Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Doing the War on Terror Differently II: Electric Boogaloo

Since our servers seem to be more down than up these days, and since I don't know if I'll have any time to blog in the near future (site-meter be damned!), I've decided to go ahead and commit several of the 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging.

Notice how I artfully combine sins #1-3 all in the same post. All those years spent in Evil Graduate School are beginning to pay off! But since this is an updated re-post, thanks to the many suggestions given by my loyal minions, I'm counting this as a venal rather than mortal sin.

I'll see you in Purgatory!
----------------------------
John Kerry and supporters claim they "support the War-on-Terror, but think it should be done differently."

When asked to clarify what differently means, they say, "You know, different."

By different I assume they mean one of two things:

1) The same, only John Kerry doing it.
or
2) Different, only not actually fighting the War-on-Terror.

Well Frank J. finally comes up with a different solution that I wholly endorse. I'm sure that if Al Gore had been President, rather than Shrimp-Chub-Bush, than such forward-looking technology would have been fully implemented and the terrorists' plans foiled.

Other possible ways of fighting the War-on-Terror differently?

My crack team at the Ministry of Propaganda focused grouped leading leftist intellectuals, and came up with the following concrete plans to defeat terrorism:
The Delta Team option. Yeah, that Chuck Norris can really kick ass. Not the Walker Chuck Norris. The other one.

The A Team defense. Note: Stock up on super-secret knock-out pills for BA before executing.

The 007 plan. Going mano-i-mano with with the evil genius, Dr. bin Laden. Lot's of sex, but only the PG-13 kind.

The Goonies tactic. Ignored misfits battle al-Qaida while adults are oblivious.

The Rambo II idea. Sorry. We already used that one in Afghanistan. My bad. These things only work once.

The Red Dawn crusade. Same as the Goonies tactic, only planned by John Hughes and executed by leading teen heart-throbs.

The Jack Ryan effect. No! Not Ben Affleck. You think Affleck could single-handedly defeat terror? That's crazy talk. Harrison Ford. Definitely Harrison Ford.

The Jackie Chan device. As per EEOC rules, a black sidekick will be provided.

The ID-4 program. Al Qaeda joins forces with the UN to fight invading alien menace. No, not the aliens Jimmy Carter saw. You know, the real ones.

The Adam Sandler gimmick. We didn't like this one either, but the focus group thought that he must have some national security value. Why else would his face be on all the buses if not to ward off an attack?

The Wargames plan: Engaging terrorists in a neverending game of tic-tac-toe. Eventually, they learn the valuable lesson that in war, no-one wins. (via Legal XXX)

The Real Genius plan: Brilliant, yet loveably wacky, students infiltrate a top secret military base and pull an AWESOME prank on their nogoodnik professor, who obviously is an Al Qaeda operative. NOTE: this plan requries lots and lots of popcorn. (via Legal XXX)

The MacGyver manouver: We track down the terrorists using a GPS system made from an old transistor radio, a GameBoy, and a TV remote, cobbled together using only our Swiss Army Knives and a pack of Wrigley's. (via Brian B.)

Operation Breakfast Club: Get a stoner, a jock, a princess, a dork, and a social reject and assemble them in an Afghani library. Then tell them that Bender's dope is in Osama's underpants and let the war on terror begin. (via MB2)

The Debbie Does Dallas design: Does the plot really matter?
Have an idea on how to win the War on Terror differently? E-mail me.

Why I Hate Government

Yes, I work for a state-run university. Our internet connection has been down for days.

Last Friday they tried to blame it on an internet worm.

Monday they sent out an e-mail saying it was a problem with a new on-campus server.

Yesterday they tried to blame an off-site switch run by the state.

I am still waiting for today's excuse. I just hope I can post something before it goes down again.

Not that working for a state-run institution is to blame for any one problem.

Working for the state simply means that those responsible for the problems won't get fired, and then the problems will simply repeat themselves over and over.

This is why I hate the government today: civil-service tenure.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

The Seven Deadly Sins of Blogging

You miss a day blogging. No time for a serious hard-hitting post. Hits are down. What do you do? Engage in the blogosphere's oldest vice: Link dropping!!!

But that's just one of the mortal vices of blogging. What are the others?

Rusty Shackleford presents: The Seven Deadly Sins of Blogging: a brief guide.*

1) The Link Drop Post: Steven Taylor and I prove kindrid souls on this one. Don't think this one works? Do you actually believe Glenn Reynolds was born Satan's right-hand man or had to work on it?

2) Search Terms Post: Google not treating you right? BRD has a full discourse on the merits of porn and conspiracy theories. Sure fire way to up the ol' sitemeter .....and send your soul right to Beelzebub's dominion.

3) The Re-post Post: Had a popular post in the past? Hits down? Ace re-introduces us to one of his greatest hit-jobs. Remember, this sin sometimes counts double.

4) The Blogroll Post: Get bloggers attention fast! The Llama Butchers are ordered to do 5 Hail Mary's and an Our Father for jeapordizing their immortal souls.

5) The Breaking News Post: The blogger ethos requires a link to the first person breaking the story. MH King, Amanda Doerty, Jeff Quinton, James....I say to you repent!!

6) The Caption Contest Post: Win the caption, get a link. See how this works? This sin seems to be reserved for Fridays. Shame on you Kevin!

7) The Recipricol Link Post: Want to up your TTLB Ecosystem rating? Easy. Start an 'Alliance' of 'like-minded bloggers' to recipricate links. (via Commissar) Jessica and Boi From Troi are warned that this mortal sin will not go unpunished!!

In the Name of He Who Rules the Blogosphere I Warn All of You to Repent! Any other Bloggers who engage in these sins have been forwarned. Hell-fire and brimstone await if you do not change your wicked ways!

*Mia Culpa. Yes, I have been guilty of all these vile acts in the past. I have seen the light! I once was lost, but now I'm saved.....

Friday, June 25, 2004

Server Down

Hear that sound? That's the sound of me ripping my eyeballs out. The servers are all down around here. No posts today. Agghhhh!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Doing The War on Terror Differently...

John Kerry and supporters claim they "support the War-on-Terror, but think it should be done differently."

When asked to clarify what differently means, they say, "You know, different."

By different I assume they mean one of two things:

1) The same, only John Kerry doing it.
or
2) Different, only not actually fighting the War-on-Terror.

Well Frank J. finally comes up with a different solution that I wholly endorse. I'm sure that if Al Gore had been President, rather than Shrimp-Chub-Bush, than such forward-looking technology would have been fully implemented and the terrorists' plans foiled.

Other possible ways of fighting the War-on-Terror differently?

My crack team at the Ministry of Propaganda focused grouped leading leftist intellectuals, and came up with the following concrete plans to defeat terrorism:
The Delta Team option. Yeah, that Chuck Norris can really kick ass. Not the Walker Chuck Norris. The other one.

The A Team defense. Note: Stock up on super-secret knock-out pills for BA before executing.

The 007 plan. Going mano-i-mano with with the evil genius, Dr. bin Laden. Lot's of sex, but only the PG-13 kind.

The Goonies tactic. Ignored misfits battle al-Qaida while adults are oblivious.

The Rambo II idea. Sorry. We already used that one in Afghanistan. My bad. These things only work once.

The Red Dawn crusade. Same as the Goonies tactic, only planned by John Hughes and executed by leading teen heart-throbs.

The Jack Ryan effect. No! Not Ben Affleck. You think Affleck could single-handedly defeat terror? That's crazy talk. Harrison Ford. Definitely Harrison Ford.

The Jackie Chan device. As per EEOC rules, a black sidekick will be provided.

The ID-4 program. Al Qaeda joins forces with the UN to fight invading alien menace. No, not the aliens Jimmy Carter saw. You know, the real ones.

The Adam Sandler gimmick. We didn't like this one either, but the focus group thought that he must have some national security value. Why else would his face be on all the buses if not to ward off an attack?

The Wargames plan: Engaging terrorists in a neverending game of tic-tac-toe. Eventually, they learn the valuable lesson that in war, no-one wins. (via Legal XXX)

The Real Genius plan: Brilliant, yet loveably wacky, students infiltrate a top secret military base and pull an AWESOME prank on their nogoodnik professor, who obviously is an Al Qaeda operative. NOTE: this plan requries lots and lots of popcorn. (via Legal XXX)

The MacGyver manouver: We track down the terrorists using a GPS system made from an old transistor radio, a GameBoy, and a TV remote, cobbled together using only our Swiss Army Knives and a pack of Wrigley's. (via Brian B.)
Have an idea on how to win the War on Terror differently? E-mail me.

Kim Sun-il Beheading Video Released

Backcountry Conservative just notified me that the video of Kim Sun-il being beheaded has been released.

Via Wizbang comes word that the vid is posted at a couple of pretty bad porn sites. Go to Wizbang for the links as they are not safe for work.

Amanda Doerty has pics from the video.

UPDATE: BRD of Anticipatory Retaliation has a direct link to the video. I recommend clicking from his blog rather than going to Ogrish that site. I just have this thing about spiking the sitemeter of a place where beastiality is a theme. Call me odd like that...

Why do you need to see the pics?

Because they will make you mad.

Very mad.

They will stiffen your resolve to fight this war.

They will remind you why we must win.

If you are not outraged. If these pictures lessen your resolve to fight, please move to Spain. We don't want you here.

Word of the Day

The word of the day is sycophancy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

FWS Takes Moonbats Off Endangered Species List

Bill at INDC goes undercover for the Fish and Wildlife Service only to discover that Moonbats are no longer an endangered species.

Don't drink milk while reading.

Note to Bill: You've got the translation all wrong.

This particular dialect of Jawa reads: "I had Peter Fonda in me."

Operation Shoe Fly

Simon has agreed to give money to Operation Shoe Fly for every additional click he gets. How can you help? Simply click this link. That's it. No strings attached.

PS-If you are a new blogger, he is also hosting the New Blog Showcase.

Double-lizzle PS-Big things afoot here. BIG THINGS. Special thanks to BRD for extending the first invite, and to Simon for relentlessly pushing the issue. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Saddam Letter Exclusive

From our vast army of paid Imperial informants, comes news of an intercepted letter from Saddam Hussein. Military censors have blacked out all but 17 words. Using a secret Sith mind trick, Rusty Shackleford has been able to piece together the missing 9 lines.

Uncensored quotes are in bold. Data gleaned from the dark-side of the force are in italics:

In the name of God the Merciful,
What up G-Dawgs?
Did the crime, doing the time. I can handle it. I'm hard.
The food is aight, but what's up with all the pork?
As a new disciple of Elijah Muhammad, I no-longer eat the White Devil's food.
This one gaurd tried to get a piece of my action. When she pulled out a dog leash,
I was like, "Yo-yo, step back girl before I go Halabja on your ass." Jew Bitch.

To my small family and my big family, salaam alekum.
How is Bufay's diet coming along? Atkins might help.
How is al-Zarqawi doing with my plans? Operation Ichabod Crane?
Anyhoo, at least we have my buddy in-Laden-beh (wink) to keep things moving.

As for my spirit and my morale, they are high, thanks to greatness of God.
And say hello to everyone.

XOXOXO-Saddam Hussein
________________________________________
On a serious note, James at OTB makes a good point that needs to be reemphasized:
Certainly, that fact that he’s able to write letters indicates that he’s being treated far better than he deserves.
Indeed.

Germany edges out Arkansas in per capita GDP

I'd say this calls for some cowbell, only this other dude has the market cornered. (hat tip MikeO)

Korean Kim Sun-il Beheaded

UPDATE: 10 More Hostages Face Innevetable Death.

News from our Religion of Peas desk: Kim Sun-il Dead (hat tip Backcountry Conservative)

This Post to be Updated Frequently:
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - An Iraqi militant group has beheaded its South Korean hostage, Al-Jazeera television reported Tuesday.
From the WaPo:
Kim was shown in the videotape kneeling, blindfolded and wearing an orange jumpsuit similar to those issued to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The tape showed five hooded men standing behind Kim, one reading a statement and gesturing with his right hand. Another captor had a big knife slipped in his belt.

The video as broadcast did not show Kim being executed.

Al-Jazeera said the video claimed the execution was carried out by the al Qaeda-linked group Monotheism and Jihad.
Lest you forget, Monotheism and Jihad is the group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the man who brought you such beheadings as Nick Berg....
Kim's kidnappers had initially threatened to kill him at sundown Monday unless South Korea canceled a troop deployment to Iraq. The Seoul government rejected the demand, standing firm with plans to dispatch 3,000 soldiers starting in August.
South Korea receives the prestigious "We're Not Spain" Award for not caving in to terrorist demands.

Kim Sun-il, may your soul rest in peace and may your killers rot in hell.

James Joyner has links to the blog reactions. As always, the Command Post will bring you news as it breaks. Jeff Quinton is also a good resource. When the pictures surface, I'm sure Kevin at Wizbang will be first to notify us.

From Jeff Quinton: U.S. forces have found his body west of Baghdad per Fox News.
From LA's Channel 7 website:
The man's body was found by the U.S. military between Baghdad and Fallujah, west of the capital.
Is it just me, or could this be seen as evidence that al-Zarqawi had killed Kim previous to the deadline they gave the South Koreans? Also, many have speculated that Kim was held hostage in Fallujah. Yes, let's negotiate with these people.

Retaliation update: Possible Good News
The United States launched an airstrike Tuesday in Fallujah on a safehouse used by followers of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi-- the second strike against the terror network in three days, the U.S. military said.
Don't Blame Islam Mmmm-kay Update: Amanda Doerty writes one the stupidest things I've ever seen written by someone I'm linked to:
But I do hope we all remember that the people who did this do not represent the beliefs of Islam or of all people in the Middle East. Most of them are probably just as apalled as us--they're just more used to seeing it happen to people they know. There are extremists in most every religion or belief system out there. The problem is not any particular ideology; the problem is any version of any ideology that does not respect life and individual liberties, and would have those who hold it use physical force against others to make them adhere to it.
Yes, that's why those extremist Buddhists are always...wait a sec.

Perhaps she should read this Religion of Peas and Beheadings Update via James at OTB:
Afghan soldiers beheaded four Taliban fighters after guerrillas cut off the heads of an Afghan interpreter for U.S.-led forces and an Afghan soldier, a government commander said on Tuesday.
Hmmm, let's see....that's, what, 6 heads cut off in one day?

Or how about this poll as translated by the folks at the World's Most Alarmist Website:
22 June 2004 - IslamToday.net poll shows 91% support and approve of the Johnson beheading
Of course, that is an unscientific poll....mind you.

Bomb Al Jazeera Now Update: From their English website which is notorious for toning down their rhetoric:
A South Korean translator working for a company that supplies equipment to US occupation forces in Iraq has been executed after a deadline set by his captors passed.
Notice how Kim Sung Il is linked to the US occupation, thus justifying him as a legitimate target?
In a videotape received by Aljazeera, the resistance group Jamat al-Tawhid and Jihad said it was fulfilling a pledge it made yesterday that the 33-old-year South Korean translator Kim Sun-Il would be beheaded if their demands were not met by South Korean government.
Yes. They wrote 'resistance group'.

Why You Need to See & Hear Update: Misha say's it well:
His Imperial Majesty was unfortunate enough to hear a soundtrack of Mr. Sun-il pleading for his life while his cowardly, ragheaded follower of a pedophile captors were threatening to saw his head off.

In our opinion, that recording should be played over and over again to remind us all of the nature of the pigs that we're fighting, but it won't happen.
Amen, brotha. Amen.

Please see my Discurssive of Terrorism: Or, How Chomsky Killed Paul Johnson for a more thorough explanation of why I think you should see these gruesome images. You think you're mad now? After you see you will feel worse. Rage is the appropriate response.

Why Putin Loves Bush

Q) Why did Putin endorse Bush? A) Chechnya. Putin Orders Military to Find, Destroy Chechen Insurgents

Do you think it only a coincidence that this offensive comes only a week after Putin reveals information that bolsters Bush's Iraq claims? Bush sees Chechnya as part of the larger War on Terror, Kerry does not. Speaking from first-hand experience, Chechnya is a big deal in Russia.

Countries do not have friends. Countries have interests.

Misleading Adjectives Watch

Misleading adjectives watch: a brief guide (with apologies to Bill at INDC).

Gordon, the Cranky Neocon, reminded me of the endless possibilities created in yesterday's post. And even though BRD would like to see the adjective mounting used to it's fullest potential, other words also come to mind.

Feel free to add your suggestions. As per EEOC rules, adverbs and nouns accepted.

1) casualties mounting - No Lazarus effect. Total casualties increase by definition.

2) national debt rising - What, no chapter 11 for the Feds? Even if the deficit was $1, the national debt would increase.

3) costs increasing - And if you add 1 + 2, you get 3. Genius.

4) firebrand cleric - Jerry Falwell, right? (from Cranky Neocon)

5) moderate cleric - eg, Mussolini was a moderate fascist.

6)presumptive nominee - Because 1/1,000,000,000,000 is still a chance. (from Cranky Neocon)

7) hardline regime - Doesn't using the word regime to describe a country's government pretty much say it all?

8) moderate regime - Same as #7--only they're our SOBs.

9) Bush regime - Saddam...Bush...six of one, half a dozen of the other.

10) al Qaeda links - Bush regime lying that Saddam planned 9/11.

11) al Qaeda ties - No links to Saddam as the Bush regime would like you to believe.

12) rogue regime - See, #7--only any country that is not the UN's biyatch. (idea stolen from Ace of Spades)

13) executed hostage - Prisoners are executed. Hostages are murdered. (idea stolen from Balloon Juice via Backcountry Conservative)

Monday, June 21, 2004

BS Alert

When is a phrase stupid? When the phrase is a truism that is used to bolster a spurious argument.

Here's what I mean.

Pat Buchanan in today's WND (hat tip Grimey):
Yet, now we have 138,000 soldiers there, with casualties mounting, the cost rising and the hostility to America's presence growing
Ok, am I the only one to see the problem here? I have noticed the same phraseology used over and over again in the unbiased press.

What is wrong with this? casualties mounting

Unless people are coming back to life, then by definition casualties always mount.

The way the phrase is used is to imply that things are steadily getting worse, but the phrase itself means nothing of the sort. For instance, if 599 people died last year but only one died this year I could rightly say, "Casualties are mounting."

Why/ Because 600 is greater than 599, even though there may be a dramatic decline in the rate of casualties. If we are looking at total deaths, this is true.

The same is true of this phrase: cost rising

Costs always rise. If we spend one dollar this year, and 500 billion last year, the costs rise. If we are looking at total dollars spent, this is true.

Rising and lowering all depend on one very important assumption: the baseline used for comparison. Depending on which baseline you choose, you will get very different outcomes.

So, next time these types of phrases are used to describe any one of the following, please, put your BS detector on and be careful what you believe: budget deficit, debt, casualties, support, hostility, trade imbalances, employment, inflation, etc.

APSA Panel on Anti-Semitism

It's funny, because it's true. The thing is, I think I went to a panel just like this at the last American Political Science Association meeting I went to. I once had to sit through one paper on how the Earth Liberation Front was the vangaurd of the coming revolution. No joke.

Chomsky kills Paul Johnson, Part Deux

You think my earlier rant on the use of language was whacko?

*sigh*

From the I hate being right department comes this news (via Drudge). Notice the words used to describe Johnson, not as a non-combatant, but as a man involved in the murder of children. Noam Chomsky believes the same thing:
In an article posted Sunday on a Web site used by Islamic radicals, Abdulaziz al-Moqrin called Johnson "an infidel, a warrior of the military."

Johnson, who had worked on Apache helicopters for Lockheed Martin in Saudi Arabia, "works for military aviation and he belongs to the American army, which kills, tortures and harms Muslims everywhere, which supports enemies (of Islam) in Palestine, Philippines, Kashmir," al-Moqrin wrote.

The article, posted on the Web site "Sout al-Jihad," or "Voice of Holy War," was written after the kidnapping but apparently before Johnson was killed on Friday.

Al-Moqrin replied to critics urging the release of Johnson, saying: "Do those people want to see this infidel carry on the killing of the children and the raping of the women in Baghdad and Kabul?"
The thing is, I think it is reasonable to assume that al Moqrin actually believes this. If you watch al Jazeera, if Edward Said was the source of your information, or if you read 'moderate' Arabic newspapers than you would also believe this. The American military kills, rapes, tortures, and oppresses everywhere they go.

Mickey Mouse on Al Jazeera

From the better late than never file come two notable posts that my crazy wacko theories on the value of propaganda during war are starting to gain an audience.

First, according to Allah there was a time when working for the Disney corporation meant more than enjoying the benefits of gay-marriage. My own thoughts on the video were posted here a couple of weeks ago. Why should you buy the collection of Disney WWII propaganda films?
All in all, worth getting. If only to remember a time when Hollywood took sides during a war.
I think I have been saying this, since, um, like my very first real post here:
In a real war, against real enemies, we need some good old fashioned, sweet down-home, funny, bigotted propoganda. Tell me, what would the "greatest generation" think of liberal wusses cringing at words like "kraut" and "nip"? Remember all those great bugs-bunny cartoons demonizing the Nazis? "Nazis is zee craziest people!" Rip-roaring fun with a message: the enemy is real and we are better than they.
Second, James Joyner points out that my literal calls for blowing up al Jazeera are beginning to get some attention in the mainstream press. According to James:
The mere fact that al-Jazeera calls itself a news organization does not make it so. Stopping them from broadcasting enemy propaganda isn’t the same as trampling free speech.
I have been saying since day one that al Jazeera must be treated as an enemy, however on one major point James gets it wrong. Stopping al Jazeera is trampling on free speech. It is the very definition of trampling on free speech. But that's just it. Free speech cannot exist in a time of war.

When we declare war we are declaring an end to all the niceties of peace. If we can legitimately take away our enemies lives in combat, then certainly we can take away their right to speak out against us. See this post for a more lengthy argument see my post 'State of War'.

Deepest Sympathy

Thomas, the force behind Rumcrook's Tavern, has some very sad news. His wife passed away. All I can say is that I'm sad. Very sad. My heart goes out to you and yours.

Please include him and his family in your prayers.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The Discurssive of Terrorism: Or, How Noam Chomsky Killed Paul Johnson

Images matter. Words matter. Context matters.

Words create the context by which we interpret images.

Have you seen the pictures of Paul Johnson? I urge you to grit your teeth and look. It will affect you emotionally. It will fill you with righteous indignation.

Have you seen the pictures of the dead Abdulaziz al-Moqrin, the man who killed Paul Johnson? I urge you to grit your teeth and look. It will affect you emotionally. It will make you happy.

Two photos of two dead men. One makes you angry, the other happy.

Why?

Context.

Now imagine the photo of Paul Johnson again. You know nothing of him, nothing of the events surrounding his death. You are also a Muslim. Under the photo is the following caption:
Enemy of Islam killed for his role in the murder of Muslims by Apache helicopters.
Would that make you feel differently about his death?

Now imagine the photo of Abdulaziz al-Moqrin again. You know nothing of him, nothing of the events surrounding his death. You are also a Muslim. Under the photo is the following caption:
Holy warrior murdered by Imperialist forces.
Would that make you feel differently about his death?

Context makes a world of difference in your emotional response to the same events. Context is intimately connected to the words we use.

So how does any of this relate to Noam Chomsky? You can't really believe Noam Chomsky is responsible for Paul Johnson's murder, do you?

No. Noam Chomsky is used here as a symbol of a discourse. This is a discourse, a way of speaking, in which terms such as imperialism, neo-colonialism, and crusaderism are used to describe America to the rest of the world. It is a discourse which suggests that Israel is a colonial puppet of America in the Middle East. It is a discourse which suggests that the Middle East is under attack from America. It is the discourse that is to blame.

Noam Chomsky is only to blame for that portion of the discourse which he propogates by the language he uses. The discoure is much larger than Noam Chomsky.

The words we use matter. Via Allah (hat tip Cameron Wood) comes this bit of context from CNN:
Almost half of all Saudis said in a poll conducted last year that they have a favorable view of Osama bin Laden's sermons and rhetoric
Osama bin Laden and the discourses of the Left have many differences. But in the language they use to describe the world, we find striking similarities. Take out all the stuff about Allah, and you find that the differences become relatively meaningless.

This is from bin Laden:
Our nation [ed note: umma meaning the collective of Muslims and Muslim countries] has been tasting this humiliation and contempt for more than 80 years.

Its sons are being killed, its blood is being shed, its holy places are being attacked, and it is not being ruled according to what God has decreed.
Secular translation: Muslim nations are under attack by imperialist forces and suffer under the brutal hand of colonialism.

See Chomsky's view of US colonialism here. Are there major differences in the language they use?

How brutal is the US, according to bin Laden?
One million Iraqi children have thus far died in Iraq although they did not do anything wrong.
Why did they die? The cause is the US.

Tell me how Noam Chomsky fundamentally disagrees with this? Here is his view of who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq.

On the Palestinian question? Bin Laden:
Israeli tanks and tracked vehicles also enter to wreak havoc in Palestine, in Jenin, Ramallah, Rafah, Beit Jala, and other Islamic areas and we hear no voices raised or moves made.
An interview posted at "USCRUSADE" with Chomsky. Are there major differences in outlook?

Now, suppose all the images you see of dead terrorists in Palestine are juxtaposed with the words used by Chomsky or by Islamic fundamentalists like bin Laden. Would you agree with this statement from bin Laden?
The least that one can describe these people [Americans] is that they are morally depraved.

They champion falsehood, support the butcher against the victim, the oppressor against the innocent child.

May God mete them the punishment they deserve.
If the world was as the Left described it, wouldn't it be just to attack America?

In WWII the US routinely bombed factories engaged in the production of war material. This was just.

If the Saudi government is a tool of American Imperialism, if helicopters are used by that government to oppress Muslims, if Paul Johnson was working for the forces of imperialism to oppress Muslims, then why should his death be seen as anything more than just recompense? Here are the words of the terrorists who killed Paul Johnson, as posted at Talk Left:
This infidel [Paul Johnson] received his fair punishment in this world before moving to the other world. He got to taste some of what the Muslims suffered from the Apache American helicopters that grilled them with their fire flames, embers, and missiles. The American infidel was one of four people in charge of the maintenance and system development of those helicopters.
If this is your worldview, if these are the words you use to describe the world, at best you will say you disagree with the means, but not necessarily the ends. You will claim that Paul Johnson's death was tragic, but no more tragic than that of Abdulaziz al-Moqrin.

From bin Laden:
As for the United States, I tell it and its people these few words: I swear by Almighty God who raised the heavens without pillars that neither the United States nor he who lives in the United States will enjoy security before we can see it as a reality in Palestine and before all the infidel armies leave the land of Mohammed
The Left is in fundamental agreement with bin Laden. The US is an imperialist force. The US is the great oppressor of our age.

The discourse runs deeper, though. Much deeper. Describing the US as an Imperialist aggressor permeates all aspects of Muslim discourse. It is prominent even in quarters that reject bin Ladenism. From an article in Islam-Online, on the recent announcement to launch another Islamic satellite station:
The scholar said the project is part of efforts to counter the "colonial war" against Muslims, bearing in mind its economic, social, military and religious repercussions.
For an even deeper account of the narrative used by both the Left and Terrorist sympathizers, scan this website. Do you think it a mere coincidence that an image [see left column] of a Middle Eastern man, sword in hand, is stomping on an American flag is right next to a promotion for Michael Moore's new movie?

The reason that so many Leftist intellectuals are cited is because there is a community forged when the same words are used to describe the same events. Even when one rejects terrorism as an unjust means, the language which shapes the context of conflict in the Middle East is the same. There is a reason Noam Chomsky is routinely cited as a source of authority for those that oppose the US presence in the Middle East. It is the same reason why Americans find it difficult to gain cooperation from the Iraqi population, or that Saudi Arabia finds in gaining the cooperation of it's own citizens. There is a shared view, between the Left and between terrorist sympathizers, of the Americans as oppressors. This view is the product of images plus a dialogue that describes those images in such a way as to produce an emotional response akin to what I felt when I saw what happened to Paul Johnson.

Saudi Arabia is mounting a campaign to reduce support for terrorists: (via the Commissar):
The Saudi government's intense public relations campaign to discourage people from supporting extremists isn't swaying some of its citizens, who still consider the militants heroes despite appeals from Muslim religious leaders.
But how can the Saudi government simultaneously try to discourage support for barbarisms against Americans while simutaneously propogating a discourse that describes the American occupation of Iraq as leading to the death of 13,000 innocent civillians? If America is guilty as charged, if America is the cause, then why not fight Americans wherever they may be found?

The words we use matter. The words we use create context. Context matters.

The next time you hear an academic use words like colonialism or imperialsm, the next time you hear an intellectual use words that suggest America as the cause of so much suffering in the world, the next time a Leftist speaks of the death of children at the hands of America, don't let them go unchallenged. Remind them of the consequences of their words.

Loose lips may not always sink ships, but they do create the context in which it becomes easier to justify sinking ships.

Loose lips create context. Context, may indeed, sink ships.

Islamic Debate

(Scroll to next post for Paul Johnson updates)

As an update on my earlier post Al Falluja Squadron 'Violates Islam', Beheads Paul Johnson, I offer the following moral dilemma: Should Muslims make the entire Arabian Peninsula infidel free? Or should they just kill all who dare enter the region around the two holy cities?

Hmmmm....this is a toughie.

From the Religion of Peas desk comes word via Jihad Watch of this debate in the Strait Times. As a sidenote, there is a deafening silence coming out of leading Christian seminaries on just how we ought to expel all non-beleivers. Also, the Dali Lama continues to avoid the pressing issue of how best to force all non-Buddhists into submission:
The fatwa [see two posts down] was attacked by a number of readers who said all foreigners came to the kingdom with bad intentions, acting as the vanguard for the US military.

'Whoever gives them security is an apostate,' read one posting.

Others scoffed at the idea that an official visa somehow bestowed legitimacy on visitors.

'Who gave them the visa? It is the infidel agent regime,' read one posting in part.

'So I tell the mujahideen to keep killing them until the Arabian peninsula is cleared of the filth of the crusaders.'

Others suggested that the militants try to convert Westerners to Islam rather than killing them, because that way they would be spared from going to hell, and the image of the faith around the world would not be so tainted with blood.

One religious leader, identified as Abdel Rahman bin Saleh al-Mahmoud, said Prophet Muhammad's followers had commanded that all non-believers be expelled from the Arabian peninsula.

But it has never been clear, he wrote, whether that includes just the holy city of Mecca or some larger area. In addition, foreigners visited at the time of the Prophet, he noted, it was just the idea of permanent communities that was abhorrent.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Oh...My...God....Yes, Anger is the Appropriate Emotional Response

UPDATE: Why do you need to see? Because there is something in the human psyche that requires visual confirmation. There is something emotionally real about seeing. Remember Abu Ghraib? It wasn't until after the photos were released that a back page story became the outrage of the nation.

You 'remember' 9/11, but you do not have the same emotional response that you once had.

You need to see because you need to be reminded of the emotions you felt on 9/11.

Pics (Scroll down page) of Paul Johnson here (via M.H. King).
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OUTRAGE!

Look at the images.

Force yourself if you must.

Think about what you are seeing.

Feel the anger.

This is what justified anger feels like.

This is the appropriate emotional response.

Remember this feeling.

This is why we fight.

UPDATE: Backcountry Conservative is keeping a running list of blog responses to the news. Good resource.

James at OTB is also running updates on the story

UPDATE: Drudge has pics.

UPDATE: Drudge seems to be slow. Kevin at Wizbang has backup photos 1, 2, 3 (Warning: clicking will take you directly to pics)

6/19 UPDATE #1: GOT ONE!!! I would have slept much better last night had I heard about this before I went home for the evening. Via Grand Vizier:
Saudi security forces killed the kingdom's top al Qaeda leader Abdulaziz al-Muqrin and two other militants on Friday shortly after the group beheaded U.S. engineer Paul Johnson, a senior security source said.
6/19 UPDATE #2: Via the incredibly talented Joe Gandelman who is guest blogging over at Dean's World, comes this link to a new site on my radar screen. Betsy Newmark says what a lot of us have been thinking:
Is it just me or does it strike you that the fact that Saudi Arabia could so quickly kill the lead Al Qaeda terrorist in their country? Do you think they could find these guys so quickly is because they know exactly who they are and have tolerated their presence in the country until now when it is finally dawning on them that it is not good for their own economy to have foreigners scared to be in the country? Just wondering.
Media Dhimmitude Watch


OUTRAGE UPDATE: There is a fifth column in our midst. NY Times characterization:
The militants holding Mr. Johnson threatened on Tuesday to put him to death within 72 hours unless the Saudi authorities released hundreds of their comrades being held in jail
Why did the 'militants' kill Paul Johnson?
Resentment toward the United States has intensified in the Middle East in recent weeks with the disclosures that Iraqi prisoners were mistreated by American jailers.
DOUBLE OUTRAGE UPDATE: Or, why we need to bomb al Jazeera. I'm not kidding:
Johnson was seized last weekend by Saudi dissidents who promised to kill him by Friday if the kingdom did not release its al-Qaida prisoners...

The statement said al-Qaida had killed him because of "what Muslims have suffered from American Apache aircraft and their rockets".

"This act is to heal the hearts of believers in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula."

Al Falluja Squadron 'Violates Islam', Beheads Paul Johnson

RIP Paul Johnson. Two stories which show the inherent contradictions embedded in Islamic culture.

CNN story via Dean's World. Notice the name of the cell that killed Johnson:
Three chilling photographs on an Islamist Web site appear to show the beheaded body of American hostage Paul Johnson, who was kidnapped a week ago by Islamic militants connected with al Qaeda.

Abdel Aziz Al-Muqrin, the self-proclaimed military leader of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, claimed responsibility for Johnson's kidnapping and the death of another American on the same day on behalf of a group called the Al Falluja Squadron.
Now juxtapose what was done vs. what is said. Will a fatwa be issued against the al Falluja squadron in the same way that fatwa's are routinely issued against secular Muslims?

Notice, from the following article about a letter from a Muslim friend of Johnson condemning the kidnapping, that killing Johnson is only bad because 1) he was under Muslim protection 2) he apparently hated the US. I guess there's nothing wrong with killing an infidel who loves America? From the Guardian:
In the letter, posted on several Arabic-language websites, the colleague quoted a saying attributed to the prophet Mohammed: "If they were granted (Muslim) protection, then killing them or taking their money or harming them is forbidden."

"I declare that I pledged to protect this man," the colleague wrote, warning that if the kidnappers violated the prophet's injunction, "I will never forgive you. I will curse you in all my prayers."

The writer of the letter, identified by a pseudonym, al-Mu'min ("the believer"), described himself as a colleague and close friend of Mr Johnson, who worked for the US defence corporation Lockheed Martin in Riyadh.

A Saudi-owned TV channel, al-Arabiya, told Associated Press yesterday that it had been in contact with al-Mu'min, apparently by email. In the letter, al-Mu'min said Mr Johnson had expressed opposition to US foreign policy and was interested in converting to Islam.

"I swear to God that once he said to me in public - in a popular restaurant in Riyadh: 'I hate my country's politics. I am interested in Islam. If I convert, I will go and live with my wife in East Asia," al-Mu'min wrote. Mr Johnson's wife is from Thailand. Al-Mu'min said he often invited Mr Johnson home for a family meal and gave him books containing translations from the Koran and Islamic preachers...

Statements attacking al-Mu'min's letter also appeared on websites yesterday. In one, a writer using the name Hael Spring urged the kidnappers to kill Mr Johnson and "send the beefy head of this infidel to the one who wrote this letter".


UPDATE: Jane has a good discussion of the intra-Islamic debates on just how infidel free the Arabian Peninsula ought to become.

The Ivory Tower

Fun with real IM conversations. From my buddy who teaches at a semi-decent private university on a book he assigns to his class:
buddy: it's way long with a tiny font. I used it to cap off my year-long freshman seminar.

mypetjawa: sweet. wait. you read books in class?

buddy: yeah, it's honors so they buy the books and then I read it to them

Letter from Osama bin Laden...

...from the mouth of Cooper for President:
Hi. I'm Osama bin Laden. You may remember me from such terrorist attacks as 9/11 or the USS Cole. And who could forget the way I manipulated the press and got Hillary elected to the Senate? Oops, you weren't supposed to know about that.... Just forget I ever mentioned it.
I knew it!!

Religion of Jailing Rape Victims

Coming soon to NBC Law and Order:Islamabad SVU

In the criminal justice system of Pakistan,
some crimes are considered so heinous
that the victim must be locked up.

These are their stories
...
Via Robert at Dhimmi Watch comes this news on changing Pakistan's Sharia based laws specific to women. Based on Sharia law (Islamic law), Pakistan jails women who cannot produce witnesses to testify in rape cases.
Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali on Tuesday declared in unequivocal terms that the government will not make any un-Islamic amendment to the Hudood Ordinance under external or individual pressure....

He said the proposed amendments to the Hudood ordinance would first be sent to the Islamic Ideology Council for its advice before taking them to parliament's debate and approval.

He said that in a parliamentary democratic dispensation any amendment could only be brought about through parliament and the parliament itself was not authorized under constitution to pass any law repugnant to Islam

Dr. Chaos' Plans Foiled

You can't make this stuff up. From SPI (Hat tip: Bill Dauterive)

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) -- A man who admitted hiding deadly cyanide in a Chicago subway tunnel in 2001 was sentenced to nearly 21 years in prison Thursday for conspiring to knock out power lines, burn buildings and damage computers in Wisconsin.

Joseph Konopka, 27, who calls himself "Dr. Chaos," will serve the first 11 years of the sentence at the same time he finishes the 13-year prison term from Illinois. He will serve about 23 years in prison.



Above: 'Professor Chaos' and sidekick 'General Disarray' plot 'Operation Mayhem'


Prosecutors said Konopka was the self-appointed leader of a loose affiliation called "The Realm of Chaos," which recruited youths to engage in property damage.

Does Bennigans deliver to prison?

Thursday, June 17, 2004

The 'C' Word

This blog is now #2 when you do a Google search for the 'c' word. Thank you Elizabeth Hoffman, you're a total c**t!

Simon Says

Go read Simon. Please. For the children. Think about the children!!

Theory Rant v. 5.3--Null Hypothesis and 9-11

From fellow theory ranter-in-arms, Scott Talkington, comes this excellent post. Note the gratuitous use of the words null hypothesis. And for your information, there is nothing sexier than a falsified null hypothesis! Doesn't the sound of it just get you all tingly? Null hypothesis.

For my own discussions on why Type I and Type II Errors really matter in every day life, see my post on Acting Under Conditions of Uncertainty. For my thoughts on causal assumptions, see my post on the Logic of Destroying America.

Here's what Scott has to say:
I've been saying for some time that the evidence that Atta met with IIS on the day in question was far from conclusive, and essentially not strong enough to reject the null hypothesis that no meeting took place. But a word of caution about the recently touted conclusions of the 9-11 Commission is probably in order...

First, the claim that Atta was in Florida, if based on cell phone records and ATM withdrawals, doesn't seem conclusive either...Bottom line, unless there's a photo record that Atta was in Florida, or something equivalent to a photo record, we don't yet have conclusive evidence that he was here and not in Prague.

That does not mean that we can reject the null. We still assume that the meeting in Praque did not take place... because the consequences flowing from that assumption being in error are minimal. [ed. note: Type I error]

I suppose it's impossible to prevail upon the left to recognize the essential difference between an absence of evidence and evidence of absence, but the 9-11 commission statement below amounts to the former, and not the latter:
"We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."
And note that they do NOT claim that there's any evidence whatsoever that, Saddam rebuffed the request for weapons and training-camp space. Here's the unvarnished status of what we currently know about a Saddam/Qaeda link:

We currently have insufficient evidence to falsify the null hypothesis that no operational link existed.

And that's it. It's not very sexy, is it? [ed. note: Yes, it is!]

What does the statement mean, and what doesn't it mean?

1. It does not mean that we know conclusively that no operational link existed, which is clearly what the left would like it to mean. And they're apparently not above selling it as communicating such a meaning....

2. As I said above we have no proof, of any nature, that the request made by Al Qaeda for assistance was rebuffed. We can make that inference, because it's a component of the null hypothesis that has not been falsified... but that's vastly different from a claim that the null hypothesis has been proved...

I'm going to repeat this one more time, just in case anyone has missed it:

We currently have insufficient evidence to falsify the null hypothesis that no operational link existed between Al Qaeda and Saddam.
Of course, you might ask, how can you prove a negative? And that is a great question in abstract, but it's always a bad question in practical application. Why? Because unless you are 100% sure of something (which is borderline impossible) you must make an operational assumption about the consequences of being wrong.

Assumption 1: There was an operational link between Al Qaeda and Saddam. If it turns out that the assumption is wrong, what is the worst case scenario? 600 lives and billions spent on a wasted effort (making a further assumption that the war was only based on this premise, which it was clearly not).

Assumption 2: There was NO operational link between Al Qaeda and Saddam. If it turns out that the assumption is wrong, what is the worst case scenario? Nuclear holocaust or other 9/11 scale terrorist attacks on American soil (making a further assumption that WMD existed pre-war).

Clearly, the risk error is greater if assumption two is wrong. I don't think there was an operational link between al Qaeda and Saddam, nor do I think that Iraq had WMD. [For a great case that WMD were there and have been moved to Syria, see MB2's post Guns and Morons.] However, I still think the war was justified based on those premises alone. Why? Because I might be wrong! And if it turns out that my hunches are wrong--if we fail to act because I claim 'innocent until proven guilty'--then the consequences flowing from that are horrendous to say the least.

Can you imagine if John Kerry were President and it turns out he was wrong?

NY Times Headline: Thouseands die in chemical attack on Washington!

President Kerry's response: "Oops, my bad."

Michael Jackson Trial Secret Evidence

Screenshots of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker video game here and here. (Warning: not pr0n, but offensive)

The prosecution rests it's case. (Found via Dean Esmay)

Gay Gene Discovered, and It's French!

Canadians in the Francophone Province are over twice as likely to identify themselves as gay as those in the rest of the Great White North:
Just 1% of Canadians say they're homosexual....Quebec reported the highest number of homosexuals or bisexuals at 2.3 per cent
Loyal Minion Bill Dauterive has another take:
What do you call the other 99%? Liars.
Oh Bill, you 'mo-pho. Wait, aren't you French.....?????

[Sith bow to Bill Dauterive and Cameron Wood)

Gratuitous OJ/Hasselhoff Watch

Kevin at Wizbang asks:
What where you doing when you heard about O.J.'s infamous slow speed chase?
He then answers the much more important question, what was David Hasselhoff doing:
Heir Hasselhoff was rocking Atlantic City on Pay Per View and no one was buying. According to Hasselhoff, right after coming off stage he ran into Donald Trump watching O.J. and said, "tell me that's not live!"
[Note to Kevin: shouldn't you add quotes to "rocking"?]

What was Rusty Shackleford doing?

My wife and I were over at a friend's house eating dinner. It was Japanese food. Our wives asked us to turn the TV off. We said, "but that's the Juice"

--blank stare

-"OJ."

--blank stare

"Heisman Trophy winner."

--blank stare

"The guy from those Avis commercials"

--blank stare

"He was in the Naked Gun movies."

--blank stare

--TV off

*sigh*

Women.

[Note to Jeff Goldstein: What was your deadbeat neighbor doing?)

Ace on Andrew Sullivan

Yes, I said Ace 'on' Andrew Sullivan. Lest anyone doubt that Andrew Sullivan cuddles a pink elephant stuffed-animal when he dreams of luscious young Republican Hill staffers at night, Ace reveals the myth of the 'independent' Andrew Sullivan. Notice in his first post who got him started on this whole thing? *cough* *a-hem* [note to Brian B: I think that deserves, say, a 5 spot? *wink*)

Start in order 1) Here 2) Here 3) Here 4) Here.

Preemptive strike: Yes, Rusty Shackleford is a 'mo-pho.

Update: Also 5) here 6) and here

Allah also decided to get in on the action here [Note to Allah: What will Andrew Sullivan's virgins look like?]

....it's been a busy day.

Yawho?

Yahoo mail is down again. *sigh* Sorry about not returning e-mails.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

truth vs. TRUTH

This is true. And by 'true', I mean 'made up'. And by 'made up' I mean TRUE. The 'words' of John Kerry as imagined by Scrappleface:
"If you examine my 16-year record in the Senate, you'll see that I'm just as effective when I'm not there as I was when I was there," said Mr. Kerry. "The major legislation on health care, energy and homeland security that I didn't introduce then, I'm not introducing now. The colleagues who I didn't rally to my causes then, remain unrallied."
This is also true. And by 'true', I mean 'not made up'. And by 'not made up' I mean not-quite the truth. From the Boston Globe (via James at OTB):
Kerry brushed aside the Republican attack, saying that his absenteeism in the Senate is a necessary part of his presidential campaign effort, which is aimed at ”serving the citizens of Massachusetts and the country in the proposals I’ve laid out.”

”I’m running to provide responsible leadership, and I intend to continue to do that,” said Kerry...

Theory Rant v 5.2 beta--the Logic of Destroying America

Jane has an excellent post. Go read it! What fascinates me most about her observations are the implications they have on social science theory in general. It also reveals the logic of terrorism and of America hating in general. Commenting on a Nicholas Kristof piece in the Times:
So the NY Times is finally addressing the slaughter in the Sudan with an oped by Nicholas Kristof and how is it described? Not as a jihad against Sufi Muslims. Not as a failure of the UN. Not as a failure of the non-Western International Community (the Arab League, the African regional organizations). Not as negligence of the EU. The title is Dare We Call It Genocide? Its Bush's fault from the opening sentence....

Kristof does not assign any responsibility to the Sudans neighbors, the Arab League, the UN or the EU. If people are dying, it must be the US's fault- this time as a failure as global policeman, a role vigorously opposed by the left.
Jane points out that Kristof makes a causal assumption. The implications are profound because understanding underlying assumptions reveals a person's world view. Perhaps a very brief review of scientific theory is in order.

1) We observe some phenomenon. This is the effect. Statistically we call this the dependent variable. In this case, the effect/dependent variable is genocide in the Sudan.

2) We come up with possible causes. Statistically, we call the possible causes independent variables. In this case, possible causes/independent variables include: US foreign policy, UN policy, Arab League policy, EU policy, Sudanese policy, Islamist policy, etc.

3) Theory links a cause/independent variable to an effect/dependent variable. Theory explains how some change in the cause affects some change in the effect. In this case a theory could be constructed for how changing any of the aforementioned causes/independent variables would change the effect/dependent variable: genocide in Sudan.

This is why the Kristof piece is so revealing. Because he assumes that if the US would simply declare what is happening in the Sudan to be 'genocide', then the genocide would end. Thus, what is causing the genocide? US foreign policy. He does this with no real explanation, no real theory, of how changing this one independent variable is supposed to end the genocide. It is simply taken for granted if the US does something, then of course the desired outcome would inevitably follow. Of course, for the UN to declare something a 'genocide' you would need the support of the Security Council--France, Russia, China....See the problem here?

If one makes the case that every bad phenomenon (effect/dependent variable) has the same cause then we have a serious theoretical problem. What you are then proposing is not a theory of causation of a particular isolated thing, but rather, a general theory to explain all things simultaneously. And when two outcomes/effects/dependent variables are different, yet the cause/independent variable remains constant that's when the fit hits the shan and biases are revealed. Look, if the US has the same foreign policy (the proposed cause) yet we have two different outcomes (the effect) then how could you possibly believe in the credibility of the theory? It makes no sense!

The leftist intelligentsia proposes a general theory of global affairs. For lack of a better term, I call it the 'America is bad, mmmm-kay' theory of global politics. This theory proposes that everything that is bad in the world has one source: America. The reason why America causes all the bad things in the world changes from one leftist to another. For some it is 'dependency', for others it is 'global hegemony', still for others it is the 'imperialist imperative'--but in any case these are all variations on the same theme: trying to explain the link between the US and all the bad things that happen in the world. We cause all ill effects. In other words 'America is bad, mmmm-kay'.

It is bad theory. It is based on bad assumptions. It is based on dangerous assumptions.

Why dangerous? Let us assume for a moment that leftist theory is correct. Let us assume that 'America is bad, mmmm-kay'. America is the cause of all the problems in the Middle East. America is the cause of genocide in the Sudan. America is the cause of world-wide environmental catastrophe. America is the cause of slums in Southeast Asia. America is the cause of the AIDS crisis in Africa.

Now that we have identified the cause, we can identify a solution.

If America is the cause of all that is ill in the world, the solution is obvious: destroy America.

Makes perfect sense.

The impulse to destroy America is not the product of simple madmen with delusional minds. The impulse to destroy America is the logical outcome of a theory which blames America for all that is wrong with the world. Terrorism or the call for the destruction of America, then, is quite sane and perfectly reasonable--IF the underlying causal theory is correct.

Our war is not just against individuals. Our war is with a theory. Such wars cannot be won by arms alone.

Haggis vs. Heinz-Kerry

I'm conflicted. Bill at INDC links to Haggis pics. Iowahawk elaborates on Mrs. Kerry's sex life. Which is worse? I may never eat or 'sleep' again.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

To Russia With LoveHoney

Two chicks. Pink racing suits. A trunk full of dildos. A drive across Europe to Russia. Fundraising for Breast Cancer.

The ingredients for a hot blog.

Wonkette to negotiate book deal?

Silence. That is the sound of jealousy coming from KGB Headquarters.

Wonkette on Michael Moore

Yes, I'm linking her. Shut up already! I already told you I like Wonkette, who I think is funnier than me and looks better in a thong. She's a total c**t in my book!

From Wonkette comes this little tidbit on Michael Moore's apparent photoshopping off himself at least 100 lbs in a promotional flyer for his new 'documentary':
So now, by "controversy," we are of course referring to how he lost all that weight. Pills? Stomach stapling? Voodoo? Because we know he must have lost it. It's not like Michael Moore would ever manipulate an image to make a political point or anything.
Good eye Wonkette.

I know, I said "Wonkette ON Michael Moore."

The "C" Word

Censorship? You can find my thoughts on that in this post or in this one. The other "C" word? I've no idea what your talking about. I call everyone I like that!

ZOP: Zionist Occupied Parks

The tentacles of the ZOG knows no bounds. I think there is an entire chapter in the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' about the National Park Service. Somewhere in the back.

Cameron sent me this Citizen Smash link:
SALT LAKE CITY— The American Civil Liberties Union plans to sue the National Park Service in Federal Court if it does not change the name of Zion National Park in southern Utah. The ACLU expressed concern that the name is offensive to many Arab-Americans.

“The word Zion is intimately associated with Judaism,” explained Sarah Jacobsen of the ACLU. “And this is a particular sect of that religion that advocates the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from the region of Palestine. The park’s name could hardly be more inflammatory.”
I used to live very near Zion National Park and have been at least two dozen times. I can say with some certainty that no Palis have been ethnically cleansed from the area. However, I hear the Joos have kicked out more than a few Paiute Indians and have built a 'security fence' to protect the Zionist settlements in occupied 'West Gaza' (the so-called state of 'Utah').

Supreme Court Raises Taxes

While many bloggers were busy pontificating about the Supreme Court's ruling on the Pledge, a much more important case made the back pages.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court openned the floodgate of litigation for taxpayers to sue state governmentments in Federal Court over the use of tax credits for religious schools. From the WAPO:
The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 yesterday that taxpayers can use federal courts to challenge state taxes, a defeat for Arizona and its tax break that helps fund private religious schools. The decision could leave tax credits in more than 40 states vulnerable to federal court challenges...
I'm sorry. This is much more troubling than removing the term 'under God' from the Pledge. Remember, we are talking about tax credits here, not write-offs. That means that every dollar given to these private religious schools is given back to the tax-payer in the form of a credit against taxes paid. To put this in perspective, this is what is happening in just one state of 40 that have the credit (from Tucson Citizen):
At issue is an income-tax credit that helped raise 58,122 donations totaling $29.5 million for scholarships and grants last year, most of it going to religious groups.

The tax break, enacted in 1997 at the urging of school-choice advocates, allows a dollar-for-dollar bottom-line tax savings of up to $500 for an individual and $625 for a married couple.
The Atheist lobby is trying to raise taxes in Arizona by almost 30 million dollars! Between $500-$625 dollars per family, per year!

Are you at risk? If you live in these states, be afraid. Be very afraid. From Newsday:
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
UPDATE: Linked by James "I have a great job and you don't" Joyner in the Beltway Traffic Jam

Yahooooooooo!

Good News: My Yahoo mailbox went from being 70% full to only 3% full thanks to the pressures of G-mail. 100 MB is now standard for Yahoo's freebie account. I love the pressures of the market.

Bad News: Yahoo obviously didn't prepare well enough for the upgrade. Their site seems to have slowed down considerably, and is up and down.

UPDATE: This explains it:
A domain name outage Tuesday morning left many popular Web sites such as Yahoo, Google, Microsoft.com and Apple.com temporarily inaccessible, according to a Web research company.

Monday, June 14, 2004

The Psychiatry of Blogging

My name is Rusty Shackleford, and I'm a blogoholic.

I don't know why I feel compelled to blog. I'm married so I don't get any chicks this way. Is it just narcisism? Probably. Look at me! Read me! Love me!

Man. Am I really this pathetic? Yes.

Time for some self-therapy. First, identify the root of the problem. Ok.

Why did I begin to blog? It all started many moons ago when me and three friends from graduate school were arguing over whether or not Noam Chomsky really believed the stuff he was writing, or if he just hated America. So, picture this: Three guys on the right and one guy on the left sitting around yelling about Chomsky, but with the occasional reference to "pulling out" being giggled at in the appropriate Beavis and Butthead, "you said" voice.

One guy was a down the line Republican, but in the closet (about being Republican you mo-phos!). One guy was a paleo-con with more than a little love for Pat. One guy was a religious libertarian, which made him the only guy at libertarian gatherings not fascinated by the many marvelous uses of hemp. The other guy was a leftie, but unlike most lefties he was pretty pleasant to be around--except when you brought up Chomsky.

Which brings us back to Chomsky. Yes, give Noam Chomsky the credit for my initial forays into blogging. No, it had nothing to do with East Timor. It had everything to do with shutting our friend the hell up. Look, when you think about what Chomsky says it can really be boiled down to one thing: America is bad, mmm-kay.

Why do I say this? Well, a theory is supposed to tell you why something happens. Theories explain the connection between cause and effect, between X and Y. In science we call that thing which is effected the 'dependent variable'. The things which affects, or causes some change in the dependent variable, we call the 'independent variable'. Pretty simple if you think about it. The problem with Chomsky's theories, in my mind, are that if you take any dependent variable the independent variable is always the same: US foreign policy. This is problematic because it is no longer a 'theory' in the strictest sense, because a theory needs to explain differences. But if you ascribe the same cause to every phenomenon you have a serious problem.

Imagine, if you will, if I ask you why an apple falls? Well, gravity you say. Bingo. Now what if I ask you why an airplane flies? You say, gravity. See the problem? If I ask how come East Timor was invaded and you answer because Nixon was complicit I might say, well, ok. But then if I ask you how come Israel occupies the West Bank and you say, because of US foreign policy I begin to think, "broken record." Why did China invade Tibet? US foreign policy. Etc. If the same thing causes every effect then we no longer have a theory. What we have is a 'framework' or a 'world-view.' At a minimum, a theory must be able to produce falsifiable hypotheses. If a theory is unable to be falsified then you ought to begin to question the motives of the author of the theory.

Which brings me back to this: Noam Chomsky hates America.

So, what does one do when he wants to prove that Noam Chomsky hates America? Google. And why did I want to prove that Noam Chomsky hated America? The most important reason why a man does anything: spite.

So I found a great website. A website that I had forgotten about. Leftwatch.com. Let me tell you something. If you ever want to win an arguement about how Noam Chomsky is a so and so who hates America, check out that site. Well researched and well written.

Wait. Hold on. I thought this post was about blogging? Easy! You can go back to looking at pornquotes in a minute. I was getting there. '

So, it turns out that Brian Carnell, the author of Leftwatch also has a blog. See how this works? So from there I start clicking around. Then I come across a blogspot account which advertises "free blogging." The rest is blogging history, so to speak.

I put up my first blog. Nope, My Pet Jawa was a later creation. My first blog is long gone. I must have put up, what? Like at least 15 posts. It was actually a group blog. Me and one other guy. Most of the posts, if memory serves me, said stuff about how the French should die and how America ruled--oh, and lots of giggling references to body parts.

So, let's get back to the initial question. Why did I begin to blog? Spite and Noam Chomsky. Big props go to Brian Carnell, though, now that I think about it.

Then. Just as it began. It ended. The blog sucked. Lost interest. Whatever. But, I continued to read blogs.

Pretty soon I clicked on to LGF. From LGF I found Allah, Misha's Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, and Aaron's Rantblog. From Allah I found an advertisement for The Politburo Diktat and a link to Jihad Watch.

Grad school was over. My buddies and I all moved on, but one of my friends and I started an instant message thing. Compulsively. So instead of us sitting around and making jokes about Chomsky to piss our lefty friend off, we would sit around our respective offices and IM back and forth the newest ideas for pissing off our friend via e-mail. But now our conversations were less and less about Chomsky and more and more about the 'Clash of Civilizations'. We sounded a lot like Huntington, only with more references to male genitalia than is usually thrown around Harvard.

It was one day, I think in early January, when my friend started a blog back up. He was using a blogspot account to coordinate readings and stuff for a class he was teaching. He had also decided that maybe he needs to have a place outside academia where he could write polemics rather than peer-reviewed type junk. So he messaged me and suggested I start the blog again, too. Yup, I'm a copycat.

I had just been reading Nicedoggie.net (Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler) and had just seen the episode of South Park about Osoma bin Laden. If you remember the episode, you would have noticed that the subtext of it was a tribute to WWII propoganda cartoons. There was considerable debate buzzing about Cartoon Network's refusal to show some films that were patently offensive to Asian-Americans. I was so pissed. Of course they were offensive! They were supposed to be offensive! Numbnuts. You think it is easy to kill people who are just like you? You think you will support a war when memebers of your family die just to kill some loveable fuzzballs who are 'misguided'? The WWII generation understood the value of propoganda. We do not.

So, it was in this context that my buddy and me were messaging back and forth about how we were a bunch of pussies and that we lacked the backbone to truly paint our enemies in the worst light.

So, what is the most offensive thing you can call Muslims? Hmmm...let's see...oh, yeah, Jawas. Or as Cartman says, "Jawas. You know, sandpeople." Whoa. Pretty damn offensive. A good start.

But there is something worse than being called stupid biggoted names. It is to be patronized. What could be more patronizing than saying something like, "Sit jawa sit. Good jawa!" Not much in my book. Hence, the first version of this website is Nice Jawa (apologies to Misha!). That website lasted all of five minutes. There had to be a better name. Something that was equally offensive....hmmm, my pet jawa! Nice. My buddy and I both liked the ring to it. Offensive? Check. Patronizing? Check. Over the top? Absolutely.

Check out my first real post here where I said:
So far I have ellaborated two assumptions that go into writing this trifle of a blog:
A) The war against Islamists threatens the short-term security of the US and the long term survivability of Western culture.
B) The root cause of Islamism is Islam. Not poverty. Not oppression. Not Zionism. Islam.

Last, and really the gist of this blog is this:
C) In a real war, against real enemies, we need some good old fashioned, sweet down-home, funny, bigotted propoganda. Tell me, what would the "greatest generation" think of liberal wusses cringing at words like "kraut" and "nip"? Remember all those great bugs-bunny cartoons demonizing the Nazis? "Nazis is zee craziest people!" Rip-roaring fun with a message: the enemy is real and we are better than they.

So, poke fun at Islam. Make fun of Muhammed. Paint our enemies in the worst light possible. Tell jokes about them. Create art that ridicules them. Sing songs not suitable for prime-time. Offend people that need offending.

We will have no WILL to fight if we do not beleive that are cause is right and no STOMACH for the horrors of war if we do not beleive that our enemies are real.
Ah, to be filled with youthfull idealism again!

Since this isn't a history lesson, but rather an online effort to pshycho-analyze myself won't you get to the point! The point? Oh, I had rather forgotten about that. Let's see...what was the point. Oh, yes! Why do you blog? Chomsky. Spite. Carnell. South Park. Misha.

Whew. That wasn't so hard, was it? Now that the first task is finished what do you propose to do to end this addiction? Hmm. How a bout a 'Chomskyesque' solution? You know, get at the 'root problem'. So, kill Chomsky, Carnell, Misha, and Parker and Stone. Buy any book recommended by Oprah to get rid of spite.

Whoa, hold on a second fella! Let's not go to extremes. There's no need to resort to reading anything that Oprah recommends. Calm down buddy.

Ok. Calm.

Now what do you intend to do to stop this thing? Hmmm. You know, it has been the Commissar who has been my biggest supporter. He, more than any one else, has given me the most encouragement over the past several months. Maybe what is needed is not a Freudian model of discovery, but rather a behavioral modification program. I'm in a mutual dependency cycle!

You know, who cares what the root causes are, what enables you to continue with the behavior now? The answer: All the bloggers who continue to support me in my bad habits. Biggest enabler of them all? Commissar.

Solution? Kill Commissar. Great idea. Two-birds with one stone, really, what with the whole 'kill a commie for mommie' thing and all.

Still a little drastic. Why don't the enablers get together for a blogging intervention? Hmmm. Interesting. But how will that work online? Commissar, MB2, Iowahawk, Ace, Jane, Grand Vizier, Maximum Leader, BRD, Bill, Simon, Rum Crook, Iron Bear, Cameron, and the rest--all the blog-enablers....all of them get together for what, a teleconference?

"You know Rusty, we think it would be in your best interests to stop blogging...."

"Me stop blogging? Me? What about YOU GUYS? How about getting me a Pepsi? All I want is a Pepsi!!"

You're right. Never work. Could turn ugly. Sigh.

I have a better idea. Keep blogging. Neglect all your academic work. Get fired. End up working at McDonalds. No time to blog anymore. Cured.

Yeah. That's much better. I like that one.

No, this isn't denial. This is a 'long-term solution'.

All Your Penis Are Belongs to Us!

Iowahawk has the goods on the media.

Look for the Commissar's Abu Ghraib prison stuff on e-Bay. While you're at it, don't forget to pick up your limited edition Rasputin dong.

MB2 forgets that getting your pony-tail trimmed doesn't count as a 'haircut'.

Simon says that some in North Korea chant 'Leader' to the tune of Batman.

Kevin makes me rethink my stance on gay marriage. [Note: This is good gay]

Religion of Peas update:
Jeff Quinton on the religion of Mall Rats.
Douglas of No Pasaran notices a possible break in the Nazi-Islam alliance.
Religion of the WWW.
Zionists trying to kill Palis with second-hand smoke.
Pakis nail 55. Captain notes one in geting 'nailed' in particular.
Religion of Please Don't Kill So Many Infidels.
Aaron on the Religion of Van Gogh.
Religion of Lyndon LaRouche.
Religion of Brotherly Love.
Religion of All Your Adjectives Are Belongs To Us.
Michelle on the Minority Who Want Us Out. Keep dreaming babe.
Religion of Europe.

Hayek the Homophobe

Q: What do F.A. Hayek and Rusty Shackleford have in common?
A:They are both confirmed 'mo-phos!

Via Vodkapundit comes this link: Objections to These Unions: What Friedrich Hayek can teach us about gay marriage.

I have been pondering my own political stances of late. I have always thought of myself as both a Burkean and a libertarian. Which seems patently absurd, because one can't simultaneously argue the merits of tradition while being in favor of radical reforms. But, not so fast. There is a common philisophical assumption in both libertarianism and Burkean conservatism: no one person has a monopoly on knowledge. So, for the libertarian, the market becomes the place where collective wisdom is displayed; but for conservatives, that collective wisdom resides in institutions and cultural norms. In either case, "truth" is the product of the interaction of individuals in a social setting. Hence, as Rauch puts it:
No expert or political leader can possibly have enough knowledge to get up every morning and order the world from scratch: decide whether to wear clothing, which side of the street to drive on, what counts as mine and what as yours.
It seems odd, then, that Rauch would come to the conclusion that Hayek would probably be FOR gay marriage. His arguement seems to boil down to this: gay marriage is NOT a radical departure from our cultural norms. It is simply tweaking it's boundaries.

But to argue that letting two men marry each other isn't really that radical an idea is to miss the entire evolution of mankind from the swamps to West Hollywood. It is completely ahistorical. It is radicalism in its purest form. Even more radical than Communism, because at least with Communism we had some historic link to societies with communal notions of property. Polygamy and polyandary is much more rooted in history than gay marriage. Marriage has always been between men (however numbered) and women (however numbered).

Before you go pointing to Greece, let us remember that Greek society (even in Sparta) did not tolerate homosexuality as it is presently practiced. It was much more like jailhouse society. Men could have bitches (usually young boys), but as the old saying goes, "it is better to give than recieve." Adults who got as well as gave were seen as deviants.

The collective wisdom of history is that homosexuality is deviant behavior. It seems to me that forcing radical social change on this magnitude is something that would frighten Burke and give pause to Hayek. Five justices and Aaron Spelling productions notwithstanding.