Archive for June 2007

For the Homeowners Out There

June 30, 2007

Check out this after EOD visits your house after an Extreme Make Over.

LT. General Mattis

June 30, 2007

People have heard about him but only perhaps negatively. Both Grim and Salamander seems to like him for similar reasons.

You want to see an email by Mattis chewing out some folks? Go read.

A couple of days

June 30, 2007

Blogging will be light or on hold for a couple of days. I suppose eventually the muse will strike again. In the meantime, check out the birds of the night and await the dawn.

Freedom is not for the Left and is a sin for the Jihad

June 26, 2007

Inspired by this Bookworm post concerning her conversion to the dreaded neo-con faction, I would just like to make a simple point. A simple short point, I assure you.

Both the Islamic Jihad, so called Taliban regimes, and the Left must do everything they can to prevent the US liberating and securing a free and democratic institution on this planet. Anywhere or everywhere, they must prevent security, prosperity, and most of all freedom. The freedom to choose ultimately means not choosing the Left and not choosing Taliban religious Shariah Laws. And that is very bad if you believe in the Leftist mantra, that is very bad if you are Zarqawi in Iraq. That’s why Z Man said democracy and the freedom to choose, is apostasy, for it means the freedom to NOT choose Allah. Ooooo, bad. Book also mentions the fact that the Left seeks to crush dissent through the Fairness Doctrine, otherwise known as equal time for equal censorship like what Hugo did. When Bush started his 2002 invasion of Iraq, all the gloves were off, the Left went full out against, on and on and on. A campaign of demoralization and psychological warfare against the American people, diplomats, soldiers, pilots, anybody and everybody was their target. It got so bad and so twistingly evil, that the Left showed themselves for the true beast that they were, concerning the basic fundamental views of classical liberals on a free and prosperous Iraq. And they keep showing it, because just like at Tet, when they come out of the shadows and stop pretending, they can’t hide anymore. Not when we keep smashing them in Iraq.

People who are free to speak their mind, to choose their path in life, free from fear, intimidation, and organized crime or terrorism, are able to refuse the Left and the Islamic Jihad. And both organizations will never allow that to occur. Because their politics is their identity, it is who they are, what they are, it is all the purpose they have in life. Fanatics? True believers, let us say. The Left truly believes that they and only they are the rightful proponents and advocates of human freedom and if it takes siding with the Islamic Jihad to bring that place of glory back to the Left, so be it, says the Left.

Ugliest Dog in World

June 26, 2007

Beauty is… variable it seems.

Courtesy of Sanity Carnival of Insanity.

Afghanistan News

June 25, 2007

Looks like the Taliban are start to overstay their welcome. Courtesy of the Fish report.

Declan Walsh in Lakki Marwat and Charsadda
Thursday June 21, 2007
HYPERLINK “http://www.guardian.co.uk” The Guardian Members of the Marwat tribe in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP), at a jirga – a tribal meeting – to discuss fighting the Taliban. Photo: Declan Walsh/Guardian

“In the name of Allah, lend me your ears!” Anwar Kamal, a political veteran of Pakistan’s tribal areas, stood in a field before his constituents – 300 angry men from the Marwat tribe brandishing assault rifles, shotguns and, in a few cases, red roses pinned behind their ears. In the sweltering heat an assistant fanned Mr Kamal, a parliamentarian and former minister, as tribesmen squatted at his feet. The Taliban had gone too far, he said. In recent months 11 people had been kidnapped from Marwat territory, and the tribe’s honour had been impugned. Something had to be done. Mr Kamal slowly raised his voice. If the hostages were not released in a week, he said, jabbing the air, then the Marwatis would raise a fighting force, invade the Taliban territory and “teach them a lesson”. The tribesmen roared in approval. “Now is the time for action!” he cried.
Tense times call for tough talk in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province, where a firestorm of ideologically driven violence and intimidation – described as “Talibanisation” – is blazing across the province. Citing justification from the Qur’an extremists have torched CD and DVD shops, attacked barbers who shave beards, and forced the closure of at least four girls’ schools. Suicide bombings, once unheard of in Pakistan, have become commonplace. Suspected “collaborators” are punished – they can be abducted, beheaded and dumped on the roadside with a note attached saying “American spy”. The trouble stems from Waziristan, a mountainous tribal area along the Afghan border. There, armed Islamists have marginalised the central government to impose their harsh brand of Islamic rule. Sharia courts sentence criminals to be stoned to death; fighters slip across the Afghan border to attack Nato troops. Waziristan is also home to about 2,000 foreign al-Qaida fighters, mostly Uzbeks but also Arabs, and Chechens who fled Afghanistan in 2001. Some of them, the US fears, are using this giant base to plot terrorist attacks around the world. The government has sent 80,000 soldiers to the tribal belt to quell the violence. But, according to Art Keller, a retired CIA official who visited Waziristan last year, most are simply “hunkering in their bases”.
Now the Taliban’s ideas are spilling over the tribal area’s borders and across the North-West Frontier Province. In Tank, a town in the “settled area” just outside Waziristan, the Taliban raided the home of a senior government official this month killing 13 of his relatives. Further north, in Lakki Marwat, Talibanisation has brought kidnappings. Last month a mobile phone company paid £40,000 to free five employees; last week two government doctors were abducted on accusations of working for a British aid agency. “They are starting to play hell with us,” said Mr Kamal at last week’s grand jirga, just 10 miles from the border with Waziristan. The most worrying aspect is how deeply Talibanisation has penetrated into previously serene parts. Charsadda, 12 miles north of Peshawar, is the home town of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a Pashtun nationalist nicknamed the “Frontier Gandhi” in the 1930s for his peaceful opposition to British rule. But this year the Charsadda’s DVD shop owners found notes outside their doors, signed by the Taliban and ordering them to shut down. When they refused, bombs blasted through three shops, sending the movies up in flames. Then on April 28 a suicide bomber struck a political rally where the interior minister, Aftab Khan Sherpao, who hails from the town, was speaking. About 28 people were killed. “Who are these Taliban? We just don’t know,” said Farman Khan, manager of one of the largest DVD stores. “This has always been a tolerant city. We had no religious tensions before.” Analysts said a Taliban takeover, such as happened in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, is unlikely in the province. The extremists are supported by a small minority of the province’s ethnic Pashtun residents, and blame has fallen on the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) – a coalition of hardline religious parties that has ruled the province since 2002 and which openly supports Islamist militancy – for allowing Talibanisation to take root. “The demagoguery of these religious elements has gone too far. The common man is not safe,” said Memood Shah, former security head for the tribal areas. The permissive environment has given radical hotheads a foothold. In the picturesque Swat Valley, north-east of Peshawar, Maulvi Fazlullah, a firebrand young cleric who rides a white horse, uses his private FM radio station to preach against polio vaccinations and girls’ schooling. “A woman has been asked to remain behind the four walls of the house. Men have been given preference by God,” he said in one interview. But the province’s beleaguered moderates are kicking back. Girls’ enrolment at school has increased 77% since 2002, according to official figures. The MMA government, perceived to be incompetent and corrupt, has haemorrhaged support and is expected to receive a drubbing at the next election.
In Charsadda the DVD shops are open again, lending Jackie Chan, Schwarzenegger and Bollywood movies for 8p a night. “It’s a good business. Only God knows when it is my time to die,” shrugged Mr Khan. But the strife here is earning little attention in Islamabad, where President General Pervez Musharraf is engaged in a fight for his political survival over the chief justice crisis, and where his government appears lamentably incapable of tackling Talibanisation even on its own doorstep.
Burka-clad militants from Lal Masjid, a radical mosque just a few streets from Gen Musharraf’s office, have kidnapped prostitutes, attacked police and issued fatwas against journalists in recent months. But the local police seem unable, or unwilling, to stop them.
Lal Masjid also has links to the wider pattern of destabilisation. Its chief cleric recently boasted of having 10,000 suicide bombers at his disposal. One of the main suspects in the recent Charsadda suicide attack, Hafiz Said ur Rehman, is a former student of Lal Masjid. “He spent four years there. It was free of cost and he absolutely enjoyed it,” said his father, speaking in the courtyard of a mosque. Critics accuse Gen Musharraf of playing a double game, citing his electoral alliance with the MMA in the province of Baluchistan. “He tells us that he is fighting the terrorist but he is sleeping in the same bed as the clerics in Quetta. Why are you people turning a blind eye to those things?” said Asfandyar Wali Khan, of the liberal Awami National party. But in remote, barely governed places such as Lakki Marwat, the strict Pashtun code of conduct – known as Pashtunwali and focused on honour and revenge – is paramount. Here, opportunistic bandits had joined forces with the Taliban, said Mr Kamal. “Due to poverty we have always had criminals; now they are in the garb of Taliban,” he said, citing rumours of gunmen donning fake beards to increase the fear factor. Mr Kamal summoned two Taliban representatives to last week’s jirga and met them afterwards in a hot, cramped room. The militants, young men with black turbans and Chinese pistols, looked uncomfortable. “We fight for Islam, not for money,” said Shafiullah, who boasted of fighting “jihad” against foreign soldiers in Afghanistan.
Mr Kamal warned them to release the remaining hostages or face dire consequences. The threat carried considerable weight; in 2004 the former provincial minister led a tribal army that sacked a neighbouring village and killed 70 people. Then, as now, the issue was kidnapping. Faced with the Taliban, gun law was better than no law, he said: “If the government refuses to act, then it’s high time we secured ourselves.”

[Link Added]

Deductive Logic

June 25, 2007

I found this while googling logic.

INTRODUCTION.

§ 1. LOGIC is divided into two branches, namely–

(1) Inductive,

(2) Deductive.

§ 2. The problem of inductive logic is to determine the actual truth
or falsity of propositions: the problem of deductive logic is to
determine their relative truth or falsity, that is to say, given such
and such propositions as true, what others will follow from them.

§ 3. Hence in the natural order of treatment inductive logic precedes
deductive, since it is induction which supplies us with the general
truths, from which we reason down in our deductive inferences.

§ 4. It is not, however, with logic as a whole that we are here
concerned, but only with deductive logic, which may be defined as The
Science of the Formal Laws of Thought.

§ 5. In order fully to understand this definition we must know exactly
what is meant by ‘thought,’ by a ‘law of thought,’ by the term
‘formal,’ and by ‘science.’

§ 6. Thought, as here used, is confined to the faculty of
comparison. All thought involves comparison, that is to say, a
recognition of likeness or unlikeness.

§ 7. The laws of thought are the conditions of correct thinking. The
term ‘law,’ however, is so ambiguous that it will be well to determine
more precisely in what sense it is here used.

§ 8. We talk of the ‘laws of the land’ and of the ‘laws of nature,’
and it is evident that we mean very different things by these
expressions. By a law in the political sense is meant a command
imposed by a superior upon an inferior and sanctioned by a penalty for
disobedience. But by the ‘laws of nature’ are meant merely certain
uniformities among natural phenomena; for instance, the ‘law of
gravitation’ means that every particle of matter does invariably
attract every other particle of matter in the universe.

§ 9. The word ‘law’ is transferred by a metaphor from one of these
senses to the other. The effect of such a command as that described
above is to produce a certain amount of uniformity in the conduct of
men, and so, where we observe uniformity in nature, we assume that it
is the result of such a command, whereas the only thing really known
to us is the fact of uniformity itself.

§ 10. Now in which of these two senses are we using the term ‘laws of
thought’? The laws of the land, it is plain, are often violated,
whereas the laws of nature never can be so [Footnote: There is a sense
in which people frequently speak of the laws of nature being violated,
as when one says that intemperance or celibacy is a violation of the
laws of nature, but here by 'nature' is meant an ideal perfection in
the conditions of existence.]. Can the laws of thought be violated in
like manner with the laws of the land? Or are they inviolable like the
laws of nature?

§ 11. In appearance they can be, and manifestly often are violated-for
how else could error be possible? But in reality they can not. No man
ever accepts a contradiction when it presents itself to the mind as
such: but when reasoning is at all complicated what does really
involve a contradiction is not seen to do so; and this sort of error
is further assisted by the infinite perplexities of language.

§ 12. The laws of thought then in their ultimate expression are
certain uniformities which invariably hold among mental phenomena, and
so far they resemble the laws of nature: but in their complex
applications they may be violated owing to error, as the laws of the
land may be violated by crime.

§ 13. We have now to determine the meaning of the expression ‘formal
laws of thought.’

§ 14. The distinction between form and matter is one which pervades
all nature. We are familiar with it in the case of concrete things. A
cup, for instance, with precisely the same form, may be composed of
very different matter-gold, silver, pewter, horn or what not?

§ 15. Similarly in every act of thought we may distinguish two
things–

(1) the object thought about,

(2) the way in which the mind thinks of it.

The first is called the Matter; the second the Form of Thought.

§ 16. Now Formal, which is another name for Deductive Logic, is
concerned only with the way in which the mind thinks, and has nothing
to do with the particular objects thought about.

Keep working that brain, steam isn’t coming out yet.

Saudi Arabia’s Influence

June 25, 2007

Here’s an analysis of the US-Saudi relationship, courtesy of [Fake] Grim.

This is the third page.

The Saudis also discreetly work Washington with the help of a few trusted “gatekeeper” organizations, a term used by Gwenn Okruhlik of the University of Arkansas in a 1997 article in Middle East Report. Among the key gatekeepers–DC think tanks, consultants and nonprofit foundations that the Saudis rely on as intermediaries–is the National Council on US-Arab Relations. NCUSAR puts out a variety of publications and sends Congressional delegations, military officials and academics to Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East. The council did not respond to requests for information about its funding, but its website describes NCUSAR’s supporters as “primarily individuals and institutions in the United States and the Arab world.” The council also sponsors a Corporate Cooperation Committee, which seeks to “inform American leaders and the public…about the shared interests and common concerns” of the United States and the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The group is chaired by Boeing, and the vice chairs are Lockheed Martin and Parsons Corporation, the latter a construction and engineering firm for the oil and gas industries.

When the Saudis need help on a particular matter in Washington, the kingdom’s US allies normally man the frontlines. Following the Gulf War, arms makers established an ad hoc organization called the Middle East Working Group to lobby for weapons deals to the Saudis. It retained as consultants a number of national security veterans including Dov Zakheim, a former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense under Reagan and the new Pentagon comptroller; Sandra Charles, who served on the National Security Council as director of Middle East affairs during the Bush Sr. years; and retired Lieut. Gen. Howard Fish, who once headed the Pentagon agency that handles foreign weapons sales.

Business support for the Saudis has extended into other areas as well. In 1998 corporations, mustered in a vehicle called USA*ENGAGE, mobilized to gut a bill that would have imposed sanctions on countries that persecute religious minorities. The bill was ultimately passed, but only after a preamble was struck that had called for an immediate investigation of Saudi Arabia and several other countries that were deemed guilty of widespread religious persecution. The bill also gave the President the right to waive sanctions if he determined that it was in the national interest. “Earlier versions of the bill were more extreme and lacked the loopholes that were included in the new version to minimize diplomatic tensions,” said a relieved account in The Oil Daily.

This more readily links events like Dick Clark’s action of allowing Saudis to fly out of the US after 9/11 without Bush’s authorization, with certain propaganda concerning Bush and Saudi Oil.

Like any web of lies, it is hard to disentangle what is true from what is false. Certainly we know that the State Department has been in league with Saudi Arabia and their perks for awhile now. Also, Saudi Arabia is trying to do the triangulation strategy of also working with Iran by calling Iraq a disaster of some such. They see their interests in a very peculiar light, and that light will most often not be in accordance with US interests and lives. SA buys off both Iran and Al Qaeda, as they do the US diplomats. It seems to be their modus operandi; using oil wealth to buy stability and protection. This is akin to the Romans using gladiatorial games and festivals to quiet the masses.

The State Department also tries to undermine the Bush policy of liberation in Iraq; and even if you assume they are not, their lack of motivation to help slows down the progress regardless. Yet if Bush were in league with the Saudis, he would also have to be in league with the State Department guys, so why would the State Department guys attack Bush if Bush was going according to the Saudi plan? You don’t see State and CIA leaking Saudi Arabian secrets, do you.

My current position is that Bush is relatively clean of Saudi Arabian influence, at least compared to his Leftist opponents in both the bureacratic sectors of government and the elected houses of Congress.

Ralph Peters and the Fanaticism Cure of Europe

June 23, 2007

I’ve said before here that this guy has some fundamentally flawed premises, making his analysis and conclusions rather inconsistent in their accuracy. Sometimes they are accurate to a T, but most of the time they drift off due to lack of variables being taken into consideration and basic premises wrongly attributed.

Laer here writes about some of the effects of Europe’s fanaticism. But it isn’t the cure for Muslims that Ralph Peters said it would be.

In Germany, believing abortion to be as murderous as the holocaust is a crime, and educating your own children is a crime too. In France, saying that “homosexual behaviour endangers the survival of humanity” is a crime, and so is the distribution of pork soup to the poor. In Belgium, speaking out against immigration is a crime.

Last week, a German court sentenced a 55-year old Lutheran pastor to one year in jail for “Volksverhetzung” (incitement of the people) because he compared the killing of the unborn in contemporary Germany to the holocaust. Next week, the Council of Europe is going to vote on a resolution imposing Darwinism as Europe’s official ideology.

Indeed, next Tuesday, the Council of Europe (CoE), Europe’s main human-rights body, will vote on a proposal which advocates the fight against creationism, “young earth” and “intelligent design” in its 47 member states.

According to a report of the CoE’s Parliamentary Assembly, creationists are dangerous “religious fundamentalists” who propagate “forms of religious extremism” and “could become a threat to human rights.” The report adds that the acceptance of the science of evolutionism “is crucial to the future of our societies and our democracies.”

“Creationism, born of the denial of the evolution of species through natural selection, was for a long time an almost exclusively American phenomenon,” the report says.

It makes logical sense that for weaklings like the Europeans to only take on weak people that don’t want to fight back. Even real fanaticism chose the Jews because the Jews wouldn’t fight back, the Nazis after all didn’t pick on Americans to kill first. But if you don’t take this variable and premise into consideration, then you’ll be like Ralph Peters, making wrong conclusions.

Ralph Peters, interviewed at FrontPage Magazine last week, illustrates his familiar two-sided persona: a rational and astute analyst of military affairs when it comes to the Iraq war (he gives the best one-paragraph summary of the U.S. failures in Iraq that I have seen); and a Europe-hating, white-hating lunatic when it comes to broader issues of politics and culture. Remember, it was Peters who described the leading Islam critics such as Bat Ye’or and Robert Spencer (though he lacked the honesty to name them) as Nazi-like bigots eager to commit mass murder. In the FrontPage interview, he repeats his fixed idea that Europe is under absolutely no danger of Islamization, and that the very notion of Islam gaining power and spreading sharia in Europe is “nuts,” because the Europeans are natural-born mass killers who will wipe out the Muslims the moment they get really annoyed at them. So blindly hostile is he to Europe, that he cannot conceive of a real threat to Europe from Islam, because that would require that he view Europe’s situation with at least some degree of sympathetic understanding. (Worse, his ideas about Europe are now being treated respectfully by at least one prominent and respected neocon–see below.) Thus the following exchange: :

I will only focus on Peters comments concerning mass killings of Muslims in Europe. The above is a different POV, though at its base agreeable with my own position.

PK: Now to Europe, the subject of our conference: What is your sense of the status of Christianity there? Do you agree that it is not merely in decline, but, in many ways, under attack? If so, how is it under attack? Who or what is attacking it?

Peters: To me, the question is whether Christianity in Europe is irrevocably in decline, or merely in abeyance and waiting to return. Religious faith has never been a constant—it’s cyclical. The great religious revivals of the 17th century (here, I mean the Puritans, dissenters, etc.), 18th century (Wesley and his peers), and the 19th century in England were all reactions to a breakdown in personal faith and public morality. We idealize the past, forgetting that humans have always strayed (and often with great enthusiasm).

That said, a key difference today is that, while states favored religious belief in the past, today governments have fled from any meaningful identification with Christianity (even where “Christian” is part of a political party’s name). Enforced secularization at the hand of bureaucrats educated to leftist biases has done much to discredit religion in Europe.

And yet, faith is unkillable. While Europe exudes the bleak odor of atheism today, I don’t think it would take all that much to re-excite faith—perhaps greater confrontation with Muslim immigrants, or a pandemic … or simply a reaction to the current anomie afflicting individuals and their societies.

I look at the entire globe as I attempt to understand Europe, and what do I see?Evangelical fervor sweeping much of Latin America, a reawakened yearning for spirituality in China (to the great alarm of the bureaucrats in Beijing), the mighty Christianity of sub-Saharan Africa (syncretic, yes, but so is European Christianity), and even the religious fever scorching the Muslim world…. All of this suggests that Europe is not eternally immune to faith.

Whether we approach religion as transcendental reality or merely as the most effective survival mechanism ever developed by human collectives (a key point Darwin and Spencer missed), it’s clear that it isn’t going to go away anytime soon. And centuries of faith cannot be fully erased in a few generations—the problem at present is that, although the Europeans have disavowed God, they’ve retained the intolerant self-righteousness of the sort of fanatics who give religion a bad name. Today’s Europeans are Inquisitors without a cause.

Here is Ralph going off on his own little adventure.

PK: You made a very interesting point at our last conference, which you will be discussing at this conference: You said that, given Europe’s often brutal track record of dealing with ethnic minorities, we should not be surprised if these “high-minded” Europeans suddenly get real ugly with the Muslims in their midst. Could these people crack down on Muslims? And is that already happening?

Peters: The hatred is already there, just waiting for trigger events—such as a wave of terror attacks—to operationalize it. Native Europeans despise Muslims, while Muslim immigrants despise Europeans and their values (and the Saudis continue to fund the exacerbation of hatred and the deepening of social divisions). As I’ve said many times, Europe is the continent that perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing—and that has exported more man-wrought death than any other continent. We still identify too readily with Europe because Europeans look like (most of) us. But American civilization and European civilization are profoundly different and ever more divergent. When I look at the situation in France, for example, where both the native-born and the immigrants behave insufferably, my reaction is, “A plague on both their houses.”

Remember that, perfected genocide.

PK: You are a military historian, and a talented and insightful one whose predictions are often right on the mark. So, I will ask this bluntly: Could there eventually be a war in Western Europe between native Europeans and Muslim immigrants? What type of war—wars of jihad in certain countries, continental-wide war?

Peters: I’m a student of history, but would not presume to call myself a historian. I’m interested in how history works, not in compiling footnotes.

There may be abortive, if lurid, Muslim uprisings in Europe—it all depends on how a very complex equation plays out—but if there are, they will fail miserably and swiftly. There will be no Eurabia. Jihad in Europe is doomed. There will be no continent-wide war, although each country would be glad for an excuse to participate in continent-wide repression. When their welfare is sufficiently threatened, Europeans will return to form as heartless killers and ethnic cleansers.

You can’t make steel out of spit.

So we have Ralph Peters going on about Europe and the latent potential for a fascistic cleansing of Muslims there. But what’s the reality?

The reality is that the Europeans will always pick on the weak horse, and if the Islamic Jihad proves themselves to be strong, then Europe will cave just like Vichy France caved. They will actively collaborate, since hey they didn’t like the Jews or the Ameris in the

More Hayley

June 23, 2007

Headphones do make a difference.


Pokarekare Ana

An interview of Hayley via youtube.

Scarborough Fair

O Mio Babbino Caro

Hayley and her sister in one voice harmony

Shenandoah/One Fine Day/E Pari Ra Medley

The Duo version of Pokarekare Ana, with Russel.


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