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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Smokin' But Not Burnin'

Is there any connection between these links? I think not, I hope not....

Republican Presidential Debate (I haven't read it yet.)

Fruitflies And Free Will. Wait until PETA hears what they are doing to fruit flies now.

Ann Althouse: Flaming comments on her Falwell post followed by a developing brawl on her Republican debate post. Still, nothing matches DU's intemperate verve on Falwell. Quite a few argue against the bile, too. Here's a sample exchange:
383. I wish nothing but the best for him
As someone who has been lurking on this forum for 3+ years I find many of the comments here out of character for DU. A man passed away today and my thoughts are with his family. I hope he rests in peace. DU is better then all this. That is why I am on the left, because we are better then them. I am not going to judge him. If there is a one supreme judge then I leave the judgement to him/her.
400. I would usually agree with you

But I do not care about Falwell or his family. They represent pure evil and filth. When Hitler died I can't amagine anyone wished his family prayers or solice.

Fuck Falwell, his family and Liberty University. I am glad he's dead. The world is a better place without his hate, swill and garbage.

To balance that, look at some of the comments on Shrinkwrapped's eminently sane post Terror and Societal Regression Revisited. SW is rebutting a commenter's point of view with:
In reality, advocating genocide is evil, whether it is Muslims espousing genocide of the Jews, or Westerners advocating genocide of the Islamic world. The second comment, that Islam is a cancer, which is similar to the Nazi justification for their attempted annihilation of the Jews (ie, that a victim race, culture, ethnic group represents an illness which must be eradicated) is noxious on its face and belied by the fact that there are in fact many millions of Muslims who want nothing more than to live in peace with their neighbors and join the modern world.
SW gets a lot of flak in the comments:
Like the cult of Thuggee, Islam is incompatible with the Western way.

While it may be wrong to call for a genocide of Muslims, it is just as wrong to think that we can live side by side with Muslims who may decide at some point in their lives to live the life that Muhammad and the Qur'an demand of them.

We can and must challenge Islam both by evangelizing to their spirit and their soul, and by diminishing their capacity and desire to threaten us. The one we can do with kindness and compassion, the other we must do adamantly with disproportionate brutality.

We can salvage people, but we can not salvage Islam.
Just purely horrible. What is the western way if it is not to judge individuals upon their actions, rather than making war upon entire ideologies?

The Senate Dissents: a senate page listing scientists who are skeptical about CO2 as a primary driver of 1900-on warming. Isn't this phrasing a bit odd?
Climate scientist Dr. Chris de Freitas of The University of Auckland, N.Z., also converted from a believer in man-made global warming to a skeptic.
Please, please, let scientists be scientists. There's no need to talk of belief and conversions....

To counter the rough tone of the above, The Anchoress posts excerpts from Tony Snow's commencement address:
To love is to place others before you and to make their needs your priority. Do it. When you put somebody else at the center of the frame, your entire world changes, and for the better. You begin to find your own place in the world. When you’re drawn into the lives of others, you enter their problems, their hopes, their dreams, their families. They whisk you down unimagined corridors, toward possibilities that had been hidden to you before. So resolve to do little things for others. You don’t know where they’re going to lead but then again, you don’t have any idea where your life is going to lead. When I was your age, I had long hair, a beard and thought of myself as a socialist. You are going to pinball all over the place, from experience to experience, job to job. And I want you to remember that you’ve got company. And that if you engage them with heart and mind, with faith and energy, you are going to find yourself on a cresting wave. ... The only things that are sure to endure are the artifacts of love. So go out and build as many as you can.


I think your understandable horror at the stark comments that don't differentiate between declared enemies of the West and those who haven't declared (e.g., children, non-Jihadists) is causing you to not address an important point. You said:

"What is the western way if it is not to judge individuals upon their actions, rather than making war upon entire ideologies?"

I think the point some of these contributers would make is that a detailed look at Islam (Koran and supplementary texts) indicates that the religion itself (and it's founder) offers strong support for the necessity of an unending war on non-believers. A war to the death, in effect, between true Islam believers and everyone else. And there is clear, overwhelming and worldwide evidence of this one-sided war. Your writings on many topics are sharp, so no doubt you can investigate this point on your own and make your own determination.

Those of use who have reached this conclusion might offer the following counterpoint to your point above:

"What good is the western way if it cannot defend our culture against our enemies? I.e., the religion that movitates those who have declared themselves our enemies and continually act upon it?"
Our culture's ideology is that an individual will be judged upon his own actions. We do not - it's written into our constitution - restrict full participation in society or government to those holding an "approved" point of view or religion. This is not a mere bow to today's drooling "multi-culturalism". It is a positive affirmation that constitutes a culture in and of itself. Our entire way of life is based upon it.

There are millions of Muslims in our society who have done no wrong against it. Many came here from societies that were unfree, in order to live unharassed here.

It is not constitutional and not rational to simply say that Islam, per se, is a threat to our society and our culture. Any ideology will be put into action only by people.

In my own lifetime, there have been those who claimed to be reacting against racism by bombing, killing and robbing. We put them in jail, as we should have. There have been those who claimed to be environmentalists and bombed and committed arson. We put them in jail, and are still doing so.

There will always be people with just causes, and there will always be people who commit unjust actions in the name of those causes. It's enough to punish those who do. Every citizen of the United States has the right (and I believe, the duty) to argue passionately for and to act in defense of, our culture. But our culture cannot be defended by those who would dismantle it at the core.

Communism professed its intention to destroy our society and our culture. It failed.

I am not saying that those who are avowed enemies of our culture should be given security clearances. I am not saying that we should make no distinction in immigration privileges - I don't want to see people who have been ranting against the US or its constitution given residency or citizenship. I am saying that we cannot defend the Constitution by abrogating it.
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