Health issues continue to interfere with our activity and will do so for a while longer. These blogs will remain active, but active-in-slow-motion, until we can get back in the saddle again.
Health issues continue to interfere with our activity and will do so for a while longer. These blogs will remain active, but active-in-slow-motion, until we can get back in the saddle again.
The antidote to Islam and to the cultural disintegration spawned by the ideas of modern liberalism is NOT Christianity. If the Republicans and those who make up the dogmatic section of the Right want political power again, they had better get the message.
Right wing radio talk hosts as well as presidential candidates and scads of those on the right in Congress and their influencers push untruths in the guise of truths. Foremost is the notion that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and that this is a Christian nation. Even a new book by a famous author on the right over endows Christianity with founding reason, science, and all that is good in the West. Were their da'wa correct, they would have no need to push so hard.
Michael Vick, big time quarterback in the National Football League, has plea-bargained himself into minor punishment by confessing to interstate trafficking in dog fighting. The evidence suggests much, much more that Vick did, but the prosecutors settled for this plea.
It seems like a likely date for the beginning of the war was the day that Christopher Hitchens’ book, god is not great: How religion spoils everything (see our review) was published. The actual battling began 11 July 2007, when Christopher Hitchens gave two hours of his time to Michael Medved on the latter’s radio talk show. If there ever has been a war without end, this is it.
Radio talk show host Michael Medved, to my appraisal, stands as a wonderful example of just what religion can do to people. Medved does not embody all of it, but he does illustrate some patho-religious processes well.
I hasten to state that I do not know Medved personally, nor have I ever met him. My judgments come from my listening now and then to his radio program and reading some of his articles.
A number of factors are in control of our writings and publishing, including a few health issues. We will probably remain sporadic across the summer.
As we barrel down on 4 July, we need to give ourselves a reprieve from all the sordid news of the day, all the sordid newsmakers, and all the sordid news presenters. We need some good stuff, like the following.
[Hitchens, Christopher: god is not Great, How religion poisons everything; Twelve, Hachete Book Group USA, NY; 2007; ISBN-13 = 978-0-446-57980 and ISBN-10 = 0-446-57980-7]
The publisher's summary states that this book is "A case against religion and a description of the ways religion is man-made." Although accurate, this summary just does not tell you how much fun this book is to read. I want to tell that, and more.
Seeing a recent article in NewsMax reminded me a bit of Rush Limbaugh's comment about himself--that he keeps half his brain tied behind his back just to make everything fair for everyone else. In this article, too much of America's brain has been tied behind its back with backward and irrational thinking. We are faced with severe external and internal problems as a nation, yet there are a number of people who still think like these are the Dark Ages or certainly Medieval Times.
We have a huge need for good thinking. This is an example of some of the tripe we have to put up with:
Reprinted from NewsMax.com
Gallup Poll: Two-thirds of U.S. Are Creationists
[Letter to a Christian Nation; by Sam Harris; Knopf, NY; 2006; ISBN 0-307-26577-3]
Sam Harris became well-known a couple of years ago following the publication of his first book The End of Faith (TEOF), his politically incorrect critique of all religions. Letter to a Christian Nation (LATCN) is more like an appendix to TEOF. Both books have provoked multitudes of the religious, particularly Christians, into expected militant disapproval. Large numbers of the beatific faithful have expressed desires to do to Harris those physical things so popular in the koran and bible.
WHY IRAQ'S SO HARD By RALPH PETERS May 14, 2007 --
May 14, 2007 -- WE sent the world's best military. We spent an enormous amount of money. We "stayed the course." And now it's an open question as to whether we'll lose to savages or pull off a messy compromise success. What went wrong?
The strategic errors of the administration, the pernicious effect of the media and factional hatred within Iraq all played their part. Corruption and al Qaeda's remorseless bloodlust made everything worse. Poor leadership plagued Iraqis and Americans alike.
But the subject presidents, pundits and professors all avoid is what it would take to win militarily. Because the answer's ugly. We prefer to sidestep reality in favor of comfy fantasies that negotiations will persuade blood-drunk murderers to all just get along.
With the last-ditch troop surge in Baghdad, we're half-heartedly trying an approach we should have applied with everything we had in 2003. We no longer have the numbers to do it right - and our leaders, in and out of uniform, may not have the resolve to behave with the ruthlessness required to turn things around.
Even with the surge, our numbers in Baghdad will be "bare bones." We've finally moved our forces down to the neighborhoods, instead of obsessing about "force protection" and bunkering ourselves inside hermetic bases that severed us from Iraq's reality. We finally recognized the need for "precinct stations."
But what we still don't - and won't - have is a constant presence in the streets.
As one patrol returns, another should be heading out, with a third roaming the zone to cover the overlap. And that's the absolute minimum for a one-square-kilometer area.
The problem in this kind of conflict is that the initiative inherently lies with the terrorists and insurgents. We're looking for a limited number of targets: our enemies themselves. Their targets can be anything - a clinic, a school, a marketplace, a roadblock, a gas station or even a mosque. Anything they hit counts as a win.
Our best shot is to keep them on the run, to keep them off balance. But crippling their freedom of action requires that our troops seem to be everywhere at unexpected times. That takes raw numbers.
If, on the other hand, you let the terrorists and insurgents set the tempo, you lose both the support of the population and the war.
Executing such a policy also demands far better intelligence than we've produced in the past - our tactical intelligence has improved notably under the stress of war, but we still have a long way to go.
Above all, we have to maintain a strength of will equal to that of our opponents. War demands consistency, and we're the most fickle great power in history. We must focus on defeating our enemies, brushing aside all other considerations.
At present, we let those other considerations rule our behavior: We overreact to media sensationalism (which our enemies exploit brilliantly); we torment ourselves over the least mistakes our troops make; we delude ourselves that mass murderers have rights; we take prisoners knowing they'll be freed to kill more Americans - and the politicians and Green Zone generals alike pretend that "it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game."
That's the biggest lie ever told by a human being who wasn't a member of Congress.
Winning is everything. Fighting ruthlessly may not please the safe-at-home moralists, but it's losing that's immoral.
Consider just one of the many issues about which we're insistently naive and hypocritical: torture.
Earlier this month, our Army released the results of an internally initiated survey of soldiers and Marines in Iraq. The results showed that almost half of our troops would condone torture in a specific instance if it saved their buddies' lives.
The media were, of course, appalled. I was shocked, too - surprised that so few of our troops would condone any action that kept their comrades alive.
Torturing prisoners should never be our policy, both because it's immoral and because it's usually ineffective. But it's madness to declare that there can never be exceptions.
Forget the argument about the "ticking bomb" and the terrorist who might have information that could save numerous lives. Let's make it personal.
Whether you're left, right or in between, ask yourself this yes-or-no question: If torturing a known terrorist would save the life of the person you love most in the world, would you approve it?
If your answer is "no," you're not a moral paragon. You're an abomination. And please make your position clear to your husband or wife, mother or father, son or daughter. Just tell 'em, "Sorry, honey, but I'd rather see you dead than mistreat a terrorist. It's a moral issue with me."
There are countless other ways in which we elevate the little immoralities required in war above the supreme immorality of losing. Leftists loved My Lai - they just adored it - but they were never called to account for the communist atrocities after Saigon fell. Pol Pot's butchery was never laid at the feet of the self-righteous bastards who shrieked, "Give peace a chance."
And no one on the left will discuss what might happen if we fail in Iraq. The truth is that they don't care.
We face merciless, implacable enemies who joyously slaughter the innocent with the zeal of religious fanaticism. Yet we want to make sure we don't hurt anyone's feelings.
We've tried many things in Iraq. They've all failed. It's a shame we never really tried to fight.
Of course, the following are only impressions I have gathered and have no scientific basis.
Still, I am impressed over and over that Fox News and every one of its personalities are in a death spiral. The network has been moving more and more into the same useless stodginess that can be found in CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, BBC, and so on. These news networks are reminding me of Henry Ford's retort to the question of other colors for his automobiles: something like, you can have any color you want as long as it is black.
Fox is moving left. Right now, it is near dead center, and I do mean "dead." The vitality has left the building. "We report; you decide" has become "We say what everyone else does, and you don't have to decide since we have done it for you."
The title to this article has a comma at the end because the title has so many possible endings. In this case, it chides Christians for behaving far too much, far too often like Muslims.
Case in point:
This is a WorldNetDaily printer-friendly version of the article which follows.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2007
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Starbucks markets more 'anti-God' coffee cups
Company welcomes national dialogue despite boycott threat by some patrons
Posted: May 9, 2007
8:38 p.m. Eastern
By Joe Kovacs
In 1957, when Ayn Rand's monumental and novel novel Atlas Shrugged was published, I was a sophomore in college, majoring in chemistry. I had voluntarily cut myself off from the "outside," including literary awareness. Sputnik got my attention. Atlas Shrugged did not.
Back then, I was probably a conservative, most assuredly in the right-wing--until I read Atlas Shrugged in in 1965 (I am right in the pro-reason, pro-rights, pro-freedom sense, but not conservative). My head was a muddle, a mix of often clashing ideas I had uncritically accepted while growing up and had been acquiring in college.
I stand in awe of those who went before us shouldering fabulous minds. Here are some of the best that have been collecting on my desktop.
The Patriot Post, Founders Quote Daily sends out a daily quote, and these are gleaned from their emailings.
[Some time in 2006, I bought a book on closeout sale from a popular book service and read it at the time. It was an uncommonly thrilling read, and I intended to review it. However, life demands intervened, and I put it aside. This week, while digging into material about "social justice," I relocated the book and began rereading it. Within the first twenty-four pages, I reencountered a description that must be posted. It is too important for any American not to read. I can also state with full knowledge and conviction that there is much more where this came from.]
Some books seem to have their own timetable for getting out and being recognized for the value they are. Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, ignored by the literati, eventually became a best seller by word of mouth, not by hype, book tours, mainstream media, etc. America's 30 Year War by Balint Vazsonyi is one of those books that has not yet been appreciated as it ought to be. My post deals only with a small portion of this fascinating book, but that portion is profoundly important to every American today and tomorrow.
The author is a naturalized American. He was born in Hungary, lived under the Nazis and lived under the post World War II infiltration and finally invasion of Hungary. By profession, he is a concert pianist. He also has a brilliant mind and uses it beautifully. Since he came to us, to America, by choice, from the worst regimes that ever infested Europe, he has witnessed the terrible cultural changes in America. He has seen the spawn of the Greatest Generation become the Worst Generation, who have in turn wreaked havoc in American culture, almost without opposition. To follow are his observations of the change that he himself saw first-hand:
(This op-ed came from the Ayn Rand Institute, written by Alex Epstein)
Applauding the Supreme Court's decision to uphold a ban on so-called partial birth abortions, President Bush called it a victory for "building a culture of life in America."
During my lifetime, many Americans have become crippled as a result of infantilization. Infantilization came from families, schools, communities, all the way up to national government. "Infantilization" refers to the process which abrogates self-responsibility. Several other not-being-responsible-for-self processes stepped into take the place of self-responsibility.
Just as FDR established the CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps, so Al Gore has established his own special corps, the GGG. GGG means Gore's Gullible Goons. It is just amazing how much Kool-Aid he can pour and how much the gullible, the left, the greens, and the watermelons will drink.
Well, here is a very funny article, reproduced in full, showing how stupid GGG-ism really is.
From the Editor, EDITORIAL: Thanks, Emily, I Needed That
From George Mason, REVIEW: Because They Hate; REVIEW: Infidel; Meeting the Man from CAIR
"From Great Britain to Least Britain," on Graphics
From No Sharia, Islamization of Europe and Policies to Prevent It (Six parts) FORTHCOMING SOON!
From Jacob Thomas, The Mini Dictator, A Thousand and One Fatwas, and The Shamelessness of Islamic Extremism
From Fouad Ajami, Iraq in the Balance
From Tawfik Hamid, The Trouble with Islam
From Henry Mark Holzer, Call to Arms: CAIR Must Be Fought, Parts I and II
From Kenneth Levin, Seven Pillars of Middle East Reality
From Dr. Earl Tilford, Point of Implosion
From Louis Farrakhan on They Said It, He supports Iran (surprise!!!) and Faith-Freedom.Org, Khomeini's Speech
From Hugh Fitzgerald, A Florilegium of Quotes
From Always On Watch, REVIEW: An Introduction to Islam
From Amir Taheri, Betrayed
From John McWhorter, Americans Without Americanness
From Gregory M. Davis, Islam 101
From Arthur Herman, How to Win in Iraq and How to Lose
Hilarious "CAIR Saga": Meeting the Man from CAIR; More from the Man from CAIR; CAIR Goes Ballistic; But UAC Holds Firm
From a true Iraqi blog by an Iraqi blogger, The Mesopotamian
C'mon, Sheeple, rise up and strike them down before they cut out your tongue and do a laryngectomy.
I am talking about the coalescing forces marching inexorably, and without opposition right now, toward silencing you, me, and anyone else who doesn't read from their scripts.
I have no idea why Don Imus said what he did. It was insulting, erroneous, and so stupid that one has to wonder if he had been counting on the fact that few, if any, listen to him. Now the tip of the spear to fire Imus is the big, fat mouth of Al Sharpton. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
Lately the input of material to write about has come in faster than manageable for the website and the blogs. Please contact me if you have a used cloner for sale.
The latest is a set of "news" items from just one newspaper on this global warming hysteria. Talk about getting stuck on stupid! If people buy this, they will believe anything. The following list comes from the UK Guardian.
Years ago, a college friend called all this hysteria about global warming "synthetic frenzy," and the term has been so useful that it has been impossible to forget.
Yes, the "war on terror" is terribly important. So is illegal immigration, federal over-spending, and several other issues. However, some things are being done about these, not necessarily effectively, but being worked on. The one "sleeper" issue coiling to strike is the stampede to action over the "climate crisis." The object of the push by those selling the notion of impending climate crisis is to achieve as much crippling of industrial society as possible BEFORE PEOPLE CATCH ON THAT THEY ARE BEING SHILLED.
Anyone really believing the climate propaganda from the Al Gores and other Dr. Goebbels-like persons is in the same position of those who attended traveling "medicine shows," in days of yore. A "doctor" or "professor" would offer a tonic, an oil, or some colored and flavored liquid in a bottle, with promises that only the severely gullible could believe. They would charge a dollar, or whatever, which was a lot of money back then. The most active ingredient was alcohol which could definitely make one feel improved briefly. By the time the gullible caught on, the medicine show was in some other town.
One thing is for sure about all this climate catewauling: It is a modern day "medicine show." The missing element is the truth. One can compensate for this handicap by reading outstanding books such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, 2007, by Christopher C. Horner. What may be true is that the earth might be in a warming cycle, but what they do not want you to know is that global warming would be good, very good for us.
To follow is one of the biggest myths coming from the enviro-hysterics and enviro-communists (the "watermelons"). This is the "hockey stick" myth, a real piece of sleight-of-hand. I hear numerous members of the "chattering class" talking about this myth as though it were true. In fact, it is in no way true, as you will read here, but not from the "watermelons."
A few minutes ago, I caught the last of a Fox News Channel interview with Dr. Timothy Ball. Dr. Ball has been receiving DEATH THREATS because he chooses to be scientific about climate and not spew the dogmatism of alarmists. When a scientist receives death threats about his dedication to the truth, whatever the evidence supports, we are in a pre-Nazi period. Dr. Ball is not the first to be castigated or physically threatened.
Aside from telling lies of commission and calling them "facts" about so-called "global warming" and humans' role in it, the main stream media, print and broadcast, also lie by omission. Most have abandoned any semblance of a "fair and balanced" approach because they have bought into the new marketing strategy of calling this climate change kerfuffle a "moral issue." They omit, then, opposing points of view, and above all, they omit the actual facts and the purveyors of actual facts, the real climate scientists. Let us not forget that facts refer to that which exists in reality, and they are independent of who thinks them or accepts them.
With the foregoing in mind, I could not wait to buy and start reading a truly fabulous book: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, by Christopher C. Horner [Regnery, NY; ISBN 978-1-59698-501-8; 2007]. Like many others, I have not known enough to be able to discount everything asserted by these so-called "environmentalists." I needed facts to fill out my deep suspicions of these "greenies." What I am getting from Mr. Horner's book far exceeds my wildest expectations and desires.
The book is broad and deep in scope, and enjoys a talented readability. Mr. Horner divides the book into four sections:
There are four, business- and finance-oriented, one-half hour programs each Saturday morning which I seldom miss. They are on the Fox New Channel, under the umbrella title of "The Price of Freedom," and each of the four has its regular host and guests. Guests and semi-regulars float from week to week among the four. Neil Cavuto, Fox's major business guru, supervisers all and has his own half-hour. While I am not a stock, bond, or fund trader, I look and listen with rapt attention because I learn so much about the state of the culture from these talking heads. In honor of Neil, I will call these programs the "Cavuto-Stat."
Here is a good illustration from this past Saturday, 10 March 2007.
All four programs devoted some of their time and expertise to deal with the issue of universal health coverage (a.k.a., "socialized medicine"), because some of the jillion presidential candidates are peddling this notion. Generally, the question they dealt with covered whether or not universal health coverage was good or bad for the economy and how the market would react to it, should it come to pass.
While I respect the expertise these experts have about stocks, bonds, funds, trading, investing, and market analysis, I am far from tendering respect for their philosophical principles and their abilities to think in principles. There is one exception, and I will get to him.
Except for that one expert, every man and woman dealt with "practical" aspects of the universal health care issue. Here are some samples:
There is NOTHING more important to you and your life than that body of ideas you hold that make up your own personal philosophy. You are human, which means that your means of survival is your mind, and it operates on the basis of ideas, facts and principles. You can leave it as it is, which for many means a hodgepodge of contradictions undercutting the best within you, or you can elect to straighten it out and make it work optimally for you. If you are one of those everyday giants who elects to straighten out one's mental innards, then you need to know about a terrific new journal of ideas called The Objective Standard.
Just a word about your inner mental jungle, it comes about this way for everyone. We grow up absorbing all sorts of notions, facts/pseudo-facts, beliefs/truths, emotions/thoughts, and so on, implicitly simply because we are not born philosophers of ourselves in any formal sense. In that absorption process, we pick up a lot of crap, and there's not a whole lot we can do about until we mature into the conceptual consciousness level. Then we can tackle all that is implicit and make it explicity and non-contradictory.
Not just any explicit ideas and efforts will do, however.
Courtesy of Cox and Forkum
Humans succumbing to emotional contagions are not a pretty sight, nor an admirable one. The spectacle resembles the sight of sheep being herded by a wolf-in-drag, i.e., a dog, or a school of fish darting here and there just to keep up with the crowd. Entities that a capable of conceptual thinking should never engage in such brain stem follies. However, a lot of otherwise intelligent and educated human beings are succumbing to the new Mesmerism of "global warming."
Their brains, they have turned off, so that they can be directed solely by their limbic brains and amygdalae to act as a truly thoughtless, emotionally dominated herd.
Here is one of the latest public spectacles forthcoming this weekend:
Talking about "communism in a Seattle school" should be as shocking as talking about Islam in a madrassa. Seattle is San Francisco North. Bad stuff goes on all the time in Seattle schools and in a number of other places in the Greater Seattle area. The trouble is that we just don't get to know about it often. Those who would tell us, i.e., the main stream media, do not consider bad stuff as news because they see what we call "bad" as "good" and utterly normal.
A recent TCS Daily article just shocked many of us to the core, however.
As the news of the China stock market drop of some 10% went out to the world from the BBC night before last, by the time of the USA morning news, the NYSE, et al, had tumbled. Great consternation descended into all the news organizations. Since they stopped--all together too briefly--talking about Anna Nicole Smith, their new pitbullism came as a relief. All day and all night, the talking heads talked--and talked--and talked.
Only this morning, some 36 hours or so later, did the critical news slip out about the Chinese stock market.
That news is that the Chinese stock market is 100% government controlled. The Red Chinese government runs the thing. In fact, the sum total that all foreigners can invest is $10 million.
So, when the Red Chinese government hinted that it was about to establish capital gains taxes and to replace some high up functionary, the highly speculative Chinese stock market flatulated and eructated, at the same time. Knees jerked all over the globe.
"Government" and "free market" do not belong in the same sentence, except as mutual negations, as oxymorons. If there is a market, it is not free, not when rumors that the controlling brute is going to flex its muscles can blow down this house of cards.
"Government" through the Federal Reserve System got into the USA economy big time in the 1920s and caused severe overheating, without directly controlling the NYSE. The Great Depression resulted.
Now, what might happen to the Chinese stock market and economy if some commie thug high in the Red Chinese government decides to manipulate the world?
This op-ed from the Wall Street Journal is really "spot on."
Plus Ça (Climate) Change
The Earth was warming before global warming was cool.
BY PETE DU PONT
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST
When Eric the Red led the Norwegian Vikings to Greenland in the late 900s, it was an ice-free farm country--grass for sheep and cattle, open water for fishing, a livable climate--so good a colony that by 1100 there were 3,000 people living there. Then came the Ice Age. By 1400, average temperatures had declined by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, the glaciers had crushed southward across the farmlands and harbors, and the Vikings did not survive.
Such global temperature fluctuations are not surprising, for looking back in history we see a regular pattern of warming and cooling. From 200 B.C. to A.D. 600 saw the Roman Warming period; from 600 to 900, the cold period of the Dark Ages; from 900 to 1300 was the Medieval warming period; and 1300 to 1850, the Little Ice Age.
During the 20th century the earth did indeed warm--by 1 degree Fahrenheit. But a look at the data shows that within the century temperatures varied with time: from 1900 to 1910 the world cooled; from 1910 to 1940 it warmed; from 1940 to the late 1970s it cooled again, and since then it has been warming. Today our climate is 1/20th of a degree Fahrenheit warmer than it was in 2001.