Wednesday, August 30, 2006

An Inconvenient Scientist

Monday, August 28, 2006

U.N. Gave Away Israeli Positions

Friday, August 25, 2006

C-SPAN's Book TV to Air Broadcast on Dover Intelligent Design Decision

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Timothy McVeigh and Radical Muslims

A lot of people who want to get around the fact that most of the terrorists and pretty much all of the terrorists we worry about are Muslim use one particular comment.

"Timothy McVeigh" wasn't a Muslim.


And that means we shouldn't focus on Muslims because?

Now, I'm not saying all Muslims are terrorists. Far from it. But common sense should tell us that if the majority of terrorists are Muslims, we should be focusing on them.

If a one-armed man killed someone, you should be focusing on one-armed men.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How the Soviets Gave the Mullahs the Bomb

Islamists Playing Blame Game

Victor Davis Hanson goes through the standard Islamist gripes and shows that they are without merit. My main takeaway is we shouldn't overly concern ourselves with understanding their gripes. If they aren't rational, we need to understand how to crush the movement.
Islamists have griped, and continue today to gripe, about Western infidels encroaching on Muslim lands. Osama bin Laden attacked because of American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, or so he said. Hamas and Hezbollah resorted to terror to free Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank, or so they said.

Yet, nothing much has changed since the United States pulled its combat troops out of Saudi Arabia, or after the Israelis departed Gaza and Lebanon, and announced planned withdrawals from parts of the West Bank. Meanwhile, the elected Iraqi government wants American soldiers to stay longer.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Many Universes or Fairies?
The problem is that the many-universes hypothesis is used as a discussion-stopper - a way to avoid the fine-tuning of the universe.

Here’s what it reminds me of: A small child claiming that “the fairies” broke the vase or stole the cookies. I used to deal with that kind of thing as a childminder and later a young mother on a regular basis.

The real problem isn’t whether fairies exist or act - only a naif or a fool would try discussing that with the child - but whether “the fairies” are used to avoid addressing difficult sets of facts. So with many universes.

Friday, August 18, 2006

What is Islamic Terrorism Caused By?

I found an interesting article by a moderate Muslim in the New York Times.
n increasingly antiwar America, a similar argument is gaining traction: The United States brutalizes Muslims, which in turn foments Islamist terror.

But violent jihadists have rarely needed foreign policy grievances to justify their hot heads. There was no equivalent to the Iraq debacle in 1993, when Islamists first tried to blow up the World Trade Center, or in 2000, when they attacked the American destroyer Cole. Indeed, that assault took place after United States-led military intervention saved thousands of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo.

If Islamists cared about changing Iraq policy, they would not have bothered to abduct two journalists from France — probably the most antiwar, anti-Bush nation in the West. Even overt solidarity with Iraqi suffering did not prevent Margaret Hassan, who ran a world-renowned relief agency in Baghdad, from being executed by insurgents.

Meanwhile, at least as many Muslims are dying at the hands of other Muslims as under the boots of any foreign imperial power. In Sudan, black Muslims are starved, raped, enslaved and slaughtered by Arab militias, with the consent of an Islamic government. Where is the “official” Muslim fury against that genocide? Do Muslim lives count only when snuffed out by non-Muslims? If not, then here is an idea for Muslim representatives in the West: Go ahead and lecture the politicians that their foreign policies give succor to radicals. At the same time, however, challenge the educated and angry young Muslims to hold their own accountable, too.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why 'Realism' Is Not an Answer in the Middle East: a Response to George Will
'[D]oes [Mr. Will] believe what is needed in the Middle East is more repression, more violence, more mass graves, more Saddam Husseins, more Hafez al-Assads, and more Yasir Arafats? Would these things lead to more "stability" in the Middle East? Would they advance American interests? Would they advance human rights or human liberty or the common good?'

Wehner next produces a series of past statements in which Will took the position that the Middle East was far from stable and that the status quo there was not acceptable. On August 3, 1990, Will wrote that “Israel is the all-purpose but implausible alibi for the various pathologies that convulse many Arab nations and relations between them.” On October 19, 2000, he wrote, “In President Clinton’s final months of office, the Middle East is more aflame than when he began ministering to it.” On September 14, 2001, he wrote, “Islamic radicalism regards Israel as Nazi Germany regarded Belgium – as a small steppingstone toward a much larger conquest.”

Will was also quite sympathetic to the idea that democracy might well be the corrective to the region’s “pathologies.” After the first Gulf War, on January 12, 1992, he criticized the Bush-I administration for “not seriously [trying] to translate Kuwait’s moral debt to America into something truly new – an Arab democracy.” In the same column, he also criticized the administration for its “preference for order before freedom.” Earlier, on the subject of Iraq, Will had argued (on September 9, 1990) that it would be a good outcome or “at any rate the least bad outcome” for the U.S. to become “bogged down” there. In defense of this counter-intuitive notion, Will explained that “one reason the Berlin Wall is down is that U.S. forces were 'bogged down' in Europe 45 years after the war ended."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New Book: Debunking 9/11 Myths

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Red State Jews: Some Liberal Jews Started Realizing That Beliefs About Peace and Violence Not Matching Predictions
Yet, since 9/11 and the second intifada, where suicide bombings and beheadings have become the calling cards of Arab diplomacy, and with Hamas and Hezbollah emerging as elected entities that, paradoxically, reject the first principles of liberal democracy, I feel a great deal of moral anguish. Perhaps I have been naïve all along.

And I am not alone. Many Jews are in my position -- the children and grandchildren of labor leaders, socialists, pacifists, humanitarians, antiwar protestors -- instinctively leaning left, rejecting war, unwilling to demonize, and insisting that violence only breeds more violence. Most of all we share the profound belief that killing, humiliation and the infliction of unnecessary pain are not Jewish attributes.

However, the world as we know it today -- post-Holocaust,post-9/11, post-sanity -- is not cooperating. Given the realities of the new Middle East, perhaps it is time for a reality check.
It is true that Israel has entered into peace agreements
with Egypt and Jordan that have brought some measure of
historic stability to the region. But with Israel having
withdrawn from Lebanon and Gaza, and with Israeli public
opinion virtually united in favor of near-total withdrawal
from the West Bank, why are rockets being launched at Israel
now, why are their soldiers being kidnapped if the
aspirations of the Palestinian people, and the intentions of
Hamas and Hezbollah, stand for something other than the
total destruction of Israel? And if Palestinians and the
Lebanese are electing terrorists and giving them the
portfolio of statesmen, then what message is being sent to
moderate voices, what incentives are there to negotiate, and
how can any of this sobering news be recast in a more
favorable light?

The Jewish left is now in shambles. Peace Now advocates have
lost their momentum, and, in some sense, their moral

Thursday, August 10, 2006

For Those Not Following the Story Closely: Bloggers Uncover Fake Photos Used Against Israel

For all the examples, Little Green Footballs would be the best source.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Proportion and Israel
But, when an army goes to war against a terrorist organization, it's like watching the Red Sox play Andre Agassi: Each side is being held to its own set of rules. When Hezbollah launches rockets into Israeli residential neighborhoods with the intention of killing random civilians, that's fine because, after all, they're terrorists and that's what terrorists do. But when, in the course of trying to resist the terrorists, Israel unintentionally kills civilians, that's an appalling act of savagery. Speaking at West Point in 2002, President Bush observed: "Deterrence -- the promise of massive retaliation against nations -- means nothing against shadowy terrorist networks with no nation or citizens to defend." Actually, it's worse than that. In Hezbollahstan, the deaths of its citizens works to its strategic advantage: Dead Israelis are good news but dead Lebanese are even better, at least on the important battlefield of world opinion. The meta-narrative, as they say, is consistent through the media's Hez-one-they-made-earlier coverage, and the recent Supreme Court judgment, and EU-U.N. efforts to play "honest broker" between a sovereign state and a genocidal global terror conglomerate: All these things enhance the status of Islamist terror and thus will lead to more of it, and ever more "disproportionately."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Great New Video

Charlie Wilson's War: the Movie

Charlie Wilson's War was one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read. It was a spy-thriller, and the best part was that it was true.

The movie has Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman assigned to it. If it is half as good as the book, then I eagerly look forward to it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Lord of the Flies

Author links the rise in crime in Philly and fatherless households.
In case you missed it, there's a flurry of activity aimed at fighting Philly's increased violent crime. But while politicians looking to keep their jobs or get new ones work the problem - which, face it, extends to the prison cap, soft judges, cop management, etc. - I don't hear much about root causes.

Except from readers.

One asks, "Ever read 'Lord of the Flies?' " It's the classic 1954 William Golding novel about a group of civilized English boys marooned on an island without adult supervision. In short, they turn from society to savagery and bad things happen.

One could argue something similar happens to young boys marooned in urban poverty without adult supervision.

If you drop the niceties, forget political correctness and look this violence in the face, what you see is young minority perps and victims from low-income neighborhoods without enough adult supervision. Annually, about one-third of all births statewide are to unwed mothers, a figure that strikes me as high.

But in one of the state's 67 counties the unwed birth rate tops 50 percent. Care to guess?

Yep, Philadelphia County, in first place at 62 percent. In Philadelphia's Hispanic community, 74 percent of births are to unwed mothers; in the city's black community, it's 80 percent. And it's nothing new.

I'm not sure what could be done on the governmental level to solve this underlying issue, but I've been concerned about it for quite some time.

Sidney Blumenthal Leaks Information About Our Support of Israel

Not good.

Best of Philly

Philadelphia Magazine has released their annual Best of Philly issue. And now I'm very hungry.

Falafel, pierogies, taquerias, cheesesteaks, beer bars, beef sandwhiches, etc., etc.

Oddly enough, I don't think I've had their "best local beer", Troeg's Hopback Amber. Their best beer bar? South Philly Tap Room. I've been there, but it was so crowded we left.

Best bar food? North Third. Walked by it, but the Abbayye and Standard Tap are so good, it's hard to stop there while in Northern Liberties.

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