Archive for February 2006
When I stepped in front of a car running a yellow light in a crosswalk in Center City Philly. I wasn’t completely aware of what I was doing. I saw the car, and noted that the driver was looking towards her right as her car moved forward at a good clip. For some reason my body was on autopilot, and I was fuzzy after having spent a restless night with a low-grade fever and chills.
Luckily for me at the last instant I came to my senses and leapt backward. It wasn’t a graceful leap: more of a pronk backwards followed by a “Whoa!”.
As I continued my walk to work I thought about how crappy it would have been to die in a crosswalk in Center City Philly on a cold windy day. I then understood that the downtown areas of cities are Nature’s way of keeping the suburban population in check.
I am not anti-Islam although sometimes I can’t help myself. After all, I have lived in countries with large Muslim populations. I have celebrated Eid and even followed Ramadan fasts (not intentionally at times, since there’s nothing much you can do when all the dukas and restaurants are closed).
If I could offer Muslims one piece of advice it is this: stop being predictable.
Case in point: The explosion at the Shrine of the Two Imams.
Everyone understands that al-Zarqawi and his swine are trying to start a civil war. Why? Because he is evil and Evil thrives on chaos. He is also a Sunni who views Shi’a as no better than Jews or Americans.
So what happens afterward? Retaliation against the Sunni minority. So Zarqawi thrives on chaos, instigates it, and then Shi’a and Sunni provide him with more.
Meanwhile another evil force on the Shi’a side – the president of Iran – blames the Americans and Jews for the chaos. Also predictable. Of course he blames everything bad on the Jews and Americans because he is nuts. He probably blames his bad body odor on Americans and Jews too.
Ditto with the cartoon flap. Muslims need to start thinking about what they do when things go wrong and do something else. Why?
Because that’s what adults do. Grown ups think before they react. They are imbued with freewill and act accordingly. They are not mindless automatons prone to chanting whatever they are told to chant, or reacting in the way they are accustomed to react: with violence.
Do you want Islam to be a truly global religion? Then start acting like one. You don’t see Catholics rampaging in the streets when Christians are killed in Nigeria. You don’t see Baptists running amok in the American South over the recent burning of their churches in Alabama and Mississippi. Buddhists in Thailand didn’t burn mosques when the Taliban blew up the Buddhist Statues in Banya. Yes, the Hindu’s got their loinclothes in a twist over Ayodha, but they need to grow up too.
Act like adults damn it! Take responsibility for your own failures. By blaming everyone else for your problems you make yourselves out to be like little children – powerless over your destinies. Worse, you then become unable to solve your own problems, leaving you in the spiral of failure that you are on.
Submission is the core belief of your religion: it is submission to the will of God - not to the vagaries of the will of Men. Do you believe that God blew up that shrine, or printed those cartoons? Of course not. So why do you allow the people who wish to destroy you to have power over you?
Just stop. Stop being predictable.
It looks like I’m part of a trend (link to Dreher’s Crunchy Con).
This gives me a chance to spout off about something: Men wearing open-toed shoes or sandals. The Wife has tried. And tried. And tried to get me to wear sandals, clogs and other loose, open footwear – to no avail. Although I love her, and am where I am today thanks to her, there is absolutely no way she will get me to wear Teva’s, Birkenstocks, or any other kind of loose-fitting, open footwear.
Let’s face it: while some might consider the arch of a woman’s foot attractive no one in their right mind is going to find anything attractive in the average man’s foot. Worse, when I see a man who is wearing open footwear – and not wearing body armor of the type worn by the Spartans at Thermopylae along with it – I can’t help but think that the man is one or all of the following:
2. A transvestite
3. A European
4. A wuss.
There’s the old saying that nothing tells you more about a man than his shoes – and I cannot agree with that saying more. For example, if I could I would wear light but tough leather hiking or workboots with steel toes everywhere. Why? Because one minute I might be carrying dry wall up from the basement, and the next moving a sofa. Both tasks require sound footing, and nothing beats a Timberland workboot for keeping you balanced whether you are carrying a sack of compost or a baby.
If I could get away with it, I would wear the things to work. However I must be content with a classic buck or wingtip. Of course the perfect shoe for me is the Dr. Marten. Yes, I still remember my first pair fondly – and even if they have become a cliche and are now made in China, nothing says comfort and utility more than a pair of Docs.
Women change shoes the way a man changes tools. I reach for reciprocating saw in the same way that the Wife reaches for one pair of shoes. Then a few minutes later it’s over to the miter saw, and for her, a switch to the sandals.
Me? I put the shoes on in the morning and prefer not to take them off until it’s time to sleep at night. In the meantime I will walk to work, attend meetings, go to lunch, go back to work, walk back to the car, go grocery shopping, walk the dog, maybe cut the grass, clean the house, write and shower. If I need more than one pair of shoes to do all that, then I’m not being efficient. Even worse, since our home is run Japanese style, we remove our shoes in the genkan, or entry way, and the Wife yells at me if I have more than one pair there! Talk about mixed messages. “I wish I could get you to try on a pair of Birkenstocks,” she says. Yeah right. She may as well say “I wish I could get you to say a nice thing about President Carter.” Fat fucking chance, babe…
Face it: The last men who really need to wear sandals are Buddhist monks because they stand around begging or sit zazen meditating. Neither practice calls for Dr. Martens, although I have met some monks in Japan who wore them for the same reason I do.
As Dr. Seuss once said, “Feet feet feet. Oh how many feet you meet.” Well unless you are reincarnated as a cow and made into Timberlands or Dr. Marten’s, you won’t meet mine. And that’s the way it should be.
What, they aren’t over yet? Are you sure?
Look, I’m not exactly a sports fan – although I really like football, playing soccer and watching baseball. In the past I never missed the Winter Olympics, marking time by learning to pronounce names like Lillehammer, Innsbruck and Nagano.
But something is different this time – because I couldn’t honestly care less about these games. And I’m not alone it seems.
Part of the problem was the hype. I don’t do hype. In fact, if you want to turn me off to something – hype it. I think that my gut tells me if you have to hype something, then there is something wrong with that “something”. Perhaps it’s from growing up in an age when consumption and the marketing that drives it has become something of a pasttime in itself. So I tune it out.
NBC hyped the living crap out of these games. I don’t even watch NBC much anymore. In fact, I don’t even known when the last time was that I actually watched something on that channel. But I do know that NBC planned to carry the games, and that its regularly scheduled programming would disappear for the two weeks while it did so.
So for the past week and a half I haven’t watched NBC. I haven’t seen a single event. I watched a couple of speed skating matches between China and South Korea but then surfed away after a few minutes.
There was even a local boy who was shooting for a medal in ice dancing – a flamboyant, outspoken kid who talked the talk – but ended up not walking the walk. He didn’t medal and so all the hype surrounding him disappeared overnight. No more front page articles for that kid for the next 4 years.
The Olympics have become too much of a spectacle. When you have skaters whizzing around with flames shooting out the back of their heads during the opening ceremonies, one has to wonder what the next opening ceremony must do to top that.
Also, consider the best American Winter Games moment of recent history: the 1980 Miracle on Ice when the US Hockey team won the gold medal. One reason why that moment is so special is because it was unexpected. No one thought the US hockey team to go all the way – and when it did, it became remarkable and damn near legendary.
You can’t have repeats of 1980 every four years. It’s simply not possible, and when the marketers try to manufacture that moment in order to boost ratings for a firm that paid too much for the rights to broadcast the games, they inevitably fail. When the do you have what you have today: a small audience.
The Olympic Committee should reflect on the American lack of interest in these games so that in 2010 people here are interested, perhaps even passionate about the games again. For starters it can start by toning down (and speeding up) the Opening Ceremonies. Here’s a hint: shorten the Opening Ceremonies to Opening Ceremony. You can’t make people marching around a ring behind their flag exciting without doing either of two things: making them do so naked or handing them guns and grenades. Since we are talking the Winter Olympics here, I suppose it’s too cold for the former and the Olympic Spirit of nonviolence unfortunately rules out the latter.
The next broadcaster of the games shouldn’t pay as much for the broadcasting rights in order for it to avoid being compelled to justify the cost by hyping the living daylights out of the games. Let the natural excitement of the sports come through.
Less is more. Simplicity. Core values. These are the attributes of the games that make them special. Then, and only then, will you get viewers like me to care about the games.
Just over a year ago the US led the effort for tsunami relief in Indonesia.
Today we see this:
Muslims Target U.S. Embassy in Indonesia
Hundreds of Muslims protesting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad tried to storm the U.S. Embassy on Sunday, smashing the windows of a guard post but failing to push through the gates. Several people were injured…
A protest organizer said the West, and particularly the United States, is attacking Islam.
“They want to destroy Islam through the issue of terrorism … and all those things are engineered by the United States,” said Maksuni, who only uses one name.
“We are fighting America fiercely this time,” he said. “And we also are fighting Denmark.”
The US Government committed $950 million. American charities are estimated to have given over a billion dollars of private money – money raised by Christians, Jews, homosexuals, and others of questionable moral virtue in the eyes of Islam (the MTV effort for tsunami relief come quickest to mind).
Yet that hasn’t stopped Maksuni from believing America hates him.
Scanning my posts from around that time I am unusually quiet about the relief effort. I also can admit now that I did not donate to that effort – unlike the Katrina Effort which I supported with my hard-earned cash. I knew that many in the USA were donating because they believed that their dollars would show the Indonesians that America was generous and not their enemy, winning the battle of “hearts and minds” in the area.
However I knew deep down that wasn’t possible. The hearts and minds of Muslims in that area are so tainted by the propaganda of extremism that change cannot occur. Such a metanoia could only occur in hearts and minds open to it – and the only way I see that happening is for them to suffer the complete failure of their doctrine. Muslims have become the masters of the art of cognitive dissonance, and I don’t see any way that can break that from the outside. Such a change can only occur from a complete and total breakdown within.
So was that $2 billion wasted? It was on Maksuni and many like him. I can only hope that eventually the mythical “moderates” that exist in Islam assert themselves and deal with the likes of Maksuni – before the next tsunami comes.
Yet another shocking anti-semitic film is coming out of Hollywood – straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In it Gary Busey plays a Jewish doctor who harvests the organs of Muslims murdered by the US government.
Joe Gandleman writes:
The Busey character, listed only as The Doctor, is far removed from the Jewish stereotype in both appearance and manner, but hardly a credit to his heritage. At one point, he scolds American soldiers for shooting up the wedding guests “because it ruins their organs.” In another scene, a group of apparent organ buyers includes a man clearly dressed as an Orthodox Jew.
In Protocols, Jews steal the children of non-Jews to eat. I don’t see much difference between that fiction and the one put out by Hollywood. Maybe it’s time we started issuing our own fatwas - since nothing seems to scare the Media or Hollywood more.
Shockingly disgusting. I can’t wait to see what happens the next time Busey goes on a bender, wraps his car around a tree and ends up in an ER in front of a Jewish doctor.
Dibs on the lungs since he obviously has no brain and no heart.
Today we were hit by a winter Nor’easter that dumped over 14 inches of snow on my part of the world. Early this morning we lost power and took the SUV out to explore the Suburban wilderness and photograph it. With the power still out, we took in a movie.
The Chronicles of Narnia
I’m a big fan of CS Lewis from the little I know about him. I’m an even bigger fan of him now. The movie is multileveled, as is his writings – so I don’t have much to add as I begin to explore his writings. I’m especially interested in what he has to say in his broadcasts to the British people during the Blitz.
I’m pushing middle age – halfway through this brief arc of life and I’m beginning to suspect that I am going to end up where I begun:
A Catholic boy listening to Ludwig Van Beethoven – just a bit smarter and wiser.
There are worse endings I suppose.
Ligneus links to a Spectator column that makes an important point:
What does the episode tell us about ourselves? The first is that we are not morally serious people; in a word, that we are decadent.
I sometimes wonder if all a Liberal wants to do is for the government to take care of him so he can drink, smoke and f*ck without abandon. In short, he wants to be a teenager again – just with Gov’t as the permissive, hand-wringing parents who hand him the keys to the car and the liquor cabinet – then drive his girlfriend to the abortion clinic when necessary.
If true, I’d better start studying the Koran…
Every morning on the way to work I drive past a billboard that is almost hidden in the trees next to a refinery. It doesn’t say much, just the name of the foundation, its website and a statement that it doesn’t matter if you are pro-life or pro-choice.
So today I checked it out. Here’s it’s dedication:
The Stacie Zallie Foundation and the Post-Abortion Portal are dedicated to our daughter Stacie Zallie. At age 20 our daughter, for reasons known only to her, underwent an abortion. She never revealed her situation or solution to her family the people whose love and emotional support she needed so desperately. Shortly after the abortion she asked for psychiatric help, she ended therapy after only 3 months. Not long after her 21st birthday, she took her own life…
In her memory, The Stacie Zallie Foundation and Post-Abortion Portal provides information and resources to anyone grieving or in pain as the result of an abortion.
No judgement. No shame. Just the love and care you deserve.
I happen to be pro-life and a parent so I support the mission of this foundation. It’s a shame that an organization like this needs to be around given the amount of resources spent by both sides of this issue, but I’m glad it is.
I hate to admit it, but I like Instapundit and use it like a “frontpage” for the Blogosphere. Reynolds is a pretty astute observer with centerist politics like my own. He’s also popular and recently published a book – two things which I’ve tried and failed at. So I’ll admit my jealousy up front.
It’s been an especially tough week when every post of his has been about his new book Army of Davids.
Click here to view entire image and see why I think that Reynold’s has gone a little bit overboard promoting his book this week.
In 5th grade in a fit of boredom I wrote a list of 10 fellow students I didn’t like. The last 3 were forced; they were likeable at times but since I needed 10 I put them on the list. I placed the list in my desk, and forgot about it. A few days later I got sick with strep throat and was out for 2 weeks. During that time one of my “friends” rummaged through my desk, found the list, and showed it to the 10 kids on it.
After I got better, I returned to school, opened the door to the classroom and sailed backwards through it after being punched in the mouth by number 2 on the list.
It was my first lesson in responsible writing.
In that spirit, I thought I would draw up my modern “Sh*t List” to see how it had changed. No Steve Ladenburger, Paul Parrino or Todd Gummersbach on this list this time. Instead you’ll find names you recognize. So without further ado, here we go.
Scott’s 2006 Sh*t List
1. Osama Bin Laden – While I still suspect OBL is worm food, until I have proof he occupies the top spot of my list for several reasons, the first being represented by the date 9-11-01. I still have the Weekly World pics of him canoodling with Saddam – who, by the way, doesn’t appear on this list. Why? Because Saddam is pathetic along the same lines as the jailed leader of Shining Path “Stripes Make Me Look Fat” Abimael Guzman.
2. Abu Zarqawi – Carves up captives the way most people carve up hams. Be sure to bury this guy in one.
3. Ayman al Zawahiri - The real “brains” behind the “beauty” of OBL. Has his own show on al-Jazeera – a network that relies upon contributions from drivers like you – through your consumption of imported oil.
4. Noam Chomsky – The most quoted person on the Internet. Why? Lives in comfort in New England while praising such sh*tholes as 60’s North Vietnam and contemporary North Korea. Thinks the US is humanity’s biggest enemy – but oddly enough continues living, working and paying taxes here.
5. St. Jimmy Carter – What can I say about this piece of sanctimonious crap that I haven’t said already? This man has become a success at failure, and even won a peace prize for a deal with North Korea that allowed #10 to make nuclear weapons. He has yet to meet a dictator he didn’t like and regularly sides with the rich and monied over the poor and bullied – all the while floating through the scene like Mother Theresa on librax. Because of his failures to stop Khomeini, support the Shah of Iran, and arm the Mujahadeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan, America is continuing to deal with his messes over a quarter century later.
In a sense we are suffering for Carter’s sins. No wonder he’s on his way to Sainthood.
6. Michael Moore – Claims to speak for the common man, but only speaks for what his totalitarian vision of the common man is. Leni Reifenstahl of Islamofascism; if he lived 70 years ago we would see him giving the Nazi salute in meetings with der Fuhrer whom, I’m sure, he would have dutifully and lovingly filmed.
7. Harold Pinter – A British version of Chomsky. A man who writes plays no one sees or if they do, understands, then takes his modicum of success to spout the ravings of the inbred intellectual he is. Heir to the tradition of Lord Haw-haw, he should be left alone to rot in obscurity.
8. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Cut his teeth on the failures of Carter during the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979-80, and hasn’t lost the fanaticism of his youth. Makes trouble for the US in Iraq, for Israel in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, and is even causing a bout of indigestion in Europeans. Has that wide-eyed look of the fanatic-chosen-by-God. An Iranian David Koresh who will take his nation down with him if allowed to.
9. Carlos the Jackal – The legendary ‘70s terrorist is now behind bars in France and has converted to Islam. Upon hearing that the World Trade Center had been attacked on 9-11-01 supposedly said, “I feel relieved.” The World will feel relieved once he succombs to a painful death from cancer behind bars.
10. Kim Jong Il – North Korean dictator, womanizer and Caligula wanna-be. Builds bombs while his peasants starve. But hey, at least Chomsky idolizes him.
Several interesting facts (thanks to Gateway Pundit) are now coming to light over the Mohammed cartoons.
First these cartoons were published Sept 30, 2005. This leads to the question why are they making such a ruckus over 4 months later?
Second, a fact which answers the first question, is that the cartoons were carried by Danish Iman Ahmad Abu Laban on a tour through the Middle East.
Third, 3 of the cartoons that he said were published were not – and were fakes - including a photocopy of a pig-calling contest held in Trie-sur-Baise France. Of the other two, there is a photoshopped image of a dog pasted onto a kneeling Muslim in prayer – and a crudely drawn stick-type figure that the “Good” Iman could have drawn himself for all that we know.
So here we have a worldwide ruckus leading to death over a few real cartoons and three fake ones. Which images are causing the deaths?
It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Iman Ahmad Abu Laban spread the information around for one purpose: raise a ruckus.
He has succeeded in his efforts – and should suffer the consequences of his actions. He is partly responsible for every death – of a believer or non-believer. He is also obviously trying to incite a wider conflict between the West and Islam, and should be brought to justice for this action.
We then must ask ourselves, how do we fight such intolerance? It is clear to me that self-censorship will not appease Muslims like Ahmad Abu Laban. Men like him will simply manufacture lies to spread their hatred.
The only solution is to monitor what men like him preach, and then show the facts. Truth makes the cockroaches like Laban scatter.