Archives for December 2008
My latest post at the Star Ledger’s New Jersey Voices, Paul’s almost right about bloggers is up. Please go read it and comment on it.
Instapundit, in a rare extended post, lets it rip:
Anyway, it’s certainly true that bloggers as a class are more competition for careless pundits like Mulshine than for go-getter reporters who find out things that people don’t know, and report them truthfully. It’s also true that those go-getter reporters who put the truth first are pretty scarce in the world of Big Media reporting, and that management shows no sign of wanting more of them, and many signs of wanting attitude-mongers like, well, Mulshine. This is, as I’ve noted before, a dumb business strategy, which explains in part why newspapers are doing so badly. For more on that, see this thoughtful piece by Evan Coyne Maloney. Also, these thoughts from Jay Rosen.
Welcome, Instapundit and Ed Driscoll readers.
Jay Rosen, who commented below, refers to me in his tweet as Paul Mulshine’s colleague. Jay is misinformed, as I am not an employee of the Star Ledger and receive no pay for my posts there, which is why there are so few. Paul and I are among several people who post at the NJ Voices blog. I have known Paul for years, well before I started blogging.
UPDATE, Sunday 28 December
Jeff Jarvis asks in Facebook,
“Can anyone help me recall the earlier Mulshine-like anti-blog journalist-as-priest screeds the WSJ opinion page has run?”
I don’t recall I don’t recall a prior WSJ article, but back in June 2006 Paul ripped on bloggers in his Star Ledger Sunday column.
I don’t think the Star Ledger’s archives go back that far (they keep a rolling 18-month archive, and everything prior seems to evaporate), which is another source of frustration when blogging about NJ. FWIW, back then I posted 4 paragraphs of his screed in my June 12, 2006 post.
Was there a prior guest columnist at the WSJ ripping on bloggers?
Jules has more on Paul’s article.
Warner Todd Hudson looks at where Paul is right, and where he’s wrong.
I’m still sick and just started on antibiotics, but here’s a post which elucidates my own attitude on Harold Pinter: Unpleasant thoughts about Harold Pinter, by Roger Kimball.
Over the years I managed to subject myself to hours of Pinteresqueness, and after a while decided that the only thing that made them bearable was the performances of a few of the actors, most notably Alan Bates in The Caretaker, and Jeremy Irons in Betrayal. Beyond that, count me among the many who,
reacted to the Swedish Academy’s latest flirtation with absurdity by quoting the English wit who, writing about Harold Pinter’s plays, observed that Pinter was “a man of few words, most of them silly.” There was a lot of sniggering when Stockholm announced Pinter as the winner of the prize for literature. But there was also a certain anger, a certain outrage. If nothing else, Harold Pinter has done us the service of demonstrating that the silly is by no means at odds with the malevolently deranged. R.I.P.
Will the Nobel Prize for Literature rise above politics, ever?
The Times of India describes how Pak textbooks build hate culture against India
Terrorism in Pakistan has its roots in the culture of hate and the ethos of inequality on the ground of religious faith, leading to their being deeply ingrained in the Pakistani psyche and mindset.
One factor that has played a crucial role in creating this culture of hate is the educational policy of the government of Pakistan pursued since 1977. The officially prescribed textbooks, especially for school students, are full of references that promote hate against India in general, and Hindus in particular.
A cursory glance at Pakistani school textbooks – especially the compulsory subjects like Pakistan studies and social studies – gives an idea of how history has been distorted and a garbled version prescribed to build this mindset and attitude.
The objective of Pakistan’s education policy has been defined thus in the preface to a Class 6 book: “Social studies have been given special importance in educational policy so that Pakistan’s basic ideology assumes the shape of a way of life, its practical enforcement is assured, the concept of social uniformity adopts a practical form and the whole personality of the individual is developed.” This statement leaves no doubt that “social uniformity”, not national unity, is a part of Pakistan’s basic ideology.
Some of the stuff is quite astonishing, including this one:
“Previously, India was part of Pakistan.”
The article lists more, and I expect people familiar with Palestinian propaganda against Israel will be able to draw paralels to that:
On Indo-Pak wars, the books give detailed descriptions and openly eulogize ‘jihad’ and ‘shahadat’ and urge students to become ‘mujahids’ and martyrs and leave no room for future friendship and cordial relations with India.
Not to be underestimated is the “blame” mentality: I attended a lecture by the new Pakistani minister of the exterior a couple of months ago and his entire theme was blaming someone else: mostly Afghanistan and the US, but India was not spared, either.
Richard Fernandez, on the other hand, explores syncretism.
The news today: Pakistan redeploying troops to Indian border
Pakistan began moving thousands of troops from the Afghan border toward India, officials and witnesses said Friday, raising tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors and possibly undermining the U.S.-backed campaign against al-Qaida and the Taliban.
The country also announced that it was canceling all military leave in the aftermath of last month’s terror attack on the Indian financial capital of Mumbai.
India has blamed Pakistani militants for the terrifying three-day siege; Pakistan has demanded that India back this up with better evidence.
Pakistan’s latest moves were seen as a warning that it would retaliate if India launches air or missile strikes against militant targets on Pakistani soil – rather than as an indication that a fourth war was imminent between the two countries.
This changes Obama’s plan:
Any significant troop movement would likely dash President-elect Barack Obama’s strategy of having Pakistan concentrate on the threat emanating from the lawless tribal regions close to Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders are believed hiding out.
Pakistan denies the troop movement,
However, a senior Pakistani security official denied that the troops were being deployed to the Indian border.
He said a “limited number” of soldiers were being shifted from areas “where they were not engaged in any operations on the western border or from areas which were snowbound.”
Add one more challenge for the incoming Obama administration, which wants to cut the Pentagon’s budget.
I’ve got an awful cold and what feels like an ear infection and probably won’t be posting much, so bee-have!
Meanwhile, here’s some Viagra news,
“You didn’t hand it out to younger guys, but it could be a silver bullet to make connections to the older ones,” said one retired operative familiar with the drug’s use in Afghanistan. Afghan tribal leaders often had four wives — the maximum number allowed by the Koran — and aging village patriarchs were easily sold on the utility of a pill that could “put them back in an authoritative position,” the official said.
An authoritative position, a spring in the four wives’ steps, and a smile on his face.
Three friends, including Instapundit have the good news:
Iraq Declares Christmas an Official Holiday for First Year
Iraq’s Christians, a small minority in the overwhelmingly Muslim country, quietly celebrated Christmas on Thursday with a present from the government, which declared it an official holiday for the first time.
Let’s continue to pray for Iraq.
Of course there’s tango for Christmas!