“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fun Loving (so called American) Jihadiis Really Quite Wholesome

Christians and Jews are being systematically intimidated removed and terrorized in much of the Islamic world. The response from the majority of Muslims is silence. The western media is mostly silent. One day soon that silence will have to end.


(CNN) -- Five Americans arrested this week in Pakistan were "wholesome," devout young men who participated in a youth program at a community mosque in suburban Virginia, representatives of the congregation said Friday.

"I have always known these kids as fun-loving, career-focused children that had a bright future for themselves," said Mustafa Abu Maryam, youth coordinator at the I.C.N.A. Center, an affiliate of the the Islamic Circle of North America, in Alexandria, Virginia. "As far as I know they were wholesome kids. Very goofy. You know, talked about girls. Very wholesome."

Portraits of Ahmed Abdullah Minni, Umar Farooq, Aman Hassan Yemer, Waqar Hussain Khan, and Ramy Zamzamand -- whom police say were transferred Saturday from the small town where they were seized to a more secure location in Lahore -- are slowly emerging. A sixth man -- the father of one of the five -- also was arrested, police said.

Pakistani authorities described the men as college students who "were of the opinion that a jihad must be waged against the infidels for the atrocities committed by them against Muslims around the world," a report states.

Abu Maryam said members of the community are struggling to come to terms with news of their arrests in Pakistan amid suspicions they were plotting terror attacks and seeking a way to fight American troops abroad.
"I hope all of this is not true. I hope it is not what it seems," Abu Maryam said.

Representatives of the mosque -- a modest, one-story brick house on a residential street --expressed surprise over the arrests and described the community as a small, tight-knit, patriotic congregation.
"Our youth group has always focused on community service, community involvement and community oriented events. Our main focus is to be a positive force of good in our young men's lives, Abu Maryam said
Next to the mosque is a home surrounded by a tall white fence listed in the name of the mother of Umar Farooq, one of the men arrested.

The accounting student at George Mason University was born in 1985 in Sargodha, Pakistan, the city where the five Americans were arrested on Wednesday, according to a report released by Pakistani authorities.
His mother said she and her husband were already in Pakistan looking for a wife for their son when she received news that her son was in the country. She said she assumed that he was there to surprise her, but he was arrested before she could meet him.

She defended her son's innocence, insisting that he was in the country to visit her and to look for a wife.
Down the street from the mosque is a house listed in the name of A. Minni, a 20-year-old American born in Virginia who is believed to be Ahmed Abdullah Minni, the focus of the Pakistan report.

Minni regularly went online to watch attacks on the U.S. military in Afghanistan, leaving comments praising the actions, the report said. That caught the attention of militants and he was eventually contacted by a person named Saifullah, the report said.

Without commenting directly on the arrests, Abu Maryam defended the mosque's activities, saying discussion of jihad had no place in the congregation or the youth program.

"Our group discussions never talked about politics, never talked about fighting against anyone, indirectly or directly. On the contrary, we always promoted being compassionate toward others and good stewards for humanity."

A few blocks south of the mosque is the housing complex where Ramy Zamzam, 22, rose from humble beginnings to Howard University's College of Dentistry.

On campus, Zamzam was known as a cheerful, engaging student who enthusiastically took part in Muslim student activities. He was a member of several Facebook groups, including the Muslim Doctor Network, Tooth, FASTING MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS and Every Substitute Teacher On Earth Has Butchered My Last Name.

News of his arrest set Howard's campus abuzz with speculation over why the student would leave campus before finals were set to begin.

"If Ramy was not here to take his exams it means he's throwing away this academic year," former university chaplain Imam Johari Abdul-Malik said.

"If he does not comes back not only does he risk this year but perhaps he's thrown away his hopes of having the life, the American dream that his family sacrificed [for]


  1. Mosque was all about community, community service, etc.
    Just like young Barry.

    24. Todd Griffith:

    Timely post. I just got a call today from an LT who got a letter of reprimand and his CO relieved for taking 8 men out on a dismounted patrol to counter ambush when the rest of the platoon followed in vehicles. He violated the 15 man minimum outside the wire rule, even though the whole time the mounted element was ready to go as a QRF if needed.

    They are some very discouraged paratroopers. They are not going to sneak up on anybody with 15 guys.

  2. Israel has been severely criticized in much of the western media for stern control of Muslims in its territory, but since that has happened, the hideous death toll from terrorism has been greatly reduced.

    Will there be a day when similar strategies will be necessary in Western Europe and the United States? It may sound ridiculous and extreme but is there a plausible event that could cause such a reaction?

    Never say never.

  3. "It may sound rediculous and extreme but is there a plausible event that could cause such a reaction?"
    Fence sure cut down bombings, just like one on the border plus armed gaurds could secure ours.
    ...only hope is a serious attack mounted from across the border.

  4. If our founding fathers had known more about moslems and had had more experience of islam I believe they would have written the Constitution differently. A totalitarian political movement masked as a religion.

    Close the mosques. Close the islamic study groups. Close off any islamic immigration. The Constitution isn't a suicide pact.

    I noticed CAIR is in further deep water, today.

  5. A minority...a silent majority that doesn't speak out....o b.s.

    They don't speak out because they support it.

  6. Tractors On Parade In Israel On Jerusalem Day

    I was in a tractor parade once, back when prices were low, interest rates high, wheat embargoed. Right down the main street of Colfax, Washington. I wasn't in a tractor, though, was in my wheat truck.

    So I quess I've been in two political demos, a Tea Party, and a tractor parade.

  7. That statement, bob, about the Founders is loaded with fallacy.

    Of course they knew the "true" nature of Islam.

    As wi"misdirection" tells us, constantly. The Founders were involved with Islam, through the Barbary pirates, the USMC assault on the Libya capital of Tripoli stands tall in that regard.

    Ben Franklin funded the construction of a church in Philadelphia, about which he knowingly wrote:

    when the people of Philadelphia were trying to raise money for a hall for visiting preachers, he wrote the fundraisers’ prospectus.
    Even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to come here to preach Muhammad to us and teach us Islam, he said, we should offer him a pulpit, we should be open and listen, for we might learn something.

    Now, whether you agree with Mr Franklin, or not, the idea that he and the other Founders were ignorant of Islam is pure foolishness.

  8. Both Jefferson and Adams were learned men. Take a tour in Quincy or at Monticello and look at their libraries, and then imagine the reading material that sustains the current, or the last few, American presidents. But they had no reason to know about Islam. They were interested in the civilization of the West, to which they belonged. Islam was merely a disturbing and violent intruder, to south and east, of that West. The notion that someday Muslims in the Western world would be insisting that the Western world owed so much to Islam, that the Renaissance was practically a Muslim invention, that without Islam the great civilization of the Western world was unthinkable, would have been regarded by them as what it is: absurdity, from first to last, a travesty of history.

    But did they know much about what prompted Muslim behavior? No. So they asked why the Barbary states (present-day Morocco, Algerian, Tunisia, and Libya) would continually attack American and all other Infidel shipping, seize the cargoes and the sailors, taking both back to Islamic lands and enslaving those Christian seamen who sometimes could be ransomed, sometimes not. So they asked the ambassador, Mr. Adja, why the Muslims of the Maghrib, the “Barbary pirates” as they were known in the West, did as they did.
    He had no trouble answering them, as the report written by Jefferson and Adams to the Continental Congress shows:

    “…that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

    Hugh Fitzgerald

    Seems to me they made a mistake, based on ignorance of the truer nature of things. They knew about it, but not really, thought it was far away.

    They began learning about the time of the Barbary Pirates.

  9. That's what I am saying, bob. The Founders knew Islam, they just disagreed with your position.

    You think they were mistaken, they were not. Not about the "Rights of Man" and how those rights are applied to INDIVIDUALS, not meted out in blocks to races, tribes, cults or sectarian groups.

  10. That the Islamoids disagree about the "Rights of Man", that the entire power elite of the whirled disagreed about the "Rights of Man", the Founders were aware.

  11. If they really knew about it, as we should know about it today, why would they sanction a system that is the absolute opposite of all they were fighting for? They didn't really know it. Or they wouldn't have done it. They wouldn't have created a system with a time bomb ticking away within it. Group or individual, they wouldn't have done it if they had known what they were doing. They would have put some language in that religion is fine, long as it doesn't seek to overthrow our established order of civil government.

    Or, so it seems to me.

  12. People like GWB who believe Islam is a religion of peace are careful to point out that America is only at war with "political" Islam. Guess what, all of Islam is political. And once they convert a land at the point of a sword, it's Allah's forever, which is why they can't stomach the Zion project.

  13. That even amongst themselves, that the Founders were unable to rectify their beliefs with their reality is also true.

    They did not reach their objective, themselves, but left it to their posterity to fulfill the promise of individual freedom, liberty and responsibility.
    Which we have striven to do.

    With regards to sectarian groups the US has successfully incorporated Catholics into our North American cultural norm. This was a thing thought impossible, back in the day. By none other than John Locke, as quoted by Ben Franklin, as deuce posted not long ago.

    So to have the other disparate ethnic, racial and sectarian groups been incorporated into US. The Islamoids are no different.
    They are individuals, first and foremost.

  14. The Islamoids are no different.
    They are individuals, first and foremost.

    There's where I disagree. They are not individuals, in the western sense. They are part of the ummah, or whatever it's called, part of the mosque, part of islam. That's their identity. One man yelling alluha akbar is much like another man yelling alluha akbar, cookie cutters.

    They are not even capable of recognizing a member of the female sex as a full individual, in fact, not even fully human at all.

    And then, us infidels, we're not fully human either.

  15. They want Spain back, it was all theirs once, so they say. Andalus.

  16. The Zion project, Ms T, is abhorrent to any freedom loving person, as it is presently constituted.

    It is a continuing war crime.
    A violation of the Geneva Accords.
    First and foremost. Until that situation is rectified, there will be no possibility of peace.

    That the illegal territorial claims of that Zionist entity have been spun into a global religious war, an indication of success for the Zionist propaganda ministry and its' many minions.

  17. Who is "they", bob, what are their names? What country do they represent?
    Who is marching upon Spain?

    Who speaks for the entirety Islam?

  18. Zionist entity

    ah, shit.

    There's still a rump of the old Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryans Nations at Hayden, even after the local jury bankrupted the first bunch by a vote of 12 to 0.

    Maybe they are looking for an ideologist, and propaganda minister.

    You might think about applying for the job.

    I'm goin' back to bed.

  19. As to these five individuals, six if a father led them on their trip.

    They join a long list of Americans that venture out on foreign adventures, adventures not sanctioned by their country or community.
    The Spanish Civil War comes to mind.
    Americans going forth to help the Communists, there.

    If their actions were illegal, they should be prosecuted.
    But it should be remembered, it was their family and religious community that alerted the authorities of the departure, to parts unknown, of the five.

    Our Pakistani allies knew right where they were, which is more than telling, as to their real capabilities within Pakistan and the "radical" community there.

  20. DR: With regards to sectarian groups the US has successfully incorporated Catholics into our North American cultural norm. This was a thing thought impossible, back in the day.

    That was made possible by the reforms of the Vatican II council, 1963-1965, around the time I was born, but after JFK was POTUS. Catholicism took on a rather Protestant odor, to the lament of Supercatholics everywhere. Pope Razi is rolling that back a bit.

  21. The cultural transformation, here in the US, had taken place well before 1960, Ms T, or JFK could not have become President.

  22. The Pope being behind the curve, in so far as the United States and the integration and acceptance of Catholics into the body politic was concerned.

  23. Sure, there's no women in Islamic paradise except the houris, but there's no women in the Christian paradise as well, as demostrated by the following verse:

    Revelation 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

  24. Zionist entity, that was Ms T, bob.

    Trying to get me to not use Isr....

    Which is a Zionist entity, no?

  25. Along with the Anti Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, which states unequivocally that Glenn Beck is a danger to our Republic, being the "Fear-monger in Chief", for promoting his 'birther' beliefs.

    A position you hold dear.

  26. DR: Zionist entity, that was Ms T, bob.

    No, I said "Zion Project" and it anything thinks that's a slur they've got issues.

  27. Indeed, correct, Ms T.

    You used Zion Project, a remark which I extended and modified, while retaining original intent.

  28. desert rat said...
    The Zion project, Ms T, is abhorrent to any freedom loving person, as it is presently constituted.
    It is a continuing war crime.
    A violation of the Geneva Accords.
    First and foremost. Until that situation is rectified, there will be no possibility of peace.
    That the illegal territorial claims of that Zionist entity have been spun into a global religious war, an indication of success for the Zionist propaganda ministry and its' many minions.

    spoken by a Israeli hating rodent...

    Israel, for those of us that have actually BEEN there, is a tolerant democracy with jews, christians, moslems, atheists, Bahais, pagan & agnostics.

    israel has people of every color and people from many nations that call her home.

    the fantasy that Israel haters love to state is how horrible Israel is...

    Rodents are fixated on Israel as the issue and not the REST of the arab / islamic world as the issue..

    Long before Israel was RE-established and long before Israel's historic lands were LIBERATED the people of Islam were sawing off the heads of Jews and christians in the middle east...

    This problem about Israel is NOTHING to do with Israel, it's all to do with Islam and it's intolerance of anyone that is not Islamic...

    Rat is a idiot...

  29. Here I thought you advocated not responding ...

    More misdirection.

    I take the position held by the United States of America, through multiple Administrations.

    Those settlements are an abhorrent obstacle to peace.
    They are illegal under the Law of Nations.

  30. The Geneva Accords, to be specific.

  31. desert rat said...
    Here I thought you advocated not responding ...

    I changed my mind you nazi piece of shit....

  32. oh , have a nice day!

    happy hanukkah rat, do you remember that holdiay when the JEWS re-liberated their TEMPLE in Jerusalem from your jew hating ancestors?

    Yep liberated the TEMPLE before the 1st moslem ever humped his 1st camel...

    I guess those Israelis back them should have checked with the UN if they were not upsetting the world order according to rodents.....

  33. My ancestors were kickin' ass the Med, then when given the opportunity their prodigy left. Left for warmer climes of freedom, here in North America.

    And never looked back.

    Primary loyalty to the United States, its' Constitutional government, paramount to sustaining freedom, liberty and responsibility in our society.

    Loyalty to country, not to a clan, tribe, State or foreign entity, secular or sectarian.

  34. desert rat said...
    My ancestors were kickin' ass the Med, then when given the opportunity their prodigy left. Left for warmer climes of freedom, here in North America.

    And never looked back.

    Yep I am sure the Native Americans like the idea of your ancestors stealing their lands...

  35. 2167 years before today...

    Many years before islam was dreamed of...

    when arab actually still lived in arabia before their brutal occupation of the middle east

    2100 years before the UN....

    Jews lived and had their own country in lands we call now Israel...

    Hanukkah: The History

    The basic story of Hanukkah is well known: In the year 167 b.c.e., Antiochus IV, ruler of the third of Alexander’s Greek empire that included Syria and Israel, banned circumcision and Sabbath obervance, and introduced pagan worship into the Temple in Jerusalem. Mattathias, a priest in the small town of Modiin, refused an order to worship a sacrifice, slayed both a Jew who joined in the pagan worship and the king’s agent, and fled to the hills to launch a guerrilla rebellion that was continued after his death by his son, Judah Maccabee.

  36. Islam has been highjacked?

    This thread has been "highjacked."

  37. ...In the year 167 BC...

  38. The Indian part of me is damned glad the Danes, and Dutch arrived. Those TeePees were freakin' Cold.

    Let's just agree that ALL religion is shit, and move on.

  39. If the Founding Fathers had agreed with you Rufus, we wouldn't have the country or Constitution we have today.

    Sorry, my friend, I will not agree with you.

  40. Let's don't get TOO maudlin about the "Founders," Whit.

    They did enshrine Slavery into the Constitution.

    But, they Didn't enshrine religion into it, other than the freedom to "practice" it.

  41. I'm sure a few of them sat in the front pew, and sang up a storm; but, overall, they were "Practical" men, out to steal a Country from the King.

    They were, in many cases, rich, pompous assholes who sat around in comfort in Philly while the poor folks froze, and died in Va, and SC.

  42. One of the first things George Washington did as President was fire off a check to the Barbary Pirates, and then jump on his white horse and lead an army out to Western Pennsylvania to deprive the Western Farmers of their right to Compete with his Eastern Distillery Business.

    Spare me the "Founder Worship."

  43. Spare me your BS.

  44. I'm not engaging in "Founder worship" simply stating a fact which you bridle against because you're a bigot.

  45. I'm not a bigot. I don't like "Anyone."

  46. And, Most Especially, "Preachers, Politicians, and Generals."

  47. And, where do you get off calling ME a bigot? I didn't write a "Constitution" relegating black people to 3/5 of a "human being."

    But, your "Founders" did.

  48. That's rich, coming from someone who gets his panties in a wad from misspelling Amerika.

  49. I Love My Country, Whit. I just don't like Politicians, and Preachers.

  50. Look, those guys were smart men, and they wrote One Hell of a Constitution.

    But, let's don't make them something they weren't. They were a group of men pursuing their own perceived, self-interest.

  51. [W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    (Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.)

  52. "...wholly inadequate to the governance of any other."

    This is exactly why we are screwed today.

  53. John Adams was a bloviating twerp; and we're not screwed.

    It wasn't the "John" Adams that won the Revolution; it was the "Sam" Adams.

  54. The only folks that think we're screwed, are the losers.

    Myself, I still have a shining city on a hill, to call home.

    Sorry you've misplaced yours.

  55. There was some self interest in the making of the Constitution, no doubt. George Washington thought men always acted from self interest. Then he turned around and proved himself wrong when he turned down being King, an act of self disinterestedness.

    If they had really been nothing but self interest, the landed would probably have tried to set up their own aristocracy. That didn't happen either.

    John Adams may not have been a military man, but he was a hell of a good man. And his wife Abigail too, was a great person. It's odd, the small and frugal farmer/lawyer Adams ended up with something to pass onto his kids, while the large plantation owner/slaver Jefferson died broke.

    The whole thing is an amazing story.

  56. "One of the first things George Washington did as President was fire off a check to the Barbary Pirates, and then jump on his white horse and lead an army out to Western Pennsylvania to deprive the Western Farmers of their right to Compete with his Eastern Distillery Business.

    Spare me the "Founder Worship."

    Let's see.

    George Washington.

    Sarah Palin.





    Gee. That's a tough one.

    I'll have to think about it some more after I get back from the grocery store.


  57. We have Moses as our prophet. From the moment the folks stepped off the Mayflower--they considered they had crossed the Red Sea of the Atlantic, fleeing Pharoah, to a Promised Land--to today, the story of the Israelites is written all through our history. Moses, properly, was big with the black folks--

    Go down Moses
    Go down to Egypt land
    Tell old Pharo, let my people go

    Lincoln, particularily, was an enthusiast for Moses, and this narrative. It's all through his speeches. Before he died, he had told his wife, after being done with the Presidency, he wanted to study what we call the Old Testiment.

    This book I'm reading "America's Prophet" is chuck full of interesting facts as to how Moses is a real part of our culture, even if some are beginning to forget it now.

  58. John Adams signed this:

    The Sedition Act (officially An Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes against the United States; ch. 74, 1 Stat. 596) made it a crime to publish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against the government or its officials.

    A "Politician" is a Politician, children. They're ALL Scum.

  59. It's a red herring, Q.

    I still vote. I always have; I always will. You just try to pick out the least objectionable piece of scum.

    Sometimes you just do it so you will have "bitching" privileges.

  60. Mat just sent me an e-mail showing a picture of the French soccer team of 1959--all white Fenchies--and the French soccer team of 2008--all black looking immigrants.

    "The effects of climate change can no longer be ignored" says the caption.


    Hide this decline--

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 23% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -19. Today is the second straight day that Obama's Approval Index rating has fallen to a new low.

  61. Moses - Wasn't he the old boy who hired the Levis to kill 3,000 men, women, and children of an opposing tribe?

  62. None of them were perfect, Rufus.

    Would you rather have George III?

    And Dukes and Barons and Lords and stuff?

  63. Give the narrative some imaginative leeway Rufus.

    It's a hell of a great narrative.

    According to this book, Moses had four defining moments. I'll go get the book and list them.

  64. "ALL religion is shit."
    "Politicians are scum."
    "A Politician is a politician."

    A bigot is a bigot.

    Look it up.

  65. That's the point, Bob. They Weren't perfect. They were, in many cases, extraordinary men; but, they were just men.

    As for the Royalty thing: It probably just seemed a "bridge too far." After surviving the Revolution they were probably in no hurry to get their necks stretched by a pissed-off, royalty-hating populace.

  66. "Commentators have observed that Moses' life is defined by four choices. Each moment is a test of character in which Moses' behavior shapes not only his own fate but the nature of the people he is destined to lead. The first choice occurs early in his adulthood. A gap of decades has passed since his recue, and a grown Moses witnesses n Egyptian beating a Hebrew, which the text identifies as 'one of his kinsmen'. No clue is given as to how Moses discerns his ancestry. His dilemma is whether to cling to the life of opulence he has enjoyed or cast his lot with the suffering people he barely knows. In a flash, Moses aligns himself with the powerless against the powerful. He murders the overseer, then bolts to the desert after the Pharoah issues a death warrant against him. For the child of privilege, Moses' move is a life-defining act of rebellion. The prince of Egypt rejects the loftiest house on earth and aligns himself with the lowest members of society."

  67. Okay, Whit; whatever. I'm a bigot.

    I refuse to be enthralled over a group of men that assigned a "humanity index" of 0.60 to anyone of African blood.

    And, I don't want my tax dollars spent on someone else's "religious" projects, and adventures.

    Religion is "wonderful." Unless, of course, you're a female who wants to be a Rabbi, or Priest. Or a Christian that gets lost, and ends up in Mecca. Or a black that wanted to marry a white in the antebellum south. Or, yada, yada, yada.

  68. "In the desert land of Midian, Moses marries a shephardess, Zipporah, and they have a son, Gershom. The Bible explains the boy's name as meaning 'I have been a stranger in a foreign land', a Hebrew wordplay suggesting that Moses still feels alientated from his homeland. One day while tending his new family's flocks, Moses catches sight of a bush aflame. He say, 'I must turn aside to look at this marvelous sight; why doesn't the bush burn up?' God then calls out, 'Moses, Moses!' 'Here I am,' the shepard answers, echoing the words of Abraham when he first heard God's voice eight hundred years earlier. God enjoins Moses to remove his sandals, for he is standing 'on holy ground', then announces, 'I have marked well the plight of my people in Egypt'. God asks Moses to help rescue the Israelites from Egypt and deliver them to a 'good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey'.

    This challenge represents Moses' second choice. Will he stay in Midian and enjoy the pleasant life he has built, or will he follow the call of this mysterious voice and attempt to free a people enslaved for centuries? This time Moses hesitates. 'Who am I that I should go to Pharoah and free the Israelites?' he asks God. 'What if they do not believe me?' In a plea long taken to mean that Moses was a stutterer, he adds. 'I have never been a man of words' and 'I am slow of speech and slow of tongue'. Finally Moses wails, 'Please, O Lord, make someone else your agent'. God is unmoved. He unleashes a series of miracles, and finally Moses relents. More than just a husband and father, Moses elects to become a savior. The man of choices chooses to led the chosen people."

  69. That word, "Bigot," Whit, I don't think it means what you think it means.

  70. BTW, Bob, how many tribes did the Israelites have to conquer to take possession of "the land of milk and honey?"

    Quite a few, wasn't it? What ever happened to them? What were they called again. The "Philestines?"

  71. After two or three pages too long to type, we come to this--

    "But as soon as Moses descends the mountain, he discovers that the Israelites have grown anxious over his absence and molded an Egyptian god, a golden calf, as a surrogate deity. God is furious and offers to destroy the people and create a new one from Moses' seed. I wil 'make of you a great nation', God says. Here Moses faces his third choice. Will he accept this tempting offer to choose a people made in his image, or will he continue to struggle with the one made in God's? In his greatest act of leadership, Moses opts for selflessness over self. He talks God out of his impulse. Then, turning to the orgying masses, Moses hurls the tablets to the ground and compels the Israelites to sign the covenant, though not before thousands are killed for apostasy. God provides replacement tablets, and the Israelites continue on toward the promised land."

    We see Moses in this narrative always opting for selflessness over self.

  72. "It's a red herring, Q."

    I like to think of it as a wry observation Ruf. :)

    I just find it a little odd that you can denigrate a president that has actually accomplished something while declaring a visceral affection for a lady who has accomplished little.

    As for being able to shoot a moose and cook it, that may qualify Sarah for the presidency of the Explorer's Club but hardly for the presidency of the U.S.

    With regard to voting and "bitching" privileges I totally agree with you. I voted straight Republican for about 30 years. I voted for Bush in 2000.
    In 2004 and 2008, I voted for the No-Tax Party (or something like that). It is very liberating to be able to bitch about everyone now.


  73. Another theory, proposed by Jacobsohn and supported by others, is that the name derives from the attested Illyrian locality Palaeste, whose inhabitants would have been called Palaestīnī according to normal grammatical practice

  74. It's good to see that Deuce's little "Peace-in" only lasted a day.

    I've some errands to run, but I'll have to get back soon to get in on some of this good shit.


  75. and compels the Israelites to sign the covenant, though not before thousands are killed for apostasy.

    Yep, that religion's just the thang, I tells you.

  76. And, don't worry, Q. I'm sure that if Sarah gets elected I'll be a'dinigratin her fairly quick, also.

  77. "I'm not a bigot..."

    How about a selective misanthrope?

  78. "But no sooner do they leave the mountain than the rebellions begin anew. Moses sends twelve spies to scout the land of Canaan. After forty days the spies return and report that the land 'does indeed flow with milk and honey'. But the cities are fortified, and the men appear like giants. Only two of the dozen spies--Caleb and Joshua--believe the land can be captured. The Israelites once again lose hope, crying, 'Let us head back to Egypt'. God is furious. He wipes out the apostate spies and punishes the entire population by announcing that they will be forbidden to enter the Promised Land. 'Your carcasses shall drop in the wilderness, while your childred roam the wilderness for forty years'. The duration of forty years is chosen, the text says, with one year corresponding to every day the spies were gone.

    Moses is soon denied entry to the Promised Land, too. In a cryptic incident described in Numbers 20, God instructs Moses to assemble the community, who are grumbling over the lack of water, and 'order the rock to yield its water'. Moses instead raises his hand and strikes the rock twice with his rod. 'Out came copious water'. But in what appears to be God's final attempt to undermine Moses, the Lord says, 'Because you did not trust me enough to affirm my sanctity in the sight of the Israelite people, therefore you shall not lead this congregation into the land that I have given them.' Here Moses faces his final choice: Will he stand up to God and fight for his just reward, or will he accept God's decision and prepare the Israelites for their future? Will he think of himself, or his people? Moses' final choice is in keeping with his others. The leader chooses his followers. He will spend the rest of his days teaching the people what they must know."

  79. He had about a million Egyptionized Jews out in the desert and there was a challenge to the authority (law and order) necessary to get the group out of the literal and spiritual desert. Without this discipline, those people would have died in the desert and/or been absorbed into the local cultures. It took forty years of strict discipline to undo 400 years of bondage.

  80. A bigot (in modern usage) is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own or intolerant of people of different ethnicity, race, or class.

    First: you have to be "Prejudiced." Then: you have to be intolerant of others' opinions, Or intolerant of different ethnicity (not me,) race (nope,) or "class" (not here, either.)

    Nah, like I said, "I don't think that word means what you think it means."

  81. I'm not intolerant of your ethnicity, race, or class, Whit.

    I'm intolerant of your "Beliefs."

    That ain't bigotry.

    That's "Disagreement."

  82. We humans do not like to give up our autonomy.

  83. Well, some people like these old narratives, of choices, selflessness, testing, a movement from slavery to freedom and the like, some people don't much like them, think it's all mouthwash, don't see the point, or care too.

    But, regardless, this narrative is a deep part of our culture, such as it is these days.

  84. and/or been absorbed into the local cultures

    Had to Destroy the village to save it, eh?

    What horseshit.

    He just wanted to maintain his leadership position. Just like any other asshole tyrant, or politician.

  85. Aren't you grown men embarrassed reciting childrens' fairy tales, and justifying genocide, and enslavement?

    Oh, and the question still stands. "What did happen to those "Paelestini?"

  86. Looks like someone is not ready for the twelve-step program.

    The first step being admission.

    We are all bigoted in one way or another. We all have our prejudices. We are all hypocrites.

  87. Why so cynical?

    He just wanted to maintain his leadership position. Just like any other asshole tyrant, or politician.

    No, he never wanted the responsibility from the beginning. He was a poor speaker and lacked the self-confidence. He was also content with his life in exile. But his whole life had prepared him to do exactly what he was called to do.

  88. Oh, and the question still stands. "What did happen to those "Paelestini?"

    Go read it for yourself. Its not a white-washed, self-justifying, "happily ever after" fairy-tale. Its a story about man, warts and all, struggling with himself and his creator.

  89. He killed 3,000 people, according to the legend of his followers, rather than allow those people to go their own way (and, perhaps, take some others with them.)

    Actually, I don't know, nor care, if any of this is true, or not. I'm much more interested in what happened to the people that were in Canaan when the Israelites got there. From what little I've read, many were killed, and many more were enslaved, or driven out.

    The whole thing smacks, to me, of what an argument would sound like between the Creeks, and the Cherokee as to who was the original Mississippians. We have a reasonable idea as to who was here for the last 300 years, but not a clue in the world as to who was here 3,000 years, ago. Not to mention 13,000 years ago.

    But, you can bet your sweet bippy, "Somebody" was.

  90. Eddy Lizard: "Oh, you don't have a FLAG?"

  91. "The statue's (of Liberty) most unusual symbol may represent its most direct link to the Exodus. Traditional depictions of Roman Libertas show her left arm down at her side, holding a broken jug, signifying the slaves' release. Bartholdi's earliest clay model includes a jug, which he later replaced with a broken chain. The final statue shows Liberty holding a singular rectangular tablet, inscibed with July 4, 1776. Tablets were not common in classical art and were introduced into European are in conjunction with one story, Moses carrying the Ten Commandments down Mount Sinai.

    In Exodus 24, God summons Moses up Mount Sinai and promises to give him 'the stone tables with the teachings and commandments which I have inscribed'. Exodus 32 says that the tablets were inscribed on both sides. The tablets are elsewhere referred to in the text as tablets of stone, testimony, or law, and are often translated as the tables of stone. But the Bible never describes their compostition or shape. Traditional Judaism suggests they were made of blue sapphire as a reminder of God's heavenly throne; others believe they were transparent. As for shape, some commentators have said they were sharp edged cubes, other that they were separate peices of oblong stone. Michelangelo's Moses for instance, sculpted in 1513, holds two stacked rectangular tablets.....

    The significance of the Statue of Liberty holding a tablet of law has not been lost on commentators over the years.... Bartholdi must have conceived the statue as a 'second Moses'. M. Trachtenberg, in his definitive account of the statue, writes: 'Liberty's tablet--particularily the way it is borne forward--is an unmistakeable allusion not only to political events but to the great Mosaic tradition'. He adds, 'Not only does she carry the tablet of the patriarch but her radiant crown also may allude to the ray of light about the face of Moses after revelation'. The statue, he concludes, is 'a seer and prophetess'.

  92. There's a promontory not far from where I live that has a very nice view of, I guess, twenty or thirty miles. It's a very pretty spot, and fairly isolated. My daughter showed it to me. I go there, sometimes.

    Due to my heritage, and the location of this spot, there's a Very good chance that one of my ancestors stood on this ground 10,000 years ago, and enjoyed the view (or, kept a look-out for danger.) Or, a little of both.

    How silly it would be for me to say it belongs to me because my Cherokee ancestors took it from someone else a couple of thousand years, ago, before someone else took it from them.

    All the children's stories in the world, written in the most flowing prose imaginable, wouldn't make up for the fact that it's been more, or less, continually occupied for 10,00, or more, years, and that the only ones with a claim to it are those that Own it now. It's a "hunting club," btw. They got title. Down at the Courthouse. Bought and Paid for. They said I couldn't have it. The Sheriff agreed; as did the Judge.

    Life goes on.

    Fairy Tale, meet "Reality."

  93. I asked Barry Moreno if he agreed.

    'Even though the outer form of the statue is pagan', he said, 'she was devised in a Judeo-Christian society in which the traditions of the Jeweish Bible are richly powerful. The tablet is suggestive of the twelve tablets of Roman law as well as the Code of Hammurabi, but in Western society, the great symbol of the law is Mosaic. So to me, the tablets symbolze constitutional law. The goddess of freedom promises to enlighten the world with freedom, but then she has this tablet of law, reminding us that there are strict precepts. There is no absolute freedom, but rather limitations'.

    'But doesn't the tablet say 1776, not 1787?'

    'Yes, it clearly invokes the Declaration of Independence. But to me the statue has external and internal symbols. There are the ostensible reasons, and there are the secret meanings the statue conveys. Freedom from England is one of the outward messages, but freedom from slavery, whether the Exodus of the Civil War, is one of the more subtle messages'.

    'The Moses story is about the tension between freedom and law', I said, 'between the exhilaration of the Exodus moment followed by the constiction of the Sinai moment. And it seems to me that you can see this tension in the Statue of Liberty, from the broken chain at her feet to the tablet in her arm to the light around her head. She perfectly embodies the American story--and the Mosaic story'.

    'Precisely', said Moreno. 'That's what Laboulaye was trying to say, and he's the real intellectual force behind the stature. His main goal was to increase freedom in France but not so much that it led to anarchism, violence, and coups d'etat. He looked to America and saw a totally open society, yet one that had prevented disorderly conduct. Even with the Civil War, Americans had somehow managed to preserve the Constitution without a revolution. It was a miracle'.'

    'So even before Americans set about reinterpreting the statue, the French viewed the United States as a Promised Land'.

    'Yes, I think they felt Americans had achieved the promise'.

    Well, let's hope so....

  94. Houston Elects Lesbian Lady As Mayor

    Hope she does well, and avoids the financial, sexual and drug scandals that are the bane of our politics.

  95. Belief!

    It's wunnerful

  96. New York Times - Carl Hulse - ‎2 hours ago‎
    WASHINGTON - The Senate on Sunday sent President Obama a $446.8 billion measure funding much of the federal government, leaving Congress free to try to sort out a remaining tangle of year-end business.

  97. I "Believe" that most people "Believe" too much.

    She did seem like a nice woman, though; didn't she?

  98. Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) --
    Futures traders are reducing bets for gains in two-year Treasuries as Federal Reserve officials meet this week amid signs the economic recovery is lifting the labor market from its worst slump since before ...

  99. How can you argue that one group has an historic right to one part of the world and groups with similar claims to another parts do not.

    The Mexicans, predominantly Indian, claim they have a right to major chunks of the US. Clearly European tenancy is far shorter than thousands of years of Indian ownership or at least residency.

    A very slippery slope.

    I can go to one curve on the Pennsylvania turnpike south of Allentown, get out of my car and examine jasper chips from an outcrop.

    Those jasper chips were made by Lenape Indian woman 7- 10,000 years ago. Surely their claim is stronger, if history is the judge, over a transplanted German farmer 300 years ago.

  100. Surely you meant Eddie Izzard.

  101. Surely you meant Eddie Izzard.


    Surely I did.

    Nap time.

  102. Oh, for you doug, the Isreali spokesman that declared the United States to really be the Iroquois territory was Daniel Seamen.

    Ms. Clinton’s press spokesman was asked if President Obama’s demand to halt expansion of “West Bank Jewish communities” included a demand to stop expansion of Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

    The answer was affirmative. The U.S. State Department demands that Israel limit Jewish growth in these areas of Jerusalem, “whose status remains to be determined” in negotiations.

    Israeli Government Press Director Daniel Seamen reacted to this Obama administration statement by saying: “I have to admire the residents of Iroquois territory for assuming that they have a right to determine where Jews should live in Jerusalem.”

    The Zionists are looking for equivalency with the Iroquois.

  103. Netanyahu actually did a pretty good job of addressing, generally, the sticky issues of historical and arising political claims to territory in A Durable Peace. Which is sitting right downstairs. And which I am far too lazy to fetch.

    Aren't you lucky.

  104. Yep, if we had wanted to keep that mountaintop, we shoulda won the damned war.

    In the end, it's just that simple, isn't it?

  105. Fantastic comedian. His rambling stand-up on WWII alone is worth the price of admission (or the DVD).

  106. Izzard. Not Netanyahu. Although I'm sure the latter has had his moments, too.

  107. As you know, I was quoting from his routine on when the Europeans met the Indians.

    No Flag?

    No set of Property Rights?


  108. The source for the above quote, a Zionist with a nice gray beard.

    Proud of Mr Seaman for making the claim that the US is still Indian territory.

    Which in many regards, it is. Especially out here in the West, where the various Indians tribes have Federal Reservations that have their own form of sovereignty, they are beyond the regulatory authority of the States.

    Which the Zionist entity does not allow to the Palestinians.

    So their attempt at equivalency with US and the Iroquois falls short

  109. "As you know, I was quoting from his routine on when the Europeans met the Indians."

    It's been four or so years now since I've seen his stuff; daughter introduced me to the pleasures of an evening with Eddie. Just funny and smart as hell. (And sweating speed - in dress and heels - when I last saw him.)

    "You don't have a FLAG?" Pure Izzard.

  110. I was expecting drag when I saw him two years ago. I was so excited since, I was viewing him on line and thought he was the funniest thing. The only thing I got was a couple of smiles and a waist of 100.00. I was very disappointed.

  111. Bob: Houston Elects Lesbian Lady As Mayor Hope she does well, and avoids the financial, sexual and drug scandals that are the bane of our politics.

    She has been with her partner for 19 years and they have two adopted children.

    Contrast to gay Portland mayor who definitely has a taste for the teenagers.

  112. Historical claim to lands is one thing but refugees right to return after wars end is quite another. The right of return has been a generally accepted tenant for many a year.

  113. Ethnic Cleansing From 8,000 Years Ago?

    Chatters found that bone had partially grown around a 79 mm (3.1 in) stone projectile lodged in the illium, part of the pelvic bone.[7] On x-ray, nothing appeared. Chatters put the bone through a CPT scan, and it was discovered the projectile was made from a siliceous gray stone that was found to have igneous origins.[7] Geologically, this refers to a stone that formed in a silica-rich environment during a volcanic period. The projectile was leaf-shaped, long, broad and had serrated edges, all fitting the definition of a Cascade point. This type of point is a feature of the Cascade phase, occurring in the archaeological record from roughly 5000 to over 8000 years ago.[7]

    He didn't put that there himself.

    Arrowheads Found Around Here

    There's a type of point older than the Cascade point, but dang it, can't recall the name.

  114. Goodevening, Professor.

  115. Actually A Durable Peace isn't sitting right downstairs anymore. Because it was handed off in our first shipment home. All the books but those on my nightstand are gone. (Fareed Zakaria I have yet to crack.)

    And thanks, rufus, you old asshole, for the reminder of Eddy Lizard. : )

  116. Professor, under your reasoning shouldn't the Banu Qaynuqa be allowed to return to Medina? If we can find any around? With all this genetic testing we ought to be able to round up a few descendents.

    Don't waste your time on Fareed, Trish. If he's the guy that writes for Newsweek.

  117. He is. It was a Xmas gift last year and I feel...obligated. If for nothing else than to peruse with my irritable highlighter.

    My library's full of shitty nonfiction that I myself purchased for the purpose.

  118. Liebermann is hanging tough on the health care bill. They don't have the sixty votes yet.

  119. And that's two - count 'em, two - shooting stars this evening.

  120. It's warmed up to a balmy 28 degrees here, and we have three or four inches of snow on the ground now. More up on the prairies. Kinda pretty, really.

  121. Within this group, there was much more doubt and disagreement than one would expect given the level of certainty of the U.N.’s global warming pronouncements. In one e-mail, Kevin Trenberth of the National Center of Atmospheric Research admits climatologists “can’t account for the lack of warming” in recent years, “and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

    Worse, some of the Climate Research Unit’s raw data was discarded, preventing scientists from outside the AGW clique from checking how the CRU adjusted, or homogenized, those readings.

    The CRU files were a mess, in any case. Perhaps the most damning item in the hacked material is a document filled with the notes of programmer Ian “Harry” Harris, who tried to put the CRU’s computer files and raw data — temperature readings from 1901 to 2006 — in some sort of order.

    “It’s botch after botch,” he wrote. “… this should have all been rewritten from scratch a year ago. … As far as I can see, this renders the [weather] station counts totally meaningless. … What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah — there is no ‘supposed.’ I can make it up. So I have.”

    Last week, Australian Willis Eschenbach found evidence that scientists played games when homogenizing some of the raw data from Australia: They appear to have fiddled with readings to show warmer temperature trends than the data would justify.

    “People who say that ‘Climategate was only about scientists behaving badly, but the data is OK’ are wrong,” Eschenbach wrote. “At least one part of the data is bad, too.”

    Clive Crook, who blogs at The Atlantic, initially dismissed Climategate but reconsidered: “The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering. … this scandal is not at the margins of the politicized IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] process. ... It goes to the core of that process.”

    It’s not clear yet where all of this will lead, but as the blogger Richard Fernandez aptly put it, “The smoke of doubt has entered the temple.” At the very least, it’s time for AGW hard-liners to climb down from their pulpits and stop treating every dissent as evidence of evil.

    To reach E. Thomas McClanahan, call 816-234-4480 or send e-mail to