Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why the Democrats suck more than anything has ever sucked before

Clyburn: Positive Report by Petraeus Could Split House Democrats on War

No acknowledgment that a positive report on Iraq might indicate that things are going well for Iraqis. It's just that it might be bad for his party.
Clyburn noted that Petraeus carries significant weight among the 47 members of the Blue Dog caucus in the House, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats. Without their support, he said, Democratic leaders would find it virtually impossible to pass legislation setting a timetable for withdrawal.

"I think there would be enough support in that group to want to stay the course and if the Republicans were to stay united as they have been, then it would be a problem for us," Clyburn said. "We, by and large, would be wise to wait on the report."

Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us."
What a fucking putz, but very helpful in being Exhibit A of what's wrong with his party.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Be on the lookout

Woman sought in New York castration death
Police were seeking a woman for questioning in the castration and death of a 55-year-old man in the Rockaways section of Queens...
Hmmm...has anyone seen Hillary today?

Commie propaganda 'art'

On the (extremely) rare occasions when I visited the Daily Kos web site, there was always something that bugged me about the banner at the top of the page. I could never quite put my finger on it, until this morning.

I came across this image of an old Czech communist party propaganda poster, and that's when it hit me. The dKos banner is startlingly similar in style, no?

Father of "Reaganomics" is a truther

I was all set to post a blast against Novosti Russian News and Information Agency about this article, until I looked into the guy quoted in the article as the source. According to the article:
A former Reagan official has issued a public warning that the Bush administration is preparing to orchestrate a staged terrorist attack in the United States, transform the country into a dictatorship and launch a war with Iran within a year.

Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, blasted Thursday a new Executive Order, released July 17, allowing the White House to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies and giving the government expanded police powers to exercise control in the country.

Roberts, who spoke on the Thom Hartmann radio program, said: "When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order], there's no check to it. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule."
I fully expected this to be 100% fabricated, neo-Soviet Russian propaganda. But, not wanting to go off half-cocked, I figured it wouldn't hurt to first check into Mr. Paul Craig Roberts. As it turns out, Roberts is a dyed-in-the-wool, BDS-afflicted truther. It was still neo-Soviet Russian propaganda, but not at all fabricated.

Here's a guy, an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Freakin' Reagan, who's a truther. I can't stand it any more.

Update: Oh, and if you were wondering who Thom Hartmann is, he's the guy who replaced Al Franken on Air America Radio. Go figure.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bob Hope on politics

Venezuela's transition to commie state continues apace

Religion being the opiate of the masses and all that, one of the major tasks on any aspiring evil commie overlord's to-do list is to marginalize key religious figures. Venezuela's commie cartoon character in chief, Hugo Chavez, is well on his way to doing just that.
The Honduran Congress has demanded an apology from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for calling a Honduran cardinal an "imperialist clown."

Chavez was responding to criticism from Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, who said in a recent interview cited by Venezuela's Bolivarian News Agency that Chavez "thinks he's God and can trample upon other people."

[ ... ]

Chavez has repeatedly clashed with Catholic leaders in Venezuela, calling them "liars" and "perverts," though he rarely targets high-ranking priests abroad.

Hizballah threatens, UN yawns

What is the UN doing in Lebanon if not keeping Hizballah from rearming and threating Israel again? Might as well send all the UN troops home for all the good they're doing.
Hezbollah's leader said Saturday that the militant Islamic group's war last summer with Israel has left the U.S. vision of a "new Middle East" in shambles and claimed the guerrilla group was ready to strike Israel again at any time.

During the 34-day war in southern Lebanon, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for a new era of democracy and peace in the region, "a new Middle East."

But Hezbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, said the U.S. vision aimed at reinforcing Israel.

"There is no new Middle East," Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah told a mass rally in the southern town of Bint Jbeil, one of the towns hardest hit by the war. "It's gone with the wind."

Nasrallah did not personally attend the rally to mark the first anniversary of the war which Hezbollah calls "a divine victory. His speech was relayed to the crowd on a giant screen set up in the main square of Bint Jbeil. [Tough guy, that Nasrallah. --ed.]

Nasrallah said the guerrilla group would never be at peace with Israel.

"We will not wait for anyone to defend us. We will defend ourselves and our country," he said. "We possess and we will continue to possess rockets that can hit any area in occupied Palestine if Israel attacks Lebanon," he added.
So what are all those blue beanies doing in Lebanon? Oh, that's right...picking flowers.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Radical left-wing thugs threaten mom and pop businesses

Left-wing extremists from groups like moveon.org and the Daily Kos are campaigning against Fox News Channel's advertisers. In addition to large advertisers like Home Depot, they're specifically targeting small businesses:
At least 5,000 people nationwide have signed up to compile logs on who is running commercials on Fox, Gilliam said. The groups want to first concentrate on businesses running local ads, as opposed to national commercials.

"It's a lot more effective for Sam's Diner to get calls from 10 people in his town than going to the consumer complaint department of some pharmaceutical company," Gilliam said.
Kristallnacht, anyone?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Vatican warns of 'Islamisation of Europe'

This one's sure to spark some, uh, spirited debate. The Pope's private secretary was recently interviewed by a German magazine, and had a few words of warning for the citizens of Europe:
"Attempts to Islamise the West cannot be denied," Monsignor Georg Gaenswein was quoted as saying in an advance copy of the weekly Sueddeutsche Magazin to be published today.

"The danger for the identity of Europe that is connected with [Christianity] should not be ignored out of a wrongly understood respectfulness," the magazine quoted him as saying.
Cue the street protests, Ahmed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ward Churchill hits the bricks

It took the University of Colorado long enough, but at long last the board of regents has voted to kick Ward "Little Eichmanns" Churchill to the curb.

Predictably, the reaction to his dismissal is divided along ideological lines, with the lefties in hysterics over this egregious violation of a university professor's free speech. Of course, anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty knows Churchill was shown the door due to his own lack of intellectual honesty.

Churchill, of course, is suing.

Moonbat film producer busted for desertion

Sweet. One of the shitbuckets responsible for the 9/11 paranoid fantasy Loose Change has been busted for deserting from the Army.

Hat tip: Hot Air

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Democrats in Congress say...

Shamelessly lifted from Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna. Hope you don't mind, Baron. This one's too good not to pass around.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Why do Democrats hate John Doe?

The most burning question this weekend, besides "does Harry Potter die?", has to be what the hell the Democrats have against John Doe. John Doe, by the way, is you and me.

While not a single Republican voted against the amendment which would have protected from lawsuits those reporting suspicious activity, enough Democrats voted against it to defeat the amendment.

I've come to loathe the party to which I once belonged...their track record on this issue has been positively criminal.

Time to clean up CIA?

If George W. Bush has learned one thing during his six plus years in office, it's that the Central Intelligence Agency can't be trusted with its own secrets. These days, any CIA desk jockey who disagrees with the current administration's policies can subvert those policies by leaking information on classified intelligence programs to the press. But, as the Strategy Page says in this article, the latest leak makes the previous ones pale by comparison.
The latest case of intelligence leaks actually makes past leaks to the press look good. In this case, CIA personnel who opposed the secret prisons for terrorists program, proceeded to assist an investigation run by the Council of Europe into the program. This is not only going to render American personnel more vulnerable to lawfare, but it will also make gathering intelligence harder – both with sources recruited by American agencies, and cooperation with other countries' intelligence agencies.
By anyone's measure, moving from leaks to the press to leaking directly to a foreign entity represents a major escalation. The President needs to direct the CIA to smoke out these treasonous scumbags and put them in federal pound-them-in-the-ass prison for life.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tax collectors with guns

A few years back, I was driving home from Arlington, Virginia at around 5:30 in the afternoon. I got on I-395 near the then battle-scarred Pentagon, and anyone who does that drive on a regular basis can tell you about the soul-crushing traffic there at that time of day.

Within minutes of entering that bumper-to-bumper traffic, my car overheated, and I moved as quickly as I could into the breakdown lane and stopped my car. After shutting off the engine, I looked up and saw a Virginia state trooper, blue lights flashing, in my rearview mirror. I thought, “Wow…that’s got to be record time for a cop to be coming to the aid of a motorist in distress.” Well, as it would turn out, this officer was not there for my benefit. He told me I had been—if you can believe this—illegally driving on the shoulder.

Upon being told this, I turned the key and directed the friendly trooper’s attention to my temperature gauge, the needle of which was restrained only by the peg at the top. He nodded, walked back to his cruiser, and returned a few minutes later...with a summons to appear in court for illegally driving on the shoulder.

I invited the trooper to once again examine my temperature gauge and acknowledge to me verbally that he did, in fact, see that it was pegged; in the red zone; maxed out and otherwise not looking very healthy. I told him that this was to ensure that when I appeared in court and pleaded not guilty, he would be perjuring himself should he testify otherwise. He acknowledged the gauge, and wished me a nice day.

A couple of months later, I showed up at traffic court on the appointed day, armed with the receipt from having my faulty radiator fan repaired. When I pleaded not guilty, the judge turned to the “arresting officer” for his testimony. He proceeded to relate the story described above, almost verbatim. Looking somewhat confused, the judge turned to me and asked me for my side of the story. Now, understand that I was pumped. I was ready with convincing arguments, ready to present evidentiary exhibits on my behalf and feeling pretty belligerent. Expecting a tougher fight, all I could say was “Uh, yeah…what he said”, or something to that effect. The judge, looking a bit disappointed, dismissed the case. I’m not sure yet if the judge was disappointed in the cop’s poor judgment or in the loss of revenue for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

I relate this story as background, because it shows a pattern in the Commonwealth of Virginia of using law enforcement as glorified toll collectors.

On the first of July this year, a law went into effect imposing extortionist fees on Virginia driver's license holders for traffic violations. These fees are to be levied on top of the usual fines ordered by the courts. Here's a sampling of the new fees:
  • Driving on a suspended license: $750
  • Reckless driving: $1,050
  • Driving under the influence: $2,250
  • Other traffic misdemeanors, which might include under-inflated tires: $900
  • Driving-related felonies: $3,000
  • Demerit points: $100 annually from drivers with eight or more points on their records. An additional $75 is collected for every point beyond eight up to a maximum of $700
The stated purpose of these fees is to make up a shortfall of $65 million needed for road improvement projects.

This scheme poses a few very obvious problems:
  • State and local police will be incented to target state residents while giving out-of-staters a pass.
  • The state should never be in the position of relying on illegal behavior for budgeted revenue.
  • Lastly, and here's the biggest single problem, concerns over revenue might prevent the passage of sensible legislation that would reduce dangerous driving!
A fundamental principle of civil administration at any level is to set taxation at levels consistent with budgetary requirements, i.e., the state must tax its citizens at a level consistent with state spending. If the state is short on money, it either increases taxes or cuts spending. Very simple, but either solution requires some amount of political courage, something of which the Virginia state legislature is apparently devoid.

Update: A shorter version of this post appeared in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star as a letter to the editor.

Che, the movie

It had to happen sooner or later. Currently in production, starring the enormously talented Benicio Del Toro in the title role, is Guerrilla (or The Argentine, depending on which IMDB entry is most current), a movie based on the life of Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

The movie will either beatify Che as the hero-saint of the downtrodden, or be historically accurate and show him as the murdering commie that he was. I'm betting on the former.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

'The least of the Kennedy brothers'

This unfortunate anniversary would have passed unnoticed for me if it hadn't been for Roger's post over at XDA.
On this day in 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) got away with manslaughter when he drove his mother's car off the Dike Bridge and into shallow Poucha Pond on Chappaquiddick Island, due East of Martha's Vineyard, and killed Mary Jo Kopechne.

[ ... ]

[There's evidence that] Ms. Kopechne was alive for a while after the plunge, perhaps two hours, breathing air trapped in the back of the car, and suffocated rather than drowned when the CO2 level in the air pocket got too high.

[ ... ]

Valiant rescuer Kennedy walked back from the accident passing two houses with people in them and their lights on to the place where the party (six single women, six married men, plenty of alcohol) had taken place, but did not report the accident to police for at least 11 hours. Neither Ted Kennedy, the least of the Kennedy brothers, nor any of Kennedy's friends at the party thought twice, apparently, about leaving Ms. Kopechne in the water for that long. Prompt notification of the proper authorities might well have saved her.
The shame belongs not just to Kennedy, but to the voters of Massachusetts.

What I'd have been blogging about in the 1980s

I spotted an item in the Times of London and thought it was a "25 years ago this day" type of article when I read the headline: RAF scrambles to intercept Russian bombers

Unfortunately, this happened just yesterday.
RAF fighter jets were scrambled to intercept two Russian strategic bombers heading for British airspace yesterday, as the spirit of the Cold War returned to the North Atlantic once again.

The incident, described as rare by the RAF, served as a telling metaphor for the stand-off between London and Moscow over the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

While the Kremlin hesitated before responding to Britain’s expulsion of four diplomats, the Russian military engaged in some old-fashioned sabre-rattling.

Two Tu95 “Bear” bombers were dispatched from their base on the Kola Peninsula in the Arctic Circle and headed towards British airspace.
Troubling times.

Extortion by any other name...

Un-freakin'-believable. Well, actually, it's all too believable, unfortunately.

The six medical professionals (five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physician) held by Libya since 1999 have had their death penalties lifted. The six were accused of deliberately infecting children with HIV, even though visiting HIV experts concluded that the infection was from poor hospital hygiene.

So, did the Libyan authorities suddenly decide that the doctor and nurses were, in fact, innocent? Uh, not exactly...the change of heart was prompted by the payment of $460 million to the families of the infected children.
The announcement came after the families of the infected children confirmed they had received compensation payments totalling $460 million (£230 million). Idriss Lagha, a spokesman for the victims' families, said: "All the families received the compensation money. They are now signing documents saying they got the compensation and accept the High Judicial Council to take the decision it sees appropriate." He said each family would receive $1 million.
Of course, there's absolutely no chance that any money went to Qaddafi's government (or to Qaddafi himself!)...I'm absolutely certain that none of the families signed those documents under duress.

Galloway's problems mount

That's Galloway second from left at a "We are all Hizballah" anti-Israel hate-fest last summer.

I take no small amount of pleasure in reading about the perils of George Galloway, British MP and moonbat extraordinaire. It was announced last week that Galloway was facing suspension from Parliament, and today the Telegraph reports that he may face criminal charges over his financial links to Saddam Hussein's regime.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

News blackout on Swiss crop circle?

I noticed a whole lotta visitors (relative to the usual trickle) over the past few days, even though I was traveling and hadn't posted much. It turns out the majority of the visitors were coming from Google searches for news on the crop circle discovered in Corcelles-pres-de-Payerne, Switzerland, and my post on the topic from ten days ago tops the list of search results.

Oddly, for as much interest as the story appears to have generated, there's nothing available on Yahoo News, and only the Fox News story on Google News, which I linked back on the 7th.

So, consider this the official launch of the Corcelles-pres-de-Payerne paranoid conspiracy theory: What are they hiding?


Danish Muslim group seeks fatwa

An Islamic group in Denmark is seeking a fatwa to determine the appropriate seethe and rage level after a Danish politician was acquitted of libel in a Danish court.

Pia Kjærsgaard, head of the Danish People's Party, had been accused by Danish Muslim group Islamisk Trossamfund of libel. It seems that last year, Ms. Kjærsgaard referred to a group of Danish Imams, who toured several Islamic countries to stir up outrage over the Mohammed cartoons, as traitors.

And while they're at it...
Islamisk Trossamfund also said Friday [they would] seek a fatwa for Jyllands-Posten if the newspaper does not apologise for printing the cartoons or if there is no court judgement against the newspaper.
The Religion of Perpetual Outrage.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Media notices Ellison's trutherist moonbattery

Captain Ed had this a week ago, and Fox News has just today picked it up on their web site. But it's doubtful we'll see this anywhere else:
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is defending himself Monday after comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler and leaving the impression the administration may have rigged the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Speaking to an atheist group on July 8, Ellison said that the president acted much the way Hitler did when the Reichstag, or German Parliament building, was burned in 1933 ahead of elections that pitted Hitler's Nazi Party against others, including the Communists. Hitler, who was suspected of ordering the fire, declared emergency powers that helped him launch his dictatorial and murderous reign.

"It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," Ellison told the group, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."

[ ... ]

During his speech, Ellison went on to tell the 350-member Atheists for Human Rights: "I'm not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that, because, you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you."
Uh, Keith, about that nut-ball box...you're already there, dude.

The leopard-eating chimps of the Congo

Giving lie to the notion of cute, cuddly monkeys, researchers now believe that there's a sub-species of killer chimps (any Bush jokes will be summarily deleted) stalking the forests of the Congo.
Forest dwellers have told visiting explorers and scientists of a ferocious grey ape, with the cunning of a chimpanzee and the power and size of a gorilla - and a taste for meat rather than the shrubbery loved by most apes.

For, unlike most apes, these are predators - capable of hunting not only forest antelope but, incredibly, lion and leopard too. And to cap it all, like wolves, these fearsome beasts howl at the Moon.
Well, maybe not quite so dramatic, but pretty scary nonetheless:
And yet, despite the aura of mythology that surrounds these improbable creatures, many scientists believe that something new and unusual does indeed live in the impenetrable forests of Africa's Heart of Darkness.

In particular, the locals' tales about the giant, unusual apes which have been noted by Western explorers since the late 1890s are simply too similar, too coherent, to be dismissed as fanciful exaggeration.

And now, it seems that Congolese mystery ape is finally coming into the spotlight of scientific respectability.

At last, a group of researchers has succeeded in studying these animals first-hand over a long period, and has not only confirmed their existence, but also described a fascinating animal about whom not all the myths are true, and yet which lives up to - in some respects - its legendary reputation.

Congolese people have long told Western explorers and biologists about a species of ape which looks like a big chimpanzee, yet which sleeps on the ground like a gorilla and hunts big cats for food.

[ ... ]

Then, in 2004, Shelly Williams, a primatologist affiliated to the Jane Goodall Institute, revealed the first recorded close encounter by a scientist with these creatures, in the New Scientist.

"We could hear them in the trees, about 20ft away - and four suddenly came rushing through the bush towards me," she wrote. "If this had been a bluff charge they would have been screaming to intimidate us.

"These guys were quiet, and they were huge." At first, she feared they were 'coming in for the kill', but perhaps sensing an unknown danger, they thought better of it and retreated.

She said the apes had a flat face, with a wide muzzle and - most strikingly - grey fur all over their face and bodies. It seems that Crichton's fictional grey killer apes had been found.

[ ... ]

Now, a researcher called Cleve Hicks at the University of Amsterdam has spent 18 months observing the Bili apes at close quarters. What he found was intriguing - a population of extremely large chimpanzees with their own distinct 'culture' and, indeed, a liking for the meat of big cats.

One was seen scavenging on the carcass of a leopard, although it is not known if the ape had killed the cat.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Caffeine jolt

A bit paler than a Guinness.

I got into Frankfurt late last night, so it was a good thing that I didn't have any meetings until the afternoon. As a result, I was able to sleep in a bit (well, until almost 7:30AM, anyway), and stop by my favorite coffee shop in Heidelberg, Star Coffee. Sort of like Starbucks without the bucks.

On my first visit to Heidelberg about three years ago, I stopped into this coffee shop and asked for a cappuccino. When the young lady asked "kleine oder grosse?" (small or large), I said "grosse", of course. I wasn't prepared for a cappuccino served in a pint (well, 5ooml) sized glass. I really felt the need for a kick this morning, and this much caffeine will definitely get your cerebellum throbbin'.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hold the haggis, please

The Scotsman. A very nice hotel, with many modern amenities in the room.
Unfortunately, air conditioning isn't one of them.

After about a zillion trips to Europe, I finally made it to Scotland today. I got into Edinburgh around 6:30PM and was immediately regretting that I'd only be here for a day before heading off to the next stop. Edinburgh is one beautiful city.

I'm staying at The Scotsman hotel in the heart of the old city. As we were driving into the city from the airport, my colleague pointed out a particularly old and stately-looking building. After looking for a moment, I said "Dude...that's our hotel."

I'll definitely have to take the wife over here for a vacation.

'Most fatuous fundraiser ever'

Richard Littlejohn at the Daily Mail is on a roll. His latest target is Live Earth:
Live Earth has to be the most fatuous fundraiser ever. Where is the money going?

Sorry if I sound like a heretic, but while I accept we shouldn't deliberately pollute and do our best to recycle our rubbish, I don't accept that 'climate change' is the biggest threat to the planet.

That would be global Islamist terrorism right now. Its stated intention is to kill us and destroy our way of life.

If rock singers and TV stars want to do something constructive, why don't they have a series of shows against jihad?

Madonna could kick it off in Iran, but the bare flesh and conical bras would have to go. Graham Norton could host the Kabul concert, though he might be lucky to get out without having a brick wall pushed on top of him.

I'm sure rappers like Puff Doggy would go down a storm with the Wahabis in Saudi Arabia, given their mutual enthusiasm for women's rights, homosexuality and drive-by executions.

Send the Spice Girls to Lahore. They'd look very fetching in designer burkas. The whole event could be beamed round the world by the BBC, being careful not to mention any connection between terrorism and Islam, perish the thought.


I'm not given to X-Files-ish, "The Truth Is Out There" theorizing, but I thought this was pretty interesting.

A crop circle appeared in a corn field in Corcelles-pres-de-Payerne, Switzerland last weekend, and nobody seems to know how it might have been made.

I've seen news segments on how people made crop circles England, but this one seems beyond the capabilities of those methods. Just how does one make a crop circle like this?

Here's the Swiss news story on it in English.

Update: Unfortunately, that link doesn't work. Try this link to a Fox News story about it, and then follow the link in that story to the Swiss news item.

Monday, July 09, 2007

'Please exit the station immediately'

Once again, I find myself in London's Docklands area. This time it's not so bad...I'm near Canary Wharf, which at least has something going for it. So I hop on the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) and take a ride as far into central London as it will take me, which is the Bank station. At the Bank station, one can transfer to the London Underground via the Monument station, which, as far as I can tell, is actually the same station as the Bank station. But never mind that.

As the train pulls into the Bank station, I step off the train and am immediately greeted by a PA announcement advising me that due to a "reported emergency", I should "please exit the station immediately". Given that the failed 7/21 bombers in London were convicted just today and there might be some backlash, I (and apparently everyone else in the station) decided to just go ahead and exit the station immediately. Not that I was planning on spending the rest of the afternoon 50 or 100 feet underground or anything like that, but I wasn't going to waste any time getting to street level, either. It's not like people were running around screaming, but everyone was walking at a very brisk pace, myself included.

Well, let's just say that thank God there wasn't a chemical bomb or anything like that. After about eighteen escalators (hyperbole alert!), I finally made it to street level. Seriously...it took forever to get out of that station. In an actual, no-shit, Allahu Akhbar situation, I'd have been better off just following the tracks...or taking a deep breath.

In the end, either there was a false alarm or some minor problem, because when I got back to the station a couple hours later for the return trip, all was well.

Sprint to customers: "You're fired"

I used to have a boss who said "Sometimes, you just have to know when to fire a customer." He was referring to those customers who were so hard to deal with that it wasn't worth the money we got out of them.

I wonder if he works for Sprint now.
Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) is breaking up with about 1,000 subscribers the company finds to be too high-maintenance, according to news reports.

The third-largest wireless carrier sent letters dated June 29 to the dumped clients stating: "The number of inquiries you have made has led us to determine that we are unable to meet your current wireless needs," according to reports.

The disconnected customers called customer service an average of 25 times a month, a rate 40 times higher than average customers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Customers have been given until the end of July to find new service.

Not-so-cute Knut

Oh, well...the love fest had to end. Just like kids, they're not so cute once they reach adolescence, which I think is roughly where Knut is now in bear years.

'Moderate' Malaysia becoming less moderate

Long and widely viewed as a model of Islamic moderation, Malaysia is losing the rights to that claim. The truth is, it's getting much harder for non-Muslims in Malaysia, which is 60% Muslim.
Deep in the heart of a Malaysian jungle, a preacher holds a meeting under the scorching midday sun, urging followers not to lose faith after their church was demolished by the government.

The razing of their simple brick church, among a spate of demolitions of non-Muslim places of worship in Malaysia, has heightened fears that the rights of minority faiths are being eroded despite provisions in Malaysian law guaranteeing every person the freedom to profess his own religion.

"Why did the government tear down our church when they say we are free to choose our religion?" asked preacher Sazali Pengsang.
And that's not all. Being born ethnic Malay means you're born Muslim, which in Malaysia is like joining the mafia insofar as the only way out is in a box:
The issue of religion has also been controversial for Muslims. They are not allowed to formally renounce Islam, and apostates are sent for counseling and, ultimately, fined or jailed if they do not desist.

Lina Joy, a Muslim by birth who converted to Christianity, recently lost a six-year battle to have the word "Islam" removed from her identity card.
Hat tip: Hot Air headlines.

Jihad Strikes!

Too good not to post.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain

I've long argued that Islamism, the political-military movement, is separate from Islam, the religion. Pardon my naiveté.

I learned today of an organization called the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, headed by Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui and his deputy, Jaffer Clarke. The positions of the Muslim Parliament are predictable: opposition to Britain's anti-terrorism acts, opposition to the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. But there's also opposition to forced marriages and honor killings, so they can't be all bad, right?

Well, decide for yourself by reading their "Muslim Manifesto". Some excerpts:
Of all the major religions of the world, Islam is the most “politicised”. At its inception Islam created a political platform from which Muslims were to launch themselves on a global role as founders of great States, empires and a world civilisation and culture. Political and cultural subservience goes against their grain. Yet in Britain today Muslims are being asked to accept subservience and the total disintegration of their identity, culture and religion, as the only real options open to them. This manifesto is based on the following assumptions:

1. that Muslims in Britain have to accept neither subservience as their inevitable and permanent condition nor the disintegration of their identity, culture and religion;
2. that, despite being a minority, Muslims here can define and pursue goals compatible with the goals of the global Ummah, the world community of Muslims, of which they are an integral part;
3. that Muslims in Britain need to create institutions and mobilise resources in pursuit of these goals;
4. that for Muslims this is also the only way to secure an honourable place in the wider British society;
5. that the option of “integration” and/or “assimilation” that is on offer as official policy in Britain must be firmly resisted and rejected.

Maxim: Muslims must develop their own identity and culture within Britain and as part of a global Muslim community, the Ummah.

[ ... ]

Muslims in Britain need a platform to debate issues vital to them as citizens of this country. They also need a platform where all shades of opinion can be freely expressed. Above all, Muslims need a body that can speak with authority on their behalf. A process of debate and deliberation to guide Muslim opinion towards a consensus requires a “house of representatives”. However, the mechanism for achieving an “elected” house does not at present exist. Community-wide institutionalisation and organisation will have to reach a very advanced stage before an “electoral” process can be introduced. It is possible for a carefully selected, balanced and “invited” house to be “representative of the Muslim community in Britain. This is the only practical option open to us at present. This body will be known as The Council of British Muslims (CBM). It will act as a “Muslim parliament” in Britain.

[ ... ]

Once The Council of British Muslims has been set up, steps will be taken to create a General Assembly of Muslims in Britain. The General Assembly may consist of up to 500 members. The membership of the General Assembly will be by invitation. It will consist of individuals and representatives of organisations, including those catering for the specialised needs of women, youth, students, businessmen, professionals and academics, etc. The General Assembly will be so constituted as to reflect the full spectrum of Muslim life in Britain.

[ ... ]


1. Islam allows Muslims to accept protection of life, property, and liberty from non-Muslim rulers and their political systems. Muslims placed in this situation may also pay taxes and other dues to a non-Muslim State ...
2. Muslims living under the protection of a non-Muslim State must obey the laws of that State, so long as such obedience does not conflict with their commitment to Islam and the Ummah. Other minorities in Britain, notably Jews and Roman Catholics, do the same. [Patently false. --ed.]
3. There are laws on the British Statute Book that are in direct conflict with the laws of Allah; these relate to such matters as usury, abortion, homosexuality, gambling, sale and consumption of alcohol, and the abolition of capital punishment; Muslims can neither agree with nor condone any part of a legal and social agenda which so flagrantly violates the laws of nature as well as of God.
4. Muslims will co-operate with the appropriate authorities for the maintenance of law and order and the promotion of peaceful and wholesome conditions for all our fellow citizens ...
5. Muslims will insist, and continue to insist for as long as it may be necessary, that the British State provide them, their religion and culture protection from gratuitous insult, obscenity and abuse ... [So THAT'S how all that silliness started. --ed.]
6. Muslims make it clear to the State, and all sections of British society, that they do not expect to be and will not tolerate being insulted and abused on grounds of their religion, culture and traditions.

Maxim: We are Muslims first and last.

[ ... ]

Jihad is a basic requirement of Islam and living in Britain or having British nationality by birth or naturalisation does not absolve the Muslim from his or her duty to participate in jihad: this participation can be active service in armed struggle abroad and/or the provision of material and moral support to those engaged in such struggle anywhere in the world [Including, presumably, Britain. --ed.]

[ ... ]

Muslims are faced with a vicious assault on their identity. Recent statements by leading figures in British Government and public life have made it clear that they expect, demand and will not be satisfied with anything less than our total “assimilation”. Essentially their attitude towards Islam has not changed since the Crusades; their strategy remains the same, only their tactics have changed.
It's important to note that the manifesto was written around 1990 or so when Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses blow-up was still relatively fresh. As explained at this link, the manifesto is a "historical" document, and does not "necessarily represent the Muslim Parliament’s current position on issues or reflect its current projects."

On the other hand, nowhere on the site are any of the points in the manifesto repudiated, nor any new manifesto published to supersede the original.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Richard Littlejohn on 'the new anti-Semitism'

I've commented previously on the casual anti-Semitism I've seen in Europe and I'm apparently not the only one who's noticed it.

Richard Littlejohn's latest column in the Daily Mail is a must-read. Mr. Littlejohn does a great job detailing the resurgent anti-Semitism in Britain and how it's become acceptable in mainstream (read: left-wing) thought.

A few choice excerpts:
A couple of years ago when the BBC approached me to make what they called an 'authored documentary' on any subject about which I felt passionate, I proposed an investigation into modern anti-Semitism to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Cable Street last October.

My thesis was that while the Far Right hasn't gone away, the motive force behind the recent increase in anti-Jewish activity comes from the Fascist Left and the Islamonazis.

It was an idea which vanished into the bowels of the commissioning process, never to return. Eventually the Beeb told me that they weren't making any more 'authored documentaries'.

I couldn't help wondering what might have happened if I'd put forward a programme on 'Islamophobia'. It would probably have become a six-part, primetime series and I'd have been up for a BAFTA by now.

But I persevered and Channel 4 picked up the project. You can see the results on Monday night.

When some people heard I was making the programme, their first reaction was: 'I didn't know you were Jewish.' [He's not. --ed.]

[ ... ]

The Labour MP John Mann told me that he experienced exactly the same reaction when he instigated a parliamentary inquiry into anti-Semitism.

'As soon as I set it up, the first MP who commented to me said: "Oh, I didn't know you were Jewish, John."' He isn't, either.

But the implication was plainly that the very idea of anti-Semitism is the invention of some vast Jewish conspiracy.

Mann's inquiry reported: 'It is clear that violence, desecration and intimidation directed towards Jews is on the rise. Jews have become more anxious and more vulnerable to attack than at any time for a generation or longer.'

That certainly bears out my own findings. After three months filming across Britain, I reached the conclusion: It's open season on the Jews.

[ ... ]

On London's Edgware Road, just around the corner from the Blairs' new Connaught Square retirement home, I was able to buy a copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, translated into Arabic. It was on open sale alongside the evening paper and the Kit-Kats.

You don't even have to be Jewish to find yourself on the end of anti-Semitic hatred. I met a Jack the Ripper tour guide in East London who was beaten up by a group of Muslim youths, who took one look at his period costume - long black coat and black hat - and assumed he was an Orthodox Jew and therefore deserving of a kicking. They didn't want 'dirty Jews' in 'their' neighbourhood.

[ ... ]

Opposition to the war and loathing of Israel has led the selfstyled 'anti-racist' Left to make common cause with Islamonazis. And 'anti-Zionism' soon tips over into straight- forward anti-Semitism.

[ ... ]

Blaming Israel is the last refuge of the anti-Semite. [London Mayor "Red" Ken] Livingstone insists he's not anti-Jewish, he just opposes the policies of the Israeli government.
Read the whole thing.

Live Earth: Enviro-hypocrisy

Today's wank-fest known as Live Earth marks new highs in self indulgence and new lows in hypocrisy by the celebrity-environmental movement complex. A global circle jerk of has-beens and wannabees will tell us that we must stop global warming, or global climate change...or something, all the while producing staggering amounts of carbon emissions just getting to the events.

No continent is safe from this plague today, with events planned in the following cities:
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Shanghai
  • Johannesburg
  • Hamburg
  • London
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • New Jersey
  • Washington
Even Antarctica gets a dose, with a webcast-only performance by Nunatak, a group of British scientists in Rothera.

Assuming for a moment that anthropogenic global warming (or climate change...or something) is a scientific fact, this series of events will cause far more of it than it'll prevent. A couple of rockers even recognize that fact:
"The last thing the planet needs is a rock concert," The Who's singer Roger Daltrey recently told a British newspaper.

"It would be a bit hypocritical for us to play when we are using enough power for ten houses just for stage lighting." (Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders)
I wonder if Al's wife Tipper approved the line-up.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Michael Yon's latest

The Dems say we should withdraw immediately from Iraq and leave these kids to their fate.

Michael Yon is an independent journalist reporting from Iraq on his own dime. To borrow a phrase from the immigration debate, he's doing the work American journalists won't do. I just can't imagine a reporter for a mainstream American media outlet reporting this:
The big news on the streets today is that the people of Baqubah are generally ecstatic, although many hold in reserve a serious concern that we will abandon them again. For many Iraqis, we have morphed from being invaders to occupiers to members of a tribe. I call it the “al Ameriki tribe,” or “tribe America.”

I’ve seen this kind of progression in Mosul, out in Anbar and other places, and when I ask our military leaders if they have sensed any shift, many have said, yes, they too sense that Iraqis view us differently. In the context of sectarian and tribal strife, we are the tribe that people can—more or less and with giant caveats—rely on.

Most Iraqis I talk with acknowledge that if it was ever about the oil, it’s not now. Not mostly anyway. It clearly would have been cheaper just to buy the oil or invade somewhere easier that has more. Similarly, most Iraqis seem now to realize that we really don’t want to stay here, and that many of us can’t wait to get back home. They realize that we are not resolved to stay, but are impatient to drive down to Kuwait and sail away. And when they consider the Americans who actually deal with Iraqis every day, the Iraqis can no longer deny that we really do want them to succeed. But we want them to succeed without us. We want to see their streets are clean and safe, their grass is green, and their birds are singing. We want to see that on television. Not in person. We don’t want to be here. We tell them that every day. It finally has settled in that we are telling the truth.
There's much more in the linked article, including a description of al Qaeda barbarity so depraved, I won't even quote it here. Read it all.

Bad karma

Just a day after being released from prison after serving a year for assault, theft and burglary, Tony Hicks found out that karma was not quite done with him.
The Daily Post-Athenian reported the series of events: On Sunday, Hicks was struck outside his apartment by a car driven by a woman who had been revving the engine. The driver was charged with aggravated assault. Police said Hicks went on his own to a hospital.

On Monday, Hicks' apartment was broken into by a knife-wielding burglar. He was robbed after being struck in the face with a coffee mug, a police report said. Hicks was taken to hospital for treatment.

On Tuesday night, a convenience store clerk said she saw a man enter the store with a white bandanna covering his face and what appeared to be a gun under his shirt. She said the man struck her and told her to open the register and give him the money, then fled on foot. Investigators said they recovered the cash.

Police records show officers tried to question Hicks in a lot behind his apartment when he told them he had a gun and threatened to shoot. He began a countdown, and officers shot him in the lower torso. Police said Hicks did not have a gun but had a knife.
This wasn't the first time the cops have had to draw down on Hicks:
Hicks' criminal record includes a past shootout with officers, Detective Bill Matthews said.
What goes around comes around, you reap what you sow, etc.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Continuing last year's tradition, here's the video from last night's fireworks festivities.

Unfortunately, the finale didn't come off exactly as planned, and my son had a hard time keeping the high-flyers (shot from 3" tubes!) in the frame with the lower detonations.

But pyromania is fun nonetheless.

Kindergartener pins rabid fox

Pretty impressive...
A 5-year-old boy grabbed a rabid fox by the neck and pinned it to the ground during a family cookout, protecting six other children before his stepfather could kill the animal.

"I wanted to protect my little brother," said Rayshun McDowell, who battled the fox in the front yard of his home Sunday in Kingstown, a town about 50 miles west of Charlotte.
I hope the kid gets more than an ice cream cone for his trouble.

Bad ad

I happened across this ad at the London Times web site this morning, and couldn't let it pass without comment. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, but it got me snickering.

Update: The ad is one of those that cycles through a few different panels. Here's the first panel:

New feature

I added Snap Shots to the blog this morning. This is a gadget that puts up a preview when you mouse over a link without clicking on it. This can help you decide if you want to follow the link.

I'm not sure yet if I'll leave the feature in, but if you decide you don't like it, you can disable it by clicking on the options icon (the little gear-like thingy) in the upper-right corner of the preview window, and disabling for either the current site or for all sites.

Let me know what you think of Snap Shots in the comments.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

'Religious students'

A "religious student" mugs for the cameras in Islamabad
(Someone should tell this guy that beards and gas masks don't mix)

I'm not linking any articles about the standoff between Pakistani government troops and *ahem* "religious students" at the Red Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan. There are plenty of news stories available on the various news sites and other blogs.

But I did want to post this picture, along with a rhetorical question: What kind of religion requires its students be armed to the teeth and equipped with gas masks, and why is it that not one of the news items I've read finds this odd?

To borrow a phrase from the truthers, Just askin' questions.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Just a bumper sticker

Spotted over at XDA.

'"Islamist" is the word...'

Anyone who's been a regular reader of anti-jihad blogs for the past four or five years is familiar with the term 'Islamist' and most people, left- or right-leaning, don't dispute its meaning. The word is generally used to separate Islamists as political-military activists from Muslims as practitioners of a religion.

In today's Telegraph, British MP Denis MacShane has an opinion piece which suggests that even this term, accurate though it may be, is too offensive for the sensitivities of some.
Six weeks ago, David Cameron wrote an article in the Observer criticising those who used the word "Islamist" to describe the ideological roots of the terrorist threat. Yet "Islamist" is an accurate description of a global ideology that has been slowly incubating for decades. It took 69 years between the writing of the Communist Manifesto and the imposition of Bolshevik terror on Russia after 1917. Hitler's hatred of Jews was derived from writings and ideologues active before he was born. The Islamist equivalent of Marx's revolutionary appeal can be found in the writing of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, with a growing presence in Egypt, as well as off-shoots such as Hamas and a European network, including prominent members of the Muslim Council of Britain.
A few weeks back, I made the distinction between Islamists and Muslims in a question I put to Robert Spencer in a Q&A over at Hot Air. Mr. Spencer, who knows far more about this stuff than I, replied that the notion of Islamists v. Muslims was a Western one and that it wouldn't wash in the Islamic world.

Mr. Spencer is certainly correct, but in the "selling" of the anti-jihad movement to the Western world, does it matter?

Grin milestone watch

You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a story in the drive-by media trumpeting the latest American death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan. And whenever that toll approaches some multiple of 1,000 we're bombarded by a barrage of "grim milestone" headlines.

So it was fortuitous timing, I thought, that I came across Terrorist Death Watch, a web site that keeps a running tally of the bad guys killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, just as the bad guy death toll is nearing a grin milestone of 7,000. The current tally is at 6,996.

Oh, and that's the toll just since January 2006. Only Allah knows how many came to call on him between 11 September, 2001 and December 2005.

Monday, July 02, 2007

This is how we do it

Spotted at Conservative Propaganda...

The back-story: A bunch of jihadis decide to take on a bunker manned by a bunch of US Marines. Armed with their own videographer (who enjoys a very brief career), they roll up towards the bunker and start taking fire before they can even un-ass their vehicles.

Guess which side wins?

Doctors of Jihad

First, do no harm. Contrary to popular belief, the Hippocratic Oath doesn't actually contain that line, but that's the gist of the oath. I guess the oath for jihadi physicians has some subtle differences.

It's not clear yet how many of the jihadis involved in the attacks in the UK over the past few days are physicians, but it appears at least a couple of them are. Which, of course, flies in the face of the leftists' claims that things such as poverty and lack of vocational opportunities top the list of "root causes" of terrorism.

But, if you're a lefty, never fear. You've still got US and British foreign policy to blame. Oh, wait:
When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.

By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the ‘Blair’s bombs’ line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology…

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Gitmo drumbeat goes on while terrorists amp up attacks

Oblivious to irony, The Telegraph has another Dick Cheney as Lord Vader story on their web site this morning, right under six stories about the UK terror attacks. All the usual bullshit is there, from America's dreadful treatment of terrorist scumbags to the "scandals" of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, and it's all Cheney's fault:
Vice-President Dick Cheney was personally responsible for American policies that subjected terrorist suspects to cruelty and denied them the right to a fair trial, according to revelations from senior US government officials.

The details have laid bare more than ever before the remarkable influence of Mr Cheney in shaping the prosecution of the war on terror which led to the scandals at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

...Vice-President Cheney went behind the backs of the secretary of state, Colin Powell, and the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to deny foreign terrorist suspects access to a court.

Then, in January 2002, Mr Cheney decided that America must abandon the Geneva Conventions governing the treatment of enemy prisoners, which outlawed torture.

He personally commissioned legal opinions that would maintain a ban on torture but permit "cruel, inhuman or degrading" interrogation methods.
This is pathetic. The Telegraph's editors, right after reporting on Islamic extremists who've just demonstrated their hatred and intent, wring their hands and wet their beds over how we're handling unlawful enemy combatants.

First, the bad guys we capture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere don't have the protections of our constitution. In fact, under international law, their legal status is closer to that of sea pirates. We shouldn't be taking prisoners, we should be bayoneting the wounded. But then we'd have nobody to "torture" for intel.

Which brings up the subject of "torture". With the exception of a few former detainees who've claimed being tortured, there's no evidence of actual torture. There have been a couple of videos floating around in which a reporter is waterboarded, and while it certainly looks like something I'd never want done to me, it hardly ranks up there with electrodes on the testicles. And any frat boy will tell you that panties on the head doesn't constitute torture.

Finally, the article reminds us of the "scandals at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib". Now, to be clear, Abu Ghraib was a scandal. Never, ever should our troops be engaging in that kind of conduct. American servicemen and women are briefed on the laws of armed conflict, which, the Telegraph's claims and our enemies actions notwithstanding, we still choose to follow. Blaming Cheney for Abu Ghraib is disingenuous in the extreme.

Guantanamo Bay, on the other hand, has not been the site of any scandals, except those fabricated by detainees and their accomplices in the press.

Maybe the problem is that in Britain, the terrorists are their own citizens and therefore protected under the law in a way that detainees at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay are not.