Friday, September 27, 2002
Daily laughs... Everyone needs them, and the Arab News never disappoints. In their various advice columns we see that it is not permissible for men to wear gold jewelry (although for women "it is a concession.") Further down in the same column, I am shocked to discover that women in the Kingdom are forbidden to drive not for religious reasons, but as a matter of "national regulation." (Take *that,* you US Saudi-bashers. It's obvious that no one could drive with a black screen over their entire face, including their eyes. Ignorant infidels!)
It is also permissible for good Muslims to paint scenes from nature and people's faces, although not nekkid people. Again, I'm shocked. Is the Arab News going liberal on us or something?
For the record, the nekkid guy in the picture can be found adorning the Sistine Chapel; the scene is entitled "The Execution of Haman." Remember him? He was the Persian conniver who got out of line by trying to arrange for the extermination of the Jews.
Anne 12:47 PM
Dog bites man on the "Arab street:" Saudi Interior Minister Naif wants to know why Israel is allowed to have nukes and Iraq isn't. He blames "the Joooooooooz" and
denounced perceived Western media campaigns against his country and other Arab states, saying they were "orchestrated by the Zionist lobby which works against the American people’s interests."
It is an interesting coincidence that Naif's name in English means a clueless innocent. Maybe in his naivete he doesn't realize that the Israelis are not going to smuggle a nuke into NYC or Washington, while the Iraqis most certainly would. You'd think that would count for something...
"Such campaigns will not cause the Saudi leadership and people to swerve from their commitments to their religion, to their nation, and to the world," he said, stressing that Riyadh rejected terrorism. "The most powerful nation in the world is hostile to Arabs and Muslims as a result of the influence the Zionist lobby wields in the United States," the prince said.
Anne 12:31 PM
Yes, it *is* about religion: Pakistan's Christians have called for three days of mourning - schools and businesses shuttered, black flags flying - to protest jihadi violence after General Musharraf's regime began cracking down on Islamic militants. This past Wednesday, seven Christian charity workers were murdered execution-style in their Karachi office.
Church bombings and other attacks on Christians, who make up about 2.5% of Pakistan's population of 145,000,000, are nothing new in this country, but have accelerated over the past year, since the United States has been using Pakistan as a staging ground for retaliatory strikes against the Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, in today's Wall Street Journal Weekend Journal (print edition), Paul Marshall, author of Islam at the Crossroads and a fellow at the Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, DC, explains in depth why indeed "it's really all about Islam." While the Islamic-state media are blatantly obvious in the religious motivation behind killing Jews and Christians for simply existing, Marshall says that the Western media carefully weed out these religious references, instead using terms like "ethnic cleansing," "right-wing" or "fundamentalist" that have no meaning in relation to Islamic jihad.
Marshall concludes by telling us frankly what the Christians of Pakistan (who clearly face extermination if Musharraf is ever overthrown and a true Islamic dictatorship established) and everyone else in the world faces:
Religion shapes politics from Palestine to Chechnya, from the Sudan and Nigeria to Sri Lanka and Indonesia. At the moment, we face a politicized religious fanaticism, one that each day announces its rationale. Al Qaeda and its imitators in Algeria, Uzbekistan and the Philippines - and in Pakistan as well - do not trade in euphemism. They state their desire to impose an extreme version of Islam on, first, Muslim countries and then the rest of the world. Their particular hatred is directed at nonbelievers, not at "the West," whatever the headline writers and analysts may say the next time a massacre happens. And it will.
Anne 12:18 PM
Russian Republic of Ingushetia invaded by Chechen rebels as dozens of Russian soldiers and a British journalist are killed.
While the New York Times article above is too polite to say so, many writers (like Patrick Armstrong) believe that the Chechenya war actually constitutes a wahhabbi incursion against Russia. Armstrong says:
The war in Chechnya is a case study of the way in which the Wahhabi jihadist network infiltrates an existing struggle and twists it to its purpose using the four pillars of money, leadership and religious and civil ideology. Similar techniques have been used by bin Laden in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The jihadists are quite uninterested in local aims, subordinating everything to their eternal war -- a war that they believe is against the rest of the world.This translation of a German article goes into more depth of the wahhabi roots of the conflict, and also points out that not only are the wahhabi jihadists fighting against the Russians, they are also fighting against the indigenous Sufi Muslims in that region, who maintained a "parallel Islam" in semi-underground form during Communist hegemony. As is characteristic of wahhabi Borg-collective assimilationist ideology, no "rival Islam" is permitted to exist, and thus the leaders of these recently-freed regions (like Chechenya and Dagestan) are also "the enemies" of a separate Wahhabist-run state.
It shouldn't take Vladmir Putin's nagging to remind us that what the Russians are experiencing is an actual ongoing wahhabi *invasion,* as well as isolated jihadi-terrorist attacks.
Anne 11:11 AM
Bin Laden's fan boy gets 48 classified documents and a judge has ordered that the government has to get them back.
Zacarias Moussaoui, who has been called the "20th hijacker" and is currently on trial as an Al-Qaeda co-conspirator in the 9/11/01 attack, is acting as his own lawyer, because *somebody* in the Justice Department decided that he shouldn't be tried by a military tribunal. Apparently some of the documents he requested to defend himself included 48 classified ones, which interestingly were not marked as such but did contain classified information.
How did this screw-up occur? According to the San Jose Mercury News:
The summaries were provided to Moussaoui as part of the pretrial discovery process, in which prosecutors are required to provide defendants with evidence that they may use against them at trial.Maybe the Divine Mr. M wasn't so stupid after all in acting as his own lawyer. He's fluent in several languages and has an advanced degree in business. (Knock out another leg of the "terrorism is caused by poverty and oppression" stereotype.) Short of doing a brain-wipe, the information on those documents is now in his head, ready to be passed on whenever he sees fit. Perhaps that might be when he finally decides to accept some pro-jihadi lawyer.
Justice Department officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., were convinced that Moussaoui had not read the documents at issue, since they were among massive stacks of paper and computer disks that have been provided to him after he announced in April that he wanted to act as his own attorney and fire his court-appointed defense team.Sounds like the triumph of hope over experience.
Perhaps when the Keystone Cops get this little security fiasco resolved, we can get back to trying foreign nationals (like the French Moussaoui) in military tribunals instead of civilian courts, where they not only make fools of their prosecutors, but endanger our national security as well.
Anne 10:39 AM
Thursday, September 26, 2002
More discrimination lawsuits against engineering firms hiring foreigners: This summer, a former Sun Microsystems employee filed a job discrimination suit against his ex-workplace for laying off about 4,000 US workers, while leaving the ranks of H-1Bs untouched. Now more suits have been filed over the issue of H-1B visa holders (mostly from India, Pakistan, China, and various Arab nations) working in the US as engineers at the expense of laid-off US tech workers.
The problem has been long-documented in publications like Electrical Engineering Times. The IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers) reported this summer that engineering unemployment had gone up 13%, and asked Congress to reduce US reliance on H-1Bs. Debates have been raging on whether or not there even is an "engineering shortage" at all.
Incredibly, even in the worst technology downturn ever, companies are still complaining that "they can't find qualified American workers." Continuing to hire H-1Bs will guarantee that there *will* be very few Americans to hire in the future, because American college students aren't going to go through the expense and the difficulty of an engineering program, only to find that there are few jobs available due to offshore outsourcing and H-1Bs. In fact, encouraging more high school students to study engineering will at this point only make the problem worse, because often the talents of older engineers are wasted, discarded, and ignored in favor of hiring cheaper recent college grads - or at least it was cheaper, until more generous H-1B allotments were available.
The main reason: unlike college new-hires (who can quit after two or three years and go somewhere else), H-1Bs are in a way "indentured servants." If they leave their job, they have exactly ten days to find a new one, or leave the country, or remain as illegal aliens. In other words, quitting is not an option, if an H-1B wants to stay in the United States, since in a downturn engineers find new jobs in months, not days.
The solution is not to continue to bash US education programs (why, if public school math and science teaching is so poor, the US still is on the forefront of technology?) Nor is it to crank out more engineering college graduates. (The problems of universities in filling their ranks is another issue.)
The solution is for Congress, first off, to eliminate the H-1B visa category entirely. The second is for Congress to mandate that if a technology company lays off its workers, it must lay off a visa holder before a US citizen.
Anne 2:39 PM
Congress passes "conscience waiver" for those hospitals and insurance programs which elect to *not* cover abortions. Previous federal law exempted individual doctors and medical students; this bill extends conscience coverage to institutions as well. Democrats like Diana DeGette (D-CO) are calling it a "gag rule," but in truth, as far as abortion proponents go, the only "choice" is no choice for those who don't want to be forced into paying for abortions or doing them.
Unfortunately, the Senate's counterpart bill has been sent to a committee headed by Edward Kennedy (D-MA.) It's going to take a lot of prayer to break it loose.
Anne 2:05 PM
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Catholic gypsies? Apparently the "monster mom" who allegedly beat her child in the Indiana parking lot is a member of a Cathlic gypsy group called the Irish Travelers. They even have a priest in the diocese of Charleston, SC assigned to them.
The Irish Travelers are apparently no stranger to controversy. One cult awareness group mentions a CNN story (scroll down to #38) that reported on the auto crash death of five cousins, whose birth certificates allegedly didn't match their ages at all (for instance, age 20 on paper, with a 12-14 year old victim.)
They have also been reported to have engaged in even less savory activities, in this undated Georgia report which describes the raising of the legal age of marriage for girls in South Carolina from age 12 to 14:
The bill is in response to reports that girls as young as 12 were being forced into arranged marriages with older men in the Irish Traveler community in Murphy Village. An episode of Dateline NBC prompted public outcry, followed by a decision from Attorney General Charlie Condon to form the South Carolina Traveler Crime Task Force ...
According to this Friday, September 20 WFAA.com article (registration required), they also homeschool their children. Sigh. Antics like this give the rest of homeschoolers a bad name.
The state task force swept through Murphy Village and arrested 14 Irish Travelers on charges of food stamp fraud, tax evasion and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The delinquency charges related only to the truancy of Traveler children from school.
Anne 9:40 PM
Monday, September 23, 2002
Israel will now defend itself, says Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. As General William Tecumseh Sherman said, "War is the remedy our enemy has chosen, and I say give them all they want."
During the Gulf War, thirty-nine SCUD missiles launched by Iraq hit Israel, and Israel listened to Washington's entreaties to sit there and take it like men, without retaliation. That was then, baby, this is now.
The Israeli position has Washington on edge. Earlier this week, Secretary Rumsfeld made a public plea for the Israelis not to retaliate if attacked. But the Israelis find non-response unacceptable. It is absolutely, fundamentally immoral to tell someone - either an individual or a country - that he may not use just force to defend himself and/or retaliate to keep his own person, or his own land, from attack. This goes against every principle of natural law, and can be understood by anyone of any culture or religion.
Newsmax also claims that
Israel has candidly told the Bush administration, and through back channels the Iraqis, that if mass destruction weapons are used against Israel, Iraq can expect a devastating nuclear response. No one wants a nuclear war. But if Israel is the first nation to use nuclear weapons against an Iraqi attack, then they must. Only hope the winds blow from east to west.
Anne 11:36 AM
Could there be a European "Civil War?" The EU's Convention on the Future of Europe is drafting an EU "Constitution." One such proposal called "the exit clause" would *force* EU members to remain inside the EU, even if their own parliaments and people wanted to leave.
This has always intrigued me - what would happen if an EU member nation decided that it wasn't worth it anymore? Would Germany and France, for instance, go to war against Great Britain if Great Britain wanted out? And if so, whose side would we be on?
If there was ever a time for Great Britain to shake the horse manure of Brussels off its sandals, this is it. If the EU writes this provision into its new constitution, even if Great Britain doesn't ratify it, it will apply to them if enough of the EU nations *do* ratify it. Get out while you still can... because in my more pessimistic moments, I don't think the US would be on Great Britain's side.
Anne 11:19 AM
Saturday, September 21, 2002
Does the earth move for you? Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin punched a harasser, but wasn't charged. Aldrin claimed that he was defending himself against Bart W. Sibrel, who supposedly followed Aldrin around, poked him with a Bible, called him a "liar," and demanded that Aldrin deny that he had actually landed and walked on the moon.
This brought to mind the persistence of odd ideas about the earth and correspondingly odd ideas about the former space programs. The tiny and now-defunct Flat Earth Society was a carry-over from a 19th century British group called the Universal Zetetic Society In Inventing the Flat Earth, writer Jeffrey Burton Russell:
... begins with a discussion of geographical knowledge in the Middle Ages, examining what Columbus and his contemporaries actually did believe, and then moves to a look at how the error was first propagated in the 1820s and 1830s--including how noted writers Washington Irving and Antoinne-Jean Letronne were among those responsible.
In other words, "ignorant" medievals knew the world was round (as did all the classical ancients.) The "Flat Earth" notion arose as a consequence of the fight between explicitly anti-Christian Darwinists, and Biblical literalists.
He shows how later day historians followed these original mistakes, and how this "snowball effect" grew to outrageous proportions in the late nineteenth century, when Christians opposed to Darwinism were labelled as similar to Medieval Christians who (allegedly) thought the earth was flat.
Then there are the fixed-earthers, who don't believe the earth is flat, but instead believe the sun and all the planets (presumably the entire universe) revolve around the earth. Geocentrists come in many varieties, including "traditionalist" Catholic Robert Sungenis, who has sparked a lively debate within some Catholic circles over his view.
Then there are the hollow-earthers This idea comes from ancient Indian Vedic mythology, in which the world is supposed to actually have a hollow space inside of it large enough to accommodate an advanced civilization. Nineteenth century cranks picked up on this idea too. It received its most recent (and most picturesque) expression in the computer games Myst and Riven, especially in their novelizations. A superior race called the D'ni lived inside the earth, undetected by men, until a woman minerologist / archaelogist accidentally uncovered one of their tunnels and fell down the proverbial rabbit hole.
Anne 8:37 AM
Friday, September 20, 2002
Taliban have taken to hiding under burqas to commit mayhem. See? Kemal Ataturk was right when he banned head-to-toe coverups for women in the new secular state of Turkey. The Karzai government needs to ban burqas - just as Nazi symbols and uniforms were banned during German de-Nazification after World War II.
Anne 10:08 PM
Don't you feel *safer* now, knowing that a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Pittsburgh airport required an official to *tear* the ribbon with his bare hands rather than cut it with a scissors, because scissors are *banned?*
Norman Mineta is making a laughing stock of this administration because of his political correctness. President Bush, please, please fire him. Please, before he ruins air travel entirely.
Yes, I know he had a bad childhood in a Wyoming Japanese internment camp. Well, that's sad, and I'm sorry he had to suffer, but that was then and this is now. He needs to get a grip and install some El-Al-style profiling.
My new bumper sticker: Ban wahoobis, not scissors.
Anne 9:45 PM
Chechen terrorists planned to use "non-Arabic" jihadi to hijack a jetliner and attack the US, the Moscow Times reports, citing the FBI.
This is significant because many Muslims in Eastern Europe and the Balkans are of European, not Arab, Persian, or Turkish descent. These regions were Christian when they were conquered by the Ottoman Turks. A good portion of the Christian population sucumbed to military and economic pressure, and converted to Islam, but the Ottomans didn't really colonize that area, and so ethnically and racially many of the Muslims there look "European."
Now I am from a generation where if it appeared in the Russian press, you didn't believe it. If you wanted to insult an American newspaper, you called it "Pravda West." This, however, I believe. Wahhabi Islamists from Arab countries (including, of course, Saudi Arabia) have been fighting against the non-wahhabi Muslims *and* Russians in Chechnya for years. Before 9/11/01, the Russians were often portrayed as "the bad guys" caught in a sort of Afghanistan-redux.
In the present day it becomes more obvious where the real problem lies, and it's not with the Russians.
Anne 9:35 PM
Honor student suspended for bag of pills she says she found: This behavior doesn't sound all that smart. I can assure you, I wouldn't pick up a strange, abandoned bag just lying around. People get their hands blown off that way. You see a suspicious parcel, you report it. You don't go rooting around in it.
Anne 9:22 PM
It's not even Oktober yet, and the Saudi whinefest has already begun: WorldNet Daily reveals that Saudi males age 16-45 are to be added to an immigration "watch list" along with other national terror-sponsors like Iraq, Syria, and Iran. Other new members of the watch list are Pakistan and Yemen. Page 3 of the Justice Department memo may be read here.
The Saudi are reported to be "shocked and surprised." Well, open another bottle, boys.
Unfortunately the Bush administration felt it necessary to keep the memo under wraps:
The memo, dated Sept. 5, warns Immigration and Naturalization Service officials to limit its circulation.
Bad move, guys. Or are the State Department and Saudi Arabia still on their "own side?" Why should Attorney General Ashcroft enable them in their dysfunctional relationship?
"This information is not to be discussed or shared with the media or the public," the memo says (emphasis in the original).
Anne 9:13 PM
More teen pregnancy, not less? Frederica Mathewes-Green has a provocative article in NRO on the advantages of teen pregnancy - *married* teen pregnancy, that is.
While I agree with her assessment of the physical advantages of motherhood to women between 18 and 25, and recognize that fertility drops off exponentially after that age, Mathewes-Green leaves out one crucial element. In general, 18-20 year old men in a "globally-based" economy simply cannot earn enough money to support a non-college-educated wife and children.
Let's look at the reality of high school today. Mathewes-Greene claims that in days past, a high school diploma *was* a certificate of employability. But employability doing what? The economy has fundamentally changed from then till now. The jobs that sustained high-school-educated men in generations past have been largely eliminated, either by offshore manufacturing, or automation, or the transition from a manufacturing to largely service/information economy. The rigorous high school classes are almost entirely for the college-bound.
Even a college education is no guarantee of work paying enough to support a one-income family, as recent college graduates are discovering. This too is a function of not only the global economy, but the demographics of the "Baby Boom."
The dot-bust and collapse of the telecom industries have hurt not only Boomers approaching retirement whose IRAs have been cut by 50-75%, but also ensure that many Boomers will *not* retire at 60 or 65, thus making way for younger workers. The Boomers are going to stick to their knitting a long, long time. Not only that, many Boomer-generation women who dropped out of the workforce to raise their children will probably re-enter it in their early to late 50s, thus making job competition even stiffer.
With more companies farming out *both* manufacturing and technology jobs offshore, and with the glut of H-1B immigrants still monopolizing many US technology jobs, even new college graduates in previously "secure" fields like engineering, science, and computer programming have found it difficult to find work.
Mathewes-Green alludes to the high divorce rate among teenage marriages, and attributes it to "low expectations" and "lack of support." Much of it, though, is probably money. Two full-time workers earning minimum wage or slightly above it will still not enough to reach the "median" income level (which varies by state, but is between $38,000 and $45,000 a year.)
The explosion in housing costs also price young couples out of the market. Some of this can be laid at the foot of the Boomers as well, who are not only sticking to their jobs like glue but also refusing to move. Much of it has to do with the simple fact that excellent schools in an area cause housing prices to rise accordingly. This is true for Catholic parish schools as well as public ones. Young high-school-graduate couples are going to have children, and probably more of them than their older cohorts. Where they go to school is a significant issue, because much cheap housing is found in school districts that are educationally disastrous, and the lower incomes of non-college-educated men, again, will likely not suffice to pay private school tuition in many cases.
So while I agree with Mathewes-Green that we have indeed gotten ourselves into a destructive and downward demographic spiral, breaking out of it right now is probably going to come about on the individual and the church level, rather than on the level of public policy. Just as homeschooling has served as an alternative to expensive private and (some) disastrous public schools for a tiny but significant percent of families, so might younger marriage work for couples on individual levels - where families are there to give support, and businesses are willing to take a chance on hiring young people right out of college.
Anne 9:39 AM
The German Connection: It's well-known by now that the 9/11 attackers did much of their plotting in Hamburg, Germany, which for fear of being labelled "Nazi" takes a hands-off approach to both religious extremist groups and "guest workers" from Mideastern countries.
Germany apparently harbors a nasty little jihadi group called The Caliphate State, dedicated to the overthrow of the secular government of Turkey. The German government has banned 16 allied groups and raided about 100 homes and offices.
One significant point about groups like Caliphate State is that they attempt to set up alternative Muslim faux-governments even within constitutional democracies. India for instance has had decades of problems stemming from its various attempts to apply different sets of laws and regulations to Muslims and Hindus.
The goal of virtually every "fundamentalist" Islamic system is to replace constitutional democracies with Muslim theocracies. Even though one German minister compared Bush to Hitler, it's laudable that the Germans are trying to suppress at least one of these jihadi organizations not only for inciting "race hatred" but for attempting to set up a fake "Muslim government."
Anne 8:50 AM
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
How we look to the Other Side of the Pond: TruShare is a conservative Anglican online magazine, and their Anglican priest correspondent Geoffrey Kirk in E Pluribus Unum recently spent some time in the US. After the usual cracks about the food, he visited a Catholic Mass in Chicago:
The celebration of the Assumption at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Name, Chicago is a case in point. The liturgy was studiedly casual. No one had taken the trouble to arrange an organist, or even a pianist – so that the six hundred or so communicants were led by a tone deaf priest in the singing of hymns of indifferent quality, which they clearly did not know. Somehow someone had failed to arrange an offertory procession. There was a good deal of fumbling. And the celebrant realized, at the end of the Mass on this major Marian feast, that he had forgotten the Ave Maria, which was appended to the rite, and after the dismissal.
Another interesting point made was: The difference there [in America] is that when you stop believing in God you don’t stop going to church. You just change the Church.
But more American than all this was the sermon.
Our Lady’s Assumption, we were told, is an occasion to rejoice in our bodies, and to ‘get in touch with our physicality’. The Church has for too long been world- and body-denying. But, with Our Lady, we can now see that all that was wrong. She had lived in an oppressive patriarchal culture over which, by God’s grace; she had triumphed, and we should learn to do the same. The preacher had recently had a cataract operation. What a joy it was that he could now see and value God’s world afresh! The same could be true for us if only we would liberate ourselves.
Liberate our selves from what? – you will ask.
The preacher did not say. But in this sparse liturgy, during which he effected extempore alterations to the Roman Missal which excised opinions and attitudes of which he disapproved, we could be in no doubt. It was the Catholic Faith from which we needed to be liberated; and the Cathedral of the Holy Name, Chicago was the willing agent by which this was to be brought about.
Anne 5:11 PM
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Spit-laced dribblings from the wahoobi side of the street, aimed at teenagers at Clearguidance.
One of their favorite epithets is "bootlicker." You'll have to scroll down to "Allah's Spacious Earth" to enjoy this little bit of Tali-boot-licker sedition:
What do you think brothers of Having some real confernce and not like that of the sell outs at isna.
Hope our Congressmen and the FBI are paying attention.
This is my list for Guest Speakers inshallah:
Sheikh Abdallah Azzam- The True meaning of Jihad
Mullah Omar- True Leadership Accorrding to Quran And Sunnah
Ossama Bin Landin- Spending Your Wealth In Allah's Path
Ameer Omar Khattab: Heart of a True Mujahid
Ahmed Yasin: Al-Quds the heart of the Ummah
Feel free to add more people to the list .
But on the reall though we need to have al-jihad confernce in Kabul so we can get rid of the northern losers and the crusaders and get on with establish the khalifah and paving a road from kabul to Jerusalem and freeing every country in between.
Anne 6:17 PM
Friday, September 13, 2002
Cleaned up the blogroll a bit...
Anne 11:20 PM
The fifth column emerges: The FBI has bagged five US citizens, residents of a suburb of Buffalo, NY, who are a suspected Al Qaeda cell. According to this CBS News report, four of the men are native-born US citizens of Yemeni ancestry, and the fifth was naturalized. Uh, oh.
Anne 10:52 PM
Good expose on the human extinction movement:
What are we to make of green activists who oppose electricity and want most of humanity to remain poor?
I could make Soylent Green of them, but that would be coming down to their level...
What are we to make of green activists who would rather see Zambia face starvation than let people eat genetically-modified crops?
What are we to make of green activists who promote "voluntary human extinction"?
Anne 6:09 PM
Another nugget mined from the Arab Noose: Too bold is not beautiful. Oh, those waffy salafi. These teenage minxes should be lashed. Or stoned. Or perhaps fried in a school fire.
By the way, how do you make your abayah "too tight?" And what is the Noose's definition of "an outrageous manicure?"
No pics. Too bad.
Anne 5:47 PM
The Noose on Islamic Just War Theology: Just read it, after you read this little discourse on camel sacrifice first, to get the proper background.
Please don't ask me why camels are referred to as the most desirable sacrificial animals because, among other things, "they serve as good mounts when they are alive." I don't pretend to know *anything* about these things....
Anne 5:37 PM
What *really* leads to terrorism? A Catholic News Service article tells us:
At a special general audience marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Pope John Paul II said it was "necessary and urgent" to address the global injustices that created the conditions for terrorism.This is a barb aimed directly at Israel. Other than Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, I can't imagine what he is talking about.
Shall we address the "injustice" of the US opening its doors to hundreds of thousands of Muslim university students, who then either go back to their countries, or stay here, and apply their knowledge to terrorist causes? How about the injustice of all the foreign aid we've given these countries? Or perhaps we can discuss the injustice of the British building the Suez Canal, which made Egypt basically a player in the world economy. The injustice of British-built railways in India (very oppressive of Muslims, those) might also be mentioned.
Then there are the injustices of enormous American corporate investments in countries like Egypt and Pakistan, *at the expense of our own workers,* I might add, to build rug factories, cotton factories, etc. for import of these products into the US.
Let's also talk about the injustice of American free exercise of religion, where wahhabists can come and preach terrorism on our own soil, and set up mosques to use as vehicles for funding terrorist activities.
The injustice of admitting many hundreds of thousands of Islamic refugees (Iranian, Iraqi, Bosniac, etc.) to the US really leads to terrorism, too.
It was unjust that Osama Bin Laden's family could make piles of money with their international construction firm, and that Bin Laden himself could be trained as a civil engineer. Likewise that his second-in-command was a medical doctor. Very poor and underprivileged indeed, the both of them.
But to be entirely fair, we really have to bring out all the real, concrete, daily injustices of life in the sha'ria Islamic world. Of course, those injustices (even though they're enshrined in the Koran) are "all our fault." Because we *deserved* it.
I don't think so. This is one that you simply *cannot* pin on the free market economy and the US Constitution.
Terrorism can never resolve human conflicts, he said, because "armed violence (and) war are decisions that only sow and generate hatred and death."As if war can never be justified? I really didn't think the Pope was a pacifist. Perhaps he's being quoted out of context here.
"Reason and love are the only valid means to overcome and resolve strife between persons and peoples," he said...Somehow I don't think Hitler was too interested in "reason and love." Nor were the Japanese planners of the Pearl Harbor attack, or the invasion of Manchuria. "Reason and love" didn't stop them, either.
I'm sure when the Allies entered Italy and worked their way towards Rome, the inhabitants of the Vatican were just as glad as everyone else.
Sometimes a prominent religious leader whose tradition does *not* consist of undiluted pacifism (and Canterbury is just as guilty, if not guiltier than Rome on this account) just has to say, "Yes, this is a just war. Praise God and pass the ammunition."
Anne 5:01 PM
Somebody's been doing their marketing research... Anheuser-Busch is rolling out the first low carbohydrate beer. It's obvious that Gary Taubes' Endocrinology 101 New York Times article has had quite an effect, because:
Anheuser won’t make any health or weight-loss claims for Ultra. But there is little doubt they expect weight-conscious consumers to embrace the low-carb claim. “Watching your carbs has become the symbol of a balanced diet,” says Dave Peacock, vice president, high-end brands for Anheuser-Busch, based in St. Louis. “We’re following consumer trends and reacting to consumer demand.” Hope it tastes good...
Anne 9:00 AM
Blogging and profitability: Hasn't Jonah Goldberg ever heard of "a hobby?"
Anne 8:53 AM
No boys [girls] allowed... The US Department of Education mulls ways to legally allow schools to set up single-sex classrooms. It's especially suited for middle school, where boys and girls belong on separate planets - much less in separate classrooms.
The American Association of University Women must have dragged out their NOW clones to whine about "discrimination." There is a legitimate concern about discrimination on the high school level. In some districts, only a handful of girls want to take calculus or advanced physics, and to close these classes to girls would be substantially wrong.
Interestingly, this model is the polar opposite of most Catholic schools in the St. Louis area, at least, where parish K-8 schools are coeducational, and the high schools are largely single-sex.
As in all Bush-administration education reforms, the emphasis is on the "disadvantaged." Why? Middle-class suburban kids would benefit just as much from K-8 single-sex classrooms. Conservatives need to let it be known that they are sick of this pervasive and pernicious economic discrimination.
Anne 8:47 AM
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
God rest the dead, the casualties of war. Bless those who died with the seal of Christ on their forehead, and those, as the Book of Common Prayer says, "whose faith is known to You alone."
God rest the protectors - the firemen, policemen, emergency workers, all those who ministered, known and unknown.
God rest our men under arms who died on that day.
Keep our righteous anger pure, holy, and used only in the cause of justice. Keep in our hearts the memory of Charles Martel, and the Battle of Tours, 732 AD. Keep in our hearts the heroes of the Battle of Lepanto, 1571 AD. Keep in our hearts King Jan Sobieski III of Poland and the Siege of Vienna, 1683 AD.
Keep in our memories our men under arms who have died in Afghanistan since October of 2001, and hold close to Your heart those who serve still - not only under our flag, but those under the flags of all who love freedom, especially those in Queen Elizabeth II's military service.
In Jesus's name, Amen.
Anne 8:38 AM
September 11: Here in St. Louis, it's overcast. It seems appropriate - the pellucid, almost preternatural blueness and clarity of one year ago might have been too much to bear. Somewhere in this country it is, I'm sure, as blue and clear, but not in our sky here.
The clarity that counts is not in the sky, but in the heart.
Anne 8:36 AM
Monday, September 09, 2002
Poor Janet Reno. Many doorbells go unanswered when she comes campaigning, says the Wash Post. Are they just not home, or ... maybe hiding inside, afraid of men with guns ready to snatch their children?
Meanwhile, prominent FL Dems give her the cold shoulder. In a way it's a disappointment: I was looking forward to seeing Jeb Bush run over her with the electoral equivalent of a bulldozer.
Anne 4:53 PM
Alert Scotland Yard: looks like a good time to make some arrests when jihadi extremists meet in London on 9/11 for their "Towering Day in History" conference. According to the Telegraph online, the conference not only glorifies militancy but also:
...will argue that the atrocities were justified because Muslims must defend themselves against armed aggression.
To cheer myself up after reading this depressing account of how low the sun has set over the British Empire for allowing this nest of vipers to proliferate there, I imagined how well a conference like this would go over in, say, Lubbock, TX.
It will launch the Islamic Council of Britain (ICB), which will aim to implement sharia law in Britain and will welcome al-Qa'eda sympathisers as members.
Anne 4:45 PM
First Lady says, "Turn off TV on 9/11" Most TV coverage probably should be avoided, but not for the reason Laura Bush states. While it's true that images of the devastation may disturb young children, what's more damaging is the certain flood of politically correct revisionism sure to ensue. Anything that looks like it's turning into a "Religion of Peace"-fest, I'm turning off.
Anne 4:33 PM
Nervous nellies natter to 911 about fighter plane flyovers: What ninnies. It was a 9/11 commemorative for a Charlotte, NC Panthers-Raven football game.
News for the natterers: They're on our side. They're flown by the best pilots in the world - God bless them. When I see the Eagles going over, I want to salute.
It's the sound of freedom, baby
Anne 4:28 PM
One thing about America that's worse since 9/11/01: Helen Thomas hasn't retired.
Anne 4:12 PM
Friday, September 06, 2002
Where will you be... Peggy Noonan has a beautiful essay in today's Wall Street Journal. You can read it here at Free Republic. It begins:
Everyone here now asks, "Where will you be?" They don't say "on Sept. 11." They don't have to. Everyone knows. Most everyone has a plan. Some people are leaving town. They just don't want to go through it again, through the nonstop TV and the weeping families and the memory of the smoke and the sound and the sight of it all. A lot of people are staying, of course. Those who are working, or going to school; those who can't leave, or won't. I'm one of the latter. I feel a kind of loyalty to that day, and those who suffered through it, and I'm not leaving. So on Wednesday, on Sept. 11, 2002, I plan to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge before dawn. I will, as I pass under its two heavy stone towers--the original twin towers of downtown Manhattan, and still the most beautiful--reach out my hand and touch them lightly, as you would the arm of an old friend.
Those of you who live in NYC are so blessed to be able to be there this coming Wednesday. Touch one of the stones for me.
Anne 6:08 PM
Endocrinology 101 - more evidence: Our British ancestors might have been almost entirely carnivorous, as bone analysis from a 7,700 year old British female skeleton shows. This would partially explain why European-ancestry people are becoming more obese the more they adhere to the high carbohydrate - low protein - low fat diets so often recommended by medical authorities and the US government.
Anne 5:46 PM
Sorry: Omar Khadr is of Egyptian origin, not Afghan.
Anne 5:34 PM
The family that preys together stays together... Omar Khadr, a fifteen-year old Canadian citizen of Afghan origin is being held by the US military at an unspecified location (hopefully someplace really pleasant, like Gitmo.) We are supposed to feel sorry for him because he is a "child soldier?"
He is accused of having taken part in a July battle in which US sergeant Christopher Speer lost his life. Apparently jihad is a family affair: big brother Abdul is said to be in an Afghan prison somewhere for fighting with the Taliban, and Daddy was accused of trying to blow up an Egyptian embassy in 1995.
Perhaps Canada needs a little tightening of its immigration policies?
Anne 5:28 PM
The Wahoobi are restless... Apparently a few in Germany had some September 11 plans that got short-circuited. Unfortunately one was a Turk - obviously the kind of ultra-Islamic fanatic the Turkish government so rightfully suppresses. More unfortunately, another one of them had an American "girlfriend." Can we try her for treason?
Anne 5:17 PM
Environmentalism kills... Malaria has made its appearance in Virginia. Has it occurred to the environmentalists that people drained marshlands and poured DDT all over everything therein for a *reason?*
Anne 5:08 PM
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
This building is sooooo ugly... Rod Dreher of NRO has been collecting completely butt-ugly churches, and no, they're not limited to the new Los Angeles Cathedral, of which the St. Louis Post-Dispatch yesterday remarked:
While its sandstone-colored walls evoke visions of California's 18th-century Spanish missions, some critics have compared the cathedral's austere, modernistic look to that of a prison. Take a look at this church; it's indescribable. Just so Catholics don't feel unjustly singled out, this Episcopal architectural abomination, and another ziggurat of some other Protestant persuasion also qualify. This ELCA one looks like it's right out of the movie Contact, desperately trying to send radio signals to the space aliens.
It's just overwhelming. Check out the Wednesday September 4 The Corner for even more horrific examples.
What's truly amazing is that if you look at new office buildings, or libraries, or even shopping malls, they are actually beginning once again to look like buildings or structures you would want to go into. Only schools, prisons, and churches still maintain that "Gulag" ambiance. That's not exactly a good way to spread the Gospel.
Anne 3:59 PM