Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's a wild world

Three loosely connected incidents underscore the "grassroots" nature of the current world crisis. The first was the bombing of an Army recruiting station in Times Square, New York. "The military's 1,600 recruiting stations nationwide were alerted and advised to use extra caution, said Douglas Smith, spokesman for the Army recruiting command." The attack was carried out by a hooded man on a bicycle, later abandoned on West 38th street.

The second incident involved an attack which killed 8 by an someone with an East Jerusalem residency permit on a seminary for high school aged students in Jerusalem. "It came on the same day as Egyptian officials were trying to mediate a truce between Palestinian militants and Israel."

Allison Kaplan Sommer at Pajamas Media described the succeeding tension. "Friday is never an easy day for security forces in Jerusalem, as Arabs gather at the al-Aksa mosque for prayers – this week, it will be more tense than ever. Police are expecting a long night, followed by an even longer day."

The third event was the complaint by Steve Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy, of "the danger to the freedom of the press" from "private citizens and organizations, those who feel themselves harmed by journalistic publications and commentators and who would therefore like to "limit the press' freedom."

Aftergood was reacting to a grand jury subpoena ordering James Risen of the New York Times testify in an ongoing investigation into who leaked information about a planned CIA and Mossad operation against Iran's nuclear program which compromised both. Risen wrote about them in his book: State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.

Gabriel Schoenfeld, a senior editor at Commentary, has been claiming that liberal newspapers like The New York Times are actually engaged in unpatriotic activity. "In his articles and in testimony before a Senate committee that discussed the issue, Schoenfeld claimed that The New York Times reporters had revealed confidential material that weakened America's struggle against Al-Qaida. He calls for relinquishing the soft approach which he says the administration has taken against journalists in whose publications, in his opinion, America's security is harmed."

None of these incidents involved state or government action. All of them were carried out by civilians. Cyclists, 'militants' or journalists/editors. In fact the greatest potential security crisis facing Europe today is the projected release of a movie by a Dutch politician. Try explaining that to a military historian. Today's belligerents wear different livery from those of World War 2. In fact they wear no uniform at all and deny they are either engaged in war, war crimes or espionage. Far from it. They describe themselves as engaged in 'protest theater', 'rights of return' or 'patriotic activity'. So when Steve Aftergood complains someone from Commentary Magazine is on some journalist's case in order to chill "freedom of the press" its really a case of Welcome to the 21st century.

Today's businessmen like Tony Rezko, Nahdmi Auchi and Viktor Bout -- did I mention Viktor Bout? -- live in this subnational belligerent world. Like the cyclists, militants, journalista nd editors, guys like Bout are representative of the new way of warfare. Viktor Bout was recently arrested in Thailand, probably after running out ends to play the middle against. The Counterterrorism Blog has been on his case for ages.

Viktor Bout, the subject of my book with Steve Braun has been arrested in Thailand on charges of supplying weapons to the FARC in Colombia. ... It is a stunning blow to the world's "Merchant of Death," who has been responsible for fanning wars across Africa, as well as aiding and abetting the Taliban, and thus, indirectly, al Qaeda.

Of course, this may finally stop the U.S. from carrying on dealing with him, despite his being the subject of an Interpol red notice, an Executive Order signed by President Bush, and numerous Treasury Department sanctions. Despite all that, Bout aircraft flew hundreds of flights, as a sub-contractor, for the U.S military and its principal contractors such as KBR, Fedex and others.

The arrest is the result of a DEA sting operation focused on targeting suppliers of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), according to ABC News.

Viktor Bout's trial, if he lives long enough to see it, may eventually involve all kinds of names including American political candidates, leftist icons in South America and God knows who else.

The forty years after World War 2 were called the Cold War to distinguish it from the inferno of the conflict with Hitler and Japan. I think the current world crisis bids fair to be called the first nongovernment organization war in history. It's the War of the Communities. Or the War of the Tribes.

The Belmont Club is supported largely by donations from its readers.


Blogger hdgreene said...

I've thought for a while that the whistle blower protections need to be revoked. Too many activist now go to work for the government and try to hijack a government agency for their cause. Often they will try to publish a bogus report in the agency's name. Then they will claim it is being suppressed when they leak it to the New York Times -- thus their "study" gets instant credibility with no need of peer review.

We need to make it easier to fire civil servants when they act uncivilly.

3/06/2008 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Manny C said...

Given that most people in world won't see the effect of cowardly jihadi attack on Jewish seminary in their nightly news or in tomorrow's newspapers, I put together a short photo essay (unlike say, Israel reducing to rubble a home used as a weapons depot, which the accompanying photo of destitute widows).

Given that today's society is becoming more visual and abandoning propositional arguments for arguments appealing to primitive human emotions, I think that it is important to start to disseminate the images of the carnage wrought by jihadis.

3/06/2008 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

More on the Times Sq Bomber:

The Associated Press obtained a copy of an e-mail from the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to other lawmakers Thursday that reads:
"A few offices on the House side have received a letter today addressed to 'Members of Congress' with a picture of a man standing in front of the Times Square recruiting station that was bombed in New York today with the statement 'We did it.' He is standing in front of it with his arms spread out and he's attached his political manifesto."


"For the third time in as many years, someone riding a bike and armed with a small explosive has struck in Manhattan..."

It seesm that this same M.O. happened in bomb attacks at the British and Mexican NY consulates.

3/06/2008 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

You state:
The second incident involved an attack which killed 8 by an Israeli resident on a seminary for high school aged students in Jerusalem. "It came on the same day as Egyptian officials were trying to mediate a truce between Palestinian militants and Israel."

We need to us language more accurately...

When a civilian is killed in a military strike AIMING at combatants the term "killed" is correct.

The Israeli YESHIVA students were cold blooded murdered. This is the NATIONAL goal of the Palestinians...

When the world faces the FACT that it is the Palestinians' POLICY to attack & MURDER CIVILIANS as part and parcel of their national movement it then can be destroyed..

It's time to drip the ammo in pig blood, arm the IDF with shot guns and put a BOUNTY on any armed palestinian....

3/06/2008 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

With regard to the attack on the Jerusalem high school/seminary I don't think there's even any point in getting angry. It's a waste of energy. All that energy must be focused on doing something. What prevents sane, common sense action? Why political correctness. This obscene mummery put on by politicians and moral retards.

We must focus all our efforts on destroying this monster of self-hatred; this pathological condition that's become dogma in the world. If we don't recover our senses we won't recover our lives.

And the key realization is that it's all up to us to win this fight against political correctness. There ain't nobody else. The politicans may follow, but its foolish to think they'll lead. People simply need to refuse to do the bidding of the political muttawa. Like Mark Steyn did.

No more. No more.

3/06/2008 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Manny C said...

Right Wretchard to a point. I think first we do need to do something. But losing the sense of outrage when something like this happens, disarms us of one of the core moral responses we feel and that could AND should drive our something.

3/06/2008 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Wretchard - what, exactly, do you mean when you say "fight against political correctness"?

Are you saying that we should name the gunman as being a Palestinian, which the media are NOT doing?

Are you saying that we should start using words like "nigger", and Obama's middle name of Hussein? That the definition of "political correctness" is something to do with words and speech and ideas?

Or are you saying that the time has come to go beyond words and speech and ideas into physical action and reaction?

And if so, what do you propose should be the next step? Specifically, what should the Israeli response be, in your opinion, to a gunman (Palestinian?) shooting unarmed high school children?

3/06/2008 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Aside from the dancing in the streets of Gaza and celebratory gunfire it hasn't been made clear yet exactly who was behind the attack. I agree with wretchard that it's time for action. Perhaps it doesn't matter exactly who is behind this, we're all Hamas now, right?

Here's one analysis of Israel's options. As always this isn't an act in isolation but was an almost inevitable result of Hamas' humiliation last week by the IDF. There will also be more attempts to attack Israel in the coming days.

Here's an explanation of the significance of this yishiva and it's location in Jerusalem.

It's time for Olmert, Barak, and Livni to earn their keep. They have to solve the Gaza problem soon, one way or another.

3/06/2008 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Or are you saying that the time has come to go beyond words and speech and ideas into physical action and reaction?

The proper role of the blogosphere isn't incitement or conspiracy. It is to tell the truth as best it can be. There's a difference between being politically incorrect and joining some organization like the KKK or the Black Panthers. You have got to give up your mind to do that.

Like I said, Mark Steyn is a prototypical example of a man who's doing what needs doing. Truthful ideas are powerful. John Howard just quoted these words in DC.

For two centuries, the very important people who managed the affairs of this society could not believe in the importance of ideas – until one day they were shocked to discover that their children, having been captured and shaped by certain ideas, were either rebelling against their authority or seceding from their society. The truth is that ideas are all-important. The massive and seemingly-solid institutions of any society – the economic institutions, the political institutions, the religious institutions – are always at the mercy of the ideas in the heads of the people who populate these institutions.

No. This is not about going out and conking somebody on the head. This is about telling the reasoned truth and not caring about the cost.

3/06/2008 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yesterday it was "We're all Hizbollah". Today some fool wants to play that game in NYC. Meanwhile in Jerusalem we see what Hizbollah, Hamas and the rest of that morally reprobate ideology look like. The Times aid and abet the fascists in mufti and now some local gomer wants to strike the first blow. This might get interesting.

3/06/2008 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

yes it's time to DO something...

and no I dont suggest joining a skinhead group or the klan...

I do suggest it's time to fight the islamic savages with black magic..

pig blood...

koran torture....

do not return the bodies of the martyrs, bury them in pig skins..

at the same time, declare war on the Hamas, fatah & islamic jihad, and call all armed palestinians NOT in UNIFORM as legit military targets...

target all UNIFORMED palios that are carrying anything more than a side arm...

shoot to kill all attacking mobs of islamic hoards...

the use of deadly force is a wonderful gift we can give the palios...

time to scare the fuck out of them

3/06/2008 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Gaza serves as a safe haven for Hamas and the other terrorists holed up there, in some ways not unlike Waziristan, Lebanon, and some other places. The reason it's a safe haven is because of the civilians that live there and serve as human shields.

International humanitarian law protects the civilians and indirectly protects the terrorists that shelter among them. As Wretchard mentioned a couple days ago the UN and the international community serve to enforce international humanitarian law and hold back (mostly) the US and Israel from visiting justice on the terrorists. The NGOs value a civilian life above all national interests and many of the UN ankle biters dishonestly prevent the US and Israel from acting against terrorists.

The civilians in Gaza and Lebanon aren't non-combatants. During the recent raid in Gaza unarmed civilians still pulled wagons containing rockets and helped in other ways. A couple years ago a group of Pal women turned up at a mosque where there were some terrorists holed up against Israeli forces outside. They helped the terrorists to escape by forming a crowd while the terrorists dressed as women and snuck away.

Madam Rice in her comments directed towards Israel letting them know that they should be careful not to injure civilians in Gaza prolongs the pain. She forces the Israelis to pull back the band-aid millimeter by millimeter causing a slow and continuous pain that could be salved all at once.

In fact the Bush administration bears some responsibility for this mess. It was GWB who decided to call a Pal election and to invite the Hamas terrorists to participate. That didn't work out so well. And ever since the Hamas terrorists surprisingly won against the corrupt Fatah terrorists the Bush administration has attempted to bake a cake using spoiled milk. Trying to solve a conflict where one side is feckless and worse and constitutionally unable to honor agreements is just a bad idea.

Civilians didn't protect Hiroshima, Tokyo, or Dresden from attack. Nothing should prevent Israel from vanquishing her tormentors. That's the only way there will be peace.

3/06/2008 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

the time has come to bomb the funerals shoot any armed person without regard to collateral damage level every building used for any military act close the border stop all food fuel power water and demand unconditional surrender

3/06/2008 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

The point of the Blogosphere should be to mock, ridicule, and disdain stupidity in all it's forms.

Steyn, South Park, the Danish MoToons, etc. are all part of that.

Name names. Call it like you see it. Refuse to self-censor.

3/06/2008 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Like I said, Mark Steyn is a prototypical example of a man who's doing what needs doing.

Mark Steyn took it outside of the blogosphere and into the courts. He and his colleague shamed the Canadian human rights commission into a frantic retreat.

I think if we're not allowed to conk Muslims over the head, at a minimum we should all be suing their skanky asses and taking them into court to answer for their misdeeds. Americans, if not Israeli's.

Libya was found guilty in court of the Lockerbie terrorist attack and had millions in damages leveraged against them. The Paletinians have just been found guilty in a court of another terrorist attack and have had millions levied against THEM.

We should be suing CAIR. We should be countersuing flying imams. We should be suing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for allowing weekly preachings of "death to America". We should be suing Saudi oil ticks for daring to sue *us* in British courts, trying to prevent freedom of speech / press.

Surely there are many many many things we could be doing that are proactive that would cause pain, embarrassment and ulcers to terrorists and their Muslim financiers before we reach the final frontier of nuclear bombs and conked heads.

We could be withdrawing from the United Nations and NATO since neither of those organizations are good for anything BUT political correctness.

We could be ceasing and desisting all further monetary aid to countries that aid and abet terrorism such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and ... the Palestinians.

We should be suing Saudi Arabia for the cost of rebuilding two major NY skyscrapers and whatever it cost to rennovate the Pentagon. And Egypt, too, since Atta was a frolicky little Egyptian son of the land.

And if they want to declare another oil embargo, well ... we have several hundred thousand soldiers who would like nothing better than to take a non-politically correct jaunt across the desert for a few miles to liberate a few oil wells for Uncle Sam.

Someone write a grant to Bill Gates, proposing that he set up a new institute where the only thing they would work on would be a world-wide legal effort to sue terrorists, the countries that protect them, and their Muslim financiers.

3/06/2008 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

We should be suing CAIR. We should be countersuing flying imams. We should be suing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for allowing weekly preachings of "death to America". We should be suing Saudi oil ticks for daring to sue *us* in British courts, trying to prevent freedom of speech / press.

This is correct. And the key legal effort should be directed towards getting the courts to declare some forms of radical Islam a political party, not a religion.

This seems to me the key conceptual bridge to cross. Now while certain forms of Islam are functionally equivalent to a religion, certain other forms are openly bent upon establishing a theocracy. As such, they are political enterprises. Often they are military enterprises. And there's nothing wrong with political or military enterprises as long as they declare themselves as such.

3/06/2008 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

One of the effects of getting wildly upset at desecration is that it becomes a sign saying, "KICK ME."

The refrain altogether common among many Jerusalem Israelis of "Death to Arabs" is utterly worthless. Getting upset over an atrocity and then calming down afterward is precisely the wrong reaction one should have to an atrocity. One should keep a level head in the aftermath of an atrocity while making sure that the other side feels some real pain in response. To quote an old labor slogan, “Don’t mourn -- Organize!”

Against an enemy like Hamas, Hezbollah, or al-Qaeda, the most painful event for them is neither physical torment nor torture, but rather expressions of contempt toward their belief system. Such contemptuousness is incendiary by its very nature, yet that is precisely the point; to express such contempt shows what one can get away with. To Jews and Christians, life is sacred, so the Islamists' murder of and utter contempt for human life is carefully crafted blasphemy.

What would happen if Korans were held hostage? A hostage Koran would serve an important purpose, for it would become an insurance policy against terrorist attack. For example, a shadowy Danish organization could state a policy where for each Dane who is murdered by Islamists, a Koran will be burned or otherwise publicly desecrated in retaliation. The idea is to demonstrate to al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and similar terrorist organizations that their atrocities increase expressions of contempt toward their religion.

In defeating the Islamists, it may be useful to watch It's Me or The Dog. Many attitudes in the West that have effectively incited Islamists against us are altogether similar to owner weaknesses that incite dogs to misbehave.

3/06/2008 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Starling said...

Wretchard wrote: "Viktor Bout's trial, if he lives long enough to see it, may eventually involve all kinds of names including American political candidates, leftist icons in South America and God knows who else."

In the "God knows who else" category belongs the UAE. Mr. Viktor used to live there for some time. WHen I taught in Sharjah I was told by a faculty colleague that Mr. Viktor used Sharjah International Airport as a major transhipment point and that several of the warehouse-like structures on the airport grounds were filled with weapons shipped in regularly from Russia. It wasn't hard to believe given the large number of non-descript, non-commercial cargo planes frequently parked near those warehouses, warehouses clearly visible from road that separates the Sharjah Airport from the American University.

Viktor has been hiding in plain sight for at least a decade and everyone knows what he does. He's an SOB, and for awhile he was our SOB. But I guess FARC was a bridge too far. I wonder if he has enough IOUs and markers that he can call in to get himself out of this fine mess. My bet is that he does.

From the Wikipedia page on Mr. Viktor:

Bout moved to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates; here he founded his United Arab Emirates company, which would become his main base of operations. Bout is alleged to have used Sharjah International Airport as well as airfields in the neighboring emirates of Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah as transshipment points for arms traveling to Africa and Afghanistan as late as 2002.

3/07/2008 01:24:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

"If we don't recover our senses we won't recover our lives."

hear, hear. But what were 'our lives' ?

The 70s and 80s, as we waited for a dying USSR to spaz out on us? Or the 90s beach party bingo bubba-rama we enjoyed while under our skin this cancer exploded?

I'm thinking, since 1914, we've had exactly two "free" decades -- the 20s and the 90s -- and subsequent events proved 'em both to have been mere breathing spells between rounds. But breathing spells are better than no breathing spells.

3/07/2008 05:16:00 AM  
Blogger Insufficiently Sensitive said...

From Nahncee: Wretchard - what, exactly, do you mean when you say "fight against political correctness"?

Please forgive my busting into a private inquiry, but this is important stuff and does not boil down to cheap shots like using the n-word.

But I agree that it's the most important political action that the grassroots can, and must, engage in, if we're not to be submerged even further in the morass that the academics and media have shoved us into. And taking action will be personally painful to all of us who do so.

What to do? Push back on a personal basis, everywhere. The conservative ability to be tolerant in the face of diverse opinions usually leaves us silent when a friend or acquaintence spouts PC drivel as if it were axiomatic. This yielding silence must stop. We must get in the faces of the drivellers, one on one, and confidently object to the bullshit, without hostility but without remorse. Those drivellers need to see, personally, that sentient beings really believe that alternates to PC exist and have chosen them.

It's a long road but must begin on the atomic level. There's hope - most people bear some sympathy to a rejection or pushback against PC, since it's spread its crippling network so wide already.

Of course it would help if another Reagan or an Obama or a Buckley would show up and with use of wit and humor place the PC purveyors publicly into the limelight of ridicule. But that's largely in the future, and it's up to us to begin the push on a daily basis - being internally prepared to lose a few 'friends' along the way.

3/07/2008 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

In calling it a "cheap shot" it seems to me that what you are demonstrating is not sensitivity, but brainwashed political correctness, which is what we are supposed to be lining up to fight.

Can you tell me the distinction between the taboo on using the "n word" (as you so delicately refer to it), or Obama's middle name of Hussein, or use of the word "Islamist" to denote "terrorist"?

Isn't the bottom line that any time someone (such as yourself) calls out someone else for using certain words, what you're really trying to demonstrate is your self-perceived moral and/or mental superiority?

3/07/2008 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

nahncee, to me there IS a distinction -- words carry loads, and some words (such as those in your example) carry loads that are said by PC purveyors to be heavy, but are not really in fact very heavy if at all to the objects named. the deference paid to such words is a political weapon.

The 'n' word, though, envelops that category and then some, as it fills a real space and not a contrived one. It would carry a load even if there never had been this lamentable PoMo PC cultural infection.

Ok, as usual when i started this comment, i depended on the writing itself to find the sought distiction--well i'm failing on that as i type. Maybe you have to be from the deep south, and maybe you have to be a student of the Civil War. But somehow, the ''n'' word mocks too much of a too-real history to ever be treated only in the abstract.

Just an opinion, i guess. I know it's 'soft' & lacking that 'bright line'.

But--as Wretchard & others have been pointing out lately-- "custom" may in the end be what if anything will save us. If we let 'custom' get sucked into the PC maw, then we aren't really fighting PC on our terms, but on its.

3/07/2008 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Insufficiently Sensitive said...

If we let 'custom' get sucked into the PC maw, then we aren't really fighting PC on our terms, but on its.

'Custom' (specifically European-American custom) is precisely what PC has been contrived to pervert or weaken or destroy - preferably the latter. PC-mongers are all about replacing Enlightenment values with the old caudillo system - with themselves the caudillos of course.

Until the 60s, government civil rights actions remained within the bounds of constitutional strictures, which prevent government from intruding into the free-association rights of individuals. Later expansions were aimed precisely at those rights (those being the 'customs' which Americans had built into their society), and after a couple more decades we found ourselves nagged and bullied and sued whenever we acted publicly on religious values, or made social judgements based on thse customs.

So at present we are forced to accept into our bosoms behavior which was formerly by custom unacceptable, and are proscribed from expressing sentiments which might make the Princess feel more uncomfortable than did the Pea.

Buzz off, you fanatics, I'm not for resurrecting racism or Nazi-ism. I am, however, hoisting an enthusiastic middle finger at the rising tide of identity politics, and still believe in the First Amendment, particularly as it applies to individuals vs an ever-encroaching Government.

3/07/2008 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

so are we, or are we not, saying that "custom" should muzzle us in the words we use and the ideas we expound?

and who gets to decide if a black person is more offended by the use of that word, than a Muslim person is offended by the use of a word like "Islamist"?

To me, the word "nigger" has WAY too much weight and is used as a cudgel by a lot of people to silence others who might have differing opinions. People like Michelle Obama, for example. I think it's been used as a weapon in the United States for a hundred years, and it's time for that segment of our population to snap out of it, especially if they want to be regarded as full-fledged American citizens and peers.

I also find it interesting to note that the word has been picked up and is being used elsewhere around the world where there is no history of American slavery, so that black people in Africa can be called that by, for example, their brown neighbors. That's just insane and it needs to stop. We need to defuse the emotional bombshell that is hurled when someone uses the word, so maybe Lenny Bruce was right in thinking that the more you use a bad word, the less effect it will have.

But in any case, if we're going to fight the mental handcuffs of being politically correct, we *must* quit shushing each other lest someone somewhere gets their tender little feelings hurt, and straps on their dynamite belt in retaliation.

3/07/2008 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Diodor said...

How's this for grassroots:

Man creates vigilante robot to battle drug dealers.


3/07/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Well, who wouldn't agree that the world would be a better place if all 'fighting words' could be defused and become mere implication-free descriptors.

But the ideal and the normal are way far apart, and will be for a long long time yet -- so it's pretty much a moot point re current times.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, "islamist" or "jihadi" and the like connote a chosen behavior first, with race incidental.

The 'n' word, though, is different--it connotes an automatic genetic behavior, unchosen and inevitable. The practical analog is 'racist' applied to all white people as a likewise genetic behavioral destiny, likewise unchosen and inevitable.

In both cases individual persons, utterly regardless of actual behavior, are batch-demonized unto disappearance as recognizable fellow human beings.

So yes, we all agree that this is awful--but is the solution to use such words more and more, or to use them less and less?

i really don't know. Maybe lenny bruce & nahncee are right -- use 'em 'til they quit working.

But ''custom'' sez, "nice folks don't use such language". Yep, that's pretty broad, pretty general, and pretty much the only hope there likely is.

3/07/2008 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

So I don't get to be offended if Michelle Obama says that all white folks are racists?

3/07/2008 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Fen said...

The 'n' word, though, is different--it connotes an automatic genetic behavior, unchosen and inevitable. The practical analog is 'racist' applied to all white people

No, the practical analog is "redneck", used with impunity by those who claim to be against bigotry and racism.

3/07/2008 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Thief said...

Interesting choice of words:

"When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: 'Stick to the Devil you know.'" - Kipling

3/07/2008 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Insufficiently Sensitive said...

It's amusing to think that, based on identity politics, the struggle between candidates for the Democratic nomination has pitted the racists against the sexists.

Those words are not as they'd be construed by the PC world, but they fit common sense far better.

3/07/2008 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Add this to the list:
OTTAWA (Reuters) - At least 33 pilots in Canada, including some flying large commercial airliners, have complained about being flashed in the eyes by bright lights that could be lasers, officials said on Thursday.

Canada's transport ministry said it is probing the complaints, which started in 2005, and had handed most of them over to the police.

"All we know is that a bright light was shone into the cockpit. We don't know if it is in fact a laser and that's why when these reports happen, an investigation is started," said ministry spokeswoman Kirsten Goodnough.

"It is a serious concern because anything that distracts the pilot and affects the safe operation of the aircraft is a problem for us," she said.

None of the pilots involved had suffered any eye damage, she added.

3/07/2008 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger gdude said...

It's amazing, but not amusing, that we are so cowed by the 'n' word, which where I live is only used by 'n's (and teenage gang-banger 'spics' and 'chinks' -- imagine that, non-white racists...!), and never by the now minority whites. The stupidity of it all is that my (okay, I'm European-American Indian mix) not using the word doesn't in any way keep me from thinking of those in THEIR community that use the word in reference to each other (thus exposing their own racism) as being exactly what the term connotes (as fen pointed out, black "rednecks".)

All this talk of Peace, as if it were some attainable, permanent, static state of existence in this
universe drives me crazy. As if there were some magic "if we only just do this". The answer is what it has always been, peace will exist only where and when peoples decide to get along. When they cannot agree to do so, there will be conflict. Clausevitz had it right. I say Israel should push the Gazans into Sinai in Egypt and create a DMZ. Still leaves the West Bank, but one thing at a time.

3/08/2008 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

"The answer is what it has always been, peace will exist only where and when peoples decide to get along."

Exactly -- that's why you can quit worrying about the words others use -- but you can care about the words "you" use. Not calling someone the worst name in your inventory is a freebie -- and may (or may not, granted, but remember, it's a freebie) move us on iota further toward "...where and when peoples decide to get along".

3/08/2008 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

If that is the worst word in your inventory, then you have a pretty limited inventory.

And do I really have to want to get along with pimps and gangsta's and KKK dragons in order to want peace?

Besides which, I think peace is highly over-rated as a goal. I think there are other much more important values that people have lived and died for in this country, so that in addition to having a limited vocabulary, you also have to have limited vision if all you're aiming for is the Arab's favorite goal of "peace" (or stability).

Mr. Larson - you strike me as being a good soul. Would you rather have peace, stability or freedom?

3/08/2008 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

no--that's not what I'm (unsuccessfully) trying to get at. but anyhoo, here's something we can all appreciate--

3/09/2008 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Captain USpace said...

I predict they will catch this vile terrorist monkey who messed up Times Square. I imagine that for bombing a military facility he may qualify for a long residence in a military prison.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
KILL terrorist monkeys

even if they prefer death
over life in prison



3/10/2008 08:48:00 PM  

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