Thursday, April 29, 2004
Dracula vs. the Muslims
History is now an elective in many schools so I doubt anyone knows there is a connection between those two. I was reminded of it when I read this April 4, 2004 editorial. Haven't seen much written about Phil Lucas' editorial--too hot for people to handle, perhaps. But it should be reprinted once a month--with accompanying pictures--in every newspaper in the country for as long as the war on terror is waged. We need to have a constant example of who our enemy is and how he fights.
Up Against Fanaticism
"We published pictures Thursday of burnt American corpses hanging from an Iraqi bridge behind a mob of grinning Muslims. Some readers didn’t like it. Mothers said it frightened their children. A woman who works with Muslim physicians thought it might offend or endanger them.
"We could fill the newspaper every morning with mobs of fanatical Muslims. They can’t get along with their neighbors on much of the planet: France, Chechnya, Bosnia, Indonesia, Spain, Morocco, India, Tunisia, Somalia, etc. etc. etc. Can anybody name three ongoing world conflicts in which Muslims are not involved? Today, where there is war, there are fanatical Muslims. We might quibble about who started what conflicts, but look at the sheer number of them.
"[…] Madeline Albright…said last week Muslims still resented the Crusades. Well, Madame Albright, if Westerners were not such a forgiving people, we might resent them too.
"Let’s recap the Crusades. Muslims invaded Europe and when they reached sufficient numbers they imposed their intolerant religion upon Westerners by force. Christian monarchs drove them back and took the battle to their homeland. The fight lasted a couple of centuries, and we bottled them up for 1,000 years.
"Now, a millennium later, Muslims have expanded forth again. Ask France. Ask England. Ask Manhattan. Two-and-a-half years ago fanatical Muslims laid siege to us. We woke up to the obvious. Our president announced it would be a very long war, then took the battle to the Islamic homeland. Sound familiar?
"Let’s consider the concept of a “long war.” Last time it was 200 years, give or take."
Anyone out there ever hear of Vlad Dracul? Sure you have. He's the bloodthirsty 15th century prince who was the model for Dracula. His nickname was Vlad the Impaler and he got his reputation for cruelty because he literally impaled his enemies on stakes. Row upon row of dead and dying enemies covered the fields as an example of what happened to those who waged war on Vald Dracul.
Now how many of you know who Dracul was fighting? No one? It was the Muslim hordes from Turkey who were trying to expand their empire into his country! And why did he resort to such a hideous display? Because he knew the Muslims of his generation were a cruel, heartless, debased enemy who tortured their prisoners with slow death. Dracul rightly decided the only way to defeat them was to show them the fate they would suffer if they continued their attacks.
[From the Vlad Dracul web page.]
"Could you imagine being a foot solider of the Turkish army marching into Wallachia (now part of Romania). And once there seeing the burned and dismembered corpses of those men who fought before you, each one impaled on long poles, stretched across miles and miles of enemy real estate."
Prince Vlad Dracul died in battle waging war against the Muslim invaders. Thanks to Bram Stoker, however, no one remembers that footnote of history. Maybe we should be reminded of it occasionally.
Phil Lucas' editorial continues:
"That’s the fight we are in, and it never ends. It just has peaks and valleys. There may be a silent majority of peaceful Muslims – some live here – but that did not save 3,000 people in the World Trade Centers, the millions gassed and butchered in the Middle East, the tens of thousands slain in Eastern Europe and Asia, the hundreds blown to bits in the West Bank and Spain, or the four Americans shot, burned and hung like sausage over the Euphrates as a fanatical minority of Muslims did the joyful dance of death.
"Look at your spouse and children. Look at yourself in the mirror. Then look at the pictures from the paper last Thursday. You better look at them. Those are the people out to kill you.
"Who do you think will win? You? Or them? Think you can take your ball and go home and they will leave you alone? Read a little history. Start with last week, last month, last year, and every other year back for half a century. Then go back a thousand years. Nobody hides from this fight.
"Like it or not, that’s the way it was and that’s the way it is.
"But many Americans don’t get it.
"That’s why we published those pictures.
"If they jarred you off the sofa, if they offended you, if they scared your children and sent you into a rage at mass murderers or heartless editors, then I say, it’s a start."
We need to keep impaling our enemies on the pens of editorial writers like Phil Lucas in every newspaper, day after day after day…
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Saddam Sympathizer Omits 'God' from Pledge
…is how this headline should read.
"Rep. Jim McDermott, Washington Democrat, yesterday did not say the words "under God" as he led the House in its daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance."
You might remember Jim McDermott as one of the Congressmen who went on a pre-war "fact finding" tour to Baghad and came back to tell us there was nothing wrong.
"When asked about yesterday's Pledge incident, Mr. McDermott's spokesman, Mike DeCesare, said his boss "hesitated, unsure of what he should do because the words 'under God' are under court review." Mr. DeCesare confirmed that his boss did omit the words."
Hopefully voters in his district will not "hesitate" before deciding to "omit" Mr. McDermott from the list of re-elected Congressmen.
UNSCAM=Lethal Weapon 2
In the sequal to Lethal Weapon , detectives Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover) uncover a cabel of South African diplomats--headed up by Mr. Big Diplomat Arjen Rudd (Joss Ackland)--who are dealing illegally in gold, drug smuggling, and money laundering.
As the two detectives try to stop the evildoers from escaping the country, they become trapped in an immense shipping crate being loaded onto a South African freighter. The crate is stacked floor to ceiling with money--and one car. The final shoot-'em-up confrontation begins with Riggs and Murtaugh using the car to crash their way out of the suspended crate, making a spectacular dive into the harbor waters as clouds of money flutter to the ground. The thieving diplomats stare in furious, open-mouthed shock. "Our money," they hiss.
The de rigeur gun battle ensues leaving all the second-string bad guys dead. When Riggs pauses to survey his handiwork, Mr. Big Diplomat Rudd begins riddling him with bullets. Murtaugh rushes to his partner's aid, getting Rudd in his gun sights. As the black American and the white South African face off, Rudd smilingly opens his billfold to display his credentials. "Diplomatic immunity," he smirks (as only character actor Joss Ackland can smirk). Murtaugh puts a bullet right between Rudd's eyes.
I caught the ending of Lethal Weapon 2 on cable last weekend and, while it originally might have been intended as a passing comment on the evil, corrupt white South African overlords, it struck me as the perfect parallel of the Oil for Food scam. Millions in stolen money raining down while smarmy United Nations diplomatic masterminds flash their credentials and smirk "Diplomatic immunity."
Where are Riggs and Murtaugh when you really need 'em?
"With a brewing scandal enveloping the United Nations over the programme, a defensive Annan blamed "outrageous" press reports about the affair and also took a swipe at the United States and Britain.
"If you read the reports it looks as if the Saddam regime had nothing to do with it. They did nothing wrong, it was all the UN," he told reporters in some of his bluntest comments yet on the matter.
"UN monitoring was intended to ensure that the revenues went for aid. In January, a Baghdad newspaper published a list of hundreds of individuals said to have got payoffs by the regime.
"Meanwhile the US government says Saddam and his associates may have pocketed around 10 billion dollars, including more than five billion from smuggled oil sold outside the rules of the programme.
"We had no mandate to stop oil smuggling," Annan said. "There was no way the UN could have stopped it."
Correction: you had no interest in stopping the oil smuggling as long as the credit vouchers were lining influential pockets. I wonder if you'd have the same response if the oil was being smuggled from oh, say, Israel ?
"Annan has also been put on the defensive because of revelations that his son Kojo worked for a company, Cotecna, that was contracted to work under the programme.
"There is nothing in the accusations about my son. He joined the company even before I became secretary general," the UN chief said. "Neither he nor I had anything to do with the contract for Cotecna."
"Oil-for-food was launched in December 1996 and was terminated in November. Its director, Benon Sevan, has denied any wrongdoing.
"Annan recalled that the day-to-day monitoring of the programme was done by a sub-committee of the 15-nation UN Security Council and not the UN secretariat which he heads. "All this is dumped on the secretariat. These allegations are doing damage," he said."
Not half the damage you and your cronies have wreaked around the world, from Bosina to Rwanda and beyond.
You got caught, Kofi, so wipe that smirk off your face.
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
When Minorities Collide
American students can barely read and write and all these jokers can think about is pushing their "minority reports" to the forefront of teachers' indoctrination. Muslims should have realized Native Americans would never let the Arabs horn in on the sweet deals they have with the government. And Islam doesn't allow gambling. What would happen to all those casinos?
"An Indian tribe has forced distributors of an Arab studies guide for U.S. teachers to remove an inaccurate passage that says Muslim explorers preceded Christopher Columbus to North America and became Algonquin chiefs."
Let's see… The Muslims were driven from Spain in early 1492. Ferdinand and Isabella funded Columbus' voyage to North America in the summer of 1492. I suppose it's possible but it must have been a close race
"Peter DiGangi, director of Canada's Algonquin Nation Secretariat in Quebec, called claims in the book, the "Arab World Studies Notebook," "preposterous" and "outlandish," saying nothing in the tribe's written or oral history support them."
"The 540-page book says the Muslim explorers married into the Algonquin tribe, resulting in 17th-century tribal chiefs named Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik.
Shall we revisit the Islamic penchant for rewriting history to their own advantage? If they weren't Muslims I'd say they were an entire race of Leonard Zeligs.
"Mr. DiGangi said the guide's author and editor, Audrey Shabbas, and the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), a Washington advocacy group that promoted the curriculum to school districts in 155 U.S. cities, have been unresponsive to his concerns since November."
"But Ms. Shabbas said this week the passage was removed immediately from subsequent copies, and that she was "giving careful and thoughtful attention" on how to notify the 1,200 teachers who have been given copies of the book in the past five years."
Five years? Five years? And people are just now getting around to noticing the error and demanding a correction? Geeze!
"Meanwhile, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation this week issued a report that is critical of "Arab World Studies Notebook."
"The study, titled "The Stealth Curriculum: Manipulating America's History Teachers," reviewed many curriculum supplements and "professional development" programs aimed at schoolteachers.
"It appeared that the creation and dissemination of these materials, often through professional development institutes and [teacher] in-service programs, had fallen into the eager hands of interest groups and ideologues yearning to use America's public school classrooms to shape the minds of tomorrow's citizens by manipulating what today's teachers are introducing into the lessons of today's children," the Fordham study concluded."
"Chester E. Finn Jr., Fordham Foundation president, said the new "cottage industry" of "predigested supplemental materials" and professional development for history and social studies teachers was intended to help teachers who had little or no background in certain areas, and because textbooks are often insufficient.
"How could we expect them to handle complicated and emotionally charged subjects like the Holocaust and figure out what lessons to learn about it? To escort youngsters safely through the thicket of political correctness and ethnic politics that now surrounds such benign holidays as Columbus Day and Thanksgiving?" he asks in the preface of the foundation's report."
Well, we could just do away with all the politically correct/ethnic politics crap and teach the facts...
Then maybe our college grads can handle a more intellectual commencement speaker than Big Bird
Forcing Islam on the Public
From The Detroit Free Press, April 21, 2004
"The Hamtramck City Council gave initial approval Tuesday night to allowing mosques in the city to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer over loudspeakers.
"Supporters said the issue is religious freedom and an Islamic tradition. They cited the city's church bells, which ring at least every hour, as comparable."
I must admit I'm not sure why the churches ring their bells every hour, unless it's to tell time. Maybe it's time to stop that practice and remove the Islamists' raison d'etre.
"In the end, the vote on the five-member council was unanimous.
"I have no doubt that no matter how we vote, this will be an issue for the courts," said Councilman Scott Klein. The final vote will be at the council's 7 p.m. meeting next Tuesday. The measure would take effect May 26."
"Masud Khan, 48, of the Al-Islah Islamic Center, which first asked the council for the amendment to the noise ordinance in January, said it took courage to approve the plan.
"I'm very happy," he said. "Allah is great. God is good. We really appreciate their effort.
"Hamtramck is going to be a pioneer city for the whole United States."
And that's their plan.
I personally cannot imagine the trauma experienced by those Americans who are forced to listen to the nasal sing-song of a Muslim voice five times a day; that nerve-scraping, whining voice that can only remind them of the whine of the airplane engines those nineteen Muslims used as flying bombs to murder thousands of their fellow American.
Others, however, seem to eagerly support the Muslims--others who do not live in Hamtramck, that is… It's so easy to be generous with other citizens' rights, isn't it?
"Congratulations are due the Hamtramck City Council and that city's Islamic population. It's wonderful that the Islamic call to worship will be permitted to be broadcast. As a Jewish person, I can very well appreciate living as a minority religion within a sometimes overbearing and intolerant Christian population.
"I was angered after hearing the ill-conceived arguments of Christian Hamtramck citizens at the City Council meeting. I would like to know what exactly threatens these Christians by hearing the Islamic call to worship.
"This country does not belong to the Christians any more than it belongs to those who profess other religions or no religion at all. There are many parts of the world in which one religion is strictly enforced at the expense of others. May this not happen in America.
"Frank V. Castronova Ferndale "
There is much written in Hebrew scripture regarding fools--specifically in the book of Proverbs--but Mr. Castronova is a Fool of the first water. If he truly thinks it so "wonderful" to hear the Islamic call to worship five times a day, and finds a Christian population so intolerant, perhaps he should move to a more tolerant society--like Saudi Arabia, perhaps. Or Syria or Jordan or Pakistan. He could hear all the calls to worship he desires and never, ever be forced to endure another overbearing Christian. Of course, he might never be able to worship in a Jewish synagogue again since many of those countries either legally bar or actively discourage non-Muslim houses or worship. Then again, as a "Jewish person" he might not be able to stay alive !
More on this from the Detroit News:
"The Rev. Stanley Ulman lives in a home and is the pastor of the Catholic church, St. Ladislaus, across the street from al-Islah Islamic Center. He thinks the discussion about the prayer calls moved from noise to religion because some community members don’t want to see their neighborhood change.
“I sense a strong bias and an anger,” Ulman said. “There is this feeling they’re going to lose something in this deal, their identity, their place in the city of the Polish Catholic community. There is a sense that they may want to leave or have to leave or be forced to leave or they won’t feel comfortable being here. It’s a change they don’t want to see happen. But I think it’s an inevitable change.”
"Ulman was building relationships with some of the imams in Hamtramck but will soon be leaving his parish after 25 years because he has been reassigned to a Rochester Hills church. He hopes others in the community will not choose to leave because of their discomfort. “That’s a pattern. When people don’t feel comfortable with people moving in, they leave,” Ulman said. “The only way to counteract that is to dialogue, and the only way to incorporate the newcomer is to make them feel welcome.”
"[City Council President Karen] Majewski, a historian of immigration and former executive director of the Polish-American Historic Association, said Polish residents of Hamtramck today should remember that a century ago, they were the immigrants whom Americans feared.
“At the turn of the (20th) century, there was a great fear that the U.S. wasn’t going to be Anglo-Saxon Protestant anymore,” Majewski said. “They felt the whole fabric of the U.S. was being destroyed” by Eastern Europeans who were Catholic.
“They feared we were losing the America that our forefathers had created. In a sense, they were right — America became much more diverse.”
The big difference is the Polish immigrants were/are Christians. And they didn't inflict their religious rites on the entire community by force of law.
As I said before moderate Muslims would (hopefully) not blow up their non-Islamic neighbors. But I have no doubt they firmly believe we would all be better off if the whole of the United States joined the cult of Islam (scroll down) and not at all adverse to "encouraging" non-Muslims to leave.
There is a way for those people who live closest to the offensive broadcasts to fight back, though. Get a boom box with lots of power. Then get a tape or CD of Kate Smith's recording of "God Bless America." Add the Boston Pops rendition of "Stars and Stripes Forever" if you wish. Put the boom box in an open window facing out in the direction of the Islamists' recording. Now, every time they start that wailing call, crank up the ole' box as loud as it will go and let Katie rip. Work out a system within each neighborhood and have someone covering every minute those Muslim voices invade your air space. If you want to be totally politically incorrect, find a recording (if you can) of "Onward Christian Soldiers" and really drive them nuts!
I don't know if it will have any immediate effect. I do know it works to shut up the neighbor when he plays his hip hop CDs at window-rattling volume. Of course you might have to pay some fines for violating the noise ordinance, but that's part of the price for (relatively) peaceful civil disobedience.
Sunday, April 25, 2004
For many, many years I have attempted to explain this issue to people who insist the Jews "drove" the Palestinians from "their" land.
First point--there is no such place as "ancient" Palestine, as in pre-Christian-era Palestine. All you good Christians who own Bibles with a map section that shows "Palestine during Jesus' Time" should be demanding publishers correct this error and stop furthering Palestinian propaganda.
That name is a bastardization of the name of an ancient tribe who lived in the area during the Old Testament era--the Philistines. It was reputedly created by the Roman Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 117-138) who ruled in the Second Century after Christ. Hadrian had to spend the first part of his reign crushing Jewish uprisings in various parts of his empire. Then, "…[l]ate in his reign, after deciding to resettle the site of Jerusalem as the city of Aelia Capitolina and build a temple to Jupiter on the site of the Jewish temple, another uprising occurred, more bitter still than its recent predecessor."
Hadrian loathed the Jews with such passion he vowed to wipe the name and memory of Israel from the face of the earth, ultimately decreeing the land known as "Israel" would become "Palestine." Ironically, the ancient Philistines occupied an area roughly equivalent to the modern-era's Gaza strip, so the next time some lefty liberal demands the Palestinians be given back their homeland, tell them they already have it.
Second point--don't expect the "Palestinians" to stop lying about their ersatz history. They have to lie to save face. Besides, lying to infidels is perfectly acceptable in the Qu'ran. (So are any number of other nasty things. The only proscriptions against lying, cheating, murdering, etc. is when such acts are perpetrated against other Muslims .)
The so-called Palestinians have too much invested in the lie to fess up now, as David Gutmann points out in his article.
"To back up its demands for full repatriation to Israel of Arab refugees and their descendants, the Palestinian leadership has—for over fifty years—busily spun the story of their "Naqba," their catastrophic flight from Palestine during 1947-48, in all the media available to them. This version of events—replete with Jewish brutality and Arab victimization—is a lie whose time has come, one now almost universally believed by Gentile and Jew alike."
"I was a witness to the Naqba times, and am compelled to challenge such Israel-bashing by the Palestinians and their Jewish allies. As a trainee with the Palmach and then with the regular Israeli forces during the Independence War, I had neither military skills nor fluency in Hebrew, and was probably more trouble to my units than I was worth. My real usefulness to Israel may only become evident 53 years later. Because of that youthful service, I can now—when the Palestinian myth is being legislated into hardened truth, even for Jews—bear an elder's witness against the Naqba lie."
Palestinians. Practicing professional victimization for over 50 years.
An apt description of the current college experience for many unsuspecting students.
The Professoriate and the Truth
Editor's note: What follows is… [John Kekes'] Kneller Lecture delivered to the North American Philosophy of Education Society meeting in Toronto, Canada on 27 March 2004.
"I now ask you to consider the stifling of opinions on our campuses. When did you last hear of anyone defending fundamentalist Christianity or the superiority of Western civilization?"
"What makes this coercive moralizing even worse is the hypocritical double-talk by which it is presented. For the stifling of opinions is said to be required by toleration. Its defenders advocate toleration of discrimination in favor of minorities and women (but not against them); of obscenity that offends religious believers and patriots (but not African-Americans and Jews); of unions' spending large sums in support of political causes (but not corporations' doing the same); of pot smoking (but not cigarette smoking); of abortion (but not capital punishment); of the public lies of Clinton (but not of Nixon); of hate speech against fundamentalists (but not homosexuals); of sex education in elementary schools (but not prayer); of jobs open only to union members (but not private clubs open only to males); of lies about American imperialism (but not the Holocaust); of sacrilegious of language (but not of language that uses "he" to refer to all human beings); of scientific research into just about anything (except racial differences in intelligence); and so on and on. We are awash in this ocean of hypocrisy, lies, and falsifications. And that is the background against which I have written the lecture about the professoriate and the truth that you are about to hear."
"The professional obligation of professors is to teach their subjects and expand their fund of truths to the best of their knowledge. That is their job and their justification for receiving the benefits they enjoy. But many of them - especially in the social sciences and the humanities - have come to subordinate teaching and research to a political ideal."
"The professors who become self-appointed political activists know that their society funds higher education in the expectation that they will teach the truth and expand its scope. In order to assure that the money supporting their activities will continue to flow, they present a false picture of what they are doing. But they manipulate the truth in good conscience because they feel justified by the ideal they in fact pursue and have no compunction about falsification when it serves their political purpose. I shall argue in what follows that this is an accurate description of the prevailing state of affairs and a major cause of the deplorable state of North American higher education."
Meaningfully, that speech was delivered in Toronto. Suppressing free speech is becoming a Canadian tradition.
Thursday, April 22, 2004
It's About Time
From the Herald Sun (Australia) newspaper (via World Net Daily):
TV Viewer Sues for Blasphemy.
"AN evangelical Christian has started legal action against Channel 7 over the use of the name "Jesus Christ" as a swear word in a top crime thriller.
"Andre van der Linden claims the use of the name in the British-made series Prime Suspect is insulting and disrespectful to Christians.
"It is high time that television stations like yours be called to account for your defamation of the name Jesus Christ, a practice that insults hundreds of thousands of Christian believers," Mr van der Linden said in his legal documents.
"Seven will defend the legal action, saying the TV show is a realistic reflection of day-to-day life.
"But Mr van der Linden, a pensioner from Waranga in northern Victoria, alleges the network has breached new racial and religious vilification laws."
Somehow I don't think those legislators envisioned Christians using the new laws. It will be interesting to see how they wiggle out of granting "equal rights" in this case.
I personally think it's time Christians form their own anti-discrimination lobbying group, à la CAIR. Perhaps the Christian Council Against Insulting Rhetoric?
In Honor (?) of Earth Day…
…here are two outstanding articles everyone should read and take to heart.
The first is from the Ayn Rand Institute entitled On Earth Day Remember: If Environmentalism Succeeds, It Will Make Human Life Impossible
"Earth Day approaches, and with it a grave danger faces mankind. The danger is not from acid rain, global warming, smog, or the logging of rain forests, as environmentalists would have us believe. The danger to mankind is from environmentalism.
"The fundamental goal of environmentalism is not clean air and clean water; rather, it is the demolition of technological/industrial civilization. Environmentalism's goal is not the advancement of human health, human happiness, and human life; rather, it is a subhuman world where "nature" is worshipped like the totem of some primitive religion.
"In a nation founded on the pioneer spirit, environmentalists have ade "development" an evil word. They inhibit or prohibit the development of Alaskan oil, offshore drilling, nuclear power—and every other practical form of energy. Housing, commerce, and jobs are sacrificed to spotted owls and snail darters. Medical research is sacrificed to the "rights" of mice. Logging is sacrificed to the "rights" of trees. No instance of the progress that brought man out of the cave is safe from the onslaught of those "protecting" the environment from man, whom they consider a rapist and despoiler by his very essence."
The second is the text of a January 17, 2003 speech given by author Michael Crichton for the Caltech Michelin Lecture Series. Aliens Cause Global Warming
"My topic today sounds humorous but unfortunately I am serious. I am going to argue that extraterrestrials lie behind global warming. Or to speak more precisely, I will argue that a belief in extraterrestrials has paved the way, in a progression of steps, to a belief in global warming. Charting this progression of belief will be my task today.
"Let me say at once that I have no desire to discourage anyone from believing in either extraterrestrials or global warming. That would be quite impossible to do. Rather, I want to discuss the history of several widely-publicized beliefs and to point to what I consider an emerging crisis in the whole enterprise of science-namely the increasingly uneasy relationship between hard science and public policy."
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Far be it from me to think Rush Limbaugh (or any of his staff) could possible run across something I wrote. Still…
When the "Iraqi quagmire" talk was just beginning, I wrote an April 7th post (scroll down), quoting Edwin E. Moise vis a vis the Vietnam Tet Offensive…
"The most important was the way the optimistic statements US spokesmen had been making about Communist weakness contrasted with the strength the Communists had shown in this battle. US spokesmen had been saying for months that the Communist forces were weakening. The Tet Offensive made it obvious that the Communist forces were far stronger than US spokesmen had admitted."
"I think it's important to remind people Hitler attempted the same tactic with the Battle of the Bulge. What would the world be like today if our media reported that Battle the same way Cronkite reported the Tet Offensive and began pushing for a negotiated peace?"
Then, on April 20th Rush discusses the Vietnam Syndrome, including these comments:
"…and then can you imagine the Battle of the Bulge??
"How many people did we lose at the Battle of the Bulge? [81,000 U.S. casulaties; 19,000 killed. Largest land battle Americans fought; came at the end of the war.] And that was toward the end… That's when the [Nazi] resistance gave it everything they've got, made their last stand; it was costly. Headlines: "Battle of the Bulge Shows War a Failure!" "Roosevelt Needlessly Leading American Children to Slaughter!" All of this stuff would have been said, had Vietnam occurred before World War II. "
Monday, April 19, 2004
Rewiring Democrat Brains
Now here's some brains TV can rewire
Using M.R.I.'s to See Politics on the Brain
"The political consultants discreetly observed from the next room as their subject watched the campaign commercials. But in this political experiment, unlike the usual ones, the subject did not respond by turning a dial or discussing his reactions with a focus group.
"Instead of asking the subject, John Graham, a Democratic voter, what he thought of the use of Sept. 11 images in a Bush campaign commercial, the researchers noted which parts of Mr. Graham's brain were active as he watched. The active parts, they also noted, were different from the parts that had lighted up in earlier tests with Republican brains.
"The researchers had already zeroed in on those images and their effect among Democrats on the part of the brain that responds to threats and danger, the amygdala. Mr. Graham, like other Democrats tested so far, reacted to the Sept. 11 images with noticeably more activity in the amygdala than did the Republicans, said the lead researcher, Marco Iacoboni, an associate professor at the U.C.L.A. Neuropsychiatric Institute who directs a laboratory at the Ahmanson Lovelace Brain Mapping Center there.
"The first interpretation that occurred to me," Professor Iacoboni said, "is that the Democrats see the 9/11 issue as a good way for Bush to get re-elected, and they experience that as a threat."
"But then the researchers noted that same spike in amygdala activity when the Democrats watched the nuclear explosion in the "Daisy" spot, which promoted a Democrat.
"Mr. Freedman suggested another interpretation based on his political experience: the theory that Democrats are generally more alarmed by any use of force than Republicans are."
Yeah, well, you could have fooled the police at the 1968 Democratic Convention.
Then again, maybe with the right ads Republicans can "rewire" Democrat brains. God knows there's a short circuit in them somewhere !
This is National TV-Turnoff Week, and, according to the Christian Science Monitor "… some 72 percent of children now have a limit on their television viewing time - up from 63 percent in 1994…" Major progress.
Of course, there's no way of knowing whether the change was due to increased parental supervision or sheer lack of quality.
Then I saw this:
How TV can "rewire" brains of tiny tots.
"Several studies demonstrate that very young children may be affected less by what they are propped up to watch on "Teletubbies" or "SpongeBob SquarePants," or even "Sesame Street," than by the programs their parents watch with the little people playing at their feet with squeaky toys, panda bears or building blocks. This is truly a scary thought.
"Imagine a youngster — we're talking 1- to 3-year olds — who happens to be in the same room when his parents are watching the reality shows. Donald Trump could scare the diapers off any toddler. The potty humor on "The Sopranos" might lead infants to think they'll never outgrow their anal years. What tyke wants to grow up in a world as depicted by cable news? Throwing the bowl of oatmeal at mommy's feet is fun, and not nearly as frightful as the noisy and raucous fights of the pundits of "Crossfire."
"While this could be considered low-level child abuse — and I exaggerate only to make a point — the inevitable experts suggest that "second-hand television," like second-hand smoke, may be dangerous for your child's mental health. But it's not necessarily content that's at fault."
Frankly this hypothesis has more validity than second-hand smoke, which has been disproved and then suppressed by the World Heath Organization.
"In a study of 2,600 children ages 1 to 3, researchers found that the more television the little people watch the more likely they are to suffer from attention-span deficit by the age of 7. They have trouble concentrating or paying attention to a toy or a doll for very long. Although the initial finding sounds like parents ought to keep the tots away from all television at that age — a valid opinion — the study was begun in the 1980s before most of the shows geared to the younger child (like "Teletubbies) were first aired, which suggests that the children were exposed to shows watched by other adults or older children. The children under 3 may not have focused on the television, but they could have been influenced by background light and sound. The medium and not the message might have been the culprit. This radical theory — and it's only a theory — is that fast-paced visual images can alter normal brain development."
I'm not sure why this is considered a "radical theory" since the idea of subliminal programming has been around for years and years in the form of hypnosis. (Ya' know--when they make you stare at something swinging, swirling or flickering in front of your eyes until you'll do whatever they tell you?) Epileptics suffer from photosensitive seizures provoked by (among other things) television screens, computer monitors, or video games, as well as musicogenic seizures triggered by certain types of music or even frequencies of pitch. So at what point did parents decide plunking their precious progeny in front of a pulsing collection of photoelectrons was a healthy choice?
An Astounding Collection of Articles
Iraqi: Most Muslim intellectuals for terror
So how are these intellectuals different from ours?
"Nearly all Islamic intellectuals and leaders advocate terrorism, asserts an Arab columnist.
"Khaled Kishtainy, writing in the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, says talk of "love and peace in Islam" is just a cover for violence, reports the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Saudi TV host shows beaten face
"Seeking to highlight domestic abuse in Saudi Arabia, a popular TV news personality released photographs of her badly beaten face, claiming she had been assaulted by her husband.
"Rania al-Baz said her husband broke her nose and fractured her face in 13 places earlier this week, BBC News reported."
But according to "the religion of peace" that's okay…
Muslim clerics preach 'wife beating'
"A book's claim that wife-beating is condoned by Islamic law has the support of Muslim clerics around the world, according to a report.
Egyptian-born Sheikh Muhammad Kamal Mustafa, the imam of the mosque in Fuengirola, Spain, was convicted in January for publishing his book "The Woman in Islam," which among other things said a rebellious wife should be physically punished.
"Researchers Steven Stalinsky and Y. Yehoshua contend this belief is common, citing Muslim clerics and Islamic religious institutions that discuss it as a legitimate way of "disciplining" a wife, based on the Quran, reported the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute."
Liberation eludes Afghan women
"Forced marriages, beatings, suicides persist despite Taliban's fall.
"For four months, the 21-year-old civil liberties activist [Ghazal] has been teaching 120 local women and girls to read, write, take care of their health and not be afraid to stand up for their rights. But two months ago, her work at the Afghan Center, a humanitarian organization that provides general and vocational education for women in Kabul, was undercut by her own family.
"They made clear to her that because she is an Afghan woman, she has no rights."
"This country supposedly was liberated by the U.S.-led military campaign that ousted the Taliban, but the conservative warlords who run Afghanistan's far-flung provinces support strict rules that bar women from public life and turn a blind eye when their armed militias rape women and girls."
The "supposedly" is a nice touch, isn't it? Why is it our fault they're mired in archaic 12th century traditions.
"Nearly two years on, discrimination, violence and insecurity remain rife, despite promises by world leaders, including President Bush and Secretary of Sate Colin Powell, that the war in Afghanistan would bring liberation for women," Amnesty International wrote in its most recent report on the conditions of women in Afghanistan. The organization documents widespread domestic violence, forced marriage and rape of girls and women by armed militias."
I suppose it is impossible for any San Francisco newspaper to write a story without bashing either the Bush Administration or the military.
Saturday, April 17, 2004
More on Hollywood's Frozen Assets
I missed this when I was putting together the last post. From the Junk Science website:
"Global Warming: The Movie
by Steven Milloy
"Coming to a multiplex near you on May 28 is the global warming disaster movie, “The Day After Tomorrow.” I’ve only seen the trailer, but my money is on the movie, not global warming, being the disaster.
"The oldest movie marketing strategy in the world is to tie in to some swirl of controversy ― it sells tickets. These filmmakers go one step further by pointing an accusing finger at each one of us with their plea to go “carbon-neutral.”
“It’s a small part of a very big problem, but it’s a start,” the producers reasoned. For what the rest of us can do, we’re directed to a Web site called Future Forests, where you’ll learn that you (unfortunately) produce carbon dioxide, “well, just by living.”
"Futureforests.com says you need to “make a commitment to reduce your emissions…"
How? By holding our breath until we turn blue--or green?
"The movie’s undeniable political overtones verge on the irresponsible, especially in an election year. Aside from the director’s acknowledged anti-Bush sentiment, the actor who plays the evil U.S. vice president has more than a coincidental physical resemblance to Vice President Dick Cheney."
Second chance for someone to answer this question: Who can tell me what like-minded film was released during the Clinton presidency?
Hollywood Intent on Freezing Its Assets Off
So soon after they had them shot off at The Alamo .
"Climate scientists have been stirred to ridicule claims in an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster that global warming could trigger a new ice age, a scenario also put forward in a controversial report to the US military.
"The $125-million epic, The Day After Tomorrow , opens worldwide in May. It will show Manhattan frozen solid after the warm ocean current known as the Gulf Stream shuts down.
"The movie's release will come soon after a report to the US Department of Defense (DoD) in February predicting that such a shutdown could put the northern hemisphere into a deep freeze and trigger global famine within 15 years.
"But in the journal Science on Thursday, Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, surveys the current research and concludes "it is safe to say that global warming will not lead to the onset of a new ice age".
"The DoD's doomsday scenario, which is very similar to that in the film, was drawn up by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall of the San Francisco-based Global Business Network. Neither is a climate scientist."
Okay, let's just stop right there. GBN was put together by a bunch of guys who were either bored or drunk or both, sitting in someone's basement in the general area of Berkeley where the air is obviously still polluted from all the pot that was--and still is--smoked. (Hey, at least it's not tobacco smoke!) They're paid by big companies and various governments to write science fiction. Only they call it creating "…alternative perspectives of the future."
From their pictures on the GBN website, Petey and Dougy look old enough to remember the Global Cooling scare generated in the 1970s, so they must have been faced with the dilemma of how to reconcile the two conflicting scams and still keep the scare intact.
Just in case you've forgotten--or are too young to remember--someone found one of the mainstream media articles of that era and posted it on the ‘net. (Okay, so it was Rush Limbaugh—deal with it.)
Excerpted from a Newsweek , April 28, 1975 column entitled The Cooling World. [Emphasis mine]
“Trend: To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advanced signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down.
“A survey completed last year by Dr.Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968 . According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in the Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-1972. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3 percent between 1964 and1972 “
“Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot, or diverting arctic rivers , might create problems far greater than those they solve…”
Gee, d’ya’ think?
Fast forward 30 years… Reality wasn’t grim enough to keep the money flowing. I suppose, so the Chicken Littles need to create a new scare to justify their importance. A bunch of new scares, in fact…
In a January 7, 2004 cover story in Nature magazine scientists trumpeted:
Climate Change May Threaten More Than One Million Species With Extinction
“Global mean temperatures have increased about one degree Fahrenheit over the past century with accelerated warming over the past two decades.“
Now just in case too many people did remember the original Global Cooling scam, they had to figure out a way to have Global Warming lead to Global Freezing.
The explanation as I understand it (and I'm no more a climatologist than Schwartz and Randall are): the polar ice caps will melt from the warming and flow into the Atlantic. The influx of that great mass of fresh water will push the heavier salt water to greater depths, altering ocean currents and disrupting the pattern of the Gulf Stream. Since the Gulf Stream is what moderates (?) temperatures in the northeastern U.S. as well as Britain and other parts of northern Europe, when those changes happen, a shroud of ice will descend on New York--as shown in this movie.
It's no accident that this "Hollywood blockbuster" borrows its title, in part, from the 1983 disaster-of-the-week TV movie The Day After , a much-hyped look at the aftermath of a nuclear strike on Lawrence, Kansas, the quintessential middle America. Twenty years ago the libs were panicked that conservative wacko President Ronald Reagan had his finger on the nuclear button and was refusing to kowtow to the Soviets. Now these people--or their intellectual progeny--hope to create another emotional wringing-of-the-hands because conservative wacko cowboy President George W. Bush rejects the Kyoto Accords (like most sensible world leaders) and has actually led the U.S. into war against another murderous regime.
(Quick! Who can tell me what like-minded film was released during the Clinton presidency?)
It's also no accident that the dated and near-forgotten The Day After is suddenly being released on DVD (May 18) in time to coincide with the newest death-of-all-humankind horror film.
Skip both these exploitive, scare-mongering screeds and put Hollywood's assets in the deep freeze.
Friday, April 16, 2004
Who's Writing Who's Script?
From the Osama Bin Laden transcript printed in the UK Guardian.
"It is in the interest of both parties not to give a chance to those who shed the blood of nations for their limited personal interest and obedience to the gang of the White House.
"This war earns millions of dollars for big companies, whether those who manufacture weapons or those involved in reconstruction, such as Halliburton and its sisters and daughters."
When Osama begins preaching the Democrat Party line, it's time for Kerry & Co. to do some serious soul searching.
Islamists are patient, long-term planners. And they have looooong memories. They're still plotting revenge for getting thrown out of Spain in 1492, for cryin' out loud. Now they think they can re-ignite the anti-war flames of the 60's. (Come to think of it, some of those geriatric Yippes do bear a striking resemblance to OBL--old, gray, and dissected.)
We are fast approaching the point where what would be mere political rhetoric in previous elections becomes aid and comfort to our enemies. Couple that with the near-call to violence by Democrat operatives (Edna McCall advocating Donald Rumsfeld's shooting; "Air America's "press release" in which the network was going to resolve the matter, vigilante-style, by putting a crowbar to [Arthur] Liu's head.") and we're looking at some strange bedfellows this political cycle.
And if certain Democrats don't start thinking (or at least making a reasonable effort to think) before opening their big yaps, we could all end up sharing a grave as well.
How much more evidence does the public need to see/hear before they realize these people are useless, talentless sleaze?
They're deadbeats who use the courts to browbeat a minority into submission--after cruelly mocking and sneering at him, of course.
"Air America Radio's signal was pulled Wednesday from two stations in both cities by MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting Inc. following a disagreement over payments.
"Air America said Thursday it had obtained a temporary restraining order against Multicultural "forcing them to put us back on the air." The order, which was filed in New York where Multicultural is based, does not apply to Los Angeles, however."
Stop oppressing minorities, Al Franken.
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Al Franken Replaced!
Oh wow! "Air America" finally has a real funny man to put on the air.
I hope Rush Limbaugh hasn't patented the phrase "See I Told You So" (à la Donald Trump's "You're Fired") because I really need to borrow it for a moment.
In an earlier post I wrote:
"Even the most moderate of Muslims believes in their heart of hearts that no country, including the United States , will be at peace until it is a Muslim nation. Moderates don't believe in killing infidels, perhaps, but I firmly believe they wouldn't mind "encouraging" non-Muslims to emigrate somewhere else."
I certainly didn't expect to find evidence of it so soon.
"A holy war of sorts is heating up in a Detroit suburb, where members of the local Muslim community want loudspeakers on mosques to announce the Islamic call to prayer five times each day.
"But the idea is running into opposition from other residents of Hamtramck, Mich., many of whom are Christian, who think the prayer calls as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 10 p.m. would be disruptive.
"When you call to prayer, you are proselytizing, and as a citizen of the United States I don't want to hear it," Bob Golen, 68, told the Detroit Free Press."
How long will it take before someone comments: "Well, if they don't like it they can always move. "
"History shows Islam, democracy unlikely to mix in Iraq"
Daniel Pipes gets part of the problem right in this article. And his solution might end up being the one that prevails--and eventually lead to another Iraqi despot--despite our best efforts.
"To live a fully Muslim life requires living in accord with the many laws of Islam, called the sharia. The sharia includes difficult-to-implement precepts pertaining to taxation, the judicial system and warfare. Its complete implementation can occur only when the ruler himself is a pious Muslim (although an impious Muslim is much preferable to a non-Muslim). For Muslims, rule by non-Muslims is an abomination, a blasphemous inversion of God's dispensation."
"I therefore counsel the occupying forces quickly to leave Iraqi cities and then, when feasible, to leave Iraq as a whole. They should seek out what I have been calling for since a year ago: a democratically minded Iraqi strongman, someone who will work with the coalition forces, provide decent government, and move eventually toward a more open political system."
Tony Blankley comes to a similar conclusion in his Washington Times Op-Ed, which is really a discussion of a Max Rodenbeck article in The New York Review of Books, titled "Islam confronts its demons."
"With understanding and care, we can seek out and support those authentic parts of Islam that are compatible with peaceable relations. Importantly, we need to constantly re-check our assumptions about what is culturally possible against the changing realities of today's Islam. If democracy turns out to be not possible, other benign forms of governance should be considered. We are not nearly at that point yet, though."
What both Pipes and Blankley miss is that Islam is a cult. And, like all cults, once a person is indoctrinated, it's almost impossible to "deprogram" them--especially not after 1400+ years! Now I know many people out there consider devout Christians to be cultists as well, but that's only because they're ignorant of the nature of cults. And yes, there are "Christian" cults. (Jim Jones and David Koresh spring rather quickly to mind.)
So what is the nature of cults?
First, cults have a human prophet/leader/founder who is elevated to "demi-god" status by followers, and who claims to be called upon by God to bring a "special message" revealed only to him/her. These messages are then converted to "inspired" writings that are presented as "God's final word." (Think Joseph Smith, Sun Yung Moon, Jim Jones, David Koresh, et al.)
Now here's what Yasin T. al-Jibouri says about Mohammad in a 1994 article (which is actually about Mohammad's wife Khadija):
"He was created to be savior of mankind from the darkness of ignorance, idol worship, polytheism, misery, poverty, injustice, oppression, and immorality."
Second, the leadership style of the prophet/leader/founder is usually authoritarian--taking their followers to their deaths in many cases. How do the suicide/homicide bombers differ from those who willingly drank Kool Aid at Jim Jones' compound? And how many fatwas have been issued or arrests made over the years because someone insulted the Prophet Mohammad, dead and buried though he may be?
Third, cultists engage in a legalistic lifestyle. Unless followers adhere to a detailed list of approved behaviors, there's no chance in hell of getting to heaven. Ultimately they develop a persecution "us-against-them" mentality.
Sometime last year I mistakenly channel surfed past Larry King's weekend show (transcript). During the seconds I lingered on that station, I heard Dr. Maher Hathout, Muslim scholar and senior adviser of Muslim Public Affairs Council say:
"[T]here is an assumption then that Muslims are converting people by force, which is not true."
(Note: The transcript is still up at CNN if you're so inclined to plow through the whole mind-numbing text.)
In fact, Dr. Hathout claimed, Muslims weren't interested in converting a single soul--only Christians were!
"If anything, Muslim now are being exposed to attempting (sic) conversion with the Samaritans at Jordan ready to go to Iraq with aid and the Bible to convert them. So Muslims are not in the business of converting people. They are subject of that tact."
Talk about delusions of persecution! "Exposed to attempting conversion" makes it sounds like the Samaritans are spreading the AIDS virus instead of "aid and the Bible" --distinctly different "weapons" than the C-4 explosives studded with shrapnel that Islamists tend to use, I might add.
Even the most moderate of Muslims believes in their heart of hearts that no country, including the United States , will be at peace until it is a Muslim nation. Moderates don't believe in killing infidels, perhaps, but I firmly believe they wouldn't mind "encouraging" non-Muslims to emigrate somewhere else.
So both Pipes and Blankley are correct about the inability of democracy to take root in Iraq even though they ignore the bottom-line problem: the cultish nature of Islam. Democracy is a unique socio-political system that can not flourish without being grounded in Judeo-Christian beliefs…
Oh. Yeah. No wonder we're having problems…
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
We Have Wised Up!
"Public's cynicism about media has become a pressing concern."
I don't think that pun was intended--it is the Boston Globe , after all.
"At a time when public distrust of the news media appears to be at a dangerously high level, there is evidence of a deep and fundamental disagreement between those who produce news and those who consume it."
"Although most journalists believe quality and values are vital elements of their work and see themselves as providing an important civic function, the reading and viewing public seems to think of journalism as a bottom-line-driven enterprise populated by the ethically challenged. Last month, the Washington-based Project for Excellence in Journalism released a wide-ranging study -- "The State of the News Media 2004" -- that concluded that a key factor in journalism's sagging image is "a disconnection between the public and the news media over motive."
More accurately "a bottom-feeder-driven enterprise."
"Industry analysts cite a number of reasons for the anti-media sentiment, ranging from highly publicized ethical scandals to the "dumbing down" of news, particularly on television. Some say larger cultural factors, such as the nation's polarized political climate and a grass-roots distrust of many major institutions, have also contributed. Whatever the causes, it is clear that journalists have a much loftier view of their profession than their audience does."
Can you say "bias? "
"The increasingly intrusive presence of the journalist in the story itself -- thanks in part to the proliferation of analysis and commentary in recent years -- has raised public concerns that have not been adequately addressed, [Jay] Rosen, [chairman of the Journalism Department at New York University] says. "The journalist looms larger in the news. . . . It creates suspicions; it creates questions," he says. "The press became a player but never bothered to say what it was playing for."
We figured it out on our own, Mr. Rosen, thank you very much.
I blame Walter Cronkite.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
"Oh for a tongue to curse the slave
Whose treason, like a deadly blight,
Comes o’er the councils of the brave,
And blasts them in their hour of might!"
Thomas Moore - "The Fire-Worshippers"
"CAMPAIGN RAGE: FLORIDA DEMOCRATS PLACE NEWSPAPER AD CALLING FOR RUMSFELD HIT; FUNDRAISING FOR KERRY
"Campaign 2004 turns extreme in Florida with the placement of a newspaper ad calling for physical retribution against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld!
"We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger," the ad reads."
"The call-to-arms fundraising ad, placed by the St. Petersburg Democratic Club in the current issue of the GABBER, a local St. Petersburg paper, asks readers to make an urgent donation to the John Kerry campaign.
"Club Vice President Edna McCall told the DRUDGE REPORT Tuesday morning: "We want to get our country back. In Iraq, we're in deep trouble. If we don't try to get this situation cleared up, we are finished."
"When asked if the ad was a challenge to inflict violence on Rumsfeld, McCall explained: "'Pull the trigger' means let Rumsfeld know where we stand, not to shoot him!"
"We are getting raped, and they are planning to steal the election again."
"McCall said her club is in direct contact with John Kerry campaign. "We're all working together."
"The publisher of the GABBER says running the ad with the passage "pull the trigger" was a mistake that "slipped through" during the editing of this week's edition."
Well maybe people should make sure they never "slip" like that again. Contact them and pass this information on to everyone you can.
The Gabber, 1419 49th Street South, Gulfport, FL 33707-4301
727-321-6965; Fax 727-327-783
Ken Steinke - 727-343-7921; Edna McCall - 352-525-4580
Jack Killingsworth - 727-596-1990
"Documentaries as Swing Vote"
Not content with only making bad movies, Hollywood keeps insisting on branching out into bad politics as well.
It's too much to hope these guys learned anything from the big egg Disney's revisionist "The Alamo" laid over the Easter weekend.
"The silver screen has become an election-year battlefield.
"Hollywood's nimble liberals are at work crafting a well-timed cultural salvo against President Bush and those who support his campaign.
"Efforts from Michael Moore and other filmmakers who criticize Mr. Bush and laud his Democratic opponent Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts will reach the public beginning in June, culminating just as voters head toward the polls in November."
"Mr. Moore intends to release a documentary called "Fahrenheit 9/11" — subtitled "The Temperature When Freedom Burns" — to theaters this fall, said "to contain explosive info about Bush," according to this week's Variety.
"The film examines "what happened to the country after September 11 and how the Bush administration used the tragic event to push its agenda," the filmmaker told the entertainment weekly in a separate interview."
"The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted."
William Shakespeare - The Merchant of Venice, Act V Scene 1
Fahrenheit 451 is one of my all-time favorite books/movies. To have it sullied by a piece of donkey excrement like Michael Moore is appalling. Certainly someone from Ray Bradury's camp can file a lawsuit to stop Moore from using that title and its obvious associative resonance!
[Via The Corner]
There has been some talk about this problem, but not enough. It's pretty obvious the mullahocracy in Iran are interested in using the Iraqi people for their own ends. Once again Iran shows itself as nothing more than a collection of abject cowards. No way do they want to face off against the U.S. and be pounded into dust. How convenient to destroy someone else's country for your political gain.
"WASHINGTON – Providing yet more evidence that Iran is actively supporting the Shiite guerrilla forces battling the U.S.-led coalition, former Iranian President Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said the American military forces are vulnerable, describing them as a "wounded monster," and suggesting defeat would provide a "valuable lesson" for the West.
"As WorldNetDaily reported, last April, an Iranian cleric, Kadhem al-Husseini al-Haeri, issued a religious edict distributed to Shiite mullahs in Iraq, calling on them "to seize the first possible opportunity to fill the power vacuum in the administration of Iraqi cities."
"The edict, or fatwa, issued April 8, 2003, showed that Shiite clerics in Iraq are receiving significant direction from Iran. The edict said Shiite leaders have to "seize as many positions as possible to impose a fait accompli for any coming government."
Also last April, WorldNetDaily reported Iran had armed and trained some 40,000 Shiite Iraqi fighters – most former prisoners of war captured during the Iran-Iraq war – and sent them to Iraq to foment an Islamic revolution.
"Rafsanjani also paid tribute to the Badr Corps, tens of thousands of Iraqis taken prisoner during the war with Iran who were returned to Iraq as Iranian agents – many of them armed.
"The Badr Corps is a very important group the majority of whom were arrested during the war and were kept in Iran as POWs and then they repented, returned, set up groups and are now back in Iraq," he said. "They have become integrated in society and are carrying out civilian tasks. In any case, the Badr Corps is a very huge force which exists there."
"Rafsanjani said the Americans "are now in the region as a very effective target. Of course Iran does not wish to get involved in acts of adventurism [sic]. We do not intend to become involved in clashes. We do not intend to interfere. We helped in the case of Afghanistan, we helped in the case of Iraq and we are still helping in security and other issues, but America has become vulnerable."
You've been listening to Kennedy and Kerry too long, Mr. Rafsanjani.
We had a flag once in this country, showing a coiled serpent and the phrase "Don't Tread on Me." The Muslim world tread where angels feared to go and is paying the price. Get out of our face, Rafi, or you might get it in the throat.
I Kid You Not
To use Jack Paar's old expression… This must be read to be believed. And even then it's mind boggling. (Via Instapundit)
Mitch Berg at Shot in the Dark adds more:
The link at Instapundit doesn't work, so keep scrolling down to the "Syria Attacks?" entry of April 12, 2004.
"Let's put the pieces together:
"When Iran and Syria were faced with a nation that was overwhelmingly behind the president, they became very polite - or at least stifled their more egregious external, anti-western terror activities.
"Now that these dictatorships see that the US' resolve seems to be dissipating - the vapid empty suit Kerry is winning in some polls! - they start to play the only card they have; attacks to play to the world media.
"They use their proxies in the Shi'ite population to try to create a Mogadishu on steroids - attacks on every coalition partner, kidnappings, and the scattergun attacks against the US, in hopes that it will have the same results as the attack in Somalia.
"The Bush Administration is unlikely to be so manipulated - but as we saw in Spain last month, not everyone's in the same boat. For that matter, if his nation is seized with psychosis and elects John Kerry, anything is possible.
"The stakes in this election are the highest of any since 1980."
During Vietnam, Walter Cronkite and his cronies could sneak up on us with their dolorous predictions and lugubrious deliveries. Now, with the help of the blogsphere, we are seeing the process step by step. Hopefully we've wised up over the past 30 years.
Monday, April 12, 2004
"The king of the wild frontier was also a champion of limited government."
Billy Bob Thornton he wasn't!
I alluded to this story in an earlier post without any details. Thank you, John Fund, for printing it all!
"The revisionist historian Jeff Long has gone further and declared that the Crockett who died at the Alamo was an "aging, semiliterate squatter of average talent" who had "accomplished nothing" in his six years in Congress."
Mr. Fund says this is much too harsh. Harsh? How polite. I'd say it's just so much bullshit. And quite obviously movie-goers agree with me, handing Disney yet another loss in their long line of abysmal revisionist-history movies.
This excerpt from Edward Ellis' biography of Crockett also shows the average voter in the 1830's was infinitely smarter than voters of today.
"An 1884 biography of Crockett by Edward Sylvester Ellis published an account of a speech Crockett gave on his views on government called "Not Yours to Give."
"Mr. Speaker--I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living."
"Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett said: "Several years ago, I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some members of Congress when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless. . . . The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done. A bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We rushed it through.
"The next summer, when riding one day in a part of my district. I saw a man in a field plowing. I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but rather coldly.
" 'You are Colonel Crockett. I shall not vote for you again.' "
"I begged him tell me what was the matter."
"'Well Colonel, you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. You voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by fire in Georgetown.
" 'Certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing treasury,' I replied."
"'It is not the amount, Colonel, it is the principle. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man. . . . You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.'"
The Lemming Syndrome
Maybe I'm the only one, but I am sick and tired of reading polls... The silly campaign finance reform bill bans advertisements, but they really should have banned polls. Why? Because too many voters are a bunch of mindless lemmings with a strong desire to brag they voted for a winner. Until the winner effs up, that is. Then you can't find a soul to admit which lever they pulled.
(In the interest of fairness, lemming lovers claim the little rodents really do not follow one another mindlessly over cliffs to their death.)
Whatever. Here's the reason any and all polls must be banned 60 days before any election:
"[Solomon] Asch helped establish the dominant view of contemporary social psychology: behavior is not a response to the world as it is, but to the world as perceived.
"[His] most famous experiments set a contest between physical and social reality. His subjects judged unambiguous stimuli – lines of different lengths – after hearing other opinions offering incorrect estimates. Subjects were very upset by the discrepancy between their perceptions and those of others, and most caved under the pressure to conform: only 29% of his subjects refused to join the bogus majority. This technique was a powerful lens for examining the social construction of reality, and gave rise to decades of research on conformity." [Final emphasis mine.]
Read that last bit a few times. Then think about yourself--are you a 29 percenter? Or are you a lemming?
I have deliberately avoided posting anything about the Condi Rice testimony, and the subsequent release of the PDB memo of August 6, because 1) everyone else is doing it a lot better and 2) I was waiting for information about Clinton's public testimony before the 9-11 Commis…
Oh, wait…he slunk (slank, slinked?) into the hearings by the back door and had a closed session…
"In a joint appearance on the PBS program "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," [Commission vice chairman Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana] said Clinton made "a lot of very constructive suggestions to us as to how to put the report together and what kinds of recommendations to make."
Oh I'll just bet he did! Wonder if they were the same ones he got in his PDB in 1996 (still unreleased) that he turned over to Al Gore to be implemented? You know, the PDB that suggested racial profiling to make our airlines safer? The one the FAA (and others) said "no" to following?
And I'll bet our previous Commander in Chief was carrying a big eraser, too, so the Commission can wipe out the incredible list of his screw ups over EIGHT YEARS of doing nothing!
Well… Doing nothing but…you know…
At least we know Clinton has a healthy prostate.
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
How Iraq Can Become Vietnam
Let Walter Cronkite anchor the evening news again…
Now we have the advantage of hindsight as well as the blueprint of how the U.S. media defeated the U.S. army in the jungles of Southeast Asia. At some point that information has to filter through the fog of miasma laughingly termed "public education."
Analysis: A mini-Tet offensive in Iraq?
by Arnaud de Borchgrave
UPI Editor at Large
"Iraq will only be another Vietnam if the home front collapses, as it did following the Tet offensive, which began on the eve of the Chinese New Year, Jan. 31, 1968. The surprise attack was designed to overwhelm some 70 cities and towns, and 30 other strategic objectives simultaneously. By breaking a previously agreed truce for Tet festivities, master strategist Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap in Hanoi calculated that South Vietnamese troops would be caught with defenses down.
"After the first few hours of panic, the South Vietnamese troops reacted fiercely. They did the bulk of the fighting and took some 6,000 casualties. Vietcong units not only did not reach a single one of their objectives…but they lost some 50,000 killed and at least that many wounded. Giap had thrown some 70,000 troops into a strategic gamble that was also designed to overwhelm 13 of the 16 provincial capitals and trigger a popular uprising. But Tet was an unmitigated military disaster for Hanoi and its Vietcong troops in South Vietnam. Yet that was not the way it was reported in U.S. and other media around the world. It was television's first war. And some 50 million Americans at home saw the carnage of dead bodies in the rubble, and dazed Americans running around.
"As the late veteran war reporter Peter Braestrup documented in "Big Story" -- a massive, two-volume study of how Tet was covered by American reporters -- the Vietcong offensive was depicted as a military disaster for the United States. By the time the facts emerged a week or two later from RAND Corp. interrogations of prisoners and defectors, the damage had been done. Conventional media wisdom had been set in concrete. Public opinion perceptions in the United States changed accordingly.
"RAND made copies of these POW interrogations available. But few reporters seemed interested. In fact, the room where they were on display was almost always empty. Many Vietnamese civilians who were fence sitters or leaning toward the Vietcong…joined government ranks after they witnessed Vietcong atrocities. Several mass graves were found with some 4,000 unarmed civil servants and other civilians, stabbed or with skulls smashed by clubs. The number of communist defectors…increased fourfold. And the "popular uprising" anticipated by Giap, failed to materialize. The Tet offensive also neutralized much of the clandestine communist infrastructure."
Let's hope we never hear sentiments like these coming from a re-empowered Saddam's mouth:
"Bui Tin, who served on the general staff of the North Vietnamese army, received South Vietnam's unconditional surrender on April 30, 1975. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after his retirement, he made clear the anti-war movement in the United States, which led to the collapse of political will in Washington, was "essential to our strategy." Visits to Hanoi by Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and various church ministers "gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."
News in Satire
Since Rush Limbaugh mentioned ScrappleFace on his Tuesday radio show, I imagine the world is now beating a path to Scott Ott's cyber-door.
Just thought I'd point out another great satirical site, Broken Newz Sample: John Kerry's New Slogan
"John Kerry -- he has 57 varieties of answer to every question!"
And I have for a long time. Without him that Henry Payne cartoon would not be so amusing--or depressing.
If Ahmad Yassin, founder of Hamas, is considered "the godfather of suicide bombers," then Walter Cronkite must be considered "the godfather of Gonzo journalism."
(Yes, I am aware (Dr.) Hunter S. Thompson is the "birth" father of Gonzo journalism, but Cronkite was the forerunner of the "up close and personal involvement" school of reporting. In fact, the very definition of Gonzo journalism is "… a highly subjective and extremely personal form of reporting." Thompson, by the way, is a regular columnist at ESPN.)
What I remember of Walter Cronkite is a grumpy old man hunkered down in the mire of a Vietnamese rice paddy, dolefully reporting on the death and destruction being inflicted on American forces. I was only a kid, so my impressions are those of a not-very-politically savvy teen, but the overall feeling when I happened to see one of his broadcasts was of abject depression. Fortunately my parents disliked him immensely so I didn't have to watch him very often.
It wasn't until much later that I learned Cronkite's reports of how the U.S. was losing the war were primarily broadcast during the Tet Offensive--an offensive we won--an offensive that decimated our Communist enemies with minimal cost to us--an offensive that was so negatively spun by the 5th columnists in the U.S. press most of us thought we were crushingly defeated!
Edwin E. Moïse gives a brief summary here. As he notes:
"The most important was the way the optimistic statements US spokesmen had been making about Communist weakness contrasted with the strength the Communists had shown in this battle. US spokesmen had been saying for months that the Communist forces were weakening. The Tet Offensive made it obvious that the Communist forces were far stronger than US spokesmen had admitted."
I think it's important to remind people Hitler attempted the same tactic with the Battle of the Bulge. What would the world be like today if our media reported that Battle the same way Cronkite reported the Tet Offensive and began pushing for a negotiated peace?
"The Tet Offensive made the brutality of the war very visible to Americans. The US Air Force had been bombing South Vietnamese villages for years; during Tet the Air Force was bombing South Vietnamese cities. The ARVN had been killing prisoners for years; during Tet the American television viewing public actually got to watch a prisoner, with his hands bound behind his back, being shot through the head by a South Vietnamese general. The Communists also committed atrocities, of course; the Communists appear to have killed several thousand civilians in the city of Hue during the period they held parts of that city. That, however, did not happen within sight of American television cameras."
The last sentence of Moïse's piece is (for me, anyway) the most important. From those tainted attitudinal seeds grew the war reporting we see today. And it explains why many of the extreme actions of the Islamofacists are being staged for reporters and cameras--along with Muqtada al-Sadr's so-called "uprising"--as this NY Post column points out:
"Consider: Victims of other attacks in Iraq have not generally been burned and mutilated after their deaths. So why the extra savagery this time?
"Because the cameras were there.
"Like their brethren in Gaza and the West Bank, these fiends know when and how to perform for maximum propaganda effect.
"And don't think that Associated Press Television just happened to turn up at the right place at the right time for the burning and hacking of corpses. After all, last week the AP had dramatic on-the-spot, perfectly timed, close-up photographs of insurgents firing RPGs at Coalition troops. Clearly, someone at AP has a mutually beneficial relationship with the insurgents in Fallujah."
Bear in mind that during the late 60s TV viewers had only three options for nightly news. Cronkite was No. 1, perhaps because of the stellar reporting he had done during WWII when he went ashore at Normandy with the so-called "Writing 69th." His accomplishments at that time were remarkable. He supported the Vietnam War, perhaps because it was started by Democrat JFK and accelerated by Democrat LBJ. The Tet began in January of 1968 and, as Albert Auster writes in his fawning profile of Cronkite at the Museum of Broadcast Communications website: "Many observers, including presidential aide Bill Moyers speculated that this was a major factor contributing to President Lyndon B. Johnson's decision to offer to negotiate with the enemy and not to run for President in l968."
To this day I cannot understand Cronkite's strange flip-flop. At the time I got the distinct impression he was 1) impressed with his own importance as a veteran war correspondent and 2) deliberately attempting to influence the upcoming Presidential elections.
That Cronkite supports liberal Democrats is a matter of record. All you have to do is read his recent column in the Denver Post.
That column alone should be enough to revoke his credentials as the most respected journalist in America. The most biased, perhaps. The most self-important, definitely. But not--in my book--the most respected. His reporting style and blatant journalistic advocacy put down deep roots--rather like kudzu in the South. Just scroll through the examples listed in this Mudville Gazette post about the Fallujah outrages to see Cronkite's poisonous legacy in action.
All that makes Albert Auster's profile of Cronkite just plain silly. In addition to citing Cronkite's influence on the 1968 Presidential race, he continues with further examples:
"By the same token, Cronkite never stinted on coverage of the Watergate Scandal and subsequent hearings. In l972, following on the heels of the Washington Post's "Watergate" revelations the CBS Evening News presented a 22 minute, two-part overview of "Watergate" generally credited with keeping the issue alive and making it intelligible to most Americans."
"On an international level. Cronkite could also influence foreign diplomacy, as evidenced in a l977 interview with Eygptian President Anwar El-Sadat, in which he asked Sadat if he would go to Jerusalem to confer with the Israelis. A day after Sadat agreed to such a visit an the invitation came from Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. It was a step that would eventually pave the way for the Camp David accords and an Israeli-Eygptian Peace treaty."
After listing all the ways Cronkite's reporting "influenced" national and international politics and diplomacy, Auster ends his paean of praise with a real howler [emphasis mine]:
"Cronkite's legacy of separating reporting from advocacy has become the norm in television news."
Walter Cronkite deserves to be blamed for the mess that is now "the norm in television news."
Camille Paglia says a lot and has a lot of good things to say. Those of you more attuned to television might find this lengthy piece intimidating. Deal with it. This is worth your time. Here's a taste:
The Magic of Images:
Word and Picture in a Media Age
"[…] But because the U.S. is the driving media engine for the world, what happens there may well be a harbinger for the future of all industrialized nations.
"Interest in and patience with long, complex books and poems have alarmingly diminished not only among college students but college faculty in the U.S. It is difficult to imagine American students today, even at elite universities, gathering impromptu at midnight for a passionate discussion of big, challenging literary works like Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov —a scene I witnessed in a recreation room strewn with rock albums at my college dormitory in upstate New York in 1965.
"As a classroom teacher for over thirty years, I have become increasingly concerned about evidence of, if not cultural decline, then cultural dissipation since the 1960s, a decade that seemed to hold such heady promise of artistic and intellectual innovation. Young people today are flooded with disconnected images but lack a sympathetic instrument to analyze them as well as a historical frame of reference in which to situate them. I am reminded of an unnerving scene in Stanley Kubrick's epic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, where an astronaut, his air hose cut by the master computer gone amok, spins helplessly off into space."
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
The Alamo Full of "Historical Information"
According to some people in this article anyway.
"A recent Variety * article confirmed the film's perspective.
"'Alamo' is expected to deal with many of the historical complexities – including the Mexican point of view – that were glossed over in John Wayne's 1960 film," Variety reported. "Alamo heroes William Barret Travis' serial marital infidelities, Jim Bowie's slave trading and Davy Crockett's overall political incorrectness will also be addressed."
[NOTE: When will Hollywood "address" this bit of history Mychal Massie revealed in his recent column:
"How many Americans are aware that in New Orleans over 3,000 freed slaves owned slaves? The fact is large numbers of free Negroes owned black slaves.
"How many are aware successful businessman and cotton farmer William Ellison derived a major source of his income from being a "slave breeder" – a practice that was looked down upon throughout the South? Yet Ellison, a successful black businessman and slaveowner, secretly practiced it."
Sounds Jim Bowie was a piker compared to those guys, but I won't hold my breath for Hollywood to point that out. ]
But to continue:
"Richard Bruce Winders, curator of the Alamo museum, said movie viewers who expect a close remake of the classic John Wayne film will be disappointed. He calls the 1960 movie "real bad history."
"It's hard to believe that Hollywood would do a movie where there was so much historical information in it," he told the Associated Press. "If you're expecting a remake of John Wayne's movie, you're going to be pretty much surprised by what you'll see."
The comment "…Davy Crockett's overall political incorrectness…" is a nice generalization. Who gets to define his "political incorrectness?" Last I checked, PC was a new invention by liberals intent on making everyone feel 1) guilty or 2) victimized. And as I recall, Crockett was a Congressman who got in trouble with his constitutes for voting to send federal money to help victims of a natural disaster. That sounds pretty politically correct to me.
I think I'll check the local video store for the John Wayne version.
*A search of the Variety website did not turn up the cited article.