Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Incredible Denial of Apologists for Islam

As Islamic terrorism, murder and violence continues to accelerate across the globe, more and more of the naive among us apologize for -- that is, attempt to explain away -- Muslim violence.  Some retired teacher wrote a guest piece in the Hollister newspaper last week, claiming to have "researched" Islam.  His conclusions:  Americans have nothing to fear from Islam or Muslims.  Dhimmis were a protected class of people (actually, they are and were an expendable third-class, reviled caste, and dhimmitude a form of slavery).  This retired teacher also claimed that the Koran was a beautiful book of verses similar to Psalms (obviously overlooking the 109 verses that call for murder and violence against non-believers).  Women are not mistreated in Islam, and their absence in schools is more a factor of poverty than ideology.  The writer's wishful thinking and self-delusion are striking.

There are, in fact, many Americans who no longer need to fear Islam.  They are dead, killed by Muslims for religious reasons.  Islam is a religion that practices a form of human sacrifice:  if you aren't a Muslim, it is perfectly honorable, moral and pious to kill you.

The invaluable website "The Religion of Peace" has compiled a list of Americans killed and injured by Muslims in America. The list goes back to 1972 and extends through the Boston atrocity.  The total number of Americans murdered by Muslims (in America) since 1972 is 3,085 and the number injured is 1,592.  These figures include 911.

If we subtract the casualties of 911, there have been 109 Americans murdered by Muslims and 1,288 injured since 1972.

If we count only the casualties since 911 (2001 - 2013) there have been 64 killed and 228 injured.

So we have nothing to fear from Islam and Muslims?  The percentage of the total population represented by the above figures is fairly low.  However, those tallies only include successful Muslim murders.  They do not include the many plots discovered and stopped, or those that failed.  There were at least 29 failed and foiled Muslim plots to murder Americans since 911.  They are listed here, but the list does not appear complete.

Update:  Here's a film about Sharia, Islamic law that Muslims hope to substitute for the Constitution.  Hat tip to "Sharia Unveiled."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My New Fender Jazz Bass!

My New Fender Jazz Bass
Sorry for the lack of blogging (as if you cared), but for the past week I have been OBSESSED with one goal:  to buy the new "Modern Player Fender Jazz Bass."  The bass is made in China but is of excellent quality.  Read all about my quest at my other blog, "Playing Bass."

I figured out how to get one and bought it yesterday.  I also figured out better ways to record MP3 files, and here is an MP3 of me playing bass to "Cold Shot," a rock song by the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughn.  Rockin' Mama Lorraine does a good job of imitating Vaughn's incredible guitar playing, and Ashley does a fine job of singing the tune.  I play the bass and all I can say is that I didn't make many mistakes!

Here it is:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The "Fourteen Attributes of Fascism": A Highly Self Serving Definition by a Liberal Writer

It's difficult to find an objective definition of fascism on the web.  Most are self-serving, usually leftist screeds, designed to incorporate conservative or Republican attributes into the definition.  For example, see this rather blatant example at this link.  This website, and others, make use of a dubious list of 14 attributes of fascism.

Liberal websites rely on a fraudulent list of "fourteen attributes of fascism" that was written by a Democrat, one Laurence Britt, during the 2004 election cycle. It was never intended to be a scholarly analysis of fascism, but only a partisan political argument against the Bush Administration.  (Read more about it here.)  Nevertheless, this phony and biased "list" is widely disseminated even today by leftists and liberal writers and bloggers, as if it were real and accurate.  They usually describe it this way:
Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, published research on fascism in which he examined the fascist regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each fascist State.
Note that Laurence Britt (note proper spelling) was neither a doctor nor a political scientist, and his list was not derived from any analysis of past fascistic regimes.  Here are his 14 phony attributes (with my comments in red):
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.  [So if you are patriotic and fly the flag, you might be a fascist.  According to this definition, the former Soviet Union, Red China and North Korea are fascists too.]

2. Disdain for the recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarceration of prisoners, etc.  [Waterboarding is allegedly torture, therefore Bush was a fascist because he used it on captured terrorists. The "long incarceration of prisoners" is probably a dig at Gitmo and its residents.]

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists; terrorists, etc.  [So any concerns over an external threat like radical Islam or Communist aggression makes you a fascist.  However, a "frenzy" over the non-existent threat of domestic, right-wing terrorists is okay, even supported by Big Sis of Homeland Security.  How about the "unifying cause" of non-existent global warming and its pending destruction of the human race?]

4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military are glamorized.  [That's why we fascist Republicans want a strong military instead of spending all that dough on transforming the ghettos into the City of Oz.]

5. Rampant sexism – The government of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.  [The last sentence describes key liberal agendas and makes the bias of the author transparently obvious.  Quite a few of the Nazi regime were blatant homosexuals (see here).  As for abortion, Although the Nazis banned abortion for Aryan women, they enthusiastically peddled and promoted abortion for non-Aryans. In fact, the Nazis mandated legalized abortion in several European countries where it had never been legal before (see here). It is utter nonsense to assert that if you oppose abortion, i.e. the extermination of the helpless unborn, you are a fascist.]

6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.  [Hmm, I agree with this one.  It clearly describes the mainstream media and their slavish support of Democrats and Barack Obama.  As for "censorship in wartime," FDR did plenty of that and I don't disagree with it.]

7. Obsession with National security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.  [You mean like fear of the Tea Party?  Fear of "racists" (see the Southern Poverty Law Center)?  Fear of non-existent "right wing" domestic terrorists?]

8. Religion and Government are intertwined – Government in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.  [This is B.S., another obvious play to the liberal bias against religious conservatives.  The French Jacobins, fascists in the true sense of the word, hated religion and executed priests.  Hitler hated Christianity and Nazis were pagans, vegetarians and occultists.  Benito Mussolini was an atheist.]

9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation are often the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.  [This is almost accurate.  In fascism, there is a strong partnership between the government and major corporations, but it is false to say the latter put the former into power.  Labor Unions probably have more power to effect elections than corporations today.  Government grants benefits and power to those corporations who support its goals, shields those corporations from competition or gives those corporations monopolies over various economic activity.  In turn, the corporations require their employees to also support government goals, memes and beliefs.  See the Wilson Administration, e.g. "We do our part."] 

10. Labor Power is suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated, or are severely restricted.  [Another self-serving but inaccurate definition.  Hitler didn't banish labor unions, as the left has disingenuously asserted; he brought them into the Nazi movement by creating the German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF), which was comprised of two primary entities, the National Socialist Factory Organization and the National Socialist Trade and Industry Organization. Benito Mussolini, leader of fascist Italy, was a union activist who was expelled from Trentino province for his union activities.]

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.  [Brazen nonsense.  Hitler originally aspired to be an artist, and the Nazis stole great art from the nations they conquered.  They used artistic displays and statuary to glorify Aryan man.  Mussolini celebrated and supported Italian artists.  It would be more accurate to say that fascism loves art, especially art that justifies, glorifies and rationalizes its political goals.  As for education, higher and otherwise, fascists supported education, particularly as a means of indoctrinating students in its goals and philosophy, much as is the case on leftist controlled campuses today.]

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.  [The first sentence is accurate, the second is liberal propaganda.  Under fascist regimes, the people do not have the option to "forego civil liberties" since they aren't given that as a choice.]

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.  [I know of no historical examples that would make cronyism a trait limited to fascists.  It is true of any and all governments, including that of Barack Obama.  As for massive governmental theft, I know of no better example than our system of taxation and "redistribution of wealth."]

14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassinations of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.  [This was probably a reference to Bush's alleged theft of the 2000 election, when the Supreme Court ruled against the Democratic Party of Florida.  In actuality, the left now controls the mainstream media to an extreme degree, and Democrat judges often overturn the results of elections that they do not approve of -- like those outlawing Sharia law or prohibiting gay marriage.]

In a later post I will attempt to provide a more concise and accurate description of what fascism really was and is.  

Has Fascism Come to America? Part One: Benghazi

Let's see...the President has been campaigning with the slogan "Osama is dead and GM is alive!"  He has been touting the benefits of the "Arab Spring," proof that all the Middle East really needed was a President who apologizes for past American hubris and above all else, wasn't George Bush -- and now those same Arabs are overthrowing dictators and installing "democratic" governments.

Suddenly an American embassy in Libya comes under Islamic attack two months before a presidential election.  Does the President worry about the safety of embassy personnel?  Does he dispatch the military to disperse the radicals and save the embassy staff?  But wait...if he does that, won't his Middle East Peace In Our Time meme be disproved?  Might it hurt his chances of re-election?  Hell, embassy staff are expendable.  He orders the military to "stand down" and not fire on the radicals.

Once the embassy has been burned to the ground and the American bodies collected for burial, there is the problem of spinning it all to the American people.  Let's see...that's it!  Recast this latest terrorist attack as a demonstration that just got out of hand.  It wasn't a planned attack...Middle East Peace In Our Time is still a viable meme for the we just need something or someone to blame for the "demonstration."  Ah ha!  Here's an unknown video on YouTube about the actual history of Mohammed -- let's blame it on that film and its filmmaker!  There won't be a problem with the press...they'll play along like they always do.

So as dirt is shoveled in the faces of four dead Americans, the Prez and his Secretary of State go on Arab television to apologize to the terrorists for having had to murder them in the first place.

Monday, May 13, 2013

"That Thing You Do" -- a Rock Band Movie by Tom Hanks: 1960's Authentic or Merely Cheesy?

If you like the history of rock music and Tom Hanks films, you may want to read this post at my other blog, "Playing Bass."  It's about Tom Hanks's film "That Thing You Do," a story of a rock band in 1964 that achieves sudden fame with a "one-hit wonder."  I found some aspects of the film authentic to the time period but there were some glitches.  For example:
Other blacks included a female singing group reminiscent of the Supremes, highly coiffed, dressed in pastel colors and looking pretty, but singing tunes even too cheesy for the early 1960's. In one scene they are singing "When you're holding my hand, you're holding my heart," followed by hand claps. I had a brief mental image of a doctor holding a beating heart during surgery as I suppressed a brief wave of nausea. C'mon! The Sixties were never that awful.
Read the whole thing here.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Whales Sighted Up Close and Personal: Moss Landing, CA May 12, 2013

I took the Mrs. Chomper to Phil's Fish Market restaurant, in Moss Landing, California, for Mother's Day.  Moss Landing is near Monterey, California; there's a beach behind Phil's, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  While waiting to dine, we took a walk down to the beach and heard someone say "There's a whale over there."  A couple of folks began walking quickly in the direction of the alleged whale, so we decided to follow.
Whale's Flipper Protruding 

There was a whale all right.  One whale was frolicking about ten yards off the beach, occasionally raising a barnacle-encrusted flipper, exposing its back, spraying water from its spout.  It was the first time I had seen a whale.  I was surprised that a whale could come so close to the beach; it was probably of a smaller species, possible a humpback.

Whale's Dorsal Fin (Looks Shark-Like But It's a Whale)
Fortunately, I had brought my digital camera and captured some stills and video of the whales.  I posted a couple of stills above and will upload the video footage to YouTube later.

UPDATE:  Videos of my whale watching experience can be seen here and here.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Police File Charges Against "Naked Pope" Girl

Last month there was an annual Art School parade at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  One of the CMU students, 19 year old Katherine O'Connor, participated in the parade dressed as the Pope, but naked from the waist down.  Her pubic hair was shaved into the shape of a cross.  She reportedly gave out condoms to the onlookers as she marched along with the parade.

Pittsburgh Police have now decided to file misdemeanor charges against O'Connor for indecent exposure.  Her supporters claim her "artistic expression" is protected speech under the First Amendment.

Why did O'Connor do it?  She probably just wanted to show off and achieve notoriety, using a leftist-approved meme, i.e. bashing the Church.   College students are always so brave and courageous while attacking the traditional culture; they will get pats on the head from their left-leaning teachers and kudos from their colleagues.  However, as former Communist David Horowitz has pointed out, "the issue is always the revolution," no matter what the issue pretends to be.

The left is determined to root out religion from the culture so it can be replaced with something else, i.e. an almost religious belief in the state.  Such incidents, like the piss-Christ photograph and the elephant dung-Mary, are designed to be a kind of cultural acid, slowly weakening the mortar that holds the bricks of western civilization together.  Over time we become less sensitive to such displays, weakening our will to resist the cultural and political changes the left has planned for us.

As for Katherine O'Connor, she has her own cross to bare.  If she gets off, it will be a close shave.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Zen and the Art of Playing Bass

Finally, finally, finally, I am making a serious effort to raise myself from the ranks of amateur bass players to professional bass players.

I have a long way to go.  But I have learned, thanks to a bass teacher named Dale Titus, that it can be done with patience and repetition.

Oh, the learning regimen is fairly traditional:  learn scales, learn modes, learn arpeggios.  Absorb scale theory and how it relates to chords and keys.  Learn every inch of the neck.

However, a lot of successful bass playing (or playing any instrument) is great execution.  Getting your fingers on the right fret at the right time, without string rattle or buzz, plucking those strings accurately and quickly -- those skills are hard to attain.  You attain them by playing exercises (Titus calls them "chop builders") slowly at first, concentrating on a good sound.  You then slowly increase the speed of playing those chops until you can do it quickly as well as accurately.

So much of learning an instrument is developing the muscle memory to play it well and right.  Break it into its various parts and learn each part well, taking as much time as you need to do it.  Keep at it on a daily basis.  If you learn one small thing each day, your knowledge and skill will accumulate faster than you think.

I think this principle works for mastering just about any skill or body of knowledge.   It's like the old but useful analogy of the snowball rolling downhill.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Boston Bombing Victim Jeff Bauman Waves Flag at Boston Bruins Playoff Game

Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in the bombing of the Boston Marathon, waved the "Boston Strong" flag the Boston Bruins NHL playoff game.  Here's a great picture of him doing so (hat tip to  Jeff is a great guy who personifies the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

Amusing Bunni's Lesson to Us: a Positive Message Ain't Bad

Stogie Bunnies?
One of the things I have learned from the late Carol Mack, who blogged as Amusing Bunni and died a week ago today, is that of a positive message.  (See Curmudgeon's lovely tribute to Bunni here.)  Bunni was upbeat, encouraging and nice to just about everyone.

Looking back through my last 3,000 or so blog posts, I feel somewhat depressed:  so much negativity.  Too much fighting, arguing, bashing other bloggers and getting bashed in return.  Blogging for me and for many has been like a bar fight:  I hit you over the head with an empty beer bottle and you return the favor with a bar stool.  Well, let's be honest, fighting is often fun.  However, it probably doesn't change anyone's mind.  If you were convinced I'm a fool before I smacked you in the mouth, you probably think I'm still a fool and a bully to boot.  This is okay if your only purpose is to vent.   That's not my purpose...or not the major one, anyway.

I love bunnies.  I have ever since my parents took me to see Bambi when I was around 6 or 7 years old.  I thought Thumper was great.  Nevertheless, I won't ape Bunni's style with pictures of bunnies, cats and squirrels.  What works for one blogger won't necessarily work for others (see my kind of bunnies in the pic above -- probably not what Amusing Bunni had in mind).  I can, however, find more positive things to write about, more life affirming, more hope engendering, more upbeat.  I'll try to do that, not exclusively, because "politics is war by other means" and "war is hell," to quote Clauswitz and Sherman.  Nevertheless, I'll try to use more humor, more explanation and less anger.  I won't stop fighting, but maybe I will hit people with a softer bar stool.  And I'll make a point of including more posts that don't involve politics.

Thanks for your great example, Bunni.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Geller Gets It (Finally)

For years Pamela Geller and her close associate, Robert Spencer, have been exposing the means and methods of jihad and the threat posed by Islamic mass-murderers.  However, they were always infuriatingly politically correct, never accurately defining the true nature of Islam (there is no "moderate" Islam or "radical Islam," there is only Islam, and it is irredeemably hostile and violent).

My late friend Lawrence Auster used to fume about this.  He thought Pamela Geller's approach was weak, as she never dared to speak the full truth about Islam and recommend effective cures for Islamic terrorism.    I know he really got under her skin a few times, since his blog "View From the Right" was widely read.

Auster began to change his mind about Geller after she began posting pro-Israel ads on municipal buses in various major cities, and suing cities to allow the ads after the cities initially refused them.  He even signed up for one of her seminars and found it of value.

Today Auster would be very proud of Pamela Geller.  She finally gets it.  She has an organization now called  the "American Freedom Defense Initiative" (AFDI) and its platform for rolling back Islamic incursions into western societies is solid.  For example, it recognizes that Islam is not merely a religion, but a violent, totalitarian ideology that does not deserve to hide its nefarious activities behind a demand for "religious" freedom.  Further, AFDI calls for a stop to Islamic immigration into non-Muslim majority countries. It also calls for a prohibition of foreign funding of mosques and Islamic Studies departments at universities -- as these are a form of stealth jihad.

AFDI is definitely on the right track, and not a moment too soon.

Read more about it at this link.

Hat tip to American Power.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Cancer Claims Another Conservative Blogger: Amusing Bunni, RIP

Amusing Bunni, RIP
Carol, who blogged as "Amusing Bunni," has succumbed to cancer.  She was diagnosed with an aggressive, untreatable form of cancer in October and was disabled from that point on.  Many bloggers sent her cash donations to help her stay in her home and pay the bills for the last few months of her life.  Carol died in a hospice last Sunday evening.

She released photos of herself taken in her youth; I enhanced the one included herein to show her lovely nose, which is almost invisible in the original.   She was a beautiful lady.  Go with God, Bunni.

Now Dan Riehl needs our help in paying his hospital bills for the recent pulmonary episode that nearly killed him.  Please consider a donation of any amount to Dan:  here's the link.

See more about Bunni here and here.

Bunni's blog is here.  Her last post was on April 1.