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February 2006
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April 2006

Oil For Blood

The Belmont Club:

When America decided after September 11 that Saddam constituted an imminent danger it didn't act precipitously. It spent nearly six agonizing months trying to get the UN to act under Resolution 1441. That delay, far from being free, imposed enormous costs, the greatest of which was that it allowed Saddam to get ready for the most telegraphed invasion in recent history. Ace of Spades notes derisively that those who thought a little more diplomacy would have won France and Russia to the American side should think again. According to ABC News recently released documents suggest that the Russian ambassador -- representative of one America's partners for peace in the Security Council -- leaked the US war plans to Saddam Hussein.

Perfidy: Russian foreign policy towards the West.


JWR: Banned in Saudi Arabia

Wes Pruden:

The most immediate presidential concern has to be the fate of Abdul Rahman, the Christian convert in Kabul. Mr. Rahman, who became an innocent follower of Christ 16 years ago after working in a Christian mission to help poor Pakistani Muslims, might be headless already but for a surprising exhibition of testosterone by Germany and Italy, whose leaders threatened to pull their troops out of the coalition of the willing in Afghanistan if the Muslim authorities can't rein in the savages who are determined to kill in the name of the Koran.

Such a show of manly determination set off a run for the smelling salts at our State Department, where estrogen, not testosterone, is the elixir of choice.

Argus Hamilton:

Hillary Clinton said Tuesday a law deporting illegal aliens would be turning against Jesus Christ. It sounded odd. A Democrat hasn't mentioned the name of Jesus Christ since the last time Jimmy Carter missed the nail and struck his thumb.

James Lileks on Saddam:

This is a fellow who specialized in transparent manipulation of religion, just to hedge his bets and build a PR rep in the region. He built enormous mosques that made American megachurches look like a Waffle House; he put a Quranic verse on the state flag,...

Is "Allah Akbar" a Quranic verse?


Stale Kabobs

Kabobfest:

As far as I am concerned, the actual reaction to this paper further proves its thesis. As the New York Sun reports, it was met with "furor from faculty members, Jewish leaders, and a congressman who say it fails to meet academic standards and promotes anti-Semitic myths."

As Harvard tries to distance itself from the paper, we again see the inability of many academics and institutions to critically engage a power structure that seeks to squash any dissent towards America's support for Israel.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt will be hanged tomorrow in Harvard campus as the minions of the power structure chant "Israel Akbar!"

In the face of pressure to silence the authors, the school demonstrated that those putting pressure violated the principle of academic freedom. That is the paper's point precisely: Israel's apologists seek to cut off meaningful debate.

("Meaningful debate" = A debate where pro-Islamist anti-Israelis don't get their asses kicked.) I don't know about a "meaningful debate" but we'll certainly see a lot of vanilla debates for sure. I'm looking forward to the one involving Dershowitz, assuming it materializes.


The Saudi Job

Arab News:

One of the strangest requests Al-Omari received came from a 60-year-old businesswoman who wanted a 25-year-old single handsome man. “She was offering SR2 million for the man of her dreams,” he said.

2 million Saudi Riyals! That's about US$533,333.33. And that's in a country where the average annual income hovers around US$10,000. Al-Omari could retire after finding that lucky Arab.

Link via AbbaGav.


Punishment for Price Fixing

Engadget:

In what might signal the end of the US federal investigation into DRAM price fixing between April 1999 to June 2002, three Samsung execs -- Sun Woo Lee, Yeongho Kang, and Young Woo Lee -- have pled guilty to charges this morning and agreed to pay fines of $250,000 apiece in addition to serving seven-to-eight months in a US luxury prison.

I think the fines should have been a lot higher.


The Art of Moral Equivalence

John Fund on the Yale Talib:

He has dodged reporters for three weeks, ever since his presence at Yale was revealed in a cover story in the New York Times Magazine. Some claim he has fully repented his Taliban past, but in his sole recent interview--with the Times of London--he acknowledged he'd done poorly in his class "Terrorism: Past, Present and Future," attributing that to his disgust with the textbooks: "They would say the Taliban were the same as al Qaeda." At the same time, Mr. Hashemi won't explain an essay he wrote late last year in which he called Israel "an American al Qaeda" aimed at the Arab world. When asked about the Taliban's public executions in Kabul's soccer stadium, he quipped: "There were also executions happening in Texas."

He's quickly picking up the Ivy education!

Link via The Corner.


Wishing for Senator Vietnam

Ruth Marcus:

I have a new theory about what's behind everything that's wrong with the Bush administration: manliness.

Bush can win the war tomorrow by, going on national television, biting his lower lip and saying "I feel your pain" to the Islamists in Iraq. I bet you that would melt Zarqawi's heart...

George Moneo on Ruth Marcus:

Sure, babe. When the islamo-fascists come around to mutilate you -- since as a woman you are worth only a little more than a dog to these folks -- or kill your infidel family we'll see if you want "consensus" and "restraint."

...Or maybe not.


Why?

Pedestrian Infidel: Why Do People Convert to Islam?

A big reason for conversion is that one immediately gets a feeling of solidarity with over a billion Muslims. One often hears Muslims utter that statistic, "The Muslim population of the world is 1.4 billion and growing!" As though, sheer numbers somehow prove that Islam is dandy.

Marriage is another reason. Still, why would women want to convert? I really don't know. Though, the women converts sure do please the men among the Ummah (new fields to plough!).


Peaceful Islamic Teaching

Western Resistance:

Today's Independent newspaper carries a story on a report which has been compiled by the so-called Muslim Parliament of Great Britain. This claims that in the 700 Islamic schools in Britain, about 100,000 are taught. About half of these madrassas use illegal corporal punishment against pupils. At least a dozen children every year at these schools are sexually abused by teachers and imams, and few cases ever get to receive public attention.

No surprise. I've written about the vicious punishments in my Pakistani school in Saudi Arabia here.

It's likely that these children are also abused at home at a higher rate than the non-Muslim population of Britain. Just saying from experience.


Vista in 2007

Gizmodo:

f you were looking forward to installing Microsoft Windows Vista in November, you might be disappointed to hear that the company has delayed the launch until January of 2007.

I'm surprised since the Christmas shopping season would have been great for Microsoft, Intel, and numerous computer manufacturers for they all would have pushed Vista and the coupled hardware. This makes it even more likely that Vista will have one of the slowest, if not the slowest, adoption rate of any Windows OS.


Uncivilization

Glenn Reynolds:

Civilized countries permit freedom of religion. Uncivilized countries kill people for their beliefs. This will simply provide more ammunition for those who believe that Islam is incompatible with civilization.

The Sharia--Islamic law--dictates death for those who've left Islam. This matter has a long history; Sahih Bukhari: Volume 9, Book 84, Number 58.

Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to 'Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle [Prophet Muhammed], 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"

It's not a matter of believing that Islam and civilization don't mix; it's knowing it. The Muslims who don't support the killing of apostates are the ones who're not following Islamic rulings and precedent.


Dude, You're Getting a Mortgage

TG Daily:

The XPS 600 Renegade is a limited production PC that includes everything that you may be looking for in a package that starts at $9930.

Dear Lord.

At the core of the PC is a Pentium D 965 Extreme Edition processor that has been overclocked from 3.73 to 4.26 GHz. Other components include 2 GB DDR2-667 memory, a 160 GB 10,000 RPM WD Raptor as well as a second WD 400 GB 7200 RPM hard drive. The Renegade also comes with a quad-SLI system that includes four GeForce 7900 GTX graphics processors with a total of 2 GB of GDDR3 memory.

Dang.

Besides a DVD burner, a surround speaker set, and a higher-end sound card, the Renegade package also includes Dell's 35-pound 30" LCD, which offers a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixel and a contrast ratio of 700:1.

A 30" PC monitor! That's huge. I understand having such a behemoth for a TV but how does one view that much when it's all just a few inches away? For me, 19-21 inches for a computer monitor is the sweet spot. Not to mention, it compliments my pocket.


Inane Rubbish

Nanny Knows Best:

... full marks to Andrew Tierney, of Hinckley, who threw some litter into a litter bin on a lamp post last month.

Regrettably for Andrew he reckoned without the snooping and prying eyes of Nanny and her troglodytes.

A fortnight later he received a letter from the trolls who work in Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, they were fining him £50 for his trouble.

Unbelievable.


The Test is Over

George Junior:

To demand that someone be put to death for their beliefs is simp[l]y and self-evidently evil. The outcome of this grotesque prosecution is not (as the Times report goes on to suggest) a test of religious freedom in Afghanistan. The country failed that test when Abdul Rahman was arrested for his "crime".

True.


Intellectual Slavery

Dhimmi Watch:

The next time you enjoy a baked potato and some green beans with your t-bone, be sure to utter a quiet prayer of gratitude to Allah for the portentious invention of the three-course meal.

Foreign Dispatches:

See here and here for other manifestations of that famed Muslim tolerance for intellectual freedom. It's a wonder no Muslim Spinozas and Einsteins are emerging given the vibrancy of free thought in the "Ummah."

The mention of intellectual freedom and Einstein reminds me of Saudi Arabia. You see, the Islamist Kingdom has strict custom and Internet policies.

1. Customs. I've travelled to Saudi Arabia over the years to meet my family. On all flights to the land of Saud, alcohol was served. However, that luxury was taken away once the plane entered Arabian air space. Right before exiting the airport, the custom officials opened up and checked every single piece of luggage. If they found any drugs (which included booze), then the punishment for the perpetrator would be a swift beheading.

A lot of people brought CDs, DVDs or books. An official could confiscate such material and then give the offending party a receipt. The person(s) could come back in 48 hours, show the proof, and pick up their material if the Saudi customs hadn't deemed it "offensive".

What might they find "offensive"? Music with non-Islamic religious overtones, movies in which a couple kisses (Allah forbid!), and books authored by Jews. In a world where 170 Jews have won the Nobel Prize, most Arabs haven't even heard of Feynman or Friedman.

2. Internet. While in the Magic Kingdom, I entered the URL for this website and got a message that read like something "For the protection of you and your family, this site has been blocked." After a little tweaking, I figured out that any URL with the word "jew" in it was banned in Saudi Arabia. So, I would just go over to Town Hall to get my Jewish (gasp!) fix.

Don't forget to say bismillah before your three halaal meals!


The Islamic Definition of Tolerance

Abdul Rahman is a former Muslim. He is now a Christian in Afghanistan:

He converted 16 years ago as an aid worker helping refugees in Pakistan. His estranged family denounced him in a custody dispute over his two children.

He must be in psychological hell right now.

Afghanistan's post-Taleban constitution is based on Sharia law, and prosecutors in the case says this means Abdul Rahman, whose trial began last Thursday, should be put to death.

Two paragraphs later:

"We will invite him again because the religion of Islam is one of tolerance. We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so we will forgive him," the judge told the BBC on Monday.

I have this sudden urge to beat the crap out of that judge. With a Quran.

Link via The Religious Policeman.

Update
Anna at Sepia Mutiny:

Shame on those whose narrow-minded hypocrisy defiles a religion which means “peace”.

I think Anna was being serious there which makes no sense considering that the Afghanis are applying Islamic law. Read more about the treatment of apostates by this "peaceful" religion.


Mail Service

Gene Weingarten:

Paul, 31, is a stock clerk and freelance cartoonist from New Athens, Ill. He had his brainstorm and set about creating a Web site to introduce a new commercial enterprise. Despite some favorable publicity, for some reason he has yet to find his first customer. He hopes it will be me.

Me: Please explain the principle behind AfterlifeTelegrams.com.

Paul: We send a telegram to a dead person on your behalf.

Yeeeah.

Me: And how do you do this?

Paul: We give your message to someone who is terminally ill, he memorizes it, and when he gets to the afterlife, he finds your person and delivers it. We charge $5 a word, 100 words max.

Weingarten asks a burning question:

Me: What guarantee can you give that the terminally ill person won't be a prankster and deliver a subversive message, causing great consternation among the dead? For example, let's say the paid-for message is, "Mom, I love you." But the delivered message is, "Dad says he slept with your sister."

That is just cruel.


The Rock

Rahul Dravid is the most dependable Indian cricketer of his generation. He has played in over 100 Test matches after making his debut in 1996. Cricinfo offers tribute to the giant.

His greatest innings, in my opinion, came in 2001. At the time, the Australians -- the world champions -- were on a hot 16-match winning streak. It was the second game of a 3-match series. Australia were, of course, 1-0. Dravid and VVS Laxman came together in the second match and lifted an entire nation to its feet by defeating the almost-all-conquering Aussies. The Indians then went on to win the last match and the series.

It's hard to top that. Though, Dravid will have his chance soon. He will lead the Indian team in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.


Sly Sufi 2

Earlier today 'sufi' left a comment. An excerpt:

It has been observed that you people always believe in shallow knowledge, you media is factor of telling lie, and printing media is state sponsored. Task has been given to them condemn Muslims, criticize their policies and present Islam as religion of terrorism. It is great conspiracy not only against Islam but also against humanity.

Even Talbian, maintained peace and tranquility in very short span of time but world adopted indifferent attitude to drag them in quagmire. They successfully destroyed poppy cultivation, provide easy and inexpensive justice, reduce the local differences, announced general amnesty to the political prisoners but west did not bother to appreciate their policies .

Why am I not getting paid for performing my "task"?


Believe or Die

The Big Pharaoh:

One of the things I really like to do is visit Al Arabiya website everyday and read the comments that people leave after they read a controversial news story. It gives me an idea of how people think about various topics.

Today I was reading what Al Arabiya visitors wrote about the story of Afghan man who might be executed for converting to Christianity. Many of the comments I read made me want to vomit, others were breezes of rationality.

I chose a few of these comments. I included the good, the bad, the ugly, and the very ugly.

Read 'em all.


Modernity and Modesty

Umar Lee:

While they were arguing I and I was trying to make out another conversation in Hebrew (I know a little, but not much) a young girl from an observant family who was dressed like an orthodox school girl was leaving the store and when her cell phone rang The Pussycat Dolls tune played that says "don't you wish your girl was hot like me, don't you wish your girl was a freak like me". Now, quite honestly that blew me away.

Lee goes on to offer his take on the sexual revolution and modern youth.


Right for Women

Victor Davis Hanson answers an Angry Reader on March 19, 2006:

The key to changing radical Islam inside the West is to insist that Muslim women in the West enjoy exactly the same protections as all others, and by that I mean an absolute end to de facto polygamy, circumcision, gender apartheid, and imposition of sharia law. Once women are empowered and equal, we know from experience that the birth rate falls. We need to break the pernicious cycle of segregated women simply staying home in European ghettos raising five or more children and imbuing them with their own frustrations and victimization brought on in part due to the bleak outlook for employment and equality.

Western governments and many intellectuals have failed miserably in this arena. In the name of "tolerance" and multiculturalism, they have allowed severe gender discrimination among their midst.

For example, quite a lot of Muslim men in Western nations don't marry a local whore girl, instead they often go back home to their native land, where offers of marriage flow like wine pepsi for them, and pick a bride. Later, they bring their wives to the West. The vast majority of these brides don't understand even a word of French, Dutch, German, or any other European language.

So, in the case of European Muslims, the new wives are completely at the mercy of their husbands. Therefore, these nations must make it clear that they won't accept the immigration of spouses who don't even comprehend 1) the native language, and 2) 'women equality' in the Western sense.


A Fashionable Sign

Wherever you walk in Cairo, you gonna see something strange... something new! But that guy in the picture really drew my attention to some new kind of ignorance. I was standing near my university campus when I saw this guy. He had long hair, wore a white t-shirt with the word...

Click here to find out. The conclusion of the post is true. See my post from last year to understand the full scope of Islamic education.

Link via LFG via Sandmonkey.


Sly Sufi

I got this weird comment by a dude named 'sufi' in the last post. I'll attempt to reply to his obscure points.

There is famous saying, give dog bad name and hang him. Nowadays, it is a policy of so-called intellectuals of Western countries who believe in superfluous and traverse knowledge. Did anybody ever try to find out reasons why Talbian destroyed statues? Certainly not.

I am assuming the "Talbian" were religiously intolerant. Hey, it's just a guess. If you've got some inside info, then please do share.

Criticism for sake of criticism is neither fruitful nor healthy for literary criticism.

Criticism!

It is a way to spoil energies as well as time to get nothing. You cannot guard poor and hungry lion of den of sheep. It is requisite for employer to arrange basic amenities for lion before giving credible task to bring him book, if any negligence happened.

Um,...what?

US is pioneer of Jihad in Afghansitan and western media coined new term mujahdeen for those who fought against Soviet Union. After disintegration of Soviet Union, US did not play any concrete role to normalize relations, gear up democracy and democratic norms and take steps to bring stability.

So, then you must be in support of the present American efforts to bring democracy and stability in Afghanistan. Right?


Jihad Against Stone

The Daily Times via LFG:

The Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan were destroyed by the Taliban with the help of Pakistani and Saudi engineers.

Two thoughts:

  1. It says something about the backwardness of Afghanistan that the Taliban couldn't even find local people to destroy the statues.
  2. How sad to know that educated Muslims agreed to use their time and talent in annihilating some harmless and historical architecture.

Progress is Not a Guarantee

Amit Ghate wrote this post in early March. I made a few comments regarding it a little over a week ago. Today, Ghate responds; an excerpt:

... I think it must be noted that even after all its discoveries from the time of the Thermopylae through the rule of Marcus Aurelius in Rome, Western civilization basically regressed or stagnated after 180 AD and didn’t regain comparable heights until well into the Renaissance. In other words, there is no historical determinism, and the good doesn’t necessarily win -- certainly not if winning is measured in the timeframe of a single person’s life.

I think that is the biggest legitimate criticism of my thinking.


Incomprehensible Possiblities

Matt McIntosh:

I’m still trying to get my thoughts in order, but my tentative in-a-nutshell description is this: Spore is to video games what Wikipedia is to encyclopedias. The genius of both is that the architects of the system only lay out the process and largely leave the users to generate the content, and the emergent result is more complex than anything a single mind (or small group of minds) could have accomplished.

I just saw the video. The colossal scope of the game is truly jaw-dropping. Spore is something that only a person from the Western world could have created. Such remarkable creativity could never survive within the atrocious Islamic sphere.


Sharia is Alive in Afghanistan

VOA News (via Michelle Malkin):

An Afghan man who recently admitted he converted to Christianity faces the death penalty under the country's strict Islamic legal system. The trial is a critical test of Afghanistan's new constitution and democratic government.

The case is attracting widespread attention in Afghanistan, where local media are closely monitoring the landmark proceedings.

I wrote about the Islamic treatment of ex-Muslims last year. I concluded the essay thusly:

Terror, both psychological and physical, is the very soul of Islam. For what would you say to "continue to believe or die"?

Even the post-Taliban Afghanistan can't overcome this fact.


A+ in Fat

The Washington Post:

They've tried to switch off vending machines during the school day and restrict the size of potato chip bags. Now, Maryland lawmakers are seeking a more direct approach to fight obesity among schoolchildren: a weigh-in.

Two bills being studied in the state Senate would require public schools to evaluate students using the body mass index, a formula that estimates body fat based on height and weight. One of the proposals even calls for sending home the results with report cards -- essentially, a fat grade.

John J. Miller:

... there just aren't enough pressures on students, especially in the upper grades, when it comes to personal appearances.


Fruitless Gesture

Catholic News Service:

Pope Benedict XVI called on Jews, Christians and Muslims to work together to promote peace and justice in the world, and he urged religious leaders to lead the way by reconciling conflicts and divisions through dialogue and active solidarity.

Good idea. Why not have a conference of Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders in Makkah, Saudi Arabia?

I am sure the Muslims will eagerly look forward to that dialogue.

I think the Pope is simply being diplomatic. He likely knows in his heart that this conflict will not end with a little chat over tea and biscuits.

Link via Western Resistance.


A Distorted View of the West

A letter in The Dawn:

MANY people, including writers and correspondents, have been voicing concern at the blind adoption of western culture and values by many of our young people, particularly those studying in the elitist English-medium educational institutions.

For instance, a writer recently narrated an account of young students from a “very high-brow” school in Karachi engaging in objectionable behaviour (Dawn, Magazine, Feb 26). It began by the arrival of these boys and girls packed tightly at the back of a heavy truck. Moments later they were on the loose, with the girls screaming and running wildly on a street near their school and the boys pelting them with cratefuls of eggs as a part of farewell celebrations that also landed on the windshields of parked cars. Swear words “that get beeped out on ‘The Jerry Springer Show’” were being shouted out at the top of their lungs.

It's curious to see that teasing girls and swearing is somehow exclusively the domain of 'Western Culture'.

Take this logic one step further: The Pakistani husbands who physically beat and rhetorically lash their wives are 'Western'.

Hogwash!


American Interests

Martin Kramer wrote yesterday:

There is much ado today about "The Israel Lobby," a long essay written by Stephen Walt of Harvard University and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and published in the London Review of Books. The bottom line is simple and familiar: the Israel lobby has taken over Washington. Within the academy, it's the sort of thing that Juan Cole and Rashid Khalidi have been claiming all along, without getting any traction. And it's what Walt himself argued in a few pages of his book, Taming American Power, which appeared last fall, and which also got very little traction.

...

Back in the fall, a donor to Harvard asked me to counter Walt's argument that Israel is a liability.

Kramer presents the history of Israel and explains why the US started supporting her after 1967. This part is right on:

... is it not actually better for the United States to signal the Arabs that until they change, Israel will remain America's favorite son? Would this not be doubly so in Walt's preferred scenario of "offshore balancing," in which America would drop its active democratizing altogether? What lever would remain to encourage progressive change in the Arab world, if the United States were to back away from the one democratic, modern, and pluralistic society in the Middle East—the most persuasive and proximate argument made to the Arabs, for the empowering and overpowering might of Western democracy and Western modernity? Would the atrophy of such an Israel not fill the ranks of extremists, much as the sacrifice of Czechoslovakia to Hitler did?

Yes, it would.


Into the Land of the Muslim Brotherhood

Gateway Pundit:

** 20 Coptic Christians are being deported back to Egypt from Canada **

This Egyptian Copt living in Canada may be deported back to Egypt because...

The Muslim member on The Immigration and Refugee Board didn't believe the Copt and said that the Copt was not telling the truth!

He is one of 20 Coptic Christians that the Canadian Government is sending back to Egypt! They are going back the same way they came into Canada... through the US. One has already been sent back to Egypt and his supporters have not heard from him since. He has disappeared since he was sent back... He is just gone.

The IRB of Canada has made a terrible decision.