Brave Knights of Allah hide behind women

December 31, 2010

But then, women are little better than chattel in Islam, so why not use them as living bombs?

The Taliban and al Qaeda have established female suicide bombing cells in remote areas of northwestern Pakistan and northeastern Afghanistan. The female suicide bombers have struck in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The existence of the cells, which appeared evident after female suicide bombers attacked twice over the past five months in Afghanistan and Pakistan, was confirmed by a 12-year-old Pakistani girl named Meena Gul.

Gul, who said she was trained to be a “human bomb,” was detained by Pakistani police in the Munda area in Pakistan’s northwestern district of Dir, according to the Times of India.

“Gul said that women suicide bombers were trained for their deadly task in small cells on both sides of the porous border and were dispatched to their missions with a sermon, ‘God will reward you with a place in heaven.'”

Oh, and did I mention some of the women are just girls? Yes, for the valiant jihadi, it’s women and children first. Preferably in the same person.

A long time ago, someone explained to me the First Rule of Texas Common Law: “He needed killing.”

Well, these barbarians need killing.

RELATED: These “holy warriors” also exploit emotionally abused women, the elderly, and the developmentally disabled. Such wonderful people.


Brain-dead moral equivalence

December 30, 2010

Colman McCarthy at the Washington Post:

To oppose ROTC, as I have since my college days in the 1960s, when my school enticed too many of my classmates into joining, is not to be anti-soldier. I admire those who join armies, whether America’s or the Taliban’s: for their discipline, for their loyalty to their buddies and to their principles, for their sacrifices to be away from home.

So there’s no difference between serving in the US military and the Taliban? Between being a citizen-soldier for a democratic republic under the rule of law and a hired gun of a tyrannical movement that throws acid in girls’ faces for trying to learn to read? Really? Seriously??

God, I pity anyone in this morally bankrupt moron’s classes.

via Max Boot

UPDATE: Victor Davis Hanson and Jonah Goldberg demolish this idiot.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

“The United States will be transformed into an Islamic Republic”

December 30, 2010

Those aren’t my words, but those of Egyptian journalist ‘Ata Abd Al-Aal, via MEMRI:

From the transcript:

‘Ata Abd Al-Aal: They should send religious guides, as the Americans call them, or preachers, who should put an end to the calls not to participate in the elections. Some of the sheiks who go to the US during the month of Ramadhan or on other religious occasions incite the Muslims living there not to take part in the elections, because they are living among infidels. This is very troubling, and runs counter to the rights of the Muslims in the US.

The Islamic institutions in the Islamic world should send preachers who are well versed in Islam, who know how to preach to the American mentality, and who are proficient in English and can communicate with the Americans. Over there, they must forsake their own material and personal interests, and must act for the sake of Allah.

[Ultimately,] the US will be transformed into an Islamic republic, as a sheik in the US told me. He said that the most important place for the future of Islam, after Mecca and Medina, was the US.

Now, I will give the chap credit for saying Muslims should participate in elections; the usual radical line is that voting is a sin, for democracy gives to people the right to make laws, a right that belongs only to Allah. But, bear in mind that his suggestion is only a tactic: exploiting democracy to eventually bring about the antithesis of democracy, an Islamic republic ruled by Sharia law.

No, thanks.

PS: No, I am not advocating denying Muslims in America their voting rights as citizens. (Just in case anyone got that dumb idea stuck in their head.) But we do need to be aware of what cultural jihadists like Al-Aal have in mind, so that it may be exposed and opposed.

The Constitution is just too confusing!

December 30, 2010

Well, it is for Ezra Klein, one of the Washington Post’s bloggers. You see, it’s over 100 years old and the language is just too confusing:

Click the image to watch.

Newsbusters provides a transcript. Here’s the relevant part:

[MSNBC HOSTESS NORAH] O’DONNELL: You heard all the different politicians talking about the Constitution. Well, this is what’s going to happen. When Republicans take over next week, they’re going to do something that apparently has never been done in the 221-year history of the House of Representatives. They are going to read the Constitution aloud. Is this a gimmick?

KLEIN: Yes, it’s a gimmick. [Laughs] I mean, you can say two things about it. One, is that it has no binding power on anything. And two, the issue of the Constitution is not that people don’t read the text and think they’re following. The issue of the Constitution is that the text is confusing because it was written more than 100 years ago and what people believe it says differs from person to person and differs depending on what they want to get done. So, I wouldn’t expect to much coming out of this.

Ezra, dude, let me help. You have this thing called a “brain” and access to a wonderful process called “reason.” If you use them, then many confusing things, such as the basic governing document of the United States, actually become comprehensible. Try it some time; you might be surprised at the results.

Okay, snark aside, his argument is just plain silly. Sure, language changes over time and words develop new definitions. Changing usages of punctuation can shift meaning. But it’s not as if the Constitution exists in a vacuum, without any context. Nor has English changed so much from 1787 that our poor brains can’t parse it. (Just curious, Ezra: do you have problems with Shakespeare, too? I mean his plays are over 400 years old…)

See, Ezra, we have these marvelous resources available to help us understand what was meant way back then: the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers present us with the arguments of both sides for and against the ratification of the Constitution, and they went on at great length about what the words meant. (In fact, our Bill of Rights was produced largely as a compromise with the Anti-Federalists, who were gathering momentum to call a second Constitutional Convention to fix what they saw as problems with the core document.)

If those aren’t enough, we also have state constitutions from the time, showing us how already existing governments understood their roles and power, and the records of the debates in state conventions prior to their ratification votes. And we also have Supreme Court decisions from the early republic showing us how learned men much closer to the Founding interpreted the Constitution. Okay, so maybe their language will confuse you, too. I can but point the way.

Sure, there are are vague patches in the Constitution: the “necessary and proper” clause forces us to think about the nature and scope of government, and what is necessary to its operation. The “general welfare” and “commerce” clauses have been badly misinterpreted over the years (largely by progressive judges). But it’s not as if we’re left with nothing to do but throw up our hands and say it’s so confusing that it makes our brains hurt. We can use the resources available to figure out those vague parts — you know, reason.

Honestly, what Klein is saying, and what his fellow progressives have been saying for over 100 years, is that government is simply too difficult, too complex, too confusing for the common folk, and that we need experts to guide us and make decisions for us. They know what’s best, so stop fussing over a centuries-old and obsolete piece of parchment.

But that’s the beauty of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights: so short that any citizen can carry it in his breast pocket and plain enough that most parts are readily understood, while those that aren’t can be reasoned through. That’s one of the things that empowers the citizen, that he can check the owner’s manual when he likes to see how things should be done. Your vision of a Constitution that’s too confusing for the modern day instead turns citizens into subjects dependent on the dispensations of the elite.

The Constitution is a challenge, Ezra; it is not confusing.

LINKS: Klein explains himself on the confusing Constitution and Republican gimmicks.

UPDATE: Iowahawk skewers Klein on the lance of satire. At Liberty Pundits, Dr. Melissa Clouthier lays bare what Klein and his fellow progressives really want.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Privatize Social Security?

December 29, 2010

If empirical observation shows a better solution to old-age pensions and public debt, shouldn’t we take a serious look at it? It’s worked wonders in Chile:

Pinera’s proposal began with scrapping the payroll tax on the country’s social security system and inviting all workers to take the money they were contributing and move it into a private pension.

Workers would be free to choose the fund, how much to put in, and at what age they would retire, with a minimal safety net built into the design. Past contributions would be refunded to workers by government bond. And anyone who didn’t like the idea was free to remain with the system as it was. It was a huge success: 95% of Chile’s workers chose the private system.

Pinera told the public to expect a compounded 4% rate of return under the private plan. But as of 2010, the average annual rate of return was 9.23%, far higher than promised.

By contrast, the U.S. social security system, which today accounts for a quarter of the U.S. government budget, is slated to give retiring workers in the next decade a 1% to 2% rate of return. And those entering the system today will see a negative return.

Chile’s implicit pension debt fell to just 6% of GNP — compared with 100% in the U.S., 300% in France and 450% in Italy, leaving Chile with no net debt.

Better still, the accumulated savings in the pension funds fueled Chile’s spectacular economic ascent, taking real incomes from about $4,000 per capita in the early 1980s to $15,000 today, and GDP to the 6% range most years for nearly 20 years. With that record, is it any surprise that Chile this year earned itself a membership card into the club of rich nations, the OECD?

We know our current system is heading for collapse, so, other than fear fed by the demagoguery of the Left, what’s to stop us from looking at a model similar to Chile’s? Shouldn’t workers be able to keep their own money in their own retirement accounts, instead of relying on handouts from a government-run Ponzi scheme?

via Fausta

LINKS: Further observations at No Runny Eggs

California: Brown’s austerity budget?

December 29, 2010

The LA Times has an interesting article today about incoming Governor Brown’s proposed budget – interesting mainly for what it hints at and leaves out, and secondarily for a bit of media bias. First, the proposal:

Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is laying the groundwork for a budget plan that would couple deep cuts to state services, including university systems and welfare programs, with a request that voters extend temporary tax hikes on vehicles, income and sales that are set to expire next year.

The blueprint Brown will unveil when he takes office early next month also is expected to take aim at several tax breaks and subsidies that have been fiercely guarded by the business lobby in Sacramento, according to people involved in budget discussions with the incoming administration.

Among the breaks are multibillion-dollar incentives for redevelopment projects and hundreds of millions of dollars of “enterprise zone” credits meant to encourage investment in blighted neighborhoods. Also targeted is a recent change to state business tax formulas that has saved corporate California roughly $1 billion.

The combination of austere spending and extended tax hikes is designed to confront both parties and their allied interest groups with painful choices that Brown says are necessary to truly resolve the state’s massive budget problems. He intends to take swift action, using the political capital of a new governor to confront a deficit that could easily subsume his governorship.

In a symbolic gesture to garner the trust of a skeptical public, Brown has already pledged to cut his own office budget by 25%.

First promising sign: the Governor-elect recognizes we’re in a deep mess and cannot keep spending the way we have been for the past 25 years :

California state spending has outgrown the state’s tax base by 1.3 percentage points annually for 25 years. Simple arithmetic dictates that in lieu of constant tax increases, this perpetuates a deficit.

From 1985 to 2009 state GDP in California grew by 5.5 percent per year, on average (not adjusted for inflation). Annual growth in state spending was 6.8 percent, on average. Three spending categories have dominated this spending spree: public schools, cash assistance and Medicaid. Making up half of state spending, they are outlets for traditional redistributive welfare state policy.

(h/t Wyoming Liberty Group)

Back to the Times article, Brown plans to ask for cuts to California’s welfare, public school, California State University, and University of California allocations. He also wants to change or eliminate special enterprise zones (areas of lowered taxes to encourage local hiring) and the way a particular tax is calculated for businesses. Finally, he wants voters to approve an extension of onerous tax increases enacted a few years ago, which will expire with this fiscal year.

It’s a mixed bag, with something to tick off everyone. By one theory of politics, that means he must be doing something right. Teacher’s unions and the universities, for example, will hate the cuts to education. But, let’s be blunt here: CSU and UC students, even after recent fee hikes, are still heavily subsidized and charged nowhere near market rate for what they get. And higher education is a public good, not an unalienable right. If the state can’t afford to keep subsidizing it at current levels, then logic dictates cutting back. And it’s not as if public school performance in California has warranted giving the teachers unions more, instead of forcing some competition and choice into the system, as has New Orleans.

The proposals to cut back business enterprise zones will surely anger business communities, but the article mentions (but does not cite directly) studies arguing that those zones have not had the desired effect. Shouldn’t fiscal conservatives be open to the idea of ending programs that don’t work, even if they are ones conservatives sympathize with?

One of the greatest obstacles Brown’s proposals face is the extension of tax rates. California is already one of the mostly highly taxed states in the nation, one of the reasons businesses and people are leaving for other states that don’t punish success nearly as much. Here in the Golden State, if you make more than $47,055, but less than a million, you pay the second-highest rate, 9.55%. Sales tax in Los Angeles county is 9.75%, which is a 1.5% premium over the state rate of 8.25%. And auto registration fees (the dread car tax, which was part of why Gray Davis lost his job in 2003) is 1.15% of the car’s value. Brown is hoping that spending cuts will persuade a skeptical and angry public to extend these tax rates in a special election in return for deep spending cuts. We’ll see.

The devil, of course, is in the details, and Brown’s representative was deliberately vague, probably not wanting to show his hand in advance of what is sure to be a hard fight in the legislature. Here are some questions I have for the once-and-future governor:

  • Are these spending cuts permanent reductions in bloated state spending, or just a temporary cutback until the economy picks up, at which point we’ll go on a binge again?
  • When would the extended tax rates expire? When the economy recovers, will you consider tax cuts to stimulate economic growth?
  • Will you push for an increase in school choice to break the stranglehold of the teachers unions and make sure we’re getting value for the money we put into education?
  • What will you do to reform California’s regulatory environment, which helps make this state the worst in which to do business?
  • What will you do to curb the corrupting influence of other public-employee unions?

I’m sure there are a lot more questions, but these are a start — as is Brown’s plan. We’ll see what comes out in the details in the months ahead.

TANGENT: The article does a pretty good job with the basics, but still reflects the LA Times’ pro-Democrat, pro-progressive bias. When discussing portions of Brown’s proposal that the business community might not like, it mentions only opposition with no word about people who might be hurt by the changes. When talking about cuts to welfare and education, we get pity-words about students and the poor, with no attention given to the effectiveness of those programs — unlike we see in the discussion of enterprise zones.  Not egregious, not outrageous, but sadly typical.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Jihad terror plot busted in Denmark

December 29, 2010

I’m surprised Jyllands-Posten doesn’t put armed guards in front of their offices to protect their people, since brave, brave jihadis are still trying to kill them for publishing satirical cartoons five years ago:

Five men planning to shoot as many people as possible in a building housing the newsroom of a paper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad were arrested Wednesday in an operation that halted an imminent attack, intelligence officials said.

Denmark’s intelligence service said it arrested four men in two raids in suburbs of the capital, Copenhagen, and seized an automatic weapon, a silencer and ammunition. Swedish police said they arrested a 37-year-old Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin living in Stockholm.

“An imminent terror attack has been foiled,” said Jakob Scharf, head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, or PET. He described some the suspects as “militant Islamists with relations to international terror networks” and said that more arrests were possible.

PET said it seized a 44-year-old Tunisian, a 29-year-old Lebanese-born man and a 30-year-old who were living in Sweden and had entered Denmark late Tuesday or early Wednesday. The fourth person detained was a 26-year-old Iraqi asylum-seeker living in Copenhagen.

And let’s not forget that some of the cartoonists who drew these “blasphemous” doodlings are still in hiding, in fear for their lives.

Freedom of speech? Forget it. Tolerance of other opinions, even ones you don’t like? Bah! What matters is the promise of rewards in the afterlife for killing the enemies of Allah, as in Qur’an 9:111 :

Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.

NOTE: The image at the top is one of the Dread Cartoons of Blasphemy. Visit Zombietime for the full archive.


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