Saturday, March 25, 2006

Britney Spears?

A rogue star with a hot central region.

Photos of the London rally for Free Speech

Samizdata has them. About a thousand ppl showed up.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations and Libel

PowerLine has a very interesting post on the libel suit brought by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) against Andrew Whitehead. It appears that CAIR decided to cut their losses.

PowerLine lists some of Whitehead's statements which apparently remain un-withdrawn, including:
*“Let there be no doubt that CAIR is a terrorist supporting front organization that is partially funded by terrorists, and that CAIR wishes nothing more than the implementation of Sharia law in America.”

*“CAIR is a fundamentalist organization dedicated to the overthrow of the United States Constitution and the installation of an Islamic theocracy in America.”
Well worth a read as CAIR gets a lot of favorable press as a moderate group.

Thomas Sowell, in OpinionJournal

Jason L. Riley has a short interview with Thomas Sowell:
"The left likes to portray a group as sort of a creature of surrounding society. But that's not true. For example, back during the immigrant era, you had neighborhoods on the Lower East Side [of Manhattan] where Jews and Italians arrived at virtually identical times. Lived in the same neighborhoods. Kids sat side by side in the same schools. But totally different outcomes. Now, if you look back at the history of the Jews and the history of the Italians you can see why that would be. In the early 19th century, Russian officials report that even the poorest Jews find some way to get some books in their home, even though they're living in a society where over 90% of the people are illiterate.

"Conversely, in southern Italy, which is where most Italian-Americans originated, when they put in compulsory school-attendance laws, there were riots. There were schoolhouses burning down. So now you take these two kids and sit them side by side in a school. If you believe that environment means the immediate surroundings, they're in the same environment. But if you believe environment includes this cultural pattern that goes back centuries before they were born, then no, they're not in the same environment. They don't come into that school building with the same mindset. And they don't get the same results."
Some think that African-American under-achievment is the result of generations of slavery in America, but perhaps it would be worthwhile to look at subsequent educational and economic achievment in the African countries from which the bulk of slaves were brought. Do cultures have consequences?

The Shock of Chirac: Symptom of Teenie Weenie Syndrome?

Poor, sensitive, Jacques:
Yesterday the President said...“I was deeply shocked to see a Frenchman express himself in English at the (EU) Council table.”
Was he annoyed with Saddam Hussein's antics in Abu Graib?

A related article gives some more particulars:
When M (Ernest-Antoine Seillière, the leader of the European business lobby UNICE), who is an English-educated steel baron, started a presentation to all 25 EU leaders (at the first session of a European Union summit), President Chirac interrupted to ask why he was speaking in English. M Seillière explained: “I’m going to speak in English because that is the language of business.”

Without saying another word, President Chirac, who lived in the US as a student and speaks fluent English, walked out, followed by his Foreign, Finance and Europe ministers, leaving the 24 other European leaders stunned. They returned only after M Seilière had finished speaking.
It must be a terrible thing to feel so...small. And apparently very expensive for French taxpayers.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

David Lowenthal is my kind of geographer

Lowenthal takes a distinctly un-PC position or two. Downright anti-collective, in fact. A professor emeritus at University College London, I imagine he must be rather on the outs with Tony Blair's sort.
What entitles stay-at-homes more than others? Why has Melbourne, the third-largest Greek city, no original classical legacy? Should Ghanaians have more say than African-Americans over the Gold Coast dungeons whence slaves were shipped to the New World?
That 'groups have rights similar to those traditionally reserved for individuals' is lauded by indigenous advocates as 'neo-Enlightenment morality'.
Possibly they do so laud, but I suggest that it might be more accurately described as Pre-Enlightenment morality, which is still all too common in Europe, and all too widely advocated by our self-designated superiors here.
But when groups are sanctified as fossil entities, the moral outcome is dubious. By what right should women today have to submit to the will of male elders? How many and which tribal members need to subscribe to the traditional view for it to remain authoritative? What of individuals' rights to dispose of things personally created or lawfully acquired? Have persons less claim than groups?
According to the Pre-Enlightenment types, of course yes. The group is the basis of the Collective, which trumps all else. Didn't much of Europe segue rather smoothly from the Divine Right of Kings to the Collective Right of the People?

Here in Hawaii there is a long-running legal battle between various "native Hawaiian" groups, all claiming to be the proper holders of scores of native Hawaiian artifacts found in Forbes Cave on the Big Island around the turn of the 19th century. Some groups want them put back in the cave, others want them returned to Bishop Museum for exhibition, so that people of Hawaiian descent and others as well may benefit from seeing them. Why is one group more legitimate than another?
Upholding a textbook's fictitious account of heroic Japan's war record, a Tokyo professor declared that 'all nations have a right to interpret their history in their own way.... That is a part of sovereignty'
Lovely. Still, the rest of us have at least an equal right to condemn that Tokyo professor's filthy lies as exactly that, and surely our collective has at least equal right to act on our collective cultural myths. I have long thought that the Japanese collective was very, very lucky, given the American public's attitude toward Japan between Pearl Harbor and the summer of 1945, and given the attitude toward sex criminals, that the US did not possess several dozen atomic bombs and that the existence of the Korean "Comfort Women" was not widely known here. The American people might just have lynched Harry Truman for stopping after Nagasaki. If collective rights are real, then don't we have collective right to hold the Japanese collectivly responsible and execute them all? Collective rights are a dangerous thing for they seem inextricably bound with collective responsibilities.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Afghanistan: ready to execute Abdul Rahman for converting to Christianity

It seems he was also caught with a Bible. Rahman should be be glad we liberated Afghanistan from the extremist Taliban.

Michelle Malkin has the story. Thanks to PowerLine for the tip.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Punctuations can be Very Cool.

An oldie but a goodie.

As goes Yale, so goes the country?

Penraker fisks some Yale foolishness and winds up with this:
I have an idea: How about asking a NON-TALIBAN from Afghanistan to attend Yale. Couldn't you learn from them? It seems to have NEVER CROSSED HER MIND. And as for seeking the "origins of other ideologies": I can't wait for Yale to open its Department of Nazi studies.

No, it is clear: We have a generation of severely brain damaged students who can only mutter their version of "four legs good, two legs bad": It really goes no deeper than that, despite the fruity, high-stylin' language.

We now have the first generation of college students who have learned NOT to think; they don't even allow certain thoughts in their heads.

Welcome to the class of '06, the first generation educated to become drones.
I wonder why they don't give scholarships to Klanners. They have a different perspective. Can't Yalies embrace it as well? How 'bout members of The Order?

Thanks to InstaPundit for the lead.