Monthly Archives: September 2006

More Muslim Madness!

From The Independent (“Vatican experts say Pope ‘unrepentant’,” Popham, Peter; September 19, 2006):

As protests against the Pope continued to rumble around the Muslim world yesterday, Catholics began asking themselves if this highly intelligent man can really have been so crass as to have ignited the passions of millions of Muslims without realising that he was doing it.

If the alternative version is more credible – that he knew exactly what he was doing – then the next question arises: why? The gloomy conclusion of some Vatican experts is that there was no inconsistency in the Pope’s choice of the words “inhuman and evil” – quoted from the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus – to characterise Islam. Such a negative view, they say, is consistent with all his words and actions with regard to Islam.

Their claims make for a tragic contrast with the decades devoted by John Paul II to the challenge of bringing Islam, Judaism and Christianity closer together after many centuries of hatred and bloodshed. Now all that hard work, rowing against the tide of history, seems to be at risk.

I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if Pope Benedict Unit Number XVI really did want to inflame Muslims. I really wouldn’t be.

But I do have an alternate theory: is it possible that many Muslims are just really, really easy to piss off? We all remember the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. Where are the “moderate” Muslim leaders to speak out and say, “You know, guys, you’re going to get criticized every now and then. Especially because our religion has its fair share of nutcases. I know we’re not all nutcases, and I know Christianity has nutcases too, so thankfully we’re not the only ones keeping bad company. But really guys, don’t you think it’s time to cool it?”

A Jewish group had it right when Iran announced an anti-semitic cartoon contest. They responded with their own Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoon Contest, to mock the stupidity of the whole matter. If only other religions and cultures could learn to be self-deprecating sometimes.

Solve all your problems: go to college!

The New York Times is calling on states and the federal government to heavily subsidize college education (“Killing Off the American Future,” editorial; September 16, 2006).

America’s domination of the global information economy did not come about by accident. It flowed directly from policies that allowed the largest generation in the nation’s history broad access to a first-rate college education regardless of ability to pay. By subsidizing public universities to keep tuition low, and providing federal tuition aid to poor and working-class students, this country vaulted tens of millions of people into the middle class while building the best-educated work force in the world.

The warning about American vulnerability, which has been sounded in several reports of late, was underscored yet again in a study by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, a nonpartisan research organization. The report highlights some ominous trends. As the well-schooled boomers march off into retirement, the generation that replaces them is shaping up to be less educated by far. No longer the world leader in terms of the proportion of young people enrolled in college, the country now ranks 16th among the 27 nations examined when it comes to the proportion of college students who complete college degrees or certificate programs.

Nice as the idea of subsidizing college education sounds, it seems to me that many people think that’s the only problem.

What about those who get into college? It’s obscene that a freshman can’t read adequately. Starting in first grade, schools aren’t really educating people.

And what is this about college being a mandate for everyone? College should be for people who are prepared for it. There are perfectly intelligent people in the world who should never go to college because it’s not for them.

Nazinger on Islam

I’m not one to defend the words of a Catholic pontiff, but I have to say, a lot of Muslims are really thin-skinned here. From Deutsche Presse-Agentur (“Anger mounts in Muslim world over pope’s Islam remarks,” September 15, 2006; reposted on Monsters and Critics News):

Anger mounted across the Muslim world Friday over remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to Germany this week in which the pontiff quoted a 14th century Christian emperor as calling aspects of the legacy of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed ‘evil and inhuman.’

The pope’s remarks came Tuesday in Regensburg in his home state of Bavaria, when he was quoting a conversation that took place in Ankara in the year 1391 between Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on Christianity and Islam.

‘Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,’ the pope quoted Manuel as saying.

As head of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned by law but tolerated in Egypt, was calling on Pope Benedict to apologize, the Vatican was attempting to shore up criticism of the pontiff on a day that saw a new Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, take office.

One of the first tasks awaiting Bertone, an Italian, who becomes the Vatican’s new ‘prime minister’ will be to repair the damage caused by Benedict’s remarks.

As if some Muslim, at some point, didn’t have a legitimate (or in many cases, illegitimate) gripe about Christianity.

Even Protestant Christians have, by and large, come to respect the fact that their beliefs can be criticized, and have been, and will be. Nevermind that in this case, the guy in the funny hat (oops) was just quoting somebody. He wasn’t saying Muslims were evil. He was saying somebody said Muslims were evil…and it was said seven centuries ago.

LATimes: “Texas-Sized Area of Thick Ice Lost in Arctic”

Well, according to The Los Angeles Times, the area of ice lost in the Arctic last year was about the size of Texas. Nonetheless, global warming is a lie of the liberal left-wing media bent on destroying America by depriving it of cars, gasoline, fumes, and parking lots. According to the article (September 16, 2006):

About 288,000 square miles of perennial ice, which normally doesn’t melt during the summer, was lost from 2004 to 2005, scientists found using data from NASA’s QuickScat satellite.

I have a simple solution. Since the ice was Texas-sized, let’s wedge Texas up in the Arctic to replace the lost ice surface.

David Horowitz: Blatant Racist

Wow, I knew the guy was a nut, but I didn’t know he was this crazy (“Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks – and Racist Too,” January 3, 2001):

Slavery existed for thousands of years before the Atlantic slave trade was born, and in all societies. But in the thousand years of its existence, there never was an anti-slavery movement until white Christians – Englishmen and Americans — created one. If not for the anti-slavery attitudes and military power of white Englishmen and Americans, the slave trade would not have been brought to an end. If not for the sacrifices of white soldiers and a white American president who gave his life to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, blacks in America would still be slaves. If not for the dedication of Americans of all ethnicities and colors to a society based on the principle that all men are created equal, blacks in America would not enjoy the highest standard of living of blacks anywhere in the world, and indeed one of the highest standards of living of any people in the world. They would not enjoy the greatest freedoms and the most thoroughly protected individual rights anywhere. Where is the gratitude of black America and its leaders for those gifts?

Nancy Grace’s grilling causes a woman to commit suicide

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that a woman who helped prod another woman into suicide with her show on CNN wrote a book called Objection!: How High-Priced Defense Attorneys, Celebrity Defendants, and a 24/7 Media Have Hijacked Our Criminal Justice System? From the AP (“Mother of Missing Boy Commits Suicide“):

LEESBURG, Fla. (Sept. 14) – Two weeks after telling police that her son had been snatched from his crib, Melinda Duckett found herself reeling in an interview with TV’s famously prosecutorial Nancy Grace. Before it was over, Grace was pounding her desk and loudly demanding to know: “Where were you? Why aren’t you telling us where you were that day?”

Nancy Grace is an embarrassment and has no grace. And her pious, condescending Southern accent is the kind that gives Southerners a bad reputation for stupidity (besides the one they already earned).

(Special no thanks to AOL’s The Feed for pointing this stupid shit out.)

Police chief wife “porn”

I was very disappointed by the “porn” that The Oklahoman reported (“Wife’s porn site prompts calls for chief’s firing,” September 6, 2006). Apparently, a police chief’s wife posed nude with the American flag draped around her. Alas, my “research” into the matter yielded no porn.

Before researching this matter yourself, consider (from “Police Chief Out In Nude Wife Pix Flap,” KCCI.com, September 8, 2006):

“My wife is 6-foot-3 and weighs 300 pounds,” he [Police Chief Tod Ozmun] said. “If there is somebody that thinks they can control her, have at it. I have tried for 11 years and haven’t been able to.”

Point taken. Have at it!

Ozmun later resigned as police chief. Another loss for American justice!

More 9/11 Political Propaganda Coming Up

I always find television tasteless. However, one particularly tasteless form of television is the political drama genre. And one particularly tasteless form of the political drama genre is the 9/11 political drama. In I guess 2003 I watched Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story, which featured the former hard-ass mayor of New York City trapped in the wreckage of the World Trade Center, taking charge of the situation, and using his Herculean strength to kick down doors that his aids weren’t smart enough to open.

This week, it turns out ABC is up to yanking people’s delicate heartstrings with yet another 9/11 drama. This one is known as The Path To 9/11. A bunch of former Clinton administration aids wrote a letter to ABC complaining about inaccuracies that leaked out.

According to an article in The Times of London (“Clinton aides condemn 9/11 drama as ‘terribly wrong’, September 8, 2006), among these complaints were:

Ms Albright objected to a scene that she was told showed her insisting on warning the Pakistani government before an airstrike on Afghanistan, and that showed her as the person who made the warning.

Mr Berger questioned a scene that he was told showed him refusing to authorise an attack on Osama bin Laden despite a request from CIA officials.

“The fabrication of this scene (of such apparent magnitude) cannot be justified under any reasonable definition of dramatic licence,” he wrote.

The senators’ letter questioned the political motivations and leanings of the programme.

“Frankly, that ABC and Disney would consider airing a program that could be construed as right-wing political propaganda on such a grave and important event involving the security of our nation is a discredit both to the Disney brand and to the legacy of honesty built at ABC by honourable individuals from David Brinkley to Peter Jennings,” the letter said.

Actually, it’s really not all that surprising that 9/11 material comes across as partisan political propaganda. I’ve seen very little coverage of the 9/11 events that really couldn’t be construed as propaganda.

It is sad, however, how right-wing nuts who largely control the American media seem to like to dramatize the whole matter. Even Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 came across as something of a Leni Riefenstahl piece, even though it at least tried to be factual.

9/11 political dramas have mostly tried to get off with treating George W. Bush as a knight in shining armor riding to battle to stop this horrible, horrible menace.

For some god-damned reason, after having five years to screw up, George W. Bush is still enjoying something of an advantage on the issue of terrorism over the Democrats, so a proganda piece fictionally portrays the Clinton administration’s failures with dealing with international terrorism can’t come at a better time. Like the times wrote:

Tim Reid, Times Correspondent in Washington, said that the row bore testimony to how politically-charged an issue the attacks continued to be, as the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approached.

“Politically, this comes at a particularly sensitive time because of the mid-term elections coming up. Clinton’s side are very sensitive on this issue and the Democrats are particularly so at the moment because it comes at a time when the Bush Administration is trying to tell America that it can keep people safe from terrorism and fight al-Qaeda better than the Democrats. It is the only remaining issue where President Bush enjoys an advantage over the Democrats.

“The film reinforces what conservatives have been saying; that they were in power for only eight months before the attacks happened but the Democrats had been in control for eight years. Mr Bush and the Republicans are trying to focus the voters on their response to 9/11 rather than the war in Iraq and this film doesn’t do anything to hurt that.”

Of course, his response to 9/11 was to attack Iraq. But we can gloss over that little factoid too.

Democrats Are Pussies

Buried in the back of an article in the “left-wing” Washington Post (“Congress set for combative, pre-election push,” September 4, 2006):

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said, “Democrats are going to make it clear that we understand that terrorism is real, that terrorism needs to be confronted and defeated and we are prepared to do that.

No, dumbass, that’s not what you need to do. Stop framing this so defensively. If you want to win, point out how badly the Republicans misunderstand terrorism. It’s not like you’re lacking fuel for that fire. I mean, Iraq? Border security?

And where the hell is Osama bin Laden? Pumping gas at a station in Texas?

I really wish we had a few “third parties.” Democrats always end up acquiescing to the whims of their more authoritarian counterparts across the aisle anyway.