Grab The Nearest Book

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open the book to page 23.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
"Those who question or dismiss this approach (see, e.g., EXISTENTIALISM; MATERIALISM; EMPIRICISM) turn that belief on its head; they tend to see the apparent world as genuine and the "world beyond" as an illusion."

From the entry "appearance versus reality", The World of Ideas: A Dictionary of Important Theories, Concepts, Beliefs, and Thinkers by Chris Rohmann.

Friday Five Retro

Friday Five

Since there's no Friday Five list yet, I'm going back a week and answer that one. Perhaps one day, I'll catch up.

If you...

1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?

Meat and three - good country cooking, with lots of variety

2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell?


3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be?

Southern gothic horror.

4. ...ran a school, what would you teach?


5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it?

Dance remixes of classic Broadway tunes.

Friday Random Ten

  1. Sugar Foot Stomp - Fletcher Henderson
  2. So What - Miles Davis Sextet
  3. Traveling Soldier - Dixie Chicks
  4. Ornithology - Charlie Parker
  5. Broken Hearted Melody - Sarah Vaughn
  6. The Shadow of the Past - Fellowship of the Ring
  7. Twisted - Annie Lennox
  8. Love The One You're With - Stephen Stills
  9. Poppin' Tags (remix) - Ludacris
  10. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) - Pink Floyd
Music Magic Found in the Shuffle

Why Am I Doing This?

War Liberal > jewschool

Jew. Jew. Jew. Jew. Jew. Jew. Jew. Jew. Jew. Jew. Jew.

The same reason you should be doing it.

Clinton Was Denied Bin Laden Arrest

U.S. Was Foiled Multiple Times in Efforts To Capture Bin Laden or Have Him Killed (

Just listening to Air America, and someone brought up the Clinton-was-offered-bin-Laden-on-a-silver-platter meme. I recently heard a variation of this from a fellow cast member: "Clinton had Osama in custody and he let him go." Franken mentioned a Washington Post article that debunks this, and I was able to find the article in under 10 seconds via Google.

he government of Sudan, employing a back channel direct from its president to the Central Intelligence Agency, offered in the early spring of 1996 to arrest Osama bin Laden and place him in Saudi custody, according to officials and former officials in all three countries.

The Clinton administration struggled to find a way to accept the offer in secret contacts that stretched from a meeting at a Rosslyn hotel on March 3, 1996, to a fax that closed the door on the effort 10 weeks later. Unable to persuade the Saudis to accept bin Laden, and lacking a case to indict him in U.S. courts at the time, the Clinton administration finally gave up on the capture.

Sudan expelled bin Laden on May 18, 1996, to Afghanistan. From there, he is thought to have planned and financed the twin embassy bombings of 1998, the near-destruction of the USS Cole a year ago and last month's devastation in New York and Washington.
Okay, get it? Clinton tried to get Osama sent to Saudi Arabia, but the Saudis wouldn't take him. At the time, the US government didn't have enough evidence to indict Osama in a US court, so Sudan expelled Osama to Afghanistan.

Clinton was not offered bin Laden on a silver platter. He never had Osama in custody. The offer was not doable. Please make a note of it.

Oh, You've Got To Be Kidding Me

Ahmed Chalabi, the neocons' choice to run Iraq, appears to have been responsible for the disastrous decision to move against Muqtada al-Sadr.
Step Number One in John Kerry's plan for Iraq should be to find the place where the Bushistas buried Admiral Poindexter and handcuff Chalabi to him.

Better yet, handcuff Cheney to Poindexter and ship Chalabi the convicted embezzler and fugitive from justice back to Jordan. This idiot is about to light the world on fire. We must be rid of him.

LA Times Poll on Homosexuality: How To Spin It

Baptist Press > LA Times

LA Times headline: Acceptance of Gays Rises Among New Generation

Southern Baptist headline: Poll: Most Americans say homosexuality is 'against God's will'

The report is actually kind of weird like that. Americans, it seems, have a lot of mixed emotions on the various issues about gays and lesbians.

The Baptist trumpet that most Americans (57%) say that homosexuality is against God's will, but only 48% say that homosexuality is morally wrong. That means about 9% of Americans don't equate God's will with morality?

The two questions are asked in a certain order. It's actually a group of three questions that weren't rotated in order.

Q63. Do you personally believe that same-sex relationships between consenting adults are morally wrong or is that not a moral issue?

Morally wrong - 48%
Not a moral issue - 46%
Don't know - 6%

Q64. No matter if you think it is morally right or wrong, can you accept two men or two women living together like a married couple or can you not accept that kind of living arrangement?

Can accept - 65%
Can't accept - 30%
Don't know 5%

Q65. Do you think same-sex relationships are against God's will, or don't you feel this way?

Don't believe (volunteered) - 1%
Against God's will - 57%
Not against God's will - 33%
Don't know - 9%
The results are broken down in a lot of ways, but I've reported the All column.

As you can see, when talking about their personal take on the issue, people are a lot more accepting of gays and lesbians. But when asked to consider the will of God, the numbers shift to the conservative side.

I don't think this would have been revealed had question 65 been placed in front of question 63. There does seem to be a statistically significant disconnect between how people percieve the will of God and how they conduct their everyday life.

I wish that such a reversal had been used in the polling (say 50-50 either way), because of the subsequent effect on question 64. I've no doubt that putting question 65 before 63 would have produced more similar numbers between them, but would people still then be inclined to answer that they would accept a gay couple living together? Having answered two abstract questions about the validity of gay relationships in the context of God, would this have translated to an actual practice of non-acceptance?

There's a lot more in both articles; that's just the thing that interested me right off the bat.

Let's Be Clear About Why The PDB Is A Big Deal

It isn't just that Bush did nothing about the 6 Aug 2001 PDB.

It's that his administration kept people from doing anything about terrorism for the first nine months of his administration.

When the Hart-Rudman Commission delivered their report on national security, the Bush Administration sat on it.

When Congress started working on recommendations from the Hart-Rudman Commission, the Bush Administration stifled it:

Before the White House decided to go in its own direction, Congress seemed to be taking the commission's suggestions seriously, according to Hart and Rudman. "Frankly, the White House shut it down," Hart says. "The president said 'Please wait, we're going to turn this over to the vice president. We believe FEMA is competent to coordinate this effort.' And so Congress moved on to other things, like tax cuts and the issue of the day."
US agents investigating the bin Laden family were told to back off, even though two members of the family beside Osama have ties to terrorism.

Predator drones had spotted Osama bin Laden at least three times in the weeks before Bush took office, but instead of arming the drones and taking Osama out, Bush halted Predator drone flights over Afghanistan.

When the FBI and CIA gave Bush hard core evidence that bin Laden was behind the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, Bush did nothing.

Several Presidential aides charged with preventing terrorism are now turning on Bush for his low prioritizing of terrorism.

Frustrated by the inability to investigate terrorists, John O'Neill, the nation's leading expert on al-Qaeda, resigned from the FBI. He died at the World Trade Center.

Frustrated by the inability to investigate terrorists, Richard Clarke, the nation's counter-terrorism czar, asked to be transferred to cyberterrorism, where he could get something accomplished.

Why was Bush so hesitant to investigate the bin Ladens and the Saudis? It wouldn't have anything to do with this, would it? (Yes, the James Bath in that article is this James Bath.)

Which reminds me of a Bible verse, oddly enough:
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them.

Matthew 23:13, NRSV
Bush stopped people from "going in" to investigate al-Qaeda and Saudi funding of terrorism. This allowed al-Qaeda members to go into our airplanes and crash them into our buildings.

Is that clear enough?

Iran Next?


With all the arrogance of a born again Christian, Bill Hobbs is taking aim at the mullahs of Iran.

Any serious War on Terror can not be won - indeed, it can not even be said at such as war is seriously being fought - until we take on the Mad Mullahs of Iran. The good news: that's starting to happen. The bad news: It's Iran that dictated the time and place of events, not us, as the evidence mounts that Iran's Islamofacist regime is backing renegade iraqi Shiite "cleric" Muqtada al-Sadr's terroristic attacks against Coalition forces, civilian aid workers and Iraqis. But I suspect we'll soon regain the inititative. The road to pacifying Iraq and winning the War on Terror runs through the inner sanctum of the Iranian mullacracy - and doing it before the Mad Mullahs of Tehran complete production of a nuclear weapon.
Um, Bill? The recent Shiite uprising started when Bremer shut down Sadr's printing press. That's us determining the time and place of events, not Iran. That's what gave Sadr the excuse to pull in all that Iranian money and go to war.

And it's not going to be a serious War on Terrorism until we go into Iran? I'd hate to see the serious war if all we've been doing so far is namby-pambying around.

This then is what four more years of Bush-Cheney will bring us - war with Iran. This is one of the real planks in Bush's (re)election platform, and it should be kept in view of the public.