Atlas Shrugs some time ago linked to this site dedicated to the opposition to Ground Zero Mosque. It in turn provides very interesting analysis:
One of the great questions of the 21st century is: What is the true nature of Islam? There are two distinct answers to this question from the media and leaders. The popular message is that Islam is one of the great world religions, a peaceful religion, a foundation of world civilization, its Golden Age was the highpoint of history, and it preserved Western thought while we were in the Dark Ages. The alternative message is that Islam is a brutal, backward, woman abusing, violent, intellectually narrow ideology that is out to annihilate civilization.
Which side is right? How do we resolve this issue? Can it even be resolved? If we turn to the “experts” of any of the opinions, they will tell you that their view is correct. What then is the ultimate authority that will give us a firm foundation for reasoning and judgment about Islam? Is it possible to use critical thought or must we just accept the authority of experts?
There is way to achieve consensus about ideas that goes beyond expert opinion. The use of facts along with logic is the basis of critical thought. The ultimate form of critical thought uses measurements and numbers to resolve questions. This paper will use the foundational texts of Islam and measure the importance of ideas by how many words are given to concepts. The assumption is that the more content that is devoted to a subject, the greater the importance of the subject is. As an example: the Koran devotes 64% of its text to the subject of the unbeliever. This is assumed to imply that the unbeliever is important in Islamic doctrine.
Obviously, you have to read the whole thing. People are busy and often don’t have time to read books like Koran for themselves. So, they often rely on other people to tell them what is there, so called "experts". But experts often insert their own opinions into their analysis. The analysis here seems to be devoid of opinion and simply presents facts. That’s what makes this analysis very valuable. Now, the site presenting this analysis obviously has an opinion and does not hide it. But facts themselves seem to be pretty cut and dry.
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Improving IED Countermeasure Technology – Using RF Capture and Playback Systems
By combining the Tektronix spectrum analyzer and X-COM Systems long duration RF signal storage system, a unique tool results for the recording, analyzing, and creating of new waveforms and complex RF environments to help tackle IED countermeasure technologies.
For those who might be interested, follow the link. There is a PDF that explains how it works. Tektronics is a company that makes various elecronic test equipment that I often use at work. Now I use their mixed-signal oscilloscope which I am quite happy with.
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In the article I linked to in my previous post, Vladimir Bukovsky touches upon an interesting phenomenon: fascination of many Western intellectuals with socialism and Soviet Communism. Just before anybody tries to point out any distinctions between Communism and Socialism, I have to explain something about the old Soviet Union. The Soviet Union never called itself "Communist". When I was growing up there, we were "building Communism". But we were "country of advanced Socialism". After all, the official name of the country was "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics". We were always taught that Communism was the last and most advanced stage of Socialism. So, all the distinctions between Socialism and Communism are really a matter of degree. Soviet Communism is really a logical conclusion of the socialist policies. So, for simplicity I will use the term "Communism", as it is accepted in this country. The Western intellectuals refuse to acknowledge the staggering number of victims of Communism or, if they do, they find excuses for it: it was not done right, there were excesses, it was done for the greater good etc. But the number of victims of Communism far exceeds the number of victims of Nazism. There are several reasons for it. First of all, unlike the Nazism, Communism is international in nature and thus has larger pool of victims. Communism also was spread over larger territory and affected much greater population. Finally, it simply lasted longer. In fact, it is still around in places like North Korea and Cuba. Yet, while Nazism, or National Socialism, is universally condemned as an anti-human ideology, its international cousin, better known as Communism, is not. Why is that? Well, a big reason National Socialism was condemned were Nuremberg Trials, where not just individual Nazis, but the whole system of National Socialism was put on trial. The whole organizations, like SS, were declared criminal. Does it mean that every member of this organization committed crimes against humanity? No. Many members of the Waffen-SS were simply soldiers of elite units who fought quite heroically, although for a very bad cause. But the organization as a whole was in fact guilty of crimes against humanity. However, Communism and organizations like KGB escaped this condemnation. Why? Well, one of the reasons is that Hitler and Stalin ended up on the opposite sides of World War 2. Thus, the Soviets managed convince the world that they were ideologically on the opposite side of political spectrum. Furthermore, from my narrow Jewish perspective, Soviets were preferable to Nazis simply because Soviet Communists were "equal opportunity murderers". In their bigger pool of victims the statistical chance of survival was better. And so, the Soviets became "good guys". Their crimes were largely hidden. And just like the Nazis before 1939, they did not overtly attack any country. So, for many people it was very hard to understand what was so bad about the Soviet Union. In 1979 the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, but even now, in light of 9/11, an argument can be made that a Soviet-controller Afghanistan would be better than Taliban- or Al-Qaeda-controlled. And in any case, the Soviets of 1980s seem definitely more Western-like and more civilized than Taliban. But after the fall of the Soviet Union the crimes of the Soviet Communists for the most part still remained hidden. What Vladimir Bukovsky suggests should have happened is a Nuremberg-like trial, where the whole Soviet system would be tried. That is where the archives should have been open, and all the Soviet crimes against humanity would have been revealed for the world to see. Unfortunately this never happened, although for time there was a chance that it might. This crazy fascination with the Soviet system still remains in the Western intellectual circles. That even includes our current President. But I’d like to make any small contribution to breaking this fascination. Vladimir Bukovsky compiled his own archives. Read them at your leisure. Pass the link around. Maybe enough people will open their eyes to the crimes of National Socialism’s international cousin. Maybe eventually the whole Socialist ideology will be exposed for what it is: an anti-human system of oppression, death and destruction.
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I periodically get e-mails from Jewish Russian Telegraph, a blog maintained by Americans of the same background as mine out of Boston. One of their recent posts linked to this article/lecture by Vladimir Bukovsky, a famous Soviet dissident:
…Countless new theories, first of all linguistic ones, came into being. Remember Orwell saying that the leftists always seek to win the terminological war first. And so it went: you cannot call them Miss or Missis, because this is how we define their marital status – this is unacceptable. An unlikely form for the English language showed up – Mis. It is hard to pronounce, but it was only the beginning. They went on saying that it is indecent to say history (his story), you should rather say her story. Countless linguistic novelties fell on our heads: we were told that we cannot use the word seminary, because it is originated form the word “semen” – one should say ovulary instead. And, on the whole, how should we call women? It was a great puzzle for the new academics.
The word woman contains the word man and this is terrible. Call it female – even worse. There is the word male in it. So they coined a new term to define women: wofe (wo from woman and fe from female). And now we are to call them this way, otherwise we are male chauvinist pigs!
It sounds nonsensical. Aren’t there enough madmen in the world? I was once incarcerated with many madmen and got fully used to them. But the thing is that the present day society, especially American, is primitive. It takes in any folly and soon turns it obligatory to anyone. Especially the American society. Although the European societies are surely no less conformist. So we are to accept everything thrown at us for the sake of success. For life to go smoothly, it is by no means unacceptable to be non-conformist.
This kind of American pattern has quickly spread as mandatory. It is a mandatory paradigm, because it is incredibly incorporated into legislation. Among other things, this new feminist movement blamed men of sexism. In their view, all men are sexists because they see a sex object in a woman, therefore everything in relation with the woman or sex needs to be eliminated. Any flirt between a man and a woman was called an “oppressive action” (with exploitation in mind). Therefore, if you make a joke at your co-worker, or, even worse, your subordinate, you are in trouble – she will sue you and you will lose your job.
But it does not end here. You cannot say that women are less inclined towards certain professions. For example, the president of Harvard University said in a private meeting that women, due to certain reasons, perhaps lack of interest, seldom chose precise sciences, especially mathematics. He lost his position, because a wild wave of hysteria followed his remark. He had to write an application to quit the job. And this is a mass phenomenon, reminiscent of the terror of 1937.
You see, the Americans had a surge of insanity, which had exceeded the previously accepted threshold of insanity. They had a wave of unhealthy campaign for racial equality. The campaign started on a fully sound basis at the end of the fifties, sixties and seventies. At that time the remains of racism were really obvious, especially in the South, but in the North it was never there. This was a really unacceptable and meaningless phenomenon, and the case for racial equality was fully grounded. But, just like all other campaigns of the kind, after this campaign reached its goals, its activists carried on until they got to the point of absurdity and started demanding for “positive discrimination”. The activists behind this campaign were blinded by utopia. They did not believe that inequality was a natural state, that we are all born unequal. It is like the followers of Rousseau, who believed that a human being is like a piece of clay and you can knead it into any shape you like.
Therefore, the followers of the campaign took the fact that the racial equality movement did not produce a sufficient number of successful black people, such as professors, millionaires, etc., as their failure, and resolved to strive for equal results rather than equal opportunities. And so they started introducing the so called “positive discrimination”, which brought about the existing quotas. Those are not official, but they are working. Every university has to enroll a certain percentage of the black people. It has never been put down in writing anywhere, but everyone knows that if they don’t do this, they will have their eyes scratched, they will face endless court trials, and alike troubles. Quotas at work. Here is a private company, and, out of the blue, a public fury erupts – why is there only one woman on the board? Women make up about half of all inhabitants on the earth, so they should make about 50 per cent of all the board members. And so on. Isn’t it madness to push people to certain positions judging merely by the colour of their skin or gender, even if they could not claim such positions based on their personal characteristics and skills?
Let’s go back to the army. When women gained their right to serve in the army, they found a great niche: they go to the army, serve there for three months or so, file a case of sexual harassment, the court awards them several million dollars and they leave. It is a reasonable way to get rich in two or three years. In the US army, a new type of uniform appeared – that is of a “pregnant soldier”. I never have fancied I would live to see such a thing! The very concept of “pregnant soldier” is a terminological contradiction. Men are supposedly there to protect pregnant women. This riddle is not for my mind. Nevertheless, there is such a uniform.
The excerpts don’t really do this article justice. Yes, it is rather long, but you have to read it all. If you don’t have time to sit in front of a computer and read it, print it out and read it before sleep, or while you are riding on a bus or a subway, or even while you are sitting in a bathroom, but read it all. In fact, here is what I’ve done. I copied the article into a Word document and converted it into a PDF here. That way you can just download and print the article without anything else. I will leave you, though, with this chilling conclusion of the article:
I don’t see why we should repeat the same mistakes the West was making all those 70 years throughout the Cold War. You will also have political correctness, let me assure you. You are in the European Union, and political correctness is but an EU ideology. It will reach you from Brussels and become obligatory. And you will have nowhere to hide, because the Brussels decisions have precedence over the decisions of national parliaments. The problem is not the idea that you may discuss. The problem is that discussions on the idea are not allowed. Discussing it will soon be punishable by prison (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit. If you have any doubt that Mr. Bukovsky is right in his prediction, you can just look at Geert Wilders prosecution). Trust me. I am an old jailbird, and I know when it whiffs with prison. And in the West this whiff starts to appear. This is the thing. It is not a matter of free choice. It will reach you like a ban on smoking. Today you think that it does not concern you. It will. In the West they always thought that they had nothing to do with communism. They had. This is why it is better to be prepared in advance. And what is positive? Well, a positive side can be found about anywhere. Communism had its positive sides, too. If we were friends back then, we were friends for real, for ages, risking lives for each other. And this means something. Under communism, atheism and the struggle for domination made science develop in huge strides. We had great physicists, mathematicians – well, that is positive, who would argue? But this doesn’t mean that the very phenomenon was positive. You could have achieved the same things by other more vegetarian means, couldn’t you?
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The short answer to this question is that I don’t know. I’ve been so depressed about the direction this country is taking and, even worse, by people’s refusal to even listen to any alarms, that I simply did not feel like blogging. So, I just concentrated on my own everyday life. And whenever I had time for blogging I avoided it by finding something else to do. But today my wife took the kids skating (something I usually do, but I am sick), and I decided to get into it again. Let’s see if I will keep it up.
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