Tuesday, January 31, 2006

À La Recherche du Temps Trouvé

But I tell you, Monsieur, zees ees zee real Tour Eiffel!My heart was gladdened tonight when I discovered this French AOL search site. Yes, that’s right — the French are using America Online.

How can they stand it? Quelle indignité!

Actually, you’ll notice that l’Amerique does not appear on the page, just the abbreviation AOL. A few English words creep in here and there — the dreadful but unavoidable “shopping”, for instance — but, at a glance, you wouldn’t notice that the page had been contaminated by Anglo-Saxon culture.

So, by all means, recherchez jusqu’à ce que les vaches viennent à la maison!

The Council This Week: Race Relations; a Memoir; and Options in Iran

Watcher's CouncilThe Watcher of Weasels has a fine selection this week.The voting pattern in the Council posts was unusual: the top two winners took the majority of the votes. It is not usually this one-sided, but this phenomenon speaks to the subject matter both winners presented.

First place went to Done With Mirrors for his essay, "Chaos or Community." He speaks of two pictures of the same people. The pictures are separated by decades and the two women have since changed a great deal:

Almost half a century after the event, many people are still familiar with the Little Rock desegregation picture of a neatly dressed young black girl walking to school with a white girl following her, her face twisted into a mask of spitting hatred, shouting, "nigger, nigger, nigger!"...How many have seen the photo taken years later, by the same photographer, of the same two women, now matronly? They are chatting cordially on the high school steps about mutual friends.
Such has been the deep, lasting change in relations between the black and white people of America. If I had known back then that I would someday have African American nephews, a niece who is part black and part Asian, I'd have had more hope for my country than I did then. I'd have known it would be okay eventually. Of course, problems remain:

So much was accomplished; it was fast and amazing work, and by the early '70s the goal seemed in sight. Jim Crow was dead, and it must have seemed that one more push would bring America to racial equality.

...we've been stalled on the edge of that dream for more than 30 years now. Busing was a deadly wrong turn. Nothing much since then has panned out. One wonders if we haven't abandoned the dream altogether. What would Martin Luther King make of our fetish for "diversity" and "multiculturalism"?
Who knows? Would he have bought into it? My disappointment in Dr. King's decision to copyright his "I Have A Dream" speech and make it available only to those who could buy it took away some of my hope. So did the racism conference leader who informed me that only whites could be racist; blacks were excused from any such designation. I left the conference after he announced that -- I knew then that getting together to discuss "RACISM" was a dead end waste of precious time and would solve nothing. So far this has proved to be the case.

Done With Mirrors has a fine recommendation for a book written by a woman in that era:"Everybody's Grandmother & Nobody's Fool," by Frances Freeborn Pauley. Scroll down to read his quotes from her.

Nowhere, however, does he mention Daniel Patrick Monyihan's predictions all those years ago about what would happen if we adopted the socialist welfare system of Europe. We would, he predicted, destroy the black family. And he was right.

Now we have a huge and resentful underclass, filled with both black and white professional victims. I call them The Resenters. They are willfully uneducated, suffer from a bad case of living solely in the present, and spend their days in idle bread and circuses entertainments.

What a waste.

Dr. Sanity placed second for her moving remembrance of meeting Ronald Reagan in a brief moment during a tragic time: the Challenger disaster, which happened when she was the crew's surgeon for that mission. When Reagan came to honor those who had perished in the explosion he stopped to speak to her:

As the crew surgeon for that mission, I accompanied the families of the crew to a private meeting with President and Mrs. Reagan before he spoke to the large crowd of employees and officials. I felt a little out of place at this private meeting, so I tried to stay off to the side as, one by one, Reagan greeted all the immediate family members and talked with them.

Much to my surprise, after he visited with them for a while, he walked over to where I was standing. Apparently he had asked who I was, because he addressed me as "Doctor" and held out his hand, saying, "It must be especially hard for you today to have lost those who looked up to you as their doctor and who put their trust in you." He said it very quietly and his sincerity and genuine concern for what I was experiencing resulted in bringing tears to my eyes. Until that moment, I had managed to keep it all together and not show my feelings in public.

The next thing I knew, the President of the United States had put his hand on my shoulder and was comforting me; telling me that he understood my loss and that he knew I had been trying to be strong and take care of all the family members of the crew; but that he could see I was suffering too.
It's amazing how closely her memory aligns with that of others who met him in similar circumstances.

The Non-Council first place overwhelmingly went to the nonpareil Winds of Change for the submission, "Just A Second – It’s Not That Dark Yet (And We Have A Really Big Flashlight)." Written by Armed Liberal, the essay is an examination of our options in Iran and whether or not it is a good idea to pre-emptively strike that country because of our fear of their nuclear capability:

We’ve made a series of errors that have gotten us to this place; for convenience’s sake, I’ll start with Carter’s ineffective nonresponse to the taking of our embassy in Iran – which in my mind marks the real beginning of the modern Islamist war against the West. Since then, we’ve done nothing to lessen our dependence on imported oil, across three Presidents. Most recently, I’ll lay blame at the feet of President Bush, who missed two clear opportunities: to build the strength of the military over the last four years – which would have required sacrificing domestic programs plus a real effort to spend political capital building support for the war, and to engage the Iranian regime and reach out to the non-insane citizens and politicians that make up a large part of the Iranian polity.

But we’re here, now, and no where else.

Could we smash the Iranian oil infrastructure, depriving them of cash and Europe and China of fuel? Of course. Child’s play. Could we drop the Iranian electricity grid, possibly slowing the centrifuges to a halt? Sure. Could we destroy the Iranian army, and do a smash-and-grab raid on the suspected weapons development sites? Probably.
So given all this, why not just get it over with? Well, as AL says "then what?"

He gives four steps, more or less in parallel, that we could start right now. His first step, a good one, is this:

First, we need a national energy policy. It’s not a matter of saving trees, it’s a matter of national defense. We should have done it a decade ago, but tomorrow's the soonest we can start. Doing this not only has real impacts, but sends clear signals about our intentions and capabilities as well.
This is a damn good idea except for one thing: reality. The fissures in the political/cultural ground of the American experiment have never been deeper, more hysterically reactive, or less amenable to reasonable dialogue. We need to do this, but I'll be damned if I know how we'll accomplish it.

I like his ideas but they don't seem doable right now. Of course, I never could have predicted the fall of the Soviet Union or the crumbling of the Berlin Wall.

So maybe Armed Liberal is right and his four steps can be accomplished. I hope and I pray.

Avenging Mohammed: They'll Blow Up Denmark

Abbagav has a post on the Danish food fight:

Ironically, I love Muslim boycotts like these -- they remind me that collective punishment is indeed an Islamically accepted principle, so long as it is harnessed to a just cause, like protesting cartoons.
Then he links to a fellow in Houston, Lou Minatti (a "serious gardener" --I'm going to have to get back there). Mr. Minatti has posted two images from what he terms a "Saudi entity". He gave the link, but I couldn't find the pictures on the linked site so I lifted his instead:

Glory Brigades In Northern Europe

Glory Brigades In Northern Europe

He means the Saudis will pay someone to do Denmark for them. It was Pakistanis who blew themselves up in Britain.

Islam is just chock full of resentful bullies. Nothing like abysmal failure to transform the soul into a seething mass of hatred and dreams of revenge.

I say we not only buy Danish food, we should start prayer groups dedicated to the poor people whose souls are being distorted so grotesquely that their only solution is eternal revenge. Something that toxic will not yield to men's attempts to change it. Noo… this is not irony. These people need someone to pray for them while they dream their infantile fantasies of revenge. Besides, it's prayers or bombs and I'm fresh out of the latter right now.

Maybe we could designate Wednesday as "Pray for Muslims Day." And it could be followed by lunch with Danish cheese and some of those butter cookies most of us shouldn't eat. However, if it's in a good cause....

Spare Change?

It’s no surprise that Hamas considers the cutoff of foreign money to be “blackmail.” After all, that’s what a teenager always considers the threatened withholding of his allowance to be.

“Dad! You can’t do that; it’s not fair!”

According to this AP story,

A top Hamas official said Tuesday the Islamic militant group will not be “blackmailed” by international threats to cut off aid to the Palestinians and is searching for new sources of funding.

Excuse me sir, could you spare half a billion for a cup of coffee? You’d be helping out a poor mujahid…

Hamas leaders, who have tried to portray a more moderate image since the election, sought to assure the donors that aid would go only to ordinary Palestinians and not be used for attacks.

Translation: the Western media have been trying to make Hamas appear more moderate. Trust the MSM to do their best with this one. Watch for prime-time news videos of Hamas day-care centers and AIDS clinics.

And promises are all you’ll get about the disbursement of the money. Remember: Fatah gave out 500 million dollars in cash, no paper trail. Think Hamas will be any different? We’ll just have to take their word for it.

Analysts say that although most wealthy Gulf nations will not stand by and watch the Palestinians starve, the Arab and Muslim world is unlikely to provide the kind of cash Western nations have given.

Now we come to the important part: Sheikh Dublooni, for whom a hundred million dollars is pocket change, can’t match those nasty ol’ infidel Westerners, dollar for dollar.

He’s the same race as the Palestinians. He speaks the same language. He’s a Sunni, just like they are. He believes Jews are apes and pigs, just like they do.

But he won’t pony up!

Funny about that.

And remember where all that money that went to Fatah has been coming from: your tax dollars.

That’s right: you paid for Yasser Arafat’s Mercedes and his falafel and his nancy boy “bodyguards”.

If our governments decide to start sending Hamas money, we in the West better get ready to YELL REAL LOUD.

Foggy Bottom and Jamaat ul-Fuqra

The Politics of CP notes that Jamaat ul-Fuqra (see previous posts on JF here, here, and here) was removed from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations during the waning days of the Clinton Administration. For some reason the Bush Administration has yet to return the group to the list. Even with the departure of Colin Powell and the accession of Secretary Rice, the situation has not changed. Why?

I have yet to determine what reasonable explanation could be given for their removal. They didn’t just go away. Their members haven’t disbanded. Their “isolated rural compounds” haven’t been sold off and abandoned. Their criminal activities have not ceased. Their ties to other terrorist groups have not been broken. Their leadership has not been captured (and they’re not even on the run!).

The only explanation I can come up with is that it was guided by a view that this group was “small-time” and could best be handled as a “law enforcement issue”. The September 10th mentality was that individual murders, a firebombing here and there, and white-collar crimes were just ordinary criminal occurrences and didn’t fall under the purview of real counterterrorism. The country didn’t yet fully realize what these activities meant in the context of militant Islamic extremism.

But, as I said and as I have documented in my reports, the activities of Jamaat ul-Fuqra did not cease in 1999 or 2000. Law enforcement in New York still considers them a terrorist organization. Officials in California and Colorado still consider them a terrorist organization. The Department of Homeland Security still considers them a terrorist organization and the list goes on.

CP points out that the military is less sanguine about JF. They certainly consider it to be a terrorist organization, and list it in TRADOC DCSINT Handbook No. 1: A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century:

Jamaat ul-Fuqra is listed in the 2003, 2004, and 2005 editions (although the information is unchanged). In Appendix A, entitled “Terrorist Threat to Combatant Commands,” they are listed in the Area of Operations (AOR) of both NORTHCOM and CENTCOM with an asterisk denoting a history of anti-U.S. activity.
So what’s with the State Department? Does the stripey-pants set find itself more in harmony with gun-running terrorists than it does with the U.S. Military?

It’s time we got honest about the kinds of people that are operating among us. Yes, here they pose as a harmless group of rural Muslims. In Pakistan, there is no doubt they are a militant jihadi group. Both are sincerely loyal to the same Sheikh Gilani. They are a threat. Let’s put two and two together here, folks.

Secretary Rice, put them back on the list! And, as Michael Ledeen would say, “Faster, please!”

CP has a lot more material on Jamaat ul-Fuqra. He has done a lot of first-rate investigative reporting on the group; just go on over to his place and keep scrolling.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Danish Food Fight

Gates of Vienna has been tagged by The Adventuress to discuss the latest details on the Islamicists' tantrum regarding those Danish cartoons of Mohammed.

The beat goes on. Defeated in court, but still pissy and hypersensitive, the so-called moderate imams from Denmark have been touring the Middle East, spreading lies about Denmark and how Muslims are treated there.

Saudi BoycottThese sore losers, who don't blink an eye at practicing taqiyya if it gets them what they want, have now instigated a boycott of Danish goods. One company which distributes Danish products, Arla Foods, has information on events in Saudi Arabia. There, the Danish Embassy's website has posted a letter from the Ambassador. Newspapers in Saudi Arabia have refused to publish it, though they did allow a paid advertisement to be run which displayed the letter.

The amounts of money involved in this imbroglio are not insignificant:

Arla’s turnover in the Middle East is DKK 2.6 billion annually – of which DKK 1.2 billion derives from Saudi Arabia. The company employs a workforce of 1,000 in the region.

And all this brouhaha over some cartoons of Mohammed which the Jyllands-Posten had the nerve to publish.

Every day, Muslims in the Middle East kill, maim, and steal from the small remnant of Christians still alive there. But so what? How does the trivial affair of the deaths of infidel children compare with blasphemous cartoons of Mohammed?

This Islamic tantrum has been going on since September, when the government refused to intervene and punish the Danish newspaper. The pressure on the Danish prime minister by various factions, including his government’s own retired foreign service officers, has continued unabated. And still the government holds firm to its principles of free speech.

The Brussels Journal has kept this issue on the front burner. The MSM in America, of course, has ignored it while stories of what Alito did or didn't say, do or think since he came of age have taken up all the ink and air time:

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is shocked at the way in which some Muslims are misrepresenting Denmark in the Islamic world. “I am speechless that those people, whom we have given the right to live in Denmark and where they freely have chosen to stay, are now touring Arab countries and inciting antipathy towards Denmark and the Danish people,” Rasmussen told journalists yesterday.

Rasmussen was responding to the recent visits by certain imams, Muslim intellectuals and representatives of Danish Muslim organizations who toured a number of Muslim countries to “explain” the Danish cartoon affair to local political and religious leaders and media. The affair started last September when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons of Muhammad.
Are you wondering why we are being treated to this hyperbole by the mad imams from Denmark? The Astute Blogger offers an explanation:

The controversial Jyllands-Posten cartoons were published in September. Er um... that's FIVE (5) months ago! SO: Why is this coming to a head NOW?

The Adventuress, Dhimmi Watch, and many others are urging people to counter the Muslim tantrums.

Rosenborg Brand Buy Danish foods. My favorite is the Rosenborg brand of cheeses. There is an especially nice one, little cubes of bleu or feta cheese packed in oil with herbs and spices. You can use the cheese in salads -- and dig at the bottom of the jar for some of the herbs to season the greens. If you look closely at the image you can see the hexagonal jar way over on the right.

The Astute Blogger is somewhat more ferocious in his approach:

Denmark will not be cowed. Danes are not like the French or the Spanish. Danes are brave and true. In fact, 80% of the Danes oppose any capitulation to the Arab Muslims on this issue - and their parliament just voted to INCREASE their troops presence in Iraq! Even as Libya and other Arab Muslim nations withdraw their ambassadors and threaten a boycott of all Danish goods.

The Free World ought to boycott the Arab Muslim nations who boycott Denmark. The Danish shipping lines - two of the biggest in the world - ought to stop carrying Arab Muslim goods or shipping in or out of Arab Muslim nations which are boycotting them.

We should let the intolerant, belligerent, xenophobic, misogynistic, cousin-marrying, honor-killing, freedom-hating, racist, genocidal Arab Muslim maniacs EAT SAND AND DRINK THEIR EFFIN' OIL!
Ummm...Mr. A. Blogger seems to have amassed a rather inclusive list of Arab Muslim traits there. At least I can't think of any further attributes to add.

Oh, yes, there is one small personality quirk: they lie like rugs. In fact, they lie like prayer rugs. And the buggers consider it a virtue, for heaven’s sake.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

And now I have to choose five more victims participants for this distributive information defense. Let's see...

1. Neo-Neocon
2. Air Force Family
3. e-claire
4. DryBones
5. New Victorian

If you see 'em before I do, let them know, would you? It can be difficult to dig out the email address for some of the sites.

On Leaving Home...Again

Leaving home. Leaving the place you have carved out for yourself: the familiarity of streets, neighborhoods, stores.

Leaving home. Leaving friends, acquaintances, people who know you, who have watched you grow up, have applauded your triumphs, cushioned your defeats.

Leaving home. The smells, the sights, the sounds of the everyday.

This is about the painful abandonment of one's sense of place and belonging, one of the primary sources of security for most of us. Maybe there are some few peripatetic souls who prefer the rambling road, but for most of us, home is a hard-won sense of place. It is not one we easily surrender.

Nalin Pekgul is leaving home. Again. The first time she was thirteen. It was 1980 and her family fled Turkey for political reasons. Being a Kurd in Turkey and demanding human rights recognitions is a risky business. It was her father’s business and it led to immigration for his family.

They settled in Sweden that year, in a Stockholm suburb called Tensta. It was a place in transition, called by some a ghetto of failures, and by others a multicultural enclave. But Ms. Pekgul says it was not either of these things — or rather that it was both:

Neither of these images painted a complete picture. Yes, we had unemployment and prejudices that led to ethnic tensions. But we also had happy children and ambitious young people with bright hopes for the future.

Funny, isn't it, when you live an experience rather than merely observe it. You have its truth in your bones in a way no outsider can fully fathom or accurately describe. When Ms. Pekgul says it this way:

I stayed in Tensta as an adult, even though I could have afforded to move to a more prosperous neighborhood. This led to accusations that I lived there just because it's "politically correct." I never chose to live in Tensta to improve my image. The only reason I didn't want to leave was that for 25 years Tensta was my home. Many of my closest friends live there. If my children got sick and we didn't have any medicine at home, there were always so many families around us to ask for help. This gave me an enormous feeling of security -- a feeling most people who choose to live where their roots are probably know.

So what drives her to leave after twenty five years?

One reason: murderous intolerance tricked out in religious fervor:

Unfortunately, the neighborhood I called my home for so many years has changed. It's no longer the familiar place it used to be and, most importantly, I no longer feel safe in Tensta. The influence of Islamic fundamentalists has grown so much over the years that it is now impossible for me and my family to live there anymore. I'm tired of being expected to speak badly of Christians and Jews just because I'm Muslim. I'm tired of the hate preachers. I'm tired of seeing women condemned for the way they dress. I don't want my daughter to be exposed to this type of aggression in the future. So I will soon have to leave Tensta.

Ms. Pekgul comes from a long line of educated, forward-thinking Kurds. She looks at the present situation in Tensta through the lens of her family's history of struggle and development:

As I look back at the history of my family, which for generations has fought for progress and modernization in Kurdish provinces, I'm astonished by the recent developments here in Sweden. Many years ago my grandfather, living as an imam in Turkey, decided to take his children out of Quranic school and send them to Latin school. That was in the 1950s. During the 1980s, my husband was active in the Kurdish-Turkish student movement and fought for the rights of women. I never imagined that in the new millennium, and in Sweden of all places, my five-year-old son would have to defend and explain in his day-care center why his mother doesn't wear a head scarf.
That's the new Islam she's describing and it is a bloody business, one funded by Saudi Arabia and spreading through Europe and America. It is a cancer in the form of Wahhabi Islam.

AngiogenesisI use the metaphor of cancer deliberately. A tumor is a group of cells that have gone wild. In order to grow and spread, it must have blood; it must send out orders to attract blood vessels to those first cells. This signal and returning answer is angiogenesis, the building of blood vessels. Without this essential feature, tumors cannot grow or later metastasize.

The tumor is the Wahhabists, vascularized by petroleum, swollen and metastasizing its death cult over the whole world. The Wahhabi Saudis are a death-driven cancer. Without their oil, fundamentalism would wither and die, just like a tumor deprived of its blood supply. Ms.Pekgul has seen this and she despairs:

Muslim fundamentalists have focused on strengthening their position in Europe for many years now. The first time I ever met Muslim fundamentalists was in 1993. I had read in Turkish newspapers that Saudi Wahabbists were trying to set up organizations in Europe in order to isolate the European Muslims from the rest of the population. These young men I then met in Tensta were educated but also full of hate against the West. I didn't take them seriously back then.

But today I must admit that they have succeeded. The Muslim fundamentalists are now getting stronger by the day. When the Islamists complain how the Europeans don't show any respect for the Muslim way of life, you get the impression that all they want is that we all make small, little adjustments out of consideration to their customs. But when have Islamists ever shown any consideration or respect for other people's way of life?

When you have seen Islamists throw acid in the faces of women because they don't wear head scarves, then there is no room for compromise. They want to impose their ideology on the rest of society.

So what drives an individual to find this kind of life attractive? Ms. Pekgul says the original driving force in the advances Wahhabi fundamentalism has made lay originally in the feelings of being outsiders who were discriminated against. In a certain sense she is right, but she has only part of the truth there. Because she lives inside the system it is difficult for her to see beyond it to another kind of culture.

What is killing Europe is the unintended consequences of cradle-to-grave social welfare working in tandem with the European inability to let outsiders fully participate in a given culture and mingle on an equal level with the native population. Unlike the American experiment of welcoming immigrants whole-heartedly, Europeans cut themselves off, afraid perhaps of the concomitant changes that accompany any widening of the group. At the same time, they use their welfare programs to keep the strangers in their midst housed and fed, but hardly employed at their level of competence. This breeds resentment more surely than if they had left them homeless and hungry:

The Islamists' solution to the discrimination is for Muslims to distance themselves even further from the European society. Influenced by the fundamentalists' propaganda, the young men begin to mold their identity exclusively around one central theme -- that of being offended and injured Muslims. This was also a contributing factor for the riots in the French suburbs.

Ms. Pekgul says this puts moderate Muslims in a difficult position. I say it puts them in an untenable position. They cannot go up against an organized terrorism that will ratchet up the ante immediately if they disagree publicly. It is unreasonable to expect moderate, secular Muslims to deter these people any more than the average Irishman could have affected any detente with the murderous IRA.

Caught between a rock and a hard place, reasonable people like Ms. Pekgul must leave in order to survive. It is up to the political, legal, judicial and social structures of European countries to sort out this mess. Unfortunately, they set up a system they have yet to find a way to direct or control.

Until they figure this out, the moderate Muslims have the same three sad choices that befall anyone living under tyranny: they can keep silent, they can join up with the fundamentalists, or they can flee.

Ms. Pekgul is honoring her family tradition: once more, another generation is fleeing terrorism.

Hat tip: Reader Annlee

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Islam’s Nancy Boys

Doing what comes naturally in KandaharDymphna’s post on Friday about Mukhtar Mai included the following assertion about pederasty under Islam:

…they don’t call it pedophilia in Muslim countries, nor do they consider anal rape of boys by older men as homosexual behavior if a man is the aggressor against the boy. Those acts are just standard operating procedure and this allows them to get around the strictures of Sharia law.

This provoked a question from Pastorius:

I’ve got a question. How does one document this statement?

The reason I am asking is because I have read these kinds of statements about Islamic society many times, but, there is no documentation.

This is not to say that I don’t believe that this kind of thing exists. I think it does exist in primitive societies all over the world. It exists in most prisons as well. And, of course, what is prison life, if not primitive life?

The thing is, as I can not document the above statement, when I have posted such things on my blog, I expect that liberals will think I am simply posting slander against Islam. I would really prefer to document what I write about, rather than going on anecdotes.

Dymphna responded to Pastorius, citing some sources that she has used in the past and providing additional information.

Then ik — a frequent commenter here at Gates of Vienna — supplied a reference to an article (originally found in The Times, but no longer available) about pederasty as it is traditionally practiced by the Pashtuns in Afghanistan. Correspondent Tim Reid was reporting from Kandahar four years ago:

Now that Taleban rule is over in Mullah Omar’s former southern stronghold, it is not only televisions, kites and razors which have begun to emerge. Visible again, too, are men with their ashna, or beloveds: young boys they have groomed for sex.

Kandahar’s Pashtuns have been notorious for their homosexuality for centuries, particularly their fondness for naïve young boys. Before the Taleban arrived in 1994, the streets were filled with teenagers and their sugar daddies, flaunting their relationship.

It is called the homosexual capital of south Asia. Such is the Pashtun obsession with sodomy — locals tell you that birds fly over the city using only one wing, the other covering their posterior — that the rape of young boys by warlords was one of the key factors in Mullah Omar mobilising the Taleban.

Mr. Reid goes on to describe the changes instituted by the Taliban as they imposed their strict interpretation of Sharia, including the now-infamous practice of toppling stone walls onto homosexual offenders.

But the Taliban have been hustled into the dustbin of history, and the traditional ways are re-emerging:

‘In the days of the Mujahidin, there were men with their ashna everywhere, at every corner, in shops, on the streets, in hotels: it was completely open, a part of life,’ said Torjan, 38, one of the soldiers loyal to Kandahar’s new governor, Gul Agha Sherzai.

‘But in the later Mujahidin years, more and more soldiers would take boys by force, and keep them for as long as they wished. But when the Taleban came, they were very strict about the ban. Of course, it still happened —the Taleban could not enter every house — but one could not see it.’

But for the first time since the Taleban fled, in the past three days, one can see the pairs returning: usually a heavily bearded man, seated next to, or walking with, a clean-shaven, fresh faced youth. There appears to be no shame or furtiveness about them, although when approached, they refuse to talk to a western journalist.

‘They are just emerging again,’ Torjan said. ‘The fighters too now have the boys in their barracks. This was brought to the attention of Gul Agha, who ordered the boys to be expelled, but it continues. The boys live with the fighters very openly. In a short time, and certainly within a year, it will be like pre-Taleban: they will be everywhere.’

What is one to make of all this? Does NAMBLA have a position paper on the overthrow of the Taliban?

Islam holds sway over a large part of the world where brutality has been the way of life for millennia. In Islamic tribal cultures, women are a scarce commodity, hoarded by rich and powerful men, leaving unattached men in the same situation as men in prison.

And the outcome is the same: the young and the weak become the “nancy boys” of the older and more powerful men. A culture of pederasty develops, consisting of dominant men and their catamites. Raised on a regimen of brutality, the young boys grow up to inflict it on the next generation.

Talk about a “cycle of violence.”

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Want Shrapnel With That?

Those bloody limeys -- at least the leftists ones, whose hatred of America obliterates their common sense. Take a gander at this interpretation of Hamas' win in Palestine:

Hamas's triumph in Wednesday's Palestinian elections is the best news from the Middle East for a long time. The poll was a more impressive display of democracy than any other in the region, outstripping last year's votes in Lebanon and Iraq both in turnout and the range of views that candidates represented.
Whereas in Iraq parties that opposed the occupation had to downplay or even obscure their views, Palestinian supporters of armed resistance to Israel's expansionist strategies were able to run openly. It is true that Hamas candidates did not make relations with Israel the centrepiece of their campaign. They focused on reform in the Palestinian Authority. But few voters were unaware of Hamas's uncompromising hostility to occupation and its record in fighting it.

Wednesday's election was remarkable also in owing nothing to Washington's (selective) efforts to promote democracy in the Arab world. Instead, it was further proof that civil society in Palestine is more vibrant than anywhere else in the region and that Palestinian politics has its own dynamics, dictated not by outside pressure but the social and economic demands of ordinary people in appalling conditions. Providing a forum to freely express hopes and fears, debate policy and seek agreed solutions is, after all, what democracy is about.
Good Lord and His Blessed Mother! Where do you even begin to dissect this man's ideas?

How about the first sentence: Hamas's triumph in Wednesday's Palestinian elections is the best news from the Middle East for a long time. Because...why? Because the better terrorists won?

Or perhaps this bit of ummm...wisdom? Wednesday's election was remarkable also in owing nothing to Washington's (selective) efforts to promote democracy in the Arab world.

This piece drips with scornful envy. Is he mad because the sun set on the British Empire before he had his chance to be king of the hill? Mr. Steele continues:

In Israel and Washington reaction to Hamas's victory has been predictably negative. European governments should take a more sensitive view. The first watchword is caution. Applaud the process but don't take issue with the result. While the dust settles and Hamas works out its own priorities for government, Europeans should calmly analyse why Hamas got so much support.
Now why do you think Hamas got so much support from a culture which celebrates suicide bombers?

You may send your cluebags to Mr. Steele here: j.steele@guardian.co.uk.

Send prayers to the usual place.

Hat tip: Epaminondas from Villagers With Torches. His site is well worth a visit.

Death to Apostates

Palestinians exercise the perquisites of democracyAccording to the Sydney Morning Herald, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is not totally antipathetic to the idea of dealing with Hamas:

Acknowledging Hamas’s new standing as a political powerhouse, Mr Abbas told reporters: “We are consulting and in contact with all the Palestinian groups and definitely, at the appropriate time, the biggest party will form the cabinet.”

But the more faithful members of Fatah have vowed to kill any member who defects to Hamas:

The militant al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Fatah, issued a statement threatening to “liquidate” the faction’s leaders if they changed their minds and joined a Hamas-led administration.

Isn’t this the Ummah writ small? Islam in miniature? Apostates must be killed! Remain loyal to The Faith, or pay with your life!

Maybe it’s the start of a trend, with smaller and smaller sub-units of Islam promising death to defectors.

The patrons of Walid’s Café vow to kill anyone who patronizes Ali’s Lunch Counter!

In other news, the Rotary Club of Boise formed a shotgun militia do defend its prerogatives. “Anyone who joins the Lions Club will be hunted down and killed like the dog that he is!” announced its leader, the self-proclaimed Generalissimo Steve. “No rival to the true Rotarian faith will be tolerated.”

Friday, January 27, 2006

Mukhtar Mai Still Perseveres

I Could Scream: Examining the plight of women under Islam
The Glittering Eye has a post up earlier this week on Mukhtar Mai's latest slap-down by Pakistan. This one is a bit different since it happened at the UN:
Ms. Mai had long been scheduled to make an appearance called “An Interview With Mukhtar Mai: The Bravest Woman on Earth” in the United Nations television studios, sponsored by the office for nongovernmental organizations, the Virtue Foundation and the Asian-American Network Against Abuse of Human Rights.
Mukhtar MailBut on Thursday night the organizers were informed that the program would have to be postponed because of Pakistan’s objections.
Mukhtar Mai is an embarrassment to Pakistan. They fervently wish they could get rid of her, but they don’t dare. She’s too big, too much a symbol of courage in the face of impossible circumstances. She should be dead. She was supposed to be dead. But she not only lives, she flourishes.

Now Gateway Pundit reports on her latest efforts, using a quote from Pakistan's The Age:

Wrapped in a shawl she embroidered herself and wearing traditional shalwar kameez, a baggy tunic and trousers, Ms Mai was jubilant as she anticipated the election of two housewives from her village of Meerwala to a district council.

"I hope these women will help resolve problems of all women. This can only be done if women are fully empowered," said Ms Mai, who caused a storm of bad publicity for Pakistan and became an international symbol for women's rights after speaking out over her gang rape ordeal three years ago.

The elections aim to give women a greater say by reserving them seats in representative bodies.

The first phase of elections for district councils was held on August 19, when 53 of the country's 110 districts voted. The remaining districts will cast their ballots tomorrow [this was last week ed.].

Turnout was put around 50 per cent in the first round, but among women it was less, ranging from 43 per cent in populous Punjab province to 16 per cent in North-West Frontier Province, where there have been allegations that women were barred from casting their ballots in some constituencies.
”Allegations,” huh? I’ll bet they were threatened with being accused of bringing shame on their families. If there is one thing Ms. Mai has taught the West it is what consequences follow from shaming the family.

Interestingly, in many stories of her treatment by the village council, it is reported that she was raped because of her younger brother’s behavior in being with a young woman without a chaperone. In reality, her younger brother was raped by several members of a prominent family in the village. When asked if he planned to tell his family, he replied that he would. As a consequence, he was placed in a room with a girl from this clan and the police were called. He was then arrested and Muktar Mai’s fate was sealed. Or so they thought.

Eventually the pedophiles were tried and convicted. Only they don’t call it pedophilia in Muslim countries, nor do they consider anal rape of boys by older men as homosexual behavior if a man is the aggressor against the boy. Those acts are just standard operating procedure and this allows them to get around the strictures of Sharia law. Doesn’t every culture rape its boys regularly? Well, Middle Eastern cultures do.

WE CANThere is hope, however. The movement to free women is growing. We Can End Violence Against All Women , known as “WE CAN” is a regionally organized campaign. Its Pakistan location reports that the interior minister admits to 2,774 deaths of women in the previous five years due to honor killings. Common sense tells you that the figure is much higher, since many human rights groups claim that at least eighty per cent of Pakistani women are abused. It would be a toss-up between Pakistan and Palestine as to which place is more bestial toward women and children. They both suffer badly from a hair-trigger reactivity when it comes to their putative “honor.”

Any culture or country that so despises half their population and so routinely bestializes its young is a doomed project. It just takes awhile.

As Michael Ledeen would say, faster please. Oh please!

Surprise Landside Vote for the Klan on the South Bank

Sorghum City, Alabama (AP) — The stunning electoral victory by the Ku Klux Klan in this small southern town has taken veteran political observers by surprise. The political wing of the KKK won a total of 12 out of 16 seats on the city council, plus the offices of mayor and district attorney. Jimmy Carter, a former governor of the neighboring state of Georgia, headed a team of election observers who certified the election as “free and fair, within the limits to be expected in a strife-torn region like Alabama.”

Many locals are concerned about the future of the peace process between the white residents and the town’s Negroes, which the KKK refers to as an “occupation force.” Under the more moderate outgoing administration of the Democratic Party, negotiations with the black community had been pursued, even as the Democrats continued to assert their rights in the struggle against the “brutal Negro.”

A happy KKKidBilly Bugline, a member of the more militant “military wing” of the KKK, celebrated the election victory with his family last night. As his cousins fired guns in the air, he held up his youngest son Leroy, who was clad in the traditional white head garb of the Klan and waved its “holy book”.

“We will never give up the struggle against the infernal Negro,” said Mr. Bugline. “As long as the sacred soil of Sorghum City remains occupied, we will struggle against the enemy with any available weapons. Guns and bombs, tar and feathers — all of these, and more, are available to us.”

Questioning the history of blacks in Alabama, Mr. Bugline said, “There’s no real historical evidence that ‘Slavery’ ever happened. It’s just a story cooked by the sinister African Cabal.” He cited a book called The Protocols of the Elders of Kilimanjaro as evidence of his contention. The book, however, has long been discredited, and is widely considered a forgery created in the 1950s by the South African Secret Police.

Other residents are less extreme in their views than Mr. Bugline.

“I voted for the Klan because it means a change,” said Mrs. Flossie Needlefoos as she stood in front of the feed store with other local residents. “We’re all tired of the corrupt ‘business-as-usual’ attitude at City Hall. It don’t mean I want to kill all the Negroes. I just want them to return to their proper place.” Heads around her nodded in agreement.

Political analysts speculate that the KKK, now that it has gained real political power, will become more pragmatic in its outlook and withdraw its long-standing call for the extermination of all black people. That would lay the groundwork for a return to the negotiating table and a resumption of the long-stalled peace process.

Only time will tell.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Judge I. Dithers and His Dilemma

60 daysJudge Dithers Cashman of Vermont is beginning to see the error in his thinking — the error that led him to give a pedophile with a history of four years of ongoing abuse a mere three months for his sins. Perhaps, just maybe, he is growing an idea, one that involves his recognition that he may not be as knowledgeable about this kind of crime as he thought he was.

That’s the thing about judges: they stay in that bubble on the throne in the courtroom for too long, being shown a medieval kind of respect, and they forget they’re just folks.

At The Neighborhood of God two weeks ago, “In Cast Adrift by Judge Cashman” I parsed the evident sloppy thinking on the part of the judge. To announce that “anger is corrosive” as an excuse for his brief sentence meted out to this criminal may be the most ignorant thing I’ve heard from a local judge. Anger is a self-regulating response to being attacked. It allows us to defend ourselves. So this judge was going to solve everyone’s “anger” problem by giving the perp three months and lots of “treatment.”

As I said then, pedophiles are resistant to treatment, if not downright waterproof. Judges like this, who side with predators, are harmful to the commonweal. Parents are frightened when they hear how few consequences these life-destroyers face. It is almost unbearable to think that your child could be abused for four years, that you face decades of helping her stabilize and he gets three months. How’s that for a “bim-bam-thank-you-ma’am” outcome?

Fox News says he’s changed his mind and given the man a heavier sentence, but when you read the story, tell me if you understand what is being said. Is it Judge Dithers that makes the story confusing or is it the Fox reporter? It’s hard to tell.

To end on a happier note, I will tell you the funniest story I know about a judge and a pedophile. I heard this story many years ago at a child abuse conference. The man telling it was a certified child sex abuse expert — that is, the courts had qualified him as such when it came to examining alleged sex abusers and reporting his findings. The story he told us went like this:

There was a man on trial for repeatedly sexually abusing his thirteen year-old daughter. The man didn’t deny the abuse. His excuse was that he had to get his daughter up for school every morning and because they lived in a trailer, the hall was very narrow. When his daughter had to get by him in order to move to the living room, things were so crowded that his penis kind of “fell into” his daughter’s vagina. Therefore it wasn’t his fault. It was the trailer’s fault.

The judge pondered a bit and said to the man: “You’re absolutely right. You’re innocent.” At which point the man began to smile. “However,” the judge went on, “your penis is guilty as hell and I’m sentencing it to ten years in prison. You can go with it if you want.”

That judge was a genius. Too bad Judge Dithers didn’t have his good counsel before he tried this particular pedophile.

Atlanta Rofters Prepare for Israel's Destruction

Good satire is always in short supply. And Atlanta Rofters isn't a satirist's blog per se. Point Five can breathe a sigh of relief.

Nonetheless they've put up a post to rival PF's droll wit:

We're all familiar with the motto of those homophobic Boy Scouts, right? The one about being prepared?

For Muslims, the motto seems to have been expanded to “Be Prepared To Be Offended.”

Here’s a part of AC’s juicy bite out of the Muslim apple:

American Islamic Leaders Warn Of Anti-Muslim Backlash Following Next Month's Nuking Of Tel Aviv
     Bleurters News Service, (WASHINGTON)
The D.C. Islamic Eternal Justice Endeavor against War and Stereotyping (DIEJEWS) yesterday issued a strongly worded statement condemning a rising backlash against Muslims following next month's nuclear bombing of Tel Aviv, Israel by Iran. The press release warned against an increase in anti-Muslim discrimination, hate crimes, and government harassment following the destruction of the unofficial Israeli capital city next month, as announced by the Iranian government.
"We call on all Americans of goodwill to hold fast to our traditional American values of tolerance and diversity," the statement said in part. "No justification is possible for the heightened tensions and increased suspicions against innocent Muslims following next month's tragic events. The chilling of Islamic-American relations will overshadow the great strides made since 9/11 in rolling back jingoism." The statement stopped short of calling the nuclear bombing of Tel Aviv by the Islamic Republic of Iran a terrorist act, but called for "restraint by both sides" in future crises.
"Next month's nuking of Tel Aviv and the subsequent dancing in the streets by Muslims worldwide have nothing to do with Islam," DIEJEWS spokesperson Marysuellen al-Shahid said in a telephone interview. "We condemn what's going to happen. People claim they are doing it for Islam, but it's really in spite of Islam. The first people to suffer, after the victims, are the Muslim community.
Oh, that’s right. So let’s be prepared, too, to comfort the afflicted, shall we? Even the ones dancing in the streets have their secret sorrows. Actually, not so secret. In fact, they should maybe tone it down a bit? Allah may be enjoying the hi-jinks, but Yahweh hasn't weighed in with an opinion yet.

Better hedge your bets, fellows.

Highly recommended: Atlanta Rofters…but what’s a rofter??

Ah, Finally. A Place For Leftist Loonies

They've wanted to get away from those evil Republicans and bible-thumping conservatives, not to mention the wild and wooly Libertarians. And on the horizon appears their opportunity to create enough distance from us. It seems there's a new planet out there:
     An international team of researchers including astronomers from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory have discovered the smallest planet yet detected outside of our solar system, using a method that could eventually locate other small planets with the potential to host life.
The new planet is just 5.5 times the mass of Earth, far more petite than the 150 or so other "exoplanets" spied outside the solar system to date, the smallest of which is the size of Neptune, 12 times the mass of Earth.
"This is an important breakthrough in the quest to answer the question 'Are we alone?'"…
Since this is a question Liberals have been asking themselves for sometime now, it is comforting to think they may have an answer.
     Unlike the gaseous giants scientists have found in the past, the new planet has a solid, rocky core.
"It is so small that its gravity couldn't hold five earth masses worth of gas together," said Livermore Lab astronomer Kem Cook… The new planet is orbiting a star five times smaller than our sun at a distance 2.6 times further than Earth's distance from the sun. That means it is probably too cold, maybe 360 degrees below zero, for living organisms on the newly discovered planet.
Well, perhaps we could send them off with little heaters attached to their space suits?
    "It's a major discovery," Cook said. "It's moving in the direction of the Holy Grail of planetary science, which is an earth-mass planet in the habitable zone."
The planet, which resides more than 20,000 light years away in the Sagittarius constellation, may also be the most distant planet found so far. It was spotted using a technique called gravitational microlensing, which is based on one of Albert Einstein's ideas.
Another Holy Grail quest. If that’s not a burning Liberal issue, what is? Of course they haven’t come up with a new idea since FDR (Johnson’s War on Poverty was merely a riff on the New Deal) so this may be just the ticket.

Imagine that. All the Libs safely on their own planet. Be still my heart.

Hat tip: Wally Ballou. However, he is not responsible for the editorial comment. Unlike the MSM, we here at Gates of Vienna can tell the difference between real news and our fervent hopes.

Are the Gloves Coming Off at Last?

The White House has chided the Mexican government for the helpful maps it gives out to illegals hoping to cross the border.

As usual, Jerry Seper is the journalist covering this story:
    The Bush administration yesterday accused the Mexican government of facilitating illegal entry into the United States after Mexican officials said they would distribute maps of dangerous border areas and posters with safety instructions and other tips.
"We oppose in the strongest terms the publication of maps to aid those who wish to enter the United States illegally," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "It is a bad idea to encourage migrants to undertake this highly dangerous and ultimately futile effort.
"This effort will entice more people to cross, leading to more migrant deaths and the further enrichment of the criminal human trafficking rings that prey on the suffering of others," he said.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States would "take whatever steps it deems necessary to protect its own borders."
"No government, including the government of Mexico, should facilitate or encourage its citizens to try to enter the United States outside established legal procedures ," he said.
Finally! Chertoff is no longer claiming it’s not a problem and the State Department has quit sweeping the problem under the rug.

Mexico, of course, is claiming “we din’ do nuthin’ so don’ blame us — it was those guys”:
     Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said the maps, which would provide details of the terrain, cell-phone coverage and water stations set up by the U.S. charity Humane Borders, would help to save lives.
Rafael Laveaga, spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, said the NHRC is an independent body and receives no government funds. He said the commission is working with Humane Borders in distributing the maps.
They then proceed to say since we can’t stop the rape of our borders, we might as well help those who are going to do so anyway.

Well, Mexico hasn’t changed its tune, but at least the Bush administration has.
     Mexican President Vicente Fox has called for a "status of regularization" for Mexicans illegally in the United States, which would allow them to remain as long as they were employed. He also has criticized recently approved legislation in the House authorizing the construction of 700 miles of fence on the U.S.-Mexico border and the designation of illegal entry as a felony.
"What is not resolved by intelligent policies and by leaders is resolved by citizens. That is how the Berlin Wall fell and that is how this wall will fall," he told Reuters news agency Tuesday. "I hope it isn't even built because, if it is, it will fall."
Don’t you wonder how Fox plans to demolish the wall?

Stay tuned. And by all means, read the whole article at The Washington Times Insider.

Also look at what this angry sheriff has to say:
     Texas border sheriff yesterday demanded that the U.S. and Mexican governments investigate incursions into the United States by heavily armed drug escorts dressed in Mexican military uniforms "before someone gets killed."
Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr., who heads the Texas Sheriff's Border Coalition, said a growing number of suspected incursions and violence aimed at the area's law-enforcement officers is making the border "a pretty dangerous place."
"We have tried everything we know to make the federal government aware of the problems at the border and how they have affected us," said Sheriff Gonzalez, who has fewer than two dozen deputies to patrol 1,000 square miles, including 60 miles of Texas-Mexico border.
"It appears our government is covering this thing up because it just doesn't want to admit there is a problem," he said. "Trade between the United States and Mexico may be more important to Washington than human lives."
The Baron's grandfather fought in the last skirmish we had with Mexico. Let's hope we haven't come full circle here.

A Dangerous Opportunity

China Google
Ah Google. It’s a business, it’s a stock, it’s a verb, it’s an access millions use every day, all over the world.

It’s also a controversy at the moment.

First of all, there is Google’s motto: “Don’t Be Evil” — which may be the most awkward use of words they could’ve chosen. Someone running across that would think, “hmmm… just what particular evil were they considering? Am I missing something?” If you’re going to choose a motto, phrase it positively — as in “Do Good” or, closer “Refrain From Evil.” But with this one, it’s only too easy to take a whack at it and end up with Don’t Be Evil… which is what any number of angry bloggers have proceeded to do since Google decided to go to China.

The controversy has essentially two sides (or three, if you count those who are indifferent. But they probably don’t count in a contretemps, do they?).

On the first side are those who are angry because they’re convinced that what Google (and Yahoo and that Big Satan, Microsoft) did is harmful to the United States and to the West and to those Chinese who will be monitored and perhaps punished, as was the case with Yahoo. Thus, by their standards, Google is a pariah and should be treated as such: divest your stock (oh, that I had some to divest!); give up using Google Ads on your blog and sacrifice the revenue therefrom; inveigh against this decision and call for a boycott.

A few well-known facts:

  • China is fiercely xenophobic.
  • China is neither a democracy or a republic.
  • China does not believe in or promote free access to information by its citizens.
  • China is fast catching up to the rest of the world in areas of technology. For example, they have trained thousands of oil and gas pipeline workers in order to be ready for the petroleum land battles that are sure to come.
  • China does not merely import military knowledge. It also uses the cultural artifacts of the West and incorporates them, unlike, say, the Middle East.
  • China’s middle class is growing exponentially.
  • China is family over the individual; the group is primary.
  • China is Confucian rather than Aristotelian or Christian (despite inroads, the state still controls the churches, at least on the surface).
  • China is immense and probably ungovernable in its present state. We may see it split over the coming century.

So there’s the other side. Some believe that Google’s decision to work within the limits imposed by the Chinese government is just the foot under the tent. As with all the West’s previous dealings with China, the latter will become more Westernized and more open as a result of the contact. Thus, we ought to welcome the idea since it means China becomes less a threat to us.

Don’t forget that China is full of young, intelligent and well-educated men — far more than it really knows what to do with since its population control policies have included the unintended consequence of millions of aborted female fetuses.

These intelligent, bored “youths” take great pleasure in hacking, just for the sheer fun of getting away with it. So guess what many of them will be doing once China has Google on board. That’s right: they’ll make Google’s entry into China the widening point of an already-growing chasm between young and old, bureaucrat and individual, son and family.

Ah, China: you have once again doomed yourself to live in interesting times.

Hill? Like Hell!

From The Drudge Report:

Fortunately for Mrs. Clinton, they aren't holding the next presidential election any time soon...

Only 16 percent of voters are “firmly” in Hillary’s camp. Another 32 per cent would “consider” Mrs. Clinton for President.

But CNNGallup says that 51 per cent say “no way, Jose.” No Hillary. N-O.

As Drudge notes, that means her negatives outnumber her positives by three to one.

Among Republicans, 90 per cent perish the thought, but only 71 per cent of conservatives are that definite.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the divide, 46 percent wouldn’t back Dr. Rice.

So there you are. THREE WHOLE YEARS BEFOREHAND and they're running these dumb polls and I'm reporting it.

Interesting feel for things, though. Bet ol' Hillary won't be talking about the "plantation" again anytime soon or they'll be all over her like chocolate on New Orleans.

[Sorry. My new favorite phrase. Be patient; another one will eventually replace it. That's how it is with pet phrases...]

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Get a Real Hijab!

This won’t compute.

Michael Jackson, the world’s greatest pedophile and cross-dresser has found refuge in Bahrain. It appears he now wears the hijab; obviously he's found a spiritual home: Jacko
     He was wearing an abaya, a robe with long sleeves, under which his pants, white shirt and men's shoes could be seen, and his head and face were wrapped in a black veil. He had black gloves on his hands.
The veil, abaya and gloves were of a style typically worn by conservative Bahraini women, though Jackson appeared to be wearing them to hide his identity.
    With him was a woman — also in an abaya and jeans and a scarf over her head that partially covered her face — who had the two other children. All three children's faces were wrapped in black scarves, and they wore yellow shirts and sweatpants or khakis without robes. The woman's identity was not known.
Now where in the Koran or the hadith is there room for this creature? You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

It’s laugh at his get-up and cry for his children…

If he weren’t rich and famous, they’d have stoned him by now. At the very least.

Hat tip: Baron Bodissey, who definitely doesn’t need a hijab.

Should Israel Join NATO?

I can hear people squawking about this now, but what the hey. It’s a genius idea from the Heritage Foundation if only NATO has the proper anatomy to carry it off. Or maybe we could just shoot it up with testosterone long enough to get things going:

     On the surface, Iran appears to have bested the international community in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. As former Secretary of State Colin Powell has observed, after two years of fruitless negotiation, the international community is no closer to halting Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons… Instead, the great powers endlessly debate where and when a diplomatic showdown will take place while Iran resumes its nuclear research. In essence, the world is fiddling while Rome burns. The West has one ace left to play before a final showdown looms. Extending NATO membership to Israel could convince Iran’s Mullahs that developing a nuclear capability is not in their interest.
endless talks between the EU-3 (France, Britain, and Germany) and Tehran are not solving the problem and will not disarm the Iranian regime. Behind the scenes of the negotiations, many in continental Europe secretly wish that the U.S. would simply accept the possibility of an Islamic Republic of Iran with a nuclear arsenal. They ignore, however, the harsh reality of such a foolhardy policy. The fallout from inaction would be disastrous. An arms race in the region would ensue, with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt all vying to develop their own nuclear weapons. Iran would become increasingly vociferous in its threats against Israel and could actively arm the myriad terrorist groups that depend upon Tehran’s protection. Israel would not play along with this game of Russian roulette. The world would shortly face a major regional conflict, possibly involving the use of nuclear weapons.
There is a way out of the present diplomatic morass that will signal to the Mullahs in Tehran that the West is serious about reining in their nuclear ambitions, but without allowing them to destabilize the Middle East. The United States should propose the quick admission of Israel into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a full and equal member.
Israel meets NATO qualifications: it is a democracy, has a free market economy, and is able to contribute to the common defense. In fact, unlike many new NATO members, it would be a net addition to the alliance, having lift and logistics ability, a second-to-none officer corps, and a first-rate military capable of all aspects of war-fighting. Israel spends nearly 10 percent of its GDP on defense and has active armed forces numbering 167,000 men and women, with 358,000 in reserve. It possesses up to 200 nuclear warheads, as well as a well-equipped Air Force and Navy.
Israel’s intelligence capabilities have been a vital asset in prosecuting the Global War on Terror, as few understand the conflict so well. Like the U.S. and Great Britain, history has forced Israel into being a genuine warrior nation. Its accession to NATO could only enhance the alliance’s capabilities.
More importantly, Israeli accession to NATO would explicitly extend the Western alliance’s nuclear deterrent to cover Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Now it will be Tehran, and not the rest of the world, that has a proliferation problem. Any nuclear or conventional attack on Israel, be it direct or through proxies such as Hezbollah or other terrorist groups, would be met by a cataclysmic response from the West that would make the Battle of Omdurman look like a stroll in the park…Israel’s accession would leave the Mullahs with no illusions about the West’s determination to respond to Iran’s strategic threat to the region.
Please read the whole essay by John Hulsman and Nile Gardner, here at The Heritage Foundation . This would “confound” the Iranians and let the EU3 get a little rest from their Sisyphean labors.

Now, may we see a show of hands here?

The Calculus of Revenge

Mark Steyn’s recent column, “Standing Small Against Iran Won’t Work” brought to mind the years I spent immersed in the crises of domestic violence. Whoever first termed it “domestic terrorism” was right. Though this was decades before Islamicists were on the horizon, the similarities would turn out to be striking.

In his essay, Steyn pokes fun at the limp-wristed resolve of the EU 3 and their vicious counter-attacks on Iran. Britain is harrumphing about “narrowly targeted sanctions.” That’ll put a scare into them. Germany thinks this is too harsh, and La Belle is doing some nuklear saber-rattling — but who believes Chirac on anything, even the color of his tie?

So what do these “world leaders” + Iran have to do with domestic violence? Well, let me give you a real-life example; see if you get the parallels.

Back in the mid-’80s, while domestic violence was pretty much a grass-roots organization, I admitted to our shelter a woman who’d had both eyes blackened by her abuser. As the shock wore off, she was distraught, angry and determined to end the relationship. We took pictures of the damage for court, and went to the magistrate’s office. He looked her over and filed charges for assault. Her abuser was picked up the next day, spent the night in jail, and at his preliminary hearing was given a court date and instructions on finding a lawyer. He was released on his own recognizance as he had no previous record, was steadily employed, and wasn’t going anywhere. In the judge’s opinion, he was a “good” risk, though she ordered the man to stay away from his victim. He proceeded to do so, never once bothering her in the lead up to the trial.

Meanwhile, she made common sense decisions regarding living arrangements. Someone else got her things from their apartment, she opened her own checking account, and set about trying to establish life on her own.

She was nervous, though. “You don’t know him,” she’d tell me over and over again. Problem was, I did indeed know his pattern and thought her misgivings intuitively right. The most dangerous time for a woman is after she leaves. This woman was living in a danger zone and she didn’t need me to tell her.

Court day came. The Commonwealth’s Attorney had his ducks in a row: pictures of my client’s damaged face (now healing), testimony from the victim and her family — the whole and usual thing in these cases.

The judge listened carefully to both sides before finding the man guilty and sentencing him to six months, suspended, on the condition that he stay away from his wife. He had a good job, he seemed reasonable and contrite — six months probation and an “anger management class” of course. He was to stay away from his victim.

After it was all over, the abuser stopped the Commonwealth’s Attorney as he was leaving court. The man’s interest was in the particulars of his sentence: only six month’s probation for damaging his wife’s eyes like that? The Commonwealth’s Attorney, who hated these guys, answered tersely, “yeah. It’s not nearly enough. Stay the hell away from her.” The man rocked back on his heels once or twice and seemed to ponder this. “Six months probation, huh?” The CA pushed past him.

You can guess the rest of the story. Within the week, my client was hospitalized, having been severely beaten. Her abuser was out on bail this time, which was set at $25,000.00. His family helped him raise the percentage for the bondsman. When I saw him, he told me it was the six months’ probation that made his assault irresistible. “Only six months,” he said. “It was worth it.”

The later circumstances are less clear now. I believe he was sentenced to a year in the county jail. What stayed with me, though, was this man’s cool assessment of risk versus payoff. To his way of thinking, he made a rational decision and was willing to pay the consequences for inflicting that amount of pain.

Same thing with Iran. A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist. Whether in the privacy of his home or as the head of state, there is always the calculus of pay-off. And sometimes, to their twisted way of thinking, it’s simply worth the price they have to pay.

Pray for Israel and the people of Iran.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Boring As a Gnat’s Fart

Ay Caramba! Pancho Villa!Today, CNN ran an Associated Press report about a showdown at the border between Mexicans dressed in military uniforms and Texas law officers.

CNN managed to make this story exceedingly boring, scratching the surface of an important problem while employing a style so flat you could nod off before reaching the end of what they had to say.

Most importantly, though, they provide no background beyond the usual “200 sightings of Mexican military, etc.” Nothing to add to what we already know, and nothing of substance.

The MSM is the junk food of information nutrition.

Why? Is it just ineptitude? Do they not care about American sovereignty? They could have been talking about a showdown in Sri Lanka for all the import their story carried.

Meanwhile, another member of the MSM, The Washington Times, was all over this story like chocolate on New Orleans. And they filed their reports last week, for Heaven’s sake. They had names, numbers, complications and possible solutions.

Reporter Jerry Seper wrote two stories on the problems we’re having at the border, and columnist Tony Blankley took the governmental bureaucracy to task for its failure to lead — or for that matter, even to follow.

On January 17th, The W.T. Insider had the first story. Our report, “Mexican Military Now Invading Our Borders” and the link to Seper’s report here:
    The U.S. Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona of incursions into the United States by Mexican soldiers “trained to escape, evade and counterambush" if detected -- a scenario Mexico denied yesterday. The warning to Border Patrol agents in Tucson, Ariz., comes after increased sightings of what authorities described as heavily armed Mexican military units on the U.S. side of the border. The warning asks the agents to report the size, activity, location, time and equipment of any units observed.
Then, on January 19th, Seper again reported on the situation, with more background and some information regarding a program, “Red Zone” that has been funded but has not been implemented.
    Arizona Congressional representative, Rick Renzi, wrote to Secretary of State Rice describing the events at our border with Mexico as “narco-terrorism in its purest form:”
“Our borders are under attack by sophisticated organizations that have no qualms about firing on our Border Patrol units,” Mr. Renzi said. “As we get tougher and more committed, so do the organizations committed to smuggling death and terror our borders.”
And where is CNN in all this? Asleep at the wheel, or doing busy work with its story on Disney’s acquisition of Pixar.

Compare the three reports, two from The Washington Times, and the one today from CNN (a week later) and judge for yourself. Who is reporting the news and who is going through the motions?

As a commenter said of the story on the vandals who were sentenced recently for their destruction of Republican vans more than a year ago in the run-up to the last Presidential election, “Why didn’t we hear about this?” Why, indeed? The Milwaukee paper carried the story but it doesn’t seem to have been picked up or remarked upon in the wider media.

Don’t you wonder why CNN’s big story was Disney acquisition of Pixar? Sure, it matters if you have stock in either company, but other than that it’s trivial.
Maybe that’s the problem with CNN? It can’t tell the trivial from the important.

Compared to our serious, complex, and likely explosive problems with Mexico, the Disney and Pixar story is a gnat’s fart.

Hat tip: Baron Bodissey.

Milwaukee Should Have Tried Sister Agnes’ Method

Remember those happy-go-lucky Democratic tire slashers in Milwaukee during the last presidential election?

Son of a gun, if they didn’t just wrap things up. Who says justice isn’t swift? According to The Milwaukee Sentinel Journal Online, things are finally winding down now, more than fifteen months after the incidents:
     After a two-week felony trial culminating with notes from a conflicted jury, four Kerry-Edwards campaign workers - including the sons of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt - had their charges in the Election Day 2004 tire-slashing reduced to misdemeanors and accepted the deal.
And who says justice isn’t fair? A dumbed-down charge from felony to misdemeanor, now that’s fair for a practicing Democrat just trying to make the playing field a bit more level. One brave soul held out and got off:
     The fifth Democratic staffer accused of crippling Republican vans won a jury acquittal by sticking with a fight against the felony charge.
There's a close call for you: this one must have nerves of steel. All that's left to do is for the boys to pool their money and pay restitution — a total of $5,317.45 — and they can forget the individual $10,000.00 fines that can accompany misdemeanors of this sort. They don’t have to serve the recommended nine month jail time, either:
     All five defendants had been charged with damaging 40 tires on 25 rented vans parked outside Republican Party offices on W. Capitol Drive, hours before they were to be deployed for electioneering. The repair costs easily exceeded the felony threshold of $2,500, yet there was little evidence about what each man had allegedly done.
Prosecutors built most of their case on testimony from out-of-state Democratic operatives who had come to work on the Wisconsin campaign alongside the defendants - Michael Pratt, 33, Lewis G. Caldwell, 29, Lavelle Mohammad, 36, Justin Howell, 21, and Sowande Omokunde, 26. The witnesses said the local men boasted about their crippling attack on the Republican vehicles.
Dear, dear. “Boasting,” were they? That’s so Michael Moore.

Well, at least they’re free and ready for getting out the vote in 2006. Or are they planning to keep the voters at home again? That's one way to win elections in Milwaukee, especially if you're afraid you'd lose otherwise.

Good poll workers don't let other poll workers vandalize the competition.

Perhaps the boys could be "sentenced" to write that out a thousand times. Hearts and minds were certainly changed when Sister Agnes employed this method. Perhaps the court could try it.

It also has the advantage of being a cheaper form of punishment than having the taxpayers of Milwaukee pay to house five thugs.

Hat tip: The Common Room

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Latest Word From the Left

Common Dreams is quite a site. Not interesting enough to link to, however — especially since their banner carries that infamous doctored photo from Code Pink.

Remember this revelation from Little Green Footballs, via Publius Pundit?. Publius exhibited the original phot, plus the doctored one issued by Code Pink for their propaganda purposes. I guess CP thought they'd pulled a fast one. At any rate, LGF put them together for our edification.
Code Pink Dishonesty
However, that’s not the worst of what they have on offer. Today’s sample is a neologism they seem to have coined for Cindy Sheehan and those of her ilk (yes, I realize I do not usually refer to, mention, or otherwise allude to a poor human being who has long since abandoned home for the halls of lunacy. However, aside from the icky, faux photo, this particular post's juxtaposition of snide ire and irrelevance is interesting in a creepy kind of way).

Have you ever heard of matriotism? Lucky you. At least until now you’ve been fortunate, because you’re about to see a little progressive thought progression. But before we get there, consider the Left’s sleight-of-hand with the word “progressive.” Like the term “pro-abortion,” the Left was forced to come up with another word for Leftist, given that it has fallen into such disrepute. Pro-abortion has come to mean support for partial-birth murders abortions, so it had to be changed to “pro-choice.” Nice euphemism; so much less grisly than the truth. The same goes for “Progressive” and “Leftist.” The former is just so much less grisly than reality, isn’t it?

So what’s the new reality word? Why it’s matriotism! Isn’t that sweeter than that ugly old male patriotism the Right is always spouting off about? Patriotism is a murderer, matriotism is a mother. Get it? Here’s nasty old patriotism a la Common Dreams:
     There have been volumes written about patriotism, defining it, supporting it, challenging the notion of it, etc. I believe the notion of patriotism has been expediently and nefariously exploited, and used to lead our nation into scores of disastrous and needless wars. The idea of patriotism has virtually wiped out entire generations of our precious young people and has allowed our nation's leaders to commit mass murder on an unprecedented scale. The vile sputum of "if you aren't with us, then you are against us" is basically the epitome of patriotism gone wild.
Ugly, ugly. Nasty leaders/killers. “Vile sputum” indeed. Don’t you wonder why they don’t just get straight to the point and just say “vile sperm” —- after all, aren't these "the woman is better" thinkers?

But what of matriotism, you say? Here it is, though sadly it was aborted by our leaders “jumping on the bandwagon” (the belly?) of 9/11:
     After the tragedy of 9/11 we were on our way to becoming a fledgling Matriotic society until our leaders jumped on the bandwagon of inappropriate and misguided vengeance to send our young people to die and kill in two countries that were no threat to the USA or to our way of life. The neocons exploited patriotism to fulfill their goals of imperialism and plumder[sic].
This sort of patriotism begins when we enter kindergarten and learn the nationalist "Pledge of Allegiance." It transcends all sense when we are taught the "Star Spangled Banner," a hymn to war. In our history classes the genocide of the Native American peoples is glossed over as we learn about the spread of American Imperialism over our continent, though it wasn't named until the 1840's, when the doctrine of Manifest Destiny was expounded to justify the USA's conquest of and "civilizing" of Mexican territories and Native American populations. Manifest Destiny sought to spread the "the boundaries of freedom" to the American Continent, with the notion that we have a special mission from God. Sound familiar?
My heavens, of course it sounds familiar. It’s the same mantra we’ve been hearing since the 1930’s Red Diaper babies. It’s old, dear progressives. So old, it’s regressive, not to mention simplistically wrong. One problem with Progressives is that they believe history began on this continent. Never do we hear a comparison between America’s beginnings and development with that of Europe’s. Never do we see an admission that had we not been willing to fight they’d all be speaking German or Russian and for darn sure they wouldn’t be blogging this faux history. Oh, wait a minute, this is matriotism: it’s herstory, not history. Silly me.

Here’s another sample of the simple, kindly approach of matriotism:
     Not everyone is a mother, but there is one universal truth that no one can dispute no matter how hard they try (and believe me, some will try): Everyone has a mother! Mothers give life, and if the child is lucky, mothers nurture life. And if a man has had a nurturing mother he will already have a base of Matriotism.
I think that’s enough, don’t you? This evisceration of history and intellectual thought is sad, sad, sad…

Ohmygod. I was about to close the page when I looked further down the post. This thing was written by Mother Matriot herself! No wonder it made me think of Mrs. Sheehan: she wrote this excrescence. I had no idea. As the Irish would say, “aye, the puir woman. Can’t help herself.”

Just shows you God has a sense of humor. Let us pray that one day He shares it with Casey’s momma. She badly needs it if she's to make it through the rest of her life.

A word to my commenters. Yes, I should have known that Common Dreams was associated with Mrs. Sheehan. But we live a sheltered life here at Gates. Besides, what are you guys doing at that dive?

On Being Amazoned for Being a Conservative Author

Dear Amazon and Mr. Jeff Bezos:

We both know you’re a Big Deal and we both like that. Success is wonderful. Among other good features, your ability to move merchandise is remarkable and your pages are very user friendly. As you have expanded into other areas, I have followed you there and made purchases other than books. Way back when, who’d have thought one could purchase underwear on Amazon? Or chef’s knives?

I think enough of your service to have ordered your credit card and use the coupons which it generates in order to buy books from Amazon.com. However, unless you remedy the current problem that conservative writers experience on your site, I’m going to cancel my credit card and move on.

I just looked at Fred Barnes’ book here. The cover of the book is intact this time, though the last view showed some hacker’s version of President Bush in handcuffs with the title “Felon in Chief,” which you can view here, at Michelle Malkin’s site. Ms. Malkin calls what has happened “The Amazon.com Review Cesspool.” This is an accurate assessment of the phenomenon which conservative writers and readers experience.

Of course you know this is an on-going problem. Kate O’Beirne is another conservative author who is being amazoned. The National Review Online editor, Kathryn Jean Lopez, calls it “The Sacking of Kate O’Beirne.”

The insulting comments amount to nothing more than ad hominem attacks on these books, their subjects, and on the authors. Mr. Barnes is a respected writer; I have read his work on political subjects for decades now and speak from the direct experience. Unfortunately, I suspect that most of your over-the-top commenters on conservative books neither buy nor read these works. They are simply on the site to trash the messenger and his message.

As for Ms. O’Beirne, I have read her columns for some time and had planned to buy the book from you. However, I hesitate to give my money to a business which does not protect its authors from illegitimate hazing.

Here is a suggestion: either have your commenters on a particular book be able to show proof of having purchased this item on Amazon or block their comments. You have the capability to do this. Whether or not you are willing to risk the ire of Leftists who are bent on spoiling things is another matter. If commenters neither purchase the book from you nor read it in any other way, why grant them the privilege of commenting on what you have on offer? Their behavior lacks integrity. If you fail to address this issue, your organization will suffer the same character defect.

On principle I do not believe in boycotts. They are a legacy from the '60's Left, and are little more than a form of bullying. Besides, they're not effective. However, I also believe in the power of choice. Unless you are willing to deal with massive, and massively unfair, attacks in a timely manner, I will -- with regret -- make my purchases elsewhere.

Will you miss our business? Not much. Will we feel better not having to go through garbage in order to look at a book and purchase it? You bet.

I would be loath to stop doing business with Amazon, Mr. Bezos, but like the rest of us, you are not indispensable. I do hope you can see your way to reason, fairness, and — above all — integrity in this matter.

I wait with interest to see what you decide.

With utmost sincerity,

Gates of Vienna