Saturday, October 30, 2004

Anti-War Movement Supports Theocrats And Fascists

Interesting article from Oliver Kamm:

Nick Cohen's latest piece for The New Statesman has the Stop the War Coalition spot-on (link via Harry's Place):

"The British anti-war movement is falling apart, but for a reason that the most cynical observer of the left in the 20th century could never have imagined. The left, or at least that section of it which always manages to get the whip hand, has swerved to the right - to the far right, in fact - and is actively supporting theocrats and fascists: the oppressors of racial minorities, secularists, women, gays and trade unionists."

One point that I hope will be noted by anti-war campaigners with no time for the totalitarian and anti-Jew politics of the Socialist Workers' Party, for which the Stop the War Coalition is a front, concerns the moral evasions of the party increasingly favoured by The Guardian:

"If you think the sell-out is just a local problem confined to a few creeps on the far left who believe that anyone who kills Americans is a freedom fighter, consider the case of the Liberal Democrats. Charles Kennedy managed to get through his entire speech to the Liberal Democrat party conference without once mentioning the liberals and democrats in Iraq who face kidnap or murder for fighting for the rights that he takes for granted. I can't remember a single occasion when the Lib Dems have taken up the cause of Iraqi democracy. "

Isolationist realpolitik dolled up as multilateralism is a longstanding stance of British Liberalism. As the Liberal leader Herbert Samuel, than whom no more feckless appeaser could be found in the House of Commons, remarked in July 1934 (quoted in R.A.C. Parker, Chamberlain and Appeasement): "The collective system must be really collective, and there is no reason why this country alone, or even with one or two sympathetic allies, should undertake obligations which really devolve upon humanity at large."

I don't know what humanity at large is, but I do know who the victims of Baathist tyranny were, for Coalition forces have been exhuming the bodies from the mass graves for the past 18 months. A professed liberal party with nothing to say to those who lived under - or more properly, survived the violence of - a fascist regime commits a betrayal even greater than marching alongside the totalitarians of the Stop the War Coalition.

Cohen concludes:

"No one who considers himself a democrat, liberal or socialist can continue to associate with the Stop the War Coalition."

Or indeed should ever have done so in the first place.

I love that line: "The collective system must be really collective." Is that what Kerry means by the Global Test.

Honestly, it sounds like something my friend the Proprietor, over at TheIraqWarWasWrongWasWrongBlog, would say.

Hate America Crowd Comes Out In Support Of John Kerry

Gerard Baker of The London Times enumerates the list of people who support Kerry for President:

"The hordes of the bien-pensant Left in the universities and the media, the sort of liberals who tolerate everything except those who disagree with them. Secularist elites who disdain religiosity except when it comes from Muslim fanatics. Europhile Brits who drip contempt for everything their country has ever done and long for its disappearance into a Greater Europe.

Absurd, isolationist conservatives in America and Britain who think the struggles for freedom are always someone else’s fight. Hollywood sybarites and narcissists, self-appointed arbiters of a nation’s morals.

"Soft-headed Europeans who think engagement and dialogue with mass murderers is the way to achieve lasting peace. French intellectuals for whom nothing has gone right in the world since 1789.

"The United Nations, which, if it had its multilateral way, would still be faithfully minding a world in which half the population lived under or in fear of Soviet aggression. Most of Belgium.

"Above all, of course, Middle Eastern militants. If your bitterest enemies are the sort of people who hack the heads off unarmed, innocent civilians, then I would say you are probably doing something right.

"This may sound petty. It is not. This constellation of individuals, parties and institutions has very little in common other than the fact that it has contrived to be wrong on just about every important issue of my adult lifetime."

I heard British historian Paul Johnson, on the Dennis Prager show, say the list of people who support Kerry around the world is made up, in part, of everyone who wants America to be weaker.

That's an interesting thought, isn't it? I agree that it is true. Do you?

One Day This Fish Gon' Jump Out Of This Here Tank

Matt Weber, a self-described "Christian college student from Kentuckey" makes some good points about Reason:

Is circular reasoning ultimately unavoidable? I was thinking today about the existence of God, and the various reasons why people don't believe. Often, the reason is one of 'lack of proof' or somesuch. The problem is that I'm not really onboard with the idea that the existence of God can actually be proven, because of what role God actually plays in reality.

The Bible states that God is the center of it all. In the beginning, there was God. Then, God made a universe and put people in it. This whole universe and everything in it then are dependent on God. If not for God, they wouldn't be around. People are at something of a disadvantage here, since the universe is sort of our 'cage'. We can't leave it's constraints; it's all we know. So, living in a universe that is completely under the domain of God causes problems for us. In effect, we don't have any 'no God' universe over there that we can look to and contrast with our own. If God exists, then everything we know is declarative of that. If not, then everything is declarative of that. I mean, we're the proverbial fish unaware of the water that surrounds it, except not really because a fish can always jump out of the water or something. We can't leave the universe.

What I'm getting at with this is that any framework, any system that we can develop to use logic and draw conclusions about the universe is going to be useless for determining whether God exists, because those systems are as dependent upon Him as everything else. In other words, everything that we do or say bears witness to the truth of God's existence. If we use our system to conclude that God exists, we've just gone in a circle because God was necessary for the system.

But what else can we do? The only thing is to say that there really is no way to prove God's existence, or at least no way to do so without ultimately arguing in circles.

You can't prove the existence of love either, yet look at how much we believe in that. Human beings are convinced love exists. Listen to the radio. Go to the movies. We will gamble our entire fragile beings on another person. We will make money, give up money, move to another part of the world, apologize for things we didn't do, "learn to change", take all manner of self-denying action, just to be near the one we love.

Yet, many people will tell you love doesn't exist. Some logical people will tell you love is just a function of hormones and property right. But, whatever. (How's that for analysis?) If you don't believe in love or God, that's fine. But, if you are one of those who don't, you just gotta wonder what it is we're making all this noise about.

Osama Bin Laden Sues For Peace

Wretchard, at Belmont Club, analyzes Osama Bin Laden's malfeasant manifesto:

It is important to notice what he has stopped saying in this speech. He has stopped talking about the restoration of the Global Caliphate. There is no more mention of the return of Andalusia. There is no more anticipation that Islam will sweep the world. He is no longer boasting that Americans run at the slightest wounds; that they are more cowardly than the Russians. He is not talking about future operations to swathe the world in fire but dwelling on past glories. He is basically saying if you leave us alone we will leave you alone. Though it is couched in his customary orbicular phraseology he is basically asking for time out.

If you want to see Osama's words yourself, there are a thousand sites that will feed them to on a paper plate. As far as I'm concerned, while Osama Bin Laden is capable of doing great evil, there is no reason whatsoever to really give his words much consideration.

I agree with Wretchard that Osama's is proposing a settlement of sorts. But, Osama Bin Laden is not a head of state. He is not even truly the leader of Islamofascism anymore. Islamofascism, with it's roots in the Wahabbist (Saudi) tradition of Islam is an ideology with millions of adherents. Some of these adherents of very militant. A leader helps them organize, but if you cut the head off, there are still other leaders, Zawahiri for example.

Ultimately, Osama Bin Laden rules no one and is ruled by no one. He is merely a fomenter, a motivational speaker of sorts.

As such, his asking for peace means nothing. In fact, as Wretchard phrases it, he's only really asking for a "timeout."

Roger Simon points out that this is squarely within the tradition of Islam. Follow Roger's link on the word "hudna" if you want to understand more about the word:

A time out in Islamic parlance, as many of us know by now, is a hudna, which is not a peace settlement but more of a cease fire while they lick their wounds and re-arm for the fight to come.

Who Would Jesus Bomb?
Struggling With The Issue Of War From A Christian Perspective

The Anchoress posted a very thoughtful and reasoned article wherein she wrestles with some of the issues involved in the Christian perpective on War. Here are some of her thoughts:

I have a very good friend, a writer and all-around good-guy who is studying for the diaconate in the Roman Catholic church, and he is struggling with his vote. He's a Democrat, but he doesn't much find anything in John Kerry that seems worth voting for. There are aspects of President Bush he admires, but other things which trouble him. The war makes him uneasy, particularly in terms of his Christianity. Is war compatible with Christianity, he wonders? Is this war? Is any war?

He spent some time with Trappist monks recently and came away more troubled about the issue of war, how it fits or does not fit within the life of a Christian. After all, he reasons, Jesus said, "Blessed are the Peacemakers..."

I think it's very good to wonder about these things, and I applaud his soul-searching - I think all people who worship God - no matter what their persuasion - should be thinking about these things.

I can't speak to all religious beliefs, and I claim no wisdom - I know only what I can glean from my own reason and whatever the Holy Spirit lays upon my conscience. But I think "Blessed are the Peacemakers" cannot be the whole story, and indeed, Christ said much more than that, but he didn't really address war with any specificity. I do believe though, that we can extrapolate those things we know about His teachings and come to one (or several) conclusions. As with everything, each person will embrace unto himself/herself that which speaks to the heart.

When I think of war - and all war is terrible, no matter how just - I think of the warrior - the soldier, the one doing the "warring", so let's start there. What did Jesus teach us about soldiers, and people in positions of authority? When a Centurion, a warrior who had been given authority over other warriors and servants, approached Jesus for a favor (the healing of a servant) Jesus did not spit at him, thrust him away or lecture him about how awful war is. He didn't do anything like that. There is nothing indicating that Jesus did not see the need for soldiers, and being a scripturally educated Jew, he'd know that "to everything there is a season...a time for war, a time for peace."

Jesus did not really talk to us about these "big questions". People will say, "Jesus never talked about abortion!" "Jesus never talked about homosexuality!" "Jesus never talked about...(insert your single-issue obsession here)..."What Jesus talked to us about was not the question of whether there should or should not be war, or abortion, or homosexuality, or for that matter slavery. He simply didn't address them; he approached the world, and humanity as it was. As we ARE. He didn't urge the release of slaves, or the end of war. He left that for us to deal with after giving us the basic outline.

He understood (and indeed taught) that there would always be the poor among us, there would always be the sick, there would always be the rich, there would always be the lawyers, the pharisees, the whores. There would always be war. It's not a perfect world. We have to live in it, in all its broken-ness, and strive to move forward from wherever we began. Let the slave serve the master with such honor and goodness that he is much-rewarded. Let the master see the value of the slave and be generous in his promotions.

"Blessed are the peacemakers..." In our relativistic world, who decides what a peacemaker is? In some instances, the peacemakers can very well be the soldiers. The UN has "soldiers" they call "peacekeepers". If "to everything there is a season..." it's possible that our warriors, and our war, are 'peacekeepering' trying to prevent something far, far worse - and far reaching - by attempting to contain terrorism in one place, and eliminate the terrorists.

Is it righteous to make war if you are liberating the oppressed, freeing those who had no voice, rounding up hundreds of thousands of tons of weapons, deposing tyrants? Is it righteous to make war if you are doing so in the hopes that your actions may prevent the slaughter of millions in a single city, on a single day?

If the answer is yes, then one could argue that our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our president, are therefore among the blessed as they work, from their perspective, for "righteousness." Obviously, one's individual perspective will shade ones response. A leftist may say, "war is never acceptable, therefore these people are NOT peacemakers; they are murderers." A rightist may say, "war is always to be a ready tool, and these people are saviors!"

Most, I suspect, fall somewhere in the middle. Most people understand that in World War II there were events like the bombings of Dresden and of London, and hideous loss of innocent lives on every side. But they also understand that when an enemy will stop at nothing, then something must be done, ugly as the task might be.

To my mind, a rightwing Christian who wants to bomb the world, bomb Mecca and "kill all the Muslims" isn't helpful. But a leftwing Christian who doesn't want to recognize the need to fight a resolved and ruthless enemy is not helpful, either. Balance. St. Benedict taught us to seek balance.

In the end, we don't know. As Anchoress says here, God leaves us to make decisions with the outline he has given. We make our decisions not knowing if we are right or wrong. we also don't ultimately know if following the right course of action is going to lead to our desired results. God sends rain upon the righteous and the wicked and bad things happen to good people all the time. So we have no assurance other than the promise of God's Grace and Mercy, and the workings of those take place in our hearts.

Reasonable Christians differ on these issues. That's why I attempt to avoid quoting scripture to justify any political opinions I express on this site.

I'm aware that most of the world thinks that the concept of Christian Reason is an oxymoron. I know that most people think that the Christian approach to war is simply "Who Would Jesus Bomb?"

In fact, there does exist a group of Christians whose leaders can and will lay out an entire map of the Battle of Armageddon in the Final War. Thankfully, even these overly self-assured Christians do not (for the most part) believe they know the final day or hour, and would therefore not attempt to initiate the war themselves.

The Anchoress takes the reasonable approach and struggles with the issues. This is the true Judeo-Christian tradition. My understanding of the Jewish concept of "relationship with God" is that it is to struggle with Him, so that He will ultimately prevail. Jacob wrestled the angel and, when the match was finished, God gave him the name Israel, meaning "God prevails."

I have always thought that the man of true faith is the one who will openly come out and tell God, "I am mad at You and here's why." This man does not doubt God, he struggles with God. He takes God seriously. I believe God blesses such people.

I am not saying that being mad at God is the goal. I am, instead, saying that being honest with God is the way to a real relationship with him. I actually believe that being dishonest with God will lead one to doubt His existence.

But, I digress:

I want to thank The Anchoress for wrestling with these issues in a thoughtful manner. She sets a great example for me.

Friday, October 29, 2004

The Insane Lies Of John Kerry

The Anchoress has questions about John Kerry's mental health:

I'm a former Democrat, and at one time I admired John Kerry, mostly because I believed what I read about him. I've looked at him now for over a year, and I have come to the conclusion that he is without core, without spine and without conscience. Moreover, I have some serious concerns about his mental health, given some of the whoppers he's told and his "magic hat".

For this reason, it has seemed very important to me to get a chance to view his release papers from the US NAVY. I want to see his fitness reports. I want to see what his superiors thought of him, and I am interested - very interested - in discovering exactly what the cause of his separation from the service was, and the status of his original discharge. These are not irrelevancies.

There is no way. NO WAY I would consider hiring a man who will not let me check his references ...

I find it interesting that The Anchoress is questioning John Kerry's sanity. Just two days ago I began to do the same thing. I noted that John Kerry told Katie Couric, on the Today Show, that as President he could "guarantee" there would be no more terrorist attacks on America.

When Wesley Clark made the same guarantee months back it led me to believe that he was insane. Sane people tell lies which are self-serving, calculated and fit the contours of reality. Insane people lie as if there is no reality to check their lies against.

When John Kerry guarantees there will be no more terrorist attacks if he is President it flies in the face of reality. We all walk into malls, sporting events, and concerts, on an everyday basis, without being checked. It would not be hard to take out hundreds or even thousands or people. Everybody knows this. But John Kerry's brain apparently does not know that we know it. John Kerry does not seem to understand that there is a reality outside of what's going on in his own head. He doesn't seem to know that we all share in this reality on an everyday basis.

Earth to John Kerry; all this talking we do, everyday, about things and people and places? Well, guess what, those things, people, and places really exist. And we all know it, even if you don't.

I had never thought of John Kerry as insane until he entered this Clarkian territory. But now that we're on the subject, here are a few of John Kerry's insane lies:

1) First, there is the "magic hat" to which The Anchoress refers. This is John Kerry's CIA hat which he claims was given to him by a CIA agent whom he personally escorted into Cambodia in a Swift Boat.
2) The Today Show "guarantee" of no more terrorist attacks if he is elected President.
3) John Kerry claims to have run the Boston Marathon when he has not. He seems to have made this claim in order to compete with George Bush, who is a long-distance runner himself.
4) John Kerry claims he was at the fateful 1986 Game 6 World Series game between the NY Mets and the Boston Red Sox "cracking a bottle of champagne" when the legendary Bill Buckner error occurred.

I don't really know what to think of John Kerry. It's hard to believe that he is insane. But there really is very little rational explanation for such useless and stupid lying.

Oh well, he might be President in a few days. Four to eight years of that job will bring out the truth of any man. We've had an emotionally unstable President (Nixon) before. I believe the American system is strong enough, and rational enough to deal with such a problem if it were to arise. It's really too late now. So, I guess I won't worry about it.

UPDATE: I posted a portion of this article in the comments section on The Anchoress site. Anonymous added some great points to my comments:

I decided Kerry had something wrong with him when he refused to sign the standard form 180. I think there is something in his military records which brings up his mental stability. And when I read the story of the magic hat, I was very troubled, especially when he did the gun with his fingers and went "pow" (Pastorius note; that's also in the "magic hat" link). Plus he has no sense of humor which is scaring. And who brings a movie camera with them to Vietnam to do pretend exploits and give pretend interviews to the camera? He reminds me of a lonely boy who never fit in and has an overactive imagination. I worry that if he is president, he'll try to play pretend soldier and do something terrible.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Hey Conrad, You're Not a "Sir" In This Country

Sounds like the help is getting a little restless over at Chicago Sun-Times:

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO - Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert dueled with Conrad Black, the ousted CEO of the paper's parent company, in a series of sharply worded letters published Wednesday in the newspaper's commentary section.

Ebert said he felt betrayed by reports that the Canadian newspaper mogul used Hollinger profits for personal expenses while the Sun-Times building sat in disrepair and union employees threatened to strike over wages and benefits. Black scoffed at what he called Ebert's "ingratitude," citing the critic's $500,000 salary.

The exchange began earlier this month when Ebert, co-host of "Ebert & Roeper and the Movies," wrote in an open letter to publisher John Cruickshank during contract negotiations that he would not cross a picket line if the paper's staffers went on strike. He complained about reports of "millions of dollars winging away to the (former chief operating officer David) Radler and Black billfolds while we worked in a building where even basic maintenance was ignored."

Black was ousted as CEO of Hollinger International Inc. amid an internal investigation that accused him, Radler and others of systematically looting the newspaper publishing company of more than $400 million — nearly all its profits from 1997 through 2003.

The report, prepared by a special committee of Hollinger's board, said Black had Hollinger pay for things like $8.9 million worth of Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorabilia while Black was writing a book about FDR. The company also financed nearly $25,000 for "summer drinks" and more than $42,000 for a birthday party for Black's wife, Barbara Amiel Black.

Black and Radler have denied doing anything improper. In his letter, which was also sent to the Chicago Tribune, Black reminded Ebert it was the "generous treatment from David Radler" that was responsible for his $500,000 salary and other compensation.

At the end of his letter, Black wrote that "your proletarian posturing on behalf of those threatening to strike the Sun-Times and your base ingratitude are very tiresome."

Ebert took the last shot.

"Since you have made my salary public, let me say that when I learned that Barbara received $300,000 a year from the paper for duties described as reading the paper and discussing it with you, I did not feel overpaid," he wrote.

Conrad Black is, apparently, not in touch with reality. Roger Ebert is a huge force in Film Criticism. I can't believe he languishes in Chicago only making a half a mil a year. It would seem that Conrad Black ought to have been grateful to Ebert, not the other way around.

Here's to Roger Ebert for his "proletarian posturing." It would be easy for a guy like him to just keep quiet and accept his (semi) fat check. I admire him for sticking up for those with whom he works.

And as for Barbara Amiel-Black, something tells me that there is a little more to those "reading and discussing" sessions with Sir Conrad than just reading and discussing. Another rich, old man who has to pay for it.

Uh, "reading and discussing" that is.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

1.77 Metric Tons Of Uranium?
You Call That A Freakin' WMD?

From National Review:

Wait a minute — so there were WMDs in Iraq? The Kerry campaign, the media, assorted pundits, and others are making much of the disappearance of the 380 tons of explosives from the Al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad. According to the IAEA, the U.N. watchdog agency now apparently in the service of the Democratic National Committee, some of the explosives could be used to detonate nuclear weapons. Wow — nuclear-weapon components were in Iraq? Shouldn't the headline be, "Saddam Had 'Em?"

The opposition really needs to get its story straight. The president cannot be taken to task for inventing the Iraqi WMD threat, and simultaneously disparaged for not securing Saddam's dangerous WMD-related materials.

The cache at al Qaqaa was not the only WMD-related material in the news recently. Another IAEA report came out two weeks ago that did not get as much play. According to this account, dual-use equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons was taken from various locations inside Iraq. The Duelfer Report speculated this equipment could have been taken during the chaos of the invasion. The equipment was "professionally looted" by another account, and may have gone to Iran or Syria. Isn't it significant that equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons was there in the first place? Don't these constitute components of a WMD program?

As well, if CBS wants to recycle old news in an attempt to influence the election, how about this story: 1.77 metric tons of low-enriched uranium and other nuclear material at the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center (Saddam's main nuclear research and development center) was secured by the United States and flown out of the country last July. According to the Energy Department this material could have been used to make a radiological dispersion device (a.k.a. a dirty bomb) or "diverted to support a nuclear weapons program." The only thing we found in Iraq that was more hazardous than this haul was Saddam Hussein. The United States was able successfully to deny this dangerous material to terrorists, rogue states or anyone else. This good news story dropped like a stone when it came out. And unlike most of the hype of the last few days, this story has the benefit of being true.

The missing explosives from al Qaqaa also raise the possibility that other WMD-related materials met the same fate. The IAEA had seen the al Qaqaa material in January 2003, but by the time U.S. troops showed up on April 10, they had disappeared. The dual-use technologies mentioned in the other IAEA report also had been moved or looted. This suggests that still other WMDs and related technologies might have been given or taken away in the days leading up to the war, or shortly after the Coalition attacks began. It is widely believed, though not conclusively proved, that much of this went to Syria. The Iraq Survey Group interviewed Iraqi agents who claimed to have helped moved the WMD materials. This charge was repeated by David Kay when he left the ISG earlier this year. The Blix Report found 1,000 tons of chemical weapons missing from Iraq, and last May this column discussed a planned al Qaeda attack in Jordan involving 20 tons of chemicals. The attack was broken up, and the subsequent investigation showed strong links to Syria. Connect your own dots.

So between the al Qaqaa explosives, the dual-use equipment, the Tuwaitha nuclear material, the missing chemical weapons, and the Syrian connection, it sounds like the WMD rationale is much stronger than most critics give it credit for. One can only imagine what Saddam would have done given the chance to put them all together. These are just a few reasons why Operation Iraqi Freedom was the right war, in the right place, at the right time.

Bigoted Professor From Cal State Long Beach

This would be funny if didn't smell so funny. Via

What could possibly sound more innocuous than a general education English 100 course? To me, it sounded like my semester at California State University Long Beach would be full of reading classical literature, struggling through another play by Shakespeare and then writing an essay on symbolism or some other literary term that English teachers love to use. However, I knew that this would not be the case the first night of class when Dr. Snider, the English 100 composition professor (a general education course required by the university for all students to take in order to graduate) at CSULB, handed out his course syllabus. I quickly thumbed through this syllabus, like a typical student does, trying to find out how many tests we would have, when essays were due, the basics. Instead, I found a document that seemed more suited for a political training course.

The first paragraph of the syllabus states that the professor’s goal for the course was to "promote tolerance and open-mindedness" through "the open discussion of controversial issues"- however the rest of the syllabus proves to be anything but. Instead of any attempt to be "open-minded" the syllabus was entirely stacked in favor of Dr. Snider’s leftist ideologies.

The last three class meetings have been spent watching Fahrenheit 9/11 and writing on the moral issues that Michael Moore rises in the film. This assignment consisted of each student writing a paragraph on a single moral issue in the film, and then listing all the evidence that Michael Moore uses to prove it.

The moral issue I chose to write my paragraph about was "the controversial decision made by President Bush to lead the United States into a pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein."

I wrote my paragraph very tongue in cheek and purposely ridiculed the insufficient evidence that Michael Moore used in his film. However, when I received my paragraph back, I found it marked up in red ink by Dr. Snider with comments like, " You miss the point of the film", or that advisor "was Richard Clark… a terrorist expert!" I was blown away by these comments. I didn’t realize that I was being graded on the way I interpreted the film! From what I understood about our in class paragraphs, Dr. Snider was only supposed to grade grammar, spelling, and mechanics, of which I had no corrected errors. Funny though that I still received the lowest grade in the class on this assignment (after receiving all A’s on past assignments), while papers with numerous spelling errors and mechanical corrections but with an anti-Bush perspective received A’s.

Along with his list of "suggested topics" Dr. Snider also includes a list of topics that he forbids his students to write about because they are "topics on which there is, in my opinion, no other side apart from chauvinistic, religious, or bigoted opinions and pseudo-science" This list includes: Abortion, religion, same sex marriage, and prayer in public schools.

People on the left can be bigoted too, although they seem incapable of understanding that simple fact. If you do not allow people to express themselves on the topic of religion then you are a bigot.

Beyond that though, how is it that this Professor has a job? He's not doing his job, so he should not have a job. That's the way it is in the real world, you don't do your job, you get fired. Oh, but wait, I forgot, Professors don't live in the real world.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Kill Christians In The Name Of Allah

From JihadWatch:

BAGHDAD, IRAQ (ANS) -- The bombing of five more churches in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday, October 16, has prompted an Assyrian Christian leader to ask for more protection for his people – before they leave in even larger numbers.

The Rev. Ken Joseph Jr., director of the Assyrian Christian Assistance Center in Baghdad, said, “We demand immediate action on this and call upon all freedom loving peoples worldwide to demand their governments immediately provide all assistance so these urgent needs can be implemented before it is too late and the indigenous people of Iraq the Assyrian Christians are forced to leave.

Five Christian Churches were bombed in the 4AM Sunday morning attack. They were: The Mar Yussef (St. Joseph), Mar Toma (St. Thomas) Mar Yacob (St. Jacob), Mar Gewargis (St. George) and Mar Roum (St. Roum) and each of the churches, which were attended by many Assyrian Christians, sustained damage.

According to a message sent to the ASSIST News Service (ANS) by Joseph, this second major attack this year, following a previous attack on seven Assyrian Churches in August, “is sending shockwaves throughout the Assyrian Christian Community worldwide.”

Assyrian Christian leaders have just completed a series of meetings with the State Department in Washington and Congressional leaders and two separate meetings with the Iraqi Government, World Bank and UN demanding the “Five R’s” for the Assyrian Christian Community in Iraq.

They include:-

Reconstruction of 292 destroyed Assyrian Christian Villages -

Resettlement of nearly 100,000 Assyrian Christians driven out of their land by Saddam Hussein -

Registration for voting purposes of the community -

A Regional Security system -

A Regional Administrative Region under article 53 of the Constitution

A spokesman said, “What has encouraged the community in the series of meetings has been support from all parties including the Iraqi Government, US Government and others for an Autonomous area as guaranteed in the Constitution for the Assyrian Christians.”

Jack Be Handey, Jack Be Quick

The blog Scrutineer posts a Jack Handey "Deep Thought For The Day" everyday.


Deep Thought for the day: It's takes a big man to cry, but it takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man. - Jack Handey

Deep Thought for the day: If you ever reach total enlightenment while you're drinking a beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose. - Jack Handey

Deep Thought for the day: I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. - Jack Handey

Jack Handey is the Will Rodgers of Generation X.

Too bad Generation X drowned in their own vomit; drowned but didn't quite die, instead they lay in a permanent catatonia in a "Rehab Center" somewhere in the Midwest.

Uh, Douglas Coupland notwithstanding.

Thank God for the Millenials Rising.

America The Oh, So Beautiful

It's very important that everybody click on this link and listen to this song (as long as your ears aren't too sensitive).

Thank you to Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Those guys clearly are geniuses of some sort, or another.

John Kerry: Reporting For Doody - Part 2

From Rambling's Journal:

John Kerry had a brain fart of monumental proportions on NBC's Today Show this morning. Kerry told host Katie Couric that he guarantees no further terrorist attacks anywhere in the world if elected.

George Bush and Dick Cheney have said to you, it is not a matter of if we're gonna be attacked. It is a matter of you know that the-- that the President just the other day in an interview with Hannity and Combs said-- do you know what he said? He said he doesn't know if America will ever be safe. Well, I do know that America will be safe. Under my leadership.

I don't think that even hardcore Kool-Aid-drinking leftists can comfortably subscribe to that kind of statement.

Couric had issues with it off the bat.

"But can you really...Senator make that guarantee -- that America will be safe under all circumstances?"

Wow, you know your credibility is in trouble when even Katie Couric calls you to task.

I remember when Wesley Clarke (was that the guy's name? Heh heh) came up with the same guarantee in his final desperate moments of flailing, before he went down for the third time. Back at that time, I had remarked to friends that I thought we must seriously consider whether Wesley Clarke might be insane.

"Why?" my friends asked incredulously.

My answer was because, in the world of Wesley Clarke's mind, reality did not matter at all. He seemed to think, like a child, that anything he said had the glow of reality. He also did not seem to acknowledge the reality of other people's perspectives. If Wesley Clarke said the sky was green with purple polka-dots then, as far as he was concerned, the whole known universe would agree with him.

Well, when I would explain this to my friends they would ask, "Well, then aren't Howard Dean and John Kerry crazy? What about Bill Clinton?"

I would say no. It just never seemed to me that they were crazy. Their lies were too utilitarian and too finely crafted. A finely crafted lie sits snugly on the contours of reality. In this way it disguises itself as a piece of the puzzle.

Besides, I've always acknowledged that it seems that all politicians lie to some extent or other. It seems patently absurd to call a person insane merely for lying.

But, when a person's lies take on monumental proportions, when they are seemingly random and unnecessary, when they hang suspended above us like a strange fever dream, then you've got to start to wonder.

John Kerry's debate performances were impeccably constructed symphonies of untruth. Everything he said had the ring of truth, even though it could not be substantiated. His assertions were craftily built upon the bizarre Fahrenheit 911 mythologia of Election Year 2004. I actually admired the sheer technique, the ability to memorize jagged fragments of truth, and to organize those fragments into a collage of untruth.

But, here in the final week of the campaign it could be that fatigue has set in. Maybe John Kerry is not getting any sleep. Maybe weeks and weeks of screaming crowds and fawning aids have driven Kerry's ego onto the borderlands of manic adolescence. Maybe in his hyper-tired state he believes the images which dance before his tired imagination. Maybe he is entering Wesley Clarke territory.

Let's just hope the hangover doesn't have any permanent effects in the case that he is elected President.

U.S. Anti-Semitism Law Angers Arab Press

From BBC:

Many Arab newspapers have condemned the new US law authorising the State Department to monitor anti-Semitism worldwide and produce annual reports critical of those countries where it is seen to be prevalent.

President George W Bush announced a few days ago that he had signed into law the bill authorising the US to rate countries on the way they treat Jews.

Most commentators believe it panders to the Jewish lobby in the US and is aimed against Arabs and Muslims. However, one dissenting voice considers it a positive move in the battle against racism.

The London-based pan-Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi considers the law "basically racist legislation which is anti-Arab and Muslim under the guise of outlawing anti-Semitism".
Accusations of bias

"President Bush does not want to acknowledge that Arabs are also a Semitic people who have suffered a great deal from wars launched by him alongside his friend [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon."

Saudi Arabia's Al-Jazirah argues that the promulgation of the law "shows the extent to which the US is prepared to go to protect such an aggressive and renegade state" as Israel.

It accuses Washington of "abandoning the principles of international law and justice to put its weight behind such a pariah entity".

It's racist to keep track of one group of people calling for the death of another people?

Chirac Announces His Support For The Victory of Islamofascism

Really, isn't this a way of saying who he hopes wins the War On Terror? Via No Pasaran/Agence French Presse:

A new report recommending English become a compulsory subject in all schools in France has stirred heated debate in the country, with teachers' unions and proponents of linguistic diversity clenching their jaws in opposition, Friday's Le Monde newspaper reported.

… Such a move would help French pupils catch up with their counterparts in other EU countries who enjoy a big lead in using what the commission's report called the language of "international communication".

… But some politicians who want to see English usage diminished until it is just one of several widely accepted languages — among which French, of course, would figure — have railed against the idea of making English being compulsory.

"English is the most-spoken language today, but that won't last," one deputy from the ruling UMP party, Jacques Myard, told Le Monde.

He predicted that Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish would all become increasingly important in the future. "If one has to make one language obligatory," Myard added, "let it be Arabic."

Thank God The Guardian Doesn't Represent The English People

In light of the post below about the Guardian calling for the assasination of President Bush, let's ponder this Adlai Stevenson quote:

"A free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular."


Guardian Calls For The Assasination Of President Bush

That respectable, internationally known, British newspaper The Guardian, is now calling for the assasination of the President of the United States. Via Medienkritik:

"Throughout the debate, John Kerry, for his part, looks and sounds a bit like a haunted tree. But at least he's not a lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching, blinking, mouse-faced little cheat. And besides, in a fight between a tree and a bush, I know who I'd favour.

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?"

I can't get over how enlightened, fair, and balanced this highly-respected newspaper is. It reminds of the time they wrote the obituary for Shiekh Yassin, the Nazi Islamofacist founder of Hamas, comparing him to Nelson Mandela.

News Flash from AP: Arabs Hate Americans and Jews

From Associated Press, via Little Green Footballs:

Reporters from The Associated Press visited mosques around the world Friday to take the pulse of the faithful at a time of upheaval in Islam. They found believers who, for all their cultural and geographical diversity, share an anger over Iraq and the Palestinians and a feeling that their religion is under threat from the West.

“Muslims are getting united now,” said Mamdouh Habbal, a 61-year-lawyer attending prayers at Cairo’s majestic Al-Azhar mosque. “Unfortunately, they’re united in one thing: hatred toward America. Even an old man like me, it has hit me. And I’ve never known hatred my entire life.”

As the sun rose over mosque after mosque across the globe, the muezzins waited for their shadows to gather at their feet, then one by one climbed into minarets, picked up microphones or simply lifted their voices to issue their call: “God is great! I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger. Come to prayers, come to salvation...”

I like how AP got kind of rhapsodic there in that last paragraph. It's kind of pretty writing, isn't it.

But, anyway, I stole the headline from Charles Johnson because it was so perfect. Really now? They hate us? Well, what should we do about it?

I guess we should stop prosecuting our war, the goal of which is to destroy the very terrorists that Islamic people the world over tell us do not represent the true Islam.

Canadian Islamic Congress President Says
All Adult Israeli's Are Valid Targets For Murder


The president of the Canadian Islamic Congress is under fire for saying all Israelis above the age of 18 are legitimate targets of attack.

Mohamed Elmasry made the comments Tuesday on the Michael Coren Live TV show and was criticized yesterday by the Canadian Jewish Congress.

When asked whether "anyone over the age of 18 in Israel is a valid target," Elmasry replied: "Anybody above 18 is part of the (Israeli) army."

The show's moderator followed with another question: "Anyone in Israel, irrespective of gender, over the age of 18 is a valid target?"

"Yes, I would say," Elmasry responded.

That's a mainstream Muslim leader in Canada, ladies and gentlemen.

Monday, October 25, 2004

More Anti-Semitism From The Presbyterian Church


A leader of the Presbyterian Church, USA (which, appropriately enough, abbreviates PC-USA) Ronald Stone is nobody's candidate for the annual brotherhood award of the National Council of Christians and Jews. At a meeting with representatives of Hezbollah in Lebanon last week, Elder Stone fawned on the terrorists while observing that people of the jihad persuasion are far more congenial than those horrible Hebrews.

"We treasure the precious words of Hezbollah and your expression of good will toward the American people," the Presbyterian poobah simpered to his terrorist hosts. Hezbollah demonstrated its good will toward the American people in 1982, when it slaughtered 240 of our Marines in the Beirut barracks bombing.

In the same meeting, Stone confessed, "As an elder of our church, I'd like to say that according to my recent experience, relations and conversations with Islamic leaders are a lot easier than dealings and dialogue with Jewish leaders."

One can see why the mainline-church honcho would be vexed with the Chosen People.

After all, Jews in Pakistan periodically shoot churchgoers. Jews in Sudan are waging genocidal warfare against Christian tribesmen. In Nigeria's northern provinces, there's a concerted effort to impose Jewish law on Christians.

In Saudi Arabia, Jews have banned Christian worship services, even in private homes. Jews in the Balkans are committing ethnic cleansing of Orthodox Christians, as well as demolishing their churches, monasteries and shrines. And all over the world, radical synagogues and Jewish day schools teach hatred of Christians and the religious imperative to wage holy war against them.

Oops, I forgot, it's Muslims who are the perps in all of these cases. Still, Stone finds Jews difficult and Muslims easy. To a liberal Protestant, the persecution of Christians in the Third World is irrelevant, compared with the opportunity to declare his solidarity with so-called victims of Western imperialism.

The PCUSA promptly disavowed Stone's comments, which, it maintained, "do not reflect the official position of the Presbyterian Church."

Stone's obscene groveling to Islamo-fascists may not be his church's "official position," but certainly reflects its mind-set.

Outside of the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, you'll find less love for Israel among the mainline churches than anywhere on earth. (Pastorius note: I don't think this is accurate. I think there is much more antipathy to Israel in Europe and the UN than in mainline Protestant churches, but the point is well taken.

In June 2001, Churches for Middle East Peace - composed of the usual suspects -
declared, "Few things have done more to destroy the hope and pursuit of peace through negotiations than Israel's unrelenting settlement activity."

Those relentless Jewish settlements comprise roughly 2 percent of the land on the West Bank.

Strangely, 250,000 Jews living in the midst of 2 million Palestinians on the West Bank is an insurmountable obstacle to peace, in the opinion of Churches for Middle East Peace. But 1 million Arabs living among 5 million Jews in pre-1967 Israel present no problem whatsoever.

This is a deep, deep shame on the Christian Church. I am not a member of a mainline denomination. I am a member of a church that calls itself "non-Denominational" which, in my opinion, is merely a clever way to shirk having to take responsibility for all the idiocy spewed in Christ's Holy Name.

I admire my friend Jack, over at Jack of Clubs, for being a member of a denominational church and for doing the hard work of dealing with these issues on an everyday and personal basis. He and his fellow Parishioners are a great bunch, but then they started their church directly because of their disatisfaction with other churches. That's very noble, but it's a rough row to hoe. Perhaps, Jack doesn't agree with many of my views on Israel and the Jews, but I know him, and I know that you would never find this kind of vile anti-Semitic sputum dribbling from the corners of his mouth.

As I have mentioned on this blog before, several years back when my wife and I considered having children we thought carefully about the question of how to raise them religiously. My wife and I were both raised in Christian churches. However, I became disillusioned with the Church because of the wanton glee with which many Christians will happily dispatch whole epochs and continents full of people to hell because they hadn't heard the Gospel, and recited the "Sinner's Prayer" verbatim, as if it's some sort of magical incantation.

Excuse me for my tangent but,

This vaunting of the particular words of a prayer over the reality of God's Grace and people's individual response to it in the silence of their hearts is, to me, religious charlatanism and bigotry beyond my ability to comprehend. In addition, it is filled with superstition of a medieval sort, and exists as a kind of worship of magical forces, and is an assault on monotheism itself.

But, I digress.

The point was that my wife and I seriously considered converting to Judaism but, alas we realized that, as we would not stop believing in Jesus, we would be unwelcome in most synagogues. So, we made the effort to find a church we could live with.

I must say, I am pretty happy with my church. But I also must acknowledge the truth. My church is not very accountable, it is trendy, it lacks grounding in liturgy, but on the other hand, it lacks the requisite attention span required to maintain the historical bigotries of the Christian Church. When you get right down to it, people in my church for the most part don't even know what a Jew is. They forgot that lesson after they crammed for it in college. As far as race goes, everyone is accepted because it looks more like MTV that way.

See this is a comfortable way for me to live. Pathetic, huh?

But, it's better than turning over rocks in the mainline churches. Oh Lord, the stuff I have heard.

Ronald Reagan Speaks To John Kerry From The Grave

Thanks to Little Green Footballs for making me aware of this. Everybody needs to see this short thirty second commercial. It is devastating.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

News Flash: Worm Craps Beautiful Symphony

I sent this article from Yahoo/AP over to my friend Jack, at Jack of Clubs, and asked him to comment as well. I have a feeling he would have a little something to say about this. Anyway, here's the article:

By MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer

NEW YORK - In a blow to human vanity, researchers now say that people have about the same number of genes as a small flowering plant or a tiny worm. The new estimate is down sharply from just three years ago.

"We (humans) don't look very impressive in the competition," said Dr. Francis Collins, co-author of the new analysis by the international group that decoded the human genome.

The new estimate is 20,000 to 25,000 genes, a drop from the 30,000 to 40,000 the same group of scientists published in 2001.

By comparison, C. elegans, a worm that is a favorite research subject, has around 19,500 genes. Another lab favorite, a plant in the mustard family called Arabidopsis, has about 27,000.
But the complexity of the human body arises from more than just its genetic parts list, experts said.

"It's not just the number of genes that matters," said another co-author, Eric Lander of the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass. "It really is how nature uses these genes."

Scientists have long speculated about how many genes people have. Some have put it at 100,000 or more, and the genome project's initial figure fell in the low end of estimates when it was announced.

In a betting pool among scientists that ran from 2000 to 2003, the average guess before the consortium published its 2001 estimate was about 66,000 genes. Afterward, the average dropped to about 44,000.

Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, put his money on about 48,000 genes when the contest began. That's about twice the new estimate.
"Oh well," he said this week, "live and learn."

Check out the first line of the aritcle:

"In a blow to vanity?" What?

Here's the thing: I look around me and I see that people are having trouble distinguishing the relative good and evil of the US vs. Islamofascism, Bush vs. Hussein/Bin Laden, etc. Well, in this case, apparently, this writer, Malcolm Ritter (whose editor you would assume has at least a bit of his finger on the pulse of what his readers are thinking) seems to have trouble distinguishing between the relative aesthetic and utilitarian value of the human being vs. the worm.

Clearly, one has built cities, MRI units, Atomic Accelerators, written poems and symphonies, etc. while the other ...

functions as a plow, eating and crapping dirt all day long.

Therefore, if they both have a similar amount of genes, or even a similar gene structure, it only all the more points to the genius of the Creator. In addition shouldn't it also lend even more credence to the vanity this writer seems to think we humans have about our relative value compared to that of a worm?

Don't get me wrong, thank God for worms, but Jeez.

Here's another way to look at it. If you counted every note of Beethoven's Ninth Syphony and it came out to, say, 167,842 notes, and then you were somehow able to get a prodigious worm to crap 167,842 grains of dirt on a particular sheet of music staff paper, would the resultant music be anywhere near as interesting as Beethoven's?

That's what this stupid (and I do not use the word stupid lightly here) writer has done in this article. He has completely conflated the amount of genes with the complexity of the resultant design.

God created two beings, one man, and the other the worm. Clearly, God created man as a much more highly functioning entity than the worm. Now, please understand me, the worm is pretty good too. I don't want to insult the worm. It's just that the worm is, how shall I say it? ... oh, I don't know, Intelligence-Challenged, maybe? Is that ok? Please don't send me to sensitivity training.

But, yes, I think I can safely say, the worm is Intelligence -Challenged. The worm is also Creativity-Challenged, and Freedom-of-Choice challenge, Reason-challenged, and gosh darnit, the worm really doesn't seem to have a whole lot of anything going for him, does he?

Oh, maybe this sarcasm arises because my sense of vanity has been crossed. I am chastened by the thought.

No, what has been crossed here is Denial River. The writer is in a state of denial of reality.

Say, you had two young children, a boy (older) and a girl (younger), and you enter the room and the girl is lying on the ground, passed out. And the boy is sitting there with two open jars in front of him; one a big jar containing cookies, and the other, a little jar containing the medication, Valium.

You ask the boy, "Did you feed her the little white things in this jar?" pointing to the Valium jar.

"I didn't do anything. I don't know," he says, tentatively. "She was eating from one of the jars." I don't know if it was the big one or the little one."

If you have children you will know, that sometimes you can tell the answer by the way they lie to you when they you ask them a question.

Anyway, this writer is like the boy who says he can't remember which jar his sister ate from. He is absolutely refusing to acknowledge a very obvious distinction because he doesn't want to suffer the consequences.

This writer is hell-bent on denying the reality that man is a unique and superior creature in the hierarchy of creatures. Ultimately, I believe the writer and his editor and some of the scientists quoted here, do not want to acknowledge man's superiority because nothing points to the existence of God more than the fact that man exists. Like my buddy Bill Shakespeare said,

"What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!"

We are "infinite in faculties." God created us that way. He created us in His own image. This does not mean we "look" like God. It means we are beings like him. What is God? He is a creative being. So are we. Creativity is the result of imagination, reason and will. We possess these qualities in spades compared to the worm. We are limited by time and space, but man has proven one thing throughout his existence. Whatever we can think of, we will eventually create.

But, the writer doesn't want to see this, fool that he is. I left part of the Shakespeare quote out, by the way. Here it is now:

"And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor woman neither."

Ay, there's the rub. When we refuse to acknowledge God the creator, we become sickened and disgusted with man, His creation. Only by seeing our fellow man through God's eyes can we have hope for him, find love for him, believe that he can do good. We need God in order to love our fellow man.

This lack of ability to distinguish the relative value of man vs. worm has very deep tentacles. It goes down to the core of being. It sounds like such a petty subject on the face of it. Really, who cares if some science writer for AP thinks that humans and worms are pretty much the same in the scheme of things. It doesn't have any bearing on my life, does it?

No, not today. But over time such foolishness, repeated over and over, erodes our sense of not just our relative worth compared to that of a worm, but also the relative worth of everything, right and wrong included.