February 28, 2006
The media are all agog
with reports of an Iraqi civil war somewhere on the horizon. The Shiite
and Sunni seem poised to break each others heads open until one group
submits or is extinguished.
The Arab Shiites make up
about 60 percent of Iraq, the Arab Sunnis about 18 percent. The Sunni
walked tall indeed under their patron Saddam Hussein. The victims of
that dead regime were mostly Shiite and Kurdish. Both of these groups
have long memories. If civil war comes the Sunni know well that they
will be pounded to dust. No quarter will be given.
As for the Kurds, they
are secure in their northern Iraqi redoubts. They have lots and lots of
oil. And they have the renowned
('those who face death'), their security forces which operate as an
army, national guard and police force. These guys are one tough bunch.
They fought with the US during the 2003 war in Iraq. There is no way
they will turn over their arms or men to any national government based
in Baghdad. They despise the place, rightly seeing it as the focus of
genocide and oppression against Kurds.
Michael Totten just returned
from Iraqi Kurdistan. As he sees it
Iraq may not survive in
one piece. The overwhelming majority of Iraqi Kurds are packing
their bags. Most have already said goodbye. Erbil is the capital of
the de-facto sovereign Kurdistan Regional Government. Baghdad is
thought of as the capital of a deranged foreign country.
In January 2005 the Iraqi
Kurds held an informal referendum. More than 80 percent turned out
to vote. 98.7 percent of those voted to secede from Iraq. Not only
have the Kurds long dreamed of independence, when they look south
they see only Islamism, Baathism, blood, fire, and mayhem.
It is true that the Kurds are also divided
between Shiite and Sunni, but in Kurdistan religion takes a second place
behind ethnicity. In any civil war the Kurds will likely just sit the
thing out. They might even enjoy seeing the Sunnis wiped out. What would
that be to them? An Iraqi civil war would weaken the new government and
make it more amenable to Kurdish demands.
There are maybe 30 million Kurds scattered
overt the Middle East in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey. Since classical
times they have not had their own state but they are determined to get
one---a big one. Turkey, Iran and Syria are just as determined to deny
them this. So the race is on. If the Kurds are successful not just in
keeping their regional autonomy in northern Iraq but in acquiring
statehood, the entire region will be convulsed---that is, more convulsed
than it already is. A new Kurdistan will act as a beacon for Kurds
everywhere. Syria and Iran will be shaken and destabilized.
And that is the point.
You see, the Kurds are ferociously pro-American, the most pro-American
people perhaps in the world. They are certainly more pro-American than
Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. When the war begins between Iran and the US
the Iranian Kurds will be with us. One sideshow of this war will be the
destruction of the Syrian regime---and again, the Syrian Kurds will be
As I write these words US
Special Forces and the Israelis are in Iraqi Kurdistan. I would be
surprised if they were not in Iranian Kurdish areas too. There they are
doing those things for which they have been most admirably trained:
funneling arms and cash to anti-regime types and generally stirring up
mischief as they prepare the ground for the coming US assault upon the
Iranian state. This is the main reason for the latest acts of
desperation from the mullahs---riots over cartoons, the blowing up of a
golden mosque and renewed threats to strike at Israel. The Iranians are
afraid pure and simple. Like those at Belshazzar's Feast, they can see
the handwriting upon the wall. The Americans are coming and the Kurds
will cheer them on.
So even if Shiite and
Sunni do not engage in mutual throat-slitting in Iraq, there is coming a
regional civil war that will redraw the entire Middle Eastern map.
The grotesque terror regimes centered in Tehran and Damascus will be
demolished. Their borders will be redrawn to allow a larger Kurdistan
similar to the area shown on the map. It will be pro-American and flush
with oil wealth.
It is manifestly in US
interests to encourage a new Kurdish state. While this will drive
cartographers to drink, the result of all this map-making will be a more
stable place than what the Brits accomplished in the 1920s. There will
be mainly Arabs in Syria and Iraq, mainly Persians in Iran and mainly
Kurds in the new Kurdistan.
The American media will
not understand any of this of course. There is scarcely any reason for
their existence except to encourage Maya's Dance.
When the Iranian feces hit the American fan the media will scream,
"Failure! Quagmire! Defeat! Withdraw!" They will be ignored, the Iranian
terror regime and its puppet in Syria will fall, Hamas and
Hezbollah---both on the Iranian payroll---will go broke, a new nation
will emerge and America will send an ambassador to the new Kurdish
capital of Erbil.
Which reminds me: One of
my students is a Kurd. He is a clever lad and might one day be the
president of Kurdistan. I had better start being nice to him.
February 27, 2006
Way Too Much Time on My Hands
So today I am home with a
head that threatens to split asunder. Maybe Athena will burst forth from
it. If so I hope she is a
Venezuela look-alike. And then we could---oh never mind, I have a
In the meantime I praise
the creator of aspirin.
And think of my poor
students! All alone with some Hellish substitute!
Anyway, though I am in no
mood for thoughts sublime I thought I would turn to thoughts absurd, as
in this site. It turns
any writing into a number of bizarre dialects. It really works. (Like I
said, today I have way too much time on my hands.)
Take part of Horace's
Injurious Time, what Age escapes
Evil our grandfathers were, our
And we till now unmatched in
Must leave Successors more
Here it is turned into Redneck:
Injurious Time, whut Age excapes
Evil our gran'Pappys were, our
An' we till now unmatched in
Muss leave Successo's mo'e
co'rupped still, ah reckon.
Into Elmer Fudd-speak:
Injuwious Time, what Age escapes
Eviw ouw gwandfathews wewe, ouw
And we tiww now unmatched in iww,
Must weave Successows mowe
Injuriousyay Imetay, atwhay
Ageyay escapesyay ythay Ursecay?
Evilyay ouryay andfathersgray
ereway, ouryay athersfay orseway.
Andyay eway illtay ownay
unmatchedyay inyay illyay,
Ustmay eavelay Uccessorssay
oremay orruptedcay illstay.
Into something called 'Swedish Chef':
Injooreeuoos Teeme-a, vhet Ege-a
iscepes thy Coorse-a?
Ifeel oooor grundffezeers vere-a,
oooor fezeers vurse-a.
Und ve-a teell noo unmetched in
Moost leefe-a Sooccessurs mure-a
These translations really work Hell with the spell check.
And by the way, what type of man would design such a program as the
above? He must have way too much time on his hands.
head returns to normal I will again wax poetic and informative.
February 25, 2006
Call Me Nostradamus
Look guys, I was only kidding. You know, as in
'making a joke.' I was not at all serious when I
more spittle-flecked members of the religion of Mohammed of one day declaring war on
Bugs and Daffy.
Will these folks be the next victims of Islamic irrationality?
But much to my surprise
they took me literally. Probably to spare my feelings they chose not to
issue a fatwa against those two characters above.
But---alas!---they have declared war against another cartoon duo! So now
Tom and Jerry must now try to survive under the shadow of radical
Islam's deadly intent.
Some Iranian named
with the impressive sounding title 'Cultural Advisor to Iranian
Education Ministry and Member of Interfaith Organization' (try fitting
that on a name tag!) holds forth on the wicked mouse:
There is a cartoon
that children like. They like it very much, and so do adults -
Tom and Jerry.
The Jewish Walt
Disney Company gained international fame with this cartoon. It
is still shown throughout the world. This cartoon maintains its
status because of the cute antics of the cat and mouse -
especially the mouse.
Some say that the
main reason for making this very appealing cartoon was to erase
a certain derogatory term that was prevalent in Europe...
The Jews were
degraded and termed 'dirty mice.' Tom and Jerry was made in
order to change the Europeans' perception of mice. One of terms
used was 'dirty mice.'...
I'd like to tell you
that... It should be noted that mice are very cunning...and
dirty...No ethnic group or people operates in such a clandestine
manner as the Jews.
Tom and Jerry was
made in order to display the exact opposite image. If you happen
to watch this cartoon tomorrow, bear in mind the points I have
just raised, and watch it from this perspective. The mouse is
very clever and smart. Everything he does is so cute. He kicks
the poor cat's ass. Yet this cruelty does not make you despise
the mouse. He looks so nice, and he is so clever... This is
exactly why some say it was meant to erase this image of mice
from the minds of European children, and to show that the mouse
is not dirty and has these traits.
Yes, I see now, Allah Be
Praised! I see the cruel eyes of the Hellish rodent. His icy stare does
little to disguise the evil that lies beneath. He awaits expectantly,
ready to devour Islamic children, to deceive them and lead them into the
depths of the abyss, into Sheol itself.
First they came for Danish
cartoonists. Then they came for Tom. Then they came for Jerry. Oh my
God! Who might be next? Could it be...no!
Our world reeks of
savagery and tragedy, but also of satire and comedy. Jesus weeps, but He
also laughs. Does Mohammed do either?
No one---but no one---could
make this stuff up.
February 24, 2006
The God Dances
In Hindu theology there is something called
the illusion that the phenomenal world of separate objects and people is the
only reality. The goal of enlightenment is to understand this...In Advaita
Vedanta philosophy, maya is the illusion of a limited, purely physical and
mental reality in which our everyday consciousness has become entangled, a
veiling of the true...Many philosophies or religions seek to "pierce the
veil" in order to glimpse the transcendent truth, from which the illusion of
a physical reality springs...
Maya translates literally as 'not this'---'this'
being what is seen and felt and heard. Maya dances in front of the Real,
confusing man and leading him to believe that his world is what really is. In fact, his
world is a dream. Enlightenment comes when a man sees beyond maya, to the true
nature of things.
So how does one get beyond
the dance of maya? Easy to ask, hard to answer. Consider all the news in
the past few months. The
most powerful media in history seem to specialize in maya's dance. They latch onto story after story, proclaiming each to
be the scoop of the age but each seems to have a lifespan of a week or so. Tom Delay?
Jack Abramoff? Wiretapping? Abu Ghraib? Niger? Valerie Plame? Scooter Libby? Dick Cheney?
Now, what were all those about again? All one can see is the dancing of a god.
Maya creates an illusion
of cause and effect. Some men in
Denmark drew cartoons and then five months later men on the other side of the
world die because of it. How did tribesmen in the wilds of Pakistan
suddenly come up with hundreds of Danish flags to burn for the cameras?
What is maya trying to hide from us here?
Maya is everywhere. A Shiite
mosque blows up in Iraq. Sunni mosques are bombed and Sunnis killed in
reprisal. The leader of the Iraqi Shiites shows up in Beirut. Everyone screams,
"Civil war!" Really? Why would Sunnis initiate a civil war that even they admit
would destroy them utterly? Why are some of the captured bombers non-Iraqi? Are
there dots that remain as yet unseen, unconnected?
An Iranian president and a
Venezuelan dictator meet. There are many hugs all around and promises of
solidarity. Suddenly the dictatorships of both nations begin to move
capital off shore. Why? What do they know that we do not? Or its it mere
A former American
president goes to a foreign land to demand that Danish cartoonists be
punished. His former vice-president speaks in Saudi Arabia and accuses
his homeland of gross abuses of followers of Mohammed. Is maya dancing?
Now we hear of American
ports being turned over to some emirates on the border of Saudi Arabia.
The media is on fire, Congress talks and talks, Bush is adamant, pundits
and thinkers are all over the place saying this and that, sometimes
changing their minds by the hour. Few of them know much about ports or
shipping. But all go on and on. Maya again?
Yes, of course. She dances
always. But her veil can be pierced. Illusion cannot always hold sway or
men would go mad. What is the real here and what is the illusion of the
real? Is the reason for selling port concession rights merely economics?
Confusion all around: Those emirates are vital to America's terror war;
no, they are financers of terror. We are turning port security over to
Arabs; no, security will remain in the hands of Americans. Bush knew for
months about the sale; no, it took him by surprise. America should
reward her allies; no, her allies should not need rewarding. Maya's
dance is becoming faster and more feverish.
But suddenly she vanishes
and we can see the thing with utter clarity, the thing as it really is.
We can understand the cartoons, the mosque bombing, the port deal, the
meeting in South America, the stubbornness of the American president.
Here is the matter plainly: Iran has begun her war against the United
States. She is very near the public declaration that she has a nuclear
weapon. Thus, the tremendous stirring up of smoke and violence all
around the world. She is buying time through a dance of a god. When all
the distraction is at an end, Iran will emerge with a nuclear arsenal.
She will then possess the power of Kali, the destroyer of worlds.
Suddenly it seems as if
American interests are everywhere at risk. An ally in Pakistan is
distracted by thousands marching and killing against those cartoons. A
Venezuelan tyrant ratchets up his anti-American tirades and threatens
reprisals against the oil supply. Iranian puppet Muqtada al-Sadr seems to allow
the bombing of the Iraqi mosque and then scurries to Iranian financed
thugs in Beirut. The entire US effort in Iraq seems about to literally
go down in flames.
And now the port
confusion---which is not really a confusion at all. The reason Bush will
not be fooled by this latest illusion of maya is this: America
needs the cooperation of the UAE. Bush wishes to tie her interests more
firmly to America's. We will need the emirates' own port facilities on
the Persian Gulf. They are strategically placed right across from Iran.
The US military plans on using them for the upcoming war against Iran.
Maya or no maya, this war is coming.
And then at last will the
Iranians be forced for once to look beyond their own maya, for she
dances for them as well. For Iran and its mullahs the war against the US
will supply them with a clarity will that will destroy their illusions.
Those who survive will actually see the world as it is. For the fire and
Hell they have unleashed upon so many will now be visited upon them.
And as for the former
president Clinton and his former vice-president Gore? What of those
speeches they made? No maya is dancing here. One need merely look up the
February 22, 2006
I have no idea
whether turning over America's ports to the United Arab Emirates (and what
is an 'emirate' anyway? ) is a good idea. If it is economically it
certainly is not politically. George Bush
It sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it's OK for
a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that
plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of
I had not realized
until now that US security is really just an award to foreigners
because they act civil toward us from time to time.
As soon as those
emirate fellows heard of the backlash against their taking control of
American ports they did what tyrants always do. They tried to shut up
their opponents. They banned
Michelle Malkin's site. They insulted those Americans against the
deal, calling them 'Islamophobes.' So let me get this straight: Bush
wants to turn over America's ports to those who insult his fellows and
wish to ban their opinions. Hey George, who voted for you anyway? Desert
dwelling, tyrannical Islamic foreigners or Americans?
Handling ports is a messy and
complicated affair. It absolutely must be done competently and
efficiently. So tell me: How competent and efficient are Arabs? How do
they run their own countries?
understand why it's OK for a British company to operate our ports
but not a company from the Middle East when we've already determined
security is not an issue.
The Brits are not trying to
kill us. Neither are the Germans or Japanese. The number one killer of
Americans at home and abroad in the last 30 years has been Islamic Arab
men from the Middle East. President Bush, if you are so intent on
turning over American ports to Islamic Arab men from the Middle East,
how about exchanging your Secret Service bodyguards for Islamic Arab men
from the Middle East? You could also turn over the management of your
Texas ranch to Islamic Arab men from the Middle East.
Ted Bilkey is the CEO of Dubai
Ports World. He says
We followed U.S. law and
actually approached the U.S. government for approval of our
security arrangement weeks prior to the formal review. We will
continue to work with the U.S. government in maintaining the
highest standards of security at U.S. ports, and will fully
cooperate in putting into place whatever is necessary to protect
Well Ted, all those airplanes
on 9/11 followed US law too. Flight plans were turned in, maintenance
schedules were adhered to, the pilots had proper training. And the
Varifrank is his usual eloquent self. He is not worried about all of
this. Give him a read. Then read
Dubai is an
state that recognized the Taliban and, as pointed out by Congressman
Mark Foley of Florida, seeks “to be Iran’s free trade partner and
has been linked to the funding and planning of 9-11.” In other
words, this is somewhat akin to having given a Japanese or German
company control over our seaports in the late 1930s.
As reported by the
AP---no friend to Bush or the War on Terror----the UAE is
federation of seven emirates on the Saudi peninsula, was an
important operational and financial base for the hijackers who flew
two 757 and two 767 jetliners into the World Trade Center, the
Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 Americans
in the nation's deadliest terrorist attack, the FBI concluded.
From the same article:
The State Department
describes the UAE as a vital partner in the fight against terrorism.
So which is it? Are the UAE
'an important operational and financial base for the hijackers' or are
'vital partners in the fight against terrorism?'
Something about this does not
pass the smell test.
Who benefits from this deal anyway? How does this deal make America
arguments in favor do not answer this question. Why not?
That dreary little creep and
professional traitor Jimmy Carter has come out in
favor of the port deal. That settles it for me.
February 21, 2006
Something and Nothing
What can better illustrate
the future of Europe than
A new cathedral church was built twelve years ago in Evry, to the
south of Paris. It is recognized as the masterpiece of one of the
most famous architects in the world, Mario Botta of Switzerland.
During Sunday Mass, it is half-empty. But the nearby mosque is
overflowing with the faithful. The imam of the mosque, Khalil
Merroun, asserted in an interview: “The Catholic Church should not
feel Europe belongs to it. The advice I give my Catholic colleagues
is to ask themselves why their faithful don’t live their
Why indeed? Why are
European churches empty while European mosques are full? And let us not
pretend that this started recently. Long before there were many Moslems
living in Europe attendance at Sunday Mass was dropping. Now most pews
are empty on Sunday, with only tourists wandering about ancient and
I am sure that
philosophers and theologians have all sorts of theories to explain
Europe's move away from the faith that built Chartres, that produced
Aquinas, that nurtured Newton and Pascal, that created capitalism and
the university, that provided the astounding dynamism that sent Europe
out to conquer the world. Modern thinkers explain away all of
Christianity as nothing but a relic of another time, a collection of
fables destroyed by the Enlightenment, by Liberalism, by Darwin, by Marx, by Science,
by Positivism. These really are competing faiths, something that man
allowed in his mind and soul even as he expelled Christianity from them.
But then we see the
offspring of these competing faiths. Just during the last 100 years
Europe has given us World War I, World War II, the Holocaust, communism,
fascism, Nazism, the Cold War and the Iron Curtain. Such things have
given us a remarkable collection of men: Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin,
Stalin, and their foreign copy-cats Castro, Mao, Hussein, Assad and Kim
Man being what he is---a
rather wretched thing---he came to believe that what had really fueled
his civilization was...himself. Nothing new here at all. We know this
was Lucifer's sin. We read of the builders of the Tower of Babel. In
fact we know that all of history is littered with attempts to replace
God with something else. For the Christian God---call Him Yahweh, call
Him Christ, call Him the Holy Spirit---is a rather demanding Fellow. He
is always giving advice on this and that. He does not bargain with His
law. Either one obeys or one does not. There are consequences to each
And Europe has chosen: "No
more of this God stuff! We will follow our own lights!" And so it has.
And the result has been sterility and impotence and cowardice. Europe is
dying before our eyes. There is there today what there was in the later
Roman Empire, penuria hominum---a shortage of men. For decades
now Europe has been placing its seed---which is, after all, nothing but
future Europeans---into little plastic bags and tossing these into the
toilet. If by chance their seed somehow made it where it is supposed to
go, no problem: there is RU-486 and legions of 'doctors' who could
scrape away any embarrassment. The Church railed against such
slow-motion suicide but to no avail.
Now Europe is lacking
people---European people that is. Those who for centuries have been
imbued with the Christian faith and all that has come from it. So
Europeans did what nations do when they find themselves without a needed
resource. They imported it. Europe imported people, mainly from the
Middle East, mainly Moslems of course. One thing for sure about these
Moslems, they take their faith very seriously indeed. No penuria
hominum for them! While Europe cannot replace itself---European
births are less than European deaths---the Moslems in Europe have no
such problem. The Moslem birth rate far exceeds the European.
Do the mathematics
yourself. Europe is becoming Moslem. There will be no future Frenchmen
to surrender to future Germans, and no future Germans to accept the
surrender of future Frenchman. Islam is still in a minority, but then so
was the Nazi Party in 1923.
Mark Steyn puts it plainly:
Can a society become more
Muslim in its demographic character without also becoming more
Muslim in its political and civil character?
Short answer: No.
If a society chooses to
outsource its breeding, who your suppliers are is not
unimportant...When the fastest-breeding demographic group on the
planet is also the one most resistant to the pieties of the
social-democratic state that's a profound challenge.
"Well then, we can live and let live," you might say. Think again. Islam
permits nothing of the sort. While the Vatican and every church are open
to all, wherever Islam goes it brings persecution with it. Allah is a
jealous god and relishes in the elimination of Judaism and Christianity
and Buddhism and Hinduism. There are no Christian churches in Saudi
Arabia. Any Moslem who converts to Christianity is beheaded. Any
non-Moslem who goes to Mecca suffers likewise.
There are entire swaths in every European city given over to Moslems.
These are really nations within nations. Here Islamic Law---sharia---holds
sway. Here non-Moslems enter at their own risk and uncovered girls are
subject to gang rape. Even the City of Lights, Paris, has enormous
suburbs controlled by Islam. Parisian police dare not enter.
What then is to be done? Well, nothing. Europe has abandoned
Christianity and is suffering the consequences. For no man stops
believing in everything for very long, he will simply come to believe in
something else. Islam offers that something else. Its adherents may be
ragged, ignorant and violent, but so what? They believe in something.
And something trumps nothing every time.
Europe in 50 years will be a strange place indeed. We can expect that it
will resemble every other place on earth where Islam holds sway:
impoverished, tyrannical, bigoted, crude, dirty, illiterate and full of Jew hatred.
Once Europe civilized barbarians. Now the barbarians are coming to rule
is accommodating them. The place that birthed
Charles Martel, that
fought Islam for 1000 years, now surrenders when Moslems rampage against
cartoons in the very streets of Europe.
If you want the reality of
Europe in a nutshell, walk into a supermarket belonging to the
French chain Carrefour. You'll be greeted by a notice in Arabic:
"Dear Clients, We express solidarity with the Islamic and Egyptian
community. Carrefour doesn't carry Danish products." It's strictly
business: they have three Danish customers and a gazillion Muslim
ones. Retail sales-wise, they know which way their bread's buttered
and it isn't with Lurpak...Europe is bicultural: a fading elderly
population yielding to a young surging Islam.
Europeans, go ahead and eat, drink and be merry today. For tomorrow you---those
of you who survive---will be praising Allah and his dreary little prophet.
February 19, 2006
the weirder types of the species---enjoy fantasizing over the latest
creations from The North Face,
from Gregory, from
Sierra Designs, from
Mountain Hardwear, and so
on. Tents, packs, jackets, sleeping bags and such might seem to normal
folk not to change much year by year, but to the real gear heads of the
outdoor world they change as often as Michael Jackson changes his sex.
More often, in fact.
Many times I have
encountered those who had not been hiking since their Boy Scout days.
Now with sons of their own they would venture into a backpacking store
to get stuff for some upcoming father-and-son bonding session in the
woods. Needing tent and packs and bags, they soon got the shock of their
middle-aged lives. The stuff they remembered---pup tents, external frame
packs---had gone the way of the typewriter. Now they were faced with a
vast array of impossibly light stuff composed of strange ceramics, weird
plastics, weirder polymers, odd fabrics and odder designs. Mouths agape
they wandered about like some Rip van Winkle as their kids scampered
down every aisle. At last they came to terms with reality, tracked down
a salesman and began to get an education into the backpacking of
today---and prepared to spend a great deal more money than they had
I once was a bona fide
gear head. Every year I would spend a few days in the US getting the
latest in tents and things so that I could be marvelously up-to-date
when heading out into the wilds of South America. I luxuriated in the
coolest stuff---it was also hideously expensive---and was the envy of
other backpackers I encountered. I had an entire set of gear specialized
for jungles below 3000 feet, another set for those above. I had high
altitude gear and snow equipment, stuff for grasslands and stuff for
forests. In all I had 12 tents, 7 sleeping bags, 5 pairs of boots and 14
packs---to say nothing about clothes and stoves.
As an example: During my
last year-long solo expedition in South and Central America I traveled
5,000 miles lugging two tents ($600), three pair of boots ($800), two
stoves ($400), two sleeping bags ($300), five pairs of pants ($500), six
shirts ($500)---and on and on. I was well prepared and well-endowed with
wads of cash.
But no more. Economic
situations change, and mine certainly has. I last bought some cool gear
some 2 years ago---until today. I was faced with a common problem in the
rarefied backpacking ethers in which I practice my craft. I plan on ten
weeks in Peru this summer. Your normal gear head would ask himself,
"Well, which tent do I take?" My needs were a tent that could do
anything from 3000 feet jungles to 15,000 feet Andean passes. I did
happen to have one---a Mountain Hardwear Approach tent---but it is a bit
light. True, I had taken it to Choquequirao, but I was lucky then: no
rain or wind just cold and colder. And it was late in the season and
thus drier. Now I have to be ready for weird weather. This means wind,
rain and ice, but also humid and sub-tropical. What to do?
I found my answer, an
MSR Fusion tent.
Strong and light, it can handle anything but the highest peaks yet has
mesh panels and an adjustable vent for humid climes. And I found the
thing with its matching footprint for $150 less than normal. I was as
happy as a housewife at Wal-Mart with a handful of coupons.
Now, I only have to find
a way to get to Peru. Stay tuned.
Creators and Destroyers
The Islamic world was a bit quiet this
weekend. The practitioners of the 'religion of peace' only found the
time to kill a few Moslems and Christians, mostly in Nigeria and Libya.
Perhaps they were worn out after declaring war upon Kentucky Fried
Chicken and McDonalds, admittedly softer targets than the US Marine
Corps. But one does what one can.
I have long called these bone-ignorant
fellows who rampage mightily against cartoons a rather sorry lot. It
seems a Moslem's time is spent either burning stuff, listening to
hair-raisingly violent sermons in their mosques or trying to murder
Israeli schoolchildren in their beds. For the life of me I cannot think
of anything they have done to make this planet a more pleasant place or
any Moslem's life a happier and healthier one.
They certainly create nothing---and I mean
nothing, as in absolutely nothing. One would think that
Islam would be a bit more fecund and imaginative. After all, this
'religion of peace' has been going full-bore since old Mohammed took to
his heels and fled Mecca in 622 AD. Surely Islam can account for
something in this modern world. It has over 1,000,000,000 members. What
exactly do these guys really do all day?
Apparently not much---other than those
activities mentioned above.
Dinocrat has run the numbers. The results are not surprising. If
Moslems had any shame they would be embarrassed. Here are the cold, hard
facts of creative life:
US patents in 2005: 157,000
US patents in 1997: 111,805
Iranian patents in 2001: 1
And the number of
patents in Indonesia---the largest Islamic nation---since 2001 is only a
As Dinocrat says:
this pathetic performance the next time some
bonehead tries to argue cultural equivalency to you.
How dare these people try to impose their ways on
us, or dictate anything about the way we should
live. Theirs is a formula for poverty, stagnation
and misery. Imagine: over a billion people, and they
have fewer patents in their entire recorded history
than did the
Utah last year.
As we look up the world 'sterile' we find:
"unproductive, lacking in stimulating or emotional
quality, lifeless." Sounds like a reasonable definition
of Islam as well.
February 18, 2006
Roads Less Traveled
I have been leaving home since 1980. Of all the
to do so---tourism, travel, adventure and exploration---most of my time was
spent either preparing for, engaging in or recovering from some odd adventure
alone in climes weird and wild. This was especially true of my 14 years in Latin
America. It had come to me as it has come to all rootless vagabonds that there
was a better way to get out than working in the US to save money for adventure
overseas. The better way was simply to move overseas and use your new home as a
base camp. This I did in Costa Rica and Argentina. I would work, save cash and
head out to forest and mountain.
Such a life wears of course. Americans are the most
dynamic people in history, and they have a way of being and doing that is
difficult for others to comprehend. Americans either infuriate or confuse. Not
that it bothers us much---it amuses actually. Still, out alone with pack and
tent I became tired of things such as:
Sweat soaking my clothes and running
down my fac
Being always covered with insect bites.
Lugging two huge bags over four thousand
Drinking iodine-laced water.
Taking cold-water showers.
Going to Spanish language Masses.
Seeing the most vulgar wealth amidst the
most degrading poverty.
Arguing with taxi drivers.
Hustling about in a search for a bed
when I enter a city.
Walking through populated areas with a
Being the center of attention while
traversing rural Latin America.
Smelling like a goat while backpacking.
Always preparing for or cleaning up
after a backpacking trip.
Pretending that I have more lives than a
Pushing myself beyond any reasonable
physical and mental limits time and time again.
Always being ready to deal physical
violence if the moment calls for it.
The decision to return to Life in These United
States was not a hard one to make. I made it two years ago and do not regret it.
I exult in things American---my Jeep for example.
But another summer approaches---ten weeks away from
the normal responsibilities of work. The time simply begs to be spent in South
America. And so it will be most likely. Peru to be exact.
The first thoughts were of
simply getting to those places in that nation I did not yet know, mainly
the Cordillera Blanca near Huaraz. There is similar such walking around
Ausangate near Cuzco.
But all of this seems a
bit tame now that I am reading this:
This is the story of
Theodore Roosevelt's 1913-1914 journey down an unknown Brazilian river,
later known as the Rio Roosevelt. And for good reason, for his
expedition was the first to explore it. The tale is told by former
National Geographic editor Candice Millard, a rather slight and fetching
Millard's writing is of a
type well-known to lovers of adventure lore, especially the sort who
read of madmen on the hunt for lost cities or uncharted lands in South
America. I have read a bunch of these myself and know the genre well.
Her book is a page-turner that I will certainly finish in a day or so.
It recalls a world now near impossible to find, a world where there were
rivers and tribes and lands that had not seen the tread of white men's
boots. One photo from the book shows Roosevelt and a few of his
companions getting ready for their expedition.
The image conjures up the old type
of explorer, one with loads of money, backing and influence---a John Hanning
example---and one with companions equally as worldly and experienced. These
sorts of adventures are no longer possible. The world since Roosevelt's descent
of that river has become too small for men like him. All has been mapped. What
was once inaccessible to any but a hardy few---Machu Picchu in 1920---can now be
reached on any tour bus by the spandex clad. It saddens.
Roosevelt himself knew
this of course.
The ordinary traveler, who never goes off the beaten route and who
on this beaten route is carried by others, without himself doing
anything or risking anything, does not need to show much more
initiative and intelligence than an express package.
And it puts things in
perspective. Of all the time I have spent 'out there' only a little of
it was doing anything remotely like Roosevelt and his river trip:
Darien Gap, walking to
Choquequirao and exploring the ruins of
And I mostly went alone. Everything I needed---food, medicines, fuel,
tent, stove, sleeping bag---had to fit into a backpack. The absolute
most I can carry is 14 days worth of provisions without re-supply. For
comparison, Roosevelt and his hardy companions were gone 4 months!
Which brings me back to
this summer. Where to go? My mind wanders. Time is spent pouring over
things scarcely known---to me at least. As one having neither the
resources nor jaw-dropping shear physical stamina of Teddy I must adjust
my fantasies accordingly. Where to go? Certainly some normal hike of a
week or so in the Andes to break in gear and tone the body. But then
where? I must find someplace that takes me to my absolute physical,
emotional and spiritual limits. I have touched those limits before,
knowing both terror and exhilaration. There is nothing remotely like it,
not even you-know-what.
And so yes, I have some
ideas. But I am not going to write about them yet.
is an interview with Candice Millard.)
February 15, 2006
The Silence of the Pen
Alas. Reality has pushed
its gruesome face smack dab into my life. That is, reality in the form
of essays to correct, lessons to plan, books to finish and miles to run
and ride. So I will try hard to get all caught up with works and days
and books. I have of course a host of things that beg to issue from my
cyber-pen. But not yet. Soon and very soon.
And of course, there is
Peru---Andes and jungles and ruins. Much to plan, perchance to dream. Of
Gran Pajáten. Of
Laguna de los Condores. Of
Alpamayo. Of the Cordillera Blanca and
And do not worry if you
have never heard of these places, for few have. But the desire---no, the
need---for me to know about them is all-consuming. Far away peaks of
granite and lakes of ice, of long-lost ruins and Godless jungles, are
having their way with me. They haunt---they have always haunted. Like
Odysseus I hear their siren calls. Time to put these demons to rest.
February 12, 2006
Death to Them That Follow
Forget taxes and war and spending and immigration
and welfare and Social Security and liberals and conservatives and Democrats and
Republicans. Put them all out of your little heads. The one---the only---thing
that defines who and what you are is your view on abortion. Either you favor it
or you don't. If you do then you have no problem when an
abortionist---let's not call these guys doctors, OK?---shoves a pair of scissors
into the head of an almost born child. For doing so is completely legal in all
50 states. It is called 'partial birth abortion.'
A woman goes to a
clinic right before the baby is due. She lays out the cash, gets into position
and allows the abortionist to grab her unborn child so that his head is inside
while his legs dangle outside. The abortionist takes a pair of scissors and
shoves them into them into the child's brain and scrambles them around a bit. He
then inserts a suction tube to remove the skull contents of the dead child. He
pulls out the corpse, tosses it aside and tells the woman to get dressed. Then
he is off to his next 'patient'.
Oh stop your complaining! I can hear you even where
I sit and write. "Why, I absolutely do not support such a thing!" Well, if you
are pro-choice you most certainly do, for that 'choice' that you so fervently
support is illustrated below.
If you want to see the real thing---photos not drawings---then go
here. But be warned. You will be
entering a small part of Hell. Have a stiff drink first.
Back already? Have a nice look at 'the land of choice' did we? If those
photos did not bother you, then you are a monster. Please leave my site.
For those humans that remain, you are of course appalled. Yet if you still
support abortion you are in a morally tough spot. You want to leave some sort of
legal wiggle-room for abortion in cases of rape or incest, but are extremely
uncomfortable with partial-birth abortion. I understand your view, but I have
some bad news for you. The moral difference between partial-birth abortion and a
run-of-the-mill abortion is precisely nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
For you see, once Harry meets Sally and sperm meets egg, the moral question
is over. Life has begun and Sally will have a baby. She might abort it but what
she aborts is still a baby. She might miscarry but what results is still a baby.
She might bring it to term, that is, she will have a baby. Rape and incest are
abominations, but such horrors are not improved or eliminated by adding murder
to them. A raped woman who aborts does not all of a sudden feel better.
There are two and only two positions on abortion. One: abortion should be
allowed. Two: abortion should not be allowed. Anything else is just moral
confusion. Each view is defensible, although the first brings up another
problem. Why not allow 'abortion' beyond the child's birth? Ridiculous you say.
Not so, for this is exactly the position of
Peter Singer, Professor
of Bioethics at Princeton. He is a monster but not an irrational one, and he
sees far more clearly than the pro-choice crowd the real issue, which is: Once
you remove the sanctity of life from conception, then wherever society places
such sanctity is an entirely legal and arbitrary construct. Singer argues that a
family should be allowed up to one year beyond birth to decide whether to abort.
Either position creates a certain sort of world. A world where life is
sanctified at conception would mean a world with more people. It might be news
to the overpopulation-crowd but people are born not just with mouths but hands
and minds too. A non-abortion world would allow more Mozarts, more Martin Luther
Kings and---alas!---more Clintons, but more doctors and engineers as well. A
abortion world would be smaller of course, but not everywhere, for there are
certain types of people who will continue to believe that life is sanctified at
conception no matter what the modern world tells him. These types will come to
outnumber the abortion crowd who after all support the slaughter of a segment of
the next generation. After a few generations the anti-abortion types will
predominate in politics, the pulpit, academia, everywhere.
And this is exactly what is happening here in the US. The political party
that supports abortion-on-demand---the Democrat Party---is having a hard time
these days winning elections. Those states where Democrats predominate are
exactly those states that are losing population, and losing it to conservative
states like Texas and Oklahoma.
Simply stated, pro-choice types are
condemning themselves to oblivion. Their defining position is a
slow-motion mechanism of death, a veritable and insensate
grinds away at the next generation.
The pro-choice crowd has a suicide
pact---with themselves and with their children who will never be.
February 11, 2006
I do not surf the web.
Too much to do with just keeping up with my blog and reading a bunch of
other blogs. And then there is work, Mass, exercise, loads of books and
thinking randomly and often.
So while reading a bit at
Neal Boortz I came
across a site which was rather---how does one say this?---'interesting'
in a clinical sort of way. In my daily run at existence---at least since
I left my last teaching post---I seldom come upon one such as the damsel
pictured below. Her name is
She describes herself as
Life-loving fat lesbian separatist feminist who's had it with
business as usual, hopelessness, despair, new-age mentality, and
other ways of denying the trouble we're in and our complicity with
Some of Amy's interests
are not exactly common among the crowd I move with. They are:
lesbian-feminists, lesbian separatism, activism, radical love, cats,
sustainable living, seeing the world, lesbian detective fiction
I love the web! For how
else would I have known that there was something called 'lesbian
detective fiction'? It is indeed true that one learns something new
every day. And as for 'lesbian separatism' I am all for it.
OK, just what am I
getting at here? I don't know exactly, except that those who live in
free societies have to understand that such freedom allows for one such
as Amy to live and---by her own lights---to thrive. There is no getting
around this. If you persecute Amy and her types you persecute me and my
types. She needs prayers, a psychiatrist and a legion of dieticians
certainly but she must not be denied her Constitutional rights in any
But Amy has some
complaints about just what those rights are. You see, Amy had a problem
when she attempted to board an airline.
I was barred from boarding Southwest Airlines because I refused to
comply with their “customer of size” policy by purchasing a second
Even though I’ve been some degree of fat my whole life, and
certainly have gotten my share of ridicule and rejection because of
it, being refused a public accommodation hasn’t been part of my
I understand her position
but then there is no airline on the planet that can possibly accommodate
her extreme width and breadth without charging extra. Just as she freely
chose her life and eating habits Southwest Airlines freely chose its
policies. Amy is free to find another airline if she is displeased with
Southwest. Free societies work that way. No business is in any way
forced to accommodate the odd, the perverse and the goofy. If Amy's
girth takes up two spaces then she must pony up the required dough. If
Amy ordered two plates at a restaurant---a common occurrence for her I
am sure---then she must pay for the privilege. Amy's clothes must
certainly cost more than mine, yet I doubt her tailor charges what mine
does. Amy's life-style has its attendant benefits and its attendant
What Amy really wants is
for the rest of us---those who use and pay for only one seat---to
subsidize her life-style choice. For if Southwest allowed Amy to occupy
two seats while paying for only one, then the company would have to make
up that lost revenue somewhere. It would have to either raise costs or
cut services. More than likely every passenger would have the cost of
his ticket go up so that Amy could get an extra seat free of charge.
Amy is typical of her
type. Her site has much whining, wailing and gnashing of teeth about how
the cold, cruel world refuses to see her as she wishes to be seen, to
treat her as she wishes to be treated, to accommodate her as she
wishes to be accommodated.
If you're thin and white and heterosexual and able-bodied, you don't
understand what it's like to live with other people's hatred.
Amy, Amy, Amy! It is not
hatred at all. It is just that in the average, normal run of worldly
affairs we simply do not run into someone like you. Your very appearance
is a bit shocking. We look but then
turn away either in pity or embarrassment. We would help you if we
could but we really would not know where to start. And besides, you seem
content in your life-style. Who are we to interfere? Live and let live,
And Amy, it is certainly
not some sort of attack upon the lesbian-feminist critique of 'Western
Culture' to say you are rather freakish in
your habits. There is no getting around this my dear. There is no
culture on the planet---and none in history outside of
Sappho's island of
Lesbos---that would feel that you and yours were
anything but odd. In fact, about the only place where you and yours can
exist free of oppression is the West---particularly the US. Try opening
up shop in, say, Saudi Arabia and you will see what I mean. And very
So stop your complaining.
And start your own airline if you like. You are absolutely free to do so.
I might even fly in it some day if I could pay for just one seat.
I had almost made a vow
to stop writing about the goof-ball foolishness of radical Islam.
Writing about nuts can drive one nuts. It tires and exhausts having to
put cyber-pen to cyber-paper and examine the nether reaches of the
Moslem mind. After a few days the spirit revolts. "Enough already!", it
yelps. "Write about sex, about Peru, about economists, about sexy
Peruvian economists---but stop all this writing about Islam!"
OK. Well, almost OK. I
could not resist. Please help me! (And whatever you do, please do not
ask Mohammed to dance.)
No witty commentary
Except to say that I have
much to say---about Peru. Very much. Much too much. Soon and very soon.
And here is the one and
only sexy Peruvian economist. His name is
Hernando de Soto.
He is unique in all of Latin
America. He actually gets it.
February 10, 2006
Hip-hop 'artist' and moral
imbecile Kayne West is again off his meds. His most recent puerile decent into
sewage is his call for a new and revised Bible starring...well, Kayne West.
Cocky rap star Kayne West
is calling for a
revised edition of the Bible, because he thinks he should be a character
The Jesus Walks
hit maker, who picked up three Grammy awards
last night, feels sure he'd be "a griot" (West African storyteller) in a
He says, "I bring up historical
subjects in a way that makes kids want to
learn about them. I'm an
Right on Kayne! You tell 'em, bro! Why, who
cannot but be inspired by some of your storytelling?
f*** you, Kanye, first and foremost
For making me do this s***. Muh'f*****
Had to throw everybody out the m*********** room
'Cause they don't f******..
always had a Ph.D.: a Pretty Huge D***
Ladies tired of gettin' ripped off by guys like this
And givin' h*** is like 'oh well, the shoes and the toothpick'
Well, I'm in the club for a limited time
Act now and get some action for $free.99
Sure beats The Sermon on
Kayne might need to get a
little help before he puts his pen to Holy Scripture.
Kayne West struggles to hold down a relationship because he's addicted
The All Falls Down
hitmaker admits he never goes anywhere without a stash of porn magazines and
thinks about sex all the time, which is why he has problems being
Ah, well my man we all have problems. Maybe
you can overcome yours. You could turn to Jesus for help and...
I said turn to Jesus, not
turn into Jesus! Oh well.
Kayne says being in the Bible would not be
much of a stretch because he is "definitely in the history books
already." Yes, and so is bestiality.
February 9, 2006
The only reason anyone
pays attention to the Islamic world is that it has oil. If Iraq and Iran
were known only for their fabulous oranges no one would ever hear about
them. If Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait to corner the macadamia nut
market no one would give a rodent's back side.
It is oil, dear reader,
that makes these ridiculously unstable and grubby Moslem nations
subjects of interest. It is oil, dear reader, that enables the perfect
criminals who run some of these benighted places to buy stuff. And let
us define 'stuff': We mean Western stuff. For no one buys Islamic stuff
for there is no such thing. OK, there are great rugs, but what else? Now
be a good lad and go into your kitchen and look at your appliances.
Anything made in, say, Qatar? Germany certainly---especially your coffee
machine with all those tubes coming out of them. France, maybe. America,
maybe. Italy, maybe. Now go around the rest of your house and search for
stuff made in Islamic lands. Take your time.
You found nothing. Sure
there was furniture from Sweden, a stereo from Japan, a TV from Korea, a
computer from Taiwan, books from England and a whole lot of cheap junk
from China. But your home was bereft of anything from the Islamic world.
For one indisputable fact of the universe is that the part of the globe
where Mohammed reigns has no idea how to create wealth. There is no
Islamic al-Microsoft, no al-Wal-Mart, no al-Sony. Besides oil---of
course only extracted with Western technology---the Islamic world
produces nothing but grimy thugs and rampaging mobs. And rugs. And funny
hats. And pajamas. But alas, neither soap nor dentists.
And everything in the
Islamic world that actually works has been imported from the West. Every
car and ball-bearing and steel pipe and transistor and air conditioner
and nut and bolt came from somewhere else. Islam cannot even manufacture
the AK-47s by which Moslems regularly kill each other. And even spooky
Iran has no idea how to build a nuclear bomb. All of its nuclear plans
and parts and schemes were imported from France and Russia and Germany.
And it is oil that gives the Iranian nut-jobs the cash to buy that
stuff. An Iran without oil could only threaten the world with an embargo
on caviar. And while that would certainly send the Manhattan media types
on a surrender mission to Tehran no one else would know about it.
So it is back to oil.
They have it. We need it. So we buy it. Lots of it. All the time. Our
civilization depends upon it. Lots of it. All the time. And Islam uses
this ocean of cash to buy stuff from us. No, not many Tchaikovsky CDs,
but stuff like tanks and guns and bullets and missiles and Sarin gas.
Every weapon possessed by Saddam's army was imported.
If the West really and
truly wanted the Islamic world to calm down and shut up it would find
other sources of oil. If Moslem nations had no access to Western cash
they could hardly threaten anyone except other Moslems. And no one would
care. This sounds heartless but I am only reporting the world as it is.
Africans regularly murder and rape and imprison Africans. And the West
does---what? Nothing, for outside of Nigeria and Gabon it has no oil.
(No, I had never heard of Gabon either. I had to look it up.)
So it is back to oil. If
there were sources of it outside the absurdly unstable and tyrannical
and irrational Islamic world we civilized types would be better off.
Sure, we have a history of dealing with criminals when necessary---our
treating with pirates and Prohibition gangsters is quite telling---but
we would rather deal with stable and law-abiding folk. So where might we
find this oil? Easy answer: In America's own backyard. We have lots of
it. In liquid or shale or tar sands the US is swimming in the stuff.
Then why don't we simply dig it up and feed our thirsty SUVs? Easy
answer: There is an entire library of environmental law that prohibits
the extraction of most oil in the US.
You see, sometime in the
70s we were ourselves nuts. No, we did not rampage and burn Danish flags
but we did ruin a presidency and abandon an ally and allow marijuana
addicts to seize our universities and media. These types looked at
Mother Earth and saw a goddess. They came to see humanity itself as an
affront to their goddess and Western civilization as a plague. In this
they took a step backward in theological and moral sanity to a time
thousands of years ago. For their beliefs were not new but quite common
in Babylon of old and among the ancient
Andean Indigenous. The earth was sacred, and drilling into her body
was blasphemous. Of course, environmental types would not put the case
this way, but what of it? And they were clever and persuasive and before
long we had passed a bunch of what became known as 'environmental
legislation.' Drilling for new oil had become difficult, and building a
nuclear power plant had become impossible.
And all of this has led
to where we are now, dependent on a bunch of rag-tag Barbary Pirates for
the life blood of our civilization. Let us not blame Islam, for we did
this to ourselves. And we can un-do it as easily as we un-did
Prohibition. Once we get the political will to drill for our own oil we
will not much need the Islamic world anymore. True, we will have to keep
Israel well-supplied with the latest arms so that she can keep banging
Arab heads together, but that is really a side-show. All those obscenely
wealthy Gulf states would go bankrupt and take on the appearance of
hardscrabble Yemen or the back-lot of Lawrence of Arabia. Their
politics would be a side-show of a side-show of a side-show, of
entertainment value only.
And once we do acquire
oil independence Americans can go back to building those tremendously
vulgar automobiles we once made---with fins and chrome and big engines.
Sure the environmental crowd will squeal, but we could simply legalize
marijuana to keep them quiet and happy and sedate. The rest of us could
drive around all the time in our cool cars. And al-Jazeera would become
the Cartoon Network. And gas would be one dollar per gallon. And the
president of Iran and the ambassador of Saudi Arabia would have all the
importance of third-tier diplomats from Gabon.
February 8, 2006
in the Sky
So a whole lot of Moslems
got riled up and began to play with matches. Their targets were flags
and embassies. And they killed a few of their own---let's call this
'friendly fire'---and a Catholic priest in Turkey. And the result of all
of this hoopla and mayhem is...well, nothing. No Moslem life has been
bettered, no Moslem nation's GDP has increased, no deeper understanding
of Islam has emerged, no new invention has come out of these
pyrotechnics. In fact what has been obvious on every TV set in the world
is that Islam is murderously prickly and sensitive. The riots have
reaffirmed what people in the West have long believed, that the majority
of Moslem lands are filled with soap-deprived and illiterate barbarians.
This may not be true, but I am open to evidence proving the contrary.
I imagine what I would
feel if my fellow Christians had acted this way in every Christian
nation, if they were seen on every TV as a bunch of screaming Huns---my
apologies to Attila---on a berserk rampage over cartoons. I would be
embarrassed. But perhaps even more, I would be ashamed. It would wound
deeply to think that my faith, a 2000 year-old tradition of Mercy and
Redemption and Forgiveness, had simply ended up in ignorance and lunacy.
It would wound deeply that wherever my faith were strong one would find
poverty, tyranny, Jew hatred, misogyny and terrorism. It would wound
deeply that nowhere from my faith had emerged any writings remotely
resembling the Declaration of Independence, The Wealth of
Nations, Summa Theologica or The Decline and Fall of the
Instead what we read are
grotesque fatwas demanding the death of this guy or that guy over
something or other. We read of regular sermons simply drooling hatred
for Jews, for Americans, for all Westerners.
And oh my God, about
those Jews! Here is an Egyptian
newspaper---government controlled of course---giving its opinion on
the state of mankind:
If you want to know the
real perpetrator of every disaster or every act of terrorism,
look for the Zionist Jews...It is the Jews, with their hidden
filthy hands, who play their part with expertise in order to
harm the Arabs and Muslims and to intensify hatred towards
them...It is obvious that the Jews are the ones who placed these
things, in order to prove to the entire world that the Arabs
and Muslims are behind the bombings...It not only engages in
terror in the Palestinian territories but exports it to all the
countries of the world...Their black history is the best
possible proof that hatred toward the Arabs and the Muslims
fills their hearts and blinds their eyes. They are behind all
troubles, disasters and catastrophes in the world.
That was written in 2004. Have things changed since? Well, no. Guess who
blame for those cartoons?
Iran's supreme leader on
Tuesday accused Western newspapers of an Israeli conspiracy for
publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
An Israeli nation surrounded on every side by an Islamic world of
350,000,000 Arabs, outnumbered 50 to 1, and the problems of Islam can be
traced to Jews? Alas, who is today shocked at such ravings?
Ah yes, no one is shocked. You see, the West has simply come to expect
such things from Islam. When we saw them pouring into the streets of
their dreary little cities bellowing hatred, no one---absolutely no
one---was surprised. No one---absolutely no one---came away from seeing
this and thought, "Oh my God! What's going on?" No, they came away from
seeing this and said, "There they go again." What would have been
shocking would have been to witness Moslems marching around the world to
protest their despicable governments, their lack of freedom, their
abject poverty. But no. They would rather raise Hell over cartoons.
Let us not think that all of this is Medieval, that Islam is simply
stuck in a world that the rest of us left 1000 years ago. This is
manifestly not the case. Medieval Islam was one of the glories of man,
one of his civilized heights, almost equal in sublimity to Medieval
Christianity. Islam kept its creative power at least until the 1600s.
Here is an example of Islam from 400 years ago, the Blue Mosque:
To my eye there is nothing created by man as sublime as this. Yet, who
would believe that Islam could build its like today?
The world of Islam is not Medieval but irrational. It has lost whatever
ability it once had to deal with things as they are. There is a
disconnect between reality and what Islam claims is reality. What all
this terror, killing and mayhem are about is Islam trying desperately to
force the world as it exists to become the world as it exists in the
Islamic mind. In the Islamic mind, non-Moslems are to be killed or taxed
or enslaved. In the Islamic mind the doctrines of the Koran are
manifestly true and whatever is not in the Koran is manifestly false. In
the Islamic mind public beheadings and sending children out to commit
suicide are signs of strength. In the Islamic mind the world will one
day live under a caliphate and all of humanity will be Moslem.
But all of these are psychoses, 'living in castles in the sky.' None
will come to pass. Eventually Islam will shatter itself upon the stones
of reality. It will experience just what was experienced by totalitarian
Japan, Nazi Germany and China during its Cultural Revolution. All of
these bizarre fantasies succumbed to the irrefutable laws of logic and
Alas, in the meantime we must watch the degrading spectacle of a once
great religion go the way of Zoroastrianism.
February 6, 2006
Dreadful Little Cowards
I refer of course to the American media. So quick to insult Christianity, so
quick to perform verbal gymnastics to avoid so doing to Islam. The reason is
obvious and one any schoolgirl would see in an instant. Our vaunted media,
over-educated, condescending and arrogant, are afraid of bone-ignorant
barbarians screaming death and destruction at any who would insult their dear
From My Pet Jawa comes
this cartoon that says all you need to know about the New York Times and its
And what of that reference to dhimmi?
Dhimmi was the name
applied by the Arab-Muslim conquerors to indigenous non-Muslim
populations who surrendered by a treaty (dhimma) to Muslim
Our brave media understand very well that
an insult to Christianity will result in a few letters to the editor,
while an insult to Islam will result in having a knife stuck in your
And these weasels are oh-so-quick to
mention and re-mention Abu Ghraib, the phony Koran-in-the-toilet story
and anything else that would unleash Moslem mobs on America and its
military. But to report on cartoons that would unleash these mobs on the
media themselves, why these courageous souls run for the tall grass.
Cowardice is also why the media reporting
on the Iraq War has been so off the mark, so unreliable and so silly.
The brave wonders of our news media by and large have never served in our
military. Too risky. So they take refuge in schools of journalism and
emerge triumphant, ready to pontificate to the uneducated American
masses on all things domestic and foreign. This is of course why they
ridicule the Red States like Oklahoma and Texas. The boys there join the
military right out of high school. It is these young men who overthrew
the grim regimes of the Taliban and of Saddam. The news media pay so
little attention to them because the very existence of such men is an
affront to what passes for manhood at San Francisco bars and Manhattan
Watch any presidential press conference.
Take a look at the media. Look at their blow-dried hair and unctuous
demeanor. Observe their smirks of aloofness and drooling
self-importance. Now ask yourself: Whom do you want defending our
nation, these guys or a bunch of Oklahoma boys?
There is another thing: If the US were ever
conquered by Islam, our media would simply put on pajamas and turbans
and work for Al-Jazeera. No one would notice any difference.
Update: I had forgotten that
Ted Koppel was wooed
by Al Jazeera
know it's fashionable to look at Al Jazeera
as just a propaganda outlet for al Qaeda...I
can tell you that al Jazeera is a huge step
up from where the Arab world's journalism
has been over the last 40 years.
Says the article:
accepted a job with
service Al Jazeera
plans to launch this
Says the US
Jazeera for what it
instances in which
the network has been
the first to
from reputed Al
Little Green Footballs comes this:
CNN has been accompanying
every story about the cartoon jihad with the boilerplate
CNN has chosen to not show
the cartoons out of respect for Islam.
But they apparently have
no such “respect” for Christianity; they didn’t hesitate for a
second to show this image of the virgin Mary made out of elephant
dung and pictures of female genitalia.
Why don’t they just come
clean and admit why they won’t show the Mohammed cartoons?
CNN has chosen to
not show the cartoons out of fear of Islam.
Some media guys do in fact get it. From the liberal Juan Williams:
...I pray that I don't
say anything offensive to Muslims here this morning, but I gotta
say it looks to me like evidence of a very weak religion when
people somehow can't stand a cartoon.
February 5, 2006
The View From Dante's Peak
If Moslems call those
Danish cartoons an affront to their faith worthy of beheading, they
should ponder what old Dante thought of their prophet. I tell you, it is
(1265-1321) lived in an age more serious than our own. It had become
clear that the Christian invasions of the Holy Land---we call them the
failed. Jerusalem remained in Ottoman hands, and by 1291 the last
Christian redoubts in the Levant had disappeared.
Dante begin to write his
Divine Comedy in 1300. It has 100 chapters (cantos) placed in
3 sections: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. It is
Dante's Inferno---what we call Hell---that most entertains the
modern mind, and with good reason. It is simply more fun to indulge our
fecund imaginations with visions of damnation than of redemption.
Dante's tale begins as he
is walking in a lonely and dark wood. He becomes frightened, but is
relieved when the Roman poet
Virgil (70-19 BC)
appears to guide him. It is Virgil who takes Dante through Hell and
Purgatory, but then allows Dante to go on without him. Virgil is a
Roman, a pagan, and as such cannot enter Heaven. It is then that Dante's
great beloved Beatrice accompanies him through Heaven and onto a path
that takes him back to his own world.
Dante populated his
Inferno with an entire host of grotesque sinners, among them
suicides, murderers, sodomites, gluttons and sowers of discord. This
last group is where Dante placed Mohammed and his son-in-law Ali. You
can see Dante with Virgil below in this woodcut by
(1838-1883) as they witness the eternal punishment handed out to them.
Mohammed is doomed to forever have his body ripped apart. Both he and
Ali are seen chased by an avenging demon. As I said, the vision is not a
No cask without an end stave or
E'er gaped so wide as the
one shade I beheld,
Cloven from chin to where the
wind is voided.
Between his legs his entrails
hung in coils;
The vitals were exposed to view,
That sorry paunch that changes
food to filth.
While I stood there watching him
He looked at me and stretched
his breast apart,
Saying: "Behold, how I split
Behold, how mutilated is
In front of me the weeping Ali
His face cleft through from
forelock to the chin;
And all the others that you see
Fomenters were of discord and
And that is why they are so
Imagine the outcry if
such words were written today. The fact of the matter is that they could
not be written today---and probably should not be.
February 4, 2006
How Not To Love
at one time or another a fool for love. But we grow out of it. In all the hurt
and joy and stupidity and foolishness we do at long last find a wisdom of sorts.
We pick up the pieces, licking our wounds along the way and move on, one hopes
to things more permanent and real.
Or at least most of us do.
Over at the American Digest
there is the sad tale of Carl. We have all known a Carl, one who simply cannot
learn from his mistakes or the mistakes of others. Carl is one of those guys
whose idea of love is stuck at the level of a romantic adolescent. He is quite simply
a fool. But his tale is movingly told. Read it.
And thank God you are not
King Must Die
wrote a little piece about how we will know that the end game has arrived for
Iran. Alas, he is
Much noise and doubt from the EU and
UN remains to sort through about Iran and its apocalyptic aggression;
however the leading indicator I am told to watch, at the end of the day, is
the US Navy.
When it is time, the POTUS,
whoever he is at the time, will deploy multiple carrier battle groups to the
Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Med, Indian Ocean; and the deployment will be
deliberate and over weeks. The interval will be a form of last grasp
Until the fleet puts to sea with
the usual arsenal of recon and strike aircraft, until the strategic bombers
concentrate, the posturing in Tehran and Vienna and Washington will be
entertainment value only. Enjoy.