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Wednesday, 10 August 2005
The Paradigm Precipice
Topic: Islamic Jihad
"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries. "
William Shakespeare

The source of the Tide in this famous quotation from
Julius Caesar is most often, some Catastrophic Event which shatters the manner in which a People perceive the World, for the term Paradigm, means simply, "A new way of looking at things.

Pearl Harbor was such a Catastrophic Event, and the Paradigm Shift it engendered created a Nation with a World View out of the previous isolationist US. A generation rode this Paradigm to political power, and as usual in times such as that, some got it and were lead on to fortune, and some didn't and
their lives were bound in shallows and in miseries.

Vietnam a generation later engendered yet another Paradigm Shift and as above some got it and some didn't, with much the same results as the generation of their Fathers.

The Destruction of the World Trade Towers was also a Catastrophic Event and it in its turn has created a NEW Paradigm Shift and is always the case, some get it and some don't.

This lack of vision has no definitive political bias. The Paradigm Shift of the Vietnam Era was driven by political forces from the Left, but some of them GET it.

Some of the former greatest spokesmen for the Left get it.

Adam Michnik gets it. In A View from the Left: We, the Traitors he says

A German journalist published an article in the paper Die Tageszeitung in which he claimed that Vaclav Havel, Adam Michnik, and George Konrad, Europe's long-standing moral authorities, had suddenly become undiscriminating admirers of America.

I read that article with a twinge of nostalgia. Here we are, together again. Our three names were grouped to-gether for the first time by Timothy Garton Ash in his widely acclaimed essay nearly two decades ago. If I recall correctly, Havel and I were doing jail time then, and Konrad's books were banned from print in Hungary. Even though we did not meet very often, we maintained a common ground in our reflections on the worlds of values and of politics. We were united by a dream of freedom, a dream of a world infused with tolerance, hope, respect for human dignity, and a refusal of conformist silence in the face of evil.

Today, however, the primary threat is terrorism by Islamist fundamentalists. War has been declared against the democratic world. It is this world, whose sins and mistakes we know all too well, that we want to defend.

These are the reasons behind our absolute war on the terrorist, corrupt, intolerant regime of the despot from Baghdad. One cannot perceive totalitarian threats in George W. Bush's policies and at the same time defend Saddam Hussein. There are limits to absurdity, which should not be exceeded recklessly."

Christopher Hitchens gets it. In his statement on the Unite Against Terror Petition website
(which I was honored to sign) he says,

"Association with this statement and with many of its fellow-signatories involves two commitments. The first is the elementary duty of solidarity with true and authentic resistance movements within the Muslim world, such as the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, who were fighting against Ba'athism and Talibanism (and the latent alliance between the two) long before any American or British government had woken up to the threat. It should go without saying that, though the suffering of their peoples was intense, neither Jalal Talabani nor Ahmed Shah Masoud ever considered letting off explosive devices at random in foreign capitals. I have my political and ideological differences with both groups, but these differences are between me and them, and are not mediated through acts of nihilistic murder.

My second commitment is equally elementary. The foreign policy of a democracy should be determined only at election times or by votes in Congress or Parliament. It is one hundred per cent unacceptable even to imply, let alone to assert, that a suicide-murderer or his apologists can by these means acquire the right to any say in how matters are decided.

Both of these observations, and indeed this very statement, would be redundant if it were not for the widespread cultural presence of a pseudo-Left, and an isolationist Right, both of whom have degenerated to the point where they regard jihadism as some form of "liberation theology". The old slogans are often the best, and "Death to Fascism" is life-affirming in these conditions.

Nick Cohen gets it, he says I still fight oppression and replies to his detractors on the Left

The liberals who say I have deserted the left should ask themselves where they stand on Islamism.

Some DON'T get it. Read the following on Instapundit
James Wolcott is beating up on liberal hawks (he singles out Roger L. Simon in particular) for making common cause with conservatives by supporting the Terror War:

The fact is that by subscribing to Bush's War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq with every corpuscle of your tired body you've made common cause with Republican conservatives, neoconservatives, and Christian fundamentalists who are dedicated to destroying those parcels of liberalism on which you stake your tiny claims of pride…Do you really think that conservative supremacy in the executive, congressional, and judicial branches of government means that gay rights and abortion rights will somehow be spared?.

UPDATE: On a related note, Harry Hatchett says many on today's anti-war left strikingly resemble right-wing nationalists and isolationists. It begs the question then. Who, really, are the new conservatives? I couldn't care less, personally, about being tainted with conservative cooties. But those who fear and loathe the idea might want to read Harry's essay.

Oh and for those who object to the anti-war left and the right wing nationalists being tarred with the same brush?

This quote from George Orwell fits that pretty well and shows us the concept is not anything news.

Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, "he that is not with me is against me". The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle,
, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security...In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted;in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism

My father was in the Navy. When I was a small boy, we lived on an Island in the Pacific, Midway.
I remember one of the things I liked to do was dive into a wave when it was just curling over. Done right, you could curl into a ball and it twirled you around and around. It was a lot of fun. Done wrong, missing the timing something quite different could happen.
The Wave SLAMMED you down on the beach floor. That could smart!

"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries. "

I do believe the Irrational Left and the Democratic Party is about to learn what "something different
could happen" means.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 8:57 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:36 AM CDT
From This Side of The Window
Topic: Islamic Jihad
A Small Spot of Light

A few days ago, I linked to a In Saudi Arabia Blog, since I feel blogs from other countries give a unique view and since my former must read Saudi Arabian blog The Religious Policeman resurfaced in England after a years absence.

Of course I am limited to the English portion, but this did catch my eye. I find it of interest. I also take note of the manner in which it is introduced.

Any of us who complains about the problems we encounter in our daily lives read the dedication and consider yourself fortunate indeed if you have never had to preface a post in this manner.

Muhammad?s Example. (It?s ok reading what this controversial woman wrote today, but with utmost caution!)

posted by Prometheus @ 4:11 PM

DO follow the links, and recall WE do not have to exercise extreme caution when we read this.

Noticed that in the last 2 days since I also got added onto the Blogroll on From This Side of The Window
I have had quite a few visitors from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Al salaam a'alaykum

May we all meet someday where we can speak and think as we please and children are safe from bombs.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 5:28 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:33 AM CDT
An Afghan-American Woman Speaks Out
Topic: Islamic Jihad
An Afghan-American Woman Speaks Out
"If the world had "listened" and paid attention to Afghanistan before, then the trade towers might have been standing today"..

Valentina Marano

Washington, DC—By most accounts, women did quite well in post-conflict Afghanistan. The new Constitution recognizes their standing as equal to that of men, they can both vote and run for office, even as the head of state. There are women broadcasters as well as television and radio programs dealing exclusively with women’s issues, NGOs run and geared towards women, women professors, and women ministries. However, many challenges remain if all Afghan women are to fully and freely reach their potential within the Afghan society.

On August 1, Washington Prism met with Ms. Maryam Qudrat Aseel to discuss challenges and opportunities facing Afghan women today, her experiences as a successful Afghan-American woman, the future of Afghanistan, and the many misunderstandings challenging relations between the East and the West. Hers is a message of hope.

Ms. Aseel is an activist and spokesperson in the Afghan-American and Muslim communities. She founded the first high school chapter of the Muslim Students Association, and has recently founded the Afghan Institute for Development. Ms. Aseel got her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Southern California. She is currently working as Director of Education and Women's Affairs at the Afghan Embassy in Washington, DC.

Washington Prism: What are the main challenges facing Afghan women today?

Maryam Qudrat: The women of Afghanistan have proven themselves to be resilient as they have worked through decades of war and strife to secure the sanctity and normalcy of their families. Prior to the wars, Afghan women were given many opportunities and occupied seats in Parliament and were appointed to the cabinet during the 1960s. Under the new administration led by President Karzai, Afghan women are once again guaranteed fundamental rights by the new constitution and they are working to bring those rights to life as they are currently running for seats in the upcoming Parliamentary elections scheduled for September 18, 2005.

The main challenges facing women today vary across a wide spectrum ranging from health, education and employment arenas. Afghan women continue to experience the highest levels of maternal mortality rates and are in need of greater access to and availability of quality healthcare. There is also a need for more female healthcare providers and a more effective maternal care system. As for education, more schools are needed in order to increase women’s access to education throughout the nation. In addition, appropriate curricula needs to be devised to assist the unique challenges of Afghan women who have been deprived of schooling, and to reintegrate them into academia so that they can compete for jobs against all applicants, including Afghans who lived abroad during the wars. In terms of employment, Afghan women are gaining many opportunities in society, and they are often preferred over male applicants. Although there is an upward trend towards progress in women’s condition in Afghanistan, snapshot indicators point to the fact that current women’s conditions still require the greatest support.

WP: The improvement of women’s life conditions is a fundamental aspect of Afghanistan's reconstruction process. Has this vigorous approach to gender issues ever been perceived as too Westernized and, therefore, in contrast with Afghan cultural traditions?

MQ: Afghan women are concerned with meeting basic human needs and wants. They want to lead hopeful lives in neighborhoods that are safe with access to schools for their children, clean drinking water and job opportunities. Essentially, they aspire to live dignified lives again now that there is a revival of an effective state. These aspirations transcend culture and ethnicity as they are basic human needs of all people. Women of Afghanistan are focused on these matters first and foremost. Matters of cultural dress, burqas, and veils are not their priority as they are striving for educational and economic empowerment. It is important to judge Afghan women’s achievements in relation to their own framework, paying attention to those issues that they themselves assert as their primary concerns. What the women of Afghanistan are truly in need of are the skills and tools necessary for them to be able to meaningfully translate their theoretical rights into practical experiences. After being pushed out of society for so many years, Afghan women need to be educated on what their rights mean and how to exercise those rights. Afghan women require the training and the empowerment tools necessary to be able to emerge as leaders in this new and hopeful era of their country.

WP: In your book Torn Between Two Cultures: An Afghan-American Woman Speaks Out you write: “My own life is a testimony to the fact that ideologies of the East and West are not truly at war – only their people are. And these people are at war because they don’t know each other. If they don’t know each other how can they understand each other?” What does the West fail to understand about the East (and vice versa) today? How can this “comprehension gap” be successfully bridged?

MQ: I believe that this new relationship that Afghanistan and the international community have embarked upon has afforded the entire world an opportunity to engage in dialogue and mutual understanding of values that share so much in common and yet are so often mistakenly perceived as incompatible. I do believe that the sources of our conflicts are rooted not in religion or culture but in politically motivated extremist ideologies which were injected into Afghanistan from the outside. These external forces are what the country has been fighting to free itself from and this fight against extremism is what President Karzai has often outlined as a common interest between Afghanistan and the rest of the world. The President has also said that if the world had “listened” and paid attention to Afghanistan before, then the trade towers might have been standing today and the bombings in London could have been averted. Understanding Afghanistan and the lessons that come from it is essential to the success of today’s global strives toward a more peaceful world.

WP: At a speaking engagement during his visit to Washington, DC, President Karzai stated that "Afghanistan needs to speak more money and less politics," meaning that Afghanistan should concentrate on its economic development, rather than on regional power politics. How does the newly created Strategic Partnership with the United States help Afghanistan to achieve this goal?

MQ: The signing of the Joint Declaration of Strategic Partnership between President Karzai and President Bush was a great achievement for Afghanistan, as much as the signing of a Strategic Partnership between President Karzai and Tony Blair. These are long term safety nets that will prevent our country from being plagued by new external negative influences. As a result, they are historic achievements that will remain intact for generations to come and their effects will manifest themselves over time and not just in the single or isolated efforts of today’s immediate post-conflict reconstruction of Afghanistan.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 2:20 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:34 AM CDT
I don?t regard it as a grim task at all.
Topic: Islamic Jihad

Christopher Hitchens is one of America's and the English speaking world's leading public intellectuals.

On The Persian Edition of Washington Prism

By Christopher Hitchens is one of America's and the English speaking world's leading public intellectuals. He is the author of more than ten books, including, most recently, A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq (2003), Why Orwell Matters (2002), The Trial of Henry Kissinger (2001), and Letters to a Young Contrarian (2001). He writes for leading American and British publications, including The London Review of Books, The New Left Review, Slate, The New York Review of Books, Newsweek International, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Washington Post. He is also a regular television and radio commentator.

For many years, Hitchens was seen as one of America's leading leftist commentators. Shortly after the September 11 attacks in the United States, he began publicly criticizing fellow leftist intellectuals for what he viewed as their "moral and political collapse" in their failure to stand up to what he saw as "Islamo-fascism". He publicly feuded with many of America's leading leftist intellectuals about the war in Iraq, which he supported, much to their anger. He subsequently resigned from his position as a columnist for the Nation, America's leading leftist magazine, in protest.

Born in England, Hitchens has lived in the United States for more than twenty years. He is one of America's most recognizable intellectuals and has taught as a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Pittsburgh; and the New School of Social Research. He spoke with Washington Prism at his home in Washington D.C.

Q - Your much-discussed separation from the American left began shortly after the September 11 attacks. What prompted your displeasure with the left?

A - The September 11 attacks were one of those rare historical moments, like 1933 in Germany or 1936 in Spain or 1968, when you are put in a position to take a strong stand for what is right. The left failed this test. Instead of strongly standing against these nihilistic murderers, people on the left, such as Noam Chomsky, began to make excuses for these murderers, openly saying that Bin ladin was, however crude in his methods, in some ways voicing a liberation theology. This is simply a moral and political collapse.

But its not only that. It’s a missed opportunity for the left. Think of it this way: If a group of theocratic nihilists drive planes full of human beings into buildings full of human beings announcing nothing by way of a program except their nihilism and if they turn out to have been sheltered by two regimes favored by the United States and the national security establishment, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to be precise, two of only three countries to recognize the Taliban, and if Republicans were totally taken by surprise by this and if the working class of New York had to step forward and become the shield of society in the person of the fire and police brigades, it seemed to me that this would have been a good opportunity for the left to demand a general revision of all the assumptions we carried about the post cold war world. We were attacked by a religious dictatorship and the working class were pushed into defending elites by the total failure of our leadership and total failure of our intelligence. The attack emanated partly from the failure of regimes supported by that same elite national security establishment– Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. If the left can’t take advantage of a moment like that: whats it for? whats its secularism for? Whats its internationalism, class attitude, democracy for?

You don’t get that many measurable historical moments in your life, but you must recognize them when they come. This was one of those moments and the left collectively decided to get it wrong and I realized at that moment that, to borrow a slogan that slightly irritates me, but is useful: "Not in my name.” I'm not part of that family. I wanted to force a split, a political split on the left to which a small extent I think succeeded. Today, there is a small pro-regime change left and I'm a proud part of it.

Q - It seems that the left had less difficulty accepting the war in Afghanistan as they did the war in Iraq.

That is true, but of the hard core left it isn’t true. They also opposed the removal of the Taliban. When it came to using force, the least they did was predict a quagmire. By the way, there weren't alone. The New York Times did so too. They said at minimum we would witness another Vietnam, which is a pretty serious charge to make as someone who believes that then and now the Vietnam war was a war of aggression and atrocity and racism. When someone says something is another Vietnam, they better be serious because that’s a serious charge.

But lets look at the case of Iraq and the left. If you asked someone who has the principles of a 1968 leftist the following question: what is your attitude to a regime that has committed genocide, invaded its neighbors, militarized its society into a police state, that has privatized its economy so it is owned by one family, that has defied the non proliferation treaty in many ways, that sought weapons to commit genocide again and cheated on inspections, that has abolished the existence of a neighboring arab muslim state? What is your view of this as anyone who is a 1968 leftist? For me, I would be appalled if anyone knew me even slightly would not guess my attitude. Iraq should have been taken care of a long time ago. Instead, when I made my view public, I was berated by the left and my view was seen as an insane eccentricity.

I should also note that I have friends and comrades in the Iraqi and Kurdish left going back at least till the early 1990s. For me, supporting the war was an elementary duty of solidarity. I said: I'm on your side and I’ll stay there until you’re in and they’re out.

Q - If there was a Democratic president on 9/11, would there have been a difference of opinion in the American left about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Not from people like Michael Moore (the American film director and strong critic of President Bush), who makes a perfectly good brownshirt [fascist].
Or Noam Chomsky. No, it would not. To them it would have been further proof that the ruling class just has two faces and one party. But I think, in the mainstream of the democratic and Republican parties, you would have seen an exact switch. Richard Holbrooke’s position (Holbrooke was Clinton's UN Ambassador and is a leading Democratic foreign policy thinker) would be Dick Cheney’s position. The ones in the middle would have just done a switch, finding arguments to support or criticize the war. In fact, I remember that people in the Clinton administration spoke of an inevitable confrontation coming with Saddam. They dropped this idea only because it was a Republican president. That is simply disgraceful. It is likewise disgraceful how many Republicans ran as isolationists against [former Vice-President] Al Gore in the 2000 elections. The only people who come out of this whole affair well are an odd fusion of the old left – the small pro regime change left – and some of the people known as neoconservatives who have a commitment to liberal democracy. Many of the neocons have Marxist backgrounds and believe in ideas and principles and have worked with both parties in power.

Q – In your book, Why Orwell Matters, you noted that Orwell once refused an invitation to speak at the League of European Freedom on the question of Yugoslavian freedom – a cause he believed in. He refused to speak because he felt that the organization failed to condemn British imperialism in India and Burma. He saw that as a fatal flaw. Do the neoconservatives have a fatal flaw: on the one hand supporting Middle East democracy, on the other refusing to condemn Israeli policies that stifle Palestinian freedom aspirations?

A – Orwell said, at the time, that he would not speak for any organization that was opposed to tyranny that did not demand British withdrawal from India and Burma. He also noted that the liberation of Europe did not include the liberation of Spain from the fascists or Portugal. He also noted that it had included the enslavement of Poland.

In the case of the Palestinians, it is generally true that United States political culture doesn’t care about the Palestinians. We are taught to think of them as an inconvenient people who are in the way of Israel and a regional settlement. They are people about whom something should be done or, more condescendingly, for whom something should be provided.

I've spent three decades writing about the Palestinians and publishing a book with Edward Said [leading Palestinian intellectual and critic of Israel] about it. All political factions in this country have been lousy on this issue, but none lousier than the Democratic party. The Democrat party truly is what some people crudely say: a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Israeli lobby. It is one thing it has never deviated on: that and abortion. The only two things the Democrats have never flip flopped about.

The neocons are honorably divided on Israel. Take Paul Wolfowitz, for example. He is very critical of settlements and the whole idea of Greater Israel. Whereas Richard Perle (a prominent neoconservative thinker) doesn’t regard the areas known as Judea and Samaria (the West bank) as occupied territory. He regards them as part of a future Israeli state. I'm looking forward to the neoconservative split on this getting wider.

Q - Some have said that only columnists and public intellectuals can afford principles, whereas politicians sometimes must succumb to realism. In your book, Why Orwell Matters, you admired Orwell because you said that he understood that that politics are fleeting but principles endure. In our day, can a politician rule by principle?

A - It depends on what the principle is. If the principle is that all men are equal or created equal, I don’t think its possible to observe that principle in practice. But if the principle is, say, something cruder such as: can we coexist with aggressive internationalist totalitarian ideologies, then I think you not only can but you should act consistently against that. Never mind the principles for one minute, but the lesson of realism is: that if you don’t fight them now you fight them later.

They [Islamist radicals or, as Hitchens calls them, Islamo-fascists] gave us no peace and we shouldn’t give them any. We can't live on the same planet as them and I'm glad because I don’t want to. I don’t want to breathe the same air as these psychopaths and murders and rapists and torturers and child abusers. Its them or me. I'm very happy about this because I know it will be them. It’s a duty and a responsibility to defeat them. But it's also a pleasure. I don’t regard it as a grim task at all.

I have been trying without succes to think of something I could add to the above without detracting from it, so I won't


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 2:05 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:34 AM CDT
Tuesday, 9 August 2005
State Change and the American Electorate.
Topic: Out of Flyover Land
The Last few years there has been a gradual shift from the Democratic Party to the Republicans. basically because those leaving the Democratic Party
have no where else to go.

Post-9/11 Parity
The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and Bush's response to the attacks, marked a major turning point in party identification. Republican party identification rose to 30%, while the Democrats fell to 31%, putting the parties into a virtual tie for the allegiance of the public.

Because Republicans traditionally turn out to vote in higher numbers than do Democrats, the current division in party affiliation among the public could provide the GOP with a slight electoral advantage, all other things being equal.

A striking feature of the post-9/11 shift in partisan identification is its breadth. The shift is seen in most major demographic and social groups in the population, and is fairly consistent in size.

Among these groups, the average decline in the Democratic advantage is five percentage points, but no group in the population shifted more than 10 points. Greater than average Republican gains in party affiliation are seen among white Protestants (nine-point shift after Sept. 11), white Catholics (eight points), and Hispanics (eight points).

Everyone expects this trend to continue either to the Left or the Right in a series of battles for gradual minute changes. I am not certain this will be the case.

State Change is a Chaos Theory Model in which a cusp point is reached and a previous gradual change suddenly becomes a rapid and total change of State.

An example would be water at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature water can exist either as liquid water or solid ice. ANY withdrawal
of heat from liquid water at 32 degrees will result in rapid and massive crystallization into Ice.

Another example I hope you never encounter is Flash Steaming in a microwave.

a stationary cup of water in a microwave oven can heat past the boiling point without actually boiling. If that happens, placing an object (like a teabag) in the water or jarring the cup could cause the sudden — and explosive — conversion of part of the water to steam.

Few realize that it is possible to super heat water in a microwave. It will still be in liquid form but the SLIGHTEST disturbance in some cases just lifting a cup and jiggling the water can make the entire contents Flash into steam some people have gotten severe facial scalding that way.

I think the American Electorate is hovering just on the other side of a State Change, I mean when you consider ALICE COOPER is a registered Republican?

when I read the list of people who are supporting Kerry, if I wasn't already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 9:58 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:32 AM CDT
The American Sheik
Topic: Iraq War
This story caught my eye, in a week old copy of my local newspaer, since they make you pay to look at anything but the current day's edition, I found the same story on the.

The Salt Lake Tribune

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dale Horn, right, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., speaks with a villager and Mohammed Ismail Ahmed, left, a local sheik. Horn's assistance to locals prompted them to make him a sheik. (Dale L. Horn/The Associated Press

U.S. soldier's aid to Iraqis earns him title of sheik
By Antonio Castaneda
The Associated Press

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dale Horn, right, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., speaks with a villager and Mohammed Ismail Ahmed, left, a local sheik. Horn's assistance to locals prompted them to make him a sheik. (Dale L. Horn/The Associated Press)

QAYYARAH, Iraq - Sheik Horn floats around the room in white robe and headdress, exchanging pleasantries with dozens of village leaders.
But he is the only sheik with blonde streaks in his mustache - and the only one who attended country music star Toby Keith's recent concert in Baghdad with fellow U.S. soldiers.
Officially, he is Army Staff Sgt. Dale L. Horn, but to residents of the 37 villages and towns that he patrols he is known as the American sheik.
Sheiks, or village elders, are known as the real power in rural Iraq. And the 5-foot-6-inch Floridian's ascension to the esteemed position came through humor and the military's need to clamp down on rocket attacks.
Late last year a full-blown battle between insurgents and U.S. and Iraqi forces had erupted, and U.S. commanders assigned a unit to stop rocket and mortar attacks that regularly hit their base. Horn, who had been trained to operate radar for a field artillery unit, was now thrust into a job that largely hinged on coaxing locals into divulging information about insurgents.
Horn, 25, a native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., acknowledges he had little interest in the region before coming here. But a local sheik friendly to U.S. forces, Mohammed Ismail Ahmed, explained the inner workings of rural Iraqi society on one of Horn's first Humvee patrols.
Horn says he was intrigued, and started making a point of stopping by all the villages, all but one dominated by Sunni Arabs, to talk to people about their life and security problems.
Moreover, he pressed for development projects in the area: he now boasts that he helped funnel $136,000 worth of aid into the area. Part of that paid for delivery of clean water to 30 villages during the broiling summer months.
Mohammed, Horn's mentor, eventually suggested during a meeting of village leaders that Horn be named a sheik.
Some sheiks later gave him five sheep and a postage stamp of land, fulfilling some of the requirements for sheikdom. Others encouraged him to start looking for a second wife, which Horn's spouse back in Florida immediately vetoed.

Cool we have at least ONE American Lawrence of Arabia. ;-) I bet (know) we have others no one hears about.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:54 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:32 AM CDT
I Wonder What They Really Meant?
Topic: Out of Flyover Land
I spend a lot of time thinking, this fact has been, to paraphrase Jerome K. Jerome the cause of much misery to myself and discomfort to every one about me--my lady friends especially complained most bitterly about it.

But still, I seem to persist in looking at the World and thinking about what I see.

Tonight I was on a meal break in the Plant Cafeteria. They have TVs running, to tell the truth, besides turning on a Movie, that's about the only time I watch that medium. I don't watch it to keep informed on World Events, certainly.

A commercial came on put out by BP. It is about how they are working to provide us energy in an environmentally friendly manner.

The Woman they had speaking had a strangely familiar caste to her features. I looked and thought, "where have I seen that expression before? Those drooping, half closed eyes looked mighty familiar."

Then I realized of what she reminded me. I quit even drinking 16 years ago. So needless to say I do not indulge in "Better Living Through Chemicals", however in my younger wilder days, I by no means lived in a Monastery.

I recall that half-closed drooping eye look, it was the look I used to see in people's eyes, just before they passed out. ;-)

My buddy Gabe, who I am usually with on breaks, was doing more "listening" than looking. He made the comment, "they should have her use simpler language, the words she uses do not speak to the average person."

I looked at him and said, "what if THAT is the point Gabe?"

On the surface this is a "How we supply you with energy and protect the environment" commercial.

What if it is REALLY a commercial which says beneath the surface, "Look what complete idiots we have to put up with"?

Nah, that couldn't be it. I probably, as I said in the beginning of this, think too much and tend to the cynical.

But still, the next time you see a BP commercial?
Look at the woman's eyes, listen to how she phrases he words and ask yourself.

I Wonder What They Really Meant By That?


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:03 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:32 AM CDT
Looks Like He Choked
On The Warning Label

Topic: Out of Flyover Land
I once saw a Dilbert Cartoon, that had a guy laying stretched out beside a giant donut, stone cold dead.
Two Cops were standing looking down at him and the caption read.

Looks like he choked on the Warning Label

(If I can find that strip I will put it or a hyperlink here)

That flashed into my mind tonight at work on a smoke break, when a buddy started talking about yet another consumer group on a Crusade.

This one is to ban Sodium Fluoride. Gabe asked me if I had noticed the new warning labels on toothpaste. I responded, "Oh PLEASE, Who reads toothpaste tubes?"

"Well its poisonous", "Yeah that's true, makes good rat bait and is great for killing cockroaches, but in the levels in drinking water?"

Next thing you know they will want to ban Toxic Vitamins!

Then I thought, "Wonder how the Toxic Level for Sodium Fluoride compares the Vitamin A or Vitamin D?"

So I looked up the information for you good people.
I was Shocked, let me tell you SHOCKED to find that the Single Toxic Level for Sodium Fluoride for an Adult Male is.

Over a THOUSAND TIMES greater
than for Vitamin D and maybe 500 times greater than the long term Toxic Level for Vitamin A (I could not find a single dose level for it)

The Public doesn't need protected from Sodium Fluoride! It needs protected from KILLER TOXIC

Read the sordid truth.

Is fluoride, as provided by community water fluoridation, a toxic substance?
Acute fluoride toxicity occurring from the ingestion of optimally fluoridated water is impossible.104 The amount of fluoride necessary to cause death for a human adult (155 pound man) has been estimated to be 5-10 grams of sodium fluoride, ingested at one time.140 This is more than 10,000-20,000 times as much fluoride as is consumed at one time in a single 8-ounce glass of optimally fluoridated water.

Vitamin toxicity
In adults, a daily dose of 1.0 to 2.0 mg of vitamin D is toxic when consumed for a prolonged period. A single dose of about 50 mg or greater is toxic for adults.

Vitamin A toxicity can occur with long-term consumption of 20 mg of retinol or more per day. The symptoms of vitamin A overdosing include accumulation of water in the brain (hydrocephalus), vomiting, tiredness, constipation, bone pain, and severe headaches. The skin may acquire a rough and dry appearance, with hair loss and brittle nails. Vitamin A toxicity is a special issue during pregnancy. Expectant mothers who take 10 mg vitamin A or more on a daily basis may have an infant with birth defects. These birth defects include abnormalities of the face, nervous system, heart, and thymus gland. It is possible to take in toxic levels of vitamin A by eating large quantities of certain foods. For example, about 30 grams of beef liver, 500 grams of eggs, or 2,500 grams of mackerel would supply 10 mg of retinol. The livers of polar bears and other arctic animals may contain especially high levels of vitamin A.

And Folks Vitamins are not even half of what we face without knowing about it. I hesitate, but yes you have a right to KNOW about the hazards of


Frequently Asked Questions About Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO)
What is Dihydrogen Monoxide?
Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the unstable radical Hydroxide, the components of which are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol.
For more detailed information, including precautions, disposal procedures and storage requirements, refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Dihydrogen Monoxide.

Yes, you should be concerned about DHMO! Although the U.S. Government and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) do not classify Dihydrogen Monoxide as a toxic or carcinogenic substance (as it does with better known chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and saccharine), DHMO is a constituent of many known toxic substances, diseases and disease-causing agents, environmental hazards and can even be lethal to humans in quantities as small as a thimbleful.

What are some of the dangers associated with DHMO?
Each year, Dihydrogen Monoxide is a known causative component in many thousands of deaths and is a major contributor to millions upon millions of dollars in damage to property and the environment. Some of the known perils of Dihydrogen Monoxide are: Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
Contributes to soil erosion.
Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere.
Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.

Become informed Folks! You have unknown Dangers all around you.

But there IS a sinister plot to prevent these things from seeing the light of Day.

A City Counsel in a Western State, when they found out that DHMO was used in the manufacture of Styrofoam drinking cups, PLANNED to vote to ban the use of such items by City Employees but they NEVER VOTED on the Ban.


As a Courtesy to any of my readers for whom English is not their Native Language I wish to point out two things.

1) Dihydrogen MonOxide is the Chemical Compound commonly known as Water
2) All the facts above are absolutely true


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 2:13 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:31 AM CDT
Monday, 8 August 2005
Why and How I Started Blogging
Topic: Out of Flyover Land
A saw a cartoon once, a Man dressed in tails and a top hat was going over a ski ramp with a look of shock an bewilderment on his face. The caption read

How did I get up HERE!?

Sometimes it's a good idea to stop, look around and ask that question.

Since I have noticed somebody is now reading my ramblings I thought I would take a few minutes and backtrack how I got Here.

I come from what you might call a "reading" family.
My Father loved books, as did my Mother, she read ravenously, poetry, novels and even read encyclopedias like some read paperbacks. I had a Great Aunt who had to leave school after the 3rd Grade to help in the fields, but Aunt Ruby learned to read and she continued that practice her entire life, spending some 60 years of her adulthood reading and studying on her own philosophy and metaphysics. I remember, a prominent man in our community, very well educated, once told me, that my Aunt could hold her own, in his estimation, with any College Professor he had ever known.

The entire family were readers, but my nuclear family, was particularly known among the family as readers,it was a big one I am part Cherokee and my mother was the youngest of 14 in Kentucky we have CLANS not just families , :-) .

One of may Aunts once said half jokingly and half exasperatedly that a person could not bring up ANY subject, without one of the Kauffman's looking up and declaring, "I read a book once, that said---"

So when the Internet Arrived, and I discovered it, I dove in like a duck into water. Information, History, I could contact, correspond and exchange views with people from all over the world.

It was wonderful. I discovered, discussion boards, chat, then blogs. As I continued to read on the Internet, in particular blogs , I noticed something.
What I read in Newspapers, heard on TV, looked like what I was reading on blogs, but differed.

But with blogs, I often had links and sources, or I could use keywords and find original sources.

I discovered what I read in Newspapers, heard on TV was NOT the same as I found in original sources, it had been changed, altered, subtly at times, but in a way, that often the meaning was not only distorted, but turned into the complete opposite of what had been said.

There is a perfect example of this process on the
Right Wing News
website. It is a quote in Fahrenheit 9/11 of Condi Rice. I will first give you Michael Moore's version, then I will give you the full quote, with his version highlighted in it. You can see and decide for yourself who the Liar is.

Condi Rice-altered quote
"There is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11"

Condi Rice-full text quote
"Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. It’s not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9/11, but, if you think about what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that lead people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York."

You see the first quote contains the exact words she said, nothing added, noting moved around, just quite a bit left out. Makes a big difference doesn't it?

I don't like holes in my information and news, I like to read the complete story.
Blogs allow me that. Oh it's true that some are biased and they too can slant things, but like Ed Morrisey's statement on the header of Captain's Quarters says, "Thus Every Blogger In His Kind, Is Bit By Him Who Comes Behind", you play too fast and loose and you WILL get called on it. The Blogsphere has some highly effective negative feedback mechanisms for those who distort the truth.

I started REALLY reading , as I read I would think, "I sure would like to try my hand at this, but with work and READING other blogs, I just don't have the time." Then one day I noticed something.

I was not only reading blogs, I was doing a fair bit of commentingon blogs, just on other people's Blogs.

I think it was when I did a google search and discovered that no one was really using the Title

Committees Of Correspondence

that I made my mind up.

I started this Free Angelfire Blog, but I also purchased/leased the domain, when I get a better handle on how to do all this stuff I will transition to it, for as I wrote on the holding page there, it is my Belief that the Blogs are the
Committees Of Correspondence of the 21st Century.

I also believe we are today, at a Cusp in History, quite like the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution found themselves.

Only this time the Conflict between the Forces of Totalitarian Control and the Forces of Freedom and Liberty are engaged in a struggle that is GLOBAL in nature.

We face the same opponent, the same detractors, these word of Patrick Henry are as true today as they were then

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

People of the World I tell you this, Our brethren are already in the field! on the order of 5 to 10 million lay dead, slaughtered at the hands of the Jihadists, on the order of 50 million or more are displaced, driven from their homes by the Jihadists.

Why stand we here idle?

Listen! Through the Fog of War can you not hear the Trumpet Calling? Can you not hear the Sound of the Guns and through the Fog, can you not see the Emblem waving at the front of those advancing?

What is that Emblem? It holds the Battle Cry uttered by Gen. John Stark over 200 hundred years ago!

It says

"Live free or die,"

But those are not just Americans, falling to keep the Ensign untarnished they are a host of Nations. In the Coallition of the Willing and even Iraqis, Afghanistanis,and Iranians, not Allied but still dieing because they wish to be FREE.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:30 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:29 AM CDT
Sunday, 7 August 2005
Many Thanks Captain!
Topic: Out of Flyover Land
Welcome Captain's Quarter's Readers.

If you have come here wondering what the Inspiration I provided was and are puzzled because you cannot find any posts referring to Matha Stewart?

It's because the Captain is referring to a comment I left on his site in.

Air America: Spitzer's Difference

"Holding the powerful accountable -- that sounds like what the media claims as its mission. The New York Sun and the New York Post do that, but the Paper of Record makes that mission conditional on whose power is in question."

Martha Stewart sold 4000 shares of stock for a bit under a 250,000. She was never convicted of Insider Trading she went to Prison for uttering a false statement to a Federal Agent,

You know that's peanuts compared to what Err America was up to and still is I might add
Posted by: Dan Kauffman at August 7, 2005 12:23 AM

But while my 15 seconds of glory lasts, if you look at anything here at all let me suggests browsing.

MoveOn Memes

Which holds my thoughts of how the labels we places on events models ur perceptions, those of others, and why we should stop using the labels of the Past.

Also a VERY welcome announcement to the Blogvers,
The Religious Policeman

A Saudi Arabian Blogger who has been absent for over a year is back! Living in England it seems where it is safer to blog frankly.

So once again thanks to a real gentleman and on of my Daily Reads, my First Read to tell the truth with my first (drinking it now ) cup of coffee.

Then why are you posting this so late in the day, Dan?

I woke nights and sleep days, What a nice surprise I woke to.

I now R a Slimy Mollusc! LOL

UPDATE And a VERY Hearty welcome to readers from

Janeane Garofalo for the rest of us

Tex the Pontificator

and last but of course not least



Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 6:47 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007 6:26 AM CDT

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