Thursday, September 30, 2004
I thought it would be helpful to provide a little more background. A small bulge had appeared on the southern wall in 2000 and by December 2002 it had grown to 100 feet wide and was protruding out to 3 feet, and another bulge appeared on the western wall. Water seepage was evident, and Israelis blamed unauthorized constructionby the Waqf on the "Solomon's Stables" section. Jordanian engineers were sent to fix it.
Almost a year ago to the day, an interior section of the wall collapsed
Again, there were the usual accusations from the Waqf that it was the Israelis fault. And in February of this year, after an earthquake and snowfall a section of the Western wall near the women's area fell, although miraculously, no one was hurt
Archeologist and Temple preservationist Dr. Eilat Mazal said, "the occurrence of another much bigger collapse is only a question of time and it will cause a major disaster"
Although I don't read Hebrew I'll see if I can get the captions translated. I believe the location on the lower far left on the curving staircase is the section that fell near the women's area this February. The spot adjacent to it should be the Western Wall bulge. And I assume the spot to the lower right is the southern wall bulge
Now that the Israeli's appeal to the Jordanians has failed, as posted by Smooth Stone, the situation is in God's hands. Issam Awad, the Waqf's chief engineer has gone on record as saying the Marwani mosque over Solomon's Stables is safe, and if he is wrong, there is only the Waqf and the Egyptian and Jordanian engineers they hired to blame for it.
Update - Titus at The Baby Seal Club, Rightwatch at LGF Watch Watch, and Matt at Eurabian Times have sounded the alarm on this story on their fine blogs.
And Smooth Stone reports that the Jordanians are planning more construction
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
This is huge.
The writing is on the wall for the mainstream media.
mene, mene, tekel, upharsin
I can't quite articulate my rage, I just keep picturing my own four year old.
There was this quote that seems to reflect how the tactics of the terrorists are eroding their support among the Palestinians:
Basher Hamouda, 55, who fled with his family, criticized the destruction caused by the repeated Israeli raids, but also questioned the wisdom of the Palestinian rocket attacks.
The terrorists need "to look around and see what mortar shells and rockets brought to northern Gaza ... nothing but destruction and killing," he told the Associated Press.
Someone's getting the message.
Little Green Footballs has the whole story
A report by the Israel Antiquities Authority, based on the findings of an Egyptian engineering team, states that there is an immediate risk that the Solomon's Stables area of the Temple Mount could collapse when many tens of thousands of Moslem worshipers arrive for Ramadan prayers in three weeks' time. The Authority's report says that the danger is "almost certain."
If the Israelis were as evil as the the world media would have us believe, why wouldn't they just ignore the situation and let the structure collapse. The Moslem Waqf which controls the site doesn't seem to be concerned:
Israeli security officials are taking the warnings seriously, but it appears that the Moslem officials are less concerned. Although Israel is sovereign over the area, Moslem Waqf officials have forbidden Israeli engineers from entering the area to evaluate the risk. The Waqf has also refused to limit the number of worshipers at the Temple Mount during Ramadan prayers. Even a visit by Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franko to Jordan in an effort to have the Jordanians exert pressure on the Waqf has apparently not succeeded.
Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra says that if there is no choice, the Israel Police will restrict the number of Moslems entering the Temple Mount for the Ramadan services. Waqf director Adnan Husseini says there is no reason for such measures, and that the whole issue is merely "Israeli propaganda."
One of the reasons I think it's important to get the word out on this is that Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount was used as an excuse for the Second Intifada. Guess who will get blamed if thousands of Ramadan worshipers are killed in the collapse? And the Palestinian Authority would jump at the opportunity to give their waning cause a shot in the arm. And it sounds like a potential no-win situation for the Israelis if they try to limit the amount of worshipers,since that itself could be used by the PA to incite violence. Publicizing the danger will hopefully defuse the situation.
I don't expect Reuters or the BBC to pick up the story.
Update - jsoffer from Song of Time provides some context to the story with this post from Smooth Stone based on a letter from a resident of Hebron, David Wilder:
According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, over the past few years, the Waqf, or Muslim religion trust, has conducted unauthorized and unsupervised construction in that vicinity, in an attempt to expand Arab control of Temple Mount. This has caused tremendous deterioration of the structural supports.
An Ha'Aretz newspaper article concerning illegal work at the area states: "At the end of November 1999, the Waqf tricked the government of Israel, and under the pretext of opening an emergency exit to the Solomon's Stables mosque - which had been built illegally and inaugurated in December of 1996 - the Waqf took advantage of the negligence of the government of Israel and its indifference to the fate of the archaeological remains on the Temple Mount, dug a huge 2,000-square meter pit beneath the Temple Mount some 13 meters deep, and opened a main door to the Solomon's Stable mosque 10 meters wide and 13 meters high.
During the excavation, Waqf workers using three bulldozers removed some 12,000-15,000 tons of earth filled with antiquities from all periods, without IAI supervision and without any sifting of the soil to locate and remove archaeological artifacts."
Mr Wilder concludes with the historic statement from Moshe Dayan in 1967: "Har HaBayit b'yadenu" -"The Temple Mount is in our Hands."
He recommends that the Israelis wrest the site form the destructive and potentially tragic administration of the Waqf and close it to all visitors. I think this is an excellent suggestion, and I predict we would find some interesting "artifacts" hidden underneath by the Waqf. And I would also add that as a show of support, this would be the perfect time to move the US embassy to Jerusalem...for good!
Best line: Democrats, the "He Who Smelt it, Dealt it" Party
Next week they have have Dean Esmay from Dean's World and Scott Johnson of PowerLineBlog.
You can hear them on Saturday between Noon and 1pm on Boston's business news station,
WBIX AM1060, or go to the WBIX site for the live webcast.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Thanks to Charles at LGF
From Matt Margolis' Blogs for Bush
We've got some new cover sheets for the TPS Reports.
Monday, September 27, 2004
LGF readers are familiar with the comic stylings of V the K/Furious J. His new nom de plume is Matt Kurlander. Go give him an attaboy for his new blog.
Farooqi was one of the key figures in the killing of Danny Pearl.
The Interior Sec of Pakistani made this statement about Farooqi's last stand:
When encircled, he tried to use women and children as human shields
I promised myself, no more snide comments directed at the Kerry campaign.
So I won't even mention the flying dog expansion pack...
Here's some more information from the press release:
"The film is based on Peter Schweizer's acclaimed best-seller Reagan's War: The Epic Story of His Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism.
The feature-length independent film will be opening in theaters in selected markets October 1, 2004. "
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Worcester has a modest cultural life and I often pick up the local "alternative weekly". Ours is city surrounded by rural exurbs so there are quite a few outposts of sanity, as evidenced by this Janet Harvey column on Vietnam and the election.
More typical of the commentary is this guest column by Holy Cross professor David O'Brien. It seems like every other week some Kerry-ite baby boomer from one of the many local colleges pens a variation on the theme of "Don't question our patriotism!", but Prof. O'Brien does a much better job than the moral relativist sloganeers that are the standard fare. But it is the same "diplomacy works better than force" argument that is so woefully inappropriate for the enemy we are fighting. A respectful letter to the editor is in order.
And the local moonbat plague as been making the news in one neighboring town:
[A] decrepit Victorian house at 4 Burbank St., right off South Main, sits behind the huge brick factory building that houses Steel Craft Inc. in the Bramanville section of town. The first floor windows are boarded up with plywood sheets marked with large orange Xs.
Over the past month, the lawn in front of the house has hosted orange- and black-painted signs stating “Millbury Pigs Suck,” “Boston FBI No Good,” and “G.W. Bush’s FBI Terrorized This !!! Family.” Each time they go up, the Millbury police make a visit, and down the signs come — only to reappear.
Up until June 26, longtime Millbury resident and schoolteacher Mary Lukaszek, who passed away that day at the age of 90, had occupied the house. She left the house to one of her best friends, Carole Chiras, and a cousin. Soon after her death, the cousin’s son moved into the house. “The psycho, that’s what I call him...The thing that’s got us all nerved up is the guy’s still living in the house and it’s boarded up and that’s a little bit whacked to me. Who knows what’s going on in there?”...
There have reportedly been a number of confrontations between the occupant, neighbors, and passersby. One driver who stopped to look at the property found himself face-to-face with “an ex-con-looking guy with tattoos staring in my window. He then stepped onto the lawn and started walking toward the house. He didn’t look like a pleasant person.”
Police say the occupant has no known criminal record.
Friday, September 24, 2004
Just thought it would be handy to have around next time someone goes into hysterics about the Kyoto Protocols...
September 25: Matt Margolis, Blogs for Bush
October 2: Scott Johnson, Powerline Blog
October 9: Donald Luskin, Poor and Stupid
Ken and Gregg at Pundit Review Radio will also make the archived versions available to any blogger who wants to post them.
Support your band of blog brothers (and sistahs)!
The first broadcast is this Sat. between noon and 1PM.
In The Closed Circle, David Pryce-Jones turns to their modern literature for a view into the souls of Arabs. In The Children of Narrow Streets Morroccan writer Abdelhak Serhane tells of a coming of age story of a young Morroccan. As Pryce-Jones relates, it's a portrait of misery:
General expressions of loathing as well as self-pity far exceed any narrative demands. Characters marginal to the plot elaborate how they trick boys into pederasty. A ceremony of public storytelling provides the occasion for prostitution. The mosques are filled with hypocrites. Men and women are described as equally sick and sickened with the relationships arising from sexual segregation. "Violence was the atmosphere in which we lived," [the narrator] sums up his past. "We were children of hate and misery. We know everything about life. Except whatever might have been useful to us."
Pryce-Jones also cites a 1972 article in a French magazine, where author Mohammed Karoi gives us this picture of family life:
Who among us Arabs can claim that he was acknowledged, loved, wanted and accepted by the family or atmosphere in which he grew up? None, I am sure. Can anyone be loved who is no more than a useful object, produced to continue the family line, for the troublesome old age of parents, or for the male chauvinist glory of the father who proves what a real man he is by the number of his offspring?
If the prospects of the boys are dismal, the plight of the girls is worse. Any accidental departure from the shame/honor code or the rules that govern the sequestration of Arab females can prove fatal.
In comparing Arab literature to Western, he points out something that I found startling. The modern Western novel is base on free will and the outcome the character's choices product. Arab characters are so tightly bound by family and society that this free will doesn't exist. My impression from Pryce-Jones (I haven't read any Arab literature myself) is that it is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Another unsettling conclusion he reaches at the end of the book is that in the Arab world there is no concept of the commonwealth or public interest.
One of the reasons for bringing up these points is that one of the liberal articles of faith is that Muslim/Arab terrorism is due to misery that is caused by Western imperialism. I can't see how the West is to blame for the causes of the scenarios that Pryce-Jones presents. I can see however how the West can increase that misery simply by being an example of the fact that their misery isn't inherent to the human condition but particular to their world. Pryce Jones quotes a story by an Iranian author about some of his countrymen who were exiles in the court of Louis XIV at Versailles. One of them finally cries out in exasperation,"We're all really miserable. We're all making fools of ourselves. What do we know about art and civilization?"
This is a horrible situation and I can empathize with those afflicted with this kind of upbringing. The only human options seem to be self loathing or blame. And obviously a significant percentage of Muslims blame us (as many of the Arab values transfered through Islam). I think Islam in one sense can be seen as an escape from Arab culture for many of it's victims, and yet in another sense it is merely another vehicle for the power challenge dynamic about which Pryce-Jones writes so extensively.
I'll also grant that many of Muslim's criticism of Western culture as immoral are valid. In The Crisis of Islam Bernard Lewis describe the effect contact with the West had on Sayyid Qutb, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood:
Even more revealing was his shocked response to the [post WWII]American way of life-principally its sinfulness and degeneracy and its addiction to what he saw as sexual promiscuity. Sayyid Qutb took as a given the contrast between Eastern spirituality and Western materialism...
But here the difference between Christian and Muslim morality becomes apparent. Because of the aforementioned lack of a concept of free will in Arab/Muslim culture, there is no possibility of tolerance. And the pent-up rage finds a target.
I am neither excusing the motives of terrorists, nor gloating over the sad estate of the Muslim world. As a Christian I'm called to love my enemies and I have to admit I can't always do that, but I can strive to understand and at least empathize with their plight. And as little as Muslims may want to hear it, I know the cure for what ails them.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
One thing I aim to do with this blog is to have it reflect my Christian worldview while still making it accessable to non-christians.
Take this Albrecht Dürer print for example. I had this on my wall in my bohemian days before I returned to the fold. I think what I liked about it was that it reminded me of Eschenbach's Parzival. At the time, like Parzival, I was a prodigal son. The print, like my few other worldly possessions, was lost in the shipwreck of my young adulthood. According to conventional art history, it's an allegory of the ideal of a Christian warrior. I think that it probably resonates on many levels, and I'm aware of interpretations that claim it conveys all manner of esoteric truths, from the secrets of the Knights Templar to Kabbalism. But I can also see our knight in the service of a cause that includes Christianity, but can also include like-minded allies. This is an alliance I believe I've seen forming in this country, and if I had to catagorize it, it would be in terms of Judeo-Christian values. It's a culture (or most realistically, a counterculture) that honors and defends the ethical groundwork, the real "heavy lifting" in terms of the advancement of civilzation acheived by Judaism, and it can also include the "ethical" agnostic and atheist (Tammy Bruce and Steve den Beste come to mind) who share the values if not the belief systems.
The knight can represent any of us. Some enemies, because we aren't perfect, will always try to come alongside us. And there may be some, like Death, that are destined to win in the end. But though he is constantly aware of them, the knight presses on.
As the US and European wire services become more propaganda-like in their increasingly blatant stance against Bush and the US in general, the better they play to the "Muslim street", such as this headline Khalifa posts, also from AFP: "Kerry blasts Iraq invasion as 'historic' failure". Then there is the ever popular Judenhass: "The US Is Arming Israel Against Iran". This was extrapolated from a story in Der Spiegel about the US providing Israel with bunker busters.
Elsewhere the stories are similar. Arutz Sheva recently had an article about how the Palestinian Authority's television station broadcasts a different message in Arabic than it's office spokesperson delivers to the Western press in English.
While PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's chief English spokesperson, Hanan Ashrawi, speaks of peace and human rights, the Palestinian Authority television station broadcasts the opposite message to the Arab residents...
In honor of the International Day of Prayer for Peace, the World Council of Churches posted on its website today an eloquent video message from PA spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi, who declares, "Peace with justice is not an abstract value; it is a real determining factor of our lives. It is a most basic human right, and we appreciate everything you've done, in order not just to talk about peace with justice for Palestine and Israel, but also to act on that basis."
At the same time, a video address from the same Ramallah offices was broadcasting a very different message.Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) captured footage of two PA TV programs in three recent days showing official religious leaders openly calling for the genocide of Jews.
I think it's impossible to completely understand the Muslim media without understanding their audience. I'm considering a post or two on some recent insights I've gleaned.
I found another great one by Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost
Looking to end recurring speculation that their partnership is on the rocks, executives from CBS News and the Democratic National Committee said the two organizations remain committed to CBS-DNC, the news channel they launched for the election of 2004.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
A federal investigation was urged yesterday into allegations that a South Korean intelligence operative assisted in raising funds for the Kerry campaign from Asian-Americans.
The South Korean Embassy refused last night to comment on the claims that Chung Byung-Man, a consular official in Los Angeles until his recall in May, paired with Atlanta businessman Rick Yi, a retired American Army major, to solicit tens of thousands of dollars in donations in California for the Kerry campaign.
This one's worth keeping an eye on.
"In elections in Baltimore in 2002 and in Georgia last year, black voters were sent fliers saying anyone who hadn't paid utility bills or had outstanding parking tickets or were behind on their rent would be arrested at polling stations. It happens in every election cycle," she said.
In a mayoral election in Philadelphia last year, people pretending to be plainclothes police officers stood outside some polling stations asking people to identify themselves. There have also been reports of mysterious people videotaping people waiting in line to vote in black neighborhoods.
One would think that with so many voters being unfairly targetted, there would be at least one piece of evidence to substantiate these claims. Or is anecdotal evidence good enough for Reuters? For a little perspective, see this previous post.
RayA from LGF found this.
No doubt the policeman saved many more lives in preventing her from getting on a bus.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John15:13
The Israelis will take recognition anywhere they can get it, so who am I to complain if it comes from Hollywood's Kabbalahh fringe?
Good enough. I'll take that headline - "Madonna Takes Israel By Storm" - over the usual, and we all know the usual.
When's the last time we had good news from our relatives in Israel? And if you're Jewish or Christian, you've got a relative in Israel.
Evangelical Christians know what I'm talking about, and thank goodness for them, and okay, thank goodness for Madonna.
No bias at the AP:
Officials had no details about why the peace activist might be considered a risk to the United States. Islam had visited New York in May for a charity event and to promote a DVD of his 1976 MajiKat tour
The article briefly mentions this:
Islam drew some negative attention in the late 1980s when he supported the Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence against Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses."
It then dedicates three paragraphs to how Stevens/Islam condemned the Beslan attacks.
I mean he is, after all, a peace activist.
Update - Apparently the peace-loving Stevens/Islam was kicked out of Israel.
The Israeli government claims that on a 1988 visit to Jerusalem, Islam donated tens of thousands of dollars to a violent Islamic group known as the Hamas.
Update - And he also gave money to Omar Abdel Rachman, who was convicted of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing
Predictably, CAIR is screaming already, despite the fact that Stevens/Islam isn't an Arab-America. Of course, neither was Tariq Ramadan.
Thanks to Amy and WriterMom at LGF
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Welcome to the blogosphere...a new medium. Gone are the days when disgruntled readers had to be content with writing letters to the editor that may or may be read or published. We citizen-journalists have descended upon Big Media and left-wing bias, and reporters like you will no longer have the last say. This is an extraordinarily exciting moment: the blogosphere brought down Dan Rather.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Update - Burkett is the source of the documents. Question is, of course, did he get them from someone else or fake them himself?
A great piece that Jeff Jacoby, the sole conservative columnist at the Boston Globe, wrote fot Townhall.com
How fouled up are the voter rolls? So fouled up that in some cities there are more registered voters than there are adults. So fouled up that when the Indianapolis Star investigated Indiana's records a few years ago, it discovered that hundreds of thousands of names -- as many as one-fifth of the total -- were "bogus" since the individuals named had moved, died, or gone to prison. So fouled up that when a Louisiana paper filed 25 phony voter-registration forms signed only with an "X," 21 were approved and added to the voter list.
One of the first statements of the film is that the Nazis pursued their final solution not only in the face of defeat, but diverted resources that could have prolonged the war effort to the extermination of Jews. Hitlers last statement to the German people entreated them to carry on the war against "International Jewry". This is one of the hardest things for the survivors to accept, that the Germans and their allies would continue to pursue their genocidal agenda, not only against all logic, and beyond what emotion could motivate, but even in spite of personal and national instincts of self-preservation. One illustration of this was a German colonel who was brought to Paul Parks, one of the Army doctors who liberated one of the concentration camps. When Parks demanded an explanation, the colonel spit in his face. Parks didn't flinched when he stated that his response was to shoot the German officer on the spot.
One conclusion I can offer is that if the determination of the Nazis to carry out their plan didn't seem natural, a case can be made that it was supernatural. Like Corrie ten Boom I reject out of hand the notion that that is was a specific punishment from God for rejecting the Gospel or any other offense. Many couldn't reconcile the premise that the Holocaust wasn't God's will with the idea that God's will is sovereign. In other words, if it wasn't God's will, why did it happen then? One of the survivors upon reaching the camp cried out "Where is God?"
Irene Zisblatt, after describing an atrocity that she witnessed said, "That's when I stopped talking to God" Bill Basch, after returning to Auschwitz after more than 50 years was overcome with emotion and asked, "Why did I survive? Why did God spare me?"
While I can't answer any of the survivors questions with any authority, for myself I've had experience of being under God's protection and far from it. I've also had experience of tragedy that seems random and unconnected with any action of the victim. And yet it's my personal belief that the Jewish people have an ancient enemy that they share with all humanity that God is constantly seeking to protect us from. For me, even this imperfect world and our own folly isn't enough to explain the Holocaust. Only the agency of a will and intelligence that goes beyond a single lifespan or human organization makes sense to me. Anti-semitism didn't die with Hitler or his generation. At this moment, new perpetrators plot the eradication of the Jews and the state of Israel. I respectfully submit that one reason for the Holocaust lies in the fact that even though many Jews believed in the God of the Torah, most ceased to believe in the adversary described there. And the reason I think it's worth mentioning is I also believe that the ancient enemy has already set his plan in motion for a second Shoah.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
The truth is that in all likelihood, it may not work. But after giving it a lot of thought, I've come to the conclusion that whether we are successful in introducing democracy or not, it is absolutely critical that we try. Because we have reached a point where if we need to say at the very least the Iraqi could have choosen democracy, or we can't proceed with a clear conscience.
The problem with democracy is that as John Adams said about our Constitution, it was made for a moral and religious people. The tension in our form of government is in trying to preserve and encourage the moral soundness of the nation while not demanding or legislating it. Our Founders were a product of a revolution in consciousness epitomized by the Puritans and Pilgrims where the Christian ethics had been internalized, and a Christian concept of liberty upheld morality without imposing it and honored free will without dishonoring God's will.
As a Christian, I believe the best solution for the Iraqi people is the Gospel. Mass conversions of Muslims may seem far fetched, but considering the plight of women in Islam, it might be wise not to underestimate the message of deliverance that Christianity holds for half of the population. I would neither discount the witness of the committed Christians among our troops in Iraq. And yet the minimum requirement for democracy to succeed is a secular society that still recognizes an absolute ethical system. The French tried to introduce a relativistic secularism to Islam, and won few converts and evoked a deep reactionary response. But to be clear, that response wasn't due so much to what the West did, but who they are.
And potentially there is a third alternative. I wouldn't rule out a radical reform of Islam. For it to be meaningful it would have to involve a developed sense of conscience, which is a sign of an internalized value system. It would signify a wholesale rejection of shame/honor values, tribalism, and many of the other aspects of current Islamic culture. It is of course possible. But looking at the Koran, the Hadiths, etc, there seems so little to build upon. But even in my most cynical moments, I would never underestimate the human spirit.
If I had to bet the house it wouldn't be on the imminent success of democracy in Iraq. But the alternative is as terrible as it is unavoidable.
Friday, September 17, 2004
It was surprising to me how the history of the music would seem to reflect the opposite:
In the Dominican Republic, a cabaret is a brothel, and the brothel came to be bachata’s primary venue. Dominican guitar musicians from pre-bachata generations relate that the guitar was always the instrument most closely associated with drinking and prostitution, and indeed that is the case throughout Latin America. But perhaps in no other guitar style has the cabaret taken such a central role. While guitar music may be the music of choice for the Latin American carouser, bachateros did not willingly stake out their territory in the brothel. Rather they were driven there, sometimes by social conditions and market forces, and sometimes quite intentionally by promoters of other kinds of music. From its beginning, bachata was the preferred music in the campos [country]. After [President]Trujillo’s death a massive migration took place from the campo to the city, where campesinos lived in the poorest and most marginalized neighborhoods, often without water, electricity, or any kind of public amenities...Quite naturally, the music began to reflect the environment in which it was being performed. A whole generation of bachateros sing about lovers who are prostitutes, fights and jealousy over lovers, poverty and the problems of living in the worst, most dangerous barrios in the city, despair and debauchery.
Music experts tell us that bachata has its roots in Cuban bolero and son but the guitarwork reminds me sometimes of West African pop.Chords are plucked out arpeggio-style to a Caribbean backbeat similar to cumbia. But none of this explains how how such an exquisite sound came out of such desolation.
But music and the human heart harbor many such mysteries...
Here a union goon gives poor Sophia Parlock a lesson in leftist free speech she will never forget. While he squandered his 15 minutes on becoming Biggest Meanie of 2004, Sophia will go on to be the next Ann Coulter.
In a related story, male nurse (NTTAWWT) and Kerry supporter Michael Husar went nutty on an Northwest flight. He was arrested on landing for allegedly touching and harassing a female Bush supporter who was seated next to him during a political argument. When the women complained to the flight attendants, he "deliberately spilling a container of alcohol and engaging in 'the boisterous behavior of a drunk.'" His wife admitted he may, "have had a little too much to drink".
I saw the airline story at The Baby Seal Club
Update - I caught the end of an interview on a Florida talk radio show with the father. He is a Christian and a former Marine. Apparently the union punk also used a phallic epithet in front of the little girl. Basically the dad turned the other cheek when he could have put his Marine training to good use. He sounded like a real mensch
Update - The president of the union apologizes. Thanks for doing the right thing President Williams.
H.D. Miller scooped this on his blog
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Now you too can own an IBM Selectric. And it makes a great gift for the mainstream media anchorman who has everything. Go make a bid.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
On June 2, 1988, CBS aired an hour-long special titled CBS Reports: The Wall Within, which CBS trumpeted as the "rebirth of the TV documentary." It purported to tell the true story of Vietnam through the eyes of six of the men who fought there. And what terrible stories they had to tell...
The The Wall Within was hailed by critics who — like the Washington Post's Tom Shales — gushed that the documentary was "extraordinarily powerful." There was just one problem: Almost none of it was true.
Rather interviewed one vet after another who gave accounts of atrocities they witnessed and committed. Some simple fact checking of their service records would have quickly shown how far the "facts" of this documentary were from the truth.
This makes me furious. As if Vietnam wasn't wasn't bad enough for the vets who served, the mainstream media has created a folklore about it that portrays them as monsters, babykillers. I'm trying to fathom how all this came about, how the vets became the scapegoats, while the leftists hijacked our culture and rode the baby boom into power and influence until their paragon, the supreme serial narcissist Bill Clinton held our highest office. But there are too many factors, too many bankrupt ideologies,(many to which I've been guilty of subcribing), too many misreported events...I can't do it justice between phone calls at work. Help me out people...
One thing that is crystal clear is that these men have committed the same offense against their brothers-in-arms as Kerry has. Like him, they have smeared honest vets to promote themselves. And Rather, then as now, is guilty at the least of wanting to believe the story so badly, that fact checking didn't even seem to be an option.
1. Al-Baïd, in the vicinity of Hama (more in North "in top") of three sites, is managed by Cipher, the Syrian office of documentation).
2. Tal Snan, near Salamija (in the East "on the right") is a base of the Syrian Air Force, on which and the essential parts of the Iraqi ADM stored are machined.
3. Sjinsjar, in the south of Homs, close to the Lebanese border "in bottom", where chemical stocks of weapons are stored in tunnels, by several tens of meters under ground and are kept by Brigade 661 of the air forces of Damas.
Then there are the absolutely Syrian bases of ADM, the such gigantic Al-Sapphire site, of which we obtained a photo satellite. An image probably even less detailed than those which are in possession of the American and Israeli services.
LGF's evariste translates as much of the Arabic as possible:
My dear Nizar,
I send you another map of locations that they have secreted to them the (illegible) armaments to Syria from Iraq. (illegible illegible) the map that I previously sent you is other than (illegible). Until now an authority hasn't been hung on what was published in the Telegraph newspaper of Holland on this subject.
New Information (this is underlined in red): The weapons have (illegible) between by means of emergency vehicles and has participated in the operation as well Mohammed Mansoureh. And here are other new alarming data (mufassalah which I'm not sure what that means, classified maybe? the root word fasala means sorted or separated) (next three words illegible) Saddam's munitions to Syria and Lebanon and who has shared in them of the Syrians and Lebanese (I can't read a single word after this, there's about 19 more words but it got a lot smaller and the letters much less distinct. Sorry!)
This is purported to be a satellite photo of the site:
SA2-SAM site = ground-to-air missiles of protection of the site, Soviet manufacture
Al-sapphire CW seedling = Factory of production of chemical weapons (CW for Chemical Weapons)
Ammunition storage = Warehouses of storage of weapons of massive destruction
Probable Scud Bases = probable Base of storage and shooting of the Scud missiles
Tunnel fan-in = Entered principal of the tunnel of access to the buried Scud missiles
The Metula article concludes that the outcome hinges on the US Presidential election[again, in Babelfish pidgin]:
In the event of victory of Bush, however, would immediately engage the countdown of the destruction - in a way or of another - Syrian installations of ADM as of installations perses for the development of nuclear weapons. It is, indeed, of constructions which threaten the free world openly and which the free world does not have of good reason to agree to undergo.
In the event of victory of Kerry, we doubt that the strategic reading of its new administration is basically different from that from old. Just that that would take "a certain time", until the president and the new teams familiarize with the data of international politics. A kind of moratorium, all things considered, which one evaluates at approximately one year, for the modes relics of the Axis of the evil. With less, of course, that the first threatened by these armaments, our friends of Metula, lose patience before the end of the moratorium. And believe well that the state major of the Jews thinks only of that.
If I parsed the translation correctly, if Bush wins, the sites will be eliminated on way or another and as soon as possible. If Kerry wins, a more nuanced considered approach. And Israel will have to sweat it out.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
This was an enlightening article, it's anti-Bush slant and thinly veiled disdain for religious Jews notwithstanding. Although Jewish support for Kerry is strong (75%), there are 3 areas where Bush could make inroads. Bush has a lot of appeal in the Orthodox community. And like Americans living in Israel which is the second area, his support for Sharon is appreciated. And the most hopeful point for me was that Bush seemed to have more support among younger Jews, many of whom have been exposed to antisemitic leftists in college.
Read the article to answer this question for yourself: Could Michael Moore be remembered by history primarily as the man who caused the Jews to drop the Democratic party like a hot potato?
With any luck they'll trot out "Hunter" from Daily Kos
Even inside CBS News there was deepening concern. Some of Mr. Rather's colleagues said in interviews that they were becoming increasingly anxious for him to silence the critics by proving the documents' validity and as new questions about their origin arose. Most declined to be quoted by name...
One network correspondent said, "I've talked to colleagues who would love to see more of a defense."
This person described the state of the staff as "deep concern, I'd say not panic - we all want it to be right." This person, echoing others, said that Mr. Rather's resoluteness in addressing the charges on the air was allaying some of the concern. "Dan really put himself on the line and I can't imagine him knowingly defending something he knew not to be the case."
A longtime correspondent said flatly, "I'm distressed."
If the best response that CBS has to the forgery charges is a tech guy and a typewriter repairman, I'd be distressed too.
Update - Richard Katz is wrong
Monday, September 13, 2004
I also discovered that Huntington's disease was once known as Dancing mania of Maracaibo, which isn't too farfetched if you've ever seen a Maracucho salsa...
I don't know who to credit for this, AzCat posted it on LGF, but it rocks.
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Hebrew as the mother-tongue. Who knew?
Saturday, September 11, 2004
The fact that this music has a Jewish origin explains the longing that I feel. King Solomon said that God put eternity in our hearts. The music activates that and deep calls to deep. If you could always savor this taste of eternity, no human hardship would be unbearable.
And during all of this I'm still thinking of the blessed dead of 9-11. I hope that God granted them that grace in their last moments. So for those who fell, instead of their terror terminating in a devastating impact, there was the brief passage, as through a membrane, and then they were soaring up, to a crescendo of majestic music while their eyes opened wide to a most welcome sight.
So let me say this. You who suffered and died that day will always be with me. As archaic as it sounds, you will be the blessed dead. So much of what I want to do with my life is dedicated to making sure that what happened to you won't be repeated or exceeded and that your loss will be given some meaning
I pray that God is with your families and friends today and always.
Friday, September 10, 2004
That Karl Rove, he's behind everything...
Hugh introduces Farrell Shiver who has a long list of credentials in document forensics. Mr Shiver brings up many of the issues previously discussed, kerning, the subscripted "th", etc
Here is his conclusion:
Mr. Hewitt, but I would certainly say that if I had to give an opinion right now, the opinion would not go towards it being genuine. I certainly have strong questions about this "th" combination that is being used in the superscript, that we discussed earlier.
In one of the websites I noticed that one of my colleagues had been cited, Dr. Philip Bouffard, and he has indictaed that he is about 90% certain that the documents are not genuine. He had had the opportunity to do a more exhaustive analysis of this than I have.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
What do you really know about George W. Bush’s time in the Air National Guard?
That he didn’t show up for duty in Alabama? That he missed a physical? That his daddy got him in?
The future president joined the Guard in May 1968. Almost immediately, he began an extended period of training. Six weeks of basic training. Fifty-three weeks of flight training. Twenty-one weeks of fighter-interceptor training. That was 80 weeks to begin with, and there were other training periods thrown in as well. It was full-time work. By the time it was over, Bush had served nearly two years. Not two years of weekends. Two years.After training, Bush kept flying, racking up hundreds of hours in F-102 jets. As he did, he accumulated points toward his National Guard service requirements. At the time, guardsmen were required to accumulate a minimum of 50 points to meet their yearly obligation.
According to records released earlier this year, Bush earned 253 points in his first year, May 1968 to May 1969 (since he joined in May 1968, his service thereafter was measured on a May-to-May basis).Bush earned 340 points in 1969-1970. He earned 137 points in 1970-1971. And he earned 112 points in 1971-1972. The numbers indicate that in his first four years, Bush not only showed up, he showed up a lot. Did you know that?
That brings the story to May 1972 — the time that has been the focus of so many news reports — when Bush “deserted” (according to anti-Bush filmmaker Michael Moore) or went “AWOL” (according to Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee).Bush asked for permission to go to Alabama to work on a Senate campaign. His superior officers said OK. Requests like that weren’t unusual, says retired Col. William Campenni, who flew with Bush in 1970 and 1971.“In 1972, there was an enormous glut of pilots,” Campenni says. “The Vietnam War was winding down, and the Air Force was putting pilots in desk jobs. In ’72 or ’73, if you were a pilot, active or Guard, and you had an obligation and wanted to get out, no problem. In fact, you were helping them solve their problem.”So Bush stopped flying. From May 1972 to May 1973, he earned just 56 points — not much, but enough to meet his requirement.Then, in 1973, as Bush made plans to leave the Guard and go to Harvard Business School, he again started showing up frequently.In June and July of 1973, he accumulated 56 points, enough to meet the minimum requirement for the 1973-1974 year.Then, at his request, he was given permission to go. Bush received an honorable discharge after serving five years, four months and five days of his original six-year commitment. By that time, however, he had accumulated enough points in each year to cover six years of service.
And there's more about his glowing fitreps from his COs
And I said the last line to myself before I even read it:
And perhaps someday Kerry will release more of his military records as well.
Update - According to Power Line The Killian memos presented on 60 Minutes which claim he failed the physical and requesting a "sugarcoated" fitrep appear to have been word processed. In other words, faked.
Update - And the Killian docs did not come from the White House, as many sources reported, but from CBS
Update - According to In DC Journal, a document forensics expert says that there is a 90% likelihood that the documents are faked.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Trivia question: In which sci-fi movie is one of the space ships named Nostromo?
I do see Islam, as portrayed in the Koran and the Hadiths and especially as it is interpreted by the Wahabhi faction as a threat to the peace and well being of the world, and specifically to the US and Israel. The bulk of some of the recents debates centered around whether Islam should be "banned". This was never specifically defined, but the examples seemed to range from complete eradication of every adherent to simple military defeat.
My main comment on the issue is this: Islam is a religion, a worldview, a political system, a culture, and I think it would be almost impossible to completely destroy without resorting to genocide. I find that prospect unpleasant in the extreme. However, as we are dealing with an enemy that has pledged to eradicate our culture, religion, etc in exactly the same way, I don't think that reciprocating should be taken off of the table as an option.
Allow me to rephrase that so that I'm making myself clear. As long as the stated aim of Islam is to dominate the world and kill, convert, or reduce to dhimmitude it's entire population, the threat of doing the same to Islam should always be present. I don't think it will ever come to enforcing that threat, and I hope it doesn't. As a Christian I believe that most Muslims will eventually come to the Cross willingly (as there is no other way). But no one should ever forget how many attacks occurred on our way of life before 9-11 started to wake us up. I know many will argue that the scenario I'm describing is not representitive of all, or even most of Islam. The best reply to that is to look at all of the conflicts in the world and seeing how many involve Islam. I also want to make clear that I don't make generalizations about individual Muslims based on this scenario. There are always exceptions. And my God requires me to love everyone. I may not always be successful in fulfilling that commandment, but I take it very seriously.
There is a lot more that could be said and maybe I'll post on it later.
I've thought about this quite a bit, but I'm always open to comments, criticisms and questions.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Warning: some of these are very disturbing
This is from the funeral of one of the victims of the Beer Sheva bombing, that seems to have happened ages ago. If I remember the initial reports correctly, Truainet Takala was a Falasha from Ethiopia. Am I the only one who finds it so sadly ironic that she or her family were rescued from famine and war only to lose her life in Israel?
Update - Here is a quote from the PA's press release on the Gaza strike
Local residents in the area of Qurum, east of Gaza City, said they heard
deafening consecutive explosions in a nearby soccer field, where a group of
Hamas supporters were holding a boy scouts' camp. They then rushed to field to be shocked with the scene of bleeding bodies scattered everywhere. [emphasis mine]
Poor kids. What were their parents thinking, letting the troop meet in a terrorist camp!
Huh. That kid looks...kinda old. Must be an Eagle Scout
Apparently this tyke hasn't earned his shaving merit badge yet
So they've finally come right out and said it. Any minute now the UN will spring in to action to halt the Iranian nuclear program and admit they've been bamboozled.
Any minute now...
I spent a lot of time on home improvement projects this weekend, but I've been wondering want kind of response these two events have elicited from the "opposition", specifically those who have opposed Bush and/or have been apologists for Islam.
For example I stopped by Juan Cole's blog with the somewhat sententious title Informed Comment. Not a word about Beslan or the polls. He does condemn Qaradawi, which I applaud, but the rest of the week's posts are about events in Iraq and his new favorite, the Israeli "spy" story (does anyone remember Susan Lindaur getting this kind of coverage?), which in all likelihood will not even result in any charges being made.
Daily Kos is all over the post convention bounce story. He's throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Bush, but the main response seemed to be a CNN/Gallup poll that only gives Bush a two point bounce. I could spend all day analyzing this, but I'll let the reader draw their own conclusions:
The Bush Bounce in Historical Context
Bush's two-point convention bounce is one of the smallest registered in Gallup polling history, along with Hubert Humphrey's two-point bounce following the 1968 Democratic convention, George McGovern's zero-point bounce following the 1972 Democratic convention, and Kerry's "negative bounce" of one point among registered voters earlier this year. Bush's bounce is the smallest an incumbent president has received.
To get a better overview of the polls, see the Votemaster at the Electoral College Predictor
Oh, and nothing about Beslan. But after the contractor incident I don't expect much in the way of compassion at Daily Kos
Talking Points Memo had this rather cryptic entry regarding the polls. And lots on the Israeli "spy" case. Good thing this is just valid criticism of Israel and not anti-semitism, or else I'd be getting a little uncomfortable right now. Russian massacre - bubkes. He also had a blog ad I found very amusing. A picture of Ted Turner with the caption "My beef with big media". It links to an article by Ted in the Washington Monthly.
I freely admit: When I was in the media business, especially after the federal government changed the rules to favor large companies, I tried to sweep the board, and I came within one move of owning every link up and down the media chain. Yet I felt then, as I do now, that the government was not doing its job. The role of the government ought to be like the role of a referee in boxing, keeping the big guys from killing the little guys
Even though he can afford to take out blog ads to get people to read his article, at heart he's just a regular shmoe like the rest of us.
Unlike Ted, I can't afford to spend all day holding forth, so that will have to be all for now
Monday, September 06, 2004
Wretchard finds comfort from the horror of Beslan in this moving passage from the Brothers Karamazov. Just go read it.
Friday, September 03, 2004
The casualty reports are steadily growing worse. This is so heartbreaking.
May God give peace and comfort to the families and friends of the 4 children who didn't survive the raid.
Update - A British journalist report seeing as many as 100 bodies in the gymnasium. Hopefully it isn't true. Also the number of people reported to be in the school was much larger than reported earlier.
Update - Apparently its not over yet
Thursday, September 02, 2004
As the first ray of golden light streamed over the pine woods on to the ridge and the valley, the bells of the Cathedral began to ring; the heavy gate of the castello was flung open, and the children trooped out laughing and gay, just as they had burst into the square a few months ago, for this, they were told, was to be a great feast and holiday. As they issued through the deep stone archway they filed to right or left, and drew up in long lines across the width of the ridge. Then raising their childish voices in a simple hymn, they all moved together down the rough slope to the lines of the besiegers. Brother Agnolo, holding a plain wooden cross high above his head, led the way, singing joyously.
It was a wonderful sight in the clear shining air of the hills, and hundreds of women weeping silently on the walls crowded together to watch it; and as they watched they held their breath, for suddenly in the golden light of the morning they saw that behind each child there was a great white winged Angel with a fiery spear.
Then, as that throng of singing children and shining spirits swept down upon the [mercenaries], a wild cry of panic arose from the camp. The eight hundred horsemen turned in dismay, and plunged through the ranks of the men at arms, and the mercenaries fell back in terror and confusion, striking each other down and trampling the wounded underfoot in their frantic efforts to escape. At that moment the hill men who were lying in ambush on each flank bore down on the bewildered multitude, and hacked and hewed right and left till the boldest and hardiest of the horsemen broke and fled, leaving their dead and dying on the field.
Merciful Lord, how much faith and prayers do we need to bring out your Host to save those Russian children?
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Krugman described the conspiracy as "the coalition between the malefactors of great wealth and the religious right." He offered no further details about who, precisely, is in the conspiracy but said that "substantial chunks of the media are part of this same movement."
Krugman is undoubtable still smarting from the tender new orifice provided by Bill O'Reilly, but this time he was playing to a friendly audience at a gig for Bush bashing authors sponsored by NYU. They gave him a standing ovation. So apparently he felt comfortable in revealing the most closely held secrets of his unique worldview.
Keep it up Paul, and we'll be a cinch for next year.
Update - James Taranto from the Wall Street Journal comments:
Such paranoid lunacy would be merely laughable did it not come from someone who has a twice-weekly op-ed slot at the once-respected New York Times. Krugman's moonbat ranting encapsulates the combination of rage and nostalgia that is at the heart of the Angry Left. They still think they're fighting for civil rights, a battle their predecessors won two generations ago. They long for another Vietnam; hence the endless insistence that Afghanistan and Iraq are "quagmires." And they fondly remember--and hope for a repetition of--Watergate. This time, they hope, such a scandal will do permanent damage to the GOP and conservatism.
In the 1970s, the left prevailed in persuading America to withdraw from Vietnam, albeit at the cost (which they rarely acknowledge) of subjecting millions of Vietnamese people to communist slavery, and Watergate enabled them to bring down a hated president--something they had been unable to do at the ballot box. For guys like Krugman, that is, the era of Vietnam and Watergate was a time of triumph. But for most Americans it was a low point in recent American history--and certainly not something we'd like to relive.
I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be.
Conrad seems to set up as an idol of this post-Christian world one composed of philosophy and imagination, that we might call Art. He sees Kurtz's last words ("The horror! The horror!") as a kind of victory of the human spirit, in that he looked unflinchingly in the end into the abyss of his own soul.
I understand better the meaning of his stare, that could not see the flame of the candle, but was wide enough to embrace the whole universe, piercing enough to penetrate all the hearts that beat in the darkness. He had summed up -- he had judged. 'The horror!' He was a remarkable man. After all, this was the expression of some sort of belief; it had candour, it had conviction, it had a vibrating note of revolt in its whisper, it had the appalling face of a glimpsed truth -- the strange commingling of desire and hate. And it is not my own extremity I remember best -- a vision of greyness without form filled with physical pain, and a careless contempt for the evanescence of all things -- even of this pain itself. No! It is his extremity that I seem to have lived through. True, he had made that last stride, he had stepped over the edge, while I had been permitted to draw back my hesitating foot. And perhaps in this is the whole difference; perhaps all the wisdom, and all truth, and all sincerity, are just compressed into that inappreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold of the invisible. Perhaps! I like to think my summing-up would not have been a word of careless contempt. Better his cry -- much better. It was an affirmation, a moral victory paid for by innumerable defeats, by abominable terrors, by abominable satisfactions. But it was a victory! That is why I have remained loyal to Kurtz to the last, and even beyond, when a long time after I heard once more, not his own voice, but the echo of his magnificent eloquence thrown to me from a soul as translucently pure as a cliff of crystal.
Humanists will become existentialists when their ideals sour, but even then they will try to hang on to a vision of beauty or a peak experience (e.g. the end of The Stranger). Art does survive to inspire and edify others, but as in the case of Kurtz, does the one who inspired it no good at all.
We know the Russian loved their children enough to avoid a nuclear Armageddon.
We'll see how they respond to this.
God help those kids.