Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A New Hobby

I completed my NRA Certified class "Basic Pistol Shooting" this past weekend. It was a great learning experience and I've gained knowledge and confidence in handling and shooting guns. I didn't own a gun during the class, so my instructor provided me with several choices of handguns to use. On the first day, Saturday, I used a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver with a four inch barrel. It was a nice shooter. That day we first did bench shots, which I did quite well; I managed to consistently shoot within the target with tight groupings.

The next day I used his Dan Wesson .387 Magnum; 4 inch barrel. That gun was literally smokin'! We stood and did two handed and one handed shooting in various positions. I find that I do well with the Weaver position, and managed to hit bullseye with the one handed frontal position!

There was a lady there who had the handgun I had contemplated buying. The Smith and Wesson .38 special Airweight with the snub nose. Weighs only 11 oz! She let me try it and I didn't like its recoil. Because of the gun's lightness, it couldn't absorb the shock of the recoil, which made shooting painful to one's hand. I decided I wasn't going to buy it.

However, today I bought a Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum. I love its satin stainless steel finish and the grip is perfect for my hand. It has a 2 1/4 barrel - good for conceal carry - yet has some heft to it. It weighs almost 2 pounds. I have a five day waiting period then I can pick it up. In the meantime I'm waiting for my Concealed Weapon Permit.

Since I enjoyed target shooting so much, I hope to eventually buy a .38 with a four inch barrel - maybe a Colt I saw at my local gunshop. I'm joining the local Gun Club in January and plan on practicing a lot! And later on, I hope to buy a rifle!

Monday, October 30, 2006


From Fox News a British government report states that Global Warming could damage the world economy as badly as the two World Wars and Great Depression did.

Okay, nothing new here; the liberals have been bleating about “Global Warming” for years now. But also some unsettling news: Al Gore has been appointed by the British Government as an advisor on “climate change”. Gordon Brown, British Treasury chief, said that they hired Algore to help promote “an economy that is both pro-growth and pro-green”.

So the Labor Party is going to divert its unpopular policies on the War on Terror to a war against weather when Tony Blair steps down. Much easier to gain support from the disenchanted Liberals . In other words the European Union will start forcing its citizens to use unbleached toilet paper and eco sensitive laundry powder, among other things.

British political observers think Gore also will give Brown, who has been criticized for lacking Prime Minister Tony Blair's charisma, some much-needed star quality before he replaces Blair as head of the Labor Party government sometime next year.
Charisma? From Al Gore? Or maybe what they’re really hoping for is that they can learn from the Al Gore School of Election Fraud…

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sacre Bleu!

In what Dhimmi Watch calls a "breathtaking apex of Dhimmitude" we see that the French have collectively kissed the asses of their Muslim population:

Last year's violence in France by "youths" responding to the deaths of two Muslim teens who were chased by the police is memorialized by a wreath and plaque unveiled at their school.

The deaths of Zyed Benna and Bouna Traore sparked three weeks of violent riots in France's poor suburbs as the young and unemployed vented their anger over what they saw as lack of opportunity and racial discrimination. The crowd gathered in silent prayer wearing t-shirts with the slogan "Dead for nothing".

Well this ought to appease them. Maybe we should have put up a statue of Rodney King in Hollywood earlier in the 90's. But then, we're not having annual riots over it, unlike the French:

Despite today's call for calm, the anger - one year on - has not abated and violence continues to erupt sporadically in France's poor suburbs.

Yup, those "youths" really are at it again, according to the AP:

CLICHY-SOUS-BOIS, France - Marauding youths torched hundreds of vehicles overnight and on Saturday in renewed violence coinciding with the first anniversary of riots that exposed a deep schism between poor North African immigrants and mainstream France.

A group of teenagers set one bus on fire Saturday in the southern French port city of Marseille, seriously wounding a passenger. Three others suffered from smoke inhalation, police said. Two other public buses and 277 vehicles around the country were burned overnight, police said.

Six police were injured and 47 people were arrested, ministry officials said. Still the Interior Ministry described the night as “relative calm,” noting that up to 100 cars are torched by youths in troubled neighborhoods on an average night.

"Relative calm"??? Sheesh, French standards for peace and calm in their towns and neighborhoods sure have plummeted since Omar moved in. Burning buses, hundreds of firebombed cars, assaulting and endangering citizens, cops hurt, and it's CALM???

The rioting was fueled by anger at France’s failure to offer equal opportunities to many minorities — especially Arabs and blacks — and France’s 5 million-strong Muslim population.

France’s trouble integrating minorities and the suburban unrest are becoming hot political issues in the campaign for next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections. The government passed an equal opportunities law this spring and has poured funds into “sensitive” areas, but disenchantment is still pervasive.

Disenchantment? All that is just DISENCHANTMENT? Holy cow, I'd be afraid to see what they're like when they are hopping mad.

So we see that the French have poured money and legislation onto the problem and they are still facing "pervasive disenchantment". Maybe throwing money and grovelling before Mo's feet isn't the right tactic for solving the problem.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Big Heart of Texas

Over at Doug's Political Pistachio he received a beautiful email about a funeral procession in Texas for a fallen American soldier from Iraq:

Soldier's Funeral...Texas Style

What follows is a message from Vicki Pierce about her nephew James' funeral (he was serving our country in Iraq):

"I'm back, it was certainly a quick trip, but I have to also say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. There is a lot to be said for growing up in a small town in Texas. The service itself was impressive with wonderful flowers and sprays, a portrait of James, his uniform and boots, his awards and ribbons. There was lots of military brass and an eloquent (though inappropriately longwinded) Baptist preacher. There were easily 1000 people at the service, filling the church sanctuary as well as the fellowship hall and spilling out into the parking lot.

However, the most incredible thing was what happened following the service on the way to the cemetery. We went to our cars and drove to the cemetery escorted by at least 10 police cars with lights flashing and some other emergency vehicles, with Texas Rangers handling traffic. Everyone on the road who was not in the procession, pulled over, got out of their cars, and stood silently and respectfully, some put their hands over their hearts.

When we turned off the highway suddenly there were teenage boys along both sides of the street about every 20 feet or so, all holding large American flags on long flag poles, and again with their hands on their hearts. We thought at first it was the Boy Scouts or 4H club or something, but it continued .... for two and a half miles.
Hundreds of young people, standing silently on the side of the road with flags. At one point we passed an elementary school, and all the children were outside, shoulder to shoulder holding flags . kindergartners, handicapped, teachers, staff, everyone. Some held signs of love and support. Then came teenage girls and younger boys, all holding flags. Then adults. Then families. All standing silently on the side of the road. No one spoke, not even the very young children.

The military presence..at least two generals, a fist full of colonels, and representatives from every branch of the service, plus the color guard which attended James, and some who served with him ... was very impressive and respectful, but the love and pride from this community who had lost one of their own was the most amazing thing I've ever been privileged to witness.

I've attached some pictures, some are blurry (we were moving), but you can get a small idea of what this was like. Thanks so much for all the prayers and support."

Deeply moving.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Abu Ghraib: Bring Back the Americans!

From The Daily TelegraphUK:

The notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors.

Staff at the jail say the Iraqi authorities have moved dozens of terrorist suspects into Abu Ghraib from the controversial Interior Ministry detention centre in Jadriyah, where United States troops last year discovered 169 prisoners who had been tortured and starved.

An independent witness who went into Abu Ghraib this week told The Sunday Telegraph that screams were coming from the cell blocks housing the terrorist suspects. Prisoners released from the jail this week spoke of routine torture of terrorism suspects and on Wednesday, 27 prisoners were hanged in the first mass execution since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime.

What? And no condemnation from the American press??? Where is the New York Times, Time and Newsweek?

Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning.

Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards.

"The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better," said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni terrorism.

The witness gained access to the prison just days after the Americans formally handed over control to the Iraqi authorities on Sept 1.

Inside the 100-yard long cell block the smell of excrement was overpowering. Four to six prisoners shared each of the 12ft by 15ft cells along either side and the walls were smeared with filth. The cell block was patrolled by guards who carried long batons and shouted angrily at the prisoners to stand up.

Access to the part of the prison containing terrorism suspects was denied, but from that block came the sound of screaming. The screaming continued for a long time.

"I am sure someone was being beaten, they were screaming like they were being hit," the witness reported. "I felt scared, I was asking what was happening in the terrorist section.
"I heard shouting, like someone had a hot iron on their body, screams. The officer said they were just screaming by themselves. I was hearing the screams throughout the visit."

The witness said that even in the thieves' section prisoners were being treated badly. "Someone was shouting 'Please help us, we want the human rights officers, we want the Americans to come back'," he said.

That’s because Americans don’t cut off the right hands of thieves.

Prisoners interviewed in the presence of their jailers said they were frightened for their safety. They complained that chicken and milk had been cut from their rations, leaving them on rice and water. They also complained about the oppressive heat.

Outside the prison, relatives of some of the inmates said they were being tortured by their captors. One woman, who gave her name as Omsaad, said: "My son Saad [who was arrested in Fallujah as a suspected insurgent] said he is being tortured by the Iraqis to confess the name of his leader. I met my son and he told me they were being treated badly by the Iraqis."

Haleem Aleulami, who was released from the jail last week, three weeks after being arrested in Ramadi for carrying a pistol in his car, said the Americans had treated him better when they ran the jail. He claimed that visits from the International Red Cross staff had dried up and accused local human rights workers of being members of Shia groups who turned a blind eye to problems in the jail.

"The people are Iraqis and they are members of the Sciri and al Dawa parties. They have a good relationship with the leaders of the jail and they keep quiet," he said. The guards swore at the ordinary prisoners, he said, but those in the terrorist section were treated more brutally.

"The guards were swearing at us, but in the terrorist section they were beating them. I heard it all the time. Everyone knows what is happening."

And Khalid Alaani, who was also picked up in Ramadi suspected of involvement in Sunni terrorism, said: "We preferred the Americans. We asked to move with them to Baghdad airport because we knew the treatment would be changed because we know what the Iraqis are. When the Americans left everything changed."

Staff at the jail said that the prisoners were allowed out from their cells for only 15 to 20 minutes a day because of the danger from the regular mortar attacks. They are no longer allowed access to the main hall where the Americans had allowed them to watch television and the room is now reserved for the use of officers and guards. Staff explained that the air conditioning in the cell blocks had broken, although it was working in their quarters.
Sheesh, we allowed the prisoners to watch TV??? Maybe it was a form of torture… maybe we forced them to watch Nancy Pelosi wagging her finger and bulging her eyes.

One officer, Capt Ali Abdelzaher, said: "We have a problem with the financing for the food, not like the Americans, and there is a technical problem with the air conditioning."
Capt Abdelzaher also confirmed that a number of inmates had been transferred from the Jadriyah detention centre, along with their guards and interrogators.

Graphic stories of abuse at that previously secret facility emerged after US soldiers found 169 prisoners showing signs of torture last November.

Most of the prisoners held by the Americans at Abu Ghraib were either released in recent months or transferred to a new £32 million detention centre at Camp Cropper near Baghdad International Airport.

Yesterday, the International Red Cross confirmed that its visits to the prison had been suspended since January 2005 on security grounds.

Sounds like Guantanamo is a paradise compared to Iraqi-run Abu Ghraib. The silence of the MSM on this matter is deafening. Why is that?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

String Him Up

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a report that a man is undergoing trial in Atlanta, GA for mutilating his two year old daughter's genitals:

Monday, activists from all over the world will be focused on a Gwinnett County courtroom as Khalid Adem, accused of cruelty to a child and aggravated battery for allegedly circumcising his daughter, goes on trial.

Adem, 30, was charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children more than three years ago and, if convicted, could face 40 years in prison. He was born in Ethiopia, where circumcision is a common procedure for young girls.

Adem's trial may be a landmark case for health and human rights activists fighting against the African custom they call genital mutilation. But for those close to the victim, this trial is about vindication and healing for a little girl who was forced to endure unbearable pain.

"When I saw that child I saw myself. I could see the pain in her eyes," said Soraya Mire, a filmmaker and activist who was circumcised when she was 13 in Somalia. Mire is known for her 1994 documentary "Fire Eyes" in which she chronicled her struggles after having the procedure.

Police say Adem circumcised his daughter with scissors in his Duluth apartment, while someone else held the girl's legs.

Authorities said the circumcision occurred sometime in 2001 but the mother didn't discover it until two years later. The mother told police she learned about it while arguing with Adem about female circumcision. The mother told police that she told Adem she didn't want that to happen to their daughter, but Adem implied the circumcision had already occurred.

The mother went to a doctor who confirmed that the girl had been circumcised. The girl then told Gwinnett authorities that her father had done it. He was arrested in March 2003.

Adem has said through his defense attorney W. Mark Hill that he was innocent. Hill said the allegations stem from a bitter divorce and custody battle the couple was going through at the time. Hill has said the family of the girl's mother, Fortunate Adem, also is from Africa and could have performed the circumcision.

(H/T Dhimmi Watch).

If we continue to allow Muslims to emigrate here we will see more incidents like these in our country. Europe already turns a blind eye to Muslims practicing polygamy in their countries, and only occasionally prosecutes for infibulation. It's atrocities like these which are glossed over by the politically correct atmosphere of academia and the MSM. I bet the "get to know" Islam classes promoted by the Democrats never mention this practice.

If he is found guilty, I hope he has a fun time in prison. Scissors, anyone?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Another Reason to Thank HillBill and Algore.

From WorldNetDaily:

A man arrested as a terror suspect for allegedly trying to transport $340,000 from a group tied to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and who reputedly had connections to Osama bin Laden, helped write the "Religious Expression in Public Schools" guidelines issued by President Clinton during his tenure in office.

And that could explain why students at a California school were told as part of their required classes they would become Muslims and pray to Allah – and a federal judge approved that, and why an Oregon school this year is delivering similar lessons to its students, as WND has reported.

Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was president of the American Muslim Council and a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, worked with President Clinton and the American Civil Liberties Union when the guidelines, launched by Clinton in 1995, were being developed, according to reports.

Those are the same guidelines that the ACLU's Nadine Strossen referred to for authority when supporting organization lawsuits to restrict Christmas celebrations and the removal of the Nativity from public display, the reports said.

When Clinton issued the guidelines, he announced that they had been developed by "35 religious groups" but didn't disclose that many of those were civil rights organizations such as the ACLU, and committed whole-heartedly to the separation of church and state.

Alamoudi, who ended up serving time in jail, also founded the American Muslim Foundation and the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council.
He ran afoul of the law because the U.S. banned such money transfers under economic sanctions imposed in 1986 when Libya was tied to terrorist bombings in Vienna and Rome.

The U.S. attorney's office told WND at that time Alamoudi was accused under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

It was an affidavit filed with the complaint in which his support of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas was described. There, he also said, "If we are outside (the U.S.) we can say 'Oh, Allah destroy America,' but once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it." He also allegedly had connections to relatives of bin Laden, reports said.

For a time he also was employed in choosing Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military and in his role as leader of the American Muslim Council, he frequently met with senior Clinton and Bush administration officials.

The Muslim leader said "he intended eventually to deposit the ($340,000) in banks located in Saudi Arabia, from where he would feed it back in smaller sums into accounts in the United States," according to the affidavit.

Before his close encounter with the law, however, he was described as a friend of Hillary Clinton and an adviser on Islamic affairs. It was during this time, as he helped with the presidential guidelines for schools, that Muslim beliefs started appearing in Houghton Mifflin textbooks, which are being used in some of the Islamic indoctrination courses.

Read the rest of it here.

Another Friend of Bill. Obviously a Friend of Bill doesn't necessarily mean a Friend of the United States. Vote Democrat and help Islam change America.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Guess Who?

I found this photo over at Blackfive. And I burst out laughing every time I look at it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Liberal Scrooges

I dislike stinginess. I dislike tightwads. Has anyone else had the embarrassment of going out to dinner with someone and seeing him leave a lousy tip for good service? I always end up having to supplement the tip surreptitiously, especially if the dinner was not on me.

Here’s another type of stinginess I detest. A refusal to give credit when credit is due. There’s a strange disparity between the word “liberal”, which means generous or magnanimous, and those who carry the label who are unable or unwilling to give praise or acknowledgment of a good deed.

Ever notice that? We all know that the MSM and their party affiliate is slanted towards Liberalism. We all know that they hate the military and Christians. Day after day we hear and see a barrage of criticism aimed against our troops and Christian America: “baby killers”, “intolerant”, “gay bashers”, “rapists”, “murderers”, etc… Every day they seek events to justify their position. If a group of rogue Marines rape an Iraqi woman then all Marines are painted with the same brush. If a (pseudo) Christian bombs an abortion clinic then all Christians are guilty of the same crime. This is not just stereotyping. This is hatred.

A Jesuit priest I heard in a lecture once defined love as “seeing the good in the other”. If that’s the case, then perhaps one can define hatred as “seeing the bad in the other”. And that’s all Liberals see in our military and in Christians. The MSM rarely ever reports the good news coming out of Iraq. And there’s lots. We see it posted in conservative blogs every day. We don’t ignore the bad either, but we sure don’t fixate on it. We realize that our troops are human beings. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands and wives - all part of the human family, and full of the same failings and triumphs.

Watch what liberal trolls do when they visit conservative sites. They attack, naturally, but when a post is about something good done by our troops or something beautiful about American life, they either remain silent or bring up something negative or distasteful. They cannot seem to bring themselves to just agree that Yes!, that soldier who threw himself on a grenade did something heroic and beautiful. Or Yes!, that Catholic priest who exchanged his life to save that of a Jew in a concentration camp exemplified no greater love. They just can’t. They are that mean spirited.

This is why I am no longer a Liberal. I grew up in a Democrat voting family. I was a liberal up until about ten years ago. But their hypocrisy, their negativity, their STINGINESS is what drove me from their ranks. And until they learn to be more intellectually honest and giving, they will continue to have defectors.

Don't Let Them Fool Ya!

Got this from Prysson at SPQR:

Fear and Self Loathing in the Liberal West

Years ago, Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, wrote in an essay If Europe Hates Itself:
The optimism as regards the victory of the European element, which Arnold Toynbee was still able to uphold at the beginning of the sixties, looks strangely outdated today: “Of the 28 cultures we have identified, 18 are dead and nine out of the ten remaining, in fact all except our own, show that they are already mortally wounded.” Who would still repeat these words today? And in general, what is our culture, what’s left of it? Is the civilization of technique and commerce spread victoriously throughout the world actually European culture? Or was this not perhaps rather born, in a post-European way, from the end of the ancient European cultures? I see here a paradoxical synchrony.The victory of the techno-secular post-European world, with the universalization of its model of life and its way of thinking, is linked throughout the world, but especially in the strictly non-European worlds of Asia and Africa, to the impression that Europe’s world of values, its culture and its faith, that on which its identity is based, has reached the end and has actually left the stage, that now the hour of other world values has arrived, of pre-Columbian America, of Islam, of Asian mysticism.

Isn't this reverence for all religions and cultures other than that of Judeo Christians taught in schools, from kindergarten to postgraduate studies? We see that draconian measures are taken to remove any vestiges of our Judeo Christian heritage (i.e. the work of the ACLU) yet "tolerance" and even wholesale acceptance is encouraged towards Islam, Buddhism, etc...
The Pope notes the symptoms and the cause:
Europe, precisely in this its hour of maximum success, seems to have become empty inside, paralyzed in a certain sense by a crisis in its circulatory system, a crisis that puts its life at risk, resorting, as it were, to transplants that cannot but eliminate its identity. To this interior failure of its fundamental spiritual powers corresponds the fact that, even ethnically, Europe appears to be on the way out.
There is a strange lack of desire for a future. Children, who are the future, are seen as a threat for the present; the idea is that they take something away from our life. They are not felt as a hope, but rather as a limitation of the present. We are forced to make comparisons with the Roman Empire at the time of its decline: it still worked as a great historical framework, but in practice it was already living off those who would dissolve it, since it had no more vital energy.

What can be more dead than a society which refuses to have children, and even believes that killing them in the womb is of benefit to itself?
Referring to the European Constitution, Pope Benedict delineates three elements which need to be re-introduced back into European society if they want to survive:
*The first element is the "unconditionality" with which human dignity and human rights must be presented as values that precede any jurisdiction on the part of the state. These basic rights are not created by the legislator, nor conferred on the citizens, but rather exist in their own right, are always to be respected by the legislator, are given previously to him as values of a superior order. This validity of human dignity, previous to every political action and to every political decision, refers back ultimately to the Creator: only He can establish values that are founded on the essence of man and that are intangible. That there be values that cannot be manipulated by anyone is the real, true guarantee of our freedom and of man's greatness...

This echoes perfectly the words "inalienable rights" of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.
Furthermore, the Pope states:
*The second point in which the European identity appears is marriage and the family. Monogamous marriage, as the basic structure of the relationship between man and woman and, at the same time, as the cell of the formation of the state community, is derived from biblical faith. This has given Western Europe as well as Eastern Europe, its own particular face and its own particular humanity, precisely because the form of fidelity and self-denial set out here had always to be conquered, over and over again, with much effort and suffering. Europe would no longer be Europe if this fundamental cell of its social structure were to disappear or be essentially changed.

The assault upon traditional Christian marriage and family is carried out by liberals in a ferocious way: condoning adultery, championing homosexual marriage, permitting easy divorce and subsequent serialAlllygamy... all are rampant in our society and even serves as entertainment value. Break up the family unit and you will uproot the foundation of Western society.
His third point:
*My last point is the religious question. I do not want to enter into the complex discussions of recent years, but to focus on only one aspect that is fundamental for all cultures: respect for what the other holds sacred, and in particular respect for the sacred in the highest sense, for God, something that we can legitimately suppose to find even in one who is not disposed to believe in God. Wherever this respect is denied, something essential in a society is lost.

Indeed. If no respect for the sacred exists, then the first two points are destroyed.
His last words portray exactly what we see among the liberals of Western Civilization:
The West reveals here a hatred of itself, which is strange and can be only considered pathological; the West is laudably trying to open itself, full of understanding, to external values, but it no longer loves itself; in its own history, it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain

Another look at Kim Jong-Il’s possible situation in North Korea from The American Thinker.

Consider the basic nature of the North Korean state: it is a criminal enterprise. It is no secret that illegal drugs, counterfeiting, and illicit trade in weapons provided most of the foreign currency available to the regime. The fruits of these crimes were distributed quite carefully by Kim to those whose support he needed in order to hold onto power, mostly military figures. Just like Al Capone and the fictional Tony Soprano.

While ordinary North Koreans scraped the bark off trees to ease their pre-death suffering, the inner circle feasted on delicacies and consumed large amounts of expensive cognac, boons granted them directly and personally by Kim, sometimes at bacchanals featuring comely young women called to serve in multiple ways, and lasting for days.

Such symbolic affirmation of both their utter dependence on the leader himself, and the availability of the “best the world has to offer” in the way of pleasures - if only they maintain loyalty - is a powerful mechanism for cementing support. Adherence to the leader brings all things good, while breaking away is uncertain, and unlikely to bring about a personal improvement even if it succeeds.

However, there is discontent. The Little Dictator’s counterfeiting business is hurting. A year ago the U.S. clamped down on the Banco Delta of Macau, the seat of his corrupt financial activities. Kim Jong-Il doesn’t have the means to pay for his extravagant living and therefore his largesse to his followers dwindles.
And among the civilian population of North Korea, it is becoming well known that their southern cousins are living large:

During the worst of the famine, substantial though not overwhelming numbers of North Koreans snuck into China, braving the waters of the Yalu River or somehow finding a boat or bridge crossing. Once outside the hermetic information bubble of North Korea, they discovered not just a booming China, but also evidence of an even richer and more advanced South Korea. The South Koreans are, after all, major investors in China, and producers of some of the most sought-after consumer goods there, such as Samsung televisions (regarded as even more prestigious than Sony in China). No doubt tens of thousands of them saw pictures of life in South Korea, with its automobile traffic and obvious affluence beyond the dreams of any North Korean. Imagine the shock of the feared (and much richer) Chinese craving Hyundai cars and Daewoo DVD players.

As the famine eased, no doubt large numbers of North Koreans returned home to be with family and friends, and to avoid capture and deportation by the Chinese (with deadly consequences upon arrival back home). Ensconced in their own home villages, tongues must have wagged about what they saw and what they heard. In a controlled media environment like the North, such covert oral communication becomes a vital mass medium. Because North Korea’s military is so large relative to its population, there is no way that members of the military did not hear and pass along these stories.

Furthermore, Lil Kim shot himself in the foot by exacerbating his nation's food problems:
Shortly after the move against counterfeiting last year, North Korea kicked out the United Nations World Food Program, perhaps fearful of the monitoring activities food distribution permitted, or perhaps simply anxious to defiantly swagger before American imperialists and their lackeys.

But as a result, the food situation in North Korea became even grimmer. Reports circulated that even military units could not obtain adequate supplies, that resources were concentrated on only the Praetorian Guard units and those responsible for nuclear weapons and missile development.

Under these circumstances, with even army units hungry, it is easy to see that the resources being devoted to nukes and missiles would generate some opposition, however quiet it would have to remain. Tyrants always fear their bodyguards, and when those bodyguards come from the ranks of an unhappy military, there is ground for serious concern. To put it bluntly, Kim may have felt cornered, forced to demonstrate to his internal foes that his nuclear weapons and missiles worked, and that they were capable of world historical changes.

Above is a satellite photo of North and South Korea at night. Look at how dark North Korea is. Looks like Lil Kim forgot to pay the electric bill.
Some interesting observations indicate a lessening of Kim Jong-Il's popularity and power:
In the past two years, there have been fascinating if inconclusive signals that something was going on in North Korea with regard to Kim’s hold on power. Disappearing portraits in official places and disappearing lapel badges on officials, seeing him replaced by images of his late father, the founder of the dynasty. Many in the senior military owe their positions to the father, not the son, and consider themselves the guardians of Kim Il-sung’s legacy. His father fought the Japanese. The younger Kim grew up in luxury.

So what does this picture look like? Growing discontent among a hungry people who see the affluence and lifestyle of their neighbors down south. Inability to feed one’s military. No more money to throw around. And more screws tightening from this recent UN Resolution.
I think it’s time to foment a rebellion in North Korea. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had CIA operatives there working it. Nothing would give me more satisfaction than to see Kim Jong-Il strung up by his own people who are free at last to join with the prosperity of South Korea.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

French Police Ambushed by Guess Who

From The Brussels Journal:

Yesterday night, a police officer was hospitalised after being hit in the face with a stone in the Parisian suburb of Epinay-sur-Seine. According to the police union, the officer and a colleague fell into an ambush and were surrounded by about 30 youths, some wearing masks. The youths blocked the police vehicle with their cars and sprayed the officers with tear gas. The two officers escaped after firing their pistols into the air.

Similar incidents occur regularly. Already 2,500 policemen have been wounded so far this year. The taboo of attacking officers on patrol has indeed been broken. It looks as if some want to kill at least one policeman during this year’s Ramadan. The French police also registered 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents per day in the past 30 days throughout the country.

The officers fired into the air??? Do you think they had real bullets? Would American police respond in the same way?

No wonder the Muslims are emboldened to attack police officers. The only ones who get hurt in these brawls are the cops.

No Greater Love

From Townhall:

A Navy SEAL sacrificed his life to save his comrades by throwing himself on top of a grenade Iraqi insurgents tossed into their sniper hideout, fellow members of the elite force said.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor had been near the only door to the rooftop structure Sept. 29 when the grenade hit him in the chest and bounced to the floor, said four SEALs who spoke to The Associated Press this week on condition of anonymity because their work requires their identities to remain secret.

This 2004 photo provided by the U.S. Navy, shows Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor on a cold-weather training mission in Kodiak, Alaska. Monsoor died Friday, Sept. 29, 2006, in Ramadi, Iraq, when he threw himself on a grenade to save fellow SEALs. (AP Photo/U.S.Navy) "He never took his eye off the grenade, his only movement was down toward it," said a 28-year-old lieutenant who sustained shrapnel wounds to both legs that day. "He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs' lives, and we owe him."

Monsoor, a 25-year-old gunner, was killed in the explosion in Ramadi, west of Baghdad. He was only the second SEAL to die in Iraq since the war began.

Requiescat In Pace, Petty Officer Monsoor. You are a hero.

H/T Prysson atSPQR.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Closer Look at Liberalism

NOTE: I've decided to repost this article on Liberalism I wrote over a year ago, as I think it holds a lot of relevance to the world situation. I've added pertinent and deleted non-pertinent notations as well.

Our friend New Victorian has posted something about Liberalism:

"Liberalism as we knew it no longer exists. What we have now are are holographs of liberalism in the form of spectres like Chris Dodd and Joseph Biden. Nothing is really there."

It reminded me of TS Eliot. Yes, the poet, who was also a Christian and wrote a slim book "Idea of a Christian Society" and there are some brilliant and prescient observations in it. Among them are the weaknesses found in Liberalism and Democracy without Christianity.

"...That Liberalism may be a tendency towards something very different from itself, is a possibility in its nature. For it is something which tends to release energy rather than accumulate it, to relax, rather than to fortify. It is a movement not so much defined by its end, as by its starting point; away from, rather than towards, something definite. Our point of departure is more real to us than our destination; and the destination is likely to present a very different picture when arrived at, from the vaguer image formed in imagination."

Is this not what we are seeing in the Democratic Party? What do they offer? Have they any new ideas? Is not their clamoring just a negation of what the Republicans say and offer? Furthermore he characterizes religious liberalism:

"...Liberalism may be characterized as a progressive discarding of elements in historical Christianity which appear superfluous, obsolete, confounded with practices and abuses which are legitimate objects of attack. But as its movement is controlled rather by its origin than by any goal, it loses force after a series of rejections, and with nothing to destroy is left with nothing to uphold and with nowhere to go."

Also, again, we see that Liberalism has nothing to offer. It is a position which must have something to depart from, but after departure, has nowhere to go. A great vacuum exists in liberal ideology.

He then gives this dire conclusion:

"...By destroying traditional social habits of the people, by dissolving their natural collective consciousness into individual constituents, by licensing the opinions of the most foolish, by substituting instruction for education, by encouraging cleverness rather than wisdom, the upstart rather than the qualified, by fostering a notion of "getting on" to which the alternative is a hopeless apathy, Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negation: the artificial, mechanised or brutalised control which is a desperate remedy for its chaos."

Enter Totalitarianism. Isn't that what we saw in Europe during the 20th century. And is this what we will see now with the rise of Islam there?

Eliot also sees de-Christianized Democracy as inadequate to withstand the forces of totalitarianism. He believes that:

"The term democracy, as I have said again and again, does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces that you dislike - it can be easily be transformed by them. If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God) you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin."

Without the Good News which is Christianity, without its vision of the supernatural life, without a goal which is the Beatific Vision, there is nowhere to go in society but materialistic well being coupled with industrialism (and then a hole in the ground):

"And the tendency of unlimited industrialism is to create bodies of men and women - of all classes - detached from tradition, alienated from religion, and susceptible to mass suggestion: in other words, a mob. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined."

And this mob can vote.

"A Christian society only becomes acceptable after you have fairly examined the alternatives. We might, of course, merely sink into an apathetic decline: without faith, and therefore without faith in ourselves; without a philosophy of life, either Christian or pagan; and without art. Or we might get a "totalitarian democracy", different but having much in common with other pagan societies, because we shall have changed step by step in order to keep pace with them: a state of affairs in which we shall have regimentation and conformity, without respect for the needs of the individual soul; the puritanism of a hygienic morality in the interests of efficiency; uniformity of opinion through propaganda, and art only encouraged when it flatters the official doctrines of the time. To those who can imagine, and are therefore repelled by, such a prospect, one can assert that the only possibility of control and balance is a religious control and balance; that the only hopeful course for a society which would thrive and continue its creative activity in the arts of civilization is to become Christian. That prospect involves, at least, discipline, inconvenience and discomfort; but here as hereafter the alternative to hell is purgatory."

Is this the answer for Europe's woes? I think Pope Benedict holds the same view. It was said many times among Catholics upon his election as Pontiff that the fact that a European Pope was chosen indicates that the Church (and the Holy Spirit) has not given up on Europe. The Church sees Europe as missionary territory, needing redemption for individual souls and saving from encroaching Islam. In order to be saved, Europe must fall on her knees. And we here in America, must stay on ours.

Teen Interrogated for Six Hours for Allegedly Making Racist Remark

From the Manchester Evening News:

A TEENAGE girl was questioned by police after allegedly making a racist remark to Asian students in the classroom.

The 14-year-old pupil had refused to take part in a science tutorial with five other students at Harrop Fold High School, Salford, after claiming they didn't speak English.

After questioning by police she was released without charge but the school say they are investigating the matter.

Her mother said: "She was not being racist. She was in a science lesson and the teacher split them up into discussion groups.

"She asked to be taken out of her group because the other five students were Asians and four didn't speak English so there was no point in her being with them. When she pointed this out to the teacher she was accused of being racist.

"The matter was referred to the community police officer based at the school and she was taken to the police station and kept in custody for over six hours while they questioned her."

Head Dr Antony Edkins said: "An allegation of a serious nature was made concerning a racially motivated remark by one student towards a group of Asian students new to the school and this country."

First off, dragging a fourteen year old to police custody for allegedly making "racist" remarks seems over the top. Let's see what could have happened here:

The fourteen year old girl, presumably a British subject and of Anglo heritage, is put in a group with five Muslims for a school project, making her the minority. Later she asks the teacher to be re-assigned to another group, complaining that the Muslims don't speak English. I wonder if her teammates REFUSED to speak English and spoke their native language in front of her, making HER the outsider of the group. This rudeness, coupled with isolation, made the girl wish for a transfer. She probably used the lame excuse that they didn't speak English. I'm willing to bet they ostracized her. Any takers?

(H/T The Brussels Journal.)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What Do Liberals Believe?

Geoffrey Stone is a law professor at the University of Chicago who has delineated 10 propositions of What It Means to be A Liberal for the Chicago Tribune:

1. Liberals believe individuals should doubt their own truths and consider fairly and open-mindedly the truths of others. This is at the very heart of liberalism. Liberals understand, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once observed, that "time has upset many fighting faiths." Liberals are skeptical of censorship and celebrate free and open debate.

Already we see that there is no objective "truth" for liberals. This subjectivity is the realm of "solipsism", a form of idiocy ("idio" from the Greek for "own" or "private"). Dangerous. If there is no objective truth, then there is no morality. If I believe that it's wrong to fly a commercial plane into a civilian building in order to deliberately murder them, and Islamofascists don't, does that make the Islamofascists' truth just as viable as mine?
2. Liberals believe individuals should be tolerant and respectful of difference. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support the civil rights movement, affirmative action, the Equal Rights Amendment and the rights of gays and lesbians. (Note that a conflict between propositions 1 and 2 leads to divisions among liberals on issues like pornography and hate speech.)

I wonder then why they don't seem to give a rat's ass about the people who suffer under tyrannical regimes like Saddam Hussein's and Kim Dong Il's? The appalling misery those people suffer is not even on their radar screen. But the terrorists at Gitmo or at Abu Ghraib reap all their sympathy. Why? They claim that we have no business spreading democracy to suffering people in Iraq - is it possible that they think that those people are not quite "human" enough to wish for freedom and democracy?
3. Liberals believe individuals have a right and a responsibility to participate in public debate. It is liberals who have championed and continue to champion expansion of the franchise; the elimination of obstacles to voting; "one person, one vote;" limits on partisan gerrymandering; campaign-finance reform; and a more vibrant freedom of speech. They believe, with Justice Louis Brandeis, that "the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people."

Tell that to the liberals at Columbia U, where they physically prevented people of differing opinions to speak in a proper forum. How about the liberals who throw pies at Anne Coulter when she speaks? Immature and hypocritical, non?

4. Liberals believe "we the people" are the governors and not the subjects of government, and that government must treat each person with that in mind. It is liberals who have defended and continue to defend the freedom of the press to investigate and challenge the government, the protection of individual privacy from overbearing government monitoring, and the right of individuals to reproductive freedom. (Note that libertarians, often thought of as "conservatives," share this value with liberals.)

Freedom of press? Only when it undermines a Republican or conservative point of view. This freedom seems to apply even when the press is lying. Newsweek lied, people died. Remember Rathergate? Protecting individuals from government monitoring? You mean like protecting me from the PC police who tells me that I'm not allowed to pray in public places? That I'm not allowed to wear a crucifix in a public school? That I'm not allowed to display a cross in a park?

5. Liberals believe government must respect and affirmatively safeguard the liberty, equality and dignity of each individual. It is liberals who have championed and continue to champion the rights of racial, religious and ethnic minorities, political dissidents, persons accused of crime and the outcasts of society. It is liberals who have insisted on the right to counsel, a broad application of the right to due process of law and the principle of equal protection for all people.

Oh sure, the rights of LIBERAL minorities. Remember Clarence Thomas? How about the terrible mudslinging the liberals did to Condoleeza Rice: "Aunt Jemima". Oh and persons accused of crime? How about those who are convicted of crime? It seems that liberals are fixated on the rights of criminals and conveniently forget those of the victims. Look at the scandalous Arizona 9/11 Memorial. It's nothing but a political justification for the murders of those innocents that day.

6. Liberals believe government has a fundamental responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support government programs to improve health care, education, social security, job training and welfare for the neediest members of society. It is liberals who maintain that a national community is like a family and that government exists in part to "promote the general welfare."

Yup, that's right. Forget about national security. If the government would only use our tax dollars for education and welfare and force the military to have bake sales in order to fund their budget.

7. Liberals believe government should never act on the basis of sectarian faith. It is liberals who have opposed and continue to oppose school prayer and the teaching of creationism in public schools and who support government funding for stem-cell research, the rights of gays and lesbians and the freedom of choice for women.

Then why are liberals in San Francisco and Oregon permitting the practice of Islam in public schools? Why is it that students there can memorize and recite verses from the Koran and not the Bible? And banning the teaching of creationism in schools? Whatever happened to the "open mindedness" of the above Proposition Number One? Also, let's not forget, the child in the womb has absolutely no rights with liberals. The smallest, most defenseless of beings... perfectly okay to dismember and murder these little ones. So much for defending the little guy.
8. Liberals believe courts have a special responsibility to protect individual liberties. It is principally liberal judges and justices who have preserved and continue to preserve freedom of expression, individual privacy, freedom of religion and due process of law. (Conservative judges and justices more often wield judicial authority to protect property rights and the interests of corporations, commercial advertisers and the wealthy.)

Conservative judges protect the property rights of corporations??? Ever hear of Kelo v. City of New London? There the liberal justices gave private businesses the right to seize an individual's property to use for commercial development.

9. Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, for without such protection liberalism is impossible. This, of course, is less a tenet of liberalism than a reply to those who attack liberalism. The accusation that liberals are unwilling to protect the nation from internal and external dangers is false. Because liberals respect competing values, such as procedural fairness and individual dignity, they weigh more carefully particular exercises of government power (such as the use of secret evidence, hearsay and torture), but they are no less willing to use government authority in other forms (such as expanded police forces and international diplomacy) to protect the nation and its citizens.

Oh, I see. That's why they don't want profiling. It keeps us safe from terrorist attacks. The idea that liberals respect competing values is absolutely and stunningly ludicrous. Time after time we see how the liberals and their media lapdogs deliberately derail and obstruct any attempt the government endeavors to secure this nation from terrorism. Whether it be the New York Times publishing articles revealing sensitive information to Bill Clinton selling missile secrets to China, you can depend on the liberals to sell out their country.

10. Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, without unnecessarily sacrificing constitutional values. It is liberals who have demanded and continue to demand legal protections to avoid the conviction of innocent people in the criminal justice system, reasonable restraints on government surveillance of American citizens, and fair procedures to ensure that alleged enemy combatants are in fact enemy combatants. Liberals adhere to the view expressed by Brandeis some 80 years ago: "Those who won our independence ... did not exalt order at the cost of liberty."

Isn't this getting a bit repetitious? Doesn't this one sound just like the 9th one?
(H/T American Thinker)

New Places to Go To

I’ve added several new links to my blogroll recently. The American Thinker has a new article on Harry Reid’s “shady land deals” here, news of which is curiously absent from the MSM. Google Dirty Harry’s name and you might find more on it.

The Brussels Journal gives a conservative European (oxymoron, I know) point of view. One brief post questions whether the State should fund religion. Whew. Glad we don’t have that problem. There they quote a British official, Ruth Kelly (Minister for Women and Equality - doesn’t that sound patronizing?) who thinks the British government needs to give money to moderate Islamic organizations. If that came to fruition, those “moderates” would be springing up like mushrooms after a spring rain.

Katalan Saar’s Civilian at War gives us the Israeli perspective on world events. Here he posted a video of Wafa Sultan, the ex-Muslim woman who courageously condemns Islam.

Patrick at Clarity and Resolve gives us the news coupled with his vigorous wit. Check out the post, Sudden Outbreak of Reason In Europe.

Political Pistachio has a gem of a post by Douglas Gibbs on the hypocrisy of liberals. He’s a member of the Military Writers Society of America. Go Doug!

Prysson at SPQR Aquila non captat muscas gives us his conservative slant on various issues. His Local Governments Don’t Get It exposes liberal meddling on the municipal level.

Real Clear Religion is Genevieve’s take on issues from a Christian perspective. Here we see that Russia’s problems include a dying population where abortions outnumber live births.

Plum Brandy

Okay, here's a great recipe for Plum Brandy. Remember, with brandy you get what you pay for; cheap brandy is awful. Unfortunately, the best brandy is French, and I won't buy it. I did find a bottle of decent Italian brandy and that worked just fine.

750 ml quality brandy
4 lbs. pitted plums (I use the Japanese Shiro) WITH the skin
1-2 cups sugar

The amount of sugar depends on the sweetness of the fruit. If you use a very ripe or sweet plum like the Japanese Shiro, you don't need more than a cup of sugar. But if your plums aren't that sweet, be sure to use more sugar. My neighbor has a small plum orchard and they often have a cornucopia of plums every two summers or so therefore we devised this way to use them (as well as conserve, jam, syrup, sorbet, blah blah blah).

Mix well and keep in a glass jar or tupperware style airtight container. If the lid of your jar is metal, line it with plastic wrap. Stir once a week for at least 3 months. This takes longer than the cordial. Strain with metal strainer and cheesecloth. Enjoy on a cold winter's night!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Small Plane Hits New York High Rise

Breaking news from Fox:

NEW YORK — A small aircraft crashed into a high-rise building on Manhattan's Upper East Side Wednesday,

Local news reports quoted New York Fire Department officials as saying two people were confirmed dead. The FDNY confirmed FOX News that there are people trapped inside the building on floors above where the fire is located.

Officials said there is no indication the incident was a result of terrorism. There were dozens of firefighters, emergency workers and other first responders on the scene.

The crash set off a raging fire that sent a pillar of gray smoke over the city, police said. Witnesses reported seeing a gigantic fireball come out of the building, police said.

Flames could be seen shooting from windows on two upper floors of the 50-story building, near the East River. Burning debris fell from the tower, and a column of gray smoke rose over the city.

"There's huge pieces of debris falling," said one witness who refused to give her full name. "There's so much falling now, I've got to get away."

Fire Department spokeswoman Emily Rahimi said the aircraft struck the 20th floor of the building, located at 524 East 72nd Street.

The Federal Aviation Administration is handling reaction to the incident. FAA spokeswoman Diane Spitaliere that it was a small, fixed-wing aircraft that was involved, but there was very little other information collected so far. A helicopter would be expected in that area of the city; no other aircraft should be around that part of Manhattan, the FAA said.

"Everyone was running down the street, kids were screaming and crying," Rich Behar, a New York City resident and former Time magazine reporter, told FOX News. "There was a lot of horror and terror when it hit," Behar added, saying the whole ordeal reminded him of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

As of 3:25 p.m. ET, the incident had not affected flights coming in or out of the New York area.

The building is a 50-story condominium tower built in 1986 and located nearby Sotheby's Auction House. It has 183 apartments, many of which sell for more than $1 million.

A spokesman for the National Transportation Security Board said that agency is organizing a team to send to New York to investigate the crash.

Student pilot? Suicide? 9/11 copycat? We’ll have to wait till we get more information. Definitely deja vu.

UPDATE: Further reports indicate that it may be pilot error. The plane was registered to New York Yankees pitcher Corey Lidle. Four dead reported so far.

A Victory Against Dhimmitude!

From Dhimmi Watch, some good news:

Two weeks ago, Twin Cities airport officials were firming up plans to allow many Muslim taxi drivers — staunchly opposed to transporting passengers carrying alcohol of any sort — to alert potential fares of their beliefs with a different-colored light atop their cabs.

After a barrage of negative feedback, they've decided to scrap the idea.

"Since then, we've heard from Australia and England. It's really touched a nerve among a lot of people. The backlash, frankly, has been overwhelming," said Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan. "People are overwhelmingly against any kind of cultural accommodation."

That’s great news! We’re not going to go down like the Euroweenies who have been dhimmified into submission.

About 80 percent of the airport's taxis are driven by Somalis, who are commonly Muslim, Hogan said. The Quran, Islam's holy book, strictly forbids carrying alcohol. The result: Such drivers refuse to carry passengers and are sent to the back of the cab line — typically a three-hour wait.

Boo hoo hoo. That’s their problem. I have no sympathy for them if they get sent to the back of the cab line. Alcohol is legal here in the U.S.A., deal with it. Take your intolerance back to Somalia then.

The plan, which proposed a $40 light that drivers could buy and a two-tiered pickup system, went so far as to be placed on paper. But nobody signed the papers, and the program never went into effect, Hogan said.

Airport officials responded to the backlash from passengers, and taxi drivers feared the publicity would make people avoid taxis altogether.

Interviews with about a dozen cabbies at the airport Tuesday night indicated that Muslim drivers intend to continue to stand by their religious beliefs and not transport passengers carrying alcohol.

"It's going to be tough, it's going to be really tough, I don't know what's going to be next," said Ali Abdi of St. Paul. "We have the right (to refuse to transport alcohol). We are still human being(s)."

Sure, Mr. Abdi, you can refuse to transport passengers carrying alcohol, but you’ll lose money because you’ll lose business. It’s called capitalism. If you don’t want to provide the service to certain people, be prepared to lose money. Maybe you ought to consider driving cabs in Mogadishu instead.

Another thought: A mature religion requires that its followers make sacrifices for their beliefs. Christians do it all the time. The fact that Islam does not see that reveals a lot about its immaturity, spiritual privation, and shallowness.

To Raise the Spirits

I've made my blackberry cordial for this winter. Here in the beautiful and bountiful Pacific Northwest, we have blackberries growing in abundance everywhere.

Every year my friends and I go blackberry picking. We make pies, jam, and blackberry cordial, which won't be ready till around Christmas. After picking and washing the berries, we put them through a food mill which strains the seeds. Then we measure:

3 cups of good vodka (The Danish put out a nice vodka)
2 cups of berry juice/pulp
1 cup sugar

Mix well in a glass jar or tupperware container with an airtight lid. Be sure not to use metal. Once a week, stir or shake the container. It should be ready to strain in about 2-3 months. Use a cheesecloth and mesh strainer and decant into decorative bottles to give as gifts or keep it all to yourself! It gets better and better as time goes on!

The recipe works well for any berries, but since blackberries are free around here, that's what we usually use!

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Refugee

So much bad news in the world. For some reason, reading this made me burst into tears.

From The Times London:

THE North Korean refugee had one request for her captors before the young Chinese soldiers led her back across the steel-girdered bridge on the Yalu River that divides two “socialist allies”.

“She asked for a comb and some water because she said that if she was going to die she could not face going to heaven looking as dirty and dishevelled as this,” recounted a relative of one soldier who was there.

What happened next is testimony to the rising disgust in Chinese military ranks as Beijing posts more troops to the border amid a crisis with North Korea over its regime’s plan to stage a nuclear test.

The soldiers, who later told family members of the incident, marched the woman, who was about 30, to the mid-point of the bridge. North Korean guards were waiting. They signed papers for receipt of the woman, who kept her dignity until that moment. Then, in front of the Chinese troops, one seized her and another speared her hand — the soft part between thumb and forefinger — with the point of a sharpened steel cable, which he twisted into a leash.

“She screamed just like a pig when we kill it at home in the village,” the soldier later told his relative. “Then they dragged her away.”

(H/T Wordsmith from Nantucket)

North Korea Tests Nuke

A Senior U.S. Official confirmed with Fox News that North Korea successfully tested a nuclear weapon Sunday night.

U.S. officials told FOX News' Bret Baier that they were warned by allies in advance of the test. China reportedly received a 20-minute heads up and immediately notified officials in the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

The test is North Korea's first-ever detonation of an atomic device, but the nation as long claimed to have nuclear capabilities.

Both the U.S., South Korea and Australia detected seismic disturbances at 10:35 EDT. John Bolton is expected to call for an emergency meeting with the U.N. National Security Council.

Bush administration officials say they will push for an "extremely strong U.N. resolution against North Korea that would make it illegal to transfer missile and missile-related items, materials, goods and technology for North Korean weapons of mass destruction programs."

U.S. officials say the White House will seek "much stronger punitive measures" on general trade with North Korea, although they do not believe the country's oil supplies will be targeted.

The test sparked condemnation from regional powers who said that, if confirmed, would be a serious threat to regional stability.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said the underground test was performed successfully "with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent," and that no radiation leaked from that test site.

"It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the (Korean People's Army) and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defense capability," KCNA said. "It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it."

Japan's top government spokesman said a reported North Korean test would post a serious threat to the stability in the region and a provocation.

China, the North's closest ally, said Beijing "resolutely opposes" the North Korean nuclear test and hopes Pyongyang will return to disarmament talks.

U.S. and South Korean officials could not immediately confirm that an actual test had occurred.

The U.N. Security Council was expected to discuss the reported North Korean test Monday, and the United States and Japan are likely to press for a resolution imposing additional sanctions on Pyongyang. The council last week issued a statement condemning plans for a test.

A resolution adopted in July after a series of North Korean missile launches imposed limited sanctions on North Korea and demanded the country rejoin international nuclear talks -- a demand the North immediately rejected.

Also, South Korea's Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon was expected later Monday to be nominated as the next secretary-general of the United Nations by the Security Council. Ban has said he would use the post, which he would assume after Kofi Annan's term expires at the end of the year, to press for a resolution of the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Now we have fine kettle of fish. North Korea testing nukes, Iran developing nukes, Castro dying, and Chavez close on all their heels like a servile cur.

The U.N.'s history has not been one to encourage confidence. This crisis will bear close watch. I'm not holding my breath for any great resolution. Peggy Noonan was right: the temperature of the world is too high.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Democrats Support Our? Troops

At Michelle Malkin's I had a laugh when it was discovered that the DNC website ran this picture to show how the Dems support the military:

Trouble is, that soldier in uniform in the photo is not a U.S. soldier. He's CANADIAN. Oooops, so they changed the photo to this now:

Well at least they got the right flag there. But seriously, how can anyone vote for a Democrat as Commander-in-Chief when they don't even know what uniform our troops wear???

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Another Punch from the Danes!

From Jihad Watch we learn that the Danes have got the Muslims huffing again:

CAIRO, Egypt - Egypt's largest Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, on Saturday denounced what it called "new Danish insults" to Islam and urged the world to boycott countries that allow offenses to all religions.
The Brotherhood's condemnation came a day after word spread about a Web video showing young members of a populist Danish political party mocking Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
The video showed people in their 20s and 30s participating in a drawing contest at a summer camp for the Danish People's Party Youth last August. They appeared to have been drinking alcohol.
The footage shows a woman presenting a drawing of a camel and saying it has "the head of Muhammad" and beer bottles as humps. The group laughs as the woman, who was not identified, explained the drawing.
"Muslims are shocked by this new Danish insult," the Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement issued Saturday. It described the drawing as "the ugliest for God's most honorable human being, peace be upon him."
Kenneth Christens, chairman of the Danish People's Party Youth — known for its anti-immigration stance — refused to apologize Friday for the actions of its members, but acknowledged they were problematic.
"It is bad style because it overshadows our political line," Kristensen said. But he added that he believed it was "OK to poke fun at Muhammad, Jesus or Bill Clinton."

Waiting for the second round of Muslim Rage Against Cartoons to start…

And be sure to show your support of the Danes’ freedom of speech by buying Danish products!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Twelve Minutes

I'm doing something that I never dreamt of doing 10 years ago. I'm buying a gun.

I'm looking at a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver. Light, compact, simple to use. That's good, because I'm no genius with mechanics. I enrolled in a class held later this month "Basic Pistol Shooting", given by a certified NRA instructor. This will give me all the information I will need on the purchase, use and maintenance of a handgun. It's a two day class and on the second day we go out on a range and shoot. After that class I will enroll in "In Home Personal Protection", which will teach the basics in how to protect oneself and loved ones if someone breaks into your house.

I live in a quiet, peaceful town. But in the past year there have been 3 incidents of violent crime in our county, all involving home break-ins. And to relay a funny story from this summer:

I was sleeping when I woke up to strange sounds outside my bedroom window, which was open. I got up and looked out the window. I couldn't see much because of the trees and the dark. The sounds were shuffling, scraping sounds. Definitely something alive was out there. This was 2 am and I wondered if someone was breaking into my neighbor's house. He's gone a lot, being a merchant seaman. So I called 911 and reported it. It took them 12 minutes to arrive. What they found, to my relief and embarassment, was a family of racoons, having a party with my neighbor's trash can.

Nevertheless, I contemplated the fact that it took them 12 minutes to get here. What if it was an intruder? What if someone was trying to break into my place? I remember how anxious I was, waiting for them to come. Twelve minutes. A lot can happen during that time.

So I've decided to start packin' heat.

A Case for Homeschooling

Only in San Francisco...

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday by evangelical Christian students and their parents who said a Contra Costa County school district engaged in unconstitutional religious indoctrination when it taught students about Islam by having them recite language from prayers.

The court, without comment, left intact a ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco last November in favor of the Byron Union School District in eastern Contra Costa.

The suit challenged the content of a seventh-grade history course at Excelsior Middle School in Byron in the fall of 2001. The teacher, using an instructional guide, told students they would adopt roles as Muslims for three weeks to help them learn what Muslims believe.

She encouraged them to use Muslim names, recited prayers in class, had them memorize and recite a passage from the Quran and made them give up something for a day, such as television or candy, to simulate fasting during the month of Ramadan. The final exam asked students for a critique of elements of Muslim culture.

The students and parents who sued argued that the class activities had crossed the line from education into an official endorsement of a religious practice. A federal judge and the appeals court disagreed, saying the class had an instructional purpose and the students had engaged in no actual religious exercises.

Linda Lye, a lawyer for the school district, said the same instructional material remains available for classes, though it is not required.

"I'm delighted that the Byron Union School District can put this case finally behind it and get on with educating children and exposing them to the world's great cultures and religions in an appropriate way,'' Lye said.

Edward White of the Thomas More Law Center, an attorney who represented the plaintiffs, said the Supreme Court's rejection surprised him. The case "presents significant issues of national importance with regard to public school education and religious indoctrination of children,'' he said.

The case is Eklund vs. Byron Union School District, 05-15
(H/T Dhimmi Watch.)

I guess no one in San Francisco knows about Islam's position on gay rights.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Grave Situation in France

The Telegraph reports that the French police union claims that Muslims in France's housing estates are waging a "civil war" with them:

Radical Muslims in France's housing estates are waging an undeclared "intifada" against the police, with violent clashes injuring an average of 14 officers each day.

As the interior ministry said that nearly 2,500 officers had been wounded this year, a police union declared that its members were "in a state of civil war" with Muslims in the most depressed "banlieue" estates which are heavily populated by unemployed youths of north African origin.

It said the situation was so grave that it had asked the government to provide police with armoured cars to protect officers in the estates, which are becoming no-go zones.

If this keeps up no one will want to become a policeman in France. That weakens the country even more.

The number of attacks has risen by a third in two years. Police representatives told the newspaper Le Figaro that the "taboo" of attacking officers on patrol has been broken.

Instead, officers – especially those patrolling in pairs or small groups – faced attacks as soon as they tried to arrest locals.

Senior officers insisted that the problem was essentially criminal in nature, with crime bosses on the estates fighting back against tough tactics.

The interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, who is also the leading centre-Right candidate for the presidency, has sent heavily equipped units into areas with orders to regain control from drug smuggling gangs and other organised crime rings. Such aggressive raids were "disrupting the underground economy in the estates", one senior official told Le Figaro.

Meanwhile that "underground economy" is subsidized by the government via housing.

However, not all officers on the ground accept that essentially secular interpretation. Michel Thoomis, the secretary general of the hardline Action Police trade union, has written to Mr Sarkozy warning of an "intifada" on the estates and demanding that officers be given armoured cars in the most dangerous areas.

He said yesterday: "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists. This is not a question of urban violence any more, it is an intifada, with stones and Molotov cocktails. You no longer see two or three youths confronting police, you see whole tower blocks emptying into the streets to set their 'comrades' free when they are arrested."

He added: "We need armoured vehicles and water cannon. They are the only things that can disperse crowds of hundreds of people who are trying to kill police and burn their vehicles."

However, Gerard Demarcq, of the largest police unions, Alliance, dismissed talk of an "intifada" as representing the views of only a minority.

Mr Demarcq said that the increased attacks on officers were proof that the policy of "retaking territory" from criminal gangs was working.

Mayors in the worst affected suburbs, which saw weeks of riots and car-burning a year ago, have expressed fears of a vicious circle, as attacks by locals lead the police to harden their tactics, further increasing resentment.

As if to prove that point, there were angry reactions in the western Paris suburb of Les Mureaux following dawn raids in search of youths who attacked a police unit on Sunday. The raids led to one arrest. They followed clashes on Sunday night when scores of youths attacked seven officers who had tried to arrest a man for not wearing his seat belt while driving. That driver refused to stop, and later rammed a police car trying to block his path.

The mayor of Les Mureaux, Francois Garay, criticised aggressive police tactics that afterwards left "the people on the ground to pick up the pieces".

"Aggressive police tactics" include arresting a man for not wearing his seatbelt? Isn't that like trying to hit a gnat with a hammer? Yet they do nothing about the gangs of Muslim youth who riot and burn cars.

Has anyone in France used the "deportation" word yet?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Muslims Attack Defenseless Tree

Over at Michelle Malkin's we learn that Muslim youths attacked a banyan tree:

Police protection for 'mystical' tree after Muslim attack

A POLICE cordon has been placed around a huge banyan tree in the capital of Indonesia after members of a Muslim youth group attacked it to prove it had no mystical powers.

"The city government tried hard not to cut the tree when we built a bus lane. It is more than 100 years old and it is important for the environment," said Susi Marsitawati, of Jakarta's park agency. "But rumours spread that the government was unable to fell the tree because it has supernatural powers."

Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, but a strong mystical vein runs through the culture. Jeje Zainudin, chairman of the United Islam Youth, said the group had carried out the attack to counter superstitions surrounding the tree.

Whew, those guys sure are scientific in their methods, proving that the tree does not have mystical powers... Islam must be experiencing a Golden Age Revival.

Uh oh. Is this going to spur Old Tree Rage among the environmentalists? Will this be the turning point in bringing a portion of the tree hugging Left to the war against Islamofascism??? Will they wake up? David Mathews? Where are you???

Major Dhimmitude

Robert Spencer at Dhimmi Watch received an email from an American officer in Iraq on a disturbing incident there:

Greetings again from [Iraqi location]. I am a daily reader and just wanted to share an experience I had yesterday at a weekly meeting given by the [military] staff to the [military officers].
I arrived in typical fashion, early to get a seat and grab a beverage prior to the rush. When I approached the small fridge to grab a soda, I was told by another staff officer “sorry, no drinks, it’s Ramadan”. Incredulously, I replied, what!!!?. Turns out, we had 2 visiting Iraq Generals briefing a future operation, and in an effort to be culturally sensitive, the order was put out there would be no drinking in the presence of the Iraqis.

Greatly displeased, I drove on and found my seat. This Major was on a mission, there would be no drinking as I watched her chastise numerous officers. She then came to a man of Middle Eastern appearance in civilian dress who took up a seat behind the yet to arrive Iraqi Generals. He pulled out a cranberry juice from his pocket, and was quickly told he would not be aloud to drink anything during the meeting. He was clearly agitated, but put the juice away. It apparently slipped by the dutiful Major that the man she was correcting was an Iraqi translator who was Muslim! He was the Iraqi Generals personal translator.

I took a moment to ponder what I had just witnessed. An American infidel enforcing Islamic tradition on an apparently secular Muslim! I was truly in bazzaro world.

Now, I know when you're "occupying" another nation with a distinctly different culture from your own you should be sensitive to their laws and customs, but is this going too far???

I can understand the "no pork" and "no alcohol" regulations for our GIs, but to enforce a FAST on them when in the presence of Iraqi officials? This female Major needs to get a boot up her butt for her politically correct dhimmitude. Why the hell isn't she wearing a burkah then?

Wonder what's the morale of those under her command?

I always find Dhimmi Watch more painful to read than Jihad Watch. And it's precisely because of incidents like these that makes me wonder how the hell we will ever win the war against Islamofascism.