Archive for November, 2007


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Pope John Paul 2

John Paul II to storm charts with
‘trip-hop trance’ video

This is pretty much what George Bush wants also

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Which brings us to William Saletan’s “Created Equal” series, which has been running in Slate since Sunday. Taking James Watson’s ignominious career-suicide as his point of departure, Saletan argues that the longitudinal data concerning racial disparities in IQ are recalcitrant in the face of well-meaning beliefs in fundamental genetic equality —a view Saletan caricatures as “liberal creationism”—and that if we are unwilling to acknowledge this stark reality, we can’t begin to address racial gaps in academic or professional success. In other words, liberal fantasies of a purely environmental explanation of differential achievement stand squarely in the way of the actual amelioration of such differences.

Slate article here; http://www.slate.com/id/2178122/entry/2178123/

A long article about IQ here;

Why is there such a taboo about this subject being discussed. Why when it is brought up in public, the person is destroyed. It will not be allowed to be brought up in polite society. It seems that the people that wont allow it, are afraid of the answer; whatever that answer is in reality. I think, there should be a public discussion of this subject; for the good of all of us.

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Barack Obama, Neocon

In Thursday evening’s Democratic Presidential debate, several candidates were asked which is more important, human rights or U.S. national security. Here is how Barack Obama answered:

Mr. Obama responded, “The concepts are not contradictory, they are complementary.”
“Pakistan’s democracy would strengthen our battle against extremists,” he said. “The more we see repression, the more there are no outlets for how people can express themselves and their aspirations, the worse off we’re going to be and the more anti-American sentiment there’s going to be in the Middle East. We keep on making this mistake.”

“If we simply prop up anti-democratic practices, that feeds the sense that America is only concerned about us and that our fates are not tied to these other folks,” he said. “And that’s going to make us less safe.”

Several other Democrats voiced similar sentiments, but Obama’s chief rivals pounced on his answer, suggesting that it sounded weak. What they should have said is that it sounded like George Bush. It is President Bush who has has been saying since 2002 that the longstanding Western policy of accommodating corrupt dictatorships in the Arab world has contributed to the rise of terrorism, and that the only long-term solution to the problem of Islamic terrorism is our effort to bring modernity, including democracy, to the Muslim world. This was the chief reason for overthrowing Saddam Hussein, and those who share Bush’s view of the matter are conventionally called, for no very good reason, “neocons.”

What is weird about Obama and other Democrats who pay lip service, at least, to the value of democracy is that they seem willing to apply the principle to every country in the world except Iraq. If democracy in Pakistan will make us safer by providing an antidote to extremism, why isn’t the same true of democracy in Iraq? Or Iran? Conversely, if democracy has proved hard to export to Iraq, why would it not be at least as difficult, if not more so, to promote it in Pakistan?

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busy today

Besides getting a ton of leaves out to the street today. I will be getting ready for my retirement in 3 weeks. I will be organizing my life; more precisely, organizing my blogs folder in my Favorites. Hey, it’s a start. Who knows where this will lead.

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In the United States, our basketball courts might achieve what law courts cannot. We also have the court of public opinion, which has developed some innovative responses to the problem. Recently, the city of Dallas abandoned anti-saggin’ legislation and bought billboard space instead, touting a line from a new rap song: “It’s rude, not cool . . . walkin’ around showin’ your behind to other dudes.” When nothing else works, try tweaking the offenders’ masculinity.


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‘We Can’t Afford To Look Back 1,400 Years’

Six weeks ago, terror struck the archipelago nation of the Maldives, a popular tourist resort nation comprising hundreds of islands in the Indian Ocean. A bombing attack and a riot involving radical Islamists in the same week have put this sleepy, hospitable, moderate Muslim nation on the front lines of the war on terror, and they are not at all happy about it. They face the loss of their standard of living if the radical Islamists succeed in pushing the Maldives back to the 7th century:

On Sept. 29, the two faces of the Maldives collided when a homemade bomb exploded in a park in the capital, Male, wounding 12 tourists, threatening the critical resort industry and sending the clear message that even this remote corner of paradise is not immune to terrorism.

The attack, and a bloody confrontation days later between police and masked Islamic extremists armed with harpoons, stunned this Indian Ocean nation and threatened its careful effort to balance its traditionally moderate Islamic heritage with liberal Western values.

The government reacted swiftly to crush the fundamentalist movement that had risen amid the palm trees and crystal blue waters of its 1,190 coral islands. Authorities banned the veil, arrested scores of suspected extremists, sealed underground mosques and promised a crackdown on radical preachers.

“We are not taking chances,” Information Minister Mohamed Nasheed said.

So far, the violence has not frightened off the tourists, who account for one-third of the economy, he said. But “if there is another attack, then we just close tourism here. And we can’t afford that,” he said.

Using the tourist industry, the Maldives has become the most economically successful nation in South Asia. Its location lends itself to resort hotels, tour companies, and relaxation, and the citizens of the Maldives reap the benefits of global trade. It allows citizens to have their children educated abroad, giving them the hope of an even more productive future.

That, unfortunately, is part of the problem. While some of the students go to Europe and Australia for their intellectual pursuits, others go to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to study at the madrassas that preach hatred and separation. Combined with new access to the Internet, the reach of the radical Islamists has grown strong in the Maldives and threatens to become a new base of operations for al-Qaeda affiliates in the Indian Ocean area.

Study abroad isn’t the entire problem, either. The 2004 tsunami hit the Maldives hard, and it prompted a turn towards fundamentalist religious practice. Also, unemployment has been a big problem for young adults in the Maldives despite the economy, and the lack of jobs allows for radicalism to breed among the bored and frustrated young men.

Government officials have started taking this more seriously since the September 29th bombing and the subsequent riot. The Maldives had long banned headscarves for women but rarely enforced it. Now they have begun to get tough on signs of radical Islamism, including headscarves, at the same time that the Islamists have targeted men without beards. The Maldives also announced efforts to fund moderate Muslim mosques and imams to counter the messages of hate coming from the Islamists, hoping to push them out of the marketplace of ideas. Government ministries have ordered the press to stop celebrating jihadists and suicide bombers. The last attack did not kill anyone, but the government recognizes that the next one might kill many — and they want to stop radicalism before it gets further out of hand.

Will this help or hurt? The Maldives has long promised democratic reforms, yet Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has remained president for almost 30 years. With over 40% of its population below the age of 14, the opportunity for radicalism looks very high, and if the government cannot move away from authoritarian rule, it makes it even higher. The Maldives needs to put some thought into transforming itself into a nation where radicalism finds no purchase because its people have no need of it.

Posted by Ed Morrissey on November 10, 2007 11:22 AM |

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