Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why I still like Rummy

Perhaps tactics haven't always been spot on (but then, I'm not saying mine would have been, either) but the man does call them as he sees them, and he hit this one on the head and layed it out bare -- no frills:

"This enemy lies constantly -- almost totally without penalty."

- Rumsfeld

For just a little taste: http://www.seconddraft.org

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hezbollah: We were surprised they didn't wait and surprise us

From CNN

Had Hezbollah known how Israel was going to respond, the group would not have captured two Israeli soldiers last month in northern Israel, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday.

But, in an interview with Lebanon's New TV, Nasrallah also said the war would have happened anyway--a few months later.

Never mind presenting no evidence (because there isn't any?) of Israel's impending attack plans.
But, he added, "If we hadn't captured those soldiers, the war would have come in October anyway." Hezbollah's raid drew Israeli action sooner and "deprived the Israelis of the element of surprise," he said.

While Hezbollah "knew" of the coming "surprise" attack in October (thus negating the entire meaning of the word "surprise") they were instead surprised that Israel had to attack when Hezbollah didn't expect them to -- thus taking away Israel's element of surprise. Got it!

The mind boggles at such stupidity.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Note on those last two posts

The last couple of posts are repeats of comments I have made on other blogs that I thought were practically worthwhile posts of their own. I've included some of the commentary I was responding to.

But Christians kill their kids, too!

This is from another thread on Blonde Sagacity where I was a contributor. The original post discussed how an Italian Islamic family killed one of their own for refusing to marry her cousin.

This post makes about as much sense as linking Andrea Yates' actions to her fundamentalist Christian beliefs. Don't you hate how those Christian fundamentalits are always drowning their kids in bathtubs? Jeez it really bugs the hell out of me.

Uh, no. Not the same thing at all. When "fundamentalist Christians" drown their kids in bathtubs, they can find nothing in the teachings or traditions of Christianity to back up their actions. They may think they can. But in fact they act directly against Christian teachings and traditions.

On the other hand, when Muslims kill their women for refusing to bow to certain religious/cultural expectations, there is plenty in the Quran and Islamic tradition that can easily be used to justify it. They can also find other things in the Quran that could condemn it. It's a very confusing book.

But you won't find anything in Christian teachings or tradition that can justify what they did.


Are you serious? Try Leviticus 21:9. Hint: it has to do with the importance of burning your daughter to death if she "whores around."

Judges 19 also features a model daddy. He brings his daughter out for the guests and offers her as a gift to be raped all night by them.

Have you ever actually READ your Bible?


cj, Christians follow the New Testiment.


Really? Then why are they always trying to get the 10 Commandments in all the public buildings? Why not the Beatitudes?

I think cj has succeeded in pointing out the Christian version of what happens in Islam or any religion anywhere for that matter: you get a couple of whacked out yahoos deciding what certain scriptures mean, and the culture they're in goes to shit. If the church of America were worshipping peanut butter, it would still happen.

Fortunately many individuals manage to be decent, no matter what the more fucked up element of their creed tries to make them do.


Nope. Not kidding. Yes, I actually have read my Bible, and my Quran. Believe it or not, I'm pretty much a secular guy. I was raised a Catholic, and I know that Bible pretty darned well, as well as what constitutes Christian belief and tradition. I'll reiterate -- there's nothing in there about killing your kids.

Tater is right. In the old testament, God promises a new covenant with Israel. That new covenant is the new contract Christ made. It replaced the old law. Christians follow the new law.

But, you say, does that then mean that the 10 Commandments, which are in the old testament, are abolished?


Look at Matthew 19:16-19 ... and we have Jesus reiterating the commandments as what you need to follow to attain salvation.

Nothing about killing your kids in there.

Try again.
Me again:

CJ has succeeded in pointing out that some people who claim to be Christian can and have grossly misinterpreted or misunderstood, or outright hallucinated up -- something they thought God wanted them to do.

I am pointing out that it doesn't take a twisted reading of the Quran and Haddiths to come up with the kind of honor killings we see in the Muslim world. It does take an unGodly twisted reading of Christian teaching (based upon the New Testament) and Christian tradition to come up with it -- as a matter of fact, try to find something. Go ahead.

Make no mistake about it, there are lots of Muslims who behave decently. I'll posit that a lot of them have never actually read the Quran as many Christians have never actually read the Bible...

I think a lot of Muslims would be shocked what the Quran actually says if they read it. If not, then look out. Whether you're Christian or Jew or Hindu or Buddhist -- you're an infidel, and your life is worth 1/3 of a Muslim's if you're a Christian or Jew. If you're not a Muslim, Christian, or Jew -- then it's worthless to them.

And I've noted that even the non-violent Muslims are far too slow and half-hearted to condemn Islamist aggression and far too quick to defend it -- if they do the former at all, there's almost always a pregnant "BUT" between the two.

More me yammering:

Just as an aside, to defend the Jews somewhat, nothing is being commanded in Judges 19. God is not commanding anyone to do anything. It is a story being related, like the Parables Jesus told later on.

Claiming this is a teaching like saying a movie that depicts rape condones rape when it may actually do the opposite.

Check out the last line in Judges 19

19:30 And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.

Emphasis, mine.

The only instruction is for you to consider the story (including the pointed remark that nobody ever did anything like it afterward) and think about it, and say what you think.

So, nope, nothing in there, either.

The Leviticus passage seems to be more allong the lines of instruction (although only for daughters of priests -- still, that sucks) -- but again, the new covenant replaced the old one according to Christian belief.

Note: a collegue tells me that there are such superceedings of law for Jews in the old testament as well.


Phil-Don't waiste your time explaining the Bible and christianity to a liberal. They love to leave things and and cherry pick like you pointed out.
(from NateG)



Nateg. You are correct, I'm likely not going to convince him/her.

I'm just not willing to leave such tripe sit out here unchallenged.

These kids go to college (or sometimes not) and find people who talk about things they've never thought about. They sound like they know what they're talking about to the kids, so they listen. They're fed these little soundbites, then they parrot it back out to others. Unfortunately (and the people who fed it to them know this) a huge number of people who profess to be Christians really haven't read their bibles, and many of those who have never thought about what all is in there and why -- and they themselves are used to hearing stuff from the bible out of context. They freak when they hear stuff like this -- they have no response.

And the kid gets a rush, feeling like he knows more than they do about their faith. It generally shows in the smugness of the language, the misguided self-confidence.

"Are you serious?" "Try this." "Have you even read your Bible?" "Hint..." -- this is all about condecention and the temporary feeling of superiority it brings.

It usually works, because most people either can't, or are too polite to respond. They think, therefore, that what they have said is correct and get a self-righteous rush (similar to the one they dispise in self-righteous Christians).

It's pathetic. And frankly, I don't really care if I convince the kid (and I mean that in the sense of "immature") or not.

What is important is that we don't leave things that aren't the truth unchallenged.

And notice I'm making no claims as to whether Christian belief is truth or not -- that is a matter of faith. I am making claims about what is true about what constitutes Christian teachings, though -- those are verifiable facts, as are most of the claims made here about what constitutes Islamic teachings.


Nateg and/or Phil: if we are to accept the idea that without a doubt, the Quran instructs Muslims to kill all persistent infidels, what is the remedy? It seems like you've got everything figured out; please tell us the solution.


Got it all figured out? What did I say that would make you think that?

Certainly the answer isn't to attack Christianity with false accusations.

I addressed some arguments I knew to be false. You're never going to get to a good solution using them -- actually you're probably going to get to a bad one.

My particular opinion on the subject is that we at least be allowed to engage in open, honest dialog about Islam, because without that prerequisite, we can have no open, honest dialogue with it. Unfortunately, Muslims really aren't interested in an open, honest dialogue on Islam. Islam also has a rather violent way of squelching honest criticism and debate from both inside and outside of Islam.

When people dare do it, they are threatened with death, and those threats are backed up with knives, bombs, and guns -- and action. Theo Van Gough, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Jyllands Posten & the famous cartoons, Salman Rushdie, bunches of others and probably thousands nobody's ever heard of.

We can sit back and pretend that Islam is "just as bad" or "just as good" as all other religions and and feel good about our progressive attitudes -- but in the end that will just get us all killed, dihimified, or converted to Islam. Never mind the perception that "most" Muslims are peaceful. The Islamists themselves are quite serious, and when the Muslim inquisition comes knocking on your door, your peaceful Muslim neighbor is more than likely going to shrug and say "sorry dude, I'm with them -- thanks for dinner" than to do anything to defend your right to your religion -- or lack of one (which is even worse than not being Christian or Jewish in their eyes).

Failing an internal reform of Islam, the best we can do is fight them off when they encroach on our founding ideals, or threaten us with terrorist or conventional war tactics.

The very least we can do is point out that it is not a tolerant religion, the intolerance is actually built in to the religion, and as a religious force on the planet, it is far less desirable (if tolerance -- peaceful coexistence -- is what we're after -- I'm fer it!) to keep it from promoting itself as such.

There is an Islamic concept known as Al-Taqiyya -- I wonder how many here have heard of it? Once you understand what it is, it helps explain why there are so many peaceful Muslims -- at least one reason, anyway -- for now.

It ain't just Christians & Jews, either.


CJ should go to a Rabbi to learn what certain texts mean. Lev. 21:9 talks about a capital offense punishment for adultery (true) be CJ does not discuss how a capital offence was rarely adjudicated; once in seven years, some say 70 years (Talmud). Judges 19 speaks of a crime (regarding the abused daughter) that led to the slaughter of most of the tribe of Dan, in retribution; the Bible itself condemns the father's wicked behavior. Christian's are not obligated to the 10 commandments, but to the 7 Laws of Noah.

(From JR)


Thanks, JR. I'd actually like to do that myself. I'm much less well read in Judaism than I am in Christianity and Islam.

Probably because I wasn't raised Jewish, and I don't see myself living under a threat of Jews blowing me up along with them when I go out to dinner anytime soon.

Upon further reflection, when I think about the whole "what is your solution" question (that I figure was asked more as rhetorical dismissal or possible baiting -- but I take good questions seriously).... it occurrs to me that in my "plan" it's too early in the game to talk about what to do as a counteraction at this time. This is because we're still at phase one. Recognizing what the problem is, and getting everyone to see it.

Unfortunately, multiculturalism is the well-established, politically correct defacto law of the land right now, and according to it, everybody's religion and culture are theoretically equal and should be treated as such. And this is largely true because most religions do not teach that it should be spread by the sword, but by word of mouth and example. People living under these premises can get along fairly well and even profit from the sharing of each others' ideals.

Unfortunately, Islam does teach that it should be spread by the sword, and it teaches that the lives of non-Muslims are worth less than the lives of Muslims -- that others are pigs and dogs and filth. Oddly, this makes it the perfect virus to infect a multiculturalized system. It's uniquely positioned to bring it down, and it wants to bring it down. Modern progressivism is an even worse anathema to it than are Christianity or Judaism.

Right now, groups like CAIR are working hard to make it against the law to criticize Islam (it is against sharia law). Similar groups have already had a lot of success in Europe, especially in England. Here they've just managed to make it politically taboo if not against the law... yet.

But we here in multi-culti land don't want to hear that. Because if we absorb what it really means, then multiculturalism means including a culture that demands monoculturalism, and that's a paradox. It also means that fundamentalist multiculturalist philosophy isn't 100% right. Zealots can't stand that idea. Multiculturalism itself is kind of a religion, and people don't give up their religious beliefs very easily, so we get a sort of ...

"La-la-la-la-la-la-la I can't hear you!!!!

effect. In an attempt to cling harder to the multi-culti ideal, we get diversions, such as "hey, but THIS religion's just as bad" (even when it is demonstrably not -- it just happens to be popular and safe to criticize that religion) and accusations of "hate speech" for merely pointing out easily verifiable facts about Islam.

So here we are, with our heads in the sand fighting a "war on terror", because we can't bring ourselves to at least call it a "war on Jihad". (As has been pointed out before, terror is a tactic. A war on terror makes about as much sense as a war on aerial bombing.) We say "war on terror" instead to avoid the incitement of those "peaceful" Muslims who are not currently fighting. Those would be the same ones that won't be coming to your aid when Jihad comes to your door.

This speaks volumes. So where we are is getting people to come to grips with what we face and focus on defining the problem at hand. Only then can we come up with a solution.

Wally World Wars

This one from a thread on Blonde Sagacity.

Libs like causes, especially ones that can be cast as the little guy against the big guy. They like to align themselves with the percieved little guy so that on the theatric stage of life in their head they can cast themselves as "Hero".

They're not so much concerned with what actually helps people, they're more concerned that other people get the perception that they're trying to help people. So it's all about presenting a convincing argument that this is the case. Since most people don't think too much about these things, any weak argument that at least seems like it has a logical flow is better than one they have. So it's easy for libs to recruit new believers and ego-strokers. And criticism just stokes their self-righteousness gland. Bring it on!

If the actual motive was to promote what helps the most people (while preserving liberty, don't forget why we have that statue) they'd look at real studies that discuss the issues using actual facts. If they were interested, they'd go find that study and see what IT says, judge it on its merits, and assimilate any pertainent information garnered from it into their mental model of the world.

The argument that Walmart contributes to poverty because it won't pay a wage above poverty level is misleading. Retail stores generally don't pay their stock boys and sales clerks a living wage. Mom & Pop shops don't typically have insurance benefits, either. These kinds of jobs are not meant to be the sole support of a family. These kinds of jobs are generally for supplementary income. Kids, students, second jobs, retirees ...

Here's a few questions for you. If Wal-Mart's so terrible to work for, why do people work there? Are they all starving? Who, excacty DOES work there? Is that job the single source of income for that family? Lacking the job Wal-Mart provides, would the people working there be able to afford the higher prices they would pay at a local merchant's store?

The not unionizing thing is probably a part of the problem - but I think the over all problem is that they're big, and they're successful, so they make the perfect Goliath for them to play their David off of.

From a comment in the same thread on Blonde Sagacity:
In Tennessee Wal-Mart employees make up the single largest group of participants in TennCare, the state health care policy for poor people.

Could it possibly be because before they came and "ran all the Mom and Pop and other local retailers out of business" that Mom & Pop and other local retailers combined into one group used to account for the largest "single group" of participants in TennCare? They used to work in various places, now most of them work in one place.

What's the difference? Thanks to Walmart, they don't have to pay as much for stuff as they did when they all worked other places before Walmart came to town. The difference is -- Walmart is now a big target at which people can aim blame.

The fact that A can be associated with B doesn't mean A causes B, or that B causes A.

I've been rather busy lately, so....

The next couple of posts are repeats of comments I have made on other blogs that I thought were practically worthwhile posts of their own. I've included some of the commentary I was responding to.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

"German" bomb suspect arrested

According to this BBC report, another "European" of no discernable cultural or religious background other than having "dark hair" has been arrested in a failed bomb attack on German trains.

It just coincidentally happens that a note written in Arabic and a Lebanese phone number were found with one of the bombs. But honest to gosh, it could just as easily have been a blonde haired, blue-eyed Lutheran.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

CAIR upset about "Islamo-Facist" categorization

CAIR is upset that Bush is associating terrorism with Islam. Now Bush isn't saying Muslims are Terrorists. He suggests terrorists are Muslim by using the word "Islam" (Islamofacists is the term they were upset about in the latest round of whining) when he describes the people we are fighting. And why not? The people we are fighting do it all the time.

Somebody please try to make a serious argument otherwise.

Remember what the real definition of terrorism is -- don't let the innane cries of "all war is terrorism", "all violence is terrorism" get in the way.

Terrorism is a tactic which consists of deliberately targeting a civlilian population with violence & death in order to accomplish some typically political goal.

There are no Baptists or Catholics or Buddhists or Hindus blowing themselves up in marketplaces and places of worship. Nope. Pretty much nobody but Muslims.

Ah ... but MOST Muslims are peaceful you say. First -- that's beside the point. Are the terrorists Muslim, or are they not? Their names, their language, their quotes of justification from the Quran -- all more than suggest they are.

Second -- I'm still waiting for the resounding condemnation from this peaceful majority of Muslims around the world. The silence continues to be deafening. The fact of the matter is the "Peaceful" Muslims -- while they don't seem to be actively engaged in violent jihad against us -- are nonetheless all to eager and quick to rationalize, act as apologists for, and otherwise justify the actions of those who are.

More Bush Administration Bashing

Is it just me, or does it seem like the press's first idea for a headline on the terrorist plot bust in England was probably:

Major Terrorist Plot Thwarted: What the Bush Administration Did Wrong!

Does every story have to be cast in the context of how it reflects badly on the Bush Adminstration?

I saw a lady on CNN today interviewing Senator Roberts over the thwarted plot and she asked if this showed that intelligence activity was not working well. Roberts replied "I'm not sure I understand the question" -- probably trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. Did she really ask that stupid a question? Surely I misunderstood.

Nope, she repeated the question. I wish Rumsfeld were there to answer it. Roberts was much too polite and patronizing.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

21 people of completely indeterminant cultural or religous background...

This is just amazing.


At least at first reading this morning ... there's no 800 lb gorilla in the room.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lieberman and LaMont

The picture on the news said it all -- Ned LaMont, surrounded by a crowd of his supporters chanting "bring them home", got the Connecticut democratic party's vote to run for senator over one of the last principled statesmen in the U.S. Congress.

There have been attempts to cast this as "voter mood" and extrapolate it to the country and predict what it means for November -- but what this really shows is the mood of partisan democrats in Connecticut. Can anyone really say they're suprised?

One thing it does show is that partisan democrats in Connecticut are in favor of declaring victory and leaving -- leaving the Iraqi people in the lurch once again.