Saturday, November 11, 2006

"And that message, surprisingly, is that we must love one another or die. J. Robert Oppenheimer thought, as he beheld the fireball of the first atomic test at Alamogordo, that he heard the Hindu god Shiva whisper "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds". He understood at that moment that mankind's moral capacity would have to expand to match its technical prowess or it would perish. If Islam desires the secret of the stars it must embrace the kuffar [JK: unbeliever] as its brother -- or die.""

Friday, November 10, 2006

"To the point of Wretchard's post, I'd add that going to war, boots on the ground, in the heart of the middle east has disabused hotheaded jihadists -- and others elsewhere in the world -- of the unfounded notion that the American soldier couldn't fight anymore . . .

. . . while it re-confirmed the belief (truism?) that the American political class could be shamelessly manipulated and is fundamentally weak. [ And the Israeli political class is doing none too well either -- never mind Europe... -ed. ]
"Does this mean Bush is still Hitler? I'm pretty sure Hitler never let his opponents win an election, did he? Unless... this is all part of Rove's plan."
"The other factor going for them was the fact that members of the mainstream media generally were not sympathetic to the U.S. government. In the last year, media outlets revealed several intelligence programs – often spinning them in a manner that put the intelligence community and the military in a bad light. A reporter for Time magazine, who embedded with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, had his article completely rewritten by editors who felt his portrayal of American troops was too positive. The media did not even admit that documents, recovered during the liberation of Iraq, showing Saddam Hussein was pursuing nuclear weapons, until it could be spun in a manner that made the Department of Defense look bad. The media even started to refuse to publish letters from Department of Defense officials which challenged misreporting on the war. Heroes like Paul Ray Smith, who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously, were studiously ignored.

Now, the stage is set for al Qaeda to win a major victory. It was a simple matter of getting the American media to ignore the battlefield victories while accentuating al Qaeda's attacks. What could not be accomplished on the battlefield – an American retreat from Iraq – was instead achieved in American newsrooms.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Fox News has been showing "Obsession," a documentary about radical Islam and the West's hesitancy to confront it, all this weekend. The last show is tonight at 9pm (Central time). Below are two videos of the program: one an abridged version and one the full version of the documentary (as was posted on YouTube)."
"To be sure, like Kerry in 2004 deciding that the murderers and rapists were now his brave "band of brothers," the left often discover a sudden enthusiasm for the previous war once a new one's come along. Since Iraq, they've been all in favor of Afghanistan, though back in the fall of 2001 they were convinced it was a quagmire, graveyard of empire, unwinnable, another Vietnam, etc. Oh, and they also discovered a belated enthusiasm for the first President Bush's shrewd conduct of the 1991 Gulf War, though at the time Kerry and most other Democrats voted against that one, too. In this tedious shell game, no matter how frantically the left shuffles the cups, you never find the one shriveled pea of The Military Intervention We're Willing To Support When it Matters.

To be sure, the progressives deserve credit for having refined their view of the military: not murderers and rapists, just impoverished suckers too stupid for anything other than soldiering. The left still doesn't understand that it's the soldier who guarantees every other profession -- the defeatist New York Times journalist, the anti-American college professor, the insurgent-video-of-the-day host at CNN, the hollow preening blowhard senator. Kerry's gaffe isn't about one maladroit Marie Antoinette of the Senate but a glimpse into the mind-set of too many Americans.
"There are millions of people – actually, probably billions now – who genuinely believe that the wealth of the US was stolen from third world countries. This is one of the great perks of living a life free of the ability to think critically and do a little research. I have heard this slander repeated so many times I decided to look into some actual numbers to see if there is anything to this charge. This is a perfect example of how critical thinking allows you to see the unseen. That attitude, Google and ten minutes is all you need to shoot lies like this down in flames.

Okay. The US Per capita income is $41,300. That of a poor, third world country –Djibouti, say -- is $2,070.

Now it gets interesting. The US gross domestic product – the value of everything we produce in a year -- was last measured as $12 trillion, 277 billion dollars (hundreds of millions of dollars being too insignificant to count in this economy).

The GDP of Djibouti is 1 billion, 641 million US dollars.

A little basic arithmetic shows me that US has a GDP 7,481 times greater than Djibouti. A 365 day year, composed of 24 hours in a day, yields 8760 hours per year. Hang on to that for a sec.

Now, let’s suppose the U.S. went into Djibouti with the Marines, and stole every single thing that’s produced there in a year…just grant the premise and say we stole every goddam thing they make. If we hauled away all of Djibouti’s wealth, how long would it run the U.S. Economy, which is 7,481 times greater?

Well, 8,760 hours divided by 7,481 gives you an answer of 1.17 hours. In other words, it takes the U.S. 1.17 hours to produce what Djibouti produces in a year.

If the US really did go in and steal everything that the bottom thirty countries in the world produce, it might power the US economy for two or three days.

Conversely, the billions and billions of dollars the US spends annually in aid, rent, etc. – plus uncounted billions more from private American charities – would supply the entire GDP of Djibouti for hundreds of years.

Where’s your Imperialism argument now?
We can fly. Wow.
"The evidence suggests that massive illegal immigration causes as much upheaval inside Mexico as it supposedly prevents - while aggravating, not solving, problems in the United States.

What we need from this new Congress is not more hysteria about illegal immigration, but more re-examination of what seems true but really is not.
"deMause outlines a four-part process that the fantasy leader undergoes in relation to the group. At first the group will see him as unrealistically strong, magically able to unify the group and keep enemies at bay. Certainly we saw this in the months after 9-11, when President Bush was so popular. Again, his popularity had little to do with the actual merits of his policies, but with the public’s need to feel safe, and the feeling that Bush would protect them. Stage two is the “cracking” stage, when the feelings of magical nurturing begin to deteriorate, so that the public’s mood begins to feel unstable and dangerous. The leader begins to be experienced as weak, unable to control events. Looking back, I believe that this really started with the successful attacks on President Bush’s Thanksgiving trip to Iraq a couple of years ago, but especially after the Terry Schiavo matter.

Stage three, “collapse,” occurs when the public begins to feel that the fantasy leader is helpless to prevent catastrophe -- when the group’s anxiety has become unhinged and uncontained in a completely unrealistic way. This brings on pure rage and free-floating paranoid fantasies of death and destruction. Thus we see the President unrealistically blamed and vilified for all sorts of things outside his control -- homosexual predators, hurricaines, rising (but never falling) gas prices, global warming, deadly flu pandemics, etc. He is seen as weak and vulnerable, which triggers a wave of near homicidal anxiety that aims to purify the group by ritual slaying of the divine king, identical to what took place in the most primitive tribes.
"A member or supporter of Hezbollah who calls himself Al Ghaliboon appeared in my comments and completely dominated the thread. Normally I don't let somebody show up and do that, but it's not every day that a group of Americans gets to argue with someone like him."
"I have since had the chance to read about 500 or 600 messages. Almost all of them politely phrased (I exempt one from "the Riordan family" who evidently have not forgiven the long history of British depredation in Ireland) and almost all of them appending the list of college degrees as well as of medals and citations held, these letters show a very deep and interesting rift in which Mr. Kerry plays only a secondary part. Many of my respondents agreed that his words may not have meant or intended quite what they first seemed to mean, but they also felt that the klutziness was Freudian, so to speak, in that the senator's patrician contempt for grunts and dogfaces was bound to come out sooner or later."
"In 1821, with truly remarkable foresight, Mr. Jefferson wrote in a letter to Macon that 'our Government is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation first [i.e., centralisation] and then corruption, its necessary consequence.'"
"If the country is about to re-embrace Scowcroftian realism, we’re about to realize a hard lesson about that policy’s limitation. And if the military is going to return to worrying about the enemies it chooses instead of the enemies that choose us, we’ll have bigger troubles still."
""The Republicans lost and the Democrats won for the same reason -- they distanced themselves from their base. "

That's the sentence of the year, in my opinion.
"Hamas has now called for Moslems around the world to attack America. In the past, Hamas has not done this, mainly because the U.S. was the major contributor of aid to Palestinians. But most of this aid has been cut off since Hamas won the election to run the Palestinian territories. Hamas refused to back off on its call for the destruction of Israel, so, by law, American aid was stopped. Apparently Hamas does not believe the aid will ever be restored. [ Oh, how can that be? Why we'll pull out of Iraq and everything will be just fine. I'm just SURE of it. LOL -ed. ] "

Warren On Point Again...

"Why did it evaporate? For the same reason then as now. The “alternative America”, ruling from its ivory towers in academia, the media, and the entertainment industry, could not understand why anyone should die for any cause at all; could not distinguish between freedom and tyranny; and instinctively sided with any enemy of what they fancifully imagined to be “American imperialism”.

My 21st birthday happened to coincide with the final evacuation of Saigon. From my modest experience on the ground in that country, I knew what was coming next. The boat people were no surprise to me. I think that was the day I fully realized, in adult terms, that evil often prevails in this world. So this is nothing new.

The fate that will befall all those millions of courageous Iraqis, showing the dye on their fingers after they had voted -- in defiance of all the terror threats -- will not come as a surprise to me, either. They are being sold out, as the Vietnamese were before them. But the consequences of abandoning Iraq will come home to the United States and the West, in a way Vietnam never touched us. [ A new variant of "Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it" looms: "Those who remember propaganda but mistake it for history, are condemned to ... some very nasty surprises..." -ed. ]

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

""When Republicans worry more about staying in government than about limiting government, they get thrown out of government." [ Of course, they lose the other way too since then they're not giving anything away. Hard medicine is rarely appreciated and never popular... -ed. ] "

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"Then, turning to his mentor, the major 20th-century philosopher Eric Voegelin, Prof. Sandoz expounds his account of the underpinnings of reason, religion, and social order -- using Voegelin’s deep grasp of the re-emergence of Gnosticism in postmodern public life. For at the root of apparent “new-age” decadence, are very old heresies about the nature of man and God, which have again captured the imaginations of the fanciful, so many centuries after having been seemingly slain by the triumph of Catholic Christianity.

Finally, returning to the present, Prof. Sandoz begins to suggest that the very challenges to the old Western project -- of founding our liberty in religious truth -- are rekindling it. Under the pressure of events, including the unfolding of Islamic jihadism, men and women are recovering “public consciousness of truth about the transcendent divine Ground of our being”. (Unlike the Romans, we have something to fall back on.)

Monday, November 06, 2006

"Most people knew this would happen, including some I think, who called most loudly for a ceasefire. Not because they were malevolent but because of a deep-seated human desire to avoid a present unpleasantness even if it means worse in the future. We all know the feeling. Fly now, pay later. Get a new suite of furniture. No interest until 2010. When images of bombs falling and the pictures of people dying were printed in the papers during the recent war in Lebanon what was more natural than to want to make it go away? Even for a while. Even for a very little while.

So now hello darkness our old friend. We've come to talk to you again. As we knew we would.
"The Provost of Erfurt, Elfriede Begrich, told reporters that Weisselberg’s widow had said that he killed himself because he was alarmed at the spread of Islam and the Church’s stance on the issue.

She described Weisselberg as an erudite man who had addressed repeatedly the Church’s position on Islam in meetings over the past three to four years. He had written to her, urging her to take the matter more seriously, she said.

The Protestant Bishop of Saxony, Axel Noack, said the suicide had shocked the community and that he hoped it would not hurt relations between Christians and Muslims.

Reminder: Time To See Obsession

The New Buckit has made it easy. There's even a 12 minute version... GO. WATCH. NOW.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"Quote of the Day - [Iraqi] Judge to Ramsey Clark: "You are ridiculing the Iraqi people. You have come here from America. Get out.""