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Odd things and such things, as I feel appropriate, possibly relating to the war.
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Friday, November 29
salon :: :: mwt :: feature :: A memo to American Muslims, By M. A. Muqtedar Khan :: Page 1
The biggest victims of hate-filled politics as embodied in the actions of several Muslim militias all over the world are Muslims themselves. Hate is the extreme form of intolerance and when individuals and groups succumb to it they can do nothing constructive. Militias like the Taliban have allowed their hate for the West to override their obligation to pursue the welfare of their people and as a result of their actions not only have thousands of innocent people died in America, but thousands of people will die in the Muslim world.
This was written on 10/18/2001. Oddly enough, it didn't get much press at the time.

Sigh. You know - there's times when my suspicious mind works in ugly ways. Who, in the US, would benefit most from projecting the Muslims as being intolerant fanatics? Which corporations (excluding oil) would reap the most profit from a war with Islam in general?

What business in the US reached it's peak during the Gulf War, and has been sliding downhill in credibility ever since?

Think about it. And it's one expose you'll never see on CNN...

J. - Launchers, missiles found near Kenya airport - Nov. 29, 2002
Kenyan authorities said Friday they found two launchers and two unused surface-to-air missiles less than one-quarter mile from the end of the runway where an Israeli charter aircraft narrowly escaped being shot down as it took off Thursday.
In the accompanying photos, the missile launchers are shown. SA-7 Grails, firing the Strela missile. Range, about 3.6 km, infrared guidance, looks like a gas-cooled seeker head on the missile. They're nothing to write home about.

But there's something troubling. In the US military, custom has it that training weapons and gear are usually painted blue, colored blue, or (in the case of droppable ordnance) circlued with a blue stripe. Blue denotes practice gear.

These launchers are painted blue. A pleasing blue. The shade isn't US standard mil blue, but seeing they're SA-7s I'm not surprised at that. What's surprising is the blue shade is very similar to UN blue, to these eyes. I don't like that - I don't like it at all. I'm not one of those nuts who see the UN as trying to take over the world - but I wonder if there isn't a UN weapons storage room in Kenya that's missing some hardware.


The Indepundit
USAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD -- This is the logical conclusion that one must reach after learning that scientists at Switzerland's highly regarded Dalle Molle Institute of Perceptual Artificial Intelligence have determined that the latest Bin Laden audiotape is almost certainly a fake.
Kind of thought so, with him being so quiet and all. Real hard to talk when you're rotting in a cave somewhere, or been scattered via daisy cutter.

And now, Usama Bin Elvis impersonators can flood the market...

(Yeah, I know. I'm not being sensitive to the feelings of all who might find this blog who love Elvis. Sorry about that....)


Thursday, November 28
:: Self-Healing Minefield ::Neat flash animations...

Somehow, the idea just tickles my funny bone. In a perfect world, such a thing would be superflous. But it's not a perfect world.



Tuesday, November 26
Shi'a Pundit
Ideofact has comprehensively analyzed how Qutb's ideas (which are just distilled versions of Maudoodi and Wahab) are not only internally contradictory but flout the entire history of Islam and discard the theologic traditions of the past 1400 years. It is supreme understatement to say that Qutb has been discredited, and Ideofact is hardly alone. In fact, throughout the Arab world and the greater Muslim sphere, Qutb (and Wahab) have been attacked with great effect by prominent Islamic thinkers, intellectuals, and clerics. Unfortunately, this repudiation of extremism is completely ignored by the Western media.
There is hope. Though I despair sometimes of the sanity of the Islamic extremists, I occasionally come across things that show a much different side of Islam - and I remember that the media is not engaged in showing us what's going on in Islam, so much as they're trying to get ratings share. This includes print, this includes web, this includes broadcast media.

Good news is no news. Reason and rationality, a thought out and cogent analysis of things - that's not interesting enough to be worthwhile.


Sunday, November 24
Crime and Holy Punishment (

The kiddies on, the Islamic site that's been featured on for the way the kiddies drool over Jihad, over the possibility of living in a state under sharia law, over how NICE Muslims are as comared to the unbelievers - REALLY need to read this.

A shame ClearGuidance.Com is having problems finding a host anymore. Maybe trading those Jihadic snuff videos wasn't such a good idea, eh?


t a c i t u s: Casualty
This is the body of Bonnie Witheral, a 31-year old nurse with the Christian Missionary Alliance. She spent her days tending to the needs of Palestinian refugees in the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon. She was shot three times in the head.

Make no mistake -- our enemies want us dead by virtue of who we are. What we do, what we say, what we think means nothing to them. Thus they murder even those of us who devote themselves to the welfare of their indigent co-religionists. And so when I see inaction, prevaricating, and excuse-making on the part of our leadership....well, I can't help but think that the Bonnie Witherals past, present and future deserve better.
They say diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice Doggie" until you can get a good thick stick or pick up a rock. We've been diplomatic - until we've been bitten. Now, we're picking up the stick. We whalloped Afghanistan, and though Saddam's baring his fangs, I think in a few weeks he's going to find out just how well-aimed and hard we can whomp him.

But here's the deal - The problem is not with the US. It's not with Christainity. It IS with Islam. The Islamists and their violence CAUSE poverty and ignorance. Nigeria lost the money the Miss Universe beauty pagent would have brought, BECAUSE of Islamist terrorism. The middle east remains in the grip of ignorance BECAUSE of fundamentalist Islam. It's not with the poverty in the regions afflicted with Islamic violence - it IS with the attitude of the Islamic fundamentalists and their violence CAUSING poverty and ignorance. Nigeria lost the money the Miss Universe beauty pagent would have brought, BECAUSE of Islamist terrorism. The middle east remains in the grip of ignorance BECAUSE of fundamentalist Islam.

And that grip will not relax. It won't relax if we 'accept Islam', or if we treat them with the 'respect' they demand - which is conspicuously absent when dealing with folks from outside faiths. It'll relax when Islamic mullahs understand three things -

1. They don't have a monopoly on hatred. They 'hate' us, we don't hate them - yet. We've been patient - very patient. We basically were patient enough that we ignored them around the world, until Al Quaeda and the Taliban got our attention. They didn't want it once they got it - but that's the breaks. We don't hate them - yet. We don't want to destroy them - yet. We AREN'T really pissed off at the entire religion - YET. But it won't take much more for the switch to go from OFF to EXTERMINATE. Try another 9/11, set off a nuke in the US - and the Muslims in the US who complained bitterly because they were looked on with suspicion after 9/11 will be lucky to escape with their lives. And worldwide - Islamic organizations will be fair game.

2. Their dedicated ignorace of science, technology, industry, and modern warfare have left them in a peculiar position - rather like the Kzin in Larry Niven's "Known Universe" stories. A large, fierce race who's idea of tactics was to scream and leap - they couldn't understand why they kept getting their tails kicked by those weak, wimpy hairless monkeys. Why, one on one they were no problem - but together? The Kzinti lost every time. They were warriors! They loved to fight! They were the best! And they got beaten by humans - who didn't want to fight, and found ways to shorten the fight as much as possible, usually by raining destruction on the Kzin in an efficient as possible manner. I see a very strong parallel - and we're way ahead in the 'rain death and destruction' category.

3. The oil we're dependent on from the ME is a double-edged sword. They need us to buy it - because without it, they've literally got nothing to fall back on. Agriculture? Scientific advancements? Resources other than oil? There's not much, and they know it. And what's worse, they import their technology, their medicine, their food - without the income from oil, it all goes away. And we don't have to buy from them.

Put those three things together - and the next time they try to bite us we're going to kick their teeth in and proceed to cut their throats.

If you look back over this blog, you'll find I didn't always feel that way. I felt there was the possibility of co-existance, that there were good things about Islam, that it was only a minor sect of Islam that was causing the problems. I'm not sure I believe that any more, and I'm not sure what can be done to take out the intolerant taint that Islam seems to have acquired. Or, indeed, even if it can be done. But I find I'm out of patience, that the protestations of being a "Religion of Peace" are ringing very hollow. The Taliban and the Islamic fundamentalists wanted to bring the world back the 7th Century.

It's the 21st. There's no going back.


Okay - here's a question for you. There's a lot of people who want "Peace." The idea is that there is nothing more valuable than "Peace". Everything is worth sacrificing for "Peace".

Is sacrificing the American way of life worth it?

Would it be worth the US converting to Islam if it insured "Peace"?

Because that's what it'll take to get "Peace" on Bin Laden's terms.

Think of it. Because what it would take to get "Peace" is laid out here.
As for the second question that we want to answer: What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?

(1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.

(a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them - peace be upon them all.

It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding their colour, sex, or language.

(b) It is the religion whose book - the Quran - will remained preserved and unchanged, after the other Divine books and messages have been changed. The Quran is the miracle until the Day of Judgment. Allah has challenged anyone to bring a book like the Quran or even ten verses like it.

(2) The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you.

(a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling's, and trading with interest.

We call you to all of this that you may be freed from that which you have become caught up in; that you may be freed from the deceptive lies that you are a great nation, that your leaders spread amongst you to conceal from you the despicable state to which you have reached.

(b) It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind:

(i) You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your Creator. You flee from the embarrassing question posed to you: How is it possible for Allah the Almighty to create His creation, grant them power over all the creatures and land, grant them all the amenities of life, and then deny them that which they are most in need of: knowledge of the laws which govern their lives?

(ii) You are the nation that permits Usury, which has been forbidden by all the religions. Yet you build your economy and investments on Usury. As a result of this, in all its different forms and guises, the Jews have taken control of your economy, through which they have then taken control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense; precisely what Benjamin Franklin warned you against.

(iii) You are a nation that permits the production, trading and usage of intoxicants. You also permit drugs, and only forbid the trade of them, even though your nation is the largest consumer of them.

(iv) You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you consider them to be pillars of personal freedom. You have continued to sink down this abyss from level to level until incest has spread amongst you, in the face of which neither your sense of honour nor your laws object.

Who can forget your President Clinton's immoral acts committed in the official Oval office? After that you did not even bring him to account, other than that he 'made a mistake', after which everything passed with no punishment. Is there a worse kind of event for which your name will go down in history and remembered by nations?

(v) You are a nation that permits gambling in its all forms. The companies practice this as well, resulting in the investments becoming active and the criminals becoming rich.

(vi) You are a nation that exploits women like consumer products or advertising tools calling upon customers to purchase them. You use women to serve passengers, visitors, and strangers to increase your profit margins. You then rant that you support the liberation of women.

(vii) You are a nation that practices the trade of sex in all its forms, directly and indirectly. Giant corporations and establishments are established on this, under the name of art, entertainment, tourism and freedom, and other deceptive names you attribute to it.

(viii) And because of all this, you have been described in history as a nation that spreads diseases that were unknown to man in the past. Go ahead and boast to the nations of man, that you brought them AIDS as a Satanic American Invention."
Is "Peace" worth the price of conversion to Islam?

Personally, I don't think so.


Saturday, November 23 Discussion Forums - The Islamic Militants, Again! Nigerian Islamic militants riot over Miss World report

You want scary? The contents of this forum are eye-popping. What's even more amazing are the very few folks who are saying that it's the fault of the newspaper for publishing an article stating that Mohammed might have wanted to marry one of these beauty queens.

For that remark, for the 'offended sensibilities' of the Muslim community in Nigeria, over 100 people died.

Okay - I can understand being offended. I can understand being offended enough to sue the paper into bankrupcy. I CANNOT, for the life of me, both understand and condone the Islamic militants running wild and killing people because of one remark printed in a paper!

Is this how 'good' Islam is for a country? Is this how 'good' Islam is for the people who worship it? Apparently Nigeria's infrastructure and legal system have broken down, and the Muslim groups are attempting to institute sharia law - and THAT isn't working either!

The more I'm seeing, the less I'm thinking that Islam is a peaceful religion - and the more I'm thinking that there's going to be no possibility of co-existance. There is NO tolerance in Islam, apparently. And for all you little Islamic kiddies who drool at the thought of a sharia state on - look at Nigeria. There's the future of the Islamic sharia state.

Real rosy future, isn't it?


Friday, November 22
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | African author attacks 'tragic' Nigeria
Commenting on the rise of Muslim Sharia law in parts of Nigeria, Professor Achebe said, "I am now not optimistic of the benefits that will come to Nigeria because of democracy."

"We have dug ourselves into Sharia; into a situation where we have become a laughing stock of the world, because we are discussing things like stoning women to death in the 21st century."

Over the years Sharia law has been brought into force in certain areas of Nigeria in an attempt to contain levels of crime.

Offenders of the tough prohibitions - theft, adultery, alcohol, drinking and smoking in public, prostitution and gambling - all of which are outlawed by Sharia, risk punishment by flogging, amputation or stoning to death.
And folks thought Southern Baptists were strict...

Looks like the cure can be worse than the disease.


Thursday, November 21
Thomas Fuller is gone. And in going, made a grand exit.
God has a strange sense of humor.
That's what Tom Fuller's brother Jim said after Tom passed away this afternoon at 3:50.

He'd been taken off his respirator just before 10 a.m. since the neurologists determined that they could only find brainstem activity, and if Tom ever did awake, he would not really be present.

Several of us, besides his family, were there for him in the morning as he lay unplugged from the machines that had been assisting him for the last few days. Bill Jackson and his wife Kathy, Nancy Knight, myself, and the family listened to his labored breathing, and as his sleep apnia caused frequent periods of no intakes of breath, we were sure that the next breath would be his last.

And yet this vital giant hung on. It occurred to me that he would be truly tickled to know that this bunch of people were standing around listening to him snore.

The afternoon came, some visitors went, and still Tom did what he always did best: commanded everyone's attention. Stories were told of him at his bedside, and the gentle laughter of fond memories released some of the ominous tension.

The topic came around to Tom's old cat, Pym-cat; Berta said Tom married her because the cat liked her, and remembered that Tom's mother, when she visited, hated that cat. The two would sit glaring at each other. That reminded me of a story I had just read to my second-graders that week (through BookPALS), and since it was a Just So Story by Rudyard Kipling, I brought it up. Kipling was one of Tom's favorite authors.

The others were curious, so I launched into one of Tom's favorite fields, storytelling, and related the tale of The Cat Who Walked By Himself.

Now, it's kind of a shaggy-dog story, and goes on and on, with necessary repetitions in the text. And just when I was reaching one of the main climaxes in the story, brother Jim said, "I think he's gone."

And we all realized that Tom's rasping, laborious breathing had ceased. And it was somehow funny. It's classic magic -- misdirection. I'm Penn and Tom is the silent Teller. We had been waiting, dreading, when that last breath would come; and Tom, true to his wonderful timing instincts, waits until we're not waiting for it, and -- -- well, he upstaged me for the last time.

Jim immediately bent over, and, being a pastor, started a prayer. Which Tom then interrupts with another breath! Not a true one, unfortunately, but literally with his last gasp, Tom trumped his own final joke.

The timing of it all took the sting out of that tragic moment. Tom was at rest, and our grief was somehow tempered and made gentle by the thought of Tom possibly doing it all on purpose.

Our friend is gone. We'll all miss him, but in this passing, please remember that he left us all with some marvelous memories, and that should recall more laughs than tears.

And to quote brother Jim Fuller again:

God has a strange sense of humor.

-- Doug
When I first met Thomas around '84 or '85, he struck me as being the sort of man I'd like to be when I grew up. Thanks for being an example, Thomas. Thanks for being here. Thank you for the laughter, thank you for the tears. Thank you for showing just what someone could be....

And I'm terribly sorry you had to go so soon.

Now, let us raise our glasses in a toast...

"To Absent Companions."



Wednesday, November 20
Why the FBI Didn’t Stop 9/11 by Heather Mac Donald
he greatest obstacle to domestic security in the war on terror is the worldview of the liberal elites. No sooner had the Twin Towers fallen than the press and an army of advocacy groups were on the hunt for victims—not of Muslim fanaticism but of American bigotry. The liberal commentariat has denounced every commonsensical measure to protect the country the Bush administration has proposed as an eruption of racism or tyranny.

But the elite ideology began its corrosive work long before 9/11. For three decades, the liberal establishment, fixated on preventing a highly unlikely repeat of Watergate-era abuses, has encumbered America’s intelligence and national security capacities with increasingly crippling procedural inhibitions, culminating in domestic intelligence restrictions promulgated by the Clinton administration in 1995. As long as the elites continue to act as if America’s biggest enemy is not al-Qaida but the country’s own allegedly repressive and bigoted instincts, the nation’s defense against terror at home will proceed at half throttle.
Classic examples of good intentions leading to bad ends, and hobbling the folks who are charged to protect us. Read it - and you'll likely be as mad as I was.


Tuesday, November 19
Ah, dammit.

Thomas Fuller, an author and playwright of some renown in the Atlanta area (and at one time the Poet Laureate for the SCA Kingdom of Meridies) is on life support after a heart attack.
He apparently was too long without oxygen after his heart stopped, and about the only thing operating in his brain now are the autonomic nervous functions. In other words (as Thomas would probably put it) the lights are on, but no one's home.

The decision has been made to discontinue life support on Thursday.

Thomas was respected and loved by hundreds. He was a fine man, and I remember him from not too many years back with a booming voice and somehow larger than life - encouraging and teaching all who wanted to learn from him how to write, how to get published and the like.

I never was particularly close to him or his family - but I respected him greatly, and was always glad to see him, to listen to him talk...

And now, no more.

Here's to you, Thomas. We're going to miss you...


Monday, November 18 - Best sun pictures ever show new solar features - Nov. 18, 2002
(CNN) -- Resembling the work of Vincent Van Gogh, the most detailed images of the sun ever exhibit masterful golden swirls and bizarre dark clouds.

The pictures were taken by a new Swedish telescope on the Canary Island of La Palma, one of the best places on Earth to view the sun.
Decades ago, I got to do a solar azimuth for a surveying project I was on. We had a modest telescope (A Wild T-2 or T-1 theodolite, I don't remember which - but it had a heavy filter) and it was the first time I'd had a chance to see a close-up view of the sun. It shimmered - and seemed to be boiling.

I've seen photos and close-up movies of the sun since - but these are the first I've seen that really duplicate what I saw long ago. It's well worth the time to download the movies and photos off the Swedish astronomy web site.


Sunday, November 17 The Making of a Comeback -- Nov. 25, 2002
Only now—after an election that seemed to give George W. Bush a strong mandate to lead the American people—is Gore beginning to talk frankly about the man who narrowly defeated him in that painful presidential election two years ago. Despite the triumph that Bush enjoyed this Election Day, Gore is on the offensive. Bush's economic agenda, he says, is "catastrophic," his foreign policy "horrible," his environmental stance "immoral."
Gee. Gore doesn't like Bush. Who'd have thought?

As it is - Gore's... irrelevant. He hasn't a chance in an election, and he knows it - so he can spout the usual Democrap and nobody can say he isn't doing his bit for the party.

It's funny. The Dems think they lost because they weren't Left enough, so they'll go further Left for the next two years. It's slow suicide - because they're not looking at what's important to the voters. They're pushing what THEY THINK should be important, which isn't the same thing at all. Do they see themselves as infallible? As an ACCURATE judge of what their constituency (which they're rapidly alienating, apparently) really wants? If so, they've got some funny ways of trying to get back in power.

I wonder if the Whigs collapsed like this? Don't listen to the voter, and lose votes, then continue to refuse to listen, and the party collapses.


Saturday, November 16
Driving While Female
"Now they are more angry at the U.S. than their own rulers. They feel the American media are playing up the repression of Saudi women post-9/11 as a way to demonize Saudi Arabia, just as George and Laura Bush played up the repression of Afghan women post-9/11 as a way to demonize the Taliban.

"Americans are always saying they're concerned with freedom and the democratic will of people," said one of the drivers, a professor. "But they didn't care about what was happening inside our country in 1990. And they still don't care. We are seen only as the ladies in black."
I had the feeling it wouldn't been too long before Ms. Dowd recovered from the clue-by-four blow she suffered in Frederick's of Riyadh.

If I remember properly, there wasn't a whole lot of concern by the LEFT in 1990 about women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Instead, there was a "They have customs, we must respect them" sort of feeling, and a little research by the idiotic Ms. Dowd would confirm this. The LEFT was silent. The RIGHT made some noises, but was hushed by the LEFT.

Of course, in Ms. Dowd's world, history is variable and the point she's trying to make (That the US is evil and nasty and the source of the world's problems because we didn't forcibly open up Saudi society and let women drive in 1990) is much more important than anything else we were doing at that time.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A correspondent for the satellite station Al-Jazeera said Saturday a possible new Al Qaeda statement he received threatened more attacks in New York and Washington unless America stops supporting Israel and converts to Islam.
You know, I'm wondering just WHAT Al Qaeda thinks they can do at this point. You had 9/11 - and since then they've not managed to do anything truely significant. Bomb an oil tanker? Big whoop. Bomb a nightclub? Cretins - we had a home-grown terrorist bomb an IRS building with MUCH more effect. (Hey' we're Americans - even our TERRORISTS are better than in the rest of the world!)

Let's face it. You Al Qaeda guys have lost. You have completely and totally lost. Press releases about how you're going to cause so much damage that the US will be forced to convert to Islam don't count - what counts is what you DO - and you're not DOING shit! The Shoe Bomber the best you can do?

I'd suggest your leaderhip get together for a Movie Night and rent "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Pay particular attention to the sequence where King Arthur runs up against the Black Knight.

You guys are the Black Knight.


Wednesday, November 13
This is sad.

Pre-schoolers protest possible war in Iraq

I'm not for war. I don't like the fact that war is coming. I'd like to think that there's other ways around the problem. But I'm not foolish enough to think that everyone believe the same way I do, and there are those who see an antiwar stance as a sign of weakenss to be exploited, not a position to be respected. To them, your chanting "No blood for oil!" or “I don’t want people to die,” and, “we can’t keep killing each other. Then we will all die and suffer.” is the same thing as saying "Do what you want, we won't try to stop you no matter what you do, because we believe that fighting is wrong NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON."

The kids in the article referenced above have been taught that fighting is wrong - they're very politically correct. They're not thinking for themselves, they're parroting what their parents have taught them. Their parents... I don't believe they think beyond sound-bite slogans. "No blood for Oil" sounds pretty good - until you start thinking about it. If we wanted oil from Iraq, it would have been a lot cheaper to drop the UN sanctions and allow Saddam to sell on the open market. That'd kick the props out from under Saudi and OPEC pricing, and bring the cost of crude down quickly. And it would allow Saddam to run free in his desire to acquire WMD.

The problem I see with the parents is they have no imagination. They can't comprehend that the leader of Iraq may not believe the things they do. They can't conceive of the idea that someone or some people could be intentionally evil and destructive to the ideals and things that they themselves hold dear - or, rather, they can but only in our country and only if they're Republicans.

They can't conceive that sometimes war is a necessary thing - no matter how much you may want to avoid it and strive to deflect it. And if it does, regretfully, become necessary, it's best to not treat it like a game.

They see 9/11 as reinforcing their belief that the US is the menace to the world, that we're the evil ones, that we're the warmongers.
"Sandy Morrill, mother of a seven year old at Berkwood Hedge, accompanied her son to the protest, saying it is important for the children to have a voice in politics.

“This is what they’ve been learning at school,” she said. “They have been taught about conflict resolution, and here they see it in action. The kids get to wrestle with bigger questions.”
And they've been carefully not taught the background that will help them understand the bigger questions. Because the world is not the schoolyard writ large.

It's sad.


Found a hate site today. "Democratic Underground".

It's been a long time since I've viewed a site where the folks were so disconnected from reality. Last one was the youth sections of - which may or may not be up when you view this. They're having trouble finding a permanent hosting service, for some reason.

Democractic Underground is based on Liberal Supremacy, the idea that ONLY Democrats/Liberals know what's good for the US, and it's their duty to coerce/force the electorate into getting Democrats into office, by any means necessary. Consider the following quotes from the site.... First, this little rant...
"Enough with the media, already!" Bernie almost shouted. "The best thing that could happen to this country is for the media to drop dead - even deader than they already are. The people are fools for refusing to learn from history what the Republicans have up their sleeve. History, my friend," he said, "is a record that stretches out in unbroken truth. History is a vast indictment of this elephantine bunch and now, thanks to fools, is destined to repeat itself."
And then...
To my fellow progressives and moderates:

The old saying goes: If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. In 2002 the Democratic Party virtually stood for nothing. As a result, the American electorate fell for lies, distorted issues and false priorities propagated by the Republican Party.

I am a lifelong Democrat. I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I believe it is time for a rebellion. A rebellion against a socio-political establishment brimming with arrogant Republicans; lapdog media conglomerates and affluent lobbyists who are dedicated to the preservation of a self-serving, impersonal, bloated government.

In spite of growing concern about President Bush's handling of the economy, foreign affairs and the so-called war on terrorism, Democratic politicians across the nation provided opposition without idealization. It seems so many campaigns during this mid-term election were devoid of new ideas. Instead, candidates and incumbents offered either the status quo or slight variations of Republican objectives. Meanwhile, almost no challenges were offered when conservatives continued to charge that Democrats were "unpatriotic" and "tax-and-spend liberals." Without an effective response, the charges stuck.
Odd how the media was impartial when it looked like the Democrats would win, isn't it? And how Republicans are 'arrogant', and all are dedicated to the "preservation of a self-serving, impersonal, bloated government."

Yet, oddly enough,. that self-same "self-serving, impersonal, bloated government" is a necessity when Democrats control things.

In short, IMO Democratic Underground is a site of the clueless, by the clueless, and for the clueless. They are convinced they are right, they are convinced we are excruciatingly stupid because we don't see that they're right. They insist the Clinton years were ones of virtue, and that the policies established then are the only policies that can keep us out of war, out of financial downturns, out of any sort of problem in general and make the US a wonderful place - if only those damn Republicans would let the Democrats do all they want to do, and all the 'stupid fools' out there remember to vote the way they're told.

And they allow no dissent on their site, BTW. But hey - it's a free country - as long as they don't have the reins.

I'll probably be accused of being a hatemonger by pointing out this site - but what the heck. Best to see yourself from the Democratic point of view. You're a sheep, you're ignorant, and you don't vote the way you should. This must be stopped for your own good.


Tuesday, November 12
Thousands take to streets in Iran
TEHRAN, Iran, Nov. 12 — Thousands of Iranian students ignored official warnings and demonstrated for the fourth day running Tuesday against a dissident’s death sentence and to demand freedom of speech and political reform. Some 5,000 students gathered at Tehran University, once the hotbed of revolutionary fervor that overthrew the shah two decades ago, in support of academic Hashem Aghajari, sentenced to hang for questioning clerical rule in the Islamic republic.
Tell me again how the Islamic street speaks with one voice. The mullahs would do well to remember their history. The students made Iran the Islamic state it is - they can unmake it, too.


Looking at the pictures of the Iraqi Parliment voting unanimously to reject the UN resolution - one thought comes to mind.

These guys know they're killing themselves. And they see no option but to pull the trigger.

But they don't have a choice, do they? If they dare dissent, they and their families will be killed in short order. Saddam doesn't allow dissent.

100% of his population supports him. 100% of his Parlimentary votes go his way. And why not? He's done so many good things for his country. Look at all the palaces he's built since the Gulf War....

The best - the absolute BEST - these poor guys can hope for is a quick end to Saddam and minimal damage to the infrastructure of Iraq in doing so.


Sunday, November 10
Making Light: November 2002 Archives
Any sane person's going to be wary of guns. But if you've never handled one, and you don't know anyone who does, they're just plain frightening. Basically, I figure guns are like gays: They seem a lot more sinister and threatening until you get to know a few; and once you have one in the house, you can get downright defensive about them.
Oh, lordy. Another liberal finds out that firearms aren't the evil things they've been painted.

Pretty soon, he'll start thinking conservatively... (grin)


Thursday, November 7
Two new links up on the side - one to Michelle at A Small Victory and Jake Arnsparger at Jake Anrsparger's Random Rants. (Well, it's not QUITE called that.)

Welcome! This should increase the hits on your site by about .2 per day! Woo-hoo!


Wednesday, November 6
So the Republicans win big.

Last time I voted Democrat was before '92. Maybe it was because I was actually OLD enough to pay attention to the diconnect between what the Dems SAID they were about and what they actually did. I was concerned about abortion rights - but now, after the birth of Aaron, I find them not so important. I still feel the right to choose is important, but it's not the be-all and end-all of politics.

After '91-92, I started looking, and started squirming. And I started thinking how I'd been willing to accept whatever Democratss had been saying without cross-checking it. I mean, it was a Bad Time! We needed a New Idea! We needed Clinton in the White House! And the figures didn't add up to the Worst Depression Since the '30s, but that sure didn't seem to matter. They were pulling out all stops to get Clinton in. After all, we NEEDED him....

Yeah, over the next year or two I saw how we needed him. And I just got fed up. The more I saw, the more I realized I'd been a willing accomplice to reaming this country with a sandpaper dildo. The idea that Democrats knew what was good for the country got pretty well disabused in my mind.

Because it seemed the more the Dems got, the more they wanted. And it required 'sacrifice' for 'the good of the children' - and every time they GOT want they wanted and things DIDN'T get better, it was because of the Republicans messing it up somehow.

Then the Republicans took control of the House and Senate in '94, and the economy took off.

Now, I'm as dumb as the next guy, but when you get what you want and it turns out to be bad for you, isn't it an indication that what you're wanting may not be what you need?

And when what the Dems campaign against and say will cause disaster turns out to be an economic boom... well, whack my ass with a clue-by-four. Maybe I'm a Republican after all!

Then I've watched how the Dems acted in 2000 when Gore didn't get shoved into office, and how they acted after 9/11, and how they acted at Wellstone's funeral/campaign rally. And after that, there's pretty much no way in hell I'll vote for a Democrat now. I'll vote Independent, I'll vote libertarian, I'll vote Green - and hold my nose if need be. If the Republican candidate is breathing, can string together coherent sentences, and has ideas approximating my own, I'll vote for him.

But as far as I'm concerned, the Democrats can go piss up a rope, until they significantly change their tune. They've worried so much about being 'relevant', maing points and looking at politics like a game of numbers instead of something that is actually AFFECTING the country, that they've made themselves irrelevant.


Monday, November 4

Cleaning up around Chez Chaos, I found some old Myriads. One dated back to 1993, and Keith was congratulating John C. about his new inkjet printer. Now, getting something 'high ticket' like that isn't even worth mentioning, but back when if you were lucky you had an 18 pin dot matrix printer it was. I also found the stories that Robin wanted, Terry. Contact me on them.

I also found some sandals I bought on Rotation back in 1979 - that I got in Athens, Greece. Man, the memories... Sometimes I almost feel swamped with them, with items such as the sandals and an old silk shirt a girlfriend made for me for SCA use having significance such that it's very difficult to throw them away - despite the fact I'm 50 lbs too heavy to fit into it any more.

And I'm finding myself oddly conflicted by my decision to retire from the Reserves. (For those interested, the last day will be 2 April. Guess I should have put the paperwork in a day earlier - it would have been appropriate.) Folks are telling me I'm valuable - the squadron commander and LG commander to be exact, but I sure don't feel that way. I'm bored, I'm uninspired by the work, I get no satisfaction from it, I'm not likely to get any more promotions. And I honestly feel the best thing I can do is get out, open a slot for some other Personnel specialist who actually LIKES the field to move up. Of course, with what's coming it may all be moot. But if our squadron got activated and sent overseas, at the state of readiness we're in, we'd really have to be hurting. Guess 23 years (28 if you count the 5 years between getting off active duty and getting back into the Reserves) is long enough, with 13 years of it doing something I didn't really want to do in the first place.

It seems so easy in novels like Starship Troopers, or the ones listed to the left. You join up (or get drafted) and there's action and adventure and a happy ending. In real life, there's tedium, loneliness, and no happy ending - except in life there's no 'ending' - the story just keeps going on and on.

Well, enough with the maudlin stuff here. Go watch some kittens or something. BTW, pretty much everything at that site,, is funny. Then again, it could just be the mood I'm in.


Friday, November 1
Michele, at A Small Victory is rather upset because 4 people dropped her from their link listings, in a very public manner. Seems that she (reading between the lines) was getting too conservative for their tastes, so she had to be publically removed and humiliated on their blogs.

I guess the viciousness is because the stakes are so small...