Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Bruce Wayne turned around, and saw that it was Sandra. As the waiter escorted her to the table, Wayne looked around the restaurant; nearly every man in the restaurant was following her with his eyes. No wonder, he thought as he stood up to greet her; Sandra was quite attractive. Full-figured, with flowing black hair and dark eyes offset by light colored skin, she was a classic beauty from her native country, Spain.
For her part, Dr. Sandra Villanova was aware of the men watching her; in fact, she was used to it, but it in no way gave her an ego; she simply brushed it off.
"Dr. Villanova, hi!"
"Oh really, Bruce, why so formal?" They greeted each other European-style, "kissing the air" next to each other's cheeks, then Wayne helped Dr. Villanova sit down, and then sat down himself opposite her.
The waiter brought her a glass of water, and a menu for each of them.
"How have you been, Sandra?"
"Fine, Bruce. How have you been?"
Dr. Villanova put her menu down without even looking at it; instead she looked at the mirror on the wall, and studied her reflection.
Without ego, merely acknowledging reality, she thought about herself. She wasn't bad looking, not at all. She exercised regularly, although she noticed she was starting to gain just a little weight, and she noticed that now, in her late thirties, it was harder to exercise as hard as she used to. She was dedicated to her career, her profession -- no, to her research -- but still, she wondered at what price. At times she was very lonely, and she wondered how things would have been if she had had a husband, a family.... She wasn't getting any younger, and soon she might not be so attractive to men.
But, her standards were high; she was in no way going to settle for just anybody, neither was she going to give up her work. She would need someone who was her intellectual equal, someone who would be not just a lover, but a partner and a friend. But she hadn't yet found anyone, she wasn't even close to finding anyone, and she wasn't getting any younger. With these thoughts in mind, she sighed. Bruce Wayne was really sweet, very much a gentleman, but he was just so shallow! Their conversation so far this evening was likely to be only a taste of what was surely to come: more shallow conversation. Still, she was ready for a break from her work, perhaps even a little fun, and she definitely didn't feel like being alone just now. However, as far as her future was concerned, Bruce Wayne was not going to be her type for anything more than dinner and shallow conversation; and, the clock was ticking. She sighed again, as she looked back from the mirror and picked up her menu.
"Is everything okay?"
Bruce Wayne looked worried.
"Sure. Why wouldn't it be?"
"Oh, I don't know. You just keep sighing."
"Sorry. I guess I have a lot on my mind."
"I know the feeling." Wayne smiled, then looked out the window. He could see the street outside, but in the reflection he could also see Dr. Villanova. Moreover, in his peripheral vision, he could see his own face in the mirror on the window frame, and, farther back, he could see Sasha casually keeping an eye on him.
Wayne sighed. Aladdin and his Mujahideen had nuclear weapons; they had them here, in Gotham City! The Gotham authorities were unable, or perhaps unwilling, to do anything about it, or even to acknowledge the danger officially so Gotham's residents would at least know. Batman should be out doing something to protect Gotham City, but, instead, here was Bruce Wayne, under guard, about to have a boring dinner. On top of it all, he wasn't even hungry; and, the clock was ticking.
Nicholas Kyle took a sip of his Scotch as he continued thinking about how his life had become such a mess.
One day, Kyle noticed that one crime syndicate seemed to benefit from the misfortunes of others. He also noticed that these other syndicates were the ones that Donovan was asking for information about. He mentioned that to Donovan. Sure, Donovan explained, whenever one criminal group goes down, another takes its place. There is a demand on the street, a demand for drugs, sex, stolen goods, murder-for-hire, and that demand will get supplied. Naturally, if one supplier suffers some misfortunes, another will step in and take its place.
Shortly thereafter, Kyle was assigned to work with a new partner. The new partner, a more senior agent, a man named Ron DiViglio, knew Donovan; he had been helping Donovan, too.
Kyle expressed his concern one day that he thought Donovan was using them to further the goals of one of the organized crime syndicates. His new partner didn't seem overly concerned. Don't be so paranoid! Besides, he said, so what if he is? Let these criminals fight among themselves; when one syndicate has brought down other criminals, the GBI or the GPD will move in and take down the first one. The end result would be the same, but with fewer officers' and agents' lives in jeopardy.
Kyle then noticed that the rewards he got became more generous: stereo equipment, televisions, tickets to ball games and social events. The favors he was asked to do also became riskier: photocopying files, tipping Donovan off about targets of GBI investigations ("So the GPD can deconflict its operations; but we don't have time to go through channels!")....
One day, Kyle confronted his partner. He had been had, he explained. Donovan was tied to organized crime, and Kyle was doing Donovan's bidding.
His partner Ron explained that he had better just shut up about it. "For a couple of years, now, Nick, you've been doing stuff you shouldn't have been doing; if word gets out, you and I will get in trouble, along with Donovan. Our families might be at risk, too," he added. Don't worry, Ron reassured him, he would see that Nick was protected; that's why Donovan's friends arranged for Ron and Nick to be partners. Ron said he would talk to Donovan's friends, and make sure Nick got more lucrative rewards for his hard work. "In the end, the criminals will get theirs; meanwhile, let's profit off these guys for a while."
After that, Nick began to receive even more generous rewards: envelopes full of cash. But, the things he was asked to do became riskier still.
And so, one day, Special Agent Nicholas Kyle of the Gotham Bureau of Investigation woke up, looked in the mirror, and realized he was dirty: he was working for organized crime.
With these thoughts on his mind, Nick got up from his armchair, walked back over to the bar, and poured himself another glass of Scotch.
His dream had become a nightmare; his life had become a living hell. Every time he thought he saw someone following him, he wondered if that was it: if GBI Internal Affairs was about to bring him down. Now, his house, his life with Selena, everything was at risk. If he tried to go clean, he couldn't prove anything, but someone might go after Selena. If he tried to back out, they could accuse him to the GBI, or someone might go after Selena. His only choice was to go forward, deeper into hell.
He took a long pull on his Scotch, then looked at his reflection in the mirror. It was as if he had been looking in the mirror all along. It was as if every time he thought he was turning right, he was mistaken, and in fact went the other way. His life had become the mirror image of what he had wanted it to be. And now Selena, sweet, innocent, loving Selena, was at risk.
By going forward, however, Selena no longer had to work; the extra money he brought home was returns on his investments, he told her. The important thing is she could be happy, pursue her hobbies without having to deal with bosses or coworkers, go to the gymnasium and work out... she really enjoyed exercising, and Oh! she was so beautiful.
With her reddish hair, green eyes, and athletic figure, she was a delight for Nick.
The trouble was, Nick felt dirty; he felt like he was contaminating her.
His smile having turned to a frown, he took another pull on his Scotch.
The other morning, he and his partner had to go on business and try to intimidate a reporter who was looking into things that shouldn't be looked into. They followed the reporter to the gymnasium; it was the same gymnasium that Selena works out at!
Nick told Ron about that, and expressed concern that Selena might know this reporter, or that Selena might see Nick there, or that the reporter might see Nick with Selena some day.
Ron assured him that he shouldn't worry about that, but Nick had his doubts.
The appearance of that dark figure talking to the reporter was worrisome, too.
Ron told him not to worry about that, either, but Nick was sure that figure was a syndicate enforcer. When would that figure come after Nick?
As Nick thought about the dark figure outside the gymnasium, another dark figure watched him from the shadows upstairs. Silently, it stood like a ghost, deep in the darkness; a phantom in flowing black, its eyes mirroring Nicholas Kyle's every move, his every thought....
A cat approached the dark figure, and Selena Kyle reached down to pick the cat up.
She looked again at her husband, then disappeared quietly into her bedroom.
Monday, July 30, 2007
(adapted from Iron Man by Black Sabbath)
I AM JIHAD MAN
Has he lost his mind
Can he see or is he blind
Has he thoughts his own
Or is he just a Wahhabi clone
Is he alive or dead
Has he brains within his head
We'll just leave him there
Why should we even care
His heart was turned to stone
Under that golden Islamic dome
When he heard the hate
Speech of a Saudi-funded sheikh
Nobody wants him
He just hates the whole world
Planning his jihad
That he soon will unfurl
Now the time is here
For Jihad Man to spread fear
Hatred from the sands
Brings terror to foreign lands
Nobody believes him
As he spews all that hate
Nobody hears him
Now the time is too late
Heavy belt of bombs
Blasts humanity's very womb
Running as fast as they can
Jihad Man strikes again!
Riddle me this, Mujahideen!
What is the one infidel weapon,
against which you holy warriors have no defense?
(For the answer, scroll upwards.)
Do you really believe,
you are asked with a grin,
that you rape virgins in heaven,
and kill and plunder to get in?
And, as Gotham City is menaced by the Mujahideen,
the question hangs in the air:
Kyle considered how the reflection worked. What to him was his right hand with his drink was his reflection's left hand with its drink.
How ironic, he thought.
He walked over to the bar and looked in the mirror behind the bar. Although the light was dimmer farther inside the living room, the mirror was more effective at reflecting the light that was there, so the result was that he could see himself a little more clearly.
It was quite interesting, really. His head was the same, but where his hair was parted from the right over toward the left, in the mirror it seemed to be parted from the left over toward the right. The drink was the same, but as he had noticed before, it was in his reflection's left hand.
How ironic, he thought again.
When he was young, he had always wanted to be an agent with the Gotham Bureau of Investigation.
The GBI, he thought. As a boy, he had read comic books and watched TV shows portraying the GBI protecting Gotham City from organized crime, narcotics traffickers, corruption, and a whole list of other threats. GBI agents were heroes! He had so wanted to be a GBI agent.
In high school he studied hard, exercised regularly and kept his nose clean. He knew the GBI would only take the best, and in no way was he going to jeopardize a future application with the GBI by doing something stupid in high school. Other kids skipped classes and smoked; occasionally they would get together with some beer someone had procured for them and have a party. There were also those who used marijuana, or even other drugs. But not Nicholas Kyle; he would have none of that. He was clean cut, kept his shirt tucked in, and spoke respectfully to the school staff. His teachers were very impressed with him, and enjoyed having him in their classrooms. Nick, as they called him, was a hero -- in fact, they called him that, too: "the hero" -- and it paid off for him; every once in a while he would come into class a little late, or need a little more time with a homework assignment, and his teachers looked for a way to interpret the rules so Nick wouldn't be in trouble.
Despite his hard work, he had trouble getting a scholarship for college, and he definitely needed one. Kids from richer families had no problems, their parents could afford to send them to school, while kids from poorer families had scholarship opportunities available to them based more on financial need than on academic merit, but Nick's family was too poor to be rich, and too rich to be poor. While he did well in school, he just couldn't do as well as those couple of kids that always seemed to come out on top academically; the few scholarships available for merit went to them, and Nick was left struggling. Finally, though, he did qualify for some subsidies, which, together with contributions from his family and income from part time jobs, allowed him to complete four semesters of schooling. During that time, he thought more about the GBI. Even upon graduation, it would still not be easy to be accepted; and, graduation was still a long way off.
Toward the end of his fourth semester of college, he applied with Gotham Police Department. He was very pleased when he found out he was accepted. He knew that now he would have a steady income, which would allow him to finish college, although the going would be much slower, as he would be going to school part-time, and working full time as a cop. However, that offered the opportunity for him to gain some experience in law enforcement. It would now be his mid-to-late twenties before he would have the degree he would need to apply to the GBI, but he would also have experience and be able to get recommendations from his supervisors at the GPD, and that would be a big help.
Meanwhile, he met Selena Lyon. Fortunately, they were perfect for each other, and she understood his dream of becoming a GBI agent. While they had fun together, she was careful to make sure she didn't distract him too much from his goals, and she helped motivate him to finish school and get his degree.
Finally, he applied, and the day came when he was accepted. The GBI academy was long and tough, harder than the GPD academy had been, but graduation day came and he was officially Special Agent Nicholas Kyle of the Gotham Bureau of Investigation. Shortly thereafter, Selena Lyon became Selena Kyle, and the newlyweds moved into this new house that they could finally afford with his decent salary as a GBI agent, supplemented by her income.
His life was a dream come true. He had a career as a GBI agent opening up before him, he was married to a beautiful, intelligent, charming wife, who he felt was really his soul-mate, and they had moved into a wonderful home in the suburbs of Gotham City.
What had gone wrong? he wondered.
Nicholas Kyle finished his drink and poured himself another, glancing again at his reflection in the mirror, oblivious to the dark figure that was watching him from upstairs.
Bruce Wayne walked in. The head waiter greeted him by name.
"Good evening, Mr. Wayne. Will you be expecting company this evening?"
"As a matter of fact, two young ladies will be here."
The waiter smiled a neutral smile, trying not to hint any thoughts he might have about Mr. Wayne's answer.
"Doctor Sandra Villanova will be joining me for dinner, and my driver, Sasha Bordeaux, will be in momentarily, as well. Sasha will not be sitting with us; she has something to do. But, I would like a table near the window for myself and for Dr. Villanova."
"We have a table in that bay window up the stairs there. Will that do?"
Wayne looked off in the direction the head waiter was indicating. A little isolated, with a good view outside, not too visible from the door....
"Yes, that will be fine." A waiter began to escort Wayne to his table, as Wayne turned back to the head waiter and added, "Please give Sasha a seat somewhere where she can see both my table and the door."
"Certainly, Mr. Wayne," the head waiter answered, a little curious.
"Oh, and whatever Sasha orders, put it on my tab," Wayne added.
"Of course, Mr. Wayne." The head waiter and the waiter escorting Wayne to his table exchanged glances.
Approaching his table, Wayne was even more pleased with the location the head waiter had offered him. The lighting inside was dim and relaxing, even romantic. His table, separated and partially hidden from other tables by a large aquarium and several potted plants, was private. The lighting inside was dim enough to allow him to see outside, but bright enough that he could see clearly inside. On the frames of the bay windows were mirrors, allowing him to look in the direction of the window, but still see clearly the inside of the restaurant behind him. Furthermore, due to the lighting difference, he could also see the restaurant reflected in the glass from the bay windows, though not as well.
The waiter seated him and lit the candle on his table, as another waiter brought a glass of water for him.
In the reflection of the mirror, Wayne could see someone arriving at the front door. He looked. Through the plants he could see Sasha. After talking briefly with the head waiter, Sasha walked over toward the bar and found a seat where she could see both the front door and the little enclave where Wayne's table was. Wayne nodded at Sasha and smiled, then turned back to look out the window.
Where had things gone wrong in his life? Nicholas Kyle wondered.
He walked back over to the bay window and looked out again, then sat down in an armchair a few steps away from the window and looked outside. From this far inside the room, his own reflection was not visible. Outside, the sky had been clouding over, and he noticed that it was beginning to rain ever so gently.
Looking back on it now, he knew exactly where it had gone wrong.
An acquaintance of his from the Gotham Police Department, a more senior police officer, Richard Donovan, contacted him one day while he was relatively new at the Bureau. He said he had a friend at the GBI, and he wanted to invite this friend to an event that was coming up, but wasn't sure how to get in touch with him. Could Nick please get him a GBI phone book so he could call his friend at the office?
There were rules against that; all such requests were supposed to be channeled through the public affairs office. However, the new Bureau directories had just come out, and Nick was about to throw out his old directory. He thought for a moment, and figured there would be no problem giving an old Bureau directory to a member of the Gotham Police Department.
His acquaintance at the GPD was delighted. The acquaintance's friend at the GBI went to the event, the two of them talked some business, and it opened up a new business relationship for both Donovan and his friend. In celebration, Donovan invited Nick and Selena to dinner at a nice restaurant. Kyle thought it was a little much, a fairly nice dinner for him and his wife, all merely for giving away a phone book that was destined for the trash can, but his acquaintance insisted that the business venture was very profitable, and that, while it seemed like nothing to Nick, it meant a great deal to Donovan.
Shortly thereafter, Donovan contacted him again. He needed some help on a case, and he was wondering if Nick could take a look at some GBI files and pass along information on the subjects of Donovan's investigation. Nick suggested he just request the files through official channels: the Gotham Bureau of Investigation had a good working relationship with the Gotham Police Department, and with other law enforcement agencies as well; procedures were established for such cooperation, and Donovan could get whatever he needed officially, and probably get far better information than what Kyle could provide him anyway. Donovan insisted that going through channels would take too long, that there was a fleeting opportunity in the investigation, and that Nick was his only hope to get things moving.
Kyle thought about it. There were rules against it, but Kyle certainly understood how slow the bureaucracy could move. He helped Donovan again.
Donovan was very appreciative. The information Kyle provided from the GBI was useful in helping bring down a small ring of thieves. Donovan was praised by his boss, and he insisted on taking Nick and Selena Kyle to dinner once again.
So, little by little, Special Agent Nicholas Kyle of the Gotham Bureau of Investigation grew accustomed to bending the rules to help his friend Richard Donovan of the Gotham Police Department. He also grew accustomed to getting small rewards and small favors in return.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Aladdin claimed credit and was assumed to be responsible for an attack on the Gotham Towers, resulting in the collapse of those two buildings plus another skyscraper in the Gotham Trade Center. The extensive damage at the Gotham Trade Center resulted in the deaths of over three thousand of Gotham's citizens. Other operations of Aladdin struck other targets on that same day several years ago, prompting Gotham's mayor to declare a War on Crime, and elevating Aladdin to a prominent place on the Ten Most Wanted list at the Gotham Bureau of Investigation.
Currently, Gotham's law enforcement agencies and their allies were battling Aladdin's men (for the most part, Aladdin's criminal organization discriminated against women), mostly in the eastern part of the Gotham Metropolitan Area; that area was considered the main front in the War on Crime, and Gotham's law enforcement agencies, especially the Gotham Police Department, were definitely showing signs of strain after so many years of such a fierce battle against Aladdin's Mujahideen, a requirement that was placed on the GPD and other agencies in addition to their other, regular duties.
Back in the shadows, quite a distance across the cavernous interior of the facility, a smallish shadow moved almost noiselessly across the floor -- almost noiselessly, but not quite. It moved seemingly randomly, as if exploring now this piece of equipment, now that dark corner. The shadow was searching for something, but seemed unsure for what.
The large brooding figure heard the faintest of noises from the depths of the shadows behind him and to his right, and imperceptibly glanced in a mirror to one side, surveying what was there. Not seeing anything, he turned and looked into the darkness. It moved again, and this time he saw the shadow fairly distinctly. He made a mental note to mention it to Mr. Fox the next time they saw each other, and, satisfied, turned back toward the picture of Aladdin and the computer console, and continued to pensively brood.
Behind the brooding figure Alfred was entering the area from a staircase. The staircase was one of several entrances to the Batcave, most of which had their origin in a secret location in the enormous interior of Wayne Manor. He arrived just in time to notice the shadow and the figure's response to its movement. He was thankful, because he needed to disturb the figure, but hadn't wanted to do so; the shadow disturbed the figure for Alfred.
Sensing Alfred's arrival behind him and to his left, the figure was the first to speak.
"What's on your mind, Alfred?"
"I might ask you the same thing, sir."
Alfred frowned; Bruce Wayne seemed to be spending more time in the Batcave lately. Alfred felt his boss needed to get out more, enjoy the company of others, and perhaps even enjoy himself some.
"Dr. Villanova called, sir. She said she'd be delighted to accept your invitation for a late dinner this evening."
"That's terrific!" the figure enthusiastically responded.
Then the figure paused, and looked into the mirror again. Alfred could make out a very puzzled look on his face, as the figure turned around to face Alfred.
"Wait a minute," he began. "I didn't invite Sandra to dinner."
"I took the liberty, sir. I thought you could use a break from the Batcave."
Bruce Wayne scowled. Dr. Villanova -- Sandra, as he called her -- was a professor at Gotham University. With an extensive background in law and psychology, she was very well-respected, but she was somewhat of a maverick, not really seeking to fit in to Gotham's social elite. Never having been married, she was thought by many to be married to her work. She and Bruce Wayne were friends, and that fact was known in Gotham's social circles; what was not known was whether the relationship ended there. Bruce Wayne was considered Gotham's most eligible bachelor, but had a reputation as a bit of a playboy, and seemed to many to be a shallow one at that. Many wondered what such a profound intellectual as Dr. Villanova could possibly see in Bruce Wayne. However, Dr. Villanova was a classic beauty, and, for his part, Bruce Wayne was considered by the tabloids and gossip columnists to be one of the most handsome men in Gotham City, and speculation about the nature of their relationship prompted many men in Gotham's social circles to elbow each other and wink when they saw Bruce Wayne and Dr. Sandra Villanova together.
"I suggest you leave now, sir. I myself will be turning in early, tonight."
"Well, who's going to be driving me, then?"
"Sasha will be driving you and serving as your bodyguard tonight."
"Bodyguard? I don't need any bodyguard," the brooding figure protested. "Who's Sasha?"
"Sasha was assigned by Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox feels your personal security could stand some enhancement, all things considered."
Resigning himself to the judgement of the two people he trusted most in the world, Alfred Pennyworth and Lucius Fox, Wayne nodded. "Okay, I guess I'll meet him soon enough."
"'Her', sir," Alfred corrected, "'meet her soon enough.' Sasha is a young lady."
Wayne looked at Alfred.
"Sasha is a crackshot with a 9mm, is very adept in kick-boxing, and holds a belt in Judo," Alfred explained. "She makes an excellent first impression," he added.
Intrigued, Wayne hopped down from his stool at the computer console.
"Well, I guess I'd better get going."
It was dark, but the little bit of light that leaked in from outside just allowed him to make out his surroundings. The alarm was set; he had to key in the code, close the door again, then reactivate the alarm. That done, he turned and looked into his living room. His large reddish dog sleepily greeted him. That done, the dog went back to his spot near the coffee table, and went back to sleep.
The alarm and the dog made him feel comfortable about coming home. With the alarm working, and his dog happily sleeping, he knew his home and his wife were safe. Hopefully, both the dog and his wife would be sound asleep; it had been a long day (in fact, it had been a long several days) and he wanted to be alone for a while.
He took off his shoes, walked over to the bar, poured himself a glass of Scotch, then walked over to the bay windows. From the darkness of his living room, he could see outside fairly well, since it was not as dark outside due to the reflected light from streetlights and the lights of neighboring houses. Things inside, but near the window, could be seen; for example, he could see the reflection of his face fairly well in the window from close enough away. From the relative light outside, even though it was faint, it would have been hard to see inside into the darkness. For the same reason that it was easier to see outside than inside, it was easier for someone farther inside the house to see him near the window than it was for him to see someone in the dark depths of his house; although, feeling safe, he was not looking. Had he really looked, he might have noticed that his sleeping dog was not the only one keeping him company inside: above his living room, high up in the vaulted ceiling, there was a place where the recreation room overlooked the living room. Up in the recreation room, from far back in the shadows, a dark figure, dressed in flowing black, regarded Special Agent Nicholas Kyle of the Gotham Bureau of Investigation, and wondered what he was thinking about as he drank his Scotch and looked out his bay windows.
Bruce Wayne walked out to the car that was waiting for him. There, by the door of the car, stood Wayne's new bodyguard, ready to drive him into Gotham City.
"Good evening, Mr. Wayne," she said. Wayne noticed a slight accent as she continued. "How are you?"
"Fine. How are you doing? Nice to meet you," Wayne held out his hand. "You must be Sasha," Wayne said, momentarily studying her: mid-to-late twenties, shoulder-length brownish hair, green eyes -- or, were they blue? -- medium height, athletic and slim. Very attractive, Wayne thought, immediately putting such thoughts out of his mind: he was very strict about how he looked at and even thought about employees.
"Sasha Bordeaux," she said, shaking Bruce Wayne's hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you." Sasha opened the door for him, and Wayne got in the back of the limousine. Sasha closed the door behind him, then went around the vehicle and got in the driver's seat, sat down and closed the door.
"You know where we're going?" Wayne asked questioningly.
"Yes," Sasha answered, as the limousine pulled away from Wayne Manor.
That was good, Wayne thought, because he had no idea. It was his date that Alfred had made for him; Alfred had made all the arrangements, and everybody seemed to know what was happening on Bruce Wayne's dinner date except for Bruce Wayne!
Wayne looked out the window silently, as Sasha glanced back at him in the mirror. Bruce Wayne was every bit as attractive as she had imagined: tall, muscular and athletic, yet not excessively muscle-bound like many body-builders -- Sasha admired body-builders, but did not find them attractive. No, physically Bruce Wayne was exactly the kind of man she would be interested in -- not like her ex-husband, she thought disgustedly. The only thing she would have been concerned about was whether Bruce Wayne, for his wealth, might feel somehow better than those around him; specifically, how he would treat women. Sasha knew that Bruce Wayne had a reputation for treating his employees well; very well, in fact, and that reputation seemed to be deserved. He also supported Gotham's charities, and not just the Wayne Foundation. But, Bruce Wayne also had a reputation as a shallow playboy, and it was possible that, socially, women were to him merely playthings.
Still, she thought, as the limousine pulled out onto the Interstate highway, Bruce Wayne can't be as bad as her ex-husband. He was middle-aged, overweight, poorly-groomed and had bad breath. All of that could have been overlooked or easily fixed, if only he had treated her nicely. She wasn't asking to be treated like a queen; only to be treated like a person. But, Mr. Bordeaux, a successful engineer, had no idea how to treat people; they just didn't fit into his equations. He was not attractive physically, nor was he attractive as a person. To be sure, he was funny and charming as she was getting to know him on-line. But, when she agreed to leave her country and come to Gotham City to marry him, he changed from the moment she got off the plane. Reasonably well-to-do, he seemed to feel he was entitled to something better in his social life than whatever he had at the moment -- and that was usually very little. Sasha had come to understand that he had been picked on in high school, since he was rather nerdish. His social life in college wasn't much better, and for six long years he studied engineering, usually doing quite well. He could have graduated in four years, but stayed on an extra two, in part to master a couple of classes that he had had difficulties with, but mostly to take several additional courses that he found very interesting. As a result of that, when he finally graduated, his academic preparation and credentials were excellent, especially for Gotham City, where so many of the college graduates majored in business-related fields, and engineers had to be imported. Once established in his career, George Bordeaux felt like the world owed him something in his private life, in his social life, in his romantic life. George Bordeaux felt like he was finally getting what he had coming when he saw what a beautiful young fiancee he had, as Sasha got off the plane, and that feeling was what caused the problems: he never appreciated her, and it went downhill from there.
Pulling off the Interstate, Sasha again glanced in the mirror at Bruce Wayne. No, she thought, Bruce Wayne can't be that bad!
Sasha leaned over a little, and glanced at herself in the mirror. Despite what she had been through, not all of which was bad, she was still attractive and fairly young. She was an employee of Wayne Enterprises, she was athletic and in good shape, learning computers in her free time; her ex-husband had finally gotten the message, granted her a divorce and left her alone; all-in-all, things actually were going pretty well, and her future was brighter than ever.
Why, then, did she feel so empty inside?
For a moment, she almost wanted to cry, but had no time for that, as the limousine was approaching one of Gotham's finer restaurants, and she had to pay attention to getting Bruce Wayne inside safely.
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Mr. B: Me, too.
JOB IN DC: What did JOB IN DC do for you?
MR. A: Well, first, JOB IN DC showed me how much I had in common with our nation's enemies. There was this terrorist organization that wanted to destroy the World Trade Center, and had even already tried to do so once, but just didn't have the resources to succeed. Additionally, there were the usual narcotics traffickers and arms dealers out there, not to mention certain foreign governments. JOB IN DC showed us how we, too, could benefit from the successes of their endeavors. Working with some of our colleagues inside the beltway, we obstructed investigations about the terrorists, providing them the cover they needed to destroy those Twin Towers. That was worth some money there, but that was nothing compared to what came next.
JOB IN DC: Oh, do tell!
MR. B: Some of our friends were able to turn their knowledge of the terrorists' attacks into real money by planning appropriate stock trades around the attacks. (laughs) As those financial whizkids were jumping out of the Twin Towers to get away from the fire, whizzing down and splatting on the ground, our friends' stock trades were whizzing through WTC computers unmonitored. They made a hell of a killing that week, and they were very appreciative of our assistance! And, when the towers then collapsed, all the evidence of our trades was buried in the rubble, so nobody could tie it to them and, by extension, to us! In fact, our friends made sure of that by taking down WTC 7.
JOB IN DC: Wow! That is innovative! But what's the connection to WTC 7?
MR. B: Well, JOB IN DC arranged for WTC 7, which wasn't even hit by a jetliner, to be imploded, or "pulled" as they say. This was a big help, since WTC 7 is where many government agencies had their offices, including the SEC. All their investigations of other shady deals were buried in the rubble of another collapsed skyscraper, and, with their offices physically destroyed, they wouldn't be looking into the trades from the week of the attack any time soon!
JOB IN DC: Yeah, this just gets better and better.
MR. B: It sure does. The destruction of the World Trade Center prompted the President to declare a War on Terror, a war which everyone in the adminstration promises will not end any time soon! That's great news for the arms industry, and for some of our foreign associates. Since we're now fighting a War on Terror, our business partners' interests in narcotics and arms trafficking just aren't a priority for government interference anymore; (chuckles) we helped make sure of that.
Mr. A: Yeah, when we finally get tired of the rat-race in politics, we'll just move on to a nice, cushy job as a consultant working for our new friends. We've already done, here on the public payroll, the favors needed to guarantee that.
Mr. B: It's like an investment in our retirement!
JOB IN DC: The gift that keeps on giving. How does that work exactly?
MR. A: Well, some of our key associates are from places like Turkey, Pakistan and certain Central Asian countries. These are places that are very undemocratic and have terrible human rights records; they're very corrupt, and heavily involved in smuggling heroin. Remember, too, that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terror for all the support it gives to Islamic insurgents in Kashmir. Nobody in their right minds would do business with these guys! But, by using our pull in DC to help them, we not only get them high-tech weapons, nuclear secrets and other goodies; we get U.S. foreign aid to pay for it all! And let's face it, that lobbying wouldn't be possible without financial help from our friends overseas to pay off people all over Washington.
JOB IN DC: Wow, you're really making a killing!
MR. B: Oh, we sure are.
Mr. A: Yeah. When I saw those Twin Towers come down, I knew we had picked a winner! And, to top it all off, those terrorists hijacked and crashed two other planes that day, and that just made everyone all the more convinced that the hijackings were the real crime of the day. Nobody's even looking for the money, the drugs, the weapons and the nuclear secrets we're dealing in, and that's a good thing, because if they ever find any of that, they might find us!
JOB IN DC: Well, your secret is safe with me. Thank you, Mr. A and Mr. B.
You heard it. If JOB IN DC can do that for Mr. A and Mr. B, imagine what we can do for you!
Our professional staff will show you how to leverage your knowledge of government secrets into real money, cover up the illegal activities of your business associates, and maybe even start a war, all while you are setting yourself up for a retirement on Easy Street!
We will get you the job of your dreams. Your enemies will be terrified when they see the job you do on them; and remember: inside jobs are our specialty!
So, if you're ready to turn narcotics traffickers, arms smugglers, terrorists and our nation's other enemies into your business partners -- and maybe even employers! -- just call our toll-free number:
That number again:
and ask about our Nuclear Special -- nothing will brighten your day more, we guarantee it!
Call now! Operators are standing by.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
It references an article, THE MADNESS OF BROWN, which appears at a link that, to my American perspective, kind of has a tabloid feel about it. I've noticed that about journals from the UK, that many fairly good ones seem to have a look about them that, if they were in the US, I would expect to see them at the cash register in a supermarket somewhere.
Curious, I did a search, and found The Huffington Post has a page with some links on the topic of Winston Churchill, and one of those references a link at Michelle Malkin, Winston Churchill out, global warming in.
Finally, I found an article at Anorak News, another tabloid-looking journal, entitled Gordon Brown: Balls To Education Winston Churchill. So, I took a few quotes from there to tell the story about recent "improvements" in education in the UK:
"BY cutting waste and duplication in the curriculum, I am giving teachers time to concentrate on what is really vital," says Ed Balls, Gordon Brown’s Schools Secretary.
The greatest of evils are done in the name of the common good. In particular, cutting waste, promoting education and helping our children are three battle cries that, when you hear them, should make your hair stand on end.
Good then that the children will be given what they want: shorter classes with more range. Teachers will be free to introduce more topic-based lessons to the core curriculum.
And, without a doubt, children should be given what they want! They know best. After all, it is the adult world that is destroying the planet, oppressing people, and causing wars. Without a doubt, kids should be calling the shots! (Is my sarcasm dripping on the floor?)
Notice the buzz words: topic-based lessons.
It is what the Sun calls "TWO FINGERS TO CHURCHILL". And: "Schools axe Winnie from history lessons." There is talk of “fury” as Sir Winston Churchill is "axed" from school history lessons.
It’s "total madness" says MPs Nicholas Soames. "Sir Winston out, drugs lessons in," says the Sun. No longer will the nippers have to learn about Churchill, Hitler, Gandhi, Stalin, Martin Luther King, the Wars of the Roses, Elizabeth I or Henry VIII. Instead the kidz will learn more about "relevant" issues, "like sex, drugs, climate chance and GM goods".
It has been said that those who fail to learn from history will be condemned to relive it.
The history that children in the UK will no longer be learning from includes Britain's Finest Hour, as the UK stood essentially alone in the dark days of 1940, Western Europe's last bastion of civilized humanity facing the onslaught of Nazism. It includes the height of the Cold War, when the Man of Steel, Josef Stalin, ruled the Soviet Union with an iron fist, the multitudes of his Red Army poised at the gates of Western Europe, and finally in possession of nuclear weapons.
Important lessons could be drawn from those turbulent, trying times in British history, lessons that could help the United Kingdom today as it faces calls for its political dismemberment, as well as a new "invasion" of immigrants, many of whom preach a very violent interpretation of a very violent religion, and call for the destruction of everything that has made the United Kingdom civilized.
But, the decision is being made that children in the schools there will not learn about this history; the decision is thus being made that those children will be condemned to relive it.
Is it any wonder that in a nation heavily engaged in the War on Terror, a nation which is itself being increasingly targeted by rabid Islamic terrorists, there are calls to not use the words "Muslim" and "Islam" in connection with terrorist acts?
If the United Kingdom fails to meet the challenges it faces today, its civilization could collapse under the current onslaught of barbarity that it faces, and the people of the British Isles could be dragged back to the dark ages of totalitarian tyranny at the hands of those who violently preach and spread a dark age ideology.
Another domino falls, as an end to history in the schools of the United Kingdom takes us one step closer to an End to History for Mankind.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Go to Gates of Vienna and read this post, mainly the comments.
(By the way, if you are new to blogging against the jihad, or for whatever reason are unfamiliar with Gates of Vienna, now's your chance to get acquainted and link to them.)
More to follow.
U.B.A … TERRORISTS OUT!
WELCOME to the Blog of the United British Alliance. ALL INCLUSIVE We are a multi-ethnic,multi-faith organisation with a passionate interest in reclaiming our once proud nation from the grip of international terror and political correctness gone-mad,with a view to re-installing some pride in our communities and way of life.We hope you enjoy our Blog and if you find you are like minded then please,feel free to jump to our from the links page and become a member.Many thanks for visiting. DisclaimerThe views and opinions expressed on these pages are not neccessarily representative of the group as a whole. ANY remarks, comments or views left in public areas of this site and/or the forum that are racist, obscene or in any way incite hatred and condone violence towards any persons/groups/communities based on their colour, religion, political beliefs or social opinions will NOT be tolerated and will be instantly deleted by the Admin team and could result in you being banned and your IP address being passed over to the relevant authorities. WE WILL NOT TOLERATE IT.
Here are some of the topics they have blogged about (language warning at the first link!):
Veiled protest as race-hate Muslims are jailed: The photo of protesters telling the police to go to hell, as a police woman stands there protecting their freedom to protest tells the whole story.
Former Mosque Leader Warns Britain Top Target for Extremists: "A former imam, or mosque leader, has warned that extremists are aiming to establish Muslim Sharia law in the UK - and that Britain has become the world 'number one target' for Islamic strategists."
Bombers Welcome To Stay: "The men who tried to bomb London and Glasgow will be allowed to stay in Britain at public expense indefinitely even if they are convicted of terrorism offences, according to a report issued today."
Eight Al Qaeda fanatics working for the police: "Up to eight police officers and civilian staff are suspected of links to extremist groups including Al Qaeda. [...] Astonishingly, many of the alleged jihadists have not been sacked because - it is claimed - police do not have the “legal power” to dismiss them."
For those of you who may not be aware, freedom of speech and of the press is very much under attack in the UK. In fact, it may not be accurate to say it still exists. Elements of a certain peaceful religion can advocate violence all day long, and that is okay, but if one dares to openly question the meaning of those violent words, one faces action by the government. It goes far beyond political correctness. At least, that is what I have come to understand by reading some blogs from over there. I believe it may be true, and that may explain the above disclaimer.
If you, dear reader, have some information on that topic, please enlighten me with your observations.
While you're out and about, check out Dope OpenTrackback Weekend over at Angel's blog. This post makes some excellent points, and, as usual, Angel makes the points with humor.
One of the things touched on is the desire in some circles to legalize drugs. They say it will stop drug crimes.
By the way, Angel is a very classy blogger. She answers comments left on her blog with a thank-you for the visit (unlike Yours Truly -- sorry), and she's very good about visiting the blogs of those who visit her.
This is a hint for the UBA -- link to Angel and visit her often! ;)
Elsewhere, The Dhivestan Report is always a good read (don't let the top post in Arabic deter you).
Death and the Maiden tells you all you ever wanted to know about torture.
Chronicles Magazine has an excellent article by Dr. Trifkovic entitled Kosovo: Back to Square One, although for some reason it seems to have gone stealth on us.
Here's an interesting read: Gun owners, so you want to defend yourself??? over at Right Truth.
And, coming up soon here is Mirror, Mirror, a multi-part posting that will be the latest installment in the Gotham City series (see sidebar). Future installments beyond that will include The Detective and The Counterconspiracy.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I have read much (certainly not all) of Islam's holy texts. While I see excerpts that sound very pleasant, the vast majority of what I read scares the hell out of me.
When I look out at the Islamic World, all-too-often I see Muslims who obviously read the same texts, and who obviously understand them the same way I do -- and who obviously consider to be their sacred duty before their Creator the fulfillment of the very commandments and traditions that I find most ghastly and offensive.
I shall resist that to the death.
I would like to say that submission to such evil, for any length of time, simply is not in me, but what scares the hell out of me is that perhaps it is.
The terrorists and fanatics who perpetrate these acts are, after all, not monsters, but are fellow human beings, and if such evil is in them, then perhaps it is in me as well.
Certainly, humanity has proven time and again that the best of attributes are within us, as are the very worst. Far removed in space and time from Islam we see this, and know that it is a universal trait of humanity. Is it any surprise then that we find within the Islamic world kind, loving, friendly -- beautiful -- people, as well as rabid criminals?
If humanity's future is to be better than our past, then we must reach out to good people, wherever we find them, and acknowledge their beauty. We must be partners with them to get past humanity's common history.
The alternative is what those fanatics work so hard to establish: Hell on Earth.
This is not a theoretical issue.
I am acquainted with people that I have met on-line. They are Muslims. While I have liked them right from the start, I now realize that they are more than acquaintances: ours is a budding friendship.
How can I speak honestly about Islam without driving them away? -- because, that is exactly what humanity must do to survive: speak honestly about not just Islam, but about other things as well, without driving each other away.
Understand, I don't care what the fanatics think. They have declared themselves to be humanity's enemy, and only they can change that.
But, if the good people of the world are divided against each other in the face of evil, then that would be the real terror; that would be Hell on Earth, and the terrorists would have won.
Invited is the question: How on Earth can history get past people like us?
This post is dedicated to my Muslim friends: as our Creator lives, I am reaching out to you.
Help me, please.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Following are excerpts from Al Qaeda has Nuclear Weapons in blockquotes, with my comments interspersed (and some typos corrected):
To date, the only confirmed case of attempted nuclear terrorism occurred in Russia on November 23, 1995, when Chechen separatists put a crude bomb containing 70 pounds of a mixture of cesium-137 and dynamite in Moscow’s Ismailovsky Park. The rebels decided not to detonate this "dirty bomb," but instead informed a national television station to its location. This demonstration of the Chechen insurgents’ capability to commit ruthless terror underscored their long-standing interest in all things nuclear. As early as 1992, Chechnya’s first rebel president, Dzhokhar Dudayev, began planning for nuclear terrorism, including a specific initiative to hijack a Russian nuclear submarine from the Pacific Fleet in the Far East. The plan called for seven Slavic-looking Chechens to seize a submarine from the naval base near Vladivostok, attach explosive devices to the nuclear reactor section and to one of the nuclear-tipped missiles on board, and then demand withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya. After the plot was discovered, Russian authorities disparaged it, and yet it is ominous to note that the former chief of staff of the Chechen rebel army, Islam Khasukhanov, had once served as second-in-command of a Pacific Fleet nuclear submarine.
"This demonstration of the Chechen insurgents’ capability to commit ruthless terror..."
If they had been really ruthless, they would have detonated it.
Then again, maybe it didn't work, and by phoning in the bomb threat, they at least salvaged some terror value.
Did the perpetrators of Beslan really show mercy?
For Movsar Barayev, the leader of the rebel unit that took 800 hostages only a few blocks from the Kremlin, the Dubrovka Theater was his second-choice target. Initially, Barayev planned to seize the Kurchatov Institute, one of Russia’s leading nuclear design centers, with 26 operating nuclear reactors and enough HEU to make thousands of nuclear weapons. Though far from optimal, the security at Kurchatov proved formidable enough for Barayev to pass up the nuclear facility for a softer target.
Chechen separatists have had a long-standing interest in acquiring nuclear weapons and material to use in their campaign against Russia. In addition to surveying Kurchatov, Chechen militants have conducted surveillance of the railway system and special trains designed for shipping nuclear weapons across Russia. They also succeeded in acquiring radioactive materials from a Grozny nuclear waste plant in January 2000 and stealing radioactive metals – possibly including some plutonium – from the Volgodonskaya nuclear power station the southern region of Rostov between July 2001 and July 2002.
Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist organizations are among Chechen militants’ major sources of financial support. Al Qaeda operatives were alleged to have negotiated with Chechen separatists in Russia to buy a nuclear warhead, which the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed to have acquired from Russian arsenals. While the Chechens’ target of choice for their first nuclear terrorist attack will surely be Moscow, if the Chechens are successful in acquiring several nuclear bombs, their Al Qaeda brethren would be likely consumers.
People don't really understand that many of these jihadis are working together. It's not just terror; it's about trafficking in arms, slaves, narcotics, and a variety of other interests. Criminal operations support terror, terrorist operations support criminal endeavors. They're far from monolithic, but the interests of a variety of criminal, terrorist and even some government and business organizations coincide, once you get high enough up the ladder.
The collapse of the Soviet Union presented an enormous threat to nuclear security with the Soviet’s ominous arsenal spread across four separate states. Efforts to transport weapons from Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine to Russia required significant speed and diplomatic muscle during a period of extreme political and economic chaos. The Soviet Ministry of Defense had to move 22,000 tactical nuclear weapons to Russia as the country was coming apart at the seams. Inflation had jumped over 2,000 percent, which fueled corruption and criminality throughout Russian society. In the slogan of that era, “Everything was for sale.” In light of these realities, is it conceivable that all nuclear weapons were recovered without a single loss? In 1991, then U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney observed, “If the Soviets do an excellent job at retaining control over their stockpile of nuclear weapons— let's assume they've got 25,000 to 30,000; that's a ballpark figure—and they are 99 percent successful, that would mean you could still have as many as 250 that they were not able to control.” The bottom line today is summarized best by an American intelligence officer who spent many years tracking this issue. In his words: “We don’t know with any confidence what has gone missing, and neither do they.”
That's nice to know.
These bombs included suitcase nuclear devices; suitcase backpacks (yadernyi ranets), such as the Army’s RA-155 and Navy’s RA-115-01 (to be used underwater), which weighed as little as 65 pounds and could be detonated by one soldier in ten minutes, producing a yield of between 0.5 and 2 kilotons.
Reports of Bin Laden having obtained nuclear suitcases, first surfaced in 1998, in various international papers and magazines. In 1996 members of the Chechen Mafia purportedly sold twenty of these nuclear suitcases in Grozny to representatives of Osama bin Laden and the mujahadeen. For the weapons, bin Laden paid $30 million in cash and two tons of heroin that had been refined in his laboratories in Afghanistan. The street value of the heroin was in excess of $700 million.
Heroin for nukes: that's a fair trade. And the US has made a political decision not to destroy the poppy fields in Afghanistan.
In 1997, Boris Yeltsin’s Assistant for National Security Affairs, General Alexander Lebed, acknowledged that 84 of some 132 such weapons were not accounted for in Russia. These weapons are miniature nuclear devices (0.1 to 1 kilotons), small enough to fit into a suitcase carried by a single individual. The Russian government reacted to Lebed’s claim in classic Soviet style, combining wholesale denial with efforts to discredit the messenger. U.S. government sources have never succeeded in getting to the bottom of this matter.
It has not only been the various intelligence agencies of America, UK, Israel, Egypt and Pakistan finding this alarming intel, it also has come straight from Al Qaeda:
In an interview with Time magazine in December 1998, Bin Laden asserts that acquiring weapons of any type, including chemical and nuclear, is a Muslim "religious duty."
The Religion of Peace.
However in November 2001, Osama Bin Laden clearly spells it out and states that he is in possession of chemical and nuclear weapons. He states this in a special interview with Hamid Mir, the editor of Dawn newspaper, at an undisclosed location near Kabul. This was the first and up until now the last interview given by Osama to any journalist after the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington. The correspondent was taken blindfolded in a jeep from Kabul on the night of November 7 to a place where it was extremely cold and one could hear the sound of anti aircraft guns firing away. After a wait of some time, Osama arrived with about a dozen bodyguards and his number two, Dr Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
In the interview Bin Laden states "I wish to declare that if America used chemical or nuclear weapons against us, then we may retort with chemical and nuclear weapons. We have the weapons as deterrent." When Hamid Mir asks him he got the weapons, bin Laden tells him to go to the next question.
Sure. Bin Laden's nuclear weapons are for peaceful purposes.
Mir recalled telling al-Zawahiri it was difficult to believe that Al Qaeda had nuclear weapons when the terror network didn't have the equipment to maintain or use them.
Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri laughed and he said 'Mr. Mir, if you have $30 million, go to the black market in central Asia, contact any disgruntled Soviet scientist, and a lot of ... smart briefcase bombs are available". "They have contacted us, we sent our people to Moscow, to Tashkent, to other central Asian states and they negotiated, and we purchased some suitcase bombs," Mir quoted al-Zawahiri as saying.
I wonder how hard they had to haggle for them.
After the 911 attacks on America some Islamic clerics criticized bin Laden for not issuing a warning to America prior to the attacks and an offer of convert to Islam. However, since then bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have issued various warnings and offers of truces to both the US and it European allies.
Consider the religious fatwa titled "A Treatise on the Legal Status of Using Weapons of Mass Destruction Against Infidels" that Osama bin Laden secured from Shaykh Nasir bin Hamd al-Fahd, a young and prominent Saudi cleric justifying the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against Americans, in May 2003:
"Anyone who considers America’s aggressions against Muslims and their lands during the past decades will conclude that striking her is permissible on the basis of the rule of treating one as one has been treated. No other argument need be mentioned. Some brothers have totaled the number of Muslims killed directly or indirectly by their weapons and come up with a figure of nearly ten million....If a bomb that killed ten million of them and burned as much of their land as they have burned Muslim land was dropped on them, it would be permissible, with no need to mention any other argument. We might need other arguments if we wanted to annihilate more than this number of them."
Official sanction from leaders of the Religion of Peace.
Remember, all religions are equivalent, and I'm sure Mother Teresa and Buddha both had fatwas out on somebody.
Recently in January 2006 in an audio tape, directed to the American population, bin Laden said: "The new operations of al-Qaeda has not happened not because we could not penetrate the security measures. It is being prepared and you'll see it in your homeland very soon." But the voice on the tape, also offered a truce: "We do not mind establishing a long-term truce between us and you."
I think that's supposed to read: "We do not mind establishing a long-term truce between us and you, until we can penetrate the security measures."
Thank you for the sunshine!
While the numbers are still too large, this poll shows that more and more Muslims are sickened by the carnage on constant display by the lunatic fringe (they attacked a children’s hospital today) and are rejecting suicide terror as a means of defense along with respect for the loons themselves
Muslims around the world increasingly reject suicide bombings and other violence against civilians in defense of Islam, according to a new international poll dealing with how the world’s population judges their lives, countries and national institutions.A wide ranging survey of international attitudes in 47 countries by the Pew Research Center also reported that in many of the countries where support for suicide attacks has declined, there has also has been decreasing support for al-Qaida leader Osama bin-Laden.
[…]Most notably, the survey finds large and growing number of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere rejecting Islamic extremism. Ten mainly Muslim countries were surveyed along with the Palestinian territories, as well as five African nations with large Muslim populations.
For example, the percentage of Jordanian Muslims who have confidence in bin Laden as a world leader fell 36 percentage points to 20 percent since 2003 while the proportion who say suicide bombing is sometimes or always justified dropped 20 percent points to 23 percent. Other countries where support for bin Laden declined are Lebanon, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan and Kuwait.The report said support for such bombings and terror tactics has dropped since 2002 in seven of the eight countries where data were available. In Lebanon, the proportion of Muslims who say suicide attacks are often or sometimes justified fell to 34 percent from 79 percent while just 9 percent of Pakistanis believe suicide bombings can be justified often or sometimes, down from 33 percent in 2002 and a high of 41 percent in 2004.
But support for suicide bombings is widespread among Palestinians, the report said, with 41 percent saying such attacks are often justified while another 29 percent say they can sometimes be justified. It found that only six percent of Palestinians—the smallest in any Muslim public surveyed—say such attacks are never justified. [More…]
Still a long way to go, but this is certainly progress
First of all, let me say that I don't read Tariq Nelson's blog as often as I would like to. There's so much to do, and I think everyone can understand that.
Consequently, I look at it periodically. Of the times I have looked at it, though, I have consistently come away with a favorable view of Tariq (intelligent, articulate, tolerant and fair), and of many, perhaps most, of the commentators.
As I do my posts dealing with Islam, in the back of my mind are always people like that: the decent people in the Islamic world.
On the one hand, there are these "rabid lunatics" and "nutters" claiming to represent Islam and advocating death, destruction, violence and mayhem. On the other hand, there are bloggers like Yours Truly constantly critiquing their religion.
And there they are, embattled on both sides.
For whatever it's worth, I know what you're going through.
Conservatives in America have been going through this for decades. On the one hand, there are criminals on "The Right" whose conduct is appalling and illegal. On the other hand, there is "The Left" denouncing anyone who doesn't support them as being in favor of 1) oppressing women, 2) racial discrimination, 3) bombing abortion clinics, 4) mistreating animals and 5) poisoning the environment; did I leave anything out?
I post this under the category "The Other Islam" -- is there a post on a blog out there about conservative America categorized under "The Other Right" or "The Other Conservatives" or something like that?
Anyway, while I pontificate, Tariq Nelson and I perhaps have something in common: Tariq's version of Islam and my version of America are both under attack from two sides, and people like us are caught in the middle.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
ISLAMIC TRIBALISM - THE MEGAMOSQUE IS AN ATTEMPT TO HUMILIATE THE KAFFIRS
Viewed rationally, Islam is a non-starter. Its 'Holy' Book consists of half-digested fragments of Judeo-Christian theology, mixed with the bile of hatred, and spewed into the fair face of Christendom from the putrifying guts of a violent, deceitful, plundering pedophile. The Koran is full of historical, scientific and logical errors and even contradicts itself on numerous occasions. Not exactly the work of a Supreme Intellect!
And yet Muslims claim that these demented ramblings and rantings are the literal word of God Almighty, to be treated with utmost respect. They throw enormous tantrums when Korans are left in toilets or returned to libraries with bacon-rashers as bookmarks. In the Islamic paradise of Pakistan, damaging a Koran or insulting The Pedophile are punishable by death.
To understand Islam we need to look at the most primitive organisational state of mankind - Tribalism.
If we regard the Ummah as a tribe, and the Koran, the Pedophile and the Black Meteorite as the tribe's three main totems, we begin to get a better understanding of Islam. A tribe derives its identity and unity by displays of reverence towards supernatural totems, and feels insecure and threatened whenever the power of its totems is weakened, for example by the totems being 'humiliated' or 'polluted' . One of the surest ways of demoralising a tribe has always been to desecrate its totems.
This explains the rage at the Motoons, and the 'hate crime' of the Koran down the toilet. It also explains why the Saudi authorities made such a fuss when they found a Christian in Mecca. The precincts of the Holy Meteorite had been defiled by a najis kaffir.
Tribal culture and psychology are difficult for civilised people to understand. Most parts of Western Europe have not been organised tribally since the Dark Ages, so it's difficult to get inside Muslim mind and understand just how primitive and benighted are the psychological processes that go on there. For example:
- A tribe regards itself as perpetually at war with all other tribes - hence the Muslim worldview of Dar a-Harb in conflict with Dar al-Islam, and Ummah in conflict with Kaffir.
- The property and women of other tribes are there for the taking. Might is right - hence the Jizya, Razzia, white slaving etc which are all justified by the Koran. Tribalism also explains the chants of 'We will take your wives for booty' at the London Motoons demonstration - this is the typical behavior of the stone age savage.
- The ethics of reciprocity (do as you would be done by) only apply within the tribe. Hence the lack of any Golden Rule in Islam. The nearest you get to the Golden Rule in the Koran is desiring for your brother Muslim ('kin-selection') what you desire for yourself - in other words share out the booty equally.
- Loyalty to the tribe is of paramount importance - hence the punishment by death for apostates.
- The tribe must not mingle with other tribes or else it may lose its identity - hence the self-imposed ghettoisation and ethnic cleansing of Kaffirs from the periphery of the ghetto as seen in European cities.
- There is a great desire to destroy or humiliate the totems of other tribes, especially where they have phallic significance - hence the attack on the twin towers, and the plans for the MegaMosque whose minarets will be taller than any Christian building.
Muslims in the modern world are living fossils, though like dinosaurs suddenly set down on the streets of London, none the less dangerous for being so primitive. Islam appeals to the lowest and basest instincts of man, and in the absence of a strong, confident modern culture will gradually reduce its host society to a disfunctional state of anarchy where Islam can gain the upper hand.
Tribalism makes it impossible to defeat Islam by reason or appeals to decency. The Koran, the Pedophile and the Meteorite are not capable of being examined rationally or ethically - they are pre-rational symbols of tribal cohesion. And when that tribe is on a roll , and believes itself to be the strongest and fastest growing tribe, winning the Jihad against all the rest, no rational argument will persuade its warriors to abandon the winning side.
The Ummah may eventually have an 'Emperor's New Clothes Moment', but it will not come about by reviewing the evidence for a flat earth in the Koran. It is more likely to happen by military defeat in a European Civil War or World War III.
21 July 2007 06:31
I don't know if Najistani wrote all that, or merely copied it from somewhere; either way, there it is.
The above quote is a fairly comprehensive and systematic indictment of Islam.
It brought to mind a recent post that I made, entitled Rabid Lunatics, and specifically the comments to the post.
We were left with two questions, 1) "...why do there seem to be so many rabid lunatics?" and 2) "Is there a problem with Islam?"
My answer, in part was as follows:
Let me make my point by comparing Islam, as depicted in its holy book, the Koran, with Christianity as depicted in its holy book, the Bible -- specifically the New Testament.
Muslims follow Mohammed; Christians follow Christ.
Jesus Christ in the New Testament neither hurt others nor commanded that others be hurt. In fact, He refused to hurt others, even though they were hurting Him, unjustly.
Mohammed, on the other hand, both hurt others -- he was a warrior, was he not? -- and commanded his followers to hurt others -- he was a battlefield commander, was he not?
If a Christian is violent and hurts others, he is going against the example of Christ, and has very few of Christ's commands that could support such action.
If a Muslim is violent and hurts others, he has ample examples of his holy prophet both hurting others and commanding that others be hurt.
There is, as I see it, the answer to the questions posed.
First of all, I would like to point out that I have made indiscriminate remarks regarding Muslims. I've been blogging since February; it was in the beginning that I made comments that essentially lumped all Muslims together, and then were disrespectful to them all (not so much at my blog, but in comments left on posts at the blogs of others). I have learned a great deal since then; most significantly, I have made the on-line acquaintance of some Muslims who are very nice, fair, thoughtful, tolerant and intelligent people. For my indiscriminate remarks, I apologize; my remarks should at least have been more carefully targeted within the Islamic community.
Having said that, I still very vehemently disagree with Islam.
In Islamic Imperialism 101, I finished the post with the following remarks:
Islam's mission is to conquer the world, until Islam is the only "religion" practiced under the sun. This is the meaning of jihad; most Islamic scholars have never repudiated this.
Islam is the cannibalistic attack of one society on all others. Islam seeks to enslave humanity and drag it back to that dark cave in the Dark Ages, and force and trick a terrified humanity to submit, the way that evil entity forced and tricked a terrified Muhammad to submit to its will.
Islam is imperialism. At its core, Islam is evil.
In Islamic Imperialism 102, I finished the post with the following remarks:
Islam demands 1) your body, 2) your intellect, 3) your emotions, and 4) your very soul.
Islam is not just 1) corporal imperialism, 2) intellectual imperialism, 3) emotional imperialism, and 4) spiritual imperialism.
Islam is absolute, complete, tyrannical, multifaceted slavery.
Islam is Hell.
People are people; none are perfectly good, none are perfectly bad.
If you give people something good, they will pervert it and defile it; however, to a certain extent, because they are starting with something good, the deck is stacked in favor of finishing with something good.
That is how I view Christianity especially, and most of the world's other religions as well: these religions have a core that is good, and deficiencies are, to a great extent, the results of the religion's imperfect adherents.
Conversely, if you give people something bad, their imperfect adherence to it will result in something in which some good elements can be found, but the deck is stacked in favor of finishing with something bad.
Islam is an ideology of violent and uncompromising conquest. While other religions for the most part attempt to elevate their adherents to a common, higher level, Islam appeals to the lowest common denominator. By demanding submission, it promises slavery. Promising earthly treasures to its adherents who conquer infidels, and promising heavenly treasures to those who die trying, Islam yields a hierarchical world where morality is relative and motivation is self-centered, and where men, by nature and on average physically stronger, have women in submission to them. Mohammed's prophecy is thus fulfilled:
Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 464:
"... I looked at Hell and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women."
Islam means submission; submission in the Islamic world equates to slavery; and slavery is Hell.
The goal of Islam is the submission of people, that is, the conquest of people's bodies and souls; thus, Islam is an ideology of conquest.
Given the large number of adherents, it is only natural that many Muslims are wonderful people, and even an ideology as flawed as Islam, with the right people, can yield something positive. It is noteworthy, however, that many of the decent people in the Islamic world wish to reform or enlighten Islam somehow. This is in stark contrast to the "rabid lunatics" (terrorists and others) who not only insist on a strict interpretation of every iota of Islamic law, but insist on their strict interpretation, and not someone else's: khawarij, for example.
All of this then leaves me with the question: how can I assist those who wish to reform and enlighten Islam?
Well, I can suggest things that need to be eliminated from Islam, one by one, until, in the end, having eliminated enough, I am left with
Monday, July 23, 2007
Briefly, Dr. Ehrenfeld is a scholar and an author. One of her books connected a Saudi billionaire to the financing of terror. In the parts of the Islamic world where terror rules, terror (not truth) indeed rules, so the response was, naturally, an attempt to terrorize (legally, of course) Dr. Ehrenfeld into submission, so she would stop speaking the truth.
This Saudi billionaire, Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz, went to the UK to sue her, since the legal system there favors the plaintiff, and won a judgement. Dr. Ehrenfeld is fighting back. For background at my blog, see Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Robert Spencer on Dr. Ehrenfeld's Situation; you can also read Dr. Ehrenfeld's work, and read about her work, at her website, The American Center for Democracy, and at The Terror Finance Blog, both of which you should consider required reading if you are one of those who refuses to submit.
With that background established, you are encouraged to read From the British Courts: A strange libel case that gives pause to authors and comfort to terrorism over at History on Trial.
Pointing out that Terrorist Financier Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz (may Allah be pleased with him) makes the slimmest of connections between his case and the United Kingdom in order to be able to sue there, the blogger, Deborah Lipstadt, refers to bin Mahfouz as a "libel tourist" -- a comment which is as hilarious as it is true.
However, I would go Deborah Lipstadt one further: Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz is not so much a libel tourist as he is a libel terrorist.
Most of the jihadis foolishly blow themselves up, in the hopes of taking some infidels, or even fellow Muslims, with them. They fight their holy war with firearms and explosives, but they do make a personal sacrifice.
Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz is more of a manipulator: he doesn't actually go to Allah himself, he just sends others on that journey and makes sure their tickets get paid. I guess you could say that bin Mahfouz goes to Allah first class, while the suicide bombers go coach.
Through his financial and legal jihad, Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz tries to silence people who seek to speak the truth. This is typical of much of the Islamic world today, because these people can't stand the truth; the truth about submission is ugly, and it hurts. So, they attempt to force us to deny the truth about their dysfunctional imperialistic agenda by intimidating us.
The first stop on the road to physical submission is mental and intellectual submission, and the first step toward that is causing us to have reservations about speaking the truth. After we stop speaking the truth, perhaps we will stop thinking it; and when that happens, we have already submitted, and it becomes just a question of wrapping a rag on our head or covering our face with a veil, and bowing toward Mecca.
Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz may be both a libel tourist and a libel terrorist, and he may be going to Allah first class, but he is, in the end, a terrorist, pure and simple.
Hat tip to a certain tipster for the heads-up!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
From Al Fin:
The Utopian Delusion--Wishful Thinking for Academically Lobotomised Neotenates
Iran's Ahmadinejad Finds Himself A Bit Overextended
From Brushfires of Freedom (formerly Sixth Column):
ETHICAL MOTIVATION AND JIHADIS
From Winter Patriot:
Crowds Of Lawyers Danced And Threw Flower Petals
Meanwhile, coming soon at Stop Islamic Conquest is the latest in the Gotham City series, a multi-part posting entitled Mirror, Mirror.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
One of the most potent weapons that global jihadists have to advance their cause is one of the least-remarked: censorship. And Rachel Ehrenfeld, founder and director of the American Center for Democracy, stands today as one of the primary targets of this tactic - and, by her ongoing resistance, one of the foremost defenders of the freedom of speech against encroaching attempts at legal intimidation that, if successful, will effectively silence the anti-jihad resistance.
Billionaire Saudi financier Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz sued Miss Ehrenfeld in the U.K. for libel: in her book, "Funding Evil," she wrote that he was involved in funding Hamas and al Qaeda. Mr. bin Mahfouz denied that he had knowingly given any money to either. Taking advantage of British libel laws that place the burden of proof on the defendant, rather than the plaintiff, Mr. bin Mahfouz sued not in the United States, where Miss Ehrenfeld lives and published her book, but in Britain, where neither he nor Miss Ehrenfeld live and where his entire case depended upon a handful of copies sold in that country mostly through special orders from Amazon.com, and the appearance of one chapter of the book on the Internet, where it may have been read by British readers.
Britain's libel laws have given rise to the phenomenon of wealthy "libel tourists," who sue there on the slimmest British connection in order to ensure a favorable ruling. Mr. bin Mahfouz had the good fortune of having the case heard by Judge David Eady, who has a long history of strange rulings in libel cases - rulings that generally ran in favor of censorship and against free speech. In connection with another of these rulings in May 2007, British journalist Stephen Glover wrote: "Mr Justice Eady is beginning to worry me. Is he a friend of a free Press? There are good reasons to believe that he isn't."
In May 2005 Justice Eady ruled that Miss Ehrenfeld must apologize to Mr. bin Mahfouz and pay over $225,000. This fine remains uncollected, and Miss Ehrenfeld sees no reason to apologize. Now she cannot travel to Britain, and her writing and research work has of course been banned there - thus preventing important information from reaching the public.
Miss Ehrenfeld countersued in New York, asking the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals for a declaration that the British judgment was contrary to the First Amendment and hence unenforceable on an American citizen. And on June 8, the appellate court handed down a landmark decision, ruling that Miss Ehrenfeld's case was valid, and that she could appeal for relief from American courts in order to keep the British court order from being carried out in this country. Said Circuit Court Judge Wilfred Feinberg: "The issue may implicate the First Amendment rights of many New Yorkers, and thus concerns important public policy of the state." He also declared that the case had implications for all writers - since they, like Miss Ehrenfeld, could be subjected to harassment. This decision could also have great impact on the September 11 victims lawsuits, in which Mr. bin Mahfouz is also a defendant.
Lost, meanwhile, amid the legal wrangling surrounding Miss Ehrenfeld's case has been the release of a September 13, 2001, note from France's foreign intelligence agency, the General Directorate of External Security (DGSE). The French news site Geopolitique.com obtained the note in late June 2007, and has revealed that already in 1996 Mr. bin Mahfouz was known as one of the architects of a banking scheme constructed for the benefit of Osama bin Laden. Moreover, the report claims that both U.S. and British intelligence services knew this. This is just the latest addition to the mountain of evidence from which Miss Ehrenfeld constructed her case in "Funding Evil." Even if this evidence is all mistaken, the British libel judgment against Miss Ehrenfeld appears all the more fantastic and unjustifiable in light of the fact that French intelligence agents had documents allowing them to came to the same conclusion she did.
This calls for open and thorough investigation, unhindered by legal intimidation. If Saudis or others who have indeed supported the global jihad are able cover their tracks using British libel laws to silence investigators, the only winners are the jihadists. "The British legal and political leadership's constant appeasement of the jihadists," says Miss Ehrenfeld, "facilitated the rise of terrorism." She sees consequences for both the United States and Britain in her legal struggle: "My fight against bin Mahfouz is not only to prevent the extension of that influence here - to defend our First Amendment from British laws. My success here would deter other jihadists from using the British courts to silence U.S. writers and publishers especially since it would - in similar situations - render U.K. court decisions useless."
For that reason, all who wish to remain free and resist the encroachments of global jihadism and Islamic supremacism should hope and pray that she prevails.
Don't just hope and pray; hit her tip jar! Contributions are tax deductible.
Tariq Nelson's blog is a Muslim blog, and I know some of us infidels are a little hesitant about Muslims and charities, as the West seems to finance its own destruction at the hands of the jihadists.
Please read through the post linked and Tariq Nelson's blog in general until you are satisfied that these folks are not the "rabid lunatics" and khawarij terrorists that are trying to kill us or make us submit. Yes, al-taqqiya is a concern, too, but again, I think these people are on the up and up; in any case, they are requesting contributions not to themselves, but to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
If you don't want to give, or can't, that's understandable -- we're pretty busy financing both the jihad (petrodollars, foreign aid) and the counterjihad (the "War on Terror" is even more expensive than terror itself) -- but at least stop in and wish them well with their endeavor.