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bjkeefe
11-07-2010, 02:17 AM
While (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2010/11/damn-that-daniel-davies.html) link-hopping, I came across a gem from one of my favorite bloggers, Daniel Davies. Since it was posted quite a while ago, some specifics are of course out of date; most obviously: we do not say "weblog" anymore, except ... strike that ... even for humorous effect, LGF is not the bastion of paranoia it once was, and if there is anyone on this board who still remembers who Steven Den Beste and Eric Raymond are, well, howdy, old timer! And yes: kids these days!

Still, in light of recent discussions in various threads on this site about the Never-Ending Danger of Teh Muslin Hordes, not to mention The All-Powerful Magical Free Market Sparkle Pony (PBUH), I thought the following might amuse/enrage/interest some of you.

Hope it's okay with dsquared that I swiped the whole thing. (http://d-squareddigest.blogspot.com/2002/11/moderates-and-fundamentalists.html) (And that I added the two bits in square brackets.)

Friday, November 29, 2002

Moderates and Fundamentalists

Interesting things of our time ... many of my compadres in the weblog trade have been bemoaning the fact that "moderate Muslims" haven't been vocal enough to condemn all those other Muslims, the ones who are regularly quoted in news sources not run by Muslims or in dodgy translations of quotations out of context as saying something really horrible. Why, oh why, oh why, is it that the comments pages of Little Green Footballs (http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/weblog.php) [1] aren't absolutely full to bursting point with well-educated, secular Western Muslims apologising in wailing tones and loudly condemning those other silly uneducated fundamentalist barbarians?

To ask this question is of course to answer it; the vast majority of people don't behave in this way because it would be monumentally weird to do so, and the vast majority of Muslims presumably and correctly suspect that when you're dealing with the kind of person who starts pointing at things you didn't do and demands that you sign their statement condemning whoever did them, then nothing you say is ever going to be good enough for them. I've half a mind to create an educated-Muslim sock puppet character and put this thesis to the test ...

But anyway, people like Stephen den Beste, author of the turgidly unreadable and unsettlingly technocratic attempts to recreate neoclassical economics without the benefit of reading a word of the literature which populate USS Clueless (http://denbeste.nu/) [fixt link (http://www.denbeste.nu/archives.shtml)] (he has a fine line of shite in talking about mobile phone standards too), regard the absence of moderate Muslims lining up to claim that numerically the majority of their religion is [not] made up of horrendous halfwits and ogres, as a sign that Islam is an intrinsically warlike, barbaric and horrible religion. I'm using his piece on this subject as the example because I happen to have just read it, and as an associate of the dreadful Eric Raymond, he's a target of opportunity. But such burnt-out old hacks, U2 groupies and writers of novels which have to be put in the "God this is shit compared to his earlier stuff" category as Salman Rushdie, have also written in similar terms. And even my old mucker Brad Delong (http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/archives/001169.html), who seems to have developed an unaccountable blindspot when it comes to these matters, is quoting him approvingly.

Well, we shan't get into the question of whether the "Islamism is the worst thing on earth" thesis is or not right here; personally, I have a few pals of the Ba'hai faith and somewhat suspect that out-and-out arseholes might be statistically more preponderant in the Islamic religion than some of its competition. But as an example of why this particular demand for a loyalty oath from "moderate" Muslims everywhere is full of shit, let's take an analogy:

I do not think anyone likely to contest the fact that many of the same people who are doing a number on "Islam: the Gutter Religion", are also supporters of free markets.

I also do not propose to entertain arguments about the fact that the main thrust of policy in Argentina and Russia during the 1990s was to institute "free market" reforms, and that the main effects of those policies have been utterly, utterly, fucking disastrous. In the case of Russia, quite literally homicidally so.

Perhaps we could expect to see Mijnheer den Beste and a few other "moderate" capitalists of his kind giving us some stirring and loud denunciations of the IMF progams for Argentina or Russia? Please note that I am looking for outright and stirring condemnations of ignorance and barbaric effect, not for mealy-mouthed apologies ("root-cause" rhetoric has no place here), or even worse, for claims that the problem was lack of vigour in implementing free markets (outright fundamentalism). Since the Russian program in particular was responsible for many thousands of unnecessary deaths, I would hope that the moderates will be particularly stirring in their condemnation of that one. Brad Delong is exempted from my denunciation requirement in this case, since a couple of the most obvious criminals were college buddies of his, and it's a bit much to ask a guy to beat up on his old mates; he can condemn the Argentine program. But anyone else claiming to be a "capitalist" or "neoliberal" is hereby assumed by me to be a murderer of Russian pensioners unless they regularly and explicitly write comments about how much they hate the IMF.

==========

[1] Link to the vile "Little Green Footballs" provided because on the specific point of JS Mill scholarship which has been tearing up the weblogs over the last few days, den Beste is right and the Rittenhouse Review is dead wrong. Trying to use social pressure to declare a point of view to be "simply beyond the pale" is censorship, pure and simple, and in a much more pernicious form than the government variety. Note however, that my personal hypocrisy threshold on this issue does not extend to the D2D comments pages; I bear some sort of publishers' responsibility for these and will continue to exercise it with extreme prejudice. Or to put it another way, I am of the opinion that burning a book can be just as powerful and valid a statement as writing one, and the same goes for comments.

Moderate that.

Also, please contribute to this thread some of your favorite writings from long ago (in Internet time, or otherwise) that seem, sadly or comically, to apply well today.

kezboard
11-08-2010, 08:01 AM
I only know Stephen den Beste because he's been immortalized in some blogging meme, but I've forgotten which. Is it "I am aware of all internet traditions"?

bjkeefe
11-08-2010, 12:47 PM
I only know Stephen den Beste because he's been immortalized in some blogging meme, but I've forgotten which. Is it "I am aware of all internet traditions"?

I am unaware of any Internet meme due to Steven den Beste.

;)

The origin of the meme "I am aware of all Internet traditions" is due to someone posting as Vanderlun, in the comments of the old version of Lawyers, Guns & Money. Sadly, the original was lost during a less than smooth move to the new LGM site, but it was reproduced in many places; e.g., here (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2008/06/17/i-am-aware-of-all-internet-traditions/).

I suppose it could have been den Beste -- who can tell with pseudonyms -- but I've never heard anyone suggest that it was.

chiwhisoxx
11-08-2010, 02:40 PM
I am unaware of any Internet meme due to Steven den Beste.

;)

The origin of the meme "I am aware of all Internet traditions" is due to someone posting as Vanderlun, in the comments of the old version of Lawyers, Guns & Money. Sadly, the original was lost during a less than smooth move to the new LGM site, but it was reproduced in many places; e.g., here (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2008/06/17/i-am-aware-of-all-internet-traditions/).

I suppose it could have been den Beste -- who can tell with pseudonyms -- but I've never heard anyone suggest that it was.

Off topic, but I just found out today that one of my profs was Rob Farley's college roommate. Farley is going to his wedding, as I guess they've stayed pretty good friends. Always weird where these little connections pop up.

bjkeefe
11-08-2010, 06:00 PM
Another set of evergreens.

I will not try to summarize Roy Edroso's post (http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2010_11_07_archive.html#6735653968792847846) or Mr. Riley's response (http://doghouseriley.blogspot.com/2010/11/electric-olio.html) to it. I will just recommend them.

bjkeefe
11-10-2010, 09:18 PM
A nice line (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/feature/2010/11/10/lyons_keith_olbermann/index.html), in and of itself, separate from its context, on the SCLM:

Meanwhile, feckless Democrats continue to act as if they're waiting for the so-called mainstream media to save them: the same worthies that gave us eight years of bogus Clinton scandals, sold Saddam Hussein's imaginary WMD like breakfast cereal, championed invading Iraq as if it were the world's biggest Boy Scout Jamboree, then reacted with horror last year when the Obama White House suggested that Fox News might not be a proper news organization.

bjkeefe
11-11-2010, 09:57 AM
A nice line (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/feature/2010/11/10/lyons_keith_olbermann/index.html), in and of itself, separate from its context, on the SCLM:

Meanwhile, feckless Democrats continue to act as if they're waiting for the so-called mainstream media to save them: the same worthies that gave us eight years of bogus Clinton scandals, sold Saddam Hussein's imaginary WMD like breakfast cereal, championed invading Iraq as if it were the world's biggest Boy Scout Jamboree, then reacted with horror last year when the Obama White House suggested that Fox News might not be a proper news organization.

I just happened across a reference on Down With Tyranny (http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2009/11/rick-perlstein-when-it-becomes-uncivil.html) to (the all-too-infrequent B'head) Rick Perlstein.

Great line:

When one side breaks the social contract, and the other side makes a virtue of never calling them out on it, the liar always wins. When it becomes 'uncivil' to call out liars, lying becomes free.

I was reminded of a discussion in a thread from several weeks ago that was quickly moved to the dungeon, concerning the appropriateness of calling out some diavlogger (the Conn Carrolls of the world, IIRC) for dishonesty.

Say it again:

When one side breaks the social contract, and the other side makes a virtue of never calling them out on it, the liar always wins. When it becomes 'uncivil' to call out liars, lying becomes free.

Read Rick's piece "How Obama Enables Rush (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-11-06/obamas-tax-cut-how-rush-limbaugh-misled-the-country/)."

kezboard
11-11-2010, 12:03 PM
You know, I used to think that "misled" was the past tense of "misle", whose meaning was, I guess, "to mislead".

bjkeefe
11-12-2010, 10:08 PM
I thought this headline (http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/12/100000-hispanics-left-arizona/) should not pass unnoticed.

Study Finds That 100,000 Latinos Have Left Arizona Since The Implementation Of Its Radical Immigration Law

Wonderment
11-12-2010, 10:30 PM
The Obama administration has increased deportations of immigrants, breaking records in the past two years.

The DHS has implemented a program called (in Orwellese) "Secure Communities" (http://www.truth-out.org/secure-communities-opt-out-may-be-table62964) to round-up immigrants who were routinely released under previous administrations. Supposedly, local communities can opt out of S-Comm, but in reality opting out is bogus.

ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton has declared his intention to implement the program in every city, county and state by 2013 - it already operates in 574 jurisdictions in 30 states. Morton has defended the program as an innocuous information-sharing program, and has said it does not require local police to enforce immigration laws.


Additionally, President Obama has failed to deliver on his promise to pass the Dream Act, and he has failed to deliver on Comp. Immigration Reform. Immigrant families, already screwed over by the bad economy, continue to suffer under Bush-era enforcement only policies.

Needless to say, there have been plenty of obstacles from Republicans, but so far Obama definitely gets a D on immigration policy.

I won't go so far as to say that the federal policies are as bad as the infamous Arizona law that Obama has criticized, but S-Comm ends up with similar results: you get a pretext stop for a tail light based on local racial profiling, you get booked into the system, and you get deported, leaving the rest of your family to fend for themselves. You don't have to live in Arizona to live in constant fear of deportation. Fear is up in immigrant communities all over the country.

bjkeefe
11-13-2010, 03:39 AM
Tim Heffernan has an interesting post (http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/emo-conservative-commentariat-111210) comparing commentary on Bush from the left with commentary on Obama from the right.

bjkeefe
12-08-2010, 02:42 AM
Of course this won't stop the True Believers from yelling about the Librul Media!!!1!, but be advised (via (http://gawker.com/5708550/the-new-fareed-zakaria-has-an-eye-out-for-anyone-going-muslim)) that Tunku Varadarajan is going to be Newsweek's new "editor of its international editions (http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/12/07/tina-brown-taps-talent-for-newsweek/?mod=wsj_share_twitter)." Smart of him to have hired on at the Daily Tina Brown Beast at the start!

I'm not going to say he's a full-metal wingnut, but ... "Going Muslim (http://gawker.com/5401392/the-anti+muslim-backlash-outrage+off-vol-1)?" (And other (http://www.google.com/cse?cx=007432832765683203066%3Aw5evdpfzlks&ie=UTF-8&q=Tunku+Varadarajan&sa=Search&siteurl=www.google.com%2Fcse%2Fhome%3Fcx%3D0074328 32765683203066%253Aw5evdpfzlks) dubious thoughts, such as that time he rated WaPoo editorial page editor Fred Effing Hiatt "the nation's fifth most influential liberal (http://mediamatters.org/columns/201002190040)).")

Noted Newsweek blogger Mickey Kaus (http://kausfiles.com/) could not be reached for comment.