Saturday, September 30, 2006

Your Social Security Card as a National I.D. Card



(This Post First Ran in March of 2005)

All the talk of a national ID card is so much drivel.

We already have one!

It is probably in your wallet, or purse, even as you read this. It is your Social Security card with that big number emblazoned across it. That allows anyone with access to that number to learn anything the wish to know about you.

I still oppose allowing anyone to have my number until it becomes an embarrassment for my family. Some of us old "mossbacks" can remember when there was a notice at the bottom of our Social Security cards which said it was illegal to use the card for identification. Yep, for you young, wet-behind-the-ears chaps, it was there. Right up until 1971. Then it was removed. Seems that someone forgot to create any legislation to back up what turned out to be a “suggestion, only”.

So, these days, your bank has your card number, your doctor, your hospital, your insurance company, heck ,darn near every time you do any business, of any consequence, you are asked for your Social Security number. When you hand the person requesting that card your number, you are placing your entire life in that persons hands.

I would like to see national legislation to make it illegal to use the Social Security Card as a National ID card. I know. I’m dreaming. It’s not going to happen. You see, the Congress really wants us to have a National ID Card. But, they know they cannot get that law through the Congress. So, they fall back to plan “B”… use the existing National ID Card, the Social Security Card.

Look, our privacy is gone. The days of “Big Brother” Government has taken over our lives. How many times a day is your photograph taken without your permission, without your knowledge? At the ATM machine, at the Super store, at the drugstore, at the highway intersection, all for, as the signs say "Your Protection”. Well, please stop protecting me! I’ll do that myself!

The cradle to the grave “Nanny Government” is a reality in America today.

Do you have a cell phone? Everywhere you go, that cell phone is emitting a radio signal, which can easily locate your position at any given time. You car, or truck, may very well have a black box under the seat recording the last 30 minutes of your activities as you drive your vehicle. Information from those black boxes have already been used in court to convict drivers of traffic violations.

Many pet owners are now having computer chips placed under their pet's skin to identify them. I’m not going there, but you know where natural progression takes that step.

The Southern States of the US fought a war just be “left alone” and lost. I think we are just beginning to realize how badly we lost!

Longstreet

Friday, September 29, 2006

Man's Future is in the Stars!


Are you as bored by NASA’s repeated trips to that flying piece of junk we laughingly call a space station. Are you as bored, as I am, that the space truck, “The Shuttle” is way past its prime and, well, apparently, is falling apart!

So… what happened? I mean, what happened to our great plans to explore space?

The cost? Nah! The real cost is in not getting off this planet and finding a new home! Man’s destiny lies out there… among the stars… among the planets.

I had hoped that before my days on THIS planet are over I would live to witness the first Mars colony. I assumed we would already have a colony on the moon. But, no… we are still fiddling around with that worthless metal can circling the earth… the Space Station.

The space station was originally planned to be a construction site. Parts for a huge star ship were to be flown up to the station by the shuttles and the humongous star ship was to be built in space with the workmen living in the space station until the ship was completed. None of that has happened. It’s as though the entire program has been put on hold and NASA is just running “in place”.

We gotta get off this rock! I worry that we have lost our desire to explore. Our horizons have become much too close. We, as a race, have turned inward and that is not good. It seems as though we have decided to “settle” for what we have here. We have lost our “vision”. We are withering on the vine.

I worry, too much, I know, that we have become so preoccupied with our little hovel that we are missing the really big picture and so much is passing us by. I cannot accept that this is all there is. My God would not have created us and plopped us down on this “dirtball” with no hope of getting off it! We are stifling ourselves. Man needs new worlds to discover. We need to stretch out, and extend our wings, and fly as far as we can! Even if we melt the wings… it would be worth the trip!

It has been a dream of mine since I was a tiny little fellow. And it just ticks me off that we pissed away our chance, in my generation, to make it happen and now I’m gonna die and not get to see it when it DOES happen! What a screwed-up world we live in!

America was a great country when she did not place limits on herself. She could do ANYTHING!

Today, sadly, we have self-imposed limits. It has become politically incorrect to spend the money necessary for the space program and not give it to the poor. I have to tell you… that is wrong! Even Christ himself said: “The Poor you have with you always!” Poverty is a fact of life. As Christ said, we are always going to have poor people living among us. No matter what we do! We cannot allow the poverty of a few in this nation drag down the entire nation. That is suicide!

Look, if man does not get off this tiny blue ball, we are going to exterminate ourselves. The fighting will eventually kill us all. Our differences are never going to be settled, so some of us need to leave. Much as our forefathers left the old country and settled this one, we have to strike out and find that new home. It’s out there. We just have to go find it. And we have to go soon!

Longstreet

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Robbing Parents to Pay Teachers ... by Alan Caruba


Robbing Parents to Pay Teachers
By Alan Caruba

It is an act of thievery to take money to provide goods or services and then fail to do so. Our nation’s schools have become a great criminal conspiracy, promising to educate our children, but more often producing “graduates” without even the most basic skills, let alone a useful, wider body of knowledge.

“My daughter is now 20 years old,” one mother wrote to me recently. “After graduating from high school in June 2005, she enrolled at the local community college. It was necessary for her to take a placement test and it was determined she needed to take Basic Skills Math and English before she could take [college level courses.] After failing both classes twice, she will not be returning. It breaks my heart to see that she can’t pass basic math or English class. How did she graduate high school?”

The answer is that her parents were heavily levied with property taxes, the vast portion of which was then given to the local school system to pay teachers and administrators salaries, along with all the other costs of operation. They, in turn, passed her daughter along, unmindful and indifferent to whether she learned anything. “She has been robbed of a basic education and we have been robbed of our tax dollars for 19 years.”

Early in his first term, President Bush embraced the “No Child Left Behind” legislation that has since been found wanting for its one-size-fits-all approach to education, its over-emphasis on testing, and its punishment of “under-performing” schools. The result has been to expose most schools as inadequate and to encourage every form of administrative cheating necessary for a school to meet the standards set by the law.

The idea was to force some improvement on a system everyone already knew was failing students. Laws, however, do not educate students. Teachers are expected to do that and it is no surprise that the National Education Association—a union—hated the idea of improvement. Indeed, from the 1960s to the present day, the NEA has done its best to undermine, if not destroy, a system of education that served previous generations of Americans quite well.

In the July/August edition of The American Enterprise, Jay Greene, wrote “Education Myths: Debunking the fictions that obstruct school reform.” The article was based on Greene’s book of the same name. Here are just a few examples of how schools rob parents to pay teachers who are producing students deliberately rendered ignorant.

The standard answer to any question about the quality of our schools is the demand for more funding. The truth, however, is that “spending per student has been growing steadily for 50 years.” It has doubled and then doubled again. What did not occur, however, was any significant improvement in test scores, particularly since the introduction in the 1970s of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Okay, we may be spending more on schools, but isn’t it true that teachers still aren’t paid enough? No, if the poorly educated students they produce are the standard, they are vastly over-paid. “The average teacher’s salary does seem modest at first glace”, wrote Greene, “about $44,600 in 2002 for all teachers.” However, teachers only work nine months a year. A nurse making the same salary works twelve months with two week’s vacation and perhaps ten paid holidays. The statistics are damning evidence they are paid well for far less actual work than comparable jobs.

Another favorite myth is “that schools are helpless in the face of social problems is not supported by hard evidence,” wrote Greene. “The truth is that certain schools do a strikingly better job than others at overcoming challenges in the culture.” There is a reason why parents clamor for school choice, vouchers, when they know that some schools do a better job. Competition and incentives for the better schools would raise the standards for all schools.

Class size is yet another myth. Greene notes, “Research suggests there may be some advantages to smaller classes—though, if so, the benefits are modest and come at a very high price tag.” There is ample evidence that reducing class sizes is costly to the point of taking money from the purchase of books, equipment, and other reforms that would benefit students.

In most professions and trade, certification is regarded as a reliable sign that practitioners have demonstrated a reasonable level of expertise. “One of the strongest and most consistent findings in the entire body of research on teacher quality is that teaching certificates and master’s degrees in education are irrelevant to classroom performance.”

When the teacher corps is drawn from those college graduates who enter the profession for a lack of aptitude that would give them access to other, presumably better paying jobs, you end up with classrooms filled with people who may know barely more than their students. Or worse, are teaching classes on subjects for which they have no real skill, nor knowledge.

“According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average private school charged $4,689 per student in tuition for the 1999-2000 school years. That same year, the average public school spent $8,032 per pupil.” Somehow, private schools are able to out-perform public schools when it comes to imparting knowledge and skills despite the fact their students have less than half as much funding as public school students and the success of home-schooled students over their contemporaries is already legendary.

The entire education establishment, frequently advocating the teaching of values at odds with those held by parents, has ruined our nation’s schools and are defrauding taxpayers by failing to truly educate the children placed in their care.


Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, “Warning Signs”, posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, http://www.anxietycenter.com/. His new book, “Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy” has been published by Merril Press.

© Alan Caruba, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Steps UP!!


We, here at IoF, were delighted to receive the following press release from the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

**************

September 26, 2006
Sons of Confederate Veterans, Richmond, Virginia 2322l

PRESS RELEASE

The Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will hold a press briefing in front of the South entrance of the General Assembly Building adjacent to the State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia, beginning at 10:30am on Thursday, September 28, 2006.

State Commander Frank Earnest of Virginia Beach will answer questions from the press relating to the recent statements of Senatorial candidate George Allen regarding the Confederate Battle Flag. The Sons of Confederate Veterans strongly disagrees with Senator Allen’s remarks relating to the Battle Flag and opposes bigotry in any form, including the “macaca moment” which came from the Senators own mouth. The SCV is concerned that Senator Allen has deviously tried to divert attention from his own remarks and past activities to malign a flag which millions of Virginians have a great deal of pride in.

The SCV has recently conducted programs honoring Jewish Confederates at Hollywood Cemetery and last Saturday conducted the Dick Poplar Program honoring black Confederate and Petersburg native Dick Poplar.

Commander Earnest strongly feels that “there is no place for bigotry in Virginia or her electoral process”.

Anyone needing information on this press conference should contact Brag Bowling at 804.389.3620.

There is a good deal of speculation that Gov. Allen will be a GOP candidate for President in 2008. If you happen to be a regular reader of this site you know that I am a died-in-the-wool, rock-ribbed, conservative Republican. Having said that, I hasten to add that I have no intention of supporting a GOP candidate for anything... just because he has and "R" by his name.

It is well to remember: any conservative candidate seeking the office of the President will have to have the support of the Southern States to gain that office. At least two of the contenders, on the Republican side, have lost the South, already... McCain, and now Allen. There are NO viable Democrat contenders for President in the South.

The South could swing to an independent candidate if the right man, or woman, stepped up with the correct conservative "bona fides". One of those qualifications is not to speak ill of the Confederacy, nor the Confederate Battle Flag.

The good Senator from Virginia, home of the Capital City of the Confederacy, seems to have forgotten that.

He will be reminded on Thursday morning.

Longstreet

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The REAL Guardians of Freedom!

The older I get, the more concerned I become over the lack of understanding among Americans about how this Representative Republic, we call the United States, works. It concerns me that we have, somehow, come to believe that the Constitution is our protector. We have come to believe that the Constitution guarantees us all the privileges and rights contained within it.

Now, the problem with all this high-minded understanding of the US Constitution is … it ain’t so!

Now that I have your attention….

The Constitution is a wonderful document. It is the foundation upon which this country is built. But, taken alone, it is totally worthless. The words written upon that parchment are powerful in that they espouse a freedom unequaled in the world, before, or since. But they are just words. Yes, words can, and do, have power. But words are totally defenseless. They can just as easily be erased from that document as they can be written upon it. Oh, and those rights guaranteed us, with those words, are just wishful thinking… unless we are inclined, and able, to defend them.

Now, if you are new to this site, you may not be aware this is a US Military Friendly Site. Now that you are aware of it… know this: It is those men and women under arms, in all branches of the US military, who guarantee your freedoms, and your rights, and your privileges granted by the constitution. Without them, the rights, privileges, and the freedoms, given all Americans, as a birthright, would be totally worthless.

We have become so accustomed to our politicians preening before the TV cameras and loudly proclaiming their defense of the constitution… not to mention the various courts, and court systems, up to, and including, the Supreme Court, also assuring us they are responsibly guarding the constitution, until we have fallen under their spell. We have several generations of Americans who have bought into this distorted fairy tale. It’s a crock!

The people who actually defend those rights, privileges and freedoms, spelled out in that document, are, as we said above, the US Military. Without them standing guard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, every year, in diverse places around the globe, that constitution would not have lasted as long as it has. They are the REAL guardians of Freedom.

So, it will come as no surprise to you that it pains me deeply when I hear the US Military being disrespectfully put down. There is entirely too much of that in our society today.

There was a time, in the not too distant past, when many of the members of Congress were veterans. Very few are veterans these days. And it is obvious! Boy, does it show!

And somehow, they have decided to assume the office of the Commander-in-Chief giving the US military 535 Commanders-in Chiefs. Our forefathers had the good sense to vest that power in one person, the President. But, as is usual, little by little, the Congress has whittled away at the power of the Commander-in-Chief, until they have convinced themselves that they are the true commanders of the military… and it is a lie! But, that discussion is for another day.

It is enough on this post that we remember whom, exactly, are the Guardians of the US Constitution… the men and women of the US Military. It is not, as you may have believed, the Senators and Congresspersons in their tailored suits, shirts, and ties. And it is not the solemn faced judges in their elegant, long, flowing robes. No! It is the dirty, smelly, streaked with gunpowder and cozmoline, soldier!

So, next time you hear one of our esteemed Congresspersons, or Senators, holding forth on how he, or she, would run the Military, just know, for the most part, they haven’t a clue!

And finally, next time you see a soldier, no matter the branch of service, extend your hand and say: “Thank you for serving”!

Longstreet

Monday, September 25, 2006

TARHEEL BLOGGERS !!!



ATTENTION

Bloggers of the

Tarheel State !!!

Now you have a Blogroll of your own!








"Tarheel Bloggers" is up and running!

You can join if you live in NC, have property in NC, have ever lived in NC, or… seriously plan to move to NC.

For more information on "TARHEEL Bloggers" go to:

http://hillbillywhitetrash.blogspot.com/

This is a new Blogroll and it’s sure to be a winner! If you fit the profile of a TARHEEL BLOGGER we recommend you click on the URL above and sign up. You should be added to the blog roll within 48 hours!

Tell ‘em…


Longstreet sent ya!

Bush Should Free Terrorists Now in US Custody!

Bush Should Free Terrorists Now in US Custody!

Why in the world would a person, in his right mind, proclaim the title of this post?

Why? Because, dear reader, we are in for a three ring circus with all those useless trials for the terrorist we have captured!

Each trial will be a recruiting tool for the jihadists and for the political Left all over the world.

I am a natural born citizen of the United States. The rights and privileges granted me by the US Constitution are mine and shared ONLY with Naturalized citizens of the US… and NOBODY Else!

Why then is the American Left so adamant about bestowing US Constitutional rights on the non citizen terrorists we have in our jails and prisons? Why?

It is clearly not called for… and it is clearly WRONG. By granting non-citizens MY blood bought birthright it cheapens the US citizen’s constitutional rights. Eventually, they will be worthless!

Now, we have prisons full of these terrorists who have no allegiance to any country… only to their warped sense of faith.

So what do we do with them? Free them. The harm done this country would be less with them free, and able to attack us again, than will be done with this unending chain of trials staring us in the face far into the future!. Get rid of them. No trials. Just pardon them, or, in any way possible, give them their freedom and transport them back to their county of origin and let them go!

Then, to be certain this doesn’t happen again, the President, as Commander-in- Chief, should issue orders to American troops to take no prisoners. As of a date certain, all enemy captured, and all enemy who surrender, should be dispatched ASAP by firing squad. No prisoners again, period. No prisoners, no trials, no bitching from the Left about bestowing Constitutional rights upon this scum of the earth!

I am totally out of patience with all the howling from the Left about those poor misunderstood terrorists.

And to ensure that this is never a problem again, I propose a 28th amendment to the US Constitution. It would ensure that only Natural born citizens of the US and Naturalized citizens of the us will enjoy the rights, freedoms, and privileges granted US citizens by the US Constitution. That should do it!

Look, the Left is living in some sort of fairyland. They ought to be issued tin foil hats and be made to wear them.

This is the REAL world we live in. Not some utopia where “every body just gets along”. There is pure, raw, evil out there… and they want to kill us and they don’t give a damn whether you want to understand them, or not! They want you and me dead! Period!

The sooner we get a hold on that truth, and face up to it, the better off we, as a nation, will be.

Longstreet

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Writing to the Asylum

As I write, I am about 25 minutes from the small North Carolina town in which Charlie Daniels was raised... and about 50 miles from his birthplace. I point this out, so that if you think my views are outside the norm, then I have to tell you, they are in sync with those of my neighbors here in North Carolina.

For Instance: Charlie says:

“I can see why you think America is a weak race, if you judge us by our media or what our politicians have to say, but I've got a rude awakening for you. That ain't America.


If you want to see America go to a NASCAR race or a Friday night football game at some little town in Texas. Have some eggs and grits in a truck stop in South Georgia, check out a rodeo or pick up basketball game in the Bronx.

Take a look at the people around you and you’ll find that they don't look anything like the pansies you see on TV or the politicians whose pictures are in the newspapers.”

Yep! Right on, Chuck, right on!

Wanna read the entire article?

Then go here:

http://www.multimedia-interactive.com/cdb/view_topic.php?id=3535&forum_id=4


Now, wasn’t that refreshing?

Longstreet

The News Blackout on LA’s Latino Congreso! ... by Alan Caruba

The News Blackout on LA’s Latino Congreso!
By Alan Caruba

Did you know that, from September 6th through the 10th, there was a Latino Congreso in downtown Los Angeles that included major state, national and international personalities? Did you know that you would have been hard pressed to find any coverage in the Los Angeles Times on the event?

In a comparable fashion, there was no word on national television news, nor was I able to find anything anywhere except Hispanic Business, and leftist website, One World.net, and, finally, on the last day of the “Congreso”, an Associated Press story found in the Sioux City Journal, Iowa! In fact, that AP story was about a failed Los Angeles rally to demand amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens in the nation. Expecting 5,000 participants, only about 200 people showed up “most of them organizers and journalists.”

As to the Congreso, the AP story noted that “Sessions included speeches and workshops on registering Hispanic voters, running Hispanic political candidates, wage gaps between Hispanics and whites, environmental issues, and a lack of access to health care in immigrant communities.” Well, when a parade of illegal aliens show up to use medical facilities and cannot pay for their services, a lot of them end up shutting their doors.

As for Hispanics registering to vote, the AP review of data in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other major urban areas “that saw large rallies showed no sign of a historic new voter boom that could sway elections.” The GOP can stop knocking itself out to get Hispanic votes. It ain’t gonna happen. They aren’t even registering to vote for Democrats.

Where were the journalists during the Congreso? Among the scheduled speakers were the Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States, a Justice from the Brazilian supreme court, the State Treasurer and Lieutenant Governor of California, and Teresa Heinz, the wife of the former Democrat candidate for President, John Kerry. Antonio Villaraigosa, the Mayor of Los Angeles was there. The other speakers included members of the U.S. House of Representatives as well as a member of the Mexican House of Representatives.

Yet no major news coverage was extended this remarkable gathering. Why?

Consider, too, some of the conveners of the Congreso. Foremost was the William C. Velasquez Institute, described as “a nonpartisan think tank” by Hispanic Business. Its president, Antonio Gonzalez, wanted to do something about “the yawning socioeconomic gap between Hispanics and Anglos.” One explanation might be the failure of many Hispanics to learn English; the language of the nation they think stole California and the Southwest from them.

Other conveners included the Earth Day Network. What is an extremist environmental organization doing on the dais? They were joined by the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, and—surprise—the National Hispanic Environmental Council.

Sponsors of the Congress included The Heinz Family Foundation, General Motors Corporation, the LA Audubon Society, the Resource Legacy Fund Foundation, advocates of the environmental extremist Wildlands Protection Program, Wells Fargo, and the Turner Foundation.

From September 6 through 10 I kept looking for news of the Latino Congreso. I checked Google.com. I checked Lexis-Nexis.com. I searched the website of the Los Angeles Times. As they say in Spanish, “nada.”

If 2,000 people showed up to attend and take part in the Congreso, held in the Los Angeles Sheraton, the only people who knew about it were the participants. It was not granted any coverage by the media that serves Anglos, i.e., white, Americans of European heritage.

So why was it one of best-kept secrets in America? If you ask Pat Buchanan, author of the bestselling book, “A State of Emergency”, he would tell you that, “America’s media is morally intimidated by a minority that can make out credentials as a victim of past discrimination.”

But who’s the real victim here? America is being invaded daily. Taxpayers must cover the costs of increased crime, pressures on our medical and educational systems. These people compete with native-born Americans for jobs. At a very minimum, an estimated eleven million people are living among us illegally and Congress is having an extraordinarily difficult time even deciding to build a fence somewhere along the two thousand miles of common border with Mexico.

It is said that great nations do not so much die as they commit suicide. The failure to mind the border, the failure to report on what the Latino Congreso has in mind for the United States, the failure to realize that, while we fight a war on terror in far-off places, America is being invaded will lead inevitably to all these illegal millions becoming a nation within our nation.


Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, “Warning Signs”, posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, http://www.anxietycenter.com/. His new book, “Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy”, has just been published.

© Alan Caruba, 2006

Armageddon in two years?

(This Post First Ran In December of 2005.)

Armageddon in two years?

On the off chance that you have not noticed… there is a “nut” in charge of Iran! I mean a “certifiable nutcase”. The even more troubling problem is… this nut has his finger on the button, which will, very likely, trigger Armageddon.

I speak, of course, of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran. I should say the “Islamic Republic” of Iran.

In a matter of months, not ten years as our very dysfunctional CIA would have us believe, that nut will have nuclear weapons. He already has the delivery vehicles for those Nukes. He has told us the target… Israel. In a few blinding seconds the state of Israel will cease to exist.

Why two years? Well, in Christianity we have the return of Christ, often referred to as the “Second Coming of Christ”. In Shi’ite Islam they have the return of the 12th Imam. Ahmadinejad has said, openly, the 12th Imam will return within two years.

As with the Second Coming of Christ the event (Return of the 12th Imam) will be associated with a number of tribulations and lots of turmoil including lots of death… and lots of destruction.

Why is this suddenly so troubling? Well, frankly, with the Islamic belief in Martyrdom so prevalent, and the associated eternal bliss expected, as a result, the religious nut, in Iran, with his finger on the button, becomes a very real threat.

Besides the above, a time of political chaos will set the stage for the 12th Imam’s, or Madhi’s, return. At least, the Shi’ite Moslems believe that it will.

Remember, this is the man who stated, publicly, “Israel should be wiped from the map”. This is the man who has made huge donations (in the millions of dollars) to a shrine, which is said to contain the well from which the 12th Imam is to re-emerge into the world.

It is also believed the “Mahdi” will have a deputy, something of a forerunner (remember John the Baptist), who will prepare the world for the “Mahdi’s” return. Suppose someone thought himself to be that deputy and desired to bring about the chaos needed for the Mahdi’s return and… suppose, further, the self-described deputy had nuclear weapons to assist him in his quest for chaos.

Granted, there is a whole lot of supposing going on here, but… what if???

Would it not behoove those expecting to be on the receiving end of those Shahab missiles to intercede on the side of sanity and remove Mr. Ahmadinejad’s means of inflicting his end goal of chaos and the return of the Mahdi?

One of the few things we have learned, from watching these Middle Eastern hotheads, is that when they threaten something dire, they, almost, always deliver.

You can bet that if this old, Gentile, Southern American boy is considering all this… then the Israelis are WAY ahead of me.

I’ll close this post with a question: Does anyone believe if the Iranians were to pull off a successful nuclear attack on Israel they would stop there… or would they continue their march of conquest to Europe? Huh?

Longstreet

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Hell of a Way to Fight a War!

(This Post First Ran in May of 2006.)

A Hell of a Way to Fight a War!

A bearly restrained press is chomping at the bit to go after a story, at least what we THINK is a story, from a place called Haditha in Iraq.

We actually know very little about the so-called massacre at Haditha. Some 2 dozen civilians are said to have been slain by US Marines as retribution for a couple of their men being wounded or killed by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) … what you and I would call… a bomb.

The MSM, and the political “Left” has been on a crusade to turn the Iraq war into another Viet Nam since, oh, about 48 hours into the conflict. They began by calling Afghanistan a “quagmire” and almost instantly referred to Iraq as the same. Their hope, apparently, is that they can convince enough Americans that all is lost and that the US is in over it’s head in Iraq to influence the government’s prosecution of the war and cause a US defeat or, worse, a cut and run scenario, called a “retreat”, or as the politically correct language has it an “exit strategy”.

Now, some of the MSM are bringing up the My Lai incident, in Viet Nam, and comparing the Haditha incident with the My Lai incident.

Now, I have to tell you that I was never pleased with the way the My Lai incident was portrayed by the media and… the way, in my opinion, the US soldiers involved were persecuted for carrying out their orders. In fact, I distinctly remember circulating petitions to the President to release those men, accused of wrong doing in the My Lai incident, and sending those petitions to the President of the US.

Just days ago, two members of the media were killed and a third was very seriously wounded in an IED attack as they stood outside their armored vehicle in Iraq.

There is something extremely dishonorable about killing people with a bomb! Especially these remote controlled bombs. There is someone watching, and lying in wait, to push the button on the device, to take out an unexpecting vehicle and it’s occupants. It takes a very low, very dishonorable, person to do that.

The Europeans and Asians tend to call the Americans “cowboys”. That’s fine by us! A “cowboy” is a “man of honor”. Yes, he is a man of action… and swift action at that! But, he will not “shoot you in the back”. That is a coward’s way. That is the way a man of dishonor would do it… and that’s the way the insurgents and the terrorists do it. That kind of behavior, that kind of warfare, is abhorrent to Americans! It is the coward’s way of making war. And that is exactly what we now understand as the way the enemy in Iraq, and around the world, chooses to fight… the coward’s way.

Now, having said that, try placing yourself in the place of the Marines, and as a Marine, you see your fellow Marines being killed, day after day, by a bunch of worthless, world class cowards, and your anger continues to build. You swallow it… and you continue to watch as the “civilians” give those cowards sanctuary, and aid, and comfort, and you begin to fume. It is a powder keg with a lighted fuse. At some point it will explode. That is a given.

I am not going to condemn a group of US servicemen for essentially “losing it and cleaning the house”! The day I can walk the streets in Iraq with 80 pounds of gear strapped to my back while dishonorable men take potshots at me… and even more cowardly men set bombs to kill me and my buddies… and I can do this and not “lose it” myself, then I MIGHT, I MIGHT, bring myself to say something detrimental about those who did, most likely, exactly what I would have done under similar circumstances.

I have argued, from shortly after we invaded Iraq, that we have not prosecuted this war aggressively enough. I still believe that. I think “total war” is the way to go. I have absolutely no belief, nor interest, in winning hearts and minds. I believe in winning the war and instilling fear in the hearts of the enemies of the US. You do that by “cleaning their clock”. Then you walk away and leave them sitting atop a pile of rubble that WAS their country. You do not rebuild their country. Hell, we call that “urban renewal”, not WAR!

So, have at it! Condemn what those guys did, if they did anything at all, but do not expect the ordinary, average, American to back you. We won’t.

Those are OUR troops over there. And the earth’s rift-raff, and cowards of the lowest kind, are picking off our troops one by one, day after day. Those who give them aid and comfort share the same category with the SOB who pushes the button on the remote firing mechanism to detonate that bomb. So far as I am concerned, they did the deed just as surely as the coward who placed the bomb, and pushed the button. So, don’t try to convince me they are innocent!

The US Military cannot place good men, in a war zone, with that kind of burden on their shoulders, everyday, and expect them to perform at their highest level. If they continuously have to worry if they are about to do something politically incorrect, then they ARE going to hesitate and they ARE going to get killed… or get their buddies killed.

This is a hell of a way to fight a war!

Longstreet

Friday, September 22, 2006

Less Than Helpful to US War Efforts


Splashed across the headlines of my morning paper, this past Monday morning was a headline stating that America is holding 1,400 prisoners... in prisons, somewhere, as a result of the war on terror.

My first reaction was to smile and say… to no one in particular… “Now, throw away the key!” And that, dear reader, is the reaction of most Americans, not the "limp wristed Left" who have so bought into the theory of Moral Relativity that they refuse to see the evil right in front of their eyes. No, they want these evil persons released into society so they can blow up more innocent people. Well, I don’t, and neither do the majority of American citizens. We want a safe America, or at least, an America as safe as we are able to make it.

Let me see if I can clarify the Right’s position on prisoners being held as enemy detainees. Our position is, simply put, they’re not citizens of the US, therefore, they are not entitled to the rights and privileges of the US Constitution.

I know, I know, the US Supreme Court has said otherwise. Well, the US Supreme court is wrong! The Congress should have the intestinal fortitude to correct the Supreme Court’s error with a 28th amendment to the constitution specifying that only natural born citizens, and naturalized citizens, of the US are covered by the US Constitution… and nobody else, period!

I have to tell you, this is getting ridiculous! If we continue to cheapen the Constitution, very soon it will be no better than the paper if was written on.

Now, don’t try to muddy the waters by insisting that the Geneva conventions cover these enemy fighters. They do not. The Geneva conventions cover UNIFORMED PERSONEL, only!

We have a number of Senators, and even a former Secretary of State saying those Geneva Convention’s accords DO cover the terrorists we have captured and are currently holding in various prisons all over the world. Simply put… they are absolutely wrong.

Why are they insisting this is so when… it clearly is not? Well, they have agenda’s of their own. It is obvious that one of them is hoping to be elected President of the US and a couple of others may want a shot at the vice-presidential candidate’s slot. One, I suspect, is just PO’ed at the administration for being far more hawkish, than was suspected, early on in the first Bush term. A political grudge is an ugly thing and lasts for years… some last, as in the case of founding fathers Adams and Jefferson, ‘til death.

The thing is: This is petty, or it would be, except that it is bound to cost US lives, both civilian and military, and it needs to be brought to an end NOW!

Senator McCain will never be elected President of the US. Period. Senator Lindsey Graham… well, as a native South Carolinian, all I can say is that I am embarrassed to have him represent my home state in the US Senate. As for former Secretary of State Powell, this whole thing seems so petty. My wing of the party always saw Gen. Powell as the liberal that he is and let it be known, early on in the first candidacy of the current President, that we would not support Mr. Powell for Vice president. We accepted his positioning as Secretary of State, but only JUST! We were never happy with that, and we were glad when he departed. Now, we see that our concerns over Mr. Powell’s “leanings” toward the left were justified.

Somehow, we have to get the host of Americans who seem to think we have a law enforcement problem with the terrorists to understand that we really are at war with them. They have to be made aware that their lives, and the lives of their families, are at stake.

What is it going to take to bring the huge number of Americans laboring under the misconception that the people we are fighting can be reasoned with, to the realization that negotiations with someone who is not interested, is not possible.

Just look at the reaction toward the Pope who only quoted a 14th century emperor’s words.

The Islamofacists are interested in one thing, and one thing only, and that is world domination under an Islamic theocracy, or a worldwide caliphate. Proclaiming ourselves to be the “good guys” will not win this war. In fact, if we are not prepared to do whatever it takes, to beat back the threat from the Islamofacists, then we WILL lose this war and our country. It is just that simple.

If we are serious about winning this war we will kill the enemy as often, as efficiently, and in the greatest numbers possible, and… at every opportunity. When we allow a hundred, or more, terrorists to attend graveside services at a cemetery, as we watch from a high altitude (armed) drone (A UAV), and not pull the trigger… because it would look bad, that is a surefire way to lose this war. That is not a serious attempt at war.

My disagreement with the Administrations prosecution of the war in Iraq has been, from day one, in my view, we are not being aggressive enough.

OK, OK, call me an “armchair general”. That’s fair. I can accept that. But, even a stopped clock is correct twice a day! From this armchair general’s point of view, “war fighting” is killing the enemy and breaking his things. You are not fighting a war if you are trying to win friends and influence people… ie: “winning hearts and minds”.

I can only believe that winning the war in Iraq is only a part of the strategy in the Middle East. The US has long wanted a base for military operations in the Middle East Theatre. Now we have one. Is that why we are trying to play nice with the Iraqis? Maybe.

In the meantime, all the prisoners we have, scattered, as they may be, around the world, are simple neutralized fighters who will not hesitate to re-arm and come after us as soon as we free them. So, as long as we keep them incarcerated they are off the playing board and are no longer a threat. Besides, we may learn something from them, or… we may not. It really isn’t that important.

The bottom line in all this is that the United State must be protected from those who would destroy us. The politicians who, for one reason or another, seem to come down on the side of the enemies of the US are not helpful, at all, to the cause of National Security. That is unacceptable in national leaders.


Longstreet

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I am Ashamed the US is a Member of the United Nations!


I am embarrassed that the United Nations is in New York, in the United States.

I am embarrassed that the President of the US spoke to the UN this week.

I am embarrassed that the Congress of the US continues to pay dues to the UN.

I am embarrassed that that the United States is a member of the United Nations.

I am embarrassed that the tin-pot dictators of the world have a rallying point… and it is in this country. Oh, I know the United Nations holds a deed to the land upon which it’s headquarters building, in New York, stands. But if there was a way to fence it off from the remainder of the US, I’d be all for it.

When, oh, when, will we have a leader, and a Congress, who will speak out against that den of thieves, and dictators, and socialists, and communists, and megalomaniacs who gather under the cover of a peaceful union of countries to fomat discord across the world? It is self evident it is not peace they want! They want world domination and they want to get fat off UN money, much of which comes from the coffers of the US taxpayers!

How can Americans convince the United Nations that it is “persona non grata”, in this country, and convince it to move it’s headquarters somewhere, anywhere, else.

I have had my fill of that bunch of cowards, thieves, perverts, and slim of the earth polluting our air with their presence on these shores.

The only thing, worthwhile, Hugo Chavez said this week, at the UN, was that the UN ought to move! He was spot on with that. It ought to move… and as quickly as possible.

That place must be a stench in the nostrils of God! It is a hellhole on earth! Those were the sulfur fumes Chavez smelled, this week, as he spoke to that room full of bandits, brigands, and thieves.

When I was a child my parents taught me to be careful whom I befriended. They continually told me “you are known by the company you keep”. If ever a truer phrase was spoken, I am not aware of it. And just look who the US is hanging out with at the UN.

Look, we don’t need the UN. The UN needs us!

If the US finds it needs an organization of like-minded states then it should form one. If not, then we are extremely capable of going it alone.

I have predicted, for some time, that at a point, in the not too distant future, US troops will be in combat against UN troops. You can count on it!


The UN is not our friend! The UN is, in fact, the enemy of the United States. The sooner we disassociate ourselves from them, and convince them to move their headquarters out of the US, then the better I’ll feel... as will a few million other American citizens!

They pollute everything they touch. Let’s be done with them as quickly as possible.


Longstreet

“Peak Oil” or Lots More Oil? ... by Alan Caruba


“Peak Oil” or Lots More Oil?
By Alan Caruba

In May 2006 I wrote, “I know about the “Peak Oil” theory that says we either have or are about the reach the point of diminishing returns regarding the world’s oil supply, but these recent discoveries suggest there is still plenty of oil to be found.” In that commentary I documented nearly a dozen new fields of oil and natural gas discovered since 1995.

So I wasn’t surprised when, on September 5, Chevron Corporation announced it had discovered new, huge reserves of oil some five miles below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. The initial estimates were that these reserves “could boost U.S. oil reserves by 50 percent.”

Good news for Americans and good news as well for other oil companies such as BP, Anadarko Petroleum, and Exxon Mobil that have their own projects in progress. Indeed, two days later, Exxon Mobil announced that its Sakhalin-1 project offshore Russia had begun to export crude oil, the eighth startup within the past year.

Suffice it to say that the new Gulf of Mexico discovery rivals that of Alaska’s giant Prudhoe Bay oil field in 1968. President Bush may think we’re “addicted” to oil and, along with other politicians, call for oil “independency”, but the fact is we, like every other modern nation require oil for transportation, plastics, heating homes, and the countless other uses to which we put petroleum.

Recently, Abdallah Jum’ah, president and CEO of the state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil, better known as Aramco, said the world has the potential of 4.5 trillion barrels in reserves. At current levels of consumption, that’s 140 years worth of oil to power the world. Even at the lowest level of estimated reserves, there’s still enough until 2070 and does anyone believe we will not find more?

While the vast Middle Eastern reserves remain an important source of oil for the world, the geopolitical game just changed for the better as far as America is concerned. The Gulf of Mexico discovery insures a new degree independence and security. Think how much more we could achieve now that the twenty-five year old federal ban on offshore exploration has been lifted?

The next question is whether, for example, Florida will relent and permit more oil exploration and extraction off its shores instead of sitting around while China, in cooperation with Cuba, drills for oil? Indeed, potentially every state on the east and west coast of America could contribute to our oil independence by permitting this to occur.

The Consumer Alliance for Energy Security estimates that “The Outer Continental Shelf has enough natural gas to heat 100 million homes for 60 years and enough oil to drive 85 million cars for 35 years.”

Meanwhile, the estimated billions of barrels of oil trapped beneath Alaska’s ANWR are still waiting to be tapped! If we can just get the tree-huggers and their politician-pals to get out of way, we can all happily drive to grandma’s house for the next generation or two.

In the September 11th edition of U.S. News & World Report, reporter Bay Feng wrote that the map of central Asia is being pored over by governments and oil company executives who call it the hub and spoke. “The hub is the Caspian Sea and the spokes are the multiple pipe lines emanating from it, representing potential export routes for the vast oil and gas resources that lie beneath.”

Let me repeat “the vast oil and gas resources that lie beneath.” So, while Chevron was announcing vast new oil and gas resources in the Gulf of Mexico, one leading news magazine was devoting its pages to yet another area that promises more of the same. In fact, it is believed “to be among the world’s largest untapped fossil fuel resources.”

We’re talking about resources that are not subject to the threats that exist for those in the Persian Gulf area, the members of OPEC. Even Russia, the world’s second-largest producer and exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia, and the largest producer of natural gas, will feel the competition.

The new “Great Game” of central Asia is to wean the nations in the region from their dependency on Russia to export their oil and gas. For that you need pipelines. “That’s why U.S. officials,” wrote Feng, “have been pushing the $4 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which opened with much fanfare in July and links Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.”

Places most Americans have never heard of and couldn’t find on a map hold tremendous potential to relieve worldwide dependency on Middle Eastern oil and gas. Kazakhstan, the largest nation in central Asia, “has three of the world’s richest hydrocarbon fields.”

Meanwhile, it’s worth remembering that predictions that the world was running out of oil date back to when it was discovered in 1874 in Pennsylvania. By 1920 geologists calculated the world had at best 60 billion barrels. By 1950, the world’s oil supplies were estimated at 2 trillion barrels. Prior to the discovery of vast new reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. known reserves were calculated to meet domestic needs for anywhere from 38 to 75 years.

Peak oil? A world running out of oil in our lifetimes? I don’t think so.


Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, “Warning Signs”, posted on the Internet site of The National anxiety Center,
www.anxietycenter.com. His new book, “Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy”, has just been published by Merril Press.

© Alan Caruba, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

America Needs Heroes!


This country, America, needs some heroes. Badly.

Have you noticed that we have none? In my youth heroes abounded. There were, first and foremost, the military heroes, then the sports heroes, even the guy down the block, who saved the neighbor’s cat (by climbing up the tree to retrieve the cat), he, too, was a hero. But it is not so anymore.

Humans need heroes. Heroes remind us that there is a better side to us. Heroes remind us that we DO have it in us to be better than we are… to accomplish what was thought to be the impossible, and that we do have it in us to defend those things most precious to us, like our families and our homes... and even our country. But today... there are no heroes.

Military heroes went out of style during the Vietnam war. Although many, many, Vietnam veterans came home as a hero, they were not accorded that status by their fellow Americans. Many were reviled and even spat upon. Men who had answered their country’s call, and gone to war, and had every right to be accorded the status of "heroes" were, instead, shunned by American society!

When I was a boy, there actually were sports heroes. Oh yes. Joe De Maggio, Ted Williams, and the list goes on and on. Not any longer. Professional athletes tell us they have no desire to be a ROLE MODEL, A HERO, if you will. and they aren’t. Many we would silently think of as heroes turn out to be abusing drugs, which bring into questions their athletic triumphs. So, we no longer have sports heroes.

Well, you may ask, what about the neighborhood guy who climbs trees and rescues felines for the neighbors children? What about him, huh?. Well, that cat is stranded now, for good and all, except in the rare case where the local fire department will agree to come rescue the critter. Why? Well the neighborhood guy is concerned that if he should climb that tree and break a limb, some "enviro-nut group" will sue him. If he should accidentally harm the kitty, while in the attempt to rescue her, then the animal welfare groups might sue him, and if the kitty scratches the kids he returns it to, he might well be sued for allowing those children to play with a dangerous animal.

See the direction America has taken and why there are no heroes today? It is, indeed, too risky.

And then there is the "moral relativity" problem. Here in America, the Moral Relativity adherents rule the day. Now known as "Political Correctness", we are indoctrinated, from day one, that "all men are created equal". Well, one can easily put the lie to that... if one wanders into the shower room of any military barracks in the world, or walks down a crowded beach in July. All men are NOT created equal. All men are guaranteed an equal shot at life, and it’s abundance, here in America, by the constitution, but that is as far as it goes... or... at least, that is as far as it should go.

Now, if you believe that all men are equal then you cannot have heroes. Because the very nature of heroism means that one person has exceeded the level playing field of equality, and has become better than his fellow man in some way.

We used to understand that, in this country, and we celebrated our heroes. Look back at Audey Murphy, the most decorated soldier of the Second World War. A tiny little fellow, unimposing, but the man had the heart of a lion. He was a true hero.

And there was "The Duke". Yep, John Wayne. So far as I know, Duke never served his country in uniform. Except that, actually, he did. He portrayed such heroes, so often, and so convincingly, on the American movie screen, that he became one. He played role after role of heroes in different uniforms of our military service. Those western characters he portrayed paid homage to the early days of America on the frontier. He became a hero. The thing with Wayne was that “what you saw was what you got”. Off screen, he was the same man he played on screen. And that came through, clear as a bell, in the characters he portrayed.

Say what you will about the Duke, but he taught, at least, one generation of American men what it means to be a man and even more importantly... what it means to be an American man.

Heroes provide us with role models. “We don’t need role models”, you may argue. Oh, but we do, I would argue back. Role models teach our children important lessons about who they are and what they are capable of.

When I first reported for military training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, back on July 5th, 1959, I had no idea what I was capable of. None. I thought I did. But, boy, how wrong I was!

I weighed approximately 126 pounds. And that was soaking wet! And then... they took us up to a place known then as “Tank Hill”. That’s where you went when you reported to Ft. Jackson to be whipped into shape as American soldiers. Eight weeks later, having survived pure hell, I left that Army post a brand new American soldier, believing I could lick the world, if necessary, single handed.

How did it happen? One important factor of that training was that there were genuine heroes training us. The cadre of instructors were men who were veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War. Men who had seen the worst the enemy could throw at them and they rose above it and won!

We had a First Sergeant, with an Irish name, and all the accoutrements including the blue eyes and red hair. I never saw him that he didn’t have a bayonet scabbard, complete with bayonet, hanging from his web belt. Never. He was a sergeant in the manner of old first sergeants. That guy was something to behold! When he walked into a room, or onto a training field, all the noise became muted and all eyes were on him. He commanded respect. For those of us un-initiated, at the time, there was one huge question we all wanted ask and that was… “why?”. After a few weeks, I screwed up enough courage to ask one of the lowly buck sergeants what it was about the "Top Kick" that brought all that respect.

The sergeant pointed to the Top Kick’s bayonet. “You see that”, he asked? I assured him I couldn’t miss it. The sergeant went on to say there was a story behind that bayonet. He told me that even though he didn’t know all the details he knew that the Top Kick had saved his squad, in Korea, by charging an enemy machine gun nest with nothing but that bayonet in his hand. He over ran that enemy gun emplacement and put the machine gun out of action and saved the lives of his men. For his actions the Army had award him a medal. His fellow soldiers had awarded him something far more precious… their respect.

As I listened, in awe, I came to understand the awe within which his men held him that day. And… I had something of an epiphany, and that was... that… even heroes need heroes. The men training me were genuine war heroes, and yet they looked up to the Top Kick as their hero.

It is the nature of the human beast. We need markers to show us what we can achieve. Those who rise above the rest of us are those markers... and we call them heroes.

America has become a nation in limbo. Having no markers, no heroes, to look to, we are wandering about in a sea of disillusionment, not knowing who we are. Oft times we are discouraged from accomplishments, which exceed the norm. We are told it is better to remain a non entity that to accomplish more than one’s neighbors, and rise above them, for in so doing we make those who seek to remain equal feel ashamed, or less important that we.

To that I say… “tough!”. It is that kind of thought that is killing the American spirit. It is that kind of thought that is killing America… period!

America used to be a “can do” nation. Now we are a “can you do it for me?” nation. We have not yet recognized that those who willingly “do it” for us will soon reign over us. Why, the naysayers even have us believing we can actually loose the war in Iraq! They have us believing we can’t fight two wars on two fronts and win! We’ve already put the lie to that argument. We fought the Germans, the Italians, and the Japanese, all at the same time, an came away victorious over all of them.

Regardless of what you may think, or you may have been taught, there are persons among us who are heroes. They are persons who have risen above and simply not been recognized by a society that has chosen to hide itself in the mire of equal aspirations based upon our society’s lowest common denominator.

We desperately need a hero to lead this nation through the dark decades ahead. We are facing an enemy, which wants us dead and will stop at nothing to wipe us out. We need a leader who is not afraid of taking the tough stands, and making the hard decisions, decisions which may lead to the deaths of countless numbers of our enemies, but save the USA.

But can a man, such as this, be elected? Probably not. Can a man, such as this, be found among us? Oh yes, but I must warn you… they are few and far between. You see, America stopped producing “real men” in the 1960’s. And those of the male persuasion, who survived the ‘60’s, are now teaching our male children what THEIR definition of a real man is and, dear reader, it is far from what nature created the male human to be.

So... what are America’s options? Frankly, dear reader, I don’t see any. We, as a nation, are destined to ride this train to the end of the line. You see, when a people, voluntarily, choose to emasculate themselves, they must pay the price. America has only begun to pay that price.

Longstreet

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Posting and Comment posting late due to local ISP being down!


If you placed comments on this blog overnight and, they did not appear, please be advised that my local ISP server was down and IoF has been offline for 9-1/2 hours.


You will find your comments have now been posted along with a new post for today which is only 6-1/2 hours late.

Please accept my sincere apologies for this problem. Unfortunately, I had no control over the events which led to this outtage.

Please scroll down for today's new post from Mr. Alan Caruba. I believe you will find Alan's post on What the Pope REALLY Said extremely enlightening!

Thank you for visiting with IoF and please, come again.

I remain,

Your Obedient Servant,

Longstreet

What the Pope Actually Said ... Alan Caruba


Note to readers: I am roughly 6-1/2 hours late getting this post up today due to my local ISP being down. I sincerely apologize. Longstreet
*******************


What the Pope Actually Said
By Alan Caruba

What Pope Benedict XVI actually said was vastly overshadowed by the Islamic reaction to one line from a lengthy, intellectually complex speech given on September 12th at the University of Regensburg, Germany.

We know by now that the Islamic response was to burn Catholic and Christian churches throughout the Middle East and, in one case, to shoot a nun in the back, killing someone who had labored more than three decades as a nurse to serve the poor in Africa.

Nothing more perfectly frames the real issue at stake. Islam cannot and will not accept anything other than the surrender and domination of all other faiths. For Islam, it is either dar al’Islam or dar al’harb. The latter translates the world of war.


For those too squeamish to address this too obvious fact, since the 1970s in particular and throughout its history, Islam has been at war with the West.


Its war with the Hindus in India dates back and beyond that nation’s independence and the partitioning that led about the creation of Pakistan and Bangladesh as places of separation for Muslims. That said, a sizeable Muslim population continues to live in India and, not surprisingly, whenever there is a bombing in Mumbai or something ugly occurs in Kashmir, you don’t have to look far to know who did it.

The reaction of Muslims living in Paris and other urban centers in France was to devote themselves for weeks to burning cars and other mayhem when they became incensed and, in London, native-born Muslims of Pakistani descent so no reason why they shouldn’t kill their countrymen on buses and in the subways of London.

To this day, there are Americans so frightened of the notion of a holy war—a Jihad—against the United States (and the West) that they cannot bring themselves to accept the fact that it was Muslims who hijacked four commercial jets and flew two of them into the Twin Towers and one into the Pentagon in 2001.

Instead, they embrace ludicrous conspiracy theories that the Bush administration did it. In the Middle East and elsewhere, Muslims are so convinced that Arabs could not have been smart enough to pull off 9-11 that it is widely believed that it was done by Jews. Strangely, despite Osama bin Laden’s many efforts to take credit, they don’t even want to believe him!

So, what did the Pope say? With supreme irony, his speech was devoted to faith and reason. Suffice it say, this Pope is an intellectual, a man deeply interested in questions regarding the exercise of both faith and reason.

The words of his lengthy presentation that led to the usual rioting with which we most associate the Middle East, but no longer limited to it, were a quote from the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus as he engaged in a dialogue with “an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both.”

The discussion took place around 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara. It was the emperor who wrote down the account of the discussion during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402.

In the account of the seventh conversation, the Pope notes that the emperor “touches upon the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256, reads: ‘There is no compulsion in religion,’” but as the Pope pointed out, “According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.”

Later surahs, however, reflect a very different point of view, and the Pope quotes the emperor who wrote “Show me just what Mohammad brought that was new, and there you find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

“Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul,” said the Pope, extrapolating on what the emperor from so long ago had observed. An emperor who said, “God is not pleased by blood and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body.”

“Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats,” said Emperor Paleologus. “To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”

History demonstrates that Islam was spread rather swiftly after the death of Muhammad in 632AD and that was accomplished as much by the sword as by any other means. Those who refused to accept Muhammad as the new prophet of the new god he proclaimed frequently found their heads separated from their body. Even today, Islam’s prescribed punishment for apostasy or adopting another faith is death.

It was this resort to historic violence the Pope was addressing and the Islamic response was violence.

There are layers of irony in both the Pope’s speech and the Islamic response because Benedict XVI is the leader of a Church known for its orthodoxy and he was an enforcer of that orthodoxy in a former Vatican role. The speech was a fascinating and powerful call for reason as an essential component of faith.

Suffice it to say it is a speech that only an intellectual could deliver and only an intellectual—someone devoted to the world of ideas, free expression, and the truth—could or would read in full and in depth. Towards the end, the Pope said, “The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality, and can only suffer great harm thereby.”

The rational response to the violence of Islam these days is to fight it, to suppress it, to insure that it does not overwhelm and destroy the great triumph of the West that has given us the Renaissance, the Reformation, scientific inquiry, and all the many advances that have brought advanced societies into the modern era.

A Western civilization that will not recognize the essential role that Judaism and Christianity played in its development and will not defend its faith in these religions and the right of other faiths to exist unthreatened, will fall victim to the irrationality and violence of Islam, and the light of reason will be turned off.

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, “Warning Signs”, posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, http://www.anxietycenter.com/. His new book, “Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy”, has just been published by Merril Press.

© Alan Caruba, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Should the Pope Apologize? Hell, NO!

Well, those practitioners of the Religion of Peace are acting “unpeaceful” again!

This time it’s not mere cartoons they are raging about. This time it is remarks made by Pope Benedict (the XVI) in which he quotes Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus. The remarks, by the emperor, are thought to have been delivered in a dialogue between the emperor and a learned Persian sometime between 1394 and 1402.

You can find the prepared text from which the Pope spoke as he addressed an audience at University of Regensburg on September 12th, 2006 at “Catholic World News” here:

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=46474

We recommend you read the entire text of the Pope’s address.

Now, as a protestant, I’m not swayed by what the Pope says, one way or another, on anything. That being said, he is an important figure, on the world stage, and commands the respect of much of the world’s Christian community.

We Americans, known as “The Great Satan”, by much of the Islamic community, have become so used to the guarantee of Freedom of Speech given us, as a right, by our nation’s constitution, that we find it astounding that a people, any people, can be so thin skinned as to not be able to withstand a little criticism. The world's Christian community would have folded, a couple of centuries ago, had we reacted to criticism in like manner. Instead, we grew strong, and vibrant, as a result.

If one studies a bit of the history of the Christian church, one will quickly conclude that the persecution of the Christian Church, in it’s early days, did more to ensure the survival of the Christian faith, and the spread of the Christian faith, than, quite possibly, anything else in the church’s history… since the Resurrection. And yet, another of the world’s major religions cannot withstand a reference to a critical quote made by a dead emperor from the 14th century!

Oh, and one more thing… as you view the pictures of the raging Islamic(s) on the pages of your newspapers, and on your TV screens, and the Internet, please know that THESE are the people on the verge of creating an atomic bomb. Ask yourselves… do these people look stable enough, to you, to allow them to get their hands on an Atomic bomb???

OK, OK, I know Pakistan has the bomb… and that worries me deeply. Any sane person has to know that Mussharif will eventual succumb to an assassin, or will leave office, in Pakistan, in some fashion. When that happens, there is a very good chance that Pakistan’s bomb will fall into the hands of Islamic terrorists. Or, that Iran will eventually create The Bomb upon which they are feverishly working. In either event, the world will face the horrors of the Islamic Bomb!

I have no doubt that the US Government has contingency plans for neutralizing Pakistan, when that day comes, and, as an American, I am assured, by my President, that Iran will not be allowed to complete the creation of their bomb. Granted, that may be grasping at straws, on my part, but I am convinced that Iran will be hit, and hit hard, within a few months, by the combined militaries of the Western Powers.

In the meantime, we hope the Pope doesn’t fold to Islamic pressure and… the “appeasers” within the Catholic Church, and the Vatican itself, and apologize for doing nothing wrong. Now is not the time to show weakness, of any kind, in the face of a Third World War waged by those practitioners of the Religion of Peace.


Longstreet

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Worldwide Tax???

(This Post First Ran in January of 2005.)

A Worldwide Tax?

Not so many weeks ago, there was talk at the UN of a worldwide tax for something or other. We laughed it off. The UN is so puffed-up with it’s own self-importance nothing much surprises us coming from that crowd of international scalawags.

Now our old friend (Well, he SAYS he’s our Old Friend!) Jacques Chirac, of France, is proposing much the same thing. This time it is to alleviate the Aids situation in Africa. Ostensibly.

Look, “Ole Jack” is so far over the top he is verging on the “pitiful”. His ambition to become the President of the United States of Europe is fogging what little brain he has left. He spews forth these idyllic hallucinations as a matter of course these days. Ole Jack needs help. Serious help. His inferiority complex, and that of his nation, France, is getting out of hand… again.

The socialism of Europe is not going to fly in America, as the Democratic Party is learning… much to their chagrin. The Southern States will not allow it. The northern states will most likely slip away, at some point in the future, into the cesspool of socialism such as that of Jacques Chirac and the Old Europe.

So, when Chirac, or the UN, begins talking about a "worldwide tax", we Southerners laugh. I mean… a “body shaking” belly laugh. The ridiculous proposal is, in fact laughable, but it also a fa├žade for danger. The danger lurking behind it is encroaching Socialism and "One World Government".

We Southerners are not “Globalists”. Even today we want ”to be left alone”. We are not interested in becoming a part of any “One World Government”. We will be on the front lines in the fight to stop such proposals as a worldwide tax, proposed by Mr. Chirac, or the push for Global Government.

It is always good to remember that Thomas Jefferson said: “The price of Freedom is eternal vigilance.” These days we must watch even those who call themselves “our friends”.

Your Obedient Servant,

Longstreet

Saturday, September 16, 2006

America’s Suicide

(This Post First Ran in June of 2006!)

We have a country so torn about whether it wants to be free, or a socialist slave nation, a country which is so ignorant of it’s own rights and privileges as well as it’s responsibilities, under the US Constitution, and so utterly ignorant of the actual laws of the US that it behooves us from time to time to stop, take a deep breath and try to decide who we are, what we are, and where we are headed.

We are a nation at war. Our enemies have sworn to wipe us out. That, in itself, is not new. It seems some nation, or group of nations, or fanatics, has been trying that since, well, 1776. So far, we are still here.

Having said that, I think we are as close to collapsing, as a free nation, as we have ever been… at any time in our history.

Our educational system has failed this country. It has failed the would be beneficiaries of it’s knowledge. We now have a couple of generations, in existence right now, who haven’t a clue who they are. Why? Because our educational system no longer teaches history. I don’t mean the politically correct garbage, disguised as history, in order to sell our students a bill of goods in an attempt to create support for a political system that will eventually replace the capitalist system upon which the nation was founded and upon which it has flourished. No, I mean real history, the raw, gritty, stuff that does not shrink from teaching us of our failures and our triumphs. The story that helps us to understand who we are and how we got here, the story that creates pride in oneself and pride in one’s nation.

Further, it teaches our students that the United States is a Representative Republic, not a Democracy, as they have been taught to believe. A history that teaches our students that there is, indeed, and AMERICAN CULTURE. A singular culture, created by our ancestors, and to which each generation contributes, good or bad, as the generations come onto, and pass from, the American scene.

I’m speaking of a history that teaches our youngsters how laws are made, how laws are used, and how laws are tested. It teaches them respect for the law. It teaches them that in America, very little is asked of it’s citizens, except that they obey the laws which were created by the representatives their parents sent to the government of the United States for the sole purpose of making those laws.

The history I’m speaking of teaches that America is a country of law. Our society is based upon a code of law, which was based upon, among other things, the Ten Commandments of the Bible, English Common Law, and other codes.

Proper history teaches there are rights, privileges, and responsibilities, all tied up into one bundle and each citizen is handed that bundle at birth. It further teaches that for every infraction of a law, there is a punishment. It is the way civilization governs itself. If you break the law, you will be punished.

But, this is precisely what our American youth have no knowledge of. They haven’t a clue who, and what, they are. They no longer have the pride for their country and the passion, or love, for her that is necessary for a country to survive and thrive. It just isn’t there.

All great nations commit suicide. America is no different. We are in the process even as I write. We have been since, at least, the decade of the 1960’s.

I’m afraid America has reached and passed her “high water mark”. The descent into mediocrity began in the 1960’s and has increased at a frightening pace ever since.

I believe the American educational system has done this. It has gone from the premier educational system, in the world, to the rough equivalent of an educational system of a third world country. If a country wishes to destroy its educational system, the quickest and most efficient away to do that is to allow the teachers to unionize. The most powerful unions in America today, bar none, are the teacher’s unions.

Then, there are the politicians who make use of these ignorant products of the American Educational System and, boy, have they ever! We have a nation filled, to over flowing, with “Useful Idiots”! And there is no light at the end of that very long tunnel.

I suppose the gaudiest example of American ignorance resides in the American Left. (The old expression “birds of a feather”, etc.) Although, we have our share on the Right, as well, it seems most pronounced on the Left, I think, because of their propensity toward public displays of their ignorance. The glittering jewels of ignorance seem to, sort of, wash up on the shores of the Left and are immediately lauded, and praised, and placed in positions of prominence for the entire world to see. Examples: the anti-war movement, the global warming crowd, the pro choice crowd, the politically correct crowd, the ban the bomb crowd, the supporters of the UN crowd, the tolerance crowd, the multicultural crowd, and many groups which support strange and weird behavior. All these groups fall beneath the Left’s huge umbrella. Every so often one of them will pop up on the Right, only to be shut down and expelled. On the right, we don’t suffer fools lightly. If we find we are cursed with such a group, or individual, we relegate them to the backbenches, immediately, out of public view. We do not advertise and promote our fools.

It disturbs me, beyond mention, to note how quickly our nation has gone from an individualistic, God- fearing, “Can DO” nation, to a nation of dependent hedonists, who find the word “can’t” to be the course of least resistance and cling to it in hopes of being saved from themselves by a government every bit as helpless as themselves.

I must tell you, I believe there is something to what the preachers, and prophets, of old tried to tell us…and that was… that God would withdraw his favor from a nation, which chose to forsake Him. God must weep, regularly, when he views the mess we have made of this great, and glorious, land, to which, I am convinced, He led our Forefathers.

We find ourselves, as a country, today split into two camps. One camp wants to save the country, from itself, and restore it to its rightful position as that “shining city on a hill”. The other is bent on total destruction of what is left of that dream and what is left of the efforts of the founders of this unique experiment. As a member of the former group, I must tell you I feel we are losing to the latter group. Any proof you might need is splashed across your morning newspaper and the screens of your TV sets.

Can we save America? Frankly, I don’t think we can. When I survey the generations, upon whose shoulders that task will lie, I really fear for the survival of America.

You see, when you rob a people of their identity, you have taken everything from them. You can lead them wherever you wish…right off the cliff, if you wish. They will unquestioningly follow. They don’t know any better.

I see two generations, behind mine, neither of which has any clue who they are. Their destruction is assured. In their destruction lies the destruction of the once great land known as America.


Longstreet

Friday, September 15, 2006

US Government about to Fall to Socialist Democrats


The Mainstream Media is assuring US citizens the election in November will give the government of the United States back it's "rightful owners"... the Democratic Party!I have tell you, they may be correct this time.

Conservatives have their hackles up and the Republican Party is the object of their ire!

There is strong talk of punishing the GOP for turning it's back on Conservatives in the party... the people who got them into the positions of power they enjoy today. Yes, Dear Reader, GOP Conservatives are on the verge of sending as strong a message as is possible in an election year: "You let us down... now we're letting you down!" How, you may ask? By simply staying home on Election Day.

Conservatives have tried every other means, at their disposal, to get the attention of the party Big Wigs... and it didn't work. The "Blue Bloods" and the "Country Club Set", holding the reins of power, simply shunned the party faithful and took the GOP to a big government, liberal plateau, to which the conservatives are vehemently opposed.


To make matters even worse, they are bent upon forcing the party to accept another moderate-to-liberal candidate for President, John McCain. McCain is totally unacceptable to conservatives in the GOP.

Drastic? You bet it is! But there comes a time when an honorable man will be pushed no more. GOP conservatives have reached that point.

Now, we fully realize that turning the government, at least the House of Representatives, over to the Socialist Democrats will mean an almost certain impeachment of the President, and the risk of stepped up terrorist attacks here, within the United States (as well as abroad), a military which will be on the verge of mutiny, increased taxes, a rise in unemployment as a result of an increase in the federally mandated minimum wage, further relaxing of immigration laws allowing an even greater influx of illegal aliens across the southern border, enlargement of the welfare state, a drop in the quality of health care as a result of a national health care system, more activist federal judges to legislate from the bench, a rise in taxes, stronger environmental laws which will drive business from the US and force them to relocate overseas causing an even greater spike in unemployment, and worse, the transformation of the US from a Democratic Republic to a Socialist State. Oh, did I mention... a rise in taxes?

A gloomy outlook, what? You'd better believe it.

So, how, you may ask, can conservatives live with themselves while submitting the country, they proclaim to love, to all the dangers enumerated above?

It's called "Tough Love".

Two things must be made to happen: First the GOP must understand that it cannot shun its conservative base and expect to stay in power. Secondly, the People of the United States must be brought to a clear realization that the Democrat Party is no longer the Democrat Party of FDR, Truman, and Kennedy. It is now the Socialist Party of Castro, Hugo Chavez, and even Uncle Joe Stalin. It is no longer the party, which fought the Second World War. It is now a pacifist party. It is now a Marxist, Socialist, Party!

The Mainstream Media, which is the electronic voice of that great Socialist machine, has drowned out the "voices of reason" in favor of pipe dreams based upon the dreams of the followers of Karl Marx.

Freedom stands upon four boxes: the soapbox, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box. As each of the boxes is compromised, and lost to the Socialists, the level of danger to freedom in the US climbs even higher.

Our Socialist friends have complained and driven down the confidence of the American people in their government to the point that the electorate ks willing to invest the power of leading this country on their Socialist shoulders. All the while they have been complaining, they have yet to put forth any plans of their own to correct all the things about the GOP government they complain about. Why do you suppose that is? Simple, the Socialist Democrats know that if the American electorate actually heard the plans they have for America, they would never win another election in the US.

These are critical times. We have an enemy, which has infiltrated our borders and now lives among us... ready to wreak havoc upon the innocent civilian population of the US. They wait only for the laws to be relaxed as the Socialist Democrats have promised to do.


We have a military demoralized because they are not being allowed to win a war in which they are fighting and dying. The Socialist Democrats have vowed to demoralize the US military even further by forcing them to retreat in the face of the enemy.

Dark, dark, days are ahead for the once greatest nation in the history of this planet. But that is the hallmark of Socialism… darkness, stagnation, depression, demoralization, and a paranoia that eats away at the soul.

So, there you have it. As clearly as I am able, I have laid put what is in America's future upon the return of the Socialist Democrats to power. Much of the bad news you will never hear. As they control the press, the bad news will be buried and suppressed.

As the election draws nigh, it behooves each of us to search deeply in his, and her, soul for guidance before stepping into the election booth. It sounds trite, but the truth is that the future of America, the future safety of your family rides on your ballot.


Longstreet