August 2006

Braden Files has the tale of the latest outrage:

In each of the 4 years that I have been a member of the state Assembly, we have had many “celebrations” on the Assembly floor. These celebrations” are orchestrated by the Democrats who control the House and often involve singing and dancing. Every one of my 4 years have seen substantial celebrations of Cinco de Mayo (which Commemorates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla ), St. Patrick’s Day (for the patron Saint of Ireland), and Chinese New Year’s Day, among others. But never once have we celebrated America’s Independence Day, the 4th of July.

So, this year, Republican Assemblyman Jay LaSuer of San Diego arranged for Vietnam war hero Admiral Jeremiah Denton to come to California to be a part of a 4th of July ceremony. As you may know, Admiral Denton was a Navy pilot in Vietnam who was shot down and spent 8 years in a Vietnamese prison. In 1966 while in prison, he was interviewed by North Vietnamese television in Hanoi after torture to get him to “respond properly.” During this interview he blinked his eyes in Morse code to spell out the word “torture.” He was asked about his support for the war in Vietnam to which he replied “I don’t know what is happening now in Vietnam, because the only news sources I have are Vietnamese. But whatever the position of my government is, I believe in it, I support it, and I will support it as long as I live.” Four of his 8 years in prison were spent in solitary confinement. He later wrote the book “When Hell was in Session” chronicling his experience in Vietnam.

When he stepped off the plane after being released from prison in 1973, he said “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country in difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief for this day. God bless America.” He was later elected to the U.S. Senate from his home state of Alabama, becoming the first retired Admiral ever elected to that body. I could go on and on about his accomplishments. Suffice it to say, Jeremiah Denton is unquestionably an American hero.

The Democrat leadership refused to allow him on the Assembly floor, and there was no 4th of July celebration. A memo from the Democrat speaker’s office said “problems have arisen both with regards to the spirit, content, and participation of various individuals with regard to the ceremony.”

Gotta love those Dems huh? FDR, Truman and JFK must be rolling in their graves.


I’ve used Yahoo mail for years. When Gmail (beta) came out I signed on. The impact of Gmail was immense. Yahoo amd MSN were forced to dramatically increase email storage. That solved the problem of having to go through your email every few months and ruthlessly purge stuff. But Gmail had another advantage. It received mail without you having to do anything. Its secret was a technology called AJAX that lets browser based applications interact with the server discretely, rather than a page at a time.

Mozilla and Opera introduced the concept of tabbed browsers. As I look up at my tab bar I see 12 active tabs. That’s a lot easier to manage and switch between than individual windows, the Internet Explorer alternative. Open Gmail in one tab and let it sit there doing its thing. Want to check for incoming email? Click the tab with Gmail icon and you’re done. With Yahoo, you’d have to click another button and wait for a page refresh.

Yahoo couldn’t let Gmail hold such a technological lead, so they’ve introduced their own beta release. It looks much nicer than Gmail, mainly because it looks like a desktop application with icons, subtly shaded screen elements, and lots of features. The ads that pay for these free services are not too intrusive. Gmail reads your email and shows you ads related to the content of your personal email. When I was discussing IVF treatment with one of my marathon friends I got ads keyed to that theme. It seemed just a bit too nosey.

In my view, Yahoo has leap-frogged Google on the email front.

I have been using Firefox as my default browser for a while. I even use it at work even though we’re supposed to use IE6. When I heard about the IE7 download, I went for it. It blew me away. It has tabs and they are very well implemented. It has trimmed all the fat. It’s quick. It saves images instantly where Mozilla and Firefox take forever. If I could figure out how to import all my Firefox bookmarks I’d switch in an instant.

Scores: IE7 4/5, Firefox 3/5, Yahoo Mail 4/5, Gmail 3/5.

Gotta love competition; gotta love capitalism. Someone should tell the leftist yahoos who run Google that undermining America undermines them.

Schneier on Security quotes an anecdote that amused me a while ago:

Back in the 1980s, Yosemite National Park was having a serious problem with bears: They would wander into campgrounds and break into the garbage bins. This put both bears and people at risk. So the Park Service started installing armored garbage cans that were tricky to open — you had to swing a latch, align two bits of handle, that sort of thing. But it turns out it’s actually quite tricky to get the design of these cans just right. Make it too complex and people can’t get them open to put away their garbage in the first place. Said one park ranger, “There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists.”

Rumsfeld seems to think the terrorists are smart, according to this AP report:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in “manipulating the media” to influence Westerners.

“That’s the thing that keeps me up at night,” he said during a question-and-answer session with about 200 naval aviators and other Navy personnel at this flight training base for Navy and Marine pilots.

Rumsfeld was asked whether the criticism he draws as Pentagon chief and a leading advocate of the war in Iraq is an impediment to performing his job. He said it was not and he knows from history that wars are normally unpopular with many Americans. “I expect that,” he said. “I understand that.”

“What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is,” he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror.

“They are actively manipulating the media in this country” by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

“They can lie with impunity,” he said, while U.S. troops are held to a high standard of conduct.

What should bother him more is how dumb the MSM is. In the recent war in Lebanon the media swallowed photoshopped pictures, staged photographs and Hezbollah propaganda and foisted it on Joe Public. Luckily, the MSM was exposed by the blogosphere, again.

Perhaps Rumsfeld was referring to the alleged massacre at Haditha. Sweetness and Light is a great blog that exposed the short-comings of the massacre story that Time headlined. The MSM was too dumb to realize that their sources had an agenda and played them for fools. The Yosemite bears would not be so dumb.

David Frum has more.

I was watching “From Russia With Love” for the umpteenth silly time and the scene was Constantinople. Which led me to Wikipedia’s entry on the conquest of the capital of Byzantine Empire and the center of the Greek Orthodox Church. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the fall of Instanbul:

On 29 May 1453 Sultan Mehmet II (1451 – 81), known as “the Conqueror”, entered Constantinople after a 54 – day siege during which his cannon had torn a huge hole in the Walls of Theodosius II. Mehmet’s first task was to rebuild the wrecked city, which would later become known as Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar and Topkapı Palace were erected in the years following the Turkish conquest. Religious foundations were endowed to fund the building of mosques such as the Fatih and their associated schools and baths. The city had to be repopulated by a mixture of force and encouragement. People from all over the empire moved to Istanbul, and Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together in a cosmopolitan society.

This didn’t quite jibe with other accounts I’d read. Where were the rivers of blood, the massacres, the slaughter that I’d read about? I checked in with Robert Spencer, writing in Frontpage Magazine and found that Wikipedia had skipped a few points:

On Tuesday, May 29, 1453, the armies of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II entered Constantinople, breaking through the defenses of a vastly outnumbered and indomitably courageous Byzantine force. Historian Steven Runciman notes what happened next: the Muslim soldiers “slew everyone that they met in the streets, men, women, and children without discrimination. The blood ran in rivers down the steep streets from the heights of Petra toward the Golden Horn. But soon the lust for slaughter was assuaged. The soldiers realized that captives and precious objects would bring them greater profit.” (The Fall of Constantinople 1453, Cambridge University Press, 1965, p. 145.)

It has come to be known as Black Tuesday, the Last Day of the World.

Some jihadists “made for the the small but splendid churches by the walls, Saint George by the Charisian Gate, Saint John in Petra, and the lovely church of the monastery of the Holy Saviour in Chora, to strip them of their stores of plate and their vestments and everything else that could be torn from them. In the Chora they left the mosaics and frescoes, but they destroyed the icon of the Mother of God, the Hodigitria, the holiest picture in all Byzantium, painted, so men said, by Saint Luke himself. It had been taken there from its own church beside the Palace at the beginning of the siege, that its beneficient presence might be at hand to inspire the defenders on the walls. It was taken from its setting and hacked into four pieces.” (P. 146.)

The jihadists also entered the Hagia Sophia, which for nearly a thousand years had been the grandest church in Christendom. The faithful had gathered within its hallowed walls to pray during the city’s last agony. The Muslims, according to Runciman, halted the celebration of Orthros (morning prayer); the priests, according to legend, took the sacred vessels and disappeared into the cathedral’s eastern wall, through which they shall return to complete the divine service one day. Muslim men then killed the elderly and weak and led the rest off into slavery.

So, when Wikipedia notes that the “The city had to be repopulated by a mixture of force and encouragement. “, it skipped over why such repopulation was necessary.

The atrocities perpetrated by the Muslim conquerors were nothing new to Islam. Back in Muhammed’s day they treated their victims much the same, as Andrew Bostom makes clear:

According to Muhammad’s sacralized biography by Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad himself sanctioned the massacre of the Qurayza, a vanquished Jewish tribe. He appointed an “arbiter” who soon rendered this concise verdict: the men were to be put to death, the women and children sold into slavery, the spoils to be divided among the Muslims. Muhammad ratified this judgment stating that it was a decree of God pronounced from above the Seven Heavens. Thus some 600 to 900 men from the Qurayza were lead on Muhammad’s order to the Market of Medina. Trenches were dug and the men were beheaded, and their decapitated corpses buried in the trenches while Muhammad watched in attendance. Women and children were sold into slavery, a number of them being distributed as gifts among Muhammad’s companions, and Muhammad chose one of the Qurayza women (Rayhana) for himself. The Qurayza’s property and other possessions (including weapons) were also divided up as additional “booty” among the Muslims, to support further jihad campaigns.

Roll foward to the early 20th century. The Ottoman Empire, in its death throes, committed genocide against Christian Armenians in its territory. The scale of the genocide has been overshadowed by that perpetrated by the Nazis against Jews, and also, faithful Christians who opposed Hitler. But it was one of the worst genocides in modern history, made worse by the fact that the perpetrators were never called to account, and deny it ever occured. Here’s Bostom again:

The genocide of the Armenians was a jihad. No rayas took part in it. Despite the disapproval of many Muslim Turks and Arabs, and their refusal to collaborate in the crime, these masssacres were perpetrated solely by Muslims and they alone profited from the booty: the victims’ property, houses, and lands granted to the muhajirun, and the allocation to them of women and child slaves. The elimination of male children over the age of twelve was in accordance with the commandments of the jihad and conformed to the age fixed for the payment of the jizya. The four stages of the liquidation- deportation, enslavement, forced conversion, and massacre- reproduced the historic conditions of the jihad carried out in the dar-al-harb from the seventh century on. Chronicles from a variety of sources, by Muslim authors in particular, give detailed descriptions of the organized massacres or deportation of captives, whose sufferings in forced marches behind the armies paralleled the Armenian experience in the twentieth century…”

These days Europeans are discussing the entry of Turkey, under the political system that committed the Armenian genocide, into the EU.

But then, the EU has been pumping money into the various Palestinian entities. Track the Palestinian cause back to WW2 and you find the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin el-Husseini, an enthustic supporter and recruiter for the Nazis. A Nobel Peace Prize winner has carried on the proud tradition of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem:

The PLO and notably Arafat himself do not make a secret of their source of inspiration. The Grand Mufti el-Husseini is venerated as a hero by the PLO. It should be noted, that the PLO’s top figure in east Jerusalem today, Faisal Husseini, is the grandson to the Führer’s Mufti. Arafat also considers the Grand Mufti a respected educator and leader, and in 1985 declared it an honor to follow in his footsteps. Little wonder. In 1951, a close relative of the Mufti named Rahman Abdul Rauf el-Qudwa el-Husseini matriculated to the University of Cairo. The student decided to conceal his true identity and enlisted as “Yasser Arafat.”

When it somes to Islam, the West should learn an important lesson: remember the history of the last 1600 years. It wasn’t pretty then and it isn’t pretty now. Islam was out to conquer us every one of those years. It hasn’t changed.

We will know Islam is civilized when Israel no longer fears for its existence. That day seems a long day coming.

New Sisyphus has the transcipt. Here’s a taste:

Let me give a small example of the wrong way of looking at things. It’s not life threatening, but if you don’t understand the philosophy that underpins it, it can become life threatening. In your nation and in mine, many people have acknowledged, and indeed even boasted, that immigration changes our country. For example, in Australia, and to a lesser extent in Canada, there are a lot of people who wish to replace the monarchy with a republic and there are respectable arguments for and against the monarchy. But the dangerous argument is the lazy line pedalled by too many politicians that in an Australia or a Canada of evolving immigration patterns, an immigrant from Moldova or China or Brazil or Saudi Arabia can’t be expected to relate to the Queen, to the existing constitutional system. Now try this line the next time you’re in Saudi Arabia: if you immigrate to Saudi Arabia and say ‘hey man, I just can’t relate to the House of Saud, and what’s with this Wahhabism, can’t we get a couple of sports bars with wet t-shirt nights every Thursday’? The Saudis would have a grand old laugh about it and then behead you. So when we accept that argument, in essence we’re explicitly promoting the principle of reverse assimilation; that immigration imposes not the obligation that the immigrant assimilate to his new land, but that his new land assimilate to him. And thereby lies great peril, not for the Queen, she’ll get by, but for a whole bunch of the rest of us. Multiculturalism makes a nation no more than a holding pen, its whole merely the sum of its parts.

Infidel Bloggers Alliance notes that Australian Federal Ministers are quite forthright in defending Australian values:

A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown.

Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. ”If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you”, he said on National Television.

Would that Bush and company would be so forthright. All is not well in Australia, however. In the state of Victoria, two Christian pastors are in trouble for critisizing Islam in what looks like a nasty attack on free speech hidden behind the sanctity of political correctness:

A Christian pastor ordered to apologise for vilifying Muslims says he will go to jail before he says sorry for his comments.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) deputy president Michael Higgins ordered the evangelical order, Catch the Fire, to apologise over statements made in a speech, comments on a website and in a newsletter.

In a landmark ruling by the tribunal, it found in favour of the Islamic Council of Victoria, which took the action against Catch the Fire and two of its pastors.

The comments made by members of the evangelical movement included that Muslims were liars and demons, they were planning to take over Australia and that Islam was inherently a violent religion.

The case was the first to be heard by VCAT since the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act took effect in Victoria at the start of 2002.

Outside the tribunal, the church leader and unsuccessful senate candidate for the Family First party in last year’s federal election, Danny Nalliah, described his group as martyrs and said he would go to jail before apologising.

“Right from the inception, we have said that this law is a foul law, this law is not a law which brings unity,” Pastor Nalliah said about Victoria’s vilification laws.

“It causes disunity and as far as we are concerned right from the beginning we have stated we will not apologise. We will go to prison for standing for the truth and not sacrifice our freedom and freedom to speak.”

If the US withdraws from Iraq under any condition other than the complete defeat of the Islamic nutjobs and Baathist hold-outs then the Muslim world would claim a great victory over the Great Satan. The momentum would shift to the terrorists because they will have demonstrated that terrorism works and that the US has no stomach for a war.

The last thing the enemy would do is settle down and live peacefully with us, as the Vietnamese eventually did. No, they would claim victory in Allah’s name and push the fight into every corner of the globe. The enemy has figured that out. That’s why they are still terrorizing Iraq. I rather doubt the Democrats understand the impact if the US is seen to lose in Iraq.

The jihadists aren’t fussy about where they commit mass murder. But one thing really gets their juices flowing: the presence of Infidel forces on Muslim lands. They will go to any lengths to expel the Infidels, including inciting Shiite/Sunni civil war, mass murdering civilians, beheading captured infidels, and destroying any progress towards civilization.

Iraq has sucked them in like blowfies to a dead camel. If the dead camel hadn’t been there, where would those blowflies be? Flitting around the civilized world cooking up more 9/11’s. Israel annoys them big time. Having the Great Satan sitting in Iraq makes them insane. So they will focus all their resources on expelling the Great Satan from the Muslim heartland. Funny thing is, Sunnis and Shiites both want the Great Satan gone. And they are killing each other to make the Great Satan go away. Who said blowflies were smart?

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