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|WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)|
Superman's product of the century (so far):
Once again, I'm in Japan during September 11th. It's strange to be far from home in a place where they don't pay much attention to what happened on that fateful day. For me, it is more poignant.
Never forgetting means also, for me, being thankful for the subsequent protection that we've enjoyed since that day. With all of the scheming and attempts that have happened, it is truely remarkable - and a tribute to vigilance - that we have been spared further attacks.
We will never forget that day. We will never forget those who defend us. We will never forget those who watch ceaselessly on our behalf.
God Bless America.
In the aftermath of the Archibishop of Canterbury's recent pronouncements about the unavoidable adoption of Sharia law in Britain, Mark Steyn's comments in the Guardian newspaper almost three years ago - these in the aftermath of the tube bombings in London - seem, well, just downright prescient.
He, of course, brilliantly followed these ideas up in his outstanding book: America Alone.
It does seem clear that Eurpope is indeed dead - has already succumbed. Perhaps unintended, but by his words, Rowan Williams was pounding nails into the continent's collective coffin.
Like I mentioned, I'm in Tokyo - have been here since last Wednesday.
Yesterday was September 11th here. I spent a good part of the day riding on trains. Part of what that meant is that I had tickets that were printed out for me that I had to insert into machines, show to conductors, and just pull out from my pocket while retrieving business cards.
Each ticket had printed in bold:
Every time I saw it, I could literally see that hallowed scar in the earth that I've visited so many times.
In Japan, on TV they've been showing the WTC attacks over and over again. Guess CNN has spared the American public at home - might alter those WOT polls...
I will never forget. We should never forget. Forgetting is invitation to repetition.
Michelle Malkin reports that the winning design of the Flight 93 memorial will be altered due to the controversy over the 'red crescent' aspect of the design.
Good. There should never be even a potential of a dilution of honor - especially in a place like this.
Michelle points out though that this memorial is not about embrace as well, quoting Captain Ed:
Removing the crescent will handle the most objectionable part of the design. However, unless the design does more to memorialize the way these forty civilians galvanized the nation into action instead of defeatist paralysis, it will still do an injustice to their memory. The other elements of the Murdoch design sound and look beautiful, but communicate passivity and detachment. These qualities embody the antithesis of Flight 93, which demand action and involvement of all Americans in defiance of terrorism and the defense of the nation.
Let's hope that Murdoch will rethink his design to truly memorialize what Flight 93 meant to America. Otherwise, the jury needs to literally go back to the drawing board.
Do we get to make suggestions?
Make the visitor center a replica of the White House or the Capitol building. At the entry put up a sign that says: "This represents the physical building that they saved. They also saved the American spirit that inhabits this place. That's what heroes do."
Cover the memorial grounds with American flags - say about 40,000 of them. 1,000 for each of the heroes. You don't need to plant them in the shape of a crescent or a cross - put them everywhere - along the flight path, around the crash site, everywhere anyone might look. Let there be no question that these heroes died for our American ideals, that they died for the great cause of freedom. In a heroic stand of enormous price - in bittersweet tragic irony - this place commemorates the fact that they stayed the course.
Ace says it's OK to make suggestions. I like his.
I watched this fine documentary about United Flight 93, September 11, 2001, on the Discovery Channel Sunday evening.
If you didn't see it the DVD is available here. This is worth watching every year on this anniversary. Someone shares during this program that in this darkest of days, the brave heroes of Flight 93 gave us hope as they fought the first battle in the War on Terror. Discovery Channel is donating all revenue from this DVD to an effort by the National Park Service to create a national memorial at the hallowed ground of the Flight 93 crash site in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
May all who visit this place remember the collective acts of courage and sacrifice of the passengers and crew, revere this hallowed ground as the final resting place of those heroes, and reflect on the power of individuals who choose to make a difference.
Captain Stephen Ruda, Los Angeles City Fire Department, wrote these words describing the Flight 93 crash site...
UPDATE: Turns out that the 'winning' design for the Flight 93 national memorial contains (either a purposeful or inadvertant) Islamic crescent. See Michelle Malkin here and here. See Zombietime here and (oriented toward Mecca?) here. Seems like anything that could be possibly interpreted in any way that would dishonor these heroes needs to be changed.
In a brilliant strategic move, it was announced today by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) that the United States will cede part of the state of Texas, including the cities of El Paso and San Antonio to Mexico immediately.
"We have long wrestled with the immigration issue that we have with Mexico", said an INS spokesperson. "While this may seem to some as a capitulation to the problem, we have really turned the tables on the Mexican government - because it is now incumbent on them to provide an infrastructure that will create an environment that is attractive to those who, until now, have been occupied with crossing the border into the United States to seek a better life."
"Part of the issue is that this land - in fact, most of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California - was taken by force from Mexico during an agressive, expansionist phase of US history", the spokesperson added. "Recognizing that we really have no right to this land anyway - and that it is almost totally occupied by illegals, we thought it was high time to quit claim to it." the spokesperson added.
During the press conference, the spokesperson, using a flip chart with a map of Texas, explained: "The shaded area represents about 65,000 square miles which is roughly equivalent in percentage to the total US land mass as the Gaza Strip area recently ceded by Israel is to that nation. This is really a small price to pay for the ultimate resolution to the immigration problem."
"Every citizen of the United States that lives in this area must leave their homes in the next week" said the spokesman, adding: "Anyone who does not leave of their own accord, will be evicted - by force if necessary. We recognize that this will be a painful process for some of our fellow Americans - but in the end, it is in the public's greater interest for this to happen."
Asked by a reporter about the Administration's involvement, the spokesperson stated: "The Administration has nothing to do with this. The INS on its own initiative obtained a state court order based on the recent SCOTUS Kelo decision and has declared this area the property of Mexico by exercise of eminent domain. The people need to realize that no referendums are needed, and no involvement by the other estates of government are required when the public good is at stake."
Asked by another reporter about the fact that, unlike Israeli settlers, US citizens have the right to keep and bear arms, and how that might impact the process, the spokesman said: "We will meet any resistance with a more than equal share of force. For those who lay down their weapons, our agents will enter their premises unarmed and carry them sweetly and with great empathy from their homes. For those who take up arms, we have more arms, and tanks if necessary to insure that the evictions take place. Ultimately, Americans have become sheep anyway. Sure, they may whine about this for a few days, they'll write their screed on their blogs, but, like the Kelo situation, when the time comes, they'll comply like the docile lambs that they have become."
The reporter who asked that question was unceremoniously taken from the press conference and mercilessly beaten to death by INS agents. No further questions were asked.
"Finally", added the spokesperson, "we are certain that the Mexican government can take this land and, once it has been raized, create a socio/economic utopia that will, for all of its citizens who have hitherto sought to leave their mother country for the true motherland of the north, provide a true homeland that will also attract all of the other Hispanic population throughout the United States. We know that this will ultimately be seen as a final solution to the immigration problem."
If what is happening in the Gaza strip were happening anywhere else in the world, it would be decried for the lunacy that it is.
There is no special Holy Land dispensation for appeasement.
Appeasement never works. Never has. Never will.
UPDATE: Almost singular in agreeing with my argument, Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch offers these insightful updates from Palestine (Hamas) and Iran. It is sadly interesting that most conservative politicos in the US are, in effect, siding with Tehran on this issue.
Tucked away in the Seattle Times this week is an ominous story about the reach and connectedness of terrorist organizations and the threat that apparently assimilated Islamic fanatics bring to our shores.
A federal complaint unsealed yesterday offers new details into a failed plan to set up a jihad terrorist training camp outside Bly, Ore.
The complaint, filed June 20, charges British citizen Haroon Rashid Aswat, with offering material support to terrorists, knowing his efforts would be used to "kill, kidnap and maim persons and damage property in a foreign country."
The camp was initially promoted by James Ujaama, a former Seattle resident who was sentenced to two years in federal prison in return for his cooperation with federal investigators.
The complaint unsealed yesterday alleges that the camp was to seek fighters from the United States and London to wage jihad — or a holy war — in Afghanistan. The camp was to offer training in archery, combat, martial arts, rifle and handgun handling, all in a secure environment in a "pro-militia and fire-arms state," according to a fax cited in the unsealed complaint. Sources have said that Ujaama wrote the fax.
Note this: Aswat: British citizen - in Oregon, US. Setting up a training camp to import trainees from the US and Britain and export terror to Afghanistan.
So, how did they nab this guy:
Aswat was taken into custody in Zambia last month in connection with the London transit bombings. British officials want to question him about 20 phone calls reportedly made on his South African cellphone to some of the four bombers who killed 52 people in the London attack, Zambian officials say. But it is unclear what — if any — involvement Aswat is alleged to have had in those attacks.
Aswat: Likely involved in the London terror.
Despite the apparent 'lack of success' they were subjects of interest years ago:
During the fall of 1999, the ranch drew scrutiny from Southern Oregon law-enforcement officials.
"There were reports of gunfire and of a large group of suspicious, or unusual, people there," Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger said in a 2002 interview.
While we attempt extradition of Aswat from Britain, we would do well to collectively ask ourselves honestly: Can we really pretend that there are no sleeper cells operating in this country?
From the Scotsman:
• MP says Muslims who believe Britain is at war with Islam should leave
• Shadow defence secretary incensed by view UK to blame for extremism
• Muslim association calls Gerald Howarth's remarks 'naïve' and 'arrogant'
"If they don't like our way of life, there is a simple remedy: go to another country, get out. There are plenty of other countries whose way of life would appear to be more conducive to what they aspire to. They would be happy and we would be happy" - Gerald Howarth, shadow defence minister
MUSLIMS who resent the British way of life should leave the UK, regardless of whether they are citizens or not, a senior Conservative said last night in comments that have heightened already tense community relations...
Shadow Defense Minister Haworth has the guts to speak the truth plainly. Where's our Haworth? Congresspersons? Senators?
Please see Jeff's take (h/t to him as well) on this.
In his on point commentary for the London Free Press yesterday, columnist Salim Mansur explores The myth of the 'moderate' Muslim and opens with:
Since at least Sept. 11, 2001, the non-Muslim world at large has been waiting for that segment of the Muslim population designated as "moderate" to resolutely denounce terrorists who, in defiling its faith-tradition, have subverted Islam into a cult of death.
He then clearly provides a set of what would be working characteristics for "moderate" Muslims:
1. A counter-offensive repudiating war-mongering politics, terrorism, and suicide bombings.
2. That same counter-offensive isolating the extremists politically and socially.
3. Explicit support for the global war on terror.
4. Spontaneous or organized demonstrations in support of the victims of terror.
5. Spontaneous or organized demonstrations in unqualified condemnation of extremists who exploit Islam for criminal purposes.
6. Resolutely taking back their faith-tradition from extremists and murderers.
Any of these things would be publicly evidential and would certainly be caught on CNN's cameras should they occur - but that's not what we see. Mansur says that what we observe instead is:
1. In the face of mounting atrocities Muslims have remained publicly complacent.
2. Their religious leaders are divided on what a proper Islamic response should be to terrorism and suicide bombings .
3. They provide endless explanations that jihad, though misguided, is a response to the wrongs inflicted on Muslims by the West.
4. They foster societies where dissent is frowned upon and opposition might be branded as seditious.
5. They malign and ostracize the singular or small groups of Muslims that unapologetically condemn the culture of violence and extremism among them.
While Mansur rightly lauds the small number of Muslim individuals who work for reform, he concludes that "moderate" Muslims are indeed a myth.
Given this state of affairs, in the light of the recent events in London, could there be no more clear clarion call for our society to break out of its multicultural malaise and alter the grave vulnerabilities we are exposed to?
To loosely quote Mark Steyn from his column this week that I just posted about: The London bombers appeared to be assimilated - but they had no allegiance to the society into which they appeared to be assimilated. This is one of the fundamental lessons of 7/7.
Mansur writes that "Consequently, what might pass for "moderate" Muslims, the large number of Muslims unaccounted for as to what they think, in practical terms constitute a forest within which extremists are incubated, nurtured, given ideological and material support, and to which they return for sanctuary"... and this really demonstrates the clear and present danger that we face in the world's democracies. It is why I have been arguing that we need for the trees in the forest to clearly declare their allegiance - and invite such demonstrations of "moderation" that Mansur prescribes.
If the unaccounted for as to what they think will not do that - and we must find the cultural and political will to do so - we must take up our own "moderate" counter-offensive and isolate them and if necessary deport them - to prevent "a forest within which extremists are incubated, nurtured, given ideological and material support, and to which they return for sanctuary".