Wednesday, August 30, 2006

SAT's, Genius, And Smart Pills

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

According to this article which appeared in the August 30, 2006 edition of the Washington Post, SAT scores have recently dropped:
"The first national results from the revamped SAT show the biggest annual drop in reading scores in 31 years..., the College Board reported yesterday.

"The College Board said the average score on the test's critical reading section was down five points and the average math section score was down two points, for a joint score of 1021, the lowest since 2002. The reading decline was the largest since a nine-point drop in 1975 on what was then known as the verbal section.

"On the new writing section, the average score nationwide was 497, for a new total average of 1518 out of a possible 2400 points....."
The article goes on to discuss various opinions as to the possible reasons for the drop in scores: recent changes in the test, including the addition of an essay and a grammar section (though the word grammar is avoided), the length of the test, the reduction in the number of students taking the test multiple times, and the addition of more difficult material in the math portion. The article also places considerable emphasis on the differences between the scores of boys and girls.

What the article doesn't mention, however, is that, over at least the past ten years, both public and private schools have reported making more effort to offer higher-level courses — both AP and IB — and, indeed, to improve courses for average students; much money has been devoted to training teachers, to "improving" the curriculum, and to "maintaining high standards." Nevertheless, scores on various tests, standardized and otherwise, continue to drop, and many employers today complain, "The employee pool doesn't have the basic skills every high-school graduate should have." CEO's often say, "My people can't write, even with master's degrees." Based on the just-released information about scores on the writing section of the SAT, this second complaint appears to be a valid one.

Also not mentioned in the Washington Post article is that many students today are making a Herculean effort to prepare for the SAT's. Every sizeable bookstore has one section devoted to several different guides for taking the SAT's, and various tutoring services — most for a fee, but free services are also available — also offer courses to prepare students for this test which most universities use as an important criterion for determining admissions. I myself offer prep classses and private tutoring for the reading and writing portions of the SAT's, and in my experience, preparing for the test does indeed significantly enhance students' scores. Also in my experience, instead of merely completing a test-prep guide, many students today spend a lot of time preparing well in advance for taking their SAT's. Some students begin their preparation in sixth grade!

From what I've observed over the past ten years, no longer do college-bound students "just take the test," as most of us did when I was in high school. In fact, as I think back to my own preparation for the SAT's, that preparation consisted of buying one guide and of taking two practice tests so as to be sure of the format, to brush up on certain concepts, and to learn how to coordinate the bubble sheet with the test booklet.

Admission to Ivy League schools has traditionally been tough, as was the case with Wilber B. Huston. Of course, Mr. Huston did not have the opportunity to prepare for college admissions the way in which today's students do. Apparently, he was a genius.

Until his lengthy obitutary appeared in the Washington Post, I'd never heard of Wilber B. Huston, nicknamed "the brightest boy of 1929" and "the smartest boy in America." By virtue of his performance in an interview with an illustrious panel, he won a full scholarship to MIT after first having won the Edison Contest in Washington state. Thomas Edison himself sponsored the contest as promotion for the study of science.

Check out the names on the panel which interviewed Huston and, unanimously, found him worthy:
"No contemporary applicant to Harvard, Stanford or Chicago has faced a panel of judges who compare to those who grilled Huston and his rivals the day after their exam. Besides Edison, they included film-and-camera company founder George Eastman, automaker Henry Ford, industrialist Harvey Firestone, aviator Charles Lindbergh, the headmaster of Phillips Exeter Academy and the president of MIT."
After passing both the written and oral exams, Huston enjoyed the privilege of a social occasion with Thomas Edison:
"[I]n that heady first week of August 1929, Edison sent word to Huston that he wished to have dinner with him. Huston arrived at the grand Edison home to a formal family dinner, with servants in attendance.

"'The first course was a soup,' Huston wrote in his family memoir. 'After a few minutes Mr. Edison said something, and everyone laughed. I asked my dinner partner what he had said. "I see he tasted his soup before he salted it" was the reply. Mr. Edison is famous for saying, "I have no use for a man who salts his soup before he tastes it." So I guess I passed both his examinations.'"
Huston originally planned to study chemical engineering but switched to the study of physics. He graduated from MIT in 1933. Some details about his many achievements can be found here.

Due to the Great Depression, Mr. Huston could not afford to attend graduate school. Nevertheless, he managed commendable achievements. Without doubt, this fellow was brilliant, and very likely without certain pharmaceuticals known as "smart pills," recently mentioned in the June 11, 2006 Washington Post article "A Dose of Genius":
"Seen by some ambitious students as the winner's edge -- the difference between a 3.8 average and a 4.0, maybe their ticket to Harvard Law -- these 'brain steroids' can be purchased on many campuses for as little as $3 to $5 per pill, though they are often obtained free from friends with legitimate prescriptions, students report.

"These drugs represent only the first primitive, halting generation of cognitive enhancers. Memory drugs will soon make it to market if human clinical trials continue successfully.

"There are lots of the first-generation drugs around. Total sales have increased by more than 300 percent in only four years, topping $3.6 billion last year, according to IMS Health, a pharmaceutical information company. They include Adderall, which was originally aimed at people with attention-deficit disorder, and Provigil, which was aimed at narcoleptics, who fall asleep uncontrollably. In the healthy, this class of drugs variously aids concentration, alertness, focus, short-term memory and wakefulness -- useful qualities in students working on complex term papers and pulling all-nighters before exams. Adderall sales are up 3,135.6 percent over the same period. Provigil is up 359.7 percent.

"In May, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America issued its annual attitude-tracking study on drug use. It is a survey of more than 7,300 seventh- through 12th-graders, designed to be representative of the larger U.S. population and with an accuracy of plus or minus 1.5 percent, according to Thomas A. Hedrick Jr., a founding director of the organization. It reported that among kids of middle school and high school age, 2.25 million are using stimulants such as Ritalin without a prescription.

"That's about one in 10 of the 22 million students in those grades, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Education. Half the time, the study reported, the students were using these drugs not so much to get high as 'to help me with my problems' or 'to help me with specific tasks.'"
Chemical enhancement of the brain is nothing new, of course. From the above Washington Post article:
"In the name of altering mood, energy and thinking patterns, we have been marinating our brains in chemicals for a very long time.

"Caffeine is as old as coffee in Arabia, tea in China, and chocolate in the New World. Alcohol, coca leaves, tobacco and peyote go way back.

"Even psychopharmaceuticals have been around for generations. Amphetamines -- which are the active ingredient in Adderall and Ritalin -- were first synthesized in Germany in 1887. Students have been using them for generations, in the form of Benzedrine and Dexedrine.

"Beta blockers have been the dirty little secret of classical musicians since the 1970s. Originally prescribed to treat high blood pressure, they became the 'steroids of the symphony' when it became clear Inderal controlled stage fright. As long ago as 1987, a study of the 51 largest orchestras in the United States found one in four musicians using them to improve their live performances, with 70 percent of those getting their pills illicitly.

"What's new is the range, scope, quantity and quality of substances, old and new, aimed at boosting our brains -- as well as the increase in what's in the pipeline. Current psychopharmaceuticals represent only the beginning of cognitive enhancers aimed at improving attention, reasoning, planning and even social skills.

"The memory compounds being raced to market by four U.S. companies are initially aimed at the severely impaired, such as early-stage Alzheimer's patients. But researchers expect the market for memory drugs to rapidly extend into the aging population we think of as normal, such as the more than 70 million baby boomers who are tired of forgetting what they meant to buy at the shopping mall and then realizing they've forgotten where they parked their cars, too. Or students who think such drugs could gain them hundreds of points on their SATs."
Founder of Memory Pharmaceuticals Eric R. Kandel, an expert in neurological memory and who shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in medicine, said the following about students' use of smart pills:
"'That's awful! Why should they be taking drugs? They should just study! I think this is absurd. What's so terrible about having a 3.9? The idea that character and functioning and intelligence is to be judged by a small difference on an exam -- that's absurd. This is just like Barry Bonds and steroids. Exactly what you want to discourage. These kids are very sensitive. Their brains are still developing. Who knows what might happen. I went to Harvard. I like Harvard. It ain't worth it.'"
Do we, as a society, really want to go down the road to such pharmaceutical enhancement of memory? Or is this new trend just another manifestation of scientific improvements?

As I see it, the root of the problem with education today is the widespread belief that everyone must have a college degree, whether it's needed or not. In reality, not all high-school graduates are college material, nor should they be. High schools should be focused on teaching, and they claim that they are. Nevertheless, we continue to see drops in scores on SAT's and on other tests, and even the taking of drugs to enhance academic performance.

Continue reading....

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sick Cat

Cameo, the youngest of our four cats, has a huge lump on her right shoulder. Please, don't let this be vaccine-associated sarcoma!

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Hitler And The Grand Mufti

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

The following subtitled video is about six minutes in length; it provides a history lesson and concludes with information about the connections today between Nazism and Islam. Blurb from YouTube:
"This news report from Bayerischer Rundfunk explains in detail the cooperation between the Nazis and the Muslim Arab leaders during WW2.

"It goes on to explain how high ranking heads of the SS fled to the Arab world and carried on their activities under the protection of leaders such as President Nasser and how modern Islam has adopted a Nazi style ideology of hate and conspiracy against the Jews.

"Thanks to the Editrix for providing the translation and revealing this ray of light in the darkness of vitriolic reporting about Israel in the German media."

Click on the center arrow, then on the play arrow at the bottom left of the video screen.

Direct link to the above video at YouTube.

[Hat-tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance]

Continue reading....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Maids Are Coming! The Maids Are Coming!

Note: Rarely do I write a personal post, but I want to announce what may turn out to be good news. The signs look good so far.

Ever since that miserable car accident last year—Never get rear-ended by a cabbie!—I’ve been unable to do my own housework. It’s all I can manage to get the laundry and the dishes done. We live rather primitively and have no dishwasher other than yours truly, so dishwashing here involves more than loading an appliance. Until I got laid up with this back injury, I didn’t realize just how painful standing over the kitchen sink could be.

Admittedly, the housekeeping situation here is very bad, so bad that last week The Merry Maids came to give an estimate and never called back to schedule a cleaning. I'm not surprised that I didn't get a return call because the representative contorted his face the minute he started looking around. Also, he would not commit as to exactly what day he would call back.

You ask, "Why doesn't your husband help you, AOW?" He tries to, but my husband is the Oscar Madison type; I attribute his abililty to ignore the necessity of housekeeping tasks to a combination of genetics and growing up with a live-in maid. In addition, he also has back problems, much more long-standing than mine; the same tasks which give my back fits give his back fits.

This morning, after waiting nearly a week for Merry Maids' return call, I contacted a different company, which seems to have consented to come here on Monday. Being a bit of a cynic, I’ll feel more reassured when the cleaning crew actually appears at my front door, in part because the representative did not actually come to look at the house. According to the company’s representative, the crew has four members, and I figure that within three hours, these ladies can get done what I absolutely must have done: kitchen, bathroom (Yes, only one), living room, and upstairs guestroom; they can leave my home office and the master bedroom alone, except for possibly vacuuming the carpet in the latter. The upstairs guestroom, usually closed off, simply must be freshened up because my mother-in-law will be paying us a visit in September. Even though she has Alzheimer’s and won’t remember much of anything about her accommodations here after she leaves, the daughter-in-law in me just can’t abide the thought of her staying in a room which has not been properly vacuumed and dusted.

At this time, I count the blessing of having a small, albeit quite old and a bit rundown, house with mostly hardwood floors. If the maids come as promised, four of them can put this house in order in a relatively short period of time. Come Monday evening, I hope to be a much happier person—even if my wallet takes a hit.

Continue reading....

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Something To Keep In Mind

I've decided that it's time for a little break from discussion of national and international issues. This posting is about something much more important — a joy we should not miss out on.

GM Roper posted the essay below almost three months ago. Since that time, his most recent scans have come back cancer-free, but he didn't know of that good outcome when he wrote the following:
The JOY Of Living ~ Even With Cancer!

Sun-up came like a shy child, sneaking the eyes around the corner to see who was there. As the sky lit up, the world came alive and reminded me how great it is to be alive, even if you are recovering from cancer.

Before sun-up I arose with my bride and made coffee (with a little bit of chickory for a kick) while she got dressed to go to work. I walked her out and kissed her good bye, poured my coffee and sat on the patio to await brother sun. On time and in glory brother sun arose after making sure I was settled on the patio with a book and my morning cup of java. I stared up at the sky, listened to the wind in the trees, sniffed at the fragrance of flowers in the early summer air and listened at last to the gentle cooing of white-wing doves.

I wish I could share that feeling with the world, but I can't and more's the pity.

It occurred to me during that second cuppa that I really do enjoy living. I enjoy sitting with my arms around my bride, or kissing my daughter goodbye after she comes for a visit. I enjoy the interchange of ideas as found in blogs and in reading what others think. But most of all, I enjoy that quiet bit of solitude that I share with God in the morning.

Back in January when I announced on this site that I had cancer, I had absolutely no idea what my future held, other than I intended to fight this evil bastard down to the wire and I intended to win. I still do if you are curious. I received over a hundred comments on that post and well over 300 emails from folk wishing me well. One can share that, but one cannot truly understand the buoyancy to the spirit unless it has happened to you. And one thing I know, deep within my heart-of-hearts, it is not the only thing that has kept me going, but it sure has helped.

The other week, I went to church and got to announce a "Joy," that my CT Scan had come back clean. The congregation applauded and several people walked up after services and announced that they "knew" that things were going to be OK. How did they know? We have lost other church members to disease, accidents and the like, how did they know I would do OK? I don't have an answer, I don't know why some are, like me spared, and others, good people all are not.

I do know that a large part of this is truly the Joy of Living - even with cancer! Nothing that I can imagine would cause me to despair and give up. Nothing that I can think of would make me say that the illness and weakness brought about by chemo-therapy and having part of a lung removed would tilt me towards giving up and giving in.

So, as the sun has risen high in the sky, it is time to bring this little bit of posting to an end, to let you, my faithful readers, know how very much I love all of you (even the lefties out there) and how much you have touched this old guy.

Thanks for being my friends, and Thank YOU God for taking care of me during this phase of my joy filled life.

And friends, be assured that no matter what, I will fight on and beat this thing.
Fight On!
Our lives are filled with battles, large and small. But no matter what our present situation, we would do well to remember the good things in life. Just as our lives are filled with battles, so are our lives filled with wonderful moments. As this summer comes to a close, don't miss out on those moments of blessings, large and small.

Continue reading....

Monday, August 21, 2006

Saudi Demands Apology!

From Arab News, August 21, 2006:
"JEDDAH, 21 August 2006 — Shoura Council Chairman Dr. Saleh Bin-Humaid yesterday called for a public apology from US President George W. Bush for linking Islam and Muslims with fascism and terrorism.

"The chairman was referring to a recent statement by Bush branding Muslim extremists 'Islamic fascists.' He also warned against deliberate smear campaigns targeting Islam, saying they would have dangerous consequences.

"Bin-Humaid denounced attempts by some political and religious leaders, as well as certain sections of the media, to defame Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

“'We demand a public apology for this falsification as it came from an influential political figure and received wide publicity,' Al-Madinah Arabic daily quoted Bin-Humaid, who is also imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, as saying. Bush’s statement provoked worldwide Muslim protests.

"The Saudi Cabinet last week warned against linking Islam with terrorism and fascism without considering the history of Islamic civilization. 'Fascism is a product of Western culture,' a Cabinet statement said.

"Bush’s use of the term 'Islamic fascists' was also criticized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim advocacy group. 'We believe that this is an ill-advised term and we believe that it is counterproductive to associate Islamic Muslims with fascism,' said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

“'The problem with the phrase is that it attaches the religion of Islam to tyranny and fascism, rather than isolating the threat to a specific group of individuals,' said Edina Lekovic, spokeswoman for the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles. She said the terms cast aspersions on all Muslims, even the vast majority who want to live in safety like other Americans.

"Mohamed Elibiary, a Texas-based Muslim activist, said he was upset by the president’s comment. 'We’ve got Osama Bin Laden hijacking the religion in order to define it one way. We feel the president and anyone who’s using these kinds of terminologies is hijacking it too from a different side.'

"In his statement, Bin-Humaid said the attack on Islam and the Prophet would only strengthen Muslims’ faith in their religion. He urged Muslim governments and organizations to take effective steps to prevent attempts to spread hatred of Islam and Muslims.

"Bin-Humaid said it was the growing popularity of Islam that had provoked enemies to launch smear campaigns."
[Hat-tip to Democracy Frontline]

According to Amil Imani,
"The terror and death inflicted on humanity is not the work of radical Islam, neither the political Islam, nor the militant Islam. It is Islam, period...."
Read the rest of Amil Imani's essay here.

Continue reading....

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Islamic Terrorist Network

[Hat-tip to Eyes All Around]

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Letter Which Appeared In The WaPo

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

The following letter appeared in the Friday, August 18, 2006 Washington Post:
"When he commented on the arrest of a handful of British Muslims accused of plotting to blow up U.S.-bound civilian aircraft ["Plot to Bomb U.S.-Bound Jets Is Foiled; Britain Arrests 24 Suspected Conspirators," front page, Aug. 11], President Bush said the case was "a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists." The president's use of that term is misleading, unfortunate and unacceptable.

"We, as peaceful and justice-loving Muslims, deeply resent the implication that 'fascism' is an integral part of our faith tradition, or that it is condoned by those of us who practice the religion of Islam. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence that supports the legitimacy of any form of state-sponsored violence and injustice, either in our revealed text, the holy Koran, or in the traditions of Islam.

"Islam is constantly referred to by the news media as the theological basis for terrorism and, now, fascism.

"But the same media never associated the Catholic faith as a root cause of Italian fascism under Benito Mussolini in the 1930s, or the Jewish faith as a religious motivation for the violent, anti-Palestinian conduct of many Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Gaza. Islam, alone among the three major Abrahamic faiths, has been tarred with the brush of legitimized extremism and violence in the name of God. This is an association that has no basis in our faith, and it is an association that we vigorously reject.



Muslim American Society

Falls Church
The following should be taken into consideration:
"....Kill those who join other gods with Allah wherever you find them; besiege them, seize them, lay in wait for them with every kind of ambush...."(Sura 9:5).

"When you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads, until ye have made a great slaughter among them...."(Sura 47:4).

"....Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given as believe not in Allah, or in the Last Day, and who forbid not what Allah and His Apostle have forbidden....until they pay tribute..." (Sura 9:29).

"Say to the infidels: If they desist, what is now past shall be forgiven them; but if they return, they have already before them the doom of the ancients! Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of it Allah's." (Sura 8:39).

"Proclaim a grievious penalty to those who reject faith." (Sura 9:3)."
The Sura, a chapter in the Koran, is supposed to be the last 'revelation' by Allah and, by Islamic definition, abrogates previous verses.

Continue reading....

Friday, August 18, 2006

Don't say "Islamic Fascists"

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

On August 11, 2006, I wrote about the use of the term "Islamic fascists" and about CAIR's objections to that term. Now, via Pedestrian Infidel, comes the following, to which Mark Alexander alerted me:
"STATE DEPARTMENT President Bush has avoided repetition of a term that angered Muslims....

"In a statement after its weekly meeting, the Saudi Cabinet 'warned against labeling Muslims with accusations of terrorism and fascism.'

"Bush didn't repeat the reference to 'Islamic fascists' at the State Department today, referring instead to 'individuals that would like to kill innocent Americans to achieve political objectives.'"
The Saudi Cabinet objects? President Bush didn't label all Muslims "Islamic fascists." Or did he, albeit unwittingly?

Amil Imani, an Iranian-born American who is an essayist, poet, and novelist, contends that terms used to differentiate between two types of Islam are actually dangerous euphemisms. According to his essay "Islam's Useful Idiots,"
"Terms such as 'Political Islam,' or 'Radical Islam,' for instance, are contributions of the Useful Idiot. These terms do not even exist in the native parlance of Islam, simply because they are redundant. Islam, by its very nature and according to its charter—the Quran—is a radical political movement. It is the Useful Idiot who sanitizes Islam and misguides the populace by saying that the 'real Islam' constitutes the main body of the religion; and, that this main body is non-political and moderate.

"Regrettably, a large segment of the population goes along with these nonsensical euphemisms depicting Islam because it prefers to believe them. It is less threatening to believe that only a hijacked small segment of Islam is radical or politically driven and that the main body of Islam is indeed moderate and non-political.

"But Islam is political to the core. In Islam the mosque and state are one and the same—the mosque is the state. This arrangement goes back to the days of Muhammad himself. Islam is also radical in the extreme. Even the 'moderate' Islam is radical in its beliefs as well as its deeds."
Amil Imani's final paragraph is scathing:
"...Beware of the Useful Idiots who live in liberal democracies. Knowingly or unknowingly, they serve as the greatest volunteer and effective soldiers of Islam. They pave the way for the advancement of Islam and they will assuredly be among the very first victims of Islam as soon as it assumes power."

Continue reading....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Almost Ten Years Later

"Former Teacher Claims He Killed JonBenet" False confession? Or have the authorities nabbed the pervert who killed a beautiful child?

Continue reading....

Documentary: Relentless

(This posting stuck towad the top for a while. Please scroll down for the lastest postings by Always On Watch)

Watch Relentless: The Stuggle for Peace in the Middle East. Approximately 62 minutes. [Link left by "Just Mom"]

Continue reading....

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Introducing Brandon T. Stanley

On the front page of his blog, Brandon T. Stanley's profile reads as follows:

"I'm currently seeking to become a published author. I am a freshman in college."

Read Brandon's entire profile.

Brandon has given me permission to republish one of his articles here:

A Step Forward

In one of the most famous, or in recent theological debates rather infamous, events in the Old Testament, Moses is told by Yaweh that Israel will inherit the land of the Canaanites. Yahweh does call for war, he tells the Israelites to show no mercy. Not because Israel is moral, not because it is great, not for Paradise or to avoid Hell, but because the Canaanites were evil. Tradition relates that the Canaanite practiced forms of human sacrifice. Moses died and the scepter passed to Joshua. In a series of brutal campaigns, Joshua subdued and destroyed many of the cities of the Canaanites, depopulating them utterly. Thus was Canaan defeated, and the worship of Baal lessened.

The tale was largely taken as a Jewish Jihad, as an uprovoked attack upon peaceful peoples. The tales of the perverse nature of Canaanite worship were called slanders and tall tales. That is until, like always, Bible skeptics were hit with archaelogical evidence. Ugarit Epics were found which told tales of perverse deities who tortured men for fun, and of gods whoese care was not for men but for themselves. It told tales of deities, the moon-deity Baal foremost among them, who demanded human blood.

The Canaanite deities were strikingly similar to today's Allah, to the reincarnation of the terrible Mesopotamian gods. The mode of sacrifce today has a new name, that of Jihad, and the followers still place their children upon altars, albeit ones of a more explosive type. One could even say that the ancient Canaanites were actually morally superior to today's Jihadists, for at least in the immolation of the Canaanite children, only their children were slain. But Allah demands more. Allah demands the death of the infidels, until he is worshipped alone. Then Allah can get down to what he is best at: roast men in Hell. He takes pleasure in destroying infidels. He has boiling water poured down their throats and thorny bushes fed to the unfaithful. But to those who decide to roast the hated infidel on earth is the promise of the sick and brothel-like "Garden of Bliss." Islam is a religion of works, where the only surest way to gain Paradise is to kill infidels. These are the facts of the doctrine of fundamental Islam--that is, Islam as it was first taught and has been implemented ever since.

The history of Islam has been recounted scores of times on this blog and others. The teachings of Islam--vile and depraved--have finally been exposed. But the question remains: What now?

The Information Age is a two-edged sword; for the very same technology which is used by today's terrorists can be used by any concerned citizen to find the truth regarding the matter of Islam. Indeed, this is the first step. But it has been taken.

There is a step two. If we do not take such a course, Christianity itself will be submerged to the Muslim. As related above, there are countless occurrences of "holy" war, which we would now call Just War, that occur in the Old Testament, and these examples must be reviewed again. They serve as a theological prism by which we can view Islam as the logical modern continuation of moon-god worship and Baal sacrifice as practiced in the Canaanite-Phonecian civilization. Foremost in Phonecian civilization is the city of Carthage. The archaelogical evidence there speaks of horrific numbers of sacrificial victims. The Roman chronicles spoke of such a thing. Now we face an enemy which openly sacrifices its young. They worship death. In their candid moments many Muslims would agree. It is brandished by their theoreticians like a badge. "We worship death, the infidels/Thagout/Shaitan worship life."

This is exactly why Yahweh commanded the Canaanites be eradicated to a man. Being Deity, He saw the logical unfolding of such cults. But Islam is worse. What examples do we have to follow if we are to proceed forth in our war against fundemental Islam?

Whether it be Gideon's destruction of the invading Midianites, David's rapid conquests, or the expedition of the kings of Judah, there are various approaches to take. But the message from the Old Testament is loud and clear. Such a cult as Islam--such an evil, such an unclean thing--cannot be tolerated. Its toleration leads to rot, decay and destruction. Spiritual, temporal and total. Destruction which we see today across the world, destruction in which Islam is engaged in. Ninety percent of the planet's wars involve Muslim fanatics. It turns out Yahweh, the God of the Bible, was right. His detractors were wrong. For we have not "cast down their idols," and they will in turn cast down ours, beginning with Lady Liberty and ending with the Crucifix. We can tolerate the principles which call for our death and submission; or we can decide not to tolerate the intolerable and thus survive. That is the message of the Old Testament.

Men have fought this same enemy before, albeit in different times, but their experiences are worth noting. We must remember them, we must spread their name wide.

The first of the great anti-Jihad heroes hails from the Eastern Roman Empire, whose lands were invaded first by Muhammad at Muta and Tabuk, and later lost after the battle of Yarmuk and the seige of Damascus:
"Leo entered Constantinople on March 25, 717 and forced the abdication of Theodosios III, becoming emperor as Leo III. The new emperor was immediately forced to attend to the Second Arab siege of Constantinople, which commenced in August of the same year. The Arabs were Ummayad forces send by Caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik and serving under Maslama. They had taken advantage of the civil discord in the Roman Empire to bring a force of 80,000 men and a massive fleet to the Bosphorus.
"Careful preparations and the stubborn resistance put up by Leo wore out the invaders. An important factor in the victory of the Romans was their use of Greek fire. The Arab forces also fell victim to Bulgarian reinforcements arriving to aid the Romans. Leo was allied with the Bulgarians but the chronicler Theophanes the Confessor was uncertain if they were still serving under Tervel or his eventual successor Kormesiy of Bulgaria. Unable to continue the siege in the face of the Bulgarian onslaught and lack of successes, the Arabs were forced to abandon their ambitions on Constantinople in August, 718. Sulayman himself had died the previous year and his successor Umar II would not attempt another siege. The siege had lasted 12 months."
Thus was Islam stopped in the East. Had the Muslim armies not been stopped, large tracts of Eastern and Central Europe would have submitted to the Islamic sword, and in turn, like all of Islam's victims become subjugated by its sword. In the West the tale was decided not in a massive siege but in open battle.

Charles Martel met the Saracen on the field of battle and drove them from his land. Wielding axes and broadswords, the Frankish infantry held against the Islamic cavalry and carried the battle. This reversed the tide of conquest which began at Jib-al-Tariq in 711. The victory, however, did not stave off the Muslim assaults, which continued for many centuries. The Moslems are warlike lot, and having no economy, they could not simply subsist on honest labor. The Muslims continued their attacks until the time of the Crusades. But they would not have France yet.

The next example comes from the East, from the lands of the Mongols, from Central Asia, a yet un-Islamic area at the time.

Hulagu Khan launched a little-known Asian Crusade. Coming from deep in Central Asia, he gathered up Mongol forces and set out. The eastern Kwarazem-Shah Empire (Persia+Afghanistan+Uzbekistan) had already been eradicated for its arrogant treatment of the trade missions of Hulagu's father, Genghis Khan. But this conflict was different. This time it was not only Mongols but also Caucasian peoples like the Alans who took up the sword and repaid the Muslims their deeds to their face. Arriving at Baghdad in 1258, Hulagu sent word to the Caliph and demanded surrender. The soon-to-be last Abbasid refused. He felt safe inside the great jewel of Islamic "culture." Within a few weeks the Mongols, using Chinese-built siege-engines, breached the walls. Allah was curiously AWOL. Hulagu's Mongols scourged the entire city; only the Christian population was spared. Hulagu had been urged to have mercy on them by his Nestorian Christian wife. The Korans and Hadith collections were not given undue respect. They were given their due--tossed headlong into the Tigris. Mosques were entered. Worshipers were slain. Horses were allowed to feed within their walls. The Caliph and his retinue surrendered, but he was put to death nonetheless. The sources disagree on his final fate, but one version has him being stuffed into a sack and trampled to death by Mongol horses. All told, 800,000 were killed.

In the course of this campaign, the Islamic group called the Assassins was destroyed. This group was so radical that it slayed other Muslims. Its small bands carried out the medieval version of today's suicide attacks. They sneaked into the tents of leaders and killed them, then offered their breasts to the swords of the leader's retinue. Hulagu set to work against them. In short order he hunted them in their strongholds. They too were destroyed or surrendered.

The Islamic world was nearly destroyed. In the course of all of this killing, the heart of the Sunni world was ripped out, the great Shia Empire disappeared, and the Assassins destroyed. The Islamic world was not to offer a serious threat to the West until the coming of the Ottoman Turks. This period of dislocation of the Islamic Imperialist machine was truly unprecedented. But for the Mongols themselves, the action was a failure. The Muslims defeated the Mongol rearguard at Ain Jalut and prevented an invasion of Egypt. Later Mongols would convert to Islam and become some of its fiercest warriors.

John III Sobieski was the last of the great Jihad-killers. A valiant Polish King, he fought many wars. He was called "Lion" by the Turks. The Jihad had renewed, and it had pushed deeply into Europe and had come to the very gates of Vienna. He led his Hussars personally and smashed headlong into the enemy ranks, breaking them. The tips of the Polish lances drank of the Turkish blood. The Turkish forces fractured, and their troops took to flight, leaving their camp unguarded. The Poles settled down and drank of the Turkish coffee, probably the best cup of java ever to touch Western lips. The Ottomans melted away to the east, never to return to Vienna. This was the last Jihad; all others are simply flair ups, desperate half-measures designed to enrich local leaders or fight local wars.

Until our time.

With the coming of our age, something began to roll off the lips of every Imam and dirty Mullah who ever took on the unholy robes: Jihad. The Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan and slowly collapsed, not unlike the collapse of Sassanian Persia. Always aware of history and keen to seize it, the Jihadist next looked to America and Europe as an enemy. The West, lost to frivolity and make-believe, robbed of its culture by the acid of cultural relativism and enervated like so many other cultures by luxury, was in no position to respond. The acid of relativism has done its job. It has managed to reduce much of the United States to the level of pre-conceptual babies and our lot to that of toothless barbarians. It now remains to be asked: Where is our hero? Is there yet a man, in this land of multiculturalism, who is yet to pick up the sword against the enemy? Not the sword of truth, for it has been justly and deftly wielded against Islam for long enough, but the cutting sword, the sword which will uproot the tree and cast it into flame.

These men must enter or re-enter our log of heroes. We need more of them. But how is a people to understand their need for heroes when heroism and virtue itself are debased? That's a religious and philosophical matter, to be answered at another time. But we have this task. Our civilization shall not be aborted before its time. If we shake shyly behind our false ideas concerning war and do not face up to reality, we will lose. Nothing less than civilizational survival is at stake.

We as a people are nearly ready to take the second step. We are only waiting for that hero to appear on the scene, to take up the sword, and to lead the way. Then may we all move forward into the bright morning and the name of Allah be like that of Baal--a distant and fleeting shadow of a memory. Then may the glorious Yahudim lay down their arms--and we may see the new day at the break of a dawn, a new vision of Eden; a godly and just peace. Peace for Israel and peace for the Western world will come only through strength. It is high time for us to pluck up the last of our courage and see to it that the day is won.

Otherwise, the night may have its way, and the bearer of light shall be blotted out. The choice is ours; but the victory goes only to God. The spoils of the battle are the future. It is a spoil worth taking, lest we take to headlong flight and our only recompense be a river of tears.

May all our defenders stand strong; and may our heroes arise.

The choice remains, fellow countrymen, as it always has,

"Victory or death!"
Brandon has written No God But Allah, a novelized biography of Muhammad; the book is, as yet, unpublished. He hopes to have portions of the book available online soon.

Continue reading....

Friday, August 11, 2006

CAIR Whines—Again

In reference to the term "Islamic fascists," the obligatory whine-o-gram has been issued from CAIR. Excerpt:
"U.S. MUSLIMS CONCERNED ABOUT BUSH'S USE OF 'ISLAMIC FASCISTS' - TOP CAIR: 'Today you equated the religion of peace with the ugliness of fascism'

"(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/10/06) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today expressed concern over President Bush's use of the term 'Islamic fascists' in a news conference about the arrest of 21 suspects in a plot to bomb airliners flying between Britain and the United States.

"In a letter to President Bush, Parvez Ahmed, board chairman of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) wrote in part:

"'American Muslims have consistently condemned all acts of terrorism, whether carried out by individuals, groups or states. We repudiate anyone who plans or carries out a terrorist act. The American Muslim community remains dedicated to the protection of our nation's security. . .'"
The above sounds good, primarily because the West wants to belive that all religions speak to the goodness in man. Nevertheless, the fact remains that CAIR refuses to condemn terrorists or terrorist organizations by specific name. According to this source,
"[A] previous fatwa backed by a large number of American Islamic organizations ambiguously declared; 'Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives'[;] this fatwa did not condemn any individuals by name, and did not define who is deemed to be innocent."
As yet, the above specific fatwa has not appeared, and the recent statement by CAIR is just as ambiguous.

Another sound-bite often heard from CAIR's spokesmen on the news states that Islam condemns terrorism. Oh, really? Consider the following, from this source:
Ishaq: 326 "If you come upon them, deal so forcibly as to terrify those who would follow, that they may be warned. Make a severe example of them by terrorizing Allah’s enemies."

Quran 8:12 "I shall terrorize the infidels. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them because they oppose Allah and His Apostle."

Bukhari: V4B52N220 "Allah’s Apostle said, I have been made victorious with terror."
And what about Sura 9, the most recent "revelation" of Allah—a "revelation" which, by Koranic definition, abrogates all previous passages? A few examples:
"....Kill those who join other gods with Allah wherever you find them; besiege them, seize them, lay in wait for them with every kind of ambush...."(Sura 9:5).

"When you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads, until ye have made a great slaughter among them...."(Sura 47:4).

"....Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given as believe not in Allah, or in the Last Day, and who forbid not what Allah and His Apostle have forbidden....until they pay tribute..." (Sura 9:29).

"Say to the infidels: If they desist, what is now past shall be forgiven them; but if they return, they have already before them the doom of the ancients! Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of it Allah's." (Sura 8:39).

"Proclaim a grievious penalty to those who reject faith." (Sura 9:3)."
When will an interviewer hold CAIR responsible for such obvious taqiyya? How long will these interviewers be allowed to continue knuckling under and nodding their heads in dhimmitude?

[Hat-tip to George Mason(PBUH) of Sixth Column for the term "whine-o-gram"]

Addendum, August 18, 2006, from this source:
"STATE DEPARTMENT President Bush has avoided repetition of a term that angered Muslims.

"Responding last week to the foiling of an alleged plot to blow up flights between Britain and the United States, Bush said, 'This nation is at war with Islamic fascists.'

"That triggered immediate objections from the Council of American-Islamic Relations, and another objection today from the government of Saudi Arabia.

"In a statement after its weekly meeting, the Saudi Cabinet 'warned against labeling Muslims with accusations of terrorism and fascism.'

"Bush didn't repeat the reference to 'Islamic fascists' at the State Department today, referring instead to 'individuals that would like to kill innocent Americans to achieve political objectives.'"

Continue reading....

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Youth Training, The Koran, And Mein Kampf

(All italics and emphases by Always On Watch)

From this source (translated from German to English by Babel Fish):
"The radical-Islamic Hisbollah trains in summer camps young people for the activities by force of the group of terror. A German scientist compares its proceeding with the Hitler Youth. The fotografin Alexandra Avakian of the US magazine Time visited such a camp at the Lebanese coast. There the 'aluminium-Mahdi-pathfinders in such a way specified' train each year - the new generation of the group of terror of Hisbollah. Before their tent the boys formed a David star out of stones. Everyone, which would like to enter the tent, must step on this Jewish symbol. According to the Bild newspaper the children crawl by stacheldraht and learn to deal with a high-speed fire rifle.

"The Bonn psychologist and Fanatismus researcher Peter Conzen see parallels to the Hitler Youth: 'it is the same method,' said it in relation to 'picture' 'a hate-fulfilled ideology uses the inspiring ability, the energy of young humans shameless. Children the 'destruction of the enemy' is proper drummed in as the most ambitious goal. 'Like every other totalitarian regime also the Hisbollah in Lebanon pray-reprimands these children around its youth.' The scientist is an author of the book Fanatismus. Psychoanalysis of an Uncanny Phenomenon....
[Hat-tip to Hodja who posted a link to the above at Infidel Bloggers Alliance]

The above information should come as no surprise. Consider the following, which appeared at Infidel Bloggers Alliance on June 1, 2006, and compares the Koran and Mein Kampf:

"Let's start with titles.

Read more »

Continue reading....

Monday, August 07, 2006


Remember Stephen King's book The Shining? Remember the film version with Jack Nicholson? If not, click here.

Now, take a look at the following to see how the movie trailer could be altered in order to communicate a different message:

To watch the video, click on the center arrow, then the play-arrow on the lower left.
[Direct link here]

To change the original intent, all it takes is a little editing.

[Hat-tip to Seth, who found the above at this site]

Continue reading....

Obsession: The Movie

Go here to read the details.

I just ordered the DVD, delivery guaranteed by September 11, 2006.

Addendum 1: The movie is online. Watch it here or here.

Addendum 2 (August 3, 2006): The movie is no longer available online.

Addendum 3 (August 5, 2006):The movie URL was changed. Link is now fixed.
Thank you "Just Mom"!

Addendum 4 (August 11, 2006): The movie is no longer available online.

Continue reading....

Sunday, August 06, 2006

At The Bloggers' Party

All those miles from home, and whom do I find at the party? Mr. Ducky! Or at least a facsimile thereof.

If you look closely at my right knee, you'll notice a bandage. The first night of the party, I managed to do a little pirouette on the pool deck. The scrape on my knee isn't the worst of the injury; concrete is very unforgiving, and my right big-toe has a huge gash. But thanks to the first-aid skills of our hostess's husband, all is well.

[Thanks to Romeocat for the photo]

Continue reading....

Update on the Flight 93 Memorial

(This posting stuck toward the top through August 14, 2006. Scroll down for other postings by Always On Watch)

A few days ago, Alec Rawls, the author or Error Theory, sent me an email. Excerpt:
"The Memorial Project is finally accepting public comment on its barely modified Crescent of Embrace design for the Flight 93 memorial. I have posted links and a primer on some of the Islamic and jihadist features that remain fully intact in this design. (It is actually a mosque.)"
The following is from the July 10, 2006 posting at Error Theory:

"The Flight 93 Memorial Project has opened up a comment period (through August 14th) on whether it should proceed with its plan to build a slightly modified version of the original Crescent of Embrace design, or start over by adopting a 'No Action alternative.'

"Starting over is imperative because the Crescent design was, and still is, a plan to build the world’s largest mosque...."
Read the rest here.

If you find Mr. Rawls's analysis worthy, email your objections to the Flight 93 Memorial Project. Here is a model to use for composing an email.

Mr. Rawls also points out the following:
"People might also want to send their comments to Memorial Project Chairman John Reynolds ( and to Superintendent Hanley's boss Mary Bomar ( The Project has a history of ignoring information and criticism. CCing comments to the Project's overseers could help."
I have already fired off my three emails.

Continue reading....

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Off To A Bloggers' Party!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Good food, good company, good times!

Comment moderation will be on while I'm away. Comments will be posted as schedule permits.

Continue reading....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Media Deception? Watch Pallywood

To watch the above video, click on the center arrow, then on the play arrow on the lower left. The direct link is here.

Are there applications to the recent events in Qana?

[Hat-tip to Mike's America]

Continue reading....

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Poke, Poke, Poke


[Spotted by Laura Mansfield.]

Continue reading....

Attention, Fellow Bloggers!

Check out this idea as to how to get your voice heard:

"Pick something with substance on your mind and blog about it. Your point of view on the state of world politics...Then send it to your reps with your blog address.

"Send it to the President; send it to everyone, Fox News, ABC, CBS,CNN, NBC; anyone that will listen. It only takes a few minutes of your time...."

[Hat-tip to Gayle]

Continue reading....