I attended the Governor's Picnic in downtown Anchorage on Saturday afternoon before driving to Fairbanks for Sarah Palin's resignation and Sean Parnell's inauguration the following day.
I thought the Palins would fly to Fairbanks, but it seems I was on the Parks Highway at the same time as the First Family, according to Sarah's Twitter page:
* Wrapped up Anch Gov's Picnic, awesome. Now road trip to Fairbanks for farewell speech/changing of the guard. Camper full of kids & coffee... (5:51 PM)
* W/kids in camper;on World's Best Rd Trip!To soar by Mt.McKinley&rushing rivers,we remember all of AK is BIG/WILD/GOOD LIFE;feel freedom here (6:02 PM)
* RdTrip7 hrs wKid Rock/Martina McBride/Big&Rich/Grtchn Wilson/Billy Currngtn/Hank/Toby/VanP/Blk I P's/Greenwd/Straight/etc&USO artists=heaven (7:26 PM)
I made a quick stop at the Veterans Memorial at Byers Lake in Denali National Park.
"Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own."
"He that is first in his own cause seems just; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him out."
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."
*How many people in the U.S.A. are arrested (on any given day) for minor infractions?
*Why did Barack Obama involve himself with a local police concern?
The political damage is not fully assessed regarding the ongoing furor created by a President who lowered himself to the level of a community activist on behalf of a personal friend. While empathy for Mr. Gates may have caused President Barack Obama to speak in a harsh manner against the arresting officer, the remarks were inappropriate and showed lack of public restraint. Accusing policemen of "acting stupidly" shows that the tongue with honey can also present itself forked and filed when angered. Kind of like the tongue-lashing offered up by Henry Gates, Jr.
The presidential slap cost the Cambridge Police Department dearly, in spite of the rapid dropping of charges by the D.A.'s office against the Harvard scholar in question. The accusations Mr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. leveled against a member of their department were racially-charged. The Chief of Police will be tasked with addressing the ensuing morale problems for his police force. He has already noted that the incident was "painful". The Chief of Police also used the word "regrettable". Yes, it was regrettable that Officer Crowley ignored the threat that he did not know who he was messing with. This scholar was playing high stakes poker and had the presidential card in his hand.
Let's look at facts as currently presented in the press. Mr. Gates called Sgt. Crowley an "unyielding race-baiting authoritarian". Apparently, Mr. Gates accused the officer of racial profiling. Sgt. Crowley did not just happen to drive by and brake his vehicle to stir it up when he saw a black male. The officer in question did not target a black male but was targeting a "suspicious behavior" call placed by a neighbor, for a possible burglary. Mr. Gates was observed trying to force his way through the locked door of his own home.
Governor Deval Patrick (once the top civil rights official in the Clinton administration) weighed in early minus the facts. He said, "You ought to be able to raise your voice in your own house without risking arrest." He is correct regarding his statement but wrong regarding his application. Most states do not allow for a disorderly conduct charge inside a home. You can shout down the police, throw your furniture and hurl abuses at whomever. But when you step over your threshhold, new rules apply. Mr. Gates let his escalation spill out onto the lawn in front of multiple witnesses. You are then destroying the right to tranquility afforded your neighbors. Bingo! He bought a ticket to the Crossbar Hotel. All by himself.
After following the officers out onto his lawn Mr. Gates was given a warning more than once and when he did not heed it, Sgt. Crowley initiated the next step. It is a fact that a Harvard scholar was cuffed, photographed and placed in a jail cell. It is a fact, that he did it to himself.
Here is the Cambridge Police Department Incident Report
It is also fact that police procedure allows for cuffing of a suspect for both his own protection and the secondary protection of a suspect who may be emotionally volatile. I spoke to a police officer and he stated that no matter what, he always handcuffs a person placed under arrest. It is not personal, it is merely the safest course of action for both parties. It keeps the arrest clean. If Sgt. Crowley followed department procedure he was neither unyielding nor authoritarian, but merely observing chain of command instruction for handling a belligerent citizen.
President Barack Obama meddled in something which was not his concern. He picked up a dog by the ears and now finds himself with media puncture wounds to the hands. All the facts were not in and the investigation barely started. Truth flips the coin. You have to hear both sides of a story. Without both sides you lack perspective. He maligned a man's character on national television. He now wants to share a beer with two men desperately seeking to hold onto their reputations. What is the value of the reputation of a good man? Priceless.
The beer, should be raised to the man whose reputation comes out untarnished. One man is telling the truth and the other is lying. It cannot be both ways.
Blogger's Note: I would never trade my maligned character for a beer. Not even with Winston Churchill.
-Blackfoot will have attended the second of three farewell picnics hosted for Governor Palin when this posts. It has been a distinct pleasure being on the "inside track" of this story with our team editor on assignment. From the viewership coming into the blog, it appears there is an active underground of Palin fans. The additional coverage of Palin will be on Tuesday. -Blackfoot will be on the road until late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
Monday, I will discuss the arrest of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Can we consider this situation one more time? The backdrop, will be the book of Proverbs.
Bob, Jeff and Tom are currently out of the loop due to time constraints. The team remains strong, cohesive and committed to free speech.
One down, two to go. In the first of three planned Governor's Picnics this weekend, Sarah Palin greeted her hometown constituents in Wasilla on Friday afternoon for the last time as governor. From her station in the food booth Sarah signed autographs, took photographs with supporters, and gave plenty of handshakes and hugs. By her side was her doppelgänger daughter Piper, who helped serve hot dogs and passed items for her mother to sign, as she did her fair share of people-watching. She seems to be a very astute girl.
Who is going to care for you if we end up with Golden Boy's universal healthcare plan? It is a question which you need to consider very, very carefully.
Thanatos: It will be the death of a healthcare system which has served our nation well for many years. Thanatos was the offspring of Nyx (night) and Erebos (darkness) and the twin of Hypnos (sleep). Sleep if you want to, while a Nyx of a plan is hatched in darkness. As for me, I prefer a few sentinels on watch.
In the end, "universal care" will truly become rationed care. The resources, both monetary and manpower, will never match the total needs of the general population. Get over it. They never have and never will match the needs. It is an unrealistic expectation. Yet a solid tradition of care exists and some of the brightest doctors, nurses and healthcare providers grace the halls of our charity hospitals across America. But it is still not enough for a government which wishes to control every single detail of our lives, including our right to private healthcare. Believe me, I write a hefty check every month for my own Blue Cross Blue Shield, and I am always grateful to retain this choice. There is no gatekeeper and I may use whatever facility or doctor of my choosing.
This proposed "utopia" of healthcare has the same double meaning as that which is alluded to in the Greek: an ideal, but non-existent place. Those wishing to pass this cluster know that the plan is disastrous for the majority of Americans. They (the elite who pass the bill) don't give Billy-hell. They will just fly to India for their liver transplants. The rest of us can rot. If this plan passes I support a massive American sit-in to light up our marijuana. And then, we need to smoke it every subsequent day so "Don't worry, be happy" will prevail in our minds.
Just bend over and kiss your healthcare liberty goodbye along with all the other liberties which the current administration wishes to strip away.
You should be edgy, nervous, and appalled regarding this issue.
Our President wishes for us to buy into the idea that if this hydra health plan is passed your medical issues will suddenly disappear when you step into the hallowed halls of a new government controlled healthcare entity. Wrong. Your care will diminish on a scale that is unbelievable. My facility is an accredited chest pain facility. We will move you from the emergency room to the Cath lab in under an hour if you need it. We don't check to see if you have insurance before we do it. You come in with chest pain, your troponin level is skyrocketing and your EKG tombstoning, we WILL take care of you.
Under the Obama plan you might just die sitting up in a wheelchair in the hallway. Did I mention you should be edgy? Now perform a little test. Hold your breath for one minute as you repeat the phrase "Obama Healthcare Plan, Obama Healthcare Plan." Does your chest hurt? Good! Now, take a couple good deep breaths and say, "Nyx, Nyx, Nyx."
Doctor? What doctor? One of our orthopaedic groups is taking junkets to Saudi Arabia. They are doing total joints clear across the world because they know that in an Obama world their pay will go down substantially. Anesthesia? Hoo Boy. With the proposed pay scale, one of our anesthesiologists states he will just return to teaching high school biology. Pay goes down, liability remains the same. Why would he torture himself?
Nurses? We will leave in droves. You will see an increase in foreign-trained nurses and a lowering of standards to get them here on work visas. The training is not comparable in many nations, even though they pass our board exams. Remember, the board exam merely demonstrates the lowest possible skill set at which a beginning nurse can safely function. It does not test for high level conceptual skills.
Put the pressure on, Americans. Raise the roof right off the Houses of Congress. Doesn't matter to me either way, actually. If this plan passes, I won't be around to take care of you. I will be applying for a position outside of nursing.
Tammy Swofford, RN, BSN
How will history judge President George W. Bush? Here is my belief.
Things will be set aright and in perspective in the coming years. The anti-Bush political pundits of today and the cacophany against a "war president" will fade from the pages of history. But this man, this giant of a man, George W. Bush, will one day receive his rightful place.
Do you remember 9/11? I remember it every single day. These remembrances are not borne on the wings of bitterness. It is not in my nature. But these memories are tied to the discipline of my nature, and the oath which passed my lips as I watched the attacks unfold on the Towers and the Pentagon. I promised myself (among other things) that my perspective of any future events undertaken by our government and military would always be filtered through a remembrance of that particular day. Even as I watched the Pentagon burn my phone began to ring. "Have you been called up? Has the military called you up?" I fielded anxious queries from family and friends. Americans wanted to know. How was our government going to respond?
The answer came that evening. President Bush addressed a grieving nation. An oath also passed his lips that night. Our Commander in Chief made us a promise and he kept it. He would go after terrorists. He would go after the nations which harbored terrorists.
We did not find WMD's in Iraq. Well, actually it depends on what you call a WMD. If you had asked the people in the United Kingdom to later describe what a WMD looked like on 7/7, in retrospect: *it was a Middle Eastern male, *approximately 180 pounds, and *wearing a backpack.
President Bush undoubtedly made some mistakes along the way. The analyst community made some blunders born of both arrogance and lack of cultural intelligence. Would I have performed better given the unique circumstances? I doubt it. It has taken me years to establish the knowlege base I now retain on geopolitical Islam. I am scratching the surface. It is always easier to armchair these things down the road. Iraq was somewhat a pay now/pay later proposition. We could have stayed home, possibly suffered another attack by now, and then darn it, WHEN do you decide to strike back? Israel, lives with that Gordian knot from day to day.
Problematic is that when dealing with terrorist entities the enemy is not the traditional state, defined by borders and treaties. The enemy has no borders, only networks. These networks extend into the borders of sovereign nations. So we must move into sovereign borders, to attack the networks. Possibly our President understood that little fact. Pakistan, is now attacking the network within their own borders. They are tasting the bitter fruit of an ideological front which is unleashing across the globe in ways which most of you will find unfathomable. You see the landscape, I see the horizon. I believe our President also saw the horizon.
Simple test: Pull up a world map. Point on the map and identify the boundaries of al-Qaedah. O.K. Now, my little military genius, please place these latitude and longitude coordinates in blog comments so that I may notify the Pentagon where to dispatch a couple of battalions so the rest of our soldiers can come home. I would appreciate your expertise!
This will be the long war. We are attacking ideological networks. We are attacking 180 pound WMD's before they take their passports, board a flight, and bring it back to America. I remember. I remember that vile men attacked a nation without warning, without seeking a treaty of peace, without remorse. I remember.... that one woman falling from a window to her death. What memory do you retain of that day?
Future historians will judge President Bush far better than his current detractors. May God continue to bless America and keep our troops safe.
Jessica Lynch didn't set out to be a hero. Her Barbie doll looks and hometown appeal were perfect propaganda material to rally the country behind the war in Iraq. Pat Tillman was a football hero, who gave up a life of luxury to fight in Afghanistan. He was killed by "friendly fire". We were told by our government that he died with guns a-blazin' in battle ... just as we were told Lynch was captured by the enemy after emptying her weapons.
Bowe Bergdahl is our most recent "golden boy". You'll find the liberal media outlets playing it up a little more, in support of Obama's strategy. The all-American pictures and biography are meant to pull on our heartstrings and to call attention to the toilsome task of helping to bring security to Afghanistan. Show me the soldier with chronic acne, who is prematurely balding. Let's not get hung up on outward images. Valor can't be photographed.
We don't like to leave our men and women behind. Our MIAs and POWs are a high priority. We bring our KIAs home when we can. The uncomplicated truth is that it takes a hero to put on the uniform of our country and to fight in a foreign war. Military recruiters may be many things, but they don't set a standard for physical appearance. But, hey, all of our servicemen and women are beautiful to me, in the regard that they represent and protect my freedom.
A good reminder that Americans can handle the truth
Let's bring our soldier home. We'll sort out his physical injuries and emotional issues on home turf. Prayers for the Bergdahl family.
A Step Back in History:
The first 'Aqabah Pledge culminated with the dispatch of an envoy to Madinah to begin to teach the tenets of Islam within a region where Muhammad sought to extend his influence. The second 'Aqabah Pledge, the following year, was for political solidification and expansion of the goals of the first meeting. It was accomplished in clandestine manner in the middle of the night among the hills outside the encampment where interested parties had set up camp.
Counterbalancing this move by Muhammad's loyalists the tribe of Quraish called its own council together. They settled on a cadre of volunteer assassins as solution to their problem. On the heels of this news Muhammad and Abu Bakr took flight from Makkah to Madinah on two camels fattened up for just such threat. On arrival, courtesy visits were paid to the loyalists. Shortly after, the first masjid was built on a cleared patch of land. It was a simple square structure with adjacent dwellings for family use.
"The Mosque was not merely a locus to perform prayers.... it was the headquarters wherein all affairs of the Muslims were administrated, and consultative and executive councils held."
Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum p. 187
Welcome to the masjid! It was and remains campaign central and the nerve center of communal life for the observant Muslim. Beyond the sound of the adhan, the muadhdhin, and the cleric community resides the Shura council of masajid across the world. These men, administrate the activities of the masjid and set the political tempo and tone of communal life. The local cleric may share responsibilities for the five daily prayers and activities but it is within the text of the all important Friday khutbah that words of admonishment, advice and for those not faint of heart, words of political activism will be shared.
When former Iranian President Rafsanjani returned to his rotating duty as Imam of the Jumu'ah congregational prayer with the masjid at capacity by ten a.m., the doors were locked and crowds continued to swell outside. An air of anticipation prevailed. The crowd fully expected Rafsanjani to give them marching orders. The Iranian police visualized one word: Flashpoint! They responded with beatings, tear gas and rubber bullets.
The masajid around the world provide a place for prayer, instruction and education. They also function as campaign central for regional show of political strength, flexing of political muscle and activation of populist response. Friday prayers can attract adherents for acts of worship but the Imam of the Jumu'ah can also call for acts of defiance and opposition, depending on the political climate. And when fiery speech prevails within the various masajid all hell can break loose, such as what happened with the Danish venture into free speech with their Muhammad cartoons and the secondary cries of blasphemy from the Muslim community. Stir it up, baby, stir it up!
With a smile on my face, because I already knew the answer, I went into a search engine and typed "After the Friday prayers". This is one link: click here. Yes, it is after the Friday prayers that things are taken to the street within the volatile political climates of Muslim-majority states.
Now while syphilitic brains at Homeland Security noted that "right wing extremists" posed a grave threat to national security, I have never personally observed Evangelical Christians (those nasty right-wingers) leave Sunday worship in large angry droves other than to beat the Lutherans to the best tables at area restaurants. Neither, have I seen American Muslims hit the streets en masse following their Friday prayers to tear up the landscape. That being said, in masajid of Muslim-majority nations, the place of worship can also quickly become a political activation pod. A national leader hits a nerve, and the nerve center responds.
In some cases, the masjid can also become a killing field. King Abdullah of Jordan was assassinated while visiting Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. Ayatollah al-Hakim was assassinated after delivering the Friday khutbah, and leaving a mosque in Najaf. Dr. Rashad Khalifa was stabbed to death at a Tucson, Arizona mosque in 1990. He was the second intended target of a fatwa, along with Salman Rushdie, the man who has managed to keep his skin by hiding out for awhile.
As I tell my friends, "If it is going to hit the fan, it will hit after the Friday prayers." When it comes to political activism in the Middle East, what better place to get the news and form your views?
Tear gas and tears
We will be moving into the world of mosque politics on Monday. To facilitate a less bumpy reading experience, here is a small lexicon of words distinctly associated with mosque life.
*Masjid: (singular) The word for mosque. It comes from the Arabic three letter root SJD, from which the word prostration, or to prostrate ones self is formed. (sajada)
*Masajid: This is the plural form. A common mistake in Western reporting is to write "masjids" because of our understanding of the "s" denoting "more than one".
(Another easy example is that of fatwa/fatawa. Again, the "a" denotes the plural form in this particular case.)
*Adhan: The call to prayer. This is the sound which is heard five times a day in Muslim-majority nations, a tradition which began as two prayers, and was finally formalized at the number five.
*Muadhdhin: This is the man officially tasked with issuing the call to prayer. He will possibly receive a stipend for his work.
*Imam of the Jumu'ah: The man tasked to lead the Friday prayer. Muslims are to "hurry to the Friday prayer" per the Qur'an.
*Takbir: Allahu Akbar! This pronouncement is the "takbir" heard within the mosque on numerous occasions as the men stand and then bow in rank.
*Khutbah: The public sermon or preaching given at the mosque.
Here is an example from the most recent (available translation) of a Friday prayer at a masjid in Lebanon. This particular Grand Ayatollah is considered moderate.
Click on link.
The perceptions are quite different for the Muslim faithful entering the mosque facility as opposed to the Christian faithful entering the church regarding expectation. These things certainly had play in the fright-fest visited upon the worshippers at the Tehran mosque this week. Monday the blog will move into Islamic Distance Learning to allow the Western audience to adjust the gaze.
1. a person who sells small items, door-to-door or from a stall
2. a mercenary who is eager to make a profit out of anything
from Low German höker, from Middle English hukster, from Middle Dutch hokester, from hoken "to squat or to peddle"
Who? What? When? Where? and Why? These are the basic questions a reporter tries to answer when tackling a topic. One of the topics Alaskan citizens, and some citizens of the world, have been attempting to dissect is the premature resignation of Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin. In Palin's press conference of July 3, she stated:
"All 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. But it hasn't been cheap. The State has wasted thousands of hours of your time and shelled out some two million of your dollars to respond to 'opposition research'. That’s money not going to fund teachers or troopers or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the 'politics of personal destruction' ... Todd and I are looking at more than $500K in legal bills in order to set the record straight. What about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime, so they’re not going to stop draining public resources, spending other peoples’ money in their game."
If you don't already know, one of the "people" to whom Sarah was referring is an Alaskan resident who has filed, to date, five ethics complaints, of which three have been dismissed, one is pending and the fifth was filed this week. At the risk of adding to this attention-seeker's 15 minutes of fame, let me share a few facts I've learned about her by letting "my fingers do the walking" through the pages of the Internet...
The Who? is Andrée Marie Kindirgi McLeod. She is of Armenian descent and was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on July 28, 1955. She is the daughter of Armand and Jeannette (Beregiklian) Kendirgi. She has two brothers, Alain Kendrigi (1952) and Antoine Kendirgi (1957). The family emigrated to the U.S. in 1963. She graduated from Ralph J. Osgood High School in Kings Park, NY, in 1973 and married Patrick M. McLeod in January 1982. Their son was born that December. She lives in Anchorage (in a house owned by her parents) and is now divorced.
The What? When? and Where? are of public record. They're the ethics complaints filed against Sarah Palin since her run for VP last year.
It is the Why? that has left Alaskans scratching our heads.
Most people I've talked to think it's a catty ploy, driven by personal jealousy of Sarah, an attractive woman who has her act together, by an unattractive woman whose life is a mess. Others think it is professional jealousy. You see, McLeod has unsuccessfully run for public office a number of times, and would thrive as a political climber, if she had the personality to win votes. Truly hearsay: A friend of a friend heard she had an affair with a married man in Juneau after her divorce. If true, any of these acts employ the 10th Commandment: "Thou shalt not covet."
What makes me think she would be a political climber, gaining any foothold she could secure? During her 2004 run for the State House, the now defunct VECO donated at least $1,700 to her campaign. The donor names include Bill Allen and Rick Smith. You'll remember them from the Corrupt Bastards Club trial of former Senator Ted Stevens. Why would a powerful oil company/palm greaser donate anything to this unproven candidate, unless there was a prior agreement? Makes you wonder.
When another Good Old Boy, incumbent Frank Murkowski, ran against Palin for governor, McLeod campaigned for him. After all, he had appointed her to the Dept. of Labor's Workforce Investment Board. It is said that she used office materials and on-duty time to distribute campaign materials. (Ethics violation?) When Murky lost to Palin in the primary, McLeod switched camps. Palin beat Dem Tony Knowles in the general, and it didn't take long for A-Mac to come asking for a job, to no avail. Give Palin credit for vetting her appointees.
Aside from her "official" business, a quick search of A-Mac in the court system found three traffic violations and two domestic violence petitions against two men (who are not her ex-husband). Each of these winners has nearly 30 cases listed, including traffic violations, shoplifting, burglary, malicious destruction of property, and assault. One had domestic violence cases with another woman. Now, you can only file DV cases against people you know. You cannot file DV against random strangers. These are the men with whom A-Mac associated in 1992 and 1996.
When all else fails, some people go back to Square One. A-Mac's first brush with Alaska politics came when her [wikipedia.org] falafel sidewalk stand was not approved by the city. At the time, she said the reason was that her neighbor peered into her back yard, where she stored her cart, and testified that it was unsanitary. A-Mac fought the city for a year and a half over a lowly hot dog stand. I know Palin is an obsession for the nation, love her or hate her, but I think McLeod has taken her vendetta to another level.
Just wondering... Does anyone have a valid falafel stand permit and a vacant employee position? Preferably somewhere outside of Alaska. Any takers?
“There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.”—Jimmy Carter, Crisis of Confidence speech July 15, 1979.
Thirty years later, it is clear that is the path we took. It is the path that has led to “a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests. You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another. You often see a balanced and a fair approach that demands sacrifice, a little sacrifice from everyone, abandoned like an orphan without support and without friends.”
Congress is currently sitting on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court and is attempting to create some form of universal health insurance. In both cases, the political parties are putting themselves ahead of what is best for the American people. Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R-AL) is concerned that Judge Sotomayor will be mean to lawyers arguing before her. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) wanted to know what would happen if Judge Sotomayor shot him. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is very concerned that a wise
Healthcare is a question of special interests pure and simple. No one has the courage to tell the insurance company and AMA lobbyists that their clients have sent the quality of
These are the problems that Jimmy Carter saw 30 years ago and was mocked for mentioning.
There is one problem that not even he saw. Recently, Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, began to attempt a rapprochement with
Thank you for your courage, Mr. President, I wish we had listened to you 30 years ago.Tom Gordon
"As President Medvedev indicated, we've had some frank discussions, and there are areas where we still disagree. For instance, we had a frank discussion on Russia -- on Georgia, and I reiterated my firm belief that Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. Yet even as we work through our disagreements on Georgia's borders, we do agree that no one has an interest in renewed military conflict."
"Just as all states should have the right to choose their leaders, states must have the right to borders that are secure, and to their own foreign policies. That is true for Russia, just as it is true for the United States. Any system that cedes those rights will lead to anarchy. That's why we must apply this principle to all nations -- and that includes nations like Georgia and Ukraine."
My guess is the C.I.A. has a pre-employment checklist which looks something like this:
*Did you pull out your little brother's molar with a pair of pliers?
*Did you set the cat's tail on fire while your mother was napping?
*Did you stuff a firecracker up a frog's ass and light it up?
Personally, I am pretty suspicious that one of my brothers probably did two of the three, but I am no ordinary snitch.
Santa Maria! The way the Dem's are reacting to the "news" that the C.I.A. possibly had a secret program to leave a personal calling card with a few of al-Qaedah's top leadership has me more than a little perplexed. Remember, these are some of the same folks who stood on the steps of our Capitol and sang, "God Bless America" shortly after more than a few American's were lit up like torches on 9/11. Possibly they have reptilian brains? Have they so quickly forgotten the carnage? Swofford never forgets. Our citizens boarded missiles. They were just not aware of it until shortly before they hit the Towers no better than bugs on a windshield. Yeah, Swofford never forgets who threatened us on that day. My sons know the drill: Don't ever take a threat. Deal with a threat. That is how this Texas mama has raised them.
How, may I ask, do they suggest that "God Bless America", if we send out the Knitting Society of America to seek and destroy? We are not looking for a covey of quail, you know. We are looking for hawks. The C.I.A. seems like a better choice. But I also wonder if some of the biggest complainers would have been too squeamish to allow an abbreviated a la carte hit list to move forward operationally. There are those who pontificate about our security and then there are those willing to risk their lives and kill the bad guys.
Should the C.I.A. be in the business of assassination? You betcha. There are a few men on the planet who are oxygen thieves and the sooner the next breath is sucked right out of their lungs as their last breath, the better.
The latest Jack Higgins book on display at my local bookstore has this quote on the inside flap:
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell
Read my lips. Leave the Sean Dillon's of the world alone. Let them do their job.
That vile C.I.A.
My entry into the Intellectual Battlespace causes me to examine many primary source documents and the (translated) writings of prominent Islamic jurists and literati. So the news coming out of Somalia of beheadings for apostasy fell right in line with what I am currently reading. I am currently immersed within the historical timeline of the Abbasid Dynasty. Fascinating reading. Some of the administrative applications of law are similar to our own, but there is hell to pay, in other regards.
While I hate to engage the “Islam for Dummies” routine for my readership it seems necessary to give the abbreviated drill regarding the Qur’an. So here is a bullet format:
*The Qur’an is seen as the singular active voice of Allah.
*It is composed of 114 Surah (chapters)
*These are further divided into ayat (verses or “signs”)
*Each ayat, is further subdivided by whether it is from the Makki or Madani era. In other words, was it a revelation from when Muhammad was in Mecca (approximately 13 years) or Medina? (Approximately 10 years)
Individual ayat function as a hinge to a greater doorway of thought which is the oral traditions behind the verse in question. Any analyst who ventures into geopolitical Islam without a firm grasp of oral tradition will produce thought which is not fully armored. I do root cause analysis. It is much different than what other analysts engage.
Quick Test: What individual comes to mind with the following ayat?
"A lying sinful forelock" Al-Alaq 16
O.K. So you flunked. Let's move along.
While Stratfor suggest the beheadings may be linked to Islamist' failure to take Mogadishu and an Amnesty International researcher further opines the beheadings are “under the guise of applying sharia law”, oral tradition demonstrates that Shari’ah is supportive of and allows the death penalty for apostasy. The terror of the modern-day beheadings is not a guise, rather a legally sanctioned penalty based on jurisprudence.
Within the tribal Muslim regions, this application is most likely meted out based on an understanding of oral traditions. These have been passed along in mother tongue for centuries. A conflict zone such as Somalia will most likely suffer under a more vigorous application of Shari’ah as there is lacking any secular political counterbalance to this distillation of potent Islamic thought. But what needs to be understood is that current upheaval aside, dealing with apostasy in Islam is determined by a firm understanding of Allah's rights over his creation.
Should a Muslim leave his faith, application of death penalty is allowed. Period. A man by the name of al-Mustawrid al-Ijli was put to death by the 4th Caliph Ali, for "embracing the Crucifix". He was allowed a three day requittal period, after which his life was taken. The death penalty is applicable to women, as in the case of Umm Ruman whose life was taken for same reason.
After death, the corpse is neither bathed nor a prayer spoken over it. The body may not be placed in a cemetery where other Muslims are buried. In a strange twist of fate, neither may the body be laid to rest in the cemetery of non-Muslims, due to the deceased' prior affiliation with Islam. Seizure and distribution of the assets of the deceased are also extensions of the law of apostasy.
This is abbreviated, and for that I apologize. But I hope that this venture into the IB will provide its own hinge to each of the readers. But yes, apostates are to be seized and killed.Beheadings for apostasy
Yeah, just mentioning 29 Palms in the prior post, made me pull out the photo album and take a trip down memory lane. Providing medical support with Fleet Hospital Dallas was a fun way to spend a couple of weeks of my summer several years ago.... as opposed to visiting Switzerland, of course.
Check out this link. On the right, you can click on the thermometer to check out the wet bulb temperature at 29 Palms today. It seems about as hot as when our detachment served there.
See how happy I look, seated on the left? That is the picture taken prior to the Marine pilots' playing "map the world" to see if they could make the other Navy nurse and me (on board) throw up into our Kevlar or inside our blouses. We were given "guidance" prior to the flight that those two specific places, were appropriate areas to store our vomitus should we become queasy. Yep. We found out later that the pilots from hell had a little bet going. These were definitely not "A Few Good Men". smile
Map the world is where the helicopter hugs the terrain at strange angles, zipping in and out of ravines at high speed. It is kind of like the games your kids play online. Except that it is quite a bit more exciting because you are also sucking in the fuel fumes and sand as you look out the back and wonder why the peaks of the hills are sideways on the horizon. Your diaphragm flies up into your throat, your spleen dislodges, and you have a strong urge to defecate all over yourself because it feels like your bowels are being put through a blender. Did I mention that you also feel the uncontrollable urge to puke?
We were on an "ice run" delivering twenty-five pound blocks of ice to Marines engaged in their combined arms exercise within the hills around us. Navy nurses wanted them to keep their Gatorade chilled. There were happy smiles all around when we made our landings to drop off the ice.
Did I mention that we also ran a nice little beer garden in the evening in a GPL which we put up, with a few tables and folding chairs? All of us shared the waitress duties. You know the rule: After about one week in the field, all female Navy nurses look like a "10" to the guys. We look good even with dirt packed up our nostrils and beads of sweat on our foreheads. Problematic is that there isn't a darn place to kanoozle for miles, should the call of the wild be heard. Ah, the camraderie of military life! Two beer limit, and the crackers from the MRE for "pretzels". What could be better?
Speaking of MRE's (meals refused by Ethiopians) I did manage to keep the contents of my MRE within the confines of my stomach on that little voyage of the damned. But the lingering nausea stayed with me for approximately two hours after the flight. Would I do it again?
In a heartbeat!
Thank you for letting me share a happy Navy memory. smile
Link to New Swofford Website
Updated Link for 29 Palms
The cartoon in question
The disrespect toward another who also worked hard.
O.K. Now that we have cleared up that little formality.....
I picked up the phone and called Tom Gordon regarding this little political blip. As both of us know the drill regarding military tradition, I wanted his opinion. He declared the whole thing a "tempest in a teapot". While agreeing with him regarding the need not to stoop to examine a speck, I do think it worth a venture into the free speech zone. Saturday blogs should be fun!
As a military officer who seeks to always bear well the weight of my rank, I would never seek to address Ms. Boxer by any title other than one of respect within a public forum. Both "Senator" and "Ma'am" would be appropriate avenues of response by a military officer when addressing someone with positional authority within a separate chain of command structure.
Any person who has survived the military culture can attest to standing in rank and shouting "Yes, sir!" or "Yes, Ma'am" with a crescendo which can go on and on until laryngitis ensues and voice rest is required. We also do odd things like ask permission to make a head call when it is 114 degrees outside and we have just finished drinking two canteens of water in thirty minutes. Wouldn't it be a given that the bladder needs relief? Sure. But we ask permission to trek up the hill through the hot sand at 29 Palms and leave our duties behind. Respect. We give it across the board.
Just as the admonishment "honor your father" denotes the public respect a child affords a natural and earthly father even when privately aware he is a drunk or womanizer, we should extend public respect to Senator Boxer even if it is found she is overly fond of bubbly and ..... oh well, we will leave it at that! smile But it appears Brigadier General Walsh did give proper respect.
So in the future, Ms. Boxer, it stands to reason that we should afford you double the respect as your ego seems to require it.
Yes Ma'am, Senator Boxer! Yes, Ma'am!
V/R LCDR Tammy Swofford, USNR, NC
As a new bride I was introduced to the joys of an intrusive mother-in-law within weeks of the wedding. After a day of shopping I returned to the humble apartment which my husband and I called home. This darling lady who had given me a fine specimen of a man, completely rearranged the kitchen from top to bottom in my absence. Counter appliances and china were moved, cannisters redeployed and dish towels refolded. Everything looked rather neat, but it was not as I had envisioned my kitchen.
Naturally, my clueless new husband did not understand the stakes. He calmly watched the whole thing like a dumb ox. Assuming that I would be thrilled, my response was quite a bit different than the grateful posture he envisioned. Mama knows best, you know. But you can imagine the rest! chuckle But the foundations quaked on that day, as I made sure that he understood: "It's me or her, baby!" Marriage is not for the faint of heart and conversely, there were times early in our marriage where "It's me or him, baby!" also rang out on his part. These adjustments are necessary.
Marriages are built on foundational beliefs about the nature of roles and responsibilities of the parties who engage covenant. With a good foundation a marriage stands a chance. But nations also rise and fall based on their foundations. America, has stood the test of time. Our foundations have served us well. Unlike the nay-sayers who would have you believe otherwise, the state of our Union is strong and our foundations have served us well.
So I find it interesting that the White House now sports two new mother-in-laws. On the one hand we have...... Michelle's mother, Marian Robinson. She is probably harmless enough. She might have a hand in moving the furniture around in the East Room, or adding a lamp to the Lincoln Bedroom. We shouldn't lose sleep over little stuff of that nature. But what about the other mother-in-law, the one who has promised to rearrange the very foundations of our nation?
The hammer is being put to our foundations on many levels by a left-leaning ideologue. Inspired by old ideas which have been shown not to work in other nations, my heart quakes to think of this reinvention of America envisioned by a man without the maturity of a grey head of hair. Marxism is dead and so is Nietzche. Some people, have yet to figure it out.
Has anyone else noticed President Obama's use of the term "new foundation"? Whether speaking of economic growth, revamping healthcare, or energy policy the phrase "new foundation" is one of deliberate usage. Now maybe his revisionist speech writers like the ring to it. But in my mind, he is overstepping the constraints of the administration. Our President certainly has the right to seek corrective measures to shore up our foundations. He does not retain the executory power to bring "new foundations". I can live with his campaign slogan of change, as it might bring a few new good ideas to the table . I will not stand quietly aside, for destruction.
Whether it be Rod Dreher proclaiming a granola manifesto of sorts or Fareed Zakaria declaring his capitalist manifesto, it seems journalists at large have become enamoured with the concept of moving the masses whilst seated at their desks sipping herbal tea or perhaps, a java jolt.
Oh, the power of the pen! The unleashing of the sword with nary a bead of sweat on the brow! You gotta love us. Personally I tend to be the laziest of creatures on God's planet, right above the old sloth when it comes to journalism. Hence, I write this miserable blog. (Please note that I am sipping Starbucks and eating gourmet chocolate as I write this text manifesto piece. smile)
But slap yo' momma into the next county, as we say in Texas. The world of manifesto-ization has gotten incredibly more fun with the advent of text messages and the quick Tweet of protest.
The current situation in China is merely a small example of the tip-of-the-text-iceberg in the world to come. Rumor has it, the whole thing has been stirred up by a sweet-looking little old lady in Virginia. So what does our state of Virginia have to do with an uprising in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China? Possibly plenty, if your name happens to be Rebiya Kadeer.
While not negating the distinct possibility that the Muslim-majority population in this region has been treated brutally in the past by the Chinese security apparatus, the complete unfolding of this episode over the last few days leaves me with a sense of sadness. Ethnographic upheavals always take my thoughts back to the Rwanda massacre of the previous decade. That was accomplished without text messages, but the repetitive slogans of the lowly daily radio broadcasts struck the match.
The Uighurs proudly proclaim that the world now knows they exist. Yep, you and over six billion other people which inhabit the planet. President Hu Jintao rushes home from the G8 summit with public proclamation from the Chinese government sounding similar to the message given by the Grand Ayatollah of Iran regarding their own tweetering, texting mass of political activists. Indignities, systematic and sanctioned oppression or historic brutality aside, the Uighurs will now pay heavily if they heeded a text manifesto to move to the streets to foment civil disobedience. The lucky ones, will be the humble folks who barred their doors and stayed home leaving cell phones off. Those armed with a deadly cell phone, beware. A much stronger force now opposes you.
As someone who is stridently in favor of free speech I draw the line with activities which seek to move tens of thousands of people to the streets for what plays out in acts of escalating violence by the state against the people. It is bad strategy. It is certainly not fair to the innocent who are swept up with a sense of destiny to take it to the street because of a daily barrage of text reminding them they are important to "the cause". Next week when a few of these people find themselves digging coal within the mine shaft of a Chinese labor camp they may wonder what the hell happened. It will, of course, be too late. A grain of rice will lodge in their emaciated throats before their skeletal frames will be allowed to reintegrate into public life. Starvation works wonders against the best of zealots.
Rebiya Kadeer certainly knows the cost she paid for engaging acts of self-determination. I am able to identify with her passion. It is not fully determined if this fiesty grandmother has had a hand in the current uprising in China. The rumor mill certainly points a crooked finger in her direction. But if she has had a part in goading the regional populace from a status of ordinary citizen to that of low-tech combatant on large scale, I hope someone begins to put the toys away until calm prevails.
I support the actions of any government to block text message access during times of intense national turmoil or crisis. Suck in your breath. I support our government to engage the same. It seems the best means to keep the innocent from being swept up into the prison net. It is a benign active denial tool to move people back to their homes, and away from flashpoints of danger.
Do speak to your children today regarding the pitfalls of text activism. Calling the average citizen to move into an asymmetrical battlespace during this century is going to confront all of us with ethical problems of unimaginable proportions. We do not have an upgraded jurisprudential code to deal with either instigatory text messenger or recipient delegated activist moving on the behest of what is possibly a hidden hand. Our government must consider these things.Rebiya Kadeer
NIXON: In America we like to make life easier for women.
KHRUSHCHEV: Your capitalistic attitude toward women does not occur under Communism.
NIXON: This attitude towards women is universal. What we want to do is make life more easy for our housewives. This house can be bought for $14,000. Any steel worker could buy this house. They earn $3 an hour. This house costs about $100 a month to buy on a contract running 25 to 30 years.
KHRUSHCHEV: We have steel workers and peasants who can afford to spend $14,000 for a house. Your American houses are built to last only 20 years so builders could sell new houses at the end. We build firmly. We build for our children and grandchildren.
NIXON: American houses last for more than 20 years, but after 20 years many Americans want a new house or a new kitchen. Their kitchen is obsolete by that time. The American system is designed to take advantage of new inventions and new techniques.
KHRUSHCHEV: This theory does not hold water. Some things never get out of date. Houses, for instance, and furniture. I hope I have not insulted you.
NIXON: I have been insulted by experts. Everything we say, on the other hand, is in good humor. Always speak frankly.
KHRUSHCHEV: The Americans have created their own image of the Soviet man. But he is not as you think. You think the Russian people will be dumbfounded to see these things, but newly built Russian houses have all this equipment. In Russia, all you have to do to get a house is to be born in the Soviet Union. You are entitled to housing. In America, if you don’t have a dollar, you have a right to choose between sleeping in a house or on the pavement. Yet you say we are the slave to Communism.
NIXON: This exhibit was not designed to astound but to interest. Diversity, the right to choose, the fact that we have 1,000 builders building 1,000 different houses is the most important thing. We don’t have one decision made at the top by one government official.
KHRUSHCHEV: On politics, we will never agree with you. For instance, Mikoyan likes very peppery soup. I do not. But this does not mean that we do not get along.
NIXON: You can learn from us, and we can learn from you. There must be a free exchange. Let the people choose the kind of house, the kind of soup, the kind of ideas that they want.