A logical site for the Ulster Project, Delaware is one of only three states where Irish is the leading ancestry group, according to the U.S. Census. At 18 percent Irish, Delaware follows Massachusetts at 24 percent and New Hampshire at 21 percent.
Former Wilmington Mayor William T. McLaughlin only recently learned that his Irish mother came to the city after working three years without salary for a Boston family that paid her fare to the United States. "You know what the boat cost? $14. Three years to pay back $14. That's slavery."
McLaughlin -- who recalls seeing "No Irish" signs as a child in Wilmington -- said few things please him more than having the city where his parents' generation found refuge host the nation's oldest Ulster Project.
While he was mayor, he saw affection blossom for two of its teens -- one Protestant, one Catholic.
When the day came for them to go back, as it did for the current group Friday, McLaughlin saw the pair holding hands.
"I asked them what would happen when they went back home," he said. "She told me, 'We'll find a way.' "
Richard Spencer reports today from Beijing that there may now be more practising Christians in China than there are members of the Communist Party.
The precise figures cannot be known, in a country in which Christians are still persecuted. But the evidence suggests that there may be as many as 80 million or even 100 million members of underground Christian churches in China, unapproved by the state.
The Chinese Communist Party, meanwhile, has only 70 million members. If those figures for worshippers are even roughly accurate, then we are looking at a very remarkable development in the history not only of Asia but of all mankind.
Christianity and communism are fundamentally incompatible - one a spiritual creed, the other materialist. Christianity lays down that a man's responsibility to his neighbour is personal, a matter for his individual conscience, while communism decrees that all duties are collective, to be enforced by the state. At first glance, communism may look like the fairer system, and Christianity the more selfish.
In fact, of course, communism and its blood-brother, fascism, have been responsible - in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America - for more human misery over the past century than any other systems of belief thought up by man. By denying human beings their individuality, all totalitarian systems brutalise the human condition, reducing everyone in their sway to the status of ants, or cogs in a machine. Christianity teaches that each of us is a moral being, responsible for our actions to our Maker, and individually bound to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Xun Jinzhen, a Christian convert who runs a beauty salon in Beijing, put it eloquently when he said: "We have very few people who believe in communism as a faith. So there's an emptiness in their hearts."
The growth of the Christian churches in China is a story of great courage and belief in the special status of man as a moral creature, for whom good and evil are eternal truths that cannot be redefined by politicians. It gives enormous hope for the future happiness of a people who have suffered under the dying creed of communism for much too long.
Christian v communist
Yes, it's a remarkable man, almost a unique man, that the Democrats of the Senate have chosen as their leader. How many United States Senators have physically beaten their future father in law to the ground? - or physically struck any relative? - or wanted to kick their own well-wishers in the shins? How many Senators who have lost a brother to alchoholism have only been seen by one of their closest aides to cry at the death of a boxing coach and political mentor? How many law school students think their dean has an obligation to bail a student out of the consequences of a failed auto transmission? How many Senators take violent exception to something that appeared on the competing party's web site right to the President, and then not bother to check to see if the offending passage is deleted - while continuing to complain to reporters about it? How many Senators could dismiss an entire class of judicial nominees as "all unqualified", even though many of them received "well qualified" ratings from the leftish ABA? How many Senators repeatedly call a president a "liar," including for merely taking a decision that the president says is based on "sound science" - without citing a shred of evidence that the president didn't believe that? And how many Senators who say they are O-so-interested in judicial precedent don’t know that the Supreme Court has squarely articulated in its own opinions the standards it follows (or at least says it follows) in considering whether it should overturn one of its own precedents? (Contrary to Sen. Reid’s apparent understanding, the Court’s standards – as set forth in the Court’s own precedent - are not the same for every type of precedent.)
While the story is not yet completely told, it now looks as though Mr. Roberts will be confirmed, much to the frustration of most activist Democrats. And it also looks as though the Gang of Fourteen agreement will play a significant role in assuring that confirmation - and, most likely, future Bush appointments to the Supreme Court, too. So Harry Reid seems not to have done so well in that deal, after all - although he worked for it behind the scenes.
Yes, it's a remarkable man, almost a unique man, that the Democrats of the Senate have chosen as their leader. Vain, violent, ignorant, insecure, vindictive, small minded, corrupt, emotionally bitter and incoherent, ineffective, insightless and unwilling or unable to suppress his own petty feelings for the good of the nation or his colleagues. A man who seems to believe that the world owes him a living and hasn't yet paid out enough in dividends and interest. Why did the Senate Democrats elevate him to be their leader?
That's a secret; and that would be telling.
Mr Galloway, the Respect party's sole MP, was at his most florid during a round of television interviews, describing Jerusalem and Baghdad as two beautiful daughters of the Arab world. "The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will. The daughters are crying for help, and the Arab world is silent. And some of them are collaborating with the rape of these two beautiful Arab daughters," he said.
He accused the United States of failing in an attempt to terrorise the world, and sang the praises of the insurgents fighting against British and US forces.
"Even the puppet ministers and regime in Baghdad know it ... America is losing the war in Iraq. And this will not change. The resistance is getting stronger every day, and the will to remain as an occupier by Britain and America is getting weaker every day," he said.
Mr Galloway repeated his claim that Tony Blair and George Bush were the true terrorists, and denied that al-Qaeda was a force in Iraq. And he accused Mr Blair of using the London bombings to shore up the case for the war on terror. "Mr Blair is using this crime and all these dead people as a justification for this absurd idea of a war on terrorism," he said.
Foreigners who preach hatred, sponsor violence or belong to extremist groups could be deported from Britain under strict new measures that Prime Minister Tony Blair announced Friday, nearly a month after suicide bombers killed 52 people on London's transit system.
Membership in extremist Islamic groups such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir would become a crime under the new measures. The group, which advocates the creation of an Islamic state in Central Asia, already is outlawed in several countries.
Blair said the government also would compile a list of Web sites, bookshops and centers that incite hatred and violence. British nationals involved with such organizations could face strict penalties. Foreign nationals could be deported, he said.
A year ago, the liberal group America Coming Together was on the cutting edge of national politics, spending tens of millions of dollars on a massive voter-mobilization project in every presidential battleground state.Aww, don't cry, George Soros! Just because the American people bitchslapped you isn't any reason to cry...
The dream was that ACT -- heavily funded by billionaire George Soros -- would play a decisive role in getting Democratic nominee John F. Kerry elected president and then remain in business as a permanent force in liberal politics.
Instead, the group this week began sending e-mails to most of the 28 people who make up the remaining ACT staff warning that their paychecks would stop at the end of August. All the state offices have been, or are soon to be, closed.
The news represented a long fall for ACT and its sister group, the Media Fund. The groups had attracted such Democratic heavyweights as former Clinton aide Harold Ickes, Emily's List founder Ellen Malcolm and Service Employees International Union President Andrew L. Stern.
The architect of ACT was Steve Rosenthal, who had won his spurs as political director of the AFL-CIO and by 2003 was determined to build a liberal voter-mobilization organization that would be independent of the Democratic Party, labor unions or other traditional interest groups.
The idea captured the imagination of liberal donors. Soros and other wealthy contributors saw ACT as a vehicle for taking the fight to President Bush, whose policies in Iraq and at home they vehemently opposed, at a time when many Democrats in Congress were treating a war president gingerly.
Soros and his close associate -- Progressive Corp. Chairman Peter Lewis -- together put $38.5 million into ACT and the Media Fund. With this seed money, the two organizations collected $196.4 million, enough to set up voter mobilization programs in every presidential battleground state and to flood the airwaves with pro-Democratic commercials in the early spring of 2004 when Kerry's campaign was broke.
By all measures but one, ACT and the Media Fund were a great success, helping to turn out record numbers of new voters. But that one measure was the one that counted. After Bush's reelection and GOP gains in the House and Senate, Soros and Lewis pulled the plug on their support.
Soros "was disappointed by the outcome of the election," said his spokesman, Michael Vachon. "At the same time, he is very pleased with the work that ACT did."
Asked whether Soros will once again open his checkbook for ACT, Vachon said Soros's plans "are evolving and not yet nailed down."
But ACT officials are not optimistic.
For now, ACT will be reduced to a research operation, analyzing strategies to turn out key blocs of voters. Rosenthal yesterday put an upbeat face on the turn of events. "We are still forging ahead; we expect to be doing very serious research in Virginia on exurban and infrequent voters," he said.
"It has proven much tougher to sustain this as something year-round than we had anticipated," Rosenthal said. Now, he said, the task he and others face will be figuring out "just how to ramp up and ramp down" as donor interest rises and falls. Rosenthal will continue to work with ACT, but he said he now plans to start his own consulting company.
Soros-Backed Activist Group Disbands as Interest Fades
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have arrested 582 street gang members and their associates in the past two weeks, nearly half of whom are foreign nationals with criminal convictions in the United States.
The sweep covered 27 states and targeted more than 80 violent street gangs, including Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), 18th Street Gang, Latin Kings, Mexican Mafia, Asian Boyz and Jamaican Posse, which specialize in murder, rape, assault, drug sales and immigration fraud.
"We have a message for violent street gang members in America: Stopping your violence and criminal activities is high on ICE's list of priorities," said Marcy Forman, the agency's director of investigations. "We're backing up our resolve with results ... and we're just getting started."
Ms. Forman said at a press briefing yesterday that 11 gang leaders, 490 members and 81 associates were arrested on charges related to violent crimes, immigration violations and possession of fraudulent documents.
She said 261 were identified as foreign nationals with criminal records.
"We are putting these street gangs on notice: Your violence and criminal activities will not go unchallenged," she said.
Ms. Forman said 384 ICE agents, 247 state and local law-enforcement officers, and 92 agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the FBI teamed up in the initiative, called Operation Community Shield.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the operation targeted "those who commit some of the most serious crimes and threaten the harmony and fabric of our society."
He noted that since March, more than 1,000 gang members have been arrested in the operation, more than 90 percent of whom were illegal aliens.