Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"President 40/60"

Victor Davis Hanson makes astute observations regarding the trajectory of Obama and his administration. In part:
You say, “No, wait a minute! After all he inherited two wars and a near depression!” Not quite. His bad war he campaigned against is essentially over in Iraq, and was by the time he entered office. The good war he wanted at in Afghanistan heated up when we turned our proverbial eye to it, largely because the president made it clear he did not wish to meet Stanley McChrystal for months, imposed artificial deadlines of withdrawal, and divided up responsibility between a feuding Gen. McChrystal, Amb. Eikenberry, and Richard Holbrook who apparently hated each other as much as they did the enemy.

The financial panic of September 15 was largely calm at the end of 120 days, and before Obama took office. The recession officially ended in June 2009. What then happened is that we took a deep downturn and turned it into something akin to European stasis by borrowing trillions more dollars and investing in redistributive schemes that destroyed incentives while terrifying entrepreneurs. In other words, had Obama done nothing, we would have been far better off as the natural cycles of recovery kicked in. But threaten business with higher taxes, more regulations, new health care mandates, energy surcharges, all the while conducting a psychological campaign against the morality of private enterprise, and you get the present push-back as banks, corporations, small businesses, and investors sit on trillions in cash, neither hiring nor spending until this Brussels bureaucrat leaves.

The point? The usual narrative that Obama is a victim of circumstance is unfortunately not true. Aside from the fact that all presidents make their own destinies (Reagan’s inheritance from Carter was not good; nor were FDR’s, Truman’s, Eisenhower’s, Nixon’s, or Bush’s), Obama has had it about as bad or good as had others who entered the presidency. A recession and 9/11 were not easy in 2001. And 18% interest, 18% inflation, 7% unemployment, and gas lines by 1981 greeted Reagan. Truman took over with a war, a supposed friend Stalin turned enemy, allies soon to be enemies in Russia and China, and enemies in Japan and Germany soon to be rebuilt and rehabilitated — amid a wrecked Asia and Europe, a groundswell of communism, a climate of panic at home, and a soon to be nuclear Soviet Union under the genocidal murdering Stalin, capped off soon by a war in Korea.

What’s ahead? I am afraid a reckoning in world tensions: China-Japan, North-South Korea, Iran and its neighbors, another Mideast war, Russian expansionism, a crack-up in the EU — to be fair, not just because of Obama, but in part accelerated by the sense that Obama either does not care or tends to be more sympathetic to those who voice grievances such as his own against the U.S. than to our allies who traditionally give us the benefit of the doubt. There will be a lot of jostling as nations seek to make readjustments in the new climate of anything goes.
Do read the whole piece.

Musings on the "Tea Party"

The thing that seems to be lost on a lot of people is that the "Tea Party" is not a party at all. It's a decentralized grass roots movement of people who have seen the state of our nation and have launched a public backlash. It's not comprised strictly of "social conservatives", "fiscal conservatives", or "foreign policy conservatives", yet it has elements of all of these disparate groups. It seems to me that it's truly the philosophical heir of the "Reagan Revolution".

The attempt to define this movement by any one part is to not understand it at all. There's a commonality among all of these disparate factions born from the government excesses that we have witnessed during the recent past and the abject dismissal of the will of the people. The reason that it's gaining traction is that its simple principles of common sense resonates with a growing number of people in this country.

The "country club Republicans" resent this, but they resented the Reagan Revolution as well. As for the Democrats, they feel as though they have cornered the market on "populism" by playing a decades-long game of class and race warfare. One of the effects is that there are a lot of people being unmasked and, increasingly, people are not liking what they are seeing.

Are there a few nutcases involved in this movement? Well, of course there are. There are a few nutcases involved in any movement, and this one is no different. There will always be those who glom onto a movement with their own agenda. That said, this movement is remarkably self-policing because it is comprised of "grass roots" Americans, many of which who are becoming involved in the political system either for the first time, or returning to the fray out of concern for their country. These aren't extremists voicing radical themes; they're people who are giving voice to doubts many of us have regarding the health and long-term viability of our republic.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Part of "Covert" Don't These People Understand?

U.S. Official: CIA Runs Covert Afghan Force

KABUL, Afghanistan — A U.S. official in Washington confirmed reports that the CIA is running an all-Afghan paramilitary group in Afghanistan that has been hunting Al Qaeda, Taliban, and other militant targets for the agency.

A security professional in Kabul familiar with the operation said the 3,000-strong force was set up in 2002 to capture targets for CIA interrogation. A former U.S. intelligence official said members of the covert Afghan force are used for surveillance and long-range reconnaissance and some have trained at CIA facilities in the United States.

The sources spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence.

The force, called the Counterterrorist Pursuit Team, was described in a new book by Bob Woodward, "Obama's Wars." The paramilitaries, designed after U.S. commando teams, operate in violence-wracked provinces including Kandahar, Khost, Paktia and Paktika, as well as the capital, Kabul, the security professional said.

Woodward also reports the units conduct covert operations inside neighboring Pakistan's lawless border areas as part of a campaign against Al Qaeda and Taliban havens there. Pakistan does not permit U.S. special operations forces to enter the area, except for limited training missions. The alleged use of Afghan paramilitaries to carry out spying activities will likely inflame already frayed political relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
There seems to be few, if any people in the "intelligence community" who are capable of keeping a secret. Instead, it appears that it is stocked with those who, "on condition of anonymity" will spill their guts to the press about anything and everything. Does this unnamed "official", or Bob Woodward for that matter, feel any obligation to withhold these juicy little tidbits in the interest of ongoing operations, or their country?

During World War II, my mother worked as a cryptographer in Naval Intelligence. All she ever told me, or my father, was that every morning she boarded a windowless bus that went to an unnamed location that she suspected to be underground, that had armed guards posted in the halls. All that she ever disclosed was that she worked with Japanese codes and when prompted for more information, the conversation was summarily ended. After her death, I found a number of ribbons and vague commendations for her "work", with instructions that she was not to wear the ribbons on her uniform. All other information regarding her activities was taken to her grave.

Do people really have "a right to know"? Well, that's a difficult question. In matters such as civil legal conduct of our officials, such as "Watergate" where Bob Woodward made his career, absolutely. What Nixon was doing was clearly illegal and he, and those around him, deserved what they got. It's in matters of military secrets and national security where the answer become more difficult to answer.

Stories, like this one from Afghanistan, are no more than attempts by the likes of Bob Woodward to "get the scoop" without regard to the damage that it may do in the long run. It describes incursions into Pakistan, even while adding that "Pakistan does not permit U.S. special operations forces to enter the area", and that these operations "will likely inflame already frayed political relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan". So, what's the point of these revelations other than some misguided respect for the borders of a terrorist rat's nest like Pakistan? Is it possible that some still sane individual in the Pakistani government privately gave a "wink and a nod" to this operation, while publicly warning against incursion? If so, this type of "revelation" is highly damaging.

The fact is that we simply do not know the circumstances, how much information this "source" had, the motivation behind divulging it, or the ultimate effects of its disclosure. We do know one thing, though; honor is not a grey area, it is a stark line of demarcation - one either has it or one does not.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What's the Missing Word?

Interpol worried about spike in extremist websites

PARIS — The chief of Interpol says the "skyrocketing" number of extremist websites is making it easier for terrorists to recruit middle class youth around the world.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble says terrorist recruiters are exploiting the Web to target vulnerable young people who are "not on the radar of law enforcement."

He says fighting this kind of terrorist recruitment is especially difficult because viewing websites is not necessarily criminal.

Noble said the number of extremist websites tracked by police was 12 in 1998 and 4,500 in 2006.

He spoke Tuesday at a closed-door conference of world police chiefs in Paris. Interpol released his comments in a statement.

Yeah, you guessed it; the word is ISLAMIC. The West is becoming increasingly terrified (the very goal of "terrorism") of even giving a source of the threat out of fear, I suppose, of appearing to be pejorative or, God forbid, intolerant.

Alas, this is but a solitary example of a jouralistic trend that becomes more prevalent by the day, even as Islamic violence, and the threat thereof, rises. How can we defeat their ideology if we fear even using their name?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Madness of Prince Charles

That limited gene pool of British royalty claims another victim:
If anyone visiting Prince Charles' home had opened the right door at just the right time, they may have been greeted with an unusual sight: the Prince of Wales laying face flat on the floor, eyes closed and ears perked in concentration.

He was, of course, trying to eavesdrop on some of the 30,000 annual tourists who pay 15 pounds each to tour his 900-acre royal estate in Gloucestershire.

That habit is just one of some curious admissions the royal makes in a new BBC documentary.

"I have eavesdropped on what visitors have said," the prince tells the BBC interviewer. "When they're going 'round outside the windows. Sometimes you've got to lie on the floor."
Well, ah, of course.
Charles also talks about speaking with the trees and plants in his garden.

"I happily talk to the plants and trees, and listen to them. I think it's absolutely crucial," the prince says. "Everything I've done here, it's like almost with your children. Every tree has a meaning for me."

For the man who would be king, the disclosures could be a little off putting. But not for Katie Nicholl, author of the upcoming book "William and Harry."

"He is slightly eccentric, but I think eccentric people make the world go 'round and make it a lot more fun," Nicholl told "Good Morning America."
Well, yes, eccentric people can be rather interesting. That said, British royalty, while not having any real political power, do weild a certain amount of influence in Britain and Charles is no exception. He's quite active on a number of fronts other than mulling about in Gloucestershire, talking to trees and eavesdropping on tourists. The piece continues:
"I got a lot of flak for a lot of things," Charles says in the documentary. "I mean, potty this, potty that, loony this, loony that."

But far from looney, the prince says speaking to the plants keeps him "relatively sane," according to the UK Press Association.
Hmm, I think that "relatively sane" ship may have already have sailed....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Andrew Breitbart Rocks!

Hitting them where they live and revealing them for the fools that they are!

More Thoughts on Quran Burning....

Philosophically, I stand by my post below.  Alas, the world clearly does not turn on philosophy, and the Muslims that we have been forced to deal with are not particularly deep thinkers; they are visceral in nature and bloodthirsty in method.  Just as one must choose the proper tool to complete a task, perhaps this was, indeed, the proper tool, however distasteful it may have been.

Both Christians and Jews have stood by while Muslims have befouled our holy sites, burned our churches and temples, tortured and mutilated our people and showed intolerance at levels heretofore unknown in the modern world. We breathed a sigh and shook our heads with the knowledge and comfort that we are civilized people clearly dealing with barbarians.

While I am (still) opposed to book burning in general, at some level these animals must be sent the message that tolerance is a two-way street and the respect given will be equal to the respect received, and nothing less will be tolerated.

Quran burning does not expose a dark underbelly of intolerance in the West, it does quite the opposite; it exposes Isalm to be incapable of coexistence and any form of the pluralism that is the norm outside of the Muslim world. For that reason, Quran burning, while repugnant, has been enlightening and highly instuctional as to the nature of Islam (as if any of us really needed further instruction).

Saturday, September 11, 2010


September 11, 2001 Never Forget, Never Forgive.
September 11, 2010 Not Forgotten, Not Forgiven.

As we commemorate the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, may we rededicate ourselves to ridding the world of those who would make war on free people and kill innocents in the name of a misbegotten and corrupted perception of religion. May God have mercy on all those who have been murdered in His name and may His special justice rain down upon the souls of their murderers, in His time and in His way. May we unite those murderous souls with Him as quickly as possible; that He may exercise His role as the ultimate arbiter.

And for those who still still refuse to understand the nature and the motivation of our enemy, may you continue to be protected by those who do, whether you want to be or not, for you are my fellow Americans, whether I like it or not.

Most importantly, may we always remember those who lost their lives on that day as well as those who have since offered up their lives in the protection of our liberty. Remembrance and vigilance is our only assurance that those lives have not been lost in vain.

Friday, September 10, 2010

On Quran Burning: Becoming What We Hate

This Isn't About Islam, Or The Quran. It's About Us.

Let’s stipulate that this “Pastor” Terry Jones, who leads a 50 member congregation in Florida, has every right to burn every Quran he can find. He says that Islam is “of the devil” and, from what I have seen I cannot provide an opposing argument. I give no quarter to Islam, or the execrable tome that seems to be the source of so much bloodshed and misery.

That said, this is a needlessly provocative and abjectly ignorant act that benefits no one. We are supposedly an enlightened society, and to an enlightened society, the specter of “book burning” should be abhorrent. My objection stems not from a fear of what Muslims will think of us; far too many of them have a hair trigger already, eagerly awaiting any slight, insult, or rumor thereof that gives them a reason for their congenital “righteous outrage”.

Rather, my objection stems from the fact that this act is a retreat from the moral superiority that’s at the core of an enlightened people. “Pastor” Jones and his ilk are reaching out to the same darkness that enveloped Islam centuries ago.

If we cede the moral high ground, what will we have left?

This country is founded on free thought and the free exchange of ideas, regardless of how repulsive those ideas might be. On bookshelves and in stores, one can find copies of Mein Kamp, The Communist Manifesto, Mao’s “Little Red Book” and any manner political literature reflecting ideas that are directly antithetical to the American ideals found in our Constitution. We have the liberty to accept or reject these aberrant ideas, and for 234 years, “We the People” have freely chosen to reject them, without coercion and without suppression.

Islam, on the other hand, is afraid of ideas and all manner of “un-Islamic” thought. In countries controlled by Sharia law, Imams tell the people what to do, how to act, how to dress and how to think. Any deviation from the standard is dealt with in the harshest of fashions. As I have said before, Islam is at least as much a political ideology as it is a religious one, and it operates the countries it controls as gulags.

Yes, Muslims, in the name of the Quran, have perpetrated all manners of indignity and atrocity against the “infidels”; destruction of our churches and synagogues, destruction of our Bibles and Torahs, and the vicious slaughter of our innocents. This benighted blood cult embraces their Dark Ages mentality and intolerance as a canon of their faith.

In the end, this is not about books; it’s about liberty, ideas and free thought. Burning a Quran will no more strike a blow against the darkness of Islam than burning Mein Kamp would have stopped the Holocaust. What Quran burning will do is diminish us as a free people and reduce us to an American version of the flag burning barbarians that are paraded across our TV screens on a daily basis.

On the eve of the ninth anniversary of 9/11, we should recommit ourselves to upholding the American ideal rather than becoming the thing that we hate the most.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Playing the Pity Card

So, now the president laments that "they talk about me like I'm a dog".

Poor baby. Has he forgotten that he waltzed into the Oval Office with nary a bit of vetting by the national press? Has he forgotten that much of that same press is still flaking for him, even as he fails miserably at just about everything he has attempted? Has he forgotten that, for the last 20 months, he has had a willing Congress rubber-stamping his every whim? Has he forgotten that his predecessor was derided as a simpleton, called every name imaginable by the national and international Left, with the derision culminating in a film fantasizing about his assassination?

The fact is that the Bush administration began with the Left literally questioning the legitimacy of the 2000 election, thus questioning the legitimacy of the president himself. Pausing for a period of "rallying 'round the flag" after 9/11, the Left resumed their unprincipled attacks and Hitlerian (or worse) allusions.

I might also add that he took, and continues to take this abuse without uttering a word of complaint.

Considering the current state of the country, President Obama has had it easy. He has used his predecessor as a repository of blame for all of our problems, though he has occupied the office for nearly two years, and his party has controlled Congress for nearly four years. If anyone could magically turn back the economic clock two, or four years, I'm sure they'd jump at the chance. I know I would.

This self-pitying remark is unbecoming of a president and further underscores President Obama's thin skin that has been evident for some time. My advice for the president would be to lead, follow, or get out of the way. We need a leader, not a whiner.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Does Anyone Check These Things?

Apparently not.

Oval Office rug gets history wrong

A mistake has been made in the Oval Office makeover that goes beyond the beige.

President Obama's new presidential rug seemed beyond reproach, with quotations from Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. woven along its curved edge.

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." According media reports, this quote keeping Obama company on his wheat-colored carpet is from King.

Except it's not a King quote. The words belong to a long-gone Bostonian champion of social progress. His roots in the republic ran so deep that his grandfather commanded the Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington.

For the record, Theodore Parker is your man, President Obama. Unless you're fascinated by antebellum American reformers, you may not know of the lyrically gifted Parker, an abolitionist, Unitarian minister and Transcendentalist thinker who foresaw the end of slavery, though he did not live to see emancipation. He died at age 49 in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War.
Not that King was engaging in plagiarism:
A century later, during the civil rights movement, King, an admirer of Parker, quoted the Bostonian's lofty prophecy during marches and speeches. Often he'd ask in a refrain, "How long? Not long." He would finish in a flourish: "Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

King made no secret of the author of this idea. As a Baptist preacher on the front lines of racial justice, he regarded Parker, a religious leader, as a kindred spirit.
Well, I guess it's an easy mistake to make, but one would expect more attentiveness to history in the Oval Office.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

"The Gallows Doth Wonderfully Concentrate the Mind"

"I think I may need another vacation"
The Democrats have consistently avoided tax cuts like the plague, while Republicans have just as consistently embraced them. Now, as these Democrats stare into the abyss of the November elections, they conceive a plan; TAX CUTS!

Could the "October Surprise" actually be no more than recycled Republican ideas sold to the American public as "New"?

It wouldn't be the first time.

White House considers pre-midterm package of business tax breaks to spur hiring

With less than two months until the November elections, the White House is seriously weighing a package of business tax breaks - potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars - to spur hiring and combat Republican charges that Democratic tax policies hurt small businesses, according to people with knowledge of the deliberations.
Translation: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Among the options under consideration are a temporary payroll tax holiday and a permanent extension of the now-expired research and development tax credit, which rewards companies that conduct research into new technologies within the United States.
Finally, you morons are listening!
Administration officials have struggled to develop new economic policies and an effective message to blunt expected Republican gains in Congress and defuse complaints from Democrats that President Obama is fumbling the issue most important to voters. After weeks of vacation and foreign policy, White House advisers have arranged a series of economic events for Obama next week, including two trips to swing states and a press conference.
"New policies", really?
"We'll continue to do everything we can, understanding that recovery will require persistent effort. There are no silver bullets," senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said in an interview Thursday. "At the same time we have to make clear our ideas and theirs, and the fact that the Washington Republicans, having helped create this recession, have attempted to block our every effort to deal with it."
Actually, Republicans have wanted tax AND spending cuts and their attempts to "block our every effort" seems to have borne fruit.
But with the unemployment rate expected to rise again in new jobs numbers due out Friday, panic is setting in among many Democratic candidates who fear it is too late for Obama to persuade voters that he understands the depth of the nation's economic woes and can fix them.
And that, as they say, is the money quote. Unfortunately for the administration, the American people know that Republicans own the idea of tax cuts, and they also know that the Democrats have demonized them for this fact.

I'll be very interested as to how this plays out.

What's This World Coming To?

Say it ain't so, Enzo!
Recalls on Ferraris?

Ferrari, a division of Italy’s Fiat group, is recalling all 1,248 cars of the 458 Italia model it had produced up to August after reports that five of the supercars caught fire because of glue in the wheel arch leaking on to the exhaust, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

The recall, possibly the biggest in the history of the luxury sports car maker, follows the posting of pictures and video on the internet of Ferrari 458s after bursting into flames across the world.
And that's why I don't drive a Ferrari. That, and the $200,000 I don't have to buy one.

It's Time To Crack Down On Karzai And The Afghan Shell Game

The brothers Karzai
Karzai's brother calls for U.S. to shore up Kabul Bank as withdrawals accelerate

DUBAI - As depositors thronged branches of Afghanistan's biggest bank, Mahmoud Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a major shareholder in beleaguered Kabul Bank called on Thursday for intervention by the United States to head off a financial meltdown.

"America should do something," said Karzai in a telephone interview, suggesting that the U.S. Treasury Department guarantee the funds of Kabul Bank's clients, who number about a million and have more than a billion dollars on deposits with the bank.

Kabul Bank handles salary payments for soldiers, police and teachers. It has scores of branches across Afghanistan and holds the accounts of key Afghan government agencies. The collapse of the bank would likely spread panic throughout the country's fledgling financial sector and wipe out nine years of effort by the United States to establish a sound Afghan banking system, seen as essential to the establishment of a functioning economy.

Action by the United States, said Mahmoud Karzai, would prevent a run on Kabul Bank and protect other banks, too. He said Kabul Bank is "stable and has money" but cannot withstand a stampede by panicked depositors.

"If the Treasury Department will guarantee that everyone will get their money, maybe that will work," said Karzai, who holds 7 percent of the bank's shares, making him the third-biggest shareholder. Karzai, who spends most of his time in Dubai - where he lives in a waterfront villa paid for by Kabul Bank - rushed to Kabul on Wednesday to join efforts to salvage the bank.
Americans have spent far too much blood and treasure in Afghanistan already, only to be tapped once again to "shore up" a failing bank. We have our own problems, and Mahmoud Karzai, who "spends most of his time in Dubai - where he lives in a waterfront villa paid for by Kabul Bank" should spend a bit more of his time finding his own solutions.

So, who are these Karzais anyway? They appear to be the typical third world self-indulgent thieves, enriching themselves while their country languishes in poverty:
Persistent allegations of corruption aimed at Hamid Karzai's family are undermining Western efforts in Afghanistan and feeding the Taliban-led insurgency, Washington policy-makers have warned.

The president's brothers, Mahmoud and Ahmed Wali, are accused of having amassed millions of pounds since Mr Karzai took office even as most of Afghanistan remains poverty stricken. The development has fuelled a popular disillusionment and anger with the leadership that the Taliban has exploited.

Ahmed Wali Karzai has been dogged by allegations, which he denies, of involvement in the country's $3 billion opium trade, while Mahmoud Karzai has been accused of using his brother's influence to build a business empire that has made him one of the country's wealthiest men.

Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a research centre, said: "There's a perception that members of his family are benefiting from his position. It's bad for our counter-insurgency efforts."

The rumours of corruption and displays of obvious wealth were providing propaganda for the insurgents.

One Western diplomat said: "We are losing this war to corruption."

Diplomats fear that Mr Karzai shows little appetite to rein in his brothers, despite intense pressure from his international backers and attempts by Western intelligence agencies to investigate his siblings' assets.

Malou Innocent, a foreign-policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based think tank, said the Taliban was using the Karzai brothers' wealth as evidence that the president was a puppet of the NATO-led forces. "It's getting worse," she said. "There doesn't seem to be any silver bullet for getting rid of it considering how endemic it is."

Ahmed Wali Karzai, 48, who has a portfolio of land, transport and private security business interests in the southern city of Kandahar, said the allegations of unproven links with the drug trade were aimed at weakening his brother.

Any involvement in opium production is considered particularly harmful because the drug trade channels hundreds of millions of dollars into the insurgency each year. Taliban commanders earn huge sums from drug traffickers and growers by charging tithes or protection money and providing convoy guards.

Mahmoud Karzai, 54, who has interests in mines, a cement factory and property, denied that he had capitalised on his brother's influence.
To hell with the Kabul Bank; let the Karzais and their wealthy Muslim brethren in Dubai bail them out. These people are playing both ends against the middle, and they deserve to be squashed in the process.

The fact is that Islam itself is fractured; it is by no means a united front. Allow these fractures to be evident.

I (and I think I speak for a a lot of the American people) am tired of funding these scoundrels, while their Muslim brothers, who display obscene amounts of wealth, stand idly by as though they are helpless.

This would be a time for Obama to show some testicular fortitude and stop this generations-old practice of playing the American patsy.

While I would applaud this action, I have no allusions that it will become reality.

Hamas Rejects Peace, Chooses More Jew Killing Instead

Mr. "Too Much Judaizing" in a contemplative moment
Hamas leader rejects compromise, peace with Israel

GAZA CITY — The top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip rejected compromise with Israel in a fiery speech Wednesday, a day after gunmen killed four Israelis.

In an address to Hamas members, Gaza strongman Mahmoud Zahar said the movement would resist peace efforts and criticized the Palestinian president for joining the negotiations.

"Today marks the start of direct negotiations between someone who has no right to represent the Palestinian people and the brutal occupier, to provide a cover for Judaizing Jerusalem and stealing the land," Zahar said.
Lest we not forget, Hamas is the very organization that so many "moderate Muslims" (such as Imam Rauf of "Ground Zero Mosque" fame) refuse to name as a terrorist organization.

News Of The Weird

Pegging the Creepymeter:

Zsa Zsa Gabor husband wants to plastinate wife's body

The German husband of ailing 93-year-old Hollywood actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor said he wanted preserve her body by plastination after she dies, the Bild newspaper reported on Thursday.

"My wife has always dreamt that her beauty would be immortal," Frederic von Anhalt said, "I would like to show the plastinated body of Zsa Zsa Gabor in the context of a scene in one of her films."
No offense to the nearly dead, but I think that ship sailed some time ago.

The Mirage of Moderate Islam

I have been writing in this space for some six years now, and during that time, I have oft asked the question; "where are the voices of moderate Muslims?" Clearly, if any other religion was tied to the violence and destruction that has come to define Islam, there would be a stampede of denunciation on the part of "moderates" in an effort to separate themselves from those violent actions. That stampede has not been forthcoming. In fact, there has been nary a murmur of discontent with Islamic terrorism when one considers that there are upwards of 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world.

In his article entitled "Why Islamic Moderates Are So Scarce" , Joshua Gilder poses this very question:
As past statements of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf [the builder of the proposed "Ground Zero Mosque] continue to surface, many Americans have concluded that the would-be builder of a mosque at Ground Zero is lying when he calls himself a “moderate” representative of his faith. The more disturbing possibility, however, is that he’s telling the truth — that Rauf is indeed the voice of mainstream Islam.

One indication is the resounding silence from the rest of the Islamic community. If that community were truly moderate — as we in the West understand the term — one might expect it to distance itself from a man who blames the U.S. for the 9/11 attacks, says we have more innocent blood on our hands than al-Qaeda, and refuses to disown the genocidal agenda of Hamas.

A few brave Muslim individuals have indeed come out against the mosque, but they are exceptions. Where are the large numbers of Muslims who find Rauf’s statements offensive? Where are their organizations and institutions? Why aren’t they weighing in to repudiate Rauf and his apparent aims?

It’s a common problem. Each time some new offense is perpetrated in the name of Islam — whether it’s the latest suicide bombing in a public square or a woman’s being beaten and mutilated by her own family — it is mostly Western leaders and the press who voice their disapproval. The more one looks for the larger Muslim community to denounce the violence, the more “moderate Islam” seems to vanish like a mirage in the desert.
Indeed. Mr. Gilder goes on to reference books on this question, and the unsettling conclusion they reach:
Why this is so — what happened to moderate Islam and what sort of hope we may have for it in the future — is the subject of Robert Reilly’s brilliant and groundbreaking new book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind. Reilly is a veteran of the Reagan White House, director of the Voice of America under George W. Bush, a board member of the Middle East Media Research Institute, and a frequent contributor to numerous national publications. He has made a deep dive into Muslim thought and history to discover the sources of the present Islamic condition.

The result is anything but dry. Closing is a page-turner that reads almost like an intellectual detective novel. It is among those few brave books on Islam — others would include Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations and Andrew McCarthy’s recent The Grand Jihad — that should be read by anyone who wants to understand one of the most fundamental causes of conflict in the 21st century.

Reilly does in fact locate the elusive moderate Islam — back in the 8th and 9th centuries, when the rationalist Mu’tazilites dominated Islamic thought under Caliph al-Ma’mun. The period is often referred to as the “golden age of Islam,” when that civilization produced some of its highest achievements in philosophy and science. It didn’t last. In 849, the second year of the reign of Caliph Ja’afar al-Mutawakkil, the Mu’tazilites were overthrown. Holding Mu’tazilite beliefs became a crime punishable by death, and the decidedly anti-rationalist Ash’arites soon came to dominate the faith, as they would continue to do, in one form or another, through the modern era.

What makes Closing so compelling is Reilly’s ability to tie seemingly arcane questions of Islamic theology to many of the characteristics of Islamic civilization that we in the West find so hard to fathom. Fundamentally, Ash’arism was a rejection of “natural law” and reason in favor of an all-powerful God of pure will and power. The idea of an ordered universe that behaves according to certain ordained laws — whether moral or physical — would have been understood by the Mu’tazilites. For the Ash’arites, this was blasphemy, an outrage against God’s omnipotence.

In the language of philosophy, this way of looking at the world is known, somewhat confusingly, as “voluntarism.” To quote Reilly, it “holds that God is the primary cause of everything and there are no secondary causes. There is no causal mediation. Therefore, what may seem to be ‘natural laws,’ such as the laws of gravity, physics, etc. are really nothing more than God’s customs or habits, which He is at complete liberty to break or change at any moment.”
This philosophy conflicts so completely with Western thought, that one must wonder if a "middle ground" can even be found. Mr. Gilder concludes:
While Christianity recognizes the possibility of miracles, when God intervenes to supersede natural law, in Islam every nanosecond is the functional equivalent of a miracle, the result of God’s divine act. Thus there is no law of gravity, only God’s will, determining moment by moment that the apple will fall from the tree. Neither is there any morality, no objective good and evil as we in the West would see it, only the arbitrary decrees of an all-powerful God. There is no “truth that is written in our hearts,” only the truths that are written in the Koran, which could just as well be otherwise if such were the whim of God. As Ibn Hazm pronounced in the 11th century, “He judges as He pleases, and whatever He judges is just. . . . If God the Exalted had informed us that He would punish us for the acts of others . . . all that would have been right and just.”

The problem, one might say, is obvious. In science, the repudiation of natural law meant the explicit denial of cause and effect. No wonder that the rise of the Ash’arites coincided with the decline of a once-vibrant Islamic intellectual culture after the 13th century. And no wonder that societies that exalt the power and arbitrary will of God to the exclusion of reason can hardly understand, let alone embrace, modern democratic institutions, which are founded, as our Declaration of Independence makes clear, in the self-evident and enduring truths of natural law.

Nor can we be surprised that such cultures endorse institutionalized domestic violence or rampant terrorism and the murder of innocents. As hard as it is for the secular Left to accept, Western culture is founded on and steeped in the Judeo-Christian assumption that our innate understanding of what is right is a direct reflection of God’s goodness and justice as reflected in His universal law, to which even He adheres. We make a mistake when we assume other cultures are necessarily speaking the same moral language.

Is there a possibility that Islam can find its way back to the root philosophies of its golden age? There are those within Islam who want to, but — like the voices raised in opposition to the mosque — they are lonely, even threatened, outposts within their faith. One thing Reilly’s account makes clear: Only when we move beyond the common platitudes of our contemporary political discussion and begin to deal with Islam as it really is — rather than the fiction that it is the equivalent of our Western culture dressed up in a burqa — will we be able to help make progress in that direction.
So, what does this leave us with? It leaves us with the fact that Islam is not comprised not of an enlightened majority and a small benighted minority, but quite the opposite. It leaves us with the fact that the "religion of peace" is no more than a projection of western philosophy upon people to whom "peace" is synonymous with subjugation.

In short, it leaves us with a problem that's far worse than we ever thought.

Al Gore Inspires Terrorist Hostage Taking, Man Dies In Process

Well, it's basically true, isn't it?
Al expelling CO2
James Jay Lee wasn't a stranger to the Discovery Channel employees he terrorized Wednesday with a gun and with what appeared to be makeshift bombs strapped to his chest and back.

Lee, a 43-year-old California man with a seemingly religious fervor for his environmental causes, had a history of targeting the channel for its programming, most notably in a 2008 protest in front of the channel's Silver Spring, Md., headquarters, where 1,900 employees work. On that day, the protest included tossing wads of cash in the air, and it ended in his arrest.

But web postings show Lee was increasingly obsessed with civilization's "filth" and the problem of over-population, which he blamed on "parasitic human infants." That obsession ended Wednesday afternoon when police shot and killed him to end a nearly four-hour hostage standoff inside the Discovery headquarters. Lee's three hostages escaped safely.
Oh, and the Al Gore Connection?
Lee said he started his crusade after being laid off from a job in San Diego. He also appears to have been inspired by books by the environmental novelist Daniel Quinn, notably Quinn's "Ishmael." He singled out pages of that novel in his manifesto, saying that Discovery should create programming based on its message. He said he also was inspired by Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."
OK, I'll stipulate that Al Gore's intention was not to inspire this nutbag to do what he did, but his actions underscore the "inconvenient truth" that eco-terrorism is a reality, and over-heated rhetoric (and the abject refusal to even debate the issue)concerning the imminent destruction of the planet provides ample fuel for those who see themselves as "saviors of the world".

As for James Lee, I guess he accomplished his goal: there's one less "parasite" on his beloved planet.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Open Gay Pedophilia Is Rampant In Afghan, Islamic Culture

"You had me at Allahu Akbar"
Is anyone really surprised about Afghanistan's dirty little secret?
Western forces fighting in southern Afghanistan had a problem. Too often, soldiers on patrol passed an older man walking hand-in-hand with a pretty young boy. Their behavior suggested he was not the boy's father. Then, British soldiers found that young Afghan men were actually trying to "touch and fondle them," military investigator AnnaMaria Cardinalli told me. "The soldiers didn't understand."

All of this was so disconcerting that the Defense Department hired Cardinalli, a social scientist, to examine this mystery. Her report, "Pashtun Sexuality," startled not even one Afghan. But Western forces were shocked - and repulsed.

For centuries, Afghan men have taken boys, roughly 9 to 15 years old, as lovers. Some research suggests that half the Pashtun tribal members in Kandahar and other southern towns are bacha baz, the term for an older man with a boy lover. Literally it means "boy player." The men like to boast about it.
The sexual repression, and codified persecution of women, within Islamic societies is not only stifling, it is unnatural. When one is surrounded by barbarism and the unreasonable religious restrictions placed on mankind's most basic of needs, one should expect barbaric solutions to satiate those needs. What is repulsive to a healthy society is considered normal is a sick one.

Make no mistake, Islam is, indeed, at the root of this sickness:
Sociologists and anthropologists say the problem results from perverse interpretation of Islamic law. Women are simply unapproachable. Afghan men cannot talk to an unrelated woman until after proposing marriage. Before then, they can't even look at a woman, except perhaps her feet. Otherwise she is covered, head to ankle.

"How can you fall in love if you can't see her face," 29-year-old Mohammed Daud told reporters. "We can see the boys, so we can tell which are beautiful."

Even after marriage, many men keep their boys, suggesting a loveless life at home. A favored Afghan expression goes: "Women are for children, boys are for pleasure." Fundamentalist imams, exaggerating a biblical passage on menstruation, teach that women are "unclean" and therefore distasteful. One married man even asked Cardinalli's team "how his wife could become pregnant," her report said. When that was explained, he "reacted with disgust" and asked, "How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean?"

That helps explain why women are hidden away - and stoned to death if they are perceived to have misbehaved. Islamic law also forbids homosexuality. But the pedophiles explain that away. It's not homosexuality, they aver, because they aren't in love with their boys.
The sad truth is that this practice is not restricted to Afghanistan; it is a common practice in Islamic countries, and the more fundamentalist the country, the more pervasive the pedophilia.

Much like the unrelenting violence and brutality, as well as the horrific treatment of women, the widespread practice of pedophilia is glossed over by those who who defend Islam as "just another religion". It's not. It is a monstrous ideology, wrapped in a religion and drenched with the blood and agony of countless innocents.

These aren't random acts of individuals; these are the acts substantial populations of countries that have been seduced by unspeakable perversions in the name of Islam.

What kind of society has so little regard for the gift of life that they gladly sacrifice theirs, and sometimes that of their children, in the interest of taking the lives of innocents?

What kind of society has so little regard for their sons that they gladly allow them to become objects of sexual gratification for adult men?

What kind of society has so little regard for women, that they engage in genital mutilation, beatings, stonings, honor killings and the institutionalized persecution of their daughters, wives and mothers?

Islam is a scourge, with violence, brutality and deviance at it's heart. It could certainly be correctly argued that Christians as well as Jews have also engaged in violence, brutality and moral deviance at points in their long history. The difference is that both Christians and Jews abandoned their religious warfare centuries ago, while Muslim violence continues on a daily basis. As for the depravity of pedophilia, this is no moral lapse of a few individuals; it's emblematic of the toxicity of Islam.