Thursday, August 3, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 8-3-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Castroectomy

I hem and haw, coming up with the phrase, "Death by Iron Fist", which I like less and less every time I read it. Cox and Forkum come up with a single word.


They also seem to have unearthed what could be the best eulogy for Castro in print. They quote CBS News:
Cuba is the isolated Communist island that has never squeezed itself out from under the thumb of the West, focusing most of its energy on weathering the U.S. trade embargo. Though Castro survived U.S. attempts on his life, like the CIA's famous exploding seashell, his famous tumble down the stairs in old age was a metaphor for his regime. Cuba became the floating prison from which thousands of influential American immigrant businesspeople, politicians, etc., hailed, and never has ceased to be the island from which citizens risk life and limb to escape. Whereas Castro envisioned that his Communist utopia would set the gold standard for the world, he has been handily upstaged by dissidents and exiles who have, over the decades, become poster children for the fundamental thirst for liberty. [bold added]
Cuba could stand to benefit greatly from a Castroectomy.

Hezbollah in Sweden?

Martin Lindeskog shows images from a pro-terrorist rally in Gothenburg. (Alas, terrorist sympathizers are everywhere.) "The Zionists are the real terrorists," eh? That's funny, because, according to the UN, which donates human shields to Hezbollah, the ...

... "Terrorist Label" is not "Helpful".

Via LGF comes this quote from Mark Malloch Brown, the UN's "#2 man".
What is troubling to me is the US and UK now carry with them a particular set of baggage in the Middle East. The challenge for them is to recognise that ultimately they have to allow others to share the lead in this effort diplomatically and (in putting together) a stabilisation force.

It's not helpful for it again to appear to be the team that led on Iraq or even on Afghanistan. It's not helpful to couch this war in the language of international terrorism. Hizbollah employs terrorist tactics, it is an organisation however whose roots historically are completely separate and different from Al Qaeda.
Quick! Someone tell the Swedish chapter of Hezbollah that they're playing straight into the hands of the American imperialists and their British lap dogs!

Useful Labels for Useful Idiots

It is somewhat fascinating how transfixed the left is by language. They assign so much power to it that they twist it beyond recognition in an effort to transmute reality. When they're not trying to control what others say (as above), they're busy using words in the opposite sense they're intended. Isaac Schrodinger provides us with an example, taken from a post at another blog titled "When Jews Behave Like Nazis, They Become Nazis":
Today, in light of Israel's criminal aggressions in Lebanon and Gaza, there is no doubt that Israel is thinking, behaving and acting like the Third Reich. And when Jews, or some Jews, think, behave and act like the Nazis, they become Nazis themselves.

Zionists are behaving like Nazis because they are murdering innocent civilians en mass to avenge the death of a few Israeli soldiers killed by resistance fighters in Lebanon or Palestine.

...

Needless to say, these fighters, whether you call them Hamas or Hizbullah, are struggling to rid their countries of a brutal Israeli occupation, very much like European resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Poland, France, Greece, and other countries fought to get rid of the brutal Nazi occupation of their countries. [bold added]
Talk about some "useless labels"....

The left is trying to do to language what they did to currency long ago: Outlaw the real thing, then manufacture tons of what looks like the real thing, but is in fact worthless. I call it "word inflation".

Tell me how we're supposed to discuss this war intelligently if we can't call a terrorist a terrorist, and yet we do call a nation defending itself from terrorists (called "freedom fighters") "Nazis"? The obvious result of all this would be for us to simply accept anything Hezbollah does without any resistance.

Unfortunately, just as fiat currency can't magically create goods and services out of thin air, fiat verbiage can't magically create peace or freedom. Israel would not defend itself, and Hezbollah's true nature would not change if only it were allowed to have (even just a part of) what it wants without a fight. But only the latter will happen if we continue having any part of this fraudulent "intellectual economy" set up by the frenetic printing presses of the left.

Some Hard Currency

And speaking of discussing the war in terms that mean something, if currency must be backed by some kind of objective value (e.g., gold), then words must be backed by actions. I suspect that if we were to show the Islamic axis that we were willing to back up our tough talk from time to time, we'd have far less trouble from them.

Perhaps, if we sent one (or a few, or many -- whatever it takes) of these to Iran (See this video.), rather than Condi Rice to Israel, Iran would no longer pose a problem and the Arab states would try to avoid being "next".....

(HT: Bothenook. And wow! What a blast from the past! As I watched the launch video, I saw someone and thought, "Hmmm. That sure looks like [one of my nuke school classmates]." Lo and behold, his name was in the credits.)

The Passion of the Mel

Andy has this to say about The Passion of the Christ, which I did not see and have no plans to see:
Gibson did little but show the transformation of a man into a bloodied piece of meat. Whose decision was it to turn the man into meat? The movie clearly puts the blame on the Jews.

The movie completely lacks ideas, history, or explanations. It was about as concrete-based as you could get in a movie -- it was like porn. The portrayed message: "Look what the Jews did to our God, our hero".
In Mel's "honor" last night, I watched The Passion of the Jew on DVD. (BTW, It will air on Comedy Central next week.) One of the characters likened the movie to a "snuff film".

The Force of Reason

If you were thinking of reading this Oriana Fallaci book, Jennifer Snow might save you some trouble.
The Force of Reason is a follow-up to The Rage and the Pride and is ... a tirade against the Muslim takeover of Europe, a phenomenon that Oriana refers to as "Eurabia" (a term she did not invent). I'm sorry to say that there really wasn't much to the book; it very much left me asking "what reason?"

This is because Ms. Fallaci's writing is extremely emotionalistic and overwrought, precisely what you would not expect in a book purporting to be about reason. She dwells lengthily on issues such as the method of preparing halal meat.... [I]f you can't stand the sight of blood, have the grace to faint in private. Don't pretend that it adds weight to your argument.

Her self-translation to English from Italian is awkward at best, making the book difficult and sometimes unpleasant to read.... The errors of usage make her seem hurried, unprofessional, and too hysterical to be taken seriously.

While she does make some interesting points about such issues as the collusion of the Catholic Church with the Muslim invasion, her points are detached from any underlying principles. Why is Islam bad? They kill people! They castrate women! They defame Oriana in the press! They don't allow free speech! They bomb stuff!
Or she will perhaps pique your interest, but at least spare your expectations.

An Analysis of Hezbollah

Christian Beenfeldt over at Principles in Practice points to and critiques an analysis of Hezbollah by Daniel Byman.
To understand the nature of the enemy Israel is facing, it is helpful to find a reliable and well-researched document that presents important facts about Hezbollah and its supporters. In 2003, Foreign Affairs published such a document, "Should Hezbollah Be Next?" by Professor Daniel Byman.

Unfortunately, the work is marred by an anemic proposal for concrete action. Byman's proposal amounts to the pragmatic "solution" of talking tougher to Hezbollah-supporter Syria. This is a tried and true method of guaranteed failure. Such tactics, along with similar toothless diplomatic maneuvers, have obviously done nothing to sway either Syria or Iran from their terror-supporting ways in the three years that have passed since the article was published -- or, for that matter, in the twenty-some years of failed diplomacy that preceded it.

Yet, the very quality of Byman's analysis makes the illogic of his pragmatic proposal clear. ... [link dropped]
See what I think about "tough talk" unbacked by action above.

Socialized Journalism

Ooh! Based on these blog entries, it looks like City Journal might be working on a feature about the biased Beeb! From the second piece, "Subsidized Stupidity", by Theodore Dalrymple:
For a license to receive television broadcasts in their homes, British households must pay an annual fee of about $200 (soon to rise), which subsidizes the once famous but now increasingly infamous BBC. This broadcasting system exemplifies two of the guiding principles of contemporary British public life: the active promotion of vulgarity and the shameless looting of the public purse.

Conservative Party head David Cameron recently sat down for an interview on the BBC with Jonathan Ross, whom the organization values for his extreme crudity. He asked Cameron whether, as a youth, he had ever masturbated (he used a more demotic expression) while fantasizing about Margaret Thatcher.

...

We have returned to the eighteenth-century days of state patronage, with this difference: that the men who exercised it back then were at least men of taste and discrimination. They knew a Dr. Johnson when they saw one. From Dr. Johnson to Jonathan Ross: what a falling-off was there!
And don't miss the Denis Boyles piece, which he ends by asking, "[W]hat's the "benefit" [i.e, justification of government sponsorship] of having such unhappy, hostile journalists wandering through a theater of war -- especially when they become weapons used against the coalition and the Iraqis themselves?"

Maddox Returns

Via The Primacy of Awesome comes this very funny upbraiding of the latest loony left conspiracy video concerning the terrorist attacks of 2001.
The fact that this man is alive... [image deleted] ...is proof that "Loose Change" is bullshit.

Here's why:

1. The man in the picture ... is Dylan Avery. [H]e's claiming that the US government, for whatever ends, killed nearly 3,000 innocent Americans, and tens if not hundreds of thousands of more lives in the conflicts that ensued because of it.

2. Since Dylan's arguing that the government has no problem killing 3,000 innocent people, this raises the question: if his documentary is true, and we've established that the government has no ethical qualms about killing thousands of its own people, then why wouldn't the government kill Avery and his friends as well? What's a few more lives to them to ensure the success of this conspiracy?
That's a actually a good point. For the laughs, including some fiat currency origami, visit the page.

-- CAV