Fat Steve's Blatherings

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Today's Religious War News

        Today's news mostly revolves around the will to dhimmitude.

        As Mark Steyn says in the Chicago Sun-Times:
        Something very remarkable is happening around the globe and, if you want the short version, a Muslim demonstrator in Toronto the other day put it very well:

        "We won't stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law."

        Stated that baldly it sounds ridiculous.  But, simply as a matter of fact, every year more and more of the world lives under Islamic law: Pakistan adopted Islamic law in 1977, Iran in 1979, Sudan in 1984.  Four decades ago, Nigeria lived under English common law; now, half of it's in the grip of sharia, and the other half's feeling the squeeze, as the death toll from the cartoon jihad indicates.  But just as telling is how swiftly the developed world has internalized an essentially Islamic perspective.  In their pitiful coverage of the low-level intifada that's been going on in France for five years, the European press has been barely any less loopy than the Middle Eastern media.

        The I'd-like-to-teach-the-world-to-sing-in-perfect-harmonee crowd have always spoken favorably of one-worldism.  From the op-ed pages of Jutland newspapers to les banlieues of Paris, the Pan-Islamists are getting on with it.

        (HT: Dr. Sanity)

        You should read all of Steyn's column.  The only thing I can add to what he said is that the one-world crowd always expected that they would be in charge of the global dictatorship.  But still, they'd rather see a Muslim-run global dictatorship than no global dictatorship at all.

        There's a little resistance going on (story also archived here):
        Plans by a Republican student group at UC Irvine to showcase the controversial cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that led to violent protests around the world are drawing condemnation from Muslim groups and university officials.

        The caricatures will be part of a panel discussion sponsored by the campus College Republicans scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. in UCI's Crystal Cove Auditorium.

        "We are firm believers in the 1st Amendment," said Kristin Lucero, a 21-year-old UCI senior and president of the campus College Republicans.  "The public has the right to discuss as well as view the cartoons."

        Lucero said the cartoons depicting Muhammad, first published by a Danish newspaper, would be displayed along with what she called anti-Semitic and anti-Western cartoons that have been published in Muslim nations.  Depictions of Muhammad are prohibited under Islamic law.

        [Muslim studen Marya] Bangee has asked the College Republicans to hold the event without showing the drawings.  She said Muslim students fear the cartoons will incite violence locally.

        That is the primary concern of university officials as well, said Sally Peterson, UCI's dean of students.

        Five things worth noting in that story: first, the University officials are eager to surrender; second, the labeling of the Danish Muhammad cartoons as controversial, while the Jew hating and West hating cartoons are qualified "what she called;" third, the false statement that it's against Islamic law to depict Muhammad — we're weeks into the story, and a crucial detail like this is still wrong in a major metropolitan newspaper, the Los Angeles Dog Trainer.  Fourth, the lameness of liberals and Democrats, who are letting the campus Republicans be the ones who stand up for freedom of expression.

        Fifth, and most important, the crap about being afraid the cartoons will incite violenceBY WHOM?  This is a threat by Muslim students that they will break the law if you displease them, and in any sane society legal steps would immediately be taken to them.  But as noted, the University officials want to surrender.

        The Washington Post has a story about four British cartoonists.  All of them are cowards who wouldn't dare offend Muslims, but only one has the moral courage to admit that his motivation is fear of what the ragheads would do to him.

        The World Council of Churches is also eager for dhimmitude and dictatorship.  But that's nothing new for them.

        In Germany, a man who printed "Koran" on rolls of toilet tissue and offered them for sale has been convicted of insulting a religion, namely Islam.  I have no quarrel with this, if the law is also used against those who insult any other religion.  Somehow, though, I doubt it is being enforced evenhandedly.

        And in a story so disgusting, it makes me consider voting Democratic, I find the U.S. will apparently continue funding the Jew hating Palestinians.  Predictably, the Palis responded to this by threatening us.  And who can blame them?  Anyone still stupid enough to attempt to appease Muslims deserves to have the Muslims spit on him.

        I'll be writing the Republican leadership in Congress, and my Congresscritters, saying that this must be stopped, and that I will vote against anyone letting this go through.

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Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Reality is NOT Important!

        The International News Safety Institute says that journalists shouldn't carry guns in Iraq, just because journalists get murdered there:
        "A journalist with a gun says 'some people in the situation I'm covering are my enemies and I am prepared to kill them if necessary'. That is not the position of a neutral civilian."

        Yes, much better to die than to seem non-neutral.

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"Show Courage!"

        So The New York Times advises "moderate Muslims" to show courage.  They must stand up to the "radical Islamists" who are using the situation to intimidate political enemies.

        This from "the newspaper of record" that refused to reprint them.

        HT: Little Green Footballs, and stunned disbelief from Michelle Malkin, Captain Ed, Judith Klinghoffer, and All Things Beautiful.

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MSM Dishonest

        It's not just American anymore.

        HT: Betsy Newmark.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

If You're Not a Fellow Minnesotan . . .

        . . . you may be unaware of the ad surpression efforts being made by our local Democrats.  But they're worth knowing about, regardless of where you live.

Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

I Don't Know Whether to Be Encouraged or Discouraged

        Iraq remains tense, but the violence doesn't seem too bad, yet.  And A Free Iraqi thinks the worst is endurable, perhaps beneficial in the long run.

        God's mercy on Iraq, I pray.

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Shreds of Courage

        The Washington Post shows a few shreds of courage by publishing this op-ed on the MSM's cowardly refusal to publish the Muhammad Cartoons.

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Unconscious MSM Bias

        I always find it interesting to watch the ways the MSM reveals its hidden assumptions without intending to.  There's an excellent example up from the New York Times (here; also here when the Times free link goes bad).
        The Times reports:

French Officials Now Say Killing of Jew Was in Part a Hate Crime

By ARIANE BERNARD and CRAIG S. SMITH
Published: February 23, 2006

        PARIS, Feb. 22 — French authorities say a young Jewish man who was tortured and killed here this month was singled out because of his religion, supporting claims by French Jews that his killing was in part a hate crime. . . .

        France has struggled to strike a balance between suppressing anti-Semitism within the country's large Muslim community and addressing rising anti-Islamic sentiments in the broader population.  The government was widely criticized several years ago for responding sluggishly to an outbreak of anti-Semitic incidents.

        Now tell me, why should "anti-semitism," or, as it's known in honest language, Jew hatred, have anything to do with Muslims?  Why would suppressing Jew hatred, among Muslims or anyone else, cause "anti-Islamic sentiments in the broader population" to rise?  The Times doesn't say.  The Times doesn't care to admit the fact that almost all Muslims hate Jews, that this Jew hatred is systematically stirred up by Muslim religious and political leaders, that the Muslim leaders do this as a way of diverting the Muslim masses from their own dictatorship, and that Western civilization is engaged in a war with Islam.  The Times, after all, hates Western civilization too, and wants to see it destroyed.

        The Times won't admit this, not even to itself, because it's afraid of what will happen when the enemy wins — and with reason.  A lot of the MSM will be the first beheaded if the Muslims ever take us over.  But as they kneel, they'll partially exult at the thoughts of all the others who'll be following them.  Ayn Rand nailed this sentiment in Atlas Shrugged.

        But admit it or not, the Times knows that the Muslims hate the Jews and the West, and are at work to destroy both.  The Times knows that France is in the process of a long surrender to its next set of conquerors, and that French officials will dance back and forth on this issue, periodically pretending to crack down on Muslim violence against Jews, while not actually taking any decisive acts.  Even Nicolas Sarkozy, who's supposed to be a hard-ass on the subject of Muslims, can't bring himself to say that flatly that the people who kidnapped a Jew, held him for ransom, and tortured him to death because he was a Jew are just plain Jew haters.

        If I were in charge of the U.S. government, I'd be trying to make a list of "left wing" and "right wing" Europeans, and making sure that only those on the "right wing" list were approved if they wanted to immigrate here.  We'll be getting a lot of scared Europeans as the scimitar falls.  European leftists, especially French ones, deserves what will happen to them when the Muslims rule there.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Concealed Good News For Republicans

        Update: Dr. Sanity has more news about the Democratic Dilemma.

        Larry Summers, President of Harvard, resigned after five years on the job.

        As this article notes, Summers was hired by the Harvard Board to modernize the institution.  But attempting to do so angered the Leftists, who kept pushing to get rid of him.  They succeeded.

        Summers was Treasury Secretary under Clinton, and was known as tough.  But as Stanley Kurtz points out, he's part of the "moderate" wing of the Democrats, rather than the Leftist wing.  The Leftists despise Summers and all he stands for.  Summers, according to Kurtz and the Times, wants to advise a Democratic Presidential nomination candidate.  Apparently, Summers figured that if he didn't resign, the Left would fight him at Harvard and in the Donkey party.

        As with all appeasement of radicals, this won't work.  The Left will continue to jump on Summers, Harvard will stay left wing, and the Democrats will almost certainly nominate a lefty or someone who appeases the leftists for the Presidency.

        Which means, a likely Republican victory in 2008.

        All articles linked to above are also here.

        Ht: Dr. Sanity.

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Image Problem

        I used up my free monthly quota at Flickr, and when I tried to buy a "Pro" account, they made it so inconvenient that I said "forget you, Flickr," or words similar to that (I think the first one was shorter, but I'm sure it started with 'f').

          So that means I can't post this 'cartoon' of seriously anti-Islamic images on this site, or at my Archives.  But I suggest you go take a look.  You shouldn't have any trouble figuring out which one I mean.

Update: See also the cartoons on this page, this one, this one, this one, and this one.

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Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Hello, All

        Sorry to have been gone the past few days, but I wasn't feeling very well.  Also, it's mind-numbingly cold, which tends to slow me down.  And I seemed to be coming down with a cold.  And I had things to catch up on, after the weekend of torture.  And my dog ate the internet.

        So, let's look at the West's War With Islam.  The Cartoon Flap Continues, with at least ten killed in Libya, sixteen in Nigeria, and more elsewhere.  The current known deathtoll is 45.  For the moment, the best place I've found to keep up with developments is Yahoo's religion news.

        The Washington Post had an "anatomy" of the controversy that was interesting as much for what it didn't say as what it did.  The thing about the protests is that nothing happened until Danish Muslims got in touch with various Middle Eastern governments.  This, and other things, raises the suspicion that the whole protest was deliberately stirred up by anti-Western, anti-democratic governments.  The Post, in a stunning display of stupidity, put just enough references to this into their story to say that they were aware of it, while absolutely refusing to pursue the issue.  You can read both the story, and my letter to the Post, here.

        To their credit, the Post did publish an op-ed by Flemming Rose of Jyllands-Posten, explaining why he ran the cartoons in the first place.  If you're registered with the Post, you can read it here.  Otherwise, it's here in my archives, along with my letter to Mr. Rose.

        And I finally found a source for the other cartoons the Danish Muslims took with them to the Middle East.  You can find them here.

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Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What a Bunch of Self-Righteous Idiots

        The Washington Post won't publish the Muhammad cartoons.  They'd be offensive, and in bad taste.

        But they did publish the armless, legless veteran cartoon, without worrying if anyone might be offended by that.  And the Post Omsbudswoman says:
        Most good newspapers don't set out to offend readers.  But newspapers shouldn't avoid controversy, and if they don't occasionally offend readers, they're probably not doing their job.

        So if you're offended, they did their job, and if your not offended, they did their job.  The important thing to remember is, they're always right.  The MSM is right not to publish the cartoons, and if they did publish them, that would be right too.

        And what's truly amazing is, they expect us to believe they aren't flinching from cowardice.

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More on the Orchestration of the Cartoon Flap

        Jyllands-Posten has a new article on way Danish Muslims brewed up the present "controversy," in cooperation with diplomats from Muslim countries, and by using a lot of lies.  It's available in Danish, or translated into English on Captain's Quarters.  Go read.

        Meanwhile, there's a nice article in The Australian about the manipulation of Muslims, the value clashes between East and West, and the idiocy of it all.  Here's one very good shot:       
Monty Python's biting satire of religion, Life Of Brian, as well as Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation [of Christ] and Terence McNally's Corpus Christi, each triggered protests, but not violence.

        "With Life of Brian we were vilified," recalls Monty Python's Terry Gilliam.  "Yet Christianity is alive and well.  If your religion is so vulnerable that a little bit of disrespect is going to bring it down, it's not worth believing in frankly."

        Perhaps that's the most important revelation in all this otherwise meaningless brouhaha.  The Muslim world isn't ready for prime time.  Muslims, as a group, aren't mature enough to deal with the modern world.

Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

Nightmare

        The Anchoress channels Stephen King, conceiving of a John McCain/Hillary Clinton ticket.

        And then, it gets worse.

Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

Who Knew

        that Popular Mechanics did investigative reporting?

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This is Droll

        The New York Times had a story on Democratic Party woes a few days ago (also here), and it revolves around the dilemma the Democrats have faced since 2002.  They need to be:

  • Different from Bush and the Republicans;
  • Specific about their proposed policies;
  • Acceptable to the lefties who control the primaries;
  • Convincing to the general public.

        Well, they failed in 2002, and in 2004, and for 2006:
        Democrats said they had not yet figured out how to counter the White House’s long assault on their national security credentials.  And they said their opportunities to break through to voters with a coherent message on domestic and foreign policy — should they settle on one — were restricted by the lack of an established, nationally known leader to carry their message this fall.

        Yeah, I can see how not having any policies is a problem for a politician.

        But it's very funny to see some reactions from lefties that I happened across.  "Atrios" is mad because reporter Adam Nagourney didn't fawn on Kerry during the 2004 campaign.  Instead, Nagourney emphasized Kerry's troubles in coming up with a message.  Apparently, he thinks that if Nagourney and the Times had kept saying Kerry would win, it would have been a self-fullfilling prophecy.

        And Matt Stoller apparently thinks the Democrats should just say 'If you don't like the way things are, vote Democratic,' without proposing any alternative policies.

        Digby (whom I may have known in California, but I'm not sure), says the Democrats should lay it on the line.  'This is what I believe, this is what I'd do,' all in very specific terms.  Alas, when someone like Dean does this, he alienates vast numbers of swing voters.  When someone like Lieberman does it, he alienates Democratic activists.  Would you rather lose the primary, or the general election?

        As Tom Lehrer said, if people can't communicate, the least they can do is shut up.  So, guys, stop screaming at reporters, and 'party leaders,' and start telling us what you want the government to do.

Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

The Phony Mohammad as Pig Cartoon

        See where it really came from.

Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

I Don't Think This Will Play

        Mickey Kaus thinks Democrats should run in 2006 and 2008 on a "Return to Normalcy" platform.  The advantages, as he sees them:
        1) It covers a lot: The essential premise is that Bush has stretched the military, the Constitution and the civility of our politics to the limit in reaction to the threat of future 9/11s.  All this fevered straining and leveraging may have been appropriate at the time, but there's no real need to keep running in hyperdrive.  We can routinize the anti-terror struggle the way we routinized the Cold War, when just as much was at stake.  We don't have to make an end run around the Constitution or a duly-passed statute (wiretapping).  We don't have to torture prisoners or hold them forever without hearings.  We don't have to slight disaster relief (Katrina) because the Department of Homeland Security worries only about terrorists.  We don't have to unmask CIA agents in a desperate effort to build a case for war.  ** We don't have to alienate our allies.  We don't have to run giant deficits to finance our armed forces, as if the "Global War on Terror" were a temporary crisis that will be over in three years.  It's not.  It's a semi-permanent part of the landscape.  Democrats can contain the terrorist threat the way, for four decades, they helped contain the Russians--while (as during the Cold War) we allow ourselves to turn our attention to domestic problems such as health care and Social Security.

        2) It not only changes the focus from foreign policy (on which Dems tend to lose) to domestic policy (where Dems are poised to win)--it does this a) without minimizing the importance of the anti-terror effort but also b) without requiring the public to decide that Democrats are actually better equipped to fight Al Qaeda.  All they have to decide is that the Dems are right to say, "We can handle it. " Wright wants a full-blooded campaign that tells voters the Bush approach to the terror, including the Iraq War, is "completely wrongheaded." But Iraq has already been invaded--whoever is president is going to have to deal with the reality that exists now.  The abnormal--an experiment in Iraqi democracy--is now the normal.  Or, rather, it needs to be the normal.  Isn't it easier to simply convince the public that a Dem approach will be just as effective at making the best of that situation, at a tolerable casualty level? Democrats, after all, already have the votes of Americans who think Bush's approach is "completely wrongheaded." And the mere goal of "returning to normalcy" will by itself do a lot to decathect the terror war abroad, without suggesting a reversal or retreat.

        3) It bridges over the rift within the Democratic Party without seeming to be a vague compromise.  The idea that Bush has gone a bit crazy trying to remake history after 9/11 incorporates a fairly severe critique of his presidency, all the more powerful because it is accurate.  At the same time, "normalcy"--or whatever synonym you prefer--rhetorically counters the idea that Dems are the wacky, fringe, cultural boundary-pushing party of drugs, gay marriage, euthanasia, etc.  Mudcat Saunders will be happy.  (Or else it implies that gay unions, tolerance, self-medication, etc.  now are the normal American institutions--so Frank Rich will be happy too. Win-win!)

        Kaus frequently writes about liberals and Democrats being in a cocoon that keeps them from hearing dissent, but I think this shows that he's stuck in it too.  Let's examine this.

        First, the phrase "Return to Normalcy" echoes Harding's "Back to Normalcy" of 1920.  We were washing our hands of stupid European affairs.  We'd be just fine, disdaining the old world.  The results of that policy were Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union.  Hundreds of thousands of USAmericans died in the wars we could have stopped pretty easily if we'd acted in 1918-1920.  Not a great slogan.

        "The essential premise is that Bush has stretched the military, the Constitution and the civility of our politics to the limit in reaction to the threat of future 9/11s."  Well, there haven't been any more 9/11s.  Mickey's essential platform here is going to be that the Democrats can do just as well, but with much less effort.

        Cue the news stories about the first World Trade Center bombing; the retreat from Somalia; the defiance of Clinton by Saddam; the embassy bombings in Africa; the USS Cole; 9/11 itself, planned during the Clinton years.  The last time the Democrats were in charge of stopping terrorism, they didn't do so well.  Are they going to advocate a return to failed policies?  If not, just what will they do?

        "We can routinize the anti-terror struggle the way we routinized the Cold War, when just as much was at stake."  During the "routine" Cold War, the Democrats threatened war with the Soviet Union over Iran; supported Greece and Turkey against the USSR and it's puppets; rebuilt much of Europe, kept our first large scale peacetime standing military, and entered an "entangling alliance;" ran the soft-on-Communism crowd out of the Democratic Party; went to war in Korea (33,651 dead); built the H-bomb; went to war in Viet Nam (58,868 dead); and threatened "central war" with the Soviets in 1963.  Compared to that performance, Bush doesn't look like he's straining the country.  Wasn't the left decrying our lack of civilian "sacrifice" not long ago?  Now the story is, we're doing too much.  And the casualties in Iraq are horrible, but after the Gulf War, the problem was, our casualties were too low!  This kind of 'Whatever is, is wrong' sentiment won't win elections.

        "We don't have to make an end run around the Constitution or a duly-passed statute (wiretapping)."  And we don't have the faintest idea of whether Bush did that or not.  We don't know if the program violated any laws.  There are suspicions, though, that it was leaked to the media, illegally, by a Democratic senator.  Kaus proposes that Congress be told all about this, and then they will, in utter secrecy, pass a law that will allow the NSA to do something, we won't know what, and limiting the amount of surveillance currently being done, but without increasing the risks of successful terrorist attack.  Good luck on accomplishing all that.

        Then, having pulled off this legal tour de force, the Democrats will run as the people who will protect the U.S. from terror while obeying the law.  Well, if the Democrats want to run on a platform of 'If a known terrorist abroad calls someone in the U.S., we promise we won't listen in till a judge says we have probable cause to believe the person in the U.S. is going to commit a crime, and if that means we miss another 9/11, well, that price is worth paying,' than as a Republican I say "YIPPEE!"  As a patriot, though, I think it's awful for the country for the Democrats to do that to themselves.  If, on the other hand, they aren't going to restrict the present surveillance activities, then they'll be running on the platform of 'We were against wiretapping before we were for it.'  That will be fun.

        "We don't have to torture prisoners or hold them forever without hearings."  Cue stories of released prisoners who took part in later terrorist attacks.  I await the campaign speeches about how letting terrorists go free improves U.S. security with eagerness.

        "We don't have to slight disaster relief (Katrina) because the Department of Homeland Security worries only about terrorists."  Cue stories about incompetence of Louisiana Democrats, and the exaggerations of the media concerning Katrina.

      "We don't have to unmask CIA agents in a desperate effort to build a case for war."  You going to try that one?!?!?!?!  We still don't know who in the MSM knew Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA employee, we don't know that she was "unmasked," we don't know who said what to whom, but we do know that the MSM is desperate to avoid answering questions on these issues — AND that the Democratic-leaning media has exposed covert CIA air operations; done stories about secret prisons; and exposed an anti-terrorist intelligence operation that most people approve of.  And the Donks are going to run as the non-leakers?  ROTFLMAO!

"We don't have to alienate our allies."  'We'll let the French have a veto power over our foreign policy' — yeah, that's a real electoral winner.  And if you say that they won't have a veto, then some nasty GOP person is going to ask 'What will you do when you disagree with our so-called allies, and how can you guarantee that you'll never have to make a choice between alienating them and protecting the U.S.?  Explain to us how you'll decide when to do what the "allies" approve of, and when you'll just act unilaterally.'  Kerry couldn't give a straight answer to that question, because it would alienate a large part of the electorate if he did.  Now Kaus wants to do a replay.  Unbelievable.

        Kaus wants to convince the voters that the Democrats can handle national security competently.  To do that, the Dems have to say, 'These are the actions Bush took that we will stop . . ., and these are the actions he isn't taking that we will do . . .'  And they're going to have to be specific, as well as convince the voters their plan would work.  Yet Kaus has no idea what that plan would be.  In fact, he thinks the lack of specifics is a virtue, because it won't alienate any Democrats.

        More vagueness: "We don't have to run giant deficits to finance our armed forces, as if the "Global War on Terror" were a temporary crisis that will be over in three years.  It's not.  It's a semi-permanent part of the landscape.  Democrats can contain the terrorist threat the way, for four decades, they helped contain the Russians--while (as during the Cold War) we allow ourselves to turn our attention to domestic problems such as health care and Social Security."  And during the Cold War, I don't think the Democrats ran a single balanced budget.  This is the old 'Gut the armed forces and spend 150% of the savings on domestic programs' strategy.  As soon as Democrats start yelling about deficits, Republicans will ask them to propose cuts in spending to balance the budget.  The Donks won't comply.  This will appeal only to the anti-military crowd, who are already on board.

        Kaus's whole strategy can be summed up as 'Pretend 9/11 never happened, and go back to 1993.  Hope that nothing bad happens as a result.'  I can see why a Democrat would want to run on that (it's something that might allow Clinton or Bayh or Biden to get the nomination without moving so far left a loss is guaranteed in the general election), but again, it didn't work for Big John, so why assume it will work for anyone else?  The Republicans will brand the Dems as flip-floppers, and it will work because they will be flip-flopping.

        But for really insane wishful thinking, you can't beat paragraph 3).  A plan with no specifics won't be seen as vague.  Refusing to tell anyone what you will do will satisfy the hate-America left, the liberal hawks, and enough swing voters to get elected.  Saying 'We're normal' is going to make all those cultural and religious issues that cost the Democrats victories in the last five elections go away.  This is totally detached from reality.

        What we have here is denial.  Kaus knows what's wrong with the Democratic Party: it's in thrall to special interests and single issue groups that damage the country.  He knows that this has to end.  And he doesn't believe it will end.  But his sentimental attachment to the Democrats is so strong, he can't bear to say that they have no reasonable prospects for a national victory in the foreseeable future.

        Once upon a time, the Democratic Party faced a similar challenge.  It was 1946, and the Cold War was heating up.  Henry A. Wallace, former Vice-President, current Secretary of Commerce, was apologizing for the Soviets.  Truman fired him, and the liberals of the day created the Americans for Democratic Action and forced the Wallace Democrats right out of the party (that story is also here), and Truman went on to win the election, and cement the Democrats as the majority party of the U.S.  Today's Democrats need to repeat the performance of the old ADA.  But they won't.  Sad.

Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

A Valiant, Doomed Effort

        Glenn Reynolds tried to explain reality to CNN.  Predictably, they didn't get it.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Same Old Song

        There's a story in The New York Times (and also here) about how many Democrats are getting nervous they'll blow the elections in the fall because they don't have a message.

        *YAWN*  No, they don't have a message.  That's because a large part of their party is anti-Americans whose only desire is to see the country 'as it is' destroyed, and a large part stands for nothing but bigger government, higher taxes, and more regulation under all circumstances.  The majority doesn't agree with this, or with the pre-emptive surrender, contempt for the U.S., and worship of Europe that makes up the entirety of the Donks foreign policy.

        The only interesting question left concerning the Democratic Party is 'How long till they either collapse or wise up?'

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A Much Needed Clarification

We'll Take That as a 'Yes'
"They want to test our feelings. They want to know whether Muslims are extremists or not. Death to them and to their newspapers."--"protester" Mawli Abdul Qahar Abu Israra in Afghanistan, quoted by the BBC, Feb. 6

        Also here, if the above link stops working.  Hat tip: Best of the Web Today.

        Meanwhile, Austin Bay puts the controversy into the context of information warfare, Amir Taheri tells the truth about depictions of Muhammad and jokes about Islam, and Stratfor had a very interesting analysis on this, which I got in the mail, and archived here.  (It may also be available on their site somewhere.)  Who are the winners from all this?  The answer may surprise you.

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Funny Picture

        Here.  Look closely at the hands.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

News of the Weird

        Blind woman has a heart attack, lives, and her sight is restored.  Is this for real?

Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Good Shot, Sir!

        Tim Blair nails the press's reaction to Islamofascists:
        Major American newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune, did not publish the caricatures.  Representatives said the story could be told effectively without publishing images that many would find offensive ...

        Most television news executives made similar decisions.  On Friday CNN ran a disguised version of a cartoon, and on an NBC News program on Thursday, the camera shot depicted only a fragment of the full cartoon.  CBS banned the broadcast of the cartoons across the network, said Kelli Edwards, a spokeswoman for CBS News.

        They won’t publish cartoons, but they will run anything they can get out of Abu Ghraib. Both sets of images provoke Islamic anger; note how the media behaves when that anger is directed at them

        Yeah, the MSM only criticizes those it isn't afraid of.

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One thing About Left-Wingers . . .

        . . . they're friends of all humanity.



        Feel the love.





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A Blast From the Past

        Cathy Seipp, last August:
        Whenever liberals remind us that not all Muslims are terrorists or anti-American rioters, I always think that not everyone in the pre-civil-rights south was a church bomber or member of the Ku Klux Klan.  Even then, there was lots to like about the south.  Southerners always have been known for charm and hospitality — rather like Palestinians today, whom the foreign press finds much more appealing than brusque and bossy Israeli soldiers.

        It's fair to say, however, that despite the existence of many decent people and even the occasional Atticus Finch type, southerners a generation or two ago were not exactly unsympathetic to ideas the Klan had about uppity blacks or busybody federal lawmakers trying to come in and destroy their way of life.  But liberals then did not tsk-tsk about the observation that the segregated south was a toxic, racist culture that had to change — nor did they explain to blacks impatient about local traditions like "colored" water fountains that really, this is a different culture after all, and we need to be sensitive and understanding.

        Certainly I realize that there are differences between the pre-civil-rights south and Islamists today.  The animosity of segregationists was focused on blacks; Islamists especially hate Jews, but also aren't fond of Americans, Christians, women, homosexuals, Buddhist statues, Hindus, irreverent Dutch filmmakers or the entire Western way of life.  And even at its worst, the segregated south wasn't expansionist, at least not in the 20th century.  When George Wallace stood in that schoolhouse door, he didn't mean that schools across the entire planet should conform to his notions of separate but equal — or watch out for the suicide bombers.

Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

Verrrrrrry Interesting

        Captain Ed alerts us to a Guardian story on the "spontaneous" demonstrations against Denmark in Lebanon:
        The mob grew fiercer, and finally the police withdrew.  As they moved back, the crowd smashed their way into the building housing the Danish embassy and set it ablaze.  From the burning building they hung a banner that read: "We are ready to sacrifice our children for you, O Prophet Muhammad."  [Gee, I thought sacrificing your children for religous reasons was a pagan thing -- St. Onge]  By now dozens of people had been wounded or arrested and at least one person was killed, a protester apparently caught up in the fire at the embassy building. . . .

        Asad Harmoush, a leader of Jamaía Islamiya, the conservative Sunni Muslim group that had helped organise the protest, tried to deflect the blame.  "We can't control tens of thousands of people.  We tried to limit the harm and we extend our excuses to our brothers in Achrafieh and to the security forces.  There has to be an investigation.  Obviously there were infiltrators."

        And then in the early afternoon, as suddenly as it had all begun, it ended.  The leaders of the mob turned to the angry young men beside them and told them it was time to leave.  Obediently the crowd thinned out and began walking back to the buses, even as the Danish embassy continued to burn.  By 3pm there wasn't a single protester left on the street. [My emphasis -- St. O.]

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Well, Well, What a Coincidence!

        Betsy notes that the Cartoon War has broken out just before Denmark is scheduled to take up the UN Security Council chairmanship, and the Security Council is getting set to discuss Iran's attempts to get a nuke.

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The Whole Dang World Has Gone Crazy

        Evidence here, via Dr. Sanity.

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Why We Need to Support the Cartoonists

        Hugh Hewitt misses an essential point when it comes the cartoon flap.

        Go here and here, and you'll see the kinds of cartoons Muslim media routinely print about those they hate.  They are at least as offensive as the worst of the ones the Jyllands-Posten printed.

        For much of the Muslim world, this is an attempt to intimidate the West.  They can stir up Jew hatred and hatred of the West at will, and call for our murder, we can't criticize them in return.

        Which is why we need to resist.  Support the Jyllands-Posten, the Danish cartoonists, and a Free Press!


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Getting to the Heart of the Matter in the Cartoon War

        Glenn prints an e-mail from a reader:

        Coming from an all Muslim family, I'm forced to listen to the sense of perceived injustice of Muslims concerning the depiction of their revered prophet.  It's quite sickening.

        I tell my family that that's just how things work in a free society: while I don't agree that the newspaper should have done something so culturally insensitive, they do have the right to do that, and attempting to make Danish society pay as a whole for it is utterly ridiculous.

        It doesn't matter, I'm told.  It literally means nothing to them, because in their world, everything should revolve around them and their culture, and God made the world for Muslim Arabs to control.

        And this is the kind of mindset the Danish people are contending with.

        Dr. Sanity has a great post on the workings of shame/honor cultures, which concludes:
        The last such culture the West dealt with was Japan during WWII.  Interestingly, they also had their suicide bombers (kamikaze) and their ritual killings for honor and vengeance related to shame avoidance.

        The conundrum facing the West in dealing with Islam is that if Islam backs down from its demands, the resulting humiliation only increases the entire culture's sense of shame (which has been high for some centuries now) and brings it closer to the reality of a ticking time bomb that can blow up the rest of the world.

        And sadly; the reverse situation--if the West, out of guilt and a sense of justice and fair play, backs down and permits Islam to restore its honor over the Danish cartoon issue at the expense of the West's cultural values; Islam will perceive such appeasement as the ultimate weakness and will be encouraged in thinking that it is the superior culture that will conquer and dominate the world.  Hence even that scenario offers no relief for the world from the ticking time bomb that is Islam.

        In other words, there appears to be no way to avoid a final confrontation.

        Read it all, then go see a post from Michelle Malkin, who has pictures from the London demonstration that show what Muslims want.

        We are at war with Islam.  Wake up, people.

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The ACLU Shows Its True Colors

        Much as they like to pretend they 'protect civil liberties,' the ACLU is really a group dedicated to the overthrow of Western Civilization.

        Once, I heard a spokesman for the ACLU explain that members of the terrorist "Symbionese Liberation Army" were not guilty of any crimes, which he knew to be true because they hadn't been convicted in any court.

        Today, the ACLU is proclaiming that the NSA intercept program is illegal, before any court has ruled on the program in any way, and after five appellate courts have upheld the President's right to do some warrantless surveillance.

        As my buddy Frank Gasperik says, the proper expansion of the acronym ACLU really stands for "American Communist Lawyers Union."

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Muhammed Through the Ages

        A great collection of images, many of them by Muslims, is available here.  It also has the original Jyllands-Posten cartoons, plus the three phony ones that Muslims find REALLY offensive.  The one with the "pig snout," by the way, looks more like a walrus to me, but it's very fuzzy in any case.  Those cartoons are offensive, but they weren't published by the Jyllands-Posten.  They were distributed by "Danish Muslim activists."

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A Reasonable Request

        Hugh Hewitt has been writing on the Danish Muhammed cartoons, and NOT defending the Danes.  As a result, he's been heavily criticized by some bloggers.  So he asks:
        The debate begins with these questions: Are we at war with Islam?  Do you want a war with Islam?

        My answers and the answers of any sensible person ought to be "no," and "no."  IU'd [sic] like to see blogggers who are opining on the caroons answer these questions up front.

        Well, Mr. Hewitt, my answers are "Yes" and "No" respectively.Sorry if that makes me lack sense in your eyes.

        Some members of the Muslim world have declared war on us, and most Muslims support them.  As I see it, that puts us at war with Islam.  I'm not happy with this, but it's the facts on the ground.  And until we convince the world's muslims to back off, the war will continue.

        Yeah, I can see how Muslims would find those cartoons offensive — they tell the truth, and Muslims don't like that.  They want their clergy to get up in the mosque every Friday and support the murder of 'Zionists and Crusaders,' calling for it in the name of their religion, and then to get angry when some suggest that they're right, that support for murder of the innocent goes back to the foundations of their faith.  Like honesty, support for logic isn't big in the Muslim world.

        I share your appreciation for good manners, but they aren't relevent to a war.  The fact that "Danish" Muslims went travelling to the East, carrying a dossier of the cartoons from the Jyllands-Posten, looking for support because they'd lost their legal action against the newspaper, shows that the "Danish" Muslims regard themselves as part of a larger Islamic whole that is above the laws of Denmark.  In addition to the newspaper cartoons, they took lots of other cartoons that have never been printed in Danish papers, trying to stir up violence.  They've succeeded.  This is no longer, if it ever was, a question of good manners, but a question of Muslims threatening and attacking non-Muslims, of Muslims trying to make sharia binding on the West.  And that has to be resisted.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Nice Job by Tom Maguire

        He notes the way leftists are assaulting Chris Matthews for comparing Osama bin Laden to Michael Moore.  As Maguire notes, the Left is pretty dishonest in its methods.

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Maybe I Should Take This Danish Cartoon Flap Seriously

        In The Telegraph, David Rennie has a great scoop about the Danish Muslims who called attention to these cartoons in the Arab world, and Charles Moore has a very important column which begins:
        It's some time since I visited Palestine, so I may be out of date, but I don't remember seeing many Danish flags on sale there.  Not much demand, I suppose.  I raise the question because, as soon as the row about the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Jyllands-Posten broke, angry Muslims popped up in Gaza City, and many other places, well supplied with Danish flags ready to burn.  (In doing so, by the way, they offered a mortal insult to the most sacred symbol of my own religion, Christianity, since the Danish flag has a cross on it, but let that pass.)

        Why were those Danish flags to hand?  Who built up the stockpile so that they could be quickly dragged out right across the Muslim world and burnt where television cameras would come and look?  The more you study this story of "spontaneous" Muslim rage, the odder it seems.

        It turns out that Islamofascists have been planning this whole thing for months.

        We are at war with Islam, people.  Wake up a smell the liberty burning.

        The post and the column are also here.  And big hat tips to Dhimmi Watch and Hugh Hewitt.

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This Modern World

        At the Independent Women's Forum, a site I highly recommend, Charlotte Hays notes an interesting contrast between the past and today.

        It used to be, people trying to get money and fame made themselves out to be better than they are.  Lillian Hellman's Pentimento is the example Hays points out.  Now they make themselves out to be worse, as the James Frey story shows.  The cult of victimhood has spread wider than most of us realize.

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It's Amazing . . .

        . . . how widespread cowardice and stupidity have become.  The MSM in the U.S. won't show the Danish Muhammed cartoons, out of "respect for Islam."  The U.S. State Dept. has criticized them. The Vatican has come down on them.

        And none of this will help the MSM, the State Dept., or the Vatican deal with Islamofascism.  Appeasing totalitarians never works — but denying unpleasant realities is something some people never get over.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Advice For Political Pundits

        From John Podhoretz:
        So is Hillary in trouble?

        Oh, excuse me, I had to pause there for a minute because I was rolling around on the floor laughing.

        Hillary in trouble?  You should have such trouble.

        Read it all, for a reminder of how easily people can overlook things that don't change.

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The Mohammed Cartoon Flap

        I was ignoring this story, because I didn't take it seriously.  I still don't take it seriously, but it's become too big to ignore.

        If you go here, you can see the Mohammed cartoons, plus an AP photo and two AP stories on the subject.  A few thoughts:

        A) Some of the cartoons are quite harmless, by any rational standard, some are dumb, and some are deliberately offensive.  But they're all the kinds of things Muslims will have to get used to.  The right of foreigners and non-Muslims to live by their own laws is something else Muslims will have to get used to.

        B) Now that its own ox is gored, the press is beginning to realize that Islamofascists aren't quite the fluffy bunnies some in the MSM have made them out to be.  But not all, by any means.  The Associated Press still lacks the balls to refer to terrorists and terrorism by their proper names, for instance.

        C) Europe may not be doomed after all, but the issue is in doubt:
        Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said EU leaders have a responsibility to "clearly condemn" insults to any religion.  But French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said he preferred "an excess of caricature to an excess of censorship."

        D) Sarkozy joined journalists in rallying around the editorial director of France Soir, who was fired by the newspaper's Egyptian owner.  France Soir and several other newspapers across Europe reprinted the caricatures this week in a show of support for freedom of expression. . . .

        The Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, had asked 40 cartoonists to draw images of the prophet.  The purpose, its chief editor said, was "to examine whether people would succumb to self-censorship, as we have seen in other cases when it comes to Muslim issues." . . .

        Danish Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen, in a meeting with the Egyptian ambassador, reiterated his stance that the government cannot interfere with issues concerning the press.  On Monday, he said his government could not apologize on behalf of a newspaper, but that he personally "never would have depicted Muhammad, Jesus or any other religious character in a way that could offend other people." . . .

        British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw criticized European media outlets for republishing the caricatures as demonstrators prepared to take to the streets of London.

        E) I thought Jews were supposed to be smart, not idiots.  And certainly after the Holocaust, they should have learned the futility of appeasement:
        Critics say the drawings were particularly insulting because some appeared to ridicule Muhammad.  One cartoon showed the prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb.

        France's Grand Rabbi Joseph Sitruk said he shared Muslim anger.

        "We gain nothing by lowering religions, humiliating them and making caricatures of them.  It's a lack of honesty and respect," he said.  He said freedom of expression "is not a right without limits."

        F) This whole episode has been valuable in that it temporarily dispelled some illusions.  That won't last, of course — human beings can't bear too much reality.  But it should help concentrate the mind temporarily.

        G) Attention Muslim terrorists: I'm in the Minneapolis phone book.


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Blogger Troubles

        I've been having trouble connecting tonite, and my previous connection worked while I wrote the post, then failed when I tried to upload.

        For the two of you who may be interested, I no longer will be posting at Cut Steve's Blatherings.  My personal life blogging will take place at The Thrilling Adventures of Stephen.  While Blogger has seldom annoyed me the way it has many others, I can't possibly keep posting on a Google subsidiary.

        Meanwhile, I still need a new host for THIS blog, one that accepts ads and is free or at least very cheap.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Betraying the Troops and the Future

        Ralph Peters indicts Pentagon bureaucrats:
        At a time when our Army and Marines bear by far the heaviest load of our nation's security burdens, OSD proposes reducing the number of soldiers to free up funds for wasteful Cold-War-era weapons systems.

        I wish I could say this surprises me, but after the last thiry years of watching Washington, it doesn't.

        Read it all.

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Articles Worth Reading

        Karl Zinmeister of The American Enterprise reports on the situation in Iraq as he found it.

        Sheehan and Young, by the way, were tossed from the SOTU in error.  This one also has an interesting statistic: the number of service people who've died in Iraq is about, after almost three years, to top the number killed in Viet Nam during the worst month.

        Hat tip, both, Instapundit.

        The Danes have been fairly courageous in their defiance of the Islamofascists.  France, by contrast, is showing its cowardice.  HT to HNN.

        James Taranto writes on how the MSM have shot themselves in the leg with Bush hatred, and still failed to defeat the U.S. in the war.

        Leftists don't know what a "fact" is.  Juan Cole writes about the "Top Ten things Bush won't Tell you About the State of the Nation", but many of them are opinion.  For instance, "9.In fact, The US and Iran are tacit allies in Iraq."  Follow the link, and it turns out to be an opinion column by two guys in the International Herald Tribune (a subsidiary of the New York Times, who say the U.S. ought to find common ground with Iran, and claims without evidence that Iran wants democracy and stability in Iraq.  The possibility that Iran really is determined to do what it says it aims to do (destroy Israel, acquire nukes, spread its version of Islam by force) is "refuted" by not mentioning such unpleasant thoughts.  By the way, when Cole does actually have a fact in the list, he tends to distort his source, or exagerate the signifigance of the fact.  HT: Tigerhawk.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Oscar Nominations Are Out

        You can find them here.

        It's fascinating, really, to see how little most of them have grossed at the box office, and how politically correct they tend to be.

        Apparently Hollyweird ain't interested in making money anymore.

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Arghh!

        I should have waited before posting about this story.  Bill Roggio reports that no one in the U.S. military knows anything about Iraqi militia capturing 270 terrorists — and they would know.  Therefore, the story is almost certainly false.

        So it's a time for me to eat a heaping plate of crow.





        Hat tip: Jerry Pournelle, from whom I stole the picture above.

Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil — UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

What's the Matter With the MSM?

        Here's an example.   The Louisville KY Courier-Journal covered New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's remarks on rebuilding NOLA, the ones that said:
        It's time for us to come together.  It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans -- the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans.  This city will be a majority African-American city.  It's the way God wants it to be.  You can't have New Orleans no other way.  It wouldn't be New Orleans.

        As the Courier-Journal's Ombudswoman Pam Platt notes, though:
        Courier-Journal readers got pretty much all of the AP-reported God stuff in the version of the paper they received on Jan. 17.

        But Nagin's reference to "chocolate New Orleans" had been edited out of that same story in these pages.  Instead, our version read, "Nagin also promised that New Orleans will be rebuilt and again will be 'a majority African American city.' "

        C-J readers would not see the controversial "chocolate" reference -- which was all over TV news and the Internet starting at the crack of dawn on the 17th -- in their own newspaper until a day later, on Jan. 18.  That's when the Courier printed an AP story about the mayor's apology for his earlier invocations of God and chocolate.

        A copy editor editor decided to remove the remarks, allegedly because he thought they "might give offense" to some readers.

        As Platt says:
        In trying to address potential sensitivities of some readers by excising the controversial remark, it could be taken by other readers -- and believe me, it was -- that the newspaper was trying to cover or protect this particular public official from his own articulations.

        And those other readers would, and did, question whether the paper would allow the same editing grace to a white politician who promised a "vanilla" future to his city, or to the ever-dependable Pat Robertson the next time he said God would rain misery and worse on people whose views the reverend also happened to scorn.

        The "chocolate" quote should have been in the first day's story, as reported by AP.  Period.

        All well and good as far as it goes, but note what questions it doesn't answer:

  • Is the copy editor who removed Nagin's words is black or white?
  • Is copy editor is a Democrat, Republican, or Independent?
  • Whom did the copy editor voted for in the last election?
  • Does the copy editor support Nagin or not?
  • Does the copy editor support Nagin's goal of a majority black New Orleans or not?
  • How often do "mistakes" like this get made?
  • How do they stack up politically — pro-Democrat, pro-Republican or neutral?
  • If Nagin's remarks hadn't been widely available in other fora, would the paper have ever caught the "mistake"?
  • If they had caught this without the readers knowing about it, what would the paper have done?

        These questions are all relevant to a consideration of whether or not the editing reflected bias.  None of them are raised, though the last two are implicitly answered.  Instead, we get polite sneering at those who suspect bias:
        It's not a monumental goof, but it's one that fuels suspicions some readers have about the news media in general and this newspaper in particular.  That's why I'm addressing it today. . . .

        [The Copy Editor's] couching of the mayor's statements made the newspaper a target for familiar broadsides of bias.  This time, though, we provided the ammo for the salvos. . . .

        In trying to address potential sensitivities of some readers by excising the controversial remark, it could be taken by other readers -- and believe me, it was -- that the newspaper was trying to cover or protect this particular public official from his own articulations.

        The implicit line is, 'We made a stupid mistake, but there was no bias involved.  Trust us.'

        Except, of course, we increasingly don't trust them.  And they know it.  In fact, the whole thing reminds me of the song from Irma la Deuce: "Don't Get Caught (that's a crime)."  So the Ms. Platt's whole piece ends up, in the eyes of those whom she is trying to convince, as spin control.  And badly done spin control at that.

        So I guess the answer to the question in my title is: The MSM is biased, gutless and stupid.  It won't root out its bias, it won't admit the bias, and its attempts to cover up the bias are so pathetically bad, the efforts to appear neutral only make them look worse.

        Hope you enjoy your declining circulation, MSM.  So long, and thanks for all the propoganda.

        Hat tip: Screedblog.

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