Monthly Archives: March 2007

Cogito, Ergo Blog

I think, therefore I blog.

Thank you velvethammer for tagging me with a Thinking Blogger award.

Dear Velvet, thank you very much. I really do appreciate it, and I will pass it on right quick.

Here’s the rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,

3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote. (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

I award the following bloggers with the “Thinking Blogger Award

  1. Skarbutts, by RA Sprinkle. Incisive reasoning concerning fascism, communism, and other totalitarian systems.
  2. The Belmont Club, by Wretchard. The most elegant writer to come out of the blogosphere, and one of the clearest thinkers.
  3. Blame Bush, by Larry Chomstein. Satire that punches you right in the solar plexus and leaves you stunned and laughing.
  4. Fourth Rail, by Bill Roggio. You can read traditional news or watch the networks, or even Fox news, and you won’t know what the U.S. military’s strategy is. Or you can read everything Roggio writes and understand the Truth.
  5. The Captain’s Journal, by Herschel Smith. Deep thoughts on counter-insurgency and other topics military.

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Indiscriminateness and big-L Liberalism

In this YouTube video, Evan Sayet starts with a parable. I paraphrase.

There was a long-time New York liberal who met an old friend for lunch, and the old friend said that he hated his wife. The liberal smiled at the statement, obviously a lie, because he had heard it a million times from this friend and knew it was not true. Then something happened. Outside the window of the restaurant, the two saw the friend’s wife walking by, and then they saw two hoodlums jump on her and start punching.

The New York liberal said to his friend, “We have to go and help her now. She is getting beaten up.”

His friend replied, “No, I don’t think so. She deserves it.”

At that point, the New York liberal realized his old friend really did hate his wife.

Sayet describes himself as a 9/13 Republican. That is a former liberal who watched America getting attacked by terrorists on 9/11 and on 9/12 wanted to get his liberal friends to help America fight back, only to hear from them that “America deserved it.”

He goes on to talk about standards, thought, reason, and the ability to distinguish between good and bad choices. It is a requirement for real progress to be able to identify those things that are evil, failures, or wrong and to see, distinguish, or discriminate, between them and those things that are good, successes, or right. This is the positive meaning of “discrimination.” But discrimination has become a bad word.

discriminate
1628, from L. discriminare “to divide,” from discrimen, derived n. from discernere (see discern). The adverse (usually racial) sense is first recorded 1866, Amer.Eng. Positive sense remains in discriminating (adj.) “possessing discernment” (1792).

“It especially annoys me when racists are accused of ‘discrimination.’ The ability to discriminate is a precious facility; by judging all members of one ‘race’ to be the same, the racist precisely shows himself incapable of discrimination.” [Christopher Hitchens]

Ref: Online Etymology Dictionary

As shown by the date the racial sense of “discriminate” was first recorded, this goes back to the struggle to abolish slavery. The thinking process has been progressing for 150 years along these childish lines.

In order to eliminate discrimination, we must become utterly indiscriminate.

Stated this way, it is obvious that the movement against discrimination, begun with the best of motives in the English and American Christian abolitionist struggle, has become a nihilist movement, a movement that seeks the destruction of everything worth caring about in order to produce a utopia where nobody fights because nobody can think of anything worth defending.

The evidence is as obvious as John Lennon’s “Imagine” can make it.

Imagine a less nihilist lyric. It isn’t hard to do.

Underline “Imagine” with Ward Churchill’s “little Eichmannshysteria, or the desperate promiscuity of the women in Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives, sending the message that marriage and children are less rewarding than prolonged spinsterhood. After all, the Manhattanite glamazons of Sex and the City have lots of orgasmic sex with a new partner every week, while the suburban moms of Desperate Housewives are merely desperate. Or compare the NYT coverage of Abu Ghraib under American control, 44 consecutive days on the front page about embarrassing pictures of terrorist suspects with underwear on their heads, no dead or injured, to the NYT coverage of Saddam Hussein’s tenure at Abu Ghraib, with the rape rooms, electric drills, cigarette burns, torture murders of children in front of their parents and wives in front of their husbands, and the giant industrial shredder where the lucky ones were shredded head-first.

Watch it all. It’s terrific!

[Update: After sleeping and a long day of working in the Methane Mines of Titan I came home and re-read this piece, from front porch to back stoop. I knew the back door was coming soon… But my God!!! That last step was a doozy! Of course I meant to finish by writing that Sayet says all the things that I want to say on the topic of Indiscriminateness and big-L Liberalism much better than I do, so what in creation are you doing reading me instead of watching him?]

h/t: Ace of Spades HQ

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Reverts at Risk

Abdul-Quddus writes on his website “Khalas!

Over time, certain individuals were introduced to me that changed the course of my journey. Being a revert (convert) and impressionable, I was vulnerable prey and acquainted with predators. After taking shahaadah, I was given many telephone numbers for contacts. The first contact being from a brother named Yusuf eagerly seeking my attendance to reinstate a revert support group dismantled after the founder left the country. I’d encounter numerous brothers attempting to recruit me into their organizations. My hesitation to partake in many activities perhaps saved my life. The claims by brothers who left us for “Arabic studies” or “humanitarian work” overseas caught my suspicion. Some actually went for jihaad; one brother returned very depressed from qitaal (warfare, fighting) in Iraq. Yet, even with all precautions, the dreadable risk of having “tea with terrorists” supervened. When over a dozen Muslims were arrested on terrorism-related charges, we discovered one “suspect” was from my close-knit clique of brothers, passing his house hundreds of times while he plotted using three metric tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Reverts were wandering sheep that had to be extra cautious of acquaintances.

Warning to “reverts.” Keep your eyes open and don’t fall for scammers and sinister types who want your future to end with driving a suicide carbomb through Diyala with your hands and feet handcuffed to the steering wheel and accelerator and waiting for the timer to go off.

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Allies

Nancy Pelosi is leading the Democrats in the United States’ House of Representatives to insert terms for a U.S. surrender in the military supplemental appropriations bill. She is bribing the thieves of congress with pork and other favors to get it passed, proving there is no difference between “Dollar” Bill Jefferson, “Duke” Cunningham, Jack “Unindicted Abscam Co-Conspirator” Murtha, and any other congress-critter, except getting caught at thieving and cheating.

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), a former Black Panther who now represents one of the most liberal districts in the nation, decided yesterday to support the Iraq war supplemental spending bill because he was promised help with an issue “unrelated” to the bill. […]

The lobbying was intense. Two House Democrats said the leaders dangled the possibility of reversing decisions made by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC).

(Update: See a list of the bribes here.)

At the same time, the AP publishes half the score board for those following the Iraq battle of the Global Counterjihad. Of course the AP only publishes the terrorists’ scores, in terms of Coalition soldiers and Iraqis killed, not the Coalition score in terms of terrorists killed, bombs disarmed, and progress made on reconstruction projects. Any high school basketball team could play against the Detroit Pistons, and if the Detroit score wasn’t published while the high school team’s was, then readers would falsely conclude that Detroit got beaten badly.

It would be journalistic malpractice to report a basketball game like that. And so too is AP guilty of journalistic malpractice, as is Reuters, NBC, CBS, the NYT, LAT, BBC, Al Jazeera, and most other traditional media organizations.

In the mean time, in Iraq, clashes erupted in Basra. Early reports indicate the cause of the violence was anger at the corrupt Mayor of Basra.

Al-Melaf cites informed sources, who deny any connection to the Sadrist current in these clashes, who say that the cause of the clashes that erupted in Basra was “looting and corruption” for which the governor of Basra, and his relatives, are known.

Clashes came as an expression of the anger of the Province’s residents with the governor of Basra, Muhammad Musbih al-Wa’ili, whom the sources described as corrupt, and unwilling to take any steps in the reconstruction of the area unless he receives bribes from contractors, al-Melaf reports.

Sources also pointed to the Basra governor that most of the oil smuggling operations in the area were completed by his hand and by a group of his relatives, in a way that resembles, to a large extent, the “mafia gangs” that are common in Basra, al-Melaf reports.

Al-Melaf reported earlier that tribes and notables in the Basra area are seeking to present a complaint against the governor to the Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki over the governor’s conduct.

Muhammad Musbih al-Wa’ili would fit right into the U.S. House alongside Murtha and Pelosi and their looting comrades.

Speaking of Shi’ite ne’er-do-wells, investigations reveal that the rocket attack that came so close to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was with a Katyusha rocket. Iran is the primary source of Russian-made Katyusha rockets in the Middle East. If it turns out that the rocket was supplied by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps out of a store of rockets left-over from the Iraq-Iran war, then the U.N. is going to get really mad and most likely write a strongly worded letter of disapproval concluding that it’s the Jews’ fault.

The rocket exploded during a press conference at the prime Minister’s residence, agencies reported. AP said the Katyusha rocket was fired from a mainly Shiite area on the east bank of the Tigris River. […] The 8 km-range Katyusha rockets, which were manufactured in the Soviet Union, were used by Iran during its war with Iraq between 1980 and 1988. The Shiite armed organization in Lebanon Hezbollah also occasionally uses them, fueling suspicions that it is backed by Iran.

Suspicions that Hezbollah is backed by Iran? That’s like saying there are suspicions that Hollywood is in California, that the sky is blue, down is not up, and pigs don’t fly or brush their teeth.

Finally, on the Sunni side of the Sunni-Shi’ite divide, a new al-Qaeda video from an Afghan al-Qaeda terrorist urges Sunni terrorists in Iraq to join al-Qaeda in Iraq (you know Iraq, the country where there is no evidence acceptable to “Sherlock” Pelosi of al-Qaeda ever being there) instead of trying to make a future for themselves and their families in a free, non-Talibanized Iraq.

Abu Yahia al-Libi, who broke out of the U.S. prison at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul in 2005, said it was the sacred duty of all mujahedeen, or holy warriors, to “stand steadfast together.”

He called on militant groups known as Ansar al-Sunnah, the Islamic Army in Iraq and the Army of the Mujahedeen to “hurry up and respond to the call of the Quran to become one and… join the Islamic State in Iraq,” an al-Qaeda affiliate in the country.

“This is the legitimate duty and urgent need imposed by the circumstances of this stage of the jihad in Iraq,” the black-turbaned al-Libi said, referring to militants’ holy war. […]

Al-Libi also urged them not to “fall into the trap of enemies reaching out to Sunnis in Iraq” and claimed Saudi Arabia’s calls for the support of Iraq’s beleaguered Sunni minority were a sham.

“Your enemies are adding poison to exterminate you and sabotage your jihad. So don’t be drawn in by flashy advertisements of Satan and his followers,” he said.

I know that al-Libi (aka Abulbakar Mohammed Hassan) appreciates his allies Pelosi, Murtha, and Reid. I hope Pelosi et alia appreciate their allies in the Jihad, the global anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-civilized media, corrupt politicians of all stripes, global terrorists, and the terrorists of the Battle of Iraq. They make a good team.

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Leaflets: Bad Guys, Good Ideas

IraqSlogger scanned in and translated a leaflet from Baghdad that excoriated the Shiia as the Safavids and al-Qaeda as the Kharijites

The term Safawiyoun, or Safavids, a term used by militant Sunnis in derogatory reference to the Iraqi Shi’a. The term Khawarij is employed here to refer to extremist Sunni groups, especially those affiliated with al-Qa’ida.

The Safavid Empire was a 16th-to-18th-century political formation based in present-day Iran and including parts of current-day Iraq (and other areas surrounding Persia). Although it included at times much of what is now Iraq, the empire is seen as part of Iranian political history, and outside of Arab political tradition. Most importantly, the empire was closely associated with the spread of Shi’a Islam at the hands of the state.

By referring to the Iraqi Shi’a as Safavids, sectarian Sunnis are able to imply that Iraqi Shi’a are at the same time agents of Iran, premodern in their orientation, and interested in forcing the rest of Iraq to embrace Shi’ism. This slur is used very derogatorily among sectarian Sunnis.

The group authoring the leaflet reaches even farther back in Islamic history to refer to another set of its enemies as the Khawarij. The Khawarij (Singular, Khariji In English, literally, “those who exit” or “those who secede,” also known as “Kharijites” in some historical writing), were a group formed in the year 658, in the dispute over succession to leadership in the relatively early times of the Islamic political community. In the contest over community leadership between the supporters of ‘Ali (the forbears of the Shi’a tradition), and the supporters of Mu’awiya, the Khawarij “seceded” from the group supporting ‘Ali, essentially rejecting both men’s authority over the community.

The Khawarij in that time adopted radical methods to attempt to undermine the existing authorities in the Islamic community, including armed activities and assasssinations.

This focuses on the past. It is sadly typical in its careful nursing of a sense of victimization, resentment, and hatred to the point that these weak and childish emotions become not only personal obsessions but hereditary ones.

What is needed are more fliers and leaflets that communicate a positive, life affirming, murder opposing message to Iraqis. Something along these lines.

Who is making us unsafe?

  • Is it the Army?
  • Is it the Police?
  • Is it the Americans, so desperate to be loved by us?
  • They are not of our tribe or clan, but is al-Qaeda of our tribe?
  • No, they are from Arabia and cower in the Himalayas afraid of American soldiers.
  • Who then threatens us but criminals, brigands, corrupt politicians, murdering foreigners, and terrorists?
  • They take our hospitality, hide in our houses, and kill our neighbors, and run away when the neighbors fight back and kill us.
  • Are these good men or useless liars and mad-dog murderers?

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With the Constitution as our Guide

Charles Kesler writes at RealClearPolitics:

The contest’s next phase has a way of reducing the candidates to policy wonks, especially the Democrats, who in order to mobilize their disparate supporters must advance long, specialized agendas. Goodbye, “the audacity of hope.” Hello, the hope of audacity, of any sort of bold Democratic policy addressing the common good rather than client groups.

Republicans have a hard time competing against such pandering, but that won’t stop them from trying. The best way to avoid this race to the bottom is to connect Republican policies to the Constitution and its principles. Thinking about the Constitution as a guide to policy has almost gone out of style, except in the appointment of judges and the current debate over war powers, a welcome throwback, in its way. One would have to go back to the Reagan era, and before that to the 1960s, to find Republican leaders opposing major government programs on constitutional grounds.

But the alternative to reviving constitutionalism is to make policy with no limits except for the judges’ whims, and with no guide except our leaders’ visions, distilled from their constituents’ desires. The alternative to constitutionalism, in other words, is to play politics according to the Democrats’ rules.

It’s true. The U.S. Constitution is brief. The Constitution together with the Bill of Rights and the Amendments is easily readable at a single sitting. It is easy to understand, though hard to grasp all its implications. It was the work of the bravest, best educated men, the men who most cherished freedom, of their time. They were guided by logic, a deep knowledge of history, and the love of God.

Read it for yourself.

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Red’s Testament

This is a story I heard from a priest about a man from south Louisiana. This man had red hair so we might as well call him Red, even though his hair has started to go gray. He had profound sadness within him. Every year around the first day of spring he cried a lot.

He would tell anyone who would listen, “My boy was retarded, you know. He wasn’t smart. But I loved that kid so much. He was slow, but a joy.” He would pause, and continue, “A couple years ago on the first day of spring, my boy went to a picnic. At the end of the picnic, they found my boy’s lifeless body floating in the pool.” He sobbed, “My boy was dead! He was six. My retarded son, who I loved, was dead. God took him away from me. All the other boys said they hadn’t seen him go into the pool. They didn’t know anything.” He wiped his tears away, “But I knew they was lying. My boy had scratches on his face, where someone held his head underwater and drowned him.”

And he continued, “I was mad at God. I was mad at those boys. I wanted them to die for what they did, for drowning my boy. In my heart I hated those boys. I wished they would pay for what they did. And I prayed for my boy to be saved. About a year ago, I went into a bar around this time to get drunk and forget.”

As the priest said, drinking to forget isn’t a great thing to do, but it’s better than feeding hatred and anger.

Red went on, “After I sat at that bar, the door opened and a guy walked in. He walked straight up to me at the bar and sat down. I told him about my son. I told him he was dead, drowned by those boys. And I told him about the scratches. And he replied, ‘I work on an oil platform in the middle of the Gulf, and I’ve seen lots of guys drown. That happens all the time. When a guy drowns, when he goes down for the third time, there’s a reflex that happens every time. They all reach up with their hands like claws and scratch their own face. It happens every time.’ My heart was thudding. He said, ‘Mister, those boys didn’t kill your son. They were telling the truth. Nobody drowned him. It was an accident!'”

Red said, “I was so thankful. God brought that man to me, straight into the bar and on a beeline to where I was sitting. And he answered my prayer. He saved my son. I had been wrong. Now I knew he wasn’t drowned by those boys. I didn’t have to hate them anymore. They were innocent. And my boy had a short life, but a happy one. He died in an accident, too young, but in an accident, not by murder.”

Red finished, “Until then I just thought about those boys and how much I hated them for drowning my son. I believed a falsehood and it was ruining me. Now I remember my son and how much I loved him.”

Moral: Blame and speculation lead to hatred. Truth leads to love. God wants us to love.

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