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Interesting Reads
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, January 03, 2009

Some interesting reads:

'The Golden Age of Political Aristocracy" - David Sirota, Open Left.

Sirota uses the surprising selection by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter's of Michael Bennet for U.S. Senate as a springboard for discussing "aristocracy" vs. "meritocracy". Interesting observation from someone on the left concerning the seeming reality of "hope and change" at least at this point.

"Gaza has its version of rocket scientists" - Mark Steyn.

An interesting discussion of the Hamas/Israel situation plus a lot more. One of the more interesting parts concerns the culture of those who oppose Israel's existence. Steyn thinks we make a mistake if we believe they're "just like us" instead of living in a culture that glorifies death and murder.

Mr. Gore: Apology Accepted - Harold Ambler.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in this utter destruction of the global warming fraud is where it is published - the Huffington Post.

"Why 2009 Will be Worse than 2008" - Jeff Taylor.

Taylor lays it all out in his Reason article. Most of it you've read right here. However he does have an interesting political observation concerning Obama and Bernanke. Sounds pretty probable to me. Also note his point about rising Republican stars in Governor's chairs.

"Some Forecasters See a Fast Economic Recovery" - Louis Uchitelle

Contrast Uchitelle's NYT article with Taylor's article. Tell me which seems more believable.

There - that ought to keep you busy.
 
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Steyn thinks we make a mistake if we believe they’re "just like us" instead of living in a culture that glorifies death and murder.
They’re definitely not like us. ;)

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
You never forget, do you?

But look how long you had to wait —- I do appreciate the claryfication though. ;)

And, now for the magic (never bet against the House, Pogue).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I do appreciate the claryfication though. ;)
Anityme :)

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
"Why 2009 Will be Worse than 2008"
I can already tell you why: because we are about to install a President who wants to try the tried and failed scheme of pumping tens of billions of dollars of government spending on public works projects, a method that FDR tried from 1933 to 1941 and discovered 1) it is a flop, and 2) it increases the deficit.

Alas, because Obama/Biden studied economics at the Rocko Jocko/Karl Marx School of Economics, they believe, "Hell! We tried it once and it failed dismally, so let’s try it again! Couldn’t hurt!"

When Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around at the end of this year and unemployment is at 10% and more stores are closing and GM and/or Chrysler are dead and the government is running a $1 trillion deficit for the fiscal year, everyone will say it was all George W. Bush’s fault and not Obama’s, despite the fact that if The Clown™ would just cut taxes and try to rein in government spending (which the congressional Democrats would fight to the bitter end), he couldn’t get any worse of a performance, and the deficit wouldn’t be the brick wall that it will be when we hit it.

If the above is true, and come Thanksgiving and Christmas we have 10% unemployment, The Clown™ won’t be very popular, and in 2010 the House will swing 50+ seats and 10+ seats in the Senate to the GOP.

And The Clown™ will be on his way to being One-Term Bore-ama.
 
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
From Mark Steyn’s piece:
Culture is not immutable. But changing culture is tough and thankless and something the West no longer has the stomach for.
Not true in general. The Western left certainly has the stomach for changing culture. In fact, one could argue that this is mostly what they’re trying to do, and have been for several decades. Problem is, most of the things they want to change about our culture are the same things that make the culture viable in the first place.

Since he was talking clash-of-civilization type stuff, I presume Mark meant that we don’t have the stomach for changing culture in the Middle East. I have to give him that. Americans generally don’t like making others do what we want, even when there are no obvious good alternatives. In general, I think of that as a strength, though there are exceptions (post-WWII Japan, modern-day Iraq) in which we’ve just had to do it because no one could come up with any decent alternatives.

As for the Western left, not only do they not have the stomach for changing the culture of any Islamic fanatics, they positively blanche whenever someone points out that we might be doing that in Iraq right now. They clearly can’t stand the thought of anyone in the Middle East adopting Western ideas, even the ones they like (e.g. equal rights for women and tolerance of homosexuality). That is so obviously non-sensical as a political position, it could only be explained by post-modernist nonsense about the need to respect those poor, victimized fanatics, who just by complete random chance happen to be dedicated to the destruction of the West.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://qando.net
They clearly can’t stand the thought of anyone in the Middle East adopting Western ideas, even the ones they like (e.g. equal rights for women and tolerance of homosexuality).
This is curious.
I’ve read, watched, heard a lot from the left, and I don’t recall anyone not wanting the ME adopting equal rights for women and tolerance of homosexuality. I guess I could have missed it though.
Got any examples?

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
What, do you think I’m make of time??
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Got any examples?
Oh, for heaven’s sake, Pogue, the Western left doesn’t even champion those values for Middle Eastern immigrants to their own countries!

Would you deny that multi-culturalism is a prime axiom for the Western left? Left-liberal governments in Britain and Canada have supported the introduction of Sharia law to supercede or supplement Western law. The opposition to such efforts comes mostly from the right and from female immigrants who would be likely victims, not from the left. (I would hope you wouldn’t be arguing that Sharia law is more protective of rights of women and gays than Western law.)

If the left cared about women in the Middle East, then Ayaan Hirsi Ali would be a hero to them. Have you ever looked through her life story and her struggle against her misogynist culture? Yet she’s not a hero to the left. They wish she would just go away and stop reminding them of the true face of Islamic culture in some parts of the world.

When is the last time a major Hollywood leftist came out and took the Dutch Muslim community to task over the murder of Theo Van Gogh? You would think that they would be aghast at one of their own being murdered for making a controversial film, but evidence for that is pretty thin on the ground. (For those who don’t know, Hirsi Ali wrote the screenplay for the movie Submission which is specifically about violence against women in Islamic culture, and Theo Van Gogh was the director. Van Gogh was killed by a Muslim fanatic, who attached a note with the usual Muslim "You are all tools of the Joooos!" nonsense.)

Then there is the kid-glove treatment of honor killings throughout Europe. And of course, there’s the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. The Western left generally supports Palestine in this conflict, despite their medieval attitudes about women and gays, while many of them seem to hate Israel with a passion they usually reserve for Bush. Yet Israel exemplifies their values even to the extent of being rather more socialized than we are, and they certainly exemplify women’s rights; they’ve had women serving in the military longer than any Western country of which I’m aware.

Then there are those on the left who claim that life was no worse under the Taliban, or under Saddam. That’s pretty heavy discounting of the rights of women and gays, don’t you think?

Now, if you’re expecting me to find some leftist who comes right out and admits that he or she doesn’t give a flip about women’s rights or gay’s rights in Middle Eastern culture, I can’t. No more than I would expect to find a corrupt politician who comes right out and admits he is corrupt. In both cases, it’s their actions that indicate their real priorities, not their words. And the left’s record on defending the rights of women and gays in Arab or Muslim culture is atrocious.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://qando.net
Oh those darn inconvinent facts which keep poking holes in the Inconvenient Truth (tm). Call it schadenfreude, but I’m enjoying watching the hand-wringing of the Inconvenient Truthers.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
Billy why are you arguing with this guy? You know that he is just here to push your buttons, nothing else.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Would you deny that multi-culturalism is a prime axiom for the Western left? Left-liberal governments in Britain and Canada have supported the introduction of Sharia law to supercede or supplement Western law.
I wouldn’t deny that the Left has a utopian idea of multi-culturalism. Your examples of attempts to introduce Sharia law does not represent a broad acceptance of Islamic views towards women and gays from the Left. These Arbitration Acts designed to alleviate court backlogs, even as horrendous as a particular Sharia court is, it’s never a good idea to have any religious court render decisions of law. Even the Catholic and Jewish courts that have been operating.
If the left cared about women in the Middle East, then Ayaan Hirsi Ali would be a hero to them. Have you ever looked through her life story and her struggle against her misogynist culture? Yet she’s not a hero to the left. They wish she would just go away and stop reminding them of the true face of Islamic culture in some parts of the world.
I am familiar with her story, but I still don’t see how the WSJ’s line of “Many liberals loathe her” represents a broad acceptance of Islamic views towards women and gays from the Left. Nor does it suggest that liberals would just simply “wish she would go away.” Seems the WSJ doesn’t want to, or can’t, list any examples as well.

Now, if you’re expecting me to find some leftist who comes right out and admits that he or she doesn’t give a flip about women’s rights or gay’s rights in Middle Eastern culture, I can’t.
Well that was the idea, but no… I didn’t expect you to find anything. I expected you to do exactly what you did. You take great liberties with your assumptions, though you have no real evidence, that the Left is tolerant of Islamic intolerance. Your problem is that your broad assumptions are fueled by your own loathing of the Left and what you perceive to be a lack of outrage over the treatment of gays and women in Islam. I think their lack of outrage over these issues deserve criticism, but to outright suggest that in general they don’t care that women and gays are treated severely is a bit of a stretch. For I have heard various, though sometimes tepid, condemnations about the treatment of gays and women from Islam by the left, people like Sullivan, Maddow, Olbermann come to mind.

The problem for the Left is that they would rather spend their time and effort condemning the Right in this country. And with an enemy of my enemy type mentality, their condemnations are put on the back burner if not taken off the stove entirely.

It’s a pity that members from both sides of the political spectrum take liberties on assumptions to criticize their ideological foes when it is completely unnecessary.

Cheers.
Billy why are you arguing with this guy? You know that he is just here to push your buttons, nothing else.
Not everybody has the buttons you do capt. joe. You have big, shiny, candy-like buttons.
Irresistible
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I wouldn’t deny that the Left has a utopian idea of multi-culturalism. Your examples of attempts to introduce Sharia law does not represent a broad acceptance of Islamic views towards women and gays from the Left.
No, it represents common cause against a mutual foe; Western civilization.

Do you ever have anything positive to add? Sorry, stupid question.

cheers.
 
Written By: kyleN
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Pogue, I believe you are still missing my point. Before I elaborate, let me ask you a straight-forward question: Do you personally believe that Middle Eastern culture is, in general, inferior to western culture because of their treatment of women and gays? (We won’t even get into other aspects, such as violent jihad, acceptance of corruption, etc.)

No fair fudging. We all know that mistreatment of women and gays (by our standards) is the norm in the Middle East. The fact that not everyone there likes that is beside the point. It’s a straight-forward question - just give a straight-forward answer.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://qando.net
Not everybody has the buttons you do capt. joe. You have big, shiny, candy-like buttons.
Irresistible
Yeah, they are labelled "Mock Pogue" and "Laugh at Pogue". Good you can see them. Eat up
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
I am familiar with her story, but I still don’t see how the WSJ’s line of “Many liberals loathe her” represents a broad acceptance of Islamic views towards women and gays from the Left. Nor does it suggest that liberals would just simply “wish she would go away.” Seems the WSJ doesn’t want to, or can’t, list any examples as well.
I am not aware of anyone on the left coming to her aid. She was run out of her office, her apartment, and her country because he country refused to protect her and denigrated he principles. Once she landed in the west, only right side and libertarian bloggers took up her cause. The left mocked her and did not lift a single finger to help her.
just give a straight-forward answer.
You have seen his writings over the year, don’t expect one. He is just baiting you.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
No, it represents common cause against a mutual foe; Western civilization.
Wait, what?

How does it represent a common cause against a mutual foe?
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Before I elaborate, let me ask you a straight-forward question:
You know what the USA stands for? It stands for Us, Assh*le.

Of course our culture is better than theirs. And I’m not about to have a discussion about what is better about our culture v. theirs. But I’m also not about to defend or apologize for the Left’s ubber ridiculous notion that other cultures are equal to ours but just different. I won’t go as far as to say that we have an obligation to even respect other cultures, especially if the fundamentals of that culture carry customs and opinions that we here find repulsive.
I wouldn’t entertain any notion that we should feel obligated to arrest our principles and morals merely to accommodate lesser cultures.

Your position is that the Left “clearly can’t stand the thought of anyone in the Middle East adopting Western ideas” just doesn’t equate to your examples of the Left wanting to make room in our culture for theirs.

You could argue that their ideas of multi-culturalism are counter to their supposed ideas of tolerance they claim to believe in. You could argue that the poor souls just do not know what they do. But what you can’t argue, is a blanket argument suggesting that the Left doesn’t want anyone in the ME adopting western ideas.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Pogue,

Let me explain the logic...

If multi=culturalists require that ’all cultures are equal and worthy of respect’ within our own polity

then

logically they could not require a culture within its own polity to change while allowing that culture to not change within ours.

—-

Oh, I guess you could say that Hamas-USA can have four vieled wives, but that Hamas-Palestine should not, but it would be pretty stupid.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Of course our culture is better than theirs.
Good. Then we have common ground for discussion.
But what you can’t argue, is a blanket argument suggesting that the Left doesn’t want anyone in the ME adopting western ideas.
Correct, and perhaps I didn’t state my intent very well. What I am trying to say is that to many on the left (apparently not including you), multiculturalism trumps western values. If adopting western values means denial of multicuturalism and being judgmental about existing anti-western values, then I believe that much of the left would prefer not to see the western values triumph over multi-culturalism.

That’s why I cited the case of Hirsi Ali. She vigorously defends western values about women, and comes right out and says her native culture is inferior in those respects. She does not even pay lip service to multi-culti, so the left doesn’t want to have anything to do with her. If they really wanted the plight of women to improve in traditional Islamic cultures, they would support her cause, but they don’t. So at best, they don’t care whether Islamic cultures adopt those western values, and I believe they actively prefer for them not to if that means abandoning the nonsensical idea that "all cultures are equally valid" or however the multi-cultis like to put it.

Now let’s go back to what you said earlier:
You take great liberties with your assumptions, though you have no real evidence, that the Left is tolerant of Islamic intolerance.
I don’t see how you can say that with a straight face. The left’s multiculturalism demands that they tolerate Islamic values, and that means tolerating Islamic intolerance. That’s why many of them don’t care about sharia courts in western countries, don’t get worked up about honor killings, don’t hold the Palestinians responsible for absolutely reprehensible behavior, etc. They know intuitively that if they went down that road, they would be jettisoning multi-culturalism to defend western values, and the typical leftist just won’t do that. (There are clear-eyed exceptions, but I believe they are a distince minority.)
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://qando.net
I don’t see how you can say that with a straight face.
Easy. It was in the context of the discussion about the treatment of women and homosexuals in the ME. IOW, I don’t see a bunch of lefties arguing that we should be tolerant of Islam’s treatment of gays and women. It just doesn’t happen. At least to the extent that one could call it "the Left". Maybe a few of the clinically insane, but your average leftie? I think not.
But of course there are many instances where members of the Left are hypocritical regarding their own opinions about the ME and their own tolerance merits. If you wish to broaden the overall discussion from the defined issues of tolerance and equality of gays and women in the ME to a larger discussion about multiculturalism and the Left, then we have more in common than you might at first imagine.

What I am trying to say is that to many on the left (apparently not including you), multiculturalism trumps western values.


I wouldn’t necessarily argue against that statement with the exception that maybe it would hold true in a broad definition of M-C vs. a much more narrow topic about gays and women in the ME. IOW, you would have little trouble nailing them for hypocrisy and maybe a few other things, but suggestions of openly accepting the brutal treatment of gays and women would be a bit more troublesome. (I would also take exception at being lumped in with the Left, but I’m used to it now. If not being as far Right as Dick Cheney a neolibertarian, or if capt. joe calls me a leftie enough times... well... whatever.)

I understand your problem with the Left and M-C. I also understand the infinite hypocrisy regarding that issue. But I would also advise one against making such blanket statements about this particular issue.

Cheers.

 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I don’t see a bunch of lefties arguing that we should be tolerant of Islam’s treatment of gays and women. It just doesn’t happen.
Yeah but . . . they usually avoid this discussion.

The reality seems to be that MC seems to tumph gay/feminism in todays left.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
you would have little trouble nailing them for hypocrisy and maybe a few other things, but suggestions of openly accepting the brutal treatment of gays and women would be a bit more troublesome.
Well, generally I think you are right that they don’t "openly" accept Islamic treatment of gays/women. They are just AWOL on the issue.

And it really amounts to more than just hypocracy and "a few other things". The left has failed to engage evil on this issue.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://

 
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