Saturday, September 30, 2006

Understanding Islam

There is a book being recommended by William F. Buckley that goes a long way in his opinion to clarify what we need to know as we confront the actions of militant Islamists. The article can be read here. The book is authored by Mary Habeck. She is a scholar at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins, and her book, "Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror," is published by Yale University Press. A sample chosen by Buckley.

"The question of offensive jihad is ... complex and controversial," writes Habeck. "The most widely respected Islamic authorities ... all assume that Muslims have a duty to spread the dominion of Islam, through military offensives, until it rules the world. By the 'dominion of Islam' these authorities did not mean that everyone in the world must convert to Islam, since they also affirmed that 'there is no compulsion in religion,' rather that every part of the Earth must come under Islamic governance and especially the rule of the sharia.

"Azzam's definition of offensive jihad (Azzam is the principal modern theorist of militant Islam) follows this traditional understanding of jihad, noting that it is a duty for the leader of the Muslims 'to assemble and send out an army unit into the land of war once or twice every year.'" The jihadist is obliged to perform with all available capabilities "until there remain only Muslims or people who submit to Islam."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Toleration of Intolerance

Robert Sowell captures the situation once again. Read it all here.

The drive to extend Geneva convention protection to terrorists who are not covered under the Geneva convention is one of a number of dangerous self-indulgences by people who seem to think that being morally one-up is the ultimate and survival is secondary.

Senator Lindsey Graham's comment that we are going to win in our struggle with terrorists "because we are better" was all too typical of this mindset.

It would be hard to know which would be worse -- if he said it as just some offhand political rhetoric or whether he is really fatuous enough to believe it and irresponsible enough to gamble American lives rather than extract murderous secrets from captured cutthroats.

The National Intelligence Estimate

Once we get close to an election, the President's enemies in the CIA begin leaking classified material and this time it is part of an NIE which in itself is really just a summary of opinions by various intelligence agents or agencies. The hot item this time is the one which says the war in Iraq is increasing the radicalism of Islam. There are many questions regarding the validity of this conclusion, but the interesting thing is how the liberals like Ted Kennedy have latched onto this as if it were biblical. Obviously President Bush is causing us to be less secure by his actions in Iraq and we have a classified intelligence report generated last April to prove it. Someone needs to point out to morons like Kennedy that the NIE of October 2002 warned of Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction. The NIE immediately preceding 09/11 virtually ignored Osama bin Laden and never even mentioned al-Qaida. Give me a break.

Clinton Lied???

I am shocked.

“The notion somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn’t do that is just flatly false - and I think the 9/11 commission understood that,” Rice said during a wide-ranging meeting with Post editors and reporters.

“What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years,” Rice added.

The secretary of state also sharply disputed Clinton’s claim that he “left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy” for the incoming Bush team during the presidential transition in 2001.

“We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda,” Rice responded during the hourlong session.

Friday, September 22, 2006

First, identify the problem

Something called the Education Schools Project recently issued a report called "Educating School Teachers" and the conclusion after a review of the nations 1,206 university level schools of education don't have what it takes to produce excellent teachers. As a matter of fact, the report concludes that they have the lowest admission standards of any other school and the "least accomplished" professors. This would be bad enough, but there is consensus on neither how long teachers should study nor the nature of their preparation (theoretical or practical, for example). As opposed to law or medicine the education schools do not have a universally accepted body of knowledge and set of skills before graduates are allowed to practice.

Things are not likely to improve since the study found that many universities use the education schools as cash machines to admit and graduate everyone for the tuition dollars. The education establishment opposes any effort to improve the situation with more rigorous standards because that would deprive many people of the chance to become teachers. So, the whole enterprise seems to be rotten to the core. Sad.

Say it ain't so

The following from Mark Steyn concludes with a prediction which if it comes to pass will really decrease the number of air passengers in the future if my recent appraisal of young women during a recent trip to Las Vegas or our local mall is any indication. Very few women are walking around with that which God gave them.

Meanwhile, Birmingham Airport in England has banned passengers from boarding with “gel-filled bras”. People have been demanding for years now that we need to start profiling. Well, they’re profiling in Birmingham: they’re profiling women with padded bras, which is one great profile; their highly trained staff can spot gals who really stand out. I know I feel safer knowing that unusually curvaceous women are being subject to extra security screening. So gel-filled bras are out, and presumably in another year or two we’ll be preventing gel-filled breasts from boarding.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Common Sense

Everyone needs to read this and decide if John McCain and his stance on Article III of the Geneva Conventions makes sense. I'll go with Thomas Sowell almost everytime.

Unions for the working man???

I have long felt labor unions were primarily for losers. There was a time when they were a positive improvement for workers who let themselves be exploited, but since the workers were unable to perceive their situation correctly and respond accordingly, they were doomed to become exploited again by a different group. This has happened with modern unions. The Wall Street Journal recaps some of the ways in which the various unions spend the dues paid by the membership who actually work. The Bush administration a few years ago passed laws requiring unions to detail how they spend their money. Previously, they would lump big slugs of money in a category called "sundry expenses". As might be expected, the unions were not happy with this requirement. Now, the AFL-CIO is forced to report that $82 million of discretionary disbursements from July 2004 to June 2005 was divided in such a way that 36% went to represent its members in negotiations and 60% went to political activities and lobbying. The National Education Association spent only 33% on improving members working lot. Of course, most of the political money goes to losers like John Kerry and to such groups as Citizens for Tax Justice which works to raise taxes. Kinda sad, really.

Pelosi as Speaker??

Jonah Goldberg has a good essay today about how it might not be the end of the world if the dems won the House this election. He makes some sense. Here is a sample, but you can read it all here.

Republican control of the White House and Congress hasn't resulted in lights being turned off in Cabinet agencies or enormous garage sales of office furniture. Instead, Uncle Sam is still looking like Marlon Brando at the end of his career: bloated, sweaty and slow-moving. The GOP has become a Brando-like parody of its former self, reading its lines about cutting government without plausibility or passion.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I finally understand

Islam is a peaceful religion and if you say differently we will kill you.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pity the Poor Pope

Well, the Pope quotes someone from centuries ago that seems to indicate Islam has a streak which seems to advance violence and a lack of tolerance. The reaction of the Islamists around the world is to protest this thought by acting to confirm it. It is obvious these illiterates have no ability to understand and act rationally since they are irrational and deluded losers.

As someone pointed out, it is akin to the situation whereby a white DC bureaucrat used "niggardly" in his speech to describe how seriously he took his responsibilities for the benefits of the taxpayers. Some illiterates misinterpreted that to be the dreaded "N" word. The poor guy apologized again and again for the following weeks, and finally lost his job.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

ABC Mini-series

As we all anxiously await the airing of the controversial docudrama about 9/11, I can't help wondering if others find it strange to have Clinton lecturing one and all about how important it is for the network to tell the ignoring his lies, I presume.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Clinton in crisis mode

The upcoming ABC docudrama about 9/11 evidently has something in it that suggests the Clintons did not do enough to capture and kill Osama in the 90's. Well, how dare they say his administration had any deficiencies in this regard. So, the pressure is on ABC to change its program and there is some evidence that the network is doing just that. Do they protest too much?

Newt nails it again

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. . . . As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves."

--Abraham Lincoln
Annual message to Congress
Dec. 1, 1862
Newt Gingrich used this quote from Lincoln to introduce his brilliant analysis of our current situation with respect to the war on terrorism and in Iraq. It is a must read and I find it terribly sad that one of the most critical thinkers in our political arena has been brought to a point where his brilliance will not be given the deference it deserves. It is also sad that our current President is no Abraham Lincoln. Read the entire essay here.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Election Season

The election season is now officially underway since we have Labor Day behind us and the concensus seems to be that the Democrats will take over the House of Representatives and probably the Senate if all the stars align correctly as the liberal media seems to think they will. As much as I think the Republicans deserve to lose, the best thing they have going for them is the extreme unliklihood that conventional wisdom will come to pass. It seldom does in anything and especially in politics.

Katie's Debut

I didn't watch it, of course, but it was hard to avoid the critiques of Katie's first effort on the internet today. Most were fairly neutral, but this one was pretty funny. Here is a sample:

For her very first night as CBS News diva, Katie spent a half-hour looking as if she desperately had to go potty. Her back was so stiff as she looked into the camera, pop-eyed and self-conscious, I feared it would snap.

Her face was Botoxed beyond normal human endurance, proving that even pampered, overpaid news babes possess the courage to suffer for their art.

And later.....

The best that can be said about Katie Couric was that she did not trip over her 5-inch stiletto heels when she toddled across the floor of the set, crossing her bare legs like some ridiculous tramp.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Santorem/Casey Debate

Here is the Democrats answer to the Iraq situation as expounded by Bob Casey on Meet the Press last Sunday in a debate with Senator Santorem.

Russert: Let's go right to it: the war in Iraq. Mr. Casey, you're the challenger, you told the Philadelphia Inquirer August 2005 the following:

"Casey said he would have voted for the war considering the evidence at the time, and supported the spending bills that funded the effort." Knowing what you know today, would you still have voted for the war?

Casey: Tim, before I begin my answer I just want to make a note of a loss in Pennsylvania. Mayor Bob O'Connor, in the city of Pittsburgh, passed away. We want to express--I think we share that here today--we want to express our condolences to his family.

Tim, on the war in Iraq, if, if, if a lot of Americans knew now--if they knew then what they know now, they would, they would have thought that this war was the war that shouldn't have been fought based upon the misleading of this administration.

Here's what I think has to happen in Iraq today.

Russert: So you would not vote for it today.

Casey: Based upon the information that we have now, I think that, that a lot of Americans would have serious doubts. I'm not sure there would have even been a vote on Iraq that early in the--

Russert: But in '05 you said you'd vote for it. Would you today in '06 vote for it?

Casey: Based upon the evidence that was presented then, yes, which I think has been--was misleading, and I think it was faulty. The intelligence was faulty.

Russert: But today, today is no. Today you would vote no.

Casey: Today--if we knew then what we know now, sure. I think there wouldn't have been a vote and I think people would have changed.

After all that, the only thing we know for sure is that Casey is sorry the mayor died.

Republicans Care

As the Republican-lead House of Representatives returns from a month long vacation and with a limited schedule before they adjourn to ask us to send them back to "represent" us; I read that they have decided that they will not even try to pass anything which will address the illegal immigrant problem and the porous borders both parties have tolerated for decades. What then, is on the schedule? The major legislation on the floor in the House this week is a bill that would ban trading in horses to be slaughtered for human consumption. Now, there is a problem we have all been clamoring to be addressed

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Steyn take on Centanni/Wiig conversion to Islam

While in captivity by the Palestinians a few days ago, the Fox News employees appeared in a video and claimed they had converted to Islam. Upon their release, they said they did this to appease their captors and Mark Steyn in an essay gives his take on the matter as it relates to current events. Read the whole thing here.

In the Muslim world, they watch the Centanni/Wiig video and see men so in love with the present, the now, that they will do or say anything to live in the moment. And they draw their own conclusions... It doesn't matter how "understandable" Centanni and Wiig's actions are to us, what the target audience understands is quite different: that there is nothing we're willing to die for. And, to the Islamist mind, a society with nothing to die for is already dead.

An easy prediction

The following item appeared in the news recently. The liberals in Congress from the America is always wrong party have opposed the concept of us having the ability to repel a missle attack since the Reagan years and I predict it will not be long before the Democrats again resume their call for a reduction in funding for this endeavor which "won't work" even though it did. The North Koreans will be pleased.

North Korea Saturday called a U.S. missile defense test a threat and vowed to strengthen its defense measures in response.

North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland released a statement saying the U.S. test, which was conducted Friday over the Pacific Ocean, "was aimed at attacking us and intercepting our missiles," the BBC reported Saturday.

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