Waiting for Leadership

Yemen is a mess, but it is Saudi Arabia’s problem — the Saudi’s oil fields are vulnerable and the Saudis and the ISIL oriented fighters in Yemen know it. The Saudis have a decent fence between the two nations, but that was only sufficient if Yemen had a relatively friendly government, and today it decidedly does not. The Yemeni rebels simply don’t have the muscle to take on the Saudis.

Now that the UAE is back in the fray through Jordanian airfields (token, to be sure), and the U.S. is still in the sky, SOMEONE has to field that famous “boots on the ground” — and while that should be Iraq, we have already seen how quickly they can run. It is reported that Delta Force is active on the ground.

ISIL was reputed to have 30,000 fighters when they rolled down that two lane “highway” from Syria, and the number appears to be 50,000 today. The Kurds have held ISIL at bay, and neither the promised German or US guns have arrived, but the armies that exist in the area. The well trained 80,000 man Jordanian Army could do it, and we don’t know if they have either decided or brought up reserves to do it, but they could.

Turkey could, but they won’t. They have a Muslim nation, politically secular but under a Muslim leader who appears to be more in league with ISIL. To be perfectly honest, there is no one until the “”new” Iraqi Army — which is more likely to be similar to the “Old” Iraqi Army — is ready…about 18 months.

We theoretically have a coalition, but it is AWOL. I understand that the president hates to “project American power” — and that is a deeply held American feeling as well, but once in awhile it needs to be done. FDR recognized that before our forced entry into WWII. Of course his interest was European, Washington D. C. being on the East Coast virtually guarantees that we have been and will continue to be Eurocentric, so he was delivering war goods to Britain long before there was a declared war.

But FDR was prepared to take leadership.

Obama is not.

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Lying By Omission of Facts

The president’s declaration that Christians should get off their high horse should have been placed in historical perspective…but it wasn’t!

Heaven knows, a a Non-Believer it is not up to me to defend Christianity, but I am a Non-Believer, not Anti-Christian, so I’ll take a view more Christian than did the president.

The president surely knows that the Crusades were designed, at least in theory, to re-Conquer Jerusalem, the most sacred of Christian sites which had been seized by the Muslims. Certainly the Crusaders, at least some of them raped and pillaged on the way to recapture the “Holiest of Cities.”

Now exactly why the Crusaders wanted Jerusalem is not clear, since the Romans had reduced it to ruins in the First Century, but I look on the Crusades as sort of a Tulip Craze, and I lump Japan’s Attack on the U.S. IN 1941 in the same boat — sort of mass insanity that becomes even more contagious as it rolls.

Anyway, I put little blame on the Crusaders because they were of their time, and readers of this blog know that I am very much an anti-Presentism, Presentism being the belief that you can place todays morals and ethics upon people who never had those morals and ethics.

History is absolutely filled with wars, plots, poisoning, incest, rape, murder,,,in fact that is the way we study history…the French and Indian Wars, the War of Independence, the War of 1812, the Civil War…

So the Crusades were history by men of their time, as was the Inquisition of the 15th Century, and US slavery, which had a history going back into pre-history.

To the credit of Christians, they have evolved. While they no longer rape and pillage in the name of their faith, no longer support slavery, no longer burn Heretics at the stake, ISIL does. Not only do they do 12th Century atrocities here, more than a Millennium later, they relish in their inability to conform to 21st Century norms.

Yes, Christians once did terrible things. Even our early generations treated Heretics, Witches, and Indians badly, but they too were of their day. The president made no attempt to place his remarks about Christians in their proper historical light. I suspect he did that purposely because he wants to bring his heritage — both his American and his Christian heritage down a peg or two, because he wants to normalize if not equalize everyone and everything.

It is not quite Socialism, but it moves in that direction.

Scott Walker Scores!

The general consensus is that Scott Walker stole the Iowa beauty contest, and that is good news to me because he is my early favorite. Scott won three elections in a Blue State, against a phalanx of union members, many of whom were bused in from other states to occupy the State House.

One of my early favorites was Bobby Jindal, but he fell heavily this past weekend by leading what I consider a religious revival in Louisiana, and, a potential candidate I had previously downgraded because he was a preacher, Mike Huckabee, rose somewhat in my opinion because  he said he was not running as a preacher, but as a former Governor.

I certainly do not ask a candidate to give up his faith, but my concern is that it should not be his major driving interest. While not all Founders were Christians, many were, but none were preachers. Reading their letters and speeches, they did believe either in God or a higher power, but their faith was mentioned in passing without being a revival event.

We live in a world where Muslim extremists — and even if it is a small percentage, a small percentage if 1.2 billion is a lot of people — still live in the 12th century, and are sensitive to anything that reminds them of the Crusades of that 12th century because they live in the 12th century, remembering their glory day when Islam controlled Greece, Turkey, Spain, Sicily, Southern Italy…

When President Bush said, in September, 2001, “”this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile,” that was more than an unfortunate slip, that was a rallying cry for extremists.

Now much of the glory days of Islam geography was under Muslim freebooters, admittedly — Muslim pirates and local potentates not under any international political  leadership or any real religious leadership either.

But the Islamic geographic map was large. That large geographic map mitigated against a real Caliphate because the extent of the communications was not there. That made the Muslim world more susceptible to a semi-coherent “Army” of Crusaders picking off one portion at a time.

(I say the Crusaders were semi-coherent because they were not an “Army” in the standard sense…sort of a gaggle of peasants, merchants, Knights with 30 men retinues, and Kings/Princes with thousand-man retinues: All involved in a “Holy War” and promised eternal salvation by the Pope should they die in battle. We have heard echoes of that, recently.)

What we DONT need is any political leadership that reinforces the United States is a “Christian Nation” or that we are on a “Crusade” in the Middle East. Within the past few years the secular country of Turkey elected a Muslim president, and moved away from the Western orb. We don’t need our secular country to move into a Christian nation, reinforcing in the minds(sic) of the radicals that we are on another “Crusade.” That will just draw more to their cause.

Hillary Knows, But Is Playing To The Crowd

Hillary wants us to understand our adversaries, but my concern is that if she she understands our adversaries herself, she is playing politician to those who do not understand our adversaries.

They are, unfortunately, the majority..

In short, Muslims and Christendom have been in conflict for more than a millennia, and Jews and non-believers are lumped into the term “Infidel” although they are more than willing to be spectators to the Christian Muslim kerfuffle. The Muslim will not permit this, but we must remember that Muslims have ruled many nations (think Spain), where Muslims permitted Infidels to live in peace — so long as they paid tribute.

Into this peace came the Crusades, eight in number although only the first few could be called armies, and the final Crusades were just more armed processions to Jerusalem.

(The first Crusade was substantial (100,000 Knights and Nobles) in 1095. Now THAT was a Crusade!)

While this was a “European” endeavor, it was mostly FRENCH (strangely enough). Now you may not consider the French particularly warlike, but the Crusades were anchored primarily in the Normandy area of France, which was an area populated by farmers whose previous lives were spent in an endeavor you may have heard of.

(They were Vikings!)

Now the Crusaders were a rough bunch, easily approximating the excesses of ISIS, and they raped and murdered across the continent, through the Byzantine Empire, and into Muslim territory. They savaged Jewish communities as well as Christians and Muslims.

Anyway, it is a long and murderous, history including the Barbary Pirates trouble — it was here that the newly formed United States built its first REAL Navy, a Navy designed to subdue the (Muslim) Barbary Pirates.

(It was NOT here, as commonly believed, that we decided that famous, “Millions for Defense, but not one penny for tribute!” That was actually said by  Robert Goodloe Harper, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, regarding FRANCE in the famous “XYZ Affair”)

(It was, however, there that we signed a Treaty of Tripoli, approved by the Senate unanimously and signed by a Signer of the Constitution, President John Adams) declaring that, “the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”

I only mention this because I read comments on-line that “This is a Christian Nation” and it is in some ways THAT grates against other religions. We ARE a nation founded on Western, which is to say Judea Christian CONCEPTS — but we are NOT a Christian nation!

As I say, our problems — not with Muslims, per se, but with sects of the Muslim religion, have a long, long history, and one unlikely to be solved by “understanding” them. We must first try to understand who “them” are, and they are the many branches of the Muslim religion, some very violent, and morphing as they go.

Hillary is an educated woman. She knows this, but she is also a politician and knows that many do not know the history or the problems entailed with the various sects of the Muslim religion.

 

Quick Hits

The Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is over, and among the sparkling new TVs, Home Automation, and Gee-Gaws that will never go into production, the most important innovation occurred before the show– an Audi A7 with a Journalist at the wheel(sic), and it was a driver less car.

Now, to be certain, the Journalist had to take control after the Audi hit an off-ramp because it was really only designed for freeway work, but Google has the city driving down pat, and Mercedes has prototype driver less cars and trucks.

It’s close. Very close.

I have told the story before of being dragged out of 5-Way heart by-pass recovery at home by my friendly neighborhood MD/Ph. D (Engineering) who carted me off to Victorville, California, to witness a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (one of the few government agencies that actually work) challenge for “Autonomous Automobiles. This was four years ago. No apparatus filled autonomous cars finished the 50 mile city model, but Stanford University did well enough to win the million dollar prize. (Stanford had won the previous “Freeway” Challenge in the desert years before — and another million dollar prize.)

The driver less cars in California will require a special license and a carbon life-form behind the wheel, as did the Audi driven to the Las Vegas convention.

Still 565 freeway miles without a scare is not to be sneezed at.

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We have an entirely analogous situation developing between the good Muslims of the world, Blacks in Detroit and the overwhelming number of good teachers in California.

And there is a lesson to be learned here.

The president and his administration appear to be counting on the Muslim nations and communities to grab hold of their, by any count, small number of atrocity-bound Muslims.

Ain’t gonna’ happen.

By any measure the vast majority of teachers are good or even great teachers, and California has waited for decades for the good teachers to rein in their union and get control of the awful teachers who give them all a bad name…it has not, will not happen.

Similarly, the vast majority of Blacks, even in crime-ridden communities like Detroit and Chicago, are law abiding citizens. They know who the drug dealers, pimps and gang-bangers are — but they draw their blinds and double-lock their doors without calling the police.

Waiting for a modern population to rise up just isn’t going to happen. In the early days of America, certainly — can you imagine the western Settlers sitting in their traffic-jammed cars without heating tar and plucking feathers while marching on the halls of the San Diego Association of Governments who fund freeways too little and mass transit too much?

Neither can I.

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The Islamic Empire had a Caliph called “The Bloodthirsty” who invited opponents to dinner, clubbed them to death, threw a rug over them and dined on the rug as their opponents bled to death.

But being the reason he was called the Bloodthirsty.

But Islam was not the only group where the norm in being bloodthirsty. In the early Middle Ages, Basil II of the Byzantine Empire was rumored to have defeated an army of Bulgarians and put out the eyes of 14,000 soldiers, leaving one out of 100 with one eye to lead the defeated troops back home. That is possibly apocryphal, but that it was even believed at the time served its purpose.

The ISIS group can be accurately termed “Fundamentalists” in that they adhere to Middle Ages norms.

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In my Little Known And Completely Useless Information File: Perhaps you remember the “Ice Man” an ancient Stone Age man discovered a few years ago, who had been frozen as he fell some 5,200 years ago in the Alps. As you may know, newly discovered methods of obtaining DNA even from ancient bone, (Ice Man was not even much of a challenge) but the interesting thing to me is that 16 descendants of Ice Man have been discovered in Austria…..

In a related ice age data, Archeologists now have a new specialty — studying items being released by melting glaciers. It seems that there was a warming spell about 7,000 years ago and a treasure trove of lost items is being released by the current warming spell in Norway. They have recovered mittens, snowshoes and many farming items. (Bet you didn’t know that autos caused CO2 warming 7,000 years ago! We learn every day.)

The study of DNA is very useful in determining the flow of humans, and when they arrived in certain places…

One more note: Not all ancient Egyptians who were mummified were kings — commoners were also mummified. Millions of them!

In fact, in the early 1900s, there were so many Mummies, that Indian trains burned them for fuel.

Well, the Death Masks for Kings and Queens may have been made of gold, but commoners often had death masks made from used Papyrus and glue. Recently, technology has been able to melt the glue and recover the used  Papyrus, and we can read it…and a portion of an unknown Book of the Bible has been recovered. The actual announcement was leaked in 2012, and has just been officially acknowledged, but the contents have not been released.

 

 

 

Quick Hits

The Pope is pressing for governments to take care of the poor — one of his main interests.

It is the difference between voluntary charity and government forced redistribution. Jesus told HIS followers to help the poor, He did NOT order His followers to get the Roman government to help the poor!

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The president has pressed for a “Free” Community College education.

There is something to be said for valuing that which you earn, or pay for.

I had 6,000 classroom hours teaching various computer science courses at National University to students (average age 32) and while, at the time, were paying $600 a month for my undergraduate courses and $750 a month for my graduate courses.

Here were adults, primarily holding down full-time day jobs, and handling their families while paying the equivalent monthly dues to lease a Jaguar Convertible! A high “Opportunity Cost.”

They appreciated their education because it was not free!

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I have absolutely no idea if being Gay is “Nature or Nurture” but my experience (7 years in all-male military schools and 26 years in the all-male Navy) leads me to believe that MOST Gays are Gay by nature, but there are some by nurture — and there are those in all male societies (military and prison) who perform homosexual acts but are not themselves homosexual.

Sex is a highly individual entity. Having been immersed in all-male societies, I still did not KNOW any homosexuals, although I did know that individuals in my organizations were transferred or discharged because of homosexual acts. I was the Senior Officer of a Courts Martial for two admitted Lesbians, and I convinced the Board that they should be found Not Guilty because there was zero evidence that they performed any acts they were accused of on government time or government property.

My conclusion is that Homosexuals are not as prevalent as their voices and influence would indicate.

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The Pope has gone one bridge too far in his call for no Freedom of Speech on the subject of Religion.. He was born and raised in nations and a religious society that did not have the protections of the U.S. Constitution and he does not comprehend or treasure Free Speech.

 

The Net Is Filled With “Sheeple”

Someone called “ForAmerica” is always on my Facebook page, and last night ForAmerica posted that “Atheists” are attacking Carrie Underwood for singing about “…her faith in Jesus.” ForAmerica wanted Christians to “Like” if they supported Carrie, and ForAmerica had 1,100,000 “Likes” as of last night and 60,000+ Comments.

Since I had not heard of any controversy about Carrie, I did a quick Snopes search, and Snopes says the claim of Atheists attacking Carrie is “False” — so I went to Google and searched for information. Through six pages of posts about “Atheists attacking Carrie”, I found mountains of claims in Conservative blogs — all the same nebulous and unspecific information — but in no case did I ever read who or where these Atheists are. They are never named, never quoted, just some nebulous “Atheists”.

What I did find in my searches is that Christians were angry with Carrie because as a Country Western singer, because back in 2012 Carrie had supported Gay Marriage — which had apparently caused a schism with some of her Country Western Christian supporters that needed to be healed.

My guess is that Carrie’s Public Relations agency invented the “Atheists Attack Carrie” ploy to recoup her fan base, and For America is just part of the PR effort!

I find it amazing what sheep are on the Net!