The Silly Season

For several weeks now, various Republicans have been dipping their toes into the election scene, and the Hildebeast has been rumbling as well.  Of course, sniping has been occurring by both political parties, of which will only become worse as time goes on.

But one incident so far caught my attention simply because it is so asinine – Howard Dean making the statement that Scott Walker is unqualified for the Presidency because he doesn’t have a college degree.  While I have known a great number of people that do not have a degree and yet are smarter that those who do, I cannot compare any statements that I make with the response of Mike Rowe on his Facebook page to a fan’s question:

Kyle Smith writes…

Howard Dean recently criticized Gov Scott Walker for never finishing college, stating that he was “unknowledgeable.” What would your response be on college as a requirement for elected office?

Hi Kyle

Back in 1990, The QVC Cable Shopping Channel was conducting a national talent search. I had no qualifications to speak of, but I needed a job, and thought TV might be a fun way to pay the bills. So I showed up at The Marriott in downtown Baltimore with a few hundred other hopefuls, and waited for a chance to audition. When it was my turn, the elevator took me to the top floor, where a man no expression led me into a suite and asked me to take a seat behind a large desk. Across from the desk, there was a camera on a tripod. On the desk was a digital timer with an LED display. I took a seat as the man clipped a microphone on my shirt and explained the situation.

“The purpose of this audition is to see if you can talk for eight minutes without stuttering, blathering, passing out, or throwing up. Any questions?”

“What would you like me to talk about,” I asked.

The man pulled a pencil from behind his ear and rolled it across the desk. “Talk to me about that pencil. Sell it. Make me want it. But be yourself. If you can do that for eight minutes, the job is yours. Ok?”

I looked at the pencil. It was yellow. It had a point on one end, and an eraser on the other. On the side were the words, Dixon Ticonderoga Number 2 SOFT.

“Ok,” I said.

The man set the timer to 8:00, and walked behind the tripod. He pressed a button and a red light appeared on the camera. He pressed another button and the timer began to count backwards. “Action,” he said. I picked up the pencil and started talking.

“Hi there. My name’s Mike Rowe, and I only have eight minutes to tell you why this is finest pencil on Planet Earth. So let’s get right to it.”

I opened the desk drawer and found a piece of hotel stationary, right where I hoped it would be. I picked up the pencil and wrote the word, QUALITY in capital letters. I held the paper toward the camera.

“As you can plainly see, The #2 Dixon Ticonderoga leaves a bold, unmistakable line, far superior to the thin and wispy wake left by the #3, or the fat, sloppy skid mark of the unwieldy #1. Best of all, the Ticonderoga is not filled with actual lead, but “madagascar graphite,” a far safer alternative for anyone who likes to chew on their writing implements.”

To underscore the claim, I licked the point. I then discussed the many advantages of the Ticonderoga’s color.

“A vibrant yellow, perfectly suited for an object that needs to stand out from the clutter of a desk drawer.”

I commented on the comfort of it’s design.

“Unlike those completely round pencils that press hard into the web of your hand, the Ticonderoga’s circumference is comprised of eight, gently planed surfaces, which dramatically reduce fatigue, and make writing for extended periods an absolute delight.”

I pointed out the “enhanced eraser,” which was “guaranteed to still be there – even when the pencil was sharpened down to an unusable nub.”

I opined about handmade craftsmanship and American made quality. I talked about the feel of real wood.

“In a world overrun with plastic and high tech gadgets, isn’t it comforting to know that some things haven’t evolved into something shiny and gleaming and completely unrecognizable?’”

After all that, there was still five minutes on the timer. So I shifted gears and considered the pencil’s impact on Western Civilization. I spoke of Picasso and Van Gogh, and their hundreds of priceless drawings – all done in pencil. I talked about Einstein and Hawking, and their many complicated theories and theorems – all done in pencil.

“Pen and ink are fine for memorializing contracts,” I said, “but real progress relies on the ability to erase and start anew. Archimedes said he could move the world with a lever long enough, but when it came to proving it, he needed a pencil to make the point.”

With three minutes remaining, I moved on to some personal recollections about the role of pencils in my own life. My first legible signature, my first book report, my first crossword puzzle, and of course, my first love letter. I may have even worked up a tear as I recalled the innocence of my youth, scribbled out on a piece of looseleaf with all the hope and passion a desperate 6th grader could muster…courtesy of a #2 pencil.

With :30 seconds left on the timer, I looked fondly at the Dixon Ticonderoga, and sat silently for five seconds. Then I wrapped it up.

“We call it a pencil, because all things need a name. But today, let’s call it what it really is. A time machine. A match maker. A magic wand. And let’s say it can all be yours…for just .99 cents.”

The timer read 0:00. The man walked back to the desk. He took the pencil and wrote “YOU’RE HIRED” on the stationary, and few days later, I moved to West Chester, PA. And a few days after that, I was on live television, face to face with the never-ending parade of trinkets and chochkes that comprise QVC’s overnight inventory.

I spent three months on the graveyard shift, five nights a week. Technically, this was my training period, which was curious, given the conspicuous absence of supervision, or anything that could be confused with actual instruction. Every few minutes a stagehand would bring me another mysterious “must have item,” which I’d blather about nonsensically until it was whisked away and replaced with something no less baffling. In this way, I slowly uncovered the mysteries of my job, and forged a tenuous relationship with an audience of chronic insomniacs and narcoleptic lonely-hearts. It was a crucible of confusion and ambiguity, and in hindsight, the best training I ever had.

Which brings me to the point of your question, Kyle.
I don’t agree with Howard Dean – not at all.

Here’s what I didn’t understand 25 years ago. QVC had a serious recruiting problem. Qualified candidates were applying in droves, but failing miserably on the air. Polished salespeople with proven track records were awkward on TV. Professional actors with extensive credits couldn’t be themselves on camera. And seasoned hosts who understood live television had no experience hawking products. So eventually, QVC hit the reset button. They stopped looking for “qualified” people, and started looking for anyone who could talk about a pencil for eight minutes.

QVC had confused qualifications with competency.
Perhaps America has done something similar?

Look at how we hire help – it’s not so different than how we elect leaders. We search for work ethic on resumes. We look for intelligence in test scores. We search for character in references. And of course, we look at a four-year diploma as though it might actually tell us something about common-sense and leadership.

Obviously, we need a bit more from our elected officials than the instincts of a home shopping host, but the business of determining what those “qualifications” are is completely up to us. We get to decide what matters most. We get to decide if a college degree or military service is somehow determinative. We get to decide if Howard Dean is correct.

Anyone familiar with my foundation knows my position. I think a trillion dollars of student loans and a massive skills gap are precisely what happens to a society that actively promotes one form of education as the best course for the most people. I think the stigmas and stereotypes that keep so many people from pursuing a truly useful skill, begin with the mistaken belief that a four-year degree is somehow superior to all other forms of learning. And I think that making elected office contingent on a college degree is maybe the worst idea I’ve ever heard.

But of course, Howard Dean is not the real problem. He’s just one guy. And he’s absolutely right when he says that many others will judge Scott Walker for not finishing college. That’s the real problem.

However – when Howard Dean called the Governor “unknowledgeable,” he rolled out more than a stereotype. He rolled a pencil across the desk, and gave Scott Walker eight minutes to knock it out of the park.

It’ll be fun to see if he does.

The Barbary Pirates

While working on the previous post, I ran across this article from P2T2 Solutions that explains a bit further on the situation with the Barbary Pirates of old, and the similarities of what is happening today.  Enjoy.

Most Americans are unaware of the fact that over two hundred years ago the United States had declared war on Islam and Thomas Jefferson led the charge! At the height of the eighteenth century, Muslim pirates were the terror of the Mediterranean and a large area of the North Atlantic. They attacked every ship in sight, and held the crews for exorbitant ransoms. Those taken hostage were subjected to barbaric treatment and wrote heart-breaking letters home, begging their government and family members to pay whatever their Mohammedan captors demanded.

These extortionist of the high seas represented the Islamic nations of Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers – collectively referred to as the Barbary Coast – and presented a dangerous and unprovoked threat to the new American Republic. Before the Revolutionary War, U.S. merchant ships had been under the protection of Great Britain. When the U.S. declared its independence and entered into war, the ships of the United States were protected by France. However, once the war was won, America had to protect its own fleets.

Thus, the birth of the U.S. Navy. Beginning in 1784, seventeen years before he would become president, Thomas Jefferson became America’s Minister to France. That same year, the U.S. Congress sought to appease its Muslim adversaries by following in the footsteps of European nations who paid bribes (aka: “protection money” by American mobsters) to the Barbary States rather than engaging them in war.

In July of 1785, Algerian pirates captured American ships, and the Dye of Algiers demanded an unheard-of ransom of $60,000. It was a plain and simple case of extortion, and Thomas Jefferson was vehemently opposed to any further payments. Instead, he proposed to Congress the formation of a coalition of allied nations who together could force the Islamic states into peace. A disinterested Congress decided to pay the ransom.

In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli’s ambassador to Great Britain to ask by what right his nation attacked American ships and enslaved American citizens, and why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.

The two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that:

Islam was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran that all nations who would not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

This is based upon the Qur’an’s teaching from Surah 47:4 which reads;

“Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.”

Despite this stunning admission of premeditated violence on non-Muslim nations, as well as the objections of many notable American leaders, including George Washington, who warned that caving in was both wrong and would only further embolden the enemy, for the following fifteen years the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to over twenty percent of the United States government annual revenues in 1800.

Jefferson was disgusted. Shortly after his being sworn in as the third President of the United States in 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli sent him a note demanding the immediate payment of $225,000 plus $25,000 a year for every year forthcoming.

That changed everything. Jefferson let the Pasha know, in no uncertain terms, what he could do with his demand. The Pasha responded by cutting down the flagpole at the American consulate and declared war on the United States. Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers immediately followed suit.

Jefferson, until now, had been against America raising a naval force for anything beyond coastal defense, but, having watched his nation be cowed by Islamic thugery for long enough, decided that is was finally time to meet force with force. He dispatched a squadron of frigates to the Mediterranean and taught the Muslim nations of the Barbary Coast a lesson he hoped they would never forget. Congress authorized Jefferson to empower U.S. ships to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli and to “cause to be done all other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war would justify”.

When Algiers and Tunis, who were both accustomed to American cowardice and acquiescence, saw the newly independent United States had both the will and the right to strike back, they quickly abandoned their allegiance to Tripoli. The war with Tripoli lasted for four more years, and raged up again in 1815. The bravery of the U.S. Marine Corps in these wars led to the line “to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Hymn, and they would forever be known as “leathernecks” for the leather collars of their uniforms, designed to prevent their heads from being cut off by the Muslim scimitars when boarding enemy ships.

Islam, and what its Barbary followers justified doing in the name of their prophet and their god, disturbed Jefferson quite deeply. America had a tradition of religious tolerance, the fact that Jefferson, himself, had co-authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, but fundamentalist Islam was like no other religion the world had ever seen. A religion based on supremacism, whose holy book the Quran not only condoned but mandated violence against unbelievers, was unacceptable to him. His greatest fear was that someday this brand of Islam would return and pose an even greater threat to the United States.

This should bother every American. That Muslims have brought about women-only classes and swimming times at taxpayer-funded universities and public pools; that Christians, Jews, and Hindus have been banned from serving on juries where Muslim defendants are being judged; Piggy banks and Porky Pig tissue dispensers have been banned from workplaces because they offend Islamist sensibilities; ice cream has been discontinued at certain Burger King locations because the picture on the wrapper looks similar to the Arabic script for Allah; public schools are pulling pork from their menus; on and on and on and on . . .

It’s death by a thousand cuts, or inch-by-inch as some refer to it, and most Americans have no idea that this battle is being waged every day across America. By not fighting back, by allowing groups to obfuscate what is really happening, and not insisting that the Islamists adapt to our own culture, the United States is cutting its own throat with a politically correct knife, and helping to further the Islamists agenda. Sadly, it appears that today’s America’s leaders would rather be politically correct than victorious!

Any doubts, just Google “Thomas Jefferson vs. the Muslim World.”

IN GOD WE TRUST

Next time you hear this tune, remember just how long the US has been fighting “extreme Islam”, and Otrama is right, Muslims have been in our history for 200 years, like hemorrhoids in bunghole, Islam been there. Thank a Marine next time you see him for keeping our country free from this scourge. /salute

Lessons Learned?

This past week, POTUS stated that “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.”  Strangely enough, he was correct, although probably not in the way that he intended.

The following are excerpts from the article “Islam Versus the United States” in reference to the Barbary Pirates:

Prior to the Revolutionary War, American merchant ships enjoyed British protection on the high seas. Under the terms of Britain’s treaties with other nations, including the Barbary States, American ships were issued British-backed passes of safe conduct for the Mediterranean.
These maritime passes operated on a very simple yet effective system that declared the bearer immune from seizure. The pass would be cut in half along a serrated, lateral line, the top of which was issued to a ship’s captain, while the bottom half was given to the Barbary regency and copied for distribution to the corsair captains. When a vessel was boarded by pirates, the ship’s captain would produce his pass, and if the edges and words or images matched, it was usually accepted-although occasionally a palm or two would need greasing; the prize would be released and allowed to sail away unmolested. Although fraught with abuse and forgery, the system worked reasonably well. (London, Victory in Tripoli, p.13).

When Jefferson became President, the new nation possessed only 6 fighting ships.

The Muslim pirates in the Barbary States saw a golden opportunity for extortion, blackmail, and the obtaining of slaves.

They did not hesitate to descend like vultures on the defenseless merchant ships.

While he was ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson was frankly told that the Muslim creed commands them to make war upon all unbelievers:

In May 1786, Thomas Jefferson, then the U.S. ambassador to France, and John Adams, then the U.S. ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the resident Tripolitan ambassador, to try to negotiate a peace treaty to protect the United States from the threat of Barbary piracy. These future U.S. presidents questioned the ambassador as to why his government was so hostile to the new American Republic even though America had done nothing to provoke any animosity of any sort. Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, “that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy’s ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once.” (London, Victory in Tripoli, pp. 23-24).

The above bolded quotes can be found in various locations and forms, and are historical facts (not fiction). 

The story of the Barbary Pirates continued with the United States sending a squadron of ships and Marines to the area, fighting, and defeating the pirates, thus the reference to “Shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Anthem.

The bottom line is that the Islamic practice of conquest, tributes, slavery, and murder is nothing new.  It’s just more horrific with modern weapons and mass-media.

And just in case you haven’t heard, here are the passages from the Koran that justifies such actions:

  • Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe neither in God nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His apostle have forbidden, and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued. (Sura 9:29).
  • When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take ransom from them, until War shall lay down her burdens. (Sura 47:1).
  • They would have you disbelieve as they themselves have disbelieved, so that you may be all alike. Do not befriend them until they have fled their homes for the cause of God. If they desert you, seize them and put them to death wherever you find them. (Sura 4:87).

Why is it that our “leaders” fail to see that history is repeating itself?  Have the lessons of the past been relegated to the past and forgotten?  In the Land of the Free, we have taken things for granted, but recoil in horror as people are tortured, raped, and killed for their beliefs which are similar to our own.  We need to remember the following:

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We really need to remember this as well:

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And especially this one:

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Is it now any wonder why the world is insane and burning?

Evil Is Among Us

Evil.  Any sane person knows that it is among us, probably closer than what we would otherwise be comfortable in admitting.  Any sane person will also call a barbaric, inhumane act evil.

Not President Obama…

Our Denier in Chief will do anything to keep from condemning acts by ISIS / ISIL evil.  In fact, he doesn’t even want to call them terrorists, nor does he refer to them as Radical Islamists.

This is pitiful, and shows the world what a failure as a leader this President really is.  It’s also damn embarrassing to all Americans that this President will not directly condemn a religion’s followers for committing what amounts to crimes against humanity.

Instead, he draws comparisons of barbaric acts of Christian Crusaders from centuries ago to the actions of the Islamic Radicals of today.  News flash, oh Emperor President Obummer…both sides committed atrocities during the Crusades.  The difference is that the Christians have pretty well stopped while the Muslims have kept on killing!  And one fact that he ignored:  The Crusades, which he blamed the Christians for, were actually a response to the Islamic invasion of the Holy Land and the brutal persecutions of Christians.

In my opinion, this last shows only one thing – we have a Muslim sympathizer in charge of our country.  His actions in illegally releasing prisoners from custody at Guantanamo Bay was only a hint of where his loyalties lie.

It’s not with the American People or with our country.  In fact, I cannot recall one instance of where this President has stood up for the American People much less defend them.

Unlike Jordan’s king, who personally climbs in a jet and goes on a bombing run against the POS that burned his pilot alive.

What does our President do?  Gives a speech, goes play golf (again), and let’s his minions post to Twitter.  Somehow, I don’t think #hashtags are capable of fighting people who commit such evil acts…and neither will speeches.

I personally think that this President needs to go.  Now.  Not in two years…now.

Congress has more than enough reasons to impeach and remove this President.  He has committed crimes that exceed his authority as President and meet the criteria of High Crimes and Misdemeanors:

  • For Illegally Changing Obamacare
  • Engaging In An Illegal War In Libya
  • Illegal appointments to the National Labor Relations Board
  • Violating Immigration Law And Illegally Implementing The DREAM ACT
  • Illegally Releasing 5 Taliban Terrorists In Exchange For Deserter Bowe Bergdahl
  • Illegally Releasing Detainees From Guantanamo Bay
  • Illegally Ordering the Assassination of an American Citizens (Drone Strike against Anwar al-Aulaqi, for example)
  • And many, many others…

However, Congress will not do that.  Congresscritters of both parties should realize that the person currently occupying the Office of the President is actively working against the Constitution, which diminishes the power of Congress.  No, they are more interested in keeping the status quo than defending the Constitution and representing the People.

Which makes me wonder…

Where does Evil, the true Evil, lay?

POTUS SOTU Translation

I’ve read many different reviews and opinions of the State of the Union speech over the past week, and have seen some of the clips from said speech.  Frankly, I’m not impressed with what our wannabe Emperor had to say.  However, the John Stossel translation of eight statements in his Twitter Feed summarizes it best:

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I just can’t add to it…I really can’t…