Alpine Summit

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Witnessing to the Witness

I subscribe to a podcast from Apologetics.com and their recent show dealt with the Jehovah's Witness. Wikipedia has a good overview on their beliefs. They seem to be more along the lines of the Mormons in terms of being a cult relying on the blind faith of its adherents.

As I mentioned before on here, religions created in the past 2000 years have always tried to include Jesus or explain Jesus in their beleif system. What I further realize, though, is that they try to deny the divinity of Jesus in some way. The Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet... but not the son of God. The Mormons believe that Jesus died for our sins, but is seperate from God the father. The Jehovah's Witness believe Jesus was/is an archangel and God's first creation. In each of these groups, their own book of scripture has come about (Koran, Book of Mormon, NWT of the Bible) in response to the beliefs their creators espoused and used as evidence for why they believe these things.

I think a religion collapses under its own weight when it tries to "ride the coat tails" of Christianity, specifically the message of Jesus, while at the same time trying to deny its beliefs or His identity/divinity in Christian canon. It would be like me trying to say "yeah I believe in Mohammed the prophet, but he was actually just a personification of a larger group of people and didn't actually prophecy but simply made suggestions on how to live," and then write up my own "holy book" to support my claims. Oh, and then to just say God told me so anyone who disagrees can be accused of disagreeing with God.

One point made in the podcast was that many say (referring to JW, but could easily apply to other faith systems) "ours is the first real/true/complete translation or interpretation of scripture." It's ludicrous to think that given the level of study done on the Bible (and apocrypha) over 2000 years would yield no true insights about God. Especially when the ones making those claims add their own stuff, or take out what doesn't conform to what they want to believe.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

From the "WTF" File

(Via: Shamalama) A man in Iowa was arrested for attempting to kidnap his wife. How do you kidnap someone who has agreed to be with you for the rest of their life already? Well click here (warning: not PG-13 material).

Instead of signing this document, Frey's wife took it to the cops and now he's in jail. Good job dude, you tried forcing your wife's will and now you'll be catching in prison... ain't America grand? I'm wondering where he got that font for the titles? I've certainly never seen it in Word.

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Moonbats At It Again

These people are absolutely insane. United for Peace and Justice, a leftist group interestd in neither, is going to "storm the White House."

It is our duty and the duty of the United Nations to rescue the people of the world from the U.S. dictators. Murder for occupation and theft of land is illegal. Murder of journalists is criminal. Remove the traitors who have stolen the U.S. budget and used it to commit international crimes against humanity.

Aside from calling for insurrection and treason (IMO), they have this little gem:

The Political Cooperative will put a new, temporary government in place that is comprised of people from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and all the organizations that have finally made us aware of the truth of the savage practices and illegal policies of our government in assassinating our own officials as well as people throughout the world who oppose their criminal activity. We need all of you to save U.S. victims and global victims from their ongoing criminal activity. We are calling on the military, police, citizens and religious organizations to stand with us and help us to bring democracy back to the United States and by doing so, free the world from the wrath, occupation, theft, torture, blackmail and assassination by the Criminals in the United States Government.

"Promote democracy! Help us arbitrarilly install our own unelected government based on run-on sentences!" This is what Michelle Malkin refers to as "Unhinged." Oddly enough, it's a full moon that evening too. Coincidence?

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Who Needs the Military?

Before I get to this, I want to make it clear that I'm not saying we should be going to war over this. I'm merely saying that this is an example of how dealing with countries we should be treating with more hostility (i.e. embargo on Cuba) in a way that puts them on equal footing as us is counterproductive and ultimately futile.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan wants the world body this week to approve plans for a new U.N. human rights council, but critics say the reform proposal has been watered down to the point where it should be rejected.

When you include people in the decision process for something that would be naturally (and obviously) critical of them, you've failed before you have even begun. This is why the U.N. is such a defunct political organization. The U.N. seeks to set standards for human rights, but try to please everyone in the process. It isn't going to work because this type of thinking has never worked.

Regimes like Cuba, Sudan and Saudi Arabia have obtained seats on the UNCHR and used them to insulate themselves and their allies from criticism.

Annan called last March for the UNCHR to be replaced by a new human rights body whose members are held to the "highest" human rights standards.

The U.S. has been pushing for a considerably smaller body than the 53-member UNCHR, that would meet more often than the UNCHR's six-week annual session in Geneva, and whose members would be elected by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly. That would make it more difficult for violators to win seats. Washington also wants countries under Security Council sanctions to be automatically excluded.

But a resolution drafted by two U.N. "facilitators" - the South African and Panamanian envoys - and presented by General Assembly president Jan Eliasson on Thursday falls short on all of these counts, thanks to the hard lobbying of countries like Egypt, Pakistan and Cuba.

Like I said: "defunct organization." Of course, the U.S. was pretty much ignored and they have decided to go with a system a bit more favorable to "developing countries."

The proposal provides for a Council of 47 members -- far larger than the 20-30 seat body the U.S. wanted -- and with a reworked regional representation formula that weakens the West in favor of developing countries. (Western nations' representation falls from 18.8 percent in the old Commission to 14.9 percent in the proposed new Council; Africa and Asia together will account for 55.3 percent of the Council seats, up from 50.9.)

The problem of course is that most human rights violations the U.N. is trying to stop are IN those "developing countries." So America is weakened (always a good thing in the eyes of the envious countries) while China is strengthened. Brilliant plan. Please don't hold it against me if I decide not to use the U.N. as my moral citation for crimes against humanity.

Let's use the U.N. again simply as an intellectual exercise. In the 25 years since the first Iraq war, who has done more to help Iraq and its people, the U.N. or America? The U.N. was given 12 years and not only accomplished nothing, but were found to be absolutely corrupt in the handling of a program meant to feed Iraqis. America has been there for 3 years and has developed infrastructure, set up an elected government, and ended genocide. So what did America do differently from the U.N.? They stopped trying to dialogue with the problem himself and forcibly removed him ("imposed their will") using the military. Because of this, they have accomplished their goals infinitely faster than the U.N. could have.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Refusing to Face the Problem

I wonder how different our education system would be if the makeup of teachers in public schools ,between liberal and conservative viewpoints, would be. The problem of course is that it's mostly liberals and so try to ignore disparities between racial groups rather than finding out why those disparities exist. I enjoyed Dr. Helen's blog post about this and recommend you read it too.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Problems in Baghdad

Healing Iraq, an Iraqi blog, has updates on the situation in Baghdad and the how the country is on the brink of civil war. Of course, from the American perspective, this threatens our success in Iraq and I think our interests dictate that the military get involved with this somehow. It might not be a popular move, but maybe our military can serve as a lightning rod for all this violence to reunite Iraq and allow the country to continue on its path to becoming a productive member of the world.

These attacks are not going to stop on their own. There has to be some kind of intervention because now that the terrorists have attacked holy areas, they are drawing the Shiites into a war where the motivations for fighting are religious--and that leads to a "to the last man" type of war (like WWII Japan) on both sides and can only end in a devastated country and religious fanatics left in power--regardless of who wins.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Women in Leadership

In all my years at UW, I have NEVER come across a "Men's Leadership" conference. Perhaps there have been some, but I have never seen them. This is an example of gender discrimination at universities and I know it isn't just at my college, either. I'm curious to know why men are not afforded the same "conference?" This is especially pertinent given recent enrollment numbers by gender to higher institutions of learning. Something like 60% of college students are female and the gap is widening. Ann Althouse has blogged about this before.

I suppose these things were started to help females compete on equal footing as males in the higher areas of our society, but are they still (or were they ever) necessary now that women are the majority? I argue no, and believe these types of conferences are discriminatory. I'm okay with a "separate but equal" stance on this particular instance, but a "women only" view is wrong.

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A Point to be Made

Lee, who I haven't been reading with any regularity, raises a good point with this article.

The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan, the agency's director, George Tenet, told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States on Thursday.

Had the CIA targeted bin Laden, half the royal family would have been wiped out as well, he said.


How can Bush say there is no threat to our security here? Some have made the point that port security will still be the responsibility of the Coast Guard, but when we're talking about possible nuclear or biological weapons coming to this country, all that needs to happen is that it gets here. The detonation of these weapons can still cause major damage to the cities in question. That's assuming we would be able to check every container which certainly isn't the case.

My freind made the point last night that this seems to be some kind of back-scratching business deal between Bush and the UAE. It certainly seems that way and if it is indeed the case, it's politically stupid. I have to say I'm really not happy about this deal, and I'm certainly not happy with Bush.

"If there was any chance that this transaction would jeopardize the security of the United States, it would not go forward," the president said in a brief but firm statement on the White House South Lawn.

I think Bush forfeited his "trust me" line with the Harriet Miers nomination. If there is no reason for us to be concerned, then address the concerns being raised! For now, there IS a chance this jeopardizes our security as far as I can tell, and Bush needs to explain why I'm wrong if he wants me (or anyone else for that matter) to get behind him on this.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Porting Disaster

Bush now says he wants the UAE/Port deal to go through. Not only that, but he'll apparently veto any attempt to stop this from happening! Unbelievable.

"After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward," Bush told reporters who had traveled with him on Air Force One to Washington. "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company. I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, `We'll treat you fairly.'"

Here's why the UAE shouldn't have control over our ports as opposed to Great Britain, Mr. President (whom I voted for): unlike Great Britain, the UAE has historical ties to terrorism today that should be brought into question as to the motivations behind the country. The UAE was one of only 3 countries to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, money used to pay for the 9/11 hijackers went through UAE banks, and a few of the hijackers on 9/11 were FROM the UAE. I realize this hardly condemning evidence, but the question is one of security. The question we have to ask is "does this move make us more vulnerable to terrorist attacks?" Given the dubious record of the UAE, I would have to say the answer is "yes." After all, you wouldn't appoint the chronically late and irresponsible mail room boy as your company's CEO, would you?

Michelle Malkin has (as usual) a good handle on things.

Frist has said he will oppose this deal as far as he can. Clinton, attempting to seem strong on national defense, has joined the fight as well. Whatever her motivations, I think this is an issue where even liberals can agree that this is problem because it doesn't even have the "personal rights" issues usually attached to security questions we Americans usually fight over.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Iron Mail

A high school senior discovered that ironing your mail for 5 minutes with a regular household iron can kill anthrax. An interesting discovery to say the least. Not only that, but his findings were published in a journal. Not only will this prevent anthrax from infecting you, but you will never have that pesky wrinkled mail problem again. I wonder what would happen with the envelopes that have the plastic windows on them, though?

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I Never Saw a Truer Blue

Powerline has been following a story about Minnesota democrats trying to silence two ads showing on TV. They have been denounced by the Democrats as "un-American" and have been encouraging party members to contact stations airing the ads to demand they take them off.

Democrats sure love free speech, don't they? Well, they do when the only speech is their speech. I find it interesting that the only ones who say Iraq is a dismal failure, or worse, are the same people who opposed the war to begin with. Now we have a "from the horses mouth" ad and the Democrats want it silenced; what a suprise.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Alec Baldwin is "Stoopud"

Alec Baldwin must not be satisfied that people think he's an idiot, and so must want to ensure he removes all doubt. A piece he wrote for the Huffington Post--Ariana Huffington's blog who, if you might remember, was "going there anyway," criticized Cheney.

So, I suppose the question is...what kind of civil trial will we see, or not see, between Cheney and Whittington? Whittington is certainly no stranger to a court room and to civil litigation. Will Cheney pay him off, preemptively? Will they go to court? I would imagine if a guy with a few beers in him shoots you in the face on a hunting trip, how could you turn down that opportunity?

He's not going to press charges because Whittington is Cheney's FRIEND! I guess Alec Baldwin would sue his friends (as if he needed the money) which is probably why he wonders why Whittington isn't. After drooling over this idiotic conspiracy theory, Baldwin stays true to form for insane lefists and calls Cheney a terrorist.

Cheney is a terrorist. He terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately. Who ever thought Harry Whittington would be the answer to America's prayers. Finally, someone who might get that lying, thieving Cheney into a courtroom to answer some direct questions.

It's times like this that I can't believe he played the part of one of America's (and WWII's) greatest heroes. Baldwin wouldn't know service to his country if it bit him on the leg. This piece tells me more about Alec Baldwin than I ever wanted to know and he's more concerned with seeing people's friends behave like he would than simply acknowledging this for what it was: an accident. Nevermind that though! Baldwin has cheap-shot insults to throw around.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Here's a Thought

Some more photos from the Abu Ghraib scandal have surfaced and the media is reprinting them all over the place.

I'm curious: if the MSM is objective and unbiased, why are they so unwilling to print cartoons critical of Islam out of respect for Muslims, but are more than willing to print photos critical of the military? Just a thought.

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What Is Wrong With People?!

While the press continues to cry about not being notified about Cheney's hunting accident sooner, Arab/Islamic countries are going to take over our ports.

The Bush administration yesterday failed to quell the swelling tide of opposition to the deal that would give a company owned by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates control over six American ports.

The board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey promptly made public their demand to the federal government for information and documents related to the decision in preparation for its own review of the implications of the deal next week.


Why is this even an issue? Here's the fact: the source of terrorism is in the middle east, and Islam. So please tell me: what sense it makes to give away the sovereignty of our ports (let alone to an Arab/Islamic nation)? If the MSM really wants a scandal, they should be talking about this. Of course, since the controversy comes from protesting the actions regarding Middle Eastern Muslims, it's kind of catch-22 for them. I'm not happy with Bush on this one, and he had better slap this proposal down if he wants me to take him seriously on domestic national security--though I really haven't for some time now with the whole Mexico border issue.

Michelle Malkin has a great roundup on this REAL issue we should be reading about.

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Speaking of Cheney's Shooting

The media is now trying to get people to admit that alcohol played a factor in this shooting. Of course, once they do they will start saying "leading some to believe that the Vice President was under the influence of alcohol" to make it sound like he got drunk and went hunting. Fortunately, this isn't happening. As was reported by Fox News, Whittington (the victim if you remember) said alcohol was NOT involved.

Before a nurse asked the officers to "hurry up so Mr. Whittington could rest," Whittington "explained foremost there was no alcohol during the hunt and everyone was wearing the proper hunting attire of blaze orange," San Miguel reported.

As it turns out, Cheney admits to having had one 12 oz. beer during lunch. Hardly enough to cause a lack of judgement especially when coupled with a meal. One point I don't see being made is that Cheney has a bad heart. Having a bad heart, most likely means he's on blood thinners and as any heart patient will tell you, alcohol and those drugs are NOT to be mixed because it amplifies the effects of the drugs. That isn't to say the occasional drink like, say, a 12 oz. beer with a meal is off-limits, but a 6-pack and pretzles are not typically the types of things in which heart patients indulge.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Here's A Suprise

According the Pew Research Panel, Republicans are happier than Democrats, conservatives happier than liberals, and church-goers happier than non-church goers. John at PowerLine sums it up pretty well:

That conservatives (Republicans) are happier than liberals (Democrats) is no coincidence, as anyone who earns a living selecting juries can tell you. Nowadays, the fact that the Democrats are an angry (I would say, hateful) party is one of the commonplaces of political commentary. And, no doubt, the Democrats are angrier now than usual. But it seems likely that the fact that Democrats tend, statistically, to be unhappy people makes that party especially susceptible to appeals based on anger and hate.

Perhaps that explains their efforts to institute dhimmitude.

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How Retarded Does the Media Think We Are?

What has been the media's reaction to Cheney's shooting his friend? It has been one of asking about a cover-up. Because Cheney's first phone call wasn't to CNN and the AP, the reporters are wondering about a cover-up by Cheney. When I read this story about what happened, I just shake my head.

Vice President Dick Cheney, facing criticism over how he handled the disclosure of a weekend hunting accident, is scheduled to make his first public comments about the incident today in a television interview.

Where was the criticism coming from? It was coming from THE REPORTERS. This is yet another example of the media manufacturing a story in order to criticize the President. How can they possibly think we consider them "objective" in their reporting after something like this? I understand and accept that it is impossible to be entirely "objective," but this goes far beyond human error and right into political advocacy.

As one would expect, the Democrats are trying to follow the "issue" the media has manufactured for them and milk it for political capital. Hillary is "troubled" in case you were wondering.

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Lofty Goals

This company, LiftPort Group, Inc., is experimenting with a space elevator. This concept has been around for a number of years now. Where one would have to expend lots of energy getting a tiny space shuttle or payload rocket into orbit to put things in space, a space elevator would (theoretically) allow for a sort of "conveyer belt" to space where we can cheaply put material into space to build "space only" devices like deep-space vehicles large enough to support life for extended periods of time in space.

Den Beste wrote up a great criticism of this technology and I think he's right in that this idea seems plausible but will ultimately fail because of physics. Den Beste's argument is that the anchor point in space will either come crashing down to earth, or "wrap around" the earth as its rotation moves faster than the orbit of the anchor. As much as I would like to see a technology that put us into space cheaply, I'm afraid this isn't going to be it.

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Speaking of Funny...

So on the same vein of the Cheney jokes, here's a great video of a Muslim rave party!

(Via: Shamalama)

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Funny "Ha Ha" Not Funny "Strange"

The WSJ posted a good compilation of jokes related to the Cheney birdshot episode. Since the guy is okay, save for a minor heart attack, I hope we can easily find humor in all of this.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Continuing the Tradition

Staying true to the tradition started by their professors, students at the University of Washington are spitting on this country's heroes.

Student senator Jill Edwards, according to minutes of the student government's meeting last week, said she "didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce."

...

Ashley Miller, another senator, argued "many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men."

Senate member Karl Smith amended the resolution to eliminate a clause that said Boyington "was credited with destroying 26 enemy aircraft, tying the record for most aircraft destroyed by a pilot in American Uniform," for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.

Smith, according to the minutes, said "the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington's service, not his killing of others."

I think Smith forgets that Boyington's service to his country WAS to kill others or rather, to keep others from killing the rest of us. The talk radio host who broke this story had this to say about the event.

"Pappy Boyington went beyond the call of duty to serve and protect this country – he simply deserves better," Ludeman said. "Just last year, the university erected a memorial to diversity. Why can't we do the same for Pappy Boyington and others who have defended our country?"

"Diversity" is such a disingenuous term for liberals. They throw it around as if diversity were a good thing that they all wanted where the reality is they only care about diversity as long as it agrees with their worldview. Which, of course, isn't true diversity. This is a perfect example of that. A blogger cited in the article makes a good point about these students.

The blogger wondered, "have our Washington youth revised history so much as this? To compare Boyington – or for that matter any of our WW2 vets – to murderers? What are these kids being taught today? They don't deserve those 20 months Pappy spent being tortured and beaten in a Japanese prison camp ... they don't deserve any of what our grandfathers and grandmothers sacrificed to free Europe and the Pacific."

True, they don't deserve it; but they get it anyway because that was Boyington's true gift to them. I only pray they will someday find a mind of their own enough to understand that. Read the whole thing and try to keep your jaw from hitting the floor.

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Merch March

Penny-Arcade, a gaming webcomic, has a comic about Annarchy: Tycho's niece. The backstory is that Tycho helped his niece break out of her house after her parents refuse to let her go to a gaming competition because she is an exceptional gamer--a rarity among the female species. The problem arose when during her taking crap for her pink computer case with a pony and rainbow on it, a guy comes to her defense, Galahad, and it was love at first sight. Tycho wasn't happy because Annarchy's eyes were focused on Galahad and not her computer where they should be. The story last ended with Ann kissing Galahad. I said all that because the humor of this comic would be lost if you did not know the backstory.

However, that is not my primary concern (even though I just spent the last 10 minutes linking to the comic). As I read this particular comic, I couldn't help but think Gabe (Tycho's partner in drawing crime) and Tycho are introducing yet another piece of themselves available to YOU at the low price of $20! Ann is already wearing the "Merch" shirt... perhaps an implicit advertisement? I love capitalism, but those two are whores. Of course I say that with jealousy in my heart. That, and I would seriously consider buying one for myself... and I don't even have a niece! Whores.

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Forcing Wal-Mart's Hand

Wal-Mart has been forced to carry the morning after pill in its pharmacies in Massachusetts because the state's pharmacy oversight board says so. I can't believe how socialist this is! Wal-Mart CHOOSES the products it wishes to take financial risks on buying--not governments.

I imagine the reason Wal-Mart is being forced to do this is because they're a corporation and those lefties can't in good concience side with freedom when freedom is on the side of the corporation versus the "little guy." The fact that the issue revolves around an contraceptive makes the whole thing a slam dunk for them. When Wal-Mart buys this drug then doesn't turn a profit, who's going to pay for their loss? This board is forcing Wal-Mart to take risks it isn't willing to take and as a result, Wal-Mart will most likely try and revover its losses through other products which means added cost for many for the sake of the few; which of course, is the entire dogma of the left.

If anyone thinks this is justified or "okay," I would really like for them to explain to me how forcing the hand of anybody promotes freedom?

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Saddam: "I am Still In Charge!"

I wanted to relate an exchange I had with an aged liberal on Friday. I went to a coffee gathering put on for international students and met this guy named Dave. He made a wisecrack about "current presidents and the embarassing things they say," implying of course that Bush is not a good speaker. Well being ever so quick on my feet, I shot back with: "yeah, like Saddam Hussein saying he's still in charge of Iraq, haha!" He shut up after that and I smiled at yet another small victory over the idiots.

To drive this point home, Saddam was back in the courtroom trying to control things and as usual, being told to shut up and sit down.

Amid threats of a continued boycott, the chief prosecutor had asked new chief judge, Raouf Abdul Rahman, to bring Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants to the Baghdad court by force if necessary.

On entering court, Saddam Hussein said: "They have forcibly brought me here."

He told the judge: "Exercise your right to try me in absentia. Are you trying to overcome your own smallness?"

It's just classic. I think it's also a point to once again thank Bush, America's allies, and above all the soldiers of America who have carried the greatest weight in Iraq for turning a murderous dictator persuing WMDs into a whining child throwing a tantrum and showing the world the senile old man Hussein truly is.

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Sure Is Getting Hot In Here

That pesky global warming at it again! I just can't believe how hot it is getting. I wonder if people on the left like being wrong, or if they're just incapable of being right.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Does Cheney Think Lawyers Feel Lucky?

Cheney apparently shot a lawyer while hunting. He CLAIMS it's accidental but who knows? I'm actually wondering how long it will take for the media to start quoting the Brady campaign and we start see lines in news articles that say things like "this incident has led many to wonder why more gun safety measures have not been put in place such as (complete confiscation)." Only time will tell, I guess.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Couldn't Draw It Better Myself

As they say: "we need to see more of this." Apostate Muslims are protesting their bretheren in other parts of the world lest they be associated with the nature of their religion.

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Don't Be My Valentine

So now the Muslims are protesting Valentine's day saying it's "against the teachings of Islam." Okay, got it. I'm still going to celebrate it, but now I'm going to enjoy it that much more! Now go home you crazy women! I guess they're right though: why would a "Religion of Peace" teach or celebrate anything about love?

Nearly two dozen black-veiled Muslim women burned Valentine's Day cards and posters showing couples together in the main city of India's Kashmir protesting the day that they say imposes Western values on Muslim youth.

God forbid those youth learn about anything but suicide bombing and killing jews! These people fail to see (I assume) that they are trying to impose Muslim values on Western culture. I wonder how many riots worldwide are going to take place on Valentine's day?

If celebrating love pisses off a bunch of idiotic Muslims (and especially if "Allah" hates it) then let's start another anti-boycott movement! Michelle Malkin says "buy danish," I say "buy Valentines!"

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Diana West Gets It

Diana West has a great piece on dhimmitude in the west. I have noticed, as many others have, that we capitulate to Islam far too much. Not that religious tolerance (note: "tolerance" not "acceptance") of its adherents isn't a bad thing, but I draw the line at having to compromise my own beliefs and liberties in order to satisfy the egos of Muslims. Another question I have is how can we as a freedom loving people be religiously tolerant of a religion that is offended at the mere presence of other religions?

Anyway, getting back to the dhimmitude thing, West mentions that the BBC has two very different pages regarding Islam and Christianity. I thought I would take a look at this and see if it was true.

How far does it go? Worth noting, for example, is that on the BBC Web site, a religion page about Islam presents the angels and revelations of Islamic belief as historical fact, rather than spiritual conjecture (as is the case with its Christianity Web page); plus, it follows every mention of Mohammed with "(pbuh)," which means "peace be upon him"—"as if," writes Will Wyatt, former BBC chief executive, in a letter to the Times of London, "the corporation itself were Muslim."

I decided to check this out and compare the two myself. The Muslim page does indeed say "peace be upon him" about Mohammed, but when compared to the Christian page, it is very lopsided in it's presentation. For example...

Muslim Page

The Islamic scripture is the Holy Qur'an. Muslims believe that the Qur'an was revealed to humanity by God through the Prophet Muhammad.

Christian Page

The Christian holy book is the Old and New Testament of the Bible

Now, this may be splitting hairs, but why is it that when speaking about the Muslim book, we see "Holy Koran" (apostrophes are for abbreviations, and I don't know what "Qur'an" is an abbreviation for) while talking about the Christian book, we see "the Christian holy book... the Bible?" The way these are worded, they make the Koran sound objectively holy while the Christian book is holy according to the opinions of its adherents.

Getting back to West's point though, we should not be so willing to tolerate Islam in the west that we renounce our own beliefs for the sake of "not offending" Muslims. That isn't how liberty works.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Devil Can See His Breath

Pat Buchanan is a crazy man. I rarely agree with him because he takes a very hard right view on politics that is usually neglectful (and sometime hostile) towards people who do not have the same views as him. Anyway, he was on Hannity's radio show yesterday and he and Hannity disagreed about these cartoons from Denmark. What Buchanan was saying is that it is irresponsible for us in the west to be reprinting all these offensive cartoons when we're trying to unite the Arab world and show these people that the way of the west is a better way to live. Offending them outright like this is not a good way to do that.

On the other hand, providing commentary about why these cartoons should be acceptable may be okay; but to simply reproduce the images would be seen as desiring to hurt Islam rather than reveling in liberty.

Why I say the devil can see his breath (cold day in hell) is that I actually agree with Buchanan to some degree. He wasn't saying that they shouldn't be allowed to print these things, but they just simply shouldn't print them for the sake of our efforts in the Middle East. We can't really win hearts and minds by slapping people in the face I guess is the jist of it. He wasn't saying we shouldn't be afraid of offending the terrorists or those who prosecute violence against us, but we SHOULD be afraid of offending the more peaceful people (i.e. "apostate Muslims" as I call them) in the region seeing how we are behaving here because it does not help our efforts there.

Freedom is not a bottle of water. That is, you cannot go into a country say "here is some freedom for you" and expect them to accept it peacemeal. People new to this concept will see this and say to themselves "if liberty means accepting denigrating my beliefs, and therefore God Himself, then I want no part of it." Such ignorance is exactly the kind of thing we're trying to fix because it's exactly how terrorism is bred.

Buchanan makes sense in that regard. As a bit of a tangent, these people shouldn't be so thin-skinned about their belief. I see my faith insulted on an almost daily basis and I really don't care. Sure it grates on my nerves when I'm called blind or stupid for believing in God but even if I am, I wouldn't EVER be so offended by pictures that I would riot and burn buildings.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Oh Look! Carter is Opening His Mouth Again

So we should fund terrorists, and now we're wrong to try and stop them by listening to international phone calls.

Former President Jimmy Carter criticized the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program Monday and said he believes the president has broken the law.

Notice: "domestic" eavesdropping. Like I said before, it's not "domestic" but the media will repeat this again and again until people will think it is. As for Carter, it's been 30 years since his failed presidency, and he's still striving for relevance.

The former president said he would testify before the Judiciary Committee if asked.

"If my voice is important to point of the intent of the law that was passed when I was president, I know all about that because it was one of the most important decisions I had to make."

Carter's tenure as president will be remembered for high inflation, high gas prices, high taxes, a poor economy, hostages in Iran, and as an outlier, the peace brokered between Egypt and Israel... possibly the only good thing he did as president.

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The Violent Continue Their Crusade

Glenn Reynolds, who I rarely link because his posts usually consist of little more than a link with the text "heh," (not criticizing, just observing) has a great roundup of some of the goings on around the world regarding cartoons.

As expected, people on the left are trying to find a way to make this the fault of the west. Yet again we see self-hating westerners trying to blame themselves (and the rest of us) for the unacceptable behavior of others in the world.

The crux of her argument is "we're sowing discontent between clashing civilizations." The reason we're clashing is because of the Muslim extremists in this world. I guess because they're the agressors, we should be trying to accomodate them. No matter what the situation, it is always the fault of the west (notably America) for all the ills in the world according to the left.

In other news, this apology was issued by apostate Muslims (that is, people who genuinely care about others who don't believe what they do, and don't want to blow themselves up in crowded shopping centers for Allah's glory). It is nice to see these people stepping up and I sincerely hope they don't stick with Islam because they do seem like intelligent and nice people--the antithesis of the religion's ideal person.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

I Spy

The Drudge Report has the headline "Domestic Spying Vital Against Al Qaeda: Gonzoles." The problem with this headline is that Gonzales doesn't say that. In fact, he makes the distinction quite clear:

No one takes lightly the concerns that have been raised about the interception of domestic communications inside the United States. But this terrorist surveillance program involves intercepting the international communications of persons reasonably believed to be members or agents of al Qaeda or affiliated terrorist organizations. This surveillance is narrowly focused and fully consistent with the traditional forms of enemy surveillance found to be necessary in all previous armed conflicts.

Continually calling this "domestic spying" is a problem of the media (not just the MSM source in this case). They are making this distinction all the time and they shouldn't. Even if it were acceptable to use biased terms like "conservative" or "right-leaning," those terms are only used when the general consensus is that these words mean something specific. "Domestic" spying is a subjective term in contention between two political sides in current events.

The media is taking a position on this issue when they say "domestic" spying. Bias is everywhere and people should remember that they need to read news stories as if they were advertisements. Don't doubt the actual facts being conveyed (i.e. "the government is tapping phones") but definitely question whether more subjective things aren't commentary by the author of the piece (i.e. "the government is engaging in domestic spying"). Such is the responsibility of an individual in reading the news. Ideally the news stories would simply say "the government is tapping phones," instead of "...domestic spying." Unfortunately, the goal of most journalists is to influence people's views rather than simply informing them of events.

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Lethal Force Authorized

A spokesman for the Bush administration (allegedly) mentioned that Bush would be able to order the death of a person in the U.S. in "certain circumstances."

During the briefing, said administration and Capitol Hill officials (who declined to be identified because the session was private), California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Bradbury questions about the extent of presidential powers to fight Al Qaeda; could Bush, for instance, order the killing of a Qaeda suspect known to be on U.S. soil? Bradbury replied that he believed Bush could indeed do this, at least in certain circumstances.

Considering that this is yet another "according to anonymous sources" piece, I'm not inclined to believe this... especially because it's from Newsweek. I sincerely hope this isn't the case because while I do accept that the government must resort to lethal force at times, it should only be used as a last resort. Even in the case of terrorists in the country, the government should make the effort to arrest them--not kill them.

In real life, the official said, the highest priority of those hunting a terrorist on U.S. soil would be to capture that person alive and interrogate him. At a public intel-committee hearing, Feinstein was told by intel czar John Negroponte and FBI chief Robert Mueller that they were unaware of any case in which a U.S. agency was authorized to kill a Qaeda-linked person on U.S. soil. Tasia Scolinos, a Justice Department spokeswoman, told NEWSWEEK: "Mr. Bradbury's meeting was an informal, off-the-record briefing about the legal analysis behind the president's terrorist-surveillance program. He was not presenting the legal views of the Justice Department on hypothetical scenarios outside of the terrorist-surveillance program."

So in fact they actually say that they would do exactly what I hope they would: kill them if they are in the process of attacking us, but arrest them if they haven't attacked us yet. However, notice Newsweek makes it sound like the Bush administration wants to tap our phones and come in and execute us for talking to our Muslim friend across the pond like the Chimpy McBushHitlerHalliburton fascist Republicans want.

So yet another groundbreaking piece for Newsweek. According to an anonymous source that attended a secret meeting, the unofficial position of the Bush administration is advocating assasinations. PROOF that Republicans are in fact in favor of a police state. This is what is called a "non-story." I'm perfectly fine with my government killing those carrying out an attack against my country, it's called "national defense" for a reason.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Women in Church

I have been having a back-and-forth with a reform Baptist for a number of weeks now about women's role in Christianity. He contends women are not allowed to teach, while I contend that they are. While I'm not a member of the Assemblies of God, or consider myself Pentecostal in any way, I find their arguments very convincing concerning this topic.

My own view is that God wants all of us to seek and learn about Him. I don't think He would just limit His church to allowing only men to having this job. Such things like 1 Tim 2:12 are obstacles when holding this belief though. I find the AG position very well thought out and lucid.

Don't ask me why this is a question of interest for me as a male Christian, because I'm not sure myself.

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Imagine Peace

On the heels of my last post, there is a work of art (which is a relative term, I know) that portrays OBL as Jesus Christ. Michelle Malkin, and others, are upset about it. I think it's time for a little perspective here.

First off, the picture is definitely done for some purpose. Paintings are not photographs--there is a very specific intent behind painting something because it takes more effort than "point and click." So, what is the intent of the artist with this?

On the phone with me, the artist declined to do an on-camera interview, telling me the work speaks for itself, but adding, the resemblance to Bin Laden was no accident.

This is what artists do. Music or Canvas, they express a feeling or outlook using their talents and because they're insane, never expressly say what those feelings or outlooks are. Maybe not because they're insane, but perhaps it's the interpretation by others that gives artists their "reward" for their work (it sure isn't the money). So, in that spirit I would like to offer my own analysis.

Many people are upset this is depicts "Jesus," and he's surrounded by several "bad" things as well as being painted upside down. My view is that the artist is depicting things that are wrong with the world. The border of the painting has "Mujahadin," "McCarthyism," and "Amadou Diallo." On top of that, OBL's face (as verified by the artist) is on a Christ body. These ideals have a common factor of being considered (legally or ethically) "righteous." The artist is expressing these things as "unrighteous" in an ironic way.

Many Muslims believe OBL to be a messiah figure or "holy" man. Mujahadeen considers itself doing God's work, McCarthy felt his work was doing what was best for the country (defeating those "godless pinkos"), the death of Amadou Diallo was deemed "not a crime" by a community leader. The artist is expressing bad things and how they are antithetical to what Christ actually taught, or what should be good, hence the Christ-figure upside down.

I really don't view this as a controversial piece of work. In fact, I kind of like it. I really don't feel strongly about the Amadou Diallo issue, but showing horrible things done by men in the name of good, is an interesting concept for a work of art. It should remind us that how we act is just as important as why we act and how when those two things diverge, we end up with horrible consequences.

The deeper message I see in this particular work is unlike the "Piss Christ," because instead of just being obscenely grotesque and openly hostile (in my opinion) to Christianity, it seeks to convey some kind of message.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Quad Erat Demonstratum

I have mentioned my own thoughts on the vile religion of Islam before. I noted that its appeal in a place as craptastic as the middle east is its allowance of violence against other people. Unhappy people can be angry people and thus look for a scapegoat and, thanks to decades of oil dealings, the west (and the Jews, for other reasons) has become that scapegoat.

People who truly wish to execute violence against their fellow man will find a way to do it. The fact that Islam allows for this makes the consciences of these people all the more satisfied for doing so. "Hey God wants me to do this, and who am I to argue with God?" Of course, that argument is circular, but I digress.

So imagine my surprise when I read that Muslims were upset over cartoons like this one depicting Mohammed. I can see how cartoons like this could be considered offensive--I certainly wouldn't want to see Jesus drawn performing homosexual acts, but the difference here is that it actually applies. It applies to associate Mohammed and Islam with terrorism, it applies that Islam is a motivation for inflicting hurt on others in the world. Not because its adherents are the ones doing the hurting, but because the Koran, Islam's cornerstone document, advocates these activities.

So how have the outraged Muslims reacted to their greatest prophet being portrayed as a violent terrorist? Why, by using violent terrorist tactics, of course!

Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank city of Nablus said they were searching apartments for foreigners from several European countries to try to kidnap them to protest the drawings. The claim by the gunmen could not immediately be verified independently.

In the furor over all this, we see this story about fabrications being made from the Muslim side to incite more violence and outrage. Now let's try and understand this: the outrage is derived from blaphemous charicatures of Mohammed, but to incite even more violence Islamic groups are spreading their own versions of Mohammed on paper and therefore blaspheming themselves.

So that begs the question: if these people were truly devoted to the tenets of Islam to the point of taking up arms over a cartoon, why would they blaspheme their greatest prophet? The answer is they wouldn't. They are more interested in being violent against others whom they hate and any means to that end, in their minds, are justified. QED.

UPDATE:Michelle Malkin has a good roundup on the latest of these events. I'll check them later and maybe post on some.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Left Crosses the Line... Again

It's not everyday that you see military leaders participating in the public discourse as official policy. Generally, theirs is to simply ensure the discourse can continue, but in terms of being any kind of Thomas Paine, they do not concern themselves.

So when the ENTIRE Joint Chiefs of Staff writes a letter to the editor of the WaPo, you can have some idea of how far they went with their expression of hatred for our side.

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Another Bias Example By the Media.

Yet another example of absolute, unequivocal, bias in a new article about the Alito confirmation. The opening paragraph of the article is FILLED with biased remarks!

Samuel Alito was sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court justice on Tuesday after a divided Senate confirmed the second conservative selected by President George W. Bush in his effort to move the high court to the right.

A "divided" senate, the second "conservative," and "Bush's effort to move the high court to the right." If even one person dissents, the Senate is, by definition, "divided." The author makes sure to include that word though. Also, since when has Bush outlined or even stated a plan (i.e. "effort") to move the court to the right? Making these ideological distinctions, and policy assumptions, requires a bias on the part of the author. For example, if this author were a Neo-Nazi (far-right), the story would read "...second moderate," and "...effort to move the high court to the center." By using these terms, the author reveals their own position on the political spectrum... which IS NOT journalism.

Just hours earlier, the sharply divided Senate confirmed Alito, 55, a federal appeals judge since 1990, to the nation's highest court on a largely party line vote of 58-42.

We read this further down. What does "sharply divided" even mean? "Divided," okay; but "sharply divided?" Does that mean it was close and the margin of victory was razor thin? Or does it refer to how the votes went down along party lines? Or is it that he was confirmed so soundly, that it was really discisive? I'm not sure; but given the bias of this reporter, I'm guessing they're trying to say it was close. As a matter of fact, that's confirmed from this paragraph a bit below the "sharply divided" paragraph.

Successful Supreme Court nominees have traditionally received broad bipartisan support, but Alito ended up with one of the lowest votes for confirmation in the past 100 years, and the fewest since conservative Clarence Thomas was confirmed 52-48 in 1991 after accusations he sexually harassed a former aide.

I imagine the purpose is to cast doubt on the viability of Alito as a Supreme Court Justice. "Alito didn't get broad bipartisan support, so he must therefore be some partisan hack or 'yes-man.'"

Anyway, feel free to read the rest, but don't expect objective writing. Shamalama has more on this and makes 3 good points about the opening paragraph and goes further.

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Gun Control and Media Bias

I was surfing around the blogosphere and came across Alphecca who linked this story about a proposed CCW permit bill in question in the state legislature of Wisconsin. The larger post is about media bias regarding guns in general and looks a several examples. Other than the fact that the reporter gave the anti-gun politician carte blanch in this blatantly one-sided piece, there is this quote:

With a requirement that businesses post signs prohibiting guns in their stores, there is a potential loss to businesses as well.

“This bill forces them to pay the cost of a sign, and possibly face intimidation from those who won’t do business because they are not allowed to carry a weapon into that business,” he said.

How many people (or business owners) feel intimidated by people who don't want anything to do with them? I'm guessing not many. That's the nature of capitalism, folks. If you don't like the business practices of someone, you don't have to patronize them. It's a business' choice to not allow me to carry a gun into their store, but it's my choice not to patronize that store.

I only wish that other issues in today's political climate were as much of a slam dunk regarding constitutional rights as gun ownership is.

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