THAT Global Village

Sorry again for being late.  My mom would call these apologies of mine “excuses of chronic late payer” and she’d have a point, only I hope now that we won’t be spending our weekends trying to keep two houses clean and two gardens in shape, that I can write my posts on Sunday.

You already know the vacation was a bust.  Two deaths (one of commenter Matt Landry, one of extended in-law family) a work emergency and then the highway getting closed for four or five hours pretty much put paid to any relaxation.  Then there is the fact our cell phone service decided not to let our phones call outside the country with no warning, and that my mother has been trying to call here while we were gone.  She sounds like something bad happened, which made for some very “fun” nightmares.

Which is why I ended up, yesterday, falling asleep right after dinner (just before seven pm) and sleeping 12 hours.  And no writing happened, but that’s okay, I can do that now.

When I woke up this morning we were snowed in, and we still are.  Which makes me feel like I should crawl back between the covers.

This is too bad, because I need to speak to several things that are alien to native-born Americans.  These include how the rest of the world works, how a religious mono-culture works, that yes, most Muslims are not actually insane terrorists BUT that doesn’t mean they don’t support the insane terrorists even as they recoil from the things they do and in the cool light of day think they are farkin insane.

It is important to explain this, because the US is so large and has been in peace and prosperity so long that the arguments that broke up all over facebook were like watching two people discuss whether the greatest danger to the Titanic was bad soup or a measles epidemic, even while the iceberg tore the ship apart.

So, let’s start with: most Muslims are not insane terrorists.  Most who come here want exactly what the rest of us want: to have a peaceful life, do well at our chosen avocation and raise fat babies who grow up to be prosperous and happy adults, who raise fat babies.

The people yelling all over facebook that they have Muslim friends and that their friends aren’t terrorists must think the rest of us live in walled compounds in Nevada.

Yes, Muslims are still a tiny minority here, but we all have or have had Muslim friends and acquaintances.  One of my son’s best friends/play girlfriends in elementary school was the daughter of the Arab Restaurant owner.  (Last I saw her, now almost five years ago, she was performing belly dance at the restaurant and was disappointed son hadn’t come with us, because she’d like to perform for him.  I relayed the message.  He hasn’t gone near the restaurant since.  I think he’s chicken.)

This girl was friendly, smart as a whip, and her parents were obviously not crazy Islamic fundamentalists, since they encouraged their daughters to attend school. I can no more imagine her strapping a bomb on than I can imagine myself doing that.  (But there are reasons for that, and we’ll go into it later.)

THAT is not the point under discussion for anyone with a modicum of sanity.

And yet the other side keeps bringing up the fact that the Muslims who dare protest against this sort of thing are few and far between.  The specter of death, beatings, etc, is brought in to justify why the great silent, non-terrorist majority does not protest.

This is wrong.

Or rather, this is more complicated than that.  The death, beatings, etc. does not explain WHY we keep finding out that a lot of the silent majority materially supports the crazies they — and I want this to be very clear — rationally disapprove of.

If I understand — and please remember I didn’t grow up here — Irish-American culture, Irishmen should get this.  I knew sane, even conservative people who supported terrorists in Ireland.  Though that’s a little different, since it was support for terrorism OVER THERE and not among their friends and neighbors.

OTOH it had a basic thing in common.  It was tribal.  If you were an Irishman, this is what you did, or at least this is what you did when someone of your own community approached you and assumed of course you’d support it.

Which brings us to the basis for the great peaceful Muslim silence if not acquiescence in these things.

They want to belong.  They want to belong with their tribe.  They want to belong with the one-true-religion (and more on that later.) Their fear of being cast out of those can at times overwhelm their human decency.

I sort of understand it, because I grew up in a religious mono-culture.  And the religion (old style Catholicism) was everywhere.  My mom carefully avoided (my family was weird, okay?) putting me in with the spinster-teacher who dragged the kids to mass every weekday before starting school.  This meant I entered school a year late.  (Well, not exactly.  Being born in November means that they could have argued for me to enter a year early, which is not the same thing.  But they’d done it for the other kids in the family.) However, my teacher, the sensible one, still had us keep a “sacrifice book.”  You were supposed to offer sacrifices for established categories every week, a minimum of 4 a week (I never did more than the minimum): Prisoners; the sick, your own sins, etc.

These sacrifices could mean going without dessert, or they could be crazier things, like tying a knotted rope around your middle so it hurt and wearing it for a day.  No, none of them involved strapping bombs on.

BUT these exercises in piety were listened to and gossiped about by everyone, and yours truly attempts to weasel her way through it were often fodder for village talk.

It wasn’t till Preparatory School, (grade five or six) when I started talking back with actual theology that my dad got tired of getting called to the school and signed the mountain of papers required to remove me from mandatory religion.  And I’ll confess what finally pushed him was that what I was being taught was the guns-to-South-America brand of liberation theology.

Now, being Americans you’re imagining me being sullen about the sacrifice book.  And to an extent you’d be right, of course.  I was so sickly and spent so much of my life in dire discomfort that inflicting more on myself for some spiritual benefit seemed stupid.

BUT the problem with these things, started very very early and pushed on you, is that they stick.  You catch yourself in your middle years reading about someone who wore an hairshirt till his skin was raw (I can achieve that with normal clothes.  YAY eczema) and feeling vaguely guilty you’ve never done that.

In the same way, I know I had to give up speaking/reading Portuguese so I COULD get as close to native as possible in English, but that doesn’t stop the gut-feeling that I should have taught the kids Portuguese; that we should be observing the traditions of Portugal, that–

Now the customs of my place and tribe by and large don’t injure anyone.  They do to some extent injure the Portuguese, but that’s their look out.

(Portuguese society like most Latin societies disdains hard work. So you can’t be seen to work hard on penalty of losing face.  It also comes fraught with the corruption of every society since Rome.  Things work by “gloves” (bribery) and “Godfathers” (Patronage.)  Ie “He who doesn’t have a godfather dies in jail” is an actual proverb.  Portuguese tend to thrive best when on their own abroad, or in a community small enough that the values of the greater society weigh in.)

I can completely imagine being a peaceful Muslim who would no more kill others than he’d fly unassisted, and who yet feels guilty he doesn’t, and gives “respect” and reverence to those who are pious enough to do it.  It is possible to at the same time think “these are madmen” and “But they’re doing what I should be doing.”

It’s the coils of tribe/culture/religion that most Americans don’t get.  Most of you, with the exceptions of some regional mono-cultures, wouldn’t even get disowned for changing religions.

And Islam is… special.  No, I don’t want to hear it.  Yes, Christianity went militant and took to the sword, partly in response to the Islamic invasions, but there is no requirement in Christianity that you take to the sword or slay infidels.  Judaism has its blood-soaked episodes, but they’re so far in the past that arguing them would be crazy.  Those were also in a very limited context, not relating to the world in general, but to one region, one people.

When I was young and seeking, I read all holy books (pretty much) and some I couldn’t make heads or tails of, and some I found a lot of wisdom in.  The Quran was the only one that horrified me.

Again, remember, tribe.  Arab culture is intensely tribal, and their holy book promises world dominion to their tribe.  Worse, if you’re not already dominating the whole world, it’s because you didn’t trust enough to control the world in fire and blood.

This is sort of the equivalent of raising kids with “high self esteem.”  When reality fails to perform to order, they feel they’re being robbed.  There is this in almost every Muslim’s heart.  Because their holy book promises temporal (not spiritual) control of the world, they feel cheated at some level.  They might understand perfectly well why the world is as it is, but the stuff learned with mother’s milk makes them feel they’ve been cheated of their rightful “Lord of the world” position.

And this is how you get perfectly reasonable and rational Muslims, conservative in American terms, even, and then you mention anything even vaguely related to religion or supernatural or tribe, and they get this crazy gleam in their eyes and start saying crazy stuff.  It’s why a Muslim who feels guilty over something serious — adultery, homosexuality, whatever — can suddenly go from sane and moderate to strapping on a bomb.  (I still think not most of them, and it would have roots in their childhood.)

Culture, particularly when entangled with tribe and religion, has a heft and a weight of its own, and a hold in the sanest of minds.

So, what can be done?  D*mned if I know.  Look, taquya and the injunction to stop attacking until you have the upper hand are a key.  Yeah, they’re sort of lying when they say they don’t want to conquer you.  But if they’re decent people (and most of them are) they’re sort of telling the truth too.  It gives them an excuse to give up on the crazy stuff, to quell the crazies.  “We’re not strong enough.  We don’t do this YET” and this gives us a window to let them integrate with the west, and to actually bring about that “reformation” we’ve all longed for, where jihad REALLY is internal struggle.

The problem is… multi-culturalism.  You see, when you go weak at the knees and approve madrasas and sharia law?  You take away the sane Muslims’ excuse that “now is not yet the time.”

Their culture doesn’t understand not exerting strength if you have it.  This is why they keep mistaking our restraint for weakness.  And you’re “respecting their culture” which means not giving the sane ones ANY excuse to change or exert pressure on the crazies to change.

What you’re doing in fact is reinforcing that whole “the imam of my childhood was right, and we are supposed to rule the world, and why aren’t I–”

The “solutions” are unpalatable, but not impossible.  They involve stuff like massive, public punishment for terrorists (yes, they’re ready to die, but not to be killed in an humiliating way, with pig-lard covered bullets) and their supporters; they involve not letting Muslim communities abroad become closed shop and little self-contained principalities: refusal of sharia, refusal of Islamic divorce, more than full punishment of the law for female circumcision and honor killings; they involve confidence in our own culture and emphasis on assimilation.

Which means all of those are impossible with the current political-and-entertainment-and-education establishment we have.

Same for Europe.  Which is why we’re careening to the other solution, the bad one.

I have in the past here explained that the reason the Zulus (and the Amerindians) were defeated was not because they were peaceful and the white man was extra evil.  It wasn’t even the superiority of weapons, which weren’t all that superior when they first met.

It was that the Zulus/various aboriginals of conquered lands were working with outdated head hardware.

This was particularly obvious with the Zulus, who were working from tribal principles (Amerindians too, but that varies to tribe, etc) and therefore when they first got European colonists they did what they’d always done: Perform a horrible massacre to warn the intruding tribe off.

They didn’t understand that Europeans weren’t really a tribe, and that the massacre would provide fuel for every European out there to decide they weren’t human and should be exterminated.

This is sort of where Muslims are.  Their history and their holy book has prepared them very badly to deal with the global village.  Oh, sure, they met Europeans in their “oh, I feel so guilty for colonialism” phase.  But Europeans have always gone through these phases, a dichotomy between Christian principles and bellicose nature.

This one is more marked, but it’s also skin-deep.  Or elite-deep, if you prefer.  Our elites might be incapable of fighting.  They’re opium smokers (the opium being Marxist multiculti) unable to see beyond the clouds to reality.

But they’re also a minority.  As are, as yet, Muslims abroad.

Yes, there’s a level of atrocity where they commit it, and the world awakes and exterminates them.  In fact that is almost the only guaranteed outcome.

Taking a firm stance now would prevent that, but we might not be able, due to the corruption of our educational institutions and media to take that firm stance.

Which leaves us careening towards a future where, as a southern friend once said about someone who annoyed her “I’d be in jail, but he’d be in hell” (if he kept pushing.)

This is sort of that “the threat of Islamic insanity would be gone; but we’d not be western society as we’ve known it these last thousand years.  What emerges from that could be worse than Fascism or Communism.”

It is important to understand this now.  It is important to eschew multi culti now.  It is important to emphasize assimilation to OUR values now.

The culture wars might sound crazy and small, compared to what happened in Paris, but they’re our ONLY chance to stop this runaway train before it kills everything we love.  And yeah, I know, it might already be too little too late.

But at this time, in this place, in the face of odds I’d rather not face, it is the only thing we have left.  Before the worst comes.




555 responses to “THAT Global Village

  1. What I see as the main error of multi-culturism is that it presupposes Western civilization as wrong, evil, dominating, etc. ad nauseum. Much like liberal is no longer liberal, but progressive or socialist.
    I really, at this point, see much chance to avoid the troubles unless people of our sort make a concerted and determined stand against the name callers.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      And that non-Western cultures are all saints by default. They cannot see that the flaws and failings of human nature are universal.

      • A problem arises when a culture that teaches as a primary principle that human beings are flawed and often fail even when attempting with all their might to do what they believe to be correct meets a culture which holds as its primary belief that human society can self-perfect.

    • No, it is worse than that. It turns various language and ethnic groups into voting blocks that really cannot understand American values since they do no even speak the language well enough. When I was in college (15-20 years ago) I had to take a communications course where you had to make a speech and do projects in English. The professor, bless his heart, actually called them out when some naturalized American citizens with Central American roots did stories about their countries of origin and prefaced their remarks with “In my country,” meaning Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, or Costa Rica. “This is our country now. You took the oath, you chose to come here. Please say, ‘in my country of origin, or where I was born.’ This is your country, now.”

      They did not see the USA as their country,. That’s what ESL and multiculturalism gets you.,

      • “One of the best stories about Shultz concerns his meetings with new U.S. ambassadors. He’d take one of them to a map and ask, “Which is your country?” Almost inevitably, the appointee would point to the country where he was being posted. “No,” Shultz would reply. He then pointed to the United States. “This is your country.” Just a friendly reminder to avoid the “citizen of the world” syndrome that occasionally takes hold at State.
        William Katz, Urgent Agenda

    • And while they think Western civilization is bad and all the others good, or at least most of them good, they still seem to assume the others are good mostly in the ways their own civilization defines good and all these others think pretty much the same way they do about things. They are unwilling to actually try to understand these non-Western civilizations beyond their surface impressions (which seem to be that the others are really like the western elite below the surface, except more genuine). So when they try to figure out how to respond to something like terrorism they first think up reasons why they personally might resort to it, and then what they personally would want to happen before they were willing to stop doing it (except not quite even that, it’s more what their imaginary version of themselves would do and how that imaginary version would react to what, which isn’t necessarily how they would really react – most not having much experience of that kind of things they can be wildly wrong there too).

      • They think Western Civilization is bad because they know Western Civilization is bad; they can readily see its flaws. They imagine other civilizations are good because they are unfamiliar with them and thus blind to their flaws. Mostly what they know of other civilizations comes from seeing them on their best behaviour as they attempt to con dollars out of rich Westerners.

        It is the eternal problem of adolescents, imagining all the other kids have more perfect lives than yours. (See also numerous recent contemplations of FB, Pinterest and other social media venues obsessing over veneers while ignoring core characteristics.)

        • Pretty much this.
          I think I grasped a central understanding when I was about sixteen or so — the first time that I went to Europe, on the Eurail and youth hostel pass circuit. (Which was bare bones travel at its most bare bones.) And that was … other countries are different. Not better, not worse than the US. Just … different. A combination of strengths and weaknesses … just different.

          • And some of those differences in a culture are poisonous. Either instantly fatal, or perhaps merely chronically weakening. But it helps to be clear-eyed, when looking at other countries and cultures.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Of course, it’s one thing to be able to say “just different” about different countries within the “Western Culture” but another thing to say “just different” when visiting non-Western countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia. [Sad Smile]

            • Hey, you stay at a five-star resort in one, you stay at a five-star resort in another; wherever you stay they are pretty much the same, right? So all cultures are pretty much equal.

              Just don’t pay any attention to what you see in the streets.

          • My experience of European countries is that they’re “just different,” for the most part (but I still consider them “nice places to visit, wouldn’t want to live there.”

            I’ve also spent time in Japan, Malaysia, Brazil and Mexico. Japan is “just different” — they’ve fully embraced Westernism. The only thing I feel kind of sad for them about is that they are a people without a soul. There appears to be very little spiritual component to Japanese life.

            Malaysia, Brazil and Mexico, however, are not “just different.” They are measurably inferior. Sure, there are plenty of nice people and it’s true that Brazil is just packed with beautiful girls, but the corruption, violence and poverty are just mind-boggling. And it’s worse in Mexico. Meanwhile, Malaysia is two countries in one. One rather pleasant country for non-Muslims and ex-pats, a different, far more ominous, repressive country for Muslims, because Muslim doctrine has the force of law there for Muslim citizens, and they are forbidden from converting.

            • There appears to be very little spiritual component to Japanese life.

              Perhaps it might appear so, but the appearance is not necessarily the same as the substance.

              • That’s why I said “appears.” Most of my Japanese co-workers there had no religion in particular. Their observance of various traditions was strictly cultural, and that seemed to be common. But I can’t say you’d come away with a much different opinion working in Manhattan for a few months. So, as you say, the substance outside my small encounters may be different. I just didn’t see any evidence of it in the popular culture.

                • That, and religious practice for a lot of Japanese people tends to be kept private, personal. Cultural expression of religious traditions is acceptable (and they do it rather commonly), but it’s considered somewhat gauche to display it openly fervently (outside of wearing the little gold cross for the Japanese Christians.)

                  • Quite. Different cultures have different beliefs about what is considered acceptable in public.

                    A commercial from Japan had completely naked babies, and they were not photographed from the rear. The boys were obviously boys, and the girls were definitely girls.

                    • richardmcenroe

                      In another example, the Japanese recently appointed a ‘serious’ author to clean up their pjorn industry.

                      Said ‘serious’ author made his reputation with his ‘serious’ underage sex scenes.

                      Guess what Japanese pjorn offers a lot more of these days.

                    • They haven’t got the nudity taboo for babies/very young children; nor do a lot of Asian countries. Probably because it’s not uncommon for children to randomly go naked, especially if it’s hot, and a convenient hose or rainstorm happens. I remember being more “YAY RAIN! PUDDLES!!!” about it all.

              • I noted the following on my trips to Asia. In New Zealand, product ads featured mostly caucasians. In Korea, mostly Koreans. In Hong Kong, a mixture of Chinese and Caucasians, depending on which demographic was being targeted. In PI, Filipinos.

                In Japan, a mixture of Americans, mostly caucasian, some black. With very few Japanese. The vibe I got from the super politeness exhibited towards each other is that it existed to cover up an incredible degree of self loathing.Just a thought on why. The Japanese, like all other Asian ethnic groups, consider their ethnic group to be superior to all others. It’s ingrained into their culture. The Japanese lost WWII. Badly. I don’t think their culture has recovered yet. In fact, I think they’re still trying to recover from Commodore Perry.

                • In retrospect, the Perry Expedition looks like a bad idea.

                  • Yet one more crime to add to Millard Fillmore’s long list.

                    • Actually, I think most Japanese think the Black Fleet was a good idea. They are sorta grateful that we just showed up and hung out, rather than actually bombarding and invading. They know perfectly well that the Japanese of the 1500’s and 1600’s had actually used actual gunboats against various Christian and dissident groups, so expecting the outside world to spend a couple centuries not getting more advanced and dangerous was criminally stupid, on the shoguns’ part.

                      But nobody likes having the bandage ripped off the scab. Japanese particularly don’t like being under obligations, or looking low status in front of the world. Also, we were the newbie power and newness traditionally equaled “sketchy,” and so they’d rather have been changed by a power they knew, like the Dutch or Brits or Spanish or Portuguese. I think the end of WWII actually eased things a bit, because at that point it just became traditional for the US to overturn Japanese society.

                      The interesting bit is that a lot of Japanese woodcuts from back then have a political dimension, where the longnosed tengu who taught swordsmanship to many Japanese heroes are often drawn as a reference to Westerners. But they also draw the legendary giant catfish that causes earthquakes by turning over, as being a symbol of Western ships and power.

                    • We’re crow-men?!? AWESOME!!!!

                    • Is our resident kitsune feeling a little puckish, today?

                • In Thailand, product ads usually feature people with Thai features, but incredibly pale skin (for a Thai). Turns out most of the people who get hired to appear in ads are half-Thai, half-Caucasian. Not coincidentally, Thailand also has a HUGE market for skin-whitening cream.

            • Brazil was actually doing better: it was improving until Lulu and his insane Kool-Aid drinking protegee got a hold of it. It is to weep.

    • I don’t see that multiculturalism *per se* has to presuppose that western civilization is wrong or evil; I think you can construct a multiculturalism premised on the notion that western culture is no more evil, and no more good, than other cultures.

      I totally understand objecting to that premise, too – but it’s *not* the same premise as the premise that the west is uniquely evil, and the distinction is important.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        It may be possible to have that sort of multiculturalism, but the current multiculturalism isn’t that sort.

        Of course, since I’m don’t believe in any sort of multiculturalism, I’m free to condemn any culture that practices something I hate such as Slavery and/or Burning of Widows.

      • I think you can construct a multiculturalism premised on the notion that western culture is no more evil, and no more good, than other cultures.

        That’s indistinguishably less pernicious than the other version.

        • I don’t see it. 🙂

          “We are uniquely evil” and “we are not superior to anyone else” strike me as having very different implications and very different results. The former requires self-hatred and loathing of one’s culture; the latter does not.

          • If you, a product of Western Culture, can’t judge that Western Culture is superior to at least some other cultures, then you are far down the relativistic rat hole. Why be on the battlements when, “Meh, Sharia’s no better or worse than the U.S. Constitution?”

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            “Multiculturalism” says that all cultures are “equally good/equally bad” which is obviously not true so when people see “evils” in other societies, then the believers in multiculturalism must paint “our society” as evil to counter the evils that we see in other societies.

            I have no patience for people who would excuse evils in other societies, especially evils Western society has purged from itself, by claiming saying “but they’re a different culture”.

            Would you excuse Slavery existing in another culture?

            Now don’t give me the “nonsense” that Human Rights exists in all cultures because Human Rights are a Western concept.

            If you believe in “Human Rights”, then you are judging other cultures by Western Ideals.

            • I completely agree that because I believe in Human Rights, I’m judging other cultures by western ideals. And no, I wouldn’t excuse slavery existing in another culture.

              I am not a *proponent* of the viewpoint I’m describing; I’m saying that the viewpoint I’m describing is a markedly different viewpoint, with different implications than the viewpoint I am contrasting it against. 🙂

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                And we’re saying that the differences between the two types of multiculturalism are minor. [Smile]

                Especially when members of one culture think that they don’t have to follow the ideals of another culture when they move into the territory of the second culture.

                The problems with any version of multiculturalism are revealed when members of one culture interact with members of another culture.

                Interesting note, Sarah commented on tribalism and IMO tribalism has very strong linkage with multiculturalism.

                Tribal “rules” applied only to members of “your tribe” which links with multiculturalism.

                However, tribal rules only protected members of your tribe. So if a traveler visited the area controlled by your tribe, you could rob, cheat, murder, etc that traveler because he was “outside” the rules of your tribe. Mind you, if the traveler’s tribe learned of what you did, they’d make war on you. So neighboring tribes would have agreements concerning how they’d treat visitors from the tribes covered by the agreements. [Smile]

                By the way, the term “out-law” came from a custom of exiling a member of your tribe (as a punishment for violations of tribe law) and such an exile would not be protected by the agreements with the neighboring tribes.

                IE The out-law was outside of the “protection” of the laws. [Smile]

                • Part of the problem with the multiculturalism argument is that it works on a blank slate; nobody can claim some culture is better or worse than another without first defining the terms by which the cultures are to be measured — something which most advocates of multiculturalism fail to do.

                  This is a common confusion when a term devised within one discipline (in this case, Cultural Anthropology) is deployed outside that specific context. For anthropological purpose a culture is successful or not essentially by the standards defined by Robert Heinlein: does it persist over time?

                  It seems likely that multiculturalism, because it asserts its own culture is not worthy of defense, is a social evolutionary dead-end. It will invariably fall before cultures that are assertive of their values.

                  • Multiculturalism is transformed by Cultural Relativism, which is allegedly based on Einstein’s relativity, without the math.
                    The problem there, is cultural relativism says we can not judge what is ‘good’ or ‘evil’. They only exist relative to the culture that defines them.
                    So, we can’t ‘judge’ the relative merits of putting your enemies feet first in the wood chipper and your friends in head first. It has to be relative to the wonders of the culture of that other Hussein and the stability he gave Iraq. Hello… sorry, I do judge putting living people through a wood chipper as the darkest of evil. There is no relative in it. Evil. Setting fires to oil wells on your way out of the country. Evil.
                    Now, Iraq probably doesn’t have a market in fetal baby parts, so indeed, Western Civilization has some evil in it too. No free ride there, but some things are beyond culture. They are bad and no amount of ‘whitewashing’ (Is that OK or is it now a micro-aggression?) is going to change that. You can have your neighbor over for lunch, but not as the main course.
                    Like everything else the Progressives touch and turn into pot metal, their hatred of western civilization is at the top of the list because of their evil envy of the people that flourish better in that environment than they themselves do.

                    • Yup. This.

                      The thing is, the soft sort of multi-culti Leaherpa42 describes but does not ascribe to is the gateway. Relativism leverages the virtues of humility and empathy (good things) to the point of absurd ends, taking two vastly disparate things as equal, because you cannot judge a culture by any objective (read: your own) standard.

                      For example, the BLM folks and their F-Paris tweets. Racism is bad. Murdering innocent civilians by the truckload is also bad. But taking attention away from the former to focus on the latter is bad, too, because in the mind of the Relativist (the end of multiculturalism, same as Marxism ends in bodies stacked like cordwood) you cannot judge the terrorism as worse than racism.

                      The BLM folks can believe their culture superior to all others, and demonstrably *do.* But the average white liberal *cannot,* lest he be racist. If he does, the mob will turn on him, and eat him alive, without ketchup.

                      The multiculturalist cannot defend Western Culture if it is no better than any other- but other cultures *can* attack it. And the multiculturalist cannot respond. He cannot say to the Muslim, “shariah law is evil. It treats human beings as things.” If he cannot attack and cannot defend, if there is *no* standard to which he can point and say, “this is Right. All else that contradicts is Wrong,” then he doesn’t *have* to say Western Culture is evil. There are plenty of other folks who will do it for him.

                      Multiculturalism is weak. It falls to Cultural Relativism quite easily. Cultural Relativism is a bit stronger, but it still cannot attack. It needs another culture to defend it, lest it be swept away by the enemies that would eat it, given the chance. That other culture is the tired, old standard of Americanism that raises the sons and daughters of Martha, believes in keeping their word, and is prepared, day or night, to unleash hell on their country’s enemies. Without that culture, there is no multiculturalism, no relativism, to speak of.

                    • “You can have your neighbor over for lunch, but not as the main course.”

                      Really? Blast it, there goes my lunch plans! Oh, wait, never mind: I was planning on having him over as a side dish. Never mind!

                    • “Blast it, there goes my lunch plans!”

                      I have a cookbook that contains a chapter on cannibalism (The Grub Bag, by Ita Jones). She didn’t include any recipes, for the stated reason that most people these days weren’t worth eating. The book was published in 1971, so adjust expectations accordingly.

                • Actually, tribes that liked trade or travel or interesting news\stories would protect total strangers, whereas members of the neighboring tribe were fair game.

                  This is a bit advanced, of course, but still quite ancient.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Yah, I’m dealing with an idiot on Baen’s Bar who is “damning” anybody who thinks Islam may be a problem but also “damns” Conservative Christians for being would-be “Totalitarians”.

    The idiot “acknowledges” that Conservative Christians are “more peaceful” than Muslims but sees no “real” difference. [Frown]

    • Yeah, all that beheading and suicide bombing and mass murder in the name of their deity is just so much window dressing, little different from the ritual cannibalism Christians practice.

      Whether you’re pushing little old ladies in front of buses or out of the way of buses, you’re still just …

    • As a result of changes in pedagogical theory pushed by former 60’s radicals turned academics what has been taught to the last couple generations of children in this country demands neither logical nor consistent thinking.

      What we see here is a shrouded serving of Marxist thought.

    • Reality Observer

      Well, don’t steal all the credit, Drak (grin).

      The one important thing about that headache is that we are forcing the idiot out to the fringes, and making it obvious to those who are more middle of the road that he is there. Whether it is Muslims, or other bigots, I feel we’re doing something useful there. (A minor thing, true – but fighting only the big battles doesn’t win a war.)

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Didn’t say that I was the *only* one dealing with the idiot. [Wink]

        Of course, I’m glad there are allies especially ones who will “whack me on the nose” if I go too far. [Smile]

        • Whack a dragon on the nose!?!

          That takes either supreme foolishness or real confidence.

          • You can’t hurt a dragon that way, it’s just necessary to get his attention when he’s worked up.

            Of course, it does depend on with what you whack him. A rolled up magazine is okay, a claidheamh-mór somewhat less so.

            • Ehh, using the flat of the blade usually works. Just don’t use the ones that are enchanted to do damage to dragons.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Yes? [Wink]

          • Reality Observer

            It can be done. Procedure for whacking a dragon on the nose:

            1) Ensure the line of retreat is clear of all obstacles.
            2) Put on the special underwear.
            3) Check that running shoes are completely laced and treads are clear of debris.
            4) Sneak up on dragon from the side.
            5) Plan on only one whack – don’t stick around for seconds.

            Oh, one other prerequisite – if of a religious bent, make sure your peace with your chosen deity has been made. If you are of a secular persuasion, put a call in to the insurance agent.

            Yes, the whole thing is a bit involved, which is why I don’t do it very often…

        • The Other Sean

          Personally, I think everybody in that thread is behaving like an idiot. I’m afraid to involve myself in for fear I’d start acting idiotic, too.

    • Of course there’s a real difference. Christians won’t chop his head off for saying it.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        There are times when I wished that our Religion allowed us to do that. [Frown]

        • Alas yes. Sometimes a rolled up newspaper (or even large hardback tome) doesn’t get the point across.

          • Are you suggesting that they need a pointed reminder?

            • Yes. *sharpens claws on emery board*

              FYI, I’m going to be grading [large number] essays today and tomorrow, so if I become incoherent, its not y’all. And its not adult drinks or recreational pharmaceuticals, either.

              • *Adds TXRed to prayer list*

              • The Daughter did a stint teaching chemistry labs in college which required her to do some grading. To this day still shakes her head in disbelief over one person’s assertion that sugar is not water soluble.

                • Sounds like a graduate of the Rosie “Fire cannot melt steel” O’Donnell School of Chemistry. Summa Cum Laude.

                • Yes, this is why there are always dregs left at the bottom of your pop bottle.

                • That must be someone who tried to add sugar to unsweetened iced tea in a restaurant after you ask for sweet tea and they bring you some Yankee abomination and say ‘sugar is on the table’.

                  • Cold tea is an abomination, like coffee, it should always be served piping hot.

                  • Note that in most of Texas, unsweetened iced tea the default, so it’s not merely a northern thing.

                    • Montgomery AL has wonderful sweet tea. In most of the South the question is sweet or unsweet? I must reply lemonade. I’m too sensitive to caffeine and even the stimulant in cocoa.

                    • I’ll add that it depends on where you are in Texas. Texas was part of the Confederacy and East Texas is still Southern. I say that because you can get grits with your breakfast and sweet tea to drink. West Texas, on the other hand, is more of a Western state culturally where you get potatoes with your breakfast and unsweetened tea. Houston seems to be on the dividing line where you can get either grits or potatoes and only some restaurants have sweet tea (and even then it is usually not the default tea).

                    • Actually, it’s a recent (within the last 20 years) phenomena. Up until then, my experience growing up in the South was that sweet tea was the default; you didn’t get unsweet unless you asked for it (and half the time they’d bring you sweet anyway)

                      I suspect unsweet became the default for 3 reasons:

                      1. Too many damYankees retiring down here. 😎
                      2. The general preaching against sugar by various health nazis.
                      3. Restaurants realized it was cheaper to make all the tea unsweet and let the customer add sweetener rather than making pitchers of each that they might not use up.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      The local (Danville, IL) Steak n’ Shake serves Sweet Tea.

                    • The McAlister’s Deli chain brags about their sweet tea.

                      McAlister’s … a name that says delicatessen the way Manischewitz says single malt.

                    • Heck even McDonald’s is offering sweet tea on their value menu.

                      (At least in Arizona. On the other hand I do live in Tucson, which received the University of Arizona as punishment for being a “hotbed of secessionists and Confederate sympathizers.)

                    • Oh, for goodness sake, people! This is America!!! Nobody has a right to force their tea preferences, whether sweet or unsweet, black, green or orange pekoe down the throat of anybody else and I, for one, will fight to preserve that right.

                      If restaurants want to limit the tea they serve, that is their right and potential customers can frequent such venues or not, as they like. Health Nazis and Government be damned, it is every American’s inalienable right to prefer whatever tea they like, without regard to its sweetness, color or place of national origin (however sick and perverted such preferences might be.)

                    • meh… the proud regional diff’s are disappearing into whatever-you-can-sell; i.e. there are several restaurant chains in state of Washington where you can get sweet tea, but grits not so much.

                    • “Oh, for goodness sake, people! This is America!!!”

                      Yeah, I know. I’m surprised tea is even legal for anything other than throwing into harbors…

                      (It doesn’t help that I’m a Latter-day Saint, so my awareness of tea is limited to “if it isn’t herbal, I should probably avoid it”… 😉

                • That takes some serious denial of reality to actually believe.

                • My best grading story was a numerical methods class where the students had to use trigonometry to calculate the distance between the university and the professor’s house. I had one student who’s answer was on the order of 20,000 miles. I was tempted to leave a sarcastic note asking just where he thought the professor lived.

              • “And its not adult drinks…”

                Not right off, anyway.

          • Reality Observer

            If you follow that thread, you will note that I’m up to considering twenty-pound maces.

            I do fear that the equivalent – a person attired in the latest of ISIS fashion, modeling their wares in the local casino – is all too likely.

    • Yes. Always ‘fun’ to see the idiots saying they are more likely to be murdered by Christian fundies for being gay than a Muslim fundamentalist.

    • At some point those kinds of idiots face two, not mutually exclusive, end points:

      1. The only thing that penetrates their thinking about radical Islam being an Islamist projectile.

      2. Conservative Christians deciding to live up to the system of incentives being created.

  3. Funny how the same folk who assert the “not all Muslims” mantra are quick to tout the results of such social-psychology experiments as the Stanford prison experiment, the Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures, and various other such experiments as authoritative.

    • Or support “studies” like this:

      I seriously question the rationality of someone who thinks that a five year old and a twelve year value stickers in the same way, and that’s just a starter– before the issue of conflating religion, and assuming that the average 12 year old won’t realize the researcher is lying when he says the other kid only gets stickers if the 12 year old shares.

      • We have gone from studies like, what if I drop a light and heavy ball off the tower of Pisa, to studies like how can I design a study that will prove what I already believe.
        They should not be called ‘studies’, when ‘rigged experiments’ is their truthful name.

      • The methodology of that study is highly dubious, agreed. Moreover, it ignores the fact that the goal of parents is to raise compassionate* adults, which often means that at some point the children will overcompensate the other direction.

        Actually getting into the methodological errors and invalid presumptions of that study would exceed any reasonable standard for comments here. Suffice to say that the definition of “kindness” employed by the experimenters was highly dubious. Is it kind to protect people from the consequences of their actions? I suspect Jonathan Haidt could offer a most amusing and informative analysis.

        As Donald Campbell notes, calling these studies is akin to calling 3-Card Monte a game of chance.

      • Since we’ve been teaching our daughter to think herself as long as possible, one has to wonder whether or not conservative 12-year-olds are sticking it to the researchers on purpose. I know I would have.

        • As I understand it, the experimental methodology was badly flawed. The errors involved things like willingness to overlook the degree to which people’s own idiotic acts contributed to their need.

          It was not quite so egregious as measuring altruism by willingness to take stickers from those with “plenty” in order to give to those with fewer, but approached that level of fatuousness.

          • They’re finding a lot of issues with the methodology on these type of psych/sociology experiments; and a lot of trouble duplicating the results.

            (In social psych everyone seemed a little credulous on the idea that the levels of hot sauce put on another’s food would be a reliable analog for aggression.)

    • My favorite is the Fundamental Attribution Error — “based” on a study where students were given an essay and told the author had been assigned the topic and still thought the author agreed with the topic.

      Well, duh. Assuming the essay was not a strawman, that’s the way to bet, as anyone who’s read some works where the author tried to put what he thought were the other side’s argument in his villain’s mouth.

  4. Since many of our more prestigious institutions of learning are no longer insisting on teaching our own young values you are correct — we have a problem.

    • Oh, they’re still teaching values, all right — it’s just that they haven’t fully thought through what are the values they teach.

      For example, they are teaching the power of being loudly outraged.

      • I was going to say, there are values they mean to teach…. As you say, there are also the ones they probably don’t realize they’re teaching.

      • “…it’s just that they haven’t fully thought through what are the values they teach”

        There are some signs that it’s starting to sink in, now that the tumbrels have started rolling up to the doors of the professors and university administrators.

        Too late? Only time can tell for sure, but my personal opinion is that the U.S. university is toast. It’s a brain-dead corpse kept running only by the constant IV drip of taxpayer dollars. When that stops (and it will, sooner than they think), it’s all over.

        We need to be thinking about what will replace it. We still need doctors, and engineers, and physicists, and, yes, even philosophers, art historians, and scholars of literature.

        What we don’t need are Marxists who are merely pretend to be those things.

        • I have noticed several proposals from the Right (whether Congress of Presidential wannabes I can’t recall — likely both) calling for caps on student loan amounts, both annual and in total.

          For an interesting discussion of the Game of Loans, watch the linked Prager University video.

          • This person “on the Right” would like to call not for caps, but a total extermination of (publicly funded) student loans.

            • The Other Sean

              I think an end to general student loans by the Federal government is in order. I would my own State to do likewise. However, there are some special cases where scholarship-for-future-service makes sense, and structuring it as a loan to be repaid (with penalties, perhaps) in the event of failure to complete service might be appropriate.

              • Reality Observer

                “More college educated people are a net gain for society.” (Which, despite being in that group, and not in any of the voodoo science or “feelz” fields – I have some reservations about.)

                “Society should encourage more college education through government action.” (Even more reservations about this one, considering the governmental mismanagement of just about everything it touches.)

                Given those two assumptions – the money should be free and clear grants. With a system of allocations (OK, how many Middle Kingdom Chinese art historians are needed, and how many polymer chemists?) And a cap set on the annual amount (yes, it can go up with inflation) – if a college wants any of the funding, it obeys the cap for its tuition and fees (on non-granted students, too, BTW).

                Something about “budget neutrality” in there too. It should be quite possible to track the taxes paid by the grantees for the rest of their lives. Require that after ten years, the grant program must be fully funded by the income taxes paid in by previous grantees.

                • Your system is a little too complicated. Eliminate government interference altogether, and let the market determine whatever is needed.

                  You want to be a computer scientist, a mathematician, a physicist or an engineer, or something otherwise profitable? Find a cheap college and a generous benefactor (likely someone successful in the industry), and go get an education, and consider getting a loan from your local bank, then work hard, and find work afterward.

                  You want to be a historian, or an artist, or an English major? You could probably still do that, but before you get that loan, I have a feeling that the loan officer is going to want very good evidence that you’re going to be able to pay it back; otherwise, expect to pay your own way.

                  You want to be a Gender/Black/Aggrieved Studies major? Bwahahahaha, good luck with that!

                  You want students to attend your college? You had better keep tuition affordable!

                  If you decide that college isn’t for you, there are certainly a lot of internships available. Indeed, I think this is a good option for even the college-bound: I sometimes wish I knew about machining before I went to college, and had spent a few months becoming a machinist, and using that skill to pay my way through college to become a mathematician…and, who knows? I may have found machining profitable and enjoyable enough that I might not have gone on to become a mathematician pretending to be a software engineer after all…

              • scott2harrison

                Case in point: ROTC.

            • An end to publicly funded student loans probably is overdue, in general. However, a sudden cessation _right now_ of the usual order of business would likely break a number of colleges, including some percentage of useful ones; and eliminate at least half of an age cohort of students of useful skills.
              A slightly more phased approach, together with encouragement (or at least getting out of the way of) alternative education methods (MOOCs, etc.) would create less disruption.

              • The current system insures that schools will comply with government regulations in order to be certified as loan eligible. It also funds a significant loan servicing industry which we can presume contributes to Democrats’ campaigns.

              • I wouldn’t have a problem with a phasing out period, as long as it actually happened. It would be fairly simple to do, and phase out fairly rapidly. Just simply not offer any new loans, offer to continue yearly loans to those already qualified and currently going to school, until such a time as they should have earned their degree (in order to prevent “career students”). All loans would be phased out under such a system in something like five years (possibly a few would last longer for specialized degrees).

                On the other hand, breaking any and all colleges that are unable to adapt and continue without federally funded students; I am unconvinced would be a bad thing.

                Nor am at all convinced that half the age cohort of students have or will gain through schooling any useful skills to eliminate.

                • While I would generally agree with most of what you post there is presently a problem for students seeking certain degrees to do so in a timely manner. The Daughter was going for a bio-chem undergraduate degree with a minor in Japanese.

                  They lost a professor and failed to offer third year level Japanese for a few years. She went to summer school in Japan for language work.

                  There are certain courses which you have to take in a proper sequential manner, many of which are not offered every year. When they are offered she found that sometimes she had to choose which one of two required courses she would take this time as they were offered at the same time.

                  She got permission to take physics for science majors at nearby university because there were too few seats available at the university she was attending.

                  Some things she could not work around. So, as a result, to maintain her student status one year she picked up the necessary courses to add a psychology major.

                  She paid for all of this herself. We jokingly say that she has obtained a degree in bureaucratic navigation along the way.

        • Yes, the engineering schools will survive, but in what form, I do not know.

  5. c4c

  6. This actually helps me frame some things I’ve been pondering – namely, that reactions I had in grad school a decade ago from a male Muslim colleague. He was perfectly polite and friendly, we talked about normal things and worked together, but at the same time he let me know that he would not ever shake my hand or have physical contact (which meant that I had to insist that one of my other coworkers be assigned to help me move furniture since I couldn’t trust his reflexes in an emergency) and that my clothing was immodest. (I was a comp sci grad student. Tshirt and jeans was the uniform. Not tight jeans or low-cut shirts either. It was just the fact that you could tell I had legs that was against his beliefs)

    He didn’t try pushing things on me or telling me I should change or anything but I always had trouble figuring out why. In his situation, I could only imagine that either I would shut up and never say anything about it, or I’d be proselytizing. But if he were a peaceful Muslim who nonetheless believed deep down that Western culture was just wrong…

    I can sympathize. There are moments I’ve pondered certain institutions we permit in this country and think, if I really truly believed what I claimed to believe, then shouldn’t I be doing something about this?

    Sympathize, but still stand up and say no, not here. My daughter will not wear the hijab.

    • I’ve done that before, too — basically “I will let you know that I think what you’re doing is immoral, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.” Other times I’ve just shut up.

      • Being non-confrontational, but not wanting to be mistaken for supporting the behavior.

      • I can see that. It’s just always really bothered me because it was such a stand-out incident. In all my career as a software engineer, it’s one of only two times where I felt like someone thought me less a person because I was female. I will loudly shout my personal experiences at anyone who accuses the tech industry of being anti-woman the rest of the time.

        I might have been over-sensitive, though, since I already knew that the real war on women is being fought largely in Islamic countries.

        • At a World’s Fair some years back, we went thru the Saudi pavilion. Big sign, saying “A man’s primary obligations are to his sons, his guests, and his horses.” It didn’t take long to figure out what that said about an Arabian man’s attitude toward women.

    • Or “I strongly disagree with your choice of behaviors, but having said my piece, I’m not going to make a big deal of it.” They know my opinion, I know their opinion, and we’ll get on with work.

  7. This is sort of that “the threat of Islamic insanity would be gone; but we’d not be western society as we’ve known it these last thousand years. What emerges from that could be worse than Fascism or Communism.”

    I don’t buy this. It’s a gratingly common, lefty, Hollywood trope that you can’t let our your inner barbarian without “becoming as bad as them.”

    It simply isn’t true. From the American revolution, through 1812, to the Civil War to the world wars, the U.S. has shown that it can erupt in bloody carnage, then more or less go home and go back to being the same old generally peaceful Americans we always were.

    Our inner barbarian isn’t something to be ashamed of and releasing him when needful doesn’t change who we are. We dust him off when we need him.

    • It’s not the inner barbarian I’m afraid of. It’s giving more power to central government. We’re still suffering from the civil war.

      • I won’t argue with you there. We’re also still suffering from the Wilsonian WW I progressive era.

        • The Other Sean

          Don’t forget the FDR New Deal era, the LBJ “Great Society” era, and the Obama era.

          • Basically, any era where progressives/Democrats held power for too long.

          • You might as well add the malaise of the Carter era while you are at it: now everyone, put on a sweater, turn out the lights, make quilts for your windows, tighten your belt and stop dreaming of better times.

            • Is that where the “set the thermostat to 65” billboards came from?

              Wish they’d put some of the money they shovel into stupid PSAs into fixing the dang road.

              • And the nationally mandated 55mph as top speed limits.

              • Actually, reducing the thermostat in the winter and raising it in the summer dates to Arab Oil Embargo of the early 1970s. Carter continued the drumbeat, to the point of enlisting the help of Disney to produce crude energy conservation propaganda comics using Mickey Mouse and company. But it originated either in the Nixon or Ford administrations.

                In that era we adjusted our thermostats simply to save money. Setting it at 68° in the winter and 80° in the summer does save on your energy bills. Most of our high bill complaints come from loose duct work and thermostats set high in the winter and low in the summer. FWIW, another common cause of complaints are when the heat and air conditioner comes on at the same time. Something to be aware of.

                Even now we keep our house at 68° in the winter and 80° in the summer. My parents, as a concession to age, keep their home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than they once did.

                • I grew up with 68 being kind of warm for non-fire heated homes– and we don’t have an air conditioner! (This isn’t exactly a brag– Seattle broke records for number of hot days this year, and it still wasn’t unbearable.)

                  • *grin* I grew up with wood stoves (later an oil burner) and no a/c, even in college. You can get by with open windows and a fan most days, until it gets way into the upper nineties and low 100s. 105 in the shade? Time to go jump in the creek and cool off. *chuckle*

                    • Didn’t you have a cellar? That helped on 100+ days.

                    • I still live that way. In this country it usually cools down at night, so if you open your windows at night to let it cool off, then close windows and curtains by daylight, it usually will stay cool most all day. Unless you have kids running in and out, and letting all the cool air out. 🙂

                    • Cellar, sure, but I was never near one when I needed it!

                      And, if I’m being honest, Mom banned us kids from the cellar during the day early on for much the same reason as bearcat has already surmised… I *was* doing the running in and out all day, until either hogtied to a chair or set to a task I couldn’t get loose of. *chuckle*

                      My house nowadays doesn’t have a/c during the summer, even though I could use it. Ten foot ceilings makes it hard to heat, but easier to keep cool.

                    • ” it usually will stay cool most all day. ”

                      Depends on your architecture. I live in a hothouse — windows facing east, some south, a lot west — with no shade about. I do it to lower the bill, but only AC does the trick.

                  • SheSellsSeashells

                    The Child and I were in Seattle this summer (we’re from North Carolina) and the hotel air conditioning was hilarious to us. *Some* hotels had it, but didn’t understand that it was necessary to start it running before your guests check in. The 85-degree room on the fifth floor was fun. (On the other hand, we were out walking when the Child stopped in utter astonishment. “Mom, when you stand in the shade, the heat just GOES AWAY!” We are not used to this phenomenon…)

                • It helps keep your internal thermostat capable of adjusting to temperatures, too.

                • Jimmy Carter, a bad President, but no longer the worst
                  President. Maybe the Dems should draft him.

            • Somewhat related:

              At one time the U.S. Department of Energy was urging Americans to install programmable thermostats, which can be set to automatically turn the heat down when it’s not needed. These devices were thought to generate savings of 10 to 30 percent, and close to half of U.S. homes now have them. In 2006, though, the DOE stopped pushing the thermostats, which aren’t cheap, after multiple studies showed the actual savings was zero — not because the inventors hadn’t understood the laws of physics, but because consumers didn’t use the things right. They couldn’t figure out how to program the thermostats, didn’t believe they’d work and so didn’t bother, set the temperature higher during the day and thereby canceled out the savings from the setback at night, and so on.

              So: they don’t work, because some portion of the population is “using them wrong”… by using energy when they actually NEED it, instead of being slightly uncomfortable all the time.

              Points to the inherent problem with the worldview: the energy shouldn’t be a goal in itself, it should be a means to an end, that end being making things better.


              • I guess then I’m smarter that their average bear; my thermostat is set for 68 in the day and 63 at night.

                • Ah, but you see– you’re WORSE than a “failure,” because as compared to someone who keeps it at 65* 24/7, you’ve “wasted” a whole degree of heating for the times that you’re up to enjoy it.

                • (it did remind me to get up and program our thermostat, though)

                  • The nerve of you, using technology to be more comfortable for the same expenditure! 😛

                  • How do programmable thermostats work for you? My take is that they work better for buildings not occupied for hours to days and maybe residences if they’re not set too low. They’re not recommended for heat pumps, and might not work too well for steam heating. I don’t have a good handle on modeling heat loss/gain to even run a SWAG.

                    • I don’t have much to compare them to– this is the first house I’ve lived in that has a furnace. Our prior one did have a thermostat…which I hacked by putting a radiant heater under it, because it couldn’t be set below “65,” couldn’t be disabled, and turned on the baseboard heaters that are a fire hazard even when they’re NOT on badly installed carpet.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      It would depend on the building.

                      Thermal energy through the walls, roof and floors depend on how they are made, what they are made of, and the temperature difference across them.

                      Thermal energy change needed to change the temperature depends on how big a volume, and what is in it.

                      Energy costs for AC depend on the system and the temperature difference.

              • Guess I’m stupid on both ends. I love my programmable thermostat and have spent a bit of time testing various combinations … trying to walk that line between comfort and saving $$$$$ … and it ain’t easy, due to the stupid circulation in this house … so I love the thing for the convenience of setting it and letting it do the work for me. But it has nothing to do with Gaia … and my program numbers have nothing to do with anyone’s “recommendations.”

                • Programmable thermostats have the implicit assumptions that only certain parts of the house are used, and only at certain times.

                  As a child and most of my adult life, there was always an adult at home, children used the entire house, and another adult was on shift work.

                  I’ve seen people living in McMansions, in a subset of kitchen/family room, with the living room an bedrooms off-limits other than for company or sleeping. I figure they could have saved a chunk of money just buying a smaller house and using it all…

              • I bought one of those. It doesn’t work for me.

                I live in a structural brick house (with mostly old windows; replacing some each year). If I turn my heat down to 65 at night, followed by a cold day, the boiler will run all day trying to get the house up to 68. It actually costs more. I generally leave it at 68 24/7.

                No AC; don’t need it (maybe one week per year, but with no duct work, it would be rather expensive to install).

                • scott2harrison

                  You are dealing with a high thermal mass (as you know). This tends to time-shift heating and cooling needs. You might be better off setting the thermostat lower during the day and higher during the night. Anyone here a HVAC expert who knows?

      • Look at how so many people get their knickers knotted up over the NSA surveillance, then consider the reports that ISIS is training its people to exchange messages through Playstation peer-to-peer communication.

        How Islamic State Teaches Tech Savvy to Evade Detection
        The Paris attacks, apparently planned under the noses of French and Belgian authorities, raise the possibility that Islamic State adherents have found ways around the dragnet of electronic surveillance.

      • This is why while I have NO issue with France going after IS/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Doueche/whatever, that Hollande is seeking constitutional changes scares me considerably. Hopefully if a bad example is set, we (rest of civilized world, ideally) will be smart enough not to follow.

          • Hollande’s only got one chance domestically – move rapidly so far to the right it makes DeGaulle look soft, in the desperate hope that through some miracle he won’t be handing over the office keys to Marine Le Pen after the next election.

            Outside of France, I read something the other day that Daesh HQ should ponder, along the lines of: “France is no longer really a major power; If France nuked Daesh, it would not upset nearly as many people in world capitols as if the US nuked Daesh.”

        • Hollande is acting like a good leftest, not letting a crises go to waste when it allows him to consolidate power.

    • Our inner barbarian has never, to my knowledge, had so little impetus to go back to being civilized as it does in this day and age. Frankly, I’d rather worry about it enough that we’re actively putting the Barbarian back in his cage after the shooting ends than not worry about it and forget to lock him back up.

      • The inner barbarian is still there, hence students on rampage. I fear that it is no longer balanced by a civil code of conduct.

        • Indeed. And the re-establishing of such a code is something we need for restraining any barbarians at our gate or within our walls.

        • Water cannons. That’s what’s needed at Yale, U of M and all the others filled with those ludicrous cry-babies prattling on about non-existent problems. They are only letting their inner barbarians loose if you include barbarian 4-year-olds.

          • With facial recognition software and ample videos of protests it should require little effort to suspend protesting students who have crossed boundaries, such as assaulting (or encouraging same) journalists taking pictures in public spaces, or disrupting libraries where students are attempting to study.

            All courses in the current semester should be designated “withdrawn, incomplete” and reapplication required to return to classes after the Spring semester. Non-student participants in such invasive protests should be charged with trespass on campus and warned that repetition will merit prosecution.

            Any football team on strike should be advised that their presence in class as student-athletes is contingent on their participating in the athletic activities their scholarships are contingent upon. This means they are subject to suspension, repayment of scholarship benefits and liable for loss of income entailed by their willful refusal to meet contractual obligations.

            Any school president willing to impose such standards has a good chance of being elected governor.

            • I dunno. Water cannons are both more satisfying and more viscerally educational.

              • Especially in deep northern Winter.

              • Focusing on visceral satisfaction is how they justify their actions. Suspending them (without guarantee of readmission) serves to both give them ample time to reflect and learn and as instructional example for fellow students.

                Besides, water cannon in libraries is a bad combination.

                • By all means suspend them. But you’ve also got to clear the trash off the quad in an efficient manner so the real students can get back to class.

                  • But if you use it in the library, it will damage the books.

                    • Good point. Maybe just pipe in Christian music and easy-listening tunes at moderate volumes. They won’t be able to tolerate that for long.

                    • Mantovani and 101 Strings or many of the TIME-LIFE albums, Cloudbuster.

                    • The Other Sean

                      Wait, isn’t Christian music and easy-listening basically the same: instrumentally simplistic, lyrically repetitive, lacking in thematic range, and generally insipid? IOW, a sea of blandness. Still an improvement on rap, I suppose.

                      (By Christian music I am assuming you are referring to what one hears when tuning to a self-proclaimed “Christian radio station,” NOT to classical works of a Christain bent, Gospel, Gregorian chants, or what have you.)

                    • Well, I can’t recommend weaponizing gospel against these types, as it might give them too much multi-culti cred, but Classical liturgical music, Gregorian chants, traditional hymns, etc., would all be valid choices in addition to mainstream modern Christian music. 🙂

                    • Christian music is equivalent to easy listening? Tell that to J.S. Bach or Hayden. Or to Alice Cooper in regards his trilogy, The Last Temptation (a retelling of the Faust legend), Brutal Planet and Dragontown.

                    • I rather enjoy this one:

                    • Free-range Oyster

                      *nod* Skillet seems to have little middle ground: I find all of their music either excellent in its field, or gratingly adolescent and melodramatic. Hero is one of my favorites; Monster hits some deep chords with me (heh), thanks to some of my mental and spiritual… foibles.

                    • Free-range Oyster

                      *shrug* The Oyster Wife listens to a fair bit of CCM. While Sturgeon’s Law applies as always, I’ve found some that I appreciate and a few pieces that move me profoundly.

                    • The Other Sean

                      Christian music from most self-proclaimed “Christian radio stations” seems about as insipid and bland as easy listening music. There is plenty of great music over the ages written by Christians, with Christian themes, dedicated to the glory of God. . . and that’s not what plays on the Christian stations they’re tuned into at the local Wendy’s or the Chik-Fil-A, or what wafts out from the Christian store at the mall, or what my co-worker listened to on the way to work. It’s not like its utterly repulsive in content, like most of rap, or outright poorly performed, even, merely that it takes blandness to new heights. (Is it performed by musicians who believe rock’and’roll is the Devil’s music?)

                      (emphasis added this time, because nobody appears to have noticed last time)

                    • Foxfier, Skillet’s not bad, but my contention is that Demon Hunter’s better.

                    • There is a huge variety in Christian music, even on popular stations. Basically it parallels contemporary music. One of the things that led to the growth of Methodists and Baptists in the early 19th Century was the music.

                      Two things drive me up the wall: One is the “AM Whine” and the other are songs with a weak formless nature. First became aware of the AM Whine on a job site around 1980 where either a plummer or electrician kept an AM radio going. 11:00 – 12:00 was the gospel hour, and the end of each song had an annoying whine, courtesy of a high pitch and lack of fidelity. Then I noticed live quartets were trying to emulate that whine. It’s so pronounced that last Friday, when I heard a quartet end a song without the whine, i was astounded.

                      The weak, formless songs are just that: weak, with lack of a theme. They tend to be contemporary, but not all contemporary songs are weak and formless.

                      While I know of a fast-food place that plays contemporary Christian music, offhand I can’t recall any easy listening Christian music. It could probably be adapted to easy listening by going all instrumental, but many of them trigger emotions.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      I went to one Church where the music was this “contemporary” Christian music.

                      It did nothing for me.

                      I prefer the older Christian music as it seems to have more of an emotional punch as well as having more reverence to it.

                      Of course, any music (like books & movies) falls under the YMMV rule. [Smile]

                    • The fact that the most important element of the music is its adjective rather than its noun is a large part of the problem. While there is much that is good, the fact of it being a niche market is limiting.

                      There is a local station which has a gospel a capella hour every evening with some truly great music, there is also a strong bluegrass gospel presence in the Western Virginia & Carolina region with some wonderful stuff. There is a wide variety of overtly Christian bands of all types, from ska to rock to metal — but the audience is undeniably limited because the first emphasis is that it be Christian and only secondly that it be music.

                      There are undeniably successful acts, such as U2, who are unafraid to incorporate Christian themes in the work, but they address that within the context of their music rather than addressing their music within the context of their Christian beliefs.

                    • scott2harrison

                      Wet books can be freeze dried. (A university I am aquainted with had a fire in the library. Much more water than smoke or fire damage. The rented the Nestle’s plant for about a week to restore the books).

                    • Lutherans refer to what you are calling Christian music as 7/11 songs. They have all the virtues and the flaws of modern pop tunes. Banal, incessant backbeat; catchy tune, and one perhaps two decent lines (3 if they cribbed from the Psalms) .

            • RES, they would certainly get my vote; however, hold not your breath. Part of the problem with today’s college students is that their parents do indeed believe theirs is a ‘special snowflake’. In my worst moments, I believe western civilization has lost the capacity for tough love.

              • The Other Sean

                Heck, I have family and friends in academia, and it is not uncommon these days for parents to call up professors and department staff to complain about grades/treatment/policies, to attempt to excuse their child, etc. In the real world, though its still exceptionally rare, I’ve heard of parents trying to do that with their children’s bosses – complaining about bad performance reviews, for example.

          • “Every generation, civilization is invaded by barbarians. They’re called children.”

            Some of those barbarians have been civilized. The others are on the news…..

            • “Civilization” is usually preceded by “Western,” to these little barbarians, and are therefore dirty words…

              It’s good hard work and moral grounding they need, but who’s to teach them? The best we can do is take care of our own, train those in our care when we can, and be the best example possible of what civilization ought to be.

              And kick back at the assaults on our freedom and culture, of course. Just because we’re civilized doesn’t mean we have to play “nice.”

          • Telecasting film showing the use of fire hoses (and cattle prods) on civil rights protesters in the deep south served to create sympathy for the cause of those being hosed down.

      • It is an interesting irony that being perceived as bad-ass can reduce the need to actually be bad-ass.

        Early in my career as a hotel clerk I learned that if I approached a troublesome room occupant in a polite and reasonable manner to ask would they please keep the noise down it had little effect; I would have to keep returning and eventually call the cops on the rowdy room. Once I learned to make that first interaction a “if I have to come back you’re going to jail” level it was rare I would have to engage them again.

        By following rules of engagement such as “no bombings if civilians are in range” we ensure that ISIS keeps plenty of civilians in target zones. By persisting in slap fights we persuade them we lack ability to really fight — they see us as “gym-bodies” — lots of muscle but no guts.

        • So the question is: how do we convince the other side that we can kill 90%+ of their population fairly easily without actually going ahead and slaughtering them in job lots?

          • Why is that the question?

            • Because we’d generally rather not kill a few dozen or hundred million people? If nothing else, it gets expensive and, in the long run, conditions us to the idea that mass slaughter a tool to be kept readily to hand.

              I’d like us to keep that particular option far down at the bottom of the toolkit if at all possible. A society that reaches for that one too readily would likely be fairly ugly, inside and out.

              • I repeat myself with commentary:

                They know we CAN. (They know we have the armaments, and they are trying to get their own.) They do not believe we WILL. (They think we lack the resolve, that we are weak willed.)

                • See my solution above. I don’t like it. I really don’t like it. I believe we are to the point where that is the only demonstration that will change their mind concerning our willingness to do so.

                  Personally, I think we’re going to have to go for the two major targets and even then during the Haj to get the point across.

                  May God have mercy on us for doing it when we do, but I have more faith in his mercy than the mercy of the heirs of Mohammed (put bacon grease upon him)

                  • We’ve had this discussion before, in regard to child-rearing operant conditioning. Allowing the child problem to grow without any serious consequences until it is fully developed, and then bringing the hammer down is not only ineffective it is counter productive. There is nothing that better guarantees behavioural issues than convincing the child problem you are unwilling to respond to provocation and then to suddenly try to crack down only after allowing it to grow to major proportions.

                    • This is pure Heinlein (If I recall correctly, Sarship Toopers): instead of training a puppy you wait until it finally misbehave so badly that it cannot be ignored, and shoot it dead.

                      Liberals called this compassion.

                  • As you say, we don’t and shouldn’t like it; but “tit-for-tat” IS a fairly efficient way to get respect without going overboard.

                    The temptation, of course, is a Roman sort of tit-for-tat: You killa one of ours, we killa 100 of yours. Each time. You don’t, we don’t. Your decision.

              • Our philosophy generally eschews group punishment for the actions of a few. Mass targeting tends to punish far more innocent bystanders (or forced participants) than actual culprits. While sometimes necessary, it is too easily abused.

                Given our foes’ affinity for suicide bombings, it might even prove counter-productive.

                • When we went to war against Germany, Italy and Japan, we didn’t check IDs before every attack. “Nice Germans move to the left, Nazis on the right. Loyal followers of Hirohito over here, honest good-hearted innocent Japanese proceed to the mezzanine. Mussolini’s Fasci, please congregate in the atrium, and for the rest of you nice Italians there’s plenty of room at the antipasto bar….”

                  We caused millions of civilian casualties. Knowingly.

                  Were our parents and grandparents monsters for doing so? I don’t think so.

                  Was the outcome counterproductive? No.

                  Could it have been done some other way? Only academics debating in the faculty lounge have the luxury of being able to second-guess themselves into immobility.

                  • You seem to miss the difference between “knowingly” and “deliberately”.

                    Might want to talk to your son about it; he can explain. I may joke about the Army, but they do have good enough indoc for that.

                    • The bombings of Tokyo and Dresden (and later Hiroshima and Nagasaki) both deliberately and knowingly targeted civilians, as did many other bombings and attacks throughout the war period.

                      The is simply no way to honestly suggest that we weren’t deliberately targeting civilians on the Japanese mainland in the final stages of the war.

                    • In the last stages of that war there were no civilians — that is what happens when civilizations fight to the knife. But those were still military targets, consistent with “Just War” principles. To deny the military purposes of those attacks is to concede their critics are right, which is to acknowledge that, once loosed, the dogs of war are unrestrained and unrestrainable — which is, in part, Sarah’s argument.

                    • Hiroshima and Nagasaki had military installations, but the vast, disproportionate civilian casualties were known, and our leaders at the time didn’t flinch.

                      But, there was still an overriding “military purpose” to the attacks: to inflict such a horror on the people and leaders of Japan as to break their will to fight (and, it really did take two bombs. There were about willing to go on after the first).

                      The plain facts of history show that we did unleash that kind of ferocity, and then restrain it. We were possibly (probably? definitely?) the most magnanimous nation in the history of the world in the peace that followed.

                    • I am not going to try to untangle something that, at best, would involved defining all the terms and providing you with a bunch of evidence.

                      That is why I told you to go talk to your son.

                      If you’re going to insist on it anyways, this page and the arguments on it do 90% of the work:


                      As it stands, it looks like you’re drawing on sources that use a distinct vocabulary, but you are using a more general/common meaning for the words.

                    • When the language you’re using has no room for distinction between blowing up a market on the biggest shopping day of the season, and giving people who work in and around a major military target warning with days of time to take it, it’s going to require a hell of a lot more rebuilding than can be managed in a com box– even if I did have the time!

                    • OK, I understand what you are getting and and concede the imprecision of my terms. I think, oddly enough, that what we are both getting at is that the attacks under question were morally justified under Western standards of war, and that they are a valid template for use in the future against targets like ISIS that establish military bases in civilian areas.

                    • I’d have to know what parts you’re viewing as a template to agree we’re getting at the same part!

                      I can tell we’re disagreeing with the same group– the ones that think that letting the bad guys do absolutely anything, so long as there’s any risk of someone we don’t want hurt being hurt by us, no consideration of what happens if we don’t act– but it’s a freaking HUGE conversational area!

                    • Yes it’s a big area. As you said, too big for a blog comment. In general, I mean that if an enemy has surrounded itself with civilian targets, such as an ISIS command center, then while we do what we can to minimize civilian casualties, we still have to bomb/attack, and we don’t shrink from the inevitable civilian casualties, or if a target has great strategic value, such as the oil fields, yet is manned by civilians, then their deaths in such an attack are regrettable, but legitimate, if they can’t be avoided.

                      In the other direction, it’s simply not now acceptable to bomb Mecca to send a message, as nice as that might feel (but there are many more legitimate military targets one could substitute).

                      There are a thousand permutations. One hopes that the people who are responsible for directly making the call have studied the justifications in depth.

                    • I think most of us here recognize the irony that refusing to attack legitimate targets due to the presence of civilians incentivizes our opponents using civilians as human shields; we only wish our civilian military leaders and the MSM did.

                      Sadly, they find this lack of distinction so useful in condemning Israeli military strikes that they refuse to eschew it when our own troops are forced to employ it.

                    • The difficult version– where it’s not all clean and easy, requiring judgement and not being simple.

                    • ” In general, I mean that if an enemy has surrounded itself with civilian targets, such as an ISIS command center,”

                      This is actually defined as one subset of a war crime, called Perfidy. The governing laws specifically state that the belligerent committing it is responsible for any civilian casualties caused by his opponent attacking him.

                      It’s similar to the idea that if I shoot and kill a burglar in self-defense, his accomplices, not me, are charged with murder in his death.

                    • This rule is suspended when discussing warfare involving Israel, where misfired Palestinian rockets which land on Palestinian homes are the fault of Zionists.

                    • Dresden was a manufacturing center and our targets were the railroad marshaling yard and industrial areas. Hiroshima was an embarkation port, industrial center and site of a major military headquarters. Nagasaki was one of the largest ports and a center of wide range of military production. We knew there would be civilian deaths, but the civilians were not the target.

                    • Mecca, Medina, Qum, are all legitimate targets, if the enemy is properly recognized as islam. If you’re going to quibble and say the enemy is not really islam, but misunderstanders of islam, they’re not. Trouble with claiming that the bad guys are misunderstanders of islam is that the people stating so are not muslim; they’re agnostics, atheists, or Christian. The “misunderstanders” are imams, ayatollahs, and now caliph. Leaders of islam.

                      BTW, I no longer capitalize muslim, islam, or any term associated with them. Not worthy of the recognition.

                  • Were our parents and grandparents monsters for doing so? I don’t think so.

                    Perhaps not but Curtis LeMay believed he could be tried for war crimes for his bombing campaign over Japan:

                    “Killing Japanese didn’t bother me very much at that time. It was getting the war over that bothered me. I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side.

                    The key is finding those men who understand what they are about to do is of that degree of moral consequence, but understand the need to do it.

                    Before anyone things LeMay was a softie (or me in thinking he was right) he also said, a few sentences later:

                    Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.

                    Having carted around SLBMs during the Cold War and expecting to see them used only to be relieved that the end of the Cold War meant I wouldn’t live to see nukes used again I am very angry that again I expect to see them fly.

                    • The Other Sean

                      I’m not so sure they’ll fly. Arrive by ship in a shipping container, or smuggled across a porous land border, OTOH, seems increasingly likely, given the number of Islamic nations with nukes and the lax security Russian had (has?) on its nukes.

                  • In WWII we did cause civilian deaths; we did so while targeting military objectives. These military targets included manufacturing sites and transportation hubs that were in cities and surrounded by civilians. The civilians were not our target and such collateral damage was regretted, not celebrated.

                    It might tempting to imagine with visceral satisfaction bombing Mecca during the hajj. But, does Mecca constitute a military target? Or would it be a civilian target, like a rock concert or a soccer match?

                    • I specifically say in another post (comments sections at AccordingtoHoyt are so long!) that I think Mecca does not qualify as a legitimate military target. I believe bombing it would not be legitimate or moral under Western notions of Just War. Could that change if we found ourselves in an unrestricted war with Saudi Arabia? Yes, I suppose, but I don’t see that happening.

                      It has been argued in multiple instances in past U.S. wars that the U.S. (or the Union) knowingly conducted attacks and used tactics that caused disproportionate civilian casualties. I was responding to this comment:

                      Our philosophy generally eschews group punishment for the actions of a few. Mass targeting tends to punish far more innocent bystanders (or forced participants) than actual culprits. While sometimes necessary, it is too easily abused.

                      And while I don’t necessarily condone mass punishments, I think it undeniable that we have used them on occasion. Sherman’s march was not simply intended to take out military targets. The atomic bombs on Japan weren’t simply intended to take out the military-related facilities in those cities with civilian casualties as a regrettable side-effect. The civilian casualties were part of the point, though they were perpetrated for a military objective, as Father Baron said in a link Foxfier references:

                      The morality of using either the atomic or hydrogen bomb as a weapon of war is therefore, not a question of principle, which remains unchangeable, but a question of fact, and the fact questioned is whether there can be a military objective so vital to an enemy, the destruction of which would be a sufficient reason to permit the death of a vast number of civilians who at most contribute only remotely and indirectly to the war effort. We think this proportion can exist…

                      The “military objective” in question in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not the physical military assets that were destroyed. That’s only a pretext. The military objective was to deliver a destruction so sudden and so total that the Japanese leadership would not be willing to continue the war. An extremely surgical strike that only destroyed the military facilities in the two cities would not have had this effect.

                      So, in an unrestricted war with Saudi Arabia or the Middle East as a whole, could there come a point where destroying Mecca represented a military objective “so vital to an enemy, the destruction of which would be a sufficient reason to permit the death of a vast number of civilians who at most contribute only remotely and indirectly to the war effort?” Possibly. But we are nowhere near such a situation now.

                      Such actions are inevitably controversial and second-guessed in hindsight. We have shown in the past that we can make rational judgments regarding when such an event is justified. I think any leadership we are likely to have would be even more reticent than leadership of previous eras to commit to such actions.

                    • ” But, does Mecca constitute a military target? Or would it be a civilian target, like a rock concert or a soccer match?”

                      It depends on how you define the enemy, as is pointed out above by someone, if Islam is defined as the enemy, then Mecca becomes a valid target. If the enemy is defined as practically any governing/ruling power, and NOT as Islam in general, then it is not a valid target.

                      Valid or invalid, IMO it would only be a productive target if a number of other targets were hit at the same time. If we reduced Mecca to a glowing hole, but did nothing to the rest of Islam, it would be like Iran taking out one of our aircraft carriers, but not attacking anything else. We would retaliate, and do so with exponentially greater force. So would the Islamics. Now if we took out Mecca and thirty (number picked out of a hat, target selection and quantity would require research) other targets near simultaneously, then it might be possible to cow them into submission.

                    • Now if we took out Mecca and thirty (number picked out of a hat, target selection and quantity would require research) other targets near simultaneously, then it might be possible to cow them into submission.

                      This culture war is in truth a long one, going back before you or I, or our grandparents, for that matter, were born. The enemy we face has a long historic memory. When they denounce the west for the Crusades and say that it justifies their actions against us they mean it.

                      I fear that bombing them into submission alone would be, at best, a present term solution. Without finding a way to convince those survivors to change their historical world view, having bombed them into submission, it would eventually become the root cause for future actions against us.

                    • I agree with you, but then a present term solution is all that most wars that stop short plowing the ground and sowing it with salt, produce. The Mongols brought peace to the middle east, but even their fairly thorough conquest only produced a present term solution.

                      On the other hand, I don’t hear of the Imam’s preaching regularly about the need to attack Mongolia, so it is possible that they got their point across.

                • Counterproductive to a point. That’s one of the issues – if we do it, we have to go big. As in “Carthage was a slap on the wrist” big. We’d have to bypass the anger reaction and go right into gut liquefying terror. Half-measures would only make the situation worse, so if we go down that path, we need to realize that we *will* need to become monsters out of their darkest imaginings.

                  I’d… rather avoid what that would do to our Overton Window over the longterm.

                  • Quite honestly, I’m convinced that nothing less than the gut-liquefying horror will be enough to get through. They don’t respect anything less, culturally – restraint and mercy is seen as weakness, after all. The problem is, I do not think that we will do so until it’s too late. And then the necessary response… *shakes head* I dunno. I think people today are too different from the Greatest Generation.

                    Interesting little point I read somewhere: Japan has no Islamic terrorism because they flat out don’t allow public displays of Islamic faith; and don’t mind being outright discriminatory against Muslims. “Not compatible with our culture” I think, is the reason they give.

                    There’s only 1300 Muslims in Japan, and they have no problems not encouraging the teaching of Arabic, Islam, and anything of the same.

                    • It becomes a tad ticklish, with our Constitutional freedom of religion, but not nearly so as many are attempting to make it. We have no problem telling worshippers of Baal, or Satanists that they cannot practice child sacrifice, because it is against the law and infringes on the child’s constitutional rights. We have no problem with anyone voluntarily following the laws of their religion, as long as it does NOT infringe on any others constitutional rights, including those rights to make their own religious choices. Sharia law does infringe on those rights. We should tell Muslims, same as we tell Christians, Sikhs, and Satanists, that they are free to follow the teachings of their religion, so long as they do not attempt to enforce those teachings on others… even when those teachings tell them to do so. We have no problem telling practically any other faith this, so it boggles the mind why we should make an exception for Islam.

                    • I don’t know why that exception is being made other than ‘it’s the religion of brown people’ impression I get. Or elevation of anything that is against Christianity/Judaism as ‘better’.’

                    • scott2harrison

                      The Greatest Generation was not the Greatest Generation either at least until they needed to convince the Axis of the fundemental deadly mis-estimation that they had made.

              • scott2harrison

                We can no longer prosecute a long war. When we try within a few years the Progs gain power and declare defeat (Vietnam, Iraq, Afganistan). Thus if we need to go to war it needs to be a fast war that leaves our enemies incapable of bothering us for decades. May God help us all.

                • Which is why I maintain that the first step by Bush after 9/11 should have been to recognize the existence of the Fifth Column and destroy it. It still remains the first step; the only question is how many US cities will die before we take it.

          • They know we can. They do not believe that we will.

            • See, I’m not so sure about that. We’re talking about people whose point of view is that there is zero moral reason not to take out an enemy if you can do it.

              Remembering the Iranian reaction in 2003/04, where after taking out Saddam, the coalition didn’t turn towards Tehran. Their assumption seemed to be that it was a decision of weakness, not restraint.

              • Yes, I believe that is CACS point. They KNOW we can do it, they also know we haven’t done it, so they believe we won’t do it. They don’t believe we have the guts to. And they may possibly be right, they certainly are right in regards to those currently in charge. Part of their problem is they don’t understand anything but a strongman government, they don’t understand that someone who does have those guts could possibly be subordinate to the current regime, without using all means (not all legal means, but all means) possible to take charge. So they don’t see any reason that our stance would become more aggressive. Nor do they understand the Western philosophy of not using your strength against someone, unless they do something that causes you to “get even.”

                • This caused the oddest association in my mind: I suddenly thought of the rabbits of Efrafa in Watership Down, confronting Bigwig in the warren, and hearing him say, “My Chief Rabbit has commanded me to defend this run and until he says otherwise I shall stay here.” And the Efrafran leader, General Woundwort, and all the Efrafans are suddenly terrified, because the only kind of Chief Rabbit they can imagine is one even bigger and stronger than Bigwig; it’s simply impossible for them to conceive that they’ve already met Watership’s Chief Rabbit and he was a lame, half-sized youngster. The hit to their morale is palpable and a very real reason they are ultimately defeated.

          • The only way people have ever been convinced of that; you have to do it every few generations. There is no need to change any laws to do so, the government has always had the authority to deal with foreign threats.

          • One shot from a member of the USS Ohio class that hasn’t had an SSGN conversion.

            If we are willing to really go all out I can think of two targets tight enough for a MIRV strike. If not I suggest Raqqa.

      • My issue is the disregarding individual rights needed to unleash the barbarian.

        • Which begs the question… do enough of us remember how to give the inner barbarian just enough leash and no more, anymore?

          • I think, based on evidence of our military’s comportment the last dozen years, the answer is an emphatic yes!

            Current disgruntlement over fighting under handcuffing rules of engagement may turn that around. It tends to drive the real warriors out of the service, leaving the remnant a bad mélange of perfumed princelings and ill-disciplined thugs (sorta like the typical Third-World army.)

            • Current disgruntlement over fighting under handcuffing rules of engagement may turn that around. It tends to drive the real warriors out of the service, leaving the remnant a bad mélange of perfumed princelings and ill-disciplined thugs (sorta like the typical Third-World army.)

              I object to the characterization of any significant portion of our armed forces as “ill-disciplined thugs.” Of course, there are bad apples everywhere, but that type gets weeded out pretty quickly. My son is career army, SFC 101st Airborne, and a more professional, disciplined crew you’ll be hard-pressed to find.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                I think Res is thinking about what *might* happen to our military.

                • Perhaps, but my son has been laboring under those rules of engagement for going on 12 years (much worse starting about 7 years ago). This isn’t a new thing. They just put up with it. Shameful that they have to, though.

                  Now he’s just crossing his fingers that the new ridiculous gender rules won’t affect him too much. His branch of serious combat arms is virtually exclusively a man’s club. Women simply can’t hack it there in any significant numbers. He’s never had a woman under his command or as a superior officer.

                  • Exactly why I assert that such inane rules tend to drive out such people as your son, leaving only that detritus willing to operate under those rules.

                    It is great credit that our troops persist in spite of the demanded sacrifices for PC vanity; another four or eight years of such civilian leadership might leave the services barren of all persons of character and honour.

                • Yes: do not mistake prediction for description. I have highest regard for our current troops, but can see that the policies of the current civilian leadership will drive out the honorable sons of bitches*, leaving only the dishonorable ones.

                  *From a statement attributed to
                  Ernest Joseph King
                  , Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (COMINCH) and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) during World War II:
                  “It is commonly reported when King was called to be COMINCH, he remarked, ‘When they get in trouble they send for the sons-of-bitches.’ However, when he was later asked if he had said this, King replied he had not, but would have if he had thought of it.”

                • I remember the Cold War years, when I had access to the keys .to open the Kingdom Of Hell. One door, or more.

              • He’s not saying that they’re a big chunk of our military, he’s saying that the conditions are going to increase the number– and that’s the goal of a lot of the dumb stuff coming down from above.

          • Now you have made me want to watch John Ford’s film The Searchers again. John Wayne’s character Ethan Edwards crosses that line, and it takes a near tragedy for him to realize it.

            If you have never seen the film I highly recommend it, but choose a day when you can take a tough story.

            • There’s more than one message to that film. Note that in the end Ethan and his forces unapologetically slaughter the Comanches. It’s the father-daughter redemption that is the “softer” message of the film, and rather than being an admonishment against the excesses of revenge is merely a caution to not forget the strength of bonds of blood and love. In the end, Debbie, too, abandons the Comanches.

              • Uncle-daughter, rather. :/

              • The core message is that Ethan has sacrificed to protect a community which has no place in it for him. This was a consistent theme of Ford, explored most openly in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance but present in other works, as well. The sacrifice renders him unfit for the society it enables.

                Back when I was a pompous film student I might have argued that Ethan is in the line of Moses and Jesus, sacrificing for a society, and by that sacrifice fostering that which has no place for him.

                • That’s also, to some degree, a theme in _The Lord of the Rings_.

                • I seem to remember the villain in a certain movie about the rag tag crew of a decrepit space freighter saying there’d be no place in the society he was part of creating when challenged by the big damned hero.

                  • A world without sin.

                  • scott2harrison

                    He was never the villain. Until the very end he was a slave of the villains with no moral agency himself. This was made very plain both by him and by his ex co-worker who had gone in for religion in a big way as a part of breaking free of his slavery. The villains were the people in the body that controlled him.

            • “Injun will chase a thing till he thinks he’s chased it enough. Then he quits. Same way when he runs. Seems like he never learns there’s such a thing as a critter that’ll just keep comin’ on. So we’ll find ’em in the end, I promise you. We’ll find ’em. Just as sure as the turnin’ of the earth. ”

              Is that us still? Or are we ‘the Injuns’ now?

              That’ll be that day.

        • And our not unleashing the barbarian on those who work on destroying our society has increased regard for individual rights…. how, exactly?

          There’s a reason why Christian bakers who decline to participate in gay weddings get prosecuted and harassed, while Muslim bakers don’t (as documented by Stevem Crowder).

          The SJWs know there are no consequences and hence no need to respect our individual rights. That will have to change.

          • We have to raze the Global Village in order to save it.

            • Since there is not now, never has been, and never will be (outside the Second Coming of Christ) any such thing as a Global Village, razing it isn’t possible.

          • I would note that as a general rule, civilized people can act like barbarians much more readily than barbarians can act civilized – and once the need is past, those civilized people can succeed in returning to civilized ways, though admittedly with some difficulty.

        • I see no reason for a dramatically expanded surveillance state, etc. Our enemy is obvious in origin, ideology and (in general) appearance.

          Treat Muslims like Nazis: it’s not illegal to be a Nazi in the U.S. but publicly admitting you are a Nazi won’t get you invited to many cocktail parties.

          Treat our enemy countries as enemies — shut off all travel to and from most Muslim nations. If we need the oil fields ISIS holds, or we simply want to deny them the proftis, take them.

          ISIS would be terrible at holding fixed targets from a serious U.S. force.

          Stop pretending nations like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia aren’t sponsoring terrorism: invest in a diplomacy of truth. Saudi Wahabism is up there right along with Iranian Shia Islam as a source of Islamic terror. Make it clear to them that it will stop. One way or the other. And be prepared to follow up on that.

          • YOU see no reason, but to be allowed to crack down/exert surveillance on a religion is to tamper with fundamental individual rights. It will leave a mark. A bad one.

            • Did cracking down on Nazis leave a mark?

              Cracking down on Japanese-Americans did, but we seem to be surviving it just fine.

              Life leaves marks.

              • Yes. Both. You can’t bewail the growth of the Federal government and not know what caused the expansion. Please. Think it through. I HAVE.

                • So what is your alternative proposal?

                    • I did:

                      The “solutions” are unpalatable, but not impossible. They involve stuff like massive, public punishment for terrorists (yes, they’re ready to die, but not to be killed in an humiliating way, with pig-lard covered bullets) and their supporters; they involve not letting Muslim communities abroad become closed shop and little self-contained principalities: refusal of sharia, refusal of Islamic divorce, more than full punishment of the law for female circumcision and honor killings; they involve confidence in our own culture and emphasis on assimilation.

                      Which means all of those are impossible with the current political-and-entertainment-and-education establishment we have.

                      You propose a lot of solutions that, in practice, would certainly be framed as a crackdown on Islam: public punishment for terrorists and their supporters — many of those supporters are the “good” Muslims, as you noted; refusal and condemnation of various illiberal, even criminal Islamic scripturally-backed traditions. They all require saying, in large part “Islam is bad.”

                      Then you of course say that none of this is even possible under the current climate.

                      It will require a climate that is more hostile to Islam, more willing to question Islam’s “otherness,” more confident in our own Christian- and Western-derived culture.

                      I really don’t see you proposing anything other than what I have.

                    • I really don’t see you proposing anything other than what I have.

                      Then you are blind and incapable of comprehending major distinctions. I suggest that you reread Sarah’s post and try actually thinking about what she wrote which is not what you read it as being.

                    • Why don’t you back up, re-read my original post a bunch of indents up, beginning with “I see no reason for a dramatically expanded surveillance” and see if you can identify something I said that you specifically disagree with.

                    • If we need the oil fields ISIS holds, or we simply want to deny them the proftis, take them.

                      I disagree with that. It establishes a principle which if accepted would destroy the concept of property rights.

                      It also assumes a capability I do not believe we have, especially as it seems likely ISIS could and would happily destroy the fields in the most environmentally harmful way possible.

                      There are alternatives, such as developing our own resources and destroying the value of theirs.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      The message should be “you want the US to respect your property rights, then don’t make war on the US”.

                    • 😉

                    • Has ISIS made war on the US? I’ve seen lots of saber-rattling and chest-thumping, but no actual military strikes.

                      Not that I am suggesting we wait; I agreed with George W Bush about preemptive attacks, and have seen the sense of that ever since the 1967 Middle East War.

                      Sadly, I cannot advocate for authorizing this administration to wage such a war, any more than I would allow my support for automobile travel to lead me to permitting a drunk to drive my car.

                      It is a quandary for which impeachment is the Constitutional remedy, but one I doubt the nation is willing to swallow. Note how they MSM & punditocracy endorsed politicization of the last mass shooting but decried politicization of the Paris attacks. Sadly, we’ve no legal basis for elimination of Quislings.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      When ISIS spokesmen talk about “tasting American Blood”, I see them as wanting War with the US.

                      Mind you, I don’t trust any actions by our current Leadership.

                    • Well, OK, if you disagree with me on battle tactics, that’s fine. Tactics are always arguable.

                      Who exactly holds the title to the oil fields in ISIS-held Syria and Iraq? It’s not ISIS. I bet whoever holds the actual title would be glad to have the U.S Army garrisoning them, even if it’s Assad himself.

                      I’d also be totally OK with them destroying the oil fields if we try to recapture them. We have thousands of experienced experts who would come in to put out the fires and rebuild the facilities.

                    • Cloudbuster: Her best solution was to eschew multiculturalism, and accept that our values are the ones we go by. Come here and ‘submit’ to our culture. We can respect yours, but it isn’t in operation here.
                      Unfortunately, this is as likely in the current ‘white man guilt’ progressive mind-set as the ‘nuke-em till they glow’ option.
                      To meet Sarah’s solution, we have to fight both radical islam and the socialist/marxist/progressive mind rot in our own culture at the same time.
                      In some ways, this is already the battle. Christian bakers must bake cakes for gay weddings, but Muslim bakers can throw gays off the rooftop.
                      The progressive is irrational since they can hold such opposing beliefs in their mind without cognitive dissonance. College women can wear nothing but can’t be raped, Muslim women wear burkas and have genital mutilation performed. College women can get drunk, and still any sex is rape. Muslim women can ride in a car with a man and have her family gang-rape her and then stone her to death.
                      Rational thought and dialogue are very ineffective tools to sway the irrational mind; however, they are the only tool we as the enlightened civilization have to use that doesn’t damage us as badly as those we seek to change.

                    • Her best solution was to eschew multiculturalism, and accept that our values are the ones we go by.

                      It’s very difficult to do that without being framed as persecuting those who are outside your culture by the literally millions of citizens we’ve raised to view multiculturalism as akin to a religious sacrament. The actual actions, in practice, aren’t notably different.

                      But I’m all in favor of it, if enough people can get it to stick.

                    • Very few people in our society actually believe multiculturalism; it is mostly used as a tool to browbeat conservative-leaning folk into abandoning their culture — the one the Constitution is based upon. Push a Proglodyte hard enough (and it is surprisingly easy) and you get to “all cultures are equal but some are more equal than others” and bans on “hate-speech”, racism, sexism and so on.

                      If all cultures are truly equal, then denying a group to engage in racism is cultural imperialism. Like gun-control, multiculti is simply a means of disarming the populace (intellectually, in this case) and not a serious creed.

                    • Very few people in our society actually believe multiculturalism…

                      I’d love to believe that, but I’ve met too many people who are thoroughly invested in the multi-culti mantras.

                    • Paying lip service is not the same as believing.

                      In a society of over 325 million people, I suspect that you’ve met a representative sample of the populace, much less engaged them thoroughly enough to truly gauge what they believe.

                    • Cloudbuster, it is done with repetition. I remember being sneered by a few British intellectuals on a post, being told how racists I was and how ‘multicultural’ they were, especially in their ‘little villages’ outside of London.
                      I replied “How is that Rotherham sex ring working out for you?” I am still waiting (months) for a response.

                    • FYI, Religion of Peace adherent brings Rotherham to the U.S.:


                      Big difference is, thankfully, our law enforcement is hunting the b*st*rds.

                    • Dang it RES, I was just getting ready to argue with you and defend Cloudbuster, when I got to this post by you,

                      “Sadly, I cannot advocate for authorizing this administration to wage such a war, any more than I would allow my support for automobile travel to lead me to permitting a drunk to drive my car.”

                      I hate it when you preemptively deep six any suggestions I might put forth.

                    • Don’t feel bad, I couldn’t disagree with that part you quoted either:

                      “Sadly, I cannot advocate for authorizing this administration to wage such a war, any more than I would allow my support for automobile travel to lead me to permitting a drunk to drive my car.”

                    • RES, I don’t think you can reasonably maintain that ISIS has a property right in the oil fields in question. Any such rights vest in either the Iraqi government, the Kurdish regional government, or in the property owners authorized under Iraqi and Kurdish law – ISIS has seized the fields illegitimately.

                      The US seizing them and holding them in trust for the actual owners might have lots of problems … but violating property rights would not be one of them.

                    • My primary objection was to the impracticality of taking those fields intact. Bombing their trucks is no biggie, bombing the oil fields has its problems. Getting assets in place to take the fields intact seems impossible.

                      Doing anything while we have the current C-in-C would be miraculous.

            • It is said that hard cases make bad law.

              I find it most difficult to agree to the suspension of any recognized basic freedom. In doing so you are saying that it is, in fact, not so basic after all.

              To call for monitoring of mosques is agreeing with those who argue that the government should eliminate hate speech. We add the proviso that what we seek to eliminate must only be speech that amounts to a call to criminal action. It is still granting the government the right to monitor speech, to determine what is allowable in the expression of ideas.

              • I don’t see anyplace above where I call for monitoring Mosques.

                • Jaysus, man. You’re calling for going to war against a religion, but you won’t monitor mosques. What, just bomb them preemptively. Why not the Baptist church next, should one of the splinters go crazy? (Rolls eyes. Please.)

                  • As I say in another response, I’m not proposing anything you didn’t propose yourself in your article.

                    • So, Mobi? Good to know!

                    • Mobi? Um, I don’t know what that means.

                    • Neither do I (know what Mobi means) could you explain that Sarah?

                      Because frankly, I have to agree with Cloudbuster, other than his comment about taking over the oil fields, (which frankly I find a fairly insignificant comment, other than it became a point if discussion) I don’t see anything significantly different between what he proposes and what you proposed.

                      Neither of you proposed monitoring mosques, but both of you proposed cracking down on Islamic terrorists and supporters of Islamic terrorists. Either you can do this without monitoring mosques or you can’t, I fail to see how what worked for one of your proposals would not work for the other.

                    • I believe she’s referring to moby, as defined here by urbandictionary:


                      > An insidious and specialized type of left-wing troll who visits blogs and impersonates a conservative for the purpose of either spreading false rumors intended to sow dissension among conservative voters, or who purposely posts inflammatory and offensive comments for the purpose of discrediting the blog in question.

                      > The term is derived from the name of the liberal musician Moby, who famously suggested in February of 2004 that left-wing activists engage in this type of subterfuge: “For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you’re an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion. Then you go to an anti-immigration Web site chat room and ask, ‘What’s all this about George Bush proposing amnesty for illegal aliens?’”

                    • Hmph. Well. I deny the accusation. *nonplussed*

                    • She’s probably triggering off of the same thing that I did– a certain informality in speaking that could really easily be used against you to “prove” you’re a horrible, murderous SOB.

                    • I AM both horrible and an SOB. “Murderous” could be argued; my own adjective would be ruthless. Once someone has declared themselves an enemy of me and mine, I take him at his or her word, and like Weber’s Nimitz, my enemies come in two flavors: those who have been properly dealt with, and those who are still alive.

                    • …”a certain informality in speaking…

                      Heh. I simply like to put things in plain terms, and follow things to their conclusions. Related to earlier discussions, I always take it as a red flag that someone is engaging in sophistry when they claim the need for specialized definitions of common terms.

                      There are undoubtedly some people who will think I am a horrible SOB. I am not overly concerned.

                      Looking back over my comments and those others in this thread, I believe my statements are no more inflammatory than many, and far more measured than some.

                    • I simply like to put things in plain terms, and follow things to their conclusions.

                      That works great, if you’re only talking to people who agree with you on all foundations.

                      a red flag that someone is engaging in sophistry when they claim the need for specialized definitions of common terms

                      That would be the route of equivocation that’s most likely to hit you– while here, where we’ve got lots of people who have personal experience in more than one jargon (before we even get to what we have as a group!) we’re more likely to run into someone who’s using a very specialized term as if it were the casual use of the term. Look at the “casualties” discussion for an example.

                      There are undoubtedly some people who will think I am a horrible SOB. I am not overly concerned.

                      Your reputation is your prerogative– and ours is ours to defend. There is at least one blog that has a complex about coming over here to pick out out-of-context chunks for calumny, and one sincerely insane and has-been-contacted-by-the-police stalker, and whoever they’ve managed to stir up into a righteous fury this week.

                      We aren’t telepaths. We can’t know the exact meaning you’re using, and the phrases you used are very ripe for equivocating into horror, especially at the hands of people who’ve already accused us of every sort of bad-think they can come up with over differing taste in freaking reading.

                    • and, to be fair, I may be putting words in Sarah’s mouth by imputing to her the definition of the word which most seems (to me) to fit her usage.

                    • Not always or exclusively left wing. Cloudbuster has been here before, and he’s of the type of leave stuff behind to be found by those who want to brand this a “hate site.” It’s interesting to note the topics he appears in.

                    • *shrug* My interests are political more than literary, and as I’ve said I’m not really a big-F sci-fi/fantasy Fan, the type that goes to conventions or follows what’s going on with the Hugos or Sad Puppies in any detail — so much of that seems to require reading so much other insider material/blogs that I frankly feel lost in those discussions.

                      If you don’t want me to come here anymore, I won’t.

                    • Oh, to add, I usually end up here by being linked from InstaPundit. As I said, I’m more politically-oriented. I honestly haven’t kept track at all of the “types” of posts I show up in.

                    • I’m sure SJWs could and have used any number of my comments the same way. *shrug* If that’s a problem, Sarah knows she has only to ask me to stop posting here.

              • OTOH, the Constitution permits suspension of various civil liberties and rights in event of declared war. It is not a suicide pact.

                OTOOH, promiscuous suspension of rights, like promiscuous sleeping around, is prone to leave you with no respect for such rights except as remnants of an antiquated social construct, and no resistance to their further destruction (this is known as a “social disease”.)

              • Yet our own IRS thinks it can monitor churches’ dialogue to determine their suitability for tax-exempt status?
                We are already 1/2 way there in our bureaucratic nightmare, it is just they consider us the more dangerous enemy than Islam.

              • scott2harrison

                Speech that calls for immediate criminal action (out to a few days at most) is already not protected by the First Ammendment and as I understand it never has been. Neither is speech in furtherance of a crimminal conspiracy (although I have some problems with conspiracy law).

                • Ah, this I know.

                  But it is also not accepted policy after the early 1970s to place government agents into organizations just in case something might be going on.

            • See recent controversies over Houston’s mayor demanding oversight of pulpit messages regarding gender-neutral (or whatever weasel phrase they employed) bathroom regulation.

              • There is a fundamental difference between Islam and every other religion on the planet: it commands conversion by force. Not in someone’s opinion, but right there in the fundamental text.

                This is a difference that demands different treatment.

                • The problem is that our Proglodyte Left, a fanatical, fundamentalist religious doctrine having much in common with “Sharia” will employ such precedents to shred our liberties here.

                  Look at what the current administration has been citing in justification of its extra-constitutional over-reach.

                  Thus we must be careful of what precedents get set. Monitoring sermons will come home to bite us as surely as the Reverend Wright’s chickens come home to roost. We’ve an ideological war to be fought on two fronts and must take care lest in facing one enemy we leave our backs open to another foe.

                  • Which is precisely why I have always recognized that before we can fight Islam effectively, we’re going to have to remove the Fifth Column here.

            • We don’t need to do much if any more in the US then we are doing now just start eliminating them over seas.

          • If we need the oil fields ISIS holds, or we simply want to deny them the proftis, take them.

            Good grief man, how do you propose to do that?

            Do you remember the trouble we had obtaining the various fly-over permissions (the ones we did manage to get) and negotiating the use of land for bases necessary in staging both of the Desert Storms?

            If we can manage arrange all that is necessary for taking the oil fields, remember that, while we hold that ISIS has taken possession of these oil field illegally, they would not legally become ours to use as we please if we were to successfully liberate them.

          • … it’s not illegal to be a Nazi in the U.S.

            While being a neo-Nazi is not illegal now, note the following, from Wikki’s article on the German American Bund:

            U.S. Congressman Martin Dies Martin (D-Texas) and his House Committee on Un-American Activities were active in denying any Nazi-sympathetic organization the ability to operate freely during World War II.

            With the new climate of hate speech legislation, while some of the Nazi positions might remain largely ignored, their views on people of color would not.

          • [Responding to Cloudbuster | November 17, 2015 at 12:52 pm]
            In addition to Sarah’s objections regarding legitimizing the use of more state power, I have another objection: right now, your proposal is all stick, no carrot. It’s one thing to complain that our current policy is all carrot, no stick; outside of actually planning terrorist acts, there is nothing we actually punish with even public social disapproval.

            A successful policy has to include both carrots (incentives for choosing favored behavior) and sticks (disincentives for choosing unfavored behavior). Making all Muslim nations into enemies plays into the hands of our (potential) enemies, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Part of the problem in Syria is that the Assad regime is backed by Russia; as long as Assad is useful to Russia, the US is not removing him from power and he has no reason to reform. China needs oil, and would be perfectly willing to provide security guarantees to middle eastern leaders (our now admitted enemies in your scenario) in return for oil and promises of no terrorism against China. You’ve just given up any effective ways of influencing those countries, both carrots and sticks, for nothing.

            Part of the problem is that there is a lot of internal pressure in most of the Middle Eastern states which is going to come out somewhere. None of the leaders want internal revolts, so they try to deflect that pressure outwards using Islam as an excuse, getting the hotheads to go Jihad somewhere else. As an external party, it’s a lot easier to get them to go play terrorist against someone else (Russia’s approach) than to get them to not play terrorist at all (the West’s goal). Part of Reagan’s success was the ability to get some of the hotheads to go play terrorist against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

        • There is a safe and proven way to unleash the barbarian and then restrain him. Unfortunately, it involves invoking the ‘tribe’ and ‘othering’. I could live with that if the alternative is the destruction of western civilization, but like giving more power to the State, I’m not sure we will like the western civilization that comes out the other side.

    • Individuals are greatly affected by letting the inner barbarian out – see all the stories about WWII vets who just “never wanted to talk about it”. It won’t affect American society that much until so many people are affected that it overturns cultural norms – i.e. if there were a protracted existential fight in the homeland.
      Given atomic weaponry and having created a precedent for its use, I don’t think we’ll have that; a recognizable, recoverable western society would remain.

  8. It reminds me of something Bill Moyers said (anyone can be right once in a while), talking about McLuhan. “It strikes me that Marshall McLuhan was right when he said that television has made a global village of the world… but he didn’t know the global village would be Beirut.”

    Replace television with the Internet and all global-village-inducing technologies, and you’ve got exactly what you would expect when a bunch of tribes who hate anyone outside themselves become The High Crusade.

  9. Pingback: DYSPEPSIA GENERATION » Blog Archive » THAT Global Village

  10. I’m embarrassed at the way our President has acted. I am fed up with Muslim Jihad. I’m ready for either a new Crusade or a nuking of the Arab Middle East (everybody except Israel).

    • If I were a dirty sneaky underhanded son of a [radium dial watch] and had any power in Saudi, I know what I’d have been secretly doing for years and year just in case someone decided that a ground burst nuke on a certain stone was a good idea. Fortunately, I am not in that position nor wish to be. *Carefully says nothing*

    • I was particularly disgusted with the ‘ISIS kills more Muslims than others’. Kind of the same sick moral equivalence that most gang shootings in Chicago are black on black, so it really isn’t a problem. Problem is, I’m not sure Obama is intelligent enough to realize that was what he implied.

      • I watched that speechi n public and couldn’t boo. Sigh.

      • scott2harrison

        To be fair, I suspect that the appropriate comparison is that most gang shootings are black on black so they aren’t racist vs. ISIS kills more Muslims than others so they don’t hate non-Muslims. Unfortunately the comparison fails as iirc ISIS kills those Muslims that they state are apostate and thus not true Muslims.

      • At the very least, ‘ISIS kills more Muslims’ is a reason to play up their atrocities to get some kind of support in the Middle East. We’ve given up the ability to play propaganda at all. We’re told we can’t play up how bad ISIS actually is because it might make people prejudiced against Muslims, when the only way we’re going to get people in the Middle East to stand against them is to show exactly how bad they are (and that we’re willing to wipe them out).

        Earlier this year, ISIS burned to death a captured Jordanian pilot, and the furious Jordanians responded with airstrikes back with some US refueling assistance. Our response should have been “how many US strike squadrons do you want?”, followed a couple days later by “here’s his body so you can bury it” and “here’s the bodies of his killers”.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Sadly, Obama has aided in the distrust of the US held by plenty in the Middle East.

          That is, plenty of potential allies don’t trust the US to continue to assist them.

          IE President Joe Republican offers assistance and then President Jim Democrat finds reasons to end the assistance.

          In addition, Middle Eastern Leaders support the “Strong Man” not just because the “Strong Man” will smash them but because the “Strong Man” will smash their enemies.

          Too often, American “help/alliance” comes with the idea that our allies will refrain from fighting their own enemies or the US will not help them in any way.

          IE Their “enemies” aren’t the “enemies of the US” so they can’t depend on the US “having their back”.

          So we look for allies but they *know* that we’ll pull out when it’s “convenient” for US (but not them) and even when we’re there, they can’t depend on US giving real assistance to their enemies.

          That’s why Russia has an advantage in gaining allies, they make a commitment, keep it *and* support their allies. (Or at least that’s how Middle Eastern leaders view Russia.)

          • Their “enemies” aren’t the “enemies of the US” so they can’t depend on the US “having their back”.

            And there is at least partially a good reason for this. Most of the Middle Eastern leaders are not nice people. They want to stay in power, and likely because they’ll end up dead if they lose power. Because their society respects strength, they have to be willing to kill people to stay in power. This doesn’t make a distinction between terrorists and protesters; both are a threat to the leader’s grip on power. So the way to stop this is to do what it takes to kill the people threatening the power.

            The US doesn’t want to see its military aid used against protesters, and this is a good thing, however it makes it hard to compete as an ally with Russia’s “give me a military base and I give you aid; do what you want with it.” (One of the good things we have is that our aid works really, really well).

            We need to make a decision about how much horrible behavior we’re willing to allow when the alternative (ISIS) is probably much worse.

            • scott2harrison

              How about adding a clause to the agreement that if it goes pear shaped we will get you and your family out and immunize you to prosecution in the US for ANYTHING that you did while our ally.

  11. Two things, Sarah.
    [1] Portuguese attitude – I had wondered why and how Portugal went from being a thriving, adventurous state to the insignificant appendage to Spain it is today. You explained it.
    [2] You present Mohammedans as puppies (no, NOT that sort. snicker) who aren’t paper-trained or no-bite trained, needing a firm smack on the nose to get their attention. That metaphor fits nicely; it also brings out the image of them being a pack of dogs, following whoever the biggest/meanest Alpha is. So we end up with untrained vicious pitbulls running around, and also some downright rabid wolves. I really can’t understand why our “leaders” fail to acknowledge the only practical way to deal with those.

    • I really can’t understand why our “leaders” fail to acknowledge the only practical way to deal with those.

      Much of the post WWII west has been doing its best to teach its young that war was not a civilized means of settling one’s differences.

      You have probably seen the bumper sticker expression of the philosophy: War is not the answer. I think some are so indoctrinated that they don’t realize that no one asked if anyone wanted a war. War has been brought to the table as an emphatic pronouncment.

      • War isn’t a civilized means of settling one’s differences. Unfortunately when dealing with the uncivilized, civilized means don’t work.

        Tailor the ordnance to suit the mission.

      • …was not a civilized means of settling one’s differences.

        Of course it’s not civilized. It’s simply effective.

        • The Other Sean

          War seems to have been a common trait of civilizations from the start. In fact, fighting outright war rather than skirmishing seems to be much easier and more common with civilization than without.

      • CACS, war is not THE answer, but sometimes it is AN answer, and THE answer needed, and those with that bumper sticker refuse to accept it.

        • War is generally the question, with the common alternative being massacre.

          “What are our alternatives” is the answer. With some folk, there is only War or Submission.

  12. I fantasize about the creation of a “Mohammedan provocation league,” ideally headed by Pamela Geller. Noooo, we’re not trying to provoke all Muslims. Just the ones who can’t abide the knowledge that non-Muslims have gathered together to mock the Mohammed who was the founder of Islam. *Those* Muslims effectively worship Mohammed and should be encouraged to bring their objections to gatherings of well-armed adults, so that they’re focused on INTENTIONALLY offensive people and innocent children who look at the facts can say, “But if Mohammed married a nine-year-old he was an evil man and any god who chose him for a prophet was evil too” without being at risk from violent fanatics because the violent Mohammedans are otherwise occupied.

  13. BUT these exercises in piety were listened to and gossiped about by everyone, and yours truly attempts to weasel her way through it were often fodder for village talk.

    What part of the whole “let not your left hand know what the right is doing” lecture did they MISS?!

    Giving things up is one thing; various forms of hair shirt wearing is one thing; causing pain in order to offer it up? Aaaaah! No WONDER Catholic Answers beats to death the “talk to your spiritual mentor” thing.

  14. The French bombed ISIS HQ. Why did we not do that months ago?

    • Because Obama. That’s about it, Chuck.

      • Obama: Global Village Idiot.

        • The Other Sean

          In order to supply the Global Village with its idiot, I volunteer the services our President, Obama. Keep him as long as you want hiM!

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Who is boldly going to keep doing the exact same things that weren’t working before. Code Pink will be happy, at least. ISIS too. The rest of us, not so much.

        • Wait, is Code Pink still a thing? They’s been very quiet the past seven years. Almost as if they were politically motivated and not really dedicated pacifists.

          • I think they’ve intruded on a few Republican-chaired hearings, and earlier this year they attempted to debate Ted Cruz.

            Yeah, that didn’t work out they way they planned.

            Back in 2013 the Washington Times reported there was a morale problem as recruitment unexpectedly dropped:

            Code Pink has a morale problem: It’s called Democrats
            Anti-war protesters are objecting to military action in Syria, but their efforts pale compared to the crowds that came out against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the women’s anti-war group Code Pink, blames the Democrats,

            “We’ve been protesting Obama’s foreign policy for years now, but we can’t get the same numbers because the people who would’ve been yelling and screaming about this stuff under Bush are quiet under Obama,” she said.

            Code Pink has seen a decrease in membership and, as a result, isn’t able to plan as many events across the country. Ms. Benjamin also said they are getting less attention from reporters, which means less visibility.

            “We’re smaller. We lost a lot of people who didn’t like us criticizing Obama. But we still got our feistiness,” Ms. Benjamin told The Washington Times as she waited outside Wednesday’s House hearing, where administration officials made the case for striking Syria.

            Some people, nasty cynical people, might think that the drop off in MSM coverage may have something to do with the diminished presence of this group of dedicated activists for peace, but that is obvious nonsense and an insult to all the hard-working, honest dedicated professional journalists of this great nation.

            Both of them.

      • Sad. Dear God please give us a good President.

      • Obama has turned out worse than I feared.

        • He has not yet gone the length I expected him to. But let us abide in patience. He has more than a year left. And this is why I wake up screaming…

        • Aye, I had hopes that he might be only as bad as Clinton, or perhaps only as terribly bad as Carter. Instead, I find myself wishing he was as competent as Carter and as honest as Nixon as that would be an improvement.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I think the current level of mess was forecast-able prior to the 2008 election.

          There were indicators for pretty much everything that has happened. That and Obama’s opacity made for a ‘then on Friday we will have weather’.

          Certain details noticed while studying his platform on energy and the environment in spring 2009 can be interpreted in some very unsettling ways. I’m not sure the possibilities I see are worse than Sarah’s, but I think I’ve got you and Orvan beat.

          • $HOUSEMATE predicted various negative things before the election of 2008 and had so many lefties replying, basically, “And what will do when things go all unicorns and rainbows?” And well, despite the increasingly messy messes messing up the whole mess of things, they still claim things are going unicorns and rainbows – or would be if those (who have at times been unilaterally ignored or bypassed) would go along with things making the messy messes messier.

            Now, while I like and even approve of (most of) both unicorns and rainbows, I realize that they do not come about from defective or damaging policy. Also, not every white unicorn is Good, not every black unicorn (even with red glowing eyes) is Evil, and not every rainbow is preceded by a gentle rain.

          • I remember abundant amounts of anticipatory schadenfreude within days of the election.

    • Because Barack Hussein has had a lot of practice in taqiyya.

  15. Rules of engagement. It’s in a city civilians might get killed.

  16. Sarah’s point about feeling guilty for not upholding the religion is why this:

    • His argument would be stronger if he used a consistent definition of radical. He primarily uses support for sharia as a definition, but sharia is a fairly large umbrella. He also uses survey results from Iran, a totalitarian country with a record of using violence against those who don’t support the government defined form of sharia. This alone artificially inflates his numbers.

      The bottom line is that polls are notoriously unreliable and without knowing the sampling methodology and the exact questions asked, the final number presented likely has zero relationship to reality.

      • Even if you halve his number, that’s still a strong plurality rather than a tiny minority.

        • But how many of them do we have to kill vice convincing that switching sides is a good way to stay alive? Both Japan and Germany had strong popular support for their military adventures – at least in the beginning – and we didn’t need to exterminate all of them.

  17. The Other Sean

    Thank you for the nice, well-reasoned blog post, Sarah. Your comparison to the Irish situation in decades past is something I was thinking on yesterday, and I’m glad to see it brought up in a better way than I’d thought to.

    • The ‘contributions’ of American Irish back to the IRA did seem to dry up in the aftermath of 9/11, sending everyone to the peace table. I was in Belfast a year ago. It is not a pretty place, but at least no one is being killed.
      Unfortunately, because of Mid-East oil, the Muslims are self-funding.

      • The Other Sean

        Despite oil money in the Middle East, Islamic terrorists reportedly do receive funding from Muslim “charities” worldwide.

        • Yes, our own CAIR, here in the U.S., was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation, as NR’s Andrew McCarthy is fond of reminding.

          • That is because the Qur’an says that charity funding jihad is more important than other charity, and because all jihadist warriors are supposed to be funded (by the state taxes of non-Muslims, and the obligatory charitable contributions of non-fighting Muslims).

            Of course, this wars with cultural urgings to be charitable to the poor, hospitable to strangers, generous as a demonstration of greatness and status, etc. Muslims can be extremely kind to those in need. But it is easy for Muslim charity organizations to be turned toward jihad.

      • Contributions to the IRA from American Irish dried up considerably back when the IRA changed their targeting criteria; 9/11 just sopped up the last few drops. The IRA was not viewed as a “true” terrorist organization for decades, because they understood the mindset of their supporters, the targeted primarily police or British government for their attacks. These were considered legitimate targets by many, since the billed themselves as freedom fighters, fighting for Irish freedom from Britain, then the British government and the enforcers of British rule, ie police, were their enemies and therefore legitimate targets. They had always had collateral civilian casualties, but as long as their primary targets were considered legitimate, this was defensible. Once their targeting changed to purely civilian targets, their popular image (among Irish) as freedom fighters, morphed into terrorists, and Western Culture doesn’t approve of support for terrorists. So their funding consequently dried up.

        • I blame WordPress (because I am obviously blameless) for consistently leaving the letter y off of the end of the word they.

        • Some of the IRA funding stuff was feeding off the tradition of Americans contributing to the Fenians et al, but some was feeding off a combination of Irish-American patriotism plus leftist Democrat love of funding leftist terrorists and violent leftist regimes.

          See, I don’t think there was any great amount of Irish-American contribution going on in Irish settlement areas that weren’t run by Democratic machines (like Chicago and Boston). I had never heard of such a thing before I read Tom Clancy, and my family was very into Irish stuff.

          The only US guy I ever met who really loved the IRA was a very leftist professor from a Democrat machine town.

          • I dunno. As I recall, Teddy Kennedy was a big supporter of the IRA, although that falls under your “run by Democratic machines” heading. It was fairly publicly known that popular folk group The Clancy Brothers were a conduit funneling money from concerts and record sales to the IRA.

            Of course, it is possible those were just rumours fostered by the Irish Rovers …

          • I believe it was sometime in the latter half of the 1970s when I saw a woman who was either (I don’t remember exactly) a Massachusetts state representative or a Boston city council member (and therefore, pretty much guaranteed to be a Democrat in either case), whose appearance at some public function was shown on the news. I seem to recall it being a fundraiser for the IRA. She had tears streaming down her face and was screaming, “Damn the British! God damn the British!”

            Until that point, I hadn’t realized just how strongly and personally some people whose families had presumably been in this country for at least a generation or two felt about conflicts in their ancestral countries, and how much they felt those conflict were still their own.

            I wondered how much it affected her legislative activities.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              IIRC Joe Kennedy (father of JFK, Robert and Teddy) had to be recalled from his post as Ambassador to Great Britain because of his anti-British statements *as* Ambassador.

              • I thought it had more to do with the fact that Joe was a staunch isolationist and FDR was trying to help Britain as much as possible; and he would ignore directions from Washington when they didn’t mesh with his personal politics.

                Also when Churchill became PM, he just avoided Joe and called FDR direct.

                (It was also in England that Joe had Rosemary Kennedy lobotomized.)

      • 9/11 led to IRA foreswearing violence to disassociate themselves.

  18. One of the differences that the punderati and “all cultures are equal” groups don’t want to acknowledge is that there is nothing in the Torah or Bible that says “this cannot be understood other than as it is written in Hebrew and Greek and all parts are valid in exact detail forever.” The Koran, on the other paw, is the Word of Al’lah, unchangable, no new interpretations or understandings are allowed, period, end (at least for Sunni. Shi’a is a little different in some ways). Slavery? Is permitted and commanded so it should be/must be practiced. And other things. That is a major problem for anyone trying to argue for “a Muslim Reformation” (um, that’s what Salafism and Wahabism is to an extent) or “new understandings of the teachings of the Prophet.”

    • And that commandment “Thou shall not kill” is really “Thou shall not murder”. Apparently even Orthodox Jewish have a concept of self-preservation.

      • Yeah. In Elizabethan English, you would say “kill” to mean “murder”; modern day “kill” is Elizabethan “slay.”

        • Kind of like English call ‘casualties’ what we call ‘wounded’. Scared the heck out of me first time I heard it.

          • The military refers to anything – people or equipment – that cannot perform its function as a casualty.

          • I’ve heard American references to causalities comprising the dead, the wounded, and the missing.

          • From context where I’ve seen it, “casualty” seems to be more of a cause/effect kind of word: As a result of action X, the following mission resources (“casualties”) are no longer available to prosecute another action.

          • While I was alive (but very young) in the last stages of the Vietnam war, the use of the word ‘casualties’ that stuck in my mind was from a cat & mouse (Tom & Jerry?) cartoon. Two mice, at least, and an explosion were involved – and a/the cat, of course. The mice seek shelter, there’s a big boom, one mouse looks out and proclaims, “No casualties.” The singed, battered cat, decidedly the worse for wear is somewhere high up (in a ceiling fan perhaps?) and manages to say, “No casualties, he says.”

    • I suspect that because the Koran cannot legitimately be translated is a defense against the fact that good chunks of it are absolute gibberish.
      There is nothing like having to do a careful translation, for teasing out the precise meanings of words – I mean, the Reformation began in earnest with Martin Luther translating the Bible into vernacular German. I suspect that the wise imams are really, really, don’t want skeptical translators examining every little phrase and syllable.
      I believe there is a respected and somewhat understandably mysterous scholar who has to publish under the pseudonym of Christoph Luxemberg, who speculates that much of the Koran as written is just garbled mis-translations of the local Syro-Aramaic dialect of the period. Which possibility sends strict Muslims into screaming fits.

      • Celia, the other problem is that you have to be aware of the order in which each Sura was written…. which is not the same as the numbering…. because of the doctrine of abrogation, where a “later” verse replaces an earlier one that said the opposite. Invariably, the “later” verse is far more militant.

        • Of course… because in the later verses, Muhammed had armies instead of a handful of followers.

          • Which is one reason why I’m less than impressed by all the people who say they have Muslim friends and they’re “peaceable”. They’re also few enough in number that they’re adopting the “have no armies” mentality.

            • Free-range Oyster

              You’ve just introduced an unfalsifiable thesis that conveniently allows you to discount any contrary opinion. Lovely.

              • Sorry, Clams, but what I’m doing is looking at Islamic history, including the Koran, which show them adopting exactly that attitude: peaceable when weak, belligerent when strong. For example, the Koran, even by Muslims, is divided into the “Meccan” and “Medinan” Suras. The Meccan ones, written when Mohammed didn’t have many followers, are much more peaceful than the Medinan Suras, where he did. Furthermore, the Medinan ones “abrogate”, or replace, the Medinan ones.

                You also need to research taqqiya and hudna, both of which boil down to “lie to the infidels until you can take them off guard.” Taqqiya is personal; huidna refers to treaties between states.

                Right after 9/11, I actually got a ropy of the Koran and read it. I wanted to know what we were fighting.

              • Yes he has, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

              • Something the truth is unfalsifiable. Unfortunately. But when someone openly declares he’s entitled to lie, normally that’s the only thing I believe him aobut.

        • But the very doctrine of abrogation is heretical. If the Koran is Allah’s word, and Allah is omniscient, then two sura cannot contradict one another. Any contradiction must be due to man’s limited understanding.

          • Really need to educate yourself about abrogation; it was introduced by Mohammed himself to resolve those nagging little inconsistencies.

            “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah hath power over all things?” (Qur’an 2:106).

            Qur’an 16:101: “When We substitute one revelation for another, — and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages), — they say, ‘Thou art but a forger’: but most of them understand not.”

          • It seems that Mohammed’s Allah may be omniscient, but not consistent.

      • Yes. I’ve read his books (those available in English). He’s very convincing and his work makes a lot of things fall into place, especially when you start looking at coin inscriptions and other documents.

    • Free-range Oyster

      There are and have been peaceful sects, or sub-sects at least. Some of them were even significant theological powers… until the Cold War, as the violent groups became cats paws for the great powers or simply took advantage of the general unrest to purge the ‘heretics’. A few remain, but while some of them are respected even among competing sects (there’s a Shia group I can’t remember the name of like this) none of them command large groups of followers, and the nature of their doctrine makes them an unlikely source of military resistance for the theocrats and cultists.

      • Which is where we come in. Start killing the theocrats and cultists, and simple evolution will move the culture away from violence.

        • There is a story from, I believe, the Sixties, about a Middle Eastern terrorist who assassinated a Russian Soviet diplomat. The Russians Soviets kidnapped a beloved nephew and returned him in pieces. Small pieces.

          Brutal but effective.

          • Rubbed with sage and bacon fat I hope?

            • To be honest, I’ve no idea whether the tale is true, nor is the truth of it important.

              That Middle Eastern Terrorists think it might be true is what matters.

              Wouldst that we could tell such myths ourselves, but the NY Times (and its media fellow travelers) would first run stories and editorials denouncing it (as well as claiming it is helping their recruiting, because their enlistment numbers were so low before) and then, when the truth of that story could be questioned as safely as their challenging of Ben Carson’s memoir, they would decry it as an offensive, vicious and disgusting lie. Then they would simultaneously condemn it as true and revile it as lie.

  19. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    Islam is “special.” Unfortunately they are not able to change. The problem is that cold weather societies are at their heart K type, no matter how gloss the abundance that the industrial revolution puts on them. There’s a limit to how far we will pushed. The “people in charge” and the islamists are pushing that limit. The problem with K types when the limiters come off is that it’s like “Hulk smash” with nuclear weapons. Not going to be fun.

    • The Other Sean

      Does it ride the short bus?

    • When you say “K type”, are you referring to the “r/K selection” model from biology, or something else? Because I don’t quite see how that fits here, but I don’t know anything else you might be referring to. Would you mind expanding on your comment a bit more so I can understand it?

  20. We have been extraordinarily affluent for a half-century now, and current generations have never experienced real hardship or existential threat. Most have neither the skill set nor the temperament to sustain themselves without the support system of modern society. And yet, this deficiency is contrary to our evolutionary nature; we are made to overcome difficulty.

    In the absence of a genuine hardship environment (in which to exercise our natural survive and thrive imperative), the comfort class will invent micro and pseudo hardships to take the place of the real adversity which is now largely absent from their lives. This is the real danger that we face. We have become too soft in both body and mind.

    Westerners need to believe that they can chit-chat their way to a civil solution in regard to Islamic fundamentalism (and thus preserve their comfort zone at all costs). Darwin teaches us that the softies are not the ones who get to pass their genes forward.

    • Most have neither the skill set nor the temperament to sustain themselves without the support system of modern society.

      Members of ANY more-complex-than-a-band society are going to fit that profile.
      Same way that you can’t just unplug a random person from their society and put them in absolutely any position in another one; even theories that view humans as widgets will recognize that the widgets will do different jobs.

      Even people who do have the skillset and temperament to survive without the support of society will often fail; that’s one of the reasons we have society.

      • Not so. The pioneers that settled the West during the 19th Century were very robust, and as little at three generations ago, family farms in the US could also largely self-sufficient. Present day Mormons are also very capable of surviving without the trappings of modern society.

        My point is that our politicians are soft because a lot part of the electorate became soft as a result of the affluence/borrowing that allowed politicians to buy votes with promises of more entitlement bribes.

        Ask the Romans how that worked out for them.

        • And having them live nearby, Amish and Mennonites are even more self sufficient.

        • Shifting goalposts; “robust” and “largely self-sufficient” were not the standard you offered, and I did not claim they had the “trappings of MODERN society.”

          You point was clear; it’s the claims that you used to support it that have issues.

  21. I have some good news. People in the Middle East are starting to realize they need to tone it down, lest they be stuck between an Islamist rock and a western hard place.

    Here are a few TV segments that show what they think of those crazies:,, and They tie ISIS/Da3esh to Israel, but that’s to be expected. Israel has been the boogieman for generations.

  22. Do remember your Sun Tzu, and “know your enemy”. Islam is about as united as “Christianity” is united. The Shiites hate the Sunnis, ect, ect. Killing all Muslims is impossible. Fighting a war against all Muslims is impractical. Thus, we need to team up with some.
    The big problem is, every single time the US tries to support a moderate non-headchopper, they wind up pussing out because the Left wing gets all scardy-frady and wants us to pull out, the faster the better. So do you think the average person in those places is going to support? The nice guy who will be left in the lurch by the USA according to the newly announced timetable, or the savage head-chopper that will likely take over?

    • Which is why the first step in the GWOT is to destroy Progressivism. Then it will take about a generation to rebuild trust in the US. After THAT we can work on the radicals.

      • The Left did bugger things up back in 2003 by incessantly pressuring for a withdraw from the Middle East. We can argue whether or not the war in Iraq was a mistake, but once the fight starts, you need to stay and do things right.

  23. In regards to bombing, do remember that the actual result of the massive area bombing from WWII was to actually strengthen the resolve of the people being targeted.
    The atomic bomb* was only effective because of other concurrent factors- starvation due to blockade, losses around the Pacific, the Soviet blitz in Asia, and the imminent invasion of the mainland. The bomb gave a majority of the factions a way out to surrender while saving face. Had the bomb been available, and used in late 1944, it would not have been effective in getting the Japanese to surrender.

    *Note- I do wholeheartedly support the decision to use the bomb on Japan.

    • The atomic bomb was effective because of the unspoken message “The next one goes to the Emperor” and that it made possible Halsey’s boast about the Japanese language being spoken only in hell. Dying in a valiant charge against a superior enemy is in line with bushido. Dying blind and burning from an enemy you can hardly see, much less reach, is quite another.

      • One point that strategic analyst Stewart Slade made in his alt history series is that nuclear weapons would lose their shock value with multiple uses. Were it dropped too early- say by B-29’s out of China hitting the southern Japanese cities, then Japan adapts. Disperse the government and industry, hide the royal family, hold the kamikazes in reserve to attack the un-escorted bombers… that sort of thing.
        But let’s say they sent one B-29 on a one way trip from China to Tokyo to kill off the Emperor and government. Do you think the armies in Malaysia, Burma, China, PNG, and other spots would just give up, like that?

        • Another what if- let’s say the Germans were able to throw together two atomic bombs in 1944, and let’s say they were able to put them on U-boats and detonate them in New York and Boston. Do you think the USA would then surrender?

          • Big difference, emphasis on Big. Compare the size of the US to Japan. If Germany had been able to wipe out the same percentage of the US with two hits as the US did of Japan, AND like Japan, we had no idea how many more bombs Germany had… possibly.

            Probably considerably less likely, since in 1944 we already knew how Germany was treating peoples they didn’t care for. I mean when you figure your choices are burn in an oven or burn in your home, why not choose to attempt to defend your home? Even if it is futile, well, at least you’ll die at home. On the other hand, Japan, reasonably, due to past examples of how the US treated enemies that honourably surrendered, could expect not to be lined up and shot in job lots.

            • You really didn’t see too many Japanese surrenders until mid 1945. Until then, it was either a last Banzi charge and death, or just suicide in the foxhole.
              The point I wish to make is that the atomic bomb alone would not end a war unless 1) The population is pretty much fought out after years of total war and ready to surrender or 2) you go full LeMay. And #2 would still be a tough one to end the war on Japan, as you still have all those troops in friendly countries like China, et al. Happily, we still had the Mikado available to call for their surrender. Think DOWNFALL would have been tough? Imagine having to root out all the troops in the other, bypassed occupied territories.
              During the years of the US Nuclear monopoly, we discovered that we didn’t quite have the edge over the Soviets we thought we had.

              • The Japanese were drilling civilians to charge US troops right up to the surrender. There was a coup by junior officers specifically to prevent surrender. By this point the Japanese knew they could not win, but they were after better surrender terms and thought the way to do it was to inflict so many casualties that the Allies would quail.

                Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused a reassessment. More had died in the incendiary bombing of Tokyo than Hiroshima, but Hiroshima was destroyed by one bomb, not a flight of bombers. When the message came right in the middle of a meeting that Nagasaki had been bombed, that moved Hirohito to break tradition and essentially order surrender. To that point he was expected to approve a unified plan by the military, but there was none when they learned of Nagasaki.

                Something to think about: Would Japan have surrendered if anyone but Hirohito had announced it? The emperor carried that much weight.

                • Virtually all Japanese on Saipan died. That was what we were expecting.

                  • More than 1,000 Japanese civilians on Saipan (out of 25,000) committed suicide at the Emperor’s behest, in promise of a privileged place in the after life. The Emperor encouraged suicide because he was worried that it wouldn’t look good if they surrendered, and realized how generously they were treated by the U.S. forces.

                    • Imperial forces. There is debate about the Emperor’s personal culpability.

                    • The civilian Japanese on Saipan often “committed suicide” at the end of somebody else’s gun, or after being told in other ways that they wouldn’t be allowed to live. This was pretty standard for Japanese troops, too. (Some people drank the Kool-Aid willingly, but a lot of them did it under duress.)

                      There’s a very sad manga based on the true story of a mangaka’s WWII service in the Japanese infantry. His commander announced that their unit was going to hold out and die. They held out and survived. The unit was then ordered to keep trying to die in battle until it stuck. They didn’t die. So they were executed, lest the word of an officer and the already-announced news of their patriotic deaths prove incorrect; survival would have been treason. The mangaka only survived because he was in the hospital at the time, or some such.

                      There is a very good post-war Japanese mystery novel which explained the sorts of things that were done during WWII against the families of soldiers who didn’t get killed or commit suicide on schedule. Many of these guys didn’t want to die, but it was that or have their families starve and be thrown out in the street, and suffer various other reprisals. That’s why many Japanese soldiers were afraid to come home after the war. It was hard for them to believe that their families wouldn’t be punished or ostracized for them being alive when the “heroes” had made sure they killed themselves or died.

        • It depends on how complete the destruction of the royal family was. The Japanese Army was fighting for the Emperor, that’s why he was able to order the surrender. And there’s only so much dispersal you can do for modern industry, especially in a naval war – dry docks generally don’t move and are rather hard to hide.

          • Decap the government, destroy the country, and very likely the generals turn warlord in the occupied territories. There’s precedent for that in Japanese history.
            With the Mikado, you had someone with the authority to say stop.

            • Yes, but without the industrial support of the homelands, those warlords would have been quickly overwhelmed. On the other hand, they might have been useful against the – racial epithet alert – Chicoms.

              • Probably not- we had pretty much bombed the industrial support of the mainland flat, and yet were expecting a pretty hard fight. Many of the outlying territories (Rabaul) had been cut off for years, yet would have still been a nightmare battle. The Pacific strategy was basically an end run to the home islands, with a bit of a diversion into the Philippines. Most of the strongly occupied areas were just cut off.

    • Even with the A-bombings there were die-hards that wanted to keep the war going.

      Psst Amazon do I get a kick-back for this?

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      If the Japanese had the time and foresight to prepare for it, they would’ve been able to psychologically stand up to the bomb.

      • There’s a good question that if the US had been a bit more clear in the Potsdam Declaration that the Mikado could keep his throne, would the Japanese have surrendered before the bomb was dropped? As the post bombing attempted coup shows, probably not.

      • I think the bomb had a lot less to do with the Japanese calculus of surrender than many would like to think. I’ve heard it argued, and seen documentation to support the idea, that the entry into the war in the Pacific by the Russians had a lot more to do with the surrender, along with the apocalypticly bad performance of the Japanese Manchurian armies against the Soviet ground forces that had been recently redirected at them.

        The bombs really didn’t mean that much to the Japanese high command. They’d already killed millions of civilians, and survived. The firebombings of Tokyo and other Japanese cities were actually worse than the A-bombs, in terms of destruction and casualties. What broke their confidence was the sheer ease with which the Soviets brushed aside their forces on mainland China. That probably had more to do with the Japanese military recognizing reality than anything else. The bombs did provide them an excuse, a face-saving out. The reality was, they were utterly outclassed at making war, and even if they’d gone down the Gotterdammerung path, they knew they were going to lose, and badly, after the Soviet Manchurian campaigns.

        • Following that line of thought, the Bomb gave them a face-saving reason to surrender to the more preferable foe.

          • Yep. And, it pissed off Stalin no end, as well. All he got out of it was Sakhalin, instead of his desired half of Japan to administer and rape. He did get a consolation prize of North Korea, though…

            • Well, we can give MacArthur credit for that, if FDR had his way half of Japan would have been the least that Stalin got.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Well, Truman was President when Japan surrendered so what did FDR have to do with it?

              • Sorry I was unclear, because Truman was President (and very likely, because he had become so fairly recently through FDR’s death) MacArthur was given some slack in his leash that FDR would not have given him. And he took what he had and ran with it, handing Truman a fait accompli in terms of the Japanese surrender and the administration thereof. Persistent rumors (as far as I know, there is no incontrovertible truth, but Lots of smoke) are that MacArthur basically told Truman he could give MacArthur his way on Japan or MacArthur would come back and run against him in the next Presidential election.

                Umm, sorry for the digression.

        • Complete and total Soviet propaganda. The Japanese never gave a shit about the Soviets. The addition of Soviet cannon fodder would not have made a bit of difference to an invasion of the main islands.

          The Soviets had lots of people so they could trade 3-4 of their conscripts for every soldier they killed and come out ahead. Their tactics were no different they the Chicoms in the Korean War.

          There were over 6 million US and allied ground troops gearing up for Operation Downfall and the Japanese knew it. The end result was never in question.

        • (Waggles hand) I’m not entirely sure about the Russian entry having much effect on the Japanese determination to surrender–to put it bluntly, where were they going to get the ships to invade the Home Islands with?

          • The Other Sean


            • Yes. We had already given the Soviets enough ships and landing craft to land 3-4 divisions with more coming. What folks do not realize is that we had just finished getting warmed up industrially when the war orders were cut back in late 1944 when it was obvious we were going to win in Europe soon and what was left in the pipeline would be sufficient for taking on Japan.

      • And we had the plans to convert B-29s into giant crop dusters. The US had a MASSIVE stockpile of chemical weapons that were never used in ETO. So massive that we have not been able to destroy them all yet. There were plans to gas the entire Japanese islands, projected Japanese fatalities were over 90%.

    • Taking out their shipyards, oil refineries, factories, processing plants, and the people who operated them worked just fine. You can’t fight a war with resolve; that industrial infrastructure is the 9/10 of the iceberg supporting the tip where the military is.

      It’s fashionable to say that the bombing didn’t accomplish much, but it’s demonstrably not true.

      • Don’t get me wrong, bombing factories, infrastructure, refineries, and all that is a needed thing in war. All part of logistics.
        But, the pre WW2 Douhet ideal of convention strategic bombing being sufficient to end a war on its own was repeatedly proven false from the Blitz to LeMay’s fire bombings. War industries under Speer, for instance, were dispersed and hidden. Even after two years of intense bombardment, the very poorly equipped Germans were able to put up one hell of a defense around Berlin.

  24. Moral relativism and – as you said – multi culti is going to be the death of us. We must have leaders who don’t believe we are the Great Satan before we can fix this problem.

  25. Totally off topic, but I would like to inform Eamon that I am eating fresh, hot out of the oven snickerdoodles, while typing this.

    Yes, I am on the dark side… and apparently the windy side tonight, also.

  26. I think this Proposal for info warfare would probably fix Islam in a few years:

    “Ann Althouse has a post (hat-tip Instapundit) about American Muslim kids who are memorizing the entire Koran so that they can get a free pass into heaven for themselves and 10 more that they can give away to friends and family.

    This has given me a creative idea about how to win the war on terror (or World War IV as informed people are now calling it.)

    Step 1. Make certain that the belief that memorizing the Koran will guarantee entrance to heaven for that person and ten others of their choosing is widespread throughout the Muslim world. Our enemies will probably be useful idiots in helping us with this.

    Step 2. Have DARPA develop an accelerated learning program for memorizing the Koran in DVD format. Take out a whole bunch of ads on Al Jazeera for this program promising “Learn the Koran in 6 months or your money back.”

    Step 3. Secretly fund the production of an Arabic sex-romp comedy movie in the style of Porky’s or American Pie. It should be about a group of young Muslim men who turn their backs on terrorism and instead of getting only one free pass to heaven by being suicide bombers they each memorize the entire Koran using the accelerated learning DVD. Then the young men pool some of their “free passes into heaven” and offer them as prizes to the local girls who give the best performance in various sex acts and positions. Make sure to cast really hot actresses to play some of the local girls who are engaged in the competition and have the competition “get out of hand” as all the local girls try to one-up each other to impress the young men with the free passes*.

    Step 4. Make sure that bootleg copies of both the movie and accelerated learning program show up in every marketplace and vendor stall in the Muslim world. Within a year radical Islam will no longer be a problem, and instead we’ll be watching news reporters warn us about the rising tide of teenage pregnancy and STDs in the Middle East. After all, once at least 10% of the Muslim world has earned their 11 free passes to heaven by memorizing the Koran then the religion would lose all its fire and brimstone. If you knew you were going to heaven no matter what you did, then would you spend your Firday listening to some crazy old guy rant in the mosque or go down to Hooters for the wet-T shirt contest? Maybe you could promise the winner a free trip to heaven if she makes you really, really happy.

    * As a really insidious subplot one of the girls could be a shy Jewish girl who turns out to be a totally hot sex machine. Have one of the Muslim heroes fall in love with her and try to keep her from “auditioning” with the other judges. At the end of the movie when he tells his father that he’s going to marry the Jewish girl, his dad is furious. But the kid reminds his father that it doesn’t matter if she is the daughter of pigs and dogs, she can get into heaven anyway with one of the free passes. Then the hero reminds his dad that if he makes trouble over the marriage he might find HIS free pass into paradise revoked.

    BWA-HA-HA-HA (Evil laugh)”

  27. I didn’t see it mentioned previously. Is islam really a religion? Or is it a political movement masquerading as a religion? There are some very good arguments out there for the latter. If it’s a political movement, banning it is permissible, but difficult. Who determines that?

    Recent headline: Massachusetts ‘Pastafarian’ Wins Right to Wear Colander on Her Head in License Photo If I had been the judge, and I wasn’t, I’d have sentenced the lawyers for the pastafarian to 30 days in jail for contempt, and pronounced very clearly that the Constitution is something that need to be taken seriously and not toyed with, and ordered the pastafarian to pay all court costs.

    Too many people are playing games with out laws and customs, and judges are allowing them to get away with it.

    • Forgot to mention- Germany currently does not recognize scientology as a religion. They could very well do the same for islam. As could we.

      • There is no reason that it can’t be both a religion and a political ideology. I don’t think it’s “masquerading,” and I’d feel pretty intellectually dishonest trying to ban them on those grounds.

        I really don’t think any religion or political ideology should be banned. There are no such examples in American life right now, as far as I know. It’s perfectly legal to be a Fascist, a Nazi, a Marxist, a Socialist, an Anarchist, a Libertarian, a Amish, a Scientologist, a Jehovah’s Witness, an atheist, and so on and so on.

        However, there are certain beliefs you can’t hold and simultaneously expect to be respected or well-treated by the majority of American society. Not due to legal restrictions, but due to social restrictions. I said it earlier and I have a feeling it ticked some people off (?), but I’d have no problem if identifying yourself as a Muslim carried the same social baggage as identifying yourself as a Nazi, or at the very least, if people regarded Islam as a vaguely ridiculous thing for a serious person to believe as I think most people regard both Scientology and Anarchism.

        In a free society, you have a right to believe what you want to believe. You don’t have a right for people to take you seriously or to pretend your beliefs aren’t offensive to them.

        As for terrorism itself, all the things terrorists do are already against the law, for domestic incidents. Even before the actual terrorist attacks, the FBI have been able to capture numerous cells due to conspiracy-type violations (although you may, like me, question whether all those were serious cases vs. examples of the village idiot who would never have acted on his own being easily lured into an FBI honey trap).

        • How about we establish a rule that if your religion or political movement espouses destruction/conversion by force of the rest of us, and the existing political structure (namely, the Constitution), you don’t get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the First Amendment?

          The Constitution is not a suicide pact; if your faith requires you to try to overthrow it, I don’t see any reason you should benefit from any part of it. You want Sharia? Fine. You don’t get the protections of the Constitution, we declare you outlaw, and like the old days, anyone gets to kill you on sight. Simple enough for you?

          There’s a switch in this culture, the one that gets flipped when there’s enough pressure/anger. One one side, we will tolerate a lot of things; on the other one? Yeah, don’t go there, if you’re smart. We’re really not nice people, although like most dangerous psychotics, we can present as such if we really want to.

          Here’s a link to a present-day story about a fairly famous photo:

          Do note the difference in reaction between the times: In 1944, her boyfriend sending her an actual skull from an enemy soldier was no big deal. Ferchrissakes, it made the pages of Life, and got sorta approving tones in the write-up. Imagine something similar coming back from Afghanistan, will you?

          Yeah. The switch is still not quite flipped. Yet.

          That picture? That’s the way things look, when the switch is flipped: Atrocity is A-OK, admirable even. You and I look at that, from today, and the implications strike us as, at best, macabre. From the perspective of a retired professional soldier, I see an act of indiscipline and a violation of the laws of war.

          Were I that young man’s platoon sergeant in 1944, however? I’d have probably thought very little of it, because the zeitgeist of the times didn’t regard anything done to the Japanese as being crimes of war, given what they’d done in the Philippine Islands and elsewhere. Hell, in all likelihood, I’d have been encouraging my guys to come up with even better methods of killing them, at as little risk to us as possible. Out of such mentalities come flamethrowers and firebombings…

          The most dangerous thing in the world isn’t some inbred Arab hopped up on Captagon and carrying an AK47. No matter how many civilians he kills, he hasn’t seen crap until he has to figure out how to deal with a bunch of 19 year-old heavily armed Americans who don’t even regard him and his ilk as human beings. Read a history of the battle of Okinawa, or Iwo Jima, and contemplate what happened to the Emperor’s finest, there towards the end.

          The world forgets that most Americans wound up here because we were the bastard outcasts from their societies, the refuse. There’s a bit of a grudge, lingering in our gene lines and culture, I’m afraid. I don’t think that it’s wise to dig up those lingering memories, at all. Part of the American semi-isolationist mentality is rooted in the fact that we’re outcasts from the home cultures, in a lot of respects, and we really, really don’t like them. My Scots-Irish forebears still bear grudges against the Sassenachs for the Enclosures and other violations. Ever wonder why it was so easy to recruit and gather money for the IRA to kill British soldiers? Yeah, it’s not just the Irish that carry that grudge…

          • The thing is, before “knocking a loophole in that wall”, before we disable that safeguard, one should ask just exactly WHO will be determining “if your religion or political movement espouses destruction/conversion by force”? Who will be enforcing it? Seriously, would you want people selected either by Obama, or heaven forbid, Hillary! to be allowed the power to decide if a group should or shouldn’t be under the protection of the Constitution? Next thing you know, “hate speech against gays” is twisted to be “conversion by force”.
            The jihadist’s aren’t strong enough to do hard core, real serious damage to the USA. Not like we could do to ourselves

            • Consider current elite proposals for dealing with AGW Denialists, whose heresies would condemn us all to Death And Destruction from the Impending Inundation™!

      • There are no such examples in American life right now, as far as I know

        right now of course, being the operative words.

  28. It’s why a Muslim who feels guilty over something serious — adultery, homosexuality, whatever — can suddenly go from sane and moderate to strapping on a bomb.

    I’m pretty sure you’ve nailed a big part of the motivation for many (most?) of the rank-and-file jidahis. (The leaders have more complex reasons). For further discussion, I present the following two comments from

    Scott Hanson wrote:

    In highly sex-segregated cultures homosexual experience is endemic and, combined with bullying behavior, the soul is destroyed. The parents don’t protect the children from Uncle Mahmoud because everybody had an Uncle Mahmoud. Jihad is one way for abused Muslims to be guaranteed to be cleansed. Think of a rape victim trying to wash away the rape, but with very little water.

    I responded to his comment:

    Add to that the polygamy effect, where some 30-40% of men CANNOT find wives because the rich guys are hogging all the women. (It would be 75% if every single rich guy had four wives. Since not all Muslim polygamists have four wives — some have just two or three, and many Muslims stick with just one wife — the ratio of men who have no available women for them to marry is a lot under 75%.) So that’s 30-40% with no sexual outlet approved by their religion.

    And when people go find sexual outlets NOT approved by their religion, violating their own conscience, they tend to become even MORE fanatical in their public observance of their own religion, in an attempt to expiate their sin. In Christians who engage in homosexuality despite their beliefs against it, this tends to result in public fanatical denunciations of homosexuality*. In Muslims, this tends to result in joining or supporting jihadist movements, for the “guaranteed to be cleansed” reasons you pointed out.

    * Except in the case of the Westboro people, whose agenda is to provoke an incident of violence against them so their “pastor” can sue the instigator for millions. So far nobody’s taken their bait, thankfully.

    This is a large-scale problem, and it’s not going to go away anytime soon. The only solution I can see that doesn’t involve millions of dead people is for many, many Muslims to have changes of heart. The people who go into the Muslim world as missionaries (I’m most familiar with the Christian missionary movement, for obvious reasons) are working towards that solution. Whoever reads this, if you’re a believer, pray for those missionaries. Their work is desperately needed.

    • P.S. Re: the Christians who fanatically denounce homosexuality that I mentioned, there’s one thing I forgot to write in the above comment. In my experience, those who do not have homosexual desires that they don’t want to admit act much more tolerant, in the classic sense. Meaning “I disagree with what you’re doing and I think it’s sinful, but we can still be friends.” (Though if the other person takes that as a personal attack on their identity, the “we can still be friends” thing usually doesn’t work out.) And the Christians who do have homosexual desires, believe it’s wrong, but are open about it, are usually well-adjusted too. (I once attended a men’s group of about eight people, where one of the guys was quite open and honest about his homosexual desires — he believed it would be sinful to act on them, but he didn’t feel ashamed to admit to having them. His attitude was quite healthy, and the other guys in the group treated him as a good friend and prayed with him. It was really encouraging to see.)

      My rule of thumb is now: if you see someone fanatically denouncing something, they’re probably doing that thing. If they’re merely passionate-but-reasonable about opposing it, they’re probably not doing it. (The fanatical vegetarians are probably the ones to cheat, secretly eating bacon when they think nobody’s looking. The one vegan I know who DOESN’T announce it to everyone in the room will actually go out of her way to not be an inconvenience to other people, to the point of eating non-vegan food if she’s a guest in someone’s house and that’s what they prepared for her. I disagree with her opinions, but I have a lot of respect for her as a person.)

      • The catch, of course, is the fanatical part– way too many people use it as a word meaning “more resistance than I’m comfortable with.”

        There’s also those who have been hurt by the action being denounced.

        • Very good point about those being hurt also tending to loudly denounce, victims of sexual abuse for example… which one can say that child sexual abuse and homosexuality aren’t the same thing but in the mind of a 12 or 14 year old who is abused and also became aroused… it’s pretty much the same thing.

      • Not quite. For Christians, basically you believe the scriptures or you don’t, and if you don’t, why go to the trouble? One of the things is that Jesus died for us even though we are sinners. That was the ultimate expression of hate the sin/love the sinner. That has profound consequences to our attitudes toward others. In this very example, I know a minster who was convicted in his reaction at sitting next to a homosexual specifically on this point. There are strong cultural opinions on homosexuality, just as there are on race and other things, and if we’re not careful we can let that influence us.

        It’s perhaps not surprising that I encountered racism in a church that prided itself on being “moderate.” What I saw that day was unheard of in churches that attempt to more closely follow the scripture.

        Note that this crosses denominational grounds. That “moderate” church was part of a denomination generally thought of as more fundamentalist.

      • “My rule of thumb is now: if you see someone fanatically denouncing something, they’re probably doing that thing. ”

        What a sanctimonious self-righteous view. Do you think all the objections to suicide-bombing mean we are all secretly suicide bombers?

        • Nope. That would be passionately opposing. You can usually tell the difference between passionate and fanatical people by the rational arguments of the former, and the latter’s inability to be persuaded by any kind of evidence whatsoever.

          I realize this is a fine shade of distinction and would not stand up in a debate (especially if one was debating someone intellectually dishonest). I merely use it as a rule of thumb because it usually is possible to tell the difference between the two, even if it’s not always possible to persuade others with it.

          • For example, my own attitude towards homosexual behavior is “The Bible says it’s a sin, so you shouldn’t do it.” (An argument I’ll only advance with Christians, since naturally people who don’t accept the Bible’s authority wouldn’t care.) I’m sure other people would call me fanatical for having that very reasonable attitude. But, well, shrug. Who cares what they think; what matters is the truth. And I know the truth about my own attitudes, and the particular sins I’m tempted towards — and that is not one of them. Laziness, sure, I have to fight that one off all the time. Gluttony, I could be tempted by. Lust towards others of my own sex? Not only am I not tempted by that, I have a hard time even comprehending why that would be tempting.

            • Yep, it does boggle my mind why people, whether Christian or Muslim, feel the need to vehemently inform those not of their faith that what they are doing is a sin. Explaining to someone of your faith that what they are doing is a sin in the eyes of god, and so they shouldn’t do it, makes perfect sense, saying so to someone who doesn’t believe in your god, or possibly any god, is about as useful as explaining the color of your house to a blind man.

              • Because it is human nature not to realize that people aren’t arguing from the same premises as you are. Happens all the time.

                I once was in an internet argument with someone who could not understand why people objected to sex ed — didn’t they want the children to be safe, whatever their objections to the subject? I asked her whether she wanted the children taught how to identify unsafe moonshine and illegal drugs. After some incoherence, she actually managed to put out that the drugs were really wrong. That is, she thought them wrong for operating by the same rule as she did, because she didn’t really accept that they thought something wrong.

          • Funny, I’ve noticed that people tend to think arguments are rational when they agree with them, and abuse people as being unable to be persuaded by any kind of evidence whatsoever when they don’t.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Nod. I got into a “discussion” with one individual who repeated plenty of BS about Conservative Christians and ended his statement that he “trusts” Conservative Christians to be dishonest.

              Sort of destroys the idea of “rational discussion”. [Frown]

          • “I merely use it as a rule of thumb ”

            Why? Of what use it is to impute base motives to your opponent? What good does it do?

            • It saves time and avoids pesky pointless procedural procrastinations to jump directly to “Burn the witch!”

              After all, in this fallen world all are guilty of some sin or other, so what boots it to fret over picayune niceties?

            • It helps me identify people who aren’t going to argue rationally about a subject, so I can save time by not engaging in pointless argument with someone who won’t listen to evidence.

              And yes, as you said in a different response, there’s a natural human tendency to assume that people who disagree with us are irrational and won’t be persuaded by evidence — and I’m not immune to it. Which is another reason it needs to be a rule of thumb, and not a hard-and-fast rule. But tell me: if you were engaging in a discussion with two different feminists, and one was arguing on the basis of “cisnormative patriarchal oppression of women” and the other was arguing on the basis of “women get paid 77 cents for every dollar that men get paid”, which one do you think would be more open to hearing opposing evidence?

              That’s not a perfect example, because in neither case is this someone ranting about something they’re likely to be secretly guilty of, but it’s a good illustration of “fanatical” vs. “passionate”. The latter feminist might also be unpersuadable, but she might actually be open to evidence that the “77 cents on the dollar” figure is bad statistics, and doesn’t mean what she thinks it means. Whereas the former feminist is just not worth engaging in discussion, as you can tell from her words that she’s not rational on the subject. As Jonathan Swift put it, “Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired.”

    • The one pastor I had who was found out to have a homosexual lover (his children hired a PI and had him followed for some reason I was never privy to)… he didn’t preach against homosexuality at all… he just went on and on and ON about the end times and how Israel was importing red heifers.

  29. Worth noting, this suggests that the best, the only response, to the Islamo-apocalyptic movement is to confront it, directly and actively.:

    The jihadis’ master plan to break us
    By Amir Taheri
    [The paris attacks] happened because the Islamic State, the latest version of the Islamo-apocalyptic movement, has decided that Western democracies, representing the “Infidel” world, are no longer prepared to fight even to preserve their comfortable lives. The Paris attacks came on the first day of the Muslim lunar month of Safar, which coincides with the anniversary of the Prophet Mohammed’s first successful “ghazva” (raid) against the “infidel” at Safwan in 623 AD.

    The Islamic State is already referring to the Paris attacks as another “ghazva,” promising many more. The aim is to terrorize all mankind into submitting to the diktats of The Only True Faith.

    This is how Sheikh Abu-Bakr Naji, the late theoretician of the Sunni version of the Islamo-apocalyptic movement, put it: “No one should feel safe without submitting, and those who refuse to submit must pay a high price. The aim of our movement is to turn the world into a series of wildernesses in which only those under our rule enjoy security.”


    According to the sheikh, in a world dominated by “Crusaders,” it is not possible to create a proper Islamic state in a single country. He cites as example the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Although a proper Islamic regime, it did not survive “infidel” attacks and opposition by Afghan elements. The Islamic movement must become global, fighting everywhere, all the time, and on all fronts. He wants neo-jihadis to create an archipelago of “wildernesses” in non-Muslim countries, especially in the West, turning them into parallel societies alongside existing ones. They do not set up formal governments that could be vulnerable to economic pressure or even military attack.


    The sheikh recommends “countless small operations” that render daily life unbearable rather than a few spectacular attacks such as 9/11. The idea is that the “infidel,” leaving his home every morning, should not be sure whether he would be alive in the evening.

    The sheikh believed that, if subjected to constant intimidation and fear of death, most non-Muslims, especially in the West, would submit to Islam in exchange for a minimum of tranquility. The only Western power still capable of resisting was the United States. But that, too, would change with a new president. (That was before Obama was elected.) In any case, the sheikh, quoting historian Paul Kennedy, has no doubt that “America is destined to fall.”


    Paris was attacked not because of what the French do, as some blame-the-West intellectuals claim, but because of what the French are: infidels who refuse to see the light of Islam. The hope is that just as the Prophet forced the Arab tribes to accept Islam in exchange for protection, the “infidel” nations will also decide that it is in their best interest to submit.

    Today, however, I see no sign the French tend toward submission. As always, the terrorists may end up like the man who, having won a great many tokens at the roulette table, is surprised when the casino tells him his winnings cannot be cashed.

    • I honestly can’t think of a better way to trigger a genocide, to be quite honest.

      I don’t think this Sheikh Abu-Bakr Naji is going to be fondly remembered by the remaining Arabs in a few generations, if enough of the present-day ones listen to him.

  30. National Review’s Reihan Salam raise an interesting question about the acceptance of large refugee populations from some of the Global Village’s less … tolerant corners.

    How do these refugees feel about same-sex marriage, homosexual and transgender rights in general, and many other of the liberal causes du jour? What little information we have suggests they are hardly inclined to accept that Black Lives Matter nor that women ought be free to dress as scantily as they wish, drink as much as they can hold down and still walk the streets confident of being unmolested.

    It seems likely they will be strong supporters of the Second Amendment, however.

  31. Look, taquya and the injunction to stop attacking until you have the upper hand are a key. Yeah, they’re sort of lying when they say they don’t want to conquer you. But if they’re decent people (and most of them are) they’re sort of telling the truth too. It gives them an excuse to give up on the crazy stuff, to quell the crazies. “We’re not strong enough. We don’t do this YET” and this gives us a window to let them integrate with the west, and to actually bring about that “reformation” we’ve all longed for, where jihad REALLY is internal struggle.

    The problem is… multi-culturalism. You see, when you go weak at the knees and approve madrasas and sharia law? You take away the sane Muslims’ excuse that “now is not yet the time.”

    Their culture doesn’t understand not exerting strength if you have it. This is why they keep mistaking our restraint for weakness. And you’re “respecting their culture” which means not giving the sane ones ANY excuse to change or exert pressure on the crazies to change.

    What you’re doing in fact is reinforcing that whole “the imam of my childhood was right, and we are supposed to rule the world, and why aren’t I–”


    This is why the people who think they are being “friendly” to the Muslims are actually setting them up for genocide. Because what they are doing is telling the Muslims: “It’s safe to attack!” and this is setting things up for the moment when the West flashes over into mass fury mode. And at that moment, the whole Muslim world is going to be like an infantry regiment that’s charged out into No Man’s Land with no air, armor or artillery support, and is caught in the crossfire of a whole defending division … because their “friends” told them that there was only a platoon of defenders and they were out of ammo anyway.

    This has happened before. Read the books and see the movies from the 1930’s about how a Second World War would mean the end of civilization. There are long discussions about how at all costs we must avoid general air warfare, because the open bombardment of cities from the air would mean our doom.

    It meant somebody‘s doom, all right. The doom of the Axis Powers who, based on the pacifism of the West in the 1930’s, thought that it would be safe to launch a general war. From 1944-45 in particular, we were burning their cities at a rate of a few days’ massive raiding per city. And then we got atomic weapons …

    There are a lot of signs that not only America but also Europe is on the verge of a political phase transition on this. I think Obama is actually the key — he tried to put into pratice the proposed policies of the Left, and everyone in the West can see just how horribly this is failing to work.

    Some European countries are already rejecting the refugees. Most American states are as well. We’re very close to the point where the people will be willing to follow ANYONE who claims to be anti-Muslim, whether or not he’s anti-Muslim in any particularly sane or reasonable manner.

    • It’s going to be interesting to watch what happens to Obama, after the next major attack on US soil. He may get lucky, and just manage to squeek out of office before the bills for his idiocy come due, the way Bill Clinton did, but I rather think his luck isn’t that good. It has to break sometime, and with his arrogance, I think it’s going to happen on his watch.

      I think there’s going to be a major event here in the US, and in the near- or medium-term. We’ve been steadily undermining all the things that prevented another attack post 9/11, and failing to do due diligence on things like border security. Something is going to happen, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if its something like Mumbai or Paris. Possibly, Beslan.

      The after-effect for Mr. Obama ain’t gonna be pretty, and if he’s as tone-deaf in his response to it as he was to Paris, the man may well wind up decorating a lamp post in Washington, DC. I just wonder how much of the rest of his “legacy” is going to be thrown on the trash heap with his reputation?


    Just in case the strength of tribal cohesion and the totalizing influence of a religious worldview isn’t clear.

    • The article above may have things wrong. Some of the commenters are claiming that the chant is supposed to be in support of Paris, not in defiance of the moment of silence. Don’t know one way or the other.

  33. Overnight, I had an epiphany (and it didn’t even hurt) on one good tactic. Pork. How about little high pressure pig-fat and pig bristles worn somewhere on the body (ladies could even use their purse. In the event of a nearby explosion, a fine mist of pork products would fill the air touching everything in the area. Now, high speed and area of coverage are critical, because (and you scholars of Islam can help here) the pork has to touch some part of the jihadist’s body before the brain dies. That way, he goes to Allah in an unclean state. Straight to h*ll.
    The great part of this is that modern Godless progressives certainly can not complain about a little pork lube. It is non-lethal and if we want to wear it, who are they to judge. Islamist on the other hand are 7th century barbarians that truly do believe, and are superstitious to the max. I understand a British commander did something similar in India, and of course, it is routinely scorned by VileProgs, but so what?
    A passive-aggressive defense. We can even install them in airplanes and sporting arenas. “You can kill me, but I will send you to hell”. Great Marketing slogan. Cover the Mid-East in the knowledge that this is how we will protect ourselves, by debasing their religion. Oh, it will set some of them into a killing rage, but that is good, because rage is easier to spot than cunning.

  34. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Victory is in the American cultural heritage. The Indian wars and their results are deeply baked into our attitudes.

    Deep down we know that if someone is still at war with us, it is because we are being bad and not killing enough of them.

    Those of us who know a little foreign policy can overcome that intellectually, and the rest of us don’t care yet, because the Muslims are not obvious in the way the Indians were, or even as the Mexicans are. (The left aren’t necessarily integrated with American culture.)

    We can borrow the reservation model for the Muslims in North America. It didn’t matter how many or few Indians were pagan, because they were alien and in conflict with the constitution. Note that we wouldn’t need to concede sovereignty or territory with the Muslims. Just kill any who violently resist being confined, and put their children in schools that prevent them from integrating with their original culture.

    Yes, we are more distant from the mid east than the mid west. Yes, the dynamic of our relationship is different. Intellectually I know we cannot expect the same results. Emotionally, I think ‘It is only three to one odds. Are you a coward?’

    We remember that the French would incite the Indians against us. (They were fur traders, not settlers, and preferred to use local proxies instead of colonists.) We remember that the British did the same thing when we separated.

    So what if the rest of the world incited the Muslims against us? Deep down, we are certain we can take them, as it is only twenty to one odds.

    • While some argue that demanding “unconditional surrender” prolonged WWII, they overlook that it meant that WWII ended, as settling for lesser terms has failed to truly end wars and they flare up, even worse, again.

      • There is a tendency to forget what the purpose of war is: breaking the enemy’s will to attack you.

        Negotiated peace is fine between two kingdoms squabbling over borders, e.g., Alsace-Lorraine, but for the type of conflict we are facing it is suicidal to pause short of the enemy’s rolling over and exposing their belly and throat.

  35. BTW: today is the annual celebration of the birth of our esteemed hostesses.

    Happy birthday, Sarah.

  36. Totally OT: Pratchett’s “Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook” is on sale at Amazon for $1.99 Kindle edition.

  37. I’m sure someone already posted this, but it’s too good not to link to:

  38. The powers that be assure us that not ALL the islamic refugees are bad people. My son pointed out this. If I give you 100 grapes, and tell you two off them are poisoned and will kill you, will you eat any of them? What if it were 2 of 1,000? Or 10,000? At what point do you risk eating the grapes?

    • Remember back in the early days of the Bush ’43 administration when his EPA got blasted with a time bomb left by Clinton — the rules reducing permissible levels of arsenic in drinking water to ten parts per billion?

      Does anyone want to argue in support of a less strict standard for possible terrorists than arsenic in drinking water?

    • Yep.
      Once long ago, and in a decade far away, I had a volunteer job through my local church. Resettling Vietnamese refugees, as it was.
      In those dear sweet innocent days, the refugees – who had all come out in a furious rush from South Vietnam in the early spring of 1975, were parked in tent-camps (heavily-guarded and supervised tent-camps) on military bases … two of them, as I recall, were at Camp Pendleton, CA (a Marine Base) and the other at Camp Chafee — in Arkansas, IIRC. They were held there, until they were sponsored by someone; an individual, or a volunteer group – who would promise to take responsibility for them — provide a place for them to live, assist them in adjusting, help find them jobs … all that. There was a kind of umbrella church group – one of several – who had a kind of coordinating authority, as I recall … but the bulk of the hands-on work in helping the refugees adjust — that was all done by volunteers. I mean, real and unpaid volunteers like me. This work was sincerely-committed, volunteer, locally-based and very personal.
      I so do not see this happening with the current round of refugees — unless said refugees are Christian, Yazidi, or Jewish. In all those cases, local volunteer co-coreligionists will see to sponsoring them.
      In the case of muslim refugees? Don’t hold your breath waiting for sincerely-committed church-based volunteers to show up. Personally, I am sitting on my hands when it comes to helping resettle muslims.
      Islamophobic? Moi? Yeah, finest kind, you betcha.

      • I read an explanation on this yesterday, I think at national Review’s blog, The Corner, but looking it up is too tedious and so I present it from memory.

        There are now a large number of professional agencies that take charge of refugees, walking them through the process of status certification, then placing them in a community, signing them up for Welfare, Food Stamps and so on, all for a tidy handling fee. There is no additional follow-through or oversight. Eventually the refugees will draw down on the Social Security and Medicare trusts.

        Numbers for the cost of this are available at

        • Just seen at Power Line:

          The Daily Mail reports that in the past 18 months, U.S. law enforcement authorities have charged at least 66 men and women with ISIS-related terror plots on American soil. A handful of those charged are refugees, according to the Daily Mail.

          More typically, the plotters are American Muslims including some who converted to Islam. The conspirators include a U.S. Air Force veteran, a National Guard soldier who allegedly plotted to gun down his own colleagues, a young nurse, a pizza parlor boss, and schoolgirls tricked into becoming ISIS brides.

          For present purposes, though, it’s the refugees who are most relevant, given President Obama’s plan to take in 10,000 from Syria. The refugees include a Bosnian couple who allegedly gathered cash to buy military equipment for ISIS fighters in Syria and a 21-year-old native of Somalia who was born at a refugee camp in Kenya and arrived in the US when he was only nine.


          But the existence of several refugees among the relatively small number (fewer than 70) of those recently charged with acting on behalf of ISIS illustrates that the appeal of Islamic terrorism to Muslim refugees extends beyond terrorist plants. This reality, coupled with the likelihood of plants and the impossibility of reliable vetting, presents a solid argument against admitting the Syrian refugees.

          • In Related News:

            Report: Turkey Arrests Eight ISIS Terrorists Posing as Refugees
            Eight people have been arrested at Istanbul’s main airport amid fears they are Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists posing as refugees after they were found clutching a hand-drawn map plotting the route to Germany. . . .

            The Anadolu Agency said the group arrived in Istanbul from Casablanca, Morocco, and were interviewed by criminal profiling teams at Ataturk Airport.

            Anadolu said the eight claimed to be tourists visiting Istanbul but a hotel refuted claims they had reservations there.
            The arrests come after an ISIS terrorist bragged about how easy it was to smuggle thousands of covert jihadists into Europe under the guise of being a desperate refugee.

            The Syrian operative claimed more than 4,000 covert ISIS gunmen had made it into western nations, hidden among innocent refugees.
            Two Turkish refugee-smugglers backed up the claims made by the terrorist.

            One admitted to helping more than ten trained ISIS rebels infiltrate Europe under the guise of asylum seekers.

            • Still more related news:

              Two federal agents operating under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are claiming that eight Syrian illegal aliens attempted to enter Texas from Mexico in the Laredo Sector. The federal agents spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity, however, a local president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) confirmed that Laredo Border Patrol agents have been officially contacting the organization with concerns over reports from other federal agents about Syrians illegally entering the country in the Laredo Sector. The reports have caused a stir among the sector’s Border Patrol agents.

              The sources claimed that eight Syrians were apprehended on Monday, November 16, 2015.

            • While I have no doubt that ISIS, Al Qaeda, et al will try to smuggle some people into European countries posing as refugees, that article is pretty terrible evidence for the proposition. In fact, it’s only a good example of “why you shouldn’t trust journalists.” The sensationalist sub-headline says that the arrests were “amid fears they are ISIS terrorists posing as refugees”, as does the picture caption. But the actual article says the eight arrested were posing as tourists: “Anadolu said the eight claimed to be tourists visiting Istanbul but a hotel refuted claims they had reservations there.” So it contradicts its own headline.

              Also interesting to note was the hand-drawn map they showed, which alternates Arabic with French in the directions: “petit taxi”, “La Grèce”, “Allemagne”… My best guess would be that there’s a connection to a former French colony, like Algeria, where both Arabic and French are commonly spoken.

  39. Andrew McDowell

    Since you mentioned Northern Ireland, here are some comments from somebody who grew up there during the troubles:

    1) My state grammar school somehow created an atmosphere that equated extremism with stupidity. Proclaiming that _intelligent_ and devout Muslims know better than to support violence in the name of their faith might be helpful.

    2) Attitudes do change – sometimes suddenly. 911 was appalling, but it may have been the single most important factor in the N. Ireland peace process: after 911 romantic but ignorant Americans didn’t think it was a good idea to give money to terrorists.

    3) I’ve also been in Sheffield city centre after dark (town in Northern England with some Muslim citizens). I was insulted by drunk white females passing by – as far as I can determine just for looking like a (white) sober, nerd. I don’t quarrel with Muslims for finding the culture of some of the locals deeply unappealing. It would be nice if they had an example of mainstream English life nearby that they could respect.

  40. Nailed it. Again. I swear even if you never write another novel that I enjoy I will throw money at you in order to guarantee that I get the awesome non-fiction.