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For when your thoughts are drifting to things not so movie, or if you're feeling trivially inclined.
591

Political Dross Repository: 2006 Edition
Topic by: Cinenaut
Posted: January 19, 2006 - 10:59 AM PST
Last Reply: June 19, 2007 - 1:27 AM PDT

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author topic: Political Dross Repository: 2006 Edition
Cinenaut
post #1  on January 19, 2006 - 10:59 AM PST  
New year, new dross!

What if the invasion of Iraq were a text adventure?

Iraqi Invasion: A Text Misadventure
dpowers
post #2  on January 31, 2006 - 3:16 PM PST  
today the united states took another toward the favorite political destination of this hemisphere: the military dictatorship. unable to force it on people south of the border, american paranoids have hoisted their pirate flag over their own house and are raping and pillaging their own children, their own grandparents, and themselves.

in the spirit of this, i would like to suggest the abolishment of congress and the justice system. let the laws be hidden, and the police distribute justice wherever they may find offense, and with no delay. let the president answer only to his own imagination. and may we all abandon the dream of individual equality and freedom that we foolishly brought into this world. no one deserves this privilege. when someone does, the president will say so.

welcome, "justice" alito.
Cinenaut
post #3  on February 8, 2006 - 8:52 AM PST  
Best easily-misconstrued headline of the day: "Bush urges end to cartoon violence."
woozy
post #4  on February 8, 2006 - 11:53 AM PST  
> On February 8, 2006 - 8:52 AM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Best easily-misconstrued headline of the day: "Bush urges end to cartoon violence."
> ---------------------------------

Ha-ha. They seem to have redone the headline since then.


Cinenaut
post #5  on February 8, 2006 - 12:02 PM PST  
Awww, I should've taken a screen shot.
woozy
post #6  on February 8, 2006 - 12:46 PM PST  
> On February 8, 2006 - 12:02 PM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Awww, I should've taken a screen shot.
> ---------------------------------

Hmm, if the Danish newspaper were doing this as an excercise in exploring self-censorship, isn't this basically a major newspaper deciding to tell the Aristocrats on the front page?

artifex
post #7  on February 8, 2006 - 8:10 PM PST  
sigh.
woozy
post #8  on February 8, 2006 - 9:05 PM PST  
> On February 8, 2006 - 8:10 PM PST artifex wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> sigh.
> ---------------------------------

Sigh, indeed. So what's your take, folks?

Cinenaut
post #9  on February 9, 2006 - 9:18 AM PST  
It's a fascinating sociopolitical problem. On one hand, it's socially acceptable in a lot of countries to portray racial stereotypes of scimitar-wielding bomb-ladened Middle Eastern people. Imagine cartoonists publishing stereotypical images of blacks during the civil rights struggle in the U.S. or stereotypical images of Jews during WW II. On the other hand, a free press is a damn good thing, and this response to some editorial cartoons is way, way over the top.
woozy
post #10  on February 9, 2006 - 10:46 AM PST  
> On February 9, 2006 - 9:18 AM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> It's a fascinating sociopolitical problem. On one hand, it's socially acceptable in a lot of countries to portray racial stereotypes of scimitar-wielding bomb-ladened Middle Eastern people. Imagine cartoonists publishing stereotypical images of blacks during the civil rights struggle in the U.S. or stereotypical images of Jews during WW II. On the other hand, a free press is a damn good thing, and this response to some editorial cartoons is way, way over the top.
> ---------------------------------

I was thinking it was more like a newspaper claiming as an excercise in self-censorship that as the catholics consider masturbation a sin and the crucifix a holy symbol to solicite photographs of people masturbating with crucifixes. Of course there are many web sites of such but few major newspapers.

I believe free press is inviolate, and utterly without limits, but the *reason* I believe that is because I believe no-one or nothing should have position are authority to supress any one else's ideas. Believing that I find it circular logic to argue, The newspapers are right because free press has no limits, and the free press has no limits, because I am right; you believe portraying the face of the profit is sinful and it is righteous to declare a fatwah against blashpemers, but you are wrong because free press has no limits, and the free press has no limits because I am right.

underdog
post #11  on February 9, 2006 - 11:08 AM PST  
This is one of those situations where everyone's done the wrong thing. The Fatwah on the head of the Danish newspaper and any depictions of Muhammahad is wrong, the Danes initial response to this was arrogant and wrong, the cartoon was unfunny (but as a former cartoonist and a firm believer in free speech, I still believe the artist had a right to draw it), and any apology that had come from them earlier might have averted all this predictable overreaction. The whole thing is a microcosm of all that is screwed up on our planet right now - stupidity, arrogance and hate colliding constantly like wayward atoms and the rest of us are left to pick up the pieces or duck out of the way.

Sigh, indeed.
dpowers
post #12  on February 9, 2006 - 12:21 PM PST  
not much of this is how it appears, i think.

first, the impetus to openly break muslim laws by europeans right now is a political event that reaches beyond our war(s) - not really a free press issue. here's a list:

* disagreements between east and west about economic and political strategy;
* wage and job rates in the west;
* external low-end economic pressure (mostly from china) being blamed on local poor non-europeans (mostly muslim);
* questions and anger about economic unification plans.

when looking at europe, think about those riots in france as an economic event, by people doing tons of useful work being forced by arrogant locals to live in hovels in the outskirts of town. that's happening all over western europe. the response from one local point of view is to attack islam itself, much as it went and goes here, where some whites respond to black economic complaints by trying to prove that blacks are morally inferior.

when looking at countries where the riots are happening, besides there being a legitimate complaint, i think there's something else going on. those riots in france must have been a shock to right wing political muslims. they demonstrated that europeans and by extension americans don't fear death, they fear the terrorists themselves, the bogey man.

how else could an otherwise orderly government be shamed and forced to fess up to years of ethnic suppression by an event that was much smaller than political demonstrations by europeans in the last decade, and much less dangerous than the great number of bombings that have been staged in france over the years.

obvious conclusion: riots work. maybe even work better.
dpowers
post #13  on February 9, 2006 - 12:35 PM PST  
also pointing out that terror campaigns are often used not to manipulate the enemy but to demonstrate the possibility of overturning an entrenched power relationship and redistributing wealth.

in other words the 9/11 attacks weren't to show that we could be dominated and possessed. the point that needed making, in the minds of radical right wingers, was that the united states isn't invulnerable and that autonomy is possible. point made.
dpowers
post #14  on February 9, 2006 - 12:39 PM PST  
(urk, hit return too fast)

once the possibility of a successful fight has been demonstrated, then you organize organize organize and look for a political weakness.

the same process has been used by right wing religious radicals in this country. it's basic, it works, and then you have to beat the jerks off with a stick if you want not to live in a theocracy.
hamano
post #15  on February 9, 2006 - 8:41 PM PST  
Much Vaunted Homeland Security Scorecard:

Well... apparently they foiled some plan to fly a plane into the tallest building on the west coast or something.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told the Associated Press news agency he had not been forewarned about the president's revelations.

"I'm amazed that the president would make this [announcement] on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," he said.

Democratic congressman Brad Sherman told the BBC that he had concerns about why the information was being released now.

He questioned whether the president's obligation to "manage secrecy" had been over-ridden by his "natural desire to create a vivid picture of 'Bush the protector' for political reasons".


But do we know who's setting fire to churches in Alabama? Do we know who sent anthrax through the USPS? All we know about the LA plot is just what Bush is saying on the news. Apparently there are 9 other terrorist plots that were also foiled. Now I can sleep comfortably....
hardcle
post #16  on February 9, 2006 - 9:23 PM PST  
> On February 9, 2006 - 8:41 PM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Much Vaunted Homeland Security Scorecard:
>
> Well... apparently they foiled some plan to fly a plane into the tallest building on the west coast or something.
>

Makes Bush sound heroic doesn't it? Too bad it's a four month old claim, but you wouldn't know it by watching the media who dropped everything to report on the "new" story.

> But do we know who's setting fire to churches in Alabama? Do we know who sent anthrax through the USPS? All we know about the LA plot is just what Bush is saying on the news. Apparently there are 9 other terrorist plots that were also foiled. Now I can sleep comfortably....

Don't worry so much, some of the other 9 were half-baked at best.
artifex
post #17  on February 9, 2006 - 11:22 PM PST  
> On February 9, 2006 - 9:23 PM PST hardcle wrote:
> Makes Bush sound heroic doesn't it? Too bad it's a four month old claim, but you wouldn't know it by watching the media who dropped everything to report on the "new" story.

Yeah, but:
Q Scott, I apologize if I'm still confused, but I wonder if you could tell us a bit more specifically what has changed since October, when we were told that discussing details of this plot was inappropriate, and today? What has actually changed since October in that regard?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think I described it to you; I don't know how I can be more clear to you. This is something that we had been talking about with the intelligence community in looking for a good example to highlight for the American people about the type of international cooperation that goes on that helps us disrupt plots.

[snip]

Q So sources and methods would have been compromised in October, but not today?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Peter, we're always looking for ways to provide the American people with more information and that's what I said to you earlier...

Q But that wasn't actually the question. The question was, would sources and methods have been compromised in October, but wouldn't be today?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the intelligence community said that it was okay to talk about the information that we provided you today and the President spoke about. So like I said, there is ongoing efforts that we look at to provide the information to the American people, and this was --

Q It was not okay in October to talk about that level of detail?

MR. McCLELLAN: I didn't say that. What I said was that they said that it was okay now to talk further about this specific plot.

Q Would it have been okay in October, but you chose not to?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know how many times you're going to keep asking the same question.

Q As soon as I get an answer.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think I've answered the question.


(ugh, we need the blockquote tag)
Anyway, it just goes on and on. Read the link, and the official WH transcipts are linked from it. I do hope King George's crew gets caught saying that if the Prez decides to declassify something, then it's declassified.

As far as the cartoons go, I think some religions have discovered that if you want to get along with people of different religious faiths, you don't make your rules apply to them. Especially when they're not in your theocracies. If someone breaks a regular law, (and these cartoonists might have, under the hate speech laws in Denmark) then you certainly should prosecute them under the legal system.
dpowers
post #18  on February 10, 2006 - 12:17 AM PST  
> I think some religions have discovered that if you want to get along with people of different religious faiths, you don't make your rules apply to them.

so, all you christians out there, just because you think it's okay putting jesus on a dashboard or mary on a breakfast roll, don't go sticking mohammed wherever you want. your rules for your stuff, theirs for theirs.
dpowers
post #19  on February 10, 2006 - 1:01 AM PST  
what's funny is that the cartoons demonstrate a misunderstanding of islam - that mohammed was the boss - an easy mistake to make for christians whose confusing central figure is both manifestation and representative. mohammed was more like moses: received the law, wrote it down, distributed it, saw to its faithful pursuance.

the reason you're not allowed to draw mohammed or worship his image is, as i understand it, he's human. not to be worshipped. the koran is to be taken seriously because of its source; and the divine vessel's separate teachings are to be taken in their place as those of a well informed and wise human being. this doesn't describe all practice but it is what sells people on the faith - everybody on earth is equally close/far from the divine - no popes, no saints, no god/kings, no select few.
artifex
post #20  on February 10, 2006 - 8:39 AM PST  
> On February 10, 2006 - 12:17 AM PST dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > I think some religions have discovered that if you want to get along with people of different religious faiths, you don't make your rules apply to them.
>
> so, all you christians out there, just because you think it's okay putting jesus on a dashboard or mary on a breakfast roll, don't go sticking mohammed wherever you want. your rules for your stuff, theirs for theirs.
> ---------------------------------

So Mohammed belongs only to Muslims, then? I think you didn't understand the point. Let me try this another way:

I am not an Orthodox Catholic, so the rule about only eating fish on Friday does not apply to me. Likewise, the need for "last rites" or being sprinkled do not apply to me. Neither can I be excommunicated from a faith I do not belong to.

I am not an Orthodox Jew, so the rule against writing any of the names of God, Adonai, Jehovah, etc., does not apply to me. I can eat pork, too!

And yet, I am not a Muslim, but the rule about drawing Mohammed should apply to me?

> On February 10, 2006 - 1:01 AM PST dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> what's funny is that the cartoons demonstrate a misunderstanding of islam - that mohammed was the boss - an easy mistake to make for christians whose confusing central figure is both manifestation and representative. mohammed was more like moses: received the law, wrote it down, distributed it, saw to its faithful pursuance.
>
> the reason you're not allowed to draw mohammed or worship his image is, as i understand it, he's human. not to be worshipped. the koran is to be taken seriously because of its source; and the divine vessel's separate teachings are to be taken in their place as those of a well informed and wise human being. this doesn't describe all practice but it is what sells people on the faith - everybody on earth is equally close/far from the divine - no popes, no saints, no god/kings, no select few.
> ---------------------------------

So... would they kill someone if they made a cartoon of any human, then?

I would venture a guess that a non-Muslim drawing a picture of Mohammed is not likely to worship him. Think of them as unwashed ignorant heathen, and let it go. Otherwise, this is rather imperialistic, culturally speaking, don't you think?
You must adhere to our rules, even though you do not believe as we do, or we will kill you.
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