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This is an Opinion site. Unlike Leftists, I back up my opinions with verified facts and the consistent application of personal morals. I do not do "current events" as I like to wait until facts come out and I have to grok on it until fullness is achieved.

This is a one-man operation that I get to after my day job and family. Currently posting only sporadically due to the time it takes me to make a post vs. the demands on my non-computer life. All comments are approved before posting to prevent spam. Coherent comments of differing opinions are welcome.

"Moderate" Muslims

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Cox and Forkum have a new panel out today. While it isn't spectacular, the write-up is the important part. Here is the panel: The Moderate Mahdis.

And that is precisely what makes Mahathir and his ilk all the more dangerous. The "extremists" like the Taliban doom themselves to insignificance by the very fact of their consistent adherence to their religious philosophy. But those who can make compromises with the demands of this world -- those who embrace the same moral and religious precepts, but implement them in a more reasonable, practical form -- are much more dangerous. They give their irrationalist philosophy some degree of power in the world.

But the biggest threat to the West is not the moderate Mahdis. It is the failure of our leaders to identify the malevolence of the Muslim "moderates" and see them as a threat.Read the whole thing.

 
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More Khaddafi

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I've already talked about Khaddafi here in my blog, where I summed it up with "Trust, but verify."

Well, it seems that Khaddafi was caught red-handed trying to sneak nuclear weapons technology into Libya a few months ago and we seized the vessel. This probably has something significant to do with his "conversion." You can read about it here, Suspicion Still Surrounds Libyan Leader Qadhafi.

That decision followed a bust two months earlier of Qadhafi as he tried secretly to import components for nuclear weapons. The ship with the hidden instruments was interdicted by the United States and United Kingdom. U.S. officials said Wednesday that it was diverted to Italy in October, where authorities found its secret cargo of nuclear weapons equipment.

Khaddafi realized he got put very high on the shit list of the US and UK after getting his hand caught in the nuclear cookie jar. That is probably a very large part about why he is scared. He put himself on the 'Axis of Evil' and he is doing everything he can to get himself off of that list.

Good Luck. It ain't gonna happen.

 
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Overstatement

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As usual, the BBC is displaying its' bias by reporting stuff that is certain to be inflammatory. Case in point: Brazil to fingerprint US citizens.

This story is about how the US is requiring fingerprints of all people coming into the country and are using a visa. Reasonable in our post 9/11 world. Well, Brazil got huffy about it and is requiring that US citizens reciprocate.

Here's the money quote:

"I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis [emphasis mine]"

What can you say to this? We do a stateside background check to supplement the one done in the country of origin and all of a sudden we're Nazis? I also like the "absolutely brutal" bit as well, like we bludgeon people for good measure before we take their fingerprints.

This is, of course, the standard overstatement and smear to make us the bad guys. Like Dennis Miller said, "We're so busy calling everybody a Nazi that we ignore the guy with the funny mustache who tosses people he doesn't like into plastic shredders."

Save the term Nazi for the people who systematically murder thousands of people, would you please? Thanks.

 
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Happy new year!

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My mother had a tradition of eating sauerkraut for good luck to start the new year.

To me, eating sauerkraut was just about #1 on my do-not-do list. If I ate sauerkraut to start the year, that was the worst thing that could happen. From a start like that, things could only get better.I am going to do what I normally do for New Years: Sleep through it. It's no big thing for me any more.If you're partying tonight, take care, use a designated driver and watch out for the amateur drunks.

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Quote of the year

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I have read many quotes from all of those people capping off 2003. Right Wing News has a top 10 list of his favorite feedbacks from the Democratic Underground. This one is my favorite.

"What we MUST realize in order to win - Americans are stupid and uninformed. This is very important because in order to win we must understand the way the average American thinks. I'm afraid WE have nothing in common with them.

I came to the two following conclusions when I saw the large number of people who voted for Bush back in 2000.

#1 - I would dare to assume that most of us here are in the upper 1%-20% of the population intelligence-wise. We must come to the realization that the majority of the population is in the lower 80% to 99% percent of the bell-curve. WE are not the norm. The Republicans understand that the average American is not very bright. They cater and pander to the masses. The Democratic Party tries to appeal to the population about "issues" that these people just don't understand.

I've heard it said that the reason that Clinton's sex scandal resonated so strongly among "the people" was because it was a scandal that the average American understood. The average person can't understand a financial scandal.

In addition, people of average or lower intelligence tend to not be as logical or reasoned as those of higher intelligence - they deal with emotion. Therefore they are more likely to get riled up about someone burning a flag rather than a illogical tax cut.

#2 - The majority of people do not read the newspaper OR listen to the news, CNN, etc. Therefore -they get their news from the Tonight Show, Letterman, Oprah and Saturday Night Live. Or, they get their news from talking to their co-workers at the water cooler.

Also, for the few people who DO listen to the news - who do they hear it from? Fox News and Bill O'Reilly are the most popular. Most newspapers and media outlets are owned by Republicans.

THIS is what we are fighting against people. In order to win we will need to start pandering to the masses." -- Janekat

This is the fringe that is presently control of the Democrat party. I'm glad. As long as the rabid zealots run the house, they will scare away the moderate swing voters that will make the difference.

These people actually remind me of schizophrenics. People who suffer from untreated schizophrenia are in their own world, responding to things that the rest of us don't see, hear or understand. Schizophrenics are easy to spot, however. They hear the TV talking to them, schizophrenic believe that computers are beaming thoughts into their brains and the like.Now you tell me. Re-read the quote I have up there again and tell me this person does not have a serious disconnect from reality. Janekat does not imply, she says it in plain English that she thinks most Americans are stupid. They have to be not to see how right she is. It doesn't even occur to Janekat that she might be wrong. That is simply not possible. She's too smart to be wrong. Her stance on "The Democratic Party tries to appeal to the population about "issues" that these people just don't understand" doesn't even consider that the majority of people have already looked at their issues and just don't agree with them. She doesn't think that these people have the right to disagree with her. After all, she's right.Yeah, right.

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Don't let this happen

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God bless the ACLU is a rather scary look into our possible future. Do your best not to let it happen.

In 2007, the American Civil Liberties Union was finally successful in getting Ten Commandments plaques removed from public buildings in all fifty states. In addition:
1. They forced the Ten Commandments to be expunged from the Supreme Court building;
2. They obliged the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to fire their chaplains;
3. They won a ban on official chaplains in the military;
4. They removed "In God We Trust" from all currency and public documents;
5. They removed "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance;
6. They removed all crosses, Stars of David and crescents from the gravestones of American soldiers in military cemeteries around the world.

The last part that I didn't quote is the scariest of all.

Read on.

 
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I'm at 8

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While I am felling better than yesterday, it's not by much. Getting to have lunch with my family yesterday and do some shopping with them helped with my mood. My family still loves me. We are apart because of my condition and lack of emotional control. That's it. If I could handle normal stress, If I could be a positive asset for my wife and her struggles, I would be home today. But that's not going to happen for a long time, if ever.

This time of year has been very rough with me ever since I got sick. Most of my hospitalizations have been in the winter months. My wife thinks I have Seasonal Affective Disorder on top of everything else.

I'll shoot for a 7 tomorrow to start off the new year.

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Victor strikes again

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Another great article by Victor Davis Hanson. The Western Disease goes into the why some of us are ashamed of our success.

Our Western intellectuals are sheltered orchids who are naïve about the world beyond their upscale hothouses. The Western disease of deductive fury at everything the West does provides a sort of psychological relief (without costs) for apparent guilt over privileged circumstances. It is such a strange mixture of faux-populism and aristocratic snobbery. They believe only a blessed few such as themselves have the requisite education or breeding to understand the "real" world of Western pathologies and its victims.

Read on. It's good for you.

 
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More government records

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I found this in The Washington Times, about the BATF and their quest to be the secret police. Bill limits gun-buyer database means they are trying to keep records on those who buy guns legally.

And if they get away with a 90 day record keeping, then they will go for 6 months, then a year, and so on until it becomes permanent. They are already permanently digitizing and archiving all of the 4473's from gun shops that have gone out of business. A 4473 is the ATF form that you fill out when you buy a gun from a gun shop or someone who owns a Federal Firearms License.

This is not an aberration because the BATF is trying to do the same thing for rocketry as well. Years ago, they decided to add Ammonium Perchlorate to their explosives list, without checking to see if it really was an explosive or not. AP is the major propellant used in high power rocketry. In fact, it's the same stuff used in the two boosters used on the space shuttle. Now the BATF wants to regulate it out of the hands of rocketeers. You need to have a license for it, you need to store it in such a way, you must record when you use it and so on.

And my mental illness precludes me from obtaining a license for AP, just like a firearm.

The BATF is an enormously aggressive force, grabbing everything they can, never letting go and always hungry for more. It needs to be given close oversight control and be reined in severely. You can find hundreds of anecdotal incidents out there that range from destroying law-abiding citizens lives all the way down to killing kittens.

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Victims compensation

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This article, Criminals Owe Debt to Victims, Not Society has been bandied about for years. I myself wrote about this subject in an earlier version of The Conservative Zone.

Most people realize that the court and penal systems in North America are seriously broken and must be fixed. With the possible exception of China, the United States currently imprisons more of its population than any other nation: the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports 2,033,331 imprisoned as of December 31, 2002.

I wrote that upon conviction, a fine should be assessed the convictee, to cover court costs, victims re-compensation and enough so that the criminal, upon release, has a substantial nest egg (~$10,000) to help start a new life.

A large portion of those behind bars today are there for drug related crimes. While drugs have many parallels to alcohol and prohibition, there are many important differences. To get into them would be a digression I am unwilling to take right now, maybe later.

Suffice it to say our judicial system needs a capitalistic overhaul. Most of us have to pay our way through life, I see no reason for those who break the rules to do any different.

 
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I feel horrible

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No, I don't have the flu, but rather peaking at 9.5. The only reason I got out of bed this morning was to feed my birds. I got really bad like this last year around Christmas too. The time of year when you're supposed to be the happiest I'm at my lowest ebb.

It really sucks not being with your family, knowing that if you do spend more than a few minutes with them, you get out of control and become a danger to everybody around you. It really sucks to know that they need your help and you are unable to give it to them.

I'm going to crawl back under the covers and call in sick. Maybe something this afternoon.

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Sitrep

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The family emergency (leaking hot water tank) is being fixed as we speak, and things are getting patched up between me and the wife. Her troubles are still there, but there is nothing I can do to help with that.

I forced myself to get out the last two entries, but now I really have to go into the closet. There is much gnashing of teeth and wailing going on this side of the screen. I need the darkness to quiet down and regain control of myself.

Later.

 
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Khaddafi's "Conversion"

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While glancing through National Review Online, I found a guest columnist and his article, Khaddafi's "Conversion".

Written by the former head of Romania's foreign intelligence, who "ran" Khaddafi for the Soviet Union, we get the impression that Khaddafi is being more smart than scared.

Whether he's smart, scared or whatever, as long as we can know for certain that Khaddafi has no WMD and no ties to terrorism, he's clean as far as we are concerned. We have no strategic interest in his country as long as he keeps his nose clean. As Ronald Reagan once said, "Trust, but verify."

I don't care what spots he has as long as they pose no danger to us. That might sound rather harsh, but look at the reality. The US cannot depose every dictator, no matter how brutal. At least not in any quick succession. The rest of the world either doesn't care or is unable to do so by their own internal problems.

And while freedom is every person's birthright, it remains something that must be earned, not given. Freedom is a scary way to live. Not only can you win big, you can also lose big as well. Freedom to starve is right next to freedom to succeed. That's why we as Americans are so successful. We know there is nobody to catch us if we fail. Very few of us who reach for the stars get there on the first attempt. It is by failure that gives us the incentive to try again, and harder. In brutal dictatorships where any success is seen as a threat to the State, no one tries. Because the reward for success and failure is death. In places like Iraq was, doing nothing also could get you a trip into the plastic shredder. So again, there is no incentive to try very much. You eke out what you can and hope you don't attract the attention of the secret police.

I stand by what I said when I wrote that freedom must be earned, not given. The people of Iraq have not been given freedom yet, but rather the removal of the yoke of dictatorship. They must still earn it. Iraqis are only learning about the fundamentals of freedom today, they are getting the payoff of freedom first. They still have to learn the responsibility part. It takes eternal vigilance on the part of the people to make sure freedom stays free. The people of Iraq can still lose their freedom before it ever gets off the ground if they do not wisely choose their form of government. Hopefully we will steer them down the proper path.

 
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Time for Recess

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This article, Bush Makes Dozen Recess Appointments discusses how the President has appointed several people into positions he wanted them in, but the Democrat minority didn't.

These appointments are up for a review in just over a year when the next Congress is sworn in. Hopefully there will be a filibuster proof Republican majority come 2005 and we can move forward without interference.

The question remains is will President Bush continue on this path and put in the judicial nominees that are being held up. Hopefully soon.

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Relatively Painless

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Wow. I made it through with only one tech support call, very little screaming and no bloodshed. I got the major programs reinstalled, now the minor stuff will take place over the next week to a month. It'll be a good indication of what I actually use. Instead of having to worry about squeezing out a little more disk space, I have a whole 6 gig (out of a 10 gig drive) free. I use a laptop, so it isn't easy to just upgrade the hard drive.

Phew. This was one job I was really dreading. I'm glad it turned out to be a molehill.

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