Archive for September, 2006

No excuses for terror

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

At Harry’s place, a must-watch: No excuses for terror
(h/t LGF)

Update: Via Stephen Pollard, Oliver Kamm‘s article.

Saturday posting: Sexy??

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

When thinking of sexy men, one thinks of
Alonzo Mourning,
or Bryn Terfel,
or Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer,
or Hugh Jackman,
or Chow Yun Fat in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,
or Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice,
or Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood,
or Edward Norton in The Illusionist,
or Clive Owen in . . . anything.

Not Oprah! (via Larwyn):

Among her top 16 of allegedly “sexiest” men alive are far-left moonbat-in-chief blogger Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. Eeeuuuuwwww. What is sexy about him? Conspiracy theorists are sexy? Who knew? He’s number 7.

Yikes!

Update From last year, Oprah Stuns Audience With Free Man Giveaway.
Update, Sunday October 1 I nearly forgot the Swiss!

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The article that may cost a man his life, and that of his family

Friday, September 29th, 2006

As I posted yesterday, Robert Redeker, a French 52-yr old philosophy professor, wrote an op-ed article in Le Figaro stating that Islam is violent, and denounced the violence in the Koran.

After receiving several death threats in the mail, Prof. Redeker and his family have had to go into hiding. The police are taking the threats very seriously and are keeping watch of his now vacant home.

I couldn’t find the article in the Le Figaro internet version, but it is available at Judeoscope.

UPDATE, Saturday September 30 I had quickly translated the first paragraph from the Judeoscope post and have just received an email from them:
Hello,

Along with Robert Redeker’s text you translated Judeoscope’s commentary. For the record, our commentary was poorly translated to the point that it contradicts the original’s meaning and intent. Please correct your translation or delete it.

Thank you,

David Ouellette

Judeoscope

I immediately replied to Mr. Ouellette,

Please send me your translation and I’ll gladly post it right away, with an apology.
I most certainly apologize.

I’m now waiting for his reply.

Update 2, September 30, 2006 Here is Judeoscope’s correction:

Thanks for replying.

What needs to be changed is the second sentence, which should not be attached to the first. This means Judeoscope doesn’t share Mr. Redeker’s viewpoint. If indeed Islamism cannot be separated from Islam, denigrating Islam in its integrity is just as unacceptable – if only out of respect for our many Muslim friends striving to reconcile Islam with modernity.

My most sincere apologies for the error. Please note I welcome any corrections to any of my translations.

This is my translation of the Redeker article. PLEASE CREDIT FAUSTA’S BLOG WHEN YOU USE THIS IN YOUR POST.

Face aux intimidations islamistes, que doit faire le monde libre?
In the face of Islamist intimidations, what is the free world to do?

Robert Redeker
Le Figaro
Robert Redeker (Professor of philosophy at the school Pierre-Paul-Riquet in Saint-Orens in Gammeville. Author of the upcoming Dépression et philosophie (éditions Pleins Feux).

The reactions generated by Pope Benedict XVI’s analysis on Islam and violence aim to continue Islam’s attempt to suppress what is most valuable in the West and which Muslim countries don’t have: freedoms of thought and expression. Islam tries to impose its rules on Europe : restricting public swimming pools at certain hours for women only, prohibiting to caricature this religion, requiring the compliance of strict dietary rules for Muslim children in school lunchrooms, fighting for wearing the veil at school, and issuing charges of islamophobia against those who are not like-minded.

How to explain the prohibition of the string bikini at the Paris-Beaches [translator’s note: for a few weeks in the summer the banks of the Seine are converted into a public “beach” in Paris, complete with sand] this summer? It was a strange argument: because of the risk of “disorders against law and order”. Did that mean that bands of frustrated young people were likely to become violent from the display of beauty? Or did one fear islamist demonstrations, via virtue brigades, within the Paris-Beaches?

However, allowing the wearing of the veil on the streets is, because of the support to the oppression of women that the veil signifies, more likely “to disturb the law and order” than the string bikini. One is not out of line in thinking that this gesture represents an Islamization of the French spirit, a submission more or less conscious to the tenets of Islam. Or, at the very least, that it results from an insidious Moslem pressure on the spirit. Islamization of the spirit: even those which protested against the inauguration of a Jean-Paul-II Square in Paris do not oppose building mosques. Islam tries to force Europe to yield to its vision of man.

As formerly with Communism, the West is under ideological monitoring. Islam arises, like the image of late Communism, as an alternative to the Western world. Following the example of the Communism of old, Islam, by aiming to conquer the spirit, strikes a sensitive cord. It boasts a legitimacy which disturbs the Western conscience, always sensitive to others: to be the voice of the poor of planet. Yesterday the voice of the poor claimed to come from Moscow, today it would come from Mecca! Today again, the intellectuals incarnate this eye of the Koran, as they incarnated the eye of Moscow yesterday. They excommunicate for islamophobia, as they did yesterday for anticommunism.

In opening to others, specific to the West, a secularization of Christianity appears, which can be summarized as: the other must have a right to be. The Westener, heir to Christianity, is the one who loves to discover. By doing so it takes the risk of appearing weak. Like Communism, Islam regards as soft the generosity, broadmindedness, and tolerance; and women’s freedom, liberty of mores, and democratic values are considered marks of decline.

These are weaknesses that it wants to exploit with the help of “useful idiots” with good consciences filled with finer feelings, in order to impose the Koranic order on the Western world itself.

The Koran is a book imbued with violence. Maxime Rodinson states, in the Encyclopédia Universalis, some truths regarded as taboo in France. On the one hand, “Muhammed revealed in Medina unsuspected qualities as political leader and military chief (…) He resorted to the private war, current institution in Arabia (…) Muhammed sent quick small groups of his partisans to attack the caravans, thus punishing his unbeliever compatriots and at the same time acquiring spoils from the rich.”

In addition, “Muhammed successfully eliminated from Medina, through massacre, the last Jewish tribe which remained there, the Qurayza, which he accused of suspect behavior”. Lastly, “after the death of Khadidja, he married a widow, Sawda, and also young Aisha, who was hardly ten years old. His erotic inclinations, contained for long time, were to make him contract ten simultaneous marriages”.

Violence instigator, ruthless war chief, plunderer, massacrer of Jews, polygamist: such is the image of Muhammed in the Koran.

True, the Catholic Church is not free from reproach. Its history is strewn with black pages, of which it has repented. The Inquisition, witch hunting, the execution of the philosophers Bruno and Vanini, the poor-minded epicureans who in the middle of the eighteenth century were tired for impiety, do not plead in its favor. But what differentiates Christianity from Islam appears: it is always possible to turn to evangelic values, the soft person of Jesus against the drifts of the Church.

None the faults of the Church are rooted in the Gospel. Jesus is non-violent. The return to Jesus is a recourse against the excesses of the institution connected with the church. The recourse to Muhammed, on the contrary, reinforces hatred and violence. Jesus is a Master of love, Muhammed a Master of hatred.

The stoning of Satan, annually in Mecca, is not a mere superstitious phenomenon. It doesn’t only show a hysterical crowd flirting with cruelty. Its rage is anthropological. Here is indeed a rite, to which each Moslem is invited to subject, registering violence like a duty crowned in the heart of belief.

This stoning, where annually some of the faithful – at times hundreds – die from being trampled on, is a ritual which breeds ancient violence.

Instead of eliminating this ancient violence, by imitating Judaism and Christianity, by neutralizing it (the Judaism starts with the rejection of human sacrifice, i.e. by which it enters into civilization, Christianity transforms the sacrifice into Eucharist), Islam builds a nest for it, where it will grow from the heat. While the Judaism and Christianity are religions whose rites delegitimize violence, Islam is a religion which whose very own sacred texts, as banal as some of its rites may be, exalts violence and hatred.

Hatred and violence live the book in which any Moslem is educated, the Koran. As in the times of the Cold War, violence and intimidation are the means used by an ideology with hegemonic vocation, Islam, to throw its lead cover on the world. Benedict XVI suffers from this cruel experiment. In these our times it is necessary to call the West “the free world” compared to the Moslem world, and in these times the enemies of this “free world”, dedicated civil servants of the Koran, swarm in its centre.

Please vote for this article at Real Clear Politics.

(NOTE I corrected several typing errors and made one sentence more clear.)

Update Via LGF, Brussels Journal reports that

Pierre Rousselin, the editor in chief of Le Figaro, apologized on Al-jazeera for the publication of the article. A number of Islamic countries, including Egypt, banned Le Figaro following the publication of Redeker’s piece. Mr Rousselin said the publication of the op-ed was a mistake. He said the article did not express the paper’s opinion. The article is no longer available on the Figaro website.

Mr Redeker has written a letter to his friend, the philosopher André Glucksmann, describing his ordeal [French text here]:

“I am now in a catastrophic personal situation. Several death threats have been sent to me, and I have been sentenced to death by organizations of the al-Qaeda movement. […] On the websites condemning me to death there is a map showing how to get to my house to kill me, they have my photo, the places where I work, the telephone numbers, and the death fatwa. […] There is no safe place for me, I have to beg, two evenings here, two evenings there. […] I am under the constant protection of the police. I must cancel all scheduled conferences. And the authorities urge me to keep moving. […] All costs are at my own expense, including those of rents a month or two ahead, the costs of moving twice, legal expenses, etc.

It’s quite sad. I exercised my constitutional rights, and I am punished for it, even in the territory of the Republic. This affair is also an attack against national sovereignty – foreign rules, decided by criminally minded fanatics, punish me for having exercised a constitutional right, and I am subjected, even in France, to great injury.”

Update 3 Le Figaro now has redacted a letter defending freedom of expression (h/t Hot Air), but the original Redeker article is no longer available at their site.

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Luxury pet peeves

Friday, September 29th, 2006

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred writes on More On Pets And Pet Owners, Ids And Assault Therapy:

There are some pet owners that have sanity in the rear view mirror.
. . .
Pets do not send Christmas or Birthday cards, of the regular or email variety. Pets do not know it’s your birthday, and further, they don’t care. If they did really know, they would surprise you by not crapping in the house for a day, not chew on anything of value or they would let you sleep longer, not bark or jump on the furniture – just for that one day.

Behold, the Pawtisserie:

Yes, folks, there is a gourmet dog biscuit and designer dog bed store in Palmer Square. Designer dog beds.

I have invited The Sanity Squad for lunch and field trip. I hope they take me up on it.

This town can sure use four shrinks.

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Don’t say Islam is violent, part 1,359

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

Fresh from this evening’s France2 newscast (available until 2PM tomorrow; see Tribune sur l’islam: menaces contre un professeur de philosophie), Robert Redeker, a 52-yr old philosophy professor wrote an op-ed article in Le Figaro stating that Islam is violent, and denounced the violence in the Koran.

After receiving several death threats in the mail, Prof. Redeker and his family have had to go into hiding. The police are taking the threats very seriously. Expatica has more details.

In reaction, Tunisia bans sale of French daily Le Figaro over Koran comment

The Tunisian government on Wednesday banned the sale of French newspaper Le Figaro in reaction to a column in the paper alleging that the Muslim holy book the Koran instigates violence, an Tunisian official reported. The author of the Tuesday commentary further opined that Muslim reaction to a recent speech by Pope Benedict XVI indicated that Muslims wanted to curtail freedom of speech in the West.

Some things are beyond irony.

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Pajamas snapshots

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

or, what I did last Tuesday:

Michael Totten, Judith Weiss and I got together early before the event. Here are Michael and Judith as we headed to the Washington Monument for some sightseeing:

We went back to the JW Marriott and met Neo-Neocon and Baron Bodissey, after which it was time for coctails at the National Press Club next door.
Josue Sierra, Val Prieto, and Judith:

Pamela, Joshua Silverberg, and Nidra Poller:

Adam Bellow being his handsome and charming self:

Roger L. Simon introduces the panel:

Gerard Vanderleun and Richard Miniter:

Glenn Reynolds, panel moderator:

Val, TigerHawk (who I first met that evening even when he lives less than a mile away from me), and Roger

Then it was time for dinner:

I’m a big fan of Claudia Rosett and it was an honor to sit across from her:

A great evening, great company, and great fun!

As Bill puts it,

Nice folks. Surprisingly not abnormal for a group of bloggers.

Don’t miss the round-up at Pajamas Media

Update, Friday, September 29 Gates of Vienna has more pictures.

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Now the question is, how to get him back home

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

A new variety of parental nightmare:
14-year-old student flees to Cuba

Alfredo Diaz, a 10th-grader at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High, cleared an American Airlines security check and boarded a Miami-to-Nassau flight on Thursday, even though the carrier requires escorts for anyone under 15.

In case you think the kid looked old for his age – like my own son who’s taller than I – you’re wrong. Instead of checking dates of birth in the passports when clearly he is a minor, airport security must have been checking the shampoo bottles:

“I can’t believe my son was able to go through all that security and no one stopped him or asked him about being so young and traveling alone,” said the father, who is also named Alfredo Diaz. “My son is just under five feet tall and he’s a young-looking 14.”

Here’s the problem:

Diaz, who owns a construction business and lives with his girlfriend and her two sons, ages 12 and 13, wants his son back, but he has hit a legal wall.

Miami-Dade police have told him they can do nothing for now because he has no written proof of custody.
. . .
A spokesman for the Interests Section said it can help minor U.S. citizens. There might be little it can do since Alfredo is Cuban-born, he willingly traveled to the island with his Cuban passport and he is with his birth mother.

We’ll see just how well Fidel’s doing. IF Fidel’s not in a freezer somewhere and in full mental faculties, the upcoming PR and propaganda campaign will be enormous.

Update A friend wrote to say, “The only chance that kid has of getting out of Cuba is to become a medic and hope they’ll send him to Venezuela!”

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Larwin’s links,. treats for troops, and today’s articles from Maria

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Today I inagurate a new feature: Larwyn’s links
Vicente Fox Starts a Crime Rate War with the US… Loses
The President and the Presidency
Blaming the Disease on the Cure
Did We Create Or Expose More Islamo-Fascism? Or, Did We Expose More CIA Abuse?
Australia, the Beacon of Sanity

Today’s articles from Maria
Treats for troops:

The Foster-A-Soldier Program automatically matches you with a registered soldier by branch of service, home state, gender, or birthday – or you can choose to sponsor a group of soldiers. Then all you have to do is go shopping in the Treats for Troops Gift Shops, and your care package will be on its way.

In China, Children of the Rich Learn Class, Minus the Struggle

It’s always about Bill
While Bill Kristol finds three reasons Why Clinton “Lost His Temper”: The former president knew what he was doing, others see narcisism: A stained dress, a TV mini-series and a glimpse of narcissistic rage Clinton, Shame and Narcissism: Destroying the Eyes of the World
I watched Bill shake his finger at, and poke Chris Wallace‘s thigh, and heard Bill repeat his protestations of “I tried”. As my friend used to say, “trying is not doing”. Listen to Yoda, Bill.

Secrets of South Park, via Irwin.

‘Green flag of Allah will fly over Vatican’
Egyptian Cleric Safwat Higazi Explains His Fatwa Sanctioning the Killing of Israelis Visiting Egypt

Yet another cosmic question: Are crunches the wrong move?

In case you didn’t guess, Bill Gates & Warren Buffet are still seriously rich. While The Husband’s old car fetched a really paltry sum when he finally exchanged it for a new car, someone paid $73,200 for Warren’s 2001 Town Car on ebay. Maybe The Husband should have auctioned the old jalopy on line.

At the blogs
Again, appeasement never works.

My four favorite shrinks are now blogging together at The Sanity Squad

Today I’m in Washington DC for the Pajamas Media panel. Will post about it after I return.

Chavez’s inferno

Monday, September 25th, 2006

In today’s WSJ (subscription only) Alvaro Vargas Llosa again beats Hugo with a big stick.

I say again because Alvaro has been known to beat up the likes of Hugo time and time again.

In today’s article, Chavez’s Inferno (also available here), Alvaro compares:

  • “Dante’s first circle is for those who lack faith. In Chavez’s inferno, the first circle is made up of those who lack food.
  • “Dante’s second circle is for those unable to contol lust. Chavez’s second circle is for those unable to control homicidal instincs.
  • “Dante’s third circle is for gluttons who leave us with no food. Chavez’s third is reserved for corrupt authorities who leave Venezuelans with no wealth.
  • “Dante’s fourth circle is for misers. In Chavez’s Inferno, the fourth circle is made up of bureaucrats who claim to provide social services but use funds to pay people to attend rallies or bust up opposition gatherings.
  • “Dante’s fifth circle is for those who succumb to wrath. Chavez’s fifth is for political persecution.
  • “Dante’s sixth circle is for heretics. Chavez’s sixth circle is for heretics. Chavez’s sixth circle is for heretic journalists who try to tell the truth.
  • “Dante’s seventh circle is for the violent. Chavez’s seventh circle is another name for imperialism.
    . . . Chavez buys influence through oil. It is a form of blackmail. At OPEC , Chavez fights for increasing prices, making life hard for poor countries that import oil, and then offers those very nations oil subsidies they have no choice but to accept.
  • “Dante’s eight circle is for those who commit fraud. Chavez’s eigth circle is fraudulent anti-Americanism.
  • “Dante’s final circle is for traitors. Chavez’s ninth is for traitors, too – and the place is getting crowded. Army officers betray Chavez every day.
  • “At the end of Dante’s inferno is the center of the earth, where Satan is held captive in the frozen lake of Cocytus. In Venezuela’s Inferno, Satan is frozen in oil-rich Lake Maracaibo, a metaphor for astronomical wealth squandered by tyrannical populism. The journey through hell is now complete”.

The blackmail is sometimes subtle, but often wide open: After Chile asked Venezuela to withdraw its ambassador, the headline at the official Venezuelan news agency propaganda organ reads Chile owes Venezuela one for security council seat. I haven’t checked the handbook, but I’m willing to bet that “Owes Venezuela one” is not in the phrasebook of UN-approved diplomatese.

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred (who’s also been known to beat on Chavez with a big stick) noticed that

More than one pundit has made clear that in regimes led by tyrants and tin pot dictators, citizens have overwhelming feelings of humiliation and failure. Through no fault of their own, economies fail, education levels are sub par and the awareness that they cannot even control their own destinies. In desperation, they look for someone- anyone- to blame. Of course, they cannot blame their leaders- to do so is to risk loss of liberty and property, so they willingly look to blame others, anyone, anywhere. As is often the case, they look to their ‘rich and free’ cousins- America and the free world. As in all families, the meanest and most vicious ‘conspiracies’ are all in the family.

Conspiracies, indeed. No sooner Hugo got back to his Sunday TV marathon broadcast that he was saying that president George Bush may be seeking to kill him for calling him “the devil” at the United Nations. SC&A continues

In addition, blaming the ‘enemies of the state’ serves yet another purpose. In what is a kind of perverse ‘win-win’ situation, frustrated and oppressed people get to vent at America and the free nations and venting at the ‘right’ target kind of also allows people to be perceived in a favorable light by the regime security services, bureaucrats and leaders, as long as they vent at the ‘right’ target.

And the venting continues. After causing a scene at the airport, the Venezuelan foreign minister, named Maduro (which means mature, which he isn’t) was held for ninety minutes. Of course the Beeb played right along and shows an equally immature headline Venezuela rejects US apologies

To which I ask, so what if they don’t accept the apology? Is Hugo about to cut off oil deliveries to the USA? The fact is, he cannot afford to.

As The Devil’s Excrement‘s cartoon points out,
Hugo needs American dollars in order to stay in power.

Today we read that Oil prices fell to a six-month low under $60 a barrel.

This worshipful article in Der Speigel bought the entire charismatic-leader-helping-the-poor-offering-free-health-care-education-adult-literacy-and-job-training-initiatives-that-help-millions-of-Venezuelanstm propaganda, but managed to notice that,

In the lates 1960s Venezuela was still the world’s biggest oil exporter and was one of the founding members of OPEC. President Carlos Andres Perez nationalized the oil industry in 1976, and for a moment it looked as though the standard of living of all Venezuelans was about to improved drastically. . . .The rude oil awakening came in the mid-1980s, when the oil price plunged by two-thirds and Venezuela slid into state bankruptcy. The political parties were discredited and price hikes for basic food drove Venezuelans into the streets, where bloody battles threatened to tear the nation apart.

Hugo’s monetary position has become more precarious, folks.

If one is to believe Al-Jazeera, Iran and Venezuela have officially joined forces to undermine the U.S. dollar (related post here).

It’ll be interesting to watch what Ahmadinejad and Chavez will be doing as the oil prices continue to go down. At least now, for the moment, the blinders are off.

Update THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DARLING OF THE LEFT

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The doc has the carnival

Sunday, September 24th, 2006