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 ..."
- Name: Paul Coambs
- Location: California, United States
Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective
Friday, June 30, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Putin is Right-Destroy Them
Let’s be frank about this issue. There is no doubt that the U.S. authorities and military would try and apprehend such perpetrators with the strong possibility that the suspects might die in the process. This is a far cry from Putin’s straight forward declaration of a death sentence as the intended goal. I am guessing that there will be no howls of protest because the world elite, leftists and dictators hold the U.S. to a higher standard than they do Russia.
To a certain extent, the U.S. is responsible for the world attitude chiefly because our legal system provides unprecedented rights for citizens and non-citizens alike that are not provided by the rest of the world. We are positive that our way of governing is superior to all others. And, we correctly deduce that if everyone governed as we do then there would be a lot less conflict. But, much of the world operates on a different system, and it is a reality that Putin clearly understands.
Israel demonstrated that it understands the reality when it long ago came to the correct conclusion that survival often requires acting in opposition to world opinion. Thus, the end result was the pre-emptive strike, and there is no doubt that Israel will attempt to destroy those who threaten her.
Our form of justice and government is predicated upon the acceptance of the willing. The problem is that most of the world is not willing. It is time for Americans to come off our position of granting U.S. rights and procedures to peoples beyond our borders or within our borders illegally. We must modify our persona from a country granting our rights to all into a vengeful opponent willing to reach out and strike when threatened or wronged. We have neither the time nor the resources to do otherwise. Putin said it correctly: Destroy Them.
See previous posting.
Palestinians-Like Rats in a Cage
With the abduction of an Israeli soldier, Palestinian terrorists have again goaded Israel into offensive action. The IDF penetrated into the Gaza Strip and flew jets over the Syrian presidential palace.
The Gaza Strip, home of the Palestinian dream for an autonomous state, is virtually surrounded by Israel on the North-East and East and the Mediterranean Sea on the North-West. The Gaza Strip does share it’s South-West border with the Egyptians, who are fellow Arabs.
There is a 30 mile barrier fence between Israel and the Gaza. That’s not a surprise. But, there is also a fence between the Gaza and Egypt called the Philidelphi Route which is patrolled by the IDF to stop smuggling of weapons, ammunition and illegal drugs from Egypt into the Gaza. In essence, the Gaza is totally surrounded by Israel and the sea, which is subject to Israeli gunboat control.
Apparently, neither the Egyptians nor the Palestinian armed forces wish to allow Palestinians to cross the border with Egypt. This is evidenced by the fact that both Egyptian and Palestinian forces stopped Palestinians from crossing the border after Palestinian terrorists blew a large hole in the fence. Read about it here and here.
…Palestinian operatives laid an explosive device along the border with Egypt, and blasted a arge hole in the fence. Egyptian officers lined the breach and Palestinian security forces fired in the air to prevent entry of Palestinians into the Sinai Peninsula.
Over the years, the Palestinian Authority has stolen billions of dollars in foreign aid designated to improve the infrastructure and lives of the Palestinians. Yet, the people still live in refuge camp squalor. The end result is that the Palestinian people are unable to stand on their own two feet and survive without the foreign aid. Due to the very actions of the Palestinian authorities, the Palestinian people are condemned to live like rats in a fenced-in dump.
Unfortunately, the Arabic mind is comfortable with blaming Israel for its problems and incapable of the critical self-examination required to transform itself into a self-sustaining nation-state.
HT Michelle Malkin & Drudge
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I’ve Never Understood the Hunger Strike
Judging by the number of hunger strikes for a multitude of causes, the technique must have some value on focusing attention on the target issue. But, for the life of me I can’t figure out why it should work. If it were up to me, I’d not lift a hand to dissuade the hunger striker, and I would not cave in to his demands. I’d admire someone’s misplaced determination, and then I’d wish them a nice day and walk away. The way I figure it, if someone wants to starve himself to death, so be it. I don’t suppose we’d be so lucky to have Cindy whither away. She’s not dedicated enough to sacrifice her own life for her cause. I suspect this is her latest gimmick to get garner some media attention.
HT Michelle Malkin
“Allah Akbar”-The Invocation of Butchers
The Mujahedeen Shura Council posted a video on the internet Sunday showing the execution of three Russian embassy employees. A fourth employee, not shown on video, was also reported killed. On June 3, a car the four were traveling in was ambushed by insurgents in Baghdad at which time one Russian diplomat was killed.
Here’s the link to four statements by the hostages and the killing of two. Note the standard invocation of “Allah Akbar.”
HT Michelle Malkin
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
American Indians Did It in the Nude
A quick search of the Internet reveals plenty of evidence that the word “naked” was used as a common pejorative by early Caucasians toward aboriginals, right along with barbarian, savage, filthy and godless.
More technologically advanced cultures often use their technological superiority to supplant or enslave lesser technological cultures. The Shoshone, from the Great Plains, introduced a greater technology in the form of the bow and arrow by sticking arrows into to the spear throwing Western coastal Chumash. Likewise, the Europeans introduced superior technology to the New World. Along with the gifts of technology and disease, the Europeans introduced Christian concepts of sin and evil inextricably intertwined with sex and nudity. Needless to say, that was in direct conflict with the indigenous cultural and religious systems.
Accompanying the enslavement of the natives, it seems that the Spanish priests were into saving heathen souls and instilling the prerequisite European Christian body phobias and sexual prohibitions. Naturally, nudity was equated to sexual activity and so it had to be banned as well. The God-fearing folks from the Eastern portion of N. America were more interested in the conquest of land than the enslavement and baptizing of Indians. Nevertheless, they brought with them the same culture destroying European Christian gifts.
“In Dr. Horacio Rojas Alba’s examination of the indigenous health practices utilizing the sweat lodge, he notes:”
The Spaniards were appalled and outraged by this, to them, barbaric practice. Not only was it inextricably interwoven with pagan beliefs and ritual, as is all ancient traditional medicine, but, most shocking of all, the bathers entered into these small, dark chambers, all sexes and size together, naked as the day on which they were born. The Spaniards were convinced that some sort of unspeakable orgiastic rites were taking place, and so they set themselves to forbidding the practice and destroying the baths wherever they found them. In the Penal Code and Order for Governing of the Indians, proclaimed by Charles the Fifth, the emperor of Spain, it was declared "that Indians who are not sick shall not bathe in hot baths under penalty of one hundred lashes to be followed by two hours bound in the marketplace..." Later, the proscription was extended to the sick as well.There they are, right there in Alba’s description: barbaric; pagan; naked; and the additional characteristic of orgiastic. Sex too? How can it get any worse?
The intellectual, scientific and cultural world once flourished under Islam and subsequently shifted to the Judeo-Christian world. For all the good that was and is being done, there is a price to be paid.
In an effort to separate and make man appear superior over all of the other animals on the planet, the Abraham religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam linked sin to the human body and made parts of the body and certain bodily functions off limits for public display. Advocates of the inherent sinfulness of the body used their technological advantage to destroy cultures manifesting body innocence.
So, here we are several hundred years later. There are not many N. American indigenous peoples left and virtually none living as their ancestors once did. Certainly their body innocence was destroyed, and there is not much nudity in their modern lifestyle. And, we as the human race are lesser for it.
Monday, June 26, 2006
“When his casket came off of the plane, that’s when it really hit me that this was real.”
“…Jim spoke so highly of the Iraqi people.”
“…so that in 20 years from now our children wouldn’t have to be over there fighting.”
See the video here. View other photos and slideshows linked on the same page.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
We are not seeing a lot of information out of Afghanistan, but we are beginning to hear about the same sort IED attacks on NATO troops in Afghanistan as the Coalition troops are experiencing in Iraq. Perhaps there is no more damning evidence than the Afghanis who are voting with their feet, as reported by Time Magazine correspondent Azadeh Moaveni, who writes:
Hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees have streamed back into Iran, reporting that their liberated country is unlivable outside Kabul, marred by warlord strife and resurgent Taliban.
Perhaps the message learned from Afghanistan is that while people everywhere wish to live in peace and harmony, it may not be possible to spoon feed democratic institutions to societies which are still living with tribal and religious traditions dating from the 7th Century. The Allied Forces were able to do so at the conclusion of World War II, but they were dealing with nations which existed, for the most part, within the 20th Century. The lesson may well be that we will extend to you a helping hand to enter the 21st Century; but you have to do the heavy lifting and create your own governmental institutions such that you can live in harmony with the world community. If you can’t do that and you don’t threaten us, have a nice day. If you threaten us, we will bomb you into oblivion. It is too bad that Europe will not like that position. At the rate they are going, they will become third world Islamic nations and may ultimately face the same dilemma as Afghanistan.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Her Embarrassment Killed Her
Each year Avon, the cosmetic company, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation sponsor a large number of breast cancer charity walks all over the country. Tens of thousands of people directly participate in the events either as walkers or supporting crew members. That says nothing of the huge number of people who contribute financially to enable the walkers to qualify for participation or the family and friends that line the walk routes cheering on their heroes.
The media attention to the breast cancer problem is out there. So, how is it that a sixteen year old, who has surely heard of breast cancer, is too embarrassed to tell anyone that something is happening to one of her breasts? Her relatively rare form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, is manifested, among other things, by surface changes to the breast. If those same conditions were to appear on an arm or a leg, there would be no hesitation for a visit to a medical doctor. Now she is dead. The answer to the question about the sixteen year old could well be rooted in our cultural insistence on eroticizing the female body on the one hand, and on the other hand our shame attitudes concerning certain specific parts of our bodies, both male and female.
As I write this piece, I am sitting in a coffee house while humanity flows past me. A goodly number of the women are dressed in a manner which screams to a male, “look at my body.” Body clinging clothing; short skirts, low waist pants; plunging necklines; skin, skin, skin. Perhaps they are making the statement to other women as well.
The American society allows a woman to publicly reveal or highlight and call attention to most of her body. But, that liberal attitude comes to a screaming halt if a nipple, genitals or too much buttocks is exposed. Of course, the same rules apply to males concerning buttocks and genitals even though I think that we can agree that females don’t generally view the male body as an item of eroticization. In other words, society allows, no encourages, female eroticization and intensifies the eroticization by hiding specific parts her body and thus stimulating the male imagination.
Health professionals routinely exposed to the nude female body of patients or clients, and nudists know that for the most part the totally nude body is anything but erotic. In fact, the constant exposure to nudity is profoundly de-eroticizing. But, put her back in her clothes and change the venue and she can be profoundly erotic. Eroticism is a state of mind, is it not?
Recently a group of people in San Francisco bicycled around the town partially or fully nude on the occasion of the SF 2006 World Naked Bike Ride. San Francisco is just the place you would expect such an activity. Go here for photos. Actually, Seattle fits the profile as well. The bicyclists had average bodies, and I suspect that not many people would consider the nude bicyclists as erotic. Some consider the public nudity as pornographic. I don’t agree, with the exception of the male calling attention to his penis by having it protrude through a hole in the female panties he is wearing. From my perspective as a police officer, I would have arrested him for indecent exposure if there was the least evidence of sexual gratification on his part. In other words, don’t get an erection while being exposed. Notwithstanding pantyman, most communities would be scandalized by the display of so much flesh. Making a statement with nudity as the vehicle is the object of the bicycle event and other events like “Boobs, Not Bombs.” If everyone was accustomed to public nudity, no one would give two hoots about a message painted on a nude body.
Noted conservative Rabbi Shmuley Boteach feels that the de-eroticization of the female breast as a result of breast feeding is a bad thing.
“There are two effects of breast-feeding that we often do not focus on. One is the de-eroticization of a woman’s body, as in her husbands eyes one of the most attractive parts of her body becomes, in effect, a cafeteria,…”I’ll admit that I’ve not considered the nursing breast as erotic.
It is interesting that the more conservative sects of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the most stringent in covering the female body in public. This modern American male hardly considers those females clad head to foot and without makeup to be erotic. Yet we know that many of these women discard their coverings in the privacy of their homes. Apparently, the males of these sects are hiding the female’s eroticism for their singular pleasure. And, she is not to spoil everything by opening an infant cafeteria.
Is it the insistence of males, and the complementary obliging females, which keeps females seeking to be publicly erotic and yet feeds a confusing dichotomy by revealing much, but denying all? The end result is that despite all the public display of our bodies, we are confused about the intertwining of eroticism, sex and nudity. It’s ok for a small child to be nude in certain circumstances, but at some point we demand that the child cover up the prohibited areas. As a consequence, we as a people are not comfortable with our bodies and we are shy and shamed by some of its parts. We exploit and deny our very essence. Apparently, that confusion cost a sixteen year old her life.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Were Tucker & Menchaca Lost Because of No U.S. Plan?
So what complicity does the U.S. government have in the deaths of these two soldiers? Is there anything more than the fact that the U.S. government sent them to a place where their very presence subjects them to mortal danger? Thanks to the American media, I’ll bet that a whole lot of people think that the soldiers died because the U.S. government did not have a plan in place to ransom the soldiers and gain their freedom from either Iraqi insurgents or Al-Qaeda. The nonsense of such an allegation is beyond the pale. Nevertheless according to news reports, that is exactly what happened on NBC’s “Today” show.
"The news is going to be heartbreaking for my family," Menchaca's uncle, Ken MacKenzie, told NBC's "Today" show.
He said the United States should have paid a ransom for the two soldiers from money seized from Saddam Hussein.
"I think the U.S. was too slow to react to this," MacKenzie said. "Because the U.S. did not have a plan in place, my nephew has paid with his life."Unless the Today show presented a contrary explanation, the show clearly allowed an ignorant, personal opinion to be presented as a plausible theory.
The likely truth is that Al-Qaeda is responsible for the deaths at the hands of the new replacement leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Sheik Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, AKA Abu Ayyub al-Masri.
The statement, which could not be authenticated, said the two soldiers were "slaughtered," suggesting they had been beheaded by Abu Hamza al- Muhajer. The Arabic word used in the statement, "nahr," is used for the slaughtering of sheep by cutting the throat and has been used in past statements to refer to beheadings.
"With God Almighty's blessing, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer carried out the verdict of the Islamic court” for the soldier's slaying, the statement said.As in any cult, it is important for the leader to be charismatic and proactive. Hence, it was important for Al-Zarqawi’s successor to accomplish an immediate act to engage the emotions and loyalty of the movement’s supporters. From an Islamic perspective, what better act could he engage in other than the cowardly slaughter of captive enemies? It was a trademark of Al-Zarqawi. All of these slaughters were done with the approval of Allah, I am sure. You can bet that Sheik Abu Hamza al-Muhajer is not interested in ransom money.
If the Today show did not present a counterbalancing perspective to the MacKenzie allegation, then the show is guilty of the usual leftist agenda of smearing the U.S. at any opportunity regardless of the likely facts. You will have to tell me, I don’t watch that show.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Sharia Iran Style?-Ask and You Shall Receive
Thanks to The Barnyard and Way Off Bass.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Inalienable Rights My Eye
Needless to say, there is currently a high level of concern among some nations over Iran’s insistence on developing a nuclear capability. That concern is well founded considering that Iran’s ruling theocracy is a mortal enemy to anyone non-Muslim. Nevertheless, a certain number of non-aligned nations support Iran, and they have invoked their “inalienable rights” to nuclear development.
A statement drawn up by the 16-country nonaligned bloc at the board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency "reaffirmed the basic and inalienable right" of all countries to develop, produce and use atomic energy "for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination and in conformity with their respective legal bligations."
The problem with this statement is the plain fact that nuclear development for “peaceful purposes” can be converted to nuclear weapon development. Hence as a practical matter, these 16 countries are stating that they have the right to develop nuclear weapons.
Whether or not “inalienable rights” are the wishes of a deity is immaterial. The truth of the matter is that “inalienable rights” are enforced at the end of a gun barrel, just like everything else. Those with the power make the rules. And, if you have the power and don’t use it, you have no one to blame but yourself when some upstart country rubs their “inalienable rights” in your face. In short, I don’t give a hoot about your “inalienable rights,” unless they are in agreement with mine. Lock and load!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Rick Has Fallen
I wrote earlier in Thanks to Those Who Carry Our Water about my friend Jay, who was deploying with his U.S. Marine unit to Iraq:
Jay is a get-it-done type of guy, which is just what you expect from a U.S. Marine. A man’s man. A man willing to make a personal sacrifice for the values that he holds and to practice his chosen profession. A man willing to leave his friends and family and step out onto the battlefield.Those are the same sorts of words attributed to Rick, Jay’s colleague in Khalidiyah.
He (Rick) was a husband and father who always displayed devotion to duty, and an Army medic who put others first.
Rick’s death hit Jay pretty hard. There is a special bond between people who share dangerous jobs. It has to do, I'm sure, with the emotional acknowledgement of vulnerability. Intellectually, warriors know that their profession puts them at risk, but there is a necessary day to day disconnect which is torn away when a comrade is killed. Rick’s death leaves a permanent wound in all who knew him.
There is small consolation in that Jay feels 99.9% sure that they got Rick’s killer. But even at that, the life of a honorable warrior for that of an insurgent is not a fair trade. Rick paid the ultimate cost for the immediate freedom of strangers in a foreign land. He also made a down-payment on the freedoms that we enjoy in our country. As Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of life must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Take a moment and think about Rick’s sacrifice. And tomorrow when it is 11 AM in Indiana, pause and think about his family, who will be burying him. Go here for an itinerary of SSgt. Richard Blakley’s services in Avon, IN.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Emotions and the Ticking Time Bomb
Unrestrained emotion is a proximate cause of a large part of the world’s problems on both a micro and a macro level. That’s because if we allow our emotions to dictate behavior without a moderating influence of intellectual thought and cultural restraint, we may respond in inappropriate or, worse, a destructive manner. No one knows that better on the micro level than the police and the victims of domestic violence and physical child abuse. On the macro level, expressed emotion run rampant and tied to intolerance is fueling the Islamo-fascist movement.
In the Western cultures, someone saying something critical or unkind about a religious figure does not result in riots, assaults, death threats or assassinations. Not so in predominantly Islamic cultures. You need look no further than the fatwa against Selman Rushdie, the murder of Theo Van Gough, the riots over the Allah cartoons, or this riot over a TV spoof of Sheik Hassan Nasrallah.
BEIRUT, Lebanon— Thousands of Shiite Muslims, enraged by a TV comedy that mocked the leader of Hezbollah, took to the streets of southern Beirut last night, burning car tires and blocking roads…In Afghanistan, mobs rioted after a traffic accident wherein a U.S. military truck crashed and caused a number of deaths to Afghan motorists.
Not all of the Islamic high level of emotional response is directed outward toward other cultures. Take a look at what Shiites do to themselves during an annual religious pilgrimage to Karbala, Iraq. Go here, here and here for photos.
Do you think that you understand the fundamental Islamic mind? Volatile language and behavior does not make for reasoned debate. So while the appeasement and accommodation crowd fiddles and waits for Rome to burn, realists are locking and loading.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Collateral Damage or Murder?
It is possible that some U.S. Marines could have engaged in what amounts to out-right murder. Even if that turns out to be true, it is not reflective of the conduct of the vast majority of U.S. fighting personnel.
What are the realities of fighting an enemy that dresses like, lives with, hides among, and strikes from within the civilian population? What are the realities of fighting an enemy that is willing and able to sacrifice the lives of civilian non-combatants at every turn? What are the realities of fighting an enemy that deliberately targets civilian non-combatants? The reality is collateral damage, also known as death and injury to non-combatants. The U.S. fighting forces must respond when attacked, and it is inevitable that civilians will die in the process. It is an unfortunate fact of war.
Don’t prejudge the incidents when you don’t have the full facts. The facts will eventually see the light of day, and the chips will fall where they may. Until that time, turn a deaf ear to the likes of alarmists like Jack Murtha, who is using these incidents for political fodder.
Read Michael Yon's posting "Hijacking Haditha."