Chas' Compilation

A compilation of information and links regarding assorted subjects: politics, religion, science, computers, health, movies, music... essentially whatever I'm reading about, working on or experiencing in life.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sunday Funnies 04/30/06




Funny Sayings - Part 2

I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.

Marriage is the mourning after the knot before.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?

- Author unknown



The Ted Kennedy Children's book cover of the week:



Hat tip to the Kennedy forum thread at FARK.COM





WHY GOD MADE PETS

They help out around the house...


They protect our children ...


They look out for the smaller ones ...


They show us how to relax...


They "converse" with each other...


They help you when you're down ...


They are great at decorating for the Holidays ...


They have "great" expectations...


They are Patriotic...


They are happy to "test" the water...


They love their "teddies"...


They know who's "BOSS"...


AND ?- They know when we need a good LAUGH!


HAVE YOU SMILED TODAY?
It is done by moving the corners of the mouth upward.
LET ME SHOW YOU HOW...









INSPIRATION


Happiness


Happiness is something we create in our mind,
It's not something we search for and so seldom find,
It's just waking up and beginning the day
by counting our blessings and kneeling to pray,
It's giving up thoughts that breed discontent
And accepting what comes as a gift heaven-sent,
It's giving up wishing for things we have not
And making the best of whatever we've got,
It's knowing that life is determined for us,
And pursuing our tasks without fret, fume or fuss,
For it's by completing what God gives us to do
That we find real contentment and happiness, too.

- Helen Steiner Rice

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Farm Report 04/29/06

Meet Curly, Larry & Moe...


Actually we don't know if they are boys or girls, we suspect they may be roosters, because of the way they play/fight each other. They were give to us by neighbors, who got them from somebody esle who didn't want them.

We are guessing they are about 8 or 9 weeks old. We are keeping them with the Bantams, till they are large enough to live with the bigger chickens (if they turn out to be hens). Even though they are bigger than the Bantams, they are also big sissies; the Bantams easily hen-peck and terrorise them. They are SLOWLY getting used to each other, but I always separate the three stooges out from the Bantams for part of the day, to feed them and make sure they get to eat as much as they need to.

They must have been pets, because they are extremly tame, even affectionate. It would be a shame if they had to end up in the stewpot.

The 13 new chicks just keep growing...


we've build a small "nursery" compartment inside the chicken coop, with an extention cage on the outside. We are keeping the chicks in this during the day, but still bringing them into our house at night; the nights are still very cool, but I expect soon that they will be staying out in the coop full time.


The chicks are about 6 weeks old now. Moving them back and forth from the house to the coop has the advantage of making them used to being handled a lot and taming them more. Some of them are taking to it quicker than others.

The ducklings are coming along nicely. Dilly and Daffy are getting their wing-tip feathers, and become bolder every day...



They don't follow me around the yard quite as religously as they used to, and in fact, they occasionally find it fun to run in the opposite direction. They have bit two dogs on their noses, and the cats stay a healthy distance away. They run together like a pair of raptors sometimes... I guess they aren't called "running" ducks for nothing. They have discovered the joys of playing in mud puddles...


They seem to take great pleasure in being as messy and dirty as possible. As soon as they get all their feathers in, and are mature enough to excrete the needed oil on their feathers, we are going to get one of those plastic children's wadding pools for them to play in.


They have already outgrown their cage, to the point where they cannot stand up in it if the lid is closed. Today I will be putting the finishing touches on a new, larger cage we have just build for them. They should be able to start living outside soon in a hutch of their own.

Meanwhile, the roosters are still at war. Here is Cecil the Rhode Island Red in the background, crowing at Bertie, the 10 inch Bantam rooster:


Cecil wants to kill Bertie, and Bertie want to kill my foot every time I step in there to feed them. I never imagined that owning a chicken coop would be so much like having a Jurrasic Park of one's own.

I love it... the fun never stops!

Friday, April 28, 2006

New York Freedom Tower

The design for New York's new Freedom Tower has been finalized at last, and now construction begins...




"Freedom Tower, World Trade Center"

From Construction begins at ground zero:

...After months of disputes over the future of ground zero, state and city officials finally brought in the heavy equipment and began construction Thursday on the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower that will rise at the World Trade Center site.

"It is going to be a symbol of our freedom and independence," Gov. George Pataki said after three yellow construction trucks - driven by workers wearing hard hats emblazoned with the American flag and the words "Freedom Tower, World Trade Center" - rolled down a ramp to applause from politicians...

The Freedom Tower is scheduled to open in 2011, and officials said Wednesday's deal means all five towers could be built by 2012. Construction has also begun on the memorial...The Freedom Tower will be as high as the 110-story World Trade Center towers. But an illuminated spire will stretch the building to the symbolic 1,776 feet envisioned in the original Freedom Tower design. That would be taller than any building in existence...

Thursday was the second time officials tried to start construction on the tower, which has been designed three times. Architect Daniel Libeskind drew the first Freedom Tower, a twisting glass skyscraper with an off-center spire meant to evoke the Statue of Liberty.

David Childs produced a sleeker version of Libeskind's design, then reworked it again last year after police expressed concerns that the building was not sturdy enough to withstand a truck bomb...

I had rather liked the original, off-center design better. This new design reminds me a bit of a perfume bottle. Not that it's ugly... it's just not as unique as the original version. Still, not a bad design, and at least they have finally argreed on something. Good! Let the construction begin...

Hat Tip to Tammy Bruce.com

Related link:

Freedom Tower (wikipedia)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gas, gouging and profit margins


Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and linksHERE.

As I've been blogging, I've come to realize that the education crisis in America is far worse than I ever imagined. The drama about Gas prices and perceived price gouging is a perfect example of what would seem to be total lack of understanding of basic economics on the part of the American public.

Do most people even understand what a "profit margin" is? We ran a restaurant for over 7 years in San Francisco. The overheads were enourmous, and the profit margins were tiny. We made more money in our former jobs, but we wanted to be self-employed. So we worked for much less than minimum wage, because we owned the business.

We made just enough to cover our business expenses, and a little bit to live on. Over the 7 years we were operating, we had to raise our prices many times. On paper, the amount of money we took in steadily kept rising. To look at only our raw profit, you would have thought we had an ever increasing income.

But it's just plain stupid to only look at profit, because every business has expenses as well. Our costs kept increasing at an alarming rate; even though our prices rose, our profit margin kept shrinking, because costs kept rising at a faster rate than profits.

By the time we closed our doors and sold up, we were starting to have to borrow against the equity in our home just to live. The business no longer had a profit margin, due to rising costs of goods and services, and a local government that was not only unfriendly to small business, but was actually strangling them. We closed our business because it was no longer profitable to continue it.

I see Bush is calling for investigations into profits of oil companies because of accusations of price gouging. I suppose it could be argued that he has to do this, because if he didn't, he would be accused of hiding something. Yet every time these investigations have occured in the past, they have turned up no wrong doing. And the press, who leads the charge in the accusations, fails to follow up the result, when it does not support their position. Nothing new there.

If people really want to understand the reasons for the rising price of gas, instead of just complaining and accusing, they need to make an effort to learn some basic facts. Ignorance isn't pretty, and politicians exploit it.

I won't go into all the facts here, many people have been explaining it even better than I can. But people ought be learning about much of this stuff, practical, basic economics, in school. We really need to question why they aren't, and do something about it.


Related links:

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE UNDEREDUCATED --- LET'S TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT!

Those evil greedy oil companies

Oily politicians
by Thomas Sowell. An excerpt:

...No matter how big American oil companies are, there are other oil companies around the world and the price of oil is determined in international markets. As for investigating Big Oil, that has been done time and again already, with nothing to show for it.

Is it rocket science that, when huge countries like India and China have rapidly growing economies, their demand for oil goes up by leaps and bounds? Is it rocket science that, when demand shoots up but supply doesn't go up as much, prices rise?

Prices are a symptom of an underlying reality. Politicians can seize on the symptom and even pass laws dealing with it, without changing the underlying reality.

Prices are like a thermometer reading. When someone has a fever, it is not going to do any good to put the thermometer in ice water to bring down the reading. If you think the fever is gone, it may not be long before the patient is gone, if you don't do something about what is causing the fever.

Ironically, the people who are making the most noise about the high price of gasoline are the very people who have for years blocked every attempt to increase our own oil supply...

(bold emphasis mine) It's hard to choose an excerpt, there is so much good sense in this, it's really worth reading the whole article.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Muslim Schools in the USA: what are they doing, what are they teaching?


Laura Mansfield is an analyst and author of two books:

One Nation Under Allah: The Islamic Invasion of America

And her most recent book:

Inshallah: My Journey Into the World of Islam, and My Escape

She is an ex-Muslim who speaks arabic. She went under cover and visited a Muslim summer day camp in the Atlanta, GA area. Here are some excertps from her report, starting with lessons for the children (bold emphasis mine):

...The director introduced the Imam from the mosque, who started the rally with a quotation from the Qu’ran in Arabic. The surah of the day, which would be the Islamic equivalent of the Bible Verse of the Day, Al Ikhlas. The imam translated the surah as:

Say: He is Allah, the One and Only;
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;
And there is none like unto Him.

The Imam repeated it several times in Arabic, line by line, encouraging the children to repeat it with him. Shifting back into English, he told them that their task for the day was to memorize this 4-line surah.

He then began to explain the surah, and its importance. He told the children that this surah described the essence of Islam – that there is only one Allah, and that Allah has no children. Then, quite abruptly, he told the room full of children that this surah was what Muslims were dying for in Palestine, and Iraq, and Chechnya. He told them that the Christians were all doomed to eternal hell for the sin of “shirk”, or assigning partners or a son to God.

He ranted for around 10 minutes about the “kafirs” and how the ambition of these unbelievers used the name of Christ to work with the Zionists to kill all of the Muslims in the world.


Then, suddenly he shifted gears. He started discussing Jews and Zionists, explaining that they were the most hated creatures by Allah. He told the children that Allah in fact hated them so much that at one point he turned all the Jews into pigs and monkeys.

The focus shifted to politics again. The imam told the children to never forget the struggle of the Palestinians, who were only trying to regain their ancestral land, which has been their home for thousands of years. He told the story of Mohamed Durah, and explained to the audience how the 14 year old had been killed while “innocently going down the street with his father.” He emphasized that the killing was an unprovoked murder by the “Jewish sons of pigs and monkeys”. He reminded the children that the goal of every Christian and Jew was to kill every single Muslim, even the tiny babies.

Now how do you suppose these kids are going to relate to the rest of the world, to America, when these "lessons" are done, and they go out the doors and have to live among the "murdering" Christians of the USA? People they are taught want to kill them?

This sounds like a classic case of projection to me: seeing in others what you yourself want to do. It's also a trait of malignant narcissism and pathological cult thinking. Is this the "tolerance" that liberals advocate?

The imam explained that although they are in America they have an obligation to help their fellow Muslims elsewhere in the world. He told the kids to save their quarters and dollars and bring them to the center each day, and at the end of the program they would send the donations to their Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine and Iraq.

Iraq, too. What would you guess that money is used for?

At that point, he abruptly shifted back to the Surah of the Day. He offered several of the older boys the opportunity to recite the surah in front of the group.

Then he announced that the groups would go to their respective classes.

The classes were not coed; boys and girls were separated, even at the youngest ages. The classes were grouped according to age: Kindergarten and First Grade together, Second and Third Grade together, and Fourth and Fifth Grade together.

I chose to remain with the Kindergarten and First Grade class.

The teacher, Amina, was an American woman who grew up in South Georgia as a Southern Baptist named Tiffani. She married a Palestinian man while still in college at Georgia State University. She converted to Islam and dropped out of college when she got pregnant. She was now pregnant with her third child in as many years. Her husband had finished his graduate degree, and in three weeks she was returning with him to his home in the West Bank.

She explained to me that the first 45 minute session for the youngsters was to learn the phrase “Allah Akbar”. They started with a large coloring page with the words Allah Akbar written on it in Arabic. After they colored the page, they took turns reciting the phrase.

She told the kids how to determine when it was appropriate to shout “Allah Akbar”: intimes of great joy, when someone is martyred, or when the Zionists or Kafirs are attacked. She introduced a video, in Arabic, showing scenes from the West Bank, and told the kids to shout “Allah Akbar” when they thought they should.

Considering that most Americans are "unbelievers" or "Kafirs", imagine how these children see ordinary Americans after teachings like this?

The kids quickly got the message that when something blew up, or an Israeli soldier was shot that they should shout Allah Akbar. I expressed my concern to Tiffani about children so young being exposed to such violent scenes. Tiffani/Amina assured me that the kids had been watching similar videos since they were two years old, and that they weren’t disturbed in the slightest by them.

Playground time was next...

I don't even want to talk about the games they played in the schoolyard... "Jihad, anyone?" It's sickening. You can read the entire article HERE.

I do realise this may not be representative of all Muslim schools in the USA; but even one like this is one too many.

Hat tip to White Trash Republican for the link to Laura's site.


Related links:

LauraMansfield.com

Islamic Academy of Florida still teaching kids after instructor/directors are jailed on terrorism charges and use of school for Jihad funding

The Tipping Point of Truth

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Law and Order waning in Europe?

80,000 people protested in Brussels, Belgium over the murder of a Belgian student. Two North African Muslims are alleged to have commited the murder in a train station, over a MP3 player.

80,000 people is a rather big turnout. How much publicity is this getting in the MSM? Not much, apparently. You can read more HERE.

I think many Europeans are getting touchy about these sort of crimes, since the Killing of Filmaker Theo van Gogh in Holland, and the riots in France.

Van Gogh made a film that was shown on Dutch TV that was critical of the treatment of Muslim women under sharia law. For this he was murdered. An excerpt from Salon.com:

On the morning of Nov. 2 in a busy street in east Amsterdam, a 26-year-old Dutch Moroccan named Mohammed Bouyeri pulled out a gun and shot controversial filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was riding a bike to his office. Van Gogh hit the ground and stumbled across the street to a nearby building. He didn't make it. As the Moroccan strode toward him, van Gogh shouted, "We can still talk about it! Don't do it! Don't do it." But the Moroccan didn't stop. He shot him again, slit van Gogh's throat and stuck a letter to his chest with a knife. He was slaughtered like an animal, witnesses said. "Cut like a tire," said one. Van Gogh, the Dutch master's great-grand-nephew, was 47 years old.

After shooting van Gogh, Bouyeri fled to a nearby park, where he was arrested after a gunfight with the police. One police officer was wounded and Bouyeri himself was shot in the leg and taken to a police hospital.

The letter pinned to van Gogh's chest contained accusations aimed not at him but at Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee and liberal parliamentarian, who for years has been fighting for women's rights in the Netherlands' widespread Islamic community. Earlier this year, Hirsi Ali and van Gogh had made "Submission," a short fiction film that was shown on Dutch public television. In the film, a Muslim woman is forced into an arranged marriage, abused by her husband, raped by her uncle and then brutally punished for adultery. Her body, visible through transparent garments, shows painted verses from the Koran. The film, van Gogh said in a TV interview, was "intended to provoke discussion on the position of enslaved Muslim women. It's directed at the fanatics, the fundamentalists.

Written in Dutch, the bloody letter called Hirsi Ali an "infidel fundamentalist" who "terrorizes Islam" and "marches with the soldiers of evil." With her "hostilities," she "unleashed a boomerang and it's just a matter of time before this boomerang will seal your destiny." In capital letters it said: "AYAAN HIRSI ALI, YOU WILL SMASH YOURSELF ON ISLAM!" The letter ended with a kind of chant: "I know for sure that you, O America, are going to meet with disaster. I know for sure that you, O Europe, are going to meet with disaster. I know for sure that you, O Holland, are going to meet with disaster."

Hirsi Ali fled into hiding the day of van Gogh's murder and the next day published a reaction in the Rotterdam daily, NRC Handelsblad. "I am sad because Holland has lost its innocence," she wrote. "Theo's naiveté wasn't that it [murder] couldn't happen here, but that it couldn't happen to him. He said: 'I am the village idiot, they won't hurt me.'"

But they did...


Theo Van Gogh is survived by a fourteen year old son. The boy has been harrassed and taunted at school by Muslim students, who tell him his father deserved to be murdered. School officials have responded by moving the boy to another part of the school.


And it seems the story continues, with more of the same. Consider the plight of this lovely young lady. It is yet another story that is getting short shrift in the MSM:

Ebru Umar, a Dutch writer of Turkish descent and a good friend of the late Theo van Gogh - she contributed to his website and took over one of his columns after his death - was attacked in Amsterdam on Friday, reports Arjan Dasselaar. He wryly adds that the Dutch public news service – which in terms of breaking news is usually an excellent source – has so far, two days after the attack, failed to report it.

Souce: peaktalk.com : VAN GOGH FRIEND ATTACKED

Is there law and order in Europe anymore? Van Gogh's attacker got 20 years, and is technically eligable for parole in 13. I wouldn't like to have to depend on European justice right now... or the press, either.

UPDATE 05/09/06:
The Brussels Journal reports that the murders were not North Africans, but were illegal immigrant Polish gypsies:

MP3 Murderers Said to Be Polish Gypsies. Some excerpts:

In today’s edition, the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad writes that it has learned from its sources that the 16-year old boy who was arrested earlier this week for the murder of 17-year old Joe Van Holsbeeck, is called Marius. He belongs to a family of Polish gypsies who have been living in Belgium illegally since 2000. Marius was studying garage mechanics at a school in Anderlecht, a Brussels suburb, where he was arrested on Monday evening at 4:30 pm. His teachers had recognized him on the footage of security cameras in Brussels Central Station. Marius had already been involved in four cases of robbery and robbery with violence...

...The Belgian authorities, who immediately after the murder had announced that the murderers were North Africans, have apologized to the North African community. Muslim organizations, however, are demanding formal apologies from politicians and journalists who, assuming that the official information of the Justice Department was correct, wrote about the problem of North African criminality in Brussels. Fouad Ahidar, a Moroccan-born member of parliament, had said that something urgently needed to be done about the Muslim street gangs. “There is a growing group of criminal Moroccan and Turkish youths who go after victims who look like infidels. We have to fight racism in all its varieties, whether by the immigrants or the native community,” he said...



Related links:

The silencing of Theo van Gogh

Welcome to Paristan, Eurabia
This link has photos, like the following...

Muslim Rioters in Paris, attacking a Frenchman...


... and mugging a woman:


If this kind of thing happens to men and women in Paris in broad daylight, in front of journalists and TV cameras, then just imagine what the nightlife is Paris must like these days.

Monday, April 24, 2006

How to raise a suicide-bomber

In an earlier post, I talked about raising kids in a murder-suicide culture. I was examining the idea that there is a suicide-murder cultural pathology at work, indoctrinating children at an early age.


Taking pictures of babies and kids with guns may not be the most shocking thing in the world, but it doesn't end there.


I remember when this photo (to the right) made it into the mainstream press in the US, I think it was about 4 years ago. We were living in San Francisco back then. There were jokes about the new "baby boomers". Some Palestinians were claiming it was just a "joke", and that people were making way too big a deal out of it. The western liberals were all backing them up on this, saying it was just a joke, made out of the desperate despair of the Palestinian's situation; who were we to judge them for the "joke"? That would be racist; we obviously just didn't understand.

Well, what a load of BS. VERY disingenuous. At the same time this was being dismissed as a "joke" by the western media and liberals, many Palestinians were struggling to keep their kids alive, intercepting would be bombers before they killed themselves. They had little help from western MSM or liberals, in trying to protect these kids from the murder-suicide pathology that was sucking them in.


I don't know whether to call it a psycological pathology or a cult, but there may not be much difference, as pathological thinking and cults often go together.

To blow one's self up goes against human nature, against the survival instinct. It's hard to imagine people going along with it and thinking it's normal. But try to imagine a culture where your own child, or you as a child, were raised like this.

The babies are probably too young to remember being photographed with guns. But they no doubt grew up seeing the pictures, and understood that their parents want them to be militant. That by itself isn't really shocking. But what comes next?









I think I would cry too, if my parents kept dressing me up as a martyr with a bomb-vest. Clearly, the message is that wearing explosives and blowing yourself up to kill yourself and other people is a "good" thing to do.


Notice the pictures of the Martyrs; the ever present role models; people to be admired and emulated for what they did. These photos are not just at street events, but are often at in schools plastered right above the classroom chalkboards. The idea of martyrdom is pervasive.



Imagine if this was your mother or grandmother. Imagine if she told you it was wonderful to strap explosives to yourself and blow yourself to smithereens.




You have to wonder how many of these kids are doing this to please their families, but are inside thinking: "oh, sh*t..."




Here a Muslim mother lovingly helps her kid with it's... costume? I know a mother's love can be stiffling, but is it actually supposed to get you killed? How would you feel if YOUR parents dressed you up like this? I know that the kid could actually be thrilled; after all, EVERYBODY is doing it, and he/she will "fit in". But by making this acceptable, and even normal and admirable, what path is this kid being sent down on through life?


There are many kinds of bonds in life that tie people together. I doubt that suicide -murder needs to be one of them. If Hamas wishes to persue that course, then no one from the west ought to be funding them, and neither should anyone who claims to be a friend of the west.


Related links:

Forces on alert as 20 child bombers thwarted
From 2002. Palestinian Forces intercept child suicide bombers.

Hamas-Fatah tensions flare despite pledge
Not all the Palestinians are supporting Hamas.

The Ultimate Guide To Terror (A Respected Muslim Finally Says What Needs To Be Said)
...What is behind the suicide murders? Money, power and cold-blooded murderous incitement, nothing else. It has nothing to do with true fanatic religious beliefs. No Moslem preacher has ever blown himself up. No son of an Arab politician or religious leader has ever blown himself. No relative of anyone influential has done it. Wouldn't you expect some of the religious leaders to do it themselves, or to talk their sons into doing it, if this is truly a supreme act of religious fervor? Aren't they interested in the benefits of going to Heaven? Instead, they send outcast women, naive children, retarded people and young incited hotheads. They promise them the delights, mostly sexual, of the next world, and pay their families handsomely after the supreme act is performed and enough innocent people are dead...