Monday, January 31, 2005

Election Reform

The former bassist of Nirvana is on the road, plugging his new book on election reform, because,you know, our democracy is "broken":
In a slim book, "Of Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy!" Novoselic outlines two approaches that he believes would breathe new life into politics.

Instant-runoff voting allows voters to pick several candidates for the same office, ranking them in order of preference. If no candidate wins a majority of first choices, second choices are considered.

Supporters of third-party candidates like Ralph Nader could feel like they're not throwing their votes away because their secondary choices would be considered in a close election, Novoselic said.
Interesting! Yes, let's change our whole system just so some people won't feel like they're throwing their votes away.

Well I got news for ya, you are throwing it away!

Why is that my problem?

Talk about having your cake and eating it too! What if you don't want to vote for a 3rd party candidate -- why do others get a special voting privilege?

Are elections about feeling good now?

The other main point of the book is:
The second method, known as proportional representation, would allocate legislative seats based on the percentage of votes a party receives -- if the Republicans win 60 percent of the vote in a district, they would get 6 seats out of 10 available.

These methods could give greater influence to third-party candidates, other election-reform advocates say.
I must say, at one time I was far more sympathetic to the notion of greater influence for 3rd parties.

But eventually I came to my senses.

The current 2-party "system" evolved naturally out of the winner-take-all nature of our elections, and this is beneficial, for it forces all the various interest groups to attempt to band together into the broadest coalition possible by appealing to the vast center. That is precisely why we end up with 2 major parties that are usually closely balanced.

And given that when left unchecked, government tends to become a destructive monster hungry for your money and your rights, the more it is forced to appeal to the ho-hum sentiments of apathetic bourgeoisie moderates, the better.

What, you want governing coalitions to be forced to be beholden to small groups of lunatic fringe parties with radical agendas for reshaping society according to their wild utopian visions?

Because they're the ones primarily being shut out of the non-proportional system.

I don't know, I have a suspicion our democracy only appears "broken" to sore losers who can't comprehend the world around them because they don't know a single person who isn't a Democrat, so it must all be rigged.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Finger

Some idiots like these already-surrendered dhimmi Spaniards are out protesting the wildly successful democratic elections in Iraq.

To these people and to Z-man, I present:

The Finger,

The Finger,

The Finger,

The Footprint (of the Chicken),

and finally

The Eternal Truth.

Deal with it!

Meanwhile, over in the Bizarro World, "progresives" at Democratic Underground are lamenting the spread of freedom, and rooting for the elections to fail, with such priceless comments as:
I figured why wait, the polls opened and MSNBC had gunfire almost immediatley, so let's report all violence we actually find out about here. I expect every station to cut away as soon as violence erupts, but let's get the truth out in the open here.
hopefully, the voters will come out in overwhelming numbers and the suiciders will stay about that for a hope?
Sorry, but I don't live in fantasyland.
I read somewhere...forgive me.. maybe on here, but can't remember...that they were "helped" to vote by soldiers with guns. so damn it, we will bring them democracy even if we have to kill them all to do it. woo hoo...and no, i can't watch this on TV while Blitzer prances at the success and Mathews gets his expert liars on... I wait for morning, and will listen to AirAm...and hope that all will be okay because everyone ran away or hid.
If every Iraqi voted, it still wouldn't be a legitimate election, because it is being held under occupation (or, if you prefer, "sovereign government" repression) and therefore it is being held under coercion.

And even if the election was legitimate, the government resulting would be forced to bend knee to US power anyway, because of US domination of Iraq's economy and the continued US military presence.

This is not "democracy." This is imperial rule.
at 7 AM, a man-in-black walks down the middle of a major street in Baghdad, to send the message: the TET has begun...and OUR troops didn't even notice.....
MSNBC reporting explosions and gunfire, in West Baghdad. Their poor reporter looks scared to death.
Where is NPR? Are they reporting anything?
Violence depresses voter turnout
How many headless bodies with purple fingers are they gonna find over the next week? Did they really think they were gonna have problems with people voting multiple times?
I wish the Bush administration was more reality based and realized this election at this time was a bad idea. I get no enjoyment out of this.
I hate Bush :-(

Saturday, January 29, 2005


In wartime, defeatism is unacceptable because it saps the will to continue the fight, giving victory to the enemy. To parrot the enemy's propaganda is even worse.

What possible excuse can miserable gasbag Ted Kennedy have in giving such an extraordinarily irresponsible speech, billed as a major policy address, as this?

Some excerpts:
It will not be easy to extricate ourselves from Iraq, but we must begin.


We thought in those early days in Vietnam that we were winning [we were -- RDS]. We thought the skill and courage of our troops was enough. We thought that victory on the battlefield would lead to victory in war, and peace and democracy for the people of Vietnam [it could have, if not for defeatist propaganda spread by a willing media and commie stooges -- RDS].

We lost our national purpose in Vietnam. We abandoned the truth. We failed our ideals. The words of our leaders could no longer be trusted.


We have reached the point that a prolonged American military presence in Iraq is no longer productive for either Iraq or the United States. The U.S. military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution.


The elections in Iraq this weekend provide an opportunity for a fresh and honest approach. We need a new plan that sets fair and realistic goals for self-government in Iraq, and works with the Iraqi government on a specific timetable for the honorable homecoming of our forces [so the terrorists know just how long they have to wait us out -- RDS].


Unless the Sunni and all the communities in Iraq believe they have a stake in the outcome and a genuine role in drafting the new Iraqi constitution, the election could lead to greater alienation, greater escalation, greater death - for us and for the Iraqis [ooo, you'd like that, wouldn't you; way to support the aims of the terrorists to sow doubt about the election -- RDS].


President Bush's Iraq policy is not, as he said during last fall's campaign, a "catastrophic success." It is a catastrophic failure [you wish -- RDS].


The insurgency is largely home-grown [except they mostly come in from Syria -- RDS]. By our own government's count, the ranks of the guerillas are large and growing larger.


The first point in a new plan would be for the United Nations, not the United States, to provide assistance and advice on establishing a system of government and drafting a Constitution. [Seen how the UN is reacting to news Sudan is bombing villages in Darfur again, even though they promised not too? Kofi expressed being "deeply disturbed", and that was it, you useless fool. -- RDS]


Casualties are increasing. America is tied down. Our military is stretched to the breaking point. Our capacity to respond to crises and threats elsewhere in the world has been compromised. [In other words, you are screaming to surrender and giving aid and succor to our mortal enemies by boosting their morale and their hopes they can win. Thanks a lot, traitor. -- RDS]
A further excellent article on the complicity of the media in spreading defeatism is here:
If a battle ends with Americans killing 100 guerrillas and terrorists, while sustaining 10 fatalities, that is an American victory. But not in the mainstream media. The headline is more likely to read: "Ten more Americans killed in Iraq today."

This kind of journalism can turn victory into defeat in print or on TV. Kept up long enough, it can even end up in real defeat, when support for the war collapses at home and abroad.

One of the biggest American victories during the World War II was called "the great Marianas turkey shoot" because American fighter pilots shot down more than 340 Japanese planes over the Marianas Islands while losing only 30 American planes. But what if current reporting practices had been used back then?

The story, as printed and broadcast, could have been: "Today 18 American pilots were killed and five more severely wounded, as the Japanese blasted more than two-dozen American planes out of the sky." A steady diet of such one-sided reporting and our whole war effort against Japan might have collapsed.

Whether the one-sided reporting of the Vietnam War was a factor in the American defeat once was a matter of controversy. But, in recent years, high officials of Vietnam's communist government have themselves admitted they lost the war on the battlefields but won it in the U.S. media and on the streets of America, where political pressures from the antiwar movement threw away the victory for which thousands of American lives had been sacrificed.

Too many in the media today regard the reporting of the Vietnam War as one of their greatest triumphs. It certainly showed the power of the media — but also its irresponsibility. Some in the media today seem determined to recapture those glory days by how they report on events in the Iraq war.

The Fourth Estate sometimes seems more like a Fifth Column.
This is on top of strong evidence (just the latest of a plethora of such) that Reuters, AP, and AFP are using Arab "stringers" who are actually actively colluding with the terrorists to photograph staged events and spin them against our efforts, all the while passing it off as objective "journalism".

This is intolerable.

Don't fall for it!

Election Day

IN about half an hour, the polls open in Iraq for an historic experiment in pluralistic government.

Perhaps the experiment will fail; Democracy is clearl incompatible with Islamism according to its own explicit dictates, and the tribalism still present in much of Arab society is a difficult obstacle.

But attempt it we must.

We have to find out how many Arabs are desirous of embracing modernism and secularism to understand how best to solve the deep problems of the middle east that ultimately threaten our way of life (for example, every problem in some sense is ultimately solvable with a big enough hammer, but that's a solution of last resort).

It is discouraging, but not surprising, how the defeatist media is already attempting to frame the isue in such a way to pre-emptively declare a defeat for Bush's policies, by obsessing over voter turnout.

In this, they play directly into the hands of the terrorists, and are nothing but the propaganda tools of those who wish to delegitimize this potentially world-changing event, this breaking of the chains of despotism over million sof souls.

Perhaps they will re-chain themselves, but then we'll know we've done all we could.

Will the Sunnis boycott? Will turnout be too low? What absurd questions!

As Charles Krauthammer pointed out today, if 20 Iraqis vote, they'll already have a more legitimately representative government than any other Arab country in the region: how many turned out to vote for the King of Jordan? How many voted for the military dictator of Egypt?

So what if the Sunnis boycott? Minorities can't be permitted to derail an election. Look, 40% of Americans essentially "boycotted" the last Presidential election -- the most important in recent history -- and nobody's seriously doubts its legitimacy.

Well, nobody outside the lefty lunatic fringe.

During our own Civil War, well gee, violence kept half the States from participating in the re-election of Lincoln, didn't it?

Nobody thinks Lincoln is a fake president, do they?

It's ridiculous.

It's disgusting, in fact.

Everyone should be celebrating the process because no matter what, an institution is being created: political parties, open debate, and the participation of every voice.

This is all new and wonderful.

And yet, small-minded, twisted people would rather tear it all down, would rather decalre it a failure, would love to see this become a disaster, all because they just can't stand to see Bush get one iota of credit.

For one example of how no credit can ever be given to Bush, and that the opposition means simply to be contrary about everything he says, recently Bush declared Social Security wasn't fair to blacks due to their lower life expectancy. But, that doesn't fit the myth that Republicans are racists who never support the interests of blacks, so some form Clinton officials and AARP are trotted out to say no, Social Security is PERFECTLY FAIR to blacks, and there is little need to reform Social Security.

You can be certain that if Bush said Social Security was, on balance, fair to blacks, Democrats would be crying bloody murder about how unfair it was and how heartless Bush is and so Social Security should be reformed.

You can take that to the bank!

No Stopping It

At Iraq the Model, an Iraqi blog, we read
In 48 hours from now, the dying dictatorships and their filthy tools, the terrorists, will find themselves facing an elected legitimate government in Iraq.

The tyrants nightmare is becoming reality, now they will have to deal with the scariest word in their dictionaries; THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE.

The terrorists have challenged the bravery of the Iraqi people but they messed with the wrong people. The people have accepted the challenge; democracy and elections are not a luxury for Iraqis, it's an issue of life or death. And the terror brutal campaign has only made the people more determined to go on with the change.

The results of some recent polls that have shown how determined Iraqis are to hold the elections might have surprised you, but they weren't a surprise for us; we're not the kind of people that kneel to terror and the sights of blood and beheadings.

Saddam had tried all tools of oppression, killing and torture he could find against our people (including WMD's) but he failed to make the people believe in his hateful regime. And that's why the people abandoned him and now, he and his regime are just a bad old tale from the past.

On Sunday, the sun will rise on the land of Mesopotamia. I can't wait, the dream is becoming true and I will stand in front of the box to put my heart in it.
Take that, Z-man!

Who are Iraq the Model?
Actually we are 2 brothers, working together on this blog.

-Mohammed: 35 years old dentist/single/graduated from Baghdad university in 1995. Left his job 6 years ago because he refused to serve in Saddam's army, and now back to work in Samawa City in the southwest part of Iraq. Interests: poetry, reading (history, religions, philosophy and politics).

-Omar (I'm the one responsible for the publishing and internet work): 24 years old dentist/single/graduated from Baghdad university in 2002. Saved from the military service only by God and the coalition. Now working in Basra. Interests: music, sports (martial arts), reading (novels) and now blogging. We were all born in Baghdad and still living here.
Becaue this blog has defied the wishful thinking of the defeatist media by its upbeat attitude, it has been accused of being a CIA front. But upon investigation, nothing of the sort could be uncovered:
When I telephoned a man named Ali Fadhil in Baghdad last week, I wondered who might answer. A CIA operative? An American posing as an Iraqi? Someone paid by the Defense Department to support the war? Or simply an Iraqi with some mixed feelings about the American presence in Iraq? Until he picked up the phone, he was just a ghost on the Internet.

The mystery began last month when I went online to see what Iraqis think about the war and the Jan. 30 national election. I stumbled into an ideological snake pit. Out of a list of 28 Iraqi blogs in English at a site called Iraqi Bloggers Central, I clicked on Iraq the Model because it promised three blogging brothers in one, Omar, Mohammed and Ali.

It delivered more than that. The blog, which is quite upbeat about the American presence in Iraq, had provoked a deluge of intrigue and vitriol. People posting messages on an American Web site called Martini Republic accused the three bloggers of working for the CIA, of being American puppets, of not being Iraqis and even of not existing at all.
Even then, the investigation was spun by the NY Times, according to a third brother of the bloggers who started one of his own:
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
I feel I should give my opinion on the NY times article about me and Iraq the Model that has created some variable reactions on the blogosphere. The article was, despite Ms Boxer's kindness, a bad piece of journalism. I had around 45 minutes long phone call with the reporter about my journey with Iraq the Model, my new site, the elections, the general situation here in Baghdad but she (or the paper) seems to have a certain agenda and managed to change the whole issue into a very silly gossip (going as far as quoting trolls!) that is way beneath any respectable paper and certainly beneath me so I won't give it more attention but lesson learned and I won't make the mistake of talking to anyone from the NY times again. It's important to note though that my feelings of respect, gratitude and love for the American people have never and will never change.
In fact, the full name of this blog is:
Free Iraqi
I was not living before the 9th of April and now I am, so let me speak!
The 9th of April, of course, is the date Bush toppled Hussein and liberated Iraq. Which makes that title a scathing indictment of all who still stand against the war and would write the word "liberation" surrounded by mocking "scare-quotes".

Talk about stubbornly clinging to the Wrong Side of History, just for the sake of petty anger at W!

The Iraq the Model bloggers in fact do exist; they have met President Bush, and Mohammed is running in tomorrow's election on the Pro-Democracy Party ticket.

Despite the efforts of naysayers and ankle-biters, there's no stopping the march of freedom!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Face It

Belmont Club brings us notice of a great new blog run by a Republican hidden among the lefties who run the State Department. The New Sisyphus has a great essay, part of which reads:
It's much, much easier to point to the failure of the Oslo/Madrid/Quartet III Subsequent Agreement as a cause of terrorism than to believe that there is a culture of billions out there that wants your blood and the blood of your children.

Because, damn, what reasonable person wants to believe that?

The Zarqawi Audiotape

On January 23, Jordanian terrorist leader Al-Zarqawi released an audiotape regarding the upcoming elections in Iraq. Zarqawi is, of course, a very important terrorist leader and the undeniable head of the jihadi insurgency against the Allawi Government and its American allies. Which is why the audiotape is of vital significance.

Here is a major Islamic terrorist leader, telling us in his own words, directly, what he believes, what motivates his fight, and why he wishes us dead. And what does he say?

"The speaker said democracy was based on un-Islamic beliefs and behaviors such as freedom of religion, rule of the people, freedom of expression, separation of religion and state, forming political parties and majority rule.

He said that freedom of expression is allowed "even cursing God. This means that there is nothing sacred in democracy." He said Islam requires the rule of God and not the rule of "the majority or the people."

Let's break that down:

1) Freedom of Religion: The most basic, most cherished of our freedoms is a gigantic affront to the jihadis since there is only one God and only one religion: that which they say exists. Because we are free to worship as we choose, they wish us dead.

2) Rule of the People/Majority Rule: The basic tenent of Democracy, that the will of the majority carries sovereignty, is inherently offensive to the jihadis. Only the "Rule of God" (meaning the rule of people like Khomeni, Zarqawi and Bin Ladin) will be allowed. All other states must perish.

3) Freedom of Expression: The very freedom of our minds arouses murderous hatred in the mind of the jihadi. Our ability to express ourselves, to debate, to argue, to agree, to disagree, is an affront to God in their eyes. Under their rule, no one will be allowed to express anything but Islamic thought.

4) Separation of Religion and State: There can be no secular state, since we are ordered by God to live under his laws. Thus, all secular states are inherently God-less and must be destroyed.

5) Formation of Political Parties: Our right to associate with like-minded individuals is nothing more than a sign of our decadence, our distance from God. Anyone who takes place in the democratic political process, even good liberals, are evil and deserve to be decapitated.

This is the word directly from an Al-Queda leader. Notice the complete lack of the usual grievances about Israel, about Western colonialism, about the inequity of our bargaining position in the oil market. No, instead we are told directly that we are to be killed because of who and what we are, because of who and what we believe.

What Is To Be Done?

Dear readers, the Zarqawi tape should (but won't) end the debate between the Muslim Rage School and the Clash of Civilization School. Like the Nazis before them, the Islamists are telling us without mincing words exactly what they think of us and what they have planned.

We hope we will not strike you as illiberal when we admit that we felt it was a grave, near-fatal error for the West not to declare war against Iran when it, as a state, threatened to kill a Western author. Because until they know that our most cherished values, like freedom of speech, are as important and meaningful to us as their Koran is to them, and that we are just as willing to kill and to die to protect them, we will be on the defensive.

In the long run, we have hope. Because, like the Nazis before them, the Islamic leaders keep ruining the efforts of Western appeasers and cowards by continuing to bluntly state the bloody obvious: that they want to kill us and destroy our way of life.

We can fight them now, or we can fight them later, but, eventually, fight them we will. And I wouldn't bet against us.
If more at State felt like this, we'd have the War over in no time!

"Liberals" better get on the Right Side of History.

One comment-writer on that site leaves the cogent remark,
Liberals want to make friends with decapitators and see if we just can't all just get along. From that perspective nothing is more hateful (and rude) than people like Bush who want to go to war to destroy them.

These people are so scared that they are simply unable to state a position in which the main, very simple and very obvious, intentions of these people are not systematically elided from conversation: they want to kill you and will do anything to accomplish that goal. "Kill me? You can't be serious. Why would anyone want to kill me? I'm a good person, I believe in social justice, ... I can understand their anger, even sympathize with it. They have a right to their anger, it's only justice." And so on.

Thus there is a kind of viscious symbiosis between terrorist and bourgeois liberal: the terrorist wants to kill and the liberal wants to be killed. And both are agreed that the people who want to defend themselves and kill the terrorist instead are the true vessels of evil.

One unaskable--because possibly unanswerable--question arises from this analysis: is it going to be possible to kill the terrorists without sooner or later having to kill the western liberals who are the terrorists' secret ally?

Who Can You Trust?

There is no honor among terrorists, apparently. With friends like this...

A darkly amusing tale of betrayal out of Iraq, by way of USA Today:
BAGHDAD — His head and hands were wrapped in bandages and his uncovered face looked like bubbled tar.

[Indeed it does look that way; it's really quite extraordinary. See the image here of the jihadi who somehow survived, though considerably worse for wear, an involuntary martyrdom operation.]

It wasn't supposed to be a suicide mission.

"They asked me to take the truck near a concrete block barrier before turning to the right and leaving it there. There, somebody will pick up the truck from you," they told him. "But they blew me up in the truck," he says.

When the gas truck ignited into a fireball near the Jordanian Embassy, nine people were killed, including a family of seven whose house collapsed on them. The explosion burned Shaya on his face and hands but he was thrown from the cab and survived.

Authorities at first didn't know who he was. But then a local Baghdad newspaper carried a report from Saudi Arabia about his family mourning his martyrdom.

Shaya told the interrogators that he regretted his mission now.

"I want the Iraqi people to live in peace," he says, and he can no longer support Osama bin Laden because "he is killing Muslims."

As for the Zarqawi network that sent him on the mission that left him permanently disfigured and in prison, he says, "I want revenge for what they have done to me."
I tell ya, it just breaks my heart...

Here you are, expecting to mass-murder a bunch of inoocent people indiscriminately, and your face gets char-grilled for your trouble. And by your supposed "friends", no less!

Oh, the humanity!

A Worthy Site

The Fire fights for oppressed voices on our Nation's campuses -- typically conservative voices silenced by PC speech codes.

And they tend to win when it comes to legal action.

Check it out and support The Fire!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Shroud Re-dated

As a physicist, I have always rejected the so-called "carbon dating" of the Shroud of Turin that purported to show it dating to the Middle Ages.

First, all the test really tells you is the proportion of Carbon-14 to Carbon-12 in the sample.

That's all.

To assign a date to that ratio, several other assumptions must be made. Foremost, on must assume the sample is a valid representation of the object to be dated, and has not been contaminated with material from different time periods.

Second, too many other puzzles remained to glibly assign a medieval date. If that were the case, how was the image formed? All research indicates the image is due to a reductive chemical reaction with odd characteristics, such as being a surface effect, and with the shading due not to the intensity of the reaction, but to the density of affected fibers. Furthermore the image contains 3-D depth information, and strangely is a "negative". No good explanation of a process to recreate all those characteristics has been discovered, except to note it is similar to a photographic technique -- hundreds of years before photography.

Now the NY Times is reporting that guess what, the sample used for the carbon date was indeed from the wrong part of the shroud -- it is from the part that is known to have been patched with medieval cloth to repair fire damage, and to add a backing:
The Shroud of Turin is much older than the medieval date that modern science has affixed to it and could be old enough to have been the burial wrapping of Jesus, a new analysis concludes.

Since 1988, most scientists have confidently concluded that it was the work of a medieval artist, because carbon dating had placed the production of the fabric between 1260 and 1390.

In an article this month in the journal Thermochimica Acta, Dr. Raymond N. Rogers, a chemist retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory, said the carbon dating test was valid but that the piece tested was about the size of a postage stamp and came from a portion that had been patched.

"We're darned sure that part of the cloth was not original Shroud of Turin cloth," he said, adding that threads from the main part of the shroud were pure linen, which is spun from flax.

The threads in the patched portion contained cotton as well and had been dyed to match.

From other tests, he estimated that the shroud was between 1,300 and 3,000 years old.
I've been following these studies for a long time, and the STURP science team that studied the shroud in the 1970s was composed of real scientists -- not cranks -- and they were not religiously motivated. See for example this site. As I write, this former STURP member was just on Fox News!

One thing is certain: it is NOT painted!

Not to mention that artistically, it doesn't fit at all with the style of iconography of the period.

As a medieval creation, it is even more of a mystery than assuming it is somehow an authentically transferred image (by means unknown) of an actual person buried in the 1st century AD!

In addition, there is an interesting historical theory that "fills in" the gap between the time of Christ and the time it surfaces in the historical record for certain in the 14th century, if it is associated with the "Mandylion" cloth of Constantinople (since vanished), assuming it was folded up to show only the face -- and is thus possibly the source of the "Veronica's Veil" legend, with the name "Veronica" being a corruption of the term "Vera Icon", or "True Image". It might also then be the source of the ideas behind the Holy Grail stories. And this theory explains why early Christian imagery portrayed Christ in many different guises for a few hundred years, until suddenly "converging" on the popular conception (being very similar to the image on the shroud), if the shroud, as the Mandylion, was eventually put on display in Constantinople, and became the common "touchstone" of artists to imitate...until it was taken in the Crusades by the Templars. It also could have served as the source of some of the politically-motivated charges of heresy against the Order, claiming (among other things) they worshipped a bloody head.

Of course, just proving the cloth itself is old enough doesn't prove anything other than it's not obviously a fake. But it surely cannot simply be dismissed, and remains a source of intrigue, inspiration, and wonder.

What's Scary?

Here's a fun little game: what's the scariest thing you can imagine?

I've heard it said that apparently the scariest thing Stephen King can think of is to be cut into lots of tiny little pieces. That's more what I'd call "Terror" rather than "Horror": terror being a fear based on harm to the body, as in that bastard subgenre of horror movies, the "slasher" flick.

True horror on the other hand, involves a component of fear based on the consequences of harm to one's mind...or immortal soul.

This is the realm for example of H. P. Lovecraft, whose tales of the Cthulhu mythos revolved on stunning revelations about the true malign nature of the Universe, embodied in the existence of truly alien and unequivocally evil god-like beings who refrain from devouring us all only because they happen to be slumbering...for now. These facts in the tales tended to drive the discoverers insane.

A concise and humorous summation of Lovecraft's writing style can be found here.

Stephen King is even more concisely summarized here.

Oh, what is my scariest thought of all?


How about this.

Gather 'round.



Imagine that it turns out that there is self-conscious Life just teeming throughout the Universe.

Habitable planets are everywhere.

But wherever we go, we turn out to be the wisest, most advanced species of all.

By far.

Now, how does that grab you?

Would that not be the most horrible of all plausibly realistic Universes???


UPDATE: Of course, I write this AFTER the unspeakable horror of the possibility of "President Kerry" receded into oblivion...

No Nonsense

A refreshing story of self-reliance coming out of the Keystone State:
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Passengers aboard a Southwest Airlines flight helped wrestle a fellow passenger to the floor Tuesday night after he tried to force his way into the cockpit, law enforcement officials said.

The incident happened aboard Flight 2161, which was traveling from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to West Palm Beach, Florida.

Christopher Egyed, 37, made "threatening comments about the government" and tried to make his way into the cockpit, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokesman Paul Miller said.

"He had been acting in an obnoxious way throughout the flight," Miller said.

Egyed exchanged punches with a flight attendant before passengers joined the scuffle and subdued him, authorities said.

"They used duct tape to tie him up," FBI spokeswoman Judy Orijuela said.

The pilot did not declare an emergency, and the plane landed without further incident at 9:45 p.m. ET in West Palm Beach.
Consider it a tribute to the heroes of Flight 93. The official memorial website has over 1000 preliminary entries, and some choices are going to be announced next week, apparently.

I am reminded of a recent essay by David Warren, part of which reads:
To my mind, prudence is inseparable from the question of martyrdom.

Here is a question nobody seems to have asked, perhaps owing to "political correctness". Was it prudent for Islamist terrorists to hijack airliners and fly them into office buildings? Is it prudent for others to attach explosive belts and blow people up in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere?

The idea of murder-suicide as a form of martyrdom is something that has come out of post-modern Islam, rather in the way mindless tolerance has come out of post-modern Christianity. In both cases, I think, a parody of the faith has turned by increments into an inversion of it.

Murder-suicide as an act of martyrdom would have been inconceivable before the emergence of the Wahabi sect in modern Arabia, and cognate movements in Egypt, Pakistan, and elsewhere. This is worth remembering when we hear the demonic suggestion that, "Religious martyrs are the same everywhere, they are all just fanatics."

As a Christian, I cannot be opposed to martyrdom, per se. So it is important to grasp the difference between what makes a Christian, and what makes this kind of Muslim, martyr. At the very least, the Christian requires to be put to death by someone else; and only as the alternative to denying Christ. He must go out of his way not to endanger persons not involved, since martyrdom can do no good to someone unprepared for it.

It is necessary to make this distinction, in order to understand how, in extremis, not only Christians, but Jews, and some people of other faiths, have been able through the centuries to choose martyrdom, as a prudent act -- each believing that his own death is for the good of all people, including himself.

This seems shocking to the post-modern mind, for which self-preservation, if not actual cowardice, is the highest prudential good.
The contrast could not be clearer.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Another Interesting Blog

Came across this blog recently: the Gay Patriot. Worth a look!

And don't forget to check Gates of Vienna! I've just been catching up and there have been several interesting posts in the last two months.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Inaugural Address

So where did that thrilling speech come from? MSNBC reveals the minds behind it:
Bush's speech appeared to put the United States on a course in which moralism and idealism, rather than realpolitik, form the philosophical foundations of foreign policy. But White House officials said that is a misreading of how Bush operates. "His goals are deeply idealistic," Gerson said. "His methods are deeply realistic. In fact, that was one of the themes of the speech, that this traditional divide between realism and idealism is no longer adequate for the conduct of American foreign policy."

The planning of Bush's second inaugural address began a few days after the Nov. 2 election with the president telling advisers he wanted a speech about "freedom" and "liberty." That led to the broadly ambitious speech that has ignited a vigorous debate. The process included consultation with a number of outside experts, Kristol among them.

One meeting, arranged by Peter Wehner, director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, included military historian Victor Davis Hanson, columnist Charles Krauthammer and Yale professor John Lewis Gaddis, according to one Republican close to the White House. White House senior adviser Karl Rove attended, according to one source, but mostly listened to what became a lively exchange over U.S. policy and the fight for liberty.

Gaddis caught the attention of White House officials with an article in the latest edition of Foreign Affairs magazine that seems to belie the popular perception that this White House does not consult its critics.

Gaddis's article is, at times, strongly critical of Bush's first-term foreign policy calculations, especially what he calls the twin failures to anticipate international resistance to Bush's ideas and Iraqi resistance to peace after the fall of Baghdad. But the article also raises the possibility that Bush's grand vision of spreading democracy could prove successful, and perhaps historic, if the right choices are made in the years ahead.

The former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky also helped shape the speech with his book about the hopes of democratic dissidents jailed by despots around the world. Bush recommended the book, "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror," to several aides and invited Sharansky, now an Israeli politician, to the White House in mid-November to discuss it, according to one official.
And they say Bush doesn't read.

I couldn't be more pleased with whom the White House is asking for advice!

Make My Day

The Dutch -- arguably Europe's most liberal, tolerant non-judgmental people -- are getting fed up too.

Seems a "disadvantaged immigrant youth", i.e. a criminal unassimilated Muslim invader, snatched a woman's purse near the spot Theo van Gogh was murdered, and sped off on a moped.

Which was no match for the enraged woman's car.

Guess the punk felt lucky.

We are told:
The story has been front-page news all week in the Netherlands, home to about one million Muslims, more than a quarter of Moroccan descent. De Telegraaf daily said on Friday it was the man's own fault.

Geert Wilders, an anti-immigration politician whose popularity has soared since Van Gogh was murdered, called for the government to strip criminals with dual citizenship of their Dutch nationality.

"Arresting the woman makes the victim the criminal and the criminal a victim. It's turning the world on its head," he said.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende was forced on Friday to defend Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, who said the woman had not committed murder and the death would never have happened if the youth had not stolen the bag. A placard reading "Verdonk, murderess" was placed at the site of the death.

Van Gogh's murder on November 2 triggered a series of attacks on mosques and churches and a wave of death threats against politicians, including Verdonk and Wilders, shattering the Netherlands' reputation for tolerance.

The woman, who prosecutors want to charge for manslaughter, was released on Thursday pending further investigations.
When governments fail to secure the borders or to control destructive elements, the people are forced to take personal action as a last resort.

It would behoove us all for government to live up to its responsibilities.

"Action Sweep-Out"

How about a little counter-cleansing?

Is Europe beginning to rouse from its slumber?

Was the public murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh (and relative to Dutch cultural icon Vincent van Gogh) by an offended Islamist a turning point?

(In case you missed the news last November, Theo made a little film critical of Islamic subjugation of women; for this, he had to die. Attacked while riding his bike in Amsterdam, and begging for his life, pleading that their differences could be "talked about", his head was nearly severed by a knife-wielding westernized Muslim murderbot, who then pinned a manifesto to Theo's chest with a knife engraved with koranic verses, stabbing through the heart:
For the deed, he had dressed himself in traditional Moroccan garb and, it seems, attempted to ritually slaughter the infidel, like an animal.
This was done in broad daylight. A cell of 8 other Islamists was rounded up, and several Dutch politicians and others associated with van Gogh's movie have been forced into hiding. They mean to destroy the core of Western civilization and values, by killing those who wish to use free expression. Where are those useless whiners, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, and Michael Moore???)

Germany is implementing a no-nonsense operation called "Action Kehraus", or "Operation Sweep-Out":
Germany to Deport Hundreds of Islamists

BERLIN (Reuters) - German officials are drawing up lists of hundreds of Islamic militants to be deported from the country under a new law making expulsions easier, the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel said on Saturday.

Der Spiegel said authorities were already using their powers under an immigration law introduced this month in conducting an operation dubbed "Aktion Kehraus" ("Action Sweep Out").

Under new rules, potential deportees will not be able to use normal legal channels to challenge an expulsion order. A special panel of the Federal Administrative Court will be responsible, with no right of appeal.

Der Spiegel said judges were expected to deal with up to 2,000 cases per year.

Since the revelations in 2001 that Arab students who had lived for years in Hamburg led the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Germans have questioned their liberal laws under which some suspected militants even draw welfare benefits.

Interior Minister Otto Schily has suggested that evidence of training at an al Qaeda camp should be clear grounds for expelling a foreign national. Distributing videos calling for "holy war" could also be punished the same way.
All freedom-loving nations should do the same, immediately.

What are we waiting for???

A people who believe the first recourse is to kill instead of to debate, have violated the fundamental tenets of our society, and forfeit all rights to it. As Theodore Dalrymple puts it,
For tolerance to work, it must be reciprocal; tolerance appears to the intolerant jihadist mere weakness and lack of belief in anything. Unilateral tolerance in a world of intolerance is like unilateral disarmament in a world of armed camps: it regards hope as a better basis for policy than reality.

Recent news items have suggested that Germans are getting fed-up with guilt over WW2. Though some see this as cause for concern, the upside is they are now able to show the necessary spine to lead the way in deporting incompatible elements.

"Musselman, raus!"


Reuters reports
MOGADISHU, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Somali militiamen, allied with Islamic clerics who rule by sharia law, have dug up hundreds of skeletons from an Italian colonial-era cemetery and thrown them in the trash...

Gunmen told residents near the cemetery in south Mogadishu that the courts ordered them to clear the site of non-Islamic elements, witnesses said.

"The profanation of a silent and historical place, sacred to all civilisations, is a vile and particularly hateful act which can have no justification whatsoever," the Italian government said in a statement.
The article goes on to say the motive remains "unclear".

It couldn't have anything to do with supremacist, imperialistic Islamic fascism, could it? Nah.

News of the Weird

Weird news out of eastern India:
Girl married to dog to avoid bad omen

22 January 2005

RANCHI — Adding one more chapter to Jharkhand's history of blind belief, an eight-year-old girl was married to a neighbourhood dog in the certainty that it would ward off evil spirits.

The event in a village in Dhanbad, 240km from here, earlier this week included all the trappings of a normal wedding including a marriage feast and dowry.

The girl's father, Shankar Munda, was quoted as telling local newspapers that his daughter had grown "dog teeth" on her upper jaws which was considered a bad omen. "If the marriage had not been solemnised, our family might have faced some trouble," he reportedly said.

Villagers showed little remorse, justifying the incident. "If she had not been married to a dog, it could have invited evil spirits and the village could have faced serious trouble," said Raju Mandal.
Incidents like this are a good reminder that the world's opinion of us isn't always something to necessarily take seriously.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Car Ad

The new VW Polo: Small but Tough!

non-PC video ad humorously shows why it's not the choice of terrorists...

Homeland Security Logs

Michelle Malkin points to a site that has obtained the weekly Homeland Security Briefings that are FOUO (For Official Use Only), and they reveal a great many suspicious and outright-real incidents to remind us all that we are indeed under attack.

As the AP explains,
Authorities have arrested four people accused of having ties to suspected terrorists and blocked 12 more from entering the United States in the first two weeks of this year, according to government documents.

Daily reports from the Homeland Security Operations Center do not contain classified information. But they are not distributed publicly and generally intended to remain secret. They offer a glimpse into what national security officials are doing to prevent an attack, detailing arrests, criminal incidents and law enforcement tips.

A counterterrorism official confirmed Wednesday that the documents made available online this week were legitimate. The publication - at - initially led to an investigation of a possible security breach, but apparently their Internet posted resulted from an unsecured link on Energy Department's Web site that has since been corrected, the official said.
Check it out before the lawyers make it disappear.

Some sample entries from the hundreds on the site:

(FOUO) MICHIGAN: Divers Find Second IED in the Rouge River. According to USCG reporting, on 10 November, in Detroit, while performing a training dive, Detroit Police Department (DPD) divers found a second improvised explosive device (IED) in the Rouge River. On 3 November, DPD divers found the first IED near a water in-take valve, approximately one-half mile from a waste water treatment plant. The DPD divers found the second IED in the same location as the first; however, the second IED was much smaller. The DPD bomb squad disposed of the device and sent the remains to ATF for analysis. An investigation is on-going. Comment: The first IED incident was reported on 4 November in the Homeland Security Operations Morning Brief. (COGARD FIST Detroit, 3 & 16 Nov 04; HSOC 4246-04)

(FOUO) TEXAS: Suspicious Jacket Found. According to CBP reporting, on 23 December, Hebbronville Border Patrol Agents discovered a jacket with an Arabic patch in a lay up area on Hwy. 285. The jacket had two patches sewn on the back and one on the inside. The two patches on the back were an Arabic Military Badge and a patch with the letters “Daiwa” and the patch on the inside read “Midnight Mission”. DHS translators concluded that the patch read, “Defense Center”, “Ministry of Defense”, or “Defense Headquarters”. The bottom of the patch read “Martyr”, “Way to Eternal Life” or “Way to Immortality”. The “Daiwa” patch stands for a corporate company which sells Sport Fishing products with corporate offices in eight countries including Japan, the U.S., Australia, France, Germany, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UK. The patch that was located inside the jacket read “Midnight Mission”. The logo depicts an airplane flying over a building and headed towards a tower.

(FOUO) WASHINGTON: Suspicious Activity of Two Middle Eastern Males on Ferry. According to USCG reporting, on 27 September, in Seattle, two Middle Eastern males were observed studying the schematic of the Wenatchee Ferry for an extended period of time. As soon as the two males noticed an employee approaching, they immediately walked away from the schematic and picked up a magazine to ward off attention. At the end of the voyage, the two males returned to their vehicle. A license plate check revealed the vehicle belonged to a rental company. Information from the rental company on the vehicle indicated that it was a rented to a business located in Tukwila. The business was unable to be located. An investigation is on-going. (COGARD FIST Seattle, 28 Sep 04; HSOC 3657-04)

(FOUO) MASSACHUSETTS: Possible Video Surveillance of Interstate Highway. According to military reporting, on 22 September, in Lexington, a military member reported observing four Middle Eastern individuals standing on an I-95 overpass videotaping the northbound traffic and recording information into a notebook. Reportedly, the same military member recalled observing two of the individuals on the same overpass in late February or early March 2004. (AFOSI Talon 102-23-09-04-2297; 23 Sep 04; HSOC 3579-04)

(FOUO) MARYLAND: Possible Surveillance of Federal Building in Baltimore. According ICE reporting 28 December, a Special Agent from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) observed three individuals conducting possible surveillance of two federal facilities in Baltimore, MD. The two male and one female subjects, described as being of Middle Eastern descent, were seen videotaping the US Customs House and the Appraiser Building. Each of the subjects had their own camera. The agent notified contract guards inside the Appraiser Building. When the agent and guards went outside to contact the subjects, the three individuals hid their cameras and departed the area, with each subject traveling in a separate direction. The Baltimore City Police Department Intelligence Unit was notified, and the matter has been referred to an FPS Special Agent for further investigation. (ICE Daily Summary, 29 Dec 04; HSOC 4962-04)

Hey could these be the same people as above?

(FOUO) MARYLAND: Suspicious Activity at Andrews AFB Main Gate. According to military reporting, on 12 October, Andrews AFB security officers observed a possible Middle Eastern male photographing the main gate area using what appeared to be a small, disposable camera. When a security officer approached the individual to question him, the unidentified male left the gate area, walked across the street, met up with another individual believed to also be of Middle Eastern origin, entered a white, late-model Pontiac Grand Am and quickly departed the area. Reportedly, a possible Middle Eastern female was sitting in the back of the vehicle. (AFOSI Talon 331-12-10-04-2484, 12 Oct 04; HSOC 3876-04)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

New Jersey Jihad Update

Jihadwatch makes a revealing scriptural comparison:
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..." Matthew 5:44

"Muhammad is Allah's Apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." Qur'an, Sura 48:29.
There is also an update on the New Jersey murders of the Coptic Christian family, on what some close to the family believe happened:
The Armanious family had inspired several Muslims to convert to Christianity — or thought they had. These converts were actually practicing taqiyya, or religious deception, pretending to be friends of these Christians in order to strengthen themselves against them, as in Qur'an 3:28: "Let believers not make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful -- he that does this has nothing to hope for from Allah -- except in self-defense."

It was these "converts" who knocked on the door of the Armanious home. Of course, the family, not suspecting the deception, was happy to see the "converted" men and willingly let them in to their home. That's why there was no sign of forced entry. Then the "converted" Muslims did their grisly work.

Many Copts are regarding the murders as a warning to the Coptic community as a whole, related to the increasing strife between Copts and Muslims in Egypt and the Copts' energetic efforts in America to get the truth out about the differences between Middle Eastern Christians and Muslims -- differences that the Islamic lobby, with its disingenuous talk of "Arab Americans," routinely glosses over and hopes you don't notice. The Copts, to their immense credit, have been particularly outspoken among Middle Eastern Christians about Muslim oppression. And yes, many are active on Pal Talk debating Muslims.

The nature of the warning? The murders send a signal from the Muslims to the Copts: we are going to behave here the same way we behaved in Egypt, and the First Amendment and American law enforcement will not protect you. Don't expect America to keep you safe from us. The oppression and harassment you thought you had left behind in Egypt has now come to you.
Let's keep watch and see if this pans out, for it has significant repurcussions if true.

Ha Ha

I find it amusing that the response of traditional conservatives (with isolationist tendencies) to Bush's Inaugural Address is one of confusion if not alarm; they don't quite know what to make of it:
Bush has just announced that we must remake the entire third world in order to feel safe in our own homes, and he has done so without sounding a single note of reluctance or hesitation. This overturns the nation’s fundamental stance toward foreign policy since its inception. Washington warned of "foreign entanglements." The second President Adams asserted that "we go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy."
But to the New Crusaders, this is music to the ears!

Counterpoint is here.

Human History

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
-- Thomas Jefferson, September 23, 1800

"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: The United States will not ignore oppression or excuse your oppressors."
-- W, January 20, 2004

More from the Inaugural speech:
Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation....

The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations....

We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude....
The grand sweep of Human History can be seen as the ongoing struggle to eliminate all forms of slavery and subjugation. The charge was often led by Judeo-Christian values and resulted in great spiritual steps forward, in spite of fallible human nature.

Free the Slaves of Allah from an ideology devised as a criminal enterprise that commands death to any who attempt to leave it!

"Death to Islam" means Freedom for Muslims!

Isn't it odd that one belief system found slavery to be fundamentally incompatible with its core values, but another belief system explicitly embraces slavery, seeing its followers as slaves, with its very name (Islam) meaning "submission"?

(It's a lie and linguistic bait-and-switch to imply the word "Islam" has any meaningful connection to the word "salaam", meaning "peace". Both come from the same consonant trigraph S-L-M, but so do other unrelated words -- the concept of "root words" from English doesn't apply. It would be like claiming the words "hit", "hat", and "hot" were related because they accidentally share the same consonant structure. And the KNOW they are deceiving you when they say "Islam comes from the same root as 'peace'"! Technically correct, but devoid of meaning.)

Isn't it shocking to realize Muslims are still enslaving blacks in Africa at this very moment?

Wrap your head around that: slavery still exists in this world, and the Arabs are still running the business.

Observe the example of apostate Ibn Warraq, in his book "Why I am not a Muslim."

Of it, the esteemed Dr. Daniel Pipes of the U.S. Institute of Peace, writes
His conclusion is severe: on balance, the effects of the teachings of the Koran have been a disaster for human reason and social, intellectual, and moral progress. From the beginning, Islam has been a fraud.
Another reviewer, Dr. Ali Sina, writes:
In "Why I Am Not A Muslim", Ibn Warraq exposes the bitter truth about Islam without sugarcoating it. He is learned and his book is well documented. He lashes out at the western intellectuals who instead of condemning the assassination order of a savage man like Khomeini against Salman Rushdie, chose to criticize Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses because it was not “politically correct”. Warraq talks about the brutal treatments of all those who fell under the domination of Islam, from the time of Muhammad to the present days. He talks about the minorities, philosophers, women and slaves in Islam. Jews were massacred and exiled by Muhammad in Medina and Kheibar; their belongings were distributed among the “believers”, their women and children taken as slaves. This heinous act of barbarism was repeated time and again throughout history with Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and in recent years with Ahmedies, Baha’is and other minorities in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, India, Syria and everywhere Islam reined.

Warraq traces back the origin of many Islamic rituals to Arab superstitions and Muhammad’s strange belief in jinns, demons and other shadowy beings....

Then you will learn about Muhammad’s metamorphosis from preacher to despot. How his call for tolerance, when he was still in Mecca and weak changed to the cry of killing and looting when he became powerful in Medina. You will learn how Muhammad encouraged his handful of followers to attack the caravans, kill the men, rape the women and bring the booty (20% for himself) to please Allah, while assuring them that if they are killed their rewards will be “young boys”, rivers of wine, and many houris [divine concubines] in the other world. All what Warraq says is backed by Quran and Ahadith.

The reader becomes familiar with Muhammad’s favorite way of eliminating his opponents, namely assassination. Asma Bint Marwan a poetess who wrote against the prophet was assassinated by his order in the middle of the night while nursing her infant. Her five small children where forced to convert to Islam....

Among other things we learn about Muhammad’s preference for young girls (Ayesha was 9 years old when he consummated his “marriage” with her) rather at an advanced age and how he is unabashed to make Allah reveal Quranic verses to justify his lust for women and his sexual appetite.

Warraq makes a thorough study of the totalitarian nature of Islam. He even goes as far as to compare the impact of monotheism on human rights versus polytheism and atheism.
Eternal hostility to all forms of tyranny!

Nothing To See Here

Not to worry, this is just crazy member of a minority fringe mouthing off, and has NOTHING TO DO with Islam.

Nobody special, of no influence or connection to "real" Islam whatsoever.

You know, he just happens to be the spiritual and supreme leader of an ENTIRE COUNTRY, the most perfect version of a pure Islamic State in the world.

He doesn't really MEAN what he says, of course.
A FATWA against the author Salman Rushdie was reaffirmed by Iran’s spiritual leader last night in a message to Muslim pilgrims.

British officials anxiously played down comments after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told Muslims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that Rushdie was an apostate whose killing would be authorised by Islam, according to the Iranian media.
And the civilized world sticks its head in the sand:
However, senior British officials swiftly made plain last night that the Iranian Government, which had disassociated itself from the fatwa in 1998, had not changed its position. They pointed out that because the fatwa was issued in February 1989 by Iran’s revolutionary founder and Khamenei’s predecessor, Ayatollah Khomeini, who had since died, it would always remain in existence.

They insisted that the move did not presage a further deterioration in the already tense relations with Iran over its nuclear programme. “This should not be taken as a new development,” one said.

"Almost every time that the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, gives a sermon he mentions Salman Rushdie in these terms and denounces him as a man who has insulted the name of the Prophet and who can therefore be killed. It’s just the standard rhetoric."
Oh, well that explains it! The MORE he says it, the less he means it. I see.
Ayatollah Khamenei said in his message: “They talk about respect towards all religions, but they support such a mahdour al-damm mortad as Salman Rushdie.” In Sharia, or Islamic law, mortad is a reference to someone who has committed apostasy by leaving Islam while mahdour al-damm is a term applying to someone whose blood may be shed with impunity.
Funny they should have a word for that. And notice how "respect" for Islam equates to supporting their wishes to shed blood with impunity.

The author of this piece goes on to helpfully explain:
When speaking, as he was in this case, in his capacity as a spiritual leader — rather than a leader in matters of state — Ayatollah Khamenei’s tone tends to be rhetorical.
Talk about self-deluded splitting of hairs and wishful thinking!
Analysts in Iran played down the remark, suspecting that Ayatollah Khamenei was referring to the fatwa against Rushdie in a historical context and was not calling for it to be implemented now. “This isn’t shocking — it’s nothing new,” one Tehran-based analyst said.
What kind of analysis is THAT? It has to be "new" to be shocking? It's no longer shocking in and of itself???
In 1998 Kamal Kharazi, the Iranian Foreign Minister, promised his British counterpart, Robin Cook, that Iran would do nothing to implement the fatwa, despite a $2.8 million bounty placed on Rushdie’s head by a foundation in Iran.
I'm sorry, but that doesn't pass the laugh test. Then why has he been in hiding for 16 years?

Where is the Left to denounce this disgusting destruction of a life, the true suppression of free speech, this death-stroke at civilized modern behavior?

No, instead we have Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon and their mornonic ilk talking about a "chill wind" and how Bush is taking away their rights simply because they get criticism for saying ridiculous things or a private group withdraws its invitation to them to speak at an event.

What useless people.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

It Really Matters

Belmont Club tells us about a National Intelligence Council forecast of trends for the next 15 years.

The basic conclusion that follows from the report, according to Belmont Club, is:
This assessment implies that the Global War on Terror would have happened eventually with or without September 11 as a result of certain long term and unavoidable trends emerging in the world...

What is fairly certain is that the United States will shape the global response for the next 20 years or so.

That central fact means the fate of the world will be effectively decided by Americans in the near term. This further implies that divisions within American polity -- the debate over the response to terrorism -- or the lack thereof -- will assume an inordinate importance, magnified by its position in the fulcrum of power.

This is precisely why I am so dismayed over how divided we are, adn why I have no tolerance for defeatism and the incessant negative spin of the media, the lunacy of the Left, and the whining and carping of the Democrats.

Butch up!

And Plant More Sugar Beets!!

Monday, January 17, 2005

NJ Jihad Update

From ABC news:
ABC News has learned that the slain family's cousin has been a translator working for the prosecution in the trial of Lynne Stewart. She is the radical lawyer accused of smuggling messages from imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, to terrorist cell members and associates.
Rahman, "The Blind Sheikh", you'll recall, is this guy, whose terror cell was responsible for the first WTC attack in 1993, and was nabbed for planning a campaign of urban terrorism, which few of us at the time took seriously.

I recall rights-activists and supporters at the time claiming he was a harmless blind old man and it was terrible of the nasty big government to go after him.

Among his band of merry followers was El-Sayid Nosair, an educated engineer from Egypt who was living in Pittsburgh in the 1980s.

Did you know Sharia law is practiced in Pittsburgh, PA?

He was accused of sexual assault, but it was agreed that he'd by tried by an Islamic court, which of course blamed the woman:
In 1985, he became embroiled in a dispute with a woman who had set up housekeeping with the Nosairs and their children in Pittsburgh. The woman accused Nosair of sexual assault and filed a criminal complaint against him. The woman later dropped the charges, and allowed the leaders of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh to consider the case. Nosair and the woman were summoned, and the religious court ruled that Nosair was innocent and that the woman had tried to blackmail him.
But, he left town and went to NYC, and arranged to get Rahman into the country. Rahman had been implicated in the assassination of Sadat, as had Zawahiri, the brains behind bin Laden.

Because of our ridiculous immigration policies, this known radical Rahman was granted a green card without much difficulty, even though he was on a terror watch list.

Nosair and Rahman murdered "radical" rabbi Kahane in NYC, one might remember. Though Nosair went to prison, he helped hatch further plots. The view of the case at the time is enlightening:
In addition to his writings on the subject of international jihad, they also found, scrawled on the back of a bank calendar, what would later be described as "a hit list," containing the names of two federal judges, a U.S. congressman deemed to be overly pro-Israeli, and the name of a former assistant U.S. attorney. None of it raised much in the way of suspicions among the cops.

Nor did the cache of assorted tracts containing instructions on bomb making, the trove of cartridges for high-powered assault rifles, the collection of driver's licenses in assorted names, the fake passports or the yellowing newspaper articles on Sadat's assassination.

The whole notion that it might have been part of a larger conspiracy was, to the cops at the time, preposterous. As one federal investigator put it at the time, "either the man is a lone nut or he's a lone nut and someone whispered something in his ear, knowing that he'd do it." The only other option, the investigator added derisively, was "there's an enormous international conspiracy."
And that's only in movies, right?

And the whole thing was botched:
But the prosecutors were shocked when a jury in Manhattan on December 21, 1992, acquitted Nosair of second-degree murder charges, convicting him instead on charges of assault and illegal weapons possession.

The conviction was enough to send him to Attica, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York. He was sentenced to 22 years. But it wasn't enough to stop Nosair or his comrades in the struggle for radical Islamic supremacy from continuing to plan attacks against the United States.

In the months following Nosair's arrest, his stock rose dramatically within the radical Islamic movement in the United States and beyond its border.
America's Mayor wasn't fooled however:
Though the majority of American law enforcement officials still believed him to be a lone assassin, there were some who knew better. Rudolph Giuliani, for example, a former federal prosecutor who was about to become mayor of New York, a position he would hold in 2001 during what was arguably one of the worst terrorist attacks in history, had warned that Nosair was part of a larger conspiracy.

But there was little impetus in those days to take a hard line with Nosair or any of his associates and so, for the next few years, jailers at Attica regularly waved through Nosair's friends on visiting days at the prison. During these face-to-face meetings, the group, including Abuhalima and Nosair's brother, Ibrahim Elbrawgone, hatched a scheme to bring the United States to its knees. The group's plot was to attack New York City's bridges and tunnels and other landmarks, among them the World Trade Center. As the months dragged on Nosair berated his friends for taking so long to begin the reign of terror. He even instructed his comrades to seek a fatwa, a religious ruling from the Blind Sheik in a bid to expedite the coming war. By late winter of 1993, however, the plans, it seemed, were coming together.
And come together they would.

Now this "lawyer", Lynne Stewart, is on trial for passing messages from Rahman and his associates back to known terror groups in Egypt, such as the one that gunned down 60 tourists in Luxor in Rahman's name in 1997.

This group had agreed after that to a "cease fire", but
In 2000, Stewart called a Reuters correspondent in Egypt and read a statement issued by the cleric saying he had withdrawn his support for the cease-fire. That correspondent was subpoenaed in the case.
So, it IS a vast international conspiracy, and they ARE among us, and they'll kill anyone who gets in the way.

It's time we realized that true followers of Islam really mean it when they say "freedom" and "democracy" and "representative government" are false, man-made idols, and hence are shirk and must be destroyed, because they interfere with one's absolute submission to Allah's will and his perfect Sharia law. Shirk, or idolatry, is Islam's greatest sin to the self-described "slaves of Allah":
Legislating rulings for the slaves of Allaah to follow in their acts of worship, transactions, settling the disputes, litigation, and in the rest of their affairs is an exclusive right of Allaah, the Exalted, the Rabb of mankind, and the Creator of the creatures.

Allaah says: "Verily the creation and the command belong to Him, and He is the blessing Granter, the Rubb of the Worlds." (7:54)

He knows what suits His slaves, and legislates it for them. By virtue of His Ruboobiyyah, He legislates for them, and by virtue of their servitude to Him, they accept His judgements; whichever case it is in their interest.

Hence, he who accepts a law other than Allah's ascribes a partner to Allaah. Whatever act of worship that is not legislated by Allaah and His Messenger is Bid'ah, and every Bid'ah is a means of deviation. The Prophet said: "He who introduces in our deen, anything which does not belong to it, it shall be rejected." [Bukhari & Muslim]

The right of legalizing and illegalizing, belongs to Allaah too, and no one is permitted to share this right with Him.

Hence, the obedience of the Christians to their learned men, with regards to illegalization and legalization is considered as worship and major Shirk, which contradicts the Tawheed, which is signified by the Testimony of Faith, La ilahah illal Allah. [Fath al-Majid p.107] This Testimony which signifies that legalization and illegalization is an exclusive right of Allaah, the Exalted.
Is not "tolerance" a concept that requires a two-way street? Must we be accepting of people who entirely reject the basic foundations of our way of life and seek to destroy them?

Is that not sheer madness?

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Denial and Egyptians

LGF brings this news update concerning the mass-murder jihad slayings in New Jersey over the weekend.

The denials have already begun:
Asked about passages in the Quran that may suggest murdering non-believers in a manner that resembles the family’s deaths, he replied, “The Quran talks about people fighting in the battle of war. It’s not talking about people who live next to you. ... This has nothing to do with our community at all.”

“The Quran stands very firmly against taking human life,” said noted Islamic author Zayn Kassam, chairwoman of the religious studies department of Pomona College in California. “If someone read a verse and used it to justify the killing of four people, I believe that person is unbalanced. ... There are very few Muslims who would support this sort of thing.”
Ha ha ha ha ha!

Ok, show me where in the koran it stands very firmly against taking human life. Show me how the "context" of the passages that "suggest" murder explains them away.

You can do neither!

At this point, someone usually trots out some innocuous-sounding verse to make it seem like Islam is a peaceful religion -- without explaining away the murderous passages.

Well guess what, yes, some verses sound conciliatory. They are known as the early Medina verses, when mohammed's military power was weak. The violent verses came later, after he tricked everyone into thinking he was mild-mannered and had conquered his enemies and put them to death.

Islamic scholars are aware of the apparent contradiction.

They resolve it with a doctrine known as "abrogation". The verses that come later have precedence, and the earlier contradicted ones are null and void.

For example, one commentator explains:
Here is a small hint in understanding Islam: Understanding the concept of abrogation is very important in order to understand Islam. Within the Qur'an itself are statements which contradict others. For example, I have recently read an article by Karen Armstrong saying: "the only permissible war (in the Koran) is one of self-defense. Muslims may not begin hostilities (2:190)."

Others quote verses from the Qur'an like: "Let there be no compulsion in religion" 2:256

Theis verse seem to say clearly enough that the Qur'an teaches a peaceful response to those who oppose Islam. But there are other verses in the Qur'an which say quite the opposite. For example:

"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) 9:5

How to solve this conflict? and which verse should the Muslims follow? Please allow me to explain briefly:

There is a concept called "Abrogation" in the Quran , and that is: The Quran was (supposedly) revealed to Muhammad in a sequence of events, the latter verses supercede and nullifies the earlier verses.

Out of the whole Quran, there are 124 verses that teach some tolerence towards non-Muslims...but here is the striking fact....all of these verses are void, and were abrogated by the last verse (supposedly) revealed upon Muhammad, and that is verse 9:5 listed above

Suyuti (One of the most respected authorities in Islam) in his book "Istenbat al tanzeel" says: "Every thing in the Qur'an about forgiveness is abrogated by verse 9:5."

Al-Shawkani in his book "Alsaylu Jarar" (4:518-519) says: "Islam is unanimous about fighting the unbelievers and forcing them to Islam or submitting and paying Jiziah (special tax paid only by Christians or Jews) or being killed. [The verses] about forgiving them are abrogated unanimously by the obligation of fighting in any case."

Finally here is what Muhammad the prophet of Islam himself said:

Ibn Haban in his Sahih, vol. 14, p. 529, narrates: Muhammad said: "I swear by Him who has my soul in his hands, I was sent to you with nothing but slaughter."
How about that, a founder of a religion declaring he brings nothing but slaughter. Is that a valid path to God?

Now, why do they keep these contradictory verses in the koran? Because they are useful for misleading unknowing infidels, under another Islamic concept called "Taqiyah", in which the koran instructs followers to lie and dissimulate in order to infiltrate and destroy the kufr infidels -- meaning us.

(So much for "thou shalt not bear false witness", eh? What's the name of the "Lord of Lies" again -- Mr. Baal-something, was it?)

Taqiyah defined (I have lost the attribution of this explanation):
The expression taquija means to dissimulate and is used when serving the propagation of Islam or benefitting a Muslim compared to 'infidels'. Lying to 'infidels' is officially acknowledged and is religiously motivated.

In essence taqija means that a Muslim is allowed to hide his or her intentions in a difficult situation. For instance in regard to Koran interpretations, the more mellow verses are emphasized towards people with no thorough knowledge of the matter, and threatening, harsh verses are hidden.

Taqija was practised by the Prophet, Mohammed, himself; in negotiations where he fooled his opponents. For that very reason Muslims often enter into agreements intending to break them when they have assumed control of the situation.
Active Muslims in the West deny the use of taqija. This emphatic denial of using taqija towards us and the authorities is part of the method used in taqija. Often it leads to confusion on behalf of us and negotiating authorities e.g. the Ministry of the Interior.

Fraud and lies are religiously permitted means in Islam. A negotiated settlement or an agreement with a Muslim is never final.

An example of Islamic deception is that Muslim activists always quote the passages of the Quran from the early part of Mohammed's ministry while living in Mecca. These texts are peaceful and exemplify tolerance towards those that are not followers of Islam. All the while, they are fully aware that most of these passages were abrogated (cancelled and replaced) by passages that came after he migrated to Medina. The replacement verses reflect prejudice, intolerance, and endorse violence upon unbelievers.
If you think that's a hatchet job, the koranic verse used to justify it is (3-28,29):
Let not the believers take the disbelievers as their friends rather than the believers; whoso shall do this then he has no relation with Allah except when you have to guard Yourselves against them for fear from them; but Allah cau­tions you of Himself for unto Allah is the end of your jour­ney. Say, whether you conceal what is in your hearts or manifest it, Allah knows it; and He knows all that is in the heavens and all that is‑in the earth; and verily Allah has power over all things.
What kind of religion, by the way, says not to have members of other religions as friends? As the Word of "god"?

Curious Commandments

You know, I just realized, that if one were to follow Islam in a devoted way, one would be breaking every single one of the 10 Commandments!

I'll go through point-by-point later, but it looks compelling.

Isn't that curious?

I mean, doesn't that really tell you something?

Namely, that at their core, the Judeo-Christian and Islamic philosphies are not just different, but antithetical? Direct opposites?

Like matter and anti-matter?

Think about it.

Comparative Religions

As I will explore in future postings on "comparative religions", Islam is a uniquely and unequivocally evil ideology, completely unlike any other major world religion.

For the simple reason that though there are surely many paths to God / Prime Mover, this "Allah" isn't God, even as understood by atheists and agnostics, but is more closely identifiable with Moloch / Baal / Satan.

Now before you call the PC Police on me for these insensitive comments, I ask you to consider, why is it so inconceivable that a religio-political ideology could be evil? Isn't it within the realm of possibility?

I mean, surely one can agree that Nazism was a real religio-political ideology, it was evil, and its adherents are justifiably considered bad people, who had a choice in what they believed, and freely chose to believe a destructive philosphy, and deserve all the punishment they get?

(And don't give me the "but Hitler was a Christian!" argument; please, willful ignorance is unbecoming. Though born technically to Christian parents, his Nazi philosophy was explicitly pagan, based in Aryan mythology.)

So why must Islam, or any other religion, be given a free pass from such scrutiny?

The answer: it shouldn't.

I mean, either God exists or He does not. If you believe in God, then you must accept belief in an opposiste force, which goes by many names but we'll call Satan. Is it not then not merely plausible, but probable, that Satan, Lord of Lies, would exercise his will through a deceptive perversion of God's works?

On the other hand, if you don't believe in God, then all ideologies and religions are pure human constructs, and rather than simply dismissing them all as equally flawed, isn't it inevitable that given human imperfections, that some of these belief-systems would be far worse for humanity than others? And wouldn't it be prudent to discern which caused net evil and which caused net good, even if all are fantasies? If anything, the real puzzle is why MORE religions aren't unequivocally evil from this point of view!

And spare me ill-informed comments about "bad things" that have been done by members of other religions -- that misses the point entirely about the basic teachings I'm trying to make, and I'll deal with it fully very soon. So save it.

That people can do bad things, even in the name of religion, is no surprise. Duh. It's to be expected. The real interesting question is what utility various religoius philosphies have for daily living and human interaction.

Also don't bother with pointing to passages in Deuteronomy or Leviticus that seem harsh by today's standards. The words of a Jewish law-giver back in the Bronze Age of 4,000 years ago are interesting, but not particularly relevant for how Christianity, for example, is practiced today. We're not called "Levitians", are we? And with good reason. That any law at all existed back in those days was in itself a big step forward for humanity. I don't see any admonishment in the Bible that those words are to be followed to the letter; do you? Furthermore, many dictates at that ancient time by God to the Israelites were often very specific as to time and place, and don't have general applicability. The "universal" Divine Words of God in the Bible are limited to things like the 10 Commandments, and the sermons of Jesus.

I defy anyone to find one shred of evidence in the actual words of Jesus to advocate hurting people or spreading HIs Word by force.

On the other hand, the koran directly advocate both of those things, and straight from the moth of mohammed the prophet, as the pure word of Allah.

Surely you see the difference? The difference between, for example, a warning of what God will do to someone, versus a direct order to go out and do it to them yourself?

And I stress, I'm not setting out to ridicule various methods of worship, which may seem silly; all religions have "odd" features about them. That's not what I'm interested in. Nor am I interested in worrying about fine points of theology, like which religion is "right" about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or over whether the "true nature" of God is a unity or a trinity or whatever. That's not fruitful.

Instead, I'm interested only in the consequences that result from following the dictates of the religions' founders -- the impact these teachings have on the quality of human life.

Surely that's a valid, indeed vital, field of inquiry.

Assuming all religions are the same in this regard (usually dismissed as all equally invalid by the pseudo-intellectual) is naive.

And a deadly dangerous mistake.

Reality has a way of intruding into politically-correct fantasies: we're not Schrodinger cats.


Followers of Ba'al should take note of what happens when they tangle with the True God.

A historical anecdote, from I Kings 18:
22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: 24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. 26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. 28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. 30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: 32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. 34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. 36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. 40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.