Friday, September 22, 2006

Hmmmm... why does this seem so relevant to me?

I wonder... I wonder.... hmmmmm...

And these people vote

I just overheard a co-worker speculating that the Republican Party is responsible for oil and gas prices falling. The argument goes that "they" want America not to think about gas prices at election time. The "logic" goes like this: the oil companies own the party, and since the oil companies want the Republicans in power, they are driving the price drop to manipulate the November election.

These people are great at speculating how things could work, but not so good at figuring out how things actually do work. Which is the main reason I don't want them winning elections.

It would be instructive to invstigate how many Congress Critters -- and which ones -- own stock in oil and how many of them -- and which ones -- get contributions and lobbyist niceties from oil companies. Not that that would necessarily prove anything (remember, evidence != proof). My bet is that the Leftist Nuts would be shocked and their theory would be dealt a huge logical blow.

Meanwhile, the sane world says that oil prices have been, for the past 6 months, inflated by spot market hyper-speculation of risks, plus diminished refinery capacity due to last year's hurricane season, and the heightened summer demand -- all of which have, over the past several weeks, been soothed. The price of oil was un-sustainibly high due to -- market forces largely outside of Oil Company control. The oil companies benefit, for sure, just like you do when the value of your real estate jumps dramatically.

No, no! Say the conspiracy theorists. Everything I don't like is being controlled by Karl Rove!!!!

Here's a thought provoking post:

From Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

Popes, Despots, Americans, & Jews

"...Why were Pope Benedict’s remarks considered so ‘politically insensitive’? Why were are the remarks made by Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmandinejad at the United Nations considered alternative ‘political’ worldviews? Why is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seen as tortured ‘political’ issue only?"

ht: The Anchoress

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Voter ID

Another word to be wary of is "disenfranchise" -- which is basically a weasel word meaning "these people can't be expected to be responsible".

Photo voter ID cards will "disenfranchise" voters who don't have photo ids. Because Lord knows, just because you're responsible enough to vote doesn't mean that you can be expected to go through the effort, to say, go get a voter ID card. I'll bet if the same people had to get down to WalMart or a free medical clinic, they could find a way to get there. If someone were giving away money, they'd get innovative. But for something as unimportant as, you know, proving that you have a right to vote (you're a citizen and all) before you vote... well, geez. That'd just put me off, I'll tell you. I mean, who do they think they are, trying to make sure our government is chosen by actual American Citizens?

No, the main leaders of the "disenfranchise" charge are the politicians who like to promise people who don't have much -- more of what others do have -- for no other reason than the fact that they can, and then go around picking them up to make sure they get to the polls (because they can't actually be responsible for arranging that trip to begin with on such an important day).

Pelosi-crats are worried that people who think government is the responsibility of others and is there to serve them will be less likely to go out and vote if they have to put forth any significant effort to do so. Then only people who think it's important to vote will get out and ... vote. Which could be disasterous for Pelosi-crats -- especially since they've gone out of their way to paint themselves as sympathetic to illegal immigrants who won't have to show an ID either if the law doesn't pass.

They like to paint themselves as Robin Hoods, but they're really vote prostitutes.

I Agree With Chavez

Well, on this point, anyway: The UN is useless.

One might wonder why, since he feels that way, he was directly addressing the World Body in person yesterday.

Unless, by his mere ability to be allowed to be taken seriously there, he was making it self-evident.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006


The Pope's comments have been labeled "dangerous". Archbishop Pell's comments have been labled "dangerous".

What "danger" does the Pope's or the Archbishop's comments present to the world?


All of the "danger" lies in the petulant Islamic response. But of course, that is precicely what everyone (but obviously excepting the Pope and Archbishop) is bending over backward to avoid saying. After all, everything is the fault of the West. The WEST, I tell you.

NO! NO! Don't look THERE! Only HERE! HERE!!!!!

(pay no attention to the mob behind the curtain)

Nnnnnot excactly

From an otherwise welcome article from Reuters:

Muslim anger swelled after Pope Benedict's speech in Germany last week in which he referred to criticism of the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything the Prophet brought was evil "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".

Not excactly. What the Emporer said was anything new (that wasn't already revealed in Judaism & Christianity) that Muhammed brought was evil, such as...

There was certainly some good in Islam -- none of it was new, though. That pisses them off even more, though, as it is their belief that Islam is the final revelation of Allah. Judaism & Christianity are (according to Muslims) heresies of two stepping stones along the way.

But I'm beyond worrying about what will piss them off. Since they are so determined to be pissed off, they'll find something to piss on about no matter what. It would be a waste of effort on my part.

"More Proof"

(File under "pet peeves")

I'm always wary of people who use the term "more proof" instead of "more evidence", as it peels back the curtain attempting to cover their intellectual bankruptcy, woven from shrill threads of half-baked and typically borrowed ideas.
Evidence != Proof

Evidence can support a proof, be incorporated into a proof -- but evidence is not proof.

Remember that the next time someone says "that's just more proof that..."

Another recommended article (regarding forgiveness)

(for those of you who don't know, the Umma is the Muslim faithful)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Today's reccomended reading

As I am too busy to write much lately and others seem to be saying things at least as well as I could, probably better -- today's reccomended reading comes from Mary Laney at the Chicago Sun Times.

Peaceful Muslims Should Turn Their Anger Toward Islamofacists


Something's wrong. As I thumb through the pages of newspapers and magazines and flip through newscasts on radio and television, it seems that something is terribly wrong.

While the overwhelming majority of Muslims in America are peaceful citizens, their voices are not ringing out.

you noticed, too?

We've just passed the anniversary of the worst attack on America in history, 9/11, when Muslim terrorists killed nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children as they turned passenger planes into missiles. Yet the news is filled with stories of Muslims -- not loudly condemning the Muslim murderers -- but complaining of their treatment here and demanding Americans change their attitudes.

We Americans should change our attitudes? Terrorist cells have been discovered here. Plots to blow up bridges and the Sears Tower have been uncovered. Bomb-making supplies carried by Muslim terrorists have been stopped at our borders. A plot to bomb 10 airliners bound for the United States was foiled. Yet we Americans should change our attitudes?

America has opened its doors and universities to Muslims from foreign countries -- perhaps the best way for these students to see our freedoms and develop a new respect for our country. But where, I ask, is the returned show of support?

Why should they show their support? Their religion says we are swine and dogs -- and that we live at their discretion. If we submit to Islam (admit it is superior to whatever we believe, if we will not believe and convert) and pay the jizya -- we can live. Why would they feel compelled to show support for swine? We are beneath them. Really. That is what they believe, despite the semi-official taqiyya lip-service to the contrary.

I'm hoping this whole blowup over the Pope's words (more accurately, the Pope's quoting a Byzantine Emporer's words of 600 years ago) will at the very least finally wake up those who are on the left but not the far left (I've given up hope on them, their ability to reason went out the window long ago) and those in the middle sympathetic to the left -- to the fact that Islam is most demonstrably not a religion of peace.

  • Kick a Koran? Fire bombings, death threats, shootings, riots.
  • Draw an illustration of Muhammed? Fire bombings, death threats, stabbings, riots.
  • Point out that Islam is violent? Fire bombings, death threats, shooting a 77 year old nun in the back, riots.

Folks ... wake up. Please!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Oriana Fallaci

Italian author, political interviewer Oriana Fallaci died at age 76 yesterday. I've read a few articles by her and knew of her existence, and have been thankful for her point of view on the current Islamist threat. Via the Anchoress, who knows a lot more about her, I get this well-distilled quote from Oriana:
"The West reveals . . . a hatred of itself, which is strange and can only be considered pathological; the West . . . no longer loves itself; in its own history, it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure.”

The Anchoress is the latest "Blog of the Week" on Powerlineblognews. She is a good writer. Thoughtful, well informed, dripping with the kind of decency we should all be soaked in, yet not shy about expressing her beliefs. I'd fear giving her a big head, but since I am nobody, anyway, and I'm quite certain she's not the type to let praise go to her head -- I'm not worried.

I'd encourage you to go read the post I linked at the top of this post.

On that -- doing a little reflecting on why I read blogs (and why I write this one -- with all due respect to Morgan Freeberg, this truly IS the blog that nobody reads and I have the statcounter numbers to prove it) -- I don't really read them to get my news, or find out what my opinion is or should be as some people might argue. I read them because I am woefully lacking in my expressive abilities (especially verbal -- I do better writing) and I am often looking for better ways to express what I already believe. I am also open to the beliefs of others and am willing to give them a shot at showing me the truth in what they believe. Ultimately, I get my news from about the same places everyone else does... BBC, NPR, Reuters, AP, and, often via links from other bloggers, Washington Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and -- I hate to even type this name here but ... the New York Times. The LA Times.

Why I typically go to conservative bloggers -- 1) the news is already spun hard to the left. Almost by reflexive definition, a journalist is a liberal "blogger". They just use ink or radio waves instead of (primarily) the internet and a big electronic chalkboard. I've already seen it from the left angle, I'd like to see it un-spun the other way. 2) as I mentioned above, I'd like to find out others' takes on the news -- people who have similar philosophical leanings as I do because they often have found better ways to express my opinion than I have. I do agree with most of them most of the time. I disagree with all of them some of the time. And sometimes, they convince me to look at something in a way I wouldn't have. I think it's healthy.

Ok -- there's another two cents for today, and a plug (like she needs one) for the Anchoress.

Friday, September 15, 2006

News Flash: The Pope is Catholic!

So the Pope, in an address to a group of representatives of science, addressed what he and others think is wrong with Islam -- and, by using a 700 year old quote from a Byzantine emporer, appears to have "offended" Muslims.

Muslims and secular leftists the world over are rushing to condemn the Pope for suggesting that Christianity is somehow superior to Islam.

Let me see here... if the Pope doesn't think Christianity is superior to Islam -- wouldn't that disqualify him for the job?

And while we're on the subject, why is it that it's perfectly acceptable to condemn and deride Christianity, but if you draw a picture of Mohammed -- you ought to be thrown in a gulag?

Wake up, folks! Muslims are killing non-muslims (and Muslims, too, it turns out) in the name of Islam. It is an idea deeply entrenched in Islam, and it has a long history of it. The spread of Islam by the sword is, in fact, what ultimately triggered the eeeevil crusades in the first place. If you don't believe me, look it up yourself. If you won't believe me or look it up yourself -- then apparently the belief that there is nothing the matter with Islam is a religious belief to you. The belief that no religion but Christianity can be criticized is one of your religious beliefs -- it is an idea you believe is true based on faith.

It was not irresponsible or wrong for the Pope to say what he said. The Pope is doing his job. The irresponsibility comes in when the media fails to read and understand the entire dissertation and the context and prints a headline like "Pope Slams Islam".

The MSM is lazy, sensationalistic, and has an anti-judeo-christian agenda, that is more clear today than ever before.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Typical and Succinct Thomas Sowell Quote

From Thomas Sowell
Our whole educational system, from the elementary schools to the universities, is increasingly turning out people who have never heard enough conflicting arguments to develop the skills and discipline required to produce a coherent analysis, based on logic and evidence.

That's about the size of it. It's more and more apparent to me every day.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

And who didn't expect this?

Via Reihl World View:

Iranian Offer Not A Serious One
Despite early reports of some hope for progress with Iran on their nuclear program, it's now obvious no progress has been made at all. The offer amounts to the UN stopping any talk of sanctions and, in return, Iran would consider a two month halt to the program.

In the closed-door meetings Iran "had a long list [of conditions] including [a] complete and total halt in activity at the UN Security Council, an absolute stepping down from going for sanctions and that Iran would have the right to nuclear fuel technology on its soil," a Western diplomat said on Monday.

"In return for this, Larijani said the Iranians would consider -- consider, not actually carry out -- a two-month halt in enrichment. It was all very conditional," the diplomat said, in relating a briefing from Solana.
Anyone who did not assume this was coming was delusional.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hirabah, not Jihad

I'm not one for going out of my way for politically correct speech... and this isn't really written from that angle anyway.

This article makes some excellent points and I'm not so sure more people shouldn't start thinking along these lines. Or at least about the implications of the issues he raises.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What? There's treatment worse than Americans deal?

And it ain't the Jooooooooos?

Abu Gharib has been turned back over to Iraq.

According to the London Daily Telegraph article:

The notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors.

An independent witness who went into Abu Ghraib this week told The Sunday Telegraph that screams were coming from the cell blocks housing the terrorist suspects.

Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning.

Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards.

"The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better," said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni terrorism.

I'm sure that, given a little time to work out the kinks in the logical gymnastics, the Left will find a way to say that this, too, is Bush's fault.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Who ya gonna call... NewsBusters!

hat tip: Riehl World View

I hope the MSM starts looking in the mirror and self correcting soon. It would be doing the world a service.

The BEEB Who Cried Wolf (from Newsbusters)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Terrorists, once again, of no discernible cultural or ethnic background

Read it, and at least shake your head, if not weep.

Nine held in Danish terror raids

(really, it could just as easily been your Aunt Beatrice.)