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May 17, 2005

Tuesday Tidbits

Andrew Sullivan does the only thing he's still good at: beating up on the New York Times:. Regarding the Times' decision to charge fifty bucks a year to read the likes of Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich:

I can understand the economics of this, as newspaper circulation declines. But I wonder if, in the long run, this is a wise move on their part. By sectioning off their op-ed columnists and best writers, they are cutting them off from the life-blood of today's political debate: the free blogosphere. Inevitably, fewer people will link to them; fewer will read them; their influence will wane faster than it has already. The blog is already becoming a rival to the dated op-ed column format as a means of communicating opinion journalism. My bet is that the NYT's retrogressive move will only fasten the decline of op-ed columnists' influence.

One can only hope. He also links this tell-all by an ex-BBC conservative. Prepare to be shocked: the BBC hates Republicans and loves the UN.

And speaking of the UN, FBI investiator Robert Parton was quoted in court filings stating that the Oil For Food whitewash was flawed, and yes, he quite because Volcker was going soft on Annan.

Shockingly enough.

Back to Sullivan. He then goes about defending Newsweek, if you can believe such a thing... echoing Newsweek's defense of their being previous RUMORS about the flushing of the Koran, as if four rumors equals one factual verification. He cites, get this, the Daily Kos to boot. And then he says this:

So we have evidence of the abuse of Islam by U.S. interrogators; we have four citations of the Koran incident; Newsweek has not retracted the story; and more will no doubt come out. One thing worth reiterating: the notion that this obscenity simply couldn't have happened in the U.S. military (something I believed two years ago) is no longer an operative assumption.

Obscenity, you stupid shrill jagoff? Obscenity? Flushing a book down the toilet in order to get a terrorist's tongue moving? Let's see: Andrew doesn't approve of even mild physical coercion, he screams about "humiliation," and now even psychological gambits -- like the flushing of the Koran alleged here -- are "obscenities."

Fuck you, asshole. You've spit more bile at the Catholic Church in one month than this alleged "obscene" incident would constitute.

As that black guy from Aliens said, "Well what the hell are we supposed to use? Harsh language?"

I'm pretty sure Delicate Andrew would be pretty outraged by that as well.

Instapundit makes a couple of good points on this matter, including pointing a dagger right at Excitable Andy's palpitating heart:

I want to add that I don't think there's anything immoral about flushing a Koran (or a Bible) down the toilet, assuming you've got a toilet that's up to that rather daunting task, and I think it's amusing to hear people who usually worry about excessive concern for religious beliefs suddenly taking a different position. Nor do I think that doing so counts as torture, and I think that it debases the meaning of "torture" to claim otherwise. If this had happened, it might have been -- indeed, would have been -- impolitic or unwise. But not evil.

And anyone who thinks otherwise needs to be willing to apply the same kind of criticism to things like Piss Christ, or to explain why offending the sensibilities of one kind of religious believer is "art" while doing the same in another context is "torture." If, that is, they want to be taken at all seriously.

He also wants to know why the media are willing to effectively censor news stories featuring black criminals, in order not to inflame white bigotry against blacks, but have no second thoughts about running unsourced stories that inflame Muslim passions against the US.

Well, he doesn't really want to know why. He knows why. We all do.

It might have something to do with reporters voting 2 to 1 in favor of Kerry over Bush. Yeahp; two in every three reporters admitted to voting for John Kerry; one in every three just lied, knowing this survey would not be used for any purpose they'd approve of.

Well, not one in three. But one in six abouts.

Meanwhile, the media apologists are out in full force. ABC's Nightline helpfully explains to us that this really isn't a story about shoddy journalism... but rather a story that underscores the US's poor image in the Muslim world.

The pressies love attention, except when it's bad attention, and then it's time to switch topics.

Speaking of switching topics.

Democrats float filibuster compromise. I'm actually starting to wonder if Frist really has the votes, and cojones, to go nuclear, as it appears to be the Democrats sweetening their terms, not the Republicans:

With a showdown looming, a small group of Senate Democrats floated a compromise Monday on President Bush's stalled judicial nominees, offering to clear five for confirmation while scuttling three others.

Under the proposal, circulated in writing, Republicans would have to pledge no change through 2006 in the Senate's rules that allow filibusters against judicial nominees. For their part, Democrats would commit not to block votes on Bush's Supreme Court or appeals court nominees during the same period, except in extreme circumstances.

Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Democrats involved in the compromise would vote to end any filibuster blocking a final vote on Richard Griffin, David McKeague and Susan Neilson, all named to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Democrats would also clear the way for final votes on William H. Pryor Jr. for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and Janice Rogers Brown for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Both are among the nominees most strongly opposed by organized labor as well as civil rights and abortion rights groups and others that provide political support for the Democratic Party.

Three other nominations would continue to be blocked under the offer: those of Henry Saad to the 6th Circuit Court, Priscilla Owen to the 11th Circuit and William G. Myers III to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Not a bad deal at all, really. I know that Democrats can of course claim all of Bush's nominees are "extreme" and thus begin filibustering again, but then the Republicans could simply execute the nuclear option. It's not like we're really losing much here-- except for three judges, who maybe should be confirmed on principle, but really, in exchange for an end to filibusters...? Worth it.

The Frech Suck. Breaking news. Must credit Ace.

French hatred is not a purely American phenomenon; those who know them best hate them even more than we do. A delightful survey of Europeans dishes:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britons described them as "chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humourless". However, the French may be more shocked by the views of other nations.

For the Germans, the French are "pretentious, offhand and frivolous". The Dutch describe them as "agitated, talkative and shallow." The Spanish see them as "cold, distant, vain and impolite" and the Portuguese as "preaching". In Italy they comes across as "snobs, arrogant, flesh-loving, righteous and self-obsessed" and the Greeks find them "not very with it, egocentric bons vivants".

Interestingly, the Swedes consider them "disobedient, immoral, disorganised, neo-colonialist and dirty".

But the knockout punch to French pride came in the way the poll was conducted. People were not asked what they hated in the French, just what they thought of them.

"Interviewees were simply asked an open question - what five adjectives sum up the French," said Olivier Clodong, one of the study's two authors and a professor of social and political communication at the Ecole Superieur de Commerce, in Paris. "The answers were overwhelmingly negative."

Huh. Imagine what kinds of rotten pricks you have to be to get the goo-goo Swedes angry at you.

Finally, just to infuriate you: Arab journalists lecture on how ignorant we all are, and how racist, etc.

Let me just say this: For a culture constantly accusing others of "arrogance," it really makes little sense for you to constantly be implying your own superiority, now does it?

This war is largely animated by the outsized egotism, combined with the severe inferiority complex, of many in the Arab/Muslim world. (Yes, those two go together quite a bit.)

I'm afraid this war will not end until some people get the fuck over themselves already.

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posted by Ace at 03:04 AM

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