Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Small Victory For Homeowners

A family in Novi Michigan was instructed to remove a Nativity scene from their own front yard or pay a fine. They supposedly violated a rule of their subdivision.

Last week, Joe's parents, Betty and Frank Samona, received a notice from the community association that sets regulations in their upscale Tollgate Woods subdivision. It said the family may be violating rules that prohibit lawn ornaments, statues or outdoor art from being placed on the lot without prior approval of the board of directors.

What is not acceptable is that nobody complained about Halloween decorations or secular Christmas decorations. The only thing that was objectionable was the religious Christmas display.

After a public outpouring of support for the family the community association backed off and they will be allowed to keep the religious Christmas decorations up. The association even gave them a "holiday" basket as a token of apology (shouldn't it have been a Christmas basket?)

This whole thing should have never happened. While I am pleased with the outcome, I am furious that a group would try to suppress both religious freedom and the right to express those beliefs. Would they have tried to take down Kwanzaa decorations? Or New Age Solistice decorations? Of course not! The only targets are Christians and practicing Jews.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Is This America?

Political cartoonist Michael Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has a political cartoon that is beyond disgusting. (Since this page is updated frequently - look for the cartoon dated 11-27-05).

It portrays America as a torturous inquisitor and the world as its victim.

Carl Jung used to speak of a psychological defense mechanism called reflection (and he liked to use the example of Hitler accusing Churchill of imperial aims against Germany when it was obviously the other way around). Reflection is when you take your own faults and reflect them on others, to make them seem evil rather than you. The tyrants of the world reflect (in a Jungian sense) their own evil on America and idiots like Mr. Luckovich and Ted Rall (Thank you Brainster and Lifelike Pundits) swallow their lies, probably to cover their own guilty consciences and rebroadcast them to the rest of America.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Always Been A Pet Peeve of Mine

Crazy Politico had a posting recently about how people treat restaurant employees. It includes a link to a place called The Bitter Waitress which is basically a place where restaurant employees share horror stories about customers.

I used to be management for Burger King and nothing annoyed me worse than seeing some customer climb all over an employee over nothing. Many times I had to emotionally rescue a poor high school kid (getting minimum wage - not by my choice but the owners) who had just been raked over the coals because someone found they could bully her. The kid behind the cash register does not decide policies or set the prices; if you have complaints about these contact corporate headquarters and don't take it out on a 16 year old kid making minimum wage. If a mistake was made, ask for a correction but be decent about it. (how do you want to be treated when you make a mistake at work? - God, and management, knows I've made a few.)

I once actually had the police called on me because I refused to fire a 20 year old guy who put too much mayo on a whopper. (The police gave the customer a stern lecture about wasting their time.)

Being single I eat in restaurants a lot and most of the waitresses are decent ladies who really try. Sure they make mistakes but who's perfect? If something's wrong I politely point it out and they usually fix it promptly. (Now I have run into some truly bad ones but they usually don't last). There is no need ruin somebody else's day just because you can. I know one person who feels that because they pay for the food they have the "right" to demand perfection; that's fine but you can be courteous about it. It sickens me to see a waitress being driven to tears because somebody feels like being nasty.

How you treat those who are in your power or are serving you says a lot about who you really are. For those who are Christian and like to go to restaurants after church, it's obvious who you are and how you treat these people reflects on our Lord, and remember He said that what we have done to the least of these, we have done to Him.

It's a Nice Idea, But is it Sustainable?

In today's Lansing State Journal there in an article about a laid-off GM worker who is depending on the JOBS bank to live and working as a volunteer in the Eaton Rapids schools to earn it. He does a lot of good things and seems to have truly become part of the school. Unfortunately, the JOBS bank is in danger of being shut down because GM really cannot afford it.

He seems like a truly decent guy and does not deserve to be unemployed. However this is the real world and GM may not be able support this truly worthwhile program much longer. It is unfortunate, but reality trumps idealism. If GM needs to drop the JOBS program to survive than it must; if GM cannot survive then obviously, neither can the JOBS program that depends on GM profits to exist. The survival of the company must come first.

I hope he does get called back to the new Delta Township Assembly plant.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Michigan's Economy is Changing, But How?

"It was possible for people with a high school education to get a job that paid $75,000 to $100,000 and six weeks of paid vacation. Those jobs are disappearing," said Patrick Anderson of Anderson Economic Group in East Lansing. "The Michigan low-skill, upper-middle-class way of life is in danger."

Yes, I am afraid it is. The day that unskilled labor in a union shop was a ticket to the upper-middle class is over and it's not coming back. An interesting article in the Lansing State Journal discusses this along with the changes, and some positive news in other industries.

In spite of losing nearly 200,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 10 years, Michigan is still a manufacturing powerhouse, whose factories produced 76.3 Billion dollars in Michigan last year, or a little over 1/5 of the states economy. (It is often overlooked that Michigan is also a major center for agriculture and tourism.)

Also new factories are being built in many industries, but they employ fewer people and will not pay what factories did twenty to thirty years ago. Instead of 50,000+ a year they will be looking at 30-35,000 a year.

The 2002 GOP candidate for Governor, Dick Posthumus, is optimistic, and though I do not totally share his optimism, I do agree that he brings up some interesting points.

There are a lot of jobs in health care and building trades but you cannot use these as the foundation of a state-wide economy. A state-wide economy needs to be founded upon the production of goods and materials and we must not lose this. We probably won't lose it completely but it is no longer my grandfather's state of Michigan.

As Dick Posthumus said: "The manufacturing of tomorrow is going to look somewhat different from the manufacturing of yesterday," he said. "It doesn't mean that we no longer manufacture. ... (But) it's going to be a painful adjustment."

Meanwhile the Detroit Free Press reports that when all benefits are included, the employees at Delphi are making $76.00/hr which they say is more than double their competitions pay scale.

According to a study Delphi commissioned, in part to thwart claims that it is being unfair to workers, Delphi pays its workers $76.46 per hour, up from the previously reported wage of $65 an hour. That breaks down to a wage of $26.97 an hour for a first-year employee, $26.86 an hour for benefits such as health care and vacation days and $22.63 in legacy costs, which include retirement health-care costs and costs past the obligation of workers compensation

They are saying they need to cut to $35.00 per hour counting benefits, which is strange because earlier this week they were aiming for $21.00 per hour. I do know that I make nothing like $35.00 an hour counting benefits, though I am not complaining about what I make; I am grateful to be employed at the moment. The average factory worker in America, according to this article, makes $24.24 an hour, counting benefits while Michigan averages $24.96 an hour -- $17.27 in wages and $7.69 in total benefits.

It looks like more people will need to spend more time in school.

Iran to "Liberate" Iraq

Following a link from Jihad Watch, you come to post in Iran Focus News where there is a story that

Radical Islamists allied with hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called this week for Iran to confront United States forces in Iraq.

You read the article and it seems to suggest that the Iranian president wants to directly confront Americans on the battlefield. They accuse us of introducing a moderate "American Islam" rather than the pure (murderous) Islam practiced in Iran.

This is a major threat to the fledgling democracy in Iraq and cannot be discounted.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Passover and Thanksgiving.

Proffessor David Yeagley once again comes through brilliantly in a well written, timely, and uplifting post in his own blog. He compares America today, and its multi-culturalism with ancient Judah in the days of King Hezekiah. It is a comparison done in way that I had not considered and it is definitely worth reading. He concludes with a written prayer for America and her people. May our God answer that prayer, and bless David Yeagley while He is at it.

About Those Lions (and the Tigers)

I am kind of a half-hearted fan of the Detroit Lions. I want them to win and take note of what and how their doing, but I am far from fanatical about it. I take their (frequent) defeats with an air of "what else is new" resignation and go about my business.

More than one person has called for Head Coach Steve Mariucci to be fired. I will not climb on that bandwagon for a minute. Steve Mariucci is a proven winner, and if he can't turn this team around then it can't be done. The problems that the Lions face go much further then the head coach. The Lions have had so many good players and coaches fail that one needs to look at the organization itself, and the place to look is in the front office.

It was equally absurd to fire Tiger's manager Alan Trammell. He did the best he could with the team he was given and did not deserve to be fired. Both of these teams have office problems that are being reflected on the playing field.

GM says UAW Will Not Strike Delphi

GM CEO Rick Wagoner has said that he does not expect the UAW to strike against Delphi. He says the UAW, Delphi, and GM all know that it is in nobody's interest to strike right now. He has more confidence in the UAW than I do. There was a factory nearby that closed a few months ago, idling quite a few workers, and those workers spent the last week the shop was open on strike, thus losing their last paycheck. I don't recall if they were UAW or some other union but they lost their last check in a pointless and futile gesture. The problem is that unions have power and power corrupts. We need to consider, not what is best for the rank and file, but what is best for the union leadership if we are going to attempt to predict what the union will do. In this case I do not know, but I do not share Rick Wagoner's confidence in the sensibility of the union leadership.

There is other news for GM this year though, that I did not know.

And get this: This year, for the first time in its 98-year history, GM expects to sell more vehicles outside the United States than inside the United States, as much a testament to its success overseas as its troubles at home.
"There's a lot of good things that happen if we're successful around the world," Wagoner said. "We're long past this idea that, gee, we should only be good in the U.S and shouldn't invest somewhere else.
"That may have been a view when we had closed markets and regional competition, but that's not the way the game is played today. We may long for the past, but it doesn't make the past come back."

I would feel a lot better about that if GM's American numbers weren't down so far.

I do feel bad for GM on another score. After 9-11 they offered astonishing deals on cars simply to keep the economy moving, and America showed no thanks at all.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I Grew Up -- Will They?

When I was a high school student, more years ago then I care to admitt, I saw the United Nations as a good thing and the first step to world-wide democracy. (Oh, the ignorance of youth) I considered those who saw the UN as a bunch of commies to be exaggerating and that the corruption was a growing pain like America went through at first. The years have taken care of this illusion.

The source of the biggest problem with the UN was at its founding depending on victory in WWII rather than development and maturity of democratic institutions. It should have been a little more selective and had two chambers: a lower chamber for all members and an upper chamber where only mature democracies had a voice. When the organization with the size and scope of the UN is controlled by petty dictatorships nothing is going to be accomplished. The sole purpose of the UN seems to be restraining and financially draining America and democracy. Oh it passes all the right proclamations (usually - there are some real crazy ones too) and often says the right things, but when it comes to doing the right thing America and other mature nations wind up carrying the bag by themselves.

American Ambassador to the UN John Bolton is the best thing to happen to that outfit in years. He has suggested that the US withold its dues until the UN makes serious reforms. While this is a good thing to do, I think it is insufficient. I believe that the US and the mature democracies of the world should withdraw from the UN completely and start another organization based solely on democratic nations, with the stated goal of spreading democracy throughout the world and if a member nation goes from democracy to dictatorship, it loses its vote. It would have two rounds of voting: one for all members and one for mature democracies. Maturity would include age of the democracy, peaceful transfer of power a couple of times, and civil rights enforcement.

Secondly I propose an amendment to the US Constitution forbidding Congress or the Presidency from transferring US sovereignty to a multi-national organization without going through a process identical to amending the constitution.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Meanwhile at Delphi

The Detroit News carried an interview with Delphi CEO Robert S. Miller today. A few things that he said needs to be commented on.

We are in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. The fundamental reason is we have labor costs in our North American facilities that are double or triple what our U.S.-based unionized suppliers (competitors) pay. That is a difference that is unsustainable.

I agree with statement completely, but I think it needs to be said that management too is overpaid, and that too is unsustainable. If their hourlies get their pay cut in half, they're still making more than I am, doing basically the same thing I am.

We have made the proposal of $12.50 an hour and what we figure is $8.33 of benefits for active (workers). And that would bring us to $21 an hour. The point of this is that it is in line, though higher than many, in line both on base wage and benefits with the people with whom we compete. We've indicated here that many of them have the same unions that we have.

I too am UAW (and not very proud of it) and this will put them and us in the same ballpark with them still slightly ahead.

Frankly, I don't know how to go to a total above $21 an hour without that being a plan to obliterate (Delphi) because we won't be able to compete for new work.

I don't know how they made it as long as they have. Of course I would like to make more, but there is this strange concept called reality. It is catching up with the auto industry and it is time for the management, the unions, the employees, the retirees, and the taxman to face reality.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

the Goblet of Fire

Having seen the new Harry Potter movie, I have a mixed opinion of it. The first task where Harry has to get past a dragon is beyond cool and I loved it, and enjoyed the Yule Ball scenes, and I especially enjoyed seeing the Half-giant Hagrid finding the perfect woman for himself. But so many important things were left out. I really feel that it would have been better to make it a two part movie releasing the second part after a six week interval. That way they could have been more faithful to the book and included more relevant details. Of course, cost was probably a factor in ruling that out.

This is What I Have Been Talking About

Several times over the last few weeks I have pointed out that GM is in serious trouble and major changes are coming. Now they have announced that they will close 9 plants and cut 30,000 jobs. Three of those plants are located in Michigan. This is a major blow to a lot of people, but anyone whose eyes are in their heads could have seen it coming years ago. CEO Wagoner says that they have no intention of filing for bankruptcy but I'll take a "wait and see" on that.

As far as the UAW's response goes, they are right that many will suffer unfairly. All I can do is ask them "When has life ever been fair?". There is no workable solution that will not hurt some people who do not deserve to be hurt. They are right in saying that GM needs better products, but these don't appear over-night, and they can't keep paying people to make things that are not selling. Equally important, but unsaid, is that the worker compensation package is unreasonably lucrative to the workers. They deserve to be well paid, but a large number are over-compensated for what they do. (but the same can, and should, be said of management and the executive pay. I am still saying that both GM and the UAW need to consider a top to bottom pay cut for all.)

Part of GM's problem is making promises they cannot keep.

My employer has a couple of contracts with GM but we have contracts with other companys as well. It might affect us but I don't know how much.

Michigan is an economic mess, and we need to wean ourselves off of our dependence on the Auto Industry.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Letter From Iraq

A blog called "Crazy Political Rantings" has a link that is an open letter from a soldier serving in Iraq that he wants every American to read. He correctly points out that the war's worst critics have never fought for freedom, and its biggest supporters are the men and women in Iraq fighting for the freedom of others. Please read this.

Update 11:17 PM Oops, make that "Crazy Politico's Rantings". Sorry about the misread and thanks for the recognition.

Why I reject Darwin

I had a discussion with a co-worker earlier this week in which he said that my preference for Intelligent Design was pure "blind faith in an old book" rather than science. Actually I am quite fond of science when it is not blinded by ideology. I pointed out to him that humans have 46 chromosomes while apes have 48. The number of chromosomes had to change by eliminating a pair (which according to the link, was done by fusing two pair in the apes, something that to my knowledge has never been observed in nature.) Regardless of how it happened, a new species had to be made by eliminating a pair of chromosomes; which is something that we have never seen happen. It had to happen not just once, but twice, to a male and female of the same species, who had exactly the same new chromosome pattern and were born close enough together in time and space to mate and produce enough offspring to remain viable. A pro Intelligent Design group called IDEA has much more to say about this on one of their pages, though I do think some of their thoughts on this page are rather pointless.

Another question is eggs. It is common knowledge that amphibians lay eggs in water while reptiles lay eggs on land and that neither type of egg can survive in the other medium. Now if amphibians developed into reptiles, it means their eggs had to change too. One of two things had to happen. If it happened in a single generation, than the females had to lay those eggs on land, which would have gone against their instincts, or there had to be intermediate egg that could survive in either medium; the problem there is that such an egg would have a great survival boon and, under the idea of survival of the fittest, would it not have continued to this present day? Does any vertabrate lay an egg that can survive in either water or dry air?

I have no problem with life on this earth being billions of years old and having once contained species that are no longer here, but random events leading to the evolution of man defies even common sense.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Afraid of a Christian "Conspiracy"

Abraham Foxman of the Anti-defamation League is worried. About Moslems burning synagogues in France? -- Nope. Is he worried about terrorist attacks against Israel?-- Nope. Is he worried about growing Anti-Semitism in Europe -- Nope. I am very concerned about these things but Mr. Foxman has a much greater concern.

His biggest concern, according to this excellent article by Don Feder, who is Jewish by the way, is that the Christian Right is taking over America. Mr Feder feels that this concern is misplaced, as all of the complaints Mr. Foxman has about the Christian Right, find their origins in the Old Testament, or the Torah, so that they are in fact, of Jewish in origin. Restricting abortion, limiting marriage to male and female couples, or the public acknowledgement of God are all concepts precious to practicing Jews and Jews are far more threatened by Secular Fundamentalists and their political allies, Militant Islam than they are by Christians.

The so-called religious right is not about dogma, but about morality, responsibility and values, and we share these with practicing, faithful Jews. Everything that the Religious Right cares about is also a Jewish issue. While we may not agree on the person and work of Jesus, we do agree on most moral issues, so we can and should stand shoulder to shoulder with these Children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob on these issues.

Update Nov 19 12: 54 PM. The American Thinker has a similar article written about civic reactions to Christmas.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Religious or Economic - Bad News Either Way

Most of the evidence I have seen suggests that the riots in France are being caused by a combination of religious and economic causes, and that neither can be ignored in the solution. (Though the easily apparent solutions to the two causes contradict each other.)

My fellow conservatives wish to stick to the religious angle while the liberals for some reason wish to stick to the economic angle. Either way it's bad news for the liberals. During the 04 presidential campaign, many liberal democrats pointed to the French as the right way to do it. Mona Charen, a conservative who seems to see it as an economic crisis (I could be wrong here) suggests that this is a thorough repudiation of the French economic model. And it is.

If it is religious, then it sticks a pin in the "terrorists only attack those who threaten them" bubble, as France practically kissed the Islamicists backsides.

Either way, the riots should begin the total disintegration of the contemporary Lefts world view. It won't but it should.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Wrong Reason to Vote for a President

The people of Liberia have chosen their president, the first woman to lead a modern African nation and the first woman to be elected on the continent. I extend congratulations to Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and wish her a prosperous and historic presidency.

However, in today's USA today there was an editorial cartoon based on this election that kind of annoyed me. It was done by Joel Pett of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald Leader and it was a woman reading the newspaper, where the headline trumpetted Johnson-Sirleaf's election and her little girl asks if America will ever catch up to Africa, because America has yet to select a woman for president.

Now I have no problem with a woman or a minority serving as president; what matters is the person's abilities, experience, integrity and beliefs. I would vote for a clone of Maggie Thatcher in a minute, but the thought of Madam Hillary in the White House is the stuff of nightmares. At the moment, I am positively inclined to Condi Rice, but I really don't know enough about her to say vote for her. A co-worker of mine, who is a decent guy but mistaken on this issue, thinks we should choose Hillary simply because it's time we had a woman president. I oppose Hillary, not because of her gender, but because of her politics. Gender and race are two of the dumbest reasons to sellect or reject a president.

The presidency is far too important to be left to the whims of affirmative action and tokenism. Select the best person for the job, without regard to race or gender. When I perceive that a woman is the best candidate, that woman will get my vote, and if it is a man, then that man will. I feel the same way about race. The presidency is too important to be left to the candidate's physical description.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Visit to La-La-Land

From time to time curiosity drives me to go to strange places on the net, like the home page of CPUSA, the American Communist Party. I really don't know what possessed me to go there, but go there I did. Where I really ran into suprises was their FAQ page. Here are some eye openers I read.

Are there any trade unions affiliated with the CPUSA?

There are a number of important unions with a long tradition of left wing and Communist leadership. But, no there is not any mechanism for affiliation, unlike in some European countries, and unions in this country are intentionally not affiliated to any political parties.

Unions are NOT affiliated to any political parties!?!

I beg to differ!!!

I give dues to the extortion arm of the Democratic Party (aka the UAW) every month.

Here's another beauty from the FAQ page.

And under socialism productive capacity will not yet have developed to a level that will provide for all the basic needs of all the people. We will still be "sharing scarcity".

In other words, they admitt that poverty is universal under socialism, though they would deny that's what it means. I've believed that since the early 80s.

Oh! and take a look at this!

We think that a socialist government could be elected under our current political structure, and that if the capitalist class can be restrained sufficiently, that transformation could be peaceful. That is what we want, what we work for. But in most revolutions, the source of the violence is the actions of the established order, which resorts to civil war or violent repression to prevent a peaceful revolution.

Just what do they mean "if the capitalist class can be restrained sufficiently"? (I know what they mean but I don't think they want to acknowledge it.) Equally absurd is the idea that resisting a change causes the violence. In other words the violence is our fault, even if they start it, because we resisted.

I hate to say this, but I am part of the working class, and having seen what these idiots have done in other countries, I have to say "NO THANK YOU!"

Friday, November 11, 2005

More GM Troubles

GM stock has lost 14% of its value over the last month and the company now has a total value of one twelfth the value of Toyota (13.3 Billion vs 164 Billion) according to an article in the Detroit News. Bookkeeping errors have also hurt the company, making it appear to be in better shape than it actually was. Some are looking at the real possibility of a GM Bankruptcy in the next couple of years.

As the Detroit News reports: "We believe the odds GM management could be held accountable for accounting errors has gone up and this could accelerate a bankruptcy protection decision we think is inevitable," Banc of America's Ron Tadross said in a report Thursday. He said there is a 40 percent possibility that the company will file for bankruptcy in the next two years, up from 30 percent before Wednesday's disclosure.

I have been concerned about a GM bankruptcy for some time now. I do not consider it inevitable, but I do consider it to be very likely. The UAW has made a major concession in their health care, but I think they are going to have to make more concessions. The pay scale they have had for the last half century is no longer feasible, and in my opinion, very unwise. (This same article said that the concession had caused GM stock to rise 4% from its low a day earlier.)

The Detroit Free Press adds in its article on the matter, that there is the possibility that a corporate raider, and it specifically names Kirk Kerkorian, could buy out the company and wreak havoc in what he does. It also includes the simple yet true observation that a GM bankruptcy would seriously harm virtually everyone in Michigan.

One hopeful sign is that the UAW is finally beginning to wake up and smell the coffee. Unfortunately, there are a few, and possibly quite a large a number, who believe that this is nothing but a union busting ploy.

If we want to save our jobs, and not see the companies go bankrupt, or forced to go overseas, we the workers, as well as the management, executives and stockholders, are going to have to accept some changes. Its lose a lot or lose everything.

Booker Rising on Gun Control

The well-written and thought provoking blog, Booker Rising, has an excellent posting on minorities and the Right to Bear Arms. They are primarily commenting on the decision in San Francisco to severely limit legal gun ownership and how it will affect San Francisco's poorer black communities. What raised my eyebrows was this statement:

What is ironic is that gun ownership is the lowest in black neighborhoods, where crime disproportionately takes place. So San Francisco's law-abiding black masses - the ones who haven't already fled the city, since this 'progressive' city saw more black flight than any other city last decade - will be defenseless while a tiny thug minority (who will always acquire guns) rips and roars in many communities.

A reply in the comments section clarifies a little bit: Many gun crimes aren't committed with legally registered guns in the first place. So this measure is without merit.

Booker Rising is a blog worthy of thousands of hits a day. There is also a picture of a woman holding an automatic weapon with the posting that kind of says it all. I wanted to post it here but I am not sure of copy rights and that picture.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sexual Scandal in Michigan

Mike Cox, our State Attorney General has admitted that he committed adultery years ago. The story has made headlines in today's Detroit News. Under most circumstances a confession, contrition, and a change in life would put this behind him and he and his wife can go on, as they should. But this one has a twist. The nightmare of Michigan, the notorious Michigan attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, who is running for the office of attorney general has supposedly attempted to blackmail him.

I personally believe this will hurt Geoffery Fieger more than it will hurt Mike Cox. Fieger is a very controversial character here, and when he ran as the Democratic candidate for governor in 1998 against John Engler, lifelong Democrats found themselves endorsing and voting for the Republican incumbent rather than this nut whom they considered an embarrassment, as this 1998 CNN report states.

I suggest that Geoffery Fieger go to France and defend the rioters, and leave us alone.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Come on France! Do it!

France, it is time to call up your army, tell them to get their weapons, and this time they can take their bullets out of their shirt pockets and load their weapons.

It is time to get serious France! Come on! Fight for your homeland!

Unlike our presence in Iraq, this is not a liberation of an oppressed people, but a war of conquest.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

You must read this Article - The True Cause of War and Peace

Once again, the American Thinker comes up with an amazing article. The article is called French Lessons, by Jonathan David Carson and it is a study on the true causes of war and peace. To some it up, war happens when both sides believe they can win a conflict and peace happens when one side or both believe they cannot win. The best way for America to be at peace, according to this, is for no one to have a reasonable chance of defeating us, or as that T-shirt logo says "Peace Through Superior Firepower."

It demonstrates how the "Peace Movement" tries to prevent wars by making us believe we will lose, while ignoring (or pretending to ignore) how that only encourages those who want to make war on us.

He draws alot of his discussion from the book The Causes of War by Geoffrey Blainey.

It also discusses how belief in Free-Will vs Predestination (in a general sense) may influence this. The Moslems believe they will win because God has predestined it and this is their source of confidence that they will win. Unfortunately that means we are also fighting against a faith, and faith is very hard to defeat. The only way to defeat them is defeat them so soundly that they will lose their confidence that God is on their side.

Christians have the advantage here. Our Founder (and Lord) was a martyr who died willingly and turned apparent defeat into victory, so neither victory nor defeat marks Divine Favor. I don't know that this is even possible in Islam.

One point I do disagree with Geoffrey Blainey on, and that is people will fight a hopeless battle, if they believe in something greater than themselves that is worth dying for. Remember the Alamo?

That is both our greatest hope and greatest danger.

Monday, November 07, 2005

An "Amazing" Analysis of the Paris Jihad

We start at blog Badeagle where proffessor David Yeagley, a strongly patriotic (pro-American) Native American, offers his call for Europe to again pick up the banner of a Crusader and challenge the enemy that now in their lands.

He includes this simple observation: (And shall we mention the fact that it is in the European countries that were not supporters of the Coalition into Iraq, that this rioting is happening? No rioting in America or Britain, for instance. How shall we interpret this?)

In his comments section someone offers an interpretation that has to be read to be believed (and even then it is unbelievable). The rioting is being caused and orchestrated by ...

... Jews.

He says "It is, of course, the "hidden hand" of the Jewish Neo-Cons, and their supporters, who are the "agent provocateurs," behind this. And, of course, it is not difficult for them to find disenchanted young "dupes" to play the "foot soldiers" role, just as occurred in America during the 60s and 70s, in the attempted Jewish-Bolshevik Revolution (an attempted repeat of the Jewish-Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917)."

He further adds "The three-part goal of the current situation of rioting in Europe is (1) to create/increase hatred for Muslims, (2) to, hopefully, get those countries in line with the pro-Israel element of the Middle East conflict, and (3) to get revenge on those countries for their foot-dragging in the recent American invasion of Iraq."

He says considerably more and gives initials for his name.

Chirac is doing ... something.

So Chirac is going to arrest, prosecute, and punish those responsible for the unrest in France, or so he claims. First he has to arrest them (good luck), then prosecute them (which will require toughness - does he have it in him?) and then punish them. (maybe now would be the time to re-introduce the guilotine).

Let's see .. one official says "What we notice is that the bands of youths are, little by little, getting more organized, arranging attacks through cell phone text messages and learning how to make gasoline bombs."

France ... you have a real problem and you're going to have to get tough, pull out the stops, and fight. It's time to fight or die. France is your country and if you don't fight for it, who will?

What choice will France make?

I am not optimistic. "We are lovers, not fighters!" will be their epitaph.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Two Interesting Stories from Iran

The Iranian blog, Regime Change Iran is a blog I try to read daily. Today it is carrying two fascinating stories today which the bloggers translate from official Iranian news and then comment in English.

The first story is that the Iranian government, in celebration of its long ago occupation of the US embassy in Tehran, announced that "If necessary, embassies of other western countries can and will be invaded with that very same divine plan.” and also added “In the same way that the nest of spies was invaded [in 1979] and the U.S. was turned into putty in the hands of the revolution and our illustrious Islam, today the very same, can be repeated with the efforts of the Islamic revolutionary youths.” Direct threats were apparently made against the Italian embassy.

The second story involves workers who have not been paid for 13 months.

Iran Press News: Translation by Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi
A court in the town of Khorramabad (Province of Luristan) sentenced 6 protesting workers from the local refrigerator factory who have not received their wages for more than13 months to 4 months in prison and 20 lashes each. The workers were charged with “disturbing public order” after being arrested for blocking the Khorramabad-Andeemeshk road in protest and clashing with the disciplinary forces.

Ali Hamzeh-Sharifi, the head of branch 102 of the court of Khorramabad announced that the prison sentence will be suspended for two years as the workers were protesting on work-related issues.

It is important to add that hundreds of workers from the Luristan refrigerator factory have protested the non-payment of their wages time and time again. The 6 arrested workers were detained after the May 23rd protest that lead to the injury of many other workers who were brutally beaten by the regime’s disciplinary forces just for wanting to get paid.

I wonder if our unions will have any sort of solidarity with these workers. Probably not.

France Needs a Lion King

The Lion King is one of my favorite Disney movies, though I think it is a little misleading. The African names (Simba, Mufasa) etc. are easily mistaken for Muslim names but I believe they are actually tribal African, though I could be mistaken. The validity of what I am about to say does not change if I am wrong as names are often just names.

The current state of the France reminds me of the Pridelands under Scar. He allowed the Hyenas in to bring about prosperity in the Pridelands and they proceeded to destroy it, much as modern France brought in Muslim guest workers and some of them are now in the process of trying to destroy their host country. I do not doubt that many Moslems are horrified at what these rioters are doing and they too are victims of the rioters and should be treated as such.

Centuries ago, France was threatened by Islam and a great king, Charlemagne, possibly the greatest Frenchmen ever (though he called himself a Frank) rose up, challenged and defeated the Islamic invaders and was instrumental in setting up what allowed them to also be driven out of Spain.

Modern France seems to have forgotten Charlemagne or even worse, is embarrassed of him. Like Simba, with his attitude of Hakuna Matata (Don't Worry), they are living a life of relaxed leisure while their homeland is being destroyed. As Simba had to be reminded of his father and who he was, and who Simba truly is, the French people need to remember Charlemagne (who was once considered the Father of France) and to remember who they are. These rioters are seeking to destroy France and the people of France must come to the same conclusion that Simba did.

"This is my home and if I don't fight for it who will?"

France needs a Lion King

Update 9:50 AM: Yahoo news has a very good article on the extent of the problem but fails to emphasize that the rioters are exclusively Muslims.

Update 10:30 AM: The Religious Policeman Blog, a blog by a freedom loving moderate Moslem, says that the young men whose deaths touched off the rioting were in fact car thieves. This is the first I have heard of that. Previous reports said they had been playing soccer.

Update 6:30 PM: Depending on memory, rather than double checking my facts, I made an error. It was Charles Martel, The Grandfather of Charlemagne that defeated the Moslems at the Battle of Tours in A. D. 732. Part of the problem was confusion in the Song of Roland, which is semi-historical and I read it a number of years ago, and being poorly remembered lead me to believe that it was Charlemagne who stopped their expansion into Europe. Nonetheless, I must accept that I made and posted an error, and for that I apologize. I still believe that the heart of this posting, France must remember its roots and who the French people once were, and who they can be again, is still valid. France still needs a Lion King.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

One of Saddam's henchmen speaks

Ali Ibrahim Al-Tikriti, a southern regional commander for Saddam's Fedayheen in the mid-to-late 1980's, a henchman of Saddam Hussein, who defected to the west prior to the U.S. invasion is interviewed by FrontPage Magazine and it is a Must-Read. Of particular interest to me is this quote.

Ibrahim: I can personally vouch for Saddam's WMD programs. I helped protect his scientists and their documents while I was there. His nuclear program was at the top of his list and Saddam was very interested and sent out his security forces to hunt down a nuclear weapon when the Soviet Union fell. There were rumors amongst the inner circles that he had a crude nuclear weapon but I never saw it. I did handle as well as my units VX, Sarin and mustard gas. We were supplied with Russian NBC protective suits and they were always updated. Vast networks of bunkers were built to protect the military when such weapons were to be used. There were chutes built from the bunkers to the surface to launch these weapons in mortar shells in a surprise attack upon enemy forces approaching.

There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam had these weapons when the United States invaded. Saddam never did anything that he believed showed weakness. His weapons programs were also always a top priority for research and development because he knew he could always purchase conventional weapons abroad. The relationship between the Ba'ath Party in Baghdad and Damascus were one in the same. There is no doubt in my mind that if Saddam wanted to he could have sent such weapons and documents to Syria with ease. Assad and especially his generals would have welcomed such an idea or proposal from Saddam

The whole interview can be read here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Guns and Democracy

Mao Tse Tung said that political power comes from the barrel of a gun (ie the ability of one person to force their will on another by violence or the threat of violence).

Yet there is that line in Monte Python and the Holy Grail that says "The sole legitimate source of supreme executive authority is a mandate from the masses." which I believe is a quote from Karl Marx, though I cannot find it.

On the surface these two, both socialist by the way, ideas are contradictory, unless you do it the American way. The barrel of the gun is in the hands of the masses so the mandate from the masses is insured. Again, an armed populace assures democracy.

Just a thought.

Good ol' Harry Reid

Harry Reid has been a busy boy. First he raises a stink with Senator Roberts of Kansas because the Valerie Plame affair has not had the results he believed it should (in his wildest dreams) and that is because Senator Roberts, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee didn't try hard enough. He honestly believes that the indictment of one person condemns the whole administration. What does that say about President Bush's predecessor?

He still has time to badmouth President Bush's choice for the Supreme Court. He seems to think that the president owes it to someone to choose a uniter, not a divider, with an uniter being defined as someone who agrees with the Democrats.

How does he find the time?