Arena: Fighting the Good Fight

Friday, May 09, 2003

You Cannot Be Serious!

The Outrage of the Week

There were a lot of candidates this week, but this one wins, or loses, I should say:

“One of the girls was being strangled with pig intestines,” he said. “They used pig intestines, minnows, coffee grounds, excrement.”
Others were punched and kicked repeatedly, he said, adding that one of his clients had an earring ripped from her ear and broke her tailbone.
Videotapes show girls in yellow jerseys punching, slapping and dumping paint on juniors kneeling on the ground. Some spectators hoist cups of beer.
The seniors charged the juniors $35 to $40 and supplied them with jerseys, officials said.
School officials stressed that the game took place off-campus without their knowledge but said the students could face school discipline.

Dozens of students had come to watch the event and some of them, including male bystanders, joined in.

"When I looked up and I saw blood, I knew that this wasn't right," another girl said. "This is from a paint can being thrown at me," she said, pointing to her shoulder. "Tabasco sauce, vinegar and stuff like that [was put] in my eye."

Witnesses also reported urine, feces and fish guts were thrown, and others said they had been forced to eat mud.

If you haven't seen video of this, go to the FoxNews website.

This is just awful, and the girls who did this should face criminal charges. Imagine if a guy and some of his buddies got drunk and went up to some girl in the park and, after lying to her about what they wanted to do, put her through this nightmare. What do you think the punishment should be in that case? And if there were parents in on this, they should be held responsible according to how they contributed. Could you ever prepare something like this for your own daughter? Then how in God's name could you prepare something like this for someone else's?

Here's what the superintendent had to say:

"It was hazing," said Dave Hales, superintendent of Northfield Township District 225. "It was deplorable treatment."
Hales said he was baffled why students participated in the game. "Why would you pay money to go to something where you know you will be treated inappropriately and humiliated and possibly injured?" he said.

Who exactly are you blaming here, Dave, and what makes you think these girls knew this was going to happen to them? In addition, the school darn well better punish some of these kids. It didn't take place on school property, but regardless, the motivation of the event was so that the Senior class could initiate the Junior class, so school has everything to do with it. I don't blame the school itself for this because, according to the articles I've read, they have tried to stop these rituals in the past. But if the school wants to ensure that this doesn't happen again, they're going to have to take disciplinary action themselves.


Thursday, May 08, 2003

And now for something completely different. Here is "Why I Don't Understand the Fashion Industry" Article #135:


The FBI is stepping up the crackdown on supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah operating out of this country. This, of course, is excellent news. Especially when you have guys like this piping up:

Some officials from both terrorist groups have said the U.S. assault in Iraq obligates Muslims to attack Americans, even as others indicated they would not attack U.S. targets. “The [U.S.] strike on Iraq would be the continuation of the Crusaders’ war, so Muslims should threaten and strike Western interests, and hit them everywhere,” Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin said in February.

Our attack on Iraq is a continuation of the Crusader's war? The last crusade occured almost 700 years ago. Nevermind EVERYTHING that has happened in between; the U.S. removing Saddam and liberating Iraq is a continuation of the Crusades. This guy is the Hammas spiritual leader, and you know he is trying to brainwash as many unsuspecting souls with this propaganda as possible. Sheikh Yassin is a perfect example of the futility in trying to negotiate with a terrorist group like Hamas.

UPDATE: This quote is even more idiotic than I first thought. The United States wasn't even close to being around when the Crusades started (duh)! The Crusades involved battles between European nations, under the direction of Christian high leaders, and the Arabs in the areas around present day Turkey and Israel. The last I heard, here in the present, the Pope was against the action in Iraq. You and I can see why this quote is utterly nonsensical, but as to the Palestinian youngsters who have been fed this type of thing their entire lives, how do you think they will interpret it?


Wednesday, May 07, 2003

France, of course, has created more problems for itself than most people would have thought possible. Not only have they severely damaged relations with the U.S., they have allowed the influx of a massive number of Muslim immigrants. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with being a Muslim, but the French didn't do their homework before letting a few of these guys in (via LGF):

PARIS, May 7 ( - The Israeli ambassador’s visit to the Mosque of Paris is meant to trigger crises and draw a new vicious cycle of controversy within the first recognised national council for the country’s estimated six million Muslims here, an Islamic leader said on Wednesday, May 7.

“It is a new effort to divide the newly-established council,” al-Tuhami Ibriz, deputy president of the French Council for the Muslim Religion (CFCM) told

This is blatant anti-semitism. This is how much this guy hates the Jews. If a Jew so much as visits, it is enough to trigger a crisis in the Muslim council. In this case, replace Jew with African-American and Muslim with Caucasian American, and ask yourself if you would want to associate yourself with the second group. The guy later says that the move is so bad because it came on Remberance Day, an Israeli holiday. Nevermind the holiday is in place to remind the citizens of Israel about those who have died while serving in the military. Perhaps the visit could be interpreted as an attempt to create peace, but no, this guy is sure that it is out of spite.

Meanwhile, French Muslims come under pressures amid their struggle for more rights and acknowledgement of Islam. The French officials threatened Muslim clerics expressing "radical" views would be deported from France, after so-called "hardliners" made a strong showing in elections to the CFCM.

In spite of their large numbers - some 50,000 Frenchmen and women reportedly convert to Islam annually - Muslims complain that the French refuse to accept the Muslim presence and consider Islam an alien force which "should be eliminated."

This problem ain't going to just go away, as France will soon learn. If France actually does deport any of the wackos, the screams of religious intolerance will be deafening.


And as if my previous post couldn't have been proven any more:

Bush also announced that he was suspending a 1990 U.S. law imposing sanctions on Iraq. He said he was doing so to allow certain equipment needed for Iraq's reconstruction to be sent to the country.

This was in addition to a lifting of most U.S. economic sanctions on Iraq, also ordered by Bush and announced earlier in the day by Treasury Secretary John Snow. Snow said the move would "bring much-needed aid and humanitarian relief" to Iraqis.

France and Russia have voiced objections to abandoning the sanctions until the United Nations certifies that Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction.

In case you somehow missed it, France and Russia were the loudest voices saying that Iraq doesn't have any of those weapons!

French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte said in an interview, "We want to find the best possible solutions in the interest of the Iraqi people."

That is absolute bullshit, and he knows it. If things had gone the way France and Russia had wanted them to, the inspectors would have still been there today. The tortures, rapes, executions, poverty, and hopelessness that the Iraqi people experienced every day under Saddam would have been there too. The terrorism money? Still be there. The weapons programs (whether we find the WMD or not, there is no doubt that programs were in place to try to create those weapons)? Still be there too. But that would have been just fine with France and Russia. Just fine.


I have had a problem with the UN ever since it became crystal clear just how blatantly hypocritical it was. Let's take a look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which can be found on the UN site.

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Now, you tell me whether Saddam's Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Cuba abide by them or not. Here are just a few out of the list of 30:

3) Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

5) No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

9) No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

The true absurdity of the UN becomes strikingly clear in the last point:

30) Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Let's look at this carefully. Now, if we read it strictly at face value, it appears to make no sense. If this is a list of human rights, why would it ever imply destruction of those rights? We must look a tad bit deeper. What it is actually saying is that you cannot use any of the above points as justification for depriving someone of any of the other points. For example: because Country A does not allow free elections does not give Country B the right to stop Country A in such a way that innocent people are harmed. What this last point effectively does is rule out the use of force.

This is why the UN can never work. There is no peaceful way to stop people like Saddam Hussein from violating this declaration of rights. If the goal is to remove Saddam, there is no other way than to do it through force. However, because that inevitably leads to people dying, it violates the UN code, so it cannot be done. What we are left with is inaction. This is the same sort of convoluted idealism that pervades the anti-war mindset. The fact that hundreds of thousands are killed every year cannot in any way justify the use of force, which may result in a few thousand killed. I don't like to play with numbers of casualties any more than the next guy, but when you try to figure out how to solve a problem, you need to quantify it, and looking at these kinds of numbers is one way to do so.

The UN does not properly quantify the problems in our world, and therefore, all of its plans are inherently tilted towards inaction.


I saw this on the Andrew Sullivan site :

"I see no difference between the invasion of Iraq and the invasion of Poland by Hitler in 1939," Ritter told the Berliner Zeitung. Hitler had used self-defense as an excuse to send his troops in, and U.S. President George W. Bush had done exactly the same thing in 2003. "It was the same lie," Ritter was quoted as saying.

Following the brilliant logic of Ritter, then there is no difference between Bush, Hitler, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. If we are talking about using self-defense as an excuse to invading another country, there's no difference because all of these guys attacked another country to ensure their self-defense. The difference, of course, is that while Hitler tried to conquest Europe, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin reacted to violence which had already been thrown their way.

It is the same situation as today. Bush is not trying to conquest the Middle East as Hitler tried to Europe. The attack on Iraq is a counterattack, albeit a delayed one, from the initial terror attacks leading to and including 9-11. Now, I haven't seen any evidence that Saddam was behind 9-11. However, Saddam is, or was, part of a Middle Eastern nexus which allows and promotes the conditions from which terrorism springs: he works to ensure the failure of the Arab people. We didn't want this war, but 9-11 was the alarm clock that woke us up and said "do something about this situation."


Tuesday, May 06, 2003

This, my friends, is what it's all about:

Iranian blogs have become pervasive and popular enough that they are being targeted and watched by the Islamic regime. Blogger Sina Motallebi has been detained by the Islamic regime for his pro-reform statements on his weblog. The reaction of the Blogosphere in rallying around Motallebi - thanks in large part to the work of Jeff Jarvis and Glenn Reynolds in publicizing Motallebi's arrest and his case - demonstrates that the Blogosphere supports the actions of the Iranian weblog community in working to bring positive change in Iran. Hopefully these actions will assist Motallebi in gaining his freedom, and allow him to carry on in his work.

The Blogosphere has already influenced politics, culture and society immeasurably. It was the first medium to pick up and understand the importance of Trent Lott's infelicitous comments at the 100th birthday of former Senator Strom Thurmond. It has won deserved acclaim in its coverage of Operation Iraqi Freedom and its discussion of the post-September 11th world in general. Let's hope the Blogosphere, and Iranian bloggers in particular, have the power to influence meaningful and effective change in Iranian culture and society. Keep tabs on Iranian bloggers and reformist Iranian websites. They could very well serve as the cyber-shock troops of a new Iranian revolution.


Just when you thought that the French couldn't get any slimier, this:

The French government gave members of Saddam Hussein's regime passports that would allow them to enter Europe and escape the coalition's hunt for top Iraqi officials, The Washington Times reported Tuesday. U.S. intelligence officials told the Times that an unknown number of Iraqi regime members were given French passports by French officials in Syria.

The report could not be independently confirmed.

French passport holders are able to enter any European Union country without a visa, and are usually granted tourist visas upon entry to many other countries, including the United States.

More importantly, Iraqis holding French passports would be able to move freely among the 12 EU countries that are part of the Schengen agreement (search) on unrestricted travel.

Britain, Denmark and Ireland are not part of the Schengen pact, but French passport holders can travel from Athens to Lisbon to Berlin without questioning, and can also fly to French overseas possessions (search) in the Caribbean, South America and Pacific and Indian oceans.

This is absolutely outrageous. If there are any doubts left in your mind, you need to wake up and smell the coffee. France has been actively engaging in behavior designed to thwart the U.S. whatever the case may be. Their government is corrupt and ungrateful nearly to the point of hateful for the sacrifices we made to liberate them from the Nazis during WW2. They think that they can do anything they want and that we will always be there to make friends in the end. That's no longer the case. They've screwed up really bad this time, and the more news like this keeps on coming out, the longer people will be continuing to boycott their products. It is true that the boycotts wind up hurting the French people. However, it sends the message that if they want the boycotts to stop, then they need to elect someone who is friendly to America. Chirac is not, and his government will be viewed historically as one severely deterimental to France and its people.


Monday, May 05, 2003

This ad was in the Colorado Daily every day last week, and whenever I look at it, I cannot stop laughing:


The comic genius of Jim Treacher has been an inspiration to me in the past. Well, I have thought for awhile about these, and I decided to give it a shot. Here are, my faux Onion headlines with opening paragraphs:

North Dakota Demands that U.S. Forces Withdraw from South Dakota

IN A STUNNING TURN OF EVENTS, the newly formed Democratic People's Republic of Dakota has demanded that the U.S. pull out of South Dakota immediately, or face nuclear war. "Obviously, this came as a complete shock to us," said South Dakota resident Gregory Jackson. "Everybody knows there has been some tension, but I would have never thought that things would come to this." U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said that the DPRD was an "insignificant loudmouth" and that the U.S. would not remove its forces "any time soon."

Area Man Accuses Neighbor of Developing Weapons of Mass Destruction

JACOB WILLIAMS SAYS THAT HE is "87% sure" that his neighbor, Michael Sirham is developing chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. "I just know he's got the stuff over there, it's obvious to everyone," says Williams. When asked about his evidence, however, Williams waxes reluctant. "Well, I don't know if I can show you this stuff. I mean, if that bastard finds out how I'm getting this info, he's going to start closing his blinds at night."
Eric de Hoya, who lives two houses down from Sirham, thinks that the situation should be investigated. "He very well could have all kinds of things over there," says Eric. "I suggested to Jacob that we contact the police, but he didn't like that idea." As to any future plans, de Hoya says, "He told me that he wanted to form some sort of search party and sneak over there a la 'the Burbs' some afternoon, but man, we all know what happened there."


A common statement from the anti-war crowd has been, "Well, if you are going to attack Iraq, then why not North Korea?"

North Korea has a huge army, almost a million strong, and is belived to have nuclear weapons. Obviously, a war with them would involve a tremendous number of casualties on both sides. My response to this statement is, considering the amount of death involved, that it would not be wise at this point to begin a military operation against North Korea. Then the line, I love it every time:

"Ha!" they say. "Look what you have done. Now you are telling every country that if you get nuclear weapons, we are not going to attack you!"

My response? Well, duh! Who has not figured out that nuclear weapons are an excellent form of deterrence? Not from just the U.S. military, but from anyone! Do these people remember the Cold War? The U.S. and Russia began the nuclear arms race to deter each other from a first strike. Soon, a first strike meant death to the entire world. Nukes deter, everyone knows it, and the U.S. is not putting forth some dangerous new defensive theory by saying we don't really want to attack you if you have nukes.

North Korea doesn't posses the arsenal that Russia once did, or still does. And if North Korea used the one or two nukes they have against us, they would be assured of their complete destruction. Unlike the scenario of the cold war, the rest of the world would survive, but North Korea would be dust.

However, we can test this theory by looking at whether states try to augment their nuclear capabilities or not. In Pakistan, it appears that the opposite is in play:

“AS FAR AS PAKISTAN is concerned, if India is ready to denuclearize, we would be happy to denuclearize,” Aziz Ahmed Khan said. “But it will have to be mutual.”

The states that are our enemies are going to try to develop nukes whether we attack NK or not. But what does this tell you about the "fear of imperialist America" around the world? Pakistan is an ally of circumstance, and they have been an excellent ally, but we have not signed any long term peace agreements with them (to my knowledge). After seeing us at work in Afghanistan and Iraq, might they be inclined to increase their nuclear arsenals to deter the dangerous U.S.? No, because they know that if they are cooperative, that is all we really ask for. Contrary to many beliefs on the left, we are not trying to take over the world, and most countries know that if that was our goal, it is likely that we would have already accomplished it.


We've nabbed another one of Saddam's top scientists.

Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, known as "Mrs. Anthrax," (search) has turned herself in to U.S. authorities in Iraq. Ammash is the "Five of Hearts" of the deck of cards portraying 55 members of Iraq's top regime leaders...

Here is another scientist that should be a good source as to the location of the weapons of mass destruction. However, given some the rankings of people we have already captured, it doesn't look like she will have anything new to add. Which brings us back to the question, "Where are the weapons of mass destruction?" I think that there are still some labs in Iraq that we haven't found yet that contain evidence. I also think that some of the weapons made their way over to Syria. What I don't think is that the amounts claimed by the White House still exist. As to when they were actually destroyed, I do not know, but I remember reading that there were four tons of VX gas that was unaccounted for. It seems unlikely that you could have such a huge amount of something without quite a few people knowing about it. The stuff may very well be in Syria though.

The Washington Times reported Saturday that the Bush administration has received intelligence reports that top Iraqi weapons scientists fled to Syria and that some may be trying to enter France.

But that just makes too much sense, right?


Sunday, May 04, 2003

Some people have compared the War of Terror to the War on Drugs. Their argument basically says that because the WOD will never work, neither will the WOT. It is impossible to stop every drug shipment coming through to our country, and it is also impossible to root out and hunt down every single terrorist in the world. I don't think the comparison is a very good one.

The drugs we are talking about are illegal narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Though they are dangerous and illegal, many people in this country use them. Many also become addicted to them. The thing is, large amounts of money can be made by selling drugs, and as long as this is true there will be suppliers who will find ways to reap those profits. There is just too much money involved, and that is the driving force behind the drug trade. It isn't hate for our country, it isn't that we have wronged the population of some country in the past. It is cold hard cash. If all drugs were legalized and priced well below the current street prices, the war would effectively end because the potential profit for the dealers would drastically be cut and they would have lost their market edge.

Now let's talk about terrorism. There is not a "demand" for terrorism. Nobody gets addicted to watching terrorist acts. There is no direct economic gain to be made from terrorism; you can't get rich by bombing people. You can if someone paid you for every target you hit, but while it is possible to make money over the course of hundreds of drug transactions, bombers get hunted down with full force after one single incident. There isn't much to be done with any profit made. There are many theories as to why terrorism exists, and they are debatable. However, there isn't much debate as to where terrorism thrives. It thrived most recently in Afghanistan. It was allowed to by the Taliban there, which was a tyrannical government that brutally suppressed the democratic elements there. That is why we went there and destroyed the terrorist camps and ousted the government.

The primary feature that separates the places where terrorism thrives and the places it doesn't is the type of govenment in place. Terrorist arrests have been made all over Europe because the governments there do not want terrorists operating in their countries. Pakistan has also cooperated with capturing terrorists because they don't want the bastards there either. You can't prevent every human from wanting to bomb our country, but you can make it so difficult for them to operate that the idea becomes unrealistic. After the example of Afghanistan, everyone knows that if we see terrorists operating in your country and you do nothing to stop it, you better watch out. It is much easier for a country to break up a terrorist ring itself than to face the wrath of our military. That is the new logic of American foreign affairs, and everybody has figured it out. There is an impetus to stop terrorism that does not exist for drugs. Certain governments' survival depends on whether they can stop terrorists from operating in their respective countries. That's why we can win the war on terror.


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