"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!
:: Monday, December 30 ::
NO BOXING IN NABLUS
Yesterday's New York Times gave front-page space (their op-ed page) to the extremely disadvantaged boxer from Nablus who is an Olympic hopeful. The article makes a reference to the Palestinian uprising in the same sentence as the "Israeli occupation". And in what seems to be a second attempt at suggesting cause and effect, the article reports:
The suicide bombers began setting out from Nablus — more than from any other city — and the Israeli paratroopers arrived.
Then, another suggestion of cause and effect:
In centimeters — the measurement he uses — Mr. Abu Kishek stands at 181. That number, he notes, is the same as that of the United Nations resolution that partitioned Palestine between Jews and Arabs in 1947. It was after Arab states rejected that split and went to war with the new Jewish state that his grandparents became refugees, losing their lands in what is now Israel's coastal plain. There, his family once lived like kings, he said.
The Charlotte Observer also printed the story, edited to one-fourth the length of the original. the writer neglected to report whether the grandparents were among those who had a choice to become Israeli citizens, chose to leave, or were forced out by the Arab High Command.
"There, his family once lived like kings, he said." This statement echos the description of the Iraqi Jews who left Baghdad 50 years ago, except for the obvious difference of Arab persecution of Jews instead of Arabs starting war. Reported also on Saturday:
They talk about the good life they once had, with spacious homes perched on riverbanks in Baghdad, important jobs and sand so rich in oil that they could light a fire by digging a small hole and striking a match.
They are Iraqi and Jewish, and they came to Israel half a century ago to escape violent attacks and killings targeting Jews. Now, many eagerly await an American war. If Saddam Hussein is ousted from power, they say, they could visit their childhood homes once more.
Something else about Nablus came to mind when reading about its civilized, cosmopolitan description: the first anniversary of the start of the intifada, celebrated with an art show featuring reproductions of suicide bombing scenes, complete with severed limbs and red paint splattered on the walls, and in the Sbarro bombing reproduction, slices of pizza and "Kosher" printed in Hebrew on the Sbarro sign.
In depressed, authoritarian Nablus, it's too bad they don't see the cause and effect as well as even the New York Times apparently does.
Have you thought about the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ? My dad was terribly bothered by a pair of very good friends who agreed with Thomas Jefferson:
The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.
I never learned his reason for his discomfort, but I have my own reasons for believing not just in the miracle, but in its absolute necessity.
Oddly, there are people who consider themselves "creationists" and will give the Supreme Being credit for making the universe, but seem to forget what they believe when it comes to the creation of a single body. They argue that the Hebrew from Prophecy was not correctly translated, or that "virgin" was a word for young girl.
Romans 6:23 reports, "..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,.." All. The New Testament also stresses the flawlessness of the person Jesus Christ, that he was perfect in his life on Earth and did not sin. Thus, a suitable sacrifice for the all who have sinned.
I Peter 1:23 describes the seed of life. "..having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever."
The fall of man occured not when Eve sinned by disobeying God in Eden, but when Adam sinned and disobeyed God in Eden. His seed, then corruptible, was passed on. Jesus had to be of the incorruptible seed of the Holy Spirit to qualify as a redeemer, to be able to stand in our place and suffer our penalties in order for God to be satisfied that justice had been served.
If Jesus were of Joseph's seed, he would have been unqualified. The Virgin Birth is an essential, and very exciting miracle. It fulfills ancient Prophecy, it is a testament to God's creative power, and it highlights His absolute (and frightening) justice and the incomprehensible love that God has for us.
This headline was a surprise. I thought I had read earlier headlines reporting Israel's declaration that they would fight if attacked. They already showed remarkable restraint in the Gulf War, so I was actually looking forward to them demonstrating their capabilities, not that they haven't so very well already.
Senior U.S. officials told Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz that the U.S. has decided that Israel will not be involved in the war against Iraq even if Iraq launches a missile attack against Israel.
Instead, the United States will provide for Israel's security should such an attack take place.
Then this in the article:
In Gaza, PA officials criticized the Bush administration for failing to adopt the roadmap plan. The delay causes "a political vacuum in the region," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday.
Que? Do they even know what a political vaccuum is? They will when Arafat is gone, and Fatah will need that map to light the Molotov cocktail they throw at Hamas.
Has anyone noticed that you can see Israel's borders from space? I noticed it in a space shuttle photo of the Holy Land in a coffee table book at the house of a pro-Palestinian friend. Yes, the Israelis have offered their technology to make the deserts green to the Arabs, who were too proud and hateful to adopt Jewish Ideas.
As environmental consciousness rises in Israel, let's see how their environmental voices behave. Here, with greens, socialists, and the anti-Israeli crowd typically on the same political team, could there possibly be an honest self-re-examination when they watch democratic, capitalist Israelis keep their emotions under control while making environmental advances?
The second Lord of the Rings film rocks. I actually had a buzz after watching it on opening night. I have misspoken a few times and called it the Twin Towers, which made me wonder if the sensitive people were going to do their thing.
Unfortunately, yes, the niggling has already started, from the crowd that exposed the racism in Star Wars.
The Belligerent Bunny Blog reports on the US Air Force's Agent Defeat Weapon and its considering the best way to target chemical weapons storage facilities, and why bunnies are not good pets for children. Scroll down to "Arsenal of Democracy."
Yesterday as I drove west across North Carolina, and as talk radio continued to blather about the Lott thing, I decided to find a classical music station. The radio dial no longer lights up, so I don't know where I stopped, except that it was at the sound of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, played entirely with horns. No strings. I tuned in when "Winter" was playing, the rapid fire of the allegro non molto in horns was simply amazing. How do horn blowers do that?
When it was finished, they went straight to Christmas music without naming the conductor. I don't like good things being messed with, which is why I never order chocolate creme brulee, but this is an exception. Does anyone know whose version it is?
It's settled. The Republican party has been racist since 1954. NPR's balanced report aired a tape of Condoleeza Rice speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2000, where she spoke of her father's being accepted by the Republicans after he was refused by the Democrats in 1952. However, Nixon in 1954 appealed to Southerners, oh, well, I see.
Also, Ronald Reagan referred to states' rights. Republicans speak at Bob Jones University, repeatedly. Jesse Helms expressed his disapproval of awarding jobs based on race, and George W. Bush dragged James Byrd to his death in Texas by opposing hate crimes law.
-You know, Reagan was probably thinking of unfunded mandates, the likes of which was offically rebuked by the Southern state of Colorado's historic "seize-and-desist" declaration in 1994.
-"Republican" John McCain took care of Bob Jones with his "Catholic Voter Alert" in the 2000 primary campaign.
-Helms' karma delivered him neuropathy, prompting him to apologize for his non-response to the AIDS that the CIA introduced to kill off the black population.
-And W. - well, we're waiting. Giving a black woman one of the most powerful positions in the world, and the office of Secretary of State to a black man is a nice first step, but they're not the right kind of black.
:: michael Wednesday, December 18, 2002 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, December 17 ::
BLATANT - IT'S ALIMENTARY
In the post below I accuse the Floridian Supremes of "blatant" conduct. Blogger Moira Breen quotes blogger Susanna Cornett on when to use blatant and when to use flagrant. Check her comment section for a good Trent Lott remark.
If it helps, think about it this way: If you fart loud and long with a grin on your face while in the line at Wal-Mart, that's blatant. If you run off with your brother's wife, that's flagrant. And if you do both at the same time, well... that's just trashy.
After much talk, and consternation, about John Poindexter's mega-database idea for the Pentagon, an interesting thing happened this past week after a posse of geek-heroes gave him a memorable dose of his own.
The Supreme Court put the Bush administration on the spot Monday, asking for its views in a politically charged abortion case involving aggressive efforts to deter doctors from performing abortions.
The administration will consider whether a law that protects access to abortion clinics can be used to punish protesters who list doctors' personal information on the Internet and advertise doctors and clinic staff as "wanted" on posters.
I will be interested in how the Administration words this, and I do not think the Supreme Court is playing games with Bush. I like this interest they have in the opinion of the elected power. ( ! ) While millions still still stupidly complain about a court-appointed Presidency, this was the Supreme Court that overthrew the Florida Supreme Court-appointed Presidency for its blatant re-write of Florida election law.
When it comes to these protesters, and my sense of right and wrong, and my faith, I struggle with the fact that I do not like them, especially when they block access and when they intimidate by misusing public information. They give the opposition endless chances to play the abortion-doctor-murder card, even though in the last three decades there have been only seven.
Their obsession with stopping the legal practice by almost any means necessary overshadows the mainstream feminists' obsession with having abortion on demand, under any circumstance, no matter how late in term. It is the success of the feminists, and those who think like them, that led to the shameful necessity to pass a baby-born-alive protection law. Right there, that need, is the number one sign of our civilization's decline.
Joseph Norland has assembled numerous reports from the media just from December 15, listing the number of terrorists and plots foiled. He then explains how reason is creeping into the (potential) Palestinian leadership, and sites correct forecasts to this effect. It is an impressive blog, and will bring you up to date in a way that should change the way we look for (and at) news concerning the Jewish State.
I laughed out loud at William Birdthistle's essay, The Bejaysus Factory, in yesterday's Wall Street Journal (page W17), about Hollywood stars acting Irish roles.
Otherwise self-respecting actors have blundered through their "Irish" lines with an astonishing ineptitude. To the Hibernian ear, the on-screen results of American larynxes wrestling with a brogue could not be much worse if Arnold Schwarzenegger and Roberto Benigni teamed up to do play-by-play for a debutante's tea party.
As Mickey O'Neil, Mr. Pitt reveals the wondrous scope of his acting range, moving from his earlier turn as a pugilistic Irish lawbreaker whose accent is unrecognizable to a pugilistic Irish lawbreaker whose speech is wholly unintelligible.
Better they do that than presume to advise the President, or, worse, assume diplomatic missions (see below).
"As a father, an actor, a film-maker and patriot, my visit to Iraq is for me a natural extension of my obligation...to find my own voice on matters of conscience," Penn, once married to pop diva Madonna, said in a statement issued by the Institute of Public Accuracy.
"I have the privileged opportunity to pursue a deeper understanding of this frightening conflict," Penn said.
Who is his muse this time? Bonior? McDermott? Farrakahn?
Institute of Public Accuracy? Hmm.
As he visits the country that launched 39 scuds at Israel after stealing Kuwait, will he add up the palaces as he adds up the poverty?
So they're back to the dangerous days of travelling the Road to Jericho. Borrowing an idea from South Central L.A. in 1992, maybe they should put little signs in their store windows that say, "Palestinian Owned."
I am sure any offer of help from Israeli police would be turned down, just as the police in Guiliani's New York were rebuked by Sarandon, Sharpton, and Co. (After which Guiliani conceded and lowered the police presence; and they watched their violent crime rates soar.) Hell, blood donated by Israelis for Palestinians was refused (by the UN) because they didn't want Jewish blood. They waited for a shipment of Jordanian blood instead. You know they would rather have a crime wave than proven Jewish security.
And right there is a noteworthy difference - would underpaid police in Israel or the US make up by taking up a life of crime? No. They would find a better paying job in the private sector, the kind of private sector that citizens find... in Israel and the US!
:: ::Cross-posted in 'Comments' at Israpundit:: ::
Predictably, there are more columns than you want to read about Senator Lott and his big bad remark. This is one of those times when I choose to wait for the writers I respect before I formally opine. Jonah Goldberg is one such of the opinionated:
I was distracted by the opportunists in the opposition, snorting at the immediate overuse of the word 'racist', the fact that lie-monger Al Gore was one of the first to use it. And what?! - Marc Racicot of the Republican Party offers to pencil-in the Reverend Al (Tawana Brawley) Sharpton. Hell, why not schedule in Susan Sarandon at the same time and let her write a couple of hate-crime laws? Anyone who signed that petition, or meant to, should be qualified.
Dethroned Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is demanding a full explanation, while he has not offered us one on the threats he gets from talk-radio listeners. Anyone with any common sense knows that Lott was not calling for segregation. But Goldberg's reasons above and citing political stupidity are the real reason I agree Lott should go.
I can't help but be reminded of Senator Paul Wellstone's memorial service, which the Democrats turned into a campaign rally. Now they have taken the hundredth birthday celebration of an old statesman (who has repudiated his past) and turned it into a lynching of a political sort.
:: michael Wednesday, December 11, 2002 [+] ::
"If someone kills my Muslim brother, I can kill him."
This is not news: extremism in Saudi Arabia, the same Saudi Arabia who claims to disallow extremism. It is simply more evidence for the pile already collected.
When confronted with statements like these, Saudi officials say they're the views of a small minority. But they concede these views are being promoted by extremist religious teachers, and even in some school textbooks.
"If I can't target the enemy who did wrong, then I can sacrifice other people."
As Victor Davis Hanson put it in his article, "Our Enemies, the Saudis," in Commentary's July 2002 issue, "It may be true that the Saudis are neither Iraqis nor Iranians nor Libyans, but it is quite dangerous enough that they are Saudis."
He was just on Larry King speaking against war in Iraq, against the idea of invading and changing the Iraqi government. Is this because the (illegal) attempts by his administration to invade and change the government in Serbia had to resort to "Wanted" posters to capture Milosevic at the soccer stadium?
I first heard her speak at the Republican convention in 2000, and it was love at first sight. This article is a very good read about her life, her musical talent, her loyalty to the President, and her methods. It is her methods that I would like to learn. They must have something to do with knowing football as well as she does.
:: michael Monday, December 09, 2002 [+] ::
TOP NEWS STORIES ON THE TODAY SHOW THIS MORNING
-Shakeup in the Bush economic team, and a new pick from corporate America.
-AAA is accused by a grieving family of not doing its job.
-A six year-old is taking diet pills.
-Something about the Sopranos - what? The HBO show? Are they actually going to make me wait through those other stories to hear about the Sopranos?
Salmon Rushie was condemned by the Ayatollah for insulting Islam, and recently three prominent American Christian evangelists had fatwas issued against them for the same. Riots in India and Nigeria left hundreds dead and injured because they said their prophet was insulted, and people face execution in Iran for insulting Islam as well.
A toy company headquartered in Connecticut is selling dolls in the images of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Bush, and Blair. Security has been greatly heightened in the wake of subsequent death threats. Staff have been going to work armed.
The War Generation remembers where they were when it happened, and a later generation remembers where they were when JFK was assassinated, and for mine... we knew where we were when the shuttle Challenger exploded, until the terrorists gave us a truly unforgettable event. I was refreshed, however, that so many Americans could make the Pearl Harbor connection, compared to how many English can only think of the People's Princess.
:: michael Saturday, December 07, 2002 [+] ::
HUSSEIN'S LITTLE HELPERS
Canadian war protesters, in increasing numbers, are on their way to Iraq to volunteer as human shields against an American attack. Given our ever-improving accuracy in hitting targets, where exactly are they going to stand? Keeping in mind that Saddam has sheltered civilians in military targets before, will they stand with them?
Perhaps they can help the UN inspection team actually find the things Saddam is hiding by shielding them. Memo to Blix: The Canadian marks the spot.
In a related Canadian act, an MP named Carignan is sending taxpayer-funded Christmas cards with a photo of him with his arm around Yasser Arafat.
But the Canadians had better watch the people they support, for the Muslims have an odd way of expressing thanks. Just ask the French.
We went to see Michael Moore's film last night, and he has a message for you: YOU ARE STUPID. There is hardly a better example to stress the importance of being informed when hit with this kind of information, especially when it is mixed in an entertaining film that is as stylistically clever as this.
What bothers me especially is the quick, SouthPark-style cartoon history of the US. It is actually funny to someone who knows history and can take a joke, but to the ever-increasing surveyed who don't know their history, it is a dangerously inaccurate lesson. Moore repeatedly makes the trite NRA - KKK connection that I heard jokes about on Dangerfield's stage over fifteen years ago. (And he forgot to give Al Gore credit for that part of the writing.)
Moore compares the gun death statistics of other countries to ours in an unforgettable way, reporting 68 in England and over 11,000 in the US. In a tactic Clinton used, we are not told how many of those deaths are gang killings. With 30 tons of heroin consumed annually by British addicts and 900 organized crime gangs active in England, who believes their gun death rate is only 68? (Oh, an editing error left out England's increasing rate after tightened gun restrictions in the wake of Dunblane.)
He wheels a Columbine survivor into the K-Mart HQ to challenge them over the K-Mart bullets in the kids' bodies. If only the executive had responded, "Those are the killers' bullets, not K-Mart's," but she was probably distracted by the show he put on, wondering where she had seen it before... oh yeah - when the DNC wheeled out James Brady and Christopher Reeve for Clinton's re-election in 1996.
Moore will also tell you about the genocides of US foreign policy, scooping up Allende/Pinochet all over again, and misinforming you that the CIA trained bin Laden to fly planes into buildings. There is time for another Enron-Bush Adminstration connection (with the Enron that Bush refused to help when it tanked, the Enron that grew during the previous administration, and the Enron whose former independent director just hosted Al Gore to a lunch in China.)
And you get a headfull of little Kayla, and a rip-off of President Clinton's comments blaming the death on the NRA. (Oh, an editing error left out that the five year-old shooter's father was in jail for burglary, the mother was staying in a crackhouse, and that the gun was stolen.)
NRA president Charlton Heston unfortunately failed in his interview to read into Moore's intentions to make him look like a racist and give better answers. However, Moore's self-righteous little Kayla shrine-making at the end only brought back an image Moore criticized earlier, and reminiscent of William Hurt's staged tears in Broadcast News.
Rent this movie, it will test your knowledge while you watch.
Religious leaders in Chicago have written a letter to the President urging him to avoid war in Iraq.
Dear Mr. President:
Please don't bomb Saddam Hussein's Iraq. After all, he was the recent winner of the elections in Iraq, where he won the full support of the people with 100% of the vote. The Iraqi people spoke unanimously, even without the help of South Dakota Democrats. You will kill untold thousands of these people as you destroy the military installations he shelters them in.
You must consider the environmental damage as well. If you are bent on preventing him from continuing to gas his own people he will be forced instead to continue draining the wetlands they live in.
He can't go nuclear anytime soon, as you may remember the Zionist aggression that destroyed the nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981. Think about it. When the Chinese bought our nuclear weapons technology from the DNC, they got 25 years ahead in their program. It hasn't been 25 years since Osirak, and the Iraqis never got as far west as Los Alamos, they just got to Oklahoma City.
So he violated sixteen of the conditions he agreed to. Hell, the civil rights movement began with breaking the law.
Give peace a chance,
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, and its Useful Idiots,
The Christian and Jewish Leaders of Chicago, aka the People of the Book, aka the Worst of Created Beings