Category Archives: Rants and Raves

Personal Opinions

Charity by Another Name – Addendum

In a previous Rants and Raves logbook post based on an article by Andrew C. McCarthy III in the National Review Online, I addressed the issue of whether the Islamic principle of zakat is equivalent to charity as defined by common understanding and usage of the word in non-Islamic contexts. Having accepted McCarthy’s contention that it is not, I concluded the post with: Are we therefore to conclude that through ignorance of Islam the President has embarked on a mission of inadvertently making it easier for Muslims to fund jihad from within the United States? Or could it be that … Continue reading

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Bad Moon On the Rise – by Jay Cost

If you’ve arrived here with the intention of reading this post and react to the source by dismissing it as nothing more than an opinionated rag with a radical agenda, please take a moment to reconsider. Yes, The Weekly Standard is neoconservative, but this article isn’t. If you’ll give it a chance, I submit that you might well agree with me (and Charlie Reese, the journalist who recently wrote his last column before retirement — see my post “545 vs 300 Million”) that the American political system has failed us. We are on a steep path to decline, and our … Continue reading

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OBL – The Price Tag

On October 14, 2010, I wrote a post titled “The Quagmire of Disproportionate Response” to illustrate the key objective of terrorism and how the attack of 9/11 has accomplished exactly what Osama bin Laden intended. The following article (quoted with only minor editing) provides an analysis of the principle and its disastrous effect on America’s future both at home and abroad. Osama bin Laden cost America more than any villain, ever—which is exactly the way he wanted it. By Tim Fernholz and Jim Tankersley,  National Journal, May 5, 2011, 2:53 p.m. The most expensive public enemy in American history died Sunday … Continue reading

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Close Air Support – Part Two

I began writing this post  a few days before the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a targeted US raid on a compound in Pakistan. With last night’s news as a backdrop, it may seem less-than-patriotic to question our involvement in the Middle East. On the other hand, it may also be the perfect time, if for no other reason than to highlight a continuing reality unaffected by the demise of the world’s most notorious symbol of terror. In “Close Air Support – Part One,” I provided a link to a video in which a helicopter gunship … Continue reading

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Charity By Another Name?

Charity: the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need. I realize that many people don’t think of Wikipedia as a reliable source of serious research, but let’s see what The Free Encyclopedia has to say about Andrew C. McCarthy III. A Republican and former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he is most notable for leading the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others. The defendants were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing and planning a series of attacks against New York … Continue reading

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How Many Zero’s is That?

The next time you’re watching the news on TV or reading the paper and some politician is yakking about how it’s the other guy’s fault and responding to questions by doing the equivalent of a tap dance around the issue without saying anything, remember this video. It starts a bit flashy, but give it a chance and listen to a clear description of how fiscally incompetent your government really is. Brother, Can You Spare a $Trillion?

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The True Cost of Free Lunch

No matter your political persuasion, what follows is a perfect example of the disaster this nation has become. An English teacher explains one area that looms large over California’s educational crisis with the kind of specifics that go unnoticed by those removed from it. Like an undetected cancer, it eats away at the heart of America while the majority sit idle in a fog of self-interest. A nation of narcissists deserves what it gets if this is the best we can do. And if you are tempted to conclude that this is California’s problem, think again. This is the catastrophic … Continue reading

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545 vs 300 Million – by Charlie Reese

I am apolitical because I believe that those who hold elective office and those they appoint have systematically run this great nation into the ground in every way possible regardless of whether they are Democrat, Republican, independent, liberal, conservative, or anywhere in between. In various posts on this blog I have expressed these views in relation to specific topics with no expectation that anyone will read them or care one way or the other if they do. In the final analysis, that’s not the point. But in the age of the Internet, at the very least it provides the opportunity … Continue reading

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JSF Circus Act – The Laughs Continue

In a previous post titled “JSF Circus Act – The Clowns Take the Stage,” I addressed recent disturbing developments in the already troubled Joint Strike Fighter program in which the Marine F-35B V/STOL (vertical/short takeoff & landing) variant has come under fire and faces an uncertain future. First, let me be clear that I have great respect for the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, his stellar career and service to his country. That said, in my opinion there’s nothing disrespectful or unpatriotic about questioning the weapons system acquisition process or his role in it when the current … Continue reading

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America with a Badge and a Gun

The final paragraphs from Mark Steyn’s “Comment on Costs of America as World’s Policeman,” National Review Online, 3/23/2011: “Or to put it another way: America picks up the tab for maintaining a global order that enables the rest of the planet to get rich selling stuff to Americans that Americans buy with borrowed money. “Within a half-decade or so, American taxpayers will be spending more in interest payments on the US debt than on the Pentagon. And the portion of those interest payments that goes to Beijing will cover the entire cost of the Chinese military. “Meanwhile, the Commies use the dough … Continue reading

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