Friday, August 29, 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron: War With Islamists May Take Generations

This is the first I have heard of a head of state admitting so in public: Our war with the Islamists may last generations.
British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Friday during a pointed press conference that U.K. authorities will soon begin revoking the passports of citizens traveling to Syria.

The move is part of a series of new security measures being taken by the country after raising the terror threat level to "severe" as Cameron admitted the fight to end Islamist extremism may take decades, or even generations.

"We are in the middle of a generational struggle against a poisonous & extremist ideology," Cameron declared.
Decent next steps should include ending Muslim immigration, and expelling radical mullahs and anyone who attends their rants. If that means armed forces fighting in the streets of London, or Dearborn, fine. It is better to take the war to them than let them bring the war to us again.

Did any Allied countries allow Nazi advocates to immigrate or proselytize in 1942? Lock them up or throw them out.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Sailing Rocks of Death Valley: Mystery Solved

"The rocks move about 15 feet per minute", which is moving right along for a rock.

More here.

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The Heckler's Veto Wins In Dearborn

Eugene Volokh in the Washington Post:
The society we live in stems from the incentives we create. Incentives for violent speech suppression mean more violent speech suppression. That, I think, will be the consequence of the Sixth Circuit panel decision, if it is not reversed by the en banc Sixth Circuit or by the Supreme Court.
Some Christian proselytizers demonstrated in what seems to have been a fairly obnoxious manner at the Arab International Festival in Dearborn, some Arabs responded with violence.

The court upheld the police cracking down, not on the violent people, but on the proselytizers. Thus, the heckler's veto, in which lawful free speech is shut down by criminal violence, violence rewarded by the government itself shutting down the protected speech.

The minority opinion is worth reading.

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Sweetie, Roughing It

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Matti Friedman on News Coverage of Israel

Matti Friedman has a long essay on news coverage of the Jewish/Muslim conflict.

The volume of press coverage that results, even when little is going on, gives this conflict a prominence compared to which its actual human toll is absurdly small. In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.

News organizations have nonetheless decided that this conflict is more important than, for example, the more than 1,600 women murdered in Pakistan last year (271 after being raped and 193 of them burned alive), the ongoing erasure of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party, the carnage in Congo (more than 5 million dead as of 2012) or the Central African Republic, and the drug wars in Mexico (death toll between 2006 and 2012: 60,000)
The numbers are odd compared to the relative amount of coverage. Maybe something else is going on.
The Hamas charter, for example, calls not just for Israel’s destruction but for the murder of Jews and blames Jews for engineering the French and Russian revolutions and both world wars; the charter was never mentioned in print when I was at the AP, though Hamas won a Palestinian national election and had become one of the region’s most important players.
Friedman is here referring to Article Seven of the Hamas Covenant, which says that the Day of Judgement shall not occur until the Muslims kill the Jews.
There has been much discussion recently of Hamas attempts to intimidate reporters....as an editor on the AP news desk. During the 2008-2009 Gaza fighting I personally erased a key detail—that Hamas fighters were dressed as civilians and being counted as civilians in the death toll—because of a threat to our reporter in Gaza. (The policy was then, and remains, not to inform readers that the story is censored unless the censorship is Israeli.
So, reporters know that Hamas is committing war crimes by dressing as civilians, but the AP and other "news" organizations refuse to report those crimes, preferring instead to describe them when killed as dead civilians. How charming.
The fact is that Hamas intimidation is largely beside the point because the actions of Palestinians are beside the point: Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians. That is the essence of the Israel story.
Is that properly described as reporting, or creating propaganda for an organization openly dedicated to genocide?
White people in London and Paris whose parents not long ago had themselves fanned by dark people in the sitting rooms of Rangoon or Algiers condemn Jewish “colonialism.” Americans who live in places called “Manhattan” or “Seattle” condemn Jews for displacing the native people of Palestine. Russian reporters condemn Israel’s brutal military tactics. Belgian reporters condemn Israel’s treatment of Africans.
One must expiate one's sins by condemning others for the same ones.
Understanding what happened in Gaza this summer...requires us to understand what is clear to nearly everyone in the Middle East: The ascendant force in our part of the world is...an empowered strain of Islam that assumes different and sometimes conflicting forms, and that is willing to employ extreme violence in a quest to unite the region under its control and confront the West. Those who grasp this fact will be able to look around and connect the dots.
Islamists see themselves as on the rise, and that gives them strength. The West sees itself as failing, as it well should, and that weakens us. Those of the far left, who have worked so long and so effectively to destroy western self-confidence are still ascendent. Hence the election of an utterly un-vetted leftist hack to the presidency of the United States, and European inability to even contemplate the possibility of halting Muslim immigration lest they be called racist. Islamists have openly declared their intention of re-taking the once conquered lands of Europe, and of doing so by conquest.

When the Night of the Long Knives finally arrives, it will be the people with confidence in their own righteousness who are likely to triumph. You could not pay me enough to live in Europe when that day comes.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Hamas Covenant: Exterminate the Jews

Ron Rosenbaum has a column in Slate on the people who are actually intent on genocide in the conflict between Israel and Hamas: Hamas. They said so in their founding document of 1988, and have never renounced it. Genocide against the Jews is their reason for existence. What more does one need to know?
What it represents is Hamas’ own self-definition. Its articulation of its sacred mission...which reads:

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory)."

There is no equivocation. There is just "obliteration." Not explicitly genocidal, it could be argued that it's just metaphorical—that the destruction of Israel will somehow not involve any harm to the vast majority of 5 million Jews there
There is more, of course:
OK, let's concede that metaphoric possibility. But then we must contend with the...explicitly genocidal—element of the Hamas Covenant: Article 7. The article that is an explicit call for the extermination of all Jews. An explicit call for genocide.

Here is how it reads in English:

"… [T]he Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] aspires to the realization of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:
“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

...The language calls for the mission of Hamas to be to seek out and find every Jew wherever they may be hiding and kill him or her. No Day of Judgment until that is done.

It continues to shock me that a group with an overtly genocidal mission written into its covenant for a quarter century now, is somehow treated as a legitimate participant in the world’s diplomatic processes. A potential “partner for peace.” Talk about a flawed moral equivalence.
I guess some people just prefer to ignore the obvious, even when the murders declare their intentions in writing.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

The Tadpole's Tail

I love the APOD site and check it almost daily. Here is a current cool space pic of the day.

I wonder what it would be like to be on a planet in the tail. Maybe not a lot different from here?

PS: I think there are only three Milky Way stars in this pic. The rest are galaxies. That's a lot of stars.

Knock knock...

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In the Land of the Formerly Free, Stay Away From Bagpipes

Mark Steyn's column reminds me of this quote from a now-dead radical:
“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
― H.L. Mencken, Prejudices: First Series
Be that as it may, Steyn has this:
My fellow Granite Staters - 17-year-old Campbell Webster and Eryk Bean, of Concord and Londonderry, New Hampshire - understood that if you go to a highland fling a couple of hours north in Quebec you're now obligated to get your bagpipes approved by US Fish & Wildlife.

Because that's just the way it is in the Land of the Free.

So Messrs Webster and Bean got their CITES certificate and presented it to the US CBP agent at the Vermont border crossing.

Whereupon he promptly confiscated their bagpipes on the grounds that, yes, their US Fish & Wildlife CITES paperwork was valid, but it's only valid at 28 ports of entry and this wasn't one of them.

Nor is any other US/Canadian land crossing. So, if you're a piper in, say, Pittsburg, New Hampshire and you want to play in a competition in La Patrie, Quebec 20 minutes north, you have to drive four-to-five hours south to Logan Airport in Boston, fly to Montreal and drive two hours east to La Patrie.
It gets worse.

More here.

As you may note from the labels I have attached to this, I do believe we live in a police state, I do believe that our government is engaging in terrorism against our fellow citizens, and I do believe that such government rulers are in fact committing treason.

They all deserve fair trials and long prison sentences. I shant hold my breath.

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The Last Hermit: Christopher Thomas Knight of Maine

Christopher Thomas Knight lived 27 years in the Maine woods, supporting himself entirely by stealing from unoccupied cabins. In 27 years he spoke once to a passing hiker, saying only "Hi."

"Culturally my family is old Yankee," Chris said. "We're not emotionally bleeding all over each other. We're not touchy-feely. Stoicism is expected." I guess so.

More here.

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Anti-GMO? You Should Read The New York Times

While many on the political Left denounce the Right as anti-science, when it comes to genetically modified foods, the same can be reasonably said about the Left.

I missed this January article in the New York Times about the controversy over GMO plants in Hawaii, but it is well worth reading. It captures the politics and the anti-science attitudes of anti-GMO activists, as well as a slight brush with their apparently universal anti-capitalism. If one doesn't take their foundational political beliefs into consideration, as well as their scientific illiteracy, one would have a tough time evaluating their claims.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Charge of the Lightly Vetted

This is the second nasty Maureen Dowd column about Obama I have seen in two days.

I wonder if she is off some meds.

Who knew the NY Times is filled with vicious racists?

Now, with apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and the Charge of the Light Brigade:

Half a course, half a course,
Half a course onward,
All in the Sand Trap
Rode the UnVetted.
"Forward, the UnVetted!
"Charge for the greens" he said:
Into the Sand Trap
Rode the Obama.

"Forward, the UnVetted!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the crony knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to subsidize and cry:
Into the Valley of Racism
Rode the Obama.

Racists to right of Him,
Racists to left of Him,
Racists in front of Him
Sputter'd and spew'd;
Storm'd at with snarl and sneer,
Boldly He rode and well,
Into the jaws of Racism,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the Obama.

Flash'd all their subsidies bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the capitalists there,
Charging a year's spending, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the Dowd's estimation
Right thro' the par they broke;
Ex-Assistant Chef and battery maker
Reel'd from the golf cart
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the Obama.

Racists to right of them,
Racists to left of them,
Racists behind them
Sputter'd and spew'd;
Storm'd at with snarl and sneer,
While Carney and Van Jones fell,
They that had fought so well
they drove the audits of IRS
Down the the mouth of Teabag'd,
All that was left of them,
Left of Obama.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charges they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made,
Honour the Obama,
Noble Obama.

TTB

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The Collapse Of Western Leadership Has Consequences

While the collapse of Western leadership around the world has major consequences, I am no longer sure that that is not exactly Barack Obama's intention.

Ask: If you were a mole in the Oval Office, determined to reduce America's, and American capitalism's, influence on world affairs, what would you have done differently since Obama took office?

Would you have engineered the survival of the Mubarak regime in Egypt? No.

Would you have supported Moammar Khadafi in Libya as a return for his ending his program to produce nuclear weapons? No.

Would you have re-evaluated the troop withdrawal from Iraq as things fell apart? No.

Would you have closed the border with Mexico to illegal invaders? No.

Would you have created a magnet for illegals by suggesting they would be given amnesty? Yes.

Would you have sent guns to the Mexican drug cartels, in some cases paying for them with taxpayer's money? Yes.

Would you publicly 'joke' in an early speech that you would sic the IRS on your political opponents? Yes.

Would you then use the IRS against political opponents, abuse upon a scale never before so grand? Yes.

Would you have denounced all criticisms of policy as racist? Yes.

When Boston police responded to a 9-1-1 call about a possible burglary in progress, and they insisted that the men found in the house provide IDs, would you announce that "the police acted stupidly"? Yes.

If your parents were Marxists, and your grandparents were Marxists, and your high school mentor was a paid employee of the Communist Party of Hawaii, and your first political fundraiser was in the home of Marxist revolutionaries who were just some people in the neighborhood who you really didn't know, and your pastor of 20 years called on God to damn America, and you had never renounced the beliefs of any of those people, would you act pretty much as Barack Obama has behaved? Possibly.

Would you in January dismiss ISIS as junior varsity, while in August consider ways to defend Chicago from them? Hmmmm.

In any case, Richard Fernandez has an interesting column over at PJ Media.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Museum of Wisconsin Art

I think the Museum of Wisconsin Art -formerly known as the West Bend Art Museum- is an exemplar of what a relatively small museum can be. Under its former director, Tom Lidtke, it transformed from a one artist nonentity into the best of its kind. How? Litdke decided that while they would never have the resources to compete with the Milwaukee Art Museum or the Elvehjem Museum of Art (now the Chazen Museum of Art) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the museum could still be the best in the world at something if they focussed tightly enough.

He chose to make the museum the main storehouse of art and archives of Wisconsin artists who worked prior to 1950, the cut off date intended in part to reduce political infighting among living artists.

Lidtke succeeded brilliantly. After roughly 25 years of his guidance, the museum is the place to go for anything to do with Wisconsin art. It is also slowly moving to collect pre-European Wisconsin Indian art, and showing contemporary pieces as well. He spearheaded the new building on the east side of the river, making it more visible than the original, red brick former insurance agency building several blocks away, and going with a contemporary design.

When Tom Lidtke retired as the new building was finished, the museum hired a powerhouse curator from the Milwaukee Art Museum, Laurie Winters. If the membership numbers in this article are accurate, Winters has done quite a job of building on what Lidtke created.

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Camping Gear: Shoe Organizer/Kitchen Organizer

Some of the 47 ideas on this site strike me as a bit lame or at best cute gimmicks, but using a plastic shoe organizer for the camp kitchen seems like a good one.

When we camp here on Oahu we take a 10 X 20 foot tent for the kitchen & shady, dry sitting area. The cooking gear goes into plastic bins for transport, and it can take some rummaging to find stuff. This might alleviate the problem.

N.B.: There are four pages of stuff. Clik on the title for more details.

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DC Wants More Time To Ban Carrying Guns

It is pretty clear that the Capital of the Former Land of the Free will not go gentle into the hell of Constitutional government. They need more time to dream up regulations so draconian that no one will be able to carry a weapon for self defense against their political base.

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