Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Nazis Were Christian?

Within a year of taking power, Hitler was saying: 
"Christianity was incapable of uniting the Germans, and that only an entirely new world-theory was capable of doing so." 
Also within a year of the Nazis taking power, The Twenty-Five Theses of the German Religion, a conscious modeling of the twenty-five points of the Nazi program, was published in Germany. Thesis XV of that Nazi publication states: 
"The Ethic of the German Religion condemns all belief in inherited sin, as well as the Jewish-Christian teaching of a fallen world.  Such a teaching is not only non-Germanic and non-German, it is immoral and nonreligious.  Whoever preaches this menaces the morality of the people."
In February 1937 Hanns Kerrl, Minister of Religion in the Third Reich, said: 
"The question of the divinity of Christ is ridiculous and inessential.  A new answer has arisen as to what Christ and Christianity are: Adolph Hitler."  
Ummm. No.

And frankly you've had a failed education if you believe it.

In fact, it's a fair argument that the Nazis made the Bolsheviks look like pikers in their level of hatred for Christianity. In fact, their implacable Jew hatred was in part because the Christians had been spawned from them...

Friday, November 16, 2007

But In Practice...

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.

Yogi Berra

I Could Have Had An E8!

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"Although he cultivates a bit of a surfer-guy image its clear he has put enormous effort and time into working the complexities of this structure out over several years," Prof Smolin tells The Telegraph.

The new theory reported today in New Scientist has been laid out in an online paper entitled "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything" by Lisi, who completed his doctorate in theoretical physics in 1999 at the University of California, San Diego.

The reason for the excitement is that Lisi's model also takes account of gravity, a force that has only successfully been included by a rival and highly fashionable idea called string theory, one that proposes particles are made up of minute strings, which is highly complex and elegant but has lacked predictions by which to do experiments to see if it works.

Lisi's inspiration lies in the most elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 - a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887,

Pakistan: Horrible Options ... And Worse Ones

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Ms. Bhutto's repeated promises to end fundamentalism and terrorism in Pakistan strain credulity because, after all, the Taliban government that ran Afghanistan was recognized by Pakistan under her last government -- making Pakistan one of only three governments in the world to do so.

And I am suspicious of her talk of ensuring peace. My father was a member of Parliament and a vocal critic of his sister's politics. He was killed outside our home in 1996 in a carefully planned police assassination while she was prime minister. There were 70 to 100 policemen at the scene, all the streetlights had been shut off and the roads were cordoned off. Six men were killed with my father. They were shot at point-blank range, suffered multiple bullet wounds and were left to bleed on the streets.

My father was Benazir's younger brother. To this day, her role in his assassination has never been adequately answered,

A Human Generation

Plain sailing so far. But David Broder's friend had more to whisper in his ear.

the second, and largely unspoken, issue identified by my friend from the Clinton administration [was] the two-headed campaign and the prospect of a dual presidency.

As my friend says, "there is nothing in American constitutional or political theory to account for the role of a former president, still energetic and active and full of ideas, occupying the White House with the current president." ...

In the background and somewhat more diffuse is another disturbing paradigm. If Hillary is elected and possibily re-elected, either a Clinton or a Bush will have occupied the Presidency for 24 years. A human generation.

Its Up To W

All this is a fancy way of saying that to rely on Israel to take out Iran is to bet on a long shot. It would be like planning to pay off a vacation you can't afford in the expectation you'll win the lottery. It might happen but it probably won't.

With the prospects of success so low, and America so unlikely to do the heavy lifting, Former Spook argues that Israel essentially has no realistic pre-emptive strike option.

With their own military options limited--and the U.S. seemingly unable to act, it's no wonder that Israel is growing increasingly pessimistic in its outlook. With the world community unwilling to aggressively confront Iran, and with military options apparently limited, planning for "The Day After" may become Israel's policy by default.

With Iran's nuclear program showing ElBaradei a clean pair of heels; Israel impotent and America paralyzed with indecision it is possible that Teheran is home free.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fake But Bizarre -- On Stilts In Fact

Dan Rather’s “fake but accurate” lawsuit against CBS has left CBS executives “mystified.”

Today, in New York Supreme Court, in response to Dan Rather’s civil lawsuit, CBS filed a lengthy 30-page motion to dismiss the case.

CBS executives also released a statement today, noting that they are “mystified” by Rather’s “bizarre allegations” but will “vigorously” defend themselves in court if need be.

“Dan Rather is one of the most important figures in the history of broadcast journalism, and for more than 40 years was one of our most valued colleagues,” CBS said in the statement. “That is why we at CBS are mystified and saddened by the baseless and self-serving allegations and distortions of fact raised in his lawsuit.”

“Of course, there was no such nefarious scheme, and Rather’s allegations bear no resemblance to reality. CBS and its executives are not now, and never have been, out to get Dan Rather.”
Let me ask an inconvenient question: What does it say about the state of our country and its "journalists" that Dan Rather can still be considered "one of the most important figures in the history of broadcast journalism"?

Did I forget to mention that he's crazier than a Cuckoo Clock? On stilts?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

You Want Bi-Partisan?

There is an aspect of this attack on Paulouse that may not be apparent at first: Paulouse has taken aggressive action against trafficking and has quickly become one of the leading anti-trafficking prosecutors in the country.

We are in the final stages of negotiating the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2007. The strongest opponent are those in the Justice Department who have subverted the Bush presidential directive on human trafficking. Right now, the only groups that support the position of the Justice Department are the liberal/leftists that support legalization of prostitution. Sound impossible?

Attached is a letter

sent to Acting A.G. Keisler recently that addresses the poor performance of the Justice Department on issues related to prosecution and training on human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking. Please read it and please note the incredible breadth and depth of the signers of this letter -- from Gary Bauer to Kim Gandy, President of NOW.

Hold On, She's Probably Not Done Yet... (Innumeracy Edition)

First she sounded sympathetic to the idea during a televised debate, and within moments had refused to endorse it. Afterwards, she changed her mind and endorsed it. Now today, after Governor Eliot Spitzer shelved a plan to issue New York drivers licenses to illegal aliens, Hillary Clinton shifted her position yet again to oppose the idea entirely:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday came out against granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, after weeks of pressure in the presidential race to take a position on a now-failed ID plan from her home state governor.

People laughed at John Kerry for saying, "I was for the $87 billion before I was against it." He looks like the Rock of Gibraltar next to Hillary Clinton. She has now taken four different positions in two weeks on a single topic.

You know, you don't have to be a math wiz to figure out that the odds of a single family (much less a "husband" and "wife") producing two people truly sharp enough to be president of a country of 300 million people are ridiculously large.

And Hillary's out to prove it for those who may periodically drift into consciousness at all.

Oh. And our current president -- the few very important things he's got reasonably right not withstanding -- does little to dispel my analysis.

The Sieve In The South

Alien and drug smugglers along the U.S.-Mexico border have spawned a rise in violence against federal, state and local law enforcement authorities, who say they are outmanned and outgunned.

"They've got weapons, high-tech radios, computers, cell phones, Global Positioning Systems, spotters and can react faster than we are able to," said Shawn P. Moran, a 10-year U.S. Border Patrol veteran who serves as vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613 in San Diego.

"And they have no hesitancy to attack the agents on the line, with anything from assault rifles and improvised Molotov cocktails to rocks, concrete slabs and bottles," he said. "There are so many agent 'rockings' that few are even reported anymore. If we wrote them all up, that's all we would be doing."

Assaults against Border Patrol agents have more than doubled over the past two years,

It's Not Just W With The Saudi Problem...

Remember "Saudi in the Classroom?" That’s where I explained how the Saudis are using federal subsidies to university programs of Middle East Studies (under Title VI of the Higher Education Act) as a kind of Trojan horse to gain influence over American K-12 education. Now it looks like the House Democrats mean to let the Saudis get away with it. When I wrote "Saudi in the Classroom," back in July, I made a point of praising the very reasonable bipartisan compromise on Title VI reform crafted by Kennedy and Enzi in the Senate. But now, under pressure from the higher education lobby (really Juan Cole and his radical professor pals from the Middle East Studies Association–MESA), the House Democrats have gutted every proposed reform of this disastrously broken federal subsidy program.

Baghdad Update

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Captain Aaron Kaufman is the CO of Bravo Company, 177 Armor, 2nd Brigade of the US 1st Infantry. He spent the past year deployed in Baghdad and the past several months in command of a unit in Adamiyah in east Baghdad. It was his second tour in Iraq; the first was in Tikrit. In late October he and his unit returned to base at Schweinfurt, Germany. Today I interviewed him about the war, whether the surge is working and whether we’re winning.

The interview is about 40 minutes long, so I posted it in its entirety below but I’ve also pulled out a few sound bites. The first one deals with the question that’s probably on everyone’s mind: Are we winning?

CPT Kaufman followed the Scott Thomas Beauchamp saga, and says that Beauchamp’s characterization of American soldiers doesn’t match reality:

If Only It Were So Simple

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6. The direct impacts of terrorist attacks are not huge.

This isn't meant to diminish the suffering of those directly affected by 9/11 or any other such attack;

His point is that terrorism can only succeed by sowing fear and overreaction, not by destroying things and killing people. He posits that terrorists strike democratic countries more than autocratic regimes because public reaction matters more in open societies.

"What Makes a Terrorist" includes a wonderful chart showing the relative risk of dying from assorted causes. The lifetime risk of dying in a motor vehicle accident for the U.S. population is 1 in 88. The lifetime risk for dying of suicide is 1 in 120. The lifetime risk for dying in a terrorist attack is 1 in 69,000, which is significantly less than the risk of dying from a lightning strike. (To be fair, the average American is far more likely to die at the hands of a terrorist than from a shark attack; that lifetime risk is 1 in 3,700,000.)

This is certainly worth the read -- but things are not quite as neat as this would lead you to believe. The statistics on Hitler were rather benign also until the Blitzkrieg started.

When the Islamofascists have WMD -- and it grows increasing less likely that they won't watching the turmoil in Pakistan and the latest Iranian announcement of a 3,000 centrifuge cascade -- all bets are off.

The Soviets had the means but not (quite) sufficient intent. The Islamofascists have the intent -- the means are only a matter of time...

Hope Springs Eternal

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My theory is Musharraf is going to do the dirty deed so Bhutto can take over once it is done. I noted a while ago how Bhutto gave Musharraf cover for calling in US forces to cleanse al-Qaeda from the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said on Monday that she might allow a U.S. military strike inside Pakistan to eliminate al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden if she were the country’s leader.

As Iraq has become a no-go zone for al-Qaeda (they really pissed off the Iraqi Sunnis and are now hunted down) the only place left to regroup is in these lawless regions of Pakistan. This is not pure conjecture, it is actually being seen “on the ground”:

There are signs that more foreign fighters are joining the Taliban in Afghanistan. These foreign militants are believed responsible for the upsurge in suicide bombings — and some experts say they have strengthened the Taliban insurgency.

I'm rather less sanguine but I needed something to cheer me up after all the bad Pak news...

The "Killing" Of Reason

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What struck me very forcibly about the 18 minutes overall was that, although this was supposed to have been filmed during continuous firing by the Israelis for 45 minutes, much of the footage consisted merely of a violent demonstration by stone throwing youths, many of whom who appeared to be enjoying the exercise. One child was pictured riding a bicycle through the melee. There was no evidence of any of them being killed or injured.

The ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah was swallowed uncritically by the western media, despite the manifold unlikeliness and contradictions which were apparent from the start, because it accorded with the murderous prejudice against Israel which is the prism through which the Middle East conflict is habitually refracted. This scandal has the most profound implications not just for the media, not just for the Middle East conflict but for the western world’s relationship to reason, which seems to grow more tenuous by the day.

Welcome To "Inequality"

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But the 58% of lowest-income earners who moved to a higher income quintile in this study is roughly comparable to the percentages that did so in several similar studies going back to the late 1960s. "The basic finding of this analysis," says the Treasury report, "is that relative income mobility is approximately the same in the last 10 years as it was in the previous decade."
All of this certainly helps to illuminate the current election-year debate about income "inequality" in the U.S. The political left and its media echoes are promoting the inequality story as a way to justify a huge tax increase.
in the name of reducing inequality, some of our politicians want to raise taxes and other government obstacles to the kind of risk-taking and hard work that allow Americans to climb the income ladder so rapidly. As the Treasury data show, we shouldn't worry about inequality. We should worry about the people who use inequality as a political club to promote policies that reduce opportunity.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More Fred On The Long War

This radical threat we face today is committed to a hundred year war, and has been waging one against us for decades ... in Beirut, Somalia, embassies in Africa, Saudi Arabia, on the USS Cole. Each time Americans were killed. Yet each time our response sent the wrong signals. This is an enemy that understands only the language of power. Today, the focus of this war is Afghanistan and Iraq, but it is clear that this struggle and our enemies extend far beyond those borders. To defend ourselves, we in the democratic world must assert our intentions in the clearest possible terms.

Diplomacy, economic influence, and other means of persuasion are always to be preferred in our dealings with dangerous regimes and rival states. But the words of our leaders command much closer attention from adversaries when it is understood that we are prepared to use force when force is necessary. And for that deterrent to exist, the will of our people and the strength of our military must be unquestionable.

Everyone Just Assumed

warming theory says warming will generally be accompanied by more rainfall," Spencer said. "Everyone just assumed that more rainfall means more high altitude clouds. That would be your first guess and, since we didn't have any data to suggest otherwise ..."

There are significant gaps in the scientific understanding of precipitation systems and their interactions with the climate, he said. "At least 80 percent of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect is due to water vapor and clouds, and those are largely under the control of precipitation systems.

"Until we understand how precipitation systems change with warming, I don't believe we can know how much of our current warming is manmade. Without that knowledge, we can't predict future climate change with any degree of certainty."

That's a remarkable quote: "Everyone just assumed" that more rainfall means more high altitude clouds. That is the level of scientific certainty on which claims of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming rest.

Bad And Worse Choices

Iran. Our policy has been, let the Europeans handle it. Europe's policy has been "speak softly and carry a big carrrot." This dynamic has caused us to waste four years. Finally, we have Sarkozy and perhaps Merkel on board, and we've been able to implement some decent sanctions. But they are too little too late. The only question now is when (not whether) Iran will get nukes. And given the price of oil, the answer is probably sooner rather than later. Our options, then, are regime change and the use of military force. There's some chance of regime change because the regime is fragile. Failing that, as a last resort the U.S. or Israel should strike Iran's nuclear facilities. However, this is a risky strategy because Iran may have facilites we don't know about. In that case, you get the adverse consequences of the stirke without the benefit. Bolton doubts that Iran would withhold oil because the revenue is too important to the regime.

Libs For Sex Slavery

In short, Shenon finds the gravamen of the case against Rachel to be her implementation of the priorities of her superiors and her failure to follow the agenda of her subordinates.

If the case against Rachel presents a test for Michael Mukasey, my guess would be that both he and she will pass the test, though perhaps not if the New York Times is doing the grading.

JOHN adds: Shenon implies what we have long suspected is the view of many liberals, including many at the Times: that it is the role of federal employees to battle against, and refuse to implement, the policies of Republican administrations. Still, this particular instance borders on the bizarre. The policy which Rachel is being criticized for implementing is Gonzales's effort to crack down on the trade in human sex slaves. It is hard to imagine the Times, or anyone else, criticizing this priority if it came from anyone but Gonzales, or any administration other than that of George Bush.

Guilt And Worthlessness

  1. War is capable of achieving liberation from the clutches of America.

  2. Victory over America is not only possible, but inevitable.

  3. Insurgencies against insurgencies can always be defeated.

  4. Terrorists can simply state their demands and we have no alternative to

  5. Fighting America should never provoke it.

  6. Killing Americans does not turn them into martyrs.

  7. A suicide vest is a "poor man's F-16".

  8. Al-Qaeda, despite its outrages, is loved in the Islamic World

  9. September 11 happened before America invaded Iraq.

  10. We abandoned the Kurds and the Shi'ites to Saddam. It is our fault.

  11. The Holocaust is Europe's fault.

  12. America must remain engaged in the Middle East and support the regime
    there. This is the "adult" approach to fighting terrorism.

understanding why it is possible to form statements which
contradict individual myths yet remain consistent within the ideological
universe is this: the only essential myth it is necessary to accept is the guilt
and worthlessness of Western civilization.

Columbia Update

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said there were no gay people in Iran, his Columbia University audience laughed. But there’s nothing funny about Iran’s real attitude toward gays: Gays should be hanged, says Iranian minister.

Homosexuals deserve to be executed or tortured and possibly both, an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference, The Times has learnt.

Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality after a spate of reports that gay youths were being hanged. ...

Fred Gets Another One Right

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· First, we must spend more on defense, and we must do so carefully and wisely. Spending today as a percent of GDP is estimated at 4.1 percent – and that includes funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

· According to the Office of Management and Budget, defense spending is expected to decline down to 3.1 percent in 2011. I believe we must be prepared to increase defense spending to at least 4.5 percent of GDP, not including what it takes to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. When it comes to matters of budgets with Congress they say all numbers are fungible. But in this area of appropriation, there should be little room for negotiation.

· Finally, and most importantly, we must take better care of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. They are the life-blood of our defense establishment.
· And for those who have already served, we need to fix the VA system

The Last Of The Last

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BY any conceivable measure, Frank Buckles has led an extraordinary life. Born on a farm in Missouri in February 1901, he saw his first automobile in his hometown in 1905, and his first airplane at the Illinois State Fair in 1907. At 15 he moved on his own to Oklahoma and went to work in a bank; in the 1940s, he spent more than three years as a Japanese prisoner of war. When he returned to the United States, he married, had a daughter and bought a farm near Charles Town, W. Va., where he lives to this day. He drove a tractor until he was 104.

But even more significant than the remarkable details of Mr. Buckles’s life is what he represents: Of the two million soldiers the United States sent to France in World War I, he is the only one left.

Welcome To The Age Of "Peaceful" Nuclear Warheads

Iran has claimed for years that it only pursues nuclear technology for peaceful power generation, and that the West has no reason to suspect that they have any nefarious purposes in building centrifuges and reactors. Western critics of the Bush administration's tough policy on Iran insist that the entire issue may be manufactured entirely, and that Iran has the right to pursue nuclear power. They may have a more difficult time offering apologias for Teheran after today's release of plans for uranium warheads from the mullahcracy:

Iran has met a key demand of the U.N. nuclear agency, handing over long-sought blueprints showing how to mold uranium metal into the shape of warheads, diplomats said Tuesday.
Iran's explanation? Parents of teenagers will find some familiarity with this -- they have no idea how those blueprints got into their files.
The IAEA still believes the Iranians have held back even more damning information and evidence.

Welcome To Unintended Consequences

Not only that, many people who survive a near-drowning who do have even small amounts of water that slip by the epiglottis and enter their lungs can die later of fluid shifts and pneumonia. I can assure you that we do not use any technique that involves true suffocation or aspiration of water into the lungs. One cannot get questions to answers from people who suffocate or have water fill their lungs in any interrogation technique, which would render that technique more than a little self-defeating. Dead men tell no tales -- and also make rather poor soldiers."
And if the interrogators think they could be charged with some kind of crime because the subject could file a case against them for carrying out their duties on a known terrorist who is withholding vital information, there is one likely fate for that individual at the end of his interrogation…death…sort of the reverse of what these left wing whackos claim to be seeking."
This one is a RTWT. More than once in fact...

And today's Day By Day is rather good, don't you think?

Monday, November 12, 2007

I Thought So

But...if waterboarding is wrong and should be outlawed immediately, where is our Democratic Congress? Why hasn't the Pelosi House or the Reid Senate voted on legislation to ban waterboarding? They could vote to outlaw it tomorrow. But they choose not to.

Why is that? Is it because liberal Bush-bashers want to have it both ways until Election Day 2008?

Currently, they enjoy the benefits that come from our enemies not knowing which aggressive interrogation methods we may use. At the same time, Keillor, the harpies on The View, kooks at, and others get to sneer from the sidelines and cry "Torture!" They can have it both ways.

Now. Personally, if there's a humane way to extract information from a terrorist short of waterboarding, I'm all for it. But, forgetting the Islamofascists for a moment, if your daughter were kidnapped and you had the guy tied to a chair who knew her location, who would you call first, the UN Commission on Human Rights or Jack Bauer? I thought so.

Makes You Go Hmmmm...

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Perhaps their distaste for President Bush (which I share) is so all-consuming that they fear any improvement in the situation will be credited to the President -- something they can't tolerate.

If so, that's perverse. The fact is: There is a critical window of opportunity opening for the United States to withdraw and for Iraq to hold itself together and rebuild. To the extent that things are getting better, that's good news.

Yeah, it is. Nice that people are noticing. But it's also, paradoxically, bad news for the Republicans in that those who have held their nose and stuck with the GOP because of the war are likely to feel freer to vote for people they agree with on other issues. And while it's true that Iraq is not the war on terror, it's also likely that the post-2009 phase of the war on terror will involve less outright war and more spying, backstabbing, subtle undermining, bribery, extortion and cooptation. Hmm. What candidate might be good at that sort of thing?

Maybe We Should Fear Them Too

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PETE WILLIAMS: Saddam Hussein told his American captors that he so feared Iran, he wanted Iranian leaders to believe that he had nuclear and biological weapons. So he planned to fool the U.S. by, among other things, stalling U.N. inspectors to make it appear he had something to hide, weapons of mass destruction or WMD. But he hoped the post-Gulf War sanctions on Iraq would dissolve, allowing him to pursue a nuclear capability. That’s what he told the only American to extensively debrief him after he was captured in 2003, according to investigative reporter Ron Kessler.

RON KESSLER: Saddam said that if America thought that he had WMD, then, of course, Iran would, and this would fulfill his goal of making sure that Iran did not want to attack Iraq.

A few hundred thousand American troops were massing across the border in Kuwait to knock him out — and Saddam was worried about Iran?

The Shockingest Thing Ever

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I’m not sure what people expected when they decided to have a rally at the grave of a terrorist, but terror is in fact what ensued.

At least six people were killed today after Hamas security forces opened fire on Palestinians commemorating the death of Yasser Arafat.

The latest violence occurred as an estimated 250,000 people turned out in Gaza City carrying pictures of the late Palestinian leader, yellow Fatah flags and wearing trademark black and white Arab headdresses.

It was the largest public display of support for Fatah since it was forced out of power in Gaza by Hamas Islamists in June.

Hm. How could something like this possibly happen when one terrorist group protests another terrorist group at the grave of the world’s original arch terrorist? It’s just the shockingest thing ever.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

No Difference?

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.

Yogi Berra

They Can't Know It

He may think he has no alternative, and he may have none, given the size of the domestic opposition Mrs Bhutto is mounting against him. What he has already done -- by declaring the emergency -- has moreover tended to fuse that opposition together.

What Gen Musharraf knows, and they can't know by definition, is that this secular opposition does not appreciate the grave danger their country is in from the Islamists.

They can't know it because, according to me, they are infected in their souls with the disease we call “liberalism” in the West. It operates on the soul through the medium of narcissism, and the strutting and preening of the opposition leaders gives a plain indication that the disease is well advanced. If only one of them -- preferably Mrs Bhutto -- would say clearly that Musharraf is not the worst evil the country faces, and the Islamists are, we might have some hope for their recovery.

Anbar In Vermont

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An important sheik from an Iraqi province had a reunion on Thursday with some Vermont soldiers at the state National Guard headquarters.

(Abu Risha) (voice in Arabic, then translator) ``We would like to express our appreciation to the National Guard and to the state of Vermont.''

(Host) Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha spoke through a translator. He said his province has overcome terrorists and insurgents.

(Abu Risha) (voices shift back and forth from Arabic to English) ``Today in this state ... we present this victory ... to the families of the victims of the soldiers in Iraq ... and specifically express our appreciation to the state of Vermont.''

"We have defeated al-Qaida in this very large province of Al Anbar as a result of our cooperation with your forces," Mamoon S. Rashid Al-Alwani, governor of Al Anbar, said through an interpreter. "This victory came as a result of our cooperation with your forces and our bloods have spilled together."

Still Stoned

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You will also see that Mohammed treated his wives with kindness and depended on them (for advise, etc.). That’s the spirit of the Koran and of Mohammed’s life. If you copy the spirit you’ll get an entirely different result today, then when you only copy the letter.

All true only from a modern Western perspective? So would van der Galiën deny that there are women awaiting death by stoning in Iran today? I suppose I, with my modern Western perspective, put them there? It may be wonderfully true that Muhammad liberated women in his day, but the application of the letter of his law is oppressing and killing women today. Van der Galiën can speak loftily about the spirit of that law all he wants, but that isn't preventing those women in Iran from being stoned to death.

Prove It?

In other words, the "rational" rejection of religion in particular and tradition in general facilitated an absurd leap into what amounts to romantic irrationalism. Since there is no legitimate authority, each person become a law unto himself: do your own thing, and all that.

For example, marriage is better then living together? Prove it. A fetus is a human being? Prove it. Beethoven is better than rap? Prove it. Heterosexuality is preferable to homosexuality? Prove it. Men and women are fundamentally different? Prove it. One is obligated to tell the truth? Prove it. Etc., etc. In each case, the moral truth is accessible to human beings, but not through the application of mere reason.
Slavery is freedom, lies are truth, amorality is morality. Memo to old Europe: a civilization not in contact with the Real will eventually perish. As it should. To put it another way, dying on the vine is a possibility, but dying off of it is a certainty.

The New "Hero", Same As The Old "Hero"

And as if diamonds, guns, drugs and tainted money weren't enough, human traffickers have made their way to Venezuela as well. The country has become a haven for human traffickers because its laws offer so little protection to their victims, especially women.

Ah, that's socialism for you--bringing back the slave trade. Of course, that won't stop Hollywood celebrities from treating Chavez as a hero.