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.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Illegal Aliens Out Of My City

If you want to live or work in my city, all you have to do is be a U.S. citizen or in the U.S. with a legal immigration status. That’s the message that I want to send to my city council. I am getting fed-up with the crime and the clogging-up of public services on account of illegal aliens. Citizens in other cities are fed-up as well, and they are beginning to do something about it. They are no longer sitting on their hands and wailing that the federal government is not doing its job of securing the borders.

In Hazleton, PA:

The day after illegal immigrants were declared officially unwelcome in this struggling little city, Wyoming Street fell quiet.

It had been a lively downtown strip of bodegas, hair salons and clothing stores patronized by the Hispanics who have poured into town seeking work over the last five years. It was also, some say, a hub of drug-dealing, prostitution and graffiti. Over the summer, when Hazleton officials created the nation's first ordinance aimed at driving away undocumented residents, thousands of people apparently packed up and left. Much of the crime vanished on Wyoming Street, but so did the customers.
On Wednesday, Hazleton plans to begin enforcing measures that punish landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and businesses that employ them.

In July, the Hazleton City Council passed the ordinance and even though it has not yet gone into effect:

Families moved out in the middle of the night in what city officials say was a rapid exodus of as many as 5,000 people.

From the sounds of things, the legal residents of Hazleton are pretty happy with the turn of events. One of the detractors said:

"There are a lot of legal residents and U.S. citizens who have left because they didn't feel welcome here anymore," said Anna Arias, who has led a campaign against the ordinance. "People feel it is OK to hate."

I suspect that the legal residents and U.S. citizens leaving allegation is a bunch of bunk, unless they left with family that are illegal aliens.

Anna Arias can call it “hate” if she likes, but it is not. That is a typical charge by those who support illegal aliens staying in this country illegally.

In my city, I know of an illegal alien, who works for a gardener and as a bus boy in a local restaurant. He is married to an illegal alien who has 5 or 6 children by several different fathers. Each of the children was born at the county hospital on the public dole. The gardener-bus boy is a nice guy, but I’d rather that he and his family, and all of his ilk, go back to Mexico, or wherever they came from, and I’ll happily pay a little more for my yard work and meals.

It’s nothing personal, but it is time for the illegal aliens to pack up and leave.

Previous Post: Goodby & Good Luck

Is Forewarned Really Forearmed?

Forewarned is forearmed: From, “Those who know that something is coming are better prepared to face it than those who do not know.”

The warning signs abound folks, wake up and pay attention. If you don’t read the signs, you are not forewarned. Much of the mainstream media is withholding the truth by not presenting it to you. That is because it clashes with their agenda of making money and hating Pres. George W. Bush.

You have the opportunity to educate yourself. All you have to do is make the effort.
Here’s a good start, read noted historian Victor Davis Hanson’s “The Dark Ages -- Live From the Middle East!

“Make Peace Not War” Is A Stupid Phrase

Considering the nature of man, as evidenced by history, the phrase of “Make Peace Not War” is an absurd comment confirming the advocate’s lack of intellectual understanding. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in favor of “peace” right along with the rest of peace loving mankind. I’m just not naïve enough to think that desire and good works by individuals and a select few countries has any hope of obtaining a long term peace.

As historians have documented, the history of mankind is a lineage of war and conquest punctuated with periods of rest until the next outbreak of conflict. Smart people wisely use the periods of rest to prepare for their upcoming attack on others or defending against an attack on them.

From Max Booth’s column “Are we the Mongols of the Information Age?”:

GREAT POWERS cease to be great for many reasons. In addition to the causes frequently debated — economics, culture, disease, geography — there is an overarching trend. Over the last 500 years, the fate of nations has been increasingly tied to their success, or lack thereof, in harnessing revolutions in military affairs.

These are periods of momentous change when new technologies combine with enw doctrines and new forms of organization to transform not only the face of battle but also the nature of the state and of the international system. Because we are in the middle of the fourth major revolution since 1500 — the Information Revolution — it is important to grasp the nature and consequences of these upheavals.

But if history teaches any lesson, it is that no military lead is ever safe. Challengers will always find a way to copy or buy the best weapons systems or develop tactics that will offset their effect. Our most formidable enemies, Al Qaeda and its ilk, have done both. They are using relatively simple information technology — the Internet, satellite television, cellphones — to organize a global insurgency. By using such weapons as hijacked airliners and bombs detonated by garage-door openers, they are finding cracks in our defenses.

The most threatening weapon of all harks back to an earlier military revolution. Nuclear bombs haven't been used since 1945, but given their proliferation around the world, it will only be a matter of time. Our scientific sophistication gives us a reasonable chance of shooting down a nuclear-tipped missile, but a nuclear suitcase smuggled into the U.S. would be much harder to detect.

It may sound melodramatic, but the future of U.S. power rests on our ability to remake a government still structured for Industrial Age warfare to do battle with decentralized adversaries in the Information Age. After all, aren't we the mightiest, richest nation in history? How could our hegemony possibly be endangered? That's what previous superpowers thought too. But their dominance lasted only until they missed a revolutionary turn in military technology and tactics.

No matter how much you may wish for it, peace will never occur because you want it. That’s because peace is determined upon someone else deciding not to attack you. And, you have very little ability to influence that decision unless you so terrify them that they are afraid to attack you. To survive you must carry a big stick and not be afraid to use it when threatened. That goes for the individual negotiating the mean streets and for nations as well.

Each time I see a bumper sticker or see a placard advocating “Make Peace Not War” I know that I’ve once again seen the words of a defeatist; someone well meaning perhaps, but not someone who is sheepdog material. In case you did not know, sheepdogs are the protectors of the people.

Previous Posts:
Sheepdog Blood Leaves Queasy Stomachs
Thank You Sheep Dogs for our 230th. Birthday—Fourth of July 2006
Are Sheepdogs Born Or Raised?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Political & Financial Freedom Must Be Earned

Eastern Europe was handed political freedom and the opportunity for financial freedom with their freeing from the Soviet tyranny that suppressed them since the end of World War II. The operative word here is “handed” not earned. A report now states that Eastern Europe is economically struggling, and that there are strong forces to dismantle economic reforms and to reinstitute old levels of welfare benefits. Gone is the dream of instant riches anticipated with the joining of the European Union. The result is political disarray.

Ever since World War II and the U.S. reconstruction of Germany and Japan, the American people may be suffering from a delusion that all people want or can handle the American style of freedom that we enjoy. Eastern Europe and the old Soviet empire may be proving the point. These people don’t appear to be psychologically prepared to stand on their own two feet. They seem wedded to the welfare state.

This is a good lesson for the U.S. as it goes about attempting to spread the American style of capitalist led democracy around the world. Even with a superior system, it is difficult to supplant old ways of thinking and strong tribal traditions. World peace may not be obtainable in the short run by force feeding new systems of government and economics. Japan may have been an aberration, or maybe it was simply a fact that we utterly defeated them in war first.

Free Speech Sudanese Style & The Impotent U.N.

If you are in the Sudan, be sure to be careful of what you say, especially if it what you say is not flattering to the government. The U.N. representative to the Sudan, Jan Pronk, forgot that little issue and reported in his blog that the Sudanese military has suffered some losses

First, the SAF has lost two major battles, last month in Umm Sidir and this week in Karakaya. The losses seem to have been very high. Reports speak about hundreds of casualties in each of the two battles with many wounded and many taken as prisoner. The morale in the Government army in North Darfur has gone down. Some generals have been sacked; soldiers have refused to fight. The Government has responded by directing more troops and equipment from lsewhere to the region and by mobilizing Arab militia. This is a dangerous evelopment. Security Council Resolutions which forbid armed mobilization are being violated. The use of militia with ties with the Janjaweed recalls the events in 2003 and 2004. During that period of the conflict systematic militia attacks, supported or at least allowed by the SAF, led to atrocious crimes. Moreover, a confrontation with Chad is not impossible. It seems that SAF is receiving support from Chadian rebels on Sudanese soil, while the NRF/JEM/G19 coalition is supported by Chadian authorities.

As a result, the Sudanese government ordered Pronk to leave the country.

The Sudanese government Sunday ordered the chief U.N. envoy out of the country after he wrote that Sudan's army had suffered major losses in recent fighting in Darfur.
In a statement distributed by the official Sudan News Agency, the country's Foreign Ministry accused Pronk of demonstrating "enmity to the Sudanese government and the armed forces" and of involvement in unspecified activities "that are incompatible with his mission."
I think that Pronk forgot that he is a U.N. envoy and not a journalist. Keeping with his employment, his assessment should have been contained in a confidential memo to U.N. authorities and not posted on the Internet. On the other hand, Pronk undoubtedly knows that the U.N. is an impotent, corrupt organization to say nothing of being a toothless tiger when it comes to peacekeeping duties. Perhaps Pronk knew well what he was doing by telling the world what is happening in the Sudan and deliberately setting the stage for getting evicted out of the country.

Previous Postings:
Throw the U.N. Bums Out
Free Speech In Denmark? Not By U.S. Standards
Free Speech, Enemy of China and Democrats

Free Speech in Europe? Not a Chance
Free Speech and Blasphemy European Style
Freedom of Speech, Don’t Take It for Granted

Monday, October 23, 2006

Speak No Ill Of Our Snipers

A friend of mine, who is boots on the ground in Iraq, sent me a poem written by Michael Marks. My friend is in a sensitive area in Iraq, and therefore he can’t reveal too much. So when he sent this poem without any comments, I knew that the poem represents truth as it exists in Iraq at this time.

Marks is said to be, or to have been, a U.S. Marine, but I have not confirmed the fact. The poem has been circulating around the internet usually with the title of “Monsters and the Weak.” Actually monsters and the weak are the last four words of the poem which is titled, “Reporting from the Front.” Marks’ poem was published at the International War Veterans’ Poetry Archive on January 25, 2006.

The poem is copyrighted so I will quote it sparingly. Go to this link for the poem in its entirety.

He never turned his head or took his eye from off the scope,
but pointed through the broken wall and down the rocky slope.
"About eight hundred yards," he said, his whispered words concise,
"beneath the baggy jacket he is wearing a device."

A thunderclap, a tongue of flame, the still abruptly shattered;
while citizens that walked the street were just as quickly scattered.
Till only one remained, a body crumpled on the ground,
The threat to oh so many ended by a single round.

"As bad as all this is though, it could be a whole lot worse,
"He swallowed hard; the words came from his mouth just like a curse.
"Today the fight's on foreign land, on streets that aren't my own,"
"I'm here today 'cause if I fail, the next fight's back at home."

"And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
that we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak."

Go to this link for a history of the sniper.

Update: Go to Michelle Malkin’s posting: Support American Snipers.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I Love A Happy Ending

Muhsin Musa Matwali Atwah (say that fives times quickly) was a terrorist on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. I say was because he is no more. The Pakistani government cancelled his ticket. Or rather, I should say they punched his ticket for a one-way trip to Allah and the vaunted 72 virgins.

The FBI removed an al-Qaida explosives expert linked to the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa from the most wanted terrorists list Friday after learning he was killed six months ago.

Muhsin Musa Matwali Atwah was killed in an April 12 gunfight with Pakistani
An April 13,2006 news item,

…Egyptian-born Muhsin Musa Matwali Atwah was among the seven Islamic militants killed in the attack late Wednesday in the restive North Waziristan region.
It’s clichéd, but oh so true; the only good Islamo-fascist is a dead Islamo-fascist. Don’t be so shocked. That’s what they will do to us if they get the chance.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lynne Stewart Terrorist At The Bar

What do you think of an American attorney that actively seeks to assist her terrorist client to further his aspirations of spreading Islamo-fascist terror?

Lynne Stewart, a New York attorney, is convicted of helping Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, AKA the blind Sheikh, communicate with other terrorists. You might remember that Abdel-Rahman is in a U.S. prison for his part in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

From an article on Stewart:

Lynne Stewart, 67, was convicted in February 2005 of helping her imprisoned client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, to contact the Islamic Group, which is listed by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization.
A little history on the Blind Sheikh:

Rahman is the leader of al-Gama’a al-ISLAMIYYA (also known as The Islamic Group), a militant Islamist movement in Egypt that is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Egyptian governments. The group is responsible for many acts of violence, including the November 1997 Luxor massacre, in which 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians were killed.

Rahman is also implicated in the assassinations of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Jewish Defense League leader Meir Kahane.

More from the article on Stewart:

Prosecutors said messages Stewart passed on for Abdel-Rahman could have ignited violence in Egypt. The sheikh was convicted in 1995 of conspiring to attack U.S. targets in a plot prosecutors said included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

What is amazing is that in New York, the same New York that suffered massive casualties in the two World Trade Center attacks in 1993 & 2001, there are people who actually support Stewart.

Her supporters rallied outside the courthouse chanting and carrying banners.

What were they chanting? Death to America?

Monday, October 16, 2006

We Are The Nation Of Hezbollah

Did you know that the terrorist group Hezbollah was a nation? NO? Well, its not! But, someone forgot to tell some Islamists that little fact. And, you know what? It doesn’t matter because the Islamists are intent on dying for Allah and doing their best to take as many Americans with them as possible.

A YouTube video making the rounds is entitled, “Hezbollah Coming Soon to Your Home Town.” There are three segments to the video:

Segment One-shows a male adult leading a group of boys, about 5 or 6 years old, in a chant.

We are the nation of HezbollahOh Abu Abdallah (prophet Mohammed)
I shall sacrifice my life for Allah
Nothing like starting the kids young to get them to believe the Islamic claptrap.

Segment Two-depicts the family of Ahmed Assil, allegedly the first modern day suicide bomber. Apparently the father of Ahmed is speaking.

I am proud, I am ready to sacrifice all the others in the same way
What else is there for a man but to sacrifice his son for religion?
Nice of papa to be so glib about all of it. Of course, it is not he who died.

Segment Three shows an anti-American orator exhorting the masses and leading the chant “Death to America.”

We will not bow to the great Satan

The arrogant power hungry tyrant

That plans to rule the world!

We shall shout the slogan we learned from Iman Khomeni

Tougher higher stronger

Death to AmericaDeath to America
Death to America
You can watch and listen to the video here.

Oh well, America. Don’t worry about it. Muslims only make up about a quarter of the world’s population. Just go back to watching reality TV, Oprah, sports, the Simpsons, and Dr. Phil. Be sure to practice your best imitation of an ostrich and make it easier for the Islamists to slit your throat.

Oh, by the way. When an Islamist slits your throat, you don’t go to heaven and you don’t get 72 virgins. You just bleed out on the ground.

Ritual Of Posting The Colors

My colors, the American flag, got whipped around in the wind one too many times and ripped a week ago. That required its retirement and the immediate placing of an order for a replacement flag. Yesterday, the retired flag was delivered to a local Boy Scout Troop and the Elks Club to be properly destroyed in a flag retirement a ceremony.

I’ve been a week without a flag and so my morning ritual of posting the colors was halted. I just received the replacement flag in the mail today, and once again the Stars and Stripes are proudly flying from my flag pole. And, my ritual is restarted.

Ritual is an important feature in human life performing a valuable cohesive social and/or religious function. There are all sorts of rituals: marriage, birthday and graduation celebrations; funerals; memorial holidays; seasonal holidays; and a whole host of religious functions; just to mention a few. Rituals remind us of waypoints in life that are important. Not the least of which is the remembrance of people, who are significant in our lives.

My morning ritual of raising the colors reminds me to think of three people specifically, two deceased and one extant. Why do I think of these three people? Because they were or are very important in my life in one manner or another, and they are linked to what it means to be a patriotic American. One is my father, one is a police officer and the other is a U.S. Marine. Also, they represent all of those who I do not know.

I am grateful for all the people who gave through history or are giving today to make the United States the wonderful place that I have the privilege to live within. My American flag, flying from my flag pole, is for all of them.

Thank You Jay & All Your Colleagues

Sunday, October 15, 2006

They Don’t Call TV An Idiot Box For Nothing

Forget the content, are TV and videos physically damaging to the developing brain of infants and young children? Some say yes, here and here, while others say no, here.

I am suspicious, and I lean toward the message of the “it is damaging crowd.”

Don’t you think that it is most prudent of parents to err on the side of caution? Throw that damn electronic babysitter out! And, while you are at it, there is no good reason for kids to be using a computer. Let them return to the joys of exploring a non-electronic world. There is plenty of time for the madness.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Are Sheepdogs Born Or Raised?

After the Columbine High School shooting, law enforcement officials realized that traditional police training and response to active shooting scenes was woefully out of touch with the current situation. The traditional response to an active shooting was scene containment by responding patrol and detective units and wait for SWAT to arrive and make any dynamic entry. The trouble is that people continue to get shot while police are waiting for SWAT. The new concept is the formation of immediate dynamic entry teams with whatever police officers are available at an active shooting situation. Even that can take too long for a suburban Fort Worth, Tx, school district. They are training their students to fight back and not cower defensively.

Youngsters in a suburban Fort Worth school district are being taught not to sit there like good boys and girls with their hands folded if a gunman invades the classroom, but to rush him and hit him with everything they got — books, pencils, legs and arms.
“Getting under desks and praying for rescue from professionals is not a recipe for success,”…

That kind of fight-back advice is all but unheard of among schools, and some fear it will get children killed.

To the latter quote; no kidding Buckwheat! That is exactly the mentality of sheep, otherwise known as a majority of educators and others. Somebody is going to get killed. The question is who and how many. Are you familiar with the concept of sheep and sheepdogs? No? Go here, here and here.

Humans are born with an array of abilities including aggressive and passive behavior. We can accentuate various behavior patterns with environmental training. There are those in our community who eschew any version of violence in favor of dialogue, or perhaps cowering helplessly. Those people would be sheep. Some of the sheep are properly diagnosed as cowards. But, most sheep simply have neither experience nor training in stressful rational decision making and the implementation of appropriate violent behavior.

So, there is now a Texas school district that is training students to act like sheepdogs instead of sheep. Just goes to show that not all educators are panty waists.

Previous Posts:
Sheepdog Blood Leaves Queasy Stomachs
Thank You Sheep Dogs for our 230th. Birthday—Fourth of July 2006

Carter & Clinton-Recipe For World Disaster

My favorite columnist, Al Martinez, is a U.S. Marine veteran from the Korean War. I don’t think that he understands how much I appreciate his personal sacrifices. Perhaps to Al it makes no difference that I appreciate. But, somehow I’d like to think that it does. I feel that it is important for us to tell our veterans that we thank them. I also appreciate it that he speaks personally and authoritatively about the horrors of war.

Almost every thing that Al says in his latest column, “Smoldering memories of the war in Korea,” about war and the N. Korean nuclear dilemma is true. But, what are we to do about it? We tried diplomacy, which was really bribery, when we paid N. Korea gazillions of dollars in support of its economy only to have the N. Koreans renege on the agreement about the handling and development of nuclear material after accepting our aid. The food aid was supposed to be given to the populace, but it was diverted to the military leaving the populous starving.

Disappointingly, Al is laying the current N. Korean nuclear crisis on Pres. George W. Bush’s doorstep.

Diplomacy has proved to be one of America's lesser talents, weakening our outrage against North Korea for violating the wishes of the global community when we, by charging into Iraq, pretty much did the same.
On the contrary,

The leftist media spin is that the current crisis in North Asia is the result of George W. Bush calling Pyongyang a member of the 'axis of evil.' In reality, the soft-line appeasement policy taken by Clinton against North Korea and China is what has led us to this point.
…Clinton adviser Paul Begala, now serving as a talking head on CNN, claimed that the Clinton administration contained the threat from North Korea. Clearly, Mr. Begala missed the 1990s.

Of course, Mr. Begala simply forgot that Clinton's military chief of staff testified in 1998 that North Korea did not have an active ballistic missile program. One week later the North Koreans launched a missile over Japan that landed off the Alaska coast.
During the early Clinton years, hard-liners and so-called conservative hawks advocated a pre-emptive strike to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons evelopment before it could field an atomic bomb. Instead of taking the hard line, President Clinton elected to rely on former President Jimmy Carter and decided to appease the Marxist-Stalinist dictatorship.

Carter met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang and returned to America waving a piece of paper and declaring peace in our time. Kim, according to Carter, had agreed to stop his nuclear weapons development. The Clinton appeasement program for North Korea included hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, food, oil and even a nuclear reactor. However, the agreement was flawed and lacked even the most informal means of verification.
In return, Kim elected to starve his people while using the American aid to build uranium bombs. The lowest estimate is that Kim starved to death over 1 million of his own people, even with the U.S. aid program.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why so many people admire Jimmy Carter. He gave us an Iranian Islamic theocracy, which ignited a worldwide Islamo-fascist war, and the North Koreans with a nuclear bomb. Whose side is he on anyway?

The Korean War was conducted under the aegis of the United Nations. Considering the fact that there has only been a truce signed to halt the Korean belligerence and never a peace treaty, the Korean peninsula is technically still at war. That was a fine beginning for the United Nations, which has proven to be a toothless tiger chiefly because it has so many corrupt member countries. The U.S. has borne the costs of guaranteeing the freedom of S. Korean ever since the truce. Now that N. Korea is on the verge of joining the nuclear family, what are we going to do?

The United Nations is a corrupt and impotent institution. There are no super power countries remaining except the U.S., despite the fact that China is intent upon attaining that status. So currently, it is up to the U.S. to be the world’s policeman, like it or not.

Can the U.S. continue to be responsible for ensuring world peace and harmony by virtue of being the one remaining superpower in the world? I don’t think so. We must work in concert with a select portion of the world community to guarantee the earth’s survival in a nuclear age. It is time to jettison the United Nations and form a new exclusive organization of democratic and free countries creating a truly world superpower to put upstarts like Korea and Iraq in their place before they ignite a nuclear conflagration.

Can we do it? God help us if Jimmy Carter or his Clinton underlings get involved again.

Previous Post:
Throw the U.N. Bums Out

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Free Speech In Denmark? Not By U.S. Standards

The Danes have once again wet themselves in fear of Muslims upset with an exercise in admittedly tasteless free speech.

Videos showing anti-immigrant party members mocking the Prophet Muhammad were pulled from Web sites Monday as two youths seen in the clips were reported in hiding and the Foreign Ministry warned Danes against travel to much of the Middle East.
Muslim clerics from Egypt and Indonesia condemned the video broadcast in Denmark last week showing members of the Danish People's Party youth wing with cartoons of a camel wearing the head of Muhammad and beer cans for lumps. A second drawing placed a turbaned, bearded man next to a plus sign and a bomb, all equaling a mushroom cloud.

Muslims are very clear about their feelings.

In Jordan on Monday, a powerful umbrella for some 200,000 professionals including engineers, doctors and journalists, said the video "reveals hatred toward the Prophet who came to the world with a message to enlighten the people."

"We call on all Muslim states to sever relations with Denmark or any other country which harms Islam," the associations said in a statement.

And, Muslims understand the true nature of the culture war.

They said the video revealed the "nature of the struggle between Muslims and their enemies which are led by America."

What exactly is it that America represents and leads in this culture war? Could it be freedom? Freedom to think as you please. Freedom to worship or not as you please. Freedom to say as you please. Freedom to live as you please. Freedom to dress as you please. Freedom for females to work or get an education as they please. All of these freedoms are antithetical to fundamental Islam. Or, is it really Islam as a whole?

Europeans get the message. They ought to because their countries are overrun with Muslims. Unfortunately, indigenous Europeans are playing the appeasement card and hoping that they won’t eventually have their throats slit.

Americans, for the most part, are asleep at the wheel. What else is new?

Previous Posts:
Freedom of Speech, Don’t Take It for Granted
Free Speech and Blasphemy European Style
Free Speech in Europe? Not a Chance
Free Speech, Enemy of China and Democrats

Monday, October 09, 2006

"Who Needs to Be The Fairest Of Them All?"

“This face is all I have, born and lived in” are the opening lyrics of “This Face” by Rod Marshall in his CD “Nearly Willie.”

There is a photo of me as a young copper in 1972 hung on the entry way of my home. The photo is bracketed by photos of my two beautiful daughters. I’m pretty handsome, if I say so myself. Of course, I didn’t think so at the time. But, time has a way of putting a different perspective on things, don’t you think? Later photos document an aging face that is changing with time: lines around the eyes; skin leathery from the sun; receding hair; and the disfigurement and asymmetry of a surgeon’s knife. In fact, a family friend from the last half-dozen years or so did not recognize the early photo as a photo of me.

“You can’t buy a sympathetic mirror…”

Rod Marshall has such a face, and I suspect the song is strongly autobiographical. Peruse the lyrics here.

From the movie Unfinished Life, Einar Gilkyson also has such a face. He is a crusty, bitter Wyoming rancher living on a spread devoid of cattle and happiness. Both Einar and his beat-up pickup truck are old and marking time. Estranged from his daughter-in-law, Einer blames her for the death of his son. Neither Einar nor his 11 year old grand-daughter knows that the other exists.

“This old heart’s been beat-up…”

Einar is lucky. Through the efforts of his grand-daughter worming her way into his heart and the gentle prodding of his old cowboy friend, Einar is rescued from his self-destruction.

There is something magical about the way a child, at this time of my life grandchildren, can get inside your heart; A heart that might be shielded as a result of experiencing too many insults over the years. There is a look of pure joy in the face as the little one runs to you with open arms; A young child that does not recognize nor recoil from the roadmap of trauma and wear on the face of the grandparent.

There is something to learn from a child.

“Who needs to be the fairest of them all?”

Sunday, October 08, 2006

“Throw The Baby Out With The Bath Water”

What’s not to like about the Republican Party? Well, plenty. How about growing the budget (not counting the war on terrorism) at such a rate that if you did not know differently you would think that the Democrats were in control? Or, how about the failure to address the illegal immigration problem that is threatening to bankrupt our social services programs and destroy our health care system? I’m sure you can add to the list all by yourself.

So, if you don’t like what the Republican Party has done, you can vote them out and put in the Democrats. Anyone who is conservatively oriented and follows that advice is ignorant beyond description. That’s the sort of thing that people used to call throwing the baby out with the bath water. Let’s hope that the American people are smarter than I fear. It would not take too many swing voters and weak-brained conservative folk to throw in with the Democratic folks to really screw up the country once again. Screw it up by again by allowing the Democratic Party leadership, which is generally leftist, to resume stacking the judgeships. The Democratic Party knows that it can not gain its way quickly through the legislative process, but it can get instant results by judicial fiat.

Sunday Morning Rant-Color Me Gone

Bloggers, listen up! Many of us put a considerable amount of time into creating our blogs. Ostensibly we do so because we want others to read it. There are gazillions of blogs out there, each competing for the time of the reader. Why then do some bloggers create blogs which are nearly impossible to read due to small font and font colors that are hard to distinguish from the background color?

If I already know that it is a really good blog site, I might spend some time trying to decipher it, and then maybe not. If it is my first time at the blog site, I’ll normally exit faster than I entered.

So bloggers, just because you have the eyes of an eagle does not mean that all of the readers are like you. It’s up to you to decide if you want to induce me to read what you wrote. If not, color me gone.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Why Can’t I Remember To Be A Pothead?

I know this little Rastafarian type character with dreadlocks, who lives and breathes marijuana, literally. Given half an opening, he will opine adnauseam as to the multifarious benefits of the private and commercial uses of the “weed.” In short, Rasti thinks that marijuana is the potential savior of the world.

Now there is a news release that the active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC, addresses more efficiently than current medical products certain factors in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that marijuana’s active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.

THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer’s patients, the researchers reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Now before Rasti and his friends get up on the soapbox and pontificate on yet another benefit of smoking weed, the administration of THC in a pharmaceutical format is far preferable than the associated side effects of smoking. Unfortunately, it is not as cheap.

Rasti believes that the reason that widespread marijuana usage is prohibited is because “they” want to oppress the “people.” The truth of the matter is that a society chronically on marijuana is not a highly productive society. Who cares about working hard when you could just sit around and toke up? Say, maybe Rasti is on to something here. Now, how can we get the Islamists to take up the joint and put down the sword?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Blog Stalkers

The Internet is a great tool, and like all tools it can be used for good, bad or indifferent. One of the chief benefits of the Internet is the ability of anyone to compete on the field of ideas and have an audience. No longer will the main stream media and the traditional publishing houses control information access. Unfortunately, the Internet has unleashed a sniping horde of diminutive minded people without the apparent ability to write a serious paragraph. Their chief claim to fame is to target a blog with a different perspective than their own and then bombard the blog with a never ending stream of invectives and/or inane unsupported comments. I call these annoying mental midgets blog stalkers.

I’ve had one such blog stalker recently, who visited my site several times a day. Apparently that person had too much time on hand and simply wanted to be disagreeable and argumentative. The time could have been better used to improve that person’s own rather lackluster blog site. Well, the person can now spend more time on the blog because I deleted every comment put on my blog site. And, I will continue to delete every comment from the person forever because I don’t want to dialogue with shallow people. And, I don’t want this person to use my blog as a vehicle to link to the lackluster blog. I can do that because this is my blog. If the blog stalker does not like it, so what?

Sharia Watch 10/5/06

Sabra is an American living in Saudi Arabia. She writes the informative blog Stilettos in the Sand bringing important insight into the cultural aspects of West meets Middle East.

Yesterday’s blog compared an attempt to inject Sharia requirements into American life with the contrasting Saudi refusal to allow Western cultural aspects into Saudi life.

I cannot wear shorts here, just to run and do a quick errand on the compound where we live without being scolded by Security. However, Americans in the United States are expected to bend over backwards to accommodate the wants of every other culture in the world regardless of the fact that other countries offer absolutely no compromise to Americans or others who may be guests.

Muslims are intent upon changing the Western culture to fit their Sharia view of life through diversity arguments. They are not in the least interested in applying the same diversity requirements in their society.

“Clinton Lied, People Died”

Bill Clinton recently vehemently defended his reputation relative to the attempts to capture Usama bin Ladin. Now a veteran CIA agent refutes Clinton:

Michael Scheuer is a 22-year CIA veteran and was head of that agency's bin Laden unit from 1966 to 1999. In a follow-up to Clinton's volcanic interview the week earlier on "Fox News Sunday," FNS host Chris Wallace invited him as one of three counterterrorism experts to analyze the truthfulness of assertions made by the "wizard of 'is' " in defending his pre-9/11 actions, or lack thereof. Scheuer responded that Clinton was correct in saying he got closer to bin Laden than anyone. "But, of course, he always refused to pull the trigger,"
"Mr. Richard Clarke, Mr. Sandy Berger (and) President Clinton are lying about the opportunities they had to kill Osama bin Laden" and that "for him (Clinton) to get on television and say to the American people he did all he could is a flat lie, sir."

Whatever happened, happened, and it’s water under the bridge. The country needs to move beyond the finger pointing and get its act together relative to the realities of fighting Islamo-fascism. Bill Clinton is not interested in that prospect. He’s got important work to be done to ensure that his misdoings as President don’t rub off on Hillary.

According to Scheuer, nothing has changed for Bill Clinton, he is still lying.

As for Clinton's claim that the Bush administration "had eight months to try; they did not try (but) I tried," Scheuer observed:
"Mr. Clarke, Mr. Berger, Mr. Clinton did have opportunities that were delivered by the men and women of the CIA to kill Osama bin Laden," but in "the first eight months of the Bush administration there were no such opportunities."

Politics, as usual, trumps the welfare of the people.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Do You Have A Heart?

What do you feel when you think about our service personnel in harm’s way in foreign lands? Do you think of them? Perhaps you do, but I generally would not know that. Some things are best worn on the shirtsleeve for all to see.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Joe Btfsplk And The Forest For The Trees

It’s 3 AM and I’m wracked by insomnia. Insomnia, that’s a word that has never been in my vocabulary. That is not until tonight. Or more correctly, last night. It just doesn’t happen to me. Never say never!

So not one to sit idly by, I found my way to my favorite columnist, Al Martinez. Al, as you know, writes for the Los Angeles Times. He describes himself as a “liberal puke.” That’s a term that some angry reader flung at him with all the intellectual skill of a banana slug.

Until now, I had not had the opportunity to read his missive of last Friday entitled, Amid the splendor, it's hard to ignore the clouds. And true to his nature, Al was right on mark with his descriptive skills. He described himself as Joe Btfsplk, from the long ago comic strip Li’l Abner.

Not that I am Joe Btfsplk exactly, that gloomy cartoon character with the dark cloud over his head who is haunted by grim expectations. It's just that to someone who has been a journalist most of his life, bad news seems to be always at hand.

But, Al is gloomy at times. At least he is when reflecting on the state of disaster that the world is currently convulsing over.

Our unpopularity, rooted in the decision to invade, I mean liberate, Iraq is rising not only in the Muslim world but also in the so-called Third World countries of Latin America and among our allies. The Bush administration decision to go it alone has pretty much left us alone, isolated on Island America like sailors abandoned on a South Seas atoll.
Although I realize that doing the right thing isn't always popular, one has to wonder if there might be something awry in policies that have stirred the world into an alliance opposed to our very existence. All those voices rising around the globe should be reason enough to at least pause and reconsider.
Referring to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Islamists, Al is concerned that people in the world don’t like us. Al is worried about our popularity, and I am worried about the possibility that someday my granddaughter will have to wear a burka or have her throat slit if she does not convert to Islam.

Joe Btfsplk was a perpetually gloomy guy, and I don’t think his characterization aptly describes Al. But, Al was in Sequoia National Park among the magnificent splendor when he was over come with gloominess. Unfortunately, like many liberals, Al is shortsighted and can not see the forest for the trees on this issue. He does not seem to think that evil existed in this world before the inauguration of President George W. Bush. That’s an oversimplification, of course. But, it’s apt enough because there is a deep denial among the liberal about the nature of Islamists. We’ve seen the denial and appeasement most dramatically as recently as the 1930’s during the rise of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi state. Oh, and there was that little matter about the Communist slaughter after we left Vietnam in disgrace.

I wish that Al would come around to reality, but I’m not going to bet on it. Nevertheless, I’ll keep reading him because he is such a good wordsmith. And, I’m sure he has a good heart. I don’t think he’d throw his drink on me. He’d probably say that would be a waste of a perfectly good martini.

Mark Foley Did What & He’s Doing What?

Florida GOP Congressman Mark Foley has apparently been playing footsies, or perhaps something else, with underage males.

In late September of 2006 it became public knowledge that Republican congressman Mark Foley had been, for a number of years, sending sexually explicit instant messages and suggestive emails to underage boys who were congressional pages.
Foley’s actions, if true, says that he is gay and a pedophile. Foley resigned from the Congress. That’s the decent thing to do if you are involved in a scandal. Too bad Bill Clinton did not do the same.

Now it appears that Foley has announced that he is an alcoholic and that he is entering alcoholism rehabilitation.

Painfully, the events that led to my resignation have crystalized recognition of my longstanding significant alcohol and emotional difficulties.

I strongly believe that I am an alcoholic and have accepted the need for immediate treatment for alcoholism and related behavioral problems.

That’s a good one. Foley would have us believe that his pedophilia was caused by alcoholism. Yeah, sure!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Future Recriminations

Russ Vaughn’s Slicing Enlightenment is a poem from the future.

Slicing Enlightenment

Softly it whispers, parting air,
The edge so sharp, so glistening;
And as it strikes beneath your hair,
Is anyone still listening?

The sword of Islam makes the slice,
And your severed head just rolls;
You’ve made the final sacrifice,
Loyal to your Liberal goals.

When others warned of futures dire,
You made root cause excuses;
You turned your faces from the fire,
Pursued your liberal muses,

Ignoring death-fired feudal fires,
Luring fools to paradise,
Fanatics facing Islam’s spires,
Whose sword above you lies.

Back when we tried to warn you,
You snickered and you sneered;
Imperial fools our view untrue,
Dumb dupes, who only feared.

Your enlightenment would show us
The path to worldwide calm,
So Jihadis would not blow us
All to hell with Islam’s bomb.

And now these decades later,
When Sharia rules our land,
Where Christians, disbelievers,
Feel the wrath of Islam’s hand,

I feel compelled to ask you Libs,
As that blade zips out your light,
Bloodies your precious, do-good bibs,
Might you think it’s time we fight?

Russ Vaughn 9 29 06
(Russ Vaughn is the Poet Laureate of American Thinker)

"There Are No Atheists In A Fighting Hole"

We here in the United States are comfortable with our religions or our lack thereof. But, when you are in the “middle of it” you tend to ascribe to one religion or the other. In country, other than your ties to your fellow foxhole occupants, what else do you have to help you hold onto your sanity?

I understand that in Iraq if a Muslim can kill an infidel during Ramadan, he is blessed one thousand times more than if he kills one during the rest of the year. Let’s all join with our fighting service personnel and pray that the Islamists try. As it is said, kill them all and let God sort it out.

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