Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Modern Christmas Parable

I heard Paul Harvey tell this story on the radio at Christmas time a few years ago. I liked it then, and it's only grown on me since. But my attempts to find a copy of the story were unsuccessful — until sometime in 2007, when I found a similar (but different) story. That enabled me to find the one I remembered, at last. I have passed on this story before, but it's worth sharing again.

Paul Harvey: A Modern Parable
As read on the radio

Unable to trace its proper parentage, I have designated this as my Christmas story of "The Man and the Birds." You know the Christmas story, the God born a man in a manger, and all that escapes some moderns — mostly, I think, because they seek complex answers to their questions, and this one's so utterly simple. So for the cynics and the skeptics and the unconvinced, I submit a modern parable:

Now, the man to whom I'm going to introduce you was not a Scrooge; he was a kind, descent, mostly good man, generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn't believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmastime. It just didn't make sense, and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn't swallow the Jesus story about God coming to earth as a man.

"I'm truly sorry to distress you," he told his wife, "but I'm not going with you to church this Christmas Eve." He said he'd feel like a hypocrite, that he'd much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed, and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier, and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound, then another, and then another, sort of a thump or a thud. At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window; but when he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They'd been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn't let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it.

Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in, so he hurried back to the house, fetched breadcrumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted, wide-opened doorway of the stable. But to his dismay the birds ignored the breadcrumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them; he tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.

And then he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me, that I'm not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow; they would not be led or shooed, because they feared him.

If only I could be a bird, he thought to himself, and mingle with them and speak their language! Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to the safe, warm . . . to the safe warm barn . . . but I would have to be one of them, so they could see and hear and understand. At that moment, the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sound of the wind, and he stood there listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. . . . And he sank to his knees in the snow.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Emergency Response

I saw a Democrat fall in the Rio Grand River this morning at 8 AM.

Being a responsible citizen, I immediately informed emergency services.

It's now 4 PM and they still haven't responded.

I'm beginning to think that I wasted a stamp!

(Gotten from a friend by e-mail)

Friday, November 26, 2010

This Is Not Going Away

President Barack Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole think the outcry and anger over their "security measures" will soon fade. They think the air travelers will soon accept the procedures they have imposed. I think they're wrong.

Things have gotten people upset before, but they haven't responded in ways like this. Here is one thing that happened at the Albuquerque airport.

Those are military veterans — the man on the left was in the Marine Corps, the woman was in the Army. Their service, and others', was to protect our rights. And they are rightly angered and frustrated to have our own government treating them and all of us as if we were the terrorists. The Air Force, too — also at Albuquerque.

This isn't going away. It's going to get worse — for the bureaucrats that are doing this to us.

(Photos from the Albuquerque Journal, story here.)

UPDATE: More evident TSA stupidity. And, of course, we have to read about it in an English newspaper, because our own main-stream media insist on living in the Administration's pocket doing this Administration's bidding.

From that story, too, as well as from others like this, we learn that TSA is so completely uncaring about the safety of the flying public that they don't even bother to change gloves between gropings. They're perfectly happy to contaminate subsequent gropees with whatever they picked up from prior ones — animal, vegetable, or mineral. That kind of disregard for public health and safety would subject normal people to large fines and prison terms. It should do no less for these people and their bosses.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The People, Revolting

After I wrote my prior post on the TSA's offensive new procedures, I saw where others had weighed in on the topic. Herewith, a small selection — a trio — of representative comments:

  • Scott Johnson at Powerline:
    “The TSA is bound by a form of political correctness that has long rendered it a joke. With its newly implemented scanning and patdown procedures, however, the TSA has become something worse than a joke. It has become intrusive and humiliating to a degree that is difficult to accept.” ... “In its absurd intrusiveness and glaring incompetence, the TSA has become a perfect metaphor for the Obama administration. Thus the revolt.”

  • Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post:
    “The junk man’s revolt marks the point at which a docile public declares that it will tolerate only so much idiocy.”

  • Security and terrorism expert Bruce Schneier, on the TSA Scans:
    “Q: Is this security theater?
    “A: 100 percent. It won't catch anybody.”

Meanwhile, the TSA response is to up the ante:

“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is warning that any would-be commercial airline passenger who enters an airport checkpoint and then refuses to undergo the method of inspection designated by TSA will not be allowed to fly and also will not be permitted to simply leave the airport.” (emphasis in the original)

Nor was this an idle threat. There has already been a man arrested and marched through two separate airport terminals in handcuffs and underwear by TSA thugs. His crime: He demonstrated that TSA was only interested in its defined process and not in results. He stripped down to his underwear, which “left nothing to the imagination,” so TSA could verify nothing illegal was being carried without him having to be groped. “But that wasn’t enough for the TSA supervisor who was called to the scene and asked me to put my clothes on so I could be properly patted down.” In other words, TSA insisted on coercing him into submitting to a sexual assault (which TSA pretends isn't a sexual assault because it's being done in an airport by the government). In this and its other actions (like strip searches of children), TSA has demonstrated it's just a bureaucracy of thugs.

And our Dear Leader is less than sympathetic:

“Barack Obama admitted today during his NATO Question and Answer session that he does not worry about the TSA gropings because he does not fly commercial. (Thank you for enlightening us on that, Mr. President. We almost forgot your were the Commander in Chief.) But, he added that he had no problem with ordinary Americans getting groped by TSA agents at airports.”

Obama's comments produced some interesting responses on that posting:

  • Always the false choices with this chump. Sure, build a coal plant, if you want, but you’ll go bankrupt. Sure, go ahead and opt out of government-healthcare, you’ll be fined. Want to fly? Sure, get sexually assaulted. Typical fascist bs from a typical fascist loser. I’m not accepting this “conditioning” for a totalitarian police state. Period.

  • It’s better that a million innocent children get groped than one Muslim extremist get profiled. It’s in the Consitution! Somewhere…

  • Has the nation gone bat sh** crazy? Where are all of the leftards who were screaming about losing constitutional rights during the Bush administration over the Patriot Act? Where are they? Do absolutely none of them fly or are they all closet gropers or exhibitionists and voyeurs?

  • As far as the TSA having the authority to do this, well they have the same authority to do it as the EPA has to refuse to give operating permits to 80% of the oil refineries. All of this over reaching from the executive into the private lives and private businesses to keep the masses in line.

  • You Know How to Combat the march to 1984? ………. 1776 !!!

I'm with Scott Johnson, Charles Krauthammer, and Bruce Schneier. These new TSA policies and procedures are political “security theater”, completely worthless in providing any actual security. The public “will tolerate only so much idiocy.” “Thus the revolt.”

The only solution is to disband the Transportation Security Agency and turn their responsibilities over to someone who at least has some concept of what the responsibility entails.

Obama's Manhood

James Carville tossed off a one-liner: “If Hillary gave up one of her balls and gave it to Obama, he’d have two.” (Actually, he'd probably only have one.) The White House was predictably outraged. To which Carville had a responst: “If I offended anybody, I’m not sorry and I don’t apologize.

Related, from Hudnall & Lash:

(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

PC Run Amok + Bureaucratic Overreach

“Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.”

It may be a fluke, but I feel a little prescient. Almost a year ago, I asked “Since this guy had his PETN explosive in his underwear, will we have to start taking ours off for TSA?” The answer is apparently yes, though TSA is doing is doing this with a combination of (a) technology (full-body scanners) and (b) “enhanced pat-downs” — in a coercive environment — in place of traditional strip searches. In other words, TSA is making their employees into a combination of peepers and gropers, both varieties of sex offenders who would have to register with law enforcement (and would face jail time) if they weren't government employees.

I also said “It looks to me like the bureaucrats of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) really don't know what they're doing. As a result, they are mainly just hassling ordinary passengers without doing what's needed to make us safer.” And I see no reason to change that assessment.

The bottom line is this: Limited by its bureaucrats' ideology, the TSA has no idea what to do to make actual improvements in aviation safety. So they opt for the “politically correct” solution, thereby harassing (sexually and otherwise) millions of passengers they already have reason to know are innocent while detecting no hijackers or terrorists. That's bureaucratic overreach at its best.

I would categorize this as deliberate stupidity. Somebody obviously said words like “Do something, even if it's wrong.”

As usual, Trever identifies the situation best.

It looks to me like the only solution is to disband the Transportation Security Agency and turn their responsibilities over to someone who at least has some concept of what the responsibility entails — like concentrating on who gets on the plane, instead of assaulting everyone because TSA won't focus on actual (real and projected) threats.

That way, too, we can get away from the combination of political correctness run amok combined with bureaucratic overreach — the current toxic combination that gives a program that fulfills bureaucracy's promise by being offensive, stupid, and ineffective.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Veterans Day (a week late)

Remember Veterans' Day — thank all the veterans for their service.

The posting is late, though the thought was on time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Election of 2010

After all the rallies and all the campaign appearances, after all the campaign signs and billboards, after all the political commercials on radio and TV, the election of 2010 finally arrived. That's the one day the politicians take a back seat to the nation's voters. It's when the citizens of the country have their say. Trever (of the Albuquerque Journal) puts it this way:

And the voters had their say. I doubt anyone was completely happy. In this state, for example, the Republicans were happy to end the era of two-term Governor Bill Richardson by defeating his hand-picked successor and serving Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, and by taking the office of the Secretary of State (defeating the incumbent) for the first time since 1930. But the Democrats were happy to re-elect the Attorney General, Treasurer, and Auditor.

Both sides were unhappy with the Congressional results. The Republicans knocked off the most inoffensive of the state's three first-term Democrats in Congress (Harry Teague in the second district). The more offensive incumbents, Martin Heinrich in the first district (Albuquerque) and Ben Ray Lujan in the third (the northern district) won re-election.

In general, I agree with Trever's take here, too:

But there's more. Here in New Mexico, we were going to make history no matter how the election for governor turned out. Both candidates were women, and New Mexico has never elected a woman governor. But in this election, we went further and elected the nation's first Hispanic woman governor, Susana Martinez, who until now has been the district attorney of Doña Ana county (Las Cruces area) in the southern part of the state. (Her husband, soon to be the state's First Gent, is about to retire as the county's undersheriff.)

By the way, I don't think it should be a surprise that Governor-Elect Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Governor-Elect Brian Sandoval in Nevada are both Republicans (and both defeated gringos to win their offices). Nor should it be a surprise that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Governor-Elect Nikki Haley, the nation's two Indian-American governors, are also Republicans. (Yes, I'm sure there are others.)

I'm beginning to see a pattern here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Obama Has Convinced Me

I must confess — President Obama has convinced me, with the help of his minions in the Congress. And so I take up the mantra popularized by Barack Obama. I call for throwing out the corrupt bastards, including all of my state's Congressional representatives. (We don't have a Senate seat up this year.) That is, I call for CHANGE.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

NM MOM -- An Incredible Event

This has been an incredible event. More than 200 dentists, supported by more than 400 other dental professionals and more than 1000 other volunteers, treated more than 2100 patients over two days for free on a first come, first served basis providing everything from cleanings and fillings to root canals and partial dentures. It has been an incredible event event over October 15-16, 2010. That makes it the largest inaugural Mission of Mercy event ever. Mrs. Critter and I are so glad we volunteered.

UPDATE: We have been given what appear to be final numbers from the NM MOM event. The dentists treated 2201 patients in the two-day event. 8724 separate procedures were completed, valued at $1.3 million. (From what one of the event dentists told us, that may actually be the wholesale value.) Still an amazing event.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

APS Fellow Resigns, Cites Global Warming

Hal Lewis, a Professor Emeritus of physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) for many years, has had enough. He can no longer put up with the corruption of the Society's membership and processes, and has resigned from the Society by means of a letter of resignation sent to its president. And to what does he attribute the corruption that has driven him out?

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.
He goes on to cite chapter and verse of the Society's action and inaction with regard to global warming, climate change, and whatever other term is to be applied to this subject area.

Naturally, the U.S. press wouldn't give this much (or any) coverage — Professor Lewis attacks an important shibboleth of theirs. For press coverage, one must go to the Telegraph in the rather more open British press. In this country, coverage is left to the blogs, particularly including Gateway Pundit and Watts Up With That. And that, too, helps prove Professor Lewis' point.

Obama Changes Venues

Barack Obama has changed tactics and venues. Now he's taken to talking with smaller groups of people in their back yards. His handlers say he wants to take what opportunities he can to interact with people more.

Besides, it makes for good photo opportunities.

But I'm a bit suspicious. I note that, just before these backyard visits were started, Obama spoke at a series of events where he couldn't fill the hall, and his handlers had to run around rounding up "volunteers" to fill the seats. Now he has less of a problem — it's easier to fill up an individual's back yard.

Meanwhile, Trever of the Albuquerque Journal has a related thought.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trever Gets It Right

Trever, political cartoonist for the Albuquerque Journal, regularly gets it right. He's done it again — twice in the last two days. Once on the Democrats' new logo.

And once on the Democrats' response to last Tuesday's primary elections.

Gotta admit, Trever's good.

Quran Burning Threat Response

Muslims burn Bibles and the holy books of other religions virtually every day. Muslims attack Christian churches and synagogues and the places of worship of other religions virtually every day. Muslims tell those of other faiths, in areas they control, that they must leave or convert to Islam or they will be murdered.

Given this history, Muslims must expect to be on the receiving end of similar behavior wherever they are not in control. Otherwise, they are part of a culture that has been completely infantilized. That means they have never progressed beyond a mental and emotional age of perhaps as high as age five. It means they are truly, completely uncultured and uncivilized barbarians who have no sense of individual responsibility and no concept of human nature.

That brings us to the (unrealized) threats to burn Qurans a week ago. Muslims reacted to the threats as if Pastor Jones had threatened the nuclear destruction of Mecca. They rioted, and murdered a number of people — as senior U.S. officials knew they would. President Obama and his cabinet secretaries knew Muslims would react in a completely irrational and uncivilized manner — that's why they put so much pressure on Pastor Jones not to go through with his Quran burning threat.

Look — I am against book burnings of any sort. But I also know we wouldn't have heard anything about this threat if Pastor Jones had proposed to burn a stack of Bibles, or copies of the Bhagavad Gita, or the Dhammapada, or the Book of Mormon -- or an American flag.

Given all this, there's something that needs to be said:

Alternatively, try to at least pretend you're civilized.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Imam Rauf's Taqiyya

Imam Rauf, the promoter of the mosque cum cultural center 600 feet from New York's Ground Zero, claims he intends the structure he develops to help build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims. If that is true, he will happliy move his structure to a less problematic location. If he refuses to do so, his claim is exposed as a lie.

Imam Rauf claims the U.S. constitution "reflects Muslim values", and that "90% of Sharia law is fully compatible -- not only compatible -- it's consistent or compatible with American constitutional law and American laws. The areas of difference are small and minor." Of course, when not speaking to the American press, he said "secularism has failed to deliver what the Muslim wants, which is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The only law that the Muslim needs exists already in the Koran and the Hadith." One statement or the other is a deliberate lie. Which one to you think is taqiyya?

It seems to me the best that can be said of Imam Rauf and the rest of those promoting this structure — the "Ground Zero Mosque" — is that they are dishonest Islamist supremacists. That's why so many associate this structure with the Islamists' practice, since the days of Mohammet, of building mosques on top of their victims' priority religious and political sites. And that's why so many refer to this structure as Rauf's "Victory Mosque".

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 — 9 Years Later

We were not at war with them. We were not at war at all. But they were at war with us. They had been telling us so for a long time, but we ignored them. We should not have done so.

Now it is nine years since their major attack — the largest attack ever on the American homeland. Some may have forgotten, but I have not. We still have an implacable enemy striving to attack us by whatever means they can manage — by force of arms if they can, by deceit and deception otherwise.

Here's part of what we must remember: Our enemies are adherents of an all-consuming political ideology committed to world conquest. We can't meet them on just one battlefield. We must oppose them everywhere they bring their lies — everywhere they attempt to subvert or attack us.

And we need to get ahead of the power curve and attack them where they are weakest, in logic and reality. Their entire ideology is based on deceit and deception — and they must be made to understand that. The alternative is exterminating them like their predecessors in faith, the assassin and thug cults (now reduced to being just words in our dictionaries).

I am reminded of the (probably apocryphal) story about Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Asked why there were no Muslims in Star Trek, he answered "Because it's in the future."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Muslims Plan "Burn an American Flag Day"

And how would that be different from just about every other day?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Obama is a Damned Hypocrite

Yes, President Barack Obama is a damned hypocrite. And so are his flunkies including Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Holder and Obama condemned a Florida pastor's plan to "burn a Koran" on September 11. Yet they don't seem to care that Muslims burn the Bible frequently — nearly daily — and even the U.S. military confiscated (stole) and burned privately owned Bibles in Afghanistan.

These people are a disgrace. Guess we need to start threatening violence and murder.

Update: Just another example of what's happening without any "provocations" — Terrorists attacked a Roman Catholic church & school & convent in Gaza, using RPGs to break in. Actual violence, not just a symbolic act. I also noted an article saying Islamist gunmen attacked an Episcopal church in Baghdad. Yet, in these and other frequent similar cases, we here no condemnation of the barbarians. Instead, we are told to give in and to avoid "provoking" those throwing the temper tantrums. This is ass backwards, at best, and must be changed. Immediately.

Monday, September 6, 2010


I've noticed something lately about the music I've been listening to. I sometimes put one of the music stations on the radio. But when I'm listening to something other than the radio, it's almost always one of two things — barbershop music, either quartet or chorus, on my MP3 or Los Panchos (or El Trio Los Panchos) on CD.

Once I noticed that, it started me thinking about why. And I realized it was because of the harmony in both. Nearly every note sung is in harmony — a chord. And then I realized the same thing, the harmony, is what's driven a lot of my musical preferences over the years, including in my preferences in instrumental music.

Listen to the harmonies for yourself (on YouTube) — here's a song called La Hiedra by Los Panchos and God Bless America by Albuquerque's New MexiChords barbershop chorus. The harmonies in both are indeed excellent.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Headed in the Right Direction

The country lost more jobslast month. Unemployment went up. In response, President Obama said (among lots of hesitations and "uh"s on the audio clip) "We are confident that we are moving in the right direction, but we want to keep this recovery moving stronger and accelerate the job growth that’s needed so desperately all across the country."

I'd say this is more accurate

Serendipity & E-Mails

A couple of days ago, I put up information from an e-mail I received. That e-mail did not make me happy.

Then I ran across this posting where Bernie had done the same thing and incorporated another e-mail. This one makes me much happier. Here are people that not only remember their history, but that are using that memory to build something better. It's a good read.

God bless the people of the Czech Republic.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Combat Troops Out of Iraq?

Got this in e-mail this week, and thought it worth passing along.

Hey, everybody! I just wanted to send a quick update and give y'all the REAL story on what's going on over here with the troop withdrawal.

The picture is of my crew and I on a break during a mission.   The guy to the far left is my gunner (Burks) and the guy in the middle is my driver (Mizell).  They go with me on every mission and are great guys.

The reason I'm sending this out is because I have had a few people ask if I left Iraq early because all of the combat troops are out of Iraq and I wanted to let everyone know the real deal.

It's kind of ridiculous how the news is saying that the last of the "combat" troops are out of Iraq because of Pres Obama.  He says that it was his campaign promise.

Take our Brigade for example.  We were originally called a HBCT (Heavy Brigade Combat Team).  Well, since Obama said he would pull all of the "combat" troops out by Aug, all they did before we left was change our name from a HBCT to a AAB (Advise and Assist Brigade).  We have the same personnel/equipment layout as before and are doing the same missions.  The ONLY difference is that they changed our name from a HBCT to an AAB and that's how he is getting away with saying that he has pulled all of the "combat" troops out.

It is really ridiculous what he's doing and he has ticked a lot of people off.  And it's funny how the media is buying all of it, too.  So no the last combat troops are not out of Iraq. We are still here.  There are other Brigades just like ours that are doing the same missions that are still over here.

Sorry for going on about it but we are just sitting over here watching it and are like "You've got to be kidding me!"  So anyway now you know the REAL story, so that's why I'm not coming back early.  You have to watch those liberals, they're sneaky!

Anyways I hope everyone is doing well and I'll see you soon!


Sunday, August 22, 2010


History is full of events waiting for someone to notice the connection between one piece and another. That's one of the things that makes history so interesting — there's always something new to learn, to notice.

Here's an example, taken from an article about historian William H. McNeill in the University of Chicago Magazine:

McNeill first noticed disease lurking in the shadows of historical documents when he was researching The Rise of the West. Like accounts of the Antonine Plague, historical records made passing mention of disease. But there was little analysis of their role in shaping history. "I read the story of Cortéz and couldn't believe it," McNeill says. The conventional story of how Tenochtitlan [modern-day Mexico City] fell to Hernán Cortéz and a small band of Spaniards in 1521 seemed to contradict common sense. At one point, the Aztecs had beaten the Spaniards back but did not press their advantage. "A considerable number of the Spanish were wounded in the retreat but there was no follow-up," McNeill says. "I couldn't figure out why the nephew of Montezuma, who organized the attack, didn't surround the Spaniards and bring them up to the top of that temple and cut their hearts out the next day. It's what should have happened."

And yet, it didn't. Instead, the Spaniards conquered Mexico and converted millions of Aztecs to Christianity. "I was sort of mulling this over in my head," McNeill recalls, "and somebody casually remarked that smallpox had broken out in Mexico City the night of the noche triste"—the night of the Spaniards' retreat—"and Montezuma's nephew died of it that same night."

The plague struck only the Aztecs. The Spaniards, who had developed an immunity to smallpox during repeated childhood exposures, were spared. The implication in the eyes of everyone who lived through the Aztec epidemic, McNeill argues, was the superior power of the Spaniards' God over the Aztecs' deities. "The whole history of the New World hinged on that episode," McNeill says. Suddenly he realized "there was a whole history that had to be written.

Sometimes you just need one more piece of information for an event to make sense.

Another Truth

"You know, if Obama had governed as a centrist postracial free-market pragmatist — which is how he positioned himself in the campaign — he’d be looking like one of the most successful presidents in recent history now."
    — Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit noting an article in the L.A.Times.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Santa Fe Cathedral Celebrates 400th Anniversary

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico, celebrated its 400th anniversary today. The special Mass was celebrated by Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Major congratulations are in order. Very little in the United States goes back to 1610.

A Clear Truth, Clearly Stated

"When leftists can’t win an intelligent argument they historically resort to violence. Whether they’re communists, socialists, Nazis or members of the SEIU, the game is the same."
    — Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jeff Bingaman Wants to Raise Your Taxes

Of course, they won't call it taxes — Jeff Bingaman calls it savings.

Senator Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexico democrat, introduced the Automatic IRA Act of 2010 last week. The new legislation would require all firms with 10 or more employees that don't already offer a retirement plan to automatically enroll workers in an IRA. Workers who don't wish to participate would need to take action to opt out or change the default contribution amount and investments.

The default "standardized savins rate" is 3% of the victim's worker's paycheck — an additional 3% in addition to the deductions for federal taxes, state taxes, Social Security, Medicare, medical insurance, HSAs, life insurance, savings bonds, 401(k)s, etc., etc., etc.

It seems we've heard this siren song before. They oriinally sold Social Security as a "savings plan", as "retirement insurance". Of course, that was before Congress stole the money from the "lock box" to use for their general fund expenditures. Now Social Security and Medicare are recognized as taxes (and regressive ones, at that) — not savings, not insurance, and above all not voluntary.

This whole concept stinks. And I hope a lot of people contact Binaman's office to let him know they think so.

Social Security

So the Democrats' leadership is launching a new disinformation campaign, attacking the Republicans on Social Security. It'll most likely be the same stuff they've used before — "Republicans want to take away your Social Security." "Republicans want to throw Grandma out on the street."

Seems it might be instructive to look at a little history that came to me by e-mail:

Your Social Security

Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn't know this. It's easy to check out, if you don't believe it. Be sure and show it to your kids. They need a little history lesson on what's what and it doesn't matter whether you are Democrat or Republican. Facts are Facts!!!

Social Security Cards up until the 1980s expressly stated the number and card were not to be used for identification purposes. Since nearly everyone in the United States now has a number, it became convenient to use it anyway and the message was removed.[see reference]

An old Social Security card with the
An old Social Security card with the "NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION" message.

Our Social Security

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

1.) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary, but it is no longer voluntary.

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual Incomes into the Program, but the individual tax is now 7.65% on the first $90,000 (plus the employer tax).

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year, but Social Security taxes are no longer tax deductible.

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent 'Trust Fund' rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, but under Johnson the money was moved to The General Fund and spent.

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income, but under Clinton & Gore , up to 85% of your Social Security was made taxable.

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month -- and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal government to 'put away' -- you may be interested in the following:

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent 'Trust Fund' and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratically controlled House and Senate.

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the 'tie-breaking' deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the US.

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----


Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?

A: That's right!

Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it!

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----

Then, after violating all these elements of the original FICA contract, the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it! If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe changes will evolve. But maybe not, since some Democrats are awfully sure of what isn't so.

Meanwhile, after screwing over the people of the United States, Congress gives themselves 100% retirement for only serving one term!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Day the War Began to End

Today is August 6th, the 65th anniversary of the day the crew of the Enola Gay dropped the never-tested "Little Boy" atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. That was the day the war between Japan and the United States — which began with the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 — finally began to end.

Here is something I heard from one of the atomic bomb program's participants in the Pacific.

Leon Smith, one of the 509th Composite Bomb Group’s three weaponeers on Tinian Island, was asked by a Japanese documentary film crew (including three individuals from Hiroshima) a number of years later how he felt when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. (By a flip of the coin, the other two weaponeers flew on the missions to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Smith would probably have flown on the atomic bomb mission to Tokyo had that mission been necessary, but flew on the post-war test at Bikini Atoll instead.) He recounted his response as follows:

I pointed out there had been a long war — intensive battles starting in the South Pacific, moving ever northward toward Japan. I talked about the 30,000 Japanese soldiers, 20,000 civilians, lost on Saipan. On Iwo Jima, which was roughly halfway to Japan and a fighter base, 60,000 Marines went ashore, and suffered the highest casualty rate they’d ever suffered in any Marine operation. The Japanese had 21,000 defenders. 20,000 died. The battle for Okinawa had just been completed at the end of June. There over 100,000 Japanese soldiers died. 125-150,000 civilians.

General Marshall believed that defending Japan were 2.3 million soldiers, 4 million navy men, and 28 million armed civilian militia. I said the invasion was scheduled for November of ’45. I thought the casualties would have been simply unreal — beyond comprehension.

I said, “How did I feel when the bomb was dropped? I felt a sense of relief.” I was confident that the war would soon be over. That I could go back and see my wife whom I’d seen very little since our marriage in 1941. The U.S. and its allies could go back to their homes and their families. And the Japanese could go back to their families. Yes, I felt a sense of relief.

Today is the anniversary of the Enola Gay’s flight to Hiroshima, the anniversary of the day Leon Smith’s relief began.
See Nuclear History for information on the atomic bombs and their use in 1945 to end World War II. Separate parts of that article deal with Hiroshima, Trinity, and Nagasaki.

UPDATE: Here is a link to a short 1998 interview with Paul Tibbets, then a colonel and the pilot who flew the Enola Gay over Hirishima on August 6, 1945.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Denver Judge Promotes Fraud

There's a federal judge in Denver suffering from a severe case of rectal-cranial inversion. Judge Robert E Blackburn ruled the Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional, claiming it violates the First Amendment's guarantees of free speech. He thinks it's fine for a slimeball to pretend to be a wounded Iraq war vet as part of his scheme to defraud people. He dropped all charges against the fraud merchant.

The judge has clearly not thought this through. Look for other criminals to challenge the laws they're charged under. First up will be those charged with impersonating a police officer. And if they're successful, there will be a lot more victims.

Arizona Immigration Law Lawsuits

So President Barack Obama, and his crony at the Justice Department Eric Holder, have filed suit against Arizona over SB1070 — Arizona's immigration law. They might as well have titled their lawsuit the United States Government vs. the People of the United States since a majority support the Arizona law and another proportion thinks it doesn't go far enough.

I've already written of what I think about the law itself, and about the duplicity and dishonesty of most of the arguments against it. That includes the ones I heard this morning on Meet the Press.

The Obama Administration and the Holder Justice Department pretend they are just trying to avoid having a patchwork of immigration laws across the country. This is disingenuous in the extreme. As the Los Angeles Times reports, that patchwork exists now — largely because of the federal government's refusal to enforce the current laws, or to even encourage cities (& etc.) simply to avoid flouting the law.

The DOJ lawsuit also claims the Arizona law interferes with federal enforcement of the federal immigration laws it mirrors. But that's a logical impossibility — you can't interfere with something the federal government is not doing and has no intention of doing.

It seems the issue is really that Obama and Holder assert they know better than the Congress and the people. They think they can determine what laws to ignore and what laws (existing or nonexistent) to enforce.

So here's my suggestion to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer — Countersue! Sue for two things:

  1. Specific performance, a court order ordering the federal government to enforce the law. (Of course, the Administration will probably ignore that court order, just as it has ignored others.)
  2. Damages to repay the state and its people for the costs of the federal dereliction of duty, probably on the order of $2 trillion.

Just a suggestion.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Obama vs. Rule of Law

President Barack Obama really wants to be a dictator. He wishes he could be a tyrant whose every word stands in place of the law and is carried out by his cronies.

If there was ever any doubt about that, consider the Obama Administration's deep-water drilling moratorium. In striking it down, Federal District Court Judge Martin Feldman noted that it was justified on the basis of false statements by the Secretary of the Interior that abused "reason and common sense." He also blasted the Administration for lying about the views of the experts brought in to evaluate the situation.

(He) said the government, without justification, arbitrarily made the sweeping conclusion that 'all Gulf deepwater drilling activities put us in a universal threat of irreparable harm.' That arbitrary conclusion already was causing irreparable economic harm to the Gulf region, he said.
It was abritrary and capricious. And here's why: The Obama people didn't care about reality or about legitimate justifications — they only cared about getting what they wanted and doing whatever was necessary to accomplish that.

They didn't like Judge Feldman's decision, so they appealed it. So far, so good. But even before the Court of Appeals heard the case, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced he would issue a new, slightly different moratorium order. In other words, Barack Obama and his fellow travelers don't care about the courts or the rule of law. They just want their way.

And now they have carried out their threat and issued a new moratorium order that "amounts to the exact same ban", functionally idential to the ban the courts threw out as unjustified. And the deep-water drilling rigs have started leaving American waters, going places they won't have to fight "the Obama Administration’s nonstop bid to halt production" in the Gulf of Mexico.

This is incredible arrogance, as well as deliberate disregard for a foundational American governing principle. That shouhd have Secretary Salazar summoned into court immediately to attempt to explain to Judge Feldman why he chose to deliberately flout the judge's order (even though it was upheld on appeal) and why he shouldn't be jailed for contempt of court. And in my view Secretary Salazar should be in jail, and kept there until his (Obama's) unjustified moratorium is ended and the Interior Department ends its orders halting all new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico (which the Department is denying even though it has been implementing it even to the point of rescinding permits granted just the day before.

We truly are being ruled by a rogue regime.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kagan: We Can Trust the Government Bureaucrats

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan believes we can place absolute trust in government bureaucrats to protect our lives and our rights. She argued to the Supreme Court that it would be perfectly fine if Congress passed a law banning books, since the government has never yet enforced such a law. I suppose she would also not oppose a law allowing the government to murder anyone it pleases, since the government has never yet attempted to make use of that sort of law, either.

Yes, I know that as Solicitor General, Ms Kagan had the responsibility of arguing her superiors' position in the case being appealed. Even so, supporting that position with this kind of argument marks her as either stupid or opposed to American principles. And whatever else she may be, I don't think she is stupid. And I'm not the only one to think so:

An attorney who would advise her client to be stupid and trust something not to happen, because it has never happened before is not an advocate, or an advisor; she is either incompetent or working for the other side.
Part of what's disturbing about this is Ms Kagan's position that what's in the law doesn't matter — that the government can ignore whatever laws it likes. (What about citizens? Do they have the same right?) But, then, I shouldn't be surprised: The man who nominater Ms Kagan, and his minions, believe they can ignore lots of laws — including the voter intimidation and border security laws.

It would be nice if we could get an Administration that actually believed in the rule of law, and in a government of laws rather than men. But those are American principles, so that may be too much to ask.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Simple Solutions

The Jihadist who tried to set off a car bomb in New York City's Times Square proudly plead guilty to all charges in court. He was eager to tell about his plot — he was proud of his failed attempt — he came to court with a prepared statement.

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistan-born US citizen, trained with the Taliban and returned to the US to launch attacks on civilians here. He considers himself a "Muslim soldier". He said the attacks will continue until US forces leave Muslim lands.

This suggests a few simple solutions to some of our current problems. Here's a big one that would solve a number of problems:

  • US and other Western forces leave Muslim lands.
  • In return, all Muslims leave or are ejected from Western countries.
  • The Muslim lands we leave are put into isolation — under quarantine. No more Western aid. No more Western contact. They can commune among themselves. This status will continue until those countries' populations change their regimes to governments that no longer attack the West and promote terrorism and Islamist supremacy.
If we don't quite want to go that far, we can at least require reciprocity:
  • No mosque or Islamic study center can be built or opened in a Western land until Christian churches and synagogues are built and opened — without threats or violence — in Muslim lands.
  • No new mosque can be built or opened in a top-level Western city like New York or Washington DC until at least one cathedral and at least one synagogue is built and opened in Mecca.
Reciprocity must be required at other levels, as well.
  • Because of continued demonstrations of Muslim intolerance, including the continued harassment and murder of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Baha'is, and other non-Muslims, any demands (or requests) for tolerance by Muslims must be preceded by demonstrations of Muslim tolerance for non-Muslim religions and groups. (The simplest tolerance demonstration might be acceptance of Muslim converts to other religions, or to none.) Without such demonstrations, no request or demand will be heard.
We must also quit cutting Muslim extremists so much slack. If they are going to continue to seek converts in the West, they cannot object to Christian (and other) missionaries seeking converts in Muslim countries. If they are going to continue to limit their charity to Muslims only, they cannot object if we begin to limit our charity to them.

To smooth acceptance of these solutions and terms, we might accept the demand of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (and other Muslim organizations) for a law banning defamation of religions, making it clear that the first thousand cases will immediately be filed against mosques and imams for their preaching of hatred against Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims. Large fines and jail time might do more than all the tolerance in the world to reduce the venom and violence being preached routinely to the Muslim faithful.

Just a few ideas for simple solutions to complex problems, with the added benefit of letting some of these folks reap the appropriate consequences of their own actions and their own immature demands.

And that's before we consider the question of whether Islamism (or Islam itself) is actually a religion, or whether it is in reality just another totalitarian political ideology.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Odd Privacy Decisions

The combination of two court decisions on the privacy of personal data struck me as odd.

  1. The United States Supreme Court ruled in a case from Washington State that the names and addresses of people who signed a petition supporting traditional marriage could be made public. The losing side had argued the information was protected under the Privacy Act, and that releasing it would subject the petition signers to harassment by extremist gay marriage supporters.
  2. The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled the state Motor Vehicle Division was right to refuse to release the names and addresses of illegal aliens who were given drivers licenses. The losing side had argued the information was needed to determine how many of the illegal aliens were registered to vote, and had voted in state and federal elections.
So the courts have ruled illegal aliens have rights that are denied to citizens. I find that very interesting.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

D Day - June 6, 1944

66 years ago today

A long time ago, but important to remember — even as the memories are fading and there are fewer and fewer of the participants left.

See the rest at the Weasel Zippers site, and visit Sense of Events and Blackfive for their commemorations.

Tian An Men Remembered

21 years ago, in China — June 4, 1989

We need to remember this bravery, these events.

And, the way history usually works, it won't be long till one of 1989's demonstrators from Tian An Men Square becomes part of the senior leadership of China.

[I'm posting this a couple of days late. But I still remember.]

Friday, June 4, 2010

Deliberate Stupidity About the Arizona Immigration Law

There are a lot of people out there saying a lot of things about the new Arizona law on illegal aliens. The milder statements have been that it's clearly invalid (statements by Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano, and earlier statements by Barack Obama), and that it was "poorly conceived" (later Obama statement). Many have said it is obviously unconstitutional, requires racial profiling, and violates U.S. treaty obligations. Others have been calling it racist and immoral, and have accused Arizona of being filled with Nazis for having passed it.

Southern Arizona's Congressman Raúl Grijalva has called on President Obama to void the law, and has called for a boycott of his own state for having passed it. It looks like Los Angeles may join that boycott — which Arizona power plants may accommodate by sending to other states the large amount of electricity they currently supply to that city. Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, from southern California, has said white supremacist groups are behind the passage of this law.

Statements calling the Arizona law racist and xenophobic, and a brutal violation of human rights, have come from dictators Fidel Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

And on a visit to Washington, D.C., Mexican President Felipe Calderón attacked Arizona and its new law — both in a speech to the Congress (drawing a standing ovation from Congressional Democrats) and in a joint press conference with President Obama at the White House.

There is one common thread among all these views and statements: As best I can determine, not a single one of the people making these statements have actually read the Arizona law.

Here's part of why that's interesting: The Arizona law mirrors the corresponding federal law, though with prohibitions against racial profiling the federal law lacks. By that means, it makes violations of the federal immigration law also violations of state law, enabling the state and local authorities to enforce them.

All of which would be known to all these folks if they would just read the bill. It's not like the Arizona law is a 2700 page monstrosity — the law is just ten pages long. Is it really too much to ask that our most senior officials read the bill before pontificating about it? It might actually keep them from making incredibly ignorant public statements. (On the other hand, maybe they simply don't want to know what's actually in the new law.)

This whole situation has caused me three particular lines of thought:

  — Consider why Arizona has been pushed into passing a law like this. Phoenix has become the kidnapping capital of the world as the drug cartels have been pushing across our far-too-open border. Ranchers have been dealing with increasing amounds of theft and destruction, both of their property and of the region's Sonoran Desert. Attempts to stop the vandals and human traffickers have gotten area ranchers hauled into court or murdered by illegal aliens. Conditions have become intolerable. Something had to be done — has to be done — and the Obama Administration, like its predecessors for at least two decades, has completely abdicated its responsibility for border security.

  — Everything we hear from the press and media, and nearly everything we hear from our nation's political leadership, opposes this new Arizona law. To restate this, everything we hear from the elites opposes this law. Despite this, 70% of Arizonans and a significant majority of all Americans support this law. In fact, even a major portion of American politicians support it. That's why at least 18 other states are now considering passage of similar laws. And that's not counting the states like California who already have laws on the books with similar provisions.

  — Thinking about the people demonstrating against this law (for example here, I keep wondering where they were before. If this law is so onerous, so obviously racist, and so obviously unconstitutional, why weren't they protesting when the U.S. Congress passed (and the president signed) the same provisions? Where were they when California passed their similar law? My conclusion is that the selective outrage of the politicians and media and demonstrators isn't about this law or any of its provisions — it's really about the fact that, unlike other jurisdictions in the past, Arizona will probably actually enforce this law.

Under these circumstances, I guess I should revise my initial statement: There are a lot of people out there spouting really stupid stuff about the new Arizona law on illegal aliens. Their statements reflect either complete ignorance or deliberate stupidity about the law. The only alternative is that they (at least some of them) know what's actually in the law and are being deliberately dishonest about it for political purposes.

All that said, it may still be open for discussion whether this particular law is the best approach to the illegal aliens problems. After all, it doesn't secure the border to stop the illegal entries. (No city or state can accomplish that.) But as an absolute baseline, I like the policy now established in Albuquerque under which every individual processed into the detention center — every individual placed under arrest — is interviewed by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to determine his/her citizenship and residency status. And I don't see any problem with similar immigration inquiries under circumstances when the law enforcement officer has the discretion as to whether to detain the individual or not.

The Department of Justice is reviewing the Arizona law, and considering what action (if any) to recommend to Attorney General Eric Holder. ABC News has reported the draft DOJ conclusion to be that "the Arizona legislature exceeded its authority in crafting a law that could impede federal responsibility for enforcing immigration laws." This conclusion, draft or otherwise, is ludicrous — it is not logically possible to impede the federal government in performance of responsibilities it has conclusively demonstrated it has no intention of performing. This does, however, suggest an approach that might be taken either instead of, or in addition to, passage of a law like Arizona's: The border states, individually and/or collectively, could sue the Administration and the federal government (I would think both for specific performance and a trillion dollars or so in damages) over its dereliction of duty in abrogating its responsibilities in securing the borders and enforcing the immigration statutes. Maybe that would actually get their attention.

In the meantime, we'll all have to keep pressing this issue. Fortunately, we seem to have some good, strong voices with us.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

I have seen a number of Memorial Day tributes, today and in past years. This — originally posted in 2001 and reposted today — is one of the best. Go read it all. You'll be glad you did.

Enjoy your holiday, and remember why we have it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Economy Is Improving (?)

We keep getting told the economy is improving. Actually, they usually tell us it's improving rapidly.

But there's something wrong with this picture. We learned today that 79 banks have been closed and taken over by the regulators this year. That's more than twice as many as by this time last year. That sounds like the economy is getting worse, not better.

Looks like improvement will take some more time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mohammed Cartoons

Today has been designated "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day". I think the best contribution I can make is to reprint a pair of postings originally made on my old site (and linked here in the "Favorites" list as Offensive Cartoons).

UPDATE: Here are a few "Draw Mohammed Day" postings I found interesting. One was at Atlas Shrugs. A broader one (probably not safe for work) is at Weasel Zippers. The Infidel Bloggers Alliance also has a good summary. Zombie and Michelle Malkin have comments. Error Theory also has an interesting related post.

UPDATE: Facebook has shown it doesn't believe in free speech — at least, not enough to actually support it. Instead, it has shown real cowardice. It has apologized to Pakistan for the existence of the Mohammed cartoons page, taken down that page, and assured the government of Pakistan that "nothing of this sort will happen in the future." In other words, Facebook has promised to limit Americans' (and others') free speech rights at the behest of foreign control freaks. This is just another example of American companies acting badly.

This does leave one more question: What other American and Western values does Facebook not believe in or support?

February 5, 2006

“Offensive” Cartoons

I’ve been trying to figure out what the big deal is about the drawings printed by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark. First, I wonder which of the drawings is supposed to be Muhammad? They all look different! Is any picture of any vaguely Arab-looking man supposed to be banned as an insulting image of Muhammad? Or maybe only those with beards and turbans? By that stricture, no picture of Khomeini, al Sadr, or any of the mullahs could be printed. That’s ridiculous!

Second, even the rioters seem to agree that these drawings are not, themselves, offensive. The only thing I’ve seen them bring up is that the drawings are “insulting Islam” — because they show a man someone can convince himself looks like Muhammad, which he can convince himself is prohibited by Islamic tradition. But, as Michelle Malkin notes,

In response to the notion that the West (or Islam) has ever followed the prohibition against depicting Mohammed, Zombie has created the “Mohammed Image Archive,” which contains dozens of Mohammed images from throughout history.
One set of images on that page are labeled as “Modern Iranian Icons,” and are freely available today in Iran. Another includes images from across the Muslim world from prior centuries. Those images and others demonstrate that, if such a prohibition exists, it has been honored in the breach (i.e., not at all) throughout Muslim history.

It seems to me that someone was looking for an excuse that could be used to stir up trouble. This is consistent with the drawings, themselves, which were published last September. It is consistent with the fact that there was little adverse reaction until much later. And it is consistent with the fact that the leadership of the Islamic Society of Denmark had to create additional images — which are offensive — to gain the controversy any traction.

For the record, here are the twelve cartoons all the fuss is supposedly about.

The cartoonists who drew the last two images (below) seem to have had some idea of the kind of responses that might come from some of the local flock.

All twelve of these images are from the Face of Muhammad site, where the words that appear on some of them have been translated into English.

Now it turns out the the leadership of the Islamic Society of Denmark went to the Middle East to “create awareness” about the cartoons that were published in Denmark. Evidently, however, they know the Danish drawings are inoffensive — nothing to get disturbed about — but don’t want to admit they cooked up the whole issue. So they created some additional graphics of their own (see right, from Gateway Pundit here and here) that really are offensive. As Gateway Pundit says, “Evidently, the originals were not offensive enough for the trip!” (See, too, the coverage in the CounterTerrorism Blog, including here and here. There are also several other related posts.) And yet, the additional graphics created by Muslims to stir up other Muslims still aren’t as bad as the ones regularly aimed at Christians and Jews in the Middle East press.

[UPDATE: It seems to me the main reason the Islamist leadership, and those in the protests they hire, don’t want U.S. and European newspapers republishing the Danish cartoons is simple — they don’t want people to see that their riots are “put up jobs” and that there’s really nothing behind their “outrage”.]

To avoid other assertions, here is an image of the page on which the drawings were published in Denmark on September 30, 2005 (left).

As for me, I tend to agree with Cox and Forkum’s take on the issue (below).

UPDATE: These two cartoonists have captured the cultural differences involved in these “cartoon wars.” The first cartoon is from Filibuster Cartoons via Zombie’s Mohammed Image Archive. The second cartoon is from Trever in the Albuquerque Journal.

For my money, though, the best comment is from Cagle. Probably no one would think the Danish drawings were of Muhammad if they weren’t being told so by their religious leaders. And isn’t that truly a fitting conclusion for the “cartoon wars”?


February 17, 2006

Those Who Insult Islam

Looks to me like it’s these folks (and their
compatriots) that are an insult to Islam.
If these are its adherents, it’s self-insulting.

By the way, I think I’ve figured out two reasons why the Islamist leadership and demonstrators are trying so hard to prevent other newspapers from printing the Danish cartoons, most of which don’t even purport to show Muhammad:

  1. It’s a power thing, to demonstrate they can control other countries and societies — against their own laws — without the necessity of actual conquest.
  2. They don’t want people to see there’s really nothing behind their “outrage”.