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.

Friday, March 31, 2006

He Smote a Mosquito-Is His Soul in Peril?

Nationally syndicated talk radio show host Dennis Prager is a passionate supporter of the death penalty. And, he clearly stated his case at a speech last Wednesday night on behalf of The University, a consortium of Southern California Catholic parishes sponsoring a variety of talks. Dennis’ talk was titled The Moral Case for Capital Punishment. Dennis supported his thesis Biblically and intellectually.

You may think it odd that the Catholic Church hosted a speech advocating capital punishment given that the late Pope John Paul II was an adamant opponent to the death penalty. But as pointed out by The University director in the introduction to the speech, the Catechism validates the death penalty. How is it that Pope John Paul II could oppose the death penalty in contradiction to the Catholic Church Catechism? Dennis answered that question by pointing out that the Pope was a good man, as opposed to an infallible man.

Dennis was passionate and persuasive as he expounded upon his position that a rejection of the death penalty cheapens life.

During the question and answer portion of the evening, Dennis was asked about the commandment, from the Ten Commandments, to not kill. Dennis pointed out that the Hebrew language has two different applicable words: One is to kill; and the other is to murder. Per Dennis, the King James version of the Bible is the most accurate translation from the original Hebrew which states that you shall not “murder” and does not say that you shall not “kill.” In other words, you can have theology in opposition to the death penalty, but it is not Biblical.

If the Bible did actually prohibit killing, we would all be required to be pacifists and vegetarian. And, Dennis would be in grievous theological peril since he admitted that he “smote a mosquito.”

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sovereignty Ignored; Seal the Border and Deport

If the last couple of days taught us anything it is that there are a large number of ungrateful people in this country who think that the U.S. owes them a place to live and work irrespective of whether or not people are here legally. It is a testament to the freedoms of this country when illegal aliens feel free to blatantly demonstrate without apparent fear of identification and deportation. The attitude seems to be one of I’m here and there is nothing you can do about it. If that’s your attitude, you might be in for a surprise. There is a large percentage of U.S. citizens who are reaching the end of their patience with the arrogance of those who have come here in contravention to our laws. . The demonstrations have brought the problem to the forefront in stark relief. Illegal aliens are already an issue and the demonstrations might fan the flames of political blowback from an otherwise tolerant citizenry.

The fact that there are ungrateful illegal aliens is irrelevant. After all, there are plenty of citizens who are ungrateful as well. Nevertheless, contrition and gratefulness would go a long way in swaying the debate

My position might resonate well with the perturbed citizens:

The tidal wave of illegal aliens flowing relatively unimpeded across our border with Mexico must be stopped. If that means building a 700 mile wall along the entire length of the border, so be it. We can do it. Israel’s wall is 404 miles long, and it works well for them. Does a wall mean that illegal aliens will not be able to enter the country? No, but it will sure reduce the number who succeed.

Every person in the U.S. illegally must be required to become properly documented and penalized in some manner for the criminal immigration violations. After a predetermined date, anyone of undocumented immigration status should be charged with a felony and immediately deported without prosecution and without the future option of immigrating. If the person subsequently returns to this country, he should be prosecuted and incarcerated in prison.

Criminal and civil sanctions must be applied to both public and private entities which employ or give aid and comfort to illegal aliens. That includes churches, unless their ministrations are delivered in the back of an INS van.

Some sort of guest worker program must be instituted wherein alien workers may only stay in the country a predetermined number of years. The intent of the program is to accommodate businesses in need of workers and not solve the economic woes of the alien’s home country.

Many think that people have an inalienable right to come to this country. That is not the case; the privilege is regulated by law. If you don’t agree with the law, change it.

What’s the probability that such a program will come to pass? That depends upon whether there is sufficient political will to take on the expense of actually addressing the multitude of intertwined problems. There are no inexpensive options.

Update & Counterpoint: Read Al Martinez’s piece Protesters are music to his ears.

My answer to Al is included above: “Many think that people have an inalienable right to come to this country. That is not the case; the privilege is regulated by law. If you don’t agree with the law, change it.”

Sunday, March 26, 2006

SF’s Phony Claim of Tolerance

San Francisco likes to think of itself as the most progressive and tolerant of cities. Oh, but what self-delusion exists in the minds of liberals and leftists. The occasion was the anticipated gathering of 25,000 Christian youth dedicated to countering the corrosive cultural influences endemic in American life. The prospect of Christians proclaiming Christian values seems to have unsettled San Francisco fathers and provoked them to issue a proclamation in opposition to the gathering:

City leaders readied for the battle earlier this week, when the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning the "act of provocation" by an "anti-gay," "anti-choice" organization that aimed to "negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city."
Wouldn’t you think that “America’s most tolerant and progressive city” could just shrug off the “evil message” of a bunch of Christians? I wonder; is it the famous San Francisco fog that has corroded the brains of so many of its residents? How else can you explain the predominant perpetual adolescent views held by San Francisco, Marin County, Berkeley and Santa Cruz residents?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

United Nations-Racist Mental Midgets

The United Nations clearly does not know the difference between racism and an editorial cartoon slam at the Prophet Muhammad. The U.N.’s short-lived racism poster clearly links Denmark (read the Jihad cartoons) and racism. Someone kindly inform the U.N.’s mental midgets that Islam is multiracial and that the cartoons targeted a religious figure and not a race.

See Michelle Malkin for the details.

WAPO Debuts Red America

There is no denying that the mainstream media has been losing market share, and they must make some changes. I previously wrote on the topic in The Fate of Newspapers. One mechanism to help stem red ink is to fully embrace the electronic age. Some newspapers have begun sponsoring blogs either as a home or pointer system for citizen blogs. Other newspapers are sponsoring blogs authored by their employees.

The Washington Post, not known as a bastion of conservatism, has broken new ground by launching an unabashed conservative blog entitled Red America, authored by Ben Domenech. Read the maiden blog Pachyderms in the Mist: Red America and the MSM.

As Michelle Malkin predicted, the new blog is center for a controversy.

Michael Yon Back to Iraq

Michael Yon was just interviewed by Hugh Hewitt a few minutes ago. Michael confirmed that he is set to return to Iraq and could have gone last week. It will be great to again be getting Michael’s down to earth dispatches covering the accomplishments and strife of both our and the Iraqi’s effort to birth a modern country from the belly of tribal and Islamofascist culture.

Our best wishes are with you Michael. Do your good work and return to us safely.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Master Juggler

Do yourself a favor and go to this Master Juggler site. He’s incredible.

Hat Tip: BH

First Step on the Path to Slavery

The concept of free speech is not to be taken lightly since it is an integral part of the structural strength of freedom. The less free speech, the less freedom. The American public has a grasp on this concept and accordingly judiciously promotes the concept at every opportunity. Generally speaking, anyone can say anything in the realm of personal speech with the exception of utterances which will immediately cause physical harm to others. The example is yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. Not so, in much of the rest of the world. Why Europe is even having a discussion about blasphemy and free speech is illustrative of varying attitudes on speech and freedom. Read my previous blogs on Europe and free speech here and here.

Muslims displeased that the Danish government refused to prosecute the newspaper Jyllands-Posten on account of publishing the Prophet Muhammad cartoons are now planning to sue the paper and take their case to the United Nations. That sounds like an appropriate endeavor for the worse than worthless United Nations.

The Internet is proving to be a thorn in the side of countries wishing to limit the access of its public to free speech. The Chinese are right out in the forefront. Michelle Malkin reports that now Pakistan has joined in the cause relative to the Jihad Cartoons. In addition the UAE is banning internet sites, and Malkin’s blog is one of the forbidden sites.

Let all who value freedom be forewarned that you can’t allow freedom of speech be abridged. It’s the first step on the path to slavery.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Free Speech in Europe? Not a Chance

In my blog Free Speech & Blasphemy European Style, I wrote about Denmark considering a blasphemy prosecution for the newspaper Jyllands-Posten on account of publishing the Prophet Muhammad cartoons. A reader pointed out that the government had declined to prosecute and thus there was no danger to the newspaper. The reader asked if I was challenging the right to file charges. Yes indeed, I am.

Blasphemy charges and trials are nothing new for Europe. Take the case of Oriana Fallaci who has endured blasphemy trials for two of her books, The Rage and the Pride and The Force of Reason. The judge determined that the second book had eighteen statements that were “unequivocally offensive to Islam and Muslims.” Read about it here and here.

Experts posit that Islamofascism is an ideology as opposed to Islam, which is a religion. Given that only one to two percent of Muslims are thought to be Islamofascist, it is presumed that that the threat to the Western world is restricted to the one to two percent. Conservative columnist Max Boot points out that there are two tolerant Muslim countries, Malaysia and Qatar, and they are examples of moderate Muslim regimes. Boot states that we are not at war with an entire civilization. I tend to agree with that statement though I am disquieted by the fact that the so-called moderate Muslims are not standing up to be counted in opposition to the Islamofascism.

Oriana Fallaci feels quite differently and she does not mince words:
During a speech in Washington in 2002, Fallaci said: “The hate for the West swells like a fire fed by the wind. The clash between us and them is not a military one. It is a cultural one, a religious one, and the worst is still to come.” The suit against her is just one hint of that terrible denouement.

There is a message to America from Europe: It will take longer to accomplish, but if you follow in the footsteps of Europe you will suffer the sword of Allah’s warriors again and again.

Free speech? The Europeans who support the blasphemy laws don’t have a clue what free speech is all about.

Hat Tip: All Things Beautiful

A Conservative’s Voice of Reason on Islam

While the world is beginning to learn about the perils of the minority Islamofascists, it should also recognize that Islam comes in many less strident forms. Two Islamic countries leading the pack in tolerance are Malaysia and Qatar. That does not mean that there are not significant numbers of Islamofascists in both locations.

Conservative Max Boot expounds on “Islam’s Tolerant Face” in a recent column. As Boot states, we are not at war with an entire civilization.

No Blood for Water

The ignominious chant of "no blood for oil" is disingenuous because every one of these folks benefits from the usage of oil. As I write this blog with a dandy cold, I reach for the tissue paper to receive the products of blowing my nose and the hacking up of phlegm. The point is that tissue paper did not just magically appear in a cardboard box in my home. A lot of oil was burned for me to have the privilege of casually reaching for that box. More basic to human needs than oil is water.

There are parts of the world where access to plentiful clean water is nothing more than a pipe dream. That situation led to fourth World Water Forum, a conference in Mexico City with representative of 130 nations attending. Mexican activists at an alternative summit are vowing to go to war over water.

Mexico is a country rich in natural resources and a large available work force. And yet, much of the country lacks the simple amenities of clean, plentiful water. The only explanation is a corrupt political system that has pilfered the national treasury and left the citizens to fend for themselves.

Are the no blood for oil folks going to start chanting no blood for water?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Poor Casey

Poor Casey

Poor Casey sees his mother,
Being used but once again,
To mouth words of another,
Likes of who did him in.
Poor fool she is, and poorly used,
To claim the mother’s place,
Of one who died and now’s abused,
By his mother now disgraced.

Poor Casey fought to win his war,
He fought to do what’s right;
His memory’s now become a sore,
In his mother’s fool cast light.
A young man felt the need to serve,
To meet his country’s need;
But mother felt the need for fame,
To salve her ego’s greed.

Poor Casey rests now sorely,
A boy stressed in his grave,
Served by his mother poorly,
A soulless left wing slave,
Who postures on the very ground,
That shelter’s Casey’s soul,
A foolish, faithless media hound,
Who disgraced her brave son's role.

Ah, Cindy, Lass, you sold your soul, for fortune’s fleeting fame,
To dance upon your son’s grave and disgrace his warrior’s name.
May God sometime forgive you, but we warriors never will,
You sold your soul, sold out your son, someday you’ll pay the bill.

Russ Vaughn

Note: May God forgive Cindy She
ehan; I will not, ever. In the history of this country no mother has ever done so much to disgrace the memory of a fallen, warrior son. Cindy Sheehan has placed herself in the infamous ranks of Jane Fonda and John Kerry, all traitors to their country. All three are opportunistic, soulless cretins who sold their souls for fame and political fortune.

Damn them forever.

Russ Vaughn

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Free Speech & Blasphemy European Style

We in the U.S. take for granted our free speech as guaranteed by our Constitutional First Amendment. Other countries do not have the same degree of freedom of speech. Take for instance Denmark where the newspaper Jyllands-Posten was in real danger of being prosecuted for blasphemy. Now the Crown’s Prosecutor has decided not to prosecute. Go to Agora for all the latest information from Europe on the Cartoon Jihad.

I wonder if the liberals in America, who so admire Europe, actually comprehend the significance of blasphemy laws as they pertain to free speech. Maybe it is OK with them because not offending someone is more important than having the right to say what you want to say. Oh, that’s right; we call that political correctness. We’ve had that here for a long time. Just go on any university campus and see for yourself.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Welcome Mat for Illegal Aliens is Rolling Up

Los Angeles Times Columnist Al Martinez wrote for last Friday’s column, Bravo, Cardinal. And about that pope of Hollywood tag ..., an impassioned piece regarding the Hispanic migration to the U.S. I knew immediately that I needed to write a blog in response. Unfortunately the hour was late, and I was way too tired to tackle the task. So, I dashed off an e-mail to Al informing him of my intention. He replied that I should “fire when ready.” I’m now ready. Lock and Load.

Al says that there is bigotry in the migrant issue. He wrote that there

…has been a slowly building antipathy in the U.S. toward any brown-skinned guy who stands on a corner looking for work or any brown-skinned woman who needs medical assistance or any brown-skinned kid who needs food. Cops were being urged to check them for green cards, and groups within organizations like the Sierra Club began urging limitations to any kind of immigration. And, …none of this is aimed at Brits, Swedes or Canadians.

A point of correction: the Sierra Club’s proposal for “limitations to any kind of immigration” would by definition included Brits, Swedes and Canadians.

For most Americans, the immigration/illegal immigration debate is centered upon concern over employment, taxes, crime, education, health care and welfare entitlement, terrorism and yes, compassion. For a minority, add the malignancy of racism, hate and xenophobia.

Al says that there is no antipathy toward “Brits, Swedes or Canadians.” For shorthand purposes you can read “white” people. His piece specifically mentions Latinos and Mexicans, so apparently he is not considering other non-whites, like Middle Eastern people. To be fair to Al, you can’t address everything in one newspaper column. There are limits to the number of column words allowed.

Let’s be clear on this bigotry issue, because it is not confined to white-skin people. There is a minority of brown-skin people who utter the same vile rhetoric that comes out of the mouths of white supremacists. They are neo-Mexican nationalists who demand California and the Southwest to be theirs and destined to again be a part of Mexico. Hate is an equal opportunity employer, and it does not apply to the vast majority of either white or brown skin people.

There is open racial discord between blacks and Hispanics and much of it has to do with competition for jobs that were traditionally the province of blacks and whites. Call it racism if you like. In the Los Angeles schools and California prisons the tension is expressed in riots.

As examples of targets for antipathy, Al cites: guys standing on corners looking for work; women in need of medical assistance; and hungry children. Al has a point there, at least in regards as to who appears to have the greatest per capita demand in these areas. I never see white guys standing on the corner, or black or yellow for that matter. On the medical issue, there is a clogging of the system and frankly marginalized Latinos are playing a significant role. Resources are limited and thus the debate is really one of national need and to whom this society wishes to bequeath the benefits of this country.

Al’s words:
Since the dawn of their awareness, families have braved oceans, mountains and deserts seeking food sources, water supplies, fertile land or better weather in an effort to simply exist. Then political boundaries slammed down like iron gates on the freedom to move, and the terms "illegal alien" and "undocumented worker" entered our vocabulary to isolate the victims of a new territorial imperative.

The concept of safety in numbers is axiomatic. That’s why humans band together in groups of self-interest. On a macro level we call that a nation or country. The boundaries of the country represent the extent that the self-interest group has the power to enforce its “territorial imperative.” Ascribing to the concept that people are world citizens, the family as part of a “global village,” who should be unencumbered by national borders and regulations is a mistaken understanding of the nature of humans. That’s why the U.N. is an utter failure.

You certainly can not blame people living in less desirable countries for wanting to come to the U.S. in hopes of bettering their lives. There is no doubt that immigration is healthy for a nation providing the immigrants fulfill a need and do not adversely affect the overall health of the host country.

Crisis is inevitable when a country gets itself into a position of overburdened social systems and an inability to provide adequate employment. That’s a root problem leading to the recent French riots.

Americans are beginning to fear that we have reached our societal carrying capacity and that illegal immigration is fueling a burgeoning underclass and massive entitlement growth. We do need foreign workers to do the jobs that citizens are not willing to do for one reason or the other. Still there is no denying immigrants, much of them illegal, are taking jobs that some citizens want to hold. When was the last time that you saw a non-Hispanic work in a car wash, bus tables, do day labor, landscaping or gardening, or work in a fast food restaurant? In Southern California that would be infrequently. And, they are making serious inroads into the trades.

A society that governs itself by the will of the people creates laws to define that will. The term “illegal,” as in illegal alien, is a description of others in our presence in violation of our self-interest group’s desire, as codified in immigration laws. Contrary to what Al wrote, “illegal” does not fly “…in the face of human history and human tendencies.” When laws no longer meet the need of the people, they are properly amended or rescinded. The American people are to blame for allowing its government to not enforce the immigration laws. We have passively sanctioned the flaunting of those laws by illegal migrants, and we have been party to business reaping the benefit of cheap labor. The current demand that government fulfills the will of the people and enforces immigration laws is not a form of bigotry. We should welcome productive migrants to our soil, but insist that they be legal. We must institute a guest worker visa program that does not automatically make the person eligible for permanent residence or citizenship. If the guest worker wishes to become a citizen he should stand in line like all other legal migrants. And, we should prioritize citizenship to those who have skills that we need and give preference to those who come from countries with our core values.

I understand Al’s pain for the people who are escaping countries with corrupt governments and bleak economic prospects. They do so with the sole purpose of improving their lives. But, flaunting the rules of the host nation is disrespectful. I suspect that Americans, who are the most generous people on earth, are beginning to feel used and abused. It’s getting more difficult to keep the welcome mat at the border.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Rattlesnake will Bite a Pacifist

People show courage in many ways: Some on the battlefield; and some on the peace field. Tom Fox was one of those on the peace field, and he died a tough death for his convictions. Fox was a member of the activist peace group Christian Peacemaker Teams. He was apparently a pacifist since he was known to worship at a Quaker meeting house. Fox was a pro-Palestinian activist and active in Iraq as well. He was kidnapped in Iraq, tortured and killed. His body was recovered Thursday.

There are two lessons to be learned. First, just because you are a pacifist does not mean that you are on the right side of the equation. If Fox was truly a pacifist working for peace by attempting to solve problems, he would not have been pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli. But, he wasn’t. He chose the side of terrorists with an avowed agenda of wiping the nation of Israel off the map.

The second lesson is that a pacifist working for the interests of Islamofascists does not get a get-out-of-jail-free card. Not only was Fox murdered by those he strove to assist, he was tortured. Pacifism may well have its place, but it won’t work with a rattlesnake. You are going to get bit.
I’d honor Fox for his courage, but his courage was foolhardy. Perhaps he wanted to be a martyr. But then again, if you want to be a martyr, it is not really martyrdom, it is suicide.

Hat Tip Little Green Footballs

Iraq is for the American People to Lose

The naysayers prophesizing that the Iraq war is another Vietnam War casually throw out the term “quagmire” as a description and explanation. Just what quagmire is it that they are referencing? A quagmire is a bogging down, a lack of progress. The American military suffered grievous losses in Vietnam, but it is dishonest to suggest that they were not making significant progress in prosecuting the war. They were not bogged down. The quagmire that caused the American withdrawal from Vietnam was a political loss of heart by the American people. The military withdrawal from Vietnam represented a disgraceful lack of American principle and a failure to understand that it is the U.S. that must shoulder the yeoman’s job of advancing the principles of freedom and peaceful coexistence. When we don’t do it, no one else will. And, we may be in today’s difficult times in part due to our failure to take affirmative actions. Victor Davis Hanson wrote:

One could just as easily make the argument that it was the absence of such principled American advocacy — and instead the prevailing realpolitik of the last 50 years — that helped bring us to the crisis of 9/11.

Relative to the Vietnam War, the American public was bamboozled by the rhetoric of Communists, leftists and pacifists. For some reason, the generation that showed such intestinal fortitude during WWII failed to raise a generation of children with the patriotism that was demonstrated in Europe and Asia. The WWII generation and much of its progeny failed to stand up to the rabble calling for the eventual disgraceful behavior of withdrawal.

Despite the polls and their allegations that the American public is opposed to the Iraq war, we have yet to reach the spineless example of the Vietnam era. Again from Hanson:

We have not yet experienced a sizable antiwar movement coalescing around Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore. Donald Rumsfeld has not done a Robert McNamara sweaty-brow resignation.

Will we repeat the errors of the Vietnam era or will we find the fortitude to make the necessary sacrifices? Hanson concludes his piece:

So here we are — close to victory abroad, closer to concession at home.
Iraq is for the American people to lose. Will we again abandon a people who are just beginning to hope for true freedom? If we do, the American people have lost the essence of being American, and we will not deserve to consider ourselves as honorable. We will no longer be able to hold our heads up high with moral authority. We will have become a shallow shadow of our once great heritage. We will be undeserving of the freedoms for which so many fought, bled and died. Great nations rise and fall, and freedom lies within the heart of the people. Is it time for us to start writing the epitaph of our own great nation?

Your Egalitarian Views are Crumbling

There are good reasons why the native populous of Europe and other countries are struggling with the societal upheaval occasioned upon them by their Muslim imports. How each country responds is instructive to the values of the society. Reality is putting pressure on those values.

France had difficulty in summoning courage to put down the recent riots. But, they have no problem banning an Islamic head covering in schools. Their cowardice made them ban the display of all articles of faith when the real target is Muslims. And, free speech took a hit when they fired the publisher of the Jihad cartoons.

Denmark is considering banning the wearing of the burka in public.

Australia seems to feel that if Muslims want to practice Sharia Law, they can leave Australia.

In 2003, Canada was preparing to allow Sharia Law to be administered to Canadian Muslims. In 2005, the Sharia law move was quashed in Canada.

Jed Babbin wrote in the American Spectator about England giving up their freedom of speech as new laws react to the threat of Islamic terror. Hat Tip The Barnyard.

And, in the U.S. there was the battle over the now passed Patriot Act.

It is only the beginning of changes to come as the world struggles to come to grips with the reality that Islam has declared war on all non-Muslims. Societies are struggling to maintain their egalitarian views, but those ideals have already begun to crumble in the face of reality.

Update: See the Agora piece on EU Ministers “Considering” Arab Demands.

Correction: A reader pointed out that it is the Netherlands, not Denmark, that is considering the banning of the burqa. That is correct. See an additional article here.

Correction: Please note in the last paragraph the sentence "...reality that Islam has declared war on all non-Muslims." should read Islamofascists and not Islam.

Ethics and the Blogosphere

The decline in mainstream media subscription and viewer-ship is compensated by a tremendous growth of the Blogosphere. I wrote in my blog, The Fate of Newspapers, that serious bloggers need the big news agencies because the blogger does not have the resources to travel. Wouldn’t you know it but Al Jazeera and the tourism board for the Netherlands has solved that problem by sponsoring all-expense paid trips to bloggers to cover their events. The first question I want to ask is: Where do I sign up? Unfortunately there is a fly in the ointment, it is called ethics.

The mainstream media has well established policies designed to insulate their employees from the ethical dilemma of accepting gratuities and compensation. The MSM has the financial resources to pay the costs of travel. Bloggers don’t have the luxury of an employer paying the expenses and are faced with paying out-of-pocket or not traveling. The fact that Al Jazeera and the Netherlands are willing to pick up the expenses acknowledges the growing significance the bloggers play in the new international mechanism of media influence.

Alvin Snyder wrote an excellent piece entitled The Ethical Dilemma of Blogging for The USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

Daniel Glover wrote a good piece, A Luxurious Junket For Bloggers, in Beltway Blogroll

Blogging is here to stay, and its influence is inestimable. The blogging world must adhere to at least a policy of full disclosure to its readers. And, all bloggers must be willing to call into account fellow bloggers who fail to disclose. To increase reader confidence, bloggers who accept the paid trips must strive to produce balanced pieces. We have nothing to lose but the confidence and trust of our readers. If we lose that, why bother to blog?

Hat Tip Michelle Malkin.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang

Depending upon where you live in the U.S., many people have heard of the big major outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMG): Hells’ Angels, Bandidos, Outlaws, and Pagans. In S. Ca the predominant OMG’s are the Hells’ Angels and the Mongols. I’ve previously blogged on the Mongols. Read it here. I wrote on the HA here.

Lesser known are the Vagos, a particularly ratty group of individuals periodically at odds or in cahoots with the HA’s and Mongols. The Vagos are found in CA, Oregon, Colorado and Hawaii. Like the rest of their OMG brethren, the Vagos members engage in all manner of crimes.

The ATF just concluded a 2 or 3 year investigation which culminated in a massive roundup with search warrants and arrests. Read about it here.

No Outrage from the Religions of Peace

There is a recitation circulating the internet about Muslim atrocities and the lack of Muslim outrage. I’ve noticed that there is also a lack of Christian outrage about the Christian atrocities committed against Muslims recently in Africa. Of course, that might be because the Christians are retaliating against the Muslims for their atrocities.

Here’s the recitation. The author is unknown.

I can't help but recall, how Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali was jailed during the Vietnam War, because he refused to fight, stating that his Muslim beliefs strictly prohibited violence.

Muslims fly commercial airliners into buildings in New York City. No Muslim outrage.

Muslim officials block the exit where school girls are trying to escape a burning building, because their faces were exposed. No Muslim outrage.

Muslims cut off the heads of three teenaged girls on their way to school in Indonesia. A Christian school. No Muslim outrage.

Muslims murder teachers trying to teach Muslim children in Iraq. No Muslim outrage.

Muslims murder over 80 tourists with car bombs outside cafes and hotels in Egypt. No Muslim outrage.

A Muslim attacks a missionary children's school in India. Kills six. No Muslim outrage.

Muslims slaughter hundreds of children and teachers in Beslan, Russia. Muslims shoot children in the back. No Muslim outrage.

Let's go way back. Muslims kidnap and kill athletes at the Munich Summer Olympics. No Muslim outrage.

Muslims fire rocket-propelled grenades into schools full of children in Israel. No Muslim outrage.

Muslims murder more than 50 commuters in attacks on London subways and busses. Over 700 are injured. No Muslim outrage.

Muslims massacre dozens of innocents at a Passover Seder. No Muslim outrage.

Muslims murder innocent vacationers in Bali. No Muslim outrage.

Muslim newspapers publish anti-Semitic cartoons. No Muslim outrage.

Muslims are involved, on one side or the other, in almost every one of the 125+ shooting wars around the world. No Muslim outrage.

Muslims beat the charred bodies of Western civilians with their shoes, then hang them from a bridge. No Muslim outrage.

Newspapers in Denmark and Norway publish cartoons depicting Mohammed. Muslims are outraged.

Dead children. Dead tourists. Dead teachers. Dead doctors and nurses. Death, destruction and mayhem around the world at the hands of Muslims. No Muslim outrage, but publish a cartoon depicting Mohammed with a bomb in his turban and all hell breaks loose.
What's wrong with this picture???
I know that the majority of Muslims are not Islamofascists. Experts estimate that Islamofascists only account for 1-2% of all Muslims. So, here’s what’s bothering me. If it’s Islamofascists who are causing all of the above listed problems and the remainder of the Muslims doesn’t agree with what’s being done by their fellow religionists, why is there no consistent and strong condemnation from the majority? When the condemnation does occur, it is weak and directed against terrorism in general and not specifically at Muslim terror.

Is there something in the Koran that forbids a Muslim to judge another Muslim’s actions as wrong? No, I suspect not. In fact, if you are from the wrong Muslim sect, you are in mortal danger.

In addition, there seems to be an element of denial, especially as it pertains to the 911 airplanes. There is something else amiss here. Help me out, and tell what it is.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Agora—Good Blog from Denmark

Agora left a trackback on one of my articles, which led me to this good blog site. Take a look at it. I added it to my link list, or go to it here.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Night-Famous but Not Important

The actors, actresses and all the “important” people in the movie industry will be strutting their stuff this evening. After all is said and done, one thing will stand out: There is a big difference between being a famous person and an important person.

Mississippi Squirrel Revival

A wayward squirrel brings religion to the deep south, courtesy of Ray Stevens.

A New Breast Cancer Walk Season Begins

Breast cancer is a major killer for women. Men are susceptible to breast cancer as well, and the mortality rate is higher for men because it is often more advanced when discovered.

Both the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the cosmetic company Avon sponsor walks to raise funds for outreach to under-medically served women and research. In each walk, participant walkers raise a significant amount of money for the opportunity to join with like-minded people in completing an often strenuous two or three day event. Intervening nights between the day walks are spent in camps along the route. Assisting the walkers is a large contingent of volunteer crew.

The breast cancer walks differ from the standard charity in that the participants are exposed to what is often a life-changing experience. The events are so enriching that they bring people back year after year.

Avon begins the 2006 season with these 2 day events. Go here for a link to Avon.

Washington, DC April 29-30, 2006
Boston May 20-21, 2006
Chicago June 3-4, 2006
Denver June 24-25, 2006
San Francisco July 8-9, 2006
Los Angeles September 16-17, 2006
New York October 7-8, 2006
Charlotte October 21-22, 2006

Komen follows suit with these 3 day events. Go here for a link to Komen.

Boston August 4-6
Michigan August 11-13
Twin Cities August 18-20
Seattle August 25-27
Chicago September 8-10
Kansas City September 15-17
Philadelphia October 6-8
Tampa Bay October 13-15
Atlanta October 20-22
Dallas/Ft. Worth October 27-29
Arizona November 3-5
San Diego November 10-12

Each of the events has plenty of help and guidance in planning, training and completing the walk. Do yourself a favor and consider joining one or more of these adventures. Make friends that will last a lifetime. Sign-up now and start your training, or join the crew while you still can. Crew spots fill quickly and you will want to have an opportunity to choose your favorite type of job. Don’t wait, or you may be disappointed!

Ayman Al-Zawahri is Clearly Warning Us

Al-Qaida’s number two man, Ayman Al-Zawahri, is putting us on notice. He is correct in his most recent video release when he accuses the West of being hypocritical concerning the editorial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

They did it on purpose and they continue to do it without apologizing, even though no one dares to harm Jews or to challenge Jewish claims about the Holocaust nor even to insult homosexuals.

That is, he is correct about Europe. For the most part, in the U.S. the mainstream news media have been too timid to publish the cartoons. But, the U.S. has certainly not been too timid to publish about the infamous “Piss Christ” where-in a crucifix is depicted in a glass of urine.

As to the Holocaust, Al-Zawahri is again correct. Consider the fate of David Irving who was just convicted in an Austrian court for denying the Holocaust 16 years ago. See my post on freedom of speech here.

Al-Zawahri is again right about the loss of sacredness, but he goes a little off-beam when he mentions “freedom of opinion”:

The insults against Prophet Muhammad are not the result of freedom of opinion but because what is sacred has changed in this culture,… The Prophet Mohammed, prayers be upon him, and Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, are not sacred anymore, while Semites and the Holocaust and homosexuality have become sacred.

Al-Zawahri is telling us is that in accordance with fundamental Islamic philosophy, everything, including freedom of opinion, is subservient to Islam. That’s why Islamofascism is dangerous to freedom. We’ve been again adequately warned by none other than the second in command of Al-Qaida.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mental Stability and Religion—A Deadly Concoction

Mentally unstable people occasionally strike out in violence, as was the case in the U.S. Postal facility shooting recently in Goleta, CA. Who knows what myriad of demons drive people to such desperation that they commit homicide? Fortunately, such incidents are relatively rare. Often the demons are unique and personal and the choice of victims is indicative of some particular stressor in the life of the killer.

Yesterday, a would be killer, Iranian Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, attempted to murder a number of people at the University of Carolina, Chapel Hill, by driving an SUV into them. This time the motivation was apparently cultural and perhaps religious:

The driver of an SUV that plowed into a group of pedestrians at UNC-Chapel Hill on Friday told police it was retribution for the treatment of Muslims around the world,…

The question that comes to mind immediately is whether or not this would-be killer can be considered mentally unstable like the killer at the Goleta Postal facility.

In addition to a political motivation, authorities likely will be looking at a psychological analysis.

On July 4, 2002, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, an Egyuptian national entered the El Al terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. He opened fire killing two and wounding four before being killed by El Al security officers. The subsequent investigation determined:
They characterized the shooting as an act of terrorism because Hadayet espoused anti-Israeli views and was opposed to U.S. policy in the Middle East,…
Investigators had concluded that he was driven by a number of other factors that day: his limousine business in California was failing, his marriage was suffering, and after his wife and children left for Egypt, he was alone and depressed on his birthday -- the day of the attack.

Based upon the choice of a target, it is safe to assume that Hadayet’s anti-Israeli sentiments played a significant part in the crime. How much of his motivation came from religion? The articles don’t say.

A strong motivating factor in the homicide/suicide bombings in the Middle East is the Islamofascist jihad promise of an eternity in heaven with 72 virgins. Given that there are tremendous sexual and cultural stressors resulting in self hate in much of the Islamic world, we begin to realize that religion can play a significant role in the killer’s motivation. Therefore, the murder of innocents might well be a logical, sane decision from the Jihadist perspective.

From a Western perspective, we judge the homicide/suicide killers to be “crazy.” Whatever motivational factors come in to play, it is safe to say that jihadist religious justification, cultural factors, and the Western definition of mental stability can combine to make a deadly concoction.

Hat Tip to Michelle Malkin.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Fate of Newspapers

If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that I am no fan of the Los Angeles Times. But, that’s not for any lack of trying. I probably took the LA Times for 30 years. Finally, I’d had it with the biased reporting. Please note that I said reporting, not editorials, columnists, or contributor commentary. I had long since quit reading the editorial section because there was such a lack of balance. My subscription to the paper was cancelled as a protest. The chap taking the cancellation asked me if it was because the paper was too conservative. The LA Times conservative? That was a good laugh. The guy must have been a real left winger, or there was someone with no clue who wrote his script.

That does not mean that I stopped reading on-line my favorite columnist; that would be left-of-center teddy bear Al Martinez. Perhaps a former Marine might object to the characterization as a teddy bear. I don’t think Al will, and I suspect that his wife will confirm my depiction.

So, I am dissatisfied with my local big newspaper, and I have reached out to other avenues for information. I know that many of you have done the same. It is no secret that newspapers are losing market share. Especially, the big liberal newspapers.
In Al’s column today entitled, “To be in the presence of a giant”, he stated:

…newspapering is once more in a crisis mode. I'm not sure what the future holds…

I go on record stating that I do not wish for newspapers to fade from the scene. Newspapers have always played an important part in educating the public, and they should continue to do so. Newspapers have the opportunity to deliver an in-depth examination that is not available in sound byte driver, vacuous television news coverage. Unfortunately, the television people understand the intellectual depth and attention span of the average American, and they provide the public with what it wants.

It is the mainstream media which has the resources to send correspondents to breaking stories. As a serious blogger, I am indebted to those who furnish the initial news reports from all over the world. It is from these sources that bloggers are able to provide analysis and commentary. Without the professional news services there would be a huge informational vacuum.

My wish is that the mainstream media, newspapers in particular, will shake off the predominant liberal-leftist agenda that has seeped into news reporting and leave that stuff in the editorial section and to the columnists where it belongs. I want unbiased reporting and commentary balance. Do that and I will buy their newspaper. Yes, I know that they are getting revenue because I read on-line. But whatever they do, I will continue to read Al Martinez, even though he and I have different persuasions. Here’s to you Al; may your newspaper continue to be profitable and employ you. They can dump some of those other guys.

Update: See the article by Eric Newton, Why you need journalists and they need you.

The Obsolescence of War

My friend, I’ll call her Susan, sent me a poem that she wrote in 1975 entitled “The Obsolescence of War.” I wrote back that not much had changed in 31 years. She replied:

Yes, it's true. Nothing much has changed in terms of man's solutions to solving conflicts. Maybe my perspective is a little different because I was born in an assembly center (Tanforan) prior to my family being relocated and interned during World War II at Topaz, Utah. I'm a third generation American of Japanese decent. I know what can happen.

Given Susan and her family’s experience with internment during World War II, it is understandable why Susan is particularly worried about war. As well as we all should be. Go here for a Power Point presentation on the Tanforan assembly area in San Bruno, CA, for Japanese internees. Go here for a San Francisco Museum site on the Internment of San Francisco Japanese.

I differ from Susan in that I acknowledge that war is not obsolete. It will never be obsolete as long as there are peoples who wish to enslave others. Here is Susan’s poem:

The Obsolescence of War

We have the atomic bomb!
We have the power to wipe out the world….
But no, what an uncivilized way to conduct
A war is a must
To fight for peace
To show for power
To get our own way…but…

We have the atomic bomb!
We have the power to wipe out the world….
But no, what an uncivilized way to conduct
A war is good for the economy
It fills our hospitals.
It provides jobs to build weapons
It gives reason for having armed forces…but…

We have the atomic bomb!
We have the power to wipe out the world….
But no, what an uncivilized way to conduct
A war must have rules - a game of strategy
Only field artillery can be used
Only bombs of a certain magnitude can be dropped
Only rules of fair play can be used on both sides…but…

We have the atomic bomb!
We have the power to wipe out the world….
But no, what an uncivilized way to conduct
A war will make historic firsts
Modern technology will enable us to bring out the injured
Record numbers of injured will have a chance to survive
The death ratio will be the lowest of all wars…but…

We have the atomic bomb!
We have the power to wipe out the world….
But no, what an uncivilized way to conduct
A war must be fought to the end
In a decade of two the weak will surrender
What was the reason we were fighting this war?
My grandfather once told me but I’ve since forgotten
They still won’t give in
There is only a small section of land untouched by war

We have the atomic bomb!We have the power to wipe out the world!