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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

When the wind blows...Part II

AP - GULFPORT, Miss. - As dawn broke over the ravaged Gulf Coast on Tuesday, rescuers in boats and helicopters furiously searched for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. The governor said the death toll in one Mississippi county alone could be as high as 80.

AP - WASHINGTON - The nation's top disaster relief official said Tuesday that Hurricane Katrina wrought "catastrophic" damage to low-lying portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and that additional medical personnel were being moved in to treat evacuated hospital patients.

Part I was an attempt at humor...but there's nothing funny about "Katrina". Reports of casualties are still coming in. If you believe in that sort of thing, as I do, please pray for the victims of this disaster...

States' advisories:

American Red Cross
Angel Pray Child Charity Foundation
Catholic Charities USA
Lutheran World Relief
Network for Good
The Salvation Army

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A "Slippery Slope"...

AP: VIENNA, Austria - Oil prices rose Monday as traders weighed the effects of sabotage that disrupted Iraq's southern pipeline exports against partially resumed crude production in Ecuador.

Analysts cautioned against putting too much emphasis on the Iraqi outages, saying it was too early to say how long the shortfalls in output would last. An official of Iraq's South Oil Co. said exports had resumed on a limited basis, while other officials said waiting tankers were being serviced by pumps on auxillary power at a rate much reduced from normal.

As if gas prices of $3/gallon weren't bad enough, contemplate what they're really paying for: A booming Saudi stock market. Subsidies for Castro. And...weapons for terrorists.

Iran's mullahs, locked in a standoff with the U.N. and U.S. over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, are boosted by an oil-rich economy that will grow 6% this year and next.
(According to the International Monetary Fund)

After the 9/11/01 attacks, the Saudis met U.S. demands by ending government support for Islamic charities linked to terrorism. But individuals in the kingdom continue to send cash to groups that support terrorists.

"We know wealthy Saudis are funding terror. With higher oil prices, they just have more money to do so," says Rachel Bronson, director of Middle East studies for the Council on Foreign Relations.

Saudi Arabia's population has exploded from 5.7 million in 1970 to 25 million today. That has driven down per-capita oil export revenue from more than $22,000 in the early 1980s to less than $5,000 today.

"Even with oil at $65 a barrel," says Bronson, "they can't solve all their economic problems."

There's no time like the present to increase funding of alternative energy research, and using the existing technology as much as possible.

I get relatively good gas mileage with my Harley, but the cold weather's a-comin'...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Better late than never...

I hope this gets a lot of positive press, but that term seems to be a bit of an oxymoron nowadays...and speaking of better late than never, a belated tip o' the "-do rag" to Villainous Company.

Anyway, good news is supposed to travel fast:

Text of the Fatwa

The Fiqh Council of North America wishes to reaffirm Islam's absolute condemnation of terrorism and religious extremism.

Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram – or forbidden - and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not "martyrs."

The Qur'an, Islam's revealed text, states: "Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind." (Qur'an, 5:32)

Prophet Muhammad said there is no excuse for committing unjust acts: "Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil." (Al-Tirmidhi)

God mandates moderation in faith and in all aspects of life when He states in the Qur'an: "We made you to be a community of the middle way, so that (with the example of your lives) you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind." (Qur'an, 2:143)

In another verse, God explains our duties as human beings when he says: "Let there arise from among you a band of people who invite to righteousness, and enjoin good and forbid evil." (Qur'an, 3:104)

Islam teaches us to act in a caring manner to all of God's creation. The Prophet Muhammad, who is described in the Qur'an as "a mercy to the worlds" said: "All creation is the family of God, and the person most beloved by God (is the one) who is kind and caring toward His family."

In the light of the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah we clearly and strongly state:

1. All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam.

2. It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.

3. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.

We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture, the Qur'an, and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him. We urge all people to resolve all conflicts in just and peaceful manners.

We pray for the defeat of extremism and terrorism. We pray for the safety and security of our country, the United States, and its people. We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants of our planet. We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in the United States and all around the globe.

If this saves just one life, it will have been worth it; I hope it saves many lives, on both sides of the conflict...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Yuo mihgt laern soemthnig...

Late (to me) breaking news:
(Tip o' the "-do rag" to Josh)


Relax. There is nothing wrong with your computer! Nor has this site been hacked. It's simply time to put this baby to bed. It's been a fun trip, but after 10,000 hits it's time to move on to other things.
That's right. In case anyone is still wondering, this is satire! (You nailed it, Hawkeye!) I am not a 21 year-old, dope-smoking, spellingly challenged, shallow, left-wing looney, Ivy League legacy brat. No, I'm a 45-year old father of two great daughters who has been a conservative since high school - before I could even vote! I'm a product of the Catholic School System where I received a conservative education. Thank God I wasn't subjected to public school. (Josh Fahrni, your parents are so right to home-school you!) I never tried weed, even non-inhaling. Oh, and yes I can spell!
Why start this blog? Well, back in 2004, I was surfing the net, reading various blogs. Running across some lefty blog, DU I think it was, I decided to have a little fun. I came up with this blithering blather about passive survival and how we need to talk to Usama binLaden and building a mosque at Ground Zero. I wanted to see what reaction I got from the lefties. Only problem is, you have to register at DU and many other lefty sites. I didn't want to do that because I knew someone that did it and kept getting spammed. What to do? So finally I decided to post it on a conservative blog, ScrappleFace, and let everyone beat up the lib. I chose the name, «Howie», because it just sounded like a whiny, sanctimonious liberal weenie. (Apologies to any Howards or Howells out there!)
Howie soon became a created character with a personality. Howie is arrogant, whiny, a know-it-all; he's shallow. Howie's «knowledge» is all by rote. It's all su[pe]rficial; he has his lefty views but he really hasn't a clue why. Howie doesn't believe, he «feels». When challenged on his views he doesn't defend them, he falls back on, «Presemt a neocon wiht the facts abd the tuth and recieve an ad-nominem pesonal attack in returm». His spelling is right out of public school. Oh, and Howie uses these irritating «European» quotation marks.
After the 2004 election, I decided that Howie needs a blog of his own. I looked at Typepad, but they charge; Howie was not that important to become another bill for me to pay. Finally, this past spring, I discovered Blogger and, after being urged by dean04prez to"totaly start a blog of you're own", I started this blog.
Building upon Howie's arrogance, I started comment-spamming blogs on both the right and the left. You know, "Nice blog..." This got me traffic. I got conservatives who were angry at this lib brat spamming their site; I got libs, many of whom were totally supportive of Howie's views, no matter how extreme. And I deliberately pushed the envelope on that, too. Some of the libs seemed like sincere people who just had the wrong views; nonetheless they were sincere. Others were the type where you just want to take a shower after visiting their site. I found a veritable ocean of great conservative blogs. Camojack, Josh, Beerme, many others. (See sideboard.) Sorry about the stupid comments, guys.
The puppet face. About that. There's a reason. That puppet was called Dorshock and it was on The Sandy Becker Show, a New York kids' show from the 50s and 60s that I used to watch. Dorshock's entire vocabulary was, "blah, blah, blah, blah." Suits Howie doesn't it.
So, time to put Howie away. I haven't decided whether to stay on as a conservative blog, or to shut down, but it's been fun, especially reading the great responses to Howie everyone has posted!
A big thank you goes out to the great Scott Ott of ScrappleFace and Professym Lawrence "Liberal Larry" Chomstein of BlameBush for inspiration for this project.

vignetted by hooey @ 7:07 PM Saturday, August 06, 2005

I'll refrain from saying "I told you so"...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Horror...

AP - HIROSHIMA, Japan - With water and flowers for the dead, Hiroshima is remembering how a flash in the early morning sky 60 years ago turned life to death for more than 140,000 people and forever changed the face of war. To mark the 60th anniversary Saturday of the world's first atomic bomb attack, tens of thousands were expected at Peace Memorial Park, the spiritual epicenter of the global anti-nuclear movement for one day each year.

Of course, it's easy to second-guess what happened 60 years ago, but besides the fact that there are no "do overs" in real life...what was done, although killing hundreds of thousands, saved millions.

Recently some heretofore unreleased intelligence has come to light regarding the state of affairs back then. Apparently Truman was sworn to secrecy regarding the actual situation "on the ground":
"Newly opened archives of radio intercepts of messages between Tokyo and its diplomats abroad, which President Truman was sworn never to talk about, ever, reveal that the Japanese generals and their emperor did not consider themselves defeated..."
(to read the source of the excerpt in its entirety, click here)

More excellent commentary here:
60 Years Later Considering Hiroshima
(by Victor Davis Hanson>

Although it happened a dozen years before I was born, the world will never forget what happened during those fateful 3 days...nor should it.

Hopefully it will never happen again, but there are many who would gladly unleash such a horrific force again, all in the name of a religion of peace...

Monday, August 01, 2005

The king is dead; long live the king?

King Fahd of Saudia Arabia, right, and the Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, left, are seen in this 1981 photo taken in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. King Fahd, who moved his country closer to the United States but ruled in name only since suffering a stroke in 1995, died early Monday, Aug. 1, 2005, the Saudi royal court said. He was 84. Crown Prince Abdullah, the king's half brother and Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, was appointed the country's new monarch.
(AP Photo/Saleh Rifai, File)

Abdullah Al-Shihri, for AP - RIYADH, Saudi Arabia:
During his rule, the portly, goateed Fahd, who rose to the throne in 1982, inadvertently helped fuel the rise of Islamic extremism by making multiple concessions to hard-liners, hoping to boost his Islamic credentials. But then he also brought the kingdom closer to the United States and agreed to a step that enraged many conservatives: the basing of U.S. troops on Saudi soil after the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Abdullah oversaw the crackdown on Islamic militants after followers of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden launched a wave of attacks, beginning with the May 2003 bombings of Western residential compounds in Riyadh. Abdullah also pushed a campaign against extremist teaching and preaching and introduced the kingdom's first elections ever - municipal polls held in early 2005.

And Abdullah - who before coming to power had not been happy with Saudi Arabia's close alliance with and military dependence on the United States and Washington's perceived bias toward Israel - rebuilt the kingdom's ties with the U.S. He visited President Bush twice at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, most recently in April 2005.

Well. We know that a lot of Islamic fanatics hail from Saudi Arabia...like those charming fellows who flew a few planes into some buildings hereabouts. Then there's the lovely and talented Osama bin Laden, of course.

The Saudi royalty has paid a lot of lip service to being vehemently opposed to terrorism; now they officially have a new king, although in reality Abdullah has been running the show for 10 years years now, ever since King Fahd had a stroke in '95. Perhaps now that Abdullah is king in fact, things might change...but it seems doubtful.

Crude oil prices will very likely stay high, largely due to the appetite of the Dragon in the East...China.
(Economics 101 - Law of Supply and Demand: the Saudis have the supply, while China has the demand. Of course when you adjust for inflation, gas prices in the U.S. have been higher in the past. But I digress...)

My primary concern is regarding terrorism.

Instead of just paying lip service to being opposed to it, it would speak volumes if King Abdullah denounced it entirely. He has cracked down on it within his country's borders to a certain degree, but many of the so-called "insurgents" in Iraq are being bankrolled by Saudi sympathizers. If King Abdullah were to crack down on them, it would truly make a difference.

Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words...

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