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Cordite ‘n weasel watchers

Posted by Richard on March 6, 2006

If you like to look at pictures of pretty firearms, get on over to The AnarchAngel’s Carnival of Cordite #50. Likewise if you want to read some advice on lubricating pistols, a story or two about introducing newbies to the shooting sports, a rant or three about stupid gun laws, an expose of criminal behavior by a cop, and the usual assortment of fun range reports, showing off of new toys, etc.

Meanwhile, the Watcher’s Council’s latest vote-getters (or the list of all nominees) offer lots of worthwhile reading on topics ranging from U.S. history to black history to ancient religion to cartoons and ports. The winning council entry was Our George at Done With Mirrors, a nice tribute to Washington on his birthday. The winning non-council entry was Michael Totten’s The Beginning of the Universe, and it’s a terrific report on the Yezidis, non-Islamic Kurds practicing what they say is the oldest religion in the world. Totten had a fascinating interview with Baba Sheik, the Yezidi equivalent of the Pope:

Baba Sheikh apparently didn’t want me to think they were close-minded bigots. “We are a peaceful people,” he said. “We don’t interfere with others. We are the nation of generosity and kindness.”

He didn’t think that about everyone else in the region.

“72 times Muslims tried to conquer us,” he said. “Christians never once tried to conquer us. The Christians are wise, not like Muslims.”

Maybe even more fascinating than the glimpse into the world of the Yezidi was the glimpse of how Muslim Kurds think. Baba Sheik said some other unflattering things about Muslims during the interview, which was conducted through Totten’s Muslim Kurdish translator, Birzo. Birzo didn’t take offense or fly into a rage. After they left the Yezidi:

I asked Birzo if he found Baba Sheik’s comments about Islam and Muslims offensive.

“Of course not,” he said. “I understand his mentality and he understands mine. It’s okay. We are Kurds. Kurds don’t get upset about religion. We aren’t like Arabs. We believe in arguments based on reason, not emotion. If people don’t agree with me about something, I’m not going to get mad at them. We will just have different opinions.”

“I like the Yezidis,” I said.

“I do, too,” he said. “They are peaceful people, but they resisted Islam for so many centuries. You have to admire them.” I didn’t expect a Muslim to say that. Perhaps my expectations weren’t fair.

I liked the Yezidis, too. And I liked Totten’s piece so much I hit his tip jar. Go read it, and you too might want to do so.

On a totally different subject, What You Aren’t Supposed To Know: A DHS Port Security Fact Sheet by Dennis the Peasant is relatively short, but chock-full of information about how port security works and what the DP World deal really amounts to. After reading it, you’ll know the difference between ports and terminals, understand our "layered" approach to container shipping security, and see why terminal operations in this country are much less critical to our security than terminal operations in the foreign ports where shipments to the U.S. originate.

Also, go read Baldilocks’ Ports and Bigotry, which is sort of about ports, but more about looking into your own heart.

If you’re at all curious about what’s happened in the Scooter Libby case, check out Who Outed Valerie Plame? at Libertarian Leanings. It really is amazing — Libby’s indictment resulted from the investigation into who leaked Valerie Plame’s name to the press. Now, the judge in the case has ruled that information about an undisclosed person who was the original leaker isn’t relevant. Sure, this person was Bob Woodward’s source a month before Libby mentioned Plame, and thus may prove that Libby didn’t lie, but the judge figures that possibly exonerating Libby isn’t sufficient reason to "sully the source’s reputation," since the source hasn’t been indicted. My guess? The source must not have worked for Cheney. Probably a career (i.e., liberal, anti-administration) CIA or State Dept. employee.

On a much lighter note, Cultural Sensitivity 101 at One Cosmos presents some "wise old Islamic sayings" from the Muslim Book of Virtue by an Islamic Bill Bennett. Here’s a sample:

Sticks and stones will break your bones if your words should ever humiliate me.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try to blame the Jews.

Good fences make it more difficult to kill your neighbors.

If it ain’t broke, that’s a good thing, because we have no idea how to fix it.

If you can’t beat ’em, at least try to kill and maim as many of their children as possible.

No word yet on whether irate mobs have gathered in front of Gagdad Bob’s house.

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