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THE Conundrum Of This Age

Bayou Renaissance Man (from whom I rarely steal quote, as I’d be doing it DAILY! – translation – you should be reading him, daily!) expresses most eloquently this conundrum…

The conundrum of dealing with radical Islam

I’ve written about the military side of dealing with fundamentalist Islamic terrorism in these pages from time to time.  The trouble is, a military solution isn’t a solution, because it can’t target the mindset that produces legions of suicidal fanatics.  The Russians developed a very direct, pragmatic and utterly ruthless approach to Iranian-sponsored terrorism during the 1980’s.  It worked, because those ‘at the top’ who were controlling the terrorists could be threatened into compliance.  That doesn’t seem to be the case with an organization like ISIL in Syria and Iraq.  When you believe – truly believe, with all your heart and soul – that death in battle, or by assassination, earns you a martyr’s reward in Paradise, death isn’t a threat.  It’s a promise of greatness that you embrace eagerly. The same applies to Hamas and its extreme attitudes towards Israel.  How can you reason with a movement that celebrates death in combat, that indoctrinates its youngest children with lessons about the praiseworthiness of martyrdom and hatred for Israel?  There are many other fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups who’ve adopted similar outlooks on life.

So, how do we deal with them?  It’s easy to say “Kill them all” – but it’s also completely impractical.  Despite losing thousands of its fighters in combat, ISIL appears to have a limitless supply of replacements.  Young women in Europe and America even travel to areas it controls out of a desire to become brides of ‘jihadists’.  Fanaticism is an inbred streak in the human race – not confined to Islam by any means – and as long as there are fanatics, there’ll be those driven to join fanatical movements.  We can’t kill them all without killing the entire human race.  Speaking as a member of that race, I have a profound objection to being included in that process!  There is no way to completely destroy fanaticism.

The mistake politicians make is to assume that they’re dealing with rational human beings.  Rationality is relative.  ISIL’s leaders and its wannabe martyrs are entirely rational, according to their system of thought and belief.  To change their behavior, we have to change that system.  To do that, we have to radically reform the society and culture that have produced it.  Attacking and militarily overrunning that society won’t inculcate contrary values – we’ve proved that time and time again, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The solution has to include methods of changing the situation on the ground.  However, that requires a long-term commitment and huge amounts of money, neither of which are available right now.

The only answer our politicians and leaders appear to have is to keep killing as many Islamist fanatics as possible in order to ‘control the infection’ in their society and culture, even though they must know that doing so will produce still more fanaticsEinstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  That perfectly describes how we’ve tried to control radical Islam for the past few decades.  When will we learn from our failures and try to find a better solution?  Is there, in fact, a better solution?  In my darker moments, I fear there may not be one at all.  History suggests that may be the case, and that the struggle against fanaticism in all its forms may be a Sisyphean endeavor.

Your guess is as good as mine . . .

Peter

Fame Through Infamy

Or worse…

I’m not a big fan of fame.  As a concept.

People seem to become famous based on the most ephemeral of things.  Birth, social status, excessively large gluteus maximi…

Or heinous acts.  Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Che’, Sadam.

Or acts of a more personal nature.

I hesitate to even mention.  The Duggars.

A family famous for having a bazillion children, now infamous for incest.

And much of the media seems to be focused on how the parents are defending the abuser.

And paying little attention to the abused.

You see, I know a number of folks who are incest survivors.  Men and women.

And a more vile action I cannot imagine.

Of course, allegations of abuse are not always valid.  That preschool in California, for example.

And rarely is there physical evidence years after the fact.

Personally, I think the media needs to stay the hell out of the mix.  And let the authorities, counselors and family sort things out.

But, that will never happen.

Hopefully, there is a special place in Hell for the guilty.

Browsers, Again (Sigh)

Well, it must be that time of year, again.

Or of the month.

I’ve having difficulty with my browser.

AGAIN!

I did find I was having ‘issues’ with Comodo Dragon, and Comodo Ice Dragon, and FireFox.

(FireFox is my favorite.)

SO, I’m back to using Opera, which is iffy, at best….

But, it is working better than the others, currently.

It’s always something.

Sigh.

I cannot afford a new machine, have a good router, like Windows 7, and have good malware and security software.  But simply cannot stay ahead of the grade school kids who like messing with ‘the system’!

(The GOOD NEWS is I can leave comments on Laginappe’s Lair again!)

If You Like Your Insurance, You Can Keep It!

Well, maybe…

A close friend has fallen on some hard times, mostly because of health-related issues.  As a result, they have missed work, and as a result, have missed income.  (This is not my story.)

They obtained Obamacare last year, believing all the promises made public.  And they were obtaining top-notch medical care.  Seriously.

And all was right with the world.

Until the end of the year, when they were advised, yes, they could keep their insurance.  If they could pay ANOTHER $300 a month (on top of the $200+ they were already paying directly – the gov’t was paying $400 on top OF THIS!)  Our tax dollars at work!

SO, they went searching, and determined, based on their drop in income, they could qualify for Medicaid. (A State-run, federally funded insurance for low-income folks).

They jumped through all the hoops, provided all the documentation, and became insured once again.

And all was, once again, right with the world.

They were told they would have to requalify every six months, and could then make choices regarding which insurance they could have, of the few available.

They obtained some medical care and tests.  And prescriptions.  And made a carefully-studied choice regarding which company would be their next insurance.

And heard nothing.

And the six-month boundary passed.  Again, nothing.  No company literature, no insurance ID, no specifics.

And care, tests and prescriptions continued to be covered by the initially-assigned company.

And attempts to obtain an insurance ID card and literature on line required their insurance ID number.  Which was on the card.  Which was not in their possession.

And more tests were scheduled and appointments made.

Then, yesterday, after business hours, their pharmacy called to advise they had received notification the insurance had changed, and they would need a copy of her new carrier’s ID card.

The one not yet received.

And they have many tests scheduled, for serious maladies.  Heart and breathing related.

Now what?

What were those promises, again?

I suspect they will be many hours on the telephone and on-line today.

The adventure continues.

Keep a good thought.

If stress wasn’t part of the list of maladies, it certainly is now…

(This just in.  They were able to make telephone contact this morning.  They must CALL BACK Thursday or Friday to get the matter resolved, as the company had no idea who they were!!!)

I LOVE bureaucracy!

Trashing Arizona Again

SO…

The clowns who shot up attempted to shoot up wounded a cop and became DRT* had lived and worked in Arizona.

One reportedly owned a pizza shop.  The other was on probation.  Somehow, they obtained a firearm and went to Texas to attempt to decimate the free speech of folks making fun of Mohammad.

I’m continually fascinated annoyed by folks who come here or choose to live here, but don’t understand basic tenets of the Republic, like Free Speech.

If you don’t want to see cartoons making fun of your religious founder, go live in Saudi Arabia.  I’m certain the State there doesn’t allow such fall-de-ral!

I remember one of the clowns who flew the planes into the Twin Towers lived here (right across from my former workplace TMCCC!) and went to flight school here.

It not Arizona’s fault.  We just happen to be a somewhat-free venue.

A paradox, for sure.

As It Should Be

Stopped for open carry

And winning in court: The court finds that there was no reason to believe he was engaged in illegality, that the officer at most had the power to ask a few questions, but no power to arrest or even detain.

And how sad that it has to go this far!

Courtesy of Say Uncle

 

Another ‘Bobbie Burns’ Day

It’d been said tell God your plans – and watch him laugh.

I’ve been reluctant to go in for a back x-ray, on doctor’s order.

I’m just tired of procedures.

Robert Burns – the poet laureate of Scotland wrote Ode to a field mouse.

“The best laid plans of mice and men aft gang agley”

(oft go astray)

I actually decided to go in.

Then I got a cold.  And I feel like crap.  Fevers, chills, muscle pain.  And a temperature of 102°.

Been bedridden since yesterday morning.

Sigh.

We Have Met The Enemy…

…or Send In The Clowns!

I cannot decide which meme is better.

There have been many blog postings of late, some of which even on this humble blog, writing of the growth in worldwide anti-Semitism, government-sponsored violence, religion-sponsored violence, massive surveillance, and wholesale Statism.

And there appears to be a modicum of support against such things.

BUT…

There is a tendency to view such things as off-shore.  Somewhere else.  Another countries’ problem.  And to turn a blind eye to our own versions of such things.

Until it’s too late.

Some folks write as if it IS too late.  That civil upheaval is inevitable.  Others clamor for constitutional conventions.  As though people who control such things can keep the outcome constitutional.

And this new world order of constitution will certainly include or delete a second amendment.

Depending on the flavor of the new constitution’s founding fathers.

What to do, what to do.

Sit on our hands and whine?  Join the convention(s)?  Join the revolt?

pogoOr have the decisions already been made for us?  On the dark web.

 

DON’T BOTHER – THEY’RE HERE!

 

 

Join The New National Police Force!

That is, if Al Sharpton can convince the President!

Word has it he is considering it!

ARE THESE PEOPLE F’NG SERIOUS?

IF I could be convinced that all such law enforcement officers would properly enforce the law and take their oaths to the Constitution seriously – just as The President and Congress does!

(AND, don’t we already have the FBI, DOJ, ICC, FTC, FCC, TSA, Homeland Security, and about twenty other federal alphabet-soup agencies charged with domestic security, surveillance and law enforcement.  Hell, even the Department of Agriculture agents have firearms!)

NOPE.  Not on MY Watch!

Wouldn’t be prudent at this juncture.  or legal, constitutional or cost-effective.

‘Course, when has THAT ever stopped anyone!

h/t Instapundit, Firehand

I’ve Wondered About This…

I’m old enough to remember the Watts riots in L.A., Detroit.  Rodney King?  And a multitude of others.  And something has always bothered me:

WHY do these folks feel the need to violently destroy THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS to make a point?

In days of yore, I participated in protests.  I remember one at the State Capitol, wherein we stood in the Summer heat (all 250 or so of us) to protest The Clinton so-called ‘Assault Weapons Ban’, and our own State legislature considering similar legislation.  This was in the 90’s – the temperature was around 100°.

And not one of us engaged in violence, criminal looting or destruction.  We had been advised not to come armed, and we didn’t.  We carried signs (and American flags), signed petitions, talked amongst ourselves and drank lots of water.  And listened politely to speakers like Sheriff Mack.  And watched media trucks circle us deciding whether or not we were worth a spot on the 10 o’clock news.

Apparently we weren’t.

Here’s one opinion as to why they foul their own nests:

The borderline-Jacobins at Slate, who believe spanking is child abuse, and personal responsibility is out of fashion, try to explain looting away as a social phenomenon: “Why would anyone burn down the only CVS in their neighborhood?”

The reason, I think, is likely the same reason that poor black Americans in cities across the country burned “their own” neighborhoods in the late 1960s:

They did not experience those places as their own. Then, like now, police brutality was a precipitating cause of the violence, but it was the long-term experience of the indignities of the ghetto that gave shape to the riots. Then, like now, commentators compared the rioters to animals who had run wild and needed discipline. Rioting, to these bystanders, was not proper political protest but the criminal actions of poor people who merely wanted to grab what they could for free. This narrative, which I heard throughout my childhood growing up in Baltimore in the 1980s, put the blame not on the depredations of the ghetto, but on the character of its residents. It completely misapprehends the political economy of our poorest neighborhoods.

In other words:  they riot because society has ignored them.  Not only is that a specious argument, but it also highlights the fact that Baltimore hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1968So which party is responsible for ignoring the downtrodden social class?

Told another way, Abraham Miller at National Review wrote:

More @ Red State
Of course, the writer above seems to think the only answer lies with which flavor of government.
What do YOU think?
h/t Brock Townsend
"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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