Saturday, February 26, 2011


Smashing Pumpkins with 1979.

Peter Gabriel with Humdrum.

Got to know this number through a friend who lent me a Live album, from 1983 I think that was. Normally, I don't like live performances that much, but on that album, basically all Gabriels songs were mesmerizing, including Humdrum.

Good night.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Via Dick Morris:



Proud of it, aren't we?


(1) U.S. Energy Information Administration
(2) Wall Street Journal
(3) Bureau of Labor Statistics
(4) Census Bureau
(5) USDA
(6) U.S. Dept. of Labor
(7) FHFA
(8) Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller
(9) RealtyTrac
(10) Heritage Foundation and WSJ
(11) The Conference Board
(12) FDIC
(13) Federal Reserve
(14) U.S. Treasury

Like our pal CDR Salamander always says, Ponder.


Sunday, February 20, 2011


Regular reader Traveller forwarded me a link to the following appalling story. Via National Review Online, February 18, 2011:


February 18, 2011 6:00 A.M. By Paul Marshall

"A terrible drama is unfolding in Afghanistan: There are reports that Said Musa, whose situation I described at Christmas, will soon be executed for the ‘crime’ of choosing to become a Christian. (For background, see here.)

Musa was one of about 25 Christians arrested on May 31, 2010, after a May 27 Noorin TV program showed video of a worship service held by indigenous Afghan Christians; he was arrested as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy. He converted to Christianity eight years ago, is the father of six young children, had a leg amputated after he stepped on a landmine while serving in the Afghan Army, and now has a prosthetic leg. His oldest child is eight and one is disabled (she cannot speak). He worked for the Red Cross/Red Crescent as an adviser to other amputees.

PhotobucketHe was forced to appear before a judge without any legal counsel and without knowledge of the charges against him. “Nobody [wanted to be my] defender before the court. When I said ‘I am a Christian man,’ he [a potential lawyer] immediately spat on me and abused me and mocked me. . . . I am alone between 400 [people with] terrible values in the jail, like a sheep.” He has been beaten, mocked, and subjected to sleep deprivation and sexual abuse while in prison. No Afghan lawyer will defend him and authorities denied him access to a foreign lawyer.

Any and every human being who is imprisoned, abused, or tortured for the free and peaceful expression of their faith deserves our support, but Musa is also a remarkable person and Christian. In a letter smuggled to the West, he says, “The authority and prisoners in jail did many bad behaviour with me about my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, they did sexual things with me, beat me by wood, by hands, by legs, put some things on my head.”

He added a thing much more important to him, that they “mocked me ‘he’s Jesus Christ,’ spat on me, nobody let me for sleep night and day. . . . Please, please, for the sake of Lord Jesus Christ help me.” (View the full letter here)

He has not, in fact, even appealed to be released, only to be transferred to another prison. He has also stated that he is willing to give his life for his faith. “Please, please you should transfer me from this jail to a jail that supervises the believers. . . . I also agree . . . to sacrifice my life in public [where] I will tell [about my] faith in Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, [so] other believers will take courage and be strong in their faith.”

Newspapers in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe have reported the story, but with, the exception of the Wall Street Journal and, of course, NRO, American outlets have not found it worthy of attention. The Journal reports that “Afghan officials have been unapologetic: ‘The sentence for a convert is death and there is no exception,’ said Jamal Khan, chief of staff at the Ministry of Justice. ‘They must be sentenced to death to serve as a lesson for others.’”

The U.S. government — reportedly including Secretary of State Clinton — and other governments have pushed for his release, but to no avail.

But the president has been silent, even as we fight a war that has among its goals the creation of a government that conforms to international human-rights standards.

An American president certainly needs to guard and shepherd his political capital, and should not speak out about every prisoner. But Musa himself has appealed to “President Brother Obama” to rescue him from his current jail. And when an obscure and aberrant Florida pastor, Terry Jones, threatened to burn a Koran, not only President Obama but much of his cabinet, as well as General Petraeus, weighed in on the matter.

If the actions of a Florida pastor who threatened to destroy a book holy to Muslims deserved public and presidential attention, then the actions of the Afghan government, ostensibly a ‘democratic’ ally, to destroy something holy to Christians, a human being made in the image of God, also deserve public and presidential attention."

We are - officially, at least - ten years into the War on Islamic Terror now, and I would like to make it clear that I still support the West's missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have repeatedly stated that in my opinion, the best and most humane way to solve the islamic problem was to try to implement democracy, by force if necessary, in the hellhole that is the islamic world. Apart from nuking Mecca, Islamabad and Qom, and massive deportation of all muslims in civilized countries to the states they come from, I see no other strategic option for the West and, indeed, the sane part of humanity, to address the conundrum posed by the ummah's very existence. Islam is a cancer and its very existence a smear on Humanity itself.

But since we are civilized, we had, and have, the moral obligation to try out the current approach first. Only if it fails, will we have the moral justitication to resort to other, less nice measures.

Despite the fact that some form of democratic government has been installed in Iraq, I maintain as yet a certain scepticism, as I am trying to find out to what extent the Iraqi government is taking measures to combat the massive persecution of Iraq's christians. I am even more sceptic towards the savages in charge in Kabul, which I have always considered as some kind of Taliban Lite. But then I have always seen more use in Afghanistan's war theatre as a magnet to draw jihadists the world over to a killing ground.

Since Iraq and Afghanistan are the showcases for the West's strategic enterprise, I think that the best approach for our politicians at this time is to exert MAXIMUM PRESSURE on Kabul's, and, to a lesser extent, Iraq's 7th century boneheads to do more to protect their non-muslim citizens. It should be made abundantly clear to them that we offered these assholes the means to build a more fair and more prosperous society on a silver plate (smeared with the blood of our soldiers). It should also be made abundantly clear to them that so far, we are NOT impressed, to say the least, with their school results.

And finally, it should be made abundantly clear to them that if they fail to put a human face on the abomination that is islam, we, and the rest of humanity, will resort to other means to hammer sense in them, and winning hearts and minds will no longer be among those means.