Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Islamism-A Global Threat & the Manifesto

Many writers, scholars and commentators are on the forefront of recognizing Islamism as the totalitarian challenge of the 21st century. But, it takes a special courage to speak out against Islamism when you come from countries and cultures that are spawning Islamism.

A group of 12 writers, journalists and intellectuals issued a “manifesto” in opposition to the rising tide of Islamism. Notable among the group are Salman Rushdie, who’s work Satanic Verses earned him a death fatwa from the Iranians, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a writer who’s film Submission led to the murder of Theo Van Gogh.

At the end of the Jyllands-Posten article on the manifesto is listed the bio for each signatory. The 12 are an interesting collection of individuals including Communist Maryam Namazie. Even a supporter of the philosophy that enslaved millions of people is afraid of Islamism.

Hat Tip to Michelle Malkin.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Analysis on Iraq

Despite the improving availability of news and analysis as a result of the ascendancy of talk radio and the Internet, there is still a lack when it comes to coverage in foreign countries. We are still dependent upon main stream media, and that coverage is less than sterling. When you can’t depend upon the MSM to give you a balanced report from the field, it is refreshing to read someone like Victor David Hanson. He has returned from Iraq, and he filed his analysis at National Review Online. Hanson’s report gives the feel of balance and objectivity.

Hat Tip: The Barnyard

Why Does Socialized Medicine Want to Kill a Baby?

In England, little Charlotte Wyatt is gravely ill and fighting the lung infection that threatens to end her young life. In direct opposition to the wishes of her parents, her doctors applied to a judge for the right to not resuscitate her.

A High Court judge yesterday lifted a previous ruling that she should always be resuscitated, on the grounds that the two-year-old was now on a "downward rather than an upward trend".

Doctors at St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth, had previously argued that her life was so intolerable that if her condition worsened they should be allowed to withhold treatment.

Any yet, previously she has recovered from that “intolerable…condition.”

The doctors apparently feel that their actions are in the best interest of Charlotte. Charlotte might not think they are correct since it is she who must die.

This is absolutely outrageous. There is some other medical mentality in play here of which I am not familiar in the U.S. Could it be that under the English system of socialized medicine that it costs too much to save this little girl?

Hat Tip to Michelle Malkin. Go to her blog for links on this story.

Friday, February 24, 2006

"We put our cigarettes out on him because he was a Jew."

If you have not yet heard about the kidnapping, torture and murder of Ilan Halimi, a Jewish man, in Paris by Muslims, you need to. The utter disregard for human life by these Muslim gangs is instructive.

Go to, Michelle Malkin and Power Line for links.

The handwriting is certainly on the European walls.

Did You Sell or Do You Rent Your Vagina?

What started out on the feminist blog, Feministe, to be a straight forward discussion of the acclaimed play Vagina Monologues turned into a downright cat fight including both male and female kitties. It seems as if conservative Darleen of Darleen’s Place got things started here in this thread.

There is no doubt that some conservatives are upset with the play as too graphic, sexual or something of the sort. I, as a conservative, had no problem with the play. I guess the fact that I went to the play indicates that I am not ultra-conservative.

There is much positive to be said for U.S. style of conservative values, as they pertain to the health of our society. But, too much of a “good thing” is not a good thing, if you know what I mean. On the other side of the coin, liberal permissiveness has led to rampant sexual exploitation and general cheapening of society thanks to, among others, the entertainment and fashion industries. Maybe we can agree that there are elements of both the conservative and liberal philosophies which each have positive and negative aspects.

In the U.S., an aversion to the nude display of the human body is closely associated with the Abraham religions, which require varying levels of modesty. There is a deeply ingrained linkage between the sexual and the nude body to the virtual exclusion of non-sexual expression of nudity. The rejection of the nude body and open references to the more intimate aspects of our bodies, specifically the sexual organs and the female breasts, is deeply rooted in the more conservative elements of our society. But, it also transcends into the liberal elements. Hence, there is resistance to plays like the Vagina Monologues. Disdain also extends to the dissection display of the human body, such as the recent tours by Body Worlds.

The cat fight referenced above got down to a rude, and sometimes profane, discussion as to whether women sold their vaginas in marriage or rented them out for short durations. It certainly is a hot topic for the women. As an aside, some of the female commentators had no compunction about using colloquial terms for the vagina. I suppose it is an expression of their ability to be as rude and crude as males. That’s an example of obtaining equality by descending to a lesser level of civility.

I don’t think men, at least heterosexual men, would get into a similar fight over the social function and ramifications of having a penis. But, who knows? It’s a new age and maybe the feminist males in the cat fight just might do it.

Freedom of Speech, Don’t Take It for Granted

When you grow up in the U.S. you tend to take the incredible freedoms afforded us for granted. How many of you realize that you can be imprisoned in Europe for everyday “speech” in this country. In Austria, David Irving, a rather reprehensible Holocaust denier historian, was just sentenced to prison for a lecture that he made 16 years ago.

Now a German court is jailing a German business man for insulting Islam. This guy had the bad taste to print “Koran” on toilet paper and distribute it to mosques. Apparently, insulting any religion can get you imprisoned in several countries, if not killed by a mob of Islamists.

One of the great benefits in the U.S. is the freedom to be a jerk and say all sorts of lies and distortions. That makes our politics robust and vibrant as everyone fights for the public attention. The downside to this arrangement is that an uninformed public can be deceived. Such is the problem with the majority of the mainstream media pumping out the same pabulum. But, the rise of talk radio and the Internet has created economic factors encouraging the MSM to change it ways, even if it is slow in coming.

Freedom of speech is such a marvelous right. For the life of me, I can’t understand why U.S. citizens find the political systems of democratic, socialistic countries without full freedom of expression as desirable. Could it be that U.S. citizens don’t understand that other democratic countries are less free? Remember that a defining concept for the U.S. is freedom, while in Europe it is equality. Equality is at the root of the philosophy of socialism. Freedom is at the root of the philosophy of capitalism.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Doing Our Part for Our Military Personnel

Most Americans say that they support our military troops. The exception is the rare individuals who are honest enough to admit that they are in opposition to wars and foreign adventures of all sorts. It is kind of refreshing to hear the honesty, but it is disgusting to know that there are those among us who are content to suck from the tit of freedom and make no personal payments or support those who make the payments for us. The fact that these individuals are tolerated is a tribute to our society of freedom. To be able to say what you feel and not be imprisoned is a great feature of this society. The same can not be said for some so-called progressive countries. Take for instance Austria, which is imprisoning David Irving for claiming 16 years ago that the Holocaust was fraudulent. Apparently, the First Amendment principle does not exist in a number of the “enlightened” European countries and Canada.

For those of you who are grateful for the sacrifices of others, here is a great organization that you can assist to make the lives of our service people a little better: Operation Home Front. The San Diego/Camp Pendleton Area Chapter mission statement:

To Provide Assistance with Day-to-Day Issues that face our military families when service members are deployed, allowing them to focus on the global war on terrorism and not be preoccupied by a crisis occurring at home.When situations arise families do not always have the necessary resources to get the issue resolved, and they likely do not have any local family members to turn to in their time of need. Deployments can be a very lonely and stressful time for families left behind, and Operation Homefront, with the help of the San Diego community, is here to be that “extended family” when difficult times arise.Your donated dollars help us provide much needed assistance to military families in crisis. In an effort to stretch your donation even farther, we partner with local businesses that generously lend their time, talent and treasures to provide pro-bono and/or discounted goods and services. Through these partnerships, we are able to provide crucial assistance in the following areas:
Critical Car Repair
Appliance Repair
Household Moving Assistance
Refurbished Computers and Digital Cameras
Emergency Food Assistance
Emergency Financial Assistance
Donated Vehicles
Baby Items and Used
Most of the country can not join in the actual fight, but we can all help those who are sweating and bleeding for us by supporting their families. Let’s all get on board and help the cause of freedom.

Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Mt. Suribachi

Today is the anniversary of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. This is a good time to stop and remember all those valiant Marines, soldiers, airmen and sailors who died in the Pacific Theater.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lost Comments

To all my readers, who commented on blogs this month, my apologies. While doing some modifications to the site, all of your comments were lost. Fortunately, previous months were not involved. We had some pretty good discussions this month. Sorry!


Monday, February 20, 2006

Ken is a Eunuch, Not A Real Man

That’s Ken of Barbie doll fame. Dean P. Johnson wrote an interesting piece on the Ken doll for girls and action figures for boys. He concludes that the females, in the end, actually prefer an action figure over Ken. If Johnson is right, that’s a problem for feminists and their efforts to feminize men.

A goal of feminists is the feminization of education, which is a specific technique in the furtherance of a more feminized society.

A different take on what the feminization of education might mean was put forward by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a feminist born in 1860. She envisioned a more democratic society, created through education. Particularly, she envisioned a feminized education system to create a more feminized society, hoping to end gender discrepancies. Education was the way to change society. She stated, in 1911:
To feminize education would be to make it motherly. The mother does not rear her children by a system of prizes to be longed for and pursued; nor does she set them to compete with one another, giving to the conquering child what he needs, and to the vanquished, blame and deprivation. … Motherhood does all it knows to give each child what is most needed, to affectionately and efficiently develop the whole of them.

OK parents. What do you want for your children? You can choose boys that are wimps or boys that will become real men. It’s your choice. Get involved or shirk your parental responsibilities.

Morales Deserves a Death with Pain

Michael Morales choked Terri Winchell with a belt until the belt broke. He then hit her in the head 23 times with a hammer, drug her across a highway face down, raped her and stabbed her in the chest four times. No one but the victim can forgive the crime. If God wants to forgive him, that’s between God, Terri and Morales.

It’s man’s job to create systems that protect the earthly innocent from predators like Morales. Morales must be executed; we owe it to his victim. The only question is how we accomplish the execution.

Michael Morales does not deserve a painless execution. He deserves to die like his victim died. To do any less devaluates her life and all of our lives as well. There is a positive aspect for society in the Old Testament admonition of an eye for an eye. So let Morales die fighting for his life, tearing his own hair out in anguish and begging for help.

A death like this for Morales is not revenge, it is justice. A balancing of the Scales of Justice. Morales deserves no mercy, for he gave no mercy to his innocent victim just beginning her life.

The more liberal crowd cry out that the state taking the life of Morales is barbaric and continues the cycle of violence. There is no cycle of violence. Morales unlawfully took the life of an innocent, young lady. The state will be lawfully taking the life of a predator after he has been allowed to live 23 years after the murder. For 23 years he has been able to enjoy a restricted life with some pleasures. And all that time, he has been able to hope that he might escape the hangman’s noose.

Carrying out the execution of Morales in the style that I envision would be traumatic and psychologically damaging to any state employee charged with carrying out the order. We need an executioner that is already psychologically damaged and might actually enjoy carrying out the execution in the prescribed manner. Where would we get such a person? That’s easy. The prisons are already full of them. For the cost of maybe a carton of cigarettes, I’ll bet there would be plenty of volunteers.

The “progressive” nations have already outlawed the death penalty. What an asinine policy, because progressive does not necessarily mean better. Quite the contrary, progressives and progressive nations have devalued individual human life in favor of less personal responsibility and less meaningful consequences.

I can only hope that Morales is utterly terrified tonight, because it is the only real penalty he will pay for his crime. He certainly will not be feeling any physical pain. An execution will be fulfilled, but the Scales of Justice will not be balanced. And, we are a lesser people for having let Terri down. In so doing, we are not affirming in the most forceful way that innocent life is sacred to us. That’s the wrong message to send to society.

Correction: 25 years.

It’s Not the Child Who’s the Problem—It’s the Parents

You are sitting in a nice restaurant enjoying an evening out, and you smile at the nicely dressed couple with that adorable 2 year old that was just seated adjacent to you. Suddenly, the tike voices his opinion.

You wonder if the sound from that tiny body will curdle that $9 glass of Merlot you just ordered.

Many diners know what it's like to have a child's howl startle them into nearly stabbing themselves in the cheek with their salad fork.
But, not to worry. Certainly one of the parents will remove the child from the restaurant forthwith. Then it does not happen. And, the out-of-control behavior is not limited to restaurants, but it is most annoying in the confined environment in which the diner is captive for an extended period of time.

The above quotes are from an article entitled, Misbehaving children in restaurants can be a 'Catch-22' for all sides. According to the article, many people are in agreement that there is an increasing lack of civility by parents when it comes to parental responsibility. And, the offending parents are the well heeled, who appear to have an entitlement attitude about subjecting others to their ill-behaved brood.

Some parents believe that they must take their children out to restaurants as it is the only way to acclimate the children to the experience. That is basically true, but the children are not eligible for the experience until they have demonstrated a modicum of restraint and decorum in public. That’s the problem, many parents have not put in the hard work required to civilize their children. Rather the kids are bundled off to daycare and pre-schools where the caretakers and teachers are unreasonably expected to perform the parental duties associated with civilizing the little darlings. The parents are often too tired at the end of a work day to accomplish much except getting dinner on the table and baths before bed. Needless to say the most important task of consistent discipline is often lacking. The end result is ill-mannered children and generally at no fault of their own.

The less than competent parents seem to come in two forms: those who do nothing; and those who lack follow-up and who are constantly yammering at the kid, who has learned to ignore the parent.

There is certainly something to be said for the stay-at-home parent and the opportunity to introduce consistent discipline to the child’s rearing. Of course, staying-at-home does not guarantee that the parent will follow through, but it is a good start.

The old saying that children should be seen and not heard is truer today than it ever was. After having said that, I suppose that I’ll be vilified as a children hater. But, I’m not. I just have contempt for you if you have not properly disciplined your child and you inflict him on me.

P.S. to Anonymous in the Comments Section—Read My Lips; Contempt is not the same as angry!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Can Science be Trusted on Global Warming?

The Kyoto Protocol is a U.N. hand wringing exercise primarily supported by Europeans. The European economy as a whole is larger than that of the U.S. and thus the four greatest economic engines are the European continent, the U.S., India and China.

Pres. George W. Bush took us out of the Kyoto Protocol because he feels that it will damage the U.S. economy and that it is bad science. As I have written previously here and here, the world must recognize that there are additional large players in the equation who must be included, principally India and China. British Prime Minister Tony Blair concurs.

Blair said the battle against global warming would only be won if the United States, India and China were part of a framework that included targets and that succeeded the 1992 Kyoto Protocol climate pact.

Along comes a Russian astronomer who predicts not global warming, but an ice age:

A Russian astronomer has predicted that Earth will experience a "mini Ice Age" in the middle of this century, caused by low solar activity.

Khabibullo Abdusamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomic Observatory in St. Petersburg said Monday that temperatures will begin falling six or seven years from now, when global warming caused by increased solar activity in the 20th century reaches its peak…

Is the world on the brink of a global warming disaster or is it about to start another ice age? The conventional wisdom by the majority of scientists, or so we are told, is that it is going to be global warming. How can anyone doubt the majority of the scientific community?

In 1968, Stanford’s Professor Paul Ehrlich came out with his highly acclaimed book Population Bomb touting his theory that the world could not continue to increase in population with out catastrophic results. Ehrlich championed a philosophy of zero population growth. His theory was all the rage in the scientific community and now that theory is relegated to the scientific dust bin.

The whole concept of science is an evolving understanding of the nature of things. History tells us to take a second look and move slowly when applying public policy to current scientific “wisdom.”

Saturday, February 18, 2006

U. S. Press 0, European Press 1

There is a large schism between the U. S. and Europe when it comes to societal values and fortitude to stand up against philosophical foes who wish you harm. The U. S. rose up with indignation at 9/11/01 and struck back at Islamofascism with determination. That determination is basically lacking on the European continent. Even though Islamofascists have now struck both London and Madrid, the Europeans are only responding with domestic restrictions that would never be acceptable in the U. S. The Europeans are not taking the fight to the Islamofascists. U. S. 1, Europeans 0.

Along comes the Prophet Mohammad editorial cartoons and guess what happens. Ironically, the European press responds by defying the threats and publishing the cartoons all over Europe. With a few exceptions, the U. S. press refuses to publish the cartoons.

I’ve heard the excuse given that there is no reason for the U. S. press to publish the cartoons since they are readily available on the Internet. I don’t think so. The cartoons are a legitimate news item and the public needs to see how innocuous they are to properly put the worldwide Muslim protests in perspective. To that end, I have published the most inflammatory cartoon here. Pretty tame is it not? U. S. Press 0, European Press 1.

Cartoon Jihad: Symptomatic of an Emotional Culture

Have you noticed all the anguish and emotion on the faces of people in the Middle East? They seem angry or anguished much of the time, and they don’t hesitate to express the emotion publicly. There does not seem to be any public restraint for wailing and carrying on by either males or females. Not at all like the more stoic Western cultures.

When you put a bunch of hysterical people together, it is no wonder that they turn to arson and rioting to express their anguish. And, they don’t hesitate to take out their hurt on anybody or property that they deem could be associated in some way with the object of their distress.

Egyptians recently attacked the offices of the ship that sank in the Red Sea:

Hundreds of relatives of passengers on a ferry that sank in the Red Sea attacked the offices of the ship's owners Monday, throwing furniture into the street and tearing down the company's sign. Riot police fired tear gas to restore order.

Family members also tried to storm a hospital in another port town after it displayed photographs of corpses retrieved from the sea. They wanted to get into the hospital morgue to see if their loved ones were there.

The widespread rioting over the Danish cartoons concerning the Prophet Mohammad is another good example of what happens when cultures allow high levels of public emotional display. The acceptability of the public emotion lessens personal restraint and facilitates violence. Naturally there are people who are able to manipulate the emotions of the masses. The latest is 11 & 16 dead in Libya and Nigeria respectively.

The high public emotional volatility may well be a regional cultural phenomenon. Muslims are now demonstrating in the U.S. but they are doing so with restraint. In New York:
Some of the protesters were assembling at noon with signs. The protest was organized by the Islamic Leadership Council, an alliance of more than 100 mosques and the organizers have assured us that the protests will be peaceful, unlike what we have been seeing in other parts of the world this week.

Apparently they were.

While in Pakistan:
In southern Pakistan today protesters were throwing rocks and wielding sticks. They took to the street and blocked a main highway. Dozens were detained and 125 arrested for violating a ban on these rallies, the crackdown following violent protests all week in which five people died and western businesses were andalized and burned.

The public emotionalism is another factor about the Middle East that the West needs to understand for friend or foe alike.

Where’s the Protest for the Morales Execution?

Hey! What’s up? Where’s all the hoopla from Danny Glover, Mike Ferrell, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and all the rest of the big name anti-death penalty crowd? California is again getting ready to execute another murderer.

We last heard from the gallant group with the execution of black “Tookie” Williams, but we heard nothing on the American Indian Ray Allen execution. And, now nothing for Hispanic Michael Morales.

Where are these liberals? I thought liberals were the compassionate and caring among us; Caring for all mankind. I guess I was wrong. It seems that they are only care about some people. Gee, what a shock! But, hey it’s that time of the year again when certain industries are busy with the self-congratulatory mode. You know, Oscars, Emmys and the like. I’m so excited about all of the awards, I just can’t get upset about the execution of another murderer. But, heck I’m a conservative, I’m not supposed to be caring.

Someone please tell me what night the Oscars are scheduled. I’ve got a book I’ve been meaning to read.

China Reveals Its True Colors

The ideal of Communism has died or is dying, and in some places it is being replaced with plain old fascism. China is a good example. In the news currently is the controversy about China censoring access to the Internet. Free expression and the access to free expression are cornerstones to freedom. Freedom, of course, is a relative term, so let’s just say that China is only interested in restricted and controlled freedom.

I mentioned in my SV Sophist’s State of the World blog that Islam is a potential problem for China,

Islam is also making inroads to the generally secular Chinese populations, especially in the areas bordering Islamic countries such as Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Now, China is openly admitting that Islam is a problem, and the Chinese authorities intend to do something about it. Read the article, More Birth Control Sought in China Region,
A Chinese official has called for tougher birth control in the western region home to a Muslim ethnic group, saying population growth is hindering the area's economic development.

The proposal by Nur Bakri, a deputy Communist Party secretary in the Xinjiang region, was criticized by an activist who said it could lead to further human rights violations against the Muslim Uighur ethnic group.

Islam is a long-term threat to the Chinese authorities, and they know it. The future suppression of Muslims will make Tiananmen Square look tame.

Two good fascist tools: Control the information; and control the birth rate, especially for dangerous portions of the population.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Solitary People Don’t Make for A Healthy Society

Humans are social animals, which is a good thing since we tend to live in close proximity to one another. There are exceptions of course. We’ve all heard of the recluse, who shuns society. One rare exception was the infamous Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. Kaczynski lived alone in a cabin in the woods while waging his 18 year war against mankind. Whatever it was that plagued him, Kaczynski obviously preferred to stay fairly isolated from people. That, in and of itself, is a warning sign that things could be amiss.

There are always going to be people who prefer the solitary to the social, but fortunately they are in the minority. Or at least they were. A recent study revealed that young Canadians prefer virtual sex to the real thing. One of the stabilizing legs of society is about to be yanked away if this stuff catches on to a significant extent.

Virtual solitary sex has a great potential to be better, or at least easier, than the effort and the inevitable failures suffered during the pursuit of a real live target of your sexual desires. Real life physical sexual encounters between live people are one of the glues of society. Without it, society will start to unravel and degenerate. Apparently the Canadians are already on the path. Is it also true in the U.S.?

Hells’ Angels--Plethora of Criminality

Among the four big outlaw motorcycle gangs in the U.S.: Hells’ Angels, Outlaws, Bandidos, and the Pagans, it is the Hells’ Angels who are constantly in the forefront of outlaw motorcycle gang sophistication. They have evolved from a rowdy collection of losers into a sophisticated organized crime syndicate. At the same time they have polished their public image with toys runs and public events. Perhaps one of the slickest publicity moves was accomplished in 1984 when Ventura, CA, chapter president George Christie took his turn to carry the Olympic torch.

Just in case that you have been taken in by the publicity, don’t be fooled. The essence of the Hells’ Angels is well described here in this February 16th. article,
Spokane chapter president Richard Allen Fabel, 48, also known as Smilin' Rick, was charged with racketeering and conspiracy to racketeer. He is accused of directing other gang members to engage in murder, attempted murder, itimidation, extortion, robbery and trafficking in stolen motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts.

Let me see, what else do the HA do that is not listed in the indictment: Prostitution; Assault; Burglary; Narcotics trafficking; Money laundering; and Business intimidation. Nice group of people, don’t you think? Did I mention that they have a proclivity to sport tattoos? Sorry, I got off track. That was another blog.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

American Actors Serve the Enemy

Hollywood continues to barrel-along exploiting the Anti-American and Anti-Semitic themes which are so near and dear to their hearts. If that were not bad enough, now American actors are appearing in foreign films denigrating the American military. According to Lee Kaplan’s review of Valley of the Wolves-Iraq in the American Thinker, Billy Zane and Gary Busey starred in a Turkish film.

Some people are likely to dismiss the significance of this film as a simple capitalistic project providing the public with what it wants to see. The insidious side to these films is that they are rewriting history in the minds of the uninformed and confirming the prejudiced view of our enemies. All of which serves the purposes of those who would destroy the American civilization. Move over Michael Moore, you have foreign competition.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Dilemma of Body Armor and Staying Alive

It is indisputable that you can pile on body armor to enhance your survivability when encountering certain weapons. But, the use of that body armor comes with a cost of maneuverability and comfort.

I saw the video tape of the 1997 North Hollywood bank robbery wherein the two suspects were heavily dressed in body armor and armed with assault weapon long guns. They looked like Pillsbury Dough Boys lumbering along while LAPD’s puny 9mm. handgun rounds bounced off of them. These two bank robbers did a good job of insulating themselves from the impotent handguns carried by the LAPD patrol and detectives. The officers did not have long guns and the suspects apparently understood a common sense principle that was lost to LAPD administrators and LA City officials: you don’t take a handgun to a gunfight. Secondly, if you are adequately armored you can last for quite awhile until you are faced with a shot to an unprotected area of the body or a weapon is deployed that can defeat the armor. The crooks died so we don’t know whether or not their tactics were predicated upon an understanding that LAPD was not likely to initially engage them with long guns.

The Hollywood bank robbers screwed up because their overly heavy armoring reduced their maneuverability and speed. As a consequence, they were contained and overwhelmed by the number of responding officers. Someone got a shot to the head of one suspect and SWAT arrived with assault weapons and succeeded in stopping the remaining suspect.

I entered police work in the early 1970’s when body armor for police officers was first introduced. I got one of the early model vests called “Second Chance.” It was a heavy, bulky item that was so hot that it was quite uncomfortable in moderate to warm weather. When I took off the vest, my T-shirt was soaked with sweat. In those early days, the old timers often looked down on you as some sort of sissy for wearing a protective vest. That did not make sense to me; I thought of it as insurance that was in effect when you wore it. One officer that I knew, who died from gunshots, would likely have lived if he had been wearing his vest that hot day. Today the vests are more comfortable, but the lighter and more comfortable they are the less protection you have. My entry vest, used in search warrants, is heavy, bulky and not suitable for wear in cars. So you pick a vest or decide not to wear a vest depending upon factors of convenience and probability of need. It is no different for the military.

Recently some people have complained that the military is not supplying the troops with adequate body armor. That contention is not the whole picture. published an article, Many Troops Don’t Want Extra Body Armor, which was originally run in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Russ Vaughn wrote an interesting piece on the armor issue from the perspective of the Vietnam War. That piece is entitled Weighing the Options, which is posted at the American Thinker.

It is dangerous in military combat theaters, and it is dangerous on American streets. You play the odds and either wear or don’t wear a protective vest. And, if you do wear one, you choose the one that you hope best meets all of your needs. Sometimes you make the wrong choice.

Friday, February 10, 2006

U R A…

If you have no stomach for criticism, some warranted and some not warranted, don’t put pen to paper. Or if you do, don’t ever show your work to anyone. What I hope for when authoring a blog piece is to engage in civil dialogue, which hopefully leads to a further exploration of the subject matter. Sometimes that does not happen, and you get written vomit as comments with no discourse value.

I have a comment section policy that I will permit any on-topic civil discourse as long as there is no profanity and no egregious insulting language. It’s desirable that the comments be intellectually honest. I am looking for clarity, not agreement. If a writer violates the rules, I simply delete the comment and don’t waste time responding. My blog on tattoos and piercings got a non-compliant comment right out-of-the-box. The reader wrote, “u r a…” (fill-in a slang word for the male sexual appendage.)

I don’t delete many comments, unlike the big-time bloggers. Conservative Michele Malkin has received some of the vilest personal, racial and sexual comments imaginable. The anger and the venom of the inarticulate are incredible. I have witnessed some of those comments directed to Malkin on liberal/leftist blogs.

I have heard conservative Dennis Prager discuss the vile e-mail that he continually receives. Prager has noticed, and wonders if other conservative talk show hosts also identified, that the majority of the offending comments come from what appear to be liberals.

It will be interesting to see if liberal bloggers experience the same phenomena and attribute their vile received comments as coming from conservatives.

Let the Hunger Striker Die

A problem with the U.S. is that we care about what other people think about us, and consequently many things become way too complicated. Take for instance the subject of hunger strikes. Why in the world would anybody get upset when someone goes on a hunger strike? The person wants to protest by starving himself to death, have at it. Naturally we would not want to facilitate the suicide by handing him knife, but there’s a limit to what we should do to block the event. That ends the problem of having to house the person or whatever.

Enter practicality. It seems that a large number of Guantánamo detainees were engaging in a hunger strike and the authorities were concerned about international pressure in the case of a hunger strike death. Solution: force feeding by restraint and forcing a tube down the nasal passages and into the stomach. Testimony revealed that the forced feeding is far from pleasant. Result: most striking detainees have abandoned their strikes.

What’s a good Islamist to do when he can’t even martyr himself by starvation while in custody? There is no justice.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Conformity of Non-Conformity or How I Learned to Love the Tattoo

Fashion, as an expression of how we perceive of ourselves, is universal. Humans are tribal creatures constantly striving to conform to the strictures of the chosen group, including non-conformity to the larger population. Pick a group and check out their conformity. Cowboys wear Wrangler jeans, Western shirts, cowboy boots and hats. Valley girls (is that still a good classification?) dress in their best Britney Spears imitation. You can’t mistake a punker, or a Gothic; they each have their own unique look. The military has its own clean cut appearance with short hair, and frequently tattoos. Orthodox Jews and fundamental Muslims have distinctive beards and often distinctive clothing. Motorcyclists bedeck themselves in characteristic motorcycle gear depending upon whether or not they ride a Harley Davidson or a foreign motorcycle. A subset of the Harley Davidson crowd is the outlaw motorcycle gang group: long hair, scraggly beards, tattoos and often disheveled and dirty.

Employers, both private and public, have the right to expect that their employees meet certain prescribed rules of dress, often to include the covering of tattoos and the removal of most exposed piercings. The County of San Bernardino is in the news today with its latest dress code to include prohibition of tattoos and piercings. Go here to read the article. Need I mention that San Bernardino County is more conservative than liberal? You are not likely to see similar requirements in San Francisco.

At this point, let me put my prejudice right out front. I don’t like tattoos; they strike me as low class. Other than an earring in the lower portion of the ear lobe, I don’t like piercings; they strike me as even lower class. Having made these broad statements, let me begin to equivocate. I don’t mind military tattoos on current or former military personnel. And, I don’t mind a nose piercing on a Hindu woman.

In the American culture, tattoos were traditionally the province of males of lower socioeconomic status. Yeas ago it was most frequently found among the criminal population, military and the circus; classes held in disrepute, to one degree or another.
…tattoos were not respected in its earlier days and were considered as a kind of nonsense thing suitable only for drunkards or sailors and sometimes, criminals too.

Motorcycle gangs, which began at the end of the 1940’s, adopted a non-conformist profile and began tattooing and an in-your-face dress code designed to deliberately offend and shock the public. Street gangs and biker gangs use tattoos as gang clique identifiers. Undoubtedly for shock value, heavy metal music performers, non-conformists in their own right, began tattooing and made it practically de-rigueur. Go here for an international history of tattooing.

Somewhere along the line, tattooing became popular with the Hollywood crowd. I don’t know exactly when it began, but it seems to me that Cher played a big part when she openly displayed tattoos while performing on stage. Now tattoos are everywhere with males and females. Hollywood could well be the most significant driving force in the partial de-stigmatizing of tattoos.

Other than group conformity and/or a rejection of societal norms, what is the motivation to get a tattoo in the American culture? Noted psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Marmer stated on Dennis Prager’s nationally syndicated radio show sometime ago that individuals who have not done anything to earn recognition will get a tattoo as a way of saying look at me, I’m somebody. That explanation seems to fit well with a large number of tattoo recipients, who have neither excelled financially nor professionally. I’d add that it is irrelevant whether the person is actually accomplished, but rather what the person thinks of himself in the realm of accomplishment.

One lady opined that she sees a tattoo as an “adjective” to a person. Certainly that is the case for gangsters and rock stars. They are saying to the public that I’m not like you, and I don’t care what you think. But, that is not necessarily the whole story. The lady added that her son is a Christian and that he has the tattoo “Jesus Wept” on the side of his neck. He uses the tattoo as an opener to witness for his religion.

Piercings have not nearly progressed toward general acceptability as have tattoos, and consequently they are not as prevalent. I find a lip piercing to be particularly repulsive when worn by a food server. The motivation for piercings, other than the female single piercing per ear, is probably identical to those for tattoos. That is except for the piercing in the middle of the tongue. That little job is often adorned with a ball ornament, and its purpose is to enhance the act of fellatio. You might want to inquire of your teenage daughter as to what she does with her device.

So you might say that you don’t care whether or not I approve of your tattoos. That’s fair enough, unless I am your prospective employer. Now I hold the power and I’d be less inclined to hire or promote someone who is demonstrating to me that he does not have enough common sense to understand the ramifications of business and the clientele. So, if you are going to get your tattoo, put it where the sun does not shine and where just you and your intimates can enjoy it.

Monday, February 06, 2006

CAIR Reveals Islamiofascist Colors

Los Angeles radio talk show host Bill Handel reported about the recent 345 deaths in the stampede at the Hajj in Mecca. Stampedes and trampling deaths are frequent occurrences at the Hajj. Handel’s radio segment was irreverent, but certainly no more so than anything else that he addresses on his show. You can listen to the radio show segment here.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has taken a major exception to Handel’s segment, and they are demanding censure by the FCC. Handel has responded with his conditions for an apology if the Council on American-Islamic Relations:

1) Decries all acts of terror (described specifically, not generally)

2) Agrees that Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to defensible borders

3) CAIR has no ties of any sort, financially or otherwise, to any terror 0rgs or individuals.

Does anyone think that CAIR will fulfill the conditions? Not a chance. Knowledgeable specialists state that CAIR, as well as other influential Muslim voices in the U.S., are Islamofascist and funded by Saudi money. Te leadership of U.S. moderate Muslim movements has been hijacked by Islamofascists.

In the United States, thanks to Saudi domination of the Islamic establishment, the bona fide moderate Muslims are usually excluded from Muslim-American and Arab-American organizations that nevertheless purport to be “mainstream” groups.

Know the Enemy-with contributions from Alex Alexiev
War Footing
J. Gaffney and Colleagues
Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2005

You can place a safe bet that CAIR will not make the statements demanded by Handel. That’s a message in and of itself. Wake up America! There are Islamofascists among us.

IED’s & Automatic Weapons on the Border

Federal authorities reported the seizure of “…stacks of automatic weapons, grenades, gunpowder, ammunition, and drugs, as well as IEDs” in Laredo, Texas. IED’s are improvised explosive devices, and they were the type used against our troops and civilians in the Middle East conflict.

According to the article, the weapons are thought to be in Laredo in conjunction with the ongoing drug cartel wars. The cartels are fighting over control of the drug routes from Mexico into the U.S.

This revelation, if for no other reason, is justification to declare a National emergency concerning the U.S.-Mexican border. Naturally some federal authorities will not agree with that conclusion out of an abundance of caution for what the Mexican authorities would say. And, yes the Mexicans would be upset, but who has the most to gain and the most to lose in this situation?

Mexico is a major source of imported oil for the U.S. and deteriorating conditions between the two nations would be deleterious to both in terms of revenue and oil supply respectively. U.S. dollars from Mexican citizens account for the greatest amount of revenue that Mexico receives, and it exceeds Mexican oil revenue.

A national emergency border declaration, a couple of border states have already made such declarations, would be interpreted by the Mexicans as an insult. Mexican President Vicente Fox would have political problems and his tenuous party could be in trouble.

If we only address immigration and drug problems, it makes sense for the U.S. to disregard the concerns of the Mexicans and to build a fence along the border and back it up with military troops. But, the game is bigger than that since it is in the interest of the U.S. to ensure that a leftist regime does not come to power in Mexico, as it has in Venezuela and Bolivia.

If the Mexican military and law enforcement were not corrupt, the answer would be a joint military/law enforcement operation to eradicate the problem. But, they are corrupt.

There are many competing needs and that is why the Bush administration and Homeland Security are not boldly enacting mechanisms to slam shut the border to illegal crossings. But, to not do so increasingly puts our nation in greater danger. It’s a dilemma that has to be solved now!

SV Sophist’s State of the World

I wonder how many people have a clue about what is likely to be in store for the Western world for this new 21st century. It is safe to say that with the exception of the U.S., Canada, England, and Australia, the Western world and Christianity are in a critical cultural/religious decline. And, in the Christianity sphere, only the U.S. is remaining strong. At the same time, India, China and Islam are in an ascendant phase.

India and China are the big players in the future world markets with large workforces and rapidly developing economic engines. Of course, it would be folly to predict that either China or India will dominate the world in their current form of governments. Lurking in the background is Islam and fascism.

Only 13.4%, or 144 million, of India’s population are Muslim. But, when you consider that 1-2% of those Muslims are fundamental, that is a considerable number of potential trouble makers. How can you conclude otherwise while witnessing Islamic rioting, arsons, and death as a result of political cartoons? I am not suggesting that India is on the cusp of going Islamic; after all 80% of over 1 billion people are Hindu. But, India is virtually surrounded by Islam and ocean.

China is having its own problems with domestic discord and rioting, and some experts consider China to be less than stable politically. China is in a devolution stage of Communism toward capitalism. Unfortunately, China is not developing freedom and democratic institutions. The leadership is increasingly acting more fascist. Islam is also making inroads to the generally secular Chinese populations, especially in the areas bordering Islamic countries such as Pakistan and Tajikistan.

The U.S. stands to the right of England, Australia, and Canada, though Canada is making a slow right turn. Mark Steyn cautions about making too much of the recent Canadian conservative turn. Read his article, An Act of Political Hygiene.

In South America, the potential for Communism is again raising its ugly head with the Cuban loving Venezuelan Hugo Chavez and Bolivian socialist and former coca grower Evo Morales.

As long as the U.S. remains a stronghold of capitalism and Christianity, it will be isolated from the growing Islamofascist or Communist/fascist world. That means a growing number of oil resources could become unavailable to the U.S.

The French don’t do much right, but they were smart to have embraced nuclear power for electrical generation. It’s high time that the U.S. make serious strides toward that ideal of energy independence. Failing to do so will leave us seriously vulnerable to oil blackmail and energy shortages.

The world of the 21st Century is not a peaceful place, and the U.S. stands as a beacon of hope for freedom and liberty. While we are making significant strides in bringing those freedoms to some parts of the world, a significant percentage of people are under the control of despotic regimes. Europe has culturally doomed itself. And, the U.S., in many respects, is facing an increasingly hostile world.

In order to properly respond to the challenges, we must strategically understand how our mortal adversaries think. We must recognize that much of the world, particularly Muslims and Asians, are functioning on an honor-face platform while the Western world operates on a morality (right & wrong) platform. As a result, we don’t understand each other.

We need our politicians on both sides of the aisle to understand and embrace these facts. But, they are not doing so. It will take the American public to force the politicians into acting in our best interest instead of partisanship. But, how will the American public do that when it is so philosophically divided?

I don’t know the answer to that question. But, one significant improvement has been the ascendancy of the citizen bloggers and talk radio, who are putting the mainstream media on notice that it must jettison its blatant one-sided perspective to survive. I actually believe there is some improvement in that regard.

There is a battle for the minds of Americans and the outcome will make or break us. It will determine if this society stands tall with enduring American values or sinks into the fever swamp of Islamofascism or a second rate lackey nation of the European model.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Indecent Sheep Bleat

In Cartoonist Tom Toles’ January 29th Washington Post editorial cartoon, he belittled the sacrifices of our wounded servicemen in his attempt to criticize the Bush administration. People like Toles have the right to express their feelings; but they lack wisdom; and they are ungrateful for those whose efforts guarantee the right of free expression. In response to the Toles cartoon, Russ Vaughn, a Vietnam Veteran, wrote an oppositional poem entitled, “WaPo Weasels. Russ submitted the poem to me for publication, and I posted it here. It is posted on the Internet elsewhere as well. Predictably, I got comments on my posting from an “ungrateful American.” Russ, naturally, got many such comments from other postings. Russ Vaughn has now written a piece for the American Thinker entitled, “Going to the Dogs.” Russ is a clear thinker and a good writer. He builds off the analogy of our military and general public as sheep dogs and sheep respectively. I recommend his work to you.

Of course, there are many people who agree with Toles’ opposition to the Bush administration and to the war in the Middle-East in particular. I take Toles’ cartoon at face value to reflect his opinion. That does not suggest that Toles finds anything humorous in his position or his cartoon.

There is a whole subset of American sheep, best described as ungrateful for the sacrifices of others, enjoying the benefits of freedom. Among the subset of ungrateful American sheep are people who find humor in this Toles editorial cartoon. They lack common decency. My reader wrote, “laughed 'til i cried. dead accurate commentary on the part of toles.” People like my reader are not worthy of calling themselves members of the American tradition. They are not worth the sweat off an American military serviceman's brow.

The good side to Toles and the indecent sheep phenomenon is that the rest of America gets to witness and learn that the philosophies driving such commentary are a cancer in the body of freedom.

"WaPo Weasels"

WaPo Weasels

Wanna draw a soldier, Toles? Here I am,
Back with all four limbs from Vietnam.
You wanna draw pictures of fighting men?
Just tell me where and tell me when.
I’ll give you a pose to impress any viewer,
Your punk arty ass comatose in the sewer.
Like all of your kind you don’t have a clue
Who fightin’ men are and what fightin’ men do.

That you, your kind, you effete panty waists,
With Hollywood morals, metrosexual tastes,
Would taunt a brave warrior’s fight for life,
Mock his loss, his pain, deride his strife;
And use his sorrow to support your screed,
With no concern for the warrior’s need,
Tells me you are clueless of the facts of war,
You’re a cut ‘n run, spineless, media whore.

Go to Walter Reed hospital, smug Mr. Toles,
To see those you’ve mocked, grave injured souls
View wounded warriors with bodies so broken
And think again of the message you’ve spoken,
So abysmally ignorant, so smug condescending
That even most liberals won’t waste time defending.
So Toles it’s a fact that your most famous work
Will proclaim you forever as a pitiless jerk.

And Washington Post you’re as bad as this weasel
You gave him the forum, provided his easel.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Take a look at the Toles cartoon and judge for yourself.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Thin Skinned and Dangerous

Salman Rushdie offended the religion of peace with his publication of his Satanic Verses. Result: a sentence of death by Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini . Newsweek Magazine wrongly published that U.S. military personnel were desecrating the Koran. Result: Muslim rioting and the burning of U.S. flags. A Danish newspaper publishes editorial cartoons which Muslims take as offensive to Islam. Result: rioting in various parts of the world, burning of the Danish flag, boycotting Danish productts.

You might say that Islamists have no sense of humor when it comes to these sorts of things. For those accustomed to freedom, these Islamic reactions seem absurd and laughable. But, to the Islamist these acts are blasphemy and worthy of a death sentence.

Note to my apologetic leftist friends: If your sentiments prevail and the U.S. pulls back from its foreign adventures in the quest to neutralize Islamofascism, you will get to see Islamofascism upfront and in your face. Well, maybe not you, but certainly your children. So what do you care? You won’t be around.