Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Blood in the Water?

Recently ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ posted on the soon to convene "peace" conference which is now under way in Annapolis. He pointed out that if past experience reveals any clue as to what may result from such a gathering, the future does not appear bright for either peace or Israel.

Some pundits have declared that the mere fact of so many of Israel's sworn enemies agreeing to attend is a major concession in that the Arab states' willingness to attend the conference is an implicit recognition of Israel's legitimacy as a nation state. I must respectfully disagree.

The results achieved by such gatherings are a mixed bag indeed, especially when not preceded by the decisive military defeat of one of the conferees. The European peace conference at Versailles subsequent to the Great War resulted in what could be termed Act II recommencing in September of 1939 due to the Central powers not suffering a decisive defeat. The Allies, attempting to achieve through diplomacy what they failed to achieve on the battlefield virtually assured the resumption of hostilities as soon as Germany was able to recover. The diplomatic gymnastics "ending" the Korean war, Suez 1956, Six Day war 1967, Vietnam 1973 are only a few examples of diplomacy failing to resolve conflicts between sworn enemies.

It is telling that the Palestinian Arabs launched their operation "Autumn Storm" rocket attacks on the Israeli towns of Sderot and Nahal to coincide with the convening of the Conference. Could it be that they sense that Israel is negotiating from a weakened position due to the inconclusive recent round of fighting with Hezbollah as well as the U.S. President pulling back from recent guarantees of Israel's security?

It must surely be something in the water supply at the White House that results in presidents from Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and both Bushes to persist in the folly of forcing Israel to make concessions to the regional Arabs in the hope of being left in peace when each such concession only results in additional conflict.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tis The Season

Fires are raging in the banlieue tonight. Two boys aged 15 and 16 riding on a [stolen] mini-motorcycle (prohibited on the road) hit a police car this afternoon in Villiers-le-Bel. The boys, who weren’t wearing helmets, were killed. Hundreds of enraged men and boys (what, no women in burkas?) are tearing up the neighborhood.

Le Parisien reports that they burned down a Peugeot dealership, sacked a train station and shops, tore up a McDonald’s, stole the day’s receipts and attacked customers, smashed and burned cars, and are still going strong. A police commissioner who tried to talk to the mob was attacked with iron rods; his face and skull are fractured. A police station was burned down, eight policemen and one firefighter were injured.

What are the chances these "youths" just happen to be affiliated with a certain "religion of peace"? Meanwhile several hundred new immigrants will enter France (mostly from North Africa) in the next month.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Historical Event Updated

It appears to have gone unnoticed for the most part both in the mainstream media as well as the blogosphere but an historical event occurred today. The Supreme Court of the U.S. today granted certiorari in the case of the D.C. Circuit Court of of Appeals decision in District of Columbia vs Heller wherein the appellate court declared the DC government's effective ban on the ownership of operative firearms and especially hand guns by private citizens unconstitutional under the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

The DC government appealed the decision to SCOTUS and arguments will begin next month.

The Second Amendment consists of a single sentence which reads as follows:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The arguments in the case are likely to revolve around which of the two clauses in the sentence are definitive, the prefatory clause: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State..." or the declarative one: "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

This issue has as yet to be definitively decided by SCOTUS except obliquely in the Miller decision of 1939 which only addressed the type of firearms traditionally not utilized by state militias i.e. sawed off shotguns.

The gun controllers which ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ has discussed this issue with invariably hang their hats on the prevalence of the prefatory clause of the Amendment by positing that it guarantees the right of the various states to raise and regulate militias (this would be one of the few instances wherein those of the left would support "states rights") whereas the individual rights adherents aver that all other Amendments in the Bill of Rights refer to individual rights, therefore the Amendment must be interpreted as protecting individual citizens.

There are other sub arguments on both sides which are partially discussed here and elsewhere.

You all get three guesses as to ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ' position on the issue and the first two do not count.


Update 21 Nov 2007 @ 13:09 EST: Academics for the Second Amendment ("A2A") will be filing an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court in support of Mr. Heller (and urging the Supreme Court to affirm the Court of Appeals decision that the DC gun laws are unconstitutional). Our brief will be written by attorneys David Hardy and Joseph Olson with historical assistance from Clayton Cramer.

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Update II 22 Nov 2007 @ 09:11 EST

The following is a comment on this posting left by an anonymous commenter at Eternity Road identifying himself as Matt Burchett:

If the Founders were formulating the 2nd Amendment today, their sentiments might be better understood:

“A strong citizenry being necessary to the security of a free country, the right of the people to own and carry firearms shall not be infringed.”

I’m weary of lawmakers mentioning “hunting and sporting purposes” when trying to explain why their infringements aren’t infringements. The Founders were not recognizing the citizenry’s right to bag squirrels for dinner, but rather enshrining the right of free men—when justly aroused—to use deadly force against tyrants (foreign AND DOMESTIC). Lest we forget, the Framers had almost been bled white doing that very thing a few years before penning the immortal words of the Bill of Rights. Skeet shooting was not on their minds.

The definition of “militia” has been the subject of much ignorance and mischief, but simply refers to able-bodied citizens of fighting age without regard to their being past or present members of any of the Armed Services, or the National Guard, or even the Baptist Ladies Sewing Circle. Even the current Federal Code (Title 10 somewhere) defines “militia” as including male citizens who are NOT in the organized services or guard.

And “well-regulated” was not a reference to having a cool handbook or being subject to tons of rules or doing lots of drills on the parade ground. It simply meant “vigorous” or “strong” ... as in capable of self-defense. This usage is born out by the contemporaneous writings of Hamilton and Washington (and many others).

Also, “arms” were understood in the Founders’ time to be weapons capable of being carried on one’s person—pistols, rifles, knives, etc— as opposed to “ordnance”, which would have included big bangers like cannon then and nukes now.

Anyhow, I agree the 2nd Amendment is awkwardly crafted for our modern eyes, especially those not thoroughly familiar with law or history. But the 2nd Amendment has not been the subject of so many attacks because it is inscrutable. On the contrary. It is as clear as holy water to the legal vampires brooding in our legislative halls.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

United Nations "Human Rights"

The United Nations is the gift that just keeps giving; TO TYRANTS!

The august body recently sent a human rights mission to Cuba to underscore a new "right" to be included in its list of "human rights". This is the "right to food" which has been enshrined in the Cuban constitution. These missions are usually headed by "experts" in the various fields, in this case Jean Ziegler, a far left Swiss academic. Previous human rights missions had been denied entry to Cuba but with the appointment of herr Ziegler an invitation to Havana suddenly materialized.

Prior to and during Herr Ziegler's visit to Havana he issued several statements including the following:
1 “Cuba was the first country to promote the right to food.”
2 “Ensuring access to food has remained a priority of the Government [of Cuba].”
3 The Cubans have found solutions regarding the right to food in difficult conditions,"
4 Cuba has been able to deal with food limitations and the suffering caused by the US economic
5 He did not see any undernourished person in Cuba, something that is commonplace in other countries...

It is unlikely that Herr Ziegler was issued a ration book as are Cuban citizens who do not utter statements objectionable to the Communist apparatchiks. The ration books are REQUIRED to be able to purchase the less than 2000 calories per day allotted to citizens other than the government officials and are routinely seized from political dissidents.

Herr Ziegler, although an erudite Swiss academic, appears to be language challenged. He is unable to distinguish the difference between "blockade" and "embargo"; or perhaps not.

In case anyone is interested, the right to individual self defense is NOT recognized by the United Nations.
The chief function (of propaganda) is to convince the masses, whose slowness of understanding needs to be given time in order that they may absorb information; and only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on their mind ... The success of any advertisement, whether of a business or a political nature, depends upon the consistency and perseverance with which it is employed.
August Kubizek, a boyhood friend of Adolf Hitler.
much more here

hat tip: The Real Cuba


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Water Torture Experts

The following are the words of Senator Edward Kennedy on the subject of "water-boarding", a SIMULATION of drowning performed on terrorists to extract information related to terrorist attacks on civilian targets:
"Water-boarding is torture. Torture is unacceptable. Period."

Mr Kennedy, a certifiable expert on the subject of water induced real death, opposes the use of the FEAR of drowning for national security purposes. Additionally we have noted that several journalists have voluntarily submitted to the procedure and some protesters have conducted water-boarding on volunteers on the steps of the nation's capitol. This leads us to wonder how many of these volunteers would agree to be passengers in a car driven by the Senator(D) from Chappaquiddick Massachusetts after "business" hours.

It should also be noted that no volunteers have come forward to submit to having their finger nails pulled out or their heads sawed off on camera. It appears that these "experts" on torture aren't as stupid as they believe the rest of us to be.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pest Control

For those who enjoy dry Aussie humor this video was located on Crusader Rabbit and is herewith presented as several explanations for the disappearance of Baz the cane toad whose species are threatening to over- run Queensland. Enjoy.


It would seem appropriate today to ponder the deep philosophical question upon which so much ink has been spilt since the beginning of recorded history: to wit war.

This humble scribbler has on occasion attempted to address the subject and has never been satisfied with the efforts. Today however, a cogent as well as poignant treatment of the subject is presented by my colleague Francis Porretto at Eternity Road:

War is terrible. No decent person wants war, ever. Among Mankind's finest dreams is that of a world cleansed of war. Mighty efforts of thought and deed have gone toward that dream. All have failed. Why?

Ask a hundred people and you'll get a hundred different answers. I presume you're reading this because you'd like to know mine. As I work in the military industries, among persons much younger than myself who frequently ask my opinion on such things, I'm not disturbed by the subject. In the abstract, at least.

We make war because we are men.

Man's essence embeds two drives that can never be stilled: hunger and fear. The desire for more -- of everything -- is ineradicable from a creature of volitional consciousness trapped in the matrix of Time. Our fear of one another, and of the unknown, is merely a recognition that the Universe is populated by others like ourselves. We arm ourselves, and wield our arms, for those reasons, which are inseparable from Man as God has made him.

Forgive me if I've made it sound as if all of us hunger for war all the time. That's not the case, as you know. But to those of uncontrolled voracity, war often looks like the easiest way to get what they want. To those who fear "the other" too greatly to sit still, war often looks like the simplest way to quench their fears. When they march, so must those of us who are charged with stopping them.

As long as there are men, there will be wars, and soldiers, and great fields of graves where those who fell in battle must rest.

Even soldiers who've gone to war to further the evil designs of an evil government deserve a bit of forbearance. The great majority of these had no choice in the matter. Of the others, many were deluded, incapable of seeing through the lies of their political leaders, and were merely following the best they thought they knew. It's wrong to hate them -- indeed, it's wrong to hate anyone -- whatever the cause for which their masters hurled them into battle. Pray, rather, that their souls find the peace their rulers denied them in life.

Read more


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Three Deputies Equals One SWAT Team

During the past few decades we have witnessed what could be described as the militarization of law enforcement in the U.S. The obvious manifestations of the process are the adoption of military style uniforms by special units of the agencies as well as the acquisition of mechanized mobil equipment bearing an uncanny resemblance to military armored cars.

Probably the most radical departure from traditional law enforcement is the current mindset of todays police personnel which I will attempt to illustrate by relating the following true anecdote.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ arrived at Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lennox station on 25 December 1973 at 22:30 hrs. to relieve the evening shift watch commander who advised that a barricaded suspect incident was being handled by the adjoining jurisdiction (LAPD) in the Baldwin Hills district. He, the lieutenant, had been notified by the LAPD SWAT team commander due to the situation's close proximity to the unincorporated area in the Sheriff's jurisdiction. The LAPD SWAT team had been on the scene since 20:00 hrs. on Christmas day.

At 00:30 hrs. the Sheriff's patrol unit working the concerned area notified me that LAPD had determined that the incident was in fact located in the unincorporated area and was about to formally request to be relieved by Sheriff personnel. I decided to respond to the scene to evaluate the situation.

I arrived at the LAPD command post about one block from the location and was advised of the following by the LAPD lieutenant: The residents of the location, a single family dwelling had been engaged in a domestic altercation resulting in the female leaving accompanied by the two minor children. The woman had called the police from a relative's home to advise of the incident. She related that the male had been physically abusive to her and the two minors and that she believed he was about to shoot her with a shotgun which she stated he kept next to the sliding glass door at the rear of the residence. The woman was seated in the back seat of a nearby radio car and I interviewed her.

I noted that she exhibited no evidence of trauma and asked her if the suspect had pointed a weapon at her. She said she had not actually had a weapon pointed at her but had seen a shotgun leaning against the wall the day before. She further stated that the male was in the residence when she departed and had yelled at her.

The LAPD lieutenant advised me that the residence was surrounded by SWAT personnel and attempts to reach the barricaded suspect via telephone were not successful but there were sounds coming from within the house. I asked him if anyone of his team had knocked on the door or attempted to contact the suspect by voice and he looked at me as if I were insane.

I advised him that I would have my patrol crew cover the rear of the house while I knocked on the front door. He attempted to dissuade me and advised that the responding Sheriff's SWAT team would be wise to use gas. He was incredulous when advised that I had not as yet requested SWAT team services.

As I approached the front of the residence I observed SWAT personnel taking cover behind garden walls as well as crouching in the gutter next to the high curb. I noted that the sounds coming from within the house seemed to be that of a loud radio. My loud knocking on the front door elicited no response from within and I proceeded to the rear of the building to join the two deputies covering that exit. We approached the sliding glass doors of the rear bedroom and the drapes were open about 6 inches. I tried the sliding door and it opened. We carefully entered the house and found it to be empty of any living creature. At this time I dismissed the LAPD swat team and advised the "victim" female to reoccupy the residence or proceed to her nearby relative's home. She chose the latter.

By 10:00 hrs on Boxing Day a full investigation revealed that in fact NO CRIME HAD OCCURRED!

Domestic disputes can be the most dangerous situation a policeman encounters and each one is a potential tragedy but the requirements of police personnel are not identical to that of the military.


cross posted at: Eternity Road

Monday, November 05, 2007

Here We Go Again!

In the words of the great Yogi Berra it is deja vu all over again with regard to the up coming "peace conference" in Annapolis. Wasn't all of this unpleasantness disposed of in Oslo during August, 1993 ending the 6 year intifada with something called a "roadmap" to peace?

Although Israel complied with the better part of that agreement by granting substantial autonomy to the Arab population of Judea, Samaria and Gaza in recognizing the Palestinian Authority, the Arabs failed to carry out a single item in the terms of agreement. They failed to officially recognize Israel's right to exist as well as continuing to to imbue their population with a visceral anti semitism and hatred of the Israeli state. The result was the second intifada of 2000. To this day Both the Palestinian Authority led by Mr. Abbas as well as his terrorist rivals in Hamas pursue a policy of extinguishing the state of Israel.

The exhaustion of the Arabs in conducting their insurrection (intifada) led them to the negotiating table at Oslo in order to gain a respite after suffering over 1,100 casualties in the 6 years 1987-1993 and now they (Abbas) are sorely pressed in maintaining political power due to the rising influence of Hamas. Mr. Abbas wishes the United States to pull his chestnuts out of the fire in agreeing to come to the negotiating table with Mr. Olmert this year in Annapolis. Indeed, Abbas has received substantial military aid from the U.S. this last year. Much of that military aid was seized by Hamas in both Gaza as well as the West Bank and used by both factions to murder Israeli citizens.

The question comes to mind after observing the historical results of attempting to reach acceptable agreements by negotiating with sworn enemies: Have you learned nothing? The list of modern "statesmen" in search of a "legacy" beginning with Neville Chamberlain and continuing with Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton is soon to include George Bush and Ehud Olmert.

Another question I would pose to those deluded politicians who seek the ephemera of a "middle east resolution" is: since when did "peace" become a process instead of a condition? As the old saw goes: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice (repeatedly?) shame on me."

Those deluded harpies of our recent experience who state "war never solved anything" have it just backwards. "A study of the history of mankind", observed Winston Churchill, "is the study of war". It sadly is the default condition of our species, unchanged by the best of intentions.

cross posted at: Eternity Road

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Religion of "Peace" Update

The following is a report from our "partner" in the war on terror, Pakistan:

» 11/02/2007 14:30

A young Christian woman was kidnapped, raped and forced to convert to Islam by a Muslim man in Faisalabad, Khalil Tahir, chairman of “Adal Trust,” a free legal aid organisation that helps minorities, told AsiaNews.

According to early reports, 18-year-old Razia went to visit her aunt on October 21 but never came home. Her parents went out looking for her but to no avail. They also contacted a Muslim man, Sajid, who had harassed her in the past, but he denied any knowledge of her whereabouts.

Razia did eventually make it home on October 31 in a state of shock. She told her parents that Sajid had abducted her, repeatedly raped her and forced her to convert to Islam. She is currently under medical care.

“The girl’s father went to the police to file a complaint on the evening of Razia’s return, but they were reluctant to register the case fearing that it might get out of proportion because of its religious element,” Khalil Tahir told AsiaNews.

For the time being “that man is free,” he said. “He can do whatever he wants,” he added, “but as a lawyer I’ll do everything in my power to help the family get justice in a Pakistani court.”

Good luck!