Go forth and read:
“Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?” by Orson Scott Card on Sunday, October 5, 2008 on The Ornery American.
As S. Weasel informs us in her post “Free Mark Steyn! (Relatively inexpensive Mark Steyn, anyhow)” Today starts the trial of Mark Steyn for offending Muslims. He did this by publishing a book, America Alone. The suit also is against the Canadian magazine Maclean’s for publishing an excerpt of the book and for not allowing Islamists to hijack the magazine to refute the article.
(See also: “Mark Steyn’s week long show trial begins today” by Five Feet of Fury.)
(Some talking points: “Demo Leaflet #1” by Covenant Zone.)
(Andrew Coyne of Maclean’s will be liveblogging the trial.)
They want Steyn silenced. And they may win. And I will be heartbroken. But I will have hope because Steyn is an American citizen, and he can’t be silenced here. But the Islamists’ victory in Canada will bode very ill for all of us.
The following is the entire article, “The future belongs to Islam”, published on October 20, 2006 in Maclean’s. Once I get home I’ll update the post to reflect what chapter and pages the excerpt is from. (Any errors in formatting are mine.)
The Muslim world has youth, numbers and global ambitions. The West is growing old and enfeebled, and lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it. It’s the end of the world as we’ve known it. An excerpt from ‘America Alone’.
Headline on an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily for Tuesday, April 22, 2008:
It’s about Jimmy Carter.
The blurb after that says:
Mideast: Ex-President Jimmy Carter thinks Hamas is ready to accept Israel’s existence and to “live as a neighbor next door in peace.” Has there ever been a former U.S. leader so deluded about historical reality?
Read the editorial. It’s good. Also, it’s distressing how blind some people can be to reality.
One of Musharraf’s complaints in his address to Pakistan and to world was about the Pakistani media. He made a good point that while they ought to be independent, the media ought also to be responsible. The Pakistani media have been irresponsible and even have contributed to Pakistan’s current instability. I agree with him, and allow me to provide a few examples as to how he is right. Read the rest of this entry »
Part of my new job involves translating to and from Spanish. So, I had been looking for something online — a magazine or newspaper — in Spanish which I could use to brush up on my Spanish and practice my reading and comprehension skills. Most of what is online disappointed me: the usual Leftist or anti-American garbage.
But I did find something interesting and unique: Libertad Digital. It an online-only “publication”, free of charge. It is in Spanish and is based in Spain. What makes this unique is that it is libertarian and conservative, much like the rising wing in the Republican Party in The United States. They are also pro-American. Quite refreshing indeed.
Si sabes español y quieres leer algo interesante en español sobre la Red, por favor vaya allá. Su dirección es: http://www.libertaddigital.com/ Ese publicación tiene opiniónistas de todo el mundo incluyendo los EEUU. (Tiene, por ejemplo, una traducción español de artículos de varios escritores americanos.) Hablaré sobre algunos artículos en los siguientes días. Este periódico tiene información y perspectivas que no he leído o visto aquí en los EEUU.
And for the record, the Left’s propaganda machinery constantly “checks” what the Right says and writes, so much so and so effectively that many automatically dismiss anything that is believed to originate from the Right. The Left is very good at smearing the messenger as well as the message, with the consequence that people begin to doubt the reliability of the messenger as well as rejecting the message.
Truth and facts matter little: what matters is how it buoys the Left’s favorites.
On the other hand, we on the Right can do a better job challenging the Left, and in challenging the media with regard to the Left. If we can do a better job publicizing scandals by those in the Left, the rest of the media will have no choice but to follow suit. We are too soft.
Many people are quite unhappy with the ad put out in The New York Times by “Move On” which smears General Petraeus. What is most shocking, however, is that someone is actually doing something about it!
From good Mr. Wolf Pangloss in “FEC Complaint filed against MoveOn.org and New York Times” :
James “Uncle Jimbo” Hanson of Blackfive has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission concerning the repugnant MoveOn.org “General Betray Us” full page political ad in the New York Times. The Times charged MoveOn $65,000 for the ad, but a reporter who called the Times inquiring about a full page ad in a Monday paper was quoted a rate card price of $181,692. The complaint asserts that the difference between the full price and the price charged should be declared as a political contribution by the New York Times.
I like. I like very much.
The travesty with this situation was not the advertisement or the particulars behind it but that no one had done anything about it. Strong action must always be taken to provide a check to the Leftist propaganda machine. We cannot allow them any special favors not extended to us as well by supposedly unbiased entities.
Knowing truth or reality is difficult. Part of this difficulty is that one cannot do it alone. One does not have access to all the information one may need in order to be sufficiently aware about an issue or thing. We, thus, depend on experts to explain things to us, on information-gatherers to inform us of what is happening and, often, why. Read the rest of this entry »
De potentatis verborum (in probably incorrect Latin: “of the power of words”)
The whole issue with Imus demonstrates one thing: words (or, rather the choice thereof) are powerful things. As such, each word has three components:t its definition (what it means), its connotation (what it is taken to mean, and in what sense or tone or attitude it is used), and its weight (how heavy or potent it is). The classic example is the dread “n-word” (which is so potent that even I, who does not usually shy from offending, will not use because I don’t want anyone to take offense, not because it is in itself offensive).
Whereas a word’s definition is fixed by the language (especially through dictionaries and language pundits) and its connotation is a matter of history and public use and public perception, its weight is something determined by its recipient: the user uses its based on the estimated weight that may be assigned by its audience and based on the user’s motives. In fact, weight has two components to itself: what is assigned by the audience and what the user’s intentions are.
I am of the school of thought that no word has an intrinsic value to itself, and that a word’s value or weight is partly in its recipient’s control. Read the rest of this entry »
Ever think that militant Islamist terrorism won’t affect you?
On December 8, 2006, federal investigators thwarted a terrorist plot by a convert to Islam, Derrick Shareef of Rockford, IL, to attack a shopping mall (among other intended targets) at the height of the Christmas season. He was planning to detonate hand grenades at the CherryVale Mall in Rockford, IL.
It is written (in “Feds: Man Planned to Blow Up Ill. Mall” by Mike Robinson of AP) (emphasis added):
Shareef was born in the United States and converted to Islam, officials said. They believe he might have learned about jihad through videos and Web sites.
This incident highlights a number of important points:
- “Home-grown” terrorism is still a threat to The United States and their people.
- The cyber-presence of militant Islamist terrorist networks is one vehicle through which said networks spread their propaganda, modi operandi, plans, ideas, and other information related to terrorist attacks or justifications thereof. In other words: this online presence is a threat and enables the militant Islamist terrorist networks to effortlessly expand its presence and operations throughout the world, even into one’s own town.
- The Government is paying attention to those who wish us harm, and it seems that they are taking all such threats seriously.
- Militant Islamist terrorists deliberately target civilian sites. If we are to be on alert if they wish to attack government and military sites, so much more should we be alert when they intentionally target civilian sites. Their goal is mayhem, and so we cannot afford to dismiss the danger that these people and networks pose to us civilians.
- Militant Islamist terrorists and their supporters have as their end striking fear into the hearts of their enemies. There is no morality and there are no rules in this game. They are vicious and inhuman. We cannot afford to restrain ourselves by assuming our enemies operate taking into consideration what we take for granted, such as the value of every life.
Be aware and vigilant.
This event should wake us all up to the threats we face. We can be hurt even if highly-organized militant Islamist terrorist networks are not actively implementing a terrorist plot: any one of their deranged followers can carry out an attack. Whether by a network or the work of a lone idiot, the result is the same.
But what about non-militant Islamists? Surely they play no role in this, right? Wrong. Islamists deny that terrorism is a problem generated by Islamists. They place the blame on Western imperialism, American foreign policy, modernism, Israel and Jews, and so on. Thereby, they prevent anyone from clearly seeing the situation as it is. They throw up smokescreens. They also do not permit any criticism or inspection of the Muslim community whereby we can ascertain their feelings and intentions towards us so that we may thereby establish relations that will help us protect ourselves. Islam and the Muslim community are beyond reproach, especially by infidels. More smokescreens. Finally, Islamists also seek the downfall of The West and the triumph of Islamist fascism.
Do not tolerate any acceptance of Islamism. And do not tolerate any Islamist, militant or otherwise, conspiring against us. It’s not only a matter of civilizational survival but of our very lives.
For more information on this story, read:
- “Shopping Mall Terror Plot Foiled” by The Smoking Gun.
- “Man Charged in Shopping Mall Jihad Plot” by Mike Robinson of the Associated Press, courtesy of Bretibart.Com.
- “Feds: Man planned to blow up Ill. mall” by Mike Robinson of the Associated Press, courtesy of Yahoo! News.
- “Feds: Man Planned to Blow Up Ill. Mall” by Mike Robinson of the Associated Press, courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- “Feds: Man Planned to Blow Up Ill. Mall” by Mike Robinson of the Associated Press, courtesy of the Plainview Daily Herald.
I may have said this before, but we need to establish what really is going on in the world rather than being distracted by certain elements of what may be a broader, wider, larger movement.
Consider, for example, our obsession with terrorism (specifically, militant Islamist terrorism). The problem is that terrorism is part of a larger conflict: a war between The West and Islamism. (Not all Muslims are Islamists, although “true Muslims” inevitably are.) Along with terrorism, Islamism uses other techniques, some of which are even non-violent. Efforts by Islamist activists to have a special status given to Islam, Muslims, and Islam’s dictates by the governments of The West are one such strategy to bring to pass the triumph of Islam over The West. It is quite interesting (and perhaps one may say, even ironic) that the very states that stripped The Church (whether The Lutheran Church or The Church of England or The Catholic Church) of practically all of its authority and influence and clout in society, have accorded to Islam and its authorities and buildings virtual autonomy and independence. Although church tribunals would have no authority, Islamist courts have been empowered. Whereas asserting one’s Christianity has become something frowned upon, something untoward, something in bad taste, someone asserting one’s Muslim-hood has become something novel, unique, lauded, and applauded. Simply put: rather than making all inhabitants equal, many Western states have made some more equal than others. This granting of autonomy to and even special status to Muslims (meaning, Muslims following the dictates and laws of Islam as interpreted by traditionalists) is all part of Islamism’s goals to triumph over The West. And, indeed, look how they have succeeded! The very people who are ashamed of their Christian past (or even current identity) applaud those who embrace their Muslim-hood to the exclusion of everything else.
Fortunately, confidence in American culture and civilization has been resistant to this pernicious wave of anti-Westernism. But the Islamists keep trying: they keep trying to delegitimize The West, trying to prove that Islam is superior to The West and to its religions (Christianity and Judaism), trying to assert its mission as the “savior” of The West, and of course trying to make the case that The West is utterly lost and needs Islam to be saved. We Americans tend to scoff as such nonsense, for nonsense it is. It doesn’t take someone who is extraordinarily intelligent to see which of The West or the Muslim world has been successful, more true to its values, and a boon to humanity. (For those who may be blinded by some irrational propaganda, the better one is The West.) Indeed, unlike in other Western states, America has proved to be a formidable adversary to Islamism. Rather than infecting The West, The West has been slowly innoculating various segments of the Muslim world in The West against Islamism.
This all means that Islamists, whether militants or not, whether terrorists or not, will try ever the more harder to bring us down. In their world, there can only be one triumphant victor, and they are trying to ensure it is not us.
Orianna Fallaci has been warning us of this state of affairs. It is about time that we listened to her and act accordingly.
In the November 12, 2006, issue of Magazine of The New York Times, letters to the editors were published which had some very good points. I present them here with some comments by me. Read the rest of this entry »
I would first like to thank everyone who has come here recently. As usual, my thanks and appreciation are also with those who are regular readers and with those who comment.
Second, in the comment thread for the picture “John Gebhardt and little Iraqi girl”, commenter Adana left a comment wherein the commenter provided a link to a story by MSNBC (“War photograph generating a lot of buzz” by Anne Meyer of KSNW-TV, dated November 6, 2006). This story was about the picture and it also provides an update about the status of the little girl. (I was prompted to write this post by a question e-mailed by Wendi Webster. Thank you, Wendi.)
The article says (emphasis added):
This won’t be the last time you see Chief Gebhardt. This Saturday, on Veterans Day, CNN will be interviewing him about the photograph. As for the little girl, we know she is out of the hospital and living with relatives. The Gebhardt’s think of her often and wish more stories could end as well as hers did.
“This Saturday” would have been November 11, 2006, Veterans Day.
The article also says (emphasis added):
Chief Gebhardt is still surprised by all the attention. He is not really accustomed to receiving attention but he hopes it gives all of us a bigger picture of what’s happening overseas.
And this is why I believe that picture is so important.
Regarding Bush’s intelligence and the Democrats’ rhetoric against him on this issue, I found an article that’s a very good read. I discovered it via “I Believe You, Senator Kerry” by S. Weasel of S. Weasel: “Yale grades portray Kerry as a lackluster student” by Michael Kranish of The Boston Globe. (Preserved here in case the link to the article expires.) Puts a different spin on the realities of the issue.
Thanks to Reuters, we learn that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second (by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith) “has 10 times the lifespan of workers and lays up to 2,000 eggs a day.”
I just watched a video on YouTube of Second Lady Dr. Cheney when she went on CNN, meeting with Wolf Blitzer, ostensibly to talk about her book (which I assume is Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America). She did an excellent job. I found out about this video by watching a video of Vice President Cheney at “Cheney On Kerry” by Dan Riehl of Riehl World View. In turn, I found out about Dan Riehl‘s video at “Hitchens on Kerrygate” by AllahPundit of Hot Air.
I must say, seeing both videos has justified my admiration for the Cheneys. Strong people, and principled too.
A very common assertion has been, and unfortunately continues to be, that President Bush lied in order to “get” his war on Iraq. Herein I will discuss how these opponents have yet to prove or demonstrate their claims and how recent events even suggest that they are quite wrong. Read the rest of this entry »
If you would like to see how deceptive the Arab media is with news and events regarding Arabs (including and especially Palestinians) and Israel, I suggest checking out Elder of Ziyon. The Elder of Ziyon does an excellent job of revealing discrepancies between reports in English and Arabic, as well as highlighting how much of Arab suffering is because of Arabs, although one would not know this if one is reading Arab media in English (or even in Arabic, in some instances).
Sidenote: “Ziyon” comes from a closer transliteration of the word usually rendered as “Zion”. This word is (ציון, tziyon) and occurs quite frequently in Jewish/Hebrew prayers.
The Jerusalem Report (by The Jerusalem Post) has an article on the use of cluster bombs by Israeli Defense Forces (Ina Friedman, “Deadly Remnants”, The Jerusalem Report issue for November 13, 2006 / Heshvan 22, 5767, pp. 20-22.)
This article is nothing but dreck.
Nu, is The Jerusalem Report going to publish a similarly scathing article on Hezbollah’s use of cluster bombs?
The Human Rights Watch was horrified to find out that Hezbollah used cluster bombs against Israeli targets in the Israel-Hezbollah war earlier this year. Now, the Human Rights Watch is one of those silly leftist outfits, so if they admit this then Hezbollah has sinned indeed.
So, both sides used cluster bombs. One side targeted militant targets (which, by the way, were deliberately established in proximity to residential areas) while the other launched them willy-nilly. (Just so we all are on the same page: the former refers to the Israeli Defense Forces while the latter refers to Hezbollah.)
Nu, where’s the outcry against Hezbollah? Or is it that people already expect Hezbollah to act like demons so they feel no need to raise any voice in protest?
Feh. Leave Israel alone; or, if one is going to tackle Israel, let him/her also tackle Hezbollah, Fatah, Hamas, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Iran, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, with equal venom.
There have been a number of people who have made a number of comments on the Iraq War, comments with which I, however respectfully, firmly disagree. I really don’t want to create yet again a long, rambling post on the Iraq War, so I will summarize my thoughts.
1. The Iraq War was inevitable. It would have happened at some point. This point cannot be denied, explained away, or ignored.
2. It is true there is much we did not know before we went in. But the same applies to every armed operation that anyone undertakes. Using hindsight to judge a decision made with limited information is ridiculous. And, for that matter, our information today remains incomplete and limited.
3. The Iraq War was not fought for the armed forces of The United States to conquer and administrate Iraq but rather to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime and assist Iraqi authorities in establishing a viable state. Issues such as wiping out the insurgency, internal rivalries, number of troops, and so on, should be seen keeping this point in mind.
4. There is no insurgency. An insurgency connotes a popular rebellion against an unwanted authority. The violence of Iraq is due to inter-ethnic and inter-religious rivalries (which have existed for a very long time, and which certain elements have been trying to increase) and to foreign forces and involvement. There is no popular revolt against any authority. That Iraqis are unhappy with occupying forces can be understandable (I have yet to see any reliable report on what Iraqis, in general and specifically according to demographics, feel about Coalition forces), why they would be targetting their own people is beyond me. We focus on American casualties, but let is not forget the many Iraqis who have been killed by forces under foreign orders.
5. In addition to preventing the proliferation of WMDs, the development of military nuclear technology, and any working link between terrorists and Saddam Hussein’s regime, there are a number of equally valid and vital reasons to have liberated Iraq. This was not and must never be seen as a single-issue conflict.
6. The United States did the best it could and continues to do the best it can. To cast aspirations of arrogance or stupidity is absolutely and utterly unacceptable.
(I strongly condemn the words of Alberto Fernandez to al-Jazeerah: he spoke his own opinion and not the thinking of any entity affiliated with The Government, and I am very, very upset with him for his arrogance and stupidity. More to come on this issue.)
7. The Iraq War was necessary in order to establish deterrence for opposing The United States, especially in the case of armed opposition. Consider that The United States had been attacked not too long before the liberation of Iraq and that The United States were seen as weak even then. An act was needed, among other reasons, to establish that The United States will protect their interests no matter who says what. (And as a sovereign state, this is our indisputable right. Sovereign states have, since the beginning, moved against other sovereign states when one threatens the interests and security of the other. To deny this is to deny us one of the fundamental rules of human society.) Furthermore, this act was needed in order to establish that The United States will keep its interests and security above diplomatic hindrances and games and above international regimes such as The United Nations.
If, for some quite odd reason, someone wants a long, rambling post on the Iraq War, I will not mind obliging. Just that enough people are talking about it, and I don’t want to unnecessarily add to the avalanche of statements.
Update: Clarified the insurgency point, and added point 7.