This is the Irish supergroup Altan performing Dulaman (the best song ever written about seaweed). I'm not sure if I have posted this video before or not. I'm just too tired to check. This is found on their CD Island Angel.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Fjordman writes on "The Death of Sweden" in today's Brussels Journal:
I still get questions as to why I, being Norwegian, write more about Sweden than I do about my own country. First of all: I do write about Norway sometimes. And second of all: If you look at capital cities alone, Oslo could quite possibly be the worst city in Scandinavia. However, in virtually all other respects, Sweden is worse. And yes, it is every bit as bad as I say it is.
The primary reason why I write so much about Sweden is because it is the most totalitarian country in the Western world, and should thus serve as a warning to others. The second reason is that Sweden, like my own country, now needs some "tough love." Too many Swedes still cling on to the myth of the "Swedish model" while their country is disintegrating underneath their feet. If Sweden the nation is to be saved – if it still can be saved, I'm not so sure – then Sweden the ideological beacon for mankind must be smashed, because vanity now blocks sanity.
According to news site The Local, a judge who hears migration appeals had his house vandalized by left-wing extremists. Threats were sprayed on the walls, red paint was poured over the steps and an axe was left outside his home. "When a judge in a Swedish court has his home vandalised in this way, it is of course very serious," said Ingvar Paulsson, head of the Gothenburg District Administrative Court . The group Antifascistisk Action (AFA) writes on its homepage that the attack was motivated by the situation of Iraqi asylum seekers. The Swedish Board of Migration has ruled that they should be deported if they cannot show that a threat exists against them personally.
It should be noted here that Sweden alone in 2006 accepted almost as many asylum applications from Iraqis as all other European countries did combined. Native Swedes, who live in a country that was one of the most ethnically homogeneous nations in the world only 30 years ago, will be a minority in their own country within a few decades, if current trends continue. Sweden is self-destructing at a pace that is probably unprecedented in history, but for the extreme Left, even this isn't fast enough.
AFA openly brag about numerous attacks against persons who get their full name and address published on their website. According to them, this is done in order to fight against capitalist exploitation and for a global, classless society. Their logic goes something like this: If you protest against Muslim immigration, you suffer from Islamophobia, which is almost the same as xenophobia, which is almost the same as racism. And racists are almost Fascists and Nazis, as we all know, and they shouldn't be allowed to voice their opinions in public. Hence, if you protest against being assaulted or raped by Muslims, you are evil and need to be silenced. If a native Swede is really lucky, he or she will thus first get mugged or battered by Muslims, and then beaten up a second time by his own extreme Leftists for objecting to being beaten the first time. The state does next to nothing to prevent either, of course. Native Swedes who object to a mass immigration that will render them a minority in their own country within a couple of generations have already been classified as "racists," and racists are for all practical purposes outside of the protection of the law.
According to some observers, Islamophobic hatred is on the rise in Europe. Let's have a look at what constitutes "racist hatred." The following is used as an official example of what is considered an Islamophobic hate crime in Sweden: A Muslim family in a Swedish neighborhood asks whether it is possible for them to get something else to eat other than sausages made out of pork. Linda then answers: "No, we live in Sweden." The family asks what she means by that. Linda repeats that "We live in Sweden, and you have to respect that." The man of the family says that "We respect you, why can't you respect us?" Linda then replies that "No, unfortunately not." She laughs and walks away.
Contrast this with an example from 2006, when Chancellor of Justice Göran Lambertz discontinued his preliminary investigation regarding anti-Semitism at the great mosque in Stockholm. He wrote that "the lecture at hand contains statements that are strongly degrading to Jews, among other things, they are throughout called brothers of apes and pigs." Furthermore a curse is expressed over the Jews and "Jihad is called for, to kill the Jews, whereby suicide bombers – celebrated as martyrs – are the most effective weapon." Lambertz thought that the "recently mentioned statements in spite of their contents are not to be considered incitement against an ethnic group according to Swedish law." His conclusions were that the preliminary investigation should be discontinued because this incitement against Jews could be said to originate from the Middle East conflict.
This double standard is not just limited to Jews. Dahn Pettersson, a local politician, has been fined 18,000 kronor for writing that 95 percent of all heroin brought in comes via Albanians from Kosovo. "It is never ethnic groups that commit crimes. It is individuals or groups of individuals," prosecutor Mats Svensson told the court, which found Pettersson guilty of "Agitation Against a Minority Group." Svante Nycander, former editor of daily Dagens Nyheter, stated that "the ruling in Malmö District Court is damaging to freedom of expression. Many will take it as proof that the authorities are afraid of uncomfortable truths, and that lacking reasoned counter-arguments they punish those who speak plainly." In Sweden, saying that Muslim Albanians are behind much of the drug traffic in Europe (a fact) is a crime. Making derogatory statements about the native population, however, is just fine.
Bexhet Kelmeni is of Kosovar Albanian origin and lives in Malmö, the country's third largest city, which is set to become the first Scandinavian city with a Muslim majority in a few years. He thinks that it is important that it has now been established that Dahn Pettersson's assertions were criminal. "I am ashamed that there are such politicians," says Kelmeni, who claims that he has been in contact with hundreds of Albanians and all of them have taken offense. "He needs to learn more about the Albanian culture," Kelmeni says. What he doesn't say is that many of the remaining Swedes in Malmö – the natives have been evacuating, or rather fleeing, the city for years due to rampant violence and harassment – get daily lessons in Albanian culture.
Feriz and Pajtim, members of Gangsta Albanian Thug Unit in Malmö, explain how they mug people downtown. They target a lone victim. "We surround him and beat and kick him until he no longer fights back," Feriz says. They are always many more people than their victims. Isn't this cowardly? "I have heard that from many, but I disagree. The whole point is that they're not supposed to have a chance." They don't express any sympathy for their victims. "If they get injured, they just have themselves to blame for being weak," says Pajtim and shrugs. "Many of us took part in gangs which fought against the Serbs in Kosovo. We have violence in our blood." They blame the politicians for why they are mugging, stating that they are bored. If the state could provide them with something to do, maybe they would stop attacking people. But is the lack of leisure pursuits the only reason why they assault people? "No, it's good fun as well," says Feriz.
Criminal gangs of Albanians thus freely admit assaulting Swedes, but Swedes cannot suggest that there are criminal gangs of Albanians. That's just racist.
[. . .]
Is there then no racism in Malmö? Yes, there are some nasty cases of Islamophobia. A bus driver was suspended for discrimination and hatred after he allegedly tried to stop a woman from boarding because she was wearing a burka. According to writer Mats Wahl, arson against schools costs more than 300 million kroner a year. An unofficial survey among 52 Swedish municipalities indicated that at least 114 such cases of arson were registered within the first half of 2006, but accurate numbers were hard to come by. At least 139 schools suffered attempted arson during 2002 alone. Björn Vinberg from the fire department in the Malmö area says it is degrading to put out fires again and again in the same immigrant areas, with school kids laughing at them and lighting a new one just afterwards. No doubt, this must be a protest against the institutionalized and pervasive Islamophobia in Swedish society.
In a country where the tax rate is above 60%, higher than in almost any other country on the planet save perhaps North Korea – which incidentally also has almost as much free speech as Sweden – the natives are attacked on a daily basis by immigrant gangs, yet the state seems unwilling to do anything to stop this. Although Muslims openly brag about targeting Jews and Christians, this doesn't constitute a hate crime. But is does constitute racism and a hate crime if Muslims are not presented with halal sausages at all times or allowed to wear a burka wherever they want to.
According to Professor Wilhelm Agrell, Sweden now has a security policy based on the assumption that territorial defense is no longer needed. Military resources are only deemed relevant as political markers in distant conflicts and their own territory has become nothing more than a training ground. Agrell concludes that "after years of existential angst and budgetary black holes, Sweden's military has finally taken down its flag, emptied its stores and fled the field." The few soldiers they do have are in places such as Afghanistan, not at home. Jan Karlsen from the Swedish Police Union warned in 2007 that the underfunded police force would not be able to keep up with organized crime and ethnic tensions for much longer. Meanwhile, police officers are protesting against a new uniform designed to make them appear less aggressive by replacing boots with shoes, making guns less visible and changing the shirts to a softer, gentler color.
In an article from June 2007 with the title "Summertime — rape time," Aftonbladet, the largest daily in Scandinavia, linked the spike in rapes during the summer to the warm weather. The official number of rape charges in Sweden has more than quadrupled during one generation, even more for girls under the age of 15. If this is due to the warm weather, I suppose the Scandinavian rape wave is caused by global warming? The fact that many of the suspects have a Muslim background, which is also proven by statistics from neighboring Norway, is purely coincidental, no doubt. The number of rapes in the Norwegian capital Oslo is now six times as high per capita as in New York.
Somehow or other it just has to be the fault of either Bush or the Jooos, or both.
Seriously, go back and look at the part where the tax rate in Sweden is 60%. That is really all you need to know. Sweden is run by the Left and this is how the Left governs.
With all of the attention that the terrible murder of the Petit family in Connecticut has been receiving I have been doing what I can to encourage people to realize that such things can happen to anyone and to prepare themselves for the worst.
I thought I would gage how well I was doing by conducting a poll.
Over at Shooting the Messengers Fits has reproduced a memo from the Marine Corps PTB which spells out when the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform may be worn. What it boils down to is that Marines are forbidden to wear their MCCUUs off base unless they are driving in from or returning home to off base housing. They are forbidden even to stop at the local Circle K for a cup of coffee on the way in unless they can get it through a drive in window. An exception is made for emergency situation like traffic accident or breakdown.
What it all seems to mean, at least to someone on the outside of the Corps looking in, is that Marines are not supposed to dress like they are going to war anywhere a soccer mom might see them and have the vapors. This strikes me as sad.
This next bit that I found over on Knowledge is Power is not genuine, but it strikes me as very funny:
To: All Commands
Subject: U.S. Navy Directive 16134
Ref: ComMidEast (mip://03620fb8) For Inst 16134//24 K All commanders promulgate upon receipt. The following T-shirts are no longer to be worn on or off base by any military or civilian personnel serving in the Middle East:
A. “Eat Pork or Die”
[both English and Arabic versions]
B. “Shrine Busters”
[Various. Show burning minarets or bomb/artillery shells impacting Islamic shrines. Some with unit logos.]
C. “Napalm, Sticks Like Crazy”
[Both English and Arabic versions]
D. “Goat - it isn’t just for breakfast any more.”
[Both English and Arabic versions]
E. “The road to Paradise begins with me.”
[Mostly Arabic versions, but some in English. Some show sniper scope cross-hairs.]
F. “Guns don’t kill people. I kill people.”
[Both Arabic and English versions]
G. “Pork. The other white meat.”
[English, Arabic and other coalition force languages.]
The above T-shirts are to be removed from Post Exchanges upon receipt of this directive. In addition, the following signs are to be removed upon receipt of this message:
A. “Islamic Religious Services Will Be Held at the Firing Range at 0800 Daily.”
B. “Do we really need ‘smart bombs’ to drop on these dumb bastards?”
All commands are instructed to implement sensitivity training with respect to the above topics upon receipt.
I especially like the one about Islamic religious services being held at the firing range.
Monday, July 30, 2007
to the television, music and motion picture industry:
I support intellectual property laws. If you make a move or television show, publish a book or record a CD you do so in order to make a profit and anyone who pirates that work is stealing as surely as if they put a gun to your face and took your wallet and watch.
However I strongly urge you to think of video clips posted on sites like YouTube as free advertising rather than copyright infringement.
I can well understand why you would not want entire episodes of television shows or whole movies broken down and posted so that someone could watch the entire thing that way, but clips of movies, TV shows or music videos are a different matter.
Again, that represents the equivalent of millions of dollars worth of free advertising.
Be grateful and do not sue or use software which automatically deletes copyrighted material without making a judgement as to whether it is doing you far more good than harm.
Tonight we depart from our normal Celtic/Medieval/folk format to bring you a swing song called Americano from the Brian Setzer Orchestra. This is in honor of our newest Hillbilly Ecosystem member RumoredeiMieiVenti. The song is about those young European men who became enamored with America from their contact with the GI's who liberated Europe during WWII.
This song was featured in the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley in which the stars Matt Damon and Jude Law perform the song in Italian.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Tom Snyder, who pioneered the late-late network TV talk show with a personal yet abrasive style and his robust, trademark laugh, has died from complications associated with leukemia. He was 71.
Snyder died Sunday in San Francisco, his longtime producer and friend Mike Horowicz told The Associated Press on Monday.
"Tom was a fighter," Horowicz said. "I know he had tried many different treatments."
Prickly and ego-driven, Snyder conducted numerous memorable interviews as host of NBC's "Tomorrow," which followed Johnny Carson's "Tonight" show from 1973 to '82. A signature was the constant billowing of cigarette smoke around his head.
Snyder's style, his show's set and the show itself marked an abrupt change at 1 a.m. from Carson's program. Snyder might joke with the crew in the sparsely appointed studio, but he was more likely to joust with guests such as the irascible science fiction writer Harlan Ellison.
Snyder had John Lennon's final televised interview (April 1975) and U2's first U.S. television appearance in June 1981.
One of his most riveting interviews was with Charles Manson, who would go from a calm demeanor to acting like a wild-eyed, insanity-spouting mass murderer and back again.
Another wacky moment came when Plasmatics lead singer Wendy O. Williams blew up a TV in the studio; in another appearance she demolished a car. Yet another time, Johnny Rotten decided he really wasn't in the mood to be on a talk show and acted indifferent for an excruciating 12 minutes.
I watched Tom on many a night and have always missed him since he left late night TV. He could be a self-parody at times, but was always fun. He reminds those of us of a certain age of the era before cable/satellite when there were only the three broadcast networks and a couple of UHF channels (if we were lucky).
I'm sorry to see him go.
I have good news for Hillbilly Ecosystem members. We have another international blog in the Ecosystem RumoredeiMieiVenti or RDM20 has joined up. They are an pro-American Italian blog and will make a fine addition to the Hillbilly Ecosystem.
Even if you don't speak Italian go over and give them a look.
From The Daily Mail:
During the latter half of World War II, the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) undertook a massive clandestine operation of which the full, extraordinary details are only now coming to light.
Between 1942 and 1945, a section of SIS - known as MI19 - secretly recorded no fewer than 64,427 conversations between captured German generals and other senior officers, all without their knowledge or even suspicion. The 167 most significant of these are about to be published for the first time.
A rare color photograph of Hitler with his generals.
Together, they provide us with a goldmine of information about what the German High Command privately thought of the war, Adolf Hitler, the Nazis and each other.
They also explode the post-war claim of the Wehrmacht that they did not know what the SS were doing to the Jews, Slavs, mentally disabled and others among what they termed "untermensch" (sub-humans).
The Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre (CSDIC) was based in Trent Park, a magnificent estate once owned by the Sassoon family, near Cockfosters in North London. It was here that German senior officers were brought for internment once they were captured.
Then a huge top-secret operation swung into play, involving several hundred recording technicians, stenographers, transcribers and interpreters, not to mention stool-pigeons and agents provocateurs whose job it was to stimulate conversations between German generals, brigadiers and colonels.
A number of ruses were employed to encourage the Germans to speak to one another in one of the 12 rooms in the common areas of the house that were wired for sound. Luftwaffe commanders were mixed with Wehrmacht generals; newspapers and radios were used to pass on snippets of news from the front. Occasionally, Lord Aberfaldy - a CSDIC agent posing as a welfare officer -would simply bring up subjects that might provoke debate once he had left the room.
The astonishing success of the operation can be measured in the sheer number - and the extreme candour - of the conversations that ensued. To read the transcripts today is to be reminded of some of the worst horrors of World War II.
Of course, British Intelligence wanted above all to discover operational secrets by eavesdropping on their captives recognising that this method might yield results that direct, face-to-face interrogations would not. But they also heard evidence of sustained mass atrocities, especially on the Eastern Front.
Attempts to suggest that genocide was solely the responsibility of the SS and Nazi fanatics, and not widespread across the whole Wehrmacht, completely collapse before the evidence of these recordings.
Although most of the generals at Trent Park were captured in North Africa, Italy and France, it is clear they knew perfectly well what was happening throughout the Third Reich and its occupied territories.
The article is long, but contains a great deal of information.
Of course no serious student of the history of the Third Reich doubts that knowledge of at least the broad outlines of the Holocaust was common throughout both the German military and the civilian population. Word of mouth from soldiers returning home for leave and to convalesce from wounds were one way the word was spread. Another was civilian employees of the German military, the SS and the Nazi government.
Also the cloud of smoke and ash from the crematoria covered half of Poland and sometimes drifted into Germany.
Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer said Friday that the Senate should not confirm another U.S. Supreme Court nominee under President Bush "except in extraordinary circumstances.”
"We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,” Schumer told the American Constitution Society convention in Washington, reported The Politico. "The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.”
According to the Washington Post, Schumer declared that his decision not to lead a successful filibuster in January 2006 of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's nomination was one of his "greatest failings" as a senator.
Schumer said that after watching the work of the newly constructed "Roberts court" the past 18 months, he would block any future Supreme Court nominee of President Bush's should a vacancy arise between now and January 2009.
Gee, wouldn't be nice if we had pulled the trigger on the "nuclear option" which would have changed the Senate rules to mandate an up or down vote on judicial nominees rather than allowing them to be filibustered?
We had the votes back then after all. Who was it who took it off the table? Oh, I remember. It was crazy John McCain and his detestable little butt-boy Lindsey Graham. Them along with 5 other backstabbing traitorous RINOs and 7 Democrats who were happy to help screw the Republican majority.
How is the McCain candidacy polling in the Republican primaries? Can't tell since I left my microscope back at the lab.
Of course if one of the leftist judges assumes room temperature then that will leave the court leaning sharply to the right and if two of them go tits-up the conservatives can run wild, at least until January 2009.
That would be something. Chuck Schumer going down in history as the man who enabled the overturn of Roe v Wade.
From The Guardian:
CHESHIRE, Conn. (AP) - Two men accused of killing a physician's wife and two daughters and setting fire to their home could face the death penalty if convicted.
Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes were charged with six capital felony counts in the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters during a home invasion, New Haven State's Attorney Michael Dearington said Thursday. They previously were charged with assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery, arson and other counts in Monday's attack.
The seeming randomness of the attack has scared residents around the normally peaceful New Haven suburb of Cheshire, with its upper-middle class neighborhoods and Colonial homes with well-kept lawns.
Residents are lining up for gun safety classes so they can buy firearms, said Scott Hoffman, owner of Hoffman's Gun Center in nearby Newington.
``You talk to these people and you can see it's hit home, this particular crime,'' he said. ``It's the sheer grotesqueness of the crime and the fact that it's such a normal family.''
There are indications of intelligent life in Connecticut after all. People are waking up to the danger of being unprepared and unprotected and arming themselves. Connecticut requires a permit issued by the police to purchase a handgun or to carry a concealed firearm, but no permit is required for a rifle or shotgun and no permit is required to maintain a weapon loaded and ready in the home. Source
First and foremost Dr. Petit's family is dead because two evil men chose to invade their home, torment and murder them. However if Dr. Petit and his wife had taken some simple precautions they would be alive today.
From what we can piece together from press accounts this is what happened. The two criminals were scouting the area for victims. They saw Mrs. Hawke-Petit and her youngest daughter coming out of a grocery store and getting into their Mercedes. Liking the look of the expensive car, and probably the two women, they followed it home. The neighborhood and the Petit home spoke of affluence and promised a rich score for the two experienced criminals.
Approaching the house later on, about 3:00 AM, the two predators did not see a sign warning that the home was protected with an alarm system and they heard no barking dog. They seem to have circled the house trying the doors until they found AN UNLOCKED DOOR which they used to gain entry. Once inside they were not greeted with either an alarm sounding to tell them that the police were on the way or a barking watch dog telling them that the family would soon be awake and investigating.
At this point there was only one potential danger the two home invaders might possibly have to face, and it was the deadliest danger for men in their "profession" - armed homeowners. However the Petits, after failing to secure their home with locked doors and give themselves advance warning of approaching trouble with an alarm system (at least not one which was switched on) and a guard dog, went the final mile toward making themselves truly helpless sheep awaiting slaughter by not being armed.
After this the sequence of events is not known to the general public. What we do know is that Mr. Petit was neutralized by a severe beating about the head and body with a baseball bat and that he was bound and dumped into the house's basement. At least one and probably all of the Petit females were raped or otherwise sexually assaulted over a period of about 6 hours. Finally at around 9:00 AM Mrs. Hawke-Petit was forced to drive one of the criminals to the family's bank and make a withdrawal. At the bank she was somehow able to communicate to a teller that she and her family were being held hostage. Bank employees called the police which responded to the Petit home and the bank.
After Mrs. Hawke-Petit and her captor returned to the Petit home Mrs. Hawke-Petit was strangled to death and the home was set on fire with gasoline which the pair of criminals had brought with them. Mr. Petit was, as far as they knew, still tied up in the basement and the Petit daughters were tied to their beds, still alive.
The two criminals attempted to flee the Petit home in the Petit's SUV while inside the house Dr. Petit managed to free himself and exit the burning house while the two Petit daughters died of smoke inhalation.
Police captured the two murderers as they attempted to make their getaway.
As can be seen from the above narrative either Dr. Petit or Mrs. Hawke-Petit, the two responsible adults of the family, could have prevented the tragedy which befell them with some simple protective measures.
1. They could have secured the perimeter of their home with locked windows and doors which were designed to resist criminal intrusion. Every door in that house should have been a metal-clad entry door with a deadbolt lock. The door frames should have been reinforced with metal to help prevent battering. The windows should have been of a type designed to resist being forced and have been protected with burglar bars (which can be disguised as decorative wrought iron). A good starting point in upgrading your home security is a book like Home Security: Your Guide to Protecting Your Family . Had they not been able to gain entry to the house without taking time and making a great deal of noise the two scumbags would have almost certainly moved on to an easier target.
2. They should have had a burglar alarm system professionally installed and it should have been turned on. The alarm system should have been one of the type which is monitored and maintained by the alarm company. Ideally it should have been of the type which allows the people at the control center to actually hear what is going on in the house when the alarm is triggered. The knowledge that they had lost the element of surprise, that the family was awake and preparing for them and that the police had been called would have sent the two criminals fleeing. In fact a sticker on each door and window that the home was protected by an alarm system would have most likely stopped them from even trying to enter.
3. There should have been a watchdog inside the house to both sound the alert in the case of intruders and to act as a first line of active defense in the event the home's perimeter was breached. A barking dog will send most would-be burglars on to the next target. This is especially true if the dog is one of the larger and fiercer breeds like rottweiler or doberman pincer.
4. The Petits should have taken advantage of their Second Amendment rights and owned at least one firearm. Ideally they would have had at least one handgun and one shotgun. All members of the family should have been made familiar with the operation of all of the weapons and should have been required to practice with them on a regular basis.
5. The family should have had a plan on what to do in the event of a nighttime home invasion. The plan should have been kept as simple as possible and should have been practiced.
Basically a family plan to resist a home invasion would look something like this. The father would arm himself with either a handgun or a short barrel shotgun (as short as the law allows) and go to the children's rooms to wake them and bring them back to the master bedroom. If the oldest child responsible enough he or she can do this while the father guards the top of the stairwell or the opening of the hallway.
While this is going on the mother should be in contact with the police via telephone (a cell phone should be in the master bedroom as a backup in case the criminals sever the land-line coming into the house). After the family and any guests are in the master bedroom the door should be closed and locked (ideally the master bedroom should be protected with a metal clad entry door in a strengthened frame and equipped with a deadbolt).
Everyone should then take cover behind the bed with unarmed persons laying on the floor. One member of the family should still be on the phone with police. All armed persons should aim their weapons at the door and be ready to fire on anyone who forces it open. Upon hearing noise outside the bedroom door the head of the hose should shout in a loud, but controlled voice that anyone coming through the door will be shot. After that wait for the police and shoot anyone who comes through the door.
Maintain contact with the police. The dispatcher will inform you when police are on the scene and when they have searched and secured the house.
There are a number of good "starter" books out there for the firearms novice. One of the better ones is In the Gravest Extreme Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection , by Massad Ayoob. Another good book for the beginner is Armed Response: A Comprehensive Guide to Using Firearms for Self-Defense by David S Kenik. No one book will tell you everything you need to know and reading will never be a substitute for hands-on practice, but if you start off with the kind of ignorance that most people outside of the "gun culture" have about firearms either or both of those books will help get you started.
This is part two of the actual documentary movie Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West. You can order the DVD here.
For more information about Islam I recommend Radical Eye for the Infidel Guy: Inside the Strange World of Militant Islam , by Kevin J Ryan.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
PHOENIX (AP) - Officers responding to a report of an exorcism on a young girl found her grandfather choking her and used stun guns to subdue the man, who later died, authorities said Sunday.
The 3-year-old girl and her mother, who was also in the room during the struggle between 49-year-old Ronald Marquez and officers, were hospitalized, police said. Their condition was unavailable.
The relative who called police said an exorcism had also been attempted Thursday.
"The purpose was to release demons from this very young child," Tranter said.
Officers arrived at the house Saturday and entered when they heard screaming coming from a bedroom, Sgt. Joel Tranter said.
A bed had been pushed up against the door; the officers pushed it open a few inches and saw Marquez choking his bloodied granddaughter, who was crying in pain and gasping, Tranter said.
A bloody, naked 19-year-old woman who police later determined to be Marquez's daughter and the girl's mother was in the room, chanting "something that was religious in nature," Tranter said.
The officers forced open the door enough for one to enter, leading to a struggle in which an officer used a stun gun on Marquez, Tranter said.
After the initial stun had no visible effect, another officer squeezed into the room and stunned him. The girl was freed and passed through the door to the relative, Tranter said.
Marquez was placed in handcuffs after a struggle with officers and initially appeared normal, but then stopped breathing, Tranter said. He could not be revived and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Tranter declined to identify Marquez's daughter and granddaughter but said they lived in the house with Marquez.
The mother was not arrested, but police will consider criminal charges, Tranter said.
Now I'm no expert on the Roman Ritual, but I'm pretty sure that the priest isn't supposed to try to literally beat the devil out of the possessed person. And I'm also pretty sure that the assistants aren't supposed to be naked.
An editorial in today's Washington Post gets it right:
IN LARGE PART, modern U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policy began with India. India received U.S. aid under the "Atoms for Peace" program of the early Cold War era -- only to lose its U.S. fuel supply because India, which had refused to sign the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), exploded a nuclear "device" in 1974. Decades of U.S. noncooperation with India's civilian atomic energy program were intended to teach India, and the world, a lesson: You will not prosper if you go nuclear outside the system of international safeguards.
Friday marked another step toward the end of that policy -- also with India. The Bush administration and New Delhi announced the principles by which the United States will resume sales of civilian nuclear fuel and technology to India, as promised by President Bush in July 2005. The fine print of the agreement, which must still be approved by the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group and by Congress, has not yet been released. But the big picture is clear: The administration is betting that the benefits to the United States and the world of a "strategic partnership" with India outweigh the risks of a giant exception to the old rules of the nonproliferation game.
There are good reasons to make the bet. India is a booming democracy of more than 1 billion people, clearly destined to play a growing role on the world stage. It can help the United States as a trading partner and as a strategic counterweight to China and Islamic extremists. If India uses more nuclear energy, it will emit less greenhouse gas. Perhaps most important, India has developed its own nuclear arsenal without selling materials or know-how to other potentially dangerous states. This is more than can be said for Pakistan, home of the notorious A.Q. Khan nuclear network.
You can call this a double standard, as some of the agreement's critics do: one set of rules for countries we like, another for those we don't. Or you can call it realism: The agreement provides for more international supervision of India's nuclear fuel cycle than there would be without it. For example, it allows India to reprocess atomic fuel but at a new facility under International Atomic Energy Agency supervision, to protect against its diversion into weapons. The case for admitting India to the nuclear club is based on the plausible notion that the political character of a nuclear-armed state can be as important, or more important, than its signature on the NPT. North Korea, a Stalinist dictatorship, went nuclear while a member of the NPT; the Islamic Republic of Iran appears headed down the same road. Yet India's democratic system and its manifest interest in joining the global free-market economy suggest that it will behave responsibly.
Of course we have, or should have, a "double standard". Just as parents will give more liberty and responsibility to their 18-year-old child than to their 8-year-old the US and the rest of the civilized world needs to evaluate nations based upon their form of government, its stability and their past behavior.
India has a great deal to offer to the US and the US has a great deal to offer to India. Enabling and encouraging them to move as much of their energy production to nuclear as possible helps us, them and the world by reducing demand for petroleum.
Democratic India with nuclear arms provides a valuable counterbalance to both Pakistan and China in the region.
Industrially developed and prosperous India becomes an alternate source of low cost goods for the US economy, at least partially replacing China. And India becomes a vast market for US goods. Throughout the era of the Cold War India, which was attempting -unsuccessfully - to make socialism work, aligned its foreign policy with the USSR and bought the bulk of its military hardware from them as well.
As the various conflicts the world has seen in the years since the USSR folded have amply demonstrated when Russian weaponry comes into conflict with US weaponry the results bring to mind the proverbial "hot knife through butter" with the American hardware filling the role of the hot knife. This fact cannot be lost on the Indians as they seek to upgrade their military to meet the needs of the 21st century.
We also make better commercial aviation aircraft and our automobiles are competitive with much of what Europe and Japan are producing now as well. India and the US could form a strategic partnership which would provide vast benefits to both nations.
The key is going to be energy. The US consumes vast quantities of energy and as the economies of India and China continue to grow they will only increase their already large appetites for energy as well. If the US get behind nuclear power for electricity production and coal liquefaction for motor fuel as well as relaxing domestic oil exploration restriction (ANWAR and the Gulf of Mexico - including the coast of Florida) it can once again become energy independent and even a net exporter of energy. After all our coal reserves are the largest in the world.
If the US can prove itself as a reliable supplier of India's energy needs we will have a powerful ally, an emerging superpower actually, for the next century at least.
To achieve this we will need a president and congress which understand, and do not feel threatened by, capitalistic profit seeking, new technology and full development of America's natural resources.
While I am sure that there are individual exceptions I do not believe that these qualities find their home in the Democrat Party. I urge all who read this to remember this next November.
In this computer manipulation, Pesci superimposed a reverse version of the painting over the original.
In the middle of this left side of the manipulated version, Pesci says a figure appears to be cradling an infant.
He says that the two figures on either end of the long table appear to become knights.
I'm not really seeing it, but that doesn't mean that they aren't there. What many people do not realize is that Leonardo da Vinci constantly experimented with new types of pigmentation and new methods of painting which resulted in a great many of his works failing to survive. The Last Supper was one of these experiments. From Wikipedia:
When finished, the painting was acclaimed as a masterpiece of design and characterisation. But its artist was also denounced for the fact that it was no sooner finished than it began to fall off the wall. Leonardo, instead of using the reliable technique of fresco had experimented with different paint-binding agents, which were subject to mold and to flaking.
The Last Supper has been repaired so many times that little of what Leonardo actually painted is left. Of course the general layout and the position of the figures is still there so the "hidden figures" (if they are really there) could have been placed into the painting by design.
If so it would likely signify nothing beyond da Vinci's love of experimentation such as that seen in the Shroud of Turin in which Leonardo painted the figure of Christ with the wounds of crucifixion as though it were a photographic negative - before the invention of photography.
CHESHIRE - The two men police allege orchestrated the home invasion that resulted in the death of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters on Monday followed their victims home from a local supermarket Sunday evening, just hours before the family's horrific ordeal began, sources said Wednesday.
As Petit and her 11-year-old daughter, Michaela, were leaving the Stop & Shop in the Maplecroft Plaza a few miles from their 300 Sorghum Mill Drive home, Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes were watching.
The two men followed the Petits as they drove home in their white Mercedes Benz sedan and then returned to the house just hours later, slipping in an unlocked back door, sources said.
They set the house on fire before leaving hours later after a brutal rampage.
With authorities revealing few details of the investigation, and the seemingly random nature of the crime, many in this town of 28,000 remain on edge.
"Since this happened, I'm afraid to go into my basement at night," said Jill Veiga, who is a next door neighbor to the Petit family.
Petit, 48, was strangled and daughers Michaela and Hayley, 17, died of smoke inhalation, according to the state medical examiner. All three deaths were ruled homicides. Dr. William Petit Jr., 50, who was beaten and bound in the basement, managed to escape. He remained hospitalized Wednesday in serious but stable condition.
[. . .]
It appears that the men walked to the Petit's home from Quarry Village in the middle of the night, sources said, carrying what they needed with them, including the gasoline that was later used to set fire to the house.
Sources say the two men gained access to the home via an unlocked door at the rear of the house about 3 a.m. Monday. Later in the morning, one of the intruders forced Hawke-Petit to go to a local Bank of America branch, where she withdrew $15,000. Police say it was while she was withdrawing the money that Hawke-Petit was able to indicate to a teller that something was wrong. The bank notified police, and officers were simultaneously dispatched to the bank and the Petit home at 9:30 a.m. When police arrived at the home a few minutes later, the suspects were fleeing the burning house after pouring gasoline inside.
William Petit staggered from the home as officers arrived, the victim of an apparent baseball bat beating to his head and body. The two girls were reportedly tied to their beds, and at least some of the females were sexually assaulted.
The entire state of Connecticut is basically a suburb of New York City. How in the name of heaven do you live there without locking your doors at night and having, 1 - a burglar alarm and 2 - a firearm?
They got in through an unlocked door? If the door had been locked an a sign outside the house had identified it as being protected by a monitored alarm system the two scumbags would have gone on to the next place that looked like a soft target and left the Petits alone.
Also note that they brought the gasoline with them. They intended to burn the house down with the family inside. They saw Mrs. Petit and her 11-year-old daughter and thought they looked good for a bit of rape and robbery and didn't plan on leaving witnesses.
I'm not going to wax poetic about how these two pieces of filth deserve to die and what the method of execution should be. I'll just say this. These people did not have to die.
If Dr. and Mrs. Petit had possessed the foresight to protect themselves and their family with good sturdy locked doors and windows, a monitored alarm system - that they bothered to turn on at night, and firearms which the entire family were trained to use and had access to they would be alive today.
From The New York Times:
Power blackouts — “load shedding,” in utility jargon — are hardly novel in sub-Saharan Africa, where many electricity grids remain chewing-gum-and-baling-wire affairs. Even so, this year is different. Perhaps 25 of the 44 sub-Saharan nations face crippling electricity shortages, a power crisis that some experts call unprecedented.
The causes are manifold: strong economic growth in some places, economic collapse in others, war, poor planning, population booms, high oil prices and drought have combined to leave both industry and residents short of power when many need it most.
“We’ve had no significant capital injection into generation and transmission, from either the private or public sectors, for 15, maybe 20 years,” said Lawrence Musaba, the manager of the Southern African Power Pool, a 12-nation consortium of electricity utilities at the continent’s tip.
The implications go beyond candlelight suppers and extra blankets on beds. The lack of reliable power has already begun to hamper the region’s development, clipping more than 2 percent off the annual growth rates of the worst-hit African economies, according to the World Bank. Some nations, like Ghana, have tried to deal with their power crises by leasing huge teams of gas generators, producing emergency power at exorbitant rates until power plants can be built.
In Nigeria, Angola and some other nations, virtually all businesses and many residents run private generators to supplement faltering public service, saddling economies with added costs and worsening pollution.
“I’ve been on the 20th floor of an apartment building in Luanda, and there would be generators on all the verandas, with the racket, the fumes,” said Anton Eberhard, a former electricity regulator and an expert on power at the University of Cape Town. “And the lift isn’t working, because the main power supply is off.”
In normal times, South Africa’s muscular chain of power plants fills the gaps of its neighbors. But South Africa now could experience up to seven years of its own electricity shortages. Rolling blackouts blanketed parts of the country in January, and sporadic power failures have persisted since.
The gravity of this year’s shortage is all the more apparent considering how little electricity sub-Saharan Africa has to begin with. Excluding South Africa, whose economy and power consumption dwarf other nations’, the region’s remaining 700 million citizens have access to roughly as much electricity as do the 38 million citizens of Poland.
Much goes to industry: a single aluminum smelter near Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, gobbles four times as much power as the entire rest of Mozambique. On average, the World Bank says, fewer than one in four sub-Saharan Africans are hooked to national electricity grids.
Electrification is probably the single most important factor in uplifting the lives of peoples in the Third World. Plentiful, reliable and affordable electricity does not just make life easier it saves lives and eliminates suffering.
Much of Africa's electricity problems are caused by government corruption and incompetence and the effects of warfare. However the left, in its guise of global warming crusader, is attempting to prevent the electrification of Africa and other Third World nations.
These left-wing "watermelons" (red on the inside, green on the outside), who all seem to hail from advanced industrial nations, are secure in the knowledge that they will never contract tetanus because the region's only clinic lost its refrigeration due to a power failure causing all the vaccine to spoil. So since they have theirs apparently the niggers in Africa can just kiss their collective ass.
After all giving kids their shots is the kind of thing Christian [spit] missionaries used to do. Small potatoes for wannabe global secular messiahs. Global warming is the bandwagon for them to jump on. It offers many benefits including the chance to bash their own governments (who secure their freedom), capitalist business (which secures their prosperity) and, best of all in their eyes, they can play caring and sharing saviours of the planet without having to actually leave their air conditioned homes and actually go anywhere uncomfortable and actually touch any any of the little colored f**kers (like those Christian [spit] missionaries do [shudder]).
And people wonder why I think the world would be better off if all the leftists would up and decide to go find out if there's anything to this "life after death" business.
Of course the NYT is a moonbat rag so they have to offer their moonbat "solution" to Africa's energy problems:
There is an alternative: saving energy. Namibia plans a wind farm on its southern coast, while in South Africa, Eskom has handed out five million fluorescent bulbs and 140,000 insulating blankets for water heaters, and has paid industrial customers to switch off equipment during periods of high demand.
According to a recent study renewable energy sources like windfarms would do more harm than good. Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and their manufacture generates more polution and consumes more energy than regular incandescent bulbs and insulating water heaters is good, but if the power isn't on to begin with it doesn't do much good.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton's handlers are so outraged - outraged! - at a newspaper story musing over her showing a little cleavage that they're urging equally miffed supporters to fight back by stuffing cash into her coffers.
"Would you believe that The Washington Post wrote a 746-word article on Hillary's cleavage?" senior campaign adviser Ann Lewis said yesterday in the fund-raising e-mail.
"Frankly, focusing on women's bodies instead of their ideas is insulting. It's insulting to every woman who has ever tried to be taken seriously in a business meeting," Lewis wrote.
The offending Post article appeared last week in the Style section after Clinton delivered a higher education speech on the Senate floor that was carried on C-SPAN2. The story's focus wasn't student loan policy.
"She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary," The Post reported. "There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable."
A longtime Democratic operative who is no Clinton fan said it wasn't surprising that Team Hillary would try to generate a sympathy backlash - and then ask for cash to help ease the pain.
"She looks for every opportunity she can get to be the victim. It's her playbook," the party source said. "The question is whether Hillary-as-victim leaves her looking more like a martyr or a whiner."
A Republican operative mocked the controversy as "a tempest in a B-cup."
This is vintage Clinton. Stage a photo-op of some kind to emphasize whatever untrue thing they want people to believe (like them dancing on the beach - with no music) then when reporters start talking about it pretend to be outraged.
In the beach affair the photographers were said to have "violated their privacy" by taking a picture of a very private and intimate moment. Of course the entire episode was set up because it was important at that moment to broadcast the message to the great unwashed that the Horn Toad and the Lizard Queen actually loved one another.
In the current flap Mrs. Bill Clinton was attempting to respond to accusations by the Breck Girl's wife that she was too masculine. The Breck Girl is afraid that he is the only real woman in this race. It was thought that by showing a bit of tit that the Hildabeast would remind everyone that she was a woman too, dammit!
The phony outrage at the media doing exactly what they wanted the media to do is just the slimy icing on the smarmy cake. It also helps in the fund raising. The Left loves to see itself as a persecuted minority bravely struggling against titanic odds to speak truth to power. In their little pocket universe the mainstream media is a conservative tool and only the DailyKos and Air America understand them. The chance to send some of their allowance money to help the cause makes them feel important and virtuous.
And we know that nothing pleases a leftist more than that warm tingly feeling that comes from being filled up to the nose holes with esteem for themselves.
Oh, one note to the Clinton campaign. Don't do it again. Mrs. Bill Clinton is an unattractive old woman and reminding people that she can be "sexual" is like asking someone to picture their grandmother naked.
Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI behavioral profiler has some thoughts on the brutal murder of the Petit Family.
If I've learned one thing in my 40 years of investigative experience, it's to never believe that you've seen the limits of man's inhumanity to fellow man.
Two sociopaths, 44-year-old Steven Hayes and 26-year-old Joshua Komisarjevky, are the prime suspects in another home invasion that resulted in the murder of an innocent family.
Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her 17-year-old and 15-year-old daughters Hayley and Michaela, were murdered during the course of a home burglary. Their husband and father, Dr. William Petit Jr., barely survived the brutal attack.
The pair of killers allegedly broke into the Petit family home to burglarize it like they had done to dozens of other homes and businesses in the past. Finding the Petit family home, (at 3 a.m. where did they expect the family members to be?), they took them captive and later forced Mrs. Petit to go to her bank to make a $15,000 cash withdrawal. She did it probably in the vain hope of paying off her assailants to save her family.
A suspicious bank employee notified police who rushed to the Petit home, only to find Mrs. Petit strangled and dead on the ground floor of her home. The charred body of Hayley was at the top of the home's staircase, and Michaela was strapped to her bed, dead. Dr. Petit, who had been beaten on his head with a baseball bat and tied up in the basement, was eventually able to free himself from his bindings to hop up the basement stairs to escape the blaze that had been set by his assailants.
When the two career criminals attempted to flee in the Petits' SUV, they rammed the first responding police car, and then, according to a witness, drove at 60 mph and smashed into two police cars that had formed a roadblock down the street. Their getaway vehicle stalled and they were arrested by police at gunpoint. There were broken cars on the street and broken bodies in the house.
Other than minor auto accidents and a small chimney fire, the Petits' neighborhood had not seen crime or tragedy— not until these sociopaths came knocking.
[. . .]
the Petits were pillars of their community, people respected and loved by those who knew them. With charges of sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, arson and others against the two men in custody, one can only try not to imagine the horror that the Petits suffered at the hands of these murder suspects. It's a crime that MSNBC's Chief Legal Analyst and former Conn. State prosecutor Susan Filan, speaking on "MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams,” said “will shock all who come to know the brutality suffered by the Petit family.” Their believed assailants are now held on $15 million dollars bond each.
From an investigative standpoint, the crime scene and Dr. Petit will tell a story that will undoubtedly see these 21st century monsters sentenced at least to life in prison, and perhaps death. It's a sentence that's too late, though, for Mrs. Petit and her daughters.
Dr. Petit? He will spend the rest of his life half in and half out of a nightmare that will never go away.
Good victims, bad suspects, dead people. Will this cycle ever end?
It will never completely end because man will remain a fallen race. However we can tip the balance in favor of the good people by encouraging them to arm themselves and be prepared for the times when the monsters come knocking.
From The Washington Post:
After two years of controversial negotiations, the United States and India yesterday announced a deal on peaceful nuclear cooperation that allows trade in nuclear reactors, technology and fuel, permits India to reprocess nuclear fuel and opens the way for the United States to become a "reliable" supplier for India's energy program.
"This is perhaps the single most important initiative that India and the United States have agreed to in the 60 years of our relationship," said R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, in announcing the deal. It is also a boost to an administration struggling with diplomatic initiatives in the Middle East, Africa, Russia and other parts of the world.
The deal could foster greater strategic cooperation between the two nations and open up markets for U.S. energy and defense industries. The so-called 123 agreement still faces significant hurdles, however, notably in Congress, which must approve the accord. Critics say the deal sets a bad example because India will win access to U.S. technology without complying with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which allows cooperation on nuclear energy only when countries pledge not to develop nuclear weapons.
The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty should not be abandoned because it makes too useful a stick to beat rogue nations like Iran with. However the civilized nations of the world need to understand that responsible nations like India do not threaten the peace and stability of the world by possessing nuclear weapons. In fact a good argument could be made that the world is a safer place because India has them.
India is in a dangerous part of the world sharing borders with nuclear armed Pakistan and China. While the Chinese, at least at the present moment, seem more interested in growing their economy through trade than in military expansion that could change in a very short time. Pakistan is walking a very thin tightrope over the pit of full blown Islamofascism and it would take very, very little to cause it to fall in.
Nuclear India provides a check against both of those potentially dangerous forces and should be encouraged.
From The Daily Mail:
Three Arab princesses were thrown off a packed British Airways flight after refusing to sit next to male passengers they didn't know.
The dispute - in which the three princesses from the ultra-conservative Qatar royal family demanded segregated seating - left the London-bound plane delayed on a baking Italian runway for nearly three hours.
Furious passengers whistled and clapped as the row intensified before the captain eventually ordered the women to be escorted off the plane.
The princesses, wearing traditional Arab dress, were returning from a day's shopping in Milan. They arrived at the city's Linate airport and boarded Heathrow-bound flight BA 563, which was due to take off at 4pm on Thursday.
The women, all relatives of the oil-rich emir of Qatar, Bader Bin Khalifa Al Thani, were booked into business class in a party of eight which included the emir and an entourage of cooks, servants and other staff.
After passengers had fastened their seat-belts and the plane had taxied on to the runway, two male passengers in the entourage got up to protest about where the women were sitting.
So it wasn't actually the women who had the problem. It was the men who under Islamic law own them and are their absolute masters who had a problem.
The whole sorry crew was quite properly kicked off the plane and since this didn't happen in the United States there will probably not be a lawsuit.
It is about high damn time the entire world started taking a zero-tolerance attitude toward this Muslim bulls**t.
There is a video clip on youtube of the Breck Girl indignantly denouncing those of us who have been pointing out his cosmic hypocrisy in living in a giant mansion, flying around on private jets and getting $1,200.00 haircuts while running a presidential campaign on his supposed understanding of and compassion for the poor.
Apparently the Breck Girl thinks that we are trying to "shut him up" by "distracting" him from his important message:
This stuff's not an accident. Nobody in this room should think this is an accident. You know, I'm out there speaking up for universal healthcare, ending this war in Iraq, speaking up for the poor. They want to shut me up. That's what this is about. "Let's distract from people who don't have health care coverage. Let's distract from people who can't feed their children.... Let's talk about this silly frivolous nothing stuff so that America won't pay attention."
They will never silence me. Never.
If we don't stand up to these people, if we don't fight em, if we don't beat them, they're going to continue to control this country. Thye're going to control the media. They're going to control what's being said. They do not want to hear us
talking about health care for everybody.
This is being presented as a spontaneous moment which someone just happened to capture with a camera phone or camcorder. In fact it is not. A boom microphone can be seen over the Breck Girl's head a couple of times and the identity of the person who uploaded the video has been revealed to be Tracy Joan Russo, a member of the Breck Girl's staff who is tasked with outreach to bloggers.
Obviously the Breck Girl feels the strain of simultaneously being a poster-boy for Lear jet liberalism and the presidential candidate who wants to connect with the "little guy" and is trying to stage his own distraction.
All he's really doing is drawing attention to his biggest negative.
There is an excellent article on Front Page Magazine by Soeren Kern about how serious mistakes by its socialist government have damaged Spain's standing in the world. Here is the first paragraph:
Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodrique's Zapatero and his political spin doctors have been especially busy this summer. Indeed, they have been making furious rounds on the national television talk show circuit, trying to explain to an increasingly skeptical Spanish public just why the Socialist government’s “progressive” foreign policy of coddling third world despots has turned Spain into one of the most marginalized countries in the European Union.
He goes on to detail Spain's relationship with Cuba in particular has worked to marginalize Spain in the European Union and seriously damaged its relationship with the United States.
As I read through the article several points leapt out at me. One of them was this. The socialist government came to power in Spain after the 2004 Madrid train bombings. Spain was targeted by al Qaeda for several reasons.
One is that Spain was a part of the coalition of nations taking part in military actions in Iraq and the bombings were intended to punish the Spanish people. Another is that Spain was nearing elections and the bombings were an attempt to intimidate Spanish voters into defeating the conservative Partido Popular (People's Party) and replacing them with the leftist Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), who the terrorists believed - correctly as it turned out - would be likely to surrender and stop Spanish participation in the War on Terror.
The final reason that Spain was targeted is often overlooked. The bombings were revenge for the Reconquista, the "seven-and-a-half century long process by which Christians reconquered the Iberian peninsula".
Islamists believe that all the earth belongs to Islam with some parts of it still awaiting conversion or conquest. Any place which has ever been under Muslim control must forever remain under Muslim control and any removal of Muslim control over any area is an outrage, an affront to Allah and absolutely intolerable. It should also (if Muslim theology is correct - which it isn't) be impossible, but that's a topic for another post.
To the Islamist mind Spain and Portugal are Muslim territory which is being occupied by infidels in exactly the same way as Israel. Israel occupies a larger place in the Muslim mind because it was created more recently, is a nation specifically of the hated Jews and is actually on Middle Eastern soil, but make no mistake, Spain, the rest of Europe and the rest of the world are on their list as well.
Another aspect of Spain's socialist government's foreign policy has been to seek closer ties to dictatorial regimes like Castro's Cuba and Venesuala's Hugo Chavez:
During his first three years in office, Zapatero has established a consistent practice of reaching out to authoritarian regimes at the expense of democratic states: Venezuela in lieu of Colombia; Iran and Syria in lieu of Israel; and so on. Indeed, Spaniards increasingly are asking themselves why Spain’s Socialists insist on forging alliances with authoritarian regimes when that support is beginning to damage Spain’s own reputation in the EU and elsewhere.
Although Spanish political commentators are deeply divided on how to answer that question, in the case of Cuba, most analysts seem to agree that three main issues are driving Spanish foreign policy on Cuba: Oil, nostalgia and politics.
The issue of oil is straightforward. In 2004, Spain’s energy giant Repsol-YPF found signs of oil in the deep waters off Cuban shores. Repsol, which has six concession blocks along a narrow sector of the Gulf of Mexico off Cuba’s northwestern coast, says it will spend more than $40 million on the project, but believes its investment could yield up to 1.6 billion barrels of oil below the seabed. Repsol’s venture, which is established with Cubapetroleo, a company owned by the Cuban government, is now bidding for new oil contracts in Cuban waters. Thus it comes as no surprise that a number of EU countries suspect that Spain’s love affair with Castro has more to do with money than with principle, and that its mantra that dialogue with the dictator is a fig leaf for more cynical interests.
Stop for a moment and gaze in wonder at the current situation. Spain has managed to make itself appear more immoral, more greedy and more craven than the rest of the European Union! Try and wrap your mind around the concept. It's like being a skankier than Paris Hilton, more corrupt than the New Orleans Police Department, or a bigger ass-clown than Ron Paul.
Another point which drew my attention was Mr. Kern's explanation for the Spanish peoples' dislike of the United States:
Then there is the issue of nostalgia-based anti-Americanism. Although it has been more than 100 years since Spain lost Cuba, a highly prized Spanish colonial possession for more than 400 years, in the Spanish-American War of 1898, many Spaniards still have an almost mythical attachment to the island. Indeed, lingering resentment over the loss of Cuba, which marked the definitive end to the Spanish Empire, is often cited as the root source of anti-Americanism in contemporary Spain. In this context, many Spanish leftists glorify Castro as a revolutionary hero who has bravely resisted American efforts to promote democracy on the island.All hail the hero who bravely resists democracy!
Mr. Kern sums his article up:
Finally, there is the issue of politics, both foreign and domestic. Since taking office, Zapatero has shifted Spain’s long-standing Atlanticist foreign policy to one focused almost exclusively on Europe. This precipitous policy shift has had disastrous results: Not only has it severely damaged Spain’s relationship with the United States, it has also cost Spain much of its credibility in Europe.
In the main, Zapatero’s foreign policy has been motivated a desire to prove that the Socialists are better than the center-right opposition Popular Party at running Spanish foreign policy. The problem for Spain is that Zapatero has made it personal, turning Spanish foreign policymaking into an obsession that has become detached from common sense.
Thus the main beneficiaries of Spanish foreign policy have been authoritarian regimes in Cuba, Iran, Syria and Venezuela. It comes as no big surprise that this, in turn, has damaged Spain’s credibility with other EU countries, most of which are trying to forge a more responsible European foreign policy vis-à-vis the United States.
Isn't that interesting. European leaders are attempting to "forge a more responsible European foreign policy vis-à-vis the United States." I thought that George W Bush had made the United States a global pariah. Could the truth be that Europe's leaders have finally grown up enough to realize that they only remained free through the 20th century because of American strength and that only American strength will keep them free through the 21st?
Could Europe, at least the part governed by grownups, be finally aware that the true source of the strain on transatlantic relations does not reside in the White House but is rather to be found in the mirror?
Please someone run and tell John Kerry, but take a camcorder because I want to see him drop dead from the shock.
Soeren Kern is the Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the leading foreign affairs think tanks in Spain. As an essayist on the roles of America and Europe in the world, his objective is to help Spaniards (and other Europeans) better understand the ins and outs of American foreign policy, and vice versa.
Friday, July 27, 2007
From The Unfastened Coins website:
I'm just a kid with a laptop who discovered the truth, but I encourage you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions based on my premise that the government is lying to you and that your disagreement with said premise constitutes your admission of being a sheep.
Of course it was the Joooos! Who else!?!