Saturday, July 24, 2004

Grandma Europa Has A Great Idea

With the typical European nuance and tolerance, a Norwegian politican has proposed a ban on Islam:

According to the Norwegian paper Dagbladet, central figures in Kristiansand Progress party (Frp) wants to ban Islam in Norway.

«We are not the only ones demanding this ban,» said Halvor Hulaas, chairperson in Krstiansand Frp to the paper. «This is an opinion that is well established in Scandinavian countries. We are now importing people with a religion that is practiced in the same way it was practiced when it was established in year 600. The freedom we have in Norway may be taken away from us if we do not start to have some demands to these immigrants.»

Karina Udnæs, deputy leader of the Progress party’s city council group in Kristiansand is pushing it even further.
«It is about high time Norway and Europe make the ideology Islam and the practice of this, illegal and punishable in the same way as Nazism,» Udnæs said. «The prophet Muhammad urged them to kill everyone infidel.»

«Udnæs’ comparison of Nazism and Islam is supported by many in Frp,» Hulaas said. «The religion as it is practiced is a threat against our social system and way of life.»

He said that Kristiansand now lives under the threat of getting a large mosque in town.
«Of course, we are aware of what these mosques are used for,» Hulaas said.

If the Islamic people don't leave Norway after their religion is banned,  maybe the Norwegian government can round them up and put them in ovens.

As with France's banning of the headscarf, the Norwegian FRP party has trouble making the distinction that their problem is with militant Islam (Islamism), not Islam itself.

Friday, July 23, 2004

The Last Good Day Of The Year?

Right before 9/11 I was walking through a department store at the mall when I was seized by a music video playing on a television screen overhead. For personal reasons, autumn has always been a time of great sadness and a feeling of impending death/separation for me.  The song, which I was to find out was by a band called Cousteau, spoke to these feelings for me. It was called The Last Good Day Of The Year.

I went immediately to a store within the mall and bought the CD.

That song, and another which precedes it on the CD called Your Day Will Come, were ringing in my head as I watched the towers fall on TV, and in the days after. For me these songs were prophecy.

Cousteau is not a great band. They are a good band. So it's strange for me to associate such horrific events with music that is just a few steps above mediocre. Arvo Part's beautiful work In Memory Of Benjamin Britten would be more appropriate, but, hey, that's the way things happened.

Anyway, I mention all this not just because it's a good title, but because I've noticed something in the past week which, to me, seems eery.

I haven't been posting much. Merde In France has slowed almost to a crawl. Israelly Cool is posting about monkeys walking on their hind legs and other trivial matters. The Democratic Convention is on everybodies mind even though nothing of substance is ever said about it's proceedings. Sandy Berger is big, big news and, while it's clear that he did something very wrong and that there are likely nefarious reasons for what he did, it's not clear to me that Sandy Berger is bigger news than than Iraq and Islamism in general.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the first time since 9/11 that the War has not been absolutley center stage.

Meanwhile, those of us who do take the war seriously have been sitting like a bunch of naiive kids around a campfire listening while camp counselor Annie Jacobson tells us her ghost story about how the Wayne Newton of Syria led his band of merry musicians in a dry run for a future terrorist attack.

Even the followup stories to Annie's Putzer Prize winning piece have been ridiculous. We're all supposed to buy the whole hog when an unnamed pilot tells us a Middle Eastern man tried to force his way into a cockpit by breaking through the bathroom wall. Ok, fine. Now why wasn't that man arrested and put through a high profile trial? Why is no journalist following up on that astounding piece of information? Probably because it's exaggerated out of all proportion and they know it.

By any chance, was that pilot having a few cocktails in the airport bar when he volunteered that story?

I'm going to start calling the media Nero. They are fiddling while Rome is burning.

I have the feeling of the calm before the storm. I hope I am wrong. Man, oh man, I would rather go back to triviality, OJ in Brentwood, BJ's in the Oval Office, MJ gambling on and off the basketball court.

One eery thing to take note of, if there is any order to world events is that, right before 9/11, the UN held their Durban Conference on Racism which turned into an anti-Semitic fiasco.

Similarly, within the past few days we've been treated to the spector of the World Court and the UN overwhelmingly condemning Israel for constructing a security wall on their border.

And just as with the Durban Conference, the World Court/UN hatefest has largely escaped the notice of the world media.

In light of my friend Jacks posting the other day on the Prayer Book Society's Contest to encourage the revival of the production and provision of contemporary prayers and hymns in the traditional religious language found in The Book of Common Prayer", here's my shot:

O Gracious and Loving God, we beseech thee that thou wouldst lift us up and keep us far from things of weight and import. Let us delight in the trivialties of thine creation. Let not the challenges of evil bum us out (whoops, screwed up), I mean let not the countenance of evil trouble our rest. Please do not serve us a feast at a table in the midst of our enemies, but instead we beseech you that we may enjoy a hearty meal at the Claim Jumper or some such establishment that serves way too much food...

Oh, for God's sake. It's useless. I'll leave it to Jack.



Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Prager on The Presbyterians

Meanwhile, back on the anti-Semitism front, the Presbyterian church has decided to divest from Israel. This does not surprise me. In fact, I am so lacking in surprise I can't even get the wind in my lungs, of the tingling in my typing fingers, to comment. However, I thought Dennis Prager did a pretty good job:

Incredibly, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) joins the list of religious groups committing evil. In the name of Jesus, it has called for the economic strangulation of Israel. They have equated the Jewish state with South Africa during apartheid and called for a universal divestment from it.

The Presbyterians are the first Christian church to do this, and, ironically, the divestment campaign came the very week that the Roman Catholic Church signed a document equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

It takes a particularly virulent strain of moral idiocy and meanness to single out Israel, not Arafat's Palestinian Authority, or terror-supporting, death-fatwa-issuing Iran, or women-subjugating Saudi Arabia, for condemnation and economic ruin. One of the most decent societies, one of the most liberal democracies in the world, is fighting for its life against Islamic fascists who praise the Holocaust and publicly call for the annihilation of Israel – and the Presbyterian Church calls for strangling Israel!

Apartheid state? This Goebbels-like Big Lie, concocted by the world's anti-Israel and anti-American Left and by those who want Israel destroyed, is now an official doctrine of the Presbyterian Church. Israel is a nation whose population is one-quarter non-Jewish Arab, with the same rights, including voting and its own political parties, as Jewish citizens; a nation whose second official language is Arabic, the language of those who wish to annihilate the Jewish country; a nation that occupies a tiny sliver of land known as the West Bank only because Jordan, overwhelmingly composed of Palestinians, invaded Israel in 1967 in order to destroy it and thereby lost its ownership of the West Bank.


British Government Plans To Go The Extra Mile To Protects It's Subjects

Last week I posted an article in which I chided people for being offended by "Media Bias." My point was that we ought to realize there is rarely a piece of informatioin available anywhere which is completely unencumbered by bias, and therefore, we simply need to give ourselves information from multiple perspectives and sources and then sort it out for ourselves like responsible adults.

We are used to doing this with advertising. We need to realize that media information is simple ideological advertising.

Anyway, here's a post from Eursoc on how the British government is planning on playing parent to it's subjects to make sure they are not unknowingly infected by "Media Bias:"

UK media regulator OFCOM wants to hamper access to TV channels that offer alternative points of view. Or at least classify them as ‘dodgy foreign news’ channels.

Foreign news channels such as Rupert Murdoch's Fox News may be made to carry on-screen "health warnings" under proposed new guidelines published yesterday covering accuracy and impartiality on television, according to the Telegraph.
Most households in the UK have access to either ITV and BBC news. If they pay for satellite TV they receive Sky News, Euro News, diverse European foreign language channels and some Middle Eastern TV such as Al-Jazeera, not forgetting CNN.
All of the above have run anti-war, anti Bush, anti-West campaigns to varying degrees.
Fox News, for those who can get it, has offered a totally different perspective of events.

The deep-set bias that these monopolistic news channels feed Europeans, under the guise of fair and just reporting, has not only undermined the case for war but skewered the debate.
The war on terror is ‘Bushes war’ and any bad news is good news for the domestic and world news channels - but we don’t get to see much of Saddam’s mass graves and torture camps, the massive reconstruction efforts going on in Iraq by allied forces and Iraqis alike: Whatever happens, they never show successes.

Most Europeans don’t have any idea of the levels of popular support for a democratic future in Iraq because they never see it on the TV.

In Britain it is difficult to imagine sometimes that we have been the second largest contributor to this war, it has been so universally denigrated that one is left with the surreal impression that it’s got nothing to do with us.
The only time one sees British troops is when they are being shot at and it’s all apparently the fault of Uncle Sam.

All we get is allied losses, prison abuse, Michael Moore, WMD reports and two years of doomsday predictions that have all turned out to be false.

Unencumbered access to information should be the right of a free society. Do we need some ministry of truth to tell us what to watch on TV?

Apparently, you do.