Monday, July 31, 2006

A Sterile War

What the world wants, what the world expects, is a sterile war, a war in which no non-combatant is harmed, or even inconvenienced. Surely this is a universal hope, a universal goal. Who, after all, would want to hurt innocent people?

It is from this thesis that a large portion of the world judges the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict.

But human beings have failed themselves. We have failed to learn how to fight a war without injuring or killing innocent bystanders.

The Israelis are guilty, in the eyes of many—perhaps most—of the world’s peoples, of gross and deliberate atrocities against innocent non-combatant Lebanese. Israel shares this dubious honor with the United States—the most glaring purveyor of evil—on the world stage. The United States has foisted unmentionable horrors on the good and innocent people of Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel has done likewise in Lebanon.

The United States was attacked and 3,000 of its citizens were killed on September 11, 2001 by Islamic terrorists and Israel was attacked by a group of Islamic radicals three weeks ago. The natural response from both the U.S. and Israel is to go after their attackers. But a large number of world citizens insist that they must not harm or kill even one non-combatant.

In the eyes of this faction of people, however large it may be, both the United States and Israel have broken this covenant with the world. The U.S. and Israel are evil. The U.S. and Israel are war criminals.

This is why this faction supports the enemies of the U.S. and Israel. This is why it supports al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah.

If the United States and Israel are to defend themselves, if they are to defeat their sworn enemies—the radical Islamic groups that have sworn to destroy them—they must do so without harming or killing innocent non-combatants.

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The Cowards of Hezbollah

U.N. Chief Accuses Hezbollah of 'Cowardly Blending' Among Refugees

LARNACA, Cyprus — The U.N. humanitarian chief accused Hezbollah on Monday of "cowardly blending" among Lebanese civilians and causing the deaths of hundreds during two weeks of cross-border violence with Israel.

The militant group has built bunkers and tunnels near the Israeli border to shelter weapons and fighters, and its members easily blend in among civilians.

More ...

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Letters on Enemy Combatant Treatment - Redux

I found this piece in my archives. I like it. I hope you do, too.


George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, District of Columbia

Dear Mr. President:

I am taking time to write to you to protest the treatment of the detainees at Guantanamo Naval Base’s Camp X-Ray. The Muslim individuals you have detained there are being held under conditions reminiscent of what was done in Abu Ghraib, Auschwitz, and the Gulags and as an American, I do not appreciate what you are doing in my name.

I cannot believe that you do not understand that their cultural differences mandate that we treat them humanely, with kindness and compassion. They have been removed from their culture on, what at best, seem to be spurious circumstances and their having an attitudinal problem with their captors seems perfectly normal. I understand that you have a war to fight, but these people are prisoners of war and are entitled to all the considerations of Prisoners of War.

Please insure that these POW’s and any future POW’s have all of their rights protected. Their food must be culturally acceptable, prayer rugs must be provided, copies of their holy book must be provided and their cultural needs met. They should never see women in circumstance other than what they are used to in their culture.

America stands for acceptance and tolerance of differences and these people deserve our kindness and consideration and nothing less. I demand that you begin to treat them as guests in our country until this unpleasantness with other cultures be resolved.


John Q. Liberal, Atty.
American Civil Liberties Union


The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington D.C.

Dear Mr. Liberal:

Thank you for your recent letter criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington.

You’ll be pleased to learn that thanks to the concerns of citizens such as yourself, we are creating the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the “Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers” program, or LARK for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, which provides for these detainees to be distributed to homes throughout the United States, we have determined that your home is a place that we can count on to provide just the type of care you recommend for them.

Your detainee has been scheduled for delivery to your residence next Monday. Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud, captured fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his “attitudinal problem” will help him cope with these as “cultural differences.”

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless you feel that this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him. He has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he considers appropriate, but I’m sure that over time they will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the bhurkas I have enclosed with this letter. Just remind them that it is all part of respecting his culture and his religious beliefs.

Thanks again for your letter and your willingness to not just complain, but to actually help out.

Take good care of Ahmed and good luck!


George W. Bush


Found at The Wide Awakes, and slightly edited.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Just another coincidence?

By Tony Blankley

Published July 26, 2006

Tuesday's front-page New York Times headline on the Hezbollah-Israel fighting — "International Force Is Favored, But No Nation Commits Troops" — was widely received with a giggling "Well, duh." In a way, it was funny. While the Europeans agreed that international troops should be sent in to stop the fighting, the article ended with, "The Germans recommended the French, the French recommended the Egyptians, and so on."

But if one scratches just beneath the surface of the headlines, the great strategic failure of America since September 11 can be detected in the fourth paragraph of the New York Times article: "

There has been strong verbal support for such a force in public, but also private concerns that soldiers would be seen as allied to Israel and would have to fight Hezbollah guerrillas who do not want foreigners, let alone the Lebanese Army, coming between them and the Israelis." Well, of course they don't.

From my extensive conversations with Europeans, high and low, I don't doubt the accuracy of that statement. Most Europeans — and far too many Americans — still see Hezbollah terrorism as just part of that Arab-Israeli mess in the Middle East. (And, of course, Hezbollah doesn't want foreigners to stop it from killing.) But, more importantly, most of the peoples of the world — including U.S. citizens — still don't believe that radical Islamist terrorism is a grave, worldwide challenge to civilization.

And therein lies our greatest strategic failure to date. So long as most people — certainly most Europeans, perhaps most Americans — see Islamist terrorism as merely the more or less disconnected actions of a relatively small number of fanatics, then Europeans will never send their sons to fight and die to defeat it. And, of course, they won't send their sons to risk death for the "Jewish state" of Israel or the "imperialist" United States. And who can ask any parents to risk sacrificing their sons for some foreigners — despised or not?

President Bush has failed in five years to successfully make the case — to America or to the Western world — that we are in fact in a mortal, worldwide struggle: what my old boss Newt Gingrich recently called World War III; what I called "The West's Last Chance" in my book last year; what I and many others have called the clash of civilizations.

Only when that case has been made persuasively will the real struggle for victory begin. Only then will Europe raise armies to fight — not for Israel or the United States, but for their own survival.

And we are not without resources. Europe — from Poland to the Atlantic, from Sweden to Greece — is over 700 million strong. Hindu India is over a billion. North America is over 400 million. It is absurd to think that such a mass of civilization cannot send sufficient troops to smash — door to door and hand to hand if necessary, and it probably will be necessary — a few thousand Hezbollah fighters. For that matter, a force could be raised to clean out the tribal lands in northern Pakistan and the Islamist/anarchic Horn of Africa and wherever radical Islamists have cover and succor. (Currently, in Lebanon and throughout the world, peaceable Muslims understandably cannot resist the violent threat of their radical co-religionists. We must give them a chance to be partisans for civilization.)

But such martial force can only be raised and sustained on the foundation of broad and deep public support.

Now, with the whole world watching the unfolding chaos, would be an excellent time to start that public education process. The president should give a series of major speeches on the nature of the worldwide threat. He must rise above his previous efforts with more blunt, honest and detailed analysis — not merely well-worn phrases.

But much more is needed. The Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees should hold extensive, high-octane, joint, select public hearings in the next two months on the nature of the threat. Let the best advocates for each perception testify. Former presidents, princes, generals and specialists should all come and testify. Congress can and must give both depth of analysis and sustained public attention to such a presidential initiative.

The media should give major front-page and top-of-the-news attention to such a great debate. It is not enough for Fox, The Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, talk radio, selected authors and blogs to carry on the debate. The mainstream media should join in giving prolonged, prominent coverage in conjunction with such hearings.

In five years we have, remarkably, never had such a sustained effort to publicly debate the nature of the danger. At the outset of the Cold War, Congress spent years holding hearings on the "red menace." Some people think they overdid it. I do not. It required that sort of an effort to establish the public support and bipartisan judgment over the 50 years that Communism was in fact a worldwide threat to civilization. It was such a threat; and it was defeated — but only because the public, for 50 years, understood the danger and voted for politicians who were prepared to devote trillions to defense.

Until the American and European publics have become convinced of the present danger to them, we will continue to stumble, take half measures and fail to adequately defend ourselves.

Before action must come belief; before belief must come understanding; before understanding must come education and debate. In the beginning was the word. It is time to begin.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Crazy Americans

I love my country. America has its problems, and the American people have their problems, but the United States is still the best country on Earth, and the American people are among the best people on Earth, with generosity unparalled anywhere.

Among the problems Americans have is that some of us have little ability to reason, and others of us are spoiled and unable to deal with adversity. These two dubious characteristics combine to produce such things as the recent attitude of Americans in Lebanon.

When you are in a foreign country, all bets are off for your being safe. Our government cannot even guarantee our individual safety here at home, and in fact is not supposed to do that. The possibility of the U.S. government protecting its citizens when they are in other countries is no more than a fairy tale. We—not our government—are responsible to use common sense and due caution in our daily lives to keep ourselves out of harms way.

Is there is a more potentially dangerous place in the world than the present day Middle East? Living in Lebanon, or Saudi Arabia, or Iran, or Iraq or Syria, or Egypt today is taking a big chance with life and limb. So, the reaction of some of those Americans who had to be rescued from Lebanon is not only curious, it is preposterous. They complain that accommodations on the ships and other means of transportation are inadequate and uncomfortable. Some of those having their dumb butts carried to safety by ship are upset that they didn’t have clean sheets, or enough to drink. They complain that they weren’t rescued quickly enough.

Here’s a message for them: Shut up and be thankful that you are not still in Lebanon. You chose to go there, it’s your own fault you were in trouble, and we’re tired of your whining and sniveling.

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The Common Sense of Common People

There are lots of opinions out there for our consumption. Some are informed opinions; some are uninformed opinions; some by professionals; others by amateurs. George Mosko, who is not a professional writer, wrote the letter to the editor that follows. It reflects a common sense perspective about war and fighting that escapes many people, both professional and amateur.

Benevolence may cost soldiers’ lives

I believe that America has a problem. I am reading where two U.S. soldiers were found dead, tortured and mutilated beyond recognition in lraq. On the other end, I am reading where our government has prosecuted seven U.S. Marines because of what is likely an accidental shooting of an Iraqi civilian.

If American soldiers are intentionally murdering Iraqi civilians, then they should be disciplined. It is, however, very difficult to determine who is innocent in a time of war in a foreign country. These soldiers were most likely acting on impulse during a time of insurgency in Iraq. I am sure that Osama bin Laden did not try to distinguish who was innocent and guilty when he ordered the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

This also sends a negative message to individuals who are thinking of a career in the military. I would be thinking twice about joining the military if I knew that, with one wrong decision, I could be in prison for defending my country.

In the time these seven Marines had to identify this civilian, it could have cost them their lives. We cannot win wars by running 30-day background checks on our enemies before we fire our weapons. If we have become that benevolent in combat, then the enemy has the advantage. This may be a factor in why we have lost 2,500 very good men in this conflict. Something to think about isn't it.

George Mosko

Good points, Mr. Mosko.

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Worth a Thousand Words

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Just Desserts

Virginia executed a rapist/murderer yesterday. On days like that my state makes me proud. My Governor, Tim Kaine, a Democrat, also made me proud. He denied clemency for Brandon Hedrick, a 27-year-old degenerate who raped and murdered a young mother.

“I pray for everybody that believes in Jesus Christ in heaven and I pray for the people that are unsaved, that they will accept Christ because they know not what they do and will accept Christ one day,” the pervert said just before being executed. That’s a nice sentiment. It looks like Hedrick found the Lord somewhere along the path from rape and murder to meeting his deserved fate.

Or did he? You can excuse his rambling incoherence; he was about to die after all. But did you notice that he didn’t say he was sorry for raping and killing an innocent human being and for taking a young child’s mother from him? In my book, that’s evidence not of religious conversion, but of bargaining for a cooler seat in eternity.

Hedrick is the first person electrocuted in the Commonwealth since 2003. Virginia gives its condemned miscreants the choice of electrocution or lethal injection. Hedrick chose the chair over the gurney, his attorney said, because he thinks Hedrick was afraid of dying by lethal injection. Electrocution isn’t a pretty thing, and it isn’t painless. That’s why it is such a good choice for murderers and rapists. Hedrick was maybe a little stupid in addition to being a vicious bastard who was unable to get a woman except by force.

After being dispatched from this life by an Earthly hot seat, Hedrick is now enjoying the fruits of his foul labors in a hot seat in Hell. Good riddance.

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It is a sad commentary that our society requires you to wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle, and have a permit to put a deck on your home, and be licensed to drive a motor vehicle, but allows everyone to have children without question.

Isn’t it interesting that more than a few of those Americans being rescued from Lebanon are complaining about the transportation and accommodations?

Why is it that when terrorists, like Hezbollah and al Qaeda, hide behind innocent men, women and children, and some of those innocents are killed or injured, liberals don’t blame the terrorists, but instead blame those the terrorists are attacking?

Does it ever bug you that when a dog viciously attacks and injures a person, the dog is put to death, but when a pedophile rapes a child they often get only a light sentence?

Why does the Left want to save the whales and the trees and the wetlands, and protect terrorists and criminals, but not embryos and fetuses or American traditions?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

World War III, Part II

What follows was received as a comment to the preceding post, World War III, from my friend The Windjammer. I decided to post it because it is at least as relevant as my original post. The Windjammer has a longer historical perspective than I, and has some truly valuable things to say on the subject:

You are correct, of course.

I was there for WWII, albeit a bit young for the early stages, and there is no way that I could tell you when the big one actually started. It may have been ca 1930 when that crackpot genius we call Hitler held a thuse meeting in a beer garden in Munich. I suspect by that time it was well under way, although nobody fully understood just what he had in mind and shoved him into a remote corner of our collective minds and wrote him off as a raving maniac. Almost everyone who was alive at that time knows about when the fireworks started, but those were only a direct result of our failure to nip it in the bud, as Barney might have said.

The terrorists have been demonstrating to all of us both here and abroad exactly what they have in mind, but because of a reluctance or some other psychological phenomenon we as a world people fail to read the messages. There has been terrorist activity in Afghanistan, Bali, Chechnya, Egypt, England, France, Gaza (O.K., so it's only a strip), Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, The Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia (now essentially under the control of terrorists), Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and the Good Ol' U.S. of A. I realize that list isn't complete, but it should give even the most obtuse skeptic sufficient evidence that the threat of terrorism is truly global. I suspect one reason that so many have failed to connect the dots is the fact that terrorism comes with so many unusual and unholy names which the perpetrators have tried to make sound holy. The various groups which practice terrorism hide behind those appellations in order to create confusion among the enemy which is all of the rest of us. The system has worked remarkably well.

Despite the variations, the whole is tied together in one objective. If there is any person alive who does not know what that objective is, he just hasn't been paying attention or has been listening too much and too long to the left-wing media.

The present dominant process of engaging the world in a universal conflict was started several years back. I am not sure whether it was during the eighth century when the Moors (read that Saracens) invaded Spain or whether it was during the twentieth. It certainly wasn't the twenty-first. I suspect that if any historian would admit it, he doesn't know for sure either.

There are literally billions of us (humans, that is) today who believe that if we close our eyes and ears, the evil will go away. History tells us that isn't the way it works.

I believe whole-heartedly that William Sherman was only partially right when he said, "I am sick and tired of war. It's glory is all moonshine...War is Hell." He should have added, "War is a Hell of a way to settle anything."

If every lunatic on the planet who harbors an uncontrollable desire to dominate the rest of us for whatever reason would understand that, we wouldn't have so many.

There are still a few of us who don't want to be dominated and will raise Holy Ned to avoid it.

The Windjammer

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

World War III

I see in the news today where Newt Gingrich has said that we are in the third World War now. This is a realization I arrived at several months ago.

I got in some trouble recently on another guy’s blog for questioning the “generally accepted” starting date of WWII. I was told that I was really stupid when I questioned, for example, when a war starts and suggested that there was more than one possibility: when the aggressor fires the first shot; when the aggressee first fires back; or perhaps even as far back as when the aggressor starts planning his aggression. When WWIII began is an open debate, but there is no question among thinking individuals that radical, fundamentalist Muslims have been attacking the United States for more than 20 years.

One of the reasons that I don’t quibble too much with the war in Iraq is that while the information that circulated in the United Nations and in most every major nation in the world at the time the Iraq war began may have been wrong, the fight we are in is far broader than just the conflict in Iraq. This is a major point that so many, particularly on the Left, fail to understand. Whether they are so caught up in hatred for George W. Bush, whether they actually don’t believe we are in the fight of our lives, or whether they are intellectually incapable of “getting it,” the Left does not understand or admit that defeating terrorism, which has a decidedly Arab face on it, is the most significant challenge to the American ideal since this nation was founded, and if the major battleground of that conflict is Iraq, so much the better. As long as it isn’t the United States.

Terrorism is not just the problem of the U.S., and terrorism is not only the province of barbaric Muslims. But this cowardly practice is the current most serious challenge to free people the world over, and if the doubters don’t soon wake up to that reality, defeating terrorism will be far more difficult.

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The Good Ol' Days

I got this in an email today:

To all the kids who were born in the 1930s 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers that took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able toreach us all day.And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers,problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned ...


And if you are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

New Comment System Enabled

I have re-implemented the HaloScan comment system to eliminate the spam, so word verification is no longer effective.

I had used HaloScan for a while a year or so ago, and for some reason that I can't remember, took it off.

Thanks to a reminder from TexasFred, who said that it is not subject to the efforts of spammers, I will try it again.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Word Verification Back On

Regrettably, I am forced to turn on Word Verification for comments again. I had a 48 spam day today.

I know it is somewhat inconvenient, and I regret that. But there really aren't that many comments on the site anyway, so maybe it won't hurt too much.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Plame's Fame Game

Valerie Plame, who worked in a non-undercover job at the CIA, got her husband Joe Wilson, a Bush administration critic, a job trying to find out if Saddam Hussein was trying to buy yellow cake from Niger. Good Ol’ Joe predictably didn’t find any evidence supportive of the administration’s position and chose to go to The New York Times to tell the world that there was no effort to buy yellow cake, instead of reporting to Congress. Somewhere along the way Miss Valerie’s name was made public and there was a great cry throughout the land that the name of a covert agent had been made public. Except she wasn’t covert, and it appears that Miss Valerie’s name and association with the CIA, which wasn’t ever a secret, became truly public when Ol’ Joe’s bio appeared in Who’s Who, followed not much later by a cover story about the Wilsons in a widely distributed national publication.

As a testament to how much ado about nothing this entire fiasco is, after nearly three years of investigating a federal prosecutor has found no one to indict for a real crime because there was no crime, and the best the prosecutor could do was to indict a ham sandwich in the person of the Vice President’s chief of Staff, who got his facts mixed up. He’s now charged not with outing a covert CIA agent, since there was no covert agent outed, but instead charged with—horrors—“lying to the government.” Well, now Miss Valerie and Ol’ Joe are suing claiming her career was ruined when her husband "outed" her and are now hoping to strike it rich in the courts. They both also have a book deal.

It just goes to show that if you want to strike it rich in the U.S. you can do it be being duplicitous and subversive.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Supreme Court, Enemy Combatants, and Confusion

I have problems with the idea that enemy combatants—people captured in the act of trying to kill Americans or suspected of being involved with people trying to kill Americans—are supposed to be treated the same as uniformed soldiers from nations that are signatories to the Geneva Conventions. That means that participating nations agree to a standard set of rules for the treatment of captured enemy military personnel. If the U.S. and, say, Great Britain are at war with each other, and both nations have signed the Geneva Conventions, both nations have pledged and are bound to follow the provisions of the agreement with regard to the treatment of captured enemy military personnel. That makes sense.

The Geneva Conventions is a set of rules for fighting wars in a civilized fashion, to the extent that war can be civilized. Signatory nations read the Conventions and agreed to them. The United States signed the Conventions, and is bound by the standards set forth in conflicts with other signatories. Al Qaeda is not a signatory to the Conventions. Al Qaeda is not a nation with a uniformed military. Al Qaeda does not follow the Conventions. The sixty-four dollar question is, then: In conflicts with al Qaeda and other non-signatory barbaric terrorist combatants, if they aren’t bound by the Conventions, why should we be?

“We hold ourselves to a higher standard, and that is what separates us from, raises us above, the rest of the world.” This concept is put forth as the principle upon which we base our need to treat our enemy better than he treats us, and is sometimes advanced by people whom I hold in high regard. And it is an honorable principle, to a point.

However, if you are in a fistfight and your opponent pulls a knife, are you going to stand on principle and try to defeat your enemy with only your fists and feet, and not pick up an available knife? Is that a principled position? Is it a smart decision?

Would you rather be dead, but have stuck by your principles while your enemy, not burdened with your principles, cuts you to shreds? Or would you rather be alive and maybe wounded, with your principles lying nearby to be reclaimed when they are appropriate, and your enemy lying bloody and dead?

I choose the latter.

The U.S. Supreme Court erred in finding that terrorists who do not wear the uniform of a nation, and who do not represent the government of a nation that has signed the Geneva Conventions are subject to the protections of the Geneva Conventions.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Crime Doesn't Pay

Police in a small town in southern West Virginia spotted a man they wanted to talk with getting into a car on a downtown street in the early morning hours last Thursday, and pulled in behind the car. The driver took off, and a couple of blocks later the passenger exited the moving vehicle. After checking on the “jumper,” the police officers continued the chase, and the driver headed out of town and turned on the northbound ramp of I-77. About nine miles later, just after crossing the bridge over the Bluestone Gorge, the driver leapt from the still-moving vehicle and headed into the woods. The car rolled into a bank and stopped, and one police officer gave chase into the woods.

Now, if you’re not familiar with southern West Virginia, the name “Bluestone Gorge” ought to give you a clue that it is mountainous terrain. Running through unfamiliar wooded areas in the dark is, well, stupid. Almost predictably, trouble ensued, as the 30-year-old runner went over a cliff head first, landed and rolled about 100 feet before coming to a stop. The police officer, witnessing the first man take wing, was unable to stop and also went over the cliff, but was not seriously hurt. His partner came along shortly and lent assistance and called the rescue squad to get them back up the cliff. The 30 year-old unidentified runner was seriously injured.

Truth, they say, is stranger than fiction. This episode tends to support that theory.

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Recommended Reading: Opinions of a Kashmiri Nomad

I am pleased to add to my list of favorite blogs "Islam and the West - Opinions of a Kashmiri Nomad." Nomad writes passionate articles on Islam, on Christianity, and on other interesting topics.

I have indulged in many interesting debates with the Nomad, and the two of us have a mutual interest in wanting to earn about the other's religion.

If you would like to read about the world from the perspective of a Muslim of good will, and to participate in lively debate, I encourage you to visit the Nomad's Web site.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Two Good Court Decisions

Two court rulings give some hope that the American people have not totally lost control over their country.

First, New York's Court of Appeals in a 4-2 decision said the state's marriage law is constitutional and clearly limits marriage to between a man and a woman, and that gay marriage is not allowed under state law. Any change in the law should come from the state Legislature, Judge Robert Smith wrote. The ruling rejects arguments by same-sex couples that said the law violates their constitutional rights.

The ruling is important because it upholds the traditional definition of marriage, and makes it a legislative matter, not a judicial one, to change the law. With this decision the court allows the people of New York to express their feelings on this issue through their elected representatives, which is the way laws ought to be made, and did not use this as an opportunity to change through judicial ruling what the people had legislated through the democratic process.

The ruling did not make homosexual relationships illegal; it only preserved the practice that has been the norm for centuries.

The Florida Supreme Court today rejected the largest ever award by an American jury, saying that a $145 billion punitive damages award against tobacco companies for injuring smokers was excessive, and also upheld an appellate court ruling that it had been a mistake to certify a class-action lawsuit representing an estimated 300,000 to 700,000 ill Floridians that led to the huge jury award for punitive damages in 2000.

Having legal recourse for wrongs done and injuries suffered is an essential element of a free nation, and businesses, despite their crucial role in our society, cannot operate irresponsibly without fear of liability for their actions. However, the degree to which the nation has moved away from a neutral position with regard to negligence cases filed against businesses is frightening. Too often, juries rule against responsible businesses in court actions filed by people who have been irresponsible in their use of products, or who have at the very least contributed to their own problems. This is not fair to anyone, neither the complainant nor the defendant, and puts businesses in the position of defending themselves when they have done nothing wrong, raising their costs, hence their prices.

I don’t argue the point that using tobacco is harmful. But people most often make a conscious decision to smoke, chew or pinch; it is not forced upon them. And, heaven knows, the message that using tobacco is harmful has been ubiquitous for the last 30 years. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a "tobacco warning." The jury in this case rendered a decision that was ridiculously high, and would in essence reward people for their bad judgment. Before anyone gets a punitive monetary award, it ought to be required that they prove that they did not contribute to their own injury, and that the business in question actually acted irresponsibly.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

To Kill an American

You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is. So they would know when they found one. (Good one, mate!!!!)

An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as Native Americans.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim.
In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.
The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.

The national symbol of America, the Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.

Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung, and other bloodthirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place, they are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Nature of the War Against Muslim Terrorism

The following piece is a very articulate and convincing piece regarding the war against Islamic terrorism and why we have to win it. It is attributed to Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Vernon Chong, USAF, Retired, said to be a retired Air Force Surgeon and past Commander of Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio. I haven’t been able to confirm that this was written by Dr. Chong, but it is nonetheless a very good piece. Although it is a little long, I hope you will take a few minutes to read it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it. Our country is now facing the most serious threat to its existence, as we know it, that we have faced in your lifetime and mine (which includes WW II).

The deadly seriousness is greatly compounded by the fact that there are very few of us who think we can possibly lose this war and even fewer who realize what losing really means.

First, let's examine a few basics:

1. When did the threat to us start? Many will say September 11, 2001. The answer as far as the United States is concerned is 1979, 22 years prior to September 2001, with the following attacks on us:

* Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;
* Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983;
* Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;
* Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;
* First New York World Trade Center attack 1993;
* Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996;
* Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998;
* Dar es Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998;
* Aden, Yemen USS Cole 2000;
* New York World Trade Center 2001;
* Pentagon 2001.
(Note that during the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide).

2. Why were we attacked?

Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms. The attacks happened during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2. We cannot fault either the Republicans or Democrats as there were no provocations by any of the presidents or their immediate predecessors, Presidents Ford or Carter.

3. Who were the attackers?

In each case, the attacks on the US were carried out by Muslims.

4. What is the Muslim population of the World?

[Estimates are that the proportion of Muslims worldwide is] 25%.

5. Isn't the Muslim Religion peaceful?

Hopefully, but that is really not material. There is no doubt that the predominately Christian population of Germany was peaceful, but under the dictatorial leadership of Hitler (who was also Christian), that made no difference. You either went along with the administration or you were eliminated. There were 5 to 6 million Christians killed by the Nazis for political reasons (including 7,000 Polish priests).

Thus, almost the same number of Christians were killed by the Nazis, as the six million holocaust Jews who were killed by them, and we seldom heard of anything other than the Jewish atrocities. Although Hitler kept the world focused on the Jews, he had no hesitancy about killing anyone who got in his way of exterminating the Jews or of taking over the world - German, Christian or any others.

Same with the Muslim terrorists. They focus the world on the US, but kill all in the way -- their own people or the Spanish, French or anyone else. The point here is that just like the peaceful Germans were of no protection to anyone from the Nazis, no matter how many peaceful Muslims there may be, they are no protection for us from the terrorist Muslim leaders and what they are fanatically bent on doing -- by their own pronouncements -- killing all of us "infidels." I don't blame the peaceful Muslims. What would you do if the choice was shut up or die?

6. So who are we at war with?

There is no way we can honestly respond that it is anyone other than the Muslim terrorists. Trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing this conclusion can well be fatal. There is no way to win if you don't clearly recognize and articulate who you are fighting.

So with that background, now to the two major questions:

1. Can we lose this war?

2. What does losing really mean?

If we are to win, we must clearly answer these two pivotal questions. We can definitely lose this war, and as anomalous as it may sound, the major reason we can lose is that so many of us simply do not fathom the answer to the second question - What does losing mean?

It would mean that a great many of us think that losing the war means hanging our heads, bringing the troops home and going on about our business, like post Vietnam. This is as far from the truth as one can get.

What losing really means is:

We would no longer be the premier country in the world. The attacks will not subside, but rather will steadily increase. Remember, they want us dead, not just quiet. If they had just wanted us quiet, they would not have produced an increasing series of attacks against us, over the past 18 years. The plan was clearly, for terrorist to attack us, until we were neutered and submissive to them.

We would of course have no future support from other nations, for fear of reprisals and for the reason that they would see we are impotent and cannot help them.

They will pick off the other non-Muslim nations, one at a time. It will be increasingly easier for them. They already hold Spain hostage. It doesn't matter whether it was right or wrong for Spain to withdraw its troops from Iraq. Spain did it because the Muslim terrorists bombed their train and told them to withdraw the troops. Anything else they want Spain to do will be done. Spain is finished. The next will probably be France. Our one hope on France is that they might see the light and realize that if we don't win, they are finished too, in that they can't resist the Muslim terrorists without us.

However, it may already be too late for France. France is already 20% Muslim and fading fast!

If we lose the war, our production, income, exports and way of life will all vanish, as we know it. After losing, who would trade or deal with us if they were threatened by the Muslims. If we can't stop the Muslims, how could anyone else?

The Muslims fully know what is riding on this war, and therefore are completely committed to winning, at any cost. We better know it too and be likewise committed to winning at any cost.

Why do I go on at such lengths about the results of losing? Simple. Until we recognize the costs of losing, we cannot unite and really put 100% of our thoughts and efforts into winning. And it is going t o take that 100% effort to win.

So, how can we lose the war?

Again, the answer is simple. We can lose the war by "imploding." That is, defeating ourselves by refusing to recognize the enemy and their purpose, and really digging in and lending full support to the war effort. If we are united, there is no way that we can lose. If we continue to be divided, there is no way that we can win!

Let me give you a few examples of how we simply don't comprehend the life and death seriousness of this situation.

President Bush selects Norman Mineta as Secretary of Transportation. Although all of the terrorist attacks were committed by Muslim men between 17 and 40 years of age, Secretary Mineta refuses to allow profiling. Does that sound like we are taking this thing seriously? This is war! For the duration, we are going to have to give up some of the civil rights we have become accustomed to. We had better be prepared to lose some of our civil rights temporarily or we will most certainly lose all of them permanently.

And don't worry that it is a slippery slope. We gave up plenty of civil rights during WW II, and immediately restored them after the victory and in fact added many more since then.

Do I blame President Bush or President Clinton before him?

No, I blame us for blithely assuming we can maintain all of our Political Correctness, and all of our civil rights during this conflict and have a clean, lawful, honorable war. None of those words apply to war. Get them out of your head. Some have gone so far in their criticism of the war and/or the Administration that it almost seems they would literally like to see us lose. I hasten to add that this isn't because they are disloyal. It is because they just don't recognize what losing means. Nevertheless, that conduct gives the impression to the enemy that we are divided and weakening. It concerns our friends, and it does great damage to our cause.

Of more recent vintage, the uproar fueled by the politicians and media regarding the treatment of some prisoners of war, perhaps exemplifies best what I am saying. We have recently had an issue, involving the treatment of a few Muslim prisoners of war, by a small group of our military police. These are the type prisoners who just a few months before were throwing their own people off buildings, cutting off their hands, cutting out their tongues and otherwise murdering their own people just for disagreeing with Saddam Hussein.

And just a few years ago these same type prisoners chemically killed 400,000 of their own people for the same reason. They are also the same type of enemy fighters, who recently were burning Americans, and dragging their charred corpses through the streets of Iraq.

And still more recently, the same type of enemy that was and is providing videos to all news sources internationally of the beheading of American prisoners they held.

Compare this with some of our press and politicians, who for several days have thought and talked about nothing else but the "humiliating" of some Muslim prisoners -- not burning them, not dragging their charred corpses through the streets, not beheading them, but "humiliating" them

Can this be for real?

The politicians and pundits have even talked of impeachment of the Secretary of Defense. If this doesn't show the complete lack of comprehension and understanding of the seriousness of the enemy we are fighting, the life and death struggle we are in and the disastrous results of losing this war, nothing can.

To bring our country to a virtual political standstill over this prisoner issue makes us look like Nero playing his fiddle as Rome burned -- totally oblivious to what is going on in the real world. Neither we, nor any other country, can survive this internal strife.

Again I say, this does not mean that some of our politicians or media people are disloyal. It simply means that they are absolutely oblivious to the magnitude, of the situation we are in and into which the Muslim terrorists have been pushing us, for many years.

Remember, the Muslim terrorists stated goal is to kill all infidels! That translates into ALL non-Muslims -- not just in the United States, but throughout the world.

We are the last bastion of defense.

We have been criticized for many years as being arrogant. That charge is valid in at least one respect. We are arrogant in that we believe that we are so good, powerful and smart, that we can win the hearts and minds of all those who attack us, and that with both hands tied behind our back, we can defeat anything bad in the world!

We can't!

If we don't recognize this, our nation as we know it will not survive, and no other free country in the world will survive if we are defeated.

And finally, name any Muslim countries throughout the world that allow freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, equal rights for anyone -- let alone everyone, equal status or any status for women, or that have been productive in one single way that contributes to the good of the world.

This has been a long way of saying that we must be united on this war or we will be equated in the history books to the self-inflicted fall of the Roman Empire. If, that is, the Muslim leaders will allow history books to be written or read.

If we don't win this war right now, keep a close eye on how the Muslims take over France in the next 5 years or less. They will continue to increase the Muslim population of France and continue to encroach little by little, on the established French traditions. The French will be fighting among themselves, over what should or should not be done, which will continue to weaken them and keep them from any united resolve. Doesn't that sound eerily familiar?

Democracies don't have their freedoms taken away from them by some external military force. Instead, they give their freedoms away, politically correct piece by politically correct piece.

And they are giving those freedoms away to those who have shown, worldwide that they abhor freedom and will not apply it to you or even to themselves, once they are in power. They have universally shown that when they have taken over, they then start brutally killing each other over who will be the few who control the masses. Will we ever stop hearing from the politically correct, about the "peaceful Muslims"?

I close on a hopeful note, by repeating what I said above. If we are united, there is no way that we can lose. I hope now after the election, the factions in our country will begin to focus on the critical situation we are in, and will unite to save our country. It is your future we are talking about! Do whatever you can to preserve it.

After reading the above, we all must do this not only for ourselves, but our children, our grandchildren, our country and the world

Whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal and that includes the Politicians and media of our country and the free world!

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Killing With Kindness

A news story today asks the question, “Is it OK for doctors and parents to tell children and teens they're fat?” and goes on to say, “that seems to be at the heart of a debate over whether to replace the fuzzy language favored by the U.S. government with the painful truth — telling kids if they're obese or overweight.”

The story goes on to say, “The diplomatic approach adopted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and used by many doctors avoids the word ‘obese’ because of the stigma. The CDC also calls overweight kids ‘at risk of overweight.’" One wonders if the CDC ever finds examples where someone who was “at risk of overweight” actually became overweight, or are they perpetually just “at risk of overweight?”

This is yet another example of political correctness run amok: If we tell people in plain terms what is wrong with them, it might hurt their feelings. Heaven knows we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, even at the expense of saving their life.

But Dr. Reginald Washington, a Denver pediatrician and co-chair of an American Academy of Pediatrics obesity task force shines the light of reason on this issue: "If that same person came into your office and had cancer, or was anemic, or had an ear infection, would we be having the same conversation? There are a thousand reasons why this obesity epidemic is so out of control, and one of them is no one wants to talk about it."

We need to stop dancing around issues and start speaking factually and plainly. So quit killing people with kindness and save their lives with a little honesty, even if it is sometimes brutal.

Here is a site that addresses obesity among kids.

Independence Day

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, the day in 1776 that the Colonists declared their independence from the oppressive English Crown. The Declaration itself was an intellectual and rhetorical exercise. A group of smart and determined people stated their philosophy of life, listed their grievances against King George III, and walked away from English domination.

It is an eloquent statement, the most familiar portion of which states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

While the statement itself was relatively easy to accomplish, keeping the English from forcibly retaining control over the Colonies was not. It required courage and sacrifice, and it required armed action to defeat the British forces.

Our freedom was won by the use of weapons in the hands of the people, and that is a fact that cannot be forgotten or minimalized. Had gun control advocates existed and had their way in 1776, there would be no United States of America today.

The right to keep and bear arms was recognized as essential by the Founders, and they affirmed that right and nine other specific rights in the first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Those rights have been systematically chipped away, particularly those guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment and the Tenth Amendment. We had better not allow the Second Amendment to be altered by the enemies of freedom, and we had better get busy working through the system to restore those lost to their original level forthwith.

Happy Fourth of July!

God Bless America!

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