The difference between fiction and reality?|
Fiction has to make sense. Tom Clancy
quoted in an employee newsletter, May 3, 2006
Another Bataan Survivor Has Died
New Mexico honors its Bataan survivors. It always has, ever since they were rescued at the end of World War II. Here is the latest example, a story printed in the Albuquerque Journal today (Friday, August 26).
Bataan Death March survivor dies in Oregon
By Charles D. Brunt / Journal Staff Writer
Thursday, August 25th, 2016 at 11:44pm
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dwight Raymond Cable, a Bataan Death March survivor who joined the New Mexico National Guard’s 200th Coast Artillery Regiment while stationed here as a research scientist with the Soil Conservation Service in April 1941, died in his sleep Aug. 12 in Eugene, Ore., his nephew, Gary Cable of Peralta, said Wednesday. Dwight Cable was 99.
The Chicago native grew up in Tucson and attended the University of Arizona before graduating from the University of Idaho and going to work for the Soil Conservation Service, now known as the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service. Eight months before Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, which triggered America’s direct involvement in World War II, Cable joined the New Mexico National Guard and soon shipped out to the Philippines.
In April 1942, Japanese captors marched about 78,000 prisoners of war – 12,000 Americans and 66,000 Filipinos – for six days on the Bataan Peninsula on the Philippine island of Luzon to a prisoner-of-war camp known as Camp O’Donnell. Many were denied food, water or medical care, and some were stabbed or bayoneted along the 65-mile route.
|Dwight Raymond Cable, who was in New Mexico National Guard’s 200th Coast Artillery Regiment, is shown in 2002. He died Aug. 12. (Courtesy of Gary Cable)||Dwight Raymond Cable, a sergeant during World War II, is shown in 1941 shortly after joining the Army. Cable died Aug. 12 in Eugene, Ore., at age 99. (Courtesy of Gary Cable)|
Among the American defenders of Bataan were Cable and some 1,800 soldiers from New Mexico, many with the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments. About half of them did not survive the war.
Cable, who was a company clerk with C Battery of the 515th Coast Artillery Regiment when captured, was sent on a “hell ship” to a POW prison camp near Shinjuku, Japan, where more than 2,300 other American POWs were held. His capture was first reported to the International Committee of the Red Cross on May 7, 1942, and the last report was made on Oct. 15, 1945. Based on those reports, he was imprisoned for at least 3½ years before being liberated by U.S. forces.
Gary Cable said his uncle’s only comment on his POW experience was: “You had to keep your sense of humor. Those that didn’t, didn’t make it.”
“What I remember most about Dwight was his dry sense of humor,” Gary Cable said. “He was once hiking with my parents in the mountains near Ouray, Colo. My mother was interested in learning about the plants they saw, and asked Dwight to identify them for her – including by scientific name. It took her a while to realize he was giving her the same scientific name for every plant she pointed to.”
Dwight Cable’s younger brother, Lowell Dean Cable, went into Normandy via Omaha Beach on the day after D-Day. His older brother, Donovan Chambers Cable, tried to join the military as well but was medically disqualified from contributing to the war effort.
After the war, Cable went back to work for the Soil Conservation Service and later for the U.S. Forest Service. He wrote more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers and articles on native desert grasses and other plants. He was an avid hiker, outdoorsman and nature photographer.
Even after he retired and moved to Eugene, Ore., his family sent him a “care package” every year for his birthday, filled with items like biscochitos and a bag of red chile pods.
A memorial service will be held in Eugene on Dec. 16, which would have been Cable’s 100th birthday, his nephew said.
With Cable’s passing, only 13 former members of the New Mexico National Guard’s 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments who survived the Bataan Death March are still living, according to the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico. Seven of them reside in New Mexico.
Don't Widen the Plate!
A story I have read before, but this time my head went to politics, with this story Washington's plate has been widened until hitters have no place to run.
Don’t Widen The Plate!
Read the rest here.
In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.
While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.
Who, is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter, I was just happy to be there.
In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.
Seriously, I wondered, who in the world is this guy?
After speaking for twenty five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally . . .
What Is An Infidel?
I've seen this before, so its "last month" does not refer to June 2016. Still, the article below is accurate and appropriate.
I believe the first two paragraphs, and the last two, are introductory. I believe the remaining ones were written by Rick Mathes. I have marked them that way below.
The author, Rick Mathes, is a well-known leader in prison ministry. The man who walks with God always gets to his destination. If you have a pulse, you have a purpose.
This (among other things) makes clear that Islam's biggest lie is that Islam is a "Religion of Peace".
The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States, especially in the minority races.
Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who each explained their beliefs.
In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the US. to elect the President.
I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say. The Muslim gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video.
After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers. When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Muslim and asked:
"Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world, and that by killing an infidel, which is a command to all Muslims, they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?"
There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, "Nonbelievers."
I responded, "So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?"
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
He sheepishly replied, "Yes."
I then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine The Christian Pope commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!"
The Muslim was speechless.
I continued, "I also have a problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me!
Let me ask you a question:
Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?"
You could've heard a pin drop.
Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the "Diversification" training seminar were not happy with my way of dealing with the Islamic Imam, and exposing the truth in public about the Muslims' beliefs.
I think everyone should be required to read this, but with the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on! This is your chance to make a difference.
Category: Religion (Islam)
All of a Sudden
What's below arrived by e-mail at least three times in slightly differing variations. They are combined here (with a comment following).
Has everyone lost their ability to see what is happening in the USA? Think America!
Obama certainly wants to disarm Armerican citizens. And he certainly has raised Islam's profile, put its adherents in key positions, pandered to its wishes, and brought large numbers of Muslim refugees into the U.S. while refusing and deporting non-Muslims from groups that are victims of genocide by Muslims. And he wants to import large numbers of Syrian Muslim "refugees" this year he says they will be fully vetted, but that process takes years (and in this case would be based on very questionable information) and he wants to bring these refugees in now. (Note that among the Syrian migrants/refugees in Europe were the Pakistani leader of the attack in Mumbai and other terrorists.)
"All Of A Sudden....Seven Short Years Have Passed!"
Before Obama, there was virtually no visible presence of Islam in America.
But now, all of a sudden, . . .
- Islam is taught in schools, while Christianity and the Bible are banned.
- we must allow prayer rugs everywhere and allow for Islamic prayer in schools, airports, and businesses.
- we must stop serving pork in public places and institutions, including prisons and schools.
- we are inundated with law suits by Muslims who are offended by America and American culture. (For God's sake, they are IN America)
- we must allow burkas to be worn everywhere, even though you have no idea who or what is covered up under them.
- Muslim training compounds are popping up throughout the USA.
- Muslims are suing employers for being expected to do their jobs, and are refusing to do their jobs if they personally deem it somehow conflicts with Sharia Law.
- the Attorney General of the United States vows to prosecute anyone who engages in “anti-Muslim speech”.
- Jihadists who engage in terrorism and openly admit they acted in the name of Islam and ISIS, are emphatically declared as NOT Islamic by our leaders, and/or their actions are determined NOT to be terrorism, but are labeled under other nebulous terms like ‘workplace violence.'
- it becomes policy that secular Middle East dictators that were benign or friendly to the West, must be replaced by Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood.
- our troops are withdrawn from Iraq and the Middle East, giving rise to ISIS.
- America has reduced it’s nuclear stockpiles to 1950 levels, as Obama’s stated goal of a nuclear-free America by the time he leaves office continues uninterrupted.
- a deal with Iran must be made at any cost, with a pathway to nuclear weapons and HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars handed over to fund their programs.
- America APOLOGIZES to Muslim states and sponsors of terror worldwide for acts of aggression, war and sabotage THEY perpetrate against our soldiers.
- the American Navy is diminished to 1917 pre-World War I levels of only 300 ships. The Army is at pre-1940 levels. The Air Force scraps 500 planes and planned to retire the use of the A-10 Thunderbolt close air support fighter. A further draw down of another 40,000 military personnel is in progress.
- all of our aircraft carriers are recalled for maintenance by Obama, rendering the Atlantic and the Middle East unsupported.
- Obama has to empty Guantanamo Bay of captured Jihadists and let them loose in Jihad-friendly Islamic states. He demands to close the facility.
- America will negotiate with terrorists and trade FIVE Taliban commanders for a deserter and Jihad sympathizer.
- there is no money for American poor, disabled veterans, jobless Americans, hungry Americans, or displaced Americans, but there is endless money for Obama’s “Syrian refugee” resettlement programs.
- Obama fills the Federal Government with Muslims in key positions.
- there is an vast ammunition shortage by our government in the USA.
- Americans are threatened by the Federal government for complaining about Muslims. (I guess this must be some of the "anti-Muslim speech" mentioned above).
- the President of the United States can not attend the Christian funerals of a Supreme Court Justice and a former First Lady because of "previous commitments" (seemingly unimportant).
- the most important thing for Obama to do, after a mass shooting by Jihadists, is disarm American citizens.
All of a sudden, I’m sick to my stomach. I’m not sure the majority of Americans recognize the seriousness of the situation and how much “progress” has been made by Islam these last 7 years, a very brief time compared to a 75 year lifetime!
Yes, President Obama says his "refugees" will be fully vetted. But look what he himself says about that vetting, and those background checks. I guess sometimes the truth slips out, even for Barack Obama.
Immigrants, Then & Now
This was written by Rosemary LaBonte to the editors of a California newspaper in response to an article written by Ernie Lujan who suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the immigrants of today aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry in past decades. The paper never printed this response, so her husband sent it out via the internet.
Here it is as I received it by e-mail.
And that's a good explanation of why previous generations of immigrants were welcomed, to one degree or other, while some of the current immigrants especially the illegal aliens are not.
The Statue of Liberty
Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented.
Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
They had waved goodbye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.
Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people.
When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French American, the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.
And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country.
I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.
And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.
What Really Died at Auschwitz
An interesting article from a Spanish
writer. What really died at Auschwitz?
Here's an interesting viewpoint. The following is a copy of an article
written by Spanish writer Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez and published in a
Spanish newspaper. It doesn't take much imagination to extrapolate the
message to the
rest of Europe and possibly to the rest of the world.
I walked down the streets in Barcelona and suddenly discovered a terrible
truth. Europe died in Auschwitz. We killed six million Jews and replaced
them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz. We burned a culture, thought,
creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because
great and wonderful people who changed the world.
The contribution of these people is felt in all areas of life: science, art,
international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These
are the people we burned. And under the pretense of tolerance, and because
we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of
racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity
and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime
and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with
They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into
the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they
receive free from the
government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.
And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred,
creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and
superstition. We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe
and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined
clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for
people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others,
for our children and theirs. What a terrible mistake was made by a miserable
Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school
curriculum because it 'offends' the Muslim population which claims it never
occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of
the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving in
It is now approximately seventy years after the Second World War in Europe
ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six
million Jews, twenty million Russians, ten million Christians, and
nineteen-hundred Catholic priests who were 'murdered, raped, burned,
starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated. Now, more than ever, with
Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is
imperative to make sure the world never forgets.”
This e-mail is intended to reach 400 million people. Be a link in the
memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.
How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center 'NEVER
HAPPENED' because it offends some Muslim in the United States? If our
Judeo-Christian heritage is offensive to Muslims, they should pack up and
move to Iran, Iraq or some other Muslim country.
Please do not just delete this message; it will
take only a minute to pass this along. We must wake up America before it's
Hoping For Better Next Time
A friend sent this to me. He said "This explanation of what COULD have been done at Benghazi says it all."
This is a great explanation of what happened or didn’t happen, what could have been done & what to do! One man’s opinion!
Colonel Phil "Hands" Handley is credited with the highest speed air-to-air gun kill in the history of aerial combat. He flew operationally for all but 11 months of a 26-year career, in aircraft such as the F-86 Sabre, F-15 Eagle, and the C-130A Hercules. Additionally, he flew 275 combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia in the F-4D and F-4E. His awards include 21 Air Medals, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Silver Star.
Here is what Col. Handley wrote in response to [then-Secretary of Defense Leon] Panetta and [then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin] Dempsey's claims there was no time to send help to Benghazi [on September 11, 2012].
Betrayal in Benghazi
by Phil "Hands" Handley, Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
The combat code of the US Military is that we don't abandon our dead or wounded on the battlefield. In US Air Force lingo, fighter pilots don't run off and leave their wingmen. If one of our own is shot down, still alive and not yet in enemy captivity, we will either come to get him or die trying.
Among America’s fighting forces, the calm, sure knowledge that such an irrevocable bond exists is priceless. Along with individual faith and personal grit, it is a sacred trust that has often sustained hope in the face of terribly long odds.
The disgraceful abandonment of our Ambassador and those brave ex-SEALs who fought to their deaths to save others in that compound is nothing short of dereliction-of-duty.
Additionally, the patently absurd cover-up scenario that was fabricated in the aftermath was an outright lie in an attempt to shield the President and the Secretary of State from responsibility.
It has been over three years since the attack on our compound in Benghazi. The White House strategy, with the aid of a "lap dog" press has been to run out the clock before the truth is forthcoming.
The testimonies of the three "whistle blowers" have reopened the subject and hopefully will lead to exposure and disgrace of those responsible for this embarrassing debacle. It would appear that the most recent firewall which the Administration is counting on is the contention "that there were simply no military assets that could be brought to bear in time to make a difference" mainly due to the unavailability of tanker support for fighter aircraft.
This is simply BS, regardless how many supposed "experts" the Administration trot out to make such an assertion.
The bottom line is that even if the closest asset capable of response was half-way around the world, you don't just sit on your penguin ass and do nothing.
The fact is that the closest asset was not half-way around the world, but as near as Aviano Air Base, Italy where two squadrons of F-16Cs are based.
Consider the following scenario (all times Benghazi local): When Hicks in Tripoli receives a call at 9:40 PM from Ambassador Stevens informing him ”Greg, we are under attack!" (his last words), Hicks immediately notifies all agencies and prepares for the immediate initiation of an existing ”Emergency Response Plan."
At AFRICON, General Carter Ham attempts to mount a rescue effort, but is told to "stand down". By 10:30 PM an unarmed drone is overhead the compound and streaming live feed to various "Command and Control Agencies" so everyone watching that feed knew damn well what was going on.
At 11:30 PM Doherty and five others leave Tripoli, arriving in Benghazi at 1:30 AM on Wednesday morning, where they hold off the attacking mob from the roof of the compound until they are killed by a direct mortar hit at 4:00 AM.
So nothing could have been done, eh? Nonsense. If one assumes that tanker support really "was not available" what about this: When at 10:00 PM AFRICON alerts the 31st TFW Command Post in Aviano Air Base, Italy of the attack, the Wing Commander orders preparation for the launch of two F-16s and advises the Command Post at NAS Sigonella to prepare for hot pit refueling and quick turn of the jets.
By 11:30 PM, two F-16Cs with drop tanks and each armed with five hundred 20 MM rounds are airborne. Flying at 0.92 mach they will cover the 522 nautical miles directly to NAS Sigonella in 1.08 hours. While in-route, the flight lead is informed of the tactical situation, rules of engagement, and radio frequencies to use.
The jets depart Sigonella at 1:10 AM with full fuel load and cover the 377 nautical miles directly to Benghazi in 0.8 hours, arriving at 1:50 AM which would be 20 minutes after the arrival of Woods, Doherty and their team.
Providing that the two F-16s initial pass over the mob, in full afterburner at 200 feet and 550 knots did not stop the attack in its tracks, a few well- placed strafing runs on targets of opportunity would assuredly do the trick.
Were the F-16s fuel state insufficient to return to Sigonelli after jettisoning their external drop tanks, they could easily do so at Tripoli International Airport, only one-half hour away.
As for those hand- wringing naysayers who would worry about IFR clearances, border crossing authority, collateral damage, landing rights, political correctness and dozens of other reasons not to act -- screw them. It is time our "leadership" get its priorities straight and put America's interests first.
The end result would be that Woods and Doherty would be alive. Dozens in the attacking rabble would be rendezvousing with "72 virgins" and a clear message would have been sent to the next worthless POS terrorist contemplating an attack on Americans that it is not really a good idea to "tug" on Superman's cape.
Of course, all this depends upon a Commander In Chief more concerned with saving the lives of those he put in harm's way than getting his crew rested for a campaign fund raising event in Las Vegas the next day. It also depends upon a Secretary of State who actually understood "What difference did it make?", and a Secretary of Defense who was watching the feed from the drone and understood what the attack consisted of instead of making an immediate response that "One of the military tenants is that you don't commit assets until you fully understand the tactical situation."
Ultimately it comes down to the question of who gave that order to stand down? Whoever that coward turns out to be should be exposed, removed from office, and face criminal charges for dereliction of duty. The combat forces of the United States of America deserve leadership that really does "have their back" when the chips are down.
FOR THOSE OF YOU HAVE ACTUALLY TAKEN THE TIME TO READ THIS, DO ONE THING FOR ME AND FORWARD IT!!
TO AVOID THIS HAPPENING AGAIN, WHOMEVER GAVE THE "STAND DOWN" ORDER NEEDS TO BE EXPOSED!
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is claiming the U.S. "didn't lose a single person" in Libya during her time in office. Of course, it's true she didn't lose a single person in Libya she lost four. Or maybe she means it the way cartoonist Michael Ramirez interprets her statement.
There is also this in a similar vein.
It's hard to know if Hillary is so divorced from reality that she actually believes no one was lost in Libya or if she's continuing to lie about this for her personal benefit. Either option would make her unfit to hold any position of trust in the U.S. government.
You know you're an engineer when . . .
(from the Sandia Lab News, February 19, 2016 with an addendum from the issue of March 4)
Sandia’s Engineering Sciences Center helped mark National Engineers Week with a contest, asking Sandians to complete the sentence, “You know you’re an engineer when…” The center received dozens of entries from around the Labs. The winner will be announced Feb. 23 during the Engineers Week celebrations at Sandia.
A sample of the entries:
[My favorite is in red.]
You know you're an engineer when . . . .
And the winner is: You know you're an engineer when . . . .
- you wear two pedometers; the second is redundant should the first one fail
- you build a workshop and when it’s finished you invite all your friends (also engineers) and have squares laid out so they can check your work — which they do without you saying a word
- you rearrange the egg carton to optimize the mass properties
- you schedule and develop a project plan for your midlife crisis
- thawing frozen chicken becomes a heat transfer problem
- you communicate with a pair of graphs rather than paragraphs
- you judge the success of a BBQ not by the quality of the food, but by how fast your charcoal was ready to cook on
- a beautiful woman asks for a KISS and you explain the concept of “Keep It Simple Stupid” to her
- you see the glass as neither half full nor half empty, but rather twice as large as it needs to be
- you’re having a party and the neighbors don’t realize it
- your dog goes out more than you do
- your toilet paper has partial differential equations printed on it
- faced with a lack of problems to solve, you invent some
- you recognize your co-workers by their shoes more than their faces
- you’re speling is impacible
- you can question anything … even when you don’t really care
- you can’t answer this
- even your wife knows all the words to the Engineer’s Cheer (true story):
E to the x, dy, dx
E to the x, dx
Cosine, secant, tangent, sine
Square root, cube root, BTU
Slap stick, slide rule, Hail Purdue
- you leave your roommate a phone message in Fortran
- you can recite pi to 31 digits but you always forget your anniversary
- you spend time in public restrooms critically examining the material and fixture selections
- your spouse/significant other won’t allow you to dress yourself
- you have used a slide rule to do your taxes
- our catch phrase is, “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature”
- Edison, Faraday, Tesla, Fourier and Laplace start to sound like good names for your dog
- you are as fascinated with how the matching algorithm works as much as the dates it matches you with
- you’re next in line for the guillotine, which is not working properly, so you offer to fix it
- you can’t decide between duct tape and WD-40
- you understand the most dangerous weapon invented is your pencil
- looking at your co-workers’ shoes when talking to them, instead of your own, is considered confrontational
- you calculate the area of medium and large pizzas to see which is a better deal
- you personally know every character in the “Dilbert” comic strip
- right after a sloppy sneeze, you produce an estimate of its viscosity
- you are called an extrovert for staring at other people’s shoes
- you look forward to assembling IKEA furniture
- you have a clock in your office with equations instead of numbers to mark the hours
[I saw one of these last month at an elementary school!]
- your spouse can give six answers to this question off the top of their head
- a friend has joint replacement surgery and you ask what materials were used
The engineer submitting this one reports "It actually happened, and that's when I realized engineers can annoy non-engineers without even trying." She won bragging rights and a pocket protector stocked with new pens, as well as a Star Wars mug and a restaurant gift certificate.
- you’re lying in the hospital bed asking the nurse how the light on your finger is measuring oxygen level
(and then hold your breath to test it).
The runner up is: You know you're an engineer when . . . .
Hope you had a happy National Engineers Week!
- your kids say, “Dad, I don’t want to know the theory, all I want is the answer.”
Hillary, Chelsea, and Abortion
‘That’s a True Story’ or so Chelsea Clinton claims.
This item is from Best of the Web on the Wall Street Journal site. And it's spot on. Lewis' memory must be bad. He must remember Hillary from other times, 'cause it's highly doubtful he remembers her from events near 1964.
“Chelsea Clinton is insulted by Bible-thumping evangelicals who question her family’s religion,” reports the New York Post’s Richard Johnson. Presumably Miss Clinton doesn’t have Madeleine Albright in mind:
One Democrat took notes at a recent fundraiser and shared Chelsea’s speech with me. . . .
Assuming this is a “true story,” it’s reasonable to surmise that this year’s inevitable Democratic presidential nominee pulled little Chelsea out of the Sunday school, and big Chelsea is telling the story now so as to bolster Mom’s pro-abortion reputation.
“I find it quite insulting sometimes when people say to my mom, my dad or me . . . that they question our faith. I was raised in a Methodist church and I left the Baptist church before my dad did, because I didn’t know why they were talking to me about abortion when I was 6 in Sunday school—that’s a true story.”
Meanwhile, Politico reports that “leading members of the Congressional Black Caucus sharply criticized Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday”:
During an endorsement event for Hillary Clinton, African-American lawmakers said that Sanders, a democratic socialist from Vermont, does not have a history of activism for minorities that could rival Clinton’s.
As we recall, Mrs. Clinton, then Miss Rodham, was a Goldwater girl in 1964.
Georgia Rep. John Lewis, the last living member of the “Big Six” civil rights activists, said he never met Sanders during the tumultuous 1960s in the South.
“To be very frank, I never saw him, I never met him,” said Lewis. “I chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years, from 1963 to 1966. I was involved in sit-ins, in the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, the March from Selma to Montgomery . . . but I met Hillary Clinton.”
America's Top Ten As Seen From Canada
This Top Ten List is a little dated. It clearly dates from several years ago, when Eric Holder was Attorney General and Tim Geithner was still Treasury Secretery. But it's still valid.
#10 Only in America... could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000.00 per plate Obama campaign fund-raising event.
#9 Only in America... could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when they have a black President, a black Attorney General and roughly 20% of the federal workforce is black while only 14% of the population is black. In addition, 40+% of all federal entitlements goes to black Americans 3 times the rate that goes to whites, 5 times the rate that goes to Hispanics!
#8 Only in America... could they have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department) and Charles Rangel (who ran the Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.
#7 Only in America... can they have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the (virtually nonexistent) backlash.
#6 Only in America... would they make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just 'magically' become American citizens. (This probably should be number one.)
#5 Only in America... could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be called extremists.
#4 Only in America... could you need to present a driver's license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote. [And only here could citizens in some states be forced to use passports to travel within the country, and sometimes within the state.]
#3 Only in America... could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. Oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half that of a company making tennis shoes (Nike). [Also note that the government makes multiple times as much from each gallon of gas as any of the oil companies do, while contributing nothing but regulatory roadblocks.]
#2 Only in America... could the government collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a trillion dollars more than it has per year for total spending of $7 million PER MINUTE, and complain that it doesn't have nearly enough money.
#1 Only in America.... could the relatively rich people who pay 86% of all income taxes be accused of not paying their "fair share" by people who don't pay any income taxes at all.
"Work hard, do the right things, and you'll get yours in the end." Unfortunately, increasingly, what you'll get in the end is screwed.
Those who work hard get shafted, and also end up paying for those don't contribute. It's just like the politically correct version of the story of the ant and the grasshopper.
An Old Man and a Bucket of Shrimp
This is a wonderful story and it is true.
It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean. Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walked out to the end of the pier, where it seemed he almost had the world to himself. The glow of the sun was a golden bronze now. Everybody was gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed was alone with his thoughts ... and his bucket of shrimp.
Before long, however, he was no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots came screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier. Before long, dozens of seagulls had enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stood there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he did, if you listened closely, you could hear him say with a smile, "Thank you. Thank you."
In a few short minutes the bucket was empty. But Ed didn't leave. He stood there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place. When he finally turned around and began to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hopped along the pier with him until he got to the stairs, and then they, too, flew away. And old Ed quietly made his way down to the end of the beach and on home.
If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like 'a funny old duck,' as my dad used to say. Or, to onlookers, he's just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp. To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant ... maybe even a lot of nonsense. Old folks often do strange things, at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters. Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida ... and that's too bad. They'd do well to know him better.
His full name is Eddie Rickenbacker. He was a famous hero in World War I, and then he was in WWII. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down.
Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.
Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger and thirst. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were or even if they were alive. Every day across America millions wondered and prayed that Eddie Rickenbacker might somehow be found alive. The men adrift needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle.
They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged on. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft. Until ... Suddenly Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull! Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal of it - a very slight meal for eight men. Then they used the intestines for bait. With that, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait ... and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued after 24 days at sea.
Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull ... and he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.' That's why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.
Reference: (Max Lucado, "In The Eye of the Storm", pp...221, 225-226)
PS: Eddie Rickenbacker was also the founder of Eastern Airlines. Before WWI he was race car driver. In WWI he was a pilot and became America's first ace. In WWII he was an instructor and military adviser, and he flew missions with the combat pilots. Eddie Rickenbacker is a true American hero. He died July 23, 1973.
And now you know another story about the trials and sacrifices that brave men have endured for your freedom. The story may be a little old, but it is still worth remembering.
As you can see, I have chosen to pass this story on. It is a great story that many don't know ....
You've got to be careful with old guys, you just never know what they have done during their lifetimes.
Sometimes It's Not Just Luck
This is a story confirmed in Elmer Bendiner's book The Fall of Fortresses. It is apparently slightly paraphrased in the e-mail I received. Bendiner's book is now out of print.
Elmer Bendiner was a navigator in a B-17 during WW II. He tells this story of a World War II bombing run over Kassel, Germany , and the unexpected result of a direct hit on their gas tanks. "Our B-17, the Tondelayo, was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was not unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit.
Somewhere along the line, before the story got to me, someone had added a comment: "I wonder if those shells came from Schindler's factory in Brnenec, Czechoslovakia! (German: Brünnlitz)" I would think that's possible or a factory like it.
Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a 20 millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple. "On the morning following the raid, Bohn had gone down to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of unbelievable luck.
The crew chief told Bohn that not just one shell but 11 had been found in the gas tanks. 11 unexploded shells where only one was sufficient to blast us out of the sky. It was as if the sea had been parted for us. A near-miracle, I thought.
Even after 35 years, so awesome an event leaves me shaken, especially after I heard the rest of the story from Bohn.
"He was told that the shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. The armorers told him that Intelligence had picked them up. They could not say why at the time, but Bohn eventually sought out the answer. "Apparently when the armorers opened each of those shells, they found no explosive charge. They were as clean as a whistle and just as harmless.
Empty? Not all of them! One contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was a scrawl in Czech. The Intelligence people scoured our base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually they found one to decipher the note. It set us marveling. Translated, the note read:
"This is all we can do for you now."
An Historian Speaks About "Syrian" "Refugees"
Syria has had a civil war for almost 5 YEARS. Why all the "refugees"
NOW and why so all of a SUDDEN and why in such VAST NUMBERS?
With an Honors degree in History and a lifelong student of the
subject, I smell a rat.
This is a highly organized, well oiled, mobilized invasion of Muslims
and Jihadists into the Western World. It's been in their plan for a long
time. Momar Gadhafi predicted and explicitly stated that Muslim domination
of Europe would happen without a conventional war and he said it 30 years
ago. 95% of these economic "refugees" many who have cellphones are men
between the fighting ages of 20 and 40. Very few women and children from everything I've seen.
Odd that he 5 wealthiest Arab States including Saudi Arabia, Qatar,
Bahrain and Kuwait are taking "no refugees" thanks and feel quite self
righteous about it. No guilt what so ever? They are even laughing at us
for doing so.
Ask yourself, why would Germany Belgium, Holland, France, Sweden and
others want to destroy their own cultures from within? It doesn't make any
sense? If this keeps up Europe will be burning daily within a very short
few years if not months. Civil war in the streets between civilizations.
Muslims vs Kefirs, that is to say, everyone who is not a Muslim.
Unfortunately, the reality is that Muslims are just not like any
other immigrants. They don't want to assimilate, they want to set up
separate enclaves and implement Sharia Law. Another problem is that while
the civilized West rightly abhors violence, conversely Muslims daily
display their love of violence. They live it and embrace it. In many
Muslim countries public be-headings and stoning to death for adultery for
example. It's a part of their culture precisely because Islam is - dare I
say it - a death cult.
Islam is a supremacist, totalitarian, bigoted, fascist political
ideology masquerading as a religion. It literally means "submission". The
Quran MANDATES death for blasphemy, for adultery, for apostasy, for family
honor, for being gay, Jewish or a Kafer as well as ten other "crimes" many
not even considered to be so in the West. Death for drinking alcohol or
taking illegal drugs for example.
Why let in vast numbers of these brainwashed people especially men of
that age when past experience has already demonstrated the tragedy, not to
mention the financial, social, and political costs of rampant
multiculturalism in Europe. Ordinary citizens are against this immigration
but strangely, their governments are not?
Someone or some organization is pulling some strings here is what I
see. Is this invasion part of the New World Order's plan to depopulate the
planet? Maybe there's not even any such an organization but it's all over
U-tube and other social media.
The major media are implicit in selling gullible citizens of the West
the righteousness of the "refugees" cause and openly siding against
Western culture. One drowned child's picture in the right places sparks
outrage and sympathy world wide for the movement and resettlement of vast
numbers of Muslims.
However the implementation of Sharia Law, No Go Zone ghettos in most
countries in Europe and Muslim rape gangs go unreported. In radical
Islamist countries honor killings, be-headings, stoning's, cutting off
limbs, whipping and torture, pedophilia, child bride marriages, rape and
misogyny go unreported DAILY and are dismissed as culturally ingrained.
Where is the indignity and the outrage over people doing this every
day to their own populations? Yet a staged picture a drowned baby on a
beach sparks a world outcry?
Muslim birthrates are 8 children per family while Europeans average
1.4. When these current millions bring in their multiple wives, children
and extended families 85% of whom live on state benefits (England's
experience) you can multiply their number by at least 10x, maybe 20x or
By 2050 Europe will be Muslim dominated just by demographics alone.
When their numbers are sufficient they will legally vote in their own kind
and then Sharia Law.
Europe as we know it will be lost forever. Two thousand years of
civilization will be destroyed by the same fanatical bearded, bigoted,
brutal, boneheaded, belligerent bastards who are now slaughtering their
own kind and blowing up ancient and irreplaceable world heritage
buildings, monuments, books, manuscripts and other historically
significant art treasures in Iraq, Syria and other conquered territories.
Canada should not get sucked into this quagmire of political
correctness just to show how polite, civilized. politically correct and
Canadian we are. We should learn a lesson from our Australian
[Received by e-mail. Worth passing on.]
Category: Jihad / War On Terror
The Left and Gun Control
The Left doesn't care much about laws. They are happy to ignore laws all over the place.
But the Left really cares about orders issued by federal judges (state judges not so much),
which they always describe as "federal laws."
Well, sometimes and apparently only when the order is one that agrees with their Leftist prejudices.
In other cases, not so much. Like in this case.
That's why the Left is up in arms when a county clerk won't issue marriage licenses for gay marriages. But not, for example, when city and state personnel ignore federal judicial orders and refuse to issue Constitutionally required gun permits.
The Left is always pushing a gun control agenda. In that, they are consistent. You'll hear them pushing for gun control after any high profile shooting incident.
Well, not quite any shooting incident. Notice how quiet the Left has been about the shooting of a television news reporter and her cameraman by a man who could find organizational racism and personal racist insults in anything & everything that anyone said. I think we can understand why they've been so quiet.
Why does the Left have such a thing for gun control laws? Easy. It's an Article of Faith for the Left that more guns means more murders, that the only way to reduce the murder rate is to get rid of the guns. Unfortunately for the Left, that Article of Faith is completely false. Yes, the U.S. ranks high in gun ownership per capita, but it ranks low in murders per capita except in heavily gun-controlled cities like Detroit & etc. See Bill Whittle's Firewall for details, the episode titled "Number One With A Bullet," for details.
Nuclear History 70 Years Later
Earlier this summer, I posted historical articles on the anniversaries of the Trinity Test in New Mexico on July 16, the bombing of Hiroshima by the Enola Gay on August 6, and the bombing of Nagasaki by Bock's Car on August 9, at the end of World War II in 1945. The contents of those three postings are collected into a single entry here with the same three parts: Trinity, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.
Punny & Funny on Multiple Subjects
These are too good not to pass along. All kinds of different subjects. Herewith:
MusicAll big things have a first draft, right? Recently discovered, here's "Einstein's First Attempt".
In case you don't get it, it's a musical reference. As such, it's as perfect as a perfect fifth.
A very sharp image. (See also E# = F.)
I think this should be self-explanatory.
No comment. OK, a comment: This is so bad it's good.
You've got to expect something like this when the current events are so strange.
Just Something StrikingIt's rare when one thing can neatly encapsulate two such disparate references as this.
I suspect anyone that's not already "old" may miss the references. The Sand People are from the original Star Wars movie in 1977 (though they made brief appearances in the 1999 and 2002 prequels). The original "Footprints in the Sand" poem was written in 1936, but plaques and posters featuring it were popular in the late 1970's, just about the same time as Star Wars came out and we were given a "Footprints" plaque about that time.
Two incredibly different references, seamlessly combined in one striking item. How great is that?
It's the Y
It's just the Y.
YardsignI've got to get this yard sign.
With all that's going on, this is now the Official Yacht of the Democratic Party.
Sir Nicholas Winton The British Schindler
Who is more vulnerable than a child? And how bad must a situation be for parents give them up, to hand their children to a perfect stranger and send them away to an unknown future in an unknown place?
In 1938, Nicholas Winton went to Prague instead of on the ski vacation he had planned. He saw the conditions affecting the refugees from Adolf Hitler's conquest of the Sudetanland, and he recognized the threat they faced. He couldn't save the adults, but he found he could bend the rules enough to get children out.
He started making arrangements for what became known as the Kindertransport. Word of this spread and refugee parents besieged him, asking him to save their children. Most of these parents died during the war, many of them in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. But for Nicholas Winton, their children would have died with them.
Winton arranged eight transports eight trains taking children from Prague to ports through which they were sent to England. A ninth transport was ready to leave Prague on September 1, 1939, when World War II broke out and trains could no longer leave Nazi-occupied regions. A total of 669 Czech children were rescued by means of the eight successful trains. Their operation was so rushed that many lacked travel and immigration documents issued by the British government. Nevertheless, Winton and his small group saw to it that they reached England and were placed in homes there.
Winton's actions weren't secret, but he "just didn't talk about them." And so his story was virtually unknown for fifty years, until his wife discovered a scrapbook in the attic, identifying and showing the children he saved. That resulted in him being featured on the BBC TV program That's Life in 1988, and his being knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth. Today there are more than 6000 people who owe their lives to his actions in 1939.
Sir Nicholas Winton in 2009 surrounded by a few of the 669 children he saved.
Sir Nicholas Winton died peacefully on July 1, 2015, at the age of 106, and the world is poorer for his loss.
St Thomas Aquinas' Teaching Against the Infidel Mohammed
St Thomas Aquinas wrote about Mohammed and his followers long ago. What he wrote between 1261 and 1264 sounds as if it could be written about the man inspiring the terrorists of ISIS, and his followers, today.
He (Mohammed) seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected; he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity.
He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the Contrary, Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms - which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning (1). Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Mohammed forced others to become his follower's by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimony of the Old and the New Testaments by making them into a fabrication of his own, as can be seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place faith in his words believe foolishly.
(1) See, for example, the following suras (verses) in the Koran/Quran: Sura 21:5, Sura 44:14; Sura 16:103, Sura 37:36
Taken from Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 1, Chapter 16, Art. 4. Summa Contra Gentiles was written in Rome between 1261 and 1264. The above has been translated from the original Latin.
Note that this doesn't apply to the Muslim leadership. The leaders maintain themselves "above the fray" and safe, away from any danger just as Mohammed did. They send others to fight and die so they can enrich themselves on the spoils. And for the glory of Allah, of course.
The word infidel is from the Latin infidelis and literally means "no faith." Unbelieving Mohammedans (Muslims) are a primary example of the meaning of the word.
This is a clear indictment of the kind of Islam that spread from Arabia. That, of course, would be Islam version 2.0, created when Mohammed decided to become a petty warlord instead of a prophet.
If this seems a little harsh, the truth often does.
Category: Religion (Islam)
Does This Sound Familiar?
There is a city named Urfa, a regional commercial center in southeast Turkey not far from the Syrian border. It seems an ordinary enough place for the Middle East. But it hides a secret history. And it hides it very well indeed.
Today Edessa scarcely looks like a likely place to which to bring such an important relic of Christ in the earliest centuries. Now named Urfa, it stands in the southeastern border country of Turkey, serving as the commercial center for a somewhat desolate region stretching to the Syrian boundary thirty miles to the south. It is a bustling, thoroughly Moslem town. ... As the guidebooks say, there are few historical remains of any note, and not a single surviving Christian church.
The fact is that the town's appearance is an accident of history, created in the twelfth century when Turkish Moslems took the city, dispersed the Christian population, and wiped out every feature of Christian civilization. For below the tightly packed houses and shops that comprise modern Urfa, under the name Edessa, was one of the famed cities of Christendom. In those days it attracted Christian pilgrims from more than a thousand miles away. It bristled with some three hundred churches and monasteries. In its surrounding cave tombs, now dung-smelling and desolate, lived a population of thousands of hermits and monks, many shunning bread, meat, and wine and leading "so extraordinary a life that it can scarcely be described."
from The Shroud of Turin by Ian Wilson, revised edition, 1979, page 127.
Does this sound familiar? The time was the twelfth century, but it's the same thing that's happening today. It's what ISIS the so-called Islamic State is doing now in the regions they have captured in Syria and Iraq. They are destroying Christian churches with dynamite and bulldozers. They are doing the same with the houses of worship belonging to Jews, Yazidis, and any other non-Muslim group. They are killing or enslaving everyone they can get their hands on that were associated with those places.
There is a common thread in these actions. The ISIS fanatics, like their ideological forbears, want to destroy anything and everything that came before them and their way of thinking and belief. Thus, they are destroying libraries and museums all over Iraq and Syria, including the large ones in Mosul. They are committing crimes against humanity, destroying historic sites including Nimrud (see here, too), Hatra, and Ninevah, as well as the Assyrian capital of Khorsabad. They have also destroyed Jonah's Tomb and a number of other religious tombs and shrines. The same things will probably now happen in Palmyra in Syria.
The ISIS destructive impulse is being applied to more than just pre-Muslim and non-Muslim sites. It also applies to anything that is not part of their particular flavor of Islam. That's because "ISIS is part of a puritanical strain of Islam that considers all religious shrines Islamic, Christian, Jewish, etc. idolatrous." So, in addition to anything non-Muslim, they are destroying sites belonging to every group except as I already noted their particular flavor of Islam, whether Sufi or Shia or Sunni or anything else. And it has bigger plans for the future Rome, of course, and the pyramids of Egypt (pre-Islam, non-Muslim) as well as Islam's most sacred mosque (and the Ka'aba) in Mecca. In essence, ISIS seems intent on demonstrating that its members are incapable of moving up to become members of the human race.
But this is not new. As the quotation at the top of this posting attests, Muslim groups have exhibited this kind of behavior for centuries, including the total destruction of Edessa and the ideology-based vandalism in the royal palace (dating from India's Mughal period) at Fatehpur Sikri in India to name just two. The current barbarian set the Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State are historically recent, but this kind of uncivilized Islamic behavior goes straight back to the time of Mohammed.
ISIS et al. proclaim themselves as fundamentalists. They say they are going back to the original Islam, but it seems to be more like Islam 2.0 the second version of Islam. The original Islam that Mohammed preached in Mecca was peaceful and tolerant. It was only later that the kind of violent and intolerant ideology characteristic of ISIS began to be preached. Did Mohammed succumb to temptation, as suggested here, and change the revelation given him by Allah's angel for an ideology that would bring him wealth and power? Or were the Mohammed of Islam version 1 and the Mohammed of Islam version 2 two different people? If so, that would make the original Mohammed an early victim of identity theft.
Either way, if ISIS really wants to go back to the original Islam, it and its adherents will have to return to Mohammed's original teachings in Mecca, and become civilized human beings instead of the monsters they are today.
Category: Religion (Islam)
Why NBC Got Rid of Jay Leno
I got this by e-mail. I have no idea of its provenance or validity. It's the kind of thing that can probably never be confirmed, but for which no denial will ever really be believed. Nevertheless, even though there is no chance this will ever be definitively confirmed or denied, it still rings true. On that basis, here is the explanation as I received it of
Why NBC got rid of Jay Leno (it seems to fit a pattern)
If this is true, it says that President Barack "Thin-Skin" Obama just can't take anything that's insufficiently laudatory. Everyone has to praise him or shut up.
News is leaking out from Hollywood executives in-the-know that the Obama White House had been leaning on, pressuring executives at NBC for the last two years to replace Jay Leno because the comedian was criticizing President Obama every night.
Obama didn't like it and considered it a racist attack on him.
Since his inauguration in January 2009 Obama had enjoyed three years of very, very friendly routines from all the late night comics on ABC, CBS and Leno at NBC - there was no criticism from any of them.
But after data came to light that $100's of millions had been spent on First Family vacations during a recession, Mrs. Obama's unpopular new laws that changed food in America's schools and other negative news including the disastrous Obamacare roll-out & website mess, Jay Leno took his comedy to a different level and his ratings skyrocketed - none of the other comics were so bold.
Of course NBC was on board when Jay Leno went after Republican George W. Bush every night for 8 years but they couldn't stomach the fact that Leno's jokes about Obama were always right on target about the first black president and left leaning Democrat executives at NBC were being harassed by Obama himself who thought the comedy was a racist attack on him.
THESE ONE-LINERS MIGHT BE THE REASON NBC GOT RID OF THE FUNNIEST MAN ON LATE NIGHT - JAY LENO.
GOLDEN OLDIES FROM JAY:
"I was going to start off tonight with an Obama joke, but I don't want to get audited by the IRS."
On NSA surveillance: "We wanted a president who listens to all Americans - now we have one."
On a new IRS commissioner: "He's called 'acting commissioner' because he has to act like the scandal doesn't involve the White House."
On closing the Guantanamo prison for terrorists: "If he really wants to close it, turn it into a government-funded solar power company. The doors will be shut in a month."
Concerning the Benghazi, Associated Press and IRS scandals: "Remember in the old days when President Obama's biggest embarrassment was Joe Biden?"
On Obama saying he didn't know about the IRS scandal: "He was too busy not knowing anything about Benghazi to not know anything about the IRS."
The White House has a new slogan about Benghazi: "Hope and change the subject."
"It's casual Friday, which means that at the White House, they're casually going through everybody's phone calls and records."
"It is not looking good for President Obama. Today his teleprompter took the fifth."
"Fox News has changed its slogan from 'Fair and Balanced' to 'See, I told you so!'"
On Obama's commencement address: "He told the young graduates their future is bright unless, of course, they want jobs."
On a Chicago man who set a record for riding a Ferris wheel: "The only other way to go around and around in a circle that many times is to read the official report on Benghazi."
On White House claims of ignorance on the scandals: "They took 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' out of the Pentagon and moved it into the White House."
Now the last and I think best!
"These White House scandals are not going away anytime soon. It's gotten so bad that People in Kenya are now saying he's 100 percent American."
Social Security Raise Is A Joke
The following is a letter to the editor that was published in the Albuquerque Journal on May 19, 2015:
Well, here I go again. Why do seniors always take leftovers?
"Work hard, do the right things, and you'll get yours in the end." Unfortunately, increasingly, what you'll get in the end is screwed.
Last year, we barely got a little over 1.2 percent (Social Security) raise and Medicaid got 31 percent. We worked and put money into Social Security over many, many years which was not supposed to be loaned out, borrowed from or given to any one but Social Security recipients.
We have just as many low-income seniors who are struggling to keep heads over the water, but we get shafted. We need just as much money as the next one does to survive.
I know that we are in a bind financially, but that doesn't keep the government from helping welfare, illegals, etc. We have enough seniors who need to be taken care of and get better raises from Social Security, who worked for it for years, and then to get 1.2 percent raise that is a joke.
Let's get real, people. All the seniors who worked for years and paid into Social Security should be first to get more Social Security than illegals, immigrants and Mecicaid recipients.
Seniors are getting the shaft. Let's speak up!
Sue Battey, Albuquerque
Those who work hard get shafted, and also end up paying for those don't contribute. It's just like the politically correct version of the story of the ant and the grasshopper.
Francis Cardinal George
“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”
Francis Cardinal George
Category: Religion (Christianity)
Part 1: What Happened to Islam?
Azeem Ibrahim wrote an essay for the Chicago Tribune that, as published online for the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald, carried the headline Wahhabi perversion of Islam sows seeds of terrorism. An edited version of this essay was printed in the Albuquerque Journal Saturday. Ibrahim's essay begins
What happened to Islam?
I think there are at least two key pieces to the answer Azeem Ibrahim is looking for. These two address why different religions' "extremists" are seen differently and why Islam's extreme voices find such fertile ground.
All religions have their extremists. Self-described pastor Terry Jones caused an international furor when he threatened to burn the Quran. The Ku Klux Klan has been parading nominally Christian symbols like Bibles and crosses for centuries. But these movements are seen for what they are: cults that appropriate the symbolism and style of a religion for their own amoral ends. Yet when voices like Anwar al-Awlaki, or before him, Osama bin Laden, preach that Islam requires murder — a straight reversal of the truth — their message finds fertile ground.
How did Islam come to this point? Can we do anything about it?
Different religions' "extremists" are seen differently because they are different. Zen masters (Buddhist extremists), for example, "live austere lives devoted to meditation and teaching, just like Buddha did." They turn inward to try to practice Buddhism in its pure form. The lives of Hindu, Sikh, and Jain extremists (ascetics) are similar; some (the "sky clad") go so far in their rejection of material things that they eschew clothing. Catholic and Orthodox extremists (cloistered monks and nuns) likewise spend their lives in personal spiritual development.
Even the more dangerous religious extremists Terry Jones and the Ku Klux Klan (the KKK) who he mentioned, and others like Jim Jones and David Koresh who he didn't mention are distinct from Islamic extremists. Terry Jones was a danger only to select books, copies of the Quran. Jim Jones and David Koresh were dangerous only to their own followers. Only the KKK was dangerous to outsiders, and their interest was political rather than religious which is why the KKK (founded after the US Civil War, not centuries ago) was known as the terrorist wing of the Democrats' Party. And, of course, the KKK never claimed its ideology called for the murder of non-believers or for world conquest.
The Islamic extremists are different from all these others. Only the Islamic extremists and cults preach that their religion requires murder and conquest. They are seen differently because they are different.
The other key piece addresses why Islam's extreme voices find such fertile ground. This piece has at least two important parts. One part consists of the large number of passages in Islam's scriptures (particularly the Quran and the Hadiths) calling for violence against Jews especially, and against anyone who is not Muslim.
The other part, possibly related to the first, is the proportion of Muslims who accept and support the message of the extreme voices. Polls indicate 20% of Muslims worldwide support the extremists in their religiously-inspired terrorism; in other religions, it's a miniscule fraction of a percent. Note that each 1% of Muslims worldwide is something over 15 million Muslims supporting jihadist terrorism. That makes Islamic terrorism a very different kind of problem.
Ibrahim talks about his faith:
Most branches of Islam are quietist, pietistic, apolitical. These are the millions of Muslims for whom, like people of faith around the world, being religious means prayer, study and self-reflection.
Ibrahim goes on to argue that "It is clear that Wahhabism isn’t Islam it is a cult movement that uses Islamic terminology and has hijacked the religion using petrodollars. In the process, its adherents are killing and maiming more Muslims than people of other faiths and are creating deep societal rifts and lasting enmities within their own communities."
The divergence within Islam began in the 18th century with the advent of Wahhabism, named after Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who believed Muslims had strayed from the authentic teachings of Islam. Muslims who did not agree with his teachings were excommunicated or killed in an effort to purge Islam from what al-Wahhab believed to be unsanctioned innovations.
Wahhabi military campaigns waged war against moderate Muslims, demolishing Islamic shrines and slaughtering entire villages of Muslims who did not subscribe to extremism. This same extreme ideology is behind the present-day destruction of shrines and mosques and the continuing violence against minority and mainstream Muslims all over the world such as the Shiites in Pakistan.
This fits with what I noted in 2006, part of which may be summarized as follows: Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab produced an 18th century reinterpretation that said all post-8th century reinterpretations were invalid. His thought spawned the Salafist movement, including the Wahhabi and Deobandi sects. The Muslim Brotherhood built on al-Wahhab's work, successfully grafting onto it a totalitarian (extreme socialist) political ideology. Muslim Brotherhood writer Sayyid Qutb then provided the Brotherhood's jihadism with the more complete intellectual underpinnings that enabled it to spawn both al Qaeda and the Taliban, as well as the Islamic State. Thus, the recent (20th century) innovation is the grafting of a political ideology onto the older religious concept. So the modern jihadism and the terrorism that we see from the Salafis and Wahhabis (and their progeny) today is a 20th century graft onto an 18th century reinterpretation which, by al-Wahhab's own logic, is not an authentic Islam.
A scene in pre-Taliban Afghanistan
Or so we would all hope. Even so, as Ibrahim notes, "The global propagation of a doctrine that has been a parent to jihadism impedes counterterrorism efforts."
What about Azeem Ibrahim's second questions: "Can we do anything about it?" A possible answer to that question is below.
Part 2: A Modest Proposal for a Muslim Reformation
In Part 1, above, I noted Azeem Ibrahim's article in the Chicago Tribune, printed in edited form in the Albuquerque Journal, and printed in the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald as Wahhabi perversion of Islam sows seeds of terrorism. In his article, Ibrahim asked
How did Islam come to this point? Can we do anything about it?This post addresses Azeem Ibrahim's second question: "Can we do anything about it?"
Of course, that may depend a bit on who "we" is. "We" as non-Muslims can talk, but "we" can't do diddley squat. "We" as Muslims can do something, and "we" must be the ones to do it.
So let's take a look at what "we" as Muslims can do.
The thing we must do, first and foremost, is admit that Mohammed was a man a human being. This is a small thing that is absolutely consistent with everything in the Quran and the Hadiths. A very small thing, but this admission would lead to several major conclusions.
One conclusion one that can have a huge impact on the number of violent attacks in various Muslim countries is this: Mohammed was a prophet. The last prophet. He was a man. He was not Allah. He was not God. Indeed, Allah did not speak to Mohammed. Remember that the Quran was revealed to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel, not directly by Allah.
Blasphemy is defined as (a) the act of insulting or showing contempt for God or (b) the act of claiming the attributes of God. Since Mohammed was not Allah, things said against Mohammed obviously cannot be blasphemy. Neither can things said against Mohammed's associates or others. Those asserting that speaking against Mohammed and/or his associates is blasphemy are admitting they are worshiping Mohammed et al. as gods. That is un-Islamic.
A second conclusion is that, since Mohammed was a man and was not Allah, Mohammed was fallible. He was subject to the same temptations and faults as the rest of us. And based on the record enshrined in the Quran and the Hadiths, he succumbed to them he fell to temptation and became a mere warlord carrying a veneer of religion with him as a shield.
How would this one small acknowledgment, that Mohammad was a human being, be reflected in Islamic doctrine? Perhaps not at all if Mohammed was a perfect man without human weaknesses that is, not really a human being. But if Mohammed was a real human being, and failed at times like all the rest of the human race, it may be that only one small thing would need to be changed. That one small thing is the doctrine of abrogation, which would need to be reversed. In other words, the doctrine would become this: If two verses (ayat) contradict one another, the earlier one is the better one. The effect of this change would be that Islam would be taught as Mohammed originally taught it, not as he later changed it which really should please the Islamic fundamentalists if they are at all honest in their claims of wanting to follow original Islam.
The reason this is so important
is because the nature of Mohammad's revelations totally changed once he gained military power. When he first started out (when Islam was a small minority) Mohammad preached peace and tolerance. But once he gained enough followers, started raiding caravans, and gained military and financial power (from the booty he gained from the caravans), he stopped trying to curry favor with the Jews and Christians and his revelations became intolerant and then downright hateful.Thus, with this reform, Islam would become what its proponents keep claiming it is a religion of peace. No more Islamist supremacy, because "Muhammad proclaimed to them [the people of Mecca] that he was of the line of the Jewish prophets, and was commissioned by God to restore true faith in the one God of Abraham." It was only later, when he had succumbed to temptation, that he started preaching violence and hatred. The likely reason for this change is all too human Mohammed and his teachings were rejected by all but a few of the Jews to whome he preached.
It didn't start out that way.
When Muhammad first arrived in their valley, the Jews listened politely to him, but when they analyzed the prophet verses he had come up with in Mecca, they realized they were not based on the Torah. They were versions of the derivative Jewish legends about the prophets, but even then there were significant variations, yet Muhammad claimed his versions were the correct ones because he got everything from God. When he insisted they accept him as their prophet, the Jews laughed in his face and began mocking him.Mohammed evidently had an all-too-human reaction: He turned on the Jews he had been preaching to, began preaching to the non-Jewish and non-Christian Arabs, and started raiding the caravans and settlements of everyone but his own followers. All of Mohammed's hateful and spiteful teachings come from this later period, as and after Mohammed turned into a common warlord.
This modest proposal does have at least two key issues to overcome. One is that the charge of blasphemy must cease to be used when things are said or done that can be interpreted as insufficiently laudatory toward Mohammed, his companions, and his wives. This means changing a long-standing tribal and cultural practice.
The other key problem is the Islamic doctrine that the Quran is eternal, unchanged, and unchangeable. And yet it is an absolute fact that the Quran has changed. The versions of the Quran compiled shortly after Mohammed's death by his companions differed from one another. This problem was (largely) ended when a single standard "unchanged and unchangeable" version of the Quran was established by the Caliph Uthman; this version is now considered to be the archetype of today's Quran.
In addition, of course, the Quran itself shows it has changed. Many ayat (verses) in the Quran contradict others. Why else would something like the doctrine of abrogation be required? It was needed to paper over the differences between the original and the newer (changed) verses. Mohammed couldn't wipe clean his followers' memories, so he had to invent a way to deal with the Quranic changes.
A scene in pre-Taliban Afghanistan
It wouldn't actually be necessary to go all the way back to Mohammed's time to get rid of (nearly) all the current problems with Islamic extremism. As a practical matter, in practice, all that would be necessary is to go back to the doctrines before the changes authored by al-Wahhab. That would remove the Salafists, including the Wahhabi and Deobandi sects, the Muslim Brotherhood, the writings of Sayyid Qutb, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Islamic State (ISIS) all things that by al-Wahhab's own logic are not authentically Islamic.
If these problems (largely cultural ones) can be overcome, it would appear a true Islamic Reformation may indeed be possible. With that Reformation, the Muslim world may come to look more like pre-Taliban Afghanistan and pre-war Lebanon and Egypt before its domination by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Category: Religion (Islam)
A good friend and colleague sent me the link, labeling it as "worth a listen." He was right! It's definitely worth your time to watch this 4½ minute video called Pigs Lipstick and Islam from Wild Bill for America. Here is some of what he says:
The brutality of these monsters (ISIS) has finally wakened up a few people. Well listen up. Here's a Wild Bill Bullet of Truth for the Free World: ISIS is Islam. We are finally seeing Islam without the lipstick. . . .Go watch the video to hear the rest.
The entire Islamic religion channels every Muslim down the same path. And it all hinges on the number of Muslims in any society.
On the same subject, A friend sent me what is below, noting it as "proof Islam is dangerous to western culture." His friend, who forwarded it to him, noted "It seems that we are ahead of 'schedule.' As I told you the other day, I read an article about the Muslims on welfare in Chicago complaining about the non-halal food in the food banks." The e-mail from my friend contains more detailed support for Wild Bill's comments. It is adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond's ~2009 book Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, and arrived in my inbox as
"Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult." It is primarily a totalitarian policital ideology, much like those of the Communists and the Nazis. But Islam is better (and more practiced) than they were at masquerading as a religion.
Islam in a Nutshell
Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life.
Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components.
The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.
Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious privileges.
When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well. Here's how it works:
As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in United States (1% Muslim), Australia (1.5%), Canada (1.9%), China (1.8%), Italy (1.5%), Norway (1.8%)
It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Muslim populations, such as France, the minority Muslim populations live in ghettos, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which they live by Sharia Law. The national police do not even enter these ghettos. There are no national courts, nor schools, nor non-Muslim religious facilities. In such situations, Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. The children attend madrasses. They learn only the Koran. To even associate with an infidel is a crime punishable with death. Therefore, in some areas of certain nations, Muslim Imams and extremists exercise more power than the national average would indicate.
At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in Denmark (2% Muslim), Germany (3.7%), United Kingdom (2.7%), Spain (4%), Thailand (4.6%)
From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in France (8% Muslim), Philippines (5%), Sweden (5%), Switzerland (4.3%), The Netherlands (5.5%), Trinidad & Tobago (5.8%)
At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.
When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections in Guyana (10% Muslim), India (13.4%), Israel (16%), Kenya (10%), Russia (15%)
After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in Ethiopia (32.8% Muslim)
At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in Bosnia (40% Muslim), Chad (53.1%), Lebanon (59.7%)
From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in Albania (70% Muslim), Malaysia (60.4%), Qatar (77.5%), Sudan (70%)
After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and is on-going in Bangladesh (83% Muslim), Egypt (90%), Gaza (98.7%), Indonesia (86.1%), Iran (98%), Iraq (97%), Jordan (92%), Morocco (98.7%), Pakistan (97%), Palestine (99%), Syria (90%), Tajikistan (90%), Turkey (99.8%), United Arab Emirates (96%)
100% will usher in the peace of 'Dar al-Islam' the Islamic House of Peace. Here there's supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrassas are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in Afghanistan (100% Muslim), Saudi Arabia (100%), Somalia (100%), Yemen (100%)
Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons. This continues what was noted above at 60%, and which really continues from that point on, with "non-conforming" Muslims not conforming to the extremists' demands being treated as non-Muslims.
Today's 1.5 billion Muslims make up 22% of the world's population. But their birth rates are higher than the birth rates of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and all other believers and non-believers. Muslims will exceed 50% of the world's population by the end of this century.
We all need to recognize that "One of these things is not like the others."
Category: Religion (Islam)
The Mayor of London was very worried about a plague of pigeons in the City Centre.
He could not remove the pigeons from the city. All of London was full of pigeon poop, the people of London could not walk on the pavements, or drive on the roads.
It was costing a fortune to keep the streets and pavements clean.
One day a man came to the Town Hall and offered the Mayor a proposition.
'I can rid your beautiful city of its plague of pigeons without any cost to the city. But, you must promise not to ask me any questions. Or, you can pay me one million pounds to ask one question.'
The mayor considered the offer briefly and accepted the free proposition. The next day the man climbed to the top of the Nelson's Column, opened his coat, and released a blue pigeon. The blue pigeon circled in the air and flew up into the bright blue London sky.
All the pigeons in London saw the blue pigeon and gathered up in the air behind the bird. The London pigeons followed the blue pigeon as she flew eastwards out of the city.
The next day the blue pigeon returned completely alone to the man on top of Nelson's Column
The Mayor was very impressed. He felt the man and the blue pigeon had performed a wonderful miraculous service to rid London of the plague of pigeons. Even though the man with the pigeon had charged nothing, the mayor presented him with a cheque for 1 million pounds and told the man that, indeed, he did have a question to ask and even though they had agreed to no fee and the man had rid the city of pigeons, he decided to pay the 1 million just to get to ask ONE question.
The man accepted the money and told the mayor to ask his ONE Question.
The Mayor asked: 'Do you have a blue Muslim?'
Revolutions & Manifest Destiny
In the predawn fog of September 23, 1810, about 50 men, led by Revolutionary War veteran Philemon Thomas, walked in the open gate of Fort San Carlos in Baton Rouge. An additional 25 men on horseback rode through a gap in the fort's wall. Spanish soldiers discharged a handful of muskets before Thomas' men let go a single volley that killed or wounded five Spaniards. The remaining soldados surrendered or fled.
Revolutions come in all shapes and sizes, but the West Florida Rebellion holds the record as the shortest. In less than one minute it was over, setting in motion a chain of events that would transform the United States into a continental and, eventually, world power.
The nation's expansion had begun seven years earlier, when President Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. But Spain, which had ceded the territory to Napoleon, maintained that it did not include the area known as West Florida, which stretched from the Perdido River across southern Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to the Mississippi River. For its part, the United States believed West Florida was its own, but rather than risk confrontation and war, Jefferson and his successor James Madison allowed Spain to administer it until an opportunity arose.
Things were peaceful until 1808, when Spain appointed Col. Charles Delassus as governor. The inefficiency and corruption of officials under him threatened the prosperity of American colonists in West Florida, who presented demands for political reform. Delassus pretended to go along, while secretly plotting to arrest the ringleaders.
Learning of Delassus' duplicity, the Americanos struck first. After capturing Fort San Carlos, they declared the Republic of West Florida, replacing the Spanish flag with their banner a white star on a field of blue. Some derided what one U.S. newspaper editor called "the little mimick Revolution," but President Madison knew that his strategy of passive expansionism had evicted Spain at no expense to the United States.
On December 10, 1810, the Republic of West Florida's lone star came down and the Stars and Stripes took its place. For the first time, the United States had acquired significant territory from another sovereignty without war or compensation.
It didn't take long for other territories to follow West Florida's example. In 1835-36, Texas rose in revolt against Mexico, fighting under West Florida's lone star flag and voluntarily submitting to U.S. annexation in 1845. (The five-point star had emerged as a symbol of enlightenment and defiance against tyranny and would remain a motif for the flag of the Texas Republic.)
A year later at Sonoma, a small band of American and Mexican settlers declared the California Republic. The subsequent revolt against local authorities lasted 26 days before the United States took over. In the ensuing war with Mexico, the United States acquired all of California and most or all of Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma.
While much has been written about the U.S.-Mexican War, the event that started it all, the 1810 revolution, has largely been viewed as a footnote. As a historian, it became clear to me that there was more at work here than a small band of unruly, land-hungry American colonists. West Florida became the template for Manifest Destiny a near-perfect embodiment of the men and forces that would propel Americans across their continent.
William C. Davis
Smithsonian Magazine, May 2013, pp. 11-12
The Voter ID Issue
The Left tells us that a voter ID requirement especially a requirement for a photo ID will make it impossible for large numbers of people who don't have IDs to vote. Based on voting results in states that have voter ID requirements, that is a lie.
The Left also tells us that voter ID laws are a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise poor and minority voters. That is a damned lie promulgated for political purposes.
Both of these assertions rest to a substantial degree on the Left's assertion that voter ID processes are unworkable. They claim, in effect, that the people they claim to be protecting are too stupid or uneducated to know how to get an ID and/or too poor to afford one. Even with the Lefties' help.
I'm sorry, but that assertion is just plain stupid! You want proof? Look at India, whose poor and uneducated make the poorest and least educated people in the United States look very rich people with advanced degrees by comparison. And every voter in India has a photo ID.
So much for unworkable.
The Left also claims that vote fraud occurs rarely if at all, and that such allegations are made for political purposes. The former claim is disproved by the news headlines. The latter is pure projection.
The purpose of voter registration is allow states and subordinate entities to verify individuals' eligibility to vote in that jurisdiction. The purpose of voter ID is ensure the person showing up to vote is the same person who registered.
This leads to two inescapable conclusions:
- The controversy over voter ID is a phony one perhaps the ultimate fake controversy, unsupported by evidence or experience.
- Anyone who opposes voter ID requirements is objectively supporting vote fraud.
Category: Voting Issues