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.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday Funnies 04/30/07





















The Dems are desperate to have us fail. But even Iraqis who don't want Americans there are now supporting the troop surge. Why? Find out here:

DEMOCRATS DON'T WANT YOU TO READ THIS

     

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Reza Pahlavi: war with Iran is unnecessary

The eldest son of the former Shah of Iran insists that not only is a military attack on Iran unwise, but he also says there is a better way; enlist the help of the Iranian people inside Iran.

Reza Pahlavi also maintains that Iran is filled with people who wish to ally themselves with America; if we bomb them, we risk losing their support and forcing them to ally themselves with the Mullahs.

He's been talking about this for quite some time now, and in the following article by Nancy De Wolf Smith at the Opinion Journal, we are shown some of the reasons why he believes this, and get a glimpse of what he believes we should be doing. Here is a link to the article, with some excerpts:

Royal Democrat:
Reza Pahlavi says America should help Iranians who oppose the regime.

[...] Mr. Pahlavi easily grasps what the rest of the international community refuses to understand or to acknowledge.

"There is no incentive that we can give the Islamic Republic to stand down," he told me over Memorial Day weekend. "They need to do what they're doing, first and foremost because this is a totalitarian system. It has to keep the mood on the streets in its favor by continuing this process. If they are using the slogan of enrichment as a tool to keep these people mobilized, the minute they concede, they will lose their entire praetorian guard. Therefore there's no way that they are going to concede on that point."

The threat of sanctions or the promise of aid won't budge the regime either, he says. "There is no economic incentive that you can throw at them, because you are not dealing with a conventional state, in the sense that it is ultimately accountable and responsible and cares about the citizens living in that boundary. It's not the welfare of the people that matters to them. They can send $100 million to Hamas in Palestine when people are starving on the streets of Iran. They could care less about their economic status, so long as they can fuel their own war machine.




"You cannot even offer them a security guarantee, they don't care. For them, war is a gift from God. [President] Ahmadinejad is talking about Armageddon. He's talking about paving the way for the reemergence of the 12th imam, which is coming back to the planet to bring back stability and peace after major cataclysm. They really believe that."

Until that happens, the prospect of negotiations with the U.S. is a little godsend for the regime, Mr. Pahlavi explains. Iran's rulers can say, "Look at us! We're standing against the Great Satan . . . and guess what? We have brought them to their knees, we have brought them to the table."

As for Tehran's end game, that's simple: "Ultimately, what is the grand prize for them? They would like to achieve something the Soviets never could--the control of the Middle East. The economic lifeline of the Western world. By encircling the Persian Gulf, by institutionalizing themselves, with their proxies operating everywhere, and in a fait accompli-type scenario, force the world to reckon with them. Naturally, if they ultimately get the bomb, their deterrent will be even more dangerous."

[...]

And yet a solution to all of this is percolating up today, Mr. Pahlavi says, and it's coming from the Iranian people. In fact, he insists, in dealing with a belligerent Tehran, "there is only one thing that the outside world can do, and that is to tell the regime: 'We are serious about supporting the people who are inside Iran who are against you.' That is the only thing that will make Mr. Khamenei [Iran's supreme leader] and everybody stand down. Because nothing else ruffles them. The only thing they are really scared of are the people themselves."

Peaceful revolutions from within have worked before, so why, he asks, isn't the West investing in the Iranian people--"the same way they supported so many movements in Eastern Europe that ultimately brought down communist governments that were under Moscow's umbrella?" Dissidents are everywhere, in the universities, workplaces, the conventional armed forces, he adds: "There are thousands of cells . . . each trying to bring as much pressure as they can--but with very limited resources. Imagine the cumulative weight of all these resistance groups in a civil disobedience act--nonviolent, we don't believe in violent change--that could begin sustained pressure to the point of paralyzing the system until it would collapse." [...]
In case anyone thinks he's a dreamer, Pahlavi offers further evidence to support his views, it's worth reading the whole thing.


Related Links:

Talking to Iran
Pahlavi explains why nothing good can come from this, and how it could even be damaging.

Iran, Regime Change or Behavior Change: A false choice
Pahlavi explains why congress is unrealistic in it's expectations in dealing with Iran's theocratic Mullahs. He also goes into some detail about how we can help bring about a "velvet" revolution in Iran.
     

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Women's rights in Iran; the right to be a penguin

From the MEMRI Blog:
117 Women Arrested in Tehran Islamic Dress Code Enforcement Campaign




What... these women look like hookers? Not by our standards, but according to the Mullahs, a woman must cover her head at all times and may not wear makeup or do anything to display her femininity in public. So I guess if you're a woman and don't look like a penguin, it's immoral.

According to the link above, religious authorities are stressing the need for dealing with the violations of the Islamic dress code, and for "increasing the moral security in Iran."

It wasn't always like that. Here is a photo from a university in Tehran, cira 1976:




It looks like a modern university campus like you would see anywhere in the west. All that changed after the 1979 revolution, and the public face of women in Iran tends to look more like this:


A penguin rally in support of a personality cult.


I think these recent arrests and trials are just another part of a wider, general crackdown that the government has been making on it's citizens, that is continuing to expand.


Earlier this month, leaders in Iran's women's movement were jailed. The theocratic government continues to tighten it's grip.





UPDATE 04/30/07:It's not just women, but men and even mannequins that the police are cracking down on.

Iran bans Western haircuts, eyebrow plucking for men

A cry for help from Iran

I'd make a joke about the fashion police, but the reality is pretty serious. Violators can receive lashes, fines and imprisonment. I heard of one case -this was just after the 1979 revolution- where a woman was reported to the police by a neighbor for swimming in a bikini in her backyard swimming pool. She was sentenced to 60 lashes. Thats a lot of lashes. She DIED before all the lashes were completed.

Is it any wonder this woman is screaming so much as the police take her away?




Related Links:

Almost All the Leaders of Iran's Women's Movement Arrested
The women are rounded up, and silence of Western liberals is damning...

Timeline of Iran's Women's Movement (1800s-Present)
A fascinating look at steps forward, then backward...

Women and the death penalty in modern Iran
What the revolution has done for women and girls...

Women in the Imperial Iranian Air Force
Before the 1979 revolution...

A few facts about women in Iran
From Farah Pahlavi, the Shah's wife (near the bottom of her web page)
     

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Documentary "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center" suppressed by PBS

The film, which was supposed to be part of a PBS series, cost taxpayers more than $600,000. Now after spending that money making it, PBS is not going to show it, because they have decided it is "one-sided" and "alarmist." Here are some excerpts from an article at CNSNews.com:

PBS Accused of Same Tactics Radical Muslims Use Against Moderates
[...] "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center," a 52-minute, taxpayer-funded documentary, was originally slated to be screened as part of an 11-part PBS series called "America at a Crossroads," examining post-9/11 challenges facing the nation.

The series began airing for the first time last week on WETA, the Washington, D.C., PBS affiliate, but "Islam vs. Islamists" has been dropped from the lineup.

Hollywood veteran Martyn Burke of ABG films co-produced the film with Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, and Gaffney's CSP colleague Alex Alexiev, who specializes in Islamic extremism.

The film, which cost more than $600,000 to produce, focuses on conflicts that have erupted within the Muslim community in the U.S., Canada, Denmark and France.

[...]

Burke told the audience that PBS and WETA advisors and producers had objected to the participation of conservatives Gaffney and Alexiev. A "bitter fight" ensued over the content of the film, and the PBS/WETA criticisms became increasingly "hysterical," he said.

"PBS is doing what the Islamists are doing," Burke charged. "They are silencing these people [Muslim moderates]."

The producers said PBS replaced their film with another one, "The Muslim Americans," which Gaffney called "a triumph for the Islamists," saying it promoted a perspective in line with that of America's enemies. For his part, Alexiev claimed that the replacement film paints a "fawning portrait" of U.S. organizations with extremist ties. [...]

(bold emphasis mine) PBS once again is using taxpayer money to promote their own agenda. Where is the balance? There was also a conflict of interest involved with the selection of the replacement film, you can read the full article for details.

The cut film featured Naser Khader, the Muslim member of the Danish Parliament, whom I've posted about before. He is a very articulate moderate Muslim, who has been receiving death threats for speaking out. Voices like his need to be heard, not suppressed. We have already heard plenty from extremists pretending to be moderate in order to promote their own world view.




Related Links:

Moderate Muslims Speak Out, But Not on PBS

Where is the support for the REAL moderate Muslims?

Nasar Khader, moderate Muslim politician, is largely ignored by MSM
     

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Democrats alternative foreign policy


If they succeed, it will follow them for years to come. From the Opinion Journal:

Harry's War:
Democrats are taking ownership of a defeat in Iraq.

[...] In his speech Monday, Mr. Reid claimed that "nothing has changed" since the surge began taking effect in February. It's true that the car bombings and U.S. casualties continue, and may increase. But such an enemy counterattack was to be expected, aimed as it is directly at the Democrats in Washington. The real test of the surge is whether it can secure enough of the population to win their cooperation and gradually create fewer safe havens for the terrorists.

So far, the surge is meeting that test, even before the additional troops Mr. Bush ordered have been fully deployed. Between February and March sectarian violence declined by 26%, according to Gen. William Caldwell. Security in Baghdad has improved sufficiently to allow the government to shorten its nightly curfew. Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has been politically marginalized, which explains his apparent departure from Iraq and the resignation of his minions from Mr. Maliki's parliamentary coalition--a sign that moderate Shiites are gaining strength at his expense.

More significantly, most Sunni tribal sheikhs are now turning against al Qaeda and cooperating with coalition and Iraqi forces. What has turned these sheikhs isn't some grand "political solution," which Mr. Reid claims is essential for Iraq's salvation. They've turned because they have tired of being fodder for al Qaeda's strategy of fomenting a civil war with a goal of creating a Taliban regime in Baghdad, or at least in Anbar province. The sheikhs realize that they will probably lose such a civil war now that the Shiites are as well-armed as the insurgents and prepared to be just as ruthless. Their best chance for survival now lies with a democratic government in Baghdad. The political solution becomes easier the stronger Mr. Maliki and Iraqi government forces are, and strengthening both is a major goal of the surge.

By contrast, Mr. Reid's strategy of withdrawal will only serve to enlarge the security vacuum in which Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents have thrived. That's also true of what an American withdrawal will mean for the broader Middle East. Mr. Reid says that by withdrawing from Iraq we will be better able to take on al Qaeda and a nuclear Iran. But the reality (to use Mr. Reid's new favorite word) is that we are fighting al Qaeda in Iraq, and if we lose there we will only make it harder to prevail in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Countries do not usually win wars by losing their biggest battles. [...]

(bold emphasis mine) The article goes on to examine Harry Reid's "reasoning" for his position, and shows why it's nonsense. If the Democrats do succeed in forcing us to lose now, not only will they own it; we will all suffer the consequences together.


Related Links:

Progress in Iraq

One Choice in Iraq

Rattling sabers, & Dems
     

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

An "Earth-Like" new world discovered?


I think they might really be stretching the meaning of "earth-like".

From the British Daily Mail online:
Found 20 light years away: the New Earth
[...] "Because of its temperature and relative proximity, this planet will most probably be a very important target of the future space missions dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life."

Gliese 581 is among the closest stars to us, just 20.5 light years away (about 120 trillion miles) in the constellation Libra. It is so dim it can be seen only with a good telescope.

[...]

It has a mass five times that of Earth, probably made of the same sort of rock as makes up our world and with enough gravity to hold a substantial atmosphere.

Astrobiologists - scientists who study the possibility of alien life - refer to a climate known as the Goldilocks Zone, where it is not so cold that water freezes and not so hot that it boils, but where it can lie on the planet's surface as a liquid.

[...]

The surface gravity is probably around twice that of the Earth and the atmosphere could be similar to ours.

Although the new planet is in itself very Earth-like, its solar system is about as alien as could be imagined. The star at the centre - Gliese 581 - is small and dim, only about a third the size of our Sun and about 50 times cooler.

The two other planets are huge, Neptune-sized worlds called Gliese 581b and d (there is no "a", to avoid confusion with the star itself).

The Earth-like planet orbits its sun at a distance of only six million miles or so (our Sun is 93 million miles away), travelling so fast that its "year" only lasts 13 of our days.

The parent star would dominate the view from the surface - a huge red ball of fire that must be a spectacular sight.

It is difficult to speculate what - if any - life there is on the planet. If there is life there it would have to cope with the higher gravity and solar radiation from its sun.


Just because Gliese 581c is habitable does not mean that it is inhabited, but we do know its sun is an ancient star - in fact, it is one of the oldest stars in the galaxy, and extremely stable. If there is life, it has had many billions of years to evolve.

This makes this planet a prime target in the search for life. According to Seth Shostak, of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in California, the Gliese system is now a prime target for a radio search. 'We had actually looked at this system before but only for a few minutes. We heard nothing, but now we must look again.'

By 2020 at least one space telescope should be in orbit, with the capability of detecting signs of life on planets orbiting nearby stars. If oxygen or methane (tell-tale biological gases) are found in Gliese 581c's atmosphere, this would be good circumstantial evidence for life.

Dr Malcolm Fridlund, a European Space Agency scientist, said the discovery of Gliese 581c was "an important step" on the road to finding life. [...]

The article is full of all sorts of details. The scientists are speculating a lot though; speculating is not facts. Still, some of their educated guesses are interesting, and the data they can collect does present a lot of possibilities.

While the planet isn't truly like earth, it may be earth-like in the sense that it comes closer to being like earth than any other planet we've been able to detect.

As technology advances, I'm sure we will be able to observe more, even from such a far distance. But to really find things out, we'll have to go there. And that, I expect, is a long ways off!
     

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Emergency Landing on LA Freeway

405: The Movie


If you think your commute is bad, watch this. My dad sent me a copy of it in my email, and I found it posted on YouTube. It's about 3 minutes long.

Source URL at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLe-4CqZymg

There is a website about the movie at: www.405themovie.com, where you can find out more about the movie and even download a copy, in hi or lo resolution.

Impressive and entertaining!
     

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Why violent psychotics are not locked up

When I lived in San Francisco, I worked in the security business for 12 years. I remember having to deal with a lot of mentally disturbed people, many of them homeless.

Most of them were harmless to others, but clearly not able to take care of themselves properly or make good decisions without help. A few were obviously dangerous, to themselves and others.

Many on the left gleefully called it the Reagan legacy. And it's true, he did indeed play his part; yet Reagan was just one component. There was a coalition of liberal groups forming a "liberation movement" that had been pushing for release of mental patients from hospitals for many years. In the 1970's, this movement joined forces with fiscal conservatives to empty state run mental hospitals. This movement succeeded in other states as well.

Outpatient centers were supposed to replace the hospitals, at reduced cost. The left said this was more humane; the right said it would save money. When the outpatient centers failed miserably, funding for them was cut. The result is what we have today; chaos.

There is an excellent article by Dr. Jonathan Kellerman in the Opinion Journal that goes into this and much more:

Bedlam Revisited:
Why the Virginia Tech shooter was not committed.


An excerpt about the V-Tech shooting:

[...] Diagnosis from afar is the purview of talk-shows hosts and other charlatans, and I will not attempt to detail the psyche of the Virginia Tech slaughterer. But I will hazard that much of what has been reported about his pre-massacre behavior--prolonged periods of asocial mutism and withdrawal, irrational anger and hatred, bizarre writing and speech--is not at odds with the picture of a fulminating, serious mental disease. And his age falls squarely within the most common period when psychosis blossoms.

No one who knew him seems surprised by what he did. On the contrary, dorm chatter characterized him explicitly as a future school-shooter. One of his professors, the poet Nikki Giovanni, saw him as a disruptive bully and kicked him out of her class. Other teachers viewed him as disturbed and referred him for the ubiquitous "counseling"--an outcome that is ambiguous to the point of meaninglessness and akin to "treatment" for a patient with metastasized cancer.

But even that minimal care wasn't given. The shooter didn't want it and no one tried to force him to get it. While it's been reported that he was involuntarily committed to a "Behavioral Health Center" in December 2005, those reports also say he was released the very next morning. Even if the will to segregate an obvious menace had been in place, the legal mechanisms to provide even temporary "warehousing" were absent. The rest is terrible history.

That is not to say that anyone who pens violence-laden poetry or lets slip the occasional hostile remark should be protectively incarcerated. But when the level of threat rises to college freshmen and faculty prophesying accurately, perhaps we should err on the side of public safety rather than protect individual liberty at all costs.

If the Virginia Tech shooter had been locked up for careful observation in a humane mental hospital, the worst-case scenario would've been a minor league civil liberties goof: an unpleasant semester break for an odd and hostile young misanthrope who might've even have learned to be more polite. Yes, it's possible confinement would've been futile or even stoked his rage. But a third outcome is also possible: Simply getting a patient through a crisis point can prevent disaster, as happens with suicidal people restrained from self-destruction who lose their enthusiasm for repeat performances.

At the very least, in a better world, time spent on psychiatric watch could've been used to justify placing the Virginia killer on a no-buy gun list. I'm not naïve enough to believe that illegal firearms aren't within reach for anyone who really wants them, but just as loud dogs deter burglars and crime rates drop during harsh weather, sometimes making life difficult for a would-be criminal is enough. [...]

(bold emphasis mine) He goes on to explain why it has become impossible to intervene in cases such as this, and how we can expect more of the same, unless we become willing to deal with the facts that face us. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how we have ended up with things the way they are, and what we might now consider doing about it.
     

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Funnies 04/22/07



















Labels:

Blogosphere Map; the most popular groupings

This photo is from an article by Stephen Ornes at Discover Magazine:

Map: Welcome to the Blogosphere
The blogosphere is the most explosive social network you’ll never see. Recent studies suggest that nearly 60 million blogs exist online, and about 175,000 more crop up daily (that’s about 2 every second). Even though the vast majority of blogs are either abandoned or isolated, many bloggers like to link to other Web sites. These links allow analysts to track trends in blogs and identify the most popular topics of data exchange. Social media expert Matthew Hurst recently collected link data for six weeks and produced this plot of the most active and interconnected parts of the blogosphere. [...]
The article goes on to break the map down into six major groupings. Large white dots represent popular websites. Number one is the DailyKos. Number 4 is Michelle Malkin. See the whole article for the others and the explanations of what it all means.


Related Link:

What "Map: Welcome to the Blogosphere" Doesn't Tell You!

Dave Lucas has quite a few things to say about the Discover Magazine article. He looks at the many variables that need to be considered when looking at web traffic data, in order to get a more complete understanding of what it all means.

I'm not sure I would agree with all his conclusions, but it is an interesting read on a fascinating topic. If this subject is at all interesting to you, I would head on over there for a visit.
     

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Uh-oh. Who checks the fact checkers?

(cartoon source: xkcd.com)

Now there is a conspiracy theory. Someone tell Rosie! ;-)

     

Guns, drugs and psychos

All-or-nothing solutions like banning guns or drugs don't work

The all or nothing crowd keeps insisting that the 2nd Amendment needs to be repealed and all guns banned.

As for the use of antidepressant drugs by so many mass-shooters, I see some people are saying it's wrong to criticize antidepressant drugs, because such drugs help so many people.

Both arguments are too extreme, by taking an all or nothing approach. A more thoughtful approach is needed, and the following two blog posts seem to understand this. Here are the links, with some excerpts:

Anti-depressant drugs and mass killers
[...] There's nothing wrong with most of these drugs. Anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft have helped millions of people cope with depression. They are useful tools when used for adults who do not have severe mental disorders but they are no good for kids with serious problems.

[...]

The only solution is to identify sociopaths at an early age when it becomes obvious that they are anti-social, write hideous blood-thirsty plays and poems and kill cats. At that point they need to be put on anti-psychotic drugs not anti-depressants and, if the anti-psychotics don't curb their sociopathic behavior, then they need to locked up in loony bins. [...]

I've seen the use of antidepressant drugs in every mass shooting case I've read about. To acknowledge that is not to criticize the use of antidepressants, but to acknowledge that perhaps they are being misused when prescribed to people with serious mental illness problems.

Quote of the Day: Cesare Beccaria
[...] Consider the shootings in Germany in 2002, or the shootings in Scotland in 1996. (I apologize for not mentioning the Osaka school massacre of 2001 that left eight dead, but that was performed with a knife.) Our international critics should inquire as to why schools are always attacked by predatory psychos, regardless of how strict the firearm regulations are, as opposed to, let us say, police departments. Do this nonsense in a shopping mall and you will find citizens firing back, which is why shopping mall slaughters are unheard of. Universities like Virginia Tech, ironically, are gun free zones. A lot of good that does.

Indeed. "Gun Free Zones" are hunting grounds for psychopathic predators. In our past history, such large mass shootings have not occurred. We didn't have "gun fee-zones" back then, and we let citizens arm themselves as the 2nd amendment allows for.

We also didn't dispense anti-depressant drugs like candy to disturbed young people. Young people are still learning about self control; many have anger issues. Teens have raging hormones and are often too immature to handle their feelings constructively. Add to that deep mental problems, and then give them antidepressant drugs that lift their inhibitions... it's a recipe for disaster.

But rather than banning antidepressants (or refusing to look at their roll in these shootings), we could focus more on identifying people with serious mental problems, and getting them the appropriate help.

Instead of taking guns away from law abiding citizens, couldn't more be done to keeps guns out of the hands of psychopaths? Yet precisely because no system would be able to eliminate every possibility of danger, citizens must retain the right to arm themselves.

Whether it's guns or antidepressants, it's not the objects themselves that cause the problems, but the context they are used in. The answers lie in deeper examination of causes and effects in those contexts, not giving in to the all or nothing demands of the short-sighted.


Update 04-22-07:
Now there have been copy-cat shootings and inspired incidents. I know the media has a responsibility to report the news, but endless coverage and over-publicity of the killers who do these crimes can be a problem in of itself.



Various groups want to use shooting tragedies to advance numerous causes, but isn't it ultimately about identifying truly mentally disturbed people, and intervening BEFORE they go on a murderous rampage?




The guy was nuts; call it mental illness or call it evil, that is the bottom line. How we can recognize and contain such dangerous killers before they act, in an open and free society like ours? That is the real problem we have to solve.
     

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tammy Bruce on the push to purge talk radio



Former President of the Los Angeles Chapter of NOW, Tammy Bruce appears on Bill O'Reilly's show to talk about the assorted methods the left is using to try to silence it's critics. She maintains there is a struggle in the Democratic party right now between the far left and classical liberal Democrats like herself, with the former trying to purge the later. The video is just over 5 minutes long.

On her blog, she posted about her upcomming appearance on the show. An excerpt:
[...] I'll be on alone with O'Reilly to discuss how the Imus firing is really the beginning of what the left hopes will be an ideological purging (silencing) of talk radio.

Keep in mind, Imus is not a 'conservative,' but he is also not a leftist. I see this attack on Imus very much like the attempt by Establishment Left to purge Lieberman (and what he represents) from the Democratic Party--there is indeed an ideological war going on, and even before the leftist gestapos out there feel they can turn to silencing conservatives, they have to purge their own house of liberals who don't pledge allegiance to the leftist worldview. It's why I get attacked by the left for not being a "real" Democrat and why Imus was one of the first on their Hit List to go.

It's very Maoist, and very dangerous unless we all speak up. I think we're a nation which can handle being occasionally offended, and can have that discussion socially. Yet, under the guise of protecting the apparently freakishly vulnerable and sensitive ears of minorities, we're being asked to punish and destroy only those who dare to question and decry leftism, issue dissent and cause a politically incorrect ruckus (the two usually go together). All of us would prefer a world where certain phrases aren't even considered as part of the social debate, but what this is really about is how far you are willing to be manipulated, in the name of 'decency', to allow and accept Stalinistic control over what can and cannot be heard.

For those who think this is about decency across the board, when Jesse "Hymie Town" Jackson and Al "Tawana Brawley" Sharpton call for the firing of Rosie "Ching-Chong" O'Donnell, then you'll have a point. But you won't because she's a loyal moonbat and has 'protection' to say whatever the hell she wants. Ching-chong to you, too.

In the meantime, it's safe to say this has nothing to do with "decency" and everything to do with ideology and the leftist politics of purging those who are unafraid and cannot be controlled. [...]

(bold emphasis mine) Having been a Leftist activist for many years, and as such used the MSM extensively, Tammy knows well of what she speaks. Tammy is the author of three books (the most recent: "The New American Revolution"). She currently hosts her own Talk Radio show in the Los Angeles area.
     

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gun Control & antidepressant drugs = Massacres

Of course the V-Tech shootings are the main news topic today. And with this tragic story are more calls for gun control.

Neal Boortz has a post on Virginia Tech and Gun Control today that fills in some important gaps left out by the MSM:

This is undoubtedly the worst school shooting, high school, college or otherwise, in the history of our country. There are some facts, however, about some of these school shootings of which you probably are not aware. Do you know, for instance, that at least three shootings in high schools were stopped by civilians with guns? Civilians, not law enforcement. In one case a civilian was traveling past a school when he saw children running from the building. One told him that there was a student inside shooting people. The civilian pulled his gun, ran in side, and confronted the student. The student put down the gun and surrendered. In another case a high school vice-principal heard that there was a student in the hallways with a gun. He sprinted a half-mile to his car. He had a gun in his car so he had to park off campus. He then sprinted back with the gun to confront the student. Lives saved.

There have been many other cases where civilians with guns have prevented further carnage at the hands of killers. The media isn't fond of reporting these episodes because they don't contribute to the cause of gun control.

The point here is that you are never ever going to get the guns out of the hands of those who want to use them for carnage. Never. In all the years of press releases and statements from the Brady anti-gun organization there has never been one single gun control plan presented that would take the guns out of the hands of criminals. This is the oddity of gun control. Only law abiding people are going to abide by gun control laws. Criminals are not. The anti-gun lobby, and that includes much of the media, will never give any fair coverage at all to the people who use guns to save their own lives, or the lives of others.

(bold emphasis mine) When the MSM reports stories about citizens stopping criminals with guns, they often report that the gunman was "overpowered" or "restrained" by citizens - without mentioning those citizens had used guns.

People want more gun control laws thinking it's going to make them safe. But such laws can't and don't keep guns out of the hands of CRIMINALS.



Tammy Bruce, in chapter 5 of her book "The New American Revolution", examines gun control arguments in depth. Many of the arguments for gun control claim to be based on increasing the law-abiding publics survival odds against a maniac. Tammy said about that:
[...] This in and of itself acknowledges that not only do gun laws not keep the innocent safe, they do not keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

Let's get real here - the only thing that would increase the survival odds for the law-abiding public is if they were able to shoot back at any maniac shooting at them. [...]

(bold emphasis mine) We saw a demonstration of that principle in action yesterday. If even only one of those citizens had been armed, dozens of people might still be alive today.

Murdering maniacs aren't exactly interested in being law-abiding, any more than criminals are. Removing OUR ability to protect ourselves does not make US safer.

Pat and I were talking about this at breakfast this morning, you can read more about his thoughts on the matter, which are much like my own, here: The massacre

Was shooter Cho Seung Hui pushed over
the edge by powerful antidepressant drugs?


Also not being mentioned enough by the media, is that in all the school shootings we hear about, the shooters had been on anti-depressant drugs, including the shooter yesterday. Our citizens have had guns for the past 200 years. It's only in more modern times that school shootings have become increasingly common. And a common factor in those shootings and other other mass shootings is antidepressant drugs. Does anyone think that is a mere coincidence? Instead of banning guns from the hands of law abiding citizens, shouldn't we be looking at the rampant prescribing of dangerous psychiatric drugs?


Related Links:

Breaking News updates at Hot Air

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Prescription drugs are connected to school shootings and other violence, yet more drugs are touted as the solution
     

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Funnies 04/16/07









Now the Democrats are proposing to create a "Department of Peace and Nonviolence." No wonder they want to de-fund our military during a time of war. Are these the folks we need to lead the War on Terror? I feel safer already... NOT.





You can read related commentary from LMC here:
Duke Lacrosse Players Innocent!!.





You can read about Al Sharpton's shocking history here:
Factor highlights--and the real Al Sharpton.

Also, excellent commentary by LMC is here and here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Yet Another War in Lebanon: Belly Dancers!

Lebanese belly dancer Margo Caliphian: "Imagine
a man in a bra, a scarf, and a belt coming out to dance..."

Clip #1422 - New TV (Lebanon) - 2/12/2007.

Looking through the videos at MEMRITV.org, one sees an assortment of video clips from Middle Eastern TV. Many of the topics are heavy or horrific. But some of them are more mundane, and sometimes even amusing. This show fell into the later category. Here are some samples from the transcript:

- Lebanese Male Belly Dancers Incur the Wrath of Fellow Female Dancers
Belly dancer Margo Caliphian: Once I was invited to a party, I saw a guy wearing dancing clothes, with full make-up, with earrings down to his belly... How can anyone accept this?!

[...]

He wore red lipstick and glossy make-up, as if he was in Paris. This is unnatural.

Male belly dancer Alaa': You are right. Many people ask me: "Why don't you change the way you dress?" I tell them that I don't care what people think I am doing. All I care about is what I am actually doing. Things like pants, T-shirts, and jeans are fine, because this is how I am. People say: "But you have long hair." I'm not growing my hair because of the dancing, but because it is my style. I began four years ago, and I am still growing it.

Moderator: There's nothing wrong with it...

Margo Caliphian: Let me explain something. It is becoming shameful. Things are deteriorating. A woman is a woman, and a man is a man.[...]

They cannot write in an invitation to a party: "Featuring a singer, an artist, and the belly dancer X," and then it turns out to be a guy. Can you imagine what would happen? Imagine a classy party...

Moderator: What do you mean by "classy"?

Margo Caliphian: Take, for example, an important festival, with well-known singers and a belly dancer. Imagine a guy coming out to dance with a belly-dancing outfit... It is unheard of. What would you say you if you came to a festival with a large band to do your job...

Moderator: But Ms. Margo, he is there to do his job as well.

Margo Caliphian: I'm talking about a festival, and you're talking about a nightclub. There is a difference. I'm talking about the level and status of the belly dancer. Today, we've begun to appear all over the world. Today, many belly dancers go to America or France, and dance in the most important theaters in the world. Imagine a man in a bra, a scarf, and a belt coming out to dance...

Moderator: But he doesn't wear those things. He dances normally.

Margo Caliphian: Even so, there can be no perfection in it.

[...]

The video clip starts out with a sample of the dancing in question, with a voice over narative. Then a panel discussion ensues. The video has good subtitles in English.

As of this date, the video clip is at the top of the linked page above, but if scrolls away and you need to find it at a later date, go to the MEMRI seach engine here, and type in the clip number, 1422.

This debate reminded me of the kind of TV you would see in the West. People were laughing and smiling, it seemed so normal. Lebanon is still a multicultural society, but there are forces at work that want to change that.

Lebanon also has a Hezbollah TV station, which is a sharp contrast:

Clip #1304 - Children in Gaza Imitate Hizbullah Secretary- General Hassan Nasrallah and Hamas Founder Ahmad Yassin
(Archival Material) Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) - 5/29/2001


They have a very different idea of "fun".

I doubt you would have any belly dancers at all working publicly in a Sharia Law state, like Iran, which sponsors Hezbollah.
     

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