Monday, October 09, 2006
We R Silly And We R Screwed
The debate about whether the Korean nuke test (which may or may not have happened) has already been tackled in DC and NY from the perspective of whether it is Bush's fault or not. Hey, if it happened it is our problem, to the extent it's not a Japanese/Chinese problem. Unless a person advances an actual plan to keep this from happening again, I hardly think a person has a right to announce that someone else who followed the wrong course is responsible for it.
The Kyoto Protocol is another fake political solution which actually will not solve a problem that may or may not exist. If you want to argue that CO2 in the atmosphere is a terrible threat to humanity, you'd better come up with a solution that would actually address the problem. Otherwise, you are an idiot, by your own confession. Your thinking lacks any rational basis, unless you theorize that Mother Earth, aka Gaia, is indeed a conscious entity who may take pity upon us and decide not to swat us if we show we're really trying. Don't call that science. Please - for the children - don't call that science. And if you do call it science, how can you possibly get hysterical about people who don't think evolution is proven?
Andrew Sullivan writes approvingly of Jack Straw's argument that women should be made to take off the veil when entering government offices:
The British politician, Jack Straw, former Home Secretary, Leader of the House of Commons, and representing a seat with a big Muslim population, has some brass cojones. He has argued that the full chador is an impediment to the kind of civility and social interaction that makes an open society possible. The chador is a sign of withdrawal from dialogue and society, he argues, not integration.Whoa! Andrew, baby, honey, the last thing a homosexual man with HIV wants to be arguing is that society has the right to demand that individuals abide by its democratic norms. Really. Especially when they are norms like this. If Jack Straw wants to argue that people shouldn't blow up buses, that's one thing. If Jack Straw wants to argue that all immigrants should make like the natives in the matter of dress, that's another.
Straw is a tolerant, multicultural man. But he also sees the need for a single society to have its new immigrants abide by the civil, democratic norms of everyone else.
Andrew, do you really want us to sit you down and argue that your decision to be a homosexual man and agitate for same-sex marriage represents a fundamental withdrawal from our societal norms? Because, you know, it does. It really, really does, but I still kind of like the idea that you have the right to believe what you believe and advocate what you advocate, and I am not at all in favor of trying to tell people involved in same-sex relationships that their behavior represents an unbearable assault upon democratic norms. That's the same thing that was argued when women activists wanted the vote, you know?
And if wearing the veil is a fundamental withdrawal from civil and democratic society, what about the Amish? Shouldn't we make them stop what they're doing? I can't think of a group more deeply separated from the norms of our society, for heaven's sake. By all means, abolish those whacky Catholic nuns and monks taking those vows of celibacy too. It's clearly unhealthy and sexually repressive. Oh, and I almost forgot - make those Hasidic Jews dress normally; make every orthodox Jewish woman wear miniskirts and shake a man's hand. That's obviously a necessity for our civil and open society to function "normally".
It's not just Andrew, either. The NY Times has launched a four-part series on the terrible evils of faith, that is, the terrible evils of faith communities being allowed to set and follow their own norms. Completely ignoring the voluntary aspect of this (no one is going to draft me to be nun or a rabbi), the NY Times is setting out on part 591 of its crusade against the non-progressives, who are believed to have something to do with those dolts in Kansas being so obstinately set in their ways. The difficulties of the First Amendment has the NY Times deeply disturbed ever since that odd Boy Scout ruling (free association), but it turns out there's a religious problem too :
...judges will almost never agree to hear a controversy that would require them to delve into the doctrines, governance, discipline or hiring preferences of any religious faith. Citing the protections of the First Amendment, they have ruled with great consistency that congregations cannot fully express their faith and exercise their religious freedom unless they are free to select their own spiritual leaders without any interference from government agencies or second-guessing by the courts.Well, if "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", one can kind of understand the judges' collective reluctance to order religious organizations to stop discriminating by hiring only male priests, can't one? If you disagree, then don't be a part of the organization. It's not as if the judges allow religious congregations to commit murder without penalty. They simply have the odd belief that this clause means that the civil authorities can't tell religious organizations how to conduct their business. The NY Times seems quite perturbed by the discovery that this means that religious organizations can do things that businesses can't.
Betsy Newmark posts about a study of special provisions for oppressed groups in the UK encoded in law. It turns out that over 70% of the population is oppressed and so has been given special legal protections. Stop laughing, because this does have real consequences:
It cites the trial this year of the killers of Jody Dobrowski, a barman murdered on Clapham Common, South London, in October last year. Jailing the two men for 28 years, the judge said that the sentence would have been halved if they had not voiced any opposition to the victim’s sexuality. “Is animosity to gays a worse motive than, for example, a calculated killing to silence a witness?” it asks.A good question. The structure of law this sets up is eerily reminiscent of the Babylonian Code, in which the penalty for murder varies based on the identity of the victim. Straight white male, 14 years; gay white male, 28 years. There is wiggle room, because if you kill a gay and no one can prove you knew he was gay, you can claim the 14 year penalty. My suggestion to British gays is that they take to wearing pink stars so that no one can plausibly make that claim. If you're having fun in the park late at night, I'd suggest making sure the star is luminescent.
Clearly this is a question that the NY Times has not stopped to ask itself, because the NY Times is, of course, an avid supporter of hate crimes legislation, i.e., creating laws that treat actions differently based on the purposes underlying the actions. So - the NY Times believes that religious organizations should be subject to all civil laws to prevent discrimination, but that hate crime laws should distinguish between various classes of victims to prevent discrimination. There is a consistency here, which is that the NY Times does not believe in freedom. It believes in a divine, benign dictated order imposed upon the population for a greater good. The NY Times believes in a papal law - they just want a different Pope than that difficult man over in Italy. Actually, they want nine popes, all appointed by a president of suitable ideological beliefs. Andrew Sullivan does too.
If we could all stop being so hypocritical, both our faiths and our society would work better. It's good that Foley's out of Congress, and if it took a politically motivated witchhunt to get him out, we'd all better stop and think about what that means. Along with Ann Althouse, I don't think it means that Republicans are the party of deviant sex.
It does say something about the causes that we, as a society, advocate and our inability to assert simple principles of behavior such as that Congressmen should leave the pages out of their sex lives. You know, therapists aren't supposed to have sex with their patients, and doctors aren't, and priests and ministers aren't, and teachers and professors aren't. This is because these are inequitable relationships. Now Dems clearly don't believe this, because they weren't prepared to get upset about a gay Democratic Congressman actually screwing a page, much less demand an investigation of their top leadership about it. They are so clearly hypocritical about this that it can't possibly help them politically. They are, as Ann observed, acting in a repugnant fashion.
The rightthinkers of the MSM have now come down to two unpleasant alternatives with the disclosure that Jim Kolbe knew that Foley might be a little overfriendly with the pages. WaPo managed to write an entire article about Jim Kolbe's claim that he confronted Foley over the page issue which stressed his Republican identity and slyly insinuated that Kolbe was after the pages himself:
In interviews with The Post last week, multiple pages identified Kolbe as a close friend and personal confidante who was one of the only members of Congress to take any interest in them. A former page himself, Kolbe offered to mentor pages and kept in touch with some of them after they left the program, according to the interviews.This seems to be to be an unnecessarily abusive tactic. I suppose that to Jonathan Weisman (the author of this article) being gay while Republican is the crime in the MSM's eyes, and the message to all gay politicians is pretty obvious. If you are gay and Republican, you are clearly going to be hunted down by the press. If you are gay and Democratic, screw all the pages you like, but please not in front of the tourists. Naturally this sort of thing is fodder for people who believe all lesbians and gays like 'em young, including the hysterics of the right on the issue. But must the hysterics of the left join them?
Kolbe once invited four former pages to make use of his Washington home while he was out of town, according to an instant message between Foley and another former page, Jordan Edmund, in January 2002. The pages planned to attend a first-year reunion of their page class. But because of a snowstorm, they did not take Kolbe up on his offer, according to one of the four pages.
One thing's for sure, if this is politics the American people are getting screwed. Our chattering class is so deeply disfunctional that it can't figure out which way is up or down, but it sure does know that if the Republicans are up, down is the way to go. Our liberal elite has screwed over minorities, and now they're screwing gays. They are a vile lot, not that some of the conservatives are any better. But they're not this low, overall.
And one thing's for sure. The liberals of our country are anything but libertarian. Libertine, yes. Libertarian, no.
Until we can shake loose from this political culture, we're never going to emerge from our problems. Every debate in DC, NY and LA seems to be about the advantage of the debater, and seems to have nothing to do with principle or with the advantage of the American people.
In the meantime, military personnel are dying to defend our right to live in freedom. Shouldn't we be trying harder?
The point about the Hasidim, the Amish, the Carmelites, etc, is that they represent a stunning lack of a threat to open and democratic society. They are here because they have freedom to do as they choose. Of course, their choice is to live by principles that demand that they not attack other people.
So it's not the difference in habits that constitutes a threat. It's the difference between groups intent on doing themselves what they believe to be right versus groups who believe that the only right thing to do is make other people conform to what they themselves believe is right.
When you are countering a threat, you should focus on the threat itself. Otherwise you waste your ammo and end up helping your enemies. This diffusion of firepower is exactly what the Caliphatists seek and must have in order to conquer the west from within.
Associating a symbol with a fact is natural to humans, but making war against a symbol is suicidally stupid.
What Jack Straw needs to say is "Anyone who wants to deny to others the freedoms they claim as their own rights is an enemy and a traitor" and stick to that. It would, of course, be completely inflammatory.
It's time to switch tactics and expose the complete lack of integrity that underlies the Islamists, including CAIR. To do that we have to dump victimization and the entire left. That's why this is so darned hard. The only reason the Islamist way of thinking is such a threat to the west is that the west has permitted the same type of thinking to take root in it under different flags.
They cannot win; we can only commit suicide.
Btw, no one is talking about the huge bonus the North Korean nuke claim represents to Iran in the UN. That's because we're all too busy shooting at symbols.
About a month ago, I encountered a device called an "attrition mill." It consists of two steel disks, rotating in opposite directions at high speed. Kernels of grain, or other substance, are crushed between the disks.
I fear that we are caught in a gigantic attrition mill, with one disk being the terrorist enemy and the other being those within our own society who deny reality and even excuse and romanticize the enemy.
More thoughts here.
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