Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Those Poor Misguided Murderers

I fault myself for being stupid enough to think that Sheehan's motherly grief had simply "Unhinged" her. I fault myself for being stupid enough to think that the recent surreal mentality of the anti-Freedom group that got some of its members kidnapped by sending them to Iraq in the middle of a warzone, was somehow unique. Let's see a local, American example of these two mentalities combined: Yahoo News carries a NY Post article with a haunting psychological relationship.

The tragic background:
"Two years ago, Kimberly Hill lost her 8-year-old son, Daesean, when he was shot and killed by drug dealers battling over turf on her block."
Terrible. Tragic. I grieve vicariously. Although, despite the heartache many people I know have suffered like this, most don't continue the "public" part of the suffering indefinitely (the private is eternal of course), as Sheehan, or this poor woman's example:
"MY son Daesean would have turned 10 this year. He would have loved the party we threw him. My whole East New York neighborhood was there. We closed off the street. The kids played and rode their bikes. At the end, we let a flock of balloons rise into the air."
And another American decides to live in terror, rather than proactively do something:
"Every day, my son and daughter sit at our window and look at other kids playing in the street, riding their bikes. "Please let us go outside," they say. But I don't let them. It's too dangerous."
And here's where we go back to "blame anybody but the criminals and terrorists" chorus:
"I don't have bitterness toward those young men who took my son from me. I even know two of them. One of them grew up with me in the neighborhood. It was just a bunch of young men with no direction trying to prove themselves."
Ah, yes. No direction. Need to prove yourself. Hey, I shot an innocent 8 year old by accident while trying to murder someone else! I've just proved I deserve a noose.

But wait, there's more: if the MURDERERS aren't culpable, who could be?? And here's our Blinded By the Light1 optimism for the day:
"The real problem, I think, is the guns. If those kids hadn't had guns, they could have had their fight without killing my son."
But of course. Just like if islamic terrorists didn't have dull machetes and bomber-vests, they could have their fights without murdering anybody. Because it's not the killers' fault, of course! They are not evil.

They just have a different perspective.

1 If we make things illegal like guns, all criminals will miraculously be converted like Saul, blinded by the light of reason and compassion, and start obeying the law.

Monday, November 28, 2005

When The Enemy Is Someone You Love

Here's a charming editorial note written by a fellow in Oregon that seems to well sum up the liberal opinion I see not only all over the internet, but newspapers as well:

We are in Iraq based on lies, and our military men and women are dying. This is President Bush's war, not America's war. There is no dishonor for the United States in stopping Bush's war.

I realize that the majority of the population is under the illusion that the mainstream mass media is free and unbiased. Americans today have a rather unique problem: our government has no nationwide media of its own, because it trusted the market--and anti-sedition laws--to use existing media sources to transmit information from the government to the people.

But in today's post-McCarthy world, America has become like the sad loser of a Copyright case: having so failed to defend the nation's right to non-seditious (and even non-treasonous) media, it would now be difficult to suddenly begin enforcing such basics without screams about freedom of speech being violated.

That freedom of speech allows dissent, anger and even outright name calling, and that this is not sedition--yet much of the behavior from politicians and media personalities of today is sedition--is hardly worth the breath to point out. The MSM is so disingeniously obtuse about even the simplest issue already, and this is a collective, empirical, judgement call requiring actual brain cells (...not to mention that missing-from-media quality of "good judgement").


The Russians with TASS always had it good, we can now see; the government-run media was known to be biased. Many locals would hear the news and then turn to their buddy and say, "So Ivan, what do you think is really going on?" My husband escaped from behind the iron curtain of Czechoslovakia in the early 1980's. He taught 8th grade, which was significantly more advanced than most college work in this country. It was no secret that their media and the more local-history and local-political aspects of media and education were propaganda. As a result, any person with a brain knew better than to accept it without question. Alas, in the USA we have been raised to believe that speech is free, that the media is unbiased, and that since there are many different papers and channels, it seems if most of them agree this would de facto prove it must be the truth.


The mainstream mass media of the USA today is to free speech what the mafia is to a family business. It's a lot of different people with relationships ranging from friendly, to influential, to affectionate, to naked in bed together. They may seem separate, but as I've said before, I consider today's USA mass media
a loosely collusive, seductive sedition by the "govern-by-media" coalition. The fact that this coalition has not formally registered as a business together (does the mafia?) let alone a competing-government (unless you count "The Democratic Party") does not prevent it from operating.


But here's a real twist: The liberal mass media and conservative share the same core problem: the enemy is often someone we love.

In the case of the media, they love our political enemies; terrorists who bomb innocent people, even children, are 'freedom fighters' (even when they were doing this long prior to 9/11 or Iraq, and later in countries which openly opposed the US going into Iraq, and in countries where they are killing other Muslims). If I began listing the comments even by major U.S. Democratic politicians that are provably outright contradictory lies, as well as many comments and behaviors clearly seditious (and even likely treasonous), we would be here all day, so I'll skip that, it's been done to death.

The bottom line is that the media is not even covert, subtle or inconsistent about it anymore: they now openly work to exploit the democratic process of the United States to overthrow not just the government individuals but the very style of government and primary premise of our nation, by mass propagandizing the public into fear and to revile our leadership and our values, during a time of war; they are marketing experts, and they attempt to leverage the fear and rage they create in the public, to persuade them to vote for the media's representatives, rather than America's representatives.


In the case of conservatives, we have a different love with the same problem: the people we love are often those very people indoctrinated and stirred by the govern-by-media sociopolitical networks. They watch TV, they read the paper, they went through a lifetime of institutionalized schooling that more than left its mark.

They are well intentioned. They are also usually incapable of holding a single coherent conversation and sticking to one point during it. I spent months online and with family members in an experiment that grew out of my frustration with political discussion but eventually became a psychological case study: the search for even one person who could hold up their end of an intelligent discussion without quickly devolving to
(a) catchy jingles promoted by the Left and the media on their behalf, which ignored facts entirely in lieu of slogans and 5-second sound-bytes;
(b) emotion reducing them to completely irrational, and/or
(c) instant wandering into many completely unrelated topics when it's clear that they cannot demonstrate any logic or reality about the one at hand.

To the degree that people have a different opinion, they are free to do so. To the degree that people rant and rave with opinion, that is free in this country also. But in the last couple of years, the unofficial "govern-by-media" coalition has moved the political left and right so
far left and right that they have finally circled around the back, run smack into one another, and climbed into bed with each other, and are now working against the "common enemy" of the founding tenets of America herself.

The ignorant and propagandized, and their resulting irrationalism, has created an entirely new kind of American: the Stepford Americans, who use the ideals (and permissions) of freedom to do active harm to the real ideals and freedoms in our country.

Sometimes, hopefully not often but sometimes, they are friends and family. We love them. But some of them, by accident or design, have literally become tools of the enemy, right inside our nation. Not because they are bad, but because they are ignorant--and having been properly whipped up into an emotional frenzy incapable of rational thought on the subject, no amount of education can dent their slogans.

How do we deal with that? What do you do when someone you honestly love, is not only just "really dense," and is not only "completely in disagreement," but may in some fashion be so entwined in what amounts to actual sedition that were any self-respecting government in place today they'd already be in jail?


Ironically in a way, the Stepford Politics are often advertised by the big white smiles of rich celebrities, that Accidental Monarchy created by the market of media, ever-selling us The Perfect World. The real world, unfortunately, has a massive number of people with a fairly organized and overt agenda--no secrets, no conspiracy, it's out in the open in writing and in repeated actions and statements for decades--to literally take over the world and kill everybody who doesn't bow to their extreme religio-political fanaticism, and to use every means possible (including pretending they are friendly and peaceful) to infiltrate, subvert and consume from within every other culture.

The bright smiles of the Perfect World's Stepford Representatives, of course, would have the public believe that all is happy in Barbie's Funhouse, that fashion merits more seriousness than international politics. It doesn't matter what is going on all over the world--much of which the media ignores entirely, the rest of which they present in tiny unrelated pieces while carefully removing the most critical point of commonality so Americans won't accidentally notice what is going on. According to the Stepford Americans, they seem to figure that anybody who take millions of murdering maniacs bent on the utter obliteration of democracy, freedom, etc. seriously is just grumpy and paranoid--and, they figure, probably rooted in the evil of George Bush, who in a convincing act, helped liberate tens of millions of people to freedom just to make it look like he cares about freedom. Hmmmn. That Poser.


Having your family fall in propaganda-based delusion with the mainstream media is rather like having your wife fall in love with a movie character. How can you compete with something that isn't real? With great throwaway one-liners and an entire presentation designed start to finish to "win her over" -- if not for a movie ticket, for a voting ticket.

Can we shake awake the innocently-obsessed, wake them to reason and rationalism, make them understand that the root-rot of America from within is our greatest danger?

It's easy to want to defeat the enemy. But what happens when someone you love becomes a tool of the enemy itself?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Family of Politics

In one way of looking at it, the root of all politics is fear.

The enterprise tendency of the capitalist fears that government will marginalize his efforts, prevent his production or usurp his profit, and otherwise interfere with his freedom to determine his own destiny. He demands a personal, business and religious environment free from the imposition of others: to be left alone, to do as he will, to sink or swim on his own merits.

The victim mentality of the socialist fears that his efforts will not be enough to sustain him; he fears to be alone. He demands a government that will impose a "safety factor" upon personal, business and religious environments, not just his own, but everybody else's as well, to be sure he is safe, not only from food-starvation but from love-starvation (such as hurt feelings).

One is an adult's mentality. One is a child's mentality.

In a political sense, the dynamics are the same: it is up to the adults to "care for and subsidize the helpless children." Except unfortunately, when those children age but never mature, the middle-class adult burden that should pass on as the children grow, instead becomes a life of indentured servitude.

The children take for granted their conditions, which are light years better than that their parents had; they take for granted the efforts of the parents to supply for them, and complain mightily about the restrictions and the unfairness of it all when expected to be even a little bit responsible. This is a learning curve most humans go through.

Then the children grow up, and they are forced to get a job "in the real world," or they trudge off to soldier, or they begin to raise children and work the farm, and they learn something about responsibility and personal accountability and, we hope, integrity, to finish the job of maturity that parenting had begun. As they raise children, the cycle of building-maturity begins again.

When one encounters an adult who operates politically from the base of childish fear from internal insecurity, rather than adult fear of external tyranny, what is the solution?

Can we call their life a do-over and ask them to please go through childhood again and get it right this time? Alas, we can't.

So what then? Do we just pretend to not notice that they are in desperate need of therapy and allow them to "play adult" with everybody else, to make them feel better?

Out of sheer pity (and lack of options) I might agree, if the chutzpah of their ignorance did not push so many of the worst examples of political childishness into actual political leadership.

It is not the blind leading the blind. It is the immature leading the insecure.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Hypocrisy of Liberals for Minorities

When the current Republican President appointed someone black, and someone female, and someone mexican (must I say 'hispanic'?) to some of the top positions of responsibility in the entire country, the people who were conservatives were not surprised. Why should they be? The people nominated were intelligent and competent. Who cares what race or gender they are? Yes, it's nice that there have been so many firsts like that in the Bush administration but hey, we can all see, it's certainly about time.

Every person of race or gender nominated in any Democrat administration damn near gets a month-long party as the media extolls the wonder of someone who is Not White having actually gotten into an important job. Yet look squarely at the numbers and the positions of greatest import and you can easily see that the Republicans are far more promotive of people without regard to race.

Yet still the Democrats try to pull the "race card" out, expecting the slavish vote-devotion of anybody who isn't white.

They may think they 'relate' to the poor barrio kids but I'm pretty sure those kids don't relate much to them.

It took a magnifying glass and tweezers to find the single (count them: 1) minority-race person in a minor position in the entire vast Kerry campaign a couple years ago. After that got publicized, the campaign was overcome with jobs for minorities, of course. That the media and liberals constantly equate being conservative with being a racist is the ultimate irony, as it is pretty much the opposite, as this makes clear. Still, it's not about what is true; it is about what gets said loudly enough, often enough. The liberals expect minorities to be like children, and to believe whatever they say, no matter what obvious evidence to the contrary exists.

The Democrats can say over and over, directly and indirectly, on TV, in movies, in magazines, in newspapers, that they are the "defenders" of the poor, of the minorities. That somehow, the Republicans are out to get ya, so you better vote for the Dems to defend you!

They expect the poor and minorities to believe this. They apparently think that if the education is bad enough and the TV is loud enough, they are home-free to capture all those votes for their side, because all those non-white folks out there will say, "Gosh and golly! Why, you're right! I'm voting for you, Mr. Rich White socialist! 'Cause you feel sorry for me and I need that!"

It's amazing. Now, I have met people of all races who are tuned out regarding these details, sure. That's just human nature. Not everybody is into politics.

But I have yet to see any evidence that non-whites or poor people of any race are as across-the-board stupid as the liberal left and its govern-by-media assume.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Unbelievable, the reversals (media lies)

This is a perfect example of how one event can be presented as the exact opposite of what it is in the media, and go on to take on a whole life of its own, as the ultimate in irony.

The Photo That Started It All

Sunday, November 20, 2005


I've been rethinking the blog idea. You know, I could spend time every day--several times a day--ranting about things I feel like ranting about. But then, I wouldn't be spending enough time on the things that matter to me. Like my little girl, or some of my personal pursuits.

I am more interested in social politics than international politics. And both are already done well in the blogosphere. I'm not sure what I have to contribute that is unique at this point, and I can talk on other blogs for the occasional urge.

I am leaving this blog up, occasionally posting something, but not daily. Next summer I will revisit it and decide if I want to make it a substantial project. In the meantime I might make it more useful by limiting my commentary to poetry and prose. Then at least I would be getting in some practice!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Changing culture from the inside

I posted this as a way-too-long comment on another blog about a week ago, and thought I ought to post it as an entry on my own blog.

I think the responsibility for integration into a culture lies with those immigrating, because it cannot be done any other way.

Any culture such as America is the sum total of its population. America has been strong not just because we had a hell of a set of founders, or the grand background of European culture, but also because basic human survival skills caused the Irish and Italian and English and German and Russian and a zillion other immigrant cultures to explore whatever strengths their person and culture had in order to succeed.

It isn't that people who were English and Italian had to like each other; they often didn't. They didn't even have to respect each other. They just had to avoid overstepping objective boundaries of law, which would get them imprisoned, or subjective boundaries of behavior, which might get them harmed or killed if the other guy didn't take it lying down. They both set up shops and bred animals and became scholars and learned to create products and established churches and wrote songs and everything else, and competed with each other to do well at it. The "larger culture" of America was forced to grow from the inside out by its members making a place for themselves within it.

The "larger" culture of America came to tolerate, accept and then respect its people and cultures gradually, because they showed themselves worthy of it over time and in sufficient numbers. It didn't come easy. It didn't come fast. Ask any North-Irish immigrant like some of my ancestors, who on discovering they were starving because they were Irish and nobody would hire them, changed their name to a respectable English "Hayes" and did just fine. (They could have changed it back later, but the land rush lost the detail, leaving them as mysterious to me as my non-roll Cherokee ancestors.) I am also Polish, German, French, English, and about nine other nationalities, all with their own cultures. I got the parts of those cultures that their people chose to keep in the family and the upbringing of their children, and not the parts they didn't. No government determined what being German in America was going to mean to my German family; they determined it.

Women in the USA did not come by their current right to vote (they couldn't until 1971 in Switzerland) because of European culture, nor did they come by it because of Multiculturalism. They came by it because as Americans they demanded their own space within American culture, they pursued it for years, and eventually they made it happen. Our whole culture is broader now; our country is stronger. As a woman, I look back on fairly recent history and the situation of women and I am aghast. Yet as a woman and an American, I look on those claiming to be feminists and representatives of my gender and I feel just as aghast. To quote a famous guy, A house divided against itself will fall.[1] What women accomplish in the culture of America--which is to be clearly differentiated from the government--is based on what women will strive to accomplish and what they example to others as they do so and when they do so. The culture will be forced to expand from within to accommodate women being what they wish to be, because as part of the culture we have the power to change it.

Like anybody else, when I was growing up, we simply learned to adapt to and accept what was around us. Grandfather came from Texas to California in a covered wagon in 1904 when he was four years old. When he came of age (which was much younger back then) he worked his butt off to eventually buy a tiny piece of land in the Ojai Valley, and planted two of every kind of fruit and nut tree he could get his hands on. He did any kind of work he could get. He did a lot of laying asphault as I recall, and making homemade lead weights and lures for fishing. Mother grew up with a dominant culture of english-german-french-other mix, overlaid with cowboy attitude, southern and texas-mexican foods. This is all I would have known, if all the other cultures of people around me had flatly refused to integrate. But they didn't close themselves off and sulk, lucky for both of us. The Danish, the Chinese, the Mexican, the Japanese -- as well as the American blacks -- that were around me lived like they pleased, pursued what they found of value, and built the businesses sometimes entire families worked their butts off in while living in a tiny house together for years--the same family that 15 years later was in a middle class tract home with a kid who was a top student headed for a good college. I learned to accept them as part of American culture not because someone told me I should, not because it was legally mandated, but because they accepted themselves as part of American culture and as a result, would not allow anybody else--even if those anybody-else's were biased--to prevent them succeeding.

I could not deny the fact (and had no reason to) that these cultures were worthy of respect, and had traditions and music and holidays quite interesting even to many others. They were part of my world, and hence, they were an extended part of my culture. True multiculturalism--I mean in spirit, not the political social-silicon creation currently touted under that label--is a natural side-effect of "the physical integration of self-respecting people." When you have only one of those two factors in place, you have discomfort. When you have neither of those factors in place, you have disaster.

The Islamic culture in particular takes great pride in "not integrating" with any other nation or culture. Under their openly stated tenets, they become a cultural Trojan horse when they do: they do not assimilate to join, to add to strength, but to subvert and/ or stamp out everything else. This is not an insult to say about them, this is what their own leaders and teachings say about them. Hence, they are not assimilated into any culture--starting with that of the French, but extending to that of nearly every other culture they exist within planet-wide. Unfortunately, the mind set of the religion taken 'literally' is pointedly incompatible with the existence of anybody who doesn't wish to be one of them. This is why when you remove the larger culture of non-Muslims from the equation, you still end up with the same war, terrorism and situations--carried out against other Muslims who "are not Muslim enough". Islam is a jihad without a cause--and so any cause, culture, people or situation will fill that need.

When any group--and this could include women, and American blacks as well as the French Islamics--set themselves apart from others, they deny themselves the opportunity to interact with others. They could bring understanding of all they are to the larger culture, but that cannot happen except by positive interaction. Shouts from a distance, complaints from a podium or forced-change through a law are not interaction. I've met men who were well educated about "culture," and walking encyclopedias on business law and its endless thou-shalts about race/religion/gender, who were so ignorant and biased about race/gender on a personal level it was breathtaking. But, show me a man who respects his "brainy" little sister, or whose best basketball buddy is a devout catholic, or whose favorite advising professor was a Jewish woman, or whose fearless Sergeant was Mexican, and you will know a man who understands their race, their religion, their gender, and their related cultures, as much as anybody not part of them can.

Respect is not a tithe, it is an emotion. You cannot "make" a person respect another any more than you can make a person love another. The only way to win someone's respect is not much different than the only way to win someone's love: you must interact with them. If a group refuses to interact with others, and hence the others have no particular reason to respect the group in general let alone its people in specific, that is the responsibility of the group.

Every "nation-culture" has its biases in favor of the majority race, religion, etc. Yet any person such as myself who has grown up in the melting pot of America, in a melting pot of race and culture and religion not just in others but even in myself, can see the dynamics of how integration works (and doesn't). Changes in a culture must come from inside its walls. Culture is the personality of the collective soul: you cannot change it by the restriction of law; it must grow by expansion from within.

[1] No, not Lincoln! -- Jesus, per Luke 11:17

Sunday, November 13, 2005


A friend asked me why I call the blog McTANK (my real name is on the copyright). Well, because me ranting here reminded me of that silly old joke:

A young man is drafted into the army and shows up near the front line. There isn't enough equipment to go around and the captain hands him a stick and says, "Pretend this is a gun. Just go, Bangety-bangety-bang!--it works." The terrified private finds himself on the front line and, having no other option, grabs the stick and shouts, Bangety-bangety-bang! and several advancing enemy soldiers fall down. Wow, he thinks, it works!

He continues throughout the battle, rolling into foxholes and taking up strategic positions and Bangety-bangety-bang! always seems to work. Hours later an enemy soldier is coming slowly but grimly toward him and he keeps shooting but it's not working! And the guy just plows right over him and as he goes down hollering into the dirt he hears the soldier muttering to himself, Tankedy-tankedy-tankedy...

I'm sure the joke started based on the equipment issues often seen in the military, but to me it humorously represents bloggers like me who haven't any way to apply real weapons to The Good Fight, so we live in our heads, and our tankedy mutterings. Ya do what ya can.

We're with you in spirit boys.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Find Me Somebody To Love

* updated *

One by one, people I liked, respected, admired, have proven themselves to be totally media-led imbeciles.

Springsteen broke my heart. Now one of my favorite actors, John Cusack, too. The list is so long that I'm beginning to wonder if there is any person in Hollywood that I can continue to have any respect for.

Here's one: James Woods (on the Clintons) [ thx cb]:

"....acted absolutely true to form. ... They are the most sociopathic, destructive people who have ever set foot in the White House. We will look back on these eight years as the most corrupt and debilitating abuse of power in the history of the presidency."

Wow. An actor with a brain. I'm going to make a point to see his stuff more.

Update: here's one I missed. From tLT (thanks to Rantburg):

Bruce Willis, the American film star, has offered $1m to any civilian who turns in Zarqawi or Bin Laden.

Thank God. If Bruce turned out to be a liberal guppy I think I might have just sat down and cried. I own nearly every movie he's made.

The Death of Debate

I keep reading. But I have yet to see a single person of liberal political persuasion who can have an intelligent discussion online without either devolving into assumptive/BigLie tactics or without deceptively spinning into side-topics and different aspects of a topic in order to evade directly addressing the subject at hand.

I've been forcing myself to read blogs and news sources from all political points. But I'm beginning to wonder why even the most seemingly bright and credentialed people on the left seem to lose all discernment or critical thinking when it comes to politics. They assume on criminal intentions from anybody conservative as a given, which right off profoundly skews everything, and then they overlook even garishly obvious and proven lies and distortion from their own side, and they present a 'case' that sounds more like an emotional 14 year old than someone of their seeming age and achievements.

I wrote about this a long time ago on a listserver, and a week later editorialist John Leo published a column saying nearly the same thing. I guess a lot of people can SEE it. But how can we understand it?

Aside from say, posession, or more likely "attachments" as some say, I'm at a loss to explain the consistency of this phenomenon. I suggested this some time ago and someone else just sent me an email suggesting that -- hilarious -- and neither of us are particularly religious. I guess it just goes to show how bewildering it really seems.

I'm collecting blogs and links I think are cool to add to this site in a few days. I'm joining a local gun club. Donating to some of the good causes for soldiers, renewed my NRA membership, and made several icons of personal slogans that I put on this page. I can't change the world, but I can better-focus in my little corner of it.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Silver Linings

Warped humor:

I was reading a comment were someone said, "Islam will harvest France" and I thought to myself, "Yeah, heh, good thing they aren't cannibals!"  

Then I thought, "Well on the bright side, they couldn't eat us--we're capitalist pigs!" 


A long, long way from home

California acts like an immature college student. They have a fantastic situation, yet still manage to get themselves in majorly deep ____ regularly. They finally realize they are on the verge of doom, they have maxx'd the credit card and mashed a fender and are in big trouble, at which point they are happy for some strong daddy personality to come along, like Reagan or Schwartzenegger, to bail their butts out of the economic holding cell. They agree, yes daddy, that's what I want, I want to fix it. But once a little time passes, they relax... kick back, man... and suddenly the party is more important and daddy's "budget plan" is just some unfair imposition of authority to rebel against.

I was born in Ojai and my heart will ever reside there, despite the hollyweird crowd that molested it until it is now unrecognizeable. But I am so glad to be half a continent away. I know he can't, but on a moral level, I think Arnold should tell them to get stuffed and go on to do something more constructive with his time.

Meanwhile in San Francisco, they passed a bill yesterday banning all handguns -- no owning, buying, selling, manufacturing, or trading them for any reason in any form, nor ammunition.

They could not, of course, ban the criminal element from having firearms. Ironically, not others, either:

The law does not bar nonresidents from lawfully possessing handguns within city limits. [AP]

I see. So San Francisco may still be filled with weapons from criminals and from visitors but, rest assured, the law abiding citizens will not have any.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Worthy Causes, here's one

There's a formalized project to collect donations from the grassroots to purchase "voice enabled" laptops for U.S. soldiers to use, who've had their hands severely injured or worse, so while they are in the hospital recovering they can read, blog, send email to their family, etc. This is a great cause, since even reading isn't much of an option when you can't hold or move anything. The site home is Project Valour IT (click that link to donate). They take even tiny donations (even $5, anything), and it's a great cause. The official text is:
Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse.

All funds received go directly to our wounded troops; 100% of your donation to Project Valour-IT will be used to purchase the laptop, software and accessories that will provide independence and freedom to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.
A neat sketch from a site with great political cartoons:


To Work or Not To Work

Some say that in France, Muslim immigrants flatly refuse to 'integrate' with society, and insist on carving out territories that are not only all-muslim but are dangerous or deadly to the entry of anybody who isn't. They also say that as they have a lack of both capital and ambition, there are few jobs in their Islam-only pseudo-cities, which only increases poverty---and money the entire country pays to support them. It's expected that at some point they will demand the land they essentially stole-to-own and bring violent insistence they be "given" it officially.

(Used to be you had to bring in a foreign Army for all-out war literally capture the land of another country. Then again... we're talking about France, here.)

In the recent and ongoing riots in France, one of the things that keeps getting reported is how unemployment is so high in those areas and how lack of jobs is such an issue--assumed to be the government's fault in this case--and behind the rage of the rioters. I just saw something that made me wonder if there aren't other factors regarding that lack of a job issue. Over on lfg quoting df they posted:

...a booklet distributed by the Saudi Embassy in Washington offers instructions on how to “build a wall of resentment” between Muslims and infidels, said Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom.
Among the book’s directives: “Never greet the Christian or Jew first. Never congratulate the infidel on his holiday. Never befriend an infidel unless it is to convert him. Never imitate the infidel. Never work for an infidel,” Shea quoted during a committee hearing.

So it's actually a common tenet or encouragement to "not work for an infidel"?!

No wonder these people have such a high rate of unemployment compared to the rest of France. Maybe a good number of them are not willing to work for anyone in "the rest of" France.


McTANK Miscellany

In the category of stuff we knew but liberals won't wonder about: The Dept. of Defense says it has a problem recruiting from urban schools (ip) because the students are so undereducated they don't qualify even for the lowest standards of military entrance. (And to think, throughout history and around the world, the Army was always a last resort job option even for those whose only skill was breathing and marching. Although our modern military has made it a whole spectrum of specialties.) 

Twice as many young adults from rural areas as from urbania qualify to make it into the military. So the fact that the military is heavily skewed conservative apparently isn't because only conservatives join, but because so many people from the heaviest liberal zones are too stupid to get in. Gee that changes the perspective a bit, doesn' t it.

Especially when it's liberals always bragging about how conservatives are morons because the higher education in this country is held by a greater percentage of people who are liberal. Of course, the lowest education is also held by a greater percentage of people who are liberal, but for some reason that doesn't count.

This reminds me of how the Left is always saying that republicans are 'the rich' and they give admonition to everybody who is female, non-white, or poor that "believe me, republicans are not your friends" (because they are 'the rich'). Yet the Democratic leaders (John Kerry anyone?) and the people who most fervently drive the Left's propaganda and mass political efforts (Soros, Streisand, Fonda) are also obscenely rich.

What part of "you can't be a socialist-communist unless you share your OWN money with others who are poor" don't these people get? And what part of, "Those claiming to share your pain are living in a $40 million home in Beverly Hills, and the people who say they exist to help you clearly pity you and after 50 years you're still in poverty so remind me how they're helping you again?" don't the voters understand?

Humor: It's nice to know that in the contrast between another day in mundania and the insanity of world affairs, someone, somewhere, is doing something interesting (db). It's nearly 7am here. Do you know where your goat is?

You know about that bizarre tendency to label every American with their racial background prefixed. I think only the activists for African-American cared at first, but this got pushed on everybody, so now my buddy Lynne is Italian-American, for example, though she's never even been to italy, nor have her parents, and has no desire to label her nationality with her race. (In fact that is the one thing that America always had that almost no other country did: a national or country label that had no denotion to race. Personally I think that's a good thing.) To think that as a country we made this massive effort to remove "racial labels" and then came the campaign to sticky-note them all back on again. I am 15 nationalities, a true melting pot American. Can you imagine me trying to hyphenate myself in an introduction?

We now hear the insistence that "gay" not represent gay women (the term "lesbian" must be used). But wait, this comes in a funnier context or I wouldn't mention it: Safire, mascot for the NY Times, also says that the word "homosexual" is not to be used anymore, in part because, would you believe, "the term has been associated with deviance." Hello? Isn't this like saying "it's ok to be deviant from the norm because you're not really deviant from the norm."? So... instead of people being openly however they are and asking for acceptance of that (and I accept that!), they want to be repackaged in PR terms so they don't strike anybody as different? Now this would make perfect sense to me on a basic level, that all humans are equal so why fret about such differences, but this makes NO sense coming from special interest groups and publications which exist solely to define and support the difference between 'their' people and 'everybody else'.To me that's like saying, "On behalf of the Conservatives For Oklahoma association, I request that you no longer use the term "conservative" in connection with our members, because it might give people the idea that we are conservative." (Moreover, calling us Okies is definitely biased!)

But wait, there's so much more. Safire continues to note that being gay is "not about sex" but about "attitudes and culture." It's not about sex? WTF?! If I marry a man, I can have the identical attitude and culture as a woman who is living with a woman, so should I call myself a lesbian? What if my husband shares that attitude and culture? Is HE a lesbian? And what about that culture comment, does that imply that growing up with or living in a neighborhood with lesbians makes me a lesbian? The entire point of lesbians "singling out" themselves as their own group isn't because they share a love for jazz, or a liberal mindset, or a neighborhood, but because they innately mate with other women, and I don't see how pretending that is NOT the case is any service to them at all. 

To me this is the same kind of "we speak for you and we are helping you as your leaders" insulting BS that gets perpetuated on the black community by some of their leaders. I side with the mentality that says, "I am/do/feel X and I'm proud to be me so get outta my face about it!" Apparently if we call someone homosexual because they are homosexual, we are now insulting them. Alrighty then.

Meanwhile in the land of the free, home of the occasionally stupid, the Mayor of Las Vegas must have been having an Out-of-Jihadi experience during a recent interview when he first suggested they mutilate people for graffiti (cut off their thumbs) and then used as his backing logic the Guillotine in old France. (db) I'm trying to decide which of these associations is the worse example at this moment in world events.

The New York Civil Liberties Union vehemently opposes bag-searches on subways, which the city wants to implement to reduce the chance some terrorist will take a bomb onto a train. (Of course, if this is not done and a subway is blown up, it will be all George Bush's fault, for having dared wake up that morning.) They feel this is "an unjustifiable erosion" of personal rights. Ironically, if you would like to visit them to discuss their presentations, you have to be searched before getting in the door. (nys, cd) Boy that's walking what you talk eh. I admit I am a little confused about why (a) if it's injust on the subway, it isn't injust on planes, and (b) if it's injust even for legal or governing authorities, it wouldn't be injust for anybody (e.g., those who run rock concerts, or lead White House tours).

An American who grew up in Holland writes a nice essay in her blog about the change in political foundations that her family back in Europe seems to have gone through (worth reading):
Europeans reject the individualistic, direct, confident, and uncomplicated American that is George Bush, that is Ronald Reagan. Why? Because that is the person that left the Old World to seek a better opportunity across the Atlantic. Europeans could never really deal with these far-flung family members that came back with stories of big houses, big cars and an abundance of food that many in Europe did not know existed. Resentment, probably yes, self-reproach for not having been adventurous enough? Maybe. America represents a level of success and makeability that Europeans never had and to the extent they had it we will have to go back to the industrial revolution and before, to find it. That spirit has somehow left them and those left behind will go as far to jeopardize their own security in order to prove their point about America.

Humor: As any devout cat servant knows (as they say, dogs have owners--cats have staff), this poor German cat was simply stealing it so he could play it with for awhile before eating it. (db)