Next time you have the dubious pleasure of hearing some liberal rant about gun control and the need to get rid of all the evil guns in the U.S., don’t sit back and just let it go. Speak up and stop an echo.

Yeah, you can get into all the nitty-gritty of the actual numbers of murder weapons, or what an “assault rifle” is versus an “assault weapon”, and even dance about the “why would a person need [some evil gun] to go hunting?” until the cows come home. Very little of what you say will affect their anti-gun emotions, but here’s an interesting way to give them an emotional moment of clarity:

Ask them to post a sign in their yard proudly proclaiming that theirs is a gun-free home.

Gun-Free Zone Sign for the yard

The above sign comes from a Project Veritas effort to have people put signs in their yards declaring that theirs is a gun-free zone. You can watch the video here. Bottom line is nobody accepted the free, pre-printed signs they offered. One person said (at about the 2:30 mark), “I agree with you, and I am on your side on this, but I’m just wondering if that’s not an invitation to someone with a gun!”

Exactly.

I won’t put up a gun-free zone sign on my property — partially because my property isn’t gun-free, and partially because I don’t want to invite thugs to invade my home by advertising my defenselessness. Instead, any sign I’d put on my property would look something like this:

Gun Sign for the yard

I keep hitting just a little bit high and to the left. Need to work on that.

The Democrats are getting their collective panties in a bunch now that the Health Care Reform Act has passed.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is warning that some of his Democratic colleagues are being threatened with violence when they go back to their districts — and he wants Republicans to stand up and condemn the threats.

The Maryland Democrat said more than 10 House Democrats have reported incidents of threats or other forms of harassment about their support of the highly divisive health insurance overhaul vote. Hoyer emphasized that he didn’t have a specific number of threats and that was just an estimate.

Just an estimate, huh? Sounds like a guess to me, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Hoyer is just making things up. The news article continues with Hoyer getting on the moral hobby horse and riding it for all it’s worth: “Hoyer hinted that Republicans should do more to condemn these threats of violence.” There are three problem with Hoyer admonishing the Republicans to speak out against violence:

First, after 9-11 and other terrorist attacks, the left told America that we need to reach out to the terrorists and understand why they resorted to violence. Apparently that only applies if the violence comes from terrorists and not conservatives.

Second, conservatives aren’t the violent thugs the left would have you believe. Quick, name for me a riot by conservatives. . . . Yeah, I couldn’t think of one, either. But the left is easy to stir up in anger. Just witness the left as it shut down Ann Coulter’s speech at the University of Ottawa. Can you name any time when conservatives shouted down or prevented a liberal from speaking? Again, you won’t be able to cite an incident. Besides, Republican Representative Eric Cantor’s campaign office was shot at and has received threatening emails, so anger is not just conservatives against liberals, as Hoyer would have you believe.

And third, the Republican minority leader has already spoken out about violence, and it’s in the same article at the Politico.com I quoted before:

But Minority Leader John Boehner already has condemned threats of violence — and sought to explain why people are so angry.

“I know many Americans are angry over this health care bill, and that Washington Democrats just aren’t listening,” Boehner said. “But, as I’ve said, violence and threats are unacceptable. That’s not the American way. We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change. Call your congressman, go out and register people to vote, go volunteer on a political campaign, make your voice heard — but let’s do it the right way.”

Don’t get sucked into the idea that violence is only on the right. History shows us that most violence comes from the left.

Ivan Pavlov trained some dogs to look for food by ringing a bell, blowing whistles, and other actions. The dogs got so used to food being served at Pavlov’s signal that they would start to salivate as soon as the signal happened. They had been well trained.

And the western media has also been well trained, but not to drool at the ring of a bell. Instead, the media has been trained to not give offense to brittle Islam. And the media has been so well trained to not give offense that they will silence themselves preemptively. The latest example of the media kowtowing to radial and brittle Islam comes at the expense of Berkeley Breathed and his Sunday cartoon, “Opus.” FoxNews describes the situation in an article posted August 27th, 2007.

A popular comic strip that poked fun at the Rev. Jerry Falwell without incident one week ago was deemed too controversial to run over the weekend because this time it took a humorous swipe at Muslim fundamentalists.

The Washington Post and several other newspapers around the country did not run Sunday’s installment of Berkeley Breathed’s “Opus,” in which the spiritual fad-seeking character Lola Granola appears in a headscarf and explains to her boyfriend, Steve, why she wants to become a radical Islamist.

The installment did not appear in the Post’s print version, but it ran on WashingtonPost.com and Salon.com. The same will hold true for the upcoming Sept. 2 strip, which is a continuation of the plotline.

Breathed managed to show the difference between the media’s response to Christians and Muslims in a 7 day period. His cartoon making fun of now-dead Rev. Falwell ran without riot, but the cartoon poking fun of radical Islam scheduled for that next Sunday caused the salivating media to pull the cartoon and preemptively apologize.

Way to assert your freedom of speech, guys!

In other news about brittle Islam, the U.S. military apologized for distributing soccer balls with the flags from many nations on them. And why did they need to apologize? They made the horrible mistake of including Saudi Arabia’s flag and its inscription of the name of Allah. Oh, the horror! Michelle Malkin calls Islam the Religion of Perpetual Outrage, and for good reason.

As we’ve learned from Rushdie Rage, MoCartoon Rage, Burger King Ice Cream Cone Rage, Koran Flushing Rage, Valentine’s Day Rage, Veil Rage, Pope Rage, Fallaci Rage, Miss World Pageant Rage, and Rushdie Knighthood Rage, they’re pretty damned “sensitive” (read: ready to riot) about everything.

Many people say Islam is the “Religion of Peace,” but I can’t help but believe it is the “Religion of Pissed.”

UPDATE (8/30/2007 11:48:48 AM): Hehehe. Cox and Forkum do an excellent job with a cartoon they title “Opus Akbar.”

Opus Akbar

I haven’t written anything about the fighting between Hamas and Fatah, but Cox and Forkum do a masterful job in showing the difference between these two groups. In case you miss it, they follow up with a clear explanation.

Six of One

“Palestinian moderates”? It was Fatah’s Abbas who refused to disarm Palestinian militant groups, including Hamas and the “armed wing” of his own party, even after continued terrorist attacks. It was Fatah terrorists who claimed joint responsibility with Hamas for the suicide-bombing mother who murdered four people. Abbas has called Israel the “Zionist enemy”. It is Fatah whose name means “conquest” and whose logo still includes an AK-47 and a grenade.

There’s so little difference between Hamas and Fatah that you can barely tell them apart: Fatah photo and Hamas photo. The only real difference is that Hamas is more open about its intent to destroy Isreal.

Charles Krauthammer wrote an excellent article in The Washington Post about the Muslim ire over Pope Benedict’s quoting of a 14th century emperor about Islam. It’s a short read, but here’s the beginning to tantalize you.

Religious fanatics, regardless of what name they give their jealous god, invariably have one thing in common: no sense of humor. Particularly about themselves. It’s hard to imagine Torquemada taking a joke well.

Today’s Islamists seem to have not even a sense of irony. They fail to see the richness of the following sequence. The pope makes a reference to a 14th-century Byzantine emperor’s remark about Islam imposing itself by the sword, and to protest this linking of Islam and violence:

* In the West Bank and Gaza, Muslims attack seven churches.

* In London, the ever-dependable radical Anjem Choudary tells demonstrators at Westminster Cathedral that the pope is now condemned to death.

* In Mogadishu, Somali religious leader Abubukar Hassan Malin calls on Muslims to “hunt down” the pope. The pope not being quite at hand, they do the next best thing: shoot dead, execution-style, an Italian nun who worked in a children’s hospital.

“How dare you say Islam is a violent religion? I’ll kill you for it” is not exactly the best way to go about refuting the charge. But of course, refuting is not the point here. The point is intimidation.

First Salman Rushdie. Then the false Newsweek report about Koran-flushing at Guantanamo Bay. Then the Danish cartoons. And now a line from a scholarly disquisition on rationalism and faith given in German at a German university by the pope.

And the intimidation succeeds: politicians bowing and scraping to the mob over the cartoons; Saturday’s craven New York Times editorial telling the pope to apologize; the plague of self-censorship about anything remotely controversial about Islam — this in a culture in which a half-naked pop star blithely stages a mock crucifixion as the highlight of her latest concert tour.

Back in the later 80s a common BBS tagline I used when talking religion was “Believe in a loving god, infidel, or die!” This has left the realm of humor and has become a statement of fact, thanks to the knee-jerk reaction by Muslims.

I’ve been thinking about death again. I wrote previously how our culture has become separated from death, both of people and of food animals, and our separation is interesting when you consider the violence level of our computer games or the body count in popular movies. This time, I’m going to focus on subjects of mortality other than the death of President Reagan and the varied reactions to it.

On September 7, 2004, a milestone was reached in Iraq when three solders died in fighting around Baghdad, and a fourth soldier died from wounds received the previous day. This brought the total number of Americans who have died in Iraq past 1,000 — three-quarters of these deaths related to combat. Every death is a tragedy, even deaths of villains such as Odai and Qusai Hussein — more so with the deaths of these brave American husbands and fathers, mothers and wives. Each death is a tragedy because the opportunity to do good and benefit others is now gone. This is why, while I believe in and support the death penalty, I do not believe it should be rushed into, nor should it be something we exult in, even when it happens to such sorry excuses as the Hussein brothers.

StrategyPage.com has a large list of military-related images and articles. Most images are related to the current American activities in Iraq, and because the military’s primary job is to kill people and break things, there are many images of death and destruction. WARNING: The following three links show graphic scenes of death. There is a video of an F-16 dropping a bomb in the middle of hostile Iraqis in Fallujah, or an attack helicopter engaging three insurgents with 30mm cannon fire, or a lone Iraqi being shot before he could fire his RPG at American troops. The first two are black and white, but the last is in color. I would guess the camera was 50 feet away from the Iraqi as he was shot. The last clip must have been recorded off a Spanish-language news channel because the announcer says, “La muerte en directo se han convertido en un imagen por te vean allí. Esto ocurrido en el …” This translates approximately to, “This actual death has been caught in this live image. This occurred in the…” or that general idea.

This last clip is the most dramatic image of death, and the news station probably used it as an example of how evil the American troops are to slay this poor innocent Iraqi. As much as I am saddened when people die, I can’t blame the American troops for shooting at a man who was preparing to attack and kill them. Nor can I condemn the bombing or shooting of the people in the first two videos. If you rise up armed against U.S. troops, your overall life expectancy is dramatically shortened. Consider it a law of nature, if you will. Speaking of laws, Niven’s First Law states, “Never throw shit at an armed man.” This should be translated, printed up and dropped as leaflets all over Baghdad. The corollary to this law states, “Never stand next to someone who is throwing shit at an armed man.” This corollary should be handed out to every news agency which sends its people into a war zone. It could possibly save some lives, although it is too late for Mazen Tumeisi. Tumeisi, a Palestinian journalist, died as he was filming near a burning Bradley vehicle in Baghdad as an American helicopter fired rockets on the vehicle. It is pretty standard for the military to destroy a disabled vehicle if the enemy might loot it. The last thing the military needs is for its own ordnance to be used against the troops. I have heard various media people rage about how they are fired on and sometimes killed while reporting the news. News Flash: when reporting from a war zone, standing right next to the action is dumb.

Speaking of dumb, I come to my final topic of death: euthanasia. Wesley J. Smith wrote in the Daily Standard, “In the Netherlands, 31 percent of pediatricians have killed infants. A fifth of these killings were done without the “consent” of parents. Going Dutch has never been so horrible”:

First, Dutch euthanasia advocates said that patient killing will be limited to the competent, terminally ill who ask for it. Then, when doctors began euthanizing patients who clearly were not terminally ill, sweat not, they soothed: medicalized killing will be limited to competent people with incurable illnesses or disabilities. Then, when doctors began killing patients who were depressed but not physically ill, not to worry, they told us: only competent depressed people whose desire to commit suicide is “rational” will have their deaths facilitated. Then, when doctors began killing incompetent people, such as those with Alzheimer’s, it’s all under control, they crooned: non-voluntary killing will be limited to patients who would have asked for it if they were competent.

And now they want to euthanize children.

In the Netherlands, Groningen University Hospital has decided its doctors will euthanize children under the age of 12, if doctors believe their suffering is intolerable or if they have an incurable illness. But what does that mean? In many cases, as occurs now with adults, it will become an excuse not to provide proper pain control for children who are dying of potentially agonizing maladies such as cancer, and doing away with them instead. As for those deemed “incurable”–this term is merely a euphemism for killing babies and children who are seriously disabled.

Jim Quinn, a talk show host from Pittsburgh, sums up the attitude that leads to this sort of “euthanasia”:

I have identified the basic, fundamental difference between the liberal cultural Marxist and the conservative American, and the difference is this: for the liberal every new life is a burden, another person to be educated by the State, cared for by the State, fed by the State, clothed by the State, and housed by the State. For every conservative out there a new life is a gift, another source of potential genius, another possible solution to the human condition.

“Why didn’t you send us a cure for AIDS, God?!?”

“I DID, BUT YOU ABORTED HIM.”