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Total number of comments: 20 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:54)

Dog Gone

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  • "Argo" as Orientalism and why it Upsets Iranians
    • Because the west has some very specific stereotypes they accord to the east, dating back a long way. Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu was just one example of the yellow peril when demonizing Chinese; there were similar demonizations of Japanese as well in the 20th century. Those lead, however unconsciously, to assumptions that we make about other people, other countries, other cultures.

      There is enough rampant Islamophobia already. We do not need to add to it. This argument very articulately makes the case for a specific type of bias and a very specific stereotype.

  • Gingrich Accused of Twitter Fraud
  • White Christian Fundamentalist Terrorism in Norway
    • Thank you Professor Cole, I am a fan of your work, but I thought this particular post was above even that usual high standard. I hope you will not mind, but I included a link to it, and used a few (properly attributed) quotes from it in what I wrote this morning on my blog, (penigma.blogspot.com) about the terrorist attack.

      This was a terrible event, very much the Tim McVeigh moment for Norway. I hope this more properly focuses our attention, the world's attention, on who it is that puts us at risk, rather than ideology-driven fear distracting us from paying correct attention to who is and is not dangerous.

  • Qaddafi's Bombardments Recall Mussolini's
    • I'm wondering how long it will be before we see not only more Mussolini style fascist attacks on protesters, but a full-out Guernica style attack on Lybians by their fellow countrymen (and mercenaries).

      I had to wonder when I saw the reports of mercenaries being used, if Quadaffi is worried about his military refusing to fire on their fellow countrymen and women (presumably potentially friends and family members), and if that was the reason he resorted to them.

      The problem for the mercenaries is that the rest of the Libyan military could turn on them next.

      I'm watching all of the countries involved - Algeria, Bahrain, etc.; I think it will be only a matter of time, a 'when' not an 'if' for most of them.

      Armed revolts tend to replace one despotic government with simply a different dictator, not make the changes they seek. Non-violent protest will be what succeeds, in the long run.

  • Olbermann Departs, as Media Consolidate Further
    • There are other news sources; I particularly enjoy checking out the news sources from other countries, as it provides an interesting perspective on what takes place here in the U.S.

      BBC, CBC, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corps.). If you're not multi-lingual, (and more of us should be) some foreign countries where English is not their usual langauge do maintain an English language part of their web sites, even limited English language broadcasts.

      We don't have to be the captive audience of these few controlling companies, if we don't want to be. We only have to become savvy enough and willing to make the effort. It is not that hard.

  • Top Ten Horrible Things done to Us by Outgoing Sen. Joe Lieberman
    • I think Lieberman looks, and sounds, like the cartoon character Droopy, and should be taken about as seriously.

      Lieberman's support of Palin was intolerable.

  • Sarah Never Does Anything Wrong
    • There might be a few 'unintended consequences' to ol' gun totin' lots-a-shootin' Sarah Palin. Her reality television show has not been renewed...although no explanation has been given.

      I did read somewhere that after the first show, her ratings were sliding downhill. Kinda like the book sales of her second book.

      I'm thinking getting caught lying about the tweets and the crosshairs isn't helping. Although Glenn Sobbing Beck apparently believes that if anything happened to Sarah, it would 'bring the republic down'. No, it would just bring Sarah Palin down, and maybe lower the Republicans just a little. By 'happened to', I mean things like...not having a reality show, or another book contract, and maybe having Fakes News distance themselves from her a little. No crosshairs, please.

  • End Federal Tax Subsidies to Fox!
    • Juan Williams made a bigoted comment which indicates he is not capabable of the factual, thoughtful judgement NPR expected of him. That he would leap to a multimillion dollar contract at Fox (NOT) News suggests to me that Williams' best days are behind him. I see little difference between the islamophobic comments made by Williams and the equally offensive anti-semitic comments made last month by Rick Sanchez. Apparently both of these gentlemen believe that somehow as hispanics, and in the case of Williams, being black, grants them immunity for being held accountable. Victims of discrimination CAN - and clearly DO -sometimes have their own personal bigotry. The rest of us do not have to condone it as 'just personal opinion' from someone in the journalism business, nor should we. I'm not inclined to indulge it from anyone else either.

  • Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar Walk out on O'Reilly's Muslim-Baiting
    • O'Reilly is a hate monger. It is a position taken on the right to appeal to the right. Recently Ann Coulter, another right wing hate monger, made a similarly inflammatory statement to a group of country club women in the south that the 'ground zero mosque' “What if they built it in the shape of an extended middle finger?”. Her audience, which waited for Coulter when she was more than an hour and a half late CHEERED at this and other equally offensive comments.

      The speech to the Wake County Republican Women’s Club in Raleigh, per the New York Times.

      Coulter, Limbaugh, Rove, O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Gingrich, Palin, and far too many others are making money off of an artificially created "Moral Panic". It is too pervasive and calculated to be an innocent error, too lucrative not to be intentional. The amount of money they make from their statements is too high to rule out greed as a motive, along with an appeal for power with their ignorant, low-information base of people looking for a scapegoat to blame. It is vile - good for Whoopi and Joy.

  • New Polls: Dems Very Likely to Keep Senate
    • I used to be one of Jason's writers over at politicusUSA. I have the deepest respect for Jason, but I think he might be a little too willing to see daylight in the Democrats pulling ahead of Republicans at this point. I see more significance in the number of undecideds and in the comparatively weaker enthusiasm of those on the left who are being counted in these polls. It is the enthusiasm factor that I find more indicative of who will actually get out and vote - or not. Some of the Republican primaries have had record turn outs compared to other years; if someone is turning out for a primary, they are far more likely to turn out for the general election. I haven't seen comparable turnouts on the left, nor am I seeing the equivalent support of independents this time around that there was for Obama and the Democrats in '08.

      What I DO think is an unknown quantity on the left / Dems is that there was an unprecedented turnout of segments of voters in 2008 who did NOT previously vote. The political organization that made that happen didn't just go into mothballs. I think it is still fundamentally intact, and I HOPE it results in a significant number of those previously inactive voters participating a second time.

      Because if they don't it is far more likely that this election AND the next election cycle will result in turnovers of who has control, and not just in the house or the senate, but governors and state legislatures and even local governments.

      The resurgence of culture wars with popsies like O'Donnell boasting questionable claims about witchcraft and out-purity-ing the fundies and courting the 'male headship' evangelicals and the stirring of the pot of anti-choice an homophobia all suggests the right is worried enough about the numbers to be pumping up the low-information unsophisticated elements of their base to turn out the votes.

      I'm hoping the left is able to do so as well - or better - without using those exploitive tactics.

  • Worst Reporting on Green Energy of the Week
    • So......if wind power is less than ideal as a supplementary green source for power, why not use something that the Great Lakes DOES have, reliably and in abundance - wave power?

      I refer to the problems you cite of inaccurate math as 'republican math'. It tends to be wrong on so many kinds of policy and other applications.

  • They used to Burn Catholic Churches, now they Burn Mosques
    • And they still know nothing, they are still ignorant, hateful, disgraces to the United States of America, its patriots and its principles.

  • 'Burn the Qur'an Day' Endangers US Troops: Petraeus
    • I am ashamed and embarrassed by not only the Dove Used Furniture Store masquerading as Christians, proposing this terrible thing; I am equally appalled and unhappy with my fellow countrymen and women who have expressed fear and ignorance of world religions, especially Islam. There is nothing patriotic about being an Islamophobe, it is simply stupidity and the basest of human emotions; we are capable of so much better.

      What I hope will come from this bad thing is a demonstration of how we are capable of being better, of rising to the challenge in a way that demonstrates who we really are to the rest of the world - especially to our Muslim allies.

      We have in this country freedom of speech and freedom of religion. What I hope we show is that we respect those freedoms while condemning the offensive use of those freedoms without diminishing those freedoms. I hope we see Gainseville mount a very large, very peaceful repudiation of these Dove Church-Used Furniture Store bigots that will offset any sense of acceptance of their actions by those in this country and elsewhere who cater to (and profit from) hatred and fear and bigotry. Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, News Corp - I'm talking about you and those who share your views. I hope you have the decency left in you somewhere, in some deep dark hole in your soul, to still manage to be ashamed of yourselves.

      But if you do not -- that's tragic, but I'll be saddened and ashamed FOR you, and OF you. Whatever momentary notoriety and tabloid trashy moment of fame you manage in the short te, Dove Church, Fox New-sance, Tea Partiers -- you won't win in the long run. You will ultimately never really win the hearts and minds of America.

  • Afghanistan and Paris Hilton's Purse
    • Just to provide a little context.... it was England through their support for the East India Company and their military support in the two Opium Wars in the mid-19th century that promoted the raising of opium poppies in India and the adjoining areas, so they could smuggle it into China under an English monopoly on the illegal trading. The opium sales in China offset the amount of money England was spending importing Chinese Tea.

      It is disconcerting to note that not only do too many of our fellow citizens in the U.S. have a deficit of information about current events, their effective knowledge of history is even more deplorable. An understanding of the 19th century in India (and earlier) and the adjoining areas is, imho, essential to understanding of modern drug wars, and our current problems in international relations, including the Afghanistan war.

      It has been unpopular for critics of the U.S. policy decisions to point out that it was the U.S. that helped get Osama bin Laden started, in the war against the Soviet Union; a decision which has come back to harm us. It is just as unpopular to recognize that our current narcotic trade problems date back a lot further, but are also in a sense bad decisions then coming back to haunt us now. While not the only factor involved, it is a contributing one to current problems of drug export, global economies, and political corruption.

      True words - know your history, or you may be doomed to repeat it (and it is seldom a gentler experience the next time around).

  • Netanyahu Reneges on Freeze,
    Rabbi Calls for Plague to Kill all Palestinians;
    On Eve of Obama's Peace Talks
    • How out of touch with the 21st century are these extremists of either strip - Moslem or Jew - who want to separate the sexes, who believe in whipping people, etc.?

      What does it say about Netanyahu that he makes common cause in his coalition with these people? What does it say about Israel that these small parties hold even that much power?

      It is time for those who hold to the center to repudiate these people wherever they are -whomever they are - Jew, Moslem, or Christian fundamentalist. They are nasty evil people espousing hatred in the sheeps clothing of religion - and mostly appealing to other sheep in the process.

  • Republican National Committee Slashes New York Muslim Cabbie
    • I agree with you that the sentiments which appeared to motivate the slasher are consistent with those sentiments espoused by Gingrich and others. Certainly, alcohol didn't help the situation, nor does being very, very drunk in any way excuse what this man did.

      But the question that crossed my mind after reading this was that people who are not violent in their intentions already don't go about with a knife in their posession. I have no reason to beleive this man was carrying a knife ONLY to use on Moslems. So, while his comments before slashing the cab driver fall squarely in the area of a hate crime, having a knife to do that with in his possession suggests to me this was a man preparing to engage in random violence - and not necessarily expecting to have the occasion to direct it at someone who practiced Islam. I will be watching to see if this man has any kind of prior violent record.; if he does, then I think we also have to credit that this man has been prone to violence for other reasons than ONLY islamophobia. Which doesn't leave the Islamophobic right off the hook for whipping up hatred by any stretch.

  • Dear Rev. Graham: Obama was not born a Muslim and neither is anyone else
    • I suspect the answer is that some Americans deal well with complexity and genuine thought.

      While others operate on a dimplistic level, and let others think for them.

    • I was very disappointed to see Franklin Graham interviewed on CNN, as if he were someone credible when he so clearly is not. I haven't been this embarrassed by a fellow American since Pat Robertson made his equally ignorant statement about the Haitians being a cursed country for having made a pact with the devil in 1790, as his explanation for the terrible earthquake that caused such horrible damage and suffering. Graham's pretense of being informed, coupled with his hatred for others in how he presents that misinformation to support a position so divisive, so calculated to cause fear and distrust, is abhorrent. That people like Gingrich and Palin and others who seek support to become leaders have said equally stupid and bigotted things is nothing less than frightening. Bush was bad enough, these fools, these nasty fools, may be worse. Each one of them needs to be challenged, loudly, and often, on their statements, on their political positions.

  • Israeli Court Punishes Palestinian-Israeli for Passing
    • My thought was that for this woman to have sex and not actually know the man's religion made me wonder.............how well did she know him before having sex?

      How would she prove that his religion would have made that big a difference to her, if she hadn't made the effort to know him well enough to have verified it before having sex with him? It suggests a certain......spontaneous or casual quality.

      I perceived a similarity in how she regarded his religion as perhaps the way a woman would regard honesty about the marital status of a sexual partner. In which case, shame on him for not being truthful, but there is some responsibility on her part to verify these things as well if they are genuinely that important to her.

  • A Sign of Modernization: Saudi Clerics Promote Kinship by Sharing Breast Milk
    • This certainly could put a 'milk moustache' in an entirely different category from what we think of now.

      More seriously, the Egyptian professor lost his job for a couple of years. An elderly woman was whipped 40 times and imprisoned for 6 months for having someone bring her bread when she was unable to go out.

      Meanwhile, Wahhabist clerics argue about milk from a woman's breast versus milk that is breast pumped and served in a glass? As a woman commenting, I'm guessing they haven't asked for a feminine perspective.

      I researched this for a similar piece I wrote on Penigma.blogspot.com - you left out what I thought was an interesting 'wrinkle' in this theological discussion, one which strikes me as very like an argument about how many angels can sit or stand or dance on the head of a pin. It seems that in the cases of this kind of 'milk kinship', drinking milk from the breast of one woman in the house vaccinates you so that you are safe with all of them unveiled. And of course also renders them unavailable for marriage, making any such relationship incestuous. This limitation would presumably restrict such milk kinship to (pardon the pun) relatively few people.

      Apart from the obvious logistical constraints of women only usually lactating during specific periods of their lives, although in many islamic countries this continues for longer than in the west, unless you put breast milk on ice and thaw it out to welcome your designated recipient, you're probably not going to have it when you want it. And using it fresh will possibly deprive an infant of necessary nourishment. And - the quantity involved is required to be substantial, not symbolic; some traditions refer to multiple full meals of breast milk being provided.

      I am female, and I am not muslim, but this strikes me as not so much an attempt to modernize, as a struggle with the recognition that their customs, religious or otherwise cultural, are not working well for them. It is a ludicrous idea, and if it is given serious consideration, they need divine intervention to get them out of the hole they have dug for themselves.

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