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A_Nonny_Mouse
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Regarding the comments on EMP's and the other dangers we face- it's crossed my mind several times that some coalition of hostile powers (like Russia, China, N. Korea, Iran, and who else?) may try to do to the USA what we did to the former Soviet Union; specifically, cause us to spend ourselves into collapse. I don't think they would see a downside; our Commander-in-Chief has established himself as a moral relativist who's willing to negotiate anything away, but is NOT willing to make any real demands. As far as I can see, he's a "War Is Not The Answer" guy, no matter how bad the alternative might be. So, start with the global financial crisis -- the major European countries and the USA are teetering on the brink of default. Then add in the current uprisings and revolutions in the Middle East; there's concern about keeping the Suez Canal open, so we're sending aircraft carriers "just in case". Now after this massive earthquake, Japan will need lots of aid and assistance; of course we'll send ships with heavy equipment and manpower over there. Meanwhile, we're still involved in Iraq, and HEAVILY involved in Afghanistan. So what next? Does North Korea launch some kind of attack on-or-near South Korea? Does Pakistan lose control of its nukes? Does Iran or Lebanon or Syria or Russia do something that we simply MUST respond to? Does somebody set off an EMP attack? What if the next terrorist attack is successful? How thin can we spread our military? Planes cost money, tanks cost money, weapons cost money, recruiting and training costs money AND takes time. How long can this country say "just charge it" and rack up a trillion-dollars-plus in new debt each year (that must be paid, somehow, as does the INTEREST on that debt). We're hearing that oil-producing countries want to go off the dollar standard; we're being warned that our bond rating may be lowered, thus making Treasury bonds less attractive to buyers; we're printing "funny money" and pretending that it won't have Unintended Consequences. How close are we, really, to the point where we can no longer respond to the Next Big Crisis? (And what happens THEN??) A rational person might start getting concerned about this stuff...
Toggle Commented Mar 13, 2011 on Waiting for Sauron at ShrinkWrapped
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To Nightelf (I know I'm posting a week late-- but in case you come back to this article, let me point you to the Richard Landes piece referred to above; it might help clarify the discussion): http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2010/11/14/on-athiest-morality/
Toggle Commented Dec 31, 2010 on Plumbing New Depths at ShrinkWrapped
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Jimmy J's comment of 12/17/10 @ 6:29 pointed to an interesting topic (and yet it's confusing to me-- is this part of the definition of religion &/or morality? or just part of the broader Western culture, which includes echoes of our Judeo-Christian heritage?): Who decides what people owe each other? What is moral? How are we to live, in order to assure that everybody is treated fairly? We all think we know what our rights are; what are our responsibilities? How do we know we're doing what WE should do, and how do we persuade others to do what THEY should do? What if "they" don't share our beliefs about what they "should" do? Who owes what, to whom, and why? And finally ==WHO GETS TO DECIDE?? AND HOW? WHO GETS TO ENFORCE?? AND HOW?== See http://jeffords.blogspot.com/2010/12/progressives-v-conservatives-on.html where he mentions "a significant divide between how the political ideologies view Christianity." His post goes on to say "I would speculate the divide is a result of the differing view of government. For progressives, nothing is above government {my bold- Nonny}, so religion must be given a subordinate position. Conservatives do not have this problem ... There is also a notion that enlightenment and intellectualism are mutually exclusive from religion {which is} just old fashioned arrogance." The House of Eratosthenes picks up and elaborates on Jeffords' post http://www.peekinthewell.net/blog/conservatives-liberals-christianity-and-government/ stating "You make reference to a dichotomy involving whether religion should be subordinated to government ... The possibility that atheism {is based on faith just as religion is- Nonny}, arouses another possibility that those who are trying to secularize the government, are the ones who are trying to establish a theocracy ... know it or not." And then: "They talk a good game about building a new society, a wonderful society, based on tolerance and acceptance. But their most zealous acolytes are so bitter, resentful and angry; they wouldn’t know what tolerance was if tolerance ran up and kicked ‘em ... They want to be the only game in town. On each question, on each issue, on each matter of any public policy. And then they want to make everything that has to do with the living of life, a matter of public policy." (Later, from a comment: "I think lots of atheists realize that the question “how should I live?” doesn’t admit of too many non-religious answers {so they toss that hot potato to the State- Nonny} ... Since progressivism is nothing if not a set of rules about living ...") The gist of the above: Religion used to tell you how to live. Now it's The State. (Bewildered: When-the-heck-did-THAT-happen???????)
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Another couple of things about China... (1) The leadership has been aggressively trying to limit their population growth (I assume because if famine comes and the government can't ensure there's enough food, there would be a billion-and-a-half people rioting in the streets. No matter how large the police/ military/ other security forces, there's no way to control THAT many people; the leadership wants to be sure they STAY in control no-matter-what). (2) Due to the one-child policy and the Chinese preference for sons, there are millions of "missing" (aborted) females. This means that there are millions of men NOT engaged in supporting their families, NOT preoccupied with the joys of family life, and ready to be diverted by - whatever. Forbidden ideas?? Enemies of the state??? I'm not saying that the Chinese are actively seeking ways to "thin their own herd", but it's entirely possible that they wouldn't necessarily MIND some conflict or crisis that could be addressed by sending a hundred-million men off to fight. They've got plenty of people to spare. And what other country in the world has enough human resources to do battle against a military THAT big? (I guess the opposing side would be forced into "unconventional warfare"; and that's a topic we don't want to get into...)
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Jimmy J- Thanks for the link to your post. I go back and forth on the idea of "is there a God", and at least half the time when I'm sorta leaning toward believing, I run into the brick wall of my anger that He can be such a malicious cruel bastard. So, I guess you could say I have a lot of work to do in the Belief department. It helps to know that others, you for instance, have had moments of grace; so there's still hope for me to get squared away with the Big Questions of the Universe.
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" ... but the most terrible atrocities in human history have been perpetuated by those who believe that Man has replaced G-d as the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong ... " =========================== Interesting that I just today ran across a discussion on the related issue of "Can there be morality without reference to God?" at Augean Stables: http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2010/11/14/on-athiest-morality/#more-2348 The gist of his argument is that "Yes, NOW that we have a sufficiently long-lived culture BASED ON JUDEO-CHRISTIAN MORALITY, we can "reason our way" to goodness. But -- and it's a VERY BIG "but" -- other cultures have, and do, come to completely different conclusions as to what constitutes "the good" through rational analysis BASED ON THEIR OWN CULTURAL BIASES". There's way too much good stuff there for me to excerpt it here. Please go read the whole thing, it's a good one.
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Ooooh, the "I'm a Muslim therefore I'm a Victim Of The West; consequently I must 'defend Islam' by taking easily-disprovable potshots at American motives" is strong in this one! Actually, "anon", NO we are NOT "projecting American desires onto Islam/Muslims". Go read your history. Islam has a 1400-year-old history of conquest. America doesn't. We didn't attack Afghanistan for mere conquest (ie, to acquire land and resources); we invaded because its corrupt government gave safe haven to international terrorists (specifically, Osama bin Laden, the SOB who engineered the 9-11 attack on the Twin Towers). As far as Iraq, it was under UN sanction and kept thwarting its embargo and firing on aircraft attempting to monitor/enforce the embargo; eventually satellite pictures showed what looked like rocket tubes, and our intel agencies feared Saddam was remobilizing his military in preparation for another attack outside Iraq's borders. The UN authorized our attack, we deposed Saddam's regime, and the much ballyhooed accusation of "Blood for Oil" NEVER materialized. (Amazingly, we've never heard an apology from the Loony Left for their vile assumption that the point of Gulf War II was to seize the Iraqi oilfields. =Sigh=. But - I digress...) You have a slight point in regard to civilian casualties. If the terrorists had abided by the Geneva Conventions and not used civilians as shields, the numbers would be dramatically lower. (Although to be fair, the victims of Muslim terrorism ARE disproportionately Muslim civilians. That "we love death" thing sure doesn't make for peaceful and stable societies, does it?) ============= It really gets tiring defending against the same old Islamic agit-prop arguments over and over again. Bear with me a moment while I refer to a joke I heard once, about a group of prisoners who told the same jokes over and over again, to the point they just started referring to them by numbers: One prisoner calls out "#29!" (Hilarity). Then another- "#14!" (Explosive laughter). Then- "#51!" (Silence -- followed by "He just can't tell a joke, can he?") The point? I'd like to see a website where all the common West-bashing arguments are listed out, followed by their refutations. Then suckers like me wouldn't waste their time rebutting this idiocy over and over again; we could just refer offenders to the "Refutations" web page and the argument number. As in, "Sorry, anon, you're waaay wrong: go to Refutations #427 and enlighten yourself". Andrew Breitbart, are you listening? How about a "BigRefutations" website?
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2010 on Flying While Muslim at ShrinkWrapped
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PS to Jimmy J Regarding the O'Reilly "Muslims attacked us on 9-11" flap: You mentioned "...it is obvious that they look at Muslims as an oppressed group..." Have you read the article "You don't need a Weatherman..." located at http://www.archive.org/details/YouDontNeedAWeathermanToKnowWhichWayTheWindBlows_925 (and also see Glenn Beck's commentary at http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/43291/ which hits some of the highlights) Once you've read "Weatherman", you'll hear echoes of it in nearly everything the Left does and says: the "oppressor" and the "victims of oppression", the need for "revolution" (which I believe current Leftists have restated as "change"), the unending evil of the West, the utopian ideals of socialism, the need for Black Liberation. The thing that struck me about this "manifesto" was the absolutely alien mindset that it's grounded in. I would say it's "stupid", except the writers use good grammar and spell exceptionally well. Still, the sheer dumb-assery (and hostility, and violence) of its basic premise would leave a sane person aghast. How can anyone read such bunk and not know that it's bunk? But --back to my original point-- the thoughts and opinions revealed in this document, irrational and reprehensible as they are, still reverberate in the Left's psyche now, 40 years after it was originally written. It's chilling to know that this claptrap still influences people -- including some really bright, well-educated folks who by all reckoning ought to know better.
Toggle Commented Oct 22, 2010 on Juan Williams Fired for Crimethink at ShrinkWrapped
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It's hysterically funny, don'cha think, that NPR feels its "journalistic standards" are compromised when Juan Williams mentions that HE (himself, personally) gets nervous in an airplane if ostentatiously-Islamic Muslims are present; but they see NO HINT of conflict with those standards when uber-Lefty George Soros throws $1.8 million dollars their way for the explicit purpose of hiring more political reporters. The excuse they gave for dumping Mr. Williams rings kind of false, wouldn't you say?
Toggle Commented Oct 22, 2010 on Juan Williams Fired for Crimethink at ShrinkWrapped
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Neil- I'm one of those Baby Boomers. I'd had a decent IT job for about 10 years, then in 2008 the company I worked for was sold. Bye-bye job. I eventually found a part-time position and am barely keeping my head above water by spending down my savings. If I can hold out to the end of the year, I'll be eligible for early retirement. If I can't find a REAL job by then, economics will force my hand -- Social Security here I come. (My original plan was to work till age 72 so I'd get a higher monthly payment-- ha, ha! Reality trumps my plans again!) So in my case, it looks like I retire 10 years EARLIER than I'd planned. My other option is "win the lottery"; I'm putting my best efforts into that one... ;)
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2010 on Balancing on a Pin at ShrinkWrapped
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"If only we could do what Jay suggests ... and determine there will be no more surrender of our rights, then the confrontation will be less traumatic and less deadly for all ... " ====================== We wonder why the French put up with the nightly Car-B-Ques; we wonder why the "no-go" zones across Europe are tolerated; we wonder why newspapers and magazines hesitate to publish The Muhammad Cartoons. The answer is that in the West, there is a presumption that citizens are law-abiding. Our police forces are relatively small. For instance, we don't have enough police to challenge the "ownership" of the Muslim ghettos. ESPECIALLY in these days of instant communication, all it would take is a couple of tweets and ANY attempt to re-establish the State's supremacy in a Muslim enclave could well ignite all of Europe. Before we try to reclaim the West FOR the West, we're going to have to hire considerably more police (and categorically omit Muslims), and then spend several months to a year training them. Do you think that could happen in this political climate? The Leftward Idiots who already control things would scream "racist bigots!" to the point of keeling over from hypoxia; and all the various legislatures would spring into action. I don't believe the "do it while it can be done fairly easily ad bloodlessly" prescription will work in today's world (sad to say). The Islamic World War is probably coming soon, to locations near all of us.
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2010 on 1938 and 2010 at ShrinkWrapped
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[Imagine dumb girly-squeak voice here:] Oh, NOES!!! They had a foot of, like, global warming all over the streets back in, like, 1940, too? Ohhh, how long has this, like, global catastrophe been going on? And only NOW do we have the important right-thinking scientists with modern tools like their hockey-stick graphs to PROVE the consensus on the incontrovertible fact that our evillll ways make it, like, hot and then cold, stormy then clear. OMIGOSH they were all, like, dooooooomed even way back then and they didn't have a Goreacle to tell them about it, those poor sad carbon-effluent-emitting people!!!! How did they, like, survive at all??????
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2010 on Woodstock at davidthompson
I find it interesting that according to CNN's interview with his cousin, Maj. Hasan believed he was harassed "for being Muslim". Various news sources indicate that Hasan spent years justifying suicide bombers and arguing that Muslims in the M.E. were correct in luring American GI's into IED attacks, yet Maj. Hasan had no idea that American soldiers, hearing this crap from a Muslim-American Army officer, would react with hostility? Just to be clear, he wasn't harassed for being Muslim, he was scorned for being pro-jihad and anti-American-military. === A general observation- From my point of view, Muslims-as-a-group seem to have an almost-eager sensitivity to slights or "disrespect", which are then used as proof of "oppression". I can't shake the feeling that "the Muslim community" is happiest when they're recounting the many ways in which they're harassed or victimized. Yet they're not open to the surrounding culture and seem to want to stay in a "closed society". Why do they come here, then? Why do they stay when our society is so unpalatable to them? Even if they were born here, if they want to live under Sharia law, why don't they move to Saudi Arabia or some other strictly-Muslim society? I just have a hard time understanding why they move here, hate our culture, hate our country, accuse us of racism/ bigotry/ harassment/ insensitivity, yet they stay here and seethe instead of picking up and moving to an "elsewhere" that would be more to their liking. Just. Don't. Get. It.
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Frankly, I want to get the government and its mandates and its taxes OUT of my bedroom, my garage, my kitchen, my yard, and my doctor's office. What I do with food is my own business. My body/ my health is my business. My recreation is my business. What kind of car I drive is my business. The kind of light bulbs I use is my business. Government needs to stop trying to be my Mommy. I'll make my own damn choices, thank-you-very-much, and I'll live with the consequences just like a grown-up SHOULD do. If this Nanny-State government would stop trying to oversee everything we-the-citizens do, it would be better equipped to focus on its true purpose: defend our borders, protect property, and maintain civil order. (Note: my belief is that pushing advantages for certain favored groups or classes over "everybody else" is not conducive to civil society; it undermines the equality-before-the-law that we say we stand for, and results in group/ class grievances which foster unrest.) If government can be pushed back to its "core functions", it would become much smaller, cheaper, and easier to manage than it is now!
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The senator worked very hard for her title... by promising more-and-greater benefits from the public treasury, in exchange for all those votes from the Great Unwashed? Like, wow, dude. Promising to spend Other People's Money is apparently really hard work, huh? Do you suppose she appreciates how a Brigadier General gets HIS title/rank? Does she suppose he found it in a Cracker Jack box? We sure have a bumper crop of narcissists in Washington DC this year, don't we?
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Jimmy J. Got a big chuckle out of your turn of phrase. OK, remember, everyone, we got the advance notice here on Shrinkwrapped: New US policy is going to be "walk stickly and carry a big soft" .
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