Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pretty Soon Bush Will Only Be Able To Speak In A Hermetically Sealed Bag


Bush’s speech on Iraq that he gave in front of the troops yesterday was met with a deafening silence. Man, was that uncomfortable to watch. There was the usual applause as he thanked the troops for their service and welcomed home those just returning from Afghanistan, but after that, the applause lines fell with a thud. He even trotted out his favorite one-liners, “everything changed after 9/11” and “oceans can’t protect us” and “we can’t leave until the job is done” but this time, the troops weren’t buying it and while they can’t boo, they made an even bigger impression by remaining perfectly silent. We’ve known for a long time that President Bush only speaks to carefully selected crowds, but even those are proving difficult to impress at this point.

He can’t even throw out the ceremonial first pitch to kick off baseball season for fear of being booed. Of course the White House claims it was because of scheduling conflicts but anyone with half a brain can figure out why a president with an approval rating hovering around 30%, mired in scandal and further botching an increasingly unpopular war would chose to skip any appearance in front of a crowd not prescreened to include only the brain addled. His top advisor gets pelted with garbage and his vice president has to hide in the bushes away from the cameras during a press conference. I hate to keep asking the obvious but come on, how is it possible that these two haven’t been impeached yet? They’re quite possibly the most despised men in America.

And Bush keeps telling us over and over again that his job is to protect the American people. Please, I beg of you, stop protecting us! Your kind of protection we can do without, it’s too much like the kind of protection offered by the mob, pay us and we won’t hurt you. Actually, Bush’s protection is even worse since he takes our money AND paints a big target on our back by stirring up trouble at every opportunity and acting the bully all around the world. At this point, I’d rather take my chances on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney than suffer through more protection from Bush Jr.

47 Comments:

Anonymous david said...

Bush has spent a lifetime disconnected from reality. He has never really had to work or suffer or deliver at any time during his life. He's been told how great he was at every turn and he could count on Pappy to get him into Yale, keep him out of Vietnam, bale out his business, or back his political career.

Well, there comes a time when have to show 2+2=4. It has to add up. There's no bluffing or fudging allowed. No one can pat George on the back and tell him his done a great job cleaning up after Katrina or pacifying Iraq or resolving world tensions.

He stands before the class staring at the numbers on the board. 2+2= and he simply hasn't a clue what comes next. His buddies are whispering numbers at him, but he can't decide. Why? He really doesn't understand numbers. Never had to. He thinks Why shouldn't 5 be right if I decide so? Why not 9? It's much bigger number than 4. And 4 has been done to death. Clinton gave us 4 and we know he was wrong.

And so poor Bush gives the wrong answer. He's sent back to his seat, smirking that the teacher will have to deal with his Pappy. But he suddenly realizes Pappy can't help him any more. So he slumps in his seat trying to look inconspicuous. He leans into the shadow of the boy in front so the teacher can't see him. And he waits and watches the clock and prays for the bell.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Notes From Dixon said...

Hi Liberal Girl. I read your March blogs and attached a few comments to one. I really thought I was dealing with a dedicated liberal with views different from mine. I was interested in trying to figure out how you arreved at some of your outrageous positions.
.
After reading your blog today I've changed my mind. You are not an American with liberal ideas. Instead I find that you are a consistantly un-American person.
.
The only thought between your ears is an irrational hate for your President.
.
Consider me "moved on".

Dixon Webb

1:53 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Dixon--I was working on a response to one of your comments on a previous post, and I was taking time to try and answer your questions (as thoroughly and honestly as I could) as to how I've arrived at my positions on issues, but since you've moved on, I won't bother.

Typical hyperventilating conservative reaction, call me un-American and walk out. I doubt you would have gained anything from response anyway since like most 20 percenters (those that will never stop defending George W. Bush no matter how badly he screws up or how blatantly he lies), you're probably incapable of absorbing facts that don't jibe with your calcified preconceived notions. If George Bush did something right, I'd give him credit, I'm just not expecting that to happen any time soon.

Good luck on your journey through life. I won’t worry that you’ll strain yourself sweating the details or trying to get it right, if your blind loyalty to this idiot of a President is any indication of your ability to think critically, I’m confident that you’ll glide right through this life with little or no attention given to complicated thought that might slow you down.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, Dixon Webb seems to a 70 year old coot who owns a discount tire store. I noted he said in his other post that his daughter would agree with LGND 100%, so I'm glad to see his views are not hereditary.

What saddens me is that he hasn't heard vigorous debate. He seems unaware that Global Warming is not disputed in scientific circles. And he has a set of 'off the rack' views created by the conservative biased media.

I would --at the risk of incurring the wrath of others-- draw attention to Mr Webb's Islamophobia. And his irrational belief that Islam is the greatest threat facing America --and LGND in particular. (!!!)

Fear of Gays and Muslims and Feminists are the cornerstones of distractive politics. I am sorry to say that some liberals & progressives have bought into this neo-con narrative. It is, however, as old as the Red Menace, the Yellow Peril, the Elders of Zion, and the Popish Plot. And used by liars and crooks to manipulate the public.

Samuel Johnson said "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." American satirist Ambrose Bierce suggested it was the first. I must disagree with Mr Webb about being "unAmerican"; it is the people who bandy about the term "unAmerican" who are hiding the weakness of their convictions behind the flag. They are political segregationists. They have been joined of late with religious hypocrites who hold the Bible in one hand and the flag in the other.

Both the Patriot and the Pharisee have a long history in America. From the Puritan of Salem forcing confessions from witches and then hanging them to the Instant Patriot more interested in evading taxes and claiming land beyond the Ohio. And both have been destructive to the body politic.

President Bush lives in a bubble formed by these Patriots and Pharisees. And LGND is right to picture Bush's bubble as shrinking day by day until all he's left with is an air tight bag over his head.

An American is an American; being a nation of nations, it is arrogant of anyone to call an American unAmerican without proof of High Treason. And, as for faith, the Pharisees should heed Jesus' words not to make a public display of their religion and instead pray in their closet. Jesus would have never demanded a sales clerk salute him with a "Merry Christmas".

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Harry said...

Nothing pisses me off more than seeing someone being called "un-American" for choosing to voice their dissent against something they believe is wrong. Having the right and the courage to stand up for what you believe in is the essence of being American.

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"Both the Patriot and the Pharisee have a long history in America. From the Puritan of Salem forcing confessions from witches and then hanging them to the Instant Patriot more interested in evading taxes and claiming land beyond the Ohio. And both have been destructive to the body politic."

Both the Patriot and the Pharisee have a long history in Judaeo-Christian WORLD history. From the Crusades, to the inquisitors forcing Galileo to recant, to Canada's treatment of its Aboriginal peoples. ALL of it destructive to the body politic.

"And, as for faith, the Pharisees should heed Jesus' words not to make a public display of their religion and instead pray in their closet."

Would an update of Jesus' words encompass a similar admonition to those who quote scripture in their blog comments?
(See "This Is Not Your Father’s White House" , miscellaneous verses, uh, comments, 1-50.)


"Fear of Gays and Muslims and Feminists are the cornerstones of distractive politics."

No more so than conflating legitimate vigilance and opposition against, yes, islamofascicim, with legitimate rights for
members of our society that most liberals support. Love it when professed TRUE liberals employ neo-con logic!
Conflation, the last/first refuge of weak, ideologue ridden minds?



http://www.iranian.ws/cgi-bin/iran_news/exec/view.cgi/15/16992

Stand by for the ad hominems from the TRUE liberal against the authors and sources of the following excerpts dealing with a construct, islamofacism, that is no less valid for being 'Western'.
Inoculate yourselves with a review of the pros and cons: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=t&ie=UTF-8&rls=TSHA,TSHA:2005-52,TSHA:en&q=origin+of+the+term+islamofascism

Written by an apparent Iranian Christian and a Jesuit priest whose views are no less valid for their ignoring the extent to which Christianity was 'spread by the sword' and the belief by some of the unworthiness of the 'infidels'....the anabaptized.

Islam, The greatest threat to humanity worldwide
Aug 2, 2006
Amil Imani - Persian Journal


"The outlandish, frequently confused and often contradictory incoherent rhetoric of Muhammad made the less gullible few question his sanity. They dismissed him as an "Insane Poet". Yet, the generality of the savages found in him their savior -- the one who would lead them to all the good in this world and the next. It was a win-win proposition for them: win and you are rewarded handsomely; lose your life, and you go directly to heaven. How could they refuse?

Muhammad preached that earthly life is a small price to pay for eternal life; it is the next life that the faithful should seek. Hence, Islam can rightfully be considered a cult of death, not life; it will never run out of volunteers to sacrifice their lives until Islam itself expires.

All pre-Islamic achievements that may strengthen the attraction on the part of the Iranian populace are de-emphasized and sometimes even falsely attributed to Islam, to prevent the average Iranian and the world at large from finding out the historical truths about the destruction and retardation Islam has brought to the region. Let it be known that Islam has not given anything to the civilized world, but continues to take credit for the arts and science produced by peoples it has conquered.

Others lost their identity and heritage and embraced the ways of their new rulers. It is this band of savages, an oppressive tyrannical minority, which is presently ruling Iran. Yet even under the rule of Islamofascism, the overwhelming majority of Iranians of various ethnicities and religions remain faithful to their ancient creed - a creed that was given to the world by Zoroaster. The faith of Zoroaster, based on the triad of Good Thoughts, Good Speech and Good Deed, constituted the standard of life for the Persian. Other teachings of the faith of Zoroaster, arguably the most ancient divine religion, have inspired the teachings of other faiths."

Islam, as it is officially practiced in Iran today, is a stultifying, iron cowl. After 1400 years, militant Islam is again the greatest threat to existence of the free world and Judeo-Christian civilization. The very same evil force that set out to destroy the Iranian civilization partially succeeded in ancient times, and still strives hard to deliver the coup de grace to the Iranian people. The modern manifestation of the Islamic Caliphate has reincarnated into the "Islamic Republic" of Iran, which has been holding the majority of Iranians hostage for the past 28 years. Islamofascists ruling the country hope to realize their expansionist master-plan after defeating the people of Iran first, and ultimately unleashing their reign of Islamic terror on the rest of the world in succession. Hence, the importance of American support for the Iranian people cannot be overemphasized.

Let us remember that the Arabs who sallied out of the deserts did not fan out to the outside world with the Quran in one hand and flowers in the other, preaching love and peace from street corner to street corner, aiming to capture the hearts and minds of the people. Islam was forced on every culture it encountered at the point of the sword. The kinder, gentler alternative was the imposition of the backbreaking jizyah (poll tax) levied on those who were spared the sword and allowed to retain their religious beliefs as "infidels". In spite of paying the heavy jizyah, non-Muslims were consistently treated, at best, as second class citizens in their own homelands all across the Middle East.

http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2006/schall_islamfasc_aug06.asp

And this from a Jesuit:

"The Washington Times recently (August 12, 2006) published a useful and insightful editorial, "It's Fascism," that I will use to comment on this nomenclature. First, the editorial points out the gradual change in President Bush's designation of the enemy. He, with Mr. Blair, began using the word "terrorist," but more recently he has used the designation "fascist." "Is this a legitimate use?" the editorial asks. Fascism, it continues, is a "political philosophy" that exalts a group or nation over the individual. It could also imply a religion. Fascism promoted central rule, subordinated individuals to "political leadership." The term thus can legitimately be used to designate those responsible for the recent "terrorist" understandings of themselves.

The editorial identifies groups like "al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas" and other organizations as "fascist," that is, they operate in effect on these principles. "Non-Muslims" are regarded as "a lesser breed of expendable or contemptible dhimmis and infidels." Social and economic restrictions are placed on every group that does not conform to the ruling power. The editorial says, "this is not mainstream Islam.... It is a corruption of the faith."

Evidently, The Washington Times was among the first to use the designation "Islamofascism." It was related to a German-born Muslim scholar, Kalid Duran, in an interview about his book, An Introduction to Islam for Jews, in The Washington Times. In spite of Muslim organization protests, the editorial maintained that its use of the term was simply an accurate description of what, with proper distinctions, these people did. "Islamofascism speaks for itself. It is a real phenomenon." It is not illegal, immoral, or even impolite to call it what, judging from its actions, it is."

9:05 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, apparently, the ill-informed dale h is quite comfortable with moral relativism when he's defending his own kind. I offer this convoluted nonsense from him:

And if we looked more closely at the history of every country in the world from say the dark ages forward, West AND East, you would find a similar if not worse record of barbarism by ALL. The U.S is not the only country guilty of hagiographic treatment of it history and historic figures.

Extermination attempts against indigenous populations and sectarian slaughter is a human condition, not just an American condition.


So, apparently when he doesn't want to account for his blackened pot, he says being genocidal is human nature and that America is idolotrous and barbaric, but it's okay because they admit they're not perfect and try hard to "ameliorate" their worst behaviour by lobbying for reform and attending sensitivity training sessions.

News Flash: I wouldn't quote the Jesuits or the Moonies at the Washington Times if you want to be read with any credibility. Loyola also used the sword as his image.

And Islamofascism is a libel. It's not historically or politically accurate in describing what is going on in the Middle East or the Muslim faith. It's a construct by Western propagandists who want to promote a "clash of civilizations" so they can invade Iran, Syria, and a host of nations.

Islam does not have a "Convert or Die" philosophy and never has. Indeed, it was Islam that advanced science and art while Europe was wallowing in the Dark Ages. And when Spain's Muslim government finally fell to the Christians, what happened? Disaster! The Spanish Inquisition, which engaged in torture and murder, and the Jesuits, who sought to convert Muslims and Protestants by force.

Of course, the wonderfully "independent" dale h doesn't seem to have a problem with genocide, torture, and propaganda if committed in defence of "Western Heritage". He knows we can "ameliorate" ourselves later --once the dirty work has been done-- and pretend "That was then, this is now."

10:11 AM  
Anonymous david said...

If you want more debate on the Islamophobia behind the term Islamofascism, check out

Islamofascism and its predecessors.

and

Islamofascism: an ill-defined and problematic term.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Dale h said...

Thank you David. Yet again you have flaunted your advanced degree in 'Straw Man Studies' while at the same time demonstrating your inability to either read with comprehension or respond without ad hominems directed to sources

Quite a tour de force of general ass-hattery and wingnutistanian 'thinking skills!


(I will of course continue to call you on the fallacious`arguments you serve up for our entertainment. Best I can do until I enroll in one of those 'sensitivity training' courses!)

Exhibit A: " Of course, the wonderfully "independent" dale h doesn't seem to have a problem with genocide, torture, and propaganda if committed in defence of "Western Heritage". He knows we can "ameliorate" ourselves later --once the dirty work has been done-- and pretend "That was then, this is now."

I challenge anyone who has read my comments to find any defense or justification from me for genocide, propaganda and torture by America.


I've repeatedly challenged the Canadian 'Avenger' to step back from his relentless one note critiques of all things American, and acknowledge that we are not the source of all evil in the world and that Canada and other nations have historic as`well as current social, political and human rights issues that require scrutiny and yes, amelioration.

Exhibit B: Kiddies, didn't I warn ya?! The sheer number of Google listings for 'islamofacism' would leave a fair minded individual to conclude that the meaning of the the term is subject to dispute. But no. 'dear me boy' insists that neither Jesuit nor anyone writing for the WA Times nor anyone else has anything of merit to say in defense of a construct that is not propagandist simply because he disagrees with it.

Those of you who check David's sources? Rebuke him by the mere act of evaluating the arguments rather than dismissing the sources.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous david said...

dale h, you cannot publish racist drivel and expect people to debate you point by point.

You don't even write your own drivel; you cut & paste other people's nonsense.

Your first witness is Amil Imani. Check out his homepage: God Bless America. In the upper left corner will be a picture similar to many a cartoon depicting Jewish or Communist conspiracies and the caption: "Pivotal to the success of any solution is first the realization that Islam is a religion of death and misery."

The second witness against Islam is a Jesuit from Ignatius Insight. Well, I have a Jesuit friend named Joe who I've been sparring with for years and he's saved by a sense of humour. But I'm bemused by your invocation of them here. After all, they don't mind merging Church & State as long as it's their Church. Read The Enduring Costs of JFK's Compromise

Finally, dale h, seems to dislike my damning the source instead of the argument. Well, I know all too well the prince of darkness is a gentleman. I always consider the source. And the Washington Times, which never has a good thing to say about liberals or progressives, is run by the Moonies. Consider Bad Moon on the rise.

Dear me! I certainly didn't say that you couldn't quote things of merit that disagree with me. By all means, do. I just never see you quoting anything of merit. It's usually hysterical Islamophobic nonsense.

There are angry Muslim purists in the Middle East and in Muslim communities around the world. And these people have occasionally embraced violence to avenge their righteous indignation. But this is not what Islam is about. And it's hardly an international conspiracy coming to a small town near you.

This Islamophobia --and the word Islamofascism is meant to make this fear sound noble-- is as silly as the idea that Red Russians would be taking over the local government in Springfield, Illinois during the 1950s. Such nonsense prompted Congress to insert "under God" into the pledge of allegiance and to stick "In God We Trust" on the currency.

The Military-Industrial Complex needs a boogey man, a devil to bring the plebes into line. If you want to play the sucker for the neo-cons who think you'll do whatever they say if they can only get you so frightened you'll scream "Do it to Julia!" Then I don't think there's any point in arguing with you. You might as well join Senator Joe Liberal-man as a so-called Independent.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...

You're right, no point in arguing with me. You continue to dance around or away from any point I try make by trotting out the same tired arguments against the sources.

And, now that you've admitted that you don't have the intellectual curiosity and fortitude to read outside your biases, you've fatally damaged whatever credibility you thought that you brought to these exchanges. However I have enjoyed your adroitness at mixing erudition with vitriol!


I'm fully aware of the Moonie ownership of the WA Times. To jump from that fact to the unwarranted conclusion that everyone who writes for them is compromised, is stupid.

David, you're walking around within your own personal liberal ideologue echo chamber. The day you step outside to test your assumptions by reading something other than liberal sources will be, a first.

I won't apologize for visiting the National Review, Weekly Standard, WA Times, Wall Street Journal or any other publication solely because it's conservative. Unlike you I'm not intimidated by the J.S. Millian 'collision of truth with error' thing. I'm able to discern, accept or disregard whatever I read based upon the merits of the argument. S'why it's so easy to dismiss your 'True Liberal' rants. And, I've seen from you enough straw man arguments, sweeping generalizations, and just plain willfully ignorant and dishonest misrepresentation
of my positions to place any trust in your estimations of the 'merits' of my sources.

As for Islam and as with Christianity, I judge both religions, all religions, by the deeds of their members rather than by what they profess. That they both lend themselves to being 'spread by the sword' is sufficient for me to cast a skeptical eye toward their dogmas.

"Such nonsense prompted Congress to insert "under God" into the pledge of allegiance and to stick "In God We Trust" on the currency."

Yet another pointless straw man segue. Don't you just get tired of it?

The actual rationale was to counter 'Godless Communism with the counter affirmation of a "nation under
God". Not something that I've ever defended. That over reaction in and of itself begs the question as to whether there was a legitmate military threat from the Soviet Union. Eh, thanks for the use of Candian territory for those NORAD radar sites! They helped deter the Russians from coming and to this day they track Santa.

God save us from the 'purists, be they Muslim, Christian, conservative or....'true' liberals.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, I'll try to bring this back to the topic of the original post.

Helen Thomas quit UPI, for which she'd been White House Correspondent for nearly 40 years, when the Reverend Moon bought it. She feared the 'source' was now tainted.

And sweet Helen Thomas has been about the only journalist to stand up to Bush these past six years and try to pull that sealed bag off his head. Her chutzpah earned her that hilarious cameo in Stephen Colbert's routine at the White House Correspondent's Dinner in 2006.

dale h, I'm sure you're much more intelligent than your posts reveal. Yes, I read your posts and I go to the "sources" of your quotes and I noodle around looking to see what is their context. You obviously don't bother to check your sources.

The National Review, Weekly Standard, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal? Good grief! Next you'll tell me you keep Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" on your beside table? I'd say you are in grave danger of becoming a troll.

(And I'm not sure why "Godless Communism" and "Red Russians" aren't the same thing.)

As for Islam and as with Christianity, I judge both religions, all religions, by the deeds of their members rather than by what they profess. That they both lend themselves to being 'spread by the sword' is sufficient for me to cast a skeptical eye toward their dogmas.

Well, thank our lucky stars, Constable Dale is on the job. Do you also extend your hit list to nations too. Because the USA was "spread by the sword" and most of its incursions into Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa have been brutally self-interested and worthy of casting a skeptical eye toward. (Ooops! I forgot you embrace that "Western Heritage" dogma and excuse the deeds of your members because of what they profess.)

Did you read my links? I notice you never actually refute my arguments but go straight to mocking my manhood or my nationality. (Such crowd pleasing techniques, I know.) Click on the links. You might learn something.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous david said...

dale h, I forgot to thank you for that compliment. "I have enjoyed your adroitness at mixing erudition with vitriol!" I am glad you enjoy my writing. Although I think the word "vitriol" is bit 19th century. I mean, you don't hear many scientist refering to oil of vitriol these days.

Now, I know you worship your Western Heritage of Free Speech and Magna Carta. And you speak softly while carrying a BIG STICK. But can you explain the case of Sami al-Arian?

Check out Salon's The Prime Time Smearing of Sami al-Arian. It is good to know that Free Speech is a welcome right in America --unless you're not Christian, not White, and not Conservative.

Increasingly, the Bush Mindset is invading America. The Mainstream Media --print, radio, TV, and internet-- offer a narrow perspective on the World and the differing viewpoints of peoples and nations. And strangely, Americans who couldn't pick out Iran on a globe --to say nothing of Iowa-- are full of opinions on the people, politics, and potential threat of that faraway land.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"The National Review, Weekly Standard, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal? Good grief! Next you'll tell me you keep Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" on your beside table? I'd say you are in grave danger of becoming a troll.'

I don't. But IF I did, Charley Brown, I wouldn't welcome your phony solicitude regarding the supposed 'peril' that lies on my bedside table! I'm sure that you don't think of yourself as a 'book burner', but you possess the illiberal spirit of one. How else to interpret your would be censorship of my reading matter?

I would suppose that you believe that you could read the same material and come away 'unscathed', but you are unwilling to accord me the same opportunity/'risk'. No matter where one resides, the intellectual snobbery that presumes the correctness or incorrectness of reading lists is easily recognizable and deplorable.

Why would I limit myself to the Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, The Nation, the Smirking Chimp, Crooks and Liars, The Raw Story, Think Progress,
Mother Jones, The Rolling Stone Whitehouse.org, the Democratic Underground and The Liberal girl next door, among others?

That timidity that I've
accused you of is nowhere more evident than in your
intellectual makeup. One would think that the most utilitarian motive of 'know your enemy' would impel one to read pieces from the 'dark side'. Apparently the more noble rationale provided by Mill is lost on you as well.

I continue to avoid conservative blogs partly because I have your benighted and illiberal rants to give me the 'flavor' of wingnutian
'thinking'

You dis ALL of my sources out of hand and based mainly on the 'taint' of authorship or publication, and you insist that I read yours and judge them on their merits.

Sorry, Ayatollah! No can do. Good for Helen. Right or wrong on her premise she deserves respect. You however, True Liberal that you are and no less a 'constable' than myself, know the minds of all who remain at the WA Times and virtually dismiss them as members of a cult....without reading and thinking about the merits of individual writings.
And you call yourself a liberal? You don't even make the cut as one who can be described as educated!

I realize that you have 'outlawed' the author of the following, but it rings particularly true in your case. In fact it fits you like a pair of $600 shoes!
However, I won't attribute your hostility to the USA to Freud. I think that however misguided and mistaken you are, you're fully conscious!

"Worst of all, perhaps, is the anti-Americanism among many Westerners. It is a resentment so strong, so deep-seated, so rooted in personal identity, that it has led many, consciously or unconsciously, to morally support America's enemies."

This presupposes that America, or any other nation, ever has 'enemies'. You've accused me of questioning your manhood or courage.
Guilty! I simply cannot discern from any of your comments that you believe that there are any principles that are both 'good' and that either your country or mine
share, despite your sweeping denunciations of Western Civ there are a few, or if you did believe such that you would manifest the guts to defend the principles of your OWN culture either verbally or physically.

Now, I realize that pacifism has a tradition in both your Country and mine. Some of the
30,000 contemporaries and ex-patriots from my Country who took up residence in yours almost certainly were pacifists. But pacifism on the part of all and under all circumstances would be suicidal in the face of those who don't share that trait.
Fortunately for you Canada does maintain armed forces so that you can cravenly defend the indefensible in almost complete security.


"Because the USA was "spread by the sword" and most of its incursions into Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa have been brutally self-interested and worthy of casting a skeptical eye toward. (Ooops! I forgot you embrace that "Western Heritage" dogma and excuse the deeds of your members because of what they profess.)"

AGAIN, wherein do you read either my defense or excuse of the crimes of Western Civ? It's simply not there. I've regularly called the current and past governance of my country to task for its failure to live up to the Cosnstituion, let alone the best that Americans are capable of.

Neither is it a reasonable inference from the context of all that I've written or cited. So we are left with what I said and what I standby. You are in fact a promiscuous misrepresenter and straw man aficionado. Breathtakingly so!

Also, I reject your premise that Western Civ is a dogma worthy of blind adherence and immune from criticism. In fact self-criticism is one of its hallmarks. No, dogmatism would describe the mental environment pertaining to Religion and 'True" Liberals. Might even describe one who 'thinks', I'm being generous with the 'thinks, from inside a 'hermetically sealed bag'!

Also, similar incursions and sword spreading's have originated from such non Western Civ stalwarts like Cyrus the Great and Attila the Misunderstood. And, what ABOUT Canada's treatment of its 'Aboriginals'.

I don't throw out Canada's heritage of Western Civ with the bathwater of its sometime abuse or repudiation of Western Civ principles. But then I'm not, despite your assertions, an all or nothing, your either with us or against us, you're either all good or all bad, kind of a guy.

Lastly, despite your dismissal of this author for OTHER statements/writings, there is nothing factually or interpretively wrong in the following.
And, tell me again just what kind of a troll would either deny, ignore or defend these practices? Other than a cultural relativist invertebrate like yourself, of course.

Oh yeah, Perhaps cries of racism against the those who legitimately criticize the actions of other cultures, nations or religions is the second to last refuge of scoundrels.

"Not many years ago the brilliant Orientalist, Bernard Lewis, published a short history of the Islamic world's decline, entitled "What Went Wrong?" Astonishingly, there was, among many Western "progressives," a vocal dislike for the title. It is a false premise, these critics protested. They ignored Mr. Lewis's implicit statement that things have been, or could be, right.

But indeed, there is much that is clearly wrong with the Islamic world. Women are stoned to death and undergo clitorectomies. Gays hang from the gallows under the approving eyes of the proponents of Shariah, the legal code of Islam. Sunni and Shia massacre each other daily in Iraq. Palestinian mothers teach 3-year-old boys and girls the ideal of martyrdom. One would expect the orthodox Islamic establishment to evade or dismiss these complaints, but less happily, the non-Muslim priests of enlightenment in the West have come, actively and passively, to the Islamists' defense.

These "progressives" frequently cite the need to examine "root causes." In this they are correct: Terrorism is only the manifestation of a disease and not the disease itself. But the root-causes are quite different from what they think. As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. Without confronting the ideological roots of radical Islam it will be impossible to combat it. While there are many ideological "rootlets" of Islamism, the main tap root has a name--Salafism, or Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion.

It is vital to grasp that traditional and even mainstream Islamic teaching accepts and promotes violence. Shariah, for example, allows apostates to be killed, permits beating women to discipline them, seeks to subjugate non-Muslims to Islam as dhimmis and justifies declaring war to do so. It exhorts good Muslims to exterminate the Jews before the "end of days." The near deafening silence of the Muslim majority against these barbaric practices is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong.

The grave predicament we face in the Islamic world is the virtual lack of approved, theologically rigorous interpretations of Islam that clearly challenge the abusive aspects of Shariah. Unlike Salafism, more liberal branches of Islam, such as Sufism, typically do not provide the essential theological base to nullify the cruel proclamations of their Salafist counterparts. And so, for more than 20 years I have been developing and working to establish a theologically-rigorous Islam that teaches peace.

Yet it is ironic and discouraging that many non-Muslim, Western intellectuals--who unceasingly claim to support human rights--have become obstacles to reforming Islam. Political correctness among Westerners obstructs unambiguous criticism of Shariah's inhumanity. They find socioeconomic or political excuses for Islamist terrorism such as poverty, colonialism, discrimination or the existence of Israel. What incentive is there for Muslims to demand reform when Western "progressives" pave the way for Islamist barbarity? Indeed, if the problem is not one of religious beliefs, it leaves one to wonder why Christians who live among Muslims under identical circumstances refrain from contributing to wide-scale, systematic campaigns of terror.

Politicians and scholars in the West have taken up the chant that Islamic extremism is caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict. This analysis cannot convince any rational person that the Islamist murder of over 150,000 innocent people in Algeria--which happened in the last few decades--or their slaying of hundreds of Buddhists in Thailand, or the brutal violence between Sunni and Shia in Iraq could have anything to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Western feminists duly fight in their home countries for equal pay and opportunity, but seemingly ignore, under a façade of cultural relativism, that large numbers of women in the Islamic world live under threat of beating, execution and genital mutilation, or cannot vote, drive cars and dress as they please.

The tendency of many Westerners to restrict themselves to self-criticism further obstructs reformation in Islam. Americans demonstrate against the war in Iraq, yet decline to demonstrate against the terrorists who kidnap innocent people and behead them. Similarly, after the Madrid train bombings, millions of Spanish citizens demonstrated against their separatist organization, ETA. But once the demonstrators realized that Muslims were behind the terror attacks they suspended the demonstrations. This example sent a message to radical Islamists to continue their violent methods.

Western appeasement of their Muslim communities has exacerbated the problem. During the four-month period after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in a Danish magazine, there were comparatively few violent demonstrations by Muslims. Within a few days of the Danish magazine's formal apology, riots erupted throughout the world. The apology had been perceived by Islamists as weakness and concession.

Worst of all, perhaps, is the anti-Americanism among many Westerners. It is a resentment so strong, so deep-seated, so rooted in personal identity, that it has led many, consciously or unconsciously, to morally support America's enemies.

All of this makes the efforts of Muslim reformers more difficult. When Westerners make politically-correct excuses for Islamism, it actually endangers the lives of reformers and in many cases has the effect of suppressing their voices. "

Tolerance does not mean toleration of atrocities under the umbrella of relativism. It is time for all of us in the free world to face the reality of Salafi Islam or the reality of radical Islam will continue to face us.

Dr. Hamid, a onetime member of Jemaah Islamiya, an Islamist terrorist group, is a medical doctor and Muslim reformer living in the West.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...

"Although I think the word "vitriol" is bit 19th century."

Actually, the English language is a bit 12th through 18th century as well. Trashing the richness of western culture....again?!

"But can you explain the case of Sami al-Arian?"

Sure I can. No one claims that the USA doesn't have its share of right wing ass hats, with a concentration of them on the employment rolls of FAUX News, who are trying to undermine freedom of thought and expression with every electron beam of transmission!

Trying to trick me into defending the indefensible? I believe that job is taken, don't you?

Before I continue, are you either a rancher or a farmer? You seem to have an inexhaustible source of straw from which you set up your transparently phony premises.

"Check out Salon's The Prime Time Smearing of Sami al-Arian. It is good to know that Free Speech is a welcome right in America --unless you're not Christian, not White, and not Conservative."

Yet again you take abuses of Free Speech rights as evidence of complete absence of the those Rights. How DID you get through college? Even the most benighted products of our failing HS system could see through this shit!

Free Speech Rights are always and everywhere under assault.
Even a most cursory reading of your Country's History or mine would inform you of that fact and calm your chicken little heart with a little historical perspective.

Also, Free Speech Rights are NOT welcome in much of the world you so reflexively defend, especially if you are non-white and Muslim and intolerant of infidels.

We have a game of 16" softball
peculiar to Chicago only. The pitches could not be anymore easy to hit than the figurative softballs you serve up!

12:58 PM  
Blogger Notes From Dixon said...

Hello again Liberal Girl . . .

I said some things that I am ashamed of now. Please accept my apology. I've no adequate excuse for suggesting that you might be un-American. Your friends David and Harry (who also contribute to your blog) are absolutely correct. I am really very, very sorry.

I am interested in "liberal political thought" and I am not a "foaming at the mouth" conservative twit that goes around bashing people that disagree with me.

I am very concerned over the changes in American society over the past 50 years. Some are imaginary, some hidden behind something else, and some right out there digging away at the very basic roots of our country.

A great many are tied directly to the ever fluid dynamics of our government. That, I think, explains why I am concerned (particularly) about the effect of our partisan system.

From the beginning America has been operated by compromise. That was the intention of the framers, and that is what has happened over the years. The "extremes" on either side of an argument do not define our national direction. It is the middle ground or centerists that prevail most often.

Let me skip ahead here to the current challenges facing our government. Of course that includes famine, drought, medical care, poverty, natural disaster relief, and so forth. Eventually, at some point on the list, our national relations with the rest of the world will appear.

America is working on at least two wars; the first involves finishing up in Iraq, and the second involves developing strategies to combat a radical version of Islam.

In a typical conservative oversimplification you might say our government has three separate but equal entities (the Congress, Senate, and Presidency) each with it's own boundaries.

Unfortunately, each tends to push for more control than the other. It seems to be a natural phenomenon rather than designed-in.

The President is directly responsible for the safety of all Americans. If the nation is threatened, he alone can declare war, commit our military forces, and direct our foreign policy. Not the Congress, nor the Senate. I believe that most members of the Democratic party are liberal, against the war at any cost, and rabidly hate our Commander in Chief.

It is the hatred that I find irrational.

It is the constant denigration of the Office of President that I don't understand.

Quite some time ago I realized just how much "personality" and "charisma" helps to decide who becomes President. It seems clear to me that America does not always elect the best man for the job. We compromise when we ballot just as Congress compromises over specific issues.

Bush may or may not be the best man for the job. He was elected because he had fairly reliable semi conservative record. His Presidency has been anything but conservative. He has been forced to the middle on almost every issue.

With that in mind I have to think that he has raised the Democraic Party's hatred by his actions affecting the two wars. When I separate those actions from the rest of his administration's work, I am hard pressed to disagree with most of his decisions.

But, admittedly, I don't like him much either.

Mr. Bush has disappointed me, not because of the wars, but because he sold out the ideas of conservatism.

Enough already.

Dixon

P.S. David. No discount store. Mine is an engraving shop. And out of control Democrat daughter is the apple of my eye. Lastly, this started badly but I really do enjoy a spirited debate.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Dear me! I am astonished by Dixon Webb's response. It really surprised me. I feel there's hope for America. (Although I think Mr Webb will find that the Constitution gives the authority to declare war to Congress and not the President.) I'm glad to see you're noodling about the Web, Mr Webb. I think you'll find more answers to your questions if you just keep looking. And always question the source. (I'm sorry for getting some of the facts wrong.)

As for dale h, you remain a disappointment. I know you weren't "a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri", but you write so ineptly that it's hard to tell where your pathetic quotes begin and your own thoughts take over.

Bernard Lewis??? Really, dale h. You are too much. Is there no end to your dubious sources? This guy denies the Armenian Genocide and you like him. Tsk, tsk. I think you need a dose of Edward Said to give you some balance. (Personally, I don't much care for Prof Said either. But you're the one with a bad case of imbalance.)

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...

"As for dale h, you remain a disappointment. I know you weren't "a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri", but you write so ineptly that it's hard to tell where your pathetic quotes begin and your own thoughts take over."

It may be hard for one as intellectually challenged as yourself, but here's a helpful hint....open "........close"
Got it?
I believe I can work on my allegedly inept writing, though I suspect I'm being critiqued by a patently inept thinker/reader.

'Pathetic' rather than inaccurate? Thanks. I look forward to further dissappointing you!

" Is there no end to your dubious sources? This guy denies the Armenian Genocide and you like him. Tsk, tsk."

Is there no end to your litmus tests for sources? I don't have to 'like' someone to either accept or reject their arguments IN THE PIECE UNDER CONSIDERATION. Have you ever drawn a correct inference? Ever?

Anyhoo, no effective response to my branding of you as an intellectual 'book burner', just more confirmation from your response.

"Dear me! I am astonished by Dixon Webb's response. It really surprised me. I feel there's hope for America."

Dixon, are you not astonished by the ease with which "Dear Me" implies that you are only a slightly LESS benighted American rube?

David, spare us your faux hopes for the Country you so routinely and facilely revile and heap contempt upon.

Save that crap for the Country you wouldn't stand up for on a bet, a dare or if in mortal peril. (Like WWII, NOT islamofacism, not yet!)

3:38 PM  
Anonymous david said...

dale h, I do not revile & heap contempt on America. I love it and hate it at the same time. Which I find more human than your cultural apartheid.

And I have a compositional tip for you: If you are going to quote more than a couple of sentences, quotation marks are not sufficient. You either block indent, place the whole quote in italics, or place quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph but only a closing set at the end of the final paragraph.

And I've already said it is very bad form to quote articles in their entirety. You can create a link by placing a href="THE LINK'S URL" in angle brackets, type what you want the link to read and close with /a in angle brackets. Very simple.

Goodness gracious me! I'm surprised you accept whatever agrees with you no matter what the source. One of the first rules of journalism is to question the source. If Karl Rove were to give me a hot tip on the Democrats, I'd consider it irrelevant if I agreed with it or I hoped it was true. I'd consider the source suspect and tainted and I'd want to know what Karl was up to.

The reason one has to rely of reliable sources is because we can't check all the facts, assumptions, and footnotes used by an author. A tainted or unreliable source is likely to use the slippery slope, unverified witnesses, hearsay, misquotes, or the wedge to gain confidence and slip one the BIG LIE. This is the Trojan Horse method.

And, frankly, dale h who can spend the time debunking every lame, pathetic, or insidious story you've found "enlightening". Since you engage in an intellectual, spiritual, political game of apartheid where you confine us to our separate bantustans --Islamofacists, cowardly Canucks, crazy Theocrats, non-Western Heritage loons, moral relativists-- it becomes tiresome trying to explain to you that you are not infallible and you don't have a lock on Absolute Truth.

And that's what delighted me about Dixon Webb's response. I disagree with most of what he says, but he's engaged. He's listening. He's trying to figure out why he thinks things have gone wrong. He may still hold some hard to defend conservative positions, but he doesn't think of them as non-negotiable TRUTH. He is engaged in Free Inquiry. And you are not.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"And that's what delighted me about Dixon Webb's response. I disagree with most of what he says, but he's engaged. He's listening. He's trying to figure out why he thinks things have gone wrong. He may still hold some hard to defend conservative positions, but he doesn't think of them as non-negotiable TRUTH."

If anyone is standing on 'non-negotiable truth it is the one who identifies his positions as representing 'True Liberalism'. You can't outrun your posts!

Take responsibility for what you write. Takes courage too, I know, but like with the singing dog who performs poorly, I'll applaud the effort.

You expressed 'astonishment' and bemusement, NOT delight, at Dixon's responses, which is consistent with the patronizing tone in most of your posts.

"...you confine us to our separate bantustans --cowardly Canucks, crazy Theocrats, non-Western Heritage loons, moral relativists-- it becomes tiresome trying to explain to you that you are not infallible and you don't have a lock on Absolute Truth."

There's no 'us'. I've impugned YOUR courage, YOUR defense of theocrats, YOUR refusal to acknowledge a single value of Western culture that you are willing to stand up for because YOU are clearly a cultural relativist and an invertebrate!

I've been very specific as to what I consider to be the deficiencies of Islamic law in general and the Islamic Republic in particular, as against Western Values.

You are welcome to argue exactly the opposite if you choose.
C'mon dazzle us with your openness, desires and justifications to implement sharia law in Canada and to burkha Canadian women!

Review this first so you'll know exactly what you are arguing for:

"Top ten reasons why sharia is bad for all societies"

http://www.americanthinker.com/2005/08/top_ten_reasons_why_sharia_is.html


"One of the most tragic and under—reported occurrences in the West in recent years is the existence of a sharia court in Canada. Muslims are pushing for a sharia divorce court in Australia as well. Having a court of arbitration if it is based on western law and legal theory is legitimate, but sharia does not hold to this standard. Whether sharia is imposed gradually or rapidly, Canada should promptly shut down any sharia court, and Australia should never allow one. Such a court should never be permitted in the US, the rest of the West, or anywhere else in the world that is battling Islam."

"It is true that the Enlightenment teaches tolerance, but it also teaches critical thinking and reasoning. Sharia cannot stand up under scrutiny. It is intolerant and excessive, and Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics teaches the West that excess is never just."

"Thankfully, the province of Quebec, Canada, has forbidden sharia. This is the right initiative."

"Sharia ultimately degrades society and diminishes freedom."


You've not provided a single persuasive response to any of my points nor have you refuted a source on merit.

Neither are you infallible nor do you have a lock on what constitutes 'True liberalism'...your term.

"And I've already said it is very bad form to quote articles in their entirety. You can create a link by placing a href="THE LINK'S URL" in angle brackets, type what you want the link to read and close with /a in angle brackets. Very simple."

Yeah, like I trust someone like you as to what is "bad form". If you've misunderstood anything I've said it's because of your inability to comprehend how anyone could
possibly disagree with you.

"Goodness gracious me! I'm surprised you accept whatever agrees with you no matter what the source. One of the first rules of journalism is to question the source. If Karl Rove were to give me a hot tip on the Democrats, I'd consider it irrelevant if I agreed with it or I hoped it was true. I'd consider the source suspect and tainted and I'd want to know what Karl was up to."

This is so stupid it's hard to know where to begin. I agree with what I find to be fact based and logical regardless of the source. You dismiss because of the source without regard to the validity of the argument. Using Karl Rove as an example undercuts any pretense you might still have to be taken seriously.

" He is engaged in Free Inquiry. And you are not."

NO one who bowdlerizes reading lists and sources he disagrees with can argue with a straight face that they are engaged in "Free Inquiry". You were kidding, right!

"A tainted or unreliable source is likely to use the slippery slope, unverified witnesses, hearsay, misquotes, or the wedge to gain confidence and slip one the BIG LIE. This is the Trojan Horse method."

And you are uniquely equipped to assess taint, unreliability, slippery slopes, etc on the way to the BIG LIE utilizing the Trojan Horse method. Very impressive were it not for the demonstrable fact that these failings are attributed only to what you disagree with and conveniently overlooked when summoning up YOUR sources.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Dear me! I am not sure where I've bowdlerized any reading list, dale h. And I'm not sure where you get this "book burner" image. I can assure you I do my best to spread the Written Word. I am, in fact, a bookseller.

I have sold dozens of copies of "Atlas Shrugged"; it doesn't stop me from considering it poor fiction and trite philosophy. Rand's sensationalist and self-centred novels appeal to adolescent minds. That's okay. But anyone who enjoys her past their freshman college year has a bad case of arrested development.

Now, I did not try to censor your reading. If you have Ayn Rand or the Left Behind series on your reading table, that's your choice. But your reading material does define you. And maybe you're just doing 'research', but I find life is too short to waste it on the likes of Ayn Rand, James Arlandson, or Bernard Lewis.

And what are you doing reading a rightwing Islamophobe like James Arlandson or visiting such a nutbar website such as American Thinker. Either you have way too much time on your hands or you simply enjoy this neo-con crap much more than you let on.

I do have to lecture you a wee bit more about intellectual honesty. You quoted me: "...you confine us to our separate bantustans --cowardly Canucks, crazy Theocrats, non-Western Heritage loons, moral relativists-- it becomes tiresome trying to explain to you that you are not infallible and you don't have a lock on Absolute Truth." Did you not think I'd notice that you excised or 'bowdlerized' the word 'Islamofascists' from that quote without indicating any change? Am I to trust any of your long-winded quotes now --particularly the ones you don't provide proper links to? Do you often edit the words of others? (You do seem to know how to use ellipsis at the beginning of the quote, so I don't think it was a slip.)

As for the long quote --not your own words-- about Shari'a Law in Canada, it is incorrect and slanted. Yes, the introduction of a limited version of Shari'a civil code was debated between 2003 and 2005. It was intended to settle questions of family law. I vigorously opposed it and fired off angry emails to the Attorney General, the Premier, and my MPP. The request by the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice was denied. It was never made law.

What you didn't hear is why there was a debate at all. It exposed the dirty little secret that for decades our Family Courts had been applying Jewish Law --the ancient Rabbinical system known as beit din-- to settle marriage, custody, and business diputes; and Roman Catholic Canon Law to facilitate Papal annulments of marriage. The decision not to allow an adapted form of Shari'a for Family Court meant the use of Jewish and Catholic Law had to be ended as well. And that happened.

Now, with your intense hostility toward all religion, I'm sure you didn't think this was a great loss. But religion does shape society and its influence is important. And it does raise serious problems of freedom and discrimination. And there's no denying it's been the big problem of the 20th century ever since Abie's Irish Rose, a rather silly play, broke all Broadway records back in the 1920s.

You've not provided a single persuasive response to any of my points nor have you refuted a source on merit. I'm sorry, but you're not the one to judge. It's the lurkers who have to decide. This comment of yours is just self-serving. I've offered plenty of responses and most of your sources are not reputable.

Try Islam for Today. It seems to be more about Islam today --fancy that-- than about Islam of the 8th century. I'm sure there are plenty of throwbacks and reactionaries in all religions in every country of the world. But that's not really our business is it? Regime Change is against international law. And trying to impose a Reformation from outside is also against international law. Western Heritage tried it during the 16th century and it was rather nasty.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Notes From Dixon said...

Good Morning Liberal Girl. I can't seem to get anything right lately. In my apology and clarification I divided our government into Congress, Senate and President. Of course that should have read Congress, The Supreme Court and the Presidency. Oops. And your contributor David also pointed out (correctly) that Congress was originally to declare war, not the President. This has evolved to the point that while the President may not declare war, if he deems it in the nations best interest he may (and has) taken us to war. I have a mixed feeling about this. None of us, conservative or liberal, want to see an imperial presidency. The way this is working out, the citizens have an ample opportunity to vet the President prior to his election. Once elected we pretty well have to trust the guy (or gal) to make the right decisions. Once made, both the Congress and the Court can oversee, comment and change those decisions. To me it seems like a clumsy system that needs both clarification and updating. Weaponry has changes since the days of muskets. So should our political system change to meet the new challenges. Personally, I think I'd prefer trusting the President to determine when America should go to war, rather than waiting for Congress to argue and bicker and appoint committees to study and vote and send to the executive for approval or veto - and so forth. Time is now crucial to survival. If someone has to react quickly to impending threats, it might as well be the President. Who else. I certainly wouldn't want to trust the responsibility to Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.

Enough.

Have a great day.

Dixon

9:30 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, Dixon Webb, have you read a recent article by NYTimes columnist Paul Krugman titled Sweet Little Lies? It's very good at explaining how Big Lies and Little Lies manipulate public opinion.

And it was fickle public opinion that the Framers of the Constitution feared as much as a tyrant with a standing army. Their solution was the checks & balances of a tripartite government with staggered Senate elections. Supposedly this would keep the power of Commander-in-Chief squared with the people's representatives.

As LGND has so carefully pointed out, President Bush doesn't want checks or balances. And he was less than truthful when promoting his pre-emptive regime change (that is, illegal) war against Iraq. Even arch-conservative Jeane Kirkpatrick called the war --in a newly published book-- a mistake. (Read about her comments here.)

Kirkpatrick said: The administration's failure involved several issues, but the core concern is that they did not seem to have methodically completed the due diligence required for reasoned policy-making because they failed to address the aftermath of the invasion.

"Due diligence" is the key term here. That requires taking one's time to evaluate the risks and the threats. And that's what has been missing from this White House.

You are quite right, Mr Webb. Things can happen very quickly in modern warfare. But that's why governments set up rules of engagement and defence protocols. No one is suggesting taking away the authority of the Commander-in-Chief in an emergency. What the Democrats have come to know is that there was no emergency and that Iraq was a war of choice. And that Bush did not seek that second UN Security Council resolution because his case for war was weak and the UN weapons inspectors were getting their job done without Iraqi interference.

The problem for conservatives in America is how to prevent this kind of mistake from happening again. How do they keep the "hermetically sealed bag" off the President's head? Bush himself suggested the answer in a mangled proverb: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, er, um, uh, ...Fool me twice? Can't fool me twice!"

I wish it were so. But apparently President Bush can be fooled many times. And by his closest friends. The proverb properly ends, "Fool me twice, shame on me." Alas, the man in the White House feels no shame about this disasterous war in Iraq. Or the various corruption scandals swirling about his cabinet.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"Try Islam for Today. It seems to be more about Islam today --fancy that-- than about Islam of the 8th century. I'm sure there are plenty of throwbacks and reactionaries in all religions in every country of the world. But that's not really our business is it? Regime Change is against international law. And trying to impose a Reformation from outside is also against international law. Western Heritage tried it during the 16th century and it was rather nasty."

It becomes our business when the attacks are hatched from Islamofacist nations (Afgh/Taliban). We responded appropriately, thanks for your Country's help on that. What followed was a tragic mistake (Iraq)from an Administration that has now made many of them.

Unfortunately the iterations of
'Islam today', Saudi Arabia and Iran in particular, have more in common with Islam of the 8th century.

"You've not provided a single persuasive response to any of my points nor have you refuted a source on merit. I'm sorry, but you're not the one to judge. It's the lurkers who have to decide. This comment of yours is just self-serving. I've offered plenty of responses and most of your sources are not reputable."

Actually I AM the judge as to whether I'M persuaded or patronized. Unless and until a 'lurker' emerges with a judgment call, that's all you're left with. Your assessment of 'reputable' sources is undermined by your insistence on not evaluating pieces on their merit.

" do have to lecture you a wee bit more about intellectual honesty. You quoted me: "...you confine us to our separate bantustans --cowardly Canucks, crazy Theocrats, non-Western Heritage loons, moral relativists-- it becomes tiresome trying to explain to you that you are not infallible and you don't have a lock on Absolute Truth." Did you not think I'd notice that you excised or 'bowdlerized' the word 'Islamofascists' from that quote without indicating any change? Am I to trust any of your long-winded quotes now --particularly the ones you don't provide proper links to? Do you often edit the words of others? (You do seem to know how to use ellipsis at the beginning of the quote, so I don't think it was a slip.)"

Concession on the lecturing nature of your posts? 'Bout time. Intellectual honesty charge right back at you. You have nitpicked a typo. That's right, nothing more nor less.
Considering the frequency that I've used and defended the validity of the word Islamofacism, how plausible is is that I INTENDED to leave it out? I have often used ".... to precede or follow the words within quotes. I know that much about attribution. I have used links so that people can read entire selections.
Anyway, the word is a valid construct, not made less so because it's 'Western' and it accurately describes decidedly irreligious behavior by some Muslims. Your rebuttal has not encompassed the substance of that charge. You content your self with slamming the sources, unconvincingly.

Lastly, you did allow for the POSSIBILITY that it was a slip but dismissed it out of hand despite many prior examples of the use of ".... to indicate a partial quote, and despite my unabashed use of 'islamofacism' in many previous posts. Your anger got the better of your judgment.

"Now, with your intense hostility toward all religion, I'm sure you didn't think this was a great loss. But religion does shape society and its influence is important. And it does raise serious problems of freedom and discrimination. And there's no denying it's been the big problem of the 20th century ever since Abie's Irish Rose, a rather silly play, broke all Broadway records back in the 1920s."

My hostility is proportional to the degree of insertion of religion into the public/international sphere.

For every salutary aberration...Civil Rights movement and perhaps Abolition....John Brown gives me pause...there are far more examples of the injurious effects of Religion, and they are not confined to the Twentieth Century. Take a bow for a display of understatement and disingenuousness in the same paragraph.

"Now, I did not try to censor your reading. If you have Ayn Rand or the Left Behind series on your reading table, that's your choice. But your reading material does define you. And maybe you're just doing 'research', but I find life is too short to waste it on the likes of Ayn Rand, James Arlandson, or Bernard Lewis."

When you 'place' the books that you deplore on my bed stand and thereby define me in your own mind, you are a figurative book burner. You also deplored a list of sites that, while conservative, do supply valid counterarguments and different viewpoints. I engage in, you know, the kind of activity one might engage in, in the spirit of "Free inquiry"!

By the way, nice touch with the 'placement' of the 'Left Behind' books. Apparently one can claim to respect religions, and drop scriptural quotes all over the blog, and still show contempt for the most popular reading matter, after the bible, of the more benighted religious folks!

Or, were you for the very first time trying to flatter me with your imagined list of 'suitable' books for me? You're hilarious, albeit unintentionally so.

"And what are you doing reading a rightwing Islamophobe like James Arlandson or visiting such a nutbar website such as American Thinker. Either you have way too much time on your hands or you simply enjoy this neo-con crap much more than you let on."

What are YOU doing asking a question left more 'properly'
to the NSA?! Scratch a 'True Liberal' and you'll find a zealot with totalitarian leanings indistinguishable from the wing nuts they justifiably revile!

Yet again your "either or..." formulation reflects your limited imagination and in no way identifies my motivations for what I read, let alone affects my right to read what I want despite your censorious attitude.

I found the the "Top ten reasons why sharia is bad for all societies" to be ACCURATE.

This what I mean by taking or rejecting pieces on their merit.

"Thankfully, the province of Quebec, Canada, has forbidden sharia. This is the right initiative."

Did that happen and if so, do you agree with the outcome?

"Sharia ultimately degrades society and diminishes freedom."

Do you have any evidence to the contrary?


I accept you assertion that the author erred on his explanations as to what happened in the courts.
That doesn't invalidate his "top ten...."


I happen to believe that it a good use of my time to engage in learning about the 'enemy' or testing the J.S Mill proposition. That you think it inappropriate or a waste of time does not impress me with your true level of support for "Free Inquiry".

"I do not revile & heap contempt on America. I love it and hate it at the same time. Which I find more human than your cultural apartheid."

'Lurkers', as well as yourself, can revisit your posts and conclude that there is far more 'heap' than love for America in your comments.

As for the 'cultural apartheid" assertion? We come back to your inability or unwillingness to make a value judgment or take a stand regarding the worthiness of your own society or mine as against demonstrably less tolerant, de jure, societies openly hostile to ours. You may discount the hostility, your prerogative. Doesn't mean that it doesn't exist or that it doesn't need to be confronted or defended against.

And this is why I again regretably contend that there is some truth to the cliche that "a liberal will not take his own side in a fight".
There are plenty of us who do take a stand, and it is tiresome to have to explain away weaklings like yourself.

You have yet to muster an argument as to either the inaccurateness or unfairness of that cliche as it pertains to you. Surprise us.
Find a chair, a ledge, a stack of books, pull yourself to your feet and tell us what you, at least figuratively, stand for!

I'm willing to leave the islamofacists to killing each other, if that is what they need to go through, just as Western Europe did 400 years ago. In that respect they are no worse than us, just belated!

If on the other hand they want to make good on their threats against Israel and us, then they can expect to ".....reap the whirlwind".

11:11 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, I certainly don't believe cutting the word 'Islamofascists' was a typo. Not when it was in the middle of the quote. No, you just didn't want the precious term mocked. You appear to be the one who censors.

Top Ten Reasons Why Shari'a is Bad for America. Well, I find the article in American Thinker biased. It offers mostly anecdotal evidence of a case here or a case there. One can find this kind of 'proof' of how bad the American justice system is just by going through the human interest section of the newspapers. And there are plenty of silly laws still on the books in North America that are never enforced. And certainly even few Orthodox Jews take the Law of Moses seriously in their entirety --stoning and flogging still figure prominently there.

The article's definition of Jihad is incorrect. And the links offered as proof are dead. Indeed, half the links in the article are dead. Very hard to verify stuff. One link that worked had me mystified as it went to a scholarly Islamic website and I scrolled and scrolled and couldn't find the 'shocking' revelation promised.

The death penalty for apostasy is, of course, deplorable. But, again, is this widespread? Or is it more in theory than in practice? Is it very different from Ann Coulter's or Pat Robertson's comments? What are the statistics on a nation to nation basis? I certainly know a recovering Jehovah Witness who was "cut off" and was treated "as if dead" by all her family and friends. One would need more statistics to know if this is a serious breach of human rights in the here and now or something of a more archaic nature.

Also consider this quote According to the discretion of the caliph or his representative, the punishments for violating these rules are as follows: (1) death, (2) enslavement, (3) release without paying anything, and (4) ransoming in exchange for money. That's a pretty broad range of punishments: from nothing to death. I take it the key here is 'discretion'.

I'm not sure I understand what's so outrageous about flogging drunks and gamblers. I suppose if the drunks and gamblers had given Jack Abramoff money they'd be US Attorneys now and immune from prosecution.

It is pretty funny to see Arlandson mention Prohibition, as if that sorry experience makes America morally superior. There's no mention of America's losing war on drugs that has turned prisons into Americas #1 growth industry.

And then we can discuss the whole idea of punishment. Dear me! How shocked we are at the idea of cutting off the hand of a thief! (Again, there are no stats on how commonly this punishment is used.) The West,however, only gave up hanging theives in the past 150 years.

And America has a love affair with the Death Penalty. Apparently it's not inhuman to take a life for a life by gassing him or electrocuting him or injecting him with poison. Or locking him up for 25 years. America now has more people in Iraqi prisons than Saddam did. And America has more people in prison per capita than any other country on Earth. How civilized!

And it's easier to shoot someone in America and get off than you might think. Several states have passed vigilante laws making preemptive attack a legitimate self-defence as well as the excessive use of force.

It's no good quoting 2% of a complex religious, criminal, and civil code and ignoring the more sensible and mundane parts. Or to pretend that it is enforced literally in every region of the Muslim world or that Law isn't unequally applied in America.

If on the other hand they want to make good on their threats against Israel and us, then they can expect to ".....reap the whirlwind". And does the USA have any say in Israeli foreign policy? Or are we throwing out the whole concept of the honest broker here? Seems to me the tail is wagging the dog here and America is paying a helluva price in blood for the conservative policies of Olmert.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"Well, I certainly don't believe cutting the word 'Islamofascists' was a typo. Not when it was in the middle of the quote. No, you just didn't want the precious term mocked. You appear to be the one who censors"

Appearances are deceiving, your speculations on what books are or should be on my night stand are as explicit as they are foolish.

Mocked? Yeah, I was suddenly overcome by the same kind of timidity that characterizes your inability to defend anything about your society or mine against theocratic nonsense. NOT bloody likely!

In any case you had yet another reference and defense of Islamofacism in the subsequent post, which kind of undercuts your shaky premise....again.

Your main argument against the term Islamofacist appears to be that it is a 'Western construct'. This is consistent with your 'the hell with the argument, the source is 'tainted' approach to nearly everything we 'discuss'.

Thanks for continuing to demonstrate your 'cultural relativity' with your display of extraordinary indulgence toward sharia law. As nimble a display of mental gymnastics as we've seen yet!

What your attempted and tortured defense of sharia law overlooks is that it is the equivalent of biblical law in place of constitutional law.

This is not likely something you would be unaware of and since it's doubtful you would choose to exchange legal systems what are we left to conclude? That, yes, you are incapable of making a simple value judgment and equally incapable of taking your own side in a fight. I'm taking a leap and assuming 'your side' prefers secular law and constitutional government.

http://www.freemuslims.org/document.php?id=41

"Where an explicit command of God or His Prophet already exists, no Muslim leader or legislature, or any religious scholar can form an independent judgment not even all the Muslims of the world put together, have any right to make least alteration to it".

Source: Islamic Law and Constitution - Maolana Mawdudi."

"Believing so is regarded as alliance to Islam itself. All books on Sharia law univocally maintain this dictum."


Seen any 'amendments' to sharia? Does it appear amenable to change through political or legal means? It's 'divinely inspired' law interpreted by priests, you moral imbecile!

It's a secular political process, a Western construct', that keeps the 'silly laws on the books' increasingly out of the courtrooms. How exactly would that come to pass in a theocracy?

Why don't you simply admit that because you are 'open' to everything and that you are incapable of standing FOR anything....other than 'openness'.

You can't find 'secular Muslims who will defend this kind of theocratic crap with a straight face.

"Why Sharia Law must be Opposed
Comment on this article
Read other comments on this article"

http://www.ntpi.org/html/whyoppose.html

"Sharia law is the instrument by which Political Islam seeks to control the Muslim world. Whilst the Sharia may have been inspired by the Holy Quran, it has developed and evolved through time and through the efforts of men. The Sharia should be open to analysis, research and criticism like any other system of law, practice and belief. Its divine inspiration should no more shield it from criticism than Christianity should have been spared criticism for burning heretics or massacring unbelievers. The more pernicious interpretations of the Sharia today fall far short of the minimum standards of justice widely demanded by the international community and by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The Sharia should be opposed for its imposition of theocracy over democracy, its abuse of human rights, its institutionalized discrimination, its denial of human dignity and individual autonomy, its punishment of alternative lifestyle choices, and for the severity of its punishments.

In the west, in countries that have a sizable Muslim population, there have been calls for the Sharia to be adopted for the Muslim community. These calls should be vigorously opposed; the Sharia conflicts with many basic human values, such as equality before the law, that punishments should be commensurate with the crime, and that the law must be based on the will of the people. The Sharia as it developed in the first few centuries of Islam incorporated many pre-Islamic Middle-Eastern misogynist and tribal customs and traditions. The Sharia was developed not only from the Holy Quran but incorporates legal principles from other sects. We may ask how a law whose elements were first laid down over 1,000 years ago can possibly be relevant in the 21st century. The Sharia reflects the social and economic conditions at the time of the Abbasids and has become further and further out of touch with later social, economic, technological, cultural and moral developments. The principles of the Sharia are inimical to moral progress, humanity and civilized values."


http://www.freemuslims.org/document.php?id=41

"Can Sharia (Islamic Law) work in the 21st Century?
Sharia law is no longer an obscure niche in the study of Islam. Today Sharia, its role in political Islam and its impact on the daily lives of Muslim women and humanity has made headlines everywhere, almost daily. For example:
** in Canada amid lots of social controversy and resistance, a Sharia court has formally started working on domestic and business issues with the blessing of Canadian law.
** in Nigeria and Pakistan unmarried girls and widows or divorced women who gets pregnant even by rape, are flogged or sentenced to death by stoning.
** in Malaysia by court order, a woman got instantly divorced by her husband by message left in answering machine.
** in Afghanistan women are banned by law from performing on radio or TV even for news broadcasting.
** in Pakistan hundreds of women are jailed under adultery and blasphemy laws.
** in Bangladesh, women are forced into strangers' beds by Sharia law while raped minor girls are flogged under Zina (adultery) law.
** in Iran, Pakistan, Sudan and Malaysia etc, women are fighting against oppressive Sharia laws which limit their lives in countless ways. .
One may wonder how these abuses can happen in a world aware of human rights. Are these really Islamic laws or misapplications of Sharia? This brief essay will explore and analyze the origins, the development and the impact of Sharia law on Muslim women. It will end with a call to the West, and to Muslim's themselves, to realize the magnitude of Sharia's threat to humanity."

11:01 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Seen any 'amendments' to sharia? Does it appear amenable to change through political or legal means? It's 'divinely inspired' law interpreted by priests, you moral imbecile!

It's a secular political process, a Western construct', that keeps the 'silly laws on the books' increasingly out of the courtrooms. How exactly would that come to pass in a theocracy?


Now, dale h, only someone completely ignorant of Islam, Middle Eastern history, and Western Heritage could write the above drivel.

A moral imbecile, such as myself, knows that Islam does not have popes or priests. And Mawdudi didn't speak for all Muslims, but was one scholar among hundreds --including those who disagreed with him.

So you quote another list of absurd rulings under Shari'a law. (Including a falsehood about its use in Canadian courts.) But I can throw it back in your face and say, Which Shari'a law? Which school of Islam? Under whose authority?

I'm sorry, I think you'll find Islam as fragmented as Christianity. Do I point at some bizarre Protestant sect and say, "See. Christianity is barbaric!" Or perhaps I'd quote Paul's misogynistic lines or the homophobic injunctions to prove some gender bias. And yet I know feminist Christians and Gay/Lesbian Christians. Even literalist fundamentalist Christians know they can't take the whole Bible literally.

The fact is that you are trying to construct a false monolithic Islam so you can justify your bigoted agenda. And your false pride in Western Heritage is simply myopic.

Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Franco, Torquemada, Nero, and Caligula are all Western Heritage. How long have women and people of color had equal rights in the West? Always? Don't make me laugh. Your fine Western Heritage can find loopholes and fine print as easily as any Iranian mullah.

Of course, any examination of Western Heritage reveals it to be a WASP construction. And one can find someone bashing one group or another in the West and burning or hanging apostates with greater fury than has been evident in the East.

Are there human rights violations under Shari'a in various countries? Yes. Of course there are. Should we object to these violations? Yes. But do should we damn Islam, its millions of followers, and the nations where they live whether they have committed any violations or not? NO. How absurd!

If there is any reason for thinking there's a "clash of civilizations", one has to point to the West's invasion and subjugation of the various nations with Muslim populations. Britain, France, the Netherlands, and America have all sent armies against Muslim people who had never thought of "taking it" to the West.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"Now, dale h, only someone completely ignorant of Islam, Middle Eastern history, and Western Heritage could write the above drivel.

A moral imbecile, such as myself, knows that Islam does not have popes or priests. And Mawdudi didn't speak for all Muslims, but was one scholar among hundreds --including those who disagreed with him."

OK, Mullahs. Even a disingenuous ass-hat like yourself knows that, to their adherents, they are moral and spiritual equivalents to priests.

(Notice your pattern of jumping on and 'working' perceived errors or omissions disproportionately, like a dog working a bone?
This is what a man does without a case or with a weak case.)

The parts quoted were written by Muslims. Which parts, exactly, are drivel?

"I'm sorry, I think you'll find Islam as fragmented as Christianity. Do I point at some bizarre Protestant sect and say, "See. Christianity is barbaric!" Or perhaps I'd quote Paul's misogynistic lines or the homophobic injunctions to prove some gender bias. And yet I know feminist Christians and Gay/Lesbian Christians. Even literalist fundamentalist Christians know they can't take the whole Bible literally.

The point is your unwillingness to point to the examples that you've cited and call them for the pernicious Christian sources and justifications for intolerance and bigotry that they have been in Western Culture.

Really? Which literalist fundamentalist Christians are you referring to. Sounds both paradoxical and false to me. Would it be the benighted souls who are ignorant of the laws of thermodynamics, motion and gravity as they drive their cars to the airport and fly off to their conferences on "intelligent design"?

"So you quote another list of absurd rulings under Shari'a law. (Including a falsehood about its use in Canadian courts.) But I can throw it back in your face and say, Which Shari'a law? Which school of Islam? Under whose authority?"

That as practiced/inflicted upon the subjects/'citizens in Saudi Arabia, Royal Family of Saud, and the Iranian 'Republic', Mullahs fronted by the holocaust denying Akminijad.

"The fact is that you are trying to construct a false monolithic Islam so you can justify your bigoted agenda. And your false pride in Western Heritage is simply myopic"

I do not have a bigoted agenda because you make the claim that taking a stand is something it's not. I have a well founded respect for the positive aspects of Western Culture, not the least of which is the self criticism that forces me to acknowledge the failings and crimes of Western Culture.
That I can do so and not fear losing a hand, my freedom or my head is, yep, a good thing! The opposite of this key characteristic of secular constitutional government is, that's right, a bad thing. Want to show me anyplace in the Muslim world where that kind of freedom pertains?
Want to exchange OUR privileges and rights for those of sharia law? No fair citing Turkey what with the generals looking over the shoulders of the Islamists and whispering "Not too far now. Don't make us go all coup on you AGAIN!"

"Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Franco, Torquemada, Nero, and Caligula are all Western Heritage. How long have women and people of color had equal rights in the West? Always? Don't make me laugh. Your fine Western Heritage can find loopholes and fine print as easily as any Iranian mullah."

You conveniently overlook that several of those tyrants were.....OH! Dear me!!....opposed and overthrown by armed force.
"Always'? Scour my posts and copy and paste that word into your next pathetic attempt at a response. (Aside from "free speech being always and everywhere under assault") It's the True Liberal who throws about sweeping generalizations and who strews straw men all over these blogs.

Yet again, crippled by your cultural relativity induced myopia together with that spinal problem, you'll also no doubt ignore this very salient slam dunk of a repudiation of your argument(s). Did you notice that 'had' is not the tense that pertains to the CURRENT status of rights for women and men of color in the West? Nor is it an adequate temporal description for the political processes CURRENTLY driving toward greater sexual orientation protections and rights. (It will be a particularly cold day in Mecca before even the slightest progress is made on THAT right!)

Do you want to deny that Western, secular, constitutionally limited government and liberal democratic processes, notwithstanding current flaws and past derelictions and depredations, are largely responsible for the progress that you yourself have identified and that they are necessary for future progress, protection and expansion of rights as well? Do you want to continue to ignore or deny the FACT that the right to dissent, majority rule and minority rights, freedom of religion and thought, even imperfectly realized, are not better than the absence of same?

Do you want to exchange that framework for that provided in either sharia law or in the Christian theocratic government that some of those benighted Christians, you are loath to even criticize, would like to inflict on us, DOWN HERE? Your generosity toward OUR religious wingnuts may seem risk free to you. But do you really want our Rapture boys, who can't wait, facing off against the equally impatient for Armageddon Mullahs?

"Are there human rights violations under Shari'a in various countries? Yes. Of course there are. Should we object to these violations? Yes. But do should we damn Islam, its millions of followers, and the nations where they live whether they have committed any violations or not? NO. How absurd!"

Nice Rumsfeldian riff! And just as much of a straw man chain gang of false choices. Should we call for a little Western style self criticism from Muslims? Sure. Should we expect to see any, OUTSIDE the protection of Western governments. No frickin' way! I rest my case!


Because of your continued, demonstrable inability to muster the moral courage to make a judgment in favor of the good
and the protections provided by Western culture to YOU every damned day! (Last time I checked, Canadian government was just rife with the marks of Western Culture.)
Because of your giant honking pusillanimity, hiding out as you do under the protection of the Maple Leaf while ignoring or condemning or refusing to speak up for the Western Values that it stands for. For all of those reasons, and from your X-rays, we know what your problem is.

Which, even IF you believed in the words to your National anthem, would render you incapable of realizing the fruition of their exhortation.

Do you ever (attempt) to stand to sing and substitute for 'we', softly, "they, not me, not me!"


From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous david said...

My goodness! You are one twisted sister, dale h. And I take it you didn't grow up knowing any Muslims or having any Muslim friends. And I bet you've never visited a Mosque or talked to the local cleric.

A mullah is not a priest. It's a minor cleric. Islam is a religion of scholars without a hierarchy in the sense of the Catholic, Anglican, or Lutheran tradition. Anyone can preach and its the congregation that gives a preacher the authority to lead.

And why are you so enamoured of Turkey? A country that denies the Armenian genocide of 90 years ago has a long way to go. (But my Armenian neighbour is merely bemused by this mendacity.) Erdogan is an Islamic conservative. And I think if the Generals were pro-Western they'd have been a bit more cooperative rather than let Erdogan give the US the finger in 2003 by staying out of the invasion of Iraq.

Actually, I would not have considered Turkey first. No. I'd have thought of the most populous Muslim country in the world: Indonesia. Yes, the very country where Obama spent his early childhood. It manages to do quite well with Majority Rule and Minority Rights.

And speaking of Barack Obama, I can recommend Obama critiques Democrats' Religiophobia. It's a very thoughtful and heartwarming critique. And it doesn't have that intolerant air that so-often pervades the progressive blogosphere. (The full text of Obama's speech follows the Rabbi's commentary.)

I just find most of what you write to be such bigoted nonsense. It's so Manichaean --which, by the way, began in Persia and might explain some of the local flavor of Iranian philosophy. But you can't expect any change or peace without dialogue. I suppose you think Pelosi's trip to Syria was a mistake. Or that the British should have nuked Ahmadinejad rather than negotiate the return of their sailors. How sad! I see nothing liberal in this attitude; it is rigid and inflexible. Learn to bend, my friend. Remember Aesop's fable of the Wind & the Sun.

I include the following for your amusement, my benighted friend. (I think you're overusing that word. And you apply it to nearly everyone you disagree with. Hardly liberal of you.) Women's Rights in the Islamic Prenuptial Agreement. I am not sure what to make of it. But it sure is a different world than the one you're pushing. It's exotic. Neither feminist nor anti-feminist. It does, however, suggest a more complex society.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"A mullah is not a priest. It's a minor cleric. Islam is a religion of scholars without a hierarchy in the sense of the Catholic, Anglican, or Lutheran tradition. Anyone can preach and its the congregation that gives a preacher the authority to lead."

What has any of that to do with
sharia law and it's intolerant proponents?

"And why are you so enamoured of Turkey? A country that denies the Armenian genocide of 90 years ago has a long way to go."

It's not a question of being enamored. The point is just how much Islam even Muslim generals are willing to put up with.
Anyway, they seem to be quite fond of coups.
And why would Turkey have to do America's bidding to be pro-western? Can't they be pro-European and make the cut?

Oh, and do they have further to go than the Saudis? The Iranians? Or, are they on the level as the Canadians or a little ahead? Just asking because I haven't seen any acknowledgement by you of what makes Canada what it is and either distinct from or better than....Iran? Saudi Arabia? Indonesia? Cognitive dissonance is a bitch, isn't it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_coup_d%27etat_%28Republic_of_Turkey%29

"The post-modern coup d'etat, a military coup in Turkey, occurred on February 28, 1997 overthrowing the coalition government of Necmettin Erbakan.

In 1997 the Turkish military gradually increased the harshness and frequency of its public warnings to Erbakan's government and rolled their tanks through the streets of Sincan (in Ankara),eventually prompting him to step down.


[edit] See also
Multi-Party Period of Republic of Turkey
Military coup in Turkey, 1960
Military coup in Turkey, 1971
Military coup in Turkey, 1980
Necmettin Erbakan
Secularism in Turkey"

"Women's Rights in the Islamic Prenuptial Agreement. I am not sure what to make of it. But it sure is a different world than the one you're pushing. It's exotic. Neither feminist nor anti-feminist. It does, however, suggest a more complex society"

How prevalent is this in the Muslim world and does it sound suitable, let alone preferable for Canadian society?

So Indonesia is your model for what exactly? A better society than the one you live in?

Why are YOU so enamored with the totalitarians of this world?

I'm not 'pushing' for anything other than keeping the best that the West has, improving it in every way that it can be improved and defending if when necessary.

"I just find most of what you write to be such bigoted nonsense. It's so Manichaean --which, by the way, began in Persia and might explain some of the local flavor of Iranian philosophy. But you can't expect any change or peace without dialogue. I suppose you think Pelosi's trip to Syria was a mistake. Or that the British should have nuked Ahmadinejad rather than negotiate the return of their sailors. How sad! I see nothing liberal in this attitude; it is rigid and inflexible. Learn to bend, my friend. Remember Aesop's fable of the Wind & the Sun."

Please point out what I specifically wrote about the distinctions between Western Values and whatever it is that you would prefer in their place, pointing out the bigoted nonsense.

Since you chose not to in this post, I'll assume I was right in every respect about those distinctions.

Now as to your suppositions. I still can't believe what a flaming ass-clown you are, no matter how many times you prove it! I have overused the word 'benighted' But have I come remotely close to the ridiculous number of straw man arguments and unwarranted conclusions you demean yourself with?

"I suppose you think Pelosi's trip to Syria was a mistake."

NOPE.


"Or that the British should have nuked Ahmadinejad rather than negotiate the return of their sailors."

NOPE

"How sad! I see nothing liberal in this attitude; it is rigid and inflexible."

Through arguing with yourself?

Re-direct your sadness inward.
It will find a void because you
have no moral center from which to evaluate the worth of competing ideas. You are a sad and hollow man left with defending societies less free than your own, and likely to remain that way for all of the reasons I pointed out and for which you just have no answers.

AGAIN:

I have a well founded respect for the positive aspects of Western Culture, not the least of which is the self criticism that forces me to acknowledge the failings and crimes of Western Culture.
That I can do so and not fear losing a hand, my freedom or my head is, yep, a good thing! The opposite of this key characteristic of secular constitutional government is, that's right, a bad thing. Want to show me anyplace in the Muslim world where that kind of freedom pertains?

Do you want to deny that Western, secular, constitutionally limited government and liberal democratic processes, notwithstanding current flaws and past derelictions and depredations, are largely responsible for the progress that you yourself have identified and that they are necessary for future progress, protection and expansion of rights as well? Do you want to continue to ignore or deny the FACT that the right to dissent, majority rule and minority rights, freedom of religion and thought, even imperfectly realized, are not better than the absence of same? Or, especially the de jure forbidding of same.

Please, do point out the "bigoted nonsense".

As for Aesop:

Your naively uncritical reviews of Islam in these posts togehter with your overly harsh comments about yes, the political heritage
of the culture you live in bespeaks both a wilfull ignorance and a childish ingratitude for sacrifices made. Sacrifices by better men than you that enable you do say things you couldn't say in most of the nations you so blithely hold up role models.

"Learn to bend, my friend. Remember Aesop's fable of the Wind & the Sun."

Learn to discern my friend.
Remember Aesop's fable of The Buffoon and the Countryman

http://www.aesopfables.com/aesop1.html

"Men often applaud an imitation and hiss the real thing"

Dear me, I believe I've made a doubly clever selection as
'hiss' is exactly what I hear
as I read your comments!

applause, applause, hiss, hiss!

8:23 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Are you saying Indonesia is a totalitarian society?

And you have the most deluded view of Western Values. It is the bizarre combination of radical individualism and capitalism that is destroying our planet. Western values are selfishness and greed and arrogant bullying of anyone who stands in the West's way.

I should point out that most of the amelioration in America took place because of strongly held religious convictions. Not because of Reason or some dubious belief in Progress --those movements nearly always promoted oppression.

Indeed, Western Values are often bogus assertions or a hypocritical jigging of the historical record. It is as silly as taking credit for the success of one's favorite baseball team and crowing if they have a winning season.

I don't believe in East or West, North or South. My head is not hermetically sealed in a bag marked Western Heritage with a moral compass approved and inspected by Bill Bennett. I embrace the World, with its many strands and facets.

I can recommend a curious new book. You can read about it here: How we learned to stop having fun. It's about Dancing in the Streets. It's about Collective Joy. And it's a warning against the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Work Ethic and the Virtue of Selfishness.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"Are you saying Indonesia is a totalitarian society?"

No. Simply that it's hardly a role model for political freedom for Canada or the U.S.

"And you have the most deluded view of Western Values. It is the bizarre combination of radical individualism and capitalism that is destroying our planet. Western values are selfishness and greed and arrogant bullying of anyone who stands in the West's way."

I'm the delusional one??

First of all, want to point out the benefits that radical collectivism and pure socialism have afforded the planet?

Be specific. And give me the body count for the former Soviet Union and Mao's China.

Your anything and anywhere but the West stance is as foolish as it is indiscriminate. It is also as useless as a Western Culture Uber Alles stance. Which is why I've been very specific as to what I view as good about the West while also acknowledging the bad.

NOTHING more to Western values than "selfishness and greed and arrogant bullying of anyone who stands in the West's way."? Talk about a 'hermetically sealed head'!

I'd say that the evidence overwhelmingly shows those to be trans-national vices.

"I should point out that most of the amelioration in America took place because of strongly held religious convictions. Not because of Reason or some dubious belief in Progress --those movements nearly always promoted oppression."

You should also point out that if it weren't for a wall of separation between Church and State, an Enlightenment concept, religious wars would have sapped any 'amelioration' impulses in either of our countries. In other words, no Reason no amelioration. You might also point out that historically, religion has far more often been an impediment to free inquiry than its proponent and far more often a source of oppression and murderous proselytizing. Still is. Stay tuned for our stem cell debate. Gimme that old time religion...NOT!

"Indeed, Western Values are often bogus assertions or a hypocritical jigging of the historical record. It is as silly as taking credit for the success of one's favorite baseball team and crowing if they have a winning season."

Western values are also the very ones I've noted in previous posts. Your points of emphasis are at least as characteristic of other societies as they are of the West.

What is REALLY silly is that you walk around in relative freedom, greater than that found in most countries on this planet, and piss on the
the political values and structures that enable and protects that freedom.

Likening a constitutional democracy, that enables liberties and opportunities that attract people from around the world, to a rooting interest in a successful baseball team is fatuous on so many levels it doesn't merit anything more than repeating the observation that you are in fact a moral and political imbecile.

"I don't believe in East or West, North or South. My head is not hermetically sealed in a bag marked Western Heritage with a moral compass approved and inspected by Bill Bennett. I embrace the World, with its many strands and facets."

You head, whenever it is temporarily removed from your ass and not spinning like the little girl in the 'Exorcist', is sealed in a bag marked Cultural Relativism that holds the social and political freedom of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Indonesia to be equivalent to Canada's? Preferable to? That is the logical consequence
of your faulty compass that spins so uselessly.

You embrace a world who's inhabitants flock to your shores and ours. Why again is that? Oh, I get it.
The Statue of Liberty needs to be re-chiseled: "Bring us your greedy, your selfish and your bullies"!

And there you go again figuratively placing Bill Bennett's Big Bag O' Wind Book Of Virtues on my night stand! It's getting awfully crowded there with selections from David's Condescending Reading List.

You also embrace every strand and facet save for the ones that enable you to dance in a hard EARNED environment of freedom and opportunity that you so ignorantly attribute to chance.

let's put a tri-corner hat on your head, if we can stop it from spinning past all four points on your multicultural compass long enough, and place you in an updated version of this exchange at the Constitutional Convention circa 1787:

David: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

B.F.: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

David: Uh, got any primacy of Religion over Reason in that thing? No? Thanks anyway. I think I'll shop around.

4:32 AM  
Anonymous david said...

And so we get a return to the Red Menace. America's narrative is infused with the imagery and philosophy of The Book of Revelations. A not very sophisticated battle between the Army of Light and the Forces of Dark.

My objection to your bogus Islamofascism is that it merely fills the role of Villain vacated by the Soviet Union so you can go on playing to the galleries about why you are so virtuous and must save the Oil, Virgin Forests, and Mineral Wealth of the World for God.

Actually, there is no separation of Church & State in Britain. And Canada has no formal separation either --although most public institutions do adopt one. But this isn't to keep religion out --we don't do that. It's to prevent any religion from being excluded.

Marxism is a product of Western Values. It's the logical outcome of combining Individualism, Reason, and Capitalism. Marx embraced Western Values and held them in high esteem. The inhuman political-economic systems of Stalin and Mao are the ruthlessly logical and natural descendants of the Western ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Justice.

But you want your dichotomy so you can play out your little morality play. It won't work. The crimes of the West which you think you can acknowledge through self-criticism and free inquiry are, in fact, the natural by-product of Western Values. They keep on happening because that's really what Western Values are about.

Reason gave us Eugenics. Reason gave us social Darwinism. Reason gave us Laissez-Faire Economics. Reason gave us African Slavery. Reason gave us New Imperialism, Marxism, and Fascism. Reason is a sadistic bastard who should have been drowned at birth. And it was irrational faith in human decency that opposed all those twisted experiments.

dale h: What is REALLY silly is that you walk around in relative freedom, greater than that found in most countries on this planet, and piss on the political values and structures that enable and protects that freedom.

I don't have any respect for this "relative freedom" you speak of. And I doubt you've traveled the world much or you'd know that life goes on and that it is rarely oppression or a lack of liberty than concerns people. No, it's the irrational things like family, friends, food, and drink. And yes, that 'narrative arc' that is religion.

And don't give me the Statue of Liberty. When does America take in the wretched refuse of the world any more? The occupation of Iraq has displaced tens of thousands --how many has Imperial America taken in? Ha!

I've know an old man for many years who was interned as a child by the Canadian government during WWII because his parents were Japanese Canadians. The same happened to the Japanese Americans. This was done 'rationally' to protect Freedom. It merely exposed the hypocrisy of Western Values.

Your zealous and bigoted crusade to make the world safe for Western Values will only bring Death & Misery. Globalization is Westernization. And it means the destruction of forests, wetlands, coral reefs, and the air we breath and the water we drink. Western Values are marked by Selfishness, Greed, and Bullying. They are a cancer consuming the body of the earth: Indeed, the ideal of Western Values has even adopted the vile name Consumerism.

Ben Franklin: Here is my creed. I believe in one God, the creator of the universe. That he governs by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.

One of gentle Ben Franklin's last essays was a letter mocking slavery in America by offering the plantation owner's defence word for word but in the mouth of a fictional Barbary Muslim. Ben died soon after and so didn't see the hypocrisy of self-righteous Americans going "to the shores of Tripoli" to make war on Infidels who dared turn white Christians into slaves while making it dangerous for American merchants to pick up a new cargo of Black Slaves.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"Ben Franklin: Here is my creed. I believe in one God, the creator of the universe. That he governs by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them."

Nice try. But the quote merely confirms that either 'Gentle Ben' was allowed nowhere near the discussion of the First Amendment, or that he had the sense that god did not give you to separate his religious beliefs from governance.

Now we have still more evidence that you are just a simple minded nihilist, hiding behind the thin veneer of a pseudo education that has ill equipped you to grasp any semblance of reality. You know, like asserting, with zero historical evidence, the benevolence of faith on or in place of Reason? But then those are the kinds of assertions that faith lends itself to, aren't they?

If there were a professor Kingsfield in your past, perhaps he would have summoned you to the front of the room, pressed an inflation adjusted coin in your hand, and admonished you to call your mother and tell her that there is serious doubt in your ability to make use of a single rational concept that he and others were trying to instill into your skull full of mush!

"My objection to your bogus Islamofascism is that it merely fills the role of Villain vacated by the Soviet Union so you can go on playing to the galleries about why you are so virtuous and must save the Oil, Virgin Forests, and Mineral Wealth of the World for God."

You've not established that the construct is bogus. That it is Western, and supported by some Muslims, are all that's been established.

How ya doin' up there with your stewardship of your 'Oil, Virgin Forests, and Mineral Wealth'?

"Actually, there is no separation of Church & State in Britain. And Canada has no formal separation either --although most public institutions do adopt one. But this isn't to keep religion out --we don't do that. It's to prevent any religion from being excluded."

I congratulate you on your combination of good fortune and self-restraint. As you've no doubt noticed, it's a never ending battle down here to keep the 'faith based' from installing the kind of theocracy that, judging from your anti-Reason rants, you would no doubt find compatible.


"I've know an old man for many years who was interned as a child by the Canadian government during WWII because his parents were Japanese Canadians. The same happened to the Japanese Americans. This was done 'rationally' to protect Freedom. It merely exposed the hypocrisy of Western Values."

What it 'exposes', you moron, is that ALL nations make mistakes and that there have been none with minorities who have not grievously mistreated them. However it was a Western legal and political system that owned up to the internment, as well as plenty of other dejure and defacto discrimination, and ameliorated them.
How exactly would that happen in any Islamic nation or any other imaginary utopia swimming around in that spinning skull of mush you present to us so frequently?

" And so we get a return to the Red Menace. America's narrative is infused with the imagery and philosophy of The Book of Revelations. A not very sophisticated battle between the Army of Light and the Forces of Dark."

UH, that would be your 'Book' whose quotes you so freely throw around. Why you want to attribute scripture as a motivator or guide to one who pays it even less regard than you do Reason and the 'relative freedom' that you so ignorantly disparage is...a puzzlement.

"I don't have any respect for this "relative freedom" you speak of. And I doubt you've traveled the world much or you'd know that life goes on and that it is rarely oppression or a lack of liberty than concerns people. No, it's the irrational things like family, friends, food, and drink. And yes, that 'narrative arc' that is religion."

Abundantly clear that you have no respect for what you have more of in all categories. It's ALL relative. Well traveled or not, you'll pardon me if I don't take YOUR assessments of the rest of the world's irrational concerns worth a grain. In any case, many seem to express their concerns through their immigration patterns.

Your designation of 'family, friends, food, and drink' as a 'rationality-free' zone bespeaks a dichotomy that never was and never will be. And, your ".. 'narrative arc' that is religion."?
Too bad we can't use colored fonts so that you could assign the appropriate red shade to your 'narrative arc'!


"Your zealous and bigoted crusade to make the world safe for Western Values will only bring Death & Misery. Globalization is Westernization. And it means the destruction of forests, wetlands, coral reefs, and the air we breath and the water we drink. Western Values are marked by Selfishness, Greed, and Bullying. They are a cancer consuming the body of the earth: Indeed, the ideal of Western Values has even adopted the vile name Consumerism."

When you're a hammer, your whole world is a nail.

When you are an hysterical, multicultural, nihilist, sharing your hysteria from within the security of a Nation whose values you shun, even as they protect you, you ARE a moral and political imbecile.

"Marxism is a product of Western Values. It's the logical outcome of combining Individualism, Reason, and Capitalism. Marx embraced Western Values and held them in high esteem. The inhuman political-economic systems of Stalin and Mao are the ruthlessly logical and natural descendants of the Western ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Justice."

Uh, using Stalin and Mao to trash Reason when they can more accurately be described as perversions of Reason is sophistry. Communism has far more in common with religion, sharing as it does the same blind adherence to ideology and equally blind faith in 'sacred texts'.
Want to remind us again of the ideals you would choose to supplant Liberty, Equality and Justice?
Assuming, BIG assumption, you only want to see those ideals more perfectly realized, where exactly is that happening? Where are they more LIKELY to grow?

" But you want your dichotomy so you can play out your little morality play. It won't work. The crimes of the West which you think you can acknowledge through self-criticism and free inquiry are, in fact, the natural by-product of Western Values. They keep on happening because that's really what Western Values are about."

To what then do you attribute the 'crimes of the East'. Or, is that a crime free zone in your distorted world view?

11:40 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, I know how fond you are of that benighted strawman. And throughout your rebuttals you try to argue that I'm defending the indefensible. And this indefensible target shifts, depending on your nasty mood, from the East to Islam, to Christianity, to moral relativism, to multiculturalism. There seems to be some nebulous core you see threaten by the outside world. Your fear is irrational.

You seem to have had a very narrow upbringing. The Western Values you so brazenly attribute to your country's success are illusions. What you paint as cultural positives were, in fact, negative aspects. A religious critic of secular humanism may not know precisely what are negative aspects, but it is usually the all-consuming egotism and sense of entitlement to Nature's bounty and a lack of temporal discretion that makes Western Values so despised.

If you imagine that the positive aspects of Western Values are unique, you are mistaken. Any knowledge of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, or Taoism would teach you that. And the Eastern philosophies do not set Humanity against Nature.

That ancestor of yours who stepped of the Mayflower didn't know where he was and he had no right to be there. The land grant had been for somewhere in the vincity of New Jersey. Conveniently coming up with a theory that the "Indians" were godless savages who would think nothing of scalping a good Christian and oppressing his women, he set about stealing as much land he had no right to in the first place. The King eventually okayed the colony, thus teaching American land developers ever since that one should ignore planning permits and zoning restrictions and build anyway as the authorities really don't care.

I'm sorry. I do not consider my country "Western". Indeed, in my neighbourhood, I walk to work past a sea of faces --Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, and Arabic. I don't have a problem with it. I'm not afraid of the Other.

And I have good friends who are Cuban, Peruvian, Chinese, Armenian, and Lebanese. And so I have always been aware that what is said in the American media doesn't jive with what is said by the Other side. American politics has always been self-serving. And usually serving the elite at the cost of the blood of the poor and downtrodden.

The Cult of Reason is NOT self-correcting. You're living, as Gore Vidal is fond of saying, in the United States of Amnesia. And so the lessons of Vietnam are forgotten and a new Imperial War begins in Iraq. How can you say you've learned from any of your mistakes when you commit them again and again. The blather about Liberty, Equality, and Justice is just BLATHER. Blah, blah, blah. America is all about Getting Rich Quick. And when the frontier closed, America set off to invade the World. Fire a cannon in Tokyo Bay and Japan is open for business.

And the Bill of Rights? It's for the saps sent to die for the Fortune 500.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Dale h said...

"Well, I know how fond you are of that benighted strawman. And throughout your rebuttals you try to argue that I'm defending the indefensible. And this indefensible target shifts, depending on your nasty mood, from the East to Islam, to Christianity, to moral relativism, to multiculturalism. There seems to be some nebulous core you see threaten by the outside world. Your fear is irrational.'

You mistake fear, clearly your
defining character trait, for my undisguised contempt for your phony "I love my fellow man" routine.

Exhibit A of an entire alphabet of exhibits of unmitigated ass-hattery:

"And the Bill of Rights? It's for the saps sent to die for the Fortune 500."

This from a weakling who extols the merits of sharia "law'! Were you home sick the year they covered logic and judgment in whatever passed for your schooling


"You seem to have had a very narrow upbringing. The Western Values you so brazenly attribute to your country's success are illusions. What you paint as cultural positives were, in fact, negative aspects. A religious critic of secular humanism may not know precisely what are negative aspects, but it is usually the all-consuming egotism and sense of entitlement to Nature's bounty and a lack of temporal discretion that makes Western Values so despised."

And black is white and war is peace. Thanks for your Orwellian language hi-jinks.

They're despised by brainwashed nitwits like yourself who continue to live in societies whose existence belies your half-ass-ed dismissals of the values that created and sustain them.

Thank you for undermining any pretense for rational criticism with your self identification as a 'religious critic', an oxymoron if ever there was one.

You clearly demonstrate a vast overestimation of the implied breadth of your OWN upbringing with each successive rant.

Here's a little side trip for a glimpse of where your naivete may lead:

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/45968.aspx

"Parallel communities are emerging all across Britain. And some Muslims like to claim these areas are off limits to non-Muslims.

Case in point: when Britain's Home Secretary John Reid visited East London in September, Abu Izzadeen, a radical Islamic leader shouted at Reid saying "How dare you come to a Muslim area."

Reid replied, "My friend, there is no part of this country which any one of us is excluded from."

Britain has prided itself on being a multicultural society. But Phillips says multiculturalism has instead allowed radical Islamists to flourish.


http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/45968.aspx

"The host community is saying multiculturalism, everyone's culture is identical value, minority to minority and identical value, minority to majority," Phillips said. "So the majority is saying, 'You want to integrate, forget it. We don't want you to because we no longer have any belief in what you are going to integrate into.' That's really where the damage is being done."

Phillips also says that since 9/11, the British government has bent over backwards to appease and accommodate the radical Muslims.

"It has taken the line of least resistance and it very foolishly, in my view, believes that if you give in to the demands made by extremists, you kind of make the problem go away. We know that that's not true; it makes it worse," Phillips said.

There is growing sentiment in Britain and throughout Europe that Islam and Western values don't mix. Some are even beginning to question the idea of multiculturalism.

For now, criticism of Islam has once again sparked anger among British Muslims- this time, over the veil. And once again, Britain faces the challenge of how to win Muslim hearts and minds that appear closed for the moment."

"The Cult of Reason is NOT self-correcting. You're living, as Gore Vidal is fond of saying, in the United States of Amnesia. And so the lessons of Vietnam are forgotten and a new Imperial War begins in Iraq. How can you say you've learned from any of your mistakes when you commit them again and again. The blather about Liberty, Equality, and Justice is just BLATHER. Blah, blah, blah. America is all about Getting Rich Quick. And when the frontier closed, America set off to invade the World. Fire a cannon in Tokyo Bay and Japan is open for business.

And the Bill of Rights? It's for the saps sent to die for the Fortune 500."

Your polemic rants become more simple minded with each post.

No reasonable person would claim that a nation any more than an individual is a perfect learning machine that never repeats mistakes. REASONABLE person...not a faith based hysteric like yourself.

Nothing more embodies your absolute spinelessness, and there has been a shit load to choose from, than the assertion of who dies for what.

""The Cult of Reason is NOT self-correcting...."

Another oxyMORON. Nothing is self-correcting. But would you have us believe that faith based zealots like yourself are fit to instruct the rest of us on the limits of reason? Sorry, that ship sailed the moment you 'self-identified' as a religious cultist.

Please regale us with the benign 'correction' that two of your favorites, the tyrant and the Church, brought about:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_Reason

"The Cult of Reason enjoyed a certain support among the sans-culottes before the persecution of the Hébertistes drove it underground. Both cults were the outcome of the "de-Christianization" of French society during the Revolution, and suffered during the Thermidorian Reaction and Napoleon Bonaparte's rapprochement with Roman Catholicism."

Looking down the road a bit, to 1873 and 1914, Germans/Lutherans 2....French/Catholics 0.

Seems that the rapprochement with the irrational helped fuel a two round religious war.

And perhaps Western Values would've flourished sooner, better, faster were it not for the clerics fueling the fires with their guilt and brimstone laden dogma.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous david said...

What's with offering the Christian Broadcasting Nework: The 700 Club with Pat Robertson as "proof" of the evils of multiculturalism? Talk about a website that begs the question: "Non-Wasps are EVIL because they're Non-Wasps."

What is your problem with religion? And I can only find it baffling that you are so patriotic about your country and then bash the majority who espouse a faith in something bigger than ego-centric materialism.

I ask because there used to be a beautiful motto on the US currency --and on the Seal of the US-- E pluribus unum: Out of Many, One. I bespeaks what America should be, could be if it weren't looking longingly back at the Eisenhower Era.

Sadly, I find your professed atheism uninformative. It tells me what you don't believe, not what you do believe. And I don't find your Freedom & Democracy any more informative. Bush chants that slogan as well and we know he means nothing by it. Is Freedom the right to choose Pepsi over Coke? And Democracy? Is that the right to pick one rich white guy over another? It seems so hollow.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"What's with offering the Christian Broadcasting Nework: The 700 Club with Pat Robertson as "proof" of the evils of multiculturalism? Talk about a website that begs the question: "Non-Wasps are EVIL because they're Non-Wasps."

Well, first of all my usual rejoinder. What exactly about the reporting do you find inaccurate or not able to be corroborated?

Secondly, why do you jump to the conclusion that 'people of faith' are incapable of accurate reportage. Do you ACTUALLY know something I don't?

"What is your problem with religion? And I can only find it baffling that you are so patriotic about your country and then bash the majority who espouse a faith in something bigger than ego-centric materialism."

As you easily can discern what I bash is the attempted intrusion or insinuation of religious faith into the public sphere. I also grow tired of the constant finger wagging from faith based spokesmen later found to be engaging in the very behavior they scold us against. You are aware of the epidemic of pedophilia in the American Catholic church, as well as the cover-ups and attempted cover-ups. The Ted Haggards and their quickie treatments to 'cure' their homosexuality. You just can't make hilarious shit like that up!
The concentration of these specimens overwhelmingly in the Republican Party is also a happy coincidence.

No less amusing are Christians' claims that they're being persecuted when all that is happening is enforcement of the Constitution by an increasingly conservative Court. Be careful what you wish for, wingnuts!

Maybe when they first put the robe on they start thinking "this is serious shit! Maybe I best keep the bible out of my opinions?" One can only hope!

What I really love about my
Country are the checks and balances (Western Civ Construct), conspicuous by their absence over the last six years, but beginning to re-emerge. And, the Bill of Rights (W.Civ, again) the real bulwork against the would be theocrats in my society.

Whether you acknowledge it or approve it progress HAS ensued to the degree we've weaned ourselves from the pernicious influence and tyranny of kings and theocrats. In fact:

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
Denis Diderot



I'll rest my case, so to speak, for an absolute wall between Church and State as the best solution for US. You know how combative we can be on secular matters. You really wouldn't want to see religious wars spilling across your border. I'm sure there would be exiles from those not killed by the 'winning' sect!



I find this piece particularly persuasive. And if you rip MotherJones, you are beyond redemption.
http://www.motherjones.com/index.html

Original Intent
Revisionist rhetoric notwithstanding, the founders left God out of the Constitution–and it wasn't an oversight.
Susan Jacoby
November/December 2005 Issue

When the Supreme Court, in one of its most important decisions of 2005, ordered two Kentucky counties to dismantle courthouse displays of the Ten Commandments, Justice Antonin Scalia declared that the Court majority was wrong because the nation's historical practices clearly indicate that the Constitution permits "disregard of polytheists and believers in unconcerned deities, just as it permits the disregard of devout atheists."

The Constitution permits no such thing: It has nothing to say about God, gods, or any form of belief or nonbelief—apart from its absolute prohibition, in Article 6, against any religious test for public office and the First Amendment's familiar declaration that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." From reading Scalia, a Martian (or polytheist) might infer that the establishment clause actually concludes with the phrase "free exercise thereof—as long as the faithful worship one God whose eye is on the sparrow." The justice's impassioned dissent in McCreary County v. the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky is a revealing portrait of the historical revisionism at the heart of the Christian conservative campaign to convince Americans that the separation of church and state is nothing more than a lie of the secularist left."


"Sadly, I find your professed atheism uninformative. It tells me what you don't believe, not what you do believe. And I don't find your Freedom & Democracy any more informative. Bush chants that slogan as well and we know he means nothing by it. Is Freedom the right to choose Pepsi over Coke? And Democracy? Is that the right to pick one rich white guy over another? It seems so hollow."

As you know I went well beyond Dubya's "terrists hate freedom" mantra. And I refuse to continue belaboring values that you express disdain for.....despite both the freedom and security they very clearly provide you!

If I were persuaded by your facile dismissals of democracy, I might see hollowness as well. But I'm not and I don't.

This statement by Churchill may be the template for 'damning with faint praise', but nothing you've written persuades me that HE was mistaken.

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

6:19 PM  
Anonymous david said...

I have no problem with the Separation of Church & State. And I read that article long ago when defending same. I think you don't really read what I write. I think you're tilting at Windmills in your quest to strangle tyrants with the entrails of priests.

BTW, the sex scandals are not confined to the Catholic Church. It is any authority that demands reverence from the public. And so one sees scandals involving the police and the military swept under the carpet as readily as various churches have hid theirs. A woman in America's armed forces is more likely to be sexually assaulted and injured be her fellow soldiers than by the enemy.

Churchill was hardly a champion of democracy. He was a bigot, a racist, a promoter of the Nazi-sympathizer Edward VIII, and a supressor of colonial independence movements. He may have opposed dialogue with Hitler, but he oppsed dialogue with Gandhi also. I doubt he'd have supported the American colonists in 1776. Give me Clement Atlee any day.

I don't think you should presume what provides me and my country with freedom and security. We have a completely different approach up here. And we like it.

BTW, the point of the Establishment clause is to keep the State out of the Church, not the Church out of the State. There's no reason why people of faith shouldn't be vocal in government or churches lobby. But there can't be an official religion and public funds cannot support the promotion of any particular faith.

If you read Barack Obama's speech, which I put a link to earlier, I agree with him 100%.

Have you read Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible". It's a powerful and beautiful novel.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

You pick quarrels where none exist:

"I don't think you should presume what provides me and my country with freedom and security. We have a completely different approach up here. And we like it."

I presume nothing.

Canada

Know you'll love this link.

https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/print/ca.html

Constitutional monarchy that is also a parliamentary democracy and a federation.

If this is accurate and works for you, then you are living with the heritage and benefits
of Western Culture. If you don't recognize that, then you are engaging in tortured logic
and outright denial. Is it an accident that you and your diverse group of friends live amicably together, or is there some structure that protects all of you. It's not a national church.
So what's left? Are you the ONLY Men who are in fact 'angels'?

And what do all of these countries have in common, aside from being the scourge of mankind?

http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/topten.cfm

" think you're tilting at Windmills in your quest to strangle tyrants with the entrails of priests."

It's a good starting point.

"Churchill was hardly a champion of democracy....."

Begs the question as to the soundness of his observation.

"BTW, the point of the Establishment clause is to keep the State out of the Church, not the Church out of the State. There's no reason why people of faith shouldn't be vocal in government or churches lobby. But there can't be an official religion and public funds cannot support the promotion of any particular faith."

BTW, it's both. You have your emphasis I have mine. I have no patience with the intolerant. Religion is inherently intolerant. It is the open and avowed goal of our Christian right to create a Christian theocratic national government. Never happen. They scare the BeJesus out of every thinking American

The following may not represent a breach in the wall of separation, but it smells like a 'nose under the tent'.

http://politics.netscape.com/story/2007/04/10/150-pat-robertson-grads-in-the-bush-administration

"150 Pat Robertson Grads in the Bush Administration
Politics – Monica Goodling's involvement in Attorneygate is not the only aspect of her role in the Bush administration that bears examination. Her membership in a cadre of 150 graduates of Pat Robertson's Regent University currently serving in the administration is another, equally revealing component of the White House's political program."

"BTW, the sex scandals are not confined to the Catholic Church. It is any authority that demands reverence from the public. And so one sees scandals involving the police and the military swept under the carpet as readily as various churches have hid theirs. A woman in America's armed forces is more likely to be sexually assaulted and injured be her fellow soldiers than by the enemy."

The difference between the Church and the other institutions, and my point, is that the Church purports to be the guardian of moral values and their breech of same is especially offensive and most hypocritical.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous david said...

And now you're quoting the Heritage Foundation? As well as pointing out how many Pat Robertson grads have infiltrated the White House --although you linked to CBN as a 'reputable' source earlier. Are you one of the 'thinking' Americans? Seems you do your do your best to support these benighted BeJesus freaks.

We're a constituional MONARCHY. An ancient form of government found all around the world. It's not uniquely Western.

And the US Constitution forbids 'religious tests' both pro & con. So you can't prohibit openly religious people from holding office. That would be just as bigoted as only electing Christians.

And you don't think the military owe loyalty to their comrades in arms? I take it you never learned the meaning of "Semper Fidelis".

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"And now you're quoting the Heritage Foundation? As well as pointing out how many Pat Robertson grads have infiltrated the White House --although you linked to CBN as a 'reputable' source earlier. Are you one of the 'thinking' Americans? Seems you do your do your best to support these benighted BeJesus freaks."

I asked you to point out the inaccuracies in the piece by CBC. Still waiting. You are simply incapable of analyzing on merit rather than only the source. Try both, and go with facts you can confirm. It's not THAT much intellectual 'heavy lifting', save for one as mentally flabby as yourself.

Your 'leaping' ability is fine though. Nice 'vault' taking my posting of reportage you can't refute to represent support for "benighted BeJesus freaks."



"And the US Constitution forbids 'religious tests' both pro & con. So you can't prohibit openly religious people from holding office. That would be just as bigoted as only electing Christians."

Now how can I trust your sources, not to mention your critical thinking and analytical skills with this egregious 'misfire?!

You mistake religious tests for competency requirements. Or, do you want to claim that the pattern of hiring and performance in the Dubya Admin has earned a benefit of the doubt for these particular hires?

And, most glaringly, you misstate that these are elective offices rather than appointments. And, they're not just 'infiltrating' the
White House, but the much and justifiably besieged Justice Department as well. Too many faith inspired litmus tests used to force out competent U.S Attorneys. Ya think? Maybe?

http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2007/04/08/scandal_puts_spotlight_on_christian_law_school/?page=2

"Not long ago, it was rare for Regent graduates to join the federal government. But in 2001, the Bush administration picked the dean of Regent's government school, Kay Coles James , to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management -- essentially the head of human resources for the executive branch. The doors of opportunity for government jobs were thrown open to Regent alumni."

"Many of those who have Regent law degrees, including Goodling, joined the Department of Justice. Their path to employment was further eased in late 2002, when John Ashcroft , then attorney general, changed longstanding rules for hiring lawyers to fill vacancies in the career ranks.

Previously, veteran civil servants screened applicants and recommended whom to hire, usually picking top students from elite schools."

"The graduate from Regent -- which is ranked a "tier four" school by US News & World Report, the lowest score and essentially a tie for 136th place -- was not the only lawyer with modest credentials to be hired by the Civil Rights Division after the administration imposed greater political control over career hiring."

Notwithstanding improvements in school rankings and student caliber cited in the article, the taint from these faith based incompetents is palpable.

Other than that....! Brings to mind: "So, aside from that, what did you think of the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

"And you don't think the military owe loyalty to their comrades in arms? I take it you never learned the meaning of "Semper Fidelis".

Of course I do. And it pains me greatly whenever ideals are not lived up to or honored more in the breach than in the observance. additionally, it gives me a very queasy feeling to read a phrase that I honor, written by one as demonstrably craven as yourself.

In fact, I take it that you have ZERO credentials or credibility to question what I learned in an organization that you openly revile and are patently unfit to serve in. And, yes, Canadians and other foreign nationals can serve in the U.S armed forces and thereby qualify for citizenship if they choose.

But, I might as well be talking with a fish about the merits of a bicycle!

"We're a constituional MONARCHY. An ancient form of government found all around the world. It's not uniquely Western."

How about the 'constitutional' part? Would not the restraint on the Monarch, checks and balances, the Parliament qualify as 'Western 'constructs' and part of a long tradition of Western Values'?

10:51 AM  
Anonymous david said...

So, you want to know what's wrong with the CBN article on pockets of Islam in Britain. That is, besides using weasle words and not citing sources? This would be the one that heavily quotes Trevor Phillips, who later had to apologize for misrepresenting the study he based his 'sleepwalking into segregation' comments on. And you might read Integration and Terrorism have nothing to do with each other. The Mayor of London was also angry at Phillips for what he said was "pandering to the right". You might also compare how the Christian Broadcasting Network presents the conflict between Home Secretary Reid and extremist Abu Izzadeen --Mr Izzadeen is a recent convert to Islam and something of a well-known troublemaker and hardly a 'leader'-- with the BBC's Reid heckled. Of course, Reid has to admit that it's the invasion of Iraq which has radicalized some of the Muslim community.

Checks & Balances on the Monarch? That's very funny. The only checks are Tradition. And our Constitution is only 20 odd years old. Before that we operated without a Constitution just as Britain does.

I'd say I'm more disturbed by the adoration you offer the USMC and the disgust you show the world's religions. It just makes me shudder at the thought of where this country might be headed.

And so this is the last post I'll make in this thread. It's, once again, turning into the David & Dale show. And since I have a hard time reading your cluttered posts with their parade of neo-con links, I think it best we agree that I'm a spineless wonder and you're --what? The very model of a modern Major-General???

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Dale h said...

"I'd say I'm more disturbed by the adoration you offer the USMC and the disgust you show the world's religions. It just makes me shudder at the thought of where this country might be headed."

To each his own shudder. You mistake, boy that's getting old, you mistake respect and pride, not surprisingly since they are foreign to your makeup, for adoration. There is a difference, 'word boy'.

You've yet to make a case for the preponderantly beneficent influences of the world's religions VS their blood drenched History.

"So, you want to know what's wrong with the CBN article on pockets of Islam in Britain. That is, besides using weasle words and not citing sources? This would be the one that heavily quotes Trevor Phillips, who later had to apologize for misrepresenting the study he based his 'sleepwalking into segregation' comments on. And you might read Integration and Terrorism have nothing to do with each other. The Mayor of London was also angry at Phillips for what he said was "pandering to the right". You might also compare how the Christian Broadcasting Network presents the conflict between Home Secretary Reid and extremist Abu Izzadeen --Mr Izzadeen is a recent convert to Islam and something of a well-known troublemaker and hardly a 'leader'-- with the BBC's Reid heckled. Of course, Reid has to admit that it's the invasion of Iraq which has radicalized some of the Muslim community."

You still haven't refuted the accuracy of the story.

" And you might read Integration and Terrorism have nothing to do with each other."

And logically, why should they. I fail to see integration
in ghetto-ed sections of London where Brits aren't welcome. Perhaps you can fly over, take a stroll into the
'integrated neighborhoods' wearing your "I'm a Canadian' signed backpack and get back to us on how that went.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Cling to your lies, Major-General.
UK Race Chief in Ghetto Apology. So, he goes from 'there are ghettos' to 'if things don't change we might have ghettos in the future'. Yep, he's your man all right. And he got an OBE from the Queen and a promotion a more vague post where he can do less damage.

They don't have ghettos in Britain like the do in the USA. That just trivializes the American problem and exaggerates the British problem. And I've walked through those neighborhoods in London --my cousin lives in East Ham-- and they're not scary. Poor, yes. Mixed, yes. But not violent & crime-ridden.

The reason I don't bother with your links from neo-con or nutbar websites is that the sites themselves are biased. They're not peddling neo-con crap with the odd 'fair & balanced' report thrown in. Their reporting is twisted truth, half-truths, lies, cheats, smoke and mirrors. Their stories are filled with weasle words, uncited sources, opinion, and hearsay. And they're marketing FEAR and PANIC.

I don't think you can make the case that secularism has been less blood-drenched that religious movements. Read this interview between Bill Moyers & Karen Armstrong. She's great. And you might enjoy her book The Great Transformation.

And stop tilting at Windmills. Your endless attacks on me began when I reported accurately the situation after the British sailors were taken prisoner by the Iranians. You called it 'defending the indefensible'. But I was only repeating what was being said in most of the British & Canadian media. It's America that lives in a media bubble. I heartily recommend you check out the BBC daily. The contrast between what makes it onto the front page there and onto the NYTimes's is a real eyeopener.

Again, I will make THIS my last post in this thread.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Dale AH. said...

"The reason I don't bother with your links from neo-con or nutbar websites is that the sites themselves are biased. They're not peddling neo-con crap with the odd 'fair & balanced' report thrown in. Their reporting is twisted truth, half-truths, lies, cheats, smoke and mirrors. Their stories are filled with weasle words, uncited sources, opinion, and hearsay. And they're marketing FEAR and PANIC."

Ad hominem crap that bespeaks a frightened dweeb who dare not expose himself to differing views. Much of what you say about the sites and their material is true. Some of what you say is not.

"And stop tilting at Windmills. Your endless attacks on me began when I reported accurately the situation after the British sailors were taken prisoner by the Iranians. You called it 'defending the indefensible'. But I was only repeating what was being said in most of the British & Canadian media. It's America that lives in a media bubble. I heartily recommend you check out the BBC daily. The contrast between what makes it onto the front page there and onto the NYTimes's is a real"

It is the Iranian regime that I was describing as indefensible for the treatment of its own people.

The contrast may be 'real, but that doesn't necessarily make the content more accurate.

"I don't think you can make the case that secularism has been less blood-drenched that religious movements. Read this interview between Bill Moyers & Karen Armstrong. She's great. And you might enjoy her book The Great Transformation."

I didn't find the soft pedaling of Christian and Islamic bloodletting by a former nun particularly convincing.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karen Armstrong, My Year in a Habit taught me the Paradox of Veiling.

10:19 AM  

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