(These ideas are explicated in this sloppy manifesto)
Saturday, December 07, 2002
A day that will live in infamy...
"al-Qaeda's specialty is destroying things they could never have built themselves, using technologies they never could have developed themselves." --Secretary of Defense Donald RumsfeldIt's worth remembering that Islam didn't build the buildings. They can't build skyscrapers, not without Western help. They didn't build the airplanes. They can't. They didn't build Constantinople, they just sacked it. They do not have the power to create, but only to destroy. And even that power must come first from us...
Bigfoot bigfoot laments the death of his sinecure...
Proving that nothing can penetrate the barrier of academic credulity, MSNBC.com has this reaction to the exposure of the decades-old Bigfoot hoax:
Jeff Meldrum, an associate professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University, says he has casts of 40 to 50 footprints that he believes were made by authentic unknown primates.Never fear, Dr. Meldrum. We still don't know who is behind the Loch Ness Monster hoax.
If formerly-credulous Bigfoot-believers should like to change their gullible ways, Snopes.com is a good place to begin. Alas, the site has nothing on Bigfoot. So maybe Dr. Meldrum is right... Maybe the legend is true after all...
The lady or the tiger?
Today, as a special treat, Islam offers us a choice. We can have the lady, King Abdullah II of Jordan writing in the Washington Post.
Today Muslims must speak out boldly in defense of a dynamic, moderate Islam -- an Islam that upholds the sanctity of human life, reaches out to the oppressed, respects men and women alike, and insists on the fellowship of all humankind. This is the true Islam of the Prophet, and the Islam that terrorists seek to destroy.Or we can have the tiger in the form of Saudi Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd Al-Rahman Al-'Arifi, imam of the mosque of King Fahd Defense Academy, from MEMRI, the Middle-East Media Research Institute:
"We will control the land of the Vatican; we will control Rome and introduce Islam in it. Yes, the Christians, who carve crosses on the breasts of the Muslims in Kosovo – and before then in Bosnia, and before then in many places in the world – will yet pay us the Jiziya [poll tax paid by non-Muslims under Muslim rule], in humiliation, or they will convert to Islam..."Before you choose the lady, think twice. The tiger is fearsome, but he's an honest warrior. King Abdullah is convinced we are so corrupt that he can slip in the actual truth about Islam and no one will notice:
The Prophet Muhammad tells us that the "greater" holy war is not against others at all but against one's own failings -- the "war against the ego."This is twice true. The jihad of the would-be Vatican-sackers is called the lesser jihad. And Islam is utterly and eternally at war with the human ego--the source of all honor, of all goodness, of all wealth and beauty and purpose and integrity and happiness.
King Abdullah may well be a decent man. His remarks are clearly well-intended, even if the doctrine he preaches is no less anti-human--anti-rational-animal--than that of Sheikh Muhammad. But there is no practical distinction to be drawn between the lady and the tiger. By one or the other, your ego will be eaten alive. By one jihad or the other, you will submit.
Iraqis discover a practical use for Canadians...
From CBC News in the great white north:
[A] new anti-war movement is growing muscle. Some Canadians already have left for Iraq to serve as human shields against bomb attacks on Baghdad. More will follow before Christmas.No word on whether the protesters will attempt to scare away high-altitude USAF and RAF bombers with unsightly nudity. And Americans convinced that stateside media is outrageously biased would do well to investigate how much worse the Canadians have it.
Friday, December 06, 2002
East eats West...
A sign of our times from The Daily Californian at UC Berkeley:
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has admitted responsibility for stealing and trashing about 1,000 copies of The Daily Californian that carried the student newspaper's endorsement of his opponent, police said yesterday.The news here is not really news, alas, not in the man-bites-dog sense. We have long since been afflicted with book-burners and newspaper-dumpers on college campuses. The fact that the newspaper-dumping was done by a mayoral candidate is mildly interesting, and his Clintonesque non-denial denials and non-apology apologetics are amusing if not novel. One supporter defends him by saying that, "He let his emotions take over." This is not a happy thought, should Berkeley ever resolve to do something serious about the vicious exploitation of coffee-bean pickers. Another supporter insists that, "Getting rid of the mayor because of this would basically be the same as capital punishment." Not quite the same, but the hyperbole is only necessary because the newspaper-dumping Mayor does not have the grace to resign after having been caught in his crime, having been caught lying about it, and having done nothing at all to set things right.
We read about a five-year-old fellating a fellow kindergartener and we think that this is what the Clintons have wrought, this is the depth to which our culture has sunk. This is false. Both of these incidents, and hundreds more I could name, are symptoms of a much worse disease, the reversion to barbarism. Our Islamic friends are without doubt aghast at the five-year-old fellatrix, but their indignation surely could not extend so far as to condemn Mayor-elect Bates; if he made any error it was not in disposing of the newspapers but rather in failing to dispose of the newspaper's editor.
Either way, Islam has nothing to teach the West. Our problem, and one which we must correct, is that the West is forgetting what it has so painstakingly learned over the centuries. There are many crucial differences between East and West, but the most vitally important differences are fundamental to the philosophies of these two divergent cultures. The East, of which Islam is merely an exigent if virulent symptom, governs human behavior by a morality-of-proscription--the 'thou shalt nots' of our own Eastern forebears. Until lately the West, of which the United States may not be the best-ever specimen, has governed human behavior by reason, by each individual's knowledge of good and of evil, of the greater and the lesser, of the desired and the shunned, of the sublime and the ridiculous, of the righteous and the corrupt. Our Eastern forebears condemned us for having eaten of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But the fathers of the West, the fathers of the best within us, have nourished us for more than two millennia on precisely that self-same fruit.
No more. Or not enough, in any case. Where before our classroom Clodia could not happen, not because sexualizing children was forbidden-by-writ, but because sexualizing children was unconscionable in a civilized society, by now we have neither the inviolable proscriptions of the East nor the reason of the West, nor even the aversion-by-appetite that people call 'conscience' (which word actually means knowledge or wisdom). Where once Americans had the wits to condemn censors, by now we coddle them, much as we do for the far more vicious censors of Islam.
Actions--and inactions--have consequences. The West is not without vice, and the East is not without virtue. But the ideas that uniquely define the West--in epistemology, in ethics, in politics, in economics--are under siege--from without and from within. Mayor-elect Bates states an obvious fact when he says, "tossing newspapers is absolutely inappropriate and unacceptable." The corruption of the West, so far uncorrected, is that we are willing to accept so much that is so obviously unacceptable.
An enduring infatwation...
A fun article by Mark Steyn in Canada's National Post raises an important issue:
Some of us drew from the [Salmon] Rushdie affair a different lesson than Mr. Khalfan: As bad as the fatwa was, the inability of the establishment to defend coherently Western values was worse.The West is twice wrong, says Steyn. First by failing to uphold even the minimum standards of civilized behavior among militant Muslims. And second by commiting de facto racism by that failure: "He's saying Muslims are wogs, savages, they know no better, what do you expect? You've gotta be careful around them, the slightest thing could set 'em off."
Thursday, December 05, 2002
A canticle for Kathleen Sullivan
A brand new Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie story just in time for Christmas:
"There is no casual death, no easy death, no safely, comfortably abstract death. There's only the real death of real people, the death that results in endless, boundless, horrifying grief even when no one is at fault. How could anyone be casual about that?"Death, horrific car crashes and Christmas at the hospital. All that and a choir of children singing the Canticle of the Bells. What could be more heart-warming? And for a limited time, all of Brother Willie's Christmas stories can be enjoyed (or endured) from one convenient location. Best of the season to one and all!
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Got A Gov Jones: 'Rendell aide arrested for erratic driving, drugs'
A truly promising solution to the pernicious nanny-state is reported in the Philadelphia Daily News:
Charlie Breslin, a personal aide to Gov.-elect Ed Rendell, was arrested by Philadelphia police yesterday on suspicion of drug possession and reckless endangerment, police said last night.Getting rid of the Leviathan is unlikely to happen any time soon. But if we set up a special drug give-away program for politicians only, we may limit the quantity of new intrusions. It's worked with Whitney Houston, after all. Since she has started denying that she has a heroin habit, she has issued significantly fewer bellowing warbles. And opiated overlords may soon abdicate their throttlehold on Iran. Free smack for the elites! And freedom, soon after, for the rest of us!
The rumors are false!
From the Drudge plug of Diane Sawyer's "Primetime" interview with Whitney Houston:
I want to see the receipts. From the drug dealer that I bought 730 thousand dollars worth of drugs from. I want to see receipts.Clearly Whitney, who reveals in the interview that she is both older and maturer, cannot be a drug-addict, as has been scurrilously reported in the tabloid press. No true drug addict would expect a drug dealer to hand out receipts. Learning to issue a non-denial denial is the greatest denial of all...
Latest goat-bleating news: 'Israel second only to US in socio-economic gaps'
New ammunition for she-goat Ana McDonald straight from the billy-goat's mouth:
Israel is second only to its closest ally, the United States, in terms of socio-economic gaps among Western nations. A report recently prepared by the National Insurance Institute (NII) has found that the number of poor Israelis has grown over 250 percent since the mid-1980s, so that nearly one in five Israelis--some 1.17 million people--currently live below the poverty line.You see, the poorest-of-the-poor in Israel are only bringing down about US$10,000 a year, which is probably not much more than ten or twenty times what the starving-but-very-grateful beneficiaries of Zimbabwean communisim are doing. But as every good little goat knows, "social justice" is not rich poor people, it's poor rich people. Try to keep it straight.
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
Colloquy with a goat
An essay reacting to baaad reasoning from Ana McDonald in the San Antonio Express-News:
It's not just that antique Westerners were even worse than their Islamic counterparts, but, amazingly, the modern children of Athens can only aspire to be almost--but not quite--as morally worthy as ancient and contemporary Muslims.Don't worry, though. The path of righteousness is clear: The United Nations and more communism...
Monday, December 02, 2002
Advocating a peaceful Islam is a capital crime...
The Middle East Media Research Institute reports on a speech by Dr. Hashem Aghajari:
Aghajari said that an essential part of "core Islam" was "Islamic humanism," which would give equal rights to men and women, and to Muslims and non-Muslims, and respect the rights of all. He said that the essence of Islamic humanism is the principle of human rights - treating every person as a human being, even if he is a political dissident. Aghajari also criticized the regime for violating the human rights of political activists, particularly with the use of torture.What could be more reasonable? More tenable? More peceable? As his reward for making this speech, Dr. Aghajari was sentenced to death on November 2, 2002.
It is Aghajari's conviction that led to the recent student protests in Iran. Against his will, his attorney has filed an appeal of his death sentence. The mainstream media reports Tehran's charges without a question: Aghajari was "sentenced to death for insulting Islam". The MEMRI link reveals the actual crime.
That ubiquitous glass ceiling...
Pravda.RU reports on a blatant injustice that may incite even American feminists to denounce terrorism:
[The Tripura National Liberation Front, a] separatist group operating in north-eastern India has decided to no longer accept women into their ranks. The organization gives a very simple explanation: there have been too many instances when male terrorists fell in love with female members and gave up the armed struggle.They want male members to spring into action, just not that way. Ex-terrorist Makai Debarma, who may have been auditioning for a DeBeers commercial, says, "Terrorist life completely emptied me. When I met Sharmil in the training camp, I fell in love with her; after several months, we escaped and got married." Tripuran independence is chimerical, but a diamond is forever. No word on the state of outrage among involuntarily otherized Martyr-Track women...
But what about the bright side?
From Zimbabwe's The Standard:
[Zimbabwe] Lands and agriculture minister, Joseph Made, finally admitted last week that government has failed to ensure food security for the famine-stricken nation, more than a year after repeatedly dismissing warnings of a serious grain shortage.But on the other hand, the confiscation-of-farms program has been a huge success. And Zimbabwe's ever-svelter population has been spared the unknown risks of genetically modified grain donated by the busy-body West, which could conceiveably poison them before they have a chance to starve to death. And at least the starving millions of Zimbabwe are not being exploited by imperialists...
Word gets around...
Today at AndrewSullivan.com:
A left-wing black feminist has been targeted by the Islamo-fascists for killing. She has to live in hiding in the United States. Never heard of her? I guess her fellow lefties are too busy campaigning for the release of Mumia.No link back to me. Must be the zeitgeist...
Sunday, December 01, 2002
Redemption is egoism in action...
A marvelous, in-your-face vision of what can be done with the site of the World Trade Center. I'm not crazy about the architecture, but, man, do I love the chutzpah.
Back-handing the sinister American left...
A new essay, an exercise in philosophical detection:
What best fits the evidence? A left that lusts after power? A left that misunderstands the threat to freedom? A left that is perverse or distracted or over-committed? Or a left that labors persistently to undermine and destroy the West? Not as an organized conspiracy, but as a shared, long-standing habit-of-mind.There is more to this, and I'll be getting to it in the coming weeks. But this by itself explains a great deal. For example, either I am most emphatically on to something. Or I need to be fitted for a tin-foil hat. You decide...