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August 14, 2006

WordPress Wins

I have decided upon WordPress rather than Blogger. It is impossible in Blogger to have a truly unique look. My site would always appear like one million others. With WordPress, having a personal look to my blog is a snap. There are literally hundreds of templates. The one you see at my soon to be only blog site is only the latest look and feel I have been experimenting with.

Whatever the difficulties were with WordPress---photo insertion, for example---its myriad programmers (it is open code) have been working on them.

WordPress is more difficult to use then Blogger but time spent now will pay off in the end. I like the idea of using a true blog program rather than creating my own (crude) web pages. My site looks tighter and more professional. All I have to do now is improve my writing, alas.

I will be working all day to add links and things to the basic design. By tomorrow I will write no more here and will arrange with my DNS host to automatically direct all visitors here to my new site.

All archives from almost 4 years of writing will be available at WordPress but they will stay in the old format. Eventually all my backpacking files will be in WordPress as well. My Professional Teaching site will also have a link.

In the meantime, pray for Israel, hope for the destruction of Hezbollah, and go have a beer---but not necessarily in that order.

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August 11, 2006

Geeky Stuff

I have just finished a book about blogging called Blogging For Dummies. (Stop laughing.) The author writes of all the blogging possibilities mentioned below. It looks as if WordPress and Blogger are the best choices. Here is my blog in one of the Blogger templates, and here is one in WordPress. These are only temporary and likely will end up being radically different. This week I will choose one or the other and begin to write only on that platform.

Each has things I like and things I do not like. WordPress in hosted for free at Yahoo. Since I have my domain at Yahoo it is a snap to use. All files are automatically loaded on my host at Yahoo. To write I do not need special software but only need to log on to Yahoo. But: loading photos in WordPress is a slow and cumbersome business---and I upload these all the time. Apparently the font size for posting cannot be changed. Templates are few though WordPress has a site where there are literally hundreds more. Still, these are a bit clumsy to download and install. Many of these look great though.

Blogger seems to have about half the business in the blogging world. It is free and offers unlimited space for your blog. And it is simple. Photos are placed in your blog in a few seconds. Posting is easy, and I can host all my files on my ftp server at Yahoo. There are not many templates, however, so any Blogger site is instantly recognizable.

My main concern is this: though many bloggers begin there, the more popular a blog gets the more likely the owner switches to another platform, like WordPress, TypePad or Moveable Type. I would not enjoy changing my mind after a year or two and having to change sites. But it must be said that many of the most prominent bloggers---The Belmont Club, for example---use Blogger.

Alas, TypePad is another possibility, but I would have to pay around $100 per year. I could host my files at Yahoo though, and photos and editing are snaps.

What to do?

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Playing Us For Saps

I have written several posts about how the mainstream media---what Rush calls the 'drive by media'---purposefully lies and distorts. They have no intention on providing news, only propaganda. They are in the business of shaping reality to their ideology. Media 'truth' is a relative thing, always able to be modified as circumstances change.

The war in Lebanon is only the most recent---and the clearest---example of how the media falsifies their 'reporting.' The media despise Israel. Period. (They also despise conservatives and Christianity, but more on these some other time.)

Here is a clarifying example of how they do it---and how they have done it. They really think us stupid.

As I have said for years, if you read them or listen to them or watch them---and believe them---you are a fool.

(Hat tip: Gateway Pundit)

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August 9, 2006

Taking the Plunge

I began reading blogs around 2000. Thus inspired, I acquired my own domain---mikeaustin.org---and started my own web page two years later. At first It was for professional reasons. I kept all of my teaching stuff over there---resume, biography, certifications and so on. I still do.

Beginning in 2003 I began to write blog-type commentary almost daily. It was at the outset of the Iraq War and I had much material to work with. I used Microsoft FrontPage as my HTML editor and still use it today. It was convenient, as I was about to embark on a year-long solo backpacking trip around Central and South America. I wanted a way to write a sort of on-line diary on all that I was doing in Peru, Chile, Honduras and parts yonder. Since every internet cafe throughout Latin America used Microsoft Office and usually had FrontPage as well, I could access my web page wherever I was. The plan worked marvelously and the results are here.

I continued writing after returning to the US, though deciding in January 2005 that I wanted to have two web pages, one for professional things and the other devoted just to writing. Thus was born my blog the return of scipio. You are reading it now.

Gradually I saw the limitations of my method, that of setting up my own blog using FrontPage. Bloggy things like trackbacks, comments, RSS feeds, permalinks were at the very least difficult to manage. Every blogger I read used one of several methods each offering software written for bloggers---Blogger, WordPress, Moveable Type, TypePad.

Now I will too. Today and tomorrow I will choose the software most suitable for me and for my blogging style. It will remain on my domain and retain my blog name the return of scipio. So expect a radically different site soon.

I am not sure how I will access my archives with the new software. More than likely they will not be able to be ported, and so will remain in the current web page format.

I am also working on a site devoted just to solo backpacking in Latin America. Surprisingly, it will be called Solo Backpacking in Latin America.

So I will be furiously busy getting all of these things done in the next few days before a new horde of 8th graders arrive.

Stay tuned.

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August 8, 2006

Cuba in Fact not Fantasy

As usual, Babalu Blog has the goods on events of that dismal isle.

I see where 400 'intellectuals' have warned the US  to keep her hands of that workers paradise. The list is an excellent resource to find an idiot. Every signatory is a moral imbecile.

And if the US intervenes there, what will those 'intellectuals' do?

As for the future of Cuba...stay tuned.

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August 7, 2006

Goebbels Comes Alive!

Old Joe Goebbels had it right: If you lie make it a whopper and repeat it constantly. Do these and soon the lie will become such a part of conventional wisdom that everybody believes it without thinking.

Our own media have used this technique since before I was a babe---long before. Jefferson had their number back the youthful days of our Great Republic. He had a low view of the media of his day.

Nothing in this paper is true, with the possible exception of the advertising, and I question that.

And

I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.

And

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.

Amen brother! It appears that the inky wretches in days of yore were as truth challenged then as they are now. Plus ça change, plus c'est le meme chose.

And take even a cursory glance at the media during our Civil War. All was hatred of Honest Abe, who was described in terms that George Bush could understand. "Traitor!" "Liar!" "Murderer!" "War monger!" Harpers went further into its Thesaurus to describe Lincoln as "a despot, liar, thief, braggart, buffoon, usurper, monster, ignoramus." It sounds like Cindy Sheehan spewing forth about Bush, but these words came from the media elite of the day.

Here is one of their charming cartoons showing what they thought of Lincoln, one of the greatest men of any age and time:

Once our lovely media get an idea in their head, it stays there:

Our media have even started a war---the Spanish-American War.

Joseph Pulitzer was also a key in publicizing the war in New York City. His newspapers, along with Hearst's, exaggerated news of the atrocities in Cuba in an attempt to sway popular opinion in New York City in favor of intervention.

Hearst was famously (though probably erroneously) quoted, in a response to a request by his illustrator Frederic Remington to return home from an uneventful and docile stay in Havana, as writing: "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

We need not repeat here the media lies of Walter Duranty about the USSR, of Wally Cronkite during Vietnam, of Dan Rather about 'fake but accurate'  reporting and of media darlings Eason Jordan, Howell Raines and Jason Blair. You really should be conversant with these folks and their shameless mendacities. If you are not, do your homework. Ignorance is not bliss, it is---ignorance.

And now our media are trying to end the war in Iraq---ignominiously, as is their wont---and assist the practiced killers of Hezbollah to defeat Israel. If you have not heard of Reuters latest attempt to falsify the news using photo-shopped pictures, just go here.

Reversing Hearst, our media exclaim, "You furnish the pictures and I'll end the war."

The media have been busy endlessly peddling Big Lies about Iraq. Here is a sample that would make Goebbels proud.

1.    Bush lied about the reasons for the Iraq war.

2.    Saddam had nothing to do with al-Qaeda.

3.    No WMDs have been found in Iraq.

4.    Bush knew beforehand about 9/11.

If you believe any of these to be true, you are irrational. No logic or reason could possibly change your mind, alas. You belong to the media and are their servant. And no, I do not wish to debate you. I would be wasting your time, and you, mine. And there is this:

But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.---Titus 3:9-11

There are more examples of Big Lies---there are always more---but it tires to write about them.

One of their constantly repeated refrains is that 'they speak truth to power.' As usual, the opposite is the case. Our media cringe when faced with real power, the type of power that can send you to a Gulag. Read any of their craven reports from Lebanon and Iraq. Watch CNN as it gets on its knees to the god Castro.

The media consider themselves bold and courageous because they 'stand up to Bush' while hiding behind the First Amendment. They betray secrets in wartime knowing that nothing whatsoever will happen to them. They willingly serve the role as 'useful idiots' to our enemies.

If you want to know how a real journalist speaks truth to power, look at the career of Oriana Fallaci.

The American media have nothing remotely like her. Instead, we have this worthless fellow, Pinch Sulzberger of the New York Times.

All major media---The New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, the BBC, NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC, Reuters, the Associated Press, CNN---agree on the major issues of the day. They march in lock-step, feeding us without end their view of the world. Few media creatures attend church, fewer vote Republican and almost none have served in the military. So what sort of 'fair and balanced' view do you expect from them? One expects what one gets: the views of a liberal, condescending, arrogant, craven and pagan elite.

If your views on 'Life, the Universe and Everything' come from these guys, you are a dupe. But you certainly do not have to remain one.

For years these media had an absolute monopoly on what Americans read and heard. Now they are faced with competition all around, from Rush to Fox News to bloggers. Just like all liars caught in a web of mendacity, the media howl and yelp when their bigoted and narrow opinions are challenged.

So many media lies, so little time! Which leads one to wonder: We can catch the media today in their falsifications and distortions. But what of the past? How many lies have they spread about Vietnam? About Goldwater? About Nixon? How many of us believed them? How much of recent American history is composed of nothing but lies conjured up in press rooms? Must we go back and review every article and editorial and photo and headline?

Truly Goebbels lives, a media icon for our time.

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August 6, 2006

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

Still no Raúl! It has been almost two weeks and the hard drinking brother of Fidel is yet unaccounted for. Considering his extra-curricular activities he just might be curled up somewhere with his buddy Crown Royal.

The Cuban 'government'---hardly a real government, really just a family gang enterprise of the Castro brothers their sycophants---has issued several cryptic statements, some of which contradict others. This little gem appeared in the Brazilian newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo.

Cuban authorities told the president and the Workers Party (PT) that the dictator has cancer and that even if he recovers he might not return to power.

Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ('Lula') went all girly-girl about the problems of the Cuban tyrant. In the same words my mother said to me when my first puppy became sick, Lula wept:

It looks like we are going to lose our friend.

So cry me a river, Lula! But anyway, one can hope that the people of Cuba are about to lose their little friend. But then one hopes the Cuban killer is already smoking cigars with Arafat---or simply just smoking. But then comes this from the Cuban regime:

Vice President Carlos Lage denied a newspaper report that the 79-year-old former guerrilla fighter who had surgery for internal bleeding and temporarily turned over power to brother Raul on Monday, is suffering from stomach cancer and has an unfavorable prognosis.

Now we hear that little Danny Ortega (yep, the unemployed Sandinista of yore) has arrived in Havana to give aid and comfort to his long-time pal. Or perhaps, the Nicaraguan punk is there to help plan for a state funeral and line up favors for himself with the new Cuban regime when he returns to power in Managua.

While all of this has been going on, the Cuban military has mobilized and is taking positions across Cuba to prevent a US invasion. (No, really!)

So what is really going on down Cuba way?

I stick to my guns Piña Colada and state:

1.    Castro is dead.

2.    Raúl is dead or soon will be.

3.    The regime is not sure what to do, thus the contradictory statements and moving the army thither and yon.

4.    There is blood flowing behind the scenes as the acolytes of the dead Fidel jockey for power.

5.    A new ruling junta will be soon be announced.

6.    In due course a new boss, same as the old boss, will rise to the top.

7.    But he will not stay for long, and Cuba will enter period of violence against the regime funded by the US and by anti-Castro groups in Miami.

Or something like that. Remember, we have been here before when all those Soviet dictators died: the secrecy, the contradictions, the political maneuvering, the elimination of rivals, and so on.

All of which makes for great political theater.

Stay tuned.

(Hat tip: Babalu Blog)

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August 5, 2006

Random Thoughts

Joe Lieberman is in trouble. No doubt he will lose the Democrat primary to the dissembling Ned Lamont. The reason why the Democrat Party has tossed old Joe over the side is because of Iraq. The party is controlled by its more kook elements---the Daily Kos, MoveOn.org and such flotsam---and like the ChiComs during the 'Great Cultural Revolution' these types brook no variation of the party line. So Joe must go.

And now a bunch of conservatives have lined up behind Lieberman, people such as the yappy Sean Hannity. But why? Lieberman is your run-of-the-mill eastern seaboard liberal. He supports abortion, special rights for sodomites and the rest of the liberal socialist smorgasbord. He enjoys being thought of as a practicing Jew---yarmulke worn in public and all that---but tossed much of his Jewish belief out the window when he agreed to be put on the ticket with weird Al Gore in 2000. He claimed to be anti-abortion before---the Jewish thing again---but became pro-abortion while running for vice-president.

What do you call a man who supports the killing of children so that he can gain power?

Lieberman is for sale. He has very little honor. And so those with even less honor---those who run the Democrat Party---have moved in for the kill.

So tell me why I should feel sorry for Joe? Run with pigs and you get covered in slop.

So here is a suggestion for Joe: Run as a Republican in the general election. After all, he would not be out of place with the smarmy likes of Specter and Hagel.

__________

Mel Gibson is a drunk, not an anti-Semite. Demon Rum has him in its throes. Addictions---drugs, booze, gambling, pornography---are not things one can simply decide not to surrender to. The struggle with addiction is life-long. There are victories. There are defeats. No one---no one---can overcome addiction without God.

Addiction is in fact a being, a creature, though not a very nice one. Ask any cocaine addict. He talks of his addiction as if it were a person. Heroin addicts speak of 'the monkey on their back.' Porn addicts curse their addiction as if they are being pursued by a demon from Hell---which is exactly the case.

Were I Satan---and I am not, no matter what my students think---I would be heartily p***ed at Gibson for his Passion of the Christ. In the words of Pope John Paul II when asked what he thought of the film: "It is as it was." Furious at such negative publicity, Old Scratch then ginned up his pals in Hollywood---about everyone there---to condemn and attack Gibson. They failed, and Passion went on the earn upwards of 1 billion dollars. Think of all that cool publicity for God lovers!

But the Devil is a patient fellow. He caught Mel in a weak moment and went for the kill---and scored. And it was a 'two-fer'---bringing to ugly light Gibson's struggle with alcohol and putting Jew-hatred in his mouth. The Devil hates Jews, of course. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Paul, Peter, the whole original crowd---all Jews.

And so the friends and servants of Beelzebub line up to take a shot at Gibson.

But this will pass. You see, Gibson is a God lover. (I recognize the type. I also understand addiction well. Quite well.) He will pray for help and he will get it. But the removal of this thorn in Gibson's side will not happen in this life. Paul knew this too.

Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness."---2 Corinthians 12: 7-10

And Mel is learning who in Hollywood is really a friend and who is not---a refreshing moment of clarity. Here is what Gibson's friends are up to---Jody Foster among them. And more here.

__________

It is about impossible to speak of Ronald Reagan in something other than reverential tones. 'The Great Ronald,' as Rush says.

Ok, I love Reagan too. But his policies in the Middle East were disasters. For Reagan the Middle East was a sideshow, and his lack of interest in it showed. After the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks---financed by Iran, assisted by Syria, carried out by (guess who?) Hezbollah---Reagan did absolutely nothing. The American people would have completely supported a massive strike against Syria, Iran and southern Lebanon, but Reagan dithered. Our enemies took note that the killing of hundreds of Americans will get no response from the US government.

Kill one hoot owl in Oregon and you went to prison. Kill Americans by the bucket load and nothing whatsoever happened. Thanks Ron!

What we see today are the fruits of such policies.

The Middle East policies of Carter and Clinton were far worse, of course, if that makes you feel better.

__________

This just in:

The sky is blue! The wind blows! Grass is green! Hell is hot! Eggs have cholesterol! Water flows downhill!

And:

Iran admits to re-supplying Hezbollah!

Damn! I didn't know half this stuff!

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August 3, 2006

Where in the World is Raúl?

With brother Fidel dead, dying or otherwise out of the picture, Raúl is thought to be the next president-for-life. It is believed that Fidel turned over power to his brother before he went under the surgeon's knife. So where is the old boy?

Not only is Raúl silent, but the Cuban bureaucracy is more than a little closed-mouth.

Cuba's Communist Party tried to quell fears of chaos on Thursday following the temporary surrender of power by the ailing Fidel Castro but failed to clear up doubts over who is in charge of the island. In a typically cryptic message, the main Communist Party newspaper Granma printed an old speech by Raul Castro, who took over island leadership on Monday, saying that his brother's only heir was the Communist Party itself.

It is known that Raúl has a special relationship with both Johnny Walker and Jack Daniels. It is also known that he personally murdered hundreds of his enemies. He is a true believer in communism. After all, it has served him and brother Fidel quite well. But he is no spring chicken. That he wears dentures is obvious. What are those medals for?

See here for an assessment of Cuba under Raúl and after Raúl follows his brother into the abyss.

The US is preparing for the death of the longest-ruling tyrant on earth. To bring Cuba back into the family of free nations has been US policy since JFK, though it was that president's agreement with the USSR not to invade Cuba that allowed Castro to place a vice-grip on the island nation.

The political spin and behind-the-scenes maneuvering in Cuba resembles nothing so much as that which always occurred when a Soviet dictator died. Some even believe a military coup is in play. Recall the death of Stalin in 1953. Beria seized power, but then was killed by his fellow communists. Like Raúl Beria had a lot of baggage.

My guess? Fidel is dead. Other regime communists could not see Raúl as anything but a problematic alcoholic, with many scores to settle after a lifetime of scheming, in-fighting and murder. Raúl is probably dead as well. Most certainly there is blood-play happening behind closed doors in Havana.

This is always how communism dies, in blood and conspiracy.

And perhaps Fidel's death was 'not so much timely as well-timed.' We will know soon. There are fun days ahead.

Stay tuned. And have a Cuba Libre.

(Update: Babalu Blog)

George Bush is on the case. Here is what he said moments ago. It seems the White House knows something the public does not---a good thing, I am sure.

The United States is absolutely committed to supporting the Cuban people's aspirations for democracy and freedom. We have repeatedly said that the Cuban people deserve to live in freedom...We will support you in your effort to build a transitional government in Cuba committed to democracy, and we will take note of those, in the current Cuban regime, who obstruct your desire for a free Cuba. [emphasis added]

Sounds like old George believes FIdel to be somewhere with Arafat. And George has Raúl's number as well. I hope los hermanos putos y Cubanos save a place for Chavez.

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22August 2, 2006

Hezbollah's Worst Nightmares

The Jew-hating and viciously misogynistic child killers of Hezbollah are being defeated by Jewish girls like the ones below. (Click.)

No wonder the Hezbos are getting their butts kicked.

Of course, the guys are helping out too. Here they are with some---llamas! I have no idea what the IDF is planning with those llamas while crossing the Israeli-Lebanese border. It seems even animals want a piece of Hezbollah.

Oh dear, what will the Arab street do?

(Hat tip: Gateway Pundit)

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Army of Idiots

Our own media have always been in love with political killers. They romanticize them, whether they be a Lenin or a Mao or an 'Uncle Ho' or Sandinistas or Palestinians or a Ché or a Fidel. The only requirement is that the killers hate America and her allies. Nothing else matters.

Hezbollah is the latest band of murderers to get this treatment. According to the standard media refrain, Hezbollah is:

1. A resistance movement. This conjures up images of heroic French Resistance fighters in WW II (all two of them) waging a courageous shadow war against the Nazis.

2. A political party. Here we are to believe that Hezbollah is rather like our own Democrats and Republicans, but with funny hats.

3. Anti-colonialists. Here Israel is seen as an outpost of Western Civilization, and thus nothing more than a group of invaders who should be forced to go home, wherever that might be.

4. The finest fighters in the Islamic world. Perhaps they are. Of course, such an appellation would not require much fighting ability at all. The competition for this title is rather less than fierce.

5. Beloved by the Lebanese. We shall see.

6. An 'army of God'. Of Allah, certainly. But of the Hebrew and Christian God? I think not.

You get the picture. It boils down to 'Israel bad. Hezbollah good.' These Islamic killers get the same treatment from the media that the PLO got. Thus, there are plenty of manufactured PR opportunities for the 'Hezbos.' Slain children are only the latest fad. All this takes is for some Hezbollah-type to inform the media that the Israelis murder Arab children. The media show up, take the required photos as the dead children are waved around, and---voila!---a photo op.

The world then purrs in Gadarene unison: 'Israel bad! Hezbollah good!'

Well. Just who are these Hezbos anyway?

They are indeed a political party of sorts, in the same way that the Capone mob was a political party of sorts. Old Scarface ran candidates, bribed judges and murdered his opponents. The Hezbos do the same thing in Lebanon. And like Capone they try to win the hearts and minds of the common folk, supporting schools and hospitals and such. When the Hezbos are rendered impotent by the Israeli army, we will see how popular they are in Lebanon.

As to their strategic and tactical abilities on the field of battle, they are woefully ignorant and demonstrably incompetent. The military leaders of Hezbollah are stuffed with arcane bits of Koranic theology, but of Sun Tzu, Clausewitz and Machiavelli, forget it. Here is one of their leaders, one Sayed Ali. He spent the last five years in Tehran studying Islamic theology. He learned nothing of any practical use in combat.

Patience is our main virtue, we can wait for days, weeks, months before we attack. The Israelis are always impatient in battle and in strategy...I know them very well.

Not well enough, you moron. Of all the Arab-Israeli wars, Israel has won them all hands down. And this, even though the Arabs number 350,000,000 and the Israelis 7,000,000. And even as this military imbecile was speaking Israeli commandos strolled behind enemy lines right into the Hezbollah stronghold of Baalbek, killed a number of them and made off with some Hezbo commanders. The Israelis suffered zero casualties.

Our silly media was all amazed at how ingenious Hezbollah was because it built a whole series of underground forts and tunnels in southern Lebanon. Come again? What did Napoleon and Caesar and the Spartans and the Conquistadors think of forts other than places to be either ignored or destroyed. Sherman and Patton never built a one. The Marines in the Pacific theater in WW II bypassed most of the Japanese island forts and blasted the rest to pieces. For every Marine killed the Japanese suffered 22 killed.

Forts are monuments to stupidity. Ask the French about the Maginot Line and Dien Bien Phu. Forts provide an address for the enemy to either destroy or ignore at his whim, thereby leaving those inside them isolated and impotent---or dead. Hezbollah built forts which the Israeli Air Force is demolishing tunnel by tunnel.

If Hezbollah is 'the army of God,' then the Islamic god is a very poor general. Like all Islamic warriors from Mohammed to Baghdad Bob it are prone to bombast and a bizarre braggadocio that claims every defeat a victory and every humiliation a success. The Hezbos are competent at slitting the throats of bound women and murdering children, nothing more.

Hezbollah is an arm of Iran, a mercenary corps of fighters who do the mullahs' bidding. These mercenaries are re-supplied through Syria, an Iranian puppet state. Israel has for all intents and purposes cut this Islamic Ho Chi Minh Trail, leaving the Hezbos isolated and with a steadily decreasing supply of rockets and launchers. Hezbollah is being broken apart and annihilated. Nothing else will do. No cease-fire will do. No peace keeping force will do. Only victory will do. And every Israeli understands this.

And there is nothing that any Muslim can do about it. The media, true to form, howls about the 'Arab street,' about how Israel is only inflaming it. Who cares about what this ephemeral 'Arab street' thinks about anything? Who cares if it is 'inflamed' about Hezbollah or not? The ignorant and unwashed of the Islamic world are always aflame about this or about that. It takes nothing to set off the Moslems who live on the Arab street. Even cartoons suffice.

The coming destruction of Hezbollah will be one happy event. Iran will be seen to be impotent to aid her own fighters. Syria will be seen to be impotent to re-supply the terror group on Syria's own borders. Lebanon will at last have a chance to determine her own destiny. Israel will be free from missile attack.

The media will lament the death of these brave freedom fighters, of course. But these pompous sycophants will just have to find others. Already waiting in the wings: Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad.

Let the love fest begin!

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August 1, 2006

Go to Hell

And so the rumors fly: Is the 'Bearded One' dead? All who really know have not said. We have been this way before. Can it be true this time?

Please God. If not now, when?

The Cuban people imprisoned on their lovely isle wait.

The Cuban people living in Miami sing and dance.

Fidel himself either lies in a hospital bleeding internally or has already gone to his reward.

The death watch for this hijo de la chingada continues.

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July 31, 2006

Surrender or Fight

If we had fought World War II the way we are fighting the war against Islamic fascism we would have lost in 1942. The world as we know it would have never come to be. All today would be a dark night of totalitarianism. Western Civilization would exist only in history books---or perhaps it would have simply been sent down the memory hole. The survivors would exist as slaves to Hitler's descendants. Those who survived the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere would be slaves to the new samurai.

Had we lost---surrendered is the proper word---America would have a Vichy government paying tribute both to Germany and Japan. The Jews would be no more.

But we won that war. We won it by being more terrifying than the Germans and Japanese could imagine. Even as we met their soldiers on the battlefield and annihilated them we firebombed their cities. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were incinerated. And still we bombed. We became as death, the destroyer of worlds, to win the war as fast as we could. The war cost 60,000,000 lives, most of whom were civilians.

It has been the same in every war since the building of the Sumerian city-states.

There is this charming belief that in war only soldiers should slaughter each other, that non-combatants should be immune. But in which war has this been the case? Pick up any book on military history and open it to any page. Or simply begin with ancient warfare. Look up Melos. Carthage. Corinth. Numantia. Alesia. Persepolis.

In Medieval Warfare we find: Nika Riots, Viking raids, Mongol empires, Timur the Lame, Hundred Years War, Crusades, sieges of Constantinople, civil wars all around.

At the beginning of our era we find Conquistadors, sacks of Rome, Wars of Roses, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

And our own time has been incarnadined: colonial wars, the Boer War, the Rape of Nanking, the World Wars, the Great Leap Forward, Indo-Pakistani Wars.

In all of these civilians perished, usually as an act of policy. Such is war. It is Hell and you cannot change it. To avoid closing with an enemy out of fear of civilian deaths is to surrender.

It is our enemies who force us to fight among their women and children and in their mosques, for there is where they hide.

We are now engaged in a great conflict, greater than any we have fought. Defeat would mean dhimmitude. If you do not know this word you had best study it well. For much of what we call the West has already capitulated. Belgium, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Spain are lost. Within five years France and England will be lost. In our own nation many movers and shakers---the New York Times, the Democrat Party, Hollywood---have simply capitulated. They have become the enemy and perform the proper obeisance to their new masters.

You do not believe me? I can handle that. For it matters not at all what you think---or what I think. It matters a great deal what the terror masters in Iran and Syria think. And right now as I write these words they are absolutely convinced they can defeat us. Their every word and deed point to this.

They have ample reasons for their belief. Recall the day after September 11, 2001. Bush went to a mosque and proclaimed Islam a religion of peace. Now think of December 8, 1941. What if FDR had gone to a Sushi bar and stated how the Japanese were really nice folks?

We would have lost that war. We are losing this war.

Oh, our military is invincible. When we meet the enemy we destroy him. But he will not meet us. He hides among women and children. When we go after him the media and the Democrats shriek, "We are killing civilians! Stop this war! Negotiate! Cease fire! Send in the UN!" Think of Baghdad. Think of Abu Ghraib. Think of Fallujah. Think of Muqtada al-Sadr. Think of Israel in Lebanon.

How can it be that our war against Iraq---a cheap, third-rate power whose army wrote the book on military incompetence---is still going on? It now has lasted longer than our part in World War II. It should have ended in the summer of 2003. If we cannot force our will upon the barbarians in Iraq, how can we possibly do it in Iran, a nation far more powerful and murderous?

What the Hell?

It is not as if Americans have no experience in occupying a defeated nation. That is exactly what we did to Germany and Japan. That is exactly the model we should be using now for Iraq. Instead we refuse to declare war against Iran and Syria. We allow them to re-supply our enemies in Iraq and Lebanon. We look the other way when they murder our soldiers and bomb our embassies. We ignore their spittle-flecked Jew hatred. We treat captured killers with Geneva Convention niceties though these monsters wear no uniform, salute no flag and terrorize populations. We should have treated those in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib  the way we treated captured SS---interrogated them and shot them. That should have been Saddam's fate hours after we captured him.

How is it that Iranian proxy Hezbollah---a terror group responsible for murdering hundreds of Americans---can rain fire and death upon Israeli civilians for years and the world says nothing, yet when Israel responds with a campaign to minimize civilian deaths the world screams?

How is it that Islamic nations like Syria and Iran can slaughter Americans---to say nothing of their own citizens---yet America refuses to declare war and end these thuggish regimes?

What is going on here? Some kind of slow-motion dhimmitude?

If we want to survive as a civilization we must come to terms with the nature of the ghoulish barbarians of Islamic fascism. They have been at war with us since the 1960s. If they win it will be nothing like the era after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Then the barbarians desired to share the bounty of civilization.

Today's barbarians know nothing of humanity, of civilization. They speak the language of apocalypse. They treat their Islamic fellows horrifically. Their specialties are chopping off heads on camera and suicide bombings of civilians. They praise the honor killing and sexual mutilation of their own daughters.

An Islamic victory would mean the end of our civilization.

There was no reasoning with the barbarians of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. We waged total war and forced them to submit to our will. There is no reasoning with the barbarians of Islamic fascism. They must be hunted down and killed. For they are most certainly hunting us.

If you wish to imagine what a world ruled by Islam would look like, read this. Here is a sample of the types of people killed and types of things destroyed by Islam just in the last five years:

[Islam] murders Jews and Christians and Hindus and Buddhists and agnostics and surfers and disco habitués and businessman and children and guards and pizza lovers and airline passengers and diplomats and diplomats' wives and diplomats' children and teachers and writers and missionaries and stewardesses and professors and journalists and free thinkers. Islam builds nothing yet blows to smithereens busses and schools and synagogues and churches and skyscrapers and houses and buildings and embassies and cemeteries and cars and ships and planes.

Ladies and gentlemen, these people are coming to kill us. They already have, thousands of us. And they will continue killing us until the Islamic flag is placed over Jerusalem and the White House. They have made this as plain and as clear as words and deeds allow. Why will you not believe? Would a mushroom cloud over Boston and 200,000 dead Americans make you believe?

The fact of the matter is that we as a society and culture must wage total war against the sponsors of world-wide murder and terror in Syria and Iran. Iraq is only a beginning. Imagine stopping World War II after Midway or D-Day. Hitler and Tojo would have been left in power, to wage yet another ghastly war.

And yes, civilians will die. Either we kill theirs and end the war or they will kill ours until we submit. They have left us no other choice.

This war is not about mercy. No war is. War is about victory. Mercy will come later, after the US flag is raised over whatever parts of Damascus and Tehran are still standing.

The killers in Syria and Iran believe themselves masters at the game of terror. We need to show them otherwise.

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July 28, 2006

Wild Thing Redux

Well I'll be snookered---and I was. Yesterday's bear tale turned out to be---well, a story. According to Snopes the bear weighed not 1600 pounds but between 1000 and 1200. It stood not over 12 feet but less than 11. Its killer used not a 7 mm Magnum semi-automatic but a .338 Winchester Magnum. The shootist was not a Forest Service employee but an airman stationed at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska. And no human remains were found in the stomach of the dead ursine. My bad, alas.

Yet none of this contradicts the moral of the story, which is: When you go into the wilds, carry a weapon that will bring down any animal you are likely to encounter. If you choose not to do this, at least have the foresight to make out a life insurance policy so that your widow and orphan can sustain themselves after you disappear in the wilds.

These photos are accurate, according to Snopes. And check there for the full story.

And there is more: Yesterday a friend and I went to a gun shop to look around. There was enough weaponry in the place to outfit a decent terrorist cell. The guy behind the counter was named Leroy---remember, this is Oklahoma. I told him that was interested in a gun that would take out a Grizzly. And I told Leroy that I was a solo backpacker; thus my possible gun choices were limited. Any gun must be light yet deadly, and easy to get to while carrying a heavy backpack. A rifle would probably be out of the question.

Leroy understood. In fact he himself had been attacked by a bear in Montana. Leroy was fishing. He was wearing waders in water up to his hips. A black bear appeared 50 feet away and charged. Unknown to Leroy the bear had been guarding her two cubs. As the bear ran into the water Leroy swung his shotgun off his shoulder and fired two deer slugs into the beast, killing her.

I asked him about my choice of pistol, the Smith and Wesson 329PD. He thought it an excellent choice, but he also showed me a number of other pistols, all .44 Magnums. Anything smaller would simply not be enough to kill a Grizzly.

Leroy was as amused---if that be the right word---as I was about those who go out into the wilds armed with nothing but the latest gear from REI and propaganda from animal rights activists. He could not fathom such attitudes. Of course, few in Oklahoma can.

The gun will wait until I know about next summer, whether I will head to Peru or Wyoming. If Peru, then no gun. If Wyoming, then a gun. And lots of ammo. And of course the latest REI gear too.

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July 27, 2006

Wild Thing

An acquaintance of mine heads out today for backpacking in Wyoming. Ok, I am a bit jealous: I have long wanted to do a walkabout in Wyoming. Time has been a factor why I have yet to make it out that way---and out Idaho and Montana way as well. And as long as there are still jungles and Andean peaks that have not felt the tread of my boots, my thoughts always wander toward Central and South America.

But there is yet another reason why I have not yet walked out in the American wilds. That reason has four legs and goes by the name Ursus arctos horribilis. Its common name is Grizzly. I have no intention of walking about where Grizzlies roam unless I am armed---well-armed.

I was reminded of this today. Over the internet came news of the largest Grizzly bear ever recorded. It weighed more than 1600 pounds and stood 14 feet high. To put this in perspective:

If you are an average size man; you would be level with the bear's navel when he stood upright. The bear would look you in the eye when it walked on all fours!

To give additional perspective, consider that this particular bear, standing on its hind legs, could walk up to an average single story house and look over the roof. It could walk up to a two story house and look in the bedroom windows.

How we came to know about this monster is itself a terrifying tale. A US Forest Service worker was out hunting deer in Alaska. A grizzly charged from 150 feet away. Such an animal can move at more than 30 feet per second, which gave the guy less than 5 seconds to observe the threat, consider counter-measures, choose one and implement it. He had a 7 mm magnum semi-automatic rifle with him---a very good thing. He emptied the rifle into the bear, and the beast dropped nearly at his feet, though still very much alive. The man re-loaded and blasted away point blank at the bear's head, which finished off the creature.

But now comes this horror:

Based on the contents of the bear's stomach, it was established that the bear had killed at least two humans in the 72 hours before its demise which included a missing hiker.

The U.S. Forest Service, backtracking from where the bear had originated, found the hiker's 38 caliber pistol emptied. Not far from the pistol were the remains of the hiker. The other body has not been found.

Although the hiker fired six shots and managed to hit the bear with four of those shots (the Service ultimately found four 38 caliber slugs along with twelve 7mm slugs inside the bear's body), it only wounded the bear and probably angered it immediately.

The bear was a man-killer. He would have killed again had not the Forest Service worker shot him---12 times.

And herein lies a lesson. If you go into the wild, bring along the means to protect yourself against bears. I am not talking about the usual ridiculous 'advice' given by any number of books on bears---advice about pepper spray, playing dead, making noise and so on. Such things might work. If they do not then you will not see home again.

I am talking about carrying a weapon that will kill anything you might encounter. For Grizzly this means at least a .357 Magnum pistol, but a .44 Magnum would be better. Here is the real McCoy:

This is a Smith and Wesson 329PD. It will destroy a mountain lion as well as a Grizzly. Had that hiker had this rather than that absurdly underpowered .38 he would be alive this day.

Some advice from an Alaskan native:

I love bears, and not just to eat. I used to study them. I have friends who have spent all their professional lives studying them. You can't spend time around bears and not admire them. But none of us go into bear country without the means to protect ourselves.

Grizzlies once roamed far a field but now are concentrated mostly in Alaska and Canada.

A list of fatal bear attacks can be found here.

But some guys are lucky. Here is one fellow who avoided the fate of that hiker above. A sample:

A man stabbed a black bear to death with a 15-cm hunting knife, saying he knew he would otherwise become “lunch” after it attacked him and his dog on a canoeing portage in northern Ontario.

Those who venture into the wilderness must never forget that Mother Nature is a bitch with no pity. Her children are 'red in tooth and claw'. You ignore this at your peril---and that of your children.

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July 24, 2006

The Return of the Native

Well, I am not really an Oklahoma native, but I sure feel like one. Especially after my sojourn in Oregon. I thank God for my family there, a small island of light, humanity and decency among the slouching barbarians of Portland.

Yes, Oregon has trees and flowers and chirping birds and all that---and also the lowest church attendance in our nation. It shows in the politics and culture, especially in that  Babylon on the Willamette called Portland. One can observe on its streets the full spectrum of human depravity. I thank God for Oklahoma---the 'Buckle of the Bible Belt'---and for states like it. They are part and parcel of God's country.

Plans for backpacking along the Pacific Crest Trail did not turn out well. North of Crater Lake experienced the greatest snow pack in 20 years. All sorts of hikers were stranded because of it. All trails eventually ended in this:

Here is snow around Crater Lake:

There was no going around the snow as it extended for 100 miles northward. And with the snow came mosquitoes---hordes of them in my eyes, in my food, in my mouth, in my nose, in my ears, in my toothpaste. These pesky vampires were in greater number than I had ever witnessed in the jungles of Central America. Around mid-August they die but I was there in June. I camped right beneath the snowline and tried to find a way through. This proved impossible.

The trails below were pleasant enough:

And so I did not get quite the 'wild' experience for which I had hoped. But it was not just because of the snow. There was something missing in all of this---something missing in all of my backpacking in the US. I cannot as of yet quite put my finger on it. It might be due to my woeful lack of experience solo backpacking in God's country. Or---more likely---it might be that Central and South America reflect more surely than my own nation exactly what I search for when I head for 'wild, weird climes, out of space, out of time.' As far as I am concerned there are no such places in the US. (But there might be such in Wyoming and Montana.)

Yes, I have not seen much, but I cannot go everywhere and see everything in one lifetime. I am now 53, and backpacking by myself takes its toll on my body. Simply stated: I cannot do this forever, perhaps 10-12 years more before bones and muscles become weary. And there are yet many places in Latin America where I wish to tread. I am beginning to piece together a list of them with photos and commentary. A very basic form of it can be found here. This will be an on-going project over the next few months.

Which will keep me busy indeed. And school begins again August 16. And so will begin another year of my God-given vocation.

And of course my regular commentary on 'Life, the Universe and Everything' will commence shortly.

There are other projects in store as well---but more about these in due course. Can we say 'Guatemala for Christmas?' Yes, we can.

Be well.

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