Friday, March 31, 2017

Switzerland ... What's in a handshake? Well worth reading...

Switzerland ...
What's in a handshake? Well worth reading.
 
Sometimes it's the little things that are most telling.  At first glance this may seem like a trivial story but what lies hidden beneath it could have serious consequences for our children and grandchildren.
 ----------------------------- - ------------------------------ --
 
In Switzerland it has long been customary for students to shake the hands of their teachers at the beginning and end of the school day.  It's a sign of solidarity and mutual respect between teacher and pupil, one that is thought to encourage the right classroom atmosphere.  Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga recently felt compelled to further explain that shaking hands was part of Swiss culture and daily life.
 
And the reason she felt compelled to speak out about the handshake is that two Muslim brothers, aged 14 and 15, who have lived in Switzerland for several years (and thus are familiar with its mores), in the town of Therwil, near Basel, refused to shake the hands of their teacher, a woman, because, they claimed, this would violate Muslim teachings that contact with the opposite sex is allowed only with family members.
 
At first the school authorities decided to avoid trouble, and initially granted the boys an exemption from having to shake the hand of any female teacher.  But an uproar followed, as Mayor Reto Wolf explained to the BBC: "the community was unhappy with the decision taken by the school.  In our culture and in our way of communication a handshake is normal and sends out respect for the other person, and this has to be brought home to the children in school."
 
Therwil's Educational Department reversed the school's decision, explaining in a statement on May 25 that the school's exemption was lifted because "the public interest with respect to equality between men and women and the integration of foreigners significantly outweighs the freedom of religion."  It added that a teacher has the right to demand a handshake.  Furthermore, if the students refused to shake hands again "the sanctions called for by law will be applied," which included a possible fine of up to 5,000 dollars.
 
This uproar in Switzerland, where many people were enraged at the original exemption granted to the Muslim boys, did not end after that exemption was itself overturned by the local Educational Department.  The Swiss understood quite clearly that this was more than a little quarrel over handshakes; it was a fight over whether the Swiss would be masters in their own house, or whether they would be forced to yield, by the granting of special treatment, to the Islamic view of the proper relations between the sexes.  It is one battle – small but to the Swiss significant – between overweening Muslim immigrants and the indigenous Swiss.
 
Naturally, once the exemption was withdrawn, all hell broke loose among Muslims in Switzerland.  The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland, instead of yielding quietly to the Swiss decision to uphold the handshaking custom, criticized the ruling in hysterical terms, claiming that the enforcement of the handshaking is "totalitarian" (!) because its intent is to "forbid religious people from meeting their obligations to God."  
 
That, of course, was never the "intent" of the long-standing handshaking custom, which was a nearly-universal custom in Switzerland, and in schools had to do only with encouraging the right classroom atmosphere of mutual respect between instructor and pupil, of which the handshake was one aspect.
 
The Swiss formulation of the problem – weighing competing claims — will be familiar to Americans versed in Constitutional adjudication.  In this case "the public interest with respect to equality" of the sexes and the "integration of foreigners" (who are expected to adopt Swiss ways, not force the Swiss to exempt them from some of those ways) were weighed against the "religious obligations to God" of Muslims, and the former interests found to outweigh the latter.
 
What this case shows is that even at the smallest and seemingly inconsequential level, Muslims are challenging the laws and customs of the Infidels among whom they have been allowed to settle [i.e., stealth jihad toward sharia dominance].  Each little victory, or defeat, will determine whether Muslims will truly integrate into a Western society or, instead, refashion that society to meet Muslim requirements.
 
The handshake has been upheld and, what's more, a stiff fine now will be imposed on those who continue to refuse to shake hands with a female teacher.  This is a heartening sign of non-surrender by the Swiss.  But the challenges of the Muslims within Europe to the laws and customs of the indigenes have no logical end and will not stop.
 
And the greater the number of Muslims allowed to settle in Europe, the stronger and more frequent their challenges will be.  They are attempting not to integrate, but rather to create, for now, a second, parallel society, and eventually, through sheer force of numbers from both migration and by outbreeding the Infidels, to fashion not a parallel society but one society — now dominated by Muslim sharia.
 
The Swiss handshaking dispute has received some, but not enough, press attention.  Presumably, it's deemed too inconsequential a matter to bother with.  But the Swiss know better.  And so should we.
 
There's an old Scottish saying that in one variant reads: "Many a little makes a mickle."  That is, the accumulation of many little things leads to one big thing.  That's what's happening in Europe today.  This was one victory for the side of sanity.  There will need to be a great many more.
 
This needs circulation far and wide.
Hopefully the U.S. can learn before it's too late.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

O's boys: The Muslim Brotherhood: Peddling Sharia as Social Justice...

In this mailing:

The Muslim Brotherhood: Peddling Sharia as Social Justice

by Judith Bergman  •  March 30, 2017 at 5:00 am
  • Human Rights Watch, an organization that is supposed to look out for victims of human rights abuses, not abusers of human rights is begging US decision makers not to designate the Muslim Brotherhood -- which, if it had its way, would take away everyone's human rights and substitute them with sharia law -- a foreign terrorist organization.
  • "Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope". — Muslim Brotherhood motto.
  • Conveniently, Hamas -- which according to article two of its charter, is "one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine" -- is, it seems, working on a new charter. The new charter would declare that Hamas is not a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, despite its always having been so. That way, is the Muslim Brotherhood's "narrative" of newfound "nonviolence" suddenly supposed to become believable?
Left: The emblem of the Muslim Brotherhood. Right: While being hosted by the State Department on a visit to Washington in January 2015, Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood judge Waleed Sharaby flashed the organization's four-finger "Rabia" sign.
Gehad el-Haddad, official spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), is on a mission to rewrite the terrorist and radical history of the MB. He seems to be doing this for the consumption of naïve Americans. These seem only too willing to believe -- in the name of tolerance, diversity and trying to be non-judgmental -- that an organization whose ultimate goal is the supreme reign of Islamic sharia law everywhere -- if necessary through violent jihad -- could possibly value anything even approximating equality and the rule of (non-sharia) law.
"We are not terrorists," wrote a political activist for the MB, Gehad el-Haddad, in a recent article in the New York Times.

Ireland: Undermining Academia, Implementing Anti-Semitism

by Denis MacEoin  •  March 30, 2017 at 4:30 am
  • It has from the beginning been designed to denounce Israel as an illegal state, all under the cover of supposed neutral academic inquiry.
  • It is not, however, in the least surprising that an Irish government would pass a motion like that so wholeheartedly. After all, links with the PLO and other terrorist groups were connived at or even encouraged by the Irish government itself.
  • The conference put itself in the welcoming hands of the city council, a body thoroughly in agreement with the aims of the event, to find spurious legal arguments for the delegitimization and eventual destruction of Israel.
The City Hall of Cork, Ireland. (Image source: Klaus Foehl/Wikimedia Commons)
Readers may remember a controversy reported in January. It was proposed that an international "academic" conference about the legitimacy of Israel would take place in University College Cork in the Republic of Ireland. There have been several developments in this sorry enterprise since then.
What the conference, which goes under the revealing title, "International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism", was about may be summed up in a few sentences. It has from the beginning been designed to denounce Israel as an illegal state, all under the cover of supposed neutral academic inquiry. The organizers had previously tried to hold the event at Britain's Southampton University and, reportedly, other European universities, each time without success.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Violence and Utopia- Realism and Idealism in the age of Gun Control...

Violence and Utopia- Realism and Idealism in the age of Gun Control

By Rob Morse
Slow Facts
Slow Facts
Louisiana- (Ammoland.com)-  Evil is hard to accept.  I attended a self-defense training class last week where an expert described how callous and downright evil violent criminals can be. I don’t think I’m a coward, but recognizing evil takes an emotional toll.  I’m not alone in feeling that way. Gun “prohibition” laws give us psychological relief from facing evil.  Projecting evil intent on an inanimate object protects us from having to recognize violence as part of the human condition. By contrast, recognizing evil strips away our innocence and imposes obligations on us.  This psychological dynamic explains a lot about the political dynamics behind gun control.  Gun control continues to appeal to a certain type of person despite its record of failure.
We don’t know what a violent person looks like. Violence would be so much easier to tolerate if every violent criminal came with a cartoon thought-bubble floating above them that said, “Watch out for this crazy person.”  In fact, criminals defy simple explanation.  Some criminals are poor and some are rich.  They can be crazy or sane.  Some criminals are addicts; others are as sober as the proverbial judge.  Some violent criminals grew up deprived and abused, while others grew up pampered and indulged.  
Violence will not go away despite our efforts to label or rationalize criminals and violent behavior. According to data from the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, between one-out-of-two and one-out-of-three of us will be victims of violent crime in our lifetime. Though not an everyday occurrence, the sad fact is that criminal violence is with us.  It is uncomfortable to feel at risk. It can even be depressing.
This is where each of us faces a choice.  On one hand, we can view the world as imperfect and slightly dangerous.  A realist takes responsibility for his or her own safety.   On the other hand, we can cling to a utopian view of the world.  An idealist says that it is society's duty to protect people against violence.
It is easier for the idealist to talk about utopian prohibitions against violence than to face the real day-to-day effort of personal protection. Idealists say it is up to the police to keep us safe.  Realists say we are our own first line of defense, and the police are only there to take reports and make arrests.
For the idealist, the benefits of being disarmed are real.  Placing the burden of protection on society allows the idealist to keep human evil at arm’s length.  When someone is attacked, the idealist responds by proposing more gun control laws.  Weapons prohibition is psychic Valium to control the toxic emotional impact of real violence.
The idealist also condemns the realist. The level of psychological projection by idealists is several levels deep.  On the surface, the idealist turns the physical objects of the gun or the knife into a fetish.  It is the inanimate objects that are dangerous rather than seeing danger in flesh-and-blood human beings.  At a deeper level, the placebo of firearms prohibition lets the idealist replace concern with complacency. 
At a still deeper level, idealists not only blame the gun, but the gun owner.  The honest person who wants to use a firearm for personal protection disrupts the fantasy that guns are the problem.  Idealists cannot allow themselves to admit that honest citizens often prevent a crime or protect the innocent from violence.  Therefore, the idealist, especially those in the media, feel compelled to shield the public from this disturbing evidence.  That may seem to be a bold claim, but you can see the evidence for yourself.
Look at the typical news cycle after another innocent person is horribly attacked by a violent criminal.  Anti-gun activists and politicians run to the news media to say there is no personal responsibility to protect ourselves.  I’m paraphrasing here:
‘You don’t need to change how you live because we only need a little more gun-control and then everything will be fine.’
Gun prohibition has no effect on criminals. For example, Maryland imposed strict gun control a few years ago, banning the sale of the most popular semi-automatic rifles.  Legislation also limited the number of cartridges allowed in a firearm. Criminals don’t follow gun laws so the results were entirely predictable.  The crime rate is now at record levels in Baltimore, (and here) Maryland’s most populous city.  That story is repeated again and again in gun-control cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.  
Unfortunately, the idealist doesn’t stop with gun control.  He extends his antipathy beyond guns and knives to include any armed civilian.  Licensed concealed carry holders are the most law abiding segment of society.  They are charged with fewer firearms violations than other segments of society, including the police.  Licensed gun owners are the boy scouts of society.  Idealists say that since they don't want to carry a firearm, we all should be disarmed.
The idealists say their laws stop crime, but gun laws miss their target the vast majority of the time.  These anti-gun laws really target the law-abiding gun owner.
We have already passed some 23 thousand firearms regulations.  They failed to stop or materially reduce violent crime.  This is the rule rather than the exception since we’ve seen prohibition fail time after time in country after country.
“But if criminals obeyed the laws then these gun laws would work.  We just need to pass another law!”
The antipathy towards gun owners is not based upon stopping violence, but upon reducing the discomfort felt by idealists.  For the idealist, letting society take the burden removes both the duty and the emotional cost of facing an imperfect world.  For the idealist, protecting the fantasy narrative is more important than respecting the facts.
In the meantime, the realist faces the daily grind of training and preparation for self-defense.
Which will you choose?
~_~_
The comments of William April, Tom Givens, and Anna Valdiserri inspired this article.
~_~_
Rob Morse: Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A true Story from an Irish Sunday School Teacher



I was testing children in my Dublin Sunday school
class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven.
'I asked them, ' If I sold my house and my car, had
a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?'
'NO!' the children answered.
'If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the
garden, and kept everything tidy, would that get me
into heaven?'
Again, the answer was
'NO!'
'If I gave sweets to all the children, and loved my
husband, would that get me into heaven?'
Again, they all answered
'NO!'
I was just bursting with pride for them. I
continued, 'Then how can I get into heaven?'
A little boy shouted out: 'YUV GOTTA BE FOOKN' DEAD.'
It's a curious race, the Irish.
Kind of brings a tear to the eye, doesn't it?



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Friday, March 24, 2017

The Army Can't Figure Out What To Do With the Ripsaw "Tank" The speedy little vehicle seems useful, but for what?




The U.S. Army continues to test a tracked-vehicle veteran of reality TV but doesn't know what to do with it. The Army has tested the Ripsaw EV since 2010 but has yet to come up with a practical role for the quick little vehicle.

The Ripsaw "tank" was frequently seen on the reality TV show "Howe and Howe Tech," which followed the Maine-based company as it developed a variety of "extreme vehicles". Although the U.S. Army is very interested in the vehicle, with the Ripsaw being tested at a number of Army bases and research facilities between 2010 and 2017, that interest has not translated to government contracts.

The Ripsaw EV2 (Extreme Vehicle) is a small, low-profile tracked vehicle with a two-person cockpit. It is optionally crewed, meaning it can be driven by a human or controlled remotely. It can turn (or more accurately, rotate) on a dime and climb a 70 degree grade.The vehicle has a 600 horsepower Duramax diesel engine—nearly half the power of a 70-ton Abrams tank—making it capable of speeds over 60 miles an hour. Howe and Howe claim it is the fastest tracked vehicle ever built.


A lack of armor makes it less interesting as a crewed vehicle, but a remote-controlled, partially-autonomous Ripsaw could function in a variety of roles, including tank-killer, infantry support vehicle, resupply vehicle, and ambulance. According to Defensetech, Ripsaw is designed to accommodate the CROWS remotely-operated weapons station, but it also seems possible to outfit it with Javelin anti-tank missiles. In 2002, the Army showed off an unmanned version of the Ripsaw it was investigating for convoy security duties.

The U.S. Army isn't the only one investigating unmanned ground combat vehicles (UGCVs) News of that Russian defense contractor Kalashnikov is developing a 20-ton UGCV could give Ripsaw EV2 a boost. But for now, it's speeding toward nowhere in particular.

Source: Defensetech


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Watch America's Fighter Jets Morph Over the Decades From the F-1 Fury to the F-35 Lightning II.




The United States military has been flying jets since 1946. Autoauctionmall.com has put together a morphing GIF that celebrates many of the major fighter designs, starting with the F-1 Fury and continuing to today's F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.

GIF


Here's the full list of the aircraft depicted:

F-1 Fury

F-2 Banshee

F-3 Demon

F-4 Phantom

F-5 Freedom Fighter

F-6 Skyray

F-7 Sea Dart

F-8 Crusader

F-9 Cougar

F-10 Skyknight

F-11 Tiger

F-14 Tomcat

F-15E Strike Eagle

F-16 Fighting Falcon

F-17 Cobra

F-18 Hornet

F-20 Tigershark

F-22 Raptor

F-23 Black Widow

F-35 Lightning II

Design trends over the decades are easy to pick out. The first aircraft, the F-1 Fury, dates to 1946 and looks like a propeller-driven plane. In the 1950s, aircraft such the F-4 Phantom and F-7 Sea Dart were optimized for speed. The 1970s-era F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle mixed speed with maneuverability, while the F-16, F-17, and F-18 trended towards maneuverability over speed. In the 1990s, the F-22, F-23, and F-35 were the first aircraft to adopt stealthy body shaping characteristics, resulting in sleeker, sharper aircraft designs.




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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How We Age?


>
> SOME OF US ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE.
>
> You are in the middle of some home projects: putting in a new fence, painting the porch, planting some flowers and fixing a broken door lock. You are hot and sweaty, covered with dirt, lawn clippings and paint. You have your old work clothes on. You know the outfit -- shorts with a hole in the crotch, an old T-shirt with a stain from who-knows-what, and an old pair of tennis shoes.
>
> Right in the middle of these tasks you realize that you need to run to Home Depot for supplies. Depending on your age you might do the following:
>
> In your 20s: Stop what you are doing. Shave, take a shower, blow dry your hair, brush your teeth, floss and put on clean clothes. Check yourself in the mirror and flex. Add a dab of your favorite cologne because, you never know, you just might meet some hot chick while standing in the checkout line. And yes, you went to school with the pretty girl running the register.
>
> In your 30s: Stop what you are doing, put on clean shorts and shirt. Change your shoes. You married the hot chick so no need for much else. Wash your hands and comb your hair. Check yourself in the mirror Still got it! Add a shot of your favorite cologne to cover the smell. The cute girl running the register is the kid sister of someone you went to school with.
>
> In your 40s: Stop what you are doing. Put on a sweatshirt that is long enough to cover the hole in the crotch of your shorts. Put on different shoes and a hat. Wash your hands. Your bottle of Brut is almost empty, so don't waste any of it on a trip to Home Depot. Check yourself in the mirror and do more sucking in than flexing. The hot young thing running the register is your daughter's age and you feel weird about thinking she's spicy.
>
> In your 50s: Stop what you are doing. Put on a hat. Wipe the dirt off your hands onto your shirt. Change shoes because you don't want to get dog crap in your new sports car. Check yourself in the mirror and swear not to wear that shirt anymore because it makes you look fat. The cutie running the register smiles when she sees you coming and you think you still have it. Then you remember -- the hat you have on is from Bubba's Bait & Beer Bar and it says, 'I Got Worms '
>
> In your 60s: Stop what you are doing. No need for a hat any more Hose the dog crap off your shoes. The mirror was shattered when you were in your 50s. You hope you have underwear on so nothing hangs out the hole in your pants. The girl running the register may be cute but you don't have your glasses on, so you're not sure.
>
> In your 70s: Stop what you are doing. Wait to go to Home Depot until you call the drug store to have your prescriptions ready for pick too and check your grocery list for a quick stop there. Got to save trips! Don't even notice the dog crap on your shoes. The young thing at the register stares at you and you realize your balls are hanging out the hole in your crotch who cares.
>
> In your 80s: Stop what you are doing. Start again. Then stop again. Now you remember you need to go to Home Depot. You go to Wal-Mart instead. You went to school with the old lady greeter. You wander around trying to remember what you are looking for. Then you fart out loud and turn around thinking someone called your name
>
> In your 90s & beyond: What's a home deep hoe? Something for my garden? Where am I? Who am I? Why am I reading this?
> Did I send it? Did you? Who farted?
>
>
>


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An Irishman comes to a pub...


Add  
 
An Irishman walks into a bar in London, orders three pints of Guinness and sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn.
When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.
"You know, a pint goes flat after I draw it,” the bartender tells him, “and it would taste better if you bought one at a time.”
The Irishman replies, “Well, you see, I 'ave two brothers. One is in America, the other is in Australia, and I'm 'ere in London. When we all left home, we promised we'd always drink this way to remember the days we drank together. So I drink one for each o'me brothers and one for meself.”
The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and gives him his three pints.
The Irishman becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way: He orders three pints and drinks them all together, one sip each.
One day, he comes in and orders two pints. All the other regulars take notice and fall silent.
When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, “I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss.”
The Irishman looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns and he laughs. “Oh, no, everybody's just fine,” he explains, “It's just that me wife 'ad us join that Baptist Church and I 'ad to quit drinking. 'asn't affected me brothers though.”
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Morning Musings...

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Mark

Friday, March 17, 2017

New US government estimates of coca production in Colombia indicate the South American country is growing more of the drug-prod

InSight Crime's top weekly news.
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Weekly InSight | 17 March 2017

News Analysis

US Estimates Highest-Ever Colombia Coca Production


New US government estimates of coca production in Colombia indicate the South American country is growing more of the drug-producing crop than ever before, a development that is likely driving changes in underworld dynamics across the Americas and the globe.
Read More

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Multimedia

recent report argues that more people are incarcerated on drug charges than for other crimes in some countries, which may be fueling prison overpopulation.
In this week's Facebook Live session we discussed the global repercussions of Colombia's cocaine boom, among other things. Watch this space for next week's topic.
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