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Monday, September 25, 2006

 

Lots To Blog About...

So there may be a flurry of posts...

I thought the Pope handled the controversy about his remarks and quotes from the 14th century really well. The fact is there was nothing to apologize about. His message was on the money, merely decrying religious inspired violence as any Pope should. Frankly, the impulse of Islamic clergy to call for Holy War at the drop of a hat would be getting tiresome, if it didn't have real world ramifications. Naturally, the reaction of Islamists was inappropriate and intellectually incompetent. Their knee jerk is to point to the Crusades, perhaps a regrettable chapter in Western history, but at least Christians seem to have outgrown the 11th century. And of course there were the usual calls to kill the Pope; everyone who speaks his mind about Islam seems to wind up on the condemened list in short order, so no one is surprised by that any more. The more measured reaction was to call for an apology, and to lament that the Pope's regret concerning the way his remarks were received (a carefully chosen sentiment that fell purposely short of an apology) was not a suitable admission of inaccuracy. This shows a worse understanding of Catholic doctrine than the Pope has of Islam's since the Pope starts from the assumption of infallability and can't admit to a mistake of doctrine. He didn't make one anyway.

So there we have it, Islamists again unable and unwilling to deal with the world as it is, overly sensitive to any slight, and reacting disproportionately (can you imagine how a similar reaction by Israeli's would be received?). And worst of all, as usual, no voices of moderation from anywhere in the Islamic community that might represent a responsible contribution to the dialogue. Where are these responsible voices we always hear about, and do they really exist? One really starts to wonder.
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Is Bin Ladin dead? I have leaned in that direction for a long time, but the latest rumor of his demise seems to indicate that he was alive until very recently. Dead or alive, I don't think he is in command of terrorist activity in any active sense. Terrorism becomes more and more amoeba - like and harder to extinguish. it makes the John Kerry's of the world look ever more foolish, debating whether we should be more active in Afghanistan than Iraq and worried that we are "creating terrorists" in Iraq. You might as well try to guess how many seraphs dance on the head of a pin.
Equally hilarious is Bill Clinton's assertion that he tried to kill Bin Ladin and that proves the anti-terrorism mettle of his administration. Of course, the incident he references was one of those times he lobbed a few missles in Bin Ladin's direction, presumably to take our minds off one of the many scandals afflicting his own administration.

If our current administration has featured a marked susceptibility to ineptitude, the previous one had a talent for low comedy, probably unrivaled in our history. Let's hope the next President can bring us some fresh air, and that for the first time since 1963, the whole country will be rooting for him/her to succeed. Possible candidates who could bring the country a little closer are John McCain, Bill Richardson, and maybe Rudy Guiliani. People who promise four more years of vitriol include Hilary Clinton, Bill Frist, and John Edwards.
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Some predict the D's will take Congress this year, and it is a possibility. To my fellow conservatives, I offer these consoling thoughts. You may think the country can't survive the other side, but it always has. And once in a while, you have to let the other guys in just to remind everyone how awful they are.

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On 9/18, I sold 600 more shares of CNRD from my IRA at 3.75 (originally purchased at 1.55 on 4/11/05). On 9/22, I bought 100 shares of SHLM for the taxable account at 23.77. Today, I bought 100 shares of AAON for my IRA at 21.85.

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