The Impudent One
"My mind is full of razors to cut you like a word if only sung..." ~~~ Brandi Carlile
Friday, January 23, 2009
A Peaceful, Uneasy Feeling
Closing Guantanamo Without a Plan
As he promised during the campaign, President Obama has signed an Executive Order requiring the closure of the Guantanamo detainment facility. Aside from being an idealistic and stupid idea, it was exacerbated by Obama's's lack of any plan for dealing with the terrorists housed there. Keep in mind that the Bush administration and the military have released hundreds of detainees from Guantanamo, presumably those deemed least dangerous. About 10 percent of those released have gone back to try and kill our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. What percentage of the hardcore terrorists are likely to go back to attacking our soldiers - or worse, attack American citizens on American soil? This is not just hypothetical. A Guantanamo detainee released in 2007 has just emerged as a deputy leader of the Al Qaeda branch in Yemen. I guess you can take the man out of the terrorist group, but you can't take the terrorist out of the man. Maybe if we all hold hands, think utopian thoughts and sing songs from the 1960's, they will be moved and decide to embrace a completely different world-view. Then again, maybe they'll just opt for the 72 virgins, press the detonator for their suicide belt and try to kill and maim as many of us as they can.
Pacing the Cage
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Propaganda By the Numbers
Once again, Hamas has played fast and loose with the facts -- more specifically, the number of civilian deaths in the recent clash between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. A Gazan doctor, who didn't give his name because he wanted to live for at least another 24 hours, told an Italian newspaper:
A resident of Tal al-Hawa, who also preferred to not paint a target on his own back, had this to say to the newspaper:
"The number of deceased stands at no more than 500 to 600. Most of them are youths between the ages of 17 to 23 who were recruited to the ranks of Hamas, who sent them to the slaughter,"
"Armed Hamas men sought out a good position for provoking the Israelis. There were mostly teenagers, aged 16 or 17, and armed. They couldn't do a thing against a tank or a jet. They knew they are much weaker, but they fired at our houses so that they could blame Israel for war crimes."Read more on this story at Ynetnews.com.
Meryl Yourish has also posted on this story. However, her post also contains links to video evidence of previous fallacious claims by Hamas. I recommend you check them out. You will discover how the UN is used by Hamas and that the "dead" can come back to life!
The Little Finger Is Heading to Iraq
Some time ago, I wrote a couple posts about my male offspring (aka The Little Finger) shipping out to Fort Jackson for Basic Training. After 3 months of BT and 6 months of AIT, he finally returned home in October 2008 to settle in with his Minnesota Army National Guard unit. In November, he got the word that his unit, the 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division, was being activated and would be heading for Iraq. Well, that time is upon us. He will be flying to Fort Lewis in Washington state in a couple days. After a several weeks of pre-deployment training, he and his fellow Red Bulls will head for Kuwait and then Iraq.
This is, obviously, a time of mixed emotions. I am very proud of my son, not only for his military service, but for the man he has become and will be. As a father, I am also concerned for his safety, even though I know things are better in Iraq that two years ago. I am also going to miss having him around. Other than my mother, he's my favorite person with which to spend time. For the next year or so, we'll have to settle for letters, email and the occasional conversation on Skype.
Here are a couple pics of this fine young man:
Monday, January 19, 2009
Richard John Neuhaus, 1936–2009
Monday, January 05, 2009
Hamas' Crucifixion Revival
Hamas must be concerned that all the portrayals of them as victims in the recent Middle East unpleasantness is harming their image as terrorists and ruthless thugs. On Christmas Day 2008 (no subtlety intended, I'm sure), Hamas legislators legalized the crucifixion of "enemies of Islam", according to Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick.
Apparently, building a Colosseum and rounding up some hungry lions was too much trouble.
A.G.W. on the Rocks
Once again, facts fly in the face of anthropogenic global warming dogma. According to the University of Illinois's Arctic Climate Research Center, the sea ice is not melting at an alarming rate, much to the relief of the booming polar bear population. Here's a hint, folks. Climate should be evaluated not by reviewing years and decades of data, but by hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands of years of data. That's the only way to put it in a proper context. Of course, that would leave the global warming Chicken Little alarmists with only one thing to shout: "The sky is normal! The sky is normal!"
And that wouldn't sell very many movie tickets. Right, Al?
HT: Daily Tech
Saturday, January 03, 2009
A Birthday Toast to Professor Tolkien
January 3rd is the birthday of J. R. R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings. The Tolkien Society has issued its annual announcement encouraging fans around the world to join them in a toast to Professor Tolkien:
On the 3rd January 1892 JRR Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. To celebrate this event, on this day each year Tolkien fans around the world are invited to raise a glass and toast the birthday of this much loved author.
The toast is "The Professor".
For those unfamiliar with British toast-drinking ceremonies:
To make the Birthday Toast, you stand, raise a glass of your choice of drink (not necessarily alcoholic), and say the words 'The Professor' before taking a sip (or swig, if that's more appropriate for your drink). Sit and enjoy the rest of your drink.So, offer a toast to the Professor, if you are so inclined.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Postmodernism & the Middle-East
In his latest article, "The Gaza Rules", Victor Davis Hanson provides an excellent summary of how the usual rules have been turned upside-down when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here is a sample:
Watching both this week's war and the world's predictable reaction to it, we can recall the Gaza rules. Most are reflections of our postmodern age, and completely at odds with the past protocols of war.Now go read the other four points that VDH makes in his very timely article.
First is the now-familiar Middle East doctrine of proportionality. Legitimate military action is strangely defined by the relative strength of the combatants. World opinion more vehemently condemns Israel's countermeasures, apparently because its rockets are far more accurate and deadly than previous Hamas barrages that are poorly targeted and thus not so lethal.
If America had accepted such rules in, say, World War II, then by late 1944 we, not the Axis, would have been the culpable party, since by then once-aggressive German, Italian and Japanese forces were increasingly on the defensive and far less lethal than the Allies.