Friday, March 31, 2006

I COULD care less

No, really, I could. But I don't.

What the hell am I talking about? That curious, annoying habit it seems many people have when they truly don't care about something to say "I could care less." I'll sometimes reply "So, that means you care at least some, and therefore could care less?". "No, I mean I don't care." comes the usual reply.

Damnit! The proper saying is I couldn't care less! The first time I heard the phrase, properly, I was very young. It was probably my Mom saying something like "I couldn't care less if you don't like spinach, eat it!". I continued to hear the phrase, usually from my Mom or Dad in a similar context, for the next 10 or 15 years. Then, some time around 1980 or so, I started hearing people say "I could care less."

Do your part. If you hear someone say "I could care less", challenge them. Make them say it right.

End of meaningless rant.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

AP bias watch

The headline reads "US, Canadian Soldiers Die in Afghanistan". Mentally preparing myself to read of 10 or 20 dead Americans and Canadians, I'm relieved to find that "only" one American and one Canadian soldier were killed in action against Taliban insurgents.

The real big story isn't the two coalition deaths, though, but rather the 32 insurgents killed in the battle. Twelve were killed in the initial insurgent attack on the coalition base, and another 20 in the pursuit of the insurgents that followed.

The pursuit also lead coalition forces to an insurgent compound where, according to the article, "Large caches of weapons, bombs and ammunition were discovered", and the compound subsequently destroyed.

So why does the AP headline focus only on the deaths of US and Canadian troops?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

French Forecast: Scattered car burnings, intermittent chaos

I stumbled across this picture while surfing the 'net today, and I wish I could remember where it came from so that I could give credit where credit is due.

I must be suffering from a bit of schadenfreude, because it really got me chuckling.

What is it about these kids in France that think they're entitled to employment for life?

Socialism does some truly twisted things to the psyche.

Moonbattery is one thing, but...

I can almost forgive Charlie Sheen his aforementioned verbal diarrhea. It's obvious that someone who can't recognize a commercial airliner when he sees one has forfeited most of his brain cells to his cocaine habit. So he's as dumb as a box of rocks, and thinks someone (or something!) other than crazed Islamic terrorists were behind the 9/11 attacks. Big deal. Richard Belzer, on the other hand, is something else.

When Belzer appeared on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" recently, he launched into a tirade not just against the war in Iraq, but against the troops deployed there. His problem with the troops? He thinks they're stupid. In an exchange with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
about the troops' generally favorable view on things in Iraq, he made the following statements:
They don't read twenty newspapers a day. They're under the threat of death every minute. They're not the best people to ask about the war because they're going to die any second!

You think everyone over there is a college graduate? They are nineteen and twenty year old kids who couldn't get a job.
In making these statements, Belzer revealed a few things:
  • The left, while publicly claiming to "support the troops", have nothing but contempt for them.
  • Belzer, like most of those on the left, know nothing about GIs.
  • Members of the left (especially the show biz types) have no concept of serving a higher calling.
Belzer's assumption is that if someone's serving in the military, it's because they're uneducated and lack the intelligence (sort of like Charlie Sheen) to find any other vocation. Guys like Belzer can't understand the concept of doing a job because you believe it has to be done, not because it pays you a gazillion dollars and gets you laid frequently.

If he'd spent any time around the troops (hey Richard, volunteered for a USO tour lately?), he'd realize that GIs, both enlisted and commissioned, are some of the best informed men and women around.

I may continue to watch Charlie Sheen because so far at leat, he's just stupid and/or off his rocker. Belzer, on the other hand, has shown his contempt for the military, and by extension, me. It's only fair that I return the favor.

And to think that I've been a fan of this asshat since "The Groove Tube".

More Hollywood moonbattery and dimwittery

I like Charlie Sheen. No really, I do. He's a decent actor, and pretty damned funny at times. In fact, I also like his dad, Martin Sheen, as well as brother Emilio Estevez. There's some talent in the family. So it pains me to read about things like what he said recently (3/20/06) on a radio talk show regarding the terror attacks of 9/11.

A few nuggets:
There was a feeling, it just didn't look [like] any commercial jetliner I've flown on any time in my life...
I don't know what kind of airplanes he flies on...flying saucers maybe?
...then when the buildings came down later on that day I said to my brother 'call me insane, but did it sorta look like those buildings came down in a controlled demolition?
OK,'re insane.
It feels like from the people I talk to in and around my circles, it seems like the worm is turning…
Just who is in your circles, Charlie? Michael Moore? And where do you meet, on the grassy knoll?
We're not the conspiracy theorists on this particular issue. It seems to me like 19 amateurs with box cutters taking over four commercial airliners and hitting 75% of their targets, that feels like a conspiracy theory.
Uh, yeah. It was a conspiracy you silly, barking moonbat! A conspiracy of Islamofascists who hate you and want to kill you!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A welcome change of tune

The Washington Post marks the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq in an unusual letting the troops tell it like it really is over there.

On a nearly daily basis, WaPo is in our collective face with their version of the situation in Iraq, telling us how hopeless and generally messed up everything is there. But for this article, the Post interviewed 100 troops, and published their words, verbatim, to give us a glimpse of how things are on the ground there. From the article:
But it was not bad in the ways they see covered in the media -- the majority also agreed on this. What they experienced was more complex than the war they saw on television and in print. It was dangerous and confused, yes, but most of the vets also recalled enemies routed, buildings built and children befriended, against long odds in a poor and demoralized country. "We feel like we're doing something, and then we look at the news and you feel like you're getting bashed." "It seems to me the media had a predetermined script." The vibe of the coverage is just "so, so, so negative."
Read the whole won't be sorry.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Confused? Adrift? Ask the Imam!

It seems Islam has lots of rules governing what's allowed (halal) and what's forbidden (haram). Curious, I did a bit of searching on the Internet, and stumbled across a site where one can find out just what, exactly, in every day life is halal or haram. A few samples:

Fantasizing during sex is haram
Q: Can a man think of another woman while having intercourse with his wife?
The one posting the question quotes from the hadiths:
If any one of you is attracted to and likes a woman, he should go back to his wife and have intercourse with her, because this will rid him of whatever affected him.

A: Apparently, no. According to the Imam, "
According to Shariah, it is haraam to think about other women while being intimate with ones spouse."

Pants are permitted
The phrasing of this question made me look:
I dont wear pants anymore i wanted to know if it is ok in shariah to wear pants or a suit with a tie to work.

If your employer requires you to wear shirt and pants to work, you may do so.
OK, so if this guy doesn't wear pants any more, exactly what does he wear?

Men can't work for women...or maybe they can...or...
Can a Muslim man work under a female boss or take order from a female in a workplace?

According to the Shari’ah, a female’s place is her home. She could come out from her home only in case of need and necessity which is recognised and accepted in Shari’ah. In that instance, she will have to observe the laws of Hijaab and Purdah in Shari’ah. She cannot intermingle with the opposite gender or take with a Ghayr Mahram male without need and necessity. Ghayr Mahram is he with whom marriage is permissible. If she violates the laws of Hijaab, it will be a major sin.

It is permissible for a female to have a male employee. If the male is a Ghayr Mahram, then the laws of Hijaab must apply.

Allah approves of lasers
Q: Can a boy trim his bushy eyebrows using Laser Hair removal?

A: If you eyebrows have become so thick that they are about double the thickness of those of a normal person, thus they have become a fault, then there is permissibility for bringing them back to their normal size...Your eyebrows CANNOT be thinned so much that they become thinner than what is normal.

A few other gems gleaned from the site

  • It's OK to shower with your wife.

  • Phone sex is OK (as long as it's with your wife).

  • It's OK for a man and his mother-in-law to hug, but if it causes either one to "feel passion", it invalidates the marriage.

  • It's forbidden for a man to suck his wife's breast in order to get milk.

  • It's OK to marry and have sex with a girl as soon as she hits puberty.

  • Islam dictates how long menstruation lasts.

  • Psychokinesis is permitted, provided it's performed for social benefit.

  • Paying even one penny of interest is equivalent in sin to having sex with your mother 53 times.

There are plenty more at Not to be missed are the many questions about masturbation and wet dreams.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Biden: Troops should only stay in Iraq if they're no longer needed there

In statements made on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware said that we should bring the troops home from Iraq if the political situation there doesn't improve by the end of the summer. He went on to say that if he "knew what he knows now when Congress voted on the Iraq war resolution, he would have opposed it" according to the AP article.

So, to summarize: If the troops are still needed in Iraq they should be brought home. But if they're no longer needed in Iraq, they should stay. And if Sen. Biden thought it'd be difficult to invade a country, throw its murdering dictator in jail, establish a brand new government, and unite factions that have been killing each other for 1,200 years, he'd have been against it.

Oh yeah...he's a great choice for president in 2008.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sanity, or just good marketing?

I came across this op-ed piece in the Fredericksburg Freelance-Star yesterday morning, and thought, "hmm...this is a pretty sharp guy". The article, headlined "Muslims, mad and militant, set their sights on a quailing Europe". It's a very well-reasoned article discussing the Islamic bullying of a multi-culti Europe, and the Europeans' less than courageous response.

At the end of the article, I noted that it was written by Fred Siegel, of the Progressive Policy Institute. My Pavlovian response to the word "progressive" was to Google Mr. Siegel and his PPI just to find out what they were all about. My search turned up a fair number of articles written by Mr. Siegel, most of which seemed far more conservative than "progressive". Next stop, the PPI web site.

Let's see...."The Bush administration has responded to the nation's rapidly deteriorating health care system with a bundle of proposals that not only fail to reduce costs...(blah blah blah)". Next article: "Billions of people worldwide living in low-income villages and urban neighborhoods are seeking information and communications technologies...(blah blah blah)". OK, now this is much closer to what I think of as "progressive" talking points. So maybe Mr. Siegel was taken on to fill some sort of bizarre quota.

Then I look up near the top-right corner of the page, and I see there are two tabs for the PPI, and one for the Democratic Leadership Committee. *DING!* Now I get it. The DLC has been trying to move the party to the center, much to the chagrin of the DNC. The Democratic National Committee has been firmly in the grasp of the most hard-core leftists the party has to offer, and is credited with the losses the Dems have suffered in the past few big elections.

So, there you have it. The PPI and the DLC (the leadership of which Hillary Rodham Clinton is a member) are one and the same. They even share the same suite at the same address.

But with Sen. Clinton involved in the leadership, they're not fooling me.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Islam: Religion, or political-military movement?

When comparing Islam to other religions of the world, one of the first questions that comes to mind is, what makes Islam so different from the others? Putting aside for the moment all the atrocities that have been committed in the name of Islam over the years, consider the central beliefs of the religion.

Monotheism: Muslims believe there is only one God (Allah), and in fact it's the same God worshipped by Jews and Christians. In the five pillars of Islam, this is known as shahadah, and declares "there is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger".

Charity: This is known as zakat in the five pillars and requires Muslims to practice charity.

Regular prayer: This is salaat in the five pillars of Islam, and requires Muslims to pray five times a day at prescribed times.

Fasting: Muslims must fast (sawm) during Ramadan, similar to the Lenten practices in Christianity.

Pilgrimage: Known as hajj in the five pillars, this requires all capable Muslims to travel to Mecca at least once in their life time.

When Islamic groups try to reassure the public that Islam is a "religion of peace", they trot out the five pillars of Islam as if to say "See? We're just a bunch of peaceful, God-fearing citizens like all you Christians and Jews!". But there's more to Islam than the five pillars.

The Qu'ran (the word of Allah dictated to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel) and hadiths (sayings and teachings of Mohammed and his closest companions) are loaded with exhortations to wage war in the effort to spread Islam, and with instructions on how to govern Islamic society according to Shari'ah (Islamic law). That political-military doctrine remains at the core of Islamic teaching today.

Without getting into a discussion of whether Mohammed was truly a prophet or just another desert warlord, it's important to note that no other major religion holds this doctrine today. To get a glimpse of just how committed Islamic scholars and clerics are to this doctrine, take a look at the Hizb ut-Tahrir web site. The aim of Hizb ut-Tahrir in their own words:

Its aim is to resume the Islamic way of life and to convey the Islamic da’wah to the world. This objective means bringing the Muslims back to living an Islamic way of life in Dar al-Islam and in an Islamic society such that all of life’s affairs in society are administered according to the Shari’ah rules, and the viewpoint in it is the halal and the haram under the shade of the Islamic State, which is the Khilafah State. That state is the one in which Muslims appoint a Khaleefah and give him the bay’ah to listen and obey on condition that he rules according to the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and on condition that he conveys Islam as a message to the world through da’wah and jihad.

The Party, as well, aims at the correct revival of the Ummah through enlightened thought. It also strives to bring her back to her previous might and glory such that she wrests the reins of initiative away from other states and nations, and returns to her rightful place as the first state in the world, as she was in the past, when she governs the world according to the laws of Islam.

It also aims to bring back the Islamic guidance for mankind and to lead the Ummah into a struggle with Kufr, its systems and its thoughts so that Islam encapsulates the world
Just so there's no confusion, Kufr means infidels. That'd be you and me, unless you happen to be a Muslim.

So, just how is this significantly different from those other political-military movements known as Fascism and Communism? Beats me.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Tanks for the beer

The Coors brewing company is building their first east coast brewery in Elkton, Virginia. Now, you can't have a brewery without a fermentation tank, where the unfinished beer, called wort, is alchemized from a rather unsavory mixture of water, malted barley gruel, hops and yeast into a tasty intoxicating beverage.

Coors, as you know, is a very large brewer, and so needs a very large fermentation tank, something along the lines of 70 feet tall, and 20 feet in diameter with a capacity of 126,000 gallons. Oh, and not just one -- they'll need 40 of them.

So where, exactly, does one get these things? From Germany, of course! The tanks were shipped from Germany by, well, ship and arrived at a port in Virginia. They were then taken by river barge as far as King George County, where they were left awaiting land transport to their final destination of Elkton, some 95 miles to the west.

They'll start that last leg of the journey at midnight tonight. As a test run, only one tank will make the first trip (check out this Fredericksburg Freelance-Star article to see just how difficult it is to move these bad boys), and assuming all goes well, five tanks will make the trip very early every Sunday and Wednesday morning until they're all moved.

Now, if only they were brewing good beer out there in Elkton.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Jack Straw grovels to Islam

The First Post leans pretty steeply to the left, and is often condescendingly anti-American, but for some reason, I still find myself reading it from time to time. I was reminded today why.

This week's edition (the site bills itself as "the weekly magazine that changes daily") carries a well-aimed editorial by Sean Thomas against British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. It seems that in some public comments, Mr. Straw referred to Mohammed as "the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him" in much the same reverent manner as would an adherent of Islam.

Mr. Thomas raises the legitimate question of whether Mr. Straw would show similar respect to Christians or Jews during public comments.

Not bloody likely, me thinks.