Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Paddington Bear Kills 2500!!

Paddington Bear, a favorite of children everywhere, has been implcated earlier this month in multiple deaths in Milford, NH. He was caught at the scene of the crime dressed in a yellow raincoat and hat.

Mr. Bear is accused of murder by one of the most heinous methods - suffocation. The crime occurred at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Hatchery. The details of the crime are somewhat sketchy, but it is surmised that Mr. Bear blocked a drain in a tank, depriving oxygen to 2500 trout. The motive for the crime is unknown as Mr. Bear has asserted his 5th Amendment Rights and isn't talking to the investigating authorities.

The investigation is continuing into the crime, and the attorneys for the victims may pursue Mr. Bear for damages if the investigation finds that this is a hate crime as defined by Federal statutes.

At this time, the crime does not appear to be terrorist-related. To bear this out, a group calling itself the I.R.A. (Islamic Rights for Animals) has issued a fatwa on Mr. Bear since some of the victims may have been followers of Mohammed, which has prompted authorities to move Mr. Bear to an undisclosed toybox.

For the actual AP report on this incident, the link is here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

4th Time the Charm?

As reported by MSNBC.com, the Pope met with Muslim diplomats earlier today to mend relations after his remarks about Islam during a September 12 speech at Regensburg University. This is the 4th time that the Pope has tried to defuse the situation.

The remarks that got the Islamic clerics & "others" upset were the words of a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith." Pope Benedict XVI has since said that the comments were taken out of context, and he regretted that Muslims were offended. The reaction by the aforementioned offended Muslims has included protests, violence, and murder. The most publicized of these was the execution of a nun in Somolia who forgave her attackers as she was dying.

This is absolutely incredible to me! As stated in the "Points to Ponder" scroller to the right, Why must I tolerate your intolerance? Why is it that if there is the slightest criticism of Islam, these people go ballistic and start running amok? Worse yet, why must these people be excused from their actions? Why does the world as a whole put up with these idiots?

It can't be on account of it's a criticism of a religion. Christians and Jews certainly don't get a pass on this - I think of all the criticism offered in the media of these religions (cartoons and other items bordering on the obscene), and what the Mohammed cartoons showed was extremely mild. Israel certainly didn't get a pass on their little war with Hezbollah.

Actually, it might be a little more sinister than what one might think. I am starting to believe that the world, through the Useless Nations, would rather see the civilized West (Europe and the US) bear the brunt of the Islamic terror attacks. Many of the countries in the UN are third-world dictatorships that really don't want their people to have any freedoms at all. If the Islamic terrorists keeps the West busy chasing them, then maybe the West will leave them alone. What they don't realize is that if the West falls, or enacts an isolationist-type policy, then they just might find these jokers in their respective laps.

And yet no one really seems to understand the danger that this type of radical Islam puts the world into. I remember a World History class some 30 years ago in High School. The topic was Islam and how it shaped the Middle East. The teacher stated the following:

Islam is a religion of conquest - it was spread by subjugation. The soldiers would ride into a villiage and wipe out any resistance. Afterward, they would gather up all the villiagers, and separated the leaders. The Imam riding with the soldiers would then ask them one by one if they would accept Islam as their religion and Allah as their god. If not, the leader would be forced to kneel, and he was beheaded in front of the assembled villiagers. This process usually didn't last very long as the villiage saw which way this was going, so they would take vows to accept this new religion. Afterward, they would ride to the next villiage and repeat the "conversion" of the infidels.

This is the radical Islamic mindset - convert or die! This is their mantra - this is their mission. And with the radical Iranian president hell-bent on nukes, I really wonder if the world hasn't gone mad in ignoring this threat.

Where is this all headed? Well, I can certainly state that it shouldn't begin with apologies for statements that are historical in nature. I stand by the following statement made in a previous post:

People who apologise for, make excuses for, or otherwise try & appease these nutcases are only making things worse. Firm, decisive action will eventually need to be taken against these promoters of violence. The question is, who's going to do it? The moderate Islamic sects, or the rest of the world. The first is preferable, the second is not.

Indeed, who is going to rein in these purveyors of the "religion of peace"? I certainly hope that the US doesn't get sucked into this alone.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Unions for Democrats? Why?

I already know that this post is going to rile a few of my Union brothers & sisters, but I'm going to let fly anyway...

I've been a Union member now going on 6 1/2 years and getting the Solidarity Union magazine all that time. Every time I pick up the magazine & leaf through it the message is that Republicans are against Unions, and Democrats are our friends. Vote Democrat, and all things will be better - jobs will stay in the US of A instead of going to China or Mexico. What?? I must respectfully disagree with this recommendation.

First off, I do not believe that either political party is particularly Union friendly unless it's around an election time. That's when the statements start flying around the airwaves that the opposition party is against Unions and their party will keep jobs in the state or country. It doesn't matter whether the statements are true or false, it just depends which message ticks off the right people, or whom has been brainwashed the most.

The Union Leadership touts that the Democrats are "for the little guy." Nonsense!! The Democrats are for themselves, and whatever will get their members elected and bring more power to the party. Here's a couple of examples:

Does anyone remember the debates about NAFTA? I still remember watching Al "I Love Trees" Gore having a discussion on NAFTA with Ross Perot. In it, he stated that NAFTA was a good thing because it would raise the Mexican's standard of living up to that of the United States worker, and then the two countries would be able to compete on a level playing field. I almost died on the spot!! First of all, the Mexican government sets the wages of all the workers in Mexico - I know this for a fact. And even if that wasn't true, how many generations would it take for this to happen? I don't think we could lose enough jobs to Mexico for their bankrupt economy to come up to 2nd class world-standards & the average person's standard of living to get anywhere close to that of the poorest US worker (Union or not). Who was in power when NAFTA was voted on? If I remember correctly, Democrats had the White House and both Houses of Congress.

If that wasn't recent enough, then who granted "Most Favored Trading Partner" status to Communist China? Yep, Uncle Bill and the Democrats (although I think Congress may have been Republican at the time, but Bill pushed for it). And guess what? Union jobs are going to China, and even the Mexicans are losing entire factories to China (and you should hear them scream!).

Now I'm not suggesting that the Republicans are pure as the driven snow on this issue - they just don't seem to be as covert or deceptive about what they are for or about. They are definitely pro-business at the expense of the Unions, although I am starting to think that they are tending toward a neutral position. But stop to think about this for a second - if businesses are doing well, wouldn't they be more receptive toward favorable Union contracts? One could hope, but as there is a constant reminder in Solidarity that this might not be the case.

The Electrolux company is moving a factory from Greenville, Michigan to Juarez, Mexico. It's not that the factory wasn't profitable, it just wasn't profitable enough. Corporate greed? Maybe, but it must be remembered that the company is responsible to the stockholders to maximize the earnings of the company to pay dividends on the shares that these investors have bought. The company is beholden to the stockholders, not to the Union, workers, or the management of the company.

The whole idea behind a Union is to first and foremost protect the worker from abuses from the company they work for. Fair wages and other benefits are also part of the contracts as well as a certain amount of job security if the company runs into problems. A Union is not about telling a company how to run its business!! If anything, the contract that the Union and company signs is to protect the worker from mistakes the company's management may make, which should help the company plan better.

The issue that I have is that the Union Leadership should not blindly endorse any one politcal party over another - it should pick and choose political candidates on their merits. I don't believe that Ronald Reagan was endorsed by the Unions, but he helped set up an economic boom that lasted through the Bush (1) & Clinton years, and that hugely benefitted the Unions. Unfortunately, that has been undone by shortsighted but long-reaching treaties such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and China's hugely profitable (for them) trading status.

So when you vote this upcoming midterm election, have the presence of mind and the foresight to investigate each candidate. Vote for the candidate of your choice based on his/her merits, and not their political affiliation. Don't vote for someone merely on the base that an organization that you belong to says to vote for that candidate. It's your vote, and your choice.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Islamic Intolerance

By now, everyone is aware of the Pope's comments concerning Islam, and the radical Islamic reaction condemning his statements. Considering that he was quoting someone else to prove some points (and the radicals proving the points for him), the fallout is expected. Of course, the Pope has issued his apology, and it is being rejected by a few of the more radical Imams.

While I realize that not all Muslims are not as radical as the media (and others) portray them to be, one does wonder why the moderate don't tell the radicals to shut up. Perhaps they are afraid of getting their heads chopped off - after all, if the radicals don't have a Jew, Christian, or other infidel to kill, they'll find a Muslim not of their particular sect to kill (at least in the Middle East).

So now these Islamic idiots are using the Pope's historical references to call for more violence against whomever they "feel" that has offended them in the name of their religion. How pathetic is it that they must grasp for excuses to cause harm to their fellow man to "defend their faith." Are they not secure in the belief that Allah is all powerful and can defend himself?

On a deeper point, what is really being said here? The Pope made the reference that belief in a religion (referencing Islam) must not be forced upon a person, i.e., freedom of choice of a religion. History has shown Islam was forced upon conquered lands (and yes, I'm aware that various Christian groups have done the same at various periods of history). And yet the modern equivalent is being demonstrated and stated by the radical Imams and other "religious" terrorist leader - convert to Islam (our sect) or die. And yet, there are people who just don't see that caving in to the "join us or die" proclamation goes against several of the basic freedoms that we enjoy in this country.

People who apologise for, make excuses for, or otherwise try & appease these nutcases are only making things worse. Firm, decisive action will eventually need to be taken against these promoters of violence. The question is, who's going to do it? The moderate Islamic sects, or the rest of the world. The first is preferable, the second is not.

With the reactions to the Mohammed cartoons and now this, is there now any question that this is not a "religion of peace", at least as practiced by some sects? If anything, these radical elements are pushing the world toward a religious war, not the other way around. What's even more scary is that they believe that they will win, even though the world could be destroyed in the process!! At least that's what I see if Iran's radical leadership gets a working atomic device, sticks it on a missle & fires it at 1) Israel, 2) the Vatican, and/or 3) anybody else that's an infidel. Oh well, at least they'll get their virgins...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Defeating Terrorism - Part 5

This is the fifth and final part of a series that will explore what needs to be done in order to defeat terrorism.


With the previous concepts in place (Unity, Intelligence, Security, & Logistics), it is now possible to find where these people are, how they operate, where they are getting their supplies, and how best to protect ourselves from them with the resolve to carry this effort through to the end.

Will this effort be easy? No, it will not. It will also not be without controversy if any of the post-9/11 political garbage is of any indication. However, this must be done if we, as a country, expect to provide our children a safe country in which to grow up in.

It will also take the efforts of more than just this country. It will take the efforts of all nations that want to eliminate terrorism from the world. While the Useless Nations and Coffee Anonymous have sat back and twiddled their thumbs while the number of terrorist-related atrocities increased, it will be up to the United States to formulate alliances, coalitions, and agreements to combat this threat to the world. The US will need to take this leadership role because, quite frankly, I am unaware of any other country either in a position or willingn to do so.

Will innocent people be put into harm's way? Yes, it will, and that is regrettable. However, as demonstrated recently by Hezbollah, this is their modus operandi, i.e., blend in with the population and hide behind the innocent to make the cost of eliminating them too high.

Last, it will be a long, drawn out struggle to root out these people who cause havoc. They run & hide wherever they find a haven to spread their poison among the disaffected. And that is perhaps the greatest horror of all - turning the innocent into their weapons with the promise of a better afterlife.

Once the terrorists are found, what to do with them? Those that survive the inevitable firefights should be tried before a court of the country of their birth (providing that country is an ally). If they are from a terrorist nation, then perhaps a trial similar to the Nuremburg Tribunals would be in order. Those found guilty would not be executed, but sentenced to life breaking big rocks into smaller rocks into pebbles into sand into dust... I have no desire in creating martyrs for their cause.

I know that this series is far from ideal, and there are holes & gaps that would need to be filled for this effort to be practical & effective. However, something must be done to defeat terrorism. Good thoughts, ignoring the problem, or burying our collective heads in the sand will not make this threat go away - it will make it worse in the long run.

Write or call the candidates up for election in your area, and let them know of your concerns with the terrorist threat. Tell them that you expect them to answer your questions and that they will not only need to earn your vote this election, but the next as well - they will be held accountable for their actions or inactions. Ignore your party affilliation and vote for the person that you believe will get the job done. There's less than 60 days to the mid-term elections, but every election is important as is every vote.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11

Sitting at my desk at another plant on assignment five years ago, I was finishing up some report when someone came in the office and announced that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center buildings. I really didn't think much of it at the time, and thought that some joy riding pilot in a Cessna got too close to one of the buildings, got caught in an updraft, and slammed into the building.

I finished up the report, and went out on the floor to check on the project's progress, and I happened to see one of the TVs the company had set up for internal communications. Someone had put the feed from one of the national networks on the network, and I saw the WTC burning. I was stunned for two reasons - the first was that it was such a clear day, so how could someone accidentally hit one of the buildings. The second was that I just couldn't understand how a small plane could cause so much damage. That's when I saw the second plane hit...

Dumbfounded, I suddenly realized that the first plane was not a Cessna or other small plane, but a full-sized, passenger-carrying jet. I next understood that this was deliberate, because there was absolutely no way that two planes could hit the WTC buildings on the same clear day. Then there was the overwhelming sense of sadness, grief, hopelessness as the dawning of a new thought came to mind...

Terrorism, unlike anything that we have ever known, had come to America.

I watched, horrified along with the rest of the country, as the towers came down mere minutes from each other. I couldn't understand that at the time - this was the last thing that I had expected. I had known that the Empire State Building had been struck by a B-25 bomber and had survived with minimal damage - why not a modern building? But that was not the case here - too big, too much fuel, too much heat - and the towers collapsed. And I wept openly as I watched the plumes of dust rise over the island of Manhattan.

Later, the news of the Pentagon being hit and the plane going down in Pennsylvania came across the news, but everyone was in shock. Who could have done this, and why? Questions abounded, and answers were few in coming. Wild speculation and rumors ran through the plant unchecked. And everyone was afraid...

Where was the next attack going to happen, and when? Everyone struggled to make sense of the madhouse that the country had become. Nothing was the same, nor would it ever be again. And the skies went silent except for the roar of fighter jets on patrol.

I feared for the future of the country, and of that of my son's. What kind of a world was he going to grow up in? How much different was his childhood and adult life going to be than mine? The future had suddenly become so very uncertain and frightening for all of us.

The American people are now at war, not with a nation, but with an ideology that hates this country and all of it's citizens. These people live, think, sleep, and eat with the thought of killing us and destroying this country that we live in simply because they do not like us for the freedoms we enjoy (especially the one about freedom to worship). And their reward for doing so is their version of heaven. And knowing all of this, there are those who still believe that these fanatics can be negotiated with.

In the past five years, we observed the political parties pull together like most of us had never known before, only to watch political sniping and power plays take the place of securing this country from foreign terrorists once & for all. The planes are flying again, but at great inconvenience to all. Terrorist attacks have taken place and were prevented around the world, but we all know it's a matter of time before another attack happens here.

What does the future hold? That is unknown to all except the Creator. But I am hopeful, both in this country and my fellow Americans. We have proven in the past that we are a resilient people, able to rise and meet any challenge before us. I can only pray that this will be the case as our new enemy is as patient, cunning, and vicious as any beast of the field. And we must remember that as we observe this most solemn day.

Friday, September 08, 2006

New Index Posted

For some time now, I've been wanting to have a better index to the posts rather than Blogger's archive by month/year. Finally, I think I've got it!

Kindly follow the link on the right, and let me know what you think. Thank you!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Defeating Terrorism - Part 4

This is the fourth part of a series that will explore what needs to be done in order to defeat terrorism.


Ask any general what will win a war in the long run, and he will state supplies. Sure, guns & soldiers win the battles, but you do need the rounds to fire and food to feed the troops. The recent Israeli and Hezbollah conflict highlighted the fact that supplies and funding of Hezbollah by Iran made this conflict possible. Hezbollah received funding and arms from Iran for years. If Iran had not done this, Hezbollah would have dried up long ago & blown away with the next strong wind.

Here's what needs to happen to reign in or limit terrorists in what they can do:

  • Find out where the terrorists keep their money, who is sponsoring the terrorists (nations, individuals, companies, etc.), and freeze their bank accounts.
  • If a nation is found to be sponsoring terrorism (funding and/or weapons), then all trade with that country is to cease. Yes, this means that there is a very real possibility that some of our suppliers of crude oil are involved and this would mean higher gasoline prices, but what would you rather have - terrorism in the neighborhood or higher prices at the pump?
  • If a company or individual is found to be sponsoring terrorist activities, then their assets should be immediately siezed, and their officers jailed.

But this might not be enough. I read in a magazine (Time or Newsweek) about how al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are using the drug trade to fund their activities. Of course, this is a cash business and rarely are the funds stashed away in a bank.

Another alternative, although radical, is the concept of total war, which was demonstrated in World War II. This meant that anything that the enemy had that could be used to support their war effort directly or indirectly was a target. Factories, railroads, telephone exchanges, military installations and civilians were all targeted. However, the total war concept cannot be used with the terrorist organizations or countries to cut off these supplies. No, we are far too civilized for that, and unfortunately, very impractical for battling an enemy that does not call any one nation home...

Instead, determine where the terrorists keep their supplies & weapons, and destroy or confiscate these items. Hard to do, yes, impossible, no. But it beats carpet bombing nations wholesale to get rid of caches of weapons and supplies hidden by a few.

Is this simplistic? Yes, it is. Are there complications? You bet!

Complications range from the Useless Nations to our own politicians, special interest groups, and media hampering & sabotaging current efforts to find and stop money, weapons, and supplies from reaching our enemies. Countries in the UN are not all supportive of the war against terrorists, and covertly support them. This means that the UN may not be any help to anyone anytime soon. Our own politicians and their ilk are too much into hating & blaming the current administration and focusing on the upcoming elections to be anywhere near as effective as they should be in protecting the American people.

Since we cannot do much with the UN, do this instead. Let your representative know that they need to earn your vote this election. Let them know of your concerns with finding terrorist money, weapons, and supplies. Have them tell you of their plans to combat this threat to this country, and hold them to their word. This is what our form of government is about - electing people who will get the job done, and holding our elected officials accountable for their actions or inactions on issues that are important to this country.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bill Whittle Quotes

Bill Whittle at Eject! Eject! Eject! is always a great read when he has time to write. He posted the following back on June 18 (I'm a little behind in reading everyone's posts):

Socialist intellectuals will tell you that Cuba is a model nation: universal free health care, near total literacy, and essentially no gap whatsoever between the rich and the poor. They call it an island paradise where brotherhood and compassion reign in stark contrast to the brutal inequalities of the heartless and racist capitalist monster to the North, ruled by its Imperial Nazi King, who is the devious mastermind of all manner of Conspiratorial Wheels and is also a moron.

Capitalist intellectuals -– and there are not many, since most of these people have jobs -– argue that Cuba is a squalid, corrupt, poverty-ridden basket case, a land of oppression and secret police and torture chambers run by a megalomaniac who practices the most idiotic, inhuman and degrading economic system ever invented.

Well, ask yourself what it would take to give up your home, your country, your family and all your friends. Ask yourself how desperate you would have to be to sneak out in the night, and strap your family – your grandmother and infant son – to a collection of inner tubes lashed together and set out in the dark surf across 90 miles of shark-infested water in the dead of night, hoping against hope to make landfall. We can all agree, I think, that that kind of desperation could only be driven by a fairly passionate first-person opinion of such things. Surely this goes beyond what you or I would do to win a map argument at Starbucks.

So. Go up on deck, get out the telescope, and answer one simple question for me and for yourself:

Which way are the rafts headed?

Which intellectual are you? Socialistic (Liberal) or Capitalist (Conservative)? Think about it.