Minutiae
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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Saturday, May 01, 2004
Wow. I've heard horrible stories about the Hubbards.
This bought them some points with me. I hope you'll go donate too.

posted by Rachel 5/01/2004
. . .
Oh
good. Now they can stone women for adultery, lop body parts off criminals, close churches, and collapse walls on gay people. This is clearly a morally equivalent system.

I was an anthro major. Cultural relativism does not free you from an obligation of objectivity. Rather it requires a greater degree of objectivity than one might reflexively employ. Mud huts are not inherently inferior to suburban houses, it's a question of the function they serve in the culture in question. I submit to you that sharia does not fulfill a benevolent function in any culture. I submit to you that sharia does not fulfill a neutral function in any culture. I further submit to you that sharia law is actively detrimental to the culture that adopts it. It may have been adequate in the 12th century. It is a negative entity with negative consequences today and anyone with a shred of impartiality can see it. Peoples that adopt it fail to provide adequate housing, food, healthcare, sanitation, and justice for themselves. Thus it is a bad system.

It prohibits usury. Check out what happens to any economy when you ban interest. Check out what usury did to the jews in catholic middle ages europe.

In these cultures (lacking water,) there is a strong emphasis on the clean hand and the dirty hand. When criminals have their hand amputated they are ever after shunned because they would have to eat from communal dishes with the dirty hand.

This is the system that allows divorce via text message. Think about what that means for women in a system that allows up to 4 wives.

posted by Rachel 5/01/2004
. . .
Oh it's nice to see these
things printed, especially in europe.
"Since September 11, the day that Islamic terrorists declared a world war, there have been above all two nations who have done something and believed in themselves: America and England. And since that day three nations above all have been grilled morally: America, England and Israel again and again.

Naively, and from the comfortable and seemingly secure gallery of the European observer, tips are being given out as to how Israel, surrounded by an anti-Semitism of the most bloodthirsty sort, should carry out the fight against suicide commandos and those madly seeking to destroy Israel and drive the Jews out: More compromises, more allowances, more negotiations please! I ask myself how the German government would behave when on virtually every weekend a bus full of German school children would be blown apart in downtown Berlin.

He who acts, makes mistakes. Case in point Bush and Blair: For example in their reasoning and communication regarding their Afghanistan and Iraq policy, in the concept and the management of expectations the key question is how fast the region can be pacified and democratized. But despite all of the mistakes regarding the details (or often just in public relations) their policy and politics are at their core right. It is a policy of clear and tough resistance against the enemies of the free world.

One can truly see that the leaders of the governments in London and Washington are doing exactly that which the general public is supposedly increasingly demanding from politicians: They are following their convictions against the general spirit of the times, against resistance, in part within their own parties, and they are doing that which an international alliance of cowardice is not prepared to do.

In that sense it is not about downplaying war and violence as long as they serve a good purpose. On the contrary: Morality and good intentions as arguments to defend violence are always suspect. But it is about weighing the balance as to when tolerance for intolerance has to stop. And when doing nothing is worse than defending the Western system with military means.

In broad sections of Europe and in less threatened parts of Asia an appeasement is spreading that is frightening. If the consequence, for example, of the terror in Madrid is that Poland comes to the conclusion that it would be better to stay out of the matter, then the strategy of Al-Qaeda will soon succeed: Short-term in that the alliance of opponents collapses demoralized and discouraged. And long-term in that a demographic bomb is ticking whose explosion will be more damaging than any explosive.

The illusion that the aggressor can be soothed by good behavior reminds of 1936: Had the Allies not waited, negotiated, formed pacts and maneuvered back then and instead intervened, than millions of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, millions of soldiers, millions of people who thought differently could have been saved.

We are the ones who think differently. Maybe we need more toughness and vigilance to secure our democracy. Maybe it is wrong that Germany has refused to join the coalition of the willing. Maybe Israel is one of our most important allies. Maybe we should help this ally and not give them advice. Maybe America is doing more right than we think. Maybe more people in Iraq are better off today than they were one year ago. Maybe George Bush is not as stupid and evil, maybe one day, looking back on the developments that have just begun we might even be thankful to him because he was one of the few who acted in accordance with the maxim: These things must be nipped in the bud. (A phrase often used in Germany to refer to stopping the re-emergence of Nazism.)"

posted by Rachel 5/01/2004
. . .
Never again? Rest assured, there will be another holocaust. Only this time it will be enabled by the comforting lie that it's not anti-semitism it's merely opposition to the policies of the state of Israel. Compare the number of UN resolutions condemning Israel versus the number condemning the Palestinians. Remember the UN conference on racism. It's so unfortunate because the refual to recognize hate for what it is prevents constructive supportive criticism of Israel, and they do make mistakes. But there are many people who take the vow Never Again very seriously, and for them watching what's happening in europe and the middle east and college campuses is terrifying.

posted by Rachel 5/01/2004
. . .
I don't remember if I commented at the time on the California AG expressing approval of prison rape. If I didn't, here it is: piece of shit. Considering incidents with toilet plungers and now
this, I really wonder who's watching the guards. I wouldn't want to work in the penal system myself but I'm concerned that it's become a magnet for bullies and thugs. I blame the war on drugs for glutting the system and for creating an entire class of offenders deprived of constitutional protection. Increase capacity and remove safeguards, that'll work...

I'm horrified that all these people managed to graduate or at least get a GED without ever learning that torture is wrong. What the hell has happened to this country? I wish they could be paraded in the streets and spat upon by their fellow citizens. This is the kind of behavior that warrants vietnamesque revilement. I want a public trial and I want it broadcast to the world. Fucking asswipes. Apparently our military basic training needs to include more innoculation against mob mentality. You alone are responsible for your actions. Silence is complicity. Treat people with dignity. These are not difficult concepts.

In the interest of fairness, this has been under investigation for a month before it went public. I do have faith that the military will deal with this harshly. I am reassured that a fellow soldier dropped the dime. Our system punishes torture rather than rewarding it. That's as far as any snarchy comparisons need to go. We still hold the moral high ground because we don't allow this sort of thing. Check the public reaction, horror and fury. 'Nuff said.

posted by Rachel 5/01/2004
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