"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours." -Sir Charles Napier
BigEarth of New Mexico sez, The warmest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great national moment, reserve their neutrality.
Bill Whittle's mom sez, If you can’t say anything of deep and meaningful scientific or political import that is not supported by fact, reason, historical precedent and in-depth step-by-step logical analysis then don’t say anything at all!
:: Wednesday, November 27 ::
"NOT IN MY BACKYARD!"
J. A. Norland does a great job dissecting a Jerusalem Post article about the Nativity terrorists. Think again about how the Arabs, with incomprehensible wealth, allow Palestinian refugees to live in squalor.
:: michael Wednesday, November 27, 2002 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, November 26 ::
A STAR IS (RE)BORN
Many in Russia are alarmed at Vladimir Putin's resurrection of the Red Star as the symbol for the Russian Military. The Russian defense minister defends the decision, "Our fathers and grandfathers went to battle with the star."
It is a fair defense, I think, not just because I recently viewed the sacrifices aboard K-19, The Widowmaker, and am conscious of the Kursk, but because I am sympathetic to the many millions who labored for a Mother Russia whose communist leaders robbed them of their souls, a regime that I am convinced is gone for good, even with the lingering red star. I think it is acceptable for these people to have their fathers and grandfathers recognized as valuable as opposed to erased. In an odd connection, the value of these people is well illustrated in an old First Things article called "The Godlessness that Failed."
Now someone may say this argument could be used to justify the reinstating of the Nazi swastika should the Germans prefer, and I am on the record below condemning the German embassy in Tel Aviv holding a ceremony honoring its war dead. I am also well aware that the Communists were actually worse than the Nazis, remembering that Stalin's "Agricultural Policy" alone outdid the Nazis in murder by triple.
The difference is that the Russian people actually did accomplish some things, particularly in space and aeronautics. And they fought for the homeland, not to commit genocide because they couldn't accept blame for their own problems. (With that thought in mind, keep an eye on the Arabs - click here and scroll to "Fascism Today")
So let the Russians have their star reborn, but please keep Putin away from Michael Jackson.
There was a lot of discussion yesterday about this proof of Osama's voice and letter and the promise President Bush made to capture him dead or alive. I am not at all surprised to learn of his survival. There was time to get out of the way. And how many millions over there would sell their mothers into prostitution just to safekeep him? The president, I think, made a mistake with that promise, but what else was he supposed to say, and, oh, isn't there still time to keep that promise? And really, if the FBI still cannot find Eric Rudolph, then what could be at all surprising about not finding Osama in the Hindu Kush?
I am confused by it, however. Bin Laden gave analysts the impression of not being well-connected to the world after his 2001 interview. So how did this reference to the Kyoto Treaty get in there? Did he really write that, or was it ghost-written?
Christopher Johnson rants about the US Mint and those state commemorative quarters. Personally, I like the program because the coins may teach a few Americans something about their nation's geography, and it is an indication that the states' distinguishing characteristics still matter. What they teach on the small side of a coin, however, can clearly indicate whether the party responsible for the design has its own appreciation of history or a sense of lurid political correctness.
I was absolutely amazed that Massachusetts allowed the patriot with a rifle. I was very pleased with the Wright Brothers' flight on North Carolina's. I snorted at Ohio, with its Carolina envy, subsequently putting the First Flight on theirs as well, and disappointed in Indiana choosing a race car over the Jackson Five. Vermont would have done well to put Sen. Jim Jeffords on the other side of the coin.
I know there is nothing original about the title, but it does represent how our country has fallen over itself to prove we are not waging war against another religion, a religion whose followers in the last day marched the streets of Kaduna yelling, "Miss World is sin" as they destroyed property and committed murder. Mosques and churches were burned and bystanders were stabbed and set alight. Necklacing, execution by burning a fuel-soaked tire around the victim's head (a favorite of Winnie Mandela and Haiti's Aristide), was witnessed. All this in response to a newspaper article which claimed Muhammed would have chosen a wife from the Miss World contestants.
It brings to mind the Muslim reaction to Falwell's remark that Muhammed was a terrorist, when in India they responded with attacks on Hindus. Eight were killed, over fifty injured. Iranian clerics issued a fatwa, a death sentence on Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Franklin Graham.
It brings to mind protests against racism in Los Angeles (the tenth anniversary of which was celebrated by the mainstream media this year), where protestors destroyed property, committed murder, and especially targeted the Koreans as they destroyed their own South Central neighborhood in the name of fighting racism.
But I digress. The Miss World thing is very screwed up, scheduled to happen next month in Nigeria, where Sharia Islamic law controls the north and has sentenced Amina Lawal, among others, to be stoned for adultery. Considering the role of women in Islam, I cannot see what was incorrect in what was written about Muhammed taking a beautiful wife.
I woke up to snow this morning, just a heavy dusting, but still a surprise. It is so lovely how, before sunrise, you can see it. On Tuesday morning I got up even earlier to go duck hunting with a neighbor for the first time in many years. We floated down the French Broad River here in the North Carolina mountains and watched a spectacular sunrise. We saw five beavers, four deer, three otters, two ducks, and one heron that flew ahead of us for most of the trip. Eventually, we saw a whole flock if herons.
As I went to my kitchen, I walked on the leaves of Fall that had blown into my house overnight because I didn't shut the door. No snow inside, though.
:: michael Friday, November 22, 2002 [+] ::
:: Thursday, November 21 ::
SOMETHING NEW IN EXPLOSIVES
Violent Muslim extremists (not the radio listeners of Tom Daschle's fantods - see below), just hit a Jerusalem bus largely occupied with very young students. Debka File reports a new type of explosive has been used which worsens the suffering of its victims. This recalls the problems reported in stopping the bleeding of surviving shrapnel victims. The screws, bolts, and shredded metal the Palestinians used in their suicide bombs had been dipped in rat poison before bomb assembly so victims would continue to bleed even after being sewn up.
This means after his party's recent embarrassing defeat, he still hasn't learned to come up with anything original. It was President Clinton who in 1995 blamed "loud and angry voices heard over the airwaves in America" for the Oklahoma City bombing. (That wasn't the only time Clinton revealed his fear of Limbaugh - "And there's no truth detector!")
Recalling an old Paglia column declaring Elizabeth Dole "not man enough to be President", Daschle, if anything, is by comparison less a man than either Dole or new House Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi. With all the talk declaring Vermont's turncoat Senator Jim Jeffords the biggest loser in the recent election, Daschle seems to covet the title. Hell, right now he wouldn't even be an acceptable sugar daddy for David Brock.
:: michael Wednesday, November 20, 2002 [+] ::
I WOULD HAVE PICKED A HYDROFOIL INSTEAD
There is talk on the web about an organized effort by certain Christians to save the environment. The article is being passed around by many who find this laughable for various reasons and by others who find the idea a surprise because they haven't noticed that Christian environmentalism, while not a concern of all Christians, is nothing new. Tony Campolo's How to Rescue the Earth Without Worshipping Nature was the first title to come to mind, and theology/ecology writer Paul Santmire has been on top of the subject for over thirty years.
Coincidentally, Andrew Sullivan has a funny way of dealing with the mystery of "What Would Jesus Drive?":
One theory is that Jesus would tool around in an old Plymouth because "the Bible says God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden in a Fury." But in Psalm 83, the Almighty clearly owns a Pontiac and a Geo. The passage urges the Lord to "pursue your enemies with your Tempest and terrify them with your Storm." Perhaps God favors Dodge pickup trucks, because Moses' followers are warned not to go up a mountain "until the Ram's horn sounds a long blast." Some scholars insist that Jesus drove a Honda but didn't like to talk about it. As proof, they cite a verse in St. John's gospel where Christ tells the crowd. "For I did not speak of my own Accord..." Meanwhile, Moses rode an old British motorcycle, as evidenced by a Bible passage declaring that "the roar of Moses' Triumph is heard in the hills." Joshua drove a Triumph sports car with a hole in its muffler: "Joshua's Triumph was heard throughout the land." And, following the Master's lead, the Apostles car pooled in a Honda... "The Apostles were in one Accord."
:: michael Wednesday, November 20, 2002 [+] ::
Then there is France, whose 5 million Muslim population and experience with North African Muslim terrorism guarantees its anti-Israel position, whether or not its Ambassador to England openly called Israel "that shitty little country". Recently surveyed, the French determined Israel to be the world's number two threat to world peace. The French were subsequently thanked with a suicide boat ramming a la USS Cole.
The very recent mass murder of left-wing Jews in Israel also raises this question. There are two ways of looking at the matter: the view that a Jew's sympathy means nothing and the annihilation of all Jews and every trace of Israel is the true goal is the of the enemy, and then the Kibbutz' own mind-boggling view that the enemy should still have what it wants. Either way, why does anyone side with them?
oooh - They think they heard his voice, they think hospitals in San Francisco are a target today. Every day it's malls or bridges, and now Osama is alive. Does anyone really want to shelter him? Isn't he broke by now? Shouldn't we be hearing the names of the rest of Al-Qaeda who are likely more dangerous?
EVERY WAR A CIVIL WAR, NO WAR A CIVIL WAR... SOMEBODY DECIDE
Correct me if I heard it wrong, but during his Fox interview this morning, I heard war photographer Peter Howe say, "War has changed, civilians are the target." He was making a point about the evolution of war photography, but the statement struck me as something generated in part by an emotional (and incorrect) opinion of war.
The past year's news coverage of the war in Afghanistan has been reporting rather exact numbers of civilian dead. Think about that. Civilian dead in past wars have been so numerous that we only have estimates. Our precision has so greatly improved that we are now able to actually count the dead. The mentality of Howe's remark is what is behind the hysterical accounts of the "massacre" in Jenin, with 56 dead, not 500, not tens of thousands, and half of that 56 were militants that were hiding among the civilians.
If I had to choose, HAD to choose between reading one of these two when stranded on an island, I might actually go with Maureen. At least with her, there are episodes of originality, even if at the expense of reporting (no one before her said anything about "Lemon Fizzes on the banks of the Euphrates").
For all the bitching I do about weathermen getting the forecast consistently wrong and still having a paying job, my respect for them just increased.
She has written in the past about how smart women could not find mates for being too intimidating, even though Michael Douglass leaving her for Catherine Zeta-Jones doesn't fit the profile........ but, with no luck for Dowd in Riyadh, Moyers must surely think he is smart enough for the role. Somebody give him her number!
Canadian blogger Damian Penny beat me to an excellent reflection on the importance of what the veterans have done and do, writing, "Were it not for our veterans, I wouldn't be writing this, and you wouldn't be reading it."
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
James Taranto's Best of the Web highlights:
A story in the Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, warns that "even those who applauded Sunday's strike said in interviews Tuesday that it is sure to inflame militant Muslims." Well yeah, that's the whole idea!
Taranto's previous page , as noted by alarmingnews.com reports an amazing sense of Minnesotan justice based on a complete inability to understand history:
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has an editorial in defense of Yaser Hamdi, the Baton Rouge, La.-born Saudi man captured as an enemy combatant in Afghanistan. "Hamdi's plight recalls the days of the Japanese internment camps--the shame of World War II," opines the Strib. "Back then, having the wrong ethnicity was enough to justify indefinite lockup. These days, it seems, being caught on the wrong battlefield is enough to scotch due process." You better believe it is.
...How about the wrong side of the battlefield? And it would help to remember that it was FDR who ordered the lock-up of American citizens with Japanese heritage under the adamant protest of J. Edgar Hoover (but he liked to wear ladies' clothing so nevermind).
Now there's hope, if you don't have to actually kill Jews to be a martyr, you can spare everyone the trouble and just blow yourself up in the comfort of your own explosives lab.
Better there than in Russia, where the dead terrorists are reported to be wrapped in pigskin before burial. ....whoa. The Russians are known for dealing harshly with terrorists, who may be more strongly persuaded to retreat by this new tactic than when their families' homes are bulldozed after suicide bombings.
Tonight's dinner table seated a lone conservative. The conversation started early with a remark about someone being so right-wing his bumper sticker reads, "Deport Peter Jennings". This person was described as being "way over there." Then the blessing was augmented by calls for peace and denouncements of war. It was assumed by the people who started this that I think as they do. In such situations I choose to listen more than talk (which I should do more often anyway), especially when my mother is involved and concerned that I may be controversial, lest I end up like Bill Paxton's character in The Last Supper.
After the talk followed that lead, I began to hear how the Bush Administration, going along with the military-industrial complex, has a specific goal of world conquest. (This agenda was discussed without question while the absence of a second equal superpower (like the Soviet Union) was bemoaned.) This is a theory I have not heard since a year ago when a Rastafarian lectured me on the Bush family being the "seed of /shay-tahn/".
Now before I give in to temptation and categorize these fine people as left-wing and "way over there" I have to deal with the far right-wing theory that it is in fact the Jews who want to dominate and control the world. then there is that gray area of ideology that preaches the existence of an Illuminati, like we saw in "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider".
Well, I stayed quiet and waited for Israel to come up. It didn't. However, talk blaming the Roman Catholic Church for complete failure to help Europe's Jews in WWII was discussed until we got to Martin Luther and the awful things he wrote of the Jews. It struck me how a man blessed with the wisdom and the guts to face Rome and spearhead the Protestant Reformation missed the blessings of additional wisdom of knowing how to regard a people as special to God as the Jews. Further, the Apostles were Jews and observed the Sabbath as they preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. How did the Church miss this?
But it did occur to me exactly how to defend Israel without saying the "I" word: by defending the Jews. Now for all these people who say they like Jews but not Israel, how do they deal with the wisdom of another great reformer by the name of Martin Luther ......... King, Jr.