Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Logic Free Zone

Via HotAir-

The ruins of two large synagogues in evacuated Jewish communities of the Gaza Strip have been transformed into military bases used by Palestinian Arab groups to fire rockets at Israeli cities, according to a senior leader of a Gaza militant group.

Now get this-

Speaking to The New York Sun from Gaza, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, Abu Abir, said the area in which the synagogues once stood is now used to fire rockets at Israel.

"We are proud to turn these lands, especially these parts that were for long time the symbol of occupation and injustice, like the synagogue, into a military base and source of fire against the Zionists and the Zionist entity," Mr. Abir said.

Mr. Abir blamed the Jewish state for the desecration of the Gaza synagogues by Palestinian Arabs, claiming the decision to leave the structures intact was part of an Israeli conspiracy.

Israel "left the synagogues behind so the world would see the Palestinians destroying them," Mr. Abir said.

What a cunning plan that was. And yet those poor Palestinian terrorists trying to kill Israeli civilians still fell for it- and not only that, are proud of turning former holy sites into fire bases.

Obama On Gun Control

So much for the blank slate- now we're starting to see where Obama stands. Not only is he in favour of an immediate retreat in the face of Islamic terrorism, he also wants to disarm Americans and deprive them of their right to keep and bear arms.

Obama Positions on Gun Control:

• Ban semi-automatics, and impose more restrictions on other types of firearms possession;
• Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons;
• Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms;
• Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
• On the issue of prohibiting citizens from carrying concealed weapons, Obama said he believes national legislation should be passed to “prevent other states’ laws [allowing citizens to conceal their guns] from threatening the safety of Illinois residents.”
• “I believe we need to renew–not roll back — this common sense gun law,” [The Clinton “Assault Weapons” Ban]
• Proposes several gun-control laws, including restricting purchases of weapons and ammunition at gun shows, establishing a national database that would capture and record imprints left by bullets, and making gun locks mandatory
• Obama said concealed weapons should be allowed for retired police officers and some military personnel.
• “Ordinary citizens should not be allowed to own military assault weapons, such as AK-47s and Uzis.”

Big hat tip to Michael Bane for the details. Seems like Obama is a typical statist- okay for ex-cops to carry guns to defend themselves, but not civilians. Note too that he wants to keep law abiding citizens disarmed in the highest crime areas- the inner cities. Much more here.

He also opposed letting people use a self-defense argument if charged with violating local handgun bans by using weapons in their homes. The bill was a reaction to a Chicago-area man who, after shooting an intruder, was charged with a handgun violation.

Breaking, Entering And...

Surely one of the most troubling stories I've read.

A Botetourt County couple is seeking $10 million from a sheriff's deputy they say stole into their 10-year-old daughter's bedroom one night this month and terrified the girl.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Roanoke yesterday, Mark and Cheryl Hunsberger said Mark Hunsberger bolted into their screaming daughter's bedroom at 1:16 a.m. Feb. 2 to find Deputy J.A. Wood, in uniform, aiming a flashlight at the girl while another man tried to yank the bed covers off her.

"The child was terrified, and Mrs. Hunsberger spent some time comforting their daughter," according to the lawsuit. "When Mrs. Hunsberger said something about calling the police, Deputy Wood responded, chillingly, 'I am the police.'"

The couple have resorted to the lawsuit over apparent police inaction over their complaint.

Botetourt Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle said the lawsuit does not tell the whole story. "We had a reason to be there, but I'm not going to say any more."

Wood told the Hunsbergers he had knocked on the door for 30 minutes but no one answered, yet the Hunsbergers heard no knocking, according to the suit.

The lawsuit states that neither Wood nor the man who accompanied him had a warrant to enter the Hunsberger home. The suit seeks $10 million as compensation for the violation of their constitutional right against unlawful search and seizure.

Mark Hunsberger ordered Wood and the unidentified man, named as defendant John Doe, to leave, and the Hunsbergers later learned that "several other deputies apparently waited outside the Hunsberger home while Deputy Wood and John Doe broke into the Hunsberger home," the suit states.

The suit states that, after ordering Wood and the other man to leave, Mark Hunsberger dialed 911 to report a break-in. A deputy came to the home and took their criminal complaint, but the Hunsbergers have heard nothing about it since, according to the suit. The suit also states that the couple now believe the deputy who responded to their call might be related to the unidentified man who accompanied Wood.

The suit states that the Hunsbergers received a letter from the sheriff's office saying the incident would be investigated, but they have received no word of the inquiry; nor have they received any explanation as to why Wood was in their daughter's bedroom.

If police did have good reason then why have they not needed to enter the home again? This story stinks- and the fact that a police officer was able to go into a child's bedroom while an unidentified accomplice tried pull the covers off her- without even a warrant or any apparent consequences is outrageous. And it begs the question- what would have happened if the parents had been out of the house for the evening?

Who watches the watchers?

UPDATE - More details here.

Police Failure

The British public has been disarmed and the courts have essentially denied us the right of self-defence, preferring to put the "rights" of criminals ahead of their law-abiding victims. And we cannot rely on the police at all.

A TERRIFIED 80-year-old had to wait 24 HOURS for cops after a hammer fiend smashed her windows and threatened to kill her.

Jenny Ulan dialled 999 when the crazed woman attacked her home but was told officers were on MORE IMPORTANT calls.

It was not until the next day that a policeman finally turned up.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “We have to prioritise our calls in order of seriousness.”

Yeah, like one of their own complaining about a kid kicking a ball against a fence.

UPDATE - Contacted police and received this brief reply.

UPDATE 2 - More information here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cheering The Enemy

It's gone way past the time to question their patriotism- who would have thought in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 that a portion of the leftist/liberal set would be openly proclaiming their disappointment that the Vice-President of the United States of America escaped unharmed from an assassination attempt by Islamic terrorists?

Under the heading of "Cheney Unharmed" these are some of the comments-

Yet more proof that prayer does not work.

Aww, too bad.

I am sorry for the others, it's a tragic thing. But there's another tragedy, and that's that they missed.

That was close. But not close enough.

Having Cheney die today would have been one of those rare and delightful cases where a problem resolves itself. Alas.

The Bush Administration is funnelling money to Al Qaeda and I'm rooting for the Taliban to get Cheney.


He needs to be felled by a heart attack. If he'd been taken out by brown people, the loyal GOP would have turned him into a martyr and flattened most of the area with tactical nukes.

There are some who object to this- but among them a proportion are opposed to the assassination attempt only because it might garner support for the war. Some though were plain appalled by the rhetoric on display- their comments were generally greeted by sentiments like this:

-Have we really gotten to the point in this country since 9/11 when the Vice President was targeted for death by a terrorist attack by the people who perpetrated it--- Real, Honest-To-God, Enemies of America and we aren't sure who to root for?

-In short, yes. Wrongheaded, but yes. But, remember, you don't have to be a foreigner to be an enemy of America.

Michelle Malkin has more.

Zone of the Dead

The zombie genre's renaissance continues apace, now with news of this Serbian movie.

In the industrial town of Pancevo, toxic gas is airborne and people change to zombies. Interpol agents find themselves in the center of disaster and soon realize that their only chance for escape from the zombie hordes lies in allying with the dangerous, mysterious prisoner. While evil runs through streets, they must fight their way out.

So, basically, Assault on Precinct 13 with zombies. Not that I'm complaining- another zombie film is always welcome. There are some screenshots from the film on the production company's homepage.

Murder

Islamic Jihad is claiming responsibility for the murder of a 42-year old father of three.

Levanon kept a routine schedule of Torah studies, and spent one hour each day at a secluded location communing with God. His friend, Rabbi Michi Yossefi, said that Levanon was apparently murdered while praying at his usual spot.

He was stabbed to death.

Flight of Fantasy

I thought the place needed brightening up a little and went looking for an image- which turned out to be a bit trickier than I'd thought; the vast majority of comic art I have is black and white pencil or ink sketches. For some reason I just like seeing those rough lines in place of polished, finished and coloured images. Anyway, this was the most colourful picture I lay my hands on- Adam Hughes' take on Wonder Girl. The *ahem* wonderful colours are by a guy called Rich Cirillo.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Lying or Ignorant?

Yet again another instance of an elected politician, Darrell Issa (R) California this time, speaking either a deliberate lie or demonstrating his own colossal ignorance of the topic at hand.

"If you go to the Palestinian territories for over a thousand years Christians and Muslims have lived side by side, their churches and mosques are next to each other, so we can talk about radical Islam but you see no evidence of it there."

Yep, you see no evidence of radical Islam in the Palestinian Territories- so we were all probably imagining radical Islamic terrorist groups like, oh say, Islamic Jihad or Hamas (AKA Islamic Resistance Movement), or the al-aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

To her credit Ayaan Hirsi Ali doesn't stand for his nonsense, pointing out to him the dhimmi status of Christians there. It would have been nice though if someone had also told Issa that there are plenty of radical Islamic terrorists there too- the fact that their ire is currently directed at the Jews of Israel is really not the point.

Ancestor News

The press is really taking the phrase "digging up skeletons" seriously-

While Mitt Romney condemns polygamy and its prior practice by his Mormon church, the Republican presidential candidate's great-grandfather had five wives and at least one of his great-great grandfathers had 12.

Of course this dates back to the 1800s and has no bearing whatsoever on Romney himself.

And now there's this-

The U.S. Rev. Al Sharpton is a descendant of a slave owned by relatives of the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond -- a discovery the civil rights activist called "shocking" on Sunday.

The genealogists, who were not paid by the newspaper, uncovered the ancestral ties using a variety of documents that included census, marriage and death records.

They found that Sharpton's great-grandfather, Coleman Sharpton, was a slave owned by Julia Thurmond, whose grandfather was Strom Thurmond's great-great-grandfather. Coleman Sharpton was later freed.

Thurmond, of South Carolina, was once considered an icon of racial segregation. During his 1948 bid for president, he promised to preserve segregation and, in 1957, he filibustered for more than 24 hours against a civil rights bill.

So the press is not content with digging through a person's past now for material to write about- they now seem to consider what your great-great-grandparents did to be newsworthy too.

On a separate subject it's interesting to note the following - though he became a Republican in '64, the above segregation and anti-civil rights activity of Thurmond took place while he was a Democrat.

Killer Kites

In what sounds like a bizarre cross between Ultimate Fighting, Rollerball and playground games, 11 people have been killed and more than a hundred injured at a kite flying festival in Pakistan. While some of those who died fell from rooftops while trying to grab hold of escaping kites, others were killed by sharpened kite strings or stray bullets.

The festival is regularly marred by casualties caused by sharp kite strings or celebratory gunshots fired into the air. Kite flyers often use strings made of wire or coated with ground glass to try to cross and cut a rival's string or damage the other kite, often after betting on the outcome.

Five of those who died on Sunday were hit by stray bullets, including a 6-year-school boy who was struck in the head near his home in the city's Mazang area, Bano said.

A 16-year-old girl and a schoolboy, 12, died after their throats were slashed by metal kite strings in separate incidents. Two people were electrocuted while they tried to recover kites tangled in overhead power cables, Bano said.

A 13-year-old boy fell to his death from the roof of his home as he tried to catch a stray kite, and a 35-year-old woman fell off the roof of her home trying to stop her son from running after a stray kite.

Who knew such an innocent sounding pastime could become so dangerous?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Helping Their Natural Enemy

Yet again- the ACLU siding with people who despise civil liberties. What is it with liberals and their desire to rub shoulders with the very groups who aim to obliterate the very liberty, tolerance and equality that the West holds dear?

A civil rights group asked a judge Friday to find it unconstitutional for the federal government to exclude a prominent Muslim scholar or anyone else from the United States on the grounds that they may have endorsed or espoused terrorism.

Run this by me again- a civil liberties group wants to allow those who espouse terrorism to be free to travel to and from the United States? Why? The First Amendment doesn't extend beyond America's borders- and the irony is that if these very people that the ACLU champion got their way, the 1st Amendment would be eradicated. Why champion terrorists who slaughter innocent men, women and children, and who hate the very thought of liberty and equality for all?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised- the ACLU is after all a proponent of employing terrorists.

Home Grown Terrorists

The UK is in serious trouble-

The number of British-based Islamic terrorists plotting suicide attacks against “soft” targets in this country is far greater than the Security Services had previously believed, the government paperwork discloses. It is thought the plotters could number more than 2,000.

Under the heading “International Terrorism in the UK”, the document - seen by The Sunday Telegraph - states: “The scale of al-Qaeda’s ambitions towards attacking the UK and the number of UK extremists prepared to participate in attacks are even greater than we had previously judged.”

It warns that terrorist “attack planning” against Britain will increase in 2007, and adds: “We still believe that AQ [al-Qaeda] will continue to seek opportunities for mass casualty attacks against soft targets and key infrastructure. These attacks are likely to involve the use of suicide operatives.”

The document, which has been circulated across Whitehall to MI5, Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorist Command, the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence, also reveals that al-Qaeda has grown into a world-wide organisation with a foothold in virtually every Muslim country in North Africa, the Middle East and central Asia.

Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director general of MI5, warned recently that there were more than 1,600 “identified individuals” actively engaged in plotting terrorist attacks. There were 200 known networks involved in at least 30 terrorist plots. It is thought that the number of British citizens involved in plots could be well in excess of 2,000.

The security services have their work cut out for them- the terrorists only have to get it "right" once for mass murder to occur.

Kidnappers' Demands

CNN reports that Hamas has a message for the father of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit-

"Send a message to your government's leaders, not to Hamas, to release your son."

Of course the demand is that terrorists currently serving time in Israeli jails be released in exchange. What struck me about the CNN article was the insertion of this section-

While the Hamas party controls Palestinian politics, Hamas militants have at times continued to operate on their own without the apparent support of Hamas political leaders.

It essentially implies that the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers might have been done without the knowledge of the Hamas leadership- they then go on to mention the aid freeze and the unity government. Which is not only a preposterous notion but one belied by the fact that the message for Shalit's father was delivered by none other than Khaled Meshaal, the political chief of Hamas. Note too that Shalit is described as being "captured", not kidnapped.

Nothing like a little spin to soften the terrorist's image.

Busted

It took a two year long FBI sting operation to uncover them.

Four veteran police officers were accused in federal court of taking thousands of dollars to protect what they thought were mob shipments of drugs, stolen art and jewelry.

An FBI affidavit filed in federal court accused the four of taking thousands of dollars to protect a group they thought was a criminal organization based out of New York.

Federal prosecutors said the operations included escorting a load of heroin from Miami Beach, providing security for an illegal poker game aboard a yacht and delivering $1 million worth of supposedly stolen diamonds to New Jersey.

Other deals involved purportedly stolen bearer bonds, watches, paintings and a tractor-trailer load of cigarettes, prosecutors said.

The four officers were charged with conspiracy. They have not entered pleas, and the case will go before a grand jury. All have been placed on leave without pay.

Lawyers for the three who appeared in court -- Detective Kevin Companion, 41; Sgt. Jeffrey Courtney, 51; and Officer Stephen Harrison, 46 -- declined comment on the charges but described their clients as devoted police officers and family men.

Yeah, with a list of charges like that it really does look like they are devoted to upholding the law, doesn't it?

Each would face up to life imprisonment if convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy and up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy.

For some reason the fourth officer on the case is being allowed to "turn himself in". No SWAT team crashing into his home in the middle of the night then.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Failing Strategy

Amazing- gun crime is rising (despite the ban already in place) and Blair's government needs to be seen to be doing something. Anything. How else do you explain this desperate act-

And yesterday Dr Reid announced a gun-crime summit on Thursday to tackle the problem. He also said a ban on the manufacture of replica guns - due later this year - may be brought forward.

Why of course- real guns are being used by criminals to kill people so why not ban replica guns! Genius- how it can it possibly fail to stop criminals using illegal guns to commit crimes? I mean, the ban on real handguns has worked so well.

And note too that the proposal to actually imprison gun-carrying criminals is being met with fear-

GANGSTERS will increasingly open fire on police if gun-crime sentences are beefed up, experts have warned the Home Office.

They fear Wild West-style shoot-outs will break out because cornered offenders will not want years in jail for possessing a weapon.

"Longer sentences might bring about counter-productive outcomes. Offenders could try to shoot their way out, if challenged by the police."

The report - written by gun-crime experts - comes as police step up armed patrols on Britain's streets, following a series of teenage shootings.

Yep, that's certainly the way to deal with violent criminals- back off because they might want to shoot at the police. Nevermind the unarmed citizenry of Britain who will be the victims of armed criminals- we can't place the armed police in danger now can we?

Pathetic.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Jungle Girl

Frank Cho, probably best known for his Liberty Meadows strip, is bringing out a new comic- a Jungle Girl story for Dynamite Comics. He's already well versed in the genre having drawn Shanna The She-Devil for Marvel. Here's some teaser art of his own Jungle Girl character-



Jurassic Park?

First it was the discovery of soft tissue in fossils- now we have a 25million year old frog found preserved in amber. And you just know what the boffins want to do.

The block of amber, or fossilized tree resin, encasing the 0.4-inch (1-centimeter) frog was unearthed in 2005 and sold to a private collector, according to the Associated Press (AP). The collector then lent the piece to scientists.

The frog's age has yet to be authenticated. But it was recovered from earthen deposits dating back 25 million years to the Oligocene epoch, Carbot told the AP.

Now Carbot hopes to make the plot of Jurassic Park a reality by drilling a small hole into the amber and attempting to extract DNA from the encased animal.

But "I don't think [the stone's owner] will allow it," Carbot told the AP, "because it's a very rare, unique piece."

If he has any sense he'll let them try. For goodness sake, start searching for mosquitoes in amber quick!

Submission?

The Muslim Council of Britain is attempting to force minority Muslim norms (1.5million) onto the majority population.

The report, Towards Greater Understanding – Meeting The Needs of Muslim Pupils In State Schools, says all schools should bring in effective bans for all pupils on “un-Islamic activities” like dance classes.

It also wants to limit certain activities during Ramadan. They include science lessons dealing with sex, parents’ evenings, exams and immunisation programmes.

The holy month – when eating and drinking is not allowed in daylight hours – should also see a ban on swimming lessons in case pupils swallow water in the pool. When swimming is allowed, boys should wear clothing covering their bodies “from the navel to the neck”, even during single-sex pool sessions, while girls must be covered up completely at all times, apart from the face and hands.

The MCB adds that schools should ensure contact sports, including football and basketball, “are always in single-gender groups”.

Even school trips are targeted in the report, which wants them all to be made single-sex “to encourage greater participation from Muslim pupils”.

It wants Arabic language classes for Muslim pupils, and says the Koran should be recited in music classes. And all schools should ensure they have prayer rooms with washing facilities attached, it says.

In art classes, Muslim children should not be allowed to draw people, as this is forbidden under some interpretations of Islamic law.

And while the MCB insists that all British children should learn about Islam, it wants Muslims to have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons dealing with Christianity and other faiths.

But of course- they demand that non-Muslim kids be taught about Islam but NOT vice versa.

In a sane society the MCB would be told where to shove this list of demands. Instead a senior government advisor was present for the launch of the document. Let's see how liberal ideals hold up in the face of this.

Police Inaction

So much for the police. A neighbour heard a child being beaten and called to report it-

"The people upstairs are about to kill their daughter! They are beating her and beating her and she is screaming."

Neighbors told First Coast News the beating continued for another 24 minutes.

"At first you could tell it was with a belt," said Raychael Harkey. "Then it went to a hand, then throwing the child around the room."

Neighbors called 911 two more times, begging for help.

The caller told the dispatcher that she was going to go intervene- but was told to let the nearby police handle the incident.

The officer close by is Officer Gabriel E. Dobkin.

An internal affairs report shows Officer Dobkin 2.9 miles away writing a speeding ticket.

During the stop, the report indicates Dobkin saw a truck pull into a drug store parking lot with expired tags.

Internal Affairs investigators say Dobkin wrote out the ticket and then sat in the drug store parking lot, waiting for the driver of the truck to leave the store.

At that moment, a priority one call for a "battery in progress" came, the most serious on JSO's scale.

Internal Affairs says Dobkin went inside the store to find the truck driver to see if he had insurance.

Dobkin fingerprinted the driver, and wrote him a ticket before driving away to help a little girl in trouble.

Officer Dobkin told Internal Affairs he has "had many of these type of calls involving children and parents," and he believed this one to be, "routine and not life-threatening," according to the report.

The officer also told investigators, "he didn't remember ever hearing or reading about the victim being five years old," saying it wouldn't have mattered to him because he considered the call routine.

Dobkin has been found to have further endangered the child by not responding immediately.

He has also been reprimanded for initially cancelling his backup officer but then calling him back on for help. Dobkin told investigators he didn't know why he did that.

Officer Dobkin has also been cited for changing the call from "battery in progress" to an investigation before arriving to the scene. Dobkin told Internal Affairs he based that call on his experience and belief the call didn't warrant a priority one dispatch.

Internal Affairs found Officer Dobkin incompetent. Investigators said he failed to take prompt action and failed to conform to work standards.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office would not comment on the matter.

Dobkin had been reprimanded in 2004 for incompetence for failing to respond to calls for service, and for initiating traffic stops on numerous occasions without notifying dispatch.

This piece of work has been "suspended". Not fired, just suspended- even though they know he's incompetent. I wonder if someone will have to die before this "Only One" loses his job?

Bread

Talk about a non-news story- here's the set up; the price of a "standard" loaf of bread has broken the £1 barrier for the first time. That's about $1.95- what's the price of a standard loaf in the States I wonder?

Tesco has been the first to move, raising the price of an 800g loaf of sliced white Warburtons to £1.03 after the Bolton bakery company raised its wholesale prices last week.

But the thing is, you could already easily spend well over £1 for a loaf- and have been able to do so for a long time. And as the article continues, Tesco also offer a presumably non-standard loaf for about 45p. And they fail to mention until almost the end of the article that the actual wheat in a loaf of bread comes to about 7p; so the rise in the cost of wheat plays less of a role in the price increase than they imply.

Funny that the use of crops in bio-fuel is one of the factors pushing up the cost. The Tortilla Effect.

Slow news day, huh?

H.R. 1022

So the Zumbo incident got gun owners, rightly, to vocalise their objections. Thus far, I haven't heard of a mass campaign for American gun owners to contact their representatives to make sure that H.R. 1022, the new "Assault" Weapon Ban, is killed outright. Every elected representative in Washington should by now know of the mass opposition to this piece of legislation.

(30) The term `semiautomatic assault weapon' means any of the following:

`(A) The following rifles or copies or duplicates thereof:

    `(i) AK, AKM, AKS, AK-47, AK-74, ARM, MAK90, Misr, NHM 90, NHM 91, SA 85, SA 93, VEPR;

    `(ii) AR-10;

    `(iii) AR-15, Bushmaster XM15, Armalite M15, or Olympic Arms PCR;

    `(iv) AR70;

    `(v) Calico Liberty;

    `(vi) Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle or Dragunov SVU;

    `(vii) Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, or FNC;

    `(viii) Hi-Point Carbine;

    `(ix) HK-91, HK-93, HK-94, or HK-PSG-1;

    `(x) Kel-Tec Sub Rifle;

    `(xi) M1 Carbine;

    `(xii) Saiga;

    `(xiii) SAR-8, SAR-4800;

    `(xiv) SKS with detachable magazine;

    `(xv) SLG 95;

    `(xvi) SLR 95 or 96;

    `(xvii) Steyr AUG;

    `(xviii) Sturm, Ruger Mini-14;

    `(xix) Tavor;

    `(xx) Thompson 1927, Thompson M1, or Thompson 1927 Commando; or

    `(xxi) Uzi, Galil and Uzi Sporter, Galil Sporter, or Galil Sniper Rifle (Galatz).

`(B) The following pistols or copies or duplicates thereof:

    `(i) Calico M-110;

    `(ii) MAC-10, MAC-11, or MPA3;

    `(iii) Olympic Arms OA;

    `(iv) TEC-9, TEC-DC9, TEC-22 Scorpion, or AB-10; or

    `(v) Uzi.

`(C) The following shotguns or copies or duplicates thereof:

    `(i) Armscor 30 BG;

    `(ii) SPAS 12 or LAW 12;

    `(iii) Striker 12; or

    `(iv) Streetsweeper.

`(D) A semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine, and that has--

    `(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

    `(ii) a threaded barrel;

    `(iii) a pistol grip;

    `(iv) a forward grip; or

    `(v) a barrel shroud.

The M1 carbine is now considered an assault weapon? A semi-automatic with a full wooden stock- how long before those deadly semi-auto hunting rifles, which fire much more powerful ammunition, are far behind? Take a long hard look at that list- AKs, ARs, FALs, collaborating Ruger doesn't escape this time- even the Dragunov sniper rifle is included. Does anyone really think that if this ban goes through the hoplophobes won't come after other semi-auto or bolt actions next?

Let the UK be an example top you- the gun grabbers aren't just after so-called assault weapons- it's just a step along the way to banning all the weapons they possibly can. If they get their way on this it will clear the field for them to focus on the next kind of gun they can raise sufficient public alarm over- handguns that can easily be concealed perhaps? Or "cop killer" rifles (i.e. any weapon capable of defeated police issue body armour)? Do you really want to see all semi-auto centerfire rifles banned? That's what happened here.

Don't let America end up the way Britain has. For too long now, the Second Amendment has been encroached upon and eroded by decades of pointless legislation that has done nothing to reduce crime and everything to disarm free men and women- it's time to organise and fight back. Seems to me that we've reached something of a tipping point- the Zumbo affair has shown that gun owners united have a strong voice and cannot be ignored. The question is, will they capitalise on it or not? If it's the latter, I fear that more UK-style legislation will be on its way.

Missing The Point

So Zumbo has been canned by his sponsors, the magazine and his TV show- but he still doesn't get it. War On Guns linked to this post by him over at Nugent's forum and I've selected some highlights-

As a guy who hunts 200 days a year, does seminars on hunting, wrote for six hunting magazines, had a hunting TV show, and wrote 20 books on hunting, how could I have been so ignorant and out of touch with reality in the world of hunting and shooting?

I saw one “black” firearm in a hunting camp in all my 50 years of hunting, and I shot one last year off a boat when fishing in Alaska. To tell the truth, it was fun and I enjoyed it immensely, but I never considered one for use in hunting. I have to tell you that I have had a revelation. I’m learning that many of my pals own AR-15’s and similar firearms and indeed use them for hunting. I was totally unaware that they were being used for legitimate hunting purposes. That is the absolute truth.

I will continue to stand as firm on pro hunting as I’ve ever done. But what’s different now is that I’ll do all I can to educate others who are, or were, as ignorant as I was about “black” rifles and the controversy that surrounds them. My promise to you is that I’ll learn all I can about these firearms, and by the time this week is out, I’ll order one. The NUGE has invited me to hunt with him using AR-15’s, and I’m eager to go, and learn. I’ll do all I can to spread the word.

Not a single mention of the Second Amendment, not a single mention of guns in any other context save for hunting. He's obviously completely oblivious to why there was such outrage over what he said- it had nothing to do with ARs being suitable for hunting, and everything to do with the right to keep and bear arms. And he still doesn't understand that. He's still "pro hunting"- which is an important distinction from being pro-gun.

Incredible.

Guns In Doctor Who

This is quite probably of no interest to anyone but me- I'm watching the old Jon Pertwee run of Doctor Who and in the story Colony in Space, I was astonished to see the colonists armed with Johnson M1941 rifles! I know that very few were made so I'm surprised to see them turn up in the BBC prop department. I'm pretty sure I've never seen this weapon in a TV show or movie before. Not only do we get a little bit of shooting but there's a glimpse of one of the colonists topping up the rotary magazine. The furniture on the weapons is very dark- it almost looks like a synthetic black stock. I wonder if the Beeb still has them- and if they know they're worth about $6000 each?

On a related note, the Pertwee story Inferno also had a rare gun cameo- this time the SKS. The story puts the Doctor in an alternate reality and the good guy Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT is now the eye-patch wearing Brigade Leader, part of a fascist regime that has taken over Britain. I liked that UNIT's SLR (FN FAL) was replaced by the commie rifle for the story. A nice touch.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Guiliani On Guns

Yes, he did a sterling job in New York after 9/11 but just look at this video. Has Guiliani ever actually read the Bill of Rights? All the Dems have to do is run this ad on TV a few times and every right thinking gun owner will cast their vote for someone else- or stay at home on election day.

I can't believe that he's being lauded as a frontrunner for 2008. Makes me wonder if the Republicans (I use the term loosely in Guiliani's case) actually learned anything from their recent election defeat. Hat tip to Blogonomicon.

McCain Panders

I think this one falls under the heading of "despicable opportunists". John McCain, desperate to get into the White House-

Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Monday the war in Iraq has been mismanaged for years and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be remembered as one of the worst in history.

Of course, he's the same man who only a few months ago said this-

"While Secretary Rumsfeld and I have had our differences, he deserves Americans' respect and gratitude for his many years of public service," McCain said last year when Rumsfeld stepped down.

But, hey, this is electioneering time- McCain has no place for things like gratitude or respect now. Can we believe anything he says?

Tiny

A "tiny minority of extremists"- you've all heard that one before. But how just how tiny is it? Canada has the answer-

84,000 Canadian Muslims think it's justifiable to behead our democratically elected prime minister and blow up the very symbol and centre of our democracy!

Nothing to worry about then, I mean, what could 84,000 people possibly do to harm anyone?

Spying On Love

Theocracy in action-

A MALAYSIAN state plans to recruit “spies” from the public to snoop on unmarried lovers and report them to Islamic religious authorities.

The Terengganu State Government plans to enlist the part-time spies to look out for un-Islamic behaviour, such as unmarried couples kissing or holding hands, the Star daily newspaper said.

Libs, please take note- no Christians were involved in the making of this news story.

Time To Act

David Codrea asks the question I'm thinking- why won't American gun owners treat their politicians the way they do their gun writers?

Wouldn't that make a lot more sense in defending the 2nd Amendment? At the end of the day, who's more important- Zumbo or the next President of the United States?

Labels

Though it's not too easy to see, I've added a labels section to the sidebar. I've been back through my archive and edited a few former posts to add labels to them- mostly those with video or picture content.

Monday, February 19, 2007

300 Trailer

Looks like Zach Snyder has delivered the goods once more- this new trailer for Frank Miller's 300 looks absolutely incredible.

Sacrificing America

First Murtha and now Hillary Clinton- as she tries desperately to gain support for her presidential election campaign, and screw the people of Iraq, the US military and American- and world- security in the process.

U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the early front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has called for a 90-day deadline to start pulling American troops from Iraq.

Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, has been criticized by some Democrats for supporting authorization of the war in 2002 and for not renouncing her vote as she seeks the U.S. presidency in next year's election.

"Now it's time to say the redeployment should start in 90 days or the Congress will revoke authorization for this war," the New York senator said in a video on her campaign Web site, repeating a point included in a bill she introduced on Friday.

"If George Bush doesn't end the war before he leaves office, when I'm president, I will," Clinton said in the video.

Never mind that she voted to authorise the war in the first place- she now senses that the political winds have to blow her in another direction and like the power-hungry, amoral opportunist that she is, she's abandoning America's allies around the world, the people and politicians of Iraq who have laid their lives on the line for their freedom, the US troops currently serving there- and who will eventually have to clean up this mess when the jihadists make Iraq a safe haven for striking out at the non-Muslim world- and the people of America. She'd rather have some short term gains in winning a few more votes, than worry about guaranteeing the safety of the American people from terrorist attack. If she gets her way, the jihadists will be free to stop fighting American troops in Iraq and to turn their attention to attacking Americans- and the British and other allies- elsewhere. In other words, on their home soil.

I've frequently mourned the decline of Britain- it seems now that America is hastening its fall too. I've often wondered how an advanced civilisation self-destructs- well, here it is in real-time: power hungry politicians sacrificing their nation's safety for short-term personal gain.

Flight of Fantasy

If you act quick, and have a spare $69,500 lying around you could be the proud new owner of this Frank Frazetta painting- it's concept art for a '70s version of the Dracula story, showing one of the brides of the vampire.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Chavez At Work

Surprise, surprise.

During an event held Wednesday to grant pensions on new beneficiaries of the Venezuelan Welfare Institute (IVSS), President Hugo Chávez threatened to nationalize wholesalers and major food vendors.

"Down there in the barrio, you should denounce any grocery store which sells meat above the set price. Then, we will take control of it. We will give it to the community council in order to manage it, because I am certain that it will not steal its own community.

"The bigger you are, the more you have to take care of Chávez. If there is need to take over and nationalize you, just wait for some hours until the law is enacted and released in the Official Gazette. I will keep a watchful eye then. Give me the first excuse to nationalize the first warehouse, the first large outlet and make it available for the people," Chávez boasted.

How long before he decides to remain in power beyond his current term?

Andy McKee - Drifting

This guy- Andy McKee- is just incredible- beautiful music. Be sure to check him out.

Knowing The Enemy?

Kim du Toit points to an article in the New Yorker called "Knowing the Enemy", saying "it resonated with truth". Not often I disagree with him but this is one of those occasions.

The premise of the article is that Islam is not the problem on the war on terror, it's social networks.

“After 9/11, when a lot of people were saying, ‘The problem is Islam,’ I was thinking, It’s something deeper than that. It’s about human social networks and the way that they operate.”

“There are elements in human psychological and social makeup that drive what’s happening. The Islamic bit is secondary. This is human behavior in an Islamic setting. This is not ‘Islamic behavior.’ ” Paraphrasing the American political scientist Roger D. Petersen, he said, “People don’t get pushed into rebellion by their ideology. They get pulled in by their social networks.” He noted that all fifteen Saudi hijackers in the September 11th plot had trouble with their fathers. Although radical ideas prepare the way for disaffected young men to become violent jihadists, the reasons they convert, Kilcullen said, are more mundane and familiar: family, friends, associates.

Obviously, if this were true then we'd be faced by mass murdering disaffected youths from Buddhist, Christian and Jewish families to name but a few. As that isn't happening we obviously need to consider the role Islam plays- a huge one. It's a political theology which mandates war against the unbeliever. Just pick up a copy of the Koran and read what it actually says.

The big problem with this is that Kilcullen- the man at the centre of all this- is now advising the US government on policy. And this is what he says-

If I were a Muslim, I’d probably be a jihadist,” Kilcullen said as we sat in his office. “The thing that drives these guys—a sense of adventure, wanting to be part of the moment, wanting to be in the big movement of history that’s happening now—that’s the same thing that drives me, you know?”

Adventure? Part of the moment? No mention of what the jihadis themselves say motivates themselves- a direct path to heaven by killing infidels. No mention whatsoever in the entire piece about the teachings of the Koran, the actions of Mohammed or anything like it. And for a government advisor to say that he would become the very thing that threatens the USA is, to my eyes, appalling. Would anyone have still employed an advisor during WW2 or the Cold War who said they wanted to be a Nazi or a Communist?

In fact, I don't have a big problem with this guy, I have a HUGE one.

A terrorist is “a kook in a room,” Kilcullen told me, and beyond persuasion; an insurgent has a mass base whose support can be won or lost through politics.

Politics? Does he really believe that politics are going to influence people prepared not just to fight to the death, but to deliberately kill themselves in the hopes that they might wound or kill soldiers or men, women and children? Perhaps he's implying that we alter our politics in such a manner that they won't hate us- say, by adopting Sharia law?

In fact the thinking of many of the other experts cited in the article- people who seem to be having an effect on upcoming policy- seem to completely misunderstand the problem. So badly do they lack a grasp on the actual thinking of their enemies that we basically get another repetition of the poverty causes terrorism mantra. Haven't we already thrown that mistake into the trash can?

“Hard power is not the way we’re going to make an impression,” he told me, and he cited Pakistan, where a huge population, rising militancy, nuclear weapons, and the remnants of Al Qaeda’s leadership create a combustible mix. According to Barton’s figures, since 2002 America has spent more than six billion dollars on buttressing the Pakistani military, and probably a similar amount on intelligence (the number is kept secret). Yet it has spent less than a billion dollars on aid for education and economic development, in a country where Islamist madrassas and joblessness contribute to the radicalization of young people.

So that would explain Bin Laden or the middle class Muslims in Britain who are becoming increasingly radicalised? We aren't spending enough money on them? I'm frankly astonished that this is presented as "cutting edge" thinking. It seems to me like more of the same woolly headed liberal nonsense- only now it's beginning to permeate in to the Dept. of Defence.

According to the expert, an American diplomat with years of experience identified another obstacle to American outreach. “Let’s face it,” he told her. “All public diplomacy is on hold till George Bush is out of office.”

And hey, let's not forget the constant emphasis on bashing the current Republican administration! More here-

Kilcullen, Crumpton, and their colleagues are desperately trying to develop a lasting new strategy that, in Kilcullen’s words, would be neither Republican nor Democratic. Bruce Hoffman said, “We’re talking about a profound shift in mind-set and attitude”—not to mention a drastic change in budgetary and bureaucratic priorities. “And that may not be achievable until there’s a change in Administration.

Yep, neither Republican nor Democrat- sounds very bi-partisan doesn't it- but the Bush administration couldn't possibly do it- I'm pretty astonished they don't actually come out and say that those hard-hearted Republicans can't do this, that's the work of kinder, gentler, more intelligent Democrats. Bah! Kilcullen is the man giving advice to Condoleeza Rice. Do you feel safer yet?

Kilcullen’s thinking is informed by some of the key texts of Cold War social science, such as Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer,” which analyzed the conversion of frustrated individuals into members of fanatical mass movements, and Philip Selznick’s “The Organizational Weapon: A Study of Bolshevik Strategy and Tactics,” which described how Communists subverted existing social groups and institutions like trade unions. To these older theoretical guides he adds two recent studies of radical Islam: “Globalized Islam,” by the French scholar Olivier Roy, and “Understanding Terror Networks,” by Marc Sageman, an American forensic psychiatrist and former covert operator with the mujahideen in Afghanistan. After September 11th, Sageman traced the paths of a hundred and seventy-two alienated young Muslims who joined the jihad, and found that the common ground lay not in personal pathology, poverty, or religious belief but in social bonds.* Roy sees the rise of “neo-fundamentalism” among Western Muslims as a new identity movement shaped by its response to globalization. In the margin of a section of Roy’s book called “Is Jihad Closer to Marx Than to the Koran?” Kilcullen noted, “If Islamism is the new leftism, then the strategies and techniques used to counter Marxist subversion during the Cold War may have direct or indirect relevance to combating Al Qaeda-sponsored subversion.

Well, that might be a pertinent point- until we understand that we're not dealing with a purely political ideology, we're dealing with a religion with a long history of warfare and conquest. One that teaches and indoctrinated disdain and hatred for non-Muslims. I really can't see how the social network theory works- do they not see that the justification for their actions comes not from the Bible or the Torah but the Koran? Are we really to blame jihadist terrorism on globalisation?

Drawing on these studies, Kilcullen has plotted out a “ladder of extremism” that shows the progress of a jihadist. At the bottom is the vast population of mainstream Muslims, who are potential allies against radical Islamism as well as potential targets of subversion, and whose grievances can be addressed by political reform.

There we go then- we need to reform our politics to appease this vast body of moderates. How exactly, I wonder? Are we to alter our foreign policy to stop fighting Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc because it upsets them? We keep hearing the blame placed for alienating and annoying the "vast majority" with our wicked foreign policy- which is utter drivel of course. Are we never to react to Islamist aggression ever again because some in that vast majority might be "subverted"? Kilcullen never seems to answer how they will be subverted? Could it possibly have anything to do with Islam (not according to him)- and an appeal to fight jihad based on the teaching of the religion

The next tier up is a smaller number of “alienated Muslims,” who have given up on reform. Some of these join radical groups, like the young Muslims in North London who spend afternoons at the local community center watching jihadist videos. They require “ideological conversion”—that is, counter-subversion, which Kilcullen compares to helping young men leave gangs. (In a lecture that Kilcullen teaches on counterterrorism at Johns Hopkins, his students watch “Fight Club,” the 1999 satire about anti-capitalist terrorists, to see a radical ideology without an Islamic face.)

What exactly does he mean by "reform"? Any why is it that Muslims in London who don't seem to be getting their way by peaceful political means become radical? What about the huge population of disaffected, poor black population for example? There are huge numbers of them in Britain living in awful conditions on council estates- why aren't they going to community centres to watch videos of other black people around the world waging war on non-blacks? They aren't? You mean, Islam might be a factor here? What a radical idea. Which leads me on to my second point- how exactly are these men to be "de-programmed" from becoming jihadists? By an appeal to the Koran? We keep hearing about moderate Islam but thus far they have a lousy track record of countering the appeals to warfare of the jihadists.

A smaller number of these individuals, already steeped in the atmosphere of radical mosques and extremist discussions, end up joining local and regional insurgent cells, usually as the result of a “biographical trigger—they will lose a friend in Iraq, or see something that shocks them on television.” With these insurgents, the full range of counterinsurgency tools has to be used, including violence and persuasion. The very small number of fighters who are recruited to the top tier of Al Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist groups are beyond persuasion or conversion. “They’re so committed you’ve got to destroy them,” Kilcullen said. “But you’ve got to do it in such a way that you don’t create new terrorists.”


So only people either directly affected by violence (those who have a friend killed for example) will become radicalised enough that they'll commit mass murder? Well, that or those who happen to turn on the TV and become offended by something. Possibly something that's against their religion? And hey, don't forget to kill those AQ members in a humane and kind, caring manner- wouldn't want to upset any other Muslims just in case their social network drags them into becoming terrorists too- and not some theological exhortation to fight to defend Muslims.

When I asked him to outline a counter-propaganda strategy, he described three basic methods. “We’ve got to create resistance to their message,” he said. “We’ve got to co-opt or assist people who have a counter-message. And we might need to consider creating or supporting the creation of rival organizations.” Bruce Hoffman told me that jihadists have posted five thousand Web sites that react quickly and imaginatively to events. In 2004, he said, a jihadist rap video called “Dirty Kuffar” became widely popular with young Muslims in Britain: “It’s like Ali G wearing a balaclava and having a pistol in one hand and a Koran in the other.” Hoffman believes that America must help foreign governments and civil-society groups flood the Internet with persuasively youthful Web sites presenting anti-jihadist messages—but not necessarily pro-American ones, and without leaving American fingerprints.

That's all there is to it? Well, what about Native Deen, the Islamic rap group that travelled around the Middle East on the dime of the State Department- cool, hip, moderates that they are. Here's what they had to say about that-

"We are in Palestine now. I will have to keep this blog short before I start to get heated and make some political statements that will get Native Deen arrested. Its hard for a Muslim American to visit Palestine and not get upset."

Hoffman seems to have come up with a sound policy- seems to be working well so far. Cool kids will certainly prevent young men from following the tenets of their religion.

Kilcullen argues that Western governments should establish competing “trusted networks” in Muslim countries: friendly mosques, professional associations, and labor unions. (A favorite Kilcullen example from the Cold War is left-wing anti-Communist trade unions, which gave the working class in Western Europe an outlet for its grievances without driving it into the arms of the Soviet Union.) The U.S. should also support traditional authority figures—community leaders, father figures, moderate imams—in countries where the destabilizing transition to modernity has inspired Islamist violence. “You’ve got to be quiet about it,” he cautioned. “You don’t go in there like a missionary.” The key is providing a social context for individuals to choose ways other than jihad.

And here we go again- comparing an entrenched religion with Communism and trade unions. And what exactly is a moderate imam- who are they and what do they really think about jihad? Do they oppose suicide bombings, do they oppose Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel from using violence, are they willing to speak out publicly and denounce Islamist terrorism? Can they use religious texts to counter the jihad ideology which draws from the Koran and Hadith? And if Islam has nothing to do with it, why again has "modernity" inspired only Islamist violence? And how does he explain the long history of jihadist conquest before the modern world existed? Kilcullen seems to be completely missing the point again. And he needs to actually read and study the Koran- is there actually a method whereby so-called moderates can use its text to dissuade Muslims from committing terrorist acts? And if there is, why isn't the Muslim community already doing that? Why don't we hear about the vast majority of Muslims announce that there is no place for violent jihad?

Since September 11th, the government’s traditional approach to national security has proved inadequate in one area after another. The intelligence agencies habitually rely on satellites and spies, when most of the information that matters now, as Kilcullen pointed out, is “open source”—available to anyone with an Internet connection.

And here we have the final preposterous notion- that all we need for intelligence is an internet connection. Of course there is a great deal of jihadist propaganda online- but the actual intelligence needed to combat terrorist attacks is obviously not "open source" and to suggest so is ridiculous in any way, shape or form. Terrorist cells do not broadcast their actions online, jihadist forces in Afghanistan don't have websites detailing their locations, deployments or numbers. For an advisor of the Secretary of State to imply that we don't need satellites or even spies to discover what terrorists are planning is an insult to our intelligence.

Sorry, Kim- there might be some useful information in that article about troops in theatre interacting with the locals (hanging out in the coffee shops) but the rest is a crock. And where the government to actually act on it would deliver us a devastating blow.

*UPDATE 25.06.08- Note that Sageman argues that there is no common religion among the 172 Muslim jihadists he traced! What, were some of them Anglicans? Catholics, maybe? Perhaps he'd care to mention the ideas inside their heads- or is this yet another example of defining terrorists not as independent actors with their own motivations, agendas and aspirations but as blank canvases on which the author's own perceived grievances can be projected? We can take his word for it because he knows better what's guiding hundreds of jihadists all over the world better than they do themselves. Right?

What Sageman doesn't appear to mention is that the men's shared social network might explain how they were all able to join that terrorist group- through contacts with one another- but not why. Correlation does not mean causation.

Does having a single person in a social network somehow corrupt other people in that group and inexplicably turn them to believe that they need to go out, strap an explosive vest on and then blow themselves up in the middle of a coffee shop filled with women and children? Is there some sort of social network telepathy at work which causes people to fly planes into buildings in America, massacre school children in Russia, blow up marketplaces in Iraq and behead Buddhists in Thailand? According to these so-called experts a sense of adventure and socialising is somehow meant to explain this global behaviour by disparate Muslim groups who are so deluded that they believe they are actually following the precepts of their religion- waging war on unbelievers. In fact, they're so mistaken that they've been waging jihad in one form or another like this for well over a thousand years.

Does Kilcullen or Sageman explain how these social networks install the belief that gunning down a heavily pregnant woman and her young children in cold blood is a good thing? Do they explain how those social networks make others applaud such an action and praise the killers as martyrs? Does this explain how terrorists in London, Paris, Chechnya, the Middle East, Thailand, etc, etc, etc all share the same fundamental beliefs in the teachings of war and violent subjugation taught by the religion of Islam? These people aren't connected in any way- not by their networks, language, culture, but only by their shared religion. How then, does the social network theory explain that? More importantly, how does the theory explain why Jews across the world are not using their networks to wage war too- or Buddhists, Christians or even atheists? Are Muslims the only ones with social networks which function this way? Or is that, just maybe, there's some other link that might explain why so many people from so many different countries all over the world find the need to embark on a violent path that just happens to coincide with the exhortations of their religion?

Friday, February 16, 2007

This Offends Who Exactly?

So can we take from this that the town is not opposed to stoning women in public or having them circumcised?

The town council in Hérouxville amended its provocative immigrant code of conduct Monday night to remove certain rules.

Council adopted the changes, which include removing references to "no stoning of women in public" and "no female circumcision."

Councillors said the rules were open to misinterpretation by journalists who have flocked to the Mauricie town of 1,200 since it adopted the code of conduct in January.

How, exactly, do you misinterpret "no stoning of women in public"? Feminists, is it time for you to speak up yet?

Arming America's Enemies

There's been much made of the recent Steyr sale of sniper rifles to Iran, which promptly turned up in the hands of terrorists in Iraq, but much more important is this story- one that seems to be getting very little attention-

The U.S. has been regularly shipping convoys of weapons to Fatah security forces in Gaza and the West Bank.

WND reported the U.S. in recent weeks transferred 7,000 assault rifles and more than 1 million rounds of ammunition to Fatah militias.

The same Fatah that has just created a joint cabinet with Hamas- the same Fatah who operates the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade; you know, the monsters who regularly carry out terrorist attacks against civilians, often in league with Islamic Jihad.

“Violent operations will target all American interests if they attempt to harm the secretary-general, Dr. Ramadan Shallah,” said Abu Ahmed, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad’s armed wing.

At least, thus far, the $86 million to Fatah has been blocked.

The move comes after Hamas and Fatah last week signed a unity government that includes a clause for Hamas' 20,000-member Special Forces unit to be incorporated into the Palestinian government's main militias, which are controlled by Fatah.

If this goes ahead, the US will be directly funding Hamas, not to mention the other terrorists involved. When will Washington see that their policies have failed- giving money and arms to terrorists will not make them suddenly peaceful. Their intent is now, and has always been, clear- to destroy Israel. No amount of money so far has made them change their mind- so why keep following the same failed policy over and over again?

Defeating America From Within

The traitor Murtha has revealed his real intent-

Democrats are challenging President Bush's power to wage war, contending they've found a way to block a troop increase in Iraq and prevent any pre-emptive invasion of Iran.

"This country needs a dramatic change of course in Iraq and it is the responsibility of this Congress to consummate that change," said Rep. John Murtha, who chairs the House panel that oversees military spending.

Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, is preparing legislation that would set strict conditions on combat deployments, including a year rest between combat tours. Ultimately, the congressman says, his measure would make it impossible for Bush to maintain his planned deployment of a total of about 160,000 troops for months on end.

Murtha's proposal also might block the funding of military operations inside Iran -- a measure intended to send a signal to Bush that he will need Congress' blessing if he is planning another war.

"The president could veto it, but then he wouldn't have any money," Murtha told an anti-war group in an interview broadcast on movecongress.org.

Prevent pre-emptive war against Iran? That seems to mean that they will only authorise war with Iran after Iran has attacked first. Given that they are rushing towards obtaining nuclear weapons- and already have the cruise missiles to launch them- that seems to be the most preposterous, dangerous thing I've ever heard. Not only do these politicians want to see America's armed forces defeated, they are also gambling with thousands of innocent lives into the bargain. We've already seen the evidence that Iran is funding, training and equipping terrorists in Iraq who kill American soldiers- but that's not enough for the modern-day Democrat. Will they be convinced there's a need to go to war after Israel is attacked by a nuclear missile? When American forces in the Gulf are targeted? Or when an Iranian nuke is detonated in an American city?

Shameful, despicable posturing with no regard for national security. And yet Murtha is so upfront about it- preventing the American armed forces from remaining funded and manned in a time of war. How many will die because of Democrat's desperate need to oppose Bush?

No Second = No First

David Codrea continues his excellent work, this time highlighting the story of New Jersey hoplophobe Joan Quigley who wants to limit gun purchases to one per month. So much for the Constitution.

He also shows how this tyrant-in-waiting has no respect not only for the Second Amendment, but also for the First.

On June 8, 2006, Quigley and Assemblywoman Linda Stender proposed banning the sale of Ann Coulter's book Godless: The Church of Liberalism in New Jersey. They issued a joint press release, calling on "..New Jersey retailers to ban the sale of her book throughout the state."

Is this what the Democrats have come to? Is this what America has come to? More and more lately I've been watching as the freest country in the world has been eroded from within by power-hungry politicians who seem to despise the Constitution and the rights it enshrines. Once-Great Britain is already in sad decline, but it seems more and more that America is following it down the same path.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Disarming The Militia?

DirtCrashr of Anthroblogogy highlights the utterly enraging story of a Democrat (who else?) lawmaker who wants to disarm citizen militias who patrol to discover illegal activity- labelling them domestic terrorists and mandating a minimum jail sentence of six months which "shall not be deferred, deleted or otherwise suspended and shall commence on the date of sentencing." The Arizona representative is specifically targeting groups like the Minuteman project.

An individual or group of individuals commits domestic terrorism if the individual or group of individuals are not affiliated with a local, state or federal law enforcement entity and associate with another individual or group of individuals as an organization, group, corporation or company for the purpose of patrolling to detect alleged illegal activity or to individually patrol for the purpose of detecting alleged illegal activity and if the individual or group of individuals is armed with a firearm or other weapon.

In other words she seems to be directly contravening the 2nd Amendment-

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

So this Democrat is essentially trying to outlaw citizens from upholding the laws of the United States. It's interesting that she includes the language "individually patrol"- does this mean that if you happen to belong to some organisation and some day when you're out and about, armed, and you come across a crime- you too will be labelled a domestic terrorist? From the sounds of this law too, in the event of some disaster a community organising and patrolling while armed to defend their neighbourhood would also be committing an act of "domestic terrorism". I wonder what else it could be applied to?

Flight of Fantasy

The undisputed king of fantasy art- Frank Frazetta. This is cover art for Escape On Venus, part of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Amtor series. The first book is Pirates of Venus, free to read here.

Infested

I can't quite remember what prompted me to add this DVD to my rental list- when it arrived in the post I drew a blank on the title. The tagline for the film is this, "Invasion of the killer bugs." Well, probably that was all that was needed!

From the start I've got to say that this isn't a great horror film- the premise is interesting but not particularly well executed, the CGI effects are amateurish and it lacked any sense of tension. However, there is something likeable about it. The first part of the film concerns a group of thirtysomethings getting together for the first time in years for the funeral of one of their friends. Among the cast are Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Robert Duncan McNeill (Star Trek- Voyager), David Packer (Daniel Bernstein from V) and Tuc Watkins (The Mummy, the guy who has his eyes removed). And this is the section of the film that works the best for me- it was good to see these guys back on screen again and the cast seemed to gel together well. Nothing of note happens during this set up phase but it was fun to watch.

When the story does get moving we discover that some mutant flies are able to take over bodies. Cue some pretty good FX (the gore was done the good old-fashioned way) when the first of the group are infected and some blood begins to fly. It's all a bit chaotic and confused and I thought it was handled pretty well. It's right up until just after this point that we have a pretty good horror movie on our hands. It falls down though when we get some survivors locked in the house with the fly-atons outside. And it really bugs me (pardon the pun) that the film-makers lost their grip on the plot here. It could have been a little gem of a film but the execution from here on was badly handled. It felt almost as if a different director was in charge. While the first fight-encounter was very well done, the second (when the group tries to go outside) is awful. Instead of excitement, tension, danger and pace, we get a lot of standing around doing nothing. And it then progresses into a pretty mundane journey to the end. Nothing too exciting and you've seen it all before.

I'm not sure what went wrong exactly- perhaps it was the challenge of the flies-as-opponents? Whatever it was, the film runs out of steam quickly and trails off. Which is a real shame. The cast and crew need to get back together and re-shoot the second half of the film. Maybe get rid of the fly idea and just have the people possessed by something, anything, else. There are parasites that can control the minds of insects- change the plot to feature a mutant version of them and forget all about flies.

It could have been really creepy- their best friends turned into virtually unstoppable killers- but someone, somewhere, dropped the ball. All in all I'd say that this is worth checking out for its curiosity value- the actors were pretty good in their roles, they just weren't given good enough material to work with. Another of those "could have been good" films.

Treason

This is utterly shameful and, in my opinion, an act of treason- designed for one purpose and one only- to prevent American troops in wartime from winning that war. Of course, Grandpa Murtha is at the helm, doing all he can to place American servicemen's lives in the utmost danger. Criticising and questioning a war- and how it is being conducted- is one thing- but this has crossed over a line. These traitors are actively attempting to defeat America's military.

They disgust me.

Top House Democrats, working in concert with anti-war groups, have decided against using congressional power to force a quick end to U.S. involvement in Iraq, and instead will pursue a slow-bleed strategy designed to gradually limit the administration’s options.

They are being joined by Republicans too-

Nearly a dozen Republican congressmen broke ranks with party leaders Wednesday to endorse a resolution opposing President Bush's plan to send more than 21,000 additional troops to Iraq.

At least one Democrat seems to understand what's at stake, although he uses particularly mild language-

Among Democrats, at least one -- Rep. Jim Marshall of Georgia -- has said he would oppose the resolution. Marshall opposes Bush's plan and has called for a reduction in the U.S. contingent in Iraq, but he compared the resolution to "booing in the middle of our own team's play because we don't like the coach's call."

This isn't just booing though- it's actively aiding the enemy to defeat America militarily.

Damn them all.

Day of the Dead Image

As you may know the Romero zombie film Day of the Dead is being "remade". And by remade I mean that they've taken the title, some character names and then thrown out the actual story. I guess they're banking on the title alone to get people to come watch- which seems like an awful waste to me. A talented director could have come along to do an actual, worthy remake. That's man's out of luck now I suppose.

Anyway, you can see a trailer for the movie here and below is an image of Mena Suvari from the film. I've got mixed feelings about this one so far- I'm hoping that they can do a good job but my gut's telling me this won't be another Dawn of the Dead. In any event, it's another zombie film- and for that I am truly happy!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Listen To The Enemy

Seems like the Democrats and other appeasers around the world need to open their ears and actually listen to what the enemy is saying-

In a message released Monday, al Qaeda's No. 2 leader called on Muslims to unite under Taliban leader Mullah Omar and stop attempting to form secular governments.

They should follow only the strict Islamic Sharia law, said Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Calling the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, allied with the United States, "traitors," Zawahiri warned the United States "is about to depart and abandon them, just as it abandoned their like in Vietnam."

Zawahiri also took aim at Democrats, directing a part of his message to them.

"The people chose you due to your opposition to Bush's policy in Iraq, but it appears that you are marching with him to the same abyss, and it appears that you will take part with him in the defeat and certain failure, with God's permission," he said. "And the American people shall discover that you are all one side of the same coin of tyranny, criminality and failure."

I guess that he hadn't yet heard of Obama's call for a March 2008 retreat? In a sane world, rhetoric like this would convince Democrats that they need to side with Bush- and do exactly the opposite of what our enemy wants.