Saturday, April 30, 2005

Dangerously Stupid, Part 5

Just came across this book at Amazon from a comment at LGF.

I'm not endorsing the book; haven't read it.

But check out the snide Publisher's Weekly "review", how it tosses in an incredibly stupid comment near the end:
From Publishers Weekly
"Hang onto your ball caps and hairpieces, this is going to be monkey-butt ugly." Indeed. Delivering an account of the U.S.'s failures in combatting terror, Hunt, a Fox TV News military analyst and retired army colonel, depicts a world of gutless politicians, bungling bureaucrats, deceitful allies and bleeding-heart liberals. His solution is to expand the armed forces and vastly contract bureaucracy, especially the many intelligence agencies, which he proposes be combined into one central bureau with a single, long-term director who is exempt from testifying before congressional committees. Hunt hates congressional committees and admires elite military teams like the SEALs and Delta Force; he wants them turned loose. Merged into the "TKA" (Terrorist Killing Agency), they would receive intelligence from the now competent intelligence bureau, proceed to wherever terrorists operate and (with or without the host country's permission) kill them.

The author considers Israel an ideal model; its forces, he says, respond viciously to every attack. Legal niceties and public relations take a back seat. Assassination teams travel the world to murder Israel's enemies. (Thoughtful readers may wonder why, after decades of slugging it out, Israel remains wracked with terrorism.) No group escapes the author's venom—or his praise.
Got that? "Thoughtful" readers, i.e. "Liberal, right-thinking" readers, and not "Fox News-watching readers", apparently.

No, how about "Empty-headed readers without a shred of logical ability or historical knowledge and lacking a moral compass." That's more the kind who would wonder about such a thing.

What, if they responded with rainbows and puppy dogs, things would be better?

Is that it?

Well I suppose they would, as Israel would have been destroyed, the Jews scattered, and thus the "Peace of Islam" would indeed reign.

That's like complaining that D-Day was a failure, because we were suddenly fighting more Germans than ever before.

Clearly, to anyone with the observational powers of a lump of mud, Israel's pounding of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leadership has drastically reduced the abilities of those evil groups to murder the innocent.

The subtext of course, is that if only the "occupation" would end, then they'd be fine. Never mind that from 1948 to 1967, the "Palestinian Territories" were administered by Egypt and Jordan, who never set up a Palestinian State like the UN said they were supposed to, now, did they?

Instead they used those territories as launch points for a series of wars, with the combined armies of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan attempting again and again to crush Israel.

Look at this map! These propaganda pieces regularly omit Israel and label the whole region "Palestine."

Maybe they're still "wracked" by terrorism because they're surrounded and outnumbered 50 to 1 by Islamists who have been trying to wipe them out since forever.

I'm sure the "reviewer's" worldview is shaped entirely by what is heard on NPR and read in the NYTimes.

Thoughtful, indeed.

What would you have Israel do, Publisher's Weekly?

Other than roll over and die?

How should they respond, Publisher's Weekly, when brave "freedom fighters" sneak into homes and shoot infants in the face in their cribs, or snipers target them in their strollers?

Some point to Palestinian casualties as justification. These morons can't see the difference between a deliberate policy of murder, and the unfortunate, unintended consequences to a society that harbors and supports a terrorist movement.

Not to mention that many of the reports of harm to Palestinian children are outright lies, and several photos have been shown to be fraudulent and staged, or taken out of context, not to mention how the brave jihad warriors hide among crowds of children, hoping a stray bullet will make a PR story for them of victimhood -- and when that doesn't happen, deliberately killing their own people themselves and blaming Israel.

It is nothing but sick theatrics, aided and abetted by the international media.

"Thoughtful readers", indeed.

Dangerously Stupid, Part 4

This sounds like a parody, but it isn't. I found it (like many things) in the LGF comments.

How many times do I have to say it, there is no "right" to not be offended!

To imagine so cheapens the whole concept of Rights, which are in fact things government can't do to you, no matter how many people wish to vote to do so.

"Offense-taking" is just a pretext for the politically-correct thought police to ban anything that does not conform to their dystopian desires.

Two years ago, the Nanny-state of Britain rolled over and surrendered to the alien cultures that had invaded it:
Hot cross banned: councils decree buns could be 'offensive' to non-Christians

Schools across Britain have been ordered by local authorities to abandon the ancient tradition of serving hot cross buns at Easter so as not to offend children of non-Christian faiths.

Some councils are refusing to hand out the traditional treats because they fear that the symbol of the cross will spark complaints from Jewish, Hindu and Muslim pupils or their families. [Oh, the horror! Complaints!! -- ed.]

Officials in the London borough of Tower Hamlets decided to remove the buns from menus this year after criticism over its decision to serve pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. A spokesman for the Labour-run council claimed that there had been "a lot" of complaints but did not have a figure.

The spokesman added: "We are moving away from a religious theme for Easter and will not be doing hot cross buns. We can't risk a similar outcry over Easter like the kind we had on Pancake Day. We will probably be serving naan breads instead."
Ladies and gentlemen, you can't write comedy like that!

Hindu naan breads are ok? I guess so, as Britain has given up on its heritage of being a Christian country, apparently.

And here's the kicker, they feel morally superior for having committed suicide.

In the past, individual schools have taken the decision to not serve hot cross buns, but this is the first time local authorities across the country have imposed blanket bans.

Liverpool council, which is controlled by the Liberal Democrats, also told The Telegraph that the symbol of the cross had the "potential to offend" and buns will no longer be served to children.

Despite this ruling, the council confirmed that it will continue to organise special menus to celebrate events as diverse as the Chinese New Year, Italian National Day and Russian Independence Day.

Other councils not serving hot cross buns include York, where Labour is the largest group, and Wolverhampton, which is Labour-run. Officials in Wakefield, which is also controlled by Labour, have decided it would be more appropriate to tailor the Easter menu to information technology.

Are you insane?

"We are not serving hot cross buns at all," said a spokesman. "Each term we try to come up with a menu which encourages children to think about different issues. This Easter term we chose information technology and did not even consider putting hot cross buns on the menu."

Ann Widdecombe, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary who is a Roman Catholic convert, described the ban as "appalling and absurd". "These people are silly asses," she said.

"It would appear that we should know about everyone else's culture apart from our Christian tradition. It seems that anything that comes from an ethnic minority is fine, while anything Christian is wrong."
Yeah, it sure would appear that way, wouldn't it?

These people are absolutely disgusting.

They should be the first against the wall when the counter-revolution comes, if it ever does.

These miserable cowards will get exactly what they deserve.

I'm so sick of "diversity", which is just a code-word for "monolithic worship of anything that weakens Western civilization."

Be Alert

In case anyone forgot that an organized cadre of of despicably evil terrorists is living among us and spending every moment hellbent on finding ways to kill our children in their beds, here are some excerpts from a recent (unclassified) Department of Homeland Security briefing document.

There have been, apparently, a series of coordinated, well-planned attempts at infiltration and intelligence gathering at hospitals by imposters of JCAHO inspectors.

Information Bulletin
Title: False Hospital Inspections
Date: April 22, 2005

DHS has noted an increased number of suspicious incidents involving hospitals. On March 27, 2005, a New Jersey hospital experienced its fourth separate incident in a six-week period. Three male subjects in their 30s and 40s, possibly of Middle Eastern descent, spoke fluent unaccented English and presented themselves as physicians from JCAHO, an association that accredits 15,000 plus health care organizations per year in the United States. According to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General/Office of Counter Terrorism, the subjects inquired about capacity, services, and operations of the hospital and left the facility when their questions were not answered.

From February 26 to March 10, 2005, three other U.S. hospitals in Boston, Los Angeles, and Detroit also reported individuals posing as JCAHO inspectors. These individuals similarly behaved in a manner inconsistent with professional inspection staff and were described respectively as:
• A Caucasian man and woman at the Los Angeles hospital
• A male of South Asian descent at the Boston hospital
• A Caucasian woman at the Detroit hospital
• U.S. hospitals offer easy public access and would be recognized by terrorist planners as easy, accessible targets. Known targeting of such facilities would instill great panic and fear in the general public.

These most recent nationwide impersonations are more noteworthy when seen in the broader context with similar incidents which have occurred from October 2004 to February 2005.

• In October 2004, two hospitals in the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area reported suspicious activity, including photography, requests of building layout, inquiries regarding the location of the pharmacy, and computer fraud.

• Three men inquired as to the location of the pharmacy at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. These men had previously visited hospitals in Texas and Indiana. All three hospitals are distribution points for the antidote medicines for biological attacks.

• On February 7, 2005 at approximately 10 a.m., two individuals (SUBJECTS) who identified themselves as special agents representing the Department of Defense and CIA entered the emergency room at Middletown Regional Hospital, NY. The SUBJECTS requested to see the charge nurse and presented identification badges.
We go out of our way to avoid damaging schools, mosques, and hospitals, even when we know they are being used as command posts and weapon depots.

These vermin are going out of their way to target schools (Beslan) and hospitals.

Our way of life is fragile and depends on trust. Look at the waste of time and money we have to expend to keep air travel teetering along because of these soulless enemies of common decency.

These demons in human form need to be snuffed out, stat.

Like turning off a light.


They've been fighting this war to spread darkness for 1400 years and aren't going to stop until one of our ideologies is dead.

That's an unpleasant thought, but it's the cold, hard truth.

If you ever thought it would be cool to live in a fantasy novel where there were titanic struggles of Good versus Evil for the fate of mankind, guess what, you are.

We'll know we're taking this seriously when partisans like these, acting outside of the Conventions of war, are once again simply summarily executed, as they used to be before everyone lost their minds.

There's a video out there on the internet you can find, from the camera of an AC-130 gunsip, in communication with a ground controller, attacking Taliban in Afghanistan. The controller is at pains to point out which building is the mosque, and provides instructions to the gun crew, "do NOT engage the mosque." Instead, they try to chase down each scurrying little dot on the screen with a 105mm howitzer as they run off in all directions -- one dot is seen running back into the sanctuary of the mosque, and is spared; the rest are not so lucky: "fragged him good!"

Of course, if we were taking this seriously, we'd have just put a 2,000-pound GPS-guided bomb directly onto the Jihad Headquarters Building, oops, I mean "mosque", and have been done with it.

War is hell, what can I say.

Or at least, it SHOULD be.

Lest we grow too fond of it. Or grow to tolerate it as an ongoing annoyance that never ends, constricting our lives more and more, rather than bringing it to a decisively brutal but mercifully quick end.

That was even the basis of a classic Star Trek episode!

But we played softball, and now they're here, trying to find ways to kill the sick -- maybe veterans at a Veterans Administration Hospital, perhaps; or maybe to re-attack the victims of a chemical attack after they're taken to the hospital, thinking they're finally "safe."

There's no secret, really, to the intentions of the Ummah to re-establish the Caliphate, or Khaleefa, and deluded as that may be, you're still just as dead if they kill you for a crazy idea as for a sane one:
Islam is not a "religion". Islam is a rational system of belief in the existence of God, what comes after death, and the relationship between this life and the next.

From these concepts emanate a comprehensive system of thoughts and actions which address all spheres of Man's life and the running of society, including a ruling and political system, a legislative and judicial system, and education system, an economic system, a social system and system of manners & ethics, and a foreign policy and military system.

This is what is meant by the phrase "Islam is a way of life, not a religion." This is what it means for Islam to be an "ideology", as are Secularism/Capitalism and Communism.

The Islamic State (Khilafah) is the political entity which brings all of the Islamic systems into application, and which establishes, safeguards and propogates the Islamic way of life.

Today the Muslims are earnestly working and eagerly waiting for a day in the very near future when the non-Islamic systems of ruling occupying the Muslim lands are removed, to be replaced by the re-establishment of the Khilafah, by the will of Allah (swt).
When they tell us this, we should believe them!

Women especially should be up in arms; not only would their gains form the last 50-100 years be rolled back (oh, little things like voting, having a personal credit card or bank account), but how about going all the way back to the Dark Ages?

It's all spelled out here in the Model Islamic Constitution:
Article 11
The primary function of the State is the propagation of the invitation (daâwah) to Islam.

Article 108
The primary role of a woman is that of a mother and wife. She is an honour that must be protected. [by killing her if necessary! -- ed.]

Article 109
Men and women are basically to be segregated from each other, and they should not mix together except for a requirement permitted by the shar'a, such as buying and selling, or for a purpose which the sharia allows mixing, like the pilgrimage.

Article 110
Women have the same rights and obligations as men, except for those specified by the Shariah evidence to be for man.

Article 112
Women are not allowed to take charge of ruling, thus women cannot hold the positions of Khaleefah, wali, Îamil, a judge of the Mahkamat ul Madhalim, and is prevented from practising any of the actions of ruling.

Article 113
Women live within a public and private life. Within their public life, they are allowed to live with other women, maharem males [males forbidden to them in marriage] and men they can marry on condition that nothing of the women's body is revealed, apart from her face and hands, and that the clothing is not revealing nor her charms displayed.

Article 114
Women are forbidden to be in private with any men they can marry, they are also forbidden to display their charms or to reveal their body in front of men they can marry.

Article 115
Men and women must not practice any immoral action or anything which causes corruption within society that may stem from the Shari'ah rules, such as employing a female or male air host(ess), waiter or barber merely to take advantage of their sex.
Get mad? Nah, bashing Bush is just so much more fun!

This would all be ridiculous and dismissible, of course, were it not for the little fact that they're actually nosing around in hospitals as we speak, and already have the blood of thousands of innocents on their hands.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Dangerously Stupid, Part 3

And now, sit back, relax, and take in this mind-boggling article. It's worth reading the whole thing.

I could hardly believe it was real at first.

But it is.

I'll basically let it speak for itself. A few excerpts:
( - A new MTV series features Hollywood celebrities praising the developing world's primitive lifestyles as earth-friendly -- despite those poor nations' high infant mortality rates and short life expectancies.

The eco-tourism show, called "Trippin'," premiered on March 28 and was heavily promoted in the runup to Earth Day. The show encourages environmental awareness and lauds traditional tribal lifestyles, which lack running water, electricity and other basic infrastructure.

The MTV series features actress Cameron Diaz and a rotating crew of "her close, personal friends [who] think globally and act globally." They tour developing nations, including Nepal, Bhutan, Tanzania, Honduras and visit remote villages in Chile.

Actress Drew Barrymore, who reportedly earns $15 million a film, told MTV viewers in one episode that after spending time in a primitive, electricity-free Chilean village, "I aspire to be like them more."

Barrymore, apparently enthralled by the lack of a modern sanitary facilities, gleefully bragged, "I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome."

The 32-year-old Diaz, who earns a reported $20-million a movie, boasted that the cow-dung slathered walls of a Nepalese village hut were "beautiful" and "inspiring," and she called the primitive practice of "pounding mud" with sticks to construct a building foundation "the coolest thing."
Despite the celebrities' praise for the primitive life, "Trippin'" shows them flying on multiple airplanes and chartering at least two helicopters and one boat to reach remote locations over the course of the first four episodes.

The series also showed the celebrities being chauffeured to the airport in a full-size Chevy SUV -- despite several on-screen, anti-SUV factoids noting how environmentally unfriendly SUVs are.
The first four episodes of the MTV series made scant mention of the difficult economic and social conditions of the countries visited. Bhutan, a country that received particular praise from Diaz for its environmental policies, has one of the highest infant mortality rates (103 infant deaths per 1,000 live births) and lowest life expectancies (54 years) in the world.

By comparison, the United States, which Diaz described as having too much "convenience," has an infant mortality rate of only 6.6 per 1000 and an average life expectancy of more than 77 years.

Located between China and India in the Himalayan Mountains, Bhutan was profiled on the second episode of "Trippin'." Diaz described it as the "only country in the world where forest cover is increasing."

According to CIA estimates, Bhutan has one of the world's smallest and least developed economies, with the country's 2-million people surviving mostly on the crops they grow themselves.

"My favorite thing about Bhutan is they measure their country's wealth, not based on dollar amount but on gross national happiness," Diaz said.

Diaz was happy to learn that 72 percent of the country is still covered in forest. "That is so awesome. I like Bhutan," Diaz said, noting that the country has "maintained a careful balance of Old World tradition and modern convenience."

"Life moves at a different pace here in Bhutan," she said. "The fusion of religion, tradition and a genuine respect for the environment give the whole country a peaceful balance."
Diaz lauded the Nepalese villagers' practice of slathering cow dung as a form of wall plaster used to coat the walls: "Nothing goes to waste. It is beautiful. It is inspiring," she said. "It is incredible to see how in tune these people are with the environment; they are completely self-sufficient, Diaz added.
Hey, Cameron, guess what, if they waste anything, they DIE! And even then, they DIE! Our civilization has struggled for thousands of years in order to get to the point where you don't HAVE TO scrimp for every little crumb to avoid starvation.
"I am going to go pound some mud, baby! Mmm," Diaz said to the cameras. "It was the coolest thing to be a part of," she added.

As video of mud-pounding filled the TV screen, Diaz explained, "They (Nepalese villagers) continue to live in harmony with the world around them. It's a way of living very different than what we are used to. It seems to work."

But MTV viewers were not informed that Nepal has an infant mortality rate of nearly 69 deaths per 1,000 live births, about ten times the infant death rate in the U.S. Nor did they hear that life expectancy in Nepal is 59 years.
Bhutan was praised by Diaz because she claimed the residents voluntarily rejected electricity in order to save the "endangered black neck crane."

"These people have decided that keeping the cranes in their valley is more important than having the convenience of electricity," Diaz noted.

"It is admirable that they would give up that convenience, because if they were to build power lines here, the birds would lose their habitat here and disappear from the landscape of Bhutan, ending centuries of tradition," she added.
Riiiiight. Yes, a bird is more important than human life. And you'll do everything in your power to preserve the bird for your own self-gratification.

Never mind who suffers.
Diaz was less enthusiastic about the modern American lifestyle: "It's kinda gotten out of hand how much convenience we think we need," Diaz said after visiting an indigenous Chilean village in the fourth episode.

Barrymore praised the Chileans living in a remote, electricity-free village as "people who are walking the walk and doing it [environmentalism]; they teach me so much."

The Hollywood celebrities also took time out from sight-seeing to express concern about proposed development projects in the countries they were visiting. Projects ranging from a proposed highway in the Chilean forest to a proposed aluminum smelter were criticized because of their perceived negative environmental and societal impact.
Diaz also explained her opposition to the proposed highway: "They are going to replace something that is truly unique with something that is everywhere."

'Perverse and immoral'

A critic of the environmental movement condemned the new MTV series.

"There's something perverse and immoral when multi-millionaire Hollywood celebrities head off on junkets in the jungle - and then preach to us lesser mortals about the joys of the simple life, and how we should protect the Earth, conserve energy, prevent global warming, and help the poorest people on our planet continue 'enjoying' their poverty, malnutrition and premature death," Paul Dreissen, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power/Black Death told Cybercast News Service.

"Life in these developing countries is still nasty, brutish and short. And that there is a reason our parents and grandparents worked so hard to create modern homes and hospitals and technologies, so they could leave behind the unsafe water, dung fires, pollution, rotted teeth, infant mortality and life expectancies half or ours," said Driessen.

"This entire MTV series totally glosses over the hardships and premature death that is right before their eyes. Even mentioning these facts would obviously get in the way of their ideological message, and their determination to turn [MTV viewers] into little ventriloquist's dummies for the sustainable development movement," Driessen explained.
Actually, I'd wager wooden-headed ventriloquist dummies have more innate sense than the sycophant-addled "minds" of Cameron and Drew!

Dangerously Stupid, Part 2

People just have no perspective.

Again, from Woe, Canada, this observation:
I'm shocked to have read this at Yahoo news today. A succinct and historically correct account of Hitler's final days and how WW2 ended. The only reason I'm posting about the subject is that it is important to put things in perspective and context. To have freed a country of 25 million people with 1500 casualties is astounding and unprecedented in world history and yet the MSM sees the war in Iraq as a catastrophe. The Red Army lost 78,000 dead in the final assault on Berlin over the course of a week. Freedom ain't free.
The full story is here.

Dangerously Stupid, Part 1

As a scientist, I tell you, human-induced global warming via carbon dioxide is a myth, and the Kyoto protocal nothing more than a massive shakedown, designed to transfer our wealth to the third world. Which is why the Senate unanimously rejected it.

But the media says it's real, so it will never go away.

Maybe this will help.

From an article found via Woe, Canada:
Fiction Fuels Global Warming
Virtually every month, new reports by the world's top climate scientists debunk the correlation between increasing CO2 emissions and the warming of the Earth.

Just this past week, as the federal Liberal government announced its plan (if you can call it that) to meet its impossible Kyoto targets, a weighty group of North America's top climatologists, paleoclimatologists, astrophysicists and oceanographers launched a video that points out the scientific flaws behind the premise that so-called greenhouse gases (GHGs) are behind global warming.
But the release Wednesday of their highly informative and science-based video received not a peep by the media sheep who continue to parrot ignorant politicians and environmentalists who are preparing to waste billions of dollars on something that is not a risk while real environmental problems get swept aside and human catastrophes, like the AIDS epidemic in Africa, remain ignored and underfunded.

Meanwhile, Michael Crichton's thriller, State of Fear, remains on most best-seller lists for fiction across North America.

Crichton, of course, is the physician-turned-best-selling-author of such blockbuster novels as Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain and the creator of the weekly television drama ER.

State of Fear is a fictional story about an environmental terrorist plot to manipulate nature to fool and frighten the world into believing that global warming is a growing threat to our planet's survival.

As Crichton's fictional characters fly around the world, including to Vancouver and Calgary and climb out of Antarctic crevasses, avoid assassins and even cannibals and survive man-made flash floods, Crichton notes that "references to real people, institutions and organizations that are documented in footnotes are accurate. Footnotes are real."

At one point, one of Crichton's fictional characters, the beautiful and brilliant Jennifer Haynes, uses an analogy that scores a touchdown for all who don't believe the faulty computer-model-made myth of CO2 being a "toxin" as described by Environment Canada, but rather the very necessity of life on the planet.

"Imagine the composition of the Earth's atmosphere as a football field," says the fictional Haynes.

"Most of the atmosphere is nitrogen. So, starting from the goal line, nitrogen takes you all the way to the 78-yard line. And most of what's left is oxygen.

"Oxygen takes you to the 99-yard line. Most of what remains is the inert gas argon.

"Argon brings you within three-and-a-half inches of the goal line. That's pretty much the thickness of the chalk stripe. And how much of the remaining three inches is carbon dioxide? One inch.

"You are told carbon dioxide has increased in the last 50 years. Do you know how much it has increased, on our football field? Three-eighths of an inch -- less than the thickness of a pencil. Yet, you are asked to believe that this tiny change has driven the entire planet into a dangerous warming pattern."

Other footnotes point out real science shows that satellite measurements of the upper atmosphere -- where the so-called "greenhouse effect" should be most evident -- shows no warming at all.

Real scientific studies show that Antarctica, which environmentalists and politicians keep saying is melting, is actually getting colder and the ice is getting thicker.

Footnotes in Crichton's book point out that changes in land-use, or urbanization, are the main reason behind the increase in the average recorded temperature of cities in the last 100 years, since asphalt is hotter than, say, a forest floor or a farmer's field.

For instance, average annual temperatures in New York City rose 5-degrees Fahrenheit between 1822 and 2000. But average temperatures in West Point, an hour's drive away, didn't rise at all, while the average temperatures in Albany, three hours away, fell.
It may pain the marxists, but capitalism isn't going to destroy us all, but rather it makes us all richer.

I wish I had some bad news for their dour, depressive personalities, but I'm afraid I just don't.

Infinite Energy?

Guess what's back in the news?

Cold Fusion!

Remember the stir it caused about 15 years ago? I remember, as a physics undergrad, seeing an attempt to replicate the Pons and Fleischmann effect, in a beaker of heavy water bubbling away behind some cursorily placed lead bricks, as if the experimenters didn't really expect any danger from free neutrons or gamma rays.

And none were detected.

The effect, whatever it was (or wasn't), certainly wasn't following conventionally-understood "hot fusion" reaction pathways; the expected byproducts of Helium-3 and/or Tritium were not being detected.

The only "replicable" effect seemed to be excess heat, which could be blamed on poor calibration methods, so the mainstream physics community dismissed it. It would take "new physics" to explain what was going on. And that's always a hard sell.

Be that as it may, room-temperatute superconductors weren't supposed to exist either, and it took years to explain them after the fact.

But, enough continued heat "anomalies" continued to be reported over the years, to the degree that now the Department of Energy has agreed to at least consider applications for new studies.
While Pons and Fleischmann went onto the front pages of newspapers worldwide, legions of curious, enthusiastic and sceptical scientists went into their labs to try the simple experiments themselves. As failed attempts to replicate the results piled up, scepticism turned to hostility.

A few months later, a report from the US Department of Energy found no evidence for the effect and put the nascent field out of its misery. That, as far as mainstream science was concerned, was that.

Cold fusion may now be about to get a second chance. In a landmark decision in December, the same US Department of Energy gave a cautious green light to funding cold fusion research.

It follows a decade-long investigation by the US Naval Research Laboratory, which concluded that there might be something in the phenomenon after all.
If the effect is real, "cold fusion" is probably a misleading misnomer, as it isn't, it seems, just a scaled-down version of hot fusion, but rather should be considered a form of "low energy nuclear reaction."

It turns out, such things now, very recently, exist -- it was just announced TODAY, in fact, in an accepted experiment (because it follows explainable, conventional physics), that actual nuclear reactions were produced on a table-top!

The process consumed more energy than it produced, so it's not an energy source (yet), but the consequences of this could be enormous -- it's the foot in the door of accepting that nuclear reactions can take place under "ordinary" conditions!!!
Fusion experts noted that the UCLA experiment was credible because, unlike the 1989 work, it didn't violate basic principles of physics.

"This doesn't have any controversy in it because they're using a tried and true method," said David Ruzic, professor of nuclear and plasma engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "There's no mystery in terms of the physics."
It will be useful as a neutron generator. This is really truly remarkable.

Fusion in ordinary solids is now accepted as REAL!

But back to cold fusion, there's a conference coming up at MIT. There's a magazine or two about it.

And to give conspiracy theorists plenty of fodder, a year ago the driving force behind keeping Cold Fusion going all these years, Dr. Eugene Mallove, was mysteriously murdered:
Devastated Family of Murdered Scientist Still Looking for Answers

Norwich, CT - On May 14, 2004, police found the badly-beaten body of Dr. Eugene Mallove outside his childhood home. Dr. Mallove was a former MIT science writer, and the founder and editor of Infinite Energy and President of the New Energy Foundation. His loss is mourned by many across the US and the rest of the world, and by scientists from many different fields. Eight months later, no arrest(s) have been made in the case.
The case remains unsolved.

It may be too early to count on Mr. Fusion reactors in the home, solving all our energy problems producing undreamed of prosperity and, as an added fringe benefit, cutting off the hundreds of billions of dollars going to the oil-owning radical Islamists who have been using their profits to spread their hate-filled fascist ideology as the only available form of "education" in the Islamic world -- and they will recede back to the sands from which they came.

If I may speculate, historians will look back at the resurgence of Islam over the last 50 years, an untenable and backward medieval system of repression and stagnation, and conclude it was a short-lived anomaly and the last gasp of an already dying system that could not survive in a modern world, but was only propped up, briefly, by the windfall of oil-profits showered on them, undeserving, by progressives of the early 20th century who felt bad about colonialism and so handed the world's most precious resource to the worst stewards imaginable.

One could say the unearned wealth has been a curse to the Arabs, as it allowed small factions of dictators and their cronies to consolidate great power, buy off the opposition, and delay real reform. The rich know that leaving too much wealth to their descendants often ruins them, morally and spiritually.

We should do all we can to relieve them of this terrible burden.

Whether by a seizure of the oil fields and the dissolution of the House of Saud, or by a rendering of oil obsolete as a fuel, is of no difference to me.

Just let's have it happen soon, please!

PS don't bet on hydrogen fuel cells. Oil is a ready energy source; the energy is already stored in it. Hydrogen, on the other hand, first has to be produced -- we can't just go bottle it! And to do that, it takes -- drumroll! -- energy! So we'd still be burning loads of coal or whatever to make the hydrogen to put in the fuel cells. Like ethanol, it's a boondoggle (ethanol may be "renewable", since it's grown, but it still takes plenty of energy to create it, probably more than is produced! It's really just a subsidy to big commercial farmers).

Gritty Warblog

Soldier's-eye view of war in Iraq: This is Your War:
What you are reading are my experances and opinions as a United States Army Infantryman training and fighting in Iraq. My feelings do not represent those of the US Army, Department of Defense, or any Government orginization. These thoughs are mine and mine alone. Some names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Get the real deal.

Secure the Borders

Immigrants are great, but they must be assimilated into the "melting pot", rather than fracturing our unique and invaluable cultural heritage.

Not to mention it's a terrible security disaster to have unsecured borders.

Nor to mention that the "cheap labor" advocates are essentially backing the exploitation of illegal aliens at below-market wages.

Bill O'Reilly of Fox News is backing this petition to try to get government to enforce its own laws and to perform its most basic duties.

It's got about 240,000 signatures so far; let's get a million!
We the undersigned, being citizens of the United States, respectfully ask that you and your administration provide more resources to protecting the borders of the USA. By all accounts, the situation regarding undocumented alien crossings and illegal narcotics smuggling remains dangerous and troubling. In the post 9/11 era, our country simply cannot tolerate illegal immigration chaos.

Therefore we request, Mr. President, that you use your Executive Authority to immediately bolster border defenses by increasing the federal law enforcement presence and, possibly, by allocating the military to assist the Border Patrol and other federal agencies in charge of controlling the borders.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

More Amusements at The Washhouse

Another series of typically amusing posts have been posted by the author of The Washhouse. One parody piece begins:
Insurgency in Abu Cellar
The mouse insurgency is heating up in the prosperous Food-ar Closet neighborhood of Abu Cellar. It is believed that external, environmental influences are causing the uprising. Some analysts conclude that the insurgents should therefore not be faulted for their activities.
Worth a read!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Pope Speaks

Found this interesting snippet from Mystery Achievement on the Pope's homily last Sunday. Apparently the Pope said:
I greet you, men and women religious, witnesses of the transfiguring presence of God. I greet you, members of the lay faithful, immersed in the great task of building up the Kingdom of God which spreads throughout the world, in every area of life.

With great affection I also greet all those who have been reborn in the sacrament of Baptism but are not yet in full communion with us; and you, my brothers and sisters of the Jewish people, to whom we are joined by a great shared spiritual heritage, one rooted in God's irrevocable promises.

Finally, like a wave gathering force, my thoughts go out to all men and women of today, to believers and non-believers alike.
"Someguy", the writer at Mystery Achievement, points out:
Stop. Notice to whom the new Pope extends his greetings and affection:

1. The Catholic ordained, religious, and lay faithful.

2. Other Christians.

3. Our Jewish brothers and sisters to whom God's promises are irrevocable.

Anybody missing? I'll give you a hint: They are the adherents of a religion who are usually called by a word beginning with the letter "M." (No, not "mass murderers." That's two words.)

In other words, Benedict explicity acknowledged the living bond between the Church and the Jews--a bond which is realized in the spiritual heritage we share, in the Jewish flesh of our Lord and his Mother, and in the common salvation towards which we strive with God's help.

What he tacitly denied is any such connection with the followers of the false prophet, Mohammed.
This is very good. Very, very good.

This war is a war of memes, and must be fought on the religious plane as well.

Symbolism, I predict, will be vitally important.

The whole homily can be found here.

I also liked this part, a slam against fascism:
The symbol of the lamb also has a deeper meaning. In the ancient near East, it was customary for kings to style themselves shepherds of their people. This was an image of their power, a cynical image: to them their subjects were like sheep, which the shepherd could dispose of as he wished.

When the shepherd of all humanity, the living God, himself became a lamb, he stood on the side of the lambs, with those who are downtrodden and killed. This is how he reveals himself to be the true shepherd: "I am the Good Shepherd . . . I lay down my life for the sheep", Jesus says of himself (Jn 10:14).

It is not power, but love that redeems us! This is God's sign: he himself is love. How often we wish that God would make show himself stronger, that he would strike decisively, defeating evil and creating a better world.

All ideologies of power justify themselves in exactly this way, they justify the destruction of whatever would stand in the way of progress and the liberation of humanity. We suffer on account of God's patience.

And yet, we need his patience. God, who became a lamb, tells us that the world is saved by the Crucified One, not by those who crucified him. The world is redeemed by the patience of God. It is destroyed by the impatience of man.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Classical Treasures Recovered?

Found via Dr. Sanity, this incredible news from the Independent:
For more than a century, it has caused excitement and frustration in equal measure - a collection of Greek and Roman writings so vast it could redraw the map of classical civilisation. If only it was legible.

Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the hoard, known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed.

In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament.

The original papyrus documents, discovered in an ancient rubbish dump in central Egypt, are often meaningless to the naked eye - decayed, worm-eaten and blackened by the passage of time. But scientists using the new photographic technique, developed from satellite imaging, are bringing the original writing back into view. Academics have hailed it as a development which could lead to a 20 per cent increase in the number of great Greek and Roman works in existence. Some are even predicting a "second Renaissance".
Some think this is undue hype; as this site was not a literary center as many already-translated manuscripts indicate.
The focus of the project is now mainly on the publication of this vast archive of material: by 2003 4,700 items had been translated, edited and published. Publication continues at the rate of about one new volume each year. Each volume contains a selection of material, covering a wide range of subjects. The editors include senior professionals but also students studying papyrology at the doctoral or undergraduate level. Thus recent volumes offer early fragments of the Gospels and of the Book of Revelation, early witnesses to the texts of Apollonius Rhodius, Aristophanes, Demosthenes, and Euripides, previously unknown texts of Simonides and Menander and of the epigrammatist Nicarchus. Other subjects covered include specimens of Greek music and documents relating to magic and astrology.

In April 2005, Oxford University announced that its joint project with Brigham Young University using infrared technology developed from satellite imaging has been extremely successful in recovering much of the missing or damaged script, including previously unknown works of Sophocles, Lucian, Euripides, Parthenius, Hesiod, and Archilochus. The news led to great excitement, with many hailing the finds as a "classical holy grail" and wildly speculating on the possibility of new classics sparking a "second Renaissance."

The amount to be deciphered by this technique is potentially huge: what has already been read is a very small fraction of the number of hitherto unreadable fragments, and scholars have talked of a possible 20 percent increase in our number of Classical texts.

The initial excitement was followed by a more sober assessment of the original article. Individuals involved with the papyrology discussion list PAPY-list expressed scepticism at the relevance of it saying that "at the worst, they're trying to make a major story out of 20-year-old news."
But who knows what will be revealed?

Dr. Sanity

This blog called Dr. Sanity, by, I gather, a female psychiatrist, is well worth following.

I was especially impressed with such entries as

In the presence of Evil

Liberty is not slavery

The power of victimhood

The blessings of liberty

And everything under the "Best Posts" section, starting with Narcissism and Society.

Lots of good stuff!

Snopes Gets It Wrong is the invaluable internet site for cataloging and debunking urban legends.

But in at least one case, they make a bold assertion far outside their realm of expertise.

I had been meaning to criticize them about this for a while, but the original story has resurfaced again, so it's time.

Last July, in an internet magazine nobody's heard of, a writer reported observing very suspicious behavior aboard an airliner, in which 13 Syrians (not Americans of Syrian descent, but actual citizens of Syria, which is at war with us) seemed to be up to something.
The take-off was uneventful. But once we were in the air and the seatbelt sign was turned off, the unusual activity began. The man in the yellow T-shirt got out of his seat and went to the lavatory at the front of coach -- taking his full McDonald's bag with him. When he came out of the lavatory he still had the McDonald's bag, but it was now almost empty. He walked down the aisle to the back of the plane, still holding the bag. When he passed two of the men sitting mid-cabin, he gave a thumbs-up sign. When he returned to his seat, he no longer had the McDonald's bag.

Then another man from the group stood up and took something from his carry-on in the overhead bin. It was about a foot long and was rolled in cloth. He headed toward the back of the cabin with the object. Five minutes later, several more of the Middle Eastern men began using the forward lavatory consecutively. In the back, several of the men stood up and used the back lavatory consecutively as well.

For the next hour, the men congregated in groups of two and three at the back of the plane for varying periods of time. Meanwhile, in the first class cabin, just a foot or so from the cockpit door, the man with the dark suit - still wearing sunglasses - was also standing. Not one of the flight crew members suggested that any of these men take their seats.

Watching all of this, my husband was now beyond "anxious."
The event was indeed confirmed to have happened; other witnesses came forward. Others, however, dismissed this all as racist paranoia and "profiling." These men, it seemed, were musicians, on their way to a gig.

Snopes categorically dismissed the story:
Claim: Reporter encounters terrorists on airline flight who are making a dry run at assembling a bomb on-board.

Status: False.
As things turned out, although the events Ms. Jacobsen claims to have witnessed on her flight did occur (more or less), her interpretation of them (that they involved a group of terrrorists making a dry run for building a bomb in-flight) was erroneous. The men she observed on her flight were exactly what authorities told her they were: a group of Syrian musicians who had been hired to play at the Sycuan Casino & Resort near San Diego. Like any other group of passengers, the men in the musical ensemble talked to each other, moved around, ate food, and used the restrooms while the flight was in progress.

According to federal air marshals, Ms. Jacobsen "overreacted":
Undercover federal air marshals on board a June 29 Northwest airlines flight from Detroit to LAX identified themselves after a passenger, "overreacted," to a group of middle-eastern men on board, federal officials and sources have told KFI NEWS.
Now hold it right there!

Neither the air marshalls on board, nor especially Snopes, have the necessary information to make such a bold claim! They cannot in principle, logically, make such an assertion of outright falsehood, just because these Syrians had day jobs as musicians.

If they Syrian intelligence agents attempting to test security, they would OF COURSE have a plausible "cover story."

What, you think they carry ID that lists their occupation as "terrorist"?

Let me tell you something about the spy business.

In my previous line of work as a DoD-funded scientist and thus a potential target of intelligence gathering, I had mandatory training to alert me to the very real world of foreign spies who in a very real way are, right now, attempting to gain our secrets. Even non-secret information of a technical nature is economically valuable, even to many of our so-called "allies."

Some of it's blatant; some is subtle. But it's very, very real.

And it turns out, the actual professional agents, as a matter of course, tend to recruit "normal" people to probe and steal, because the pros are "known" to each other, and the regular people already have very plausible "cover stories" in their usual day jobs.

Cover stories are bread and butter in the secret world! They're used all the time!

So it is the height of misinformed arrogance, fueled by an impulse to appear morally superior, to say the possibility of a security probe -- or worse -- is False! With the available information, the most one can say is "inconclusive."

Consider the following items.

Chechen terrorists took down two airliners in Russia by apparently assembling a bomb in the lavatory:
After first trying to play down a possible terrorist connection, Russian authorities now are openly saying that the near-simultaneous crashes of two passenger airliners, which left the same Moscow Airport less than an hour apart on Aug. 24, were probably caused by the explosion of bombs carried on each of the planes by a darkly dressed Chechen women.
Actor James Woods, who in real life is apparently very smart, observed 4 middle-eastern men behaving very suspiciously a month before 9/11 on a flight he was on, and one of them turned out in hindsight to actually to have been Mohammed Atta, and they were INDEED doing a dry-run of the 9/11 hijackings! Woods had reported this behavior, but nothing was done:
In August, actor James Woods told the FBI he had observed suspicious activity on American Flight 11. He said he was alone in first class with four men of apparent Middle Eastern descent. The men neither ate nor drank during the six-hour flight, and spoke to each other only in whispers.
So you see, dry runs are real.


It would be insane to believe they have stopped.

And recently, another writer reports how she went to a mosque in the deep South for one of those interfaith meetings, but she purposely arrived early to hear what they were preaching before the meeting, and was allowed in because it was assumed she wouldn't understand Arabic.

But she did speak Arabic.

And heard, apparently, things like this:
The first speaker was the head of the Muslim Students' Association at the nearby university. Although I missed the beginning of the discussion, I caught up quickly. He was talking about the problems he had encountered on a recent trip, when TSA flagged him for extra screening. He joked about the fact that they had stopped him for extensive screening. He had anticipated that he would be screened and he had filled his carryon luggage with printouts of the Quran from the Internet, and had 15 or 16 CDs labeled in Arabic, and he had a notebook computer with him.

As he expected, he was delayed – he thought it was very amusing that while several TSA personnel were scrutinizing his personal belongings that his classmate from Jordan was able to walk through security, along with his American girlfriend, without any problems whatsoever.

One of the men said, in Arabic: "Blonde Americans are good for something!" Another man advised him to be cautious, since there was an American woman in the room. The imam spoke up and told everyone I didn't speak Arabic.

At that point, another student took the podium. His name was Khaled, and he began to recount his recent trip to New York City. Khaled and three of his companions had gone to New York for several days in January. He told of how uncomfortable his trip up to NYC had been. He felt like he was being watched, and thought he was the victim of racial profiling.

Khaled and his friends were pretty unhappy about it, and while in New York, they came up with a plan to "teach a lesson" to the passengers and crew. You can imagine the story Khaled told. He described how he and his friends whispered to each other on the flight, made simultaneous visits to the restroom, and generally tried to "spook" the other passengers. He laughed when he described how several women were in tears, and one man sitting near him was praying.
Interesting. Sounds like the behavior on the earlier Flight 327! Even if either one is meant as intimidation only, it is still a hostile activity, designed to spread fear, and cost us time and money in gumming up air travel on which our modern economy depends. This is pure sabotage.

Saboteurs are not protected by the Geneva Conventions. Traditionally, their actions are not considered criminal, to be handled by civilian law, but as illegal acts of war subject to summary execution.

The meeting continued:
The others in the room thought the story was quite amusing, judging from the laughter. The imam stood up and told the group that this was a kind of peaceful civil disobedience that should be encouraged, and commended Khaled and his friends for their efforts.

He pointed out that it was through this kind of civil disobedience that ethnic profiling would fail.

One of the other men, Ahmed from Kuwait, gave a brief account of his friend Eyad, who had finally gone to Iraq. Ahmed was in e-mail contact with Eyad, and hoped by the following week to be able to bring them more information about the state of the "mujahideen" in Iraq.

As the meeting drew to a close, the imam gave a brief speech calling for the protection of Allah on the mujahideen fighting for Islam throughout the world, and reminded everyone that it was their duty as Muslims to continue in the path of jihad, whether it was simple efforts like those of Khaled and his friends, or the actual physical fighting of men like Eyad.
The same imam who demanded that the men continue in the path of jihad did a complete 180-degree turn in this session, stressing instead the suras that promoted the "brotherhood" between Muslims, Christians and Jews. "After all, we worship the same God, and follow the teachings in the books he gave each of us. We are all the same, we are all People of the Book," he stressed.

The differences between the sessions were striking. Clearly the second session was a recruiting session.
The reason for concern is obvious: Two different doctrines are being promoted. One peaceful, friendly, warm and fuzzy doctrine is being used to draw people in, with a focus on the well-being of their children.

But the Arabic-speaking sessions clearly have an anti-American tone.
Never mind also the really incomprehensible situation in which Syrians are given any visas at all to enter the country! What you think we let Japanese tourists into the country in 1944? Or Germans in 1943? It would be absurd!

Yet today, not only do we let foreigners from hostile countries in, which allows the easy infiltration of recruited agents, we are forbidden from being suspicious of them.

I mean, what's the whole point of even having a visa system, if not to deny them from time to time as necessary? Handing them out, however, has become an end in itself, defeating the whole purpose.

Well, even though the airline people would like to dismiss the story of suspicious behavior on Flight 327, it won't go away, as Homeland Security still finds it interesting. The original author, dismissed by Snopes as overreacting, was recently interviewed by agents at length:
Here's what I find fascinating: while one arm of the government (the Federal Air Marshal Service) has vehemently maintained all along that "nothing happened on flight 327," the other, more muscular arm (the Department of Homeland Security) has been conducting a rather large investigation about it. Based on my 4 ½ hour meeting with the agents, I can tell you that not only have they been investigating what did happen during the flight, but they've also been investigating who botched the subsequent investigation as well as how it got botched.
There were 13 men on a domestic flight acting in such a way that many passengers felt their lives might be in danger. And yet not one of the individuals responsible for that threatening behavior was detained. Only two were put under light questioning, let alone medium or heavy questioning. Two individuals from a terrorist-sponsoring nation were allowed to speak on behalf of the other 11 men. In this War on Terror, whatever happened to a middle ground?
As they stood to leave, one of the agents shook my hand and said, "Thank you for writing those articles." The most senior agent asked if he could touch my very pregnant belly. Then he said, "As a fellow American I can say you did your duty." A third agent borrowed a line from my original article: "If 19 terrorists can learn to fly airplanes into buildings, couldn't 13 terrorists learn to play instruments?"
Stick to disappearing hitchhikers, Snopes, and stay out of National Security issues.

You and your PC-ilk like Transportation Sec. Mineta are just making it harder for us as a society to muster the will to act against a mortal threat.

You'd rather have the blood of innocents on your hands than risk "offending" foreigners.

Oh, but wait, I guess we've all been guilty of something since at least Columbus, right?

Sunday, April 24, 2005


I must have it!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Finally Getting It

Well guess what, the Religion of Peace(TM) has issued another death threat against an infidel for speaking historical truth from the koran itself:
Celebrity Pentecostal preacher Runar Søgaard is under protection by Swedish police after receiving death threats. A high-profile sermon where Søgaard called the prophet Mohammed “a confused pedophile” has triggered fears of religious war.

“Even if I see Runar while he has major police protection I will shoot him to death,” a radical Islamist told Swedish newspaper Expressen.

Persons connected to the Kurdish group Ansar al-Islam claim to have received a fatwa, a decree from a Muslim religious leader, to kill Søgaard.
Isn't that just a tad, oh, I don't know, incongrous?

Just how many more death-fatwas have to be issued before the concept of "moderate" Islam is dismissed as a myth designed to confuse and divide its intended victims? It's not like death-cults haven't existed before, such as the thuggee.

When will people realize that this "religion" is an evil ideology bent on murder and subjugation of all who do not submit to its demon moon-god?

Some are getting it. Commenter JollyFatMan at LGF sums up the situation nicely:
When will everyone get it?

It is stated right in the Koran. Insulting Mohammed is justification for killing the insulter along with providing a pretext for initiating Jihad against all who are nearby.

As for fixing blame that is in the Koran too. Because there are unbelievers, the unbelievers are forever to blame for the absence of peace. It will never be the fault of the 'pious' Muslims for their god and their apostle claims it is the decree of their god to convert or kill every last man woman and child that does not believe their apostle is the last prophet on Earth.

Oh and I almost forgot, it also pious to kill, rape and plunder all the unbelievers too, which in accordance of their good book is also the fault of the unbelievers.

Why do you suppose Allah Akbar is shouted whenever you see grusome stuff being committed? Why do you suppose it is never condemmed by the average Muslim, and instead brings cheering and smiles? Why? Because it is stated that this stuff is holy and pius in their very own book! That's right, rape and slavery is pius too. That's why.

It seems odd to me that the god of Abraham loves everyone even if they do not believe in him. God loves life not death. Yet the god of Mohammed says that God hates everyone but those that believe in him AND believes that Mohammmed is his prophet. People that fall outside this narrow band are to be killed. Someone please explain how a god that loves everyone suddenly changes to a god that hates only those that acknowledge his last and heathen murderous apostle?

The real bible says that those that love death hate God. Make no mistake about what it is that they truly are praying to, for it is surely not God and definately not the god of Abraham or any prophet between Abraham and Jesus.

Islam has been at war with the entire world for over 1400 years and it will never stop, ever. Get used to it, get converted, get dead or do something about it. The idea of debating it has become just whipping another dead horse.
I choose option D.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Strange Times

Interesting take on current events by Peggy Noonan:
Did you see them running to St. Peter's Square as the bells began to toll?

They came running in from the offices and streets of Rome, running in their business suits, in jeans with backpacks over their shoulders. The networks kept showing it in their wide shots as they filled time between the ringing of the bells and the balcony scene.
We are living in a time of supernatural occurrences. The old pope gives us his suffering as a parting gift, says his final goodbye on Easter Sunday; dies on the vigil of Feast of the Divine Mercy, the day that marks the messages received by the Polish nun, now a saint, who had written that a spark out of Poland would light the world and lead the way to the coming of Christ. The mourning period for the old pope ends on the day that celebrates St. Stanislas, hero of Poland, whose name John Paul had thought about taking when he became pope. We learned this week from a former secretary that John Paul I, the good man who was pope just a month, had told everyone the day he was chosen that he wanted to be called John Paul I. You can't be called "the first" until there is a second, he was told. There will be a second soon, he replied.
This article found via the quite-interesting Anchoress; which according to a recent poll, as pointed out by Bernoulli Effect, is an extraordinarily influential yet relatively undiscovered blog.

Benedict XVI

So, we have a new Pope! From what little I know, I'm pleased with the choice.

I find it amusing how the pundits seem to be grasping at straws at attempting to define this pope in a way that suggests moderation; perhaps it is wishful thinking.

They do this by speculating on the meaning of his chosen name: Benedict XVI, and attempt to draw a parallel with the "moderate" nature of Benedict XV as the "signal" being sent by this name.


What about Benedicts I through XIV???

To focus entirely on Benedict XV as a guide is very shortsighted!

Or what about St. Benedict? Who founded the order of the Benedictine monks, and is credited with developing "The Rule of St. Benedict", which
is one of the most important written works in the shaping of Western society, embodying, as it does, the ideas of a written constitution, authority limited by law and under the law, the right of the ruled to review the legality of the actions of their rulers, a society without distinctions of birth, and one in which manual labor is regarded as a dignified occupation rather than one that demeans the laborer.
In fact, once again, I see I'm not the only one with this idea; poking around wikipedia I see the discussion that:
The choice of the name Benedict (Latin "the blessed") is significant. The new pope's birthday is on 16 April and that day is the feast of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre (26 March 1748 – 16 April 1783), also known as the Holy Pilgrim. In addition, the previous Pope Benedict XV (1914 to 1922) was seen as a conciliator who calmed the disputes between modernist and traditionalist factions with the Church, and the adoption of the name Benedict has been seen as a sign that Benedict XVI has similar goals. Additionally, Der Spiegel reports on an interview with Cardinal Meisner, usually regarded as close to Ratzinger, stating that he chose Benedict because of Benedict XV who "did much for peace in the world".

Theology professor Susan Roll of the University of Ottawa speculates in the Globe and Mail, however, that the new Pope's name may be taken from St. Benedict, who founded the Benedictine Order and is credited by Catholics for preserving Christian civilization during the Great migration in the Early Middle Ages. St. Benedict is also one of the patron saints of Europe. Ratzinger has always been concerned that Europe should do its utmost not to lose its Christian heritage. Some have speculated that the choice of the name of Europe's patron signals an intention to reclaim Europe for Christ.
Of course, I was pulling for a name designed to shock everybody, such as Urban, to recall the crusading Blessed Pope Urban II.

But that wasn't going to happen.

Benedict XVI will do quite well.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Marines 36, Jihadis 0

The jihadists had developed a cunning plan.

It was supposed to be like Beirut: blow up a few hundred Marines, and the Americans will run away. The media firestorm would demand it.

First, a heavy bomb-laden dump-truck was to blast through the barrier at a Marine compound near the Syrian border.

Then through the breach was to follow an explosive-laden armored suicide fire truck, the drivers protected by kevlar vests and 3-inch blast-proof glass, supported by a platoon of attackers on foot providing covering fire.

Finally, a third suicide bomb-vehicle was to play clean-up, to take out anyone attempting to bring order to the situation and rescuing those trapped in the intended rubble.

These trucks packed serious firepower, enough to stun anyone even hundreds of yards away.

Only this time, the attackers were met by 2 alert Marines from Altoona, PA and a third from Columbus Ohio:
Pa. native thwarts car-bomb attack
By Elliot Blair Smith, USA TODAY
HUSAYBAH, Iraq — From his tower lookout post on the Iraqi-Syrian border, Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Butler last week helped stop two suicide car bombers who were on a mission to kill hundreds of Marines here and strike a symbolic victory for the insurgency.

"Butler — that day, that Marine — that's the critical error the insurgents made," Capt. Frank Diorio says. "They thought they could keep the Marines' heads down. But he gets back up."

Butler, 21 and an Altoona, Pa., native, fired through the windshield of the first suicide bomber as he rammed a white dump truck through a barrier of abandoned vehicles the Marines had improvised. Barreling toward the camp's wall, the truck veered off at the last moment under volleys of Butler's gunfire.

"I shot 20 or 30 rounds before he detonated," he says.

Knocked down by that blast, with bricks and sandbags collapsing on top of him, Butler struggled to his feet only to hear a large diesel engine roar amid the clatter of gunfire. It was a red fire engine, carrying a second suicide bomber and passenger. Butler says both were wearing black turbans and robes, often worn by religious martyrs.

Amid the chaos of that first bomb blast, supported by gunfire from an estimated 30 dismounted insurgents, the fire engine passed largely undetected on a small road that leads from town directly past the camp wall, according a Marine report.

As the driver accelerated past the "Welcome to Iraq" sign inside the camp's perimeter, Butler says he fired 100 rounds into the vehicle. The Marines later discovered the vehicle was equipped with 3-inch, blast-proof glass and the passengers were wearing Kevlar vests under their robes.

Pfc. Charles Young, 21, also of Altoona, Pa., hit the fire engine with a grenade launcher, slowing its progress and giving Butler time to recover. Without breaching the camp wall, the driver detonated the fire engine, sending debris flying up to 400 yards and knocking Marines from their bunks several hundred yards away. Butler, less than 50 yards away, again was knocked down by the blast, which partially destroyed the tower in which he was perched. After he crawled for cover, a third suicide bomber detonated outside the camp. That blast caused no damage or injuries. Sporadic fighting continued for several hours.

Meanwhile, Cpl. Anthony Fink of Columbus, Ohio, 21, fired a grenade launcher that the Marine unit says killed 11 insurgents. The Marines' "React Squad" swiftly deployed against the remaining insurgents.

"We were able to get the momentum back," Diorio says. He also says that Husaybah townspeople later reported 21 insurgents dead and 15 wounded. No Marines were seriously hurt.
If they're constructing these ridiculous death-mobiles with Syrian aid, a very public and extended punitive expedition should be launched forthwith.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Not Rotten in Denmark

Denmark's popular Queen Margrethe II has recently spoken the unspeakable about Islamic immigration in a new biography about to be released:
"We are being challenged by Islam these years. Globally as well as locally," said the 64-year-old queen, who was interviewed by journalist Annelise Bistrup for her book "Margrethe."
Calling on Danes to meet the Islamic challenge, The Queen elaborated:
"This is a challenge that has to be met, and which we have not met so far either because we have been too lazy or because we are too tolerant," the Queen said in the book.

"When we are tolerant, we need to consider whether this is because we believe that something is right or because it is convenient," the Queen said, adding that "there are some things that should not be tolerated even if it is not politically correct to say so."
As a closet monarchist, I couldn't be more pleased with the Royals leading the way.

Denmark's Had "Enough!"

An interesting blog out of Denmark, called "Enough!" The author reports on their latest election, and the problems of overwhelming unassimilated Muslim immigration that are causing many Europeans to wish to emigrate from their own countries, it's getting so bad:
AMSTERDAM — A survey has indicated that 32 percent of Dutch people want to emigrate abroad and that just 51 percent are proud of the Netherlands.
A large amount of the spontaneous reactions over the Netherlands were negative. This was due to political developments, multiculturalism, over-population, criminality and socially distant people.
Europe is in a malaise. They need a Reagan.

Denmark, on the other hand, seems to be the first to arouse from its slumber:
Summary: Denmark's re-elected government change tactics on immigrants, Europe will follow, tougher times for Muslim immigrants will come.

Today the new danish government was announced....
"baaah, why should i care?" you ask. You should because what the danish government does on the topic of immigration has proved likely to be followed by the rest of northern Europe!

When the government began it's first period in 2001, EVERYBODY scorned it for it's tough immigration policy - on which it was elected. Today, everybody is too busy to scorn because they're implementing likewise restrictions on immigration, some even officially visiting Denmark to learn how it's done!

In short, in the past 4 years, the government has severely tightened the possibility of carrying out the horrible arranged marriages, so widely used by the immigrants. They have begun to ship criminal foreigners back to their home countries after serving their sentence. They have in words told the immigrants that their bloody and hateful customs and behavior is not tolerated here. They have caused the influx of immigrants to dry out. They have clamped down on the immigrants permanently relying on welfare-benefits and on their (documented!) unwillingness to work unless forced to. They have done everything this country needed... although people like me naturally want them to be even harsher than that.
Lots of interesting stuff at this blog, for example these predictions:
I also dare to predict in which order the countries will install these measures, based on how they are dealing with terrorists, debating the problems publicly, actively restricting immigrants and such: The order is:
Denmark, Netherlands and Belgium, Norway, Germany, United kingdom, USA, Sweden, France, Italy and Spain.

Notes for this order would be the following:
Denmark, Norway - small, tuned to listening to everybody thus airing many opinions on the matter. Denmark leading in restricting policies,

Holland and Belgium - have enormous Muslim populations and they are creating likewise problems - the two political murders that has happened in Europe happened both in Holland. Dutch changes of legislation coming on strong and swift.

Germany - big Muslim populations, but have begun to see the problems they create by suppressing dissident voices: rise in neonazism. Has expelled radical imams already and more is likely to follow.

UK - it pains my heart that they are so damn slow to get it, despite their many problems with their Pakistani population, but at least they are now working on a tight closure of their borders.

USA - True to their creed of accepting absolutely everybody, they also accept Muslims as citizens, and choose to catch the terrorists alone despite proof of ugly Muslim activities. Has although been reducing influx from Muslim countries. Their main problem is by the way the Mexican border, about as closed as a sieve, luring as many illegal immigrants.

Sweden - Still very politically correct, spends the time lashing out on "harsh Denmark" while their crime and rape-rates virtually explodes - rise in Nazism too.

France - scared shit-less to act due to their huge Muslim populations, and kissing-up- to-their-no-longer-any-good-Muslim-colonies. Yes headscarf-ban in schools, but how many hours a day are you in school? Pretending to act while actually not.

Italy and Spain - to the best of my, limited, knowledge they are not doing anything specifically. Their concerns are on controlling, or rather the lack of control they have, on those swarms of boats from Africa - Spain actually tried to reduce the problem with the many illegal immigrants on paper by legalizing them!! Sure, it takes an effort to get registered but i don't believe that it's going to change mush.

Thus - the new change in government in tiny Denmark IS important - this time, we just might turn out to be the snowflake that starts the avalanche....
From your lips to God's ears...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Not Liberal

It's very odd how the political faction thatt calls itself liberal is most most definitely not liberal.

Found by way of Bernoulli Effect, a nicely-done article that sums it all up in a scathing indictment of contemporary "liberalism". It's worth reading it all, but here's an excerpt:
In the not-so-distant past, liberal FDR believed that the enemies of other democracies were, by extension, America's enemies--and liberals eagerly joined him in taking on the America Firsters here before fighting fascism over there. In his footsteps followed liberal Harry Truman, whose doctrine reflected the view that Soviet expansionism was insidiously anti-democratic and therefore innately illiberal.

BUT ALAS, somewhere over the last two decades or so, liberalism lost its root as the word liberal was perverted to the point of Orwellian inversion--and therefore rendered meaningless.

For example, rooting against the United States and for "insurgents" who delight in slaughtering innocents is many things (stupid, for one, also sad, evil, and short-sighted), but it is assuredly not liberal.

Decrying the American "religious right" for advocating a "culture of life" while simultaneously praising the neck-slicing Islamofascists is many things (start with pathetic), but it is not liberal.

Calling 3,000 workers who died when the buildings fell "little Eichmanns" is many things (vile, as well as repulsive and morally repugnant), but it is not liberal.
Marching against war every time the United States is involved--in fact only when the United States is involved--regardless of the war's purpose, is many things (reactionary for sure), but it is not liberal.
Crying that you're being persecuted for exercising your right of free speech, when what happened was that other people less famous than you reacted to your ill-considered and offensive comments by exercising their own First Amendment rights, is many things (solipsistic comes to mind), but it is not liberal.

Depicting Condoleezza Rice in editorial cartoons as a big-lipped mammy who speaks Ebonics to her massa is many things (offensive, sickening), but it is not liberal.

Marching if you're gay in support of "Palestine"--from which gay Palestinians try to escape to Israel before they're tortured and murdered for their sexual orientation--is many things (nuts, as well as hilariously ill-informed), but it is far from liberal.
Referring to illegals as "undocumented workers," and to those who'd like to enforce immigration laws as evil and racist, is many things (self-destructive, short-sighted), but it is not liberal.

Joking about Charlton Heston's Alzheimer's because you
don't abide his politics is many things (cold-hearted, intolerant, sophomoric), but it is far from liberal.
Calling the then-recently departed Yasser Arafat a "wily" and "enigmatic" "statesman", as the New York Times did, is many things (nauseatingly PC, for one), but it is not liberal.

Shouting down speakers in the name of free speech is many things (fascistic, tyrannical, churlish), but it is not liberal.
Sadly, the list goes on (and on and on and on). Which is why those of us who consider ourselves classical liberals--and believe that language has power--ought to take back the word "liberal" from those on the left who debase its meaning. Many of them, I suspect, are like the body surfer who's surprised to find that the ocean current has carried him half a mile from his towel on the beach. They would do well to get their bearings and gauge how far the political tide has removed them from their core beliefs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Thriving Environment

By way of Bernoulli Effect, we find that as Earth Day approaches on April 22, that level-headed environmentalism has been a roaring success, and pessimism and fear should be banished:
April 12 (Bloomberg) -- As we all prepare to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, let us hearken for a moment to Steven Hayward, who is one of nature's rare creatures -- two parts scholar, one part troublemaker.
For several years now he has been releasing an annual Index of Leading Environmental Indicators. It's his own way of celebrating Earth Day. And sure enough, for several years now, the leading lights of the environmental movement have been pretending Hayward and his index don't exist.

Why? Hayward is an optimist. His index of environmental indicators is a collection of good news. And, for the professional pessimists of the green movement, too much good news is bad news.

In last year's index, for example, Hayward and his colleagues cheerfully noted that levels of ambient air pollution in the U.S. had dropped dramatically, beginning in 1976. By 2002, ozone was down 31 percent, sulfur dioxide 70 percent and carbon monoxide 75 percent. Lead, once one of the deadliest, scariest and most ubiquitous pollutants, had dropped 98 percent.

U.S. water quality, though much more difficult to measure consistently over so large an area, has also shown steep improvement.
This year, when Hayward releases his new index, the EPA data will be even sunnier: U.S. air quality, measured in levels of particulates, is better than it has been since such measurements were first made.

Environmentalists downplay the happy news for understandable reasons, not all of them cynical. It is true that professional activists of every ideological coloration thrive on trauma and trouble, according to the general principle that a frightened citizenry is a generous citizenry -- at least when it comes to offering money to professional activists.

At the same time, a true-believing environmentalist might sincerely worry that over-attention to successes in the fight for a clean environment will lead to a risky complacency and false optimism.

Yet, not all optimism is false. Hayward's optimism is grounded in reason and experience -- particularly in his belief that technology, know-how and the entrepreneurial spirit, prompted by the market and urged on by government, will overcome our environmental difficulties. His index suggests he has history on his side.
Some good news for a change!

Oops, guess there's no good reason to shut down the capitalist system and start eating roadkill.


Roadkill is Yummy!

We knew the left was loony, but we had no idea it was THIS loony!

Remember, kids, foraging for roadkill is morally superior to dumpster diving like those mere poseur-anarchists do!
Members of Wildroots live a primitive lifestyle and practice earth-based skills, like primitive shelter building, hide tanning, herbal medicine and crafts.

Alternative food sources, like roadkill, are essential to their cause, as is outreach, and the group travels the country promoting their lifestyle at conferences and workshops. One of their publications, a zine called Feral Forager, details how to eat roadkill.

For those disgusted by the notion of eating a dead animal off the side of the road, Erisbright’s friend Matt Snyder said it isn’t as gross as many people think.

“I think people should get into eating roadkill because it’s food and it’s out there. You might as well not let it go to waste,” Snyder said. “It also tastes delicious.”

It’s not just roadkill’s availability that makes it attractive. Jennifer Kitchen, another of the local roadkill proponents, said traditional, factory-farmed meat is plagued by unsavory consequences, from animal cruelty to the harmful environmental effects of using fossil fuels to ship it long distances.
“With roadkill, it gives you a real connection to the meat,” he said. “With our current food sources, we go to a store, look around the aisles, pick it out, and provide some kind of money to prove that we are alright to eat it. With roadkill, it’s right out there in the wild.”

To the activists, eating roadkill has more political advantages than other forms of anti-capitalist food gathering, like Dumpster diving. While the three friends do rely on Dumpster diving for some of their food, Kitchen said this is a “means and not an end” in their efforts to erode their dependency on civilization.

Dumpster divers may not be participating in the consumer cycle, but the food they find is still usually as unhealthy as what you buy in stores. “We’re still eating the standard American diet and most of it is really crappy food, but you eat it because it’s free,” Kitchen said. “We’re still sponging off the system and we’re not self-sufficient.”

Scavenged roadkill, on the other hand, is free of capitalist trappings.
Never mind the internal contradictions of relying on automobiles and fossil fuels to produce the roadkill!

This is too rich; they have chosen their own hell!

At, which publishes the "feral forager" guide, they explain:
At Wildroots, we live off the grid, carry our water, and practice "earthskills", or earth-based lifeways. Our interests include permaculture, gardening by the moon, natural and primitive shelter building, hide tanning, herbal medicine, nature crafts, and wild food foraging.
That is, eating roadkill.
The surest way to protect earth based lifeways, or "earthskills", is to practice them, and pass them along as we move through this alienated modern life. Just as we can propagate endangered native plants in the ecosystems from which they have been displaced, or re-introduce wolves into areas from which they have been extirpated, we can reclaim our species' lost knowledge of living with the earth.
Yeah, putting back human-eating carnivores where people live is a fantastic idea.

Look bub, 10,000 years of technological and cultural advances aren't a vast conspiracy, they are the result of people struggling to find ingenious ways to make their difficult lives better. And the GREAT thing about our culture is that if youw ant to go play primitive, you're perfectly able to do so.

You could show a little gratitude,at least, for the kind of flexibility and sheer choice our culture has given to you, rather than having bequeathed to you a miserable short life of slavery or a daily contest of raw survival.

We live like kings -- even gods -- compared with people 1,000 or even 500 years ago. Think of it: you can be in Tokyo in a few hours, or communicate around the world at the speed of light. Our diseases are those of sloth and excess.

But hey, if you want to take a step backwards, be my guest.

Just don't hate the civilization that makes it possible!

It's unbecoming.

And stupid.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Winning on Guns

It was a long struggle. What first began to tip me into the anti-leftist camp was the gun issue, about 15 years ago. It seemed nearly impossible to make progress, given the negative-gun slant the media relentlessly applied.

And now I see this stunning admission by the media:
With more than four out of five states allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons, that argument is finished. Now, the nation's long-running argument over guns turns on how much to loosen the rules — should guns be allowed in judge's chambers? Bars? In workplace parking lots?
The push for concealed weapons began in the late 1980s, when all but 10 states refused to allow residents to do so, or only allowed it in special circumstances. But starting in 1989, those barriers fell. Now it's up to 46, with 35 states allowing just about anyone who is not a felon to get a permit.
Violence hasn't subsided this year, from courthouse shootings in Atlanta and Tyler, Texas, to the school killings at Red Lake, Minn., the most deadly since Columbine. But the reaction has spurred something far different, drawing on the idea that if the victims had weapons they might not be victims.

"At the scene of these crimes, despite all the good intentions of the police, the prosecutors, the courts, the judges — they're all coming in later," said Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association. "The country as a whole is taking another look, across the board, at the idea that maybe it makes good sense to allow people to protect themselves in as many situations as possible."

Current legislation in some cases is a direct response to the recent shootings, though often predates it. In recent weeks:

_Florida legislators passed a measure allowing people to "meet force with force" to defend themselves without fear of prosecution, extending the right from their homes to anywhere they're legally allowed to be. Gov. Jeb Bush said he intends to sign it.

_Arizona's Senate approved letting people carry guns into bars and restaurants, as long as they're not drinking. The House has yet to act.

_North Dakota legislators approved removing the shooting test needed for a concealed-weapon permit, though the bill awaits final approval from the governor.
Still, the struggle hasn't all been one-sided.

Missouri, where legislators approved a concealed-weapon law even though a statewide referendum rejected it in 1999, gave cities the right to restrict weapons on city-owned property. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor John Street, both Democrats, are studying sweeping changes.
Maybe this media story is a rear-guard attempt to spur a counter-strike. What's up with PA? Everything I've heard about Rendell has sounded like a disaster. Let's hope the legislature doesn't listen.