Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tons of stuff. Diving straight in....
The Jig is Up ...
... for the "N-word". I mean, ...
Oh, wait. That won't do for a slogan, either!
Cox and Forkum have provided yet another example of a recent theme of mine: Similarities between the Islamofascists and the totalitarians who have hijacked the civil rights movement. The former want to ban drawings of Mohammed and the latter, the word, "nigger".
Simply using a word does not make one a racist, and besides, far worse can be said using plain English. Furthermore, working to limit public debate does not make one an advocate for freedom. Michael Richards was an idiot for losing his composure, but Jesse Jackson is a villain for attacking freedom of speech.
And Jackson is, incidentally, also a coward for hiding behind Michael Richards while he does it.
Coulter nails it!
It has been ages since I have read something good from Ann Coulter, but this column about the recent, newsbreaking pre-flight trash removal executed by US Airways in Minnesota is very funny and makes several excellent points.
Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.This is worse than the proverbial "shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theater'. This is standing in front of the screen, turning on the lights, and waving a machine gun around. My only question is this: Will our government bring up criminal charges, as it should, against these "scholars"? (HT: Harry Binswanger List)
Witnesses said the imams stood to do their evening prayers in the terminal before boarding, chanting "Allah, Allah, Allah" -- coincidentally, the last words heard by hundreds of airline passengers on 9/11 before they died.
Witnesses also said that the imams were talking about Saddam Hussein, and denouncing America and the war in Iraq. About the only scary preflight ritual the imams didn't perform was the signing of last wills and testaments. [bold and link added]
Now word so far from Jesse Jackson about whether he thinks the word "Allah" should be banned, not that it should.
Let Go of God and Grab this CD!
Joe Kellard tells us how we can purchase the CD of Julia Sweeney's one-woman act, "Letting Go of God".
A Few New Blogs
I have, over the past few weeks, added some new blogs to the sidebar, but, except for Tim Blair, haven't yet made my usual introductions, so here goes....
Michael Bahr of Tempe, Arizona, is the author of Bahr's House of Exuberance. His most recent post starts off from a discussion of racism, but quickly becomes more philosophical. I like this point:
There are few sweeping generalizations to which I will adhere without considering new evidence, and one of those is that any philosophy, religion, meme, superstition, saying, or other effect which discourages critical thinking, discredits itself in so doing. It cuts to the central tool for the evaluation of truth -- the truth withstands any amount of critical scrutiny.Are you listening, Reverend Jackson? I didn't think so. He also invites readers to weigh in on what they think the Song of the Year should be....
Student of Objectivism, who names his blog after himself in the tradition of the greatest bloggers, asks an interesting question -- and gets some good feedback from a commenter.
DJR (When Facing Darkness, I Made Fire) is a man who wants to think for himself, which is a great virtue, but he is too quick here to lambaste Leonard Peikoff for the way he delivered his advice on the recent elections. For the reasons suggested by Diana Hsieh (near the end of the post) and others, I think Peikoff delivered his advice bluntly with a good purpose in mind.
As I have said before, I do not think at this point that one necessarily need know about the DIM Hypothesis to stop supporting Republicans. I think the arguments of C. Bradley Thompson and some careful examination of the current state of political debate on the Right are enough. Why? Because the practice of the Republicans has evolved over the past few years to catch up with the theories of the most consistent in their party.
Jim Woods is not unfamiliar to my readers, but I have finally gotten around to linking to his very good blog, Words by Woods. I found this bit about a new dollar coin intriguing, although I am not completely on the same page with him.
New dollar coins. Again !?!? Looks like the mint got it right this time as America wants Presidents and symbols of our values like Lady Liberty on our money, not more affirmative action creations. Personally, I wish they had done a series on Fed Chairman to remind us why the dollar has devalued over time. At least with the first coins, we will be reminded of real American Presidents, but will the political parties identify their recent shortcomings in time for 2008.I'm mostly with Jim here but for the fact that I actually liked the Sacagawea Dollar in an aesthetic sense. Yes. The design was unfortunately chosen in a nod to multiculturalism, a fact I do not like. But since there was ample precedent for Indians on American coinage, I thought that this multiculturalist dollar coin fit in far better than its predecessor. Aside from being better-looking, you could easily forget the multi-culti claptrap.
You can't do that when you look at the coin that featured the visage of the woman my Dad used to call, "Old Hatchet-Face".
More Than Just Phonics
I really enjoyed what Lisa VanDamme had to say about teaching children how to read.
One day, I asked the students, "How is Robin like the bird?" I then watched as one face after another illumined with the glow of a new understanding. They saw it.Fixing the broken mechanics of how children are taught to read -- by abandoning the "look-say" method -- is only the initial battle. Opening the eyes of children to literature is just as important in preparing them for adulthood.
In Lana's words: "They both have a problem and then they solve it. The branch is falling, but the bird knows he has wings, so he flies. Robin's legs don't work, but he learns to read and whittle and swim. They both find a door in the wall: if they can't solve something one way, they find another."
A Tragic Jewel
The title I ripped off from Isaac Schrodinger, who is completely right.
I recognize what I see in these pictures. Ruins. I see the ruins of a once beautiful city. I am reminded of Miami and New Orleans. Places with so much flavor that they live. Places where you know, every minute, exactly where you are. I see a shadow of that in the corpse of a once great city, a once great country. It hurts to look at it. The thing is, I am not Cuban, not really. I am an American who was born in Cuba. What must real Cubans think when they see this tragedy?This post is its author's tribute to his departed father for having the foresight and courage to take asylum in America when Fidel Castro took power, get his family here, and work their way up from being poor. His father saw the ruins long before most others did, and he acted decisively.
This is no spoiler because nobody else can put this story into words better than its author did. Go and read it now.
I see that I have been "invited" by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to submit my mind to the mullahs, thereby destroying it. This would be worse than suicide because to do so would make my life on earth worse than actually being dead.
Here's my answer in English and in Arabic.
Bombs as Speech
Over at The Belmont Club, Wretchard examines recent remarks by Newt Gingrich to the effect that if America fails to preempt the Islamic Bomb before we lose a city, we might see restrictions on freedom of speech. He quotes Gingrich.
And, my prediction to you is that ether before we lose a city, or if we are truly stupid, after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that use every technology we can find to break up their capacity to use the internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech, and to go after people who want to kill us to stop them from recruiting people before they get to reach out and convince young people to destroy their lives while destroying us.This is a warning we should heed. Gingrich has just told us how many of our leaders might react to such a calamity. For to indefinitely restrict freedom of speech is both an abominable suggestion and a confession that one so poorly understands the value of freedom that one cannot see a way to offer intellectual competition to brutes.
The best way to begin offering a counterargument to the jihadists would be to show them, as we showed the Japanese during World War II, the consequences of their creed and the foolishness of picking a fight with the West.
The bombings marked America's total victory over a militaristic culture that had murdered millions. To return an entire nation to morality, the Japanese had to be shown the literal meaning of the war they had waged against others. The abstraction "war," the propaganda of their leaders, their twisted samurai "honor," their desire to die for the emperor--all of it had to be given concrete form. This is what firebombing Japanese cities accomplished. It showed the Japanese that "this"--point to burning buildings, screaming children scarred unmercifully, piles of corpses, the promise of starvation--"this is what you have done to others. Now it has come for you. Give it up, or die." This was the only way to show them the true nature of their philosophy, and to beat the truth of the defeat into them.How well could the jihadists raise recruits if we started leveling cities in their home countries? How well would terrorists continue being tolerated in the Islamic world? How effective would blowing oneself in an airplane look, compared to an, say, atomic blast?
It speaks volumes that Gingrich puts restrictions on freedom of speech on the table in the first place and then merely seeks a new set of "Geneva conventions" for this war -- rather than bluntly stating something along the lines of really bringing the war home to the Islamofascists. (I haven't listened to the whole speech, but methinks if he'd said anything like this, it would have made news.)
To fail to make the case for waging a ruthless war, including the possible use nuclear weapons, at this juncture is cowardice. Such is the state of the Right today.
See also this post at Myrhaf.
How to Write Congress
Software Nerd has a timely post on this topic.
Such activism only makes sense if it takes a minimal amount of time. I recently discovered the Congress.Org site . It tracks what Senators and Congressman are doing and what Bills are coming up. It makes it easy to enter one's details one time, and then send emails out every now and then with very little effort.Keep this post in mind.
I figured that it would be even easier if the research part was shared. So, whenever I do send an email, I'll post a copy here, in case anyone else wants to send something similar to their rep. I'd ask that if anyone else sends an email to a rep about a bill, they could do the same: post the text here. Again, for me, this particular strain of activism is not about making arguments, but about "being counted", so to speak.
For the curious, Bubblehead gives us the scoop on Polonium 210, the national poison of Putin's Russia.
Bothenook has posted an amusing list of "sayings that should be on buttons". After my wife told me the other day that I look "stern" from a distance, I should probably wear this one: "Do l look like a freakin' people person?"
And if this isn't enough for you, head on over to Mike's Eyes or Intellectual Watchman!