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Sunday February 5, 2006

The Muslim outrage over those cartoons, first published in a Danish newspaper nearly four months ago, continues to build:

Lebanese demonstrators have set fire to the Danish embassy in Beirut during protests over newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. It follows the torching of the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria, which also damaged the Chilean and Swedish embassies.

Mark Steyn also makes an interesting point:

I never thought I'd switch on the TV and see the excitable young lads jumping up and down in Jakarta, Lahore, Aden, Hebron, etc., etc., torching the flag of Denmark.

Denmark! Even if you were overcome with a sudden urge to burn the Danish flag, where do you get one in a hurry in Gaza? Well, OK, that's easy: the nearest European Union Humanitarian Aid and Intifada-Funding Branch Office. But where do you get one in an obscure town on the Punjabi plain on a Thursday afternoon? If I had a sudden yen to burn the Yemeni or Sudanese flag on my village green, I haven't a clue how I'd get hold of one in this part of New Hampshire. Say what you like about the Islamic world, but they show tremendous initiative and energy and inventiveness, at least when it comes to threatening death to the infidels every 48 hours for one perceived offense or another. If only it could be channeled into, say, a small software company, what an economy they'd have.

Apparently, these spontaneous bursts of Muslim outrage take some planning:

Why were those Danish flags to hand? Who built up the stockpile so that they could be quickly dragged out right across the Muslim world and burnt where television cameras would come and look? The more you study this story of "spontaneous" Muslim rage, the odder it seems.

Now, a U.S. newspaper, The Philadelphia Enquirer has published the cartoons. But hey, they don't want to get firebombed too, so they added a caveat:

The Inquirer included a note with its publication of the image which read, in part, "The Inquirer intends no disrespect to the religious beliefs of any of its readers. But when a use of religious imagery that many find offensive becomes a major news story, we believe it is important for readers to be able to judge the content of the image for themselves."

Gustave Dore's depiction of Mohammed in the Eighth Circle of Hell

Other newspapers have not been so gutsy:

Still, most American newspapers are not publishing the cartoons, sticking mostly to the view that they constitute offensive images. "You want to make sure that you are sensitive to the cultural sensitivities," said Mike Days, editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, which may run the images next week, but remains cautious. "I think you want to do it in a way that makes sense. I am not so sure the average American understands what the controversy is about, the use of the images of Muhammad."

As Michele Malkin notes, the MSM is never quite so culturally sensitive about offending Christians. But then, Christians are probably not going to slit their throats in the name of god.

Finally, it should be noted that Mohammed has been portrayed in art throughout the ages and was judged by Dante to inhabit the Eighth Circle of Hell with other Sowers of Discord:

Inferno XXVIII, 19-42.

The poets are in the ninth chasm of the eighth circle, that of the Sowers of Discord, whose punishment is to be mutilated. Mahomet shows his entrails to Dante and Virgil while on the left stands his son Ali, his head cleft from chin to forelock.

Friday February 3, 2006

Victor Davis Hanson:

Over a half-million Jews were forcibly cleansed from Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo, and other Arab cities after the 1967 war; but only on the West Bank are there still refugees who lost their homes. Over a million people were butchered in Rwanda; thousands die each month in Darfur. The world snoozes. Yet less than 60 are killed in a running battle in Jenin, and suddenly the 1.5 million lost in Stalingrad and Leningrad are evoked as the moral objects of comparison, as the globe is lectured about "Jeningrad."

Now the Islamic world is organizing boycotts of Denmark because one of its newspapers chose to run a cartoon supposedly lampooning the prophet Mohammed. We are supposed to forget that it is de rigueur in raucous Scandinavian popular culture to attack Christianity with impunity. Much less are we to remember that Hamas terrorists occupied and desecrated the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in a globally televised charade.

And why do we tolerate this? Two words: oil and nukes.

Since pigskin weekend is upon us, this is appropriate:

There was an ancient war over the pig. Jews and Christians worked it out, allowing each group their own pig views. After settling the pig matter, Judeo-Christianity reconciled the separation of Church and State, giving birth to the Grand Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the founding of America, where religious freedom gave rise to civil liberties and economic freedom.

Islam rejects religious freedom, and still prohibits pigs, even more than 300 years after their (second) truce at the gates of Vienna on September 11, 1683. In fact, there is a permanent Jihad (“Holy War”) against all that is non-Muslim, in order to establish Islamic law of Shari’a throughout the world. This Islamic government, dating back to the 7th Century, rejects your right to religious freedom, your right to exist as a non-Muslim if push comes to shove, any and all civil freedoms, and, of course, Israel’s right to exist.

This is one area where I think GWB has missed the mark, both as a Republican and as a Conservative:

The era of big government is far from over. Over the past five years, Bush and the Republican-led Congress have been far better at expanding government than shrinking it. Spending for national security and government entitlement programs has skyrocketed, without offsetting cuts in other programs.

Heard any good Chuck Norris jokes lately? Here are a few:

  • When the boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

  • Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

  • There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

  • Chuck Norris doesn't wear a watch. He decides what time it is.

  • When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up - he's pushing the Earth down.

  • There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

Thursday February 2, 2006

Meth. Crystal. Crank. Call it any name, but it has ruined untold lives. Today comes news that former child star of Full House, Jodie Sweetin is a meth addict. Hopefully, her saga will have a happy ending:

Her former Full House family -- including Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Bob Saget and John Stamos -- staged an intervention and Sweetin wound up spending six weeks in a drug rehab facility.

This is not the typical resolution for such a condition as can clearly be seen on the Faces of Meth website. These two pictures were taken only 1 1/2 years apart.

It's not exactly macro-evolution of the Darwinian sort. They don't make a carp into a wren. But, as illustrated by the headline (Scientists Force Evolution in the Lab) the pro-evolutionists will proclaim it a victory, nonetheless:

Scientists have forced a little evolution in the laboratory, controlling whether a caterpillar becomes green or black. The color of the critter was made to vary with temperature during its development. The experiment reveals the basic hormonal mechanism underlying the evolution of such dual traits, the researchers report in the Feb. 3 issue of the journal Science.

"Don't ever ask the question, 'what else could happen.'" Those words were heard in New Orleans today after tornadoes rolled through the town in the early morning hours.

On a related note, the National Weather Service has revised the Fujita scale.

You think you have a bad job; check out these guys.

No bird flu here--just a bunch of drunken birds:

All died of broken necks after slamming into windowpanes, apparently after gorging themselves on berries that had begun to rot, turning the juice inside to alcohol, Wehsely said. She said the juice probably continued to ferment as the birds digested the berries, causing them to become disoriented and fly into the panes

The Palestinians are demanding apologies from the governments of France, Denmark and Norway for their publication of cartoons offensive to Muslims. The European Union has closed its offices in Gaza City. There are threats of violence againse French, Danish and Norwegian national in Palestinian controlled areas. Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad spokesman strikes a more temperate tone:

Abu Hafez, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad, called on foreign journalists to condemn the cartoon. "The West must understand that their insult on our prophet is an act of aggression on the entire Muslim and Arab world," he said.

However, he called on armed groups to refrain from attacking foreign journalists and members of humanitarian delegations. "We urge the armed groups to halt these actions because they cause damage to our people's interests," he added. "We don't target foreigners here because they're not our enemies. They're not the ones who insulted the prophet."

Steffen Jansen, the Jerusalem-based Middle East bureau chief of Denmark's TV-2, told the Post that he would continue to work in the Palestinian areas despite the threats. "I'm not scared because I haven't run into a scary situation until now," he said. "I've covered this area for so many years and my experience has taught me that if I treat people with respect and dignity, I will have no problem."

So you see, innocent civilians shouldn't be killed because it is wrong. They shouldn't have their heads cut off because they're innocent. Simply put, in the eyes of the Palestinians, they should not be attacked because it would cause damage to their interests. One of those interests is certainly the vast sums of money that the EU forks over to the PA every year. Surely even cut-throat jihadist wouldn't want to lose his cash cow.

Meanwhile, there's a bit of a cartoon flap right here in the good ol'e U.S. of A.

Our incessant PC mindset and oversensitivity to any real or perceived offense has negative consequences on the War on Terror. It's true, Michael Smerconish says so:

That mind-set has extended to the war on terror. They kill innocent people - while we try to get the job done without causing offense. We put our tails between our legs on Abu Ghraib instead of simply saying, Hey, it was a half-dozen dopes out of 140,000;we're sorry, now give it a rest. We search 80-year-old blue-haired ladies just like young Arab males because no one has the stones to say, Sorry, fellows, but you resemble people trying to murder us - again - so we have to take a few precautions.

Today's thought to ponder: Why is it that we expect military action to succeed within months, but we give diplomacy years to fail?

At a meeting today of world powers at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Mohamed ElBaradei, the agency chief, said there was one last "window of opportunity" for Iran to co-operate. "We are reaching a critical phase but it is not a crisis," Dr ElBaradei told reporters.

On Monday, diplomats from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, UK, France, Russia and China - agreed that Iran must stop enriching uranium and allow UN inspectors into its nuclear sites or be referred to the UN Security Council.