Saturday, November 01, 2003

When The Charade ...

... goes up in smoke. Some thought-provoking snippets:
THE MANY SPECIES CONSERVATION PLANS that cover the southern California region all make claims of benefit to the species they purport to protect similar to the claims in the San Diego plan. It is now perfectly obvious that "habitat conservation plans" are to species protection what Soviet five-year plans were to steel production: A vast amount of wasted ink and money, signifying only the ideology and vanity of the planners. I have been a participant in many of these discussions, as a lawyer representing landowners, and know first hand the arrogance of the agencies that issue these orders and devise these grand schemes. Don't count on any apologies coming from their direction.


THE MOST PRESSING QUESTION for the federal government after the fires are put out will be the number of acres of land burned which had already been set aside for species conservation purposes. Whatever that number is, it will be a challenge to the drafters of the plans to provide evidence that they had anticipated the conserved acres being charred. Of course they didn't, but that won't protect the guilty from intoning about the natural benefits of fire. In their acquisitiveness, the planners have focused only on locking up land against development, not in protecting it from devastating fire. The nakedness of their error is found in the very plans they developed, which lack comprehensive fire management programs and the means to carry them out. [Emphasis added.]
This from the same people most likely to be complaining about lack of planning for post-bellum Iraq. Don't worry though, they're much, much smarter than us ordinary people -- even if none of the facts on the ground support it...
But Don't Worry ...

... we don't have any axes to grind that might get in the way of our integrity or fact checking. Uggghhhh.
A Good Analysis ...

... of the latest VDH essay. And how can I resist pointing out Hanson's take on Euro moral superiority:
This fashionable anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism -- especially among purported intellectuals of the Left -- reveals a deep-seated, scary pathology that is growing geometrically both in and outside the West. For a Europe that is disarmed, plagued by a demographic nightmare of negative population growth and unsustainable entitlements, filled with unassimilated immigrants, and deeply angry about the power and presence of the United States, the Jews and their Israel provide momentary relief on the cheap. So expect that more crazy thoughts of Israel's destruction dressed up as peace plans will be as common as gravestone and synagogue smashing.
As always, clicking through to READ VDH'S WHOLE THING is recommended!
The More Things Change ...

... the more they stay the same! (Hat tip to Glenn.)

Weekend Reading Assignment

Two highlights from "Symposium: Islamic Anti-Semitism" [READ THE WHOLE THING -- IT JUST GOT ADDED TO THE CLASSICS LINKS ON THE RIGHT. There are a lot of good subtleties contained but not covered here such as why anti-Judaism is a better label than anti-Semitism, etc.]:

First on the relationship of Muslims and Jews:
Interlocutor: In terms of this issue, what I could never figure out was that Muslims acknowledge Abraham as one of the great fathers of their tradition. They acknowledge the prophets of the Old Testament as the founders of their own religion. They say they have great respect for Jesus. But Abraham, the prophets, Jesus etc. were all Jews. How do Muslims reconcile their supposed great respect for the Jewish origins of their religion with their anti-Semitism?


Phares: Muslim scholars, both mainstream and Fundamentalists ironically have one common argument with regards to the relationship to Judaism. They draw a line between the Judaic faith as descended by God on them, and Jews as a people. While they assert that the first is a component of the Islamic faith, they maintain that the people who carried it have strayed away from the right path. According to Islamic Fundamentalist thinkers, one of whom is Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, the Jews have subverted the sense of Judaism. In other words, the Islamists argue that Islam and Judaism are basically one, the latter being an early form of the new religion. They accuse the Jews of rebelling against God and his Prophets, including Mohammed. Hence, to be anti-Jewish is not in contradiction with Islam's self perceived roots in Judaism. Besides, and for the sake of clarifying the debate on the issue, Muslim theology does not "acknowledge the Prophets" of others religions as the founders of Islam, rather it consider these particular Prophets as Muslims and therefore consider those other groups as non-capable of understanding that perception. For example Abraham is considered as a Muslim Prophet, and Jesus is considered as a Prophet not as a Messiah. So, it is not about accepting the beliefs of other communities through honoring their Prophets in as much as it is claiming those Prophets for Islam itself. The nuances seem to be minimal but an iota of difference in theology could bring about dramatic differences in History. But here again, a reformation can end this saga to the advantage of religious coexistence. Till then, the theology of Islam can be easily used by Islamic Fundamentalists against Jews.

Timmerman: I’d love to believe the notion, spread by the Wahhabi lobby and other apologists of radical Islam, that Islam has “nothing against the Jews” and accepts them as “people of the Book.” The reality, on the ground, is quite different. Here is what Abdelaziz Rantissi, a top Hamas leader, told me in Gaza: “There is no room for Jews and Muslims in Palestine… Let the Jews go to America and make Israel there.”[Emphasis added.]
Second on Yasser Arafat's roots. I knew generally about al-Hussein (the grand mufti of Jerusalem during WWII) but this explains a whole lot:
Interlocutor: The Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir's recent speech brought back memories of some of Hitler's basic themes. What common denominators do Islamic and Nazi anti-Semitism share?

Bat Ye'or: Both have a racist pathological obsession with Jews, which they see as the embodiment of evil. For both, Jews focus hatred, envy and frustrations. Both share the same inhumanity and contempt for life, human rights and dignity. They spread lies and defamations that subvert the truth.

Spencer: Nazi anti-Semitism was, of course, a farrago of fanciful conspiracy theories and racist mythology, while Muslim anti-Semitism has a theological basis. But the two groups share a taste for those fanciful conspiracy theories; Muslim anti-Semites today buttress their positions with a great deal of material that the Nazis also used. The notorious forgery about the Jewish plot to rule the world, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, is a prime example: it circulated widely both in Nazi Germany and in the Muslim world today. Its influence may be seen in the recent remarks of Malaysia’s Mahathir Muhammad. Mein Kampf also circulates in the Muslim world, and it must be remembered that during World War II, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, met with Hitler to ask for German help in exterminating the Jews of the Muslim world.

Phares: One, they both claim that the main problems of their nations are produced by the Jews. Two, that the Jews are a world problem. Three that Jews have diverted from Judaism . And four that a solution must be found to that problem. While under Nazism, Jews were to vanish, in the context of the Jihadist ideology, the Jewish state is the one to vanish.

Timmerman: I was stunned to learn the story of Haj Mohammad Amin al-Hussein, which I tell at great length in Preachers of Hate. Not only did he meet with Hitler in Berlin in 1941: he became the Arabic voice of Nazi Germany in all their broadcasts to the Arab world, exhorting Muslims to murder Jews and enact Hitler’s final solution. Not by coincidence, one of his greatest students is Yasser Arafat, who in moments of weakness claims (wrongly, I believe) that he is Haj Mohammad Amin’s nephew. [Emphasis added.]
The knee-bone's connected ... to Hitler!

Friday, October 31, 2003

And Don't Miss ...

This little ditty on hypocrisy of the grandest sort. (Hat tip Instapundit.)

Some snips:
You positively wriggle with delight when King Hipocrite Sean Penn gives yet another interview talking up his greatest role yet - that of anti-Bush, anti-Iraq-war peacenik. In October last year, Penn spent $56,000 publishing an open letter to President Bush in the Washington Post, putting the case against the war, before flying to Iraq and meeting the foreign minister of the genocidal, parasitical, murdering junta then ruling this unfortunate country. Is the Sean Penn who instructs the west to turn the other cheek when faced with Islamofascism the same Sean Penn, one wonders, who seems barely capable of seeing a cheek without itching to punch it?


Do as you would be done to; pot, kettle, black. This issue is quite delightfully simple. And if you want it to be complex, it's because you just know that your argument wouldn't stand up to the stark light of day. For the truth, as the sexy old Situationists used to say, loves nothing more than to stand naked.
Brutal -- but nicely written...

UPDATE: Andrew now covers this and says "Yes - the alliance between socialism and extreme Islam. Things are getting weirder and weirder." Unfortunately, I don't think it's weird at all -- their most extreme members both want the destruction of the West more than anything else. More later...

Cycles of Entropy: The Fall of Rome...

I found this on the web a while ago and have been tardy posting it -- well worth the short read:
I can just imagine exactly this kind of debate going on in Rome right up to the point that the Huns kicked in the gates. It strikes me that any society that has to start asking itself if it is committing “professional suicide” by ignoring the threat posed by barbarians with a completely alien world view and bent on their destruction is already beyond help. Geopolitical navel-gazing must be the last stage in the evolution of a society before it is too morally ambivalent to defend its own sovereignty. (Or, maybe it results from the unwillingness to do so?)
Let me lay it out for you…

Stage 1: We need a revolution to set us free from tyranny!

Stage 2: Hey, what happened to our colonies?

Stage 3: Oh, yeah. Uh. Colonialism is bad. Yeah. That’s it. So, that must mean any use of military force against anyone anywhere is bad. Right?

Stage 4: Oh gosh, we just need to all be more tolerant of other people. And hey, at least all those imigrants always vote our way. Besides, aren't we all really just immigrants on this big old space ship we call Earth anyway?

Stage 5: Didn't we used to have elections this time of year? Hey, where’d all the Barbies go?

Stage 6: Now repeat after the nice man with the machine gun… “There is one God and Mohamed is his prophet.”

Stage 7: GoTo Stage: 1, repeat as necessary.

Or, the alternative evolution...

Stage 5: Hey, didn't there used to be a couple of big buildings right about here?

Stage 6: Jihad? I've got your Jihad right here baby!

Stage 7: Okay, so we got a litte rough there, but they deserved it.

Stage 8: GoTo Stage 3: repeat as necessary.

So you see, all the terrorists would have had to do to take America out of the equation was leave us alone for another 50 years or so and we would have evolved into sophisticated pro-globalization pacifists all by ourselves. But, nothing sets back political entropy like a good old Pearl Harbor style sucker-punch, eh?

Posted by: Dacotti on September 25, 2003 01:07 PM [NOTE FROM BOB: The address is Dacotti -at- hot mail dot com]
More on this later too...

A Jew In Baghdad

The great irony of multiculturalism is that it is built on a kernel of truth. In fact, it takes something that everyone knows in their bones to be true and then perverts it: everyone is unique. But then we're supposed to believe that everyone and every group is of equal value. And everyone's just as rational as us westerners.

This stunning article by Jonathan Zagdanski clarifies the lie. Here's a critical snippet:
While patrolling the streets of Baghdad, I often got involved in political conversations with secular, educated, and "moderate" Iraqis about the war against Iraq, Israel, the Jews, and America. To my surprise, most of them held wildly irrational beliefs about the world. For example, most of them would swear that Ariel Sharon pressured a reluctant President Bush to go to war against Iraq [or] that the CIA put Saddam Hussein, a CIA agent, in power to allow U.S. forces to take Iraqi oil and impoverish Iraq. Finally, they were convinced that the CIA is an organization controlled by the Mossad and that powerful Zionists dominate Washington, D.C.! In fact, most Arabs in the world believe these absurdities. These beliefs are the product of years of intense brainwashing by their education[al] system, mass media and political and religious leaders. These beliefs turn educated, intelligent Arab family men into hijackers that slam passenger planes into buildings and homicide bombers that murder as may Jews as possible on Israeli buses.

We are not at war against terrorism; we are at war against an ideology. I consider this ideology to be the product of a dangerous mental disease. It is a disease that has infected millions of Arabs into believing that by destroying the enemy -- the Jew, the State of Israel, and the "Great Satan" America -- past Arab pride and glory [will] be restored. This mental illness is slowly but deliberately plunging the world into World War III.
[Emphasis added.] The only clarification I would add is that there's a fair argument that this is WW IV as James Woolsey has suggested, however there are some disturbing signs that it's just a continuation of the Cold War by other means. While there's obviously a huge element of brainwashing and creating external enemies going on here, I think it's also tied in with the grand historical sweep of residues. Reading "The Formation of Residues" is your homework assignment for the weekend -- strongly, strongly recommended. More on that later...
Ya Just Gotta Love ...

Gray Davis' firefighting priorities! If I didn't try to keep the expletives under control here your eyes would be feeling about as warm as the LA basin right now...


You can't risk missing this so here's a shameless steal from Andrew:
EMAIL OF THE DAY: "I just got back from the memorial service. This soldier had served 18 years in the Army, most of that in Special Forces. He did all the hard jobs, and spent years in desolate miserable places, helping people he didnt' know, try to improve their lives. He was a father of two young boys, a husband, and clearly a friend of many. He did more to alleviate suffering in this world than was his burden to do, more, I'd dare venture, than all of the people put together who wrote to the Democratic Underground to call for the death of more soldiers like him in Iraq. I fly up to DC tonight to be with my wife and children. We are stationed apart, she is a doctor at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and I am a simple soldier in the Third Army, "Patton's Own". My kids will likely fall asleep in their Haloween costumes so that I can see them all dressed up, since I won't be there until sometime after 11:00 pm. I pray every day that they understand that what their Mother and I do for work is not just a hardship on them, but a way to protect them, and others, for many years to come. Others will have to make this same sacrifice in the future, but it's a burden I and others share right now. I've lived in Saudi Arabia, and I've seen what Islamic fundamentalism can do to personal freedom. I will gladly fight to keep that away from my children. And I will work to keep those who think like the writers to the Democratic Underground out of power. My promise on that is as good as my 20 year promise to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I will never forget."
- 1:40:12 PM [Emphasis added.]
Separating The Extremes ...
... is very difficult based on this. (Instapundit is hot today.)

If the far left were actually reasoned into the positions they hold in support of the second Holocaust now underway in Israel (and fast coming into view in Europe) they would develop self doubt when they found themselves in alignment with vile scum like this.

More Good News!

The Clinton-Gore economic boom continues!!! (Hat tip Instapundit.)

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Johann Hari ...

... strikes again:
You might have doubts about America being a friend of Iraqi democracy - given their one-time backing for Saddam and a myriad of tyrants, all sane people should - but you can be absolutely certain that the bombers - attackers of the Red Cross - are its resolute enemy. America helped the Kurds to build democracy in Northern Iraq; neither jihadists nor Baathists have ever built democracy anywhere. America offers some hope; the bombers, none. Any possibility of a better Iraq is being shaken with every blast. Of course, we should not play their game by exaggerating the bombers' successes. 90 per cent of the attacks are happening in just 5 per cent of the country, so most Iraqis - and most coalition troops - are unaffected by these attackers.
Don't miss it!
Check Out The ...

Party line. (Hat tip Andrew.)

What? An accounting of recent foreign policy history from the left that isn't completely rabid?

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Michael Totten ...

Has the kind of interpretation of "Healing Iraq" that I was about to pen -- though not that literate of course :) So I'm going to bed instead :):)

Point, Counter-Point on Iraq Reconstruction (and more)

First the serious with some excellent points though certainly with a caustic, anti-Bush slant -- then the caustic points with an excellent slant ;/

And of course, as I pointed out in a previous post, we have been here before. If you would have asked Roosevelt before the war what the plan was for reconstructing Europe you would have gotten either an acid stare or a raucous laugh.

For a while now, I have been less than impressed with the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority for Iraq) -- I think it probably is the "C" team to a large extent. We have become a soft and complacent nation -- our best people are rewarded very well to take cushy positions. Why risk your life and possibly not seeing your kids for a long time -- or ever -- when you can assign the "new hires" to work on it? (I don't mean to disparage the many fine individuals who are risking all to go over there.)

And make no mistake, our entire system operates on an exquisitely fine balance to deliver the standard of living we have. We could move Iraq along much faster if we raided a large number of the best minds in the country to do it. But then we'd be talking about sacrifice and public service and actual bravery.

We'd build a Peace Corps that had both compassion and smarts -- and guts and muscle when it became clear they were taking undeserved crap. But then we'd need the best of both ends of the political spectrum to actually compromise and work with each other -- and contribute some of their best people.

For instance, the left would have to say to the right: OK, if you give us legal rights for gay marriage then we'll stop trying to destroy traditional families and we'll help you go after the NAMBLA people like they were the KKK reincarnated.

And the right would have to say to the left: OK, if you stop the nonsense with attacking capitalism by pandering to envy, then we'll make sure that corrupt rich folks get mandatory minimums measured in decades -- and not in "nice" prisons either.

And the left would have to say to the right: OK, if you slow down the focus on techno-war, we'll stop eviscerating any possibility of building up a competent "human intelligence" capability by harping on unrealistic "human rights concerns".

And the right would have to say to the left: OK, if you admit to the brutal ignorance and anti-semitism that infests the Middle East, we'll work with you to choke off all the tyrannies there as well as the retirement gravy trains they bribe our government officials with. Maybe even make government work pay enough that corruption wasn't a constant temptation.

You should get the idea by now...

Sadly, I doubt this will happen until something really nasty happens -- and believe me, since 911 hasn't done it, it's going to be bad.

Oh yeah, see my previous post about why the Euros are very, very far from our "betters" on this topic either...

More in the future about how our "first past the post" political system has helped get us in this uncompromising mess...
Our Betters The Europeans ...

also happen to be corrupt.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Darren Kaplan

on the "Fraudulent Coalition".
More on Syrians ...

in the flypaper.
Healing Iraq Again

I continue to be impressed with Healing Iraq. (I've added him to my links.) My guess is the terrorist tempo is finally ramping up enough for it to be possible that a "big gun" terrorist like Mugniyah is involved. The key question now is whether the Iraqis line up in Zeyad's direction or fall back into being terrorized by Bin Laden and Saddam. "Flypaper" has ignited Islam's long-overdue civil war in Iraq...

Zeyad's post on how big video games are in Iraq is very interesting also -- gives me hope that they've tasted too much "forbidden fruit of the west" to fall for Bin Laden's claptrap...

Good News! The Plan for Spam

Spock has a nice post on the promise (and some fair detail) of Bayesian filtering engines in the war against Spam. It will cheer you up when you find out that the spammers may actually be in a relatively hopeless position against the newest filters like POPfile!

I would concur. My organization has recently adopted POPfile (and Outclass) with very good results. Even more interesting, I recommended POPfile to someone at church who was complaining about spam and he liked it so much he went out of his way to tell me how happy he was with it.

How 'bout that? A rare cheery morning here at We The Free...

Monday, October 27, 2003

Relativity Stops at the Family's Edge

This City Journal piece by Brian Anderson is very astute on the growing Conservative/ Libertarian tendencies of the younger generation. Check out this snippet on South Park.
One of the contemporary Left’s most extreme (and, to conservatives, objectionable) strategies is its effort to draw the mantle of civil liberties over behavior once deemed criminal, pathological, or immoral, as a brilliant South Park episode featuring a visit to town by the North American Man-Boy Love Association—the ultra-radical activist group advocating gay sex with minors—satirizes:

NAMBLA leader [speaking at a group meeting, attended by the South Park kids]: Rights? Does anybody know their rights? You see, I’ve learned something today. Our forefathers came to this country because they believed in an idea. An idea called “freedom.” They wanted to live in a place where a group couldn’t be prosecuted for their beliefs. Where a person can live the way he chooses to live. You see us as being perverted because we’re different from you. People are afraid of us, because they don’t understand. And sometimes it’s easier to persecute than to understand.

Kyle: Dude. You have sex with children.
NAMBLA leader: We are human. Most of us didn’t even choose to be attracted to young boys. We were born that way. We can’t help the way we are, and if you all can’t understand that, well, then, I guess you’ll just have to put us away.
Kyle [slowly, for emphasis]: Dude. You havesex. With children.
Stan: Yeah. You know, we believe in equality for everybody, and tolerance, and all that gay stuff, but dude, fuck you.
[Emphasis added.] As the father of two young boys, you don't really want to know what I think about pedophilia and pederasty (which was rampant under the Taliban by the way). One of my favorite quotes on what stinking garbage extreme pomo multiculturalism is comes from Richard Dawkins: "Show me a relativist at 30,000 feet, and I'll show you a hypocrite."
Darren Kaplan ...

... gets a strong vote of recommendation today also -- check this out:
I think the only answer is an unwillingness to realize that the international order is threatened by the terrorists themselves rather than the Bush Administration’s war on the terrorists. When Bush challenged to world to pick a side in that war with his “you are either with us or with the terrorists” statement, much of the world resisted and determined to find a neutral position. Resisting U.S. “hyperpower” was more important than picking a side in the fight between terror and civilization. The problem for the international community is that the terrorists are in agreement with President Bush--you are either with us or with the terrorists and the terrorists have determined that the rest of the world is not with them. That makes the rest of the world and all its neutral institutions fair game for the terrorists. As so often happens in life, when you refuse to take a side, one ends up being chosen for you.

That it took this long for the Red Cross to realize that they could become a target strongly suggests that the NGOs have failed to understand the fundamental nature of the threat. This is a war by the forces of ignorance and hate against the enlightened and merciful. It is surprising that it took the Iraqi insurgents this long to attack the Red Cross. Red Cross workers have been prime targets for the Taliban and al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan for some time. [Emphasis added.]
Uhhh -- it is a cross and not a crescent moon...
Rolling, Rolling!

Totten is on a roll today and adds fuel to my Kucinich critique in a TCS article on "The Crucial Alliance":
Four years ago during the war in Yugoslavia House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) said "The bombing was a mistake." He demanded president Clinton negotiate a "diplomatic agreement in order to end this failed policy." The policy wasn't a failure. It just wasn't finished yet. Tom DeLay is not a pacifist. But he would have halted an unfinished war in its tracks and made it a failure on purpose, just to destroy a hated president.

Now that we have a new man in the White House, some Democrats have decided to behave the same way. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) proposes an immediate US retreat from Iraq. Stabilizing and democratizing Iraq is far more important than the intervention in the Balkans. Fighting back in the Terror War is not optional, and most honest brokers will admit that Iraq is one lynchpin within that war. But that doesn't stop Dennis Kucinich. He'll let Iraq fall apart and grant a victory to terrorists as long as it helps take down president Bush.

More than 2,000 years ago in The Art of War Sun Tzu told how to defeat an enemy's leadership. "When he is united, divide him." The lesson here is reversible. We cannot let ourselves become divided. We cannot let the crucial alliance be shattered.
Then, back on his own blog he goes for the jugular against ANSWER:
I can forgive those on the old left who once had a romance with Communism. As Leszek Kolakowski wrote, Communism is the degenerate bastard child of the Enlightenment. Vicious as it was, at least some of the ideas sounded nice. The results were horrific; engineered famines, mass graves, prison camps, and bone piles. But equality and solidarity were the rallying cries. It was an irresistible siren song for some well-meaning fools.

Fascism, though, is another matter. It isn't a bastard child of the liberal Enlightenment. It is deliberately anti-Enlightenment. Freedom, equality, and global solidarity are hardly the talking points. It is explicitly belligerent and genocidal. Look at the Baath Party and its racist ethnic cleansing campaign against Jews and Shiites and Kurds. Look at the Islamists and their brutal persecution of secularists and "infidels", their perverse dream of a global Islamic Inquisition. They would put the Jews to the sword. They promise to turn the United States into a sea of deadly radiation. They throw acid in the faces of unveiled women. The Baathists massacred ethnic minorities with chemical weapons. They fed dissidents into tree shredders.

These are the people for whom the anti-war organizers express their "unconditional support."

This isn't Marxism. It's not a "good cause" gone bad. It's fascism all over again with Islamic characteristics.

The hindsight of history gave old Communists some slack, so long as they didn't commit atrocities themselves. Supporters of European fascism didn't get off so easy. They are unsparingly damned by history.

Supporters of Middle Eastern fascism may find a similar terrible judgement awaiting them in the future. Those in the West are the 21st Century's skinheads. [Emphasis added.]
Nice job Michael...

Light Hate

I got a good chuckle from Jonah today -- about hate and guessed thoughts of those under the tinfoil hats:
I could go on. But the point is that just because I hate these people and things doesn't mean I'm wrong. Nor does it mean that my reasons for hating them are irrational or illegitimate. Indeed, we generally consider people who say they don't hate Hitler to have an incomplete or warped grasp of the facts. Conservatives believe that not hating Stalin just as much is a sign of world-historical bias for mass murderers of the Left. We don't treat people who think dried figs and blue cheese make a nice lunch as if they're crazy, but hopefully if Bush can get a few justices on the Supreme Court we'll be able to change that.

Look Inside Yourself

If you can read this story and come out the other side cheering for the terrorists then I will be sure to pray for you -- you're at least in de-nihilism. Myself, I had shivers of repulsion and the urge to retch... (Hat tip LGF.)

By the way, the Healing Iraq blog has a very apropos tagline: "It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into." -- Jonathan Swift

Look at my tag line and you'll see kindred spirits...

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Of Tinfoil Hats, Dead Christians and De-nihilism...

Mark Steyn breaks the de-nihilism barrier:
I haven't really followed Sudanese current events closely since, oh, Gen. Kitchener's victory over the Mahdi at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. But a recent story from that benighted land happened to catch my eye. Last month mass hysteria apparently swept the capital city, Khartoum, after reports that foreigners were shaking hands with Sudanese men and causing their penises to disappear. One victim, a fabric merchant, told his story to the London Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi. A man from West Africa came into the shop and "shook the store owner's hand powerfully until the owner felt his penis melt into his body."


There's something pathetic about a culture so ignorant even its pathologies have to be imported. But what do you expect? The telling detail of the vanishing penis hysteria is that it was spread by text messaging. You can own a cell phone, yet still believe that foreigners are able with a mere handshake to cause your penis to melt away.

Aside from its doubts in its collective manhood, Sudan is no laughing matter. Two million people have been slaughtered there in the last decade. The Christian minority is vanishing a lot faster than that fabric merchant's privates. Osama certainly found the country fertile ground for his ideology: Sudanese mujahideen have been captured as far afield as Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan. An economic basket case with a 27 percent literacy rate has managed to find enough spare cash to export revolutionary Islam to many other countries. And they've got half-a-billion dollars' worth of state-of-the-art Chinese weaponry from Iran.

A handshake-fearing guy with a cell phone is one thing; what happens when the handshake-fearers have cell phones and a suitcase nuke? It's at the intersection of apparently indestructible ancient ignorance and cheap, widely available western technology that the dark imponderables of the future lie. [Emphasis added.]
I really, really wish I was making this up. I'm going to have to come up with a term much stronger than "tinfoil hat wearer" to even get on the right planet to describe my opinion of this. Negotiating with people like this is just risible...

I'm just going to shamefully lift this from Andrew, it's too damn good to take any chances you won't click through to see it:
ORWELL ON WAR CRITICS: "It is, I think, true to say that the intelligentsia have been more wrong about the progress of the war than the common people, and that they were more swayed by partisan feelings. The average intellectual of the Left believed, for instance, that the war was lost in 1940, that the Germans were bound to overrun Egypt in 1942, that the Japanese would never be driven out of the lands they had conquered, and that the Anglo-American bombing offensive was making no impression on Germany. He could believe these things because his hatred for the British ruling class forbade him to admit that British plans could succeed. There is no limit to the follies that can be swallowed if one is under the influence of feelings of this kind. I have heard it confidently stated, for instance, that the American troops had been brought to Europe not to fight the Germans but to crush an English revolution. One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool." - from Notes on Nationalism. It's a helpful quote when slogging through yet another left-liberal column on why we can't win in Iraq. [Emphasis added.]
More Deja-Vu -- and more grist for upcoming posts on hatred...

A Key Point Regarding Hitchens' "Against Rationalization" Thesis

The main argument with any semblance of rationality by the Bush hater crowd against Hitchens' point:
What they abominate about "the West," to put it in a phrase, is not what Western liberals don't like and can't defend about their own system, but what they do like about it and must defend: its emancipated women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state. (Christopher Hitchens, "Against Rationalization")
is that it's Bush they're after -- not us nice people and not Clinton for instance.

This argument is bogus: terrorist Ramzi Yousef boasted that the goal of the WTC I bombing under Clinton's reign was to topple one tower into another with the aim of 250,000 deaths! We were tremendously lucky. And of course, there were plenty of attacks on Clinton's watch including the USS Cole, Khobar Towers and the African embassies. And Yousef was busting his butt after WTC I to simultaneously blow up a dozen airliners over the Pacific it turns out.

So basically, you would need to elect a virtual communist like Dennis Kucinich to have any prayer of success with this line of reasoning. Number 1, that just ain't going to happen in America for at least 10-20 years due to the way the two party system currently still works -- the Dems would suffer a bigger than McGovern-sized defeat.

Number 2, it would fail on the merits of course. Dopey as Kucinick is, I doubt even he would send out his KuciNazis to put bags over all our women's bodies and heads. (See, I can even say nice things about people who blind me with the reflections from their tinfoil hats.) And if he did, any nutballs who tried to enforce it would find there are still too many guns in the country to make such vile nonsense stick -- thank God!

And while he might actually succeed in temporarily damaging scitech with some sort of "plan from planet Lysenko" ("What? You say there's been a warming trend since the last Ice Age?! The gulag for you!"), if anything he would work night and day to destroy religion rather than incorporate it into the state.

Now, of course, just a moderate implementation of that might jar Christians enough to reopen their history books and remember that there were at least 3 million (and possibly as high as 12 million) Christians killed in the Holocaust alongside the 6 million Jewish victims -- and that doesn't count the tens of millions of Christians killed in the fighting of the war, of course. And out would come the guns. Not to mention that the police and military in this country are still heavily Christian and would be more likely to start giving ACLU members two year sentences for ginned-up parking tickets instead.

And if Dennis really got his tinfoil hat cockeyed and decided to institute Islam as the new American religion of state ("because, you know, we need to make up for all the enslavement of the Muslims we have done") then the last paragraph would be a way, way, way conservative estimate of what would happen...
The wife pulled off yet another b-day party extraordinaire -- smiling little faces all around!

Not Much Blogging Today ...

... with a newly-minted 5-year old in the house! Have a great day -- I know I will!