I wanted to respond to Sobek’s post on the recent troubles in North Africa and elsewhere. But I didn’t want to post such a long screed at Michael’s place and abuse his hospitality, so I’ll do it here.
Sobek hit on some very important things for us to keep in mind, things we should watch. >
I see America as strong – perhaps stronger than most nations. But the people seem to be changing, and not for the good. We need to entrench within ourselves and our children and associates those values that helped us become great. We’re either going uphill or going downhill – there is no resting, no plateau, no station to rest. Our government didn’t bring us where we are today, we did. Our government won’t lead us to future success, we will.
One of most pernicious ideologies that hinders a nation’s progress and development is statism. The state is not the answer. That’s why we fought a war with the British. That’s why the establishment of a government was such a contentious affair in the beginning of our history. There were plenty of models to choose from, but few which didn’t include statism as its foundation. The Founding Fathers erected a system of government that not only didn’t enshrine statism but, in fact, tried to prevent it. By going against their mechanisms, we are now turning into a statist nation.
I had lived in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates for so long that when I returned to The United States, I was a statist. I’d wonder why the government isn’t doing this thing or that thing, why it wasn’t solving such-and-such problem or issue. Or I posited that the government is the solution to our ails and woes. After all, in Pakistan, the first question that’s asked when an issue arises is: “What’s the government doing about it?” But I realized that this statism causes more problems than it solves. Rather than relying on the industry and ingeniousness of the people, we were relying on burdensome, cumbersome, inefficient bureaucracy. Each involvement of the government, furthermore, eroded the people’s freedoms, their area of movement and activity, and, indeed, even their will to work, solve, and prevail.
Mark my words – every statist nation is full of dullards, lazy people, unrealistic ideologues, and far from industrious.
I don’t care about communism or socialism. Russia, China, or Iran won’t do us in. If things don’t change, statism will be end of America as a world power.
I feel bad for Israel. Whenever I talk to people about Iran’s becoming a nuclear power, one thing I hear is, “I hope Israel takes out their facilities.” It seems a little strange that the American people’s foreign policy is to ask Israel – alone in the midst of bloodthirsty sharks – to go ahead and take out the big, bad Iranis.
If we took out the Iranis, what would they do? They can’t attack America. They’d probably attack Israel. Which means no matter if America or Israel attacks Iran, Iran will strike at Israel. Poor Israel.
But one thing we have to admire: Israel’s unswerving focus on surviving. While we’re wringing our hands over executive compensations, Israel is debating its very future. We’re upset about cars, Israel is considering ways to strike nuclear facilities. (Which they are good at, needless to say.) And Israel is remarkably consistent on this point. Even the slightly-left-of-center Kadima was staunchly anti-Iran. The current hodge-podge of rightists, leftists, and centrists is likewise anti-Iran. Nothing seems to unite these disparate factions that the threat of nuclear holocaust.
Nuclear holocaust. One holocaust wasn’t good enough? Puts a different spin to things, doesn’t it? Does it change your mind on how we ought to approach the issue? if Iran does nuke Israel…how will you feel if you did nothing to stop yet another senseless holocaust against the Jews? It boggles the mind, it really does, how such a small minority of people brings out so much hatred.
But Israel will survive. I know it. And America will never leave Israel stranded. Our destiny is tied with Israel’s.
So, Iran has teh Bomb, eh?
Not surprised. It was evident and obviously that powerful world powers will do everything to make sure Iran becomes a nuclear power. People are very much interested in tilting the balance of power from the West to the East.
But, think about this for a second. What mechanism are these Eastern powers using vis-a-vis the West’s techniques? When we want to prevail we use jeans, rock and roll, and salacious movies. We move markets. But the East? No, they’re still stuck in the barbarian ages where the man with the biggest stick is chief.
I don’t know if this will work. Sure, they will freak Israel out. Oh, boy, will Israel freak out. But America? We’re too busy worshiping Obama or worrying about getting our next fat-laden meal to think much about Iran. And those who think right are worried, but, really, what’s Iran going to do?
The world needs to pay attention to Japan. They threatened us. We nuked them. End of story. If Iran directly threatens us with any nuclear weapons, I guarantee we will strike back with such force Australia will vibrate from the shockwaves. Not because the president – whoever he may be – is a good ole American. Nope. It’s because if he doesn’t swing the big stick, and hard, and sever a head, he won’t be reelected.
It’s all about reelection, folks. If we know their weak spot, why not use it?
Happy Fourth of July!
May freedom ring throughout the world, and may liberty abound for America and every individual American!
My friends, I now make a personal appeal to you. A history-making time has arrived, and your help is needed.
After three decades of virtual tyranny, the people of Iran have had enough and want to overthrow the regime and replace it with a new one. This isn’t a revolt of sore losers. The issue is no longer Moussavi not winning the presidency. It’s about the system. It’s about the old guard that has kept Iran suppressed and oppressed for so long. It’s about Khamene’i and Ahmadi-nezhad. More importantly, it’s about replacing the old guard with a new guard.
Granted, the system will still be theocratic. Granted, Rafsanjani (who is rumored will be the new Supreme Leader) isn’t all buddy-buddy with the West. Granted, Iran will not become fully democratic or transparent. But this is a crucial step in the right direction.
Moussavi promises sweeping changes, changes that will make Iran more democratic and transparent. He wants to curtail the authority and interference of the Supreme Leader. He wants to diminish if not eliminate the volunteer Basij (the feared extralegal enforcement forces). He wants to end political suppression. Moussavi wants a new Iran.
But more importantly, the people of Iran want a new Iran.
And they need our help. They don’t need our government’s help; they don’t want our government’s help. They need our help, the help of individuals.
So, what can you do?
1. Blog about the situation. Give them moral support. Encourage them. Embolden them to continue the Green Revolution until it meets its objectives.
2a. Put pressure on CNN, Fox News, Sky News, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Twitter to do all that it can do to help the Green Revolution. They have already done a lot thanks to intense demand from individuals. If we keep up the pressure, there might be more they can do. The people of Iran need, absolutely need, these media to operate efficiently and reliably in order to orchestrate the Green Revolution. This is truly a revolution via new social media.
2b. Forget pressuring the government. It’s useless. Instead, focus on actions and venues that can make a real difference now. Twitter, Facebook, and Google have more clout and can do more than the US government at this point.
3. Put aside political differences. Focus away from Ubaama’, from the government’s shenanigans, from Democrats’ idiocy. Kossacks, HuffPosters, and even St. Andy of the Sacred Heart Ache have been doing a lot to help the Green Revolution. Let us set aside our differences to tip the balance in favor of the people of Iran. If you blog, blog more about the Green Revolution than anything else. If you’re a Twit (h/t S. Weasel), Tweet about the Green Revolution (use the hashtags #iranelection and #gr88). Mention it in your Facebook postings. Cooperate with all people who support the Green Revolution or who are helping it.
4. Wear green, and be open about why. Change your icons to green. It is such a wonderful sight to open up Twitter and see, as the phrase has been used a number of times in last few days, a Sea of Green. People from all over the world, people from all political thoughts, people from all ethnicities and cultures and religions, are green to support the Green Revolution. If you’re on Twitter, change your timezone and location to Iran. (This is not only to support the Irani revolutionaries but also to confuse Irani government censors who are trying to find Irani Twitterers and arrest them.)
5. Also extremely important is cyber-revolutionary activity. Can you set up a Tor relay? Do it. Can you set up a proxy server that Irani revolutionaries can use? Do it. (E-mail me at muslihoon (at) yahoo (dot) com for how to contact certain people who are central information sources for proxies that Irani revolutionaries can use. Do not publicly post available proxies, as the fascist government is monitoring such announcements to track down revolutionaries and arrest them..) Do you have any other ideas that can help the Irani revolutionaries or hinder the fascist government’s efforts? Share them. (Tip: no DDoS as that affects the Irani revolutionaries as well.)
Thomas Jefferson said: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” This may be the unhappy case with Iran today. But change is needed. And we should do our part.
Every little thing you can do will help the people of Iran. They know the world is watching them. They need to hear our constant voices of support.
This is not only in the national security interests of The United States — the new regime, who is cognizant of all that the American people, along with people around the world, have done to help them succeed, will be less likely to want to blow all of us to Kingdom Come — but is essential as Americans who support democracy and freedom. The people of Iran are yearning to be free. They need our help. Let us, without any hesitation, extend our hand and help them in any way we can.
You can help make the world a better place. You can help be part of a grand effort to make an entire people more free. You can help put the axe to the root of tyranny in Iran. The question is: will you? If you will, let this be your burning passion until the Green Revolution succeeds. We’ve harped on about regime change in Iran for a very long time now. That time has come. Let us not miss this opportunity.
A good message to the so-called men of Hollywood: “Open Letter to the Hollywood Girly Man” by Franklin Pierce.
Are we a Christian nation?
The technical answer is that we are not a Christian nation. Unlike many countries, we do not have an official religion. No religion or religious body receives any especial recognition or patronage. (This is one of the purposes of the First Amendment.)
Some might say that Americana is America’s religion – our volumes of scripture are the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, our prophets are the Founding Fathers, our salvation lies in furthering America’s interests, in following the American dream.
But the technicalities do not betray a very real element of America: while America, technically, as a State, is not Christian, at least not officially, the American people are Christian, and thus America is, indeed, unofficially Christian. What’s more, America is not Christian the way England is Christian. America is perhaps one of the most diverse and devout of the Christian nations.
When people go around saying, “Oh, America is not a Christian nation!” they will come off as two-faced. Why is he saying this while America is so overwhelmingly Christian? Is he trying to trick or fool other people?
I love the button on the end of the pages:
If you can read this thank a Teacher.
If you can read this in English thank the Military.
There are lots of tear-jerker videos. I saw the one below (with audio turned off) and I started crying. Very well made.
Support the Troops – show them some love: Operation Gratitude
“Founder’s Quote Daily” for Tuesday, February 17, 2009 from The Patriot Post:
“The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.”
–Thomas Jefferson, letter to Spencer Roane, 9 March 1821
From a Jewish jokes e-mail list I’m on:
So far we have Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Ronald Klain, Larry Summers, Paul Volcker, Tim Geithner and Peter Orszag. Maybe it’s just because I’m Jewish, but am I the only one noticing that Obama and Biden are not so much assembling staff, as gathering a minyan?
Warning: there’s a sermon-like post coming up on Sunday. Something that’s been on my mind.
A sincere and heartfelt thank you to all who served this Great Country and who are still doing so and will do so.
There is a right way to protest, and a wrong way.
One thing I have noticed is that liberals are very sore losers. When they lose, they make so much noise and they whine so much.
Proposition 8 – which amends the constitution of California to define marriage as between one man and woman woman – passed. The Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were two of the largest entities that pushed for the passing of the Proposition. The two joined Evangelical churches, Muslims, and certain Jews, along with others, to campaign for the Proposition.
The Proposition passed by about 52%. All it needed was a majority to pass.
Advocates for same-sex marriage are placing the blame, strangely enough, on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
What makes its passage interesting is that while so many Christian, Muslim, and Jewish organizations expended time and money to promote the Proposition, it was Obama who indirectly killed gay marriage in California. The overwhelming number of black and Latinos who came out to vote, to vote for Obama, also voted for the Proposition. Were Obama not in the running, perhaps not so many people would have come out to vote, and the Proposition may not have passed.
Nevertheless, they are targetting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This had been a hard time for Latter-day Saints, what with violence, vandalism, and theft being daily occurrences. And now the opponents of Proposition 8 are organizing their piece de resistance: a massive protest at the Los Angeles California Temple.
I called the Temple. Protests have already started. The massive protest is expected at 2 pm, Pacific time. The Temple is closed for the day. My elders quorum president sent me a text message of a Good he did: “la mormon protest 2 pm”. It’s huge! Of course, the Kossacks are right on top of it.
I have no problem with people who oppose the Church for what it has encouraged its members to do, but this is ridiculous. Proponents for same-sex marriage will get no goodwill for such antics, and will only harden the resolve of those who oppose same-sex marriage. If they do a peaceful, respectful protest, that’s fine. But what they’re planning – including plans to crash/disrupt our services while drinking coffee and smoking – is only going to backfire. Being belligerent – “teaching us a lesson” – is no way to win friends or support.
But it all demonstrates the childishness of the liberals when they lose.
“Black, Latino voters helped Prop. 8 pass” by Tony Castro on Wednesday, November 5, 2008, on LA Daily News
“Black and Latino voters critical to same-sex marriage ban’s success” by Mike Swift and Sean Webby on Wednesday, November 11, 2008, on MercuryNews.com
So, we experienced a major defeat. Yet let us not become too despondent. We cannot always win, and perhaps it is better we lost than having won.
With the loss of our candidate, we are not in the position of having to endure someone whom we might not have liked or supported anyway. If we cannot stand behind either candidate, let the fall of the Republican be the nourishing water at the roots of the tree of conservatism and good governance, to reinvigorate the Republican Party and bring its people to abide more closely to its nourishing principles and values.
This offers up a great opportunity. Let us use this opportunity to sweep into power honorable representatives who will not betray us, who will honor the principles of good governance. Let us support and move forward those who will help America and her people, not those who will exploit their power for greed or expediency.
After having a Congress with one of the lowest approval ratings in history, the Democrats have control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House. Their failure can only be blamed on them now. When the novelty of this historic election wears off, and as those in power realize that their magic incantations don’t work in the real world, the people will see these people for who and what they really are. Reality will be inescapable.
And behind this, all the while, we should be advocating the principles and values and standards of good governance. Give the American people solace and guidance as they face the reality of their choices. Let us show them the way to a better nation.
Let us gird up our loins and fresh courage take, and continue our trek to bring America to a better place.
Brothers, sisters, friends – onward!
I thought this was interesting:
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act – abbreviated to EESA, modified to Eesa, the Muslim Arabic name for Jesus (in full: عيسى بن مريم Eesa bin Maryam, Jesus the son of Mary).
Trivia: Muslims refer to Jesus as عيسى Eesa (عيسى بن مريم Eesa bin Maryam (Jesus the son of Mary) or عيسى المسيح Eesa-l-Maseeh (Jesus the Messiah)). Christians, however, refer to Him as يسوع Yasoo’ (يسوع إبن اللة Yasoo’ ibnillaah (Jesus the son of God) or يسوع المسيح Yasoo’ al-Maseeh (Jesus the Messiah, or Jesus Christ)). The Christian form is closest to the Hebrew form of the Lord’s name.
For a class, I chose to watch a movie, Traitor. A very interesting movie indeed. It can be considered an interesting exposé of the mindset of many Muslims when it comes to the West (particularly America) and terrorism. The line/thought of “We’re not terrorists; Americans are terrorists” is quite common albeit untenable.
There is a fundamental difference between civilian casualties in American campaigns and in militants’ campaigns. In the former, it’s collateral damage. In the latter, it’s the goal. Americans do not intentionally target civilian targets whereas Islamist militants overwhelmingly do. More civilians have died because of Islamist extremism than because of America’s War on Terrorism. More Muslims have died because of Islamist extremism than because of America’s War on Terrorism.
One point a character in the movie made was that terrorism was all a theater with a clear audience. Terrorism’s goal is to terrorize people so they’re weakened or they surrender. It’s perhaps one of the only weapons the other side can use in this disproportionate war. But that does not mitigate the sheer evil of terrorism.
I friend of mine is having troubles with religion, saying he likes things to be rational. I told him that rationality should never be one’s sole guiding light. All sorts of abominations can be justified, explained, or made acceptable through reason and logic. What scared me, thoroughly, many years ago was to read Hitler’s Mein Kampf and realize, to my horror, that in many cases his logic made sense. The outcome was evil; the foundations were shaky; but if one accepted his premises, the conclusions made sense. It is extremely easy–as we have seen many, many people (including Islamists, people in the pay of Islamists, self-defending or blinded Muslims, and even a whole coterie of Leftists) do–to justify, explain, and make acceptable terrorism.
We need to understand the terrorists’ mindset in order to realize just how deep this cancer has set in. And we should formulate our policies accordingly, realizing that winning hearts and minds, while laudable, is far more difficult than we might imagine. These people, whether Islamists or the average Muslim, simply think differently than we do in the West.
XBradTC of Bring the heat, Bring the Stupid, a great and patient guy, asked me on a thread over at The Hostages to look at a story: “A Pakistani ‘awakening’?” posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 by Neptunus Lex.
Later, we learn that the armed services of The United States conducted raids across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, into Pakistan, attacking militants.
On September 11, 2008 (fortuitously), Neptunus Lex put up an interesting post on President Bush’s authorization of such raids, in his post “Gloves Off“.
It would be an understatement to say that relations between The United States and Pakistan have taken an interesting turn.
The problem has to do with the Pakistani military’s inability or unwillingness to take action against militants within its border.
Now, one may ask: Was it a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty to conduct this raid? The answer is: Yes. The next question is: Were The United States justified? The answer is: Yes.
When elements within one country are conducting attacking against another state or its interests, the attacked state has the right to respond, by force if necessary. If, after so many years of threatening and cajoling and persuading Pakistani forces to take action against militants to end their incursions into Afghanistan, the state that has sovereignty does not cease and desist such acts (or cause them to stop), the attacking state may be attacked as retaliation, to take out offending elements, or as an invasion. This occurred, I hope people will remember, between Turkey and Iraq where the offending elements were Kurdish terrorists and the offended party was the state of Turkey. Although a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty, Turkey was within its rights to respond as it did.
However, this discussion skirts the real issue: what is to be done about terrorist, militant elements in Pakistan that are attacking American interests, interests of allies in Afghanistan, and Afghani interests?
I see the raids not as a true attack to eliminate militants (if it were, they would be much more extensive and would take many, many such raids). I see this as part of the delicate relations between Pakistan and The United States: this is The United States sending a strong message to Pakistan.
The United States could not conduct these raids while Musharraf was in office because doing so would mean he would be ousted, resulting in immense chaos. With Musharraf out and there being no strong ties between The United States and Asif Ali Zardari, the new president of Pakistan, The United States could send a strong message. The message was: Get to work, and eliminate the militants, or we’ll do it.
I think this message was also to assert that The United States will not allow Pakistan to dictate terms. The United States will pursue their interests, and the Pakistani forces ought to get in line.
In response, the Pakistani military revealed that the Pakistani military has orders to fire back if any foreign entities violate Pakistan’s sovereignty. So, if Americans try to do the thing the Pakistanis have failed to do, the Americans will be attacked, rather than the militants.
However, this is all part of a face-saving campaign. Many Pakistani authorities have made somewhat staunch and belligerent stances against America. This is essential, otherwise the public will think that Pakistani authorities were allowing Americans to violate Pakistan’s sovereignty, which could result in chaos and riots if not all-outs coups.
Furthermore, not one American thing will be hurt. While the Pakistani military may be jingoistic, in fact they will not do anything. The fallout of such an incidence would be immense. Additionally, the orders seem to be allow the Pakistani military room to not attack – it has to be unmistakably and verifiably a foreign entity, and likely by the time such a thing could be verified, it would be too late.
The raids also made the Pakistani authorities perk up. There were a number of meetings between Pakistani and American military officials to discuss the issue. Now the Pakistanis know they’ll have to do something. And while the public may or may not support them, at least the Pakistani military will know it has to get to job done.
The good news, which the post by Neptunus Lex on August 27 mentioned, is that the Pakistani military has been getting more active with regard to taking action against militants. The result is painful for Pakistan: there is a wave of suicide attacks. But the military is pushing forward.
So while things seem chaotic and perhaps discouraging, I think through the clouds we can see quite a bit of sunshine. The Pakistani military has begun taking its job a little more seriously, and it may be that with local help, the militant threat will be eliminated.
Issues will he rehashed, and others will be elaborated on later.
کبھی نہیں بھولو!
कभी नहीं भूलो
I don’t talk about it much, but my life changed completely on September 11, 2001. I pray for God’s protection upon this choice land, and that His hand be with our armed services as they seek to be His instruments in protecting The United States.
O beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
‘Til all success be nobleness, and ev’ry gain divine!