Friday, August 18, 2006

"Gone fishin'" until Labor Day ... In the meantime, vacation open thread

I will see you on Labor Day. In the meantime, it's open (thread) season below. Here's something to think about: Pres. Bush recently referred to our jihadi enemies as "Islamic Fascists". He has taken criticism for this from leftists and PC types for this (shock). So, here's a question: What should we call them? And why?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Programming Note: Vacation starts tomorrow

As of tomorrow, I'll be jumping off the 'sphere for a couple of weeks to recharge the batteries for more raging battles with leftists and the upcoming election season.

And listen ... If Ahmadinejad tries to end the world while I am gone (on 8/22, i.e.) I will return to comment on the American nuclear counter-attack. Otherwise, I'll see you all on Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Leftist Heads Explode ...

But I humbly submit that it's better than thousands of innocents dying.

Via Instapundit, I came across this interesting story in which The Guardian "agonises" over the apparent usage of torture by Pakistanis to assist in breaking up the Heathrow liquid-bomb plot last week.

There are too many exquisite subplots here to resist ... too many trails to go down. But I'll take a look at any rate.

Note: The suspect that was tortured ... allegedly ... was a British citizen. But the offenders were apparently Pakistanis. So we have Pakistanis roughing up a Brit to save Americans and Brits? Maybe we do have a global war on jihad, after all.

For me, this episode provides hope that a Muslim-dominated nation (or at least the Musharraf government) will do what's necessary when the chips are down. Hats off to them.

And is it just me, or does the Left only want to reform Muslim countries when they do things that help the West?

And here's another thought to ponder: Who gets to determine if the Pakistanis operated within the law? I say, let's check with the Pakistani Civil Liberties Union. Get back to me on that one, would you? Just what gives the Left the right to superimpose its views of justice on a sovereign nation? I ask this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but do consider the moral umbrage by the Left in this case, and the easy access to long-lost absolute standards.

The Guardian "agonises" that a prosecution in Britain might be jeopardized by the activities of the Pakistanis, but one wonders: Is it better to have the chap behind bars for life or save thousands of lives?

The Guardian story asserts, again, that torture does not work; "of course" it doesn't work. By this we can deduce then that the chap was not tortured then? (Cue sounds of Leftists Heads exploding once more).

So what did they do to the chap, any way? Play Boy George records all night? Wrap him naked in the Union Jack? Deck him out in panty goggles? Put him at the POA for "God Save the Queen"? Probably more than Abu Ghraib treatment for sure.

The Guardian, acknowledging both the horror and the potential success of Pakistani "torture", ends in a "moralising" stupor:
Torture and other illegality can offer authorities a short-term seduction, perhaps even temporary successes. Information provided by torture may have helped foil the alleged airliners plot. But evidence provided under torture is often unreliable, sometimes disastrously so - and its use always pollutes the broader credentials of torturers and their allies. This battle must be won within the law.
So is torture reliable or not? Again, I thought we could deduce by the success here that there was no torture.

I don't know about you, but I'd sure feel better about us all if there were a thousands of dead bodies floating in the Atlantic. At least then The Guardian would have British "dignity" to fall back on.

In the end, the chaps at The Guardian miss the larger, more fundamental point: A battle against a ruthless, murderous, and lawless enemy is never fought and won in a courtroom.

Monday, August 14, 2006

"These are the times that try men's souls"

One paying some amount of attention has to see the increasing international mayhem enveloping the planet. The mayhem is organized, albeit loosely, by the forces of Militant Islam.

Israel appears on the verge of accepting a "cease fire" while its jihadi enemies are already saying they will keep firing. But who in the real world believes this will bring a "lasting peace"? You can't cease firing while the war rages on.

Case in point: Mark Steyn provides another chilling but brilliant warning of the threat posed by Pan-Islamism to traditional governments.

And this week we saw jihadis seeking to make America and the world forget 9/11 by foisting even greater horrors upon us.

Where is this all going? It depends on who you ask. It depends on what you believe. The ideological divide is great.

An entire American political party has officially made retreating from the war against Islamists its central article of faith.

Still another American political party realizes what is at stake, but it seeks to summon the courage and resolve necessary for the fight.

But Americans who have seen the enemy face-to-face, once again, are finding the courage necessary and are defeating the enemy in every engagement. They will not fail.

But will we fail them? For the central fronts in this war are the mind ... and the heart.

Once again, as Thomas Paine observed nearly 230 years ago when the republic was in great peril, "These are the times that try men's souls."

In looking over Paine's essay, I was struck by the application of certain passages to today's circumstances:
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.
Then, as now, challenging times revealed the character of those involved. But freedom then, as now, was worth it. Still, one wonders if we have become so complacent, so lavished with the the comfort and trappings of our modern world as to "esteem too lightly" the blessings given to us. If we do indeed esteem them too lightly, they will be taken from us.
Whether the independence of the continent was declared too soon, or delayed too long, I will not now enter into as an argument; my own simple opinion is, that had it been eight months earlier, it would have been much better. We did not make a proper use of last winter, neither could we, while we were in a dependent state. However, the fault, if it were one, was all our own; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet.
The conduct of wars has always been second-guessed, and it was no different in the Revolutionary War. In fact, every war has been filled with mistakes -- by the victors. The point is to dwell on the objective -- defeating the enemy. Paine knew this instinctively because he loved his country. Do today's perpetual critics of America's every move in defending itself love America? If so, then their actions are explained only by either gross incompetence or almost wifull ignorance.
Voltaire has remarked that King William never appeared to full advantage but in difficulties and in action; the same remark may be made on General Washington, for the character fits him. There is a natural firmness in some minds which cannot be unlocked by trifles, but which, when unlocked, discovers a cabinet of fortitude; and I reckon it among those kind of public blessings, which we do not immediately see, that God hath blessed him with uninterrupted health, and given him a mind that can even flourish upon care.
Then, as now, ultimately our success will depend upon the character of those standing against the enemy. One man, George Washington, made a pivotal difference then. The same can happen now.
Why is it that the enemy have left the New England provinces, and made these middle ones the seat of war? The answer is easy: New England is not infested with Tories, and we are. I have been tender in raising the cry against these men, and used numberless arguments to show them their danger, but it will not do to sacrifice a world either to their folly or their baseness. The period is now arrived, in which either they or we must change our sentiments, or one or both must fall. And what is a Tory? Good God! What is he? I should not be afraid to go with a hundred Whigs against a thousand Tories, were they to attempt to get into arms. Every Tory is a coward; for servile, slavish, self-interested fear is the foundation of Toryism; and a man under such influence, though he may be cruel, never can be brave.

But, before the line of irrecoverable separation be drawn between us, let us reason the matter together: Your conduct is an invitation to the enemy, yet not one in a thousand of you has heart enough to join him.
Those who deny the character of the struggle ensure the increased presence of warfare by the comfort given to America's enemies. Paine recognized, as we must, the necessity of changing these "sentiments" in order to prevail.
Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it. Say not that thousands are gone, turn out your tens of thousands; throw not the burden of the day upon Providence, but "show your faith by your works," that God may bless you. It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike. The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
We who love life and liberty must be able to smile in trouble in order to do what is necessary to preserve our freedom. Can we gather strength from distress? Are there enough free citizens to pursue their principles unto death? If we dig deep to rediscover the source of our character and principles, as our founders did, the answer will be "yes".
There are cases which cannot be overdone by language, and this is one. There are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard equally against both.
The leftist mind today assumes that all are as weak-willed as they are; this projection of self-doubt is potentially fatal. History shows that those seeking to avoid conflict not only fail to do so, but they also draw others into conflict by their inaction and weakness.

By perseverance and fortitude we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and submission, the sad choice of a variety of evils — a ravaged country — a depopulated city — habitations without safety, and slavery without hope ...
The choice is simple -- We submit or we fight back. The consequences of either course are evident, if not for us, then for our children.

It's better to struggle to remain free, regardless of the outcome.

But as for me, I agree with Paine: "I thank God, that I fear not."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Where is Islam's Flight 93?

I was flying yesterday, and most people I came in contact with understood we are in a war.

For the past few days, there has been an an ongoing and interesting debate in the comments below regarding whether we are in a war or not.

Suffice it to say, we are in a war with Islamists. To me, those who say we are not are wilfully ignoring reality in order to uphold a worldview they wish to cling to, the facts be damned.

Every time I wonder and worry that people will forget the stakes, the enemy reminds us ... 3/11 ... 7/7 ... Zarqawi (no longer capable of such assistance), Zawahiri, etc.

Indeed, yesterday most people seemed to understand. They coughed up their lotions, liquids, and such. There were a few complaints, principally from women losing costly make-up and men who probably should have spent some time in the military in their younger days.

But people were generally in pretty good spirits. Flights were late, and lines were long.

People were discussing "profiling". I heard it on the radio, too. The consensus is rising to get serious and rational regarding the threat we are facing. The Congress should address this ... now.

Let's be frank. We've said it before. Certainly not all Muslims are terrorists. This is true, and thank God for it. There are great people in the Muslim world. In fact, it appears that some Muslim informants may have helped to break up the London plot.

But ... but ... virtually all terrorists are Muslims. This is a fact. It's an uncomfortable fact, but the world must face it.

Most normal people unencumbered by either politics or relations with politically-correct institutions have no difficulty in saying this.

We all know it. And we are only endangering ourselves if we don't approach our security honestly. To the extent Muslims don't like the fact that all terrorists are Muslims (or at least claim to be), then they need to police their own and tell us and the world why they are right and how the jihadis have "hijacked" the faith.

What I see is Muslims trying to hijack planes. And the Muslim hijackers claim that they are the true believers. They cite sacred texts to bolster their arguments, and the jihadis claim that Muslim "moderates" are the hijackers of the faith. And shock ... the moderates are not too agressive in trying to "take back the faith". When a serious fight starts, who wants a moderate on their side?

Muslims who abhor terrorism had better get a hold of their faith. If it was indeed stolen by radicals, then how about some righteous indignation and fighting back against the jihadis who are tarnishing the name of Islam?

If Islam has indeed been hijacked by radicals, then where is Islam's Fight 93?

But we Americans can not wait. Indeed, with events like yesterday's, we see more people talking sense.

One guy yesterday (a lawyer even) suggested to me that we should do security like the Israelis. I thought this was encouraging. Of course, my tongue-in-cheek suggestion back to him was that I would like to have the Israelis doing our airport security.

I heard more evidence of progress on the radio, too. It seems we are seeing the President now getting more comfortable in identifying the enemy.

This is progress. Progress, not moderation, wins wars.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

All in all ... a good election night for America

Note that I didn't say that it was a good election night for Republicans. Heck, some lost. I said it was a good night for America, because I think, on the whole, it was.

In Michigan, the conservative Republican backed by the Club for Growth (Tim Walberg) defeated liberal incumbent Joe Schwarz in the 7th congressional district.

In Georgia, Cynthia McKinney lost, proving that a blank look and the ability to hit police officers with impunity will only get you so far. She not only lost, but she was routed by Hank Johnson. The partisan in me says that it would have been good to have McKinney as a Demo standard bearer in November, but I am heartened to see Demo primary voters throw her out. With apologies to idiots everywhere, she is an idiot. Good riddance. The country is better off.

And most notably, Joe Lieberman lost in a close race to Ned Lamont in for the Demo senate nomination in Connecticut. Lieberman's narrow loss in the Demo primary shows that he could (and very likely would, in my view) win in the general election as an independent candidate. So, he now says he's pressing forward as an "independent Democrat". Good for him.

This is the Demo Doomsday Scenario, and it just makes me laugh. Just yesterday, I talked here about the Heads-Rove-Wins-Tails-Demos-Lose nature of this gambit by Demos. Don't these genuises think their plans through to the end game? "Okay, boss ... So, we get inside, we break in ... and then ... and then ... what if the police come? Wait, we'll get to that later ..."

That mischievious little twit Kos, the guy who hatched this heresy inquisition against Lieberman, is now apoplectic.

In response to Lieberman's decision to launch an independent senate candidacy, here is Kos's "call to arms" to leftists/Demo true believers to stomp the life out of the Lieberman campaign (with my commentary inserted in brackets):

Now, Lieberman wants to stab his allies and his party in the back. It won't be the first time. [Is this a joke? Lieberman gets taken down by his party, the party who nominated him for VP six years ago, the party he votes in lock-step with except on matters of national security, the party who now betrays him, but he is supposed to be loyal? Turn around and face the congregation. The choir won't even buy this BS. Sorry, in leftist circles, I should clarify. The singing people at religious services are referred to as "choirs".]

Here's what we all need to do the next few days:

1. Push Harry Reid to strip Lieberman of all committee assignments. [Off with his head!! He is not pure!! Punish him!! Ruin him!! The name Lieberman will be spoken here no more.]

2. Let people know what a sore loser Lieberman is. [Leftists got Lieberman and Gore to pursue the failed recount strategy in Florida, and now they are going to try this?! This is priceless. Demos are calling Joe "Soreloserman"? Oh, please. Wait, that's my line. ROFL!! This just means he is a true Democrat, worthy of the support of lunatics like Kos. All true leftists contest elections and never admit defeat, blaming losses only on the failure to get their message out or upon some fiend like Katherine Harris or Ken Blackwell. Good grief. This line may cause Demos to clamor for a recount or even revote to throw their support behind Lieberman, if indeed he is a sore loser.]

3. Get all Democrats -- including Bill Clinton -- to publicly back Ned Lamont. [Again, this is an exquisite strategy proposed by Kos, leading me to believe that Karl Rove has hacked into the Daily Kos. Please, please, please get that big piece of Limburger to change his mind and urge Demos to now support Lamont. This would convince all the independents and Republican voters beyond a shadow of a doubt to vote for Lieberman. All Demos with a conscience would also sniff what the Limburger was doing, as well. And the result? Lieberman in a cake walk. Such a strategy further illustrates what a bunch of charlatans leftists are. No principles. No core ... Clinton. Vote for Lieberman.]

4. Get the Democratic interest groups who backed Lieberman to switch allegiances in the general. [If they know what's good for them, I am sure they will comply. They will comply publicly (or most will), but privately they will vote for Lieberman. A number of them dislike Kos and his leftist inquisitors and distrust what they are doing.]

The DSCC and the DCCC will have to deal with the fact that this race will continue to suck oxygen from great pickup opportunities. And I won't apologize for that, because as a proud Democrat, I will help in whatever way I can the Democratic nominee from the Great State of Connecticut. [I am now beginning to think this post was written by Kos while he was drinking. Did he not think of this possibility? Yes, this race is now a headache when it was a sure Demo thing. Lieberman was a Demo long before Kos knew what a Demo was. Kos is a proud leftist. The Demos are merely a tool. Of course he won't apologize, because by doing so he would admit that he created a potential disaster for Demos. This contest allows the Demos to make the Republicans' case in the most important issue of our time: Demos can't be trusted to defend the country, and they will purge even their own who do so. This is a matter of faith to them.]

The Republicans rejoiced at Lieberman's decision to stay in. They couldn't be happier. [Why wouldn't we be happy? Connecticut, a safe Demo seat, is now in play, and (as noted above) the Demos are acting out the Republican script. Was this unforeseen? Only to the irrational and those driven by blind ambition and/or red-hot hatred.]

Like I said, it was a good night over all.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Demos seeking to burn Lieberman at the stake ...

... ought to be careful, because it appears they have spilled some gasoline on their pant legs.

To me, the Lieberman-Lamont primary looks like a win-win proposition for the good guys. If the polls are correct (again, if), it would appear that Joe Lieberman will be defeated and Lamont will grab the Demo senate nomination today in Connecticut.

In the end, this means nothing but trouble for the Demos. Why? 1) If he loses, Lieberman will likely run as an independent (and win); 2) Demos will waste money in this election season in a blue-state senate race that should and would have been a lock, but for this heresy trial; 3) the Demos will lose one Senate seat that was a lock in the fall. What are the odds that Lieberman returns to the fold, if after being trashed by Demos, he runs as an independent and wins?

Of course, if Lieberman wins, then the nutroots will have been repudiated by Demos. This may set off a Shiite-Sunniesqe "civil war" between Demo factions, while emboldening defenders of the Iraq War inside and outside of the Demo Party.

Surely, Rove is dusting off his hack-o-tron in preparation for the '06 campaign. With the crazies firmly in charge of the Demo asylum, it's heads he wins, tails they lose.

Don't worry, Demos. In the event of a Lamont win, Rove and his minions (that would be scalawags like me) won't argue that we are in a war -- a worldwide one for our very survival -- a war of which Iraq is a part. Don't worry, Rove and Co. won't argue that whatever one's feelings about the conduct of the Iraq War, we have to stand strong to defeat the jihadis. Don't worry, Darth R. won't argue that the Demos are a bunch of gutless, backstabbers who would get us all killed if they ever get power. Don't worry, he, er we won't argue that the Demos are led by a bunch of unpatriotic zealots who hate America and all who would unapologetically defend America's interests. Don't worry, Republicans won't remind people that Howard Dean is really what these people are all about.

There is a way that the Demos could have done it -- there's a way they could have attacked the conduct of the Iraq War but not the justice of the cause or importance of the struggle against jihadis worldwide.

But then again, to do so would be inconsistent with extremism.

Extremists can't help themselves. They behave in extreme ways. They are extremists. They are Democrats.

Extremism is as extremism does.

In a time of war, the only extremism that is not a vice is the virtue of protecting America.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Whatever happened to the cries for "proportionality"?

I guess proportionality only applies when Jews are retaliating after being murdered.

Here's the best response yet to the Mel Gibson controversy out there ... from one of my all-time favorites, Jackie Mason. Check out this video clip.

Jackie even circled back for a final blast, dubbing Oprah "one sick yentl".

First the brilliant performance as the Aardvark (not really, it was John Byner) and now this. It's a beaut of a video clip, don't you think?

Have a great weekend, all.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On a night when Israeli soldiers are engaging jihadis in the Northern and Southern Lebanon ... I came across this important post, via Hugh Hewitt.

Read it and then the post below to get the full flavor of my perspective in these important times.

No "Cabins", no "Chats", no "Pizza" ... Jihadis aren't kidding, but we're laughing

Saw an incredible story over the weekend and was expecting much more blog buzz about it. But that's okay. Here, we'll call it "developing" ...

It seems that Iran's mini-mullah in a sportcoat, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has decreed foreign words off-limits, including the insidious "pizza". Yes, it's true. In Iran, pizza shall hereafter only be lawfully be referred to as "elastic loaves".

No, this is not Scrappleface. There's more. Hang on.

The Associated Press also reported that "a 'chat' will become a 'short talk' and a 'cabin' will be renamed a 'small room'."

Thus, gay Republicans will now be referred to as "Small-Room-Made-of-Logs Zionist-Fascists".

Indeed, language is powerful, even transforming. But so is humor. There are very few things as funny as some one who is not trying to be funny, but is very funny but doesn't understand how funny he is. This is very funny indeed.

Don't misunderstand. I fully understand the evil that Ahmadinejad and his ilk represent. But I also understand that almost all thinking people know the value of a good laugh.

English essayist William Hazlitt said that people with a sense of humor understand the difference between the way the world is and the way that it ought to be. I've always liked that thought very much.

I would like to take this thought even farther and posit the following: You need a sense of humor as a nation to maintain your influence and preserve your place in the world.

America, of course, is the land of the free, the brave, and the funny, as all the world knows. And witness the Brits ... the land of Mr. Bean and Monty Python. As for Israel, well, you need a sense of humor to have the Muslim world surrounded for nearly 60 years.

Canada? There's lots of funny people there, but there are limits to this hypothesis.

Now, back to Ahmadinejad, just look at him. Look at the whole lot of the jihadis while you're at it.

No humor. No sense of proportion. Elastic loaves? Are you kidding me? How can he not know how hilarious that is to be spending time, effort and energy worrying about "pizza", "cabins" and other deleterious phrases?

Surely the bulk of the Iranian population laughs privately.

But their leaders don't understand difference between the way the world is and the way it ought to be.

So we who do will laugh.

And keep on surviving.