Friday, March 20, 2015

The New Mexico Legislature

New Mexico does not have a full-time legislature. Legislative sessions are 60 days long beginning in January following an election and 30 days long in the alternate years.

The House of Representatives has been doing its job this year, passing a significant number of bills. As of Wednesday — 56 days into the 60 day session — the Senate had passed (I think) just two: the "feed bill" providing their own pay for the session (always the first bill passed) and a bill to keep New Mexico permanently on Daylight Savings Time. (!) They seem to be sitting on (killing, tabling, etc.) everything else. They can't even pass a budget!

The cartoonist at the Albuquerque Journal describes this perfectly.

(The Roundhouse sitting on top of the basket is our beloved New Mexico capital building.)

Start the Rumor ...

"If we could convince the Chinese that Jihadists’ testicles are an aphrodisiac, in 10 years they could be extinct ... "
Makes perfect sense to me, but probably has something in it to insult just about everyone.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

More Images of Truth

President Barack Obama speaks. Repeatedly. His speeches solve the world's problems.

Of course, some people don't see it quite that way. They see something different.

Let's be fair. I don't think President Obama is a simple coward. I think we're just seeing the effects of his huge blind spot. He just can't see the connection between Islam — any flavor of Islam — and terrorism, and he won't be able to see it no matter how loudly and firmly that connection is confirmed and demonstrated by ISIS and the other jihadists. After all, Obama knows more about what is and isn't Islam than do the people who follow that religion.

That is almost certainly why his State Department is so strongly pushing the idea that Muslim men become jihadists because they don't have what we would consider normal job opportunities. This is nuts, especially since all the top jihadists are college educated men from well-to-do families. Just in case there is some small grain of truth in the Obama Administration argument, however, here are some suggestions for jobs such people might hold.

Of course, Washington DC doesn't have a monopoly on insanity. We have a big chunk of it right here in Albuquerque, county seat of Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Some of that insanity has just been demonstrated anew.

UPDATE: Here's a good part of the reason county residents are so upset.

It's the same thing in our state capital in Santa Fe, where our state legislators can't seem to understand what the people of the state keep telling them.

Silly Images

These pictures are posted just for their silliness. The first one is self-labelled.

The next one isn't.
These are thumb drives, obviously.

Finally, an image obviously inspired by the news story out of Sun City (near Phoenix, Arizona).

Saturday, January 31, 2015

What Happened to Islam?

"What happened to Islam?" Azeem Ibrahim uses this question to open his essay for the Chicago Tribune, which has been published online by the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald with the headline Wahhabi perversion of Islam sows seeds of terrorism.

Ibrahim argues that

Wahhabism isn’t Islam — it is a cult movement that uses Islamic terminology and has hijacked the religion using petrodollars. In the process, its adherents are killing and maiming more Muslims than people of other faiths . . .
Wahhabism came out of what is now Saudi Arabia in the 18th century, and became the state-supported religion of that country when the current royal family took over.

Ibrahim notes that Wahhabism spawned the Muslim Brotherhood, which in turned spawned both al Qaeda and the Taliban, and states "The global propagation of a doctrine that has been a parent to jihadism impedes counterterrorism efforts."

He has some observations about other religions, as compared with Islam:

All religions have their extremists. Self-described pastor Terry Jones caused an international furor when he threatened to burn the Quran. The Ku Klux Klan has been parading nominally Christian symbols like Bibles and crosses for centuries. But these movements are seen for what they are: cults that appropriate the symbolism and style of a religion for their own amoral ends. Yet when voices like Anwar al-Awlaki, or before him, Osama bin Laden, preach that Islam requires murder — a straight reversal of the truth — their message finds fertile ground.
He wonders why that is, and he asks "How did Islam come to this point?" What may be an answer to Ibrahim's question is here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Uncontrollable, Irresponsible, Uncivilized

An article in The Telegraph today noted the removal of an artwork from a Paris art exhibition.

The French-Algerian artist, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, withdrew the work from an exhibition in a northern Paris suburb with a large Muslim population after an Islamic group told local authorities it could provoke “uncontrollable, irresponsible incidents”.
Thus, the Islamic group admits that its co-religionists are completely, irredeemably uncivilized.

Look at a small portion of the evidence:

  • A rather inoffensive picture showing women's shoes and a small rug would provoke, according to an Islamic group in this instance, “uncontrollable, irresponsible incidents” of violent behavior.
  • Satirical cartoons provoke a a group of gunmen to attack a magazine office and murder those inside.
  • Milder cartoons published in 2005 produced murderous riots, elsewhere, six months later.
  • Damaging, or even disrespecting, a printed item is accepted as justifying execution and murder.
  • A simple statement that "I believe in (whatever, not Islam)" is "insulting Islam" — often a capital offense.
  • Muslims justify rape in Western countries saying the sight of even a single lock of a woman's hair drives Muslim men to uncontrollable sexual behavior. But note that most of the Muslim world, before the Muslim Brotherhood, clearly didn't believe this — not even in Afghanistan.
                              A scene in pre-Taliban Afghanistan.
  • Muslims justify "honor killings" for anything that "offends" them — murder is the solution to almost everything. (There is never any honor in such "honor" killings, which are simply unjustifiable common murders.)
  • Muslim sects justify the murder of innocents (such as 150 Pakistani schoolchildren) on the grounds that their parents & relatives aren't sufficiently Islamist.
  • Muslims believe than anyone leaving Islam must be killed, because it insults Islam and because Mohammed commanded it. Again, murder is the solution to almost everything, just like in any criminal gang.
The examples can go on and on. In short, everything offends these people, and everything drives them to "uncontrollable, irresponsible" behavior. That is, there is none of the self-control that is the hallmark of civilized behavior. These people — these animals — demonstrate by their behavior that they are completely uncivilized.

It's either that or it's all just excuses for uncivilized behavior.

Please feel free to pass on other elements demonstrating uncivilized behavior in the comments.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Senate Starts Working Again

Since the sea-change election in early November, I've been hearing the Progressives and Leftists proclaiming that the Senate had just exchanged one petty tyrant for another. They insisted that Senator Mitch McConnell would behave just like Senator Harry Reid had — blocking any amendments of bills by the minority and nearly all amendments by members of his own party, almost never allowing actual floor votes, and never allowing the minority party members any voice on anything. They were adamant that Reid's illegalities, obstructionism, arrogance, and hyper-partisan behavior were now the "new normal" for the Senate.

Mitch McConnell has now shown how delusional (or dishonest) the Progressives and Leftists are and have been.

Senators from both Republican and Democrat parties have been offering amendments to bills, which have all been put through the normal process — or at least what was the normal process before Harry Reid's usurpations. And the Senate has actually been taking votes. In fact, the Senate took more votes in its first three weeks under Republican control than it did in all of 2014 under Harry Reid. Ten more votes have been taken in the two days since, making 25 votes so far (11 more than the 14 votes allowed in all of 2014 under Reid).

I agree with Warner Todd Huston's comment: "With McConnell allowing our proper system to reassert itself over the partisan, unfair, corrupt, un-American way Obama/Reid/Democrats ran things last year, it is a good thing. It is also proof that Republicans are far more American than Democrats."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Images of Truth

Let's begin with something serious.
As the saying goes, "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away."

There's been a lot of talk lately about radical Islamists — like those who murdered so many people in Paris. It seems they attacked because their religious feelings were hurt. Apparently they were brought up to believe they have an absolute right to never be insulted, or hurt, or offended.

Or maybe they did do what the videos and witnesses say they did. But some commentators say we shouldn't blame them. After all, they say, the extremists in other religions are just as bad. I'm not sure I can buy that. Here's one piece of why.

And for those who believe the second way, I agree with this guy.

I wasn't thrilled with this statement when it was first made, back in 2010. (Actually, that is an extreme understatement.) This is a good statement of why.

This is a good one to use as a finale. It's an example of pure humor and pure truth.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bloody Payback Beginning

But the situation in Europe changed all that. It’s difficult to go about business as usual while The Eternally Aggrieved are beginning their bloody payback for imaginary slights.
    — Gates of Vienna

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Charlie Hebdo Cartoons

The latest terrorist outrage is the murders in Paris at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and the other related attacks in the Paris area. Like the riots in 2006, this attack was blamed on the publication of "offensive" cartoons. Here are at least some of those cartoons (from here, other Gateway Pundit posts, and elsewhere).

This one doesn't even qualify as a cartoon — no satire or humor or anything. I guess the terrorists are angry that Charlie Hebdo actually printed Mohammed's name.

The words on this one, from 2011, say "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter!"
There were more cartoons in the rest of the issue.

In this one, from 2006, the headline says "Mohammed stressed out by the fundamentalists." and his words say "It's hard to be loved by fools."

Here's the cartoonist's view of what would happen — at the hands of one of Mohammed's followers — if Mohammed returned today.

This one is the most provocative of all the Charlie Hebdo cartoons I've seen. The words say "The Koran is shit. It doesn't stop bullets."
This one looks pretty provocative to me, as well, but I don't know what the words say.

Of course, Charlie Hebdo mocks everybody. It's an equal opportunity insulter.

Its cartoonists even insult themselves.

The man in this one is the former French finance minister, not Mohammed or any Muslim.

All in all, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons seem pretty inoffensive — especially in comparison with some of the cartoons it has printed satirizing other religions, politicians, & etc. They are, however, clearly more offensive than the drawings printed by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark in 2005. Just to jog everyone's memories, here they are again.

The 2005 cartoons were really inoffensive — and yet (many of) Europe's Muslim leaders used them to foment riots in many parts of the world, five months after their publication. As I said in 2006, however, "It seems to me that someone was looking for an excuse that could be used to stir up trouble." In part, that was because even the rioters in 2006 agreed that the cartoons were not, themselves, offensive. Even so, they were used to create a lot of problems.

There seem to be a couple of root causes for these kinds of behaviors. (There are probably more, but this is the simplified version.) One is Islam's near-absolute lack of any sense of humor, especially about Islam itself. Like a five year old child, Islam takes itself far too seriously.

The other of these "couple of root causes" is that fundamentalist Muslims — the Islamists — have notoriously thin skins. They are always outraged about something. Perhaps the best comment in this arena, and its dynamics, is still from Daryl Cagle (before the start of his current website).

Probably no one thought the 2005 Danish drawings were of Muhammad until they were told so by their religious leaders. When they were told this, despite the evidence of their own eyes, they rioted. It is the same now as it was then. And isn’t that truly a fitting conclusion for this discussion of the ongoing “cartoon wars”?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sane Responses to the Paris Terrorist Attacks

Islamic terrorists attacked the offices of the French satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo.

The beginning of The Astute Blogger's response looks like this:

This is clever and cute.

But this is the only thing that will work.

Meanwhile, Citizen Warrior quotes this in his response:

"To honor those who've died for Free Speech," says Bosch Fawstin, "I don't raise my pen up in the air, I put it to paper and draw Mohammad."

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Thoughts for 2014

. . . from Thomas Sowell. He has a real knack for encapsulating complex circumstances and making them eminently understandable. As, for example, his comment on a recent statement from the former Secretary of State:

Hillary Clinton's idea that we have to see the world from our adversaries' point of view — and even "empathize" with it — is not new. Back in 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said, "I have realized vividly how Herr Hitler feels." Ronald Reagan, however, made sure our adversaries understood how we felt. Reagan's approach turned out a lot better than Chamberlain's.
And that should be no surprise to anyone — except, maybe, for those on the "squishy Left". Sowell also makes a broader point:
There are few modest talents so richly rewarded — especially in politics and the media — as the ability to portray parasites as victims, and portray demands for preferential treatment as struggles for equal rights.
Sowell also comments that Republicans, as a group, are far too gentlemanly. Especially when they should be slapping down the demagogues.
Republicans complain when Democrats call them racists. But when have you ever heard a Republican counterattack? You don't win by protesting your innocence or whining about the unfairness of the charge. Yet when have you heard a Republican reply by saying, "You're a lying demagogue without a speck of evidence. Put up or shut up!"
I agree with that. Strongly. The Democrats' (mis-)leadership really needs to be called out on their continuing dishonesty in this and in so many other areas.

These are just a few of Sowell's "random thoughts" at the end of the year. There are some additional good ones at the link above. I can't wait to see what he says in 2015.

Monday, December 29, 2014

You Should Have Started Sooner

This reminds me of a saying: "Bad planning on your part is not an emergency on my part."

Sunday, December 28, 2014

End of the Year Chuckles

Lately I have been struck by the humor in things I have run across. I have collected a few of them here. Some of these have a sharp edge to them, and some (especially the last ones) are just funny.

First up: Retirement benefits, anyone? Who has earned theirs?

Russian President Vladimir Putin's government may have fallen on hard financial times, but he still feels like he can issue a warning to his neighboring state.

This cartoon brilliantly captures political correctness run amok.

I like things that are punny, too. Especially if the pun is terrible, like this one.

And then, for end-of-the-year laugh-out-loud funny, it's hard to beat this description.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Rest in Peace

My old friend Paul has gone to join his beloved Mary Alice, so he is now happy again.

Paul was always upbeat, always joking. At church one day he asked his pastor

Why did the raisin go out with a prune?

Because he couldn't get a date.

Their pastor often told Mary Alice over the years that she was sure to go straight to heaven, because she had put up with Paul for so many years.

Paul served his country proudly, and then served the people of New Mexico with his training and his humor. And Paul was always devoted to Mary Alice. His family says he died of a broken heart because he couldn't face a Christmas without her. I believe that is true.

Rest in peace, dear friends.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Who Pays?

Eventually, everyone (or, at least, everyone with a brain) gets around to asking "Who pays for all this 'free' stuff?"

Here's the answer.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The SSIC "Torture" Report

I kept seeing and hearing reports on the news — radio and television — about the report on CIA torture released by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee. All the news stories characterized the report that way. None of the stories noted that it was a report by the committee staff, not the committee. And not the whole staff, but only the Democrats' staff (the "majority staff" until next month). None of the stories mentioned that the minority staff also released their report today, and none mentioned what was in that report. All the news stories stated the Democrat staff's claims as if they were true; none noted that these claims were contradicted by all involved at the time as well as the statements made at the time by the very Democrat officials now attacking the agency. And none mentioned the statement/report released by six men — all three CIA directors and all three CIA deputy directors during the years in question. That statement begins

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation of terrorists, prepared only by the Democratic majority staff, is a missed opportunity to deliver a serious and balanced study of an important public policy question. The committee has given us instead a one-sided study marred by errors of fact and interpretation — essentially a poorly done and partisan attack on the agency that has done the most to protect America after the 9/11 attacks.

How did the Democrats' staff get so much so wrong? For one thing, they interviewed none of the agency's senior leadership from that time period. That is, they interviewed none of the people who could definitively confirm or deny the statements they were making in their report. That was deliberate; it was not an oversight. And who could make that decision? It would almost certainly have to be the Democrat senators and, in particular, the (temporary) committee chair Senator Diana Feinstein.

And why was the news media so one-sided in their coverage? I'd have to guess it was because the Feinstein Report story fit their agenda. A more balanced coverage didn't.

UPDATE: It's even worse than I thought. While in the Senate, former Senator Bob Kerrey served as one of the Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In that capacity, he participated in investigations of CIA procedures. In those cases, he writes, "the committee staff examined documents and interviewed all of the individuals involved. The Senate's Intelligence Committee staff chose [in this case] to interview no one." John Yoo adds another important detail: "Worse yet, Feinstein and her staff refused to interview the very officials at the CIA, the White House, and other agencies responsible for the interrogation program." And, before the report was released, CIA veteran Jose Rodriguez noted in the Washington Post that

The report’s leaked conclusion, which has been reported on widely, that the interrogation program brought no intelligence value is an egregious falsehood; it’s a dishonest attempt to rewrite history. I’m bemused that the Senate could devote so many resources to studying the interrogation program and yet never once speak to any of the key people involved in it, including the guy who ran it (that would be me).
Why? I think Senator Kerrey has the answer:
I do not need to read the report to know that the Democratic staff alone wrote it. The Republicans checked out early when they determined that their counterparts started out with the premise that the CIA was guilty and then worked to prove it.

Friday, December 5, 2014


I've seen various acerbic statements from Maxine. Usually very sharp, and frequently right on the mark. This one, however, is outstanding — even for her!


But for sheer jaw-dropping unbelievability, it will be really, really hard to top this!

Decorating for the Holidays

It's time to begin decorating for the holidays. And that can be dangerous.

Sometimes showing that is the decoration.

You also may want to pay attention when purchasing your decorations.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Executive Order Speech

I saw yesterday's speech, the one President Obama gave trying to justify the executive order he intended to sign today (Friday). One part particularly struck me.

President Obama said "And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill." But that's not what he meant. He didn't mean "Pass a bill." — he meant "Pass the bill that I want." That's made even more clear just another sentence later when he said "And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary."

So, if Congress will pass the bill he wants, then he will deign to enforce the (new) law as written. In the meantime, he will explicitly not enforce the law currently in force.

But if Obama won't enforce the law now, how can we have any confidence he will enforce another law passed by Congress, or any other law now in force?

That sounds like a violation of the requirement that the president faithfully execute the laws that is contained in the Constitution and President's oath of office contained there. No, it's not just me saying so. That's the same thing said by a former Constitutional law instructor who is now President Barack Obama. That makes Obama's executive order unconstitutional even according to the man who has now issued it. In other words,

What's next? Nothing. They say. For now. But the continuing Obama campaign machine is already advertising.