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D'ya Think It's The Jews?
Do you think some cell of outraged Jewish orthodontists could be behind the car bomb designed to cause mass death and maiming in busy Trafalgar Square? Or, maybe, possibly, could it be "The Religion Of Peace"? What's your guess? G'wan...take a wild one.

A British friend blamed "British politeness" for the idiocy in letting into the UK all these Islamist nutwads who preach the destruction of the UK and the West (often while lazing around on the dole), and incite violence from prominent mosques right in London. He said the Brits were, for years, just "too polite to keep them out." Well, I think it's time the Brits took a real rude look at the violent parasites within.

Posted by aalkon at June 29, 2007 11:00 AM


>> D'ya Think It's The Jews?

No. You know what gasoline goes for in London?

Posted by: eric at June 29, 2007 1:05 PM

Y'know, I've been on a "Miracle on Ice" kick lately, for whatever reason, and it's gotten me thinking. Now, I was and am a staunch anti-Communist. I'm glad the Wall is down. I'm glad Eastern Europe is free. I'm glad we won the Cold War. But...I was looking at the real and fictionalized Soviet Olympic hockey players, and I tried to think for a moment about what one of those 20 sturdy guys would have done if someone had come up to him and claimed that the best way he could serve his country was by strapping a bomb to his chest and blowing up his enemies along with himself. And...I get about as far them ending up using him as a living hockey puck until I have to abandon that line of thinking, because it's so ridiculous. Do you know what the tragedy of Tretiev, the goalie of the 1980 Soviet team, was? That he never got to play in the NHL. He had to settle for having a professor for a wife, two children with their own careers, at least one grandchild that I know of, a famous goaltending school in Canada and countless honors from his government (along with a nice little collection of medals and other sporting success symbols). They were the symbols of totalitarianism, the enemy, the Other...but they sure as hell weren't lacing cars with bombs. (Yes, I know, the bloody KGB was. But you get my point.)

Supposedly, after the Americans upset the Soviets, a Russian sub sent a congratulatory message to an American sub that was trailing it. Our enemies knew how to build and operate submarines. MULTIPLE submarines. It seems like a different world. I don't want to go back - most certainly not - but I can understand why people feel nostalgiac for the days when it was civilization vs. civilization rather than civilization vs. barbarians.

Posted by: marion at June 29, 2007 7:26 PM

Excerpts from a recent Moyers interview with Bruce Bawer, an American author living in Europe, about the Muslim immigrant problem:

"...BRUCE BAWER: That's very disturbing to me. Ken Livingston, the Mayor of London, used to be a strong advocate for gay rights and he has changed his tune also for the same reasons. He's defended-- the allowing this Muslim leader al-Qaradawi into London. He welcomed him with open arms. He held a public forum with him. He stood at his side. This is a man who has called for executing gay people. This is a man who's defended suicide bombers. It's a signal that a lot of leaders are willing to sell out gay people because they think that will solve a lot of the problems with the Muslim community..."

"...BILL MOYERS: Do you think Europe is committing cultural suicide?

BRUCE BAWER: At the moment it's hard to deny that it is, yeah.

BILL MOYERS By refusing to do what?

BRUCE BAWER: By refusing to embrace and standup for their own democratic values.

BILL MOYERS: You describe so well the values of democracy, pluralism, tolerance and sexual equality that took root in modern Europe. Why aren't they powerful enough to absorb and assimilate and mitigate these tribal customs?

BRUCE BAWER: I think that for one, I think that European leaders in many cases have lost confidence in the values of their own society. They've placed multi-culturism above democracy and freedom..."


Posted by: Doobie at June 30, 2007 1:01 AM

Doobie, I like you.

PS- Newcomers should be told that Brother Eric was kidding

Posted by: Crid at June 30, 2007 2:34 AM

Nice posting, Doobie. Bawer has a blog, too - you can click on my name to go to it.

Posted by: marion at June 30, 2007 6:32 AM

Eric, that's hilarious. And Marion, I know exactly what you mean. And Doobie, you're exactly right.

Crid, too.

Newbies -- Eric is kidding. We Jews (and post-Jews) have a sense of humor. We won't blow you up if you make fun of us. We'll probably just laugh.

Oh, excuse me, I have to go out and run the media.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 30, 2007 6:50 AM

Thanks Crid and Amy- it was just a joke. For the record, I love the Jewish people, and have the highest regard for their culture. My wife is Jewish, and I have the ulcer to prove it.

Posted by: eric at June 30, 2007 3:48 PM

Baddumm-PUM! Who knew that a Catskill sense of humor was something you could marry into?

Also, the Bawer blog (Marion's name, above) is great, and not just because I agree with him about everything.

Posted by: Crid at July 1, 2007 12:00 AM

Two things:
a) Goalie's name is Tretiak; apologize for the misspelling.

b) I'm taking this WAY too seriously, but...Click on my name for a review of "Live Free or Die Hard" by Richard Corliss of TIME that includes this passage:

"In a couple of pleasing ways besides the carnage and the stunts, this fourth entry in the "Die Hard" series -- and the first since "Die Hard With a Vengeance" in 1995 -- is an American anachronism. It renounces the recent movie trend of foreign, mostly Muslim, terrorists for the good old, bad old U.S. type. For too long Hollywood has ceded these plum roles to Asians and Middle Easterners, as if America didn't have its own colorful history of homegrown crazies determined to wipe us all out. Does no one remember Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, the still-at-large anthrax mailer from September 2001? Our popular culture has been falling sadly behind in the Evil Genius category. "Live Free or Die Hard" is a solid start in helping us close the Political Psychopath gap -- in reopening, for movie business, our Department of Homeland Terrorism."

My questions:

1) Where are all of these recent movies with foreign terrorists, mostly Muslim, bent on wiping out the U.S.? I am excluding movies such as "United 93" and "Mighty Heart" here, as they aren't action movies and they're, y'know, based on real life. All the post-9/11 movies I've seen revolve around blond white supremicist types trying to destroy the world. Including "Sum of All Fears." Which is based on a book in which Islamic terrorists are trying to wipe out the U.S. Is this guy aware that "True Lies" came out more than a decade ago?

2) Does Richard know about the little event in NYC in which foreign terrorists - Muslim, IIRC - wiped out 3,000 people at once? Is he aware that this is the worst terrorist attack in American history? I am seriously wondering if he doesn't, given that he seems completely unaware that the anthrax mailer might, y'know, not be a homegrown crazy.

3) Is Richard aware that currently foreign terrorists - mostly Muslim - are trying to kill every Westerner they can get their hands on and ruin our societies from within? Does he really think that homegrown crazies laced those cars with bombs in the UK? And yes, I know that action movies aren't supposed to be paragons of believability, but they are supposed to be semi-plausible. Does anyone really, truly find it semi-plausible that in 2007 a guy trying to bring the U.S. to its knees because he likes destruction is going to be a homegrown crazy? Really? Because if so, I must be living in a very different timeline from this someone. And from Richard Corliss.

Posted by: marion at July 1, 2007 7:35 AM

Corliss and Shickel (sp) are second-tier guys for a reason, and it ain't because of Ebert's rugged good looks.

This is not to quibble with Marion, but yesterday the word from London seemed to be that the bombs were built by incompetents, and seemed more like expressions of teenage angst than anything else. (I'm no chemist, but the important word seemed to be "oxidizer": These bombs didn't have one.) They might still have caused terror, which is what they were intended to do, which is frighten people. But there've been a few other incidents like this as well, where it's something closer to mischief than real terrorism. This is bad, because Barney Fife-style law enforcement types get to pretend the Patriot Act really works.

Yet with the possible (possible!) exception of the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, almost everything the government has done in response to these crises has been worthless or worse.

> as if America didn't have
> its own colorful history
> of homegrown crazies
> determined to wipe us
> all out. Does no one
> remember Ted Kaczynski,
> Timothy McVeigh, the
> still-at-large anthrax
> mailer from September
> 2001? Our popular culture
> has been falling sadly
> behind in the Evil Genius
> category.

OK, Dick, let's review:

1. Kasczinsky
A loon of the nuttiest kind; a certifiable, drugs-and-straightjacket whack-job. The fact that he could do quadratic equations in his head while soaping his balls in the shower gives his narrative no irony... It only means that sheer intelligence has nothing to do with decency, a truth finding little hospitality with Manhattan-based wordsmiths. Mr. Kasczinsky is a fucked-up loner. He represents no general trend to be resisted as does Islamic fascism. There's nothing we can learn about evil from studying him, and little hope of extinguishing his kind of threat.

2. McVeigh
A similarly lonely individual, a guy far removed from the typical American experience (i.e., he died a virgin). In no sense was he a genius. There's not much to say about him. Even if 9/11 had not happened, we'd not be talking about him much, because his execution brought his story to a (kinda satisfying) conclusion.

3. Anthrax Mailer
Corliss is right, he's still at large... But he's not terrorizing much of anyone, is he? He doesn't seem to have a crew of friends to whom he can brag about his misconduct. And I suspect if there'd been one or two more mailings, we'd have had the clues to find him. He stopped for a reason, and it wasn't that his point had been made.

These guys were all individuals, and they were all pathetic. Marion is right to note that they weren't trying to "wipe us all out." Like Islamic fascism, their attacks were expressions of wounded masculine pride. But they only wanted a bigger slice of attention. They didn't mean to fundamentally change the game, as Islam threatens to do.

PS- I read this yesterday and thought of Joe:

Posted by: Crid at July 1, 2007 11:32 AM

Very interesting piece. I'm struck by the common through-line I've gotten from Joe's insight and experiences -- of low-self-esteem-as-culture being such a huge part of what informs the actions of Muslims...reflected in this quote from the piece:

On one occasion, an American mobile training team working with armor in Egypt at long last received the operators' manuals that had laboriously been translated into Arabic. The American trainers took the newly-minted manuals straight to the tank park and distributed them to the tank crews. Right behind them, the company commander, a graduate of the armor school at Fort Knox and specialized courses at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds ordnance school, collected the manuals from the crews. Questioned why he did this, the commander said that there was no point in giving them to the drivers because enlisted men could not read. In point of fact, he did not want enlisted men to have an independent source of knowledge. Being the only person who can explain the fire control instrumentation or boresight artillery weapons brings prestige and attention.

And great points, Crid and Marion.

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