“In the US it’s known as the culture wars; the battle between a liberal-humanist view of education based on the disinterested pursuit of truth and those committed to overthrowing the status quo and turning students into politically correct new age warriors.” – Kevin Donnelly in The Australian.
No, the US culture wars pit a liberal-humanist view of education based on the disinterested pursuit of truth against Christian fundamentalists. The people in academia *are* the liberal humanists interested in the disinterested pursuit of truth. Only right-wing loons think that banning gay-hate groups from campus is a worse threat to liberal values than making kids learn creation myths as fact…
The rest of the article is just as bad. Mr Donnelly mostly attacks an Australian teacher called Wayne Sawyer, who has written that John Howard’s victory at the last Aussie election raises questions about public morals.
Since Mr Howard is a proven liar and cynical race-hate-monger (irrespective of your views on his contribution to Iraq), this is not a particularly controversial view: even a Victorian puritan would disapprove of him on moral grounds. Mr Donnelly, however, takes the opportunity to lie that Mr Sawyer wants kids to be taught left-wing propaganda, and then goes on a traditional no-nothing ‘political correctness has gone mad’ rant.
Alternatively, Mr Donnelly’s claim is that only people on the left still believe in honesty and in not stirring up hate for electoral advantage. This would certainly explain the current US administration…
(via Barista [blog dead, now a malware site], who also gives Donnelly some good punishing)
Idle musing (based on the coalition forces’ amusing habit of murdering journalists, and the hawkish right’s pathetic attempts to smear the journalists as deserving it): is it better if soldiers die or journalists die?
Having met many journalists, who are nearly all intelligent, witty and decent people, and more than a few squaddies, who are nearly all thick, boring, thuggish arseholes (and that’s just the British ones; I’m informed, perhaps unreliably, that the Brits are *better* at not being thuggish arseholes than the Yanks), the provisional SBBS answer is "soldiers".
This real-life soldier-meeting experience has also shaped the SBBS view on the original "do soldiers target journalists?" question, not to mention the "do soldiers routinely commit war crimes?" question, and the "is war generally a fucking stupid idea?" question.
NB the SBBS worldview is almost certainly wrong, given that it differs from the perception that I’ve encountered from nearly all second-hard sources. Still, at grunt level, it’s formed largely through having worked and been out in the UK garrison town of Aldershot. At officer level, it’s formed largely though having studied alongside various buffoons and idiots who followed the Prince Harry career path. At both levels, it’s been confirmed by reading military bloggers (egregious example here).
I’d be delighted to meet someone who was a non-conscript Army person and yet not a wanker, should such a someone exist.
Mumon has created a rather groovy automatic smackdown boilerplate to use against ignorant hawks.
I think it is time to be frank about some things. _____________ knows absolutely nothing about Iraq. I wonder if he has even ever read a single book on Iraq, much less written one. He knows no Arabic. He has never lived in an Arab country. He can’t read Iraqi newspapers or those of Iraq’s neighbors. He knows nothing whatsoever about Shiite Islam, the branch of the religion to which a majority of Iraqis adheres. Why should we pretend that ________’s opinion on the significance and nature of the elections in Iraq last Sunday matters? It does not.
________ was a cheerleader for the unprovoked, unilateral US attack on Iraq. The reason he repeatedly gave was that Iraq was (Choose one or more: a) close to having a nuclear weapon; b) Saddam was behind 9/11; c) ____/____’s child/___’s friend/___’s pet was in the first tower/at an airport/drinking beer d) because the Arabs are all alike…
On a similar note, PZ Myers relates the reality-based-community/hawkish-pundit disconnect to the science/creationism disconnect. Those of us who aren’t blinded by loopy faith-based nonsense listen to academic experts and the credible evidence they present for their conclusions, while those of us who are brand them as ‘elitist’ and listen to ignorant wankjobs like Jonah Goldberg and Jonathan Wells instead.
‘A senior official from the FBI’ is a cunt: "[Islamic terrorists are] laughing at you… They know, because of what your courts have decided, it’s going to be easier for them to execute a terrorist outrage that kills hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Britain. I tell you: they’re laughing."
No. The UK has a fair and reasonable judicial system that does a reasonably good job of protecting everyone in Britain from both crime and the arbitrary exercise of authority. American political leaders make up bollocks about organised terror networks to scare people, and deport people to be tortured without trial.
Admittedly, our political representatives should be flayed alive for signing mad extradition laws with you bastards, which mean that Brits who’ve never even been to America can be arrested here, then deported to face charges of being a Muslim without having the opportunity to defend themselves in a British court first (considerately, our wonderful police service will also give them a good beating on arrest, to help them adjust to life being tortured by inbred rednecks in a federal prison).
Maybe the people who want to destroy all that is worthwhile and decent in Western society are laughing, after all…
If you can stomach the concept of a Samizdata comments thread, then go to this one and watch the estimable Euan Gray completely destroy the arguments of a dozen swivel-eyed loons.
The slightly sad thing is that the loons don’t even realise…
Not so much a pro-American bigot as an ragingly anti-anti-American bigot: I give you the spectacularly humourless VariFrank.
The scene he outlines: during post-tsunami office banter, European colleague says "haha, George Bush is so dumb, there’s a disaster in the world and he sends an aircraft carrier…". It’s not the best joke in the world: indeed, like David Beckham jokes, it’s funny only because it mocks a pathetic and ridiculous individual.
Varifrank’s response, as he proudly relates, was to point out in laboured detail how American aircraft carriers are great things to send along, because they contain power, hospitals, desalination plants, horny airmen to revitalise the sex tourism industry, etc, followed by a traditional rant about Americans saving Europe in WWII, followed by calling the joke-teller a "sniggering little fuckjob". His colleagues, he relates, fell into an embarassed silence at this. I can believe that this happened, although I don’t think the embarassment was for the reasons he thinks it is.
Had I been there, there’s a reasonable chance I would have broken the silence. "Just fuck off; I’d rather be ruled by Nazis and take my chances with the gas chambers than hear one more sanctimonious cunt bitching about, because some of his relatives fought in a war 60 years ago, he and all his countrymen are morally superior to the rest of the world. The rest of the world doesn’t fucking want you. Go crawl under a rock and die before you fuck anything else up, you fat-arsed dicklord," might have been an option.
(to be fair on the guy, he does admit he’s too dull-witted to write, so perhaps one should cut him some slack…)
"If people can’t imagine that you can hate Saddam and also think a unilateral war and long-term occupation of an Arab country are bad ideas, that is their problem." – Juan Cole explains, in the course of taking down ignorant git Jonah Goldberg.
This is about as basic as it gets.
Incidentally, I have an excellent theory concerning future wars: all decisions to start a war (or ‘pre-empt’, or ‘attack in defence’ – you know, what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan) should go to a referendum. The war goes ahead if a simple majority of voters approve it. Meantime, everyone who votes ‘yes’ is put on a list of people to be conscripted if they’re required for the war effort…
I’m no great fan of Rupert Murdoch’s dominance of UK media. However, for a major political party to sue one of his newspapers during an election campaign is a monumentally stupid move.
It would have been pleasingly fitting if this horrible witch had accidentally hammered herself to death while indulging in her deranged brand of nimbyism:
"[Pete Doherty] had ignored every request to turn down the music. I ran downstairs and shouted at him, roared at him – I don’t even know if I said any actual words – and I just ran at him, waving the hammer…"
There are few sets of people worse than whiny noise-complaining ninnies (indeed, all council noise abatement officers should be replaced by a recorded phone line saying "pull yourself together, you tedious arsehole"); violent noise-complaining ninnies certainly qualify. Go buy some earplugs.
Update: even if Pete Doherty eats babies loudly at unsociable hours while playing Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger over the screams of their mothers, he’s still less of a cunt than Robbie Williams.
(via Samizdata, who have a particularly stupid take on the story, as one might expect)