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The Genius of Murdoch
How to Win the Clash of Civilizations ... The key advantage of [Harvard political scientist] Samuel Huntington's famous model is that it describes the world as it is—not as we wish it to be. What do the controversies around the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, the eviction of American missionaries from Morocco earlier this year, the minaret ban in Switzerland last year, and the recent burka ban in France have in common? All four are framed in the Western media as issues of religious tolerance. But that is not their essence. Fundamentally, they are all symptoms of what the late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington called the "Clash of Civilizations," particularly the clash between Islam and the West. Huntington's argument is worth summarizing briefly for those who now only remember his striking title. The essential building block of the post-Cold War world, he wrote, are seven or eight historical civilizations of which the Western, the Muslim and the Confucian are the most important. The balance of power among these civilizations, he argued, is shifting. The West is declining in relative power, Islam is exploding demographically, and Asian civilizations—especially China—are economically ascendant. Huntington also said that a civilization-based world order is emerging in which states that share cultural affinities will cooperate with each other and group themselves around the leading states of their civilization. – Wall Street Journal/Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Dominant Social Theme: It is the destiny of the world to be at war – economically, politically and ideologically – for at least the next 100 years, and it is a war the West must win.
Free-Market Analysis: Rupert Murdoch (above left) is a full-on genius – as we have pointed out before. Having purchased the Wall Street Journal and implemented a pay wall, he now has to come up with compelling news and opinions to make the Journal worthwhile buying. We know he is succeeding because when our thousand-person staff trolls through the Internet, we inevitably end up (all in a lump with a smudgy monitor) at the Wall Street Journal opinion page. We rarely end up at the New York Times or the Washington Post, but suddenly the Wall Street Journal has articles that furnish a compelling read.
We analyzed one just yesterday, written by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. Armey is running an outfit called Freedomworks and he has a new book out published by a Murdoch affiliate. The article, A Tea Party Manifesto, is compelling reading because it analyzes the sweep of the Tea Party movement in the United States and then provides something called a Contract From America that various "Tea Party" candidates are signing. You can see the article here: Dick Armey's Tea Party Coup.
Why was the article compelling? Because it was both idea-driven and action oriented. Most mainstream publications in the United States (USA Today is a good example) will not deal at length with even partially controversial subjects – such as the way the US is gradually becoming a failed state. But here was Armey fearlessly discussing these issues and then offering a solution. The Journal achieves a number of goals with articles like this. It positions itself as a kind post-libertarian newspaper, theoretically allowing it to compete with the Internet. It also shows, by publishing such articles, that it is willing to host idea-driven proposals that offer new and different ideas. It stakes its claim, in a sense, to being on the "cutting edge."
Of course, there are some problems, as we pointed out previously. The Contract From America, while certainly an admirable effort, leaves out at least three major statist dilemmas. It doesn't address ending the war on drugs; it doesn't suggest that the hyper-aggressive laboratory of serial warfare – the Pentagon – needs to be pruned back; and finally, strangest of all, it makes no mention of the Federal Reserve, the policies of which have devalued the dollar's purchasing power by some 95 percent over the past century. But nonetheless, from certain angles, it was an admirable if not radical effort.
And now comes Ayaan Hirsi Ali with a devastatingly brilliant article, How to Win the Clash of Civilizations. What more could you ask for in a prestigious financial journal? As with the article by Dick Armey, we have here a report that marries a breathtakingly broad and bold historical treatise with an actionable analysis. If those in the West would only understand the nature of its "enemies" then the problems the West faces will yield to solutions (military or not) that give it the best chance to survive and prosper. Here is the crux element of the article:
The West's universalist pretensions are increasingly bringing it into conflict with the other civilizations, most seriously with Islam and China. Thus the survival of the West depends on Americans, Europeans and other Westerners reaffirming their shared civilization as unique— and uniting to defend it against challenges from non-Western civilizations.
Is there a dominant social theme here? It is in fact one that we have identified before – and recently. What is going on, in our view, is the creation of various new intellectual justifications for Western superiority and more importantly for people in the West to band together despite their current wretchedness. In this context, we feel like scientists observing the creation of a new volcano or some other natural occurrence. It is rare to be observing the birth of a new dominant social theme, but we believe we (and you) are witness to one. Here is an excerpt from a previous article we have written on the subject:
Two brand new dominant social themes in a very short space of time, or at least that is the way we see it. The state has come under tremendous attack in the 21st century and we believe the powers-that-be are pushing back. (Why wouldn't they?) In aggregate, the themes make a powerful argument that some level (perhaps a high degree) of state involvement in the economy is at least tolerable if not an unmitigated good.
We explored the first meme just the other day. It was, we believed, a sophisticated socioeconomic perspective promulgated by a brilliant young political observer, one Ian Bremmer – who had the perspicacity to focus on the idea that most of the major powers of the world today are practicing something called state capitalism.
Bremmer, we wrote, contrasts state capitalism to the West's "free-market" model and essentially seems to present this paradigm as a kind of "war." We concluded that Bremmer had intended to manufacture an argument that the West, even today, is free-market oriented (despite many evidences otherwise) and that America especially will come into conflict with state capitalism as represented by China et. al during the 21st century. To read the full DB article, click here.
Bremmer, we decided (whether he knows it or not) is essentially creating a new dominant social theme that justifies Western capitalism not just in previous free-market incarnations but as it is today. The argument he presents, we came to believe, is one that if taken to its logical conclusion implies that instead of criticizing Western capitalism, Westerners ought to devote their energies to combating state capitalism abroad.
This is in our humble opinion analogous to what happened during the Cold War, which demanded that citizens of the West tolerate any necessary engorgement of Leviathan in order to combat the Communist menace. Bremmer's perspective can surely be used to support Western capitalism as it is. Thus we would argue that such perspectives (intended or not) are useful to the power elite; they provide further justification for the status quo in the face of a fairly relentless Internet attack that has pointed out how far from the free-market Western capitalism has actually strayed.
Now the NEW meme (new to us anyway) that we want to cover in this analysis is most interesting, and buttresses what Bremmer is proposing. This suggestion is brought to us from the mainstream libertarian wing of the US sociopolitical dialogue. As we can see from the above UK Telegraph excerpt, it postulates that data shows governments are most effective at supporting economic growth and free-markets when they comprise no more than 15 to 25 percent of total GDP. Because today governments in the West are consuming so much more of GDP to provide "services," the "Rahn Curve" claims that government is basically out of control.
Why is this a new dominant social theme and not merely a libertarian observation? Fairly or unfairly, we believe there is, in fact, no economic or historical justification to make the claim that government is an effective supporter of free-markets and economic growth at ANY percentage of GDP. We base this conclusion on the dividing line between classical and neo-classical economics, which is known as marginal utility.
To read more from this story, click here: Libertarians Seek Rahn's Ideal State.
Two new sub-themes proposed in major publications in a period of weeks. And now we have a third – that of a "Clash of Civilizations" as proposed by late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington. While Huntington's model is not persuasive to us, it is eloquently presented by Ali. Since we had not heard this name before, we went to Wikipedia. This is what we have found:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali feminist activist, writer, and politician. She is the daughter of the Somali scholar, politician, and revolutionary opposition leader Hirsi Magan Isse. She is a prominent critic of Islam, and her screenplay for Theo Van Gogh's movie Submission led to death threats. ... Hirsi Ali has attracted praise and criticism from Anglophone commentators. Commentator and journalist Christopher Hitchens has called Ayaan Hirsi Ali a "charismatic figure in Dutch politics" and criticized the Dutch government for their negligent attitude towards her lack of protection from "fascist killers". Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times called Hirsi Ali a freedom fighter for feminism who has "put her life on the line to defend women against radical Islam." Novelist and screenwriter Roger L. Simon has praised Ali's defense of women's rights, calling her "one of the great positive figures of our time, a modern Joan of Arc who surpasses the original Joan in a moral sense.
We then looked up Ms. Ali's contributions to the Journal and apparently she has only started contributing in June, and her first commentary was "What You Can't Say About Islamism ... American intellectuals won't face up to Muslim radicalism's Nazi past." You see why we call Murdoch a genius, dear reader? Not only has he generally revivified the opinion page of the Journal in less than a year by animating actionable points with sophisticated ideas, he is now in the process of opening its pages to some of the most brilliant lights of international letters.
Of course, we would feel a bit better about Ms. Ali – and Murdoch's brilliance in general – if it didn't seem to us somewhat manipulative (as we have indicated above). It seems obvious to us that Murdoch's new and improved Wall Street Journal is not merely presenting some of the most scintillating writing available, it is doing so under the aegis of a very specific agenda: "Yes, Western regulatory democracy in the modern era is perhaps a wretched thing to live under. But compared to other places, the West is GOOD or at least BETTER."
Whether it is Dick Armey writing a whole article in defense of freedom without once criticizing the American military industrial complex or Ms. Ali offering a brilliant analysis of why the West must stand firm against "Nazi Islam," Murdoch is repackaging "neo-con" arguments. But now, incredibly, they are resonantly presented by a black Joan of Arc and a former House Majority Leader who has refashioned himself as a modern day Thomas Paine.
As we have tried to point out in this article, a new dominant theme is being imagined. It is being developed from several different angles by various brilliant writers that the power elite has seemingly cultivated like hothouse flowers – and now has released on the world in all their brilliance. We would not be so silly as to speculate that these various writers are necessarily consciously involved in this latest manipulation but the end result, nonetheless, is to create support for the argument that the West itself (with all its authoritarianism, warring and financial ruin) is still the best hope of the world.
Conclusion: The sophistication of these arguments is breathtaking. The manipulation of information is spell-binding. This is how it has always been done – for the intelligentsia must be satisfied before a meme can truly take hold. When we contemplate how cleverly these fear-based promotions are developed it seems to us that they are among the highest forms of art. What we are saddened about however is that they are to be placed in the service of cultural paranoia, militarism and domestic repression. The net result of this overwhelming brainpower, therefore, is to bring closer the day when George Orwell predicted the modern state would resemble nothing more than "a boot stamping on a human face – forever."
Posted by Sklnkl on 08/31/10 01:12 AM
Andrea stronga href="Click to view link sabo charm/a/strong was clearly struggling with mental illness--psychotic depression and schizophrenia, in particular. Her first bout with postpartum depression followed the birth of her stronga href="Click to view link fourth child, Luke, in 1999. She had several suicide attempts and four stronga href="Click to view link club/a/strong
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/24/10 10:04 PM
I come from a town in India with a high percentage of Muslims.
I wasn't particularly interested in their religion until after 9-11, when some Muslim friends encouraged me to read the Koran. I actually found what I read very enlightened for the time it was written. I think some of you are mixing up cultural/social accretions with the teachings of Islam.
You might as well confuse pornography and pedophilic abuse with Christianity. Indeed, if you add those abuses to street crime and rape, to the misogynistic language that pervades popular culture ('Bitches' 'ho's' 'c****' etc. etc), to the dearth of women in public life (where is our Benazir Bhutto?), you'd be hard pressed to maintain that the life of women in the west is completely enviable.
The truth is Muslim women hold jobs, get educations, and raise families in quite satisfactory ways, even if their style of dress and mode of life strike us as oppressive. I daresay if we could reenter the middle ages, we'd find that the extraordinary art and thought of the period was produced by people who looked a lot like contemporary Muslims. So, was Europe in the 12th century also barbaric? And if so, what should we call the world in the 20th century?
Is female genital mutilation completely different in essence from male circumcision, practiced until lately by every respectable hospital in the US? We used to claim the motive was hygiene. But now there is a minority opinion that holds it too is/was a trauma imposed on young boys. What if a visitor from another planet were to find us barbaric and fit for annihilation because of it?
In the west, arranged marriages and dowries are considered reprehensible, but I can assure you that from what I've seen most arranged marriages are just as happy, if not happier, than marriages from individual choice.
You talk about Hirsi Ali coming to the US for its freedoms. I hate to say this but most immigrants to the West come here not because they love American freedoms and detest their own cultures, but because they can do much better economically here...they can have access to careers..because food is so much cheaper..the air is cleaner..the land isn't over crowded and over worked.. books are more Click to view linkads are Click to view linkfe is simply easier.
And why shouldn't it be? We're an empire. A very attractive business when you're on the top of it. No wonder everyone in the world wants in on it. But now the good times are ending and people are terrified and angry. The wheel is turning.
Invoking demons won't stop it, though.
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/22/10 03:22 PM
I apologize. You are well-traveled – but apparently you took all the learning you can use with you...
Posted by Thefrod on 08/21/10 05:39 PM
HeyBell! re: Wafa. Might be interested in this link:
Click to view link
Wafa Sultan: A Poseur Playing off of Ignorance to Further Hate
Posted on 19 November 2009 by Garibaldi
"Atheist Muslim reformer" Wafa Sultan
Her tale of flight into Islamophobic stardom is a curious and thoroughly modern one. In the beginning of this tale Sultan was invited onto a show hosted by the well known anchorman of AlJazeera's Opposing Viewpoints (Ittijaah al-Mu'aakas), Faisal Al-Qasim for the purpose of a debate with professor Ibrahim al-Khouly from Al-Azhar on the topic of the Clash of Civilizations and the Clash of Religions. Al-Qasim, brought her onto the show originally after noticing some of her articles on the Arabic website called AnNaqed (The Critic). The New York Times reported that the website was an Islamic reform site, but in actuality it turns out that it is a Christian website,
[T]he web site called Annaqed (Click to view link) she supposedly wrote for before being noticed by Al-Jazeera Television is not an "Islamic reform Web Site" as was reported in the New York Times article, but rather an Arab nationalist blog run by a Syrian Christian who defines it as being "in line with Christian morality and principles." The site is also replete with anti-Muslim writings.
On the show she supported the thesis of a clash and stated that the conflict between the West and Islam is "a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another that belongs to the 21st century... a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality."
MEMRI, (Middle East Media Research Institute) which peddles in biased, selective, de-contextualized, error-filled, and misleading translations of news, shows and opinion from Middle East television took the 45 minute show and per its modus operandi chopped up and edited the show into a 5 minute sound bite of Wafa Sultan's attack on Muslims and Islam. In the process, and without any respect for translational integrity they also attempted to deceptively frame Professor Khouly as proclaiming Sultan a "heretic," when, as this fully translated transcript shows he did no such thing. Instead Khouly responded to Sultan's jibes with questions that though we might not agree to the way he frames them are far from irrational or undebatable ...
That is just the beginning of the story, the MEMRI produced video was downloaded to YouTube where it went viral receiving over a million hits and like wild fire the anti-Muslim blogosphere picked it up. Instantly, over night, Sultan was a star. In this consumer age, MEMRI's rendition of the show gave the public what it wanted to see: a spectacle. ...
Sultan spun a tale which essentially boils down to her "dark days growing up in the barbaric 'Islamic nation' of Syria." A good example of her deception can be gleaned from a recent article she wrote for the neo-conservative website Hudson New York,
"As an Arab woman who suffered for three decades living under Islamic Sharia, it is clear to me that Islam's political ideology and Sharia must be fought relentlessly by Western civilization to prevent its application in a free society."
She attempts to paint her three decades in Syria as a nightmare in which she suffered the brutal force of a Taliban-esque regime that implemented Islamic law on her constantly. The absurdity is only matched by the bravado of her claim, as anyone who cared to check (Wikipidea for instance) could tell you that the regime that ruled Syria had nothing to do with Islam.
The regime in Syria, during much of the time period that Sultan talks about was ruled by the secular, anti-Shariah Ba'athist dictator Hafiz al-Assad who happens to come from the same privileged sect that Sultan was born into: the Alawies. Her allegation is even more obscene considering the fact that Hafiz al-Assad massacred 20,000 villagers in Hama, Syria who were members of the Muslim Brotherhood. One has to ask Sultan, if you were made to suffer for thirty years under Islamic Sharia', how could you, a woman, have finished your medicine degree at the University of Aleppo? On top of that, would an Islamic Sharia state as horrid as you describe have funded your education for free?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the info. So Al Jazeera "discovered" her.
Al Jazeera is a network funded by a close ally of the US and staffed initially by former BBC reporters. We have a lot of doubts about that organization and believe it may have Anglo-American intel affiliations.
Here is what we have written in the past about its funding ...
"First of all, the country in which Al Jazeera is located is Qatar, one of the famous, mysterious Arab Emirates (Dubai being another). Qatar is friendly to the United States and served as a jumping off point for both Iraq invasions. This is ironic to be sure; especially given Al Jazeera's initial funding in 1996 - a US$150 million grant from the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa who later invested a good deal of additional millions when the network needed still more funding. The Chairman of Al Jazeera is Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani, a distant cousin of Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
"At the same time as Al Jazeera was being set up and funded in Qatar, a serendipitous turn of events took place. According to Wikipedia, "In April 1996, the BBC World Service's Saudi-co-owned Arabic language TV station, faced with censorship demands by the Saudi Arabian government, shut down after two years of operation. Many former BBC World Service staff members joined Al Jazeera, which at the time was not yet on air. The channel began broadcasting in late 1996." So fact number two is that Al Jazeera (which unfortunately had few if any reporters hired during its initial funding) was the lucky recipient of many Middle-Eastern BBC reporters who fortunately resigned in the nick of time from their Saudi news base.
"Thus, almost from the beginning, Al Jazeera was informed by Western-style reporting, news gathering and news culture."
We found this about her on Wikipedia ...
Sultan stated that she was shocked into secularism by the 1979 atrocities committed by Islamic extremists of the Muslim Brotherhood against innocent Syrians, including her witnessing while she was a medical student of the machine-gun assassination of her professor, Yusef al Yusef, an ophthalmologist from the University of Aleppo renowned beyond Syria. "They shot hundreds of bullets into him, shouting, 'God is great!' " she said. "At that point, I lost my trust in their god and began to question all our teachings. It was the turning point of my life, and it has led me to this present point. I had to leave. I had to look for another god."
Sultan's account of some aspects of her life is disputed by others. According to Abdussalam Mohamed, staff writer for the Southern California Muslim newspaper InFocus, an anonymous Syrian expatriate who met and got to know the Sultans when they first came to the United States told him (Mohamed), that the assassination of Yusef al Yusef took place off-campus, and at a time when Sultan wasn't even around. InFocus says this was confirmed by Dr. Riyad Asfari, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in Aleppo (Syria) and by another Syrian expatriate Ghada Moezzin, who attended the University of Aleppo in 1979 as a sophomore.
Again we find a "backstory" that seems embellished. Combined with everything else, what does that tell us?
Posted by Lukester on 08/21/10 03:31 PM
For anyone interested in another educated Arab woman with comments to offer that are cogent to those of Ms. Hirsi, you can look up some video interviews with Ms. WAFA SULTAN (just type her name into a google search). View those video interviews, and decide for yourselves whether she looks like yet another dreary unwitting "tool of the Western Nations' power elite".
To suggest that a woman writing precisely about **male chauvinism** in her own culture is a proponent of chauvinist politics herself is fascinating " it points an unerring finger to a malady in the West. The excess of intellectualizing which forces distorted labels onto such individuals who may not fit into one's convenient political arguments. You can make your own conclusions. To level comments of chauvinist against women of this caliber and courage is really regrettable.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
Born Baniyas, Syria
Residence Los Angeles, California
Known for Criticism of Islam
Wafa Sultan (Arabic: ???? ??????; born June 14, 1958, Baniyas, Syria) is an American author and critic of Muslim society and Islam trained as a psychiatrist in Syria.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. This neo-authoritarian conversation in Europe (now coming to the US once more via the WSJ) is actually startling, and Muslim women are apparently at its forefront. It is quite sad, actually. A religion without state authority has no power, for people can always leave it. But instead of attacking the state and the problems of theocracy, she appears to make no distinction and attacks the religion itself - as a statist, theocratical institution from the beginning.
Interestingly, you draw our attention to Ms. Wafa Sultan and others but have nothing to say about the corrupt practices of the Saudi Arabian, Egyptian, Jordan states, etc. That is no doubt because in the current, incipient "war of civilizations" they are seemingly on the side of the "West."
The following, see below, is from a speech of hers in Copenhagen.
Click to view link
It is all about war, isn't it? Here is a woman who speaks of peace but apparently urges war. If confronted directly she would no doubt speak of the struggle for women's independence but nonetheless quotes the socialist aspirations of Hillary Clinton approvingly (ie: It takes a village to raise a child.)
Here is the salient statement: "'If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so that my child may live in peace. ... So, let's deal with this trouble now, right now, so our future generation may live in peace."
What do you think she means by "deal with this trouble so our future generation may live in peace." Is she urging peaceful engagement? Or is she urging some kind of armed struggle? Sounds like the latter.
Sounds in fact as if she is endorsing the "war of civilizations." Like a volcano, we watch this dominant social theme building. It cannot be coincidence. We didn't realize. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!
Here is a description of Wafa Sultan's point of view: "At great risk to her life and her family, Sultan travels around the country trying to explain to Americans that Islam is not a religion but rather a political ideology that is using religion as a front. She also explains why there is no "radical' Islam, only Islam."
Click to view link
Here is a comment from the thread on Wafa Sultan:
Comment by givethanks1314 on August 14, 2010 5:25 PM
Three most important things about Islam:
1. Islam is of the devil; when dealing Islam, you are dealing with the devil.
2. Islam is not a religion; it is a devilish political system with religious clothing.
3. Islam is islam. There is no difference between 'radical or 'moderate islams. Both 'radical and 'moderate are rooted in the same books of hate and man of hate.
All muslims kill, but in different manner; some kill with bombs, some with slow poison; some with a smiling lie, some make use of our legal system Muslims kill not only the kuffar, they kill their kids, their women, and themselves, then blame it onto the Jews, Christians, Americans, Muslims love death. Their sole purpose is death, where they think they will find allah's paradise of luxury whorehouse Islam is a 'religion for idiots!
This is where such faux-intellectualism as yours is taking the West. To hatred and genocide against the "other." This is the rhetoric you are recommending.
As for Ms. Wafa Sultan, in another thread, she speaks approvingly of the crusades. Instead of working with peaceable Muslims she is spending her time lending credence to yet another elite, fear-based promotion - "The Clash of Civilizations."
Yes, it cannot be a coincidence. They are at it again, building another fear-based promotion to encourage their incessant warring. Thanks for the insights.
chauvinism (shÅ쳌`v'nÄz'm), word derived from the name of Nicolas Chauvin, a soldier of the First French Empire. Used first for a passionate admiration of Napoleon, ... chauvinism is essentially modern, becoming marked in the era of acute national rivalries and imperialism beginning in the 19th cent. It has been encouraged by mass communication, originally by the cheap newspaper.'
Here is the end of her speech:
"You may be familiar with the saying that it takes an entire village to raise a well adjusted, healthy child. In that spirit, I call anew, as a community of people, countries, and nations, caring to preserve that eternal child, our treasured freedom and liberty, to be bold and fully support Mr. Wilders [unintelligible] to preserve liberal democracy as your highest priority.
"I call on you to please keep in mind that they who forget their history are doomed to repeat it, and they who don't know their enemy will never be able to defeat it. As the wise said, Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or abridging the freedom of speech. There is no freedom without the freedom to criticize and exercise reasonable civil discussion; there is no values [sic] without mutual respect. ...
"Lastly, the great Thomas Paine, one of the founding fathers of the United States, stated: 'If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so that my child may live in peace. So, let's deal with this trouble now, right now, so our future generation may live in peace. Thank you so much."
Here is a post of some relevance from Click to view link forums on Islam ...
"Funny thing the European attitude towards Islam and its followers. On one side there's barely a media, left or right, which doesn't go to incredible length to scare the Hell out of you by telling you how bad "some" Muslims are. Very wicked men, they are madmen, fanatics, they are not afraid of death if they can blow up a single Infidel etc. On the other side we are being presented "Islamic" culture as wonderful, varied and very friendly. Too bad the medias and governments idea of 'culture' is not the exquisite Tenth Century Arabian poetry or refined metalworking from Central Asia but bellydancing, couscous and leftist authors that will bore even a Parisian intellectual to tears in less than an hour. It's a little bit like presenting European culture as made of techno dance, pizza and Mancuse and leave Goethe and Cervantes in the dumps. ... Oh and let's not forget most European governments will force you into being tollerant but have thousands of troops in Afghanistan, Africa etc ready to turn 'ragheads' into targets."
Here is a link rebutting some of Ms. Wafa Sultan's comments. Her rhetoric is really quite startling. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Click to view link
Interestingly, Ms. Wafa Sultan, in other statements, attacks the Koran as a hate message: "I wonder why they don't call the Qur'an a Hate Message. When you read the Qur'an do you consider it a Love Message?"
Click to view link
This is exactly the same arguments that many on the Internet use to attack Jewish liturgy. We make the same argument to them. It is not the religion that is the problem but the religion married to state violence and coercion. Otherwise, the attack ends up being against a "culture." Ms. Wafa Sultan is apparently purposefully blurring the distinction. Cleverly, we read, she claims from the beginning that Islam has been architected by the state. That it is not a religion at all, merely a form of statist fascism! How subtle! The sophistry is absolutely brilliant! This is propaganda for grownups.
Posted by Jeannie Queenie on 08/21/10 12:06 AM
Seeing as this post began on the subject of Ali Hirsi, I just got around to reading her Wall St Journal writing from yesterday. It was just about three years ago that I first heard Ali Hirsi speak, and I was dazzled by the woman's brilliance. She is articulate, bright, courageous, and although some of you in this post, think she is a tool of the PE to drum up eternal wars,I never saw that in her or her books. I picked up two of her books soon after hearing her lecture in 2007.
I never ever got the impression she was anything but a free agent. A woman who could see that her muslim faith was destructive in countless ways. And of course, anyone who does research this topic is more than aware that this is no religion of peace as many would have you believe. And please don't come back to me and harangue me on either the Catholic or Jewish faiths for I could write a book on the dark side of those two as well. Having said that, the two latter religions cleaned up their act somewhat long ago, but still have remnants of dark age thinking.
One could say in fact that the fascist side of Catholicism still rears its ugly head. And what can one say about a religion/jewish that makes the claim of 'being God's chosen people". I can't imagine an easier way to NOT make friends and influence people. Having said that, you never hear of either christians or jews today planting a woman in sand up to her head and stoning her for being a victim of a gang rape, or bringing dishonor to her family.
I posit that all those Europeans, Canadians, Australians and Americans who take a blase, cavalier attitude about honor killings are more than twisted in their thinking. We are not talking garden variety domestic abuse here, but an ingrained vicious misogynist mindset that abhors women and all that the feared feminine psyche and female physical body represents. No one has better explained than Ali Hirsi how arab/turkish muslim men need to learn sexual maturity and stop transferring their immaturity onto women. In short, they must begin to take responsibility for their own hormones/sexuality and knock it off on trying to control women's.
Hirsi, when working with Van Gogh in Holland on her documentary of the lives of Islamic women was simply pointing out fact. She fled to the states after muslims killed Van Gogh there on the streets. She is now under 24/7 security in the US and has no desire to ever return to a muslim dominated country. Should we stone her for this?
Does anyone honestly believe that the PE arranged for VanGogh's throat to be slit and Hirsi to flee to the US as part of the PE's desire to construct reasons for islamaphobia? That is one laughing stretch to think she is being used as a tool, and in fact, I view it as an insult to Hirsi implying she should just put up and shut up about the dark underbelly of Islam and its caveman founder.
Those who feel that the word islamofascism is not PC, would do well to read this writing by Christopher Hitchens on why it is correct. And no, this does not detract from other religions or countries fascist tendencies one iota. He simply points out facts.
Click to view link
I would also add this one as well.
Islamism Goes Mainstream - My evening with Tariq Ramadan.
Click to view link
Again, please don't bother to tell me that there are fascist elements in our midst now for fifty years in the US....you won't get me to disagree, but I do know this. Our country was founded on principles of natural law and civil law and the recognition that all are created equal under the law. This does not mean all are entitled to whatever without effort on their part, nor does it mean that although we have allowed other religions the freedom to come and enjoy our great country, they have any right to replace our natural and civil laws with Sharia law which is in direct opposition to our Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence.
We have enough entities of the american/anglo variety trying to warp our kids minds in schools, steal our wealth, keep us in perpetual war mode, we don't need others with similar or worse fascist mindsets adding to the grapes of wrath.
I do believe that perceptions of Hirsi are a bit skewed and things are being presented here that bear no resemblance to her beliefs, let alone acknowledging her real life experiences as a muslim. She is not alone in that thinking. There are more and more reformed muslims speaking up, writing books, revealing the dark side of that religion which continues to hold them down. The Wall St Journal article mentions Turkey, and I could write more on that seeing as I taught Muslim turkish boys in an academic setting two years ago. But that is for another day for time is of the essence.
I see Ali Hirsi as a bright woman who knows that although the US is not perfect, it is still a beacon of light for the world. Again, don't jump on me crying, 'but look at our presidents, the wars, the economy'. You won't get any disagreement from me on that score either. But the one thing all must understand is that every day of the week, foreigners come to this country and take an oath to become citizens for the simple reason is that it is better than what they've ever known. Is this so difficult to understand folks?
Ali Hirsi experienced first hand the fate of an islamic female's life, both physically via mutilation, as well as the emotional aspect of being viewed as inferior. She discovered like many others who choose to settle here, that there is a freedom here unlike any other she had experienced in her lifetime. She also knows better than the DB or any feedbacker, just how Islamic thinking affects women, their sexuality and image of themselves, and in fact, whether she is allowed to live or die at the hands of crazy men, or in some cases, crazed women/brainwashed mothers.
Reply from The Daily Bell
In the article you are referring to, Ms. Hirsi advocated a "long war" (of some sort) against those who are not part of Western civ. You may find that (and her) brilliant, but we find such views culturally chauvanistic at the least. Must the West remake the world in its image? Must it right all the wrongs of other cultures? Or perhaps only certain ones. We notice, by the way, that the West is a good deal harder on Islam than China.
Posted by SonneLuft on 08/20/10 06:54 PM
Most of the Europeans won't apply for a job in any of the countries of Islamic East. Mostly because of hot climat and unbearable cultural differenes. Look, East cares less and moves West and North with less moral losses. Another kind of education gives them ability to maintain and grow their population quite successful, much better than most of the Europeans and Americans do.
It's not surprising, I suppose, that the ground duty business elites would protect their reward flow system by bordering their terrain money factories/protectorates from a competitive banking by a range of repressive attitudes, including some of the "local conflicts".
As for the Fed (and we are discussing just one Fed of the world, inspite of a mind-blowing pyramidising in the XX Century Fox style the US one), there's not really much of pink in the picture.
Some years back there was a mess between a pharaon and highest clergy in Egypt. The court and the people were expecting of the co-ruling Egyptian clergy to open their Treasury vaults to maintain, restore and modernise the national economy after wars and crysis. The official request was voted down, pharaons received their pyramids for present tourist activities, which now make a good share of pie in the income chart of dominantly Islamic Egypt. Well, forget the vaults.
History spins, have the whole system of Feds now, and it needs to out the steam. And let me say a word of support to those who can generate high-tech stuff, machinery, agriculture, education and building.
The Western system nearly appears unable to positively self-develop and produce population without a material stimulus in this life. Depression owns the mind of the society, it leaves no wish to teenagers to have children and take responsibility for them. Or another, "we don't want to bring another soul to the machine" emo thing).
And this is so intriguing, what Vatican are supposed do loose/benefit globally in situation like this. Some of Italian families are making fortunes on crisis, and this is only what on the Vat's ground.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by Lukester on 08/20/10 05:32 PM
Lila " Replies are posted below each quote.
QUOTE: "What I see is that you do not like the idea of a non-white person, even one who is a citizen, saying anything critical about US institutions, even when they're completely corrupt, and even when it's my bounden duty as a citizen. Sorry to put it bluntly, but I mean it without rancor. I've found that many people (Indians too) confuse criticism of their government with an attack on their culture. You don't voice any such criticism to any of the white/European critics. Thus your response strikes me as simply "hurt feelings". Very well. There, there..
ANSWER: Respectfully, these objections are rubbish. I have plenty to say critical of US institutions. 60% of my world view is largely equivalent to the Bell's own theses. I've not been posting here long enough for you to have discovered those parts. To suggest that the substance of my comments is derived from my being a cookie-cutter unthinking patriot unfortunately falls among the more rhetorical parts of your reply. And howwould you know, whether or not I voiced any of this to white or European critics? You plucked that assumption right out of the air to buttress a conclusion of my basis that can be made to conveniently weaken my credibility.
QUOTE: "As I said, your feelings are hurt".
ANSWER: I respond poorly to such patronizations " the armchair psychiatrist's subversionary wormhole into the core of my having a sound basis for an argument.
QUOTE: "You feel unloved. You see any criticism of central bankers, Rothschilds, Murdoch, or preemptive war, as an attack on crabcakes, Jimmy Rogers, Mad Magazine, James Fenimore Cooper, Daffy Duck, Theodore Roethke, the Smithsonian, and mom and apple pie. "
ANSWER: More of the above facile stereotyping.
QUOTE: "Prejudice, soft bigotry, non-PC language, cultural insults and hurts are all part of the give-and-take of political debate... and the proper response is counter-speech."
ANSWER: I wholeheartedly agree with this view, and I applaud you for seeing it the same way I do. Excellent.
QUOTE: "Lukester probably hasn't lived outside his own culture and kind (?). I have. That's a big difference. I have no rancor about any of it..I've close friends of all races who routinely express the most critical sentiments about Indians (they're dirty, cheap, dishonest) " and who am I to say those feelings aren't justified by their personal experience?"
ANSWER: Lila, this points to a subtle thing I pick up in you " remarkable erudition and a very keen mind, but a propensity to thing you have already accomplished the "full knowing" on corollaries, such as new people you've barely met " wherein you don't hesitate to ascribe to them qualities which can flesh out and complete components of a tidy thesis you hold.
In my case, you assume "probably hasn't lived outside his own culture and kind " I have". I grew up abroad, in Italy, although I am an American. My parents and grandparents were all journalists, and spent their entire lives traveling every quarter of the world. I lived four years in West Africa as a boy, have lived in the UK for five years, spent a year as an exchange student in Turkey, traveled to two dozen different countries and have spent dozens of holidays in many of them " much of that time as a boy growing up. My father was infatuated and engrossed with the African continent and spent probably more time traveling it's breadth as a foreign correspondent than he did at home. I speak four languages, and my political views are very eclectic, ranging all over the map.
Your preoccupation with the notion that my remarks were superficial leans heavily on the notion that I am leaning on sociopolitical or cultural stereotypes due to my "parochialism". You could not have picked a less promising example to shoehorn into your preferred thesis.
QUOTE: "4. "False alternatives" is the term " it's a logical fallacy. English 101."
ANSWER: No. You employ semantic parsing to evade the more simple answering of the point " perhaps I misspoke and employed a slightly incorrect term, but you seize on that to evade the forthright reply.
QUOTE: "i know that. Why do you suppose I am criticizing the elites " BECAUSE THEY SUBVERT THOSE RIGHTS. Again, you confuse a critique of the state with a critique of culture and then react by slamming foreign cultures. Keep to the point."
ANSWER: Didactic reprimand won't get you anywhere with this poster. No one suggested they were unable to discern the difference between criticizing elites and blanket criticisms of the culture. You have referenced "straw man" arguments in my regard? This is one. The point made, was that your original dismissal of the net positive sum of Western "civilization" was delivered with such a blanket increduliity as to imply the idea was preposterous. It was that unguarded form of expression which elicited these replies.
The comment about "most indians I've met have a preoccupation with colonialism, and this is entirely natural and fitting" was based on my having traveled to India, having traveled the world, having plenty of Indian friends both here and some in Europe, and generally feeling entirely comfortable with that assertion. It is like observing that an European has a good familiarity with Napoleon's wars of conquest. Self evident. That you conflate it with some sort of parochial viewpoint is a mistake.
The point stands " Western nations (European) invented or largely evolved the form of parliamentary democracy which nine tenths of the world have adopted. All of them have warts and blemishes upon their countenance " but a well grounded critique of the excesses of Western civilization will not have emotional knots and entanglements digesting this core piece of data. This system has become the "armature" or benchmark against which all countries in the world set their at least nominal appearances.
Even the most repressive regimes in the former Central Soviet Republics employ the fiction of a parliamentary democracy " however vestigial. There is a REASON why this has become the (real or fictitious) BENCHMARK or NOMINAL FORMAT for governments all over the world, which your blanket comment skirted past a little too easily.
I think that gets a little to sophisticated. That's why I like viewpoints which turn back and re-discover these "anchors" to all insights on the predations of Western democracies. Yes, they've been predators. And yes, most predominant nations in history have been predators of one kind or another. To harp on the predations of on group while professing amnesia to the ubiquitousness of that same syndrome through history sometimes makes me feel the urge to object.
Otherwise really appreciate your contributions here Ms. Rajiva.
My 0.2 cents.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"In my case, you assume "probably hasn't lived outside his own culture and kind " I have". I grew up abroad, in Italy, although I am an American. My parents and grandparents were all journalists, and spent their entire lives traveling every quarter of the world. I lived four years in West Africa as a boy, have lived in the UK for five years, spent a year as an exchange student in Turkey, traveled to two dozen different countries and have spent dozens of holidays in many of them " much of that time as a boy growing up. My father was infatuated and engrossed with the African continent and spent probably more time traveling it's breadth as a foreign correspondent than he did at home. I speak four languages, and my political views are very eclectic, ranging all over the map."
Ha! Given your background, you provide a ready example for the idea that travel can provide experiences without expanding one's frame-of-reference or self-knowledge.
Posted by Ingo Bischoff on 08/20/10 02:55 PM
Islam and the spread of the "Faith" is built on dominance over the individual believer. Chinese economic might is based on central control from Beijing and the political control over individual thinking. Western civilization, built on the sovereignty of the individual, should have nothing to fear from a clash with these two civilizations. Except, with the institution of central banking, Western civilization started to mimic the control over the individual, while keeping alive the idea of individual choice.
We are finding out that it cannot be done. If Western civilization is to win the clash between Islam and China, it better get back to the economic ideas of Adam Smith and the Austrian economists.
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/20/10 10:43 AM
No, not at all. I wasn't implying that Lukester was a racist. Awareness of (or reaction to) race/color is NOT racism.
A lot of people think his way. Not all are honest enough to express it. I admire that he does. Saying things that aren't PC isn't racism. People are entitled to think what they want.
Racism is a confirmed belief in the inferiority of a people, with an intention to legally maintain that inferiority through specific actions. Simple belief in superiority (chauvinism) isn't a problem. It's the alliance with the state (law) that's the issue. What people think isn't the issue.
Prejudice, soft bigotry, non-PC language, cultural insults and hurts are all part of the give-and-take of political debate... and the proper response is counter-speech.
I said what I said... not to make anyone uncomfortable by dragging in race or color, but to disabuse them of the notion that their arguments are as rationally-based as they think they are..
Lukester probably hasn't lived outside his own culture and kind (?). I have. That's a big difference. I have no rancor about any of it..I've close friends of all races who routinely express the most critical sentiments about Indians (they're dirty, cheap, dishonest) " and who am I to say those feelings aren't justified by their personal experience?
Next to them Lukester's comments are fulsome flattery. But my friends still sit at my table and get a phone-call when they fall ill.
Some UP-ites (in North India) probably have far more negative racial feelings toward Tamils (South India) than most of my American neighbors have toward me. Race is a complex issue, which is why the state should get out of it..
No hard feelings at all. And I hope none toward me, for my plain-speaking.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Not at all.
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/20/10 08:52 AM
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/20/10 08:03 AM
Point by point rebuttal. (Honestly, I don't think you read the people you crique):
1. Never met a cultivated Indian who was not highly preoccupied with the history of Western colonialism.
1. I wonder how many of them you meet at all? And if in the US or the west, it would be quite natural if they were, since their travels would provoke the question, and since the topic is widely debated, not just as a matter of history but as a justification of current American empire
2."It's natural and justified. However, I think you artfully elided the point made by Robert Marchenoir."
" Your derisive snort as to the values of Western Civilisation"
2. I didn't "snort derisively at the values of W. Civ." Please cite where? That is pure bunkum. I quote Western authorities respectfully every time I voice a criticism of the West, and make some kind of genuflection to the culture. That is far more than most writers do to their subjects. Besides, as I've repeatedly asserted, and you fail to mention, my criticism is of statism and state policy, not of European culture. My entire critique of the US government and empire appeals to central elements in European culture (Locke, natural rights, the constitution). So the point is bogus.
3. "sounds just a little light on gravity as it skims over his point that your objection is made freely within the bosom of that same Western civilization, whereas if you made it in some of the other major civilization groups you might forfeit your head for the privilege. "
I already addressed that point. Please. I have made similar criticisms of the Indian government in India. The only place I would "lose my head" might be in a Muslim country or China.
However, in both those countries, there is no pretension about the matter. In the west, there is a great deal, and while you might not lose your head (it's debatable how often that happens even in those countries) you certainly do lose your career, and can be fingered, spied on, and harassed, all of which I've experienced.
4. Your response was that this was a "false analogy" but it was'nt really. A very mundane but cogent analogy indeed, and for you to retort "we don't need them" was quite a glib response to the basis of the question.
4. "False alternatives" is the term " it's a logical fallacy. English 101.
5. I have a very high regard for many of your comments so please take the objection constructively.
5. Thank you, I would, if it were cogent.
Click to view linkbert Marchenoir made a very simple, blunt and "un-varnished" point which I for one would answer more forthrightly.
6. I did. You either don't understand (5) or don't want to accept that his point was rebutted.
7. He's got a real point there, which you did not concede.
It's not a valid logical point. See above.
8. It's very true " you would not "have the choice" were you parked in one of those parts of the world. The salient variable is that you are parked in a part of the world where you can speak freely.
8. I know that. Why do you suppose I am criticizing the elites " BECAUSE THEY SUBVERT THOSE RIGHTS. Again, you confuse a critique of the state with a critique of culture and then react by slamming foreign cultures. Keep to the point.
What I see is that you do not like the idea of a non-white person, even one who is a citizen, saying anything critical about US institutions, even when they're completely corrupt, and even when it's my bounden duty as a citizen. Sorry to put it bluntly, but I mean it without rancor. I've found that many people (Indians too) confuse criticism of their government with an attack on their culture. You don't voice any such criticism to any of the white/European critics. Thus your response strikes me as simply "hurt feelings". Very well. There, there..
9. Think Salman Rushdie, and keep a tight hold on your core conscience on this question " fundamental to liberty, as well as all the more arcane economic subversion questions. Arguably the free speech without losing one's head point trumps all the other considerations combined. Some points it behoves us not to be too sophisticated about.
9. I've no idea what you are talking about here. It's my DUTY TO MY CONSCIENCE that makes me state what is plainly so. When enough native Americans are doing the same, I will cease to do it. American news is too important to be left only to Americans (natives, that is " as it happens, I am a citizen and have been one for years).
Salman Rushie is irrelevant. He wrote an insulting book about a religion that believes in absolutes, not a critique of the government. And he couched his criticisms quite provocatively. I'd like you to point to one provocative statement of that sort.
Any critique I've made has appealed to Western political concepts..hardly an anti-Western position.
As I said, your feelings are hurt.
You feel unloved. You see any criticism of central bankers, Rothschilds, Murdoch, or preemptive war, as an attack on crabcakes, Jimmy Rogers, Mad Magazine, James Fenimore Cooper, Daffy Duck, Theodore Roethke, the Smithsonian, and mom and apple pie.
Unfortunately, I don't know how to make that feeling go away.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"What I see is that you do not like the idea of a non-white person, even one who is a citizen, saying anything critical about US institutions, even when they're completely corrupt, and even when it's my bounden duty as a citizen."
Sounds like you think racism was intentional.
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/20/10 07:37 AM
I've never been "highly preoccupied" with Western colonialism.
I was for the first twenty years of my life highly preoccupied with poetry and the piano; after that, for twenty years, with political theory, managing property, old houses, housekeeping, astrology, yoga, trading, and traveling.
The first book I wrote was in the voice of an American (white) lawyer of about 45 years, and was a murder mystery set in the eastern shore.
But, obviously, if your are talking about history, without knowing it, I will bring up what is a very crucial part of history.
Much more accurate: I have yet to meet an American who isn't highly preoccupied the war on terror.
Posted by Weeble on 08/20/10 06:40 AM
While pondering Naill and Aayan's little trist in the heavens, I could not help but to think back to the Epic Of Gilgamesh.
This world is still feudal, but relies on Rhodes Scholar types and wannabe Elite that can be easily fed into the meat machine of the Elite to form little patties that can be fed to the masses. Sometimes, they throw themselves in! Soylent Green is people! But I digress.
The Epic Of Gilgamesh purports that the world was inhabited only by Gods and goddesses, but they had to work very hard and got sick of it, so they went to the underwater god, Enki. (This is a false premise, because if Enki was a God, why would the Gods listen and get advice from him?) Enki suggested creating a class of workers by breathing life into handfuls of clay. Read on in this link:
Click to view link
It is quite amusing to see the Myth of Gilgamesh as a precursor to the emerging mindset of the Elite and their hangers-on.
Posted by Clayton on 08/20/10 02:44 AM
I have been gone all day and did not have the opportunity to reply to what it is that I meant in my earlier post.
As an aside, I had a chance to listen to Steve Forbes in the City and afterwards talked to him briefly during a book signing. I was able at that time to put in a plug for the Daily Bell (he had yet to be informed of your presence). Hopefully, he will pay the Bell a visit and perhaps be willing (under a pseudonym) to engage in some of the great debates, which occur here almost daily.
I promised him that I would write a commentary on his speech, which surprised me with its directness concerning the role of the State in the economy. His parting comments concerning his admiration of von Mises was much more than I had expected. It made me think that perhaps, in time, he would have a place in the New Thinking.
Regarding Jung's assertions concerning the incompatibility of the Eastern and Western minds, I for one must state that a synthesis is possible. But it is an individual thing. Each such synthesis will be its own and differ from all the others. So a bit of Methodological Individualism is required. Lila has produced her own blend of this brew, as I have produced one of my own.
No, I do not wish for a War against Islam. But if I did, what would I have to replace it? Would it be Democratic Capitalism or Welfare Statism or should they become Christian Zionists or Roman Catholics, or perhaps Randian Objectivists? The whole issue requires more than a good drink, but maybe the entire bottle. But that maybe just what is happening in DC these days, the whole bottle that is. Foreign Policy as the new Three Martini Lunch. Talk about Mad Men. When paradigms collapse they often betray characterisations of themselves in their passing. The Ancient Regime ended in the reign of Ridicule. The Third Republic in the Absurd.
One cannot help but love Lila's fire! And Francis is absolutely correct that the usual suspects, who have taken over the control of the West, care not at all for its First Principles nor the happiness or good reputation of its people. We are treated by them as just more grist for the mill. I agree with the Bell concerning the great achievements of those accomplishments, which we have discovered from our investigation of antiquity. So much can be understood from the crisis that is depicted in the Vedas. The dialogue of Arjuna and Krishna maybe the first record of Self Talk, the origins of Cognitive Therapy. One of the directors of the Jungian Institute in SF is one of my neighbors, and his house is filled with Buddhist symbolism. At that level, it is all One. However, how many people are living their lives at that level?
At the core is the God Force, the primal energy that animates the Creation. As it passes through its various prisms of dispersement, it colors the Universe with its immense and unfathomable mysteries. Civilization is one of them. So here we are looking for that most productive dialogue to help us through our own uncertain nights and the lives we never asked for. I think that in the end what the individual human wishes for, when all is said and done and death has come for him, is the love he might have felt from his mother, when he first burst forth into the terror of the World and sought to banish its unspeakable anxieties. Buddha called it Compassion. Christ called it Forgiveness. It is our misfortune that Judaism and Islam have come up so short in this regard.
I used to go Sufi dancing in the early 1970s. I met many of their teachers. But the language of their teachings did not hold the same place for me as the others. It was superficial to the essential human condition. It did not hold the penetrating power of the Hindu teachers I studied with or the Buddhist or even the Christian mystics, which I came into contact with during my Grail Quest.
We who know have a huge undertaking in lifting the veil of oppression that the people of the Crescent and the Star of David suffer under. But I do not think it is one of War. Neither do I think it is one of trading one form of ignorance for another. Our task is similar to the one of the early liberals, who fought for and ended the Slave trade. It is one of Enlightenment, which can only be taught by living it.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by Bionic Mosquito on 08/20/10 02:35 AM
"...whereas if you made it in some of the other major civilization groups you might forfeit your head for the privilege."
Yes, the west is best because you won't easily lose your head for making a couple of posts at the Daily Bell. Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry can rest easy, the Republic is safe.
It strikes me that those who provide examples of how the west is best make a list of accomplishments from individuals, while using these to excuse the atrocities committed by the governments. Please seperate the two and then focus on the actions of the government and the power structure (as Lila and DB have done) and there will be little good to say about western government.
Of course, this also says little about non-western government, however making a relative choice between governments around the world is like asking me in which manner I would choose to have my life taken today. One might be relatively less painful, but it won't make much difference to me tomorrow. As Lila said above, a pox on them all.
As to the rest of this dialogue, Lila and DB have said it quite well.
Posted by Robert Eastman on 08/19/10 11:47 PM
@Francis Marion ... Crown of Moral Superiority?
When does killing 3000 of our own citizens... to cover-up trillions of dollars of DOD theft/illegal transfers of military resources, and... to advance "a war-agenda"... plus massive insurance fraud... qualify as "Moral Superiority?"
I fit the "typical News Corp." demographics (ie: born-again evangelical Bible believing Christian, right-wing conservative) and I watch Fox News often... BUT... it drives me crazy to see O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck and others shout-down "9-11 Truthers," labeling them all as "Lefty Liberal NUT-JOBS.
As Christians we are commanded to "KNOW THE TRUTH" even if it brings "an indictment against" our favorite "Bible-thumping" political leaders. As a "Bush-lover" it was hard to believe that he/his administration was in on the conspiracy, BUT... maybe "he was only involved in the cover-up." (Why doesn't this idea make me feel any better?)
For those who "still don't get it"... study the collapse of WTC Building #7. This 47 story "steel-columned/brick building collapsed in less than 10 seconds even though it wasn't hit by any airplanes (or missles), and only had "fires started by flying debris." The large building, which would require many man hours, had to be "wired" with demolition explosives (thermite/mate) before "the planes" hit the towers. It collapsed shortly after the command to "pull-it" (demo-speak) was given, in the late afternoon of September 11, 2001.
Being "wired" before "the attack" proves that the #7 collapse/ demolition was an "inside-job." The tenants of Building 7 included FBI, IRS, SEC, and the NYC Mayor's Command Center. How could this building be wired before-hand if it wasn't "an inside job?" Obviously, there had-to-be U.S. Federal Government approved "round-the-clock security officers" on duty to protect those vital offices?
Amazingly... only Larry Silverstein's leased buildings collapsed into piles of rubble in 10 seconds or less, while all the other damaged buildings surrounding them ("the towers" and #7), burned down to their steel/concrete skeletons, but kept standing.
If anyone still doubts that 9-11 was an inside job... PLEASE carefully/prayerfully study the facts, which are all over the internet, and apply your God-given good-sense and logic to your study! Watch the videos showing the "initial V-ing" of the roof immediately before the collapse, the ultimate proof of professional demolitian.
Any welder, steel-worker, construction worker, salvage worker, fireman, engineer, architect, metal fabricator, race-car builder, etc. can verify that it is impossible to "melt steel" with kerosene/jet-fuel without "a mix of a continuous and intensely concentrated oxygen feed" (ie: from compressed oxygen tanks) at "all points" of melt... very basic science. It could only "quickly collapse" from the "triggering of professionally placed demolition explosives!")
I just wish that the Murdoch owned "news-outlets" would quit treating us as if we are all idiots! We can only be FREE when we embrace "The Spirit of TRUTH!
To everyone who understood these facts years ago and are sick/ tired of the re-hash of 9-11, I apologize. My rant is toward Fox/News-Corp. I thought that if I wrote out some basic facts and presented them to an intelligent audience, I might stop screaming at the television. My wife will be so relieved!
Posted by Lukester on 08/19/10 11:05 PM
@ Lila Rajiva "
Never met a cultivated Indian who was not highly preoccupied with the history of Western colonialism. It's natural and justified. However, I think you artfully elided the point made by Robert Marchenoir. Your derisive snort as to the values of Western Civilisation sounds just a little light on gravity as it skims over his point that your objection is made freely within the bosom of that same Western civilization, whereas if you made it in some of the other major civilization groups you might forfeit your head for the privilege. Your response was that this was a "false analogy" but it was'nt really. A very mundane but cogent analogy indeed, and for you to retort "we don't need them" was quite a glib response to the basis of the question.
I have a very high regard for many of your comments so please take the objection constructively. Robert Marchenoir made a very simple, blunt and "un-varnished" point which I for one would answer more forthrightly. He's got a real point there, which you did not concede. It's very true " you would not "have the choice" were you parked in one of those parts of the world. The salient variable is that you are parked in a part of the world where you can speak freely. Think Salman Rushdie, and keep a tight hold on your core conscience on this question " fundamental to liberty, as well as all the more arcane economic subversion questions. Arguably the free speech without losing one's head point trumps all the other considerations combined. Some points it behoves us not to be too sophisticated about.
Posted by AmanfromMars on 08/19/10 11:00 PM
"We have analyzed these new memes to the best of our ability. But we have made no comment on whether they shall be effective or not." ... Reply from the Daily Bell to Erik who posted on 8/19/2010 12:13:37 PM
Others with more knowledge in the fields of meme propagation and perceptions management can advise that they are extremely effective, DB.
And as the first two posts here show ... Click to view link ... is it a Great Game being played at Formative Fab Binary and Quantum Communications Levels, which is as much as needs to be said here, for to say any more presently will only confuse with its Specialist Subject Matter Expert jargon/language, which many would wrongly imagine and conclude to be nonsense, rather than a more detailed descriptor of something newly revealed and shared to shape the Future in NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT Betas.
Posted by John Edwards on 08/19/10 09:52 PM
No way are you a "clog" Weeble. Keep it coming, along with Lila, and many others. The more the merrier!