Sunday, June 29, 2008

A reply

No one wants to say we're at war with Islam per se, because a quarter of the people on this planet claim to be Muslims. What we're trying to do is separate Muslims into two groups, and fight just one of them.

We are at war with Islamism, which claims to be the only authentic version of Islam, but an awful lot of people who say they're Muslims think is heresy.

Personally, I've wanted Bush to make a speech for some time to make this clear. I'm afraid now it's too late for him to do it, but maybe his successor can:
If you believe that you personally should live your life in accordance with the teachings of a particular prophet, but do not seek to impose your belief upon others by force, your right to practice that faith is enshrined in our First Amendment.

However, it proposes a two-part package about religion: You will be left free to practice your religion, but you must allow that same freedom to everyone else. No one, including the government, will be allowed to force people to follow any particular religion, nor to force them to abandon it.
The moment you insist that others be forced to abide by the dictates of your faith (they won't be allowed to eat pork, drink alcohol, wear "revealing" clothing and makeup, be alone with a man they're neither married nor related to...), you have passed beyond exercising your own rights, and are actively violating those of others. And as our Founding Fathers put it so well, when an institution becomes destructive of the ends of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is subject to be altered or abolished.

The extreme form of Islam that insists Shari'a law must be imposed on everyone, is incompatible with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And that means it can't coexist with the United States of America.

Monster (The)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Connections: 305

Episode 5 of Connections III.(Click on the image to play — it will open in a separate window/tab)
Prior Episodes: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Original Connections Episodes:1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Connections II Episodes: 1-2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | 7-8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | 13-14 | 15-16 | 17-18 | 19-20

The Enemy We May Not Name

I dislike the term 'Global War on Terror.' It makes as much sense as describing World War II as the war against blitzkrieg. War is waged between two opposing sides. You cannot declare war on a method. The anti-intellectualism from the politically correct crowd often manifests as muddled thinking. We cannot name the enemy; he might get upset with us. Upset? He's already angry enough to murder us, how much more upset can he get? Allow me to provide some clarity: Western civilization is in a war with Islam.

I have a good bit of personal experience with Islam. I traveled the world in my younger days. I've witnessed Islam as practiced in Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Kashmir and Malaysia. Here's a truth for you: the more pious the believer, the more ignorant and downtrodden he tends to be. Islam is the most totalitarian system ever devised by man. Every aspect of human behavior is regulated where it is not otherwise proscribed altogether. From diet to statecraft, you can find it all in the One Book. Islam as a system of control is the very antithesis of liberty. Modernity and Islam could not be more incompatible. Are there no modern Muslims? Well yes, but they tend to be secular as they go about their daily business. In Turkey, for example, a visit once a week to the mosque for prayer is the norm. You don't see Turks in Ankara putting their noses in the carpet five times a day.

Now, don't get me wrong. If someone wants to spend his free time on his knees begging the deity, have at it. Personally, I don't think anyone is listening. God has more important things to do; the universe is a big place and someone has to keep the gears lubed. What gets my dander up are the Muslims who want to impose their ways on me. I'm supposed to give up beer and dress my woman in a black sack, eh? Pious Muslims say it's all in the One Book. Guess what? In the west we have something called a library. We also enjoy something called liberty which exempts us from daily acts of personal abasement before the deity. So take your Sharia and shove it. It's not welcome in my world. Nor does my sense of human dignity include honor killings and sexual mutilation.

Keep in mind that I'm a product of the western, liberal tradition. I can negotiate. You can be an American Muslim provided you don't drag your religion into the public square. Americans believe in the separation of church and state. It's a proven concept for maintaining domestic tranquility for over two-hundred years. Also, loyalty to America comes first. If you as a Muslim can't abide by two simple rules, then don't come here. And if you do emigrate, be prepared to see your progeny grow up as modern, secular, American kids. It's what happens to all immigrant groups. Modernity is riding a wave of secularism. Get used to it.

Of course, if you really believe that the last word on life, the universe, and everything was written down by God in the 7th Century, then we've got a problem. Or rather, you have a problem. You're stupid. If you believe seventy-two virgins are waiting for you in paradise, you are terminally stupid. And if you think you're taking me with you by way of murder, I'm left with only one choice. I have to kill you before you kill me. If you look at Iraq today, or talk with a jihadist (assuming you can still find one alive), you just might conclude that America is a killing machine. If you kill one of us, we will kill you back. Only the ratio favors us by a margin of 20 to 1. Got that?

So that's the deal. If you want to live under the tyranny of religion, stay home. If you think Iraq runs better with dependable electricity, running water, and consensual government, then join us. But if you think God has ordered you to murder, get ready to be disappointed. America has built a nation-state in Iraq out of damn near nothing, but even America can't fix stupid. Modernity is changing the face of Islam. The clock of history does not run backwards. Get used to it. It's time you got a clue.

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Basil Riverdale

Sunday, June 22, 2008

No bias here, move along.

From CNN

Prison boss opposes release of ailing ex-Manson follower.

Notice the lack of capitalization.

Let's break this headline down, shall we?

"Prison boss"? That would be California's director of adult prisons.
I would think that should be a title, but that's just me.

opposes release

Yep, I would expect that a representative of the people of California would oppose the release of a convicted cold blooded murderer. Susan Atkins was sentenced to the death penalty for killing Sharon Tate. SCOTUS gave her a "get out of sparky free card"

of ailing
So, now that she's going to die, we should feel sorry for her?

ex-Manson follower

Ummm... the only non-ex-Manson follower is Manson, himself.

Bottom line.

Susan Atkins was sentenced to life in prison for one of the most hideous and senseless crimes of the 20th century.

Now she's dying.

Oh well.
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Connections: 304

Episode 4 of Connections III.
(Click on the image to play — it will open in a separate window/tab)

Prior Episodes: 1 | 2 | 3

Original Connections Episodes:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Connections II Episodes:
1-2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | 7-8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | 13-14 | 15-16 | 17-18 | 19-20

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Iraqi Freedom Minute: June 17

Monday, June 16, 2008

Iraqi Freedom Minute: June 15

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"He’s not only my dad, he’s my hero,”

Meet Staff Sgt. Andy Graves.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

While we're waiting

MNF-Iraq hasn't posted a new Freedom Minute yet. Meanwhile check out this picture.

Connections: 303

Episode 3 of Connections III.
(Click on the image to play — it will open in a separate window/tab)

Prior Episodes: 1 | 2

Original Connections Episodes:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Connections II Episodes:
1-2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | 7-8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | 13-14 | 15-16 | 17-18 | 19-20

Friday, June 13, 2008

Iraqi Freedom Minute: June 12

New Feature

Since I obviously lack the self-discipline to manage a Today in History post, you know, like, daily, I've found something better.Iraqi Freedom Minute. Brought to you by the fine folks of The Multi-National Force - Iraq.

Even better is the Freedom Journal Iraq but the videos are a bit large to post here.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Iraqi Freedom Minute:June 11

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Save the Flame!

The Liberty Memorial, built to honor veterans of the "World War", is the home of the congressionally-designated national WWI museum. At the top of its 217-foot high tower is an "Eternal Flame", about to be extinguished due to budget shortfalls. It is estimated that the flame costs $45K/yr. to keep lit. For the next year, Pioneer Services will match your tax-deductible contribution, until the matched total hits that $45K level.

Help keep the flame burning at!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Apparently, Mr. Garrison Keillor was in DC during the annual Rolling Thunder Ride to the Wall.

He was not impressed.

A patriotic bike rally is sort of like a patriotic toilet-papering or patriotic graffiti; the patriotism somehow gets lost in the sheer irritation of the thing. /snip You don't quite see the connection between that and these fat men with ponytails on Harleys.

One of those "fat men with ponytails" decided to educate him.

Rocky Mountain News.
Oh my goodness, Mr. Keillor has been inconvenienced once again. Imagine waiting for twenty minutes to cross the street while fat men in pony tails’ jammed the roadway. Worst, these are the same fat men, sans pony tails, and many pounds lighter, that slogged through the jungles of South Vietnam that Mr. Keillor and his college preppies defiled as baby killers.’ I guess us Vietnam Veterans have moved up in his world, now we are just pissing him off by making him wait to cross the street while thousands of brothers ride to the wall to pay respect to their fallen comrades. Respect that they never received when they came home from Southeast Asia. Mr. Keillor failed to mention that most of these grown men playing solider’ played solider forty years ago, saw their buddies die, cried in their bunkers, and prayed that they would make it home in one piece. Meanwhile Mr. Keillor studied English at the University of Minnesota and participated in demonstrations against the war.

There's really no better way to say it: Read the whole thing
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Connections: 302

Episode 2 of Connections III.
(Click on the image to play — it will open in a separate window/tab)

Episode 1

Original Connections Episodes:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Connections II Episodes:
1-2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | 7-8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | 13-14 | 15-16 | 17-18 | 19-20

Friday, June 6, 2008

Remember D-Day

Learn about it from the U.S. Army:

June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France.

On this day in 1944: 9,000+ Allied soldiers gave their lives to stop Hitler.

Man-Made Global Whining

Here's a lovely look by a professional meteorologist on how working in his profession is like working in climate science -- the dangers of trying to point out the truth: Global Whining vs. the Truth

And here's a must-read speech (really) on the whining, scheming and insanity of the Anthropogenic (i.e., Man-Made) Global Warming crowd by U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on the House floor, made 3 weeks ago during the debate on the economy-stiffling Lieberman-Warner bill that has temporarily been stopped. Dynamite. “Do you really think the world is filled with morons?”

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hey, it worked in Fallujah

D.C. police will seal off entire neighborhoods, set up checkpoints and kick out strangers under a new program that D.C. officials hope will help them rescue the city from its out-of-control violence.

Oddly enough, several folks didn't seem to think this is a good idea.

I wonder, should we put the deck chairs over by the port railing? There’s a much better view of the iceberg from over there.

Can you say Police State?

This. Is. America. You have obviously forgotten this.

And my personal favorite.

I hope that when the police ask for their papers, people will hand them a copy of the Bill of Rights too. It might prove instructive. If not, at least we'll all have the grim pleasure of saying "Here are my civil rights. Please take them."

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Proof of Life!

Bill has a new post up on E!3, entitled Proof of Life!, in which he gives some information on what he's been up to lately.

Who knew Tim Conway had a son?

Bill Whittle on the Tim Conway Jr. radio show.

Lots of things rotten in the state of Pennsylvania

OK, this is going to be a long post. I have to give you a fair bit of background before getting into the current situation.

Back on July 7. 2005, the PA General Assembly unconstitutionally gave itself a huge pay raise in a secret late-night vote....

The state Supreme Court immediately ruled that the pay raise was legal. Luckily, this didn't go unnoticed and sparked incredible outrage among the populace. Many legislators stuck wet fingers into the air and decided that they couldn't accept such an unconstitutional raise (even though they'd voted for it) and pledged to give it back. That didn't save them. In the next election one sitting Supreme Court justice was denied retention (here in PA each judge must stand for a retention election after 10 years in office) and the other up for retention only got 52% of the vote (the average heretofore was about 70%) and subsequently resigned. 55 state legislators lost their seats, 24 by electoral defeat or disqualification, and 31 who chose to retire rather than face the voters.

We haven't forgotten and legislators in the upcoming election will be looked at very carefully. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during the "payjacking" scandal has since retired.

Now we get to the meat of the current situation. On May 19 the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania filed a federal lawsuit against Ralph Cappy, the former Chief Justice of the PA Supreme Court. It alleges that Cappy made a secret deal to rule in favor of a slot machine law in return for pay raises for himself and other judges. The league was a plaintiff in the slots-law challenge that the court rejected. It says such a deal (or if there wasn't a deal, the fact that many legislators believed there was one) violated its due-process rights in the slots case. The suit also mentions Ronald Castille, Cappy's successor as Chief Justice.

Castille called the suit slanderous and said the league could face sanctions and its attorney, Paul Rossi, disciplinary action under federal court rules for making baseless charges about the Supreme Court. The league said Castille would violate the organization’s right to petition government under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution if he carries out a sanctions threat.

I neither know nor care what Castille's political allegiances are. This man has brought dishonor on the courts by his intimidation attempts and threats of retribution against an attorney following the rules and representing his client properly. If we had a General Assembly that could be trusted, he should be immediately impeached and removed from office. However, the leadership of the General Assembly is implicated in the collusion described in this lawsuit itself. Will we ever see honest government in PA? Perhaps it's time for the federal government to remove the Commonwealth government under Article IV, Section 4 of the US Constitution, which guarantees to every state a republican form of government. We certainly don't have one now in PA.

I've asked a lawyer acquaintance of mine who has argued cases before the US Supreme Court what it would take to seek relief under this portion of the Constitution. He said that it hadn't been considered enforceable for a very long time, but that he had cited that section recently in some of his arguments. He thought that there wasn't a very great chance of success in that sort of argument but that it might be worth trying if nothing else worked.

I've also talked to a few people about trying to get a RICO prosecution against the PA Supreme Court. I don't know what that would take either, but it seems worth investigating.

I'd welcome any ideas folks have. I get the feeling that things may get a good deal worse before they get better.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Today in History: June 3

Yesterday | Tomorrow

Monday, June 2, 2008

Today in History: June 2

  • 1774

    Intolerable Acts." The Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to let British soldiers into their homes, is reenacted. The founders considered this a serious enough imposition to codify The Third Amendment to the US Constitution.
    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

  • 1835

    P.T. Barnum and his circus begin their first tour of the United States.

  • 1896

    Guglielmo Marconi receives a patent for the radio. Stax of Wax would soon follow.

  • 1966

    Surveyor 1 lands on the moon.

Yesterday | Tomorrow

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Thanks, guys!

FOR Australian combat troops the war in Iraq is over.

The Defence Force in southern Iraq formally handed its commitment to the United States and lowered the Australian flag above Camp Terendak, at the US-run air base Tallil, at a ceremony yesterday morning.

Today in History: June 1

Yesterday | Tomorrow