So as long as the ACLU didn’t know the names on the list, Romero reasoned, the organization could accept the money from the CFC.
Last week, however, word of Romero’s ploy made its way back to CFC director Mara Patermaster, who called the ACLU position unacceptable. “We expect the charities will take affirmative action to make sure they are not supporting terrorist activities.” Her comments, in turn, caused the ACLU to reconsider — and reject CFC funds outright. “Let me be clear,” Romero stated, “The ACLU will not be intimidated. We will not compromise. We will never check any of our employees against a government list.”
Setting aside Romero’s cynical effort to spin his own subterfuge into a high-principled act of defiance, the episode highlights perhaps the central question in the war on terror. Given that thousands of Muslims here and abroad are actively engaged in plots to slaughter us, should Americans in turn be willing to accept even slight compromises in our ideals of liberty, equality, and privacy?
Clearly, the ACLU’s answer is no.
It would be interesting to know whether John Kerry thinks the ACLU made the right call.
On an altogether unrelated subject, Sharon Stone made political news last week. Despite the fact that her appearance in the critical bomb Catwoman may have ended her career as a viable leading lady, the liberal diva’s chief regret about the movie isn’t artistic. Rather, it’s her lack of a love scene with co-star Halle Berry. “Halle’s so beautiful, and I wanted to kiss her,” Stone said. “How can you have us in the movie and not have us kiss? That’s such a waste. That’s what you get for having George Bush as president.”
As tempting as it is to dismiss Stone’s remark, I must admit that the idea of her smooching Halle Berry did strike me as somehow wrong. Not because of George Bush’s presidency. Granted, the moral legacy of the Clinton administration is several million teenage boys trying to convince their girlfriends that fellatio doesn’t count as sex. But adults aren’t swayed by presidential ethics. So why did the thought of a Halle Berry-Sharon Stone kiss make my skin crawl?
For several days, I had no answer. The lesbianism wasn’t objectionable. (I get cable!) Nor was the interracial angle. (I thought Ross and Aisha Tyler made a handsome couple on Friends!) Hey, I even sympathized with Stone’s disappointment. I mean, who wouldn’t want to kiss Halle Berry?
Then, at last, it hit me: Halle Berry is a gorgeous woman, a classy entrepreneur, and an Oscar-winning actress. It was just too painful to imagine her kissing a horse’s ass.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?