Aug 23 2010

A true moderate Muslim who loves democratic government

Category: freedom,Islam,jihad,liberty,shariaharmonicminer @ 8:34 am

I have mentioned Dr. Jasser in other posts, leader of a movement of Muslims in favor of American democracy, and I’ve linked to his website in the blog roll on the lower right of this page.  If Islam is to free itself of an dangerous radicals who want to set the tone (sometimes all too successfully) for all of Islam, the reform must come from within, in the person of spokesmen like Dr. Jasser, who prizes liberty above Sharia.

Why the media keeps going to CAIR as a representative of “moderate Islam” instead of AIFD is beyond me…  or maybe it isn’t.  After all, most of the media are hostile to Israel, and so is CAIR.  Listen to Dr. Jasser, and hope there are many more who will follow him.

Aug 22 2010

Today’s Headlines – Pithy Responses

Category: funny but sad,humoramuzikman @ 8:55 am

U.S. may sue Arizona’s Sheriff Arpaio for not cooperating in investigation

We gotta find some way to stop these local law enforcement people from enforcing the law!

Gore calls for major protests on government’s climate change inaction

Doggone that climate! – it just won’t cooperate! Maybe he can organize a personal masseuse climate boycott.

Islamic Center Backers Won’t Rule Out Taking Funds from Saudi Arabia, Iran

And if we take issue with this mosque being funded by those who wish us harm then the left labels us as religious intolerants.

Lone juror ‘refused to find Blagojevich guilty’

P.T Barnum was right.  Anyone ever seen the movie “Runaway Jury”?

Obama says housing glut hindering economic recovery

So far so good, Mr. President.  Just remember, as you progress the game gets harder.  Now, here is your next question:  What caused the housing glut?

Murdoch $1m donation may not prove bias

So says Goldman Sachs partner Gary Gensler – Obama’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission head. Or was it former Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson who serves under Geithner as his top deputy and overseer of TARP bailout.  No, I’m sure it was Obama’s close hometown crony, campaign-finance chief and senior adviser Penny Pritzker, who was head of Superior Bank of Chicago, a subprime specialist that went bust in 2001, leaving more than 1,400 people stripped of their savings after bank officials falsified profit reports.  Any one of these would surely be an authority on the issue of favoritism!

Two Dem Congressional candidates go on hunger strike – one gets enema

Which is only fair and somehow fitting since the Democratic Party has been shoving things up our backsides for some time now.

American Airlines Finds Another Creative Way to Charge Customers

Let me guess… rental fees for personal flotation devices on flights over water?  Paid barf bag dispensers? 8X10’s of personal body scan images showing the pretty redhead in row 12E?  (suitable for framing!)

Athlete blames cat over drunk driving charge / Facing Ethics Charges, Rep. Waters Points Finger at Bush Administration

In both cases the essential verb is “blame”.  Ya gotta blame something or somebody!

11 PM to 4 AM: Michigan high school football team practicing at night: Accommodate Muslim players during Ramadan

No, this doesn’t mean you can now erect a manger scene during the “winter holiday” season.  That would be unconstitutional.

Aug 21 2010

George Will’s take on Israel and Iran’s nuclear plans

Category: Iran,Islam,Israel,jihad,middle east,national securityharmonicminer @ 8:21 am

Not having anything brilliant to say today (why should today be different than any other day?), I defer to George Will, in his piece titled Israel’s Netanyahu Poised to Take Out Iran’s Nuclear Sites

When Israel declared independence in 1948, it had to use mostly small arms to repel attacks by six Arab armies. Today, however, Israel feels, and is, more menaced than it was then, or has been since. Hence the potentially world-shaking decision that will be made here, probably within two years.

To understand the man who will make it, begin with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s belief that stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program is integral to stopping the worldwide campaign to reverse 1948. It is, he says, a campaign to “put the Jew back to the status of a being that couldn’t defend himself — a perfect victim.”

Today’s Middle East, he says, reflects two developments. One is the rise of Iran and militant Islam since the 1979 revolution, which led to al-Qaida, Hamas, and Hezbollah. The other development is the multiplying threat of missile warfare.

Now Israel faces a third threat, the campaign to delegitimize it in order to extinguish its capacity for self-defense.

After two uniquely perilous millennia for Jews, the creation of Israel meant, Netanyahu says, “the capacity for self-defense restored to the Jewish people.” But note, he says, the reflexive worldwide chorus of condemnation when Israel responded with force to rocket barrages from Gaza and from southern Lebanon. There is, he believes, a crystallizing consensus that “Israel is not allowed to exercise self-defense.”

From 1948 through 1973, he says, enemies tried to “eliminate Israel by conventional warfare.” Having failed, they tried to demoralize and paralyze Israel with suicide bombers and other terrorism. “We put up a fence,” Netanyahu says. “Now they have rockets that go over the fence.” Israel’s military, which has stressed offense as a solution to the nation’s lack of strategic depth, now stresses missile defense.

That, however, cannot cope with Hamas’ tens of thousands of rockets in Gaza and Hezbollah’s 60,000 in southern Lebanon. There, U.N. resolution 1701, promulgated after the 2006 war, has been predictably farcical. This was supposed to inhibit the arming of Hezbollah and prevent its operations south of the Litani River.

Since 2006, Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal has tripled and its operations mock resolution 1701. Hezbollah, learning from Hamas, now places rockets near schools and hospitals, certain that Israel’s next response to indiscriminate aggression will turn the world media into a force multiplier for the aggressors.

Any Israeli self-defense anywhere is automatically judged “disproportionate.” Israel knows this as it watches Iran.

Last year was Barack Obama’s wasted year of “engaging” Iran. This led to sanctions that are unlikely to ever become sufficiently potent. With Russia, China, and Turkey being uncooperative, Iran is hardly “isolated.” The Iranian democracy movement probably cannot quickly achieve regime change. It took Solidarity 10 years to do so against a Polish regime less brutally repressive than Iran’s.

Hillary Clinton’s words about extending a “defense umbrella over the region” imply, to Israelis, fatalism about a nuclear Iran. As for deterrence working against a nuclear-armed regime steeped in an ideology of martyrdom, remember: In 1980, Ayatollah Khomeini said: “We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”

You say, that was long ago? Israel says, this is now:

Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, says Israel is the “enemy of God.” Tehran, proclaiming that the Holocaust never happened and vowing to complete it, sent an ambassador to Poland who in 2006 wanted to measure the ovens at Auschwitz to prove them inadequate for genocide. Iran’s former president, Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is considered a “moderate” by people for whom believing is seeing, calls Israel a “one-bomb country.”

If Iran were to “wipe the Zionist entity off the map,” as it vows to do, it would, Netanyahu believes, achieve a regional “dominance not seen since Alexander.” Netanyahu does not say Israel will, if necessary, act alone to prevent this. Or does he?

He says CIA Director Leon Panetta is “about right” in saying Iran can be a nuclear power in two years. He says 1948 meant this: “For the first time in 2,000 years, a sovereign Jewish people could defend itself against attack.” And he says: “The tragic history of the powerlessness of our people explains why the Jewish people need a sovereign power of self-defense.” If Israel strikes Iran, the world will not be able to say it was not warned.

Aug 20 2010

Reagan vs. the “benevolent” tyrants

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:43 am

Aug 19 2010

Sometimes national leaders should apologize

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:26 am

Obama has become famous for his international apology tours, in which he seems to apologize for everything under the sun, as if America is the most brutal and vicious regime in history, as if we’ve been weighed in the balance and found wanting, as if we’re solely responsible for global warming and hunger around the world, in addition to being rude to all the other nice nations. Truthfully, he’s apologizing just for America being America… but here’s a national leader who knows when its time to apologize, as Japanese P.M. apologizes on anniversary of WWII end

Japan’s new liberal prime minister shunned a visit to a shrine that has outraged Asian neighbors for honoring war criminals, breaking from past governments’ tradition and instead apologizing Sunday for the suffering World War II caused.

Members of the now-opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which ruled Japan nearly continuously since the end of the war, made a point by carrying out their own trip to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The Shinto shrine — a spectacular building with sweeping roofs and a museum in its grounds that glorifies kamikaze pilots — has set off controversy by honoring the 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including Class A war criminals such as Hideki Tojo, Japan’s war-time prime minister who was executed in 1948.

“We caused great damage and suffering to many nations during the war, especially to the people of Asia,” Kan told a crowd of about 6,000 at an annual memorial service for the war dead at Budokan hall in Tokyo.

“We feel a deep regret, and we offer our sincere feelings of condolence to those who suffered and their families,” he said. “We renew our promise to never wage war, and we promise to do our utmost to achieve eternal world peace and to never repeat again the mistake of war.”

Among those listening to Kan’s words were Emperor Akihito, whose father Hirohito announced the surrender 65 years ago in a radio broadcast — the first time the Japanese public had heard the real voice of the emperor, who had been revered as a living god to justify imperial expansion.

Last week, <Kan> apologized to South Korea for its 1910-45 colonial rule. Imperialist Japan committed atrocities in Asia, including forcing Koreans to fight as front-line soldiers, work in slave-labor conditions and serve as prostitutes in military-run brothels.

In Seouln President Lee Myung-bak, speaking Sunday before a crowd packing a plaza near the former royal palace, said history should not be forgotten but urged Japan and his nation to work together for a new future.

“I have taken note of Japan’s effort, which represents one step forward,” Lee said of Kan’s apology.

How does what Japan has to apologize for compare to what America has to apologize for? Your answer to that will inform your response to Obama’s apology tours.

Aug 18 2010

See you at the movies

I hope this one is a big hit at the box office, but it’s a cinch it won’t win any Oscars.  Hollywood has no problem with raising prices to see a movie, or with raising the price to give someone a job, or even with raising the price to have a job.  Of course, Hollywood permanently inhabits never-never-land, so a movie that just tells the simple truth is bound to be horrifying to them.

Looks like it ought to be a winner.

Aug 17 2010

Report from Manitoba – The Canadian Illegal Immigration Problem

Category: humor,illegal alienamuzikman @ 8:55 am

The Manitoba Herald
as Reported by Clive Runnels
August 1, 2010

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The recent actions of the Tea Party are prompting an exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they’ll soon be required to hunt, pray, and to agree with Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck.

Canadian border farmers say it’s not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.

“I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,” said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn’t have any, he left before I even got a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?”

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. He then installed loudspeakers that blared Rush Limbaugh across the fields. “Not real effective,” he said. “The liberals still got through and Rush annoyed the cows so much that they wouldn’t give any milk.”

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons and drive them across the border where they are simply left to fend for themselves.

“A lot of these people are not prepared for our rugged conditions,” an Ontario border patrolman said. “I found one carload without a single bottle of imported drinking water.

They did have a nice little Napa Valley Cabernet, though.”

When liberals are caught, they’re sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about plans being made to build re-education camps where liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR races.

In recent days, liberals have turned to ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have been disguised as senior citizens taking a bus trip to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans in powdered wig disguises, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizens about Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney to prove that they were alive in the ’50s. “If they can’t identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we become very suspicious about their age,” an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and are renting all the Michael Moore movies. “I really feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can’t support them,” an Ottawa resident said. “How many art-history majors does one country need?”

In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice President Biden met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals. A source close to President Obama said, “We’re going to have some Paul McCartney and Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we might even put some endangered species on postage stamps. The President is determined to reach out,” he said. The Herald will be interested to see if Obama can actually raise Mary from the dead in time for the concert!

Aug 16 2010

The smartest person in the room who knows nothing?

Category: philosophy,religion,science,Scripture,theologyharmonicminer @ 9:37 am

There are those folks who like to pretend their superiority by claiming to function only on reason, not having any need for faith.  They delude themselves, of course.  No one functions only on what they know, or can prove in a scientific or rationalist way.  Most people make most of their decisions on faith, whether they allow themselves to admit it or not.  In that, I include enormous, life determining decisions, like what to study, whether to study, whom to marry, what life path to choose, what values to live by, and so on.  Even science cannot be shown BY science (or any rational process) to be the valid path to truth.  At the link there is a discussion about that, and other things.

My point here is a little different, though.

Some people seem to delight in not being sure about anything, because that way they think they aren’t responsible for anything.  It’s rather as if they think ignorance of the law is a defense (including natural law and revealed law).

Neither natural laws nor God are impressed by feigned ignorance, however, even when you have maintained the pretense for so long that you’ve forgotten it’s just a script, so that you can safely play your role as a person who isn’t sure of anything much.  Shoot, I’ll bet some people could pass a polygraph examination, convincing the operator they’re “agnostics,” sort of the ultimate triumph of method acting.

I’m afraid you’ll have to decide.  You can’t sit on the fence forever.   You won’t live that long.

Aug 15 2010

Turkey, chemical weapons, and German crocodile tears

Category: Islam,Israel,UNharmonicminer @ 8:44 am

German website Der Spiegel says examination of photographs of eight scorched Kurdish rebels shows Turkey used chemical weapons

Is Turkey using chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels? German weekly Der Spiegel reported on its website Thursday that it had obtained photographs showing the bodies of fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that had been killed by chemical weapons. The report, which is based on a report published over the weekend, claims German experts have examined and confirmed the photographs’ authenticity.

According to the report, the horrifying images show burned, maimed and scorched body parts. Kurdish human rights activists believe the people in the photos are eight members of the PKK underground, who were killed in clashes with the Turkish military in September 2009.

The photographs were transferred to a human rights delegation including German activists, journalists, and far-Left Turkish politicians.

A “far left Turkish politician” just has to be an interesting beast.  From what I can gather, they are modeled after “social democrats” everywhere, which means that socialism is more important to them than freedom.  This group seems to descend from pro-Soviet roots.

The report said the photographs were transferred to a forensics lab and were examined by experts from Hamburg University Hospital. Expert Hans Baumann confirmed the initial suspicion that it is highly probable the eight Kurds died “due to the use of chemical substances.”

This is not the first time Turkey is suspected of using chemical weapons, in violation of the international treaty to which it is a signatory. Such suspicions have led German politicians to call for an independent international probe into the matter.

It would be spectacular if those same German politicians were more serious in stopping Iran from going nuclear.  How many German banks and German industrialists are doing business with Iran (maybe through appropriate cutouts to maintain semi-plausible deniability)?  But only semi-plausible.

Gisela Penteker, a Turkey expert with the international medical organization International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, noted that Turkey has been suspected of using chemical weapons for years. “Local people have said that again and again,” she explained. Finding proof is difficult, however, she said, because bodies were often released so late that it was hardly possible to carry out a thorough autopsy.

Meanwhile, Berlin daily newspaper Die Tageszeitung, also reported that it has obtained additional, shocking pictures, supposedly autopsy photographs of six other killed Kurds.

The paper also reported that the Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected the claims, saying, “Turkey is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and its armed forces do not possess any biological or chemical weapons.”

Well, that’s comforting.  Turkey, of course, is the newest addition to the international blame-Israel-first coalition, made up of the Arab league, most European nations, Russia and China….  and, of course, the American Left, including American academia and American media.

Good luck finding any significant American media outlet covering this, or an American academic calling for an international investigation….  of the sort they called for when Israel defended its Gaza blockade from Turkish ships.  Now, THAT really deserved an “impartial” international investigation by that neutral arbiter of peace and truth, the United Nations.

But a few Turkish Kurds killed with banned chemical weapons?  That doesn’t even make the radar screen, let alone the news.

It would seem that the Turkish government’s zone of protection from such investigation has widened, in exact proportion to its recent hostility to Israel.  After all: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. 

And to most of these people, Israel is surely the enemy.

Aug 14 2010

Maybe we can go really fast after all?

Category: science,spaceharmonicminer @ 8:10 am

Rethinking Einstein: The end of space-time Much more at the link.

IT WAS a speech that changed the way we think of space and time. The year was 1908, and the German mathematician Hermann Minkowski had been trying to make sense of Albert Einstein’s hot new idea – what we now know as special relativity – describing how things shrink as they move faster and time becomes distorted. “Henceforth space by itself and time by itself are doomed to fade into the mere shadows,” Minkowski proclaimed, “and only a union of the two will preserve an independent reality.”

And so space-time – the malleable fabric whose geometry can be changed by the gravity of stars, planets and matter – was born. It is a concept that has served us well, but if physicist Petr Horava is right, it may be no more than a mirage. Horava, who is at the University of California, Berkeley, wants to rip this fabric apart and set time and space free from one another in order to come up with a unified theory that reconciles the disparate worlds of quantum mechanics and gravity – one the most pressing challenges to modern physics.

Since Horava published his work in January 2009, it has received an astonishing amount of attention. Already, more than 250 papers have been written about it. Some researchers have started using it to explain away the twin cosmological mysteries of dark matter and dark energy. Others are finding that black holes might not behave as we thought. If Horava’s idea is right, it could forever change our conception of space and time and lead us to a “theory of everything”, applicable to all matter and the forces that act on it.

OK, I admit it. Whenever I run across one of these stories suggesting Einstein might be wrong about some aspect of relativity, I get excited, because if he was wrong about something, maybe he was also wrong about the speed of light being an absolute speed limit for everything except maybe “communication” between entangled particles and other exotica.

Because if we can’t ever go faster than the speed of light, it’s hard to see how interstellar travel ever becomes popular, and I like the idea of somebody someday zipping over to the next star system for lunch.

Of course, if interstellar travel really is impossible, we don’t have to sweat visits from unfriendly aliens who got mad at us when we didn’t write, and blew up the solar system, or just sterilized it.  On the other hand, if there AREN’T any aliens, or unfriendly ones anyway, it would be cool to terraform a few dozen other earthlike worlds (if there are any) and get a little lebensraum.  And it’s a cinch there aren’t any earthlike worlds (besides earth, of course) in our solar system.

So maybe I’m cheering the relativity revisionists, hoping one of them will find a loophole in the cosmic speed limit.

Who needed dark matter anyway?  And there is already enough dark energy in faculty meetings to keep the universe flying apart for the indeterminate future.

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