Monday, April 30, 2007

Popular Mechanics vs Loose Change

Conspiracy knuckleheads Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas made "Loose Change," a home-made documentary that purported to prove that the World Trade Center was brought down by controlled demolition, not jumbo jets, on Sep 11, and that no jet hit the Pentagon. James Meigs and David Dunbar, editors of Popular Mechanics, wrote a rebuttal of the goofy conspiracy theories in a book, "Debunking 9/11 Myths."

On September 11, 2006, the Loose Change kids met the Popular Mechanics men on "Democracy Now! the War and Peace Report", to debate. It wasn't even close. The Popular Mechanics guys calmly smacked down the conspiracy nuts with facts and logic. The Loose Change sophomores countered with bad attitudes and by calling everyone a liar who disagreed with them. It's wonderfully painful to watch.

Watch it all here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gun Bazaar Of Pakistan

Suroosh Alvi uses his mom's connections to pass through the Khyber Pass into the Tribal Areas of Pakistan to see the largest illegal arms market in the world. The Daraa tribe believes in many sons and lots of guns. They get their guns from the bazaar, where any gun you want is made by hand in crude machine shops, a thousand guns per day. When they finish making one, they just walk out in the street or up to the roof to test it. That's why they need lots of sons. Safety is not the strong point of the gun bazaar.

Suroosh Alvi thinks this arms bazaar is proof that the Taliban, which acquires its weapons there, can never be beaten. However, I'm not quite convinced that the guns made in caves are of the same quality nor quantity of those of Western factories. Nor did I see any artillery nor tanks nor fighter jets nor warships being built there in the bazaar. Alvi is too easily impressed.

Watch the video.

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Ember Of Rage

Ed Rollins is a comedian who is against the war in Iraq and suffers from Bush Derangement Syndrome. However, that aside, he visits the wounded at Walter Reed to cheer them up, which washes away all his sins in my eyes. The wounded make Ed Rollins angry, as they should, and compel him to want to end wars, which is a noble goal. But the argument he makes is more persuasive to press on with the war and finish it on our terms, though he doesn't realize it.

Watch the video.

Dan Biddle

Dan Biddle, 28, noticed Lisa Flint, 27, way back in 2000 when she started working at his company but he was too shy to ask her for a date. She finally broke the ice by asking him out for a drink. Says Lisa, "As he walked me home, it was cold and he gave me his coat. I'd never met such a gentleman before. When he went home he rang me - and we chatted until 4am." Cupid had a word with Dan as well, "I realised then that I was going to spend the rest of my life with her. Two weeks later, I was saying goodbye when I suddenly dropped down on one knee and proposed. I never wanted to be apart from her again." They set their wedding date for April 2006, moved in together, and Lisa began planning The Big Day.

Dan left the couple's home the morning of July 7, 2005 for a meeting in Wembley. Dan recalls:

"I was running late, so I kissed Lisa goodbye and said: 'I'll see you later.'

My bus was delayed, and at Liverpool Street I let the first tube go because it was packed. I started to text a colleague, and realised I had missed my usual station. As we pulled into Edgware Road, I looked around me. There was a middle-aged man wearing glasses with lots of paperwork around him, and a youngish-looking Asian guy sitting on the empty seat next to me. As the train pulled away he looked past me, put his hand in his bag and there was a big white flash. It felt as if someone had filled the carriage with air."
The Asian man was Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, a native Briton of Pakistani descent with a pregnant wife and young child. He was sitting eighteen inches away from Dan. He was also the leader of a Muslim terror cell which detonated four suicide bombs that day, three in the Tube at 8:50 AM and one in a bus an hour later, killing 52 people and four terrorists, wounding 700 people, including Dan Biddle. The dead may have been the lucky ones.

"It blew me out of the doors, and I hit the tunnel wall, with the train doors landing on my legs. I looked back at the carriage, and it was just a twisted lump of metal. For a few moments, I couldn't work out why I was outside the train. Then as the dust and smoke cleared, I could see bodies and body parts all around me, and I knew it had been a bomb.

I reached up to touch my head, and my arm was on fire. My eardrums had burst, but I could hear muffled shouting and screaming. I tried to move the train door off my legs, but when I put my hand underneath, it was like sticking my hands into a bucket of papier mache. I realised that my left leg was gone, and most likely my right leg, too. I thought 'I'm going to die down here' and I started to shout for help. I was absolutely terrified, not of dying but just dying on my own and being just an anonymous body in a body bag. I thought: 'No one will know that I have a fiance at home'."
Adrian Heili, a fellow passenger, put direct pressure on Dan's pulped leg with his hand to stop the severed artery from spurting blood.

"I wanted to get a message to Lisa before I passed out or died. I just wanted her to know that I had been thinking about her at the end. I told him Lisa's name, where she worked and said: 'Tell her I love her and I'm sorry.'"
Dan was carried out of the tunnel ninety minutes after the blast.

"I remember the sunlight and the breeze on my face, and ambulance ride into hospital. A consultant leaned over me and said: 'You are in St Mary's hospital Paddington. Don't worry, we'll look after you.' Then I had a heart attack."

Doctors re-started his heart. At noon, his legs were amputated, his spleen removed. Dan had another heart attack which forced the surgeons to crack open his chest and massage his heart manually. He lost 87 pints of blood.

Lisa answered the doorbell at home to find three policeman who whisked her and her mother to the hospital. Lisa recounts:
"I didn't take in the fact that his legs were gone. I kept waving the doctor to hurry up, because I didn't want to waste another second away from Dan. They took me to him and he was unrecognisable. He was covered in soot, his skin was charred, he had a bloodstained gauze on his forehead and I could see the bare bone on his knuckles. I took his hand and said 'I'm here babe, I'm here' over and over again. The doctors couldn't tell me if he'd survive and I sat watching the bleeping machine for the next five hours. I told Dan how much I loved him, how much I wanted to be his wife. I talked about our wedding, our friends - anything.

As daylight broke, he opened his eyes and they were covered in blood jelly, like in a horror movie. "He said 'I'm hungry. . . I feel sick,' and then passed out - but it gave me a glimmer of hope."

The doctors put Dan in a medically induced coma to help him heal while Lisa and Dan's family camped out in the hospital. Says Lisa:

"We stayed in the same clothes for three days, and we slept on the floor of the hospital room, sitting beside him in shifts. When they bought him out of his coma a few days later, I was terrified. I didn't know how he was going to deal with his injuries, what horrors he had witnessed or what brain damage he might have suffered."

Dan was disoriented when he came to:

"I remember waking up and seeing Lisa and my parents and brother. I thought it was still July 7, and I couldn't understand how mum and dad had got from Spain so fast, or how my brother had flown from New York. "They all had an orange glow - because my retina had burned out - and I thought: 'Oh, they've been on holiday without me.'

I couldn't speak for days, until they raised my head and attached a speaking valve to the tube sticking out of my throat. I could speak like a Dalek and as Lisa walked up to the bed I said: 'Alright, babe.' She collapsed in tears.

When doctors told Dan that his legs were gone, he merely shrugged. "I already knew my legs were lost - I was just relieved to have survived. The emotion of losing my legs only hit me a few weeks later, when I moved from intensive care. I would be talking to Lisa on the phone and I would say my boots were hurting. I'd put my hand down and suddenly realise it was just phantom pain - and I would end up in tears."

There was more bad news. Dan's left eye was damaged. Says Lisa:
"Doctors said they would have to remove it, and I walked into the toilet and burst into tears. I remember shouting: 'It's so unfair - why can't he just have kept his bloody eye?' "
Dan was concerned for other reasons:

"I was so worried that Lisa wouldn't feel the same way about me. I didn't want her to stay with me if she pitied me. I needed to know she was with me for the right reasons." She came into hospital one day and I asked her to sit down. I said: 'If this is too much, and something you can't cope with at such a young age, then get up and walk away now and don't look back. I'll understand and I won't love you any the less.' I was scared that she might actually walk away. Instead, she gave me a playful slap and said: 'If you ever dare to say that to me again, you'll regret it.' I was so relieved."

"I had to constantly reassure Dan that I still loved him and still found him attractive. I still do - we've always been cuddly and tactile, but suddenly it became even more important to show him how I felt."

"Sometimes, I would think 'We'll cope with anything' but other days were swallowed with pain and depression. When it was time to move to a rehabilitation hospital in Roehampton after three months, I was terrified. I relied on nurses to put me on bedpans and to bath me. I was so scared of losing my dignity. But Lisa gave me the kick that I needed. She kept telling me she wanted me home and that I was man enough to get over it.

The unit was wonderful. Walking on my stumps was so painful, but I was determined to walk down the aisle with Lisa. I had been there a while when a visitor arrived for another patient. He bought his young son with him, and I saw them kicking this football about. In a split-second, I suddenly realised I would never know what it was like to kick a ball to my own little boy. I thought: 'That is what that bastard (suicide bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan) did to me - it's going to affect the rest of my life.' I cried like a baby."

A year after the terror attack, Dan came home to a new two-bedroom bungalow in Upminster, Essex. In addition to losing his legs and eye, he has lost his hearing in one ear. His chest has enormous scars from the open heart massage. He is burned, suffered internal injuries including damaged lungs, and bears many scars and wounds. The small change in his pocket was blasted into his thigh bone. Khan's face appears in his dreams, right before he detonated his backpack bomb, along with the screams of the wounded and dying.
"I'm terrified of sleep because the nightmares come every night. I get flashbacks - if Lisa burns her hair with the hairdryer, the stench of burning hair takes me right back. If a camera flash goes off, it reminds me of the blast. But then I remind myself that 52 other people don't have the luxury of waking up, and I push myself to wear a smile and keep going. I've lost my legs, but not my marbles. I've returned to work - using my expertise to help adapt buildings for wheelchair users. I plan to take a law degree and I'm chairman of the local football team that I used to play for - although it is still too painful to actually watch my friends kicking a ball around."
There was also the matter of the engagement ring:

"My original engagement ring had been cut from my finger in casualty. The police actually mended it for me, but when it was returned it had blood and debris ingrained in between the stones - and it felt tainted forever. Instead, we swapped new rings and started to make plans for a new wedding."

I have kept mementoes of the blast in a drawer. I have my travel card dated July 7, and my tan wallet stained dark with blood. I have the engagement ring which was cut from my finger, and my watch still ingrained with blood and debris. One day, when I have kids, I'll show these to them and I will explain why I'm not like everyone else's dad."

Dan and Lisa got married last Saturday. Says Dan:
"Lisa said she would get married sitting on her bottom on a rug, if necessary. But I wanted to stand beside her. I wanted people to look at me as I used to be - and just for one day, I wanted to be the same man who proposed to Lisa all those years ago."

His brother wheeled Dan, in traditional tails and cream carnation, to the altar. The wedding march began to play. Dan stood up on his prosthetic legs as Lisa, crying, walked up the aisle in a designer flowing white gown and veil. The hundred guests shed tears with her. Dan wanted to walk back up the aisle with her, but his prosthetic legs hurt too much.
"At least I managed to just stand by her side. It was my vow to her - and myself.

Our wedding is a celebration and a show of defiance. In the congregation were two men who saved my life in the train tunnel, the paramedic who got me out, two intensive care nurses and the physiotherapists who helped me learn to walk again. It was wonderful to get everyone together and to show them what they have given us back."

And so love triumphed over evil.

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The Big White Lie

"The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God. I don’t have to claim that a bad writer like Alice Walker is a good one or that a good writer like Toni Morrison is a great one. I don’t have to pretend that Islam means peace."

Andrew Klavan has much more to say about the pros and cons of being conservative in his article "The Big White Lie" in the City Journal which is well worth reading in full. How many times do I need to tell you to read the City Journal? Get 'er done.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Religion of Peace and Tolerance

How about a quick trip through the latest news of Islam, the religion of peace and tolerance?

In Muqdadiyah, Iraq street vendors have been warned by the Islamists of Al Qaeda not to display tomatoes next to cucumbers because those vegetables are different genders. Mixing the genders is forbidden in Islam! The penalty is death.

The Islamists of Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines kidnapped six road workers and a fisherman and demanded a ransom of five million pesos ($125,000). When the government refused, the Muslim extremists delivered the hostages' heads in sacks to two different military outposts. Allah Akbar!

Five Muslims of the Turkish Hezbollah, 19- and 20- year-old students from an Islamic dormitory, captured three Protestants working at a Bible publishing company in eastern Turkey, bound their feet and hands, tortured them, and then cut their throats with bread knives. The Muslims stabbed one of the Christians 150 times. When caught, one suspect said, "We didn't do this for ourselves, but for our religion. Our religion is being destroyed. Let this be a lesson to enemies of our religion." It certainly is that.

This attack is one of a series of attacks by Muslims on the Christian minority in Turkey, whose 99% Muslim majority find other religions intolerable. This year, Armenian Christian editor Hrant Dink was murdered. Last year, a Turkish kid shot a Catholic priest, Andrea Santoro, dead as he prayed in his church. Two other Catholic priests were also attacked later. Why? Why not? They're just infidels.

Dutch feminist author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee and critic of Islam, lectured at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Local Islamic leaders, no friends of free speech, tried to stop the lecture, arguing that her sharp criticism of Islam in her book, "Infidel," and movie, "Submission," are "poisonous and unjustified" and create dissension in their community. Imam Fouad ElBayly, an Egyptian immigrant who is now president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, condemned her, "She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death." The university showed uncharacteristic courage for academic bureaucrats by pressing on with the lecture in spite of the murderous Muslim talk, taking care to provide extra security.

Two Muslim men attacked journalist Jawaad Faizi when he pulled into the driveway of his editor in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. A car pulled in behind him, the two men jumped out, and began smashing his windows with a cricket bat. Then they struck Faizi inside his car. They ran when he called 911.

Faizi writes for The Pakistan Post in Mississauga. The trouble began when Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, the leader of a Pakistan-based group of Muslims called the Minhaj-ul-Quran, claimed that he had written the name of the Prophet Mohammed on the surface of the moon. When Faizi wrote a column throwing doubt on the preposterous claim, the extremist followers of the Minhaj-ul-Quran began making phone calls cursing him in Punjabi and threatening his life. They told him, "You are not a Muslim, you are supporting Christians."

Faizi has had similar experiences in Pakistan, where one attack landed him in the hospital. Faizi says, "I know these people, they are very intolerant. Even if they are in Canada, their mindset doesn't change. They're intolerant about political opinion, religious opinion, you name it."

Meanwhile, in the Arab Muslim community of Ramle, Israel, the Abu Ghanem family is going for the world record in honor killings, murdering eight women in their family, one by one, over the years. One of them was 19‑year‑old Reem Abu Ghanem, who committed the crime of rejecting the husband her family had picked for her. Her older brother, a paediatrician, smothered her in a blanket soaked in anaesthetic drugs from his hospital. He and his four brothers threw Reem's body in the trunk of a car and drove to an abandoned house on the edge of town where they planned to dump her body in an old well. However, when they arrived they found Reem still alive and begging for her life. So they beat her on the head with a big rock to kill her but that didn't work either. So they just threw her in the well to die. The Arab community kept quiet about it, as they usually do about honor killings. Some saw the brothers as heroes.

Hugo Chavez

"The imperialist, mass murdering, fascist attitude of the president of the United States doesn't have limits. I think Hitler could be a nursery baby next to George W Bush," said Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, who has made Caracas the Latin American capital of anti-Americanism. Hugo sees Fidel Castro as a hero and model, Bush as a villain.

Hugo's America-bashing is so bad that the BBC, of all sources, feels compelled to defend America:

"You've got to wonder if there is any end to the capacity of the rest of the world to blame the United States for its problems. ... Why? Is it all the fault of the imperialists from the north? Or is just a little of it the result of local attitudes to poverty, local attitudes to honesty in government, and local attitudes to the rule of law?

In other words, in Latin America as elsewhere in the world, is anti-Americanism a smoke screen, a very convenient smoke screen, whose noxious fumes hide the reality of local failure?

As Otto Reich, a former Bush administration ambassador to Venezuela and public enemy number one (or two?) among many anti-Americans, told us: 'The United States is the scapegoat. It provides an easy excuse for the failures: if something isn't working, blame the Americans. Scratch the surface of some of these anti-Americans and you find self-loathing.'"

Hugo's hate for America knows some bounds. For example, Hugo does not hate America so much that he won't trade with it, accepting 39 billion imperialist Yankee dollars in exchange for its oil. There is something about big oil deposits that inclines countries to despotism. It also doesn't stop Hugo from allowing the hundreds of millions of dollars in remittances to be shipped back home from Venezuelans working jobs in America. Don't expect any praise for the American job machine for providing food and rent to the poorest Venezuelans. In fact, Latino immigrants sent $45 billion home in 2006, up from $30 billion in 2004. Don't expect any thank you notes from Latin America for any of that. If anything, such dependence on America fuels their resentment and promotes goofy conspiracy theories about how America somehow is holding them down.

It is a worthwhile question to ask why North America is rich and South America is not. The answer, it turns out, is simple: The English colonized North America while the Spanish colonized South America. Their different styles of developing their colonies laid the foundation for their respective success and failure.

The Spanish founded their colonies for the benefit of their King, who took his Royal Fifth off the top. All businesses were developed top down, centralized to benefit Spain. Consequently, they managed their colonies with bureaucracies dedicated to ensuring that government controlled everything. Those bureaucracies slowed development to a crawl. A small group of merchants with royal connections controlled the economy of each colony.

The English founded their colonies to benefit England, but did so in a decentralized fashion, using joint stock companies, ie corporations. Individual investors founded colonies in America. Their rules were kept to a minimum to promote the formation of individual businesses. Real estate developers like Daniel Boone probed deep into the wilderness to find good spots to build towns, surveyed them, and then sold plots in places like Boonesboro to settlers looking for their own land. Unleashing such entrepreneurial spirit spurred development to the maximum.

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. North and South American economies progressed differently because they were founded differently. The centralized economies of South America lagged behind, while the decentralized economies of North America lept ahead. This contrasting pattern of development was not limited to the New World, either. The Spanish Philippines remains poor while the English Hong Kong and Singapore became economic powerhouses.

Hernando de Soto, a Peruvian author, takes up this difference in his book, "The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs In The West And Fails Everywhere Else." De Soto points out that in Canada, colonized by England, it only takes a day to register a new business with the government and costs less than a day's pay. By contrast, in Peru, de Soto found it took 289 days and 2.5 years pay to register a small business, using a team of people working six days per week filling out every form required and paying every fee demanded.

This is the case throughout South America and much of the Third World. The bureaucracy of the former Spanish colonies forms a giant obstacle to business formation, so that it's impossible for the ordinary guy to build a legal business bigger than a pushcart. Small businesses are how wealth is created in great nations. If you make it impossible for businesses to be created, you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs of wealth. Such countries do not succeed because they are organized to fail.

The second major stumbling block to the creation of wealth in Third World countries is dead capital. Most people in the Third World do not have clear legal title to their homes, the result of record-keeping neglect by governments who are more interested in maintaining their control than the property rights of individuals. Consequently, citizens can not use their homes as collateral to take out a loan to fund a business. Such loans are how most businesses are started in the US.

The value of such assets held by citizens is immense. De Soto says it amounts to forty times all the foreign aid distributed in the world since 1945. The poor of the Third World already possess all the capital they need to fund businesses to create wealth. However, those assets are held in the form of homes and extra-legal small businesses which can not be leveraged to fund business ventures. Their assets are dead capital.

Corporate law is a third obstacle to the creation of wealth. Corporations are a method of funding large enterprises. There are few individuals who can fund such a large-scale enterprise by themselves and they would be foolish to bet their entire fortune on one business. Forming a corporation is a way to collect the capital to fund a factory while spreading the risk among many investors. The rights and responsibilities of corporations in the Third World are ambiguous and favor the unscrupulous. Consequently, investors are leery of them. Without corporations, successful business ventures are starved of the capital they need to grow to serve their markets.

These and other internal factors are the true reasons why Latin and South America remain poor, along with most of the rest of the Third World. They are not conditions imposed upon other countries by the United States, but rather conditions inflicted upon underdeveloped nations by themselves. When they reform themselves by clearing away all the self-imposed obstacles to creating wealth, they will enjoy the same success as the English-speaking countries.

Hugo Chavez and his brand of anti-Americanism are great obstacles to that much-needed reform. Bashing America serves powerful psychological needs for the failed nations south of the border. It removes the stigma of failure and shifts the blame to an imaginary oppressor. It also relieves the haters of having to make the difficult changes to their dysfunctional countries they need to succeed. For the favored few who profit from centralized control of the economy, like Chavez and his crew, it is to their advantage to displace the blame for their mismanagement of the economy from themselves to imaginary American imperialism.

It is Hugo Chavez who blocks the development of Latin America by rejecting the successful American model and embracing a vision of democratic socialism, which is the same failed philosophy of centralized economic control which manacles the entrepreneurial spirit of individuals, stopping them from creating wealth.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Riot Of The Racaille In The Gare Du Nord

It all started around 4:30 PM on Tuesday, March 27th, when a guy jumped the turnstiles to beat the fare at the Gare du Nord, one of six main train stations in Paris. The police arrested him, the crowd objected to the arrest, and an eight hour riot ensued, as illustrated by these photos by Hugo.

The narrative offered by the liberal media was that the police brutality was to blame and the riot a just reaction to such outrage on a poor kid. The media referred to the rioters as "youths," the euphemism for immigrant Muslims. Back in the old days when the liberals held a monopoly on the means of communication, it might have worked. However, nowadays everybody has a phone camera and a blog. The truth can not be bottled up.

The Gare du Nord is used by the law-abiding working citizens of Paris to commute to work and travel about the city. However, it is also a hangout for young punks and petty criminals, the kind of people that Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy calls racaille, French for "contemptible population" or "rabble." Some say "scum."

Nidra Poller, Paris editor of Pajamas Media, lays out the real deal in her article, "Eternal Youth: Punk Jihad Riots at Gare du Nord":

"The “kid” is one Angelo H. He is, it turns out, 32 years old, an illegal Congolese immigrant, and subject to a deportation order 1993. The “kid” has been in trouble since he came to France at the age of ten—twenty-two registered condemnations for violent incidents and many that went unreported.

The cops initially went to arrest a little cheater and found they had bagged a hardened criminal. Instead of paying for a ticket like millions of law-abiding passengers Angelo H. jumped the turnstile and was, exceptionally, arrested. In a matter of seconds he had head-butted—or slapped—one of the RATP agents. When the agents wrestled him to the ground, Angelo screamed bloody murder, a small crowd gathered in protest against the agents’ brutality. And the call to battle rang out."

The same tactic is used by Lebanese Muslims in Australia. When one of their number is confronted, he pages his crew to come help. Quickly, thirty Muslim gang-bangers show up to intimidate or beat up anyone who gets in a disagreement with their community. Even the police stopping Muslims for traffic violations are confronted with a crew of angry Muslims and driven off. The flash mob tactic is successful.

"Almost instantly Angelo became a thirteen year-old boy whose arms were fractured by the cruel agents (shades of Mohamed al Dura). Then a pregnant woman was added to the list of victims of police brutality. All that was missing was 'the infidels set fire to the mosque.'

Police reinforcements arrived, tried in vain to calm the situation, resorted to the use of tear gas. The crowd swelled to an estimated three to four hundred, battled the police until 1:30 AM (the incident began at 4:30 PM) when calm was restored.

For how long? Anyone who has visited Paris and hurried down the endless corridors of, for example, Châtelet metro & RER station & banlieu hangout, can imagine future battles in this ongoing punk jihad. The clash of civilizations that Europe does not want to recognize is rolling into Paris on the metro rails. ...

Against the Giuliani principle, represented in a mild French version by Nicolas Sarkozy, stands the jihad-intifada strategy: I disrespect your laws, defy your authority, attack you frontally and if you dare lift a hand against me I scream 'victim' and call in my troops."

Poller ties the riot of the Gare Du Nord to the larger jihad:

"The Gare du Nord vandals, the Iranian hostage takers, the killer shahids, the beheaders, the mass murder masterminds, the ultimatum peace planners, and the fellow traveling anti-warriors are attacking us on all sides with whatever weapons they can grab, combined and reinforced by the lethal narrative of their victimhood—crusades, colonisation, neocolonialism, discrimination, humiliation, occupation—and our guilt."
Nicolas Sarkozy, now running for president on a right-wing program, was not intimidated by the rioting racaille, saying afterwards: "They shouted my name at the Gare du Nord? That’s fine with me! They are not my friends, and I am not their friend. I am not on their side." Unfortunately, the French candidates who are most likely to win side with the racaille and so hasten the fall of France to Muslim domination.

The conquest of France by Islam now seems inevitable through immigration and hyper-reproduction by Muslims and will likely be completed with a Muslim majority within a couple generations. The riot in the Gare du Nord may well foreshadow what's in store for America. The flying imams of the Minneapolis airport may be the vanguard of the domestic jihad to come, one in which political correctness is used to neutralize our defense.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sgt. Gary S. Johnston, USMC

Sergeant Gary S. Johnston, 21, USMC, died from a bomb blast while serving in combat on January 23, 2007 in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. Sgt. Johnson was assigned as a radio operator to 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force Okinawa, Japan.

Gary Johnston was the son of Nubbin and Angela Johnston, dairy farmers from Windthorst, Texas, population 500. He graduated from Windhorst High School in 2003, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. He ran track, too. He played part of his senior football season with a broken arm. He was a shooter who had won various state championships in 4-H Shooting Sports and the Amateur Trap Shooting Association. He went to college for a while and then joined the Marines, a life-long dream.

His pal, Shawn Talley, said that you couldn't change him. Even if he was hurting on the inside, he was still smiling on the outside. His classmate, Chance Schroeder, says Gary was always there to help. If you needed a ride home, he'd come help.

The small town of Windthorst turned out for Gary in a big way, forming an eleven mile long funeral cortege, which passed through streets lined with American flags flying. There was no room graveside to accomodate all the mourners, so the Marines set up a video screen in the local municipal gym, packed with grim citizens. Even so, some people had to stand outside.

Fred Phelps and members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas listed Gary's funeral as one they would picket as part of their campaign against homosexuality in their vision of a doomed America. "Thank God For IEDs," said their fliers. The Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcyle club of veterans who block Phelps' indecent protests with their cycles, rode into town and put that outrage to rest to the town's relief.

Gary's sister, Sabrina, spoke at his funeral: "Whenever I would fall he would pick me up, wipe my face and tell me 'It's OK.' He was my best friend. He was my hero. I will miss him every day."

Nubbin Johnson said to a reporter later, "My brother died in vain in Vietnam. That won't happen to my son."

"You want to know why small-town America is losing so many of its people in Iraq? It's because small-town America still believes in this country, still believes in fighting for the freedom to worship whichever God you believe in. Our young men and women - like Gary - have been sacrificing their lives for this for 200 years. This is America."

Terrorists Dig Harry Potter

The camp librarian at the US prison at Guantanamo where numerous, mostly Saudi, captured Al Qaeda are confined reveals that terrorist prisoners at Gitmo prefer to read Harry Potter children's books in their spare time, presumably the time they have free between those torture sessions to which the evil Americans are constantly subjecting them.

Maggie, the camp librarian, says religion tops the reading list for the Muslim nutcases, but "When you get to fiction, definitely Harry Potter." Maggie can only give her first name lest the prisoners make good on their threats to some day kill her and drink her blood.

Some 385 of the worst of the worst remain incarcerated at Gitmo, each of whom can check out books once per week from the camp library, which is immensely popular. The terrorists have run through the first six books of the Potter series. "They're all waiting for number seven to come out," Maggie told reporters. She has pre-ordered the next book, due out later this year, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows."

Tantor stepped into his time & space machine and interviewed prisoners in other notorious prisons from history. In a scientific survey of US servicemen held in the Hanoi Hilton by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, the most common response as to the favorite books checked out from the prison library was: "GET ME THE **** OUT OF HERE BEFORE THEY BEAT ME TO DEATH!" Running a close second was, "I'm laying in my own shit and piss because they locked me up in stocks for two weeks."

Chinese prisoners held in the People's Republic of China held up copies of Mao's little red book and wearily said that was the only book that they ever read or ever wanted to read. Korean prisoners held in the North Korean gulag robotically repeated that they thanked Our Dear Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il for giving them the time to study the dozens of volumes of their leader's speeches and the brilliant advancements of their envied land under his far-seeing philosophy of juche. Their families, locked up with them, also praised Kim for giving them this opportunity to know him better.

When Soviet prisoners from Stalin's show trials were quizzed about their favorite books in prison, the answer given by all was, "Whatever Stalin says. I'll cooperate if you don't kill my family."

Unfortunately, prisoners of Al Qaeda could not be interviewed because they did not live long enough to read anything but the script confessing they were infidels in their snuff videos.

Why The Air Force Memorial Sucks

I watched the Air Force Memorial being built, bit by bit, next to the Pentagon all last year from my office window. As a proud Air Force vet, I went to the dedication on October 14. They even found an old F-4 Phantom, the fighter I flew, to fly by. After months of careful consideration, my official decision is that the Air Force Memorial sucks. I hate it.

The first question everybody asks when they see the Memorial is, “What is it?” It certainly isn’t obvious to anyone on first sight. I tell people it’s an antenna the Pentagon uses to talk to extraterrestrials. They laugh a little but wonder if it might be true. All that X-Files baloney has rotted people’s brains to the point that they’ll believe anything.
This is but one instance in a general trend in aeronautical institutions to celebrate the progress of aviation and triumphs of aviators with dopey abstract art. If you look outside the brand-spanking new Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum out by Dulles airport, you will be treated to the sight of a sculpture out front that looks like a giant stainless steel crispy fry. In front of the National Air & Space Museum itself on the National Mall is a sculpture that looks like some kind of alien phallus. How about focusing on the humans?
The Air Force was the last service to get a memorial in Washington, so it was overdue. You can see the Navy Memorial over on Pennsylvania Avenue, where a Lone Sailor waits to board his ship while standing on a huge map of the world’s oceans. I get it. Nobody needs to explain the Navy Memorial to me with a PowerPoint presentation.

The bronze “Three Soldiers” at the Vietnam Memorial are likewise immediately understandable. No interpreter needed. It looks like they just came back from a jungle patrol. I get it. Everybody gets it.

The Marine Memorial over in Rosslyn features the Marines heroically planting Old Glory on top of Mount Suribachi. Now THAT’s a memorial! It’s the Gold Standard for military memorials, realistically portraying real humans in real battle. Nobody needs to ask what it’s about. It's about Marines whupping ass.

Compare those colossal heroic Marines perched on Suribachi to this bronze of an Air Force honor guard at the bottom of the Air Force Memorial and you wonder what weenie bureaucrat signed off on that. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure the guys in the honor guard are fine fellows but the Air Force isn’t about honor guards. The whole design of the Air Force Memorial is inspired by the bomb burst aerial stunt performed by the Thunderbirds, the Air Force demonstration squadron that flies at air shows. The Thunderbirds are also a fine group but the core mission of the Air Force is not to entertain the general public with flying circuses.

My impression was that the Air Force was about fighting, about flying behind enemy lines to deliver bombs to deserving targets while dodging ground defenses and dogfighting enemy fighters to get through. The Air Force Memorial isn’t about that. That’s why it’s wrong. It reminds me of that bland, horrible impressionist art that hangs in the hallways of some corporations, carefully chosen to be pretty and offend nobody. So it signifies nothing.

The Air Force is culturally divided into two camps: The Blue Air Force and The Green Air Force. The Blue Air Force wears the blue uniform to work while the Green Air Force wears fatigues and flight suits. The Blues do essential tasks like stock the warehouses, maintain the motor pool, and push piles of paperwork around base. The Greens take wing in chariots of fire like sky gods. The Greens are shooters, the Blues shoe clerks. The Blues are preoccupied with trivia like stopping people from whizzing in the woods outside the Officer’s Club after Happy Hour and making sure your ribbons are in the right order on your official photo. The Greens are preoccupied with putting bombs on target.

There is a clash of cultures within the Air Force, where the Blues impose their spit-shined, regulation-happy, utopian culture on the Green’s realist, pragmatic, quick and dirty combat rules culture. The Air Force Memorial is a monument to the Blue Air Force. I’m surprised they don’t have a bronze statue of a clerk at his desk typing a form in triplicate. That’s what it’s all about for the Blues.

I propose an alternate Green Air Force Memorial be placed in the National Mall, hidden in the woods near the WWII Memorial, out of sight of the damned bureaucrats. It would be completely accessible to the public, night or day, just like the other memorials, not like the current Blue Air Force Memorial, which is wedged between the Pentagon and Fort Myer, unapproachable by civilian tourists except on special occasions. I’d like to see a big, bronze P-51 Mustang fighter, the prettiest plane ever made, with the pilot standing next to it, discussing the maintenance forms with his crew chief. A guy from life support is holding a parachute, another guy is fueling the aircraft, and the armorer is laying .50 calibre bullets into the wing guns. That would show the tip of the teamwork needed to launch a fighter.

My other idea for a Green Air Force Memorial would be an A-10 rolling in to strafe a band of fleeing jihadis, knocking their turbans flying in the air. Now there’s a monument that would draw a crowd. I can see guys in flight jackets visiting it late at night, popping a brew, and yelling “YEEEEHAWWWW!” There might be a lot of people who would want to toast to it. Sadly, my vision is thwarted by the current dark tide of political correctness, but I’m confident that the future will demonstrate its righteousness.

Thwarted Expectations