May 31 2009

Woman on woman violence in Islam and the third world

Category: higher education,Islam,left,multi-cultural,societyharmonicminer @ 9:20 am

Western Law Remedies Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman Among Muslim Immigrant Communities.

In 2001, the mother of an 11-year-old girl spirited her out of Gothenburg, in Sweden, and back to Somalia where she had her brutally genitally mutilated (and without anesthesia). The mother and two other women held her down while a man made sure that she would never experience sexual pleasure and would instead, experience a great deal of pain for the rest of her life.

It’s not hard to understand the silence of the American Left, the multi-cultural Left, and particularly the feminist Left, on the matter of Islamic violence against women, whether perpetrated by other women or by men.  Its existence calls into question all the assumptions at the core of the Left’s belief system, about moral equivalence, about who does violence to whom, about whether there is such a thing as an objective standard of right and wrong, etc.

Just as sex-selection abortion in Asia (and, increasingly, other places) highlights the cognitive dissonance for the Left in supporting easy access to abortion — at any time in the pregnancy, for any reason–, Islamic violence by women on women and men on women highlights the fact that some cultures ARE simply better than others, more free and more just, regardless of the putatively equivalent status of all cultures that lies at the root of multi-culturalism and diversity activism.

But the multi-cultural pieties of the Left, and the absence of a moral center based on absolutes of human dignity flowing from a conception of the imago dei, make it impossible for the Left to speak up consistently about this kind of injustice.  It’s far easier to blame white males and colonialism for everything under the sun than to deal with the hard work of challenging — and changing — cultures.

Read the entire article linked above, and thank God that you live where you do, assuming you live in a western-style liberal democracy of some kind.  And, while you’re at it, reconsider any belief you may hold in cultural equivalence and moral equivalence.

Here’s a book that can help you get started.   The author is not a Christian.  In fact, I think she’s an atheist…  understandably, given what was done to her in the name of religion, or at least under cover of it.  You may speculate about why she is not a constantly invited speaker to American feminist groups.  Maybe it’s because American feminism isn’t fundamentally about protecting women, but about pursuing Leftist agendas with feminism as cover.

May 30 2009

An age now fading

Category: diversity,economy,environment,government,Group-think,Obama,race,racism,societyharmonicminer @ 9:04 am

Reflections On an Age Now Fading… Read it all.

On matter of race, one detects beneath the therapeutic calls for inclusiveness, an unfortunate renewal of identity politics with a new harder edge-we saw that in the campaign with the slips about reparations and oppression studies, the clingers speech, Rev. Wright, and the ‘typical white person’ put down. Then with Eric Holder’s blast about Americans as “cowards” and now with the Supreme Court nominee’s somewhat derogatory remarks about the proverbial white male judge. We are not hearing praise of the melting pot ideal of intermarriage, assimilation, or integration-even if such elites in their private lives do not predicate their daily regimens in terms of racialism. I spent 21 years in a university in which quite affluent elites sought any multicultural patina possible for an edge in professional advancement and general leverage–the hyphenated name, the addition of the accent mark on the name, the non-American accentuation, occasional ethnic dress, the relabeling of one as a designated minority who otherwise had not previously emphasized race, etc.—that would suggest they were not part of the popular capitalist culture-supposedly centered on the white male-around them. Yet I left sensing the industry of race was doomed, due to the power of popular culture, the unworkable labyrinth of racial identification due to intermarriage, the laughable contradictions (the jet-black immigrant from India got no favored treatment, the light-skinned Costa Rican name Jorge piggy-backed onto the Mexican-American experience), the son of the Mexican father who used his name Gomez was authentic, the son of the Mexican mother who carried his non-Mexican father’s name Wilson was not. And on and on with this ridiculous neo-Confederate practice of adjudicating percentages of race to the sixteenth, and drops of targeted minority blood—a racist enterprise to the core. The only constant? The white male was fair game. It mattered little that more women were graduating than men, that under the racial spoils system we were beginning to see white males in less percentages than those found in the general population at the university; instead, it was sort of OK to trash, as in the manner of Sotomayor’s comment, the proverbial white male, as if we are collectively ashamed of everyone from the Wright Brothers to Lincoln to John Wayne to JFK.

When so close an observer of history and modern life as Victor Davis Hanson is this pessimistic, I feel the need to go see an escapist movie or something.

Read his entire article. Then go get a massage or a pedicure and try not to think about it.

May 29 2009

Obama and his “pro-life voters”

Category: abortion,left,Obamaharmonicminer @ 9:38 am

CSPAN coverage of Panel on Sanctity of Human Life

Catholic University of America hosted a discussion on “The Obama Administration and the Sanctity of Human Life: Is there a common ground on life issues? What is the right response by ‘Pro-Life’ Citizens?”

The panelists are Professor Robert P. George (Princeton University) and Professor Douglas Kmiec (Pepperdine Law School). Well worth watching. A bit long, but if you’re a Christian who voted for Obama on the grounds that his overall social policies might reduce abortion, you owe it to yourself to watch it. These are two very articulate representatives of their positions, and the issues are fairly laid out. 

For reference, here are earlier dialogs involving these two academics.

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May 28 2009

The nightmares of Kim Jong-il

Category: national security,North Koreaharmonicminer @ 9:28 am

N.Korea nuclear test sparks global condemnation (Read the whole thing for a flavor of the various national responses, all predictably outraged, of course.)

North Korea’s nuclear test explosion has been met by a wave of condemnation from countries around the world, with several leaders calling for sanctions.

I’m sure that the dreams of “the great leader” are filled with great fear of “sanctions” and UN Security Council resolutions.  Iran is watching, of course, and cannot fail to learn that no one (except, just possibly, Israel) will do anything to stop its acquisition of “the bomb.”

Lions, tigers and the UN Security Council, oh my.

Those who advise continued “negotiations” and advocating “pressure from China and Russia” to make North Korea behave had better deal with this:  Japan could have a deliverable nuclear weapon in a matter of months if it thought it needed to do so as a deterrent.  It has excellent missiles, a very sophisticated nuclear power technology, pleny of enrichable fuel, and brilliant scientists and technicians.  South Korea and Taiwan may not be far behind.    Do we really want all of North Korea’s threatened neighbors to ramp up their own nuclear programs, because we haven’t the will to do anything about North Korea’s?

China is playing a dangerous game.  It COULD end North Korea’s program fairly quickly, if it so chose.  But it is using North Korea as a negotiating tool against the US, and specifically Obama, who has displayed none of the strength of will that would convince China that it must end North Korea’s program.  China exports much of North Korea’s food.  China surely has explicit knowledge of exactly where North Korea’s program is situated, and could possibly even sabotage it without direct military action.  China could put an end to this, but continues to use it to weaken the US hand in the area, specifically the USA’s ability to project protection for its democratic allies, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.  It is in China’s interest to display a weak USA to China’s regional neighbors, a USA that is powerless to seriously affect even a pipsqueak, disfunctional power like North Korea.

The underlying message from China to its neighbors:  “The USA won’t protect you; it just talks big.  Your only real choice is to throw in with us.  We’re not such bad guys.  Really.”

Obama COULD make it plain to China that either China takes care of the problem, or he will.  Obama COULD use the economic levers he has on China to pressure it.  He probably won’t.   If he’s true to form for the Left (no reason to think otherwise right now) he’ll keep kicking the can down the road, hoping something will change.  It won’t…  except maybe for the worse.

In the meantime, he continues to reduce funding for USA and allied missile defense.  I’m sure that makes Japan and our other allies in the region feel safe.

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May 27 2009

Obama to Israel: pound sand

Category: Iran,Islam,Israel,national security,Obamaharmonicminer @ 9:50 am

President Obama has made it clear that he has no intent of taking any serious action to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and that if Israel does take such action, he will blame Israel, not Iran. Caroline Glick reports. (much more at the link, all worth reading)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday was a baptism of fire for the new premier. What emerged from the meeting is that Obama’s priorities regarding Iran, Israel and the Arab world are diametrically opposed to Israel’s priorities.

During his ad hoc press conference with Netanyahu, Obama made clear that he will not lift a finger to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And acting as Obama’s surrogate, for the past two weeks CIA Director Leon Panetta has made clear that Obama expects Israel to also sit on its thumbs as Iran develops the means to destroy it.

It’s becoming apparent that Obama is bluffing on a busted flush. He has no hole cards (at least that he’s willing to use), and he has no plans to do anything serious to deter or prevent either North Korea or Iran from becoming full-fledged nuclear threats complete with delivery systems. At the same time, he is reducing our commitment to missile defense, and weakening our military commitment to proven technologies that could defend us and our allies.

Iran will not bomb Jerusalem, which it considers to be a “holy city,” but Tel Aviv, Haifa, etc., are obvious targets.  And with its surrogates Hamas and Hizbullah, Iran has ways of getting the bombs into Israel without being the obvious launch site….  just enough to maintain “implausible deniability,” which would not prevent an Israeli response, futile though that response would be to save Israel.  About three or four bombs, and in essence there is no nation of Israel, at least none that could resist the following onslaught of conventional forces rolling in from its neighbors.

The other nations in the Middle East, mostly Sunni, are not in favor of a nuclear armed Iran, but they have even fewer options to do anything about it than Israel.  If Israel does attack Iran to delay its acquisition of nuclear arms, the muslim nations around it will cry publicly, and cheer privately.  They know that Israel presents no danger to them, while Iran clearly does, especially a nuclear Iran.

We are on the cusp of a moral decision, nationally, not very different from the run-up to the Holocaust.   Obama will have to do more than talk and threaten.  He must act, decisively, and soon.  If he does not, Israel cannot be blamed for doing what it must simply to survive.

I hope and pray that, even if he does not care about Israel directly, Obama will recognize the enormous support Israel has in the USA, and realize what a political disaster it will be for him if Israel is destroyed on his watch.

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May 26 2009

California Prop 8 Upheld

Category: gay marriage,judges,legislationamuzikman @ 12:17 pm

Today the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the amendment to the California Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.  I am grateful the election results were upheld.  I am deeply concerned, however that the the vote itself (a second state-wide vote on the same issue – and with the same results), was not considered conclusive enough to bring the matter to a close.  Instead all of California held its collective breath to see whether or not the court system would overrule the clear will of the majority of California voters.  It is indicative of the degree to which people virtually expect judicial activism as a part of the political process.  It is also indicative of the fact that the will of the majority can be and has been thwarted by a small handful of individuals, sometimes just one person, appointed to the bench.  This, in my opinion, is not a good thing.

No matter your position on the subject of gay marriage today’s decision was an affirmation of the electoral process and for that I am grateful.

May 26 2009

E for Effort?

Category: character,college,education,higher education,musicamuzikman @ 9:30 am

I spend most of my occupational time teaching these days.  It is the most recent step in a career evolution that has spanned 33 years and counting.  I was fortunate enough to have figured out ways of making my passion my vocation and thus have enjoyed a professional career in the music virtually all my adult life. There was a brief detour for a couple years in real estate investing or what is now called “house-flipping”.  The one good thing I can say about that is…I survived (just barely).

The full-time teaching chapter of my story has so far occupied about ten years, though I have taught in some capacity pretty much since I got out of college.  I suppose that means I’ve been around long enough to have formed some opinions and perspectives on the subject of learning, particularly in the area of music.  I freely admit the following observations are purely anecdotal, based on nothing more than my own life experiences and would not stand the challenge of academic rigor.

To put it bluntly, many college students with whom I come in contact on a daily basis display a disturbing lack of passion, curiosity, self-motivation or determination. There are very few young people I encounter with any real fire in their belly! Continue reading “E for Effort?”

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May 25 2009

Incoherency defined

Category: humor,mediaharmonicminer @ 9:41 am

Olbermann Responds to Limbaugh

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann says he’ll stop talking about Rush Limbaugh for 30 days on one condition: That Limbaugh not talk about himself for a month.

It’s the latest fun media feud. It started earlier this week when Limbaugh said MSNBC was building its ratings by constantly criticizing him. He challenged MSNBC to a 30-day “Rush withdrawal.”

Olbermann responded Wednesday night by saying it appeared MSNBC’s criticisms had finally struck bone. Limbaugh, he said, “has suddenly gone all Greta Garbo on us.”

He said Limbaugh has no right to control who comments about him. But he said he’ll stop talking about Limbaugh provided Limbaugh stop talking about himself.

Limbaugh responded by saying Olbermann’s statement was incoherent.

That’s like saying a particular bark from a dog is incoherent.  Has Olbermann ever barked coherently?

Come to think of it, the big dog here is Rush….  and Olbermann is an annoying flea.

UPDATE:  Based on a critical comment, suggesting that comparing Olbermann and a flea is an insult to the flea, let me just say that he’s really a flea hoping someday to be promoted to full-fledged tick.  He is, after all, a giant intake device for oxygen bearing hemoglobin.

May 24 2009

Joe Biden and North Korean nuke test

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 11:23 pm

I never thought I’d say this, but it looks like Joe Biden was right last October.

“Mark my words,” Biden told donors at a Seattle fund-raiser Sunday night.

“It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America.

“Watch. We’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.

“And he’s going to need help . . . to stand with him. Because it’s not going to be apparent initially; it’s not going to be apparent that we’re right.”

Isn’t it comforting to know that we have such a far-seeing, insightful man as veep?

In the meantime, pray for Obama.   Nothing in his background shows that he has anything like the toughness that is required to deal with a nuclear-threatening North Korea.  He has never summoned up the will to significantly resist his own party on much of anything.  Pray for him to have hidden depths of strength and will that he has yet to demonstrate, particularly the strength to resist the blame-America-firsters in his own party, and to honor America’s fundamental commitments to Japan and South Korea.  The whole world, indeed, is watching.

And while you’re praying, ask for Obama to have an epiphany about missile defense of the United States, and its allies.  Maybe universal health care for the US should consist of an adequate missile defense shield to deter rogue nations with nuclear tipped missiles, and a bigger budget for searching container ships headed for US ports.

May 24 2009

Harvey Milk Day?

Category: government,media,society,Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:00 am

The myth of Harvey Milk, “martyr for gay rights” (not), and his relationship to mass murderer Jim Jones, are detailed in Drinking Harvey Milk’s Kool-Aid

Sean Penn’s Harvey Milk is as real as Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man. Who has time for the sordid details of purportedly staged hate crimes and boosterism of America’s most prolific mass murderer when there is a gay Martin Luther King to be mythologized? Even the fervent atheist Milk understood the need for patron saints. When confronted by a jaded supporter over his fabricated tale that the Navy had booted him out because of his sex life, Milk responded: “Symbols. Symbols. Symbols.” He understood his movement better than his movement did. When the facts didn’t fit the script, both Milk and his present-day admirers adjusted the facts. As the elected sponsors of Harvey Milk Day realize, Californians are more likely to remember the celluloid hero they saw depicted by Sean Penn earlier this year than the obscure city official who walked largely unnoticed in their midst three decades ago.

The advocates of a Harvey Milk Day know box office. They don’t know the real Harvey Milk.

I’ve never tried putting Kool-Aid in milk.  Sounds yucky.  California doesn’t need another holiday, even one where people still have to go to work.  We don’t need to commemorate anyone else this year.  Or next year.

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