Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Thank you to our men & women in uniform and the familes that support them.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lessons from the Kings of Old

Kings then:
Above--King Canute demonstrates to his coutiers his lack of power to stem the tide.

Below--King Alfred the Great lets several cakes burn and gets a tongue lashing from a peasant woman.



"Kings," that is, Big Government today, is just as effective as Canute's attempt at stemming incoming tides.


Mark Steyn and the Conservative Reform Network Blog use these tales from the Kings of Old to illustrate lessons of the limits of earthly power--in this case Big Government programs and regulation, not to mention narcissism by some of our leaders.

First, from the Conservative Reform Network Blog, where I got the Obama & the Waves picture:


Now from Mark Steyn:



Friday, May 28, 2010

The "Offending Cartoon"


Above is the Zapiro cartoon which got South African Muslims all up in arms.  I posted about this yesterday, but today I found this courtesy of the Gates of Vienna (GoV) blog.  The following commentary, along with the picture was posted two days ago:

The leftist nature of the M&G [the South African Newspaper] helps explain why the paper caved in relatively easily — after all, defending freedom of “racist” speech doesn’t come easily to a cultural Marxist.



But the amazing thing is that they evidently hadn’t the faintest idea of what they were setting themselves up for. Did they really think that because they were fervent progressives, they would be spared the wrath of the Universal Muslim Rage Boy? Have they been holed up in a cave these last nine years?


If they have any sense at all, they now understand the rules of the game: Islam trumps Marxism every time, without exception. Any leftist who thinks he can cha-cha with the prophet without assuming the Full Submission Position is sadly mistaken.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Russia Promises to "Hold the Ball" for Us Regarding Iran

And like Lucy promising to hold the ball for Charlie Brown, we know how this turns out.

Robert Kagan of the Washington Post points out Russia's past promises:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/24/AR2010052403073.html

This column generated some spot-on observations from my friends:

But, whether it will lead to any sort of critical evaluation of the efficacy of our policies, well, I kind of doubt it. As Kagan writes, the current administration and State's Russia experts have invested way too much in this reset for them to admit failure at this point - it is much easier and politically better at home to continue onwards in the hope that one day Russia will reciprocate in kind.


I guess we’re all about “hoping they’ll change…”
 
Actually, it is worse than that. We are far beyond the self-deception of hoping that Russia will change - we've travelled all the way to believing that Russia has already changed for the better. Corollary to that is the belief that it is our own actions or lack of actions which are preventing the fruits of the reset from showing up. Essentially, the lack of progress in our relations with Russia is blamed not on their obstinancy, but on our own lack of being nice enough - a perfect recipe for continued concessions on our part in exchange for nothing.

Creeping Sharia in South Africa


(Image from Jyllands Posten)

This story came to me via "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day May 20th (Back Up)" on Facebook:

http://www.newstime.co.za/SouthAfrica/Mail_&_Guardian_express_regret_and_call_for_policy_review_over_cartoon/5711/ 

The South African cartoonist "Zapiro" apologized to representatives of the Muslim community for a cartoon of Mohammed he drew for last Friday's edition of the Mail & Guardian. 

What did the "Religion of Peace" reps find so offensive?  The cartoon depicted Mohammed lying on a psychiatrist's couch complaining:  "Other prophets have followers with a sense of humor."

Hey if the burka fits--wear it.  Especially since islamo-terrorists often like to disguise themselves as women when their on the run or getting ready to open fire/self detonate.

And the Top 10 Best Cities are...

...not within the Islamic non-prosperity sphere.

Seattle made #2 on the "10 Best Cities for the Next Decade" (US):

http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/10-best-cities-for-the-next-decade

However, the Emerald City doesn't even register on the "World's 10 Best Places to Live":

http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/25/worlds-best-cities-lifestyle-real-estate-mercer-vienna-geneva.html?partner=relatedstoriesbox

While not making it on the world's top 10, Seattle is a much better place to live than say, Cairo.  I like Mark Steyn's challenge to the multi-culturalist crowd:  Name one Islamic city you would like to live in.  Not visit, to see some ancient wonder like the Pyramids of Giza, but live for the rest of your life.

Can't think of any?

Neither can I.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blame it on Rio (and Ankara)


Iran's nuclear program is "...getting by with a little help from [their] friends," which now include Turkey and Brazil, who will help Iran reprocess uranium.

Ralph Peters shouts "WARNING! WARNING! DANGER!"  But is anyone in position of authority listening?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/nukes_gone_wild_e1DsERRbLf9qsRnyDadpwK

In response to this, today's message traffic from my friends consisted of the following comments:

For once, Ralph has hit the nail on the head - this administration is setting the stage for the nightmare proliferation scenario that has been hovering out there for decades. History may well judge this Obama's greatest failure.

Ralph nails Brazil and the vanity nukes. That country has had delusions of military grandeur for at least a century when they ordered three shiny new battleships from the Brits and only took delivery of two of them because those two bankrupted their treasury. The third was then sold to irony or ironies, the Ottoman Empire but then the Brits decided to keep it after the war started and she was commissioned as HMS Agincourt. It's also the same reason that Brazil insists on trying to maintain a 50+ year old French aircraft carrier that never leaves port and still wants to have nuclear powered submarines when for their purposes diesels are cheaper, quieter, and easier to use.
 
One point Thomas Friedman of the NYT has long made is that if Iran gets nukes, the Sunni Arab countries will be hot after them as well because while they are ultimately willing to live with a nuclear Jewish state in Israel, they are not willing to live with a nuclear Persian Shiite state in Iran.
 
Saudi Arabia and Egypt were caught in recent years working on nuclear weapons program. It made the papers a few years back, but needless to say is not getting any air time lately. Anyone want to bet that they didn't buy full nuke designs and technology from A Q Khan when he was still in business? I can almost guarantee an Arab nuke will follow a Persian nuke.

Standing Ovation to President of Mexico

Yesterday, while folks were busy drawing Mohammed, most of the Democrats in Congress gave a standing ovation to President Calderon for trashing Arizona's new immigration law.

FOX News has the story:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/20/mexicos-calderon-takes-case-congress/

Governor Brewer has 3 words to say to Obama & Napolitano:  "Do your job!"

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4206174/gov-brewer-mr-president-secretary-napolitano---do-your-job

Former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich rolls-in on this issue:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4206172/scorned-in-our-own-house

Here's a great endorsement for the open borders crowd--Cuba denounces Arizona's immigration law:

http://michellemalkin.com/2010/05/21/cuba-denounces-arizona-immigration-law-democrats-to-give-castro-a-standing-ovation-in-3-2-1/

Speaking of Cuba, here's a short round-up of some of the world's thugocracies and their immigration policies, sent to me by a friend:

IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR.
· IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY.
· IF YOU CROSS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY, YOU GET SHOT.
· IF YOU CROSS THE SAUDI ARABIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE JAILED.
· IF YOU CROSS THE CHINESE BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU MAY NEVER BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.
· IF YOU CROSS THE VENEZUELAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE BRANDED A SPY AND YOUR FATE WILL BE SEALED.

· IF YOU CROSS THE CUBAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO POLITICAL PRISON TO ROT.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Everybody Draw Muhammad Day


Several weeks ago, Molly Norris, a Seattle Cartoonist, declared today to be "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day," to protest Comedy Central's decision to self-censor the famous 200th episode of South Park.  However, she didn't expect her off-the-cuff call-to-arms to go viral:


Now, Molly is having an "I created a monster" moment and is trying to distance herself from her creation:


Muslims consider Mohammed's image sacred and is not to be depicted.   Which is fine for the followers of Islam.  But they cross the line when they threaten or intimidate others into adhering--involuntarily--to their beliefs.

I can't draw, so my contribution to defending our 1st Amendment rights comes from my heroic fantasy miniatures collection.  Although it's showing some wear, the figure in the above picture is a caravan master and is actually one of my favorite pieces.  Which, I think is very appropriate to represent Muhammad, since he worked as a merchant before starting his religious teachings and founding Islam.

Here's a synopsis of Mohammed's life and the rise of Islam according to Wikipedia:


Muhammad, of course, didn't act alone:

Since I have other Arabic-ish/non-historical looking figures, I thought I'd include some of his early followers.

Abu Bakr succeed Muhammad, thus becoming the first caliphate:


Hamza, Mohammed's uncle was killed at the Battle of Uhud:


While Aisha was considered Mohammed's favorite wife:


"Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" isn't about us "ugly Americans" antagonizing Muslims.  It's about defending our own values, in this case freedom of speech and expression, within our own country.

Mark Steyn rolls-in on why he supports the cause:


And best selling author Brad Thor posted an inspirational rallying speech on Jihad Watch:


Since Brad Thor quoted one starship captain and applied it to this cause, I'll quote another:  Never give up!  Never surrender!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

30 Years Ago Today...

...the slope of Mount St Helens gave way after a local earthquake, igniting an eruption more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Today, what's left of the mountain is monitored by hundreds of seismic sensors:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011889526_volcanoes18m.html

Kowtowing to China


Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (Deptartment of State) decided to kowtow to China over Arizona's new immigration law.

Michelle Malkin rolls-in on why we have nothing to apologize for.  (See the above image of the Tianamen Square protest [1989] as a reminder):



"It was mentioned in the first session and as a troubling trend in our society, and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination."

So:  It's a "troubling trend" and "discriminatory" to secure our nation's borders is it?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Nowhere Men of Islam

(Image:  The Nowhere Man by Nadeem)

Fouad Ajami discusses Islam's "Nowhere Men" in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ):

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703338004575230142684329162.html?mod=wsj_share_facebook

I've always enjoyed Ajami's keen insight into the mid-eastern mindset and the pathologies it's spawned.  Unfortunately, these same pathologies have been exported and are rapidly taking root in western societies.

War? What War?


From the Weekly Standard:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/don%E2%80%99t-mention-war

The Obama Administration continues its verbal contortion act to avoid admitting we are a nation at war.

Among us Americans, we can debate at length, whether it's best to treat terrorism as a law enforcement matter, or an intelligence/military matter.  Or even if we're at war with terrorists at all. 

(Of course it didn't help that the Bush Administration didn't declare war on one or more specific terrorist groups, instead of a tactic.  One example often used by my favorite commentators is that Bush calling for a "war on terror," after 9/11 would have been like FDR calling for a war against dive bombers, instead of against Japan, after their attack on Pearl Harbor).

In the end, it doesn't matter what we Americans think.  As long as our enemies believe in their jihadi heart-of-hearts they are at war with us, then we will always be in a state of war with them--no matter what sort of tongue-twists the Obama Administration tries.  What's worse, is that on the homefront, we're ceding the initiative to the enemy and relying on their "amatuerish" failures. 

Prior to 9/11, I'm sure the idea of hijacking airlines with nothing but boxcutters seemed like an amatuerish idea...

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Subprime Root Cause of Terrorism

(Image of  Faisal Shahzad's apartment).

Some of the media outlets have commented on Shahzad's foreclosed home and his inability to make mortgage payments.  Could it be he didn't bother paying his mortgage because he was too engrossed in learning how to blow people up?

Mark Steyn rolls-in with the "overeager, amatuerish, subprime" terrorist:

http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/-247715--.html

Mark also points out that not every terrorist is a card-carrying member of Al Qaeda:

http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/3247/30/
A terrorist's goal is to instill fear in the populace.  According to Ralph Peters, our jihadi enemies can smell it on us:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_smell_of_our_fear_mYzCYnFsrWpPfJv2p8lcyN

And what if this "amatuerish" plot were something else entirely?  FOX News, among other commentators are speculating about the Times Square Plot being a dry-run:
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/05/05/kt-mcfarland-times-square-car-bomb-dry-run-al-qaeda-suicide-bomber/

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Deathbed of Western Civilization?


Three people were killed in the latest round of rioting in Greece:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/05/greek-unions-hold-general-strike-plan-rallies-protest-new-deep-spending-cuts-1081338175/ 

Several of our favorite commentators have been watching how events are unfolding in the Cradle of Western Civilzation and they don't like what the auguries portend--this could happen in our country in the near future.

Greeks are taking to the streets to protest government cutbacks in entitltements.  The party is over.  The Greek government realized (probably too late) that the entitlements lavished on its citizens is unsustainable.  And the citizenry, hooked on the government dole, is responding--violently.

Our favorite commentators refer to this as:  The Greek Tragedy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Suspect Nabbed in Times Square Bombing Attempt

Authorities nabbed a suspect in the Times Square Car Bombing attempt:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_times_square_car_bomb 

At this point, the suspect, Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, claimed he acted alone. 

Pakistani-American, huh?  Removed from a plane bound for--where?  Dubai?  Who'da thunk it?!

But for the past few days, those in power and the lamestream media said they were looking for a "white guy," probably a "right-winger," who as Mayor Bloomberg said, offhandedly, "...didn't like healthcare."

Comrade Karla had a mild response to the allegations vs reality:

The Fed referring to him yesterday as an “unidentified white male” was just a tad misleading, however.

But the commentators we usually read, weren't cutting The Fed any slack.  Debbie Schlussel rolled-in with the most scathing counter-attack of the day:

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/21334/no-no-since-times-sq-bomber-is-muslim-will-mayor-bloomberg-apologize-for-defaming-us-will-nbc-fire-incompetent-terrorism-expert-kohlmann/

(I like her term "Pakiban.")

While Mark Steyn pointed out that the "No-Islamic-Terrorism-Here" statements by the government are now SOP (Standard Operating Procedure):

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=Nzg3ODg1ZDg0MWU2ZTgzNzU4OTFjNTdkMTNmY2IxOTk=

Rob Spencer posted a headline, liberals would have loved to read:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/05/three-militant-methodists-taken-off-new-york-dubai-flight----no-wait.html

And finally, "Sister Toljah," well, told-ya:

http://sistertoldjah.com/archives/2010/05/04/pakistani-american-arrested-in-connection-w-attempted-car-bomb-attack/

Monday, May 3, 2010

Too Much (Nuclear) Information


The Obama administration decided to spill the beans on how many nuclear warheads are in our inventory:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100503/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_us_nuclear_weapons 

Meanwhile the US delegate was among the several who walked out on Ahmedinejad's speech at the UN Nuclear Summit today:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2010/0504/1224269639015.html

So far, the walk-out has been the best foreign policy decision this administration has made.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

South Park Speculation?


So far this is purely speculation, but the Telegraph (UK) noticed the parking space chosen by the would-be Times Square Bomber.  From Mark Steyn's piece of NRO's The Corner:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTQ4OTEwZWY3ZjE4Nzc5YzBhM2YzODcxZTFmYTBmNWM=

Coincidence?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

It will be interesting to see where the investigation leads--and what brand of spin, if any, will be employed in the aftermath.

Raising "Facistzona"


(Image from Verum Servum http://www.verumserum.com/?p=14216 )

Mark Steyn rolls-in on the hoopla over Arizona's new immigration law:

http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/arizona-246688-brown-immigration.html

I like Mark's key point, that the call for sanctions against Arizona overshadows any concern about Iran and its nuclear power program.

Bryon York of the WA Examiner, points out the 10 dumbest things said (and often taken as gospel by the lamestream media), about Arizona's immigration enforcement:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/top-10-dumbest-things-said-about-the-arizona-immigration-law-92577964.html

Car Bomb Found in Times Square


Last night a street vendor alerted NYPD of a "smoking SUV" parked in Times Square.  It turned out to be, what experts call an amateurishly made car bomb:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_times_square_car_bomb

At this point speculation is all over the map as to who the perpetrator(s) might be and who they may/may not be affiliated with.

Here's a photo gallery of the event courtesy of the NY Daily News:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/galleries/cops_stop_man_from_detonating_car_bomb_in_times_square/cops_stop_man_from_detonating_car_bomb_in_times_square.html

However, while a disaster was averted in the Big Apple, another disaster is looming over the Big Easy and the entire Gulf Coast.  On 20 April a BP oil rig exploded and sank.  Eleven workers are still missing and presumed dead as a result of this accident. 

Oil, from the now-uncapped well, continues to spew into the Gulf of Mexico threatening wildlife and the livelihood of Gulf Coast residents:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2011757523_oil02.html