Get Your Red-Hot Council Winners Right Here

Watcher's CouncilRick Moran won in a walk on this week’s voting for his post on Cindy Sheehan. As he says in his summation,

     Sophocles rightly said “Only the dead are free from pain.” For Cindy Sheehan, there will come a time when she prays for the playwright’s wisdom to overtake her folly.

To which I would add, the best thing we could do for our moral well-being is to call a moratorium on discussions of this addled and desperate woman. To continue to pay attention to her is to play into the hands of her keepers and the MSM, both of whom use her to evil ends. It never behooves us to give evil attention unless we’re going to confront and end it. She has become malice personified and we take note of her at our own risk.

Or are we addicted to watching her? Have we fallen under the spell of her handlers now and must discuss her behavior whether we want to or not? In the years to come, cultural analysts will not be looking at the lady, they will be peering through the microscope at us, wondering what drove our intense focus on her. I wonder what conclusion they will come to?

The Lunatic Fringe, second place winner, is Doctor Sanity’s view of a condition called “acquired narcissism”:

     People with any type of narcissism believe their feelings and beliefs should be adopted by the world in general–if not voluntarily, then they are prepared to use violence. They believe that their needs are the center of everyone’s universe. When confronted by reality, they become enraged and frustrated that it won’t conform to their will. It makes them want to destroy reality. Like petulant children, they want what they want when they want it or they’ll threaten to do something horrible to you.

Sounds like the abusive men I used to work with during my years counseling battered women. We called them “emotional terrorists” back then. Seems like they passed their lessons on to the political realm.

In the non-council posts, Junkyard Blog exposes former President Clinton’s execrable behavior in attacking President Bush — not to mention William Jefferson’s attack on reality — by claiming Bush went into Iraq alone.

JB assesses this turn on Bush as evidence that Clinton has his finger in the wind and is taking the opportunity while he has it:

     … Clinton is nothing if not an opportunist. He is driving a knife into Bush’s back to finish him off and benefit himself. He senses some personal and political profit in renouncing everything he has said over the past ten years regarding Iraq to adopt a line that is 180 degrees out of sync. Recall that Clinton is perhaps the most cautious President we have ever had. He never made a move without consulting polls, and after the failure of HillaryCare he never introduced initiatives more daring than the V-Chip and school uniforms. Clinton is not by nature a bold man; the damage done to Bush after Katrina signals that he sees an opportunity and is willing to seize it.

Clinton’s mendacity is breath-taking. If politicians didn’t already have the lowest of low reputations, Clinton would have driven them to the bottom of the pond with this latest maneuvering. What a shameless human being he is.

Second place was split between Ace of Spades HQ and BlameBush!
The former says most succinctly what we have asserted here at Gates:

     You can either be advocates and agents of change or you can be disinterested reporters of news. You’re entitled to do either, but you cannot claim to be doing both simultaneously.
The unexamined lie at the heart of journalism is that these two contradictory missions can be reconciled through the “professionalism” learned at j-school.

The latter points out the sudden turnabout on the part of the Left wing, some of them becoming newly converted chicken hawks when it comes to sending troops into the aftermath of Katrina. Here’s his money quote:

     Don’t get me wrong. I love these progressive icons as much as abortion itself. Perhaps this sudden spurt of fascism is just a temporary case of insanity, like when the entire political left became flag-waving jingoists for about 10 minutes after 9/11. Michael Moore helped us get through our patriotic dementia, and were back to sneering at the Stars & Stripes before Bush could finish milking his Pet Goat.

What a wonderful summation! “I love these progressive icons as much as abortion itself.” That, fellow readers, is genius.

Meanwhile, back at the fort, The Watcher is keeping an eye on things. Go see all the offerings. While you’re there, give him a big gratias for all this work.

Sugar and Spice

Indian girlsIndia has a male-female ratio problem. Every Indian family prefers boys. For one thing, boys have the economic power in adulthood to take care of parents in their old age. For another, girls and their dowries and trying to marry them off are expensive propositions.

This seems contradictory to us, in our market-driven economy. For us, the value of a thing increases as it becomes rarer. However, in culturally-driven situations this rationale doesn’t necessarily hold sway. Women in India simply do not have the same status as men to begin with, and they certainly don’t have the earning power or the economic freedom after they marry to be able to take care of their parents. Once a woman marries she is under the thumb of her husband and her husband’s family. In some cases, she can be maneuvered into having to beg her family of origin for more “dowry money” even though she is already married and in theory has been accepted into her husband’s family at the asking price when the marriage took place.

Thus, as a result of cultural prejudice and India’s population control programs, there simply aren’t enough women to go around. As FuturePundit noted a few years ago:

     The adverse sex ratio has not increase the value of women by decreasing the supply. India’s population sex ratio worsened from 972 females per 1000 males in 1901 to 929 per 1000 in 1991. At the same time, women’s status steadily eroded despite gains in some sectors by some groups. A ‘shortage’ of women does not lead to their increased value, but to greater restrictions and control placed over them. In China, practices such as kidnapping and sale of women, organized import of wives from other countries, etc., have been noted as a result of the shortage of women there. The same might be predicted for India.

Now the Indian government has come up with a scheme it hopes will ameliorate the situation. Here’s the carrot:

     In a bid to correct the male-female sex ratio while promoting population control, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has decided to waive fees and hand scholarships to all girls from single-child families until the post-graduation level.
It will be effective from the next academic session in all non-professional courses. Any single girl child of parents who have consciously adopted family planning measures after the birth of their single child would be eligible under the scheme.

In order to get around what it sees as the need to prevent a rise in population, the government will only offer this free education to single-girl households. In families where there are two girls, only one will receive a free education.

In some ways this is a clever scheme because it hits a vital nerve for all Indians. They revere education and make sacrifices to insure that their children — especially the boys — receive good schooling. By offering this to the parents of girls, they level the playing field somewhat.

But only somewhat. There is still the cultural preference for boys and there is still the drive to sharply curtail the population. Thus girl fetuses are aborted at an alarming rate, as they are all over Asia. Criminalization of sex-preference abortions has had no effect on this trend, nor will it, at least not until the underlying economic fears are addressed.

Japan offers proof of this. There, girls are well-educated and are economically free to support their parents. So guess what happens?

     In a surprising repudiation of the traditional Asian values that for centuries have put a premium on producing male heirs, surveys show that up to 75 percent of young Japanese parents now prefer baby girls. Daughters are seen as cuter, easier to handle, more emotionally accessible and, ever more important in this fast-aging society, more likely to look after their elderly parents.

And there lies the key for any real change in valuing one gender over another. In a culture where girl children are economically free in adulthood, the parents are cared for. In places like India and China the boy-child choice is driven by economic circumstances, too. Until “family values” about who rules whom in marriage changes, offering freebies for having girls is not going to make any long-term difference.

One final observation about the consequences, historically, for boy and girl children in rural agricultural societies in the West, societies similar to the rural agrarian features of India. This one is from Germany:

     The analysis of records from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries turned up a couple of hundred cases where one spouse died, leaving a number of living children. In this monogamous, Christian, agricultural society, if a young wife lost her husband she almost invariably became very poor. Any sons that she had were unlikely to compete adequately with boys from richer families, but her daughters…always had some chance of marrying up the social ladder. An investment in daughters in this particular social situation had an adaptive biological significance and, as evolutionary biology would predict, the sons of widows were 36 per cent more likely to die in infancy and childhood than the daughters. When men lost their wives, however, their economic status did not change and they often had the opportunity to remarry; the sons of widowers were no more likely to die young than their daughters.

Just goes to show that Cinderella stories have some biological basis, hmm?

Hat tip: Fjordman

ICANN Isn’t Going Anywhere

This was going to be an update to the previous post on the UN and ICANN, but the subject matter is too important simply to be tacked-on as an after thought.

The Pedestrian Infidel, a blog devoted to the Axis of Islam, came over to leave a comment on the danger the UN represents to ICANN and to internet freedom. Following his comment back to the original post, here is his concern:

     For over a year now, the UN has been trying to take control of ICANN, the standards organization that oversees the Internet. Most important is the ‘root’ index of the Internet controlled by ICANN. That is where all those name addresses get resolved to an IP address. When you enter a URL, the root resolves the ‘.com’, ‘.org’, or any URL address ending in a country identifier.
You can look at the Google search for ‘UN ICANN control’ and just see how angry the UN and the Axis of Islam is that the US won’t relinquish control. It’s not that the US and the independent ICANN is doing a bad job. It’s about who controls ICANN during War! And money, as the UN wants to tax URL registrations, among other tax schemes that shithole is dreaming up for the West.

Do what he suggests: hit that link above. You’ll get over 300,000 hits, some of them dating back a bit. Here’s what Ars Technica had to say (in July of this year):

     the US has declared it will retain “its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file.” The “root zone file,” or Domain Name System (DNS), is composed of 13 computers containing the master lists of net suffixes, and is currently managed by private companies under the supervision of the US government. At the same time, the new policy also makes it clear that US will not interfere with country suffixes (ccTLD), as “governments have legitimate public policy and sovereignty concerns with respect to the management of their ccTLD.” Finally, the principles state that while the US will maintain ultimate DNS control, the technical, or day to day, operations can continue to be run by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Of course until yesterday, it had been assumed that ICANN would eventually take over ultimate control of the DNS.

Timing? The UN Report came out in June and Ars Technica is commenting on the Commerce Department’s response just a few days later. Commerce has a make-no-bones-about-it reply to the UN, the only kind they really understand. Ars Technica sums things up:

     While many will see this decision as another example of appalling US hegemony, the “principles” pretty much spell out what the real deal is.
Given the Internet’s importance to the world’s economy, it is essential that the underlying DNS of the Internet remain stable and secure.
As far as the US government is concerned, the Internet has become too important to the US economy to give up control. While this may be an unprincipled decision, does anyone really think that the Chinese, or the French, were the positions reversed, would act differently? As to whether countries like China or France will decide to create their own DNS, and thus fracture the Internet in to multiple competing networks, the costs and effort make it seem unlikely.
In short, all your DNS are belong to US.

“Unprincipled decision”? Exactly how is it unprincipled? Because we did it first and now must yield a strategically important node in order to be “fair”? Is that what would be principled, giving into the whiners because they don’t like the playing field?

So just who should run things instead? Bureaucratically moribund Europe? Mendacious and paranoid China who wouldn’t recognize Liberty if she came up and starting talking to them? Corrupt and reeling Russia? Let’s face it: if we put it to a secret world-wide vote America would win anyway. Yeah, they hate us, but they distrust one another far more. As for ICANN, the rest of the world’s hatred does not well up from some belief that we are incompetent; they hate us because we are so mind-blowingly successful. It’s not fair.

As I said previously, when crucial push comes to essential shove, Bush shoves. At least he has so far. Witness Kyoto and the International Court. Not to mention the assignment of John Bolton to The Quagmire. As one commenter noted after looking at the list of worthies who signed onto that UN report, the pigs are lining up at the trough.

The United Nations is a landscape that can be understood only if you have fallen thru the trap door and arrived in Wonderland with Alice. One would prefer to think that these people are on large daily doses of heroin rather than consider that their baseline normal mode of operations is actually what they let us see.

As the Infidel Pedestrian warns, we’d better stay vigilant.

Witches’ Brew at the UN

The Christian Science Monitor has some UN news for us. Or maybe just un-news. When you read it, you’ll mutter to yourself, “where is Al Gore these days?” though he seems — so far — to be innocent of this. The UN thought it up entirely on its own.

Here’s the deal: the UN wants to control the Internet. Or is it that the UN wants to make it so that the US doesn’t control the Internet?

To whichever end it has in mind, the UNnecessary and UNable (but definitely for-profit) Corporation on First Avenue in New York City has brought into being yet one more advisory group, this one named The (heh) Working Group on Internet Governance —- known to friends and neighbors as WGIG. And WGIG has spawned what all UN groups eventually bring forth: a report. This one was duly christened “Junior” as in [Report of] the Working Group on Internet Governance. The authors, weary from the rigors of urban life in New York City, repaired to a place called Château de Bossey during the gestation period and eventually birthed The Report in June of 2005. Cuban cigars all around, please.

And what a bouncing baby of a Report this one is. After all, we’re dealing with a Working Group here — as opposed to, say, a Boffing Group, or a Corrupting Group, or even a Scandal-for-Scandal’s Sake Group. Thus, instead of corruption, or naughty behavior, or throwing people into the pool, we have instead an immaculate twenty-four page Report. Or at least that’s all we have so far. The night is young yet…

And who are we to complain if it took almost fifty people to produce this make-work mindlessness brilliant proof of the necessity for the continued existence of the UN? That’s two plus people per page, so you can bet this is one darn fine piece of work. Just in case you need a job for your brother-in-law to contact one of these worthies, there follows a list of their names — that is if you can find their names in the midst of all the titles. They might take a tip from God, who, after all, usually limits his title to words of one or two syllables. Mention this if you call them, won’t you?

While you’re at it, remind them that the world-wide shortage on commas is over and they can start using them again to separate names from titles. For a moment there it looked like these people had last names like “Member” or “Director” or “Chief.” If they ask, suggest storing any extra commas in their clue bag since they don’t seem to be using that for its intended purpose.

Here you go (and no skipping. There will most certainly be a quiz on this material):

Membership and Secretariat of the Working Group on Internet Governance

Nitin Desai Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for the World Summit on the Information Society (Delhi/Mumbai)

Abdullah Al-Darrab Deputy Governor of Technical Affairs, Communications and Information Technology Commission of Saudi Arabia (Riyadh)
Carlos A. Afonso Director of Planning, Information Network for the Third Sector; Member, Brazil’s Internet Steering Committee; Member, Non-Commercial Users Constituency (Rio de Janeiro)
Peng Hwa Ang Dean, School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
Karen Banks Networking and Advocacy Coordinator, Association for Progressive Communications; Director, GreenNet (London)
Faryel Beji President and CEO, Tunisian Internet Agency (Tunis)
Vittorio Bertola Chairman, ICANN At Large Advisory Committee; President and CTO, Dynamic Fun (Turin)
José Alexandre Bicalho Member, Brazilian Internet Steering Committee; Adviser to the Board of Directors of the National Telecommunications Agency (Brasilia)
Kangsik Cheon Chief Operating Officer, International Business Development, Netpia (Seoul)
Trevor Clarke Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations Office at Geneva (Geneva) Avri Doria Research Consultant (Providence, Rhode Island)
William Drake President, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility; Senior Associate, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (Geneva)
Raúl Echeberría Executive Director/CEO, Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (Montevideo)
Dev Erriah Chairman, ICT Authority of Mauritius (Port Louis)
Baher Esmat Telecom Planning Manager, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of Egypt (Cairo)
Juan Fernandez Coordinator of the Commission of Electronic Commerce of Cuba (Havana)
Ayesha Hassan Senior Policy Manager for Electronic Business, IT and Telecommunications, International Chamber of Commerce (Paris)
David Hendon Director of Business Relations, United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry (London)
Qiheng Hu Adviser to the Science and Technology Commission of the Ministry of Information Industry of China; Former Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing)
Willy Jensen Director General, Norwegian Post and Telecom Authority (Oslo)
Wolfgang Kleinwächter Professor, International Communication Policy and Regulation, University of Aarhus (Aarhus)
Jovan Kurbalija Director, DiploFoundation, Geneva/La Valletta (Geneva)
Iosif Charles Legrand Senior Scientist, California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California)
Donald MacLean Director, MacLean Consulting (Ottawa)
Allen Miller Executive Director, World Information Technology and Services Alliance (Arlington, Virginia)
Jacqueline A. Morris Consultant (Port of Spain)
Olivier Nana Nzépa Coordinator, Africa Civil Society (Yaoundé)
Alejandro Pisanty Director of Computing Academic Services, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; Vice-Chairman of the Board of ICANN (Mexico City)
Khalilullah Qazi Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations Office at Geneva (Geneva) Rajashekar Ramaraj Managing Director, Sify Limited (Chennai (formerly Madras))
Masaaki Sakamaki Director, Computer Communications Division, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (Tokyo)
Joseph Sarr President, NTIC Commission, Dakar Regional Council (Dakar)
Peiman Seadat Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva (Geneva)
Charles Sha’ban Executive Director, Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (Amman)
Lyndall Shope-Mafole Chairperson, Presidential National Commission on Information Society and Development of South Africa (Pretoria)
Waudo Siganga Chairman, Computer Society of Kenya (Nairobi)
Juan Carlos Solines Moreno Executive Director, Gobierno Digital (Quito)
Mikhail Yakushev Director of legal support department, Ministry of Information Technology and Communications of the Russian Federation (Moscow)
Peter Zangl Deputy Director-General, Directorate General Information Society and Media, European Commission (Brussels)
Jean-Paul Zens First Counsellor, Director of the Media and Telecom Department, Ministry of State of Luxembourg (Luxembourg City)

Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator Frank March, Senior Programme Adviser
Tarek Cheniti, Consultant Hind Eltayeb, Administrative Assistant Robert Shaw, part-time, seconded by ITU
Howard Williams, part-time, seconded by the University of Strathclyde
David Satola, World Bank (part-time in his personal capacity)
Chengetai Masango, Intern (April-July 2005)
Chango Mawaki, Fellow, in association with DiploFoundation (June 2005)
Seiiti Arata, Fellow, in association with DiploFoundation (June 2005)
Dhrupad Mathur, Fellow, in association with DiploFoundation (June 2005)

Quite a slog, huh? Who’s your favorite on the list? I’m mighty fond of ol’ Karen Banks myself. She runs some company with “Progressive Communications” in the title. With that name, you know her place is just chock-a-block with affirmative hires. Or maybe the fellow who runs the company called “Dynamic Fun.” REMEMBER: it took the UN this many people to sacrifice their time to trek to a chateau and write a crucial, important 24 page report. A report with very wide margins on each page. A report whose glossary and lists of names took up a third of its length.

Now I aleady know what you want to do with this report, but what do its authors intend? Well, it’s like this: they are desirous of replacing old fuddy-duddy ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the non-profit group currently under the aegis of the US Department of Commerce which governs technical aspects of the Internet; it’s the go-to guy for domain names, etc. In the interests of commerce and fostering the growth of the internet, ICANN doesn’t interfere much in the highways and byways of cyberspace. At the moment, they’re mulling over whether or not to designate .xxx for porn sites, but generally speaking they keep a low profile.

I’ll get you, and your little dog, too!You can bet your bippy that will change if WGIG has any say in it because WGIG, in true UN form, wants to replace ICANN with… are you ready for this? …WICANN. No, that’s not a coven of witches. It’s the acronym for the proposed World Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. That’s right: global, transnational, inter-governmental agencies — pardon me, “stakeholders” — would be responsible for assigning domain names and for oversight of the internet. Instead of the US Department of Commerce, there would be a creature dubbed the “Global Internet Policy Council.”

There would be advisors and observers, aides and assistants, consultants and coordinators, the private sector and civil society operating “on an equal footing” —all to do what is already being done. In other words, there would be snafus, corruption, pedophilia and goldbrick operations served up with a global reach. Shudder.

All of this would happen so things would be “fair.” Well, of course. We can’t have the developed countries running IT when we could get Cuba or Luxembourg, those centers of cutting edge IT, doing things fairly and equitably and openly.

I wish I were making this up. Read it and weep. Then dry your tears and remember: we didn’t sign the Kyoto Protocol, we’re not part of the International Court. Repeat after me: there will be no stinkin’ WICANN, either. But buy your broom just in case we have to go up there and clean ’em out.

Your Identity is Whatever We Say it is

A woman in Malaysia who renounced Islam and changed her name to Lina Joy (from Azlina Jailani) has been told it’s a no go by the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya. Muslim she was and Muslim she will stay, at least as far as her identity card is concerned.

The court based its decision on the fact that Ms. Joy’s renunciation of Islam for Christianity had no bearing on the matter of identity. Furthermore, according to the same justices, she had no permission from the Shari’a court to make such a decision about who she is. This particular part of their fine print is most pointedly a farce, considering that any appeal to a Shari’a court to remove herself from the rolls of Islam is sufficient cause to have her killed as an apostate. These folks were dreamed up by Kafka and bequeathed to us when he died.

Specifically, one Justice, Datuk Faiza Thambi Chik, held that as Lina was a Malay, she could not renounce Islam. How religious affiliation follows from nationality was not elucidated, though to the Justices it all seemed perfectly clear. Justice Chik declares,

     The Director-General of the National Registration Department (NRD) was right in not allowing the application brought by Lina Joy.

For those of us who feel free to change our religious identity from one persuasion to another — as the Spirit moves us, so to speak — and for those of us at liberty to dispense with any religious affiliation whatsover, this ruling descends from the bench like a pronouncement from Mars.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Anglican bishops are busy apologizing for the bad West and its corrupt, violent and lethal depredations against Iraq. They would, no doubt, feel they’d found a spiritual home in the courthouse in Putrajaya.

Hat tip: Nubarrones Islamicos

Mitred and Malicious

A highly irrelevant group of dhimmified bishops from the Church of England has decided that nothing will do but that they should apologize to Muslim leaders for the war in Iraq.

     In the absence of a Government apology, a “truth and reconciliation commission” involving religious leaders could be formed to apologise for the West’s “errors”, the bishops say in a new report.

And precisely what “errors” are those, Your Graces? Freedom from Saddam Hussein, perhaps? Did “the West” harm Iraq by removing the festering wound of the Hussein family from power?

Or perhaps it was the mass graves? It that what Your Excellencies regret stopping?

Maybe it was the Oil for Food Program? Were any of you in on this mercy mission and wish to see it resume?

Perhaps it’s the Iraqi voting that annoys you? You prefer the old ways, where everyone voted for Saddam or else? Here’s what one Iraqi has to say about it:

     The Iraqi elections were truly a source of pride for Iraqis and a scene of bravery that deserves a lot of respect from the world and the time has come for the people to be rewarded for their bravery by their elected future leaders who need to address their responsibilities towards their people.
At the time the media and the interested observers are busy emphasizing on the violence in Iraq counting bodies (like war reporters do) they’re missing a great revolutionary change being made in Iraq towards democracy.
The talks for democracy are much louder a sound than the noise of guns; words and logic are the victors beyond any doubt and the effects of the change in Iraq are spreading across the region.
… Waleed Junbulat, the prominent Lebanese opposition leader who was against the war on Saddam at the beginning said “I was wrong. The sun that rose on Iraq on the 9th of April is now shedding her bright light on the rest of the region”.

With some exceptions, the Western mainline Christian churches are a disgrace. When they are not pandering to the Muslims with this kind of mindless claptrap, they are either voting for victimhood or prattling on about their anti-Semitic views regarding the Middle East. If they were not so irrelevant they’d be dangerous.

Thoughtful Christians of a less socialist bent than these fellows seem to have two choices when it comes to the expresssion of their religion: they can either become Evangelicals or they can contemplate joining the Roman Catholic Church. The ranks of both these groups are growing, while the withered flanks of the Anglican Communion run to catch up with the latest unappetizing but politically correct piece of ecclesiology served by one of their innumerable committees.

The Church of England is as good an argument for the separation of church and state as any I’ve seen put forth.

Hat tip: David Gillies at Daily Pundit.

UPDATE: Norm Geras has an excerpt of Nick Cohen’s essay in The Evening Standard. Here is a small snip and a suggestion to follow the link and rtwt (read the whole thing) —

     Iraq has been the greatest generator of hypocrisy of our times. It has sent the left lurching to the far-Right, pushed secularists into the arms of religious fundamentalists and spun round Liberal Democrats so violently that the real victims of the most illiberal and undemocratic regime on the planet – the Iraqi people – are faced with a wall of turned backs.
The power of the conflict to make everyone the opposite of what they pretend to be was confirmed this week by the splendid spectacle of bishops preaching in favour of sin.
Forget for the moment that it is cheap and pointless for bishops to apologize for a war they didn’t support, and consider their claims to be champions of truth…

Mr. Cohen goes on to point out that many of those in the mass graves of Saddam Hussein were Assyrian Christians, fellow pilgrims that the C.of E. (were its upper ranks not made up of blithering idjits-ed) should be supporting:

     I’m an atheist. But if I’m wrong about the afterlife, the bishops may one day have to explain the moral basis of their toleration of mass murder to a higher authority than newspaper scribblers.

Amen, Brother Cohen, Amen.

Strawberry Shortcake Does Jihad?

See Dick behead the infidel.Thanks to the miracle of Google Images, I happened upon a website today called Hilal Plaza.

The image you see at right is the cover of an ABC book for children learning Arabic script. Now, I ask you, where do you think those cute li’l scapers live? The West Bank? Islamabad? Nigeria? Jeddah?

Such adorable red-headed Arab boys ‘n’ girls!

Here’s the product info on the book:

     Detailed Description
This small workbook can help you learn the actual Arabic script as Arabs write it in everyday life. The book contains practice sentences and provides room for practicing the script. Contains 28 pages of Arabic script for practice.

I, for one, can’t wait to get started.

But Hilal Plaza isn’t only for children’s books. Their “About Us” page contains the following message:

     Welcome to, where we provide you with best of class Islamic clothing, Islamic Art and other quality products coupled with excellent service. Our Islamic Clothing includes a very wide variety of products that includes abaya, hijab, jilbab, denim western suits, long skirts and others. We also feature Islamic Books that are an excellent source of information for non-Muslims and Muslims. The books are meant for Adults as well as children.

No burqas. But the “denim western suits” were what interested me, because I couldn’t quite picture what they were — maybe matching denim pants and jackets with a string tie, and nice leather boots with Inshallah tooled on the sides? Unfortunately, I couldn’t find them.

However, I did see this:

     All items are shipped from the United States making shipping quick, and dependable.

So not only can you shop easily for what you want, you can “Buy American” at the same time!

I was most interested in jihad-related products, but a search within the site for “jihad” and “mujahideen” produced no results. I wonder why that might be?

My most serendipitous discovery was “Zamzam water”, which I had never heard of before. Here’s the product description:

     This zamzam water in a nicely packaged bottle is from the Zamzam well in Makkah. From a Islamic religious viewpoint, zamzam water can provide cure from sickness. Every year, millions of pilgrims that flcok to Makkah bring zamzam water with them to use for various cures and purposes.

And only $2.99 a quart! How can anyone resist?

My advice is to rsuh to Hilal Plaza so that you can qickly fill all your needs for Islam-related prdoucts.

An Amended Note to Our Readers

Phone service to our house just got knocked out. I am at work, but will have to return home immediately, because I can’t be out of contact with Dymphna for any length of time, given her precarious physical condition.

Since we have dial-up, this means that Gates of Vienna will be incommunicado for a while. But we will read and respond to comments eventually.

In the meantime, go visit Belmont Club or Dr. Sanity (or anyone else on our blogroll) to keep yourselves occupied and out of trouble…

UPDATE from Dymphna: the phone magically started working again. The phone fairies were having a bit of fun and got carried away. The ones who chewed the wires were sharply rebuked by their supervisor and have been made to crawl under the house and rub fairy spit on the whole works so that service just magically resumed. In other words, I haven’t the faintest idea why it quit working or why it resumed on its own.

If you’d ever met our phone repairman you’d know why I was not looking forward to a visit for repairs. That man can talk. I know his family stories now back to the last four great, excruciating detail I know them, down to his second cousin once removed and his 80 year old daddy who runs a mile every morning.

Does this mean service will continue unimpeded? Who knows? When things like this happen I remind myself I’m glad I only live in the Back of Beyond. I mean, it could be Russia and then who knows when the phone would be with us again?

Russia and the Caliphate Sign Non-Aggression Pact

Leaders finalize protocols to the Hudna of Lausanne

September 11, 2067
By Mahmud O’Connor, European Correspondent

Kinsky Palace, PraguePRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) — Meeting in the historic Kinsky Palace in Prague today, Russian President Yevgeny Ivanov and Caliph Hassan bin Laden signed the supplemental protocols to last year’s Hudna of Lausanne, paving the way for a final resolution of outstanding security issues in Europe.

The last several months have seen protracted wrangling over the disposition of Russian and Islamic troops, the status of certain territories, and the treatment of Orthodox Christians in the territories occupied by the Caliphate. “The Russians have driven a hard bargain, as usual,” said Omar al-Belgi, a spokesman for the Umma.

Under the terms of the agreement, Russia will occupy islands in the Baltic, including Gotland, and will be granted access to all of Poland and Romania. Switzerland and the Czech Republic will retain their neutrality, but Bulgaria will become part of the demilitarized “Dhimmi” zone, and Austria will be fully occupied by the Umma. According to sources close to the Caliph, bin Laden plans to name Mohammed bin Rashid al-Masri as Sultan of the new Austrian Province of the Caliphate.

Europe after the Hudna of Lausanne

Of particular contention was the status of the mujahideen in the Caucasus. Russia insisted that bin Laden withdraw his troops at least 60 kilometers south of the Caucasus Wall, creating an additional demilitarized zone in Georgia and Azerbaijan. Under the final terms of the protocols, the surviving Chechens in the Russian Federation will be given safe passage through the Wall, and will be resettled in what used to be Armenia.

With her territories in Southwest Asia secured by her alliance with China, and her Far East buffered by Chinese Siberia, Russia is expected to enjoy more security than she has in at least a generation. “Stability in Holy Russia and stability in the Near Abroad enhance the security of all nations,” said Mr. Ivanov.

The last several weeks of negotiations were taken up with the status of Orthodox Christian communities remaining within the Umma and the Dhimmi Zone. The Caliphate has agreed that Orthodox Christians who accept their dhimmi status, pay the jizya, and do not overtly express their faith will be left unmolested in the territories controlled by the Umma. In return, Russia agreed to allow the Caliph’s troops to occupy all of Greece.

Roman Catholics and Protestants, however, are not offered the same protection. Observers expect the mujahideen to begin razing cathedrals and rounding up infidels in the newly-occupied territories, just as they have done in the French and Belgian sultanates. No non-Muslim journalists are permitted in these areas, but escaping refugees arriving in Israel have reported massive and brutal atrocities inflicted on non-Orthodox Christians by marauding bands of Islamic irregulars.

Russia and the Umma, however, are unwilling to let such events cloud their historic occasion. “Islam has made treaties with non-believers since the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him),” said Caliph bin Laden to reporters at the joint press conference. “We will accord this momentous agreement the same respect we have granted all the earlier ones, Allah willing.”

The Caliph of Ice Cream

The Religious Policeman has a good post on the latest Islamic paranoia making its rounds through the blogosphere. You know, the Burger King caper in Britain, the one where BK tried to go under the radar and insult Islam by putting Arabic script on the covers of their pre-packaged ice creams. And not just any Arab script, mind you. These kaffir put “Allah” smack dab on the top where you couldn’t miss it, right where it could insult you as soon as you had the cone in your hand. Such would be your rage that your shaking hand would cause the ice cream to fall and you would be forced to buy another one. Do you not see the evil genius in this plot — first to insult you and second to rob you of your hard-earned dole money cash?

Paranoia strikes deep.Infidels are insidious. Their veiled threats against the coming Ummah never stop. It takes great vigilance to keep up with these attempts to undermine the obvious superiority of Islam compared to their whore-ridden, diseased and dissolute culture.

Fortunately, they are not being allowed to get away with this latest offense. Thanks to the keen observations of one Mr. Rashad Akhtar, a Burger King customer who spotted the sacrilege and called the company, BK has “shown great cultural sensitivity” and will have a new design drawn up. ASAP.

This is not enough for the intrepid Mr. Akhtar, however. He is demanding that the designer of the ice cream lid be fired and he wants Muslims to boycott Burger King. According to the Religious Policeman, this devout idiot believer says,

….”These people who have designed this think they can get away with this again and again. This is my jihad”.

Oh. Right. I scream, you scream, he jihads for ice cream.

This rampant paranoia regarding designs and logos is not new. In The Jihad That Refreshes we reported on the hallucinations surrounding the Coke logo. Notice that Coca Cola just rolled right on, oblivious to the brouhaha. But they don’t have to care, they’re the phone company superpower, mega Coke.

And Burger King? Have they finished crawling yet? Probably not. As the RP remarked,

     Sadly, Burger King have “shown great cultural sensitivity” or “crumpled under pressure”, depending how you look upon it.

If this idiocy were happening here we could perhaps institute an anti-boycott; from this distance, though, it’s hard to do more than ROTFL.

Or maybe buy some Burger King stock.

This post is dedicated to the Baron’s Boy, currently struggling to decipher the meaning, if any meaning there be, in The Emperor of Ice Cream with its “concupiscent curds” and the dawdling wenches in line four. Now wouldn’t that poem blow the sanctimonious lid off Mr. Akhtar’s dessert?

UPDATE: The manuscript of the actual poem has been found! Wallace Stevens was a late-comer, stealing from the Arabs.

The Caliph of Ice-Cream

by Walid al-Astifanis
Translated from the Arabic by Baron Bodissey

Call the killer of big kaffirs,
The crepuscular one, and bid him whip
In dungeon clasps recalcitrant Kurds.
Let the houris dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring bomb-belts inside their underpants.
Let Sheol be finale of scream.
The only caliph is the caliph of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser surreal,
Lacking the three front teeth, that burqa
On which she embroidered fatwas once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let imams fulfill the scheme.
The only caliph is the caliph of ice-cream.

The Great Jihad in Thailand

In this AP story, Muslim Violence Destroying Economy in Southern Thailand, Rungrawee C. Pinyorat writes:

     The open-air market in this southern Thai city falls eerily quiet on Fridays. Most vendors stay home, terrorized by leaflets threatening to kill or cut off the ears of anyone who works on the Muslim holy day.
“My business has been bad as customers are afraid to come out,” said Thanchanok Putroy, 39, chopping up a catfish in the market where most stores were shut and buses aren’t running.

In the time-honored tradition of Islamic terrorists, zealous radicals are determined to have their way, regardless of the damage to their country’s economy.

     Bombs have exploded at a department store, a cinema complex, the international airport at Hat Yai and a department store owned by the French Carrefour chain. Now investors and tourists have been driven off and some workers are leaving.
“Trade has dropped 70 to 80 percent. Shopkeepers complain loudly. It is very quiet at night and people from outside dare not to come to the area,” said Panya Ongsakul, chairman of the three provinces’ chamber of commerce.
Always among the country’s poorest regions, per capita monthly income in Narathiwat is 2,120 baht ($51), less than half the national average. Many Muslim villagers are angry at the government, but also want them to quell the violence so they can continue what have traditionally been peaceful lives in this rural region of 1.8 million people.

The Thai branch of the Great Islamic Jihad is determined to expel the infidel from their areas and purify Islamic practices. An interesting economic note can be found at the end of the story:

     Prices of quarried rock have doubled, because the government severely limited the use of explosives that were reportedly being stolen for bomb attacks. The government eased the curbs as part of efforts to revive the economy, but Defense Minister Thammarak Isarangura Na Ayutthaya, while warily approving the measure, said he expected coffins would have to be stockpiled for bomb victims.

So the investor in Southern Thailand is advised to sell shares of Suntory and buy shares of… what? Krupp? National Coffin Company? Prosthetic Limbs ‘R’ Us?

Remember: Wherever you live, the Umma is coming to you.

The Bush Doctrine at Work

Well. What have we here?

     Saudi women will be able to fully participate in an election for the first time in this ultraconservative Islamic kingdom, after the government ordered a local chamber of commerce to allow female voters and candidates.

No matter how you cut it — and you can be guaranteed this will not get anywhere near the attention Cindy Sheehan has, even though it is historic and maybe even earth-shattering — the rocks George Bush threw into the slime hole that is the Middle East continue to make their ripples.

Look at that quote. Women are not only voting, they’re being permitted to run for office. Unlike the previous municipal elections, where women were permitted to submit their votes through a male guardian, this will be a real step. A baby step, but a true beginning.

Will they have to campaign while wearing the portable telephone booths they are required to don when going out in public? Perhaps. But that’s beside the historic point: women are going to vote in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

While the troops roll on in Iraq, while women hold elective office in Afghanistan, and now, while the Saudi women turn out for the vote for the Chamber of Commerce elections in November, the turbulence in the pool continues. For a desert country these Saudi princes are learning to roll with the waves President Bush has created.

Read it and weep, Osama. Maybe even your momma will be voting someday, eh? Meanwhile, keep sending those cards and letters and videos, boy.

Hat tip: Captain’s Quarters.

Murderous Synchronicity?

Liturgical YearIs there a correlation between certain feast days in the Roman Catholic calendar and the dates of Muslim attacks on Western countries? A startling idea proposed in a post by Fourth World War.

Before considering his proposition, a short primer on the Roman Catholic Liturgical Year is in order.

The Church marks time by this ancient, teleological calendar. The Liturgical Year begins always on the First Sunday in Advent (right around the American feast of Thanksgiving). It moves through the periods of Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time (the longest season, taking up all of the summer and autumn). Properly considered by the early church as a spiral, the cycles within the year were meant to replace the Greek notion of time as circular with Hebrew idea that it was linear and historical. Christian theology laid out its claim that history was irrevocably changed by the irruption of Christ into human history. It fleshed out this idea over the centuries with the development of the Liturgical Year.

Within this framework are two divisions: the main one, the Proper of the Seasons and then the overlay, the Proper of the Saints. The former has to do with the fixed cycles mentioned above of Advent, Christmas, etc., all of which center around the earthly life of Christ and the stories in the Gospels. They follow in their unvarying and particular order — automatic to one who is raised to consider the year in this way — though the dates may vary.

Some feasts are moveable. Easter varies according to the Spring equinox and the date was set (after many ancient quarrels) in the Western Church as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Christmas, on the other hand, never varies from its date (at least in the some countries) of December 25th.

Each cycle has its own color, rhythms and mood. Advent, for example, spans the four weeks before Christmas. “Advent” means coming and the color is purple (penitential), the mood one of expectation as the seasons of the year wind down and preparations are made for the coming of the Christ Child. The scriptural readings for this season are centered around the passages in the Gospels which cover the emerging of Christ into his short life of preaching. It is here you will find his Baptism by John. An old hymn of this season, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is plain chant dating back to the ninth century.

The proper of the Saints is a more detailed calendar, a filigree overlaid on the liturgical cycles. These are the “feast days” assigned to commemorate individual saints — Doctors of the Church for example, or martyrs or events of particular note in Church history. Thus each day of the year has the feast of a saint, sometimes more than one. In the liturgy (the church service) for that day, this person’s life will be celebrated and commemorated, much as we celebrate birthdays in our families and recall the memories we retain of our ancestors.

The liturgical calendar is old, its rudiments dating back to the earliest days of the Church. While saints’ feast days may vary in emphasis from country to country, throughout the Christian world the liturgical year does not change. In Sweden, St. Lucy’s Day is a major feast within the Christmas cycle. The Festival of Lights, on December 13th, marks the beginning of Christmas in Sweden (and to some extent in Sicily). Like many Catholic feast days, its origins pre-date the Christian era.

All of this is by way of introducing the rather startling correlation laid out in the aforementioned post in Fourth World War, to wit:

Dr. J. Michael Waller lists the dates of terrorist attacks and points out the timing of the “some of the most notorious terrorist bombings over the past four years…” Noting the dates of the more notorious of Muslim attacks against the West, he proceeds to assign them to feast days from the Proper of the Saints in the Liturgical Calendar. Three of these feast days he points to are commemorations particularly of Christian and Muslim conflicts from the past and the last one — the first London bombing — commemorates three English Catholic martyrs executed under Elizabeth I for refusing to renounce their Catholic faith.

Read his ideas and see what you think:

Beginning with 9/11, we have the feast day of Blessed* Louis of Thuringia, a 13th century German prince who died on the Sixth Crusade in 1227. *“Blessed” is a designation for a person who is a step below actual sainthood, thus it is a minor feast.

3/11 is even more interesting. It is the feast of St. Eulogius, bishop of Cordoba, Spain. The Muslim invaders executed the bishop for having helped a Christian convert from Islam to escape the authorities. This occurred on March 11th, 859.

7/7 is the commemoration of three English martyrs, also with the designation of “Blessed” who were killed by Elizabeth for their illegal Catholic activity in 1591. This is an unusual feast day in the Church since, as Dr. Waller points out, there are very few English Catholics commemorated on the Roman Catholic calendar.

7/21 honors another victory over the Muslims, this time by St. Lawrence of Brindisi, who defeated Turkish invaders in Hungary in 1601.

As Doctor Waller says,

     This could be a pattern. Or it could be nothing more than a coincidence. Any meaning remains to be seen.

Finally he brings us up short with this historical date:

     Operation Enduring Freedom, the US response to the 9/11 attacks, began on October 7, 2001. That day is the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto (1571), a huge naval engagement in the Mediterranean between the Christians, led by John of Austria, and the Muslim Ottomans led by Ali Pasha. In their first major defeat of the Ottomans, the Christians destroyed the Muslim fleet and prepared the way for more than a century of military successes in central Europe.

For the Christians, these ruminations are most interesting. Atheists would have no problem dismissing them as “nothing more than a coincidence.” The Jungians among us would offer the suggestion that these are eruptions of the collective unconscious. The scientists and the cautious would maintain a “wait-and-see” attitude, keeping a record of the feast days which escape any violence, and those which end with death and mayhem.

But what would the Muslims say? It would appear they have two choices: to proclaim it was their intention all the time — while quickly finding a liturgical calendar, noting the feast days germane to their ongoing intention to “restore” the Caliphate to the whole world, and then using the appropriate saints’ days in aid of their subjugation of dar al Harb. Muslims’ other choice would be to join with the atheists and dismiss the whole thing as a coincidence and a Christian plot. Either way, it would seem they end up looking over their shoulder, wondering who is leading this whole thing, while chanting with somewhat less certainty, and even more defensiveness, Allahu Akbar.

Meanwhile, the other religions — Jewish, Hindu, etc., — might consider a look-see at their calendar of feast days and commemorations and see if there is a correlation with some, or any, Muslim defeats in the past with current Muslim attacks in their countries.

Time will tell. Or, having the whole thing brought to consciousness, the pattern may cease.

Dr. Waller notes the next feast day to watch:

     The next Muslim-related feast day on the Catholic Church calendar is September 24, honoring St. Pacificus, who prophesied the 1688 victory of Christian armies over the Turks in Belgrade.

Would that Hobbes, late of Calvin and Hobbes, were here to offer his views on this mysterious synchronicity. Since he is no longer with us we will have to fall back on Shakespeare’s rumination in Hamlet, when he says: There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.

There are indeed. The task is to sort out these things “in Heaven and Earth” and to know which tools to use to discern events and their meanings. There’s the crux of the matter: what meanings to assign to wild and wondrous happenings we encounter.

What do you think?

Hat tip: The High Post (alas, the permalink for the post doesn’t work; scroll down a bit).