Archive for March, 2008

Personal Ads

Posted in Bulletproof Diction on March 31, 2008 by ad007bpd

Our first contestant:

SALAM ALAIKUM,….. hi…i am sincerely seeking a real, honest, loving,relationship/marriage with a good honest strong intelligent loving man, who is muslim & wanting to live in the middle east!…i am honest loving faithful down to earth fun loving affectionate loving young at heart mature responsible compassionate & feminine female who is muslim…i have traveled all over the world to 16 countries & lived extenseively in the middle east & love it!!!…i am an artist photographer illustrator….i am understanding of ISLAM & its culture…for the right man i am open & understanding to the possibility of being your first, second, third, or fourth wife! i love children & have many interests, i do not smoke, i do not drink…i enjoy cooking & cleaning & know what it means to be a good wife!…please only sincere & honest reply with information & photo….i do speak some arabic…have a great day,& hope to hear from you soon, insha ALLAH. 

Our Second Contestant:

Hi
I recently was in Dubai, now in the States but coming again in May to relocate. I am looking for a Saudi or Emirati man for a serious relationship that could lead into marriage in the future.
Please not interested in other nationalities except for Arabs (Gulf pref)
About me,I am latin born in South America (Argentina) but with Spanish Italian and Lebanese family roots. Currently in the States (Florida), I am muslim, I speak some Arabic, I am sweeter than Baklawa, cute and sexy. I love to bellydance. go to the beach, travel, go shopping and shoes!
You can check out my pictures at http://www.myspace.com/silvimazzini
waiting for your reply! 

please dont reply if you are a control freak or you think i am too sexy/ wild for you to handle!
not interested to explore any other nationalities described above! thank

The second one doesn’t seem as open minded as the first. Nor does she seem to be the submissive type, plus, if you click to see her pictures you can see that she is a smoker. The first chick, however, is totally down with polygamy and won’t produce any harmful second-hand smoke for your children. Shall we have a poll? Which women would you send to any Arab country in the Middle East?

   
   
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So, Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton Are Sitting on a Couch on the Beach…

Posted in Bulletproof Diction on March 31, 2008 by mb007bpd

Good heavens! I am afraid that we are now on the brink of Armageddon. Who would have thought that this man was the Antichrist.

I guess this explains the whole “inventing the Internet” thing. He has slowly enslaved us all. The fact that you are reading this right now means that you have fallen for his schemes. But…wait…the fact that I am…writing this…right now…means…AHHHHHHHHHH!!!

VDH Lecture: "From Marathon to Anbar"

Posted in Bulletproof Diction on March 29, 2008 by ad007bpd

Two weeks ago I attended a short lecture by renowned classicist, and last year’s National Humanities award recipient, Victor Davis Hanson. My former Latin professor, Bruce Thornton introduced him as an “adviser to the vast right-wing conspiracy.” Professor Hanson spoke about Western military tradition, and how it is possible to best the west.

I. What is the West?
Professor Hanson began the talk by briefly defining the West, and what it means to be Western. He made an important clarification in his definition that the West is not distinguished by geographic areas or racial labels, but instead embodies a set of ideals. To be Western then is to have an “allegiance to a set of values and tradition that arose in Greece and Rome, and enriched in Jerusalem and Europe.” Hanson highlighted five particular values and ideas predominately particular to the West: constitutional government, freedom of the individual, secular government (not of divine right or theocracy), capitalism and the sanctity of property, and the triumph of sanity and reason over superstition. When these elements are combined, Hanson says, the individual achieves a wealth beyond what they had with existing resources. That is an interesting piece to Hanson’s theory: that resources matter little to a countries success in comparison to ideals. He convincingly contrasted Japan and Mexico. Japan (a Westernized country) is a tiny little island with scarce resources, yet they have “the third most powerful navy in the world” and enjoy incredible economic success. Mexico is abundant in resources, yet the country is politically tense and economically turbulent. Japan is not more powerful or rich because they are Japanese or because of their territory, but because “the values of civilian society permeated the military”. Hanson asks: “How do these values translate into military dynamism?”

II. What is the Western military tradition?
Freedom of the individual is an important feature to military dynamism. When an individual feels they have “a stake in society”, then that individual is more devoted to military success on behalf of not just their king and country, but their selves and family. The preciousness of the individual also creates a particular view of bravery and military discipline in Western tradition. Aristotle’s Politics describes a certain Germanic tribes (I believe) military tradition of “rewards based on kills,” corresponding the amount of destruction with equitable bravery. The Greek’s basis for bravery was based on the ability to follow orders and preserve the Phalanx. Cohesion benefits the larger cause so that “only courage that furthers the group aim is rewarded.” A soldier can go down in Iraq, taking down 25 insurgents with him while providing covering fire so injured man can get to safety. The man’s brave death will still be seen as a loss, and he will be seen as brave not because he took down 25 insurgents necessarily, but because he did so in order to help the group (saving lives).
So, how did a little tiny area like Europe exercise control over the world?
There was the technological advantage. “divorce free thinking from religion,” Hanson says, “and wonderful and awful things happen.” He also makes the point though that technological advances are virtually no good unless harnessed and developed properly. The Chinese had fire powder long before we did, but Europeans ended up being the ones of supply China with firearms. Capitalism is another factor. Allow individuals to seek wealth, and that wealth (and the accompanying fierce protection of that wealth) will fuel desire for military success. Self-critique is another piece of Western military discipline, and making allowances for self-critique within ranks is inherent to future military growth and success.

III. What about when we lose?
Professor Hanson also explored Western losses–when the West has lost to non-western forces. What is the key? How do you trump the system?
Hanson says there are four strategies and weaknesses outsiders can employ and exploit to weaken Western might.
1. Make sure the West turns on itself. When you turn this tradition in on itself, corpses pile up. He then had some ridiculous figures comparing Civil War battle losses to American losses in other conflicts with non-Western forces during the same technological period. Also, when the West is in disagreement over how to combat a challenge, they do not reach their potential fighting ability. “If tomorrow suddenly all the Western allies: Europe, Canada, the United States…were all in full agreement on how to fight terrorism, the GWOT would be over the next day.”
2. Civil Dissent. Because most wars are fought away from our Western homes, we have the increased luxury of civil dissent. “The nice thing about Harvard is that every once in a while very sophisticated academics come off leave and publish a paper saying 2+2=4.” The particular paper Hanson refers to is one connecting rising insurgent levels in Iraq with increased displays of civil dissent against the war here at home.
3. Military parasitism. How did North Korea develop nuclear weapons? They received the knowledge from Pakistan, who had received the knowledge from Holland. The West needs to be careful about the share of arms.
4. A sense of concession–that the losses are not worth the gains. “The way we define losses is a burden of the West.” As the West becomes more affluent that trend gets stronger. This is especially seen as a weakness to a culture of Jihad that glorifies death. Terrorist’s success in Iraq and elsewhere often seems to hinge on “convincing the Western public that whatever the losses it (sic: victory) is not worth it.”

IV. What does this leave us to conclude?
That the West brings military advantages, but there are hidden weaknesses. “Reason is a double-edged sword. When Reason is your god, and war is unreasonable–so you avoid it, that assumes everybody thinks the same thing.”
The Western tradition is not innate to a specific people, but is brought on by adherence to a set of ideals. “It is unusual to say that I am loyal to an idea.”
Hanson finished by saying that the twin challenged for this generation are “affluence and license (in the Latin meaning–freedom to the nth power). The bastard children of those two are cynicism, nihilism, and skepticism.” We have the ability of falling into that trap or becoming a generation commiserate with the generation of WWII.

The Daily Blurt

Posted in Bulletproof Diction on March 28, 2008 by mb007bpd

“For those of you who are just weary of the primary, and feeling kind of ground down or that it’s like a Bataan death march, I just want everybody to know that the future is bright.”–Democratic Presidential Candidate, Barack Obama

H/T Jennifer Rubin @ Contentions:

Note to our Democratic friends: avoid analogies which compare, even in jest, the minor stresses of campaigning to war crimes; there’s a candidate out there who knows something about real wars and real suffering.

Points of Contention

Posted in Bulletproof Diction on March 28, 2008 by mb007bpd

POC #1: On Hannity and Colmes, Texas State Representative Stephen Frost (D) says that Republicans are injured by falling stock market prices, home foreclosures, etc. etc.
He says: After whining “it’s my turn to talk,” he goes on to insinuate that economic troubles hurt Republicans, both maliciously and enjoyably.
I say: I was sitting there, listening to this peevish squirt, amazed that a Democrat would be so flagrant in his hope for a troubled economy because of partisan reasons. The economy is not a partisan issue, it is an AMERICAN issue. If the economy is bad, everyone is hurt. Democrats have the audacity to repeat and insinuate that the economy is in bad shape so that they can help their own political cause. They seek to benefit from a falling stock market. They seek to benefit from foreclosures. They seek to benefit from a weakened America.

POC #2: Also on Hannity and Colmes, opposite Frost, is former VA Senator George Allen (R).
He says: Well…he begins just about every quote with the name “McCain.” He talks about what McCain’s positions are, what McCain feels, what McCain believes, and so on.
I say: It looks like someone is looking for a position in a McCain cabinet. I think that McCain press secretary would suit you well, since you seem to know the Dao of McCain. Is he writing a biography on McCain? No. Why does he find it necessary to parrot McCain’s beliefs when McCain did a 1-hour interview with Sean Hannity last week? Now, I am a fan of George Allen. I think he is a staunch conservative, and I regret that he is not currently one of Virginia’s senators. But can we tone it down a little, please?

POC #3: Merck once again has a drug on the market, Singulair, that may be linked to severe, unintended physiological symptoms. More specifically, suicide. George Phillip, Merck’s director of research and product development, was asked to comment on the issue.
He says: “We have no indication that anything about the mechanism of Singulair is consistent with these events. But because suicide is a life-threatening event we thought it was important to provide this information in the product label.”
I say: Has George Phillip been advised by one of Hillary’s state-the-obvious-under-all-costs media directors?

Bhutan: A New Day Has Come

Posted in Bulletproof Diction on March 28, 2008 by mb007bpd

The country of Bhutan, with a population of 600,000 people, held its first democratic elections today. This must be seen as a step in the right direction. The idea to hold the elections was initiated by Bhutan’s monarch, 28-year old Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who is the world’s youngest head of state. In the past decade or so, Bhutan has moved from being a depressingly poor, isolated country, to a model democracy for the region. In a country where television was banned until 1999, this is seen as a major leap. They are famous for actually measuring their “Gross National Happiness,” an idea which stems from Buddhist values. I certainly hope that the United States supports countries like Bhutan who take their own initiative in moving towards democracy and prosperity.

Taiwan: Mutually Agreeable

Posted in Bulletproof Diction on March 28, 2008 by mb007bpd

In the touchy realm of Sino-American-Taiwanese relations, there is rarely a news story that is considered mutually agreeable to all sides. However, this can be considered as one of those stories. Ma Ying-jeou is a member of the conservative Kuomintang party, which is the historic party of the Republic of China and Chiang Kai-Shek.
The Kuomintang is conservative on most economic and social issues, is anti-Communist, and receives the support of most Taiwanese ethnic groups, including the aboriginal Taiwanese. The single most contentious issue, however, is Taiwanese independence. Independence has so many definitions in Taiwanese politics that it is an utterly confusing concept. The Kuomintang favors an eventual reunification with mainland China, but under the banner of the Republic of China and not the People’s Republic of China. The opposition party, the liberal Democratic Progressive Party, favors Taiwanese independence, but de-jure. Taiwan is already de-facto independent, and there is a growing support among Taiwanese towards the status quo.
Independence is not as easy as it looks. If Taiwan were to declare de-jure independence, it would undoubtedly spark a Sino-Taiwanese war, especially under China’s recently enacted Anti-Secession laws. Under this circumstance, the United States would be drawn into the conflict under the Taiwan Relations Act, and Japan would be drawn in as well. Due to the fact that China has M-9/11 missiles pointed directly at Taiwan, and has surpassed Taiwan in military and defense spending and volume, the situation must be handled delicately.
Following the Kuomintang ideological timeline, at some point in the future, it is possible that, due to economic and free-market liberalization in China, the People’s Republic of China will see the need to make some larger steps in a democratic direction. It is logical that, in such a situation, they would consider opening relations with Taiwan, which would be mutually economically beneficial for both sides. After a period of time, China may eventually consider abandoning its PRC roots and embracing the ROC as their political system and form of identification. Such a situation would render a Taiwanese Independence movement irrelevant. Even when Chiang Kai-Shek was fighting against the forces of the PRC for a unified ROC, as President of the ROC, he envisioned a future of eventual reunification.
President-elect Ma Jing-yeou defines “One China” as the Republic of China, not the People’s Republic of China. As president, he is considering opening up travel and tourism between China and Taiwan, which could result in an economic benefit for both sides of the Strait. He has threatened a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the event of an escalation of unrest in Tibet. During the election, his DPP opponent, Frank Hsieh, accused him of having a U.S. green card, and questioned his loyalty to Taiwan. Mind you, the DPP is Taiwanese Nationalistic, and, it appears, so much so, that ties with the US are considered disagreeable by the DPP. By democratically electing Ma Jing-yeou, the people of the Taiwan have made the right decision, for Taiwan, for China, and for the United States.