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These pigs are subtle weapons, here to show the new neighbors -- the Katy Islamic Association -- they aren't entirely welcome. Tension has been growing in this west Harris County community since September when the Muslim group announced it had purchased 11 acres south of Interstate 10 to build a mosque, school, community center and athletic facilities.Student posts a video from a local newscast about the races.
Hard feelings started when Baker met association officials, who, he said, advised him he should move his stone shop.
"They told me it was time for my family to pack up," said Baker, whose family has occupied its land since the early 1800s. "They said a mosque and a marble shop didn't go too good together."
Angered by the perceived insult and aware of Islamic dietary laws banning pork consumption, Baker responded by announcing he would stage weekly pig races on his Muslim neighbors' holiest day of prayer.
Herbert A. MillingtonMrs. Van Horn is applying for medical residencies and I will need a new position some time in the near future as well. This approach should come in quite handy for us. Thank you, Diana!
Chair - Search Committee
412A Clarkson Hall, Whitson University
College Hill, MA 34109
Dear Professor Millington,
Thank you for your letter of March 16. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me an assistant professor position in your department.
This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.
Despite Whitson's outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.
Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.
Chris L. Jensen
In Germany, two state governments have drawn up laws would could criminalize violence against computer game animated characters, if those characters are human-looking.He thinks these laws won't get passed. I also hear he is thinking about retitling his blog as "PollyannaPundit".
Someone is betting that there are enough people with MySpace pages who want to appear to have "cool" friends so that they can impress others.Since you can tell your new "friends" what kind of comments to leave, you can bet that a bunch of clueless horn-dog men are going to have pretty women leaving slutty remarks on their sites: Precisely the kinds of remarks that anyone else -- especially the women they hope to impress -- will know couldn't possibly be things actual women would really say! A fool and his money are soon parted.
What do reindeer do when they're not flying around the world delivering presents?That's seventy five smackers, Australian for a card listing carbon credits to abate nonexistent emissions in order to solve an imaginary crisis. That would be $58.74 down the toilet -- if the purchaser still uses one.
They graze, burp and fart!
Did you know? Together, Santa's nine reindeer - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph - produce 3.75 tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution per year.
We guarantee that if you choose to offset the pollution created by Santa's reindeer, we will reduce CO2 pollution by 3.75 tonnes.
You'll receive a certificate and special Carbon Neutral Christmas card confirming that you've made Santa's reindeer Carbon Neutral!
I don't know Robert and have not spoken with him about this. But it seems to me what went wrong with Tracinski is that he himself carried rationalistic ideas about Objectivism, discovered his error, and then went empiricist -- dropping principles and focusing no longer on self-detached ideas, but now on unconnected concretes.He also links to the series, which Tracinski recently made available on the web.
The interesting thing about all of it was that throughout my youth (and continuing to this day), I took religion seriously. I listened to what the priest said at mass; I excelled at Sunday school where I was a top student. I was even an altar boy and relished the opportunity to be closer to the "body of Christ" than anyone else, other than the priest.That last sentence is quite profound. Religion cannot withstand even the slightest modicum of honest, rational inquiry. The fact that heretics have been persecuted throughout the vast majority of human history is a confession, as it were, of this weakness. Furthermore, it serves as evidence that religion actively seeks to snuff out the best within us.
Taking religion -- i.e., ideas -- seriously appears to be the leitmotif of those who reject the religion under which they are raised.
All public schools are inferior, but some are more inferior than others. The other day I listened to part of a C-SPAN program on the Supreme Court case Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, where the public schools intend to "improve" education by using race to determine where a student attends school. Instead of using the governments monopoly on force to impose racism, it is time to recognize that force is not an educational resource. By all means get guns out of the schools, and let us start with the full privatization of education.Yes. That is true. By the very nature of government, guns are in the public schools whether students can carry them in or not.
| You scored as Strong Egoism. Your life is very much guided by the concept of Egoism: You work primarily to promote your own interests.|
"I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."
"I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows."
More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...
What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
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| You scored as Special Ops. Special ops. You're sneaky, tactful, and a loner. You prefer to do your jobs alone, working where you don't come into contact with people. But everyonce in a while you hit it big and are noticed and given fame. Your given the more sensitive problems. You get things done, and do what has to be done.|
"VULCAN NECK PINCH!!!"
Which soldier type are you?
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A Swedish citizen of Moroccan origin is one of five men to have their assets frozen by the US Finance Department. The man is suspected of supporting the al-Qaida terrorist network and other groups. (TheLocal.se, 12/07/06.)
The Treasury also says the 41 year old "was the uncontested leader of an extremist group centered around" a mosque in the Swedish capital. (SR.se, 12/08/06.)
Politician Fredrick Federley and former member of pop group Army of Lovers, Dominika Peczynski, plan to make a bid for Sweden's most famous salad bar. (02/13/07, TheLocal.se)
Criticism of Swedish Television's Fidel Castro theme night is growing. Now, several national newspapers' editorials have attacked the SVT special linked to the Cuban dictator's 80th birthday celebrations.
Dagens Nyheter feared that SVT was lining up "a tribute to Castro" while Expressen called the programme "a disaster". "SVT is celebrating by bowing down before the bearded dictator," wrote Svenska Dagbladet. (TheLocal.se, 12/02/06.)
Given that Colin Powell and John McCain -- to name just two prominent Republicans -- both favor national service, how likely will other Republicans be to take a stand against Rangel's "draft"? If volunteering for the military can substitute for it? If the military gets to cherry-pick from the draftees? If some of the draftees get to serve in "faith-based" initiatives?The more I think about this, the more worried get that unless more and better arguments are made against this horrendous idea on moral grounds, the more likely we Americans are to get blindsided by a bunch of politicians pulling the bait-and-switch of a national service measure Republicans foolishly support in the initial guise of an anti-war draft proposal by a Democrat.
Such an innocuous name: net neutrality. Who could be against that? And the Internet Nondiscrimination Act of 2006 sounds so fair! What bigot would dare oppose nondiscrimination?There have been rumbles about this for quite some time, too.
Under the cover of these happy fuzzy words the Democrats are about to slap price controls on internet providers. Americans should be happy, as the consumers in the Soviet Union were under price controls. Oh, wait -- there were long lines and empty shelves? Scratch that.
But making the internet better is not really the point of all this legislation. Giving the state power over the internet is the point.
Rude immigration officials and visa delays keep millions of foreign visitors away from the United States, hurt the country's already battered image, and cost the U.S. billions of dollars in lost revenue, according to an advocacy group formed to push for a better system.Gosh. I wonder why. Before I get to my point, though, there is the following not unrelated story.
To drive home the point, the Discover America Partnership released the result of a global survey on Monday which showed that international travelers see the United States as the world's worst country in terms of getting a visa and, once you have it, making your way past rude immigration officials.
A passenger initially raised concerns about the group through a note passed to a flight attendant, according to Andrea Rader, a spokeswoman for US Airways. She said police were called after the captain and airport security workers asked the men to leave the plane and the men refused.As I said about a similar incident, in which a Middle Easterner wearing an Arabic tee shirt in an airport raised Cain over being told to wear something else:
"They took us off the plane, humiliated us in a very disrespectful way," said Omar Shahin, of Phoenix.
"CAIR will be filing a complaint with relevant authorities in the morning over the treatment of the imams to determine whether the incident was caused by anti-Muslim hysteria by the passengers and/or the airline crew," Hooper said. "Because, unfortunately, this is a growing problem of singling out Muslims or people perceived to be Muslims at airports, and it's one that we've been addressing for some time."
While we all have freedom of speech in America, we are not entitled to express our opinions through the use of someone else's resources. This is why I cannot simply plant a campaign poster in my neighbor's yard. This is why [Raed] Jarrar should not have my tax money at his disposal (if he does) to finance his various foreign junkets. Nor I his money for my causes. Indeed, Jarrar himself seems to apprehend this point: He has closed the comments on his blog. This is no more an infringement of my freedom of speech than JetBlue's imposition of a rule against Arabic script would be an infringement of Jarrar's. If he objects to the notion that an airline can have "no Arabic script" as part of a customer dress code, then he has some explaining to do. [bold added today]So these imams were allegedly praying. Let them pray, but do not force an airline to ignore the fact that they are Moslem or pretend that their religion does not rightfully arouse suspicions among most Americans. If they haven't the foresight to schedule a flight around prayer time in an overwhelmingly non-Moslem country which has been repeatedly attacked by Moslems, then tough nuts. Have these nincompoops never heard of red-eye flights? Or trains? Or automobiles?
But even if our government actually protected the right of a carrier like Jet Blue to bar certain forms of dress on its flights, all the above still does not mean that the government would properly just ignore suspicious-looking characters with an interest in domestic aviation. Not after the atrocities committed in the name of Islam on September 11, 2001.
But the tectonic plates move in dangerous ways when the topics are taxes, trade, torts and terrorism. [George] Miller voted against reducing the federal tax code's "marriage penalty"; [Ellen] Tauscher was for it. He was against liberalizing trade with China; she was for it. He was against limiting awards in lawsuits; she was for it.Tauscher is a mixed bag to be sure, but if there are more people like her in the party (and this article is accurate), that would be a very good thing.
Then there is terrorism -- and Iraq. Tauscher, with her lower Manhattan ties and her swing district (which includes two of the government's most important defense-research labs), voted to authorize the war in Iraq and is wary of the consequences of a too-hasty exit. To Miller, the war is an unsalvageable blunder. Coming of age in antiwar San Francisco, his view is framed by Vietnam. He voted against authorizing the invasion. He admires Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania for having come forward last year to denounce it. "Everyone discounted the criticisms of people like me because we were the 'antiwar crowd'," Miller says. "Jack gave the Democratic Party a place to stand."
The Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co. manufactures a Jesus doll that is less a toy and more a tool with which to preach Christianity to children. For example, the toy quotes the Holy Bible with statements like "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." The doll's manufacturer offered to donate 4,000 of its dolls to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, founded by the Marines in 1947 to ensure that needy children received some toys for Christmas.The purpose of our military is to defend the United States from foreign threats. Not to serve as an overseas welfare agency (to which many conservatives rightfully object) or as a religious order. This is an outrage.
The foundation, supported today by the Marine Corps Reserves as part of its official mission, opted to refuse the Jesus dolls on the grounds that the Marines don't profess one faith over another, and that the doll was an inappropriate gift for a non-Christian family. And that's when all hell broke lose.
In response to its decision, the foundation was peppered with so many calls of Christian outrage that The Washington Post reports that it became impossible for the foundation to perform its mission -- which is simply to give some hard-luck kids something nice to play with on Christmas Day. Caving in to the pressure, the foundation reversed itself and agreed to accept the Jesus dolls, and will simply have to make an extra effort in addition to its already large commitments to ensure that these dolls don't go to families that don't want them.
To say grace is to give credit where none is due -- and, worse, it is to withhold credit where it is due. To say grace is to commit an act of injustice.Thank you, Craig, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Rational, productive people -- whether philosophers, scientists, inventors, artists, businessmen, military strategists, friends, family, or yourself -- are who deserve to be thanked for the goods on which your life, liberty, and happiness depend. This holiday season -- and from here out -- don't say grace; say justice: Thank or acknowledge the people who actually provide the goods. Some of them may be sitting right there at the table with you. And if you find yourself at a table where people insist on saying grace, politely insist on saying justice when they're through. It's the right thing to do.
Communist officials give monotonous speeches warning the populace against "peaceful evolution" toward Western values and decadence. But many, including the revered Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, under whose command the Vietnamese defeated the French and then the Americans, send their children to study and live in the U.S. and Europe. (Many stay and launder their parents' ill-gotten gains in Western real estate.) The version of Vietnam the Vietnamese people like best is by far the one with America and its stuff.Unfortunately, if we are "winning Vietnam after we lost Vietnam", we are "losing the American Revolution after we won the American Revolution":
The Belmont[, California, ] City Council voted unanimously last night to pursue a strict law that will prohibit smoking anywhere in the city except for single-family detached residences. Smoking on the street, in a park and even in one's car will become illegal and police would have the option of handing out tickets if they catch someone. [bold added]Unfortunately, they seem to have forgotten that if you ban the smoking of tobacco, you must burn freedom to do so. Talk about some truly hazardous "second hand smoke"....
Pastor Rick Warren, who yesterday met with [Syrian] President Al-Assad and Foreign Minister Al-Mu'allim, said: "Washington is wrong not to hold dialogue with Syria, which wants peace. I call on the Americans to visit Syria and meet its beautiful people. I will tell the Americans that their idea about Syria does not reflect the truth." This is what the American clergyman said after seeing the facts on the ground. It was not in his interest not to say the truth about what he himself and the accompanying Protestant delegation saw and felt. [bold added]"Facts on the ground" is an argument that sometimes has merit, but as it is being used here, it is simply another variant of the "chickenhawk" fallacy. One need not actually go to Syria to know whether or not it is a state sponsor of terrorism. Nor does visiting the country transform someone into an expert. In fact, given that it is a dictatorship, such a visit will almost certainly make one less knowledgeable.
While the speakers at the National Press Club unveiling were highly critical of Bush administration policies regarding stem cell research, global warming, abstinence-only sex education and the teaching of "intelligent design," they said that their group was nonpartisan and that many Democrats were hostile to keeping religion out of public policy. [bold added]Although this group is right that, "This disdain for science is aggravated by the excessive influence of religious doctrine on our public policies," I would argue (and have) that it is far more damaging for organizations to push a leftist fad in the name of science. In fact, doing so makes the fundamentalists look more credible than they deserve. (HT: TIA Daily)
What really matters is what our forces are ordered -- and permitted -- to do. With political correctness permeating our government and even the upper echelons of the military, we never tried the one technique that has a solid track record of defeating insurgents if applied consistently: the rigorous imposition of public order.I think this has even been used in the past against Islamic insurgents by the American military itself!
That means killing the bad guys. Not winning their hearts and minds, placating them or bringing them into the government. Killing them. [bold added]
When Polish student Michael Gromek, 19, went to America on a student exchange, he found himself trapped in a host family of Christian fundamentalists. What followed was a six-month hell of dawn church visits and sex education talks as his new family tried to banish the devil from his soul.GB links to the whole story at his blog.
..."When I got out of the plane in Greensboro in the US state of North Carolina, I would never have expected my host family to welcome me at the airport, wielding a Bible, and saying, 'Child, our Lord sent you half-way around the world to bring you to us.' At that moment I just wanted to turn round and run back to the plane.
Things began to go wrong as soon as I arrived in my new home in Winston-Salem, where I was to spend my year abroad. For example, every Monday my host family would gather around the kitchen table to talk about sex. My host parents hadn't had sex for the last 17 years because -- so they told me -- they were devoting their lives to God. They also wanted to know whether I drank alcohol. I admitted that I liked beer and wine. They told me I had the devil in my heart. [bold added]
Will Bush adopt even a few of these measure? Perhaps, but the prospects are worse than dim. Certainly the leftist-influenced Democrats will not. I'm hoping that it's still possible to influence Republicans and other Americans to begin fighting to win. However, voting for Democrats in order to hasten a change for better political alternatives could be the better strategy. I'm not yet convinced we've reached that point.This is pretty close to where I was in my explicit thinking Tuesday. My gut feel was indifference to the results. My first stab at making sense of this conflict is that we were fast approaching the point at which the Republicans needed to be dislodged if we weren't there already. This is something I will be sorting out perhaps for some time.
Rush Limbaugh tells us:My initial reaction to hearing about this was about the same.I feel liberated, and I'm going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried.You know what, Rush? It would have been better for America (and for your self-esteem) if you had not carried the Republicans' water when they did not deserve it. But instead of doing what was best for America, you did what was best for Republican Party power. There is a difference.
First of all, when anyone tells me what a virtue humility is, I have a nearly irrestistable urge to punch them in the face. My immediate thought is, "How dare you talk to me about humility?" Not because I'm so humble, I'm not, but because I don't see any reason to be more humble than I am.If Allen Forkum is where I was before the election, Trey Givens is, at least in this respect, where I am now.
Second of all, Americans have no business voting for the benefit of everyone else in the world. Whatever decisions are made in elections need to be on the grounds that it is what is best for America, so the world's opinion of our leaders be damned.
Finally, I think the fact that they're following our elections closely proves the point that America is awesome and we didn't get to where we are by being concerned about other people's feelings. [bold added]
Although this may seem improbable now, those ideas may seem much more plausible to a country that has been softened up by a barrage of conservative Christian academics and intellectuals who have been teaching that America is a Christian country, that American virtue depends on its religiosity, that the very survival of America depends on the inclusion of religious values in the government, that the "wall of separation" between church and state imposed by the secular Left has been a major source of our problems, and that the attacks we have suffered are the price we are paying for ignoring these "truths". This misintegrated worldview could gain significant traction amongst a large segment of Americans who aren't otherwise armed with a opposing strong rational explicit philosophy.Read it all. There are some especially alarming examples of bleeding edge -- This phrase seems particularly appropriate here! -- conservative thought on the matter of separating church and state at the beginning of the piece.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva didn't celebrate the oil independence milestone out in an Amazon sugar field.I recall that after the fall of communism, ecological disasters -- real ones -- were turning up all over the old Soviet Bloc for awhile. And then Kyoto, I believe, exempted developing countries from its emissions obligations. And now we see that Brazil, that worker's paradise always held up to the United States as some kind of great "progressive" example, has been (shudder) drilling for oil! No one bats an eye or even says anything about it until seven months later!
No, he smashed a champagne bottle on the spaceship-like deck of Brazil's vast P-50 oil rig in the Albacora Leste field in the deep blue Atlantic. Why? Brazil's oil independence had virtually nothing to do with its ethanol development. It came from drilling oil.
[Harriman's] unique approach is to teach physics historically, thereby teaching it inductively. From the early Greeks to Copernicus to Newton, this course presents the essential principles of physics in logical sequence, placing each in the context of the earlier discoveries that made it possible and explaining how each was discovered by reasoning from observations.
For this essay, I want to take as given the report's assessment of the cost of global warming. Also, I will take as given that the strategy of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, which I call the de-industrialization strategy, would cost one percent of global GDP each year. I want to suggest exploring an alternative strategy for fighting global warming, which I call the climate engineering strategy.Our Libertarian fails to mention that he also "takes as given" that we should simply forfeit our freedom and property to busybodies -- who would tax us at best and forbid us to enjoy industrial society at worst -- all because of an overhyped, undersubstantiated climate phenomenon! Even if industrialization did cause global warming, such solutions are wrong because they threaten individual rights.
I also will concede that I am not entirely comfortable putting the world's climate in the hands of scientists who attempt to engage in climate engineering. However, that discomfort is nothing compared with my fear of putting our future in the hands of international bureaucrats who are eager to embrace de-industrialization and to engineer a reduction of world GDP of $400 billion a year.
I live in a country where alcohol is officially banned, but where the art of homemade spirits has reached new heights. Sharing my astonishment about the cocktail book with some friends with better connections to the Islamist regime, they explained the government has a silent pact with the educated and affluent in Iran's big cities, who render politics unto Caesar, provided that Caesar keeps his nose out of their liquor cabinets.The subtitle of the article sums it up best: "How can you have a revolution when everyone is watching TV?"
In other words, the well-to-do Iranian drinks and reads and watches what he wishes. He does as he pleases behind the walls of his private mansions and villas. In return for his private comforts, the affluent Iranian is happy to sacrifice freedom of speech, most of his civil rights, and his freedom of association. The upper-middle class has been bought off by this pact, which makes a virtue of hypocrisy.
Nearly one in three Swedes, 29 percent, think that the US is the biggest threat to peace on earth, the poll, commissioned by Axess Television, reveals. (TheLocal.se, 10/29/06.)
In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?"So women are "meat" and men are "cats". I guess if I had such a low opinion of myself, I might be susceptible to Islam, too.
"The uncovered meat is the problem."
The sheik then said: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."
He said women were "weapons" used by "Satan" to control men. [bold added]
Now...it don't take genius to figure out just who had to clean up all the shit. The coffee urn...a total loss...oh it was fixed and cleaned...but ain't nobody would ever drink outta it after that...includin me....the boat had t'get a new one.Hey! I can't help it if so many of the best ones are about blowing sanitary tanks!
What are we supposed to learn when a candidate talks about his faith: That he is a good person? The rich history of religious bounders and charlatans should give the lie to that hope. Nor has a sincere belief in God prevented behavior we now view as morally repugnant. There were few more religious Americans than antebellum slaveholders and their political representatives; their claim to a divine mandate for slavery was based in unimpeachable Scriptural authority.Anyone who has ever sneered in derision when listening to some piece of human refuse babbling about "finding Jesus" during an interview from behind bars would do well to remember that emotion -- and why he felt it -- the next time he hears the same sentiment uttered by a politician.
Or perhaps a politician's discussion of his prayer habits should reassure the public he'll make the right decisions in office. But what if opposing candidates declare themselves supplicants of the divine will -- how will a voter decide who is most likely to receive divine guidance?