Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Put Down Your Self-Hating Liberal Guilt and Resist Egghead Imperialism

I Support Resistance to Ivy League Intellectual Imperialism. Unconditionally. Here's an example from what passes for a "student" at Brown University (ht: lgf).

Join the resistance against Ivy League Ass Heads. Work for the collective purpose of freeing the American people from pencil-necked weenies and spineless toads of all genders and sexual perversions. The American people have been subjected to centuries of intellectual and media imperialism by New England eggheads, relentlessly subjected to their propaganda, their paternalism and their condescension. The oppression must end! The American people must be liberated from the domination of this minority sect.

Let me be clear. While a bomb in Brown or Harvard is never-and I repeat never-a good thing, this kind of terrorism is necessarily complex. History is clear on the fact that the academy and media of an occupying regime are essentially prohibited from accurate representation of the occupation itself. Ideologically, the fact that a group of people in this country support their own occupation enough to enable it to happen indicates that the media will represent the view that America does in fact need to be occupied, for various reasons. This prohibits them from portraying the evils of occupation as necessarily evil; rather, they portray the occupation as unfortunate but necessary. In this struggle for liberation in particular, however, there is the added factor of intense egghead censorship and the unprecedented embedding of reporters inside the ideological mindset of the Ivy League oppressors themselves.

This etymological history, along with proof of a propagandistic media and academy, is significant only to a point. If there is one thing that we take away from 20th century history, it should be this: it is not the place of a geographical, economic and spiritual minority to decide who is worthy of what degree of autonomy. Granted, even the most inspiring national liberation movements had their crimes and their tragedies. However, those who continue to oppress us with their unending lies and willful distortions, who romanticize and admire the very enemies of our civilization cannot legitimately expect to be forever free from the violence they glorify.

End Ivy League hegemony! Join the resistance! Fight for your freedom!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Betting Against the Euro

Maybe this summer will be a good time to visit Europe after all. At least after May 29th.

You would expect the euro itself to suffer, should investors start to question the wisdom of trying to strap between 12 and 25 countries into monetary union. The single currency is worth about $1.30, down about 4 cents in the past six weeks.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Young Heretics Don't Like New Pope

A report from the Catholic University in Belgium in Saturday's NYT.

"In practice, we do what we want," said Florence Druart, a 33-year-old Belgian student. "We live freely. We follow our consciences. We don't want to hear any more about sin, about the woman who has gone astray, about the man who has been thrown out of the church. Will this pope speak to us in a new language? Or is he just going to bring us his same conservatism?"
Pavils Jarans, a 24-year-old Latvian student, "The image that I have of Pope Benedict is that he's the guard dog of the church, very rigid, very intellectual," he said. "I don't really see how he's going to solve the problems of the church."

Well, that's pretty rough considering that they are theology students. But what kind of theology? A poll of students three years ago "found that 83 percent of the students described the church as paralyzed, in crisis or dying. Only 16 percent said they believed in the resurrection of Christ, 12 percent in the Holy Trinity and 11 percent in the virginity of Mary."

I'm no theologian or church scholar but aren't those core teachings, central beliefs of Christianity? The Resurrection? The Trinity? If they don't believe in those teachings what kind of theology are they studying?

Friday, April 22, 2005

"Beginning of a Religious War in Sweden"

Jan Hjarpe, an expert of Islam at the University of Lund, told a Swedish paper. A Norwegian Pentecostal preacher referred to Muhammed as "a confused pedophile." He has received numerous death threats and is now under police protection. But don't worry.

"Imam Hassan Moussa, head of Sweden's imam council, demanded that Christian communities repudiate Søgaard's remarks, and promised that Sweden would avoid the ugly scenes experienced in Holland." (ht: lgf)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

UK Election Chaos

From the Times (UK):

A mob of young Islamist extremists allegedly threatened to hang anti-war campaigner George Galloway last night as as the country's most bitter election battle spilled into violence on the streets of the East End.

This is the second day of election-related violence.

Earlier, a mob of protesters believed to be followers of the radical cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed stormed into the Regent's Park mosque in central London and disrupted a press conference by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).

What the hell is happening in Britain? To paraphrase the Queen of Denmark, there are some things that should not be tolerated.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What's Latin for Nevermind?

More on the media reaction to Benedict XVI. CNN, MSNBC, and others are stunned, shocked, and dismayed that a Catholic theologian would write that other religions are in a "gravely deficient situation" regarding the Truth of God and that other Christian demoninations are not as complete as Catholicism.

What do they expect a Catholic theologian to write? That's it makes no difference what one believes? ("Oh well. Whatever. Nevermind." in Latin) That Catholic teaching, tradition and doctrine are essentially equal to Methodists or Mormons or sect-of-the-week? Hey, media slime, he's Catholic.

Look, I'm not Catholic. But clearly a theologian, and indeed anyone who belongs to a religion, should believe that it matters which religion one belongs to. If it doesn't matter, why bother? What's the point?

Dissing Pope Benedict XVI

I shouldn't be surprised but, well... The media reporting of the election of Pope Benedict XVi is pitiful. CNN is unwatchable. Instead of say, reports of Ratzinger's volumonous writings we get Paula Zahn prattling on about how 'disappointed' some American Catholics are. Nevermind that some Catholics may be excited or intrigued or neutral or indifferent to the new Pope.

Johnathan Last over at the Daily Standard compiled a list of media hand-wringing quotes. Warning: high volume of Andrew Sullivan hysteria included.

Meanwhile Sploid, the liberal version of Drudge, has two headlines: 'Angry Welcome for Pope Rat' and 'Nazi Pope: Ratzinger Is Benedict XVI'.

Wizbang has several other lovely comments from our friends over at the Democratic Underground.

It's only a matter of time until the Islamists start bitching. Watch for it.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sophocles Makes a Come Back

Unbelievable! Scientists and scholars at Oxford are using infra-red imaging technology to decypher long-lost classical documents.

In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament.

The first of these discoveries will be published next month.

Academics have hailed it as a development which could lead to a 20 per cent increase in the number of great Greek and Roman works in existence. Some are even predicting a "second Renaissance".

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Queen of Denmark: Tolerance Has Limits

Queen Margrethe of Denmark speaks truth to Islamist power:

"We are being challenged by Islam these years. Globally as well as locally. ... We must take this challenge seriously. We have simply left it flapping around for far too long, because we are tolerant and rather lazy."

The Queen continued, "there is also something frightening about such a totality which is also a part of Islam. A certain response must be shown and sometimes one must run the risk of being labeled in a less flattering way. Because there are certain things with which one should not be tolerant."

"We could have handled this challenge a bit better, if we had realized what we were up against."

"Therefore it is wise to make demands on the language. We should not be content with living next to each other. We should rather live together."

What a wise and thoughtful woman. Wait for the anti-Margrethe backlash. You know it's coming.

Update: Here's the full quote that the Washington Post did not provide.

"We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance."

What a brave woman. No wonder she's so popular with the Danish. I expect some serious bitching soon.

European Crackdown on Islamists

It looks like a coordinated raid by authorities across Western Europe to combat money laundering and fraud schemes as part of fund raising efforts by Islamists. In Munich. "Police on Thursday arrested seven Islamic extremists and raided 31 mosques, homes and offices in this year's third crackdown in Germany on fund-raising for terrorism."

In Brussels. "The Belgian police have raided two Islamist bookshops ... Italian and French officers had carried out similar raids at the request of the German authorities."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Banner at Soccer Match: "Rome is Fascist"

Well, there you go. Not subtle. Banners "with huge swastikas and the words, "Rome is Fascist" that appeared during clashes with police at Sunday's soccer match" in Rome. It's a typically European combination of extremist politics and soccer fanaticism.

Lazio fans identify with the Right and consider the Livorno team leftists. Along with chanting "Jews! Jews!" as an insult against the Livorno players, they also screamed "Fedayin!" – referring to the presumed pro-Palestinian sympathies of the "leftists" from Livorno.

And it's not a joke. 85 police were injured in the melee. The "ultras" as they are called are "organized themselves "into a hierarchy with politicized leaders," said Chief Inspector de Franco, adding that they were united more by extremist political conditioning than by their love of soccer."

And don't think that the leftist were sweet harmless pacifists either. "But the violence is not monopolized by rightists. It is instigated and carried out by extremists on both sides of the political spectrum."

Dutch Right Party Banned from Protest

The crushing of right-wing dissent in Holland.

Right-wing politician Michiel Smit has been banned from staging a protest in Venray, the scene of recent clashes between Lonsdale youths and Turkish immigrants.

The mayor of Venray banned the demonstration by Nieuw Rechts (New Right) fearing vandalism by the protesters. Of course not every demonstration is subject to such bias and scrutiny.

"If every demonstration would be assessed in this manner, a rally could never be held again in the Netherlands," Smit said.

Why has Lonsdale been adopted by the right-wing, you ask.

Lonsdale is said to be an unofficial abbreviation for 'Laat ons Nederlanders samen de allochtonen langzaam elimineren' (meaning in English: 'Let us Dutch people gradually eliminate the immigrant together'). (Can someone tell me where I can by my shirt?)

This attempt to silence a European right-wing party is remarkably similar to a story today from Dhimmi Watch about how the media and political establishment ignores the Swedish Democrats. As I've said before, ignoring the growing right in Europe will only make the environment more tense and cause more problems in the long term. The backlash is here and it's gaining strength all the time. The European elite can try to co-opt it and bring it into the system by addressing the concerns of the supporters. Or the Eurocrats and multiculturalists can stick their heads in the sand and wait for the reckoning.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Ideology and Fashion

The Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende addressed a group in Amsterdam and condemned "disrespectful behaviour." Then he opened this can of worms.

Balkenende indicated he was a supporter of dealing resolutely with people who incite hatred, intimidate and use violence against others, schools or mosques.

Apparently in a reference to young right-wingers who identify themselves by wearing Lonsdale clothing, he added: "Let this be clear for people who, by their clothing for instance, want to identify themselves with reprehensible doctrines. But also for groups of immigrant youths who behave in an intimidating way". (emphasis added)

But what if the clothing in question is the hijad or niqab, the head scarf or the veil? Are those not "identifying reprehensible doctrines"? Certainly many Dutch think so. Here is where the Dutch government runs into a very difficult contradiction and resolving it will inevitably piss off one of the groups they do not want to anger.

If Muslims are allowed to wear "traditional" clothing then why can't native Dutch youth wear clothes with a particular brand name? Forbidding Dutch youth from wearing Lonsdale will only further radicalize them since the Dutch goverment will be seen as siding with the Muslims. And in any case, they will soon decide on another brand or symbol and will always be one step ahead of the hapless government. The nightmare for the authorities is that a concensus develops among the radical youth to use some traditional or religious symbol to identify themselves and their nascent ideology. Could the authorities legitimately prohibit youth from wearing crosses or symbols of the Holy Trinity?

On the other hand it is almost certainly too late for the Dutch goverment to forbid any of the so-called traditional Muslim dress among men or women. Or at least not without serious public unrest. So back to the PM.
"Those who try to incite angst in others tear at precisely what we are trying to build together in the Netherlands. This poison must not be allowed to spread," the Christian Democrat CDA leader said.
What mechanisms can he use to stop the spread? Obviously many people feel "angst" when they see groups of bearded Muslim men praying in the street. Other may feel "angst" seeing a group of youth Lonsdale youth walking down the sidewalk. What can the Dutch authorities do about this that will not increase the tension in Dutch society?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Minuteman Project Cuts Illegals by Half

People watching the border reduces illegal crossings. It's a simple idea that works.

The number of Mexican migrants trying to sneak into the United States through the Arizona border has dropped by half since hundreds of American civilians began guarding the area earlier this week, say Mexican officials assigned to protect their citizens.

Hey, instead of relying on volunteers, why don't we get federal agents to watch the federal border? What kind of radical idea is that?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Norwegian Taxi Drivers Go to the Dogs

Most Americans are probably familiar with stories of discrimination by taxi drivers. We usually think of it in terms of taxi drivers not wanting to pick up young black men for fear of being robbed or because they think it will be a low fare. But Fjordman has a whole new twist to taxi discrimination stories.
[B]lind people with their guide dogs are finding it increasingly difficult to get a taxi ride, and not just in the capital. In Oslo, Muslims make up such a high percentage of cab drivers that it can be hard to obtain a taxi during Islamic holidays. The following example is from the city of Drammen outside Oslo, one of the Norwegian municipalities where the number of Muslim immigrants is now so large that the conflicts are becoming significant.
In the example a blind woman was rejected by 21 taxis before finding one to take her and her guide dog. Islam considers dogs unclean (naajis) and keeping dogs is a habit and symbols of infidels (kuffaar). The inability for the blind with their canine companions to find taxi rides is so widespread that the Norwegian Blind Association acknowleges it is a problem all over Norway.

Ahh yes, the religion of compassion.

Rise of the Neo-Nationalists

On many occasions I have warned that inattention or incompetence by mainstream politicians vis-a-vis Islamism will lead to a rise in support for 'rightist' movements (I prefer the term 'neo-nationalists'). If people who are angry and anxious have no choice among existing political parties they will find an outlet somewhere else. If professional, moderate parties are seen as sell-out or cowards likeminded people will find another way to express their political beliefs.

But don't take my word for it. Dutch parlimentarian Hirsi Ali warns of the same thing.

Hirsi Ali fears that inaction will be grist for the mill of an extreme right that is on the rise. ''If we don't take effective measures, now,'' she said, ''the Netherlands could be torn between two extreme rights'': an Islamic one and a non-Islamic one.

There are already a few signs of movement toward the Neo-Nationalists. Little Green Footballs links to this article in the Independent (UK) last week.
Children as young as 13 are displaying signs of Islamophobia and are voicing their support for the British National Party, researchers have found. Young teenagers are increasingly saying they have negative views towards Muslims and do not want Islamic culture expressed in the classroom.
Notice that the hacks at the Independent label as 'islamophobic' simply not wanting a foreign, anti-Western culture expressed in the classroom. That is exactly the kind of rhetoric that alienates people from the mainstream.

In Holland these nascent Neo-nationalist are not a debating society.
A group of youths smashed windows of a mosque in the southern Netherlands, setting off a street brawl with Muslim immigrants, police said Sunday. ... Local media reported the fight involved about 60 Turkish immigrants and around 20
native Dutch.
This is part of the general rise of the Dutch right and the spread of so-called extremists, known in Holland as Lonsdale youth.

Police have sparked alarm about the speed with which youths are becoming radicalised in the Netherlands. ... Police and youth researchers assert that Lonsdale youths are becoming more of a danger given the fact that society is experiencing a generic shift to the right, propelling the youths to action more quickly.
The security services are investigating.
Police and the national security service AIVD are to investigate extreme-right youths who wear Lonsdale clothing as concerns rise over the radicalisation of Dutch youth. After police raised the alarm over the speed of radicalisation of young native-Dutch people, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner announced the
Cabinet has ordered an investigation to determine how dangerous these groups are.
Almost certainly more dangerous than the clueless Dutch police think.
The police were completely surprised by the riots and Venray Council will discuss the incident on Tuesday night.
(Now if they had hired Rant Wraith as a consultant .... Note to Dutch security officials: I have very reasonable rates. Email me and we'll work something out.)

All this sounds more than a little like Europe in the 1930s, and well, we all know how that turned out. These angry youth will only get angrier, especially when Dutch officials are seen cracking down on native Dutch while at the same time they are preceived as avoiding a crack down on Muslims. At least one school has banned Lonsdale clothing. Of course Muslim girls can still wear the hijab so you can imagine how the youth are feeling about that. All it takes at this point is for one Lonsdale youth to kill an imam or a prominent Islamist and all hell breaks out.

Hirsi Ali thinks that the Dutch need to wake up and really see the situation they are in. She says that Dutch politicians think
"that if you can approach matters in a spirit of pragmatism, you can avoid talking about values. They seem to think that if Muslims and non-Muslims have a principled confrontation, the Netherlands will be destroyed in a civil war. But I believe a values confrontation is inevitable.'' (emphasis added)
Let's just hope that somehow they can have a confrontation on values without having a confrontation in the streets.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Sin City Review

I saw Sin City with the Wraith Wife today. I'm not going to wet all over myself like some reviewers but it is very entertaining. It is exactly like the comic. The differences are so slight that only a comic geek who had re-read the books just this week would happen to catch them. For those who haven't read the books I'll spare the spoilers and give my impressions.

Sin City is the distilled essence of hard-boiled crime noir. All the men are pistol-packing thugs with barely supressed sadistic streaks. All the women are hookers, strippers, or promiscuous bar maids who work at strip joints. All the cops are corrupt, everyone wear trench coats, drinks whiskey and pistol-whipping is a common pastime. The good guys are only good compared to the bad guys who are darker than interstellar space.

The digital images look great. The rain comes down as white dashes. The blacks and Black and the whites are White. There's more color than in the books but not much. Occasionally the images look flat because the digital background is in a similar focus to the live-action foreground. The movement of the digital cars is particulaly cool, smooth and quick. Sometime the movement of the digital people looks odd though.

The casting was a triumph all around. Indeed in a film that relies so heavily on the images (like the books, no one goes for the plot) the casting is even more important than in a 'regular' film. The actors have to be comic book characters. This ain't Spider-Man. Sin City could almost be a silent film. Most of the spoken parts are voice-overs. I bet if the studio let him Rodriguez would have put text blocks on the screen just like the comic.

Much has already been made of Micke Rourke return as Marv. Otherwise Rosario Dawson was excellent as Gail. And I loved Jessica Alba as Nancy. Wow and wow again. Not my first choice from reading the books but it worked well. Two minor, non-speaking parts were perfectly cast. Former model Devon Aoki is dead-on as Miho. I'm sure having no dialogue helped since I doubt she can act much. Elijah Wood, who can act, nailed the other non-speaking part, Kevin. Both of these actor looked like the characters ripped straight from the pages of the books.

But the big shocker was Carla Gugino in the thankless role of Lucille. She was topless for a fair stretch and I got to say I was damn impressed. In a film filled with 20-year old girls wielding guns while wearing lingerie, the 34-year Ms. Gugino looked fantastic. She never had a gun or lingerie, just panties and attitude. She played the mother in Spy Kids and this role was the exact opposite: lesbian parole officer to psychopaths who happens to have a rocking body. Brave turn for her. Thumbs up, so to speak.

The weakness of Sin City is the weakness of film noir, thematic and stylistic repetition. The stories of Marv and Hartigan are essentially identical. The plots feel too claustrophobic, too self-contained and small. It's always night and it's always raining. Several of the locations appear in more than one story. Too many broken-down men with nothing left to live for. Too much redemption through violence. Too much self-loathing and betrayal. Too much self-inflicted punishment. Too much blood splattered in too many faces.

Unless, like me, you love this sort of highly stylized world. It's the cartoon version of L.A.Confidential. Enjoy.

Once in a Lifetime Jihad Opportunity

The Pope in dying. After he finally passes the College of Cardinals will meet in Vatican City to vote for his successor. During the day they will meet in the Sistine Chapel. At night they will remain in Vatican City in St. Martha's House. The Cardinals will be sequestered until the next Pope is elected. Since the first few rounds of voting will almost certainly be inconclusive the Cardinals are likely to meet for several days.

From al Qaeda's point of view this is a once in a lifetime jihad opportunity. What better way to push the world toward open religious warfare than by attacking the College of Cardinals in the Vatican? The symbolism and the message need no interpretation.

It's not like the Cardinals will be meeting in a secure, undisclosed location. The Sistine Chapel is one of the most famous buildings in the world. St Martha's House is located on the edge of Vatican City (#77 on the left).

How secure is Vatican City? This will be the first meeting of the College of Cardinals since the War on Jihad began. Has the Church made the necessary security preparations? Could a truck-bomb get close enough to St Martha's to destroy it? Could a suicide killer pilot a plane into the Sistine Chapel? Could a squad of suicide assassins sneak into the Vatican? Could a helicopter drop them onto the roof of St Martha's? The Cardinals are elderly men. Once inside, jihad killers would not be hard pressed to murder them if the Cardinals are only slightly protected.

If this nightmare scenario came to pass I believe that al Qaeda would have succeeded in it's goal of sparking a Christian/Muslim global conflict. Anti-Muslim riots would break out in any country with a large Catholic population. An anti-Christian response by Muslims would quickly follow. (Witness the tit-for-tat mosque and church burning in Holland after the van Gogh murder.) Countries like Nigeria would almost certainly collapse into civil war.

Of course the odds are very small. Al Qaeda would have to act very quickly and to my knowledge all previous bombings and attacks in the West, 9/11 and the Madrid train bombing for example, were planned far in advance. It seems that al Qaeda's decentralized network of networks structure is not nimble enough to take advantage of events as they unfold.

Nevertheless, Italy and nearby European countries have a large and largely unassimilated Muslim population. Lots of people are traveling to Rome to be a part of these events and perhaps one more group of men in a truck would go unnoticed. It may be 10 or 15 years before another College of Cardinals convenes. Can al Qaeda let this chance pass them by? I hope Rome has considered this possibility and is ready.