Friday, November 30, 2007

Chavez supporters get their turn

Supporters of Hugo Chavez's power grab got their turn at demonstrating today, two days after some 100,000 students and others protested in Caracas against the constitutional reforms.

Missing this time, of course, were the government troops thugs freely distributing tear gas and wood shampoo.

Lurching towards dhimmitude

Gillian Gibbons doesn't want you to feel any resentment toward these nice people.

Maybe it's in poor taste to point this out while the poor woman's still in prison, but statements by Gillian Gibbons carried in the Times of London just reek with the groveling submission of a dhimmi.
From her cell, the 54-year-old teacher from Liverpool said that she was devastated by the offence she had caused. “I would never insult anybody intentionally. People who know me know it’s not in my nature,” she told Kamal Djizoulli, her lawyer.

She has also appealed for tolerance, telling her son John Gibbons in a telephone conversation that she does not want “any resentment towards Muslim people”.
I know, I's easy to find fault with such statements while sitting in the comfort of one's home. Were I in her shoes, I sure as hell wouldn't exactly be railing against the filth holding me captive. I just wouldn't say a damned thing until I was safely out of that ass-backwards, God-forsaken, medieval hellhole of a country.

The stone-age animals who turned out from Friday "prayers" are screaming for her execution for naming a fucking teddy bear "Mohammed", for crying out loud. And the reason they do it is to elicit statements just like these. In other words, their lunatic, blood-thirsty fanaticism works.

Sudanese mosques whipping up an angry mob in teddy bear jihad

Friday prayers at Sudan's mosques are done, and predictably, the imams have stirred up a bloodlust in the faithful, calling for her execution.
Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Muhammad."

The protesters streamed out of mosques after Friday sermons, as pickup trucks with loudspeakers blared messages against Gillian Gibbons, the teacher who was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in prison and deportation.

They massed in central Martyrs Square, outside the presidential palace, where hundreds of riot police were deployed, although they did not attempt to stop the rally.

"Shame, shame on the U.K.," protesters chanted.

They called for Gibbons' execution, saying, "No tolerance: Execution," and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad."

The women's prison where Gibbons is being held is far from the site, as is the Unity High School where she taught, which is under heavy security protection.
Sounds like a target-rich environment to me.

Putin hard at work rigging this Sunday's election

Russian president Vladimir Putin is hard at work intimidating the opposition, rounding up dissidents and stuffing the ballot box with votes from public sector workers ordered to vote...or else.
The Kremlin is planning to rig the results of Russia's parliamentary elections on Sunday by forcing millions of public sector workers across the country to vote, the Guardian has learned.

Local administration officials have called in thousands of staff on their day off in an attempt to engineer a massive and inflated victory for President Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party. Voters are being pressured to vote for United Russia or risk losing their jobs, their accommodation or bonuses, the Guardian has been told in numerous interviews with byudzhetniki (public sector workers), students and ordinary citizens.

[ ... ]

The Kremlin insists Sunday's elections will be free and fair, despite inviting only 400 international observers to monitor the poll, which is taking place in 95,784 polling stations across the world's biggest country. This month the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) cancelled its mission to Russia after Moscow refused to give its experts visas.

[ ... ]

Bloggers on Russia's most popular social networking site, Livejournal, have posted numerous accounts of intimidation. One in Murmansk wrote that he was told that if he didn't vote for United Russia "the management would get it in the neck".

Another in Yekaterinburg wrote: "Today my wife came home in shock. As the boss of a state company she has been told that all her workers living in different parts of town must take absentee ballots and go to vote in Kirovsky district. She has to go and sit all day on December 2 and call round everyone in her collective. Then she has to provide a list of who has voted." She then received a directive warning her to add anybody who didn't vote for United Russia to a list, and later those people would be "called to the office" of the local administration.
I'm sure Jimmy Carter will be quick to certify the election as fair and legitimate.

Lousy timing

While Gillian Gibbons languishes in a filthy prison in Khartoum for the "offense" of allowing a student to name a teddy bear Mohammed, the Vatican has responded warmly to the vaguely threatening letter sent by 138 Muslim leaders in October.

Pope Benedict XVI should have just sent them each a teddy bear named Mohammed.

New Aussie regime appoints one-hit wonder to environmental post

The new, left-wing government of Australia has chosen Peter Garrett, former Midnight Oil frontman, for Environment Minister.

Just in case you've repressed the horrible memories of this 1980s MTV favorite, here's a reminder. Garrett's the bald guy who does all the, uh, "singing".

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another questionable taser incident

The situation:
Woman goes to police station in Trotwood, Ohio with one-year-old child. Says she wants to give up custody of the kid.

Cop requests more information from woman. Woman becomes agitated, changes her mind, and attempts to leave.

Cop decides he doesn't want woman to leave and attempts to physically detain her. Cop tases woman in the neck.

According to the report, the cop was unaware the woman was pregnant...she didn't tell the cop, and she was wearing an overcoat. But that's completely beside the point. Why did the cop decide the woman warranted detention? Is it illegal to approach a police station with an issue, change your mind, and want to leave?

The video in the link paints a far less clear picture than the Utah taser incident. It's entirely possible that, based on the woman's state, the cop judged her to be a danger to the child that was with her.

But, still...

Will Kosovo be first proxy military confrontation with neo-Soviet Russia?

British conservative leader David Cameron will sound the alarm of instability in the Balkans, possibly precipitated by Russian opposition to an anticipated declaration of independence from Serbia by Kosovo.
Speaking in Washington, the Conservative leader will issue a stark warning that Russia's increasingly assertive foreign policy is jeopardising Britain's national security.

Mr Cameron fears a diplomatic and military crisis could arise over Kosovo, the province of Serbia which has effectively been a United Nations protectorate since Nato invaded to stop ethnic cleansing by Serb forces in 1999.

The ethnic Albanian government of Kosovo is threatening to declare independence from Serbia on Dec 10. Moscow is backing Serbian attempts to block the declaration, while the United States and the European Union are in favour.

"Let me make it clear: there could be a new crisis in the Balkans by Christmas," Mr Cameron will say in a speech to the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank.
If Kosovo does declare its independence on 12/10, the reaction from Vladimir Putin will have to be watched closely, as it could be a bellwether for future Russian activity in eastern and central Europe.

Amnesty International: From guardians of human rights to enforcers of socialism

Amnesty International accelerates its slide into irrelevance with a stinging rebuke of Denmark's welfare system. It seems, according to AI, that the Danish system of benefits for immigrants is discriminatory and therefore an abuse of human rights.
Amnesty International published a report today labelling the government's controversial Start Help benefit, discriminative and causing poverty and blaming it for marginalizing immigrants.

The benefit, paid instead of the regular state income support, is for unemployed people who have not resided in Denmark for seven out of the previous eight years.

[ ... ]

Stinne Lyager Bech, author of the report, emphasised: 'Even if the Start Help benefit was intended for all, in practice, it affects foreigners, and that is illegal.' [Illegal? According to whom? --ed.]

She also stated that the legislation was not in accordance with international human rights standards.

'Start Help is an example of discrimination that the Danish state is directly responsible for,' she continued. 'It must therefore be abolished.'
Fine, abolish it and let immigrants fend for themselves. What a bunch of left-wing idiots.

It's clear that Amnesty International, once a respectable human rights group, has become so infested with leftists that anything short of a socialist welfare utopia is a violation of "international human rights standards". In the meantime, true systemic violators of human rights get a free pass.

Simple problem befuddles Norwegian authorities

It's fashionable in Europe to depict the US as a fascist police state in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, but without context, it's hard to understand why they think that way. Well, here's your context.
Just three days after Norway's highest court upheld a state expulsion order against Mullah Krekar, the man who's considered a threat to the nation's security has made new threats against the country that's harboured him for years.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Thursday that Krekar, the former head of Islamic guerrilla group Ansar al Islam, told a Kurdish web site that he's sure the Norwegian authorities will never deport him, because that would spark "reaction" against Norway from his Islamic supporters.

Krekar told web site Awane that the "reaction" would come from his relatives, from an armed group, and also from those who follow his religious teachings and sympathize with him.

[ ... ]

The official [explanation of why Krekar remains in Norway] is that Krekar faces a death sentence if sent back to his native Iraq. Norway won't deport anyone if their lives would officially be in danger, and no other country has volunteered to take over responsibility for Krekar.

The mullah originally came to Norway as a refugee, later won permission to have his family join him, and since has lived largely off Norwegian welfare. He first got in trouble with Norwegian authorities when it became known that he had repeatedly violated the terms of his asylum by traveling voluntarily back to northern Iraq, to lead the guerrilla group. US authorities have long considered Krekar a terrorist suspect.
To a society that won't lock up or deport a terrorist over fears of what his fate might be, I guess one such as ours that deals harshly them might appear, well, harsh.

Incidentally, an appeals court in Norway ruled over a year ago that Krekar can be deported back to Iraq.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Only in Berkeley

The Berkeley, California city council loves the homeless so much, they're taking away the only places they can have sex, urinate and smoke.
It'll be tougher to have sex or smoke on sidewalks or in parks in Berkeley, Calif., after the City Council passed a controversial new measure Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Public Commons for Everyone Initiative cracks down on yelling, littering, camping, drunkenness, smoking, urinating and sex on sidewalks and in parks; the ordinance also provides housing benefits, counseling and public toilets to the university town's homeless population, the paper reports.

"There are people on the streets that we as a society are collectively responsible for," City Councilman Laurie Capitelli told the paper. "I think sometimes people need help fixing their lives, and we collectively have to help people do that."

Seniors and social workers will be responsible for monitoring street behavior, the Chronicle reports.
Seniors, huh? I wonder if Inflated Scrotum Man will be among them?

Venezuela students oppose constitutional reforms; Hugo's ex, too

Venezuela's aspiring commie dictator and president Hugo Chavez unleashed the hounds on students in Caracas opposed to proposed constitutional reforms that would greatly expand Chavez's powers and effectively make him Absolute Supreme Dictator For Life. Sort of like Oprah Winfrey, but with guns.
Soldiers outside the Metropolitan University in Caracas fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and students were seen carrying peers as smoke wafted through the air.

Meanwhile, Chavez took fire from one of his two ex-wives who urged Venezuelans to reject the slate of proposed constitutional changes that would greatly expand executive power.

Urging Venezuelans to vote "no" in Sunday's referendum on the changes to the nation's charter, Maria Isabel Rodriguez compared approving the referendum to a "leap into the dark."

Rodriguez, a journalist, also urged opponents to go to the polls to prevent possible vote-rigging.

"It will be more difficult for fraud to take place if we all vote," Rodriguez said at a news conference Tuesday. She divorced Chavez in 2004.
As Bryan at Hot Air said today, "One way or another, Chavez’s rule is becoming less and less likely to end well."

CAIR: Quick on the 'Islamophobia' panic button; silent on Sudan teddy bear crisis

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is hyper-fast in wailing about Islamophobia when it suits them, but when Muslims engage in outrageous behavior they're awfully silent.

While the American Islamic Congress issued a smack-down press release to Sudan, and even the Muslim Council of Britain was "appalled" at Sudan's detention and possible punishment by lashing of Gillian Gibbons, who committed the horrendous offense of naming a teddy bear "Mohammed", CAIR's silence on the Sudan teddy bear crisis is astonishing. OK, maybe just mildly surprising.

As a front for the hard-core Muslim Brotherhood, everybody knows where CAIR stands on these issues, and they sure as hell aren't going to jeopardize the funding they get from Saudi Arabia.

Driver in Utah taser incident wants viewers to stop threatening cop

Jared Massey, the Utah driver who was tased by Utah trooper Jon Gardner in a controversial incident, wants YouTube viewers to stop posting threats against the officer's life.
A man who posted a video of a Utah trooper shocking him with a Taser is asking people to "have some common decency" and stop making online threats against the officer.

"I wish people would realize and think about this: Trooper Gardner is a real person, he's got a real family. Real lives are being affected," Jared Massey said.
I suppose public statements such as this will go in his favor both in his criminal trial for resisting arrest and in his civil trial against Gardner and the Utah Highway Patrol.

I've actually modified my position on this slightly. My first reaction was an almost purely emotional one, and I thought Gardner shouldn't have tased Massey at all. Massey was ignoring Gardner's instructions and walking back to his vehicle, which all too often leads to an officer down. But I still fault Gardner for unnecessarily escalating the conflict by so quickly whipping out his taser and for not explaining to Massey the alternative to signing the citation, which in Utah is a ride downtown in handcuffs to appear before a magistrate.

Previous posts on this topic:
Sign zee papers
Follow up thoughts

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Syria joins the mid-east peace process

Our local paper, the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, had this great cartoon by editorial cartoonist Clay Jones in today's edition.

How unfortunately apt.

Weather report for France

Time to dust off the French weather report graphic again. For the second night, "youths" of no particular ethnic or religious background have rioted in Paris suburbs, once again over the deaths of two teens associated with police. This time, though, there's no question that the "victims" were at fault.
Rampaging youths threw Molotov cocktails and fired buckshot at police in troubled neighborhoods outside Paris on Monday, the second night of violence after two teens were killed in a crash with a police patrol car. Officials said 38 officers were wounded.

[ ... ]

Police officials said the teenagers ignored traffic rules and crashed into the police vehicle, and that the motorbike they were riding was unregistered and thus not authorized for use on French roads. Neither of the boys — ages 15 and 16 — were wearing a helmet as required by law, and the prosecutor's office said the bike was going at maximum speed.
Youth is wasted on the young.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Woman names teddy bear 'Mohamed'; gets sentenced to 40 lashes

A British school teacher in Sudan was turned into the authorities by parents of her students for naming her teddy bear 'Mohamed'. She'll receive 40 lashes for her, uh, cultural faux pas.
A British teacher is facing 40 lashes from police in Sudan where she has been accused of insulting Islam after naming a Teddy bear Mohamed.

Gillian Gibbons, 54, was being questioned at a police station in the capital Khartoum.

She had been working at one of the city's exclusive British schools for the past three months since giving up her job in Liverpool.

Police arrived at the old-fashioned brick and stone buildings of the Unity High School on Sunday to arrest Miss Gibbons after a complaint from parents that she had named the bear after Islam's most holy prophet Mohamed.

An angry mob shouted death threats as she was taken away.
Ain't Sharia grand?

Russia escalates probes; Norwegians unconcerned

Russian's military has expanded their probe of Europe's defenses with submarine patrols off the Norwegian coast, but Norwegian defense officials say it's nothing to worry about. And it's all America's fault, anyway.
The Russians have been sending fighter jets near Norwegian air space for months. Now some of their submarines have been tracked near territorial waters.

Norwegian officials have attributed the flights to an apparent need by the Russians to show renewed strength. They're not particularly alarmed over the emergence of the submarines as well.

"They showing off both a will and an ability to be a super power to be reckoned with," State Secretary Espen Barth Eide in the Defense Ministry told newspaper Aftenposten. "The u-boats are a Russian comment to the day's international themes."

Among those "themes" are the US' controversial plans to place a rocket shield system on the European continent. The Russians vigorously oppose the plans, and Barth Eide believes the dispatch of fighter jets and submarines is part of the official response.

[ ... ]

"I don't view the heightened Russian activity as alarming," he said.
I guess it's not particularly "alarming" until the sea- and air-launched cruise missiles start to fly.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Expose Ron Paul (or at least his supporters)

There's been little to nothing said in the press about the support GOP candidate Ron Paul gets from 9/11 "Truthers", and outside of the blogs, I've seen absolutely nothing at all about the support he's got from the white supremacist movement. Check out this forum on, an unapologetically white supremacist and anti-Semitic group.

The only members there who don't enthusiastically support Paul are those who complain that he hasn't actually released a statement saying that he's an active member of the KKK.

The media needs to make more of this so that the general public knows exactly what segments of the population are attracted to Ron Paul.

Update: Pimps support Ron Paul, too.

2007 a banner year for Saudi executioners

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has lopped off 136 heads so far this year, more than the past two full years combined.
Sunday's execution brought to 136 the number of people beheaded in the kingdom this year, according to an Associated Press count. Saudi Arabia beheaded 38 people last year and 83 people in 2005.
Rollin', rollin', rollin'.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Chavez power grab to fail?

Via Hot Air headlines...

From the too good to be true department, there's news of a recent poll indicating that Venezuela's Commie in Chief Hugo Chavez may lose out in his power grab referendum.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has lost his lead eight days before a referendum on ending his term limit, an independent pollster said on Saturday, in a swing in voter sentiment against the Cuba ally.

Forty-nine percent of likely voters oppose Chavez's proposed raft of constitutional changes to expand his powers, compared with 39 percent in favor, a survey by respected pollster Datanalisis showed.

[ ... ]

Chavez has trounced the opposition at the polls on average once a year and can deploy a huge state-backed machinery to get out the vote, Leon said.

Still, the survey was the latest blow to Chavez. He has suffered a series of defections over his plan, including an ex-defense minister who had restored him to power after a brief 2002 putsch but who called Chavez's reforms a new "coup."
If Chavez fails in effectively replacing the constitution with one-man rule, he'll have to leave office by 2013. But, polls notwithstanding, I don't expect the referendum to fail. Chavez will find a way to get this through, especially if Jimmy Carter returns to monitor it.

Survey: Truther morons now a majority

Holy crap...I knew there were an awful lot of stupid people in this country, but I never dreamed it would come to this.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the federal government had warnings about 9/11 but decided to ignore them, a national survey found.

[ ... ]

Only 30 percent said the 9/11 theory was "not likely," according to the Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.

The findings followed a 2006 poll by the same researchers, who found that 36 percent of Americans believe federal government officials "either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action" because they wanted "to go to war in the Middle East."
So what happened a year ago to cause the average intelligence of Americans to decline so dramatically in just one year? Oh, that's right:

Update: Welcome Hot Air readers!

Thanking the troops, British style

OK, so maybe the title of this post isn't entirely fair, since I know the same thing could happen here in cities such as San Francisco. But this is just unconscionable.
Soldiers who suffered appalling injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan were verbally abused as they swam in a public swimming pool.

During a weekly rehabilitation class at a council leisure centre, 15 servicemen – including several who have lost limbs or suffered severe burns – were heckled and jeered by members of the public.

One woman was so incensed that the troops were using the pool at Leatherhead Leisure Centre in Surrey that she told them they did not deserve to be there.

She became increasingly abusive, screaming that it was wrong for staff to rope off a lane exclusively for the injured personnel from the nearby Headley Court rehabilitation centre.

The swimmer, thought to be in her 30s, is understood to have said: "I pay to come here and swim – you lot don't."
There were several witnesses to the incident who didn't like the manner in which the vets were being treated.
Linda Sinclair, of Leatherhead, also witnessed the abuse.

She said:"It was a few people that were complaining and it made me cross. I really felt for those soldiers."
But did any one of them tell the abusive ingrates to sod off?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Some follow-up thoughts on the Utah taser incident

I usually don't obsess (much) over seemingly trivial incidents like the one I posted about on Wednesday evening in which a Utah driver was tased by a Utah Highway Patrol officer. Ordinarily, I'd have made my original post and let it go. But after reading electronic reams of blog posts and subsequent comments, I need to vent just a bit more. Let's get a few things out of the way first, though.

I'm not against tasers. They're an excellent, usually non-lethal tool for cops to use to get a dangerous situation under control. And I'm not against cops. I firmly believe that the vast majority of cops are good cops with the public's best interests at heart.

The incident in question, though, lays bare some troubling attitudes prevalent among some in the law enforcement community, as well as among some regular citizens. That attitude is that we should fear the men and women we pay to protect us, and that simply doesn't make for a healthy and free society.

Among the comments on the incident at Hot Air, which this morning number well in excess of 600, are many from people identifying themselves as cops. Nearly every one of them sided with the Utah patrolman. Their rationale is consistently one of "talk back to a cop, get tased". A few say the driver was acting in a threatening manner by waving his arm (he was pointing at a speed limit sign) or that he kept "fiddling" with his pocket (when he wasn't pointing at the sign, he had his right thumb hooked in his right pocket).

Beyond the specifics of this incident lie a culture prevalent in the law enforcement community that there are "us" (cops) and "them" (non-cops). This mindset assumes that every non-cop encountered in the line of duty is a potential criminal. The non-cop just may need a little coaxing to get the latent criminal to come out. And that's exactly what happened in the Utah incident -- the cop succeeded in manufacturing a criminal out of an uppity citizen stopped for a minor traffic violation.

The mistaken response to this cultural mindset is that we (the citizens) should give cops a wide berth, avoid any incidental contact with them, and grovel before them when we do come in contact.

And out of that response comes fear, and that's just not healthy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sign zee papers

Now, I'm as much a law-and-order guy as most people, but this one really chapped my ass. A guy gets tased for not signing a speeding ticket. (Update: Well, strictly speaking, he got tased for not immediately complying with this Barney Fife's instructions.)

Frankly, I'm getting a bit worried about how quick cops are to use tasers, which should be one measure shy of lethal force. There seems to have been a growing number of tasing incidents lately that just don't quite seem justified.

This guy was in the car with his wife and child. What if he'd been one of the growing number of tasing deaths?

Update: Hot Air posted this video a couple hours after I did. As of right now (19:00 on 22 November), there are 549 comments. I don't recall ever seeing that many comments on a single post there. The majority seem to think that while the driver was wrong and quite the jerk (and I agree), the cop was over the line in hitting him with the taser. More than a few commenters defending the cop exhibit a disturbing totalitarian tendency.

As an example of the attitude of some law enforcement officers, here's the jack-ass response from one of them to one of my comments there:
One too many arrests? …or just one, period.

LoL … and later on down the road, when you’re not enveloped by anonymity on the interweb while playing Johnny Badass, and you get pulled over or contacted by an officer in your real life, you’ll comply and be all “yes sir” and “no sir”.

By the way, the Taser is not “one step short of deadly force” any more or less than pepper spray, or a beaver-tail sap, or a straight stick is. It’s simply less-than-lethal force. As is every other physical option when effecting an arrest of a non-compliant subject. The only purely non-lethal use of force is verbal commands. But then, you’d probably counter that the driver could have been talked to death.

Ain’t that right tough guy?
A perfect example of the "us v. them" mentality that too many cops have (a minority, I believe), which causes them to treat every "civilian" they meet as a dirtbag.

Cats 'n dogs

We've got a dog and a cat, and have just become host to a couple of two-month-old kittens. Over the years of observing the various dogs and cats we've had, I've added another item to the list of differences between them.

When a dog carries something in its mouth, no matter what it is, it's a toy.

When a cat carries something in its mouth, no matter what it is, it's prey.

Giving thanks to liberals

Via Hot Air headlines, National Review Online has a list of 15 liberals we should be thankful for. My personal favorite:
Dennis Kucinich
Because if he didn’t exist we’d have to make him up. — Jonah Goldberg

Blackfive: PTSD not an illness

There's an interesting post over at Blackfive discussing Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which gives a slant I hadn't considered, namely that PTSD isn't an illness, but rather a normal human reaction by soldiers who've seen the worst a war zone has to offer.
What you need to know, first and last, is that so-called PTSD is not an illness. It is a normal condition for people who have been through what you have been through.
In other words, if you come back from combat after watching your buddies get blown up and seeing the results of atrocities committed against women and children, and you're feeling just fine, then there might be something seriously wrong with you.

The article goes on to say that this doesn't mean sufferers don't need help, but just knowing that what they're experiencing is a normal reaction by normal, well-balanced human beings might be a measure of help in itself.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blogger to Jewish Democrats: Are you fucking retarded?

This blog entry was linked over at Hot Air today, and the bitch-slap delivered to Jewish Democrats is sublime. The big takeaways:
The Republican party is beholden to a base that supports Israel's right to exist. The Democratic party is beholden to a base that treats Israel as a pariah committing a modern-day Holocaust against poor and defenseless Palestinians. No amount of inside baseball sophistication can alter this basic fact. Democratic politicians must represent and placate anti-Israel lunatics.

You don't have to vote. But seriously - gleefully supporting today's Democratic party? What happened to your self-respect? Or, for that matter - what happened to your sense of basic decency? The Democratic base is anti-Jewish and the Democratic party has a platform antagonistic to the Jewish State. Honestly, this is not that complicated.

Robert Spencer Saudi cleric

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch is often accused of misrepresenting Islam, more often than not by people who know little or nothing about the religion. One of the points of Muslim doctrine I've seen him challenged on is the "no compulsion in religion" statement in the Koran. Mr. Spencer has explained in his books and in many columns the practice Islamic armies had of offering their opponents the options of converting to Islam, accepting second-class status by paying the Jizya tax, or death in battle. Sounds pretty compulsory to me.

In a Muslim theology column in Arab News, Mr. Spencer's arguments are vindicated, by a Saudi Muslim cleric, although the cleric insists there is "no compulsion in religion".
They gave the people three choices: to accept Islam freely, which would mean that they join the Muslim community and become part of it; or to pay the jizyah, or tribute, to indicate that they will live in peace with the Muslims continuing to follow their own religions. If they accepted neither course then the only way left was to fight. This was the case throughout Muslim history. How else can people explain the uninterrupted existence of religious minorities everywhere in the Muslim world throughout 14 centuries of Islamic rule?
No compulsion...riiiight.

Zombie Democrats

I may have posted this before, but with less than a year to the general elections, it's worth posting again. Bob Hope on Democrats.

From Theo Spark, via my brother Mark.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

'Sometimes the party asks too much'

Actor Ron Silver writes about his time on the hit show West Wing:
Often when I walked onto the set of the West Wing some of my colleagues would greet me with a chanting of “Ron, Ron, the neo-con.” It was all done in fun but it had an edge.
Mr. Silver is a rarity in Hollywood in that he's unapologetic in his defense of the Bush Doctrine's efforts of exporting Democracy as the virtuous American goal that it is. Describing himself as "a little bit to the right of the left of center", Ron Silver can hardly be cast in the mold of the right-wing neo-con fascist the far left would like him to be. He goes on to discuss what I believe is the greatest danger in our political system:
Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate only eight years ago, gave an extraordinary speech on national security last week that the mainstream media did not cover. It’s a shame. And it’s a shame the Democratic Party shunned Lieberman and tried to defeat him in a primary. They made it clear that there is no place for him in the party he’s dedicated his life to. I’m a Joe Lieberman Democrat.

JFK reportedly remarked, “sometimes the party asks too much.” He was referring to the deal his Democratic Party made with southern segregationists to maintain control of Congress. His words are as true now as they were then. Sometimes the party asks too much.

I count myself firmly in the tradition of Wilson, FDR, Truman and Kennedy…and yes, Reagan and George W. Bush. “Go anywhere, bear any burden,” “try to do our best to make a world safe for democracy.” Our national mission, a worthy and ennobling one, is to expand freedom where we can. These are revolutionary goals very much in keeping with our Founders’ vision. They are hardly conservative, let alone neo-conservative goals.
I've no idea what Mr. Silver's party affiliation is, and it doesn't really matter. Men and women of principle stick with what they know is right and just, and vote their conscience. Of course, if that were true, few Democrats would ever get elected.

Peregrine Worsthorne: 'Islam as an equal'

I'm reminded once again of why I gave up reading The First Post on a regular basis. The columnists there are consistently anti-US, and Peregrine Worsthorne's recent column is a great example of that. In this one, Sir Worsthorne claims that it's time that Islam be treated as an equal in the "new world order".
For about 100 years, the British took it absolutely for granted that they had a God-given right to tell the American colonists how to conduct their own affairs.

Then, quite out of the blue - to the utter amazement of the British - the Americans started, quite literally, to shoot the British soldiers rather than continue accepting their orders. What had seemed perfectly normal before was suddenly transformed into an intolerable affront.

I was remembering this last week after reading about how President Bush had telephoned President Musharraf to tell him to hold an election... or else.

[ ... ]

A cosmic shift of something of the same order, I believe, is now happening between the West and the Islamic world. Rather as the very idea of an English monarch bossing the Americans around has become unthinkable, so has the very idea of an American president bullying the leaders of Islam. It has become part of a vanished world. Not yet in the mind of George Bush, for sure. But then George III, too, was a slow learner.
First, there was no "or else" that I recall reading about in the news. Yes, Bush urged Musharraf to hold elections, but there was no threat of attack or invasion as an alternative to elections. Even if Bush threatened the cessation of American aid to Pakistan, how does that compare to continued English tyranny of the American colonies?

Second, Musharraf is hardly a "leader of Islam". He's the political-military leader of a nominally secular government.

Lastly, since when has the west ever treated a religion as an "equal"? The "west", as well as modern governments elsewhere, deal with the governments of nation-states, not with their religious leaders. OK, so world leaders occasionally meet with the Pope, or the Dalai Lama, or other such figureheads, but they're not treated as heads of state as a general rule.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Redefining human rights

Some illegal immigrants to Britain have tales of woe so heartrending, they defy belief. This story isn't one of them.
An illegal immigrant has demanded to be flown home after saying he was fed up with British people - because they are "rude and unfriendly".

Speaking today, Mokhtar Tabet, 30 - who has been given a home, food and free travel around London - claims his local council has breached his human rights by moving him to a place he does not like.

[ ... ]

"The new place is small, and the kitchen closes at 9pm, so I can't have anything to eat late at night. They have taken away my human rights."

[ ... ]

Mr Tabet is entitled to return to Algeria at his own expense and admits that he "does not like it here".

But he refuses to do so and says Britain will have to pay for his travel if it wants him to leave.

He moaned: "I miss Algeria. The English people are not helpful, they are so unfriendly and rude.

"I thought I had made friends in Croydon, but when I ask them for money they don't give me it, so I know they can't be my friends."

[ ... ]

He now receives £32 a week in vouchers from Croydon Council to buy food with while he awaits deportation.

Unsatisfied at this, he griped: "Croydon Council only gives me food vouchers, they won't give me cash. I want the money.

"I have nothing to buy new clothes with, I have to go to a refugee centre. But if there's not anything nice there, you leave with nothing.

"I want the council to give me a bigger flat and money instead of vouchers."
Please excuse me...I'm a bit choked up.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Concert for the ADD-afflicted

A rare perk in attending industry events comes when the obligatory event bash is actually worth attending. And I don't mind saying that the bash for Oracle Open World 2007 was worth it. The party tonight was held at the Cow Palace just south of San Francisco. The food -- which ranged from bratwurst to sushi -- and ample open bar capacity were by themselves sufficient to ensure a fun night. But the live entertainment, offered on three separate stages, was just off the hook.

Let's start with the opening acts: Angelique Kidjo (who?), En Vogue (pffft), and Smithereens. OK, so maybe I'm being a bit uncharitable to Ms. Kidjo and En Vogue, but we're talking the Smither-freakin'-eens here. They rock. So maybe Pat DiNizio is getting a bit rotund...who the hell cares? He still sounds great. No contest was the Smithereens for me.

Next came the headline acts, and get this: Lenny Kravitz, Billy Joel, and Steve Nicks with Mick Fleetwood. All playing at the same time on separate stages. What's left for one to do except to circulate between the three venues, right? After bouncing back and forth between Billy Joel and Lenny Kravitz, I ended up at the Stevie Nicks show if for no other reason than there was more room. And damn, but if she didn't sound awesome.

Following up after the headline acts was English Beat, whose Ska sound was right on target and spectacularly lively. All in all, a night well-spent.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

War and Peace

Fox News has an interesting item on their site this morning, showing that the peaceful years of 1981-82 were more lethal for the American military than the war years of 2005-06.

I suppose this can be at least partly explained by the transition from the decimated post-Vietnam military to the new Reagan army, in which the pace of training exercises was greatly increased, but it's still food for thought.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hillary Clinton the communist

Because I haven't mentioned it in a while, and because I don't have time to post much else.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Designing war simulation games Democrats can love

Here's a unique look at how war simulation games might be designed if Democrats (or Michael Moore, or the mainstream media, or Islamists) had their say. I'm quoting more of it here than I should, but only because so much of it is that good. But you'll have to click the link to get the rest and to check out the amusing graphics.
I want a war sim where I spend two hours pushing across a map to destroy a "nuclear missile silo," only to find out after the fact that it was just a missile-themed orphanage.

I want little celebrities to show up on the scene and do interviews over video of charred teddy bears, decrying my unilateral attack. I want congressional hearings demanding answers to these atrocities.

On the very next level I want to lose half of my units because another "orphanage" turned out to be an enemy ambush site. I want another round of hearings asking why I didn't level that orphanage as soon as I saw it, including tearful testimony from a slain soldier's daughter who is now, ironically, an orphan.

[ ... ]

I want that Public Support Meter to rise and fall according to Troops Lost, Length of Conflict, Innocents Killed and Whether or Not There is Anything Else On TV That Week. I want to lose 200 public-support points because, in a war where 8,000 units have been lost, one of my Mutalisks happened to be caught on video accidentally eating one clergyman. Then, later, my destruction of an entire enemy city will go unnoticed because the Nude Zero-Gravity Futureball championship went into overtime.

Speaking of innocents, I want a war sim where native townsfolk stand shoulder-to-shoulder on every inch of the map and not a single bomb can be dropped without blowing 200 of them into chunks. Forget about the abandoned building wallpaper in games like the Red Alert series. I want to have to choose between sending marines door-to-door to be killed in the streets or leveling the block from afar, Nuns and all. I want to have to choose between 40 dead troops or 400 dead children, and be damned to hell by chubby pundits from the safety of their studios regardless of which way I go.

I want my Mission Objectives to change every 30 seconds, without anyone letting me know. I want little talking heads to pop up on my screen--commanders, politicians, allies, military intelligence--each giving me different sets of victory parameters, all of them conflicting and many of them written in bullshit ass-covering doublespeak.

[ ... ]

I want factions. Not a simple aliens vs. humans or Russians vs. Americans war orgy. I want to share the map with powerful forces who are not friend or foe or anything else, a news media, private corporations, asshole allies and friendly enemies, everyone jockeying for their own interests and me unable to bend over at any moment without turning my codpiece around first. I want a France. [Heh. --ed.]

I want fat, left-wing documentarians carefully editing the only the most incriminating footage, countered only by low-IQ country music singers crooning my praises while in American flag-colored cowboy hats. [OK, I thought this bit about the country singers was unnecessary. --ed.]

[ ... ]

In my Public Support Meter display, let me find out that the news media has run, in the same magazine, one story blasting us for going to war for minerals and another story blasting us for not acting on the continuing mineral shortage back home.

There should also be simultaneous stories about the outrageous expense of the war effort, and another about how the troops are under-funded and under-equipped. Set it so that I somehow lose public-support points with each story.

I want to be able to build a POW camp structure where enemy soldiers and suicide bombers are held should they somehow survive battle or should their suicide bombing only be half-successful. I want to right-click on the building and open an option that says "Interrogate Prisoners," which will make parts of the map open up and reveal enemy positions, saving my own units from ambushes.

Then, I want a little cut scene to pop up to announce that photos of my prisoner interrogations have emerged, sparking international outrage because several prisoners were upset and humiliated and some even physically harmed.

The whole world is shocked, it says, because people were physically harmed.

In my war.

So, I leave the battlefield and brush the flaming chunks of bomb victims off my boots to address the worldwide outrage. The game will bring me up on a court martial, everybody pointing out that it was I who clicked the little Interrogation icon. I want to lose tons of public-support points and have every game objective suddenly put in doubt.
Read the whole thing.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

King of Spain to Chavez: Shut up

[Note: I'm in the middle of a two-week road trip, which explains the light posting over the past week. I'll be back on a regular schedule soon. --ed.]

It seems that even King Juan Carlos of Spain is sick of Venezuelan Comic Book Commie in Chief Hugo Chavez.
Spain's King Juan Carlos told Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez to "shut up" as the Ibero-American summit drew to a close in Santiago, Chile.

The outburst came after Mr Chavez called former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a "fascist".

Mr Chavez then interrupted Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's calls for him to be more diplomatic, prompting the king's outburst.

Latin American, Portuguese, Spanish and Andorran leaders were meeting in Chile.

Mr Chavez called Mr Aznar, a close ally of US President George W Bush, a fascist, adding "fascists are not human. A snake is more human."

Mr Zapatero said: "[Former Prime Minister] Aznar was democratically elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people."

Mr Chavez repeatedly tried to interrupt, despite his microphone being turned off. The king leaned forward and said: "Why don't you shut up?"

According to reports, the king used a familiar term normally used only for close acquaintances - or children.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Christians under siege in Iraq

I read this article today in the dead-tree edition of our local paper. For all the good news coming out of Iraq lately, there still remains much work to be done to put things right, especially for Iraq's Christian population.
Fifteen-year-old Vivian was kidnapped while walking to her Baghdad home.

Her Iraqi Christian parents knew the drill. Like believers often get kidnapped for heavy ransoms.

"How much do you want?" Vivian's mom asked when the kidnappers called.

"We don't want your money," came the terrifying reply. "We want to break your heart."

William Murray and the Rev. Keith Roderick, two members of a fact-finding team looking into the plight of Iraqi Christians, share that story with all who will listen.

The family's plight is ingrained in the minds of Murray and Roderick, who both live in Spotsylvania County. Vivian's parents knew the kidnapping was done in retaliation. A week earlier, they had received a note asking them to bring one of their teenage daughters to the Mosque to marry a Muslim.

They ignored the request.

A week after the phone call, Vivian's naked, mutilated body showed up on a Baghdad street. She had been raped repeatedly, then killed.

Her parents, two sisters and brother fled Iraq with the clothes on their backs, ending up as refugees in Lebanon.
Vivian's surviving family are just a few of many like them who are getting absolutely no help from the US government.
The stories horrified the men. But Murray and Roderick were shocked to learn that the United States government isn't helping the refugees.

"The State Department needs to take greater responsibility," Roderick said. "In fact, they have a moral obligation to take more responsibility. It was our war; we started it. We created this problem."

But in Jordan, the men learned that refugees are not allowed in the U.S. embassy or to talk with its staff. They have to go through the United Nations to determine refugee status.

That policy creates delays, and leads to confusion, Murray said. Many of the refugees have a family member who worked for coalition forces, leaving them open to more persecution, he said.
No matter which side of the Iraq debate one finds oneself, there should be no debate over whether we should be helping these people. We did precipitate the crisis, and the White House needs to intervene to overcome the State Department's inertia over the issue.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Red Sox watch - Postscript

If you handed out something other than licorice whips this Halloween, you probably made some kids pretty happy. I mean, c'mon...who likes licorice? But if you're Jason Varitek and you sat in your driveway in Newton, Massachusetts autographing costumes on Halloween, you gave a bunch of kids something they'll never forget.

There are a whole lot of pro athletes who could learn something from Tek.

Hat Tip: My brother Mark who e-mailed me the link.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Senate dems play politics with national security

I caught this over at Hot Air the other day, but was too busy this week to post anything about it. On Thursday, 30 Senate Demcrats signed a letter to the President stating he had no authority from Congress to act militarily against Iran. As Bryan at Hot Air said in reference to Hillary Clinton, "War Powers Act, Sis. Look it up." I guess technically the letter is accurate in that Congress hasn't authorized any such action, but under the WPA, Bush doesn't need it.

Of course, the letter is meaningless beyond furnishing its signatories with the ability to say that they opposed action against Iran in advance. Or something like that. What the Dembots are really doing here, though, is playing a dangerous game with national security. So why, exactly, are the Dembots nearly unanimously opposed to dealing firmly with Iran? There are a few possibilities:
  1. They honestly believe Iran has nothing but peaceful intentions. The evidence says otherwise, but with Democratic candidates tripping over each other in their eagerness to "engage Iran in constructive dialog", this idiotic notion could be a factor.
  2. They don't want Bush doing anything about Iran's nascent nuclear weapons program so that when the Dembots take the White House in January 2009 (and they will), they can say "Look at the mess the previous administration left us". Sounds a bit bizarre, but when it comes to political gain, I wouldn't put anything past a Democrat.
  3. They want Iran to become a nuclear military power to act as a regional counter balance to our military power. OK, as low an opinion as I have of the Dembots, even I have a hard time swallowing that one. Unless Cindy Sheehan somehow managed to sneak her way into the Senate.
  4. They seriously believe that a nuclear-armed Iran is something the world can live with.
Sadly, I believe that last possibility is the most likely one, and further evidence that not a single Democrat can be trusted with national security.

A stake to the heart of Venezuelan democracy

Venezuela's Moonbat Commie-in-Chief Hugo Chavez is putting the finishing touches on his commie utopia with constitutional amendments giving him extraordinary powers and allowing him to seek reelection indefinitely.
Venezuela's pro-government National Assembly overwhelmingly approved constitutional reforms on Friday that would greatly expand the power of President Hugo Chavez and permit him to run for re-election indefinitely.

The 69 changes to Venezuela's Constitution now go to citizens for a Dec. 2 vote.

The proposed changes, Chavez's most radical move yet in his push to transform Venezuela into a socialist state, threaten to spur a new wave of political upheaval in this oil-rich South American country already deeply divided over Chavez's rule.

The amendments would allow the government to expropriate private property prior to a court ruling and take total control over the Central Bank, create new types of property managed by cooperatives, and extend presidential terms from six to seven years while allowing Chavez to run again in 2012.

All but seven of the assembly's 167 lawmakers voted for the changes by a show of hands.

"Today the Venezuelan people have a pencil in their hands to write their own history, and it's not going to be the history of the elite," said pro-Chavez lawmaker Earle Herrera.
In the absence of any widespread, Saddam-style brutality or threats to the US beyond his usual buffoonery, there's nothing the US will do overtly to depose Chavez, his own claims of imminent US invasion notwithstanding.

But the threat to Chavez's perceived enemies in the Americas is real. Chavez has been not only purchasing arms at an alarming rate, but he's been cozying up to the world's worst in forming an alliance with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran controls Hizballah, which already has a known presence in South America.

This story, unfortunately, is far from over.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Picture of the day

A picture from one of Michael Totten's reports from Anbar

Michael Totten has been reporting from Iraq, and this picture was one that stood out to me as something the mainstream media will never show you. Totten's caption reads:
This drawing by an Iraqi child depicts the American-Iraqi alliance against Al Qaeda. Notice the sword is Iraqi and the muscle is American.
The picture can be found at this post on his site.

Democrats laying groundwork for election fraud

Back in September, I put up this post about the Democrats' fear of laws requiring positive ID at polling places for elections. Democrats fear the voter ID law the way a vampire fears the crucifix.

The only reason any sensible person would oppose voter ID laws is because such laws might thwart efforts to bring enough ineligible voters to the polls to swing an election. And with illegal immigrants present in sufficient numbers in some states, those illegals could be the tipping point in deciding electoral votes for some states.

Enter NY governor Eliot Spitzer and his driver's licenses for illegals plan. Spitzer, a Democrat, proposes issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants in New York. According to Spitzer an illegal, once properly licensed, will never again drive drunk or recklessly, thus making New York's roads safer. That, of course, is complete and utter bullshit.

When Hillary Clinton first waffled on the issue during a debate the other night, then solidified her position as favoring Spitzer's plan, it became clear: This is simply a means to counter voter ID laws. With the federal "motor voter" law, in which states are required to provide voter registration services at motor vehicle offices, the chances of an illegal immigrant fraudulently getting on the voter rolls at the same time their license is issued is greatly increased.

This is the real reason for the Democrats' support of the licenses-for-illegals policy and their ever-softening stance on illegal immigration. Once duly licensed and registered to vote, who else is an illegal immigrant going to vote for?