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Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Evil Virus

In a previous post regarding Mel Gibson's anti-semetic rant, I made the following point:

"Three, this hatred of Jews seems to spread like a virus and is just as virulent. One can almost sense something meta-physical in it."

Hugh Hewitt comes up with the same take in an article for Town Hall. There is indeed something very eerily unnerving to all this. I remember an X-Files episode where evil was spread as virus, and people caught it through contact, physical, emotional or otherwise. Fantastic as it sounds, it had a very resonant logic to it. What else makes sense with this kind of complete idiocy?

Perhaps the "creep" factor merely comes from seeing such irrational hatred and bigotry rear its head. Add ignorance to the mix considering what happened in the world barely 60 years hence.

The Hangman Awaits

When they catch this jerkoff, he should be shot. If we lack the clarity and guts to do it, we are indeed lost.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Shocker : France Wimps Out

As you should know by now, France, the one pushing so hard for a cease-fire, and touting and international force to enforce it, has begged off actually participating.

Oh, okay, they STILL have troops ready to go in, but now instead of the 2,000 or more French troops many expected to be sent on the Paris led effort, they are going to send 200. Oh, but France is still willing to lead the whole thing.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan called Chirac on Thursday to plead with him to reconsider. The French president's office released a statement later indicating he had not yielded.

The statement confirmed that France would send a company of 200 military engineers to Lebanon. They would join more than 200 French peacekeepers already serving in the relatively small U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL. Chirac also told Annan that "France was prepared to assume command" of the bolstered U.N. force, according to the statement.

What commitment!

I could write a whole lot on this, but what more needs be said? This is funny in a historical/cultural stereotype kind of way, but the fact is that this kind of pointless meddling is going ensure more people are killed later on. France is feeding its need for relevance on the blood of others.

France likes to talk the talk, when it comes to walking the walk, they want no part.

Of course, France is not stupid here, but merely calculating and spineless. They know what happens to "peacekeepers" sent to keep the peace with Hezbollah in the area. They are not crazy. They are not going to send 2,000 or more of their soldiers, who are not known for their war-fighting abilities to begin with, into Lebanon with big bullseyes on their backs.

What makes it so very sleazy is that they know EXACTLY what Hezbollah is, and yet that claim that Israel can and should bargain in good faith with them.

Yes, France is more than willing to try and play the Great State, but when it came to actually backing it up, they reveal how very small they are.

A while back, the Chirac bitterly chided some eastern European nations when they had the temerity to buck his anti-American stance on Iraq, telling them that they had missed a great opportunity to "shut up".

Well, it seems to me that since France missed their chance to "put up", then they should be the one to avail themselves of the "shut up" option.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

WTF? Color Me Happy But &*$#@# Shocked

Take a guess as to what industry group this statment comes from? Go on, guess!

"We the undersigned are pained and devastated by the civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon caused by terrorist actions initiated by terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Hamas," the ad reads.

"If we do not succeed in stopping terrorism around the world, chaos will rule and innocent people will continue to die.

"We need to support democratic societies and stop terrorism at all costs."

Article here, found at Instapundit

Now, two comments.

1) I am especially shocked and suspicious of a couple of those names on the list. I expect some weasle-like back-pedaling or alterior motives here.

2) It would have been nice to have seen more of this over the last 5 years.

More on this later, perhaps...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

More of This Please

We need more of this. Excerpts of a speech given by a Col. White to a graduating class of soldiers. This is the sort of thing we should be hearing from members of Congress, the White House, the Pentagon and even parts of the media. This is the kind of attitude and support that our fighting men and women deserve. It should not come only from one of their own. If those of the Democratic party and on the left could espouse at least half of the truth this man speaks, it might convince even me that are the loyal opposition that they claim.

Hat Tip Michelle Malkin

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Grabbing the Troll Bat

I have been having an ongoing "conversation" with someone calling himself Skeptikwon in the thread of my "How to Spot a Troll" post. What started out briefly as a decent exchange quickly degenerated into a fruitless exercise.

Skeptikwon pissed me off for, among other things, misreading things I wrote more than once, and then demanding that I answer for things I did not say.

I am posting my last post in that thread here, because it speaks not only to Skeptikwon, but to all of those who tried to feed me the same old tired dregs that are their talking points. I warned Skeptikwon that I did not suffer fools gladly, and I make good on that promise.

Portions of his post are in italics.


"You are extraordinarily arrogant.

First, Uh, no, I am not arrogant. I do not, however, suffer foolishness and a waste of my time gladly. I DID warn you of this, did I not? You waste my time with absurdity, I am going to point it out to you in no uncertain terms. I gave you a chance and you turned out to behave like a child, unwilling to acknowledge the simplest errors on your part.

Second, why am I the arrogant one when you are the one who makes all sorts of grand assertion without backing them up? Why am I arrogant because I get annoyed that you, more than once, misread what I wrote and then use that misreading to attack me?

Remember that pot and kettle thing I mentioned before?

Let us return to your last post so I can again point out your errors:

This is what you wrote.

"Despite hysterical rhetoric to the contrary, there was no widespread, or even appreciable, backlash against Middle Easterners and Muslims, citizens or otherwise, in the US after 9/11"

Note the or otherwise. I can read, and I can see where the confusion comes from without being rude.

Skep, the 'otherwise' in that sentence does not in anyway create confusion, except in your own mind. You took that passage and came up with this:

“I see your post on the alleged hijacking plot where you say there has been no US action against muslims for 9/11. Are you serious? How many people have died in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Gaza since then in your GWOT?”

The entire post, and the passage you quoted, deals with reaction to Muslims IN THE US, whether citizens or aliens. You did not bother to actually read what I wrote the first time (probably because you have all your talking points already churning in your head) and even upon rereading it, you still try to construe some meaning which is not there. Don't try to argue it because it is staring you right in the face. Whether it is a willful disregard for what I wrote, or simply your emotions running away with you, I am not sure.

Anyway, I took your advice and reread your Gaza thing. I wish now that I'd read it before commenting. I read some ugly antiJew stuff on arab sites that make me cringe. Your essay is on a par with those..

And AGAIN, you make vile, broadbrush accusations without ANY examples cited. I'm arrogant? Please.

Oh, and, I see you can now admit that there is "ugly antiJew" stuff on Arab sites? Wow! Maybe I am making headway. From your earlier comments, it seemed like you had trouble conceiving of "non-friendly" Arabs at all. So, now you admit there are at least some Arabs filled with ugly hatred toward Jews? Excellent.

The only difference is that you have no excuse.

Oh, I understand now. Even though you now admit that there is virulent hatred of Jews among some Arabs, it is not really their fault. They are blameless for their hatred (and I assume then the violence that comes from it), but I should be full of guilt. THEY have an excuse for their hatred, so they are to be exempt from criticism let alone condemnation.

So, is this a racist thing? Are Arabs to be considered so ignorant and primitive, like children, that they can’t be held responsible? Or is it the “only the white Westerner” can be guilty of crimes and inhumanity due to the “Anglo-Saxon Patriarchal Power Structure”?

It is your country doing most of the killing and destroying.

Oh, Really? How many Arabs and Muslims have been killed by their own kind in the last 30 years? 20 score more than by the US, if not much more, and yet you seem oddly unconcerned about that bloodshed. Less than concerned, actually, because you never seem to mention it.

Let's take Iraq. The vast majority of Iraqis killed nowadays are killed by US troops? Or is it by other Iraqis and fellow Muslims from other nations?

But, what about before the invasion? Who was killing all the Muslims in Iraq then? Wasn’t it Saddam and his Sunni Arab henchmen lining them up and shooting them into mass graves? Gassing them in their villages?

And destruction?

Do you know that far more damage to the infrastructure of Iraq was done by Saddam's deprivations before he was overthrown, than by US military action? He spent the billions on his palaces and his leisure while he let the country run itself down. Do you care? Of course not, because then you can't blame the United States for it, right?

And is it the US blowing up pipelines and electrical plants and hospitals in Iraq, or is it the 'insurgents'? And are the insurgents Norwegian Lutherans, or some other group?

I sincerely hope you wake up one day and see what you and many of your countrmen have become. I imagine Germany in the 30s was similar.

Spare me the Nazi comparisons. We've heard it all before, and it is not only lame but clichéd. It is, however, a nice end cap for you, I admit.

It illustrates both your historical ignorance and your lack of comprehension of current events. You ever read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich? Do you know the tactics Hitler used to hoodwink the European powers? Some much of it is right out of terrorists and tyrants playbook, it is astounding.

Preach peace to the world, but call for war to your followers.

When confronted with your crimes, ignore it and point out your accusers' failings.

Play the victim while oppressing others.

Test your tactics and weapons out in proxy wars.

That the fact that you 'imagine', rather than know what Germany in the 30's was like speaks volumes. I imagine that you 'imagine' a lot about both history and current events.

Here, you want to make Nazi comparisons, Skep?

Look at them.

Who do they look like, Skeptikwon?

That salute look familiar at all, my friend?

Here's a little visual aid to help with your history lesson.

It doesn't end with a salute. The mass murder comes along with it, does it not?

Arabs and Muslims have been murdering and oppressing one another for the last century and the body count from that is in the millions. Further, Arabs and Muslims are responsible for murder and destruction the world over, from Bali to Darfur to Turkey and on and on.

Tell me, oh stalwart defender of Arab/Muslim honor, what have the Africans of Darfur done to deserve their treatment at the hands of the Janjaweed? Tell me of the 'friendly Arab' horsemen who ride into villages, raping and killing and enslaving for fun and profit.

Oh, that's right, it is hard if not impossible to somehow pin their crimes on the US or Israel, so you don't really give a shit, do you?

You're not alone, obviously. You and the UN and the feckless Europeans cry and wail over the deaths in Lebanon, but far more people are dying brutally in Darfur in what could only be called a genocide if that term means anything at all. But, you don't give a good goddamn if you even recognize it at all. You can’t, can you, because then the claim that Arabs/Muslims are eternal, innocent victims of Western Imperialism and Evil Zionism falls flat on its face.

You are a loathsome hypocrite or a mindless parrot, take your pick. You look past the mountains of bodies lying at the feet of mass murderers and tyrants because they do not represent the ideological arch-enemy you love to loathe.

Do I think all Arabs and Muslims are murdering terrorists and tyrants?

Far from it. I know that is not the case. I know that, by far, the victims of these bastards are fellow Arabs and Muslims. Just like German Jews, and others, were murdered by their compatriots, those most suffering from Islamosfacism and Middle Eastern tyranny are those two groups.

But just as not all Germans were Nazis, the vicious ideology which is fueling the Islamofascists (yeah, Islamofascists, Skep) threatens to overwhelm or cowe the rest. Just like the Nazis, opposition is met with brutal and deadly force to force others in line or to simply eliminate them. The terrorists and thugs that you refuse to acknowledge will drag the innocent into a world-wide conflagration making the deaths in Lebanon a footnote in history.

Your willful ignorance, whether born of indoctrination or simple need to be contrarian, is helping to make this coming conflict all the more possible, just like the Second World War. Lenin had his useful idiots, Hitler had his, and now the 21st century fascists have theirs. Congratulations and welcome to the club. The blood is not only on your hands, but it is smeared all over your mouth thanks to the idiocy spewing from it. I hope you choke on it. Idiot.

(And yes, if you darken my blog door with your idiocy again, expect to get another whack with the Troll bat. Get vile, and I will delete your ass.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

UK Airline Bomb Plot

Reports are coming in that a major plot to bomb Airliners traveling from the UK to the US has been foiled in Great Britain. Apparently, the groups planned to carry explosives on board. I am sure more and different details will be coming in soon.

Thank God it was stopped, at whatever stage it was . However, it is only a matter of time before something like this succeeds.

** Update **

"The foiled plot was "intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale," London's Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson said.

The plot involved hiding masked liquid explosives and detonators in carry-on luggage, Chertoff said. ('Untold death and destruction' planned -- 2:37)"

Although the CNN article link does not mention it, CNN air is reporting that the people involved are most, in not entirely, British citizens of Pakistani descent. I am guessing we will discover later they were neither Buddhist, Mormons or Jews.

In addition to the looming prospect of WWIV breaking out in full soon, we now have the prospect of large sections of Western countries having to deal with their own citizens mounting attacks upon them. How will these governments react to these violent traitors, and more importantly, how will their fellow citizens respond?

Despite hysterical rhetoric to the contrary, there was no widespread, or even appreciable, backlash against Middle Easterners and Muslims, citizens or otherwise, in the US after 9/11. Aside from a very few isolated incidents perpetuated by idiots, people reached out to the Muslim community. That is something to be proud of.

However, what happens, as I asked my spouse, "what happens when a mass murder attack is pulled off in the US, one mostly committed by, and assisted by, American citizens who are Muslims?"

If a Beslan style attack occurs in this nation, for example, and some American citizens murder our children, and it turns out they were radicalized HERE, what the F**K happens then? Does backlash then still count as backlash, or does it start to look like self-defense?

Yes, it IS an ugly question, but the answer, I fear, is going to be much worse.

** Update 2 **

Think I'm a paranoid reactionary? Check out this post from Michelle Malkin regarding some strange, alarming behaviour within our borders.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

All The Signs Were There...

Mel Gibson - Anti-Semite?

In regards to the Mel Gibson incident, I'm afraid this kinda puts me over the top as far as believing he is anti-semitic.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt throughout the rumors to the effect and despite his dad apparently a fanatic on the subject (I don't think it is fair to hold someone to account for their parent's foibles unless the person directly supports them). I thought some of the anti-semitic charges might have had to do with other biases, including anti-Christian ones. The fact that he was currently playing the role of maverick in the sleazy Hollywood biz I thought may have played a part as well.

However, this incident, with the "Protocols of Zion" rhetoric, claiming Jews are responsible for all the wars comment, is pretty disturbing and hard to excuse.

Yeah, yeah, I know he was drunk.

I know that all of us have prejudices and dark thoughts that we have to contain and control, and getting blitzed lowers those restraints.

Being a civilized, decent person does not mean your don’t have any prejudices or evil thoughts. It means being able to control them, using reason and compassion to counter those impulses.

I would never judge a person on a single incident because of all this, but as a pattern emerges, one has to draw certain conclusions.

It is disappointing for several reasons.

One, I have enjoyed Gibson as an actor, as a director, and his apparent lack of ego despite his success. I thought of him as decent guy, considering.

Two, it seems to confirm that one cannot be work in movies without being some kind of basket case or nut-job.

Three, this hatred of Jews seems to spread like a virus and is just as virulent. One can almost sense something meta-physical in it.

Now it appears Gibson is entering rehab. Hope it helps. Perhaps Hezbollah, Hamas and a good portion of the left needs to enter rehab as well.

Friday, July 28, 2006

International Force in Lebanon?

Blair and Bush are holding a press conference as I type this. They are talking about an international force to go to Lebanon to help ensure a cease-fire and I believe to ensure the enforcement of UN resolutions (disarming Hezbollah).

Bottom line: I do not want to see any such thing until it is made absolutely clear that ANY attack on this force by parties there (Hezbollah) will be met with overwhelming force, and will be held against Iran and Syria. If another Marine Barracks occurs, I will be very pissed at Bush. The way to avoid that is to make it clear to the terror masters the price that will be paid, and to meet any aggression with bullets.

Update: Needless to say, when I think International Force, I mean NATO, or one of our own organization, NOT the UN. What a useless bunch of morons...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

How to Spot a Troll **Updated!**

Who? Me?!?

Recently I have come across the phenomenon of Trolls calling other people "Trolls" because those people had the gall to call them Trolls for acting like Trolls.

That is as confusing as it reads, so I though I would write some pointers for people to spot a Troll, especially if the Troll is you. People far better than me have written on this before, but allow me my take.

Hopefully, for those encountering Trolls, this will save you time and aggravation by avoiding someone who is a humongous waste of your time.

For those who are Trolls, this might help explain why despite your unparalleled genius, keen debating skills and ability to post faster that you read, people still think you are a wanker.

I will add to this as more occur to me. Feel free to offer your own suggestions.


The Screen Name Pun

A Troll will often reveal himself early when he makes some sort of snide comment on or pun of your screen name. While most everyone will be tempted to mock someone’s screen name during a tense argument online, a Troll grabs that bait like a Great White grabs chum-covered surfers. Usually, a Troll who is challenged will go for the screen name taunt within 2-3 exchanges. If really spooked, they’ll use it right off the bat.

Examples : “So, Wearing Me Out…”

“Tell me, Wears Garters, what do you…”

“You mean to tell me, Wear’s Your Brain…”

Free Throwing

A friend a mine once likened people who try to participate in a conversation without actually listening to anyone to a spectator at a Knicks game shooting free-throws from the stands. You can spot a Troll easy when they make a comment which is at best tangential to the flow of the ongoing conversation or post. It may be a single line, or a mighty manifesto, but in both cases you are straining to understand its relevance to the ongoing discussion.

Example: On thread dealing with drilling in ANWR, a poster pops in to state: “Of course, if Bush were really serious about fixing illegal immigration, we wouldn’t need that much oil in the first place.”


If someone copies and pastes their own words from one blog’s comment thread to an entirely other blog’s comment thread, red flags should go up. It bespeaks of someone who is trying to disseminate their viewpoint and “brilliance” rather than actually, you know, engaging in a conversation. It’s sorta innovative in that it’s like mobile blogging, but ultimately it is annoying and Trollish.

Example : Poster writes: “I left a comment on Bloggerama that I think was so brilliant, you guys should have chance to read it as well.”


There is nothing wrong with cutting and pasting material relevant to your point from whatever source (except if you're quoting you. See Xeroxing). In fact, it’s a great ability in an online forum. However, Trolls often go overboard. Instead of quoting a small portion, and linking to the original, they feel the need to put whole sections in a comment thread. This serves a couple of purposes. One, Trolls likely feel that larger quotations are more impressive than smaller ones. Two, Trolls believe that making you read a whole bunch of stuff will make you tired, sap your will and make you more likely to either succumb to their will or give up entirely. I mean, they know you have a life and job to get back to, which is your weakness.

Example : “Let me give you a quote from Moby Dick I found on page 93:

‘Call me Ishmael…’ ”

The Catch Phrase

While everyone has a favorite turn of phrase, like all good things, moderation is called for. When something is not so good to begin with, you really should drop it after the first use. Not so for Trolls, where repetition just makes it better every single time. Someone who keeps using the same phrase, particularly one of their own creation, could very well be a Troll.

Example : Well, if you Wankers of War…I would think that Wankers of War like yourself… Hail the Wankers of War!…Wanking off on your War, War Wankers?!?

Mind Reading

Some Trolls apparently think they can read your mind, knowing what you must have been thinking when you posted, rather than actually reading what you wrote when you posted. Surprisingly, they usually find out that you were a racist, fascist, homophobe, etc., and you didn’t even know it! Sometimes its pretty overt, and sometimes more subtle, but the bottom line is it’s an attempt to get you to really understand what your are all about. I also think it is a way for Trolls to write politically incorrect statements and get way with it.

Example : “The Third World is not full of the ignorant mud-people you think it is!"

Kettle Calling

As in, "Pot Calling Kettle Black". A Troll has a highly developed skill for projection of their behavior onto others. As I mentioned at the very top of this post, the most simple form is to call someone a Troll,, even when they're the one acting like a wanker. It also comes down to specific accusations, such as lambasting someone for resorting to insults after they have spent numerous posts calling people names, using the Screen Name Pun and say, questioning their intelligence.

A curious subset of this I have seen is the homophobic, gay-rights Troll. On several occasions when I was engaged in an online debate, I had people trot out the "right-wing, rethuglican gay basher" themes against me. At the same time, after they became completely frustrated when they were losing the argument, they began to insinuate I was gay and used stereotypical language to do so. No one out and out called me a "faggot" or "fruit", but I was told I was a mincing or shrieking pansy, must love show tunes, was getting boned by my boyfriend, etc. I once had this kind of crap thrown at me by a woman claiming to be a liberal and a lesbian! Pointing out the, uh, irony of this was, no pun intended, fruitless.

Oh, and the most telling thing was that of all the other left-wing progressives posting in those threads, I think ONE called the gay-baiters on it. ONE. That says much more than the random spittle of cranks, doesn't it?

Example: Not sure I need one after the preceding paragraph

** Update : Here's a great example
of the Homophobic progressive that Jeff Goldstein encountered at Protein Wisdom.

The Hypocritic Oaf

While other catagories may contain elements of hypocrisy, it deserves its own catagory when it comes to Trolls. Why? Because Trolls are acutely aware of any whiff of hypocrisy in those with which they disagree, but have absolutely NO concept of it when it relates to themselves or those that agree with them. A Troll can make statement in a thread, and in the following post, they can write something completely at odds with their previous statement. Pointing this out, even quoting their own words, have absolutely no effect on them. Think of them as Hypocrisy Vampires or Werewolves; they can't be harmed by normal means.

Example : Post 1 "I don't think terrorism is really a big problem at all. It's been hyped to keep people scared."

Post 2 "Thanks to Bush's "War on Terror", the threat from terrorism has only gotten worse. If something happens, and it will, Bush is at fault."

Raging Against the Machine

This should be bloody obvious, but I added it anyway. Anyway who pops in to tell everyone and/or the host to "'eff off!", or to do something unnatural to themselves or otherwise calls them a "*$&%@" or a "$%&!*", is a Troll. True, if you were to see them in person, they would more resemble a angry, sputtering dwarf of ancient European legend, but they are still a Troll.

What's usually funny about these guys is that they usually communicate their sputtering well if nothing else. You can see them getting so animated that someone challenged their precious dogma, but are so frustrated that they have none of the ability, patience, intelligence or knowledge to argue their point. No matter what they write, its like reading:


Friday, July 21, 2006

The Coming Carnage - Who's to Blame?

The Israelis are massing more troops along the Lebanon border with the possibility of a larger scale invasion to come soon. The Lebanese government is promising to send their military to the south to confront the Israelis should they invade.

I am sure it has occurred to more than me that if the Lebanese had sent their troops south months or weeks ago to put a leash on Hezbollah, there would be no crisis here.

Instead, Lebanese leaders will send troops that might have been used and sacrificed to crush Hezbollah and instead send them to be slaughtered fighting Israel, a nation trying to wipe out a group threatening Lebanon’s government and sovereignty. The insane, stupid irony of it elicits no humor, only nausea.

Of course, Hezbollah, whatever strategic mistakes they may have made in all this, has planned as much on this. They hide amid the civilian population using them as shields and propaganda props for when the Israeli air attacks come in. Now they will use the Lebanese army to shield it from whatever ground attack ensues. The ensuing carnage, even it engulfs them, will cause great havoc amid its enemies all the same.

Well, then, isn’t Israel just playing into Hezbollah’s hands then?

No. The world is playing into all the Islamofascist’s hands will their moral equivocation and narrow self-interest. The conflict in Lebanon is but one example of this.

Disproportionate Response

Keeping to my theme from the previous post, how does the media define “Disproportionate Response”? How do they define “Proportionate Response”? They should let us know because a lot of the questions I see bandied about regarding Lebanon and Israeli actions keep asking about “Excessive Force” or “Disproportionate Response”. If they are going to ask someone this question, shouldn’t they have some idea of what those terms mean to them? If not, could not an Israeli representative or Tony Snow simply just respond “No”?

“General, do you think that the Israeli response, while certainly initially provoked, has been disproportionate?”


“Why not?”

“Because its not. What do you think qualifies as disproportionate?”

“…Well, its not me saying its disproportionate. So and so says so.”

“Okay, what do they say they think is disproportionate?”


You get the idea. The problem I am highlighting is the media's tendencyto set up a meme, or to proceed from a certain “conclusion”, and to base their coverage and questions on it. The one they seem to working from now is, "Well, Israel is really going too far here, now, aren't they? I mean, even though we know they were attacked..."

They are certainly not the only one, mind you. Various other factions, like say Hezbollah, do it for specific tactical reasons. But the press is supposed to be clarifying things, no? Getting to the truth behind the spin?

So, what IS a disproportionate response to unprovoked attacks, kidnapping and the deliberate targeting of civilians by terrorists?

I am not saying that there are no responses which are disproportionate or excessive. I am merely saying that those asking the question should first have some idea of what they think that means before asking the question.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How About a Little Thanks and Praise?

The past week has been an exasperating experience as I watch the coverage of the Lebanon evacuations.

Gee, I wonder where people get the idea that Americans are pampered, whiny and arrogant?

I see people whining and complaining that the mass evacuation of people out of a war zone is not neat and orderly. I see people complaining that the accommodations on ships which are taking them out said war zone were not comfortable. I see complaining from many quarters that the government would have liked to be reimbursed later for getting their asses to safety.

Some news organizations complained of cramped conditions on a Norwegian cargo ship which took 1,000 people. Video of said ships showed that while people were lined up along the side walkways, there were not on top of one another. In addition, on the central part of the deck there was apparently enough room for guys to play basketball!

Apparently, the only way to evacuate for some is to take a cruise ship, or you shouldn’t leave at all.

Of course, a lot of this could be the media’s doing, which cannot go without somehow finding fault with how the government, particularly this administration, does things. The question I have is; what is the yardstick for performance? Where is it, what does it look like, and what is needed for a “good” rating?

I mean, is there ANY chance we would see a headline or chyron say “Government Does Kick Ass Job on Evacuations!” What would the government (State Department, Military, White House, etc) need to do to get such praise. We are never told.

Look, I am not a big fan of government beauracracy and I have plenty to complain about in regards to their inefficiency. My point is, if the media or anyone is going to set themselves as constant critics, shouldn’t they A) reveal their grading methods, B) sometimes be able to give a positive review?

**Update** To be fair, I have seen some people praising the efforts of the State Departement and others in facilitating the evacuation, so at least there is some attempt at balance. However, you still see the media's tendency to emphasize the negative and to ask why it wasn't done better without revealing what they view as acceptable performance. Should 24 hours been enough time to get everyone out? 36? 48?

If they had sent this ship, what would have been the reaction, I wonder. These people had a much rougher time on their vacation than any of these people have had during the evacuation.

I also noticed some statistics that indicated that the French and Canadians have gotten far fewer people out so far. If accurate, does that mean we are doing all that badly? Again, the question is not even asked from what I've seen.

Update : Blackfive puts it very nicely regarding what people should expect from the evacuation:

In my mind, if you voluntarily decide to go to a country whose southern half is controlled by a 25 year old terrorist organization that until 9/11 had killed more Americans than any other you ought to take some responsibility for your own predicament when things go sideways. I mean if you are pregnant and decide to go to Beirut on your Mediterranean vacation with 5 kids (instead of France, Italy, Greece, etc.) then perhaps you should either blame your travel agent or have a nice tall glass of shut the hell up when you suddenly are operating outside your itinerary. Should these Americans pay for their evacuation from their terrorist occupied vacation spot? Let me ask another question; why should I pay for it?


Thursday, June 29, 2006

When Trolls Get Locked Out

Trolls Don't Take It Well When Locked Out of Message Boards...

Israeli Smack-Down

Israel keeps up pressure on (pounds crap out of) Gaza

Palestinian officials held; settler's body found

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Striking from the air, land and the sea, Israeli forces Thursday fired on Gaza in the midst of intensified clashes with Palestinian militants (terrorist scum) who have been holding an Israeli soldier captive for four days, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Israel's navy pounded northern Gaza, firing from the eastern Mediterranean Sea, while Israeli aircraft hit targets in the north and the south. IDF tanks joined in the barrage.

The strikes came as Israeli security forces overnight arrested 64 Palestinians in the West Bank, suspected of being involved in terrorist (note, not militant) activities, the Israeli army said.

Palestinian sources said those arrested included dozens of lawmakers (thugs) from the ruling Palestinian party Hamas (like Israel said: terrorists).

Those arrested were not taken into custody as a bargaining chip for Cpl. Gilad Shalit's release, the army said. (Too bad; its a good idea).

The raids came amid word that a body found early Thursday near Ramallah was that of Eliyahu Yitzhak Asheri, 18, a West Bank settler seized by Palestinian militants (terrorists) hours after Shalit was kidnapped early Sunday, Israeli security sources. (Hmmm, where's Amnesty International when you need 'em?)

The body has been transferred to the Pathological Institute in Israel where a formal identification will be made, the security sources said.

On Wednesday, the Popular Resistance Committees (terrorists) displayed the identity card of the Jewish settler the group said it kidnapped Sunday, and said the captive would be "butchered" (I mentioned they were terrorists, right?) unless Israel stopped its incursion into Gaza. (Right, stop coming into Gaza when we kill Israelis or we will kill Israelis)

The discovery of the body was the latest in a series of events that began early Sunday, when Palestinian militants (terrorists! Hello? t-e-r-r-o-r-i-s-t-s!) tunneled into Israel and attacked a military post near Israel's border with Egypt and Gaza, kidnapping Shalit and killing two other soldiers.

Israeli troops immediately entered southern Gaza in the hours after the attack in an attempt to find the soldier and destroy the tunnel. After destroying the tunnel, the soldiers moved out and massed along the edge of Gaza.

The troops moved back into Gaza early Wednesday, and the operation continued Thursday with Israeli aircraft hitting targets in Khan Yunis in the south and in Gaza City to the north.

Israeli intelligence indicates Shalit is being held in the Khan Yunis refugee (terrorist) camp.

IDF distributed fliers in Beit Hanoun, Khan Yunis and the Sajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, warning that the Israeli army is operating in the area for an unknown period of time in order to bring Shalit home. (The flier said, "Give us back our guy, you jihadist smacktards, or we're gonna break more shit!)

Israeli tanks could be seen firing into the area as dusk fell. An Israeli airstrike in Khan Yunis targeted what the Israeli military said was a storehouse for Qassam (translation: Goat Banger) rockets. (Hey! No fair. Those were civilian rockets!)

Defense Minister Amir Peretz told reporters Wednesday that he had approved new operations in northern Gaza in an effort to stop the firing of the homemade (made of construction paper, Elmer's Glue and macaroni) rockets into Israel.

The latest rocket attack happened early Thursday, when a Goat Banger landed in Sderot, Israel, causing no injuries, the Israeli military reported.

Cabinet members arrested

Hours before the 64 arrests in the West Bank, Israeli troops rounded up four members of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Authority Cabinet (terrorists) and four other lawmakers (terrorists).

Hamas' militant (terrorist) wing (as opposed to their non-militant wing?) is one of three Palestinian groups (terrorists) that claimed responsibility for the soldier's kidnapping.

The four Cabinet members (terrorists) arrested were Labor (terrorism) Minister Mohammad al-Barghouti, Minister of Jerusalem (Main Target) Affairs Khaled Abu Arafeh, Minister of Local Governments (Enforcers) Issa al Jaabari and Religious Affairs (Jihad) Minister Naif al Rajoub, the sources said.

Finance (Extortion) Minister Omar Abdul Razek was being questioned by soldiers, the sources said.

Like the 64 other Palestinians (terrorists) arrested in the West Bank raids, Israel said the ministers (chief terrorists) are suspected of being involved in terrorist (not militant?) activities and were not taken into custody as a bargaining chip for the soldier's release.

However, chief Palestinian negotiator (liar) Saeb Erakat denied that claim and denounced Israel's "mass arrest" of the Palestinian officials (terrorists with a badge) .

"I think it's the wrong move," Erakat said in a CNN phone interview from Jericho. "First, Razek owes me 50 dinars. Second, we're all terrorists, so why pick on these 64? Wait a minute...Let me start again."

"I think that Israeli attempts to bargain through bombardment of power stations and bridges and arrests of parliamentarians and ministers is just adding to the complexities." ("I think that Israeli attempts to punish us for being terrorist dickheads by waging war on us makes it very difficult for us to wage war on them.")

The Israeli military has targeted the Palestinian (terrorist) infrastructure in its attacks over the past 48 hours.

Israeli warplanes have knocked out bridges connecting northern and southern Gaza and destroyed a power station in an effort to prevent militants (terrorists) from moving the captured soldier outside southern Gaza, according to the IDF.

On Monday, three Palestinian militant (terrorist) groups -- the military wing (there's that wing-thing again) of Hamas (terrorists), the Popular Resistance Committees (bureaucratic terrorists), and the previously unknown Army of Islam (terr-c'mon, I have to say it?) -- claimed responsibility for Shalit's kidnapping. They issued a statement saying they would exchange information about the soldier if Israel freed all Palestinian women (female terrorists) and youths (immature terrorists) under 18 who are in Israeli jails.

The Israeli government quickly rejected that offer and other calls to release Shalit as part of a prisoner exchange.

Israeli intelligence officials said the militants (terrorists) had hatched the plan for the kidnapping and proposed prisoner swap.

Palestinian militant (terrorist) leaders vowed that Israel's incursion into Gaza would succeed only "over our dead bodies."

The Israeli army later responded, "HOhhhkay! Comin' right up!"

Pressure on Syria

Wednesday evening, Israeli jets buzzed the home of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (big-ass terrorist) in Ladekye (translation: "evil lair"), outside Damascus (terrorist central). Israeli television reported that the president (uh, yeah, 'president') was at home at the time.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres complained that Syria (The Wal-Mart of terrorism) allowed the exiled Hamas political leader (head terrorist) Khalid Meshaal -- operating out of Damascus (terrorist central) -- to order the kidnapping of the Israeli corporal. The flyover was seen as an attempt to bring pressure on al-Assad to rein in Meshaal. ("Knock it off, or you may be next!")

Syrian state television called the Israeli flyover "an unacceptable, hostile and provocative act." Syria said its anti-aircraft batteries fired on the Israeli warplanes and chased them away. (Israeli pilots laughed all the way home)

Imad Moustapha, the Syrian ambassador to the United States, told CNN's "The Situation Room" that the flight was "mostly theatrical." "I loved Cats, by the way. Why did it close?" Moustapha asked a flustered Wolf Blitzer. He also denied any Syrian role in the current standoff.

"Syria is not involved whatsoever in what's happening there," he said, referring to Gaza. "The only reason that the violence is taking place there is the continuous occupation by the Israelis and the daily killing of Palestinians (terrorists)."

"If the Israelies would just leave the Palestians in peace, then all this violence would end," the ambassador told Blitzer. "Except, of course, for the killing of Jews, but that goes without saying."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Self-Regard and Selfishness

It is in the nature of human beings to be self-regarding, which is perhaps best. For the vast majority of people, if not everyone, knowing yourself and what is best for you is pretty obvious a conclusion. It is not selfishness, mind you, but consideration of oneself and your own interests. Selfishness would be the consideration of yourself without regard to anyone else or their interests.

Of course, one can be selfish without realizing it. You can be so obsessed with your own thoughts, or feelings or desires that you do not even think of anything else. You are not consciously disregarding others in your thinking; it just doesn’t enter your mind.

I got a reminder of this just recently when I found out someone I knew had been dealing with the terminal illness of a close relative. Suddenly issues I had been “dealing with” seemed, well, no, WERE, pretty petty in comparison.

The relative has passed away.

I will send my condolences and make sure to deliver a slap upside my own head to make sure what I wrote above sinks in.

Ready! Aim!

I must admit that I have not followed all the ins and outs of the "Kosola" controversy with all its twists, turns and dark portents.

However, the idea that the Democratic Leadership (or at least Hillary) might be finally gunning for Kos, who has been sniping at them, gives me a warm tingling feeling in my nether regions.

Okay, maybe that's overstating it, but this is a gunfight I'd love to watch from the top of the Saloon, my boots up on the railing and a bowl of popcorn on my belly.

Frankly, I want to root for both equally in that I hope the carnage is bloody awful. May both aim true and empty their revolvers before its over.

If I had to pick a favorite, I'd pick the DNC/Hillary by default, as I would like nothing better than watch Kos take a serious tumble.

Do I feel bad that the weight of the Democratic machine and Hillary's dirty trick squad would be used against another little guy, an individual citizen, even if its Kos?


Screw 'em.

** Update : Looks like there may be others looking to join the fracas...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dealing with Anti-Social People?

Okay, I took some time to think more on the issue, and realized I was not getting to the point I wanted. To get to the point, allow me a little side-track.

Graffiti in New York City has been always been a problem, although its heyday has since come and gone. Hailed by art by some, derided as blight by others, I certainly agree with the latter. Covering bridges, buildings and subway cars, at one point the “art” seemed to grow like a fungus and spread all across the city. The spread of grafitti seemed a metaphor for the general spread of crime and disorder in many urban areas, not New York alone.

Image from

And, okay, a lot of it was art, no quotes, in the sense that some of it actually had some artistic merit and required some skill. In terms of quality, a good portion of it could be considered art, and it was a strange feeling to be both repulsed by the act of vandalism, but also admiring of the skill and/or talent involved. While still destructive, there at the same time was at least something creative in it; something marginally redeemable about it if tried hard enough to look.

Google Images

Over time, various factors saw the decline in the prevalence in grafitti. One, law enforcement targeting the vandalism itself, and other contributing lawlessness . Prevention also helped; the MTA no longer leaves rail cars unguarded overnight to be easy prey for vandals as they once did, for example.

Another factor was the adoption of paint-resistant materials. Used extensively on new subway cars, these new materials make it very hard for paint to stick to the cars in the first place, and made later removal much easier. The result has been that the era of fully adorned fleets of multi-colored subway cars is over.

Image from

However, what replaced it was far more insidious and ugly. Now denied the ability to easily paint a car extensively, and having whatever they "created" easily and quickly removed, the social misfits adopted another method.

Enter scratchitti.

If the vandals were denied their paint cans and even there markers for their “artwork”, they would use screwdrivers, files and sandpaper to make their mark. Now, instead of letters or pictures of dripping paint on a subway, you were treated to hasty and erratic gouges in glass and metal having no real merit except to announce, “Dickhead X was here.”

(This expenditure of millions of dollars to make the subways grafitti proof, is a great example of the problem with instituting technological solutions for social problems. )

Whereas you could at least TRY and make the case that the graffiti of an earlier area was some sort of attempt for the poor and disenfranchised to exercise artistic and social expression, scratchitti is none of that. It is graffiti boiled to its core essence, which is selfish destruction. There is nothing redeemable at all about it, no matter how you try to twist your perception to find it.

For that reason scratchitti riles me like plain old graffiti does not. While both are vandalism, scratchitti angers me far more, and the reason why has something to do with the fact that there is nothing in it. Nothing. It is a void; a completely vacant act of hatred. Its the mark of the something else, something darker.

I guess that is why my last past was off the mark. I thought the beef was with anti-social behavior, but it goes deeper than that. I realize now I am talking about nihilism.

*More later*

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Dealing With Difficult People

While I was growing up, I lived with a relative who became extremely difficult to deal with over time. Living with them through the years became a daily battle of wills, either in direct confrontations or in desperate attempts to ignore them. It used to seem that the main issue was that this person was extremely self-centered, and I, and the other members of the household, were in comparison, not. Later, I would come to realize that the issue was a lot more serious than that. I came to realize the person was not wholly rational. This made dealing with them that much more exasperating because how does one deal with irrationality when one cannot escape it? The only way to deal with it is to ignore it, which only works for a time, or to escape or avoid it entirely if one can.

To say it was a difficult time (made much more so because it stretched over years) would be an understatement. I grew to hate this person and let's just say we never really reconciled.

The experience left some scars in many ways, but I guess, just like a lot of things, it had its upside as well. The upside was that it gave me...

Huh, now what was the upside again? I was thinking that it gave me some ability and skill with dealing with difficult people, but that's not quite right. I have no special powers when it comes to people who are annoying or taxing or, let’s just say it, jerks or loons. What I do have is a pretty low tolerance for them, actually.

I suppose one thing I did gain was a certain amount of patience in dealing with them, but not a kind or insightful or forgiving patience. Rather, it was more like a staid, calculating patience that would allow me to either ignore them and move on, or bide my time before taking them on at the best opportunity. The “ignore and move on” part comes from knowing that in many instances, dealing with such people is a waste of time and energy. The calculating patience comes in when you are forced to deal with them and then need to form a strategy.

Why I am even thinking along these lines now is due to rediscovering what an asylum an internet message board can be. Split between the obviously unbalanced and those just looking to cause trouble, it makes one wonder how long such open boards will remain. It is sort of like having a public park nowadays. While some people are responsible and respectful, there are those who trash the places either out of malice or indifference.

Like every technology, there are pluses and minuses, and many times they are flip sides of the same coin. The connectivity of the internet is a great example. What a marvelous thing that allows people from all around the world from all walks of life and many nations to connect and interact so easily. Really a splendid marvel.

Then again, it does put cretins in easy contact with you as well, does it not?

I mean, the internet and all the attendant technologies really help you broaden the breadth of humanity with whom you can come in contact with, no doubt. And you will find that there are great many good people out there, no matter where they hail from.

Unfortunately, in addition to discovering the universality of decency and intelligence and community, you will also become acquainted with the selfish, fanatical and enthusiastically dim.

After a hiatus, I attempted to engage in some discussion on a blog whose author I have a great respect for, both as a person and for her writing. Unfortunately, one of the first posts I read when coming back to her was one regarding Trolls. This was a warning sign.

Not being an internet neophyte, I know what Trolls are, and have come head-to-head with them myself. I have even dueled with them, and although have come out on top, it has been an exhausting and ultimately futile exercise. Part of the reason I had stayed away from message threads was because of their corrosive presence on the content of the blog itself. I have over time, however, apparently forgotten what a blight they are.

It's like this. If you are a normal, rational and decent person, you are not going to want to listen to a Neo-Nazi, Black Israelite, Marxist, 9/11 conspiracist or Larouche supporter harangue and spew on the street corner. You would not want to waste your time listening what you know is obvious drivel and hate-filled invective to boot. If one of them offers you their "literature", you are not going to take it, let alone read it, either.

Being on an open comment thread, however, no matter how rational and non-extremist it may be, is like subscribing to their newsletters. Engaging with them on the thread is like taking their call. Even just entering the thread to look around is like choosing to walk down the street where you know the crazies have their rickety soapboxes set up.

Do not get me wrong. There are plenty of smart, fair people out there who even when disagreeing strenuously, can keep things at a civil level. Even anger and biting comments can surface, and rational people can keep it at least polite.

What I am talking about are the nuts and the fanatics and the ones who are just, let's face it, dicks for pleasure. The dicks are the worse, because while the nuts are unnerving and the fanatics are exhausting, the dicks are infuriating. You can tell one because their comments are directly phrased and pointed in order to elicit an angry response, not to prove any point or even take a particular position. Its all flash, no fire.

None of these jokers would have any power if others would just ignore them, but that becomes like herding cats; sometimes like herding angry, rabid cats. There will always be those who think they can win the argument, or does not know what they are getting into, or who is simply another Troll in a different form. In the end, the Trolls will feed off each other if no one else bites and they will still manage to splatter everyone else with the gore while they try to engage in decent conversation.

I guess why I am ruminating on all this is trying to come up with strategies or general guidelines for dealing with what is not worth dealing with, and how to best sort out the two as quickly as possible. Not just in terms of message boards (there is always the delete button), but in more general terms. More on this later, perhaps.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Yes I DO Question Their Patriotism - Episode II

Please read here for background.

"MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Seven people were in custody Friday after FBI agents and police carried out raids against an alleged terrorist plot that may have included the Sears Tower in Chicago and Miami's FBI offices as possible targets, law enforcement sources said....

...Federal sources said five of the seven men were Americans..."

Okay, these gents are innocent until proven guilty, but let me make a general blanket statement.

If you are an American planning to bomb our buildings, you are not a patriot.

Update: Michelle Malkin has more on the Miami case and more conclusive examples of unpatriotic behavior.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Yes, I DO Question Their Patriotism

Part of what I am doing here is to dismantle the suppositions and pre-conceived notions that have been erected in our public square of debate as untouchable. There are some memes and supposedly inviolate concepts which are used to try and stifle that debate. It’s a cheap way of trying to prove your point by curtailing the argument from the get go. Thomas Sowell discussed this tactic in “The Vision of the Annointed”.

One of these is the idea of that you cannot question someone’s patriotism. To do so is a scurrilous and slimy, and it is supposedly akin to Red-Baiting and McCarthyism. The idea is that questioning someone’s patriotism is a cheap-shot and a method of intimidation. The meme is that no matter what someone’s point of view, they are all patriots and simply disagree with policies or issues. Of course, this is something that only applies to Democrats and Liberals, as we will see, but more on that later. For now, let’s define our terms, and then point out that is very much possible to question someone’s patriotism, and to prove that they are unpatriotic.

We need to define our terms, because much of what happens today is the warping or muddling or terms in order to suit anyone’s viewpoint. The attempt to confuse or twist the very meaning of words is insidious in itself, but it part of a larger evil. It is Orwell’s “1984” come to life in all of its ugly absurdity. We’ll deal with that in another post.

Let’s take the definition of “Patriotism” first. Source: Merriam-Webster Online

Pronunciation: 'pA-trE-&-"ti-z&m, chiefly British 'pa-Function: noun: love for or devotion to one's country

Love for or devotion to one’s country. Okay, so, to say that someone is NOT patriotic, is to say that they do NOT love their country. Let’s look at “Patriot”:

Pronunciation: 'pA-trE-&t, -"ät, chiefly British 'pa-trE-&tFunction: nounEtymology: Middle French patriote compatriot, from Late Latin patriota, from Greek patriOtEs, from patria lineage, from patr-, patEr father: one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.

A Patriot is one who loves his or her country, and SUPPORTS ITS AUTHORITY AND INTERESTS.

Okay, so, based on this, we can say that someone who is not a patriot would be one who does not love their country, and does not support its interests. Remember, Merriam-Webster and the English language says it, not me. Got an issue with the definitions? Complain to them, either the company or the Brits.

Just for clarification, let us just take a look at “Love”:

Function: verbInflected Form(s): loved; lov·ingtransitive senses1 : to hold dear : CHERISH2 a : to feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness for b (1) : CARESS (2) : to fondle amorously (3) : to copulate with3 : to like or desire actively : take pleasure in 4 : to thrive in

To love one’s country, you would hold it dear, cherish it. (Interesting #4, as well, to THRIVE in it). I'll ignore the copulate part.

So, someone who is a NOT a patriot would be someone who does not hold their country dear, or who does not like it with any sort of intensity. Thus, if we were to find people who fit this description, would we not find someone who was unpatriotic, and thus could legitimately question their patriotism? Yes, logic says we would. Now, can we find anyone like that?

Enter Natalie Manes, of the Dixie Chicks fame.

Now Natalie got some heat two years ago for some comments she made about her President while overseas at a concert. The appropriateness of that comment in that situation can be debated, and it has been. I had my thoughts about Manes’ patriotism back then, but I am willing to at least concede it is a matter of debate. The following is not. This is Manes speaking recently to the London Telegraph:

"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."

Now, that statement speaks all for itself, really. It would be hard to write a more conclusive statement about Manes’ patriotism, or lack thereof, than this, and she is the one who made it. Knowing, however, that there are the dense and ideologically driven out there which will resist even this bald statement for what it is, so let me reprint it, replacing “patriot” and “patriotism” with the Merriam-Webster definitions we discussed above:

"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for love or devotion for one's country," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be someone who loves and supports their country? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about devotion to their country."

I mean, case closed, right? If someone were to come up to you and declare the above, and then denied that they were not patriotic, would you not think them either hypocritical or insane? The conclusion: Natalie Manes is a person who is not a patriot. She says it in her own words. Period.

Okay, having demolished this idea that you can’t question someone’s patriotism, we will periodically return to this to explore other people’s statements, and using logic and these definitions, establish whether are not they can be called unpatriotic. It’s a long list so it will take some time. If your disagree with my conclusion here so far, then, well, you are flat wrong. Reread it. Tell me how I am off base. That should be amusing since I am not, but go ahead.

Why I am Here

To take part in the struggle. There is a war being waged in the real world, and there is another one taking part in the public square, of which Cyberspace had become a great part. We are engaged, as a civilization, in a deadly struggle, and its prosecution is being hampered by twisted thinking and deliberate disinformation. It is fueled by a virulent ideology and by childish self-interest which is rampant, persistent and utterly without moral compass.

The title of the blog comes from a co-worker of mine, a term he used when discussing the shameless drivel which is currently peddled and revered by supposed intellectuals, learned men and those of the “reality-based community”. As soon as I heard it, I laughed and the promptly informed him I would steal it, and I did. It quite succinctly sums up weak structure modern intellectual and political thought is built on, but also evokes the twisted maze in which it resides.

Here is the deal. You and I are being lied to by people with their own agenda, or informed by people who in reality are not well-informed. I do not claim to have all, or even most of the answers, nor do I believe that I am incapable of being mistaken. I leave that to the rabid ideologues. I DO know that I am surrounded by a miasma of, and there is no delicate way to put it, bullshit. It is layered thick, it is layered high, and plowing through it is a nasty, exhausting business. However, though countering it is a monumental task, everyone with a wit of intelligence, a modicum of self-respect and at least some reverence for honest debate has a responsibility to try and refute it.

This is my attempt to do just that.