Saturday, February 11, 2006


Oh my, our "Fourth Estate" is so brave, so defiant when they know that there's nothing to fear. "Speaking truth to power" is easy and essentially cost free when you know that "power" happens to be a group of elected officials constrained by and accountable to the mechanisms of a mature constitutional republic.

When "power" happens to be a mob of Islamic fanatics under the sway of an 8th Century religo-political totalitarian philosophy that very well might firebomb your office, uh... that's another story altogether.

And no, it's not just simple cowardice that drives the media to renounce and reject its love of the First Amendment. Multiculturalism, and its attendant Western cultural self doubt/loathing, allows the media elite to wallow in a warm, comfortable pool of self referential rationalization.

"We're not afraid, we simply do not want to incite." Yeah, right. That would explain the release of the Abu Ghraib pictures.

Ah... but Abu Ghraib dinged the United States and weakened our cause. If the American people were allowed to see the cartoons in question vis-a-vis the violence that they provoked... well, that wouldn't do at all. It would make the Islamist nut jobs look like insane a-holes. It would reveal the cultural "other" in all of their fanatical, violent, homicidal, irrational splendor.

No, that simply will not do.

To bastardize Deep Throat: If you want to get to the bottom of this - "Follow the narrative." When exposing abuse of Muslim detainees or the "flushing" of a Koran down the toilet in an American run prison facility is the story - sensitivity and caution be damned. Why? Because stories like these serve the press' anti-war, anti-Bush narrative and makes the press feel like they're fighting the good fight with Woodward and Bernstein. Let's do the time warp again.

Liberal media elites look back on Vietnam and Watergate with so much pride and nostalgia that he late 60's/early 70'a seems to be their "World War II". My World War II defining historical reference is, well... World War II - and the Cold War.

Let's look at one of the cartoons.

Okay, it's not the funniest political cartoon I've seen but it certainly isn't offensive. It shines a light on the philosophy behind Islamo-Fascism. The tone and execution of the piece actually seem soft and gentle to me. Mohammed looks like a friendly sort.

With another caption, he could be St. Peter at the Gates of Heaven. The St. Peter at the gates cartoon template has been used a hundred times over the last 75 years to make one point or another. Has one of those cartoons ever stirred violence in the streets here or anywhere else?


And ta-daaaa! That, my friends is the cartoon's editorial thrust.

The radical Islamists don't like it because it rings true. The MSM doesn't like it because it puts a damper on their anti-war / anti-U.S. narrative.

And yeah, I do think that the Managing Editors of the newspapers in Europe and the United States that chose not to print these cartoons as NEWS - not as an Op-Ed or Editorial piece are more than a little bit afraid of the consequences.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Say You're Sorry Europe!

Yesterday's Register had a lovely piece of multicultural doubletalk from some of the leaders of Iowa's Muslim community.

Newspapers in Europe have published provocative, extremely offensive cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Their spokespersons and governments have acknowledged the offense without apology, claiming that "the freedom of speech is absolute."
I don't think that anyone is saying that freedom of speech is absolute - shouting "fire!" in a crowded theatre, libel and the like. But that's not really what they're talking about.

Muslims in Iowa unanimously support the freedom of speech and expression. However, [I knew that was coming - ed.] we also urge everyone to reflect on the effects of their free choices with compassion and empathy. Mere acknowledgment is not enough; an apology is very appropriate.
Ah yes... the all powerful, always appropriate apology that the West owes, well... everybody. Who is to apologize? The Government of Denmark? Denmark didn't publish the cartoons, a private newspaper did. And to whom? The Islamists that pine for the return of the Caliphate and riot at any provocation or their "moderate" apologists who find offense in a series of editorial cartoons?

Again, here are the cartoons in question.

Crude...? Yes. Insensitive...? Yes. Harmless...? Abso-f'in-lutely.

Moral equivalence alert!!!

Like Christians a few years ago, American Muslims were outraged and offended by a government-funded display of art in which the crucified Jesus was in some body waste. We shared the justifiable anguish of Christians then, and Muslims would share the feelings of Jews if Moses were so offensively treated. All Prophets deserve our veneration and profound respect as God's messengers. We would like people of other religions to reciprocate our respect and veneration for all Prophets.
The key difference in the "Piss Christ" controversy and the current situation was that the "art" in question that prompted the millions of dollars of property damage and hundreds of lives lost in the ensuing riots all throughout the bible belt criticism was government funded. And if you're worried about the feelings of Jews gentlemen, you may want to write a column about the government sponsored anti-Semitic cartoons run day after day after day all throughout the Middle East.

Here's a topical, tasty example:

Akhbar al-Khalij
, January 29, 2006 (Bahrain)
Caption: "The Penetration of Zionism to Denmark." The cheese, shaped like a Star of David, is labeled "Danish products." The text on the far left reads, "Boycott it!"

Or how about this classic depiction of blood libel:



Here comes the crux of the multi-cultural argument - emphasis mine.

While it is true that freedom of the press is essential in democracies, those who represent the dominant religion and the government have the responsibility to examine the impact of their free speech on those whose faiths and beliefs place them in the minority. Mutual, reciprocal respect for the faith and scriptures of other traditions is as essential as free speech in societies that aim to promote true democracy in Europe, North America and the Middle East.
Ah yes, the dominant (fill in the blank) has a duty to cast off it's cultural hegemony, sit in a corner think about its sins.

Ya know, this would ring a bit more true if Saudi Arabia would allow non-Muslims to visit Mecca or even possess a Bible within their borders.

Also necessary for democracy are cultural self confidence and tolerance of criticism. That's what a heterogeneous society is about. That's what being an American is about. Tolerance - real tolerance, not lip service - is a two way street. Do not expect that you will be able to make the dominant culture (at least in this country... Europe on the other hand is up for grabs) accept all aspects of your religion and culture without comment.

Commentary is not the same as violence. Would that more of your fellow Muslims understood this and could vigorously condemn the violence against civilians, terrorism and religious intolerance in your own culture without the inevitable "but" that leads straight to a harangue against Israel and rants about Zionist control of the media.
Across the globe people must learn to differentiate between entities that distort the message of a religion in order to justify reprehensible acts of violence. Government-supported, simple-minded expressions of free speech without regard to reciprocal, mutual respect for others do not promote the sense of belonging necessary for a citizen's allegiance
.Ah, the abhorrence of violence and the thinly veiled threat of treason in the same paragraph. Give up the First Amendment and we'll pledge this country our allegiance.

Ain't gonna happen.

If mainstream Muslims wish to stop criticism - and make no mistake these cartoons were a critique of radical Islamic violence - they had best see to their own house. Ironically, the violent rampage unleashed by the "cartoon Jihad" - does nothing but confirm the cartoons' message. The lack of even a nod to the violence occurring in Europe, the Middle East and Asia as the result of some friggin' cartoons makes me question the seriousness of Mr. Aigner, Mr. Dremali and Mr. Kahn to really address some legitimate issue the West could have with Islamic culture.

Self reflection and criticism are never easy but are salutary. Our culture tends to be self-reflective to the point of paralysis - think the NSA kerfluffle or just about anything in Europe. Islam on the other hand...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

But Baby, it's Cold Outside

Check this out.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A Russian astronomer has predicted that Earth will experience a "mini Ice Age" in the middle of this century, caused by low solar activity.

Khabibullo Abdusamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomic Observatory in St. Petersburg said Monday that temperatures will begin falling six or seven years from now, when global warming caused by increased solar activity in the 20th century reaches its peak, RIA Novosti reported.

The coldest period will occur 15 to 20 years after a major solar output decline between 2035 and 2045, Abdusamatov said.

Dramatic changes in the earth's surface temperatures are an ordinary phenomenon, not an anomaly, he said, and result from variations in the sun's energy output and ultraviolet radiation.

The Northern Hemisphere's most recent cool-down period occurred between 1645 and 1705. The resulting period, known as the Little Ice Age, left canals in the Netherlands frozen solid and forced people in Greenland to abandon their houses to glaciers, the scientist said.
Do you think that he is proposing that the fluctuating energy output of the sun may have more to do with climate variation than us nasty old homo sapiens' and our wicked greenhouse gas output?!

You mean that western civilization in general and its evil spawn globalization aren't going to cook the planet and raise the sealevel by a few meters displacing all those peaceful, subsistence level, indigenous fishing communities?

Could it be that, all things being equal, that we should be happy - and I mean every man jack of us from Huntington Beach to Bangalore friggin' extatic - that we are blessed to live during the safest, cleanest, most disease-free, prosperous time with the longest life expectancy since we climbed out of the trees onto the African savanna.

Would this possibly tell us that we in the developed world should try our damnedest to expand the blessings of economic prosperity, productiveness and free trade to the wretched masses who live perpetual poverty under the heels of despotic kleptocrats?

Naaaahhhhh. Just go about your normal upper middle class angsting and guilty rumination. After all, good news is no news.

Oh... and contrary to what the Social Democrats say, it appears that you have more leisure time too!

I guess that means even more time for angsting and guilt!!!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

How to Make the Iowa Rainforest a Success

At the Blogger Bash last evening, we came up with some nifty ideas to make the Boondogle Porkforest Rainforest a mega-hit.

First and foremost to make the Rainforest a success - let's not limit the venue with the idea that it's mainly for kids. Yeah kids are great and all, but adults need fun and educational opportunities too!

Our first idea was to allow hunting! Now, don't get all worked up. We're not going to allow firearms. In the spirit of the noble indigenous peoples of the rainforest, we're going to only allow blowgun hunting. Imagine the excitement of tracking, killing, skinning and eating a nice juicy monkey! And with a blowgun and poison dart no less! All of our monkeys will be thoroughly screened for HIV/Aids and Kuru. So if chilled monkey brains are what you crave, knock yourself out! All dart poisons will be humanely extracted - without any harm to the frogs - from authentic poisonous frogs from the Amazon. For an additional fee, you'll be able to extract the poison yourself. No licking!!!

And when you're thinking of adult entertainment, what comes first to mind...? That's right baby. Chicks!!! Beautiful native Iowa girls dressed in authentic "Daisy Mae" costumes. Young, blond and corn-fed. Whoo-whee!!! And don't you worry ladies, there'll be a little somethin' for you too. Mama gotta have her beefcake! Can you say "Me Jane"? I knew ya could.

After beautiful native girls and a successful monkey hunt, you'll be ready for a tasty, fruity cocktail at the Slash and Burn Lounge. All of our cocktails are served with a parasol in a souvenir tropical hardwood tiki-mug. That'll look great on the mantel. And while your enjoying a few cocktails, don't forget to take advantage of some hot Slottery action. The state's got to pay for this unique, one-of-a-kind attraction, you know!

Now that you're all liquored up, it's time for some exploring. Come on over to exploration pavilion where you'll be issued a machete and pith helmet. And then it's "off you go"! Blaze a trail. Chop away. Hell, it all grows back anyhow. Mind the leeches.

Well, you get the idea. It's kind of like a Branson MO meets The African Queen thing. People will eat it up.

This is going to put Iowa on the map baby!!!

Update: Hey! Joe at Roth & Co. beat me to the punch!

I updated my blog template and did some other housekeeping today - updating my blogroll and such. Hope you find the new, simplified look to your liking.

Since I've moved to Blogger comments, all of the previous comments are kaput. Sorry.
Death by Sensitivity

From Mark Steyn's February 5th piece on the double standard on religious sensitivity.

Thus, NBC is celebrating Easter this year with a special edition of the gay sitcom "Will & Grace," in which a Christian conservative cooking-show host, played by the popular singing slattern Britney Spears, offers seasonal recipes -- "Cruci-fixin's." On the other hand, the same network, in its coverage of the global riots over the Danish cartoons, has declined to show any of the offending artwork out of "respect" for the Muslim faith.

Which means out of respect for their ability to locate the executive vice president's home in the suburbs and firebomb his garage.

Jyllands-Posten wasn't being offensive for the sake of it. They had a serious point -- or, at any rate, a more serious one than Britney Spears or Terence McNally. The cartoons accompanied a piece about the dangers of "self-censorship" -- i.e., a climate in which there's no explicit law forbidding you from addressing the more, er, lively aspects of Islam but nonetheless everyone feels it's better not to.

That's the question the Danish newspaper was testing: the weakness of free societies in the face of intimidation by militant Islam.

One day, years from now, as archaeologists sift through the ruins of an ancient civilization for clues to its downfall, they'll marvel at how easy it all was. You don't need to fly jets into skyscrapers and kill thousands of people. As a matter of fact, that's a bad strategy, because even the wimpiest state will feel obliged to respond. But if you frame the issue in terms of multicultural "sensitivity," the wimp state will bend over backward to give you everything you want -- including, eventually, the keys to those skyscrapers. Thus, Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, hailed the "sensitivity" of Fleet Street in not reprinting the offending cartoons.
Go read it.

Ya know, magnanimity and tolerance for "the other" is a admirable thing. But, only if that sentiment is shared by the aforementioned "other". That door definitely swings both ways.

If Europe - and the pussy executives at NBC for that matter - do not begin to grow an f'ing spine, it does not bode well at all. We're like the proverbial frog in a I'm not saying that Western Civ. is going to fall - at least not at the hands of conquerors. No, my greatest fear is that, if we do not deal with this here and now, the butcher's bill will be much, much larger. And make no mistake, the casualties will be overwhelmingly Muslims.

The cultural consequences of inflicting this level of destruction, even in self defense... It will be decidedly unpleasant.