Friday, September 01, 2006
A much more reasoned view... Peter Bergren, writing in Prospect (UK) Magazine's September issue presents a less emotive analysis of the current Islamist "terror" than that peddled so strenuously by the current "they-just-hate-us-and-our-freedom" American regime. Among his points is the idea of the "near enemy" and the "far enemy" in al Qaeda's worldview, and the ongoing struggle to revive the Muslim faithful, humiliated since the Ottoman Empire was divided between the French and the British in 1916. Mr. Bergren also cites the shortcomings of Osama Bin Laden's strategies which spurred the American destruction of much of al Qaeda's infrastructure. On the other hand, Mr. Bergren also allows that the American invasion of Iraq and the Israeli destruction of Lebanon have now enormously enhanced al Qaeda's influence, reminding us of Mubarak's warning that the Iraqi invasion would spawn "100 new Bin Ladens". Finally, Mr. Bergren provides some steam for the secularists of the world in pointing out that Bin Laden's cites of the Koran are selectively employed, favoring the "sword" passages. This is the unhappy similarity some Islamists share with the faith-based fever raging in America.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Score one against faith-based prejudice, maybe... The signing of (California) Senate Bill 1441 marks a surprising turn in the road with Arnold Schwarzenegger. By protecting "sexuality" as a category in this non-discrimination bill, the howls from Christian evangelicals are already being heard. The howlers are complaining that the bill would prevent them from practicing their religion since provisions of the bill would limit their eligibility to get state money for their various institutions. Hard cheese for them. State money should certainly not be spent in the furtherance of faith-based prejudice--the same faith-based prejudice that fought so bitterly against interracial marriage and the abolition of slavery, to name just a couple instances of ugliness.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Not Such Big Love, please... One of the many ironies in the so-called gay marriage debate is the adamant insistence of the Mormon Church that a righteous union must be "between one man and one woman". This is in clumsy contrast to their own origins, (which apparently is the object of a vigorous present-day rewriting) where their founders were polygamists.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Science or Reefer Madness... We can only hope that science, under our current anti-science American regime, can muster a sufficient decibel level to outshout those who will surely oppose pending California legislation supporting the growing of hemp. Dittoheads and conservatives seeking election will start thumping the tubs about the perils of marijuana, so more rational folks will have to be even more noisy in pointing out that hemp is not pot and that, try as we might, using Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap will just not produce a buzz.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Hat tip to Informed Comment... Reading Juan Cole's take on Ahmadinejad's speech was a disquieting reminder that we may be more the victims of agitprop by the corporate media than we may want to believe. I remember when what was the Soviet Union became more acceptable to the American regime, there began to appear on our TV pictures of beautiful Russian parks and boulevards, in color, while previously all the imagery was dreary and in black and white. Professor Cole disputes that Ahmadinejad ever called for the annhiliation of the Jewish state; that the widely circulated translation of those earlier remarks was not accurate.