I Never Thought I’d Live to be a Million

Listen to me, you young whippersnapper!Gates of Vienna just passed an important milestone: a million visitors have been logged on our site meter. The lucky 1,000,000th man or woman to pass through these gates was from the ISP Millenium Digital Media, in Seattle, Washington, at 12:55 am.

It happened a bit earlier than we expected, for two reasons. First, Tim Blair linked us last night and boosted our overnight traffic with a lot of additional Antipodean visitors. Welcome, visitors from Oz!

Secondly, just to complicate matters, we got an Instalanche late last night, and we had to rush this post to the printers so they could set the type and roll the presses by morning. Welcome, Instapundit readers!

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Actually, we must have passed the million mark a while back, because Dymphna and I were too dim to put a site meter on our blog until five or six months after we set up shop. I know we had at least a handful of visitors back in those early days, because some of them left comments.

But we’ll celebrate today, anyway.

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For our newer readers, Dymphna and I are a husband/wife team who took up blogging almost two years ago as a way of doing our small part against the Great Islamic Jihad. We live in Virginia, have a son in college, and are doing this even though we are old enough to know better.

Dymphna had the bright idea that we should interview each other for this occasion. Each of us made up five questions for the other, and here the results are below.

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Dymphna’s Questions for the Baron

You were the one who started this blog. What motivated you?

I knew that you were a really good writer, and wanted you to have an outlet for your writing. I also though it be therapeutic for you, a way to help you cope with your daughter’s death.

What was your greatest fear about beginning this project?

First it was that we would have no commenters.

Then I was afraid of being flamed or ridiculed by our commenters. We have been blessed by very little of either.

The Ranting ManWhat have you come to like the most?

Making the images, and writing the rants.

When I found the “Ranting Man”, it was an ideal confluence of both these impulses. It’s a lot of fun to write all those rants and tirades.

What has most surprised you?

The amount of traffic, and the number of links we get. I thought we would always be a small blog, one of many occupying a counter-jihad niche.

What made you most excited?

The day we got our link from Mark Steyn. Which happened to be last Saturday!

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The Baron’s questions for Dymphna

What were your goals when you started blogging?

Not to fall down in public and make a spectacle of myself.

What has been your most exciting moment?

The day I saw “Gates of Vienna” on Belmont Club’s blogroll. Remember how excited I was when I called you at work?

Also, the time I was interviewed by Norm Geras.

Who were your role models?

Wretchard’s analyses and synthesis, and Shrinkwrapped’s careful deliberative prose.

When do you think we’ll pass the two million mark?

Sooner than I’d be willing to guess. This seems to be an exponential process, at least for now.

What are you most grateful for about Gates of Vienna?

A place to write, to be read, and to receive feedback.

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We owe a big debt of gratitude to the people who helped give us a leg up. We couldn’t have made it to a million hits without encouragement (and links) from Wretchard, Roger Simon, Charles Johnson, and Norm Geras. We owe a special thanks to Fjordman, whose guest-posts have brought in many readers we wouldn’t otherwise have had, and who introduced us to all our delightful Scandinavian commenters.

Dymphna particularly wants to thank the Watcher of Weasels and all the present and former members of the Watcher’s Council for helping her find an audience.

And we’re grateful to all our readers, especially the ones who come to the comments to inform, argue, and discuss. In a civil and temperate manner, that is.

Fortress Switzerland

The people of Switzerland seem to have taken an object lesson from the Swedes and the British, and have decided to step back from the brink of the immigration cliff. According to AFP, Swiss voters have strongly approved a tightening of asylum laws:

According to early poll projections, Switzerland has voted heavily in favour of making it harder for asylum-seekers to gain entry to the rich Alpine state.

Despite warnings of damage to Switzerland’s humanitarian reputation, some two-thirds of voters appeared to have said ‘yes’ in referendums on laws limiting access for non-European job-seekers and making the country’s asylum rules amongst the West’s toughest.

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Ah, yes, “warnings” — a nice impersonal construct. Who was “warning” the Swiss? Kofi Annan? Human Rights Watch? The International Socialist Alliance? Or maybe the Arab League?

And it seems that voters are expected to pay more attention to Switzerland’s reputation than to their own physical and economic well-being. “Dietrich! Don’t vote ‘yes’ on that referendum! How could we hold our heads up in polite company if we passed such a racist law?”

Switzerland must have organizations analogous to the ACLU, left-wing spoilers that have the time, the money, and the know-how to put a spanner in the works of the democratic process:

The measures have already been passed by both parliament and the government, but opponents raised enough signatures to force a national vote.

AFP, being a good buddy of Reuters, knows how to frame the story, and makes sure to include the opinion of an “opponent”. Needless to say, it’s the only voter that they quote:

“I have voted ‘no’,” said 35-year-old Raphael Engel after casting his ballot in Geneva. “Europe is more and more becoming a fortress and Switzerland should set a humanitarian example.”

This reminds me of NPR back in 1984, covering Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory. The reporter stood outside a polling place, sticking a microphone into the face of voter after voter, but somehow only the clips of Mondale voters ever made it onto the air for “All Things Considered”.

The Swiss, instead of setting a humanitarian example, have decided to be a beacon of backwardness for the racists, bigots, and Islamophobes among us. More power to Switzerland!

Do you think Europe is starting to wake up? First the Swedish election, and now the referendum in Switzerland…

One by one the nations of Old Europe open their bleary eyes, clutch their aching heads, look at all the garbage and empty wine bottles around the room from last night’s wild socialism party, and moan, “What the hell was I thinking of?”



Hat tip: Reader LN and commenter Thanos.

Jihad on Wheels

Pimp my jihad!We’ve often said in this space that in ridicule is the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the Counter-Jihad; it’s one that our enemies have no defense against.

Now there’s a car dealership in Ohio that gets it, according to yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch:

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Some Columbus radio stations have rejected as insensitive an advertisement for a car dealership that invokes Islamic references.

The general manager of the dealership, though, says the promotions — which he called “tongue-in-cheek” — will air on some stations beginning next week.

In the spot, Keith Dennis of Dennis Mitsubishi talks about “launching a jihad on the automotive market.”

Sales representatives “will be wearing burqas all weekend long,” the ad says. One of the vehicles on sale “can comfortably seat up to 12 jihadists in the back.”

“Our prices are lower than the evildoers’ every day. Just ask the pope!” the ad says. “Friday is fatwa Friday, with free rubber swords for the kiddies.”

Don’t you love it?

Readers who are in or near Columbus: if you’re in need of a car, please go down to Dennis Mitsubishi and look at what they’ve got. Those guys deserve as much business as they can get — the bodyguards and bullet-proof vests are cutting into their profits.

Not everyone in the radio business is free of the PC mindset, however:

Jeff Wilson, general manager of Radio One stations WCKX (107.5 FM), WJYD (106.3 FM) and WXMG (98.9 FM), doesn’t intend to air the spot.

“We won’t play that,” Wilson said. “With no disrespect to their creativity or their desire to build business, everything we’re about is promoting the values of diversity. To air things of that sort would go against our mission statement.”

Yup. Got it. Mission Statement. Diversity. All the key words are in place.

But the general manager of Dennis Auto Point, Aaron Masterson, doesn’t see the problem:

Calling the commercial aggressive, Masterson said, “This is one where we feel we’re taking a bull’s-eye on terrorists. After all the nonsense that the terrorists put the public through, they’re fair game.”

He must be doing something right, because the usual suspects are offended:

The president of the Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, doesn’t think terrorism is to be taken lightly.

Asma Mobin-Uddin said she is concerned the ad’s tone and imagery are “mocking and disrespectful to many different areas. One is Islamic faith and Islamic culture.”

This commercial spot was written in-house by the dealership. You know as well as I do that no advertising agency or marketing firm would ever put such an ad together. Change comes from the bottom up.

If the manager of a car dealership in Columbus gets it, then anyone can get it.

After all these years of being mau-maued by CAIR, after all the treacly propaganda ladled onto their viewers and readers by the MSM, after all the diversity training and multicultural outreach forced onto the public by the politically correct power structure — despite all this, ordinary people are getting the message.

Despite the efforts of their betters, they understand the Islamic world all too well.



Hat tip: Alexis.

Some Days the Bear Eats You

An alert reader in Russia drew my attention to a Mosnews article from last week. It seems that Russian President Vladimir Putin recently paid a visit to Chechnya an billed himself as a friend and protector of Islam:

Putin Calls Russia Defender of Islamic World

The Russian BearRussia is the most reliable partner of the Islamic world and most faithful defender of its interests, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Chechnya’s capital Grozny. Putin unexpectedly visited the war-ravaged republic to speak in the local parliament that opened for its first sitting on Monday.

“Russia has always been the most faithful, reliable and consistent defender of the interests of the Islamic world. Russia has always been the best and most reliable partner and ally. By destroying Russia, these people (terrorists) destroy one of the main pillars of the Islamic world in the struggle for rights (of Islamic states) in the international arena, the struggle for their legitimate rights,” Putin was quoted by Itar —Tass as saying, drawing applause from Chechen parliamentarians.

If President Bush is to be believed, Russia is “a reliable partner in the War on Terror.” Do I smell a conflict of interest here? Can a “reliable and consistent defender of the interests of the Islamic world” also combat Islamic terrorism effectively under all circumstances?

A related story reports that the Russian parliament has voted to grant amnesty to Chechen terrorists. If a “militant” quits a recognized terrorist group and surrenders his arms, no further questions will be asked.

The end of the Mosnews story has this little piece of information, which may shed some light on Mr. Putin’s motives:

Russia, a country with a total population of approximately 144 million, has 23 million Muslim residents representing 38 peoples, according to the Council of Muftis of Russia.

That’s 16% of the population, which is a higher proportion of Muslims than in the population of India. And not only that, the population of Christians in Russia is declining much more drastically than that of the Hindus in India.

So Russia has a demographic problem. But the Russian government is aware of it: another news story outlines a state initiative designed to persuade Russians to start breeding again:

In a move clearly aimed at encouraging more births in this country, a top government official has come up with a plan to re-introduce the long-abandoned childless tax in Russia.

Speaking to the press after a seminar that focused on low birth rates in Russia health and social development minister Mikhail Zurabov suggested that childless taxpayers should help the state support families with children and thus at least partially assume the cost of encouraging more births.

[…]

In his state of the nation address earlier this year President Vladimir Putin said the most urgent problem facing Russia was its demographic crisis.

That’s one of those rare instances when Vladimir Putin and Mark Steyn agree on something.

Russia’s problem is much more severe than India’s, because the non-Muslim population in India is simply growing more slowly than the Muslim population, whereas Russia’s non-Muslim population is actually declining in absolute terms.

The country’s population is declining by at least 700,000 people each year, leading to slow depopulation of the northern and eastern extremes of Russia, the emergence of hundreds of uninhabited “ghost villages” and an increasingly aged workforce. Official Russian forecasts, along with those from international organizations like the UN, predict a decline from 146 million to between 80 and 100 million by 2050.

But in an exclusive interview to the BBC, Viktor Perevedentsev, who has been studying Russia’s population since the 1960s, said he believed even these figures may be overly optimistic. He said the decline was likely to accelerate and that the Russian leadership should accept the population had reached a “tipping point”, beyond which direct intervention would be ineffective.

The article doesn’t list the growth rate of the Muslim minority, but if Muslims in Russia are breeding like Muslims in nearby countries, a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates that in two generations they may well represent more than half the population.

Mr. Putin is a relatively young man, and presumably hopes to remain in power for the rest of his natural life. It seems that he has sensed which way the demographic winds are blowing, and has trimmed his sails to take advantage of this particular breeze.

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The Mosnews article about Russia’s demographic crisis has some additional commentary on the topic. The editorialist does not see Russia as being fundamentally different from the rest of Europe, but merely the worst-off in a set of demographic basket cases:

But, experts see no reason to believe that sanctions against the childless will do much to raise the birthrate. Germany, for instance, already spends more than any other country on family subsidies, and has the world’s second-highest taxes on childless singles (after Belgium).

Russian observers also doubt that such measures as re-introduction of childless tax in Russia will prompt people to have children. While rights activists denounce sanctions against the childless defending their freedom of choice, even those who back the idea in principle are not sure it will work.

These days in Russia many married couples are reluctant about having babies, even if they are well-off and can afford to multiply. Many of the generation of those who are now in their 30s and 40s have already developed a set of personal values and there is hardly a place for a kid in their lives. Maybe, they would not mind a surcharge to exonerate themselves. If, of course, they ever experience any pangs of guilt…

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The idea of bribing people into having babies will hardly work for middle class tax payers, who earn well enough not to ask for more from the government. As to fining people for not having babies, international experience shows that such schemes are not effective either. Besides, in a country where many employers are still reluctant to report their workers’ incomes in full to avoid taxation, the plan is even more likely to fail.

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Another reason why bribing people into having babies or forcing them into it through sanctions would not work is that our reluctance is rooted in our consumer mentality. We are no givers, but a generation of egoists whose choice between a screaming infant and a Zermatt ski vacation is easy to guess…

A childless tax? Well, perhaps, it is not such a bad idea, after all, as long as its size is reasonable. For, if it is not Russian taxpayers will not pay it. Instead, they will rather pay a doctor who will confirm their infertility. [emphasis added]

As Mark Steyn has frequently pointed out, it is a mistake to view demographic issues in purely economic terms. According to classical economic analysis, in earlier days couples had large families in order to assure themselves of financial security in their old age; that is, the explanation for high birthrates was purely an economic one.

By this argument, socialism and the welfare state have removed these incentives by providing lifelong security even for the childless. Hence people stop having babies, and the demographic crisis ensues.

But what if there are other non-economic reasons for having children?

There’s a well-established correlation between strong religious beliefs and family size. And it’s not just that the Bible says “be fruitful and multiply”, and the faithful behave like mindless automata and obey.

Having kids is an exhausting, thankless, and expensive task that takes up the most productive and energetic years of your life. If you believe there’s nothing to life but this material world and your own desires and pleasures, why would you decide to undertake such a burdensome effort? Better to enjoy the moment, not think about death, and live the good life while you can.

In the absence of a belief in something larger than oneself, no amount of state subsidy or punishment will be adequate to reverse the demographic disaster that is looming before the end of this century. Russia and Japan are simply worst-case scenarios; the same fate awaits the rest of Europe, Canada, China, and maybe even the United States.

The new generation that greets the dawn of the 22nd century will believe in something. The only question is whether it will be Allah or something else.



Hat Tip: commenter npabga.

As a matter of interest, I figured out the origin of the nickname “npabga”: it’s a visual simulacrum of the Russian word “правда”, or “pravda” (Russian for “truth”). Instead of transliterating the word, he has made the closest approximation to it in appearance, using lower-case Latin letters. Very clever.



Update (from Dymphna): I’d just like to mention — casually, of course — that on Mark Steyn’s mailbox page THERE’S A LINK TO THIS GATES OF VIENNA POST. Oh. My. God! Look on the right sidebar, under the headline “Russia: Bear Necessities”.

Better go look now; who knows how long it’ll be there? Just casually, though…

In Which Chester Has an Idea for an Adventure

Chester has a great idea. A reading club. Go here for details.

It’s still in the “if” stages, but your interest might help things get going.

Just another Adventure of Chester’s.

And since I tried without success to put up a comment , I’ll add here what I tried to say at his place:

I’d love to participate. I could read without feeling guilty…”oh, I’m not wasting time. I’m doing this for Chester’s reading club.”

I’d like to suggest Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals” but only if people can get it at the library…which I did this afternoon. The list price on the inside cover is $35.00. However, most libraries have it.

I’ll post a notice on Gates about your idea.

Y’all go over to Chester’s and put in your two cents’ worth. A bloggo book club is a timely idea.

The Coalition of the Thin-Skinned

“Please do not offer my god a peanut.”

Apu NahasapeemapetilonThat’s what Apu says after Homer mocks the statue of the god Ganesh, in the Simpsons episode “Homer the Heretic”. Apu is an Indian, or to be more precise, a Slurpee Indian, and not a Casino Indian.

Am I being offensive? You wait; I’m just getting warmed up.
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The Simpsons is no respecter of religions. Ned Flanders takes one for the Christians. Krusty the Clown’s rabbinical father takes one for the Jews. Hindus… New Agers… Atheists… Presumably, if Zoroastrians or Jains could be shoehorned into a script, they’d come in for some ribbing, too.

But not Muslims. Funny about that.

9-11 can’t be the cause, nor even the first attack on the WTC in 1993, because the classic Simpsons episodes predate those events. Maybe Salman Rushdie was an object lesson, warning the show’s writers away from the topic. Or maybe it was just writerly intuition.

Not many prominent Westerners are willing to mock Muslims. South Park tried, but Comedy Central was prudent enough to suppress the offending sequence. Jay Leno has just broken the taboo — we’ll see how long it will be before the fatwa is issued and the Prophet’s hit squads try to take him out. If he’s smart, he’ll get plastic surgery right now before moving to Ashtabula to live under an assumed name.

Muslims are sensitive about their religion, you see, and tend to react violently when it is defamed. Make fun of Islam, and your business could be torched. You, your wife, your children, your uncles, and your cousins could be killed. Don’t mess with those guys.

But Muslims aren’t the only ones. Religion-, race-, and gender-based hypersensitivity has become a national preoccupation. With less violent results, mind you, but victimology is still a prominent pastime.

Maybe it started with the Anti-Defamation League, and then spread to the Italians. The Indians (Casino Indians, that is) took it up, or at least the faux Indian, Ward Churchill, did. If you believe the legacy media, women, homosexuals, transvestites — all are ready to be offended.

This is a media-driven phenomenon, hyped on the airwaves and cheered on by trial lawyers. When an African-American woman is ready to sue an airline because a stewardess said “eeny-meeny-miney-moe”, you know that things have reached epidemic proportions.

The little chinamanIf you happen to use one of the increasingly numerous forbidden words or phrases, you could be in big trouble, especially if it occurs on the job or in an academic institution.

It doesn’t matter that when you used the phrase “a chink in the armor”, you didn’t mean a Chinese knight. It’s re-education camp diversity training workshop time for you, bub!

And this used to be a free country. Funny about that.

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If you look at archives of political cartoons from the mid-19th century, you’ll find a cornucopia of raunchy, vulgar, and insulting disrespect. Those cartoonists could give the Daily Kos guys a run for their money. Perhaps the objects of scorn were just as offended as their counterparts are today, but such treatment was not culturally verboten back then. It wasn’t just ethnic stereotyping; you were fair game if you were a Baptist, or from Tennessee, or a teetotaler. If you didn’t have a thick skin, you had no business being in politics.

Rastus CigarsWhence came this inalienable right not to be offended? Why the recent public requirement to cater to the terminally sensitive?

You’ll notice that not every group is included in the protected species list. It’s always open season on members of my tribe, the White European Males, dead or otherwise. But, hey, we’re the cruel oppressors and masters of the corporate power structure, so we can take it, right?

But how about the Irish? How come it’s still OK to make fun of the Irish? It’s not like they’re at the top of the ethnic heap.

Years ago, when I had perhaps taken more adult beverages than was wise, I said to Dymphna, “The only difference between the Irish and the English is that an Englishman has a father’s name on his birth certificate.”

My spouse laughed very hard, put down her drink, and kicked me in the male generative organs. Then she slapped me on the back and said, “It’s a good thing you’re amusing!”

If the Irish are strong enough to take it, why not the rest of us? What’s wrong with everybody?

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The new politically correct game has some rules:

1.   Mortgage diversityA protected group may not be depicted, described, or in any way represented as distinct, except by members of the same group.

This is why football teams can’t be named for Indian tribes, even if the Indians don’t care. A member of another race can’t take the part of a black character in a play or a movie. If you’re not a member of the group, such representations are inauthentic and forbidden.

It’s also why the people in the mortgage loan ads or the kids on a vaccination poster in the doctor’s office always look exactly alike except for their skin color and facial features. The “brown people” are just honkies whose faces are covered with shoe polish.
 

2.   No negative characteristics, implied or overt, may be used in any depiction of a protected person.

Indians are never drunk. Black people never eat fried chicken. Italians are never criminals.
 

3.   The Multicultural FestivalThere is only one circumstance in which distinctive ethnic characteristics may appear: the Multicultural Festival.

That’s when we eat chitlins and tacos. That’s when protected people dance in their serapes or saris. It’s OK then. It’s blessed by the PC authorities because we’re not stereotyping, we’re celebrating diversity.

It looks the same, though. Funny about that.

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The little Dutch boyPolack jokes have already entered the dustbin of history. My brother, who is most emphatically un-PC, converted all of his repertoire into West Virginian jokes. But even hillbillies have been ruled out of bounds, and have become “Appalachian-Americans”. No, I’m not making that one up. Google it; you’ll see.

It won’t be long before the Irish, the Swedes, the Dutch, and the Danes are added to the rolls of The Protected. Then there won’t be anyone left but us male WASPS, the ultimate monsters, always oppressing everyone else, even while bound like Gulliver by the Lilliputian PC ropes of the Postmodern Age.

All of this absurdity is yet another aspect of the Demonic Convergence, in which Marxism, Political Correctness, Multiculturalism, and Islam are merging into a single amorphous blob, the Party of Fellow Travelers and Strange Bedfellows.

Presumably the PC Masters will keep on calling the shots and enforcing the rules right up until the day when the Shari’ah is instituted, and they themselves either have to pay the jizyah, say ash haduallaa ilaaha il-lallaah wa ash hadu anna muhammadar rasullulah, or die.

That will be the same day that Madonna is forced into the hijab, and a stone wall is toppled onto Elton John.

A Sure Cure for Paranoid Hysteria and Stuffed Shirts: Ridicule

First, Hot Air has a short take on Jay Leno’s warm-up patter. H.A. didn’t find the jokes very funny, but Gates of Vienna doesn’t get out much; we are easily amused. Be sure to take a look at the video and let us know your considered opinion. Want your own fatwa?

Meanwhile, TownHall has an amusing cartoon about the pope’s miter — i.e., that “funny hat” he wears.
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H.Payne at Townhall News


The cartoonist, H. Payne, has unwittingly stepped on an ants’ nest here: Benedict XVI’s coat of arms has an image of a miter instead of the usual papal tiara, much to the disgust of traditional heraldists. And he also has a picture of a Moor (a Muslim), whose identity is in question. If icons are your bag — they fascinate me — Wikipedia has a wonderfully detailed description of Benedict’s choices for his coat of arms.

Benedict XVIMakes me think ‘twould be fun to invent my own. Everybody ought to have a coat of arms. The coming generation seems to be regressing to an earlier stage of history — illiteracy — so having a coat of arms would allow one to be identified. Much better than a national I.D. card, don’t you think?

(Hey, Baron, are you busy right now? I have an idea for an image… I promise, it won’t take you long. Yes, I know I’ve said that before, but honest, this one is easy as pie. See, all you have to do is…)

What would appear on your coat of arms?

As I was putting up the larger image of the Pope joke, I noticed another Jay Leno quote on the sidebar of the same page:

Jay Leno: “President Clinton is still very upset that ABC did not pull the movie. He wanted the movie pulled. If fact, he told them that he was thinking about changing his mind about appearing op the show ‘Wife Swap.’”

Notice that (as befits ex-presidents) Mr. Clinton is no longer center stage. For a man of his egotistical proportions (he can lift well over his size), being relegated to the sidebar must be akin to having entered Dante’s Purgatorio.

Meanwhile, laugh! It’s Friday after all… time to rejoice (because it’s not Monday — that’s why).

Gates of Vienna on WND!

The Mexican PledgeThis morning’s World Net Daily has a discussion of the Mexican Pledge of Allegiance affair, and it not only mentions of Gates of Vienna, but gives us a link, too. I’m particularly pleased that they used my photoshop job for their illustration.

Readers might want to drop by there, because the article quotes at least two of our commenters by name. You’ll have to go over there and read it to find out if you’re one of them…

The Cycle of Warnings Has Ended

Sultan Mehmud Ghaznawi with his lover Ayaz greets the SheykhLast Saturday Northeast Intelligence Network posted an interview with Al Qaeda leader Abu Dawood. According to the report, Abu Dawood summoned Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir by cell phone, and the two met on the outskirts of Kabul, at the tomb of Sultan Mehmoud Ghaznawi, on September 12th.

Abu Dawood said that America has received its last warning from Al Qaeda. The mujahideen are poised to launch a major new attack, this time with chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons smuggled across the border from Mexico.
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I have no idea if this interview is genuine; I can find only the original Northeast Intelligence Network report and its derivatives on the web, and have no independent confirmation of it.

The whole thing could be completely bogus. It could well be disinformation; a taqiyya operation designed to tie up American intelligence assets in a snipe hunt.

But if there’s any accuracy to it, we can expect something big to happen in the next few days or weeks.

Some excerpts from the interview:

America is playing with the security of Muslims all over the world, now it is our turn again. Our brothers are ready to attack inside America. We will breach their security again. There is no timeframe for our attack inside America; we can do it any time.

…a bigger attack than September 11th 2001. Brother Adnan [el Shukrijumah] will lead that attack, Inshallah… He is an American and a friend of Muhammad Atta, who led 9/11 attacks five years ago. We call him “Jaffer al Tayyar” [“Jafer the Pilot”]; he is very brave and intelligent. Bush is aware that brother Adnan has smuggled deadly materials inside America from the Mexican border. Bush is silent about him, because he doesn’t want to panic his people.

[…]

The American Muslims are like a human shield for our enemy; they must leave New York and Washington… We have a different plan for the next attack. You will see. Americans will hardly find out any Muslim names, after the next attack. Most of our brothers are living in Western countries, with Jewish and Christian names, with passports of Western countries. This time, someone with the name of Muhammad Atta will not attack inside America, it would be some David, Richard or Peter.

…I am saying that Muslims must leave America, but we can attack America anytime. Our cycle of warnings has been completed, now we have fresh edicts from some prominent Muslim scholars to destroy our enemy, this is our defending of Jihad; the enemy has entered in our homes and we have the right to enter in their homes, they are killing us, we will kill them.

Read the whole thing here.



Hat tip: R. O’S.

“You’ll Never Know What We Did”

This post from Callimachus deserves a breadth and depth of coverage that it will never get. The injustice in this story is wrenching, not just for us, but especially for the Iraqis, and for those like the story teller below.

Callimachus has put up a long entry from a woman named Kat who worked in Iraq on construction – and reconstruction – for two years. She is understandably sad and bitter about the memory hole into which her efforts disappear before they’re even finished. It seems almost deliberately evil, the ignorance we have toward what has been accomplished. But let her speak for herself:
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Reconstruction is the eternally under-reported third leg of the Iraq story (the other two are overthrow of Saddam and removal of his threat, and establishing a stable Iraqi popular control of the country). It was part of what we went in there to do, and its success or failure is part of the full measure of success or failure of our entire operation.

Yet on this important story, our media blew it. Who can name a single contractor who did work in Iraq, besides the one that begins with “H” and maybe Blackwater USA? How many people can describe accurately the relationship between Halliburton and KBR? How many faces of Iraq contractors did you ever see in the news, except the ones who got kidnapped and beheaded? How many were the subject of news stories, or were quoted in any of them?

Among many other things, Kat says, disgustedly:

I need to say, I have a lot of anger here, and I apologize for that. Unfortunately I think you’re going to see a lot more of it in the future from others, especially if this war continues to be played more like a political football game than a real war within the press and much of the government. There’s a lot at stake, from the kids like my little brother that we have fighting it, through the people who have tried to rebuild Iraq, to the long-term futures of several nations.

It’s just not as trivial as it continues to be presented, on any level. Some in the media tend to believe the Iraq story can only be related through scenes of blood. They are still trying to find the monks burning, or the naked children running along the roads of Viet Nam. But there is much more to this war than that, and now, just as then, they simply miss the big picture.

From what I saw, much of the media is simply lazy, and most of it is more concerned with money and personal politics than in delivering a good product with honesty. This is an opinion, and is a nasty, crappy thing to say to people who spend countless hours busting their asses in a tearing rush to deliver basic news to people. But understand, I’m not addressing that comment to the rank and file whose job it is to take what is available and deliver it to the masses. I’m speaking to those who decide what news to actually cover, and to those who actually provide the coverage.

If nothing else, read her section on Halliburton and the one on “The Big Picture.

This is a crucial post. Thank you Kat, for writing it, and thank you, Callimachus, for putting this story up for the rest of us.

Come on Time.com, you claim you’re reading blogs ( we got a mass emailing from them yesterday saying so…thus it must be true, hmmm?). Well, read this one. And I dare you to have the humility to print it.

No Hay Niño Que Se Deja Detrás

Prometo lealtad a la bandera…September 16th was Mexico’s independence day, so principal Sam Williams of Velasco Elementary School in Clute, Texas had a good idea. Last Friday he brought in some Mexican parents to help, handed out Mexican flags to the kids, and had the pledge of allegiance to the flag recited in class. Unfortunately, it was a pledge to the Mexican flag.

Mr. Williams didn’t realize there was a problem until an Anglo parent called into local talk radio (go to Hot Air for the audio from Chris Baker’s talk radio show) to complain about what happened. That lit a fire under Mr. Williams’ asparagus, and now he’s feeling a little sorry for himself.

Folks, these are your tax dollars at work. Or the tax dollars of Texans, anyway.

Though there could be some of Uncle Sugar’s dollars involved — it might be a new federal program, after all, one in which no child is left behind saying Prometo lealtad a la bandera…



Hat tip: Florida Cracker.

Five Arguments Against Conciliation

Conciliation HallPresident Bush was seen as “conciliatory” towards Islam in his speech at the UN yesterday. Pope Benedict XVI and his spokesmen have been “conciliatory”, if not downright groveling, in their most recent responses to Muslim rage over the Holy Father’s recent speech at Regensburg.

Anyone who gets his information from the legacy media — which, unfortunately, still includes most people — is reminded that the West and its leaders need to be more “conciliatory” towards Muslims, to “initiate dialogue”, to “learn more about Islam”, etc blah yak. If only we would give that extra inch, or ell, or mile, why, then Islam would turn a sunny countenance upon us, peace would reign, and all would be well.

I’m here to drop a coprolite in that particular punchbowl. I’m opposed to conciliation, and I’ll give you five reasons why it’s a bad idea:
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1.   It’s wrong.
2.   It’s a strategic blunder.
3.   It will never achieve its objective.
4.   It’s a one-way ratchet.
5.   We harm ourselves when we do it.

These reasons run the gamut from simple moral calculus to the cold appraisal of self-interest. Here’s a more detailed elaboration for each of them.

1. It’s wrong.

When the “Muslim street” becomes enraged and demands conciliatory behavior, it’s always because someone has spoken the plain truth, usually about the Islamic propensity for violence.

Since they are irony-impaired, the enraged Muslims generally respond to such provocations with violence, and the vicious circle of the West’s interactions with Islam is elegantly completed:

“You guys tend to be violent.”

“How dare you insult my honor in such a fashion? I shall cut off your head for saying that!”

One has the option of remaining silent about such matters, in order to avoid the wrath of thin-skinned Muslims. But, having spoken the plain historic truth, it is wrong to back down. If I do so, then I either lied before, or am lying now for cowardly reasons.

Either one is wrong.

2. It’s a strategic blunder.

It’s a well-established fact that being conciliatory towards Muslims only emboldens them to make more demands. The tribal culture of the Arabs (and Muslims in general) sees conciliatory behavior as evidence of weakness, and is thus moved to press for even greater concessions.

A cursory glance at the “peace process” concerning the Palestinian territories, especially since Oslo, will underscore this fact. Every time Israel has made concessions to its enemies, it has been rewarded with more violence and carnage.

Conciliation towards the Palestinians means more dead Jews. It’s as simple as that. The behavior of successive Israeli governments in the face of this evidence has a kind of perverse obstinacy about it.

3. It will never achieve its objective.

Islam has historically been an aggressive and violent political force. It is relatively subdued only when it is outgunned.

Being conciliatory towards an irredeemably aggressive negotiating partner can only bring temporary and illusory advantages. Your interlocutor will make the right noises, smile, and wait for the opportunity to put the knife at your throat again.

Our mistake is to see the Islamic enemy as basically like ourselves. These chaps may look different and have some strange customs, but we’re all the same under the skin, don’t you know?

No, we’re not. The well-entrenched mental, social, cultural, and political system evolved by Islam over the last fourteen hundred years relies on the combination of aggression and deceit to gain its objective, which is to expand until it fills the entire earth.

The only restraint it will recognize is overwhelming force on our part, and the obvious willingness to use it.

4. It’s a one-way ratchet.

Whenever a concession is made to Islam, another waits in the wings, ready to be rolled out onto the stage to take its place. It’s like the Sudetenland in 1938, over and over again. Lop off one piece and give it Hitler, and then another, and another, but somehow it’s never quite enough.

And, if you watch carefully, the Muslim negotiating partner never manages to carry through with his half of any compromise.

This process has been painfully evident, once again, with the Palestinians. Israel always has to complete its obligations under the terms of any agreement, regardless of the fact that the Palestinians never manage to implement their half of the bargain. In order for them to do that, Israel must jump through yet another hoop, and then another and another…

That’s why, thirteen years after the Oslo agreement, the PLO has never amended its charter to allow for the existence of Israel. Somehow they never quite manage to get around to it.

Concessions to Islam are a one-way ratchet in Islam’s favor. It’s a racket, and it’s time we acknowledged it.

5. We harm ourselves when we do it.

Every time we perform another act of abasement, every time we fall all over ourselves apologizing for insulting Muslims, every time we publicly pretend that Islam is the Religion of Peace, we are doing damage to our collective psyche. All these efforts fly in the face of the obvious truth: historically speaking, right up to the present moment, Islam has been the Religion of War.

The Demonic Convergence is drawing the Left and radical Islam into bed with each other, so that there are very strong forces in our public life which strive to convince us otherwise, that we are bad, bad people, racists and Islamophobes, for thinking such things. It produces a cognitive dissonance in the collective psyche of the West, because the average person, deep down, knows the truth.

We’re like a co-dependent in an alcoholic marriage. “Joe doesn’t drink very much. He’s not drunk; he’s just tired. He needs to unwind after the stress of his job. He’s just a social drinker.”

No he’s not: he’s an alcoholic. And Islam is violent.

Any further conciliation is crazy-making behavior on our part.

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Changing this situation is going to be a long and difficult process, because you and I, the average people, do not own or have influence over the megaphones of public communication. The media are effectively in the hands of the enemy, and, as a result, many more people will die before we stop trying to appease the Islamic tiger.

But, futile though it may be, I’ll say it again: it’s time to hear conciliations from the other side. No more conciliatory behavior until we do.

By their fruits ye shall know them.

Military Coup in Thailand?

Update: According to the latest news stories, the leader of the coup was chosen not because he is expected to get tough on the Muslim insurgency, but to pull a Kofi and negotiate with it (hat tip: LGF):

[Army commander Gen.] Sondhi [Boonyaratkalin], who is known to be close to Thailand’s revered constitutional monarch, will serve as acting prime minister, army spokesman Col. Akarat Chitroj said. Sondhi, well-regarded within the military, is a Muslim in this Buddhist-dominated nation.

Sondhi, 59, was selected last year to head the army partly because it was felt he could better deal with the Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand, where 1,700 people have been killed since 2004. Recently, Sondhi urged negotiations with the separatists in contrast to Thaksin’s hard-fisted approach. Many analysts have said that with Thaksin in power, peace in the south was unlikely.



It looks like a military coup might be underway in Thailand. According to CTV:

Thai protestsThailand’s prime minister has declared a “severe” state of emergency after rumours of a military coup swept the capital and tanks reportedly took position outside government headquarters.

“I declare Bangkok under a severe state of emergency,” Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said in a message broadcast on army-owned TV station Channel 5.

Reports say more than 10 tanks blocked roads around the government headquarters, as Army television broadcast images of the royal family and songs associated in the past with military coups.

Shinawatra said he was ordering the transfer of the country’s army chief to work in the prime minister’s office — effectively suspending him from his military duties.

The prime minister is in the middle of a political crisis as a street campaign is calling for him to step down amid allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

He has indicated he may step down as leader of the country after upcoming elections, but said for now he will stay at his party’s helm.

Prime Minister Thaksin has had problems in the past with accusations of corruption, and has been blamed for his failure to put down the Islamic terror insurgency in the south of the country. Earlier this year he faced the rumblings of a “people power” movement designed to force him to resign.

Massive rallies earlier this year forced Thaksin to dissolve Parliament and call for a snap election in April.

The poll was boycotted by opposition parties and later annulled by Thailand’s top courts, leaving the country without a working legislature.

New elections are scheduled for Oct. 15 but are likely to be postponed until at least November.

We’ll be watching the developments on this one.



Hat tip: Wally Ballou.

Wanted: Video Mockery

Pastorius has announced another contest at the Infidel Bloggers Alliance. The recent frenzy over the Pope’s speech has prompted him to ask for blogospheric response:

When the Muslims are angry, Infidel Bloggers Alliance steps up to the plate to make fun of them, the point being, make them angrier, because the angrier they get, the funnier they are.

This time it’s a Jihad Satire Video Contest. The idea is this:

1.   Grab a video camera.
2.   Wrap a towel around a friend’s head.
3.   Invent some amusing jihad antics.
4.   Tape the results.
5.   Post the video on YouTube; and then
6.   Leave the URL in the comments at the IBA post.

Pamela at Atlas Shrugs, Dymphna, and I will be the judges.

The photo on Pastorius’ post kept reminding me of something… What was it? The contorted faces; the furious screaming; the petulant demands…

Then I remembered: the classic R. Crumb comic strip sequence of the “Big Baby”. Here it is, redacted and suitably bowdlerized for this venue:

Big Baby, by R. Crumb


Too bad we couldn’t animate the strip and enter it in the contest!

Anyway, the deadline is October 9th. Make your videos, post them at YouTube, and list the URLs here. I can’t wait to see the results.