Archive for September, 2012

The Obama Cult

September 20, 2012

I do not like President Barack Obama. No, it is not because he is Black, or that he grew up in Indonesia, or that he hung out with Communists and terrorists. It is not because he is a very Liberal Democrat or that I do not approve of his policies or that I don’t think he is a good President at all. The main reason that I do not like the President is because of the creepy cult that has developed among his more enthusiastic supporters. To them, Obama has never been just another politician, even a worthy one, but a Messiah figure, a world historical leader who is destined to change the course of history. I don’t want to make any comparison of Barack Obama to Hitler, or any other figure. He clearly is not, but politicians whose followers worship them make me a little nervous.

Perhaps I am over reacting. Well, here is the new Obama flag.

Jessica Alba wants to pledge allegiance to Barack Obama.

The Obama campaign has launched its “For All” campaign, encouraging supporters to take pictures of themselves with their hands on their hearts and a note explaining why they support President Obama.

Actress Jessica Alba uses the Pledge of Allegiance as an example of the campaign in an email to supporters.

“Growing up, my classmates and I started every day with a ritual: We’d stand up, put our right hand over our hearts, and say the Pledge of Allegiance,” explains Alba. “To me, that gesture was a promise. A promise to be involved and engaged in this country’s future. A promise to work for liberty and justice — and for affordable education, health care, and equality — for all.”

Alba joins Hollywood actresses Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson by photographing herself with her hand on her heart pledging to vote for Obama.

“That’s why all across the country, people like you and I are proudly writing down our reasons for getting involved, and then taking the pledge — to vote.”

Obama campaign staffers have also begun posting photos of themselves with the pledge.

“Make sure you’re ready to vote this fall,” Alba writes. “Putting your hand over your heart is making a promise. Casting your ballot is keeping it.”

Speaking of creepy, here is Obama’s Campaign Manager making the pledge.

I am not sure I want him sending me any more e-mail.

Who can forget the Obama Children’s Choir.

 

And the children’s book.

 

 

And so much more.

 

Go to Human Events for a more complete visual history of the cult.

Even if Barack Obama’s policies were ones that I agreed with, that I felt were what was best for the country, I would still find all of this disturbing. I do not want any politician to be my savior. I prefer dull politicians like Cincinnatus who do the job and then go home without any hero worship.

 

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Constitution Replaced by Sharia Law

September 17, 2012

 

Well, maybe not yet, but this story in the Los Angeles Times leads me to wonder how long before it will be imposed on us.

Just after midnight Saturday morning, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Muslim world.Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies escorted a man believed to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula to an awaiting car. The man declined to answer questions on his way out and wore a hat and a scarf over his face. He kept his hands in the pockets of a winter coat.

Sheriff’s officials could not be reached by The Times, but department spokesman Steve Whitmore told KNBC News that deputies assisting the federal probation department took Nakoula to the sheriff’s substation in Cerritos for interviewing.

Authorities waited until most media had left for the day to take Nakoula in.

Earlier Friday, sheriff’s deputies had to escort attorneys through a scrum of news cameras into Nakoula’s home. When the man was taken away early Saturday, authorities had to dodge only a lone photographer for The Times and a few lingering reporters.

Nakoula has told the Associated Press that he was a logistics manager on the “Innocence of Muslims” movie, not the director. He told a Coptic Christian bishop on Thursday that he had no role in it, the clergyman told The Times.

Nakoula is believed to use the alias Sam Bacile, which was the name a caller who took credit for the film gave to the AP and the Wall Street Journal.

On Friday, U.S. courts spokeswoman Karen Redmond said the Office of Probation in the Central District of California was reviewing whether Nakoula, who has been convicted on bank fraud charges, violated terms of his probation in relation to the video and its uploading onto the Internet.

He had been ordered not to own or use devices with access to the Internet without approval from his probation officer -– and any approved computers were to be used for work only. “Defendant shall not access a computer for any other purpose,” the terms read.

Restrictions were also placed on him enlisting others to get on the Internet for him.

How dare an infidel dog say or write anything the least bit uncomplimentary about the Holy Prophet Mohammed! It’s about time those dhimmis learned their place, right?

The truth is, that this film that no one has seen is not the cause of the unrest in the Islamic world, only a pretext. If this film hadn’t been made, they would have found some other excuse to riot and murder. That is why these acts of appeasement are ultimately futile. Nothing we do will ever satisfy them short of mass conversions to Islam and any act of what they see as weakness will only encourage more atrocities against us.

 

Rosh Hashanah

September 17, 2012

 

 

I have been negligent in not mentioning that Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year, began at sundown yesterday. This year the holiday falls on September 16-18. I wrote about the origins of Rosh Hashanah last year here.

It is a little late but here is the shofar blowing.

 

Shana Tova everyone.

 

 

The Book of Lost Tales

September 16, 2012

 

Cover of "Book of Lost Tales: Pt. 1 (Hist...

Cover via Amazon

J. R. R. Tolkien was the beloved author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The publication of those two books made him rich and famous all over the world, but the work he was really interested in, his magnum opus, was his collection of the legends and history of the Elves titled the Silmarilion. Tolkien worked on these stories his entire life but when he died in 1973, they were still uncompleted. Fortunately his son and literary heir, Christopher Tolkien, took it upon himself to polish the stories and set them in order so the Silmarilion finally saw publication in 1977.

When I said that the Silmarilion was unfinished, I did not mean that the story breaks off abruptly or that the stories were undeveloped. Tolkien was a perfectionist and kept rewriting the legends over and over, never seeming to want to complete a final, definitive version. Christopher Tolkien’s main task was in deciding which details to use and maintaining some consistency throughout the published Silmarilion.

J. R. R. Tolkien also seems to have been a bit obsessive about keeping every scrap of paper he ever used to write down story outlines, experimental dialog, character sketches, etc. Christopher Tolkien was able to sort out and organize this vast compendium of material and publish it as a multi-volume work which he called The History of Middle Earth. The first two volumes included the earliest versions of the legends and were called The Book of Lost Tales. Later volumes presented later versions and early drafts of the Lord of the Rings, as well as Tolkien’s attempts at writing epic poetry and miscellaneous essays Tolkien wrote on various matters relating to Middle Earth.

These books, while they can be tedious in the amount of detail and commentary that Christopher Tolkien provides, are nevertheless quite interesting. You almost have the feeling that you are sitting right next to Tolkien as he writes out the latest revision of the Lord of the Rings. Often he makes significant changes as he writes. For example, the scene in which Frodo and his friend encounter a Black Rider for the first time, began as an encounter with a white rider who turned out to be Gandalf. Tolkien wrote about a paragraph of dialog and then scratched out white and wrote black instead. He rewrote the entire encounter, reusing as many of the details that still fit the new storyline. Tolkien was very conservative and often kept using the same details and descriptions, even when he changed the plot.

There must have been few authors whose writing process a researcher can study in such detail. I am afraid that there will be no more. Today, a writer who wants to make changes in his manuscript can simply delete and rewrite with a few clicks on the keyboard. I don’t imagine there would be any writers so vain as to save every single version of everything they have written for posterity to read. Tolkien wasn’t thinking about preserving his thoughts. He simply didn’t throw any of his papers away.

I am normally a great technophile, but in this case technology has caused us to lose something.

 

Barack Nero Claudius Obama

September 16, 2012

Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, more familiarly known as Nero was one of the most notorious of the Roman Emperors. Many historians have depicted him as a monster of vice and cruelty. He really wasn’t all that bad, though. He reign was actually mostly successful until the end. Still, I wouldn’t call him exactly good either. He did murder his own mother and he was the first of the emperors to persecute the Christians. One of the most prominent and long-lasting stories about Nero is that when the City of Rome nearly burned completely down in 64 A.D., Nero did nothing to try to help anyone and instead played his fiddle while singing of the fall of Troy.

That story is almost certainly fictional. For one thing the violin had not been invented yet, so Nero would have played a lyre. Actually, Nero was out of town when the fire broke out, but rushed back to Rome as soon as he received the news. There wasn’t much anyone could do to fight the fire in those days, but Nero did open up his palace gardens to house the Romans made homeless by the fire. Unfortunately, after the fire finally burned out, Nero decided to rebuild Rome, replacing the old, narrow streets and crowded tenements with a rationally designed new Rome, which included a huge new palace for himself. This started the rumor that Nero had started the fire himself and led to his blaming the Christians and persecuting them.

Whatever the truth of the story, however, the phrase fiddling while Rome burns has become a byword for someone who takes no action or is distracted by trivialities when things are falling apart all around them. Which, brings us to our modern Nero.

The entire Middle East is burning and Barack Obama doesn’t seem to be taking matters at all seriously. Well, he does take fund raising for his reelection campaign seriously.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is getting a boost from pop stars Beyonce and Jay-Z.

The superstar couple will hold a fundraiser with Obama on Tuesday at a swanky New York nightclub that Jay-Z owns.

Tickets are $40,000, but the campaign says a small donation lands a chance to win two tickets — airfare and hotel included.

Beyonce says in an email to Obama’s supporters that she’s a huge fan and will do whatever it takes to help him win a close race.

This isn’t the first time the Obamas have teamed up with the A-list couple to promote each other’s causes. Michelle Obama helped Beyonce with efforts to promote global humanitarianism, and the president appeared in a pre-recorded video earlier this month at a Jay-Z event in Philadelphia.

Yet, he can’t take time off from his busy schedule to attend daily intelligence briefings, heed warnings that our embassies might come under attack, meet with the Israeli Prime Minister over Iran’s continuing progress in making itself a nuclear power, or even take our looming fiscal catastrophe seriously. He might as well be fiddling.

Romney is Right

September 13, 2012

 

Mitt Romney has attacked Barack Obama for the statements his administration has released after the attack on the US embassy in Cairo.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday issued a paper statement sharply critical of President Barack Obama over his handling of violence in the Middle East earlier in the day.

“I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi,” Romney said in the statement. “It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

Naturally, Obama’s defenders in the Democratic Party and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) have attacked Romney for playing politics, etc. They have suggested that this was a major mistake on Romney’s part. I don’t agree. The statement by the embassy and Obama’s first response were disgraceful. I read a column by Gail Collins, titled Mitt’s Major Meltdown. I think it is Obama’s middle eastern policies that are suffering from a major meltdown but here are some excerpts.

Mitt Romney broke our deal.

Perhaps he didn’t know he’d made it, although, really, I thought it was pretty clear.

He could do anything he wanted during this campaign as long as he sent out signals that once he got in the White House he was not likely to be truly crazy.

We, in return, were going to be able to continue with our normal sleeping patterns through the fall.

Here is the Republican candidate for president of the United States on Wednesday, explaining why he broke into a moment of rising international tension and denounced the White House as “disgraceful” for a mild statement made by the American Embassy in Cairo about the importance of respecting other people’s religions:

“They clearly — they clearly sent mixed messages to the world. And — and the statement came from the administration — and the embassy is the administration — the statement that came from the administration was a — was a statement which is akin to apology and I think was a — a — a severe miscalculation.”

Feel free to reread this when you’re staring at the ceiling at 4 a.m.

This all began on Sept. 11. There were protests in the Middle East, at least some of them involving an anti-Islamic movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” which depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a cowardly, drunken torturer of children and old women. I did not see any puppies being dismembered, but then I only watched the 14-minute trailer.

A man identifying himself as Sam Bacile told The Wall Street Journal that he made it in California with $5 million from more than 100 donors. However, nothing Bacile said about himself seemed to hold up in the light of day. And if he did raise $5 million, those donors need to hire a lawyer. The trailer looks as though it was made by a 13-year-old boy with access to a large supply of fake beards.

The film popped up on YouTube dubbed in Arabic, stirring outrage. In response, the American Embassy in Cairo said it deplored “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

Does that seem all that bad to you, people? It was definitely a film whose only point was to offend people of the Islamic faith. I would also call whoever made it not well-guided.

Yes, it does seem bad to me. The statement was essentially shifting the blame for the violence in Egypt and later Libya from the mob that was perpetrating it to the film that allegedly incited the mob. The idea seems to be that no one anywhere may do or say anything that any Moslem might possibly find offensive or that Moslem will react with a murderous rage that the person who offended him will be responsible. That can’t work, unless the whole world is willing to live under Sharia law.

It doesn’t matter in the slightest if someone wants to make a film that portrays the false prophet Mohammed in a bad light. They have every right in the world to do so. If someone is offended by this, too bad. That doesn’t give them the right to murder and riot.

The only proper statement from an American president would be a unequivocal denunciation of the rioters and a clear statement that we will not censor ourselves or abridge our God-given liberty to appease a group of savages halfway around the world. Giving in to these barbarians, even a little, is not only despicable and cowardly but also unwise.  If you give into a bully once, he will expect you to do so again and again and will keep on getting worse. It is long past time we began to stand up against these bullies in the Moslem world.

 

Deja Vu

September 11, 2012

Here is another item I read at USA Today. It seems to me that I have seen something like this before but I can’t quite remember where.

Egyptian demonstrators climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo today and pulled down the American flag to protest a film they say is insulting to the prophet Mohammad.

Update at 2:07 p.m. ET: CNN reports that U.S. security guards fired a volley of warning shots as the crowd gathered outside the embassy walls.

CNN adds that the embassy had been expecting a demonstration and cleared all diplomatic personnel earlier from the facility.

Original post: The Associated Press reports that embassy officials say there was no staff inside at the time.

Reuters reports that protesters tried to raise a black flag carrying the slogan: “There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.”

The news agency says about 2,000 protesters have gathered outside the embassy and about 20 have scaled the walls.

The AP says the protesters were largely ultra-conservative Islamists.

Iran’s FARS news agency says the film is the work of a group of “extremist” members of the Egyptian Coptic Church in the United States.

Al Ahram online says the film is reportedly being produced by U.S.-based Coptic-Christian Egyptians, including Esmat Zaklama and Morees Sadek, with the support of the Terry Jones Church in the United States.

Jones is the evangelical pastor who stirred controversy last year by threatening to burn a Quran in public.

CNN says the film in question is a Dutch production.

The AP says clips of the film available on YouTube show the prophet having sex and question his role as the messenger of Godâ??s words.

After the protest, the U.S. Embassy issued this statement on its website:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims â?? as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of other

The Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Gomaa strongly condemned the movie, AllAfrica.com reports.

“Freedom of speech does not warrant desecrating sanctities,” Gomaa said in a statement Sunday.

Oh, yes. Iran. An embassy seizure would be all we need to complete the “Carterization” of Barack Obama.

By the way, I am a little disgusted by the U. S. Embassy’s statement, not to mention Ali Gomaa’s. Yes, freedom of speech does indeed mean that you have to tolerate what you might believe to be desecration. Otherwise, it is not really freedom of speech at all.It is not an abuse of the universal right of free speech to question or even to insult someone’s religious beliefs. Even, if it were, no hurt feelings justify the sort of violent rage these people have demonstrated.

The fact that this Grand Mufti of Egypt is excusing these people’s’ actions, and perhaps even encouraging them is a good indication what direction Egypt is heading. The fact that the U. S. Embassy, which ought to be standing up for freedom of religion and expression has issued such a mealy mouthed, spineless statement is a good indication that we are not going to do anything to stop Egypt from going down the road to Hell.

 

Punish Leakers

September 11, 2012

I read in USA Today that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta wants to punish the ex-Navy SEAL who wrote about the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is suggesting some kind of punishmentfor the retired Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the Osama bin Laden military operation.

“I think we have to take steps to make clear to him and to the American people that we’re not going to accept this kind of behavior,” Panetta said today on CBS This Morning.

Panetta said that “people who are part of that operation — who commit themselves to the promise that they will not reveal the sensitive operations and not publish anything without bringing it through the Pentagon, so that we can ensure that it doesn’t reveal sensitive information — when they fail to do that, we have got to make sure that they stand by the promise they made to this country.”

Written under the pseudonym Mark Owen, the book No Easy Day details the nighttime raid into Pakistan that killed bin Laden in May 2011.

I agree completely. You can’t have somebody with inside knowledge of secret military operations leaking details for the whole world to read about. I will be expecting some sort of punishment for one Mr. Obama who leaked secrets for political gain.

Pat Buchannan is Still an Idiot

September 11, 2012

At least I think so, judging from his latest Townhall column. I might as well quote the whole thing.

What is Bibi Netanyahu up to?

With all his warnings of Iran’s “nuclear capability,” of red lines being crossed, of “breakout,” of the international community failing in its duty, of an “existential threat” to Israel, what is the prime minister’s game?

The answer is apparent. Bibi wants Iran’s nuclear program shut down, all enrichment ended, all enriched uranium removed and guarantees that Iran will never again start up a nuclear program.

And if Tehran refuses to surrender its right even to a peaceful nuclear program, he wants its nuclear facilities, especially the enrichment facility at Fordow, deep inside a mountain, obliterated.

And he wants us to do it.

How has Bibi gone about getting America to fight Israel’s war?

He is warning, indeed threatening, that if we do not set a date certain for Iran to end enrichment of uranium, and assure Israel that we will attack Iran if it rejects our ultimatum, Israel will bomb Iran and start the war itself.

Fail to give us assurances that you will attack Iran if Iran refuses to surrender its nuclear “capability,” Bibi is warning, and we will attack Iran, with all the consequences that will have for you, for us and for the Middle East.

This is diplomatic extortion.

Thus far, Obama has called Bibi’s bluff, assuming it is a bluff.

The United States has refused to set a date certain by which Iran must end all enrichment. Hillary Clinton said this weekend that we are “not setting deadlines.” And the election, which could give Obama a free hand to pursue his own timetable and terms for a deal with Tehran, is only eight weeks off.

If Obama, no fan of Bibi, wins, he can tell Bibi: We oppose any Israeli pre-emptive strike. If you attack Iran, we will not support you. Nor will we follow up an Israeli attack with an American attack.

Bibi’s dilemma: Despite his threats of Israeli strikes on Iran, Tehran is taunting him. His Cabinet is divided. The Shas Party in his coalition opposes a war, as do respected retired generals, former Mossad leaders and President Shimon Peres.

And the Americans have sent emissaries, including Secretary Leon Panetta, to tell Bibi we oppose an Israeli attack. The Pentagon does not want war. Three former U.S. Central Command heads oppose a war. And last week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey said he does not wish to be “complicit” in any Israeli attack.

Implied in the word “complicit” is that Dempsey believes an Israeli first strike on Iran could be an act of aggression.

The Israelis were furious, but suddenly the war talk subsided.

From the clashes, public and private, between these two close allies, it is apparent the United States shares neither Israel’s assessment of the threat nor Israel’s sense of urgency.

Why not? Why, when Netanyahu says Israel is facing an “existential threat,” do the Americans dismiss it?

The first reason is the elephant in the room no one mentions: Israel’s own nuclear arsenal. If Fordow is a difficult target for Israel to destroy with conventional air strikes, it could be annihilated with a single atom bomb.

And Israel has hundreds.

Indeed, if Israel has ruled out use of an atomic weapon, even when it says its very existence is threatened, and neoconservatives claim that Iran’s mullahs are such death-wishing fanatics they cannot be deterred even by nuclear weapons, what is Israel’s awesome atomic arsenal for?

What this suggests is that the Israelis do not believe what they are saying. Their nuclear deterrent is highly credible to all their neighbors. Their existence is not in imminent peril. And the mullahs are not madmen.

When Ronald Reagan was about to take the oath, suddenly those mullahs, assessing that the new American president might be a man of action, not just words, had all the U.S. hostages winging their way home.

When the USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian airliner in 1988, the Ayatollah Khomeini, founding father of the Islamic Republic, ended his war with Iraq on unfavorable terms, fearing America was about to intervene on the side of Saddam Hussein.

Like all rulers, good and evil, Iran’s leaders want to preserve what they have — families, homes, lives, privileges, possessions, power. When suicide missions are ordered, you do not read of ayatollahs or of Iranian politicians driving the truck or wearing the vest.

Moreover, the latest report of the international inspectors reveals that while Iran increased its supply of uranium enriched to 20 percent since last spring, an even larger share of that 20-percent uranium has been diverted to make fuel plates for Iran’s U.S.-provided research reactor to make medical isotopes.

If there is no reason to go to war with Iran, there is every reason not to go to war. Notwithstanding the alarmist rhetoric of Bibi and Ehud Barak, President Obama should stand his ground. And on this one, Gov. Romney should stand with the president, not the prime minister.

Let’s do a little alternate history/fantasy here. What if there were terrorists operating throughout the Southwest, demanding that the region be returned to Mexico, its rightful owner? What if Brazil were ruled by fanatic Catholics who were funding these terrorists and demanding the destruction of the Protestant Entity to the north? What if we had good evidence that Brazil was developing nuclear weapons and its president proclaimed that the United Stated was a cancer that he would destroy? Does Pat Buchanan seriously believe that we wouldn’t be organizing military action against Brazil? Why in the world don’t we want the Israelis to defend themselves against a regime that has openly proclaimed its desire to exterminate them? Isn’t one holocaust per century enough?

And, contrary to what Pat Buchanan believes, this isn’t really a case of Israel dragging us into its war. Perhaps he has forgotten, but seizing a country’s embassy and holding its diplomatic personnel hostage is an act of war. Iran has, in fact, been at war with the US for over 30 years. Just because our leaders like to pretend that isn’t the case, doesn’t mean that Iran’s leaders are so blind. The truth is that Israel is preparing to do what we ought to have done a long time ago.

 

Eleven Years Since 9/11

September 11, 2012

 

Another year has gone by and it is September 11 again. I am not sure if I really have anything to add to my comments from last year. There have been memorials going on all over the country and the world, but all of these are useless if we do not heed the lessons we should have learned from that tragic day.

I know that few Americans are paying attentions to foreign affairs lately. We have a bad economy to contend with and a presidential election coming up. I wish that more Americans, including some in the White House, would realize that the world is still a dangerous place, even if Osama bin Ladin is no longer in it. We ought to be a lot more concerned about how the Arab Spring is rapidly turning into the Islamic nightmare all over the Middle East. We ought to be thinking how many more bin Ladins there are in the next generation of young Arabs, who are frustrated by the abject failure of their societies and decide to take those frustrations out on the successful, this time with the full support of an Islamist government in Egypt, Syria, or Turkey.

We also should get over the political correctness and admit that Islam is a problem. I know that the great majority of Muslims are like anyone else and want no trouble with their neighbors. The problem is that Islamic theology recognizes no distinction between mosque and state and Islamic scriptures do encourage violence against unbelievers. I really don’t know what the answer to this problem is, but pretending that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance will not make the problem go away, nor will pretending that the Muslim Brotherhood is secular or that Iran does not want nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, we remember and hope that we never have cause to mourn again.

May God continue to bless America.

 

 


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