Marlowe's Shade

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Godzilla Gets Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

Godzilla received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, 50 years after he stomped onto movie screens and hours before the premiere of his latest film, "Godzilla: Final Wars."

As far as giving credit where it is due to one of the major mythopoeic icons of the 20th Century, I say better late than never!

I'm so excited about this event I might even be persuaded to post some of the scholarship I've contributed in homage to this Japanese saga, such as: Godzilla: Metaphor for US-Japanese relations in the Atomic Age or Godzilla: Son of Kabuki
papijoe 11:00 AM |

Muslim Scholar Says Israel Belongs to the Jews

Prof. Khaleel Mohammed is not a beloved figure among Muslim students in the United States. His visits to campuses to lecture are almost always accompanied by demonstrations of protesters condemning his opinions and his views. He has also felt hostile looks at the mosque where he used to worship in the city where he lives, San Diego, and therefore he rarely goes there. And indeed Mohammed's views are very unusual in the Arab world. His main thesis is that the Holy Land (according to most commentators, this refers to the area of Israel-Palestine) was given to the Jews. He takes this from the Koran itself, the divine book that is sanctified by Muslims, and is prepared to do battle with anyone who disagrees with him.

On the face of it this seems encouraging, although in the article there are indications that his views also can be used as a kind of Muslim replacement theology.
papijoe 5:32 AM |

Monday, November 29, 2004

I Got Mail

Today I got my Christmas card from Dubya and Laura. Very nice, my daughter was impressed with the golden presidential seal, and there is a nice verse from Psalms (Tellihim) 95:2.
But I haven't seen my invite to the inauguration yet. Has anyone else gotten theirs yet? Charles? Matt? Anyone?
papijoe 11:30 PM |

Jewish School Raided in Venezuela

This was posted by ronnie schreiber at LGF

Sources report that this morning at around 6.30AM, 25 police officers raided in Caracas the Jewish school known as Colegio Hebraica. Students were meant to start classes at 7AM. Due to the 'procedure' that still goes on, classes have been suspended. The school is attended by 1.500 youngsters and children.

Criminal-turned-judge Maikel Moreno gave the order to raid the premises. Daniel Sinmack, president of the Jewish community in Caracas, just declared that this is the first time ever that such incident occurs

Allegedly the State television network, Venezolana de Television, has been reporting for days now that the Mossad is behind the assassination of prosecutor Danilo Anderson.

Apparently "Judge" Moreno had been arrested in the past homocide, among other crimes.

This is a very disturbing development.
papijoe 10:37 PM |

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Colombian Terrorists Targetted Bush

The Colombian terrorist group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, threatened to attack President Bush during his stop in Colombia this week.
U.S. intelligence officials said reports from the region indicated that the Marxist group, which has conducted numerous bombings and terrorist attacks in the country, had planned to conduct some type of bombing or shooting attack during Mr. Bush's visit.
papijoe 6:49 PM |

Harvard Study: Poverty is Not the Cause of Terrorism

A new study by a Harvard professor has found that terrorism is not caused by poverty – thus further undermining the main premise behind international aid to Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha).

The Harvard University Gazette reports that Alberto Abadie, associate professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, “examined data on terrorism and variables such as wealth, political freedom, geography, and ethnic fractionalization for nations that have been targets of terrorist attacks ... Before analyzing the data, Abadie believed it was a reasonable assumption that terrorism has its roots in poverty, especially since studies have linked civil war to economic factors. However, once the data was corrected for the influence of other factors studied, Abadie said he found no significant relationship between a nation’s wealth and the level of terrorism it experiences... (New York Sun, Nov.10, 2004)

Best thing I've seen out of Harvard in years.
papijoe 9:23 AM |

Friday, November 26, 2004

Papi's gotta brand new blog.

Well same content, better style.

I got sick of Marlowe's Shade looking like "That 70's Blog". The template is courtesy of I liked it's atmosphere, something Brian Eno would have been proud to put on an album cover. And I think it fits in nicely with the Conrad theme. But I never would have been able to use it if evariste from Discarded Lies hadn't fixed the tags I munged. Thanks evariste!

I'd like to know what people think. Any and all feedback appreciated.

papijoe 8:23 PM |

Terrorists use 10 year old as decoy to draw Israeli fire

Golani soldiers won special recognition for saving an innocent Arab child who was sent to provoke IDF soldiers into shooting him.

The two Golani soldiers recently were manning a check post near Gush Katif when a 10-year-old boy suddenly ran towards them. Despite fears that the child was carrying explosives, the soldiers did not fire.

"The child fell into the arms of one of the soldiers," said the troops’ officer. "He hugged him to make sure he was not carrying a bomb. The child apparently received a few shekels to run towards the soldiers and provoke them into shooting."

The officer awarded the soldiers a special certificate for keeping an "even head" under pressure.

Arab terrorists have sent dozens of children on life-endangering missions, including suicide bombings, and often use children to smuggle explosives and ammunition. Army officials explain that Palestinian Authority incitement in the school system and on television is one of the prime reasons for the increase in the use of children as terrorists.

This is absolutely outrageous and disgusting. And you'll never see this story in the Mainstream Media.
papijoe 3:27 PM |

"IDF Smashes Large Hamas Terror Cell "

Two years after the Worshipers Path ambush terror attack, the murderers have been killed in a battle with IDF soldiers - marking the liquidation of a major Hamas terror cell in Hevron.

The attack two years ago claimed the lives of 12 men: IDF Commander of the Judea Region, Col. Dror Weinberg, as well as other soldiers, Kiryat Arba emergency team members, and local residents. It occurred on Friday night, November 15, 2002, between Hevron and Kiryat Arba.

IDF forces arrived yesterday at a building in which were hiding two terrorists involved in the attack, and another, more senior terrorist. The troops surrounded the house for nearly three hours, calling upon them to surrender. The Israelis then fired heavily into the house, and an IDF bulldozer began taking down the building.

At this point, the soldiers gingerly entered the building to search for the enemies' bodies - and the terrorists, who had been hiding in a pit underneath, began shooting at the troops. The soldiers responded quickly, and the result was two dead terrorists and another one seriously wounded.

papijoe 3:24 PM |

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A Peoples History of Thanksgiving

And what Thanksgiving would be complete without this heartwarming retelling of the story of when the Pilgrims met the Native Americans by Liberal Larry:

As we know, the tradition of Thanksgiving began when the Mayflower landed on Malcolm X, near what is present day Cape Cod, Massachussetts. Fed up with the hegemonic stranglehold the Church of England held over their lives, a small band of progressive Christians sailed across the Atlantic to establish a New Eden in the New World, where gays could marry, women had a Right to Choose, and the only form of currency was Love.

Indeed, the pilgrims had finally found their Utopia, a place where they could experiment with conscience-expanding drugs and enjoy casual sex without being glowered at by judgmental old fuddy-duddies. Unfortunately, they spent so much time exercising their newfound freedoms that they didn't get any planting done, and had no food reserves for the approaching winter. Without a Patient's Bill of Rights, thousands died from hunger and disease, and hundreds more from the lack of affordable health care.

The indigenous peoples took pity on the pilgrims and brought them bushels of maize, berries, and deer turds, but the natives' strictly vegetarian diet didn't agree with the bizarre, meat-eating Europeans. Faced with starvation, the colonists unanimously agreed to eat the Indians. For the next six months, they ate the Patuxets, the Narragansetts, and the Erectorsets almost to extinction. They justified the hideous crime by convincing themselves that the dark-skinned savages posed an imminent threat, and had arrows of mass destruction. This pleasant fiction lasted until the NicNacs and the Paddywacs banded together with the Mohawks and the Pompadours, exacting revenge on the pilgrims and inflicting severe casualties.

An ignorant baboon with a short temper, Capt. Myles Standish exploited the pilgrims' fear of another Indian attack to impose a fascist theocracy on the colony. Backed by a junta of gun-toting puritans, Standish enacted the highly controversial US Mayflower Pact, rescinding all civil rights and granting the Church power to inspect a colonist's library records without a court order. Standish spent the next four years waging an illegal war for gravy, alienating our Nez Perce allies. But it wasn't until Chief Iacocca ordered the Pontiacs and Cadillacs to drive the pilgrims out of Dodge that the cannibalistic orgy of death was brought to an end.
papijoe 6:24 PM |

Happy Thanksgiving

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If everyone else succumbs to a tryptophan induced stupor later as planned, I'll try to post something

Thanks to NY Nana for the pic.
papijoe 10:27 AM |

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

All Clear at Temple Mount?

The eastern wall of the Temple Mount is no longer in danger of collapse, following repair work carried out by Jordanian engineers inside the compound, Israel's Antiquities Authority said Tuesday. But not all Israeli experts are convinced.

The concerns seem to be over the long term fate of the structure:

"What you can see looking at the wall leaves me with serious questions about the stability of the wall," said Hebrew University archaeologist and Temple Mount expert Dr. Eilat Mazar, noting that repair work at the southern and eastern walls is far from finished...A joint Egyptian-Jordanian report on the stability of the eastern wall issued earlier this year told of hundreds of small cavities all over the eastern wall. The report cited the natural flow of rainwater – not an earthquake – as the cause of the damage to the ancient wall.

If the damage is primarily from run off eroding the soil behind the walls, then another collapse is inevitable unless better drainage is worked out.

Despite my earlier concern about a collapse during Ramadan, at this point I think the Israelis have made every reasonable effort to prevent a disaster. The Waqf, due to their unwise construction project, now bears all the responsibility
papijoe 7:07 AM |

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

"Lyncher With Blood-Soaked Hands Jailed"

The man whose savagery in the 2001 Ramallah lynching was broadcast worldwide has finally been brought to justice.

An Israeli military court handed a life-sentence Sunday to the man who proudly displayed his blood-drenched hands after he joined a lynch-mob of other Arabs and carried out the grisly murder of Cpl. Vadim Norzitch, one of the two Israelis killed in the lynching at a Ramallah police station in 2001.

Aziz Salha was part of the Arab crowd which attacked the soldiers once they were inside the Ramallah police station. He was seen in television footage of the lynch standing at the window of the police station after Norzitch’s body was thrown out of it, proudly displaying his blood-soaked hands to the murderous mob below.

I had never heard this detail before:

The grisly footage, aired worldwide, was filmed by an Italian film crew whose news agency later apologized to the Palestinian Authority for giving a negative impression of the PA. Several photographers who also filmed the scene that day were beaten by PA officers and had their cameras and film destroyed.

I've always been opposed to the death penalty, but cases like this make me think there should always be exceptions.
papijoe 9:38 PM |

Marlowe on the Radio

Not long after my last gloomy post, I got an email from Pundit Review Radio, who I've featured here before.

Kevin and Gregg had kindly featured Marlowe's Shade as part of a weekly round-up of the blogosphere on their show last Saturday. If you have never checked it out, you can listen online. Previous shows have featured interviews with a stunning array of blogosphere luminaries.

Thanks Kevin and Gregg!
papijoe 1:45 PM |

Spirit of America:Giving the Iraqis a Helping Hand

Our parent company, Marlowe Ltd hasn't exactly been exceeding analyst's expectations since the old Internet bubble burst, but one cause I've risked the CFO's wrath to support was Spirit of America.

Their good works are manifold, and you need only look at faces like these to see the results:

Image Hosted by

They are having a blog challenge, but if you haven't donated yet, I beseech you to throw your support and donations behind Team Johnson. Like the Lance Armstrong of the blogosphere, Charles is leading the peloton but we must all pitch in to keep him ahead of the ex-Commie Roger Simon

I'll be making a donation in lieu of a Christmas present this year.
papijoe 1:18 PM |

Fortress America

Last night a Colombian friend of mine who is a Bush supporter was extremely discouraged. She is an evangelical living in the US, and from the reports she saw on the Spanish language stations, she was convinced that her entire country had taken to the streets to demonstrate against Bush.

Googling around this morning, I discovered that almost nothing occurred. Bush held his meeting on an island estate offshore (I'm guessing it was Escobar's island in the Islas de Rosario that the government seized on his arrest). Most likely what my friend saw were clips from the Chilean protests. All I could do was admonish her once again not to believe everything she sees on TV.

There has been a lot of good news since the election, but this occurrence has depressed me as well. Despite demographics which favor principled conservatives in this country, and a lemming-like movement of the disloyal opposition further left, I think the global picture is grim. With a heavy heart I include the UK in the loss column with the rest of Europe. I am not encouraged by the recent attempts there to confront Islam. Lacking the necessary moral underpinnings, they will fail, just as Germany failed in confronting communism by morphing into it's doppelganger, fascism.

I had high hopes for Latin America, especially which the success of the evangelicals there. But Hugo Chavez has co-opted the Protestant Christians in Venezuela, a stunning acheivement which greatly strengthens his hold on that country and ensures the survival of the communists in Cuba. Venezuelan Christian who justify their support for Chavez by his very tangible (and I'll grant, admirable) programs for the poor should remember what Satan tempted Christ with first. Colombians find Bush a poor substitute for Clinton who added "First Costeño President" to his honorary titles when he was there. But if Colombians were disappointed that Dubya didn't rhumbiar with them like Clinton, they love Uribe. And there is a secret army that God is raising up in the jungles before which even the guerillas and paramilitaries tremble.

Argentina has experienced an unreported Christian revival which may yet carry it through it's financial woes, but for now won't offer much in the way of support on the international stage.

Right now the only allies I feel we can rely on are Australia and Israel. As far as the rest of the world, the global media's electronic warfare against Bush and any supporters he has will effectively jam any honest reports that could help our cause, while broadcasting it's disinformation unopposed. My Colombian friend's experience is a case in point.

I don't think any political structure can survive this for long. As a Christian I know that only the bonds of spirit will hold. I'll try to elaborate on that as soon as I crawl out of this Slough of Despond.

papijoe 6:39 AM |

Monday, November 22, 2004

Arabs Funneled Millions to Clinton Library

President Clinton's new $165 million library here was funded in part by gifts of $1 million or more each from the Saudi royal family and three Saudi businessmen.

The governments of Dubai, Kuwait, and Qatar and the deputy prime minister of Lebanon all also appear to have donated $1 million or more for the archive and museum that opened last week

papijoe 11:00 AM |

Night of Power

The Boston Globe picked up the story 3 days after Robert Spencer ran it on his Dhimmi Watch site. Comparing the two pieces is a good illustration of how much more effective adding a few relevant links is in conveying a story in full. But the Globe like the rest of the mainstream media still doesn't get it.

The meandering Globe piece focuses on how the Somerville aldermen are baffled by the vehement response to the proposal to divest the city's pension fund of Israel bonds and companies that supply Israel's military.

The 484-word resolution, accusing Israel of human rights abuses, was sponsored by eight of the city's 11 aldermen, with one abstaining. Only William A. White and William M. Roche opposed it, saying the board should await testimony from Israel supporters.

At the last moment, the board sent the resolution to its Legislative Matters Committee for further consideration, and the brouhaha was born. Its repercussions are still reverberating, two weeks after 200 people crowded normally sedate City Hall for a two-hour debate on the Middle East conflict.

As a one time resident of Somerville, I'm not surprised at the buffoonery of some of the alderman. Somerville is traditionally blue collar bedroom community with diverse immigrant roots, but it is also host to a moonbat gentry that has been driving property values out of sight in the prime housing areas. And the influence and money they bring to the city hasn't gone unnoticed by the politicians. But in this case they got a little more than what they bargained for.

The dispute has prompted some aldermen to back away from the resolution. Desmond, an original sponsor, says he is now opposed.

Like some other sponsors, he said he had not anticipated this level of opposition to what he initially viewed as a simple statement in support of human rights.

''We thought we had re-worded it so it was a not-political thing," Desmond said. ''Because of the split it caused in the community, I'm not ready to support it anymore. It's a no-win situation."

Connolly says his original sponsorship was only meant to foster public debate, and he is undecided on whether to support the resolution.

Local officials don't expect this issue to go away soon.

With one alderman having previously abstained, two opposing and at least two now withdrawing their support, hopefully this proposal will crawl off the table and die. What the Globe piece obscures by keying in on the more clueless sponsors, is who it was that proposed this knowing full well what was being proposed.

But another player, who is currently proving to be somewhat of a political liability to the nearby City of Boston, is the now familiar Islamic Society of Boston. This "Night of Power" rant, which appeared on the ISB's list server, makes much of the fact that the alderman's meeting occurred on an Islamic night of prayer:

Oh Muslims who are praying tonight, remember the good people in Somerville who want their city to divest from Israel, because they are coming up against the Beast, and they will have to make this jihad, but they are not alone. "Victory cometh only by the help of Allah. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise." (Surat Al Anfal 8:10).

If there is even one person in Somerville, Massachusetts, who is attending the Alderman meeting with the weight of a mustard seed of faith in his or her heart, I pray the sky open up and Allah's glory be made manifest for the sake of bestowing dignity and honor upon the keepers of the holy shrines in the holy land.

If Allah does not grant victory to the Palestinian people, the noble mosques and dignified churches in which the names of the prophets are recalled, will be bulldozed to the ground. If Palestine is crushed, so too will the spirit of humanity be ground into the dirt. Like Rachel Corrie, our back will be broken.

Despite the antisemitic writings of it's founders, the ISB has continued to maintain that it promotes tolerance and understanding between all religions. But this email displays the face that the ISB doesn't want the public to see.

The State of Israel is the primary threat to World Peace today, especially in that it controls American politics. The American people have a duty to break the neck of the State of Israel by cutting off its supply of funding. We must kill the stranglehold that the supporters of Israel have placed upon our throats. These criminals have destroyed our democracy with the Patriot Act, ruined our economy with useless wars designed to make Israel the world superpower, they have printed lies in the newspapers that resulted in thousands of innocent Muslims to be imprisoned indefinitely without charge, tortured, and degraded. These people would knowingly put another family out of their home, and then happily move into their house. These people, dual citizen Israeli-Americans, are willing and eager to put American lives at risk just so they can enjoy stolen real estate at bargain prices available only to themselves.

On the 9th of November, when the organized Jewish community will attempt to deny, justify, or downplay Israeli war crimes, the American people will say no to Israel's occupation of Palestine. I pray Allah give the good people of Massachusetts the right words to say, and the courage to declare total opposition to Israel's use of our money. We must all thank these good Americans for standing up for all Americans' right to make socially conscious decisions in regards to their investments.

Here is the leftist group that initiated the proposal. For further evidence of the confluence of anti-Israeli radicals and Muslim antisemite, go to this page and do a "Edit/Find" on "Somerville" which will bring up the thread started by Susan Barney on a Lebanese list serv.

Ah yes, jihadis and the American Left marching arm in arm to defend terrorists and smash the Jewish state.
papijoe 7:01 AM |

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Spengler on Tolkien

Just when I thought Spengler couldn't be any cooler, he weighs in on one of my favorite authors. I had just finished Flieger's Splintered Light and fortunately I read Silmarillion first.

He revisits some of the same themes that I referenced earlier this week.

A people vanishes from the earth when its language no longer is spoken. Tolkien did not simply invent languages, but recreated the linguistic maelstrom of the early Middle Ages, when the high speech of great civilizations faded from memory while the dialects of small peoples dissolved into larger language groups. Tolkien's great philological skills created a unique means of portraying the temporally of the nations...

Today's Europeans are willing themselves out of existence (see Why Europe chooses extinction, Apr 8, '03). The two world wars of the 20th century destroyed the national illusions of the European peoples, their pretension to strut and swagger upon the world stage. France was the first nation to misidentify its national interests with the fate of Christendom (The sacred heart of darkness, Feb 11, '03), emulated in far more horrible form first by Russia ("the God-bearing nation" in Dostoyevsky's words) and then by Germany. Why is it that radical Islam yet may defeat the West? Migrants from North Africa and the Middle East may overwhelm the shrinking population of Western Europe, without ever assimilating into Western European culture. Collapsing birth rates in formerly Catholic strongholds (including Quebec) coincide with negligible church attendance, and demoralization within the Church itself.

Present-day Europe, according to Spengler, is like Tolkien's world weary Elves, for whom immortality wasn't enough.

Christianity in the confessional, and universal Christian empire in politics, offered the Europeans a form of immortality beyond the existence of the nation. Europe fell from grace when its great constituent nations decided that this sort of immortality was not enough for them, and that they should instead fight for temporal dominance upon the earth. Exhausted from their wars, the peoples of Europe sank into a torpor that is destroying them slowly but with terrible certainty.

I would argue here that it was the "En-dark-enment" in France which initiated the decline by substituting the standards of man over the standards of God. However Spengler's point stands on it's own.

Jackson's portrayal of Denethor, the feckless Steward of Gondor, doubtless reminded Americans of European defeatism with respect to Iraq and other venues in the Middle East. Out of context, the character has little motivation. Perhaps Jackson will provide the missing background of Gondor's decline in a future extended version.

The parallels between the decadent Gondorians and modern Europeans map well, right down to the declining birth rates. I think Spengler has a valid point in the following observation about Europe backsliding into paganism, but then starts to skip a few beats regarding Tolkien's "failure".

A tragic flaw was set in Europe's foundations, in the form of its Faustian bargain with paganism (Why Europe chooses extinction). Christianity offered salvation in another world; the Europeans wanted a taste of immortality in this one. By allowing the pagans to syncretically adopt their old gods into the new religion, Christianity left the Europeans forever torn between Jesus and Siegfried. Richard Wagner returned to the old pagan sources and found in them a foretaste of the Nihilism that would ravage Europe during its Second Thirty Years' War of 1914-1944. Repudiating Wagner, Tolkien hoped to link an ennobling pagan past and the Christian present. In this respect he failed utterly. He is reduced to elegaic yearning for a lost agrarian past. He is a reactionary looking backwards, for his vision is too clear to allow false hopes for the European future

There is a lot to unpack in Tolkien's supposed nostalgia for a more pastoral existence. First of all, Tolkien would himself consider his work an overall failure in light of his youthful ambition to present his beloved England with an epic the equal of the Norse Sagas or the works of Homer. The value of what he did produce is another subject entirely, but his failure was not in lack of vision. He knew and stated in his description to his editor of the Silmarillion that history begins with a Fall. The Lord of the Rings was the story of the end of an era, the reign of Aragorn is at best an extended denouement, history ends when it is redeemed.

But at heart, Spengler, like his namesake, is passionately concerned with the fate of nations and he serves this topic well.

Tolkien kept faith with the original Christian message. Man must accept not only his own mortality, but the mortality of his nation, the extinction of his culture, the silencing of his mother-tongue, and look instead toward salvation beyond all mortal hope. That is what Christianity offered the pagans during the Great Extinction of Peoples after the collapse of Rome. Frodo knows that the entire race of Hobbits will become extinct. He begins his journey with Gildor's warning that one day others will dwell in the shire when hobbits are no more. Gildor is the first among the High-Elves he meets as he rides toward the Havens, in the company of Elrond and Galadriel, who, along with Gandalf, finally are revealed in their true capacity as the bearers of the Three Elven Rings.

But the European nations threw off the bonds of universal Christian empire and, through Wagnerian nationalism, sought immortality within the mortal realm - the tragic flaw of Feanor, Galadriel and the rebel Eldar. The Great Wars and the fall of Europe were the consequence. Except in the imagination, there was no going back.

The sea-passage to the West, in Peter Jackson's interpretation, represents death. It might just as well represent immigration to America. Unlike all other peoples, Americans need not fear the extinction of their cultural identity, because they have none to begin with. That is America's great weakness but also its abiding strength. It is the reason that America well may endure for all time while the Kulturnationen dissolve into the dust of the libraries. Americans bridle when told that they have no culture. But what can they name whose loss would destroy their sense of national identity? Erase the memory of Homer, and what becomes of the Greeks? Forget Herman Melville, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and even The Simpsons, and Americans still are Americans. If German or French no longer were spoken, the concept of "Germany" or "France" would become meaningless. At the time of their revolution, Americans considered German as a national language. A century from now they might adopt Spanish. America can withstand the loss of the English language itself. As long as America's political covenant remains intact, Americans can change their "culture" as often as convenient. America may fulfill the Christian project, as an assembly of individuals called out of the nations, cut loose from their heathen heritage - an outcome Tolkien could not have imagined.

That last point about the great weakness and strength of America will sing in my mind like a tuning fork for some time to come. But I think that difference between the US and other nations is so otherworldly that we are almost a phantom in history. The great Christian account of the end of the Age, The Book of Revelations has coded references to many nations, but none seem to have any resemblance to the United States. And yet don't we all, at least subconsciously see events accelerating to a final battle?

For myself and many others, Islam has replace the Communists as the looming World-Antagonist. And if supposing we actually subdue the jihadis in the next four years, then China waits in the wings. But I've been thinking lately that these nemeses are more like the opportunistic infections that would usually be quickly eradicated by a healthy immune system, but thrive in the presence of a more fundamental disease. As I stated above, the poisonous fruit of the humanism that spread through Europe after the French Revolution, and started to gain a foothold on our shores early in the last century, seems to be the true culprit.

Now true Christianity needs always to allow for disbelief, tolerate skepticism, and can never require faith. That violates the free will that our covenant with God is based on. And Christian are told that this opposition is an inescapable fact of this fallen creation. But both nations and individuals succeed or fail based on the choices they make.

As to the future of Europe and the United States, something will have to give soon. Although in my post cited above, it is stated that the birthrates in the US favor the believers, I also think sooner or later we will be unable to isolate ourselves from the decline of Europe in a global economy. Our national will to keep our values intact barely survived the last election. Many Christians in this country are not only prepared for this gloomy eventuality, but will likely thrive on it, as they are in more benighted parts of the world. The outlook is grim however for those who put their faith in a government, a culture, a language or set of folkways that are not eternal.
papijoe 7:11 PM |

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Is Bush Stalling?

U.S. President Bush says that promoting a Palestinian state alongside Israel tops his agenda, and he hopes it will be a fact by the end of his term.

I hope that this is the Presidents way of signalling that he won't be pressured to stick to the 2005 deadline for the long discredited Roadmap.

Our "allies" are already pressing for just that:

French Foreign Minister Michael Barnier said this week that he hopes for new initiatives and dialogue to bring peace between Israel and the PA. He said, however, that nobody could wait until the year 2009 as suggested by President Bush. "The more we accelerate the establishment of this [Palestinian] state, the better the interests of all will be served - including Israel and its security," Barnier said. He added eagerly that the new state could be established in interim borders in accordance with the principles of the Road Map plan

I have to admit that talking about a two state solution at this juncture makes me very nervous.
papijoe 1:51 PM |

Friday, November 19, 2004

"French paper reports liver cirrhosis killed Arafat"

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of cirrhosis of the liver, but French doctors were loath to say so because of a common public belief that the disease is the result of alcoholism, a French newspaper reported Wednesday.

The doctors, who weren't named because they were violating French law by discussing Arafat's case, described Arafat as "a true water drinker" and not an alcoholic, according to the paper, Le Canard Enchaine. The weekly, whose name means "the connected duck," is well known for political satire and accurate investigations.

Allegations that Arafat was a heavy drinker - forbidden in Islam - would have clouded the mourning that began Nov. 11, when the 75-year-old died.

The report that Arafat was suffering from cirrhosis was bolstered by an article in another French newspaper, Le Monde, which said that Arafat had suffered from "intravascular coagulation," a blood clotting condition that can be a sign of late-stage liver failure and can be consistent with cirrhosis.

Le Monde, citing "very good sources," reported that doctors couldn't make an indisputable diagnosis, however, since the blood abnormality "is not a disease as such, but the symptom of a pathology, which in a patient of his age is either of infectious origin or of cancerous origin." Doctors found no evidence of cancer.

My gut is that this is disinformation, sort of a compromise between the AIDS rumors on the one hand and poisoning rumors on the other. We may never know for sure.
papijoe 9:34 AM |

The Power of Positive Thinking

The usually left-leaning Economist had an interesting article on why the Republicans won.

IN THE past fortnight, the Democrats have come up with lots of comfort-food explanations of George Bush's victory—from the idea that the rascal stole the election for a second time (there were a mere 3.3m votes in it, after all) to the notion that he rode into Washington, DC, at the head of an army of hooded fundamentalists. But perhaps the most dangerous of all these myths is the idea that Mr Bush terrified the voters into re-electing him. He divided the country along “fault lines of fear”, according to Maureen Dowd in the New York Times; he relied on “fear of and hatred for modernity”, added Garry Wills, polymath and devout Catholic. Sooner or later every Democrat starts saying that the president used terrorism to partisan advantage.

This explanation is dangerous because it contains a measure of truth. The election certainly took place against a background of fear (Islamic fanatics are, after all, bent on killing as many Americans as they can). And the Republicans certainly played the fear card with gusto (as indeed did the Democrats: remember all the talk about reintroducing conscription). But if they are going to extract any useful lessons from their humiliation, the Democrats need to realise that the Republicans didn't just beat them on fear. They clobbered them on hope

For the moment, the American right is better at talking about the future than the left. It is better at exuding optimism. And it is better at addressing the aspirations of an aspirational people.

It makes what I believe to be a very perceptive link between optimism and demographics:

Mr Bush's optimistic message gave him a commanding advantage in pro-growth America. Joel Kotkin, a Los Angeles-based writer who knows as much about the grassroots economy as anyone, points to the close relationship between growth, both demographic and economic, and a propensity to vote Republican. Most of Mr Kerry's base was in stagnant America. Democratic strongholds such as Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Mr Kerry's Boston have been losing people and jobs.

The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto has pointed out early and often that conservatives are outbreeding liberals. The Economist piece concurs.

...the Democratic Party is ceasing to be a mom-and-pop party. Phillip Longman of the New America Foundation points out that the fertility rate in the Kerry states is 12% lower than in the Bush states. Vermont, the home of Howard Dean and perhaps the most left-wing state in the country, produces an annual average of 49 children for every 1,000 women of child-bearing age; in Utah, where 71% of the population voted for Mr Bush, the figure is 91. In deep-blue cities such as San Francisco and Seattle you find more dogs than children.

Part of this is what I would describe as the salmon syndrome. Urban areas in part function as mating grounds for heterosexuals who after college want a plentiful supply of potential parters, but once paired, they make their way upstream to the suburbs and exurbs to spawn. But the result is the same. Raising kids in the city is just too darned expensive.

Spengler paints an even more frightening picture for secular liberals:

Take this simple calculation: 44% of the US population of 285 million as of the year 2000 census were evangelical (or "born again") Christians, according to an August 2000 Gallup poll. Let us assume that these 125 million evangelicals average three children per family during the next generation, and that the non-evangelical population averages 1.6 children per family. Within one generation (assuming a 0.5% death rate for both groups), evangelicals will form a majority of 61% of the population. This does not take into account the higher birthrate of devout Catholics, who tend toward social conservatism.
These are simplistic calculations, but it will not take long for the professionals to produce more accurate ones. Like the French and German general staffs before World War I, the strategists of both US political parties will spend the next four years analyzing demographic tables. Apart from the evangelical surge, the failure of the "youth vote" to buoy the Democratic side was another election surprise. In the future, the youth vote will belong increasingly to the Republicans.

Is that far-fetched? On the contrary, it already is happening. Eighty-five percent of Americans profess Christianity. "Born-again" denominations showed enormous growth during the past generation, while so-called "mainline" (and liberal-leaning) denominations have hollowed out. Catholics have increased, in large measure due to Hispanic immigration.

The Left, if anything, appears to be sinking even deeper into their slough of despond. According to the Economist piece, they need to pull out of this dive quickly:

The Democrats are not beyond redemption. Mr Clinton showed they can triumph in the suburbs by preaching economic growth and social responsibility. But they must abandon all this comforting claptrap about fear being Mr Bush's friend—and start to focus on the much more devastating truth. In America, self-styled progressives look ever more the party of the past, and confessed conservatives are the ones focusing on the future.
papijoe 7:00 AM |

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Saddam Scoop

I missed this the other day, but justdanny finally reveals how he scooped the the entire MSM on Saddam's capture.

"The rest of the story" is fascinating and wrenchingly personal.
papijoe 8:05 AM |

New Links

Thanks to this post from LGF last night by Jheka I've added some links to lizardoids that I have either been meaning to add or was unaware of in the sidebar under LGF Posse. Scaramouche has had a blog for about as long as I have! Why wasn't I aware of this?

Anyhoo, stop by and say hello, or at least wave.
papijoe 6:50 AM |

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

UN calls for Human Rights Probe of Fallujah

Twin self-appointed World Overlords, the Mainstream Media and the UN, have decided once again to apply their moral equivalency to our efforts to wipe out the terrorist strongholds in Fallujah bringing to bear decades of expertise in the field of thwarting anti-terror campaigns, particularly in Israel.

Can we please kick these UN knuckleheads to the curb now?

papijoe 10:49 AM |

The Two Faces of the Islamic Society of Boston

For those who haven't been following the events surrounding the ISB's construction of a $22 million dollar mosque in Roxbury, CBN has done the best overview I've seen.

There were a few new angles uncovered:

Former Harvard professor Dr. Ahmed Mansour says when he visited the present mosque in Cambridge with his wife, he found Wahabbi reading materials that preached hatred toward America.

CBN News tried repeatedly to interview new ISB Chairman Yousef Abou-Leban. Although the ISB says it has begun a new period of "transparency" and outreach to the media, the leadership declined to talk on camera with us. On its website, the ISB says, the "negative media attention given to the ISB is not the result of honest, diligent journalism, but of malicious intent to discredit our organization and the new Cultural Center in Boston."

The ISB website has also put a statement of faith on its Web page that condemns bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism. It also affirms the equality of men and women, although we found instructions on the website on the correct way a man should beat his wife.

Learning more about the upstanding and courageous Ahmed Mansour alone was worth the price of admission. I was also very impressed with the meticulous job they did investigating the ISB's site. I had been over it many times and never drilled down to the aforementioned article, which not only has the tips on wifebeating, but also has several anti-semitic references such as this:

In modern times, when the kuffaar needed women’s labour after the two world wars, to make up for the resulting lack of men in the workforce, and there was a critical need to rebuild their economies, this coincided with the Jewish plots to “liberate” women and advocate their rights with the aim of corrupting them and consequently corrupting society as a whole. Thus the idea of women going out to work was established.

Note the use of "kuffaar", a derogatory term for non-Muslims. Yet in their value statement they wrap themselves in the mantle of moderation and tolerance and gender equality. I've pointed out this kind of contradiction before.

And the question of why the City of Boston approved the sale of land to a $22 million dollar mosque at bargain basement prices remains unanswered.
papijoe 6:53 AM |

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

"Arafat Death Certificate Has Jerusalem Birthplace"

The French authorities have chosen to perpetuate this lie. It is certain that they will never release the real cause of his death either. Which will allow more conspiracy theories to fester.

On the heels of a story like this the perfidy of the French seems to be bottomless.
papijoe 9:38 AM |

al Guardian's Sickening Bias

It's no wonder this piece by Madeleine Bunting entitled "The screams will not be heard" was reprinted in jihadi propaganda site

With fitting irony, one of the camps used by the US marines waiting for the assault on Falluja was formerly a Ba'ath party retreat occasionally used by Saddam Hussein's sons. Dreamland, as it was known, has an island in the middle of an artificial lake fringed by palms.
Now the camp's dream-like unreality is distorting every news report filed on the preparations for the onslaught on Falluja. We don't know, and won't know, anything about what happens in the next few days except for what the US military authorities choose to let us know. It's long since been too dangerous for journalists to move around unless they are embedded with the US forces. There is almost no contact left with civilians still in Falluja, the only information is from those who have left.

The whole column is staggering in its bizarre logic. The Marines are to be condemned for fighting in a population center, but not a word about the terrorists who have chosen to to use it as their base. Ms Bunting seems to miss the point that the essence of asymmetrical warfare is the picture of a weak cowardly terrorist hiding behind a hostage.

Fisking a piece so steeped in moral equivalency seems futile from the start:

Assaults on cities serve symbolic purposes: they are set showpieces to demonstrate resolve and inculcate fear. To that end, large numbers of casualties are required: they are not an accidental byproduct but the aim. That was the thinking behind 9/11, and Falluja risks becoming a horrible mirror-image of that atrocity. Only by the shores of that dusty lake in Dreamland would it be possible to believe that the ruination of this city will do anything to enhance the legitimacy of the US occupation and of the Iraqi government it appointed.

No military force, excepting Israel, has ever gone to such lengths to developed weapons, tactics, and policies to minimized civilian casualties. To have Ms Bunting baldly state that the our goal is to slaughter civilians exposes more than just ignorance. Thankfully someone else has apparently recognized her true sympathies, which is no doubt why she was bitterly typing her report in a room on the outskirt of Fallujah, rather than embedded with the troops.
papijoe 7:17 AM |

Suha Arafat joins the ranks of spammers

Daniel Pipes has this amusing post about an email he has received about a unique business opportunity:

Dear Friend,

This mail may not be surprising to you if you have been following current events in the international media with reference to the Middle East and Palestine in particular.

I am Mrs. SUHA ARAFAT, the wife of YASSER ARAFAT, the Palestinian leader who died recently in Paris.

Since his death and even prior to the announcement, I have been thrown into a state of antagonism, confusion, humiliation, frustration and hopelessness by the present leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the new Prime Minister. I have even been subjected to physical and psychological torture. As a widow that is so traumatized, I have lost confidence with everybody in the country at the moment.

You must have heard over the media reports and the Internet on the discovery of some fund in my husband secret bank account and companies and the allegations of some huge sums of money deposited by my husband in my name of which I have refuses to disclose or give up to the corrupt Palestine Government. In fact the total sum allegedly discovered by the Government so far is in the tune of about $6.5 Billion Dollars. And they are not relenting on their effort to make me poor for life. As you know, the Moslem community has no regards for woman, hence my desire for a foreign assistance.

I have deposited the sum of 20 million dollars with a security firm abroad whose name is withheld for now until we open communication. I shall be grateful if you could receive this fund into your bank account for safe keeping and any Investment opportunity. This arrangement is known to you and my personal Attorney. He might be dealing with you directly for security reasons as the case may be.

In view of the above, if you are willing to assist for our mutual benefits, we will have to negotiate on your Percentage share of the $20,000,000 that will be kept in your position for a while and invested in your name for my trust pending when my Daughter, Zahwa, will come off age and take full responsibility of her Family Estate/inheritance.

Fraud, it would seem, begets fraud.
papijoe 6:37 AM |

Monday, November 15, 2004

Is China a Threat?

This article argues that because it's economic gains have been over stated, China is something of a paper tiger. This is running against the conventional wisdom that China's growth is unstoppable. I think however that China aligned with the world's other foci of anti-Americanism, Western Europe and the Islamic bloc shouldn't be underestimated. Persistant rumors of Chinese support for the Taliban, Jiang Zemin's fascination with 9-11 footage, and more substantial reports of spying at our nuclear facilities, the upgrading of their missiles,Chinese control of the Panama Canal, as well as attempts to control other oil-rich regions, and a build up of their military all point to preparations for a future conflict with the US.

This topic is too big for one post, but now that the elections are over I'm going to try to devote more time to shining a light on this area that most of the media are ignoring.
papijoe 7:12 AM |

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Bid Him Welcome to the Blogosphere

LGF's beloved justdanny has started a blog (sucka!).

Go and encourage this madness.
papijoe 9:36 PM |

Coppola's Folly

I tried to watch Apocalypse Now and I only made it from the Duval scenes to just before the Playmates get evacuated. When I saw it in high school it seemed to be a helluva movie. But that was when I thought LSD was a good time.

Heart of Darkness is due for a remake.
papijoe 9:15 PM |

Friday, November 12, 2004

Israel Braces for Arafat Funeral

The police announced yesterday that it was putting its forces on the highest state of alert ahead of Yasser Arafat's funeral in Ramallah this afternoon. For its part, the Israel Defense Forces will impose a total closure on the territories during the burial ceremony. Soldiers will allow passage, however, to the participants in the funeral.

It seems that the PA has already been given an excuse if riots break out:

Security officials have estimated over the past days that the Palestinian leadership wants the funeral to pass relatively quietly. However, there is no certainty that the PA's security forces will be able to control the situation in the event of mass rioting.

I've said something to this effect before, but any violence from the funeral should be taken as a clear sign that the Palestinians are not prepared to negotiate in good faith. Accordingly, any idea of concessions should be abandon.
papijoe 6:57 AM |

Thursday, November 11, 2004

God Bless Our Veterans

It always bothered me that Veteran's Day seems to play second fiddle to Memorial Day. To the dead goes all the honor we neglected to give them in life.

Nothing I write can do justice to the sacrifices of our veterans. I haven't experienced war, and I can't put a fair price on their service. But I'm grateful that they've given us a country that is a light to the world, that my wife wanted to come to and become a citizen, that my daughter can be proud of.

I especially hope that today the Viet Nam vets can hold their heads a little higher, knowing we've rejected a man and a worldview that would slander and blame them for the mistakes of those who didn't fight themselves. Yet those of them I know are probably more concerned for a younger generation of soldiers who are fighting and dying right now in Fallujah.

Let's remember, honor, and pray for those who fought, are fighting and will fight.

And finally all other words fail, save two.

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

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papijoe 7:11 AM |

It's Official: Arafat is Dead

The PA made the official announcement just after 6 AM Thursday: Arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat died early this morning in Paris. His body will be buried in Ramallah, his evil legacy into history.

Funeral arrangements for the Palestinian leader are as follows: His body will lie in state in Cairo today, and will be buried in the Mukata Compound in Ramallah tomorrow or Saturday.

Arutz Sheva had an interesting article on the appropriateness of rejoicing in the death of one such as Arafat. In it I found this very profound quote by Rabbi Kook, which states,"...evil itself, in its depth, longs for its own demise and rejoices in it.".

I don't condemn anyone for celebrating Arafat's official death, even though as a Christian it isn't appropriate for me to do so. His death is a good thing, and at the same time I'm called to love my enemies. So I'm grateful for Rabbi Kooks insight that the amount of iniquity that Arafat or anyone can heap on their own soul is finite. Praise God for his mercy.
papijoe 6:40 AM |

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Comedy of Terrors?

Daniel Pipes on Arafat's passing.

The mise-en-scène is as preposterous as what came before, only much funnier. First, there is the wife, Suha, a Greek Orthodox convert to Islam who nonetheless continued to observe Christian holidays and now bellows out "Allahu Akbar" as she spends a reputed $100,000 a month living the good life in Paris. Then there are the long-suffering minions, hoping to get their day in the sun, free at last of their irascible, unpredictable, domineering leader. Finally, there are the hapless French politicians, stung by their own stupidity in sending a military plane to Jordan to retrieve Arafat to Paris, then treating him like royalty (including a courtesy visit by President Jacques Chirac), only to find themselves parties to his death-bed antics.

Here are some of the specifics; as they say, you couldn't make this stuff up.

On Nov. 7, French foreign minister Michel Barnier told the LCI television channel that Arafat was alive, but "I would say he is in a state that is very complicated, very serious and stable at the time we are speaking." Asked if Arafat was already dead, Barnier memorably answered: "I wouldn't say that." The foreign minister of a major country, supposedly a serious man, has satisfyingly been made to look like an idiot.

The banality of evil...
papijoe 1:45 PM |

Happy Birthday USMC

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Semper Fi!
papijoe 1:17 PM |

Fiefdom of Lies

It seems like the PA officials are finally ready to end the charade of increasingly ludicrous reports on Arafat's condition.

A late-night report by Itim quoted senior Palestinian sources as saying that PLO Secretary General Mahmoud Abbas - the most senior Palestinian politician after Arafat - would announce in Ramallah this morning that Arafat had died. According to the report, Arafat was already dead last night, but the Palestinian leadership would make the official announcement only after Abbas returned to Ramallah from Paris, via Amman, overnight.

Even better news is that there are signs that they may have abandon plans to bury him on the Temple Mount.

Arafat's bureau director, Tayeb Abdul Rahim, indicated in Ramallah last night that the Palestinian leadership had decided to turn the Muqata into a mausoleum for Arafat, making it his final resting place until circumstances allow him to be buried in Jerusalem.

I'm still skeptical of the emerging leadership being qualitatively better than Arafat, but maybe there are those who want to return to happier times before the Al Aqsa Intifada.

Note the last line in this segment on the funeral arrangements:

Presumably, the large empty field used as a helicopter pad to lift Arafat out of Ramallah and fly him to Amman - where a flying hospital flew him to France last week - could serve the large gathering of mourners expected, including many foreign statesmen.

Followed by an ominous note

Among the foreigners anticipated for an Arafat funeral are Libya's Moammar Gaddafi and many other Arab leaders. However reports that the funeral is slated for Ramallah have some worried about security.

I think an orderly funeral will be a sign that there is effective leadership emerging in the PA. Whether it can be trusted to negotiate in good faith is another story. Before that could happen there would have to be a total break with Arafat's fiefdom of lies, corruption and violence. Hamas is still a wild card, and can be expected to make a power grab at some point. If the situation degenerates into chaos before the funeral is over, we can count on that power struggle to be long and bloody.
papijoe 7:11 AM |

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

International Peer Pressure

Charles at LGF had a post yesterday about a website where you can post a picture of yourself apologizing to the world for the re-election of President Bush. I won't waste bandwidth posting any of the pictures, but if you take a look you'll see a couple of recurring themes: people pleasing ("we're not, like, all uncool...please don't hate us"), Zapateresco cowardice ("my city didn't vote for Bush, please don't bomb us!"), and general Moore-ish self-loathing ("dude, sorry we are stupid Christian chimp idiots like our President!")

Demographically the college-aged poseurs and 60s has-been are well represented.
papijoe 8:40 PM |

Monday, November 08, 2004

Ten-four, Good Buddy!

Who's better qualified to question the professionalism of the blogosphere than CBS, eh?

The public is now assaulted by news and pretend-news from many directions, thanks to the now infamous "information superhighway." But the ability to transmit words, we learned during the Citizens Band radio fad of the 70’s, does not mean that any knowledge is being passed along. One of the verdicts rendered by election night 2004 is that, given their lack of expertise, standards and, yes, humility, the chances of the bloggers replacing mainstream journalism are about as good as the parasite replacing the dog it fastens on.

To his credit, Eric Engberg identifies the big story of the election night, the exit polls, and it's villains, Wonkett, Kos, Slate et al. What he misses is the real lesson. What all the blogs shilling for Kerry found out the hard way is that all of spin and manipulation that works so well on television and other mass media, fail miserably in the blogosphere.

And what none of them realize is that mass media has no memory. A story might be re-examined in letters to the editor, but then forgotten. Fish wrap. TV even more so. The media might have policed itself at one point, but those days are gone.

The blogosphere on the other hand has the ability to cache and the ability to search. The implications of this are staggering, and yet totally lost on the MSM. A baboon can gain dominance over it's peers by bluff, posturing, and caterwauling intimidation. But the baboon is no match for the calculations and schemes in the mind of a Man.

Engberg shouldn't be so quick to dismiss Sullivan, who despite his foibles is more accountable and has more integrity than any of the Kerry whisper brigade put together. I doubt if Engberg at any point in his career was held up to such a standard. And if he doesn't want to share the fate of another relic from a different Age, he better wise up. Otherwise like John McEnroe, his calls of "Breaker one-nine" will fall on dead air.

Update - Charles at LGF reports that the Guardian has acknowledged the blogosphere as the alpha male. Can the surrender of the AFP be far behind?
papijoe 5:28 PM |

Jack's Back

Jack Engelhard, my favorite columnist at Arutz Sheva, has returned with this gem.

Yasser Arafat is still listed as slightly dead. We'll keep you posted on the latest, as to when Swamp Thing is pronounced completely dead.

As the world waits, and Suha shops, doctors from the Sorbonne's Josef Mengele Annex are on the job.

Meanwhile, George W. Bush is back in the White House, and all's right with the world.

Depending on what world you live in.

If you're a Christian and live in Darfur and you're surrounded by Janjaweed Arabs, well, this is not good. Better move to the safety of some European country, like the Netherlands. Oops. My mistake. Bad idea. Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh just got killed over there for being critical of Islam. Seven Islamic "militants" have already been charged.

By the way, on semantics, when the people on television tell us that there's bad news about Arafat, don't they mean good news?

Imagine this, Bush up, Arafat down, all within 24 hours, and you say life sucks? Life is good.

Michael Moore, who's your daddy?
papijoe 3:47 PM |

"Marines turn to God ahead of anticipated Fallujah battle"

With US forces massing outside Fallujah, 35 marines swayed to Christian rock music and asked Jesus Christ to protect them in what could be the biggest battle since American troops invaded Iraq last year.

Men with buzzcuts and clad in their camouflage waved their hands in the air, M-16 assault rifles laying beside them, and chanted heavy metal-flavoured lyrics in praise of Christ late Friday in a yellow-brick chapel.

The AFP pieces make what is basically a standard worship service sound sinister.

No matter. The courage and faith of these Marines comes through regardless.

The schemers in the dark should be very afraid right now.
papijoe 8:26 AM |

And Now a Message from Our Local Iman

This interview with Hafiz Hamid Mahmood, the Iman of the Greater Worcester Islamic Society appeared in our "alternative weekly", Worcester Magazine. Lots of softball questions and pat answers. Here's a couple of examples:

What is difference between what you preach and what we call radical or fundamentalist Islam?
Actually, we cannot determine what is meant by fundamentalist or radical. I am strongly opposed to this term being used, because the fundamentalism, to my knowledge, has been something that is part of the Christian history. In Islam there is nothing like fundamentalism. But in interpretation some people are extreme, so I would accept the term extremism. There are people who are not satisfied with anyone, and their extremism has a lot of ways and forms, and I think this is a universal phenomenon — a psychological phenomenon, actually. Not only one religion has extremism.

In my experience, Islam teaches peace, peace, peace. Where does the message of violence come from?
The main message of the Koran is just about having peace, starting with God. Have peace first of all with God. Then have peace with your own self, your own soul. And then have peace with your society, and bring it harmony.
The state has its own situation. This is a different form of peace — the peace a state would have with another state. There are beautiful instructions in the Koran for the state, and some individuals misinterpret this as being for the individual, not the state. They really want to take the law in their own hands. Most of the time they are crazy, and they even hate the people of knowledge. That is our biggest problem with them — that they don’t listen to real experts on the Koran. The Koran is not for everyone to interpret. People from the western media, a lot of time, twist the verses of the Koran regarding fighting, [promoting the] idea of Islam as a religion that only deals with fighting and destroying.

I applaud these statements distancing himself and his masjid from jihadi
terrorists and their violent interpretation of the Koran. However he
may want to address the fact that a Google search on "Islamic Society of Greater Worcester" doesn't bring up the Islamic Center's current website, but the first hit turned up is an older website hosted on AOL that appears to have been updated as recently as 2001. The site includes a link to the website of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an extremely controversial Egyptian cleric, among whose many incendiary statements was a recent one reported by Reuters in which he declared that it was a religious duty for Muslims to kill Americans, including civilians, in Iraq.
There was also a link to the now defunct which according to Aaron at Internet Haganah, was the website of an al Qaida affiliated group that supports the rebels in Chechnya

The Iman began his tenure in 1999. Let's hope that the new website reflects a break with past connections to those who preach violence.
papijoe 6:36 AM |

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Blogosphere Manifesto: Kill your TV

After being kicked off the computer in the bedroom on election night by a pregnant wife who was trying to sleep, I went downstair and put on Fox. I was already upset with the doom and gloom fest earlier that evening when the exit poll rumors came out. It's bad enough that the mainstream media perpetrated another fraud upon the viewing public, but Fox, the only network I trusted, fell for it as well. "Even they don't really get it", I remember saying to myself. The coverage was horrible. Talking heads spouting meaningless conjecture. They kept flashing to results that had already been counted as Electoral Votes, instead of developing events. Whereas before I was able to go out and find the information I wanted, now I was a helpless passive observer.

In the days that followed I had the unshakable impression that despite the miracle of President Bush's political survival in the face of an overwhelmingly hostile media, there was something so wrong with our current information complex that nothing short of a revolution will correct it.

Much of my thinking on this subject lately has been influenced by a book that evariste had recommended called The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. The thesis of this book is so startling that I don't dare claim I faithfully absorbed even the most important points in one reading. But to describe it briefly, it posits that our ancestors did not experience the same kind of subjective consciousness that we take for granted, but when their routine existence was interrupted by crisis, they experienced what Jaynes believes were auditory hallucinations which they attributed to the voice of a god. He illustrated this with examples of ancient literature such as the Iliad. He compares this syndrome with the experience of modern schizophrenics and points to vestiges of this in modern phenomena like hypnotism (this will be a relevent point later).

While I question many of the conclusions of this book, I think he makes a powerful case that there was and quite likely still is a hardwired atavistic mechanism in the human psyche that influences the experience and behavior of the individual. Jaynes describes early societies administered by the voices of "the gods" running as tranquilly as a colony of ants. Several times he points out the power of spoken authority which brooked not even the thought of disobedience. The urge to respond was as natural and compelling as scratching an itch.

After reading this, many examples of the power of auditory persuasion came to mind. The Greeks and Romans suffered under demagogues who used oratory to attain the backing of the masses to further their schemes of personal ambition. In the Middle Ages of Germany came the legends of the Meistersinger, immortalized in Wagner and the legend of the Pied Piper. And more recently was the extraordinary influence a former corporal had over a nation that less then one hundred years before seemed to be composed solely of a sensitive population of poets and composers. Hitler came to the attention of military leaders because of his skill in public speaking. It was said of him even before his rise to powrer, in Heinz Hohne's The Order of the Death's Head, "Hitler in particular is a born demagogue, his fanaticism and popular appeal compel his audience to listen to him". And we all know how his control over mob mentality in the beer halls culminated in the spectacles of the Nuremburg rallies.

Cut to the introduction of television, the electronic babysitter of the Boomer generation. This is also when subliminal advertising pioneered the use of the subconscious to sell products, like images of skulls in ice cubes in Bacardi ads (the Fly Life ad is the modern version). It deserves a longer exposition, but I've come to believe that the Boomer left is so hardened in their worldview precisely because they have become conditioned by getting their news on television. Only a medium as powerful as television, one that reinforces the voice of authority with evocative images that effect us right down to the reptilian core of our brains, could convince a nation to abandon a war that it had effectively won in Viet Nam, and 30 years later send Bill Clinton scurrying away from the warlord who was himself cowering in fear of the backlash of a world power. And that generation seemingly has little power or inclination to resist it, particularly since it is their own standard bearers who control the medium.

Television is now the god that speaks from the subconscious receptor into the minds of millions, counterfeiting their thoughts. Those suggestions, unexamined, create their own alternative world, yet they are at their foundations, false. This election proved that the truth can win out over all manner of falsehood, but I feel in my guts that it was a close thing, and without the efforts of faithful watchmen of the truth like Charles Johnson, the band of brothers at Powerline, and countless other bloggers, the outcome could have been very different.

papijoe 5:42 PM |

Police take Arafat Burial Threat Seriously

Israel is prepared for a variety of scenarios following Yasser Arafat's demise including the possibility that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will march their leader's body to the Temple Mount for burial, senior police
officers said Thursday night.

The officers downplayed warnings by Palestinian officials who said that if Israel refuses to allow Arafat to be buried on the compound, Palestinians will carry his body from Ramallah to Jerusalem to forcibly bury him there.

"This is not a question that is up to the Israelis and Sharon to decide," Wakf director Adnan Husseini, in charge of the holy Muslim sites on the Temple Mount, told The Jerusalem Post Thursday. "Israel should not be involved in the decision since if they are then Palestinians may decide to do the opposite and bring his body en mass to Jerusalem for burial."

This is shaping up to be the biggest burial brouhaha since the Ayatollah.
papijoe 1:17 PM |

Friday, November 05, 2004

"Ambulance-Bomb Plot Uncovered"

Over the last few weeks, several terror cells have been uncovered and arrested in the Bethlehem region - preventing some of the most daring and potentially lethal attacks that Israel has known. Among the planned attacks was an "ambulance bomb" - an ambulance driven by a suicide bomber laden with explosives into a crowded population center in Jerusalem.

The terror cells included official policemen of the Palestinian Authority, as well as members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The central figure arrested was Muhammed Darawi, of the PA's security agencies, who was behind the ambulance plot, shooting attacks, and attempts to dispatch suicide terrorists to Jerusalem. His plan was to find a route through which the ambulance could be driven from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. He already had the suicide driver, the ambulance, and the explosives - but was unable to find a secure route.

The terrorists also planned to carry out simultaneous attacks in Me'ah She'arim and the French Hill intersection - both of which have been the sites of attacks in the past. They had already enlisted teenaged terrorists for the mission, and toured the area.

Yet another plot was to shoot visitors to Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. Among the 16 Palestinian terrorists arrested in this wave was Faras Jihad Adwin of Hamas, who planned shooting and bombing attacks. Another arrestee was a female high school student who changed her mind about blowing herself up after she became engaged. Among the weapons captured in the raids were Kalachnikov rifles, magazines, bombs and chemicals for making bombs.

papijoe 1:41 PM |

Access Limited to Temple Mount

Following the reports concerning Yasser Arafat, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has ordered strict restrictions for Muslim Ramadan prayer services on the Temple Mount tomorrow, Friday. Males fifty and older with “special permits” will be permitted on the Mount. All other males will be turned away. There are no announcements of restrictions pertaining to female worshipers.
papijoe 1:24 PM |

Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Fitting Eulogy for Arafat

Arafat is now in a coma and according to some reports, he is unlikely to come out.

Actually "eulogy" which from the Greek means "good words" is a misnomer for this post. I thought it was important to post this early because after his death, we can be sure the foriegn press will lionize the terror master. After all at news of his illness, one BBC journalist burst into tears.

From Israpundit, an email from Barry Shaw

We are approaching a time when the world will eulogise Yasser Arafat.
After recent years of prolonged anti-Israel bashing, we are sure to hear and read pronouncements
comparing Arafat with revolutionary leaders such as Che Gevara and even Nelson Mandela.

Sadly, these images are as false as the life that he led.

Arafat usurped the Palestinian movement. He was, in fact, not Palestinian at all. He was born in Cairo, Egypt.
One influence was his family connection to Haj Amin al-Husseini. He was the man appointed by the British
in 1921 to be the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
Even as far back as the early 20's, when Palestine was ruled by the British, this prominent Arab and Muslim
leader was passionately anti-Semitic.
During the Second World War he lost no time in allying himself to Adolph Hitler and the Nazi cause.
This hatred of anything Jewish and Zionistic has been a burning torch in Arafat's philosophy and politics.
As recently as Camp David, he denied that Jews had any religious or historic heritage to Jerusalem.

Now is a fitting time to ponder the truth about this man.

One of the first truths, and ironies in a world against terror, is that Arafat proved that terror does pay.
Terror pays when you sky-jack planes, kill children in their schools and schoolbuses, murder Olympic
athletes, create the plague of suicide bombers, be the architect of modern terrorism, and have the world
applaud you, honor you at the United Nations, bestow the Nobel Peace prize on you, send their diplomats to
pay homage, flood you with billions, and support and promote your cause.
This would be enough to turn the head of any corrupt dictator. it certainly encouraged Arafat in his campaign
to eradicate the Jewish state, and incite and sponsor his people to kill Jews.

The second truth, and irony, is that Arafat proced you can fool some of the world's most intelligent and
influential people most of the time, especially if they have a vested interest in bending to your will.
It is natural that the Arab and Muslim world will support and champion Arafat and the Palestinian movement.
After all, the enemy is Jewish.
But Western business interests with the wealthy, oil-rich sheikhs encourages governments to favor the Palestinian
narrative, accept its falsehoods, deconstruct the ancient and modern history of the region, pass resolutions that
become biased laws, repeat the lies about Palestinian land and occupation so many times that it becomes folklore.
They not only pay lip service. They also deny the other side their historic, religious, legal, and moral rights.

The third truth, and irony, is that Arafat is despised throughout the Arab leadership.
His trek through Jordan and Lebanon brought treachery and instability to these countries.
He is scorned and distrusted in Egypt, Jordan, and even Syria. Any outward _expression of sympathy is for the
Palestinians people, certainly not for Arafat.
Arab leaders know that the Palestinians were mistreated and badly served by the failed and corrupt leadership
of Arafat.
The Arab leadership secretly admit that Arafat has been a dangerous and major impediment to peace and a destabilising influence in the region.

The fourth truth, and painful irony, is that the Palestinians would have had their state years ago with a leader who
truly had their best interests, and nationship, at heart.
Arafat, sadly, was a little man carried away with great ambitions beyond his scope and abilities to deliver.
Not for him the trappings of ruler of a tiny rump state living alongside a powerful Jewish neighbour.
To Arafat that would have been a failure of his leadership.
"I have no desire to be the king in a sovereign cage", he once said.
Instead, he saw himself as a modern-day Saladin. Allying himself to the Muslim cause, he saw himself leading
his people to statehood 'from the River to the Sea'.
Had he achieved his ambitions, there is no doubt he would have turned his gaze towards Jordan. He attempted
to overthrow the Hashemite rule of King Hussein who had given him and his terror gangs a base of operations
in his kingdom.
Arafat saw that the Jordanian majority were not Hashemite, but Palestinian.

Once brought back into the region by Rabin and the Oslo Acord, Arafat chose the 'Israel first' option. He feared
an Arab backlash would result if he adopted a 'Jordan first' option, and he needed that strategic support to
conquer his Zionist enemy.

It was this burning philosophy and vision to eradicate the Jewish presence in the region, even in stages, that
caused him to reject genuine and generous peace offerings that would have led to the establishment of the small modern state of Palestine.

One of the saddest truths and ironies of Arafat's leadership is that he has left a Palestinian society built on
dangerous and rival criminal and terror gangs who will be determined to send Arafat's 'Old Guard' back to Tunis
as they jockey for power.
he has left a Palestinian society of children and young men educated and incited to hate and kill.
he has left them penniless and poor having corruptly diverted billions away from the development of a successful
The anticipated chaos and anarchy will not be israel's doing. This was the deliberate policy and method of Arafat's
power base. He created these rival gangs, dependant on his patronage and largesse, to prevent the threat of anyone challenging his leadership.

There is a truth and irony that United Nations and European Union diplomats, and much of the world media, have still not admitted that Arafat was, and has remained, the father of modern terrorism.
No amount of ceremony, honor, funding, has managed to turn this arch-terrorist into a statesman.
And even at the time of his death this painful truth will still be denied.

He is the founder of today's terror. He is the teacher and guru of people like Bin Laden. Instead of raising his people to construction and nation-building, he incited them to destruction and martyrdom.

If there were true justice in this world, instead of the honors and respect that have been bestowed on this man, Yasser Arafat should have been condemned for crimes against humanity.

That is the saddest truth and irony of all.

As a Christian I believe that one can repent and receive forgiveness for the worst of crimes. But I don't think it happpens too often once a human being has crossed a certain line. For Arafat I think a full awareness of what he has done would be unbearable.

His countless victims can take comfort in knowing he will soon receive his reward.

Update - During the President's press conference, a reporter informed him that Arafat had died. Other reports have surfaced denying that.

The President's first response was, "God bless his soul." This is the reaction of a mature Christian.
papijoe 11:40 AM |

Let the Healing Begin

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

While I've had the guilty pleasure of watching Bush's sworn enemies gibber and rave yesterday, I've refrained from gloating over the victory with those I've personally debated with this past election year. The reason is that we can't afford to be a divided nation, and I believe that there are still many out there who will back away (as I myself did fairly recently) from the Left's goal to "Europeanize" our country to a radically secular and hedonistic philosophy and lifestyle. Some will always be impervious to facts and reason. But I also think there is a legitimate liberal point of view that is necessary for a healthy balanced body politic. But what opposes the conservative viewpoint is sick unsound and dependent on a culture of untruth.

I've already seen this manifesting in conversations of what seem to be fairly reasonable people. One meme that has instantly taken hold is the idea that Bush's administration will soon institute a draft. The administration and the DoD have long maintained that conscription would be disasterous to current military doctrine that relies more on technology and training than bodies; quality over quantity. However Kerry did propose a national service in 1996, and Charles Rangel (D-NY) sponsored a bill to bring back the draft, which he later said was in protest to the Iraq war.
Hopefully pointing out this facts will counter the rumors in your circle of influence. I'd welcome feedback to see if anyone else is hearing this meme in water cooler conversations.
papijoe 7:00 AM |

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Kerry Concedes

I'm surrounded by bitter liberals, yet I need to hug someone.
papijoe 11:40 AM |

Let the Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth Begin

From Samizdata: "...I do think that it might interest Bush-supporters in the USA to know that every single BBC reporter looks like they have just swallowed a wasp."

From Daily Kos: "OK. I read thousands of comments and dozens of Diaries last night and this morning. And you know something? I’m going to forget I read most of them. Just erase them from memory along with the names of those who posted them. Chalk them up to adrenaline crashes, too much rage and reefer and booze.
Because what I found in my reading was a plethora of bashing Christians, bashing Kerry, bashing gays, bashing Edwards, bashing Kos, bashing America and bashing each other. As well as a lot of people saying they’re abandoning the Democrats, abandoning politics, abandoning the country. This descent into despair and irrationality and surrender puts icing on the Republican victory cake. "
(Meteor Blades)

From Matt Yglesias: "So could I just ask commenters to stop alleging that the election was stolen by Diebold in some mysterious manner for which there seems to be no evidentiary support? Your concern on this front is duly noted, and I'm open to examining any evidence people may have, so please email me with it if you feel you have some. The mere fact that the early exit polls were out of line than the apparent vote totals has little probative value. Polls are polls and have margins of error. Early exits, of course, may have to be revised because more people vote later on... looks like in some sense this may come down to the provisional ballots in Ohio. Fingers crossed. Still, even if Kerry somehow managed to squeak out a narrow win in Ohio, and therefore a narrow electoral college win, it's clear that this hasn't been the most stellar electoral performance. Frustratingly, the Democrats seem to have been rejected more on the basis of somewhat airy "values" questions, rather than on a concrete policy dispute where the party could either modify its position or else mount a more convincing argument the next time around. What to do about that is quite the puzzler, and I don't really specialize in political tactics, so I won't have anything especially enlightening to say about that until I read what some other smart people have to say about it."
papijoe 6:56 AM |

"Non Nobis, Domine"

O God, thy arm was here;
And not to us, but to thy arm alone,
Ascribe we all!

Henry V Act IV Scene 8
papijoe 6:48 AM |

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


I don't think I'm capable of a coherent post. The best news of the night is Florida, but Ohio, which was looking good for Bush is tightening up. But although New Jersey was called already for Kerry, Bush is ahead by a point.

So far it is looking pretty good. If Bush can hold on to Ohio and tip New Jersey, Kerry is done.

Update - CT might now be in play, and amazingly, Michigan is trending to Bush. This is huge!

Update - MO has been slipping in and out of the Bush column. FL is still looking good and OH is hanging in there. PA seems very lopsided, Bush is doing better in MA, for goodness sake!

Update -Wow! Bush might get NH back! OH and FL holding steady.

I won't be able to blog the rest without keeping my gravid wife up. Bad idea.

Be back in the morning!
papijoe 8:50 PM |

Unofficial Election Results

Thanks to MegaPundit
papijoe 10:30 AM |

Hamas Positions Itself for Post Arafat Era

Hamas realises, as, indeed, does the rest of the Palestinian political class, that the political diminution of Arafat and certainly his death would signal the end of an era and the beginning of a new one whose features and borders are difficult to determine now.

The uncertainty surrounding the post-Arafat era is thus forcing the movement to think in a more proactive manner and not leave anything to chance.

That is why the movement has called for the formulation of a collective Palestinian national leadership that would lead the Palestinian struggle in the absence of its enduring symbol.

A logical justification for the proposed leadership is the prevention of chaos and lawlessness and possibly a destructive power struggle, especially within the ranks of the heterogeneous Fatah movement.

Fatah's various components have always been kept together by Arafat, often through a combination of financial appeasement and a policy of divide-and-rule.

The bad news is that Hamas wants to run the PA. The good news is that they will be focused on the internal power struggle.
papijoe 6:39 AM |

Off to Vote!

I'm hoping to cast the first vote in my ward for Bush!

Depending on the lines, I might not get to blog much this morning.

Make sure you vote! And don't forget your ID!

Update - We just got back from the polls. My wife, who got her citizenship a few years ago, cast her first vote ever. We got there just as the they opened. The lines were already almost out the door. Some people saw the line and turned around, muttering to no one in particular that they would come back later. They didn't look like Bush supporters.

I think Kerry is in for an unpleasant surprise today.
papijoe 6:24 AM |

Monday, November 01, 2004

Sharon Vows No Arafat Burial in Jerusalem

From Israpundit

Jerusalem public radio is reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he would block any request by Palestinian officials to bury terrorist leader Yasser Arafat.

"As long as I am in power, and I have no intention of leaving, he (Arafat) will not be buried in Jerusalem," the premier reportedly told Israel's weekly cabinet meeting in response to a question by Justice Minister Joseph Lapid.

I find it odd that there is still no discussion of whether he will be let back into the country. France's foriegn minister has said that he will always be on Arafat's side. They can keep him.
papijoe 6:51 AM |