"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!
Good. We had better be spying on them. This world body has much success in giving the impression that it is the world's solution. We have people running for President who want UN approval for US action.
This is the same UN which ran from Iraq the day after the suicide bomber hit their Baghdad headquarters, the same UN which failed to enforce its 17 Security Council resolutions, the same UN which has a problem with a fence being built to keep out suicide bombers, and the same UN that has had Cuba, China, and Libya on the Human Rights Committee.
Spying on the UN's supreme Ghanaian is exactly what we need done to know exactly what the UN vision is.
ANTI-SUICDE BOMBER BUSES
I would be unsurprised if the UN found something wrong with these.
With universities so intolerant of conservatives on campus and turning out millions of undereducated graduates, after viewing the videotapes of anti-Israel and anti-American rallies, after witnessing the evolution of speech codes and the genuine Newspeak (the dismissal of established definitions), and being too-aware of the fanatic religion of anti-racism as the only acceptable religion on campuses (except for Islam), I welcome this shirt's statement.
Maybe, just maybe, the effect of such a message will give these mushy-minded masses of immature students some time to grow up and experience reality, the job market, and paying taxes.
:: michael Wednesday, February 25, 2004 [+] ::
A BLACK CARTER FOR HAITI?
No, not from this administration.
Al Sharpton is on his way to Haiti. Maybe when he gets there he can unite them by blaming their problems on the Jews.
THE PASSION OF CRITICS
And the media continue to mention those critics out there who say that Mel Gibson's movie will incite anti-Semitism. Who are these people, anyway? We already know most of them have been critical of a movie they haven't even seen. I am interested to know how many of them will see something quite different than they expected, but will not change their earlier charges. What percentage of these critics even really care about anti-Semitism? I'll bet most of them are the same ones accusing Israel of apartheid.
I was thinking, after reading most of, and enjoying quite a bit of, the Left Behind series: will this one film have more impact than those twelve books on the faithful and the potentially faithful? A lot of people substituted the series for Bible study, but will viewing this film be as good as a Bible study?
:: michael Wednesday, February 25, 2004 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 24 ::
STICKING TO VISION VS BUMPER STICKERS
The instant John Kerry seized on a trite slogan from an already-faded bumper sticker, calling for a regime change in Washington, I knew there was nothing beneath his thin, younger-looking skin.
I was about to turn off the TV when Tim Russert announced Nader's imminent announcement. Nader then expressed his "desire to retire our supremely elected president" and announced his decision to guarantee the re-election of that President.
Still, we tend to give Nader more credit then he may be due. If Gore had won his own state, he would have won the election. That is a big, big fact.
Many will scream this is just politics. Is it?
Professor Crystall should not lose her job because she is a liberal, anti-Israeli, or has feelings against those she deems "privileged."
She should lose her job because as a teacher she publicly defamed a student, specifically citing his skin color, sex, sexual orientation, and religion as what is wrong with that student, and what is behind his point of view, an opinion she mislabeled as threatening, hostile, hateful, and even violent.
She should lose her job as a teacher for the bad grammar, misspellings, and misuse of words with long-established definitions, as well as for irredeemable failure as a college professor to conduct a discussion of ideas.
Then, the war against double-standard rages on:
"Had Ms. Crystall substituted the word 'black' for 'white,' 'homosexual' for 'heterosexual' or 'Muslim' for 'Christian,' she would have been suspended or fired immediately," Jones wrote in a letter to university Chancellor James Moeser.
It is a good bet that Moeser, famous for calling mandatory Koran study "academic freedom" and for his administration's persecution of Christian organizations on UNC's campus, will do no more than offer empty statements like this one:
"At Carolina, our responsibility is to remain a vibrant intellectual community in which all viewpoints can be comfortably expressed and heard in an atmosphere of respect," he wrote. "Universities exist to promote the free exchange of ideas."
This from the administration that tried to force Christian fellowships to allow non-Christian leaders with a twisted diversity policy. Thank God for the current state of the US Justice Department. The last time I remember a Justice Department visit to North Carolina was when Janet Reno felt a team mascot, a squaw, violated civil rights. This time, hopefully, the established definitions "civil right" and "violation" will be put to correct use to give UNC badly needed corrective action.
Decades ago Senator Jesse Helms asked why North Carolina needed to build a zoo when all we had to do was build a fence around Chapel Hill.
Dr. Mike Adams of Wilmington tells yet another story about why that was a good question. From the UNC that brought us mandatory Koran study for incoming freshmen and demanded that Christian groups allow non-Christian leaders, a Professor Elyse Crystall overreacts to a comment in her classroom and proves why she has no more business teaching than Chancellor Moeser does chancellor-ing. From her e-mail to her students (click the paragraph to read the whole thing):
Inviting the recipients of her e-mail to get into the discussion, she makes the rules perfectly clear:
NO HATE SPEECH will be tolerated.
A quick Google search points to Prof. Crystall's position in the English department. Now go back to that e-mail, set aside the immaturity, the racist remark, the sexist remark, and the hostility to one's "religious tradition" and just look at the writing, the absence of capitalization, the punctuation errors, and the misspellings. Then look very carefully at the use of words:
what we heard thursday at the end of class constitutes "hate speech" and is completely unacceptable. it has created a hostile environment. i am deeply sorry and apologize to those of us who are now feeling that the classroom we share is an unsafe environment, for those of us who feel vulnerable or threatened. i will do my best to counter those feelings and protect that space from further violence.
While the school newspaper has nothing on this story, Adams is certain this is about a student referring to homosexuality as "disgusting".
Let's explore that... why would a young white male Christian say such a thing? Perhaps
1) He has scant experience with sexuality at this point in life, like many young college students.
2) He finds same-sex attraction incomprehensible because he does not experience it.
3) Like it or not, the body can do disgusting things, and exploiting those things for sexual gratification can disgust some people.
3) Visualizing male-male sex, depending on what image you have in your head, can arguably disgust some people.
4) Visualizing female-female sex, depending on what image you have in your head, can arguably disgust some people.
5) Visualizing male-female sex, depending on what image you have in your head, can arguably disgust (and it arguably disgusts Professor Crystall).
6) Seeing the sex act as a divine idea for creating new life (vagina-centric art on coffee house walls strongly suggests the Christians do not monopolize this view) can lend to a bad feeling about exploiting the act for personal gratification.
Perhaps Professor Crystall could have asked, "Why do you choose that word?" At that time, or in the next class, Crystall would have demonstrated some teaching skills and the student may have found a new way to word what he really meant to say.
Instead, Prof. Crystall shows she is incapable of intelligent conversation with her abuse of the words hate, hostile, unsafe, vulnerable, threat, and violence - especially violence. The mind reels back to Wilmington Principle Dr. Hahn, who deemed racist and punished a competent teacher for teaching the dictionary definition of the word niggardly.
Digging further, Professor Crystall's false teaching and overreaction is unsurprising when you look at what else she does with her time as a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli activist:
1) Petition to divest from Israel
2) Voices for Justice - "Performance art by four women recently returned from the occupied Palestinian territories"
That's enough to list right there, her advocacy of a people whose persecution of homosexuals and treatment of women makes Israel a preferred home. Israel - where there are gay rights and women's rights. Too bad Professor Crystall didn't stand in front of a bulldozer while she was over there, Rachel Corrie could use some company.
It was one of those days that remind you why you have a friendship with the person you are with. With ice and snow in the forecast, we got the right gear, drove to Black Mountain, and hiked in the amazingly correctly-forecast wintry mix for two and a half hours to the top of Greybeard. The ice stung our faces as it blew sideways, then we would cross over the ridges to snow. The conversation was deep. We shared, offered advice, covered some touchier topics, and ultimately agreed that women were to blame for all our troubles.
There we were, at the top, realizing that neither of us remembered a flask. We took a shortcut trail back down, for about an hour running most of the way. We had at the finish purged all our toxins from the preceding week, and it was time to go to the Town Pump bar and replace them.
This friend, a former Army Ranger, has a different outlook from me on many things, including what sometimes seems an outright contempt for Christianity. Still, in the forest, he remarked that there on the mountain deep into a trail, was his church. "All I have to do to hear God talk to me is to come here alone."
He might be surprised at just how strongly supported his remark is by Scripture: Be still, and know that I am God.
... ... ...
I happened to be dog sitting for a friend that day as well. Molly, a hyperactive and lesser-disciplined Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, rolled in dog poop. With no time to bathe a large dog, I towelled her off (not so bad after all) and squirted some Febreeze on her back where it was. It worked. My friends, some aghast at my use of a chemical weapon on a dog, could be encouraged by a true story by James Lileks:
I was unaware of the common Muslim superstition about pigs and Paradise until it was reported the Russians had wrapped the dead Chechen theater terrorists in pigskin. The idea - dissuade further terrorism by Islamists motivated to gain entry to Paradise by way of crime.
In Israel, there has been some discussion for a while to use similar psychological warfare against would-be suicide bombers... but there are the ancient Jewish prohibitions against swine that require examination. In the interest of life-saving:
But at the same time, this highlights something in the theological who's-right debate. What kind of a valid religion, honoring a valid god, with strict rules against idolatry, would be taken by a superstition as absurd as a no-pork-in-paradise policy? Is this, like the new teaching that getting trampled on holy ground gets one to heaven, not akin to idolatry?
What happened to Allah, most compassionate, most merciful?
Reminiscent of the Nobel Peace Prize for Yasser Arafat, the World Press Photo of the year 2003 shows a detained Iraqi man in a hood comforting his 4-year-old-son at a regroupment center for POW's near Najaf, Iraq.
Detained for what, do you suppose? Would he have anything in common with the current residents at Guantanamo Bay, the ones who were picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan? His shoes are still on, indicating he hasn't thrown them at an image of Saddam Hussein. Maybe, just maybe, he was a Ba'athist thug, but not in the eyes of this French photographer.
Are the chances now less that the son he holds will be raised to explode and murder a crowd of innocents. Will the freed flow of information in Iraq perhaps teach him that America and the Israelis are not to blame for his filthy clothes, or that Allah did not burn the shuttle on re-entry?
The exploding story about another Democrat and an intern is only entertaining to me in the sense that the Dean supporters are getting re-energized. These same people now have their chance to overthrow their old standards for Clinton and create new ones for Kerry in order to boost Dean.
Mrs. Heinz-Kerry's photos so far show her to be a strong, attractive woman that Kerry should be proud of, save for the reports that she has donated 4 million to the Tides Foundation, allied with its spun-off Tides Center.
Over 300 hijab-wearing students gathered on campus this Wednesday to denounce the French National Assembly's decision that could bring the dress-code law one step closer. "My veil is the way to paradise," read one banner in English. "Shame on you France," read another. "French democracy is false."
I am reeled back to the silent protests and sit-ins performed by those students who believed south Florida should have a re-vote in 2000, from which we got such intelligence as, "'It's a silent protest to represent the voters not heard across the state of Florida,' said Brad Francis, an 18-year-old Florida A&M University student. 'We will stay until we are heard.'''
Again, oddly, there is hope here: a week after we learned that dying on the holy ground of Mecca during the annual trampling at the Hajj is a way to Paradise, we now learn that the veil is a way as well. Perhaps as we keep adding to the list of non-violent ways to get these people to Paradise, we will have less of them dreaming of knocking on the door of heaven with the skull of a Jew and choosing to slaughter infidels to earn a Paradisiacal pass.
In the meantime, they can continue to hallucinate in the Arab Republic of Egypt about the democracy in France. The face of Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, on the nation's billboards since 1981, isn't coming down for a long, long time.
:: michael Wednesday, February 11, 2004 [+] ::
THE DESERTION OF PROOF
In the spirit of Bill Safire or James Kirkpatrick, Paul Greenberg all but says the last word on the verbal refuge of the false witness:
:: michael Wednesday, February 11, 2004 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 10 ::
THE STRANGE SYMPATHY FOR MURDERERS
Still in the wake of viewing Monster, which may or may not have been filmed with the intent to elicit sympathy for serial killer Aileen Carol Wuornos, as well as in the wake of the crimes of another Florida murderer, the - guess who? - Ninth Circuit has delayed the execution of convicted slasher Kevin Cooper.
Cooper was an escaped convict when arrested for the slashing and hacking murders of four people. While he meant to kill five, the eight year old whose throat he slit and whose body he hacked with a hatchet managed to survive. For nearly twenty years the courts have denied Coopers requests for re-testing DNA. The courts say there is no evidence of evidence tampering.
And in this election year, the former Lieutenant Governor of Masschusetts under Dukakis will have to rehearse his answers when Willie Horton's name is re-released from the Republican ammo chest.
It's 3pm and the semi-predicted snow is falling for real. I woke up to a dusting and have seen several more, but now it's really snowing.
Just for fun I go to weather.com to see what it says:
1. Cloudy and 34 degrees.
2. It also says "Snow early" but indicates snow beginning at 6pm.
3. Across the top of the screen flashes a winter weather advisory until 4 pm today.
4. After clicking the winter weather advisory, it warns that the advisory is in effect until 6am tomorrow.
It is actually 25 degrees at my house, which is, in fairness, 1000 feet higher than the city and sits on a mountain gap. However, my anger is directed at the fact that these people actually get a paycheck for this. Go back and re-read that list.
Snow early at 6pm?
Advisory until 4pm but early snow at 6pm?
An advisory summary expiring at 4pm, but in the details really expiring 14 hours later?
One of my least favorite TV news people is Rally Caparas, that guy who actually gets paid by CNN to report where the airport delays are. It is imaginable that anyone headed to the airport in stormy weather would need Rally's report as much as I need tomorrow's front page to tell me it snowed today. Still, the above nonsense from weather.com forces me to go a little more lightly on CNN's air traffic expert. Who's says I'm closed minded?
I went to the local independent movie theater last night to watch Monster, anticipating a film that would try to beg my sympathy for the famous and now-deservedly executed serial killer and prostitute Aileen Carol Wuornos. (Remember the rule - always name the serial killers by all three names.)
Charlize Theron did a disgustingly excellent job, and whatever she did to her body for this role has me ready for the soon-to-be notorious documentary about Morgan Spurlock's body through a 30-day period of eating nothing but food from McDonald's.
Director Patty Jenkins did no more to elicit sympathy from me than did Sister Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking, but anyone reacting more negatively would be wrong to draw comparisons to Bowling for Columbine, comparisons to which are currently being expressed about Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me, which will actually benefit the fast food industry. Memo to Spurlock: shun these comparisons if you wish to not look like Wesley Clark.
Back to Monster: do not take your mother to see this film. And if you think you have left your prejudice at home, however, you will discover you really cannot leave it all - not anti-gay bias, but anti-white trash bias. Amusingly, behind me, were the sympathetics, the people who sat all around me during Bowling for Columbine, with their purrs of approval during romance scenes and their groans against those closed-minded church-going Christians. (Racist! Sexist! Anti-gay! Bush and Cheney go away!) Of course one of them just casually uses the word, "nigger".
All week - bored. The news has nothing new to say about a Democratic nomination race that has as much life as Kerry's new forehead. The TV has been off and even Drudge's headlines are escaping my attention - except for the two-headed baby in the Dominican Republic - at least that story is another great report on Western medical wonder and charity.
Does this imminent surgery to remove the second head throw anyone back to the October separation of the at-the-head conjoined Egyptian twins? -the two-million dollar, thirty-four hour operation, done for free, in Dallas? Perhaps the press in the Caribbean will be more grateful than the newspapers yet to be read by Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim.
It brought to mind as well the story of Israeli surgeon Shmuel Yurfest, who was gifted in reattachment. A while back he even reattached the hand of an enemy bomb maker, and can recall the stains on the hand from the bomb making materials. Dr. Yurfest is now blind and almost deaf - the result of a suicide bombing that was in his path back in May, 2003. The bomber was Hiba Daraghmeh, a gifted English literature student and a runner-up for the Swedish "Snow White" award.
It just struck me how I automatically left out the "nationality" in a missed chance to specify the suicide bomber. But there is really no need is there? The political left in this country and in Europe continue to bitch and condemn the people who reattached the bomb maker's hand, but it means little to them that the surgeon's people are not the ones sending their teenagers into the markets and religious dinners of the other to explode, murder, and inflict a lifetime of suffering on dozens of civilians at a time.
..... and of course this brings me to the Hajj for what is becoming an annual mass trampling, and the usual embrace of death so typical in that part of the world. Andrew Sullivan found an article describing more on their perverted embrace of death. It's good news, in a way, that passage to Paradise can be attained by means other than slaughtering infidels, but frightening that such indifference, and such glorifying, of death is only going to continue to force the civilized world to to maintain its security through superior firepower.