Lowering The Bar

Posted in 2008 Election on October 31st, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama preaches “Hope” and “Change” to the multitudes. He stands as a savior of the unwashed masses and offers gifts and glory to them – if only they will grant him their votes. There is no denying that Sen. Obama is a brilliant orator and has the capability of capturing the dreams of many in the US – but what will he deliver on those promises?

From The Times of London (Times Online):

Barack Obamas senior advisers have drawn up plans to lower expectations for his presidency if he wins next weeks election, amid concerns that many of his euphoric supporters are harbouring unrealistic hopes of what he can achieve.

The sudden financial crisis and the prospect of a deep and painful recession have increased the urgency inside the Obama team to bring people down to earth, after a campaign in which his soaring rhetoric and promises of hope and change are now confronted with the reality of a stricken economy.

One senior adviser told The Times that the first few weeks of the transition, immediately after the election, were critical, so theres not a vast mood swing from exhilaration and euphoria to despair.

The aide said that Mr Obama himself was the first to realise that expectations risked being inflated.

Read the full Times Online Article

Sen. Obama has sown the wind with his populist approach and his inspiring but insubstantial political platform. Now it seems that he and his advisers are worried that he will reap the whirlwind of dashed hopes, despair, and the rage that will ensue from false hopes and broken promises.

H/T to The Reluctant Optimist

Fitna The Movie

Posted in Politics, Religion, Society on March 27th, 2008

Below is the English version of Geert Wilders’ highly controversial film about the Qu’ran. It directly links passages from the Qu’ran to various and sundry heinous acts of savagery, brutality, oppression, and terrorism that have been committed by Islamists in the name of Islam across the globe.

I’m posting it here, not as an attack on Muslims or the religion of Islam, but as a starting point for discussion.

My first thought on this video was that it is a classic example of “cherry picking” individual passages out of a text in order to use those passages out of context to change people’s overall opinion of a text as a whole. This tactic has been used time and time again, yet never seems to fall out favor through overuse.

The English translations of the referenced sura from the Qu’ran are linked to below in their entirety. Read as part of each whole passage they convey a somewhat different meaning.

My second and sadder thought was that the extremists – a small minority among Muslims, as it is with any religion or ideology – are probably doing the exact same sort of “cherry picking”, down to sura and verse in order to justify their own agendas.

I think that Wilder’s video will appeal to many people who are already afraid of Muslims. I also think it will enrage many Muslims who already hate the West. I doubt this level of bigotry will change anyone’s opinion though; it’s too unsubtle to be good propaganda. I am force to conclude that Geert Wilder is hoping for a violent reaction from Muslims since such would only further support his world view.

Descent Into Hell

Posted in 2008 Olympics on March 25th, 2008

On Monday, March 24, 2008, at the altar of Hestia in Olympia, Greece, the Olympic Torch was lit – amid peaceful protests – for the 2008 Beijing Games. Eleven women, representing the roles of priestesses, performed the ceremony in which the torch is kindled by the light of the Sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror.

The Olympic Flame will now be carried by runners during a 85,000-mile, 136-day relay across five continents and 20 countries, ultimately culminating with its descent into Hell as it is plunged into the Cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Games. To add insult to decades of injury, the Olympic Torch will be carried through Tibet to further show Chinese control of the occupied territory.

So, after decades of being a beacon of hope for mankind, the Olympic Torch returns to the darkness as it is used once again for the glorification of a totalitarian and genocidal regime. It should now be remembered that the modern torch relay was introduced by Carl Diem, president of the Organization Committee for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, as part of an effort to turn the games into a glorification of the Third Reich.

Obama’s Race Speech

Posted in 2008 Election, Society on March 18th, 2008

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. - Pastor, Bigot, IdiotI’m fairly sure that everyone in the US who’s not deaf has heard a lot about Trinity UCC’s retiring senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.’s radically anti-American and racist speeches and diatribes. You’d have to work diligently and relentlessly to maintain any semblance of ignorance on the subject.

Few people in America are now indifferent to Wright.

It’s no surprise that Wright’s ongoing hatred of “White America” has had a negative impact on Sen. Barack Obama’s bid for the Democratic Party’s US presidential nomination. I had even posted about this back in July, 2007. In an attempt to mitigate the damage to his campaign Sen. Obama has publicly condemned Wright’s bigotry and distanced himself from his former pastor.

Obama has gone a step further though…

Read the rest of this entry »

DC v. Heller – It’s On!

Posted in Politics on March 18th, 2008

Starting today, March 18, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments on District of Columbia v. Heller, Case #07-290. Finally, after over 70 years the US Supreme Court will hear a case whose basis is whether the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution is an individual right or a collective right.

A couple of quotes relevant to the issue:

[Those] who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it’s not an individual right [are] courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don’t like.

— Alan Dershowitz
Harvard Law School

Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est
(“A sword is never a killer, it’s a tool in the killer’s hands”)

— Lucius Annaeus Seneca “the younger”
circa (4 BC – 65 AD)

The Supreme Court’s ruling is expected by the end of June. It is obvious that the ruling could have a far-reaching impact on gun control laws in the United States. What seems less obvious to the US populace in general is that the court’s ruling could also have far reaching impact on the fundamental freedoms of every single person in the US.