Sunday, February 26, 2006
This poster advertises the Nazi charity, the NSV. The text translates: "Health, child protection, fighting poverty, aiding travellers, community, helping mothers: These are the tasks of the National Socialist People's Charity. Become a member!" These planks could just as well be taken from the platform of any modern collectivist movement i.e. socialized medicine, welfare, child day care etc. Of course, like other collectivist schemes, "membership" was not always "voluntary".
Poster Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
Editor's Note, 2/23/2006: It is never good form to say "I told you so," but it can be tempting. Especially when the subject matter – weapons of mass destruction – has been the backbone of hysterical anti-war rhetoric from very early on. The essay below, written in 2004, argues that the logical question has always been: Where have the weapons been moved?
It seems that we now know that answer:
"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands. I am confident they were taken over." Georges Sada, former Iraqi General.
To corroborate this General’s statement, we would expect to find traces of WMD left behind in Iraq that even the most thorough "scrubbing" operation would miss. And traces are exactly what we found:
"Two people were treated for 'minor exposure' after the sarin incident but no serious injuries were reported. Soldiers transporting the shell for inspection suffered symptoms consistent with low-level chemical exposure, which is what led to the discovery." (Source.)
Further, it is reasonable to expect terrorists to emerge from Syria with those WMD to attack U.S. allies:
"Government officials have said the suspects plotted to detonate a powerful bomb targeting Jordan's secret service and use poison gas against the prime minister's office, the U.S. Embassy and other diplomatic missions. Had the bomb exploded, it could have killed at least 20,000 people and wrecked buildings within a half-mile radius, the officials have said." (NOTE: These terrorists were seized at the border between Jordan and Syria. Source.)
Let's recap. These Al Qaeda terrorists, who hail from Iraq, possessed chemical weapons of mass destruction and were captured exiting Syria, a country that does not have the capability of producing these weapons, that also happens to border Iraq to the east. A former Iraqi General says the weapons were moved there and traces of these chemical weapons were found left behind.
How curious that the conviction last week of these Iraqi Al Qaeda terrorists possessing WMD was barely covered in the media.
"Jordan sentences nine al-Qaeda terrorists to death for planning chemical attacks against government and US targets in 2004…Twenty tons of chemicals and explosives were seized, including sulfuric acid, which can be used as a blistering agent or to increase the size of conventional explosions." (Source.)
Despite this evidence, some liberals will still argue the WMD were destroyed. The cornerstone of this logic suggests that we must trust the Hussein regime’s public claims and not trust General Sada, the findings of coalition forces or the circumstantial evidence of the Jordan terrorist plot. Their argument relies on Saddam:
"In the future, what would prevent a booby trapped car causing a nuclear explosion in Washington or a germ or a chemical one?" Saddam said. (Source.)
And Tariq Aziz:
"The biological (attack) is very easy to make. It's so simple that any biologist can make a bottle of germs and drop it into a water tower and kill 100,000." (Source.)
And Saddam's son-in-law:
"They don’t know any of this. We did not say we used them on Iran. We did not reveal the volume of the chemical weapons that we had produced. We did not reveal the type of the chemical weapons. We did not reveal the truth about the volume of the imported materials."
Liberals…I told you so.
Where Are the WMD?
Where Are the WMD?
A drug bust in Texas…
Outside a Texas border town, the local cops, along with agents from the ATF, DEA and Border Patrol, surrounded a broken-down farmhouse and barn complex. For several years, the nondescript bean farm had been serving as a regional drug processing and distribution center for a large crime organization. Opium derivatives poured out of this facility, which was nicknamed by the DEA “Little Columbia,” to end up on the streets of San Antonio and Austin. Furthermore, surveillance performed by each of the agencies independently confirmed the presence of the drugs as well as an extensive cache of automatic weapons. Two undercover agents from the DEA had even spent time in Little Columbia covertly filming all aspects of the sophisticated operation.
Strangely enough, when it came time to “hit” the Little Columbia facility, the local ACLU arrived and served an injunction blocking the move to shut down the illegal drug operation. Such were the methods of the ACLU that the law enforcement officers, gathered in secret around the perimeter of the barn complex, were exposed because of the commotion. The police and federal agents left. After addressing the legal issues, the agents returned to assault the complex a week later only to encounter the same obstinate group of lawyers with a new injunction from a different judge. The police and agents retreated again, to the general amusement of the “farmhands.”
The authorities eventually raided Little Columbia and discovered absolutely no drugs or weapons. A local reporter, standing on a hill overlooking the operation, turned to his cameraman and said, "Can you believe it? There were no drugs in Little Columbia after all! This raid was unjustified! There never were any drugs; the cops and the feds lied. They made up the story about the drugs just to steal the bean crop."
Of course, you laugh at this tale - the reporter’s comments are idiotic. Yet, the story above describes the circumstances present during the lead up to the Iraq war, and the comments of the reporter, so clearly inane in this setting, parallel the comments of liberals everywhere about WMD.
This made-up story makes a critical point in the WMD debate: why are only the wrong questions being asked about WMDs, and, more importantly, why are conservatives conceding the premise that there are no WMDs?
- FACT: WMD existed.
- FACT: WMD had been used in the past.
- FACT: Independent authorities confirmed the existence of WMD.
- FACT: The owner of the WMD knew that an attack was coming because of the WMD.
- FACT: Lots of time passed.
- FACT: The assault took place.
- FACT: No significant caches of WMD have been found in Iraq (Note: sarin-tipped artillery shells have been found).
The only logical question given these facts is: "Where are the WMD?" Just as the only logical question in the above story is: "Where are the drugs and weapons? Where did the bad guys, given time and adequate notice, move the drugs and weapons?"
The important question that remains regarding WMD is: "Where have they been moved?" The quietly reported seizure of sarin gas on the Syrian/Jordanian border gives us an idea as to the answer to that question.
Copyright © 2004 Dan Hallagan. All Rights Reserved.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
I was ten years old when my home exploded around me, burying me under the rubble and leaving me to drink my blood to survive, as the perpetrators shouted “Allah Akbar!” My only crime was that I was a Christian living in a Christian town. At 10 years old, I learned the meaning of the word “infidel.”
I had a crash course in survival. Not in the Girl Scouts, but in a bomb shelter where I lived for seven years in pitch darkness, freezing cold, drinking stale water and eating grass to live. At the age of 13 I dressed in my burial clothes going to bed at night, waiting to be slaughtered. By the age of 20, I had buried most of my friends–killed by Muslims. We were not Americans living in New York, or Britons in London. We were Arab Christians living in Lebanon.
As a victim of Islamic terror, I was amazed when I saw Americans waking up on September 12, 2001, and asking themselves “Why do they hate us?” The psychoanalyst experts were coming up with all sort of excuses as to what did we do to offend the Muslim World. But if America and the West were paying attention to the Middle East they would not have had to ask the question. Simply put, they hate us because we are defined in their eyes by one simple word: “infidels.”
Under the banner of Islam “la, ilaha illa allah, muhammad rasoulu allah,” (None is god except Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) they murdered Jewish children in Israel, massacred Christians in Lebanon, killed Copts in Egypt, Assyrians in Syria, Hindus in India, and expelled almost 900,000 Jews from Muslim lands. We Middle Eastern infidels paid the price then. Now infidels worldwide are paying the price for indifference and shortsightedness.
Tolerating evil is a crime. Appeasing murderers doesn’t buy protection. It earns one disrespect and loathing in the enemy’s eyes. Yet apathy is the weapon by which the West is committing suicide. Political correctness forms the shackles around our ankles, by which Islamists are leading us to our demise.
America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam. You hear about Wahabbi and Salafi Islam as the only extreme form of Islam. All the other Muslims, supposedly, are wonderful moderates. Closer to the truth are the pictures of the irrational eruption of violence in reaction to the cartoons of Mohammed printed by a Danish newspaper. From burning embassies, to calls to butcher those who mock Islam, to warnings that the West be prepared for another holocaust, those pictures have given us a glimpse into the real face of the enemy. News pictures and video of these events represent a canvas of hate decorated by different nationalities who share one common ideology of hate, bigotry and intolerance derived from one source: authentic Islam. An Islam that is awakening from centuries of slumber to re-ignite its wrath against the infidel and dominate the world. An Islam which has declared “Intifada” on the West.
America and the West can no longer afford to lay in their lazy state of overweight ignorance. The consequences of this mental disease are starting to attack the body, and if they don’t take the necessary steps now to control it, death will be knocking soon. If you want to understand the nature of the enemy we face, visualize a tapestry of snakes. They slither and they hiss, and they would eat each other alive, but they will unite in a hideous mass to achieve their common goal of imposing Islam on the world.
This is the ugly face of the enemy we are fighting. We are fighting a powerful ideology that is capable of altering basic human instincts. An ideology that can turn a mother into a launching pad of death. A perfect example is a recently elected Hamas official in the Palestinian Territories who raves in heavenly joy about sending her three sons to death and offering the ones who are still alive for the cause. It is an ideology that is capable of offering highly educated individuals such as doctors and lawyers far more joy in attaining death than any respect and stature, life in society is ever capable of giving them.
The United States has been a prime target for radical Islamic hatred and terror. Every Friday, mosques in the Middle East ring with shrill prayers and monotonous chants calling death, destruction and damnation down on America and its people. The radical Islamists’ deeds have been as vile as their words. Since the Iran hostage crisis, more than three thousand Americans have died in a terror campaign almost unprecedented in its calculated cruelty along with thousands of other citizens worldwide. Even the Nazis did not turn their own children into human bombs, and then rejoice at their deaths as well the deaths of their victims. This intentional, indiscriminate and wholesale murder of innocent American citizens is justified and glorified in the name of Islam.
America cannot effectively defend itself in this war unless and until the American people understand the nature of the enemy that we face. Even after 9/11 there are those who say that we must “engage” our terrorist enemies, that we must “address their grievances”. Their grievance is our freedom of religion. Their grievance is our freedom of speech. Their grievance is our democratic process where the rule of law comes from the voices of many not that of just one prophet. It is the respect we instill in our children towards all religions. It is the equality we grant each other as human beings sharing a planet and striving to make the world a better place for all humanity. Their grievance is the kindness and respect a man shows a woman, the justice we practice as equals under the law, and the mercy we grant our enemy. Their grievance cannot be answered by an apology for who or what we are.
Our mediocre attitude of not confronting Islamic forces of bigotry and hatred wherever they raised their ugly head in the last 30 years, has empowered and strengthened our enemy to launch a full scale attack on the very freedoms we cherish in their effort to impose their values and way of life on our civilization.
If we don’t wake up and challenge our Muslim community to take action against the terrorists within it, if we don’t believe in ourselves as Americans and in the standards we should hold every patriotic American to, we are going to pay a price for our delusion. For the sake of our children and our country, we must wake up and take action. In the face of a torrent of hateful invective and terrorist murder, America’s learning curve since the Iran hostage crisis is so shallow that it is almost flat. The longer we lay supine, the more difficult it will be to stand erect.
h/t eternity road
Monday, February 20, 2006
Last Saturday’s riots in Antwerp, when Moroccan “youths” went on the rampage in Antwerp’s historical center, destroying cars and beating up reporters, has led to frustration among police officers because the authorities prevented them from stopping the violence. Officers complained in today’s papers that they had been given orders to watch passively while young, rowdy Muslims were allowed to take revenge over... drawings published more than four months ago in a Danish newspaper.h/t No Pasaran
“We had to watch how they were ripping off car mirrors. We wanted to stop this vandalism but were ordered to withdraw,” an anonymous policeman says in today’s Flemish daily De Standaard. “An ambulance was told to switch off its siren because that might provoke the Moroccans.” Another anonymous officer told the press: “There you are watching this, while citizens can see that you are powerless.” According to an anonymous police chief the authorities decided, that “it was better to have a few cars vandalized than risk open war in the streets.” On Monday the city council, led by the Socialist mayor Patrick Janssens, decided that the city would compensate the damage to cars and property.
In demanding new laws punishing “islamophobia” Imam Said Mdaoucki of the Antwerp Mosque Federation added, “but we want to know how far freedom of speech is allowed to go. Can you ridicule someone’s values and beliefs? Is that freedom of speech?”
by Paul Belien, The Brussels Journal
All Leonidas can say is: MOLON LABE
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Bonfire of the inanities
By John Burtis
Sunday, February 19, 2006
When Harry Whittington strode out of the Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, wearing a blazer, a crisp white shirt and a smile, as well as a bruise and a few small scabs, to face the media last Thursday, the whole artful and painfully constructed edifice of the liberal communications industry and their Democratic hand maidens came crashing down around them.
And, further, that this particular instrument of destruction - this latest and greatest, almost nuclear, weapon, which had fallen into the hands of the Democrats and their media tools courtesy of the Vice President, who appears to be so heedless of their power and influence that he tended to his friend before he deigned to inform them, the loyal liberal protectors and Myrmidons of progressive thought - was spent.
Of course, Dick Cheney gave an exclusive TV interview to Brit Hume on the dreaded Fox News. This act caused an apoplectic shock wave to reverberate through CNN, and caused this lockstep liberal Democratic mouthpiece to bawl loudly in protest. And then, seen by the media kingpins, Democratic operatives, and walking parodies like Alec Baldwin, as an effort to pile on and as part of the ongoing cover-up directed from the lowliest small town deputy to the highest reaches of government, the Kenedy County Sheriff’s Office issued a report exonerating the Vice President, which called for no further action, calling the unfortunate incident, an "accident."
And on the world front, as the hunting accident is still being rehashed for inconsistencies, investigated for further nefarious activities and the possible consumption of, gasp, a beer in the woods, the cartoon intifada goes on, Iran continues its nuclear build up, North Korea remains a menace, Hamas continues its activities to destroy Israel, we have helicopters down off the African coast, the UN remains a rotten borough, Islamist terrorists are still killing people in Iraq and the Philippines and the beat goes on.
But at home the US press burns in its own bonfire of inanities and it won’t step out of the fireplace or look outside its ridiculously small box because there was a hunting accident and somebody’s got to pay.
Read the whole thing
The price controls were effective as of Sept. 1, 2005 and current controls base limits on per-gallon charges by averaging wholesale gas prices in New York, Los Angeles and the Gulf Coast. The PUC then adds a 4-cent "location adjustment" fee and another 18 cents as a market margin factor. Then a few cents more are added for transportation costs to various islands. Wholesale prices are set by the bureaucrats every Wednesday and go into effect the following Sunday. Way to go! This is the same system used by the former Soviet Union and that worked swell.
Before the gas cap law, Hawaiian motorists paid an average of 44 cents more per gallon than the mainland. Since the law went into effect in September, however, the differential has increased to more than 50 cents per gallon.
Rep. Marcus Oshiro said this week Hawaii has "achieved price parity with the mainland and in that sense, the law has been working." But he also notes that "oil companies have posted record profits during this period and without greater transparency, we are unable to determine whether the cap has allowed unreasonable profits. The enforcement was not as vigorous as we thought it could be."
One of the gas cap's key supporters is Senate "Consumer Protection Committee" (the names politicians conjure up to apply to their fiefs is an endless source of Orwellian amusement) Chairman Ron Menor, who said he will do everything he can to make sure the cap stays in place.
"I cannot support a repeal because I think that would really be caving in to the oil industry that doesn't want to be regulated," Menor said.
Menor is proposing changes to the cap which he says could save drivers an extra 16-cents per gallon. But if a 16 cent saving is good, would not a 50 cent saving be better?
This amusing situation reminds Leonidas of a discussion he had with a Communist Party local official from Sweden a few years ago on the implosion of the U.S.S.R. She said the unfortunate events could have been avoided if only the Russian party elite had properly followed the ideas of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.
Steven Denbeste has an apt description of this mentality that applies to virtually all collectivist movements:
When someone tries to use a strategy which is dictated by their ideology, and that strategy doesn't seem to work, then they are caught in something of a cognitive bind. If they acknowledge the failure of the strategy, then they would be forced to question their ideology. If questioning the ideology is unthinkable, then the only possible conclusion is that the strategy failed because it wasn't executed sufficiently well. They respond by turning up the power, rather than by considering alternatives. (This is sometimes referred to as "escalation of failure".)
The noble idea can't be wrong, the solution was just "poorly implemented." So schedule a few show trials of "corrupt" managers and turn up the power.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Victor Davis Hanson
This idea that we must bow with particular depth to the sensitivities of protected classes people pervades our culture. It is embedded in our nation's employment laws. For roughly the last ten to fifteen years, it has been possible for an offended employee in a "protected class" to sue his or her employer because somebody in the workplace uttered speech that the plaintiff found offensive. Pure "hostile environment" cases do not require any discriminatory job action -- the speech itself is tortious if it sufficiently offends the plaintiff that a jury can say that the conditions of the plaintiff's work have changed. Indeed, plaintiffs can collect damages under this theory even if the speech comes from somebody who has no authority, including bottom echelon employees or customers, if the employer does not crack down on that speech. Employers now have to police the speech of their employees or their customers, lest somebody in a protected class be offended. We police what our employees read, write or say, not just on company time but through company laptops, company servers and company networks. We have to do this, or a court can order us to pay huge sums in damages all because of an expressed opinion.Even though it is true enough that tort law here in the U.S. is distinct from criminal law, when one considers that the payment of "damages" deprives one of property, the slippery slope has already been tread upon.
Since almost everywhere outside the home is somebody's place of employment, we now effectively police speech in a huge segment of American society, because we -- meaning supporters of the hostile environment line of employment law cases -- feel that sensitivity to the feelings of "historically oppressed" (protected) peoples is more important than unfettered speech.
Friday, February 17, 2006
The Islamic Jihadiis are primitive but they do understand repercussions and power. They are trained and ‘educated’ in mosques. This might be an opportune time to remind the Imams responsible for initiating these ‘martyr missions’, that they also are vulnerable.
Now, Europe and the West are “hoping for negotiations that would avoid humiliating Iran and allow it to maintain its “national dignity.” Who is left standing (that is American) that thinks Iran has any dignity besides Jimmy Carter?
I’m waiting for the ACLU to rush in and sue the offending newspapers for bruising the feelings of the shocked Arabs. Even the self-haters and psychotic leftists seem to be slightly toning down their rhetoric. The scenes they are watching on television might only partially be the work of Karl Rove and have shocked some sense into their mushy brains.
Personally, I think that this just might be the time for Israel to seize the moment. They always have to, sooner or later. Instead of waiting for new directions for more road maps to hell, how about cutting off their implacable enemies’ electricity, water supply and access to Israeli hospitalisation and ship them back to their home in Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia so their “brothers” can show some love? Transfer is a logical word. Don’t fund them… don’t negotiate with them, don’t hire them, don’t befriend them… deport them! Defeat them! And keep in mind - since they revere death…give it to them.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The victim of Cheney's strayed shotgun round, Harry Whittington, is a lawyer in private practice. He's not a public official and never has been. By what reasoning does the press have any right to know anything about him? One might reply that the meat of the story is about the shooter, not the victim; the point would be well taken. But by what reasoning does the press suggest that the incident was being covered up?
Why, simply that Mr. Whittington's well being was placed ahead of the obligation -- obligation! -- to inform the press of the accident.
Inasmuch as no public official was harmed in any way, nor was any process of government affected, this seems a bit of a stretch.
In general, it is well that high officials remain in full view at most times. It is particularly well that they should have great difficulty concealing their uses of their official powers. But Dick Cheney was on a private hunting trip, a vacation break from the responsibilities of his office; in loosing an errant round that peppered Harry Whittington in the face and chest, he employed none of the powers nor perquisites of his office:
* He didn't dismiss his Secret Service retinue so that he could receive oral sex from an intern while discussing foreign policy;
* He didn't haul a favor-seeker into an unused side office so that he could grope her and importune her for sexual access;
* He didn't direct the Internal Revenue Service to initiate investigations of his political adversaries;
* He didn't demand access to "raw" FBI files on highly placed Republican organizers and fundraisers;
* He didn't refuse to testify before a Senate convened to try him for abuse of his powers.
* He didnt impede the investigation of a “suicide” by removing evidence of a possible motive from the victim’s white house office.
Of course, the subject of the peccadilloes above wasn't deemed by the press to be an enemy. But if it's enemies they need, how about this one: Several women who worked for Senator Robert Packwood refrained for years from accusing him publicly of sexual misconduct toward them, specifically because he was pro-abortion.
Where was the press's outrage then? Where was "the public's right to know?"
It sharpens the point to learn that the gentlemen of the press are more interested in accidents involving their enemies than in crimes committed by their friends.
The American news-consumer can no longer afford to have his information flow throttled by persons who place more importance on swaying him than on informing him. And "throttling" is just what many of our Old Media barons have in mind for us, as witness the near-absolute unwillingness among American newspapers and television broadcasters to show the twelve Jyllands-Posten cartoons over which millions of Muslims are beside themselves with shari'a-induced rage.
How about a trade? If the editors of the major American newspapers and television news bureaus will all agree to display the Jyllands-Posten cartoons prominently and at once, with a complete explanation of their context, the distortions spread about them, and the riots over them, then Vice-President Cheney will agree to make informing them his very first priority, the next time he shoots someone.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
MOLON LABEThe New Slavery
Over the last several decades, Liberals and Democrats have been pulling off the greatest scam of all time -- rewriting history itself. It's amazing how, in a free society, they have managed to hijack the past, twisting the truth by subtle manipulation. Somehow the Left has convinced a sizeable portion of Americans that lowered expectations and government coddling are their birthright by reason of their African ancestry. The new slavery is an enslavement of the mind, and its victims willingly embrace their chains.
Multiculturalists (those who preach self-segregation) have convinced many black Americans to believe they even have a different history from the rest of the country. This is a distortion of reality that has already caused much damage to our national identity. What is "black history month" supposed to represent, anyway? All those people and events singled out for special recognition as being part of "black history" were, in fact, AMERICAN events and AMERICAN people. Every American should celebrate the achievements of Americans who made a positive impact on our shared history, without dividing them according to skin color. All Americans have equal reason and right to be proud of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin as well as Booker T. Washington and Benjamin Banneker.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
In a landmark study conducted with exquisite care, Professors Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen assayed the intelligence levels of 168 different nations. Their published results were too carefully arrived at to be attacked on objective grounds, so those who would have welcomed the chance to besmirch Lynn's and Vanhanen's methods, have largely ignored them.
One of the more ominous items from the study is that the average IQ of the world's Islamic nations is about 87.
The norm for worldwide IQ testing is, as it always has been, 100 exactly. That is, the average of the raw test scores of all persons worldwide, when averaged in the usual (i.e., the mean) fashion, is assigned to an IQ measurement of 100.
The central principle of a just and peaceful society is reciprocity. The greatest voices in history have spoken to this effect:
Confucius: "Do not do to another what you would not have him do unto you."
Jesus Christ: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."
To grasp why these rules are as effective as they are, one must be able to generalize over both space and time: that is, one must be able to project the consequences of men's decisions and actions with fair accuracy. He who lacks the mental capacity to do that will conform to the Confucian and Golden Rules only insofar as he's compelled to do so by some other factor, whether it be empathy, law enforcement, or lack of imagination.
Islam exerts its greatest attractions upon the mentally subnormal. Persons who feel themselves inferior to others are forever looking for a rationale by which they might invert that relation. Islam, which not only nominates its adherents as the chosen of God but also gives them license to kill and subjugate "infidels" in God's name, is a perfect case. Small wonder that Islam's greatest gains among native-born Americans have been in inner-city slums and prisons. In contrast, Muslims of some intelligence, once freed from oppressive surroundings, tend to shed the uglier parts of their creed, usually remaining only nominally Muslim.
It is consistent with subnormal intelligence to respond to an open, generous hand by grabbing, pulling, and demanding more. It takes a modest amount of mental power to realize that this is more likely to convert that hand into a fist than to evoke a second offer of largesse.
By continuing to be openhanded and courteous toward the Islamic states even when we were insulted, obstructed, and attacked in return, we conditioned them, peoples and rulers both, to expect that they could wring even more generosity and accommodation from us by behaving even worse.
The mentally subnormal learn principally through conditioning. We conditioned the Islamic states into behaving as they do. Though American attitudes have changed and American responses have hardened since Black Tuesday, September 11, 2001, those of Europe have not.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Thursday, February 09, 2006
After nearly a week of muslim rioting over cartoons (many of the rioters in Lebanon turn out to be Syrian soldiers imported for the purpose) the collectivists have been able to pin the blame on G.W. Bush.
Leonidas believes that the rioting by all of these bearded folks (where are the females?) was engineered by the sinister Karl Rove to deflect attention from the scandalous, illegal electronic spying on innocent Al Qaeda operatives in the U.S.
[Due for the most part to greenie activism,] oil is expensive, and some oil-states are causing more and more trouble. Regardless of whether you think the earth is warming -- or that, if it is, it's the result of burning fossil fuels -- lots of people do think that. And efforts at preventing nuclear proliferation are looking pretty pointless, these days. Meanwhile, the likelihood that Americans will quit using electricity, or driving around, in order to embrace an ascetic-green lifestyle seems even lower than in the 1970s.
All of this is combining to make nuclear power look more attractive again. In fact, it's starting to build some bridges across traditional divides, as this oped by former anti nuke protester G. Pascal Zachary illustrates:
"I don't regret my youthful opposition to Diablo [Canyon California power plant]. Back then, nuclear plants were badly run and uneconomical, and the near-disaster at Three Mile Island exposed nuclear regulations as a sham. But much has changed in the past 25 years, and for a variety of reasons I think nuclear power deserves another chance.
This greenie then gives away his religious/political agenda by the following statement:
"... We can only push an expansion of nuclear power, which today supplies 20 percent of America's electricity, as part of a comprehensive program to limit the production of greenhouse gases, promote renewable energy sources, and dramatically raise the cost of burning fossil fuels in automobiles. Expanding nuclear power is only one piece of the energy puzzle. But it is a piece we cannot afford to dismiss."The Chinese, facing a rapidly expanding economy with no significant oil reserves of their own, seem to agree. According to MSNBC:
"While experts in the United States and Europe talk about reviving plans for nuclear power, China, as in so many other fields, is racing ahead. The so-called pebblebed technology behind the Beijing test plant originated in Germany more than three decades ago, and the U.S. nuclear-power industry also pursued it. But when public opposition to nuclear energy [mobilized by collectivist greenies] forced those countries to curtail nuclear research in the 1980s, Beijing took over."
In Britain, environmental guru James Lovelock has called for the deployment of nuclear power to fight global warming, but other environmentalists are horrified at the thought. At least, however, the subject is being debated after decades of being off the table entirely.
The question is whether, despite the lead of people like Zachary and Lovelock, the environmentalist religion as a whole will be willing to abandon knee-jerk opposition to nuclear plants. I fear that too many environmentalists who, like Zachary, cut their teeth on antinuclear activism will be less willing to respond to changed circumstances with changed attitudes. Social movements are often more about beliefs than about reality, and ever since Tom Hayden et al. organized the antinuclear movement as a way of preserving some of the anti-Vietnam-war movement's infrastructure, it's been as much a political [and religious] movement as an environmental one.
Will we be able to turn our back on outdated beliefs in order to salvage things in the 21st Century? Stay tuned.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Gaza shopkeeper stocks up on Danish flags to burn06 Feb 2006 16:58:04 GMTSource: Reuters
By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA, Feb 6 (Reuters) - When entrepreneur Ahmed Abu Dayya first heard that Danish caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad were being reprinted across Europe, he knew exactly what his customers in Gaza would want: flags to burn. Abu Dayya ordered 100 hard-to-find Danish and Norwegian flags for his Gaza City shop and has been doing a swift trade. "I do not take political stands. It is all business," he said in an interview. "But this time I was offended by the assault on the Prophet Mohammad." A wave of anger has swept the Muslim world over the publication of the cartoons, one of which shows the Prophet wearing a turban shaped like a bomb. First printed in Denmark, the cartoons have appeared in newspapers across Europe, as well as in the United States. While normally hard to come by in isolated Gaza, Danish and Norwegian flags are now popping up at daily protests, increasingly replacing Israel's Star of David. It's not clear how many merchants apart from Abu Dayya are offering the flags, but they appear to be readily available. Angry Muslims set the flags ablaze or tear them to pieces. At a protest on Monday outside European Union offices in Gaza, dozens of Palestinian students chanted: "Down with Denmark. Down with Norway. With our blood and with our souls, we will sacrifice for our Prophet." In Beirut and Damascus, mobs set Danish and Norwegian embassies on fire. "I knew there would be a demand for the flags because of the angry reaction of people over the offence to Prophet Mohammad," said Abu Dayya, whose PLO Flag Shop also sells souvenirs and presents. He sells his Danish and Norwegian flags for $11 a piece -- a price he acknowledged might be dampening sales. Many protesters prefer to save money and make the flags themselves from scraps of fabric, he said. Abu Dayya sources some of his flags from suppliers in Taiwan, but he buys Israeli flags from a merchant in Israel, even though he sells them to be burnt at anti-Israeli rallies. Flag-making has been a growth business for Abu Dayya for years, thanks to orders by Palestinian militant groups for national flags and banners bearing the symbols of armed factions. Last year, he said the Palestinian Authority ordered 60,000 flags ahead of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. Workers at one factory stitched some 3,000 pennants a day. While the flag merchant said the Danish cartoons upset him, he urged fellow Gazans not to punish Danish citizens collectively, citing their humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton launched a charm offensive on Monday in a bid to counter charges from a top Republican that she sounds too angry to get elected president.
In a half hour news conference at a Head Start classroom in Manhattan, Mrs. Clinton took great pains to avoid sounding shrill as she urged the GOP to worry instead about "these devastating budget cuts [and] the confusion and bureaucratic nightmare in the prescription drug benefit."
The New York Times noted that Mrs. Clinton "spoke in even tones" to reporters and used "temperate phrases" as she "conveyed her displeasure at Mr. Bush's budget priorities."
The performance stood in marked contrast to attacks delivered by Hillary last week, where she accused the White House in harsh tones of deliberately delaying aid to Hurricane Katrina victims and charged that administration officials covered-up the health risks posed by contaminated air at Ground Zero in the days after the 9/11 attacks.
On Sunday, Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman told ABC's "This Week," "Hillary Clinton seems to have a lot of anger."
"When you think of the level of anger, I'm not sure it's what Americans want" in a president, he added.
The Times noted that the comments "amount to a new line of attack by Republicans looking toward 2008" - and that Mrs. Clinton seemed "well aware of Mr. Mehlman's remarks" as she spoke to the press on Monday.
If true, it's an attack for which the GOP has much ammunition.
Mrs. Clinton's outburst during a 2003 Connecticut fundraiser, for instance, is already one of the most replayed soundbytes on talk radio, helping to cement her "Shrillary" image with critics.
"I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic," she bellowed to the crowd.
Then, racheting up her nails-across-the-blackboard monotone by several decibels, Mrs. Clinton railed: "And we should stand up and say we are Americans, and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!”
Reacting at the time to the Mrs. Clinton's tirade, former White House insider Dick Morris observed: "She sounds like she's talking to Bill."
Saturday, February 04, 2006
This photo of a demonstrator in London, protesting against the Mohammed cartoons in front of the French Embassy, sums up the paradox of radical Muslims who take advantage of Western freedoms to try to suppress the exercise of those freedoms by others:
“Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being ‘pushed to an extreme’; not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case.”
John Stuart Mill.
Friday, February 03, 2006
[M]any Europeans -- not most, but many -- are suddenly aware they stand on the edge. If they let Islamic clerics determine what Europeans can and cannot print in their own press through a process of intimidation and force, the Old Continent will have surrendered a large part of its independence and sovereignty. The holy grail of every agitator is to find an issue on which both sides are unalterably opposed. Radical Islam has found it [in] the blasphemy of Mohammed and ironically gave those who would rouse the West a mirror issue of their own: the blasphemy of censorship and the extinction of freedom of speech.
Both sides now are in too deep to climb down without damage. For the European press the path to this confrontation has been imperceptible, absentminded and catastrophic. Yet all so terribly familiar. The old warnings come naturally to mind.
... descending incontinently, fecklessly the stairway that leads to a dark gulf.
It is a fine broad stairway at the beginning, but after a bit the carpet ends.
A little farther on there are only flagstones, and a little farther on still these break beneath your feet.
The fine, broad highway to Hell that is political correctness which has achieved the opposite of its intent: not the universal chorus of harmony but religious conflict at its most primitive level.
And do not suppose this is the end.
This is the beginning of the reckoning.
This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of the bitter cup,
which will be proffered to us year by year,
unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour,
we rise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.
Winston Churchill's comments on the Munich agreement of 1938
But the words are only memories. The men who said them are gone and their heirs are not yet found.
Leonidas agrees that the Danish ambassador should issue an apology. In the largest synagogue in Saudi Arabia.