Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Fellow Americans ....

We get letters.

Being a blog, we get letters from special interest groups asking us to please use our private forum to espouse their private interests. Sometimes I reply, usually I ignore them.

In fact, one of the reasons why I have been shamefully reticent about blogging for so long is that my "Irish" is up, not the least because of the 9/11 anniversary which I dreaded because I feared

Recently (shortly before the 9/11 tenth anniversary), one special interest group has been particularly adamant for me to post their plea for support of the cause of Islamic Acceptance. Finally, I declined, with reason.

Here is the original email, asking me to "sponsor" (by presenting their message) a group which wishes to portray Islamic Americans as just more "Americans". I like the idea, but not the manner in which their video proposes their message.

My Fellow American is a film project in the United States devoted to recognizing that Muslims are our neighbors. I am reaching out to you because you addressed the recent events in Oslo, Norway, on Cogito Ergo Geek and I am hoping you will share this message of tolerance with your readers. We’ve put together a 2 minute film that I believe you will be interested in sharing, watching, and discussing:

I would love it if you could post or tweet about this and share the video. If you can, please let me know. I am here if you have any questions. Thank you so much.
Incidentally, I do not ascribe to the philosophy of many radio talk-show host, especially Micheal Savage (who was extensively quoted in the video), because their format tends to demonize groups rather than the actions of individuals. On the other hand, some groups tend to have too many members who are just as fanatic as (for example) Savage ... except sometimes members of these groups use physical violence to further their aims. I don't like Savage, but I fear Jihadists who believe that the world should become a Caliphate, even by the Sword. To put it in simplistic terms: Savage is a nut; islamicists are a danger to innocents.

And I am reminded of President Theodore Roosevelt's speech regarding "HyphenatedAmericans" ... which includes Islamic Americans:
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all... The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic... There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.
I will discuss the subject of "Islamic-Americans" later in this post. Briefly, I think that's the crux of the problem. And no, the term "Islamic-Americans" is not mentioned in the video.

Just so it's clear, I think that our allegiance should be to our country, rather than to the unique religious choices we make. On the other hand, I realize that many people of every religion would disagree with me. For many people, their religion-of-choice is their primary guideline, and that's fine ... as long as they abide by the existing laws of their espoused country. For me, the deciding factor is whether our political or religious beliefs allow the slaughter of innocents.

The slaughter of innocents. That's a powerful term. And either our political or religious beliefs may take precedence, depending on our national culture. Still, we should not support any belief system which encourages us to murder our fellow man because he doesn't believe the same things as we do .... as long as his beliefs are similarly accepting of the right to exist.

In the U.S., we went through a terrible period of "Racism", where 'innocence' was often defined by race. We've pretty much got through that, even though we're still struggling with residual hatred. But it is not a national policy, and it is not supported by federal law (more on that later). We're making progress, even if it's slow.
Getting back to the video, it shows friendly, cheerful and productive Islamic American citizens who are free to practice their religion in public. If you are not an Islamic , you cannot practice your religion in ... for example .. Saudi Arabia. Do you know that you cannot bring a bible into Saudi Arabia? And they are a friendly country to the United States. How multi-cultural is that? Are they working to get past that? No, they are not; it is national policy, and national law.

Here's how "Multi-Culturalism" is working out in Europe:

(From "Mark Steyn Online: The Department of Sharia /September 20, 2011 and also published in National Review Online)

And in Egypt, also a Friendly State to America and generally considered one of the most 'liberal' of Islamic States (actually, not generally considered an "Islamic State", even though they are becoming more Islamic daily), if an Egyptian citizen held up a sign stating "Christianity Will Dominate The World: Islamic Statism Can Go To Hell" --- that person would be lucky to be arrested before the mobs murdered him (as was Egyptian Presidant Anwar Sadat after he had ratified a peace with Israel in 1981) ... or sexually assaulted her.

No, I do NOT believe that every Islamic is a terrorist. However, in the past ten years, every Terrorist has been an Islamic.

And before you say it, I am quite aware that this particular catch-phrase has been used so often that it has become associated with anti-islamic hysteria for the past ten years. As in; since September 11, 2011.

Name me one terroristic act in the past ten years which has NOT been perpetrated by an Islamic?

It use to be that we could point our fingers at the Irish. Sinn Fein seems dormant. The IRA hasn't made a lot of headlines lately, although it still active ... 22 terrorist acts in 2009, 39 in 2010.

But that is small change, and generally restricted to Ireland and GB. Islamist terrorism is ... may we say it? ... worldwide, and almost indiscriminate.

So why not accept Islamic terrorism with the same seeming equanimity as Irish Terrorism?

The difference is, many Irish are outraged by Irish Terrorism. We heard a lot of that in the Bad Old Days, but now the terrorist acts are so few and so relatively minor (when's the last time the Irish attacked America, or blew up skyscrapers, or tried to blow up airplanes filled with anonymous innocents?) that they pale to insignificance when compared to Islamic terrorists.

But I'm still not a supporter of the brand of terrorism that a few Irish support, even though they didn't demolish buildings and innocents on a grand scale ten years ago. Or ... ever.

And ... getting back to that video that we linked to earlier, with the smiling Islamics in America? Where in that video did anyone refer to, let alone OBJECT to, the terrorist acts repeatedly committed by their coreligionists?

No where.

Another reference to Mark Steyn, who recently (September 18, 2011) posted an essay called "MOLLIFYING MUSLIMS, AND MUSLIFYING MOLLIES", where he mentioned, in part:

Take this no-name pastor from an obscure church who was threatening to burn the Koran. He didn't burn any buildings or women and children. He didn't even burn a book. He hadn't actually laid a finger on a Koran, and yet the mere suggestion that he might do so prompted the President of the United States to denounce him, and the Secretary of State, and the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, various G7 leaders, and golly, even Angelina Jolie. President Obama has never said a word about honor killings of Muslim women. Secretary Clinton has never said a word about female genital mutilation. General Petraeus has never said a word about the rampant buggery of pre-pubescent boys by Pushtun men in Kandahar. But let an obscure man in Florida so much as raise the possibility that he might disrespect a book – an inanimate object – and the most powerful figures in the western world feel they have to weigh in.

Aside from all that, this obscure church's website has been shut down, its insurance policy has been canceled, its mortgage has been called in by its bankers. Why? As Diana West wrote, why was it necessary or even seemly to make this pastor a non-person? Another one of Obama's famous "teaching moments"? In this case teaching us that Islamic law now applies to all? Only a couple of weeks ago, the President, at his most condescendingly ineffectual, presumed to lecture his moronic subjects about the First Amendment rights of Imam Rauf. Where's the condescending lecture on Pastor Jones' First Amendment rights?

The President of the United States publically denounced this irrelevant clergyman for speaking his mind

And that, friends in INSTITUTIONAL terrorism, committed by our own Federal Government. It is a matter of national policy that nothing which can remotely be described as detrimental or insulting to Islam will be tolerated in The Land Of The Free and The Home Of The Brave.

Why is that so?

It happens because our national leadership has decided to meddle in the 'national conscience', to determine what is and is not acceptable for us to think about religion, tolerance and acceptance in America. The Constitution of the United States be damned; Obama didn't like it, and so he sent the attack-dog lackeys of the American Press to vilify this private individual.

(Yes, the parson is a jerk. The First Amendment of the Constitution was codified to protect the rights of Free Speech for unpopular opinions. If we liked what he had to say, we wouldn't need a First Amendment.)

It's not enough that the president has infringed on the First Amendment Rights of a private American citizen, but our current culture has gone totally ape-shit in its surge to back the president .... in an attack on a private citizen who had broken no laws. And it is, the press at the same time supported an attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. So much for the white coat-tails of the Fifth Estate.


So, when I get emails asking me to "sponsor" a video which presents Islamics in America as totally joyful and non-aggressive, I have to ask: "Where's the beef?"

What happened to showing both faces of the culture which is not assimilating itself into the American culture? Instead of becoming more American, and speaking out against terrorism ... adherents of this religion expect us to accept it without acknowledging that many of its members have as its basic priority that we should be forced to abandon our culture in favor if its religious fanaticism?

I don't think so.

When I see that the News Of The Day features Americans (who just happen to be Islamics) speaking out against terrorism, I will consider supporting that concept.

But that won't happen until Islamics (who just happen to be Americans), have made it a priority that they don't want to change the American culture.

Today, Islam is not just Another Pretty Face. If they want to be accepted, Islamics must conform to American culture; not we to theirs.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How You Tube Really sucks ....

How not to change a mag. - YouTube

Here is a video of an IPSC shooter who does a mag-change, with an Open Gun, and rocks with the next 18 (+/-) rounds to finish a stage on what appears to be in indoor range.

The shooter is shown without any reference to the target, so it's difficult to see the shooting problem which he is addressing.

But look at the comments on the video ... almost everyone who contributes to the discussion is critical, but they're not clear on why they denigrate the shooter.

Some of the critics mention the high-capacity (?) magazine, but even they are not clear on why they seem to think this is 'a bad thing'. Could it be because they are not permitted to have a magazine with 19 rounds capacity in their home country?

Okay, I'm not really sure why the commenters are so critical about this shooter. Sure, he bobbles the mag change .... but most people who care enough to contribute comments don't seem to care much about that, although those who DO mention it seem either to hot have mucked up a reload, or they have no idea what it's like to reload a 170mm magazine.

My personal evaluation is a combination of the above. Specifically:
(a) they don't like that he has a big magazine;
(b) they don't really understand what IPSC competition is about;
(c) they are envious that he has "better" equipment than he has;
(d) they are entirely ignorant about the nuances of IPSC competition
(e) they are a bunch of people who are so dominated by their country's political limitations on their persona freedoms that they can't understand that a man DOES have superior competitive equipment, because he CAN buy anything he can afford.

I think it's sad that this guy is denigrated by people who should be his "peers". The comments reveal their "Sour Grapes" attitude. Because they can't legally own equipment which is competitive, they feel the need to criticize him because he lives in a country which is constitutionally forbidden to deny his right to buy reliable pistols without restricting magazine capacity.

I'm going to keep an eye on that YouTube Video. Reading the criticisms there helps me to remind myself that a LOT of people do not have access to normal equipment ... and they are so pissed off about it, they are ready to criticize a man who has full rights to buy and use whatever equipment he can afford.

What a bunch of maroons!

The First Priority

Sue's DQ - YouTube

The YouTube Video is not clear, but it seems that the lady brought loaded magazines to the Safety Table in her hand. This is a clear violation of rule 10.5.12:

10.5.12 Handling live or dummy ammunition (including practice or training rounds, snap caps and empty cases), loaded magazines or loaded speed loading devices in a Safety Area, or failing to comply with ( Rule 2.4.1. )
The word “handling” does not preclude competitors from entering a Safety Area with ammunition in magazines or speed loading devices on their belt, in their pockets or in their range bag, provided the competitor does not physically remove the loaded magazines or loaded speed loading devices from their retaining or storage device while within the Safety Area.

If the shooter brought loaded magazines in her hand to the safety table, the rule is appropriately applied.

This is a rare and difficult enforcement of the rule; it requires that the competitor violate safety rules in the presence of a Range Officer, or someone wh is qualified to act in that capacity.

IF the supposition is true (the competitor did 'handle live ammunition' at the safety table) then the DQ is legitimate. No question about it.

This has always been one of the more difficult Safety Rules to monitor. Again, it presupposes that the infraction occurred in the presence of a Range Officer.

At the same time, it's one of the easiest Safety Rules to break. You see in the video that the competitor was paying more attention to her conversation, than to the safety rule.

It may happen that the purpose of this competitor's live is to provide a good example of a bad practice.

Competitors may handle ammunition ANY WHERE on the range .... except at the Safety Table. Until she actually laid the loaded magazines (?) on the table, she was deemed "safe".

During my "Introduction to USPSA" classes, I try to emphasize that all safety infractions are similarly penalized by a Match DQ. This rule is difficult to illustrate, because I have never seen a violation. Now I have seen one, and while the Match DQ seems "friendly", it had the same necessary consequence; the competitor seems to be insufficiently aware of safety considerations, and is disqualified from further competition.

I think this DQ Judgement, while unusual and perhaps a little bizarre (given the circumstances) may well serve as a valuable example to both new and old shooters, for a variety of reason:

  • ALL Safety rules are equally applicable, and must be imposed upon EVERY incidence;
  • Participants in USPSA/IPSC competition are perceived in a common practice; running around with loaded gun (not at all times ... supposedly). We are all subject to the most stringent safety rules, and a violation of ANY rule necessitates a Match DQ, because it illustrates that the offender is not in the right mental state to be trusted with his/her loaded gun;
  • This incident was clearly a situation where the 'offender' has been distracted, and yet the most powerful consequence (being disallowed to continue in competition) has arbitrarily been imposed upon her. This is entirely appropriate. The existing rules serve to identify an "un-aware competitor", and remove her from the competitive. The rules work to support the primary goal of "SAFETY", above all other considerations.
  • If the safety rules sometimes seem to be too harsh, they still impose the SAFETY priority; even in marginal circumstances, they identify and remove unsafe shooters from the competitive environment. This serves the sport, and guarantees the safety of other competitors wh share the range with the unsafe violator.
The last two discussion points obviously overlap. This is entirely within the philosophy of competitive Safety Ruless, which apply a "Belt AND Suspenders" method of stopping unsafe shooters before they can violate even more drastic Safety Rules.

We want everyone to go home from the match without injury, or fear of injury. If one competitor is forbidden to compete (for reasons of safety), that is MUCH better than that this or another competitor be injured.

We will NOT accept an unsafe shooter into our ranks. If a competitor cannot understand, accept and practice the safety rules 100% of the time, it's better to penalize that shooter than to ask other competitors to accept the risk of allowing unsafe conditions to exist.

We are safe.

That is the first priority.