jottings from tertius

views of the world from my worldview window

"If there was no God, there would be no atheists." G.K. Chesterton


Tektonics Apologetics Ministry
The Adarwinist reader
Bede's Library: the Alliance of Faith and Reason
A Christian Thinktank
Doxa:Christian theology and apologetics
He Lives
Mike Gene Teleologic
Errant Skeptics Research Institute
Stephen Jones' CreationEvolutionDesign
Touchstone: a journal of mere Christianity: mere comments
The Secularist Critique: Deconstructing secularism I Wasn't Born Again Yesterday
imago veritatis by Alan Myatt
Solid Rock Ministries
The Internet Monk: a webjournal by Michael Spencer
The Sydney Line: the website of Keith Windschuttle
Miranda Devine's writings in the Sydney Morning Herald
David Horowitz frontpage magazine
Thoughts of a 21st century Christian Philosopher
Steven Lovell's philosophical themes from C.S.Lewis
Peter S. Williams Christian philosophy and apologetics
Shandon L. Guthrie
Clayton Cramer's Blog
Andrew Bolt columns
Ann Coulter columns


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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Sunday, November 06, 2005

not dead yet - only sleeping

It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth. That the man has not fallen off a scaffolding is really more sensational; and it is also some thousand times more common. But journalism cannot reasonably be expected thus to insist upon the permanent miracles. Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, "Mr. Wilkinson Still Safe," or "Mr. Jones, of Worthing, Not Dead Yet." They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complex picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority.

G. K. Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross (1910)

8:53:00 pm

Thursday, September 01, 2005

a tale of two movies

It seems like a bad dream but I remember it like it was only yesterday. The entire liberal media establishment got all self-righteous and suddenly theological about a movie made by "Mad Mel" Gibson. To say that the bi-coastals and the inner city latte-sipping chattering classes didn’t like The Passion of the Christ would be like noting that Stalin didn’t like the Kulaks. (It would of course be totally inappropriate to compare the response to the Passion as akin to Hitler hating the Jews...)

All over the planet movie critics, "social commentators", liberal theologians, op-ed writers, left wing academics (excuse the tautology), Hollywood producers and brain-dead bleeding hearts joined in a chorus that soon rose to a cacophony and then slipped into tyre-screeching condemnatory overdrive about the brutality, the violence, the hatred, the anti-Semitsm and the unabashed conservative Catholicism of Gibson’s little labour-of-love independent film.

Of course it was a box-office smash, seen by millions and making millions for Mel. Oh, the Outrage! The Horror. I swear you could hear them screaming "Red State rednecks!" over the sound of espresso machines as they filed their reviews.

Flash forward a year or so. Same critics, same commentators, another film about "brutality, violence and hatred". This time its made by Quentin Tarantino’s best buddy, Robert "How do I kill thee, let me count the ways" Rodriguez and is based on a comic book, not a holy book. They go into raptures over it! Reading some of the reviews you would think the second coming had just taken place. Am I dreaming? Five stars out of five just ain’t enough stars in the firmament for this one.

Sin City (an appropriate title for film with a passion for comic book violence and cheesy dialogue) is a piece of slick blood-letting from masters of the genre, a triumph of style over substance, a pop-art paean to amorality and guns (I thought liberals hated guns?), a homage to senseless violence and sexist stereotyping... and guns, a surreal and ridiculous tribute to the niche market of revenge, lust, nihilism, Catholic bashing... and guns, so ably cornered by... Tarantino and Rodriguez.

But the style, man the style...

This is indeed a nightmare – a superb and disturbing film portraying the betrayal and brutal execution of perhaps the pivotal figure of human history is feared and loathed by the liberal critics. These same critics then turn around and praise to the highest heavens a superbly executed but disturbing glorification of testosterone-fueled adolescent male fantasies merely because it is draped in the pretentious trappings of postmodern amorality and mindless brutality.

The Horror indeed.

7:02:00 pm

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Friday on my Mind

one more reason to be skeptical of skeptics

On his anti-Christian hate website The Annapolis Valley Skeptic, the self-proclaimed (aren't they always?!) "Voice of Reason and Ridicule" has a link to a series of articles entitled Legends, Lies and Myths that refuse to go away. Nothing wrong with exposing lies and recognising myths and legends for what they are, but the Voice of Reason and Ridicule should clean up his own backyard before he starts throwing mud.

I suggest even an atheist should consider the inherent wisdom of the words of The-One-Whose-Name-Shall-Not-Be-Mentioned-Except-As-A-Curse-Word-Or-As-A-Subject-of-Ridicule when he said Let him who is without sin cast the first stone and If you wish to remove the splinter form your brother's eye, first take the plank out of your own.

It comes as no surprise to find that the Valley Skeptic site contains the usual quota of skeptical/atheist/humanist legends, lies and myths.

One of the articles in Lies and Myths that refuse to go away is A Brief History of Friday the 13th by professional skeptics Joe Nickell and Matt Nisbet. One can appreciate their rebuttal of the popular notion of Black Friday, but it really is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black that these supposedly rational, scientific, reasonable skeptics then spin their own ridiculous lies, myths and legends about Friday and the Bible:
According to the Bible, Eve gave the apple to Adam on Friday, the great flood began on a Friday, the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday, execution day was Friday in Rome, and Good Friday exists because it is the reported day of Jesus' crucifixion.

According to what Bible, guys? Certainly not the Holy Bible!

We are informed that
Dr. Joe Nickell is a researcher, investigator and columnist for SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, THE MAGAZINE FOR SCIENCE AND REASON... [and] is the author or editor of over fifteen books on the occult and paranormal. Matt Nisbet is Public Relations Director for the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP.)

Nickell and Nisbet should be a little bit more skeptical of their own "skepticism" and check out their own acceptance of, and dissemination of, prejudicial nonsense.

The simple fact is: the Bible makes NONE of these supposed claims, not one. Not about Fridays, not about the Romans, not about an "apple", not even about "Good Friday".

So here we have two dedicated skeptics and debunkers spreading whoppers, not just at the Valley Skeptic site but at a number of other atheist websites.

Chapters and verses, please... or clean up your act.

11:57:00 pm

Just joking, or are all atheists really this stupid?

Via Dawn Eden comes this gem:

In the Finding My Religion (sic) page of the San Francisco Chronicle SF Gate website Comedian Julia Sweeney, a former Roman Catholic who lost her faith in God, talks about how she became an atheist... and vainly tries to keep her sense of humor.

She informs her interviewer, David Ian Miller, that:
It isn't that there aren't wonderful parts to the Bible, but it's just shocking to me that anyone spends their time defending it as anything more than a culturally special book. In terms of really taking it seriously as the word of God, I can't...

To me, the Iliad offers more insight into human character and lessons than the Bible. You know, like Jesus was angry a lot. When he turned all those people into pigs and made them run off a mountain, it was so hateful, not just to people but to pigs. I felt upset for the pigs!

If this quote is anything to go by Ms Sweeney demonstrates that ignorance played a major role in her conversion to atheism. Then again, she could be just trying to be funny...

I sure hope so because this piece of juvenile idiocy about the Bible and Jesus, while typical of both atheists and "former Christians", is a real howler.

Ms Sweeney could try picking up an actual copy of the Bible and reading exactly what Jesus did and note how it singularly failed to involve any humans transmogrifying into hogs. But because I seriously doubt whether she could find her way around the Bible, here is a link from the Bible Gateway site to the passage in question Mark chapter 5 verses 1-20 .

Nothing about Jesus being angry, turning people into pigs or forcing them to run off a mountain...

I guess that's why that's why Dawn Eden refers to the hapless comedian and "serious" student of the Bible as Sweeney Clod...

And why the SF Gate for Tuesday, August 16, 2005 notes that
San Francisco without yoga centers would be like the city without cafes...

Or like an ex-Christian without a clue about Christianity...

Here are some examples of the serious "I just think most people haven't thought about it as much as I have" thinking done by Ms Sweeney.

I have an open mind but it's firmly closed:
If somebody has credible evidence that there is a supernatural power that knows what I think and cares about me and offers me a life after death, I would look at that evidence with an open mind. On the other hand, I can't imagine there would be that evidence.

Lucky for me I happen to be a well-off American celebrity who lives in Hollywood and not some poor, starving, outcast living on a garbage dump in Manilla or some prisoner in a North Korean gulag, where reality might reduce somewhat my creative choices regarding meaning and purpose:
After I stopped believing in God, I realized it was completely up to me to create my own meaning and my purpose was my own.

Here [in L.A.] you're not defined socially by your religious views.

but by your leftist political views, your celebrity status, your clueless attempts at theology and philosophy and your looks?...

If me and my Hollywod friends can't take it seriously then it absolutely cannot be that millions of others, including some of the smartest and wisest people who ever lived, could:
Well, the most surprising thing overall is that anyone takes it seriously at all

I really don't have a clue about what constitutes "evidence", but it's something to do with science, so there!
I have all kinds of people writing me and saying, "Oh! I'm so glad you are open-minded, because here is the evidence!" And then the evidence is "Jesus is God. Read the Bible." I realize that those people don't know what evidence means. They don't have a scientific view of the world.

My truth is bigger than your truth - evolution proves there is no God, you dummy!:
I said God is this idea of a big man who lives up in the clouds and he created everything. And she goes, "Well I believe that!" And I go: "Well yeah, because it sounds like a cartoon character. But the truth isn't that, and I'll tell you the truth." And then I actually teach her about evolution.

My leap of faith is better than your leap of faith:
To a certain extent I am taking a leap of faith.

So I realised that I was wiser than most of the other great thinkers of history:
I'm adding up the evidence on either side, and I'm seeing the evidence of there not being a God is overwhelming compared to the evidence for there being a God.

And my brother and sister agree, so that proves it!

My reasoning skills have recently suffered a setback:
But what I wish is that people who haven't really looked into it but -- kind of like I was -- have a vague idea that there must be something there [God], I wish that they would look into it, because I think they wouldn't let people who are religious walk all over them as much as they do in our society.

[laughs]... nervously?

8:13:00 pm

Thursday, August 11, 2005

LILT - Liberals in Love with Totalitarianism

Sleeper, awake!
Nick Cohen writes in the London Observer of coming to his senses after 44 years in the fantasyland of the Left.
I'm sure that any halfway competent political philosopher could rip the assumptions of modern middle-class left-wingery apart. Why is it right to support a free market in sexual relationships but oppose free-market economics, for instance?

I could add a couple of other "for instances": the case of the so-called "liberal" Left in Australia demanding both the maintenance of compulsory student union fees and the imposition of the Kyoto restrictions, while advocating complete freedom of choice when it come to sexual expression and abortion... or even the compulsory imposition of union fees upon all teachers in the State education system.

Meanwhile we continue to witness the spectacle of LILT - Liberals in Love with Totaliarianism. In the past this involved an inordinate fondness for the totalitarianisms of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot but is now focussed upon an inability to do anything more than wring their hands, blame the West and apologise for the totalitarianism of Islamofascism.

7:47:00 pm

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

pesky laws and decent white folk


Spot the decent white folk

In Marr's world if they're Christians they must be white.

In his latest piece in the Sydney Morning Herald. David Marr seems to think that Christianity is the white man's voodoo.
Anti-vilification laws aren't the answer. In Victoria, two hellfire Christian preachers, Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot, are facing jail after preaching against Islam in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Ever since, they've been fighting an action brought by the Islamic Council of Victoria under the state's new Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.

That's the pesky thing about these laws that show almost zero tolerance for religious and racial intolerance: they can be turned against decent white folk. Nalliah calls Victoria's act a "foul law" and "sharia law by stealth". The two pastors have been asked to apologise but are contemplating martyrdom by imprisonment instead. Scott said: "You don't compromise truth for fear of jail.

David Marr is a man with a huge chip on his shoulder about Christianity in general and conservative Evangelicals in the Anglican Church in particular, and who has, as a result, been "preaching against" Christianity for years. He reveals his ignorance here by implying that the Pakistani born-and-raised Daniel Scot and the Sri Lankan born-and-raised Danny Nalliah are "white folk" simply on the basis of the allegiance to Jesus Christ. This despite the fact that Christians of colour in Africa and South America vastly outnumber Anglo and other European Christians. Indeed while Christianity declines in the West (as Marr himself is living proof) it grows rapidly in the South. I guess in Marr's topsy-turvy view of the world Nalliah and Scot are not "coloured" but are really white, on the assumption that only white folk could be Christians - and "hellfire preachers" to boot.

In the same way that Condi Rice and Colin Powell are not really black, and that Margaret Thatcher is not really a woman, I suppose...

Also in Marr's world the two Christian pastors are "contemplating martyrdom by imprisonment" apparently because they are not man enough to say "sorry" in self-funded and expensive newspaper ads addressed not just to the three Anglo converts to Islam who infiltrated their meeting and were offended by hearing the Koran accurately quoted - but to the entire Muslim community of Victoria. I point out that this is not a matter of choice for the two men for it is not they who have introduced this law, or who have brought these charges or who will be imposing the court's sentence. Any "choice" they now have is of a rather restricted kind. Once you have taken away a man's freedom of both conscience and expression you are left with something less than an open democratic society. Surely a "real" liberal can see that? How would Marr feel towards homosexual activists willing to be imprisoned because of their conscience and beliefs. A lot more supportive and sanctimoniously approving I would suggest! Then again would David Marr himself compromise truth for fear of jail? I hope not.

In conclusion I simply note that which Marr neglects: the Christian pastors are not contemplating martyrdom-by-suicide bombing-in-a-public-place-with-lots-of-innocent-bystanders either. That's only but one of the differences between Christian "fundamentalists" and Islamic "extremists" which Marr can't seem to spot.

8:07:00 pm

liberal lemmings jumping off cliffs

Fiddling while Rome burns

You know its the end of the world as we know it when liberals think that to the vast majority of Muslims "jihad" is a harmless concept meaning "decaf latte with skimmed milk and cinnamon sprinkles".

Mark Steyn writing in The Australian scores another bullseye with his analysis of the Western liberal infatuation with multiculturalism as a kind of societal Stockholm Syndrome
Bomb us, and we agonise over the "root causes" (that is, what we did wrong). Decapitate us, and our politicians rush to the nearest mosque to declare that "Islam is a religion of peace". Issue bloodcurdling calls at Friday prayers to kill all the Jews and infidels, and we fret that it may cause a backlash against Muslims. Behead sodomites and mutilate female genitalia, and gay groups and feminist groups can't wait to march alongside you denouncing Bush, Blair and Howard. Murder a schoolful of children, and our scholars explain that to the "vast majority" of Muslims "jihad" is a harmless concept meaning "decaf latte with skimmed milk and cinnamon sprinkles"....

That's the great thing about multiculturalism: it doesn't involve knowing anything about other cultures - like, say, the capital of Bhutan or the principal exports of Malaysia, the sort of stuff the old imperialist wallahs used to be well up on. Instead, it just involves feeling warm and fluffy, making bliss out of ignorance. And one notices a subtle evolution in multicultural pieties since the Islamists came along. It was most explicitly addressed by the eminent British lawyer Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, QC, who thought that it was too easy to disparage "Islamic fundamentalists". "We as western liberals too often are fundamentalist ourselves. We don't look at our own fundamentalisms."

And what exactly would those western liberal fundamentalisms be? "One of the things that we are too ready to insist upon is that we are the tolerant people and that the intolerance is something that belongs to other countries like Islam. And I'm not sure that's true."

Hmm. Kennedy appears to be arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people's intolerance, which is intolerable. Thus the lop-sided valse macabre of our times: the more the Islamists step on our toes, the more we waltz them gaily round the room...

Mark Steyn, a rare voice of sanity in an increasingly insane world...

7:22:00 pm

Thursday, July 21, 2005

the strange case of Kenneth Tynan and C. S. Lewis

Fame and its price

The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan edited by John Lahr. London: Bloomsbury, 2001
Irreverent, indiscreet, wildly funny, sad, shocking and inspiring, the legendary diaries of Kenneth Tynan are above all compelling literature. His diaries - so resplendent with griefs and gossip - bear superb witness to the fame he courted and the price he paid for it.

I have just finished reading "The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan" which cover the last decade of his life (1970-1980). Tynan is of course lauded as one of the finest drama critics of the twentieth century. He is also remembered for his tenure alongside Laurence Olivier at Britain's National Theatre, his production of the long running but infamous full-frontal nude revue Oh, Calcutta! and his ubiquitous presence on the social scene with the "in crowd" of the "jet set". He was also the first person to utter the word "f**k" on British television, which hardly seems a big deal nowadays but was something of a seismic event back in the sixties when we were all fab.

All in all he was something of a poseur with his affinity for stylish clothes and the carefully calculated way he held a cigarette between the third and fourth fingers of his hand. Certainly he was the darling of the aforementioned elites. According to Lahr's book he was a brilliant and feared critic,... [a] daring impresario... a notorious eccentric, a louche sophisticate: connoisseur of cuisine, wine, literature and women. Considering the circles in which he moved Tynan was also something of a rarity, an unashamed heterosexual, though, as a stereotypical product of the English Public School tradition, he had a lifelong prediliction for spanking, thus making up for his lack of interest in that other English public school tradition of homosexuality.

He was an inveterate name dropper, simply because for over three decades, on both sides of the Atlantic, Tynan was at the hot centre of the theatre and film worlds. he knew everybody; and everybody wanted to know him. The diaries literally contain hundreds of names of the rich and famous with whom he attended a never-ending series of meetings, weekend gatherings, dinner parties and overseas jaunts: Gore Videl, L.O.(Laurence Olivier), Marlene Deitrich, Mel Brooks, Princess Margaret, Harold Pinter, Antonia Fraser, Germaine Greer, John Geilgud, John Osbourne, George Harrison, Robert Morley, John Huston, Tennesse Williams,... and so on.

Not just names but gossip, of course, usually of the who did what with whom and where and under the influence of what drugs type: one can read about Marlene Deitrich's tryst with JFK at the Whitehouse, Paul Getty's near fatal episode of priapism, etc., etc. Tynan was indeed a clever writer with a flair for words and a consummate skill for spotting and dissecting cant. Which is surprising considering the contradictions in his own lifestyle.

Whoever invented the term "Chardonnay Socialist" (was it Barry Humphries?) must have had Ken Tynan in mind. His committment to the creed of Utopian Socialism was breathtaking and unrelieved by reality. Safely inured by a lifestyle among the rich and famous, his only insights into the working class were therotical and abstract. He was a self-described "libertarian liberal socialist" which seems to have meant "I can do whatever I want socially and sexually without restraint but the Government should control every other aspect of society." (i.e. minimal sexual restraint accompanied by maximum political and economic control of the lives of the people.) But Tynan, the elitist, was hardly one of "the people".

In those heady socialist days prior to the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of Communism he was the classic leftist elitist snob, mixing his pursuit, via the Michelin guide, of exquisite wining and dining in France, his love of attending the bullfights in Spain and Mexico, vacationing in the south of France, and his globe-trotting to avoid the British taxman, with solemn pronouncements about the evils of capitalism, paens to the the joys of life in Castro's Cuba and the virtues of the National Health System, or unstinting praise for the proletrariat. Ironically his own contacts with male members of that class (seeing as, unlike several other well- known celebrities he didn't seek rough trade)usually involved them threatening a punch up or stealing his wallet. On the other hand proletarian women made fine spanking partners or excellent carers thus his praises for working class bottoms and the virtues of Irish and West Indian nurses who dominated the wards of Britain's NHS hospitals during his frequent hospitalisations for chronic empysema. Needless to say Tynan was a lifelong smoker... and it killed him in the end. An old story: living fast, he died relatively and tragically young. It further emerges from the diaries that many of the pretty young things around him also met early and tragic ends while the beastly boring bitches he despised often lived on.

Such is life.

The avowed anti-capitalist was always worrying about money, though no amount of lack in that department seemed to prevent him from inveterate globetrotting. In a breath-taking piece of self-exculpation he explains in his diaries that he is NOT a capitalist because capitalists live off the blood and sweat of the working class whereas as he, as a socialist socialite, journalist and theatre critic, while enjoying a lifestyle virtually imdistinguishable form that of these capitalists, does not.

To say Tynan was a contradiction is an understatement. Pieces of seering self-analysis appear in his diary alonside bits of shallow leftist rhetoric. Alongside pornographic spanking fantasies are found insightful discursions into the human condition. After accounts of the joys of family life he could write about wife-swapping and divorce as if these were casual events.

But one of the most interesting - and surprising - features of the libertine Tynan was his strong affinity foe the writings of C.S. Lewis, one of the twentieth century's premier Christian apologists and moralists. While at Cambridge in the late 40s Tynan was tutored by Lewis and the two developed a friendship. Tynan's respect for Lewis is evident in his many positive comments about the character of the man and about the wisdom of his writings. Tynan was an avid reader and the works of Lewis had a profound and particular philosophical impact upon him, though not in a way that translated into a change of lifestyle or a conversion to Christianity. At times it seems as if Tynan may be "almost persuaded" by the words of Lewis to consider Christianity but he always veers away. This teetering on the edge before careening back into the old lifestyle adds pathos to the self-portrait of an epicurean living under the cloud of his own mortality.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:35-37

12:08:00 am

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

a day in the life of SBS

Today's theme (same as previous ones): get Bush

Tim Blair in his Bulletin column has a wonderfully succinct summary of television broadcasting "highlights" on Australian TV. His SBS daily program guide is spot on:

6.00 News From Countries You Will Never Visit
Includes Laotian traffic report and latest on the Belize library scandal.

2.00 The Monster Craves Oil
Hard-hitting German documentary explores the real reasons behind George W. Bush’s War on Terror.

4.00 World Sport
Replay of the 1983 Zaire Cup nil-all semi final between Bongo Bongo and Ebola Utd.

5.30 Mosques Out, McDonald’s In
Powerful Danish documentary reveals the hidden forces driving George W. Bush’s War on Terror.

6.00 Tour de France
Grown men on bicycles.

7.00 World Sport
Soccer news from Italy, updates on the round-ball game from Greece, European football gossip, plus Premier League action from the UK.

8.30 Iron Chef
The challenger’s magnesium truffles are no match for Iron Chef’s coq au steel.

9.00 Go Back To Texas, You Big Stupid!
Thoughtful Norwegian documentary explores the history of George W. Bush’s War on Terror.

9.30 World News Tonight
Presented by Enton A ... er, Anton Enus.

10.00 George W. Bush: Jew
Insightful Saudi documentary exposes the secret motive behind George W. Bush’s War on Terror.

11.30 Guantanamo Bay – Live Eviction
A remote camera is trained on Gitmo in the desperate hope that young Aussie idealist David Hicks will one day be freed.

7:01:00 pm

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Fear and self-loathing in Las Liberal

Gerard Baker speculates in the Times on why it's always "our" fault - and why so many of the western elites are such enthusiastic self-flagellators

Imagine this. Suppose we’d never invaded Iraq, and terrorists had blown up London in pursuit of their cause, what would the apologists have said about last week’s attacks? In fact we know exactly what they would have said because many of them did say it after al-Qaeda attacked the US on September 11 — long before any American or British soldier set foot in Afghanistan or Iraq.

They said it was because of our support for Israel and its "brutal occupation of Palestinian territory", our complicity in the victimisation of Arabs from the Balfour Declaration to the ascent of the Jewish lobby in America.

But what if there had never been an Israel and instead a Palestinian state existed peaceably in the heart of the Middle East, and the terrorists had still attacked us? What would the apologists have said then? They would have said, of course, that we were to blame for having abused the Arabs and Muslims generally for decades through our colonial ambitions and economic exploitation of Arabia and the broader Middle East.

And what if there had never been a British Empire and British occupation of Arab lands, and terrorists had still attacked us? Then it would have been the Crusades, and the long-standing ill-treatment of Muslims at the hands of deplorable Christian warriors.

And what if there had never been a crusade, and they’d still attacked us? I’m stumped at this point to confect an answer, but I can guarantee that whatever it was that would have been said it would have been Britain’s fault.

I believe I can help Mr Baker out, and it's no confection:

They would have blamed Christianity. And if there had never been a Jesus Christ nor an apostle Paul nor an Augustine they would have blamed the Jews. It's always comes back to the Jews...

12:35:00 am

giving a Hollywood liberal credit where credit is due

Some quibble that he was a little wooden but I can only agree with those astute critics who consider that Tim Robbins was really good in Team America.
12:25:00 am

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Stupid Broadcasting Service

Tonight I was feeling a little restless, so in a moment of boredom I carelessly flicked on Australia's own paean to all things leftist and multicultural, SBS (Special Broadcasting Service). I used to be quite a devotee of SBS as I was of the ABC. I guess I considered myself "special", an elitist who despised the mind-numbling pabulum dished out to stupify rather than enlighten the masses as they sat glued to their sets watching Home and Away, Neighbours and Big Brother on the commercial networks. But not the road to mass media serfdom for me. I turned on the TV for the "serious" documentaries about issues and news, "explored" and "analysed" on the public and semi-public broadcasters by skilled and professional commentators who had honed their skills in journalism as media consultants and "researchers" to various Labor party figures. I was sort of like those guys who only read Playboy magazine "for the articles"... and who only watch SBS for the documentaries and not for the sexy foreign movies...

But the halcyon days of carefree youth came to an end and thanks in part ot the Blogosphere I consigned both SBS abd ABC to a lowly place in my own private dustbin of media history. I don't seem to be suffering any withdrawal pains or pangs of regrets even when colleagues ask me "Did you see that really, good program on SBS/ABC last night about... how Bush/Howard/Blair/the CIA/the FBI/the industrial-military complex/right wing/redneck/Christian/homophobic/neocon/sexist/racist/greedy/fat/Republican/capitalists are conspiring to... " and I have to say "No I didn't. Did I miss something?" But I never do.

SBS and the ABC are as elitist as the commercial broadcasters are plebian. Both networks are taxpayer-supported and government-sanctioned enterprises that deal in left/liberal agitprop big time. And tonight was no exception. Lo and behold here was another European documentary (this time French) cranking up the usual leftist paranoia machine about the dangers threatening the lifestyle of those Americans hedonists just like us - i.e. the liberal elites who make these kind of "documentaries" for the liberal elites who view them on stations like SBS.

And the evil empire? - moralists in the Christian Coalition who are pulling the strings of Bush and the Republicans to implement measures that would destroy the very foundation of modern civilisation, which is the right to have unrestricted, unrestrained sexual activity with anyone at any time, at any age, of any gender, as long as it feels good and no one is hurt - unless they specifically ask to be.

According to the French film-makers, the Christian Coalition is represented by a busload of middle-aged and elderly mid-western couples and spinsters with blue rinses who use their ill-gotten funds from a lifetime of capitalist exploitation (i.e hard work) to come to Washington to fund right-wing spivs who have the the ear of good ol' boy Republican senators and congressmen in order to bring about the total destruction of the greatest achievements of human civilisation: 1)the sexual revolution and 2)the right to dispose of any unwanted spawn that results from the exercise of the first revolutionary right.

Once upon a time conspiracy theories were a fixture of the extreme right wing, nowadays they are almost solely the prerogative of the left. In fact being a leftist pretty much means being under the sway of any number of outlandish conspiracy theories at any one time. The mainstream media is the official outlet for these leftist conspiracies and paranoid fantasies, none more so than the "public" broadcasters. Turn on SBS any night, or the ABC, and you will see that the end of the world as we know it is imminent and that Bush and Blair but not Kim Jong-il or Osama Bin Laden, Christians but not Muslims, capitalists but not communists, traditionalists but not radicals, Western white men but not black African dictators or Islamofascist terrorists, suburbanites but not inner city cliques, family and pro-life groups but not feminists or homosexual activists, are the enemy.

The shrill cries of "Non!" from the outraged French film-makers still reverberates in my head hours after viewing. And that pretty much sums up my own right as a viewer. To SBS I say "Non!" and go to bed to read a good book.

Frustratingly my taxes still go to help finance these house organs of the left.

11:42:00 pm

Friday, July 08, 2005

the trouble with Islamofascism only gets worse

In a recent article The Washington Post presented an interview with Abu Ibrahim, a Syrian smuggler of jihadists to Iraq, and a militant member of the Salafism faction of fanatical Islam,in which he confirmed the realities of the threat posed to freedom and democracy by Islamic extremists:

Their goal is restoration of the Islamic caliphate, the system that governed Muslims before the rise of nation states.

Abu Ibrahim said he regarded Afghanistan during the Taliban rule as one of the few true Islamic governments since the time of Muhammad.

"The Koran is a constitution, a law to govern the world," he said.

"September 11 gave us the media coverage. It was a great day. America was defeated."

Two weeks after the attacks in New York and at the Pentagon, the group felt bold enough to celebrate in public in Aleppo with a "festival," as it was called, featuring video of hand-to-hand combat and training montages of guerrillas leaping from high walls.

By 2002 the anti-American festivals were running twice weekly, often wrapped around weddings or other social gatherings.

Jihad was being allowed into the open. Abu Ibrahim said Syrian security officials and presidential advisers attended festivals, one of which was called "The People of Sham Will Now Defeat the Jews and Kill Them All." Money poured in from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

They were allowed to enforce their strict vision of sharia, or Islamic law, entering houses in the middle of the night to confront people accused of bad behavior. Abu Ibrahim said their authority rivaled that of the Amn Dawla, or state security. "Everyone knew us," he said. "We all had big beards. We became thugs."

Safe houses were established. Weapons were positioned. In the vast desert that forms the border with Iraq, passages through the dunes long used to smuggle goods now were employed to funnel fighters.

"We had specific meeting places for Iraqi smugglers," Abu Ibrahim said. "They wouldn't do the trip if we had fewer than 15 fighters. We would drive across the border and then into villages on the Iraqi side. And from there the Iraqi contacts would take the mujaheddin to training camps."

"Anyone - Christian, Jew, Sunni, Shiites - whoever cooperates with the Americans can be killed. It's a holy war."

Hope he's only joking, or it's a media hoax...

1:15:00 am

The sick, sick world of "compassionate" "caring", "tolerant" "liberals"

A quick look around the Web lays bare the ugly underbelly of "progressive liberals":

a Democratic Underground thread about conservative radio talk show hostess Laura Ingraham undergoing surgery for breast cancer:

She probably gave it to herself...

I don't pray for Nazis or other Totalitarian Scum

I hope she goes into remission and fucking chokes to death.

Comments on the Huffington Post site on Vice-President Dick Cheney's hospitalization for heart problems:

I wish the evil zombie would stop leaving his underground bunker. Surely, there's a medical ward where he lurks below the surface, near Washington, D.C.

Hasn't he had his "last throes" of chest pains yet?

His heart is listening to all the lies coming out of his mouth. It can't take much more of this drivel.

You bet we losers want him dead. And I'm glad to be a loser. If I were a winner, I'd have to be around the kind of assholes who like Bush and Cheney.

"Last throes," does one suppose? Here's hoping.

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a stake through his heart.

A commentator at the Democratic Underground on the breaking news of the terrorist bombings in London:

Funny how Bu$h always gets a distraction just when he needs it the most. That Osama fellow always comes through just in the nick of time.

Various commentators at Indymedia UK on the same event:

Its an inside Job...

get these NAZIS out of power NOW!!!!

...seen it all b4

well they finally attacked london...the timing is almost too perfect it almost seems surreal...attempting to wipe the smile off the smug war criminal political liar blair's face...just one day after london got the olympics...its as if the IOC decision and now this terror attack will take the minds of the G8 leaders focus away from africa and climate change(or give them an excuse to).i for one did not want london to get the olympics...these events only end up being a burden to ordinary tax payers for years to come.they wasted money billions on the "dome" now they will do the same on an even bigger scale with the 2012 olympics...and one day afer the IOC granted the games to the capital city they show they cannot prevent a major terror attack...and would id cards have stopped this....NO.these terror attacks are as sensless as they are despicable...but once again we will see our political leaders use them to control us and restrict our freedom.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the work of MI operatives

Problem reaction solution scam so obvious, and on a 7/7/7 (2+5) date only of interest to the masonic bastards who run the intelligence services, and the knights of Eulogia and Malta (Bush and Bliar), and those other grotesque thieves,mass murderers and satanists meeting in Gleneagles

The last time Blair, Bush and Her Majesty met on UK soil, there were bomb blasts against British interests in Turkey

Blair and those controlling him will now feel they can do whatever they want, and some of the public will now start demanding their ID cards, in the mistaken belief they will shelter them from these attacks, which are indeed, AN INSIDE JOB

Like September 11th, this reeks of an inside job, right after Bush and Blair appeared before the media making trivial small talk and jokes. I'm afraid it's all so predictable.

As I predicted some time ago, if the Establishment conducted a "terrorist" outrage in Britain, the target would be London Underground. Sadly, today on the seventh day of the seventh month, I am in a position to say. "I told you so!"

From out of their own mouths comes a spew of bigoted, fascistic, hatred laced with a mindless conspiracy-theorising and undisguised glee at human suffering. This is the tragedy of what "enlightened" liberalism has become at the start of the 21st century - a cesspit full of rabid radical haters and despisers committed to "causes" but without a shred of empathy, human decency or consideration for actual people.

Victor Davis Hanson captures the self-immolating pathology that drives the Western elites to gleefully chop down the branch on which they themselves sit:
... Our own fundamentalist Left is in lockstep with Wahhabist reductionism — in its similar instinctive distrust of Western culture. Both blame the United States and excuse culpability on the part of Islamists. The more left-wing the Westerner, the more tolerant he is of right-wing Islamic extremism; the more liberal the Arab, the more likely he is to agree with conservative Westerners about the real source of Middle Eastern pathology.

The constant? A global distrust of Western-style liberalism and preference for deductive absolutism. So burn down a mosque in Zimbabwe, murder innocent Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2002, arrest Christians in Saudi Arabia, or slaughter Africans in Dafur, and both the Western Left and the Middle East's hard Right won't say a word. No such violence resonates with America's diverse critics as much as a false story of a flushed Koran — precisely because the gripe is not about the lives of real people, but the psychological hurts, angst, and warped ideology of those who in their various ways don't like the United States.

I will pass over quickly the day's other sorry stories, but they were equally revealing. From Karachi, we learn that Pakistani Shiite Muslims burned down a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. You see, a Sunni suicide bomber had just blown up 19 Pakistani Shia. In reaction to that attack, the Shiite mob went out and killed six employees of a business owned and operated by a Pakistani Muslim. Follow the logic of the Middle East: When you are angry at your own for their murdering, and are too weak or terrified to do anything about it, go out and destroy anything remotely American-affiliated.

I read the most of these news accounts last week while sitting in a Starbucks (Dunkin' Donuts next door) on the eastern side of the Brandenburg Gate in the former Communist sector of Berlin — watching a parade of protestors damn the militarism of the United States (a.k.a. "Top Gun") while a nearby TV blared accounts of a recent German mystery on state-run television, whose subtext was that the United States intelligence planned September 11 and blamed it on the poor jihadists.

Updates: Let's not forget the crazy "kossacks" who congregate at Daily Kos. And this after a warning from Kos himself to cut out some of the more extreme dishes of conspiracy-theory ratbaggery regularly served up:

Do we have any proof the [sic] Osama Bin A**hole orchestrated the 911 attacks? NO! We have all chosen to believe our governments account of the events, because to think otherwise would be too difficult to comprehend. And why shouldn't we believe our government? It's not like they are the most corrupt administration since the dawn of the republic who have lied to us every f***ing step of the way.

So there we have a snapshot of 60 years of American efforts to rid Germany of Hitler, pour in Marshall Plan money, keep 300 Soviet divisions out of Germany, and convince skeptical British, French, and Russians to support reunification: In response, welcome in American popular culture as you damn the United States in the conveniently abstract.

A war that cannot be won entirely on the battlefield most certainly can be lost entirely off it — especially when an ailing Western liberal society is harder on its own democratic culture than it is on fascist Islamic fundamentalism.

So unhinged have we become that if an American policymaker calls for democracy and reform in the Middle East, then he is likely to echo the aspirations of jailed and persecuted Arab reformers. But if he says Islamic fascism is either none of our business or that we lack the wisdom or morality to pass judgment on the pathologies of a traditional tribal society, then the jihadist and the police state — and our own Western Left — approve.

12:22:00 am

Thursday, July 07, 2005

a medico-legal fiction creates the living dead that other medico-legal fiction that pretends the unborn aren't living.

Melanie Phillips reports on an article in which medical experts admit that the definition of brain death is merely an artificial construct to allow transplants to take place because organs, of necessity, have to be harvested from people who are not dead (but who give their permission, of course...)
Brain death is essential to current practices of organ retrieval because it legitimates organ removal from bodies that continue to have circulation and respiration, thereby avoiding ischemic injury to the organs. The concept of brain death has long been recognized, however, to be plagued with serious inconsistencies and contradictions. Indeed, the concept fails to correspond to any coherent biological or philosophical understanding of death.
Robert Truog and Walter Robinson in "Critical Care Medicine"

As M. Potts and David Evans note in the "Journal of Medical Ethics":
There were never sound empirical grounds for criteria of death based on the loss of testable brain function while the body remains alive. One difficulty is the near impossibility of diagnosing—with the necessary certainty—the "irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem" while the rest of the body remains alive.

the solution: sign up to have your organs removed while you are still alive, because they're no good to anybody when you're dead...

5:37:00 pm