Friday, February 10, 2006

"If We Could Go Back ..."

Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006 10:36 a.m. EST
Donald Rumsfeld Warns Against Islamic 'Empire'

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is warning that Western countries must increase their defense budgets in order to prevent the rise of a "global extremist Islamic empire" that could be as deadly as Hitler's Third Reich.

Speaking at a global security conference in Munich on Saturday, the U.S. defense chief said that Islamic radicals "seek to take over governments from North Africa to Southeast Asia and to re-establish a caliphate they hope, one day, will include every continent.

"They have designed and distributed a map where national borders are erased and replaced by a global extremist Islamic empire," he added.

Rumsfeld urged Western leaders not to delude themselves about the growing threat, saying: "We could choose to pretend, as some suggest, that the enemy is not at our doorstep . . . But those who would follow such a course must ask: what if they are wrong? What if at this moment, the enemy is counting on being underestimated, counting on being dismissed, and counting on our preoccupation."

The remarks echoed his comments the day before in an address to the National Press Club in Washington, DC, where Rumsfeld warned that radical Islamists "have designed and distributed a map where national borders are erased and replaced by a global extremist Islamic empire."

He cautioned that "that this is not war between the West and the Muslim world" but instead primarily "a struggle between the relatively small fringe groups of extremists -- violent extremists -- who seek to hijack an ancient religion against the overwhelming majority of Muslims."

Still, the U.S. defense chief warned that the rise of Islamofacism could by just as deadly as Nazi Germany and the early decades of the Soviet Union:

"During the 1920s, few people took seriously what some characterized as the mad ravings of a failed painter's book, Mein Kampf," Rumsfeld said. "Similarly, most people earlier ignored the excited utterances of an exiled lawyer -- a so-called rabble rouser -- named Lenin, who had published the pamphlet, 'What is to be Done?'

"But imagine," he posited, "if we could go back today, knowing what we know now about Adolph Hitler and Lenin, to warn the world about those two individuals before they spawned their movements and before literally tens of millions of human beings on this earth were victims -- were killed?"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I Heard that Pop Had a LOT of Chemicals and Stuff That Was BAD for You ...

... but now I'm not so sure. :-)

'Nuff Said

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Thus Saith Honest Abe

"To state the question more directly, are all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself go to pieces, lest that one be violated? Even in such a case, would not the official oath be broken, if the government should be overthrown, when it was believed that disregarding the single law, would tend to preserve it? But it was not believed that this question was presented. It was not believed that any law was violated. The provision of the Constitution that 'The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, shall not be suspended unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it,' is equivalent to a provision---is a provision---that such privilege may be suspended when, in cases of rebellion, or invasion, the public safety does require it. It was decided that we have a case of rebellion, and that the public safety does require the qualified suspension of the privilege of the writ which was authorized to be made."
Civil Rights for Terrorists

It is mind boggling to hear liberals going on and on about "domestic spying". The spin they and their accomplices in the media put on these stories is that average Americans are at risk of government agents listening in while they chat on the phone with other average Americans.

Not only is this far from the truth; it is a complete lie. What's more, these stories are dangerous because if we hamstring our intelligence agencies, the consequences could mean many more thousands of Americans killed.

You see, what we're talking about are not average Americans but terrorists who are communicating with other terrorists hiding out in this country. Do we really want to wring our hands over violating the "civil rights" of terrorists who are here plotting to slaughter innocent people? (And here's a clue for you liberals -- foreign terrorists do not have rights under the Constitution!)

What is wrong with these people??!!

The incomparable Thomas Sowell has more.

Point of no return

By Thomas Sowell
Feb 7, 2006

Looking back at the history of tragic times often reveals that many -- or most -- of the people of those times were often preoccupied with things that look trivial, or even pathetic, in view of the catastrophe looming over them. Will later generations looking back at our times see a similar blindness, and even frivolousness, in the face of mortal dangers?

Terrorists and terrorist governments are giving us almost daily evidence of their fanatical hatred and violent sadism, as the clock ticks away toward their gaining possession of nuclear weapons. They not only hold a harmless young woman hostage in Iraq, they parade her in tears on television, just as they have paraded not only the terrorizing, but even the beheading, of others on television.

Moreover, there is a large and gleeful audience in the Arab world for these gross brutalities, just as there was glee and cheering among the Palestinians when the televised destruction of the World Trade center was broadcast in the Middle East.

Yet what are we preoccupied with or outraged about? Whether the American government should intercept the phone calls of these cutthroats to people in the United States.

That question has been sanitized in the mainstream media by asking whether the government should be engaged in “domestic wiretapping,” just as the terrorists themselves have been sanitized into “militants” or “insurgents.”

The way the question is posed by many in the media and in politics, you would think our intelligence agencies were listening in on you talking on the phone to your aunt Mabel.

Be serious! There are more than a quarter of a billion people in the United States. Intelligence agencies have neither the manpower, the time, the money, nor the interest to listen in on you and your aunt Mabel.

Lawyers may differ on fine legal points about the Constitutional powers of the commander in chief during wartime versus the oversight powers of the courts. But, a Supreme Court Justice once pointed out that the Constitution of the United States is not a suicide pact.

The Constitution was meant for us to live under, not be paralyzed by, in the face of death.

When some honcho in the international terrorist network is captured in Afghanistan or Iraq, and the phone numbers in his computer are found by his American captors, it is only a matter of time before his capture becomes news broadcast around the world.

In the hour or two before that happens, his contacts within the United States may continue to use the phones they have been using. Listening in on their conversations during that brief window of opportunity can provide valuable information on enemies within our midst who are dedicated to our destruction.

Precious time can be wasted filing legalistic documents to get some judge’s permission to tap the domestic terrorists’ phones before CBS or CNN broadcasts the news of the captured terrorist leader overseas and the domestic terrorists stop using the phones that they had used before to talk with him.

With Iran advancing step by step toward nuclear weapons, while the Europeans wring their hands and the United Nations engages in leisurely discussion, this squeamishness about tapping terrorists’ phone contacts in the United States is grotesque.

Has anyone been paying attention to the audacity of the terrorists? Some in the media seem mildly amused that Palestinian terrorists are threatening Denmark because of editorial cartoons that they found offensive.

Back in the 1930s, some people were amused by Hitler, whose ideas were indeed ridiculous, but by no means funny.

This was not the first threat against a Western country for exercising their freedom in a way that the Islamic fanatics did not like. Osama bin Laden threatened the United States on the eve of our 2004 elections, if we didn’t vote the way he wanted.

When he has nuclear weapons, such threats cannot be ignored, when the choice is between knuckling under or seeing American cities blasted off the face of the earth.

That is the point of no return -- and we are drifting towards it, chattering away about legalisms and politics.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Too Priceless for Words

Friday, February 03, 2006

From Chuck Colson's BreakPoint Commentary

Small-Time Crook, Big-Time Liar

A Million Little Pieces

February 3, 2006
Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.

Here's something you don't see every day: A minor criminal trying to convince the world that he's much worse than he is.

As I'm sure you have heard by now, that's what happened with James Frey's memoir, A Million Little Pieces. After Oprah Winfrey selected it for her Book Club in October, Frey's searing tale of his struggle with drug addiction and crime hit the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Frey's portrayal of himself as a bad guy, rather than a victim, was seen as refreshingly honest. Many people credited Frey with giving them hope in their own battles with addiction.

And then, almost by accident, a website called "The Smoking Gun" uncovered the truth about James Frey. Looking for a mug shot of the author for their site, researchers found "repeated dead ends" in police records. The more they searched, the more fabrications they found.

For example, the violent incident where Frey hit a police officer with his car, and then fought the arresting officers? It was actually a simple drunk-driving arrest, no fighting happened, and no one was hit by a car. The three months Frey spent in jail? It was actually about five hours. Quite a difference. And many other details about Frey's arrest record were fabricated as well.

And then there was Frey's best friend in high school, who was killed in a train accident on her way to meet him. According to her family, the girl barely knew Frey and was not going to meet him at all. Frey had nothing to do with the tragedy, except to use it to embellish his story.

Confronted with the evidence, Frey did a remarkable 180-degree turn. This time, he chose to portray his accusers as the bad guys, instead of himself. "I never expected the book to come under the kind of scrutiny that it has," Frey told interviewer Larry King. He insisted that the disputed parts were a very small percentage of the total book and explained that he stood by the "essential truths of the book." To top it off, when Oprah called the Larry King show to support Frey, she claimed that "the underlying message of redemption in James Frey's memoir still resonates."

That's classic postmodernism: The truth doesn't matter as long as the story is compelling. A completely false worldview is okay if it's helpful to you. This is how we get news shows that publish "fake but accurate" documents, directors who make fictional documentaries, and enhanced resumes.

To her credit, Oprah finally realized that no matter how compelling the story, the public is still squeamish about someone selling fiction as fact. She eventually changed her tune. She took Frey back on the show again, and this time, she took him to task for his dishonesty and forced him to admit that he had lied. Speaking directly to her viewers, Oprah stated, "I made a mistake, and I left the impression that the truth does not matter, and I am deeply sorry about that…To everyone who has challenged me on this issue of truth, you are absolutely right."

Good for Oprah. Let's hope Frey has learned his lesson as well. Subjectivity, as he called it when talking to Larry King, is one thing; outright lies are something very different. Frey's fictional memoir and his defensiveness show the corrosiveness of postmodern thinking. It's a mentality that is far more dangerous to society than any of Frey's made-up crimes.

Here's One German Who Gets It

The liberal echo chamber in Europe usually seems even worse than it is in the U.S. I suspect the reason is that we in the States have little opportunity to learn of alternatives to the European version of the MSM.

However, here is an op-ed from the German paper, Die Welt, written by Mathias Dopfner, CEO of the German company Alex Springer. I checked it out and it is legit. Sounds like there's at least one German who understands history and can see through the multi-cultural PC fog.

A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe — your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true.

Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.

Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman, suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.

Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and, even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.

Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush... Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U. N. Oil-for-Food program.

And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement. How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany.

I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.

One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".

What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.

It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.

Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush.

His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.

In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

On the contrary, we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even Otto Schily justifiably criticizes.


Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.

For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy, because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake — literally everything.

While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation, or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "Reach out to terrorists, to understand and forgive".

These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house.

Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

From Matthew Kelly's Feb. Newsletter

A Moment of Inspiration

Love Isn't a Feeling. It's a Choice.

Love is not a feeling. From when we are very young, through powerful mediums such as movies and music, we are conditioned to believe it is. The result of this conditioning is that we allow our actions to be dictated by our feelings. Rather than asking ourselves whether a particular person is going to help us become our best self, we simply allow our feelings to take us wherever they will at any particular moment. And I don't know whether you've noticed it, but feelings are one of the most inconsistent aspects of the human person.

Our feelings shouldn't direct our actions and our lives. Our actions should be driven by our hopes, values, and aspirations; above all, they should be driven by our essential purpose. People who are driven by feelings are dangerous. They are undisciplined, inconsistent, and unreliable. But people who are driven by their values and a clear understanding of their essential purpose are to be treasured. They are disciplined, consistent, and reliable. Love is a choice, not a feeling. Feelings come and go, and if we choose to base our most important relationships on how we feel at any particular moment, we are in for a rough and rocky journey.

Love is a verb, not a noun. Love is something we do, not something that happens to us. When you choose not to love, you commit a grave crime against yourself. You may hold back your love to spite another person, or in an attempt to hurt another person. Withholding love is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You may hold back your love in the name of safety and security, but these are only illusions, and in time you will stand as a dwarf compared to the person you could have potentially become if you had chosen love. Love is a choice. When we choose to love our spirit expands. When we choose not to love, our spirit shrivels.

~excerpt from The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved


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