Friday, August 13, 2010

States’ Rights, Islamism, and the Cordoban Mosque

EARLIER LAWRENCE: "Do Arizonians want to inhibit immigration? Don't listen to their arguments against their loose immigration laws and procedures. The only reason they oppose immigration [the Left says] is that they are bigots."

BLOGBLATHER:  Well, you know, Lawrence, In Arizona the state wants the right to  demand the papers of anyone suspected of not being here legally -- which means that if your skin is darker than the cop's, you'd better have the papers on you.  Unfair enough.  Has Arizona  passed any legislation that would ship off to prison all the rich white shits who hire the "illegals" as yardmen, maids, nannies, care-givers -- I'll bet not.  How many Arizonians have screamed out against those who traffic Hispanic girls into the sex-industry. How many restaurants have been closed because all the kitchen staff is Hispanic.  How many food processing plants have been closed down because most of the laborers are Hispanic.  Is there any movement in Arizona demanding to pay 3 or 4 or whatever times more for produce if only they would stop the "illegals" from harvesting it.  No construction contractors that I know of anywhere refuse to hire Hispanic carpenters at low wages -- so, yes, Lawrence, until I see such economic sacrifice on the part of the good white American people, I would write off all their anti-immigrant rhetoric as bigotry.  If you don't want them here, then cough up the money, baby, because they're the only ones doing any work in the good ole USA.

LAWRENCE: None of those things are at issue here. What we have is a majority of Arizonians voting (which used to be an act of some significance) to inhibit immigration. This majority may now be overruled by the courts. Why are we such a litigious nation? If a majority of Arizonians want to reduce immigration, why not let them. Why go to the courts and overrule the Arizonian majority who wants fewer illegal aliens in their midst? I don't care about those bad things you mention. If they happen in Arizona, and Arizona changes their mind about immigration, then let them go back to the polls. Why does Obama feel he needs to meddle in Arizona's business. Let him instead meddle in New York's business and go along with Governor Pataki who wants to move the Cordoban Mosque elsewhere.

EARLIER LAWRENCE: "Do Californians vote overwhelmingly time after time to keep the same marriage standards that have existed for 2,500 years in Western custom and practices? Well that isn't because they think these marriage standards are the best ones. They only reason they vote to keep them [the Left says] is that they are homophobes."

BLOGBLATHER:: When you say "marriage standards", I assume you mean male to female.  What is it about marriage that gays want it so?  Well, there's the whole regalia of legal rights attending within our system.  Then there's the emotional factor.  The public pledge of care and commitment and the recognition by the world of that relationship.  Love is love after all.  What does gender have to do with it?  Homosexuality, I've read somewhere, is the norm for 10% or so of the population.  Homosexuality happens.  Get over it.  Marriage has no meaning except for the legalities (which can be very significant) but the emotional significance for the couple can be immensely important.  Homosexuality is verboten in the Abrahamic religions.  That's fine.  But the State is not an Abrahamic religion.  It has no right to legislate morality.  So, yes, I think 99.44 percent  of opposition to recognizing gay unions by the State is due to homophobia.

LAWRENCE: Again, a majority of the population of California, normally thought to be a Liberal State want Marriage defined as between a man and a woman. Why should a Liberal minority be able to cram its opinion down the throats of a Liberal and Conservative majority? Have we given up on democracy? Do we want to receive our legislation from the courts? Not me.          

EARLIER LAWRENCE: Is Charles Rangel being accused of unethical conduct? There was no unethical conduct [the Left says], only racism.  Is Maxine Waters facing ethics questions? Of course these questions can't be sincere. The only thing at work here [the Left says] is "racism."  Are eight members of the Congressional Black Caucus facing ethics inquires? This is just one more example of racism [so says the Left].

BLOGBLATHER: Who of any significance says that the charges are race-based?  I've never heard any of  it. 


EARLIER LAWRENCE: "Hanson is afraid that the misuse of the "Bigotry"charge will cause more serious problems. Real cases of bigotry and racism may in the future not be taken seriously because they are annoyingly unserious at the present time. "

BLOGBLATHER:  OK, that's Hanson's opinion.  It carries no weight with me.  You quote the people you read as if they were the Pope.

LAWRENCE: That's only your first AH (ad hominem) comment in this note. I'm impressed. That's way better than your average.

EARLIER LAWRENCE: "Hanson is kinder than I have been on this subject. I haven't seen many arguments. Why argue when you can cry "bigot" and "racist"? Why argue against the opinions of someone when you can dismiss him as "fascist scum"?"

BLOGBLATHER:  You talkin' to me?  I don't see anyone else around here.  I don't think I've ever called you "fascist scum."  I may have wondered why you are so attracted to governmental control (fascism in my book), but that's neither here nor there, you are who you and I'd never call you "scum" -- Joe McCarthy, yes, but not you.  You seem to me an honest, forthright traveler after truth, but with a bent.  :  )

LAWRENCE: Bily, Billy. Read up a couple of paragraphs. You dismiss my arguments and Victor Davis Hanson's with an A.H. attack. Yes, you treated us more mildly than you did McCarthy whom you dismissed as fascist scum. Please note that such A.H. dismissals are not grappling with arguments. In the case of Hanson, does his argument have merit? We might ask whether the use of the "race" and "bigot" card are being used to excess and without justice, and whether an excessive and unjustifiable use might result in such claims being taken less seriously in the future, even when they are legitimate. Is that possible? Why not consider his arguments? Why criticize me for reading him? He has rather formidable scholarly credentials. He is not an intellectual light weight.  I have read him off and on for years and found him reliable. 

As to McCarthy, I have noted that there is evidence that his charges had far more legitimacy than was believed at the time. We now know that he was being fed information by J. Edgar Hoover. We have KGB reports and reports from the Venona Project that put his charges into better perspective. Why not acknowledge these facts? Why use the "Fascist Scum" arguments that were used back in the 50s by I. F. Stone Leftists? Are you prohibited from learning?

Arthur Herman came out with his book after the Venona files and some of the KGB files became available to the general public. The title of his book is Joseph McCarthy, Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator. I read it the year it was published (2000) and so have lived with the idea that McCarthy wasn't as evil as his opponents (opponents egged on by Communist propaganda) have painted him. Herman had some of the same prejudices we all did, but being a historian he sought to reexamine McCarthy as objectively as possible, based on the newly discovered information. Herman didn't end up liking him. McCarthy drank too much and he was loyal to his homosexual assistant when he should probably have cut him loose. Traps were set for him that he didn't have the insight to avoid. But we know now that the Communist threat was legitimate. It wasn't a "red herring" as Truman termed it. It wasn't a Republican trick to discredit the Democratic Party as Truman thought. There really were Communists busily working to undermine our nation in various ways back then. And because of the great successes of propagandists such as I. F. Stone, McCarthy never had a chance.

As to the lives he ruined, who did you have in mind? Ruining the lives of Communist spies is what he had in mind. But actually most of those he charged went free.

The "Fascist" charge against Anti-Communists was used in France quite a lot after WWII. You couldn't be a Conservative or of the Right Wing without being accused of being a Fascist, but their right wing had played footsy with the Nazis during their Vichy period.  I don't see how that accusation is applicable to Americans. We might have some Americans who have advocated a form of Totalitarianism; which would parallel Fascism in some respects. But the chief characteristic of Totalitarianism is its opposition to democracy. A Totalitarian, for example, might want to ride rough shod over the democratic wishes of the people of Arizona and California.

EARLIAR LAWRENCE: " I saw a parallel between the present unwillingness to credit an Islamist threat and the Liberal scoffing at the Communist danger in the 50s. But those who argued against my article demonstrated the validity of Hanson's. They didn't present arguments against mine. Instead they used ad hominem attacks: to paraphrase and encapsulate their "argument" they asserted "McCarthy, HUAC! Enough said!" They thereby get extra mileage out of earlier ad hominem arguments."

BLOGBLATHER: Think of it this way, Lawrence, for obvious reasons people don't argue with those who say that the Earth is flat or that the Universe is only 5000 years old.   That McCarthy was a fascist at heart, a dishonest man, a 20 watt intellectual, a man who damaged the careers of many, many talented and worthy people in his grasping for political prominence is accepted as a basic truth by most in this culture..  You offer us Hanson.  I offer you History.

LAWRENCE: Again, which "talented and worthy" people do you have in mind. Usually when people use those terms in reference to this period they have HUAC in mind and not McCarthy. HUAC went after film producers,  writers, and movie stars.  McCarthy pretty much went after spies in Government and the Army.  I’ve had occasion to read about many of the producers, writers, and movie stars HUAC went after.  I can’t recall any that were falsely accused.  I wouldn’t use your “many, many” even in regard to HUAC.  Many Communists (such as Lucile Ball) sailed along without fear.

EARLIER LAWRENCE: ""In response, once again the majority has been dubbed bigoted and prejudiced, this time against Muslims, for asking for a more appropriate location, further away from Ground Zero."

BLOGBLATHER:  This country is basically a country that enshrines the rights of individuals -- even the right of stupid people to own guns..  "Appropriate"  what does that mean?  Is it appropriate for a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue to be built in the GZ?  If so, then it's appropriate for the Muslims to build a mosque.  What don't you get here?  We all have the same rights -- this is America, not Saudi Arabia.  You and a million others might think it to be in poor taste or judgment or whatever, but your emotional reactions carry no weight in the courts.  You live in America, a nation of Constitutional law.  Get over it.

LAWRENCE: I notice that you value the "rights of individuals" and "the courts" and then you describe us as a nation of "Constitutional law." You left an important element out. What about our being a Liberal Democratic nation? How about the idea that we live in a democracy where one of each individual's rights is to have his vote counted. "One person, one vote"; that was the mantra of the Democratic Party back in 2000. Why not favor that now? Let the individuals have their votes. Let their votes be counted. And let their decisions become law. If a majority of Arizonians want to inhibit immigration, let their vote prevail. If a majority of Californians want traditional marriage, let their vote prevail. Why invoke the "courts"? Is it because you want progressive courts to legislate in lieu of state legislatures? Why have legislatures if you won't let them make law? Why call them "courts" if you want them to legislate?

EARLIER LAWRENCE: "Leftists and Liberals may not comprise a majority in the U.S. but they are a significant and potent minority. And when a large group of people resorts to ad hominem attack in lieu of reasoned argument, it becomes indistinguishable from a mob. That the "mob" in New York can be called to arms by Mayor Bloomberg is indicative."

BLOGBLATHER:   Excuse me, what reasoned arguments have you offered?  That Constitutional rights should be swept aside because you're scared of Muslims?????   Bloomberg is absolutely correct.  This is not Saudi Arabia.  Muslims have the save right as all other religions.  How can you argue with that except by claiming Islam is not a religion.  What is then?  A sinister plan to take out Lawrence?

BLOGBLATHER: I don't wish to demean you by explaining the nature of a logical argument, nor do I wish to go to the trouble of going back through my blog notes to demonstrate my desire to always produce logical arguments. It is obvious that you haven't read my notes on this subject. But I posted the ones on the Cordoban mosque so recently I think it a shame to have to repeat them. In general I have not argued that Islam is not a religion. Traditional Islam is a religion. But Islamism is Islamic religion intertwined with a very dangerous ideology. While McCarthy was not a Fascist (by any known definition) Islamists are. Sayyid Qutb studied both Fascism and Communism -- not the belief system so much, but the tactics. Islamists wish to kill infidels, and do it with great regularity. Why defend this murderous concoction? Islamists violate all your treasured beliefs in individual rights. If you disrespect their prophet they will kill you. Write a disrespectful book or create a disrespectful cartoon and they will put out a fatwa on you. Where is your cherished First Amendment then?

Also, given their violent methods of coercion, the Islamists have largely cowed believers in Traditional Islam. I have read Egyptian writers, for example, who have striven to retain their intellectual freedom and honesty, but when they crossed the Islamist line, they have been hounded by means of the courts and if the courts weren't enough, they were hounded directly. Beatings and even murders are in the Egyptian Islamist repertoire. And there are plenty of Brown-Shirt-types who won't bother waiting for the courts to come around to their point of view.

If you respond by saying that we in the U.S. don't have the same problem they do in Egypt, I would invite you to check out some of the more notorious mosques we have in America, the Al Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn for example.  American problems with Islamists aren’t of the same magnitude as they are in Egypt, but that is largely because (so I have heard it argued) because our Islamic, and their leach-like Islamist population is relatively low in the U.S.   We can see what awaits us, if our Islamic population increases, by looking at various nations in Europe: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, and Italy for example. 

I would favor restricting Islamic immigration, at least from Arabic nations, until they get their act together.  By that I mean, they need to exclude Islamist influence, and demonstrate to us that this influence is excluded, and demonstrate this exclusion collectively before they are build any mosques here.

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