Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Low Performing Intellectual

Euro-mind Tomas Kavaliauskas writes in Eurozine about the same Euro-fables that caused mass protest and long, widespread wars over the centuries: class-warfare, class-hatred, and that strange hatred of authority that seems to find a place in its’ heart for things that can only be accomplished through totalitarianism. 
As usual, they have to get around to limiting human freedom.

The capitalist order implies that the ultimate objective of citizens is to be consumers. Yet consumerism grounded in indebtedness means financial dependence as opposed to democratic freedom
Prattle on about something you don’t understand, pretend social philosophy needs municipal control, pretend that you’re the one to do it, and people call you an intellectual.  Here, our brave gladiator wanting to toy with all our lives manages to describe the only option anti-capitalists can cite as capitalism, and goes through the necessary ‘talking in circles’ to tell us that in fact it was the capitalist societies where social control is at its’ greatest.
According to Foucault, the individual, whose life and activities are restricted by the social order, is constantly examined and classified; this facilitates identification. This process, obviously political, is especially important in contemporary megapolises. The practical and political interest of every state is to control and discipline its citizens in order to secure the successful functioning of its political and economic systems. Moreover, control and discipline help preserve the consumerist order.
I’m sorry, but what history of Europe exactly did you have to exclude from view to arrive at this point?  It’s the poorer, economically dysfunctional societies that permitted tyrannies to calcify permanently. 
I’d really like to know where he got the idea that the freedom to make a living in the way you want is the same as programmed consumption or is an all-occupying philosophy of those who live in it.  I’d also really like to know his notion of a viable alternative.  Invariably, the ‘alter-monde’ involves less control over ones’ life and less of a connection between what you do and the conditions you can live in. 
I’d also like to know where this nostalgia for Gothic life of communist authoritarian leftism comes from.  Under the only other ‘alter-monde’  to democratic-socialism/socialism Europe has know in living memory has been a system based entirely on consumption – one that not only based itself on the need to ration and construct a destructive level of human conformity, but didn’t even succeed a providing for the population materially.
It would be naïve to assume that prosumers can choose identity. It is ascribed to them by default. Today, one is even born with it. Such is the order of the capitalist system, when individuals are free to choose professions but not the status of the producer and the consumer. Indeed, if Europe or the USA saw the emergence within their boundaries of a state that refused to participate in this global system and instead effected a Rousseauesque return to nature, and if the ideology of this state were based on principles other than production and consumption, contemporary western morality grounded in the maximization of economic growth would simply collapse. This would mean that an "advanced" country chooses "backwardness". What is seen as inevitable in Africa would, in Europe or the USA, be regarded as a choice and thus become a challenge to the ideology, ethics, politics, economics, and culture of utilitarian efficiency.
This can only be true if all people are in fact just like the worst example of constructed negative architypes you see on TV, and that people are not capable of anything else.  How he and his fellow travelers evaded this fate is stunning when you see just how willing they seem to be to parrot ideas no-one with a shred of healthy scepticism would accept.  The poor in Africa cannot passively ‘choose’ to have a European quality of life, and the very idea that these choices can be made sort of undermines the idea that a bogeyman is forcibly ascribing anything to the rest of us. 
To think that we choose our identities rather than develop them as individuals tells one just how little the likes of Tomas Kavaliauskas knows about people to begin with, and how trapped he is in the illusions necessary to maintain the adolescent view of class-warfare into adulthood.  That arbitrariness with which others’ philosophies, even ones that they aren’t familiar with are judged and describes must be the prerequisite to be called a European intellectual these days. 
I would pity him if he could admit that his identity was something that developed under a number of influences, (perhaps even things he perceived as traumas) through the course of actually living and wasn’t something he chose one day or was assigned.

A depressing tale of collaboration, corruption, and subsequent denial that taxes the will of even the most determined Francophile

The history of France under German rule during World War II is a depressing tale of collaboration, corruption and subsequent denial that taxes the will of even the most determined Francophile
writes Mark Falcoff in his WSJ book review of Frederic Spotts' The Shameful Peace (danke zu ).
Perhaps not surprisingly it was not a French scholar but an American one, Robert Paxton, who produced the first serious examination of the period (1940-44)… Now comes Frederic Spotts, a British writer known for his studies of German history. With "The Shameful Peace" he lifts the lid on one of the least known -- and most shameful episodes -- of the period: namely, the role of artists and intellectuals in occupied France.

The first effect of the armistice was to convert the French capital into a kind of vacation paradise for the German occupier. … Representatives of leading Nazi figures, notably Hermann Goering, sacked the homes of wealthy Jews for masterpieces of art -- an expedition in which some of the city's grandest art dealers were pleased to assist. Even low-ranking German functionaries partook of the feast. "I never lived so well anywhere," a secretary-typist later recalled. "We could buy what we wanted. . . . [It was] the most wonderful and unforgettable time of my youth."

One area where the Germans completely understood what they were about, however, was in the co-opting of the French cultural establishment.

What made the French experience of German occupation so different from that of, say, Poland or Czechoslovakia or Greece was that Hitler, far from trying to eradicate French national culture, chose to nourish it as a distraction from his other demands. …

The most obvious minions of Berlin were fascist or protofascist intellectuals who had been at war with French democracy long before the armistice. … Here there could be no surprises. Other writers, however, had not been fascist proponents in the 1930s and simply went with the flow. As novelist Jean Giono put it with great economy of words: "I prefer being a living German to a dead Frenchman."

At a time when both food and fuel were painfully scarce, many cultural figures preferred to live well rather than poorly. The list here is far longer -- a virtual "Who's Who" of the French artistic world [including Picasso, often cited as a principled anti-Fascist, and Céline, often quoted by our detractors as an example of someone with obviously superior francophone sensibilities, artistic prowess, lucidité, and so on]. [Cocteau's] record of the times, Mr. Spotts writes, "gives the impression that the Germans he knew were visiting tourists rather than officers of an invading army."

… The need to nourish the myth of la France combattante -- the cornerstone of Gaullist ideology -- required far fewer collaborators than actually existed. The myth was also necessary to wrest the nimbus of Resistance from the communists, who claimed exclusive rights to it. Then, almost before anyone knew it, anti-Americanism became the ideology of choice for French intellectuals and artists, bringing both left and right happily together.
An excerpt on France's "blindness to several cardinal truths about the Occupation":
…the Occupation yielded its secrets only slowly and partially. The story remains complex and confusing, without a satisfying conclusion. Biography is still sanitized; history continues to be rewritten; silence prevails over candour. "The true France was not at Vichy, the true France never collaborated." So spake President Sarkosy as late as May 2008, on the anniversary of the end of the Second World War. But though the myths continue to be officially perpetuated, everyone in France knows they are false. Consequently there remains what de Gaulle once referred to as "a dull pain in the depths of our national consciousness'.

For all that has been written about the subject, for all the continuing [unease] and for all the importance of the issues involved, if you want to know how artists and intellectuals survived, worked and adapted, or if you want to have some idea of what cultural life was like and what policies were followed by German and Vichy authorities, you will have difficulty finding answers.

…Failure to understand the importance of culture in a nation's life was not a mistake Hitler made. For him culture was not peripheral but central to his Occupation policy. In the arts he saw a narcotic to be used to pacify the French and make them amenable to collaboration while he was busy with his war in the Soviet Union. So he not only allowed but actively encouraged a rich artistic life. … At the … time there were … artists who socialized with the Enemy and in some cases toured Germany as Hitler's guests as though unaware that the two countries were still at war.

…After the war the German ambassador in Paris during the Occupation made the astonishing claim that "it would be extremely difficult to name any notable French artist who had not supported collaboration'.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Lips like Sugar

From the Centrum of the most Centrum of EU originalis:

Who knew???!!!! Where is Jove? Wait a minute...........I'm the bad guy?

Lost in Luxembourg

Note, not the sepulture of the Court of First Instance:

Noted all the same................

Another Success for Belgian Diversity Initiatives

Via Dinah Lord, we find out about Jew hunting in Belgium. The hit list even included BHL.
Jewish-French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy was listed by a Belgium-based Islamist group as a target for assassination alongside other leading Jewish personalities in Europe, the Belgian daily La Derniere Heure reported earlier this week.

The planned assassination was apparently thwarted after group leader Abdelkader Belliraj, a Belgian of Moroccan ascent, was arrested last February in Morocco, the newspaper reported. Belgian authorities found the list during a raid on homes of local Muslim community members last November, according to the report.
Considering all the whacked-out “they control the world” crap coming out of the fevered minds of the enlightened continent’s university students and other inquiring minds, one would hardly need to parse the group leaders’ motives. Nonetheless, that fine, socially involved son of Belgium has links to al Queda, and like any respectable European “social justice” activist pushing for vernichtung, he squeals the most dramatic accusation he thinks will draw sympathy, and that he himself must be handled with civilized standards while advocating some abysmal medievalism be imposed on everyone else. From his home in Belgium, he was operating a terror network in Morocco, and trying to live a low-rent style Ernst Blofeld lifestyle:
The Moroccan-born Belgian had quite a resume: accused terrorist kingpin, assassin, gangster, double agent and hotelier. He visited from Belgium now and then to oversee the hotel, a three-star inn with a sidewalk cafe where men sip tea and watch a parade of whining scooters, dusty taxis, sunburned tourists and veiled Berber women.
Among other things, this psycho-puppy is accused of plotting to knock off “M6,” (King Mohammed VI of Morocco.)
In total Belliraj has confessed to involvement in six murder cases in the years 1988-1989, among them the murder of an aging homosexual who had made a proposal that Belliraj believed dishonored his manhood, and a Belgian grocer who was mistakenly identified as a Jew, on a mission for Abu Nidal. On missions for the Iranians he allegedly committed three more murders: of a Saudi imam and a librarian at the Great Mosque in Brussels, and a driver at the Saudi Arabian Embassy.
For the sake of sensitivity, they should permit him a traditional, culturally appropriate death for a jihadist - a Yemeni execution. It’s only fair, after all.

"The mistake we can never repeat is stifling criticism of cultures and religions for reasons of tolerance"

…something fairly remarkable is happening
in the Netherlands, writes John Vinocur.
Two weeks ago, the country's biggest left-wing political grouping, the Labor Party, which has responsibility for integration as a member of the coalition government led by the Christian Democrats, issued a position paper calling for the end of the failed model of Dutch "tolerance."

…If judged on the standard scale of caution in dealing with cultural clashes and Muslims' obligations to their new homes in Europe, the language of the Dutch position paper and Lilianne Ploumen, Labor's chairperson, was exceptional.

The paper said: "The mistake we can never repeat is stifling criticism of cultures and religions for reasons of tolerance."

Government and politicians had too long failed to acknowledge the feelings of "loss and estrangement" felt by Dutch society facing parallel communities that disregard its language, laws and customs.

Newcomers, according to Ploumen, must avoid "self-designated victimization." …

Instead of reflexively offering tolerance with the expectation that things would work out in the long run, she said, the government strategy should be "bringing our values into confrontation with people who think otherwise."…

"Without a strategy to deal with these issues, all discussion about creating opportunities and acceptance of diversity will be blocked by suspicion and negative experience."

And that comes from the heart of the traditional, democratic European left, where placing the onus of compatibility on immigrants never found such comfort before.

It's a point of view that makes reference to work and education as essential, but without the emphasis that they are the single path to integration.

Rather, Labor's line seems to stand on its head the old equation of jobs-plus-education equals integration. Conforming to Dutch society's social standards now comes first. Strikingly, it turns its back on cultural relativism and uses the word emancipation in discussing the process of outsiders' becoming Dutch. …

Indeed, Ploumen says, "Integration calls on the greatest effort from the new Dutch. Let go of where you come from; choose the Netherlands unconditionally." Immigrants must "take responsibility for this country" and cherish and protect its Dutch essence.

Not clear enough? Ploumen insists, "The success of the integration process is hindered by the disproportionate number of non-natives involved in criminality and trouble-making, by men who refuse to shake hands with women, by burqas and separate courses for women on citizenship.

"We have to stop the existence of parallel societies within our society."

And the obligations of the native Dutch? Ploumen's answer is, "People who have their roots here have to offer space to traditions, religions and cultures which are new to Dutch society" - but without fear of expressing criticism. "Hurting feelings is allowed, and criticism of religion, too."

…[One uncynical] explanation (that comes, remarkably, from Frits Bolkestein, the former Liberal Party leader, European commissioner, and no friend of the socialists, who began writing in 1991 about the enormous challenge posed to Europe by Muslim immigration):

"The multi-cultis just aren't making the running anymore. It's a brave step towards a new normalcy in this country. "

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Oh, That Cultural Exception!

New Years Eve at the stroke of midnight: normal people kiss, toast with champagne, and wish one another happiness and good health. Others, those people of refinement, are so culturally exceptional that they forego such pedestrian rituals.
The interior ministry had earlier said 445 vehicles were set on fire overnight, but later revised that figure to 1,147.

The number of arrests and cars torched topped last year's tally of 259 people detained and 372 vehicles burned.
This is for all of those sneering clowns peddling the “good society” “superior lifestyle” and even that “superiority due to their ability to execute well their own cuisine” racket. The entire country often sounds like it’s a PR racket, and little else.

- PS.: Welcome Lizardoids. Pull up a chair and don't forget
the mashmallows. It usually get even better after a few days.

Stop the World, They Want to Get off: European Critics of America Seek a Way Out

NRC Handelsblad International Relations Correspondent Juurd Eijsvoogel reports on a “A Dutch Offer to Obama.”

From feeble minds come strange rationalizations which become the basis necessary to support things that they’ve previously said and done. European critics of anything American became fixated by Gitmo, and as such found in the detainees themselves a form of fairytale hero.
America will soon have a president who has promised to close Guantanamo -- but there are all kinds of practical risks associated with it. For example, there are dozens of prisoners who, as far as Washington is concerned, can go free, but they may be tortured, or worse, in their own country. Where can they go?

To the Netherlands, for example, suggested Lower House member Hans van Baalen (VVD--Dutch People's Party for Freedom and Democracy) last year, and to other NATO member countries. There was no support for the idea. Not from other members of Parliament, not from the Government, and not from the allies.
Correction: the US will have ANOTHER President that has promised to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
Until last week. On the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Portugal offered to accept a number of innocent prisoners who have been locked up without trial. And, at the same time, Lisbon called upon other E.U. countries to do the same. A deep silence then descended upon the European capitals.
The offer to take the detainees has been made for years. The problem now, as then, is that the governments in these “highly enlightened” states don’t want them, often not even wanting their own nationals.
This concerns not only the 50 to 60 innocent prisoners who can not be repatriated. There is also a group of around one hundred Yemenis who probably will soon be returned to their own country, to a rehabilitation program for Jihadists.
It all sounds magnanimous until you realize what it is that they are and aren’t willing to do: they’ll take the ones that they can parade as innocent, but still demand the release of the guilty ones, and insist that they are the United States’ responsibility, that their actions are the United States’ responsibility, and not the responsibility of the guilty themselves.
It will not be easy to return people to a society -- people who have been held prisoners for years, while innocent, under such appalling conditions. But if they are given the opportunity to request refugee status here, they will finally have the prospect for a new future, in a country that - more than, for example, Albania - has experience in the reception, counseling and treatment of refugees who have suffered serious psychological trauma.
Isn’t it brave of the Europeans to have spared these detainees the possibility of trauma by not taking detainees? Taken in the light “Watching America” is placing it in, isn’t that just another cruel follow-up to the years of lecturing being turned into a festival of self-congratulation?
Once the Obama administration is in place, it is likely that Washington will quickly come to the European allies with a request for help with receiving Guantanamo prisoners. Then refusing this will be difficult. By letting it be known in advance that the innocent prisoners, as well as Washington, can count on us, we not only help the detainees and Obama, but also ourselves.
Which is to say that in order to avoid making good on their demands, complaints, and on their word, they’ll take them, as long as they (first) can all be declared harmless, and (further) only take the few among them that really are harmless. That way, the US can continue to bear criticism for protecting the populations of crowded European cities from harm, and giving the populations of crowded European vindication from their parasitism at least cost, demonstrated to themselves a fake degree of involvement in the security of populations (the genuinely innocent) by inverting the concept to guilt and innocence, and getting that “activist feeling” by pushing for the release of killers and abetters of jihadi violence, as though they themselves aren’t “little Eichmanns” for giving aid and comfort to those that DO pull the trigger. It gives them maximum domestic PR at least cost.

The bold emphasis was mine. The word “innocent” appears in the article 5 times. “Danger” appears once (and in the context of the Chinese suppression of the Uigers at that, not in reference to the danger to civilians anywhere in the world).

The word “guilt” does not appear at all. It has the same evasiveness that the early stage of fixation of Iran had with Israel, and it starts with the revision of terms, and the construction of a far-away figure to blame in a desperate effort to distract a population into some organized purpose benefiting a social elite of some sort.

What if these critics were offered clearer choices in this matter (that they have no stake in anyway): 1) shooting irregular combatants on sight in the field as the Geneva Convention virtually proscribes, 2) not detaining combatants at all, 3) hiring non-state entities, not in uniform as the terrorists are, to do our fighting for us as a proxy, disposing the coalition of all responsibility for anyone’s fate, or 4) (their inferred solution) bringing those who want to kill your population INTO your country and freeing them.

Jihadists do not wear uniforms, but are a force organized under an ideology. The critics (“Watchers”) of America in any form that provides a vehicle for their hatefulness, insist on forcing the defenders against terrorism to operate on a different standard based on rules and not the implication of those rules.

The Jihadists are, in fact, being used by the critics’ as proxy army to embolden the image they have of themselves in an imaginary opera where they cast themselves as the moderators between the civilization and its’ enemies, while carefully casting America as an moral equivalent to the enemy. It’s only about casting themselves, somehow as relevant figures which they aren’t. They are empowering evil, and still can’t tell the difference between proponents of peaceful pluralism possible with enlightenment philosophy and a violent movement exploiting religious doctrine to impose an autocratic theocracy on the rest of humanity.

Juurd Eijsvoogel writing in the NRC Handesblad isn’t really “watching America”. He is watching the tendencies and temperament his own society through a haze of confusion which requires the demonization of the fake image of antithesis of themselves that Europeans have constructed. This entire bit of theater is about them, not us, and the effort put to manipulating America. By clearly airing statements (that they’re loath to back up anyway) as open support for Obama, and not America or even their own security, they make this quite plain.

Let’s review this again for those can’t get the years of wailing and complaint out of their melons: critics declaring some kind victory in this are not liberating anyone, nor are they facing the matter of dealing with the guilty or even their own wild demands - they are reciting the same dilemma facing the United States that has been present since 2002 as if they’ve solved it, one which the US alone has to tend to for the sake of these writers, not doers or entitled to protection from terrorism.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

American Sheepdog Christmas 2008 (and New Year's 2009)

Skye sings to the troops…

A Guy Who Thinks that the Entire World is After Him

This is the most stunningly stupid collection of complaints I’ve seen in, well, days. Everything he doesn’t like about the world is somehow related. What’s more, just like the people who were puzzled by the idea that crime drops when the rate of conviction goes up,:
Who would have guessed that, with the end of the disastrous Bush regime in sight, we would have been so gloomy on New Year's Eve 2008?

You'd think this would be a time of celebration, or at least some happy whistling to ourselves as we sweep out Dick Cheney's accumulated droppings from the past eight years.
Layoffs! Cold weather! Global warming! Not enough debutantes! IDF videos presenting for criticism what they do to Hamas artillery ‘happy rocketeers’ is renamed ‘agitprop’!

Can’t you just feel that noose tightening? If that doesn’t make you bust a gut, get a load of the title:
Drop a ball on Times Square! Drop a bomb on Gaza!
Is humorless paranoia a prerequisite to by a well regarded leftist in New York?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Silent Night, Holy Night.

All is chaos, All is alight.
More unrest in Malmö suburb

The unrest began in Oxie, a suburb south-west of central Malmö, when a skip began burning soon after 7.30pm on Monday evening. Police confirmed that security guards and passers-by were shot at with fireworks and several more fires were started.

The Christmas tree on the main square in Oxie was one of the targets and local resident Bo Persson expressed concern over recent developments.

"It has been awful lately. They should really ban fireworks.
But this trouble in paradise goes quietly unexplained, despite a great quantity of complete sentences ‘n stuff.
The streets of Malmö’s Rosengård district were relatively calm on Friday evening, as the hundreds of youth who rioted earlier in the week refrained from engaging in renewed clashes with police.
Just stuff, y’know!? Done by just some local youths.
The troubles began as a quiet protest linked to the recent closure of an Islamic cultural centre in Rosengård that housed a mosque, but have spread to become a general expression of discontent among disadvantaged youths.

The police "think they can appease us by joking with us, but they hassle us all the time, they arrest us for nothing and then they're surprised that we fight back," Ahmed Baccar, a 20-year-old unemployed Palestinian with a shaved head, told AFP.

"And they hit 11- and 12-year-old kids, set their dogs on us like they did yesterday, and then you want us to like them," said his friend Rached El Ali, an 18-year-old Palestinian.
We are either on the far edge of the implausible, or see a great hearts-and-minds campaign at work. Either way, what could bear mention by virtue of unavoidable fact in 20-December article had to be obscured on the 30th when the town’s Christmas tree was reported torched, what with the torching of a Christmas tree reminding Swedes how vulnerable their post-modern Jinna is to mall punk Jihad.

As long as “wisdom” dictates that reality need be discussed in the manner of the Soviet era popular criticism found in circumloquatious songs and jokes, Americans can expect a new age of wellness to be declared for no particular reason or cause.
All the campaign talk of the Great Depression, a Vietnam-like war, and our shredded Constitution will now thankfully subside as the Obama administration assumes office and solves problems with conciliation, dialogue, and multilateral wisdom, rather than shrillness, unilateralism, preemption, and my-way-or-the-highway dogmatism. We will hear that, by historical levels, unemployment is still not that bad, that GDP growth is not historically all that low, and that deficits, inflation, interest rates, and housing starts are all within manageable parameters. "Depression" will transmogrify into "recession" which in turn by July will be a "downturn" and by year next an "upswing" on its way to boom times.
Now that we finally have that “compliant press” that the anti-Bush “peace camp” said was meming us into a police state, can’t you just see us becoming numbed by the same kinds of painful omission that makes one not seek out the “root cause” of Palestinian quasi-muslim youts’ faith-based torching a Christmas tree and then claiming that it’s just based on police trying to quell their “right” to use 11 and 12 year old kids in a riot.

Prone to exaggeration, they know that there will be some sympathy to be had in accusing the police of giving mere helpless children a wood shampoo, and that the aborigines will quietly accept that they somehow deserve having whatever remaining symbols of their culture they have left defiled around advent, and that just like claiming that their political opponents are “shredding the constitution”, it will come at no cost. The personae are more alike then they are different.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What Are We Waiting For?! Put Al Gore in Charge!

That Sure Is a Lot of Global Warming

That's an (Illinois) Ad That Sounds Convincing

(Merci à François Guillaumat…)

Here, Wear this Millstone Around Your Neck...

Green jobs, my ass!  Europeans don't want a cleaner world, they want to make the rest of the world as miserable as they are.

This is certainly a new tune for the Europeans, who have lectured Americans for more than a decade to sign Kyoto because the planet is in peril. Their happy talk of a painless 20% reduction in emissions by 2020 has been mugged by reality. Carbon emission regulations come at a high price in lost jobs and lost competitiveness.
No wonder, then, that the Europeans are delighted over the pledges by the incoming Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress to adopt similar legislation to tax U.S. industries. The EU members may differ on their own limits. But they all agree that the U.S. should "show leadership" by committing to meet the same target they're setting for themselves -- reducing emissions by 20% to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020. Never mind that most European countries aren't close to meeting their Kyoto goals, and in all likelihood will fall short of any new targets. The point is to impose those same burdens on the Yanks.
China and India, two of the globe's biggest carbon emitters, have even called Mr. Obama's goals for combating climate change "inadequate" and have advised the U.S. to speed up its time table for carbon reductions. And why not? They would be first in line to gobble up the jobs and production lines that the U.S. would lose if energy costs rise sharply in America.
THEN maybe will the sneering NGOs start treating humans and their effort as aomething other than an 'energy equivalent'?  Don't bet on it.

It's the indifference to the reality of Islamic extremism that renders the comparison of anti-Semitism and “Islamophobia” so outrageous

Critics have charged Berlin’s Center for Research on Anti-Semitism with, in effect,
abusing its prestige in order to relativize anti-Semitism and obscure the real threat of Islamic extremism
writes John Rosenthal.

“There are hundreds of phobias,” he quotes Henryk Broder as saying, challenging the pertinence of the comparison between anti-Semitism and an allegedly new form of kindred prejudice: “Islamophobia.”

These [phobias] include such highly original ones as “alliumphobia” — the fear of garlic; “babushkaphobia” — women’s fears or aversion vis-à-vis their grandmothers; “eurotophobia” — the fear of female genitalia; and “glucodermaphobia” — fear of the film that forms on warm milk when it is left standing for too long. Persons who suffer from phobias avoid what they fear. They don’t take the elevator, don’t go out onto public spaces, and steer clear of reptiles. An anti-Semite, on the other hand, feels compelled to seek contact with the object of his aversion. Anti-Semitism is not a phobia, but rather a kind of psychotic obsession. … The director of a Center for Research on Anti-Semitism ought to know that.

John Rosenthal continues:
To speak of mere “prejudice” in connection with [the Holocaust] represents a remarkable trivialization. … The premise of the entire exercise is thus that there is a strong substantive resemblance between anti-Semitism and “Islamophobia” that goes beyond their mere commonality as “prejudices.” The clear suggestion is that “Islamophobia” is, in effect, nothing less than the new form of anti-Semitism.

…Asked to elaborate during the panel discussion on the supposed “parallels” between contemporary “Islamophobia” and traditional anti-Semitism, [director Wolfgang] Benz pointed, for instance, to the notion that Islam “requires Muslims to make war against non-believers.” The problem with this comparison, of course, is that it is not, first or foremost, Islamophobes who have disseminated such a notion, but rather Islamists. Whether or not the Islamist interpretation of the Quran is the correct one is beside the point. Numerous Muslims around the world have been convinced that it is correct and have accordingly translated said “notion” into deadly real practice. The September 11 attacks, the Bali bombings, the Madrid bombings, the London bombings, the 11/26 Mumbai attacks, and innumerable other Islamist-inspired terror attacks in the last seven years make this abundantly obvious. To leave all of this out of account — or to treat September 11, 2001 as just some date that for no apparent reason happens to mark the rise of anti-Islamic “resentments” — is to coquette with negationism vis-à-vis Islamic extremist violence and the tens of thousands of victims it has claimed.

…It is, above all, this remarkable indifference to the reality of Islamic extremism that renders the Berlin center’s comparison of anti-Semitism and “Islamophobia” so outrageous.
Don't forget to read the last paragraph, which reports on the panel discussion that took place merely two days after the September 11 attacks in 2001, and on the "moving" words that the Berlin Center's Wolfgang Benz had to say about the attacks and their thousands of victims…

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Horror! The Horror!

The shortest horror movie in the world…

(And you get a free gift!)

Dueling drum circles

Christopher Booker starts a quite good column by highlighting one topic, two articles, mass hysteria:

Drum Circle One (l'apocalypse) 21 May 2008:

Alpine skiing and snowboarding may be under greater threat from climate change than scientists have previously thought, new research suggests.

A study of snowfall spanning 60 years has indicated that the Alps's entire winter sports industry could grind to a halt through lack of snow.
Drum Circle Two (la réalité) 19 December 2008:

Some 400,000 British skiers heading for the Alps over the coming fortnight will find the best Christmas and New Year snow conditions in a generation.

In resorts such as Val d'Isère which caught the harshest of this week's blizzards, the snow is banked 1.5m deep in the streets. Parts of the town were temporarily closed to pedestrians because of the high risk of avalanches.

Val and neighbouring Tignes have already enjoyed more snow in December than in any year since 1981 and seem set to beat all records by New Year's Day.