Thursday, October 31, 2002

Ann Coulter and El Islam

Ann Coulter and El Islam

Serve God,
and do not associate
anything with God.
And be good to your parents
and relatives
and to neighbors close by
and neighbors remote,
and to the companion by your side,
and to the traveler,
and to your wards.
For God does not love
the arrogant, the boastful.
The Koran, As translated by Thomas Cleary

Ann Coulter is dependable. Like the sun moving through the sky, like the growing of the grass, Ann consistently writes vengeful prose. Her latest column contains her normal attacks on the media, the left (you know, those people who hate normal Americans and lie for sport), and US immigration policy. All well and good, and to be expected. But she also continues her attacks on Islam, disdaining to distinguish between a religion practiced peaceably by millions and the scattered insanity of a few individuals and communities. All over the south west there are infrequent incidents in which Hispanics (predominately Mexicans) are abused and harassed because of the same anti-immigration attitudes Coulter espouses, and yet I would be loathe to hold her responsible for these bouts of lawless violence.

In her most hateful passage (I use the word hateful here to indicate that I hate what she says; I wouldn’t presume to judge Coulter’s motives in writing it.), Coulter states “In one of the oddest attempts to soften depictions of Islam – the one religion the media respects – the Times has apparently banned the word "burka" from its pages. (Burkas have gotten such a bad name recently!) Instead, one reads only about the "burka-style gowns" of the Islamic terrorists in Moscow or the "burka-like robes" of women in Bahrain. (How about: The swastika-like adornment on the skinhead's forearm.)”

Here Coulter comfortably equates Nazism with Islam. How reprehensible. Ann Coulter places herself on par with those on the left (and some on the right) who feel that abandonment of Christianity is a necessary next step in the evolution of a just society here in America. Coulter is comfortable as an enemy of religious freedom; as a faith holding person myself I find that very dangerous.

Politics at It's Dirtiest redux

Politics at it's Dirtiest redux

"Such low-level rowdysim might seem to be of only tangential political importance, but in an era when elections were decided by repeat voters and poll-box smashers, by the intimidation and beating of citizens before they could cast their votes, gangland vendettas were more integral to the electoral process than any set of laws or principles."
Luc Sante, Low Life

Sante's brilliant work on New York does put Shapiro's complaints in perspective.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Politics At It's Dirtiest

Politics At It's Dirtiest

Poor Ben Shapiro. Ben is in danger of being sued by the Governor of California. Apparently Ben has a friend who witnessed Governor Davis blowing up in a crowd of people. Ben, noting that Davis had a history of anger, decided to call Gabriel Sanchez, Davis’s Campaign Spokesperson to confirm the quote. Sanchez didn’t confirm it and suggested that Shapiro might face legal action for Slander. Oh no! Poor Ben only has $8,000 in his checking account, and a small baseball card collection worth $200.00.

Of course Ben did not in fact leave himself open for slander accusations. He made it clear that he was repeating what he had heard. And one might wonder if Ben’s fellow conservatives might support him in his battle with Governor Davis. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben’s political capital began to rise. And I’ll bet Ben is aware of all these facts.

I am not, however, immune to the danger that Ben is in, and my great heart goes out to him. But then I remember another article young Ben wrote.

He said, on the possible strafing of an Afghan wedding party, “Maybe I'm a hard-hearted guy, but when I see in the newspapers that civilians in Afghanistan or the West Bank were killed by American or Israeli troops, I don't really care. In fact, I would rather that the good guys use the Air Force to kill the bad guys, even if that means some civilians get killed along the way. One American soldier is worth far more than an Afghan civilian.”
For those interested in contacting me, my e-mail is

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

On Anti War Protest

On Anti-War Protest

“We believe that it is unconscionable to send young people in the U.S. armed forces into combat in an illegal war that serves only the interests of Big Oil. Instead of spending $200 billion of taxpayers' money on another war in the Middle East, the funds should be used to create jobs and finance education, housing, heathcare and other vital human needs.”

This last weekend saw a massive protest movement against the war in Iraq. The main focus of these marches was D.C., and to a lesser extent San Francisco, but smaller protests were held in dozens of cities across the U.S. All this you probably already know, but I like repeating stuff. Makes my entries longer.

I was on my way to lunch Saturday, when I saw the protestors here in Tallahassee. I had a question as I drove past them, and then came back and observed them. I probably would have participated, but due to bad timing was only able to watch them march back to their “staging area.”

I wondered if the protesters really wanted to stop the war in Iraq, or if their primary desire was to relive or recreate the magic of the sixties. Several held up posters attacking the United States as imperialist. Indeed, the quote above, from the website, leaves only the only reasons to invade Iraq were economic in nature. Several other posters linked our intention to invade Iraq with racism, and indeed the event on Saturday was entitled Act Now to Stop War & End Racism (which cleverly spells Answer for those playing along at home).

Let me stop here for a moment to answer the obvious question. Yes, I oppose the war. I believe that our goals in Iraq are ill defined, and I certainly don’t buy the argument that we are fighting a war to liberate the Iraqi people. More to the point I am deeply troubled by the undemocratic way we seem to have settled on this course of action.

That being said, there are reasons beyond oil and racism for invading Iraq. While it is certainly enjoyable to paint all who those who support invading Iraq as greedy or racist or evil incarnate, doing so is a hindrance towards arguing with them.

The protesters I saw contained many serious people who seemed to have reasoned and well thought out arguments for opposing the war. But they were overshadowed by a small combative minority, who spoke a language of symbols alien to those they were trying to reach.

I happened to stop at a light directly in front of the rally (and coincidently enough, the capital). On the island between me and the other cars was a protester holding up, if memory serves, the standard “No Blood For Oil.” (As a footnote, please don’t try using blood for oil. Use oil for oil. And leave any blood you come across where you found it.). I listened to him berate the gentleman in the other car, who had served in the Air Force. The island protestor’s arguments about the evils of American Imperialism only roused this gentleman’s ire. Which, looked at from a certain perspective, was more gratifying than a brief discussion of why we should not invade Iraq.

Perhaps this is a minor thing, in the face of the great potential evil we face as a nation. But serious times call for serious people.

For a further, and much better outlook on this subject, I suggest Andrew M. Manis’s article Memo to the Peace Movement.

On a lighter note Frank J. Gaffney has written a piece calling on us to label France, Russia , China, Brazil, Venezuela, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia as our enemies. Why not? We don’t have enough to do with Iraq.

Monday, October 28, 2002


Well this is it.

My first post to my blog, which I (my name is Bryant, in case you are interested in that sort of thing) have cleverly entitled Make me a Commentator. Why should you the adoring public support me as a commentator? There are many reasons, many involving the size of my checking account and my desire for expensive electronics, but I must admit those are largely personal reasons. The best reason I can offer you, the reader, is somewhat simpler.

Why not?

Have you read the comments of some of my fellow commentators? And let me be clear, neither the left nor the right has a monopoly on narrow ideological boneheaded commentators. I use the term boneheaded in the

You may wonder what qualifications I have to commentate on the news of the day. I don’t have any, really. I read commentators often, and I have a MA in American History, but besides that my only real qualification is that I have the overwhelming arrogance to believe that my view points might matter to the random reader.

You may also wonder what my personal politics are. I generally lean towards the left on economic issues more towards the center on social issues. I believe in America. That’s enough to get started, and I’ll fill in the details as we go along.

Anyway that’s enough of an introduction. Hope you enjoy this.