Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Truth Is More Alarming

There is much talk and concern nowadays about the radicalization of Western Muslims which it is argued at least in part is caused by Islamist propaganda but there is not much empirical data in support (or otherwise) of this thesis. What O'Shaughnessy et al's exploratory research suggests is that the linkage between cause (Islamist propaganda) and effect (radicalized Western Muslims) is weaker than is often thought. The truth is rather more alarming, in my view: some Western Muslims are self-radicalizing through a process of small-group socialization fed by images from the Western media which Islamist propaganda confirms and reinforces rather than initiates; meanwhile, a large number evince understanding and even sympathy for terrorist protagonists as victims, resorting to desperate measures out of frustration; and there is a growing belief in the fundamental Islamist proposition that there is a real war against Islam.

All The Rest Is Commentary

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While watching the endless pundit blather on TV tonight after the Republican Michigan Primary and Democratic Nevada Debate and reading the various opinion meisters commentaries online, I had one of those rare zen moments of simplicity. It all comes down to a simple question:

Who would you like to be in the White House if Pakistan fell to al Qaeda and the Islamists gained control of its nuclear arsenal?

Answer that question and you will know your candidate. All the rest, as they say, is commentary.

The Enlightenment versus Sharia law is an historic battle.

The Plaintiff's Bar's Lap Donkeys

In my view, the President's inherent constitutional powers allow him to direct intelligence agencies to intercept international terrorist communications, with or without FISA. The real problem, I suspect--and the sticking point between the House and the Senate--is that the Senate bill provided immunity for telecom companies that cooperate with intelligence agencies.

The agencies need this cooperation to intercept terrorist communications, and, while the Constitution empowers the President to direct the intelligence agencies, it doesn't give him the authority to commandeer the resources of telecom companies.

If this seems nuts, it is; but it is the world we live in, and the world that Nancy Pelosi is determined to preserve for her contributors in the plaintiffs' bar.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The "Good Idea"

I frankly don't get all the Obamamania.
His speeches remind me of Gertrude Stein's comment about Oakland--there's no there there.

So, his only executive experience is running a law school magazine, and not with any apparently distinguishment.

Here's something else disturbing. He hasn't performed that well in debates. His primary accomplishment, and talent, seems to be to make vaporous but inspiring (to some) speeches,

Shorn of his Teleprompter, we saw a different Obama. His delivery was halting and unsure.

If this is the case, then we are on the brink of taking a cipher, with no notable accomplishments in running anything, who is persuasive and compelling as a speaker only when reading others' words, and putting him in charge of the armed forces and other government institutions of the most powerful nation in the history of mankind.

Is this really a good idea?

Saudi Shocka

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MAYBE BLAIR SHOULD'VE HAD 'EM KILLED OR SOMETHING: "Saudi Arabia's rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday." Or at least gone public with the story and frozen all Saudi assets in Britain. Then again, that's kind of what's happening anyway, albeit in slow motion.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Red Line

From Hezb'allah's view point, a "red" line has been crossed and the organization will look for vengeance. The most reliable barometer of Hezb'allah's reaction to this will depend if Israel is somehow held accountable for this action. When Israel killed Hezb'allah Secretary General Abbas Musawi in February 1992, the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina was destroyed a few weeks later. This 1992 attack was claimed by Hezb'allah's terrorist wing, the Islamic Jihad Organization, in retaliation for Musawi's death. If Mughniyah is indeed dead and Israel is held responsible, the clock is ticking. Hezb'allah will retaliate for this. Bank on it. If history provides any benchmark, look for a spectacular event in the very near future. As stated in my previous pieces, Hezb'allah has extensive contingency plans for this sort of occurrence and can put "steel on target" in short order.

Proud To Be A Scandinavian Today...

This is a very good sign, and something I hope will spread to the mainstream newspapers and television channels of the rest of the world—because a unified front that refuses to back down is the only way to guarantee freedom of speech for all media outlets, in the face of worldwide Islamist intimidation and violence: Danish Papers Reprint Muhammad Cartoon, To ‘Unambiguously Back’ Freedom.

(AP) Denmark’s leading newspapers on Wednesday reprinted a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked deadly rioting in Muslim countries two years ago.

The papers said they wanted to show their firm commitment to freedom of speech after Tuesday’s arrest in western Denmark of three people accused of plotting to kill the man who drew the cartoon, which shows Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.


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Good On Them

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Ross' bill, the "American-Made Energy Act of 2008," also would create tax credits to build new nuclear power plants throughout the United States, with an aim of having 40 percent of the nation's power come from nuclear sources.

Ross, a leader of a group of fiscally conservative Democrats known as the Blue Dog Coalition, is a co-sponsor on the bill with Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. Ross told reporters on a conference call Thursday that technology would allow companies to drill for oil without endangering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska.

Good for them.

One Worth Pursuing

Now, here is an investigation that would actually be worth pursuing: why did Nancy Pelosi and her House leadership refuse to take up the FISA reform bill? Did they deliberately sacrifice the security of Americans to placate their far-left base? Or was there a corrupt bargain with major Democratic Party contributors, who hope to make millions by suing telecoms? Did Nancy Pelosi politicize our national security by subordinating the security interests of all Americans to the financial interests of the Democratic Party's biggest contributors?

Circumstantially, the answer to the last question would appear to be "Yes." Perhaps that explains why Pelosi and her confederates are so eager to focus newspaper headlines on ridiculous "investigations" of the Bush administration.

Cycle 24?

Something is happening to our Sun. It has to do with sunspots, or rather the activity cycle their coming and going signifies. After a period of exceptionally high activity in the 20th century, our Sun has suddenly gone exceptionally quiet. Months have passed with no spots visible on its disc. We are at the end of one cycle of activity and astronomers are waiting for the sunspots to return and mark the start of the next, the so-called cycle 24. They have been waiting for a while now with no sign it's on its way any time soon.
The first indications that the Sun is emerging from its current sunspot minimum will be the appearance of small spots at high latitude. They usually occur some 12-20 months before the start of a new cycle. These spots haven't appeared yet so cycle 24 will probably not begin to take place until 2009 at the earliest.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yes We Can

Obama can speak like Reagan. But he will attempt to reverse pretty much everything that Reagan did.

That's unequivocally NOT what we need.

(Britney Nation Part 23565)

Britney's Nation Hearts Obama

A few days ago at the urging of Sean Hannity, Frank Luntz asked a polling group at a Democratic debate to name one of Senator Obama's accomplishments. A whole section was polled and no one could name a single feat. It didn't matter to them, they liked him. Obama profits hugely from his plainness. His oratory may stir liberals, but much of that perception comes from the juxtaposition against the blandness from which that it emanates.

Another Hannity moment illustrates Obama's success well. Awhile back, maybe a year or more, he was talking to some random teens on his radio show asking questions to demonstrate how poorly our young people are educated in government and politics. One young woman responded that she wanted Obama in the White House because she was "tired of all the drama" since 9/11.

The Militant Line

Something occured to me reading Spengler's recent article on William's idiocy. Spengler talks about the European politicians who require bodyguards because they've received death threats from speaking out against Sharia, and no-go zones, and the like.

It reminded me of Imperial Japan. In the 20's and 30's, Japan essentially went politically insane because junior Army officers would assasinate any politician that didn't toe the militant line. Eventually, all that was left were the rabid and those they had cowed.

Europe has one chance - now - to stop the madness. If the death threats and intimidation go on much longer, there will be no turning back, and Europe will commit suicide just as Imperial Japan did, dragged along by nutcases with warped upbringings.

The Schoolboy

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"Bin Laden is a schoolboy in comparison with Mughniyeh," says an Israeli who knows Mughniyeh . "The guy is a genius, someone who refined the art of terrorism to its utmost level. We studied him and reached the conclusion that he is a clinical psychopath motivated by uncontrollable psychological reasons, which we have given up trying to understand. The killing of his two brothers by the Americans only inflamed his strong motivation."

Well, being blown up should dampen that motivation quite a bit.

Teaching Math

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1. Teaching Math In 1950s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

4. Teaching Math In 1980s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math In 1990s

A logger cuts down a beautiful old-growth hardwood forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes?
Remember, there are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's okay.

6. Teaching Math In 2007

Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?

What The Smartest Man In The World Is Reviewing Today

Well, even though I'm sick as a dog in a hotel in Peoria — where it's 5 degrees — this made my day. The paperback blurb:

Those who put a high value on words may recoil at the title of Jonah Goldberg’s new book, Liberal Fascism. As a result, they may refuse to read it, which will be their loss — and a major loss.

Those who value substance over words, however, will find in this book a wealth of challenging insights, backed up by thorough research and brilliant analysis.

This is the sort of book that challenges the fundamental assumptions of its time — and which, for that reason, is likely to be shunned rather than criticized.  ....

....Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism is too rich a book to be summarized in a newspaper column. Get a copy and start rethinking the received notions about who is on “the Left” and who is on “the Right.” It is a book for people who want to think, rather than repeat rhetoric.

And what I'm starting to read a second time... Go buy one for yourself.

In fact, I'll buy a copy for you if you're one of the first ten folks to email me asking for a copy.

Take that Gramsci!

No There There

Sen. Obama voted against it.  Mind you, the bill — which is chockablock with too many terrorist protections and thus far from perfect — passed by an overwhelming bipartisan margin, 68-29.  As the Wall Street Journal's editors put it this morning: 

It says something about his national security world view, or his callowness, that Mr. Obama would vote to punish private companies that even the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee said had "acted in good faith." Had Senator Obama prevailed, a President Obama might well have been told "no way" when he asked private Americans to help his Administration fight terrorists. Mr. Obama also voted against the overall bill, putting him in territory.

Hillary Clinton was even worse.  She didn't show up to vote.  This was the most important national security vote in her Senate career.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Where The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Really Came From...

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Hillary Clinton’s political methods were founded on the theories of a 1960s radical about whom she wrote her college thesis in 1969.  It may take a village to raise a child, but Clinton’s college thesis seems to say that the village politicos need an enemy to mobilize against.

She titled the paper, written to fulfill her Bachelor of Arts degree at Wellesley College, “There is Only the Fight.” It praises the work of radical activist Saul Alinsky, a man who epitomized a self-interested no-holds barred campaign style that Hillary has emulated in later years.
One year after Hillary turned in her thesis, Time Magazine profiled Alinsky. Their assessment was much different than hers. It said, “In his [Alinsky’s] view, the end of achieving power justifies a range of means…If the occasion requires, Alinsky’s forces will not refrain from spreading rumors about an antagonist or indulging in something that comes very close to blackmail.”

It's So Nice To Be Stoned

89  To be divyne we must first be diverse

90  So cheer thee well, thynges could be wors

91  Sharia is Englishe as tea and scones,

92  So everybody muste get stoned."

93  The pilgryms shuffled for the door

94  To face the rule of the Moor;

95  Poets, Professors, Starbucks workers

96  Donning turbans, veils and burqqas.

97  As they face theyr fynal curtan

98  Of Englande folk, one thynge is certan:

99  Dying by theyr own thousande cuts,

100  The Englande folk are folking nuts.


Move Along Now...

Mr. Clinton's action was opposed by the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. attorney offices that prosecuted the cases and the victims whose lives had been shattered. In contravention of standard procedures, none of these agencies, victims or families of victims were consulted or notified prior to the president's announcement.

Who did want these prisoners released? Three members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, all from New York, had demanded action to release the FALN terrorists. Hillary needed their support in her upcoming Senate bid, and that of other Hispanic leaders.

Voluntary Consent(!)

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That makes a lurid lie out
of Williams' bland assertion that adherence to
sharia "assumes the voluntary consent or
submission of the believer":
Sharia depends for its legitimacy
not on any human decision, not on votes or
preferences, but on the conviction that it
represents the mind of God ... while such
universal claims are not open for
re-negotiation, they also assume the voluntary
consent or submission of the believer, the free
decision to be and to continue a member of the
Williams was lying. His
authority in matters of sharia is Ramadan, whom
the Department of Homeland Security prevented from

accepting an American
university appointment.
watched Ramadan defend the stoning of women for
the crime of adultery in a televised debate with
the present President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy

Funny In A Way

It's a seemingly crazy world. The "Danish police said Tuesday they have arrested three people suspected of plotting to kill one of the 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Muhammad drawings that sparked a deadly uproar in the Muslim world two years ago," according to the Associated Press. And this while a Canadian Human Rights Commission simultaneously investigates McLean's for having the temerity to reprint the cartoons. But only seemingly crazy. Underlying the issue of the cartoons is the deadly serious question of whether the West is at cultural war with Islam. But since the public can't talk about the possibility of a cultural war, it talks about the cartoons. Which is funny in a way.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Doesn't It?

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In a stunning turn of events, a high-level Muslim military aide blamed for costing an intelligence contractor his job will step down from his own Pentagon post, WND has learned.

"Stunning" is the new "predictable."

Meanwhile, his rival, Maj. Stephen Coughlin, a leading authority on Islamic war doctrine, may stay in the Pentagon, moving from the office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the office of the secretary of defense. However, sources say a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey is trying to block his new contract.

The top Pentagon aide, Egyptian-born Hesham H. Islam, came under a cloud of suspicion after reports raised doubt about his resume and contacts he had made with radical Muslims. He is expected to leave the government next month, officials say.

Meanwhile, Coughlin is still fired, because of course this latest revelation shows how absurd the notion is that there's some deep connection between Islam and terrorism.

Doesn't it?

The Death Sentence

Christopher Hitchens has a good piece on the Archbishop’s sharia idiocy: The archbishop of Canterbury’s dangerous embrace of sharia.

Picture the life of a young Urdu-speaking woman brought to Yorkshire from Pakistan to marry a man—quite possibly a close cousin—whom she has never met. He takes her dowry, beats her, and abuses the children he forces her to bear. She is not allowed to leave the house unless in the company of a male relative and unless she is submissively covered from head to toe. Suppose that she is able to contact one of the few support groups that now exist for the many women in Britain who share her plight. What she ought to be able to say is, “I need the police, and I need the law to be enforced.” But what she will often be told is, “Your problem is better handled within the community.” And those words, almost a death sentence, have now been endorsed and underwritten—and even advocated—by the country’s official spiritual authority.

On The Likelihood Of Chickens Roosting

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These superdelegates, Byzantine hyper-egalitarian Democratic Party delegate selection formulas, and the fact that many delegates are selected at conventions or by caucuses rather than primaries, combine to offer the distinct possibility that by convention time the candidate leading in the popular vote in the primaries will be trailing in the delegate count.

How ironic. For over seven years the Democratic Party has fulminated against the Electoral College system that gave George W. Bush the presidency over popular-vote winner Al Gore in 2000. But they have designed a Rube Goldberg nominating process that could easily produce a result much like the Electoral College result in 2000: a winner of the delegate count, and thus the nominee, over the candidate favored by a majority of the party's primary voters.

What's All This Then About Medical Science?

Female Muslim medical students in the U.K. are refusing to scrub up to their elbows before getting, well, up to their elbows in someone else's guts, as baring ones arms is "immodest."

Hey, you know what's really immodest? Claiming your religion as a pretext to justify giving other people staph infections. 

Surely Rowan Williams will promptly volunteer for a bit of elected surgery by female Muslim docs just because he doesn't understand what all the fuss is about.  

The Real Issue

Archbishop Williams makes an easy target for the country’s anxieties over failed Muslim assimilation. No-one’s afraid of retaliation from this gentle patriarch. Yet the same government officials who rebuke Williams and argue that Sharia law contradicts British values say nothing about Britain’s recent decision to grant welfare benefits to spouses in foreign polygamous marriages. It’s one thing to decry Williams’s remarks on Sharia, and quite another to openly oppose polygamy and cousin marriage.
While Woolas has raised the question of birth defects, the most serious concern is that cousin marriage blocks assimilation. (I show how in "Assimilation Studies" and "Assimilation Studies, Part II.") That is why cousin marriage poses a genuine threat to Britain’s survival as a nation. The most spectacular example is today’s report that surveillance planes in Afghanistan have picked up the voices of Taliban fighters speaking in, for example, Bradford accents.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

We Find Ourselves In A Wasteland...

In the Anbar document, the author describes an Al Qaeda in crisis, with citizens growing weary of militants’ presence and foreign fighters too eager to participate in suicide missions rather than continuing to fight, said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a U.S. military spokesman.

“We lost cities and afterward, villages... We find ourselves in a wasteland desert,” Smith quoted the document as saying.

The memo — believed to have been written in summer 2007 — cites militants’ increasing difficulty in moving around and transporting weapons and suicide belts because of better equipped Iraqi police and more watchful citizens, Smith said.

They Mean Well...

But gee, they mean well...just because their self-righteous and emotional posturing always seems to result in exactly the opposite outcome from what they say they intended--i.e., enabling our enemies, increasing our energy dependence, maintaining the poor and sick as perpetual victims of the evil capitalists--doesn't mean they aren't really swell guys and gals. Or, does it?
The word "mean" having multiple "meanings" of course