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Saturday, September 30, 2006

One Thing That Truly Disturbs Me About Blogger...

Is its built-in inclusion of Zodiac Signs in our profiles... For reasons many of you out there will not likely understand, or appreciate.


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Per Request of Ms. Malkin...

I am passing on two letters, one of which I briefly touched upon in my previous post. Please use the 'Here's More' link for all of it. If I had time to add my own thoughts at the end I would. Tomorrow afternoon perhaps. All typos are part and parcel of the originals.

Sorry ER, but it's a dark scary world out there...



From French high school philosophy teacher and author, Robert Redeker:

What should the free world do while facing Islamist intimidation?

The reactions caused by Benedict XVI’s analysis of Islam and violence highlight the underhanded maneuver carried out by Islam to stifle what the West values more than anything, and which does not exist in any Moslem country: freedom of thought and expression.

Islam tries to impose its rules on Europe : opening of public swimming pools at certain hours reserved exclusively for women, ban on caricaturing this religion, demands for special diets for Muslim children in school cafeterias, struggle to impose the veil at school, accusations of Islamophobia against free spirits.

How can one explain the ban on the wearing thongs on Paris-Beaches this summer? The reasoning put forth was bizarre: women wering thongs would risk "disturbing the peace". Did this mean that bands of frustrated youths would become violent while being offended by displays of beauty? Or were the authorities scared of Islamist demonstrations by virtue squads near Paris-Beaches?

However, the authorization of the veil on the street is more disturbing to public peace than wearing a thong, because it invites complaints against the upholding the oppression of women .This ban represents an Islamization of sensibilities in France, a more or less conscious submission to the diktats of Islam. At the very least it is the result of the insidious Muslim pressure on the minds: even those who protested the introduction of a "Jean Paul II Square" in Paris would not be opposed to the construction of mosques. Islam is trying to force Europe to yield to its vision of humanity.

As in the past with Communism, the West finds itself under ideological watch. Islam presents itself, like defunct Communism, as an alternative to the Western world. In the way of Communism before it, Islam, to conquer spirits, plays on a sensitive string. It prides itself on a legitimacy which troubles Western conscience, which is attentive to others: it claims to be the voice of the oppressed of the planet. Yesterday, the voice of the poor supposedly came from Moscow, today it originates in Mecca! Again, today, western intellectuals incarnate the eye of the Koran, as they have incarnated the eye of Moscow. They now excommunicate people because of Islamophobia, as they did before because of anti-communism.

This opening to others, specific to the West, is a secularization of Christianity that can be summarized thus:the other person must come before myself. The Westerner, heir to Christianity, is the that exposes his soul bare. He runs the risk of being seen as weak. With the same ardor as Communism, Islam treats generosity, broadmindedness, tolerance, gentleness, freedom of women and of manners, democratic values, as marks of decadence. They are weaknesses that it seeks to exploit, by means of useful idiots, self-rigtheous consciences drowning in nice feelings, in order to impose the Koranic order on the Western world itself.

The Koran is a book of unparalleled violence. Maxime Rodinson states, in Encyclopedia Universalis, some truths that in France are as significant as they are taboo. On one hand: "Mohammed revealed in Medina unsuspected qualities as political leader and military chief (…) He resorted to private war, by then a prevalent custom in Arabia (….) Mohammed soon sent small groups of partisans to attack the Meccan caravans, thus punishing his unbelieving compatriots and simultaneously acquiring the booty of a wealthy man."

There is more: "Mohammed profited from this success by eradicating the Jewish tribe which resided in Medina, the Quarayza, whom he accused of suspect behaviour." And: "After the death of Khadija, he married a widow, a good housewife, called Sawda, and in addition to the little Aisha, barely ten years old. His erotic predilections, held in check for a long time, led him to ten simultaneous marriages ."

A merciless war chief, plunderer, slaughterer of Jews and a polygamist, such is the man revealed through the Koran.

Of, the Catholic church is not above reproach. Its history is strewn with dark pages, for which it has officially repentaed. The Inquisition, the hounding of witches, the execution of the philosophers Giordano Bruno and Vanini, those wrong-thinking Epicureans, in the 18th century the execution of the knight of La Barre for impiety, do not plead in the church’s favor. But what differentiates Christianity from Islam is obvious: it is always possible to go back to true evangelical values, the peaceful character of Jesus as opposed to the deviations of the Church.

None of the faults of the Church have their roots in the Gospel. Jesus is non-violent. Going back to Jesus is akin to forswear the excesses of the Church. Going back to Mahomet, to the conbtrary, reinforces hate and violence. Jesus is a master of love, Mahomet is a master of hatred.

The stoning of Satan, each year in Mecca, is not only an obsolete superstition. It not only sets the stage for a hysterical crowd flirting with barbarity. Its importis anthropological. Here is a rite, which each Muslim is invited to submit to, that emphasizes violence as a sacred duty in the very heart of the believer.

This stoning, accompanied each year by the acciedental trampling to death of some of the believers, sometimes up to several hundreds, is a rite that feeds archaic violence.

Instead of getting rid of this archaic violence, and thus imitating Judaism and Christianity (Judaism starts when it abandons human sacrifice, and enters civilization; Christianity transforms sacrifice through the Eucharist), Islam builds a nest for this violence, where it will incubate. Whereas Judaism and Christianity are religions whose rites spurn violence, by delegitimizing it, Islam is a religion that exalts violence and hatred in its everyday rites and sacred book.

Hatred and violence dwell in the book with which every Muslim is brought up, the Koran. As in the Cold War, where violence and intimidation were the methods used by an ideology hell bent on hegemony, so today Islam tries to put its leaden mantel all over the world. Benedict XVI’s cruel experience is testimony to this. Nowadays, the West has to be called the "free world" in comparison to the Muslim world; likewise, the enemies of the "free world", the zealous bureaucrats of the Koran’s vision, swarm in the very center of the free World.



From German Professor Egon Flaig:

Islam wants to conquer the world

"For we want the flag of Islam to fly over those lands again, who were lucky enough, to be ruled by Islam for a time, and hear the call of the muezzin praise God. Then the light of Islam died out and they returned to disbelief. Andalusia, Sicily, the Balkans, Southern Italy and the Greek islands are all Islamic colonies which have to return to Islam's lap. The Mediterranean and the Red Sea have to become internal seas of Islam, as they used to be".

These are not the words of Al Qaeda, they were taken from the programme formulated by the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Al Banna, in a speech. The Brotherhood today has millions of adherents and spread out far beyond Egypt. Its intellectuals are working in Europe and the United States; they count as "moderates" and are treated accordingly by the media. Re-conquest of "lost" territory according to plan is part of the agenda of states, that is political communities, fighting about territorial power. How can it be part of a religion's programme? Is Islam a religion like any other?

Since the beginning of the classical period between the ninth and the eleventh century Islamic jurists have divided the world into two parts, namely the "House of Islam" and the "House of War". This dichotomy is independent of where Muslims live in large numbers, or even form the majority, but depends on where Islam rules supreme - by applying Shariah - or where it does not rule. So, this dichotomy is not religious in nature, but political. Between these two parts of the world naturally exists a state of war, until the House of War is no more and Islam rules the world (Sura 8, 39 and 9, 41). Thus, according to classical teaching, for the Muslim community there is a duty to wage war against the disbelievers, until those either convert, or submit. This war is called jihad.

While Jesus' missionary call meant to convert all peoples, but to leave their political order untouched, Islam's aim is to submit all non-muslims politically, but to leave their religion untouched, if it is a religion of the book. God's general call to jihad is based on surah 9, 29. It is true though, that minute factions of islam did not accept this interpretation. The Shiites accept it, but demand that a true imam must be leading the Muslim community (and has been waiting for such a one for more than 13 centuries), so that for the time being they only feel bound to defensive jihad, in the case of attacks on the Muslim community.

On the other hand, the other factions, e.g. the so-called Kharijites, have radicalised the content of Sura 9.29: for them, jihad is an individual duty of each able-bodied muslim, which counts as a sixth pillar next to the other five cardinal duties. In the consequence of such teachings: when everyone has to either take part in the collective war against the unbelievers, or, should the Muslim community be too weak for the time being, has to wage war alone or in small groups, then assassinations and terror attacks are right. What the Kharijites demand for offensive jihad, most proponents of orthodox Sunnah-teachings demand for defensive jihad: when Islam is being attacked, or islamic territory is being invaded by infidels, jihad becomes an individual duty, e.g. a fatwa of the Grand Mufti of Cairo's Al-Azhar university - against Israel - leaves no doubt about that. Any enemy power that acts according to the Hague rules of warfare and strictly distinguishes combatants and non-combatants will be in great difficulty. The state of war lasts so long, until the House of War is destroyed, and the world is conquered. This is why Majid Khadduri calls Islam a "divine nomocracy on imperialist foundations". Peace treaties, which Islamic rulers closed with non-Islamic rulers, were only considered as cease-fires; this is why as a rule, they were only closed for no more than ten years. Two schools of jurisprudence permit no more than three to four years of peace. The short deadlines made it possible for the militarily superior Muslims to constantly blackmail their adversaries; this way throughout the centuries huge amounts of money and humans went to the Muslim side. When the paradigm of power shifted, Muslim rulers had to change their practice.

Thus in 1535 Suleiman the Magnificent made a peace with the French king which was to last for the lifetime of the Sultan - a break with tradition. Christian theologians tried to define, in the face of a plurality of states, what could be deemed a "just war" and what could not be deemed such. To wage war just in the interest of faith for the most part was not considered just. For Muslim scholars on the other hand, the "house of islam" is a political unit, which does not permit internal war, therefore only war for the sugjugation of infidels was considered legitimate and even a duty, as the famous fourtheenth-century scholare Ibn Chaldun categorically states: "In Islam the jihad is prescribed by law, because it has a universal calling and is supposed to convert all of humanity to Islam, be it of their own free will, or by force".

The rules of engagement for jihad are flexible. According to Khadduri, anything is possible, from mercy to mass enslavement to mass killing, just like with Greeks and Romans. This is a fundamental difference between the holy war of islam and of Old Testament Judaism, which prescribed the killing of all males outside of Israel, and the killing of every living thing within Israel (Deuteronomy 20, 10-20). We usually are outraged at what the Crusaders did in Jerusalem in 1099. Yet, the Crusaders acted in accordance with the ius bellum of the times, Muslim conquerors did the same all the time and everywhere: 698 they hit Carthage, in 838 Syracuse; the notorious vesir of the Cordoban Caliphate, Al Mansur, led 25 wars in 27 years against the Christian realms of northern Spain, enslaving, destroying, laying waste. They hit Zamora (981), Coimbra (987), Leon, Barcelona twice (985 and 1008), then Santiago de Compostela (997).

The worst destruction was wreaked by the jihadis on Byzantine Anatolia, which was then still full of cities; the massacre of Amorium (838) has remained a symbol for a long time; the urban culture of Anatolia never recovered from it.

The Seljuk Alp Arslan had entire Armenian cities massacred, the worst being the capital Ani in 1064. Bat Ye'or's evaluation therefore is more than justified: "Its lack of measure, its regularity and the systematic character of the destructions, which Islamic theologians had decreed to be law, make the difference between jihad and other wars of conquest".Certainly, mass enslavement remained the favourite aim of the wars. That was the way in which, as early as the eight century, the biggest slave-holder society developed that world history has ever known; it demanded a permanent influx of new slaves, transformed the African continent into the biggest supplier of slaves, a destiny which Europe narrowly avoided.

The incredible speed, in which in 90 years an Arabian empire spanning from the south of France to India developed, with no single conqueror guiding the expansion, is unique. The world's most succesful imperialism was admired by no less than Hegel: "Never has enthusiasm as such done bigger deeds". If "enthusiasm" could do such a thing - what was its source? The answer is simple: martyrdom. Something happening in 963 in Constantinople may illustrate this: the emperor Nikephoros Phokas had just swept the Muslim invaders from Crete; now, he was planning a big war, to liberate eastern Anatolia and northern Syria from muslim rule. A council should help him: he pleaded with the bishops, to elevate soldiers dying in the war to the status of martyrs. Paradise would then have been assured for those soldiers. The patriarch stood up against the emperor: no church council could be empowered to anticipate God's decision, only God could decide on eternal salvation.

A scene of historical significance. The emperor knew what was at stake. Again and again, the Byzantians had to witness the Muslim troops fighting with a ferocious courage that the Christians could not emulate. Fallen Muslims were considered martyrs of the faith and marched straight to paradise. The concept of a martyr is fundamentally different in the two religions. Christian martyrs imitate the passion of Jesus, passively submit to torture and death; Muslim martyrs are active fighters.

Decisive for the warriors' acceptance of death was the firm promise of eternal salvation for those who die for the faith (surah 4, 74-76). Muslims should withstand a tenfold force (surah 8, 66-67); retreat was judged to be acceptable by later scholars if the enemy was at least double as strong, as Khadduri describes. As the decisive factor in any war is the fighting human being and his readiness to sacrifice himself, being on a par technically with the Arabs and Seljuks - in the long run, they had to succumb, if their morale was not of the same kind. Higher readiness to die is an enormous advantage in a fight- foolhardy operations can be waged and dashing manoeuvers to surprise and confuse the enemy; in that way, victory can be forced, that is technically and materially almost impossible, and battles are won, that would be lost under the usual circumstances.

Nikephoros knew about the military consequences of surah 4, 74-76; he was the first who tried to correct the conceptual military disadvantage of the Christian religion. But the bishops of the Eastern Church found themselves incapable of manipulating their theology in a way to create warlike martyrdom. This was it. The Byzantine emperors had to wage their heavy defensive wars against the permanent Saracen and Seljuk aggression without the help of religion, where they needed that help most.

Only the Western Church changed the theological-political situation: when Pope Urban II called the first crusade in 1095, he promised the Christian warriors forgiveness for their sins: fallen crusaders avoided divine judgement and were put on a par with martyrs in that respect, although they were denied that name.

The Pope as head of a monarchic church did just that, what the Council of Eastern bishops had not been able to do: he dispensed salvation. The papal church now could have the kind of "holy war" islam had been waging for centuries. What is the difference between Crusade and jihad? A Crusade could only be called by the Pope, and thus remained a rare occurence - compared to the countless, neverending and ubiquitarian jihads of the islamic world.

And the goals of the Crusades remain precisely defined; in November 1095, Urban II defined reason and aim of the crusade: "it is obvious, we must give help to our brothers in the east as soon as possible. The Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have invaded the realm of Romania (Constantinople) and by invading the lands of these Christians ever more deeply, they won seven battles, killed or captured a huge number of the Christians. If you don't oppose them now, the faithful servants of God in the Orient will not withstand this storm much longer". The first Crusades were meant to either help Christians in need, or to liberate the holy places in Palestine or to liberate Christians that had been subjugated by Muslims. On the other hand, the Muslim scholars always kept firm to their final goal, to conquer the "house of war" and subjugate all infidels.
Urban II was right. Had Constantinople fallen in 1100, the enormous military power of the Turk armies would have plagued Europe four hundred years earlier. Then the manifold European culture probably would never have been: no free urban constitutions, no constitutional debates, no cathedrals, no renaissance, no scientific boom, because in the Islamic world, free - Greek! - thinking was dying just at this time. Jacob Burckhardt's evaluation - "A stroke of luck, that Europe as a whole could ward off Islam" - means, we owe about as much to the Crusades, as to the Greeks' victory against the Persians.

But, have the Crusades not been abused? Certainly. Crusades "derailed" and were "abused", like the one that led to the conquest of Christian Constantinople in 1204. But that happened much more often with jihads. When slaves became scarce, emirs did not merely wage wars against non-Muslim peoples, who had to be enslaved anyway, but more and more often against Islamized peoples, under the pretext, that they were no true Muslims. That happened mainly in Africa and against black Africans, e.g. when first in 1468 Songhay and then the Moroccans in 1552 invaded Mali, or when in the 18th century religious reformers waged their jihad against Muslimized Hausa cities, which led to the creation of the Sokoto-caliphate - containing the third largest number of slaves after Brazil and the American south. Africa to this day suffers from the consequences of this permanent jihad with its genocides and mass-enslavements

Well, and what was the political order that the Muslims waged their holy wars for with such vehemence and success? For Shariah. A political order, which for one strictly separates masters from the subjugated and secondly takes political and social order away from human influence for the most part. Let's talk about the first aspect: According to the Shariah, the Muslims are masters, the followers of other "book religions" - Christians, Jews, Parsees, Buddhists, are subjugated, Dhimmi. These were not religious minorities, but huge majorities, especially in Syria, Anatolia or the Christians of North-Africa.

The subjugated were not allowed to carry weapons, they were unarmed, thus not 'real men'. Christians and Jews had to wear special colours or pieces of clothing (this discrimination was the origin of the "Judenstern") so as to be visibly "dhimmi"; they were not allowed to ride on horseback, only on mules, to remind them of their subjugation; they paid a special tribute (jizyah), that they had to pay personally, while being given a slap on the head. They had to let themselves be beaten by any Muslim, without being allowed to defend themselves; if a dhimmi retaliated, his hand would be cut off, or he would be executed. A dhimmi's witness did not count against a Muslim, who only had to pay half the fine for any crime committed against a dhimmi, and could never ever get executed for any such crime. On the other side, the most cruel methods of execution were reserved for the dhimmi.

Even the discrimination against the Jews, installed by the Western Church in the 4th Lateran Council in 1215, four hundred years after Islam, and which seems so barbarian to us, did not intend and did not lead to such a degree of humiliation and demeaning of people. A special horror was brought by the Turkish rule: from 1360 up to a fifth of Christian children were abducted into slavery. They were forcefully converted. The number of slaves through four centuries must have been millions; hundreds of thousands of choice boys among those were raised to be fanatical Muslims and elite fighters, the notorious Janissaries: a politic meant to systematically increase the Muslim population and slowly exterminate Christians. It was successful. "Dhimmitude" put non-muslims in a state of radical "otherness". To call people in this state "second class citizens" is a euphemism.

In the same way national socialism divided humans into master-race and subhumans on racial grounds, so Shariah did it on religious grounds. As the first world-religion, Islam created an apartheid, where Christian or Parsee majorities were colonised and slowly Islamized. Islamic tolerance meant: tolerate the subjugated as humiliated and demeaned. All this is well known via studies about "dhimmitude". But who wants to hear about the millions of victims?
Islam religiously "cleansed" huge territories: the second Caliph made the Hijaz, Arabia except Yemen "judenrein" and "christenrein"; the alternative was either to convert, or to be forced into emigration. Except for some Old Testament cases no religion ever before had done that. In the same way the Almohadis and Almoravids "cleansed" Spain after the breakdown of the Caliphate in 1031: tens of thousands of Jews and Christians had to either convert or flee to the Christian north of Spain, or the Levant. Certainly, English and French kings and the kings of Spain later on did the same - they applied the Muslim recipe in doing it. And the pogroms? Since the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil (847-861) waves of persecution again and again hit the Orient and North Africa, where Jews and Christians were forcibly converted, kicked out or massacred. The destruction of churches went on and on right until the century before last. Slowly, the rosy picture of Muslim Spain created by European anti-imperialism in the 19th century loses its fake colours. A scrupulous study of documents shows a different picture below that. In 889 in Elvira and in 891 in Seville, there were massive pogroms against Christians. In Moroccan Fez in 1033, 6000 Jews were massacred. 1058 Christian Antioch was forcefully Muslimized with torture and threats of death.

The first large pogrom against Jews on European soil happened in 1066 in Muslim Granada, 1500 Jewish families were killed. In 1135 the Jewish quarter of Cordoba was burnt down, it might be good, not to know the number of people massacred then. In 1159 all the Christians in Tunis had to chose between conversion or death. At this time, the vital Christianity of North Africa was completely wiped out. The pogroms in Christian lands are nothing to be proud of in European history, but their scope lags behind the ones in the Muslim world. We urgently need a comparative study of religious oppression.

Let's talk about integration of the Jews? Nowhere under the rule of Islam, not even in the Spanish Caliphate, were Jews citizens of their own cities, they always remained subjugated. In some German cities - Worms, Augsburg and others - during the high Middle Ages the Jews were citizens, albeit of special legal satus. They had the right to carry arms and were better off than poorer Christian people. Right until the 14th century, when their situation got worse, they were far better integrated than Jews in Muslim Spain could ever hope to be. Who thinks highly of political integration cannot but prefer Augsburg to Cordoba. All this has been well known in academic circles for fifteen years. But who wants to hear it?

To ignore the past means to re-live it. He who keeps on spreading the fairytale of muslim tolerance, stands in the way of those Muslim intellectuals, who seriously work towards a reformation of islam, which started out so promisingly in the 19th century. He steals away their chance to overcome a past, which threatens to become a horrible presence. If the reformers could achieve a radical de-politicization of islam, the muslims could become real citizens of their states. That would leave the highly spiritual religion, which fascinated not only Goethe. Hegel called Islam the "religion of sublime". It could become that.



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I would add this: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades) by Robert Spenser is a must read in these trying times.


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In Opposition VII

What differenciates Christianity from Islam is obvious*

[With Christianity] It is always possible to go back to true evangelical values, the peaceful character of Jesus as opposed to the deviation of the Church. None of the faults of the Church have their roots in the Gospel, Jesus is non-violent. Going back to Jesus is akin to forswear[ing] the exesses of the Church. To the contrary, going back to Mahomet reinforces hate and violence. Jesus is a master of love, Mahomet is a master of hatred. [...] Whereas Judaism and Christianity are religions whose rites spurn violence, by delegitimizing it, Islam is a religion that exalts violence and hatred in its everyday rites and sacred book.



*Taken from the essay by Robert Redeker, forced into hiding for daring to criticize Islam.

Also, from a letter written by Redeker to his friend, philosopher André Glucksmann:

"I am now in a catastrophic personal situation. Several death threats have been sent to me, and I have been sentenced to death by organizations of the al-Qaeda movement. [...] On the websites condemning me to death there is a map showing how to get to my house to kill me, they have my photo, the places where I work, the telephone numbers, and the death fatwa. [...] There is no safe place for me, I have to beg, two evenings here, two evenings there. [...] I am under the constant protection of the police. I must cancel all scheduled conferences. And the authorities urge me to keep moving. [...] All costs are at my own expense, including those of rents a month or two ahead, the costs of moving twice, legal expenses, etc.

"It's quite sad. I exercised my constitutional rights, and I am punished for it, even in the territory of the Republic. This affair is also an attack against national sovereignty – foreign rules, decided by criminally minded fanatics, punish me for having exercised a constitutional right, and I am subjected, even in France, to great injury."


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Click here to view the previous 6 'In Opposition's'

Do you think the French are beginning to realize their peril? America certainly isn't.


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Friday, September 29, 2006

Guilty Pleasures...

Yes, Eric indulges in guilty pleasures. The greatest of which is compelling (to me at least) television.

It's fall again. Which means season premieres and series premieres. Before I started working at a television station, I watched some TV but not near as much as I do now. Here then is a list of what Eric will be watching...


Smallville Season 6 (CW)-- Premiered last night. Clark escapes the phantom zone, and rips Zod from the body of Lex Luthor. The Fortress of Solitude is dead, and Jor El has gone silent. Awesome ep.

Heroes New (NBC)-- Very interesting despite the premise: people all over the world are beginning to discover they have developed "powers" akin to comic book characters... Teleportation, Mind Reading, Phyical Indestructability, Flying, Precognition... Thing is, none of them have any desire to wear spandex. It will probably get cancelled, but I intend to enjoy it for as long as NBC keeps it airing OR it loses it's edge.

Jericho New (CBS)-- As much a response to the current world climate as the sale of fallout shelters in the late 50's early 60's. And surprisingly instructive. Could this be a subliminal effort by CBS to teach every American who watches the in's and out's of surviving a nuclear holocaust? By the end of the second episode we the viewers know that Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego, and 3 other as-of-yet unrevealed cities have been obliterated.

Prison Break Season 2 (FOX)--Not as confining this season as last, pun intended. Despite the adult nature of the plot line, it is quite engrossing. NOT recommended for children, or anyone with tender sensibilities. Language and visual boundaries are pushed, but considering the subject matter, it's to be expected.


There are only three shows left to air this fall that are of interest to me...

Doctor Who Season 2 (SCIFI)-- The newest incarnation of the classic BBC series is due out this or next friday. The SciFi Channel carried season 1 this past spring, which ran after the season finished it's run in the UK. For anyone who love good Sci-Fi... GOOD, well written Sci-Fi-- with a wry twist of British humour --this one satisfies on numerous levels. It's not to be missed if you like Sci-Fi.

Lost Season 3 (ABC)-- The end of last season we saw Jack, Kate, and Sawyer captives of the mysterious "Others". Over the summer an online game/mystery was played, and the big reward at the end was the answer to just what Hurley's magic numbers relate, and how-- I won't bore you with it here, look it up for yourself. Surpisingly, the Other's let Hurley go back to the Oceanic camp. Jin and Sun are still on Desmond's yacht. Michael and Walt are heading away from the island on a real boat, the Hatch has imploded, and we have no clues at to the fates of Mr. Eko, Locke, and Desmond. And for the first time in the entire history of the series we have the perspective of someone NOT on the island, who additionally is NOT part of a flashback memory. In other words, someone from the REAL world, thereby killing the theory that the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are really dead and suffering gruesome fates in purgatory. Very Cool Show!

Battlestar Galactica Season 3 (SCIFI)-- Now. If you love Sci-Fi and you're not watching this show, you're a pretender! You're not Gellin'. I used to say Babylon 5 was the best of Sci Fi until Farscape came on the scene. But now, we have the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica.

Despite the Sci-fi backdrop, this is a human drama, and is very much a product of the current world political climate. Honestly, from my perspective, there is not a better show on television right now. There is nothing hokey or cheesy about this show.

When we left the show last season, Dr. Gaius Baltar has won the Presidency, and with his first presidential decree has ordered the fleet to disband and begin settlement of a bleak earth-like planet deemed "safe" from Cylon detection as it sits in the middle of a nebula. Thing is, Baltar's Cylon love-interest, a pschologically and emotionally damaged Number 6 Copy, has used a nuclear device to commit suicide. Taking with her three vessels that we know of, reducing the human population from 49,000 to perhaps 30,000. One year later, thanks to the nuclear residue of the afore mentioned blast, the Cylon fleet manages to find the last human settlement, New Caprica, and occupies it. Humans are now the slaves of machines... And a resistence is building. It cranks back up next Friday. CAN'T WAIT!!!


Of course there is still a show that has yet to air, but we will have to wait a few months more for...

24 Season 6 (FOX) which ramps back up in January. Jack Bauer is now the prisoner of the Chinese, and it doesn't look good for Jack. Especially since China has a thriving human-organ industry going on. The harvesting of organs from convicted and executed criminals. Just how Jack Bauer gets out of this one without losing a liver or a kidney or two... Well, it's gonna be spectacular.


So, there's one of Eric's guilty pleasures. Nothing as mundane as drinking malt-liquor and smoking swisher sweets, but pleasurable nonetheless.

See, ER? A glimmer of light in an otherwise dreary blog.


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"On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders."

--Samuel Adams


You know, the beer guy.


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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light...

There are a number of fallacies surrounding the current War on Terror-- a misnomer, I might add, since wars are conventionally waged on nations and armies, not emotional states or the methods that produce them. One such fallacy is that President Bush hyped or otherwise lied about the case for war in Iraq. This simply isn't true. Instead it's more the case of having heard a lie often enough that it's become accepted as truth. Which is where we are politically in this nation today. One faction knows the truth but refuses to publically address it, while the other faction consistently fails to defend the truth... until recently. One faction suffers from selective-- and disingenuous --gaps in memory, while the other faction consistently fails to call them on it, despite the mountain of evidence at their disposal... until recently.

Another such fallacy is that the war in Iraq, and the reasons for the war, were widely opposed, when in fact one political faction demanded the right to vote on a resolution supporting the war-- an obvious political move. Everyone wanted to be on record supporting the war, at least until the 2004 Presidential election, at which time, in another obvious political move, everyone wanted to go on record as denouncing the war.

I've presented the image a number of times, and it bears repeating: While we bicker like dogs over a dry hollow bone, our attention is diverted from the cat eating at our food dish. The old maxim that 'all politics stops at the shoreline' has been shattered. President's Carter and Clinton feel no shame in denegrading the U.S. on foreign soil to foreign audiences. In fact, it seems to have become a badge of honor among one political faction. Lying and acts of treason, too, have become commonplace and accepted as the norm.

So where does that leave the United States in this current political and diplomatic crisis? The New York Times can now release any classified material they please with impugnity because they know that no one will do anything about it; no one will hold them accountable. The hypocrsy of one political faction is so blatantly obvious it boggles the mind to wonder how the general public could fail to see it and not demand their elected officals do something to cut it off like the gangreous limb that it is. How is it one political faction can demand a special counsel to investigate the leaking of the name of a not-so-secret secret agent, and not demand the same for the New York Times? How it that one political faction can be so morally outraged that a CIA operative's life was put at risk, condemning the wrong persons for political reasons, and yet applaud the courage of a newspaper that actively works to undermine the U.S. government in the prosecution of this so-called 'War on Terror'? How is it this political faction can applaud treason?

Moving on... I was given a link to a story at The New Yorker today-- The Master Plan, by Lawrence Wright. The posit for the link was to 'get beyond th[e] tit-for-tat crap,' that is "liberals are bad, conservatives are good." Now, I reject that notion, but fine, let's look at the article and see what we can see. Eleven pages of print is a hefty read for someone who has to read between commercial breaks, and between newscasts, but I managed it--even finding time to use the trusty highlighter. What I found in Mr. Wright's piece was a very instructive, in depth look into the Jihadist's history-- specifically Al Qaeda --and the thinkers, movers and shakers of the Wahhabist movement. Much of the first eight pages is history; who met who and how. But nothing to support any notion that the war in Iraq in not essential to winning the War on Terror, or that one select line leaked from the NIE by the New York times and taken completely out of context. Returning the hypocrisy of one political faction; how dare they, our elected officials, make broad accusations and level condemnation on our current war strategy based on a New York Times leak, when these same elected officials have already read the complete NIE-- at least those on the Intellegence Committee? And yet none have seen fit to speak out against the New York Times.

Moving on... It's not till you get to about page 7 that the really interesting stuff comes along. The whole purpose of this article is to tell the world that Al Qaeda is simply the beginning of a larger, bolder plan. The article further reveals that these whack-jobs are not as whacked as they've been made out to be. They are thinking, planning, and wondering what will be needed should their jihadist dream be realized.

After coalition forces overran Al Qaeda compounds in Afghanistan in late 2001, they seized thousands of pages of internal memoranda, records of strategy sessions and ethical debates, and military manuals, but not a single page devoted to the politics of Al Qaeda. Alone among Al Qaeda theorists, Naji briefly addresses whether jihadis are prepared to run a state should they succeed in toppling one. He quotes a colleague who posed the question "Assuming that we get rid of the apostate regimes today, who will take over the ministry of agriculture, trade, economics, etc.?" Beyond the simplistic notion of imposing a caliphate and establishing the rule of Islamic law, the leaders of the organization appear never to have thought about the most basic facts of government. What kind of economic model would they follow? How would they cope with unemployment, so rampant in the Muslim world? Where do they stand on the environment? Health care? The truth, as Naji essentially concedes, is that the radical Islamists have no interest in government; they are interested only in jihad.
[Emphasis mine]

No interest in ruling nations, only in killing or subjugating others. Pretty much the same things the Taliban were doing in Afghanistan. But the Islamist writer and theorist known as Naji is asking the right questions.

The crux of the entire article however are the six well-thought out phases of Islam's plan to rule the world.

"Al Qaeda drew up a feasible plan within a well-defined time frame. The plan was based on improving the Islamic jihadist action in quality and quantity and expanding it to include the entire world."

--Fouad Hussein, Author of "Al-Zarqawi: the Second Generation of Al Qaeda"
Which is as follows...

One-- Al Qaeda’s twenty-year plan began on September 11th, with a stage that Hussein calls "The Awakening." This first stage, says Hussein, ended in 2003, when American troops entered Baghdad.

Two-- The second, "Eye-Opening" stage will last until the end of 2006, Hussein writes. Iraq will become the recruiting ground for young men eager to attack America.

Three-- "Arising and Standing Up," will last from 2007 to 2010. Al Qaeda's focus will be on Syria and Turkey, but it will also begin to directly confront Israel, in order to gain more credibility among the Muslim population.

Four-- Attacks against the Middle East petroleum industry will continue, and America's power will deteriorate through the constant expansion of the circle of confrontation. "By then, Al Qaeda will have completed its electronic capabilities, and it will be time to use them to launch electronic attacks to undermine the U.S. economy." Islamists will promote the idea of using gold as the international medium of exchange, leading to the collapse of the dollar.

At which point an Islamic caliphate can be declared, inaugurating stage...

Five-- Lasting until 2016. "At this stage, the Western fist in the Arab region will loosen, and Israel will not be able to carry out preëmptive or precautionary strikes," Hussein writes. "The international balance will change." Al Qaeda and the Islamist movement will attract powerful new economic allies, such as China, and Europe will fall into disunity.

Six-- a period of "total confrontation." The now established caliphate will form an Islamic Army and will instigate a worldwide fight between the "believers" and the "non-believers." Hussein proclaims, "The world will realize the meaning of real terrorism." By 2020, "definitive victory" will have been achieved. Victory, according to the Al Qaeda ideologues, means that "falsehood will come to an end... The Islamic state will lead the human race once again to the shore of safety and the oasis of happiness."

If there was ever any doubt as to the jihadi's purpose in attacking the U.S. and their sanity-deprived willingness to throw away the lives of dedicated soldiers in suicide missions, this should dispell any such illusions; that Islam, as system of religion, is dangerously non-peaceful. I see nothing in the article, as a whole, to dissuade me from desiring complete confrontation with Islam... on foreign soil. It may sound cliche, but we ARE in a struggle for western civilization, and the greatest military power this world has ever known will undoubtedly lose-- and the rest of the world with it --if one political faction in particular wins meaningful power in either of the next two election cycles.

The Murtha idiocy must be prevented at all costs. This was never a battle between America and Afghanistan alone; between the U.S. and Bin Laden alone. The scope and nature of this new war is beyond anything this nation-- and much of the world --has ever faced, and it will take steadfastness and the courage of titans to earn victory. This war will not be over in two years, not even in ten. According to Fouad Hussein, we're in the midst of a twenty year war that began on 9-11. A plan which, seemingly, is right on course.

In closing, allow me to make an observation. People are commanded to turn the other cheek, not nations, and only for personal affronts. When fighting for survival and the freedom to worship God one will be called upon to do what one might not ever choose to do... given a choice. And while it's true that those who live by the sword often die by the sword, let's not forget that in order for someone to die by sword, someone else must wield a sword. If there was ever a reason to go to war, the potential for loss of liberty, and freedom to worship the one true God, to an enemy that neither knows God, nor believes in God, is that reason.

Rosie O'Donnell thinks radical Christianity is dangerous? Christianity doesn't want to put her in a burqa, force her into a subservient role, and stone her for being a homosexual. Radical Islam most certainly will. This new war is not for the faint of heart.


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Hear, Hear!!!


Much has been made of the so-called "National Intelligence Estimate," a report prepared by several intelligence agencies in the federal government. The New York Times, always on the lookout for opportunities to leak classified information, recently selectively excerpted this secret document. In it was the explosive statement that the war in Iraq was causing more terrorism.

In response to this, President Bush ordered the report declassified. But there are a few things about this report that the Democrats and the media don't want you to know. For one, the report is outdated. It's based on data collected through only February... before two 500-pound bombs sent Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi to his meeting with Allah. Second, the report is based on a lot of ifs. It's written by analysts...people who get paid to sit around and think about these things. If you read what's been released, there's a lot of if this and if that and not many concrete recommendations.

There was, for instance, one "if" in the report that the Democrats and the Times don't seem to want to share with you. The report said that IF the United States prevails in Iraq, it will discourage Islamic terrorists and reduce the threat they present. Don't you think that's a pretty important part of this document?

But Democrats are having a field day with this. Wishing as they do for America's failure in Iraq, they welcome any confirmation of their strategy of surrender. But their premise is flawed. What they are essentially saying is that attacking and fighting back against the terrorists only makes them mad and creates more terrorists. Therefore, goes their reasoning, we simply should not fight back. We should just let Saddam Hussein go right on his merry way...creating biological and nuclear weapons and selling them to the highest bidder.

And then there's always the issue of what they would do differently. What is the Democrats' strategy? Aside from total surrender to Al-Qaeda, they don't have one. They didn't have one for 8 years during the Clinton Administration and they don't have one now. The only thing the American Left can offer as a solution to terrorism is appeasement.

--Neal Boortz
September 27, 2006


I'm completed sick and tired of Democrats. They, as a party, are completely clueless, disengenuous, and flat our dishonest... To say nothing of morally corrupt.


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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Stream of Consciousness, River of Truths


"When our enemy declares war on our God and His message, blaspheming His Son by saying He is the slave of Mohammed, it’s time for us to ask Him to unleash his anger at those who hate us for His name’s sake."

--Kathy
from Oh, how I love Jesus


In other words, Jesus is the slave of Satan. In his dreams, perhaps! But God is no idol's slave, and that is precisely what Allah is: An idol... a false god. And those who worship it are unwitting slaves to damnation. They are so deeply ensnared nothing I or anyone else can ever do will open their eyes to the truth. Only God can open their eyes.

Which brings me to a conversation I had with a friend earlier this evening... Ideologies are every bit as addicting as alcohol or drugs, with but one not so obvious difference. Go into any bar and walk up to the first drunk person you see-- trust me, they stand out. Look him or her in the eye and ask them flat out, "Are you drunk?" They will invariably say one of three things:

1. "Hell, yeah, I'm drunk! What's it to you?"
2. "I'm gettin' there! What's it to ya?"
3. "Who wants to know? And why should I care?"

Anyone who ever drank to excess knew they were drunk. But ask a person if they're deceived by their ideology and you'll hear,

"Absolutely not! What I believe about God and heaven is absolutely the truth. It's everyone else that's mixed up!"
No one believes they are deceived. The god they believe in is the only god; everyone else is a fakir, a fraud, and a lie from the devil himself. They can ALL defend their beliefs with pet scriptures, scientific facts and personal affirmations. And every one of them is willing to die for it.

And that's something else altogether-- Everyone is willing to die for something, if not someone. For indeed, everyone does die for something; be it God, their own version of god, or a selfish refusal to deny themselves the life they want to live. In the end, everyone has died for something.

We know what Muslims are dying for. They are dying for a guaranteed seat at the heavenly table. In Islam, that is the only sure way of going to heaven. Die peacefully in bed, and you have to hope your good deeds out-weigh your bad. In other words, it's a crap-shoot. But die in Jihad and it's 72 perpetual virgins in a hedonistic self-indulgent humanistic paradise.

What muslims don't know however is that their version of God-- neatly packaged in a handy .exe file labeled, god_v1.2 --is wholly inconsistent with every word that has proceeded from God Almighty up to Muhammad's other-worldly vision. Allah is wholly incompatible with what Jews and Christians know of God. But short of the Holy Spirit cracking open that nut of a heart, the average muslim would rather die than entertain the notion that for 14 centuries they have been duped by the REAL Great Satan himself.

It is quite true that KNOWING truth makes you free. It is easier for such a one to see the difference, to be able to distinguish between truth and falsehood. For the one caught in the vise-like grip of error, it is all but impossible to see past the lie.

In Muhammad's faith it is acceptable to lie, if it advances the cause of Allah-- Not so in Christ's. In Muhammad's faith it is ones duty to either bring the infidel into the faith of Allah, accept the rulership of the Caliphate and pay exhorbitant taxes, or kill them-- Not so in Christ's.

In Muhammad's faith it is acceptable to divorce and remarry as often as one pleases-- Not so in Christ's.

In Muhammad's faith it was acceptable to marry a six year old girl, and consummate the marriage when she turned nine-- Not so in Christ's.

There are literally hundreds of contradictions in the faith of Muhammad.

The fact remains, however, that any spirit that says Christ has NOT come in the flesh is the spirit of antichrist. That is to say, anyone or any religion that denies Christ and all He stood for, is not of God. Satan has been working at a fevered pace to lessen the victory of Christ as much as he can, casting millions into hell with false doctrines and false religions. And it's not just Muslims. Satan is alive and well, and working dilligently within the pews, and beneath the banner and guise of Christendom. There are Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses, Mason's and Shriners; there's Armstrongism, and death cults like Jim Jones, you'll even see a few false prophets on TBN. Then there are the other beliefs; Hinduism, Buddhism, and Khrishna's and Moonies, Oh, MY!. The point is, all of these religions and faiths attempt to put a boundless God into the confines of an ideological box. A quite impossible thing to do, granted, but they try nonetheless, never realizing that God has already put Himself in a box of his own design.

The walls of the Box that contains our boundless, omnipotent God, is his holiness. His purity. His unstained-by-sin-and-corruption nature. God has said,

"I will give them my son, that through His blood they might be restored unto me. It is MY blood that I shed for mankind. And because it is MY blood. I will allow no other path to reach the gates of heaven. For this is the path that I have ordained from the foundation of the world."
But Satan continues to whisper, "Yea, hath God said?" If all the many different religions in the world seem confusing to you, just remember that in God there is only clarity... Satan is the author of confusion.

I found the above picture at Brooke's place, and was deeply offended by it. Not simply offended in my religiosity... My faith... But in the very corridors of my intellect as well. If Jesus is God in human flesh, how can God then be the slave of Allah?

Let those who are called to the mission field do their work. They have been called, they will work the fields wherein God has planted them and bear much fruit. It is ONLY, however, their job to plant the seeds of truth. The Sower cannot make, by any power he possesses, any seed to germinate, and spring forth with life... That is the sole purview of the Father, via the work of the Holy Spirit. Realistically, that is all any of us can do-- plant seed... and pray.

So let the missionaries do their work, but let the rest of us pray that their seed-- His word --not return void; that it accomplish the work to which it was sent: be it regeneration unto salvation or condemnation unto punishment. It will be one or the other. His word will NOT return void. Each seed planted will bear some manner of fruit.

In closing, Ms. Green presented a piece at her place on Imprecatory Prayer. As her post inspired this one, so too, a post at Oh, How I Love Jesus inspired hers. I'm a very well read man, but this is one word I was unfamiliar with-- Imprecatory...

Imprecatory prayer is a last resort appeal to God for justice. The so called 'curses' are simply the just penalty called for in the scriptures for the alleged crime. Imprecatory prayer is an appeal to the court of divine justice (1) for protection and (2) the appropriate punishment for the criminals.

--from Imprecatory Prayer at MosesHand.com
Interestingly enough, imprecatory prayer is not entirely unknown to me, as I have engaged in it in the past-- albeit unwittingly --in a post from October '05 entitled, An Exercise in Facetiousness. This is not to say imprecatory prayer is in any way facetious, only that the prayer which follows was written facetiously. Hmmm. Now that I get a good look at it, it's more praise for how God has already punished someone...Hmmm, but here it is nonetheless...

Glory be to God,
      The most Holy God of Heaven!
The stamp of thy foot
      Upon the lands of the infidel Muslims
Heartens your righteous servants,
      The children of God, through
Christ our Lord!

Praise to God in the Highest!
      Praise to Christ His son!
Let us not be faint in the presence of His spirit.
      Let us smash the heathen Muslims
Who seek to destroy the faithful,
      The true followers of God Almighty.
The only God, our Lord!

Your foot did stamp
      And the mountains shook!
Your foot did stamp,
      And the valleys quaked!
Your foot did stamp
      And the people were crushed
Beneath thy righteous anger!

Let your righteous anger crush
      The children of Satan
Let your righteous anger humble
      The arrogance of Islam
Let your righteous anger chasten
      The souls of the unrepentant
Let thy will be done!

God, our father, What a mighty blow
      You have struck against our enemies!
Lead us to peace, Oh God
      Lead us to righteousness
Where no evil dwells
      Lead us to victory, Oh God
Against the Infidel Muslims!

Praise be to God!


I don't imagine the Lord was very pleased with my sarcastic tone. If one is going to pray imprecatorily, one should at least be serious, sober, and cognizant of what one is asking of God.

And although I see the basis in scripture for such prayer, I still wonder if such prayer is akin to giving up... To failing God. Then again, praying that evil be crushed beneath the foot of God's righteous anger is not 'failing God'. Nor is it 'giving up'. Each time we pray, 'Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven' we are in fact praying for Christ's return and all that it entails... including the great tribulation, billions of deaths and souls lost, and Christ's righteous judgment of the nations.


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How's it Look in Your Neck of the Woods?

I just filled the tank with regular unleaded at $2.249 per gallon.


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One Daisy Did Not Make It To The Show

She no doubt accepted her role as a token of farewell to one Edna Earl Prather, but while delivery was made, in the presence of mourners, this one daisy came away in the driver's hand. I've no doubt this daisy wanted to shine with her sisters; for that was her purpose, but that purpose was squandered by my careless hand. She must learn, therefore, to find contentment as best she may in brightening my own little corner of the world.

Apologies Miss Edna. Apologies little Daisy.


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Osama is Dead!?! Wha?

Remember the story last week of a predator drone capturing video of 100+ taliban officials and commanders at a funeral and we did nothing? Could they have been there for the funeral of Osama bin Laden?

Well, if it is true, those who know will never admit to it. And if by some chance the muslim world accepts it as true, they'll only blame the U.S. for his death. After all, were we not chasing him he wouldn't have had to live in the condition he did and contracted typhoid.

And, realistically, what would change in the War on Terror if Osama were dead? For those who claim victory will be achieved with the capture or death of Osama bin Laden, may I remind you all of Abu Musab al Zarqawi? He's dead, and the conflict continues. Besides which, this war was never about capturing and killing one man. It's always, from the very beginning, been about killing one ideology. But, as I've said in the past, the only way to kill an ideology is to replace it with another greater ideology.

The question now is: How realistic is it to expect Democracy, a system of government, to replace radicalized Islam, a system of religion?


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Friday, September 22, 2006

Not Paying Attention

The turn of a century is a special event. The turn of a millennium uber special. The biggest worry many of us had at one minute past midnight 2000 was the Y2K bug-- A soda, it turns out, that had more hype than fizz.

Think about it. The cold war was over, the Gulf War was a cake walk, throughout the 90's all we had to worry about was the occasional pesky arab trying to blow up a building, an embassy or two, a ship, or military housing. We didn't even flinch, nationally, when we lost Somalia at the battle of Mogadishu-- anytime one combatant tucks tail and runs, trust me, that combatant has lost. What I've just described doesn't sound all that rosy, does it? And I haven't even touched on presidential misconducts, stained dresses, perjury, or impeachment-- They're irrelevant at the moment. The point is, we still all went into a new century, a new millennium with but one boogey man waiting. Y2K.

But we weren't just worrying about Y2k. There were election irregularities, an attempted coup by a disgruntled candidate and his party, and an outcome that left this nation wide open to an enemy we didn't even know we were at war with. But with the inauguration of George W. Bush, this nation seemed to set it all back on cruise control. Moving on. Same ole same old. The new president picked up where the old president left off, just another day in the life of America. Land of the free, home of the brave.

But what did those words really mean to the average American? I would venture to say little, or nothing more than the final lines of a rote ritual to open sporting events. Sure, we got all indignant when celebrity singers mocked the song and the game, and we were embarrassed when some couldn't seem to remember the words-- we had enough pride for that, but what did we really understand about the song, about the sentiment and idea it expresses? Not much.

When did it all change? When did we realize there was a force of hatred in the world that wanted us dead? I remember 9.11 well. I was driving to my 9am Intro to Psychology at the local Community C, switching channels on the radio. And instead of the usual inane morning banter/laughter there was a story about a plane striking one of the twin towers. No mention of 'terrorists', no mention of 'attack', just a 'Wow, a plane just struck one of the World Trade Center towers'... I changed stations to try to find some music. When I get to class the instructor is crying, apparently she has friends and family working in building... She is dismissing the class.

I was probably thinking something like, 'Boy, that was a waste of gas...' at about 2 bucks a gallon. And I worked at a TV Station! Twenty-five minutes later I'm back at the house watching a jumbo jet slam into the the second tower over and over and over and over and over and over. It's suddenly dawning on me that this is something more than an accident. One of the most distinct memories I have of that day is watching wall to wall coverage at the Station-- Getting paid to watch live coverage, since we sure weren't putting on any newscasts --and hearing a woman scream, "OH, MY F---ING G-D!" on national television. Another image that still sticks with me is the great dark cloud rolling down the street toward people both terrified and running for their lives.

More reports began coming in: The Pentagon; a lonely field in Pennsylvania-- wreckage and lives scattered like Letterman's giant bowl of chocolate pudding from the top of the building housing the historic Ed Sullivan Theatre. Gas prices began to go up. We weren't doing any shows so many of us at the Station took off to fill our tanks. While waiting to fill up, I watched the attendants raising the price.

For two days WTVY produced not a single show. For two days we logged in and sat rapt with a sense disbelief at the bank of monitors in the control room, each of us with a desperate, burning need to know Why? Who? How? And again, Why? Were we not the most blessed nation on the face of the earth? Were we not a Christian nation? Were we not favored of God? I thought so then. Looking back now on those questions I have to say, 'Yes, we were blessed... but certainly not anymore.'

Everyone wants to tout our unity as a nation on that day. In one respect, I'll grant each of you that this nation was indeed unified in its resolve to seek justice. But politically, partisanship only deepened. The divide became a canyon. Today it is all but an abyss.

We all joined in unity on that day to seek justice. But it wasn't enough to change any attitudes about the world we suddenly discovered ourselves in-- a world that was there all along, but we were frighteningly oblivious to it. What did we honestly know about Muslims? What do we honestly know today about Muslims? Or more specifically, Islam? Not enough then and still not enough today.

This nation, for the better part of twenty years and been instituting a culture of political correctness that ultimately has hurt our ability to clearly see and define our enemy. Islam is a religion of peace, despite all evidence to the contrary. But it hurts us a nation to speak ill, publically, of so great and enduring a faith as Islam. Their holy book speaks of peace, and goodwill toward men.

No. Sorry. Theo Van Gogh is murdered because he chooses to speak out against the oppressive society that IS Islam in relation to women and their treatment under Shar'ia Law. A spurious report of Qur'ans being flushed down toilets send thousands of muslims into the streets in protests where dozens die, while terrorists, hiding out in the Church of the Nativity and surrounded by Israeli forces, use bibles as toilet paper. Cartoons depicting Muhammed in a less than flattering, though historically accurate light, riot and demand the heads of the cartoonists. 'Disaffected' Muslim youths take to the streets in Paris and surrounding areas to burn cars and commit murder. Abu Musab al Zarqawi saws off the head of one Nicholas Berg, on camera, in the name of Allah the Merciful... The Compassionate... Pope Benedict XVI quotes a 600-plus-years-dead Byzantine emperor, and Muslims demand the Pope's head, Even claiming the green flag of Muhammad will soon be raised over the Vatican.

This is a religion that still calls the West 'Crusaders'... They are still living in the 11th century! Yesterday, Indonesia executed 3 Christians simply to appease Muslims who have seen some of their own numbers executed for charges of terrorism. 2 Iranian girls have been convicted of Crimes of Chastity and are scheduled for execution by public stoning. Last year Muslims in indonesia cut off the heads of Christian school girls.

But we can't screen airline passengers using a racial/ethnic profile. After all, Islam is a religion of peace. They have repeatedly made claims that the world, including America, will be conquered by Islam. Yet Islam is a religion of peace. No one wants to offend Muslims for fear of violent retribution, even though Islam is a religion of peace. Islam wants to wipe Israel off the map while ironically denying the Holocaust ever took place... The same religion of Peace that is feverishly attempting to acquire nuclear weapons.

And where is America in all this? Fighting over how we will try terrorists for their crimes. Extending to terrorists rights they do not deserve under the language of the Geneva Convention. Extending to terrorists the rights of a U.S. Citizen-- rights they certainly don't deserve. Bickering amongst ourselves over WMD's, Quagmires, Valerie Plame, Halliburton, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Teddy "Let's go for a drive" Kennedy, John McCain, Dan Rather, Howard Fineman, Michael Isikoff, The Daily Kos, Huffington Post, the New York Times, Katrina, "Bush hates black people," Memogate, FEMA, Franken, Limbaugh, Abramoff...........

Where is America in all this? Not paying attention.

The more I read the news each day, the more I want to find some place to hide and wait out the inevitable. The more I read and see and hear the more I begin to understand Luke 21:25-26... "Men's hearts failing them for fear..." Yes, a big part of me want to hide, but I can't give in to that...

A Muslim of some authority has warned muslims in Washington and New York to leave. The hand of retribution soon to fall upon the Great Satan cannot be held back because fellow Muslims may perish as well. Where is America in all this? Not paying attention.

America is poised to build a 700 mile fence along a 2,000 mile border... Where is America in all this? Not paying attention.

Maumoud Ahmadinejad, standing before the General Assembly, prays to Allah for the soon return of the prophesied Mahdi... to applause. Where is America in all this? Not paying attention.

Hugo Chavez stands in that very spot and declares the air still reeks of Sulphur where the leader of the FREE world stood not a day earlier. And where is America in all this?

Not paying attention.

How about it, Land of the Free? How about it, Home of the Brave? Do you not think it's time to take your eyes off the ballgame, the television, the countless other daily distractions and finally take note of what's being said in the world? Of what's happening around the world?

What will it take to make you pay attention? A radioactive hole 100 blocks in diameter where Manhattan once stood? Where the White House once stood? Who will keep the ballgames going? Who will keep Grey's Anatomy airing? Who will watch the kids so you can go out for cocktails and dancing?

It's time to stop gazing in the bathroom mirror and take note of what's happening in the front yard.


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A Very Good Read Over at Betsy's Page


Anyone who still thinks that there is some sort of higher ethical foundation at the United Nations will perhaps notice the bitter irony of having Ahmadinejad address the institution which he has played so skillfully while pursuing all the while the very goal that the UN supposedly has resolved Iran should not achieve.

--Betsy Newmark



I'm glad I found her blog. She's one smart cookie.


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On Despots and Demagogues...


"Adding to this dangerous clash of civilizations is the need by despots to have an enemy in order to escape accountability for failing to improve their own societies. This is true not only of despots in other lands-- today and in the past, but demagogues in our own."

--Cal Thomas


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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Two. Just Two... So Far


"You don't come into my country, you don't come into my congressional district, and you don't condemn my president!"

--Rep. Charlie Rangel to the press after Hugo Chavez's speech today in Harlem.



From Rep Rangel's website:

I want to express my extreme displeasure with statements by the President of Venezuela attacking U.S. President George Bush in such a personal and disparaging way during his remarks at the United Nations General Assembly.

It should be clear to all heads of government that criticism of Bush Administration policies, either domestic or foreign, does not entitle them to attack the President personally.

George Bush is the President of the United States and represents the entire country. Any demeaning public attack against him is viewed by Republicans and Democrats, and all Americans, as an attack on all of us.

I feel that I must speak out now since the Venezuelan government has been instrumental in providing oil at discounted prices to people in low income communities who have suffered increases in rent as heating oil prices have risen sharply. By offering this benefit to people in need, Venezuela has won many friends in poor communities of New York and other states. I am surprised that American oil companies have not stepped up to provide that kind of assistance to the poor.

Venezuela's generosity to the poor, however, should not be interpreted as license to attack President Bush. Those who take issue with Bush Administration policies have no right to attack him personally. It was not helpful when President Bush referred to certain nations as an "axis of evil." Neither is it helpful for a head of state to use the sacred halls of the United Nations to insult President Bush.


Admittedly, my take on Rep Rangel's motives for saying all this is quite cynical. You can thank the hypocrisy of Democratic Party for that. But so far, only two Democrats have spoken out thus far against President Hugo Chavez and his remarks against the President of the United States.

Nancy Pelosi, and Charlie Rangel. My... What a crowd!

Oh! And why did it take twenty-four hours and two speeches for a democrat to speak out? Why didn't the condemnations come immediately after the first speech? Because the Democrats had to think about the impact of speaking out against the consequences of not speaking out-- they probably had to take a poll. It's all about regaining the House and Senate this Fall. Cynical as that may sound, I feel it's nonetheless true. Their chances of doing either is growing slimmer with each news cycle.


UPDATE: It would seem two democrats have come out in support of Chavez... Representative Bill Delahunt of the 10th congressional district of Massachusetts, and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa.


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Ahmadinejad: Madman at the Podium

In the Name of the God of Mercy, Compassion, Peace, Freedom and Justice

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, "Today we have gathered here to exchange views about the world, its future and our common responsibilities towards it. It is evident that the future of the world is intertwined with its current state and the prevailing trends, which exhibit signs of hope and despair.

On the one hand certain hopes and opportunities exist, and this August Assembly is convened on such hopes. Today human thought reflects outstanding commonalities which provide appropriate grounds to build upon.

With the passing of the era of agnostic philosophies, today humanity is once again joined in celebrating monotheism and belief in the Creator as the originator of existence. This is the common thread which binds us all.

Faith will prove to be the solution to many of today's problems. The Truth will shine the light of faith and ethics on the life of human beings and prevent them from aggression, coercion and injustice and will guide them towards care and compassion for fellow beings.

Another hope is the common global appreciation of the sources of knowledge. Although reason, experience and science are among valuable sources of knowledge, the darkness of the Middle Ages deprived major portions of the Western world of appreciating. This reactionary tendency deprived many of access to various scientific findings and knowledge and led to the exclusion of other sources of knowledge namely God and knowledge based on revelation from the life of human beings in the West; Divine knowledge that was carried and disseminated by such prophets as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad (peace be upon them).

Today, agnostic thinking is on the decline and presently humanity is equally enamored with religion knowledge and spirituality. This is an auspicious beginning. Divine prophets teach us about proper regard for the exalted state of human beings on earth.

'Here's More' for full text of address...

The human being is blessed with dignity, most importantly manifested in being the viceroy of the Almighty on earth. The Almighty placed humans on earth to develop it, institutionalize justice, overcome their egoistic tendencies and praise no lord but the Almighty.

Faith and good deeds can bring deliverance and the good life even in this world. Attaining this depends on human will, that is the will of each and every one of us. We must heed the call of our common primordial nature and achieve the realization of this good life.

On the other hand, the prevalence of military domination, increasing poverty, the growing gap between rich and poor countries, violence as a means to solve crises, spread of terrorism, specially state terrorism, existence and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the pervasive lack of honesty in interstate relations, and disregard for the equal rights of peoples and nations in international relations constitute some of the challenges and threats.

Although these challenges are very real, we believe we are not predestined to experience them. Our common will not only can change this course but in fact can lead us to a life filled with hope and prosperity. Divine revelation teaches us that "The Almighty changes the fate of no people unless they themselves show a will for change" (Holy Quran, 13:11).

How can we influence the future of the world? When and how will peace, tranquility and well-being for all come about? These are the fundamental questions before us.

We believe that a sustainable order, nurturing and flourishing peace and tranquility, can only be realized on the two pillars of justice and spirituality. The more human society departs from justice and spirituality, the greater insecurity it will face, so much so that a relatively small crisis, such as a natural disaster, leads to various abnormalities and inhuman behavior.

Unfortunately, the world is rife with discrimination and poverty. Discrimination produces hatred, war and terrorism. They all share the common root of lack of spirituality coupled with injustice. Justice is about equal rights, the correct distribution of resources in the territories of different states, the equality of all before the law and respect for international agreements.

Justice recognizes the right of every one to tranquility, peace and a dignified life. Justice rejects intimidation and double standards. As the eminent daughter of the Prophet of Islam has said, "justice brings tranquility and harmony to our hearts."

Today, the world is longing for the establishment of such justice. If humanity heeds the call of its primordial nature with firm resolve, justice will emerge. This is what the Almighty has promised and all people of good will from all religions are waiting for. If the prevailing discourse of global relations becomes one of justice and spirituality, then durable peace will be guaranteed.

Conversely, if international relations are defined without justice and spirituality and void of moral considerations, then the mechanisms for promoting confidence and peace will remain insufficient and ineffective.

If some, relying on their superior military and economic might, attempt to expand their rights and privileges, they will be performing a great disservice to the cause of peace and in fact will fuel the arms race and spread insecurity, fear and deception. If global trends continue to serve the interests of small influential groups, even the interests of the citizens of powerful countries will be jeopardized, as was seen in the recent crises and the even natural disaster such as the recent tragic hurricane.

Today, my nation calls on other nations and governments to "move forward to a durable tranquility and peace based on justice and spirituality."

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Islamic Republic of Iran is born out of a movement, based on the pure primordial nature of a people who rose up to regain their dignity esteem and human rights. The Islamic Revolution toppled a regime, which had been put in place through a coup, and supported by those who claim to be advocates of democracy and human rights, thwarted the aspirations of the nation for development and progress for 25 years through intimidation and torture of the populace and submission and subservience to outsiders.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is the manifestation of true democracy in the region. The discourse of the Iranian nation is focused on respect for the rights of human beings and a quest for tranquillity, peace, justice and development for all through monotheism.

For 8 years, Saddam's regime imposed a massive war of aggression and occupation on my people. It employed the most heinous weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons against Iranians and Iraqis alike.

Who, in fact, armed Saddam with these weapons? What was the reaction of those who now claim to fight against WMDs regarding the use of chemical weapons back then? The world is witness to the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran, because of its humanitarian principles, even during the most testing of times and when it was sustaining the highest number of casualties, never allowed itself to use such weapons.

Thousands of nuclear warheads that are stockpiled in various locations coupled with programs to further develop these inhuman weapons have created a new atmosphere of repression and the rule of the machines of war, threatening the international community and even the citizens of the countries that possess them.

Ironically, those who have actually used nuclear weapons, continue to produce, stockpile and extensively test such weapons, have used depleted uranium bombs and bullets against tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, Kuwaitis, and even their own soldiers and those of their allies, afflicting them with incurable diseases, blatantly violate their obligations under the NPT, have refrained from signing the CTBT and have armed the Zionist occupation regime with WMDs, are not only refusing to remedy their past deeds, but in clear breech of the NPT, are trying to prevent other countries from acquiring the technology to produce peaceful nuclear energy.

All these problems emanate from the fact that justice and spirituality are missing in the way powerful governments conduct their affairs with other nations.

After September 11, a particular radical group was accused of terrorist activities -- although it was never explained how such huge intelligence gathering and security organizations failed to prevent such an extensive and well planned operation.

Why powers that, not so long ago, were supporting the activities of such groups in Afghanistan and thus portraying themselves as supporters of human rights and the Afghan people have over night turned into their most fierce critic?

Are we to believe that their benefactors, i.e. the very same hegemonic powers have lost control? "If the answer is yes, would it not be better for those powers to adopt an honest and transparent approach to the international community, provide precise information about the main elements and their arms and financial support system, and accept responsibility for their inhuman actions against nations and countries, and thereby assist peoples and nations to correctly, wisely and sincerely fight the roots of terrorism.

We must endeavor to achieve sustainable tranquility and peace based on justice and spirituality.

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Terrorism and WMDs are two major threats before the international community. The Islamic Republic of Iran, as one of the main victims of terrorism and chemical weapons, fully appreciates the difficulties that lie ahead in the road to combat these menaces.

Today, the most serious challenge is that the culprits are arrogating to themselves the role of the prosecutor. Even more dangerous is that certain parties relying on their power and wealth try to impose a climate of intimidation and injustice over the world make bullying, while through their huge media resources portray themselves as defenders of freedom, democracy and human rights.

People around the world are fully aware of what is happening in the occupied Palestine. Women and children are being murdered and adolescents taken prisoner. Houses are being demolished and farms burnt down. Yet, when the people of Palestine resist these conditions, they are accused of terrorism. At the same time, the occupier, which does not abide by any principles and terror is part of its pronounced and routine policy enjoys the support of the previously mentioned governments. Let me be blunter. State terrorism is being supported by those who claim to fight terrorism.

How can one talk about human rights and at the same time blatantly deny many the inalienable right to have access to science and technology with applications in medicine, industry and energy and through force and intimidation hinder their progress and development? "Can nations be deprived of scientific and technological progress through the threat of use of force and based on mere allegations of possibility of military diversion?

We believe that all countries and nations are entitled to technological and scientific advancement in all fields, particularly the peaceful technology to produce nuclear fuel. Such access cannot be restricted to a few, depriving most nations and by establishing economic monopolies, use them as an instrument to expand their domination.

We have gathered here to defend human rights in accordance with Charter of UN and prevent certain powers from claiming that "some countries have more rights "or that" some countries do not have the right to enjoy their legitimate rights". "We must not, at the beginning of the 21st century, revert to the logic of the dark ages and once again try to deny societies access to scientific and technological advances.

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the UN must be the symbol of democracy and the equal rights of nations. If we talk about the equal rights of nations in political forums, we must talk of the same concept in this forum as well.

Similarly, if we talk about the right of sovereignty, then all nations must be allowed to exercise their rights on an equal footing and in a democratic process.

The UN can be the standard bearer of democracy in the world, when it, itself, is a manifestation of democratic process. I reiterate that durable tranquility and peace can only be built on justice and spirituality.

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Islamic Republic of Iran is a symbol of true democracy. All officials including the Leader, President, members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, city and village councils are elected through the vote of the citizens. The Islamic Republic of Iran has held 27 national elections in 27 years. This showcases a vibrant and dynamic society in which people widely participate in the political life.

Because of its key importance and influence in the important and strategic Middle East region, the Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to contribute actively to the promotion of peace and stability in the region.

Saddam, Taliban regimes were both the products of foreign powers. The people of Afghanistan and Iraq know very well who supported these two regimes.

Today, to establish peace and security in the region, foreign occupation forces must leave and completely hand over the political and economic sovereignty of these two countries to their peoples.

The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to provide full and comprehensive support to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and their elected governments, and will actively help them in the establishment of order and security. My country will continue and expand its sincere cooperation and interaction with them.

In Palestine, a durable peace will be possible through justice, an end to discrimination and the occupation of Palestinian land, the return of all Palestinian refugees, and the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, today, more than ever, nations need constructive, positive and honest cooperation and interaction in order to enjoy a dignified, tranquil and peaceful life based on justice and spirituality. Let us enter into a collective covenant to realize this legitimate aspiration of our nations.

Here, I would like to briefly talk about the approach and initiative of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the nuclear issue. Nuclear weapons and their proliferation, and attempts to impose an apartheid regime on access to peaceful nuclear energy, are two major threats, challenging international tranquility and peace.

Keeping in mind that in past years no serious efforts complimented by practical mechanisms -- have been made to move towards full disarmament and more specifically implement the decisions and outcomes of the NPT Review Conferences of 1995 and 2000, I suggest that the General Assembly, as the most inclusive UN organ, mandate an ad-hoc committee to compile and submit a comprehensive report on possible practical mechanisms and strategies for complete disarmament.

This Committee should also be asked to investigate as to how contrary to the NPT -- material, technology and equipment for nuclear weapons were transferred to the Zionist regime, and to propose practical measures for the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.

Some powerful states practice a discriminatory approach against access of NPT members to material, equipment, and peaceful nuclear technology, and by doing so, intend to impose a nuclear apartheid.

We are concerned that once certain powerful states completely control nuclear energy resources and technology, they will deny access to and thus deepen the divide between powerful countries and the rest of the international community. When that happens, we will be divided into light and dark countries.

Regrettably, in the past 30 years, no effective measure has been implemented to facilitate the exercise of the legally recognized right of NPT state-parties to have access to and use peaceful nuclear energy in accordance with article IV. Therefore, the General Assembly should ask the IAEA in accordance with article 2 of its Statute to report on violations by specific countries that have hindered the implementation of the above article and also produce practical strategies for its renewed implementation.

What needs our particular attention is the fact that peaceful use of nuclear energy without possession of nuclear fuel cycle is an empty proposition. Nuclear power plants can indeed lead to total dependence of countries and peoples if they need to rely for their fuel on coercive powers, who do not refrain from any measure in furtherance of their interests.

No popularly elected and responsible government can consider such a situation in the interest of its people. The history of dependence on oil in oil rich countries under domination is an experiment that no independent country is willing to repeat.

Those hegemonic powers, who consider scientific and technological progress of independent and free nations as a challenge to their monopoly on these important instruments of power and who do not want to see such achievements in other countries, have misrepresented Iran's healthy and fully safeguarded technological endeavors in the nuclear field as pursuit of nuclear weapons. This is nothing but a propaganda ploy.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is presenting in good faith its proposal for constructive interaction and a just dialogue.

However, if some try to impose their will on the Iranian people through resort to a language of force and threat with Iran, we will reconsider our entire approach to the nuclear issue.

Allow me, as the elected President of the Iranian people, to outline the other main elements of my country's initiative regarding the nuclear issue:

1. The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates its previously and repeatedly declared position that in accordance with our religious principles, pursuit of nuclear weapons is prohibited.

2. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that it is necessary to revitalize the NPT and create the above-mentioned ad-hoc committee so that it can combat nuclear weapons and abolish the apartheid in peaceful nuclear technology.

3. Technically, the fuel cycle of the Islamic Republic of Iran is not different from that of other countries which have peaceful nuclear technology.

Therefore, as a further confidence building measure and in order to provide the greatest degree of transparency, the Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to engage in serious partnership with private and public sectors of other countries in the implementation of uranium enrichment program in Iran. This represents the most far reaching step, outside all requirements of the NPT, being proposed by Iran as a further confidence building measure.

4. In keeping with Iran's inalienable right to have access to a nuclear fuel cycle, continued interaction and technical and legal cooperation with the IAEA will be the centerpiece of our nuclear policy.

Initiation and continuation of negotiations with other countries will be carried out in the context of Iran's interaction with the Agency.

With this in mind, I have directed the relevant Iranian officials to compile the legal and technical details of Iran's nuclear approach, based on the following considerations:

4.1. International precedence tells us that nuclear fuel-delivery contracts are unreliable and no legally binding international document or instrument exists to guarantee the delivery of nuclear fuel.

On many occasions such bilateral contracts stopped altogether for political reasons. Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in its pursuit of peaceful nuclear technology, considers it within its legitimate rights to receive objective guarantees for uranium enrichment in the nuclear fuel cycle.

4.2. In its negotiations with the EU3, Iran has tried in earnest to prove the solid and rightful foundations of its nuclear activity in the context of the NPT, and to establish mutual trust. The selection of our negotiating partners and the continuation of negotiations with the EU3 will be commensurate with the requirements of our cooperation with the Agency regarding non-diversion of the process of uranium enrichment to non-peaceful purposes in the framework of the provisions of the NPT.

In this context, several proposals have been presented which can be considered in the context of negotiations. The Islamic Republic of Iran appreciates the positive contribution of South Africa and H.E. President Mbeki personally in the resolution of the nuclear issue and cognizant of South Africa's active role in the IAEA Board of Governors would welcome its active participation in the negotiations.

4.3. The discriminatory approaches regarding the NPT that focuses on the obligations of state-parties and disregards their rights under the Treaty should be discontinued.

As the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I assure you that my country will use everything in its power to contribute to global tranquility and peace based on the two maxims of spirituality and justice as well as the equal rights of all peoples and nations.

My country will interact and cooperate constructively with the international community to face the challenges before us.

Dear Friends and Colleagues, from the beginning of time, humanity has longed for the day when justice, peace, equality and compassion envelop the world. All of us can contribute to the establishment of such a world. When that day comes, the ultimate promise of all Divine religions will be fulfilled with the emergence of a perfect human being who is heir to all prophets and pious men. He will lead the world to justice and absolute peace.

O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the promised one, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace.



PERSONAL NOTE: To follow... I'm just not in the mood for it right now.


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