Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ich bin ein Dhimmi

The German Opera has cancelled the production of Mozart's opera Idomeno because the new staging might be offensive to certain religious groups. The production features a scene in which the severed heads of Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed are presented by one of the characters.

The director said that the State Criminal Office stated concluded that "if the Deutsche Oper stages this version of Idomeneo in its originally produced form, it will pose an incalculable security risk to the public and employees."

Golly, I wonder which religious group poses an incalculable security risk when they get offended?

Congratulation, arhabi. You win.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Saturday, September 23, 2006

VeggieTales on NBC

So the creators of VeggieTales removed overt religious references in versions of the videos for broadcast on NBC. (BigIdea.com - News: VeggieTales & NBC) Here's how I imagine Bob and Larry might react to the news:

Scene: Bob and Larry on the kitchen sink.

Bob: Larry - we're on network TV! Isn't that great?

Larry: Uh, Bob. We don't have any arms.

Bob (deadpan): We've never had arms, Larry.

Larry: Right! But, uh, they've made us take out the tagline. And Qwerty!

Bob (deadpan): What's your point, Larry.

Larry: But they've taken out those special Bible messages about how you're special and God loves you very much, and Qwerty's Bible verses, and ... and ...

Bob: Larry...

Larry: ...and...

Bob: LArry...

Larry: ...and...

Bob: LARRY!!!

Larry (snapping out of it, brightly): Yes, Bob?

Bob: The videos, Larry. The videos. All those things are in the videos.

Larry: The videos?

Bob: Yes, Larry the videos. Already on store shelves.

Larry (hopefully): Qwerty?

Bob (patiently): That's right, Larry.

Larry: God-made-you-special-and-He-loves-you-very-much?

Bob: Yes, Larry.

Larry: Those special Sunday Morning Values we've known and loved for years are still preserved for years to come in portable electronic media and currently available for purchase at retail outlets nationwide?????

Bob: Larry. StuffMart ordered a train-load of DVDs last week.

Larry: I feel much better. What's for lunch?

cue theme music....

The Looming Tower

If you don't have (or can't take) the time to read Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower, then at least read the transcript of Hugh Hewitt's two hour interview with the author.

Read it especially if you think you know somethng about the history of al Quaeda, bin Laden, and Zawahiri.

Friday, September 22, 2006

More Propaganda

I'm guessing that reports that Richard Armitagethreatened a Pakistani official were cooked up by the AQ psych-war/media-ops team. It's a terrific tactic to drive a wedge between uneasy allies, especially when they have been very successful at hunting down AQ operatives. Just look at the timing - right on top of a peace treaty between the pakistani government and tribal leaders in the border region, a treaty that has been presented in some quarters as a pact with the Taliban.

Brilliant move, really.

I hope enough people see through it.

Musharraf says he can't comment because of his upcoming book deal. I wonder if AQ has someone inside his publisher's offices, in a position to squash rebuttal of this well-timed wedge attack?

Nah, probably not. That would be giving them too much credit.

Where to buy gas

Jeff Cohen wants you to buy your gas at Citgo because it's owned by Yugo Chevy, the communist dictator of Venezuela.

Sounds like a good reason to fill up at BP or Speedway to me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

We can only pray

Abbas: Unity gov't will recognize Israel.

Of course, if Syria and Iran follow suit, you'd best get right with God.

UPDATE: The deal fell through. Unity? What unity? We're dealing with a group of people that still can't figure out ow to get the results that Gahndi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr got.

Assuming they want those results.

Friend of the devil...

A third-rate two-bit tinhorn commie dictator calls the leader of the Free World "el diablo" while the assembled UN "diplomats" laugh at his pathetic attempt at stand-up comedy.

Watching the video, I was reminded of nothing so much as the classic film clip of Benito Mussolini standing on a balcony adressing a crowd. He's jutting his chin out, nodding his head in self-approval and gesturing towards himself as if to say, "Yeah, baby, give me the love, I'm so wonderful, hmm, hmm."

Chavez looks a fair bit like Mussolini, don't you think?

You do know what happened to Il Duce, right?

Women Can't Do Math...Or Can They?

Pew Research Center reports on a fascinating study on a way we might reduce the gender gap in math performance. It's deceptively simple - remind women how smart they are. Read the whole thing - it's an ingeneous experimental design.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Godspeed, Guvn'r.

Ex-Texas Gov. Ann Richards dies As a stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb-in-Aggieland liberal and as a stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb-in-Minnesnowta conservative, I always had a great deal of respect for Gov. Richards.

Probably because she reminded me so much of my Aunt Kitty.

As AK said, there are people who wouldn't say, "sh!t" if they had a mouthful of it. Anne Richards was not one of those people.

She would have made a fine President.

I always liked Dr. K. ... and Queen

Kissinger warns of possible "war of civilizations"

Kissinger gets it. He always has, as far back as I can remember. If you could penetrate that thick-as-the-old-Black-Forest accent, the words and ideas always made sense.

Maybe too much sense for some.

It reminds me, somehow, suddenly, of an old song by Queen from their landmark "Night at the Opera" album. A very obscure track, not even B-side single material. I've never heard it on the radio, not even on a "deep tracks" show.

Side B, track 1: "The Prophet's Song."

Look up the lyrics. Buy the CD and have a listen.

Too lazy?

Here it is, in twelve-part overdubbed harmony: "Ahh, ahh, people can you hear me? ... Listen to the wise - Listen to the wise - Listen to the wise man!!"

And as if in reply the chorus sings, "La la, lala la la lah lahh... Listen to the mad - Listen to the mad - Listen to the mad man!!!"

All that's missing is the laughing and jeering of the head-in-the-sand crowd.

But, a note of hope. The narrator pauses a moment and then sings, "But still I fear and still I dare not laugh at the madman"

As the Wise One said, let him who has ears, let him hear.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It is to LOL

North Korea, Iran, and Syria want terrorism redefined.

I'll bet Al Capone wanted tax evasion redefined, too.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Safer but wiser

5 years after 9/11, many angry at U.S. Some people think that US actions since 9/11 have made the world less secure.


We were not safe and secure on September 10, 2001. We just thought we were. We didn't really understand the nature of the threat.

Now we do.

We are in fact safer now, though we feel less easy.

We are safer because we DO understand the threat. (At least, some of us do. The Denial-Dhimmicrats still live in blissful 9/10/01 ignorance.)

We are safer because we have a President who is committed to fighting Islamist thugs on their turf, with Marines and A-10s, rather than cleaning up after them on our turf with cops and fire trucks.

We are safer because young men and women who understand the threat and who love this country are willing to risk and shed their blood in its defense, despite the shameful calls for surrender from those who once wore the same uniform.

We are safer because the enemy is reduced in number and capability. Under the previous administration, the enemy grew in capability. In 1993, he blew up 1500 lbs of explosives the parking garage under the WTC. In 1996, he killed US servicemen and women at the Khobar towers with 5,000 lbs of explosives. In 2001, he commandeered four jetliners and killed 3000 Americans in the span of an hour.

Then we woke up.

Since then, what as the enemy been able to throw at us? Car bombs. IEDs. Backpack bombs. And doctored photos and planted news stories. We are winning the military war. We may yet lose the propaganda war.

It is up to those of us who recognize the threat to continue to point it out.

When they are in fact out to get you, paranoia has a certain amount of survival value.

9/11 and Goose Aerodynamics

Watched the first part of "United 93" last night with my wife. Then I carried my sleeping daughter to her bed (she'd crawled into ours) and prayed - hard - that if she ever faced murderous thugs shouting "Allahu Akbar" that she'd fight back with every fiber of her being, shouting, "Isa Akbar!"

Today is nearly a sacred day for me. Like July 4th, there's a lot of red, white, and blue out, and I'm glad to see it. But it's not a celebration. It's a solemn acknowledgement that freedom is never free, that there are those who wish to strip it from us, and that they will unless we resist with all we have.

But still, life goes on, and the view out my window prompts me to write this...

Ahh, fall. The trees across the parking lot outside my window are beginning to show their autumn colors. There's a nip in the air. And the young geese are practicing their formation flying skills.

You've probably seen that geese fly in V formations. This is so that each goose except the lead can surf on the vortex generated by the goose ahead, reducing the amount of energy needed to stay aloft. They maintain a precise relative position to take maximum aerodynamic advantage.

But did you ever notice that the V is almost always asymmetrical? One side is usually longer than the other. Turns out there's a precise mathematical reason for that, too.

There's more geese on that side.

Friday, September 08, 2006

James Tubthumping

Lileks with a grand post on honest work and optimism. Great stuff.